Announcement

First off, I would like to thank those who have helped me to build up this blog over the past six months, it has been very much appreciated, especially since the blog has been much more successful than I anticipated.

I have been working on a little project over the last couple of days, though, the creation of an author website with an integrated blog. This is something I’ve been reluctant to do, and very nervous about, because I didn’t feel up to creating one myself and my finances don’t stretch to things like website design at the moment. Fortunately, when you’re meant to have something, the universe will provide, if not necessarily in the way you might imagine.

I have been involved, on the edges, of a new project by a group I am part of on Goodreads, namely the creation of a site www.navigatingindieworld.com I’m more of a suggestions person, but Alexis, who started the site and does some amazing work on it, recently posted the 1st part of a guide to creating a website. After reading through it, and looking at the screenshots, I realised I could do this, and so I have.

If you visit alexrcarver you’ll see the site I have been setting up, which includes a tab for my blog, where you can find the majority of the posts that have already been seen here. Any future posts will go to the new site, so if you wish to continue to follow me, please bookmark alexrcarver and keep an eye on what I’m doing in the future.

Once again, thanks for helping to make this blog better than expected, I hope you will help me to make my new one even better.

The Road to Omaha – A review

The Road To Omaha

Robert Ludlum

starstarstarstar

126227.jpgRobert Ludlum’s wayward hero, the outrageous General MacKenzie Hawkins, returns with a diabolical scheme to right a very old wrong—and wreak vengeance on the [redacted] who drummed him out of the military. Discovering a long-buried 1878 treaty with an obscure Indian tribe, the Hawk, a.k.a. Chief Thunder Head, hatches a brilliant plot that will ultimately bring him and his reluctant legal eagle, Sam Devereaux, before the Supreme Court. Their goal is to reclaim a choice piece of American real estate: the state of Nebraska, which just so happens to be the headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Air Command. Their outraged opposition will be no less than the CIA, the Pentagon, and the White House. And only one thing is certain: Ludlum will keep us in nonstop suspense—and side-splitting laughter—through the very last page.


The return of Mackenzie Hawkins and Sam Devereaux is very welcome because the book is as good as the first. The plot is more outrageous, if that’s possible, and more complicated, but every aspect of the book is so well-written you can’t complain about it. The characters, all of them, are brilliantly done, and the interactions between them waver frequently between humorous and clever; no matter what the situation, they are believable and that’s important.

While not quite as dated as the first book, it does show it’s age, and that keeps it from getting more than 4*, nonetheless I really enjoy the book and would love to see it on the big screen. I can only wonder who would get the job of playing Mackenzie Hawkins, it would have to be someone who can project a very big personality – Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow springs to mind, although Depp would not be good as Hawkins.

An interview with Justin Bienvenue

Today on ARCBookBlog I have Justin Bienvenue, who has agreed to answer a few questions for me, first, though, here’s his bio so you can get to know him

Justin Bienvenue

Unique Writer, Living Poet and Determined Author by day and night, I have always been told I have a way with words and very vivid imagination. I thought If I could take my creativity and combine it with my new love and appreciation for poetry. that the possibilities could be endless. I took a Creative Writing class in high school which was very helpful to my writing.

I am a passionate poet and proud author of five books. When I’m not writing or reading books I’m usually promoting them. I run a blog on Tumblr called IAT: Indie Author Tactics where I feature fellow indies by interview, guest post or cover reveal. I also run a blog on Goodreads on several of the horror groups called “Hundred Year Old Horror” where I talk about classic books and authors of centuries past.

When I’m not doing anything book related my interests usually include watching sports (Football, Baseball and Basketball), learning about History, Ufology, Egyptology, The Wild West as well as the bizarre and things unexplained.

And now it’s on to the interview

Me – What inspired you to write your most recent book?

JB – Well the book is a sequel to my first which is a book of horror poems. I wanted to go back to where it all started, and I wanted to reclaim what the first book never got. I was inspired by the first book’s failures and the fact that I still had a ton of ideas for horror poems. Horror is at an all-time high right now, so between that and the personal aspect and knowing I still had plenty of horror poems left in the tank I’d be foolish not to be so inspired.

Me – Are your characters based on people you know?

JB – No. I don’t base characters off people I know because then I have the memory of that person forever in my character and that’s not always a good case. If any character is based off anyone it’s myself, the sides to me I don’t show or don’t show much. I’m not totally apposed to basing a character off someone I know but as of right now I haven’t done it.

Me – Do you get ideas for books from things you see or experience, or do they just pop into your mind?

JB – Both. I stress this anytime I’m asked. I get ideas from when I’m out and about and from what I take in, see and hear around me. To me, nature and everyday life may seem simple but sometimes you can take the simplest things and they make for some great ideas and concepts. Also my mind is thinking up ideas 24/7, it’s like a part of my brain is a story idea machine pumping in ideas and filtering some out. If it’s a solid idea my brain says, “Hey boss check out this idea, we think you may like this!” So I say okay brain, hmm that sounds good! Then I got over and write it down or make a mental note of it. So yeah, I get inspired by both.

Me – What genres do you write? Are they what you want to write? (I’ve always wanted to write fantasy, but crime and sci-fi are the genres I feel comfortable with, and where my ideas fit)

JB – I write, Horror, Poetry, Westerns and Crime. Yes they are what I want to write. I like to consider myself a genre experimenter, I’ll take a shot at any genre if I have a good enough idea for it. The genres above are the ones I write the most in and am most comfortable in writing but I’d take a shot at a romance novel or Fantasy Dystopia if I came up with a great enough idea. I think it’s good to experiment with ideas because you never know who may like something and you appeal to certain fans of certain genres.

Me – Which of your characters is your favourite?

JB – One of my two bad guys, Javier “Bones” Jones or Shin Shaojin. I can’t really choose. I made them both ruthless cold-hearted bastards and I know that’s odd to like but I feel I made them so evil because I felt like a reader can really appreciate that and it’s what they want. They want a villain they can hate and love at the same time. I enjoyed creating them, giving them their background and making them as gritty and unsophisticated as possible.

Me – Do you know where your stories are going to finish when you start?

JB – Not always. Obviously I have a clear direction in mind and I build off it and if it sounds good I keep at it. Sometimes a finish will pop into mind when I’m writing while other times I get to the end and have no clue how to end it. It really depends on how much idea and thought I’ve put into it and the development to which the story is going. I feel the biggest challenge when not coming up with an idea until the end is I want to have a reasonable, justifiable ending and I don’t want to just end it abruptly without any real thought. I appreciate good endings that make sense so with readers it’s no different, I want to give them the same thing I want in a story, a solid ending everyone can enjoy.

Me – What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research or make up for a book?

JB – Well for my book Opium Warfare I needed to do research on opium and I wanted to know all aspects of it so that included how many people use it today and how many people used it back in 1920. It may not seem like weird but it was to me, just looking into how many people did drugs seems a bit weird to me. Also, I looked up a woman who was killed by a serial killer for a horror poem, again it felt weird looking into but I wanted the poem to be as real and accurate as possible.

Me – If your book were to be adapted, would you prefer it to be a film, TV series or stage play?

JB – For my Western and Crime thriller I’d want them to be films. For my Horror Poetry books I’d want them to be series which would be fitting considering there’s many different poems of horror so they could all make for episodes for a television series.

Me – Would you ever permit/license the characters/world you have created for fan-fiction?

JB – I don’t know, I’ve never thought of this at all. I really don’t know.

Me – Do you write series or stand-alone books?

JB – Stand-alone books. I did write a sequel to The Macabre Masterpiece but I don’t consider it a series. I just prefer to write stand-alone books although for my next book I will be starting on my very first series.

Me – And now a couple of slightly more fun questions

Tea/Coffee or Hot Chocolate?

Tea and Hot Chocolate, I’ve never drank coffee in my entire life.

Summer or Winter?

Summer

Lazing by the pool or activity holiday?

Activity holiday

Up early or up late?

Up late

Fast food or fancy restaurant?

Yes lol

Dress up or dress down?

Dress up

Watch a film or read a book?

Watch a film

Classical music or pop?

Classical music

Now the interview is done, here’s Justin’s book

The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage

33132813.jpgThere are some horror’s in this world that have no motive or reason other than to scare. These things tend to be the most horrific of all because they have no agenda, no filter and only wish to inflict as much fear into a person as possible. You’re about to take a trip to five places most do not wish to go but horror lovers dream of experiencing. Make your way down to a crypt where the horror’s may seem old but they’re as fresh as can be. Next make your way out to the cemetery and get a feel of how all that’s supposed to be in eternal slumber is alive and animated. Then go inside to visit the morgue and get to know some of horror’s most vile and sinister anomalies. Next take a journey to an asylum where more than just the insane call home. Finally, make one last stop at a crematorium and witness all that remains and how it does not wish to burn. Be on high alert and make sure to take it all in and remember that the true carnage lies within you…

Buy the book here

 

Pre-order for just 99c

After discussing the question of how to develop interest in a pre-order title for someone who is still in the early stages of their writing career, I was given the following advice

Make the book 99c/99p during the pre-order period, and let the world know that the book is at a special price prior to release, make sure you also tell them how much the book will be after release.

This advice is obviously based on the notion that most people like to get a bargain, especially when they know how much they’re saving, and how much time they have in which to make that saving. It’s a simple concept but it’s one that didn’t occur to me until it was pointed out, of course, I’m not marketing savvy so that might be why.

Okay, since I’ve now been hit over the head with what I should have already known, I have reduced the price of my upcoming novel, Written In Blood; you can now get my serial-killer thriller for just 99c/99p if you buy it in the next 23 days, on 1st April it will go up to its full price of $3.99.

Let me just repeat that

99c/99p

That’s the bargain price you can get Written in Blood for until the end of March. If you don’t get it before then you’ll have to pay the full price of

$3.99

If you’re interested in buying the book, and so far I’ve had people from North America, South America and Europe taking advantage of my generosity, you can get it at the following link

Written In Blood for the Kindle

2016-950-press-ppb-alex-carver-blood

An Interview With Ember Raine Winters

Today on ARCBookBlog we have Ember Raine Winters, who has agreed to be interviewed by me, before we get to the questions, though, this is what Ember has to say about herself.

15140261.jpgEmber Raine Winters went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader who enjoys fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction, mainly dystopian, but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

Now it’s time for a few questions.

Me – What inspired you to write your most recent book?

ERW – My most recent book Beautiful Delusions was a labor of love. I saw a decided lack of heroines in romance who suffered from PTSD and since it is a cause extremely close to my heart, I decided to write just that.

Me – Are your characters based on people you know?

ERW – The main character Kaylee and her sister-in-law Tara are loosely based on me and my sister-in-law. We both went through similar situations and have a kind of vulgar sense of humor! *chuckles* Everyone else are made up characters.

Me – Do you get ideas for books from things you see or experience, or do they just pop into your mind?

ERW – Many of my ideas are from things I see or stuff I hear on the news. A lot of Beautiful Delusions came from some of my own experiences.

Me – What genres do you write? Are they what you want to write? (I’ve always wanted to write fantasy, but crime and sci-fi are the genres I feel comfortable with, and where my ideas fit)

ERW – So far, I have written YA Dystopian and Romantic Suspense. They are genres that I want to write. I love writing more action packed stories. I eventually want to write some fantasy. I think it will be fun. It will probably be fantasy romance though.

Me – Which of your characters is your favourite?

ERW – By far, my favorite character is Trey. He is a supporting character in Beautiful Delusions but will eventually get his own book. He is the ultra-cocky, egomaniac and he is hilarious. He acts like a caveman and an overgrown child at the same time.

Me – Do you know where your stories are going to finish when you start?

ERW – Not at all! *laughs* I have no idea what is going to happen until I get there. My characters don’t give me that information. HAHA!

Me – What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research or make up for a book?

ERW – The weirdest thing for me was probably having to research how long it takes for someone to bleed to death when they get shot in the femoral artery. It was extremely unnerving.

Me – If your book were to be adapted, would you prefer it to be a film, TV series or stage play?

ERW – I think if it was my choice I would say a movie. I don’t think it would make a good stage play.

Me – Would you ever permit/license the characters/world you have created for fan-fiction?

ERW – I think fanfiction would be the ultimate honor. To know that people like my stories and characters enough to write their own? I would absolutely love that.

And now a couple of slightly more fun questions

1 – Tea/Coffee or Hot Chocolate?

I’m really not into any of them. My vice is Diet Pepsi.

2 – Up early or up late?

Late. I am a night owl.

3 – Fast food or fancy restaurant?

Neither? I like more basic restaurants not so much fancy but also not fast food. Unless, it’s Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell!

4 – Dress up or dress down?

Dress down

5 – Watch a film or read a book?

Read a book

6 – Classical music or pop?

Pop

Beautiful Delusions (Pride and Honor Book 1)

Kaylee
One night . . .

One terrible accident . . .
33021695.jpgThat was all it took to turn my entire life upside-down. My PTSD is worse than ever. The terror I thought I left in my past is back, and this time I might not survive the horrors he promises to bring.

An old friend, Griffin, my best friend at one time bulldozes his way back into my life. He has the power to consume me. I want him… and that is terrifying. Can he actually protect me from the evil that wants to tear me apart?

Griffin
Fifteen years . . .

That’s how long I have let the guilt eat me alive for hurting her with my words the way I did. I never thought I would get the chance to atone for my sins. Now that I do, I will stop at nothing to help her, save her . . . keep her.

The only thing I want, apart from Kaylee in my bed, is to protect her from the monster who wants to destroy her.

Get your copy here 

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15140261.Ember_Raine_Winters

Win a copy of Dangerous Victor

Do you like romance, I know there’s a lot of you out there that do, well here’s a great opportunity for you, my Goodreads friend Aislinn Kearns is running a giveaway for her most recent release, Dangerous Victor, which is part of her Soldiering on series.

There are 2 copies available to win, and you can try for your copy by entering at the following link

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251231652/

Even if romance isn’t your thing, you could help Aislinn by letting your friends who do like it about the competition

Dangerous Victor

Aislinn Kearns

soldiering-on-3

 

 

Radha Iyer knows there’s something terribly wrong happening at the casino she manages. Her staff are acting cagey, the finances don’t add up, and then her Head of Security is found murdered in his own home. She’s out of her depth and desperate for help.

Zack Walker has kept to himself since the day an IED left him permanently scarred. When Radha calls Soldiering On for help, his degree in math makes him the obvious choice to go undercover as the new Head of Security to help her discover what’s going on and who’s responsible.

But the conspiracy they uncover goes deeper than either of them could have imagined. When their investigation is compromised, it puts them both in mortal peril and on the run. With nowhere to turn they must rely on each other, but danger and betrayal lurk in every shadow…

 

Coming out

No, this isn’t a post about me coming out of the closet, I am not gay, but I am making something of a reveal about myself.

As those of you who have been paying attention will know, I write under the pen name of Alex R Carver, because I want to keep my writing and personal lives separate. Part of my efforts to keep the two aspects of my life independent of one another I have been using a picture of my mum’s Yorkshire Terrier as my author picture.

Molly is a cute dog, and an effective way of not revealing myself, but it seems as though that is not going to be possible moving forward. I was invited to write an article for a new project recently – details are top secret right now so that’s all I can say on the subject – and as part of that I was required to provide an author picture that was actually of me.

This was something of a challenge as I wanted to take part in this opportunity, but I didn’t want to be recognisable. Fortunately, there are many ways to play with an image, and using black and white as well as a touch of soft focus or some such thing (I don’t actually know what was done to the photo I took) I was able to have a picture of me where I don’t believe you could recognise me, at least not easily.

If you look below you’ll see the before and after.