Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Am Crying All Inside by Clifford D. Simak


Clifford Simak is one of those authors whose stories I remember decades later.  Way Station captured my imagination at least 40 years ago and I recall it fondly.   I'm never a big fan of short stories but Simak was often featured in the pulp scifi of yesteryear.  This is a collection of short stories that show how the old guard authors imbued their stories with a sense of hope.

There were a few occurrences that showed the dated aspect of the story.  Not the plot or character motivations but references to current technology or prices.  One story actually referred to a million dollars as an astronomical sum.  Not the mere pittance of today when it can't approach the cost of one of the ubiquitous and extremely annoying repetitive political TV smear ads.

The book was a trundle down to the SciFi of yesteryear and well worth the trundle.

Web: http://simak-bibliography.com/

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 24, 2015

The Runelords by David Farland



This is the first book in an epic fantasy.  It stands alone just fine but it sets you up to buy the eight current books and wonder when the 9th and supposed final volume will be released.   It is a tale of confused good and conflicted evil.

The Reavers are the bogeyman in this tale.   They are large, powerful and inexplicable beings that are referred to more than shown.  Raj Ahten seeks to brutally unite humanity under his banner to supposedly defend against the Reavers.   Gaborn, son of a king, finds himself thrust into an unanticipated role opposing Raj Ahten.

The title of Runelord refers to those members of a fuedal society that receive endowments from others.  Those endowments such as brawn, wit or stamina enhance the ability of the recepient by the strength of the one who is giving the endowment.  Conversely it robs the giver of the strength they are giving.  For example a dedicate(the giver) who provides his wit becomes a drooling idiot after giving his wit. 

Farland has created an interesting world where a person may be ten times as smart or 50 times faster by receiving the endowments of others.  I like the fact that he also shows the negative side effects of the process.  Accelerated metabolism also leads to accelerated aging and earlier death.   The entire concept is intriguing both for its effects and the morality surrounding the societal concept of selling or giving your abilities to another.   I'm no sure that there isn't some social commentary incorporated into the book.

This is an excellent introduction to a complex and intriguing society.

I recommend the book.


Web Site: http://davidfarland.com/

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 20, 2015

INCI by Mike Resnick and Tina Gower


This is part of the Stellar Guild Series which pairs newbie authors with the old guard.  This volume deals with religious coincidents across galactic distances.

There appears to be a universal savior who is crucified in numerous cultures, in innumerable shapes across unimaginable distances that leads to the theory of a universal God.

That is the premise of the book.  Tina Gower sets the stage and Resnick brings down the curtain.  Ms. Gower provides two short stories that sets up the finale.  Her stories did not resonate with me as well as Resnick's.   I don't know if that is due to experience or style.  The premise was intriguing.  I particularly liked Gar's interplay with his ship. 

 I received a copy of this book with the understanding I would do an honest review, I have done so.

Web site http://www.tinagower.com/
http://mikeresnick.com/
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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, November 16, 2015

Hopebreaker: A Steampunk Dystopian Fantasy (The Great Iron War, Book 1) by Dean F. Wilson


Jacob was a smuggler of birth control devices in a society that depended on births to maintain their revolution.   The invaders seek the world's iron and to take the iron they must conquer the world. 

The relationship of Jacob with a female resistance leader is complex. It is difficult to decide if they are friend or foe.  Jacob is ancillary to a prison breakout and reluctantly discovers he is now a revolutionary due to the company he keeps.  Jacob sees himself as a self serving, small time criminal with no loyalty except to profit.  His relationship to Taberah eventually leads him to re-evaluate his self image.

Hope is a drug that the invaders need to survive.  Jacob finds himself caught up in a scheme to shatter hope.

The book had reasonable action and an entertaining plot.

 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 12, 2015

Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash



This book deals with the protection of witches seemingly from each other.  The protectors are a quasi official government agency, Men in Black type of guys.

Wes Rockville thinks he is a special operative for an ordinary government agency.  Little does Wes know that his agency is anything but ordinary.   The skepticism and anger Wes demonstrates adds credibility to a highly improbable scenario.   Morgan and her reluctance to accept her innate abilities also adds credence to the book as her behavior is so typical of youthful rebellion.

The book had reasonable action and an entertaining plot.

I recommend it.

Web site: http://www.michaelphillipcash.com/


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 8, 2015

Birds of Prey by David Drake



In 262 A. D. the Roman empire was faltering.  One prop on the tottering empire was Aulus Perrenius, Imperial Agent.   Aulus could be characterized as a very early James Bond working for the Empire and not necessarily for the specific emperor.  Aulus is introduced to Calvus, who unknown to him initially was also an agent working for a different time.   Together the two must protect Aulus's empire and time as well as saving Calvus's future time.

Drake always does a superb job with historically accurate settings and characters.  His story telling could be done around a campfire or a nuclear pile.  The man has game!   His stories always provide some philosophic head scratching as well as plenty of action and character insights.

I really enjoy his work in general and this book specifically.

I recommend both this book.

Site:  http://david-drake.com/


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 4, 2015

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer--The Tour And Review





This is a reprise of my previous review.  Stephen is trying to get the word out on his great new series and I am more than happy to participate. 

Stephen is aware of my penchant for strong female protagonists.    Note the list of books at the top of my Azure Dwarf site on butt kicking female protagonists.   Digressing, Person of Interest, the TV series is populated by some seriously strong female characters.   Caring on for Stephen Zimmer's latest treat, Heart of a Lion is an excellent fantasy where Rayden Valkyrie is traveling home through many trials and tribulations.

Rayden is a no nonsense woman who takes her men by her choice and her's alone.   She battles injustice as she sees it and internally philosophizes as she travels.  She faces horrific danger with pragmatic good humor and d
epends on her wits and strength of arm to see her through her occasionally self destructive behavior.

The plot is intricate without being confusing.  My only note of discord is that I felt her abandonment of Ammanus was out of character.

I highly recommend it.  

Hellscapes II and Heart of a Lion Tours  Contest

The grand prize, a shiny brand new Fire HD 8 (or gift card equivalent if the winner is international).   5 first place winners will get their choice of a signed Heart of a Lion or Hellscapes book in trade paperback.  Then 7 runner ups will win eBooks of both new releases.

Contest will go active October 25, 2015.  It will run all the way to November 10th to cover both tours. Click the link below to enter. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Web site:  http://www.stephenzimmer.com/

If you are motivated to read between or beyond the lines you may enjoy a very soul searching post by author Stephen Zimmer at his blog.



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, November 2, 2015

Harper Voyager Open Call For Manuscripts Starts TODAY November 2, 2015 for 5 Days ONLY!


This is actually pretty cool so fellow authors check it out.

HARPER VOYAGER U.S. IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MANUSCRIPTS!

Come back here (HarperVoyagerSubmissions.com) on November 2nd at Noon Eastern to start submitting for this Fall’s open call!

While we’re always on the lookout for full-length fantasy, science fiction, and horror, we’re really in the market right now for Urban Fantasy and Military Sci-Fi. And be sure to check back throughout the year—we’ll be doing other calls for different genres as well!

Keep in mind we are looking for full length manuscripts between 60,000 and 90,000 words. The submission window closes on November 6th so get your manuscripts ready!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer TOUR


HeartofaLionTourBadge
Stephen Zimmer's Heart of a Lion Virtual Tour
HeartofaLionCover_1200X800StephenZimmerAuthorPhoto About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based in Lexington Kentucky. His work includes the cross-genre Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the sword and sorcery Dark Sun Sawn Trilogy, featuring Rayden Valkyrie, the Harvey and Solomon Steampunk tales and the Hellscapes and Chronicles of Ave short story collections.

Book Synopsis for Heart of a Lion:
Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home. A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances. The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between. Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north. Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people. Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion. Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

Website:

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Tour Schedule and Activities
11/2  Beauty In Ruins Guest Post
11/2 
MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Interview
11/2 
Kentucky Geek Girl Guest Post
11/2 
SwillBlog Review
11/2 
Kylie Jude Blog Top Ten List
11/3 
Kylie Jude Blog Interview
11/4 
Book in the Bag Interview
11/4 
Azure Dwarf Review
11/4/ 
Novel-Ties Guest Post
11/4 
Sheila's Blog Guest Post
11/4 
The Star Chamber Show Podcast (Show is live at 9pm EST)
11/5 
Creatives Help Board. How may I direct your call? Interview
11/6 
WebbWeaver Reviews Guest Post
11/7 
Sapphyria's Book Reviews Top Ten's List
11/8 
Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
11/8  
Anasazi Dreams Review

Purchase Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hellscapes II and Heart of a Lion Tours  Contest

The grand prize, a shiny brand new Fire HD 8 (or gift card equivalent if the winner is international).   5 first place winners will get their choice of a signed Heart of a Lion or Hellscapes book in trade paperback.  Then 7 runner ups will win eBooks of both new releases.

Contest will go active October 25, 2015.  It will run all the way to November 10th to cover both tours. Click the link below to enter.