James Garcia Jr.
James Garcia Jr. was born in Hanford, California in 1969. In the mid 1970's James Sr. began a Law Enforcement career just up the road with the Kingsburg Police Department, taking the family there. It was not until junior high school; however, that anything of significance occurred. Discovering authors Stephen King and Michael Slade, as well as hard rock music, began to form a spark of creativity within his adolescent mind. He began to play guitar and pen song lyrics, but soon found himself confined in that tight medium, desiring to do longer works.
After graduation, he moved on to the local community college where he met his wife. By this time, he had written a handful of short stories, a couple of novellas and had begun writing the novel that would become, “Dance on Fire”.
Career changes, building a family, and the busyness of life impeded his writing at this point. It wasn’t until he came to the realization near his fortieth birthday that he did not want to go to the grave with any regrets that he plunged headlong into the dust-covered novel in earnest and not only completed it after twenty years, but started and completed its sequel in eight months.
James and his wife, Aida, and their two sons make their home in Kingsburg, where he is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California.
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Smashwords book reviews by James Garcia Jr.
- Revenge of the Siren Song
on Dec. 26, 2010
Many might be asking the same questions I was before buying this book: Pirates? Really? Other than seeing the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films and enjoying the ride at Disneyland, I'm not actually the biggest pirate fan in the world. However, mixing the intrigue of double and triple-crosses, historical accuracy that you won't believe, as well as rich, multi-layered characters, makes this a quick and entertaining piece of work.
Though I didn't know much about the history of the subject, Stinson does an excellent job of getting it right. You can just tell. From the detailed locales, to the dress, to the customs of the day, the reader is transported to a time and place as if he or she had just stepped from a time-machine.
- Cupid's Maze
on Oct. 30, 2011
This was the first of Souza's work that I had ever read, and I was hooked by his tight, believable prose right away. The "signposts" within his story were perfect. He didn't give too much away, but enough to make one pause momentarily, knowingly. We didn't know what was coming. We only knew that we had to find out what it was.
I will definitely be back for more and will never, ever stop the car.
on Jan. 05, 2012
"I just read a short story that restores my faith in horror’s potential when it comes to the subject of vampires.
The beauty of this tale is the fact that for the beginning I fancied it being the same old-same old. The only thing that made it different was the writing. I found myself walking beside the character as he struggled through his new existence. I could see the sights and smell the foul stench of not only his haunts but his actions. The pacing was also very well done.
The pay-off came with a twist, and man was it good! What we thought we knew was suddenly tossed out of a second-storey window where we, along with McKinney’s main character, had been peeking through. We were all duped, let me tell you.
With an unexpected twist and writing that reminded me of the best of Clive Barker, McKinney surprised me and made me an instant convert. Beware reader, Feed might mean more than you think it means."
- Base Spirits
on July 14, 2012
I had a very interesting reading experience with this book because for much of the experience, I found myself completely uncomfortable and disarmed. "Base Spirits" was written through the points of view of two very interesting women, both suffering through spousal abuse or at least domineering husbands. It was uncomfortable subject matter, and there were seemingly only a few really likable characters in the whole thing. Half way through, I found myself wanting to quit. Why didn't I? I kept going for two reasons: the potential of finding out what would happen and because Ruth Barrett is a brilliant author.
I was not very happy with Barrett there for a while, and I want to strongly caution you. The book begins with the execution of Calverley in 1605 for his terrible crimes against his family. We are told of how he had killed his children. Later, as Clara supernaturally relives those terrible events, we actually get to "see" him do it. In Horror Fiction, there are times when children have been murdered, but few authors actually show it to you. Barrett was very brave to take this step. As a parent, I didn't appreciate those horrible moments, but I got through them.
Barrett writes with beautiful prose and she nailed everything that was required of an author doing a period piece. That's what got me through the unsavory subject matter of abuse, as well as the murder of those beautiful children. When Clara and her husband were in present day, we were there with them. It was present day; anyone could pull that off! More importantly, however, when Clara began seeing through Lady Calverley's eyes, Barrett was able to fully transport us there, too. She nailed the culture, the dress, the language, the pacing, the lifestyles - everything! I found myself thoroughly impressed with Barrett here, and am convinced that no one but a master could have pulled that off.
Ultimately, that is why I will be back for Barrett's future works.