Required Reading

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins

Gwen Perkins has created a universe pregnant with potential sequels. This book introduces some memorable characters as well as an environment where magicians are curtailed in their art by a corpulent led bureaucracy and love is being thwarted.
This is as much a love story as a magical fantasy. Quentin is obsessed with finding a way for his wife to love him. His actions place both his friend and his enemy in dire straits. I enjoyed the characterizations. Ms. Perkins does a nice job painting characters that have the depth of reality surrounding them. They are real people with ordinary personalities engulfed in extraordinary circumstances. The characters show the pettiness of human nature and the extent that perseverance and love can overcome daunting odds and personality shortcomings.
I also enjoyed the eponymous nature of the book title and how it was clarified in the story line. It appears that the end sets up a wealth of potential sequels, one can only hope.
I highly recommend this book!
Body of work of Gwen Perkins
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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Seventh Throne by Stephen Zimmer

The Seventh Throne Lands Top Cover Art and Ties for 3rd in Top Novel in the 2011 Readers Choice Awards

Seventh Star Press is proud to announce that The Seventh Throne, the third title in Stephen Zimmer's urban fantasy Rising Dawn Saga, won the Top Cover Art category and tied for 3rd in Top Novel in the 2011 Readers Choice Awards.

The 2011 poll was conducted in January by, the website for the world-renowned fantasy publisher Tor. The poll was open to all levels of authors and presses. Many SSP titles received votes, but The Seventh Throne emerged early as a top-ten contender and finished strong in the two categories it was eligible for. Patrick Rothfuss' The Wise Man's Fear won Top Novel of 2011, with Scott Sigler's The All-Pro coming in second, and Brandon Sanderson's The Alloy of Law tieing for third with Stephen Zimmer's The Seventh Throne.

The Top Cover Art of 2011 award represents Matthew Perry's first readers' poll award for Seventh Star Press, though his reputation for producing outstanding artwork has been growing rapidly with his numerous illustrations and covers created over the past 3 years.

Author Stephen Zimmer also received recognition for his Harvey & Solomon short story "An Island Sojourn", which placed fourth in the Top Short Story of 2011 category. The steampunk short story was from the Dreams of Steam II: Brass and Bolts anthology, edited by Kimberly Richardson, from Kerlak Publishing.

The Rising Dawn Saga was debuted in 2009 with the release of The Exodus Gate. The Storm Guardians, the second title, followed in 2010, and The Seventh Throne was released in August of 2011. Involving supernatural realms, a modern day setting, and filled with dystopian and apocalyptic undertones, the Rising Dawn Saga contains the depth, richness, and layers more commonly found in epic fantasy series. Drawing upon myths and lore from across the world, the saga follows the story of an ensemble of human and shape-shifting characters pitted against a movement called the Convergence.

The Convergence is guided at the elite levels of economic and political power, with the solitary goal of bringing the entire world under its control. With unprecedented technologies, and the support of dark powers from the Abyss, the Convergence looks unstoppable to Benedict Darwin, the An-Ki, and many others who struggle in a rapidly collapsing society. Provocative and engaging, the series enjoys a growing and loyal audience.

The fourth title of the projected seven book series is slated for the fourth quarter of 2012.

All of the Rising Dawn Saga books are available in softcover and a variety of eBook formats including the Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, and Sony-Compatible ePub options. The series has also inspired The Annals of the Rising Dawn, a new short story eBook series initiated with the recent release of Temples Rising. The short stories are set within the world unveiled in the Rising Dawn Saga.

For further information, and links to press and reviews, visit Matthew Perry's site can be found at and Stephen Zimmer's can be found at

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seventh Star Press Announces Four Book Deal With Paranormal Thriller Author R.J. Sullivan.

Press Release:

Seventh Star Press Announces Four Book Deal With Paranormal Thriller Author R.J. Sullivan.

Seventh Star Press proudly announces a four book deal with author R.J. Sullivan, making him the seventh author to come aboard the publisher's main roster.

The addition of R.J. Sullivan comes close after Seventh Star Press' strongest year yet, during which titles such as Jackie Gamber's Redheart and Michael West's Cinema of Shadows received excellent critical reception, and the artwork featured by the press also received increased recognition, as Matthew Perry recently won Top Cover Art in the 2011 Readers Choice Awards for his cover art on Stephen Zimmer's The Seventh Throne.

The first title to be released by Seventh Star Press, Haunting Obsession, tells the story of Daryl Beasley. Daryl collects all things Maxine Marie, whose famous curves and fast lifestyle made her a Hollywood icon for decades after her tragic death. Daryl's girlfriend, Loretta Stevens, knew about his geeky lifestyle when they started dating, but she loves him, quirks and all.

Then one day Daryl chooses to buy a particularly tacky piece of memorabilia instead of Loretta's birthday present. Daryl ends up in the doghouse, not only with Loretta, but with Maxine Marie herself. The legendary blonde returns from the dead to give Daryl a piece of her mind—and a haunting obsession he'll never forget.

A member of the Indiana Horror Writers, R. J. Sullivan resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. His first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller about punk girl loner Fiona "Blue" Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren.

R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona's story, Virtual Blue, which will be released in 2013, followed by two more novels over the course of 2013 and 2014.

"I was with Michael West at several events last year, and I couldn't help but notice the slick marketing materials he was handing out," R.J. Sullivan commented as to why he wanted to bring his work to Seventh Star Press. "I saw how Seventh Star had a personal presence nearby to assist at the cons. I realized that having the publisher at those events changes the convention vibe, which can otherwise be an isolated experience. I love that they produce interior artwork as part of their product--it shows an understanding of the genre and its readers. It's clear Seventh Star understand the modern publishing world, and does everything they can to open up opportunities for the author to succeed."

Bonnie Wasson, whose cover art and illustrations are featured in Seventh Star Press titles such as D.A. Adams' The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, will be creating the artwork for the R.J. Sullivan novels.

Haunting Obsession will be released in limited hardcover, softcover (trade paperback), and several eBook editions, including versions for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, and Sony-compatible devices.

For further information on R.J. Sullivan and the upcoming releases, please visit or the author's site at

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Darker Angels by M.L.N. Hanover.

This is the second book in the black sun's daughter series starring Jayne Heller demon slayer. Jayne and her team find themselves embroiled in a conflict with the voodoo queen of New Orleans.

I have now read the first and fourth (Killing Rites) books, in the series first. The two books whetted my appetite to read more by this prolific author.

Once again with the author has put together a dynamic and delightful urban fantasy. As entertaining as the story is you can learn something from the character development. In reality there often is a thin line between good and evil, black and white and right and wrong. This is clearly demonstrated by some of the compromises Jayne has to make in the story. The plot is intricate without being confusing. The setting in New Orleans provides some interesting backdrops providing both analogies and metaphors for the human condition.

The author provides plenty of action a lot of emotional turmoil to keep you turning the pages.

I enjoyed the sequel and recommend it

Body of work of Body of work of M.L.N. Hanover

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Golden Harbor by David Drake

This book is another in the Daniel Leary series. Daniel and the usual suspects are engaged, once again, against overwhelming odds and implacable foes.

I loved the Horatio Hornblower books and I feel Drake does just as well but sets his Horatio sometime in the future without iron men and wooden ships.

Leary’s most endearing characteristic is his loyalty to his friends. He continually does what he thinks is right as opposed to what perhaps might be the easy way out. His Machiavellian circumvention of orders generally means he is undermanned, under supplied and outgunned whenever he is assigned a task. Yet with gentile charm and superior skills he always triumphs.

Daniel Leary is not a boy scout, he is lethally ruthless when it comes to accomplishing his goals or protecting his people. Adele Mundy, Tovera and Hogg are all back and their quirkiness just adds the mélange of flavors that make Drake’s Leary series so sumptuous.

I can’t help it, I love these books and I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

Body of work of David Drake </a>

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Last Free Book From Lory Kaufman’s World of History Camp Back Story.

The Final Winner is Susan from Maryland, USA
Many thanks to author Lory S. Kaufman for his generous gifts to all the winners.
Six Happy Winners from 3 countries, 3 states and 2 provinces!
Susan from Maryland, USA
Meredith from Florida, USA
Darlene from Manitoba Canada
Carol from South Africa
Anne from Ontario Canada
Julie from Ohio, USA

Farsighted is FREE for Kindle today! Get it here:

"Chand's characters are compelling and diverse" - Kirkus Reviews

"I read the book in one sitting... the ONLY other time I have done this is when I read the Harry Potter series." - Marie Bothwick, blogger at Write Panic Live

Win a $25 Amazon gift card by sharing this post (the original as posted by +Emlyn Chand). The lucky winner will be chosen via and announced Saturday morning. Don't forget to pick up a copy of Farsighted!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Exogene by T.C. McCarthy

This book is the life story of a military clone in a future war for natural resources.

Cloning is here regardless of the ethics or morality surrounding its existence. A logical step forward is to assume that the military industrial complex is exploring how cloning can impact future wars and if cloned warriors are financially viable they will probably be produced. I realize that is somewhat cynical but cynicism is a root theme in the book.

The use of religion to keep warrior clones focused is a re-visitation of the Manchurian Candidate. (The original version, I never saw the remake.) The genetics or clone warriors are supposed to be identity free, satisfied with numeric nomenclature and focused only on killing. Sadly the killing focus supported by religion seems congruent with the jihad motivation of the Islamic extremists or the 1950’s rallying cry of “kill a Commie for Christ”. The author clearly demonstrates the power of combining religion and warring into religious killing for the right to enter Nirvana.

This is a war story based on the need for resources which is obviously motivated by the current debacles to maintain the flow of oil. As much as we would like to think that war is motivated by the desire to do the “right” thing, most often it is done to line the pockets of the perpetrators.

The insights developed as the girls “spoiled” provides a somewhat depressing mental state as escape is pursued to ruined, radioactive terrain. This is a war story, fought with logical extensions of current technology and hopefully an illogical use of clone warriors (slaves).

It was a thought provoking look at a possible future of war.

Body of work of Body of work of T.C. McCarthy

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover.

This is book one of the series The Black Sun’s Daughter. This is urban fantasy at its best. Jayne Heller discovers that her favorite uncle is a butt kicking demon chaser.

I read the fourth book, Killing Rites, in the series first. Although that book did quite well is a stand alone I wanted to find out more about Jayne.

The author does an excellent job of making the occult believable. The author doesn't paint a fantasy hero with no flaws instead she paints a young woman thrust into situations that appears to be beyond her means or abilities. In some ways it is a coming of age novel. Jayne discovers things about herself and her abilities she never suspected.

The disparity between good and evil is shown to be shades of gray rather than the black and white as it is normally portrayed. The decisions Jayne must make places a major factor in developing her character. This was well done.

The cast of characters is both colorful and varied. The supporting roles are not developed with as much depth as Jayne's character is. The book describes Jayne's struggle to discover both her legacy and heritage from her mysterious uncle Eric.

I really enjoyed the book and highly recommend.

Body of work of Body of work of M.L.N. Hanover

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