Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winners Of the 8 eBook Giveaway

Congratulations to the Three Winners of
The Fantastic Fantasy GiveAway
Indigo
Jen W.
What the Cat Read

Thank you to Seventh Star Press for providing the eBook prizes!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winners Of the 8 eBook Giveaway


Oops, I just got home and am too tired to post the winners. Look for the winners tomorrow.
My apologies and this is not me!
Honest!
But it could have been me last week so that is why the winners won't be posted until tomorrow.

Bill

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chasing Dragons:Vengeance by Barbara Farquharson Scott




The hope of Dragon protectors are gone from the works along with the dragons. A dismal future of capricious tyranny shackles the known world. Only the dragons and their riders have the courage and fortitude to challenge the evil that abounds but they are all dead, or are they?

Jenabel and her family dominate the story that starts with Deagon dealing with his legacy. Deagon’s only companion is an amusing ghost who with a magic book makes Deagon question his own sanity. I particularly enjoyed Jenabel’s interaction with her brothers, Oliver and Seth. Ms. Scott either closely researched sibling interaction or has an extended family as the family interaction oozed authenticity.

I think the story line and plot could be a bit more polished but as the first book in the series, it is quite good. It wraps up in a logical and satisfying manner and yet teases you with future books to complete the quest.

I recommend it.

Body of work of Barbara Farquharson Scott

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


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dome City Blues by Jeff Edwards




Jeff Edwards generally writes military fiction. Dome City Blues is his first entry into science fiction. In a ruined earth people of the population lives in Domes to protect themselves from the environment that they have ruined. A grieving former private detective rediscovers his life.
My only hope is that Jeff Edwards continues to write science fiction. I consider this a stellar first effort. His character, David Stalin, was developed as an eminently likable human being with demonstratable flaws. His hopes and fears were realistic and generated an empathetic read.
Edwards did an excellent job or training dystopian future dominated by corporations. When David left the domes you could almost feel the itch in your throat and burning your eyes from the polluted atmosphere.
The plot was intricate and complex without being confusing. Edwards did a great job in masking the true villain and keeping your interest until the end of the story. There's plenty of action and in some cases depraved morality but the protagonist demonstrates positive morals and ethics.
I certainly hope this won't be the last science fiction we see from Jeff Edwards because I are truly enjoyed it.
I highly recommend it.
Body of work of Jeff Edwards
Web Site:http://navythriller.com/books
Although this site seems to only have his Navy thriller books on it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Interview with Steven Shrewsbury On eBooks

Thank you Steven for taking the time to respond to my questions and thank you for your willingness to provide your stories as prizes for my Fantastic Fantasy Giveaway.

1. Has the advent of eBooks impacted what you write and the way you write
it?

A: No. The story is what counts. I still tell 'em like they come to me. Some
mght think shorter tales are better for eBooks, but each yarn is an enitity
unto itself, but it a short story, novella or a novel.

2. Can we expect a follow up novel on Gorias La Gaul?

A: Yes. OVERKILL is a prequel to THRALL where we see Gorias far from the
location of THRALL and knee deep in pirates, royal dealings and murders
committed with dragonfire.

3. Do you have any New Years resolutions in regards to your writing?

A: I need to write more and focus on promotion. There are several projects
in mind and others that I'm hammering out to completion, plus overdrafts on
books.

Enter the Fantastic Fantasy GiveAway of all EIGHT new Seventh Star Singles to three winners, their choice of kindle or nook/ipad. All entries must be submitted in the next 10 days, Jan 18, 2012 to Jan 28th 2012. Winners will be announced Jan 29th. Happy Reading!

Just added 2 more singles to the prize package, stories from Michael West "Goodnight" and For the River is Wide and the Gods are Hungry". Both are horror genre from his Harmony Indiana world as featured in Cinema of Shadows, so there's a total of 8 in the prize package from 3 different authors.

Seventh Star Singles are short stories set in the worlds that the author's novels with Seventh Star Press are set within. For example, Steven Shrewsbury's Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories are set in Gorias La Gaul's world as revealed in Thrall (and upcoming novel titles). They are stand alone tales, but offer rich content and more background for fans of the Gorias novels. In addition to Steven Shrewsbury's collection, the line includes collections from Stephen Zimmer's worlds in the Fires in Eden and Rising Dawn Sagas.


Steven L. Shrewsbury's Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul-more adventures of the rising Sword and Sorcery icon, Gorias La Gaul!

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh

The first short story in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul collection from Steven L. Shrewsbury, Author and Finisher of Our Flesh takes the reader on a perilous Sword and Sorcery adventure in the ancient world alongside Gorias La Gaul. When vessels sent to a farming colony fail to return, and rumors of dark powers being involved begin to swirl, an aging general cleverly secures the help of the centuries-old legendary warrior Gorias to investigate.

In a world where ancient gods still walk, and unnameable horrors lurk at every turn, Gorias must face challenges of many kinds; some on the inside, and others from without.

Insurmountable

A short story in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul collection, Insurmountable tells an action-packed tale of the centuries-old warrior Gorias La Gaul. Setting out to take care of one last task for his father, Gorias travels to a monastery set high in the mountains where he makes a horrific discovery.

For the reader that loves the Sword and Sorcery genre, this exciting short story series from Seventh Star Press builds upon the legacy of the heroic Gorias La Gaul, first introduced in the novel thrall.


Stephen Zimmer's Annals of the Rising Dawn-Adventures set within the world found in the Rising Dawn Saga!

Temples Rising

In this short story from the Annals of the Rising Dawn collection, the reader ventures back into an ancient world when demonic entities and humans have bred a race of monstrous creatures. In league with Fallen Avatars that have taken on flesh and blood, the Raven Queen is preeminent among the human rulers involved with the building of a great temple site in Albion.

Cuchulainn, the son of a Fallen Avatar and a human, has rebelled against his origins and sets out to help Cormac and other human warriors as they seek to strike a heavy blow against the coalescing Powers seeking dominion over all humanity.


Stephen Zimmer's Chronicles of Ave-Adventures set in the world of Ave, the world that serves as the primary setting for the Fires in Eden Series!

Into Glory Ride

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, you are invited into Trogen lands. A brave young warrior of the Sea Wolf clan, Marragesh, sights the approach of an Elven raid while on a scouting foray along the cliffs of the northern coast.

Long under the shadow of the Elves, the Trogens have quietly been preparing a new development to aid in the defense of their lands. As the Elven fleet nears their land, brimming with sky steeds and warriors, a momentous choice must be made that has major implications for the Trogen clans.

Land of Shadow

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, the reader is invited to take an adventure into the Shadowlands. When a band of hardened Avanoran mercenaries take up an offer to search out a favorable site for a fortress, they are well aware of the warnings about the Shadowlands. Even a large, armed group of warriors is not safe, however, as the knight Godfrey finds out during a harrowing journey

Lion Heart

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, the reader is invited to explore the lands of the Amazu and meet Sigananda, one of their greatest, legendary warriors. In this story, Sigananda is shown as a young man, just coming of age. When powerful Wizards threaten the Amazu people, Sigananda is sent on a journey that will test his resolve and courage. At ease against opponents of flesh and blood, he must contend with powers that transcend the laws of the physical world.




Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Dwarves Are Coming, The Dwarves Are Coming!


Seventh Star Press editions have released Books 1 and 2 of the Brotherhood of Dwarves Series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves and Red Sky at Dawn. The 2 covers, interior illustrations, and a new pre-order deal that bundles a softcover copy with an eBook are

included in the press release.
http://www.seventhstarpress.com/documents/press_releases.html

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fantastic Fantasy GiveAway


This is a GiveAway of all six new Seventh Star Singles to three winners, their choice of kindle or nook/ipad. All entries must be submitted in the next 10 days, Jan 18, 2012 to Jan 28th 2012. Winners will be announced Jan 29th. Happy Reading!


Just added 2 more singles to the prize package, stories from Michael West "Goodnight" and For the River is Wide and the Gods are Hungry". Both are horror genre from his Harmony Indiana world as featured in Cinema of Shadows, so there's a total of 8 in the prize package from 3 different authors.

Seventh Star Singles are short stories set in the worlds that the author's novels with Seventh Star Press are set within. For example, Steven Shrewsbury's Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories are set in Gorias La Gaul's world as revealed in Thrall (and upcoming novel titles). They are stand alone tales, but offer rich content and more background for fans of the Gorias novels. In addition to Steven Shrewsbury's collection, the line includes collections from Stephen Zimmer's worlds in the Fires in Eden and Rising Dawn Sagas.


Steven L. Shrewsbury's Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul-more adventures of the rising Sword and Sorcery icon, Gorias La Gaul!

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh

The first short story in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul collection from Steven L. Shrewsbury, Author and Finisher of Our Flesh takes the reader on a perilous Sword and Sorcery adventure in the ancient world alongside Gorias La Gaul. When vessels sent to a farming colony fail to return, and rumors of dark powers being involved begin to swirl, an aging general cleverly secures the help of the centuries-old legendary warrior Gorias to investigate.

In a world where ancient gods still walk, and unnameable horrors lurk at every turn, Gorias must face challenges of many kinds; some on the inside, and others from without.

Insurmountable

A short story in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul collection, Insurmountable tells an action-packed tale of the centuries-old warrior Gorias La Gaul. Setting out to take care of one last task for his father, Gorias travels to a monastery set high in the mountains where he makes a horrific discovery.

For the reader that loves the Sword and Sorcery genre, this exciting short story series from Seventh Star Press builds upon the legacy of the heroic Gorias La Gaul, first introduced in the novel thrall.


Stephen Zimmer's Annals of the Rising Dawn-Adventures set within the world found in the Rising Dawn Saga!

Temples Rising

In this short story from the Annals of the Rising Dawn collection, the reader ventures back into an ancient world when demonic entities and humans have bred a race of monstrous creatures. In league with Fallen Avatars that have taken on flesh and blood, the Raven Queen is preeminent among the human rulers involved with the building of a great temple site in Albion.

Cuchulainn, the son of a Fallen Avatar and a human, has rebelled against his origins and sets out to help Cormac and other human warriors as they seek to strike a heavy blow against the coalescing Powers seeking dominion over all humanity.


Stephen Zimmer's Chronicles of Ave-Adventures set in the world of Ave, the world that serves as the primary setting for the Fires in Eden Series!

Into Glory Ride

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, you are invited into Trogen lands. A brave young warrior of the Sea Wolf clan, Marragesh, sights the approach of an Elven raid while on a scouting foray along the cliffs of the northern coast.

Long under the shadow of the Elves, the Trogens have quietly been preparing a new development to aid in the defense of their lands. As the Elven fleet nears their land, brimming with sky steeds and warriors, a momentous choice must be made that has major implications for the Trogen clans.

Land of Shadow

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, the reader is invited to take an adventure into the Shadowlands. When a band of hardened Avanoran mercenaries take up an offer to search out a favorable site for a fortress, they are well aware of the warnings about the Shadowlands. Even a large, armed group of warriors is not safe, however, as the knight Godfrey finds out during a harrowing journey

Lion Heart

In this short story from the Chronicles of Ave collection, the reader is invited to explore the lands of the Amazu and meet Sigananda, one of their greatest, legendary warriors. In this story, Sigananda is shown as a young man, just coming of age. When powerful Wizards threaten the Amazu people, Sigananda is sent on a journey that will test his resolve and courage. At ease against opponents of flesh and blood, he must contend with powers that transcend the laws of the physical world.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Angelkiller by H. David Blalock




This is a story of good versus evil. Angels and Demons so to speak are the main characters in this story. However they aren't the traditional Angels and Demons. It is the Army versus the enemy, but again not the traditional Army or the traditional enemy.

Jonah Mason is described by some as an Angel killer. And reality of the story Angels are the enemy, the minions of evil. Jonah may not be immortal but he did fight for the Roman Empire. He and his army self find themselves in combat against one of the enemy.

In this story there is a transition from the normal combat of the of the enemy and the Army to a more virtual reality type of combat. In the story virtual is more reality and can prove deadly in combat with the enemy.

I enjoyed the premise and the characterizations. I think there could have been more back story provided better understanding of the plot.

I recommend the book.

Body of work of H. David Blalock

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


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fall of Dorkun by D. A. Adams



This is the third installment of the Brotherhood of Dwarves series. The main storyline in this segment is the return of Roskin to home. There are many side stories in the segment as well. Frankly, I think that books one and two should be read prior to reading this.

I found the book very hard to follow. It was one of those stories that might have been far more entertaining if you understood what was going on. There was just entirely too much back story missing. The characters were somewhat superficial, but I suspect that that was mainly due to not knowing their back story.

I liked the book but I think I would've liked it a lot if I had read the previous two books.

Body of work of D. A. Adams

Web Site: http://daadams.com/

Monday, January 9, 2012

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

This is the sixth and final installment of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.

Darlene of Manitoba Canada has won the 5th copy of the
The Lens and The Looker.

Congratulations Darlene!

Enter today, one more copy to be given away!

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 and Time Travel

Lory questions the origins of his own ideas. From my perspective unless you are a total Luddite hermit; you will be influenced by things in your environment. How we translate those perceptions into our own reality is the defining aspect of humanity. In Lory’s case he translates some perceptions into his World of History Camp. Time travel is a slick way to truly impress readers as to the importance of history. The adage of walking a mile in another’s moccasin takes on serious implications if you are forced to live in those same moccasins. This wraps up the back story of Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp.
After finishing the first drafts of The Lens And The Looker, I realized this was not such a new idea in science fiction. While watching a rerun of the 1951 movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, I saw how the race of aliens in the film, represented by the character, Klaatu, had recognized his race’s inability to control itself and gave control of their long-term well being to a race of “robots”, such as the one in the movie, named Gort. I can’t honestly say if I reinvented the idea or subconsciously adopted the concept from watching the movie as a child. I suspect the latter, but it really doesn’t matter. Orson Scott Card does a similar thing in his new series Pathfinder, but in a very different and wonderful way.
A last thought on this theme; we can’t really blame humankind for being aggressive and individually greedy. Any creature that has had to fight its way out of the primeval ooze and survive by consuming others and protecting its offspring by destroying and consuming other creature’s family units over billions of years cannot be expected to change its instincts quickly, if ever. Was it a mistake by nature to give us human’s an intelligence that would cause it to outstrip our biology and not be regulated by the immediate environment? Was it a divine plan (or joke on the creator’s part) that gave humans the ability to destroy ourselves and much of the planet’s life forms much quicker than the evolutionary forces that usually bring down species? At this point, we can’t know.

Time Travel:
At the beginning of The Lens and the Looker, humans in the 24th-century can’t time travel. They can in the 31st-century and History Camp counselors from that future come back and kidnap spoiled “hardcase” troublemakers from the 24th-century. They then take these kids back in time to where there is no social safety net and abandon them. That’s when the dystopian-like fun and adventure starts.
So, as a writer whose stories depend on time travel, do I actually believe it’s? Actually, I don’t, not in the way it’s used by me or most speculative fiction authors. Am I suggesting that in the foreseeable future it’s possible? Gosh, I don’t know, and it really doesn’t matter.
So, why do I use time travel? Well, it’s a great literary device that allows characters from different times to be thrown into the same arena of life to compare notes and to knock heads – and the more outrageous the situation, the better. You see, for me, the art and fun of writing is to make the impossible seem real and truly plausible, to craft words in a way that the reader will want to suspend disbelief.
One last thought about time travel and the one thing I am certain about. We shouldn’t hold our breath about it coming soon enough to help fix and save the world. We’re on our own for that.

Lory Kaufman has spent a lot of time developing plausibility and originality in his world. I think to successfully craft a series or even a good novel you need to see the world in which it exists. I believe authors who ply their craft in the genres of science fiction and fantasy are more creative than those who plod along in the mundane real world. Good speculative fiction demands the creation of a new entertaining reality.
Kudos to Lory Kaufman for taking the time to craft his stories, for letting us post his back story and writing stories that make history more exciting and palatable to those resistant to learning from it.


The FINAL FREE book for each section of Lory Kaufman’s back story will be given away this month. 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 winner of this month’s book will be announced next month on Feb.9th. 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.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Arms-Commander by L.E. Modesitt, jr



If you have read any of my reviews you have to be aware that I am fond of strong female protagonists. I’m guessing that is the case with L.E. Modesitt as well. This story is taken from the pages of the Recluce saga. The country of Lornth discovers that being a neighbor of Westwind can be a mixed blessing.

I don’t know if this is just another excellent novel by Mr. Modesitt or a political commentary on the many nations of the real world that offer women less than full citizenship or respect. If it is a political commentary then those despots and chauvinists might want to read it and find a sense of dreadful foreboding from the experience.

Once again I am in awe of Modesitt’s skill. He provokes both interest and emotion. His stories philosophize while surrounding you with action and adventure. If you are threatened by strong women, do not read this book. It will make you cry!

I highly recommend.

Body of work of L.E. Modesitt</a>

Site: http://www.lemodesittjr.com/

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Green by Jay Lake



I made a promise I would read Green after I read Endurance. Well as I said about Endurance, 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. The book Green explains how the character Green ended up in Copper Downs defying and defiling gods.

This book also stands alone quite well. However I strongly urge you to read Endurance which is an excellent follow up to Green. This also was an excellent action adventure fantasy with a terrific understory. This book explains why Green is hell bent on stopping child slavery and the abuse of women.

In one light this is a coming of age story for a strong willed rebel and on the other it is a story of single minded mayhem. Kalimpura and the Lily Blades are also introduced and defined in this book. Once again, Lake’s lavish descriptions portray, with shattering clarity, a early Calcutta type of city that you almost feel the flying elbows and cutpurses jostling you. The characters were very colorful and varied.

After reading my second Jay Lake book I am convinced that Lake will be a force to contend with in the fantasy field for years to come.

I highly recommend it.

Body of work of Jay Lake

Web Site: http://www.jlake.com/2010/08/14/writing-endurance-is-a-wrap/


Sunday, January 1, 2012

City of Dragons by Robin Hobb



This is the third book of the Rain Wilds Chronicles. If you have not read the Live Ship Traders Trilogy I strongly recommend you read it. It isn’t necessary to read it first but I think it helps. This book chronicles a journey of epic efforts to get the dragons to their ancient homeland.

I’m never sure where to start talking about one of Robin Hobb’s books. Not many author’s make me tongue tied. She so vividly portrays the Rain Wilds that you feel like you have been there. There was also a sense of coming home in that there was a familiarity with her style and her setting.

The emotional interplay is well written and sometimes borderline overwhelming. Admittedly I get over involved when I am reading. I am such a sucker for the bonds of friendship and the portrayal of love as well as loving a good adventure story. These are not stereotype dragons but they are still dragonesque!

I highly recommend the book.

Body of work of Robin Hobb

Body of work of Megan Lindholm

Web Site: http://robinhobb.com/