Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ability - Travis Hill

Kindle Price:
$2.99 (US)
Author's website: www.angrygames.com

While reading through another SF Signal rss feed I came across part 1 of Ability as a free download. Before I knew it I had bought and read the second and third parts of Travis Hills' Ability. Unfortunately at the time the omnibus wasn't available.

It has been a while since I have had the 'I just cant put this down' problem. With a full-time job, partner and kids there isn't much time for reading these days. More often than not I listen to audio books while travelling to and from work. This means less time also to check out indie books as most aren't on Audible.

So what was it that I was so caught up by with Ability? At first it took me back 20 years, to a very distant past, a time well before the life I know now and then it mixed that up with the modern technology of today. For me this was a potent mix. Philip K Dick explored some of the same in his work. Altering perceptions with both technology and drugs and following humanity down that rabbit hole. Without giving anything away Travis offers up his vision of what humanity becomes when we are unlocked, enhanced.

In truth Ability reads more like it is in two parts. Parts one and two are the before and the third part is the after. If you read it in this way you will will find that the third part pays off with a wickedly grim telling of what the fall out is. I for one am hoping that Travis will write more stories in this universe, I think there is more to be told.

4/5 Stars

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pure Vision by Perri Birney

Kindle Price:  $0.99  U.S. (For a Limited Time)
Available from:  Amazon
                            Barnes & Noble
                            Apple iTunes
Author Name:  Perri Birney
Author’s Websitewww.purevision.us
Genre:  Fiction, Action/Adventure, Thriller
The Spear of Longinus is stolen . . .
An ancient document is moved . . .
A journey to find the Grail unfolds . . .

New York Times reporter Maggie Seline has written an explosive book that offers a controversial solution to the Middle East crisis. During a live radio interview, a kidnapping attempt is made and Maggie vanishes. Her disappearance sets in motion a worldwide women's march toward Jerusalem that threatens the status quo and parallels a frantic race to possess ancient talismans.

The Spear of Longinus and the Holy Grail are sought by men who will stop at nothing to increase their power—over religion, governments, and the planet's energy sources. An upcoming peace conference hides the true motivation of Giovanni Mabus, outgoing president of the European Commission, who intends to exploit an ancient mythological connection between the two legendary treasures. In league with the clandestine pseudo-Masonic group, Propaganda Due, he sets in motion events aimed at furthering political and military chaos in the Middle East in order to accomplish his aims. Meanwhile, Maggie and Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Michael Sonada race to thwart the sinister plot. Spurred to action by the journal writings of Walter Stein, the Viennese philosopher who worked with British Intelligence against the Nazis, their race takes them into the forbidden regions of Nepal to make an earth-shattering discovery.


PERRI BIRNEY is the writing team of Angelina Perri Birney and Lawrence Birney.

With a Master’s degree in English Education from NYU and a B.A. in Writing and Communications, Angelina Perri Birney has also been trained in the Tibetan Buddhist lama tradition and completed a three-year retreat. While traveling extensively throughout Tibet, Nepal and India, she experienced the rich cultures and spiritual traditions practiced in these lands. She received teachings on the various myths explored within Pure Vision, in particular that of Shambhala, from several eminent teachers including the Dalai Lama. Angelina is also an alumna of the White House Project, an organization which promotes women’s advancement and leadership. She is the author of Powerful Women Changing the World, a blog dedicated to women’s influence on world affairs. Angelina’s work has also been published in the McGraw-Hill anthology, Women: Images and Realities (2011).

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Lawrence lived there for ten years before moving with his family to Libya. In Tripoli, surrounded by antiquities from the Roman era through World War II, he gained first-hand knowledge of Arab culture and its historical position on the world stage. His exploration of the underground tunnels used by Erwin Rommel’s Panzerarmee Afrika is a foundational element within Pure Vision. Lawrence studied Modern European History and Economics at the Institute for European Affairs in Lugano, Switzerland before returning to the U.S. and pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering from Bridgeport Engineering Institute in Connecticut. He is a student of both Christian and Eastern mysticism.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with Perri Birney

What will readers like about your book? 

PURE VISION has a unique storyline weaving myth, history, and political intrigue. It also introduces a strong and powerful female character, Maggie Seline, who is persecuted for of her beliefs. My husband, Lawrence, and I began writing the book ten years ago, and it metamorphosized dramatically along the way. There’s plenty of unexpected twists to the plot, so it’s entertaining, and yet at the same time it really inspires you to think and envision something greater. The book sets you on an adventure — women from all over the world march toward creating an international peace zone — so plenty of actionagainst a backdrop of current and historical events.

Why did you self publish?

Upon finishing the novel, I went the usual route of trying to find a literary agent. I came to find that many agents fear their relationships with publishers, so they usually stick with subjects that have been tried and true for them. Most of them tend to shy away from taking risks on books that look controversial. I decided not to play the waiting game and published PURE VISION myself. If you believe you’ve got something to say, then no one and nothing is going to stop readers from finding your work.

What is your writing process like?

Coffee, chocolate and silence. As you can tell from my answer, I like to stimulate my senses and then get quiet. As for the technical aspects, PURE VISION involved a great deal of research. So there were a few years where I was reading a lot, gathering information and gaining more understanding about subjects that were included in the book. Those were the years where I had to be patient, which was really hard to do. But it was a very important period since all of the material you’re gathering is kind of brewing inside of you. It’s as if you’re cooking with a huge pot, adding all sorts of ingredients to the mix, including the flavoring and the spices. You keep going until you have this incredible meal, and every single aspect that went into it is important to the whole.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

So much of the conflict we’re seeing around the world makes you stop and think about how we can all make a difference. When I hear about and see people hurt by the ravages of war, there’s a part of me that knows I can’t just bury my head in the sand. In my own case, I know I can communicate a story in an entertaining way and be able to reach a wide audience. So that’s how it started. I felt the need to express powerful ideals in a way that gave everyone room to think. When I actually started writing, I was inspired by the stories of great leaders — men and women such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and more currently, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, who stood against all odds because they had a vision of peace and decency.

What is it that you’re trying to accomplish in the novel and who are you trying to reach?

There’s a real need in the world for strong women characters, in everyday life and in fiction. I believe PURE VISION fulfills that need by providing an intelligent, resourceful, larger-than-life female protagonist who is a force to be reckoned with. On a grander scale, I believe the novel recognizes that feminine energy needs to be embraced — whether we’re male or female — in order to create a more balanced world. The novel also creates a space where we can look at our problems in a new light. Instead of using old, worn-out methods like political divides and military force to attain resolution, we need to include spiritual or higher-minded means in our efforts. Also, art is such a powerful tool and artists are always using it to create change. My hope is that PURE VISION makes its mark and transforms readers, inspiring them to support an ideal beyond division and blame — a vision of peace.