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Please check out my general fiction blog Pick of the Literate  or    Money Saving Tech Tips blog
or visit my web site to see the children's books which I have authored.

Monday, October 31, 2011


All Treat and No Tricks

Click for More Treats
Click on this link to read about Lory Kaufman’s wonderful YA World of History Camp series.  Fill out the simple form and hope your get the treat of a free copy of the first book of his series (obviously the best place to start)
The Lens And The Looker!

Blog Adventure has many more treats available, Click to see! 
Happy Halloween!!  May all your tricks be treats!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Interview with The Darkness author, Crystal Connor


1.) Why did you write this book?  What initiated this particular burst of creativity?
I'm not sure I would call it a burst, its more like a slow steady burn. The Darkness started out as a short story that I kept going back to until eventfully it grew up to be not only a whole book, but the 1st book in a trilogy.

2.) Do you have a favorite character in the book and if so why? 
Wow, no one has asked me that question and its a good one! I really like all the characters in the book even the extra's.  
The only time that I ever had an issue with a character I've created was with a shorty story featured in the anthology called Strange Tales of Horror put out by NorGus Press called The Monster. The lead in that story really made me angry because she did all the wrong things and it cost her in the end. 

3.) What do you like the most about writing?
I write fiction so for the most part I just get to make stuff up so I just have a blast in creating insane situations, strong power women and mega villains. I always cheer for the bad guy so creating villains of my own is pretty awesome!

4.)Where do your new story ideas come from?
Everywhere. It could be just a part of a overheard conversation, or something I read in a book or the things that are said to me. The more I write the more inspiration I get.   

5.) What advice has helped the most in your writing?
That's an awesome question because so many people have so much to say and not all of it is nice, I think the best advice I've got was to 'just write' because there is no right or wrong way to tell a story

6.) This seems to be your first book, do you have something new in the works/is this the first book of a series?
Yes, The Darkness is book one in the Spectrum Trilogy, book 2 is in the reworking phase now and should be on the market in Dec, and I am currently working on two short stories that will go in my anthology "...And They All Lived Happily Ever After."

9.) Who is your favorite author and why?
No Answer

8.) What advice would you give for the want to be writer?
My advice would be  you need to learn the difference between constructive criticism and when someone is just being mean, and to know when the constructive criticism is not useful to your story. You're not going to be able to please everyone and you shouldn't even try. Just have fun and write a really good story.

Thank you for the interview!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fezariu’s Epiphany by David M. Brown

This is a tale of sadness, sacrifice and misunderstanding.


Fezariu bases his life on incorrect assumptions.  His misery and withdrawn behavior may be a metaphor for life’s misunderstandings.   I found myself wanting to point in the direction of his redemption.   He and his 3 Merelax Mercenaries’ companions discover truths about themselves as the fulfill the duties and obligations thrust upon them.

The settings of a declining metropolis, a prominent brothel, demoralizing battlefields and a loving warm bakery are crafted and described well.  The only complaint I had with the book was the letters that Fezariu sent to Alycea taxed my 20/20 corrected vision to the limits.  I found the font size and the script made the letters very difficult to read.

Jessamine is the saddest character in the book and her self sacrificing behavior is as misguided as it is laudable.   You can almost smell the filth and corruption that permeates Clarendon, a true cesspool of a city.   This is a story of how a boy grows into being a man and accepting his faults and redeeming his failures. 

I recommend it.

Body of work of David M. Brown



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock



Angelkiller introduces Jonah Mason, the oldest, and most experienced of the Angelkillers, an elite force in the Army of Light.  They are fighting an ancient war, one in which the Darkness achieved a great triumph long ago that has had profound influence on the fabric of life as we know it.  It is the simple answer as to why bad things happen to good people. The great battle may have been lost, but the war continues in a modern age, pitting Jonah against the Enemy in a way even he had never faced.  A provocative mixture of the supernatural and technological, Angelkiller is a very special, thought-provoking tale, one that shines forth in the upper realms of urban fantasy literature.

Based out of the Memphis area, H. David Blalock has an impressive writing career of 35 years and counting that has achieved numerous publishing credits in print and online mediums.  He is most known for his fantasy novel Ascendant (Sam's Dot Publishing), which was the basis for a twenty minute short film produced in 2010 that featured former WWE wrestler Al Snow.  The sequel to Ascendant, Emperor (Sam's Dot Publishing), was released in March of 2011.  David is also the founder of Imagicopter, an author-driven organization that creates an array of event opportunities for small press authors and artists, while also publishing the highly-regarded Imagyro magazine.

The limited edition hardcover and special softcover collectors packages include an assortment of collectible extras, such as a 14X20 art poster, bookmarks, a set of glossy art cards, an Angelkiller magnet, and a pair of Angelkiller buttons.  They are scheduled to be shipped the first week of December, when the trade paperback will be made available everywhere, along with several eBook formats, including the Kindle, iPad, Nook, and Sony eReaders and other electronic reading devices.

Angelkiller was edited by Amanda DeBord.  Book 2, Traitor Angel, and Book 3, Doom Angel, will be released over the course of 2012 and early 2013.

Those wanting to reserve one of the 75 limited edition hardcovers, or pre-order a softcover collectors package, should visit Seventh Star Press' online store at http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/books.html

Updates and additional information can be obtained at the official site for Seventh Star Press, at www.seventhstarpress.com , or at the author's site at www.thrankeep.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Winner of Laura Anne Gilman’s The Shattered Vine


 Good Morning All,

Jennifer of Washington you have won this week’s copy of Laura Anne Gilman’s The Shattered Vine.

You will be getting your book directly from the publisher.

The rest of you thank you for entering.
Keep reading my blog, there will be more giveaways and hopefully interesting reviews.

Thank you for reading and Congratulations Jennifer!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Resonance by A.J. Scudiere


This is a  book that delves into the medical and social issues surrounding the reverse of the earth’s magnetic polarity.

This could be described as a medical mystery or science fiction.  It incorporates facets of both genres.   The two main characters, Jordon and Jillian are mismatched lovers in the making.  Lots of sexual tension surrounds their relationship while both remain oblivious to the obvious.   They are CDC doctors tasked with discovering why some very strange deaths are occurring.

Their interaction with a self centered geologist, a biologist and some wranglers provide a wide variety of character interaction.   This was an intriguing mystery which did become a tad confusing in some places.  I suspect if you like Robin Cook or Michael Crichton, you will like this book.

I recommend the book.  

Body of work of A.J. Scudiere



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Winner of Chris Evan's Iron Elves Trilogy is Katrina from Virginia

Katrina from VA!
Congratulations

This is a super GiveAway of Chris Evan’s Iron Elves Trilogy
One paperback of book 1, A Darkness Forged in Fire,
One paperback of book 2, The Light of Burning Shadows.
One hardback of book 3, Ashes of a Black Frost
October 17th to October 23, 2011



Go here to read my reviews:
Book 2, The Light of Burning Shadows

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Evans is the author of Ashes of a Black Frost, A Darkness Forged in Fire and The Light of Burning Shadows in the Iron Elves series. He is a historian as well as an editor of military history and current affairs, including the highly successful Stackpole Military History series. Born in Canada, he now lives in New York City. He welcomes visitors to his website at www.ironelves.com.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Darkness by Crystal Connor


A science experiment interacts with the occult with bizarre consequences.

Adam is the child turned young man upon which this story revolves.   Adam’s welfare and abilities challenge both science and witchcraft represented by his conflicted mothers.  

Amoral behavior is characteristic of practically all the participants in this adventure.  Any altruistic actions seems to morph into self serving indulgence.  I found no likeable characters in the book.  Intriguing, mystifying, overblown, satanic and selfish behavior is in abundance but likeable not so much.   The book has an interesting and challenging premise with a satisfyingly intricate plot.

I was not overly thrilled with the cover and I think a more captivating cover would increase interest in the book.   Twilight Zone fans will love this book. 

I recommend it.

Body of work of Crystal Connor

Web site:  none found



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hammer of Thor by S. Evan Townsend

This book is an interesting alternative history of 1930’s to 1950’s leaved with magic users.  


Joe Kader, not his real name as real names are prone to misuse, is an adept.  He has control over various powers and those powers are enhanced by talismans.  He is arrogant and thoughtless about lesser, those who have no magical abilities.   Adepts seem to be above mundane law and among themselves might makes right.  I enjoyed the way Townsend developed the character of Kader.  He showed a progression in the character that was enjoyable to read.  

The book covers a lot of ground and every bit is enjoyable.  The characters are interesting and don’t smack of comic book origins.   The mix of magic and technology was well done. The potential for a Jim Butcher type series is obvious.  

A little more polish and I think Townsend will be a major force in this type of book.     

I recommend the book.  

Body of work of S. Evan Townsend



Monday, October 17, 2011

Iron Elves Trilogy GiveAway To Celebrate Ashes Of a Black Frost Publication

This is a super GiveAway of Chris Evan’s Iron Elves Trilogy
One paperback of book 1, A Darkness Forged in Fire,
One paperback of book 2, The Light of Burning Shadows.
One hardback of book 3, Ashes of a Black Frost
October 17th to October 23, 2011



Go here to read my reviews:
Book 2, The Light of Burning Shadows

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Evans is the author of Ashes of a Black Frost, A Darkness Forged in Fire and The Light of Burning Shadows in the Iron Elves series. He is a historian as well as an editor of military history and current affairs, including the highly successful Stackpole Military History series. Born in Canada, he now lives in New York City. He welcomes visitors to his website at www.ironelves.com.

Enter here and gain more entries by reading each review and entering on the form on the review post. 

Day By Day Armageddon Origin to Exile


First I love omnibuses.  Not the big red ones in London, the book type compilation of a series or combination of some stand alones.  I like them because the save me money and I love them because they often include an entire series and I am one of those freaks of nature that hate starting a series until I own the whole thing.  

This is an omnibus containing the original book, Day by Day Armageddon and the follow up, Day by Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile.

These are Zombie genre books.  They are presented as hand written entries in a journal of a survivor.   The links go to my original reviews. 

This book contains a short but again disturbing Zombie tale of twin survivors.  

Look for the omnibus it will save you money and perhaps hook you on the Zombie genre.  

Winner of Laura Anne Gilman’s Weight of Stone


 Good Morning All,

Jacque of Illinois you have won this week’s copy of Laura Anne Gilman’s Weight of Stone.

You will be getting your book directly from the publisher.

The rest of you getting this email, thank you for entering. You are automatically entered into the contest for the third and final book if you have not won yet.
Keep reading my blog, there will be more giveaways and hopefully interesting reviews.

Thank you for reading and Congratulations Jacque!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guardians in magic by Richard Blunt

This is obviously a first book in the series for young adults. Lucas Trent is a young man with a circle of friends. He and those friends discover they have magical abilities and with those abilities, serious responsibilities.

I like the character development that was done on the book. You get a good feel for who the people are and what their wants and desires are. The exhibit a lot naivety but that is certainly age-appropriate. The mysterious Angel gives an aura of illusion. The plot is not earthshaking but it does establish a good foundation for future stories.

Lucas is likable as the main protagonist and he exhibits what I would consider normal teenage behavior. Equally the team's willingness to tackle tasks that perhaps they shouldn't also is indicative of what I would consider normal teenage behavior. Overall while the book is not stellar is definitely worth reading and I do recommend. I also look forward to the sequel.

Body of work: Richard Blunt

website:  http://www.lucastrent.com/
BTW: This is the first review I've done using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. So far so good but it was probably slower than typing it. I have much work to do on learning this new software package. Rest assured I will be doing a review of it for all of the rest of you blossoming authors out there.

cut
Guardians in magic by Richard Blunt

This is obviously a first book in the series for young adults. Lucas Trent is a young man with a circle of friends. He and those friends discover they have magical abilities and with those abilities, serious responsibilities.

I like the character development that was done on the book. You get a good feel for who the people are and what their wants and desires are. The exhibit a lot naivety but that is certainly age-appropriate. The mysterious Angel gives an aura of illusion. The plot is not earthshaking but it does establish a good foundation for future stories.

Lucas is likable as the main protagonist and he exhibits what I would consider normal teenage behavior. Equally the team's willingness to tackle tasks that perhaps they shouldn't also is indicative of what I would consider normal teenage behavior. Overall while the book is not stellar is definitely worth reading and I do recommend. I also look forward to the sequel.

Body of work: Richard Blunt

website:  http://www.lucastrent.com/
BTW: This is the first review I've done using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. So far so good but it was probably slower than typing it. I have much work to do on learning this new software package. Rest assured I will be doing a review of it for all of the rest of you blossoming authors out there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Wizard and The Floating City by Christopher Rowley

This book is set in the same world as Bazil Broketail.  Bazil Broketail is the famous fighting dragon featured in an entire rollicking series.   This book features a disposed Prince and his reluctant lover’s battle against despicable evil. 

First I really enjoyed Christopher Rowley’s Bazil series.   I did not think met the bar he established with that work.   The book was entertaining but it wasn’t nearly as captivating as Bazil.   Prince Evander and Princess Serena were not loveable characters, likeable but not loveable.   The realm was richly populated with all manner of interesting peoples and critters.   There was reference to Bazil and his ilk.

The evil protagonists were thoroughly evil with strange chinks in their power.   There was a good segue into intolerance and acceptance of change in the Neild and Eleem relationship.   The carpet’s personality was puzzling.   Overall it was a quick and amusing read but do not look at it as a primo example of Rowley’s work.   If you enjoy this book a little, you should really enjoy the Bazil Broketail series.

I recommend the book.


Body of work of Christopher Rowley




Monday, October 10, 2011

Congratulation to Cameron of Pine Valley CA on Winning Flesh & Fire Book #1 In the Vineart War

Congratulations to Cameron of Pine Valley CA

To the rest of you who were so kind to enter, I’m sorry you did not win a copy of the book this time.
My form puts your name into a spreadsheet.  I take the number of your spreadsheet line and input all the numbers in a random number generator and it picks one number.
I do not delete your name so you will have 4 more chances to win.
If you come back and fill out the form again, it will give you another chance.
Thank you for reading my blog and check back often I have two other giveaways in October.  The Lens and the Looker on Dwarf and Nettie Parker’s Backyard on Pick of the Literate.
Thank you again for reading and if you are into kids books, please check out my books at my website and Amazon, they have gotten good reviews.
Have a wonderful week!

Bill

Winner of the 2nd GiveAway of Lory Kaufman's The Lens and the Looker is Carol from South Africa


Congratulations to Carol of South Africa

To the rest of you who were so kind to enter, I’m sorry you did not win a copy of the book this time.
My form puts your name into a spreadsheet.  I take the number of your spreadsheet line and input all the numbers in a random number generator and it picks one number.
I do not delete your name so you will have 4 more chances to win.
If you come back and fill out the form again, it will give you another chance.
Thank you for reading my blog and check back often I have two other giveaways in October.  The Vineart War on Dwarf and Nettie Parker’s Backyard on Pick of the Literate.
Thank you again for reading and if you are into kids books, please check out my books at my website and Amazon, they have gotten good reviews.
Have a wonderful week!

Bill

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This is the third installment of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.

This is the third installment of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.
The Lens and the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone.   In addition I have interviewed Lory.   I enjoyed his books and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he is making history palatable to young people.   Lory and I have emailed back and forth and he has been kind enough to allow me to “plumb the depths” of how he created his World of History Camp.    Please note that I have no financial relationship with Lory, nor do I reap any benefits from posting his back story.   I am making these posts because as a reader and an author I find the novel building process interesting and informative and I hope you will too.   Plus you have the opportunity to garner a FREE book.  (more on that later)


Population Explained:  300,000,000 is a huge number but is it?

So, why 300,000,000 was chosen as a sustainable population:
     As I started to mention earlier, in my back story, I envisioned a planetary council of elders determining a target number of humans that could be sustained by the ecosystem of the planet for an indefinite amount of millennium. I had them choose 300,000,000. I saw this happened in the last years of the 21st-century and they choose as a target deadline for reaching it, the early 24th-century. They impose a one child per couple law, among other things.
     The impetus for the drastic lowering were the many cataclysmic events in the latter half of the 21st-century; the rising of the oceans, droughts that starved millions, bacterial infections that wiped out billions and wars that cause Diasporas of whole populations. Refugees, like a diseased horde of locusts, limped from continent to continent, consuming, killing and dying. Wow, this short description outlines scores of great dystopian books that have been written since the middle of the twentieth-century, after the first atomic bombs were dropped and it was realized by many visionary writers that, finally, humans really did have the ability to really destroy the planet. Dystopian literature was born!
     However, at the end of my imaginary 21st-century, (and with me being an eternal optimist) I have humans starting to rebuild the world successfully. And luckily, this time, humans have retained enough knowledge and wisdom to not repeat the mistakes of the past; not to burn our library of Alexandria, fall into religious fundamentalism or create a fascist state. Finally, in the scenario of the History Camp world, humans rise from the ashes more or less, as one group. Why that was able to happen is described under several of the headings that follow, but let me mention a few of the fundamental truths that became burned into the brains of all humans.
  1. It was recognized that for humans to survive, we must allow other species to survive. It became a common currency of thought that there is a complex underpinning to nature, a balanced, complex web of life, where we support and sustain each other. For these millions of other species to survive, we must share planetary resources. To share planetary resources, our numbers must be lower.
  2. The concept was accepted that humankind had outstripped its biology, that is, nature could no longer keep human’s numbers in check. For millions of years, before agriculture and medicine, a certain reproduction rate was needed to keep a stable population of the estimated 1,000,000 homo sapiens on the planet. After the invention of agriculture, and because of our unique human unique brain, infant mortality rate steadily decreased and the average human lifespan increased. The inevitable outcome, population growth. With this in mind, it was decided in the late 21st-century, that, since nature could no longer control population size, it was our responsibility to do it ourselves. 
  3. Besides agriculture and medicine, it was recognized that every invention humans created allowed its population to grow. Another accepted concept about inventions was that, during history, societal systems were always being tweaked to allow fewer and fewer people to control larger masses of industry and population. Some logical, future thinker then determined the following; the whole of human society must turn this reality on its head. Human kind must also burn into the front of its consciousness that the purpose of inventions must be to allow populations to remain small while helping to keep the individual’s quality of life high. This would not only allow the demands our biological selves made on the planet to remain small, but also allow us to expand the ability to express ourselves creatively or to just live our lives in peace.
     None of these ideas are expressed explicitly in the narrative of my story. After all, this is supposed to be an exciting action story. However, all these machinations is what a writer has to do when world building a credible future society.

Now we have an idea of what defined the population of The World of History Camp but what defined that specific number of 300,000,000? Read next month's installment to find out.  

Don't forget there will be a giveaway for each and every post.  That’s a FREE book for each section of Lory Kaufman’s back story.   Did I mention it is a FREE book?
How do you qualify for a FREE book?
Fine Print

Simply read the post and fill out the form below.   Each entry will be assigned a number and those numbers will be input into a random number generator to choose the winner.  I will email the winner.  The winner’s address will be sent to Lory Kaufman who will be sending out the autographed books.   If you have a specific name or nickname you wish the autograph to mention, please submit it with the form.   Each winner will be announced at the posting of the next segment of Lory Kaufman’s back story.   No purchases necessary and your email address will not be given to anyone else.
The next post will be November 9th when the winner of this month's book will be announced. .   As an additional incentive for those of you who are actually reading the entire post, if you comment on any of my blog posts throughout the month I will input an additional entry to the contest, please note in your comment your desire for the book.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Spectres by Nate Kenyon


A titanic clash of psionic powers as Ghost meet Spectres in this action packed story based on the StarCraft science-fiction real-time strategy game. 


Nova Terra is a complex character who is beginning to question her allegiance to an empire of questionable value.  Her own personal standards of loyalty conflict with her emotional turmoil and intellectual prowess.   Combine this personal angst with enough action to satisfy the most demanding reader and you have a book that is sure to be a success.  

This book is not just for StarCraft fans.   I did play StarCraft and perhaps that impacted my perception of the book but I feel you can read and enjoy this book as a stand alone.  You need not to have played or even heard of StarCraft to enjoy the book.

I recommend it. 

Body of work of Nate Kenyon




Sunday, October 2, 2011

Winner of the First GiveAway of Lory Kaufman's The Lens and the Looker is Meredith from Tampa,Fld

Congratulations to Meredith from Tampa,FL on winning the first copy of  Lory Kaufman's The Lens and the Looker!

Keep coming back to see if you can win!

There will be 5 more copies of Lory's book to be given away!

Also check out the giveaway of the Vineart War Trilogy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Warriors of the Edge by Katie Bridges

Reality and fantasy intermingle in the “Warriors of the Edge” game.   Tarek Ortzen discovers things about himself, his family and the worlds he lives in by playing the game. 

Ms. Bridges has adroitly extrapolated the future from the current level  of interest and capabilities of modern role playing or immersive games.   My grandson has intimate knowledge of WWII weapons, tactics and battles from playing his favorite game.   Ms. Bridges future is merely a step or two beyond current technology.    The difference is the blurring between gaming and realty.   There is some concern by sensationalists that current gaming is desensitizing kids to violence and promoting bad behavior.   Having observed a large pool of both young and older teens gaming at a local cyber-café over several years, as a former school counselor, I would have to disagree with the sensationalists.   The gaming is often cathartic for some of these kids.   The camaraderie developed during game play often carries over to “normal” behavior and provides a socialization experience for the participants.    Ms. Bridges shows the development of friendship and group integration in her books plot.

The premise is unique and thought provoking.   Multiple populations simultaneously occupying the same physical planet but skewed out of time so no physical interaction occurs is certainly thought provoking.  There may be others besides the known humans who are utilizing the same Tone technology and competing for the same dimensions.

There are some disturbing things like “mute” that certainly are draconian and frightening.   This is leavened with the friendship and growth of the characters.  There are times where it becomes a tad confusing but preserver, it is worth it.   As I understand it, this is the first book by Katie Bridges and one can hope there will be subsequent sequels.  

I recommend it.

Body of work of Katie Bridges

Web Site: http://warriorsoftheedge.com/