Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Of Love and Vengeance by Louise Lyndon - 99 Cent Sale and Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Forced to marry Lord Aymon to ensure her nephews survival, English Lady Laila vows undying hatred for the Norman she holds responsible for so many deaths. Discovering Aymon has committed an act of treason gives her the chance to seek vengeance he deserves.  But will Laila really let Aymon die once she learns the truth?

A hardened Norman warrior, Lord Aymon has lived through atrocities no man ever should. With the invasion of England over, all he wants is a quiet life and a wife who will give him heirs and obey his every command. Instead, he finds himself wed to feisty and outspoken Laila. But when she learns the truth of his treasonous act, can Aymon count on her to keep his secret?

Aymon caught a flicker of movement from a window on the second story. “I think we’re about to meet the welcome party.” An arrow zoomed toward him and landed on the pommel of his saddle. A half an inch closer and he would no longer be able to sire children. As if in demonstration of his ability with the bow and arrow, the shooter fired again. This time directed toward Hugh. The second arrow too came within a half an inch of his friend’s manhood.

 “You missed!” Aymon called toward the shooter.  He questioned his stupidity for mocking someone with such a good aim.

 “You want me to show you how good an aim I really am?” a woman’s voice echoed out across the yard.

“Bloody hell,” Hugh half cursed, half laughed. “Where does a woman learn to shoot like that?”

Aymon was shocked and admittedly a little impressed a woman had such remarkable shooting skills. He could use such a sharp shooter on his side in battle. After all, it was better to have someone so skilled firing for you than at you.

Aymon raised his black leather gloved hand in surrender. “No. I’m firmly attached to my balls, thank you very much.”

“Who are you?” the shooter demanded. “And what do you want? There is nothing of value here for you to steal. Be on your way, man, and leave me in peace.”

“Some would say a female is of value,” Aymon drawled sardonically.

 A second arrow lodged firmly on the pommel between his legs.

 “I do not give third chances. I’ll give you to the count of three to leave. Or else you will find an arrow straight through your heart.”

Aymon’s warhorse whinnied, and he fought to control the beast whose temperament was as black as his coat. “Put down your weapon!”


“We mean you no harm!”


“I am Lord Aymon, and this is Lord Hugh. I’ve come to claim what is rightfully mine.”


The two men looked at one another unsure what to do. “Should we storm the building and lay claim to what is yours?”

Aymon shook his head. He dismounted but never took his eyes from the door to the manor. “She will soon make her appearance.”

Hugh, too, dismounted. “How can you be so sure?”

Aymon looked at his friend. “We do not have arrows through our hearts.”

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Louise grew up in country Victoria, Australia, before moving to England, where for sixteen years she soaked up the vibrancy of London and the medieval history of England. She has since returned to Australia and now lives in Melbourne.

In 2013, Louise won first prize in the historical romance category of the Crested Butte Sandy Writing Contest for her story, The Promise, which has since been retitled and is now known as, Of Love & Vengeance.

On December 19, 2014, Louise's debut novel, Of Love & Vengeance, a historical romance set in medieval England at the time of the Norman invasion, went on world wide release. It is published by The Wild Rose Press. On January 1, 2015, Of Love& Vengeance, hit the paid best seller list on AMAZON UK. Louise is currently working on her second novel.

When not writing, Louise can be found covered in mud, crawling under barbed wire and hoisting herself over twelve foot walls!

Where to find Louise Lyndon:
EMAIL:  louise_lyndon@yahoo.com
: http://louiselyndon.blogspot.com

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/LouiseLyndon

Where to find Of Love and Vengeneance:
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/1zW0SZ3
The Wild Rose Press

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Review for This is What you Just Put in your Mouth? by Patrick Di Justo

Amazon Link
“Don’t stick that in your mouth, you don’t know where it’s been.” - Mom.  

Di Justo and my mother would have gotten along just fine. In This is What you Put in your Mouth? he details the surprises inside everyday things either stuffed in our pie holes or slathered on our person.

The book is divided into two parts. The first deals with items eaten, drunk, or inhaled. From the book’s title one might get the idea the author wags a literary finger advising us to cast suspicious eyes at everything on the dinner plate. Not so. Di Justo’s background is a reporter for Wired magazine. He is simply driven by curiosity and tries to answer the question. What the heck is in this thing?

Each item selected has a clear explanation of the ingredients easily understandable by the layman. Most also include an interesting backstory on how or why the item was chosen. Di Justo is no snob. He admits to a love of A-1 Sauce and then includes an explanation of the ingredients with the help of chef, Alton Brown. As Di Justo states, “If you’re looking for shocking stories of the gigantic corporate conspiracy to poison America through its processed foods, you’re reading the wrong book.” His refreshing attitude is that these products are a part of the world “and you are better off knowing what is in them rather than not knowing.”

The second part of the book deals with everyday items that are not consumable. There are some surprising ingredients. Some I found charming...the cracking pop from color-flame artificial fire logs comes from birdseed. Some I found creepy...leave the Cover Girl LashBlast Luxe off if having a cranial MRI. According to Di Justo, the amount of dark metallic pigment can screw up the picture and be mistaken for a melanoma. Again, backstories produce interesting tidbits. For instance, Play Doh is opaque to x-rays. I don’t know why I find that amusing. More amusing was the author’s personal test with less than flattering results of Just for Men hair color.

I found the book to be a quick enjoyable read, lacking the preachy high-handedness of most books of this genre. Although, I must admit I’m relieved Di Justo didn’t write about Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies. I’d rather not know what’s in them. My head already understands they’re bad for me, but my heart isn’t ready to drop kick them off my personal food pyramid.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Review: Video Game Storytelling: What Every Developer Needs to Know About Narrative Techniques by Evan Skolnick

Video Game Storytelling
Video gaming has come a long way. Once upon a time Pac-Man raced around an uncomplicated maze. The gamers great quest was to get the little guy to swallow all the beads before being eaten by a ghost. It was mindless fun, but hardly epic storytelling. Times have changed. Video games now can contain large casts of characters complete with complicated backstories. With avatars, the players enter through a fictional portal to become actual participants in a digital realm.

Evan Skolnick has produced a very readable guide to the storytelling involved in the creation of these worlds. The book is divided into two parts. Part I is called Basic Training and includes a solid wrap-up of writing techniques. He makes the case that conflict is at the heart of every story and includes very clear explanations about such things as transitions, plot points, and exposition. Each description is punctuated with examples from video games. I found the chapter on believability particularly interesting as he discusses character consistency and when and how to break the rules.

Part II, The Trenches, delves into some of the nitty gritty of video game storytelling. The book does a thorough job detailing all the different facets a writer must consider in order to create believable story, character, and environment. Skolnick also addresses the team aspect of working with concept artists, programmers, musicians, along with the audio engineers who produce the sound effects. He includes a useful example of a character description document needed by team members to maintain consistency during development.

This is well-thought out and well-crafted book. I liked the layout and extent of material covered and would recommend it to anyone interested in developing video games or simply writing in general.

Picky Quibble
This has nothing to do with the content matter, but take a gander at that cover. Whoever approved the blah design should be ashamed. Video gaming revels in vibrant colors and excitement. This cover looks like it was done by middle schoolers in a summer camp class taught by volunteers at an underfunded community center. Don’t be dissuaded from a purchase. While the cover is terrible, the contents are well worth it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.