Uncategorized

My Goodreads Review of Crimson Forest by Christine Gabriel

Crimson Forest (Crimson Chronicles Volume 1)Crimson Forest by Christine Gabriel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The small town of Buffalo, Wisconsin, population 650-something, is noteworthy for one thing, its Crimson Forest. A major attraction to hunters during the season legend has it that mysterious creatures prowl the forest looking for unsuspecting victims, something supported by random disappearances in the past.

Seventeen-year-old Angelina and her mother own and operate a popular bed and breakfast. When the poor girl was twelve years old her father disappeared in the forest leaving them alone. Five years later, during the fall after her graduation when many of her friends from her graduating class have gone off to college, Angelina remains at home helping her mother prepare for the onslaught of hunters in anticipation of the season.

All Angelina has ever wanted was to be normal but like the forest she has secrets. It’s just that she hasn’t yet realized what they are. But her life is about to change dramatically and the adventure will lead her to rediscover secrets about herself and the mysterious forest. In the process she will learn how far from normal she is.

Some of the memorable characters are endearing while others are despicable, as Christine Gabriel has created a creepy setting for all kinds of unpredictable paranormal activity. She has blended realism with fantasy in a way that makes the outrageous seem plausible, creating a world where magic exists as surely as the strange red colored moss that covers the forest’s floor and clings to the trunks of its trees. The question becomes what sort of mythical creatures don’t inhabit this strange world? Although this is not a book about vampires, there is one named Stephen who offers a bit of comic relief. For example, he gets excited over the mention of a potential blood bath toward the climax of the story and later on Angelina tells him to go stake himself.

Crimson Forest is the first in The Crimson Chronicles series. It launched on August 30, 2014 with the sequel Crimson Moon set to follow sometime in Spring 2015.

View all my reviews

Uncategorized

Review For Christine Gabriel’s Crimson Forest

The small town of Buffalo, Wisconsin, population 650-something, is noteworthy for one thing, its Crimson Forest. A major attraction to hunters during the season legend has it that mysterious creatures prowl the forest looking for unsuspecting victims, something supported by random disappearances in the past.

Seventeen-year-old Angelina and her mother own and operate a popular bed and breakfast. When the poor girl was twelve years old her father disappeared in the forest leaving them alone. Five years later, during the fall after her graduation when many of her friends from her graduating class have gone off to college, Angelina remains at home helping her mother prepare for the onslaught of hunters in anticipation of the season.

All Angelina has ever wanted was to be normal but like the forest she has secrets. It’s just that she hasn’t yet realized what they are. But her life is about to change dramatically and the adventure will lead her to rediscover secrets about herself and the mysterious forest. In the process she will learn how far from normal she is.

Some of the memorable characters are endearing while others are despicable, as Christine Gabriel has created a creepy setting for all kinds of unpredictable paranormal activity. She has blended realism with fantasy in a way that makes the outrageous seem plausible, creating a world where magic exists as surely as the strange red colored moss that covers the forest’s floor and clings to the trunks of its trees. The question becomes what sort of mythical creatures don’t inhabit this strange world? Although this is not a book about vampires, there is one named Stephen who offers a bit of comic relief. For example, he gets excited over the mention of a potential blood bath toward the climax of the story and later on Angelina tells him to go stake himself.

Crimson Forest is the first in The Crimson Chronicles series. It is due to launch on August 30, 2014 with the sequel Crimson Moon set to follow sometime in Spring 2015.

CG1

#ChristineGabriel #CrimsonForest #NewReleaseBook #Paranormal #Romance

Uncategorized

A Writer’s Vicarious Experience

books

There are milestones in everyone’s life. For a writer those are inflection points, like the decision somewhere align the line to pursue writing in a serious way. Finishing a manuscript has to rank pretty high among a writer’s personal achievements. Having a publisher accept a manuscript for publication is well up the list too. But I believe the excitement of holding a printed copy of my first book in my hands was a transcending moment eclipsing all others to enter the realm or overall accomplishments like hold a child for the first time. Yeah, it’s like that.

As with one’s first child, it is an unforgettable experience but also one revisited with similar subsequent events. Books really are like children except the nurturing period may not be quite as long before turning one loose on the unsuspecting world. I can tell you what its like to hold a copy of a book you toiled over for months or years but is truly is something that until you experience it you cannot fully comprehend.

There is a certain level of immortality that goes with publishing something. Of course the life of a book depends on its success in the market place and whether it is available in bookstores and libraries swell as online. A lot of that comes after the fact and it requires an author to be a salesperson, something that is not quite a natural fit for the stereotypical reserved, reclusive sort writers are purported to be.

Over the next few weeks a couple of my friends are releasing books. Now, I’ve had several friends and acquaintances int he writing community release books over the past couple of years and I’ve been pretty supportive of their efforts to get the word out about their books. But I think the next two books present events I may experience vicariously because I am working at their publicist. The two young ladies are as different as the poles on the national political magnet, as if their writing styles and the genres of their books. And yet, I both of these books have story lines that I believe will be the key selling points. So I expect good things int he weeks and months to come for both ladies.

photo (6)_edited

Christine Gabriel’s Crimson Forest is the first of a series. We know the name of the sequel so far, Crimson Moon and that the second book is coming out in the Spring of 2015. It is a Young Adult / New Adult Paranormal Romance with elements of action, adventure and mystery as well as a goodly amount of strangeness – what more could you ask for? The characters are endearing or despicable depending on what they do int he story. And there are a lot of surprises along the way. Nothing is exactly what it seems. Inside the Crimson Forest the world had different rules. I read in in two days. It’s that sort of story. You want and need to find out how it is resolved. And there is a resolution before a hook that leads into the sequel.I’ll be posting a review in the next day or two.

Steph Post

Steph Post’s A Tree Born Crooked is a stand alone novel in the Country Noir genre. If you don’t know what that is, let me explain a little about the book. First, expect critical acclaim for this one. Steph is that kind of writer. It’s a slice of southern life delivered with a chainsaw. The characters are gritty and realistic, the sort of people you see int he small out of the way stops along the Interstate as you drive from south Florida on your way North to a world that makes more sense to Yankees. The characters are memorable and the situations and hair brained schemes might be amusing if they didn’t have such serious and potentially deadly consequences. I posted a review for the novel back in March.

I’m as excited about these two releases as if they books were my own because, in a way, I’ve helped in gaining the authors some exposure for their work. Last night I was privileged to see the covers. Crimson Moon’s cover is pretty much a final that will be revealed in aa few days. A Tree Born Crooked’s cover is a late version. It needs the author’s final blessing. Expect a reveal on that one in a couple of weeks. Feeling the excitement of both authors as they reacted to their covers was a special experience for me. And I know both ladies will remember the moment as well.

Still, I’ll be waiting for the text message with a selfie attached when each of them receives her complimentary copies of their books. Yeah, happy dance time for certain. I may get out of my easy chair and share the moment with them.

#books #publishing #ChristineGabriel #StephPost #ATreeBornCrooked #CrimsonForest #NewReleaseBooks #MustReads

Uncategorized

Random Fun with Christine Gabriel, Author of Crimson Forest

10250265_738810146149271_1388428548608407156_n

Unless you are one of her many friends on social media, or mine, or have not been paying any attention to the coming Pandamoonium – which is the critical mass achieved when many Pandamoon Authors release their books on an unwitting world – you may have not heard of Christine Gabriel. He debut novel, Crimson Forest, is due for release in August. Trust me, you’re about to become a fan of this dynamic young lady.

Christine was one of the first Pandas I met after signing my contract with Pandamoon Publishing late last June. The official announcement of my signing had not been made so I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone. I found out who the other Pandas were and friended them on FB and followed them on Twitter. Christine posted something to her social media and I posted a comment. She replied and that was how our ongoing conversation began.

She was also the first to welcome to upon the official announcement, calling me a rock star. Ironic as that term is in that I dreamed of being a rock star back in the day, I was flattered. Getting to know the spontaneous person that is Christine has been an adventure at times over the past ten or so months and now that we are working together as the dynamic duo of publicity behind Instant Fame Magazine which will soon include regular video blog interviews, I’ve gotten to know more about her but I’ve also discovered there will always be something else to learn.

Yesterday morning I decided to send a few random questions her way and I waited for the responses. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I did and, like me, become a fan of the talented author who is Christine Gabriel.

photo (6)_edited

EW: Okay, lets start with something totally random: you wake up only to realize you don’t remember your name or what you’re doing in Des Moines, Iowa. What’s the story?

CG: Well, I would automatically assume aliens had abducted me and most likely check to make sure I hadn’t been probed by some weird alien instrument. After I was assured I had not been violated, I would then check my pockets for any clue as to who I was. I would find a camera that showed pictures of all my fellow Pandamoon Publishing Authors, which would jog my memory. I would realize I was really just suffering from a severe hangover from Pandamoonium and would immediately delete all evidence of what had happened the night before…kind of like they did in The Hangover.

EW: You’re one of first authors I’ve sent that question to that actually decided to answer it. I’m impressed. So, let’s venture into some uncharted territory, talking about when you were a kid in school. Were you a troublemaker, an instigator or the teacher’s pet? Explain.

CG: In school I was very quiet and didn’t have a lot of friends. Yes, that’s right, I was a nerd. School was pretty rough for me, and I don’t miss it at all. My only regret is that I wish I would’ve stood up for myself a little more than I did. Then again, being a nerd has made me the success I am today. So I suppose the last laugh is on all the people who made fun of me as a kid. (Evil laugh)

1795556_713824581981161_1416558104_n

EW: Crimson Forest is the beginning of a fantasy series set in the real world. How much research did you do before starting it? Did the research help develop the plot or did you use it to all background details?

CG: I tend to only research the places where the plot takes place. The story usually develops around that. In my current series, it takes place in a small township – Buffalo, Wisconsin. It was the perfect setting and helped to develop the ongoing story line. I just hope it doesn’t get too flooded by people wanting to check out this “crimson moss” that supposedly pretty deadly. 😉 I apologize to the citizens of Buffalo in advance.

EW: Imagine for a moment that you’re a famous, bestselling author. They’re making a movie out of your last book. What do you do next to top that you’re already achieved?

CG: Make a sex list like Lindsey Lohan…. No I’m totally kidding. Though some of the guys on her list were pretty impressive. I would continue to write novels and try to make the next one even better than the last. I would also love to one day create a network of people who feel they have no one to turn to. Basically build an online community where people can go and feel wanted and loved by others.

EW: You could call it Cyberhug Network. I think that might work. Anyway, where do you see yourself at this moment in your life had you never decided to write a book?

CG: I would probably have few friends and live life quietly. Go to my job managing a financial institution, silently wondering if that was all I was ever meant to do in life.

EW: Sounds like life would be more boring or at least a greater challenge. You have kids; unlike mine, yours are not all grown up. Family and relationships are important in peoples’ lives and so, it’s little surprise that there are relationships between characters in books. How closely do the interactions in your books mirror your real life?

CG: My books mirror my real life in a lot of ways, shapes, and forms. My fans who are close to me will definitely be able to pick up on that. I believe by putting mirror images of parts of your life in your work, it allows the reader to get to know you on a more personal level. My fans and readers are my life. I care for each and every one of them and want to share my life with not only my family but them also. They are kind of like one big extended family.

1503972_721222547908031_1156981612_n

EW: When writing I’m sure you hit snags where characters aren’t behaving or the plot just isn’t working. When that happens to be I play video solitaire. What do you do?

CG: Like I said previously…I’m a big nerd so I game online. Diablo, World of Warcraft, and the classic Ultima Online are my getaways. I tend to get lost battling big nasty dragons or just sitting around chatting with people from other states, countries, etc. to help free my mind of snags. Oh yeah…and I like to golf too. That definitely helps clear my mind.

EW: There is usually someone in a writer’s past that is to credit or to blame. In your life, who was that, when and what happened?

CG: That is a very sensitive question. Yes, there are two people I will give some credit to that has motivated me to finish my first novel. One was my best friend of eight years – “was” being the keyword. She is the only person who, in my eyes, has done the ultimate betrayal…chosen someone who didn’t care about her over her own friend because she was weak. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s just the reality of the situation. The person she chose was, however, the main reason I finished my novel. She didn’t believe I would ever do it and that it would never get published. In some sense of irony, I guess I could thank her, but I don’t want to waste my breath. Instead, I will smile politely and hope that all my fans love it as much as my publisher does. I want to helping people to realize that no matter what people say, no matter how hard they try to bully you, YOU CAN OVERCOME THEM. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. Bullying is bullying. Believe in yourself and you can do anything you set your mind to.

405218_467123303317958_2139385418_n

EW: I’m old enough to remember what it was like to be a writer in the past when you needed a pen or pencil, a notebook, a typewriter and a ream paper. Cutting and pasting was, literally, cutting and pasting. Since computers came along all that’s changed. It has become easier not only to write, edit and revise novel but also to share your work with readers all over the world. How are you using modern technology to produce and market your book?

CG: Social media man!! Social media rocks! I have an account on like every social media outlet I think is out there. Though my new favorite is Google+:

www.facebook.com/ChristineGabrie

www.facebook.com/AuthorChristineGabriel

www.twitter.com/ChristineGabrie

https://plus.google.com/+ChristineGabriel/posts/p/pub

http://www.pinterest.com/christinegabrie/

https://www.goodreads.com/ChristineGabriel

http://instagram.com/christinegabriel31

www.christinegabriel.net

http://pandamoonpublishing.com/pandamoon/christinegabriel.html

Check out Christine Gabriel online at any of the above links and don’t miss her debut novel, Crimson Forest coming from Pandamoon Publishing in August.

I want to thank Christine for being with us in our blog universe and I promise we’ll be posting more things in the near future – even the experimental video blog interviews. Look for that soon. I think I’ll be her guinea pig. That should be yet another adventure in randomness.