Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tamed by Douglas Brown review

Werewolves are real.
And they make excellent pets.
Owning one of the legendary creatures is the latest fad. The WereHouse insists their werepets are loyal, docile, and 100% safe, but what happens when these gentle giants turn on their masters?
While on a routine EMS call, paramedic Christine Alt is attacked by a rogue werepet. She escapes with her life, but the encounter leaves her with more than just scars. As her body begins to change, she discovers the WereHouse is hiding a terrible secret, and they will stop at nothing to keep her from exposing them.
Tamed is a werewolf tale with a twist from the author of the The Light of Epertase trilogy.

5 stars
Tamed by Douglas R Brown tells the story of WereHouse, a business that deals in the sale of werewolves as pets.  Christine is a paramedic who has never trusted the creatures, but she has to deal with them on her calls.  After a call that goes terribly wrong the werepets start to act strangely towards Christine and she begins to notice some things changing about herself.  The story develops following Christine and her investigations into WereHouse.

Douglas has done a great job with this book.  Werewolf stories are pretty common in the day, but this is a new spin on the old favorite for sure.  Christine is a great character and the fact that she shares a similar job to Doug shows in the realism of the character.  The supporting characters work very well with the story as well.  There is another minor story arc following the experiences of a homeless man taken off the streets.  That look really helped to show off some things that would leave a lot of questions unanswered without it's presence.  Christine's paramedic partner adds a little bit of humor to the story with his smart comments as well.  This is an absolutely fantastic read from a fairly new author and if you haven't checked out his work it's worth the price for sure.  I was fortunate enough to get an early look at this book and it is one that I will be picking up the paperback for when it becomes available.  

Review copy provided by author.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guest post by Anastasia V. Pergakis author of Cleanse Fire

I'm so honored to be on Indie Book Blog today! Thank you so much Scott for inviting me. For those that don't know, the characters from my book Cleanse Fire, have their own blog. The blog posts are written in there voice, with their words. Fans can also email them and the characters reply.

In order to get to know each character on such a level where I could blog or respond to emails in their voices, I did a lot of  character building before I began writing. I asked them questions as if they were sitting next to me at my desk and I talk to them just like I would my friends. Yes, they talk back. (Should I be worried that I'll be locked up in the loony bin now?)

I have a detailed character worksheet that I fill out for each character. It includes details about what they look like, their birthday, age, etc. But it also goes into deep parts of their personality, their quirks, and mannerisms.

To fill out one of these sheets for a character, like I said, I sit down and simply start asking them questions. I fill in the blanks on the sheet and slowly a personality starts to come through. The initial sit down of course is just scratching the surface for me. But it does give me a starting point so I can begin writing the story.

As the story unfolds, more and more of the character's personality and little quirks come out. I make sure to add any new information to my worksheet so that I can keep everything in one place for future reference.

The best thing I do, to get to know my characters, is let them "out" for character chat with my crit partners. Their characters and my characters get together for a little party of sorts. It's a lot of fun! I really get to know my characters on a deep level during these chats because, they are out of their element. They are in a situation that won't ever really happen in their world or the stories. But I still use what I learn about them as people for the book. It does get pretty crazy with wizards, vampires, and elves all talking together, but it's really a lot of fun.

I also make detailed timelines of each characters life. When they were born, when they started school, and other important dates like graduation, marriage, etc. I have two columns, direct and indirect, events of their life. An example of a direct would be if they got married. And indirect would be if their friend's wife died - it affects them but not as much as if their own wife died. This provides a lot of information and funny stories to come out as I'm writing. In Cleanse Fire, for example, Derac and Tyn grew up together, so their timelines have a lot of coinciding events - and a lot of mischief that they joke
about in the story now that they are adults.

But overall really, the characters just talk to me. It's how my muse operates I suppose, presenting the characters in my stories as real people, at least real inside my head. My husband thinks I'm a little crazy as I will be thinking of a scene or talking with my characters about something in the book, and randomly laugh out loud because of something they said. But of course he doesn't get the joke!

My characters are very real to me and over the course of writing a book, they indeed become my friends. I hope it's the same for my readers!

If you want to see my characters and learn more about them, you can visit their website, http://kinirelite.com The "Team Log" is where they write their own blog posts. It's full of some funny stories and behind the scenes information about their lives. You can also send them an email at thekinirelite[at]gmail.com and the reply will be posted on the blog.


About Cleanse Fire

Cleanse Fire is a fantasy adventure novel, with edge-of-your-seat action. Epic battles, suspense, and a bit of romance too! Follow the Kinir Elite as they track down a traitor and find more than they bargained for.

Complete the mission, no matter what…
Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…
Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.

The past holds the key…
Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

Purchase Cleanse Fire
• for your Kindle at Amazon
• for your Nook at Barnes & Noble
• for your other E-Readers at Smashwords
• in paperback at Amazon
• in paperback at Barnes & Noble
• in hardback at Kinir Elite Website

Join the Kinir Brigade by signing up for our newsletter! Get exclusive deals, access to special giveaways, and inside information about the series! Join the Kinir Brigade now and receive the first five chapters in your email! And don't forget to visit our Facebook Page and Website too!

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to receive the great prizes below! You can get more chances to win by tweeting about this post, or posting it on facebook. On twitter make sure to use the hashtag #CleanseFire. Leave a comment on this post to tell me you've tweeted or posted about this with a link for me!

Prizes: A signed paperback copy of Cleanse fire, bookmarks, and a poster of the team signed by each member!

**All Winners will be announced on the Kinir Elite Website on February 1st**

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scourge of an Agnostic God by Michael Juge review

Washington DC Intelligence Analyst Chris Jung has gone fetal. Tormented by panic-fueled obsessive thoughts and buried in TPS reports, the walls of his cubicle are closing in. Fortunately for him, a mysterious series of EMPs plunges the industrialized world into darkness, saving Chris from himself and spurring him to head for the hills with his pregnant wife.

Along the way, Chris meets Rita Luevano, a jaded Unitarian reverend who leads a motley horde fleeing to Monticello. Together with the remnants of a Marine battalion, Chris and Rita help establish communities of urban refugees in the Shenandoah Valley. They and the other lucky few who have escaped civilization's collapse learn the lost arts of subsistence agriculture, blacksmithing and archery in order to adapt to a world devoid of technology and instant gratification. Faced with the specter of starvation and death, Chris and Rita must face their own demons and conjure the dormant will to live even while pop tunes and TV commercials still ring fresh in their ears and they no longer have Wikipedia to give them the answers.

Not everything from the old world has perished. One corporate entity, a black ops military security corporation, weathered the collapse and seeks hostile takeovers of what the burgeoning communities have scraped together. Thrust out of their suburban malaise and into a gritty struggle for survival, a tenacious spirit awakens in the haunted souls of Chris and Rita who find their authentic selves at the end of civilization.


5 stars

Scourge of an Agnostic God by Michael Juge is a refreshing twist on the post apocalyptic genre.  No zombie apocalypse, no nuclear winter.  The event causing the downfall is referred to as "The Shift."  Since there is no major war to destroy all the buildings the focus of the book is on how the people react when order breaks down.

I found most of the characters enjoyable though at the beginning I was a bit hesitant about Chris.  The book does have the gangs and lawlessness you would expect from a society that has absolutely no governing body and people who have access to firearms begin to take the power.  Several communities are formed that band together to help each other survive through difficult times ahead.

This is a series that I will continue to follow.

Review copy provided by the author.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New release by Lindsay Buroker

I know there are a couple of Lindsay Buroker fans that follow the blog so I just wanted to let you all know Assassin's Curse is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.  It's a short story with Sicarius and Amaranthe that should hold the fans (like me) over until the next full length release.


Also an update on the WHBGE all prizes should be out in the hands of the winners now or very soon in the case of print books in the mail.  Thanks to everyone for making it a huge success.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hatter by Daniel Coleman review

There’s nothing wrong with a touch of madness. – Cheshire Cat


In a kingdom that doesn’t need saving, a young man ignorant of social norms is the unlikeliest of heroes. And despite his extreme dislike of confrontation, Hatta knows his destiny is to mend a rift that doesn’t exist.


On the other end of the spectrum is Chism, a young Elite soldier who thrives on conflict. How will this rash, obsessive soldier aid the child-like Hatta in his journey?


Throw in the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and other familiar characters as they emerge to fill their eminent roles in the tangled ascent into madness of literature’s most lovable lunatic.

5 stars

Hatter by Daniel Coleman is the second book he has written based on Lewis Carroll's Alice books.  There is a little bit of character crossover with Jabberwocky (book 1), but Hatter is easily understood as a stand alone book.  


The book mainly follows Hatta and Chism two characters who are about as opposite as you can be.  Hatta reads the world around him by the colors he sees; Chism is totally color blind.  Hatta is an absent minded young man who loves to make friends; Chism is a very serious young man who is too focused on his duty for friends.  Hatta abhors confrontation and cannot stand even the thought of violence; Chism is a member of the Elite who is a master of combat and has no compunction about killing people who are in the wrong.  They only thing they have in common is a loyalty to their ideals that is absolute.  


If you are familiar with the Alice setting then you can easily guess that this story deals with the Mad Hatter.  There are also some old favorites such as the Queen of Hearts and the Chesire Cat involved in the story.  I actually enjoyed the origin story behind the Queen of Hearts very much.  I didn't really expect to like her very much, but in this tale it was easier to understand her.  


Once again Daniel shows a mastery of the characters in the world of Lewis Carroll.  I actually have never been a huge fan of the original stuff, but I look forward to reading whatever Daniel wants to write about it.  The characters are genuinely enjoyable and it was touching to watch Chism grow as a person through the story.  This book has driven the point home that Daniel Coleman is an author to keep an eye on and I will personally be reading whatever I can that he writes.


Review copy provided by author.


FYI Jabberwocky is free 1/16/12 as I am posting this link so get your copy today!  Also be sure to check out Daniel's blog to check out his waving at the bus picture series.  Every day after his kids get on the bus he has 5 minutes to put on some kind of costume before the bus comes back by and he waves at his kids.  There are some pretty epic costumes and a little down the page you can see a video montage.  It's worth the watch, Daniel you have some crazy ideas and some lucky kids!

Friday, January 13, 2012

WHBGE update

Hello everyone,

Hope your New Year is going well.  Just wanted to update people on the status of the prizes for the WHBGE.  All of the print books should be either in the mail or in the hands of the winners at this point.  I have also gotten about 150 of the ebooks randomed off and hope to finish up this weekend.  Everyone who requested ebooks will be getting at least one book so if you haven't heard anything yet don't worry you haven't been forgotten.  Also next week I'll be getting back to a bit more normal posting with trying to get at least 2 reviews up per week as well as having special guests and giveaways.  

Enjoy your weekends!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A-Z challenge 2012


The A-Z blogging challenge is right around the corner again and I plan on participating again this year.  Last year when I did it I had only been blogging for about 4 months, so I was very new to the whole experience.  Hopefully this year I can be a bit better of a participant and make it to more of the participating blogs.  

This year I would like to have a theme of guest bloggers.  The challenge works that you blog every day except for Sundays and each day progresses through the alphabet.  I'm hoping to have a guest for every letter of the month.  The challenge begins in April so there is a little bit of time to get a letter reserved if you are interested in having a spot during the challenge.  The letter "L" is already being held by Jeffrey Poole who will be talking about the world his fantasy takes place in, Lentari.  Please let me know if you are interested and what letter you would like.  I will be reservin them first come first serve.  

Click on the picture to get some more info if you would be interested in participating yourself.  It is a great way to network and build up some traffic.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free ebooks today only from Lee Moan and Red Tash

Lee Moan is offering a special deal of 3 of his books (2 novels, 1 short story collection) today on Amazon for free.  I have read Midnight Men (my review) and have to say Lee is a good author and this is not something to pass up on.    The free titles are:

WELCOME TO SCALASAY


For mystery writer Sam Thorne, moving to the island was supposed to be a fresh start—an idyllic refuge for his young family, and an escape from his past indiscretions. Things he wanted dead and buried.


But on Scalasay, the past has a way of catching up with you . . .


The horror which tore the island apart ten years earlier is returning. Ben Garrett, the convicted rapist and murderer, is coming back to the island to visit his dying mother. But no one could have foreseen the shocking turn of events which are about to unfold.


A storm is coming . . .
And on this terrifying night even the dead won't stay dead . . .


WELCOME TO LAZARUS ISLAND

VISIT THE AWESOME TEMPLE OF TOBRIOSUS
SOLVE THE GREAT MYSTERY OF THE VANISHED TOBRII RACE


For retired sleuth Barclay Heath, it was a mystery too great to resist. But as night falls on the deserted alien world, his fellow passengers begin to vanish one by one . . .


Heath must unravel an age-old mystery before time runs out, before he, too, suffers the same fate as the Tobrii . . .


The Barclay Heath Mysteries are set in a whimsical alternate-1920s, where humanity has ventured out into the stars but Twenties values and attitudes prevail. Barclay Heath is a gentleman detective enjoying semi-retirement from Earth’s Secret Service. Unfortunately for Heath, murder and subterfuge are never far away. As he travels the cosmos, he comes up against fiendish plots involving mysterious lost races, strange alien artefacts and, of course, a generous sprinkling of devious humans.

Men in black calling at your door on the stroke of midnight . . .


Three pieces of human flesh with the power to kill . . .


A devoted wife who just won't die . . .


A bag of bones that should never EVER be touched . . .


These are just some of the tales in this gripping collection, taking the reader from supernatural suburban terror to the far future where the fate of mankind rests in the hands of an innocent.




Red Tash is also featuring her book for free for a limited time.  


When an ancient monster (Greachin) identifies a quirky professor (Christine) as his latest threat, all Hell breaks loose in the urban forest of Indiana University's Dunn Woods. Will Christine piece together Greachin's destructive plan in time to save herself?


A fast-paced thrilling tale of karmic struggle and suspense, magical supernatural beings, physics & SciFi fantasy, you'll fall through the wormhole with Christine & friends to surreal Bloomington, Indiana, and face the brooding monster Greachin--if you dare.


Book one of a series, not intended for children. Now in paperback & ebook. Sequel coming in 2012.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Death Speaks by Tamara Rose Blodgett review

4 stars

Death Speaks is the second book in the Death Series by Tamara Rose Blodgett. The story continues to follow Caleb and his group of friends with their special powers. The group of friends (minus Jonesy) have moved on to the Paranormal Highschool and are getting some instruction on their various abilities. In Caleb's case however it is not really helping since he is only the second person to ever have level 5 AFTD (affinity for the dead). Carson and Brett are back to their old game of being being jerks with Jade and Caleb's relationship being a serious issue.


The story develops nicely in this sequel, building on the first book while still leaving some questions to be answered in the future. I really like how the kids are slowly learning how to use their powers and we are gradually shown what potential each one of them has. Caleb brings some new zombies into play in this and some of them are entertaining in their own way. This story also has a bit of a thriller/mystery aspect that is done very well. The true culprit is hidden until the shocking revelation of the true bad guy. I am fully invested in this series now and will be following it until the end for certain. I will also most likely be looking into other works by Tamara to see if her other stuff lives up to the standards set by this series.  The next book in the series Death Screams is slated for release next week.  That is big news for me and I will be looking to get my hands on a copy ASAP.


For more info check out her profile on Smashwords, her Amazon author profile, her blog, or follow her on Twitter.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Create or Die podcast

Today I am hosting Daniel Coleman (author of Hatter and Jabberwocky) as he delivers some information on the newest project he is involved in.

Brand new Create or Die podcast features an unusual partnership.

An easel painter and a fiction novelist team up to offer creative and practical advice for artists in any discipline who desire a career in The Arts

Wellsville, UT – January 1, 2012 – What do painting and writing have in common with photography, dance, sculpture, and musical composition? According to John Berry and Daniel Coleman, hosts of the Create or Die podcast: plenty.

“The creative process transcends individual disciplines,” says Daniel Coleman, a fiction novelist. “Creativity is reaching deep down inside and pulling out something unique that you are passionate about, then working to perfect it. Whether artists choose to express that through paint, music, film, clay, or words, we artists are closer kin than many of us realize.”

In reference to the title of the podcast, Easel Painter John Berry, a 20-year professional, says, “We chose the name because of the multiple meanings. First of all, an artist has to create in order to provide for themselves and earn a living. That’s elementary. But deeper than that, an artist never really dies as long as their work lives on. It truly is a form of immortality.”

In episode 1, John and Daniel tackle the subject of Getting Started. Other episodes span topics ranging from Obstacles to Creativity, Exposure, and The Earning Curve.

New episodes of Create or Die will available every Tuesday morning, with each episode running for approximately ten minutes. Create or Die can be downloaded on iTunes, or found at www.createordie.podbean.com or www.createordiepodcast.blogspot.com.

Listeners of the Create or Die podcast can email questions to createordiepodcast (at) gmail.com. John Berry’s art can be viewed online at www.moosejawstudio.com. You can learn more about Daniel Coleman’s books at www.dcolemanbooks.com.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 wrap-up

Since the year has officially ended I thought I would throw up a summary of my year.

According to my Goodreads tracking I read 158 books and 24390 pages.  135 reviews written on Amazon with 133 of them being about books and I'd say at least 95% of those being about indie published books.  I also started an Indie Book Club group on Goodreads that has reached 141 members.  We read 2 books per month and self nomination is welcome.  Stop by and check it out if you are interested.  It's great fun to discuss books with the authors and the more discussion the better.  Finishing up with 218 blog posts and 207 followers (GFC) here on this blog was a very busy year.  

On top of that my little girl went from an infant to a toddler, which makes it a lot harder to get anything done on the computer lol.















In 2012 I am hoping for 170 books read 150 more reviews written probably around another 200 blog posts and I would love to meet some more great people.  

BTW if you entered the WHBGE I am sorting all the entries to get the winners chosen by random.org and hopefully I will have emails going out to the authors by the end of the week.