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October Releases

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pretty When She Kills Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway with Rhiannon Frater

For complete tour schedule, visit tour page


Hello again fellow Vagabonds. Please give a huge welcome again to Rhiannon Frater. Her new book Pretty When She Kills has just released and she has been great enough to have me be a part of her tour. Frater is will give us some background on the various creatures that go bump in the night her her series and she is offering a giveaway of both of her books to one lucky winner. So let's get this party started!




Necromancers, Zombies, and Ghosts
in
PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS
By
Rhiannon Frater


When I decided to write about vampires, necromancers, and the zombies the necromancers control in PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES, I knew I was leaving a door open for ghosts to enter the mix in the subsequent novels. I was excited at the idea of expanding the mythology of the universe in the sequel, PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS.  The seeds for the sequel and the final book in the trilogy are in the first book. One of those seeds came to fruition with the growing powers of the characters from the first book discovers she can see the spirits of the dead.

Expanding the necromantic powers in the world of PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS just seemed like a natural progression. Amaliya, the protagonist, is already a rarity in the world of the supernaturals. Her creator, The Summoner, was the only known necromancer/vampire until her creation. In the second book, the discovery of another necromancer/vampire offspring of The Summoner immediately is cause for concern. Amaliya’s existence has already caused a lot of upheaval and put her in danger. Amaliya still doesn’t fully understand the extent of her powers and it’s her blood that infuses Samantha (who is still mortal), Cian’s ex, with new necromantic powers.

In PRETTY WHEN SHE KILLS, Samantha has a terrifying experience with a ghost when she’s jogging around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin one morning. It doesn’t take her long to realize that something is amiss.


“My ex-fiancé is fucking Vampira and I’ve gone all Sixth Sense! My life sucks!” Samantha wiped at her eyes irritably. “I’m so not going all Patricia Arquette. I refuse to! Because the next thing you know I’ll be all John Edwards-y and people will be banging on my door wanting the deets of their dead granny’s peach cobbler recipe!” –Pretty When She Kills

Soon Samantha is testing the limits of her abilities to see the spirits of those who have passed on while she struggles to understand why it’s happening.  Samantha is often the comic relief of the story. With her rabid love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her adversarial relationship with Amaliya, and her determination to fight against the big bads, she takes on a greater role and becomes a strong central figure in the novel.

One of the fun aspects of Samantha’s powers was that I created a whole new type of necromancy for her.  While Amaliya can raise the physical bodies of the dead (zombies) and use them as an army, Samantha interacts with the spiritual fragments of those who have moved on. Her ability allows her to interact with ghosts in ways that surprises even Jeff, the vampire hunter and her potential boyfriend. By the end of the book, Samantha comes to fully embrace her abilities as a phasmagnus and begins to wield her power in the battle against the new evil coming against those she cares about.

The PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES trilogy is much more than just a story about vampires. It’s about love, death, betrayal, and sacrifice in the face of a horrifying evil. With zombies and ghosts in the mix.


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About Rhiannon Frater
Rhiannon Frater was born and raised a Texan. Though she has lived in various towns all over the state, she finally settled in Austin, Texas where she met her husband and worked as a governmental consultant.
During her travels for her job, she was inspired to write the story of two women fleeing into the Texas Hill Country in an attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse. Originally published as a serial online under the title AS THE WORLD DIES, she later self-published the series in three novels to satisfy the many fans of the story. The first novel in the series, THE FIRST DAYS, won the 2008 Dead Letter Award for Best Book (Fiction). The second book, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE won the 2009 Dead Letter Award in the same category.

The AS THE WORLD DIES books were purchased by Tor in 2010.The first book, THE FIRST DAYS, was released in July 2011 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The second, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, was released on November 8, 2011. The third book, SIEGE, will be released in April 2012.

She is also the author of THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS, PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES: A Vampire Novel and two novels in the Vampire Bride Series (THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE). All her works have been optioned for either TV or film.

Rhiannon continues to live in Austin, Texas with her husband and is now a full-time writer.
She is represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry Literary + Media agency. 


Follow Rhiannon Frater Here: 

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Interview with Rhiannon Frater HERE and Cover Reveal
+
6 out of 5 star Review for The Tale of the Vampire Bride

Pretty When She Dies is now on Audiobook!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


*One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
*Contest ends October 8th!
*Open Internationally!
*Books provided by Rhiannon Frater

 
**Don't forget GRAND PRIZE Giveaway over at The Bookish Brunette**

Saturday, September 22, 2012

ARC Review + Winner's Choice Giveaway: The Angel (The Original Sinners #2) by Tiffany Reisz

Author: Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners
Number in Series: 2
Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Pages: 410
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Genre: Erotic Romance/Contemporary Romance/BDSM/Literary Fiction/GLBT/Mystery













Buy here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository  |  IndieBound


Synopsis from Goodreads


No safe word can protect the heart Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora's lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora's protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora's mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora's past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It's a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.


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      YES!!!!!!!! You know what, as much as I may have loved it, screw 50 Shades of Grey. This is the book that people should be insanely hyped about. Reisz is absolutely brilliant. The Siren was so amazing, but she managed to make the sequel even better. Reisz is not afraid to go there and I loved every minute of it.

      The story starts about a year where The Siren left off. Things are going great between Nora and Soren, until he is up to become bishop. An anonymous fax was sent to s reporter named Suzanne that told her she needs to investigate Soren (Father S) due to a conflict of interest. So Soren sends Nora and Michael away while he deals with the reporter. While separated, both Nora and Soren have to deal with a lot of their problems specifically their pasts. Nora may be fighting it, but she is still torn up about Wesley. And Soren may be scary, but it is nothing compared to how he became to be.

      This is going to be another one of those hard reviews for me. It is so good, I just don't know where to begin. Nora is still as wild as ever, but she still has feelings for Wesley. She is afraid to admit it. While her and Michael are over at Griffin's house showing Michael the ropes (in more ways than one), she is trying to figure out how she feels. But that doesn't mean Nora will wallow. She is still as strong as ever. I absolutely love Wesley and I am glad we got him in this book. We see that he is a little lost and broken up over Nora. But don't worry, Reisz gave us fans something to rejoice in.

      My favorite characters in this book were Griffin and Michael. Griffin is definitely book-boyfriend worthy. We had a taste of him in the first book and here we get a lot more. I loved him. I loved his instant liking to Michael. At first, I thought it was just him being horny, but it is something much more than that. I loved how he (and Nora, but mainly Griffin) help break Michael's shell. He goes from being a shy and broken guy to someone with a backbone. And all due to Griffin. I honestly could have had an entire book just focused on these two. Griffin's personality is more than enough to fill up an entire book.

      Then we have Soren. Oh Soren. Like many have said, Soren scared the crap out of me. But I was very intrigued and excited to hear that we get to learn more about him. Through the journalist, Suzanne, who has her own personal demons specifically against priests, I was scared that she would find out about Soren's tastes. But through a lot of digging, we find that Soren's past is complete torture. You don't know suffering until you learn about Soren and his family. It explains a lot. Not to mention the things he has done to protect them. I won't spoil it for you, but it is frightening to say the least.

      I loved how this story progressed and how much time we get to spend with these characters. This book will make you crazy. I loved seeing the change in Michael and the strength he got from Griffin. Best thing was learning about Soren's past. I honestly had a hard time picturing him as a child to be honest, but this book did show he was indeed human. We also see the man is insanely brilliant. Between him and Nora, it is a wonder anyone can survive the two of them. I loved the attraction between Soren and Suzanne. It really jumped off the page. But even with the investigation going on, I loved that even though Soren doesn't help her restore her faith, she has regained some kind of trust.

      Goodness, there are not enough words in the English language to describe this book. It has everything I could want and more. I love how comfortable I have become reading this sort of stuff because I avoided BDSM like the plague. But like I said, the focus isn't on sex. There is so much complexity with these characters and their families. We even finally meet Nora's mother and well...I wouldn't have seen that coming even if my life depended on it. But I like how that went down. Learning what shaped them into who they are was an amazing experience. I found myself hanging on every word. I was so lost in this story and by the time I got to the end...goodness, just no words! Oh and talk about an ending! Seriously, Soren may scare me, but now I fully understand why Nora loves him so much. Dammit, I do too and I am not ashamed of it. That ending will knock your socks off. Buy this book, not rent it, buy it! I promise you will be reading this again and again. Reisz is like freaking Picasso just with pen and paper. Brilliant, just brilliant!


Some favorite quotes:

One of the resident old bats had been going on about the abomination of sodomy. Nora had patted the woman on the back and said, "If it's an abomination, it's because you are doing it wrong. Bear down hard, then relax. It'll fit better." - Nora to church ladies


"Virgins have probably been ritually sacrificed on these bookshelves."
"Wouldn't that be kind of awkward?"
"We'll figure it out. Here, hop on the top shelf, Purity Ring. I'll get the butter knife." - Nora and Wesley


"We value the most what we must sacrifice to have." - Soren
 
Rating:
+1




*This book belongs in the following challenges*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012
BCC's Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012

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Check out my 5 star review for The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
*One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
*Contest ends October 1st
*Open to US/International
*Prize provided by BetterWorldBooks or Book Depository

 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Back To Bataan Blog Tour - Indie Book Review: Back to Bataan by Jerome Charyn

Click HERE for tour schedule
Author: Jerome Charyn
Format: ePub
Release Date: July 1,2012 (original date: April 1, 1993)
Pages: 80
Publisher: Tribute Books
Genre: Historical Fiction/Childrens/Young Adult
















Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

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      Our main character Jack just lost his father and he wants to go to war even though he is 11 years old. He is obsessed with war and history. He even already has his fiancee planned out. But after losing her to a rich spoiled kid and feeling like he has lost everything, he makes a big mistake. Jack ends up meeting a man and his group who he thought were good people, but he soon finds out that he must become a soldier of a different war.

      You know the saying, “Don't judge a book by its cover”? Well that couldn't be more true than Back to Bataan. You look at the cover and you think you will get a YA read, but that is not the case. Our main character is 11 years old, not a teenager. Not to mention, this isn't a real "romance" (they are eleven afterall), which again, you would think it would be from the cover. This is a childrens' book, but even as a childrens' book it is a book for a real world. It is a war book through the eyes of a child. Jack was definitely a peculiar eleven year old. He was very smart, but his obsession with the war definitely drove him to fight. But I loved Jack. He was always there for the “little guy”. People who are usually judged whether by nationality or wealth (or lack there of), he quickly tried to become friends with. It made me like him a lot. I love that no matter how difficult his life was, he never took it out on anyone especially those less fortunate than him. His mom and him are struggling, but his mom does what she can.

      I like the journey Charyn takes us. Seeing the life of a boy in World War II. The story was pretty fast, only 80 pages. I like how that in such a short amount of time, Jack learns a lot. His world gets turned upside down because of the Leader and how he takes advantage of him. This book definitely showcases what It was like back in WWII and the struggles some families had to face. Jack may be eleven and living on ration stamps, but he keeps his head up. The speech he made at the very end of the story was definitely from a boy way more mature than his age. Hell, most adults don't think like that.

      Overall, this was a good read. I have never read a book quite like this or told like this. I won't lie, it was difficult for me to read because of how different it was for me, but it grew on me. The romance portion wasn't really needed, but doesn't take away from the book. It isn't along the lines of the regular "Young Adult" reads I am use to, but it is worth the read. It is a unique story full of history, tragedy, inspiration and courage. I guarantee you will be smiling when you get to the end.
  
Rating:
 
*This book belongs to the following challenges*
Dead Book Darling's The 2012 Short Story Challenge




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Jerome Charyn Bio:


Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

 
Follow Jerome Charyn here:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden
Number in Series: 1
Format: PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 504
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult/Horror/Urban Fantasy/Dystopian/Paranormal Romance















Buy here:


Synopsis from Goodreads

In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

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      Finally, a YA vampire read with scary-ass vampires. I loved this read so much. No whiny teenage drama, no annoying love triangles, and no sparkles. This is a read that mixes dystopian with the supernatural. It is a story of epic proportions.

      The world knows about vampires. They have taken over. After the Red Ling virus nearly wiped humans off the face of the Earth and turned vampires into deformed monsters called Rabids, leftover vampires emerged and have taken charge. Rabids are just as fast and even more vicious than vampires. The humans that are left either choose to become registered or unregistered humans. Registered humans (aka pets) get the protection, homes, and food from vampires for the price of their blood. Unregistered humans live on the outskirts of the vampire run cities, where everything is ruined and barren. They not only have to fight and scramble for food and water, they must also be careful of the Rabids, humans that couldn't turn into vampires. But one night while on the run for food, a girl named Allison is attacked, but is saved...by a vampire. She becomes what she has always avoided and is working hard to keep humans, both from others and herself.

      Our main character Allison is a very strong girl. She is forced to live in a wasteland along with s few fellow survivors. Those who chose not to live under the vampires' reign. She makes sure those around her are kept alive. She is the one that put's her neck on the line to feed her friends. I instantly had a connection with her because she was so brave and did what others simply didn't or couldn't do. She is one of my favorite heroines. Her mentor Kanin is interesting. He is hiding something and whatever it is, you know it is big. I love the group that Allison finds when on the run. They are run by someone named Jeb who is a bit of a religious nut. His son Zeke was a definite favorite. Zeke and Allison are great together even though they fight it, for different reasons. 

      The plot to this book was amazing. Jeb was a crazy nut taking this whole group to New Eden. He believes New Eden is where they not only have food and protection, but they are working on a cure for vampirism and rabidism. I love following them on this journey because we see how Allison is fighting to keep her humanity. That even though she is surrounded by humans, she refuses to hurt anyone and does whatever she can to keep them safe. There is also a subplot of a vampire named Jackal who is gunning after their group. He is very dangerous and knows more about the group and Allison than they think.

     I love the journey Kagawa has put us on. You really get a feel for these characters. They all feel genuine. Their reactions are real and make you relate to them more. I haven't had the chance to read Kagawa's Iron Fey series, but I plan to start sooner rather than later. I love her style and her world-building. This is the way I wish more YA vampire books were written. Thrilling, suspenseful, emotional with a little romance. I love the concept of a dystopian world with vampires. That alone was enough to make me want this. The progression of the book is very intense and complex. You really don't know what will happen next and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Not to mention Hollywood sees how promising this book is that it is set to become a film soon. I have one command Hollywood: keep Allison Asian. I am sorry, but it had to be said. We know how you operate. Don't screw that up. Nonetheless, pick up this book. Allison is a vampire you should all know.


Rating:

 
*This book belongs to the following challenges* 
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2012
BCC's Speculative Romance Challenge 2012

Winner of the Blood Lust Rising Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Big congratulations to Erin Koiso! You won an ecopy of Blood Lust Rising by Fayth Devlin. You also have won some bookmarks from her as well. I have sent you an email, please respond within three days with your name and address or prizes go to the runner-up. Thanks to all who participated. So nice having so much PNR fans on my blog. Huge thanks to Fayth Devlin for being nice enough to participate and throwing this giveaway. I have other giveaways coming up soon, I hope to see you all very soon. Thank you so much and congratulations again Erin!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots Virtual Book Tour: Interview + Giveaway with Kent Evans

For blog schedule, check HERE!


Welcome again fellow Vagabonds. I have here with me today author and artist, Kent Evans. He is on tour for his new book A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots, his new  Evans will talk about his new book, his love of music and more. There will also be a giveaway to one lucky winner. That lucky winner gets a Kindle copy of A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots and the album that accompanies the book. So let's get this started.




OBVB: Welcome to Offbeat Vagabond! To start things off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

KE: I’m a young Asian punk poet rock star wannabe living abroad and caging my demons in paper cages to be unleashed on the brain-dead masses (laughs). Well that wasn’t at all douchey… Sorry, those answer the question?

OBVB: Which love came first; music or writing? And how long did you want to do both?

KE: Writing - by just a hair. I started constructing poems when I was around 12 or so, and started playing guitar and singing when I was 14. After that, it just seemed natural to try and combine the two when I could. I would say I had started experimenting with versions of poetry with music probably around the time I turned 19 or so.

OBVB: What artist or artists influenced you to start making music? 

KE: When I was young Roger Waters, the Misfits, Metallica, the Beastie Boys and Nine Inch Nails had a huge musical influence on me. The first time I really got into Bob Dylan and heard Lou Reed New York was when I started to realize that I could find a way to incorporate my poetry not just as lyrics but as two different art forms that can complement one another. I sadly realize the irony in two of my younger heroes, Lou Reed and Metallica, having just collaborated to create what is perhaps the worst example of attempting this.

OBVB: What authors inspired you to write?

KE: I was a voracious reader at a very young age. I had plowed through all of Dickens, Stephen King, and a ton of classic Sci-Fi before I even got to high school. Once I got to prep school (Fairfield), I went through the equivalent of a Liberal Arts degree worth of the classics. All of this was great and really gave me the background to write traditional fiction and poetry, but it wasn’t really till University where I discovered writers like Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, and Hunter S. Thomson, that I really realized that I didn’t want to write staid literary exercises or stories about Satanic Alien Vampires for the rest of my life. Even now I am still finding writers I hugely admire. David Mitchell would be my current favorite. That guy can write his ass off.

OBVB: If you could write any genre besides your own, what would it be and why?

KE: Well, the fact is I have, and do write in many genres. I started with a lot of sci-fi and horror when I was in my teens, and in my twenties did everything from pop-culture pieces to corporate and academic. I guess I wouldn’t mind going back to writing something more fantasy laden, I was just so determined not to get pigeonholed back then. Genre fiction doesn’t give you much street cred. It pays the bills, but the literary community basically tries to ostracize you; which is totally unfair. Ray Bradbury was a great writer and a poet in any genre. They gave McCartney a Pulitzer for straying into the apocalyptic field. I don’t understand why they’re so rough on anyone that tries to do the opposite.

OBVB: What was the most challenging thing you had to face when getting publishing?

KE: Well, beyond the stock answer of nightmare endless agent queries and the brutal process of editing, I would just say time. I have a hard time letting go of a project till it takes flight or sinks. Because of that, until a work is out there or dead in the water, I find it very hard to move on to the next project and this drives me nuts. Throw in edits and waiting ages for a release date and by the time the book actually comes out you are your own worst critic and biggest detractor of the book. I actually read reviews and focus on the negatives nodding and cursing “YES, why the hell didn’t I fix THAT?!”

OBVB: A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots just released, can you tell us what it is about?

KE: The book is sort of a love song to being an artist, travel, the death of my parents, and disastrous relationships. The Crash Course bit comes from how the novel is arranged, which is thematically, rather than the more traditional chronologically. The robot bit refers to a perceptual anomaly in robotics. The uncanny valley is a statistically valley that occurs with certain humanoid objects. Basically up to a certain point, non-human things are more and more endearing the more human they appear (think the Smurfs, Yoda). Then right around when they are practically human there’s this mathematical nosedive where everyone just gets creeped out and disgusted by these things cause they are so close that all you see if how they’re not human (think that weird human Barbie chick). In the book, this is used as a metaphor for social interaction and a sense of loss in traumatized people – like Damien.

OBVB: What gave you the idea to tell Damien's story?

KE: Well, as I say in the book I am not Damien, but I suppose Damien is me. By that I mean he’s definitely got more than a little bit of me in there, but he’s more self-absorbed and aggressive – hard to believe I know. It’s fiction, but more than a few events of my own life have made it into the novel, though it would be a mistake to think that you’re reading a novel about me. It’s more like more the novel was inspired by certain events in my life.
You could say my mother’s death in 2003 from cancer right before Malas Ondas came out, my fucked up relationships following it, and fleeing to Southeast Asia in 2006 would be the prime motivators. Damien’s struggle in the book was part of my way of piecing together what was happening to me. I came back from Asia sane again (the same can’t quite be said for Damien), and started compiling all my writing and notes from the time. Jillian Medoff, a fantastic writer and former professor of mine at NYU, helped me get through the initial attempts at forming the novel. Then I spent a good deal of time with my editor Carolyn Fireside battling away at drafts till we finally had something I think is pretty unique.

OBVB: You have a soundtrack that goes with the book, can you tell us what is on the album? What kind of music can we expect?

KE: I started writing the music with my experimental drum and bass progressive funk metal collective We’re Not Vampires. Me, Moises Ruiz and Benjamin Santana from Quantum, messed around with some riffs I wrote, and eventually started throwing a lot of spoken word into our shows. When we started talking about Robots coming out later this year I was already in the studio working on a soundtrack for Bermudan director Antoine Hunt. I had recruited Ramon Hernandez from Barro Negro and Mike Severens (Guanajuato Symphony and Tom Petty, among others) to bring in drums, bass and cello respectively. Moi provided some additional production, as did my best bro and longtime collaborator Kienyo (DJ Sujihno from Nossa).
Once we started playing it just fell into place and seemed like a perfect fit for the Kindle version to best utilize both the technology and showcase myself as a multi-platform artist. When you buy certain versions of the novel electronically it gives you the option to hear those pieces narrated/performed with musical accompaniment. More traditionally if you buy a physical copy you can either download the album from all major distributors, or order a physical CD from Amazon. For a novel with Robots in the title it only seemed natural to embrace the benefits that come with new technology.

OBVB: You also have another book out, Malas Ondas: Lime, Sand, Sex, and Salsa in the Land of Conquistadors, what is it about? Is it a lot like Crash Course?

KE: Malas Ondas was about recovering from a relationship whilst discovering and self-destructing across Mexico. It’s similar in the sense that it is somewhat Autobiographical (much more than Crash Course in fact), and the story is told using multiple techniques (narrative poetry, email updates, and journal entries). Malas Ondas however is written as a chronological travel memoir relying heavily on narrative verse and covering roughly 4 months of time in one country. Crash Course, on the other hand, is structurally experimental and written in everything from 3rd person fiction to direct conversations with the reader and jumps back in forth in time over decades and several continents. I would say Malas is a good quick read on the plane or the beach, though hopefully not as insubstantial as the stuff you would usually bring on such trips. I would like to think Crash Course is something you might spend a bit more time mulling over, something more reactionary.

OBVB: We have seen plenty of confessional fiction books become a movie, can you see your book in that same category sometime in the future?

KE: Ha, well I suppose that I could in the right hands. I’m actually a huge film buff, and would love to be involved in something to that end. My fear of course is the fear of many writers, in how ones words are translated to the screen without employing some silly narration device, or simply losing the heart of the novel. I can already see myself getting all control freaky and wanted to act in, score, and direct the thing.

OBVB: Last but not least, do you have any of other projects in the works that we should be keeping our eyes open for?

KE: Well, the Original Soundtrack is out and available everywhere and we’re really proud of it. Not only along with the book, but on its own, I really think it came out pretty dope. Also, I’m touring continuously for the next two months throughout the Northeast, South, Texas, and West Coast so I would say come catch me at a signing. I’m going to be playing with music at a good deal of my readings for the tour starting September 18th in New York. I’ve got some great musicians like Carl Restivo (Tom Morello’s Freedom Fighter Orchestra, Rhianna), Drew Trudeau and Anthony Valenzisi (Lions of Judah, Sicboy), Laura Wilson (Gypsy Fiddler extraordinaire), along with some surprise guests who are gonna help me recreate and re-interpret the album. It gonna be a blast, be sure to catch us.

OBVB: Thank you for visiting Offbeat Vagabond. Hope to have you here again.

KE: Thank you, it was my pleasure.

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Kent Evans Bio:


Kent Evans is the author of Malas Ondas: Lime, Sand Sex and Salsa in the land of conquistadors, a semi-autobiographical novel about self-destruction throughout Latin America and finding that corniest of motivators – love. He was a fixture on the spoken word and experimental art scene throughout the 90’s, and the internationally acclaimed artist has performed at such venues as the Madison Square Garden Theater, Acadamie Beaux Arts in Paris and Nuvorican Poets Café in Greenwich Village.

Kent has appeared on NPR for shows including Nuestra Palabra, the Front Row, and Living Arts showcase. His creative non-fiction and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous national pop-culture and literary zines and publications.

Having also done technical and academic writing for various Fortune 500 companies, Kent is currently pursuing his artistic craft through music and fiction. His performance of choice involves gathering non-traditional musicians – DJ’s, classical players, Latin funk bands – and performing poetry in a live Jazz/Trip-Hop format.

His forthcoming novel A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots releases September 17, 2012 from Pangea Books.

Half Cantonese and half UK, Kent was born in New York City in 1975 and grew up between New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. He graduated in psychology and dramatic literature from New York University, and began traveling extensively throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. He fully expects to answer that “but where are you really from” question the rest of his life.


Follow Kent Evans Here:

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Check out my 4 star review here:

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Giveaway Time!!!

More info at Goodreads
  
One lucky commenter will win a Kindle-version of A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots and A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots soundtrack. US only. Just fill out the Rafflecopter. Good luck! 


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ARC Review: A Crash Course On the Anatomy of Robots by Kent Evans

Author: Kent Evans
Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Release Date: September 17, 2012
Publisher: Pangea Books
Genre:Contemporary/Confessional Literature










Buy here:

Buy soundtrack here:


Synopsis from publisher:


Gripping action-adventure, travel fiction at its most alluring, the high-insight chronicle
of a rootless spirit’s search for grounding thru the minefield of terror that is the Postmillennium:
Kent Evans’ A CRASH COURSE ON THE ANATOMY OF ROBOTS marks
the arrival of a novelist whose impressive literary gifts are matched only by his mainstream
narrative powers.


Damien Wood's path to adulthood in the last decade of the 20th century is marked with effortless success - creative, financial, sexual. Yet, his half-Asian lineage with its inherent cultural clashes is coupled with the inability to be touched by feelings or the people around him. Damien's efforts to reach his inner self take him from place to place and one hollow relationship to another, but he remains stuck outside of his experiences, a robot convincingly playing the role of daredevil artist and globetrotter.

Then, the century turns. As Damien's mother dies after a long and agonizing illness, and 9/11 inaugurates a reign of fear and terror, his emotions, from desire to despair, begin to emerge unbidden. These birth pangs of humanity send Damien on a mordantly comic, darkly suspenseful quest from the Americas through Southeast Asia in the company of an expatriate colony with too little to lose - including values - until violence comes to claim him as one of its own. No longer a robot, Damien has become a wanted man...

The original soundtrack for A Crash Course On the Anatomy of Robots was written and recorded at On Studio in Guanajuato, Mexico. The album will be available on iTunes prior to the release of the novel and come free as a companion piece with the Kindle version.

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      Well given my knack for the paranormal, I have surprised myself with something a little different yet again. Now be warned, I have never read anything quite like this so reviewing it may seem a bit unusual. But as I have said, I just can't stick to one thing only, I need to expand my proverbial wings. And I am quite glad I did because I definitely want more.

      I must admit, I did have a hard time starting this. Like I said, not my usual read. It starts off like a journal with some humor and philosophical views. Then we get some drama and some poetry. The book changes views constantly and it was strange at first, but you catch on. The more you read it, you find there really is a certain rhythm to the story that takes a life of its own. When I started it, I didn't really know what I was getting into or if this was my thing, but that quickly changed.

      A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots is a confessional literature read. My very first one. It is a book about an artist named Damien and his struggle with living after his parents' deaths. We see the beginnings of his downward spiral in depression, but still somehow managing to put on a face for those around you. He is in this state where nothing or nobody seems to effect him. He just rolls with the punches and pretends for the most part. We see the way he is with his friends and the way he is in relationships. Damien has a more philosophical outlook on friendships/relationships. Throughout the whole book, I didn't get a true connection from him with others. Maybe one or two of the girlfriends specifically Maria. I think a lot of why Damien is the way he is (besides his parents deaths) was because of his relationship with Maria.

      Now a couple months ago I did a review for a book called Sykosa. In that review, I talk about how it doesn't necessarily have a plot, not in a typical sense anyway. The characters are what moves the story, they tell us what they want us to know. So instead of having one plot (or subplots), we get a story told through Damien's eyes in certain places or at certain times that effect him specifically. I honestly don't think I would have liked this book as much if it were told a different way because Damien felt more real this way. We get to feel what he is feeling and why he is feeling it. I definitely like this fictional memoir and I intend on reading more.

      This book is about feeling detached and like a robot. A book about a man putting a mask and going through the motions due to his tragedy. But I love that Damien still searches to find a center, a way to find himself. That is why Damien travels...a lot. There is a lot of traveling in this book and at first I thought it was Damien's way of escaping. But I love how he describes it. It is his way of finding balance. And this book does have a wonderful balance.

      I enjoyed this book a lot. I love Evans use of poetry, philosophy, comedy, travel escapades, spoken word and surprisingly, suspense. This may have started slow for me, but it quickly became a book I couldn't put down especially the last few chapters. Wow, I did not expect this book to be The build up of the story was unexpected and even though Damien could be quite depressing, he was a great main character. Like I said, you will relate to him and his ups and downs (mostly downs). A Crash Course on the Anatomy of Robots is a unique, suspenseful, unpredictable, thought provoking, perceptive read that moves to its own beat.


Rating:



*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

International Giveaway: Blood Lust Rising (The Vampire Queen #1) by Fayth Devlin

More info here at Fayth Devlin's Blog


One day I am simply checking my email and I stumble upon a book recommendation by friend and fellow blogger Kat (@SmittenWithBadBoyHeroes). I saw the cover and that alone instantly made me fall in love. Then I ended up getting even two more recommendations for the same book. It was sign to say the least. So Fayth Devlin has been sweet enough to offer one lucky winner a copy of this incredible book along with some bookmarks. Voted one of the best new vampire reads this year and one of the best books this year. Yeah, that is pretty epic. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter. That is it. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

*One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter
*Contest ends September 15th
*Open to US/International

*Prizes provided by Fayth Devlin