Required Reading

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Kingdom of Vosh by Jason C. Conley

This is a fantasy novel with socio-political overtones or a socio-political novel with fantasy underpinnings.  A self absorbed Princess comes of age in this steam punk story.

Jasper is a spoiled Princess.  She faces traumatic events that remove her from her comfort zone.   The events are analyzed and observed in detail by the author.  This is why I characterized the story as socio-political.   The sociological background of the King's behavior leads to the events that impact Jasper's life.  

The stand of the King has placed the kingdom in a stasis bubble in regard to the surrounding countries whose economies outstrip Vosh's economy.   The political aspects are the explanation why if good men do nothing then evil has free rein.   It is entirely possible I am reading more into the story than the author intended but the interlocking aspects of economics, sociology and psychology hit three of my college minors.   This coincidence leads me to look at the underlying reasons for the character's behavior.

The author also address intolerance with the treatment of Volk and his people.   The Piksi and the air captains add a lot of color and flavor to the story.

I recommend the book.

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, November 26, 2013

The Kingdom of Vosh TOUR


JasonCConley  About the Author: In 1999, Jason Conley drew a picture of a young woman’s face. It eventually became the cover of the book you now hold. When not consumed by writing or art, Jason canoes, fishes, and hikes the rolling hills of Tennessee with his family. There are secrets to this world we live in. Some faintly whispered, others hidden in plain view. Some of those secrets have been carefully placed throughout this book. Truth and fiction, it is what we try to discern between every day, though I wonder is it even recognizable anymore? Do we know the truth or are we simply told what to believe in and what is real? It is a journey we are all on. It will be up to you to decide which parts are which. Break loose of those chains and look around you, because the truth… will set you free.

Book Synopsis: Secrets have been formed in the dark corners of the kingdom. Change is in the air and whispers of new ideas and technologies have swept the land. Unfortunately, the King is old and simple and his daughter is concerned only with worldly possessions. A man by the name of Buul, a man long forgotten, has returned to pay a visit to the King on the King’s birthday. He has not come empty handed and will be the King’s undoing. The King, in moments of panic and war, can trust no one with the protection of his daughter. He quickly decides to entrust her life with a creature most vile and uncommon and chains her to a Vork. He does not leave her empty handed though. His last gift to the Princess is an amulet with powers even he does not comprehend. The land’s only chance, the only one loyal to the King’s memory, is the daughter that cares nothing of the Kingdom of Vosh.   Author Links: Website:
Facebook page:
Tour Schedule and Activities
  November 20 Watch Play Read
 Review November 20 Beagle Book Space 
 Contest November 21 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews 
 Guest Post November 22 Jess Resides Here 
 Guest Post November 23 Lost Inside the Covers 
 Review November 24 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author 
 Guest Post November 25 The Official Writing Blog of Dee Dee Davies 
 Guest Post November 26 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews 
 Guest Post November 27 Spellbindings 
 Review November 28 Workaday Reads 
 Guest Post November 29 Bee’s Knees Reviews 
 Review November 30 Azure Dwarf Review
 December 1 Vampires, Witches, & Me, Oh My! 
 Guest Post December 3 Little Red Reviewer 
 Interview December 4 Myriad Musings 
Guest Post/Interview December 6 Come Selahway With Me 
Guest Post December 7 Breath of Life 
Review December 9 Book in the Bag 
Review December 11 Angela Meadon Blog 
Review December 13 Deal Sharing Aunt 
Review December 15 SpecMusicMuse 
Review/Interview December 16 Word to Dreams 
Review December 18 A Haunted Head 
Interview December 19 Bookishly Me 
Review December 20 The Dan Brien Project 
Guest Post December 23 Sheila Deeth Blog Review

Amazon Links for The Kingdom of Vosh Print Version
Kindle Version

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, November 24, 2013

The Warble by Victoria Simcox

This book has been re-issued by the author under the new name of The Warble rather than the Magic Warble

A social misfit finds her self in another world where she can save a kingdom and make new friends. Kristina Kingsley is a girl who doesn't quite fit in. Her best friend is her pet rat, Raymond. Through magic she finds herself in Bernovem, a kingdom under the sway of an evil Queen. Her adventures there comprise the story.

Ms. Simcox
All kids, at some point, feel like they don’t belong. This book will appeal to anyone who has felt like they may be slightly out of step with their peers. Kristina meets a wide variety of beings and shows no discomfort in accepting them. I’ve mentioned in past review how much I enjoy anthropomorphism. All the animals talk in the book and provide a different perspective. The story is a somewhat simplistic magic quest to save a kingdom. Simcox does a nice job in keeping the action coming while building her characterizations. I suspect this book will do well in the 4th to 6th grade reading groups.

I recommend the book.

Web Site:

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, November 22, 2013

Box Car Baby by J.L. Mulvihill

This is book one of the Steel Roots series.   Even telling you that up front won't stop you from being annoyed when the book stops abruptly.  I enjoyed the book but I wish the author would have coasted to a stop rather than doing a tuck and roll out the window and having the story just stop.  Abby is a teenager thrust into an intolerable situation when her father disappears, her main caretaker grandmother is incarcerated and she is pursued by an evil landlord.  

Ms. Mulvihill did a nice job creating a steam punk world.  She postulates early industrial age job bondage accompanied by a big brother presence.   Abby shows a lot of character development as the story progresses.   It is a coming of age personal study of Abby and hints at future responsibilities.

A smidge of the occult comes in toward the end of the book.   The sweat shop setting is reminiscent of the industrial revolution knitting mills in New England.   The occasional mention of steam engines, large and somewhat improbably small (sewing machine) seems to the main connection to the steam punk genre.

I enjoyed the book and await impatiently for the follow up.

Web Site:

 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, November 20, 2013

The Confessions of Sylva Slasher by Ace Antonio Hall!

The Confessions of Sylva Slasher by Ace Antonio Hall:
·                     Laurie @ Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
·                     Jaidis @ Juniper Grove
·                     Gabby @ What’s Beyond Forks?
·                     CCAM @ Mythical Books
·                     Jessica @ Jess’s Book Blog
·                     Dafeenah @ Indie Designz
·                     Sam @ Crazy Book Reviewer
·                     Elizabeth @ Elizabeth Delana Rosa
·                     Ladies @ The Violet Hour Book Reviews
·                     E.M. @ The Reader’s Hollow
·                     Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch
·                     Amber G. @ Lady Amber’s Reviews
·                     Amber @ Jazzy Reviews
·                     Nely @ She Writes Again
·                     Cameo @ Cameo Renae
·                     Cu’Anam @ Cu’s Ebook Giveaways
·                     Rachel @ Rachel Tsoumbakos
·                     Susan @ Cruising Susan Reviews

~ About the Book ~

Title: The Confessions of Sylva Slasher
Author: Ace Antonio Hall
Published: April 14th, 2013
Publisher: Montag Press
Word Count: 84,000
Genre: YA Horror
Recommended Age: 12+

~ Synopsis ~

Eighteen-year-old Sylva Fleischer and her friends raise the dead for a living for police investigations and mourning families. Two years after her high school crush, a hot guy named Brandon, is assumed dead, Sylva’s friends convince her to go on a spring break cruise in an effort to suppress her depression over him. But when passengers mysteriously die and reanimate into flesheating zombies like she’s never seen before, Sylva plunges into a horrifying struggle between a ship infested with the undead and the scariest thing of all: a second chance with Brandon after she discovers he’s still alive. This is a zombie story that eats right to the core and leaves you licking your chops for more.

~ About the Author ~

Ace Antonio Hall graduated from Long Island University with a BFA. He is a former NYC middle school English teacher who can’t get enough of zombies and Spider-Man comic books. When he’s not in the gym working off the extra calories from eating way too many donuts, Ace writes young adult horror fiction.
His novel The Confessions of Sylva Slasher was released April 14, 2013 by Montag Press. The second book in his series, Sk8board Xombies, will be available next year.
Ace’s short story Dead Chick Walking made the Fall 2013 edition of the best-selling Calliope Magazine and his science fiction story, They, won the Honorable Mention distinction for the 2013 Writers of the Future Award.
For updates and news, follow him on Twitter @aceantoniohall, like his facebook author fan page or visit where you can read his blog, updated regularly.
 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, November 14, 2013

Virtual Blue by R.J. Sullivan

A RPG gets out of control when female supremacist try and bring their demoness into the real world.

Fiona is a woman who is tired of dealing with her fears.  Her decision to rid herself of her boyfriend ends in her being involved in a computer generated nightmare.

Sullivan does a good job in portraying the nerds.  There is, perhaps, a bit of emulation in my look at the story.   I have avoided role playing games on the computer as I am a bit fearful that I could apply my normal obsessive personality to gaming and disappear into the ether.  However having been deeply involved in the first cyber-cafe in Pennsylvania I have seen how immersed gamers can become.   Contrary to many "authorities" I believe that role playing can be a very positive catharsis and can help kids and adults deal with things they may have no control over in the real world.  

Sullivan uses the game aspect as a tool in crafting this story.   I plan on reading the prequel to this story to see how and what Chip and Blue became who they are.   The story is a fun read and there can be more extrapolated from the story if you want to ponder its implications.

I recommend the book.

Web Site:

 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, November 10, 2013

Quick Fix by Linda Grimes

This is a YA romantic urban fantasy. The book has a lot of heavy breathing by the young female protagonist. The fantasy part is split between her romantic fantasy and her ability to adopt the aura of other people and look, speak and impersonate that person.

The book is described on the cover as "deliciously sexy" and that apparently is to appeal to the young female reader. The concept is similar to shape shifting but different enough to be unique. The plot is ok but the deliciously sexy part is a bit of a distraction for me. I suspect it will be a big hit with the young female reader. I don't see teen boys grabbing this book off the shelf.

Web page:

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, November 6, 2013

Mist by Susan Krinard

An urban fantasy based on Norse mythology, set in San Francisco and featuring a knockout godling/Valryrie, this book was quite entertaining.  

Ms. Krinard provides one of my favorite protagonists, a butt kicking female!  I enjoy seeing more books that feature strong, intelligent, tenacious female protagonists.   Mist qualifies on all counts.  The setting in San Francisco seems a bit tongue in cheek due to the infamous San Francisco acceptance of all things different.   The premise is that only in San Francisco could you have mythological characters moving about and  receiving no undue attention from populace or authorities. 

There are tortured characters, heroic teens, a motorcycle gang and plenty of nefarious villains.   Treachery and violent dishonesty is brought to life in Loki's character.  The stage is for a sequel.

I recommend the book.

 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, November 2, 2013

Guest Post by R.J. Sullivan

The solitary life of an, wait, just kidding, the modern collaborative experience

We all know the stereotype of the solitary writers locking themselves away for days and months at a time, because "ve need time alone to create!"

And it's true, I have had to disconnect from the internet to block out a few hours at a time. Even still, it's a pretty rare day I don't get to spend at least an hour in the morning checking in with social media. Today's technology has made it possible to be "alone with friends", or "out in the faraway nearby", and for me, at least, it's opened me up to collaborative opportunities all over the world with valued players helping me all stages of the creative progress.

And so I wanted to take this space to thank and perhaps enlighten people on how authors have learned the Garfield the Cat principle--to use their friends wisely while producing creative collaborations not possible even a few years ago.

Most Important in my mind is a peer author I met back in 2001, years before either of us were published. She lives in Los Angeles, CA on the other side of the country and to this day we've still never met. Through the magic of email and initially from mutual interest in Star Wars and SF author Kathy Tyers, Debra Holland and I started exchanging manuscripts and mutually line editing each other's work. She taught me a lot about what I was doing wrong and I'd like to think I gave her a pointer or two along the way. She continues to be an invaluable editor on almost all of my works. Today she's a published author through Montlake Romance and Penguin, and has some pretty incredible success with self-publishing, too.

Years later, when I started building up readers, I learned many fans can provide fabulous insight into your work, and I wanted to give a huge shout-out to one: reader, fan and good friend Nikki Howard. She started beta reading for me on Haunting Obsession, but proved herself the Most Valuable Responder to my drafts of Virtual Blue. Her eclectic knowledge and enthusiasm for the project helped bring the vision all together. She has also taken her fandom that second mile on my behalf, such as drawing crowds to my author table last year during the launch of Haunting Obsession with her Maxine Marie cosplay, then following it up with an enthusiastic Haunting Blue cosplay photo session!

Speaking of Cosplay...

What do you get when you combine a Cyndi Lauper fan from Canada, a musician/composer from England (and one-time co-writer and member of Ms. Lauper's band), a 3D rendering artist from Florida and a video editor from Kentucky? You get my most ambitious collaborative project, the Haunting Obsession book trailer, with Lily Monstermeat as Maxine, images by Nell Williams, original and arranged music remixed by Jan Pulsford, and Seventh Star guru Stephen Zimmer assembling all the parts!

There's so many more to mention, readers and fans that come into your life, and friends who know things and are willing to help you with various tasks.

Like my Florida gaming buddy Nocole Rinaldi who writes poetry and was a former EMT. She contributed both of these resources to the final version of Virtual Blue.

And how my first-fan, Monica Felver-Kellogg, the first person to discover RJ Sullivan's online website when I was still an unpublished author trying to find a deal. She's my most enthusiastic beta reader, and she has STRONG OPINIONS!!!! about how Blue and Rebecca should act in my stories. And she's usually right. (And yes, she expresses her opinions in all caps and exclamation points) That's why Virtual Blue is dedicated to her.

The rest of these are somewhat official, but still need mentioning.

Peer author and cover artist for the original edition of Haunting Blue, Ash Roland, who also gave the novel an awesome critique just before I turned in the manuscript.

Seventh Star artist Bonnie Wasson, who has captured my vision so perfectly. Seventh Star editor Amanda DeBord.

I could go on to list a plethora of peer authors and great friends in the industry I would not have met if not for social media, but I won't. Suffice it to say, a writer's life is not the angst-filled solitary existence it used to be, even when you spend hours days at a time in an office "by yourself."
Thanks to Azure Dwarf for hosting this entry of the Virtual Blue tour!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Atlas Cover Revealed

About the Author:
Isaac Hooke is the author of THE FOREVER GATE, the Amazon #1 bestselling science fiction and fantasy serial. When Isaac isn't writing, publishing, and blogging, he's busy cycling and taking pictures in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He's been writing since 1997, and he has a degree in Engineering Physics.

You can follow Isaac on Twitter @IsaacHooke and his website

Title: ATLAS
Author: Isaac Hooke
Published: Coming Soon!
Genre: Military Science Fiction
Content Warning: Violence

Rade Galaal enrolls in the hardest military training known to man to become a member of the MOTHs, the most elite fighting unit in the galaxy. MOTHs are tacticians, corpsmen, snipers, astronauts and commandos rolled into one. They also happen to pilot the atomic-powered ATLAS mechs, specialized military hardware that brings new meaning to the phrase "one-man army."

When MOTH Team Seven is sent on a covert operation 8,000 light-years beyond the furthest reaches of explored space, Rade realizes he's signed up for more than he bargained for...

ATLAS by Isaac Hooke Cover Reveal!
Below is a list of the participating blogs, check them out! :
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.