Roses Of Winter by Murdo Morrison

Tom Brokaw called the people that lived through the Great Depression and then went on to fight in World War 2 The Greatest Generation. In his 1998 book called The Greatest Generation he recounted stories of how soldiers and families in America were effected by the war. Life in the 30’s and 40’s wasn’t easy and some families were torn apart by the financial struggles of the Great Depression in the 30’s and young men having to go off to war in the 40’s.

Overtime, I’ve read quite a few accounts of American families during the war years, so I was happy to find a fictional novel that centered around two families in Scotland during World War 2. The book is called Roses of Winter by Murdo Morrison. Roses Of Winter was originally a podiobook and was released in print in July 2011. The two families in the story…

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The topic of episode 60 of  Horror Addicts is the 1800’s and the featured author is  Steve Merrifield. Usually, for the show what I would do is look up books that have to with whatever topic the show is about. In order to change things up a little, Emerian had the idea of me reviewing the book Ivory by Steve Merrifield.

Ivory tells the tale of an artist and art teacher named Martin Roberts. Martin is having a midlife crisis, he doesn’t feel satisfied with his family and doesn’t feel inspired to paint anymore. Then one rainy night his life changes when he accidentally hits a teenage girl with his car. Even though the girl should have died in the horrific crash, she survives. She is no ordinary teenager, her skin and hair are pure white, her eyes are black as coal and she is mute. Martin sits with the girl until the paramedics…

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Anime Girl 2

ag2finalAbby Tanaka is a talented artist with a best-selling manga series and legions of fans waiting for her next project. Abby is confident in some areas but she still feels insecure about her new boyfriend and her talent manager, Chase. Abby is heading into San Francisco for an anime con and to have a romantic weekend with Chase. Things don’t go according to plan for Abby as competition comes her way.

Tosh James is Chase’s newest client. She is an actress in a Scifi movie and the fantasy of every man at the anime con. Worst of all, Tosh has her eyes set on Chase and Abby is not sure she can compete with the drop dead gorgeous Tosh. Can true love win out or will Tosh end up with Chase? Find out in Anime Girl 2 by Emmy Z. Madrigal.

One thing I have to say that I liked about this novella was how Abby’s manga drawings show her mood. When she is worried about Tosh being with Chase too much her drawings get sadder but when Abby is getting attention in a drawing class, her art seems to express her happiness. You get the impression that Abby’s drawings are an extension of her personality and you know how she feels and thinks through her art.

Another thing I liked in this book was how Abby and Tosh are presented. At the convention it looks like Tosh is getting all of the attention but in reality she only gets a certain type of attention. All of her fans are only interested in her because of her body and she has nothing else to offer. Even though she doesn’t think it, Abby is more of the full package. She is cute, nice, funny and has a talent that people appreciate.

There is one good scene where Abby sees a large group of people around Tosh and she feels jealous. Shortly afterwords a young artist approaches Abby and asks her to come to his art class because they are all such big fans of her work. Tosh gets more attention but Abby gets better attention. People like her for her talent and not her looks even though she has that also. I also enjoyed the love scenes in this story because they managed to be hot without being overly explicit.

Anime Girl 2 is a sweet and simple romance with quirky characters.I enjoyed how it was set in an anime convention since I don’t think there are a lot of love stories out there set in a fan convention. I also liked how the author sprinkles anime and manga references throughout the story making this more than just a story about two girls competing for a guy.  There were even some  references to EmmyZ. Madrigal’s other Sweet Dreams romance novels which I thought was a nice touch. If you love a quick romance and believe that love can conquer all then this novella is for you.

Rich & Roulo Volume 2: Ruins

ruinsbig4Rich and Roulo Volume 2: Ruins is the second short collection of poems and stories from authors Emerian Rich and Heather Roulo. This isn’t your ordinary book, in the editor’s note, Heather Roulo states that this series is set up for the two authors to break away from their past patterns and stay consistent with their ever-changing artistic ideals. This series is all about experimentation and gets proven quickly by the opening act which is a vaudeville style comedy routine between the two authors. If this doesn’t prove that this is not your average 99 cent book on Amazon I don’t know what does.

The stories here are set in exotic locations and ancient times and the characters are dealing with life and relationships in the face of death. First up was a short work by Heather Roulo called Uncovered which is about a man with an exotic fever who reads some ancient hieroglyphs that are about to change his world. This was a nice set up for what was to come in the book and really set the mood. Next up was a poem by Emerian Rich called Goddess which on the surface is about a Goddess looking down upon the people who worship her but there is a deeper meaning here that you will have to find for yourself. I have never been big on poetry but this one was good.

After the poem is a story called The Mummy by Emerian Rich. This is about a young girl in ancient Egypt who was cursed to be a mummy. One man has the ability to help her but he has his own agenda and breaking the curse may not be that easy. I liked how the girl in this one prays to her gods for help and realizes that no help is coming, through her pain she finds strength and becomes a stronger person. The ending to this one was excellent.

The next story is Great Asp by Heather Roulo. This tale combines fantasy and horror and starts on a battlefield where a husband and wife team is about to lead a volunteer battle force against a group of supernatural creatures created by a sorceress. This is not your run of the mill story. It starts with a battle scene, goes into a little love story and then you get psychological horror in the end. This series is about experimentation and it shows in this one because it seems to start in the middle goes back to the beginning and then its like a completely different story by the end. This is a great tale that fans of horror and fantasy will enjoy. Most of all I enjoyed how the wife chooses to honor her husband but sadly things never work out the way you want.

Rich & Roulo: Ruins is a fun, quick read and a nice introduction to two talented authors. To me this book was like a mini literary magazine where the idea was to show the strengths of two authors and how they can use short stories, poems and comedy dialogues to entertain their audiences. I’m hoping to see more volumes in this series and I hope other authors decide to use this same format to introduce themselves to new fans. It’s only 99 cents, take a chance and buy it, you won’t be disappointed.