Thursday, June 30, 2011

Basement Blues by J H Sked review

Basement Blues
4 stars

Basement Blues by J H Sked has 3 short stories: Basement Blues, Dim, and Pushing Janey.  Dim and Pushing Janey both fit into the horror/thriller genres, while Basement Blues is a paranormal detective story with a good bit of comedy mixed in.  Both Dim and Pushing Janey feature men who are haunted by their pasts.  In Dim a man is terrified by the memory of what happened to him while serving overseas.  Pushing Janey is a bit too hard to explain without giving something away.  

The title story Basement Blues is a short intro into a whole new series that J H will be starting sometime fairly soon.  I very much enjoyed the story of the strange group of detectives and their unusual client.  This is yet another series from J H Sked that I will be looking forward to.  

I'll be honest the horror stories aren't my normal thing, but I really really enjoyed Basement Blues.  J H will be doing a guest blog here on 7/2/11 talking about some of her inspirations and what we can expect to see coming up.  Be sure to check back!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Free Book again!

Jeffrey Poole author of The Bakkian Chronicles is offering up some free copies of his books today.  He will be giving away 4 ebooks and 2 paperbacks.  Check his website www.lentari.com for more details (it may be a bit as he is waiting for a Goodreads giveaway to get approved).


In another note to authors that read this blog.  Jeffrey had all of his posts deleted from the Amazon forums and was suspended for 4-5 days according to what he told me.  What was his crime?  His signature included a link to his book ON Amazon.  He did not go into posts that weren't asking for self promotion and promote himself or anything like that.  His signature was apparently a violation of Amazon's policy on self promotion.  They are getting a bit out of control in my opinion when helpful, positive people lose their posting privileges for something that a large quantity of authors do.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman review

Jabberwocky
4.5 stars



Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman is based off of Jabberwocky Lewis Carroll. Each chapter opens with a small segment of the original poem and is followed by Daniel's version of the events that are described. As a person who is not very familiar with the work of Lewis Carroll (outside of the movies based on it) the phrasing used was often very unfamiliar to me. There is a glossary in the back, but I think if it had been located in the front it would have helped me a little bit more.

The characters, mainly Ollie and Tjaden, are well written and easy to relate to. Ollie being an orphan who has no real home of his own, but has formed a bond of brotherhood with Tjaden. Tjaden is a young man who dreams of joining the Elite, a special unit of the military, and serving his land with pride.

This was a quick, fun read that I think anyone can enjoy regardless of how familiar they are with the original work. There are some sneak peeks of other well known characters including the Chesire Cat and the Hatter mixed into the story which can draw in the people who are only casually acquainted with the original works.

Also available on Smashwords

Monday, June 27, 2011

Free book Monday

Today's free books are brought to you by Jeffrey Pierce who is giving his books away up until July 4th.  There is a link on his blog that will take you to his coupon codes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Guest blog with Linda Hawley author of Dreams Unleashed


Dreams Unleashed (The Prophecies)It’s the near-future year of 2015, where technology governs life.  In this dystopian world, governments control their citizens by tracking them with RFID.  The right to personal privacy does not exist.  The heroine, Ann Torgeson, having been trained by the CIA as a paranormal spy at nineteen years old, has enhanced abilities.  Twenty-five years later, she lives a double life:  first, as a technical writer for a tidal energy company in the Pacific Northwest, and second, as a member of the worldwide anti-government subversive organization, called GOG.  When Ann’s vivid dreams turn real, she questions whether the doorway between her subconscious and reality has been permanently altered.  When she starts to dig into her past, her present begins to unravel, leading the reader through events that twist and turn everything upside down.  Question everything you know is essential in this trilogy.



I’m honored for the chance to guest blog at Indie Book Blog.  I thought I’d blog about the main character and events within Dreams Unleashed, book one of The Prophecies trilogy.

When researching technology, and more specifically RFID for the book, I learned that RFID is either currently being used by governments to track humans, or there are plans to do so.  This rocked me to the core.  I decided to write the novel for worldwide readers, because the issue of the loss of privacy from RFID is a global one.  I wanted to give a voice to some of these issues, because the implications for the future are significant.

With all the intense topics and events going on in the novel, I had to balance that with strong characterizations, and some humor.  I’m happy to see that readers are responding to the humor.  It’s all subtle (and a bit sarcastic) humor, but I think it plays well in the novel.

Let’s talk about the protagonist, Ann Torgeson.  Ann owns two Tasers, and uses them in Dreams Unleashed.  I myself don’t own a Taser, nor have I ever seen one.  So in order to do Ann’s use of them justice, I had to research Tasers, and how they’re used.  I now know so much about Tasers that I could sell them!  I had no idea that you could get so much power into such a small device.  I learned about gun-shaped Tasers that the police use—they  seem to use the bigger ones—perhaps size matters to the police.  After looking at a dizzing amount of Tasers, I finally found Ann’s, Stun Master 2.7 Million Volt Multi-Function Stun Gun.  I thought the wristband that disables the Taser if someone grabs it was very cool.  Teaser:  Ann will be using that feature in book two of the trilogy, published late this summer.

In Dreams Unleashed, Ann’s sharpshooting skill is revealed.  I confess part of how this was unveiled in the novel is from my own experience in Air Force basic training.  I wrote the experience in the novel as it happened to me up until the point where all the shots were in/near the bullseye.  That part was not my experience!  Ann’s sharpshooting is important for book two of the trilogy.

Books two and three of the trilogy are being published this year.  So if you start reading Dreams Unleashed now, you won’t have to wait long for the other two books in the series.  Since I’m here blogging, it’s evident that I’m Indie-published, which means that there are zero marketing dollars allocated to my novel.  Therefore, I’m hoping that as you read Dreams Unleashed, that you’ll spread the word to other readers.  The reviews on Amazon and other places have been strong, and the novel is sitting with a strong four+ star read.

The print version will be published the week of June 20th.

Thank you for reading my stories,
Linda 

You can read a free sample of Dreams Unleashed at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK

The eBook version of Dreams Unleashed is available for purchase for $2.99 (for all eBook readers) at:

The print copy of Dreams Unleashed is due to be published the week of June 20th.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dreams Unleashed by Linda Hawley review

Dreams Unleashed (The Prophecies)
4.5 stars

Dreams Unleashed (The Prophecies) by Linda Hawley is the gripping story of Ann.  She has a bit of a unique history and some abilities that are far from the norm.  Her current job has her writing technical manuals for an alternative energy company harvesting the power of the ocean, her job while she was in the service however is highly classified.  

Linda has the book nicely organized with each chapter also having a date heading.  The dates range from her distant past, recent past, and current day.  The book has some references to current political figures and situations that make it very easy to get sucked into the story.  The book is extremely well written and had my attention from the beginning to the end.  This book deals primarily with introducing Ann in a very in depth way and letting you get to know her as a character and understand her motivations and abilities.  Ending in a somewhat tense matter I am very curious to see how the rest of the series is going to play out and look forward to reading the second book.

If you are interested in the book at all stop back by on 6/25/11 for a special guest post by Linda about her book.

Also available on: Smashwords


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunrise by Arshad Ahsanuddin review

Sunrise (Pact Arcanum)
5 stars



Sunrise (Pact Arcanum) by Arshad Ahsanuddin is the second book of the Pact Arcanum series.   It is actually a prequel to the first book Sunset (Pact Arcanum).  This book goes more in depth into how Ana, Rory, Take, Nick, and Scott become meta humans.  There are some passages that will be very familiar to anyone who has read the first book as the flashbacks from Sunset are done again in much greater depth.  There is also much more detail into the history of the world and the creation of the meta human species (Daywalker, Nightwalker, and Sentinel).  We are also shown what the Pact Arcanum is and how the ritual was used to to build the story.  Another aspect of the meta humans that is revealed is an in depth look into the creation of the Alliance and the Triumvirate.  


This books helps the readers to gain a much deeper understanding of the characters and their motivations and interactions.  I was again sucked in by the great storytelling of Arshad, in a literary world that is overflowing with vampire nonsense these books stand out as unique and worthwhile reads.  The third book Moonlight is in the last stages of editing before release and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for Nick and all the rest of the characters in this series.


Other books available:
Sunset: Pact Arcanum: Book One (Volume 1) (print)
Sunrise: Pact Arcanum: Book Two (Volume 2) (print)
Smashwords
Moonlight (smashwords)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Interview with Bill See author of 33 Days




What have you been up to since Divine Weeks?

Well, I've put out five solo records so I never stopped making music.  When I feel I have something special to share I'll play the occasional show.  Like I just did a book release party here in L.A. and instead of doing a boring book signing, we made it like even parts club show, movie opening and art gallery opening.  Played some old Divine Weeks songs live, read some excerpts, played some old videos and served some tour grub like PB&Js and Pop Tarts.  Turned out really well.  Hmm, what else?  Well, I did write the book, or course.  That took about 12 years, believe it or not.   



Do you still follow the underground/up and coming music scene?  If so who are some people to watch out for?

I do.  Dinosaur Pile Up, Odd Future, Superhumanoids are all worth watching.   



Do you have plans for any more books?

I have a couple in the oven, as they say.  Right now I'm pretty immersed in the promotional side of pushing 33 Days.  My DNA is to finish something and move right on to the next new thing, but I'm making myself stay in the 33 Days mode and really stand up for it because I believe in it and would like to see it made into a movie.  There's a lot of pretty classic set pieces, as they call them, in the book, and everyone seems to feel it would translate well into a movie.  



Did going the indie route with your music make it easier for you to do the same with your book?

Completely.  See, going D.I.Y. is in my blood from putting out my own records, touring and self generating publicity.  Divine Weeks made the jump to a bigger label that way, and I don't see marketing a self published book all that differently.  I see young bands today utilize facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Blogs, and wish Divine Weeks had had that modern technology at our disposal.  We sure wouldn't have starved to death on the road like we did.  But don't get me wrong.  I'm not some bitter boring old fart.  I think it's fantastic, and I'm just glad to have the opportunity to use my D.I.Y. know how to promote 33 Days.  I kind of see it as my chance to modernize the old D.I.Y. punk ethos I learned from Black Flag and the Minutemen.  They taught us success doesn't come to you.  You go to it.  We never fell for that victim stuff.  We just put our heads down and fought for it.  And really, nothing's changed.  You can't wait for the world to notice how bloody grand you are.  So, I'm making book trailers and video tours of L.A. to show readers the club scene and give them a deeper look into the background of the book.  I'm using YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, and the book's website is a great portal into all the music and found in the book
.


Do you maintain a twitter/blog/facebook/etc for fans to connect to you?

Yeah, like I said, I'm using all that.  Go to the 33 Days website http://www.33daysthebook.com/ and all the links are there.  



What do you miss most about the days touring in a van?

I guess I miss that us against the world mentality you have to carry around.  There's a very possessive, gang like, defiant coat of armor you have to wear.  It's empowering.  When you're out there barely getting by, and it feels like you have no one on your side, you close ranks and you lean harder than you'd ever dream you could on those four friends and those songs you made together.  There's something almost mystical about setting off in that van, like heading off into the hinterlands to search for converts.   



What was the hardest part about touring the country in a van?

Well, we were broke most of the time, and it was pretty much a daily challenge to find money for enough gas to get us to the next town, not to mention money for food.  I mean, it was hard but at the same time, it was a time in your life when everything feels possible.  When dreams don't have boundaries.  And see, we'd taken our cues from bands like Black Flag who literally invented D.I.Y. touring in a van and went through a lot worse with no template whatsoever.  We were green as toads out there and over our skis most of the time, but we really felt like we were on a mission.  It's not that we thought that our music could change the world, but it did change ours, and we basically just wanted to show anyone who saw us that we were reborn finally doing what we were meant to do.  We really thought we could inspire people to do like we did and seize their moment too.  



Do you ever talk to the other guys anymore?

I do.  Our guitarist Rajesh was instrumental in finishing the book.  His story and my own and that friendship between us are the really crux of the story.  He was very gracious and brave in digging down and sharing with me some of his cultural background and struggles he hadn't ever shared before in order to bring the story more depth.  That enabled me to really set up what became the emotional centerpiece of the book which was this pretty big racial confrontation we faced in Edmonton.  That scene and the aftermath of it was a watershed moment.  I mean, when we left on that tour, we set out to drink in the whole world and maybe sell a few records, but after that night our little tour turned into something more profound.  The stakes were raised, and we were never the same again.  Really 33 Days is a coming of age story, and that night you could say we grew up.



If you could redo one moment from that tour what would it be?


Gosh, I'm kind of a 'regrets are vain' kind of person.  I can't really imagine undoing anything.  Even the bad stuff that happened out there we found a way to overcome, and it was crucial to our evolution.  


Why did you decide to write a book about your first tour?

Oh because there's nothing in a lifetime like that first blast out of the canon.  It was the first time out on our own with all of us sharing a dream that was screaming inside.  Things had become desperate at home.  We were living a lie.  Living someone else's dream.  And something very sinister and irreversable happens when you sit on your dreams and deny what's at your core.  In a lot of ways, 33 Days is not so much about a band trying to make it and really more a cautionary tale about the perils of sitting on your dreams.  It's a story about that now or never moment we all have at about 22 when you come to your crossroads and have to decide whether to seize your moment or fold up your tent and regret it for the rest of your life.  There's nothing like that 22 year old voice.  You'll never see through those eyes again.  When I found the journals I kept on that first tour which became the primary source for 33 Days, what struck me more than anything was the voice I wrote in.  The voice was so electric and alive, and running over with that glorious mix of bravado hiding sheer terror that can only come from someone tasting that first bit of experience on the road.    




Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me Bill.  I wish you the best in with your musical and literary careers.

Thank you for the opportunity and the very cool review Scott.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

33 Days by Bill See review

33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream.
5 stars

33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream. by Bill See is the true story of the members of Divine Weeks as they embark on their first national tour.  The four band members Bill, Dave, George, and Raj and their road manager Ian cram into the back of an Econoline van ready to share their music with the world.  I am not familiar with the underground or up and coming music scene, but I found this book to be an insightful look into the world of these young mens dreams.  In the days before YouTube and online social media the only real way to get your name to the public was to spread it yourself, and these 4 were willing to do what it took to  bring some attention to their band.  While reading the book you can feel the passion of Bill for the music and the bond that the band mates shared.  In a scene where Raj was confronted with the terrible reality of ignorance and racism the band formed around him and I found myself so angry I wanted to be there to fight on their side.  

Divine Weeks tour is motivated by the bands that they idolized growing up in LA, bands that spread their message in their music and did everything they could to find common ground with a new audience every night.  Scraping by with barely enough money for gas to get from town to town, living off of peanut butter and jelly and whatever meals the could charm or scam their way into, sleeping on the floors of strangers kind enough to open their homes to a rock band they didn't know.  It seems that each member of the band has a time when they are questioning their commitment to the tour due to various pressures that they are under, but when they are onstage the world disappears and the only thing that matters in connecting with the audience.  It would have been amazing to be at a show and see the passion and energy that they brought to their performances.  This story is a great motivator to stop at nothing when you are chasing your dreams.  


Check out the YouTube channel.

Bitterness by 33 days

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More freebies!!

Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy


I have 3 more free book offers for everyone today.  The first is a limited giveaway my Jeffrey Poole the first 4 people to leave comments on his website with today's date get a copy of Bakkian Chronicles, Book I: The Prophecy.  This is a great book so stop by and check it out for sure.



Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale (Moonblind)

The second book is brought to you by Evelyn Zant her book Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale has a coupon good for a free download on Smashwords until June 20th.  The code is AU93B so just follow the book link and enter that coupon for a free copy.






The Magic of Windlier Wood


The third book is brought to us by N. R. Williams.  This book is .99 on Amazon, but free on Smashwords so everyone go pick up a young adult short story called The Magic of Windlier Wood.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Free book today only!



Endangered Memories (Expired Reality)David Alderman's new release Endangered Memories (Expired Reality) officially hits "shelves" today.  In celebration he is offering a one day only Smashwords coupon for a free copy that can be found on his blog.  I am about 40% through the book and looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.  Stop on by and pick yourselves up a copy as well.

Passage of the Acolyte Book 1 by James Vargo review

Passage of the Acolyte: part one (Volume 1)
4 stars
Passage of the Acolyte by James Vargo has a lot in common with the Lord of the Rings series.  He has created an epic world filled with a variety of countries each with their own political alliances and prejudices.  I will admit that I had a little difficulty keeping all of the characters and their regions straight at the beginning of the book, but I was good by the end.  

They journey starts out when Greynol Arowen gets a letter bearing a terrible seal from a son that he never knew existed.  Unfortunately that son seems to be extremely evil and aims to take over the world.  Greynol picks up a group of young men who are looking for their first adventure away from home.  He is reluctant to bring them on what will no doubt be a dangerous journey, but they are able to prove themselves worthy.  Arowen sets out to confront his son bringing the group of young men along for the ride.  

Their adventure is filled with richly detailed landscapes and a variety of challenges.  There are many ghosts from Arowen's path, good and bad, that must be confronted along the way.  Will everyone survive to reach their destination with such immense odds stacked against them?

The only criticism I could have for the book is that at times the pace really seemed to slow down with all of the detail given.  I'm sure that is actually a positive to some readers, but it did take away a little bit for me.  Still an excellent story overall and I look forward to reading the second book (which I have waiting to be read).  Keep an eye on James Vargo if you enjoy truly epic fantasy because he can write an amazing story.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jabberwocky by Daniel Coleman FREE!


HatterJabberwocky
Just to let everyone know Daniel Coleman has moved his book Jabberwocky to the free section of Smashwords for a limited time (I think 10 days) to celebrate the launch of his new book Hatter!  Daniel was nice enough to give me a copy of Jabberwocky and I enjoyed the book, it is definitely something to check out especially free!  I gave the book 4 stars and my in depth review will be published 6/28/11.




On another quick note today I finally broke 100 followers!!  Thanks very much to everyone who has followed my journey from amateur blogger to amateur blogger with 100 followers lol!  I will try to keep improving content and bringing guest spots, giveaways, interviews, reviews, and hopefully new authors to your attention.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Interview with Dean Murray author of The Guadel Chronicles


First let me remind everyone that the contest Dean has going is still good.  If you write a review on Frozen Prospects (The Guadel Chronicles) or Thawed Fortunes (The Guadel Chronicles Volume 2) you will be entered to win some pretty nice prizes.  The contest goes until July 1st so there is still plenty of time!  Check out Dean's site for more details. 




I'rone (The Guadel Chronicles)When did you decide to become a writer?

I've been an avid reader since the second grade, and toyed with the idea off and on for almost as long as I can remember.  I took a stab at novel writing in junior high and the results weren't pretty, so I more or less stopped thinking about it (although I continued to read voraciously) until my third or fourth year of college.  In my quest for new reading material I stumbled onto a fanfic writer who was really, really good.  At the end of each of his stories he said something to the effect of "Don't be intimidated by the number of words I put up, writing's actually easier than you might think, you should give it a try."  I took his challenge to heart, and wrote a couple of fanfic novels over the next two years, and haven't really looked back since.

If you are not a full time writer what do you do to pay the bills?
My formal education was in accounting and economics, but I went on for further education in accounting, so that's what I do to keep a roof over my family's heads.  Like anything else, it's got pluses and minuses, and although I'm very grateful for my current position I'd very much like to be able to write full-time someday.


What was your route to Indie authoring?

Frozen Prospects (The Guadel Chronicles)I was listening to a podcast by some traditionally published authors who talked about Dean Wesley Smith and his views on getting an agent.  I wandered over to his blog, which ultimately directed me to JA Konrath's blog and I realized that while the two of them had some very different opinions on things, they both treated writing like a business, which given my background really resounded with me.  At the time I'd shopped around a couple of novels, but I knew they were a bit of a long shot generally because one was too long and the other was too short.

Ultimately I decided that there really was some real potential when it came to Indie authoring and decided to take the plunge.

Any tips for your fellow Indie authors?

It's probably premature for me to be giving tips to anyone specifically in the area of writing, but with life in general, I think that hard work usually pays off, so a key thing I focus on is just continuing to work towards my goals.


What served as your inspiration for Frozen Prospects?

Frozen Prospects started as a half-formed idea after I'd read some stories involving couples who fought as a unit and who were magically more than the sum of their parts. Roberta Cray has a great book called the Sword and the Lion that shares some common themes, and there was a short story I read prior to that which helped start me down this particular road.

Actually, the world and magic system of Frozen Prospects was originally created as part of a much larger epic fantasy world.  I still plan on one day putting that world down on paper, but in the meantime I realized that the Guadel needed their stories told, and unlike the larger epic, I was ready to write the Guadel Chronicles.


What other work do you have available?

As of the time I'm writing this, I've got another full novel available (The Greater Darkness) on my site, as well as five short stories which span a number of different worlds and which are available both separately and as part of a collection.

The Greater Darkness was my third novel, before Frozen Prospects, but after the two fanfic novels.  I really like it, but do have to admit that I've grown a lot as a writer since I finished it.  For now it's available in its entirety for free-at some point I might go back and do some additional cleanup before uploading it to the various sites for purchase.

What sites is your work available on?

As I mentioned previously I've got a number of finished work and samples up on my site, http://www.deansonlinefiction.com/ Additionally, everything I've currently got ready for sale is up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  It being up on Smashwords and having been approved for their premium catalog means that eventually my work will also be up on Kobo, Diesel, and Sony, as well as a number of mobile app stores, but that all will take a while.


Are you currently working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?

One of the things that really drew me to indie publishing was the fact that it meant I could take my backlist and get it up in a matter of months rather than years.  I'm very excited about my current projects.  I've currently got a sequel to Frozen Prospects which should hit Amazon today.

After that, I've got a double novel which is also done but for the editing and cover which I'm very much hoping to get out before Christmas.  The two stories in the double novel are titled 'Broken' and 'Torn' and I think they are my best work to date.  They are set in the same world as The Greater Darkness and The Scent of Tears, but have such a different feel to them than the former, that if I didn't tell people it was the same world, most wouldn't make the link.  Ultimately I'd like to tie the characters from Broken and Torn into the characters from The Greater Darkness and The Scent of Tears, and tell a much larger story through a host of smaller series and semi-standalone novels.  That's the part I can tell you about Broken and Torn, but there are some other, very exciting aspects to the story that I'm keeping under wraps until I'm ready to release them to the general public.

The sequel for Broken and Torn is currently done through the rough draft stage, but it still needs quite a bit of editing done to it, so that's much further out as far as a release date, but I think it will be worth the wait as I'm taking my two main characters some unexpected directions and answering some of the questions people will have still after finishing Broken and Torn.

Lastly, I'm in the middle of several short stories which are set in my Dark Reflections world.  The basic premise is that I've taken the world readers will come to know and love in Broken and Torn, and then more or less shattering it.  It's ultimately going to be a kind of parallel time line where some key events didn't take place, which has all kinds of interesting ramifications.


Are there any authors that you really look up to?

I've talked about Dean Wesley Smith already, but I really respect what he and his wife are doing from the standpoint of trying to get writers to think like businesspeople.


What do you see the biggest challenge in being an Indie author as?

I think getting exposure/an audience is the biggest challenge.  There are plenty of other forms of entertainment out there competing for peoples' attention, and it's awfully easy to make a very tiny splash rather than the medium-to-big splash one was hoping for.  People who blog, review, or otherwise spread the word about Indie authors, are priceless.  


Have you ever been published in any magazines or any national publication?

Nope-I plan on continuing to submit to magazines though, so eventually it will happen.


Do you have a homepage/blog/twitter/facebook etc... that fans can follow your progress or contact you at?

Yep, the best place to keep up to speed with what I'm doing is at http://www.deansonlinefiction.com/ It's not pretty, but it's nice and simple and it's got a fair amount of content up already in addition to being the place to follow all of my latest exploits.


What is your favorite book/series?

Like most writers, it's very hard to pick just one.  I grew up on the Wheel of Time series, and that's ultimately what pushed me towards the epic of which the Guadel Chronicles is a subset.  I also like the Black Company series by Glen Cook.  It's got a wonderfully dark feel to it along with the refreshing attribute that the protagonists aren't really movers and shakers in the world-at least not in the first few books.  They are just more or less ordinary people who are doing the best they can while being caught up in much larger events.

I also find myself returning to David Webber's writing again and again.  There are others, but those are the three that I've probably spent the most time with.


Are there any specific sites that you visit for advice or inspiration?

Again, I hang out at Dean Wesley Smith's blog fairly often.  JA Konrath's blog and the Kindleboards also help reassure me when I start wondering if it's really possible to make enough money as an indie writer to ever be able to do this full time.

Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with me Dean.  I look forward to reading Broken and Torn when you get them ready for the public.

Thanks for your time, Scott-I really appreciate all that you and the other book bloggers do to help get the word out about indie authors.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thawed Fortunes by Dean Murray review

4.5 stars

Thawed Fortunes by Dean Murray begins right where Frozen Prospects (The Guadel Chronicles) left off.  Va'del is still struggling to find acceptance with the Guadel and himself.  The Stephens bloodline is still in Va'del's corner, but their hands are tied in almost every situation.  Jain is still around and remain a solid presence in his life.  


This book reveals a lot more of the political structure of the Gualdel and provides an insight into the lowlands.  I personally enjoyed the story of Thawed Fortunes a little more than Frozen Prospects (The Guadel Chronicles) since it has some more character development and a much wider range of scenery.  It is nice to see Va'del start to believe in himself and come into his own as a man (although I will admit I am a sucker for a good underdog story).  I am really looking forward to how the rest of the series will play out.


Dean sent me an ARC for this book and the official release should actually hit tomorrow, in honor of the release I will be publishing an interview with him that features some news on other upcoming releases.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Shadow at the Gate by Christopher Bunn review

The Shadow at the Gate (The Tormay Trilogy)
4 stars

The Shadow at the Gate is the second book of the Tormay trilogy by Christopher Bunn. The adventure continues to follow Jute, Severan, Levoreth, and Ronan as they deal with the coming Dark. There are some interesting moments detailing the creation of the world and the origin of the Dark. There is also an explanation on the magic system that works in his world. In Shadow at the Gate many of story lines from The Hawk and His Boy are coming together, building towards the climax that will be found in book 3. A few of the minor characters from the first book get to step up into more prominent roles and more is revealed about the thieves guild. The story continues to be well written and enjoyable with a solid flow. This book has an open ending that really helps build anticipation for the third book in the series.