Interview with the Author – James T. Logan

Hello, beautiful bookworms!

I hope you’re having a lovely summer. Lots of sun. Lots of fun. Lots of reading on the side.

I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to feature the author, T. James Logan here on The Scarlet Reader today. I’ve actually finished reading his novel recently, Night of the Hidden Fang, and you can find it here.

Night of the Hidden Fang

Goodreads

It was an interesting, action-packed, and very supernatural read. The witty and smart writing was really something for me.  Very original.


So, to start things off rather easy and fun, tell us a little about yourself. Any odd quirks?

TJL: I’ve been told I’m quirky, but really, I’m just me in my own skin. Later this year, I’m going to endeavor to become a ninja. I’ve joked about being one for years, as I find it fun to sneak up on people, but there are such things as real ninja schools, and I’m going to go for it and drag my family with it. We’re going to be a whole ninja family.

 

Q: What inspired you to want to write Night of the Hidden Fang?


TJL: A dream, actually. It started out as a dream about meeting three adolescent boys along a bike trail. The boys were naked and on the run from someone who was abusing them, their soccer coach, they said. That scene features prominently in the story.

Another inspiration is George Romero’s zombie films. I’ve always been a fan of those. They form a larger story of a world sliding inexorably into the zombie apocalypse, which has by now become somewhat of a trope. But then I got to thinking—what if the monsters of an apocalypse were not mindless, flesh-eating hordes of zombies, but cunning, calculating predators capable of hiding in plain sight? What if humans were driven off the apex of the food chain?

 

Q: Is there a special message that you hope your readers gather from your novel?

A: The central theme is human beings learning how to share this planet with not only each other but every other one of this Earth’s creatures. Some higher primates have been shown to have near human level intelligence. Dolphins give each other unique names, implying that they have some sort of culture. Neanderthals were likely as smart as humans, and they had culture which included art, personal adornment, and burial practices. Burial practices imply belief in an afterlife. We routinely kill each other over religion, resources, politics, and greed, and ignore the damage we do to the environment.  There have got to be better ways of doing things.

 

Q: I know for me, I write throughout the day, whenever I’m not at work. It’s pretty sporadic. How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?

TJL: When I’m in the groove, I try to make sure I get 2-4 hours a day. The last few months, I have not been able to manage that, thanks to starting to replace my bones with a terminator endoskeleton. I’ve got the start of a bionic leg now, and I’ve reached the point where I don’t have to be drugged to the gills with pain meds everyday. My brain has reawakened, and now I just have to get caught up after a few months of down time.

 

Q: Is there a special place you go to, to write?

TJL: My process seems to like variety. I have a rotating series of coffee shops where I like to sit and peck away. I’m mostly an introvert, but locking myself away in a dungeon for the length of time necessary to write a whole book tends to make me lonely. In a coffee shop, or sometimes a library, I can be alone, but with people around. Plus, I often find inspiration in the people around me. Humans are really wondrous creatures if you look closely enough.

 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to get published?

TJL: Keep practicing. Accept the fact that mastering your craft is a lifelong pursuit. FINISH your book/story/script, polish it to mirror brightness, and send it to someone who will pay you money. Write the next thing. Lather, rinse, repeat. You probably won’t sell the first few things, but eventually, you will start selling.

 

And for a couple of fun questions…

Q: What is your favorite book from childhood?

TJL: The book from childhood that I have the fondest memories of is The Hobbit. I loved it so much that I convinced my sixth grade teacher to read it to the whole class for our daily story time. I was so lucky to read it to my stepdaughter when she was eight.

 

Q: Since you’ve written a paranormal novel with a bit of a sci-fi twist, if you could pick, which supernatural creature would you be?

TJL: That’s the toughest question yet! Almost nobody wants to become a monster. It kind of depends on whose version of the monster we’re talking about, because authors put their own stamp on the old mythologies. Anne Rice’s vampires, yes. 30 Days of Night vampires, ugh, no. Mindless, savage, werewolves like The Wolf Man or American Werewolf in London, no. The werewolves in my novels, maybe. All the different kinds of “monsters,” including other things like ghosts, faeries, come with some sort of dreadful price. Ghosts have to be dead, obviously. Faeries in the ancient stories are not anybody a human would do well to meet.

 

Any last tid-bits you’d like to share with readers?

TJL: I’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund publication of Book 2, Dawn of the Deadly Fang, in mid-July. The same cover designer and a fabulously skilled editor are going to help me out on the project. Your support would be a tremendous help. You can find me at www.tjameslogan.com.  If you’re in a Kickstarting mood, please go to kickstarter.com and look for Dawn of the Deadly Fang.

 

Thank you to Logan for this fantastic interview and for giving me a chance to read his book. He’s fantastic and quirky and down to earth, which has made it a pleasure to have him here.

 

 

James T. Logan

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Summer Reads – Nonfiction Edition

summer reads

Hello, precious bookworms,

June has been filled with a few book lists. Why? Because summer is upon us and that means days that you’ll spend lounging around, reading a great book, or many great books.

I’ve already gotten the YA Edition and the Fiction Edition up. I bring you my final list this month and that is the Nonfiction list.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

astrophysics

On the NYT Bestsellers List, get a fast lane knowledge on the cosmos, because who has time to contemplate them lately? I wish I had the time, especially now that it’s summer, the perfect time for looking at the stars. Questions you’ve always wondered about like, the nature of space and time and how does the universe fit within us, are answered and in a timely fashion. Whether on the bus on your way to work or on a lunch break, you’ll get your moment to think about the meaning of life or at least the search for planets. I don’t read much nonfiction. I much prefer the YA genre, but this book is on my list.

Amazon

Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy

A powerful analysis of a culture in crisis and the disintegration of the demographic of white working-class Americans. I feel like this is a touchy subject, yet one that should, and is, discussed wonderfully in this book. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this bestseller. Vance’s story is personal and passionate from the POV of him and his family, starting in postwar America with his grandparents and moving forward through the change of America from there.

Amazon

BRAVE
Author: Rose McGowan

Brave

Rose McGowan, a powerful, feminist icon, was born into one cult and came of age in another, more prominent one—Hollywood. If you’ve kept up with this woman then you know she has no filter and that makes her powerful. She’s stood alongside women who have suffered from abuse and harassment. She stands with them and in this memoir, she shares her own experiences as only one actress who’s lived under constant exposure from the spotlight and over-sexualization. Here, she speaks up, no, she shouts and screams. This powerful book reaches out and encourages men and women to step up and be strong and be brave. Expect expletives, folks. This is another book on my list that I want to read. I am a big fan of Rose and ever since she’s comes forward and been loud and strong about her stance in Hollywood I’ve loved her even more.

Amazon

The Last Black Unicorn
Author: Tiffany Haddish

last black unicorn

A stand-up comedian, and breakout actress, Tiffany Haddish brings something brand new to memoir.  Edgy, hysterical and no holding back with her personal essays. From one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, she learned to survive by making people laugh. Through tough times, Tiffany kept her dream alive, something she found worth living for: comedy. These accounts of how she was brought up is unique and filled with laughs as well as showing how humble and grateful she is for being able to get her dream.

Amazon

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line
Author: David Hogg, Lauren Hogg

Never Again

On February 14, 2018, David and his sister Lauren Hogg went to school and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They believed it was going to be like any other day. It wasn’t. That day, the school experienced a shooting and by the next morning seventeen classmates and faculty were dead. David and Lauren have joined the movement for this to end, that never again should something this terrifying happen again. Never again should kids be afraid to go to school These siblings step forward with this manifesto with strong voices, they’re saying, Enough.

Amazon

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert shares her unique wisdom and perspective on creativity. She goes over the attitudes, approaches and habits we need and what fuels our creativity. Encouraging for us to find what makes us sparkle, our ‘strange jewels’, in yourself. Whether embarking on a dream or infusing it with everyday life, this gem is sure to open you up in ways you didn’t think of.

Amazon

In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

For those who love the true crime variety, Truman follows the story of two men who murdered the Clutter family. No motive. Almost no clues led to the killers. With incredible empathy and suspense, Truman follows the murder, investigation, trial and execution. This insight to American just and violence is shudder worthy.

Amazon

There you have it, loves. You’ve got YA, Fiction, and Nonfiction. A wide variety. I know I’ve been expanding my interests lately and I’ve been surprised a few times. What are you reading this summer?

More to come soon…

-K.

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Blurring From the Future (The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen – A Book Review)

The Flash: The Haunting of Barry Allen
Author: Susan Griffith & Clay Grifffith
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

The Flash

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive. I solve my problems by running faster. Always faster…

Out in Central City, Barry Allen, the Flash, comes is shocked by an older and weathered and badly injured version of himself, the Flash. Before he can ask him anything, he’s gone.

Then Barry begins experiencing glitches with his powers and it couldn’t be at a worse time. Many of the Rogues such as the Pied Piper, Weather Wizard, and Peekaboo are wreaking havoc on the city. As it gets worse and team Flash struggles to figure out the villain’s endgame and how to help Barry, Barry calls in a good friend to help.

Oliver Queen—the Arrow.

Flash

Every once in a while I’ll review a branch-off novel of TV shows. I really enjoy my shows and some of the books are pretty dang good. I am a HUGE fan of the Flash. BIG. LIKE REALLY BIG! So, when I heard about this book I was squeeeing over the moon.

The season may be over until the fall, but this crossover will tide you over. It did for me. Humorous, witty, non-stop speed. A beautiful combination, that is. Some of the show’s classic rogues come together for a sneaky plan and it was very awesome. There was a part of me that kind of hoped to get a glimpse of Captain cold or Heatwave, but they were not around. *sad face*

Still, the story was fast and great, leaving me plenty enthralled and entertained with my hero and his smart and amazing friends. I loved that I couldn’t really predict anything. It was refreshing. There were so many moments that I was shocked, especially with one major cameo that made me a bit sappy. It’s somebody-if you’ve been watching the show-that you know.

I also missed HR; Tom Cavanagh is a-freaking-mazing with balancing multiple version of himself and great with the funny.

From the setting to the characters to the very heart of this hero, everything stayed to true to its tune and then some! There was a much deeper emotional pull, one that I don’t think you can get from the show. You’re in these characters hearts in a way that looks and words just can’t convey. I loved the chance to glimpse into their hearts and see just how in depth their feelings are.

This book was wonderfully canon and really adds to the Arrow/Flash Universe. If I’m correct, it actually takes place some time after season 2 but before Season 3Seeing Oliver Queen and company come to Barry’s aid really warms my heart. The bromance between the two gentleman heroes is among one of my utmost favorites. They’re great opposites with Barry being the goofy young brother figure and Oliver being the serious and rather broody older brother. The fact that they come through for each when its most important is just beautiful.

Barry and Oliver

I loved this novel. It was fun and really gave me that dose I needed of the Flash this summer. If you love superheroes, with and comedy, and that family feel-good, read this.

Quotables:

“I’m like a sexy Yoda. With me, there is no try, there is only do.” (Cisco, p. 102)

“There was no expiration date on grieving. It became a part of you, and you had to make room for it or you would forever feel it inside you, like and invader.” (Joe, p. 151)

“In this new world, even dead doesn’t mean dead anymore.” (John Diggle, p. 315)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Heroes by Alesso ft. Tove Lo.

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Ninjas Not Included (Night of the Hidden Fang – A Book Review)

Night of the Hidden Fang
Author: T. James Logan
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Night of the Hidden Fang

 

My rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

One teenage girl. One oncoming apocalypse.

Mia doesn’t get close to people, not when she and her family move around so much for her father’s job. But, when one of her friends, Nate, turns up grisly murdered, she vows to figure out what really happened to him.

Three boys, each thirteen and extremely naked pop up from the bushed of her house not long after and she can’t help wondering if they’re connected to her friend’s death. More so, she has an urge to take care of them, protect them. Being tossed in the middle of an oncoming war, Mia must protect her family without being served up on a dinner plate to some feral beast.

What she doesn’t know? She may be the key to saving the human race…

 

Soooooo, I totally thought there’d be ninjas somewhere in here. Alas, there was not. LOL. There were werewolves though! Still a big plus in my book. But, no ninjas. Nope. So, I’ve got some here:

ninja

LOL. Okay, but seriously…

ninja

Mia is a spunky character. Quick and sarcastic and takes no BS, though very guarded. But, when you move around as much as her, it’s understandable. You get afraid of getting close to people. But, she is tough, too, which I love in a female character. I really liked that she was culturally diverse with her heritages as well. Though, I will say it felt a little forced from time to time, I really liked seeing how she noticed the differences in Japanese culture.

NATE! *sobs* A character I fell in love with so quickly and lost just as fast. Goofy and very Star Wars centric, I wish there would’ve been more for him! I mean that in that his time was too short, but also that I didn’t get enough of his character. I wish there’d been flashbacks or something to express how special he was. The impact of losing him wasn’t very strong because of that, but I really wanted it to be.

crying

The unique inclusion of werewolves was interesting. It wasn’t typical since it came across as a disease that could contracted. There are many lores on weres so it’s good to see a fresh take.

Werewolf

 

The book is quite wordy. It surprised me. And then there are times that it’s straight to the point, using the words we all know and can relate to. Because, when something sucks, it just sucks and there’s no better way to say than that and Mia says it perfectly when she encounters problem after problem that leaves her life altered forever.

There were times where I got lost in the action because I couldn’t read the emotions of the characters very well. It was just super tricky to track the characters from time to time. I just wished I could’ve gauged them more so that I could get totally immersed.

I also wish there was more on Sho, Mia’s brother. There are many mentions of him and the vagueness of what happened with him and how it affected everyone, but I felt unsatisfied. Here’s to hoping there’s more in the next book!

 

This book surprised by taking a classic lore and putting a scientific spin on it—werewolves are a disease. I liked that the setting took place in a unique place. It was just a small town in Nebraska, which really gave me a whole new world to imagine, especially since I’ve never been to Nebraska before. This was a book I enjoyed, though I did have a few hang-ups. Witty and gritty and a good one-two. A good, quick read.

 

Quotables:

“Desperate speed poured out of him. It was the first and the last time he ever ran for his life.” (Nate, p. 32)

“Some holes are so big, people can fall into them and never get out again.” (Mia to Sarah, p. 78)

“Relaxeth thee. Thou art looking at the King of Subtle.” (Dalton, p. 206)

“Never give all the heart.” (Mia, p. 306)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Haunted by Kelly Clarkson.

 

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Summer Reads – Fiction Edition

summer reads

Happy summer, booknerds!

Hope you are all doing well and that the weather is beautiful. I told you I had a few extra lists this month. I’ve done the YA list already – which you can find here. This is the Summer Read Fiction Edition. I wanted to pick up a variety to attract a variety of you lovely readers as well as pique some new interests.

 

Circe
Author: Madeline Miller

Circe

This NY Times bestseller brings to life a new and more in depth tale about the daughter of the Titan, Helios: Circe, and how she became one of the most powerful witches in history. That she isn’t as evil as she’s made out to be and just wants to protect those she cares about. With the power to transform rivals into beasts and more, she’ll go against the gods and humans. I’m a big lover of Greek mythology, so this one is definitely on my to-read list. This also comes from the same author who wrote The Song of Achilles.

Amazon

 

The Outsider
Author: Stephen King

Outsider

If you’ve got horror in your bones and love a good paranormal-y twist then pick this up. On the NY Times Bestseller list, this story circles around the murder of a kid. While the authorities are sure they know who it is, the coach of the kid’s little league team, he has an alibi, and a good one, plus more people turn up dead. But, the killer looked like him? How? Get addicted to this brand new story by the King-man.

Amazon

 

Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

On and off the bestseller’s list, this action packed ride will have you hanging on. This is currently up on my reading queue and I can’t wait to read it. For gamers and anybody that loves clinging on to an adventure with a BIG endgame, read this. Exciting and fulfilling…so I hear. Also, a movie that’s recently come out this year.

Amazon

 

Noir
Author: Christopher Moore

Noir

If you love noir, dicks (private dicks…damn it, detectives, people), and hella good comedy then this is for you. I love Christopher Moore and I was really excited to hear about this novel. Love at first sight, a UFO, a plane crash, and the kidnapping of Cheese after a scheme gone bad. Sammy Tiffin, the bartender of a hopping gin joint, has his work cut out for him.

Amazon

 

Sinless
Author: Sarah Tarkoff

Sinless

Calling all dystopian lovers! Those who are good are graced with beauty while those who are considered bad suffer from disfigurement or death. When important information is stumbled upon battle breaks out and it becomes hard to distinguish the good from the evil.

Amazon

 

 

These are only a couple spanning the many genres to choose from as well as a few of the most popular I’ve heard about.

 

More to come soon…

 

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Eyes of Fire (Summer of Fear – A Book Review)

Summer of Fear
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1983

On Goodreads

Summer of Fear - SR

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt Full boltFull bolt

 

Rachel’s not jealous of her beautiful cousin. But she is afraid.

Cousin Julia comes to live with Rachel and her family after a terrible car accident. Slowly, inch by inch, Julia is taking over Rachel’s life. She takes her bedroom, her boyfriend, and soon enough her family. Everybody thinks Rachel is jealous, but that’s not it at all. There’s something dark about Julia, and Rachel’s terrified.

 

This book was a quick read. It is. Rather short. I finished it in three hours. I really enjoyed it even though a page was missing. LOL. I will never know what happened on the first page of chapter five. Kidding. I can probably buy a new copy of the book. This one I got out at a library sale. Those things are freaking gold mines. Anyway…a fantastic read. Classic, cult, and edgy from the same author of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

I know

Rachel is that ultimate final girl that—I hope I’m not the only one—you miss in horror movies these days. While everyone falls under Julia’s spell, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. There’s heartbreak and even that panic inducing feeling. It wasn’t strong, but this dark and mystical story was a great page turner. Duncan does so well at building up to her great reveal. She always gets you with that twist. When everybody turns on Rachel, she fights back. And let me tell you, that was intense. That feeling of isolation that she gets trapped in is nothing compared to what could possibly happen to her.

I really clung on to the additional element of witch lore and magic. From having read a more horror novel last time, this was fresh to me. Witches of late have appeared more as agents of good, but not in this story. This book really touches on the bit that witches can be evil, too. There are upsides and dark sides of the supernatural and it was pretty cool to see the dark side.

Evil Witch

The attention to detail was wonderful. Not too much, but enough that the imagery was perfect, reminding me that this is set before the era of cell phones and DVDs. For many these days I’m sure your’e saying, “WHAT!?”. Yup, those days existed folks. After all, this was done in the eighties. Duncan’s writing really captured that without seeming overboard. I really liked it.

A favorite summer read of mine, but I believe Lois Duncan is great at creating a story like that. It’s the deadly story that gets you wanting summer. What kidn of story does that!? LOL. This one did, for me. Utterly original and, like I said already, classic. I’d really like to have the rest of the collection. So, do you read it because you like paranormal stories and horror? Yes! Do you read this because I say so? Well, that’d be cool, but I haven’t mastered the ability of manipulation so you’ll have to decid that for yourself.

 

Quotables

“It’s crazy, isn’t it, thinking you’ll never have anything but two brothers and then finally, at your age, getting a sister.” (Mike to Julia, p. 18)

“When you lose touch with youth, you grow old fast.” (Professor Jarvis to Julia, p. 56)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Summer Sunshine by The Corrs.

 

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Speedy Quote Sunday

Speedy Quote Sunday

Hello my loves, my precious bookworms!

I hope you’ve had a splendid weekend and will have a splendid week. I was deeply inspired by the 5157 Miles Book Blog and really want to share my favorite quotes that have inspired me, made me laugh, cry or feel something so alien that it has stuck with me. Here, I want to share a couple, so I’ve decided to take up Speedy Quote Sunday. Quick. To the point. And something to mull over.

 

“Everyone tells you it’s all right to cry, but not enough people say it’s all right if you don’t want people to know.”

-Lemony Snicket, “Shouldn’t You Be in School?”

 

“There is a rot at the heart of what we love. It is not the knowledge or the preservation of it. It is the notion that only we can decide what is worthy, what is not, what is progress, and whether or not it should proceed.”

-Rachel Caine, Smoke and Iron

 

“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world.”

-Tommy Wallach, We All Looked Up

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

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