Friday, September 27, 2013



 By Jill Tunney

Purchase Here
Move over gentlemen, a new contender steps into the boxing ring of the male dominated Fight Card Series created by Paul Bishop and Mel Odom. Each boxer in the series is connected to St. Vincent’s Asylum for Boys, an orphanage in Chicago.  Jill Tunney, a pseudonym for Carol Malone pens a combination of nerve-racking tension, thrilling action, and an engaging love story that kept me up until the wee hours. Additionally, the characters are all very strong and exhibit character development throughout the book. Carol Malone has crafted delightful characters whose charm made the hours pass swiftly by.  

 Jimmy Doherty: Lost his father in the battle of Iwo Jima and his mother from mental illness. Pops Dominic: Takes in young boxer Jimmy and saves him from his anger against God as well as providing a nurturing family environment, and Lindy: A 19 year old that works at her father’s gym and then matures into a warm, caring, and strong adult. These people are not flawless by any means, but aren't afraid to show their humanity in the way they relate to each other and to the people in their pasts.

 While I found this book absolutely enthralling, I was surprised it was aimed at an audience from young adults to mature readers. Carol Malone writes a cross generational book by adding a few lines from classics such as Casablanca and Don Quixote. One cross generational example is during a boxing scene when a less experienced competitor is described as, “throwing more rabbit punches than Bugs Bunny.” Moreover, many readers will be pleased with the less than PG-13 rating for language, violence, and sex. With that being said, this book does not portend a level of prudence but has a secret that will be discovered very early in the novel.

My Interview with Carol Malone and Paul Bishop

The main theme of Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night is perseverance. It is not only the fight inside the ring but the grace and choices that one makes outside. This is coupled with love of family. Carol Malone challenges readers to examine the definition of family compared to the need for belonging and attachment. The author then skillfully weaves the character dilemma of Lindy when she states, “I know you do. I love you, too. This has nothing to do with our love for each other. I need to learn who I am and what my purpose is. Am I only Pops’ daughter, the boys’ sister and your wife? Or do I have a mission to fulfill.”

 “The Auditorium’s thick air hung heavy with the scent of stale cigarette smoke and fermenting beer. The floor, covered with luggies, cigarette butts and beer puddles felt disgusting, enough to turn Lindy’s stomach. But such was life at the fights.”

The intensity of the action was engaging and suspenseful, but the age of the characters and the simplicity of the prose were aimed at an average reading audience. Carol Malone is able to describe a scene without over complicating or confusing the reader. A good example of how the author expresses the mood, setting, and emotion can be found in the quote:

 “The dark tomb-like chapel reeked of dying roses, drooping lilies, and the hot stench of candle wax. When Father Donovan walked from the pulpit, the old organ ground out a melancholy sound, strangling Jimmy’s heart, making him clench and unclench his hands in his lap, wishing he had something to punch.” 

Interestingly, this book was written in third person narrative.  The author was not only consistent but I found no editing issues while reading.  Overall, I was highly impressed with Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night by Jill Tunney. In my honest opinion, it is a five star knockout!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Boy Who Loved Simone Simon: A Collection of Serio-Comic Phantasies By Stephen Mosley

The Boy Who Loved Simone Simon, is the product of the masterful Stephen Mosley who has fully accepted the wild, weird, and wonderful of short fiction. Stephen Mosley is talented and utilizes every inch inside the short story boundaries which never leaves the reader bored. The author uses every description and word wisely. These stories are entertaining and brilliantly written. The imagination of author Stephen Mosley’s stories are unpredictable, filled with surprise, and offer humorous insights. With historical sketches of actors and actresses combined with great storytelling, makes the book often read like a conversation at a pub among friends. 

Click here to watch the book trailer

The Boy Who Loved Simone Simon, begins with a witty ode to Spam fritters and as one tastes the sensory language of “succulent pork gone from a fork” you almost can’t help to feel those past days when home alone with not much else to eat. Another fine example of the author’ s choice of words was when he stated, “I’m scared that my world of reverie will soon spill from my head, splashing every horizon in its illusory shade until it’s all there is, and home will be a place I’m destined not to find, in this realm or the next.” 

Actor information

The title of the book was very much an infatuation of the author with not only classic films, but with French actress Simone Simon most famous for her leading movie role in Cat People. This first story was my personal favorite where a young man who works in an office is obsessed by the star. He hangs a picture of her up on his wall; but his photocopier becomes jealous. The ending of this short will have you begging for more and you are immediately introduced to the “Fish.” The placement of each short gives the reader a science fiction sort of feel. Beware! Just when you least expect it, you enter the horror world of a madman who is a dentist. This energy keeps the reader from putting the book down! 

Bootleg Best Actor B0otleg Best Screenplay 2013No/Gloss Film Festival Leeds 2013

The endings of each story are unique and even some are thought provoking. Yet, I think the author describes it best when he states, “Happy endings? The only ending life allows us is death, and that’s rarely happy. So, until my happy death, I have to fill my life: fill it with monochrome feels and leading ladies.”  Well this ‘leading lady’ was very pleased and happy with Stephen Mosley. I give my highest rating and recommendation of The Boy Who Loved Simone Simon by Stephen Mosley. Please listen to my interview with Stephen Mosley. It was a complete honor to speak with him on Book Talk with Ginger Dawn.

Kenneth The Movie

No/Gloss screening
NEWSFLASH: KENNETH will be screened as part of the 2013 No/Gloss Independent Film Festival in Leeds! The festival is on the 19th and 20th of October - book your tickets HERE

Stephen also belongs to a band named Collinson TwinAdam Catlin and Stephen Mosley met in 1997. Please enjoy this  song is titled,  Weigh Down.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"O Romeo, Romeo, Who Art Thou Earl Merkel?"

My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words.
 Of that tongue's uttering, yet I know the sound.  
Art thou not Romeo, and  Earl Merkel?

What is it about Author Earl Merkel? I am not sure. Maybe it is his charming personality, humorist wry way with words, or his "eclectic" writer's psyche. I was first impressed by Earl Merkel because he did a very kind deed for me. Matter of fact, I have never met him, just added him on Facebook as a friend and he helped to promote my radio show while I honored a friend's birthday. I was more than touched by his thoughtfulness. 

"The Earl Merkel outlaw motorcycle club & writers' group,"

It was at this time that I was more than intrigued so I researched the author. The first thing that I found was a brilliant essay titled, The Bangladeshi Computer Gap Commentary and Satire. It is better known as the now as The Infamous Chicken Little Article. Next, I purchased a copy of his novel and asked Earl for an interview on my show.

My Interview with Earl Merkel. Photo taken by my Bangladeshi friend Mahmud Amin (Birds)

Earl is the author of thrillers such as Final Epidemic, Fire of the Prophet and Dirty Fire and an iconoclast in his own right.

Earl Merkel's, Fire of the Prophet is unquestionably an extraordinary novel that is not only emotionally-grabbing but will also stand the test of time as a substantive fictional account of the Global War on Terror. Merkel writes with a seemingly journalistic approach that is well researched. He explores the world of power, misguided trust, espionage, and terrorism. Intense with suspense and full of action, this novel will be a favorite among avid suspense thriller readers.

Earl Merkel's Website
Throughout the book the transfer of power is more than evident as a theme. From the gripping escape by Fatíma Huntsman, struggles with al-Qaeda-affiliated factions like the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, to the sequences of action by Beck Casey and Jeffrey Connor. I felt the author even toys with the reader by the emphasis of meticulously detailed scientific facts of nuclear weapons, firearms, and then combining it with military knowledge. However, Merkel also purposely switches the names of cities of Culpepper, Virginia and Frederick, Maryland for fictional value. Furthermore, the author uses the literary technique of wordplay with the character names of Justin Beaver, Garth Brooks, among others. This is also a classic journalistic and media approach much like today that provides the `Hollywood candy' while the real stories are often harder to decipher. Earl Merkel gives clues to this wit early on in the novel when Mason states to the President, "It is a chess match, and we find that any rational move we contemplate leaves us open to checkmate. We are forced to delay and definitive response, lest the knife turn in our own hand." However, the author later writes a scene where Beck Casey sat at a chess table which displayed no pieces, tying in to the earlier chess reference.

Earl's Goodreads profile

 With excellent character development, Earl Merkel creates distinctive and memorable characters that remain with you long after you finish the novel. In fact, this keeps the novel interesting and suspenseful. Additionally, the author makes great use of vivid sensory details which makes the plot very plausible. A great example is, "It was only then that they heard faint noises from down the hallway, the kind of sounds a person might make if her mouth had been tenderly stuffed with a balled-up kitchen sponge and secured with a double-wrapping of fiberglass-reinforced heavy-duty plastic shipping tape." Moreover, the added conflict between characters such as Fatíma and her husband, Beck Casey and Mahoud Farzaneh sets a mood of distrust and a false sense of security. "Panic is an ugly beast; in one person, it is a savage focus on the need of the "me" to escape, to survive." this is a great example of how the author articulates the tone.

The book presents both sides of the global war on terror that is very relevant to our current events. There is an undertow of wry humor, but the main tone is serious, observant, and deeply intelligent. If you read closely you will note some personal hints to the author's past journalist days. After all, "There's no such thing as an `ex-journalist.' At best, we're all just in recovery." Earl Merkel`s ability to devise an intricate plot coupled with his understanding of relevant current events will leave the reader wanting more and anxiously waiting the sequel. I highly recommend Fire of the Prophet by Earl Merkel. Oh and be sure to listen to "The Book, with Earl Merkel" every Sunday 9 p.m. ET with Authors on The Air.


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