Tag Archives: fiction

Copperback – Tarah R. Hamilton

CBUnderneath my “bodice ripper” loving exterior beats the heart of a die hard sci-fi geek, one of my favorite literary combinations is that of the science-fiction romance. Copperback by Tarah R. Hamilton is one of those all too rare combinations. Although I watched science-fiction television shows like The Incredible Hulk as a child the series that impacted me most was V. I didn’t watch the recent remake as I am often skeptical that the magic of the original can be recaptured through another’s interpretation but who could forget the visitors who immersed themselves into all aspects of life on Earth with nefarious intentions in mind? Unlike the extraterrestrials of the 1983 miniseries, the aliens in Copperback are not carnivorous reptilian humanoids. The humanoid appearing Vesper and Sayner aliens, arrive almost simultaneously the Vesper touching down first to the great misfortune of the Sayner.

The plot initially seems similar to many science-fiction novels with visitors mysteriously appearing their intentions a mystery, be they benevolent or otherwise. Yet there is more to Ms. Hamilton’s work than it may seem, she deftly touches on the traditional themes of isolation and bigotry common in works of science fiction and goes beyond those well trodden grounds into the realm of family loyalty and grief.

When do you learn to let go of your fears and misconceptions and trust what your heart is telling you? That real love can come in any form, even if he’s not human.

Two warring alien races are stranded on Earth due to the sudden destruction of their home planets. The Vesper, willing to help the human race to resolve most global crises, is accepted into society while the Sayner, refusing to cooperate at every turn, is enslaved.

Ten years later, Emily O’Neil yearns to find a way out of her small town life, continuing an existence of solitude since the passing of her mother years before. Her opportunity comes in an unusual way—a Sayner slave named Job who is on the brink of death and forced into her care. As their forbidden friendship develops, Emily finds that sometimes, fate has a way of making us see what we long for most—love.

In the decade following their arrival the two warring alien races have diverged wildly in term of social acceptance. Globally, the Vesper are revered for their elimination of disease and dependence on fossil fuels whereas the Sayner are exterminated in some countries and in others like the U.S. they are indentured slaves, a commodity to be bought and sold.

Emily’s ne’er-do-well brother calls late one evening in a panic explaining that he has run over his employers slave.  He brings the critically injured alien to his sister, bound by familial loyalty Emily puts aside her fears and with the aid of her aunt, a nurse, they attempt to save the alien’s life.

Copperback is an exemplary start to a series with a number of loose ends begging to be tied up. I can only hope that Ms. Hamilton is hard at work as we speak.

AUTHOR: Tarah R. Hamilton

RATING: 4 Stars

GENRE: Sci-fi/Romance

Note – Thank you to the author for providing a copy of their book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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A Much Younger Man – Dianne Highbridge

If Tracey Garvis Graves’  On the Island was an idealized version of the romance between a teen-aged boy and a woman in her third decade A Much Younger Man by Dianne Highbridge is the real story.

Aly is a teacher and has a distinct air of melancholia about her. She meets Tom on the train coming home from work and cannot place him at first, he is the 15 year old son of a once close friend from whom she has drifted away. Aly is not a predator, she doesn’t harbor lascivious thoughts about the children she teaches and Tom is uncommonly mature and cultured for his age. Despite the implausibility of a relationship between a 35 year old woman and a boy 20 years her junior Ms Highbridge has managed to craft a believable, realistic tale.

A woman and a boy catch sight of each other one afternoon on a train, an old man trips, a possum darts across a wet road. These are the things you can never foretell, the true coincidences.

A Much Younger Man

They are two people who do not quite fit into the world they inhabit, Aly is emotionally damaged from an abusive marriage and Tom is the product of two professionals he has been well educated culturally and socially. It still begs the question what would a then 15 year old boy see in a woman who is one of his mother’s peers? But that question isn’t as glaring as it would be in the hands of a less accomplished storyteller. It is inevitable that their relationship would face obstacles perhaps too easily surpassed in On the Island. That being said A Much Younger Man is a strangely compelling thought provoking tale that should not be missed.

AUTHOR: Dianne Highbridge

RATING: 4 1/2 Stars

GENRE: Fiction

Self Publish or Perish?

There is a method in my madness… which madness you might ask as some might say I do lots of maddening things but in this case I refer to the creation of this blog. Like all things it has evolved from its original purpose and it isn’t even a month old. One of my closest friends is an author, Auralee Wallace and to a self professed book nerd that is so very cool. What is unbelievable to me is that no one has discovered her yet. I am one of a very few people who has had the very great privilege of reading her work in particular her latest book Sidekick. One might think that I am just saying that because I am a loyal friend but being such a picky reader I literally could not profess to like a book that I did not genuinely appreciate. Sidekick is unique and considering the thousands of books I have read in my lifetime that is saying something. Have you ever wondered what Bruce Wayne would be like if he was Robin, and his father instead of a philanthropist was inherently evil, and he was in fact a she …who had more in common with Paris Hilton than Batman? Well if so then Sidekick is the book for you.

“I can’t help but think you misunderstood the instructions,” she said observing the chaos I created.
Oh shoot.  The test!
“There’s still time!” I said quickly.
“Really?”  Ryder replied, her eyes moving from mine to the direction of the street.  The girls had vanished and a skinny butt was hobbling away into the shadows.
“You’ve got to give me a second chance!” I pleaded.  “I mean giving me a flasher?  Totally fair.  But bitchy mean girls?  They’re like my kryptonite.”
Ryder turned and walked away from me.
This was terrible.  Awful.  And I had been doing so well!  This couldn’t be how it all ended.  I had worked too hard!  I had sacrificed my hair!
“This isn’t over Ryder!” I called to her sleek back.  “Do you hear me?  This isn’t over!  I’ll show you!”
Suddenly a large boom rocked the night, and a fireball shot into the sky from the roof of the opera house.
Ryder looked back at me.
My hands shot straight up into the air.
“I didn’t do it.”
 Auralee Wallace

I was doing some research for another post and came across this article which reminded of the situation that my friend is currently in. In the article Jessica Park describes the frustration of having written a great book that for some reason no one wants to publish. http://indiereader.com/2012/06/how-amazon-saved-my-life/ This is no longer the case for her as Flat Out Love is now a New York Times bestseller. Look for an upcoming in-depth review her on her work to date  Relatively Famous, Flat Out Love, Flat Out Matt and her newest novel Left Drowning.