Tag Archives: book

Review of Two Pairs of Shorts

Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

First, I should note that I went into this book having no idea what it was. I thought the title was quirky enough to be interesting, and I figured I’d give it a shot and see what it was about. It turns out the title is a pun on the four short stories in the book…two pairs. It’s clearly a self-published book, and from the start I could see it isn’t one of the more professional self-publications. There are no page numbers, the text is left-justified (like a Word document that was directly uploaded without formatting), and most of the book is double-spaced, giving it a strange layout. However, I decided to focus on the content itself, rather than letting the formatting anomalies affect my judgment of the book.

The stories themselves were mostly bland. The writing itself is solid enough; the writer knows how to paint a descriptive scene, and the book was mostly free of grammatical errors. But the problem was simply that the stories didn’t go anywhere. One of the stories was nothing more than a man walking to the mailbox, for about twenty pages, while he reminisced about how his life wasn’t going anywhere. Another had a woman doing laundry, for about six pages, while she reminisced about her poor life and her abusive husband. She spends the whole time thinking about having a nice cold glass of lemonade, but the big twist ending (Spoiler Alert!) is that when she goes inside, her husband already drank it!

The only thing that made reading this worthwhile was that two of the stories were kind of funny. Completely predictable and without much plot, but humorous enough that I was entertained. But all in all, I’m glad that I didn’t actually pay for this book.

mani_promoManifestation is available in paperback format through:

CreateSpace and Amazon

and in ebook format through:

Kindle and Nook


Zero Echo Shadow Prime

facebook_cover_01I just finished reading Zero Echo Shadow Prime by Peter Samet. It’s one of the best sci fi books I’ve read in a long time.

The story starts off with a teenage girl, Charlie Nobunaga, finding out she has cancer. As part of an extreme attempt to save her life, her father makes a deal with the head of a corporation that creates advances in artificial intelligence, augmented reality (AR), and robotics. Charlie’s mind is scanned and copied, and as a result, four different versions of her are born. Zero, her original, dying, biological body. Prime, an advanced super-strong robot. Shadow, a computer program that serves as a virtual assistant and companion to a wealthy man. And Echo, a four-armed creation that is forced to duel against a variety of other genetically and cybernetically altered clones in a virtual simulation.

ZESP does an amazing job developing the different aspects of Charlie’s persona and showing how they change once they begin living their separate lives. The book also creates an interesting dystopic future where flying police drones can monitor and control people’s movements, “smart cell” technology allows for digital manipulation of the human body, and radical separationists protest against the loss of humanity caused by the advent of robotics and AI.

In classic sci fi tradition, ZESP develops a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end, and has an ending that, well, I won’t spoil it, but it’s a thrill and a shock that left me wanting more.

If you like sci fi, robots, virtual reality, flame throwers, spaceships, and cyber-terrorism, you should definitely check out this book.

Fallen Son, Darkest Night

Today I’d like to introduce you to an author friend of mine who has a new story that’s just been released. The short story, “Fallen Son, Darkest Night,” serves as a prequel to Melissa A. Petreshock’s debut novel, Fire of Stars and Dragons.

FSDN Cover ArtFALLEN SON, DARKEST NIGHT by Melissa A. Petreshock

After four millennia of waiting for change, the Mother Goddess sees no other recourse but to summon Theo Pendragon to perform his sacred duty as one of the Dracopraesi, imprison her only son in the Underworld, and save her people.

​Given the​ vast destruction Dante has caused ​in the Earthen Realm, Theo is prepared to fulfill Dana’s request​ without hesitation​, but ​when confronted with ​unexpected events and a plea for mercy, will the dragon ​find him worth redemption, or is it too late for this dark soul to seek forgiveness?

FALLEN SON, DARKEST NIGHT is a ​short story companion to FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS (Stars and Souls Book 1). ​Three thousand years before Caitriona Hayden is even born, Dante’s actions and Theo’s decision impact the destiny that awaits them all.

Available October 21, 2014 on Wattpad.

About The Author

Melissa A. Petreshock_ smaller fileMelissa A. Petreshock is a full-time writer and member of the Romance Writers of America with past experience in the medical and educational fields, though she has primarily devoted her adult life to raising a family. Born and raised in Kentucky, Melissa spent a number of years in Massachusetts, living outside Boston and in Springfield before returning to her home state where she now resides on a small farm. She enjoys quiet married life and the silliness of her three children, indulging hobbies of music, Zumba, and a minor television addiction in what little free time she finds. Melissa’s interests include causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention. FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel.

You can find Melissa on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

I’ll be sharing some more info about both “Fallen Son, Darkest Night” and Fire of Stars and Dragons in some upcoming posts and reviews, so stay tuned for more to come.

FSDN - Cannot escape promo teaser

Write One and Revise One By The End Of July

So, I’m a crazy person.

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been making plans for Book Five, while Book One, Manifestation is on the path to publication. I’ve also got to start on revisions for Book Two, Contamination in order to start getting that ready. That’s in addition to working on getting a few short stories prepped.

In the midst of all this, I’ve recently quit my day job (the manager was a crude, abusive, sexually harassing such-and-such who responded to my requests of “Don’t curse at me” by cursing at me more). This has given me a sudden surplus of free time. I’m currently semi-employed: I have two part-time jobs, one as a graduate research assistant, one as a professional blogger for the Rowan University admissions blog. I’m also doing freelance work. And, of course, I’m sending out resumes looking for a full-time professional job in some kind of copywriting or editing position. Until I find something, however, I’ve decided that now is the time to get the rest of these books moving.

Did I mention I’m also in a summer graduate course at Rowan? I think I mentioned that when I said I was a crazy person.

So in between 20 hours a week blogging for Rowan, 10 hours a week doing research, however many more doing freelance assignments, and attending a grad class, I’ve decided I’m going to revise Book Two and write Book Five during the next ten weeks.

Why am I doing it this way? (Aside from being a crazy person.) Well, there’s a few reasons:

1. Manifestation is currently mostly out of my direct day-to-day hands. I’m currently waiting to get it back from my editor, after which point I’ll be sending it to be professionally formatted, and hiring the cover artist. All of those things require very little direct supervision from me, leaving me with nothing to do but wait and chew on my nails. Manifestation will, of course, be the top priority over all other projects (after all, I should get Book One out before worrying so much about Book Five), but there’s a limit on how much I can do with it right now. So focusing on other projects makes sense.

2. Contamination is the next highest priority after Manifestation. Book Two is sitting as a first draft right now, untouched since I finished it in the middle of NaNoWriMo last year. I delayed working on revisions for awhile because I wanted to finished up revisions on Manifestation first. I therefore began writing Book Four, Mutation, simply because it was the best option. I could write Book Four while waiting for Book One to be ready, with plans to start revisions on Book Two after the rest was all done. Except I ended up finishing Mutation about a week ago, after a sudden and unexpected surge of productivity. I had planned on working on it all through the summer before things suddenly came to a head and I wrapped it all up. So with Book Four written and complete, and Book One out of my hands, it makes sense to revise Book Two, right?

3. So then why am I writing Book Five now? Why not wait until NaNoWriMo this November, like I originally planned? Well, that grad class I’m in is a class called, wait for it, “Writing the Novel.” I was planning to write Book Four as part of the class, but that plan is out the tubes now, so it’s time to start Book Five. Now, the class doesn’t expect students to write an entire draft during the course of the summer semester. Our classwork will involve exploring ideas, outlining (blegh), developing characters and settings, and so on. We’ll also be expected to write 6000 words which will be workshopped in class, giving us feedback. I’m sure all of the other students in class don’t plan to write much more than that 6000 during the 10 weeks the class is being held. But I’m the crazy one who decided that if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it NaNoWriMo style and crank out the full novel (expected to be 120,000 words) before class is done.

So there it is. I’ve updated the wordmeter status bars over there —-> to show the new progress I’ll be making. While all five novels are up there, Manifestation, Collapse, and Mutation won’t be changing any time soon. However, expect to see the revision bar for Contamination and the writing bar for Book Five both building steadily over the next two months or so. I plan to have Book Five written by July 31st, and have at least a second (probably a third) draft of Contamination done by the same time. While also getting Manifestation and the short story Belladonna published somewhere in there.

Also, if you’d like to support my craziness, please check out the short story ebook I have out, Radiance. It’ll give you a glimpse into these worlds that I’m creating, and it’s a story I’m rather proud of. The Amazon reviews have called it “hauntingly beautiful,” “well-written, intriguing,” and “totally great.” And if you like it, I promise, I’ll have much more coming in the near future!