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Extraordinary Dystopian - Double Launch

— feeling wink

 

 

Two authors, two versions of the same book in two exciting genres of fiction. Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas present, Toxic.

 

 

Blurb

Lexi isn't your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well. 

Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.

Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.

“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.

 

 

 

“I was fascinated by Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, where people lived in mountains. This was a world I wanted to explore as a setting for Toxic. Living in a close environment as this, there has to be rules. Those rules don’t always have to be fair. This gave me scope to add intrigue and animosity between my characters.”

Karen J Mossman

 

 

 

Karen J Mossman.

 

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.

All Karen's books are in collections - The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.' She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and now has six in that collection.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, "It's especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books."

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown-up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

https://www.facebook.com/karensmagicofstories/

https://www.amazon.com/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814921.Karen_J_Mossman

https://twitter.com/KarenJMoss
https://magicofstories.net/
http://www.instagram.com/kazz_magic_of_stories





 

 

Karina Kantas

 

Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality.

She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.

When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's a publicist, author manager and VA. She's also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.

 

http://bit.ly/FBFPKK - FB fan page
http://bit.ly/INSTKK - Instagram
http://bit.ly/TwittKK - Twitter
http://bit.ly/BLOGKK - Website
http://bit.ly/KKGRE - Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

“A sensual, erotic read…Karina dares to figure out the nature of passion…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

“It was a pleasure to read an erotic story that had an actual plot.  The genre itself is probably the most misunderstood.  The plot drives an erotic story and the sex just adds to the enticing nature of it.  You've done a great job building a world for your reader.

 

 

 

 

“Toxic is based in a future world where acid rain forces the people, the Maloks to build their cities inside mountains for protection. What is also amazing is this book has two versions, the romantic and the erotic. In both books the story focuses on a female Malok called Lexi, who is determined to become a Ranger and help society guard against the Outcasts. Only Lexi has little support, even from her own boyfriend, Aron. Mix in a childhood sweetheart, in the shape of Marcus, and the unexpected arrival of Mae, Lexi's childhood bully and things begin to get interesting. Toxic is the story of Lexi's determination to satisfy her ambitions, both professionally and personally. The Erotic Toxic tells the same story but delves deeper into Lexi's sexuality and passions. Whichever Toxic you chose, you find yourself living the fantasy.”

 

 

Download Toxic Adult Edition here

 

Download Toxic here

 

 

 

 Excerpt

 

“Lexi,” greeted the young medic.

“Hey, Sha.” Lexi smiled.

She walked past Sha and sat down on a stool, took a sterile cloth, and wiped away the dead skin, causing her to take an intake of breath. No matter how many times she had been burnt there was no way to get used to that kind of pain.

As she reached for a jar of Dozax paste, Sha spoke. “You’ve been outside again, haven’t you?”

Lexi didn’t answer at first, as she felt the wonderful relief as the paste went to work, taking away the pain and healing the burn. The skin immediately started to regenerate and within moments all that was left on her hand was a green coloured dye, which would eventually fade. Still, Lexi needed to wear a patch that had a tiny spot of Dozax cream to complete the treatment. It was dangerous for any Malok to use Dozax in its pure form. Everything had to be diluted.

“You are such a strange Malok,” Sha said, shaking her head.

Lexi smiled. “I can’t help it. I’d go crazy if I was cooped up here forever.”

“Has your ranger training started?” Sha asked.

Lexi’s grin was wide. “Not yet. At the end of the week,” she answered, still not believing she had been accepted into the academy. “Okay, I’m done," she said and then jumped off the stool. “See you tomorrow.”

“Oh wait. You have four inoculations to do tomorrow.”

“Four?” Lexi questioned.

“Yes, some Maloks arrived last night with the new commander.”

“Oh, yes I forgot about Jow. So sad. He was nice as a commander, and so approachable and happy all the time, you know?”

“Yeah,” Sha agreed and then giggled. “Remember when he came and said he wanted to learn basic aid? Oh my, he was so funny.”

Lexi laughed as she remembered that day and how he always made her smile. “See even now, just thinking of the late commander makes us happy. He left a great legacy behind.”

“He sure did. Let’s just hope the new one can live up to that.”

“Okay, I’m off. See you tomorrow, Sha.”

“I will have the Dozax jabs ready for you in the incubator," Sha called.

“Super! Thanks,” Lexi mumbled.

Lexi still couldn’t get that sad day out of her mind. She even had to visit the Charmer to talk and get closure. The loss of Commander Jow was hard for everyone. A party of fifteen went out that day and only two returned. Lexi wished for peace every day, but the only way that would happen was if the Outcasts and the Maloks agreed to share.

She shook her head. Of course, that would never happen, she was kidding herself. Outcasts needed the Terra leaves to feed their addiction. Never mind that this amazing plant could cure pain, protect the body from germs, Illness and normal medical problems that come from age and a weary body. She couldn’t imagine how life used to be when young people would die, because they didn’t know the secret of the plant and the properties it possessed. So, sad, she thought, as she quickly made her way back to the residence she shared with Aron.

Everyone assumed that Lexi and Aron would marry and settle down. Her friends certainly thought so, and at the start, so did Lexi. Only now she had woken up, and the adventurous Lexi wanted so much more from life and becoming a ranger was a step in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

Karina and Karen and proud to associate Toxic with Electric, Eclectic books.

Electric Eclectic is a global marketing brand

 

Tour Hosted by Author Assist

 

 

Action Packed Dramatic Romance

— feeling amazing

 

 

20th-century historical MC romance

"Ms. Saccenti’s writing is compelling and lyrical. Her descriptive writing immerses the reader into the era, scene and story. The characters of Noémi’s Journey, (both main and secondary), are well developed. Her talented writing allows the reader to understand why the characters behave the way they do."
Review Quote from Amazon

 

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Noémies-Journey-Victoria-Saccenti-ebook/dp/B07FNTDZ88

Time for some nostalgia

 

 

If you're a fan of filmmaker Ed Wood or actor Bela Lugosi, then BearManor Media has some books that might trip your trigger--

 

Angora Fever: The Collected Short Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

By Edward D. Wood, Jr.

 

While remembered today as the director of some of the most notoriously bad movies in the history of cinema, there was another side to Wood’s questionable creativity of which most people remain unaware. When his career as a motion picture auteur fizzled out, mostly from lack of funding, Wood searched for another way to make ends meet while not having to surrender his personal artistic vision.

 

The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood

by Andrew J. Rausch and Charles E. Pratt, Jr.

 

Authors Andrew J. Rausch and Charles E. Pratt Jr. unravel the unreal back stories of the much-maligned “Worst Filmmaker of All Time” and his 29 films that sometimes outshone Wood’s off screen shenanigans. In the 1950s, audiences cringed at Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait with Steve Reeves, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space with Bela Lugosi, The Violent Years, and Night of the Ghouls. In the 1960s, moviegoers winced at The Sinister Urge and Orgy of the Dead.

 

Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster

by Gary D. Rhodes with Tom Weaver

 

Shovel in hand, the redoubtable Gary D. Rhodes returns to the Graveyard of Forgotten Facts, unearthing a treasure trove of terrific illustrations and a casket-full of new information and insights on Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood and Bride of the Monster (1956). Also exhumed are Bride’s shooting script and a vault full of decaying extras. Accompanying him in this 60th anniversary “Bela-bration” of the film’s release is partner-in-crime Tom Weaver, as well as contributors Sam Sherman, Robert J. Kiss and Michael Lee.

 

Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood and the Lost Lugosi Screenplays

by Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Robert Cremer, and Lee R. Harris

 

Delving into the most mythical aspects of the Wood saga, this book examines the facts and mysteries of these unproduced works. Essential for genre enthusiasts.

 

No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi

by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger

 

Bela Lugosi scholar extraordinaire Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger provide a fascinating time travel journey back to the late 1940s/early 1950s, when Lugosi – largely out of favor in Hollywood – embarked on a Gypsy-like existence of vaudeville, summer stock, and magic shows.

 

All these titles are available at:

 

http://www.bearmanormedia.com/

Looking For Reviews

 

 

As many of you have realised, most of my posts are of book reviews, fiction and non-fiction.

I am always looking for reviews for my 7 books. So if you would like to do a review swap, please send me a message.

My reviews are posted on Goodreads, Booklikes and Book Pleasures, only.

Have a great week.
Wesley.

 

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Celebrity Chat About Bygone Days

 

 

Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!: Surprising Celebrity Conversations for the Retro Generation

Torchy Smith

Paperback: 338 pages

Publisher: Archway (October 2, 2018)

ISBN-10: 1480867845

ISBN-13: 978-1480867840

https://www.amazon.com/Shooting-Breeze-Baby-Boomer-Stars/dp/1480867845

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

From 2007 to 2015, I had the great pleasure of co-hosting an online radio show for KSAV.org where I interviewed a wide range of musicians, actors, and other entertainment insiders geared for Baby Boomer listeners.

 

One thing I learned is that if the interviewer is knowledgeable and pleasant and the interviewee is agreeable and warm, listeners interested in the celebrity in question will get a special audio treat.

 

   Well, interviewer and writer Torchy Smith has created something of a personal industry

celebrating Baby Boomer stars where he too has shown how entertaining old entertainers can be if they can reminisce about their glory days with a friendly and informed interviewer.

 

In the case of his new book, Shooting the breeze, Smith offers a series of shortened interviews with many actors and actresses whose fame came mostly from roles on the small screen. They include most of the Mouseketeers, Angela and Veronica Cartwrite,   Bill Mumy,  Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, James Drury, Larry Matthews, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Cindy Williams and many, many more.

 

Altogether, the stars describe a time of much greater innocence on television and the repeated complaints most feel about not getting residuals for their work. We hear how most of them found their way into often unexpected stardom and they tell many stories of what happened to them after their glory days. Woven throughout these conversations are Smith's personal commentary and insights that augment what the stars say about themselves and sheds a bit of light on the art of interviewing.

 

While giving readers online access points to some of his guests so we too can connect with some celebs, Smith makes many valid points as to why readers should read his book and not rely on what Google can provide. From personal experience, I can tell you Smith is correct when he says what much of what we can find online just simply isn't so.

 

Naturally, to be interested in this book, you got to be interested in television and film of the not-so-distant past and be curious about the faces and voices that made a stamp on your own life. Some interviews are probably going to be the reason you tried out this book, others may be with folks you're less familiar with. So Shooting the Breeze can be a cover-to-cover read for Baby Boomers or a skip around or skim some passages experience for you. Me, I was glad to get a peek into a lot of folks I don't remember as well as those I too had the pleasure to talk to. It's a warm and inviting read for all of us.

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on March 16, 2019:

https://waa.ai/oW18


To Infinity And Beyond!

 

 

Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica

edited by Rich Handley and Lou Tambone.

Publisher: Sequart Organization (December 18, 2018)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B07LGFF1NP
Free on Kindle Unlimited

https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Beyond-Heavens-Exploring-Battlestar-ebook/dp/B07LGFF1NP

 

Reviewed by: Dr. Wesley Britton

 

Back in 1978, I considered a new TV series I dubbed Battlestar: Ponderosa (due to the presence of actor Loren Green as Commander Adama), along with sister production, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, as two disposable, diverting attempts by producer Glen A. Larson to capitalize on the success of Star Wars for the small screen.  As both series had short lives, I didn't expect to see much more of either of them. Little did I know.

 

In the case of Battlestar: Galactica, forty years have gone by with many repeated attempts to reinvigorate the franchise. We got novelizations, original novels, comics,  films, webisodes, board and video games, unproduced attempts at revivals, and, most impressing of all, Ronald D. Moore's extraordinary 2003 re-imagining of the concept for the SyFy channel and elsewhere that earned considerable praise for a remarkable reboot.

 

Now, the Sequart Organization has published the fifth, yes, fifth, serious book-length academic analysis of all things Galactica by forty comic historians, novelists, bloggers, subject-matter experts, and franchise insiders including Jim Beard, Joseph F. Berenato, Joe Bongiorno, Jeffrey Carver, and October Crifasi.

 

Sequart is touting the fact their new title runs 572 pages, making it the longest book in their history. This is rather surprising considering their past essay collections on popular culture subjects included Batman, The X-Men, Star Wars, and Planet of the Apes, to scratch the surface of their catalogue. As with all their tomes, Somewhere Beyond the Heavens touches every conceivable base you can think of regarding Battlestar: Galactica including close scrutiny of the creative processes, analyses of key episodes and characters, not to mention deep dives into the ephemera associated with the franchise. 

Clearly, Somewhere Beyond the Heavens is not a useful introduction for the uninitiated and not a simple overview for the mildly interested or simply curious. It's intended for serious devotees who might not need to explore every essay, especially if you're a fan of only the Glen A. Larson version or the Ronald Moore revision. For example, do you care about the background of the mysterious Count Iblis as portrayed by Patrick Macnee in a two-part episode in the original series? If so, this collection is for you.

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on March 13, 2019:

https://waa.ai/o8Rj

 

The Dutiful Detective and the Deadly Decoys

 

 

 

 

 

Find your next favorite mystery or thriller title among these FREE novels. Click on the covers of the books you want, sign up to learn a little more about the authors, and start reading. Don't forget to enter to win a $25 gift card. Enjoy!

 

Here's your chance to read my latest story. 
THE DUTIFUL DETECTIVE AND THE DEADLY DECOYS

 

 

 

Always look on the bright side of life!

 

 

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sorta biography

Eric Idle

Audible Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Random House Audio

Audible.com Release Date: October 2, 2018

ASIN:B07CX4LPPB

https://www.amazon.com/Always-Look-Bright-Side-Life/dp/B07CX4LPPB

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

As Eric Idle himself says in the introduction to his new memoir, over the years we've been given a deluge of histories, documentaries, and other memoirs about the careers of the six Monty Pythons. So can Idle's "sorta" autobiography give us anything new?

 

Not having read all the books Idle alluded to, I can't fairly answer that question. I suspect if you're one of those who have, in fact, read and seen everything related to the funniest comedy troupe of all time, I suspect you'd still enjoy a book that is as funny as the Pythons used to be.  After all, Idle has written comedy material since 1963 and his new book demonstrates just how comic one writer can be.

 

But if you're one of those who loved and enjoyed Monty Python without getting immersed in all the appreciations and analysis they've received over the years, than Eric Idle's new memoir is a real treat. And very revelatory. For example, one delight for me was learning about Idle's pre-Python work in British comedy we Yanks never saw. And the post Python projects like Spamalot and his many tours with John Clease.

 

It's still difficult for me to grasp that the heyday of Monty Python  ran from 1969 to 1983 with occasional projects sprouting up from time to time thereafter. As my 14 year old grandson is a Monty Python junkie, you'd think they were still pumping out new material. Nope.

 

Of course, no one's life is all just their most celebrated achievements, so we learn much about Eric Idle's personal life in his breezy memoir. Poignant chapters discuss his painful growing-up years, his time at Cambridge, and his friendships with the likes of George Harrison and Robin Williams and their tragic ends. So this memoir isn't a laugh fest on every page and shouldn't have been.

 

Still, along the way, Idle gives us generous samplings of old skits like the "Eric the "half-A-Bee" song and repeated discussions of how his most famous song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," has been used and reused in all manner of both expected and unexpected places. I must agree with other reviewers who complain that some sections, especially in the latter half, are jammed thick with gratuitous name-dropping and overlong passages describing Idle's active social life, partying with the stars. In such patches, skimming might be the way to go.

 

Without question, if you can get this book in its Audible Audiobook format as read by the author, that's the way to do it. You can feel his style, hear him occasionally verge on breaking into laughter,  hear him sing, and get the full Eric Idle treatment. And that's the reason you got this book to begin with, right?

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Feb. 14, 2019:

https://waa.ai/owcg

 

 

 

Guarding Gable: A Novel

Nat Segaloff

Paperback:264 pages

Publisher:BearManor Media (Jan. 10 2019)

ISBN-10:1629334065

ISBN-13:978-1629334066

https://www.amazon.com/Guarding-Gable-Nat-Segaloff/dp/1538585553

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

At first glance, it might seem an exploration of actor Clark Gable's World War II service in the Army Air Corps after the death of his beloved wife, Carole Lombard, might be best suited to a non-fiction treatment. Happily, author Nat Segaloff chose to write an imaginative memoir featuring Gable's years in uniform as told from the Point of View of the apparently fictional Alan Greenberg. Greenberg is a junior publicist assigned by MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer to make sure Gable doesn't get into any dangerous situations, especially since the death of his wife has left Gable in a suicidal mood.   So we see a friendship between star and publicist grow as well as a love triangle between them and a British publicist named Mavis Roberts.

 

Few authors can come close to having the credentials to pull off this novel like Nat Segaloff. Writer/ producer/ journalist Segaloff has penned 16 books on Hollywood subjects, was a studio publicist himself, has written stage and audio-plays, not to mention co-authoring and co-producing TV and radio scripts, many with a sci-fi bent. And these are but a few of his career highlights.

 

Not surprisingly, Guarding Gable is full of Segaloff's awareness of how a star of Gable's magnitude would be treated in the 1940s by the studio, the military, and the public.  On top of that, what was most impressive to me were the many scenes of Gable flying over the continent in various bombing missions despite orders to stay on the ground. The detail Segaloff provides about the huge planes and the fliers who manned them in the Army Air Corps gives the book a level of excitement and suspense it wouldn't have had if Gable had followed orders. Or if  Segaloff had given us a nonfiction book reliant on material necessarily cited from research sources.

 

The depth of the relationships Segaloff paints is first rate, especially between Gable and Greenberg as the star of Gone With the Windgains more and more respect for his "orderly." The romance between Greenberg and Roberts is far from a typical one and is also handled very deftly as the story progresses. The numerous supporting characters are vividly sketched and all entirely believable. 

 

So who is the primary audience for this novel? Certainly Gable fans and enthusiasts of the 1940s era in Hollywood. So too World War II buffs interested in the Army Air Corps in Europe. But I'd go further and say anyone who enjoys a good story that is vivid, richly detailed, fast-paced, and illuminating should enjoy this one.

 

While I didn't get to hear it, I understand the audiobook for Guarding Gable is enhanced with sound effects and dialogue from the actual films Gable made during the war. Sounds like a fun way to go if audiobooks is your thing.

 

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Feb. 9, 2019:

https://waa.ai/oclw

 

 

A tribute to...

 

 

MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY

Herbie J Pilato 

Paperback: 458 pages

Publisher: Jacobs Brown Press (January 25, 2019)

ISBN-10: 0999507850

ISBN-13: 978-0999507858

https://www.amazon.com/MARY-TYLER-MOORE-STORY/dp/0999507850#customerReviews

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

Mary isn't the first show biz bio I've read from Herbie J Pilato, a founder of the Classic TV Preservation Society. I first learned about the depth of Herbie's TV expertise when I read his 2007 The Bionic Book: The Six Million Dollar man and the Bionic Woman Reconstructed. After that, he produced several adoring books about Bewitched  star, Elizabeth Montgomery.

 

Now, Pilato has presented us with a in-depth, exhaustive bio of a star he clearly also adores, a star most of us out here in TV-Watcher land love as well. Mary Tyler Moore, and her more iconic roles like Laura Petrie and Mary Richards, certainly did turn the world on with her smile. If that number includes you, then this is a book for you.

 

To greater and lesser degrees, most of us know quite a bit about the biography of Mary Tyler Moore, her career, her private life, her struggles, her successes and failures.  There's so much in the public record, including the autobiographies Moore wrote.

 

What Herbie J. Palato has given us is a one-stop tome that covers everything one could ask for about Moore herself, her colleagues, her relationships, her misfires and triumphs, her self-consciousness and lack of self-esteem in terms of her looks,  not to mention her causes like diabetes research and animal rights.

 

When an author devotes this much attention to a beloved subject, there can be some excesses in the text. In this case, there's a lot of repetition, notably the countless references to the importance of Ordinary People in Moore's career. There are numerous paragraphs summarizing the careers and roles of those Moore worked with at one time or another. Of course, this makes Mary an easy book to skim.  But keep your eyes open to catch the streams of nuggets Pilato gives us. We get a portrait of a woman in 3-D, including her shortcomings, talents, work ethic, parental skills (or lack of them) and her insights an perspectives regarding her important and influential career. And surprises--I didn't know her animal rights activism extended to protecting lobsters. Books like these are also good for reviewing lesser known projects like talk show appearances, guest-starring and cameos on TV series, and public speaking. For the first time, I got the story to what happened to the short-lived1985  Mary series co-starring John Astin from Addams Family fame. I got the insider stories behind the sad attempts to reunite the Dick Van Dyke cast and especially the dreary Mary and Rhoda TV movie.

 

Naturally, you got to have some real interest in the biography of Mary Tyler Moore to want to dive into this very detailed and balanced tribute. Someone needed to write this book, and who better than Herbie J. Pilato. He knows how to do it.

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Feb. 5, 2019:

https://waa.ai/oCZ1

 

 

The Beta Earth Chronicles.

 

 

 

 

 

From now (January 31, 2019) to next Friday (February 7, 2019) you can take 25% off any print book published by BearManor Media, and that includes Wes Britton's The Blind Alien! Just use the coupon code SALE25 at checkout!

 

http://www.bearmanormedia.com/the-blind-earth-chronicles-softcover-version-by-wesley-britton

Fantastic informative memoir

— feeling skull

 

 

 

Rock Doc

Neil Ratner, MD

Paperback:  317 pages

Publisher:  Rock Doc Entertainment LLC; 1st edition (January 28, 2019)

ISBN-10:  1732379017

ISBN-13:  978-1732379015

https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Doc-Neil-Ratner-MD/dp/1732379017

 

 

Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

 

 

I was intrigued when I read a blurb for Neil Ratner's new Rock Doc when I saw his memoir included stories about the professional careers of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Pink Floyd, Edgar Winter, and Rick Derringer during their various heydays in the 1970s.   I wasn't disappointed. Roughly one-quarter of the book is Ratner's account of his years as a personal manager, tour manager, and production supervisor for those talented performers.

 

Then, Ratner's autobiography shifts gears as he describes how he left the happy rock and roll lifestyle to enter medicine and specialize as a pioneering anesthesiologist. After establishing the break-through idea of setting up anesthesiologist services in doctor's offices to reduce the need to use hospital operating rooms, Ratner described the day Michael Jackson walked into his office and Ratner's life forever changed.

 

After that, reader interest in the longest section of the book will depend on your interest in Michael Jackson. Ratner unfolds a long, warm, intimate relationship he and Jackson shared both professionally and personally for decades. The account is as revelatory as anything I've read on Jackson's complex life. Those much more familiar with his story might not find too much new other than Ratner's passages on his relationship with the singer.  Personally, I was glad to learn so much about Jackson's, and Ratner's, relationship with Nelson Mandela and their many strong connections to South Africa. 

 

The book takes another sharp turn when Ratner details his experiences with the legal system after he's convicted for insurance fraud. while I might have missed these chapters if I'd given up reading the Michael Jackson saga, I'd have missed a very positive, rather uplifting story of redemption and a growing spiritual depth Ratner acquired in prison. What he does after his incarceration is another surprising turn and an admirable one at that. Very admirable.

 

Since Rock Doc touches so many bases, the potential readership should include those interested in rock and pop history, medicine, Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela and South Africa, not to mention all the transformative perspectives Ratner shares as he summarizes his more recent years. The memoir is told with a personal, often passionate tone that is candid enough to disarm all but the most cynical of readers.

  

 

This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Jan. 25, 2019:

 

THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS - epic fantasy

— feeling amazing

 

 

THE QUEST: Book two of Illusional Reality 
Karina Kantas
Series: Illusional Reality (Book 2)
Paperback: 239 pages
Publisher: Asteri Press (December 31, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1912996049
ISBN-13: 978-1912996049
 
 
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton

While it first appeared in 2016, it was only last fall when I read Illusional Reality, volume one of Karina Kantas’s then in progress “duology.” Now, volume two, The Quest, is here and I’m more on target in terms of timing.

First, I freely admit I liked The Quest much more than its predecessor. It carries on the story of Princess Thya of the magical land called Tsinia. Like book one, the story opens with the princess living on our earth using the name Haty. This time around, she knows prophecy says her people will reach out for her again, asking her to return to their realm as their defender and protector.  Now, Thya thinks her main sacrifice may be leaving Alex, her son back on earth and taking the reluctant throne of her people without him.

After this setup, the story is very different from the plot of Illusional Reality. Thya remains a stubborn, willful, strong-minded—often to the extreme—heroine who sets out with a small company of companions to take on the dark forces of evil. Sound a bit like Tolkein’s Ring series? Part of their journey takes the party through a harsh desert populated by sandworms. Sound a bit like Frank Herbert’s Arrakis? Well, only for a few passages. 

Thya and her companions encounter a series of vividly described obstacles, monsters, alien species, and Thya’s strange, double-edged powers that seem to wax and wane as she tries to control a dark side to them. In short, there’s a lot going on in the journey to save Thya’s people, a populace currently living in caves after being chased from their homes while their Princess lived peacefully in England.

Fortunately, readers don’t need to have read Illusional Reality to jump into and fully understand what’s going on in The Quest. In the first chapters of the fast-paced yarn, Kantas fully lays out what happened in her first book for new readers. More fantasy than sci-fi—by miles—The Quest should appeal to readers who like their settings and characters vividly described with well-developed flaws and motivations. 

Readers who like strong female protagonist should especially like meeting the complex and often conflicted Princess Thya. In addition, The Quest seems a perfect YA novel as I often found myself thinking back to the L. Sprague De Camp and Andre Norton adventures I enjoyed when I was YA myself.
Nothing profound here, nothing preachy. Lots of the fantasy tropes young readers enjoy these days with a nice layer of romance to boot.


This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Jan. 12, 2019:
https://waa.ai/ox0X


Strange Stars

 

 

 

  

 

Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded

Jason Heller

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Melville House; First Edition edition (June 5, 2018)

ISBN-10: 1612196977

ISBN-13: 978-1612196978

https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Stars-Decade-Sci-Fi-Exploded/dp/1612196977?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&psc=1

By: Dr. Wesley Britton

 

 

When I read a blurb describing Strange Stars, my first reaction was that Jason Heller had beaten me to the punch.  I had long thought the connections between sci-fi flavored rock music and sci-fi films and books in the 1970s would make for an interesting critical analysis. I was right, except Heller was a much better critic to pull all the strings together than I would have been. By miles and miles.

The book’s title is a tad misleading if you assume David Bowie will be an important thread in the story. es, Heller bookends the decade with Bowie’s 1971 “Space Oddity” and its 1980 follow-up, “Ashes to Ashes.” Sure, Ziggy Stardust and The Man Who Fell to Earth aren’t neglected. And the book ends with Bowie’s 2018 death and the release of Black Star.

 

But Heller probes a rich well of evidence demonstrating that the ‘70s was the decade when sci-fi began to be taken seriously in popular culture, its impact ignited by two films by Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. The Planet of the Apes also contributed to a growing interest in sci-fi and the phenomena of Star Trek was just beginning its widening cult status. 

 

Sci-fi authors cited by many musicians as influences included Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Burroughs, Philip Dick, and Frank Herbert, among many, many others. To greater and lesser degrees, these writers influenced popular rock musicians like Paul Kantner’s Jefferson Starship (“Blows Against the Empire,”) David Crosby and The Byrds (“Mr. Spaceman,”) Elton John (“Rocket Man”), Black Sabbath (Iron Man”), and the psychedelic Pink Floyd. At the same time, futuristic electronic sounds and cover art helped define Progressive Rock groups like yes and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer (“Tarkus.”)

 

Heller also explores cult favorites including the French Magma, Germany’s Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, Gary Neuman, Devo, as well as the often forgotten Hawkwind, Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come, and the avant-garde jazz figure Sun Ra. And these are but the best known of the musical performers and groups Heller lists and describes in minute detail leaving no rare single or obscure album unturned.

 

Along the way, Heller discusses sci-fi lyrics, the burgeoning use of futuristic synth-sounds, new sub-genres like sci-fi-funk and Kraut-rock, concert events like 1979’s Futurama and the impact of films like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Star Wars and Star Trek. Occasionally he layers in historical events that piqued public interest in space, futuristic technology, and dystopian predictions like the disappointing passing of Comet Kohoutek and the crash of Star Lab.

In his “Acknowledgements,” Heller credits one reader with keeping him from publishing an encyclopedia instead of a story. There are many, many passages where readers could be forgiven for feeling like they’re following long, encyclopedic entries, especially when Heller recites band name after band name, album title after album title.    Such passages might inspire skimming along and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Strange Stars can serve as a reference volume as well as an analysis of an amorphous genre, or at least a many-tentacled realm of popular culture. Strange Stars belongs in pretty much every public library and on the private shelves of both sci-fi and rock lovers. 

 

This review was first published at BookPleasures.com on Dec. 28, 2018:

https://waa.ai/ouMU

 

 

 

 

Alpha Tales 2044: The Beta-Earth Chronicles

Wesley Britton

Print Length: 173 pages

Publisher: Alien Vision (December 9, 2018)

Publication Date: December 9, 2018

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B07KJBSQG5

https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Tales-2044-Beta-Earth-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B07KJBSQG5

 

Reviewed by: Bobbi Chertok

 

5.0 out of 5 stars INTELLIGENT, HUMOROUS and EXCITING. BRAVO!

December 23, 2018

 

Dr. Wesley Britton's "Alpha Tales 2044: A Beta-Earth Chronicles Collection" gives new meaning to the word prequel. His characters spring back to life when their unique physical descriptions are revealed and their deeds and goals come into focus.
Britton visits a fantasy world which shares the same problems as those on Earth. As they seek to cure a devastating virus, we aim to cure cancer. Years into climate change and confronting evil, Dr. Britton's heroes and heroines seek out ways to deal with the very same problems we have on Earth today. Intelligent, humorous and exciting. Bravo!