Category Archives: Reading

Goodreads Giveaway

Who doesn’t like a free book?  Just head on over to Goodreads and you can enter my giveaway for a signed copy of Stenson Blues: Kingdom of Haven Book 2.

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This is phase 2 of my book giveaways to celebrate the January release of book 3: The Eastern Factor.

If you don’t like to start in the middle, just click on my buddy below, and you can still get a free ebook copy of The Order of the Wolf just for signing up for my monthly author newsletter.

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And don’t forget to leave me a review while your at it!

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Old Mercenary Romance is the Best Kind

Romance seems to be everywhere nowadays.  There’s fantasy romance, historical romance, even western romance—I think (Hey Tex, pass the biscuits).  I don’t really care to read a lot of erotic stuff, but I believe every story needs a little romance.  Even a gritty mercenary story like The Order of the Wolf has some romance.

Actually, one of my favorite scenes is when the protagonist meets his lady love for the first time.  He’s a gruff mercenary with a death wish, who’s never had a real relationship with a woman, and she’s an old farm wife who’s lost her husband to war.  She found him near her farm, collapsed from a festering wound, and brought him back to her shack to mend him:

 

I woke to excruciating pain—and, strangely, comfort. Where did this bed come from? A scratchy pillow cushioned my head enough so that I could scan my surroundings.

I was in a peasant shack with stick furniture and herbs hanging from the wall. My borrowed sword hung on a hook by the door; seeing it prompted me to struggle to me feet with a grunt. I shuffled, naked, across the dirt floor and grabbed the sword, feeling better when I had it in my grasp. I scanned the room for my missing tunic, shaking my head to clear the feeling of light-headedness.

The hovel’s door scraped and I dropped into a fighting stance, my sword poised to strike. The afternoon sun beamed through the opening, blinding me. I blinked to clear my vision and jumped back when a shadow passed before the door.

It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to the sunlight. A woman stood in the doorway with one hand on her hip and the other holding my missing tunic—which appeared to be clean. She looked strong enough to put up a good fight if I set my sword down, so I held it at the ready and I studied her face, trying to gauge her intentions.

She smiled at me, running her eyes down the length of my body. “You going to stab me with that?” she asked—only she wasn’t looking at the sword in my hand.

I cleared my throat and her focus shifted to my face. Her scrutiny was unnerving. I hadn’t been with a woman since before my mates had died, and I hadn’t stood naked in front of a woman since long before that. I tried to ignore my condition and regain control of the situation.

“How did I get here?”

The woman frowned. “If you put your sword down, I’ll tell you.”

I held out my hand for my tunic. “Can I have my clothes?”

Her smile returned. “I didn’t say you had to get dressed.” She gave me another appraising look. “Besides, your tunic is still wet.”

I knew that she was just baiting me, but I refused to give her the satisfaction by covering myself. I would rather have faced the Imperial cavalry again than stand there being ogled—but I didn’t move.

Finally, she laughed and gestured toward the back corner on the opposite side of the bed. “In the corner is an old tunic what belonged to my man. You can put it on.”

I lowered my sword and laid it on the bed as I crossed the room, but it’s hard to look dignified when a strange woman is staring at your naked ass. I shuffled over to the tunic and put it on. Homespun and too small, it began to itch as soon as it touched my skin.

“Where’s your man now?”

The woman frowned again and spat on the dirt floor. “The fool went an’ got himself killed in the Prince’s army.”

 

It’s not quite a fairy tale romance, but the relationship that develops is a critical part of the story.  If you want to read more, you can find a copy of The Order of the Wolf on Amazon or Kobo.  Or you can sign up for my author newsletter and get one for FREE.

If you decide to give The Order of the Wolf a gander, please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or KOBO, or  wherever else strikes your fancy.  Reviews are more precious than gold to us independent authors.  My current goal is to get my books on BookBub and I need reviews to do it.  So help a starving author out.

(Okay, to be honest, I’m not starving.  Right now my belly is full of leftover Reese’s cups from Halloween . . . . . All right, they aren’t really leftover.  I sneaked them out of the candy bowl when the wife wasn’t looking.  But hey, I’m a fiction author.  I’m supposed to make this stuff up, right?)

Thanks for your ear rent.

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Short & Twisted

Short and Twisted

 

You can find my short story “Santa Doesn’t Work Here Anymore” in the Short & Twisted Christmas Tales anthology that just became available on Amazon.

Give it a read.

 

 

 

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Goodreads Giveaway Finished

My Goodreads giveaway completed on September 30th.  I gave away 5 signed copies of The Order of the Wolf to promote the coming release of book 3 The Eastern Factor.

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 I had 604 people sign up for the giveaway.  I’m considering this a success, because 604 more people have heard of me and my books than before.  Whether those that didn’t win go out and buy a copy is another matter.  You can buy Order of the Wolf and Stenson Blues on Amazon or Kobo.  They are available as an ebook or paperback.

If you didn’t win, there will be more chances.  More giveaways and sales coming up until The Eastern Factor is released in January.  Stay tuned.

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Must Read Fantasy

George R.R. Martin is on everyone’s lips because of Game of Thrones.  Many people have seen the HBO series, but I’m sure many fewer have read the books.  In addition to Martin, Tolkien and J K Rowling are also household names, known way beyond the fantasy genre.  These are the mass media darlings, but are they the heart and soul of the fantasy genre.  I say no.

The genre has changed over the years.  It seems like YA fantasy is very popular, but wasn’t it always that way?  Fantasy is one of those literary genres that has always been accessible to readers of all ages.  It cracks me up to see the YA fantasy section in the bookstore.  It’s just marketing because of the success of Harry Potter.

So if you’ve already read Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, and are waiting for Martin to finish writing Game of Thrones, what should you read? Well since I’m an old dude, I’m going to give you my recommendations for the best fantasy series of the last several decades.  (I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones I have read and can recommend)

  • Glen Cook – The Chronicles of the Black Company; The Dread Empire.
  • Roger Zelazny – The Amber Chronicles.
  • Mickey Zucker Reighert – The Renshai Chronicles.
  • Michael Moorcook – The Elric Saga.
  • Steven Brust – Vlad Taltos Series.
  • Dave Duncan – A Man of His Word; A Handful of Men.
  • Katherine Kurtz – The Chronicles of the Deryni.
  • Terry Pratchett – Discworld Novels.
  • Tad Williams – Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn
  • Janny Wurts – The Cycle of Fire; Daughter of Empire.
  • C. S. Friedman – Cold Fire Trilogy.
  • Harry Turtledove – The Videssos Cycle.
  • Jennifer Roberson – Chronicles of the Cheysuli; Sword Dancer.
  • Raymond E. Feist – The Riftwar Saga.
  • Louise Cooper – Time Master Trilogy; Books of Indigo.
  • Eric Van Lustbader – The Sunset Warrior Trilogy.
  • Patricia A. Mckillip – The Riddle-Master of Hed trilogy.
  • Lawrence Watt-Evens – The Obsidian Chronicles.
  • Angus Wells – The Books of the Kingdom; The God War.
  • David Farland – The Runelords.
  • L.E. Modesitt Jr. – The Saga of Recluse.
  • Steve Bein – The Fated Blades.
  • Patrick Ruthfuss – The Kingkiller Chronicle.
  • Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files.

I almost feel bad about leaving Wheel of Time off this list because it started out so good, but I couldn’t keep reading it much like Game of Thrones – They both grew into this huge web of story arcs that lost my interest.  Anyway, this is my list.  I do prefer my fantasy a bit dark and gritty, but they don’t all fit in that category.  Many of these books are a bit older, but hey, so am I.  Try a couple of these if you haven’t read them already.

 

 

 

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Now Hear This…Now Say This?

Listen all you slug-a-beds, we’re about to lose some words.  According to experts there are several words that will soon be lost from the English language:

Academics uncover 30 words ‘lost’ from English language

Hey, I’ve been know to make up a word on occasion.  Wouldn’t it be easier to just use one of these instead before they disappear completely.

I’m all awhape over this, so let’s get busy.

Thanks for your ear-rent.

 

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Finally!

I finally finished the last revision of The Eastern Factor.  Maybe I should call it the latest revision.  This is the one where I made much-needed cuts based upon feedback from readers.  It is the last revision before going to the editor.  Which means it isn’t really the last revision.  Wow, I talked myself down from that exciting moment way too quickly.  Let me try that again.

Last revision!  Last revision!  Last revision!  For Now.  (No, I am not dancing around, but I did spin my chair around a couple of times.)

Wow, that felt better. (Still a little dizzy though.)

I’m talking to the editor and will have a bit of a break before it comes back to me.  This gives me some time to work on something else.  I’m looking forward to writing something new for a change.  I actually have a couple of short story ideas that I want to pursue.

Speaking of short stories, my story Granny May Saves the Day will be coming out soon in Issue 4 of Broadswords and Blasters.  Look for it in January.

 

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