Archives for posts with tag: Book Review

ALEXA.CVR.MED.LARGE.5.17.17

One Day in the Life of Alexa
by Lisa Mason

Another brand-new Five Star review from November 2, 2017:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1546783091/

“When her home is bombed by Serbs Alexa Denisovich flees Kosovo with her mother. She meets the obnoxious Marya who joins her family emigrating to the US. Living in NYC in poverty Alexa and Marya’s infant child are accepted as testers of Longeva, a life extending drug being developed by GenGineer Laboratories, so they can be paid. The treatments includes diet and exercise routines that must be followed to keep the payments coming. Bad political, environmental and personal events happen to and around Alexa yet she continues struggling to survive.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” about one man’s struggle to live one day at a time in the horror of a Soviet gulag. It is a great book, and very depressing. Ivan struggles to survive one more day finding internal resources that allow him to last another day of hopelessness.
Lisa Mason’s character Alexa is not imprisoned in a gulag, but she is caught in the conviction she must continue the life-extending drug regime to stay alive. She tries to make the world a better place for other refugees, but side effects of the drugs limit her. She finds her internal resource that allows her to survive many more days in a much more uplifting manner than poor Ivan Denisovich. Discovering where her strengths lie is not depressing but uplifting for this reader.”

And here’s another new Five Star review on Amazon:
5.0 out of 5 starsLisa Mason doesn’t disappoint us on that issue and gives us a look …
By R Bruce Milleron October 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Scifi is nominally about the future and the impact of technology on society. Lisa Mason doesn’t disappoint us on that issue and gives us a look at a desirable biotechnology with some serious long-term and unforeseen consequences. However, like all the truly great scifi writers, what she really writes about is you and me and today and what is really important in life. Alexa lives an improbable life and yet, somehow, is a very real everywoman. Solzhenitsyn would have appreciated the homage. Cats! Grow your own organic food! Yes, there is much fun to be had on this journey, but the message nonetheless is solid and important. I enjoyed every word even though this book spoiled my day because I had no choice but to read it in one sitting while drinking too much coffee.

And from Goodreads:

One Day in the Life of Alexa, by Lisa Mason (Bast Books, 2017) incorporates lively prose, past/present time jumps, and the consequences of longevity technology. Kosovo refugee Alexa enrolls in a secret pilot program designed to extend her life span. Her best friend, Marya, is not accepted, but Marya’s infant aka “Little Monster” is. As the decades roll by, Alexa adapts to a life of constant measurement and surveillance. . . . In reflection, the book is as much about the enduring trauma of war as it is about longevity technology, and in this it feels more like mainstream than science fiction. . . . [An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.

So there you have it, my friends. I hope you’ll check out One Day in the Life of Alexa at BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! ORDER at https://www.createspace.com/title/7675783 and on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order on Amazon IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091 or direct from the Printer: https://www.createspace.com/7181096

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. SOON IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

The spring genre literary awards are behind us—the Nebula, the Philip K. Dick, and so on. I pay attention to the awards because I often find books and stories I’ve missed over the past year.

One book I was aware of, but haven’t read, was short-listed for one of the awards and is presently being made into a movie. After the book took the top prize, I decided to check it out on Amazon.com and Goodreads. I’m always curious to find out how the readers feel about a book. After all, a jury of your professional peers and trade journal critics may judge and assess a book, but awards and rave reviews don’t always translate into what’s really, ultimately important to an author—book sales. And book sales are always driven by you, dear reader.

The book is a long one, 600 pages I think. That means the author invested a lot of time, hard work, and inspiration. And the author is a human being who sleeps, eats, and feels.

I started with Amazon.com, where the author’s publisher has proudly posted the award win, and I was shocked to find almost as many one-star reader reviews as five-stars. Apparently there are issues with this book that readers strenuously object to.

Okay. I’m glad readers feel so passionately about a book that they want to vent about how much they hated it. Less glad that they take the time to write a hate review and post it on Amazon, where it pretty much remains forever.

Amazon notoriously checks every detail, so you won’t find profanity in Amazon hate reviews. At least, I haven’t.

But that’s not the case on Goodreads, which Amazon now owns. I was doubly shocked to find the same split between raves and hates for this book on Goodreads, but in just about every hate review, the f-word was employed.

Gee, hater people. That’s really uncalled for and cruel. I freakin’ hate it.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia
, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Just in time for the Summer Solstice, and the first day of the Summer of Love, tomorrow, here is Charles De Lint’s original review:

6.11.15FSF.SOL.TINY

“Lisa Mason has a different take on time travel. Where Robert Sawyer uses it to have some fun—albeit he is serious in his speculations on dinosaurs—Mason uses time travel to explore the sensibility of the sixties and environmental concerns. On second thought, perhaps there isn’t that much difference. These days, true hippie culture is as much a dinosaur as those behemoths that once roamed the world, and part of Mason’s thrust is to explore how it died off—was dying even as, to all intents and purposes, it appeared to be in its heyday.

Her time traveler, Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, has his origin in our own far future. He comes to San Francisco during the Summer of Love because that summer in 1967 is a “hot spot” on the time line. Something happens during those few months that has repercussions through the centuries until, in Chiron’s own time, data is mysteriously disappearing from his people’s data banks. He’s been sent to stop it.

His mission begins with trying to track down a young woman names Starbright, his only clue a film clip from the CBS news. But finding her is only a part of the problem. Once he’s found her, he has to protect her from danger until the “hot spot” closes.

Starbright—we learn well before Chiron—is actually Susan, a fourteen-year-old runaway from the suburbs of Cleveland who arrives in Haight-Ashbury to find herself. Much of the story is told from her point of view, as well as that of an older woman named Ruby who befriends both Susan and Chiron. Ruby is an old beatnik who has made the natural transition into hippiedom as did many of the beats at the time, and her take on the scene is particularly fascinating.

The story progresses from there and is quite engrossing as the fated summer unfolds and we experience the group dynamics between the three and various secondary characters. But there’s more to the story than the (fairly) linear plot line. Mason is using Summer of Love to explore present day environmental concerns as well as old hippie culture. Her extrapolations of how the future will turn out are firmly based upon the present misuse of the world’s resources, and while she doesn’t beat the reader over the head with her message, she makes a good case for the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Unfortunately, she’s probably preaching to the converted because one’s interest in this book is undoubtedly directly proportional to one’s sympathy to the counterculture as it rose up during the sixties.

That said, I have to admit (my age showing) that I found Summer of Love to be a clear-eyed look at the past, rather than one warped by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia. Her characters are captivating and I enjoyed the stream-of-consciousness style of writing that opens many of the chapters as well as the clippings and quotes of the times that are interspersed with the main body of the text. She’s managed to capture both the innocence of the hippie culture and the streetwise cynicism that eventually brought it down.

Summer of Love is a far cry from the hard-edged cyberpunk sensibility of her earlier novel, Arachne, but I happen to consider that a good thing. There’s nothing more tiresome than an author continually rewriting the same book, and that’s certainly not the case here. Mason has given us an enchanting foray into the near past, as seen through the eyes of the people of its times, as well as through the eyes of an individual from our own all-too possible far future. In that sense it’s both a history lesson and cautionary tale, but one that doesn’t forsake the first tenet of good fiction: there’s an entertaining story at the heart of it all.”

3.23.14SOLATTCVRMED

So there you have it, my friends. Full disclosure: I am not now nor have I ever been a hippie. I was fascinated by the time period and spent over two years researching this book. It is intended to be a broader statement about the evolution of American attitudes—for better and for worse—that began in the sixties.

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Fantastic New Review! At http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2015/04/book-review-summer-of-love-by-lisa-mason-is-a-trip/. Check out this wonderfully written, humorous, and fascinating review of Summer of Love by Steve Fahnestalk for Amazing Stories Magazine.

I know Steve only as a face and a voice on Facebook. But he noticed my post about StoryBundle’s Time Travel Bundle, which included my book.

It turns out Steve is one of those legendary folks who actually Was There for the Summer of Love in 1967. He’s got an encyclopedic memory of that time. In the review, he relates his own experiences and observations.

I wish I’d known Steve when I was circulating my manuscript around to writer friends for comments and corrections. Several of them were There, too, but they didn’t catch some of the nitty-gritty details Steve did. No matter. Steve says the book is the next best thing to having been There yourself.

Summer Of Love, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.

Twenty five-star Amazon reader reviews
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”
“My favourite SF book of all time, beautiful, cynical and completely involving….Unmissable!”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a wise hip entrepreneur who believes in free speech and free enterprise, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history.

Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

What the professional book reviewers have to say:

“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.” San Francisco Chronicle

“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.” Washington Post Book World

“Remarkable. . . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” Locus Magazine

“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her chief characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.” Analog

“A priority purchase.” Library Journal

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

If some genre authors don’t have much to say but craft lively stories employing genre tropes, then some mainstream authors employ their literary prowess to hold forth on significant themes and characterizations that in the end amount to shallow stories. (Full disclosure: I’m bored by family sagas, quirky dark secrets and all.)

This author brings her considerable literary prowess to a story that could have been ripped from the headlines: Anna, a young teen, who was purposefully conceived as a DNA match to provide blood and bone marrow to her beloved sister mortally ill with leukemia, files a law suit for her medical emancipation from her obsessive controlling parents.

Why? Because after years of emotionally draining and painful blood draws and bone marrow harvests, now her sister’s kidneys are failing and the parents want to harvest Anna’s kidney. Anna just can’t take it anymore.

The incendiary family drama unfolds in shifting POVs and time inversions with the compelling authenticity of technical names for medicines and medical procedures, causes of action and legal procedures, and a parent’s anguish over the pain of a sick child.

In an earlier day, the cancerous child would have died at age three, the grieving parents could have conceived another, and life would have gone on. I don’t know if the author intended this, but the modern medical technology that enables such manipulation of life strikes me as both miraculous and ghoulish.

I really wanted to love this book. *SPOILER ALERT* But I can’t. I don’t object to a dark, ironic end. Or a tragic end. Or an end with a twist. (Like Romeo and Juliet, for instance.) Or an end where the villain (or a villain) gets away with it. (Like Silence of the Lambs.)

But a story’s end should fulfill the inevitable logic of the story. We as readers, however surprised, should be able to say, “This is how the story had to end.” After four hundred pages plus, the end of this book struck me as perfunctory, arbitrary, and nothing less than horrifying, unfairly brutal, even punitive toward the one character we care most about. Four stars for the literary prowess (after the tight beginning, the round-robin of POVs tends to drift) and minus four stars for the end. That leaves me with zero. Sorry, Ms. Picoult, I love your writing. Unrated.

For urban fantasy, science fiction, fantasy, romantic suspense, humor, and a screenplay, visit the Virtual Bookstore! All Lisa Mason Titles, All Links, All Readers, Worldwide. NYT Notable Book Author https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/08/31/virtual-bookstore-fantasy-science-fiction-urban-fantasy-romantic-suspense-literary-screenplay-sfwapro/

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy this title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

I love historical fiction, historical mysteries, and the 1890s in particular, and this book is a fine example of the genre. The author’s prodigious research underlies a harrowing tale: police in 1897 New York City are finding murdered children, an increasing number of them, in strange, out-of-the-way locations. They’re baffled. Is a serial killer on the loose?

But such jargon doesn’t even exist then, and the police lack the sophisticated forensic technologies we have today. Even fingerprinting is an iffy proposition. The traditional approach of motive and the likely suspects yields no results. Enter the eponymous Alienist, a detective pioneering a methodology we know today as “profiling,” analyzing the “who” as much as the “why.”

Carr’s flashes of wit relieve the grim story as he pokes gentle fun at the twenty-course, all-night feasts at Delmonico’s (one member of the team has to be “forcibly separated from the lamb”) and the terror of a street urchin who may possess crucial information as he confronts the cheerful circle of detectives eagerly quizzing him about his squalid life.

*SPOILER ALERT* The mystery is ingeniously solved, the psycho-killer is trapped and apprehended in an action-packed climax, and we the readers may close the book knowing there is some justice in the world. Recommended.

For urban fantasy, science fiction, fantasy, romantic suspense, humor, and a screenplay, visit the Virtual Bookstore! All Lisa Mason Titles, All Links, All Readers, Worldwide. NYT Notable Book Author https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/08/31/virtual-bookstore-fantasy-science-fiction-urban-fantasy-romantic-suspense-literary-screenplay-sfwapro/

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy this title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

This international literary bestseller tackles the caste system in India, the political upheaval with the advent of socialism, the disintegrating fortunes of a wealthy family who manufactures traditional pickles and condiments, and the catastrophic consequences when a woman of that family and her son and daughter (“two-egg twins”) dare to cross caste boundaries. This could have been a sweeping, weighty tome. Instead it is a compact, vividly rendered, deeply personal account with shifting POVs and time inversions.

My one complaint is that the eponymous “God” remains a cipher, an empty hub around which the wheel of the other characters and their stories spin. That may very well have been the author’s intent, but felt to me like a bit of an omission.

After the grim, devastating story, the author gifts us at the end, through the magic trick of time inversion, with a lovely lyrical scene filled with hope and promise. We as readers may close the book smiling through our tears. Recommended.

For urban fantasy, science fiction, fantasy, romantic suspense, humor, and a screenplay, visit the Virtual Bookstore! All Lisa Mason Titles, All Links, All Readers, Worldwide. NYT Notable Book Author https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/08/31/virtual-bookstore-fantasy-science-fiction-urban-fantasy-romantic-suspense-literary-screenplay-sfwapro/

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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This bestselling classic of high fantasy is a retelling of the King Arthur legend with an ingenious twist. The tale is told entirely from the POV of the women characters, Queen Guinevere, the Druid witch Morgan La Fay, and so on. The backdrop is the conflict between paganism and encroaching Christianity, an epic struggle for the hearts, minds, souls of the people, which paganism was doomed to lose.

MZB worked intensively on the book for ten years, immersing herself in The Golden Bough, A Study in Magic and Religion by Sir James George Frazer, an Oxford scholar who wrote the definitive treatise on paganism and its symbols. She remains faithful to the classic love triangle between Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Guinevere, Guinevere’s tragic inability to bear children, and the twists and turns between Arthur and his half-sister, Morgan La Fay.

MBZ, a scholar of medieval life, vividly depicts the issues affecting women in particular. When a pregnant woman, for example, went into labor, she needed to summon a posse of female friends and relatives to keep her upright and walking so gravity could work its power. (It’s a wonder medieval midwives aren’t credited with discovering gravity, instead of Sir Isaac Newton getting conked on the head with an apple. Then again, medieval midwives couldn’t write about their observations. They were illiterate.)

MBZ vividly depicts medieval tourneys, a masked pagan fertility ritual resulting in an inadvertent incestuous coupling with disastrous consequences, and those mysterious mists, which part to reveal a magical alternate reality.

I confess I’m not a fan of high fantasy or medieval life. I’m a thoroughly modern American. I believe in meritocracy, not inherited rank, women as scholars and leaders, not breeders and chattel. Also, MBZ’s prose is slow and stately, almost Victorian, and the opening pages are glacial. I confess I tried to get into the book three or four times before I could commit to 1,000 pages.

A journalist friend interviewed MBZ toward the end of her life. She’d written the Darkover Series, another feminist fantasy, and many other lesser works. When my friend asked her about Mists, she snapped, “If I knew that book was going to make me famous, I never would have written it.”

MBZ was something of a female curmudgeon at the time.

Sigh. Every author should have a bestselling classic that, in retrospect, she hates.

So there you have it, my friend. If you’re seeking a classic of high fantasy, a unique take on the King Arthur legend, or a title to add to your required fantasy reading list, this book is for you.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, screenplays, forthcoming projects, and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

More affordable titles for your reading enjoyment:

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

New Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

The original dysfunctional romance classic. Scarlett O’Hara, who is not beautiful, “but men seldom noticed that,” carries a torch for the somewhat limp, blond Dixie patriot, Ashley Wilkes. But Ashley doesn’t love her. He loves the fragile Southern belle, Melanie Hamilton, and, despite Scarlett’s scheming, marries her. Enter the dark, dangerous, traitorous Rhett Butler, a crueler, uglier man than the charming scoundrel Clark Gable plays in the movie. Rhett discovers Scarlett’s unrequited obsession and lusts for her, anyway. She despises Rhett but, after many twists and turns, winds up marrying him with disastrous consequences.

I’m way on Scarlett’s side. She’s not a man-eating bitch, she’s an amazing, resourceful survivor.

Such is the setup for this historical panorama set against the “War of Northern Aggression” (as a friend of mine from Georgia continues to call the Civil War) and the fall of the Old South.

Mitchell researched and wrote GWTW (as its millions of fans continue to call the book) over twenty years. She strove mightily to capture the tragedies of the war, the customs of the Old South, and the way people felt and spoke, especially the idiom of the African-American servant class (or slaves).

Ten years ago, proponents of politically correct speech took aim at GWTW and works by the great Mark Twain on the grounds that the language of those books was offensive and demeaning. The attack culminated with an African-American author writing a book from the POV of Scarlett’s chambermaid, entitled The Wind Done Gone.

I understand the deleterious effect of speech. In Summer of Love, my female characters in 1967 have a funny/not-so-funny consciousness-raising about the ubiquitous use of “chick” to refer to women. Feminists of the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s weren’t concerned about getting their feelings hurt when some man referred to them as a stupid little bird. They were concerned about professional opportunity, money in the bank, respect, and power. (I find it ironic that grown women today accept being referred to as “chicks” and “girls” when sexism and male derogation of women is alive and unwell.)

But contemporary awareness of speech and the profound effects it has on contemporary social interactions should have no bearing on a work like GWTW. The novel is historical fiction, a product itself of the author’s time. (GWTW was a huge bestseller in the 1930s at the height of the last Great Depression.) No one can properly accuse Mitchell of prejudice or attempt to revise her scholarly efforts to depict what was without revising history. (Same for Twain.) And revising history, as we all should know from George Orwell’s 1984 and the real 1984s of our recent history, is the first step down the road to tyranny.

The heirs to the Mitchell Estate sued the author of The Wind Done Gone for copyright infringement. They won; the book was unpublished. As a free speech advocate, I’m not entirely in favor of that outcome. As a copyright protection advocate, though, I think the author should have invented her own Civil War chambermaid, mistress, and title instead of trying to capitalize on someone else’s intellectual property without permission.

So there you have it, my friend. GWTW is justifiably a classic because the writing, the characters, the drama, and the story stand up to the test of time. If you’re searching for a reading experience that’s a deeply felt portrait of a pivotal era in American history, this is for you.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

More affordable titles for your reading enjoyment:

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

New Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

This wildly popular author often has interesting titles and this, I think, is one of her best titles for one of her best books in the Anita Blake series.

Obsidian Butterfly is the poetic Aztec euphemism for the knife priests used to carve out the beating heart of a sacrificial victim and/or flay him/her alive.

The Aztecs dominated Central America, conquering and enslaving weaker aboriginal tribes, and used prisoners of war as sacrifices (though sometimes they sacrificed their own children). Yes, they really did commit such atrocities. On a regular basis. That’s what the vaunted Aztec calendar (which I’ve seen) in the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City is all about.

Jared Diamond, in Guns, Germs, and Steel, indignantly tells the tale of how the Spanish literally wiped out the Aztecs in a matter of days by (mostly inadvertently) infecting them with smallpox, a disease to which the urban-dwelling Spaniards had developed an immunity. The genocide was a terrible thing, true, but I for one shed few politically correct tears for a nasty gang of psychopaths.

The gruesome Aztec culture is the backdrop against which LKH (as she’s known to her fans) sets her gruesome tale. Anita Blake, a U.S. marshal charged with hunting and exterminating vampires, is called away from her native St. Louis to Santa Fe to help stop a supernatural, Aztec-influenced killer who is torturing and killing people en masse.

Anita is the quintessential urban fantasy heroine: profane, sarcastic, violent, sexual, fearless. In later books, apparently, she acquires supernatural powers, but in this book she’s simply human. Virtually every male character lusts for Anita, which sometimes feels overly self-aggrandizing, and she’s portrayed as a sexpert. Self deprecation is not in her vocabulary.

Other readers have noticed that Anita scorns, disparages, or competes with virtually every female character. Or she thinks the character is a lesbian lusting for her. Though she occasionally refers to feminism, Anita comes across as oddly misogynist. As an author who has written about friendship between women (in Summer of Love, The Gilded Age, and The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria among others), I find that off-putting.

Be forewarned that the book fearlessly treads on taboos: there is homosexual torture and sex, sexual child abuse, child torture, torture as a glamorous nightclub act. If you can tolerate that, you’ll find a complex and twisty plot and vivid writing.

Lately readers have complained that LKH’s considerable authorial skill has declined. It’s possible that, after 20 books in 20 years (in just this series; she’s got others), the author may be a bit burned out.

I can think of another possibility. Obsidian Butterfly is probably 150,000 words; the recent works clock in at around 80,000. I have it on good authority that LKH’s Big Publisher no longer publishes works of more than 80K words. It’s possible, therefore, that LKH is at her best when she can stretch out in a book like Obsidian Butterfly, with its plot complications and colorful descriptions. And that she’s not as comfortable writing at a shorter length.

Why, you may wonder, would a Big Publisher rein in an author, force her to arbitrarily chop down a work, to her critical detriment? To economize on the cost of paper and ink, of course. Would a Big Publisher do that? The answer is Yes. It happened to me and Pangaea (the cost of paper and ink was the excuse handed to me, but that’s another story).

As for the answer to the first question, bear in mind the Big Publisher doesn’t take the heat from disgruntled readers and reviewers; the author does. Like the Aztec priest wielding his Obsidian Butterfly, the Big Publisher just doesn’t care.

So there you have it, my friend. If you require gore and shock value in your reading entertainment, this is for you.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

More affordable titles for your reading enjoyment:

New Romantic Suspense! Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

New Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!