Required Reading

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Wild Cards I by George R. R. Martin

This book is edited by Martin, although he has one story in it.   This is the book to read prior to reading any of the other Wild Card books.  This details how and what made the Wild Cards.

An alien virus genetically alters a percentage of Earth's population.   The results are grotesque disfigurement for some and enormously enhanced abilities for others.   The people with enhanced telekinesis, invisibility and other enhanced abilities while maintaining a reasonably normal body are called Aces.  The deformed, the grotesque, the severely impaired are called Jokers.  

This book is a compilation of short stories detailing who released and created the virus and the initial results of that release.

As in all collections of short stories, there will be some you love and others you wonder how did they get in with such exalted company.

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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Bale Bundle--What a Great Deal!

I stumbled upon the bookbale bundle when I was looking up Mercedes Lackey's website to include in a review of one of her books.  I checked it out and was duly impressed.

Select any price (minimum $2.99) for all six books listed as the regular bundle. Pay at least $10.00 and get TWO BONUS BOOKS by two acknowledged literary masters in addition to the regular bundle.  In the November Bundle in addition to Elvenbane, you would have gotten The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom, Climbing Olympus by Kevin J. Anderson, Birthright: The Book of Man by Mike Resnick, Starplex by Robert J. Sawyer and Future Perfect by Nancy Kress. Pay at least $10 and you would have gotten the two bonus books - The Hemmingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman and Take Back Your Goverment by Robert Heinlein.

This appears to be a way for well known authors to cash in on the eBook craze and still provide titles at a very, very reasonable price.  Check it out! book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Legacies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

This is most definitely a YA book.   That is not to disparage it but a caution that it may be a bit juvenile and if that turns you off , you should be aware of that fact. Spirit White finds herself thrust into horrific circumstances.   Losing her entire family in a mysterious auto accident, she ends up in a pseudo Hogwarts Academy.

This story is centered on a group of kids who have all ended up as wards of a school of magic.  They have all been orphaned, most in a violent manner.   The school and the circumstances are similar to the Harry Potter series.   I'm not sure if that was the intention but it seems like a knock off.    Having read a ton of Lackey and quite a bit of Edghill, I find a knock off hard to believe so I am trying to keep an open mind.

The kids that band together are a likeable group.   The school is the primary setting and the details are more than sufficient.   The mystery is why some students are periodically disappearing.   The action and plot are nicely done and you can't help but like the characters.  It seems to be a trilogy and I plan on reading all three books.

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, March 16, 2014

Cover Art Reveal and Release Announcement for Jason Sizemore's Irredeemable!

BTW I am not a shill for Seventh Star Press.  I like their attitude, their people and their authors and thusly I am happy to promote them.  They treat bloggers with respect and support us in what we do.  

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the new cover art by Tomasz TrafiaƂ for Jason Sizemore's Irredeemable! The single-author collection features stories of a dark SF and horror nature, many with an Appalachian tone. The eBook and print versions will be made available the second week of April, and those wanting a softcover version signed by Jason can take advantage of a special pre-order offer that includes a copy of the eBook version.

The new release features a special introduction by Geoffrey Girard, author of Cain's Blood (Simon and Schuster).

Irredeemable brings together many of Jason's previously published fiction and includes two brand new stories. The tales to be found within the pages of Irredeemable include:

A Flash of Light
An Ingenious Adventure
Art Imitating Life
City Hall
For the Sake of Pleasing
Ice Cream at the Falls
Little Digits
Mr Templar
Plug and Play
Shotgun Shelter
Sonic Scarring
The XX Agent
The Dead and Metty Crawford
The Sleeping Quartet
Useless Creek
Yellow Warblers

Jason is a writer and editor living in Lexington, Kentucky. He is also the owner of Apex Publications, a highly acclaimed SF, fantasy, and horror small press. He has twice been nominated for the Hugo Award for his editing work on Apex Magazine.

This is one collection of stories that you do not want to miss!  As Maurice Broaddus, author of the popular Knights of Breton Court series from Angry Robot, said regarding Irredeemable:  " Jason Sizemore doesn’t want you to know that he’s a writer. He’ll hide behind being a publisher or an editor, but in the wee hours of the night, he puts pen to paper. With this collection, the secret’s out.

These short stories are like 18 shots in a chamber. No matter how you spin the barrel, you will end up with a live round. His stories are dark, powerful, and unsettling."

Those wanting to get a signed and personalized copy of Irredeemable can reserve one today, at a special offer page that runs until April the 2nd on the Seventh Star Press website!

For more information on Jason, follow him on Twitter @apexjason, or on Facebook at For further updates and news aboutIrredeemable, visit the Seventh Star Press site at

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cover Art Unveiled and Release Information for H. David Blalock's Doom Angel!

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the new cover art and interior illustrations by Matthew Perry for H. David Blalock's Doom Angel, the third and final installment in his Angelkiller Triad.  The eBook version of this exciting urban fantasy adventure will be released this Friday, with the print version to follow next week!

In Doom Angel, the final confrontation between Jonah Mason's Army and the Dark Minion Dorian Azrael doesn't just dictate the fate of the Angelkiller's resistance cell. It is the key battle in a larger, global Conflict that can turn the tide against the oncoming Armageddon. It all will come down to who survives when the smoke clears, and who will receive their final reward.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Philistine by Steven Shrewsbury

This story appears to be historically inspired by the biblical tales of Goliath, the champion of the Philistines.   It seems that the Philistines were often mercenaries for hire. Goliath was the NBA size warrior who was their champion.

I felt the story was someone disjointed.   I followed it but the action happened all over the place.  There was a lot of detailed mayhem.  This is not a book for the faint of heart.   Goliath was not a nice person but neither were the assorted ogres, monsters, godlings, demons or priest/priestess.

I see some similarities to Gorias from the previous Shrewsbury works but Goliath is not nearly as likeable.  Gorias LaGaul, a barbarian’s barbarian,  was in my review of Thrall and Overkill.  I liked those books better.

This book has action galore as well as gore to spare.

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, March 3, 2014

Spotlight on Steven Shrewsbury's Philistine

March 3 to March 9, 2014
See the review here on March 7th, 2014

About the Author: STEVEN L. SHREWSBURY lives, works, and writes in rural Illinois. Over 360 of his short stories have appeared in print or electronic media along with over 100 poems. 9 of his novels have been released, with more on the way. His books run from sword & sorcery (PHILISTINE, OVERKILL, THRALL, BEDLAM UNLEASHED) to historical fantasy (GODFORSAKEN) extreme horror (HAWG, TORMENTOR, STRONGER THAN DEATH) to horror-westerns (HELL BILLY, BAD MAGICK, and the forthcoming LAST MAN SCREAMING).

He loves books, British TV, guns, movies, politics, sports and hanging out with his sons. He’s frequently outdoors, looking for brightness wherever it may hide.

Book Synopsis Philistine: The Philistines, a mysterious warrior people known now for mainly one man: Goliath. The giant.

Goliath. A name grander than even the man himself. You've heard of his infamous end at the hands of a shepherd as written in a famous book, but what of the life of the man himself? What book tells his tale?

A warrior among warriors, a son of a god, a living legend. Goliath, the warrior champion of the Philistines. On the battlefield, he runs like a horse, wields killing instruments no normal man may heft, and revels in the fear his presence evokes. Off the field, his will is immutable, his trust invaluable, and his appetites unbearable. Goliath. This man knows no challenge.

But such a reputation will not discourage all men. Scheming rulers and generals, prophetic priests and powerful cults, dauntless warriors looking to make their own legend. Monsters. Gods. For one seemingly unkillable, at the very least, these things can ruin an otherwise pleasant day.

Along with his shield bearer, Abimelech, and soldiers more in awe than they are useful, Goliath will set out on missions for kings, face foul magic users, and walk in the shadows of mysterious halls. History tells us Goliath died at the hands of an Israelite.

Goliath may have something to say about that.

Philistine is the first Tale of Goliath, set in the same world as Steven Shrewsbury's novels such as Overkill and Thrall, and his Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul short stories.

Author Links:

Tour Schedule and Activities
3/3      Beauty in Ruins                                  Character Post
3/3      Author HC Playa                                Review
3/3      Seers, Seraphs, and More                 Interview
3/3      Deal Sharing Aunt                             Tour Wide Contest
3/4      SpecMusicMuse                                 Review
3/4      Come Selahway With Me                 Character Post
3/5      Bee’s Knees Reviews                          Review
3/5      Book in the Bag                                 Interview
3/5      MichaelSciFan                                                Interview
3/6      Workaday Reads                               Character Interview
3/6      Book and Movie Dimension Blog     Review
3/7      Azure Dwarf                                       Review
3/8      Armand Rosamilia, Author               Guest Post
3/8      The Official Writing Blog of Dee Dee Davies                       Character Post
3/9      I Smell Sheep                                     Guest Post
3/9      Jess Resides Here                               Guest Post

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