NEW NOVEL RELEASED: GEEK VS VEGAS

GeekvsVegasKindle_smAre you ready for one night in Vegas that you’ll never forget? People are calling Geek vs Vegas “Funny as Hell” and “Office Space meets The Hangover.”

Benjamin Pollock is 26 and has been working a dead-end job for three years in Los Angeles. He is overwhelmed with options in life, not knowing what he wants to do or whom he should model his life after. But things change after his old college roommate, Javier, invites him to Las Vegas for a night of sin with the promise that getting laid will solve his problems. From swingers clubs, to hookers, to Russian spies, Benjamin’s goal of getting laid turns into a goal of staying alive through the night!

Part dark comedy, part coming-of-age tale, Benjamin represents the voice of Generation Y, lost in their twenties with too many pathways to take in life. Where will Benjamin be in ten years? Married? Kids? Single? Dead? He must make it out of Vegas alive to even have a chance to reach his thirties!

Geek vs Vegas is available NOW in paperback and on the Amazon Kindle. Click the cover to read the exciting introduction! Cheers!

REVIEW OF BETTER BY JOHN O’BRIEN

BetterBetter by John O’Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John O’Brien always gives us a privileged view into the depths of his characters, their secrets, their hidden agendas, their romantic thoughts, which are for our eyes only. And he slows down scenes, making it all about the moment. “Better” is a strange book in that it takes place solely inside the confines of a mansion overlooking the California coast. This is where we meet William, a permanent house guest of the Lord of the Manor, Double Felix. Their interactions are a play on language, a literary contest every morning over a glass of vodka. “Better” demonstrates how language is character and character is language.

Read this book after you have read O’Brien’s more commercial “Leaving Las Vegas” and “Stripper Lessons.”

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MANAGING EDITOR FOR NOIR NATION NUMBER 4

NoirNationEddie Vega, publisher of Noir Nation Books, has asked me to be the managing editor for the latest edition of Noir Nation: International Journal of Crime Fiction, Volume 4. I’m excited to take over the responsibilities for this issue with selecting the highest quality of crime fiction from the hundreds of submissions received. This volume will be the “Canada Issue” and the stories will feature a connection to the country that has its own share of shadows. Look for more information in the New Year about this exciting issue!

final-cover-nn-3Also, don’t miss Volume 3, which is out now! Make sure to check out my exciting short story, FEED ME, which is about a mysterious bird who terrorizes an unsuspecting family.

NEW NOVEL RELEASED: HIS FIRST, HER LAST

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His First, Her Last is based on the true story of my journey to the Philippines in March 2011. A collection of more than 7,000 islands lost in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is a place unlike any other. A driver of a $100,000 Mercedes-Benz talking on a cell phone shared the road with a man whipping a horse. In a traffic jam, a woman walked between cars selling cooked eggs containing partially developed chicks. Just beyond a city with lights as bright as Las Vegas, the ghost of a woman wearing white has been seen for decades lurking in the night.

These slivers of culture inspired me to share this beautiful land and its people with you through the eyes of Jason and Hazel, an engaged couple about to put their relationship to the ultimate test. Their worst fears come true inside this island nation and it takes their will to survive to find their way together. I invite you to take a journey across the world where you will find love, life, and what it means to be alive.

Click the cover to download the FREE opening chapter, which is where the journey begins. Cheers!

VEGAS WAS HER NAME – NOW AVAILABLE

Noir Nation Books has just released my exciting new thriller novel, Vegas Was Her Name. The book is available now on Amazon. Take a journey through the shadows of Las Vegas where you’ll follow the lives of four individuals all concealing a secret. Be sure to check out a sample on Amazon!

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SPRING 2013 BOOK SIGNING SET

Book Signing April072012

If you are in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 6, come out to the Clark County Library where Jonathan and a dozen other authors will be signing copies of their books. Whether you’re in the mood for some romance, some Vegas nonfiction, some thrills, or some chills, the Spring Fling Book Fair at the Clark County Library is sure to satisfy!

When: Saturday, April 6, 2013, 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Where: Clark Country Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV, 89119

REVIEW OF STRIPPER LESSONS

Stripper LessonsStripper Lessons by John O’Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Have you ever felt alone?

Stripper Lessons provides a window into the life of a lonely man. Carroll is the guy who watches the world turn from the shadows, the guy you walk past at the mall, never knowing he was ever there. But that guy was there, watching you walk past.

The story is personal and the plot only occurs over a few days. I wondered why O’Brien chose this part of Carroll’s seemingly repetitious life. But then Stevie dances her way into his world. O’Brien describes the breathtaking blond with some of the most vivid prose I’ve ever read. I found myself re-reading some of these passages, mesmerized as if I were beholding an artist’s painting or listening to a classical masterpiece. O’Brien gives us very little backstory on these characters, but I can appreciate the “here and now” with Carroll and Stevie’s interactions. I wanted this guy to find what he was lacking. He tried everything, an infomercial video for “shy men,” flashy clothes with “curlicues,” and even alcohol (Carroll’s naivety with booze is the opposite of Ben’s overindulgence in Leaving Las Vegas). But even though Carroll alienates coworkers, barmaids, and strippers over the course of the book, he gains a deeper understanding of himself and an acceptance of who he is, and who he is not.

You always glean new words from O’Brien’s works, and this fact, in my opinion, adds another layer to his stories. As I read Strippers Lessons, I became emotionally involved with Carroll and feared for him as the end neared. In the few days we spend with him in the story, it seemed his subconscious prompted him to grow, and made him become not the guy watching from the shadows, bottling his emotions up, but the guy shouting, tossing and shattering said bottle onto the ground. And I particularly liked how Carroll ran up to Stevie in the parking lot outside of Indiscretions. He was no longer afraid to be a lonely man.

Read Leaving Las Vegas for a view into a character losing his way; read Stripper Lessons for a view into a character finding his way. -Jonathan Sturak 12/08/2012

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