August 2015 – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Month: August 2015 (Page 1 of 2)

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Blade of the Destroyer Blog Tour Part 1

In preparation for the launch of Blade of the Destroyer, I’ve set up a blog tour. Basically, this means author interviews, book reviews, and guest posts on blogs all around the internet. Here’s where I have been so far:

Scribbler on a Roof: Book Review by Emmerson Greene

The Inner Thoughts of Rosie Bates: Author Interview with Rosie Bates

Eve’s Folly YouTube Channel: Ridiculously Hilarious vlog by EJ Bouinatchova (you definitely want to check out this one!)

EJ’s Writing: Book Review by EJ Bouinatchova

Xanoxixa Territory: Book Review/Author Interview with “The Dragon Queen”

JG Christiansen: Brilliant Book Review by Jesse G. Christiansen

Fiona Skye: Excellent Review by Fiona Skye

Murder Lab: Guest Post “How 200 People Agreed to Help Me With My Book Launch”

A Simple Taste for Reading: Book Review and Author Interview

Jesse Magnan: Book Review by the Deranged Scientist

Britbear’s Book Reviews: Review by Elise Abram

The Literary Lawyer: Book Review by Tim Meloche

Renaissance Writer: Author Interview with Gordon Long

The Storm Below: Book Review by JMD Reid

Dark Fiction Author: In-Depth Book Review by Conrad Zero

Michelle Dalson: Author Interview with Michelle Dalson

Sensical Prattlings: Thoughts by Scott Essel Pratt

Cheryl Kaye Tardif: Author Interview 

Kat Flannery: Guest Post on “Why Do I Write?”

Christina the Bookworm: Author Interview with Christina Munson

Julie’s Book Reviews: Guest Post “The Importance of Realism in Fantasy”

Once Upon a Book Blog: Book Review by Amy Bosica

Garrison’s Library: Author Interview with Garrison Haines-Temons

Nerd Girl OfficialIndy Author Talk “A Sense of Home” (another VERY good one to read)

 

More linky love coming in Part 2 (in a few weeks…)

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Book Review: Sprite Night by Deborah Jay

It’s Book Review Wednesday, my favorite day of the week! Today, we’re stepping a bit outside my comfort zone–into the world of fairies, romance, and Celtic mythology. A surprisingly great read!

 

Sprite Night

When Scottish water sprite, Cassie, volunteers for an anti-fracking protest, the last thing she expects is to find herself at odds with a druid. But with time running out for the local environment, she can’t afford to be distracted by the handsome hunk of a Highlander.

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Intent on a minor act of sabotage, Cassie is totally unprepared to be caught in the cross-fire of a magical battle. Can she avert catastrophe? Or will she become the very agency of an ecological disaster?

 

My Review: 4 Stars

While this book was not my style at all, I’d have to say that I enjoyed it. I’m not much for romance, but I couldn’t stop reading through the story until it was done.

It’s a simple short story, one with just enough detail to make you want to find out more about the main character, Cassie. I believe it serves as an intro/prequel to Book 1 of the Caledonian Sprite series, and it definitely had me interested to know more. It had a good “hook” for the series.

There were only a few things I found off-putting (the descriptions of Cassie’s true elemental form and the journey into the center of the earth could have been done better), but all in all, a solid read!

 

Here’s a Taste:

I pushed open the swing doors to the lounge and glanced around. Most of the crowd were locals I’d come to know over the past few weeks, but a rather delectable-looking stranger sat in the snug beside the chimney. My body perked up with interest.

Right now, my DNA stores were high, and gathering more would be an indulgence, but this guy had the makings of a pleasing dalliance, with or without extra benefits. His shaggy brown hair melded into a luxuriant beard, above which shone a pair of the brightest blue eyes I’d seen in a long while. He was dressed in a heavy woollen sweater with a thick, quilted jacket and thermal beanie discarded beside him on the bench.

Never one to stand on ceremony, I sauntered across the room and put a hand on the chair facing him. A pleasant waft of pine aftershave tickled my nose, evoking images of wide open spaces and forest, meeting my approval. He nodded in response to my raised eyebrow, and I pulled the chair out, dragging it across the bare wooden floorboards with a squeal.

He winced. “Dear God, lass, d’ye like to torture your men even before ye’ve been introduced?”

Laughter burst from my mouth, and after so much seriousness, it felt good.

“Nae, fine sir. And if you think that’s torture, perhaps I’ve chosen unwisely.”

He twinkled at me, and waved a hand at the chair.

“Sit, please. We can debate the merits of wisdom over a drink. What’s your poison?”

“Shale gas,” I replied without thought.

His eyes turned wary and his body rocked almost imperceptibly away from me.

“I’m so sorry!” I blurted. What must he think—that I was one of those travelling militant campaigners? I might be passionate about this cause, but I didn’t want to frighten him off.

“Really, it’s just what everyone around here is talking about these days. Whisky, please; I like a nice single malt.”

He relaxed, no longer ready to run for the hills.

“Any malt in particular? They have a good range here.”

Better. By the shine in those china blue eyes, I’d made the right choice. “Laphroaig, I think; I fancy something smoky tonight.”

“Good choice. I have the feeling that discussion on wisdom may prove fascinating.”

He rose and mooched over to the bar to order our drinks, bringing another smile to my lips as I admired his neat butt and long, lean legs encased in denim.

He opted for a 15-year old Jura for himself; clearly a man of impeccable taste.

The Laphroaig slipped down my throat with ease, leaving its characteristic aftertaste of smoke and peat plastered across my taste buds. I might be unable to get drunk, but I can savour the finer things in life.

“Duncan McIntyre,” said my new drinking buddy, sticking out a hand for me to shake.

“Cassiopeia Lake. My friends call me Cassie.”

“And am I a friend?”

“From the moment you offered me a dram.”

“Cheap at the price,” he said with an appreciative glance, and then blanched. “Not that I meant you’re cheap, only that the price of the malt was worth every penny.” He paused, and shook his head. “I’m digging myself in further by the minute, aren’t I?”

“Most certainly, but please, don’t stop there; I plan on enjoying every moment of watching you extricate yourself.”

 

About the Author:

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, was published in July 2013, with the sequel due out shortly.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, published in December 2013 is the opening novel of the projected five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES.

Find the book on Amazon: http://mybook.to/SpriteNight

Read her thoughts on her website http://deborahjayauthor.com/

Tweet at her: https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2

Connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

 

 

Writing Has Taught Me to Be Passionate

Passion is an interesting thing. Everyone has the potential to be passionate, but until they find that special “something”, they will never truly come alive. When you do find that thing that makes you passionate, it’s something that will attract people to you like nothing else!

(Let me be clear: I’m not tooting my own horn here. My own life experiences are all I have to draw on…)

I was fortunate enough to attend Anaheim Wondercon (a comic convention) in 2014 for the first time. I was invited by some friends who run a booth there every year. I was there to enjoy myself, take in the sights, and have the experience.

But when I found myself talking to people about comic books and stories I loved, the passion just burst out of me. I made friends, attracted attention to the booth (even though I wasn’t there to work), and sold hundreds of comic books. Thanks to that, my friends invite me back (to more than just Wondercon!) every year so I can use my passion for comic books to help them sell their stuff.

Another example:

Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a local author event at the amazing Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore (the best indie sci-fi/fantasy bookstore in San Diego). Every one of us authors had a chance to present our works, and when it came my turn, I found the words just flowed out of me. I loved my work, my story, and my character so much that it shone through my speaking. Because of that passion, the book completely sold out at the bookstore that day!

I’ve been on a few radio interviews, and have been told that I have the “perfect” voice and personality for radio. I don’t feel like I’m the best host, but I have no problem talking about all sorts of things, and my passion for my writing–and both writing and reading–shines through.

Why am I telling you all of this? Simple: I want you to understand that your passion is one of your best tools when it comes to marketing yourself, your books, and your product/s!

I have little doubt you are passionate about your work, which is why you have spent hours laboring over it and trying to make it as good as possible. But it’s tough to tap into that passion at first. You feel, “Well, no one wants to hear me ramble about myself endlessly.”

So don’t ramble, but don’t be afraid to let people see what makes you passionate. Talk about your characters, your plot twists, your clever ideas, and whatever else makes you love your work. Let others see the reason that THEY should love your book as much as you do, and it will be much easier for them to “hop on the bandwagon” of loving you, as an author.

Robin S. Sharma said, “Be spectacularly great at what you do. Wear your passion on your sleeve and hold your heart in the palm of your hand.”

Follow those words, and your passion will be spread to others!

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Is it Worth Fighting For?

Writing may be something we all love to do, but every good writer knows that writing is also a struggle like no other!

It’s wonderful when the words are flowing onto the page and the story just pours forth from your heart or mind. That book all but writes itself, right?

But then you read over the rough draft and you realize that you have the bare bones, but you have to work at improving the writing quality, fix up the dialogue, alter this character, address this plot hole. Slowly, surely, the list of actual hard work begins to grow.

By the time you finish re-drafting, you’re still excited about the book, but you’re getting kind of sick of it. You’ve read that same passage over and over again, and you’ve struggled with the same part of the book for days. After all of your efforts, it just doesn’t look any better!

And don’t get me started on the frustration that mounts after you send the book to your beta readers and they fill it with notes and critiques. You basically have to go through the editing process again, fix all the mistakes you made, and keep making improvements. You may even have to re-write massive portions of the book simply because you didn’t realize you were doing it all wrong.

Then the editor hands the book back to you, and it looks like something straight out of a slasher movie. There’s more red (notes) on the page than black (your text), and you have to spend more time working at it. By the time your book is ready to publish, you never want to see the damned thing ever again in your life.

But the day comes when you finally get that first printed copy of your novel, and everything is totally worth it! You hold that creation of yours in your hands, inhale that “new book” smell, flip through those crisp pages, and marvel at the works of your hands. That, my friends, is when every annoyance and every shred of effort pays off.

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Leah LaBelle said, “Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.”

It is absolutely, 100% true! Writing is a fight, but it’s totally worth it in the long run. Your struggles will be as nothing when you hold the prize in your hands.

 

 

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Book Review: Children of When (Book 1): Florissa by Jen Redmile

It’s Book Review Wednesday, the day when I bring you books you would be foolish to miss out on! Today’s book is brought to you by Jen Redmile, a fellow JEA author, my amazing editor, and a brilliant writer in her own right.

 

Children of When (Book 1): Florissa

Leah, Raff, and Belle have been raised in separate “foster-homes” until they turn fourteen. On that day, the law states they must leave everything for an unknown future.

When they are magically transported to another world, they discover not only each other, but a prophecy that has waited 1000 years for their arrival.

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To fulfil the prophecy, they must find and reunite three missing pieces of an ancient amulet, and in the process learn to control and use their unique Gifts.

Dark forces conspire to prevent the resurrection of the amulet, and the journey becomes one of survival.

Turning fourteen was NOT supposed to be this hard!

 

 

My Review: 4 Stars

If I had to define this book, I would say it’s Harry Potter meets Chronicles of Narnia meets Lord of the Rings. It has elements similar to all of those books, so it’s a safe foray into the more familiar aspects of fantasy.

The writing is solid, with only the occasional grammar and punctuation error. I noticed that there are quite a few “Australianisms” in the book–I enjoyed them, but for those not familiar with the lingo, it may be a bit hard to understand.

I had one worry about the book: How well-defined is the magic system? The magic seems to do all sorts of things, but I hope the author has a way to explain/define/delineate the magic of the world (according to Brandon Sanderson’s “Laws of Magic”).

Other than that, it was a book I enjoyed, one definitely catered toward Young Adult audiences, and worth a read.

 

Here’s a Taste:

Belle, look out!” Leah screamed, as she raced towards her.
Belle looked around her wildly, but she was looking everywhere but down. Raff pulled his knife from his belt as he ran towards her, watching in horror as the long slimy tentacle wrapped itself around her ankle. He reached her just as she toppled backwards, screaming as she was dragged towards the water. He dived forward, and severed the slimy appendage, pushing Belle back away from the edge.
Hot, bile green liquid spurted from the flailing tentacle. Raff groaned as the centre of the pool began to bubble and froth. Of course the slimy appendage was attached to something much bigger!  The water surged upwards, and a hideous creature rose from its depths, a high-pitched keening sound spewing from its voluminous mouth. Countless more snake-like tentacles lifted out of the water around it, waving madly in the air, before lashing out towards where the children huddled in terror. Within seconds, the tentacles had found their target, latching onto an arm or a leg, intent on dragging their helpless victims towards the water, and certain death. Raff knew his knife was useless.
He needed…and suddenly he knew what he needed to do. He closed his eyes, and concentrated on building the perfect weapon, shaping and moulding it in his mind. His eyes flew open, and he looked directly into the creature’s single eye, floating above its gaping mouth. He threw his arm forward, feeling the familiar jolt as the fireball hurtled towards the hideous creature. The ball of flame hit the monster’s slimy flesh and exploded. The keening noise grew louder, and then spluttered into silence, as the flames engulfed it.

 

About the Author:

Jennifer Redmile grew up on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney NSW, and now lives in Geraldton WA with her husband, 23yo son and two gorgeous puppy dogs. She has always been an avid fantasy fiction reader, and always worked with children, so when she decided to write a novel, it was a natural progression to combine the two and make it a children’s fantasy novel.

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In 1997 she wrote a children’s musical, entitled Beyond the Stars, for the local Catholic primary school, with a cast of over 300.

Jennifer has completed Book 2 in The Children of When series, Valleron, which is awaiting publication, and is currently working on the 3rd book in the series, Dragardia.

She also recently released the first book in a new YA series “What Ghost?” and has another series “Morwitch” coming soon.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Children-When-Book-1-Florisia-ebook/dp/B0137ZQ3PU/

Tweet at her: @JenRedmile

Read her thoughts on her website: www.jenniferredmile.weebly.com

Connect with her via Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Redmile

 

Writing Has Taught Me to be Unafraid

Writing Has Taught Me to be Unafraid

I’ve always been a bit of an introvert (to anyone who knows me, that “a bit” may seem like an understatement). I prefer the company of a good book, movie, or TV show to a crowd of people. It’s so much easier to be by myself than to try and keep up with conversations.

Thanks to writing, I’ve gotten out of my shell and have found that I am not afraid to talk to ANYONE!

On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be one of the authors invited to a local author event at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

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It was a blast! I got to chat with other authors, meet new people, and do the one thing I have been dreaming of for years: see my book sitting on a bookstore shelf!

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At the beginning, it was a bit tough to strike up conversations with other people–both authors and guests. I wasn’t too certain of what to say, how to talk about myself and my book, and so on.

But as the event went on, I realized one simple thing: people wanted to know more. They wanted to know more about me and my journey as a writer, about the things that have helped me to reach an audience of readers, about the story I was promoting, and about the things that went into crafting a story. EVERYONE was interested!

I’m certain some people only talked to me to be polite, but I made a lot of friends and sold ALL the books I had dropped off. More than that, I learned that being bold is the way to be a good salesman.

I am passionate about my books and my writing, so it’s easy to talk about it once I get started. Though there’s always that initial moment of hesitation to start talking to people, after I get past that, it’s smooth sailing!

I am now completely unafraid to talk to anyone about my book, myself as a writer, and my personal journey, and I believe that will play a large role in whatever amount of success I achieve as a writer.

 

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Book Review: Occupy Wrestling by Garrison Haines-Temons

It’s Bonus Book Review Saturday, and today we’re going WAY off the beaten path! Our story today is a curious combination of portal fantasy and wrestling. Say what?!

 

Occupy Wrestling

Over a decade of hard work, sacrifices, and injuries have earned professional wrestler Mitch McLeod a chance at the KDW World Heavyweight Championship, at the time held by a 400 lb. monster named Jason Finnegan. Before their match begins, Jason assaults Mitch in the hallway, hoping for an easy victory later on in the ring.

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Despite the brutal beating, Mitch wins the match via pin fall after his finishing move, a variation of the superman punch, accidentally kills Jason. Legal issues aside, Mitch finds himself embroiled in a plot to have his newly won KDW World Title taken from him by science-fiction-like creatures hired by Keegan Day, the owner of KDW. A world title is a symbol of excellence for not only the wrestler holding it, but for the wrestling industry as a whole. Mitch will be damned if his oppressive corporate master is going to take it from him that easily.

 

My Review: 3.5 Stars

I was given this book for review, and from the moment I cracked into it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have NEVER read a story that combines wrestling and fantasy before, so it’s definitely one of a kind.

Like real wrestling, I kept asking myself, “Is this real?” When the characters did crazier and crazier things in their matches, I found it hard to believe it. And yet I loved every minute of it!

There were a few flaws in the story:

  • The writing kept hopping between POVs. It shifts from one character to another, hops to a narrator’s style of voice, then goes back in for a close-up POV. This inconsistency made it hard to read.
  • The wrestling moves weren’t explained. I understand that it would be way too complicated to explain all the wrestling moves in the text, but perhaps a glossary at the beginning or the end could help us understand it more.
  • It was written by someone familiar with the world of wrestling, but without taking into account that not all readers would be as familiar. A lot of the expressions used were industry/sport-specific, but lacking in definition.

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be “unique”. Certainly not the deepest, most life-changing book I’ve read, but one heck of a good time. Look past the writing style, and just like wrestling, you just can’t look away no matter how “over the top” it is.

 

Here’s a Taste:

A deafening bang resounded off the walls of Mitch McLeod’s hotel room. Except a gun didn’t go off; Teiji Roughhouse super kicked him in the stomach and sent him stumbling backwards until he tripped over a coffee table. The KDW World Champ was in front of the leather couch clutching his torso and struggling to breathe. Out of his peripheral vision, he saw Keegan Day holding the World Title over his left shoulder and strutting out of the room with it. Somewhere in this arrogant walk, Keegan’s smart phone fell out of his pants pocket and remained intact as it landed on the carpet.

“Master Day! Master Day!” said Teiji in a mongoloid voice, apparently trying to warn his boss about the smart phone. Keegan seemed more interested in making an escape with the diamond and gold encrusted title than bending over to pick up a stupid electronic device.

The temporary distraction allowed Mitch the oxygen he needed to spring up from his seated position and bulrush Teiji against the wall while screaming in a barbaric throaty voice. Mitch continued to thrust his shoulder into the rat’s gut like he would if Teiji was sitting against the corner of the ring. During these shoulder thrusts, the disgusting creature let out a thunderous fart that smelled like rotten meat and cheese. It caused Mitch’s eyes to water and Mitch himself to stumble backwards wheezing and gagging.

“It’s a natural function!” screamed Teiji as he attempted a spinning roundhouse kick at Mitch’s vulnerable head. The true champion’s reflexes kicked in and he ducked the kick before scrambling behind the rat, grabbing his waist, and delivering a floor-splitting German suplex. Teiji was feeling dizzy as evidenced by his wobbling head after being picked up by the waist again. Mitch delivered another bone-snapping German suplex onto the floor. And another. And another. And the final one being through the glass coffee table that Mitch tripped over earlier.

The two chicks in the bedroom were cheering their man on, but were still sedated from their Vicodin and vodka mixes. They managed simple chants like “Woo-hoo!” and “Yeah!”, but anything else would have sounded like broken English.

Mitch was getting exhausted after giving that many suplexes to a heavy creature like Teiji. He wanted to take a breather, but the air still stunk of whatever the hell was decaying in the rat’s bowels. Mitch coughed and gagged while holding his arm over his nose and mouth and searching for fresher air. He found what he was looking for the kitchen and breathed the lovely air ever so deeply. He even turned on the ceiling fan to see if the stench would blow away. He was breathing so hard that his ribs were sore just from that.

About a minute of rest passed and the air in the living room was starting to return to a neutral state. Teiji laid over the shattered coffee table spread eagle and bleeding in some places. His eyes were closed, but even Mitch questioned if this fight was really over. He walked up to the prone rat and got a closer look.

 

About the Author:

Garrison Kelly has been writing creatively since January 2002 and made it official with an English degree in 2009 from Western Washington University. He’s tried to find work ever since completing school, but so far, no dice. His only source of income is through social security payments as he is mentally disabled with schizophrenia and autism.

Mental illnesses are a favorite topic of his to discuss when writing, as are liberal politics, violent situations, anti-bullying politics, heavy metal music, and the occasional shy guy love story. Garrison’s favorite writers include, but are not limited to Carl Hiaasen, Lilian Jackson Braun, Brett Battles, and Susan Cain.

You can find the book on Garrison’s website: http://garrisonslibrary.blogspot.com/

Check out his artwork on Deviant Art: http://garrison-kelly.deviantart.com/

Connect with him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/garrison.hainestemons

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20624482-occupy-wrestling

Credit Where Credit is Due

With the launch of The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer just a week away (OH SO EXCITED!), I can’t help thinking back about the journey this book has been through. A quick summary:

Came up with the rough idea over 10 years ago

Fleshed out the idea and turned it into a comic book script while visiting my brothers in Canada in 2013

Changed it into a novel in early 2014

Finished the novel and prepared it to publish in late 2014

Picked up by JEA Press in early 2015

Published now in mid-2015

I’ve talked to a lot of people about my book, and I’ve always talked about the creative process that I went through to come up with the story. I know Blade of the Destroyer is an amazing novel, and the feedback I have gotten backs that up.

But how much of it can I really take credit for? I may have been the guy to put pen to paper, but I’m willing to admit that the creative process has been shared by A LOT of others. And none of those others are ever going to get the mad props they deserve, other than in my acknowledgements. I feel that they don’t do the subject justice, so I want to give a few special people the credit they deserve:

Samuel Denberg

I don’t know anyone who has read more fantasy and science fiction novels than this man, my best friend. Since we met a few years ago, no one has been more supportive of my efforts to write. He has hacked and slashed my work from the beginning, and he’s one of the alpha readers I sent my book to in order to dissect plot and the overall tone.

Just last week, he called me and told me that the entire second-half of Book 3 is totally crap (he said all this in a good way, of course). Because of him, I have to re-write the damned thing, and figure out how to get the Hunter where he needs to go.

But this is the kind of feedback that EVERY writer needs. Imagine if he hadn’t caught that, and I had published the book with that inconsistency. Talk about TERRIBLE! No one deserves more praise for the success of my book than this guy right here.

Jasper Peloquin

My little brother is one of the most cynical people I know, which is what makes him the perfect alpha reader for this character. He has always been willing to take time out of his busy schedule to read my works, and he has never pulled his punches. He has hacked and slashed the character of the Hunter to bits, but by the time I’ve finished reading over his comments and notes, the Hunter is a much more well-rounded, complete character.

E.J. Bouinatchova

I don’t remember how E.J. and I met (a few years ago), but I am INCREDIBLY glad we did!

Since she agreed to read over a rough draft of Blade of the Destroyer, she has proven and invaluable part of my writing process. She’s patient enough to read over the first drafts of the book, tell me where things are inconsistent or the pace is off, and give me all the critiquing I so desperately need. I could not ask for a better beta-reader, and the day that she says, “Sorry, I’m too busy to read for you” is the day that the quality of my work starts to decline.

Vicki Wootton

I love Vicki! She has been the most patient, kindest person with my writing. She is the one who catches all the silly little grammar, punctuation, and word errors. She’s the one who explained to me why I should be saying “as” instead of “like”, and why you “stanch the flow of blood” instead of “staunch”.

I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my syntax, but Vicki always finds the errors I miss out on. She’s also NOT a huge fan of violence and graphic scenes, so when she says, “I enjoyed this”, I know that I have done it right. No one I’ve worked with has better attention to the details than Vicki, and it’s thanks to her that everything is as correct as it is.

Rosie Haphie-Bates

Rosie is the perfect complement to my beta-reading team. Instead of focusing on the nitty gritty, she deals with the bigger issues: the personalities of the characters, the kind of things they’d say, and the “showing instead of telling”.

Thanks to Rosie’s comments (and comments from the other beta-readers), I had to re-write an entire THIRD of Blade of the Destroyer (the last third). But it’s thanks to her comments that the Hunter is the complete, relatable character that he is now, instead of a cold bastard that no one could ever identify with.

Peter and Marie Story

These two people (my sister and her husband) have been an invaluable help from the very beginning!

Peter, without realizing it, inspired me to take up writing once more. How did he do that? By writing a book. (I’m a bit competitive…) When I saw that he could do it, I figured I could too. He has offered feedback and advice on everything I send him, but more than that, I’ve benefitted from his advice on marketing and the more difficult aspects of being an author. We’re going along this journey at the same time, so it has been a huge help to have someone to bounce these things off of.

Alvi is the reason that Blade of the Destroyer is going to be such a success. That eye-catching, jaw-dropping cover is the “hook” that is going to interest people in reading the book’s blurb and finding out more about it. Anyone who sees the book is going to be viewing Alvi’s handiwork, and it’s because of that impressive artwork and creative vision that the Hunter will find his way into people’s homes and hearts.

 

Without these people, Blade of the Destroyer would suck! Thanks to them, this author (me) has a shot at reaching his dream.

THANK YOU ALL!

 

 

P.S.: I can’t complete this without a nod to the awesome editors, formatters, and behind-the-scenes people at J. Ellington Ashton Press. They took my product and helped me polish it and make it the amazing thing it is, so I am highly appreciative.

 

 

 

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Book Review: Bane of Evil by F.N. Scott

You know what day it is: Book Review Wednesday! Today, we’re going for an old school style epic fantasy novel complete with elves, dragons, goblins, and demons…

 

Bane of Evil

In the unforgiving lands of Saventia, two brothers unite on their southern homestead.  After learning of an ancient evil plaguing the lands in the North, the brothers are compelled to embark on the perilous journey together and stop the spreading malevolence at its very source.  As the Southern Lands plunge into chaos when the plot of a cursed necromancer is revealed, the brothers must press ever onward in their journey, all the while facing truths and falsehoods concerning the world around them.

Book Cover JPG

Suffering crushing losses and gaining unlikely companionship along the way, allies are sought through the aid of the dwarves, elves, and gnomes.  And even the least likely of all places: orcs and dragons.  How will the brothers stop what is thought to be unstoppable?  Are the dragons truly friend or foe?  With enemies at every turn, how long will the brothers be able to endure?

 

My Review: 3.5 Stars

I was sent this book for a review by the author, and I’m glad I got a chance to read it.

First off, I can’t help but love a classic (if slightly clichéd) tale of good versus evil. This was a villain you wanted to lose from the very beginning, and you wanted the heroes to win. No real “shades of grey”, but definitely clear on which side would triumph in the end.

The story had a very classic fantasy feel to it, so it brought me back to my early days of reading Dragonlance and Dungeons and Dragons. It wasn’t the modern, thought-provoking fantasy I like to read, but no less fun.

There are a few things that I found a bit hard to read. The writing style is a bit amateur. There are A LOT of instances when the author “tells” instead of “shows” (something all authors struggle with, no doubt). The narrative jumps from inside the characters’ heads to an omnipotent POV even to the heads of the characters who are dying without any transition. The head-hopping and POV flaws make it hard to stick with it or take it seriously, especially during the action scenes. The good vs. evil struggle was a bit clichéd, with some of the more typical fantasy tropes. There were a number of times when the word choices or sentence structure didn’t really flow, and the dialogue sometimes felt jerky or stiff.

But, when all is said and done, a solid effort, and not a bad read!

 

Here’s a Taste:

Shai stood in front of the pyre.  The bodies of the deceased piled high, reminiscent of a pyramid of death.  A slight odor of decay exuded from within the mound of dead.  As he looked into the mass, the faces of goblins and d’rakari stared back as if pleading for the sacrament to begin.  He wondered if the beasts would afford him and his comrades the same ceremony were their fates reversed.  Would these mindless creatures allow a gentle passage into the afterlife?  Or would his body be torn asunder and displayed in various grottos as trophies to the goblin’s victory and d’rakari’s triumph?  He shuddered from the thought.

“May your next life be free of suffering and hate.”  Shai ignited the pile with a simple cantrip, and the fire spread across the pyre slowly.  A warm breeze swept across the land and encouraged the fire.  Hastened by the wind, the flames began to consume the remains of the dead.  Shai turned from the blazing inferno and walked away as acrid smoke billowed into the air.

Flesh melted and fat sizzled as the remains of the beasts burned within the fiery pyre.  The terrible stench of death and burnt flesh pervaded the warm, summer air.  The carcasses fed the hungry fire as it consumed the corpses until all but ash and small bits of bone would eventually remain.  A black stain would serve as a temporary monument, marking the pyre’s place.  It would remain until the wet season started.  The downpour of rain would finally wash the stain from the earth, and wildflowers would grow where the stain once resided, forever masking the pyre’s existence.

 

About the Author:

F. N. Scott is a pseudonym of James Young, prior military medic and civilian healthcare practitioner turned author.  As a debut indie novelist, Bane of Evil is his first published work.  Hobbies include writing, reading (fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, and the classics), scheming plots to take over the world, and trying to survive as a starving artist.  You can follow F. N. Scott on Twitter @FNScotty, or visit his blog and website at www.fnscott.com for updates and extra content.

Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1457528169

Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/FNScotty

Connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fn.scott.5

 

Bucelarii - Copy

Blade of the Destroyer Book Reviews

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer isn’t even launched yet, and already it has been getting a pretty good reception.

The reviews are trickling in from the people chosen to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book before release (in just under two weeks!). Here are a few:

Bucelarii - Copy

Amazon:

5 Stars — “The Hunter is a formidable assassin who carries a blade that hungers for blood. His services can be bought at a price, but the man behind the mask knows very little about his own past. On his latest job, things go wrong and he soon discovers what lies in his past.

The hunter is painted as a cold killer in the beginning but as the story goes on, we see that he does care about the homeless people under his ‘protection.’ It’s not easy to write from the PoV of a killer so this makes him a more sympathetic character. I think it was well written and the world the author has created was well described. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.” — S.K. Gregory

Ind’Tale

5- Stars– “He has no name. He is known only as The Hunter. Immortal, near impossible to kill and even more impossible to escape once you are his prey, The Hunter’s unique skills can be had for the right price. He has no memory of his life before he walked into the city of Voramis, but the 30 or 40 years he’s lived there have been profitable ones. If not happy, he is at least content with his life until he’s hired to kill a Priest of the Beggar God. Everything he thought he knew about himself changes and he has hard decisions to make. One thing is certain, The Hunter cannot outrun himself.

From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished. Reminiscent of medieval times, this richly drawn world captivates. Told primarily from The Hunter’s POV, his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. While there are several other minor characters who take up the tale, the shift in POV is smooth and each adds a richness and depth to how the people of Voramis perceive The Hunter. The beginning is fascinating, but it isn’t until The Hunter accepts the job to kill the Beggar Priest that the author really ramps up the excitement. Pages won’t turn fast enough as The Hunter is thrown not one, but several curveballs and how he will react isn’t a given. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley

Goodreads

5 Stars — “Dark battles inside the head of a half-demon emotional and physical. What an unusually captivating story. I found myself not wanting to stop until I dug up everything this book was hiding. As long as you can get over the fact that our main character The Hunter is practically immortal, then you won’t be disappointed with the detailed fighting scenes. He heals fast but with some pain. I found myself on the emotional side reading about the hate and desire for revenge. I was given this story for an honest review and this is mine.” — Fawn

 

The book is doing well on both Amazon and Goodreads (only four and five-star reviews)! I’m shooting for best-seller status, and these are a great start…

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