Monday, September 30, 2013

The Phoenix Unchained by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory





 This is book one of The Enduring Flame Trilogy.  Lackey and Mallory make a good team however in all fairness even I could look good with Lackey.  She is a towering presence in the fantasy arena.  This is the first book of what should be a highly entertaining trilogy.   There are lovable and clueless protagonists who are forced to grow to heroic proportions.   They are tasked to save the world from the forces of evil. Don't expect a lot of soul searching or mental challenges; you can expect a good solid fantasy.



The characters are slowly developed and you discover yourself investing in their success.   That is characteristic of Lackey plots, you find yourself so invested you can’t put the darn thing down.   The two young men who find themselves as the main protagonists are eminently likeable.  



This is a terrific beginning for a trilogy that I can’t wait to peruse.  



I highly recommend.





 

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, September 26, 2013

Banned Books Week September 22-28,2013

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

Spotlight on Box Car Baby by J.L. Mulvihill




About J.L. Mulvihill: Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing. The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013. J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them "Chilled Meat", a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and "The Leprechaun’s Story", a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing) J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.    

Book Synopsis: Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB'Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it's up to AB'Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB'Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa's spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB'Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries ... and that monsters come in all shapes and forms. The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.'

Author Links:
www.elsielind.com
http://jlsbooks.blogspot.com/
http://home.comcast.net/~mulvijen/site/
https://www.facebook.com/JLMulvihill
https://www.facebook.com/mulvijen?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/SteelRootsSeries?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Haunts/417536915003428?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/ClockworkSpellsMagicalBells?ref=hl

Tour Schedule and Activities
9/23    Come Selahway With Me           Contest
9/23    The Flipside of Julianne             Top Ten List
9/24    Jess Resides Here                         Guest Post
9/24    Beagle Book Space                     Promo Spotlight
9/25    Sheila Deeth                               Guest Post
9/25    Spellbindings                               Promo Spotlight
9/25    Lost Inside the Covers                Review
9/26    Azure Dwarf                               Promo Spotlight
9/26    Rachel Tsoumbakos                    Character Interview & Review
9/26    A Daydreamer’s Thought          Author Interview
9/27    Armand Rosamilia, Author        Guest Post
9/27    Kayla’s Reads and Reviews        Promo Spotlight
9/28    WTF Are You Reading?              Review
9/28    Bee’s Knees Reviews                    Guest Post
9/28    Word to Dreams                           Promo Spotlight
9/29    The Cabin Goddess                      Interview
9/29    Illuminite Calginosus                  Promo Spotlight
9/29    Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews   Character Interview
9/29    JeanzBookReadNReview             Guest Post
9/29    Book and Movie Dimension        Review

 


Amazon Links for The Boxcar Baby:




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, September 23, 2013

Spotlight on God Killers by John F. Allen

JohnFAllenTourBadge
     
About John F. Allen: John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. John began writing stories as early as the second grade and pursued all forms of writing at some point, throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John's debut novel, The God Killers was released in 2013 with Seventh Star Press. John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, son and daughter.  


9781937929169-tradecover.inddBook Synopsis: In The God Killers, the first book of The God Killers Legacy, former professional art thief Ivory Blaque is hired to procure a pair of antique pistols and gets much more than she bargained for when several attempts are made on her life. Her client turns out to be a shadowy government agent who reveals that she is descended from a race of immortals, and that the pistols are linked to her unique heritage and the special psychic gifts she possesses. He uses the memory of her father to guilt her into working for him. Ivory eventually gives in to his request, and in return, he presents her with her father's journal, which was written in an unbreakable code. Bishop believes that she is the only one capable of breaking the code and unlocking the plans of the vampire hierarchy. But when the city's top vampire is a sexy incubus with an attraction for her and she's assigned a hot new lycan enforcer to protect her, she finds herself caught between two sets of rock hard abs. To regain her autonomy, clear her name, unlock the secrets of her past, and protect the lives of those closest to her, Ivory must play along with the forces trying to manipulate her. Ivory's life is rapidly spiraling out of control and headed for an explosive conclusion which she just might not survive.

Author Links:
Website/Blog
Facebook Author's Page 
Twitter
Facebook Fan Club Page 

Tour Schedule and Activities
9/23                A Haunted Head                               Interview
9/23                Azure Dwarf                                      Promo Spotlight
9/24                SpecMusicMuse                                 Review
9/24                Come Selahway With Me                 Guest Post
9/24                The Dan O’Brien Project                  Promo Spotlight
9/25                Bee’s Knees Reviews                          Review
9/26                Beauty in Ruins                                  Review
9/27                Readings Sunshine                             Promo Spotlight
9/27                Word to Dreams                                 Promo Spotlight
9/27                Armand Rosamilia, Author               Guest Post
9/28                Sheila Deeth                                        Character Interview
9/28                Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews        Guest Post
9/28                Workaday Reads                                 Review
9/29                Jess Resides Here                                Author Interview
9/29                Illuminite Calginosus                          Promo Spotlight
 


 Amazon Links for The God Killers:
   Print Version 
   Kindle Version 
  Other eBook Formats
  Nook 
  Kobo
 iBookstore





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, September 18, 2013

Antiagon Fire by L.E. Modesitt, jr


This is a continuation of the Imager Portfolio.   This is the 7th volume.  Vaelora has a larger role in this book.  As Quaeryt’s wife, she often seems to ride in the back of the bus but in this book, she often is the more influential of the couple.   She and Quaeryt are tasked to bring Khel into the fold with as little fighti
ng as possible.   This task is complicated by Antiagon.



Quaeryt’s seemingly inexhaustible vitality is challenged again.   His philiosphic approach to the goals that Bhayar has sent him to accomplish leads to even more challenges.  Modesitt does a nice job in keeping his protagonists goal centric.   You are reminded that the immediate goal may not be as important as it seems in the scheme of the larger goal of providing a safe haven for scholars and imagers.



Modesitt also portrays different types of governmental structure and the consequences quite well.  If I still taught sociology or economics, I would be tempted to use some of these books to illustrate social and economic responses based on types of government. 



As I have said in previous reviews, the common thread in Modesitt’s stories is the lone soul fighting for self identity and protection of a minority in a harsh world. 



I highly recommend all his books.  



Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >L.E. Modesitt</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.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kalimpura by Jay Lake




This is the third of the series of one of those butt kicking female protagonist stories I enjoy so much.   Green, the main character, is now a mother and although she has mellowed this is akin to suggesting a tsunami is just a wave.   Green leaves Copper Downs and returns to the Temple of the Silver Lilly and her meanest foes.

I would suggest reading Green  and  Endurance , the precursors to this book.   All three books deal with empowering women and defying the status quo.  Green’s goal of stopping child slavery and the abuse of women becomes secondary to her goal to find lost friends and to protect her children.

There is a body of literature that suggests that if women were in charge there would be fewer wars.   I don’t think this is just due to the heighten sensibilities of women, nor do their lack of interest in macho posturing.  I do think there would be less conflict because when they do throw down the gauntlet, they follow it with massive overkill.  Green exemplifies that role with her temper and actions.

This is a coming of age book as well, Green is only sixteen.   Her baptism into motherhood is fraught with violence and peril. 

Jay Lake does a great job with these books and provides food for thought on complacency, misogynist lifestyles, abuse and power addiction.

I highly recommend it.


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

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, September 10, 2013

Imagers Battalion by L.E. Modesitt, jr





This is a continuation of the Imager Portfolio.   This is the 6th volume.  The increased responsibilities Quaeryt discovers as a Governor pale in comparison to those he faces as a sub-commander in service to his brother-in-law, Lord Bhayar. 

Quaeryt’s goals seem distant when he suddenly finds himself in the army, this time officially.   His hopes to build a safe haven for scholars and imagers seem unreachable.   His successes seem to create as many enemies of a home grown political nature as they do from the true enemy, Rex Kharst. 

As in the last book,  the melding self awareness with the humbling recognition that your body, soul and talent are seen as a tool to preserve the status quo provides the mental angst typical of Modesitt’s work or simply put, Quaeryt hates being “merely” a tool.  He finds those who emulate his sacrificial nature without his sheer talent suffer and die and Quaeryt suffers with them.

The story remains open ended as the conflict seems resolved but … is it really?  Has success created more enemies than it defeated?

As I have said in previous reviews, the common thread in Modesitt’s stories is the lone soul fighting for self identity in a harsh world. 

I highly recommend all his books.  

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >L.E. Modesitt</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.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Boy Who Loved Sharks




My latest book!   Available at Amazon

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

Cover Reveal for Stephen Zimmer's Hellscapes, Vol. 1


Cover Reveal for Stephen Zimmer's Hellscapes, Vol. 1

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art by Matthew Perry for Hellscapes, Volume 1, the first of a brand new horror collection from author Stephen Zimmer.




The novella-sized release features five stand-alone short stories that have a connection in that all of the tales are set in different aspects of Hell.  Readers can look forward to some recurring characters as the collection unfolds, as well as a wide variety of environments and styles of stories.

"I'm really excited about this collection," Stephen commented.  "I love the horror genre, as it gives writers some great options for storytelling that are not as readily accessible in other genres.  Some of my fantasy, urban fantasy, and steampunk readers might be surprised about this release, but there are plenty of moments in my other books that show this side of me. I've always been a big fan of the genre, and Clive Barker is one of my all-time favorite authors. Having been long enthralled with more medieval-type depictions of Hell such as Dante's Inferno, and other representations such as can be found in Milton's Paradise lost, I've wanted to explore a theme like this for quite awhile.  This project has been wonderful to undertake and readers can expect much more in the future."

The eBook will be available on Friday, September 6, and print availability will arrive in the following week.

Here is the official synopsis:

Journey into realms of darkness and explore the regions where angels fear to tread! Welcome to the Hellscapes, featuring tales of the infernal in settings where the horror never ends and the inhabitants experience the ultimate nightmare.

In “Blood Dreams” follow the tale of a woman who knew great political authority and influence in life, as she discovers the reward awaiting her in the next world.

“The Grove” welcomes a new arrival, a wealthy man who is looking forward to a weekend of indulging in lust and libation, as he has for many years in this secluded convocation for the elite.  Something is different this time, though, and he soon finds that his visit will be taking a very different turn.

In “The Smallest Fish”, the story is told of a ruthless business mogul who finds himself in an abandoned, ruined version of the city he knew well … in life.  This city won’t be remaining vacant for long.

“Drowning in Tears” tells the story of a young man’s unhealthy obsession for a suicidal girlfriend that leads him on a path of severe transformation.

The final tale of Volume 1, “Lords of War”, follows the story of a man who wielded military power on a worldwide scale as a Secretary of Defense, who now learns the deeper nature of war and what kinds of monstrosities it breeds.



More volumes of Hellscapes are forthcoming.  For further information on Seventh Star Press, please visit www.seventhstarpress.com and for information on the author visitwww.stephenzimmer.com
Seventh Star Press is a publisher of speculative fiction based in Lexington, Kentucky.
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/09/cover-reveal-for-stephen-zimmers_5.html#sthash.olArPm7Y.dpuf

Cover Reveal for Stephen Zimmer's Hellscapes, Vol. 1

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art by Matthew Perry for Hellscapes, Volume 1, the first of a brand new horror collection from author Stephen Zimmer.




The novella-sized release features five stand-alone short stories that have a connection in that all of the tales are set in different aspects of Hell.  Readers can look forward to some recurring characters as the collection unfolds, as well as a wide variety of environments and styles of stories.

"I'm really excited about this collection," Stephen commented.  "I love the horror genre, as it gives writers some great options for storytelling that are not as readily accessible in other genres.  Some of my fantasy, urban fantasy, and steampunk readers might be surprised about this release, but there are plenty of moments in my other books that show this side of me. I've always been a big fan of the genre, and Clive Barker is one of my all-time favorite authors. Having been long enthralled with more medieval-type depictions of Hell such as Dante's Inferno, and other representations such as can be found in Milton's Paradise lost, I've wanted to explore a theme like this for quite awhile.  This project has been wonderful to undertake and readers can expect much more in the future."

The eBook will be available on Friday, September 6, and print availability will arrive in the following week.

Here is the official synopsis:

Journey into realms of darkness and explore the regions where angels fear to tread! Welcome to the Hellscapes, featuring tales of the infernal in settings where the horror never ends and the inhabitants experience the ultimate nightmare.

In “Blood Dreams” follow the tale of a woman who knew great political authority and influence in life, as she discovers the reward awaiting her in the next world.

“The Grove” welcomes a new arrival, a wealthy man who is looking forward to a weekend of indulging in lust and libation, as he has for many years in this secluded convocation for the elite.  Something is different this time, though, and he soon finds that his visit will be taking a very different turn.

In “The Smallest Fish”, the story is told of a ruthless business mogul who finds himself in an abandoned, ruined version of the city he knew well … in life.  This city won’t be remaining vacant for long.

“Drowning in Tears” tells the story of a young man’s unhealthy obsession for a suicidal girlfriend that leads him on a path of severe transformation.

The final tale of Volume 1, “Lords of War”, follows the story of a man who wielded military power on a worldwide scale as a Secretary of Defense, who now learns the deeper nature of war and what kinds of monstrosities it breeds.



More volumes of Hellscapes are forthcoming.  For further information on Seventh Star Press, please visit www.seventhstarpress.com and for information on the author visitwww.stephenzimmer.com
Seventh Star Press is a publisher of speculative fiction based in Lexington, Kentucky.
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/09/cover-reveal-for-stephen-zimmers_5.html#sthash.olArPm7Y.dpuf


Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art by Matthew Perry for Hellscapes, Volume 1, the first of a brand new horror collection from author Stephen Zimmer.

The novella-sized release features five stand-alone short stories that have a connection in that all of the tales are set in different aspects of Hell.  Readers can look forward to some recurring characters as the collection unfolds, as well as a wide variety of environments and styles of stories.

"I'm really excited about this collection," Stephen commented.  "I love the horror genre, as it gives writers some great options for storytelling that are not as readily accessible in other genres.  Some of my fantasy, urban fantasy, and steampunk readers might be surprised about this release, but there are plenty of moments in my other books that show this side of me. I've always been a big fan of the genre, and Clive Barker is one of my all-time favorite authors. Having been long enthralled with more medieval-type depictions of Hell such as Dante's Inferno, and other representations such as can be found in Milton's Paradise lost, I've wanted to explore a theme like this for quite awhile.  This project has been wonderful to undertake and readers can expect much more in the future."

The eBook will be available on Friday, September 6, and print availability will arrive in the following week.


Here is the official synopsis:


Journey into realms of darkness and explore the regions where angels fear to tread! Welcome to the Hellscapes, featuring tales of the infernal in settings where the horror never ends and the inhabitants experience the ultimate nightmare.

In “Blood Dreams” follow the tale of a woman who knew great political authority and influence in life, as she discovers the reward awaiting her in the next world.

“The Grove” welcomes a new arrival, a wealthy man who is looking forward to a weekend of indulging in lust and libation, as he has for many years in this secluded convocation for the elite.  Something is different this time, though, and he soon finds that his visit will be taking a very different turn.

In “The Smallest Fish”, the story is told of a ruthless business mogul who finds himself in an abandoned, ruined version of the city he knew well … in life.  This city won’t be remaining vacant for long.

“Drowning in Tears” tells the story of a young man’s unhealthy obsession for a suicidal girlfriend that leads him on a path of severe transformation.

The final tale of Volume 1, “Lords of War”, follows the story of a man who wielded military power on a worldwide scale as a Secretary of Defense, who now learns the deeper nature of war and what kinds of monstrosities it breeds.

More volumes of Hellscapes are forthcoming.  For further information on Seventh Star Press, please visit www.seventhstarpress.com and for information on the author visitwww.stephenzimmer.com

Seventh Star Press is a publisher of speculative fiction based in Lexington, Kentucky.

- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/09/cover-reveal-for-stephen-zimmers_5.html#sthash.olArPm7Y.dpuf


 
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, September 6, 2013

Shadow Chaser by Alexey Pehov


Shadow Prowler was the first book in the Chronicles of Siala.  Pehov may be well known in his native Russia but I had never heard of him until I read that book.   I think the quality of that book will insure that Pehov will be known far and wide as well as in Russia.   Shadow Harold, a master thief, finds himself enmeshed with the establishment to save the world as they know it.   This book carries on the story and gets the band of misfit compatriots further along in their journey. 

Shadow Harold, an enjoyable rogue continues as the main protagonist.  However other characters such as Kli-Kli, the jester, become more important as the story progresses. Harold, a master thief of exceptional skill and a healthy interest in avoiding heroics, finds himself changing and to his horror perhaps even becoming heroic.  

Pehov provides suitable mystery and excellent action.  

I highly recommend the book and am looking forward to the sequel.    

  
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, September 3, 2013

Chronicles of Ave by Stephen Zimmer Coming Soon!

Cover Reveal for Stephen Zimmer's Chronicles of Ave Volume 1! 


Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the cover art by Matthew Perry for Stephen Zimmer's Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, a brand new collection of fantasy short stories set in the world of Ave that is the primary setting for his Fires in Eden Series.

The new release features six tales, including the novella-length "Winter's Embrace".  It will be issued in eBook formats on Wednesday, September 4, with the print version to be released the following week. 

The tales are stand-alone short stories that do not require familiarity with the Fires in Eden novels.  However, those who have read the novels will find their experience of the world of Ave broadened and deepened.

"These stories give me a chance to explore many things I am only able to briefly mention or reference in the Fires in Eden Series," Stephen explained.  "They also give me a chance to allow readers an introduction to areas of Ave that have not been portrayed in the novel series as of yet."

The stories exhibit a range of settings, styles, and characters displaying the diverse kinds of cultures and lands to be found in Ave.  Volume 1 features the following tales:

“Into Glory Ride” tells the story of a young Trogen Warrior who is called to go up against insurmountable odds when Elves raid his homeland.  The Trogens have only begun training winged steeds for combat, but time is of the essence and a choice has to be made by the young warrior.

In “A Touch of Serenity” a conscript laborer working on a massive wall constructed under the orders of the Divine Emperor begins to hear ghostly voices asking for help.  His response leads him on a journey that will test his courage, wisdom, and compassion.

In “Moonlight’s Grace” a young man goes to help his people when a Midragardan raid strikes Gael.  He seeks to prove his worth to the chieftain whose daughter he loves with all his heart.

The novella-length “Winter’s Embrace” follows a warrior-monk deep into dangerous woodlands in the heart of winter.  There he will find his faith tested in ways he never anticipated, when he must help a forest witch against an enigmatic, immortal being known as the Undying.

“Lion Heart” introduces the heroic Sigananda of the Amazu people, who must confront things that transcend the laws of the physical world when powerful Wizards threaten his homeland.

In “Land of Shadow”, a knight who is part of a band of Avanoran mercenaries discovers how perilous the mysterious Shadowlands are when they undertake a journey to locate a site to build a fortress.

More volumes are forthcoming.  For further information on Seventh Star Press, please visit www.seventhstarpress.com and for information on the author visit www.stephenzimmer.com


Seventh Star Press is a publisher of speculative fiction based in Lexington, Kentucky.
- See more at: http://seventhstarpress.blogspot.com/2013/09/cover-reveal-for-stephen-zimmers.html#sthash.aZwqEynJ.dpuf


Monday, September 2, 2013

Princeps by L.E. Modesitt, jr

 In some ways this is a bit repetitious.  We have a similar protagonist to the Recluce series but different.  This is a continuation of the Imager Portfolio.   This is the 5th volume.  The budding journeyman from the first book is coming into his own however he discovers that with increased power comes increased responsibilities. 

Quaeryt discovers that being married to the sister of Lord Bhayar entails considerably more entanglements than even he imagined. 

Melding self awareness with the humbling recognition that your body, soul and talent are seen as a tool to preserve the status quo provides the mental angst typical of Modesitt’s work.

The plot revolves around political necessity and military need.  Quaeryt makes little progress on his own personal goals of increased tolerance for Imagers. 

Modesitt also infuses political commentary and philosophy as part of his story line.   Time Gods World, The Forever Hero and Order Master all illustrate philosophic musings.  There are times where the author seems to pontificate a bit but it always fits the story line. 

The common thread, as I perceive it, in Modesitt’s stories is the lone soul fighting for self identity in a harsh world. 

I highly recommend.  

Body of  work of <a type="amzn" >L.E. Modesitt</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.