Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Spotlight: Stranded In Time – by Kelli Sue Landon


Stranded In Time - by Kelli Sue Landon

College student and art major Samantha Harper has been tracing her family tree for quite some time. Her mother, Rebecca, died when Sam was sixteen and she never talked much about her past. Samantha is thrilled to hear that she will be allowed to research her mother's past for a school assignment. Upon arriving in Rebecca's childhood neighborhood, Sam arranges to have a tour of her mother's grade school. She finds an area inside the school that had been damaged and at first, thinking a ghost was inhabiting the gymnasium, she accidentally crosses over into the year 1975; the year when her mother is in kindergarten. Fascinated and scared at the same time, Sam gets to witness her mother's childhood up front as she inadvertently gets involved in an old case of a young girl's accidental death. Little Josie Baker, a classmate of Sam's mother, died that year inside the school's gymnasium. But, was it an accident? After uncovering the dark secret surrounding Josie's death, Samantha wonders if she'll ever find her way back home where her father and best friend, Josh, have been waiting for her return. Will she return to the present or will she have to live the rest of her life in the past?

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense  

Amazon Print Purchase Link  
Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Purchase Link
 
   

Author Kelli Sue Landon’s Published Titles:  
Nightmare At Camp Forrestwood: A Young Adult Whodunit  
Short Tales: Eight Thrilling Stories 
Stranded In Time Sudden Moves: A Young Adult Mystery
Summer Shack: A Killer Vacation  

Author Kelli Sue Landon’s Website and Related Links:  
http://www.kellisuelandon.com  
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelli-Sue-Landon-Author/128375177223550 http://kellisbookreviews.wordpress.com/

Author Spotlight - Kelli Sue Landon

 Kelli Sue Landon 

Kelli Sue Landon is a mystery novelist and short story author. Her novels include Sudden Moves, Nightmare At Camp Forrestwood, Summer Shack: A Killer Vacation, and Stranded in Time. She is from Peoria, IL and works for the United States Postal Service.  

Interview:  

What makes you proud to be a writer from Peoria, Illinois? I like using the Midwest as my settings since we get all four seasons and other states around us really help with road trips for my characters.  

What or who inspired you to become a writer? The idea of it being “fun” is how I started. I also like escaping into another world that I create.  

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Not until I was halfway through my first novel, Sudden Moves. I just sat down and started writing it. My friends read chapters as I wrote and I was asked many times about publishing it.  

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I started as a teen, living in a secluded place in the country. No neighbors or any way of riding my bicycle or walking to a friend’s house. I would take a blank sheet of paper and write stories for something to do.  

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Usually in the middle. With Sudden Moves and Stranded in Time, the titles kept coming up in phrases through the books. That’s when I knew what title to use.  

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Mystery/Suspense/Amateur Sleuth. I read that genre, plus I love keeping readers guessing, just like I do when I read a suspenseful mystery. Agatha Christie is the author who I love reading when it comes to sleuths.  

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? When my short story, Pizza Night, was sold for $50 to a local Peoria magazine, Downstate Story. I was ecstatic that someone liked my story that much!  

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided. A couple of book reviews, but they weren’t real bad, just not the reviewers cup of tea. I took them as a learning experience.  

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Finding many people like International Book Promotion, KanDel Media, and Lynda Brown of Author Chat who promote indie authors or a low price and even throw free services in the mix. I am so grateful for people like this who give prompt service and help out indies.  

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never look down on independent publishing. I have known authors who lie and say they got accepted to a publisher, when really they paid for their publishing service. It’s a stepping stone to having an agent or even getting traditionally published. Never shy away from having your book in print, just because you did it all on your own. You should reward yourself for your hard work.  

Who is your favorite author? Agatha Christie, Linwood Barclay, Dean Koontz, Janet Evanovich, Stephen King.  

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? One great way to stay motivated while writing, is to write scenes and send them to people who love to read. I did this with a few retired friends and they would email me back and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I kept writing more and more to send them and get their feedback. It really helped push me to get my books written.

 
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Stranded In Time - by Kelli Sue Landon


College student and art major Samantha Harper has been tracing her family tree for quite some time. Her mother, Rebecca, died when Sam was sixteen and she never talked much about her past. Samantha is thrilled to hear that she will be allowed to research her mother's past for a school assignment. Upon arriving in Rebecca's childhood neighborhood, Sam arranges to have a tour of her mother's grade school. She finds an area inside the school that had been damaged and at first, thinking a ghost was inhabiting the gymnasium, she accidentally crosses over into the year 1975; the year when her mother is in kindergarten. Fascinated and scared at the same time, Sam gets to witness her mother's childhood up front as she inadvertently gets involved in an old case of a young girl's accidental death. Little Josie Baker, a classmate of Sam's mother, died that year inside the school's gymnasium. But, was it an accident? After uncovering the dark secret surrounding Josie's death, Samantha wonders if she'll ever find her way back home where her father and best friend, Josh, have been waiting for her return. Will she return to the present or will she have to live the rest of her life in the past?

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense  

Amazon Print Purchase Link  
Kindle Purchase Link
Barnes and Noble Purchase Link
 
   

Author Kelli Sue Landon’s Published Titles:  
Nightmare At Camp Forrestwood: A Young Adult Whodunit  
Short Tales: Eight Thrilling Stories  
Stranded In Time Sudden Moves: A Young Adult Mystery
Summer Shack: A Killer Vacation  

Author Kelli Sue Landon’s Website and Related Links:  
http://www.kellisuelandon.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelli-Sue-Landon-Author/128375177223550 http://kellisbookreviews.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Spotlight: Wisdom and Rubies – by J. F. Slattery




Eminent criminal barrister Adolphus Winterbourne had been worried about his godson Arthur before but when he discovered that the young man was in Clerkenwell prison on remand for suspected burglary, he got quite a shock…
It is 1829, and burglary is a capital offence. But Arthur's brief stay in a London prison on a mistaken charge is only the first in a strange series of interlinked events into which he and Lord Horatio Carlton, his friend and fellow student, are inextricably drawn – events involving every aspect of London life: its journalists and politicians, its artists and scholars, its idlers and gamblers, its burglars, confidence tricksters and pickpockets. Meet George Marshall, irascible editor of The Morning Indicator and his striking print workers; Colonel Henderson and his Indian wife, whose greatest ambition is to walk in a London street without a veil; Oliver Morris and Lieutenant Peterson, on leave from Madras, whose friendship ends in violence and death; and above all, Frank Hoskins – charming, talented, kindly Frank, receiver of stolen goods and police agent, whose career spirals down into robbery and murder. Once Arthur and Horatio lived a life of jokes and laughter but as events unfold they find the shadows of tragedy closing in around them. Only a desperate plea to Sir Robert Peel, Home Secretary and founder of the new Metropolitan Police Force, will avert disaster.
When, twenty-five years later, Mr. Winterbourne takes up his pen to write an account of these events, he wonders how he is to do it…
Based on actual police reports of the period, Wisdom and Rubies is an engaging fictional account of a vital period in English social history.
A sequel to 'Wisdom and Rubies' will shortly be published, entitled 'The Scapegoat'. It will be a story of mutiny on a ship returning from China and a subsequent trial for murder, based once again on real events of the period as reported in the newspapers.

Genre: Fiction, Literary

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This review is for Wisdom and Rubies by J. F. Slattery. 

As soon as this book arrived I knew that I was in for an educated read.

Author J. F. Slattery was born in Essex, England in 1950 and is well educated in social history, German literature and philosophy. His research into nineteenth century London is impeccable. He successfully draws his readers into the time period with tales of police/authority, accounts of murder (crime/punishment), religious differences, old customs like dueling and portrays the attitudes and experiences within the full spectrum of London society.

His cast of characters are large in number, are well defined and their conversations, letters, poems, songs and quotes are clear and concise. They draw you into their lives and story. 

Great descriptive characters. I especially liked the description of Lord Horatio being excessively intelligent, profoundly sane, not a dreamer but “enthralled, not by imagination, but by reality”. Having said that I like this my mind went to whether this author is a dreamer or not.

I liked the character named Arthur (Lord Horatio’s companion) who “felt some momentary excitement, wondering what a thought–experiment could be”. When Professor Gottschlegel asked his class “think of a wall” and Arthur’s vision of the wall was …”about six feet high, quite new, the brick not yet to discoloured, and on the other side - out of view, but he knew it was there – was a summerhouse.”

The language and mind set of these London times represent a man’s world but not without a few colorful characters like Madame Anastasia “a shrewd, tough Russian who learned her trade among the aristocracy of St. Petersburg.”

Given the title of this book, I would have been disappointed if the author had not quoted through his character Horatio from Proverbs 8:11.

Although the genre is fiction the book is based on actual events so he instructs his readers to “consult ‘The Times’ of 1830” for the actual cases. It is the opinion of this reviewer that every reader will find their own way in this book and come away with something or many things that he or she can relate to.

Cold Coffee Press endorses Wisdom and Rubies by J. F. Slattery for the intellectual reader who enjoys reading historical events as they pertain to society, impact on individuals and perhaps a comparison to how far we have come or not come within some societies today. I found this book extremely interesting and thought provoking from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with nineteenth century London.

Cold Coffee Press (August 2014): http://www.coldcoffeepress.com


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J. F. Slattery's Author J. F. Slattery was born in Essex, England, in 1950. In the course of a varied education (some said restless mind, others intellectual butterfly) he studied Classics, social history and German - the latter at London University, after which he spent twenty years teaching German literature and philosophy to university students. During this time he published scholarly articles on Heine, Thomas and Erika Mann, and the history of the BBC German Service. In 1995 he decided he could not stand the university world for another moment, so he escaped. In 1996 he founded Slattery Translations, an international business, which in 2000 he relocated to Portugal. He lives in Cascais, near Lisbon.
 

Before-the-Beak-True-stories-from-the-London-police-offices-in-1830-by-J-F-Slattery 


This is a book about people, of all social classes, who lived in London in the year 1830. It presents a vivid snapshot of their lives, gained from newspaper reports of cases heard at the police offices. Actual crimes occupy a certain space, but criminals are not the book’s overriding focus. Victims and witnesses of crime appeared in court as well, plus many others who were not criminals, but for whom the magistrates were responsible: children, the mentally ill, spouses involved in domestic disputes and, above all, the unemployed and otherwise destitute seeking relief under the Poor Law.

After an initial Chapter I. Setting the Scene, which provides a succinct account of the socio-political background, and explains the administrative and legal system in the London of 1830, the book is constructed as a series of narratives, featuring individual cases. Chapter II. In the New Year Snow describes the severe winter of 1830, and introduces the police offices and their magistrates. Chapter III. The Poor and the Destitute recounts tragic stories of poverty requiring action by the magistrates in their capacity as Poor Law administrators. Chapter IV. Love, Marriage and the Law has three sections: (i) “Errant husbands and thorough scoundrels” features husbands prosecuted for failure to maintain their families and fathers of illegitimate children sued by mothers for maintenance. (ii) “Domestic strife, elopement and the tar who bought a wife” narrates cases of domestic violence and cruelty, the misadventures of couples who eloped, and the misadventure of a trusting sailor. (iii) “Bigamy” speaks for itself: it was a widespread crime. Chapter V. Children, Animals and Lunatics begins with orphans, abandoned children and child apprentices; then come cases involving the mentally disturbed (in whose often terrible treatment the courts interfered), and finally prosecutions for cruelty to animals carried out by the SPCA (not yet the RSPCA). Chapter VI. The Tempted and the Fallen is divided into (i) “Drink” (cases of drunken people, sometimes funny, but more often tragic) and (ii) “Sex” (a more lurid Chapter, including child brothels in Marylebone and some reported rape cases). Chapter VII. Thieves and their Victims turns to actual crime: (i) “The perils of the street” describes the rife street crime of the period; this is followed by (ii) “Burglars and cracksmen”, and (iii) “Dishonest servants." The chapter closes with (iv) “A miscellany of theft", including shoplifting and body-snatching. Chapter VIII. Two Murders recounts two sensational murders which took place in London that year; one was never solved; for the other a man was hanged, and the newspaper reports accompany him to his last moments on the gallows. Chapter IX. Flouters of the Law features prize fighters, duellists, fortune tellers and others who deliberately and repeatedly broke the law. Chapter X. Public Order and Disorder has Chapters: two sections: (i) “The New Police” recounts the foundation of the Metropolitan Police by Peel and narrates cases of unsuitable policemen prosecuted for misbehaviour; while (ii) “Riot and Revolution” portrays the severe rots which occurred in London in November 1830 and the cases of individual rioters who came up before the police magistrates. Finally Chapter XI. 1830 and Beyond brings a medley of cases to close the year, and looks forward to the history of England over the next seventy years, noting that in the lifetime of a person born in 1830 the social and political fabric of England would undergo a complete change.

The general reader interested in history will find this book both funny and tragic, but always fascinating. It would be a perfect bedside book, but it would also be very suitable background at school or university. Lawyers will find a particular interest in its cases. It is original in its approach and lively in its presentation.

Genre: Fiction, Literary  

Amazon Print Purchase Link  
Barnes and Noble Print Purchase Link

J. F. Slattery’s Published Works  
Before the Beak (Amazon 2012)  
Wisdom and Rubies (Troubador 2014)  

J. F. Slattery’s Website  

Please Visit Author J. F. Slattery At Cold Coffee Press