Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guest blog with Doug Brown author of Legends Reborn

First, I want to thank Scott for having me over to his wonderful blog.

Douglas R. Brown is a fantasy writer living in Pataskala, Ohio. He began writing
over five years ago as a cathartic way of dealing with the day-to-day stresses of life
as a firefighter/paramedic for the Columbus Ohio Division of Fire. Now he focuses
his writing on fantasy where he can draw from his lifelong love of the genre. He
has been married for 14 years and has a son and two dogs.

Find out more about Douglas here:

- http://www.epertase.blogspot.com/

- http://www.rhemalda.com

Like his Epertase page here:

- https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Epertase/212541268758981

To download Douglas' press packet, go here:



I created "The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn" as an escape from the real
world of firefighting and EMS. The idea for my world of Epertase came from a
single character named Rasi. I created Rasi when I was a teenager, originally to
be a comic book character, and when I decided to write a fantasy, I dug him out of
the deepest recesses of my mind. I built the world around him and "The Light of
Epertase" trilogy is, above all else, his story.


Synopsis


Since the dawn of time, the Light of Epertase has determined when the throne
was to be passed from elder to heir. For more than a thousand years, the Light's
decision had never been challenged...


Until now.


When a ruthless army advances on Epertase, the Light determines that corrupt
King Elijah is no longer fit to rule - his daughter, Princess Alina, is the kingdom's
only hope for salvation. After evil men violently abduct her, Epertase's fall appears
inevitable.


But all is not lost, for Alina has a secret lover lurking in the outer mountains; a
long-banished warrior willing to bring down armies and King Elijah himself to
save her. His name is Rasi and he prepares for blood. Deadly men plan to sacrifice
Alina for the Light of Epertase that lives within her soul. Rasi plans to kill all who
try. The kingdom's fate hangs in the balance.






If you want a sneak peek at Rasi and into the world of Epertase, Douglas has two
free short stories available for download here:
http://www.feedbooks.com/userbooks/recent?penname=Douglas+Brown&user=158875

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Through the Flames by Ryne Billings review

Through the Flames (The Sword of Kirakath, Book 1)
4 stars

Through the Flames is Ryne Billings' first novel and he shows a lot of potential. The story follows Caleb on his journey to avenge the slaughter of his village and everyone he knows. Finding his dying father among the burnt out remains of his village Caleb is given advice on how to get revenge. He is told of a magical sword hidden in the remains of his home that will bring him to the attention of someone who can tell him how to get the Sword of Kirakath. This sword should enable him to get his revenge on the people who destroyed his way of life. He meets several more hardships on his way, but he also meets Katie a thief from a nearby city. She becomes very important as she is much more street wise than Caleb, who had rarely left his small village.

The book forms a solid base for a trilogy to be built on as it wraps up pretty nicely at the end, but you are left with a few unanswered questions. The biggest being why was Caleb's village destroyed in the first place. There are also a few characters that have been mentioned in book one, but play almost no real role leaving you to expect to see a larger role in the future. The only criticism I have is that I felt that Caleb kind of coasted through many of his trials and didn't face the adversity (other than in the beginning) to help his character mature.

Overall this is still a very fun read, and with it being the first book written by Ryne Billings the sky is the limit for his potential. I highly recommend this for a fairly quick read with a lot of action.

Links:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

City of the Gods: Forgotten review

City of the Gods: Forgotten
4.5 stars

City of the Gods: Forgotten is a beautiful book.  The guys who put this together did an amazing job with the maps and all the illustrations.  This book is a perfect fit for any fans of mythology since it uses gods from most of the major civilizations in history.  


The story revolves around D'Molay and Aavi.  D'Molay is a rare freeman in The City, where almost everyone is committed to a god or a slave.  He does odd jobs for the various pantheons and seems to be well respected for his work.  Aavi is a mystery through most of the book.  A statue that comes to life at D'Molay's feet with no memories of her own and no belly button.  D'Molay decides to help Aavi and her simple innocence draws him in to a role of protector that he seems familiar with from his life on Earth.  


The story is well written and the origins of the two main characters are kept hidden until close to the end of the book.  I really enjoyed the interactions of the gods from different cultures and the council system that had oversees the ruling of The City.  

I read the paperback version and I highly recommend it.  With the amount of pictures that are in this book I hesitate on the Kindle version just because I have seen some books that don't work well (I haven't seen the Kindle version of this so it could be fine).  This book is worth a read for anyone that enjoys fantasy, but do not pass on it if you are a fan of mythology at all.  

Links:
Website very well put together check it out for news and join their forum to talk to the authors

Monday, July 25, 2011

Free Book Monday

It is once again time for me to highlight some great free reads that can be found.  These are limited time only during the Smashwords summer promotion.  Check this link for a list of all the books that are offered free with the coupon code (on the books page).  There are some really great reads in this list including a favorite author of mine Lindsay Buroker's Flash Gold.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Todays interview is with Jason J Sergi about the first book in his The Hero of Twilight series: The Road to the Golden Griffin

When did you decide to become a writer?

I'm not sure if I ever decided to become a writer; I think I was more
forced into it by the fates. Not that I mind, since I absolutely love
to write and would do so no matter where I was in life. There are worlds
and characters out there in the ether that want to be heard and
recognized, even if by only one person, and even if that one person is
only me. Ive written both short stories and novels that have never seen
an editor's desk, and probably never will, because they're for me and me
alone. In short, (and yes, cliche as well) I believe I was born to be a
writer.


What was your route to Indie authoring?

I wanted to write a fantasy story which contained a strong swords and
sorcery element with my own ingredients mixed in. Unfortunately there is
a very small market for swords and sorcery and the moment a
commercial/large house editor sees the words ELF or DWARF, more times
than not if you're a new author, that ms will get immediately tossed
into the recycle bin. The problem being authors like Tolkien
(obviously) Terry Brooks, Raymond E Fiest, etc, etc, have already done
much of what could possibly be done within that aspect of the genre.
Nevertheless, I had a story to write and once written I wanted to give
it the home it deserved. So after an exhaustive search, I found
Wolfsinger Publications and, more importantly, I found Carol Hightshoe,
who is the editor of WP and one of the dying breed of editors still
willing to give a traditional story and a new author the chance they
need to be heard.

Any tips for your fellow Indie authors?

Nothing they haven't heard before. Its a simple formula really: read,
write, learn to accept rejection and criticism and realize that neither
is the end of the world and that both are subjective; practice these
things on a constant basis and success will come in just a matter of
time. And one thing I could add to that is: In the end, it doesn't
matter if the the story is written in crayon or digitally, or so
grammatically poor that only the author may know what message the story
is trying to convey, or what other people may think of it, and that it
truly only matters what the author thinks of it. If she/he is happy with
the end result, then that's truly the only thing that counts when you
strip all the other fluff away--meaning the business end of the
industry, of course.

What served as your inspiration for The Hero of Twilight?

In 2007 or so I wrote a novelette titled, Enigma of the Master Stone.
There was an off-screen character within that story that had always
intrigued me, eventually becoming more fascinating to me than the main
characters of the story. So. a couple of years later, I finally decided
to do some research and find out how this off-screen character came to
be, and was at first shocked by his humble beginnings, and then became
more so as I continued to learn about his life, translating it down on
paper as I went. That project is still ongoing, but the first step of
the telling ended up with The Hero of Twilight as a result.

What other work do you have available?

None at the moment, though The Threat of Saint Flesh, Book 2 in The Road
to The Golden Griffin series will be out later in 2011.

What sites is your work available on?

Every major online retailer, from Amazon.com to everywhere else. A
sample chapter can also be read for free at Wolfsingerpubs.com

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

Right now I'm working on a lengthy novel, the first in a planned
trilogy, titled The Vatters of Klon, though that title is always subject
to change until actual publication. I will be finished by April or May
2011, but as to when the public will see it, that's up to the editor gods.

Are there any authors that you really look up to?

Tolkien, since he made it all possible; Robert Jordan, for bringing a
new voice to the genre; George rr martin, both for his exceptional story
telling and his courage when standing up to fans who rabidly demand his
next book the moment his most recent one comes out; John Moressey, for
being highly underrated despite being, in my opinion, one of the best
fantasy authors to ever have existed; and then there's Gene Wolfe, John
Marco, Jeff and Mike Shaara and about a hundred others who I truly look
up to because they all came before me, beating down the path for the
rest of us up and comers, and instilling in us that IT CAN BE DONE, and
done right.

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

No different from any challenge that would be faced by a commercial
author. We re all in the same boat, all needing the same amount of
attention, and we all have the same tools, it just depends on how
tenacious the individual author is in getting his work seen by the
masses. This is a new era of publishing. With the rising popularity of
e-readers, the avid reader doesn't care so much about how the book was
published, or that it cant be found on a book shelf in some store. They
just want to buy a good story, and if the story is good it will sell
itself no matter how it came to be in existence.

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

Ive had several short stories published in Sorcerous Signals magazine
and I have a story called The Hunters coming out in Hungur Magazine next
month.

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

Yup, they can look me up on FB: Jason J Sergi, and I welcome all and any
who wish contact and/or friend me.

What is your favorite book/series?

Hands down would have to be The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. That was
and is the first set of books that really got me thinking about becoming
a serious writer.

Is there any news on book 2 in the series?

It should be out before the end of the year (2011).

You mentioned working on another series as well, how is that going?

It's going really good. Can't say too much about it now save that it will be on a much grander scale (pov, content, and size wise) than Road to The Golden Griffin, and potential readers wont be seeing it for some time to come, but I will keep you updated.

Where did the inspiration for a con-squire come from?

Basically, the inspiration came from the traditional "Knight/Squire" relationship, but I wanted to add my own twist. Traditionally, squires are students, helpers, and part time sidekicks. For that role, the Vorcikians have their human squires (ie Bathmal) in order to keep the Order growing, but I also wanted to focus on the sidekick part, though on a full time and intimate basis...so what better way than to have a knight be helped along by a part of himself? To have a loyal, intelligent, and a highly skilled ally that can be relied upon and communicated with in the most dire of circumstances.  Although, Nojo is a little quirky.

What age group did you aim The Hero of Twilight for? (I look forward to reading it to my daughter)

When Im actively working on a project, I dont target a specific age group or audience, but now that Hero of Twilight is written and finished, I think it would be safe for ten and up. I cant say the same for Book 2, The Threat of Saint Flesh, which may get a minimum PG-13 rating, but the series as a whole will fluctuate like that.

How many books will be in The Road to the Golden Griffin series?


10 altogether.

Is there a character you identify with in the book?  Which one?

I can identify 100% with Bathmal. Growing up for most kids in any era is hard and clawing yourself up from nothing, and maintaining the drive in order to do so, can be even harder. It might sound cliche, but he promotes that well known ideal that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything, even if it takes years or a life time, and with the opposition constantly telling you it can't be done. So yes, I can and do identify with Bathmal.

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me Jason I wish you the best in your future. 

Thank you Scott, and keep that blog rolling!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Post

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to share that toady is my birthday so everyone go out and have some cake and or ice cream.  Hope you all have a great day.

Scott

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moonlight by Arshad Ahsanuddin review

Moonlight: Pact Arcanum: Book Three (Volume 3)
5 stars



Moonlight by Arshad Ahsanuddin is the third book in the Pact Arcanum series. Chronologically following Sunset all of the usual characters are present, but focus has switched from Nick to Toby. There is also a new political group that gets introduced into the mix and it surprised me a lot when it was introduced. This book sets up a lot of changes to the political balance with ramifications that will be felt in the rest of the series for certain.

Arshad continues to write masterful plot twists and imaginative characters. In all honesty I enjoyed books 1 and 2 a little bit more, but that is because I like Nick as a character a little bit better than Toby. This is still a great book and I can't wait for the next installment to be released!



There is also a newsletter giving more information on book 3 available here beware it may contain spoilers if you have not read the book.


Other works:
Sunset (Pact Arcanum)
Sunrise (Pact Arcanum)
Sunrise: Pact Arcanum: Book Two (Volume 2) (paperback)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dark Currents by Lindsay Buroker review

Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge Book 2)
5 stars


The second book in The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy mystery in an era of steam) series has finally arrived!  If you are new or haven't guessed I am a big fan of Lindsay Buroker's work.  She also has a very nice blog with a lot of self publishing tips.  


Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge Book 2) features another adventure from the intrepid group of followers that ex-enforcer Amaranthe has been able gather to her after her epic fall from grace (read book 1 for details).  It would be difficult to find a more diverse group working together.  Where else can you get the world's deadliest assassin, a male escort, a teacher, a teenage gangbanger who is also a wizard, a former pitfighter, and an ex cop working together to get into the good graces of the Emperor?


This story features Books as the secondary character.  Lindsay has revealed that each book in the series is going to have a different character sharing the spotlight with Amaranthe.  Books is kind of the odd man out of the group having led a fairly sheltered life until a tragic event drives him to the bottle.  When faced with a combat situation he struggles not to shut down.  This causes him to struggle with feelings of inadequacy as the group is constantly getting into trouble that fighting is required.


This story also shows a general tightening of the group dynamic.  Amaranthe continues to try to figure out more about Sicarius and get him to show some emotion.  I really enjoy the humor that Sicarius injects into the book with his very dry wit and the subtle facial expressions.  Books and Maldanado also have a good bit of interaction and almost anything that involves Maldanado has the potential for some amusement.  These books are a must have for fantasy fans.


Other works:
The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy mystery in an era of steam)
Encrypted
Flash Gold (a steampunk novella set in the Yukon)
Ice Cracker II (and other short stories)
The Goblin Brothers Adventures (middle grade fantasy)
Smashwords

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Book Monday

Today is an exciting Free Book Monday!  It is actually the start of a free book week!  Every day 3 authors will be giving away copies of their books just for leaving a comment on their blog/website.  It is being organized by the Indie Book Collective so click the picture or stop by the website for more info on who to visit to get your freebies.

Here are the links for today:
Carolyn McCray 7 Folds of Winter
Amber Scott Soul Search
Deena Remiel Brethren Beginnings Vol 1

And check out the reviews I have done for the Tour:
Tracking Shadows by Regan Black
The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford

Remember any comments left on those posts with an email address included get you a free copy of the reviewed book!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Guest blog with Angela White author of The Bachelor Battles

Today's guest spot is with Angela White about her brand new project To The Death (The Bachelor Battles) and The Changeling (The Bachelor Battles)



Hi and thanks for having me. Great blog you've got here. Let me introduce myself.

Hello,
I'm Angie. (Pen name)

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, lets you and I take a little stroll. There's a story I need to let out of its cage and I think it's one you need to hear. It's about a game I once attended...




Who's ready to play? Are ya?

Are ya really?

500 Years into the future, nine of every ten babies conceived are female. Men have been enslaved for their own protection and only way to get a mate is to enter the Network Games and fight for one. The Catch?

It's a live battle To The Death and the competition is fierce.

Let's meet the Players...

Candice Marie Pruett- Just barely 18, this intimidating Bounty Hunter resides in the Recovery Zones of Ohio and has a long record of excessive force. Recently fined over a million UD's for injury to a family member, the brutal Changeling only wants one thing. To get back what was stolen from her. Rank: 5/10.

The Blond Bombshell- This hardened Dock worker is reigning champion and heavily favored to repeat her vicious victory and claim a second prize. Trying to amass a harem to stand between her and the Change, she starts the games ranked 1/10.

The Ex-Defender- Fresh from tracking fugitives in the deserts of Nebraska, this former Network guard seeks make amends by winning and donating her prize to charity. The dangerous, untrained male she allowed to escape is still missing and has lowered her rankings on day one, to just 7/10.

And their prize, a choice of...

Daniel is a 20 year old Bachelor with excellent home skills and no memory of his life before being sold to the Network. Calm and unaggressive, he has been trained to be the perfect, harmless mate, and now hopes for a kind and loving owner to take him home.
Or...

One of the eight other brutally brainwashed males sharing his Cell. They are lot #21198.

Who's ready to play? Are ya? Are ya really?


 Then Let the Games begin...


"Hello and welcome to the first interview of this episode of ...The Bachelor Battles!"

"Today, we're talking with Candice Pruett, of the Ohio Valley Recovery Zone. Already well know for their Bounty Hunting, the Pruett family is worth a whopping 700 million UD's! Wadda ya say, folks? Let's make Candy feel welcome!"

(The Audience cheers wildly as an average looking teenager with flat, black eyes appears on the wall screen.)

"Tell us, Candy. Why did you sign up for the Bachelor Battles?"

Silence...

"Miss Pruett?"

(A throat being cleared and then a mutter.)
"Did we lose her?"

"Hello? Are you there?"

"Don't Ever. Do That. Again."

Softly spoken, it was menacing. The surprised reporter stumbled.

"Um, do what, hun?"

"Call. Me. Candy. Click."

(Fades to another mutter the microphone wasn't meant to pick up.)
"Pull me off this one."
Pause
"Why? I'll tell you why! She's that Changeling! The one The Network just fined a million UDs for hurting a relative! That whole family is ruthless and I've already paid my dues! I won't be hurt again. Not for what the Network pays."


The Bachelor Battles, Episode One

To The Death

"If you like the Running Man, reality shows, or survival TV, then you'll love the Bachelor Battles. There's never been a game quite like it." -The Review Shop

Who's ready to play?

$0.99 on Amazon.com

Available now

Looking for more? My blog is a good place to start.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. I try hard to answer each personally. Thank you and have a great night everyone.

Angela White
Teller of Stories




Check out Angela's other work:
The Survivors (Life After War) Book 1 (look for a review shortly)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kindle emergency

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let everyone know that the screen on my Kindle stopped functioning yesterday.  Amazon is shipping me another one, but I will be without one for about a week.  This is just going to throw a small wrench in the reading since I still have the iPad and iPhone to read on.  I was able to back up the contents on the Kindle as well so I shouldn't have any problems with lost stories.  Sorry everyone for the delay.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Trouble with Spells by Lacey Weatherford review

This book is taking part in the Menage a Blog blog tour

The Trouble With Spells
3.5 stars

The Trouble With Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks) by Lacey Weatherford is the story of Portia and Vance.  Portia seems to be a normal girl approaching her 16th birthday.  Vance is the unknown around school, he keeps to himself and the rumors about him are pretty wild.  He also seems to be the guy that most of the girls secretly dream of dating.  

On Portia's 16th birthday she learns that she is a witch.  She learns that her father and grandmother are both magically inclined as well.  Her biggest surprise is finding out that Vance is a member of the same coven that she will be joining.  They begin to become romantically involved and the relationship moves extremely quickly from an emotional standpoint, with them having a joining ceremony and promising marriage.  

The action of the story comes from Vance's family.  His father is an evil warlock who has been following Vance to corrupt him.  Living life on the run has made it difficult for Vance to get close to those around him as he has spent his life moving.  Finding his soulmate in Portia has made him want to stand up to his father so he no longer has to run.  

The story flowed pretty smoothly it was just a bit too much teenage romance for my taste.  At the end of the story the action really begins to pick up and I am interested in reading the second book in the series.  If you enjoy paranormal romance then this is a series you should check out for sure.  

Review written for the Menage a Blog blog tour.

Links to more work:

Leave a comment July 18-22 with your email and receive a free copy of the book from Lacey Weatherford.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More free books



Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The ProphecyToday Jeffrey Poole is continuing his Wednesday tradition of giving away 4 free copies of his book Bakkian Chronicles, Book I - The Prophecy in order to celebrate the upcoming release of his second book.  Leave a comment here on this post or on his blog at www.lentari.com to win.  First come first serve for prizes, but while you are stopping by his site sign up for a paperback copy of his book on his Goodreads giveaway.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tracking Shadows by Regan Black review

This book is taking part of the Menage a Blog blog tour.


Tracking Shadows
4 stars

Tracking Shadows by Regan Black is a story about Slick Micky the smuggler lord of Chicago's crime scene. Slick Mickey is not your normal criminal kingpin choosing to deal mainly in the lighter side of banned substances (sugar, caffeine, cigarettes, etc) he has a great setup for all of his mules. Unfortunately another local crime lord thinks they can do a better job being the smuggling king of Chicago and an assassin is hired to take him out. Starting with the murder of his partner and oldest friend puts Micky on the defensive and he begins a quest to find out who is trying to have him killed.

Trina Durham is one of the best assassins in the world. Taking the job to kill Micky was a pleasure for her as he killed her best friend in highschool. The chase that Trina is on to find Micky circles around as Micky tries to find her and who hired her.

Regan weaves her tale of suspense and intrigue around her characters very skillfully. The future that she creates has some wonderful advancements in technology and show the government getting more and more extreme in their restrictions of what they consider bad. This story will hold your interest from start to finish keeping you eager to turn the page. 

More links:

As a note anyone who leaves a comment with their email address on this post July 18-22 will get a free copy of this book brought to you by the IBC blog tour and Regan Black