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Showing posts from October, 2016

Days of the Dead: My Perfect Halloween

My Perfect Halloween by Gail Z. Martin I really love Halloween. Guess that’s not a surprise since I write about necromancers and dark magic, ghosts, monsters and things that go bump in the night. Halloween is my second favorite holiday, after Christmas. Always has been, still is. As far as the ‘perfect’ Halloween goes, I’ve had several different types over the years. When I was a kid, I loved looking forward to getting my costume and going around the neighborhood. I always tried to fancy-up my boxed costume with individual touches. Everyone always knew it was me, anyhow. Where I’m from, it’s cold in late October, so the costume had to work over top of a winter coat, which definitely cut down the options. When my kids were little, the neighborhood we lived in did Halloween in a big way. It was just three streets, and everyone knew each other, so taking the kids around was a social events for the grown-ups. We all caught up on the news with each other while the kids rang

Book Review: The Apothecary's Curse

The Apothecary's Curse by Barbara Barnett In Victorian London, the fates of physician Simon Bell and apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune entwine when Simon gives his wife an elixir created by Gaelan from an ancient manuscript. Meant to cure her cancer, it kills her. Suicidal, Simon swallows the remainder—only to find he cannot die.  Five years later, hearing rumors of a Bedlam inmate with regenerative powers like his own, Simon is shocked to discover it’s Gaelan. The two men conceal their immortality, but the only hope of reversing their condition rests with Gaelan’s missing manuscript. When modern-day pharmaceutical company Transdiff Genomics unearths diaries describing the torture of Bedlam inmates, the company’s scientists suspect a link between Gaelan and an unnamed inmate. Gaelan and Genomics geneticist Anne Shawe are powerfully drawn to each other, and her family connection to his manuscript leads to a stunning revelation. Will it bring ruin or redemption? It has been a lo

Book Review: Zombie XI

Zombie XI by Pete Kalu Leonard is on the bench. In the dead zone. Stuck there like a zombie. And it’s not as if his soccer team is even any good without him! They lose all the time—until lightning strikes. When his team plays near a nuclear power plant, a weird energy passes through Leonard, and that night he is visited by zombies. During a ghostly conversation with the entire 1966 England World Cup soccer team, the players tell him that if he follows their instructions, he’ll finally make the school team and start winning. Leonard obeys and the team’s prospects surge, but at what price? What pound of flesh will the zombies demand? Young Adult is an interesting genre when you think about it. There are books that feature knights and dragon slayers, paranormal activities, magicians, and normal everyday activities. This latter always strikes me in ways different than an fantasy story. To be completely honest I thought that Zombie XI would be about a complete zombie soccer team tha

Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Hollow City #1  A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive. A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teen

author interview with R. Scott Bakker

Author interview with Richard Scott Bakker Hi Scott, welcome over to thebookplank and for taking your time to answer these few questions for us! BP: First off, can you tell us a bit more as to who Richard Scott Bakker is, what are your likes/dislikes and hobbies? SB: I’m a white male gen-X-er with a working class, rural background. I dislike greed, pettiness, status judgments, and canned aspiration. I’m a knowledge junkie, especially when it comes to politics, science, and technology. My hobbies are cognitive science and consciousness research. BP: You have been writing for quite a time now when and where did you first decide to pick up the pen and start writing? SB: I’ve always been writing—for as long as I can remember. The funny thing is, I’m a statistics guy as well, and though I had dreamed of being a writer as a child, I set that aspiration aside as soon as I learned the odds against earning enough to survive, and decided to become an academic instead (I-

Two years since Serial's audio debut

Two years since Serial's audio debut  On Friday 3 rd  October 2014, the podcast that became a worldwide cultural phenomenon made its debut. Serial, described by critics as an audio game-changer, gripped the world with its exploration of Adnan Syed’s 1990 conviction for the murder of his former girlfriend, Hay Min Lee. The podcast was downloaded over 20 million times in 2014 alone and went on to win a Peabody Award in 2015. Two years on from Serial, the editors at  have selected the best Serial spin-offs and investigatory true-crime, for those who still can’t let go… 1. Adnan's Story: The Case That Inspired the Podcast Phenomenon Serial Author: Rabia Chaudry Narrated by: Rabia Chaudry 'The first letter I received after being arrested in 1999 was from Rabia. Since that time until now, she has believed in my innocence and been committed to my exoneration.... There is no one better to help tell my story, and no one that I trust more to tell it, than
Author interview with D. Nolan Clark Hi Nolan, welcome over to thebookplank and for taking your time to answer these few questions for us! BP: First off, can you tell us a bit more as to who D. Nolan Clark is, what are your likes/dislikes and hobbies? NC : Hi! D. Nolan Clark is actually a pseudonym. In reality, I’m David Wellington, the horror writer. I’m partial to long walks and sunsets… and writing and reading. I don’t have much free time for hobbies at the moment, but I play the occasional video game. BP: What is your foremost reason to write under a pseudonym? NC: It was a decision I made with my wonderful editors at Orbit. We wanted to make sure people didn’t expect this book to be another horror novel. It’s not. It’s straight up science fiction. Though there’s plenty of suspense and some intense scenes here! BP: Forsaken Skies isn’t your debut novel but still a first in a series, how did you went about and plan to write Forsaken Skies? NC: You co