Review: GENRENAUTS: SEASON ONE by Michael R. Underwood

GenrenautsSometimes, you find a published story that incorporates major elements of an idea you had once upon a time and you’re disappointed, because now it’s already “taken.” But other times, you stumble across a story that’s very similar to a vague idea you had back in high school and you’re thrilled, because someone has already put all the work into your half-baked idea and you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Genrenauts is definitely the latter for me, and I had a blast reading this collection of novellas.  Continue reading

FINAL CALL for Steel Blood blog tour volunteers!

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddI’m starting to work on the final details for the celebration of Steel Empires Book 3 on July 19, so this is your last chance to be part of the party! Thank you very much to everyone who has signed up so far. I will start pulling together the final schedule and contacting everyone within the next day or so.

I am still looking for volunteers willing to host:

  • Book spotlight
  • Guest blog (topic to be mutually determined)
  • Interview (your questions or mine)
  • Excerpt

Sign up here for the Steel Blood blog tour!

NOTE: I will only use your contact information for this blog tour, and I will not share it with any outside entities, such as my publisher.

Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading

Spotlight & Review: MEMORIES OF MAGIC (Fay of Skye #3) by Cara McKinnon

Once I fell in love with the Fay of Skye series, I could no longer claim to dislike romance, historical romance, or paranormal romance. But I definitely fell in love with this series because of the incredible twist McKinnon puts on her tales, setting them in an alternate universe and focusing on both diversity and strong characters.

Today I’m pleased to present the newest installment on its release date. Memories of Magic is my favorite of the series yet!


memories of magicABOUT THE BOOK

Her visions could save English magic…if he can teach her to control them.

Olivia Seward never developed the magic of her elder siblings, but now she’s plagued by visions of the past. Etta, Duchess of Fay, asks her to use those visions to discover the source of the drain on English magic. Unfortunately, the visions draw too deeply from Olivia, leaving her weak and vulnerable.

Savitendra Reilly, a half-Indian, half-Irish historian, is hired by the duchess to research the origins of the Aegis Spell, but it is the magic of his birthplace that Olivia needs to learn to control her visions.

The only problem: Savit is an ascetic, performing magic by honing his mind and ignoring the needs of the flesh. Olivia is a hedonist, and accesses her power through pleasure. And every time they do magic together, Savit’s desire for her grows.

If he succumbs to their mutual passion, he believes won’t be able to protect her from the ravages of her unpredictable gift. But Olivia is convinced the only way to access the truth of the past is to immerse themselves in each other–sharing bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.

Amazon


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novel prior to publication. I fully intend to purchase a hardcopy version of the book to add to my collection of this series.

Often, fantasy-romance novels (or romantic fantasy novels) are romance novels with a dash of the magical or fantasy novels with a more-or-less strong romance subplot. Memories of Magic blends genres seamlessly by using the relationship, including the sexual aspect, between the two main characters as a basis for the magic without ever crossing that thin line into straight-up “sex magic” for the sake of titillation.  Continue reading

Participants needed for STEEL BLOOD blog tour this July

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddAre you a book blogger and/or reviewer? Would you like to be part of a blog tour this summer to promote the next book in the Steel Empires series, Steel Blood?

Please use this Google form (no registration required) to submit your contact information, availability, and interest in the following:

  • Spotlight (book and author info)
  • Short excerpt
  • Author interview (questions provided by me or you)
  • Guest post (topic to be mutually determined)

I am also looking for book reviewers who are interested in receiving an advance electronic copy in exchange for an honest review, to be posted at your convenience sometime this summer.

Thanks!

Author Interview with Casey Matthews

Today, I’m happy to introduce you to an author writes books that look like the daydream that every qualified nerd has had once upon a time. Check out the Pygmalion Fail series by Casey Matthews and take a short peek into this particular nerd’s brain!


Pygmalion Fail trilogyABOUT THE BOOKS

The Accidental God (Book 1): The world of Rune is just a series of fantasy paintings, or so Isaac Myers assumes; he’s even started adding some new art of his own to the seemingly abandoned project.

He learns better after a frustrating night of gaming with his best friend, Dak, culminates in a one-way trip to Rune itself—where fearsome creatures are intent on eating or otherwise destroying him, impractical armor keeps female warriors off the battlefield, and both a foppish overlord named Dracon and a masked samurai named Ronin (because of course) seem to think Isaac is terribly important.

Rune is real, all right. And it’s a damn mess.

Mistakes Were Made (Book 2) | Only Broken Things Are Free (Book 3)


“Real-life nerd ends up in fantasy world” is almost a trope in the realm of humor fantasy. What sets the Pygmalion Fail series apart?

I’d say it’s a staple trope — moreover, it’s super popular within the portal fantasy sub-genre. My series derives some of its humor from the fact it’s the protagonist’s own universe he falls into; it’s as much about a creator’s antagonistic relationship with his creations as it is about a nerd trapped in a fantasy world.

But Pygmalion is a cut above the average for its lightning pace and, as my editor put it, the “joyful spirit of invention” at the trilogy’s heart. The emotional center is really a bromance, the story of friendship between my protagonist — Isaac — and his best friend Dak. I think my book somewhat subverts the “power fantasy” trope where the hero becomes the most powerful, most important force in the world — not that Isaac doesn’t stumble across tremendous power, but this story is equally about the screw-ups he’s ultimately responsible for and the allies he relies on for their own unique strengths. This is a story about a guy who became a god very much by accident, and then has to learn he’s not the center of the universe. To that ends, there’s a lot happening in the allies’ subplots.  Continue reading

Book Release: TERRENCE AND THE MAGICAL SWORD OF COURAGE by C.R. Langille

terrence and the magical sword of courageHappy book birthday to one of the members of my sprawling writer family! I’m not familiar with books for this age group, but even I have to admit that this story looks adorable. If you have kids (or if you are a kid, though if you are, I’m not sure what you’re doing here *hands over a cookie and looks confused*), be sure to check it out!

Terrence and the Magical Sword of Courage
(Teddy Bear Saga #1)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble


ABOUT THE BOOK

Terrence is a magical teddy bear charged with protecting kids from all the things that go bump in the night. The only problem is, Terrence is scared of just about everything. Things go from bad to worse when Grubble of the Toms shows up with his turkey-riding goblins in tow.

The clock is ticking and Terrence joins up with an unlikely ally to quest for the Magical Sword of Courage, a mythical weapon said to give the owner unlimited bravery. Follow Terrence as he travels to UnderBed and Closetville in search of the sword, running into crazy characters like the Bird Brothers, hobgoblins, and even the King of the Boogeymen.
Terrence and the Magical Sword of Courage is the first book in the Teddy Bear Saga. Readers both young and old will enjoy this heartwarming tale of adventure, friendship, and finding the strength to face one’s fears.

Read the first chapter!


Spring Into Books, 2016, Viridian CenterABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with his mother. It wasn’t long before he started crafting nightmares to share with his readers. An avid hunter and amateur survivalist, C.R. Langille incorporates the Utah outdoors in many of his tales. He is an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association (organizer for the Utah Chapter), a member of the League of Utah Writers, and received his MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour: CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE

crazy-little-spring-called-love updatedThe authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.

About the book:

This delightful fantasy romance anthology features eight magical stories inspired by the awakenings and renewal of springtime. If you like fairies, djinn, gods and goddesses, druids, mermaids, magic, and true love, then this is the anthology for you.


What Prompted your Element “X”–Mermaids, Djinn, Fairies, etc? Continue reading

Review: THE DYING OF THE GOLDEN DAY (Heartfriends Trilogy #1) by Carrie Gessner

dying of the golden dayDisclaimer: I attended the same graduate program as the author and consider her a friend; however, I purchased my hardcopy version of this novel for full price.


I spend a lot of time reading urban fantasy these days, so it had been a while since I dove into a more traditional epic fantasy. Starting this novel felt a little bit like coming home. However, this novel is an epic fantasy for the modern age, filled with familiar elements of detailed world-building and political intrigue, but with surprising twists regarding characterization and other story elements. Continue reading

Cover Reveal: CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE

Crazy Little Spring Called LoveI’m pleased to be part of the cover reveal for an upcoming fantasy-romance anthology called Crazy Little Spring Called Love from Stars and Stone Books, featuring so many lovely authors that I know! It will be released May 3, and is available for preorder from Amazon!

Includes stories by Heather Bythesea, Elsa Carruthers, M.T. DeSantis, Traci Douglass, L.J. Longo, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, and Mary Rogers.

Check out short teasers from selected stories after the jump! Continue reading