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Fletcher Best is an American author of humorous fiction and science fiction.  He is the author of the Stranded In Time series of science fiction novels, including Pirates of the Storm, The Corpornation, and the upcoming third installment, Timeless.  His Fletcher Besthumorous works include Sniffing Out Stink Ape, The Great Chupacabra Kerfuffle, and The Eight Fingered Fiend of Lake Porker.

In addition to his novels, Fletcher Best also writes short stories that are published exclusively for the enjoyment of visitors to his website, FletcherBest.com.  These include the popular, Manatee Vengeance – Blood at the Boat Launch, Alien Invasion of the Zombie Apocalypse, Operation Black Friday, and A Fabulous Business Opportunity.

Born in Miami, Florida, Fletcher has lived in Texas since 1988.  He (or more correctly, his real-life alter-ego George Best) attended Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas before beginning a chiropractic practice in San Antonio in 1992.  He has resided in San Antonio ever since and now lives in sin with his girlfriend and their 4 cats (the sin being strictly with the girlfriend, not the cats).

Readers are invited to connect with Fletcher through his website at http://www.FletcherBest.com.

The Eight Fingered Fiend of Lake Porker 7Would you call yourself a born writer?

Well, I was born and I write; therefore I suppose I am a born writer.  But to give a more serious answer, I did show some promise as a writer when I was a kid.  Life intervened, and it has only been the past couple of years that I’ve resumed writing fiction and for the first time have started publishing my work.

What was your inspiration for The Eight Fingered Fiend of Lake Porker?

The idea for the book came initially from a combination of learning about Japanese tentacle porn from an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s travel show that explored Tokyo (and definitely not from a sexually deviant search on Google) and reading about reports of freshwater octopuses in lakes in Oklahoma.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I like to explore human relationships and interactions in a somewhat outrageous context.  Sexuality features prominently in my writing, as does a certain amount of violence, but ultimately I want to delve into how people behave publicly versus how they behave privately.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

About 6 months from start to final edit.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m fairly disciplined when I’m working on a specific project.  I get up, get dressed, have breakfast, and usually start working by 9:00.  I’ll then work pretty steadily for a few hours with a short break to get up and move around whenever I reach a good stopping point.  At some point before lunch, I’ll usually do about a 30 minute workout in my home gym and then go back to writing.  I take a lunch break around 1:30 most days and will usually check email and surf the internet while I eat.  I’m usually back to writing by 2:30 and will then work for a few more hours, again with a few short breaks to stand up and stretch, and perhaps go outside and get some fresh air.  I usually stop for the day at around 6:00, although I occasionally will work for a little while before I go to bed if I’ve got a really good idea that I want to get in writing.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The biggest challenge I think was writing the sexual content without being too explicit.  I wanted the book to be humorous with sexual content,  not humorous erotica.

What do you love most about being an author?

The biggest thing for me is the freedom.  I enjoy having the option to work pretty much anywhere anytime.  In addition to being an author, I also practice part-time as a chiropractor.  With that type of business, you have to be in your office during business hours to make a living and it can be really difficult to take even a short vacation or to take time off if you get sick or have a family emergency.  I was in full-time practice up until a few years ago and at one point when I looked back, I realized that I had taken only about 6 weeks of total vacation time in my first 15 years in practice.  I’ve been taking at least 2 weeks per year since then, but it’s still hard to leave my practice for more than a week at a time.  I’m hoping to gradually transition into being an author full-time so that even if I’m not 100% on vacation, I can go places and do things for extended periods without it being a problem.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I have self-published all of my books and I think that’s been a good decision for me so far.  There is definitely a learning curve for self-publishing because it goes way beyond simply writing your books.  You essentially are your own marketing/PR department and there’s a lot of work involved in developing a fan base on your own.  You also have to learn about formatting your book for print and the various ebook versions and that can be a bit daunting at first.  I can see that there are probably advantages to working with a publisher, but self-publishing has not been a bad experience and as I go along , I’m getting better at handling the various tasks involved.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website and blog is FletcherBest.com.  I also have a Facebook page at Facebook.com/AuthorFletcherBest  and I’m @AuthorFBest on Twitter.

 

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A Satan Carol by spiritual horror author Alan Steven Kessler combines elements of the macabre and parody/satire to explore the concepts of free will and evil. Not having read in this horror subcategory before, I was intrigued when I received a copy of this ebook for review.

The story begins in 1848 Ireland during a time of intense famine. A poor, nearly starved boy dies in the countryside, releasing a ‘golden soul,’ a special soul full of kindness and healing power. Had he lived, he would have infected generations with goodness.

The tale then moves 180 years later to Christmas Eve in Massachusetts, where we encounter Katie Katz, a troubled, pregnant 14-year old who’s planning an abortion. Revolving around her are various characters who are interconnected in some way, either by family ties or by Mr. Green—aka the Devil—who has an agenda and will stop at nothing to tempt them and play with their conscience.

Among these characters are Katie’s father, Harvey Katz, a top notch lawyer who defends rapists and killers, does drugs and treats women like objects; her grandfather Orem, who’s cursed with prophesies and visions no one believes; Fritz Mueller, a gruesome doctor who performs abortions and uses the fetuses to extract a serum that could affect people’s growth. There are others, too, such as Katie’s mother and Harvey’s assistant.

Through the generations, Mr. Green has been following these people since birth, trying to shape their destinies to suit his purposes. At the top of his agenda, of course, is the golden soul and the way it could affect his son Pal. Though we have an idea that all the characters are pawns in Mr. Green’s evil games, it isn’t until the middle that we get a clearer picture of what’s really going on.

Mr Green tries to convince and trick his victims with dreams and hallucinations, but in the end, they have free will. As the plot evolves and the characters opt to follow the right path, Mr. Green grows increasingly frustrated. In fact, he becomes exhausted and whiny, prone to temper tantrums. After all, it isn’t easy bending the fabric of time and trying to be everywhere at once.

Who is the ghost of Christmas Eve? Is it Pal, Satan’s son? Is it Katie’s unborn child? Or is it the golden soul itself? Will Satan get his way in the end?

A Satan Carol moves back and forth in time and is told from multiple points of view. It is a well-written story with a heavy message that will especially appeal to Christian readers. Though some of the segments are gruesome and bordering on the bizarre, at times Kessler uses dark, twisted humor to lighten the prose. The story explores the universal theme of good versus evil with a particular focus on the power of free will. Kessler writes with a lot of attention to detail and some of the paragraphs are quite long, especially in the first half of the book. The pacing is faster in the second half, with less exposition and lots more dialogue.

A Satan Carol is an out-of-the-ordinary read that invites self pondering. Recommended for readers of horror and Christian fiction who’d like to try something different.

A Satan Carol
by Alan Steven Kessler
Wild Child Publishing
ISNB: 978-1-61798-013-8
Copyright 2009
290 pages
$5.99
Formats: PDF, HTML, ePub, Mobi, Lit, PRC
Spiritual/Christian Horror
Author’s website: http://www.askessler.com
Listen to the first chapter online: http://www.askessler.com/listen.html

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opertionemubookThird-rate Hollywood actors and top NASA astronauts come together in this quirky, hilarious romp of a novel.

Somewhere in the depths of NASA, a team of scientists begin to conduct a top secret operation called OPERATION EMU… Soon afterwards, a Hollywood producer puts together a team of actors for a mysterious, low-budget movie…

Some time later, after an intense training period, NASA sends three astronauts to space on a special mission to visit a nearby planet believed to have intelligent life. The astronauts are sedated for the whole duration of the long trip. When they wake, they realize they have landed on said planet. However, a huge surprise awaits, for this planet is inhabited by primitive cave people who roam around practically naked and who are friendly and naive. Untouched by technology, they live simply and happily, without such worries as politics or feminism. Indeed, the men hunt, and the women cook and take care of their home’s bare necessities. Their religion consists of worshipping animal gods.

The story goes on to show the behavior of the three astronauts toward the aliens. Are the astronauts compassionate and protective, or does their dominating, imperialistic nature as ‘superior’ humans take control? How are their actions and interactions in this new, prehistoric environment where they suddenly have the capacity to become kings and even ‘gods’ to these weaker living beings?

Operation Emu is a thought-provoking satire, one that will make you wonder about Hollywood, science, and the US Space Program. The novel will also make you wonder about human nature and the advantages of technology, as well as our capacity to dominate. We have, in fact, achieved a lot in the last few thousand years, but at what price? Could it be at the price of our humanity? The reader will enjoy the story’s political and religious implications. The dialogue is sharp and propels the story at a quick pace. The characters are offbeat and some of the ridiculous situations will make you laugh out loud. Author B. Brandon Barker has created a smart, funny parody of what really means to be an ‘advanced’ homo sapiens.

If you enjoy satire, you’ll want to add Operation Emu to your shelf.

Visit the author’s website at http://www.bbrandonbarker.com/

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sunstruck_2

Sunstruck
by Mayra Calvani
Zumaya Publications
Release date: February 2009
Print ISBN: 978-1-934841-18-1
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-934841-19-8
Parody/Satire/Women’s Fiction
Available on Amazon and as ebook from EReader.com

Sunstruck has its own site at: www.sunstruckthenovel.blogspot.com

Blurb:

Twenty-four year old Daniella is an architecture student living with her narcissistic artist boyfriend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Abandoned by her father at an early age, Daniella always falls for the wrong type of man.

Her most enduring male relationship so far is with her 30-pound Turkish angora cat. Thankfully, Daniella’s mother is always there to offer a shoulder.

Several strange mysteries are threaded through Daniella’s everyday life: her ex-husband, Ismael, has just opened an outlandish hotel for animal lovers that has her distraught; Ismael’s wife, a rich woman Daniella fondly refers to as “Lady Dracula,” has some gruesome ways to keep her skin looking young; Daniella’s mother is founding a revolutionary, feminist society called The Praying Mantises; the island’s national forest is being depleted of hallucinogenic mushrooms; meanwhile, young girls are disappearing and there’s a nut loose dressed as Zorro slashing the rear ends of women who wear miniskirts.

Oppressed by all these crazed, eccentric characters, Daniella feels herself falling into an abyss. Then something horrendous happens, making Daniella wake from her stupor and take charge of her life.

Reviews:

“Salvador Dali meets Terry Gilliam in a surrealistic romp that skewers the society of dilettantes and artistic poseurs. Reading Sunstruck is like having one of those long, convoluted dreams that seem to be totally logical until they twist off into another dimension entirely. Monty Python’s Flying Circus would be proud.” -Blue Iris Journal

“Brilliant” –MyShelf.com

“Dark and quirky humor coupled with quixotic characters adds to the surprising mix found in Sunstruck… I’ve never read a book remotely like it. Everything from the humorously weird to the actue macabre can be found between these covers, and then some.” -Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review

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Lucky Chica
luckyBy Berta Platas
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 978-0-312-34174-9
Copyright 2009
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
ChickLit

Author’s website: www.bertaplatas.com

Lucky Chica is a charming, entertaining novel about a poor Hispanic young woman who wins the biggest lotto ever, and how her life—and those around her—change because of it.

Twenty-four-year old Rosie Caballero, a college dropout, lives in a tiny, rundown apartment with her best friend, Tootie—a tiny dog that looks like it was ‘rescued from the Katrina waters.’ Rosie hates her no-end job, her mean boss, and has been recently dumped by her boyfriend. At such a young age, her life couldn’t get any worse. The only good things in her life are her grandmother, Abuela, and her cousin Cheeto.

Then something incredible happens, something that drastically changes her existence forever: she wins the biggest lottery ever, $600,000,000! All of a sudden she finds herself surrounded by diamonds, furs, luxury suites, yachts, and all the things she never had before. She decides to share her fortune with Abuela and Cheeto. But what does one do with so much money, after the first shopping sprees at Tiffany’s are over? How does one know with whom to share his fortune when everyone wants a piece of it? Not only are greedy people after her, but so are the paparazzi, especially now that Rosie is going out with Brad Merritt, the hottest Hollywood actor around. Has her life really changed for the better?

Lucky Chica makes a very amusing, fun, relaxing read, a perfect one for the beach or those lazy weekends. Part romantic comedy, part coming-of-age story, this is a novel that will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever seriously fantasized about winning the lottery. The characters are sympathetic, the dialogue engaging. Rosie is well drawn, her personality a mix of naiveté and uncertainty about her future, with a nice round arc towards the end as she suddenly wakes up and realizes what to do with her life. But reader be warned, Lucky Chica may prompt people to keep buying those lottery tickets!

*This review previously appeared in Armchair Interviews

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