I had the pleasure of featuring Ronie Kendig on the blog in May last year when Talon, the second instalment in the “Breed Apart” series released. Beowulf: Explosions Detective Dog, the final piece in the puzzle, has recently launched. Ronie was kind enough in her very busy schedule to answer some questions I posed her.
This is a very different Matthew Reilly novel. There’s no Scarecrow, nor Jack West. There is also no hero saving the world with moments to spare from some global calamity.
But don’t let that stop you from reading it as this is Matthew Reilly at his story telling best.
We meet Bess, the young 13 year old daughter of Anne Boleyn & Henry VIII, who goes to Constantinople with her teacher, Roger Ascham, to witness the inaugural World Chess Tournament hosted by the Sultan. Soon after arriving, a prominent Cardinal from the Catholic entourage is found murdered. The Sultan engages Ascham to investigate the murder. In the process of the investigation, conducted in the background to the tournament, further murders are perpetrated to add to the intrigue.
Meanwhile, Bess’s friendly older companion Elsie seeks to win herself a Prince, the son of the Sultan. She spends her nights on various nocturnal exploits which she regales in full detail to Bess the following morning. Yes, this novel features sex, which to his credit, Reilly points out at in his “Author Note” at the beginning of the book stating it to be for mature readers only.
The tournament, the investigation and Elsie’s ambition are all drawn together at the end. There was a degree of predictability which is not typical in a Reilly novel, however, the power of the novel is in Bess’s coming of age story line.
Bess, of course, matures into Elizabeth I, and one of the wonderful aspects of the novel was the fictionalising elements of real people. Fundamentally, this is a story about Bess, and Reilly courageously explores how the experiences in her youth (namely this fictional one) helped mould her into becoming one of Britain’s greatest monarchs. Not to mention that she never married.
Told from Bess’s first person voice, this is a rollicking tale that will delight Reilly’s passionate reader-base as well as introduce new readers to the great story teller that he is.
Erin Healy’s latest supernatural thriller, Stranger Things, comes to stores on New Year’s Eve. Most of you will know I’m a big fan of Erin and when she asked for some bloggers to help promote Stranger Things I was delighted to get the opportunity to feature Erin once again.
*** There is also the opportunity to win one of 10 copies of Stranger Things by using the Rafflecopter link below. You can enter every day this week until Sunday 8 December by visiting the other bloggers during the week.***
Here goes. Let’s start with a brief blurb about Stranger Things.
Introducing Stranger Things
Library Journal says: “Serena Diaz’s teaching career came to an abrupt end when a student falsely accused her of sexual misconduct. Seeking solace in the woods, she discovers that a gang of sex traffickers has taken over a vacant house. Serena is almost captured by one of the criminals but is saved by an unknown man who has been shadowing her. He is shot, and Serena escapes with her life. But she is drawn to know more about this stranger who died for her. What follows is a suspenseful story of danger and pure evil. Whom can Serena trust in a world that seems intent on serving its own self-interests? VERDICT Healy (Afloat; coauthor with Ted Dekker, Burn and Kiss) has written an edgy, fast-paced spiritual thriller that will please Dekker fans.”
I first stumbled across Jim Rubart’s speculative fiction three years ago when I read Rooms. Jim’s clever use of supernatural allegories woven through fast-paced suspense grabbed my attention.
Jim’s novels have become a must read for me. He challenges me to reflect on my walk with Christ as he weaves a story of faith throughout page-turning suspense. Further, I love how Jim describes the ‘everyman’ experience. He has a beautiful gift of being able to share what’s going on in a man’s heart and mind.
Jim released the second in the “Well Spring” series of novels last week: Memory’s Door. I’m currently reading Soul’s Gate, the first in the series, and am struggling to put it down. Great when a story has that effect.
Enough of that, let me hand over to Jim. He was kind enough in his busy launch schedule to answer a few questions I posed him. So without further ado, it’s my absolute pleasure to welcome Jim Rubart:
I’ve been a fan of Ted’s work since being blown away by “Blink” (before it’s title was changed) and “Three” which I read 10 years ago in 2003. (a little aside and piece of Acheson trivia, Three was the very first book I reviewed on Amazon on 9/9/03). I haven’t read all of his novels simply because he has been so prolific, it’s been hard keeping up. The first of Tosca’s standalone novels I read was her most recent “Iscariot”, which was extraordinary. I have to catch up with her earlier work.
It’s a special treat for me they were kind enough to answer some questions I posed them, especially in light of their very busy schedules. Before I share our virtual chat I thought I’d provide a brief background to the series.
I discovered Erin Healy a few years back when I learnt she edited twelve of Ted Dekker’s novels. Erin has edited many other well-known authors including Frank Peretti. For a crazy moment, I think I contemplated contacting Erin to see if I could engage her editing services on Angelguard. Common sense soon prevailed.
Soon after I discovered this, Ted and Erin collaborated on a couple of novels: Kiss and Burn. The editor became the novelist. During this time, Erin published her first standalone novel: Never Let You Go where she explores the “thin places between heaven and earth.” Since then Erin has produced a further 4 novels, including her latest Afloat which was released earlier this month.
I’ve found Erin loves connecting with readers. We’ve had an ongoing dialogue now with the launch plus Erin has written some beautifully penned blog posts that are both revealing a little of what’s in her heart whilst also relating to the themes of Afloat.
Erin’s exploration of the “thin places” plus her remarkable story telling and word crafting abilities continue to inspire and intrigue me.
Having read Trinity, the first in the series, a few months ago, I was eagerly awaiting Talon, the second. It exceeded my expectations. It took me a little while to get into Trinity, but I was hooked on this story from the first pages.
Kendig has created a great character in Dane ‘Cardinal’ Markoski. Cardinal has a troubled past which is intriguing and it simmers below the surface for the entire novel until it crashes into the present in it’s climactic ending. Great, great writing
I hope Kendig builds a series around Cardinal. She has developed a character with wonderful apparent complexity (or is it just male aloofness?) that drives both the action and much of the dialogue.
Aspen, his romantic interest, didn’t really grab me. There was too much reference to flicking curls away but more significantly I didn’t see the underlying strength of character that her colleagues in the book saw.
This week Mike Dellosso who has just launched his latest novel, Fearless, joins us to share a little about his writing and how he manages to juggle all life’s passions and priorities.
I’ve admired Mike and his writing for a number of years now. When I was looking around for endorsers for Angelguard, I was very fortunate that Mike, amongst his very busy schedule, didn’t hesitate to accept my request.
Enough of that, let’s hand over to Mike as he responds to a bunch of questions I threw his way recently.
Many of my readers don’t know much about you, so perhaps if you could share a little about yourself.
Sure, I’m soon-to-be 41 years old, been married for 16 years, have four daughters (ages 14, 12, 10, and 2). I was born in Baltimore, MD and now live in a small town in Pennsylvania. I started writing in 1998 as a way of dealing with a tragedy that occurred in our family. Writing became my therapy, my way of making sense of what had happened. Also, having been a severe stutterer my entire life, writing became a way for me to share myself, my thought, my words, without stuttering. My first novel was picked up and published in 2008 and I’ve published six novels and one novella since then. Fearless is my most recent.
I was fortunate to meet Ronie Kendig at the ACFW Conference in Dallas last year. Ronie is great mates with a certain Melbournian friend, Rel Mollet of RelzReviewz. Rel was kind enough to connect the two of us.
Soon after I read my first Ronie Kendig novel: “Trinity: Military War Dog”, the first in the “A Breed Apart” series. Trinity is the name of a sixty-pound Belgian Malinois (she’s on the book cover below) I was amazed that a relationship between a man and his dog would feature so prominently in a novel series. Having become a dog lover late in life, I was curious how Ronie would manage to share the depth of relationship between the two.
Now this is no ordinary man/dog relationship. This is one between a soldier and his Military War Dog (MWD). I’ve since come to learn that MWDs have a vital role to play in combat situations.
May’s a busy month for new releases from three of my favourite authors: Ronie Kendig’s “Talon”, Mike Dellosso’s “Fearless” and Erin Healy’s “Afloat”. All three authors have kindly accepted my invitation to appear on my wee corner of the e-world. Besides getting to know them a little more and their new novel, we’ll also be giving away their latest and others from their catalogues.
So here’s the plan:
Wednesday 8 May (yes, tomorrow) Ronie Kendig
Wednesday 15 May Mike Dellosso
Wednesday 22 May Erin Healy
So lock the dates in your diaries and spread the news.
And to coincide with the Australian release of Angelguard, I’ll be giving away some copies of my wee novel as well.