Monday, April 28, 2014

Review - Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer

Title -  Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer - Vol.1
Author - E.R. Barr
Genre - Fantasy
Available - Amazon Kindle

Book Description -

"Long ago, the Tinkers exiled themselves, sailing from the west of Ireland, their women weeping in despair over the men folk who had consorted on the sand with the shape-shifting Roan, non-human beings from Celtic myth. The sea-wives had returned in the shape of seals bearing pups that transformed to human children as soon as they touched the sand. 'Dark ones', the Tinkers called these offspring and claimed them as their own. Traveling to the New World, they found the spot where two rivers flowed together–a thin place, where myths from many cultures converged and legends came to life. There, for a century and a half, the 'dark ones' stayed hidden and the town kept their secrets.

That’s how Conor Archer heard it in the days after he arrived at Tinker’s Grove, Wisconsin. Three days earlier, the night his mother died, the seventeen year old was playing in a pickup band at a downtown Chicago Irish bar. A strange biker approached him, looked at Conor’s webbed hands, pronounced him kin, and then took a chunk out of the boy’s palm with weird pointed teeth. Racked with pain, he found himself at Buckingham Fountain, bleeding and delirious. He saw a woman there, washing her hair in the sparkling water. Dazzled by her beauty, he allowed her to wrap his bleeding hand in a piece of her dress. Incredibly, she aged to an old crone before his eyes, and then told him he had less than twenty-four hours to live. Conor made it back home to hold his mother as she passed, her last words a whisper for him to go to Tinker’s Grove, his only hope for salvation.

He did as she said; his fever left only when Malachy, the Abbot from the town monastery, took him down to the river where an old Indian Mound stood. With the twins, Jace and Beth Michaels by his side, they watched in wonder as something came out of the Mound, vaguely human, and healed the boy. A murky prophecy was spoken about Conor, but what he remembered more clearly was looking out at the river and seeing a shadow there of Piasa, the legendary Native American river demon, gazing at him with hungry eyes. Most of all he remembered Emily, his aunt, aged but loving, who took him in and gave him a home.

No peace for him though--he was changing. He ran in the night like a wolf and flew through the trees like an owl. Strange visions of what might be, and glimpses of otherworldly beings in the forest troubled him.

Conor’s nemesis is Caithness McNabb, wealthy landowner, who has a plan for power and riches for her and her three misbegotten sons. Selling land to a genetics company, she hires Dr. Nicholas Drake, respected bio-geneticist, to come and learn the secret of the ‘dark ones.’ Cate is motivated by Piasa, who whispers fame and glory to her in the night as she walks the banks of the Wisconsin River. The monster has told her who lives in the Mound, an immortal Welsh prince named Madoc, exiled by his countrymen centuries ago because of his strange affinity with the Roan. He’s Piasa’s mortal enemy, and an alliance with Cate will give Piasa the chance it needs to rise to power, spreading evil and chaos through town and countryside.

Into this web step Conor and his friends. When children go missing, townspeople panic thinking that their secret sins have come back to demand vengeance. Drake has abducted them and begins to experiment on them, seeking the source of their shape-shifting power.

All that Conor and his friends can do is awaken the power of the land and allow long dead myths to come to life. Conor, however, runs from who and what he is, becoming his own worst enemy. Beth carries his child and those who hate Conor need the infant to rise to power.

All seems lost as science and technology clash with myth and legend–two dying worlds trying to survive. The outcome will rest on whether Conor will accept who and what he is. Set in the present, but spanning centuries, a battle for humanity and the future of the world begins anew."

My Review:

This story was definitely up my alley. I love fantasy - epic, urban, paranormal, you name it. And this story hit the spot. For most people this wouldn't be considered a fast read, but I devour books at an insane rate, and this one flowed perfectly. A fantastic tale, crafted by E.R. Barr, this novel tells the story of Conor Archer who ultimately must decide whether or not he wants to accept his fate about who he is. And his decision will ultimately decide the fate of so many others.
This was a well thought out and well written story, that was highly detailed. I loved how the author incorporated so many different cultures and myths throughout the story. It really made for an intriguing read. The perfect hero's journey, this is one book you don't want to pass up! *****5 Stars*****

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thank You, John Carpenter.

      Growing up, one of my favorite holidays was Halloween. I used to love being able to dress up and pretend that I was someone or something else (it was just the actress in me). Obviously my favorite part of the holiday, was, of course, the candy. But that's not what this post is about. 
       My least favorite part of Halloween, was getting scared. I grew up with two older brothers so you can see where this is going...You'd think they would be the ones who would perpetually torment me, but ironically, it was neither. My dad absolutely loved to watch scary movies. Anything scary. From the time I was very young there was always something along the lines of a horror or suspense movie playing, so you'd think I'd be accustomed. But the truth was, I was terrified. 

       When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I remember my family watching a movie titled, Halloween. 

I remember the excitement I felt - I mean it was about my favorite holiday right? How could have I been more wrong. Bottom line to this - I shouldn't have been watching the movie. My parents were usually really good about taking me to another room while they watched. But my curiosity was so great, I believe my dad let me watch, in hopes I would get scared and be through with it. How right was he. I was absolutely scared. Terrified. Traumatized. What made matters worse was the teasing that I received after the fact. 

My dad loved me. Loves me. But he did have a tendency to tease - a lot. He started small - "Don't do that otherwise Michael will come and get you." or "You don't want Michael to come visit you, do you?" or my least favorite "Don't go down the hallway, Michael might be waiting." He even went and tapped on my window, and claimed it was Michael. 

I spent too much of my young life absolutely terrified of a man in mask. THAT DIDN'T EXSIST! 

I had tried over the next few years to watch and re-watch the movie. To no avail. Still terrified. 

Fast forward 10years. I was doing a play and before a performance, we were all in the green room preparing and one of the actors decided to get on the piano and play a few songs. Little did I know the events that would follow. *Mind you - NO ONE knew how terrified Halloween had made me.

A few moments later the lights went out and the haunting melody started to play. I absolutely was beside myself. I felt my chest tighten and I literally started to feel light headed. I was in shock. Was he  really playing the Halloween theme? Although it ended soon, it didn't stop me from curling up in a corner, arms wrapped around my knees. I was embarrassed. Terrified. Angry. I hated how something could make me feel so panicked.  

Fast forward another 5 years.
I was working at a book store, and still having issues. I just couldn't seem to shake this. 
I went home one day and decided what the hell. My husband (boyfriend at the time) and I sat and watched the movie and the special features. And then it hit me. It wasn't the movie that I found scary.                

             NOT Michael Myers - as this was the man in the mask  

But the score. See, we muted the movie, and continued to watch for just a moment, and I realized what was truly scaring me. I was absolutely stunned. I couldn't believe that for all of those years I terrified by a goofy looking guy in a painted William Shatner mask and by music. I felt like an ass.

Fast forward once more.

Today, Halloween is by far one of my favorite horror films of all time. I have watched, re-watched and watched again this classic gem of a film. And went from utter petrification to, extreme love, and respect for this film, script, cast and of course the excellent score written by the amazing John Carpenter.

Currently I'm writing my first novel, which just happens to be a thriller. Like some authors that I know, I have compiled a playlist to listen to while I write. The "Halloween - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" is on the top of my list.

Thank You, John Carpenter.
I know you'll never see this, but your creation is held in high regard.