[Blog Tour] An Innocent Murder by Tom Mach

All About Being An Author
by Tom Mach
When people ask me “what’s it like to be an author?” I ask them “from what perspective”? That’s because if you’re an author and meet other authors, I think they tend to feel you’re just another competitor. Of course, if you’re a famous author (I’m talking about winners of the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize) they tend to treat you like a god—or so I’m told. The general non-writing public tends to consider authors celebrities. I know that because I’ve gone to book signings where people will approach me and say “So you’re actually an author? Wow!”
Frankly, I don’t feel comfortable being put on a pedestal. I’m like everyone else, the only difference being that I love to write. Of course, if you’re not about to give a talk before large crowds (like I did with my novel Sissy!) or are doing book signings of All Parts Together to throngs of people at the President Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois) the public for the most part doesn’t know who you are.  I think that happens because the only place the public might see your face is on the back cover of your book and will recognize you if they stare at your photo on that book cover every day as they eat their cereal at breakfast. (If they do that, they need to get a life.)
To be an author is like being any kind of artist. It’s a lonesome profession, but I prefer it that way. You sit down with your own thoughts, digging through your own soul, and pouring your heart out on paper. You try not to think that you might be making a fool of yourself in the process. As you write, you close your mind to the faces of people who will hopefully read your book or the piles of money you will (or won’t) make. Instead you focus on your story and you carry that story with you everywhere—whether it’s at the breakfast table, at the pool where you’re doing twenty laps, at shopping (where your wife glares at you for not knowing what aisle to find peas, when all you’re doing is trying to find peace with your next scene.)
One of the problems I often encounter—and I don’t know if it’s true for other authors—is that sometimes I get so enmeshed with a character, I feel as if I AM that character.  For instance, in my murder mystery An Innocent Murdered, I became the priest who was eventually murdered. I looked at things through his eyes and thought the way he thought—almost to the point where I felt I had to say Mass. Then there was Susan, the ex-nun in my story who was a virgin for 46 years and was troubled by guilt and shame when she approached her friend, Detective Matt Gunnison, for a favor—could he show her what it’s like to have sexual intercourse?  I was that religious woman who was being stretched in two directions—to maintain her virginity or to satisfy her curiosity.
As far as picking out the genre to write, I never pay attention to what is selling, but I do focus on what I’m interested in at the time. My interests do shift from time to time.  Currently, I’m quite fascinated by 19th century history and have written two novels about it—Sissy! and All Parts Together.  But I have other strong interests as well. Since I tutor an elementary school, I love writing children’s stories. Out of that interest came Homer the Roamer.  I am crazy about whodunit mysteries since they offer me a challenge, so I wrote An Innocent Murdered. Stories about the future interest me, and the result of that interest, along with my scientific background and Biblical research, was a techno-thriller called Advent.  It’s almost impossible to stereotype me and it drives interviewers crazy.  I think the trick is to know where your interests lie and what kind of books you enjoy reading. With me it’s just about everything.  I think the only kind of book I could never write is a Harlequin romance. I tried reading one once and couldn’t get past the first chapter.

BOOK BLURB
Father O’Fallon has been murdered, and police officer Jacinta Perez is arrested and charged. Detective Matt Gunnison, however, is not convinced and with the help of Susan, an ex-nun, he discovers a fascinating link between the priest’s death and the death of a child 25 years ago. Will Matt be able to solve both murders?
 
BOOK TRAILER
BOOK EXCERPT


“No, I understand. Do you think Matt and I can have access to the former rectory? We’d like to look around.”

“Well, I guess not, but why in the world would you want to look around over there?”

Matt showed him his badge. “It’s part of an investigation we’re doing on the murder of that child.”

“By all means, check it out.” He opened a desk drawer and took out a key attached to a plastic tag. “Here, take this.”

Matt pocketed the key and was about to leave when the man stopped him.

“That place is haunted, you know,” the old man said.

“Haunted?”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011.Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.

His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: www.TomMach.com He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at http://tommach.tumblr.com

Official Website: http://www.tommach.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kansasauthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kansasauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/An-Innocent-Murdered
Youtube: http://youtu.be/ndsPTht08EA
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/74459

GIVEAWAY
One lucky commenter will win $50. Follow the tour and comment for more chances of winning.
Find the tour dates here

Mara Mondays: Teaser

For the release of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin a few months back, Lori at Pure Imagination and Casey at The Bookish Type started hosting Mara Mondays featuring all things Mara Dyer. We’ve decided to reinstate the feature for the YA Sisterhood Tournament of Heroines!

Today I’m posting a Teaser from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer! here it goes…

The oral exam should have been straightforward; we were assigned list of topics, and we were supposed to be able to speak about any of them, waxing poetic with proper grammar and pronunciation until Morales was satisfied. And naturally, the second Jamie and I walked into the classroom, Morales seized on me.
“Meez Dee-er,” she sneered. She always said my name wrong and in English. Annoying. “You’re next.” She pointed at me, and then at the blackboard at the front of the classroom.
Jamie gave me a sympathetic look as I passed his desk. Vainly trying to calm my breathing, I trudged toward the front of the classroom. Morales was prolonging my misery, shuffling her papers, writing in her book, what have you. I braced myself for the coming onslaught, shifting my weight from foot to foot.
“Who was Pedro Arias Dávila?”
I stopped fidgeting. That wasn’t one of the topics; we never even mentioned Dávila in class. She was trying to throw me. I lifted my gaze toward Morales, who was sitting alone in the front row, her body stuffed unceremoniously into the student chair. She was poised for the kill.
“We don’t have all day, Meez Dee-er.” She tapped her long fingernails on the metal surface of her desk.
A tingle of victory crept into my bloodstream. I took World History last year, and it just so happened my final project was on sixteenth-century Panama. What were the odds? I took it as a sign.
“Pedro Arias Dávila led the first major Spanish trip to the New World.” I responded in flawless Spanish. I had no idea how, and I felt giddy. Everyone in the room was staring at me.
I paused to reflect on my genius, then continued. “He was a soldier in wars at Granada, Spain, and North Africa. King Ferdinand II made him leader of the trip in 1514.” Mara Dyer for the win.
Morales spoke in a calm, cold voice. “You may sit down, Meez Dee-er.”
“I’m not finished.” I couldn’t believe I actually said it. For a second, my legs threatened to bolt to the nearest desk. But as Morales quickly lost her composure, a juicy thrill coursed through my veins. I couldn’t resist. “In 1519 he founded Panama City. He was part of the agreement with Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro that allowed the discovery of Peru.” Suck it, Morales.
“Sit down, Meez Dee-er.” Morales began to huff and puff, strongly resembling a cartoon character. In thirty seconds, smoke would start radiating from her ears.
“I’m not finished,” I said again, delighted by my own audacity. “In the same year, Pedro de los Ríos took over as governor of Panama. Dávila then died at the age of ninety-one in 1531.”
“Sit down!” she screamed.
But I was invincible. “Dávila is remembered as a cruel man and as a liar.” I emphasized each adjective and stared hard at Morales, watching the veins in her forehead threaten to explode. Her corded neck turned purple.
“Get out of my classroom.” Her voice was quiet and furious. “Senor Coardes, you are next.” Morales half-turned in the too-small chair and nodded at a freckled, openmouthed classmate.
“I’m not finished,” I heard myself say. I was almost bouncing with energy. The room itself seemed sharp and alive. I heard the footfalls of individual ants scurrying to and from a prize piece of gum stuck to a bookshelf on my left. I smelled the sweat that trickled down the side of Morales’s face. I saw the individual dreadlocks fall in slow motion over Jamie’s face as he planted his forehead on his desk.
“GET OUT OF MY CLASSROOM!” Morales bellowed, stunning me with the force of it as she rose from her chair, knocking over the desk.
At that point, I could hold it in no longer. A smug smile lit up my face and I sauntered out of the room.
To the sound of applause.
Chapter 36, page 190-2

If you haven’t read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer I suggest you read it NOW! cause it’s purely amazing! I totally love the book that’s why I’m supporting Mara on The YA Sisterhood Tournament of Heroines.

Our first challenger is Karou from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, advocated by Enna of SqueakyBooks. Karou is great and all, but she’s got nothing on our girl Mara! So be sure to come out and support Team Mara on December 15th! Word on the street (AKA on Michelle Hodkin’s twitter feed) is that if Mara makes it into round 2, there will be more of THIS Noah-licious outtake PLUS an extra treat (an extra scene? the uncut too-hot-to-handle trailer? Bradley the trailer actor reading Noah passages from the book?)

You can follow all the action on Twitter:
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[Thoughts & Rants] The Hunger Games Official Movie Trailer

Welcome to We Fancy Books Thoughts & Rants, this is a post where we try to voice out our opinions and rants on some of the latest Book/Movie news. This is 100% opinion only, you may or may not agree with all the things posted here so feel free to discuss it on the comment section.

As we all know The Hunger Games is just one of the hottest movie franchise out there and now that the Official Movie Trailer has been released fans all over the world has been all fired up by the amazing movie remake of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. As a fan of the book I must say that I’m so so excited to watch the movie. I love seeing books turned into movies, I think the visual representation of a character from a book and a movie has somehow provided me pleasure of seeing who they think is better to play this character. Later this year the cast of The Hunger Games movie was casted and I’m really impressed on Jennifer Lawrence being Katniss Everdeen. I watched her on X Men First Class and I have high praises for her, I think she has this bad ass side that totally suits to be Katniss. Josh Hutcherson was casted as Peeta Mellark and lets just say I was not really sure if he can pull off the role at first but then I saw the trailer and I guess it proves me wrong. Gale is being played by Liam Hemsworth the brother of Thor himself Chris Hemsworth. Lets be honest here, I was NOT happy when I heard that Gale was being played by Liam Hemsworth, I watched him on The Last Song and errr he doesn’t strike me as Gale. Don’t hate me but I think there is someone better to play Gale rather than Liam but I think theres a reason why he was casted as Gale. Acting wise I don’t think he can pull of this role but I guess the producers saw something in him that represented Gale for them. I’m not questioning the producers here I guess I have a different Gale in mind.

The Hunger Games Movie Poster

Watching the trailer gives me GOOSEBUMPS! I can’t explain the things I’ve felt while watching it, I can scream while watching it over and over again. I think they did justice on the whole production of the movie, kudos to Lionsgate for this movie. Some highlights of the trailer is Katniss volunteering as Tribute, the make over of Cinna, the training, and the opening of the games! Nostalgic times comes rushing in while reading the book comes back to me while watching this trailer. Now can it be 2012 already? Cause I really need to watch this movie! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

If you haven’t read the book you should definitely do before the movie comes out!

GIVEAWAY
Paperback copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
RULES:

There will be One Winner.

Winner will get a Paperback copy of The Hunger Games

Giveaway is Open International wherever Book Depository/Amazon ships

I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipping or items shipped from 3rd party sponsors. Also, I am not responsible for any damage or loss incurred during the shipping of the won item, if I am the person responsible for shipping it.

Giveaway Ends Nov. 30th

[Review] Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel
by Cassandra Clare

Publication Date: August 31st 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Hardcover, 476 pages

Magic is dangerous–but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by–and torn between–two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

-Goodreads

Cassandra Clare did it again! A beautifully crafted story, a world I would totally love to live in.

Cassandra Clare is one author that I totally admire and I must say I was really blown away by this book! The story revolves around Tessa Gray and her adventure along with the devious Downworlder and the noble Shadowhunters. I love how the whole story was plotted, it was really convincing in my part, but I cannot deny that my assumptions was totally right while reading it. I cannot say nothing about the story and how it was written; Cassandra proves to me again that she is an author with the talent of story building and storytelling. I love the fact that this book was on the Victorian Era, I must say that this is one Era that I would love to live in.

Tessa Gray is the damsel in distress in this book, cliché but yes she is the damsel in distress. Tessa went to London hoping to find her brother Nate but ends up being abducted by the Dark Sisters. Unfortunate events follow as Tessa wonders why she was held by the Dark Sisters. But that didn’t kept Tessa from hoping to find and seek her brother Nate. I like characters who shows vulnerability and is strong I think I can relate to her in some point. William Herondale, ahhh I cannot explain how cranky this boy is. None the less I totally love his character, if you have read The Mortal Instruments Series I think you’ll know where Jace got his snarky attitude lol I guess it runs in the family. Having said William his parabatai James Carstairs is his opposite which I believe that’s why they work well as a team. Jem’s character is a boy who you would totally care for, I have a special heart for this boy for some reason that I just want to cuddle him up.

The cover of Clockwork Angel is William Herondale which I must say is a swoon worthy cover and deserves a cover love! I really like how the cover has the Clockwork Angel of Tessa. I also like the background which is a very mystical London and the mechanical cogs.

Fans of The Mortal Instruments Series I dare you not to miss this prequel! I think overall it shows how Clare’s writing for this book is quite different from her previous books. I think it just show how talented and flexible an author she really is. I totally recommend this book for every Mortal Instruments, Twilight, and Harry Potter fans out there. The whole read was really enjoyable, I can’t wait for Clockwork Prince and find out what happens next!

RATINGS
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BOOK TRAILER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

[Review] The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern 


Publication Date: September 13th 2011 
Publisher: Doubleday 
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages 

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 


But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead. 

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


-Goodreads


My Thoughts:

Magical. That’s one word I can appropriately describe how this book was written. The whole novel is weaved with mystery and sprinkled with mind twisting events that could somehow make you go curios and not put it down.

The description of the sceneries that Morgenstern is trying to let the readers visualize is very enchanting. I like how she thought of putting up the rainy streets of London to the words she used on how it felt to be in the circus as if you are being placed in a wonderland. Letting yourself watch a Tim Burton film would be a great equivalent of how it felt like reading it, except that there’s something about it, may be its the wordings of this book–they make you feel like you’re moving with it.

“…the thrill of being surrounded by something wondrous and fantastical only magnified and focused directly at her. The feel of his skin against hers reverberates across her entire body, though his fingers remain entwined in hers.”

The characters are easy to grow fond with especially in the alternate past and present settings of the novel. Its like actually watching them hitting maturity and facing decisions and choosing their own destinies. Each has their sense of importance, and everything they do has relevance in the story; each of them is a piece of one big jigsaw puzzle that the novel is trying to narrate.

And the protagonists–I love how Celia and Marco cunningly interact with each other in a decent yet edgy manner; like how they keep on beating each other with illusions and masterpieces, but also realizing that they are each other’s source of inspiration. Their words linger with teases and revelations that it could make you crave for more.

“Do you remember all of your audiences?” Marco asks.
“Not all of them,” Celia says. “But I remember the people who look at me the way you do.”
“What way might that be?”
“As though they cannot decide if they are afraid of me or they want to kiss me.”
” I am not afraid of you,” Marco says.

A Night Circus is an enthralling read you should definitely check out!


RATINGS

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REVIEWED BY


6 Months Blogoversary!

It’s been six months since the blog has been open and it’s been a very fruitful 6 months of MeMes, Reviews, Blog Tours, Guest Post, Interviews and Giveaways. Blogging has not been easy to tell you, it requires dedication and a whole lot of patience.

This cause for a celebration!!! As I am currently picking a winner for the winners of the Follower Appreciation Giveaway and Spooktacular Giveaway Hop expect a giveaway soon this coming week 🙂

  

[Review] Falling For Romeo by Jennifer Laurens

Falling For Romeo
by Jennifer Laurens
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Format: Paperback, 204 pages


John can have any girl he wants. Jennifer’s never been kissed. Everybody thinks he’s perfect. She’s got issues with pride and jealousy. They were best friends-once. Now, they’re playing Romeo and Juliet. Virgin lips Jennifer must have her first kiss on stage with John, the guy every girl in school wants. The pressure and tension build along with each staged kiss. Both are shocked when feelings bloom. Can either tell which kisses are real and which are for show?

-Goodreads


My thoughts?

If you want a break of reading those vampire-werewolf-human love affairs and is in the mood for the real deal Romeo and Juliet scheme, then this book is the best for you. It literally portrays the whole star crossed-lover drama, except that their families are like bffs and its the protagonists who are denying their feelings for each other and they have this dilemma of who’s going to spill it first. 

John Michaels the male protagonists has this perfect social status as leader of the track team, VP of the supreme student body, the chick magnet, the friendly dude, and well, he’s the one that almost everybody worships in school. Why just ‘almost’? Because there’s Jennifer Vienvu. Now that he’s also invaded the theater, which is actually her territory, she wants to prove everybody that she’s good and she doesn’t want to live behind his shadow because she knows he isn’t perfect and that somehow the guy has flaws. Oh she knows, alright. They are neighbors, they were childhood best friends and their room windows are practically facing each other’s.

With both sides giving hints and getting each other into cat fights led by their pride and cockiness, the novel narrates us the typical girl-boy story in which I could almost tell that its cliche (and I did hope that the writer wrote a lot more complicated rather than just having the two protagonists jumbled up their feelings in between the play and in their real life situations). But its texts and descriptions are well constructed and delivered even for an overly used plot, and I must say it didn’t fail to tickle the side of me who’s still in for that typical romance story.

Ratings:
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Review by: