Thursday, November 19, 2015

Kendall Grey, and her art, ROCK!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:


Let me put this in other words. Words that Kendall herself would probably choose:

Kendall Grey can write the fuck out of a book, and you need to be reading her goddamned art! THIS SHIT IS AMAZING!

Yes, I said ART.  Because Kendall’s motto is MAKE ART, NOT HOUSE PAYMENTS

And she does.

Yes, I am an unabashed and devoted Kendall Grey fan. I was from the moment I finished the first of her books that I ever read. It has nothing to do with her sense of humor, her determination and loyalty to her friends and fans, or even with the fact that one of her swag items at signing is personal lubricant; it’s all about the stories. And the fluid, emotional, scarring, affecting, deeply personal and truthful words she uses to tell them.

Kendall doesn’t just tell you a funny, raunchy, exciting story, she doesn’t just salt those stories with liberal doses of profanity, relationships, and sex; she tells you the motherfucking truth. You just have to be willing to see it.

I’m so serious. Kendall’s characters are over the top.  They’re free-thinkers, free lovers, and free-range crazies who are out to live their lives as they want, and in so doing, these folks are also out to teach you something.  Just because they might be wild, drunk, high, scared, murderous, and horny doesn’t mean they aren’t telling the truth.  These people gain insight, grow, and learn from their mistakes. Would that we all could do.

The stories that Kendall Grey creates are amazing. Rockers reaching for fame and fortune while remaining true to their art. Whale warriors and earth forces fighting planetary destruction (this is not as sci-fi as it sounds, actually). Family fighting for family, no matter what that means for them. And now, Ghosts.

Ghosts is a web serial.  It’s outfuckingstanding and I’ve never read anything like it. Every day, I RUSH to my computer to read the day’s installment. I die a little bit with Sarah, the main character, and I feel her pain, her fear, her determination. Post-apocalyptic, dystopian, post-modern, science fiction… nothing does it justice. This is a story of abuse. Of hunger and pain.  It’s a story of fear, stark-raving mad terror, and quiet, sobbing dread and apprehension. It’s about survival, and death, and murder. It’s about living every single, endless, pain-filled day of your life walking on the razor’s edge between life and death and not even knowing for sure if you’d notice the difference.

I really, truly wish everyone would read this serial.  Ghosts is kind of life-changing in a way. If a mom from Georgia can write something this freaking incredible, then there’s hope for all of us. If a normal (and having met Kendall, I use that term loosely) human who sews and cooks and packs lunches and takes walks with children and cleans house and a million other every day things, if that person can put this story down on paper, then maybe there’s a goddamned genius living inside all of us. Kendall grey gives me hope that someday I’ll write something even half as amazing as Ghosts or Rock or Nocturnes or any of her other books. She gives us all hope for a world where art matters more than money or social acceptance or accolades. She’s living that.

Ghosts is not an easy read. It’s dark, it’s full of bad things, and it can be a little gory at times (although not excessively so, imho).  It’s also built on string theory – the time frame moves around and it takes a few installments to get it all down and chronologically organized in your head, but it’s totally worth the minimal confusion in order to take this story in, feel it, and then think about it as you wait for the next episode.  I’m really being sincere here. I cannot believe how incredible this story is. Some days it makes me smile for hours, and some days it’s like a punch to the gut; not many authors can affect my emotions like Grey does. Just because it is sometimes scary, sometimes painful, sometimes bloody, doesn’t mean it isn’t great; it hurts good.

So, the giveaway.  You read the first ten installments of Ghosts.  You can find it on Kendall's website.  Go to our Facebook page tell me you’ve done so (the thread with this same post), and tag one or more friends who might be interested in reading something different and new. Share this post. Everyone who does this will be entered into a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card, to be given away on Thanksgiving day. 

RULE:  There must be at least five entrants for the drawing to be held. The point of this is, after all, to get the word out to people about a fantastic writer, and five entrants means at least five people tagged, which helps my cause, so there you go.

Please be advised that Facebook, BlogSpot, God, Hera, Odin and Freya, Krishna, Buddha, nor any other social media site or cultural deities are responsible for this giveaway.  It’s entirely my doing. Although I may consult Beelzebub, my neighbor’s Yorkie, for advice at some point; he’s never steered me wrong.

Go read Ghosts.  Discover Kendall Grey’s writing. Check out her book on and other sites. I can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t become as devoted and fawning and adoring (and obnoxious) as I am. 

This woman, and her art, ROCKS!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thirty-five and a Half Conspiracies, by Denise Grover Swank

Denise Grover Swank has done it again! Created a romantic, thrilling, scary, exciting, funny, twisty-turny mystery featuring Rose Gardner, Arkansas' answer to Miss Marple.

To avoid spoilers, even the smallest one, I'll just say that this book is everything you've come to expect from a Rose Gardner mystery, and from Swank, and more. Swank's writing gets better every outing and this is a case in point.

This series is fresh, different, and loads of fun. There's love, hate, fear, passion, joy, happiness, sorrow, and even a little envy in here. There's a little dog, a sad friend, a loyal protector, a mysterious sister, and evil b*tch, and a lawyer who knows exactly which side of the law his clients walk upon.

The upshot of this series, I think, is that we all have to grow and change to live and love successfully. Sometimes, we find lifelong friends and partners along the way, people who make us more than we are alone, and sometimes we find people who are only moments in our lives and not meant to be there forever. Facing adversity makes you stronger and really can't be avoided anyway, so you have to take the bull by the horns. Sometimes, we find that those we love have committed sins and that, no matter how much we love them, we can't get past those. This series of books is a woman's journey and in addition to being fun, exciting, and a little (occasionally a lot) sad, it's also got some deeper truths to be mined and paid attention to. We are all works in progress.

Thirty-Five seems to be approaching some sort of climax and a culmination of the things that have come before. Not that I expect Swank will end the series any time soon, but just that many questions our protagonists have had will soon be answered and there will be some sort of wrap up of a major story line. I say this with great hope of finding out just what the heck is going on, as well as for seeing where the author takes our heroine next. I cannot wait for the next installment to come in May.

I want to point out that I read this book is about five hours all told, and that the denouement, several pages long, had my heart pounding and my palms sweating. I am not lying.

If you have not read Twenty-eight and a Half Wishes, or the other six books in this series, you'll want to do that first, but I promise you it's worth it. Denise Grover Swank never fails to satisfy her readers. Click on the pic to get it.