Tuesday, 22 October 2013

AOTW #1: Amber Michelle Cook (Oct20-26)

Welcome to Author of the Week! Every week on my book group, an author member is chosen to be Author of the Week and will be featured here, tweeted on Twitter, shared on Google Plus and Pinterest and generally treated like royalty! Group members are asked to do features and talk about our AOTW to help each one to promote his/her work to the book community. 

This week: Amber Michelle Cook!

Amber Michelle Cook writes stories of deep, meaningful fun.

Partly raised in Germany, she went to an international school for high-school, majored in linguistics, loves literature and period pieces. She's also a photography/graphic arts artist of color and wonder living in the great Northwest.

In addition to leading improv writing tables, she's one of the team behind National Novel Editing Month and Member Relations Chair of Communications/Marketing for the Northwest Independent Writers Association.

Aside from words and stories, she adores dogs and is fascinated by any and everything aquatic. Especially cephalopods.

What if your deja vu was really flashes of a life running parallel to your own?

An imaginative child, Janey left childhood far behind as soon as older children and adults began to tease her for it, much to the disappointment of her younger brother. On her thirtieth birthday, the first Pulse hits and drives them to seek shelter at his favorite hangout – a one-of-a-kind indoor playland for grown-ups called the Imaginarium. When the place is attacked by urban looters, she becomes an unwilling 'defender of imagination.'

Raised within the confines of Tanglewood, a workshop-residence formed from the awakening of a grove of silver birch, Ozanne fled her family's unrelenting expectations for a life of frivolity and vanity at Court. Upon the passing of a Wave that obstructs all but personal Glamour, she races back with her brother to protect it from the Foe, though certain she has little to offer. Why then does he persist in looking to her to protect them?

Defense Mechanisms is a contemporary fairy tale of finding realistic, modern-day happy endings when the ways we learn to protect ourselves from other people's emotional sore spots, like ignorance and hate, keep us from being who we really are and finding our place in life.

My review: 
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

When the Pulse hits, Janey and Brin take refuge with friends in an adult Funhouse and come under attack. The same Pulse hits the Fae in another world, where a family and workers try to save the house from an Unseelie onslaught.

This is a short novella which you can read very quickly. I loved the concept of the adult Fun House where you can indulge the childish side of your nature without being told to 'grow up'. I also liked the idea of trying to use what was inside the funhouse to aid you when under attack by a group of thugs who are determined to break in and cause damage. It was also interesting to see similar events evolving in the other realm with a group of Fae trying to use all their resources to save themselves from an enemy attack.

Best bit? The plan to trap the invaders that Janey decides on, with that nice touch with the stairs! That was inventive!

I prefer the Funhouse story out of the two parts. It appealed to me as an overgrown kid who still talks to her stuffed monkey toys, and I'd love to see that part developed into a longer story with a longer battle with the bad guys. I wanted to see more of the funhouse and the cool stuff inside it and felt that there was undeveloped potential to it. Think of the funhouses you've visited and how you could use these things to repel invaders! The Fae story did confuse me a little when Verdancy came into it. I didn't quite get what the author was describing but that might just be me. I felt also that things came to a bit of an abrupt end and you were turning the page to see what was next only to see 'the end'.

Overall, this was an entertaining shory story with potential for future development. 

Where can I buy this book?






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Coming next week: Michelle Scott, author of Stage Fright and Straight to Hell.

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