Tag Archives: giveaway

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)

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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

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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.}

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MarvyMagpies

Website: http://www.astarreckonerslot.com

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

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*******UPDATE**********

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.

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Signed Red Rising Giveaway

I am in a Facebook group called Hic Sunt Leones: A Red Rising Trilogy fan group https://www.facebook.com/groups/118519022059902/

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…..

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

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.

 

http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/

 

I also have an author page. https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/

 

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

Hob’s Review of The Secrets of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps

The Secrets of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga #3)

by C.T. Phipps (Goodreads Author)

 

Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy (TM) is back with even bigger problems! How far will he go to fix his wife’s current state of being a soulless vampire? Can he ignore his growing feelings for Cindy, despite their difference over the new Star Wars movie? Can he survive the wrath of the President of the United States (who he accidentally stole billions from)?

While he ponders those personal issues, Death has a new mission for him. The greatest hero on Earth has been killed and she isn’t pleased. Death wants the murder solved and the perpetrator given the kind of justice only the Avatar of Death can dish out. Unfortunately for Gary, that’s only the tip of the psychotic iceberg

I am still not overly fond of the covers in this series, but it’s alright. The Narration was great. I think MR. Kaffer is getting better at doing the female voices. Still not great but much better.

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Oh how I love Merciless, the Supervillain without Mercy™ AKA Gary.

What I wouldn’t give to have some of his problems! No not that his wife died…. well may…. no not that. She didn’t really stay dead anyway she likes to walk the streets at night nowadays. Geez get your mind out of the gutter.  Moving on This is not really a spoiler if you have read book 2 but if you haven’t you might want to stop here and ask yourself about your poor life decisions. These books are pretty damned funny. But listen to the first few minutes for yourself.

 

And the spoiler is Karri is now a Vampire.  I won’t spoil anything else, But I will say I love this series! It just gets better and better, and by that, I mean more ridiculous and crazy but it is still just about a guy named Gary™. Book 4 will be coming out soon, so if you haven’t started this series yet get on it!

Final Thoughts

It is like books one and two but as if you add them together….. Yes I mean it is book 3 My favorite of the series so far. I give The Secrets of Supervillainy 4.5 Stars out of 5.

This one is also available for free with KU at the link below.

The Secrets of Supervillainy (The Supervillainy Saga Book 3)

Today Is Phipps Day here on the Blog I will be posting 2 reviews of books by C.T. Phipps and an interview with him. Phipps Day, like many holidays is a day to give gifts…. well at least one gift. That’s right everyone that shares any of the 3 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

Hob’s Review of Agent G: Infiltrator By C. T. Phipps

Agent G: Infiltrator

By C. T. Phipps  Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer

 

The Blurb.

“Black Technology has made murder a billion-dollar industry.”

The International Refugee Society has twenty-six cybernetically enhanced “Letters,” and for the right price, they’ll eliminate anyone. They’ve given up their families and their memories for ten years of service with the promise of a life of luxury awaiting them.

Agent G is one of these “Letters,” but clues to his past are starting to emerge while he’s on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the Society’s most dangerous competitor. In the midst of all the violence, subterfuge, and deceit, he’ll need to keep his wits about him and trust sparingly.

After all if an organization will kill for money, what would they do to keep the truth hidden?

I had the Audiobook version of Agent G Infiltrator read by Jeffrey Kafer. He has done an excellent job on all the books I have listened to by him, but I must say I think this was the best. I also like the cover on this book quite a bit. It is a mix of Bond and Hitman and that is what the book is on the inside as well as the outside. It was short though coming in at just a bit over 6 hours long, but that is my only complaint.

 

The story is told in first person through the eyes of Agent G. It is done so well I really felt like I was part of the action. Yes, for a bit I was…….

Daniel-Craig

 

But I don’t know if I should trust my Goblin girl…

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But seriously Charles is great at taking old concept and adding some completely unique things in that make all of his books so much more than you expect, and this one is no different. The blurb up top should kind of give you an idea of the plot so I won’t waste your time with it. I do have to admit though, that I was sure I knew where this was going and I was right up until the very end. All I can say is you got me man.

Final Thoughts

Another audiobook excellently Narrated by By Mr. Kafer. A fast-paced thrill ride filled with assassins, cyborgs, and cyborg assassins. What more could you want right?  Oh, yeah and a great ending. I give Agent G Infiltrator 4.25 stars out of 5

You can pick up the Ebook version of this for free with KU or just buy it

Agent G: Infiltrator

Today Is Phipps Day here on the Blog I will be posting 2 reviews of books by C.T. Phipps and an interview with him. Phipps Day, like many holidays is a day to give gifts…. well at least one gift. That’s right everyone that shares any of the 3 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

There can be only one!

Well my friends, the time has come to give away a one of a kind item. I really wish I could just keep it, but I will order one for myself at StickyWoodyZtudio. If you are one of the 20 people that didn’t win you can get one there as well. You can also have it made with what ever you want on it. You don’t have to be limited to the design I came up with for the giveaway.

But there is one person that will have to settle for my design and that is Andrea D. I will send them an E-mail telling them they won. If there is no reply with in 24 hours A new winner will be selected.

Thank you to all of you that entered and those that just read and liked the post. I don’t know why of the 200+ people that read the post only 21 entered but I am still glad you came.  Once again thanks to Clayton at StickyWoodyZtudio for making and giving this book cover to me for this giveaway. capture

Want to win the next giveaway? Just follow my blog so you hear about as soon as I post! I can tell you it will be The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King  By Michael R. Miller Narrated By Dave Cruse but I don’t have the post up yet.  Then in march I think I will be doing Black City Demon by Richard Knaak. If you have a book coming out this year and would like to do a giveaway to let people hear about it let me know. goblin2s

Hob’s Review of Circle of Reign by Jacob Cooper and a giveaway

Circle of Reign

I first came across Jacob Cooper back in August of 2015. I had a job that I could listen to books most of the day, so I went through audio books fast.  For that reason I was searching Audible one morning before I went to work for something new, I only had 2 requirements. First that it was read by someone I liked already. And second that it was long. When I  search for a new book I usually do a search of my favorite narrators first. I searched Luke Daniels  and didn’t see anything new. Then Michael Kramer and what do you know, I saw Circle of Reign a bit over 20 hours long. I was in a hurry so i didn’t even read the description, I just started downloading it to my phone and left for work.

I know what you’re saying right now. You are saying “How the hell can he remember doing a search for a book over a year ago?” Well I have a pretty good memory when it comes to what happens in books. But not names, if I ever meet you in person save us both some awkwardness and tell me your name at least 10 times over the next hour or two. I am almost as bad with book titles and even worse with Song titles.  But if we had met at a book store and we walked down the aisles I can point to every book I have read and give a synopses of what it’s about.  That is a lot of books, but let’s get back to the one I am reviewing, whatever it’s called.

I usually start my reviews with the Physical aspects of a book. But we need to go about this one differently.  See  this book Is not  the same one I downloaded over a year ago. Well that’s not actually true. Since I first listened to it till now it has undergone a lot of changes. No I don’t mean like puberty. Jacob was approached by a guy you might have heard of named  David Farland and if you don’t recognize him from his Runelords Series, you might know some of the people he taught while a English professor  like Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, and Stephanie Meyer. (You shouldn’t hold that last one against him.) David had read CoR and enjoyed it but thought this self published first time author could make it even better with some coaching. So together they cut about 35,000 words and then added  around 70,000. The result is not really a new book but I will admit a better one.

Now let’s get to the Physical part. The cover is pretty cool and shows a part out of the book well. But it is not very eye catching. I listened to the audio book again excellently narrated by Kramer.  And while the first version was a nice long AB this version is even longer at  24 hours 37 min. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can pick the eBook up free on Kindle Unlimited and one of my lucky readers will get a free audible download code. More about this at the end.

Now a bit about the book itself.  The story takes place in a rather Grimdark world,  where the land seems to be dying. The country is called Senthara, and it is one of the last bastions of humanity. But on occasion people looking for farmable land  come with their whole civilizations but that is the plot for the prequel  Altar of Influence: The Orsarian War.   Also free as of now on Kindle Unlimited.

One of the things I love the most about this book is the action POVs. Like in the graphic below there are 3 people 2 fighting and one watching.  Well you as the reader are not bound to one POV you are bound to the action. During this fight you will see out of each one’s eyes and here their thoughts. It is so cinematic you can’t help but picture a movie in your head as you read. If you click the preview button at the bottom then click part one you can read this scene.

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The blade on the right was actually made from a description in the books by Fallen Oak Forge. Here is a better picture.

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I wouldn’t actually classify this series as Grimdark, but it is a near thing. The only reason  holding it back is no one really knows how screwed they are. The main character is Reign A Wood dweller of the Western Provence known as Arlethia.

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What is a Wood dweller?  Well they are not long lived like elves but they do have the ability to sense vibrations of anything moving close to them through the tree roots and are blessed with an almost super hero level speed . We see that right from the start in the battle I pictured above.

Do yourself a favor and read the preview Here

 

 Final Thoughts

A few things didn’t really fit smoothly for me but they will probably be resolved in book two. There is quite a bit of in world language used that did get a bit confusing at times but not enough I didn’t know what they were talking about. I loved the original and rated it 4.5 stars. This one was even better and it gets a full 5 stars out of 5. Keep reading to find out more about the giveaway.

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Win a free Audiobook version of Circle of Reign!

Jacob is a sucker for poetry. But only likes the kind that begin with Roses are red . So the best Roses are red poem of at least 30 words but no more than 100,000 wins. I am joking of course many of you know about my aversion to poetry. But I bet you didn’t know I am a published poet. Yes, sadly that is true but I don’t even remember the name of the book. ( I mentioned I am bad with names) And while the first 2  results of a Google search of Trevor Sherman poetry  will be links to something I wrote thankfully it’s not actual poetry.  No for a chance to win a free Audiobook just comment below. While you are at it you should comment on my other giveaway here. But don’t forget to comment below first! Good luck And if you lose you can always buy the book at the links below. One winner will be chosen Randomly from the comments below on this post. The drawing will take place on January 27 around 4 pm eastern. Any questions feel free to contact me 

Audible

Barnes and Noble

ISBN-13:

9780692246733

Publisher:

Jacob Cooper

Publication date:

12/27/2016

Series:

Dying Lands Chronicle , #1

Pages:

798

Hob’s Review of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

 

Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor)

by Mark Lawrence

 

  • Publication date Apr 2017
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
  • ImprintHarperVoyager
  • Publication City/Country London, United Kingdom
  • ISBN100008152306
  • ISBN139780008152307

 

Wow where to start? I am kinda at a loss for words. That might be because it is 7:15 am and I was reading for the last 6 hours straight and I am exhausted. But I think it’s more likely that my brain just can’t contain all of the awesome that I read in that 6 hour stretch.

Well I guess I will start like I always do with the Tactile and visual parts of the review.  I love the cover It is a great visual description of the book without giving anything away. Plus it’s just some damn good art. It could have been improved a bit, but I went a head and fixed it.

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There were 5 or 6 Grammatical things I noticed. But all small things like bought her hand down instead of brought and in in instead of it in. I did have an ARC not the Final version of the book. I am just mentioning it so that in the unlikely event they haven’t been fixed already they will be before its published, I am not taking any points off.

“I have been too young to know, and I have been too old to care. It’s in that oh so narrow slice between that memories are made. So enjoy it.” – Sister Pan

I love Marks writing because on a almost subconscious level there is a meter or tempo to it. It’s not like a rhyming poem or anything, and it’s really hard to put a finger on what “it” is. I think “it” is the sentence structure its self. He writes like a great Orator speaks. The cadence of the words pulling you in to his stories  almost hypnotically. It has taken me reading 7 books by Mr. Lawrence to actually come to that conclusion.  I am probably wrong and its just a compulsion spell.. And while I am not accusing him of witchcraft or sorcery, per se. His prose has definitely cast its spell on me.

1

You would not believe the amount of times that I have read a series by an author then read their new series, and it felt like…. well like the same books almost. At the very least, many authors fall in to old speech patterns using new mouths.  I have actually thought about this way too much in the past, and I came up with an explanation for it. The characters from the old books are in the FBI’s (Fictional Body Importation) Protagonist Protection Program.  (Rolls right off the tongue doesn’t it?) Their names have been changed for their own safety and they have been moved to a new world to start over. But just like Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven they soon get up to their old tricks again.

hob-heaven

In Mark’s first two trilogies he managed to make the protagonists so completely different from each other I was amazed. And Yes he did it again with Red Sister. I know I know, the protagonist in this book starts out as a 7 or 8 year old girl and yes it takes place on a completely different world. So it sounds like it would be easy to make them unique. But even the Narrative flow in Red Sister was different from the Broken Empire books. While still having the Orator’s Tempo I talked about before. It really did amaze me.

“But be warned, young Nona: a book is as dangerous as any journey you might take. The person who closes the back cover may not be the one that opened the front one.” – Sister Kettle

Ok Like I just mentioned, Red Sister takes place on a completely new world. New to us that is. Its actually so old it is dying, really in fact it is the Sun that is dying. Causing the slow formation of a Ice Planet like Hoth from  StarWars. The only glacier free area of the planet is a 50 mile wide strip that goes all the way around the planet. I Picture it just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.  Only wider obviously.

And the only Reason that 50 miles is still open is because of a moon…… “That’s no moon kid” That’s a focus lens! Every night it gathers the light from the dying sun focusing it in to a single beam that sweeps over the area with enough heat to keep the glacier from closing in on them. If that’s not bad enough, the “moon” is in a decaying orbit and will soon return to the planet and then the ice will close on the people like a giant trash compactor.. “C-3PO come in C-3PO where are you C-3PO OH where could he be?” Sorry can you tell I went and saw Rogue One again today?

Final Thoughts

It is not only a great story, but beautifully written as well. I loved the ending but at the same time I wish I hadn’t gotten to it yet. It was by no means a small book but I read it in three sittings, and that only made me want more.

Mark Lawrence has been the author of my choices for book of the year for the last 2 years in a row. Red Sister was the first book I finished this year but it is possible he might get my vote a third time. Red Sister gets a Outstanding recommendation from this goblin with 5 stars out of 5

P.S. if you’re a Mark Lawrence fan don’t forget to enter my free drawing to win a Broken Empire themed book cover! A $90.00 value for free! Just go to my blog post  here and make a comment and you will be entered.

To Pre- Order Red Sister click below

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