Days of Insult – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

4 Stars

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Erin Eldridge

Days of Insult is Erin Eldridge’s military novel, in the historical fiction genre, that follows a Russian teenager, Sacha, during WWII. After Sacha loses his village and mother to the German’s raid, he runs to the forest and joins the partisan fighters. The story details the operations against the Nazis, the life of a partisan, the love affairs, Red Army, the aftermath of war and its effects on an older and wiser Sacha.

The subject matter of this book is, at times, disturbing. The Holocaust is not everyone’s favorite topic. Eldridge incorporates a love story between Sacha and the nurse, Elena, which is reminiscent of A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, yet falls short. The affair is intense, but it fails to capture their connection. The scenes between them feel contrived. In the beginning of the story, once Sacha joins the brigade, the next chapter skips six months ahead. The gap and his maturation into the young partisan are missing. It would have been essential to the plot to witness his transformation into one of the best “dynamiters” of his generation. A few edits would have benefited the plot’s structure in the timeline.

However, Days of Insult is an exciting page-turner. Erin Eldridge’s depiction of WWII and the descriptions of the raids and deaths of the Russians is heart-breaking. The reader is rooting for the partisan brigade’s, as well as their plots to kill the Nazis. Credit is to be given to Edridge’s story-telling of this horrific time in history. Days of Insult is definitely a worthwhile read, and Sacha’s journey from a young sixteen-year-old lost in the forest to a mature man is an inspiring tale, especially for historical fiction fans.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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[Author Interview] Victoria Renteria | Redemption

Featured Authors Talk About It

Author Interview

Victoria Renteria

ATAI: Tell us a little about you.

Victoria: Hello, all! (Waves) I’m Victoria Renteria, thank you so much for having me today. Hmmm, what to say, what to say . . . Well, I live in the sunny state of Florida and I absolutely adore it here. I love the sunshine and having access to the beach year-round. It’s pretty much vacation weather all the time. I often find myself working from there as much as I can. I’m addicted to all things cherry. I have probably about a gazillion tattoos. And I love green tea. Oh, and as my husband loves to say: I’m pint sized. I’m all of about five foot three inches tall. My husband and all his Army buddies like to get a good laugh at my expense. Until I put on my biker boots and go for a ride. Did I mention my dad is a biker? No? That tends to scare most men off. Lol.

ATAI: How long have you been writing?

Victoria: Wow, such a fantastic question. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I started penning my stories in a journal my great grandmother gave me as a child. From there I ventured into poetry. I published my first work as a Poet when I was nineteen. I’ve always loved the thrill of a good story. Find an author that can weave a world full of mischief and mayhem that you can truly sink your teeth into is a blissful escape from the everyday stressors life can bring.

ATAI: What was your most recent release?

Victoria: Eek! I am so glad you asked me this question. Redemption is my newest release. It’s a continuation, or a spin-off if you will of The Betrayed Series. It portrays two of the characters that you meet in The Betrayed Series and it tells you a haunting tale of how they came to be where they are. Their road to redemption is paved with misfortune and unhappiness. This story is close to my heart for so many reasons, it touches on some incredibly sensitive topics that others shy away from, but, it also shows you that through it all, the power of love can help us to break the chains of darkness that bind us to our past.

Click here to get your copy!

ATAI: What do you love most about writing?

Victoria: Writing is my sanctuary. To be honest, I love the whole process of weaving a story from beginning to end. Creating a world that a reader can become so emotionally invested in that they can’t tell where the book ends and the real world begins.

ATAI: What do you find most challenging?

Victoria: The most challenging part of being a writer is knowing when to turn it all off. There are times that I become so invested in my work that I literally forget about everything around me. Working from home, I’m afforded that ability. However, when you have a teenager who plays baseball 24/7 and a husband who is constantly deployed, it tends to be more challenging than not.

ATAI: Where do your ideas come from?

Victoria: Goodness, I pretty much find that life itself inspires me. Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Nothing is excluded in my world. Sometimes it comes in the form of a song, or a word, or even a game that I play with my son. Conversations or even a person passing me on the street. I’ve even had inspiration strike in the shower. Yep, you read that correctly, in the shower! Life is funny that way. I can take anything I see and turn it into a fantastic new world for readers to dive into.

ATAI: What is your writing process?

Victoria: Chaos. Crying. Rocking in a corner and pulling my hair out. Okay, maybe not in that order but they’re all part of the process. Generally, most writers will tell you that they sit down and sketch out an outline of the book chapter by chapter and know exactly where it’s going before they write it. My process is different. I know the storyline, I know the beginning, I know the end and the major points. However, all the juicy bits and the good stuff that happens in the middle I don’t know. Because characters tend to write the story themselves. So, I roughly sketch out an outline and then I allow the story to just develop on its own. Honestly, the story is constantly evolving as I write it.

ATAI: Do your characters (or message) ever seem to have a life of their own or an agenda of their own?

Victoria: Absolutely. Every single character has their own voice and directs which way the story goes. A good writer will always tell you we are just the instrument to which our characters speak through.

ATAI: What’s your favorite part of your book (or one of your books)?

Victoria: Wow, hitting me with the difficult ones. It is so difficult to pick one favorite part of my books. I really do love them all. I’d say if I can only choose one I would have to choose a section of Royal Blood. I love chapter ten where Kylee really steps it up and becomes the badass that we’ve always known she was. Her actions in this chapter just make me beam with pride. Then to top it all off the emotionally intense sexual encounter in the hallway with Alex is just icing on the cake. It kind of throws you for a loop.

ATAI: What are you working on next?

Victoria:Victoria: Eek! I am so excited to talk about Beyond The Pain. This is a Suspense/Thriller that I’ve been working on and it is incredible! I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed. Seriously, this book has me on edge. It’s about Colton Monroe a man who was born with the extraordinary ability to bend time. He’s always been an outcast from society so when the police department asks him to help on a missing person’s case he is really thrown for a loop. This story has everything from supernatural to suspense, angst, you name it and it’s there!

ATAI: Where can people find you online?

Victoria: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaRenteriaAuthor/
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/962652627143951/
Website: www.victoriarenteria.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authorvrenteria
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14428394.Victoria_Renteria
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_victoria_renteria
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/22w7g6wrnw5ljfksfl6gg6r2y or search for Victoria Renteria
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2iFVE3M

ATAI: Thank you for sharing with us and our audience.

Victoria: Thank you so much for having me on today! Feel free to stalk me or join my reader group. I really hope to hear from some of you soon ☺


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Nisei

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Nisei

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Book Description:

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Government encouraged all eligible young men to enlist immediately in the fight against its enemies overseas–all eligible young men, except Japanese-Americans. Nisei is the story of Hideo “Bobby” Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country. Narrated by Bobby Takahashi and read by his son, Robert, forty-six years after Bobby’s death, the story details the young Nisei’s determination to fight honorably for his country and return to the young love he was forced to leave–a girl he cannot have because she is White.


Notes: 

Nisei is an emotional historical fiction novel, written by JJ White, about the plight of a Japanese-American man during World War II. Hideo Takahashi, who went by “Bobby,”was what was referred to as “nisei,” meaning that he was second generation Japanese-American. As a teenager, Bobby lived a simple life and dreamed of joining the Navy. However, after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, discrimination against Japanese-Americans escalated dangerously, and Bobby and his family were soon captured and sent to an internment camp. He was eventually allowed to join the Army- not the Navy as he had hoped- yet faced even more hatred and racial prejudice there. Amidst the horrors of war, Bobby was determined to fight honorably and courageously, and once and for all prove that he was a true American. Decades later, Bobby’s depressed and suicidal son discovers his deceased father’s memoir about those tumultuous years, but he is not prepared for what he will find within those dusty pages. 

Nisei is a very well researched, honest portrayal of the lives of Japanese-Americans during World War II. JJ White explores issues of race, prejudice, identity, and patriotism deeply and thoroughly in his novel, while remaining true to its historical roots. However, Nisei is also dripping in emotion; Bobby’s story is equal parts enlightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. The emotional weight never smothers the heaviness of tragic truth; rather, they are balanced wonderfully in a well-rounded, page-turning novel. 

There are occasions where Nisei is a bit hard to follow, as some of the pidgin and broken language could be difficult to understand. This is not a momentous problem, though, as it accurately portrays language barriers between Japanese immigrants, their Americanized children, and the people of Hawaii, where the book takes place. The patience required to sort out these bits of jumbled language does nothing to taint the overall value of this gut-wrenching tale. Nisei remains an enlightening glance into a dark chapter of American history, honest and raw in its portrayal of a brave Japanese-American man fighting to prove himself to the country he called home.

Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.


J.J. White

jj-white

J. J. White is an award winning novelist and short story writer who has been published in several anthologies and magazines including, Wordsmith, The Homestead Review, The Seven Hills Review, Bacopa Review, and The Grey Sparrow Journal. His story, The Adventures of the Nine Hole League, was recently published in The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, #13. He has won awards and honors from the Alabama Writers Conclave, Writers-Editors International, Maryland Writers Association, The Royal Palm Literary Awards, Professional Writers of Prescott, and Writer’s Digest. 

His crime fiction book, Deviant Acts, was released by Black Opal books in November, and was followed by his Historical Fiction book, Nisei, in 2016. He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece, Tour Bus. He lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife and editor, Pamela.

www.jjwhitebooks.com

 


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Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

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Have you checked out the 2016 Holiday Book Contest yet? Deadline is 11/15/16

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

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Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

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Apex Predator

Open Case:

Apex Predator

Kelvin Kwa

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Book Description:

Apex Predator is a military techno-thriller fused with elements of science-fiction horror. Set in the near future, a team of US Navy SEALs on a covert mission are hunted by a mythological creature as they flee across the polar icecap. The soldiers reach the submarine sent to rescue them but the chase has only just begun as they realize that their natural enemies cannot compare with the malevolent force that pursues them with vengeful intent. 
As events escalate, a myriad of characters become drawn into the conflict; 
The officers and crew of the USS Seawolf 
A Chinese Special Forces commando 
A shadowy intelligence agent 
And formidable military might brought to bear against and ancient evil 

Who will survive? Who will be the Apex Predator?


The Mastermind behind Apex Predator:

Kelvin Kwa

Kelvin Kwa is a Microsoft certified professional with a diploma in computing and applied physics. His love of technology, mythology and fantasy has led to years of collecting and reading. Kwa is a husband and a father living near Melbourne, Australia. “Apex Predator” is his first book.

Learn more at www.kelvinkwa.com.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes and get your copy of Apex Predator.


The question remains – Will you accept your mission?

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

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The Visitor – Are Earthlings a Threat

Case:

The Visitor:

Are Earthlings A Threat to Others Out There

Brent Ayscough

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Book Description:

Tasked by the Federation of Planets to determine if Earthlings present a threat as they venture into space, Tak, an alien anthropologist, leaves her starship orbiting Earth and takes a shuttle to Kansas. Intending to study humans in the United States—as she has learned no Earth language but English—she is detected while descending through the atmosphere and only evades capture by fleeing to Europe, where she lands in Poland. There, she meets an international arms merchant, Baron Von Limbach, who becomes her guide. She studies “typical” human behavior by accompanying the baron as he fulfills his latest assignment—to get the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. His method of halting the communist takeover of Tibet is to create a race-specific Ebola that will only attack Han Chinese, giving Tak a prime example of how barbaric humans can be. However, the CIA and US military are aware of Tak’s presence on Earth and are determined to capture her. And if she is unable to complete her mission and return to her starship—her captain will destroy every living thing on Earth.


The Mastermind behind The Visitor:

Brent Ayscough

Brent Ayscough or Ace, as he is known to friends, retired from the practice of law and lives in a house overlooking the sea in Southern California. He has always loved machines, from airplanes to motorcycles, structural design, and other interests. He has enjoyed the acquaintance of diverse and interesting people, and is widely traveled. Bits and pieces of characters he has known, places he has been, seasoned with the spice of his imagination, help him create unusual stories and characters. Extensive collaboration with experts and sources, hopefully, make his stories credible and interesting.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes and get your copy of The Visitor.


The question remains – Will you accept your mission?

Rob and Janelle

 

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