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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Interview with Rai Aren on thriller author Sean Ellis' site

G'day peeps,

I wanted to pass along a link to my latest interview. We talk about our award-winning, bestselling adventure novel Secret of the Sands, its upcoming sequel, Destiny of the Sands, and more. I was honored to be invited as a guest on thriller author Sean Ellis' website. Sean is the author of The Shroud of Heaven. Other authors he has featured are Kent Holloway, Nicholas Boving, Steven Savile, Paul Byers, David Wood, Barry Reese, and Craig Smith. I am delighted to be in their company. Their interviews/features are all worthy and entertaining reads. I encourage you to check them all out while you're there. Here is the link:

Sean Ellis - "Authors You Need to Read!"


I thought I would also share a link to Sean's novel, I've ordered my copy and I am looking very forward to reading it:

The Shroud of Heaven on sale on Amazon

My sincere thanks to Sean for the opportunity to be a guest author on his site! Thanks for your time & happy reading always :)

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning adventure novel SECRET OF THE SANDS


Monday, May 24, 2010

Celebrating Secret of the Sands' BESTSELLER status for Historical Fiction!!

Hi friends & fellow readers,

I was doing my dance of joy this week as Secret of the Sands kindle edition spent a couple of days on Amazon's BESTSELLER list for Historical Fiction, reaching at least #78. That is a huge honor for us & I want to pass along our sincere thanks to our readers - you're everything to us!

I'll take a moment to show off the screen shot of our super-cool bestselling standing:


Yippee!! Here is the link to the kindle edition:

Secret of the Sands kindle edition

Our readers rock!

Happy reading always my friends :)

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning mystery novel SECRET OF THE SANDS


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Come & check out Book Town

Hi fellow authors,

I wanted to pass the word along about one of the very cool ning sites out there. It's called Book Town and here is their mission statement:

"The social network that brings writers, readers & artists together. From novels to short stories Book Town is the place to promote your work."

The site has discussion forums, a bookstore, groups, various resources organized by genre, and more. We all have many choices in our social networking, and with some sites, it can be challenging to find places within that are on point with your needs and goals. Book Town makes a great addition to your social networking activities if you are interested in writing, reading, or are an artist.

Here is a link to the site:

and here is a little more info on what they are about:

"Book Town was built to provide a social network that brings writers of novels, graphic novels, short stories, poems, quotes, and artist together to:

* Provide assistance to the novice writer by building a network of accomplished authors who are willing to give pointers and advice to beginners in need of assistance.

* Gain additional exposure for authors to promote their projects by way of book sales, video trailers, contest, and by posting appearances in book fairs, book signings, radio and TV appearances."

Also, as many of you know, the free ning sites are no longer, but Book Town is not one of them, so you can rest assured your profile will remain. I have been a member since shortly after their inception and there are lots of cool peeps there to engage with & learn from. If you are an author, they are also offering opportunities for FREE promotion, including author features & a Book of the Week program. Sign up & check it out! Do befriend me there, too :)

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning mystery novel SECRET OF THE SANDS


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book review: 5-stars for Knight Eternal, by Glenn G. Thater

Knight Eternal

Here is another of my most recent book reviews, also posted on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Knight Eternal, the follow up book to Harbinger of Doom (made up of two stories, The Gateway & The Fallen Angle) was a most excellent read by author Glenn G. Thater. If you are a fan of fantasy stories, this one - in fact all of Glenn's books - are for you.


Here is a description of the story:

"In Knight Eternal, Glenn G. Thater transports us to an age of high adventure where knights battle supernatural creatures, political intrigues abound, ancient fiends lurk in the mist, and the line between good and evil is all too thin. This next volume in the epic Harbinger of Doom series is certain to delight fantasy fans everywhere. KNIGHT ETERNAL Lord Angle Theta, Claradon Eotrus, and Ob the gnome battle fanatical monks, deadly bounty hunters, and otherworldly fiends whose merest touch is death, in their relentless pursuit of Korrgonn, Lord of Chaos. Meanwhile, Korrgonn stops at nothing to acquire the fabled Orb of Wisdom, that ancient talisman that can return Azathoth and his kingdom to Midgaard. But the fate of the world turns when Claradon faces DeBoors, the ancient sword-master who has sworn to slay him."

And here is my review:

"5-stars: Pure Excellence in the Fantasy Genre

The author, Glenn G. Thater, wrote this story based on 1200-year old documents about an enigmatic character, Lord Angle Theta, and his epic journeys and battles. There is even evidence dating all the way back to 2600 B.C. that speaks to the Angle Theta lore. The author has updated this lost tale into the fantasy novel Knight Eternal. It is a battle of good vs. evil in a time of gnomes, elves & knights, and sword & sorcery. Terrible evil has befallen a vast land, creeping into places everywhere - seen and unseen - and corrupting countless people. A cadre of souls sets out to save a comrade after a merciless attack, restore justice and stability, and exact revenge.

Like his first book, Harbinger of Doom (made up of two stories - The Gateway & The Fallen Angle), this is, in my opinion, truly excellent fantasy literature. Many of the themes will be be familiar to fans of the fantasy genre, but it's possible that's because the ancient lore these books are derived from predates many other fantasy stories. Perhaps the intriguing and highly entertaining stories of the intensely mysterious and powerful Angle Theta were amongst of the original sources of inspiration for these later tales. It is obvious to me the appeal of these tales and why they lived on.

I am not exaggerating when I say that excellence is in every part of this book - from the dialogue, the settings, the pacing, the plot, to the overall feel of the story. There is not one word that is extraneous or out of place, there is never any place where I wish there had been more description, or better description, better flow, or more excitement. The characters are all clearly drawn out with palpable presences and personalities - my two faves are Ob the Gnome, and Lord Angle Theta, who continuously simmers with nearly unmatched power, danger, and deep mystery. The dialogue is crisp & witty, humorous at times, and always meaningful. The stakes are high and the journey is wild and unpredictable. The story is perfectly put together and, I think, should be read by every fan of the fantasy genre - I mean this all sincerely. It is a classic in the making.

***Possible spoiler alerts - next paragraph only***

What is really surprising & completely refreshing is that near the end of the book, the story is switched over to the bad guys' point of view, and absolutely everything is upended. The reader is then left questioning if they have it backwards, maybe those are actually the good guys (though ultimately, everyone does bad things, no one is blame-free, but everything seems to have solid motivations). This sets this book (and its predecessors) apart from most other stories. It is revelatory, and so incredibly well done, I am enthralled by it. I am not sure who the good guys are, plus there are many shades of grey, and what an agonizing treat for the reader that is. The possibilities this leaves are so tantalizing that I have never wanted to read a sequel so bad. Ever!

***End spoiler alerts***

One thing is important to mention - the story ends suddenly, very suddenly. It really is the first half of a full story. I didn't realize this about the book, there were pages left, but they turned out to be the glossary, so it caught me by surprise. I dearly hope the next installment will be released post haste!

To wrap it up, Knight Eternal is brilliant storytelling in every possible way. So much so, that I want to read every single tale about Angle Theta that has ever existed. Highly recommended!"

You can learn more about these books and the author on Glenn's website:

and on his Author page:

Glenn G. Thater - Amazon Author page

And here is the link to his book:

Knight Eternal on Amazon

Happy reading always, my friends!

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning sci-fi / mystery novel SECRET OF THE SANDS


Friday, May 14, 2010

Book review: 5-stars The Samson Effect, by Tony Eldridge

The Samson Effect, by Tony Eldridge, is one of my latest book reviews. It is an action/adventure story that Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure."

Here is a description of the story:

Since discovering an ancient scroll in a cave in Hebron, Israel, American biblical archeologist Thomas Hamilton and his trusted friend and colleague, Israeli biblical linguist Michael Sieff, have been consumed with the notion of the Samson Effect—the idea that a long-lost elixir can allow an ordinary person to perform superhuman feats. When they happen upon a worn Hebrew parchment that not only confirms the existence of the Samson Effect but could potentially lead them to its source, the scholars embark on an impassioned crusade for the truth behind the myth.

But Hamilton and Sieff aren’t the only ones intent on uncovering the secret of Samson’s strength. An unrelenting sect of Jewish protectors will let no one stand in the way of their mission to reclaim what they had hidden nearly three thousand years ago, and a brilliant but ruthless Palestinian leader will stop at nothing to find and use the Samson Effect to empower his army of soldiers for a jihad against the world in the name of Allah.

It isn’t long before their joint pursuit becomes a deadly one, and Hamilton and Sieff come to the grim realization that the Samson Effect is more powerful and far-reaching than they ever anticipated. In the wrong hands, it could trigger a worldwide catastrophe.

A chilling and suspenseful tale of political and religious intrigue set in the unforgiving landscape of the Middle East, The Samson Effect wanders the boundaries of obsession and love, betrayal and allegiance, and vengeance and justice.

About the Author

Tony Eldridge has done in-depth studies in Old Testament history, and his writings have been published in numerous national magazines.

Here is my review of the story:

5-stars: Ancient Mystery & Intrigue awaits you in The Samson Effect

I am a big fan of ancient mysteries, action adventure stories & thrillers, so I was immediately intrigued when I came across The Samson Effect & the blurb from Clive Cussler sealed the deal. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's an engaging read with a good sense of place, relentlessly fast pacing, and is populated with lively, colourful characters. A secret held since biblical times has been protected by an ancient order, but there are opposing forces closing in on it. It can impart superhuman powers & near invincibility, so the draw is irresistible. Should it fall into the wrong hands, the consequences could be disastrous.

Mr. Eldridge certainly has a flair for storytelling and creating an interesting mystery. I would have liked it if he had taken even more time in telling it - relationships & events happened quickly and could have afforded a lengthier path to develop.

The ending hints at more mysteries to come, which I hope does happen. I would not hesitate to pick up the next novel by this author. Recommended for readers who enjoy thrillers, action adventure tales, quick reads, and ancient mysteries.


Here are links related to this book:

The Samson Effect on

Tony Eldridge's Amazon author profile

The Samson Effect on Barnes & Noble

Happy reading!

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning mystery novel SECRET OF THE SANDS


Rai's book reviews

I thought that I would start to share a selection of my book reviews here. I do a fair bit of them, and my policy is that I only post reviews of books that I can give honest 4 or 5-star reviews to. As a fellow author, I don't want to publicly criticize anyone else's work. I know how much hard work goes into writing a book, and the uphill battle it can be to find one's readership. Sometimes, it's a matter of personal taste, what may make me dislike a certain book, may not bother someone else, or they may like it that way. There are so many reasons why people like or dislike books, and it's certainly not the same for everyone. Preferences and opinions vary. It's also a professional courtesy, I do not put myself out there as a professional reviewer, but rather as an avid reader who simply likes to give credit where credit is due. There are enough official reviewers and bloggers out there to get a wide opinion on a given book.

I love to read (obviously), so there are tons of books I've read that I have not yet reviewed. Maybe one day I'll catch up, perhaps it could be a retirement project! (though I'd have to re-read them all, by then). For now, I will share reviews of selected books that stand out for me on a go-forward basis, because of how well they are written and/or because they are really my cup of tea. I might at some point, choose selected reviews from books I have read in the past and post them here, too.


I also do the odd movie review, though I haven't written as many of those recently, probably because movies have to be really special for me to take the time to write a review (books are my main focus and like everyone else, there's a time shortage in my universe!). However, for the films I did take the time to review, my reviews can be found in a couple of places. First is my Amazon profile, which also has most of my book reviews posted there:

Rai's Amazon profile

and my MySpace page in the blog section:

Rai's MySpace page

My MySpace blog is the most varied of my three blogs (the other two are this one & Goodreads), so there is a wider variety of topics there than on the others.

All of my book reviews can also be found on my Goodreads profile:

Rai's Goodreads profile

I hope that my reviews help you find some more worthy reads you might not have come across yet or encourage you to pick up a book you were just considering.

As always, happy reading my friends!

Rai Aren, co-author of the award-winning mystery novel SECRET OF THE SANDS