Monday, 25 May 2009

Review: Until the Skies Fall by Liza Granville

Delightful book, very interesting and provides a good idea of where genetic engineering is going to take the world. Too bad the scientists don't consider the future when they begin playing god.

At a future time, after our world is nearly destroyed by genetic experimentation, it is now faced with the possibility of destruction by a Death Star. Arthur, who has no surname and who looks the perfect human, is sent out into the world to search for four beings who have the ‘fire’ ability that will wake the Magic Stone. The Magic Stone will in turn destroy the Death Star and result in the earth being saved. When Arthur reaches Homestead West, Laz, part animal, part human, learns he has the ‘fire’ and must go with Arthur back to the far North where the Magic Stone rests.

Laz’s brothers and Ferrik, Laz’s adopted father, insists on accompanying them. A friend of Laz’s, Dann, and an old female healer, Wyc, decides to go with them. Time is short and confusion is rife, but the group sets out on the long journey. On the way, they must look for others who have the ‘fire’ ability. Death, heartbreak, near starvation, battles involving earth elements gone awry decreases the number in the group, yet they trudge onward. The entire world depends on them now.

I really liked this story. Not only does it involve a group of people and what happens to them on a long trip, but it also explores the ways various people react to the same incidents, the same danger. It explores the innermost feelings that can fill the mind as a result of these happenings. Liza Granville does a great job bringing Laz and his brothers, mentally, from youth to adulthood and yet leaving them with the sense of playfulness that makes life so much fun no matter how old one gets. She shows the dirty side of discrimination and how it hurts us and others. A good book for those who like to read of family trials with a touch of magic and the weird.


If I had more than 5 stars to give, I would give them to this book.

Lisa Granville has written a wonderful story in which she has created a totally believable alternate world with characters for whom the reader develops a real affinity.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world. At some time in the past, scientists began to experiment with genetic engineering, creating many people and animals which were very different in appearance from the norm. People and animals with extra limbs and wings are commonplace, but looked down upon, in this world, by people known as Perfects or Near-Perfects, those who are genetically most like humans once were. At some point, a huge battle arose between the religious right and the scientists, which caused the destruction of most of civilization.

Now, the earth is threatened again, this time by a "death star" from space. Only a few people can stop the death star and save the earth, and among them are Laz, his father Farrik, his brothers Rom and Longshanks, his friend Dann, and an old wise woman named Wye. Together, they set out on a quest to save the world, led by a perfect human who turns out not to be "folk" at all, Arthur, who must be an android.

At no point does Granville give us a full description of Laz, his family or friends. She gives us tantalizing hints as to their looks, but the only way we know how truly different they are is by the reactions of others to them. To themselves, they are just "folk," and differences in appearance mean nothing.

Every detail of their actions and personalities are perfectly suited to the setting and the story. The travellers encounter places called Yell and Purgtree, and travel through land inhabited by creatures called Howls and Ships. They endure hunger, loss, injury, and high adventure.

In the end, Granville leaves plenty of room for a sequel. I, personally, can't wait to read it. Any time a writer leaves a reader hungry for more of the story, that is a book worth more than 5 stars.


Read an excerpt

Click here for more information about Liza Granville

paperback | eBook

Friday, 22 May 2009

Listen to an interview with Joe Bright

Joe Bright, author of The Black Garden, is interviewed by MJ at What Dwells in Midnight.

Listen to the interview here.

It's a rather dramatic interview, as an earthquake hit LA at the same time as Joe was talking!

Hear all about his guitar playing, writing songs and performing with a band as well as what he has been up to and what is to come. See if he can be convinced to read part of his novel.

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Devil Can Wait wins a Bronze IPPY Award

The Devil Can Wait (2008), published by BeWrite Books (UK), is one of three finalists selected to win the bronze medal in the 2009 Independent Publishers Book 13th Annual Award (IPPY).

Muncie, IN, May 18 - From the Vatican to the jungles of South American, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper’s turf.

Author Marta Stephens, a new voice in crime mystery, has gained a steadily growing readership for her gritty, complex plots and likeable protagonist, Sam Harper. The Devil Can Wait, released in November 2008, was selected as one of seven finalist from among 120 entries in the 2009 IPPY mystery/suspense/thriller category.

The Devil Can Wait, written in the traditional detective mystery style, has drawn the attention of readers and critics alike with such comments as, “Stephens’s protagonist, Sam Harper, is a genuine, somewhat imperfect, thoroughly human personality ... it is this character that breathes vivid life into the pages of her books.”

“... She (Stephens) writes with a forensic authority that makes these pages bleed with real world angst. Detective Harper is a well-realized, no-nonsense cop, a streetwise guy who refuses to give up despite the odds. When the going gets rough, everyone else has given up, an easy option looms, and the race becomes overwhelming, Harper is just getting started. He is the original it ain't over guy.” Thomas Fortenberry for Midwest Book Reviews.

The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens, paperback, ISBN 978-1-905202-86-7, $15.99, is available online at, Barnes & Noble and numerous other online and traditional bookstores world wide. For more information, contact Marta Stephens or publisher Cait Myers at .

About the author:
Marta Stephens resides in Indiana, USA with her husband and two children. The first novel in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, Silenced Cry (2007) received honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and ranked among the top ten in the 2007 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. The Devil Can Wait ranked top ten in the 2008 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop. Stephens’s collective authors’ blog, Murder by 4, was selected by Writer’s Digest among the 2009 101 Best Websites for Authors. View additional reviews of her novels at

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Exclusive excerpt from Riders of the Seven Hills

Slipping on a Mossy Log, a story where 'Forbidden fruit is highest in calories and shame'.

An excerpt taken from Lad Moore's new collection in available to read online here

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Coming Soon - Riders of the Seven Hills by Lad Moore

Tales of Red Clay and Blue Denim

Lad Moore tells tales ... some of them long, some of them short and some of them – by his own admission – pretty tall. All of them re-create a world of recent yesterdays to set some folks to rememberin’ and others to dreamin’.

They’re down home yarns of East Texas and dazzling adventure stories set in the mysterious Far East, they’re of store-stove conferences and dark murders, of the good, the bad and the ugly who’ve crossed his many paths.

Lad’s writing has appeared in countless journals and anthologies and Riders of the Seven Hills is the third of his popular collections, each of which – although skillfully presented in dozens of bite-sized chunks – leave his reader with that satisfying, well-fed feeling of someone who’s just devoured an epic novel.

His cast of players come and go; sometimes with a character taking center stage, sometimes with him or her merely in the chorus. Just as you’d expect in real life. But the creeping result is real life people who grow familiar as the stories unfold, events that are fully explored, and places that almost miraculously achieve solid form as the pages swiftly turn.

Lad’s short works take shape like the tiny dabs of seemingly random color in an impressionist painting. The colors combine to create a living landscape because the brush is held by a master of his art. Now let’s take the time to step back a little and admire the broad canvas.

For further information, interviews, pictures, etc, Lad Moore can be contacted by email

Title: Riders of the Seven Hills
Author: Lad Moore
Print ISBN: 978-1-906609-02-3
eBook ISBN: 978-1-906609-03-0
Release Date: May 2008
Distributors: Bertram Books, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingrams
For further information and review copies, please contact: Cait Myers at BeWrite Books

For updates about titles coming soon from BeWrite Books, please email us with the title of the book in the subject line.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards Semifinalist Results announced

Congratulations to author, Marta Stephens, whose novel, The Devil Can Wait, has been shortlisted in the highly competitive mystery/suspense/thriller genre for the 2009 IPPY awards.

Winners are announced on May 29th, fingers crossed!