Monday, June 30, 2014

Mythical Monday (54)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Author Martin Spernau
Talking about Quatlmander.

"No such thing as a Quatlmander"

"There is no such thing as a Quatlmander." Andrew states in my story 'Rainmaker,' recently published in the New Myths Theme-Thology.

"Little Dragon might be central to our calendar, but a creature that turns men to stone with its breath and spreads death and decay?" Andrew believes it to be a creature of myths. As would you, if I were to claim there was such a creature in our own - real - world.

And you'd be just as wrong as Andrew is for his world. He is about to meet his first Quatlmander, and you could, conceivably find a creature very much like it if you were to travel to the islands of South Indonesia. I based the Quatlmander on the Komodo dragon (, a land-lizard that grows to a length of 3m (10ft) or more and can swallow a whole goat in one piece. As the Komodo dragon is a carrion eater, many who met one first-person would attest that I haven't even made up the 'turn men to stone with its breath' part.

What I did change for the Quatlmander is mostly the color scheme. Our Komodo dragon is often a drab grey-brown, while the Quatlmander's scaly hide is black with large red spots, a color scheme inspired by our salamanders.

As the name 'New Myths' implies, all stories in the anthology were to have a newly created myth at their core. I wanted to take the idea a step further and not only create a new myth - or mythical creature - but also play with the way there often is a very real truth at the core of a myth. Modeling the Quatlmander after a creature from our world that is almost as mythical to us seemed rather appropriate.

You can read about Andrew the Journeyman Rainmaker, the Quatlmander and more in Theme-Thology: New Myths by HDWPBooks (

Another story set in the same background and featuring even more of the Quatlmander will be upcoming on the Every Photo Tells... podcast ( with the title "Chasing Lizards up Sacred Street."

If you'd like to generally read more of my work, do also check out the Iron Pen Anthology - Volume I (

About Me:
A poet of the multi-verse, Martin Spernau's palms show two parallel life-lines, one of which is fading as he loses his physical sight, while the other shows his ability to portray the whimsical science of the fantastic with true insight and vision.

Infrequent blog:

UPDATE: Chasing Lizards up Sacred Street is now available for your listening.

Purchase At:

Barnes & Nobles

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Post #57

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


I skipped last weeks Sunday Post, so this is going to be a two week-er. I was lazy and spent the day being a vegetable and dozing on the couch last weekend. *sigh* Weekends seem to be that time for me, that my body just shuts down. I don't think I'm doing to much during the week, but it's lounge time lately when weekends hit. Maybe it's the hot, muggy air here in the dead of summer time. Who knows.

I've been trying to keep busy. Get back on blog visiting track with all kiddo has going on as well.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Working on re-writes and a few reads for friends.

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester (there are several stories set in this world. I'll be working on listening to them all)

Finished Last Weeks:
Nothing new.

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


Last Week on the Blog:

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Flash Fiction (5) - This one is a little....bloody. But I'm happy with it. :) Hope you enjoy it as well.

My Time at Balticon 48 - 2014 - You can read about my weekend with amazing people.

Around the Internet...


Weekly Posts:

***NEW*** Mythical Monday I have Aaron Galvin talking about Selkies and T. Eric Bakutis talking about Fae for the last two weeks.

Throwback Thursday


This Week to Come on the Blog:

Mythical Monday Martin Spernau with Quatlmander. (Mon)

Book Review Morevi by Tee Morris and Lisa Lee. (Wed)
Book Review Tales of the Children by P.G. Holyfield. (Thur)


Received Last Weeks:

Ever After by Kate SeRine
Goodreads Synopsis:
To Catch a Thief…

For centuries, Gideon Montrose has served the King of Fairies without question and, often, without mercy. So when the King orders him to apprehend a notorious thief, Gideon obeys. But when he finally gets his hands on the beautiful culprit, Gideon’s in for a shock.

Arabella Locksley is none other than the spirited, unpredictable woman he knew back in Make Believe as Robin Hood — the love of his life whose tragic death destroyed his chance at Happily Ever After.

Now, he has an impossible choice. Betray the woman he once loved, or the king he’s bound to serve?

For Review Consideration:


Free Ebooks:
Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak
Goodreads Synopsis:
An opium-addicted beauty.
An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.
An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak's Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.

It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium. 

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.

*Due to steamy scenes and depictions of drug use, this novel is intended for mature readers.

Free Audio Books/Stories:
Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Goodreads Synopsis:
All Daniel Sharabi wanted was a family of his own. Born into a collectivist society of telepaths, Daniel grew up believing that he and his lifelong love Rebecca would form the core of a new breeding cell, helping to raise the next generation of their people. But when Daniel reaches adulthood, and learns that his psychic talents are mediocre at best, he finds himself marginalized and discounted by the society he has dedicated his young life to.

All Brian Sommers wanted was to raise his family in peace. After five years of service in the Empire's elite Psi Ops Division, Brian and his polyamorous partners were granted permission by the Psi Collective to form a new breeding cell. But when an old enemy threatens the security of the Collective, Brian finds himself being drawn back into a world of espionage, paranoia and covert action.

Now these two men, longtime friends driven apart by Collective politics, become entangled in a web of threats, lies and deadly secrets. Both will risk everything to prove their worth to the community they love -- and neither will emerge unchanged.

"Making the Cut" is the first full-length novel in the world of Metamor City. It was released as a full-cast audio production on The Metamor City Podcast between December 2007 and May 2009. It won the 2009 Parsec Award for Outstanding Audio Drama (Long Form), and has been heard by over 20,000 listeners around the world.


Reviews to Come:

Captain's Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Owners Share by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell - a podcast reading of the book
Marco and The Red Granny by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Wasteland by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
War by Mur Lafferty (in audiobook while at work)
Tales of the Children by P.G. Holyfield (in audiobook while at work) An Anthology collection in the setting of Land of Caern.
The Secret World Chronicle: The Hunt by Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey (in audiobook while at work)
Rusted Veins by Jaye Wells
Haunted by Amanda Bonilla
The Secret World Chronicle: World Well Lost by Mercees Lackey,Steve Libby, Cody Martin, & Dennis Lee
Morevi by Tee Morris & Lisa Lee
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #1 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #2 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Tales from the Archives, Vol 3: #3 by Tee Morris, Pip Ballantine, & others.
Crossing Lines by John Mierau
Marked Man by John Mierau
Harlan's Wake by John Mierau
The List by John Mierau
A Curse Awakened by Cecy Robson
Broken by Cedric Johnson & Veronica Giguere
Tales from the Archive: 4 - Wooden Go to Waste by Sandra Wickham
Tales from the Archive: 5 (part 1 & 2) - Those Dark Satanic Mills by Suna Dasi
Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Shadow's Master by Jon Sprunk
Welcome to the City by Chris Lester
Huntress by Chris Lester
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review: A Wanderer's Tale: Rusted Memory

A Wanderer's Tale: Rusted Memory

By:  Jennifer Melzer

Publish Date:  April 3, 2014

Publisher:  Dragon's Gold

Format:  eBook, 36pgs

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Wanderer's Tale series

Recommendation:  Oh heavens yes. The poetic nature of Morovoi with the woman and what he's lived through. Then what he will continue to live through.

Herein lie the journal pages of a bard cursed for his crimes against an angry god when the world was still new. He’s wandered these lands lifetime after lifetime, singing for his bed and supper, winning companionship with his songs and sharing tales with all who will listen of the things he’s witnessed on his endless travels.

He is called Wanderer by the gods, for it is his punishment to walk until the end of days, never knowing the bond of friendship, the strength of family or the comfort of coming home.

The people of Vennakrand know him as Morovio, and these are his tales

In Rusted Memory, Morovio discovers he is not alone in his curse, for there is another, an impossible relation who's come to exact vengeance for the very blood that flows in his veins.

Contains an exclusive first look at the upcoming second tale in the series, Worse Things Than Death.

Purchase At:
Amazon   /   Barnes & Nobles
This book is FREE on B&N. If you'd like it free on Kindle, check out Jennifer's site for information.

**I read this book to read for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Morovio is the wanderer. Cursed to roam and share his stories and sing his songs. Tonight, with the vision laying in his bed, he remembers another from lifetimes ago. The one that he loved and lost. The next day Morovio meets another with a similar curse. One that's pained more than Morovio as he doesn't live on longer than death wishes, but desires to go home A home he can no longer find.

Morovio is a ladies man, a lover. He seems to know what to say and do to woman. Though, do keep in mind, he is a bard that's lived thousands of years. He's got TONS of experience. Even though Morovio is not spending long with each woman (only a night or two), he has a gentleness about him. He' doesn't 100% understand woman but he sees them more than other men do.

We spend time with Morovio as he meets another of a similar curse as his. Goodness! Even the heartache I feel for Rust. Poor man. Sad story of his and his fathers and his fathers father. A whole cursed family. All stole my heart.

A taste of the world Morovio lives through for years upon years. We get short stories of tales Morovie spins. A feel for what he's seen and lived through. Yet leaves our palate craving more. To have one night with this bard to hear all he has to tell and share.

Jennifer speaks poetically through Morovio. I love it! The feeling and emotion in the story behind Morovio tonight. Morovio's, the bard, story is in first person as he tells his story. Jennifer's style flows with ease and I'm drawn to keep reading. I believe Jennifer has to have bard ancestors in her family tree after reading Rusted Memory.

Oh, I will be waiting for more in this world with Morovio. Oh oh oh. I'llll be waiting.

Throwback Thursday (158)

I found this picture of Trinity College Library, and thought it would work for this meme with a little play with lighting and adding the words.

Let's talk about those books already on the shelves, yours or the stores.

I have a post for books I'm looking forward to coming out;
Looking Forward To...
But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on the shelves.

Whether it be on your shelf waiting to be read or on the shelves in the stores waiting for you to give it a good home.

So, I thought I would share a book a week that is just waiting for me to travel through it's world.

Now... where do I start? Lets go by Published Date on the books...

This Week:

Mmm. This was a freebie I picked up. I was curious as it sounded interesting and the starts to a fantasy series. I do like the cover too. :)

Goodreads Synopsis:
How is power gained, retained and exercised; and what happens to a power structure when a young girl with magical abilities hacks and slashes her way into the very core of its apparatus?

In a magical city that travels through multiple dimensions, a young girl named Hemlock has risen from being a lowly cutpurse to discovering that she is a powerful fighter. Under the guidance of an aging freedom fighter named Safreon, Hemlock battles to keep the peace in her run down district, while across the City the upper class Elites enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom.

The Wizard Tower looms in the center of the City, casting a long shadow over its affairs. The Wizards rule behind the scenes, dictating and controlling the use of magic. Hemlock instinctively feels that the Wizards are her enemies, but Safreon will not discuss openly opposing them, as he seeks to methodically mentor Hemlock, and advance his own cryptic plans for the City.

Hemlock makes a decision to make a bold attack on the Wizard Tower alone, convinced that she can destroy or undo whatever method the Wizards are using to control and ration magic. As the novel opens, we join Hemlock just after she has infiltrated the Wizard Tower, learning what happens through a narrative interspersed with flashbacks to events leading up to the attack.

I've heard back from a few bloggers that they would like to join in this meme post, so I'm adding a Linky for you to join in.  Grab the picture above, and join in.  All I ask, is if you can acknowledge my blog in the post so others know where to come back to.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Sound and Fury

Sound and Fury

By:  S.A. Archer & S. Ravynheart

Publish Date:  May 28, 2014

Publisher:  Ravynheart Publishing

Format:  ebook, 81 pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st of season 3 Bastion of Magic series
continuation of Rise of the UnseelieChampion of the Sidhe, and Touch series, along with Into Magic trilogy.

Since Donovan vanished after the creation of the new fey realm Kieran has done his best to watch out for Malcolm. The bloodhound's never been all that stable, and the fey fear what he'll do without Donovan's strong guidance.

They were right to be afraid.

First Sentence:
The tormenting ache twisting in his muscles awake Kieran.

Purchase At:

***I read for my honest thoughts on the story, from the author.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Kieran needs more Touch from his fellow fey and Sidhe to cope through the day. Even in the new realm with all the fey present, he swoops out those that stay with him as they tire quickly. Malcolm is grief stricken with Donovan's missing that he goes in search for him. Kieran is determined to find and calm his friend Malcolm. Both find themselves where they didn't expect to be again, but seem to find it's where they need to be and feel as they are accomplishing something bigger.

Kieran and Malcolm are struggling with their inner turmoils. Both seem to be on a path where they will cross each others paths as time goes. I didn't realize Kieran felt out of place until this read, but it makes sense with what's happened in the past. This is where we learn a good bit more about him. Malcolm is still depressed since the creation of the new realm with the loss of his only trusted friend and mentor. Kieran is a true friend and is determined to help Malcolm through his hard times.

Malcolm doesn't realize it, but he needs the help that is there for him. I fear Malcolm is on a downward spiral. Which we had seen before but without Donovan's strong presence to guide Malcolm and be a rock for him Malcolm is on his own mission and it may not bade well for him, or others. Malcolm's thinking is reasonable to himself, but not logical in the world. This is going to get even uglier that it has here.

The story with Kieran is of the more sensual side. I hold out hope that there is a new relationship forming for Malcolm that could help and reel him back in. Is there someone for him? A place for him to belong? There is a glimmer of hope for both Kieran and Malcolm, their places may not be where they think they would have been. And there are obstacles in each's path that will need to be overcome.

The fey realm is starting to take a solid, larger shape. Forms of command are beginning to form. There may be places for Malcolm and Kieran with the connections between the real work and the fey realm.

As fey fall into place, there are new fey introduced.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mythical Monday (53)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Fantasy author 
T. Eric Bakutis
Talking about Fae.

On the Subject of Fae

For a long time I had very little interest in fairies. I knew them as pleasant, often chatty winged women who wore matching outfits of red, blue, or green. They spent their time flitting about singing catchy songs or bopping things with their wands (yes, I watched Sleeping Beauty many times). While they certainly seemed nice enough, they weren't nearly as awe-inspiring as luck dragons or skeksis or Jareth and his goblin horde. They just didn't have any bite.

As I grew older I came across the more classical interpretations of fae, or faeries (I prefer the more archaic spelling). Those old myths and legends were what caught my attention. The faeries in these tales were not the sympathetic benefactors sold by Disney. These were tricksters and monsters, dangerous creatures one must avoid or appease, and their powers ranged from simple mischief to terrible curses and unimaginable harm.

More than anything, it was their mercurial nature that intrigued me. They would aid you, torment you, or completely ignore you based on unpredictable whimsy and inscrutable motives. In those cases where you did catch their interest, they might creep up while you slept and steal a prized possession. They might tickle your feet or tie your hair in knots. 

Or they might poison you. Or they might paralyze you. Or they might lure you into a river and drown you, curse you with painful boils, abduct you and imprison you forever. They were even known to steal innocent newborn babies and replace them with changelings. 

In all the tales about their mischief and misdeeds, only one common element was present. One did not trifle with the fae folk. That, for me, made them very interesting. 

I've now written several short stories involving faeries (the uncaring or malicious kind) and they were also the inspiration for one of the many perils that Kara and her friends face in my first book, Glyphbinder. The Five Provinces that make up Kara's world are home to rare but dangerous creatures known as Shifters, and the illusions they create are impressive indeed. 

When it suits them, they can make day look like night or solid buildings look like open fields. They can fabricate terrifying images of giant spiders or charging beasts, make enemies look like friends and friends look like enemies. They can even communicate using illusions, though only to gloat or threaten, and there is an undeniable beauty in the chaos they create. 

Every illusion is a work of art. Every pleasant image is a calculated ploy. They are a natural disaster that knows right where you're hiding and very much wants you to come out and play. 

The thing I enjoy most about Shifters, as antagonists, is that there's absolutely no animosity in what they do. It's not personal. They're just playing with you, like a cat that repeatedly pounces, mauls, and tortures a helpless little mouse. Just until it stops moving. Just until they get bored. 

All we are to Shifters are their playthings. If you happen to be injured or killed due to their illusions, they probably won't notice and certainly won't care. I find their casual, indiscriminate malice far more frightening than a rational enemy with a clear goal and a known agenda. 

To tweak a common quote of the day, some monsters just want to watch the world burn.

Author Bio:
T. Eric Bakutis is a game designer and author now living in Maryland. His first book, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and its sequel, Demonkin, is due in late 2014-early 2015 from McBryde Publishing.

His short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies (with more on the way!) and he's a regular member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's Critique Circle, a group of talented authors who consistently make his work much, much better.

In his spare time, Eric plays many video games, hikes with his wife, and walks and is walked by his excitable dog. He's been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil and making games since he got his first computer. He feels incredibly fortunate to have now published his first game and his first book, and looks forward to releasing more of both in coming years.

You can learn read excepts from his novels and short stories, check out art inspired by his books, and learn more about his video game projects at

Find Eric:
Twitter:  @TEricBakutis
Goodreads:  Glyphbinder and Author T. Eric Bakutis

Purchase Glyphbinder:

Barnes & Nobles

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cover Reveal & GIVEAWAY!!

I'm excited to share the next novella in the Sin City Collectors series that is by Amanda Carlson. She's an author I've loved reading since book one (actually I think it was a prequel novella too) of her Jessica McClain series. I will take everything and anything I can get my hands on that she's written.

The newest cover to share with you from Amanda is....

Ante Up
Sin City Collectors #3
By:  Amanda Carlson
Due Out:  August 18, 2014
Diesel Jones is a shifter who has issues with the moon, but he quickly finds that Sofia Cabrera, a clever witch who just moved in to town, is his only hope to reach his goal of becoming a Collector. When they pair up to take down an incubus, she not only saves his life, but wins his heart in the process…


I'm loving these covers something fierce! I love the colors and the woman on the cover. This one definitely gives the feel of magic. She is a witch! :)

These books are quick reads, but punched full of action and romance. I'll be watching for August 18th to roll around, that's for sure.


You can currently pick up the first story in the collection, which is also by Amanda, Aces Wild.
Aces Wild
By Amanda Carlson
Welcome to Vegas. Home of the Sin City Collectors. The job description is easy: Bring the offending supernatural in to the Boss and don’t ask any questions.

Nevada Hamilton has learned a few things since becoming a Sin City Collector, and staying away from vampires is one of them. After botching her first Collection, the vamp getting away after causing as much damage as possible, she hasn’t been assigned to another one since.

But when she receives her next playing card, she’s in for a surprise. Not only is a vampire her next target, but they’ve paired her up to make sure she gets the job done right. Refusing a Collection is not an option, but when she discovers who she’s working with, making the mission as difficult as possible for her new partner becomes her top priority…

Being a hellhound isn’t enough to protect Jake Troubadour from Nevada Hamilton, no matter how thick his skin is. Finding out he has to work with the beautiful dhampir, after not seeing her for three years, is a low blow—but Jake is a professional. He takes his Collections as seriously as he does running his bar. He’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done, but after that, he’s out. No more chances for the girl who wrecked his bike and scarred his soul so long ago. But even with his heart dead set against it, this hellhound quickly finds he’s not immune to love after all.

What’s Collected in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

Purchase Aces Wild at:
Barnes & Nobles

Amanda has a giveaway running too!
Win 1 of 5 copies of Aces Wild.
Complete the Rafflecopter and you are in.


Author Bio:

Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a BA in both Speech and Hearing Science & Child Development. She writes the new Sin City Collectors series, as well as the high octane Jessica McClain urban fantasy series published by Orbit. Find her books everywhere. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday (157)

I found this picture of Trinity College Library, and thought it would work for this meme with a little play with lighting and adding the words.

Let's talk about those books already on the shelves, yours or the stores.

I have a post for books I'm looking forward to coming out;
Looking Forward To...
But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on the shelves.

Whether it be on your shelf waiting to be read or on the shelves in the stores waiting for you to give it a good home.

So, I thought I would share a book a week that is just waiting for me to travel through it's world.

Now... where do I start? Lets go by Published Date on the books...

This Week:

I won a print copy of this amazing sounding book. Now I need to work out the time to read it. It's a little different from my normal reads, but I like mixing up the reading. This feels like it can do that with something that still is what I love.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Your God. Your Country. Your Kin. 
Who Do You Betray?

1563: Anyone could be a suspect; any Catholic could be accused of plotting against the throne. Clarenceux keeps his head down and his religion quiet. But when a friend desperately pleads with Clarenceux to hide a manuscript for him, he is drawn into a web of treachery and conspiracy he may never untangle. Is there no refuge if your faith is your enemy?

Bestselling author Dr. Ian Mortimer, writing as James Forrester, has crafted a chilling, brilliant story that re-imagines how the explosive mix of faith and fear can tear a country apart. Sacred Treason tells a thrilling story of murder, betrayal, and loyalty--and the power of the written word.

I've heard back from a few bloggers that they would like to join in this meme post, so I'm adding a Linky for you to join in.  Grab the picture above, and join in.  All I ask, is if you can acknowledge my blog in the post so others know where to come back to.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Working for the Devil

Working for the Devil

By:  Lilith Saintcrow

Publisher:  Orbit

Publish Date:  September 1, 2007

Format:  ebook, 317pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Dante Valentine series

Recommendation:  Yes, magic and amazing world full of Demons and more.

When the Devil needs a rogue demon killed, who does he call?

The Player: Necromance-for-hire Dante Valentine is choosy about her jobs. Hot tempered and with nerves of steel, she can raise the dead like nobody's business. But one rainy Monday morning, everything goes straight to hell.

The Score: The Devil hires Dante to eliminate a rogue demon: Vardimal Santino. In return, he will let her live. It's an offer she can't refuse.

The Catch: How do you kill something that can't die?

First Sentence:
My working relationship with Lucifer began on a rainy Monday.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

**I read this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
A Lord of Hell shows up at Dante's door with an invite from the Prince for a contract - she fulfills and she'll be allowed to live with riches beyond her dreams. The Prince, Lucifer, wishes an escaped demon executed and the Egg, a demon artifact he's about to break, brought back to him. Jaf, the demon assassin of Lucifer's is to go with her and keep her alive until the job is done. The demon - Santino - is a dangerous serial killer and Dante and Jaf have personal vendetta's to settle with him. Why Dante? Because the demon was granted immortality years ago. Lucifer hopes since Dante is neither human or Demon she will be able to do the job.

One thing that stuck out in a huge way to me, the world building. Lilith is a pro at it. This world is similar yet so different to what we know. There is an advance in tech here, as demons do love tinkering. There are hover trains, plasguns, holovids, AI pilotdecks on hovers and freight fliers. Magic exists here strongly and is accepted, mostly. There's an Academy to be accredited in area of expertise. But people are still nervous of some of the areas, necromancy being top of the list. Such an interesting creation with psi and even demon intervention in the world.

Demons aren't all that bad. Err, lack of a better word? They are not angels, but they are interesting in humans and the way of the human world as well. Demons are not looked upon with any love by many. But then there are many that don't know there are Demons walking around. But people sure know there are Necromancers and Shamans and others of magic walking around by their living tattoo on their face.

Dante just wants to be left alone to get through her days the best she can. Pay off her Academy loans and buy a house sooner than most her kind. She dabbles in bounty hunting of small things, not an assassin though, to get ahead. And she is. She's a tough shell though. She has a softer side, but hides it well. Then we have Jaf...I...I think 40 pages in and I was falling for the demon.

We meet other friends of Dante as well. They show a broader verse to the world. More magic present and what they can do. Cool. Gabe and Eddie and Jace. And...I think I really like Jace as well. But I doubted the friend relationships a few times as we went. Well done by Lilith.

I will be reading more of this series. The world and magic has caught me. And, seeing Dante as she is now, I want to know what she'll do next.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Audio Book Review: Earth


By:  Mur Lafferty

Publish Date:  2007

Format:  Podiobook

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  3rd of The Afterlife series; 1st Book ~ Heaven, 2nd ~ Hell

Recommendation:  Oh yes. Oh heavens! What happens when a human, slated for more since the beginning inherits Heaven and Hell? Yes, things get askew. And I think it's wonderful.

After gaining the rule of Heaven and Hell, with all the power that promised, Kate and Daniel should be set for eternity, right? Well, sure, as soon as they get used to their god-like powers. And then they need to remake the Earth. And there's the matter of the major and minor deities who are not pleased with their ascension. Even now, the afterlife still isn't easy.

First Sentence:
There's a point when you're not cold anymore.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

Listen For Free:
PodioBooks  /  iTunes

*I listened to this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Kate and Daniel are still coming into their powers and getting use to their new positions. But they are not both adjusting well, or easily, to what they are to do. There are troubles as well. The weather is off, which shows they don't have full control of their powers. There is something chasing after Daniel in Hell, and even when not there. There are gods that are not happy with Kate and Daniel having control, even dead gods...where do they go? And, they need to create an Earth before everything is sucked away. All while trying to put the Afterlives back together.

We see new parts of Heaven. A part that doesn't get seen by others and even becomes a very important part of the story. Hobo Heaven.

What about the old gods? There are some that just up and left. There are others that are dead. Where do the dead gods go though? Is there even a death for the dead? We see how the energies and souls move here.

But what's interesting, seeing the rise of powers that are not happy with who's in charge, or who is. Kate and Daniel are in their new positions and struggling to figure out what they are to do, and how to do it. One adjusts better than the other. But it's a battle for them. And one that leads to a big battle and worry. Daniel and Kate are the center of the works and world here.

The responsibility they have on their shoulders. Wow. I am glad I don't have the weight of the world and afterlife on my shoulders. I can completely understand the struggling, and there's no handbook either.

What happens when a human, slated for more since the beginning inherits Heaven and Hell? Trying to learn along the way, without a handbook. Mur has twisted slightly the way things revolve here with the new coming of powers. I love it! Really has me thinking and I can follow the way things have turned and twisted for these characters. Just wow-ed. I'm growing more and more worried for our duo. They are amazing and I'm fully invested with them.

Dang! I'm thrilled at this moment of finishing that ALL the stories are out. So I can RUSH to the next story!

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Time at Balticon 48 - 2014

And I felt at home once again.

I can't describe the feeling of being at Balticon. The people here accept me and make me feel as important as each and every one of them. It's great to see friends I've made here in the past and make new friends in just a short time frame. And yes, I consider these people my friends.

For me this convention feels a bit more personal. These people are just that, people. Yes they are authors and podcasters but they don't feel they are here just to make a sale and move on. These people are here to socialize and have a great time. Exactly what you do with friends when you get together. And they have opened their arms to me each year.

This year I had the pleasure of the full weekend experience. Things at home with husbands work and kiddo's schedules worked out for me to leave Friday morning and arrive at Baltimore, Maryland at 1:00 pm and leave Baltimore, Maryland about 2:30-ish pm Monday. Of course with the dogs and a kid and work, my husband couldn't go with me but I am happy to say my brother went again. Hey, don't knock it. I want to go and I know my husband feels better if I am traveling with someone. My brother likes books, gaming, and art so it's right up his alley. That makes three years for us making this trip.

This year was extra special, not only for the friends and new friends but because I was on panels. FOR THE FIRST TIME EVA! Okay, lets start back at the beginning...

 LOOK! I was in the beautiful art filled book, listed as a guest and panelist!

We arrive and are highly surprised at the quickness of getting our badges for the convention and our room. O.O There was like no one waiting in line when we got there. So, all settled in we head to the bar (of course!). Jon Sprunk comes in first and sits with us. We are chatting away when Starla Huchton, her husband Scott, Stephen Granade and a crew come in. We do some quick visiting while waiting for panels to begin.

Friday night  was pretty easy going. I went to Jon Sprunk's release party for Blood & Iron (sorry to hear that Gail Martin got delayed in flight. she was to be here too.) then headed over to the Meat and Greet where Tee Morris was cooking on the grill. The evening was topped off with a few extra amusing panels.

I sat in on Using An Accent In Your Podcast panel and enjoyed the fun of the panelists. Then, staying in the same room, I was ready for Dirty Mad Libs (which is up for your listening, ADULT Content). Oh heavens this is fun! They take a sexy scene and have the audience give adverbs, nouns, and different parts of speech. Then, the scene unknown to use, is read with all the crazy words the audience gave. Oh some of the sections are even hard for the panelists to read back. LOL! But it's a hoot! Once this was over, we were primed for Disasterpiece After Dark with Alex White and Stephen Granade. These two are another must see at Balticon. With the help of the audience, they recreate a movie. Or create a new movie. And it's After Dark so you know it's a little on the naughty side. LOL!

The evening ended on a laugh and being exhausted from driving, I headed to bed at midnight.

I woke early (darn that daily internal alarm clock!) forced myself to stay in bed a bit long then finally got up and went down to the cafe to work on some words. I did! I never thought I'd have time at a convention to get words out, but I did. Wow! That was a new achievement for me. And I plan on holding to it in the future.

I was excited as today I was to have my very first ever panel!

I sat in to listen to Conducting Podcast Interviews panel and learned a few new tricks for when (yes when, not if as I do hope to do some podcasting) I get to my podcasting portion of the internet world.

We had lunch with Collin Earl, Chris Snelgrove, P.D. Griffith, and Brian Rathbone (no I'm not going to forget you know Brian! LOL!). Wonderful pizza.

Then we all went our own ways with different panels we needed to get to. I went to Disasterpiece Theatre LIVE, the daylight version for all ages. ;) Again, fun to sit in.

I had the pleasure of sharing the panel with two authors I know and love, personally and professionally. Starla Huchton and Tee Morris. The panel was How To Do A Blog Tour.
See? Right there! I'm beside Tee.

I went down for Fortress Publishing's release party of TV Gods. It was a blast with these guys. They are a hoot and so easy to joke around with.

Then the evening was free to relax and see friends. We had dinner with Jon Sprunk and got to talk. It was nice and relaxing, away from the rush of the day at Balticon.

When I returned I sat at the bar for a bit longer and headed down to Balticon Beats. Alex White was the DJ as many of us danced the night away.

I woke to sore feet. lol.

Sunday was my marathon day. I had four panels and all sorts of panels between mine that I wanted to see.

My first panel of the day was Academic vs Emotional Book Reviewing. Jon Sprunk was on this panel. I think this one I struggled a bit with. I wasn't sure what the topic discussion was to be and I think we all had different thoughts on it. Scott Roche was wonderful with moderating and helped lead the way in discussions.

Then I ran to my next panel, Promoting Your Book. Where I was on the panel with the amazing Tee Morris once again. (sorry, no pictures. I need to have an assistant to do this for me. lol) This was interesting in sharing what I, as a reader, like to see in promotion items.

I grabbed a quick lunch and on to the next panel I wanted to see. Dynamic Voice Acting. This is another panel I try NOT to miss. To hear these amazing voice actors at work. Wow! They take a script and read it in two different fashions based on the character background. Plain Amazing to hear. Veronica Giguere had to read a piece that made her cry, then the audience in turn from the emotion in her voice. If you EVER get a chance to listen to her work, DO IT. She is outstanding with her accents, infliction, and emotions. You will not regret listening to her.

Next I went to a book release for Ditry Magick, an anthology that sounds amazing. There were several authors for the book here and it was great to hear readings of their stories in this release party. And a few new authors I look forward to seeing again. I did have to leave this party early though, I had a panel I was on.

I went to the next panel I was on, Blogging for Dummies. And, I'm glad I did as I learned a thing or two as well! LOL! There is so much out there with blogger that it was interesting to share my tricks and learn new ones.

I sat in for WordPress 101 panel as I'm always thinking of moving and learned a few things about it.

The next panel was one I was on and in the same room and was Social Media Promotions. Again, awesome to hear the panelists with me talking. Always tricks to pick up that I missed or haven't seen yet. Thank you all!

I rounded the day off with going to a Reading by Starla Huchton and Alex White. Starla read from her Sexy Superheroes and Alex graced us with some of his new work (that I WILL be looking forward to hitting the shelves).

There was a stop for food mixed in there somewhere during the day. Saturday night was spent bouncing around talking to friends and meeting new ones, and closing the bar. lol.

Monday started early. There was a panel at 8:00 AM. O.O Yes, early but I wanted to go. How and Why Romance is 53% of the Market. PJ Schnyder was on the panel and I was curious as to this discussion. It was interesting and I agree with a lot of what was said.

Then I met with a few authors to help talk about blog tours and such. and sat in on The Shared Desk Livecast. All I have to say is Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine are amazing people.

Sooo, what did I come home with in the way of books and such? Well, let me show you...
Look at those books I picked up!
(listing starting at the top left working right)
Blood & Iron by Jon Sprunk
TV Gods edited by Jeff Young & Lee Hillman (anthology)
Cybrosis by P.C. Haring
Stoned in Charm City by Kelly A Harmon
Call of the Herald by Brian Rathbone
Dirty Magick: Los Angeles edited by Charlie Brown (anthology)
Selk Skin Deep by Kelly A. Harmon
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Evolution: ANGEL by Starla Huchton
Evolution: SAGE by Starla Huchton
Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk

A movie by Charlie Brown - Angels Die Slowly.


And a surprise, precious gift I received from Starla Huchton:
Those are M&M's with sayings from her Sexy Superheroes books and that necklace, it's the first book of the series. I am HONORED to have one of 6 made.

This Balticon was a new experience for me. I've learned a few things and shared some too. In all the talking I've done with friends I came home with a drive to start something new. I've found there are people, authors, out there that don't know about this world we play in - the internet of blogging. There is so much here we can share with these people and so many books and stories in all formats we are missing out on. I want to help with this.

But, in the end I've also realized that I can help people. That there are people who want to hear what I have to share, my experiences. That was new for me. An eye opener of my own. I felt more of an integral piece of the workings than I have ever felt before. These people are more accepting than anyone I've ever meet and in being so, they bring out the best in everyone. They have a way of finding what it is that you can excel at and pulling it forward for you to see.

For this, I thank Balticon and everyone that comes to this great meeting of minds.

I look forward to sharing all I can next year and for years to come. And I'm hoping to one day in the next few months to pull a few things together to help more throughout the year.

Thank you Balticon, and I will see you all next year. Until then, take care so we all can make it together again.