Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 24th, 2013

Forbidden Call – 5 Stars

Forbidden Call tells the story of a parallel world in which good and evil are pitted against each other in an epic struggle for control. This team of New Breed warriors, including Soaring Eagle (SE), has been assembled by the goddess Akina to defend the world against the attack of Toltec, an evil and powerful force to be reckoned with.

The conflict of two people falling in love across enemy lines is a good old classic, and it works beautifully in Forbidden Call. Main heartthrob SE is satisfyingly tortured with his amnesia, then his realization of who he is and who he lost years ago. It’s an amazing story, worthy of a hero. Ana no less so, the girl who was monstrously exploited by her own mother from birth on, who was thrown out of the New Breed camp after being caught spying for Toltec, and now returning to spy on Toltec for the forces of good. I love this structural symmetry. It has gravitas.

The characters in Forbidden Call seem comfortingly like ordinary human beings, with their snarky banter back and forth, their friendly rivalries, and their fears and phobias. But each one has the super powers befitting a member of the elite New Breed of warriors. Pax can transform himself to resemble any other person in perfect detail, for example.

The erotic realism as Ana and SE discover each other’s bodies is juxtaposed with lightning quick paranormal action, as the characters vanish from one place and re-materialize effortlessly in another. Their wounds heal faster, they kill their enemies with deft movements, and yet they get really hungry at mealtime, and scarf down their food with serious focus.

From the product description I am aware that Forbidden Call is the first book in a series. I love this world where good meets evil against a backdrop of Mayan history, and I’m looking forward to further installments.

Martha Bourke

April 20th, 2013

Dollar Days on Amazon

The 2nd book in the Annie Ogden mystery series, Zombie Candy, goes on sale for 99 cents from April 19 – 24. I was never good in math, but by my calculation that’s more than 70% off. A good time to add it to your bargain bookshelf.

It’s not about zombies, and it’s not about candy.

One Amazon reviewer called the book “Darkly hilarious,” while another said it was “A perfect noir comedy.” Praise like that warms my heart, but what do YOU think?

April 5th, 2013

One Shade of Red – by Scott Bury

Scott Bury

Long Live Satire

The buzz around One Shade of Red has been amazing. This spoof of the bizarre bestseller turns Fifty Shades of Grey on its head. Scott Bury was kind enough to include me on his blog tour for the launch of the book.

The following excerpt comes from Chapter 12: Hell and Heaven and Hell again. In this, the hero, the naive Damian Serr, meets with his business (and other subjects) mentor, the lovely Alexis Rosse, to go over the books and discuss business strategy. The conversation eventually strays to other subjects.


Excerpt from Chapter 12: Hell and Heaven and Hell Again


“Money is both simple and complex,” Alexis said at the end of the day in her study. “The simple part is that, to be successful, you have to take in more than you’re spending. I’m happy to see that PoolGeeks is starting to do that.”

“What’s the complex part?” I asked. No matter how hard I hoped, her clothes stubbornly stayed on her body.

“The complex part is what I do. It takes a lot of education and experience, but basically, you can invest money into complex financial instruments and multiply it.”

“You can multiply money?”

I can. It’s a talent I discovered I had in university. Of course, back then it was all theoretical. But since then, I’ve found how to make my theories work in reality.”

“Is that how you make money?”

She smiled at me. “Complex financial instruments give me control of larger sums of capital, which in turn give me control of some companies — like my late husband’s Red Capital.”

“Why is it called ‘Red Capital’?”

“Rosse means red. I thought everyone knew that.”

“Oh, right. I knew that,” my mouth managed to say. “So, you like manipulating money?”

“I have a talent for it. An ability to see opportunities that most others miss. What I like, though, is what it gives me: control over companies, leverage. That in turn leads to more money, more control. And that gives me the freedom I need to live my own life.

“But right now, Damian, we need to concentrate on the books in front of us.”

And that’s what we did. Alexis checked my entries in the ledger and had me copy them into another ledger in separate categories: payments, expenses, fixed costs, drawings.

“Growth is very good, Damian. Congratulations.”

“Thanks. Most of it due to you.”

“I recommended you to a few friends. You did all the rest. You’ve gained a substantial number of clients. Not all of them are my friends and neighbours. Some are referrals from my referrals.”

“The online ads have brought a couple, too.”

“Good. So there is something to free advertising. But word of mouth is the best promotion.”

“To tell you the truth, Alexis, I don’t think that I can handle many more clients. I’m working 10 to 12 hours a day as it is.”

“Then, you need to hire some help.”

Alexis’ words sparked a burgeoning pride and a mind-freezing fear at the same time. Me? A boss? An employer?

“Do you think I could really handle an employee?” I asked Alexis.

“The important thing is to hire the right employee. Make it easier on yourself by starting with a part-timer. Pay them as an hourly contractor, not an employee. No benefits, no tax or EI deductions.

“And you need a better computer program for tracking expenses and income.” She jotted down some recommendations on a notepad, tore off the paper and handed it to me. Even her fingertips were sexy.

“You good to go?” She was looking at me, her eyes wide and innocent, her lips parted as if she were about to ask me something.

“Well …” How to say this? She’d always initiated everything till now.

Just ask, dumbass, my brain said.

I walked around the desk, trying to look manly and commanding. I touched her face, grateful that my hand was not shaking. She just looked up at me with those big brown eyes. “Want to fool around?” Was that the right way to say it? Did people still say “fool around”?

Alexis tilted her head and smiled a little. “Hmm. Well, it will have to be a quickie. I have a charity event this evening.”

My heart stopped beating for … well, how can you tell the passage of time when your heart’s not beating?

§ § § § § § §

Scott Bury is a journalist, editor and novelist based in Ottawa, Canada. His articles have appeared in magazines in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia, including Macworld, the Financial Post, Applied Arts, the Globe and Mail and Graphic Arts Monthly.

One Shade of Red is his second novel to be published.

His first published novel is The Bones of the Earth, a fantasy set in the real time and place of eastern Europe of the sixth century. He has also published a short story, Sam, the Strawb Part (proceeds of which are donated to an autism charity), and a paranormal story, Dark Clouds. His work in progress is tentatively titled Walking from the Soviet Union, and tells the true story of a Canadian drafted into the Red Army during the Second World War, his escape from a German POW camp and his journey home.

Scott Bury lives in Ottawa with his lovely, supportive and long-suffering wife, two mighty sons and the orangest cat in history.

He can be found online at, on his blog, Written Words, on Twitter @ScottTheWriter, and on Facebook.


The previous stop on the tour was on Valjeanne Jeffers’ blog, Collision of Worlds.

The tour concludes tomorrow, April 6 on best-selling author Shannon Mayer’s blog here. Visit Shannon and pick up a copy of One Shade of Red!