Please join me in welcoming SA Collins who brings us his paranormal shifter tale, Shrill of Sparrows, that had a bit of a rocky start (see details below) but it’s now up and in full swing.
We’ll have a Giveaway (comment to enter)
A Signed Paperback Copy of, HO’M,O: Henry O’Malley Omega
along with an eBook of either The Shrill of Sparrows or HO’M,O.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Book Title: The Shrill of Sparrows: Henry O’Malley, Omega
Author: SA Collins
Publisher: Akwekon Media; 1.2 edition (January 16, 2015)
Book Length: 168 pages
Genre: Gay, Romance, Action, Paranormal, Werewolf
Hank O’Malley is about to have his idyllic West Virginian life turned upside-down. It’s 1956 and Hank leads a quiet, boring life of a senior at Cavanagh Gap Regional High School. On the cusp of his 18th birthday the pack of bad boys at school have told him, “It’s time…” – just what that means for unassuming Hank, he can’t begin to imagine. With a new threat on the horizon, he might not have to.
This edition is the first of a series – episodic in nature.
I must admit to being curious about reading an “abridged” version of a book with the caveat that variants were required by the publisher. Later I discovered the original work had been banned by Amazon which required alterations to the content. Be that as it may, Shrill of Sparrows started out modestly, with musings about bullying and coming of age in a time and place when life wasn’t easy, but you played the cards fate dealt you.
But then, things changed—bullies morphed into allies and Hank O’Malley faced a quandary that is part sexual awakening and part adjusting to a new way of being. His father went missing, his mother has strange spells, a woman with uncanny abilities showed up to help in the family store. And to make matters frustrating, no one wants to come clean about the so-called changes Hank will soon face. His one sexual liaison with Riley becomes compounded with strangely pseudo-sexual encounters with the rest of the young men who form a “pack” with Hank at the apex of the group.
Shrill of Sparrows is largely a set-up for the series. It lays out the mythology and the history, introduces the principal players on this stage and alludes to a “big bad” who will have a large role in future episodes. As such, the book is all tell. Much of what occurs is in the form of Hank’s interminable internal musings and reflections on his life to that point. There are some dialog elements that are history lessons, all tell.
The magical elements are poorly laid out and not well integrated into the lupine mythology. The sense of Hank’s relationships with “his boys” is ill-defined, mostly because Hank doesn’t have the vocabulary and perception to handle the weight of the narrative. For that reason, using first person POV was not the best choice. The sensuality at the beginning rapidly devolves into a construct of sniffing and touching without any real attempt to establish affect and effect in the bonding process. The transition from one state of being and perception to another is too abrupt and unsatisfying, as is the sudden appearance of the long-absent father.
Perhaps as the story progresses, these hiccoughs will smooth out into a better narrative structure. There are quite a few repetitious phrases and rehashing a thought over and over, and there’s a lack of true conflict to drive the story arc. This reviewer wonders if the gutting required to make the content palatable for Amazon would account for the unevenness.
For those who like shifter tales, it’s a different take on the process, and for that Shrill of Sparrows might be of interest.
S.A. Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his (legal) husband, their daughter and, wonder of all wonders because he only just broke 50, a whirlwind of a granddaughter. Their home is filled with laughter and love. A classically trained singer, and a theater actor for many years (under another name), Mr. Collins is all about the story telling and the spell a good yarn can weave for an audience. This is Mr. Collins first foray into writing but, as with all his creative endeavors, he leaps right in and figures it out as he goes along. It’s been a winning combination thus far so why break a working formula?
Author Contact Links:
THE REST OF THE STORY
HO’M,O: Henry O’Malley, Omega
(A message from the Author)
Here is the latest update on my recently banned book on Amazon.
I’ve altered the version offered there and they have accepted it. So under the Amazon banner it is offered as The Shrill of Sparrows as opposed to HO’M,O – though it is essentially the same story. The sex scenes were watered down significantly (to the point where eroticism is seriously in question so I’ve reclassified it as “straight up” romance). There was a rape scene at the end of the book where the bad guy makes his move on our hero and I figured this had to be the crux of the Amazon objection though I couldn’t get them to tell me specifically if it was or not. So not helpful when you’re trying like hell to address it.
Anyway – they’ve accepted the abridged edition (what I’ve chosen to call it). I want to let everyone know that under Amazon it flies under the new title (The Shrill of Sparrows) and there is an offer at the back of the kindle edition from Amazon (only) that if the reader wants the fuller original work they can email me at a certain address I’ve set up and if they provide some proof of purchasing it from Amazon then I will email them the originally submitted work free of charge.