Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best J-pop power Ballads

It's been a long time since anything about j-pop has appeared on Review Carnival. Here is a special post featuring the songs I think are the best power ballads in j-pop history. Of course, I have not listened to every single power ballad, so if you like any song, please suggest it to me. These are in no particular order of preference.


1. Everything bu MISIA- MISIA has one of the most powerful voices in the j-pop industry and Everything is her major hit. It sold more than 1 million copies when it was released. It is a ballad with a wintry feel and MISIA's powerful voice and belting carry it our perfectly. No one could have sung this song better.

2. HEAVEN by Ayumi Hamasaki- Ayumi has produced many power ballads before and after this but I think Heaven is a unique song. It is soothing, beautiful and powerful at the same time. It's lyrics are also very deep and meaningful. Ayumi manages to sound relaxed and powerful at the same time, giving this song an edge over her other power ballads. Other great power ballads by her are Together When, Song for XX and Wishing (an album track on her first album).

3. Anata no Kiss wo Kazoemashou by Yuki Koyanagi- Yuki Koyanagi is a hardcore belter and her voice sounds much like Whitney Houston and MISIA. Anata no kiss wo kazoemashou is her best selling song which sold more than 7,00,000+ copies. It is a christmas ballad and her powerful voice makes every word special. A song definitely worth listening to.
Rating- 4.5

4. Aitakute Ima by MISIA- Among MISIA's recent releases, Aitakute Ima has the quality that her previous hits did. Personally, I feel this song is even better than Everything because it shows off MISIA's vocal potential more. Other MISIA songs that are also good are Ginga, Wasurenai Hibi (she uses her whistle register in this one) and Tobikatta Wasureta Chiisana Tori.

5. Be Alive by Yuki Koyanagi- No power ballads list would be complete without this one. This song is pure power and nothing else. Yuki's voice doesn't falter even for a single instant and despite the heavy screaming and belting, the song sounds pleasent enough. REMAIN is also a ballad worth listening to.
Rating- 4.2

6. LIAR and Nanpasen by Akina Nakamori- The most depressing and deep song of the 80s, it was widely praised and cemented Akina's status as of the most powerful singers in the 80s (Nanpasen). It is very different from the ballads produced these days, but once you listen to it, you will fall in love with it. LIAR makes you fell sad and almost cry due to its powerful emotion. Akina wrote this when her boyfriend Masahiko Kando cheated on her (I guess it was this one). Akina also has sung other ballads like Mizu ni Sashita Hana, Days and Second Love.
Rating-5 and 4.8

7. Cosmos by Momoe Yamaguchi- I have probably mentioned many times that Momoe is one of my favorite singers. Her voice is incomparable to anyone else. Cosmos is her best ballad. It sounds very modern for the 70s. What sets Momoe's voice apart from other singers is not raw power but pure emotion. You can hear feeling in every word. A masterpiece. It requires a few listens to appreciate, though
Rating- 4.9

8. Anata ni Aitakute by Seiko Matsuda- Seiko's self-penned ballad and also her biggest hit, Anata ni Aitakute sounds like a pure love ballad due to Seiko's cute sounding powerful voice.
Rating- 4.7

9. I believe by Ayaka- We all know how great Ayaka's voice is. I believe is a ballad- ayaka's debut single. I know many people think Mikazuki and Jewlery Day were more powerful but I believe's dark atmosphere and arrangement featuring heavy strings has made me like this song more. It's lyrics are also very inspiring. She looks so cute on the cover!

10. Chikai by Ayaka Hirahara- One Ayaka after another! Ayaka Hirahara's voice is more airy and sounds a bit (a bit) operatic. That does not mean it's high pitched or anything. Her way of saying words is a bit operatic sounding. Chikai starts off slow and then explodes in the chorus. Jupiter is also a wonderful power ballad by her. Most of her songs are ballads, so if you love ballads as much as I do, try out her songs.
Rating- 4.4

11. Rose ~Melody in the Sky~ by Mai Kuraki- This is an album track on her second album. It is completely in english, but very different from Mai's other ballads. It has very soft background instrumentation so Mai's voice has a chance to display it's potential.
Rating- 4.3

12. First Love and Eternally by Utada Hikaru- First Love is probably the most listened to song in Utada's discography. It is a song that has no equals. It MADE me an Utada fan. Eternally is also a very good ballad complete with strings and all, but sounds like a Final Fantasy theme.
Rating- 5 and 4.3

13. Tsubasa wo Hirogete by ZARD- This was the ending for some detective Conan movie I watched (maybe the seventh?) It caught me off guard at the end of the movie. No song has impressed me so much in its first listen. ZARD is no longer producing songs because she died in 2007 (so sad) but you can listen to the numerous songs she produced during her long career in the j-pop industry.
Rating- 4.7

13. Ai no Uta and Yume no Uta by Koda Kumi- Koda Kumi had produced a never ending list of ballads in her career but these two are the most powerful. Her other ballads are also worth checking out though.
rating- 4.7 and 4.6

14. Mienai Hoshi by Mika Nakashima- Yuki no Hana is more popular but I like Mienai Hoshi more. It has real power. Her ballads are usually jazzy and easy listening but Mienai Hoshi shows what she is capable of.
Rating- 4.6


1. Last Song by Gackt- I think this is the best song Gackt has ever done. It is a complete package of emotion, power, beautiful lyrics and a great voice. It starts off with a guitar intro and Gackt almost mumbling the verse. I feel that the verse could have been clearer than it was. But the chorus makes up for it.
Rating- 4.7

2. Konayuki by Remioromen- I never stopped listening to this song after the first listen. It is very addictive. Listen to it with the video and English subtitles and it is a song you will never forget. If you like Konayuki, you might also like Akanezora and Sakura by them.
Rating- 4.9

3. Forbidden Lover by Larc~en~Ciel- I am not sure this can be classified as a balld but sound pretty balladish to me. Larc~en~ciel always produces quality songs but they outdid themselves on this one. ken's flawless compostition and hyde's voice make this song something extraordinary.

4. Junigatsu no Love Song by Gackt- Gackt is called the Mariah Carey of the j-pop world with good reason! He demonstrates his high range in this song, which is a christmas ballad.

5. Itsuka no Merry Christmas by B'z- B'z is the higest selling artist in Japanese pop history but i feel their ballads are very underrated. Itsuka no merry christmas was not even a single, even though it is such a good song. It starts with fragile sounding music box which makes it truly christmassy. This song has been covered by all the who's who of the j-pop world including Ayumi Hamasaki, Gackt and Namie Amuro.

6. Sen no Kaze ni Natte- I reviewed the single earlier on Review Carnival and gave it glowing reviews. My opinion on this song has not changed. Akikawa Masfumi is probably trained in opera because he sounds very classical. But don't underestimate this song. It is based on a poem.
Rating- 4.6

7. One Love by Arashi- Just because they are an idol group doesn't mean they don't produce any power ballads! I think One Love is a very optimistic ballad. I could have a soft spot for this song because I saw the HYD movie (HINT:HINT)in which it was featured.
Rating- 4.5

8. Squall by Fukuyama Masaharu- Sakurazaka may be his best selling song but I like Squall more. He initially composed this for Eiko Matsumoto but he does a much better version on his own. Other ballads by him are Saiai, Hatsu koi (great one!) and many more...

9. Anata To by Kobukuro x Ayaka- This was a collboration songs between Ayaka and Kobukuro. It's very relaxing but because of being sung by some of the greatest voices in j-pop, it involuntarily becomes a power ballad. They also did Winding Road together but it was more poppish.
Rating- 4.5

10. Wine Red no Kokoro by Anzen Chitai and Koji Tamaki- The song sounds very minor. It was composed by Yosui Inoue. Anzen Chitai's version is more rockish while Koji Tamaki (he's the lead singer of Anzen Chitai, by the way), is jazzy. Both versions are very good. Koda Kumi covered this song on her covers album.

11. Hitomi wo Tojite by Ken Hirai- His highest selling single and for good reason. It is a very generic ballad but Ken's voice saves it from being 'just another ballad'.
Rating- 4

12. Only Human by K- This is a very sad sounding song used as the edning theme for one of the saddest dramas of all time 1 Litre of tears. K's voice is quite high for a male, but that's what is so unique about him. He sings almost acapella in the beginning.

Phew! Involuntarily, this post has ended up being one of the longest on Review Carnival (the longest, perhaps?). I hope you all enjoyed it and comment about your favorite songs so that I can add them too!

The Time Traveller's Decision by Kelvin O Ralph

Today, I want to tell everyone about a new book- The Time Traveller's Decision by Kelvin O Ralph. I had originally intended to review this book, but couldn't find time, so I hope that any one of you who decides to read it reviews it on your blog/goodreads page etc.

Why follow the heart, when it leads you to a dead end?

Lucas Taylor is an undergraduate at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
Although, he's studying Computer Science, he has a profound passion for writing and reading, and hopes to beome an author one day. On his eighteenth birthday, Lucas is given a priceless gift - the ability to time travel. However, his journeys to the future interferes with his social life, causing him to misinterpret their meanings.

While aspiring to become an author, Lucas has an unknown emotional feeling towards his ex-schoolmate, Carla Benton. He believes he's in love, even though he hardly sees her.

While aspiring to be an author, he meets Trisha Harris Bartlett, and his life takes a U turn.


“For a short story, it flowed really well, and I felt the characters come alive. The romance got hotter as it went along. I enjoyed it.” - Freda's Voice

2. "Your words flow beautifully. I really do feel like I can feel what Lucas is going through. You did a nice job" - Ariwriter [inkpop]

3. "I think it flowed nicely, especially since you've got quite a unique writing style where you've got a simple, yet good structure to the story." M.D Karmel [inkpop]

Where to find it:
Smashwords - Amazon Kindle - Undergoing Publishing Process
Freado -

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book review- Lisa Kleypas Love in the Afternoon

It's been a long time since I reviewed a book. But I am back to reviewing now. Love in the Afternoon, like most other novels reviewed is a historical romance by New York Times bestselling writer Lisa Kleypas. It is the last book in her Hathaways series. I haven't read any of the other books, but I do plan to read them.

Captain Christopher Phelan has been corresponding with the beautiful golden-haired Prudence Mercer while he was away fighting in the Crimean War. What he doesn't know, however, is that the woman who wrote to him is actually Prudence's best friend, Beatrix Hathaway.

Upon his return home to Hampshire, it becomes clear that Christopher's experiences in war have changed him. In this scene, Beatrix and Christopher argue over the dog he brought back with him, a regimental mascot named Albert . . .

The book starts out very interesting. It is not like usual romances where the hero and heroine meet each other, fall in love at first sight etc... The exchange of letters helps build a relationship. Betrix is an intellectual which I liked very much and she comes from an unconventional family. She loves and takes care of abandoned animals. It is her passion.

Captian Phelan is however, not so likeable. He seems very dominating, rude and harsh (not to mention anti-feminist who expects Beatrix to behave conventionally). The Phelan of the letters seems weaker and somehow nicer than the person he becomes after the end of the war when he comes back home. The excuse that he is used to seeing blood and is feeling guilty about the people he killed seems a poor excuse for his behaviour.

Overall, a new type of historical romance for me. I suggest that you try it, but don't expect anything spectacular. It has its good points, but is overall an average book. The Hathaways seem very interesting (especially Cam and Leo) so I think I will be reading more of this series.


Nice cover (at least the version I read had a nice one, which is pictured above)
Strong female lead character
Exchange of letters is intriguing

Un-likeable male lead
A bit stereotypical

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blogger Interview-

Another interview for you all, and this time, it is a blogger interview. I am interviewing Leanne Bell who writes her thoughts about books on her blog . Here is more about her-


Favorite color- Red
Favorite author- Cassandra Clare
Favorite book- Probably City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Zodiac sign- Aquarius/Capricorn - I was born on the cusp
Your motto- Erm...don't have one
City of your dreams- A fictional one known as Idris :-) lol

1. When did you start blogging?

Ans. 2010, so I'm pretty recent and still learning how to blog properly :-D

2. What do you love about blogging?

Ans. Sharing my reviews, info and various other opinions about books, as well as occasionally babbling a load of nonsense :-)

3. Tell us about your blog.

Ans. It's a place i review the books i read, list upcoming released and even write the odd random feature. A wonderful place for book-a-holics. I'm also hoping to include some interviews with authors very soon!

4. Would you like to read comedy, romance or science fiction/fantasy (which of these is closest to you interests?)

Ans. Science-fiction/Fantasy - I love to escape to places, and those that are made up are often the best ones

5. Your favorite books, authors.

Ans. Mortal Instruments series, The Iron Fey Series, Before I Die by Jenny Downham, Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher, Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw and so many other's I can't possibly name them all (so don't be offended if your not on here!)

6. My question? How many books do You read on average in a year?

Ans. Probably around a hundred, but it depends on how busy I've been and how the year has gone!

Thanks for the interview Leanne and I hope you all enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Author Interview- Kris Saknussemm

We have a new author today. He is Kris Saknussemm- the writer of Zanesville and Private Midnight- a bestseller in France. His latest book is Enigmatic plot.

Review of Enigmatic Plot by Kirkus-

Ripe with symbolism, conspiratorial metaphors and fabulist intents, Saknussemm's third novel (Private Midnight, 2009, etc.) is an allegorical American frontier experience.
It's the 1840s, and Hephaestus Sitturd, son of an itinerant Baptist preacher and a half-Shawnee woman, marries Rapture Meadhorn, whose escaped slave grandfather was a Creole Gullah from the Carolina sea islands. Rapture is an herbalist and healer, valued in the wilderness community of Zanesville, Ohio, but Hephaestus is a tinkerer, intent on building a Time Ark to confront the end-of-the-world prophecies of one William Miller. To the pair is born Lloyd Meadhorn Sitturd, a preternatural genius. At age six, he speaks multiple languages, solves complicated mathematical problems and constructs assorted airships. Dogged by debts and persecuted by bigots, the trio sets out for Amarillo to join Micah Jefferson Sitturd, Hephaestus' half brother, a former Texas Ranger. And thus begins a trek, not Pilgrim's Progress, not an Odyssey, but rather a tropological literary journey down the Ohio to Porkopolis (Cincinnati), across to St. Louis and up the Missouri to Independence. Along the way Lloyd meets Henri St. Ives, a gambler with a fantastical mechanical hand, Professor Mulrooney, married to identical twins who serve as assistants in his traveling medicine show, Urim and Thurimmun, microcephalics deposited in Illinois by a tornado, an underground oracle, and possible agents of the Spirosians and the Vardogers, two secret societies. There's time for Lloyd to fall in love with Hattie, a runaway slave, and attempt interpretation of the scripture of the Quists, a persecuted religious sect. Despite the fabulist plot, Saknussemm's imagination and narrative skills hold the adventure together. Written in connected sequences, the book opens with a surrealistic prologue set in 1869. A young lieutenant on a Great Plains mapping mission observes a man mounted on a mule holding a white gyrfalcon. Is it Lloyd? Readers can only imagine, for the book ends as the Sitturd party sets out from Independence toward Texas.
Manifest Destiny meets magic realism.


FAVORITE COLOR: Sulfur yellow.
FAVORITE AUTHOR: Herman Melville, Franz Kafka, Phillip K. Dick, Walker Percy, William Burroughs.
FAVORITE BOOKS: Gulliver’s Travels, Tristram Shandy, Moby-Dick, The Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, The Moviegoer, Cities of the Red Night.
PLACE OF MY DREAMS: Antarctica (haven’t been)…Papua New Guinea (know well).
My Motto: “At the first sign of doubt, let alone failure, always become more ambitious.”


1. Is the life of a writer how you imagined it to be?

The life of a writer is much harder than I imagined, given so much initial success and strong reviews. It’s becoming harder for everyone.

2. What genre do you write? Why?

My work is generally classed as Speculative Fiction…somewhere between the genres of fantasy and science fiction and traditional literary fiction. I consciously try to blur those boundaries because I believe they are blurred in life as well as in publishing.

3. What kind of characters do you like?

I’m inspired by all strenuous or subtle efforts of the imagination, but I particularly appreciate artists and thinkers who reveal previously hidden relationships and connections—who make me reconsider. I believe in a constant process of re-evaluation of assumptions.

4. What kind of settings do you enjoy?

I can enjoy grandiose and bizarre imaginative settings as well as highly “realistic” ones. I’m always looking for that “trap door” moment when character and setting merge into drama and uncertainty.

5. Which genre out of comedy, sci-fi/fantasy and romance is your favorite?

I’m highly suspicious of anyone who doesn’t enjoy finely wrought comedy in any form. Just as I am wary of those who don’t enjoy erotica well done. My own work seeks to incorporate both into a nominally science fiction/fantasy frame, but with literary and philosophical edgings that I hope lift my writing beyond the easily categorized.

6. Have you ever suffered from writer's block? How do you deal with it?

My experience of writer’s block has all to do with too many ideas—too much freight for the tracks I’d laid in the moment to bear. I’ve never felt stumped. I have indeed felt overwhelmed and confused.

7. What message would you like to give your fans?

The message I would give to fans is thank you—for making my work, the essential part of how I see myself—a part of their lives in some way.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Author Interview- James Steele

So many interviews coming! Here is another one. I am interviewing James Steele, who is also published by the New Bizzaro Author series. James Steele is a writer in Ohio. He is often asked to sum up his
life’s story in a single paragraph. James is very depressed by how
easy this is.

He has been published in the Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (issue 3),
Anthrozine (issue 18), Different Worlds Different Skins v.2, Roar v.3,
and Planet Magazine. His bizarre action/comedy novel, “Felix and the
Sacred Thor,” is published through Eraserhead Press.

His blog is


Favorite color- no preference; I am racially neutral
Favorite author- none yet
Favorite book/books- 1984, for the best world building I've ever read
Zodiac sign- Cancer
Place of your dreams- places without snow
Your motto- Don't wanna miss anything by not trying.

The serious questions

1. Is the life of a writer as you imagined it to be?

Ans. So far it's no different than I expected, except now that I have
something published I'm thinking about sales more and writing less.
Occupational hazard I suppose. It's still like I've had two jobs for
some ten years now. One for which I am paid, but do little that's
productive or beneficial to society. The other for which I am not
paid (very much), and am productively contributing to society every
time I do it! The twisted logic of this paradox is a constant source
of inspiration.

2. What genre do you write and why?

Ans. I write in any genre that allows me to build a unique, alternate
world. That's what interests me the most.

3. What inspires you the most?

Ans. The real world. The longer I live in it, the more I ask "is this it?"
So i write about things that have as little to do with reality as
possible. There's a name for that; I just know it.

4. What kind of characters/settings do you like?

Ans. I prefer to build new worlds instead of telling stories in the real
one. I also prefer characters who are as far from human as possible.
For me, these are the two most interesting elements in reading and
writing because they push you to see things from a perspective that is
unlike anything you're used to. You can't take anything for granted.
You must enter the world on its terms, understand the characters on
their terms, not yours.

5. As a reader, would you prefer to read comedy, romance or
sci-fi/fantasy? (The one which is the closest to your interests)

Ans. I prefer sci-fi and fantasy, but if either can incorporate comedy or
romance, that's ok, too. Really, anything can work if done correctly.

6. Have you ever suffered the dreaded writer's block? How do you deal with it?

Ans. I'm often faced with a problem that overwhelms me, but it's always
something I can solve by taking a day or two off and giving it some
thought. Is that writer's block? I don't call it that because
there's always a solution.

7. What message would you like to give you fans?

Ans. Is anybody out there?

To purchase his book visit the Amazon page-

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Author Interview- Kirk Jones

Hey, everyone, a new interview today, too. And can you belive it that he is the husband of the author I interviewed yesterday? That is so amazing! I feel so privileged to interview both of them together.

Kirk Jones is part of the 2010 New Bizarro Author Series. He lives in Northern New York with his wife and daughter and instructs humanities for the SUNY system. His first book, Uncle Sam's Carnival of Copulating Inanimals, is available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.Here is the link-
Visit his blog to get updates-


Favorite Color: Blue, probably. To paraphrase Father Ted, it has sort of a calming effect.
Favorite Author: Philip K. Dick. His later work is filled with great concepts. His early work is light and fun.
Favorite books: I like Mao II by Don DeLillo. It really captures the experience of a writer who is published for the first time.
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Place of your dreams: probably right where I am right now.
Your motto: Don't ever live by a single motto.


1. Is the life of a writer as you imagined it to be?

Ans. Yes and no. I've been writing for school papers and small lit journals for almost a decade now. The personal satisfaction of seeing my work in print always sufficed. Now that I have a book published, I have an obligation to my work as a writer that I didn't have before. NBAS is a testing ground for new authors. We have a series of challenges, including selling 200 copies of our book. If we succeed we get a contract with our press. They are incredibly helpful and it really has been more like being a part of a family. Eraserhead Press is a publisher with a very supportive community. So while life as a writer isn't always what I imagined it to be, in almost all ways it is better.

2. What genre do you write and why?

Ans. Eraserhead Press publishes a genre (some refer to it as a sub genre) called bizarro fiction. I love it because bizarro elements can be incorporated into almost any other genre, resulting in bizarro horror, bizarro science fiction, bizarro humor, and just pure bizarro. It's perfect for authors still experimenting with voice and genre.

3. What inspires you the most?

Ans. Everything in life: the good and the bad.

4. What kind of characters/settings do you like?

Ans. I really enjoy reading about and writing about characters who are somewhat out of place in their environment. An example would be Lane Meyer from the film Better off Dead. He's just trying to make sense of the world, and everyone else around him is so abnormal. His reaction to the environment amplifies their strangeness, and really makes me empathize with his disposition.

5. As a reader, would you prefer to read comedy, romance or sci-fi/fantasy?

Ans. Whew. I like science fiction and comedy the most.

6. Have you ever suffered the dreaded writer's block? How do you deal with it?

Ans. I have not suffered the dreaded writer's block. Laziness is probably my biggest problem. I'd rather think about plot and character development instead of actually writing the story. As a result, I'm never short for ideas, but I really should get on the ball and write more often.

7. What message would you like to give your fans?

Ans. My fans are awesome. They've been incredibly supportive. I try to make connections with people on the fence about bizarro fiction. Don't let the first bizarro book you read influence your overall perception of the genre. There are so many different approaches to bizarro that there is literally something for everyone. The titles and descriptions are meant to appeal to the fan base that has already been established, so if the titles or descriptions interest a prospective reader, they should check it out because they might find there's a lot more going on than the bizarro elements highlighted in the descriptions.

RC- Thank you for the interview.

Author Interview- Amanda Von Hoffmann

Today, I am interviewing author Amanda Von Hoffmann who writes Young Adult fiction. Amanda Von Hoffmann was born in San Bernardino, California. When she was four years old, her family moved to a tiny town in New York so far north that Canada was practically in her backyard. She spent much of her childhood reading, playing Nintendo and making up stories. She attended a local college, and in 2004 she graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a M.A. in English and Communications. Currently she works at a public library where she is happily surrounded by books and people that love books as much as she does. She is a mother, daydreamer, gamer geek and coffee addict. Behind Green Glass is her first published novel. You can find more information about her at

Here latest book is Behind Green Glass. Here is a little about it-

Isolde is a shy and artistic sixteen-year-old who moves into a house rumored to be haunted. When she discovers a shard of green glass, a new world opens for her. Through the glass she sees Lyric, who mistakenly believes that he is a ghost, and other ethereally beautiful creatures. As their mystery unfolds, Isolde learns that they are not ghosts, but The Forgotten Ones, fairies cast out of their realm, labeled imperfect for their physical and mental differences. Isolde's friendship with Lyric and The Forgotten Ones teaches her that sometimes our imperfections can also be our greatest strengths.

Buy the book on


Favorite color- Green
Favorite author- Margaret Atwood or Juliet Marillier
Favorite book/books- Catcher in the Rye, Daughter of the Forest, Anne of Green Gables, The Hunger Games Trilogy...I love so many books for different reasons.
Zodiac sign- Leo
Place of your dreams- A place near the ocean with plenty of seafood and coffee nearby.
Your motto- Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you laugh at yourself, you can view others as laughing with you instead of at you. Humility is healthy.

The serious questions

1. Is the life of a writer as you imagined it to be?

Ans. Not entirely. Writers do a lot more networking than I realized before I was published. I’m shy, so this can be challenging. I’m getting better at it, and meeting a lot of great new people in the process.

2. What genre do you write and why?

Ans. YA fantasy. I read YA fantasy, and I’ve been inspired by authors like Juliet Marillier, L.A. Meyer and Libba Bray. Teen characters can have a lot of adventures, and I prefer to imagine a world where magic is possible.

3. What inspires you the most?

Ans. Books and nature. I live in a rural area that is so beautiful it practically begs to be written about.

4. What kind of characters/settings do you like?

Ans. I like quirky characters--people that are flawed but still wonderful. Lately, I like steampunk settings. I'm captivated by a world that is both sci-fi and historic.

5. As a reader, would you prefer to read comedy, romance or sci-fi/fantasy? (The one which is the closest to your interests)

Ans. Sci-fi/fantasy with a little romance mixed in.

6. Have you ever suffered the dreaded writer's block? How do you deal with it?

Ans. Yes. I have suffered from writer’s block, but more often I struggle to find time to write. Being a responsible adult is time-consuming!

7. What message would you like to give you fans?

Ans. Don’t limit your imagination, and read what you like instead of what other people tell you to read.

Thank you Amanda for sharing your valuable writing experiences.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Author Interview- Mo Stegall

Hello, everyone. After a short break, here is another interview. This time I am interview author Mo Stegall. Clients call him "The Treasure Hunter" because of his ability to empower people to discover their inner jewels and gems. He is author of the best selling empowerment book Against All Odds I Can Be: 10 Steps To Revolutionize Your Destiny. He is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on empowerment and is sincerely committed to e ncouraging and equipping audiences to revolutionize their destiny. His deepest passion and desire is personal growth and development and to sanction others to achieve greatness. He has appeared in and on UPN, NBC, CBS, WTVI, BET, Radio Disney, Upscale Magazine, Jet, Entertainment Weekly, Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Atlanta Voice, CW Network, The Mother Love Show, LA Talk Radio, Mike Dresser Show and Rolling Out Magazine. He is a popular conference speaker, event emcee and college lecturer.

To know more about his books visit

His latest book is out now.
Against All Odds I Can Be is the empowering best-selling book by Mo Stegall. Against All Odds I Can Be was voted #1 Hot New Release by Amazon and named One of the Most Inspiring and Powerful Books released last year by Celebrity Magazine.

But Against All Odds I Can Be is more than a book: it's truly a guide to both changing and getting the most out of your life. In these uncertain times of economic disparity, emotional discomfort and despondency, the need for motivation and empowerment is paramount. Almost everywhere you turn, in every walk of life and in every community, people are feeling immovable, or overwhelmed and are in search of possibility and direction.

Stegall shows individuals the importance of self-discovery, how to maneuver through adverse situations, and gives practical steps to achieving life goals. It offers proportional doses of Vitamin E, which stands for EMPOWERMENT.


Favorite color- Blue
Favorite author- TD Jakes
Favorite book- 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want by Dr. Creflo Dollar
Zodiac sign- Leo
Your motto- "Doing Nothing Changes Absolutely Nothing...But Doing Something Changes Everything"-Mo Stegall
City of your dreams- Paris, France

Now the real questions-

1. Is the life of a writer what you imagined it to be?

Ans. I never imagine being a writer and so I would have to say that it is an amazing journey.

2. What genre do you write and why?

Ans. Self-Help/Motivation/Empowerment I am what they call a TREASURE HUNTER and sincerely enjoy helping others discover their hidden jewels and gems.

3. Out of comedy, romance and sci-fi/fantasy, which genre are you most likely to read?


4. Have you ever suffered from the dreaded writer's block? How did you deal with it?

Ans. Yes and I learned that I could get more done doing nothing sometime than doing something all the time....writers block to me is my mind saying it needs a break

6. What kind of characters/settings do you like the most?

Ans. Those with a story a real life story.

7. What message would you like to give your fans?

Ans. In life we often won't get what we deserve yet we will get what we are prepared for....we must go after the things we want and desire or we may spend the rest of our lives settling for what we can get....Against All Odds I Can Be Victorious and So Can You!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Author Interview- Karina Fabian

Hello everyone, here is an author interview for you all. This time, our author is Karina Fabian who writes science fiction and christian books.


Favorite color- Don’t really have one.
Favorite author- Terry Pratchett
Favorite book- Don’t have one.
Zodiac sign- Aries
Your motto- Fiction, Faith and Fun!
City of your dreams- One with great mountain views, just about whatever I need within a short drive, friendly people and addresses that make sense. So almost the city I live in now. Layton’s street system is weird.

Now the real questions

RC- First of all, thank you very much for doing this interview with Review Carnival. We are really honoured. The first questions is: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Is the life of a writer like you had imagined it to be?

Ans. It’s a cliché, but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. However, I first started working to make that dream a reality in 1995 when I was out of the Air Force (still in the Reserves) and the mother of toddlers. I needed an outlet and hoped to make a little money on the side.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but it’s certainly not been what I could have anticipated. Most of my good friends have come from writing, and doing work via the Internet has become such a big part of my life. I’m also working with a lot of small press publishers rather than an agent or one or two big publishers like I’d thought I would. However, I’m also writing a huge variety of stuff—from devotionals to science fiction to horror. I’d still love to get an agent or better yet a contract with a big publisher, but I’m pleased with how my career is progressing.

RC- Who has influenced you/your writing style/choice of genres the most?

Ans. As far as authors, the fantasy/comedy writers: Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony. However, I find my husband and friends really have a say in content. We start talking about something and Light Bulb! Story idea. Also, when I’m stuck, I turn to Rob and he always has the perfect response. I am blessed to be married to a brilliant, creative man.

RC- Fantasy and Sci-fi are genres that require a lot of imagination. How do you get so many ideas? Do you ever have the dreaded writer's block? How do you deal with it?

Ans. I honestly don’t understand how people can NOT get ideas. The world is full of them. For me, the problem is selecting which idea to tackle first. When I have writers’ block, it’s really because some aspect of the story intimidates me or because something else in my life is affecting my confidence. Then the only answer is to sit at the computer, give myself permission to write crapola and start writing. Usually, it ends up pretty good, after all, and I can always edit the rough bits once it’s out of my skull and on the computer screen.

RC- What kind of characters/settings do you like the most?

Ans. Depends on the story, really. I have a cynical dragon who’s a noir-style detective that is a blast to write.. He has the best voice, loves punning (in multiple languages, at the same time), and has a wonderful, superior view that gets him in trouble. He’s perfect for my comedy mysteries. (DragonEye, PI novels and stories: Then I have Neeta, who is an exterminator. Yeah, she specializes in zombie extermination, but otherwise, she’s quite ordinary—problems with romance, a bit of a clean freak, prone to self-doubt. She’s the main character in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator ( I also have a very troubled psychic who has a hard time coping with his abilities and has spent most of his teen years in an asylum. He’s great for using all those awful middle school experiences as fiction fodder! (Mind Over Mind comes out in September from DragonMoon.) wonderful nun who operates on a whole different plane of consciousness it seems. Remember how River in Firefly would say things that don’t make sense because she was four steps ahead of the crew? That’s Sister Ann, but with religious overtones. Ann’s also an engineering genius, but has a hard time just relating to people on a casual level. She is a challenge to write, because she quotes saints and engineering manuals a lot. She’s in a WIP called Discovery.

RC- Thanks for being with us and giving so much of your time. The last question is: What message would you like to convey to your fans?

Ans. Tell your friends? LOL. Seriously, though, I love reader feedback. You can keep up with what I’m doing at Each Thursday, I blog about my writing experiences of the week. I usually include a lesson learned, as well. My books are listed at I’m also on Facebook: So please, check out my stuff and if you enjoy it, let me know.

I do send out autographed bookplates to people who ask, as well!

Thanks so much for hosting me!