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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Nightlife: Paris & Why I Literally Screamed at the End

Synopsis (From Amazon)

Vampire master Michelle, and her slave, Aaron Pilan, leave the heartbreak of Vegas for a new start in Paris. Aaron’s mistakes in Vegas make him question everything he knows about Michelle, and the prospect of a long, lonely future with her.

Michelle answers his demands by opening her heart and soul to him. Their minds intertwine and Aaron relives her dark, gritty tale of survival in the ravages of war-torn Paris under the German occupation.

But they are not alone in Paris. An investigator has shadowed them from Vegas, seeking the unique gifts of Michelle’s blood. He hunts the vampires, attacking them at their most vulnerable time. Michelle and Aaron face death and worse – separation.

The Good

The Nightlife: Paris is the third book in a series focused on vampires Aaron Pilan and Michelle. It is, by far, the best written of the series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books. The third blew my mind.

It grabbed me from the first page. However, makes The Nightlife: Paris so engaging is the reveal of Michelle's back story. Luedke changes Point of View to first person. We see the world through Michelle's eyes as she meets the monster who turns her into a vampire. Her past mixes brutality and hope, violation and eroticism. We see Michelle's humanity and monstrosity. We pity her, cheer for her, and scream at her for bad decisions.

Hyperbole drives me mental. I hate reading reviews like "Best book ever written" and "Just as Good as Tolkien."  I don't believe them. However, I realized halfway through The Nightlife: Paris that this was indeed one of the best written vampire books I've ever read. I have no problem putting it side by side with Interview with a Vampire and I Am Legend. It truly is that good.

See Also: Review of Nightlife: New York and Nightlife: Las Vegas

The Bad

When I finished reading The Nightlife: Paris I LITERALLY screamed. I was having so much fun with the book I couldn't believe it was over. The new book is scheduled for release in September. That's too far away for my liking.


Buy this book and read it. Buy it now.

Buy The Nightlife: Paris on or
The Nightlife: Paris on Goodreads
Travis Luedke on Smashwords
The Nightlife: Paris on the Sony Reader Store
The Nightlife: Paris on iTunes
The Nightlife Official Blog

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writers and Mental Illness

For the past week my OCD has been completely out of control.

There are many sorts of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mine, thankfully, is not focused on germs. I'm an organizer. I'm compelled to refold everything in the linen closet, straighten the fridge, recategorize my music collection, or alphabetize my library.

Once I start an activity, any activity, it is almost impossible for me to stop. This is wonderful when that activity is writing or editing. But last week I had nothing to focus on.
Megan Fox Reportedly Suffers from OCD

Without the "distraction" is writing, my compulsive behavior is focused on everything else. I spent 10 hours working in Photoshop on a map for my next novel. Ten hours without so much as a washroom break. My hand seized several times. In fact, my muscles are still sore from it days later. The crazy reason why I didn't stop: a little voice in my head kept saying:

"What if you died tonight?  You can't leave this unfinished just in case."

I knew it was stupid. Completely irrational. I argued with my craziness saying "Stop after the water features are done." Then it got worse.

I turned to Netflix. I started Season 2 of the series 24 at 8:00 p.m. I didn't stop until 10:00 a.m. the next morning. I probably wouldn't have stopped then but my fiance gave me a I napped for a few hours.

Compulsion isn't always a bad thing. Most of the time it actually works in my favor. I keep working on things long after everyone else would have stopped. It makes me a great employee and a very dedicated writer. I can spend hours writing or editing to get a scene just right. As long as I have a goal my compulsion doesn't get in the way of a normal, healthy life. Most of the time.

Dan Wells - Contributor to Writing Excuses

A few months ago I listened to a great podcast, Writing Excuses 8.8: Writing and Personal Health. All of the writers discussed their mental health issues. It helped me realize I wasn't alone. So what can I do about it? I refuse to take drugs to solve this type of problem. I think society in general is too over-drugged. I'm more in favor of cognitive retraining which is why I'm writing this post.

A few days ago I listened to a song on the radio: Who Can it Be Now by Men at Work. It got me really thinking about mental health. I come from a creative family who also have history of mental illness. My mother had paranoid delusions and frequently suffered from hallucinations. My father was diagnosed as bipolar with sociopathic tendencies years ago but, as far as I know, has never taken medication.

Maybe acknowledging and sharing my unhealthy behavior will help alleviate it.

List of Famous Authors with Mental Illness
Creativity 'closely entwined with mental illness'
Women Writers and their Mental Health
Writers Have Higher Risk of Mental Illness: Study
Dan Wells on Depression


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo
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