Friday, January 27, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Working! That, in a nutshell, is what I've been doing for the past month and a half. So if I've agreed to review your book, it'll happen eventually. I just don't know when. I basically bit off more than I can chew when it comes to reviewing. All of my reading time has been devoted to editing, so I haven't spent any time reading for review.

Along those lines, I don't think I'll be taking on any new books for review for the foreseeable future. In fact, this site has pretty much been dormant for the last six months or so, and I'll probably use it just to share any books that I read in my spare time. As much as I love reviewing books, I just don't have the extra time to devote to it regularly. But there are plenty of awesome book reviewers out there, so I have no worries that you will find spots to learn about awesome books.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

General Update and Freebies from Nicholson and Others

I usually like to do an end-of-year top-ten reads list, but since most of my reading this years was for copyediting and proofreading I think I'm going to skip any sort of lists. Don't get me wrong. There were a number of good books that I read, but I just don't feel right putting them on any sort of best-of list. I will, however, try to do some sort of wrap-up and look forward, but it may not be until the new year when I post it.

There is one thing I want to make sure you Kindle owners are aware of. Right now there are a ton of freebies being offered to Kindle owners. In fact, my favorite author is offering a number of free e-books through Amazon. I remember when I first discovered Scott Nicholson. Somehow I happened upon a copy of The Red Church a few years back. I thoroughly enjoyed Nicholson's writing and wanted to read more. The only problem was that I had to hunt down his books online because most of them were out-of-print. I ended up getting all of his print titles after some work. Now fast-forward to the Kindle age, and he's giving away e-copies of his books. Talk about easy. Here's a link to all of the books he's giving away:

Another freebie is from author Brenda Wallace. Brenda's a great person and talented new author. Her debut novel, Brilliant Prey, is currently free at Amazon for a limited time. Grab it while you can! Click here to go the the Amazon page.

If you own a Kindle, make sure you're checking out book clubs and freebie sites to get the latest information about available free books. It seems as though Santa's bag burst open after Christmas! Some authors that have had freebies or currently have promotions running include J. A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, J. R. Rain, and Aiden James.

If I don't talk to you before the new year, happy new year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Release from Author Andrew E. Kaufman

Yesterday marked the release date for Andrew E. Kaufman's new book, The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted. Kaufman's first book, While the Savage Sleeps, was a runaway success. The expectations are high for his newest release. Here's a brief synopsis:

She only stepped outside for a minute...

But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley's world upside down—a minute she'd regret for the rest of her life. 


Stepping into her worst nightmare 

Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. 

A nightmare that only got worse.

A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. 

Case closed. Justice served...or was it?

Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother's belongings. It paints his mother as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.

What really happened to Nathan Kingsley? 

There's a hole in the case a mile wide, and Patrick is determined to close it. But what he doesn't know is that the closer he moves toward the truth, the more he's putting his life on the line, that he’s become the hunted. Someone's hiding a dark secret and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.

The clock is ticking, the walls are closing, and the stakes are getting higher as he races to find a killer—one who's hot on his trail. One who's out for his blood.

Make sure to grab your copy during the holiday season!

Andrew E. Kaufman is a freelance writer and author living in Southern California, along with his six Labrador Retrievers, three horses, and a very bossy Jack Russell Terrier (who, incidentally, thinks she owns the place). His new novel, While the Savage Sleeps, a forensic paranormal mystery, takes place in the fictitious town of Faith, New Mexico.

Monday, December 5, 2011

KING DEATH by Paul Finch

When I found out the setting of the latest chapbook from Spectral Press, I was a bit excited. Okay, I was a lot excited. I absolutely love stories set in medieval times. Throw in the Black Death, and I couldn’t wait to feast my eyes on King Death by Paul Finch.

From the back cover of the book:

In 1348, England is stricken by the Black Death. The worst pandemic in human history has reached the kingdom of the warlike Edward III, a monarch who in battle against human adversaries cannot imagine defeat.

Two thirds of his subjects now perish. Woods become wild again, farmland goes to rack and ruin, villages, towns and castles are left empty, inhabited only by ghosts.

Little wonder that fear of the supernatural reaches an all-time high. Little wonder stories ignite about witches and demons spreading the plague, about ‘King Death’, an awesome harbinger of doom from whom there is no protection.

Cynical opportunist Rodric doesn’t believe any of these. With reckless indifference, he sets out to enrich himself.…

I was totally enthralled by this story. The setting is spot-on, making me feel as though I was standing in plague-stricken England. Rodric’s character is an interesting look at how greed and opportunism take advantage of perilous situations. However, even though it appears the world has changed to his advantage, Rodric is about to find out what it means to come face-to-face with King Death.

I’m beginning to feel like a broken record, but this is yet another gem from Spectral Press. It is hard to believe that a start-up publisher can put out so many consecutive thought-provoking stories, but somehow Spectral Press has done so. After reading the amazing works that have been put out in its first year of existence, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Spectral Press, a truly unique and welcomed publisher of well-told stories.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

IF YOU GO INTO THE WOODS by David Gaughran

I came across David Gaughran’s name on Twitter a little while back, and I started reading his blog shortly thereafter. I figured any guy who includes “resolute defender of the Oxford comma” in his Twitter description is okay in my book. When looking for a quick read last week, I noticed that Gaughran had a couple of short e-books available. I decided to give one a try, and I can say that I’m sure glad I did.

If You Go into the Woods is an e-book that contains two short stories, the title story and “The Reset Button.” In “If You Go into the Woods,” an eight-year-old boy has a penchant for mischief. This attraction draws him to the edge of the woods, where he can hear the birds repeating their calls in the dark canopy. As he listens to their calls, he becomes intrigued to the point that he must take action. But he soon learns that things are not as they sound.

In “The Reset Button,” a man is down on his luck and can’t seem to catch a break. He’s going through a difficult divorce and struggles to be the dad that his son needs. The more he tries to make things right, the more things spiral out of control. As he seeks respite from the storm of life in a bar, things only become more complicated for him.

The quality of writing in these two stories is simply amazing. The writing is mature, compelling, and enthralling. Both stories invite the reader in to participate with the characters, to become part of their lives. There’s a subtle tension that runs throughout Gaughran’s writing, pulling the reader along. My favorite of the two is the Philip K. Dickesque “The Reset Button.” Don’t miss this talented storyteller.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Endless streams of random thoughts, self-promotions, and RTs bombard us on Twitter. So we stop by and check in at Facebook. If we can figure out how to navigate the newest changes, we’re bombarded by all kinds of information about our friends that we may or may not care about. Throw in a bunch of targeted ads and a moment-by-moment feed of every action our friends make on Facebook and our brain may start hurting. Now it’s time to check our e-mail, and we end up spending an hour communicating with folks we may or may not see on Facebook and Twitter. Then we try to figure out this newfangled Google+ . . .

Is it TMI (too much information)? I don’t know. In my opening paragraph, I only mentioned the major social-media outlets. I didn’t even bring up reading blogs, shopping, and checking the news and weather online. Don’t get me wrong, I make use of all of the things I’ve listed. But I can’t seem to shake the feeling that we’re on the verge of information overload. I mean, if I really spent the time to keep up with everything I’m interested in, there wouldn’t be any time left over for me to do what I need to do.

And to bring this around to something that’s related to writing, how do new authors get their books in front of readers amid all of this chaos? Heck, how do seasoned authors get their book in front of readers? Six months ago, blog tours and book reviewers were possibly the best ways to find an audience for an author. But now, everyone’s doing a blog tour and I see an increasing number of book reviewers saying time-out. And giving books away seems next to impossible. Marking them down to ninety-nine cents doesn’t seem to do much, because everyone else is doing the same thing. How does someone stand out in that near-endless stream of RTs, self-promotions, and status updates?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that the market will find equilibrium. But I’m beginning to wonder if we’re reaching the point when the pendulum starts swinging in the opposite direction. What do you think? Are we getting to that swing-back point? Or is it that I just can’t keep up on the information superhighway? I'm interested in your thoughts about this topic, so please, by all means, share them with me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Review Posted at Novella Reviews

Posts have been scarce around here recently, but I thought I'd let you know that I do have a new review posted over at Novella Reviews. I review Paul Salvette's novelette, America Goes On. Stop by and check it out.

Also, since I don't have a lot of new reviews planned for here in the near future, I'll be posting some of the reviews I've done elsewhere during this past year. That way I'll have all my reviews consolidated in one place.

I hope you're doing well and reading something great!