AUTHOR 2 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Authors Mark Fine & Pamela Crane Reveal their Lives in Pursuit of the Art of Writing.

Mark Fine | Ruminations

The Pamela Crane & Mark Fine Interview

Find out what secrets each author reveals in this author-on-author interview between Mark Fine, author of the romantic historical drama The Zebra Affaire, and Pamela Crane, thriller writer of the best-selling The Admirer’s Secret.

Each an admirer of the other’s work, here are pictures of Pamela and Mark “presenting” each others respective novels:

Pamela Crane with Tinkerbell_Zebra copy          Mark Fine admiring Admirers Secret

A coin is flipped and Pamela agrees to be first questioned by Mark…

View original post 1,580 more words

Advertisements

AUTHOR 2 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Authors Mark Fine & Pamela Crane Reveal their Lives in Pursuit of the Art of Writing.

The Pamela Crane & Mark Fine Interview

Find out what secrets each author reveals in this author-on-author interview between Mark Fine, author of the romantic historical drama The Zebra Affaire, and Pamela Crane, thriller writer of the best-selling The Admirer’s Secret.

Each an admirer of the other’s work, here are pictures of Pamela and Mark “presenting” each others respective novels:

Pamela Crane with Tinkerbell_Zebra copy          Mark Fine admiring Admirers Secret

A coin is flipped and Pamela agrees to be first questioned by Mark… Continue reading

FINE REVIEW: “Scorn Kills” by Suzi Albracht

SCORN KILLSSCORN KILLS by Suzi Albracht
“A vivid story, filled with deliciously flawed characters”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Scorn Kills” is a wickedly devilish book that reads with the breeziness of a fiery furnace backdraft. It dramatically opens with a claustrophobic setting; a coffin relentlessly heading toward final conflagration, its living occupant desperate to plead his case. Horror it is not, but author Suzi Albracht’s dark humor ensures that “Scorn Kills” is a far more satisfying read. Morality and fidelity are supposedly inscribed in blood, but for our main protagonist, his manly frailty is that well-treaded demon–the temptation of another woman. And for this transgression, alas, there would be no second chances.

The first person telling of this breathless tale is delectable, as it is the sinner that narrates his own fate. What I especially enjoyed about Ms. Albracht’s book is that she never burdened me, the reader, with tiresome sermons on the evils of infidelity; instead she expertly grabbed my attention with a vivid story, filled with flawed characters. For me, “Scorn Kills” is well worth the read!

Review by Mark Fine The Zebra Affaire

View all my reviews

FINE REVIEW: “Murder Most Rural” by Charlie Flowers

Treat Yourself to this Thoroughly Entertaining Read. Riz & Bang-Bang make a great team!

Murder Most Rural (Riz #5)Murder Most Rural by Charlie Flowers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fascinating collision of genre’s and cultures, and it works spectacularly! All heats up in the Larry Bond military fiction tradition (but with a decidedly British Empire accent), and then seamlessly transitions into the bucolic Essex countryside, with a deadly mystery that would have delighted Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. But in lieu of the staid Miss Marple, author Charlie Flowers has blessed us with the dynamo–Holly Bang-Bang! I adored this gal. No mere sidekick to her husband, the resolute and gung-ho Riz, but an equal partner in their deadly cat and mouse adventures. The fiery Bang-Bang can cook a fine curry too. [Every time she was stirring onions into a curry sauce I found myself salivating–clear evidence of the author’s gift of bringing all the senses in the scene to life!]

“Murder Most Rural” is one hundred proof entertainment, but I credit Mr. Flowers for gently taking a dig at those that are inclined toward prejudice. The comeuppance to those that ridicule the Pakistan heritage of the married couple at the heart of story, makes the read all the more satisfying. The fact that Riz and Bang-Bang have the deadly skills of an elite special force team, yet confront all challenges with wry wit and mutual respect, makes them all the more memorable. I was so intrigued by this unconventional couple, and their full-throttle with cumin and turmeric adventures, that I find myself wishing to read other books in the Rizwan Sabir Mysteries series. I suggest you similarly treat yourself to a thoroughly entertaining read.

View all my reviews

FINE REVIEW: “The Admirer’s Secret” by Pamela Crane

The Admirer's SecretThe Admirer’s Secret by Pamela Crane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An Admirable book: as the tension builds we learn more about the underside of human nature, and possibly our darker selves.

Certainly much more than the romantic suspense I was anticipating, Ms. Crane had the knack of keeping this reader on the edge of his seat. The author is skilled at making the prosaic appear sinister, and as I read her descriptions of bucolic suburbia I always felt a sense that something ominous was just waiting around the corner. I believe this is Ms. Crane’s point, that we have no right to expect our lives to be “golden” and that at any moment we may be confronted with unexpected evil. And that evil comes in many guises–not necessarily the obvious monster, but in more nuanced forms–including our destructive selves.

As such, though most entertaining, “The Admirer’s Secret” took on the significance of a modern parable by allowing us to peer into this tense fictional world Ms. Crane created–with the expectation that real life lessons may hopefully be learned. At the conclusion I felt the author’s authenticity in telling us this story, and interpreted the novel as an alliterative nexus of Faust, Fatal Attraction, and Faith–a powerful triad representing the light and dark of humanity; a most provocative notion. If you wish to be both entertained and challenged, I heartily recommend this book.

Review by Mark Fine, author of The Zebra Affaire

View all my reviews

Fascinating Family Saga of Occidentals in the Orient as War Clouds Loomed over Shanghai

Hiding in a Cave of Trunks: A Prominent Jewish Family's Century in Shanghai and Internment in a WWII POW Camp.Hiding in a Cave of Trunks: A Prominent Jewish Family’s Century in Shanghai and Internment in a WWII POW Camp. by Ester Benjamin Shifren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From Ester Shifren’s remarkably detailed work you will re-visit an extraordinary family history

A fascinating family saga of occidentals in the Orient, as war clouds loomed over Shanghai, and then the family’s subsequent POW deprivations at the hands of the Japanese during World War II. From Ester Shifren’s remarkably detailed work you sense her great affection for Shanghai, and in her telling both the vitality and tragedy of its fascinating people are clearly voiced. And in a way this echoes the travails experienced by Ester and her family. They were happy there, and prospered. Then the Japanese invaded.

You must read Hiding in a Cave of Trunks to truly appreciate the unique and unkind path the Benjamin family were subjected to during those troubled times, and to admire the indomitable creative spirit of the author–who was at the time a very young, but plucky little girl. To me, this is what makes this book so unique and appealing: Ms. Shifren tells the story from two perspectives; that of a wide-eyed child (with all the immediacy, exuberance, naivety, and confusion that youth offers) and then of a wise, sophisticated, well-travelled woman (who has done her research, including recorded testimonials from those that were there). It is such a fresh, inspired way to re-visit history.

My final thought when I finished reading Ms. Shifren’s compelling book was wonderment at the fascinating lives “lived” by ordinary people like you and me. And, how fortunate we are that Ester Benjamin Shifren took the time to tell us her story. [Review by Mark Fine, Author “The Zebra Affaire”] The Zebra Affaire Mark Fine

View all my reviews

For alternate history fans this book is an amazing passionate twist on Kenndy/Oswald saga.

View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald TaleView From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale by Elizabeth Horton-Newton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a fan of Alternate History literature I was in my element reading Elizabeth Newton’s imaginative and provocative tale of those tragic events–on that mind numbing day, November 22, 1963, But that’s merely the capstone on which this fine story is based; it is the aftermath rendered in richly human terms that makes this story so original and compelling. It’s a special writers’ gift to take a much vilified anti-hero and inexorably, page by page, rehabilitate him into a most sympathetic and admirable character. This, author Ms. Newton has accomplished with great success; so much so that I gladly suspended any traces of disbelief, and readily immersed myself in her Alternative Reality.
Incidentally this is not another typical “Kennedy Conspiracy” theory text, as the subtitle of “View From the Sixth Floor” clearly states that this is “An Oswald Tale” (with the emphasis on “Tale”). No, the author takes us on a different journey of romance, friendship and loyalty, family, loss and redemption, and the appropriate mistrust of those in power.

More significantly “Sixth Floor” touched my heart, surprisingly (considering it’s Oswald’s tale). I attribute this to a certain charm that exudes on every page. Possibly this is a result of the immensely likeable Olivia, the middle-aged widow at the heart of the story. Her personal growth as the narrative winds deeper and deeper is wonderful to behold; from tentative to passionate and plucky. In fact Olivia reminded me of the intriguing neighborly women that Agatha Christie so brilliantly brought to life in her legendary tales. I do hope we meet Olivia again in Elizabeth Newton’s future work.

Finally, I must applaud the writers’ imagination. The plotting of her story holds true despite the real world truths stacked against it. That is a complicated task to accomplish, but with a mixture of sophistication and charm I found myself enamored by this most satisfying read—and as such I am delighted to recommend it to others!

Review by Mark FineThe Zebra Affaire

View all my reviews

The Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine

A special review from a most talented, fellow author Elizabeth Newton

Between the Beats

The Zebra AffaireThe Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is not often a book as intensely dazzling as “The Zebra Affaire” by Mark Fine comes along. A forbidden love story takes place against the dramatic background of 1970’s South Africa and apartheid. Fine draws you into the story cautiously, laying the groundwork for the eventual affair between Elsa and Stanwell. By gently educating the reader with the background of the conflicts in South Africa, awareness of the difficulties faced by the star crossed lovers is enhanced. This is more than a racial segregation issue; there is a deeper issue brewing in South Africa. Tribal conflicts cause significant damage to a country beset by violence and political unrest.
As the love of Elsa and Stanwell grows deeper and more intense they are assisted by some to strengthen their bond. While segregation forbids open encouragement of their union…

View original post 210 more words