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Avid reader who loves finding new authors with well written books. Am interested in reading and reviewing various genres and am always looking for the next good read.

Upcoming Books to Read and Review

  • 44 Charles Street by Danielle Steel
  • Code Blue by Richard Mabry
  • Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb
  • Vandalism of Words by Derek Haines

Thursday, January 21, 2010


You can win your own copy of Dream State by Robert Crull.

Robert Crull will be giving away a signed book copy of Dream State for residents of the U.S. For those outside the U.S. you can win an eBook PDF copy of Dream State. Contest ends January 31st, 2010.
To enter (note all of the bonus entries), all you need to do is the following:

+5 for following my blog
+3 for every tweet with following message:
I just entered to win a signed copy of Dream State by @RobertCrull by @Bookgoddessno1
Need to link the post to your comment.
+1 Comment on the Interview with Robert Crull

Thank you.


Interview with Dream State Author, Robert Crull

It was my great pleasure to be able to interview Robert Crull, author of Dream State. Check out his website at:

It has been a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to get to know Robert Crull through Twitter, his writing and now this interview.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer some questions regarding yourself and your novel, Dream State.

1. You are a talented artist and photographer, what led you to writing?

Thank you. Both my drawing and photography are hobbies. I started to draw in early 2000 for the first time and two years later was a featured artist in three shows in the Atlanta area. I failed miserably at the shows, because I was embarrassed to talk about the drawings. I always believed they were cartoonish and amateurish at best, definitely not worthy of conversation. I started drawing as a means of stress relief, and to see how realistic I could get with my drawings.

My photography is an excuse to get out of the house, to get out into nature to see more than the inside of my home office or the buildings I work at when I am on the road.

Writing came about accidentally. During early 2004, I had some medical conditions crop up that resulted in me having severe heartburn 24/7. Very painful, and regardless of the meds I was given it just got worse. Eleven months after a surgical repair for those problems, I was diagnosed with a completely blocked iliac artery that basically resulted in my having an autopsy, except I didn’t get to die before hand. During the workups for that diagnosis I wrote these short stories about murder, much like they are now. During my eight week recovery, I found a way to tell the story about Drew.

2. Where did your inspiration come from?

All my drawings are strictly out of the internal vision I see when I look at the blank canvas staring back at me. It's weird, because I may sit and look at a blank drawing board for an hour or longer, waiting for it to enlighten me on what it wants to have drawn on it. The one drawing I have that is not posted was inspired by my son as he went through the beginning processes of his recovery. At the time Aerosmith had just released "Nine Lives" and a song on that CD was about how all five members of the band went to a Farm to get sober together. I spent a total of about 400 hours on that drawing and it takes me back to a much simpler mental space every time I look at it.

The inspiration for Dream State was to tell a story of a man that literally got away with murder. I wanted to create a guy where the rules of morality just didn’t apply. I think that deep down we all wish we could act like Drew from time to time, but thankfully not many of us act upon those flashes of insanity.

3. The mind of your main character, Drew Sovern, is very complex. How were you able to get into his mind so that it translated on paper?

These questions are awesome.

It's my belief that we all have an internal voice, that little guy in the back that plays devil/saint and provides us with a running commentary on what is happening externally. It's that voice that is Drew's nemesis. Drew basically is a weak man, willing to give away his control over his life to a voice that in reality, he should have controlled. But rather than take the harder path, the path of humanity, Drew caved and became what his psychotic little friend wanted him to be.

It's a little hokie, but if you think of the persuasive traits the Thomas Harris character Hannibal Lector exhibited and then mix in a little of the Jedi mind control from Obi Wan, you can see the control the voice has over Drew. Lector moved people to action through riddles and clues, always talking, wearing down his opponent to the point they questioned their own beliefs. Obi Wan was flat out a magician. There are traits of both characters in the voice.

4. The Dream State trailer you made whetted my appetite to read the book – therefore, it certainly had the intended affect. Do you think this is an effective means of advertising? What made you decide to make a trailer?

I'm glad you liked it. The entire process of releasing Dream State has been so educational. Strategic Book Publishing released Dream State in print, and with that came a lot of ideas for marketing. Strategic is basically a self pub house with a few twists, and a lot of free advice. As I was reading the site one evening, the trailer article really made sense, so I dusted off a copy of Adobe Premiere and went to work. Two days later, I am a slow learner, I had what was posted on YouTube as the trailer.

I have seen good trailers, and I have seen great trailers. I think that some take too long to get to the point of what the reader will experience, which to me is paramount. I personally want to be moved to action when I see a trailer. I want to run out right then and read what the trailer is recommending.

To finally answer the question. Yes, I believe that a trailer is an excellent means of advertisement, if it can connect with the viewer, almost generating a need for them to read the book.

5. Did the death of your father have any impact on your writing?

Dream State was complete before my fathers' death. Much of the medical jargon I used though was a derivative of the many trips to the hospital with he and my mother through the years.

6. Did you design the book cover?

I conceptualized the cover, from there my son did the rest. The red moon was his idea, as well as the constellations above the hospital bed. The starry sky was a little bit of reality from Drew that slipped out in one of his pick up stories, and I thought it would be neat to see that incorporated into the design.

7. Do you plan to write more psychological thrillers? If not, any other genres you may tackle?

The next book has already begun, however, it will take awhile to complete. The flow will be very close to Dream State in that we will get to see the internal conversations between the Main Character and his internal voice. The new series, there I said it, is the complete opposite of Dream State. It tells the story of a very old man seeking to be accepted for what he really is.

My bride keeps telling me I should try my hand at erotica, but the machismo in me just can't get there yet. Maybe one day.

8. What are you working on now?

Dream State is in process of being converted to a screenplay. I so enjoyed telling the story from a visual perspective that I want to see it on film.

Also, I am working on additional poetry. I go through phases with poetry that I will write four to six poems a day for a week, then not touch it again for several months.

And finally, the plot line for the series mentioned above is still being worked out, which is going to take quite awhile to finalize. There is so much I want to tell, so many concepts I want to include, that getting the flow of introduction down is proving to be rather arduous.

9. How long did it take you to write Dream State?

Roughly three years. It took two years for the story to get down on paper, then another year of detailing, polishing, and packaging.

10. Do you see writing as a career?

I do, and as time allows from my day job, I spend as much time learning more about writing. Nothing would make me happier than to be able to focus on telling the sick, twisted little stories that run around in my head.

I want to thank you for your generosity and interest in Dream State as a book and me as an author, I am honored.

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton, 2009, 312 pages

On the jacket, it states that “Pirate Latitudes was discovered as a complete manuscript in his files after his death in 2008.” You can tell that this book was never completed as to Michael Crichton’s high standards. Pirate Latitudes has an unpolished feeling and if it did not say his name on the book, I would never have taken it for a Michael Crichton novel.

It is a swashbuckling story set in the Caribbean in 1665 where Spain ruled supreme. Pirating is a dangerous business however; privateering is covertly authorized by the English Crown. Captain Hunter is like an R-rated Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. There is also his evil, sadistic nemesis, the Spaniard, Cazalla whom he engages in a battle royale.

The story centers on the British trying to overtake the heavily fortified Spanish port of Matanceros where it is rumoured to have a fortune in gold hidden in the galleon of a recently arrived treasure ship. There is a lot of action and talk of action and later on has a multitude of things like hurricanes, giant sea monsters and cannibals.
My favourite character was Anne Sharpe however, we seem to lose track of her with all of the swashbuckling activities which is unfortunate as she is the best thought out character in the book and really had potential to be an integral part of the story.
If you are really in the mood to read a good Michael Crichton novel, I would recommend any of his other works as I am not sure he would have been pleased that this seemingly unfinished work has seen the light of day. It is good for an easy pirate adventure read as long as you read it as such and not as a classic Michael Crichton novel. 
Rating 2.5 out of 5

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion

The Vampire Diaries - The Fury, 1991, 245 pages and Dark Reunion 275 pages, Young Adult, Books 3 and 4.

The Fury has the most action out of all 4 books. In this book, Elena is dealing with being a vampire and her feelings towards Stefan and Damon. She sees something good in Damon that no one else has been able to see. I believe that this book should have really been the end of the series. We find Elena and her friends dealing with the fact that she is now a vampire and still trying to figure out what the evil is in the Town. The ending is tragic and the ultimate sacrifice was made for love.

In the fourth and final book, Dark Reunion, we encounter a new evil not seen in the first three books. The brothers, Stefan and Damon, have to work together and it shows that brotherly love can overcome evil in the end. We see more of Elena's friends as Elena only makes brief appearances. The characters are still shallow and never seem to be fleshed out. It was not a bad book and the ending was good but I believe that the series should have finished as a trilogy with The Fury being the last book.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (The Fury)
3 stars out of 5 (Dark Reunion)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Vampire Diaries - The Awakening and The Struggle

The Vampire Diaries - The Awakening and The Struggle, 1991, 253 pages The Awakening and 239 pages The Struggle, Young Adult, Books 1 and 2 of 4

A deadly love triangle involving Elena, the human golden girl; Stefan, the "good" vampire who loves Elena; Damon, the "evil" vampire who is determined to have Elena.

The Awakening starts off the series with a sense of foreboding and excitement. The character we seem to know the least about is Damon and he is the one I find the most intriguing. I love his dark, mysterious and macabre ways. He is the kind of "person" you are drawn to even though they are terrifying.

The character I like the least is Elena who is self-centered, spoiled and vain. She is the Queen bee in the first book but falls from grace in the second as she is now dating Stefan, who is a murder suspect. I find her more relatable in The Struggle as she has fallen from grace. There is plenty of high school drama and feuding and am sure that the intended audience - young adults, will find this series quite enjoyable.

Rating 3 out of 5

Strangers Review

Strangers by Dean Koontz, 1986, 689 pages

The characters in this book were from different places, backgrounds, education and really had nothing in common except an unexplained debilitating sense of fear.

Among the main characters were a catholic priest, a writer, a cardivascular surgeon, motel owner and thief. It was a very long book but the suspense kept building throughout and it was eerie how they were all drawn to a little motel in the middle of the desert. If you enjoy sci-fi, you would really enjoy this book.

My favourite character was Ginger, the young Jewish surgeon who goes into a fugue state whenever something reminds her subconscious of the night her memory was erased. Also loved Jorja, the Vegas waitress whose daughter is obsessed with the moon. Once again, Koontz's female characters show strength and resilience. For the men, there's Dom, the writer, who suffers from somnambulism (sleep walking) and finds himself in odd locations when he wakes up, like the closet. Jack is the thief who you really feel bad for when he has to say goodbye to his wife who has been in a coma for many years. All of the characters are well written and fleshed out.

It may take awhile to get through the book but it is well worth the time.

Rating 4 out of 5

Keeping Faith Review

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult, 1999, 502 pages

Faith is a 7-year-old who witnesses the breakdown of her parents marriage and subsequent rapid divorce as her father was having an affair and wanted to re-marry. Her mother falls into a deep depression and Faith is forced to deal with all of this in her own way. This child, who has no religious background, starts seeing visions and talking to God.

The book focused heavily on religion and dealt with very controversial topics such as miracles and the stigmata. Word spread and soon there was a media circus. The media can truly sensationalize any event and can become quite intrusive. Once the media is in full swing, the father, Colin, feels that he should have sole custody of Faith, saying that his ex-wife, Mariah, is not a fit mother. Thus ensues a very nasty custody battle.

I found the book to be a bit confusing as it had 1st person and 3rd person narrative. I did like the ending and feel that it would make a good read for a book club as it deals with such a controversial subject and am sure it would make for lively discussion and debate.

Rating 3 out of 5

Dream State Review

Dream State by Robert E. Crull, 2009, 210 pages

I would consider this to be an R rated book and meant for adults.

It is a wickedly twisted story and all of the characters are interesting. Drew Sovern, the killer, takes you on an adventure through the inner working of his mind. You can feel his wide range of emotions and feel present through all of his deceptions and mind games. He is extremely organized and controlling in all aspects of his life and loves the thrill of feeling superior to the women he seduces and kills and to the authorities who never find a trace of him at the crime scenes.

This book will keep you riveted through all of the twists and turns and the conclusion will blow you away. I must say that after that surprise ending, I read the book again just to see if I missed "clues" along the way. It felt like you were on a thrilling roller coaster ride with lots of twists and turns.

Masterfully written and I am confident that we will be hearing much more from Mr. Crull in the future. I for one certainly hope so!!!

This link is to a trailer for Dream State - you should check it out:

Rating: 4 out of 5

Monday, January 4, 2010

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire Review

How To Catch and Keep a Vampire by Diana Laurence

This was a very enjoyable read and seemed to successfully straddle the line between dating how to guide and parody. I would recommend it for any paranormal fans out there.

There were "case studies" inserted throughout the book which provided a lot of information and were very fun to read.

Vampires seem to be very accepting and don't discriminate by colour, disabilities, etc. - perhaps we can learn something from them?

There are some genuine dating tips in this guide which could be put into practice for any single people out there.

All in all, very enjoyable.

Rating 3 out of 5

Reading into the New Year Read-a-Thon

The Reading into the New Year Read-a-Thon ended on Sunday, January 3 at 10:00pm. I must say that I had hoped for a lot better showing then what I managed. I ended up watching movies, playing games, etc., etc. and didn't get nearly the amount of reading done I had planned. I only managed to read for 11 hours.

Books Completed:

Dream State by Robert Crull
How to Catch and Keep a Vampire by Diana Laurence

Books Started:
3 Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

Here is the link back to the readathon and the posts.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Reading Challenge

I have signed up for a 2010 Reading Challenge to read 100+ books. Here is the link to the site with the information:

I would love to hear about what books you are reading. I will be posting my progress on my blog with reviews of the books.

Should be fun!!