Dog Star Books Author Spotlight: Matt Betts

This Saturday in Xenia, Ohio, Bluejacket Books is hosting three Dog Star Books authors for readings, signings, and a bit of Q&A!

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By now, you should all be pretty familiar with me and my work, so today I’d like to shine the spotlight on fellow author Matt Betts. (This is where he starts claiming that the light burns, but he’s being silly. He can totally handle daylight-spectrum UV rays. Just ignore the sizzling sound.)

Betts and I met a few years ago when I started doing volunteer work for our publisher, Raw Dog Screaming Press (of which Dog Star Books is the science-fiction/adventure imprint). In fact, one of my first volunteer stints for them was proofing the final layout version of Odd Men Out under a massive time crunch. I fell in love with Betts’ crazy steampunk/Wild West world before I actually met him in person. But since we have a shared passion for taking traditional genre fiction and twisting it to the extreme, of course we hit it off like wildfire the first time we did get together!

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Though I’m not one for poetry, I have previously reviewed Indelible Ink.

I’m not quite sure what project Betts is working on next (though I’ve been poking at him about an Odd Men Out sequel for ages now), but whatever it is, it’s sure to be good!

Cover Reveal: STEEL MAGIC

I’m pleased to announce the official cover reveal of the second book in my Steel Empires series: Steel Magic!

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The gorgeous cover art for Steel Magic

You can also preorder the book from Amazon today, ahead of the release on July 6, 2016! Don’t forget that when you buy a hardcopy of an RDSP book, you’ll also be able to download the Kindle version for free. If you’re only interested in the ebook, it will be available soon after release in July.

About the Book:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries-if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

Continue reading to learn about the cover artist and my thoughts on the cover!Continue reading “Cover Reveal: STEEL MAGIC”

STEEL MAGIC: Parisii, City of Light and Darkness

With clues leading to the old world of Europa ahead of them, and enemies behind them, Toria and Kane cross an ocean to reach Parisii. This ancient city has changed hands multiple times over the centuries between Roman and British control, with occasional bouts of independence.

Will the warrior-mages find what they’re searching for in Parisii? Or will they find a hell of a lot more than they expected?

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Clockwise from top left: Delicious tea and pastries at Laduree, bones within the Catacombs beneath the city, Victor Hugo’s house, and the obligatory Eiffel Tower picture.

Continue reading “STEEL MAGIC: Parisii, City of Light and Darkness”

Interview: C.S. Wilde, author of A COURTROOM OF ASHES

The ebook version of A Courtroom of Ashes is on sale today and tomorrow!

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A COURTROOM OF ASHES by C.S. Wilde

Love. Epic battles. And a lawyer with shady morals.

Santana Jones never thought she’d fall in love with a ghost, but that was before she met John Braver, the incredibly charming and incredibly dead politician on the other side of her brand new mirror. Who knew the damned thing was a window to Purgatory?

But John isn’t alone on the other side. Vicious spirits roam free in the land of the dead.

When an evil ghost drags Santana’s soul through the mirror and into Purgatory, she’ll need all the help she can get to return to her body.With John by her side, nothing can go wrong. But Purgatory is a dangerous place for a lawyer with a pitch-black past.

Santana has always wondered if she’d go to Hell for defending murderers. Now she’ll know.

I interviewed C.S. Wilde about the background of her book and her adventures in publication!Continue reading “Interview: C.S. Wilde, author of A COURTROOM OF ASHES”

STEEL MAGIC: New Angouleme, Jewel of the British Colonies

While the events of my first novel take place in Limani, a free city-state that acts as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies, I’ve gone farther abroad in book 2 of the Steel Empires series, Steel Magic.

Toria and Kane, a bonded warrior-mage pair and journeymen mercenaries just starting out, have left their hometown of Limani before. But this time, they’re leaving as adults, with their entire careers and lives ahead of them. Their first mercenary contract brings them to the city of New Angouleme, capital city of the British colonies to the north. There they meet with the head of the New Angouleme Center for Magical Education, where everything is not as it seems…

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Clockwise from left: Gardens of the The Cloisters, exterior of The Cloisters, and view from our hotel room near Times Square (filtered to show a certain magical aura…)

Continue reading “STEEL MAGIC: New Angouleme, Jewel of the British Colonies”

Review: LIVE BY THE CODE (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #4) by Christopher L. Bennett

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LIVE BY THE CODE (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #4) by Christopher L. Bennett

DISCLAIMER: I received this book as a freebie from the publisher at Cleveland ConCoction 2016, where Bennett was the author guest of honor.

Though book titles should always have something to do with the contents of the book, I will always appreciate a book title that is also a good pun. Live by the Code can refer to the computer code that makes up the primary “villain” in this book, but it can also refer to the code of honor that is also the lifeblood of the Klingon Empire, who’s politics makes a great return in this fourth installment of the Rise of the Federation series.Continue reading “Review: LIVE BY THE CODE (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #4) by Christopher L. Bennett”

STEEL MAGIC cover reveal coming next Tuesday!

Next Tuesday I will be featuring the full cover for my second novel, STEEL MAGIC, along with a link where you can pre-order it!

Here’s another teaser image:

Steel Magic title image

I’ve created a Facebook event for the cover reveal here, where I’ll be featuring odds and ends for the next few days. Please check it out and spread the word.

If you would like to get a sneak-peak at the cover by volunteering to host it on your blog and/or other social media accounts any time on Tuesday, May 24, please email me at johanna.gribble@gmail.com!

Steel Magic is the second book in my Steel Empires series published by Dog Star Books. Check out the back cover text below:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries—if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

Review: Uncertain Logic (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #3) by Christopher L. Bennett

 

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UNCERTAIN LOGIC (Rise of the Federation #3) by Christopher L. Bennett

DISCLAIMER: I received this book as a freebie from the publisher at Cleveland ConCoction 2016, where Bennett was the author guest of honor.

My favorite aspect of this novel was the fact that Bennett allows a Starfleet ship to make a major mistake. This series might be about the ascension of the Federation to a major Alpha Quadrant power, but no one is infallible. The mistake is heartbreaking, and as a reader, the resolution is both fulfilling and poignant.

This novel is a great continuation of a series that is far from boring, with all of the politics and epic space battles a reader could want from a traditional Star Trek novel. However, this would not be a good book to read without having at least read Tower of Babel (Rise of the Federation #2) because so much of the primary plot line is set up there.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Frost Burn by K. T. Munson and Nichelle Rae (41%) and Star Trek: Articles of the Federation by Keith R. A. DeCandido (10%)

Review: TOWER OF BABEL (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #2) by Christopher L. Bennett

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TOWER OF BABEL (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #2) by Christopher L. Bennett

DISCLAIMER: I received this book as a freebie from the publisher at Cleveland ConCoction 2016, where Bennett was the author guest of honor.

My only major complaint about this series is also, oddly, one of the things that I like most about it.Continue reading “Review: TOWER OF BABEL (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #2) by Christopher L. Bennett”

Review: A CHOICE OF FUTURES (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #1) by Christopher L. Bennett

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A CHOICE OF FUTURES (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #1) by Christopher L. Bennett

Though Star Trek Enterprise is not my favorite of the television series, I found myself easily sucked into these tales that follow the on-screen adventures. The first four books made for great vacation reading, and I anxiously waited for my turn to read them since my husband had laid dibs first. (Star Trek Enterprise is definitely his favorite of the television series, which always makes for lively debates in our household.)Continue reading “Review: A CHOICE OF FUTURES (Star Trek Enterprise: Rise of the Federation #1) by Christopher L. Bennett”