Monday, 26 August 2013

Book Review of Assured Destruction: Script Kiddie

Once again The Overnight Bestseller is pleased to host a Tribute Books blog tour. This time we welcome back Michael F. Stewart as we take an inside look at his second novel in the Assured Destruction YA series.

Assured Destruction: Script Kiddie Book Summary

Jan Rose no longer steals data from the old computers she recycles. She doesn't need to. As the newest member of the police department’s High Tech Crime Unit, the laptop of a murderer has landed on her desk. Her job: to profile and expose a killer.

But that’s not all.

A creep lurks in the shadows, stalking a friend, and Jan must stop him before the hunt turns deadly. The clock counts down for Jan to save her friend, her job, her boyfriend—maybe even her life.

Formats: paperback & e-book
Release: August 2013
Pages: 156
ISBN: 9780981269979
Publisher: Non Sequitur Press

Link to Michael F. Stewart's Amazon page:

Michael F. Stewart: Biography

After crewing ships in the Antarctic and the Baltic Sea and some fun in venture capital, Michael anchored himself (happily) to a marriage and a boatload of kids. Now he injects his adventurous spirit into his writing with brief respites for research into the jungles of Sumatra and Guatemala, the ruins of Egypt and Tik’al, paddling the Zambezi and diving whatever cave or ocean reef will have him. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and SF Canada, and the author of the Assured Destruction series, 24 Bones, The Sand Dragon, Hurakan, Ruination and several award winning graphic novels for young adults.

Our Review of Assured Destruction: Script Kiddie

This is the second novel in the Assured Destruction series, and Jan Rose is back along with all of the virtual inhabitants of Shadownet. The term "script kiddie" in the title refers to a juvenile who lacks the ability to write sophisticated hacking programs and must use scripts or programs developed by others. Jan Rose is the "script kiddie" who must prove herself to the hacker community whose network she uses to understand how credit card information is being stolen. Additionally, she must prove herself to the doubting members of the High Tech Crime Unit with whom she is doing community service; the principal of her school, who doesn't want to give her a break; and her new boyfriend, who is feeling generally neglected. Added to this, Jan wants to help her friend Hannah, who is being victimized online, and is trying to keep her mom's business afloat while her mother's MS worsens and she sinks further into depression. These are a lot of plates for a sixteen-year-old to spin, but Jan Rose proves worthy of the task.

Like his first novel in this series, Stewart's second novel is a well-written and engaging read with a protagonist who is likeable in spite of all her missteps. There are very serious themes in the novel, including internet luring, but the use of humour helps lighten the mood and keeps us looking forward to more of Jan Rose's exploits!

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Monday, 19 August 2013

Indie Music Alert: Jim Guthrie

It's been quite a while since I did a post on indie musicians, so I thought Jim Guthrie's story would be an interesting one to share with you. He's a singer/songwriter who is originally from Guelph, Ontario, and who now lives in Toronto. Jim recently performed three songs from his latest album for the NPR Tiny Desk Concert. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, the idea is that National Public Radio provides a small space in an office to allow musicians to perform their songs, which are recorded on the NPR Music website, and get national exposure.

Guthrie and his back-up musicians traveled nine hours in a van from Ontario to perform the concert. When they finished the three songs, they got in the van and drove nine more hours straight home.

It has been ten years between albums for Guthrie. In 2003, he recorded Now, More Than Ever. This year's album is entitled Takes Time, which is described as "a collection of wistful pop with sweet harmonies and uplifting, infectious melodies".

To hear the three songs, please click here.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Little Free Libraries

Occasionally you come across an initiative that makes you feel good inside. That's the case with the little free libraries. The Oklahoma Gazette reports on this new type of low-tech lending library. The portable libraries, which are about the size of a dollhouse, have been established by the roadside in various locations in Oklahoma and are spreading across the United States and around the world.  Each site is maintained by a "steward" who oversees installation and upkeep. The initial books were donated by Barnes & Noble, with the steward and community responsible for keeping titles current. Books are lent and returned on an honor basis. The structures have been constructed to look like birdhouses, mailboxes, and British telephone booths (pictured on left), among other designs. These portable libraries have been designed as a way of encouraging literacy and a love of reading.

For the full text of the original article, please see For a map of these libraries, please see

I would like to extend a special thanks to Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City, 1900 NW Expressway, for drawing my attention to these new "pocket" libraries. Please visit their website at

Monday, 5 August 2013

Writing Screwball Comedy and Loving It! A Guest Post by Melodie Campbell

The Overnight Bestseller is very pleased to welcome Melodie Campbell, who has over 200 publications and was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis awards. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. She's also a very funny lady.

Melodie's first two novels are A Purse to Die For (mystery) and Rowena through the Wall (comic fantasy). Her third novel is The Goddaughter concerning which the Library Journal said:"Campbell`s crime caper is just right for Janet Evanovich fans. Wacky family connections and snappy dialogue make it impossible not to laugh."

 Over to you, Melodie. . .

“I had the flu once. It was terrible. I couldn’t eat a thing for three hours.”

I hope you giggled at that line. I think it’s one of my best. And yes, I am a tad fond of eating. In fact, you could list it as my major hobby.

My name is Melodie Campbell, and I write comedies. (This is a self-help group, right?) Sure I’d like to kick the habit and write a ‘real’ book with literary merit.

Okay, so that’s a lie. Leave The Goddaughter behind? Not write a sequel? I’m starting to hyperventilate. Actually, I love writing comedies. It’s in my blood.

Some people are born beautiful. But most of us aren’t and we look for ways to survive the slings and arrows of life. Sometimes we choose to hide behind a mask. That Greek Comedy mask was the one I picked way back.

As a means of self-preservation in the cruel world of teenagers, I looked for the ‘funny.’ More often than not, I made fun of myself. This was easy to do. I knew the target well and there was a wealth of material. And it didn’t hurt anyone else, so people liked it.

When I left school and had a ‘real’ job, I started writing stand-up on the side. I rarely delivered it – usually I wrote for others. That led to a regular newspaper humour column, and more.

So when it came to writing novels, I fell back into ‘safe mode’. Write it funny.


Worse than chocolate and foreign Counts… Comedy writers take a situation, and ask themselves ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen now?’ And then, what’s the funniest?

What’s the worst thing that could happen to the Goddaughter when she is reluctantly recruited to carry hot gemstones over the border? Predictable would be: she gets caught at customs. But I don’t want predictable. I want funny. Instead, they get stolen. By a complete amateur! It’s embarrassing, that’s what it is. How is she going to keep this from her new boyfriend Pete, who thinks she’s gone clean? And what the heck is she going to tell her uncle, the crime boss? Nothing, of course. She’s going to steal them back. Or die trying.

And hopefully the audience will die laughing.

But why do it? Why does an otherwise sane individual write zany and some might say silly comedy, and risk the inevitable hit from critics who say your book is without great literary merit?

One reason, and one reason only: many readers love it. Their comments and reviews are heart-lifting. I’ve lightened their day with romance and laughter, and in some cases given them a story they can escape into, over and over again. These readers are the whole reason I keep writing screwball comedies. Yes, it’s true. It wouldn’t be fun to write if I didn’t have warm and generous readers.

Melodie Campbell's second novel in the Rowena series is Rowena and The Dark Lord (April 2013), and she will publish The Goddaughter's Revenge in October 2013. Follow her comic blog at