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text 2018-06-12 14:52
New release: Author interview with Ken Goldstein & "From Nothing" Review Copies

 

We're happy to introduce you Ken Goldstein. Author of This Is Rage, Endless Encores, and From Nothing; and entrepreneur, adviser and a chairman at ThriftBooks & Good Men Project.

 

Ken talked with us about his brand new business suspense novel From Nothing, writing plans and inspirations. Read our interview to get to know the author better. 

 

For those of you who'd like to request a review copy of Ken's newest title From Nothing, please sign up. The author will send a signed paperback to five lucky bloggers. Good luck! 

 

 

 

What are you reading now Ken? 

 

I’m getting ready for a service project in Cape Town, South Africa, where I will be working with entrepreneurs, so I’m reading Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them. It’s a fascinating portrait of storefront marketplace dynamics, common-sense marketing and the role of human connectivity in commerce. I just finished Dan Rather’s What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, which I think is a must-read for all Americans given the turmoil of our times. Next up for me is David Mamet’s Chicago: A Novel of Prohibition, which I’ll probably read crossing the Atlantic.

 

Kasinomics: African Informal Economies and the People Who Inhabit Them - Vivien AlcockWhat Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism - Dan Rather,Elliot KirschnerChicago: A Novel - David Mamet

 

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also how does an entrepreneur become a writer?

 

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinThe truth is, it’s the opposite: I’m a writer who became a business guy and then later returned to writing with my first novel This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness. The first decade of my career was all about writing, including being part of some of the first real storytelling efforts in computer games. As my career evolved, I found that my business skills became more valuable to the companies where I was involved, and so I eventually stopped writing to focus on company leadership. After many years absent from my place at the keyboard, I returned to my original passion for words about eight years ago, and now I split my time between writing and advising highly creative companies.

 

 

Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer?

 

I think it’s like anything else: You try to do something out of curiosity, and people tell you they like your work and want more, so you feel compelled to study your craft. Reading was pretty much my whole life as a kid, and writers to me were the superheroes who delivered justice in the form of philosophical thought bombs and sometimes really clever jokes.

 

I wrote a few plays prior to college that seemed to catch on, and people would tell me they couldn’t wait for my next one, so I sat down and tried to do it again. I discovered that if I read and wrote every day, I would get better at it, and as I got better at it, I became obsessed with wanting to become really good at it. That’s when I discovered that writing is more process than arrival, and as such, it’s an inexhaustible channel for passion. I thought I was obsessed with the craft as a very young person. Now I’m truly obsessed, and it remains something I can do for the rest of my life and never stop learning or improving.

 

 

You’re a busy man being an adviser, entrepreneur, mentor and a leader in many of your projects. I can imagine that your life experiences helped you a lot in writing your books as all of your titles give a reader a look behind the curtain of how corporate business operates in America. Or was it on the contrary and the knowledge disturbed your fictional story to emerge? 

 

The advice most writing teachers pound into you – write what you know – carries a lot of truth. Yet there’s a piece of advice that I think is even more profound. One of your challenges and opportunities as a writer is to take your readers to places they might not otherwise get to visit. Not a lot of people get to sit in on a corporate board meeting. Not a lot of people have daily access to captains of industry. A lot of what people think about the business world is wrong, because the people writing the stories haven’t been in the right rooms to impose a layer of authenticity on the everyday absurdities of wealth, power and the enormous struggles below the surface. When I realized I had that access as well as the ability to make it interesting to people who love fiction, I saw a unique opportunity I could pursue. Making it real and making it a good story require a reasonably unique approach to the material, and I decided I would put my all into trying to pull off that challenge.

 

 

Your third and the newest title will be released June 12th 2018. Please tell our readers more about From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption

 

It’s truly the most personal of my three novels. From Nothing is certainly born in the From Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein  business world, but it traverses to my deep love of music, and from there attempts a meditation at what in our lives matter and what we are willing to do to realize the core truth of ourselves.

 

It takes readers behind the scenes of the tech world, behind the scenes of the classic rock music world; but in the end it’s the life story of one man, Victor Selo, trying to make sense of the choices he has made and still needs to make to put the earliest turmoil of his life behind him. Victor wants to grow – needs to grow – but he can’t help but keep getting in his own way when faced with the extraordinary pressure of high-stakes decision-making.

 

No matter how many times he learns the lesson – that we discover ourselves in the creativity of beginning anew – he is torn by the traps of outward pressures and enticements. He has to learn with absolute certainty that beginning “from nothing” is not a punishment, but a gift of discovery.

 

 

 

Your previous book Endless Encores is a guide book on how to succeed in business. Does it correspond to the success in the publishing world as well? 

 

There is an enormous paradox in that question. I know a lot about marketing and have been reasonably successful at it over the years, but marketing yourself as a writer is a much trickier proposition. I can work with a team of professionals to build an omniscient value proposition in a product line and fund its success by measuring the analytics in various tactical investments, but my sense is that in storytelling, people need to find the voices that move them much more organically, through friendship and word of mouth.

 

Endless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinAll of the basic principles in Endless Encores: Repeating Success Through People, Products, and Profits apply, but the core proposition of Endless Encores is that there is no success without failure; succumbing to copy a previous success is the plight of the one-hit wonder, and no one gets to predict their successes and failures. Add the notion of art to that premise and you enter a realm where success is almost exclusively in the control of the audience.

 

 

What are your writing plans? Do you actually have any at this point, right before the release of your third book, or will you start making plans once it's out? 

 

I find that the last phase of writing a book, final editing and proofing, is less arduous on the creative mind than the earlier phases of composition and revision, which for me has meant a time of hunger for innovation. Over the last year, I have put that energy to work on a new novel, become increasingly focused on developing the story, characters and thematic elements I want to explore. That early work is now on the shelf fermenting into the wine hopefully it will someday become. I know what the next book is about; I just don’t know the timetable for delivering it or all the side paths that will intersect the arc.

 

 

All of your fiction books are business suspense fiction. Do you consider changing the genre or will you follow the writing path? 

 

I’m not sure. My next book is definitely in the business suspense fiction genre. I think my voice is strong there and as yet not exhausted. Might I kick myself out of my comfort zone and try something else? I’m not ruling it out. There are lots of things I’d like to write about, but only a few I feel I know well enough to deliver on authenticity.

 

Whatever I write, I just want to be certain there is more to the story and characters than the material on the surface. I want to encourage people to think about the issues and circumstances of these characters’ lives as they apply to the complexity of the world around us. That’s my keen interest: driving a dialogue of comparable situations that might cause readers to rethink some of their most pressing personal decisions as their lives intersect with others.

 

 

Please tell us about your day and your writing habits. Do you write every day, and for how long? And how do you combine your “day job” with writing?

 

I get asked this a lot and I have to admit I am the absolute worst person to ask. I have tried everything imaginable to create a discipline in my life around my writing time and my not-writing time. Nothing works for me. I usually have to force myself to focus on tuning out everything that is not writing in order to write. Because I have a number of business interests, I have a smorgasbord of opportunities to procrastinate on silent time at the keyboard. Then the muse will sing, the mood will hit me and I’ll knock out 4,000 words. The next day I may cough up a sentence, the next day I may edit the four thousand words. If I were better at this, I could tell you when a book will be done, but I am just awful at it and I don’t seem to get any better.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way?

 

I have written at length about Tom Wolfe, who recently passed away. His work (both non-fiction and fiction) taught me what a story should be. The entire notion of New Journalism and the social novel were to me a call to emerging voices to write about stuff that matters. There’s a glass-encased picture of Shakespeare on my desk because if you want to learn how dialogue and poetry create voice in epic storytelling, the Bard is the high-water mark. I love everything that Anne Lamott writes because she embodies the notion of heart. Kurt Andersen is perpetually brilliant, particularly at weaving irony into the complex human problems we all face. Many forms of thoughtful humor built from observation resonate for me, and rounding out the list would be Mark Twain (honesty), Charles Dickens (serialization), Samuel Beckett (isolation), Lenny Bruce (courage) and George Carlin (originality). I also seem to read almost everything written about The Beatles and the sport of professional baseball, looking for clues in both for the perfection of craft.

 

If you, or any of your readers would like to learn any more about me please feel free to visit my site: http://kengoldsteinauthor.com/.

 

Ken Goldstein books on BookLikes: 

(click the book covers to add to your bookshelf)

This is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness - Ken GoldsteinEndless Encores: Repeating Success through People, Products, and Profits - Ken GoldsteinFrom Nothing: A Novel of Technology, Bar Music and Redemption - Ken Goldstein

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text 2018-05-28 16:28
Huge Overdue Book Haul

 

My last book-haul was in November so I'm like wayyyy behind on it and pretty much everything else. 

It seems it is taking a bit to get me back to the everyday and on top of everything blogging style if I ever back to the way it was. Because I like the more relaxed style a lot too lol.

Okay now to the books I received or bought in the last 6 months. I should note that it was December and I got a lot of books  or gift cards for my Birthday and then Christmas otherwise there is no way it be this many. 

I will add the picture first and then list the books :) 

 

 

 

The Wrath and the DawnThe Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, Paper PrincessBroken Prince and Twisted Palace by Erin Watt and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater all were bought with gift cards that I received, Thank you :) 

The first the books in the Raven Cycle Series by  Maggie Stiefvate , The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue were Christmas presents.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco I picked on sale in Target. 

 

 

 

This Savage Song & Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab and Nevernight & Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff were also Christmas Presents. 

Scythe and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman  I got of Amazon when Thunderhead was released.

Three Dark Crowns and One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake were a Mother's Day gift, thank you :) 

 

 

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski, Ain't She a Peach? by Molly Harper were send by the publishers. Thank you Bloomsbury and Simon and Schuster.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by  Becky Albertalli I bought so I can watch it before the movie. P.S. I read and loved the book. Movie....... I have yet to watch it lol.

Unravel Me & Ignite Me by  Tahereh Mafi  both were bought with a gift card. The same with Clean SweepSweep in Peace and One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrdews .

 

 

 

Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan was sent by Simon & Schuster.... Thank you :)  To complete my series I bought Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop and White Trash Zombie Unchained  by Diana Rowland.

Also if anyone knows if that was the last book in the series, please let me know. I didn't think it was but I can't find any info about it. 

 

 

Unraveled by Kate Jarvik Birch  and True Storm by  L.E. Sterling were sent by Entangled Teen. Thank you !! The Cruel Prince by Holly Black,  Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, The Empress by  S.J. Kincaid and A Court of Frost and Starlight  by Sarah J. Maas were all my purchases 

 

 

 

The next ten books are all e-copies..... I think I had more but to be honest I could have forgotten some.  But I know the books here, I had for sure and 8 out of the 10 were ARCs from publishers.I also had some library loans audio or otherwise but I'm not gonna list them since they are just loans and really the list would be never ending lol.

Forget You by Nina Crespo, Liflelike by Jay Kristoff, The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, True Born and True North by L.E. Sterling, This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter, Until You're Mine by Cindi Madsen and Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill were review copies from publishers through Netgalley. Thank you !!! Pestilence by Laura Thalassa and Warcross by Marie Lu were kindle purchases.

 

             

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/?p=106&preview=true
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review 2017-09-21 09:23
I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book
The Shadows - Megan Chance

I went into this book with a little trepidation. Despite normally not doing so, I had managed to stumble across a few of the other Goodreads reviews before I started, and they weren't all glowing. Pacing seemed to be a major concern from a number of reviewers and lack of plot driven excitement. 

Well, I'm happy to say that while the story as a whole was slow, I didn't find it dull. When working with trilogies or series it can be difficult to get the world building and plot driver levels correct to keep your readers engaged and provide the information they need. 

Megan managed to introduce a large cast of characters, each with complex backgrounds in a way that didn't overwhelm the reader, provided teaser information and whetted the appetite for books 2 and 3. 

Complexity of characters was lacking in some of the later introduced characters, but I'm sure they'll be explored in more detail in the next book/s. The main cast had quite a lot of time to unfold their natures to the reader and do so in a manner that I don't really trust yet, but I feel that was the intention. 

It feels to me that Megan will portray a character in a certain way to start, only to have that original idea smashed by some later revelation. This is quite ingenious as it allows for character growth that the reader experiences too.

I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book and long to delve further into the Sidhe and Fianna. 

The biggest blow to this book was the love triangle. I am hoping it is redeemed later in the trilogy, but I'm not holding my breath.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-09-14 13:26
It might be more to your tastes than mine...
Worlds Within Worlds - Tahlia Newland

This is another example of fantastic writing from Tahlia, the prose was spot on, crisp and taught where it needed to be, and soft and flowing as needed too. 

The characters were an interesting mix, starting with slightly quirkly Prunella (Ella) Smith, who Tahlia assures readers is not her (although between you and me, I couldn't help but see Tahlia's face when I brought up Ella's face in my mind). My favourites by a long shot were Merlin the cat and James. James is the sole reason this book gets shelved on my 'a-lil-sexy' shelf.

This story consists of several threads and weaves them together to form a strong, eloquent book. However, the overall message certainly sat in the spiritual realm, which is where it loses me and my interest. I can't say I get the buddhist belief system and this was far too engrained in the story for my liking. 

I did enjoy Kelee's story that threaded throughout the tale, including the communication between Kelee and Ella. This was compounded by the fact that I have read some of Tahlia's Diamond Peak series; I was glad to get some background information on some of the characters I'd already met. 

Where this story came into its own was the interestingly complex look at badly behaving authors and their war on honest reviewers. Having been on the receiving end of some minor indie author angst for my own honest reviews, I found the whole story a bit too explosive. This being said, I have heard of some pretty crazy reactions from people for constructive, yet negative reviews, so Tahlia's fictional account isn't completely outside the realm of possible. 

I can't say this was my favourite of Tahlia's books, but it was an enjoyable, interesting mix that kept the pages turning. If you're interested in metaphysical and magical-realism books, give this one a try, it might be more to your tastes than mine.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

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review 2017-09-14 12:49
A very young Young Adult or kids fantasy
The Mansion's Twins (At the Crossworlds Book 1) - Rose Channing

You know that feeling of uncertainty, the mixed emotions and the flat feeling of lack of excitement?

uncertain face

Well, that's how I feel about this book. It has a lot going for it - a unique and twisting landscape and world for its characters (of which there were many), magic and mayhem in equal amounts as well as an unusual plot. 

What didn't work for me was the level the story was pitched at. We have so many young adult books about magic that this felt like it didn't fit, even for all it's unique qualities. This felt too juvenile to be considered Young Adult and felt more squarely pitched at children, not just those who enjoy the young adult genre. 

description

A few things I noticed:

31% - Anyone who grows to(o) close to them will breath(e) in the magic...
32% - "Shouldn't you (delete massive space) two be out...
52% - "There's a trapdoor her(e),"

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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