Thursday, 30 June 2016

THE BILLIONAIRE BARITONE

The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romance

Amethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.
Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.

David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.
Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.


CHAPTER 3

I couldn't help but worry. The Morecrofts seemed nice people, and genuinely looked like they wanted to help, but they had money and power, and I had nothing.
Phyllis refused to talk about money and asked me all kinds of questions about myself, while one paramedic checked my pulse and reminded me to keep still.
Then the ambulance stopped, and the door opened again.
It didn't look like a hospital to me.
Panic gripped my chest.
“Did you kidnap me?”
Phyllis, to her credit, look insulted for a moment before shaking her head. “No, this is a private facility. It has the best equipment and care in the country.”
She waited until they put me on a gurney, before climbing out and following on foot.
As soon as the doors opened, I got the hospital feeling. Everything was white, although the staff that approached us looked concerned and not at all how I envisaged kidnappers would look.
A man's face came into my field of view. “Hello there, we are going to do some X-rays and give you a proper check to see how your injuries look.”
We were moving while he talked to me, also checking my pulse with a warm hand. I was starting to feel drowsy. It has been a tiring day.

By the time I was put in bed, my whole body ached, and I was feeling like crap. I was thirsty, hungry and in desperate need of a shower. Phyllis was still with me, but I didn't want to say anything. She had done more than enough already.
It didn't take me long to figure out that the 'private facility' belonged to the Morecrofts. The staff was giving me curious looks, but none made any comments to my face.
But I could imagine what they were thinking. Charity case. And they wouldn't be wrong I reminded myself as I laid there.
“Would you like some water?”
I opened my eyes and nodded. “Thank you.”
Phyllis helped me to sit upright and held the glass until I could grip it with one hand. I looked at my other. It was bandaged and I couldn't use any part of it.
The next moment David and Jeff walked in with the doctor who pronounced my butt bruised but fine, my ankle severely sprained and my hand broken and in need of surgery.
Jeff approached my bed while David remained with the doctor.
“We are flying in the surgeon first thing in the morning to fix your hand.”
I heard him but my eyes couldn't look away from the man quietly watching from the other end of the room. “Why are you doing this?”
Jeff spoke up and I finally managed to tear my eyes away from David.
“You are hurt, and we want to help.”
I waved my injured hand in a helplessly stupid fashion. “I know that. But why so much trouble? I cannot afford this place.”
I put the glass down and laid down, ignoring the ache in my stomach. I had gone without food before.
“Don't worry about the bills,” Phyllis said as the doctor left the room.
Mother and sons shared a look, and I felt even worse. I hated that people felt sorry for me. If they wanted to waste their money on me, fine. I will get out of here and out of their hair as soon as I can. Maybe after the surgery tomorrow. I needed the use of my hand and the surgery to do so. It didn't feel right staying here, but I had no choice if I wanted a functioning hand.
I was too tired to argue anymore, so I nodded and closed my eyes, hoping they would leave me alone in my misery.

Read from the start on Wattpad

Monday, 27 June 2016

THE BILLIONAIRE BARITONE

The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romance

Amethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.
Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.


David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.
Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.


CHAPTER 2

The older woman came closer and put her arm around my shoulders. “Come, let's have a look at you. I have to apologise for my son, he usually has much better manners.”
The woman took my pack and handed it to the guard, all the while talking as she manipulated my limbs to move. I cried out again, I couldn't help it.
“Stop,” David said. ”You are hurt.”
I nodded battling tears now. I hated crying. “My ankle,” I managed.
“Hold on,” was all he said before I could figure out what he was talking about. The next moment a squeal escaped me as he lifted me into his arms. My arms went around his neck in an instant.
This close to him, I clenched my teeth not to gasp out loud. I might be a lowly clerk in a retail warehouse who danced to escape the mundane routine of my daily life, but I knew who was now carrying me: David Morecroft III. Billionaire businessman and thrice voted the hottest bachelor this side of the equator.
Always having prided myself on being level headed, it was hard not to act like some starry-eyed schoolgirl with her first crush. This guy was gorgeous. What was not to like? Midnight black hair with heavy brows and high cheekbones, giving him a hawk-like appearance. I recall the tabloids calling his eyes, golden orbs of passion, but this close they were a dark honey colour. His lips were definitely as kissable as they said.
Another breath reminded me that his aftershave didn't come from a department store. It was the kind of scent that I wanted to roll naked in. I wanted it all over my skin because it reminded me of being a woman. Not a feeling I get to experience often.
When he stepped inside the house, the bright lights blinded my eyes for a moment. Once I could see again, I remembered why I should have insisted on leaving. There was art on the walls, and I was not taking any bets on them being prints.
He carried me to some kind of couch thing and gently put me down. Despite the soft cushion my butt protested, but I managed, this time, to keep the pain to myself. This whole situation was embarrassing enough without me having to explain about a bruised ass.
“What is your name?” his mother asked.
“Amethyst Calder.”
The older woman smiled at her son who was watching me with a really funny expression on his face. Did he think I was going to steal from him? Hmpf, the world might consider him the catch of the century, but he clearly had people issues.
“I am Phyllis Morecroft, and this is my eldest son, David.”
Another man came into the room and laughed softly. “So this is the intruder you caught. Scary little thing, isn't she?”
Phyllis shook her head. “This is my youngest son, Jefferson.”
“Jeff,” he replied he approached and held out his hand.
Before she could explain, David grabbed his brother's hand. “She is injured, Jeff.”
He looked over his shoulder. “Where are the paramedics?”
The security guard pushed a button on his earpiece and listened for a few seconds. “On their way, sir. ETA 2 minutes.”
Could this get any worse? I swallowed. How could I possibly explain about not having any money when I was surrounded by people who didn't know what it was to be poor?
The door opened, and two paramedics entered holding their kits in one hand and a stretcher in the other.
I held up my hand. “No, please.”
David came closer and put his hand on my leg, above my ankle. “Are you afraid?”
I frowned. “Of course not. It's just that...,” I pressed my lips closed.
Phyllis stepped up. “Everyone out. Come on, boys there is a lady that needs attention.”
Without a word, the two men left me with their mother and the two paramedics.
Phyllis held my uninjured hand as they prodded my bruised body.
“Okay, miss you are going to have to take a ride with us. We need to get X-rays on your ankle and hand to make sure you don't have any broken bones.”
“But,” I wanted to protest.
Phyllis cut me off. “Excellent idea, you cannot be too careful when it comes to hands and feet.”
I know she meant well.
I pulled her closer. “I cannot afford it. Please, I just want to go home. I will be okay.”
She waved her other hand and motioned to the paramedics to put me on the stretcher.
“Let's not worry about that. You need to get well first.”
I couldn't help the groan when they lifted me onto the stretcher, covered me in a blanket and strapped me in from shoulders to ankles.
“What's wrong?”
“Fell on my butt,” I whispered. It was hard keeping the tears at bay. How am I going to pay for all this?
To my utmost surprise, Phyllis went with me into the ambulance, still holding my good hand.
“Why are you doing this?”
She smiled and patted our hands. “Because you need help. Stop stressing so much, everything will be okay.”

Read from the start here

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 26 June 2016

Art weekend did not turn out quite the way I planned. Firstly, I underestimated the amount of time I would have available - way too much laundry. Another factor that I didn't anticipate is the paper I chose for the project. I don't think it is quite the quality I need - the dust from the pastels keep sticking to the paper, making it difficult to remove without messing with the painting itself.
I wanted to do the entire painting with pan pastels, but the yellow in the set is the wrong tone, and the set does not contain white to blend with the yellow. I am reluctant to blend it with another pastel, since the texture of the pastels are not the same.
I did manage to make some progress, but there is much more to do before the project will be finished.
With the excitement of the feedback I have been getting from the editor of my non-fiction book, I completely forgot to post Chapter 2 of The Billionaire Baritone last week. *facepalm*
To make up for my inattention, I have already scheduled two chapters for the coming week. Chapter 2 will be live tomorrow, and Chapter 3 on Thursday as planned.
Hopefully, things will be back on track for the coming weeks.
Preliminary Book Cover Design
July introduces another Camp NaNoWriMo and I have already done the necessary planning for a new cozy mystery series - Tai Chi Mysteries - with Li-Ana Baker as the sleuth who has to apply her wits to help her assistant stay out of jail in the first book.
I will finish the Nations of Peace fantasy romance series (there are several more books to come) before adding another spin-off from that in a new series. Since it will be a while before that happens, I am keeping the rabbit in the hat.


I have two vampires calling my name to finish their story, so I will love and leave you until next time.

Linzé

Monday, 20 June 2016

Book Review: My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari

Amazon link
I volunteered to review this book with some trepidation since I didn't like another book written by the same author. Boy, was I surprised...in a good way.
This is not a romance, it is a love story. Love as the definition of more than the relationship between husband and wife, between lovers. The relationships in this book are complicated and such a reflection of the issues of real life, that you cannot help but being drawn into their problems.
This is no boy-meets-girl, overcome some issue and live happily ever after story. It a story that explores the pain and uncertainties of suppressed needs, deep-seated guilt, the dictates of society and family expectations.
Meet Nirvaan, Simeen's husband. A character portrayed with such a zest for life that at times you forget that he is struggling with cancer.
Meet Zayaan, Nirvaan and Simeen's best friend. The third of their trio who enters their lives after a long absence. An absence that is shrouded in secrets, pain, and uncertainty. While they need each other, the three friends struggle to resurrect their deep connection amidst their physical attraction, their families, and Nirvaan's looming demise.
Lastly, there is Simeen who is the center and the point of view character of the story. The reader lives through her struggles as she tries to please everyone, despite her own wishes, and battles to find the courage to stand on her own two feet. The reader learns the secrets of her nightmares and the journey she is on to find peace and strength amongst people who judge her harshly. She learns that relationships are more complex than what they first seem and that love, friendship and support often come from unexpected people.
The story is a painful journey of dealing with the past, struggling with the present and learning to form real relationships to face the future.
The author handled the intricacies of all the relationships with a sensitive hand. The problems in all the relationships were there, but not overwhelming the main story between the three friends. The story is emotional and touching. The bedroom scenes were well written, and the reader experiences Simeen's emotions with her, good and bad.
Some scenes in the story were a bit long, but it was not a struggle to read the entire book. Be prepared to giggle, to cry and live with a bunch of amazing characters for twenty chapters and finding real love in all its forms. Overall it was a book well worth the time, and I will gladly recommend it to anyone who will appreciate a literary love story.


My rating of My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 19 June 2016

Linzé’s Mischief, a public journal by Linzé Brandon, online journal, Belgian shepherd dog holding paper

Indulging in editing snacks has paid off! Okay, not the snacks because those chocolate chip cookies are way too decadent for my waistline. While I had my fair share of the chocolate decadence mentioned, I also did the work: editing. Negotiating the Maze, my first non-fiction book, is now with the editor in charge of making my words look good.
Even the cover design made the deadline before the manuscript. I am so bad...where is my cookie!
Linzé Brandon, Negotiating the Maze, non-fiction book about a writer's life, book cover graphic

And yet cookie indulgence notwithstanding, I am now back to the weight I was before my mother passed away. I never thought myself to be a comfort eater (more of a keeping my mouth busy while my hands are typing or holding a book, kind of eater) but it would appear that under some circumstances I do comfort eat.
But I dropped the 5kgs again, and now I am looking forward. I won't say to the next weighing, but yeah, I am a work in progress. July is going to be a real challenge with Camp NaNoWriMo coming up again, and snacking forming such an essential component of my writing. But I can, and I will make the target - word count and weight.

In celebration of the completion of my book (professional editing feedback notwithstanding) and meeting the first target of my weight-loss, I will be indulging in creating some art in the coming weekend. I might even make it an art week since my focus in July will be on writing the first book of a new mystery series, Open the Door to Murder.
I am still committed towards my 2016 resolution of doing more art, in practical terms that means one weekend each month, but writing remains my first choice.

The coming week will my third week using the Bullet Journal technique to help me plan my days. So far so good. To be honest I think the technique has helped me to finish the editing of Negotiating the Maze, a task I really don't like. But I got it done. I am hopeful that future editing projects (and that future starts this coming week for editing of Waiting for Adrian) will also be more productive as a result of using a Bullet Journal.

And so I wish you a productive week, my friends. Stay away from the cookies...they are mine! 😈

PS: There is another book review up tomorrow. If you like contemporary/romantic literature, you might like this book. Cheers!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

THE BILLIONAIRE BARITONE

The Billionaire Baritone, blog serial, Linzé Brandon, sweet romance

Amethyst loves music and enjoys hip-hop dancing to spice up her dull and dreary life. But one evening on her way home from dance class, she hears a voice that drew her away from her route.

Caught in the act of eavesdropping, her life is about to change in a way she has never foreseen.


♥︎

David didn't quite know what to do with the beautiful trespasser, but when he learned that she was injured, taking care of her was the only solution.

Little did he suspect that she was about to take care of his lonely heart in return.



CHAPTER 1

It was dark, but not late. I readjusted my backpack and tried not to put too much weight on my left ankle. Stupid kid, I thought not for the first time. Although at the time I had used much stronger language to express the pain when a fellow dancer misjudged his turn and kicked my ankle.
Hip hop wasn't a dance known for its gentle movements. I winced as pain shot up my leg once more. I stopped and rested my hand on the wall of the bridge. Taking deep breaths, I waited for the pain to pass. It was only a bruise, but it still managed to hurt like a bitch.
A breeze started up and floated around me. I canted my head. What a beautiful voice!
Ignoring the pain now I walked as fast as I could to get past the wall blocking the sounds from the city.
There it was again. A rich, dark baritone. I closed my eyes and lifted my head to determine the direction of the music.
Without even thinking that I had to work tomorrow and still had some way to go to get home, I opened my eyes and followed the sound.
A few hundred meters down the road the sound no longer drifted. I could see a house with what looked like an open theatre at the back and side of the property.
On the stage was a man dressed in a suit. His face was cast in shadows, but it was him. Shivers ran down my spine at the notes he sang. I pulled a face. Opera wasn't my favourite music, but I couldn't see him singing anything else with that incredible voice.
As a rock 'n roll bunny, I had no idea if he was a famous opera singer or not, but I didn't want to leave.
I moved as close to the edge of the theatre as I could, but staying in the shadows. I would hate to disturb that performance in any way. I closed my eyes once more and just listened.
How long I sat there, I didn't know. So caught up in the emotions in his voice, I screamed when I felt a touch on my shoulder.
I jumped up and screamed again when my injured ankle gave way under my weight.
I looked up at a tall guy in a uniform. He was holding a torch and backed up a few steps. He crouched, fortunately keeping the light on the ground and not on my face.
“Ma'am,” he said, “are you okay?”
I frowned and tried to get up. My ankle hurt but so did my ass and right hand. I must have fallen on a rock or something.
“What do you want?” I asked feeling distinctly stupid and hurt.
He held up both hands, making the torch light flash over his face. “This is private property ma'am, and you are—”
“Almost trespassing?” another voice added.
I stumbled but managed not to fall this time. This has turned out to be a nightmare of a day.
“I am sorry,” I managed, “I didn't mean...I will go...sorry.”
“Please wait,” the second man spoke up. The first seemed to have faded into the background.
I tried a miserable smile and hitched my backpack higher on my shoulder. “I am okay, really. Sorry for being a bother.”
It was hard, but I managed to walk without crying out in pain. How the hell I am going to walk all the way home, I didn't know.
A warm hand touched my arm. “Please, don't leave. You are hurt.”
I stopped and turned around. He had a point, but I was wary. I didn't know him from Adam, and a girl couldn't be too careful these days. I had already been stupid enough not to go straight home.
He stepped back and nodded to the security guard that had appeared again. “We are not going to harm you. I know you are scared, but please let us help you. At least let me call a paramedic.”
It set off a different bell of panic in my head. “It's okay. Really, I am fine.”
I shifted my weight to my other leg. My hand hurt, but the thought of medical bills on my already small income, made me head hurt.
I heard a radio crackle for a moment before more people arrived. Amongst them was a woman.
“David,” she started, “what on earth are you scaring this young woman for? Can't you see she is hurt?”
The man, David, turned towards her. “I am trying to help her, Mother, but I cannot force her to accept my help.”



Sunday, 12 June 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 12 June 2016

Sometime during the past week a Facebook friend, Rosanna Leo, made a comment that writers need to eat from the four essential food groups: reading snacks, writing snacks, editing snacks, and the depths of despair snacks.
While I am not yet ready for number four, I have been indulging in number one and number two. The problem is that number three is not quite to my taste and one I tend to avoid as much as possible. That said, the time does come when the editing snack is an essential part of healthy writing. And I eventually succumbed to the pressure two days ago.
While I had to give in, it doesn't mean that I gave in without a fight! And I made it a good one, trust me. All the way to the chocolate chip cookie. I stared at the shelf in the store for a long enough time that I am sure my fellow shoppers took their trolleys to the next aisle with all due haste.
One cannot be too careful around these cookie-staring-people after all.
Three chapters are done and sent off to the editor. The next three will be tackled into submission with grit and red pen this coming week. I will not let this non-fiction book get the better of me. Cookie, please!
I was happy to see that my fellow Tweeps on Co-Promote did their part to get the book review I did on the debut novel of Ed Kurst out there this past week. We can all use the extra push, and I hope you got your copy of The Know Preservation to enjoy too.
The next book's review is already scheduled on my blog, but since it is part of a blog tour, you will have to wait and see what I thought about, My Last Love by Falguni Kothari. It will feature on the 20th. Yeah, I know, another week!
The good news is that The Billionaire Baritone will make his appearance on the Broomstick from Thursday and on Wattpad a day or so later.
And on that grand note, I have to find some reading snacks, I have a story to read (and comment on) from one of the JOURNEY authors. Now what will it be? Chocolate? Chips? Hmm...

Until the next installment, snack away dear friends!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Guest Post by Ed Kurst, author of The Know Preservation


Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with Author Ed Kurst and his first novel, The Know Preservation! As usual, we've got great bloggers joining us with reviews, guest posts and interviews as well as unique prizes like a Kindle Paperwhite, and pen set!
As part of our launch week celebrations, The Know: Preservation is on sale for only 99¢! Get it before the end of the week!

The Know-Preservation

Guest Post with Author Ed Kurst

Maddie Alkira Reminisces About The Passing of the Journey Stone

  Sometimes very old memories are actually just recollections of remembrances. They are a group of fuzzy images and half heard sounds, or they can sometimes not even be real events. But this day, I still remember moment by moment as if I am still there.
  It was 1915. I wasn’t obsessed with saving all humankind. I was only five years old.
  My parents were taking me on a trip: a long dirt road, hours of travel, the heat of the day beating down. I alternately sat and slept on top of the newly shorn sheep wool that was sheltered under the canopied cart. Alice, our lone mare, pulled it. This was the first time my parents had allowed me to accompany them to the city and marketplace.
  What excitement I had felt going to the city, the anticipation of the many stalls, and my parents trading our wool with strange people for flour and sugar. It was also where Maw Maw lived, of whom my mother always spoke.
  After five hours of jerky, bumpy travel in the cart, we finally reached the city of Darwin.
  In those days, only about a thousand people lived in the city, mostly foreigners. The Aboriginal community where I was from numbered many, many thousands, but they lived in small settlements in the surrounding area. When we arrived, my parents left me with Maw Maw while they went to do their trading.
  Maybe it was just because I was only five years old, but I remember my great-grandmother as being very tall. She had very dark blue eyes, much like my own.
  I thought Maw Maw was the oldest person in the whole world. And, in fact, that actually may have been the case at the time. She would have been one hundred years old that year.
  She lived in a simple one room house with a white clapboard front and a flat tar-paper roof. There was a large garden in the back filled with flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Combined with my parents’ sheep jerky and trade goods, it provided most of Maw Maw’s food for the year.
  But it wasn’t how she looked or the excitement of being in the city or the prospect of freshly baked sweet biscuits that makes me remember that day. It was the odd question that she asked me.
  When we were seated across a rickety old kitchen table, she asked, “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”
  “Of course,” I had replied with some pride. “I turned five years old two weeks ago. Mother and father said I was old enough to see the city market…and to visit you. That’s why I am here today, to see you Maw Maw!”
  My great-grandmother had stared so intensely at me, and it had seemed her deep blue eyes had glowed from within. “Child, do you Know why you are here today?”
  I had looked away, troubled, and had thought harder.
  In the last year I had started Knowing things: when the neighbor’s dog would be hit by a car and when lightning would strike our barn. After the first Know, I had understood, heeded the second, and shooed Alice out just in time.
  I hadn’t been sure if Maw Maw was asking me about those things.
  I hadn’t intended to tell her. I had thought those were my secrets. Then I had looked deep into her eyes, and something had changed.
  I had felt weightless. The light streaming in through the kitchen window had seemed to grow dim, as if I was falling into an unending well of darkness. Frightened, I had closed my eyes and cried out. It was like my mind was a part of hers. I also was connected to something else—something dark and frightening—but enriching and amazing at the same time.
  In my mind’s eye, I had had a vision, a Know. Starting with me, a seeming unending line of people had streamed into the distance, into the ancient past. And in front of me, a long lifetime, but one that ended in fire, destroying everyone and everything.
  And then there was nothing.
  When I opened my eyes, Maw Maw’s wrinkled face was looking down at me, happy and smiling, which was odd given what I...we, had just seen together.
  I was on the floor, and she had helped me to a sitting position. She had seemed so full of energy and purpose. “Maddie, you brighten Maw Maw’s day like no other in her entire life. Can you keep a secret?”
  A five year old can pledge almost anything—and yet it really had no binding effect—but this was different. It had a deep, gut-tumbling meaning to me, and it was my Maw Maw asking. “Yes Maw Maw, I promise.”
  And then my great-grandmother had told me the legends of the Great Migration of our people and the Dream Time and the Know. She had spoken of old Tril with awe and then more affectionately of someone called Tirnal. My Maw Maw had said that whenever I Knew something, I must always believe it; never cast it away as a day dream or casual thought.
  That had been the beginning of my training. I spent every summer for seven years with her. At the end of the seventh summer, on her deathbed, my Maw Maw had asked the question one more time. “Do you Know why you are here my child?”
  I had replied solemnly, “Yes, to preserve the Know and begin the evolution.” She had handed me the talisman of our Clan, the journey stone, and then joined our ancestors.

About the Book
3-D CoverJohn Preston set aside the easy bullet that would end his certain lingering death. He now Knew too much. His mind had just returned from a wild ride tens of thousands of years into the past where he witnessed three primitive humans divining a path to save humankind from a global fiery catastrophe. What John now Knew might cure him but could also require he shred the very fabric of time and space.
John’s quest for answers will thrust him into the lead role to confront the Consortium, a cabal of eight families with the power to Know the future and the past. Guided by John’s latent Know ability and a 70,000 year old prophecy, he sets out on a path for his own salvation. Success will mean life, failure…a cruel doom for all humankind.
Preservation is the first book in the Know Trilogy which wraps a new theory of space-time, humankind’s evolution, millennia old conspiracies, and imminent global destruction around a broken man’s redemption, an evil man’s reckoning and a driven woman’s unique destiny.

About the Author
Author Photo IMG_1186 (2)Ed Kurst’s life as a child was a nostalgic bit of Americana, with two married parents, one sibling, and a pet beagle. They didn’t even lock their cars. The only thing missing was the proverbial white picket fence, but their neighbor did build a split rail one from seasoned logs.
As a kid, Ed frequented a neighborhood library, accessed by a spiral staircase to the second floor of an old brick building. It was a wondrous place to a curious child. Hardback novels were stacked from floor to ceiling and nestled in every nook and cranny of the library’s dusty shelves. Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Asimov were his first and favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. In between reading these classics, he devoured every book about dinosaurs and astrophysics his young mind could comprehend.
These early literary influences eventually led him to study a pre-med, engineering curriculum with a special focus on the psychology and physiology of the human brain. Eager to get out in the real world, and not spend six more years in school, he decided to pursue the engineering side of his interests. He didn’t completely abandon his calling for medicine. But getting an EMT qualification and occasionally riding an ambulance at night seemed to satisfy that urge.
Ed Kurst’s engineering vocation led him to live and work in five European countries and several places in the United States. During the last decade of a varied career, he settled in the US Gulf Coast and specialized in leading diverse technical teams to implement new technology and develop mega engineering projects. Once retired, he turned his attention to other pursuits.
One fateful month, about eight years ago, he was reading all he could about the CERN particle accelerator, the migration of homo sapiens out of Africa, the demise of the Neanderthals, and epigenetics. He also was reacquainting himself with his favorite fantasy and science fiction authors. Voilà, The Know trilogy was born!
The first book—The Know: Preservation—is due for publication in 2016.
The second—The Know: Evolution—is in draft form and scheduled for 2017.
The last in the series—The Know: Salvation—should follow in 2018.
And, another novel—The Fae—is in progress as well. It’s packed full of strange and wonderful fantasy creatures that live and love and scheme right under our very noses!

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Monday, 6 June 2016

Book Review: THE KNOW PRESERVATION by Ed Kurst

The Kindle edition
It has been a while since I read a sci-fi novel, so it was with some uncertainty that I volunteered to read and review THE KNOW PRESERVATION.

Quantum physics, nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, the past, the present and the future all rolled into one heck of a ride.
The start of the story will leave you confused and wondering what is going to happen with all the characters and their agendas. I quickly realised that to keep track of what is going on, and it was a good idea to read as much of the beginning as possible. There are many characters in this story and keeping track of them had been a challenge. Often authors assign names, and therefore identities, to unimportant characters, and it creates havoc for the reader in trying to keep them straight.
In The Know Preservation, there are nineteen characters of which seventeen play a major role in the story. The other two are not featured so prominently, but they are important to the backstory to understand the history. It wasn't always clear who was who since the author sometimes used only their first names or last names during introductory chapters. It took a chapter or three to start connecting the names to figure out which characters were in the scene or dialogue.
I liked John Preston, the main character. He is an engineer and was portrayed in ways that could only be described as typical of engineers. His character always acted within the constraints set upon him by the author. His physical limitations resulting from his health issues were offset against his intellect - his biggest asset being employed in the plot. He wasn't a soldier, and neither was his character ever changed into one even in the combat scenes.
I also liked Stacey Hanson. Her determination and will to win were portrayed in every action and decision in the story. You understand her motivation and drive soon, and you have to take your hat off to her in the way she manages to do what is required.
You also get to meet the great Albert Einstein. His character flows seamlessly into the plot and his contribution to it is quite believable. Some of his travels with John delivered amusing scenes.
John and Stacey's journeys into the past and future are fraught with problems as they start to unravel secrets that have been kept from them. They learn about the real reasons two particle accelerators were built on opposite sides of the globe. They uncover the role-players, the double agents, the undercover agents, the horrors of the past, and the decisions that were in the distant past made to set generations of people on a path towards averting a catastrophe.
As soon as the action starts, the story becomes easier to read and yet the tension proportionally ramps up to throat tightening levels. What are they going to do? Will they take the risks to change the outcome? Will the risks be worth the price they could pay?
The action in the story is handled with aplomb and an exceptional eye for detail. The resulting one-on-one combat scenes are graphic, and you will feel the pain, the suspense and in some case the helplessness the characters are struggling with as they try to fulfill their mission.
Some of the other characters will gain your sympathy, yet others will make you cringe in horror at the things they do or have done. The good guys are not perfect people, which makes their characters so much more likable.
As an engineer myself, I love the humour and have a huge appreciation for the author's handling of the science in the story. It might not be easy for every reader to get the science (fiction) in the story, but I suggest that you battle on as the story will unfold in more palatable scenes.
The writing was well executed, and the story moves forward at a good pace. Despite the complications of the scientific terminology in the story, it was a terrific read and a thrill ride from the first page.
The first chapters are short, and it will help the reader to read them in one sitting to get a feel for the story and the multiple plot lines. My notes were detailed for the first twenty chapters to try and keep track, but after that the storyline flowed, and the different plot lines started to flow together or made more sense as the story unfolded.
The ending was written to leave a well-defined start for the next book, and yet not so open-ended that you feel dissatisfied with the result. It is the first book in a trilogy, and I look forward to the next book. I can safely say that Ed Kurst has at least one fan.

My rating of The Know Preservation by Ed Kurst:

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Linzé's Mischief: 5 June 2016

The past week saw me focusing on getting one thing done: reading a book. Yeah, I love books and it isn't every day that I have to give up other stuff to read. The book, The Know Preservation, is scheduled to launch tomorrow and I am one of the first reviewers of this debut science fiction novel. Nope, not going to tell you any more. Pop around tomorrow after 1 am my time (GMT+2) to find out if it was worth the effort to put my social life on hold for a week.
Francois and I went to Sandton City this morning. Since we don't live in Jo'burg it usually becomes a half-day excursion. Gautrain from Centurion to Sandton, breakfast, shopping, and sometimes even lunch.
Today though we went for a reason: to buy a sword. Yikes! There is a very nice shop in the mall that stock all kinds of knives, swords and other kinds of martial arts weapons. Yeah, they are real. The replica swords don't have sharpened blades, but trust me, it is not a toy.
He settled on a beautiful specimen. It is a replica of someone's weapon from somewhere in history (he still hasn't told me whose) and will make a nice prop for photographs. He bought his first sword in Spain a few years ago and lugged it all the way home through two countries.
When I first saw the oddly shaped box thing he carried through the baggage terminal at OR Tambo International, I thought he bought a rifle. 😳
A Facebook friend posted a link about Bullet Journaling a day or two ago. I have been giving it a try since then and will see how it pans out in June. Makes only sense to try something new for a while before deciding if it is working or not. If you want to see if it is something you would like to try, visit www.bulletjournal.com for more info.
I have been trying another handwritten method, but the A3 page is simply too big to have on my desk. It constantly gets in my way, and frankly became more of an irritation than a help; so Bullet Journal = Plan B for June.
I have also started to read (for review) a romance novel by an Indian author. I have read another book of hers before and didn't particularly like it. This one, however, six chapters in, is a different story altogether. I like it but will only give a final verdict in my review coming in the second half of June. My review is part of a blog tour of the book, and one of the last reviews on the tour. From what I can gather so far, the other reviewers really loved the story.
Lately, romance was getting a touch lackluster for me, and I have only looked into reading books that are different. Will this one make the grade? We'll see.
I contacted a publishing company to edit and publish the non-fiction book I have been threatening to finish since the middle of last year. Since I am now committed, maybe it will get done this year.
I also bought another book on writing during our shopping trip this morning. Sure, I have about eight of them, but what the hell - I can always learn something new and hopefully improve my writing skills, right?
On the editing front, I will remain an idiot, and grateful that there are other people out there who are better at it than I am.
So here is to the editors of this world! If not for you, my stories will not be half as good as I think they are. 😝
Okay, I will stop now.

Have a great week, until next time!