Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Blaze of Glory

Title: Blaze of Glory
Author: Sheryl Nantus
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Jo Tanis, better known to millions of viewers around the world as Surf, is a superhero who can control electromagnetic waves to devastating effect. Partnered with Mike, whose hulking robotic suit lends him superhuman strength, they fight against super villains. There’s only one problem. It’s all lies.

Controlled by the sinister Agency, all the supers’ fights are rigged, and when the proverbial paw-paw really hits the fan with the arrival of aliens, humanity is unprepared to deal with the hostile attack. It’s up to Jo and a motley team of B-list supers to get down and dirty and save the day.

Having encountered Nantus before with her novel What God and Cats Know, I looked forward to her latest offering and wasn’t disappointed. Little quirks, like her penchant for the ubiquitous Brown Betty teapots and a fluffy white cat somewhere in the narrative make me smile, but what makes the story is this author’s characterisation.

Jo isn’t some twenty-something waiflet, and certainly has her job cut out for her when she inadvertently takes on the role of wrangling a mismatched group of erstwhile villains, odd couples and individuals. Superheroes many of the cast may be, but Nantus shows us their human side and also their fragility, so I’m happy to report, no Mary Sues or Marty Stus here unless we consider our freaky alien invaders.

If super heroes and witty exchanges are your cup of tea—and be warned, there’s plenty of tea-drinking going on behind the scenes—then I reckon this novel pushes all the right buttons. Oh, after some mention of alien ships resembling giant avocados hovering menacingly above major global cities. This is a fast-paced novel packed full of punches that has a storyline that could probably show some Hollywood producers a thing or two about what constitutes a satisfying superhero tale. Nantus has done good here and I’m keen to see what else she’ll be bringing to the table in the future.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tea with Karen Michelle Nutt

Today Toad welcomes author, Karen Michelle Nutt to her corner for a cuppa tea and a bit of chit-chat.

Welcome, Karen!

Tell us about the first genre fiction novel you read that has made a lasting impression on you... and why.

Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. I read it when I was about nine years old. From page one, I was swept away. Baby Island is the story of two young sisters, Jean and Mary, who were on their way to join their father in Australia, but end up marooned on an island with four babies. How they manage to survive is both fun and charming in this engaging story. It was the first time a book thoroughly captivated me. I couldn’t wait to read another book and enter another world created by an author. My next pick was a paranormal, The Ghost of Dibble Hollow by May Nickerson Wallace and my love for the genre has never waned. I still have these two books on my bookshelf.

Out of all your characters, is there one who is especially dear to you?

I have to choose one? LOL! Okay, it would have to be Dougray from Lost in the Mist of Time. He has a wonderful sense of humor and I love that in a man.

If you could spend a day in his/her company, what would you plan to do?

I would meet Dougray for lunch at the The Long Dock restaurant that overlooks the Cliff of Mohr (Ireland.) I’ll order the fresh quiche and he’ll order the smoked fish. For dessert we’ll have the chocolate and pecan brownies. I’d say we’d share, but Dougray loves his sweets. Heck, what am I saying, so do I. After lunch, we’ll do a little exploring. One can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the mountains in Conemara. The view is spectacular!

What are of your latest release's outstanding qualities and why should people read this story?

Creighton Manor - The story is a spellbinding time travel voyage, filled with passionate seduction, shocking deceit and grand adventure of discovery.

Where did you have your last holiday and did anything outstanding inspire your writing?

How about a virtual holiday? I came across a site for Bodie, a ghost town in California, and it brought back fond memories of my adventures with my cousin there. We did a little behind-the-scenes exploring. At the time, we didn’t realize we shouldn’t be in those areas. Oops, but what a wonderful time we had. The reminiscing had me thinking about a “steampunk” time travel. It’s a WIP right now.

If you were given three wishes, what would they be?

1. Enough time in the day to write would be wonderful.
2. Someone to clean my house. lol
3. The ability to time travel.

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