Get to know Author Joe Gazzam

A great introduction to author Joe Gazzam.

readful things blog

FrontCOVSome of my favourite discoveries this last year have been accidental, and that is certainly the case with the talented author we are featuring here today. Please give a huge welcome to author Joe Gazzam. I think there is a good chance this will not be the last you hear from him. I’m pretty good at these big future judging games, no?


 Tell us a little bit about you and your work.

Quick bio:

I was born in Baltimore, MD, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL and graduated from the University of Florida. Soon after college, I moved to Los Angeles with one script under my arm, never having been to California in my life and literally knowing no one. Since then, due to good luck and the support of friends and family, I’ve been a working screenwriter (21 Jump Street,
Step Up: Revolution, Anubis Tapestry) for 8…

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P.J Parker’s Fire on the Water Blog Tour

As part of P.J Parker’s Fire on the Water Blog Tour here is some information about the book and the author.



Fire On The Water: A Companion To Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 

By P.J. Parker

Category: Drama

Publication Date: 12th December 2013 

ISBN paperback: 978-1-61213-196-2

ISBN ebook: 978-1-61213-197-9

Book Summary

Rachel, a young American biographer researching the life of Mary Shelley in Montreux, Switzerland, is entangled and consumed by the escalating threads of her investigation. Shards of Shelley’s creation are exhumed from the past. Precious memories are hacked and sutured to the unthinkable. The unblemished flesh of the one she loves is stripped back to reveal what lies beneath—aspects of Frankenstein incised and ripped from the nineteenth century and transplanted into her own.

Through a landscape of archival documents, the contents of a trunk unopened for generations, and a spiraling progression of dismembered cadavers and uncertainties, Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein interweaves Rachel’s search with the plot of Frankenstein and the horrific occurrences of the summer of 1816 when Mary Shelley dared to dip her quill into the ink of her darkest of waking dreams.

The truth is given life.

Praise for Fire On The Water

The impossible has been done… a really great novel inspired by a really great novel.

-ARC Review, Goodreads

There were some particularly great moments in this story. Times when your own heart is beating as fast as that of the character you are experiencing things with. I loved that the author balanced moments of excitement with a deep back story of Shelley’s research and composition of her famed novel.

                                 -ARC Review, Goodreads

Connect with P.J. Parker TWCS Book PageTWCS Author Page, Author Facebook PageFire On The Water Facebook pageTwitter

Publication Date: 12th December 2013

Sales Information

Fire On The Water is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon, B&, The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House online:, and available in ebook format on iTunes and Kobo.

Some information about the Author

IMG_0304 (3) - Copy-2P.J. Parker

P.J. Parker was born and raised in rural Australia. With a bachelor of science in architecture from the University of New South Wales, he has traveled and lived extensively around the world, focusing on cultures of historic interest and buildings of architectural significance before transitioning into a career as a fraud analyst and programmer with a leading international financial institution. An avid reader and researcher, P.J. undertakes his writing with a passionate and exacting attention to detail.

A Personal Interview with P.J. Parker

1.      What is a usual day in the life of P.J. Parker:

My usual day starts at 7am to get up and catch the jitney into New York where I work for a major financial organization. Eight to nine hours analyzing fraud, writing code to detect or prevent, creating detection processes and then back on the jitney to home—mentally exhausted. I have all the best intentions of writing every night but it just does not happen. Somewhere in there my stories and characters are evolving for the next three books. Sentences and characteristics form, ready for when they need to be written down. At the moments that I am able to sit and write, the words gush out as fast as I can type. Version after version has already done the rounds in my head and any chapter or sentence refuses to be written until it is ready for a good first draft that I and my characters are happy with.

2.      What’s your favorite TV show:

My favorite TV show is Bones. I admire the character of Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan with her straight forwardness and logical outlook. Temperance sees the world based on a vast knowledge of humanity and science without the artificial filters of society. The same simplistic and blunt observation comes through in my work. My chapters are usually very short, to the point, with no waffle. I’m not really sure how to waffle.

3.      Favorite novel:

At the moment my favorite novel is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story format is intriguing, the underlying social commentary still relevant and much of the prose breathtaking—especially when Mary breathes life into her creation. Mary has a wording that is different from her contemporaries—very much that of a woman of the new age daring to enter and conquer a literary world dominated by men.

4.      Best hero and heroine of all time:

Nothing could come close to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. As a couple, even with their prejudices and pride, they are immortal. I know that a little bit of Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy have rubbed off on two of my main characters in Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Their sensibilities and ideals are hard to ignore.

5.      Greatest monster ever created (besides Frankenstein):

The greatest monster ever created (besides Frankenstein) would be the one that is closest to reality without the need of the paranormal. For me it is Hannibal Lector—rooted in the depths of our most frightening nightmares but so very, very real. The same can be said for the monster(s) in Frankenstein and Fire on the Water: A Companion to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Despite their origins, they are real flesh and blood with underlying motives that may be seen as good or evil.

6.      If you could live in any time period what would it be:

Every age is a new age with its own excitement and uncertainties. I want to live in them all and perhaps that is why I am a writer.

7.      Favorite food:

Could anything possibly be better than a handmade pizza and a glass of Pino Grigio while overlooking Lake Lugano, Switzerland? Perhaps a pot of fondue and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at a sunny, lakeside restaurant in Montreux, Switzerland.

8.      Biggest fear:

My biggest fear is not being able to let my imagination have its own way, and not being able to let my characters lead me to where they want to go.

A Series that is so much fun! Nogglestones

What an awesome name – Nogglestones. Go check this post out.

readful things blog

Earlier this year I had the privilege of being introduced to the book series “Noggle Stones,” by Wil Radcliffe If you are searching for books that are appropriate for a bit younger audience but still entertaining enough for an older audience, this is the way to go. Below you will find further information about this series including the first two chapters and some great links where you can find fun stuff to do. Trust me–you wanna!

Helping me spread the word is not required but always greatly appreciated. ♥
Book I at Amazon

Book 1 1/2 at Amazon

Book II at Amazon

The Noggle Stones Role-Playing Game


The Noggle Stones Archery Line at

Also available at Barnes & Noble

Here are the first two chapters:

From my flesh I make this scroll.
I draw ink from veins that bleed.
With my heart…

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Thought for the Day – Displacement

Although this is called ‘Thought for the Day’, which may be suggestive of it being part of a series, it is not. This is really just an isolated post, and since this thought consumes me, could be considered the ‘Thought of the Day’ for all days. Well, until it isn’t.

Ever felt completely displaced, both temporally and spatially? That is how I feel right now. Forced to exist in a location and time zone that just feels completely alien. Nothing around me seems to make sense. Everything just looks wrong, feels wrong. It seems as if the sun rises and sets at all the wrong times, and that there is no longer any order to the world. I know that this will change when I am in the location and time in which I belong, where my heart is, my home. Until that time I know that nothing will feel right.

Ever felt that way?

Close Encounters by Sandra Kitt

close encountersClose Encounters by Sandra Kitt

Description from Goodreads

Hailed by E. Lynn Harris as a “bold and imaginative” tale that is “sure to keep readers turning the pages,” Sandra Kitt’s interracial love story presents a man and a woman whose fates are changed forever by a random act of violence

Lee Grafton is a divorced cop and the father of a teenage girl. Carol Taggart is a newly single professor. Their lives collide one night when Carol is caught in the crossfire of an undercover drug sting gone south. Shot and seriously wounded, she finds an unexpected friend in Lee . . . unaware that the man she’s falling for could be the shooter.

Twenty years on the street do nothing to prepare Lee for the night that changes his life. Determined to make amends, the special-operations lieutenant finds himself irresistibly drawn to Carol. But Lee soon faces a new threat. With his career and heart on the line, he races to prevent Carol from becoming a victim once again.

Passionate and bold, Close Encounters shatters myths about race, gender, and love.

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It had a fast paced plot, with numerous twists and turns along the way. There are a number of interesting subplots that bleed into the action of the main plot, that are all tied up nicely before the final resolution of the story.

This book was a great romance, but it was so much more than simply that. This book had many of the elements of a great crime story. In addition it dealt with a number of difficult topics of an interracial nature.

The action began almost immediately, and set the stage for the development of the remainder of the story. The main characters were all introduced, in some way, in the first few pages of the book. The characters were interesting and the author made them very believable, through great description and the use of ordinary language and dialogue.

I particularly enjoyed the treatment of the burgeoning relationship between Lee and Carol, as the revelation of his involvement in her situation was revealed. The trials and tribulations that the two were subjected to, in order to be together, and for their relationship to progress, gave the story significant interest and provided adversity and challenge for each of the main characters.

The ancillary characters were also well developed and provided additional interest, both in their involvement to the main plot, and in their own right.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a clever romance, that is not just a straightforward love story. If you enjoy reading about two people having to struggle and overcome hardship, simply in order to be together, then this would certainly be a great book to read.

This review was based on a review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher Open Road Media as part of the Retro Reads Program.

Energy Conservation at the North Pole

Santa revealed as environmentally conscious eco warrior. More power to him.

readful things blog

aaaaaaaaa   So with the budget being so tight and all, Santa has had to make some cutbacks. He has contacted me and asked me to review his latest book “How to conserve energy and keep those pockets padded,” By A. Jollyfatman.

Whilst I await the arrival of this book, he has agreed to do a guest post for Readful Things, sharing some of his energy saving ideas. Please welcome St. Nick.


Are you looking to save some money this year? Here are some of the changes we have made at the North Pole to ensure that production stays up and costs stay down.

1. I replaced the blinky red nose of Rudolph with a lower energy LED light. True, he can’t guide the sleigh as well, but I can find my way pretty well without the little bugger.

2. I sold off the collection of classic toys…

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The Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding

echoesThe Echoes of Love by Hannah Fielding

Description from Goodreads

Seduction, passion and the chance for new love.A terrible truth that will change two lives forever.

Venetia Aston-Montagu has escaped to Italy’s most captivating city to work in her godmother’s architectural practice, putting a lost love behind her. For the past ten years she has built a fortress around her heart, only to find the walls tumbling down one night of the carnival when she is rescued from masked assailants by an enigmatic stranger, Paolo Barone.

Drawn to the powerfully seductive Paolo, despite warnings of his Don Juan reputation and rumours that he keeps a mistress, Venetia can’t help being caught up in the smouldering passion that ignites between them.

When she finds herself assigned to a project at his magnificent home deep in the Tuscan countryside, Venetia must not only contend with a beautiful young rival, but also come face to face with the dark shadows of Paolo’s past that threaten to come between them.

Can Venetia trust that love will triumph, even over her own demons? Or will Paolo’s carefully guarded, devastating secret tear them apart forever?

I gave this book five stars out of five

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. The plot was moderately paced and brim full of romantic suspense. This was a very well written, and different kind of romance. The alluring cover of this book made me want to check it out, even before I read the description, which only increased my desire to explore this further.

There are many beautifully crafted passages, in particular those relating to the scenery and architecture of Tuscany and Venice, that created a marvellous backdrop to this love story. It was easy to visualise oneself in these magical locations.

I particularly enjoyed the development of the relationship between Paolo and Venetia. The interaction between these two main characters was fascinating, watching their actions and reactions, and learning about the events of the past that influenced each of them.

Learning how Venetia’s father fitted in to the puzzle was very revealing, as was Paolo’s relationship with the stunning Allegra. Another interesting character was the caddish and odious Duke Umberto, whose despicable behaviour towards both Venetia and Paolo, revealed his true nature.

I enjoyed the way that the current behaviour of the main characters could be traced back to the presence of deep psychological scars. There was a lot of sexual tension between the main characters, and I felt that the love scenes were executed in an exceptionally tasteful manner.

The ending of the story was intriguing, and provided an unexpected conclusion to what I considered to be an exceptionally riveting romance. This conclusion suddenly made the title of this book make a lot more sense. I would certainly recommend this to fans of the intelligent and suspenseful romance.

This review is based on a digital ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

Guest Author: S.L. Dearing

An author interview with S.L. Dearing. Check it out.

...and then there was Sarah

Please join me in welcoming author S.L. Dearing to the page! I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon earlier this year when we shared a table at NW Bookfest, and she is a wonderful breath of fresh air. Enjoy her interview!

If you are interested in being a Guest Author, please check out this page.

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