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Many of the books I review were FREE in exchange for an honest review. I do not get paid to review them. Spotlights are promotional and should be regarded as ADs. They are promoting books but I do NOT get any money or goods for posting Spotlights.




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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/30/13


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Coming Soon The End Was Not The End: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales












In regards to the theme of The End Was Not the End: Post Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales:

Heroes prevail… usually.

You sit close to a campfire, depending on its faint, flickering light to ward off the darkness. Yet the fire cannot hold back dark memories, thoughts of your fallen kingdom, of monsters across the land, of magic gone awry. Around fires like yours are seated other travelers, refugees from catastrophes none dare mention. Kings and queens huddle shoulder to shoulder with peasants, wizards share scraps with slaves, and each wishes only to be saved. Some will be lucky, for heroes yet remain in their lands. For others, hope was not among the provisions stuffed into a pack when fleeing home.

Eventually the silence of the night grows too heavy, and someone speaks. They tell a tale of loss, of foolish pride and tragic mistake. With bravery stoked by company, others speak up, each sharing their own sorrows.  Before long, there are enough tales to fill a volume. The conversations continue through the night, and by the time dawn has filtered through the gnarled tree limbs, journeys must continue, and one by one, the strangers trudge away. Their worlds may have ended, but they have survived another night. They will continue on, seeking to rebuild upon the ruins of great dreams. Their stories linger upon the air, drifting into time like the smoke from their extinguished fires, fed only by faint embers.

This book contains eleven stories set in worlds where an apocalypse has already come, but the characters you’ll read about aren’t quite ready for the end.

The authors and stories featured in The End Was Not the End: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales include:

Deedee Davies - "The Halls of War"
Desmond Reddick - "Blood and Fire"
Scott Sandridge - "Make Way for Utopia"
Jay Wilburn - "Twenty Year Plan"
Mandi M. Lynch - "Nightmares and Dragonscapes"
Magda Knight -  "The Stone-Sword"
William Ransom - "In the Hills Beyond Twilight"
Steven S. Long - "Blade of Fire"
Bill Blume - "Waist Deep"
Darra L. Hofman - "Ben"
Nathen Gallagher - "Story's End"

The End Was Not the End: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales will be released in the first week of April in Trade Paperback and eBook formats. For further information and updates on The End Was Not the End: Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Tales, please visit the Seventh Star Press site at www.seventhstarpress.com


Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
ccjames (at) seventhstarpress.com
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V. S. Redick



This is a fantasy on a grand scale.  This book is the first of the trilogy.  It could be read as a stand alone but I have all three and look forward to reading the next two.  The bulk of the action takes place on the CHATHRAND, the largest ship on the seas and the last of an ancient class whose creation is lost in the sands of time and antiquity.   The story is one of empire building, treachery and loyalty.

The Chathrand is a great setting for the story.   Redick populates the ship with a Noah’s Ark complement of strange and interesting beasties.  The protagonist is Pazel with Thasha as a close second.  Pazel is gifted with tongues due to a spell laid on him by his mother.   He may or may not be an orphan but he feels like one.  Thasha lives a life of restricted privilege.   They are a classic princess and pauper potential love story which does not happen in this book.   

There is a wealth of action and an enormous cast of characters.   The characters are multidimensional.  Redick did not take the simplistic route of clear cut good and evil, he populates his book with many more than 50 shades of gray.   The plot is intricate but not confusing.   Machiavellian is a good description.  

I recommend the book.
 
 Web Site:  http://www.robertvsredick.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/26/13

Good Art GREAT Book
Source: google.com via Deana on Pinterest



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe




This is another excellent Eddie LaCrosse novel.  Eddie is a sword jockey or fantasy appropriate private eye type of hero except no cars and no guns.  Eddie is forced to face love threatened, pre-conceived notions shattered and religious fanaticism in this novel.

Alex Bledsoe has crafted Eddie LaCrosse as a foible filled human.   He has idiosyncrasies, aches and pains just like many of us.   He is like an aging athlete his skill set has improved dramatically but his body is declining.

Eddie is forced to face some more personal demons in this book.  In addition he has to come to terms with whether he is capable of love or not. 

Alex does not pull punches, some characters don’t survive and some who you think Eddie should put down, do survive.   Overall a well crafted story.

BTW Alex Bledsoe recently suffered a heart attack and says he is well on the way to recovery.   If you are so inclined, it wouldn’t hurt to go to his web site or facebook page and give him your good wishes.

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of <a type="amzn"> Alex Bledsoe </a>

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/22/13

Masters of the Genre!
Source: squidoo.com via Angela on Pinterest


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Firebug by Daniel Berenson



This is a tough story to read, particularly if you have empathy for kids.  Two boys learn a great deal about fire and it’s dangers. 

This book deals with bi-lateral support, perhaps characterized by the blind leading the blind scenario.   This is a tale of two boys who discover themselves by paying for the consequences of their behavior.
Curtis and Bobby are not cut from the same cloth.  They look at life differently and have vastly different skill sets.   Life throws them together and the ensuing story is heart wrenching and heart warming at the same time. 

A pre-occupation with fire can result from may things.   Some of those ways are the same reasons that kids get into drugs, alcohol or other aberrant behaviors.  Kids who are mistreated by family and peers, kids who feel alienated and alone can easily get into areas that can negatively impact their entire lives. 

Daniel Berensen is able to portray scenarios that smack of realism.  Kids can be cruel and they can be amazingly accepting.  In my opinion, the adults kids are exposed to have an enormous impact on whether they behave with compassion or cruelty.   Daniel shows how two boys can change each other’s lives.

 In addition to a very positive cautionary tale, Daniel is donating 20% of the net profits from the book sales of FIREBUG to organizations that care for burn survivors, including the Shriners Hospitals and the Jaycees. 
Daniel Berensen is one of those rare individuals who puts his money where his mouth is, kudos Daniel!

I enjoyed it even as it made me cringe.  

I recommend the book. 


Web Site: http://freakydudebooks.com/book_previews/firebug/firebug_sample.html

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/18/13


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dog Passing Through by Andre Cruz



 A little girl loses both parents and fights back with her mother’s art. 

This is a short story.  The mode is hopeful and sad.    Rebecca loses her Mom which is sad.  She fights back when she loses her Dad.  

The story is compelling and touching.  Magic is fleeting and the human character is flawed in this story.  How magic can force emotional healing is a critical aspect to the story. 

Of course the dog will grab the animal lovers as it should.

I enjoyed it.  

I recommend the story.

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/14/13


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise


A blind man, a witch and a changeling walk into a bar…..   So many endings but none as intriguing as Nassise’s story.  Jeremiah Hunt is blind to the mundane world due to a pact he made with a mysterious entity called the Preacher.   He and his companions, a witch and a changeling are arcanely summoned to New Orleans to stop a plague.


Nassise does a nice job crafting characters that you care about.   His characters are flawed and quite human for the most.  Jeremiah finds himself questioning his own character and his mores in this book.   The prequel to this book, Eyes to See, will give you Jeremiah’s back story.  

Denise and Dmitri are important characters but we don’t get a lot on their background.  If recollection serves me they were provided with a better back story in Eyes to See.

There is plenty of action in this book.  Most of the action is of the arcane nature but some is brought by an obsessed FBI agent.

I like the plots and the intricate nature of the stories from Nassise. 

I recommend the book. 

Web Site: http://josephnassise.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/10/13



Check out her Demon Child Trilogy Too. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Loved and The Lost by Lory S. Kaufman


This book is the culmination of the Verona Trilogy.   I suspect we will see more adventures featuring History Camp.  Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, The trio of pending juvenile delinquents are back and more mature.   This book summarizes their attempts to remedy the past from their previous mistakes in history. 

The more mature characters are a result of the stresses on their lives generated by the previous adventures.  The political aspects of time travel are given a cursorily look in this book as well. This book was truly a wrap up book and I would recommend reading The Lens and the Looker and The Bronze and the Brimstone prior to reading this book.  The background will enhance your enjoyment and is well worth it. 

Once again, Mr. Kaufman’s has hit the mark.   This book is very entertaining and captivating while showing the gritty realities of previous centuries.   This is possibly a very sneaky way of introducing real history.  Having taught history I always was dismayed how difficult it was to get kids excited about it.   Mr. Kaufman is providing a dose of history disguised as just fun reading. 

I highly recommend the book. 

Web Site: http://www.history-camp.com/



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/6/13


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spellwright by Blake Charlton

 

It is always refreshing to see a new take on fantasy.   This book focuses on the magic ability to use proper sentence structure to alter reality.   The protagonist is effectively dyslexic and suffers in a culture that demands perfection in the interests of safety. 

One of the more telling aspects of the story is that the author is dyslexic.   He has used his familiarity with the condition to craft a unique tale.  I Nicodemus Weal is portrayed as having enormous potential made unreachable due to his tendency to mis-spell spells.   His spells often go awry sometimes with dramatic consequences. 

The characters are fleshed out with suitable color and foibles.   The scene is beautifully crafted to the point where you can see the spires touch the sky.   

I really enjoyed the premise, it reminded me somewhat of  computer code writing and the ill that can occur with a single misspelled line.  

I recommend the book. 

Web Site: http://www.blakecharlton.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fantasy Art 3/2/13



This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.