Category Archives: Book News

Received in November

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in November for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Ray/DVD:
The Shannara Chronicles Season One Blu-Ray

Mystery Box:
The Bam Box – November

Amazon Publishing / 47 North:
Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari

Del Rey:
Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

Disney Hyperion:
Jed and the Junkyard War by Steven Bohls

Penguin Young Readers / Razorbill:
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Prey: Book Three: The Hall of Heroes by John Jackson Miller

Random House Kids / Delacorte Press:
The Fever Code by James Dashner

Exo by Fonda Lee
Velocity by Chris Wooding
Last Descendants: An Assassin’s Creed Novel #2: Tomb of the Khan by Matthew J. Kirby

Simon Teen / Pulse:
Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Simon and Schuster / Ubisoft:
Assassin’s Creed: Heresy by Christie Golden

Subterranean Press:
Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

Titan Books:
Star Trek Beyond – The Collector’s Edition by Titan

Tor Books:
Apes and Angels by Ben Bova
Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Book Giveaway: Saving Hamlet

Courtesy of Disney Hyperion, I have a copy of Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth 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 December 16. I’ll draw a name on December 17, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Saving Hamlet

Book Giveaway: Apes and Angels

Courtesy of Tor, I have a copy of Apes and Angels by Ben Bova 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 December 2. I’ll draw a name on December 3, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Apes and Angels

Tolkien Adult Coloring Books!

A Bestiary of Tolkien Coloring Book

The Bestiary of Tolkien Coloring Book is a collection of stunning images inspired by the classic world of Tolkien’s novels. The talented artist, Mauro Mazzara, has assembled an impressive variety of characters and animals. From darker, evil beasts to beautiful elves – there is over 90 pages of detailed coloring pages.



Tolkien’s World: A Fantasy Coloring Book

As the one above, this is an unofficial Tolkien-inspired coloring book. This one, however, includes over 90 pages of artwork from 5 different artists: Victor Ambrus, John Davis, Mauro Mazzara, Ian Miller, and Andrea Piparo. There is even more variety in this book, including fantastic scenery. One of the artist’s renderings I don’t care for as it’s more feathery and a bit hard to color in. But the number of artists means that there are still a great amount of fun images – characters, landscapes, and much more.


Received in October

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in October for review and/or giveaways:

Blu Ray/DVD:
The Legend of Tarzan 3D Blu-Ray
Star Trek Beyond 4K Blu-Ray

Mystery Box:
Zwag Box – September
The Bam Box – October

American Mythology:
Days Missing Volume 1 by Phil Hester
Days Missing Volume 2: Kestus by Phil Hester
Days Missing Volume 3: Enox by Phil Hester

Del Rey:
Gilded Cage by Vic James
A Conversation in Blood by Paul S. Kemp

Disney Hyperion / Marvel:
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets: Sultan’s Triumphs by Disney Book Group
Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets: Petite’s Great Feats by Disney Book Group
Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets: Ms. Featherbon and the Holiday Helpers by Disney Storybook Art Team
Whisker Haven Tales with the Palace Pets: Berry’s Halloween Costume Trouble by Disney Storybook Art Team
Frozen Adventure Guide by Jessica Julius
Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Harper Voyager:
The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey
Heartstone by Elle Katharine White
Nine of Stars by Laura Bickle

Macmillan Teen / Swoon:
The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Penguin / Putnam:
Escape Clause by John Sandford

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Prey Book 2: The Jackal’s Trick by John Jackson Miller

Department Zero by Paul Crilley

Random House Teens / Knopf:
Gemina by Amie Kaufman

Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher
After Atlas by Emma Newman

The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond
The Erth Dragons: Wearle Book 1 by Chris D’Lacey
World of Warcraft: Traveler by Greg Weisman
Backstories: Princess Leia: Royal Rebel by Scholastic

Simon and Schuster / Saga:
The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas of Ursula K. Le Guin by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin by Ursula K. Le Guin

Subterranean Press:
Keller’s Fedora by Lawrence Block
Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

Thunder Bay Press:
A Bestiary of Tolkien Coloring Book by Mauro Mazzara
Tolkien’s World: A Fantasy Coloring Book by Allan Curless

Dragon and Thief by Timothy Zahn
Faller by Will McIntosh
The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox
Willful Child: Wrath of Betty by Steven Erikson
Christmas Magic by David G. Hartwell

Tor Teen / Starscape:
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock

Book Giveaway: Cloudbound

Courtesy of Tor, I have a copy of Cloudbound by Fran Wilde 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 November 25. I’ll draw a name on November 26, and notify winner via email.


Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Cloudbound

Days of the Dead Blog Tour: Gail Z. Martin Guest Post: Paths to Publication


Paths to Publication
by Gail Z. Martin

In today’s market, authors have more choices than ever before on how to bring their book to readers. Traditional big publishers, small press, self-publishing–what’s an author to do?

Each path to publication has pros and cons. There are a few considerations to factor in as you’re looking at options. What do you want out of publishing? If you have your heart set on becoming a New York Times bestseller, that’s more likely for a book put out by a big traditional publisher (and even then, it’s far from guaranteed). Likewise, if you’re hoping to pay all your bills with your advance check, a big publisher is the way to go. Large traditional publishers have national (and sometimes international) bookstore distribution, still a factor with today’s readers. You may also find more marketing resources with a big press, though that is debatable as staff cuts continue.

On the other hand, if you want someone else to handle the details of publication (editing, layout, cover design, some marketing) but you’re not worried about fame, bookstore placement or an advance, a reputable small press could be a good fit. Small presses can put out books of equivalent (or better) quality as large publishers, and tend to invest more editorial time in working with authors. Their marketing clout might not be as substantial, but marketing is an iffy proposition even for large publishers. Bookstore distribution and lack of an advance are the biggest drawbacks, but even big houses are paying smaller advances nowadays and bookstores are not as plentiful as they once were.

If you enjoy total control, self-publishing (also called indie) might be a good fit. Or, if you believe in a book and haven’t found a home for it, self-publishing with today’s online tools and Amazon can still make sure your book reaches the right readers. Self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it used to when the only choices were unscrupulous vanity publishers. A growing number of authors who have enthusiastic fan bases are finding it possible to make a living with self-published books (though it is still not guaranteed, even for established authors). The biggest caveat is that when you self-publish, you are both author and publisher. You write the book, hire the copy editor and proofreader, arrange for the cover art and the layout, handle the audio rights, set up the accounts with Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc. A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into bringing a book to life after the writing is done, and the type of work required is not everyone’s idea of ‘fun’. Succeeding with self-publishing takes a lot of effort and attention to detail, but it’s more possible now than ever before.

Most of us pursue ‘hybrid’ careers, meaning that we play in all three arenas. If you can snag a contract and an advance with a big publisher, grab it. If a small press wants to include you in an anthology or bring out a niche novel, do it. And if you want to bring out some series on your own or self-publish short stories/novellas tied in to your series with other publishers, go for it. Working with big publishers, small presses and some self-publishing makes you more resilient to fate, since you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. I’m seeing more and more authors going this route, and it’s the path I’ve personally chosen because it allows the greatest range and ‘security’ in a highly volatile business.

The greatest thing about your writing career is that you get to chart your own way, making the decisions that are best for you and your books. Know your options and then pick what works for you. And be sure to enjoy what you do every day!


Continue reading Days of the Dead Blog Tour: Gail Z. Martin Guest Post: Paths to Publication

Blog Tour: Moon Chosen Excerpt!


Moon Chosen: Tales of a New World by PC Cast

CREDIT: From Moon Chosen by PC Cast. Copyright © 2016 by the authors and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.

Mari braced herself, and as she had so many times before, felt her mother stiffen while energy surged through Leda and into Mari, sizzling through her palm, down her arm to swirl around and around inside her, growing in power with each second that passed. Mari’s heartbeat began to hammer and her breathing suddenly increased until she was panting as hard as was the pup. In her arms, Rigel whined uncertainly.

“Focus.” Her mother’s voice was only a whisper, but Mari could feel it through her whole body. “You can do this. The power is not yours to keep – your body is merely its channel. Borrow serenity from the image of the Earth Mother. Though you may be surrounded by chaos or sickness or injuries, find the true you within. Release that which belongs to the world –fears, worry, sadness, so that the silver stream may wash unimpeded through you. It is a waterfall at night. Rigel is the basin that must hold it.”

Mari stared at the beautiful image of the Earth Mother that Leda pruned and cared for so lovingly. But, as always, the figure was only foliage and art to Mari. She couldn’t feel the divine presence her mother revered. She could not find her true self – her center. “Mama, I c-can’t. It’s s-so c-cold. It- it hurts.” Mari stuttered through chattering teeth.

“Only because the healing power is not meant for you. Release the fears of your body, Mari. Focus! Find your grounding and become a channel for the moon’s energy. Tonight you must succeed. If you do not, your Rigel will surely die.”

Her mother’s words exploded through Mari’s body. “No! He can’t die. I won’t let him.” She gritted her teeth against the cold and tried to focus past the pain – to release the cacophony of emotions that swirled through her body unimpeded – and to be the channel for the moonfall of water. Yet, still the power was a whirlpool within her. It terrified Mari and threatened to suck her down to drown in its freezing depths.

This was when she usually failed. This was when she dropped her mother’s hand and allowed sickness to claim her so that she vomited, dry heaving misery and moonlight while Leda stroked her back, consoling her with calm, loving words that reminded Mari there would be a next time – she would do better the next time.

But there was no next time for Rigel, and Mari refused to lose him. Think! Focus!

“Mari, slow your breathing. Calm your heart. This is no longer practice. You either heal Rigel, or fail and he dies from shock and blood loss. This is your reality.”

“That’s it, Mama! I need to make this my reality!” Mari squeezed her eyes closed. Could that be the answer? Could it really be that simple? Mari imagined that she was in their burrow, alone, sitting at her desk preparing to create a sketch. Her gulping breath slowed. Her hammering heart quieted. Mari found her grounding as she envisioned a blank sheet of paper. On that paper her imagination began to quickly, easily, sketch an image of herself, sitting crossed-legged with Rigel spread across her lap. From above her silver light cascaded into her lifted palm, washing through her body in a glistening wave to spout from her other palm, which was pressed against the pup’s bloody chest. Eyes still tightly shut Mari worked on the scene, creating a picture of Rigel’s body that was washed clean of blood by the liquid light, leaving behind wounds that were neatly closed and already healing.

Suddenly the cold tide within Mari was controllable. Instead of drowning her, it used her as a conduit, passing through her harmlessly as she let go of the energy. I’m doing it! I’m doing it! And just that quickly her concentration shattered. The picture she’d been creating disappeared along with the tide of power within her.

“No! No! Get it back! I was doing it – it was working,” Mari gasped, gripping her mother’s hand like a lifeline.
“It’s too late. The sun is fully risen. Even with your help I cannot call the moon back to me,” Leda knelt beside Mari, gently disentangling her daughter’s hand from hers. “But it was enough. You did it, sweet girl. I knew you could. Praise the Earth Mother and the blessed Moon! You have saved him.”

Feeling dizzy and disconnected, Mari looked down at Rigel. The pup wagged his tail animatedly and sat up, licking her face. Even though she felt light-headed, she laughed weakly and put her arms around him. He nested there, curled against her body and, sending her waves of contentment, Rigel fell sound to sleep in her arms. With a trembling hand, Mari brushed aside the blood-matted fur on his chest. What had only moments before been deep, seeping, whip-like lacerations were now pink lines of newly joined flesh that had ceased bleeding.

“I knew it was true. You do have my powers and more.”