Friday, February 27, 2015

An Interview with LAYERS OF THOUGHT at SCY-FY

SC Flynn header

We have an interview live at Scy-Fy, a blog created by writer S.C. Flynn where – among other things – he is collecting lists of and interviews with Science Fiction and Fantasy bloggers.

In the interview he asks us a few questions about how we operate Layers of Thought. Head on over if you’re curious to know a bit more about us and perhaps take a look at some of the other blogs he has interviewed and listed. I believe we are currently number thirty on his list of already interviewed bloggers.

You can find our interview at:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: SHAKE by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

Shake - Eric Prum & Josh Williams

Review by Shellie for Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.

Perfect for the recent cocktail renaissance, within this book you will find a fun and easy way of making 32 different seasonal cocktails. And best yet it has lots of pictures!

Eric Prum and Josh Williams are best friends and have a design company called W & P Design in Brooklyn NY. And since they love cocktails and have created a cocktail shaker called the Mason Shaker (pictured on the book’s cover), it stands to reason that they would write a book on how to make cocktails too. But don’t worry, you don’t need to purchase one of their nice $30 shakers to make yourself cocktails - you can use a clean mayonnaise jar instead!

The duo has a premise on which they base their cocktail making - it should be “fun, simple, and social”. And the book is social since all the recipes are based on making a two-drink batch so that you can share. There are 8 cocktails for each of the four seasons, many using fresh local ingredients, so there are a lot of tasty ways that you can have fun. The book is also simple, broken down into the basics of cocktail crafting with fundamentals such as stocking your bar (where they suggest 12 different types of moderately priced booze); what types of glassware to choose; what types of ice and sugar to use; how to muddle; and, of course, techniques on how to “shake”. And since the book is mostly pictures it adds even more to the simple and fun feel.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it is a paperback with those nice cover flaps which makes it easy to save your place when browsing or making several cocktails at once. The index is also accessible and broken down by cocktail name, spirits, and key ingredient. Out of the thirty-two cocktails (several non-alcoholic) some examples are the Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Spiced Rum Old Fashioned, Pickleback Me (two shots – one pickle juice and one tequila), and the Flat Ditch. The Flat Ditch is my favorite so far out of the 10 or so that we have tried – it combines dark rum, lemon juice, fresh ginger, and strong ginger beer. Another plus is that most of the ingredients (or reasonable substitutions) can be found in your local grocery store and won’t tax your wallet too much.

It’s a book that I would consider for the newbie-cocktail-drinker, or for those looking to expand their drinking repertoire from the standard wine, beer, and basic store bought cocktail mixers. It’s an entertaining guide that I’d rate 4 out of 5 stars. I am looking forward to trying more of its cocktails and recreating favorites once again.

July 08, 2014 | Pages: 168 | Trade Paperback | Random House

A complimentary book was received in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books. If you are a blogger you can get copies of books in exchange for reviews too. Just visit

Monday, February 23, 2015

Giveaway: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman


Giveaway for SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman. We have one copy for a US or Canadian address.

It’s a young adult fantasy with dragons and the first in a series with the second book SHADOW SCALE being published March 10th. We will be also hosting a giveaway for this second book on that date. So stay tuned!

Here’s what the publisher says about the book:

In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

Random House | Trade Paperback | December 23, 2014 | Pages: 528 | Young Adult

To enter this contest please fill out the Google form.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Legal Thriller: Courtroom Experience Is Key! by Nancy Allen

Nancy Allen

Let’s welcome Nancy Allen whose recent novel A Killing at the Creek is about to be published. It’s the second book in her Ozarks Mysteries series released today.

In this guest post she talks about the significance of her legal background in writing her two books.

The Legal Thriller: Courtroom Experience Is Key!

I’m a lawyer, and I write legal thrillers, novels of mystery and suspense that involve a courtroom setting.

For my money, the best legal thrillers are written by attorneys: actual courtroom veterans. Think Scott Turow and John Grisham. They can create an organic courtroom scene, because they know whereof they speak.

Granted, many police procedurals are penned by authors without a law enforcement background; and authors write medical thrillers without going to medical school. So why do I maintain that you must be a lawyer to write a legal thriller? Because courtroom experience is crucial.

The first time I read Grisham, I was a young lawyer. In A Time to Kill, he depicted a courtroom scene where things went awry. I marveled at the accuracy of his prose, the description of the tension and the inner thought processes of a trial lawyer when a case falls apart. He nailed it.

I try to bring that genuine and tangible character to my books. Prior to writing my Ozarks Mysteries series, I spent fifteen years in the courtroom, representing the State of Missouri and the Greene County Prosecutors Office. During those years, I tried over thirty jury trials: murder cases, sex crimes, major felonies, gaining intimate knowledge of the trial process, from an insider’s perspective.

A Killing at the Creek Cover

In my first Ozarks Mystery, The Code of the Hills, my protagonist Elsie Arnold, a county prosecutor, is assigned a difficult incest case involving child victims. Heaven knows I had a wealth of experience to bring to that novel: when I started as assistant prosecutor, I was the only woman on staff. They handed me all the sex cases.

In my new book, A Killing at the Creek, Elsie prosecutes her first murder case, against a fifteen-year-old defendant. As an attorney, I carried a similar burden, prosecuting a sixteen year old juvenile for murder in the first degree.

The law is a complex body of rules, and knowledge of the legal profession is gained slowly, through the practice of law. But the events that unfold in our courtroom, the justice and injustices that are dealt create a natural environment for drama, and for storytelling. Just ask Grisham. Or Turow. Or me.

About A Killing at the Creek (#2 of Ozarks Mysteries): Prosecutor Elsie Arnold loves her small-town home in the Ozark hills, but she’s been waiting for a murder to come along and make her career. So when a body is found under a bridge, throat cut, Elsie jumps at the chance to work on the case, even if it’s alongside the brash new chief assistant, Chuck Harris—and her latest flame, Detective Bob Ashlock.

But when the investigation reveals that the deceased woman was driving a school bus, and the police locate the vehicle, its interior covered in blood, the occupant and only suspect is a fifteen-year-old boy. Elsie’s in for more than she bargained for.

Win or lose, this case will haunt her. No one has successfully prosecuted a juvenile for first-degree murder in McCown County. If she loses, it’s her career on the line and a chilling homicide unresolved; if she wins, a boy’s liberty will be taken from him before he reaches his sixteenth birthday.

Harper Collins-Witness Impulse | 02/17/2015 | ebook

Nancy Allen practiced law for fifteen years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She’s tried over thirty jury cases, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. A Killing at the Creek is her second novel.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Giveaway: Deadeye by William C. Dietz

Deadeye - William C. Dietz

Giveaway for Deadeye by William C. Dietz. We have one copy for a US address.

It’s the first in a new series published by Penguin.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about the book:

The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels, “a must-read for any fan of Mil Fic,” (Archaeologist’s Guide to the Galaxy) begins a brand new science fiction police procedural series…

In the year 2038, an act of bioengineered terrorism decimated humanity. Those who survived were either completely unaffected or developed horrible mutations. Across the globe, nations are now divided between areas populated by “norms” and lands run by “mutants”…

Detective Cassandra Lee of Los Angeles’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father—is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s going to hunt him to the ends of the earth.

In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. Assigned to rescue her, Lee must trust her new partner—mutant lawman Deputy Ras Omo—to guide her not only through the unfamiliar territory but through the prejudicial divisions between mutants and norms…

Mass Market Paperback | 304  Pages | 27 Jan 2015 | Ace

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