bookcover: 
Author: 
Jill Marie Landis
Series: 
Tiki Goddess Mystery Series
Publisher: 
Belle Books
Rating: 
9
ISBN/ASIN: 

:978-1-61194-131-9

Description of Sales Url: 
Now available from Amazon
Review: 

Here it is the end of winter, and we're caught up in a cold snap. My heat is turned up, and I'm walking around the house in furry slippers and two layers of clothes with a mug of hot coffee in hand—but I feel like I've just gotten back from Hawaii, a good trick considering I've never been.

My warm and cozy suntanned glow arises thanks to Jill Marie Landis, and her Tiki Goddess series. I just reluctantly put down Two to Mango with the same let down as when arriving home after a sunny vacation in the tropics, though I've never encountered a group of vacation friends quite as eccentric and extraordinary as the Hula Maidens who further the cause of justice by competing in the Kukui Nut Festival Hula Competition. If the Keystone Cops had been elderly ladies in grass skirts, they'd be Hula Maidens.

Two to Mango is a cozy mystery, which centers around an elderly hula troupe directed by Kiki Godwin. The hula-challenged troupe can barely get gigs at all, and their dim booking prospects are even dimmer after an accidental nipple exposure at the Happy Days Long Term Care Center. The motley collection is just part of the cast of suspects after an unpleasant neighbor's body is found in the bar's luau pit.

Lured by the maidens, Em Johnson relocated from the mainland to help her uncle Louie Marshall manage his Tiki Goddess bar on Kauai. Em is something of an amateur investigator whom Detective Roland Sharpe has reined in before; but now he asks for her help. He has his hands full with the investigation, and also, hopefully full of Em as well.

Don't come in to this book expecting depth or angst or page-turning sex. No dark and brooding, deeply flawed historical romance heroes in want of saving here. This is a fun read, a contemporary cozy chock-full of nuts, authentic Hawaiian lingo and lively characters like Uncle Louie's parrot Dave Letterman, who taste tests all of Uncle Louie's drink concoctions; Jackie Loo Tong, one of the hula competitors; Lillian owner of the rogue exposed nipple; Marilyn Lockhart, former Hula Maiden turned gold-digger, I mean, romantic interest for Uncle Louie. Fans of Stephanie Plum will enjoy this series, a colorful, entertaining, light and playful read.


Movement Publishing is a university editing and publishing class production. We are looking for poetry, flash fiction, and short stories with a journey theme. You will retain all rights; we only need first publication permission to be included. movementpub@gmail.com

CaSondra Poulsen

bookcover: 
Author: 
John Gaiserich
Publisher: 
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: 
Fiction: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

978-1517528638

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Amazon
Review: 

The Prelapsarians paints a portrait of a devastating future. The eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano sets into motion a series of events that reduces mankind to a primitive and violent existence. These types of books work best if the journey from here to there is a plausible one. The author has to sell us on the new reality. I'm happy to say that that's precisely what John Gaiserish did.

I usually start reviews talking about characters, but I'm going to break that tradition and instead talk about the setting. Set in the south of Russia, the world is rich. It's alive. It's described in fantastic detail, with all the information you need not only to bring the world to life, but also to place events in historical context. This isn't easy to do, particularly to someone like me, who usually focuses on characters and action. However, the descriptions of places and events captivated me, bringing every vista into sharp relief.

The narrative follows a group of men who were soldiers of fortune before the disaster. When the super-volcano blew, they happened to be in Russia and had no way of getting back. They were well suited to survival in their new situation, and spent the early years learning how to survive even better. The book takes place many years after the eruption, in a world where powerful Oligarchs rule through force of arms, while smaller groups, like the main characters, try to eek out a meager existence in the ever-growing shadow of those more powerful, better armed, and better provisioned.

Many of the conversations between characters talk about religion, philosophy, and morality, though The Prelapsarians doesn't come off as preachy, nor does it try to get you to pick sides. But seeing how personal beliefs change (or sometimes don't change) is one of the more interesting takeaways from this book. These conversations gave me not only deeper insight into the characters themselves, but also insight into the real the world as well.

If you like rich, detailed dystopian fiction The Prelapsarians is a good choice. However, if you're put off by extreme graphic violence, or extreme profanity, this book will take you well out of your comfort zone.

bookcover: 
Author: 
Chris Nye
Publisher: 
Moody Publishers
Genre: 
Non-fiction_: 
Rating: 
8
ISBN/ASIN: 

ASIN: B017CHSK3M

Description of Sales Url: 
Purchase from Moody Publishers
Review: 

Series:
Author: Chris Nye
Genre(s) / Subgenre(s): Religious
Published By: Moody Publishers
Format(s):Kindle Edition ISBN(s):ASIN: B017CHSK3M
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Rating:  8
Reviewed By: Nancy Louise
© April 28, 2016

Distant God:Why he feels far away … and what can we do about it.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ca-9GndUL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200...

While the season of Lent is over and Easter has begun, there is no reason to skip this book. For those of us who follow the Christian way of life, being close to God is paramount to Spiritual well being. But lets be honest, there are many reasons God might feel far away. Some people have stopped attending Church because of the distance, or still attend but find the whole thing less than useless. What is wrong with us?This book explores the many reasons we can feel this way and what to do about it.

First off, there is hope. Second, faith and actions should not depend on just our emotional sense of God’s nearness. Author Chris Nye gives some wonderful examples. Starting off with The Longing to be Near and ending with The Promise. Along the way you will learn the many ways to gauge your travels with God and also how you can overcome or make a turnabout in your life long relations with our Creator.

Regardless of where you are in your walk, or the time of year, this book I found to be very helpful in my own walk. I learned to gauge where I am not just by my emotions (which can be misleading) and also how to handle the sometimes Religious high one can get after say a retreat and then the dumps which can happened when we get back to daily life and all its bumps and knock outs that can happened even to the most saintly of lives.

I recommend this book to all who wish to stay on the path of righteousness and to also grow more in their walk in this bumpy ride we call life.

Nancy Louise
March 28, 2016


A message from JD Franx

Novelspot Talks to Zumaya Publications

For those who aren't familiar with Zumaya Press, how would you define yourself?

Zumaya Publications was one of the first small presses to develop the digital business model. Although ebooks had been available from small publishers from 1996 on, it wasn’t until on-demand printing technology was developed that publishers could begin offering print books without the need to invest thousands of dollars in a print run.

For that reason, Zumaya could take a chance on authors and books the established publishers wouldn’t even look at. We could publish what we liked to read, and what other people told us they loved but could never find enough of.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to become a publisher?

It didn’t. I was taken on as an editor by the founders of the company in 2002, and at the end of the year they asked me to become a partner. In 2006, operations moved from Canada to Texas, and two years later my sister, niece and I bought the company outright.

As a writer, how do you manage to create a balance between writing and publishing? Are there conflicts and if so, how
do you resolve them?

Writing has taken a back seat to the publishing for the last five years or so, although I hope to be able to change that. In the meantime, I do keep my skills honed by doing reviews and working on nonfiction pieces.

What inspires you to write/publish?

I’ve loved books from the time I memorized the Little Golden Books my mother read to me and “read” them to my baby sister. It’s less a question of inspiration and more one of simply loving good stories that are well-written. With the publishing, it’s giving those stories a chance to find an audience, and with the writing it’s giving voice to all the people who live in my head.

Over the years, what would you say your vision of Zumaya Press has changed?

It hasn’t, really. The goal is still to provide authors with a path to readers, and readers the best experience of storytelling we can manage. We’ve expanded that to include illustrated and graphic novels, and we hope to launch the Zumaya Fabled Ink imprint in 2016. We wanted to support that goal in the most environmentally friendly manner we can, which is why we use on-demand printing (no waste of unsold copies) and don’t accept returns (cutting down on transportation/shipping). It means not having access to most bookstores, but if that’s the price of doing what we can for the planet, so be it.

Does a bad review affect your writing?
You can’t please everyone. Does it annoy me when a reviewer downgrades a book and gives no better reason than “I didn’t like it”? Of course. We can’t improve unless we know where improvement is needed. Do we lose sleep over it? No. In fact, I’d be more concerned about a book that, based on reviews, was apparently flawless, because that’s just not possible.

How would you advise your younger self?
Learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Read widely, even if the subject matter isn’t necessarily one that’s immediately interesting. Study people—look, listen, observe, and appreciate all the many unique creatures we are.

What would you define a true Zumaya Press author?
How do you define any author—someone who can tell a good story and has taken the time to learn how to do it effectively. Someone with enthusiasm not just for the writing but for what comes after, and a strong desire to share their stories with others.

Are you looking for any particular submissions at this time?
We’re always open for submissions in all imprints, although we would like to see more LGBTQ books, including YA and middle grade. We only publish a few new authors every year, and those who query us need to be aware it will be at least a year before their book comes out, if accepted.

cover: 

Hi there,
I have a suggestion for your page.
Our team has recently published a comprehensive and up-to-date list of the top 55 Apps for Writers in 2016. You can see it here:
https://www.experteditor.com.au/blog/the-top-55-apps-for-writers-in-2016/

We made sure to include the best writing apps and list reasons for choosing them. I believe your readers will find it helpful. Would you mind checking it out?

Have a nice week ahead!
Best,

Hard at work reading a novel for review. Almost done. Can't say it was my favorite book, though, but it was well written in many ways.

Anyway, back to work on that and finishing my latest nonfiction book. This one is on time travel, is due in two weeks for Permuted Press/Simon & Schuster!

Giveaway

FINAL WEEK of Goodreads giveaway.
ENTER for the opportunity to win 1 of 10 free copies of #FallenNovel!

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