Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Signing Photos

Please send us your photos of your book signings and we will post them on our site. Allbooks Review International

Swamp Mist and Other Short Stories

Genre: fantasy/ adventure
Author: W. David MacKenzie
David MacKenzie is able to create realistic and compelling characters while highlighting the importance of both setting and dialogue. His characters vary from emotional teenagers to humanistic dinosaurs without compromising the importance of connecting with his target audience. The anthology begins with a short story about two lovers who come across a Skunk Ape while camping, which proceeds to ruin their weekend. A few pages later, we witness an alien attack on the city of Seattle and a vampire malfunction on a man’s wife in remote location. The anthology repeatedly keeps its readers guessing while incorporating both long and shorter pieces, all of which include a relatable emotional protagonist and intriguing story line.
MacKenzie began writing short stories in high school, but it is quite clear that it was not his only pastime. He now lives in Edmonds, WA where, when not writing, invents both creative board and card games. His latest business endeavor is a board game design and publishing company called Clever Mojo Games. The company has already found much success through the publication of the board game titled Alien Frontiers. MacKenzie also hopes to find success in the upcoming release of the card game, Princes of the Dragon Throne.
The author definitely knows how to attract his readers’ attention; inventing charismatic and witty characters while placing them in remote and imaginative locations is exactly what make them so appealing. On the other hand, however, some of the personalities of his characters do reappear on numerous occasions making the anthology seem not as diverse as it could be. Overall, I recommend this book for young readers looking to lose themselves in a world full of Skunk Apes, friendly dinosaurs, alien attacks, and blood-sucking vampires. Recommended by Reviewer: Nicole Harris, Allbooks Reviews

Title: Swamp Mist and Other Short Stories
Author: W. David MacKenzie
Publisher: -
Price: $9.95
Pages: 170
ISBN: 1453660216
Date of review: May 2011For more info:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Allbooks Review Editor's Choice

Please note the Allbooks Review Editor's Choice contest has been cancelled for 2012. We will no longer offer this contest however there are other excellent contests available for your book.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Allbooks Review September 2011 Newsletter


Congratulations to our Allbooks Reviewers
Anthony Lund has a new baby daughter, Amelia
Bob Medak has a new home in West Virginia
Pete Klein has a new home
Cheryl Heinrichs celebrated a birthday
Shirley A. Roe’s, Dreams and Nightmares received a Bronze Award from Reader’s Choice. Shirley A. Roe has been interviewed see it here:


Our prayers and sympathy to Richard O’Brien, publisher, Real Time Publishing on the recent illness of his wife. We wish her a speedy recovery and pray for strength for the family.

FEATURE: Evaluating a Novel's Plot and Scenes Part Two
By Frances Beckham Insert Yourself In Each Chapter Scene------------------------------------- For each scene, put yourself in turn in the shoes of eachcharacter. Live what they live. Feel the emotions of thecharacters. Act out their parts. Imagine the scenes step by step inyour mind. Visualize them and let them play out like a movie withyou in it. Doing this helps a writer to see weaknesses in thecharacters' personalities, lack of focus on the plot, weakness inthe dialog, and the length of detail in the description. As youenvision the scenes in your mind, jot quick notes. Allow the sceneto play out in alternate ways from what you originally wrote.

Examine Each Scene Ending------------------------- Scenes should end in a way to make the reader want to read more.End a scene:The moment a major decision is about to be made;When a terrible incident happens;When something bad is about to happen;When a strong display of emotions happens;When a question is raised with no immediate answer.

Enhance the Core---------------- The "core" relates to the purpose of the scene. After reading eachscene, ask yourself the following questions: What is the scene'spurpose? Why does it exist? Determine whether the scenes are inline with the plot. If the core is weak, strengthen it.

Adjust the Pace--------------- Long, lagging scenes that require little action can be very boring.To speed them up, use a plot-focused dialog. A short verbalexchange leaves a lot of white space on the page and gives thefeeling that the story is moving. Sometimes, conversely, scenesneed to be slowed down. Do this by including action anddescriptions that are relevant to the plot and move it forward.

Cut or Strengthen Weak Scenes----------------------------- Often it is hard for a writer to critique his/her own work. Whenreading through the novel, one often does not see the weak scenes.So when reviewing your book, ask the following questions for each scene:

Do characters do a lot of talking without much conflict?Is a character's motivation undeveloped?Is there too much introspection (characters examining their ownthoughts or feelings)?Is there too little tension between characters?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, determine whether ornot the scene is necessary to the story. If it is necessary, redo it. If not, cut it out.

By taking these steps to improving the plot and scenes in yournovel, you'll see those puzzle pieces come together to form the"big picture" you wanted in the first place!


We love to hear of your success stories, submit them to us at:
Remember to post your book signing, guest speaker events on our Bookstore page. Simply send us an email with details of your events and we will be happy to post them. Just part of the Allbooks service to our authors.

Congratulations to Shirley A. Roe, Managing Editor of Allbooks Review Int. on the release of her sixth novel, Now My Life Begins. The book is available in print and ebook on and on her recent Bronze Award from Reader’s Choice for Dreams and Nightmares.

Allbooks Reviews INTERVIEW:

Please state your name and location. (city and State or Province, Country)
W. Ron Drynan. Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Tell us the title and publisher of your book:
Power Split - A Philosophical Thriller. Published by Artairus.

Tell us about yourself:
I’m a former systems analyst, project manager, and bank consultant turned voice-over guy, adventure tour guide, and author. I reside in beautiful Sarasota on Florida's Suncoast with my exquisite wife and three fantastic rescue dogs. When I’m not making up stories, I’m playing on the water or in the woods.

When was the book released?:
May 25, 2011.

Give us an overview of your book.
Beyond the teaser from the book jacket, the story asks the reader to consider the ramifications of finding proof positive answers to the most important questions humanity has ever faced. How would people change their behavior and priorities? What would happen to us as a race? What would we do differently?

We start out following Leon Berger, a wildlife expert and extreme explorer through a series of excruciating and increasingly lengthy blackouts which baffle his doctors. The blackouts come at the worst possible times, such as underwater or on an ice climbing expedition. Concurrent with Leon’s blackouts, we follow Ryder Pelse as a test pilot on an experimental spacecraft capable of traveling further than we’ve ever gone. Ryder is blacking out in flight, which puts the mission in jeopardy.

When a mysterious man known only as Hanlon connects Ryder and Leon’s blackouts, he discovers the true potential of their situation. These men represent the opportunity for him to fulfill his life-long quest for The Answer. However, they will not submit to the testing Hanlon needs to prove his theory, and things escalate from there.

To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that Hanlon goes to the most extreme lengths in pursuit of The Answer. Leon and his family, Ryder and the folks at Dax Space Corp., and many high-profile intellectuals are placed directly in harm’s way as Hanlon justifies finding The Answer by any and all means necessary.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to answer the unanswerables for myself. For example, I describe myself as having been a rebellious atheist in my youth and a lazy agnostic as I got older. Upon realizing that I wanted to personally decide where I stand on what six billion people seem to accept as a given, doing the research for a novel seemed the best way to make the journey as enjoyable as possible. The added benefit is having a great story (if I do say so myself ;-) to share with other people who may or may not be positive in their convictions or their faith. When I started writing the book, I had no idea where I’d land with regard to the unanswerables. That was a big source of excitement fueling the process.

Another aspect of Power Split is the science contrasted with faith. There is some amazing research being done with regard to the physical seat of consciousness in the brain, commercial spaceflight and tourism, and the search to determine our place in the universe. What surprised me most was how generous and forthcoming so many solidly credentialed researchers were when I queried them about their work. Several were quite willing to share the details of their research and their own personal take on certain aspects of it, which I think adds tremendously to the story. I can’t thank them enough, but I hope the linked bibliography in the book will give them due credit and inspire some readers to delve more deeply into aspects of the story they find most intriguing.

How is your book different from other books in this genre?
I don’t think “philosophical thriller” is a recognized or standardized genre as of yet, but in the general world of thrillers, I think Power Split differs based on reader involvement. The idea was to present two primary philosophical issues for which there is no answer, create an action-packed story around finding the answers, and engage the reader in deciding where they stand and which characters they’re rooting for. Many people, myself included, get so busy with day-to-day life that they don’t spend much or any time pondering life’s biggest questions. I think that’s a shame. If I can entertain readers while making them consider or reconsider their personal take on major philosophical issues, then my job is well done.

Where can people buy your book?
Power Split is available as a paperback or eBook through all major retailers. Links are available on the book’s web-site at

Are you working on another book? If so when do you expect it to be published?
At present I’m working on marketing for this book, which is my debut novel. Soon I’ll start recording the audio book. Next comes the sequel, which I’m hoping to finish in the first quarter of 2012.

If you self published, what advice can you give to fellow writers?
First, in the words of Joe Konrath: “There's a word for a writer who never gives up... published.” If you don’t know who Joe Konrath is then you haven’t been doing your homework. Second, if there’s anything anyone can say that’ll stop you from publishing your work, save yourself the trouble and take up ping pong instead. Reading is a completely personal and subjective thing, so there will always be plenty of people who don’t like your work. I believe there’s an audience for every story, and your job is to tell your story in the best way you can, then go find your audience.

Can you share one of your marketing successes with us?
I’ve just recently released my debut novel, so the results haven’t come in. One facet of the marketing plan that has yielded good results so far is to start locally. For example, my wife wanted to throw a party for the book release, so we invited everyone in town we know. We didn’t sell the book at the party (that would be cheesy), it was just about having new and old friends over for wine and h'ors d'oeuvres, and discussing the brave new world of publishing.

It seems most people don’t know about POD or independent publishing of eBooks yet, so it’s a great opportunity to enlighten them. That might spark their own desire to publish or just get back into reading and discovering new authors. With all the subsequent linking via sites like Facebook and Twitter, I estimate about 5,000 people heard about Power Split for just the cost of the caterer.

Of course, only a small percentage of those folks are avid readers, and a small percentage of those are into philosophical thrillers. I’m hoping they’ll help pass along the link to their friends or acquaintances who might enjoy the book.

How did you find Allbooks Reviews and what are you hoping for in your relationship with us?
I found you Allbooks Reviews with a Google search. I’ll have a look at your advertising and other offerings.

Was the low cost a surprise? What other things would you like Allbooks Reviews to offer writers?
The cost was low enough that I didn’t feel like I was paying for a reviewer to read the book, I was just helping cover overhead. That was important to me, because I really wanted an objective review that hadn’t been purchased.

Thank you for this interview and best of luck with your book.

Thanks much, and best of luck to Allbooks Reviews as well.