Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guest Post by John Vorhaus

By John Vorhaus
Hello to all readers of Jagged Edge. I’m supposed to be here pimping my new novel, Lucy in the Sky (a delightful coming-of-age story set in Milwaukee in 1969, available at www.tinyurl.com/Lucy1969 -- so consider it pimped) but I’d rather use this space to share with you my recent experience of working in Sofia, Bulgaria because it has something to say to writers and teachers, and you might be one or another of these, or both.
I was sent to Bulgaria to recruit and train writers for the Bulgarian version of Married… with Children. Since this whole part of my life, the part where I go running around the world teaching writers, flies in the face of the awful stigma, “those who can’t do, teach,” I was thinking quite a lot about what it means to want to share one’s gifts through teaching, but to fear that it distracts or diverts one from a writer’s life. There’s certainly that risk, but the gain is so bountiful that I always feel I need to take that chance.
And I’m here to tell you that if you do take that chance, you’ll probably have it all.
So Sherman set the way-back machine for 1989. I’m teaching at the Writers Program of the UCLA Extension, while struggling – no doubt I was struggling – to keep my TV writing career afloat. I was definitely burdened at the time, burdened by the above-referenced nostrum about how those who can’t do, blah, blah, blah. Then along came a student who blessed me by saying, “How about those who can do, do both?” The clouds parted, the sky turned blue, and my path – literally – suddenly became clear before me. I could spend half my time writing and half my time teaching, and thereby have a balanced, fruitful life, and not go crazy. Life was good. Bar some random bumps in the road, life has been good ever since. I have built a body of work I can point to with satisfaction (including the fun and frothy Lucy in the Sky – pimp, pimp) and I have introduced thousands of writers around the world to the idea that they, too, can live the writer’s life. I don’t know which achievement pleases me more. Both accomplishments occupy pride of place on my whole-life résumé – the list of things I’ve done that have manifestly made my life worth living. (To see my whole-life résumé, click here.)    
So now I’m in Bulgaria. I’m engaged in the daunting task of taking a 25-year-old television show that was never written with the rest of the world in mind and bringing into the here-and-now of a place where domestic sitcom production has yet to take root, or take flight, or take something, possibly strong analgesics, I know not what. This is an unintentionally hilarious exercise, because part of my job involves just explaining all the cultural references that littered Married… with Children, and whose meaning has often been lost to the sands of time, if, indeed, it was ever clear in the first place.
Consider the phrase I used above, “Sherman, set the way-back machine.” So far as I know, it was never used in Married… dialogue, but if it had been, how would you go about explaining it? “Well, see, there was this cartoon called Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Mr. Peabody was a scientist who was a dog who took this kid, Sherman, on trips to the past via this device called the way-back machine, and in American culture when someone (at least someone of my generation) says, “Sherman, set the way-back machine,” they mean, “Let’s go back in time, but not in an entirely serious way.” Sure, that’s clear. That’d help you if you had to translate that phrase, or even the sense of it, into Bulgarian.
In working with Bulgarian writers, I took pains to point out that theirs was a particularly interesting (by which I mean daunting and potentially frustrating) job of creative problem-solving. Those Married… scripts were pretty tight, especially the early ones, and you couldn’t just go about making changes willy-nilly, lest the whole story unravel like a cheap sweater. So we had to look at the script joke by joke, figure out the intent of each one, consider the cultural references (if any) that drove the joke, then strip the whole thing down to its abstract qualities and rebuild it on a new foundation of cultural references that would work for Bulgaria in 2012. Viewed on that level, script adaptation is really cultural, comic and emotional detective work. It’s one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever done.
Meanwhile, I learned more about Bulgaria than I ever knew or even imagined. I learned about its wars and political history, and how potholes are a national problem and obsession. I learned that its King Ferdinand, in 1910, was the first ruling monarch to fly in an airplane. (True fact, not bar fact.) I packed my brain with new data, made new friends, gathered new information. Can anyone tell me how that wouldn’t make me a better writer?
Strange and wonderful things have washed up on my beach. They keep washing up on my beach, and all because I made the decision years ago not to let my fear of not writing (or my fear of being thought of as a non-writer) keep me from teaching, something I’ve always found richly rewarding to myself and, one hopes, also to others. I commend it to your attention: teach; you’ll learn.
Someone once asked me to describe this part of my business model. I said, “I travel around the world exchanging information for experience and money.” Which is a pretty good gig. In fact, it’s a calling. To put it another way, “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.”
Hmm. There’s a cultural reference I’ll probably have to explain on my next trip.
John Vorhaus has written five novels and many books on poker. His comedy writing text, The Comic Toolbox, is considered a classic how-to book for writers, and will be making money for someone long after he’s dead, buried and gone. He tweets for no apparent reason @TrueFactBarFact and secretly controls the world from www.johnvorhaus.com.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that allows us to spotlight books we are eagerly awaiting to come out.

This week's selection is:

Something like normal by Trish Doller

Publication Date: June 19, 2012

Summary: When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Guest Post by Samantha Gray

Organizing A Book Club in College
If you're in the midst of pursuing your bachelor's degree then you know that reading for leisure is a luxury most seldom have time for. Between having to read 10 chapters of your MicroBiology textbook and reading the excerpts of The Odyssey for your introductory Literature class, it may seem impossible to squeeze in time to read material that you're actually interested in—material often reviewed on this site. But reading for pleasure can actually help you succeed in your classes—it can help you think more creatively and by giving your brain a break from textbook technical writing, you can also absorb different writing styles that can come in handy in essay writing. One of the best ways to make sure that you fit leisure reading in your busy schedule however is to join or organize a book club with friends. To learn the best way to do this, continue reading below.

Establish Purpose
Some book clubs are a "free-for-all"—members will read anything and everything, new or old. But there are other book clubs that have a specific "theme;" for example, all of the book selections are non-fiction, fantasy, or mystery novels.   Decide what kind of book club you want to be before inviting members, which leads us to our next tip—

Invite Friends
The first thing you need to do is find people who are interested in joining your book club. Book clubs can get really large, but if you rather keep things intimate only ask a few fellow book lovers if they'd be interested in joining. Inviting your friends can suffice, but if you'd prefer to make more friends, try asking a few classmates, especially those in your English and Literature classes. You'll get a new book club member and perhaps even a possible study buddy during finals week.

Choose Reading Selection
Since you're the host, it's probably easier if you go ahead and make the first selection to get things going. If you're struggling coming up with a good selection, there are several resources to help you, including Jagged Edge Reviews, Good Reads and The New York Times Best Sellers List.

Establish Meeting Times
The average book club gives their members about a month or so to read the selected book. Asking via social media which time and date works best for them is a great way to check in with everyone's schedule at once. Do note that weekend evenings are probably bad meeting times since people like to do more social activities at this time.

Day of Meeting
On the day of your book club meeting, make sure to have a list of questions that you think would spark up good conversation about the book. Essentially, books clubs are "spoken reviews." Some book clubs even like to watch the feature film adaption  of the book during their meetings and compare and contrast the two. Others just deeply analyze the book. Have members bring snacks for a pot-luck type meal and just enjoy each other's company. At the end of the meeting, ask members to write down book suggestions on a piece of paper. Then add the suggestions in a hat and draw a selection. That book will be read for the following meeting.

About the Author:
This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray, who specializes in writing about online bachelors degree. Questions and comments can be sent to:  samanthagray024@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hey Everybody

It's been a while since I have talked to y'all. As you know we have had a few new reviewers on the blog lately! Many thanks to them and to Moujnir while I was without a computer.

Life has been very busy this year!

I went to Indiana to visit a very dear friend and see his little sister in her musical. It was footloose and she was the best one there! (Aaron and I are rather terrible at taking pictures together)

I wanted to share with you a few pictures from my trip as well as ask a few questions. I hope y'all can bare with me.

As most of you know, I have a lot going on. I was suppose to move at the end of May but that has been post-poned. My cat had to be put down, I have been without a computer for two months. I now realize that my moving post has not actually been posted so maybe none of you know this. hmmm. Oops, well now you do. When I say I have been busy I mean work 12 hours every day, read two books, search for a new car and I am planning to move to Indiana. Doesn't sound like much but it's crushing me with time. I love this blog and all of you who follow so I will never give up on it. I'm very dedicated to making this blog first priority. But I haven't had the resources I had before so bare with me on the lack of material.

I wanted to know how you guys felt about the blog. What you think we should add, change, or remove. Should we label better with the guest bloggers? Should we do more giveaways? I want to make this blog a better place, where everyone loves to come to. So I am open to constructive criticism. 

I still have no new camera so no Vlog IMM's yet.

Lemme know what y'all think, I am grateful for everything!

Review: Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors

Title: Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Jane Jameson (#4)
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: Febuary 28, 2012

Summary: Just as unlife seems to be stabilizing for Jane Jameson, fate returns to sink its fangs and wreak havoc. Despite Jane’s almost-phobic approach to the process, wedding planning is going smoothly. But then Jane happens upon her former babysitting charge, Jamie Lanier, injured and dying outside of a bookstore. When Jamie asks her to turn him, she reluctantly does so and takes Jamie in at River Oaks at the Council’s insistence. Jane’s life is further complicated when Grandma Ruthie dies, only to return to haunt River Oaks. Outside the old house lurks an even more sinister presence. As the faceless threat draws closer, Jane begins to wonder whether she will ever make it down the aisle. Will their friends accept Jamie—the newest, somewhat annoying, addition to their little family? Will Jane ever feel like a nice girl again?

Review: I must say this last book was absolutley amazing! In a way I wish the series could go on forever. I'm quiet sad to see it end. But I did enjoy the last book very much. There were tons of crazy shocking moments. Which holds your attention through out. It was very fast paced and an amazing read. This whole series by Molly Harper is a must read!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day. We want to thank all of the brave soldiers who have served our country and have sacrificed their lives so that we can live ours in peace.

Review: Dead Girls Don't Live Forever

Title: Nice Girls Don't Live Forever
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Jane Jameson (#3)
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 29, 2009

Summary: Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson's sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow -- alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.
Now the children's-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby...or litter. Step Three: Figure out who's been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is suddenly becoming a matter of life and undeath....

Review: I now realize Jane reminds me a lot of Stephine Plum. Well a vampire, book loving version. This book was much easier to get into compared to the second one. I despratley hope her and gabriel dont get back together. I will be completley disapointed. I love the book store I can just imagine what it looks like. ...Ok so maybe I don't dislike gabreal as much as I thought. Love this book and onto Nice Girls Don't bite their neighbors. Yes, I did attempt to read books 2-4 in one sitting.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men

Title: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men
Author: Molly Harper
Series: Jane Jameson (#2)
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: Aug 25, 2009

Summary: Following Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs, the second in a hilarious, smart, sexy romantic series about an out-of-work librarian who is turned into a vampire.
Review: I absolutley love this series but it took me a bit to get into this novel. Too much whiney drama. But as always Jane is amazing. Dick is cocky and forward. Gabriel seems to always have his secrets. Zeb is forever nerdy. Zeb's mother, Jane's grandmother and sister all seem to be the devil incarnet. I love reading books about the south... But it also kind of makes me never want to live there. The mother's are terribly over protective (at least in my books I read... No offence to non over protective southern mothers). Even though it took a bit to get into this book I loved it all the same. I can't wait to get farther into Nice Girls Don't live forever!

With her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she’s expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Jane’s future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiancÉ, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur’s marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Title: Double Dexter
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Series: Dexter (#6)
 Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication Date: 
 October 18, 2011
Reviewer: Ethan

Summary: Dexter Morgan is not your average serial killer. He enjoys his day job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department . . . but he lives for his nighttime hobby of hunting other killers. Dexter is therefore not pleased to discover that someone is shadowing him, observ­ing him, and copying his methods. Dexter is not one to tol­erate displeasure . . . in fact, he has a knack for extricating himself from trouble in his own pleasurable way.
Review: There is really only one rule that all criminals must follow: Don't Get Caught!. In the latest Dexter novel by author Jeff Lindsay, Dexter finds himself in this exact situation.

For those who are not familiar with the novels or the hit television show based off of the characters, Dexter Morgan seems like a normal guy. He has a solid job working as a blood splatter analyst at the Miami Police Department. He has a wife, Rita, a new born baby girl, two step kids, and a sister, Deborah, who is his only living blood relative and who happens to be a detective at the Miami P.D. While Dexter seems like the perfect example of a suburban father, he harbors a dark secret. Dexter is a serial killer. He feeds this habit by only killing those who "deserve their punishment."

The novel opens as Dexter is "punishing" a pedophile in a vacant home. Everything seems to be going as planned until he hears someone enter the home. He rushes to make sure he isn't seen, but he is too late. He sees the person leaving, shadowed by the night, and is left to worry that he has been seen. On top of this, someone is killing cops in Miami. Dexter is summoned by his sister to assist in the gruesome murder investigation, which adds to his stress of family life and trying to discover the person who witnessed his crime. When that person beats him to the punch, contacting Dexter through a blog and threatening to expose his secrets, Dexter becomes engulfed in a race to put a stop to this unknown witness before his entire facade of a life comes crashing down.

The Dexter series has certainly gotten better with age. Jeff Lindsay writes with an assured voice that has grown into a unique style that can only be related to this series. The introspective narratives by the main character perfectly capture the twisted, sometimes sarcastic qualities of Dexter. I particularly appreciate the way Lindsay keeps the novels in their own world. This allows the universe of the novels and the television show to coexist without one seemingly copying the other. While this is by no means a "great" work of fiction, it is certainly an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. Six novels into the series and six seasons into the show, I am definitely hooked!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview/Guest Post with Charlene Keel and Paul Wineman

Guest Blog
Interview with author Paul R. Wineman
By his Co-Author, Charlene Keel

Delighted when Kati asked me to do a guest blog, I knew what I’d most like to share with her readers. He’s one of the most exciting men I’ve ever met—my co-author, Paul R. Wineman, with whom I wrote Seventh Dawn of Destiny. You can see him in action, as a young Army officer stationed in Iran, by following this link to his episode of The Big Picture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ni-EbAgGvw (after you read this interview, of course).

Charlene: What compelled you to write Seventh Dawn of Destiny?

Paul: As a young U.S. army officer stationed in Iran in the early 1960s, I lived an adventurous life, a significant part of it in the Middle East. I remained there throughout the late 1970s, with various studies and business ventures. Because I was in the right place at the right time and knew some of the right people, I became a participant in events occurring in the Arab world that affected America’s role there. At the time they were taking place, I recorded my account of them—and my reactions—so they would stay fresh in my mind. As the years progressed and America’s role in Iran changed, I realized that the best way to preserve and present my experiences would be in a book.

Charlene: Now let’s tell readers how you met me and decided to hire me as your ghostwriter.

Paul: I have many talents but writing exciting fiction is not one of them. I needed a ghostwriter and since by then I lived in southern California I thought a good place to start would be with an ad in the Hollywood Reporter. When the sales rep heard what I was looking for, he told me, “Save your money. A writer just placed an ad looking for clients,” and he gave me your number. You had some pretty solid credentials and that convinced me you were right for the project.

As I began relating my experiences and the way of life I’d led and you became as interested in the story as I was, it was soon clear to me that the success of this project hinged on your ability to capture equal parts of romance and adventure based on the information I gave you—and you didn’t disappoint!

Charlene: What’s the book about and what kind of preparation did you do so that the writing could begin?

Paul: I’ll answer the second part of your question first. I got out all the tapes I’d recorded years before and listened to them again (on an old reel-to-reel machine), and then I turned everything over to you. As you listened to my tapes over and over again, we met frequently so I could answer your questions and review your pages-in-progress.

We decided together on the direction this epic could take—and it was epic. When we finished we had over a thousand pages, which we had to whittle down to a manageable size. As for what it’s about, let me just give you the blurb:

Did the CIA topple the Peacock Throne?
The luxurious lifestyle U.S. army officers once enjoyed in Iran seduces Scott Fallon from the moment he arrives. By falling in love with the daughter of an Iranian general, he gives American oil and arms interests a way to force him into an assassination plot. Assigned a special mission for the Shah, he becomes a friend of the royal family—and the CIA station chief in Teheran has a man in place, should termination become necessary.

“I want you to look at this like a giant game of Monopoly,” Lou said, and Scott wasn’t surprised at his choice of allegory. Lou was not a man who played chess. “And in the Middle East whoever’s got the oil has Boardwalk and Park Place and is therefore unbeatable. It’s all about the oil, Scott. It has always been about the oil and it will always be about the oil.”

Scott is a hero who fights the system when it’s wrong but this time the stakes are incredibly high—the death of the most powerful man in Iran in exchange for the life of Scott Fallon’s son.

Charlene: In the afterword at the end of the book, you say that you lived many of the experiences you talk about in Seventh Dawn of Destiny but you can’t tell us which are real and which are fiction. Why did you decide to write a novel based on events instead of a straight autobiography?

Paul: For an autobiography I’d have had to be too specific about situations in which I was involved that may still carry United States security cover. I thought it best to do a work of fiction so I could incorporate a mix of real events with fictitious ones.

Charlene: Scott Fallon’s adventures get the attention of the Shah of Iran, which we know is actually based on real events in your life. What brought you to the Shah’s attention and what was it like going on a special mission for him that was also very important to the U.S.?

Paul: In June 1963 I was involved in putting down an attempt to overthrow the Shah’s government. When he heard about my participation—and that I’d been the subject of a U.S. Army training film, and that I speak Farsi—he requested that I brief him personally and screen my film for him. I was 25 years old and a U.S. Army Green Beret Officer attached as an advisor to the Shah’s Special Forces Units. I can say no more about that part of my life, but you can read the fictionalized account (which is also pretty exciting) in Seventh Dawn of Destiny.

Charlene: The CIA Station Chief, Lou Michaels, asks Scott to spy on the Iranian paratroopers (and the Shah). In your real-life experiences, did you ever act as a spy? If so, can you tell us some of your adventures (without giving away government secrets)?

Paul: Because of my background in both Iran and the Arab Middle East I often get asked that question—and I can’t answer it with any credibility. If I say, “No,” no one believes me. If I say “Yes,” which I never do, no one believes me because if I really were a spy I wouldn’t be able to admit it. It’s kind of like trying to answer the question, “When did you stop beating your wife?” Whatever I say, I’m guilty!

Charlene: Scott Fallon falls in love with Janous, a beautiful Iranian girl whose father has already promised her in marriage to an Iranian general. Could something like that really have happened in Iran in the 1960s, and could it ever have ended happily for the couple? Why or why not?

Paul: It is conceivable that a young American officer based in Teheran could have met and fallen in love with an Iranian girl—but it is highly unlikely that it could have ended happily. Like Janous, Iranian girls, especially in upper levels of society, had their marriages arranged by their parents, usually to increase family holdings or social position. And, as in our book, these girls had no choice in the matter.

Charlene: One of the most poignant scenes in the books is when, many years after the fact, Janous’s husband tells her that he has always known she was in love with Scott Fallon. We understand that something like that can get a girl killed—literally. Was it true back then that in all Persian families any woman who had an affair before marriage would most likely be put to death by her own husband and father?

Paul: Yes—and it still happens today in the Middle East . . . particularly in tribal areas within families who are not well educated. But it does happen in the educated classes as well.

Charlene: The years you were a soldier in Iran life seemed very luxurious for American army officers, who were respected and welcome. Why did it change?

Paul: The U.S. military was in Iran at the invitation of the Shah, so no one showed any animosity at having us there. Once he fell from power and the Ayatollah Khomeini took over, things changed abruptly. All the Americans were immediately evacuated, with the exception of our embassy staff who remained until November 1979, after they were held hostage by Khomeini’s followers.

Charlene: With your knowledge and expertise in Middle Eastern studies, politics and social customs, what would you say is in the future for relations between the U.S. and Iran? And, do you have any advice for the U.S. government on how to make things better?

Paul: I believe that some time in the future, Iran will again need the backing of the U.S. We should continue a behind-the-scenes dialogue between as many high-level and mid-level contacts as possible, in preparation for that day.

Charlene: What do you hope people will get out of reading this book—besides entertainment?

Paul: In Seventh Dawn of Destiny, we present the inhabitants of that part of the world as just as human as we are. Our Middle Eastern characters have the same desires as we do to be successful, raise good children, have a close family life and become members of a multi-national world—and they love, they hate, they feel, they laugh and they die, just like us.

Charlene: You now own a consulting company that advises corporations on how to do business in the Middle East (and internationally), with some pretty impressive clients over the years, including Anheuser-Busch, Litton Industries, ConAgra, DeKalb Genetics and Apple Computers. Where is your company headed in the future?

Paul: I continue to work as a professional negotiator for Fortune 500 companies interested primarily in doing business in the Middle East.

Charlene: You have another amazing book that would be beneficial to anyone who ever needs to negotiate anything (especially authors). Where can people find that?

Paul: About 13 years ago, at the suggestion of one of my corporate clients, I wrote The Sweet Art of Negotiation, which encompasses the fundamentals of what one has to do to become a good negotiator. It’s basically a primer on negotiation, broken down into short sections. It’s available on Amazon.com or directly through my company at http://trainingnegotiation1.com/who.html.

Charlene: If Seventh Dawn of Destiny were made into a movie, who would you cast to play Scott Fallon? Janous? Susan (the American girl Scott marries)? Lou Michaels? General Sadeghi (Janous’ husband)?

Paul: I think Matt Damon would be perfect as Scott Fallon and I see Angelina Jolie as Janous. For Susan, it’s a toss-up between Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman—I’d be thrilled with either one—and for Lou Michaels, Tommy Lee Jones would be perfect. For General Parviz Sadeghi, Iranian-American actor John Abraham looks absolutely right for the role.

And The Sweet Art of Negotiation at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Book Alert: Suffocate by S.R. Johannes

Hey guys! Today we would like to introduce a cool new novella, called Suffocate by S.R. Johannes, that was recently released on May 21st! It looks really good, and right now its only .99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! You can also find the book to add to your list on Goodreads.
Here is a little about the book:

“For centuries, the world outside the Biome has been unlivable. Today, marks the first time anyone will attempt to leave the suffocating ecosphere. Eria is not worried because her scientist father has successfully tested the new Bio-Suit many times. It's a celebratory day until something goes horribly wrong. In the midst of tragedy, Eria uncovers a deep conspiracy that affects the very air she breathes. 
If those responsible find out what she knows, they won't stop hunting her until she takes her last breath.”

And a few more details:
Suffocate is the first novelette in THE BREATHLESS series. It is a 15,000 word young adult thriller that combines the dystopic and science fiction genres.

The 2nd novella in the series, CHOKE, is scheduled for Fall 2012. The 3rd, EXHALE, is scheduled for Winter 2013.
Sounds awesome, right? ;)

Here is a little bit about the author:

S.R. Johannes is author of the Amazon Bestseller Untraceable and a current nominee of the Georgia Author of the Year in the Young Adult category. After earning an MBA and working in corporate america, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta Georgia with her goldendoodle Charley (notice he is listed first :), her British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.  You can find her hanging out online and visit her at srjohannes.com

You can also find S.R. Johannes on:
Goodreads Author Page

Interview with Cynthis Sally Haggard

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I'm Cynthia Sally Haggard, author of THWARTED QUEEN. I was born and raised in Surrey, England but have lived in the US for 30 years. Yes, I am related to H. Rider Haggard, author of SHE and KING SOLOMON'S MINES.

What inspired you to write?
It was a complete accident. I was making a transition from bench scientist to science writer and I signed up for some creative writing courses to improve my prose. I became hooked on creative writing.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
Since I write historical novels, I was influenced mainly by other writers of the genre. People like Phillippa Gregory, Elizabeth Chadwick, Margaret George, Rosemary Sutcliff, Juliet Mariller and Elizabeth Goudge.

What is your favorite quote?
"Tomorrow is another day"

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
The Paris of Ernest Hemingway, as described in PARIS WIFE.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
Every person who writes to sell a book must set themselves to learn the craft of writing properly, and realize that this is a life-long process.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
I like to read about subversive women, and that is what I like to write about too. So no, I think the books I try to write are like my personal favorites.

What led you to writing in this genre?
I read historical novels as a child, and have continued to read them throughout my life. It is a natural fit for me.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Dreaming about characters and the difficulties they get themselves into.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
I love writing, so don't really have a least favorite part.

What are you currently working on?
A novel set in Sicily in the early middle ages.

Where readers can find you?

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
No. I enjoyed answering your questions. Thank you for interviewing me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that allows us to spotlight books we are eagerly awaiting to come out.

This week's selection is:

Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Publication Date: October 16, 2012

Summary: In the must-read tenth installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling vampyre series, Darkness won’t stay hidden for long… 

Now in Hidden, the tenth installment of the series, the stakes are higher than ever before.

Neferet’s true nature has been revealed to the Vampyre High Council, so Zoey and the gang might finally get some help in defending themselves and their beloved school against a gathering evil that grows stronger every day. And they’ll need it, because Neferet’s not going down without a fight. Chaos reigns at the House of Night.
What books are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Review: Klonopin Lunch by Jesscia Dorfman Jones

Title: Klonopin Lunch 
Author: Jesscia Dorfman Jones
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: July 17, 2012

Summary: By her late twenties, Jessica Dorfman Jones had dutifully achieved everything she thought she was supposed to: marriage, law degree, high-paying job, nice apartment in Greenwich Village. But she was miserable and felt like she was living a life that wasn't hers. Desperate to change her status quo and figure out who she really was, Jessica went about the business of making a change by demolishing the life she knew. She threw her good-girl image aside and set out to unleash the very bad girl she had never before tried to be.

Embracing the deliciously debauched world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Jessica leaves behind her sweet and well-behaved husband for the ultimate bad-boy guitar player, starts her own band, and parties harder than she had ever thought possible. She starts a band, puts her job in jeopardy, and causes her friends and family no end of worry with her illicit behavior. And then, in the midst of her self-created chaos, the wildest thing of all happens. She figures out who she is, who she most definitely is not, and what might, if she's lucky, come next.

Klonopin Lunch
 is Jessica’s wickedly funny and uncensored journey down the rabbit hole and back out again, into a life that, at last, makes her truly happy.

Review: I feel I have no real place commenting on this book because it is a memoir. I always feel like I might step out of place so instead I will say this. In a way Gideon kind of reminds me of a friend of mine. The book is well written and leaves nothing (as far as I can tell) out. I believe she told her story in the best way possible. If you like memoir's about people who turn their life around this is for you. I found the ending to be exceptionally touching.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Character Interview

Interview with Jessie Boone

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us. My name is Georgia Cates and I am the author of the recently released novel, Going Under. Today, I will be interviewing Jessie Boone, my leading protagonist.

Georgia: Hi, Jessie. I’m so glad you are able to join us.
Jessie: I’m glad to be here. It’s good to see you again, Georgia.
Georgia: Why don’t we start our interview with something easy and light-hearted? In Going Under, you were never aware of the plan to punk you by Claire and Payton. What was your reaction when you found out? Or did you know?
Jessie: (Laughing) Yeah, I know about it. It was several months before I accidentally found out about that and “The Coitus Hiatus Plan.” Payton let it slip one night when she had too many drinks at a party, but I wasn’t mad. How could I be? The whole charade is what brought us together. And it made me more than glad to tell her how the whole Gretchen thing was only a ploy to cause her jealousy.
Georgia: And what did Claire think when you told her you tricked her into being jealous?
Jessie: She didn’t care for it very much, but we can both laugh about it today. Besides, she couldn’t really say much about it because it wasn’t really different from what she was doing with Forbes.
Georgia: Good point. Tell us when you knew you loved Claire.
Jessie: I knew very early in our relationship that I could fall in love with her, but I didn’t know for sure until the moment she made me see that I might be lost, but I wasn’t a lost cause.

Georgia: Do you have any regrets?
Jessie: I did some hurtful things to Claire and I’m sorry I caused her pain, but I wouldn’t take back a thing because all of those events led us to where we are now. I’m a better person today because of it. How I could say that I would take back something that ultimately led us to this happy place we’re in now?
Georgia: Last question...Did Claire ever go with you to get more tattoos?
Jessie: (Laughing) Yep! (Pulling up sleeve) Claire chose this herself. Nice, right?
Georgia: Good choice. Did you talk her into one?
Jessie: I’ll never tell.
This concludes our interview with Jessie Boone. I hope you enjoyed getting a brief glimpse of him outside of Going Under.
We pulled into the parking lot of the school and Payton parked behind the sexy badass’ junked out truck. He was still sitting in his old clunker and I thought I saw a cigarette in his hand, then he confirmed my suspicion when I saw him raise it to his lips for a drag and the tip glowed fiery orange. Gross.
“Why did you have to park behind him?” I huffed as I felt heat rise to my neck and face.
“What’s your deal with him, Claire?” she asked, then looked at me and said, “Your face is beet red. What is wrong with you? Are you blushing?”
Getting out of the car at the same time meant walking into school next to him and that wouldn’t make Forbes happy. Payton didn’t understand the ruckus this would cause because she didn’t have a boyfriend and it didn’t help matters that she couldn’t stand Forbes. She thought I was weak and trying to please him, but the truth was that I just didn’t feel like hearing Forbes whine anymore.
“I want to avoid the need to explain to Forbes why I’m walking into school with the guy he hates. It will just start an unnecessary argument I don’t want to have first thing this morning.”
“With the risk of repeating myself, screw Forbes. I’m not parking in the back of the parking lot and walking an extra mile to spare his insecure feelings and if you have to explain that, then you should dump his ass.”
I knew she was right. I was a poodle jumping through hoops to keep the peace and it was ridiculous in addition to exhausting.
“I’m not arguing how ridiculous it is, but can we at least get ahead of him so I don’t have to explain why we’re walking in together?” I pleaded.
She huffed and said, “This is friggin’ ridiculous, you know that, right? Your life might revolve around what Forbes Henderson wants, but mine doesn’t.”
When Payton didn’t move fast enough to suit me, I scrambled out of her car, leaving her behind. I watched a cigarette butt fly out of the new guy’s driver’s side window and then his door swung open in front of me, preventing my escape. He stepped out of his truck, looked down at me and grinned as he said, “Pardon me, Princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.”
His voice was velvety smooth, but I didn’t mistake its coolness as his tone conveyed his contempt for me. His unmistakable disdain for me immediately raised my hellcat flag because he had nothing to base his aversion on since he didn’t know me.
This was our first time face to face and up close. The other times I saw him was when I stole a few glances during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks when I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me.
I realized he was so much more handsome than I originally thought now that his face mask wasn’t obstructing my view. His hair was as black as I expected, and spikey, and his pale blue eyes were piercing. The contrast of their paleness against his dark hair was almost shocking and I had to force myself to avoid becoming lost in them.
I was angry with him for making assumptions about me, but I was more furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I tasted my bitter reaction as it formed on my tongue, but couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “Asshole.”
He placed his hand over the left side of his chest where his heart would be and said, “I felt that straight to my heart.”
I watched him shut his door while he waited for my counterattack and I pushed past him as I said, “Screw you and my name is not Princess. It’s Claire, so if you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll stick with Princess. It seems to suit you better,” he said to my back as I walked away.
I couldn’t be certain flames weren’t coming off the heels of my boots as I practically ran away, but Payton managed to catch up with me and said, “I’m totally disgusted by you, Claire.”
“And why would that be?” I almost yelled.
“That was one of the best displays of underthinking I’ve ever seen. He bested you and I know I taught you better than that. You basically rolled over. How can I call you my best friend when you caved so easily? And by the way, you’ve got something on your ass.”
I spun around to look at the back of my dress as I pulled the skirt part around to look and said, “What is it?”
“Hot New Guy’s eyes.” She died out laughing and said, “Sorry, Claire, but you walked right into that one.”
I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips as I said, “Maybe you’re the bigger asshole of the two of you. You should definitely be a couple.”
“That lacked creativity and it’s insulting to me as your slander master. We have to work on your comebacks because you are seriously letting me down,” she said, then added, “I wish you could see your face right now. Whatever he just did to you has you clueless. You can’t decide if you should be pissed off at him or hot for him.”
I turned to look at this crazy person I called a bestie standing next to me. “I’m jealous of whatever you are smoking because it has you completely reality challenged.”
“He got it all wrong when he called you Princess. He should have called you Queen of Denial because you’ll never admit what’s going on here,” she accused.
It was just like Payton to draw a conclusion with no real evidence to support her theory. “I have no idea what kind of nonsense you’re talking about.”
“I hope he got plenty of rest last night because his legs are gonna be real tired after he runs through your mind all day,” she laughed, making me livid.
I noticed myself stomping as I walked toward the school entrance. “You must have taken your sleeping pill this morning instead of last night because you are definitely dreaming.”
“When you look back on this moment months from now, don’t forget the one word I’m about to say to you, Claire Deveraux. Foreplay.”

Author Info:

I reside in rural Mississippi with my wonderful husband, Jeff, and our two beautiful daughters. I spent thirteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an author. Blood of Anteros, Book One in The Vampire Agápe Series, was my first novel and it was released in September 2011. I decided to step away from the paranormal genre to try my hand at a young adult romance and I loved it. It was so much fun, I plan to do it again in the near future.  

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