Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Q&A with Lars Teeney

Lars Teeney was born in Montana. After going to an art school in San Francisco, racking up insane student loans and working for years as a freelance designer for the start-up culture, he became burnt out. He abandoned the Bay Area for the Pacific North-west, where he could hike and bike to his heart’s content. He has worked for a variety of technology companies and has a keen passion for politics, history, science and art.

  1. What inspired you to write The Apostates Book Three: Lake of Fire?

I was inspired to write The Apostates series of book and Lake of Fire because of the it is an interesting time in the world, where our lives are enriched by advanced technology but superstition and baser instincts of humans are a constant threat that could reduce humanity to the values of a less enlightened age.
Many factors inspired my need to write these books. The first factors were 9/11 and the Bush era, the financial crisis of 2007-8, the Iraq and Afghan wars, the rise of the Tea Party and most recently the Trump Candidacy. Racial and economic inequality was also a big factor.
As far as literary influences go, I am a big G.R.R.Martin, Junot Diaz, Neal Stephenson, and Neil Gaiman fan. Old school “Cyber Punk” novels were a heavy influence on my books.

  1. How would you describe the relationship between Archon and Strategos?
Archon and Strategos are titles that Greta Sanchez and Evan Nubia take on. Greta is like the “president” and Evan is akin to her “general”. They have a very close relationship because they have had a child together, Amerigo Nubia. The twist is that Evan is a gay man while Greta is straight. The two of them have survived many ordeals together and have governed the Manhattan Union for five years.

  1. What kind of genre would this book fall into?
This book probably crosses several genre lines. It can be labeled as science fiction, but can fall into subgenres like cyber-punk, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian fiction.

  1. What are some of the main issues that you explore in this book and why did you explore them?
This series is not exactly a light read and deals with subjects like religious extremism, racism, war, fascism, terrorism, government surveillance, environmental destruction, the war on drugs and the supply/demand effect on Latin America, and retaining cultural identity in an age of mass homogenization. There is also plenty of action, romance, drama, and light-hearted scenes.

  1. What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
First I would like for them to have fun reading the book and hopefully it develops into a page-turner for the reader. Mainly, I hope that the story makes an impact on the reader and when characters fall I hope that they feel loss at the event.

  1. What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?
Obviously, I love world-building and creating characters the most. I don’t think there is a bad part about being a writer. The tedious part comes from being a self-published author. This fact means that the author is on the hook for all promotion of the product and that cuts into writing time. This aspect of it all I could definitely do without.

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Aside from the authors I already mentioned I like the work of Margaret Atwood, Gore Vidal, Stephen King, George Orwell, William Gibson, etc.

  1. If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of the main character? (Actor can be ANYONE, living or dead.)
I always thought that Michelle Rodriguez could play Greta Sanchez spot on.

  1. Are you working on anything new right now?
I just finished this series, but I am always promoting it. Aside from that I am in the early stages of plotting out a fantasy stand-alone novel. I have no idea low long this will take me to publish since I have a day job.

  1. And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?
I think that as the sons and daughters of immigrants grow up in America and get exposed to fiction and non-fiction literature and film I think that we will see much more media produced by Latino artists and writers. That is, unless there is some cultural and political shift to fascism in this country that targets immigrants and minorities.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: PASSION STORM by Diane Escalera

A looming hurricane has nothing on the storm raging inside...

Karina Valdez loves a good adventure, but jetting off to the Bahamas with a complete stranger is taking it to the extreme. She can’t believe her meddling best friend entered her in a radio dating contest. Even more shocking? Karina won! A tropical getaway she can do. Making a love connection with a hot local bachelor, not so much. Especially when she’s not looking for a man.

Meteorologist Andrew Romano is psyched over winning the radio contest. He’s ready to settle down and get married, prove once and for all that he’s not a player. The contest will surely help his chances—he’s been matched with his perfect woman. Too bad she doesn’t want him. To make matters worse, an erratic storm has shifted direction and is whirling toward them. Andy will do whatever it takes to win over the elusive beauty and keep her safe. He can handle a hurricane. But what about the other storm waiting to be unleashed?

Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 4 stars

Review: Karina has won a free trip to the Bahamas. Nice! But there’s always a price….

“What the heck had her best friend gotten her into? She didn’t want to go on vacation with some stranger. Why couldn’t Jackie and everyone else butt out of her life? Why were they always trying to fix her up? A girl could be single and happy. She didn’t need her mother, sisters—the whole darn world badgering her to settle down, get married, have kids. She was only thirty-one, for God’s sake. They made her sound like an old maid.” (3)

“Karina liked her independence, enjoyed coming and going as she pleased. She wasn’t selfish. She just liked things the way they were: uncomplicated. What part of that couldn’t they understand?... She
planned to live life on her terms, her rules.” (3)

Most chicas will be able to relate to Karina every step of the way!

While Karina chooses to live for today, Andrew wants to plan for tomorrow and settle down with the perfect woman. Their first meeting was in a blind date—literally, they were both blindfolded. Imagine getting turned on by someone you’ve never even seen!

Even though Karina is hell-bent on staying single for the rest of her life, she goes on the trip with Andy to the island of bliss, where sparks continue to fly and Andy slowly, but surely, breaks down the armor that surrounds Karina’s heart. “He was patient. Forceful. Wild. Tame. Safe. Dangerous. …Forget the hurricane. A storm named Andy had already ripped through her tidy life.” (128)I wouldn’t mind being stuck on an island with Andy.

Well-written and full of fun characters, this book is a tidal wave of zest and passion.  

“Life shouldn’t be taken for granted.” (8)