Category Archives: giveaway

Book Haul + A Giveaway

October Was a great month for books, at least it was for me. So of course I am going to spread the love a bit and have a giveaway! But before we get to that let me show you what I was lucky enough to get my  grubby little goblin hands on.


  1. The Midnight Dunes (The Landkist Saga #3) by Steven Kelliher


Steven sent over an E-ARC of the third book in his Landkist saga. I don’t know if his time as a UFC fighter helped but the battle scenes in this series are written very well. Go pick up a copy of Valley of Embers if you haven’t already got it.


  1. Black Guild (Black Powder Wars, #2) by JP. Ashman


My Cactus loving goblin buddy sent me the digital ARC for his eagerly awaited second installment in his fantastic flintlock fantasy series the Black Powder Wars.  Check out the new cover Pen Astridge aka The Mighty Pen just finished for book one.

  1. The Infernal Battalion (The Shadow Campaigns #5) by Django Wexler


I have to thank the publisher (Ace)  for this one.  I admit I already finished this a few days ago. This has been a great series from the start and to be honest this is the best one yet! One of the most satisfying series ends that I have read in years.

by Adrian Collins, Mark Alder, R. Scott Bakker, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Michael R. Fletcher, T. Frohock , Alex Marshall, Peter Orullian, Jeff Salyards, Courtney Schafer, Shawn Speakman ,Brian Staveley, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Marc Turner, Matthew Ward, Kaaron Warren, Mazarkis Williams, Deborah A. Wolf, Janny Wurts, E.V. Morrigan


I backed this as a Kickstarter last year and received my beautiful hardcover copy a few weeks ago. Then last week I got a magical mystery paperback in the mail. Neither  I nor Adrian know why I got it but since I don’t need 2 of them…. Yup you guessed correctly this is the giveaway!

Open to all. Just comment below to enter . While not necessary to share this post it is appreciated! You don’t need to have a account to comment but it will ask for an email. I don’t care if you give a made up email but if you are the randomly selected winner you will have 24 hours to respond to the notice I send you. After that I will randomly select someone else. The contest will end and the winner will be chosen Friday the first of December.

Good Luck!

Where I ask C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus the best questions ever

johngobIn celebration of his just released book and his about to be released sequel I invited C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus over for a visit. I am going to ask them a few questions and I might even get him to do some kind of giveaway.


But first I will let the man himself tell us a bit about his new books.


C.T. Phipps: Awesome, Trevor, I absolutely am happy to discuss my new books LUCIFER’S STAR and I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER. Both of which are going to have their sequels coming out soon with LUCIFER’S NEBULA and AN AMERICAN WEREDEER IN MICHIGAN. I know you’ve reviewed both (see here for Lucifer’s Star and here for I was a Teenage Weredeer).


Michael Suttkus: You can’t make me talk!  Oh, wait, asking just might work!  I’m not sure what to say here.  I have cats.  They tell me to do things.  Mostly it’s “Feed me”, but you never know.


You had Michael Suttkus  as a coauthor on these books. Can you explain a bit on how that works?


C.T. Phipps: Michael Suttkus and I have been friends for twenty years and worked together on the RPG “Halt Evil Doer!” among many other projects. Basically, Michael Suttkus is an amazing world-builder and helped me create the setting for both Lucifer’s Star and I Was a Teenage Weredeer. Generally, I do the writing but often bounce ideas off him.


Michael Suttkus: Well, at first, we used the obvious method where we both write each chapter, then we force the chapters to fight it out in an arena to determine which is stronger while Star Trek fight music played loudly.  This proved less successful than we had hoped.  After that, Charlie did most of the writing while we threw ideas at each other.  While Star Trek fight music played loudly.  We’ve been stealing each other’s ideas for a while now so it seemed natural.


How much, if any outlining do you usually do for a book?


C.T. Phipps: I’m a hybrid author who generally comes up with an idea, “What happened to the Imperials after Return of the Jedi” and “What would it be like to do a Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the least dangerous shapechanger possible?” Then I generally plot out a bunch of ideas I want to do. None of these outlines ever last to the end but they give me an idea of what I want to happen to my characters. I take the view of, “How would each of my characters react to these events?”


Michael Suttkus: Outlining is a bit more necessary than normal in a collaboration just because you need everyone to know where things are and where they’re going at any point.  But an outline can’t ever be a rigid thing.  They say that battle plans never survive contact with the enemy, and writer’s outlines never survive contact with the characters.  They will insist on doing things their own way.


What do you think is the best pun ever told?


C.T. Phipps:” Oh deer. The puns were inevitable once I started writing I Was a Teenage Weredeer. Michael made me take them all to hart and I was unable to buck the system. I doe know if I could hoof it to the finish line as the very thought staggers me. *Ahem* On a serious note, I couldn’t help but make deer puns when I was making the book and Michael egged me on until the book had far too many. That’s when I decided Jane hated them and it was an actual “weakness” of weredeer she found stereotypical and annoying like vampires needing to count sesame seeds.


Michael Suttkus: English playwriter Ben Johnson was asked by someone to make up a pun.  He asked, “Upon what subject?” and was answered, “The king.”  Johnson replied, “The king is not a subject.” The second worst pun comes from Isaac Asimov whose “Death of a Foy” is nothing but a setup for one of the most groan-inducing puns ever written.  It’s all the better for apparently being a serious sci-fi story until the very last line when you realize you’ve been caught in a bad joke the whole time.  It is my life’s goal to produce a pun equally as painful and to inflict it upon an unprepared humanity!


In a few of your books you have snuck in small nods to your other books like Gary seeing a copy of  Cthulhu Armageddon. Should we keep an eye out for anything in this series?


Michael Suttkus: Charlie can handle this better than me. Though I should point out it happens even when you’re not looking. Shannon from Esoterrorism, for example, was the character who became Clarice in Lucifer’s Star. We move around characters we create and adapt others because some are just so good you can’t put them aside.


C.T. Phipps: Shh, don’t tell them we recycle characters.


Michael Suttkus: Bah, what’s next, telling them Wraith Knight took a lot from the Lord of the Rings?


C.T. Phipps: GASP! But actually, Trevor, we’re planning a crossover with Supervillainy Saga books. My next book, The Tournament of Supervillainy, is an homage to all those Crisis on Infinite Earth-style comics. Except I’m going to have characters from my other series show up and Gary visit their worlds. I totally came up with this idea and didn’t steal it from Marion G. Harmon’s Wearing the Cape crossover.


How do you manage to work on so many projects at once? Do you ever get them confused?


Michael Suttkus: Charlie does most of the writing.


C.T. Phipps: Says the guy working on three different books of his own.


Michael Suttkus: Which I will talk about when they’re done.


C.T. Phipps: Basically, I had a two year lull since I started professional writing due to Permuted Press making a contract that had my first books not to appear until 2017 (it was 2015 at the time). They never got printed by them either and I got another lull with Esoterrorism and Wraith Knight due to things happening with Ragnarok Publication. So, actually, the reason I had so many projects is I wrote other books during that lull and when I switched publishers, just handed them all my finished manuscripts.


Michael Suttkus: You still write like a madman.


C.T. Phipps: I admit, there’s also the fact I often let my imagination get away from me. I have more series than I know what to do with.


Michael Suttkus: How about finish them!


C.T. Phipps: My present plans are to finish up Esoterrorism, Wraith Knight, and Agent G as trilogies. Lucifer’s Star, Weredeer, and the Supervillainy Saga are ongoings.


Michael Suttkus: What about Cthulhu Armageddon?


C.T. Phipps: I consider it “finished” until my next idea. It usually shall come as a dream, I think, when the moon is in the proper alignment with Yuggoth.


If you could be any character from any book you have ever read who would you be? Why?


Michael Suttkus: Who wants to be a character from a book?  Terrible things happen to characters in books!  If they aren’t trapped in a post-apocalyptic hell-hole, someone’s trying to kill them or they’re trying to kill some evil, powerful person.  It’s danger after danger and sounds really stressful.  No, I want to be a character from a bad fanfic where the author doesn’t understand how drama works and everything is just wonderful for the main character.  Terrible story, but a great life!


C.T. Phipps: Captain Kirk is probably my choice because he not only gets to travel through space but he also has his legendary romantic life. *is hit by a book by his wife* Which is not at all a consideration but something that I was just bringing up as a possible benefit. Alternatively, I would be Han Solo for much the same reason. Feeling the Force wouldn’t be an option but I’d still have the Millennium Falcon. Too bad it would come with an awful kid.


A 35-foot ladder is leaning against the side of a building and is positioned such that the base of the ladder is 21 feet from the base of the building. How far above the ground is the point where the ladder touches the building?


C.T. Phipps: Michael?


Michael Suttkus: 0 feet.  A ladder with that shallow an angle to the wall will have fallen by the time you’ve finished asking the question.


How many books have you written, how many have you tried to publish, and how many are in print?


C.T. Phipps: About ten or eleven and all of them are in print thanks to the good folk at Amber Cove and Crossroad Press. If I had to recommend any of them then I’d say Lucifer’s Star and Cthulhu Armageddon are my two “best” works while I Was a Teenage Weredeer and The Rules of Supervillainy are my two most “fun.”


Michael Suttkus: Five, all collaborations with Charlie though I’m working on a solo novel about a PI in a world with superheroes. Also a story about a werecrow which would be more original if not for the fact Charlie put her in I Was a Teenage Weredeer.


Do you have any advice to give a new writer?


C.T. Phipps: Don’t put the cart before the horse. Finish your book first then start worrying about making a career of it. You’ll probably not be able to make a living writing for a number of years unless you get very lucky so being a part-time writer is to be expected. Write what you want to read rather than what you think will sell. Don’t trust the first offer you receive and double check with groups like Absolute Writer Water Cooler to see if they’re frauds or not. Don’t put down self-publishing or independent and make friends with other authors online. Social media won’t make you a success but it can’t hurt.

Michael Suttkus: Don’t forget to experience bad media.  If you can analyze why certain books or movies just don’t work, you can avoid making the same mistakes.

What was the last book you read? Was it any good?

Michael Suttkus: The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone.  Not to spoil it, but there’s a monster at the end of it.  I swear this book has turned more innocent children into budding nerds and writers by showing them the joys of metatext.  Most of what I’ve been reading lately is RPG books (“Numenera” was quite good) and paleontology.  I go through cycles.

C.T. Phipps: Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack and The Seer King  by Chris Bunch, both of which were very entertaining. I’m currently on a Star Trek kick to best help my writing for Lucifer’s Star’s sequel, Lucifer’s Nebula.

What one question do you think I should have asked you, but didn’t?

Michael Suttkus: Since you didn’t know I was going to be here, that hardly seems fair!
C.T. Phipps: How are you so awesome?
Do you have any questions for me?
Michael Suttkus: What’s up with the ladder question?

C.T. Phipps: When will you review my latest book?

I always throw in a few odd questions you guys got away easy. and as soon as you give me a copy. Speaking of giving stuff did you want to do a giveaway?

C.T. Phipps: Absolutely. I’ll happily give away 5 copies of I Was a Teenage Weredeer Kindle or Physical Copies.

Awesome! To enter to win just comment below. I will randomly select the 5 winners on Friday November 3rd. 

The metaphorical dice have been tossed and lady luck has chosen 5 winners! But first a huge thank you to C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus. I literally couldn’t have done it with out you! The winners are…………..

  1. Drew Cantrell

  2. alburke47

  3. Cristian

  4. Michael pope

  5. Sethia

Congratulations to you guys!

If you didn’t win don’t feel bad, just make sure you are entered in my new giveaway and follow the blog so you don’t miss my upcoming ones like the autographed Robin Hobb book that will be up for grabs  in December.

I will send an E-mail to the winners and if They don’t respond within 24 hours or so, ill pick a new name


Giveaway For an Autographed copy of Clash of Eagles

Question:  What do Alternative History

novels and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center have in common?

Answer:  This guy right here. Alan Smale  is a professional astronomer at NASA, studying black holes, neutron stars, and other bizarre celestial objects. However, too many family vacations at Hadrian’s Wall in his formative years plus a couple of degrees from Oxford took their toll, steering his writing toward alternate, secret, and generally twisted history.

If you know anything about me you know I love books. I love everything about them. In one way, they are a door to a different world, the start to a new adventure that can be had anytime you need to escape just a bit from the adventure you are already on.  The other way they amaze me is how they came to be on the page. I don’t mean how many hours did the author sit at a desk typing. I like to know a bit about the authors life and then while reading see if I can recognize where a certain influence or idea might have come from. With some authors that can be a terrifying spiral that once at the bottom I just want to ask the author if they are OK.  (I am looking at you Michael R. Fletcher. I am not a professional but if you ever need to talk I am here), and with others I can just see them sitting there collecting the tears of their readers as a trophy for each one. Possibly Fletcher here again or one of his Doppel’s but also most certainly Mark Lawrence and Pierce Brown .)

That is why, when I do Interviews I hardly ask about the books themselves. I ask stupid “get to know you” questions that are fun, for me at least (and that’s what’s important, right?) ways to see hidden depths in their writing that maybe even the author didn’t know were there. For example, this question I put to Darrell Drake.

ME: Q. Four children have small toys. The first child has 1/10 of the toys, the second child has 12 more toys than the first and is looking at him and going nananannaanna, the third child has one less toy then the first child has, so is crying at the top of their lungs. And the fourth child has double the toys of the third child then takes 5 from the first child. No question here just a flash back to when I ran a daycare…

Darrell: A. To the side, the fifth child has no toys—no trucks or baubles—only its gas mask. He watches and waits, hands in his lap, knowing the sleeping gas is imminent. His peers never learn, and that’s why his rise to the top will be swift and uncontested.

{Thanks for that insight in to your childhood Darrell I am here for you buddy!}

 Actually, that shit is mainly all a lie. I am just really bad at interviews. Plus it is a great way to introduce a really interesting author I got to meet this year at the Phoenix Comic-con . The author of the only book I bought the whole weekend! I still don’t know how I did that! I just went costume shopping and accidentally bought 27 books instead.

(No lie. Here they are, and I still didn’t get a costume)


It is also a way for me to thank the great people that worked behind the scenes at the Del-Rey booth this year. It is thanks to them giving me free books and the authors signing them that I am able to spread the smell of a new book to you guys. Like the one we just did with Pierce Brown and the Upcoming one with Robin Hobb.

This book, Clash of Eagles  by Alan Smale has a great cover and that’s why I stopped to take a look at it. It was the premise though, that made me buy it.  Imagine a world in which the Roman Empire has not fallen and the North American continent has just been discovered. In the year 1218 AD, transported by Norse longboats, a Roman legion crosses the great ocean, enters an endless wilderness, and faces a cataclysmic clash of worlds, cultures, and warriors.

Since Yesterday (The 9th) was Mr. Smale’s Birthday, I Thought it would be the perfect time to start the giveaway for a signed copy of Clash of Eagles.

The giveaway will run from now until the 29th of September 2017. To enter just make a comment below. One winner will be chosen randomly on that day. Open to everyone. Good Luck to you all! Don’t forget to make a comment before you go and since you are here already why not enter my other giveaway here.

Want to buy a copy? Then Click here


Sorry I am late ending this giveaway. I was out of town and then sleeping for a few days. But A winner has been chosen. Congrats go to my fellow blogger Mogsy! mogsy

Interview with Darrell Drake Author of A Star-Reckoner’s Lot

I am happy to have SPFBO author Darrell Drake in the hot seat today answering a few questions. He was also nice enough to send me a autographed copy of his book  A Star-Reckoner’s Lot for a giveaway. To enter just comment below on this post. The giveaway will end on September 22 when I will randomly select a name from the comments.

Thanks for having me, Hob! I’m glad we could put all those goblins slain in games and tabletop sessions behind us. Adventurers don’t often give much value to the lives of fodder, and we should strive for the change we want to see in others. So here we are, discussing books rather than exchanging blows.


If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your FIRST book?

As far as my first book is concerned . . . well, frankly, I wouldn’t have released it. I feel so much more comfortable in historical fantasy (even if that means years of research to get it right). As such, I would have been better served by a historical fantasy debut.

Have you ever judged a book by its cover?

Oh, man. More often than not. This probably makes me a terrible reader, but there’s a reason why your cover matters. That’s what sells a book, or gets someone to read into it. I think this is especially relevant where self-published authors are concerned, and it’s always disheartening to see one that was put together with clipart and Papyrus.

What FRAKING side are you on of the fictional curse debate? Any in your books?

Fictional curse debate? Yeah, let me tell you, that fictional curse debate is sad, sad, sad. Who would side with the opposition when the incumbents are patently superior—I haven’t the faintest clue what’s going on in the fictional curse debate! So like many other political and social scenarios, I’m on the fence.

Curses aren’t common in my books, but they’ve made an appearance or two. A Star-Reckoner’s Lot begins with my interpretation of a Mandaic curse that involves inscribing the curse on an egg, then burying that egg beneath a gate. As the egg rots, so too will the victim of the curse.

{ By Grabthar’s hammer  That was not the kind of curse I was talking about, but it sounds messy}

Have you ever had a side character Try to steal the show? Would you like to go back and make a spin off series or something for them? Or is there a theme or idea you’d love to be able to explore in more depth?

Hah! Try? Succeed, more like! Waray is a secondary character in A Star-Reckoner’s Lot who has been almost exclusively praised as the best character in the book. She’s an eccentric half-div (demon of sorts) with peculiar idiosyncrasies: wandering speech, pranks, delusions, inappropriate and contradictory nature, odd body language—the list goes on. All that and a dark, storied past. The A Star-Reckoner’s Legacy trilogy will feature her as the protagonist of the third novel, so I guess a spin-off isn’t necessary.

As far as themes are concerned, the effects of loss and memories and how we deal with them are central to my tales. They shape us as people, and stick with us until our last. How we interpret those memories changes over time, and in turn how they affect us. We’re defined by our past in more ways than we can grasp at any one point in our lives, and I hope to further explore that in my characters.

{Wow that is deep}

If you could read any book again for the first-time, what book would it be?

Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven. It was such a pleasure the first time around, and it’s the book that finally convinced me that historical fantasy was my wheelhouse.

{That was the first book of his that I read. I loved it.}


Four children have small toys. The first child has 1/10 of the toys, the second child has 12 more toys than the first and is looking at him and going nananannaanna, the third child has one less toy then the first child has, so is crying at the top of their lungs. And the fourth child has double the toys of the third child then takes 5 from the first child. No question here just a flash back to when I ran a daycare…

To the side, the fifth child has no toys—no trucks or baubles—only its gas mask. He watches and waits, hands in his lap, knowing the sleeping gas is imminent. His peers never learn, and that’s why his rise to the top will be swift and uncontested.

{Thanks for that insight in to your childhood}

How many books have you written, how many have you tried to publish, and how many are in print?

Probably three or four books that have been tossed in the latrine where they belong. Even took the time to dig a latrine for it. Currently have four released with three of them in print, but A Star-Reckoner’s Lot gets 100% of my focus nowadays. Historical fantasy moving forward and all.

Have you found any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

Well, it’s more a case of the liver problems finding me. But I’ve been pretty elusive up to now. Don’t expect that to last.

{You can always just steal a new liver from one of your vanquished enemies.}

What was the hardest thing about self-publishing that you didn’t expect?

At this point in the game I’m not sure what I didn’t expect from the beginning. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t blundering around in my inexperience, just that most of it is commonplace now.

More than anything, it’s maintaining any sort of interest. Reddit has been incredibly supportive, but it’s one community—a powerful community, but still isolated. Without the spread, visibility, and legitimacy of traditional publishing, it’s a crapshoot. Every triumph is short-lived. You have to constantly push, network, try to find new ways to keep it in the minds of readers without badgering them over it.

{ Well I am glad that I may be able to help in some small way}

How many people have you killed over the course of your career?  Real people first, then fictional.

Real people is a tough one, because who knows how many my lifestyle in a first-world country has claimed? I’m sure many of us have had a hand in one death or another.

Fictional . . . hmm. Millions. I’d say I’ve lost count, but that would imply I ever started counting. And was it me killing them or their decisions that brought them there? Let’s not free them of their responsibility just because I had a hand in their deaths. So hey, I haven’t killed anyone. All those characters killed themselves.

{The old Butterfly Effect defense for murder. I should have seen it coming.}

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  Did it end up helping? Or did we just count that person in the previous question?

Probably something along the lines of, “I don’t support burning books or murder but yours should be used to fuel the pyre you’re tied to, you uncultured swine.” All things considered, it’s not untrue. Did help, though, because now I write just to spite them.

{Spite one of the most powerful forces on earth.}

What has been the best compliment?

Oh, this is an easy one. Some kind r/Fantasy user once said A Star-Reckoner’s Lot “wasn’t terrible”. Also mention of bad puns elsewhere.

Do you have any advice to give a new writer?

Don’t. Stop. Just . . . don’t.

What was the last book you read? Was it any good?

I think it was Valley of Embers by the redoubtable Steven Kelliher. Loved it. Imaginative, action-packed, enough mystery to keep me going, and a hell of an ending.

{ I agree it was a great book. My review of it can be found here Valley of Embers (The Landkist Saga Book 1) by Steven Kelliher}

What one question do you think I should have asked you, but didn’t?

If I’ve ever written any goblin fan fiction. I haven’t, but I think you should canvass all authors you interview for that one.

{I will have to keep that in mind}

Do you have any questions for me?

Have you had a chance to play the Styx games at all? You control a goblin assassin, which as I’m sure you know is a pretty rare protagonist.

Awfully fond of your Hobgoblin Photoshops—hard to miss those in my feeds or on Reddit! Appreciate the opportunity to drop by. Finally, a chance with the Hob!

{I love hearing that! So glad you like my little corner of the internet. Thanks once again for your time, and the great answers to my questions. And I had not heard of the game until this, but have now played around 40 hours.}



Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win.



I have to apologize that it has taken me so long to announce the winner.  But here it is. If I can’t get a hold of Robert within 24 hours I will pick again.


Interview with Jennifer M Baldwin and a Giveaway

I found some great books by following the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off also known as SPFBO last year. And while I am not a judge I am following even closer this year. Somehow I even talked a few of the contestants into doing an interview and giving away free books. The first in the hot seat is Jennifer M Baldwin and she had some great answers to my questions so …. um .. well here they are…….


{Bob you are not Batman! If anything you should have a crown or something….}


  1. If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your FIRST book?

The Thirteen Treasures of Britain is my first published book. I am not sure I would change anything because it is what it is, and I don’t believe in changing a piece of work after the fact (not counting typos or huge continuity errors). But I do know that for some readers, my book might start off a little slow. I was reading The Last Unicorn when I was working on those early chapters, and I feel like I was channeling Peter S. Beagle maybe a little too much. I got caught up in making sure the style and tone were what I wanted and perhaps didn’t give enough thought to what modern readers expect as far as action. I don’t open with an exciting action scene, or with some history-defining epic battle. It’s just a wizard having a weird dream and going insane.

  1. Have you ever judged a book by its cover?

All the time. I am deeply shallow.


(I LOVE this answer)

  1. What FRAKING side are you on of the fictional curse debate? Any in your books?

I wish I had more fraking curse words in my book! Frak!

Not too many fictional curses, alas, but I tried to come up with some creative exclamations (think: “Great Caesar’s Ghost!”) The usual, “Oh my God!” wouldn’t really work because my characters are either pre-Christian types or talking animals or fairies. I tried to have characters say things like, “By the oaks!” or “Thank the winds!” Nature-y stuff, basically.

In general, though, I’m in favor of fictional curse words. They’re fun.

  1. Have you ever had a side character try to steal the show? Would you like to go back and make a spin off series or something for them? Or is there a theme or idea you’d love to be able to explore in more depth?

My side characters always steal the show. I eventually realize that these “side” characters would be much better as main characters – and that I should drop my dull as dish-water protagonists and replace them with the cool side people.  Some of my best stories resulted from ditching the original protagonist and going ahead with the side character.  I’m a terrible date, I guess. I don’t dance with the one who brought me.

  1. If you could read any book again for the first-time, what book would it be?

Can I say “D. None of the above”? I love discovering new books and falling in love with them, but honestly, I wouldn’t want to read any of them again as if “for the first time.” My favorite books are the ones that only get better each time I reread them. I suppose, if I had to choose, I would say The Chronicles of Narnia. But in choosing them, I’m not really wishing I could read them again for the first time – I’m wishing I could relive the moments of my childhood when I read them for the first time. That’s what I’d love to return to: the thrilling wonder of my childhood, when I first discovered my love for fantasy.


  1. Four children have small toys. The first child has 1/10 of the toys, the second child has 12 more toys than the first and is looking at him and going nananannaanna, the third child has one less toy then the first child has, so is crying at the top of their lungs. And the fourth child has double the toys of the third child then takes 5 from the first child. No question here just a flash back to when I ran a daycare…

This non-question feels like my life… (I’m a mom.)

  1. How many books have you written, how many have you tried to publish, and how many are in print?

Books written (in total): Four (a fifth is on the way…)

Tried to publish (and did!): One

In print: One (it’s very glossy and pretty)

{Yes, Yes it is and we will be giving an autographed one of them away to one lucky person that comments on this post}

  1. Have you found any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

The crushing disappointment of realizing that no one I meet in real life cares that I’m a novelist. (I usually get an “Oh, that’s nice!” which is the Midwest’s way of saying, “So what’s your real job?”)

  1. What was the hardest thing about self-publishing that you didn’t expect?

Getting newsletter sign-ups. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but then I look around at people with, like, 100,000 people on their mailing lists, and they just published their first book a month ago (this might be a slight exaggeration), and I’m completely baffled. How did they do it? I suck at getting newsletter sign-ups.

  1. How many people have you killed over the course of your career?  Real people first, then fictional.

I’m an English teacher, so I’m more into crushing people’s souls with the withering criticisms I write on their papers. Soul crushing is much more satisfying than outright killing.

Fictional people? Not sure. A dozen? Do non-humans count? If so, then double it. Nay, triple it. I like killing monster-y things and bad guys.

{That has to be one of the greatest quotes ever! “I’m an English teacher, so I’m more into crushing people’s souls”}

  1. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  Did it end up helping? Or did we just count that person in question10?

I can’t think of one in particular, but I value pretty much all of the criticism I’ve been given. My 11th grade English teacher once made me rewrite and revise an essay four times, and at first I griped, but when the process was complete, I ended up with one of the best pieces I’ve ever written. She didn’t do it to punish me; she did it to help me and make me grow as a writer. That’s why I like criticism; it makes me better. Even if I don’t end up using a suggestion from someone, just by thinking about it, by considering it, I come to a better understanding of my own choices and why I’m making them.

  1. What has been the best compliment?

James Tivendale from Fantasy Book Review told me in a tweet that he thought my writing for Thirteen Treasures was “stunning.” My insides are still a giant puddle of goo from seeing that.

  1. Do you have any advice to give a new writer?

Oh, I have so much… I am an English teacher, after all! I would say that new writers need to really work on tone and word choice. Nothing throws me out of a piece faster than when a writer uses a word that doesn’t fit with the tone of the story. I also think that reading and writing poetry can be a great way to flex and strengthen writing muscles. Finally, when it comes to learning how to structure a story and write characters, I would suggest a little-known screenwriting book called Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay by Andrew Horton. Yes, it’s mostly about  screenwriting, but many of the principles apply to fiction in general. It’s a great book.

  1. What was the last book you read? Was it any good?

Just an obscure little book called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was quite good; I think that series might have potential…

  1. What one question do you think I should have asked you, but didn’t?

You forgot to ask me my favorite Smiths song (in Thirteen Treasures, Merlin is a fan of 80s New Wave). For the record, it’s “Bigmouth Strikes Again.”

  1. Do you have any questions for me?

If you could be any knight of the Round Table, which would you be and why?

{ I would be Madmartigan the greatest swordsman that has ever lived of course!


Just kidding. Seriously though I would want to be Sir Gawain. The poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was one of the things that got me into fantasy. I think I read it in 3rd grade}

And that’s it! See it wasn’t that painful, for me anyway, and that’s what really matters right? And as I mentioned above Jenifer has generously donated a signed copy of The Thirteen Treasures of Britain to giveaway to one lucky reader. This is open to all. One winner will be chosen randomly on August 18th around 10:00 pm and will be announced soon after.

All you need to do is Comment below on this post and you are entered. Then, while not necessary you might as well share this post on Facebook, Twitter or whatever since you are already here. and I put those little button things down below. Everyone likes to push buttons.

But don’t forget to comment on this post before you leave.



The Thirteen Treasures of Britain on Amazon:

iBooks, Barnes & Noble, other retailers:






The winner has been chosen. Thanks to everyone that entered.


Signed Red Rising Giveaway

I am in a Facebook group called Hic Sunt Leones: A Red Rising Trilogy fan group

It is, well obviously, a group for fans of the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. Who is not only a great author, he is hilarious in person, and so damn Handsome he makes my goblin face look even worse than normal, but to top it off he is really humble about it all. But I digress, to celebrate the Facebook group hitting 500 members I am going to give away a signed copy of book one of his Red Rising trilogy!

To enter Like this post and make a comment. I would appreciate it if you also shared the post on the social media poison of your choice but you don’t have to. The giveaway will end on august 18th around 10:00 pm. 1 winner will be chosen randomly at that time and announced at some point soon after. (I know, I get so technical and stuff) If you have any questions, ask someone with answers. or you could try asking me instead. Good Luck to everyone and keep an eye out for Iron Gold the next book by Pierce expected early next year from the great and wonderful folks at Del Rey (PSST…..Send me an ARC great and wonderful folks at Del Rey)

I was going to make a graphic of some kind but got distracted by something shiny and forgot what I was going to do……. so…. here is this one that I made and then forgot what I was going to use it for….. I should see a doctor about my memory. Ill do it later…..


The winner has been chosen. Thanks to everyone that entered. shel

Celebrate a special Goblin Holiday

Today Is Phipps Day here on the Blog I posted 2 reviews and an Interview with C.T. Phipps. This announcement is to let everyone know The Science of Supervillainy: The Supervillainy Saga, Book 4

Was released today! Phipps Day, like many holidays is a day to give gifts…. well at least one gift. That’s right everyone that shares this post or these 1 and 2 Phipps posts to FB or twitter will be put in to the drawing at the end of today 4/12/17. One winner will be able to chose any one book by C.T. Phipps in audio or EBook formats

Interview with C.T. Phipps

In my continuing  “Have an author for dinner™ “ Interview series We will be chatting with my pal C.T. Phipps. This talented author Writes everything from Horror to Humor and Super heroes / Villains to Post-Apocalyptic Lovecraftian. So, everyone should find something of him that is very appetizing.

So lets get this interview cooking…..


Q) Have you always wanted to be a writer?


A) Oh yes, I wrote my “first” book when I was six or seven years old. It made no sense whatsover and probably had more typos than success but it was wonderful. I was already thinking it was good enough to be published too. Hehe. Needless to say, in the thirty years or so until I was actually published, I had quite a few rude awakenings.


Q) What books or authors do you feel have influenced you either in your writing or just in everyday life?


A) That’s a bit of a loaded question as I have hundreds of authors who have added to my love of the genre and each throws a little tiny bit of their essence into the primordial soup which is my brain. Okay, that sounded dirty. However, if I had to choose a top ten I’d go with J.R.R Tolkien, Mark Lawrence, George R.R. Martin, HP Lovecraft, Robert Howard, Stephen King, David Weber, Joe Abercrombie, Jim Berheimer, David Niall Wilson, Brian Lumley, and a few others who are friends as well as influences.


Q) What is your favorite quote of yours?


A) I have a lot of snarky dialogue and memorable quotes that my readers love. Indeed, a favorite scene of quotes is The Secrets of Supervillainy where the characters pause in a siege by superpowered mercenaries to discuss whether The Force Awakens was any good. However, if I had to choose one quote, I’d probably choose one I just wrote for my character Cassius in Lucifer’s Star’s sequel, “If I am damned then that is the ultimate freedom. Everything I choose from this point on is something I do simply because I want to.”


Q) Any favorite quote by someone else?


A) HPL wins this one, barely, with, “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” I have a bunch of ones, though, which have stuck with me over the years. This one, though, was just so nicely evocative that I think it is always in the back of my mind.


Q). What is your favorite and least favorite part of the writing process?


A) Oh, I love the conversations I write in my books. It’s weird but I just love the back and forth patter that knowing what my characters will say to anything is so entertaining to me. I could do most of my books out of pure dialgue. Least favorite? I won’t say editing because that’s an easy answer and sometimes I enjoy improving scenes. Instead, I’ll say promotion is often a hassle because you want it to all just magically be a bunch of best-sellers.


Q) I have really enjoyed All 5 books of yours that I have read. For this question, I would love for you to tell us a little about one of your main characters? Do they have any Strong Political views, OCD habits, super powers, Homicidal sentient weapons? You know the usual type of things.


A) Thanks for reading as much of my work as I have. Here’s some factoids about all of my leaders.


Agent G (Agent G): Loves pictures of pandas and cats. Also watches people play video games on Youtube in his free time versus actually playing them again. His favorite weapon is the garrote. He actually can’t get drunk due to a cybernetic liver but loves the taste of booze. Is the only believer in a higher power among Letters. Fantasy casting is Ryan Reynolds.


John Henry Booth (Cthulhu Armageddon): His greatest regret from leaving “civilization” is the loss of his daily coffee ration. Also, leaving behind his family. Is actually only an above-average shot but his training puts him above most Wastelanders. Fantasy casting is Idris Elba.


Cassius Mass (Lucifer’s Star): Despite being born a nobleman, his title of Count was awarded for meritous service in battle. His title isn’t worth a bag of chips post-war and embarrasses him now. Only realized the Archduchy of Crius were Bad GuysTM after the war. Tries to be Han Solo and ends up more like a hung over Malcolm Reynolds. Fantasy casting is Christian Bale.


Derek Hawthorne (Esoterrorism): Is a Daoist despite the fact he is complete s*** at following said religion. Is a ridiculous fanboy of Bruce Lee. Gets away with being a complete ass**** due to his father being the boss of the Illuminati but tries to pretend it’s for other reasons. Fantasy Casting is Karl Urbam.
Jacob Riverson (Wraith Knight): Jacob despises the nobility despite the fact he was (posthumously) raised to it. He drinks mead and wine in place of water but otherwise is a teetotaller.Jacob, while alive, was the setting’s equivalent of Solomon Kane in Middle Earth.

Fantasy Casting of Young Sean Bean while “Old Sean Bean” voices his ghost form.


Gary Karkofsky (Supervillainy Saga): Politcally identifies as an anarchist socialist despite the fact he plans on conquering the world. Despite being about as geeky as the comic book guy on the Simpsons, is actually really good looking. Is unwittingly the equivalent of Jimmy Olsen on his planet. The only reason he hasn’t been killed yet is no other supervillain acts like he’s in a comic book. Fantasy casting is Wentworth Miller.


  1. Q) Describe one of your books Badly. Example Star-Wars deadbeat dad tries to get his son to take over the family business.


  1. A) Agent G: Brain damaged man with numerous prothstetics and violent tendenacies struggles with existential crisis in foreign country.

Cthulhu Armageddon: Basically the Dark Tower except not as good and more shooting things.


Esoterrorism: Basically Agent G except magic instead of cyborgs.


Lucifer’s Star: Ace pilot suffering PTSD becomes drunk and knocks boots with lots of sexy space women.


Supervillainy Saga: Psychotic manchild geek gets superpowers and unleashes killing spree–yet mysteriously only makes more friends and improves his marriage.


Wraith Knight: Where I shamelessly rip off J.R.R Tolkien and have a Ring Wraith team up with the Witcher 3’s Ciri.


Q} What have you got out now? Basically, Promote something here
A} THE TOWER OF ZHAAL is the sequel to my CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON novel and picks up with John Henry Booth and Mercury Halsey finding out someone is about to resurrect the last Great Old One and finish of the remains of humanity. But they have more pressing concerns as John is in the final stages of his transformation into a creature from beyond. Will he choose life as a monster or merciful death as a man?


AGENT G is my cyberpunk technothriller about a man who belongs to a corporation that provides murder services all across the world. Their operatives, Letters, each have their minds wiped and have to serve ten years before they receive their servance pay of millions as well as a return of their original identities. G isn’t content to wait and is searching for who he was. Unfortunately, his quest is interrupted by a traitor infiltrating the Society and forcing him to infiltrate his opponent’s employers right back.


LUCIFER’S STAR is basically my “R-rated Star Wars” which is what I call a story about a famous starfighter pilot who finds out, after his side loses, that he was working for a ruthless totalitarian dictatroship the entire time. Reduced to being a drunk and a navigator on a freight hauler, not even Han Solo but more Dave Lister, he ends up getting dragooned by the government he spent a decade fighting into stopping a terrorist organization eager to re-start the war. Probably my best work, to be honest.


The fourth novel in the SUPERVILLAINY SAGA will also be coming out on April 15th.


  1. Q) What are you working on now? What is about to came out?


  1. A) I’m working on far-far too many projects, including sequels to Agent G, Lucifer’s Star, and another Supervillainy book.


  1. Q) Where can my curious goblins find out more about you?


  1. A) I keep a “for fun” blog for reviews called the UNITED FEDERATION OF CHARLES.


I also have an author page.


Well I hope that gave my readers  something to chew on. I want to thank Charles for doing the interview and helping out with Phipps day…… It would have been nothing without you C.T.!

Phipps Day, like many holidays is a day to give gifts…. well at least one gift. That’s right everyone that shares this post or these 1 and 2 Phipps posts to FB or twitter will be put in to the drawing at the end of today 4/12/17. One winner will be able to chose any one book by C.T. Phipps in audio or EBook formats

Art (or something like it) Contest

The author J.P. Ashman was nice enough to come to yours truly and ask if we can give some books away. If you have been to my little blog before you know I love giving away books. So of course I said yes.

We will give away three prizes. First Prize is a signed and doodled copy of Black Cross. Second and third prize will be winners choice of Paperback or Ebook copies.  But we are going to make you work for it this time. We are going to do an art contest with celebrity judges and everything!  Wait! hear me out before you leave.Trust me it won’t be that hard. There will be 3 ways you can win and I will post examples

One winner will be chosen for the best/ most creative Drawing, painting, sand castle, Interpretive Dance  using Cool Rider from Grease 2 or .. you know, …whatever Flips your boat. But those ideas are pure gold! Like this Art by Laura M, Hughes



One will go to the worst /but still creative entry. Here is my great example of a bad drawing…. This was drawn  for me back it 2015  by The award winning author and terrible artist  Brian Staveley. This is his depiction of The Last Mortal Bond  book cover  before it was released.



And the strangest/Funniest or most Puntastic?  (not sure if that is a word but it should be!).Will get a book. Something like like this one by the guy behind this contest Mr. Jebidiah Pendragon Ashman.



OK I know right now you are thinking to yourself “Hey self we can draw bad, We can draw really BAD we are a sure win! But what do we draw?”  Then Images like this are jumping in to your head


First let me just say that it is weird that you actually talk to yourself like that. Second you should see a therapist if something like that was in your head. Third I was on heavy medication when I made that so don’t judge me

But yes that would be a valid entry. Basically any thing that has Black Powder Wars in it or any thing based on the book.

What do you mean you haven’t read it? Well I suppose if you had a copy already you wouldn’t want to try and win one. I wanted it to be a goblin drawing contest because there are goblins in the series but you can draw anything from or inspired by the Black Powder Wars. Like a mash up of 2 book covers.

black macabre3black malice

to something like an advertisement like this old spice add that I tweaked a bit.

Hello, Humans, look at your Book, now back to me, now back at your Book, now back to me. Sadly, your  book isn’t from Black Powder Wars, but if you stopped reading ladies romance books and switched to a good book, it would be Black Cross.  Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a boat with the book your book could be. What’s in your hand, back at me. I have it, it’s some type of art that you made for a contest.. Look again, the art is  now Black Cross. Anything is possible when your Book  smells like gunpowder and not a lady. I’m a Goblin.……



On second thought instead of using anything from me as inspiration you should use this  awesome (and serendipitously quite descriptive) quote from  Author  Dyrk Ashton

“How can I possibly describe Black Cross? How about, a hearty-epic-buddy-flintlock-pirate-fantasy-adventure with humans and wizards, goblins and gnomes, an inquisition, a plague, sexy elf maidens, assassins, Dukes, Ladies and Lords, magic wands, deadly potions, docks and ships and wooded wilderness, unique shapeshifters (a seal-man, to be specific), abounding action, dockside gangs, succubi, and high intrigue galore. And I mustn’t forget, a giant caterpillar. Whew. And I don’t think that even covers it.”


Now let me tell you about our Celebrity Judges. First we have the amazing artists Shawn King

Shawn is an award winning Graphic Designer, specializing in print media, book design primarily. He is the In-House Graphic Designer for Ragnarok Publications (visit their website here To find out More and see some of the amazing covers he has done go to

Next we have  Pen Astridge and let me just say I love her style.  She is a Creative Director for Nationwide Advertising in Sydney and a co-founder of the gaming news and reviews site Gamebug

Pen can be found on:     Facebook     Twitter    Deviantart    Wattpad.

 That’s it for the artists but we also have some Authors crazy enough to get involved with my weird little blog. Well guys any publicity is good publicity, right?

The first author we have is hands down without a doubt The Best Zombie to ever grace the silver screen by getting run over and then smashed in the head with a hammer in 1990  Dyrk Ashton author of Paternus a great book and first of a planned trilogy. The next  Homer Except his book is told through the eyes of a teen girl.  Paternus  actually makes sense of real mythology and is not just a weird story about a guy with weak ankles and stuff. You can find more about this awesome guy at

I don’t know how J.P. was able to talk this award winning author  into being the final judge in a crazy little contest on my crazy little Blog  .[/stage whisper] Probably using blackmail.   Whatever the reason though, I am super excited to have him here! The final Judge is none other than John waytofamoustobemessingaroundonmyblog  Gwynne.  I am not sure if that is his real middle name but he usually just  goes by John Gwynne.(the middle name probably just  doesn’t fit on book covers well)  John is the author of the epic fantasy quartet The Faithful and the Fallen.  You can find more about him on his website Or pick up one of his books by going in to just about any book store in the world or from the links below.

Malice (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Valor (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ruin (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wrath (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

So who is this guy that wants you to make something for his enjoyment? Well he is a new author from …… well how about I copy and paste. Born Lancashire, England, J. P. Ashman is a Northern lad through and through. His parents love wildlife, history, fantasy and science fiction, and passed their passion on to him. They read to him from an early age and encouraged his imagination at every turn. His career may be in optics, as a manager/technician, but he loves to make time for writing and reading every day. Now living rurally in the Cotswolds with Wifey and their little Norse Goddess Freya, he’s inspired daily by the views they have and the things they see, from the deer in the fields to the buzzards circling overhead.

Writing is a huge part of his life and the medieval re-enactment background and tabletop gaming lend to it; when he’s not writing the genre, he’s either reading or playing it. He plans to keep writing, both within his current series, and those to come, whether short stories or epic tomes.

Black Cross is the first book from the tales of the Black Powder Wars. With book two, Black Guild coming out this year. He also has a short story out that you can get for free right now from Kindle Unlimited called Black Martlet That I loved!

For more about or to interact with JP Ashman use the linky things below.





Amazon universal link:


Fine Print

Jebidiah Pendragon is not really what the J.P. stands for (I think) but it’s funny for me because people might actually call him Jebidiah

Any of the winners can chose between Black Cross or Black Martlet in either paper back or Ebook. They can even wait for an ARC of Black Guild if they chose. To enter go to my FB page and add your submission to the comments of the pined post or email it to me