Required Reading

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Killing Rites by M.L.N. Hanover

This is book four of the Black Sun’s Daughter series. It reads well as a stand alone but I suspect, like me, you are going to find the previous books to read because you enjoy this one. Jayne Heller faces her internal demon and comes to terms with herself and her men in a tale fraught with emotional and physical peril.

This is an urban fantasy of the demonic bent. It portrays Jayne Heller ridden by her desires, fears and possibly more. A cabal of priests plays a huge part in Jayne’s personal redemption. The story is a continuation so you are a bit clueless as to some of the relationships referred to in the book. I think a little back story would allow the book to be more enjoyable particularly if you aren’t motivated to go buy the rest of the series. I will be reading them all.

There is plenty of interpersonal relationships, action and drama to satisfy the most discerning reader of this genre. My thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing the series to read, I am enjoying it.

Prior to reading the book, I was unaware that M.L. N. Hanover and Daniel Abraham were one and the same. I enjoyed his book Dragon’s Path.
I recommend it.

Body of work of M.L.N. Hanover

Web Site:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Win a copy of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans

Starting December 3rd

Win a copy of Antiquitas Lost: The Last of the Shamalans a rollicking fantasy. Authored by Robert Louis Smith M.D., MSc by entering at Azure Dwarf on December 3rd or on the Interview with the Author that will be posted at Azure Dwarf on December 6th. The Contest runs from Dec. 3 to Dec. 10 and shipping has been restricted to the U.S. or Canada.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Endurance by Jay Lake

This is one of those butt kicking female protagonist stories I enjoy so much. Green is a god ridden sell sword seemingly bent on self destruction.
This book stood alone quite well. I do want to read Green now though, the precursor to this book. This was an excellent action adventure fantasy with a terrific understory. Green is hell bent on stopping child slavery and the abuse of women.
She finds her self immersed in god activities and her complete distain for any kind of humble attitude is fun to read. Kicking butt and taking names is her normal game plan. The characters were very colorful and varied. The scene set by Copper Downs was extremely well crafted. You could almost smell the sewers and the cinnamon.

I have not read a Jay Lake book before but I will be now.

I highly recommend it.
Body of work of Jay Lake
Web Site:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Sun's Daughter Contest Winner

Congratulations to
Mary of East Stroudsburg, PA

Is the Winner of the full set of this

M.L.N. Hanover’s Black Sun’s Daughter Series GIVEAWAY!

Her first three books with her 4th book Killing Rites that debuts November 29th. The Winner gets Vicious Grace, Unclean Spirits, Darker Angels and Killing Rites the week of it’s debut.

Thank you to all of you who participated! Check in next week for my next giveaway.(Hint it is a fantasy this time.) Thanks to for use of their random number generator.

The Paranormal Turkey Tour

Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Nothing says the holidays like sitting around a fully decked out dining room table with mouthwatering temptations waiting to be gobbled up. Everyone waits anxiously for the big reveal… the turkey!

Lovingly prepared since early that morning, the turkey is brought out in a covered, silver serving platter. Aunt Edith smacks little Tommy's hand as he attempts to steal a candied yam dripping with marshmallow. The collective breath is held as the silver cover is removed… revealing… a zombie turkey!

What—what? That's right folks, this year, we are celebrating this American holiday paranormal style. And what says paranormal holiday better than a walking, talking zombie turkey?

This zombie turkey brings you important tidings of great prizes that shall be for all people… who participate and win of course.

November 25-27 you could win up to $200 in prizes!

Three days. Four YA paranormal books. Five chances to win!

And who are these crazy paranormal authors? Check them out. It's like the Nightmare Before Christmas, Thanksgiving style!

Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted

"Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering 'the next big thing' for YA." ~ Emily Reese, author of Second Death

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Monster Mash: Emlyn says… I. AM. WEREWOLF! And why's that you ask? First off, my name (Chand) literally means moon in Sanskrit. Next, werewolves are super cool--we can blend in with common folk, and then out of nowhere, kapow! I'm a werewolf, and I sure am hungry. Lastly, Team Jacob 100%. Now excuse me while I cock back my head and howl at my namesake.

Patti Larsen, author of Family Magic

"Patti Larsen is truly gifted because I read Family Magic cover to cover and I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment!" ~ from Goodreads review

Sixteen-year-old Sydlynn Hayle is the daughter of a powerful witch and a demon lord, but she just wants to be ordinary. When her coven comes under attack, Syd must face the fact only her power can save her family's magic.

Monster Mash: Patti says… I am a witch. Naturally. I weave spells with my words, cast incantations from my keyboard, mix up the very best potions in my cauldron of documents. You want to stay on my good side. Trust me. Unless you enjoy waking up as something... unnatural.

Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind

"Forbidden Mind is a thrilling, dark and deeply romantic read that had me sitting on the edge of my seat and eagerly awaiting the next installment." ~Refracted Light Young Adult Book Reviews

Paranormal teens with unimaginable powers. An evil organization with deep secrets. When Sam, a girl who reads minds, meets a boy who controls minds, she discovers her future isn't what she thought. Together they must escape and free the others… or risk losing everything—and everyone—they love.

Monster Mash: Kimberly says… I may look like a demon, but I'm actually a succubus. Enchanting and seductive, I weave stories that will fuel your passions and make you fall in love. But be warned… once you fall under the spell of my words, your world will never be the same.

John Corwin, author of The Next Thing I Knew

Corwin does a phenomenal job of including humor throughout this novel. This book was like . . . Ghost (the movie) meets The Host (by Stephanie Meyer) meets MIB (Men In Black the movie). ~Maryann, Chapter by Chapter

The afterlife is the last thing on Lucy’s mind until she and every other human on the planet drop dead and find themselves in the hereafter. Lucy drags her social life back from the grave and enlists her friends to figure out the rules of the afterlife and, more importantly, to discover who or what killed everyone and why anyone would do such a mean thing.

Monster Mash: John says… I am a ninja. After all, vampires are simply ninjas with fangs. They can hide in plain sight, right in your living room. Jump out and scare the wits out of you. Drop a smoke bomb and poof! All you’re left with is stinky smoke in your house and soiled underclothes.

The Prizes

Four $25 Book Entries: For each of the four books in the contest, you can enter to win $25 (up to $100 in giveaways!) Simply buy a copy of the book (each is priced at just 99 cents for this special promotion) and email the proof of purchase for that book OR submit the first sentence of the fifth chapter for that book to Winners will be chosen randomly. Each person can submit one entry per book. Here are the links for each book:

And... if you buy all FOUR books, you are entered to win the Grand Prize!

The Grand Prize

One randomly selected reader who enters to win all four book prizes (Family Magic, Farsighted, Forbidden Mind and The Next Thing I Knew) will win the grand prize of $100.

So go on now and pick up a copy of these fantastic paranormal reads before the zombie turkey eats you!

What? Still around? Then enjoy these fun book trailers and Paranormal Turkey Tour trailer. (Then go buy the books.) Also, leave a comment and help your favorite blog host win a $50 prize!


  • All winners will be chosen randomly using

  • Amazon links are provided, but books purchased through any online vendor will qualify with proof of purchase.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Best Looking Blog Site October

Along with my Cool Headers, I've added as one of the best looking blogs I have ever seen.  I found this one in October 2011.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fantasy Classics: Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun--A Guest Post

If you’re an avid reader of fantasy books with nothing new read, I highly recommend reading Gene Wolfe’s masterpiece tetralogy, The Book of the New Sun. Published from 1980 to 1983, Gene Wolfe the books chronicle the life of Severian, beginning with his youth raised by a guild of torturers in a post-apocalyptic depiction of a world called “Urth.” In four relatively short volumes (each about 200 pages), Gene Wolfe manages to unveil a rich story filled a dizzingly diverse cast of characters; aliens disguised as humans, giant sea creatures, cyborgs, and otherworldly animals among others populate the books. Even for the experienced fantasy reader, this series will offer new dimensions to the genre that will leave you begging for more.

Dense and complexly written, but an ultimately satisfying read

The four books in the series (Shadow of the Torturer, Claw of the Conciliator, Sword of the Lictor, and Citadel of the Autarch) are written in a first-person narrative style from the trained torturer Severian’s point of view. Severian recalls the events of the books from a point in the distant future, prefacing his tale with the claim that he has a perfect memory and can thus recall events from years ago without difficulty. Throughout the books he ruminates on past events with a linguistic complexity that may initially turn off readers, but give it time; The Book of the New Sun gradually yields deeply rewarding insight as the story progresses.
What to expect
The Book of the New Sun challenges the reader to stop and consider every aspect of its far-reaching and ambitious story. The books differ from many fantasy series in that the action is slow building and subtle; there are few instances of epic face paced battles or dramatic showdowns between rival characters. But the story’s restraint is perhaps its biggest asset. Pieces of the story are woven together with such slow and steady intricacy, and when disparate storylines finally emerge and clash the effect is nothing short of breathtaking.
There are other narrative styles at play in the series in addition to Severian’s first-hand recounting of his story. There are stories within stories such as entire chapters dedicated to a character telling a tale from their perspective or, in the case of one chapter, the rehearsing of a play between characters. Seemingly insignificant characters appear and disappear only to remerge much later suddenly to contribute a stunningly profound dimension to the story.

Gene Wolfe as a master of the genre
Gene Wolfe is well known in the fantasy world for crafting masterful stories at since he began publishing his work decades ago. His works have received rewards and accolades from fantasy and literary institutions the world over. The Book of the New Sun alone won a World Fantasy Award, a Nebula reward, and multiple Locus Awards. If you’re more interested in fantasy short fiction, check out one of Gene Wolfe’s many short story collections.

In short, Gene Wolfe is a treasure to the fantasy community— I encourage any reader with a slight interest in the genre to delve into his work. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed with what you discover.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 

This is a guest post, I look at the links before I post them to insure they aren't offensive.(my subjective decision).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seventh Star Press Proudly Announces New Four Book Urban Fantasy Series From Michael West

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce Legacy of the Gods, an exciting new urban fantasy series from Michael West that begins with Poseidon's Children.  Four titles are scheduled in the series.  The award-winning horror author's foray into urban fantasy is his second series with Seventh Star Press, joining his Harmony Indiana novels in a schedule that will see two books a year released from the prolific author.
Poseidon's Children has already received high praise from Maurice Broaddus, whose series, The Knights of Breton  Court, has been making big waves in the urban fantasy world.  As Maurice commented, “Poseidon’s Children is some of Michael West’s best writing and storytelling!”

As with all Seventh Star Press novels, the books will feature interior artwork, with covers and illustrations being done by acclaimed fantasy/horror artist Matthew Perry.  His artwork appears in other Seventh Star Press releases from Jackie Gamber, H.David Blalock, Stephen Shrewsbury, and Stephen Zimmer.

"This has been an epic story that I have been passionate about for a long time, an idea that would not let go of my brain, it just kept growing, and growing, demanding that I start writing it all down,” Michael said in regards to the upcoming series.  “I've talked about wanting to do this series for years, and my faithful readers kept asking me, 'When are you going to do that? When is it coming out?'  Well, I'm happy to say that the answer is now, and I am so pleased that Seventh Star Press has given me the opportunity to finally make this dark, horrific, fantastical dream a reality."

In Poseidon's Children, man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change. After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current--high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.

And that's just the beginning.

Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes ... at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage,Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.

Michael West is a fast rising force in the speculative fiction world. His work includes novels such as The Wide Game (Graveside Tales), Cinema of Shadows (Seventh Star Press) and a single author collection, Skull Full of Kisses (Graveside Tales). He also has an array of short fiction published, spanning many magazines and anthologies, including appearances in Shroud Magazine, and the Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest.

Amanda DeBord will be handling editing duties on Poseidon's Children and the other three Legacy of the Gods titles.

"Seventh Star Press is simply amazing to work with,” Michael commented.  “They know good fiction, put out hardcover, paperback, and eBook editions of the highest quality, and they support their authors and releases more than any other publisher in the business. I could not be happier to be working with them on my Harmony, Indiana books and now the Legacy series."

The projected release date window for Poseidon's Children is March of 2012, with versions released in limited hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, such Kindle, iPad, the Nook, and Sony/Sony compatible eBook reading devices. The second novel is slated for spring of 2013, with other titles to follow on an annual basis.

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

The Paranormal Turkey Tour--Coming November 25th

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ashes of a Black Frost by Chris Evans

One of the things I like about Chris Evans is his wonderful titles.  This title is evocative of many things and ties so tightly to the story line that it is astoundingly descriptive.  This is the culmination of a terrific trilogy. (I just love alliteration.)   I highly recommend that you read both The Light of Burning Shadows and Darkness Formed in Fire before reading this final running battle.    The Iron Elves are resurrected in several ways in the ultimate confrontation with the Shadow Monarch. 

There is more to these books than just entertainment.  The evolution of personality and the maturation of goals are just a few of the delightful nuggets of philosophy strewn through out the book and the series.  

As I said in one of my previous reviews, the Iron Elves are once more the sharp point of the human empires bayonet.  I don’t think there is a single character that isn’t transformed in some way by the intricate plot of this book.   There are surprises a’plenty awaiting you!   Evans does magical and marvelous characterizations though out the book.  Ymit, Major Swift Dragon, Jir and Visyna  are just a few of the extraordinary colorful and passionate players in this behemoth battle of wills and nature.  In some ways it is just a very exciting rendition of the often confusing and confounding identification of the difference of good, evil and the vast gray area in between. 

I enjoyed the book, loved the trilogy and highly recommend all three of the books!

Body of work of Chris Evans</a>

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Shattered Vine by Laura Anne Gilman

Jerzy, the apprentice Vineart, accepts the changes the magic has made in him and realizes the needs his friends have met.

The rogue Vineart makes his move to control the known world.   His despicable brand of magic has successfully created chaos in his major foes.   Jerzy and his small band are the only obstacle in his insidious way.

Strange bedfellows perhaps best describe this third book in a marvelous trilogy.   Ms. Gilman has portrayed a very stratified society where everyone knows their place and contentedly remains in that place.   This final book shows that no matter how it turns out, society’s stratification and stagnation is going to end.  

Jerzy struggles with his growing power and fights the lure of maniacal magic.   In spite of the way things have always been, he also has the dawning awareness that companions and their accompanying loyalty not only improve his chances for success but alleviate his loneliness.  

The series wraps up in a very satisfying manner with the loose ends tied off and the main characters reunited.   I was more than impressed with how Ms. Gilman grew the character of Jerzy and how she so thoroughly crafted a way of life centered around vineyards, grapes and magic.   I have, on occasion, found a magical Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio none of which have imbued me with a more than temporary euphoria.  They certainly didn’t fuel the imaginative creativity of a society based on the grape. 

I strongly recommend the book and I highly recommend the entire series!
My review of Flesh & Fire
My review of The Weight of Stone look down two posts.

 Body of  work of Laura Anne Gilman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

M.L.N. Hanover’s Black Sun’s Daughter Series GIVEAWAY!


M.L.N. Hanover’s Black Sun’s Daughter Series GIVEAWAY!

Her first three books with her 4th book Killing Rites that debuts November 29th. The Winner will get Vicious grace, Unclean Spirits, Darker Angels and Killing Rites the week of it’s debut.

I will be giving away one full set of four books on BLACK FRIDAY, the perfect day for something free!

This is a terrific Urban Fantasy that is a must read. 
You have the opportunity to read it the entire series in order for FREE!
This is a very simple giveaway.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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

Congratulations to
Anne of Ontario  who has won a copy of Lory Kaufman's World of History Camp's The Lens and the Looker!  See the simple entry at the bottom of this post. 

This is the fourth 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)

The World of History Camp Population Is Fictional?
Think about this, the posts about The World of History Camp are explaining a fictional world and society, by definition it is made up!

     “Alright already, Lory,” you’re saying. “Get to the part where you tell us why you had your committee of elders pick 300 million as the number of people that should be on the planet.”  Okay, here’s how I came to that very specific number . . .
I made it up.
     No, no, no! Don’t go away! Don’t click the website shut! Please?
    Okay, thanks for staying with me. Let me explain.
     The 300 million figure in some ways seems high, in relation to humans historical numbers on the planet (the one million figure for 100,000 years before agriculture), and low compared to human, historical memories, (seven billion in only 10,000 years, and growing) but suffice it to say, the fictitious 22nd-century elders factored in that if humans could use technology to keep humans quality of life style high, but also have as the criteria for technology that it must be designed to make a small footprint on the Earth’s ecology, then a much higher number of humans could survive. The reality is, the number could be five hundred million or it could be two million. After all, this is just a fiction. But, hey, I’d love to hear from people what they think our human numbers should be – – and why.

This is a short post but it was the most logical spot for a break. Feel free to make comments, I am sure Lory is following these posts and he is serious about soliciting opinions. 

Remember 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 December 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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weight of Stone by Laura Anne Gilman

Jerzy, the apprentice vineart is back with friends combating the mysterious attacks on the Vin lands.

The Vin Lands are plagued by a mystery.   Unknown magic stalks the land hidden in chance occurrences.  Vineart Malech takes an apprentice, Jerzy, who shows surprising adeptness.   The book changes focuses on how Vineart Malech and his apprentice Jerzy approach the strange occurrences in their land to focusing on Jerzy and his three unlikely friends.   Jerzy’s experience as a slave makes it difficult for him to accept the concept of a friend, let alone the reality.

A Vineart, a Princeling, a merchant and a want to be warrior are an unlikely group to oppose the disasters stalking their lives.   The Washers, who are suppose to provide balance to the world see Jerzy and his friends as a threat.

The book has an intricate plot, likeable characters, a despicable villain and a wealth of character actors to fill out the plot.  I really love this series and am currently reading the final book of the trilogy.  

I strongly recommend the book and being half way through the final book of the trilogy, I highly recommend the entire series!

 Body of  work of Laura Anne Gilman

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eyes to See by Joseph Nassise

Urban fantasy at it’s best, this book will make you pause the next time you hear a bump in the night.

Nassise has created a bold new protagonist in Jeremiah Hunt.   Hunt is on an emotional quest which forces him to interact with Whisper and Scream.  Whisper and Scream are ghosts.   In addition his crusty emotional shell is attacked by Denise a witch.  

Hunt’s quest is impacted by that actions of a supernatural serial killer and a time capsule of occult nature.   The action is outstanding as are the characterizations.   You can feel Jeremiah’s pain and frustration, Nassise does that good of a job. 

I hesitate to mention Jim Butcher because the premise is just vaguely similar but the addictive quality of the story is far more so.  I am pleased to see that this book is quantified as number one in a series.  I, for one, am a new committed fan and will hopefully be reading and reviewing more of this prolific urban fantasy author’s work. 

I really enjoyed this book.

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of Joseph Nassise

Web site:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

D.A. Adam's The Fall of Dorkhun, Book Three of the Brotherhood of Dwarves Series

Seventh Star Press proudly announces The Fall of Dorkhun, Book Three of the Brotherhood of Dwarves series by D.A. Adams. 

The Fall of Dorkhun is now available for pre-order in both limited edition hardcover and softcover versions, both of which include special packages of collectibles.  The limited edition hardcover run of 75 signed and numbered copies marks the newest addition to a growing line of affordable, high quality hardcover editions published by Seventh Star Press.  The limited edition hardcover features an exclusive illustration commission not found in any other version, as well as a special signature page and unique ISBN number. 

The Fall of Dorkhun also marks the debut of Seventh Star Press' newest artist, Bonnie Wasson.  Bonnie created the cover art and illustrations for The Fall of Dorkhun, as well as for the forthcoming reissues of book one and book two in the series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, and Red Skies at Dawn.  She joins Matthew Perry in producing some of the finest quality presentations in the small press world, creating an exciting and fast-growing collection of speculative fiction artwork in the process.

Once again I am happy to post a press release from Seventh Star Press due to their strong support of the independent blogger.