MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bookend Chronicles Reviews The Messiah Matrix

The Messiah Matrix

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity
Upon first viewing the title and cover of The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity, my curiosity was certainly piqued. My mind instantly ran to a familiar literary bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. Of course, keeping comfortably to that frame of thought would have been quite an injustice.

As the book commences on a wholly vicious murder of a monsignor, the reader is thrown into the inner litany of Father Ryan McKeown's confusion and profound revelation.

" 'The monsignor said,' he gasped, 'Find Father Ryan... memory in the ashes of Jasius...in the Gesu.' Then the man's eyes closed as he breathed his last and made his way to the eternal gates that Ryan's absolution may or may not have opened for him."

"Not only was he wrestling with the shock of dual murders but Ryan's doubts about his faith now consumed his every waking moment and haunted his nights. It was mind versus spirit..."

Enter Emily Scelba, an archaeologist who joins Father Ryan in his quest for answers. From the death of Monsignor Isaac to the strangely evolving discoveries within the gaping questions about religion and faith, there is a certain aura of  determination in the danger laden journey of the main characters.

"He made his way through the labyrinth of shaded arcades and near-hidden passageways, so intent on his destination that nothing else fazed him."

Atchity has woven a brilliant story meshing the divergent lives of various characters within the fabric of this riveting novel. His careful approach in delineating the complex and, oftentimes, turbulent aspects of human nature are indicative of his immense writing skills.

There is nothing leisurely about this book. From the first sentence to the end of the last page, the reader is filled with an intense need to fill the subsequent divide that appears within the vivid narration of the story. The deft skill utilized in displaying the tangible sense of danger, the need for certain knowledge, and the question of faith, evokes the same emotions within the reader.

Kenneth John Atchity was a professor of literature and classics at Occidental College in Los Angeles 1970-87. He also represented writers of both fiction and non-fiction, accounting for numerous bestsellers and movies he produced for both television and big screen. He has drawn on his expert knowledge of Christian history and his classical training to write The Messiah Matrix.

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity, 2012 ISBN 978-095721-890-1

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reader's Haven Reviews Dr. Fuddle and The Gold Baton

"Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton" by Warren L. Woodruff

About the book: When the dark musician Jedermann and his fierce Seirens of Dis gain control of the legendary Gold Baton, Tyler, his sister Christina, and their friends are drawn into a perilous adventure foretold by an ancient prophecy.  Guided by the mythical Dr. Fuddle, the explorers must leave earth and journey to Orphea. Will the Messengers of Music be able to save the world of the immortal composers from chaos and destruction? For them to have even a chance at victory, they must master the most difficult instruments of all—themselves. Both children and adults can enjoy this delightful tale of the beauty and power of music. Both educational and entertaining, readers are drawn into an experience with composers, instruments and music that are in the end victorious.


Review:  Children of all ages would enjoy this book, but it is especially suitable for upper elementary readers.  This novel is a wonderful mix of fantasy and information about classical musicians and their works.  The book reminds me in many ways of the C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books or the mystical world of Harry Potter.

The story centers around Tyler and his sister Christian along with three of their friends who have been swept into a perilous adventure foretold by an ancient prophecy.  Dr Fuddle guides The Messengers of Music as they work to be able to save the world of the immortal composers from chaos and certain disaster.  To be victorious, the explorers must master the musical instruments they have been chosen to play, but more importantly, they must learn to master themselves.

Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to famous classical composers from ages past as well as a myriad of instruments and musical terms.  The reader finds him/herself learning much about music history and theory through the pages of this book.  I would recommend this book with the warning that the reader needs to be aware that it indeed is a fantasy filled with beings and notions that are not reality in this world. (reviewed by J. La Tour)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Writing Treatments to Sell Will Be Featured on BookBub as Free Download From June 29th to July 1st!


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

WHY Marketing for Freelance Writers!





purchase on Amazon.com



WHY Marketing
for Freelance Writers!
A REMARKABLY POWERFUL WAY TO ATTRACT, ENGAGE & CONNECT. FINALLY.
By Dr. Kenneth Atchity and Ridgely Goldsborough, Esq.
Foreword by Rick Frishman


STORY MERCHANT BOOKS
BEVERLY HILLS
2013


Dr. Kenneth Atchity joins with internet marketing guru Ridgely Goldsborough to bring you this breakthrough program for expanding your reach as a free-lance writer through communicating your WHY? instead of your HOW?

Prospective clients want to know you share a common belief system, and care more about how you see your work for them than they do about your credentials!

Learn techniques here to project your inner motivation through the multiple networks available to you in today's world! 

Happy birthday, Becky DeKay!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Messiah Matrix: An important book and a great read

I have for several years held the belief, arrived through observation of commonly known facts, that the Roman Catholic Church was simply an evolution of the Roman Empire, morphed as it were to a new purpose. The Caesars morphed into the Popes, so to speak, with the last vestige of the original empire being the Roman Catholic Church we see today. KJ Atchity’s 'The Messiah Matrix' put ample scholarly meat behind my lay observations and pinpoints exactly why and how this evolution took place. I have to say that the book, written not as a boring scholarly work but as a riveting thriller, was an astounding wake-up call regarding the origins of Christianity and, moreover, the Cult of Personality that surrounds many religions as they often tend to separate people into spiritual camps rather than see them as unique expressions of a single spiritual reality. For at the end of the day, the message of all great spiritual masters is that every human being is capable, individually, of enlightenment and of the ‘Christ Consciousness.' This has certainly been the message of the great teachers of the East, including many yogis and saints from India and Tibet. Atchity’s engrossing, powerful book lays bare how we need to bring spirituality back to its true purpose and encourage religious institutions to seek common ground centered on individual spiritual potential, not separate us based on the ‘rightness’ of a particular view. Bravo Ken Atchity for your courage and intelligence! 

Five Stars By Don Thompson

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Informant Media's Next Film ...





STUCK IN LOVE





Produced by Judy Cairo

Written and Directed by Josh Boone

Starring Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Jennifer Connelly, Kristen Bell, Nat Wolff, Logan Lerman


Three years past his divorce, veteran novelist Bill Borgens (Academy Award® nominee Greg Kinnear) can’t stop obsessing over, let alone spying on, his ex-wife Erica (Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly), who ignominiously left him for another man. Even as his neighbor-with-benefits, Tricia (Kristen Bell) tries to push him back into the dating pool, he remains blind to anyone else’s charms. Meanwhile, his fiercely independent collegiate daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) is publishing her first novel while recoiling at the very thought of first love with a diehard romantic (Logan Lerman); and his teen son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is trying to find his voice, both as a fantasy writer and as the unexpected boyfriend of a dream girl with unsettlingly real problems. As each of t hese situations mounts into a tangled trio of romantic holiday crises, it brings the Borgens to surprising revelations about how endings become beginnings.

Release Date: July 5, 2013
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rated R by the MPAA for language, teen drug and alcohol use and some sexual content.





Monday, June 24, 2013

Second Glance Book Reviews ... looking forward to Dennis Walsh's Nobody Walks

  ... my next book, Nobody Walks by Dennis M. Walsh. Because it is a true crime story I can hardly wait to read it.

In 2003, Christopher Walsh was found stuffed in a trash barrel in a storage locker in Van Nuys, California. After the dilatory murder investigation took seven months to file charges, and ten years to go to trial, Dennis Walsh knew it was up to him to keep his little brother’s murder from becoming a cold case.

The only son of a large Irish American family to stay on the straight and narrow, Dennis found his family’s dubious background paired with his law degree placed him in the unique position to finish the job the cops couldn’t. Fencing with the police and the DA’s office, Dennis spent years slinking between his life as a stand-up lawyer and hitting the streets to try to convince the dopers, thieves, prostitutes, porn stars, and jail birds that populated Christopher’s world to come forward and cooperate with the police. Yet he walked a fine line with his harsh tactics; prosecutors continuously told him he was jeopardizing not only the case, but his life.

Staying on the right side of the law to hunt down these murderers put every part of Dennis to the test and it wasn’t long before the brother who went clean knew he’d have to get his hands dirty. But 100 arrests later, the murders are in jail for life.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Four Star Review For Story Merchant's Realms of Gold by Terry Stanfill : "This book should be read and re-read and put in a special place on your shelf."

REALMS OF GOLD by Terry Stanfill

REALMS OF GOLD                               4 STARS
RITUAL TO ROMANCE
by Terry Stanfill

 

 REVIEW:
 

The book REALMS OF GOLD has a little of everything.  Suspense, mystery and romance all in one.  Lots of detail which makes the story more interesting. Giovanni Di Serlo and Bianca Caldwell are both at a wedding in Italy.and they realize they have so much in common. Bianca writes for an art magazine and Giovanni is an archaeologist working secretly in Puglia. He  thought her as just a plain woman.  She was quite taken with him.

The author takes you into the real character. Their hearts and minds of Giovanni and Bianca as they journey through Europe   REALMS OF GOLD follows a 2500 year old mystery.  This book is full of historical information and lots of surprises.  Slowly a romance develops. This journey through time takes the reader to Celtic Vix Burgundy, France and south of Italy. The author takes images from long ago and blends in romance.  It has so much to take in. If you find the ancient world fascinating, this is the book for you.  The book is wonderfully written and researched.  This book should be read and re-read and put in a special place on your shelf. The book should be read by everyone.  It's a good read and educational also.



OVERVIEW: (FROM  SHELFARI)


In 1953 archaeologists near Châtillon-sur-Seine, France discovered a massive bronze krater in the grave of a Celtic woman. Although the Krater was discovered in Burgundy, it was cast in Southern Italy circa 510 B.C. and made its way to Vix, a village at the foot Mont Lassois, once Latisco, an important Celtic trading citadel. Bianca Evans Caldwell, a writer for a New York art magazine, came upon the Krater accidentally and becomes obsessed with the great vessel and with the princess-priestess buried with it. Since then, Bianca has returned to the museum in Châtillon-sur-Seine six times to admire the Krater of Vix.
It is July, 2007, and Bianca finds herself in Venice for a family wedding, where she meets Giovanni de Serlo, an Italian archaeologist. Neither Bianca nor Giovanni wanted to attend the wedding but they both felt a family obligation to be there and soon become friends. After the weekend Bianca returns to New York City, Giovanni to Puglia, where he is working on an excavation.


When Bianca enters her apartment she finds it has been ransacked, although nothing seems to have been stolen. She finds a strange symbol written on a scrap of paper in her kitchen, and learns that it might be a Mafia warning. After more frightening and puzzling occurrences Bianca decides she must leave New York. She flees to Italy to visit Giovanni, who had promised to drive her to Calabria to see the site of the no longer existing Sybaris, in ancient times a city notorious for its wealth and luxurious living. At Sybaris, Giovanni shows her his secret find in an old farmhouse, a discovery which startles Bianca.
Giovanni and Bianca learn that they might now be in danger if they remain, and decide that they will make the journey from Sybaris to Burgundy, following the ancient route of the Krater.


As the story unfolds Bianca begins to write about the Krater, how, why and with whom it made its journey from the south of Italy to be buried in the earth of Vix.
When they arrive in Châtillon-sur-Seine they learn of yet another remarkable recent discovery atop Mont Lassois. Bianca's intuitive conclusion of what the Krater meant to the ancient Celts, and its connection and significance to Arthurian legend bonds the two together in a romance that could just be forever.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Books aren’t dead yet Self-publishing fans and the tech-obsessed keep getting it wrong: Big authors want to be in print -- and bookstores



Without a doubt, book publishing is an industry in a state of flux, but even the nature of the flux is up for grabs. Take a recent example of the traditional tech-journalism take on the situation, an article by Evan Hughes for Wired magazine, titled “Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future.” The facts in the story are indisputable, but the interpretation? Not so much.

The news peg is the success of a self-published series of post-apocalyptic science fiction novels, “Wool,” by Hugh Howey. Available as e-books and print books from Amazon, the series became a hit, and Howey recently sold print-only rights to a New York publisher, Simon & Schuster. Print-only because Howey and his agent determined that they were making plenty of money selling the e-books on their own.

Wired characterizes this as a “huge concession” on the part of Simon & Schuster, and in one sense it is: The publisher won’t receive any e-book revenue, and it is in e-book format that “Wool” has seen its success so far. On the other hand, “Wool” is not only already very popular among the genre fans who made it an e-book bestseller, it’s also an object of curiosity for the many otherwise-uninterested people captivated by Howey’s rags-to-riches story in the Wall Street Journal. (By far the best-selling e-book by self-publishing exemplar John Locke is not one of his thrillers, but “How I Sold One Million E-Books.”)

Yes, it’s notable that Simon & Schuster shelled out a six-figure advance for this deal, but publishers have been known to offer similar advances for books that they only hope will find a large audience. “Wool” is that rare thing in book publishing, a known quantity, and a series on top of that, so there are multiple titles to sell. There is surely a sizable untapped market for print editions of “Wool” because e-books remain only 25 percent of the book market.

If print could talk, it would surely be telling the world, Mark Twain-style, that reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. The market for e-books grew exponentially after Amazon introduced the Kindle, and it’s still one of the most fascinating and unpredictable sectors of a once hidebound industry. But the early-adapter boom is showing signs of flagging and the growth of the e-book market appears to be leveling out. E-books are definitely here to stay, but it seems that many, many readers — a threefold majority, in fact — still prefer print.

...  New self-publishing enterprises are a godsend for traditional publishers because they can take much of the uncertainty out of signing a new author. By the time a self-published author has made a success of his or her book, all the hard stuff is done, not just writing the manuscript but editing and the all-important marketing. Instead of investing their money in unknown authors, then collaborating to make their books better and find them an audience, publishers can swoop in and pluck the juiciest fruits at the moment of maximum ripeness. As Hughes points out, that’s exactly what happened with erotica blockbuster E.L. James.

Why do self-published authors — including James, Amanda Hocking and now Howey — go along with this? Some, like Hocking, are simply tired of being publishers as well as authors and would prefer to devote themselves to writing. But for many the answer is simple: print. While most self-publishing platforms, including Amazon, do offer print options, they aren’t able to effectively distribute print books to the best places to market them: bookstores.


Read more

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TODAY: Download Writing Treatments to Sell FREE from amazon.com

As part of this interview, the Story Merchant is announcing a giveaway: For twenty-four hours starting with this MA post you can download Writing Treatments to Sell FREE from amazon.com

 

Writing Treatments to Sell - Kenneth Atchity

Writing treatments that sell is a first book of its kind devoted entirely to the function of treatments in film and TV and how to write and present effective ones. The book is a collaboration by Kenneth Atchity and Chi-Li Wong, partners in Atchity Entertainment International, Inc.

Kenneth and Chi – MA is sincerely honored by your willingness to share your knowledge and adventure relating to this new book. So without any further ado here are all our questions.

What made you initiate the idea of providing a guide like Writing Treatments to Sell? 

The most frequent question we were getting from clients—novelists as well as itinerant screenwriters was “what is a treatment?” We realized that book answering this question would be helpful.

Who was your target audience? 

The book’s target audience is anyone who wants to write or sell a story to the motion picture or television world.

Who ended up putting pen to paper?  

We have a process where we outline the content together, Chi-Li takes a shot at the first draft, then Kenneth does the next, etc.

Is the book specifically targeted for the film industry only? 

Although we targeted the book to the film industry, in the years since it was first published we've learned that its useful to writers of all kinds—children’s books, novels, etc.—because it helps them to “get the story straight” before launching into the actual drafting.

Why a book based specifically on treatments? 

Because a treatment is a unique creature that will never itself see publication or production, and therefore everyone wonders why it even exists.

What is a “treatment?” 

To quote directly from the book: “A treatment is a relatively brief, loosely narrative written pitch of a story intended for production as a film for theatrical exhibition or television broadcast. Written in user-friendly, dramatic, but straightforward and highly visual prose, in the present tense, the treatment highlights in broad strokes your story’s hook, primary characters, acts and action line, setting, point of view, and most dramatic scenes and turning points.” The book goes into detail about the meaning of each phrase in this definition, distinguishing the treatment from “coverage,” “synopsis,” “outlines,” among others.

The Story Merchant itself is all about content, branding and consultation in the entertainment and media arena. How does this book tie into the bigger plan of Story Merchant? 

This book, like Atchity’s How to Publish Your Novel or Write Time: A Guide to the Creative Process, from Vision through Revision is a tool by which the Story Merchant shares experience in the commercial world of stories with aspiring storytellers.

Does reading the book create a sense of more business for Story Merchant or is it more directed towards internal growth for each and every writer / screen writer? 

We can’t spend time with every storyteller out there who needs guidance, so we wrote this book to  help anyone who’s motivated enough to buy it—now available in ebook for the first time. But that’s not to say Story Merchant has found coaching clients through this and Atchity’s other books.

Being an aspiring author myself, I find that optimism and endurance are two of the main things to hold onto while craving for acknowledgement towards your own work, what is your advice towards fellow aspirers who look up to yourselves for hope? 

We’ve learned that hope is great, but determination is even better, when it comes to success. Just keep working on your career, whether you’re in a good mood or not, whether you’re hopeful or not. Work is the only sure road to success.

On your website – The Story Merchant – you have your section related to writing Treatments that sell categorized under the following subtitles:
  • Reviews of Writing Treatments To Sell.
  • Why a book on treatment.
  • What is a treatment?
  • Writing treatments that sell excerpt.
  • About A Writer’s Time.
  • Reviews of The Classical Greek Reader
  • Reviews of The Mercury Transition.
  • Reviews of The Classical Roman Reader.
  • Reviews of The Renaissance Reader.
  • Reviews of Cajun Household Wisdom

While the first 4 topics are clearly related to the obvious could you explain the collaboration on the balance? What defines these topics? 

Simply that they’re all books from Kenneth Atchity.

In general how has publishing and moving into the entertainment industry changed for writers. I mean – I myself sometimes wish that I had started writing ten years earlier as it seems as if the market might have been less chaotic. In today’s time it’s as if everyone can put pen to paper and call themselves an author. How do you define the word author, writer? 

A writer is someone who WRITES, and who cares enough about her writing to find an audience for it. While everything else has changed, that definition has not changed and will not change.

Last but not least, what else can people look forward to? Being in the industry you are it is important to recreate your image and stay in the zone with current trends, how do you intend on moving forward while carrying the weight of years and years’ experience in the existing field? How do you mould yourself to be eye catching and present in the future?  

More books are in the works, focused on marketing your writing and on selling your writing, as well as a just-completed book of quotes for writers. We move forward by changing because we respond to a changing world.

As always, thanks a lot for your presence and willingness to Share.  

Thanks for providing this wonderful forum.



Kenneth Atchity is known as the Story Merchant. Why has he been defined accordingly? 

The Academy of Cybertoria Reviews The Messiah Matrix

The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity

The newly published fiction novel, The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity is a unique hybrid of a detective story, history, and religious fantasy tale in one story.  Atchity serves up a large dose of religious conspiracy theory to satisfy the discriminating tastes of even the most paranoid, staunch atheist reader.

The author goes into extensive detail describing a fictitious, yet well woven quasi-historical  theory of the origins of the Roman Catholic Church and Jesus. In fact, the same readers that actually believed Dan Brown's intricate tales of church intrigue and conspiracy theories in the fictional novel, The Davinci Code, may be the very same gullible readers who may believe that Atchity's tale is in fact true. Because of its realism, I would advise impressionable individuals to pass this novel up as they may be easily led to believe it is true. Yet, this imaginative tale far exceeds the talents of the popular Dan Brown novel with its insertion of authentic historical details and the unique, and unexpected climactic end. I was quite surprised at the  imagination of Atchity.  This fictional work can almost be deemed a clever attempt to re-write ancient history and undermine the authenticity of the biblical gospel and new testament.  At minimum this book calls into question the authority and the credibility of the Christian church, and more specifically, the Roman Catholic Church.  The inclusion of authentic and relevant details intertwined with fictional details, make this a clever piece of deception and this work  may leave the uneducated reader who is less grounded in history, second guessing what he thinks he knows about ancient history and religion.  Nominally religious readers may find they lose their faith altogether.  The insertion of a look a like "Imprimature" on the book's spine may mislead some Catholic readers into thinking this is a religious book sanctioned by the church.  I am fairly certain the bait and switch attempt to draw in the religious audience is not the author's intent. The ancient Catholic symbol of the Chi-Ro within the text, Latin phrases and the illustrations of actual ancient Roman coinage as well as fictionalized false coinage all serve to complete an aura of authenticity in selling this  alternate "historical" reality to the reader.

History as well as archeology enthusiasts  will enjoy the vivid depictions of the sites, fictionalized ancient accounts, historical figures  and archeological references in the various historical time periods and various ancient  cultures.  Josephus, the Roman emperors, Constantine, Herod as well as other ancient personalities are referenced.   The non religious historical details, ancient philosophies and beliefs are educational as well as entertaining.  This book presents a very interesting scenario  of an alternate historical reality involving commonly known events in ancient classical history- namely Jesus, the ancient church and ancient Rome.  The history student will find this book entertaining as an intriguing "what if" type of historical scenario.  In light of all those apocryphal gospels such as the gospel of Thomas and the false works that allegedly claim to bring to light the  infancy and so called "lost" years of Jesus, this book  adds to the plethora of confusion, mystery and subterfuge surrounding the bible and church history.  It even has its own gospel according to Augustus.

I feel that the author's biases against organized religion- specifically the Catholic church is obvious in the writing details.  For example, any reference to a Catholic sacrament included additional opinion as to its efficacy.  For example as early as page 11, the author's opinion is introduced when he calls into questions the last rights offered by the priest in the statement that the absolution "may or may not have opened" the eternal gates.  In otherwords, Atchity second guesses the effectiveness of the sacraments.  Some religious Catholic readers who catch these subtle insults to their faith might take offense. The appendix or chart in the back of the book boldly equates biblical history as "Mythical" history.  Actual historical events are set side by side with biblical events that he calls myth.  Parallels and connections are made between the divine claims of  Jesus with the Roman Caesar. Biblical concepts and spiritual phrases such as the "Keys to the Kingdom", "den of thieves", "loaves and fishes", "hell", "He is risen" and "Son of God" are reinterpreted with new meaning.  Literal and practical interpretations replace the biblical, faith based meanings.  The implication is that the gospels have been misread and misinterpreted, and there is another non spiritual explanation and that the Catholic church has been responsible for a cover-up fooling even sincere clergy as well as the faithful laymen.  Nevertheless, the author is a talented writer, who puts together an intelligently written, researched  work of fiction that will be sure to engage even the most educated reader. The extent of factual historical information might lose some modern day readers.  Yet I feel the detailed historical elements adds to its value and richness as it transports the reader to ancient Rome.  It is not surprising to learn that Atchity is a college professor. To give details as to the actual storyline and the historical scenario presented, would surely spoil the book's surprise for those who wish to read it.  Therefore I find I have to cut this review short.  It is sufficient to say  that the author provides an alternate, non religious, yet interestingly  literal interpretation of some faith based elements of biblical history.  I can imagine the author bursting with excitement in anticipation as to the reactions of surprise  that readers,  as well as his professional colleagues - will certainly have when they get to the end of the story.

Monday, June 17, 2013

William Diehl with Kenneth John Atchity's Seven Ways to Die is The Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal Winner in Best Mystery/Thriller E-Book




Examiner.com Five Star Book review: Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton by Warren L. Woodruff

Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton by Warren L. Woodruff is an unique musical fantasy children's novel. The book follows the adventure of five kids getting back the Gold Baton and saving the mythical land of Orphea. Each of the kids have a unique personality and the plot features them each having strengths and weaknesses and highlights them working together to succeed.

The classical music nature of the novel may make this a boring read for some, but for those interested in music and/or learning more about music this is an interesting read. Throughout the book there are references to musical terms and in Orphea music is basically magical and can do all sorts of things. The inclusion of historical figures involved in making, playing, and supporting music also makes it a good read for those interested in music history.

While the descriptions of the music can sometimes slow the plot down too much, overall the flow of Dr. Fuddle and the Gold Baton is steady with great peaks for the final battle and ending. The main strength of the book is the unique personalities of the kids making it easy for many different people to relate to at least one of the main characters. For example, there is a scientific skeptical boy, a fashion conscious girl, a boy overcoming fears, a boy tempted by the cool kids/wrong crowd, and a mute girl.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Luxury Reading's Five Star Review of The Messiah Matrix


messiah-matrix2Review: The Messiah Matrix by Kenneth John Atchity
Reviewed by MaryLu McFall

If it weren’t for the continuing interest in the wickedness of the Catholic Church and the on-going variety of plots imagined, we would be forced to find another perpetual villain. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy a good thriller with romance thrown in, the never-ending variety of writers’ imaginations keeps giving us new ones.

The Messiah Matrix has a plot with all the ingredients to keep us turning pages. A lovely archaeologist with two assistants finds a treasure in the harbor by the ancient port of Caesarea. It is a rare gold coin. Emily Scelba is convinced the coin is authentic, but calls upon a former lover (probably never a really good idea to trust one of them) for help in proving her find authentic. In a somewhat obvious move, he disappears when the value of the coin is deemed to be priceless.

Then we have Father Ryan McKeown, S.J., the tousled brown-haired priest (a Jesuit—in a bit of rather timely choice), who is in his cassock and life of celibacy somewhat reluctantly. He is drawn into a rapidly escalating plot of murder, Vatican politics, and danger. When he meets Emily after the one man they both knew turns up dead, the road to a solution to the many problems presented becomes rocky indeed. Make no mistake about this book; it’s a well-written thriller with a deep secret which would shock the world. Although at this point in history, nothing the Vatican or the Catholic Church does shocks all that much.

This secret has been kept for hundreds of years; the Jesuits (known as the scholars, educators, and sometime rebels of the church) are hell-bent to keep the secret until such time….well, such time that it would be convenient for a power grab.

Emily and Ryan try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. It’s hard to tell who that is and it seems to depend on the mood of the day. Ryan struggles with his crisis of faith and his attraction to Emily. She moans to herself that the sexiest man she has met in years is a man who has sworn his life to his order and to a life of celibacy. Thankfully, the author does not descend to prurient tastes and manages to escalate the sexual tension without resorting to anything other than the sins of thought and withheld desire. Although the two are trapped once (more than once) and do end up in each other’s arms exchanging a smoldering kiss. Much to their individual dismay.

The author has an impressive background as a scholar. It is obvious in the history that is part and parcel of this story. Augustus Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Roman history of the time of Jesus, and Jesus himself are brought together. But that is the part of the novel that may cause many readers to pause. The parallels between the life of Augustus and Jesus are clearly intended to shock and surprise. The Roman Emperor had himself declared a god, his birth a miracle of conception, and supposedly pulled off miracles of his own.

The introduction of historical facts is covered rather slickly by having Emily tell the skeptic Father Ryan all the “facts” in the form of stories. Emily herself went to a school taught by Jesuits, but has long since left the church. She has a great deal of historical knowledge which continues to shock Ryan. The plot proceeds at a good pace right down to the last chapters. The ending struck me as contrived, and the stretch when the secret is revealed is almost too unbelievable to consider. But that’s from one who also left the church. Those first eight grades in Parochial Catholic School leave an indelible mark.


Rating: ★★★★½ 

MaryLu McFall is the author of A Little Karmic Murder, an eBook that is available on Kindle, Nook, and all other electronic readers. She lives, works part-time at an independent bookstore, and will soon have her Young Adult novel, The Family Lancaster, published as an eBook as well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Check Out HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER by David Garber It’s the Hollywood celebrity tell-all that picks up where all the other tell-all’s end!

David Garber's outrageous tell-all “HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER” is the true story of the television and film industry from the mid ‘70s through the mid ‘80s. The pot-smoking, acid-dropping, counter-culture students of the turbulent ’60s were bringing their skewed comedy, irreverent attitudes and anti-establishment views to America via Hollywood. The lunatics started running the asylum.




purchase on Amazon.com


David names names and reveals Huckster’s Hollywood exploits ... like ...
 

  • getting caught peeing on an Oscar winning Best Actress’s house; then becoming her close friend;
  • persuading MGM to pull The Wizard of Oz from CBS unless the network caved to his negotiation demands;
  • commandeering a t-38 fighter jet for a joy ride;
  • convincing Senator Ted Kennedy to give up the rights to his brother, JFK’s, personal letters.
  • outwitting Bill Cosby for the use of the Hilton yacht;
  • hosting Aaron Spelling, Robert Wagner and all three Charlie’s Angels in his jail cell;
  • conning the U.S. Secretary of State to pressure Warner Brothers to pick up his $5,000 bar tab;
  • having a gun pulled on him by “Sanford and Son” star, Demond Wilson;
  • eluding a “hit” put on him by the L.A. mob 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tome Tender Gives Jay Atleson's Platinum Blackmail Five Stars!

Platinum Blackmail by Jay Atleson

Platinum Blackmail
by Jay Atleson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever read a book that had you gripping your seat, clutching at your throat or screaming, "No! No! Don't do it!"????? Platinum Blackmail by Jay Atleson will have yo doing ALL of the above as you travel the twisted tale of Mark Sterling, hot shot computer software salesman and top model, yep, he's hot! Shortly after Mark is assigned to BETA-test a sentient email system code name SAM,he starts receiving strange emails and messages that become threatening, while demanding a million dollars in a blackmail attempt that could ruin him. Never short on beautiful women, when Lisa Lancaster is assigned by her national marketing firm to work with Mark and his boss Dallas Milligan to publicize and promote SAM to the buying public, Mark is mysteriously enamored of her, forgetting all others. She seems to have cast a spell over him and seems willing to help him figure how to best the blackmailer, but, whose side is she really on? What connection does Lisa really have to SAM? For such a smart guy, Mark is running blind into the unknown, at best, his ruination, at worst, his death.

Jay Atleson had me from page one! His writing is like a race car flying through the "S" turns of his twisted tale at breakneck speed! Do NOT expect to be able to put Platinum Blackmail down until you reach the very last page, gasping for breath! As soon as my heart rate slows down, I want to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review this intriguing book!


Platinum Blackmail by Jay Atleson
ASIN: B00984N5CE
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Date of publish: September 2012
Pages: 232
S.R.P.: $2.99 (Kindle version)
Rating: 5 Stars