10 Statements – Cynthia Adina Kirkwood

Photo: Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, author

Former San Francisco journalist, Cynthia Adina Kirkwood, is the author of Turn On, Tune Out, a cautionary computer tale.

Born and raised in New York City, her parents emigrated there from Belize, Central America. Like her parents, she is now an immigrant.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Williams College. For her Junior Year Abroad, she studied at the American University in Cairo. Later, she received a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. in International Economics, African Studies, and Comparative Politics. At the University of California at Berkeley, she earned a Certificate of Journalism Education from the Summer Program for Minority Journalists.

She worked as a reporter at newspapers in the east, west and south of the United States. In 1994, she left the San Francisco Chronicle, where she edited mayhem and wrote headlines, for Sicily and has been living in Europe since then.

In 2012, she and her son left a sedentary life in Cornwall, England, for a farming one in the heart of Portugal. She has 4 acres of terraced land with 44 olive trees, 250 grapevines, and countless fruit trees.

 

Find me…

www.cynthiaadinakirkwood.com.

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

My personal motto:

“Ain’t nothing to it but to do it.”

 

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with… calmly. After my son leaves for school, I have a cup of tea and hot buttered toast while listening to classical music, jazz or something else on an eclectic radio station here in Portugal and unscrambling a few “Jumble word puzzles” in a book. I feel so accomplished after breakfast!
  2. I lose track of time when my writing is going well.
  3. I have always… enjoyed meeting people from different walks in life.
  4. I have never… traveled to Asia. I hope to change that.
  5. Home means to me… an elusive place I try to define in my writing and my life.
  6. I am inspired by… Tina Turner. I admire her high energy and personal transformation.
  7. I would like to meet… Leo Tolstoy because his work is so satisfying and he sought to live truthfully.
  8. My worst character trait… was my lack of competitive drive. But it’s not a bad thing because there are other ways to succeed at writing. Cooperation with other writers and readers is more natural for me, and it is working well.
  9. My best character trait… is my compassion.
  10. The best advice I was given… was to keep writing. It was in a publisher’s rejection letter.

Photo: Author Cynthia Adina Kirkwood on a mountain


Book cover: Turn On, Tune Out

 

Turn On, Tune Out

A British composer turns outlaw in Los Angeles in Turn On, Tune Out. Angelica Morgan flouts a computer law that cripples creativity. In L.A., Angelica finds an audience, love, and a passion to stop the insidious law from taking hold in Britain. In the near future of California, artists, who steal time off-line, are considered suspect, criminal, and dangerous.

Angelica’s friend, Rosetta, an outspoken painter, cautions the musician about the Stop, Look and Listen law. But Angelica dismisses the warning. . .

 

Called “sophisticated,” “intriguing,” and “passionate,” “you’ll keep thinking about it long after the last page.”

Print length:  163 pages

Published:  2017-05-24

Buy links:

Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat, #1) by Zoe Kalo @zoekalowriter #BookReview

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

Genre(s): Books
> Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban > Werewolves & Shifters
Kindle eBooks
> Children’s eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Paranormal, Occult & Supernatural
> Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: Cult of the Cat, #1
Length: 364 pages
Release date: 2016-04-01

 

Teaser


Across from the bed stood a statue of a woman with the head of a lioness, not unlike the one I hand seen in the London house yesterday. She stood on a shrine and various offerings lay at her feet: flowers, perfume flasks, candles, and more of those little green plants. Only, this statue had some sort of great sun disk on her head and was adorned with intricate jewelry; beautiful necklaces in silver and gold, intermingled with beads of glossy blue and red stones, hung from her neck. Who was she? Some sort of cat goddess? Why was my grandmother so insanely obsessed with cat stuff? Was she a cat worshipper?


My Opinion

This book introduces you to 16-year-old Trinity, grown up in a convent. A woman turns up to bring her to her grandmother who had finally found her trace.

With Daughter of the Sun, Zoe Kalo has created the beginning of a compelling young adult story of a young woman whose life takes a surprising turn on the Island of Cats. Strange things are happening, her grandmother dies, it is not clear who to trust. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Trinity and the sometimes gory events. Zoe Kalo knows how to keep you glued to the story, giving you the feeling that there is a hidden layer of the past – or evil – on top of your normal world. The main characters are of considerable depth, the other characters are of sufficient depth (according to their relevance). The story comprises realistic characters in a normal environment with an odd touch, interesting turns, and has a good flow.

This is a book for you if you like young adult suspense series with paranormal and occult aspects, characters who might turn out every which way, and a subtle creepiness. And it is for you if you do not mind occasional gore.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful, dark
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳

 

About the author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Daughter of the Sun?  Or – if you did not yet read Daughter of the Sun – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Brotherhood of Merlin by Rory D. Nelson @rorydnelson @b00kr3vi3ws #BookBlitz

About the Book:

Merlin returns to Lycenea a hero, victorious over the Visi-Gauls in a gruesome and exhaustive campaign that claimed the life of one of his men and saw the annihilation of the Visi-Gauls’ Southern Army.

Merlin’s peaceful reprieve is cut short however, as he must now find and expose the corrupt Senator who initiated the war in the first place and plots to subvert the Empire for himself. He is aided by the powerful sorceress, Morgana and Felinius, a former disgraced and condemned knight who knows the inner workings of the Brotherhood.

Merlin must also protect two of the captives he rescued during the war with the Visi-Gauls, one of whom is a boy named Dante, whose power has been prophesized to defeat Herod Antipaz, the corrupt Senator, and his deadly allies who threaten to destroy Gilleon.

Herod makes plans of his own for eliminating Dante. The boy’s problems continue to mount precipitously- for not only is he being ruthlessly hunted down by Herod’s minions, but he must also face down a brutal training program in Round Table Academy, where he faces elimination on a daily basis. Should he be eliminated, he will no longer be under the protection of Merlin and his Brotherhood and his death almost a foregone conclusion.

His only hope, his only salvation is Merlin- as is the country of Gilleon.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Check Out Book One: Gilleon

Five hundred years after the death of King Arthur, a sadistic tyrant of Visi-Galia, attacks unprotected and vulnerable townships in Gilleon, igniting a deadly chain of events. Because he was unfairly denied a proper chance to compete for valuable mine rights and outbid by a Councilman from Gilleon, he reasons that he can invade Gilleon’s vulnerable townships and force the Council to negotiate with him.

Merlin, the lead knight in Lycenea, has foreseen just such a predicament. With the gifts of premonition, telepathy and intelligence, he and 9 of his most formidable knights go into battle against Jason and his force of nine thousand.

At stake is everything. The fate of the prisoners who are awaiting to be sold into slavery rests in the hands of the deadly knights. Specifically, two girls who were attacked in Missalia and are now orphaned, are at the mercy of the sadistic King. Will Merlin and his band of knights be able to rescue them in time?

Adele, the older sister, has plans of her own for escape. Will she prove successful or will her plans be foiled? If she is caught, what will become of her and her sister, Sylvia?

Dante, a boy from Coifen, is also now orphaned. He is the sole survivor of a brutal attack on his family. An unlikely heroine has come to his rescue- a mysterious white wolf. Unfortunately, the attack has left him blind. He and his guardian make their refuge in a remote cave. He clings desperately to the hope that God has spared him for a reason. Every night he goes to bed, he says a prayer to his talisman, the Merlin, a game piece that his father gave him before he was forced to abandon him. It was the last gift he received before all hell broke loose. Will he be rescued? Will he find a permanent haven? His fate also lies in the hands of the Merlin.

Merlin and his troupe lead the Visi-Gauls in a high stakes game of cat and mouse. Jason, though capricious, is not stupid. He uses every means at his disposal to eliminate Merlin. Who will prove the victor? Fighting a severe war of attrition, it seems at times that Jason will inevitably win; but don’t count the Merlin out. He is beyond slippery. Every time it seems that Jason has the gifted knight, he is thwarted yet again.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Get Your Copy of Book One: Gilleon for FREE!

Character Study – Dante

He once lived a peaceful existence in the quaint little town of Coifen with his mother, Sophia, his father Lucian, sister Isabella and dog Mitz. That life is abruptly shattered when his father is exiled and the rest of the family is plunged into a fight for their life. With assassins on their trail, they are eventually cornered and forced to defend themselves, along with the aid of their neighbors.

Tragically, Dante’s mother, sister and dog are brutally killed. He barely escapes with his own life, if not for the intervention of a mysterious white wolf, whom he named Cammilia. Together, they hole up in a remote cave for months until they are finally rescued by Merlin.

Though blinded in the attack that killed his family, Dante is brought to Round Table Academy by Merlin and given the choice to enter their school as a recruit. Feeling it is the only way he can regain some control over his life and maintain a safe haven, he accepts.

As promised by his headmaster, Germanicus, the training is brutal, the academics grueling and mentally demanding. In addition, he faces elimination bouts nearly everyday. Should he fail in even one of his tests or lose an important match, he will be expelled from the school- most are. Almost fifteen hundred boys enter Academy, but only a dozen or so make it to knighthood. So the odds are not in his favor.

Yet he toils on with an indefatigable spirit and inadvertently makes a powerful enemy- Maximus, the start recruit and only son of King Menelaeus. He is everything Dante is not- over-privileged, spoiled, arrogant. He has an ingrained sense of self-entitlement and it is reinforced by his stellar performance as a recruit.

Despite this, he feels threated by Dante and makes it his mission to see that Dante is removed from the Academy- at all costs. And he is not above resorting to dirty tricks and subterfuge to achieve it.

Dante’s problems continue to mount precipitously. Not only is he in danger of being removed from the school since being targeted by Maximus, but he also faces the looming threat of the man that ordered his death. Little does he know that Herod, the man who seeks his demise and the dissolution of the Brotherhood is right under his nose. And he has put his own plans into action, leveraging the rivalry between Dante and Maximus.

Dante is resourceful, intelligent and relentless, but will it be enough to thwart the pressures that seem to be closing in on him like a coiled serpent? He has the support of his newfound companion, Cammilia and Merlin. He clings to them desperately like a raft in the middle of the ocean, but will they be enough to stop the machinations of Gilleon’s most powerful senator and his vast resources? Only time will tell.

About the Author:

Author Rory D Nelson is an accomplished actor and has been seen in several high school productions of “Oedipus Rex,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” He owns a window cleaning business in the Sacramento area, enjoys wine tasting, snowboarding, traveling and working out. Rory D Nelson is an eclectic and prolific writer, having written numerous comedy skits, commercial parodies, and ghost-written many humorous t-shirts. He has the most unusual imagination of any fantasy author, since he also brings his deranged sense of humor into play in his books.

Contact the Author:
Website * The Brotherhood of Merlin * Facebook * Twitter 

 

 

Fate’s Design by Subhashish Dey @b00kr3vi3ws #BookBlitz

About the Book:

When a kidnapper redeems his lost conscience and finds himself unable to murder the girl he has kidnapped, what does he do? Fate is cruel to him, and good intentions are never enough.

At the same time, a woman dissatisfied with her existence flees from her home, not knowing what lies ahead of her. But all things come at a price, and she has a hard path ahead through storms and fire. 

Watch how fate has entwined these lives together, into a song through struggles of conscience and identity, through the deepest lows and greatest highs, and through the flame of madness and the stings of survival.


Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Feedback for the Book:

 

5 Stars “An extremely well written thriller by an amazing fourteen-year-old. Written at an age when most teenagers find their boats floundering in the sea of words, Subhashish had not only managed to keep a grip on the plot, taking the reader along the journey of his well-drawn out characters, he had also shown a rare maturity in his choice of words. His insights are at times startling, coming from someone of his age.” 

 

5 Stars – “An impressive first novel. The author is still in his teens, but the narrative voice is one of maturity and experience. The story unfolds like a Russian romance novel, in a modern setting. The plot is complex and suspenseful and keeps one turning the pages until the climax.” 

 

“A thoroughly interesting read, Fate’s Design, plays out as a struggle to live, survive and not merely exist. There are flaws, which in any case, are there in every piece of writing, but, the author’s abilities to weave a story, which does not make you, cringe or question its validity, make it an interesting work worth going over more than once.” 
 
About the Author:

 

Subhashish is a 14-year-old student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya Anna Nagar. He has been regularly contributing short stories to his school magazine. An avid reader, Subhashish believes that books open the doors to some wonderful insights in life. A brilliant student, Subhashish loves to explore different places and spends time trying to understand the culture of the people there.

 

Subhashish lives in Chennai along with his parents and grandmother. This is his first attempt at writing a novel. Subhashish is passionate about music and loves singing and playing his piano. Incidentally, music forms the backbone of the story of his novel.

 

Preordained by David L. Wallace @b00kr3vi3ws @wallaceDavidL #BookBlitz

New Release
~ Preordained by David L. Wallace ~
 
About the Book:

In the vein of Seven & The Devil’s Advocate, Art Somers is a detective tracking a serial killer in Murrells Inlet, S.C., a small-town, coastal community with deeply held spiritual and supernatural belief systems. He discovers while chasing down clues to ID the culprit that the killer has always had his family on his target list.

Things begin to unravel and materialize around and within him, calling into question his long held religious and paranormal beliefs. On the verge of apprehending the killer, he learns an irrefutable truth: Abraham, the father of faith, had to choose to either sacrifice his son or disobey a direct order from God; he must now make a choice – sacrifice his soul to save his son.
 
 

 

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon * Kobo * Barnes & Noble * iTunes

 

Early Reviews:
“An expertly plotted and executed mystery, shot through with the supernatural…builds suspense effortlessly, hurtling towards a riveting conclusion.”
– Clarion Review
“Original and engaging…full of plot twists, surprises, and a substantial dash of the supernatural.”
– Publisher’s Weekly BookLife Prize in Fiction
“A gripping detective story with biblical undertones…aptly blends the horror and crime genres.”
– Kirkus Reviews

 

Chapter 2
In the quaint, historic city of Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina, at the onset of a torrential downpour, thirty-five-year-old detective Art Somers rolled up the driver’s side window of his blue, classic Camaro and turned on his wipers. He took inventory of himself in his rearview mirror: his black mane of shoulder-length hair that offset his olive skin, the shadow of a beard that now graced his face, and more troubling, his bloodshot eyes. He hadn’t slept much lately and it showed. How much longer was it going to take the FBI boys to capture the serial nutcase operating in their midst?
Within a span of twenty-one days, someone had kidnapped and slaughtered multiple twelve-year-old boys in his county and eluded all capture efforts. He gripped his steering wheel tighter. The only good news, if you could call it that, was that the bastard hadn’t struck in Murrell’s Inlet.
He stared at his former neighbor’s sons, who were playing a game of pickup football on the dirt field to his left. One of those boys—or even his own son, Ben—could be the killer’s next target if Murrell’s Inlet became one of his cities of choice. He breathed deep. Not even the fishy fragrance of the nearby Atlantic waters he loved so much, did anything to improve his frame of mind.
A cluster of lightning bolts illuminated the darkened, cloud-filled morning sky, followed immediately by booming thunder that echoed in the distance. Overhead, seagulls darted away as the winds picked up.
Every locale within his county was on edge because the killer only struck within the confines of Georgetown County and always in a different city. For all he knew, his town could be next. He reached over to his front passenger seat and rested his palm on the printout of the FBI serial profiling article. Under captain’s orders, every detective in the station house had spent the past two weeks boning up on the behavior patterns of serial killers.
He flexed the muscles in his arms and looked at his Navy SEAL tattoos. He had no clue what to do if that sick bastard showed up in Murrell’s Inlet. He was too new at being a detective and some were questioning why the captain had promoted him in the first place. Following up on an obscure lead, he’d taken the initiative and pursued and captured a couple of long-sought backwater drug dealers, a feat that catapulted him from the rank and file into the role he now held.
Another contributing factor for his promotion could’ve been that his captain was also a former Navy SEAL. Reading the FBI profiling article hadn’t made him feel any better. He hoped he’d never cross paths with the sick freak.
He wheeled his Camaro into the driveway of his former home, a light green, two-story, southern vernacular. It had a pool in the backyard that he’d put in himself. He sat behind the wheel for a moment under the overhanging branches of the angel hair oak tree his ex-wife had planted long ago in honor of their son Ben’s birth.
He ran his hands through his long, wavy hair and climbed out, wearing worn, faded jeans and a burgundy T-shirt that worked well with his muscular, tanned frame. The rain soaked him as he jogged through the piles of wet leaves that covered the lawn. He stepped onto the covered porch and was about to knock when Judith, his ex-wife, swung the door open.
His son, Ben, with dark hair and piercing, dark eyes just like his, dressed in his white baseball uniform with burgundy letters that read Gamecocks, dashed by him toward the car carrying his cell phone. “Hey, Dad.”
“Whoa. Hey, Sport. If this rain doesn’t break, they may cancel the game.”
“Let’s go,” Ben said and climbed into the front passenger seat.
Judith stood in the doorway in a revealing pink nightie. She was breathing heavily, as though she’d just finished a vigorous workout. She was thirty-four, with shoulder-length blond hair and enough sexual energy to raise the dead. “It’s about time you showed up. Benjamin is being disrespectful to my guest.”
“A killer who’s randomly taking boys our son’s age is kind of a priority, don’t you think?”
“You don’t even know if he’ll come this way,” Judith said.
“A good scout is always prepared.”
“Maybe you should prepare by going to church sometimes and praying about it.”
“I’ll pretend that church means something to you, just as soon as you stop placing hairs of your enemies in those jars of yours.”
A young black man with a shaved head and chiseled body—and more than likely the source of Judith’s workout—joined her at the door. He expanded his chest and stood straight at the sight of Art.
Art shook his head. Yet another boy-toy around his son. “You think Ben’s disrespect has something to do with your choice of guests?” He frowned. “Let him come live with me.”
She stared at him. “I told you, I need the child support—and I’d miss him.”
“Two years of monthly child support checks—even if he’s with me.”
There was a moment of silence as Judith seemed to consider his offer. She glanced at her boy-toy, whose arm now rested across her shoulder. “We’ll be back from vacation soon.”
“Think about my offer.”
She kissed her boy-toy deeply, pursed her lips at Art, and then slammed the door in his face.
“Bitch,” he said under his breath to the closed door. What in hell had he been thinking having unprotected sex with her? He strode back to his car, climbed in, and screeched his tires as he backed out of the driveway. He turned on his windshield wipers and tore off down the wet street. He glanced at his son, who was watching him. He slowed to the posted speed limit.
Ben tossed the FBI serial profiling article in his lap onto the backseat. He pulled his cell phone out of his front pocket and pressed buttons. He rocked his head back and forth to his music selection. “What were you and Mom talking about?”
Art glanced at Ben. “Life, son—things you deal with in life.”
“Mom said call him ‘Dad.’”
Art pressed the brake pedal, coming to a complete stopped in the middle of the street. He stared at his son. “Who?”
“Her new boyfriend, Clarence.”
Art tensed. He pressed the gas and proceeded down the road. “I’m your father.”
“I know, Dad.”
They rode on in silence. His son’s words had cut deep.

About the Author:
 
Before publishing his debut novel in 2016, he served over 27 years as an information technology professional working initially for the US Navy, and then the Department of the Navy and various fortune companies. He’s a UCLA writing program alumnus who writes mystery thrillers and children stories. He has three wonderful kids who he enjoys immensely. Writing is his passion and his goal with each story is to capture the imagination in the opening pages and keep it engaged to the story’s riveting conclusion.
 

 

Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter