Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The seduction of Miss Amelia Bell by Paula Quinn



Edmund MacGregor will do anything to save Scotland from English rule-even kidnap Lady Amelia Bell for ransom. As the daughter of a duke and the chancellor's betrothed, she's the perfect pawn in this game. But from the moment he first lays eyes on his spirited captive, he can't resist stealing a kiss . . .


Lady Amelia's duty is to marry well, but that hasn't stopped her from fantasizing about true love. So when a sexy Scot appears in her home, she's beguiled. When he kidnaps her, she's furious. Yet as Edmund introduces her to a world of passion beyond her wildest dreams, can she leave her family behind for this handsome Highlander? And will Edmund risk the only true home he's ever known to capture the heart of this lovely lass?

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Paula Quinn lives in New York with her three beautiful children, three over-protective chihuahuas, and a loud umbrella cockatoo. She loves to read romance and science fiction and has been writing since she was eleven. She loves all things medieval, but it is her love for Scotland that pulls at her heartstrings.

My Review:
Give me a book that involves romance and Scottish Highlanders, and I’m a happy woman! “The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell” by Paula Quinn definitely hits the mark with this great historical romance. The characters are great, and both Amelia and Edmund are people who you can relate to and root for. I love Amelia’s passionate nature and her rebellious side. You can’t help but like her. Edmund is the typical rogue at first, until he falls hard for Amelia. The writing style is great, and there is the perfect mixture of romance and action going on. I hate romance novels that are like one giant orgy, this one has some steamy sex scenes, but evens it out with an actual story line that is easy to follow. The sexual tension between Amelia and Edmund is thick, and as a reader you’re on the edge of your seat waiting for and wanting something to happen between them. The wait is worth it though, because when they do finally hook up, it is a steamy scene. I like that the writer also followed Amelia’s servant Sarah’s life in this novel. It wasn’t all about Amelia and Edmund, it also brought other characters stories into this novel.

I would definitely recommend this novel to all lovers of historical romance novels. Paula Quinn definitely has a knack when it comes to writing well-balanced romance novels. If you get a little hot thinking about Scottish Highlanders in their sexy kilts, than this novel is definitely for you!

I give “The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell” a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

Purchase this novel here!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Medici Boy by John L'Heureux

Donatello: Art, Pain, Passion, Murder
Renowned Literary Writer Renders Controversial Life of
Mysterious Renaissance Genius

“John L’Heureux has built a gripping story of love, genius and betrayal.”
--JM Coetzee, Nobel Prize for Literature, Booker Prize Winner

“Deeply enjoyable, The Medici Boy soars like an operatic aria, before breaking our hearts.”
--David Henry Hwang, playwright, M. Butterfly, Chinglish

“L’Heureux’s is certainly one of America’s greatest living writers. I’d put him in the top ten...And now he’s come out with his first new novel in ten years, The Medici Boy, and it’s a masterpiece, the most ambitious, beautiful, and complex novel I’ve read this year…”
--David Vann, Financial Times of London

Astor + Blue Editions is proud to release perhaps the most passionate work of master storyteller, John L’Heureux, in The Medici Boy [ISBN:  978-1-938231-50-6 (Hard Cover); ISBN: 978-1-938231-48-3 (E-book); US $25.95; Historical / Literary Fiction; 346 Pages, April, 2014].  Described as “one of America’s greatest living writers” by the Financial Times of London, L’Heureux returns with a long-awaited new historical fiction novel; the result of years of research—backed by a Guggenheim Grant—on location in Europe.

In this well-conceived, historically accurate rendering, the Renaissance worlds of art, politics and passion collide. With his distinct style and rich, sinewy narrative, L’Heureux ingeniously transports the reader to Donatello’s Renaissance Italy—directly into his bottega, (workshop), as witnessed through the eyes of Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant.

While creating his famous bronze of David and Goliath, Donatello’s passion for his enormously beautiful model and part time rent boy, Agnolo, ignites a dangerous jealousy that ultimately leads to murder. Luca, the complex and conflicted assistant, will sacrifice all to save Donatello, even his master’s friend—the great patron of art, Cosimo de’ Medici.

John L’Heureux’s long-awaited hardcover delivers both a monumental and intimate narrative of the creative genius, Donatello, at the height of his powers. With incisive detail, L’Heureux artfully renders the master sculptor’s forbidden homosexual passions, and the artistry that enthralled the leading—and competing—powerbrokers of Renaissance Florence: the Medici and Albizzi families. The finished work is a sumptuously detailed narrative that entertains while it delves deeply into both the sacred and the profane within one of the Italian Renaissance’s most consequential cities, fifteenth century Florence.

Award-winning poet, novelist, and short story writer, John L’Heureux has taught at Georgetown University, Tufts, Harvard, and (for more than 35 years) in the English Department of Stanford University where he was Lane Professor of Humanities.  There he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and
earned it again in 1998.

A prolific writer, L’Heureux has written more than twenty books of fiction, short fiction and poetry.  His works have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, and have been included in dozens of anthologies including Best American Stories and Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards.

John L’Heureux has twice received writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2006 he was awarded a Guggenheim Grant to do research for The Medici Boy, his new novel.

He is retired and lives in Palo Alto with his wife Joan.

My Review:

“The Medici Boy” by John L'Heureux was a great read. I love that it was written in first person, it definitely helped me to really get to know the main character, and to understand what was going on throughout the novel. I like that the narrator is a flawed character who is lead by his passions. It really helps the reader to relate to him, and to like him. I can't stand novels where I don't like the main character, so liking the main character was definitely a plus for me! The author does a great job of really taking the reader into the story. You really see how much devastation was caused by the black plague, and what the people went through because of it. I definitely felt like I was right there with the narrator. It was also interesting to see what went on behind the scenes when Donatello was creating a work of art. The author did a great job of describing everything so well that you can really picture his work. It's easy, as a reader, to imagine that things really worked like it's described in Donatello's studio. 

The book did slow down a little at times, and there were times when a lot of names, that were hard to pronounce, were mentioned so it got confusing. It got a little bogged down at times also, like a lot was happening, but it wasn’t really going anywhere. However, this didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

This is a great novel for lovers of historical fiction. I really felt like I learned a lot about the time period, and about different character’s in history. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in this time period or in historical fiction in general. 

I give this novel a FOUR out of FIVE stars.

Purchase This Novel:
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1kkIpLL
Astor+Blue:  http://bit.ly/1dIUz2I

Free Reader's Guide

Friday, April 11, 2014

BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY: The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram

The Towers of TuscanyHistorical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and author Carol M. Cram are excited to announce The Towers of Tuscany Book Blast! Join us from April 7-13 as The Towers of Tuscany is featured around the blogosphere, along with a chance to win one of three copies of this amazing new novel! Called "a beautifully crafted masterpiece of historical fiction", "lush", and "page-turning" Cram's debut novel will appeal to readers who enjoy a strong female lead who, against great odds, dares to follow a dream. The Towers of Tuscany includes a Reader's Guide making it a perfect Book Club pick! In honor of the Book Blast we are giving away three copies to three lucky readers, see below to enter. Publication Date: January 23, 2014 New Arcadia Publishing Formats: Paperback, Ebook Genre: Historical Fiction Set amid the twisting streets and sunlit piazzas of medieval Italy, the Towers of Tuscany tells the story of a woman who dares to follow her own path in the all-male domain of the painter’s workshop. Sofia Barducci is born into a world where a woman is only as good as the man who cares for her, but she still claims the right to make her own mistakes. Her first mistake is convincing her father to let her marry Giorgio Carelli, a wealthy saffron merchant in San Gimignano, the Tuscan city of towers. Trained in secret by her father to create the beautifully-crafted panels and altarpieces acclaimed today as masterpieces of late medieval art, Sofia’s desire for freedom from her father’s workshop leads her to betray her passion and sink into a life of loveless drudgery with a husband who comes to despise her when she does not produce a son. In an attack motivated by vendetta, Sofia’s father is crushed by his own fresco, compelling Sofia to act or risk the death of her soul. The choice she makes takes her on a journey from misery to the heights of passion—both as a painter and as a woman. Sofia escapes to Siena where, disguised as a boy, she paints again. When her work attracts the notice of a nobleman who discovers the woman under the dirty smock, Sofia is faced with a choice that nearly destroys her. The Towers of Tuscany unites a strong heroine with meticulously researched settings and compelling characters drawn from the rich tapestry of medieval Italy during one of Europe's most turbulent centuries. The stylishly written plot is packed with enough twists and turns to keep readers up long past their bedtimes. READ AN EXCERPT.
The Towers of Tuscany

Praise for The Towers of Tuscany

“The Towers of Tuscany is a delightful escape to the Siena we all love. Carol Cram has crafted a delicious story about a strong woman torn between her secret past, her love of painting and the forbidden charms of her rich patron. Hard to resist and highly recommended!” - Anne Fortier, Author of The Lost Sisterhood and the New York Times bestseller, Juliet “Carol Cram's lush descriptions and intriguing characters bring this dramatic tale of medieval Tuscany to life. If you love Italian art, a feisty heroine, and a page-turning plot, you will adore this novel.” – Deborah Swift, Author of A Divided Inheritance "The Towers of Tuscany has all the elements of a wonderful historical novel?a talented, frustrated heroine, a treacherous, feckless husband, and a promise to a dying, much loved father who orders the heroine on a dangerous mission. Carol is a first rate storyteller. The research is well done. Every chapter displays a fine knowledge of painting technique of the 14th century, and customs and mores of the age. The details of dress, fabric, food, are flawless. The clever dialogue and fast pace make the novel zing along." - Roberta Rich, Author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife “Sofia will set your heart racing as she attempts to find what we all, in our own ways, strive to seek: love, resolution, and artistic freedom. The legacy of this story will leave you yearning for more.” – Cathleen With, award-winning author of Having Faith in the Polar Girls’ Prison

Buy the Book

Amazon (Ebook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

Carol Cram

Carol M. Cram has enjoyed a great career as an educator, teaching at Capilano University in North Vancouver for over twenty years and authoring forty-plus bestselling textbooks on business communications and software applications. She holds an MA in Drama from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Carol is currently focusing as much of her attention as she can spare between walks in the woods on writing historical novels with an arts twist. She and her husband, painter Gregg Simpson, share a life on beautiful Bowen Island near Vancouver, Canada.

Author Links


Book Blast Schedule

Monday, April 7
Literary Chanteuse
Bibliophilia, Please
Cheryl's Book Nook
A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Confessions of an Avid Reader

Tuesday, April 8
Mari Reads
Peeking Between the Pages
History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, April 9
Reviews by Molly
Susan Heim on Writing
Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, April 10
Passages to the Past
Book Lovers Paradise
To Read or Not to Read
Curling Up With a Good Book

Friday, April 11
Words and Peace
The Mad Reviewer
Historical Fiction Obsession

Saturday, April 12
Book Nerd
Layered Pages
Princess of Eboli
Kelsey's Book Corner

Sunday, April 13
West Metro Mommy
The True Book Addict
Caroline Wilson Writes


To enter to win one of 3 copies of The Towers of Tuscany please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.
Giveaway is open internationally.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th.
You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hull Chatlien


Tell the emperor that Madame Bonaparte is ambitious and demands her rights as a member of the imperial family. 

As a clever girl in stodgy, mercantile Baltimore, Betsy Patterson dreams of a marriage that will transport her to cultured Europe. When she falls in love with and marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her dream has come true—until Jerome’s older brother Napoleon becomes an implacable enemy.

Based on a true story, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is a historical novel that portrays this woman’s tumultuous life. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, known to history as Betsy Bonaparte, scandalized Washington with her daring French fashions; visited Niagara Falls when it was an unsettled wilderness; survived a shipwreck and run-ins with British and French warships; dined with presidents and danced with dukes; and lived through the 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Yet through it all, Betsy never lost sight of her primary goal—to win recognition of her marriage.

   About the Author

Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for twenty-five years. Her speciality is U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders and has published several short stories and poems in literary magazines. The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is her first published novel. 

My Review:

“The Ambitious Madam Bonaparte” by Ruth Hull Chatlien is a fantastic work of historical fiction. I love when I come across amazing books like this one when I’m doing blog tours. It definitely makes blogging about books on my free time completely worth it! This novel grabbed my interest from the beginning, and I became genuinely interested in Betsy’s welfare. I like that I didn’t know a lot about Napoleon or his brother Jerome’s lives, because I had no idea how it would end and was kept guessing throughout. Betsy had a strong personality, but she was also very endearing. I don’t know how she got through some of the situations she was put in emotionally, a weaker woman may have given up.

The author really brought these figures of historical fiction to life for me. I can imagine that this was almost a first-hand account of how they acted and felt during these situations. Everything just felt so real to me, and I was able to get completely lost in this novel, lost in a good way! I could totally see this novel made as a movie. It has all the makings of a good movie, there is a passionate love affair that Betsy and Jerome defy family members in order to pursue, there is the action of Napoleon trying to conquer all of Europe, and there is also the strength of a woman who is able to get through heartache in order to make a better life for her son.

I had difficulty putting this book down, because I really needed to know what was going to happen next. That’s saying a lot for me, because I have 9 month old twin boys who are constantly demanding my attention! I ended up staying up later than usual, so that I was able to get some alone time in order to read and enjoy this novel.

I would recommend this novel to any lover of historical fiction. Even those whose favorite genre is not historical fiction would enjoy this novel. It is an overall great book, and I honestly cannot think of one negative thing to say about it!

I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!


"With her first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, author Ruth Hull Chatlien delivers." --Copperfield Review

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY: Inscription by H.H. Miller

H.H. Miller's Book Blast for Inscription will be featured around the blogopshere from March 31-April 13.


Publication: January 9, 2014
H.H Miller
Paperback; 278p
ISBN-10: 0615944418

eBook; 700kb

The year is 1851 and the Grand Guard is ravaging Mainland. Arrests. Floggings. Swift executions. Twenty-year-old Caris McKay, the beautiful heiress of Oakside Manor, is sent to live with distant relations until the danger has passed. It's no refuge, however, as Lady Granville and her scheming son plot to get their hands on Caris's inheritance with treachery and deceit.

Soon, alarming news arrives that the ruthless Captain James Maldoro has seized Oakside and imprisoned Caris's beloved uncle. And now he's after her.

Caris escapes with the help of Tom Granville, the enigmatic silver-eyed heir of Thornbridge. But when a cryptic note about a hidden fortune launches them on a perilous journey across Mainland, Caris and Tom must rely on wits, courage, and their growing love for each other if they hope to survive.

Filled with adventure, intrigue, and romance, Inscription will transport you to a historically fictional world you'll never want to leave.


Buy the Book

Amazon (eBook)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

H.H. Miller AuthorH. H. Miller is the author of the novel Inscription, a historically fictional romantic adventure. In real life, she's content director at Stoke Strategy, a brand strategy firm in Seattle, Washington, where she specializes in transforming what some might call "boring" technology jargon into compelling, readable, memorable stories. Her favorite escape is Manzanita, Oregon - a place of beautiful beaches, wild storms, chilly nights around the bonfire (even in July), and time to enjoy life with her husband and three children.

For more information please visit H.H. Miller's Facebook Page.

Book Blast Schedule

Monday, March 31
A Bookish Affair
Closed the Cover
Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, April 1
Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, April 2
Book Nerd
CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, April 3
Flashlight Commentary

Friday, April 4
The Mad Reviewer
Oh, for the Hook of a Book

Saturday, April 5
Pages of Comfort

Sunday, April 6
So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, April 7
Confessions of an Avid Reader
History from a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, April 8
The True Book Addict
Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, April 9
Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 10
SOS Aloha
Caroline Wilson Writes

Friday, April 11
Layered Pages

Saturday, April 12
Susan Heim on Writing
Curling Up With a Good Book

Sunday, April 13
Passages to the Past

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To enter to win one of 2 copies of Inscription please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only.

Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on April 13th.. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter on April 14th and notifiied via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014

BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Eagle and the Swan by Carol Strickland

Tour Hashtag: #EagleandtheSwanTour

Publication Date: November 7, 2013
Erudition Digital


For 1,500 years she has been cruelly maligned by history. Labelled as corrupt, immoral and sexually depraved by the sixth-century historian Procopius in his notorious Secret History, the Byzantine Empress Theodora was condemned to be judged a degenerate harlot by posterity. Until now. Due to a conviction that its contents would only be understood by generations of the distant future, a manuscript that has remained unopened for a millennium and a half is about to set the record straight. It will unravel the deepest secrets of a captivating and charismatic courtesan, her unlikely romance with an Emperor, and her rise to power and influence that would outshine even Cleopatra. This historical novel traces the love affairs, travails, machinations, scandals and triumphs of a cast of real characters who inhabit an Empire at its glorious and fragile peak. It’s the tale of a dazzling civilization in its Golden Age; one which, despite plague, earthquakes and marauding Huns, would lay the foundation for modern Europe as we know it.

Praise for The Eagle and the Swan

“It’s a book rife with detail and passion. If you like historical fiction this book hits on all cylinders. The level of detail in terms of prose and historical relevance is engaging. And THEN the plot is what’s moving. The love and lust combined with a compelling story, taking on universal themes from a cross section of history, makes for a gripping work.”

“Carol Strickland has written a masterful epic. It is beautifully crafted and impossible to put down.”

“Beautiful storytelling. Fascinating and well-developed characters. What an interesting time in history! This book was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The Eagle and the Swan is a must-read!”

My Review:

The Eagle and the Swan is an absolutely fantastic work of historical fiction. It caught and held my attention from start to finish. I loved how the narrator told the story as Theodora and Justinian’s biographer. It was really interesting to set it up that way, and it really helped with the overall flow of the novel. The author’s writing style is amazing, and the character’s were well written. I really felt as though I knew Justinian and Theodora as I read their stories. The time period is also brought life with great imagery for me. I was able to picture the green versus blue competition, the hippodrome, the bribes used in elections, etc. Everything was so well described but without bogging the reader down with unnecessary details.

The connection between Justinian and Theodora is perfect, and as a reader you want them to be together and stay together. You can tell how much they love each other, and you really get an idea of what caused Justinian to go against so many people in order to marry her. They had a passionate love that the author really brought to life in this novel.

I would, without a doubt, recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction. I think that even readers who preferred a different type of genre would enjoy this novel as well. It’s a passionate love story that is really brought to life for the reader, and definitely worth sitting down to read.

I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars.

Buy the eBook

About the Author

Carol Strickland is an art and architecture critic, prize-winning screenwriter, and journalist who’s contributed to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Art in America magazine. A Ph.D. in literature and former writing professor, she’s author of The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in the History of Art from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (which has sold more than 400,000 copies in multiple editions and translations), The Annotated Arch: A Crash Course in the History of Architecture, The Illustrated Timeline of Art History, The Illustrated Timeline of Western Literature, and monographs on individual artists.

While writing on masterpieces of Byzantine art (glorious mosaics in Ravenna, Italy featuring Theodora and Justinian and the monumental Hagia Sophia basilica in Istanbul built by Justinian), Strickland became fascinated by the woman who began life as a swan dancer and her husband, an ex-swineherd.

Knowing how maligned they were by the official historian of their era Procopius, who wrote a slanderous “Secret History” vilifying them, Strickland decided to let the audacious Theodora tell her story. She emerges not just as the bear-keeper’s daughter and a former prostitute who ensnared the man who became emperor, but as a courageous crusader against the abuse of women, children, and free-thinkers.

Author Links

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Thursday, March 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Monday, March 17
Review at Reading the Ages

Wednesday, March 19
Review at Unabridged Chick

Thursday, March 20
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Monday, March 24
Interview & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, March 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, March 26
Guest Post at Kelsey’s Book Corner

Monday, March 31
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, April 2
Review at Book Drunkard

Friday, April 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Monday, April 7
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Wednesday, April 9
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader

Thursday, April 10
Review & Giveaway at Curling Up By the Fire

Friday, April 11
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, April 14
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, April 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, April 16
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 17
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection


Fill out Rafflecopter for as many chances as you can in order to win!
TWO people will be chosen to win an eBook of "The Eagle and the Swan"!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

GUEST POST: by Finnean Nilsen Projects Author of Camp 417

Ryan from Finnean Nilsen Projects On the Future (and Past)

I grew up around books. And by "books" I mean hundreds of pieces of paper glued or bound between cardboard covers. Thousands of them - check that: hundreds of thousands of them. Recently I was discussing the book industry with a prominent man, many years in the business and dozens of successful imprints to his credit, and I stopped him and said, "I've been in the book business for twenty-five years."
He said, "Ryan, you're twenty-nine."
Both statements are true.

My dad opened his first book store twenty-five (six, seven...? No one's certain about the exact date and I obviously didn't mark the calender) years ago, and to this day some of my oldest memories are of wandering through book stores, imagining that I was in a jungle being chased by mercenaries (I have no idea why... No, I do: Dad's attempts to get me reading were giving my Don Pendelton novels... But, now that I think about it, he could have given me those because of my daydreams...). I used to take the gun magazines and cut the pictures out, laminate them with tape and run around pretending they were real. My sister would take the stickers out of Harlequin romances and sell them for a quarter a piece to women who just wanted to humor the little entrepreneur. But for both, the books were real. Tangible. They were something we could hold in our hands. I could run through the isles with my hands out, flipping the covers with my fingertips. I could fold the thing over and set it on the table - not recommended, by the way (any time my dad found a book like that, or open and set down pages first, he'd pick it up, close it and *SLAM* it onto the table. Then we'd get to hear The Speech which went something like this: "You know you're not supposed to do that, because it breaks the spine. Do you like watching television? Do you like to eat? Do you like water and electricity? Do you like our house? Because books pay for all of that!") - and I could hold it, in my hands, as a real thing. 
Because they mattered (or because I liked to eat. Either way), and I always liked that. 
Now, all these years later, here I am talking about the past. Books, some say, are history. Some day, some author will be writing a novel about a very old and quaint notion called a book. It was this physical thing you printed. And they would print up tens of thousands of them and send them out. And, because of this, for years and years and years, these books would be passed from friend to friend, library to library, tiny store to second hand book shop to Salvation Armies. And people liked them, enjoyed them, coveted them, loved them. Because they mattered.

And they'll upload it to a website, and people will read it and remark on how backward we were. How silly to hold on to things like books. To think they mattered. That they were anything more than a vehicle for the words. Like a phone that only makes calls...
Camp 417's ebook is one of the most technologically advanced in the world. So advanced, that Amazon's computers rejected it and we were forced to dumb it down for the kindle.

But it's an ebook. It's not a book. To be clear: I believe ebooks are the future. I simply don't believe books are the past. I can see a day when ebooks reach full interactivity, when you can be reading and then push a button and play the game, watch the movie, interact with the writer. You don't send a letter, you click "Write To Me" and there they are. And in keeping with that, WEbook is the first true online publishing community, where you can interact with - equally - the writer and the reader. Full, unabated access. Advanced, interactive ebooks. A publishing platform that's new - brand new.

The future.
So, what about books?
A few decades ago, a group of people tried to remove books they didn't like. They didn't use a computer program. They didn't just send out a memo and all of them were deleted from user's devices. They had to use fire. And no matter how aggressive, how fanatical, how fierce, they never could wipe them out. Because you print ten thousand, or a hundred thousand or a million of these really old school things - hundreds of pages between cardboard covers - and you can't silence them. You can't destroy them all.
They're real.
They matter.
And they're the future, too (and the past)...

Camp 417
by Finnean Nilsen Projects
Published by WEbook

Every end has a beginning: 
Austria, 1945... 
Every legend, its source: 
Cut off, surrounded and alone, twenty men must turn the tide... 
Evil is alive: 
And the feeding has begun... 
Camp 417: 
Where the dead live


Doctor Keith Manning touched the butt of his cigarette to his lips, pulled hard on it, drawing the smoke deep into his lungs. Savoring it. Then let it out through his nose, enjoying the feel as it rolled around him like a cloud moving around a mountain. The day bright and clear. The pale winter sun shining down eerily, like a photo taken with the shutter open too wide.
Dad,Peter said, I thought you said you were cutting back.
The old doctor grunted. Im ninety years old,he said, if I wanna smoke, Ill damn sure smoke as much as I want.
Behind them, the house was alive with the sounds of children playing and fighting, the low hum of conversation from the living room, and the smells of baking from the kitchen. The party in full swing. Keith ignoring it. He had stopped feeling the day was worth celebrating after the first sixty. Now, at ninety, they were a chore.
Thats it!a woman screeched from inside. Out, all of you!
The screen door burst open and a stream of children surged out. Fifteen in all, ranging from knee high to nearly full-grown. As they streamed past, each said, Hi Grandpa.
He nodded and laughed, patting them on their heads when he could reach. They fanned out on the lawn. The older ones heading off to chat in low voices, exchanging secrets so explosive no adult could be permitted to hear.
Its a fine family you built, Old Man,Peter told him.
I had help,Keith said and smiled again as he heard his wifes voice from the kitchen. He imagined her in there, sitting heavily in her favorite chair, overseeing the proceedings with the watchful eye of a boot camp sergeant.
Frankie, barely seven, thin from his latest growth spurt, ran up to them and rattled off in the machine gun speech of excited children the world over: Grandpa, Grandpa, were playing War!He gave the name an announcer-type emphasis. You were in a war, werent you? Dad said you were in World War Two. He called it the Big One.Did you ever kill anyone, Grandpa? Didja?
Your Great Grandpa was a medic,Peter explained. He saved people, he didnt kill them.
Then he rose, touching Keiths hand as he did, and crossed around his father. Took the boy by the shoulders and guided him into the house.
And he doesnt like to talk about it,he whispered to his grandson as they passed into the house. Lets go check on that cake.
Keith rolled the question over in his mind, memories probing the edges of his consciousness. Fighting to be heard, to be experienced again in their full intensity. Memories of violence, the kind very few men had ever known. Violence and rage and horror so white hoteven decades laterthe potency never lessened. The fear never left. The nightmare never fully awoken from.
Did you kill anyone in the war?
No one who didnt ask me to,he answered, but no one was listening.