Category Archives: Book News

Book Giveaway: HALO: Hunters in the Dark

Courtesy of Gallery Books, I have a copy of HALO: Hunters in the Dark by Peter David for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 31. I’ll draw a name on August 1, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: HALO: Hunters in the Dark

Received in June

The following are the books and movies I received in June for review and/or giveaways:

Ace:
Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan

Amazon Publishing / 47North / Thomas & Mercer / Skyscape:
The Stellow Project by Shari Becker
Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
Weavers by Aric Davis

Daw:
Faces by E. C. Blake

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden
Fable: Blood of Heroes by Jim C. Hines
Resistance: Dave vs. the Monsters by John Birmingham
Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Dave vs. the Monsters: Ascendance by John Birmingham

InkLit:
Michael Midas Champion: Book One by Jordan B. Gorfinkel

Kensington:
Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Gallery Books:
HALO: Hunters in the Dark by Peter David

Henry Holt / Metropolitan Books:
The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering by Jeffrey Rotter

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:
Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Mac Teen Books / Roaring Brook Press / Feiwel and Friends / FSG:
Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
The August 5 by Jenna Helland

Penguin Teen / Razorbill / Dial:
A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
Tracked by Jenny Martin

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III
Star Trek: The Original Series: Crisis of Consciousness by Dave Galanter
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon’s Arrow by Dayton Ward

Pyr:
The Chart of Tomorrows by Chris Willrich

Rebellion / Ravenstone:
The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Roc:
Witches with the Enemy by Barb Hendee
The Price of Valor by Django Wexler

Scholastic:
Wings of Fire Book Six: Moon Rising by Tui T. Sutherland
The Keeper by David Baldacci

St Martin’s:
Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Subterranean Press:
The Best of Nancy Kress by Nancy Kress

Switch Press:
Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Titan Books:
The Queen of The Swords by Michael Moorcock
The King of Swords by Michael Moorcock
Fu-Manchu: Re-enter Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer
Beauty & the Beast: Some Gave All by Nancy Holder

Tor:
The End of All Things by John Scalzi
Low Midnight by Carrie Vaughn
Kitty Saves the World by Carrie Vaughn
The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

Tor Teen:
Ungodly by Kendare Blake

WMG Publishing:
Crystal Caves by Kristine Grayson
Brittany Bends by Kristine Grayson
Recycled Pulp edited by John Helfers
The Life and Times of Buffalo Jimmy: Headed West by Dean Wesley Smith

Book Giveaway: A Book of Spirits and Thieves

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers, I have a copy of A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 24. I’ll draw a name on July 25, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: A Book of Spirits and Thieves

Received in May

The following are the books and movies I received in May for review and/or giveaways:

Movies:
Jupiter Ascending Blu-ray
Project Almanac Blu-ray

Ace:
The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence

Amazon Publishing / 47 North / Skyscape:
The Banished of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler
Infinity Lost by S. Harrison

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Engines of War by George Mann

Daw:
Nova by Margaret Fortune

Del Rey:
The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key by Clay Griffith
Zero World by Jason M. Hough
The Darkling Child: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Lightless by C.A. Higgins

Disney Hyperion:
Project Paper Doll: The Trials by Stacey Kade
Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne
Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
The Second Guard by J. D. Vaughn
Glittering Shadows by Jaclyn Dolamore
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Gallery Books:
Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero

Harlequin Teen:
The Originals: The Resurrection by Julie Plec

Harper Teen:
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
Con Academy by Joe Schreiber
NEED by Joelle Charbonneau
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:
The 100: Homecoming by Kass Morgan

Paizo:
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Pathfinder Unchained by Jason Bulmahn
Pathfinder Tales: Forge of Ashes by Josh Vogt
Pathfinder Tales: Firesoul by Gary Kloster

Pyr:
Supersymmetry by David Walton
Earth Flight by Janet Edwards

Scholastic Press:
Wings of Fire Book Seven: Winter Turning by Tui T. Sutherland

Simon & Schuster / Saga Press / Sterner Books:
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris
Snatched by David Saperstein

Subterranean Press:
Stinger by Robert P. McCammon

Titan Books:
The Knight of Swords by Michael Moorcock

Tor:
Forbidden by Cathy Clamp
The Iron Assassin by Ed Greenwood
Blood of the Cosmos by Kevin J. Anderson

WMG Publishing:
Tiffany Tumbles by Kristine Grayson

Book Giveaway: The Originals: The Resurrection

Courtesy of the Harlequin Teen, I have a copy of The Originals: The Resurrection by Julie Plec for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 12. I’ll draw a name on June 13, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Originals: The Resurrection

Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention Cover Reveal

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Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: J.Scott Savage
Author Note:
Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.

Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.

I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.

Book Description:
STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons!
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

Author Bio:
J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Scott-Savage/55805743891
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/jscottsavage
INSTAGRAM: jscottsavage
WEBSITE: www.jscottsavage.com

Josh Vogt Guest Post and Giveaway!

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Not the Face! – Making Fight Scenes Mean Something
by Josh Vogt

Confession time: I love writing fight scenes. Why is that something necessitating a confession? Well, I guess I’m saying it in a “sorry, but not really sorry” manner, but there are both readers and writers out there who tend to see fight scenes as little more than fluff—non-essential or cheap ways to add tension and conflict to the tale. They’re the skimmable portions of the prose, and you might as well just flip to the end to see who survives and move on to the actual important parts.

Are there books where the fight scenes are nothing more ways to pad the novel or bridge the gap between Point A and Point B? Sure. But they don’t have to be that way, nor does a fight scene have to be the answer to [INSERT CONFLICT HERE]. So how does one keep a fight scene from being nothing more than page and plot filler?

Make it About More than the Violence
Violence for violence’s sake gets boring fast. It becomes mere spectacle, like the endless explosions and pointless clashes in the Transformers movies. You have to answer the question, “Why are they fighting? What’s the point?” If you can’t answer that, even on a base level, your scene may be in trouble. Give the fight a purpose and, when possible, make it more than just simple survival. Yes, living is a good thing, but at least look at what instigates the conflict in the first place and have it hold substance.

Give it Real Stakes
If your characters get tossed into fight after fight without any real consequences—physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise—then your readers are going to quickly learn that the fight scenes don’t actually matter. Everything will return to the status quo as soon as the last enemy is laid low. I’m not saying you have to go to G.R.R. Martin lengths and slaughter half your cast in the first chapter, but at least consider what the cost of those fights is going to be in both the short and long-term.

Enter the Janitor - Cover
Use it to Spur Change
What changes about your character in the midst of a fight or in the aftermath? What realizations do they have about themselves or others when in the heat of a battle? Are they aware of what they’re truly fighting for? Are they using the physical outlet as a way to vent or process inner pain? Is winning (or losing) the fight going to give them the chance to grow or overcome a personal failing? Fights are dynamic events, and so can inspire new perspectives and attitudes in participants.

Know When to Skip the Action
Wait, if we’re talking about writing fight scenes, why am I suggesting we jump past them? Because sometimes the action doesn’t have to be directly shown. Fight scenes can be too heavily choreographed, denoting every twitch and touch back and forth. Yet this can bog down story pacing and become more about the author showing off than actually moving the plot forward. A fight might be conveyed in a mere line or two, or the scene can jump directly to the fallout without running the risk of getting lost in unnecessary details. Start asking yourself if seeing the whole fight is actually essential or if anything would be lost if most or all of it was cut.

And yes, I will argue that fight scenes can be worth writing purely for the fun of it! Just like we can sit back and enjoy a good action sequence in a movie, there are those who enjoy well-crafted fights in books. However, if the story relies on little more than constant fighting to keep things moving, then it may be time to reconsider what missing elements those scenes are trying to compensate for or distract from.

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About the Author:
Josh Vogt has been published in dozens of genre markets with work ranging from flash fiction to short stories to doorstopper novels that cover fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. His debut fantasy novel, Forge of Ashes, adds to the RPG Pathfinder Tales tie-in line. WordFire Press is also launching his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor (2015) and The Maids of Wrath (2016). You can find him at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt. He’s a member of SFWA as well as the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

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Courtesy of the author, I have a copy of Enter the Janitor for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 5. I’ll draw a name on June 6, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Josh Vogt Guest Post and Giveaway!