Magnus: Between Two World (A Graphic Novel)

Mangus
Between Two Worlds

Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Jorge Fornes
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Taylor Esposito

It’s a problem as old as time. We as humans seem to create our own problems, our own

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Oh,what have you done Fredrick?

downfalls. And usually, it comes in the form of how we treat those who we consider inferior to ourselves.  Silly us.

Magnus delves headfirst into this with an amazing science fiction gone all too real when a human-made A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) butler has a manic breakdown after returning from his mental vacation and kills his human family. Was it the fault of the cyber-being or the fault of the humans who treated him with less than human like feelings? Was he nothing more than a toaster to them?

Enter Dr. Magnus, a retired machine-retriever turned A.I. psychologist. She is asked by the government to go into the world of the machines and find out why the butler went rogue. But, is she safe? We are left hanging with this question at the end.

This new world is fascinating and between the writing, artwork and colors, it all works together to set the mood for what is going to be a crazy cyber ride.  This first in the series has some major reality creep factors and I am loving it.  Be careful how you treat those around you.

I bought my copy from Heroes Wanted Comics in Gallatin Tennessee (HI Mike, Matt and Andrew and Guardian Mama!) so I totally think you should support your local mom and pop comic store.  But, if don’t have one near you, click my link below. 

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Needless to Say, I loved it.  So, if you have read MAGNUS what are your thoughts?  Do you love stories about Artificial Intelligence?  Leave me a comment below!

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Talking a little Homicide with Lynn Cahoon

I don’t know about anyone else out there in blog-land, but I love visiting South Cove. It reminds me of a combination of two small towns in Kentucky that I love to visit, Smith’s Grove and Glendale.  There is every kind of small business you can think of and that small town feel in both.  Today, we get to talk to Lynn Cahoon on her virtual tour about South Cove, the characters she writes and about herself and her writing the books. 

BTB: Welcome back to Booth Talks Books Lynn! It was so great to see you again in LynnBowling Green for the Southern Kentucky Book Fest.  Me and my daughter loved chatting you up.  Let’s do some more yapping as they say here in the south.  So, are you loving this virtual tour your on across all the book blogs?

LC: Thanks Sheryl! It’s great having a virtual tour for this book release because I can be everywhere across the country with no travel time.

BTB: First things, first.  How did you get started writing?

LC: I always wanted to be a writer, but I’m a black and white girl. So there was NO clear career path to be an author. I could go to college to be a journalist, but, I knew that would mean I’d need to talk to people. I really didn’t want to do that. So I got a political science/public administration degree and went to work for the state. I stayed there for 20 years, then decided I wanted to try something else. It was also the same time when my son went away to college and I got a divorce. Why not quit my job too? I started taking classes in the MFA of Creative Writing program.

Then I started dating my husband.  Darts takes a lot of time. We played league two or three nights a week, tournaments on weekends, and then at least once a month, we traveled for tournaments. No time for classes or writing.

Fast forward to 2007. We’d moved from Idaho to Illinois. I got a job with corporate America. And got my mammogram as soon as my insurance became effective. That decision changed my life. And probably saved my life. 2007 was the year of breast cancer. When you’re going through treatment, you realize what’s really important. And what you want your life to mean.

I wanted to be a writer. So I wrote. I submitted. And finally sold in 2012.

BTB: Hospitality and Homicide is the 8th book in the South Cove series and yet you keep introducing us to new places in the town. This time, we get to head to the local bed and breakfast. Why a bed and breakfast this time around? What is it about a murder and a bed and breakfast that is so unsettling?

LC: Actually Bill and Mary’s South Cove B&B have been there all along, but we’ve never stepped inside. I like visiting new businesses and focusing on different characters with each book. Of course, Jill, Greg, and Aunt Jackie will be major in all of the books, but I can feel when we haven’t brought a secondary character around much. So Esmeralda has a big role in H/H.

BTB: What do you think the fascination is with readers and the novice sleuth like Jill? She just seems to be in the worst places at the worst times. Why do you think us readers like her so much? Why do you like her so much?

LC: I like her because she mostly says what she’s thinking and does what she wants. I think sometimes women are so focused on what other people need from them, they forget about taking care of themselves. Jill may focus on food and running, but she makes sure she has Jill time. I think readers like the novice sleuth because they can imagine doing the same things, but safely in their arm chair.

BTB: Most of the time, the main character solves the crime. Do you think it’s important in an ongoing series that the mystery be solved each and every time? What do you think about an ongoing mystery through a series?

LC: You need a mystery solved in every book. But I believe you can have an ongoing mystery that continues in several books. Like my Cat Latimer series. Cat has an overarching mystery with who killed her ex-husband, but each book focuses on one current murder. Castle did this with who killed Beckett’s mother.

BTB: Why is Jill still running Coffee, Books and More? With all the adventures of crime solving, has she given serious thought to changing careers?

LC: Running the coffee shop is her life. I don’t see her giving it up anytime soon. She’s had the corporate lawyer gig, and she likes being a small business owner. Besides the shifts she schedules herself for give her a lot of time for her favorite pastime, reading.

BTB: I understanding needing some reading time and time to one’s self.  Speaking of one’s self let’s put you in Jill’s shoes.  Okay, you are in the same situation as Jill, would react any differently than her?

LC: Jill’s stronger than I am. She’s takes big risks (leaving her job and opening a coffee shop).

BTB:  What have you learned from Jill and her risk taking and adventures in South Cove that has stuck with you the most?

LC: She takes care of herself better. I am learning those skills as I go through life.

BTB: In Hospitality and Homicide, we have an author whose crime in their book comes true in real life in South Cove. First of all, that must be freaking for Nathan Pike, the author. Has this ever happened to you or someone you know?

LC: Actually, I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone. Sometimes, fiction can be stranger than truth.

BTB: So why do you choose a specific place to set your world?


LC: Mostly the place calls to me.

BTB:  Call you?  Really? That’s interesting.

LC: Seriously.

Guidebook to Murder started because I was vacationing in central California visiting my sister. I stopped by a small tourist town and found a house that was up for sale. The house was run down, the yard more like a

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pasture, and I wanted that house more than anything. Of course, I was going through a divorce and had a kid ready to go to college. Not a time to uproot my life and move to a coastal community. But I took a picture of the house and kept that picture on my computer for a long time.

Finally, the story came to me and the Tourist Trap series was born.

BTB: How do you choose between using a real town and a fictional town like South Cove?

LC: I’ve only used a real town when I wrote a short romantic novella (Playing Doctor.) It’s set in St. Louis, but mostly in the hospital.

Fictional towns are so much easier to work with. You have to know the area you’re using for the book but you can make the town look anyway you’d like. Until you’re several books into the series that is.

For my Farm to Fork Mystery series (releasing 2018), I’m turning my old home town into River Vista, Idaho. That way I can make it look anyway I want and still keep the feel of small town Idaho.

BTB: Do you run any book clubs or meetings for your fan following?  I would love to be apart of one as I am sure many of your readers would be.

LC: Hmmm, good question. I don’t. I know several authors do and have built a strong following talking about books, their own, and comparable. Currently I have a day job as well as the writer gig. This might be something I could start up when I only write.

I’m an officer in my work Toastmaster club and run meetings there. But I don’t think that’s what you want to know about.

Lynn Panel

Southern Kentucky Book Fest author panel 2017

BTB: I guess you could start a book-club at the Toastmaster’s club.  No, but seriously, you should start one.  Readers seem to really latch on to your characters and I’m sure getting to discuss them with you would really be amazing.  I know I would love it.  So, how do you develop these three dimensional  characters?

LC: Some people do character interviews, but I kind of know who I’m working with and, like any good relationship, you learn more by spending time with your imaginary friends. The good news is your editor can rein you in when you go off script. That’s also the bad news in case they don’t see it. I’ve really enjoyed doing character blog posts and interviews for the different bloggers. Sometimes my characters surprise me.

Esmeralda, the fortune teller/police dispatcher in the Tourist Trap series has a little vignette I wrote for a release bonus. I so enjoyed taking a peek into her world.

BTB: Esmeralda is such a great and original character.  Do you ever gather and plot with other friends or authors and just talk about murder and mystery to inspire the your books?

LC: Laura Bradford and I talk a lot both in person and on line. Every time I’m with her, I get a new bright and shiny (idea.) I’ve only ever plotted out one book with her, and it was Cat’s young adult novel that I am so going to write one of these days. What I’ll do with it, I don’t know, but it’s getting written.

BTB: I had wondered if we’d ever get to dive into Cat’s book!  That is something I would for sure read since I get snippets of it in the Cat Latimer series.  As a reader, I get to escape with a well-written book. What do you as the author get from writing?

LC: I do write for the money. If you went to a job and didn’t get paid, it would be called volunteering, not a career. Writing is a career for me. I get annoyed with people who say they write for the love of writing. It’s a job. It’s a great job, but you have to treat it like a job or it can overwhelm you. I love getting the bright and shiny new idea and seeing it develop into a real story. I’ve always told myself stories. Now I get to tell my stories to others and get paid. It’s a win-win.

Thanks a ton Lynn for hanging out here at the Booth Talks Books blog and answering all these questions. 

Hey readers, if you have questions, please leave them in the comments below for Lynn.  Also, feel free to just say hi or how you liked the interview.  You know I like to chat you all up.

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Tell Me Tuesday

IMG_3497Today, we are going to have a bit of fun.  I’m going to ask some book related questions and you get to answer them.  I hope you enjoy them.  They are quick and simple for a Tuesday.  

1. What is the first book you remember reading?

2. What is the most recent book you just read?

3. What is your favorite genre?

4. What is your favorite book quote? (name book too)

5. If you could go hang out with ONE character, who would it be? (What book are they from)

My answers!

  1.  The first book I remember reading was We Like Kindergarten by Clara Cassidy.  I was five and my Granny had gotten it for me.
  2. IMG_3494I just wrappes up One Fete In The Grave by Vickie Fee.  Oh Liv and Di…
  3. I adore paranormal mysteries.  Ghosts and solving a mystery is intriguing to me.  Throw in a doll and you’ve just made my BFF list.  Did you know I like dolls?  😉
  4. “I hate that you can do what you’re supposed to do and I can’t. I hate that you’re going to leave me behind. I hate that everyone calls it growing up, but it seems like dying. It feels like each one of you is being possessed and I’m next.”
    Holly Black, Doll Bones  Growing up can be disturbing for kids.  It didn’t disturb me until I was an adult, had kids and relized that acting like one with them was frowned upon by many “adults.” I still get a lot of stares.  This quote sticks with me.  Never kill you inner child.  Keep playing and learning.
  5. I think I would hang out with Kaye Scarpetta from Patricia Corwell’s series.  Not only does she solve fancinating (and dangerous) forensic mysteries, she also cooks some mean Italian dishes.  I like to eat while I play with dolls and solve mysteries.

That about wraps it up for me. Your turn!  Share your answers by commenting below.  I can’t wait to hear from you.  ~Sheryl

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Cover Love Monday

Let’s be honest. Book covers are the first things that draw your eye to a book before you even know what it is about. Without the covers, there are some authors I would know nothing about.

Thanks to some pretty amazing covers, I have found some of the most extraordinary storytellers I have ever read! On a cover, you can get the feel of what the book is about, the characters you might be meeting and the setting that the author is possibly going to try to introduce you to.

In the case of the cozy mystery, you might even get some clues as to where the murder takes place or the murder weapon! I really enjoy it when I place clues on the cover. I could sit and look at a cover, analyzing it, for hours.

SHOW ME SOME COVERS!

Post some of your favorite covers that have helped you to discover some of your favorite writers.  What is it about the cover that caught your eye and did it help you understand anything extra about the story from the very beginning? Or, did you just think it was a neat cover?  If the cover is done by an independent artist, please let us know who drew and created it!

Here are some covers I like from ones I have read recently to ones I read when I was much younger….

Fatality By Firelight; Review

Fatality By Firelight by Lynn Cahoon

fatality-by-firelight-lynn-cahoonWhen I think of a retreat, I think of relaxation, good food and learning about whatever it is I have gone there to learn. Dealing with a murder investigation is not something that is usually on the agenda. For Cat Latimer, it’s becoming a normal thing on the agenda at her Warm Springs Writing retreat.

While trying to solve the mystery of her ex husband’s death, starting a new relationship with her high school sweetheart and trying to keep herself sane, Cat finds out that the town she lives in isn’t quite what she thought it was. With a missing signed Hemingway book, someone stalking one of her guests and a dead local man connected to one of her guests, writing retreat number two is going the wrong direction fast.

I feel for Cat. All she wanted to do was set up this amazing retreat for writers like herself in a beautiful historical house in this amazing small town. Much like people, the town shows it’s dark side. I kept screaming a the book to give her a break. I mean, she lost her husband in a divorce when she thought he didn’t care for her and now that may not be the case? For someone to grow up around a town that had a dark a side as Warm Springs and not know, they would have to for sure be naïve. Cat is finally waking up in Fatality By Firelight and seeing the people and town for what it is. And no, I don’t believe she will be getting a break anytime soon. That is bad for her, but so good for the series. She really needs to secure her home better though. I don’t know how she sleeps.

Lynn doesn’t keep us in one place for very long in this book. She has us bouncing from scene to scene which, for me, is a good thing. I don’t like to stay in one place for too long. I want to get up and “look around” if you know what I mean. Lynn does this for the reader. We’re going around the house, into the town, the bar, library and other places. I never get bored reading with the change of scenes.

Some questions I had in book one were answered in this one, but I still have more.   Not only does the book have a mystery, there is an ongoing mystery throughout this series, which keeps me reading the series. This makes me as a reader need to read the next book to know what is going on and figure out what happened to Michael. I won’t say if that is answered in this book, but I will say that I need to read the next one and soon. A mystery is afoot and I need more coffee and that third book. Cat Latimer has become one of my favorite characters. Now, if she can only get some time to write and stop having people die around her…..

About Lynn:

CahoonLynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also the author of the Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A STORY TO KILL, out in mass market paperback now. Two more Cat Latimer books will be released in 2017. Lynn started her career writing sweet contemporary romances with heroes ranging from cowboys to warlocks. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. 

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Other Cozy Mysteries by Lynn:

tea cups and carnage-The Tourist Trap Mystery Series-

Guidebook to Murder

Mission to Murder

If the Shoe Kills

Dressed to Kill

Killer Run

Murder on Wheels

Tea Cups and Carnage 

Hospitality and Homicide (May 2017)

Killer Party (July 2017)

 

-The Cat Latimer Mystery Sera_story_to_kill_book_final_compies-

A Story to Kill 

Fatality by Firelight

Of Murder and Men (December 2017)

Author Links:

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What do you think?  Do you enjoy Lynn Cahoon’s books?  Which series have you enjoyed the most?  If you’ve met Cat, what do you think of her?  If you have questions for Lynn, leave a message and she’ll stop by and answer them. 

I know I have enjoyed getting to know her over the past year as well as her fantastic menagerie of characters. 

Death in Advertising; Review

Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford

Death In Advertising CoverStarting a business is a difficult venture. It takes time, money, devotion, money, clients, more money and an extremely good support system. Tobi Tobias knows all about this as head of Tobias Ad Agency and part time employee at a local pet shop. Her luck seems to take a turn when the owners of Zander Closet Company end up in her conference room wanting to hire her for their new campaign.

The desperation that Tobi has to make her business survive after having a bad experience working with the last company she was with is palatable. Laura writes this character with feeling to where you are anxious right along with her from the beginning. When you meet the Zander brothers, Andrew and Gary, you’re not quite sure what to think of them. Tobi takes the job and work begins on their new ad campaign to make Zander’s closets a household name.

At the photo-shoot in the custom-Zander built closet of the wealthy Mr. Hohlbrooks,Skeleton.in.closet tragedy strikes and a dead body is discovered tucked away like an organized pair of shoes or dress slacks. This does not bode well with the new slogan, “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.” Talk about killing sales…

Tobi is a woman trying to keep herself together when things are at their worst. She relies heavily on her friends and family to help emotionally and without this support system, I can’t fathom how she would be able to end up as strong as she does at the end of the book. With each break in the case, each friend or family member lends themselves to something she lacks. Carter, for instance, has a bit of flair and outgoingness that she lacks. Without him in her life, I think some of the evidence that she comes upon would go unnoticed. The bird, Rudder, is even a helpful “friend” that is critical to her figuring out the murder.

Laura brings together several fundamental human elements in this cozy mystery. They help one to realize just how the people around us assist to make us stronger. Tobi not only faces the murder that has happened, but learns to overcome bullies from the past by helping others through their struggles and moving past her own. Death in Advertising had depth and is highly entertaining to read. I hope there is a follow up to this book.

About Laura:

As a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted laura1 to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the upcoming Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

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Death In Advertising BlurbAuthor Links:

A Ghostly Reunion; A Review

A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes

There is always that one person is high school, maybe two, that drove you crazy because they wanted to be at the center of attention. They craved adoration and made sure everyone knew it. To make it worse (or more annoying), they were always dressed to impress with rarely a hair out of place. If you didn’t have one of these glamour gals or guys or can’t recall A Ghostly Reunion Coverwho this person might have been, you might have been that person. Bless your heart…

In, A Ghostly Reunion, Emma Lee is in charge of putting together the class reunion and I don’t feel a seconds bit of envy for her. She was the “creepy funeral girl”, the one people picked on when there was an occasion to do so. I get it. I totally get it Emma. High School is cruel. Thanks goodness, however, that she’s grown into mature (mostly) woman who is now with the most handsome sheriff in Sleepy Hollow Kentucky, Jack Lee Ross. That’s all well and good until that one girl, the one I spoke about earlier who is the glamour queen, comes back into town with her cronies…friends…no I’m going with cronies. Wouldn’t you know that Jade Lee and Jack Henry had been an item in high school? This cannot be good at all, not at all!

What’s worse than knowing your current main squeeze once dated the town beauty queen? Well, I would say having to hang out with her after she had died and her spirit won’t leave you alone for a single minute. Oh Emma Lee, your life is just full of twists and turns.

A Ghostly Reunion made me reminisce about the ups and downs of high school andcrown living in a small town. Tonya is really able to yank those emotions right out of you with the placement of the right character and situation. There are so many of us who can relate to the struggles Emma Lee went though when that one girl she thought she had escaped comes back into town and just twists everything all in the wrong direction. Although, I can’t imagine the added annoyance of having to deal with solving said gal’s murder.

And what would a Tonya Kappes book be without a twist? I am not even going to say I am happy one bit about the twist, although it will make a spectacular next book. I will, however, remain upset at her for this last minute plot twist. Oh Tonya, really?  

Excerpt:

Proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.

There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.

But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra closely with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.

About The Author:

Tonya-KappesFor years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

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