K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report
middle grade/young adult/action
No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.
After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But - what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out?
He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.
But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.
And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.
Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.
But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.
Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
I know it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been busy taking care of some family issues this past month. But things are getting better, so I’m back today with my review of K- Cop, by Erna Mueller.
Erna is touring with Pump Up Your Book Tours and she is holding a giveaway for an audiobook of her novel, K- Cop. See the end of post for giveaway information.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from the author to review for her blog tour with Pump Up Your Book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
K-9 Cop is an adventurous story that will appeal to teens as well as adults. It’s a story about an unlikable cop, Spencer, who finds himself at the pearly gates of heaven, only to be told he can’t come in. He is then reincarnated back to earth as his k-9 partner, Pepper, to try to redeem himself.
This book was so much fun to read, I wish my son was a bit older because I’m sure he would’ve got a kick out of the story. I always enjoy a story when you get to hear what the animals are saying. It just brings out a whole new perspective to the story at times, even when the dog is a reincarnated man.
It was easy to connect with most of the characters. Spence/Pepper started off as a jerk, and Justin was a troubled kid, but their faults and attitudes are understandable and I feel the author did a terrific job at making them fun and real. You just can’t ‘not’ like them.
Overall, K-9 Cop is a unique, fun, action filled story that will leave you wanting more. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
I was born in Austria and my family immigrated to the U.S. I loved living here as a child and considered the U.S. my home. My family returned to Austria and of course I had to tag along. I missed the friendly faces and the cultivation of the free spirit which America symbolizes. In Austria I completed my education but always wanted to return, so here I am.
I traveled the world and lived in many exciting cities such as Paris, Munich and London. I currently work as an accountant for a large pizza company in Seattle by day and passionately pursue a career as a writer in my spare time.
My new book, “K-9 Cop”, is adapted from my multi-national award winning screenplay. The book has won several awards including first place in the 2009 National Good Read Competition sponsored by awomenswrite.com.
Under The Sheets
Capitol Chronicles Book 1
Robyn and Grant Richards’ happily ever after was short lived. He is captured and held prisoner in Lebanon and her government-coerced testimony against a crime network whisked her into Witness Protection as Brooke Johnson. Five years later a critical accident involving Brooke’s daughter forces her hand. She reveals Grant’s location to the doctors. Never believing he’d deliver Kari’s rare blood type in person, her powers of acting indifferent are sorely tested when she comes face-to-face with the only man she’s ever loved.
Grant could swear his dead wife stood in the hospital waiting room -- until she turned around and only her hair reminded him of Robyn. Yet there was something about her and her precious daughter that had him flying in to see them more often than necessary. Despite Brooke telling him she didn’t want a relationship, he refused to take no for an answer.
Being with Grant endangered them all. The crime network may have gone underground, but they would never stop looking for Robyn or anyone she loved.
I downloaded this book when it went on sale for 99¢ last week during the author’s promotion. It’s an older title that has been re-published, and pleasantly enjoyable.
I bought this book after reading about it from the author’s newsletter. I was a bit hesitant because the blurb makes it sound more like a political thriller, which I’m not a huge fan of, but for a buck, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m happy to say, I was totally captivated by this story, so it was a dollar well spent.
Brooke (aka Robyn) is in the witness protection program. With a new face & identity, she comes face-to-face with the love of her life, her husband, Grant, whom she left behind when she went into the program. Grant believes his wife, Robyn, is dead and can’t help himself with the attraction he feels towards Brooke, who is so different yet similar to his deceased wife.
The story pulls you in and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. You can’t help but feel the heat between the main characters, and the heartache it brings from Robyn trying to protect Grant by pushing him away. I thought Robyn was a strong character, and facing the challenges that she does proves it.
The suspense of the story keeps you on your toes. The secondary characters, Jacob and Marianne, are just as enjoyable as the main characters. This is an older book that’s been re-published, and you really wouldn’t notice unless you’re familiar with Buffalo, as I am. Some of the mentioned landmarks, like War Memorial Stadium no longer exist, so it was a bit of a surprise to me, but I enjoyed the brief memory of it.
Overall, I enjoyed the storyline and characters. It’s a well written romantic suspense and would recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting love story.
women's fiction, romance
June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…
Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.
In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.
Today I’m reviewing the woman’s fiction novel, Palmetto Moon, as part of the authors blog tour with Pump Up Your Book.
Palmetto Moon is a sweet womans fiction love story that I just didn’t want to end. Even after I finished reading it, I just wanted more.
The story is set in South Carolina in the 1940’s. On the eve of a pre-arranged wedding between two wealthy families, the Hadleys and McLeods, Vada knows in her heart she can’t go through with marrying someone she doesn’t love. With the help of her servants and a lead to a teaching job, she runs away to Round O, a small town not too far away from her home in Charlseton.
This was such a refreshing read. I sometimes have trouble with stories that are told from ‘before my time’, because I can’t relate to how women were treated back then. But in Palmetto Moon, Vada Hadley was a strong, determined women who stood up for what she believed in. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she has the courage to stand up to those who try to knock her down.
Frank Darling is the owner of the local diner. He falls fast for Vada, and does everything he can to try to please her. Their courtship is sweet, and I believe that he was exactly as a gentleman would be in the 40’s. He had natural urges, but enough respect for Vada in keeping her innocence. Vada kept him on his toes, and at times he was on an emotional roller coaster. I could totally relate to his ups & downs, and felt sorry for him at times.
The secondary characters all add to this charming story. It was just as easy to get caught up in their stories as it was in Vada’s. I would love to see more of Claire’s and even Becky’s stories.
With this being a Lowcountry novel, I have to admit I have no knowledge or experience with what that is supposed to mean. But, as a city gal, I can tell you I loved the setting and the small town feel that I got when reading this. I could easily envision the country side and each of the characters just as if I was sitting in the diner with them. All in all, this was a wonderful, light, clean read that I am happy to recommend.
*Note- I received a complimentary copy for review for the author blog tour with Pump Up Your Book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.
Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.
As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.
Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
Up The Tower
Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.
“This kid comes in, okay? Starts doing all this stuff with Wallop's tech fists. Powering them up and such. You know, they can bend steel, they can punch a man so far a distance, all of that. At first, I think the kid's pretty young, but then I see his eyes—they're old enough. I seen his eyes, they're about my age, those eyes. And it’s important, okay, how old he is. Because this kid? He looks a hell of a lot like me.”“So what? Lots of kids look like you.”
“Yeah. So do Georgeson. So do Jonesboy. So do Figueroa.”
“What are you saying?”
“I'm saying…” he palmed the side of his head. “I’m saying, it ain’t no secret that you got yourself a certain type of person that you pick up. A type of boy. I sort of thought I knew why. Last night I found out for certain.”
Konnor was right. Ore was angry.
“The hell are you saying to me? Just say it.”
“You said you had a brother. His name was Samson. He was good with tech, you said. Well this kid? The one tailoring Wallop's new fists? Samson. That's what Wallop called him. ‘Samson, touch here.’ ‘Samson, look at that, is that right.’”
Ore didn't say anything.
“He's alive. Your brother. In The Tower. He’s maybe been alive this whole time.”
Silence, then. Even the eyebots outside seemed to get quiet.
That goddamn Wallop. Her job, her Haulers, and her eye. Now he had her brother, or near enough. Everything. Would he take everything from her?
Konnor stood up and headed to the door. The shack squeaked beneath him.
“If it was any other sort of job…if it was a job that maybe wouldn’t have gone against the Faces…”
“Shut up, Konnor. It’s all against the Faces. It’s under ‘em or it’s with ‘em. You know that.”
“All right. All right.” He opened the door. An argument had started down the street; someone lit a fire in a barrel on the balcony above her shack; an eyebot stopped, scanned the two, and then zipped away. “It’s a hell of a plan, though, Ore. A hell of a plan. And maybe I won’t get around to telling Wallop what’s what for a little while.”
Today, author J.P. Lantern shares how he went about creating the ‘world’ in his latest sci-fi novel, Up The Tower. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post, you can win a backlist ebook copy from the author, or a $25 Amazon GC.
J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed “rugged,” though he would also be fine with “roughhewn” because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.
My latest novel, UP THE TOWER, is a big science fiction dystopian romp, and because it is a big science fiction dystopian romp, it requires a world in which to romp about. World-building is a particularly important skill for writers of science fiction, because the audience expects a certain amount of logic. If events or actions become too unrealistic, then the audience starts to become dissatisfied that what you’re writing isn’t “real” enough.
In other words, you run a narrow edge on top of the audience’s suspension of disbelief that has probably more obstacles than most other genres. Fantasy comes close, but with fantasy, sometimes the fantastical or outrageous can become commonplace and expected, and tropes are happily welcomed (notice the sixty-plus years of orcs and elves and dragons in the genre).
The way I approach world-building for sci-fi is just to pick a few major elements from our world today that don’t seem to have many leashes on them, and then trying to apply a bit of logic about where those elements might run to if they continue to be unrestrained.
So, in UP THE TOWER, there are a quite a lot of science-fictiony elements. There’s talking robots, and jet boots, and gangsters with crazy super-tech suits, and hovercopters, and eyebot drones, and all of that. But civilizations aren’t built around technologies; civilizations are built around ideas, and technologies are used according to those ideas. So the ideas that this culture in UP THE TOWER operates with are kind of basic:
– Corporate power is restricted only by greater corporate power
– Access to technology is a symbol of status
– Class (status) is inherited more than earned; all ideas of meritocracy are false; the myth of meritocracy is nonetheless still perpetuated by society and small, carefully controlled exceptions
– Power is gained and maintained by force
If you’re a pessimist or a realist, you might recognize a lot of these elements happening today! Probably the main difference between what I imagine and what is the reality today is that corporate control isn’t overt today; it’s in the background. In the U.S. today, for example, corporations write legislation that politicians pass and donate billions of dollars to position the people they want into positions of power. But, it’s all kind of shadowy because there on the news, we still see those people in power and popping off phrases that we know and love about social rights or taxes or foreign aid, and not any kind of corporate sponsor doing that. But if you follow the actions of these politicians and the money that got them elected, you can see where their loyalties lie (it is not with the general populace).
So the sort of tipping point for the world I imagined was what if corporate control was, rather than being so shadowy, was the stated norm. And everything else—police robots and crazy gangster tech suits and massive slums run by criminals and corporate-sponsored drones monitoring consumption—were all sort of “natural” extensions of that core idea.
The author will be awarding a backlist ebook copy to a randomly drawn winner at every stop during the tour and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour. Giveaway end 9/19/14. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Traveling Left of Center
short stories, literary fiction
There are some people who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Unable or unwilling to seize control over their lives, they allow fate to dictate the path they take—often with disastrous results.
TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER details characters in life situations for which they are emotionally or mentally unprepared. Their methods of coping range from the passive (“The Healer”) and the aggressive (“The Clock”) to the humorous (“Traveling Left of Center”) and hopeful (“Skating on Thin Ice”).
The eighteen stories in TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER depict those types of situations, from the close calls to the disastrous. Not all the stories have happy endings—like life, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.
In these stories, the characters’ choices—or non-choices—are their own. But the outcomes may not be what they anticipated or desired. Will they have time to correct their course or will they crash?
ALICE IN WONDERLAND—Alice is constrained by circumstances and unwanted obligations to live an unfulfilling life. Books are her only way to escape, serving as sustenance to feed her starving soul. But what will she do when there are no more pages left to devour?
ANNABELLE—A lonely young woman, all Annabelle wants is to love and be loved. But she’s fighting by the twin emotions of fear and guilt, unable to let go of the past and embrace the possibilities of a future.
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN—Sometimes, what one fears most comes to pass because of those fears. If Charlotte hadn’t been so afraid, would the outcome have been the same?
BEAUTIFUL DREAMER—For Eleanor, it was becoming increasingly more difficult to tell the difference between being awake and dreaming, reality and fantasy. The boundaries were blurring. Would she be able to see clearly again?
EXIT ROW—He wanted an escape. After all these years, he was ready to go. But could he get away before it was too late?
MISCONNECTIONS—Anna’s recurrent dreams echo through her day, as she attempts to reconcile her inexplicable feelings of loss with what would appear to be a “perfect life.”
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND—Despite being more than three steps over the mental health line, he’s holding fast to his belief in his own sanity. Or is the rest of the world crazy?
SKATING ON THIN ICE—Is it possible to overcome childhood trauma? And, even if you do, are you ever really “cured” or simply skating on thin ice, waiting for it to crack? Sarah is trying to skate across the thin ice. Every day, she makes a new path on the surface of her life. So far, the ice has held.
STILL LIFE—Mirror images of her life: how she wants it to be and how it is. Which one would be her true reality—and does she even have a choice?
THE CLOCK—Everyone has a breaking point. For Harold, it came one fateful evening when the clock once again stopped ticking.
THE HEALER—Cassie didn’t ask for the gift. She didn’t want the gift. For all the good it had done other people, it was killing her. All she wanted was her own healing.
THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS—Mona was relying on the kindness of strangers to rescue her. One stranger, in particular. However, thanks to the interference of others, her plans keep going awry. But she’s not giving up yet.
THE SHOP ON THE SQUARE—His attitude of superiority had gotten him quite far in life. Until a chance stop at a small Mexican town illustrated that he had much to learn.
THE STORYTELLER—Connie makes up her stories as much for the children’s sake as her own. But even her stories can’t stop the pain of reality from hurting her listeners—or herself.
THE SUGAR BOWL—Although Chloe’s life story changes with every listener, each time her tale has achieved its intended purpose. Until she chooses the wrong person to tell it to.
TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER—Her mama was forever telling her that, on the highway of life, she was always traveling left of center. She wasn’t a bad girl, mind you—just incapable of looking down the road and seeing where her actions are taking her.
WAITING FOR SARA—Her daughter Sara is gone, and while it was by her own choice, it was a decision ill-conceived and poorly executed. And so Sara’s mother waits, alone and fearful, hoping against hope that someday her daughter will return, safe and unharmed.
WATCHING FOR BILLY—Agnes was all alone until Billy came to stay. Would he bring new purpose to her life? Or take what little hope she had for companionship?
Author Nancy Christie is here today with her latest ebook, Traveling Left of Center, a short story collection. Just for stopping by, you can read a free story from the book, ‘Annabelle’ . See the details at the end of the post.
Nancy Christie is a professional writer, whose credits include both fiction and non-fiction. In addition to her fiction collection, TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER, and two short story e-books, ANNABELLE and ALICE IN WONDERLAND (all published by Pixel Hall Press), her short stories can be found in literary publications such as EWR: Short Stories, Hypertext, Full of Crow, Fiction365, Red Fez, Wanderings, The Chaffin Journal and Xtreme.
Her inspirational book, THE GIFTS OF CHANGE, (Beyond Words/Atria) encourages readers to take a closer look at how they deal with the inevitability of change and ways in which they can use change to gain a new perspective, re-evaluate their goals and reconsider their options. Christie’s essays have also appeared in Woman’s Day, Stress-Free Living, Succeed, Experience Life, Tai Chi and Writer’s Digest. She is currently working on several other book projects, including a novel and a book for writers.
The characters in the stories all seem a little (in some case, a lot!) wounded or vulnerable. What draws you to write about these types of characters?
I’m not entirely sure. It’s not like I set out to write stories about odd, eccentric or unstable people. It’s just, for some reason, I am drawn to those types of people—perhaps it’s one of those “There, but for the grace of God” things.
My fiction—or at least, my short fiction—tends to be about people who are damaged in some way: by what they have done to themselves or by what was done to them, by what they have received, what they gave up, or what was taken from them. They are, for the most part, struggling to navigate through dangerous waters. Some survive and move forward toward land, some are just treading water, and some don’t even know that they have lost the battle and are, even now, drowning.
I feel sorry for those people, wish I could do something for them, and perhaps, in the writing of their stories, that is what I am doing. Because somewhere out there, there is a real person who is held in thrall by his or her obsessions, who is controlled by past or present circumstances, who wants to live a happy, normal, balanced life but finds that the tightrope of life vibrates too much and maintaining equilibrium is but a dream.
“Dream”—and there it is again. The idea of what we want and what we have. For some of us—perhaps for most of us—the former is the dream and the latter is the reality and never the twain shall meet.
Where did the idea of the cover art for TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER come from?
From the very beginning—even before I knew it would be a book!—I had an image in mind for the book cover. The cover is a literal interpretation of each character’s metaphorical journey on the road of life. Some of them zig-zag across the center line only to pull back to the right side at the last moment, while others cross once and never make it back in time. And then, there are the few who are merrily driving right down the center, every now and then drifting first to the left and then to the right, blissfully unaware that they are courting disaster. When I shared the concept with my publisher, it took only a few tweaks before we had the “ah hah!” moment and said “This is it!” and after a few revisions, we successfully “birthed” this book cover!
Can you share what inspired some of your stories?
“Misconnections” (originally published in Wanderings Magazine) was inspired by a dream I had of a toddler wandering through plane wreckage, holding a tooth in her hand. “Beautiful Dreamer” started when I woke up in the middle of the night, holding the telephone receiver in my hand and hearing the buzzing sound and wondering if someone had called and I talked to them in my sleep. And if I did—what did I say?
“The Healer” came after I had a series of reiki sessions and started wondering what it felt like to be the practitioner rather than the client. As for “Annabelle”—I started it so many years ago that I don’t know where it came from!
Some of my other stories that aren’t in the collection… “Aunt Aggie and the Makeup Lady,” published by The Chaffin Journal was inspired by a conversation I had with a vendor at a flea market. She said that, although being there wasn’t her favorite way of spending a Sunday afternoon, it was better than being stuck at home with her husband’s crazy Aunt Aggie. That’s all it took, and the story was born! And “Ice Cream Sunday” (published in Fiction365) came after witnessing a father and his adult disabled daughter at a local ice cream shop.
But for the most part, many of my stories are triggered by words—overheard or imagined— and I don’t know how the story will turn out or even what it’s about until it’s written.
What was your “writer dream”—your goal— when you began to write? Has it changed over the years?
I don’t think I had a dream. Certainly, I never pictured myself holding a book with my name on it. Writing is such a natural part of me that I never thought about it as an occupation or a goal, any more than I would think about breathing as a profession. It was just something I did.
Of course now, with two books—TRAVELING LEFT OF CENTER and my non-fiction book, THE GIFTS OF CHANGE— in print and two short stories as e-books plus others that have been published in literary journals, I do have a dream or two. Great reviews in The Times. Accolades from well-known literary fiction writers. An award or two to stick somewhere on my bookshelf—next to about a dozen foreign translations of my collection!
Or maybe my accountant telling me that my royalties have pushed me into a different income bracket!
Why do you write fiction?
To understand what I see or feel or am going through. To serve as a conduit for imagined characters whose voices are as loud to me as those of real people. To play with “what if” without exposing myself to any real danger—physical, mental, emotional, psychic. To escape—but I’m not sure if it’s a case of “escaping to” or “escaping from”! To get it out to make more room for new “its”—while fearing all the time that there are no more “its” left to make room for!
How do you define success as a writer? What makes you feel successful as a writer?
When someone reads a story I wrote and finds something in it that I hadn’t even realized I put there. It’s as though they uncovered some hidden piece of gold, some shiny jewel and told me about it. It becomes an interactive experience.
What is your idea of a perfect writing day?
No phone calls, No interruptions. The sound of the waves outside my window. Lots of coffee. And lots and lots of words pouring out of my head and onto the paper—the majority of which are half-way decent.
Just for stopping by, Nancy is offering a free story from her book to all my visitors!