Subscribe to My Mailing List for a free book of your choice!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mother Nature's Final Exam by Jeffrey Hite | Book Review

This was a really cool story that starts out small and ends in cosmic proportions. Even though the characters aren't humans they have very human like characteristics that made them easy to relate to and root for and love to hate. I liked how the situation of who the characters are and what was going on is slowly revealed to you through a lot of dialog. If you like science, you will love this story.

Get your copy at:

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Memories 06 | Sally Preston
GUEST BLOG POST


Download the .mp3

WARNING:  This post contains high degrees of saccharine and dairy. I.E. it's pretty overly sweet and more than a little cheesy.

First let me start with a shout out and thanks to Dan for including me as an occasional writer for posts. It's fun to share, put my own spin on things and since for the most part when I express myself I'm singing or playing an instrument writing is a nice change of pace! Now on to my favorite book memories.

My first and most vivid memory from my childhood would be when Mom would read to us every night before bed. "Make way for ducklings", "Charlotte's Web" and "The Trumpet of the Swan." A chapter each night, my favorite thing about it was time with Mom and sharing in the story. 

Many books since then came and went... I grew, so did my taste in books. Never one to go for books that would scare or depress me I eventually would go for books that involved intrigue, mystery and drama. I read Grisham for a while, and then I found Michael Chrichton and loved the pacing of the stories, the complexity of the characters and the less than subtle nod to geeked out science weaved throughout.

Time marched on, I went to college, met my husband and we both worked furiously on our majors. Every once in a while Laith would come up with some incredibly obscure fact on something I'd ask "How did you know that?" The answer was always the same, a crooked grin, a glint in his eye and the words "I read!"

Reading has been a huge part of both of our lives and we wanted to pass this love of reading on to our children. So naturally in addition to being sung to constantly they were also read to a lot even before they were born. The best and most vivid book memory that I will always treasure, is that some time during the third trimester with each child Laith read the "Heffalumps and woozles" story from Winnie the Pooh. This makes me smile for two reasons. The first it shows you just how dedicated a Dad and husband he is, but secondly... if you haven't seen your exhausted, dedicated and devoted spouse attempt to say "a wizzle woozle wizzle woozle was..." at 9 pm in the evening you are letting one of the best things in life pass you by...

It's worked though; all three of our kids have been bitten by the book bug. One of the best sounds is hearing your child read to you. Even before they can read, they look at a book and derive clues from the story and spin their own tale. Then before you know it they are in the 2nd grade and are zipping through "Tiki Tiki Tembo, no saw rembo, cherri bari ru chi pip puri pembo!"

Lastly if you'll permit, I'll bend the rules a little and talk about my favorite author memory. My favorite author memory is when Laith writes. Have you ever listened to someone type? There's a rhythm to it, a tempo. The beat changes with the level of excitement, when a new idea comes along, when inspiration strikes. For several years now, Laith has been writing. Blogs, posts, short stories. It's his creative outlet, his expression. He's participated in several writing challenges, but my favorite is when he participates in NaNoWriMo. Because he enjoys it, of course, but also... over in our home office I get to hear that symphony in several movements. The tempo of the clickety clack, the rise and fall of the orchestration as the ideas take shape and when the writing is complete the new work of art that conveys an idea. And after 18 years listening to this author type, create and express I can't wait to hear the song again.

Thanks

Now, go and read...


Bio:
Sally Preston is a wife, music teacher and mother of three. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa where she enjoys soaking up the rich cultural events Des Moines has to offer. She also is an avid scrapbooker and most of all enjoys spending time with her family.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Memories 05 | Laura Nicole
GUEST BLOG POST


Download the .mp3

The is the forth post in a series of Book Memories. This guest post is by Laura Nicole who chose to submit her guest post via audio. So sit back and enjoy listening to her book memory of reading by listening to audiobooks, falling in love with them, and then becoming an audiobook narrator herself.



Bio:

Laura Nicole has been making silly voices since a child. At the encouragement of her father, she started voice acting since 2004 starting with shows on BrokenSea.com and Circus13Productions.com. Her roles include strong artistic leading women, colorful villains, and a lot of computer voices. Currently she is narrating her novel Absolution and other projects to be named.

As a writer, Laura has written short audio dramas for GypsyAudio.org and has worked on the “Please Spay Your Tribbles” blog for Flying Island Press magazine. Laura's current work that she has out is “Stonebriar Casefile 186: Bad Alchemy” in both .epub and audio, and her podcast “Gypsy In The Attic”. You can find more information about her work at www.GypsyLaura.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Desecration | An Audiobook I Narrated & Produced is live!

I narrated and produced the audiobook Desecration for author Drac Von Stoller. It's another really short story with cool sound effects that add to the ambiance of the story. I had a blast recording and producing it. Go give the sample a listen with some nice headphones on. Thanks for stopping by!

A brief synopsis:
Graven Cemetery was once a very well kept place until Jimmy and his friends started camping out and drinking heavily around a campfire, breaking the tombstones, and leaving their empty beer cans on the graves, but their little desecrating games were about to turn deadly for the four teens.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sand by Hugh Howey | Book Review

Hugh Howey's novel Sand was so good. I really enjoyed it. I liked it as much as I liked his Wool Omnibus and that is saying a lot. This was a very different story than Wool, however. Instead of it being about a few characters and a community of people it was more about a family. The characters are all connected by the isolated places they live but also by blood. It was really cool to learn the family history as you learned about the story world. There were no boring info dumps. Howey skillfully lets you in on the back story as he pushes you through the current story. It was well done.

So the story world is super cool, a world covered in sand kind of like Dune but not really anything like Dune. The characters are cool too - people that have learned how to dive into the sand to bring up treasures from the old world. The coolest thing about his book for me though were the intense situations the characters get in. Early on in the novel the characters go into a very dangerous situation. As I read it I was cringing and leaning forward and needing to do nothing but keep read to find out what was going to happen. From there you get a whole lot more story, meet new characters and generally get the idea of what kind of horrible situation everyone is in. The world of Sand would not be a fun place to live in, but reading what the characters go through is a touching thrilling adventure.

I don't want to give anything away so I'll just end this review by saying that if you love rooting for characters and cringing as you read faster to see if they can get out of crazy situations then read this book. If you like awesome story worlds and really cool new ideas about things characters can do in it that are different from anything we know then read this book. If you want to read something with real characters with fantastically realistic dialog that sounds like living breathing people figuring things out in their dire world than read this book. Lastly if you like finding small sentences sprinkled throughout a novel that describe things, people, and their surroundings and the feelings they're experiencing with exquisite beauty then you should read this book.

Have you read any of Hugh Howey's work? He's one of my favorite authors. Not only is he a phenomenal author who's stories are some of the best I've ever read - he's also a really cool generous kind guy too. A quality dude. Thanks for stopping by.


Link: Sand at Amazon in Paperback, Kindle eBook, and audiobook.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Memories 04 | Scott Roche
GUEST BLOG POST



Download the .mp3

I've read so many awesome books and most of them are classics, but Dan asked for our fondest memory of a book or books. I've loved being read to as much if not more than I've enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. My Mom read to me well past the age where I needed it. I've read to my own children and credit that for igniting a love of a good tale well told. When I was a kid, there were these things called records and it's a book and record and the journey it started that I'd like to share. 

The earliest memory of audio fiction I have are the GI Joe Adventure Team book and record sets. With it, you got a comic book and a 45 RPM record. The vinyl disk and book are, in my memory, a gateway to the worlds of action and adventure that I'd revisit a hundred thousand times over during the course of my life. The story was brief, since it had to fit on the record, but it was fun and suspenseful. I must have played it fifty times if I'd played it once, sprawled out on my bedroom floor. That taught me the valuable lesson that even the campiest stories can be enjoyed more than once. 

The sound effects were campy and the voice acting was overdone. This was something aimed at children, but re-listening to it even as an adult makes for a pleasant trip down memory lane. I certainly didn't know it at the time, but these kinds of stories would come back to my ears in the form of podcast fiction. It comes back to being able to enjoy the story in a slightly more passive form. I say slightly, because for me at least, it does give me the advantage of being able to close my eyes and use my imagination to paint the pictures. I know that's not the case for everyone. I asked my circle recently about this and some people just don't enjoy that sort of consumption. I get that. I do prefer to read where I can. 

Thinking about the lasting effect this book had on me has been eye opening. There was a time I'd worried about the future of the book. I look at the stories my mids are consuming through TV, movies, and video games and marvel. They have options as readers I didn't have. Inventions like Google glasses and Oculus VR headset open incredible opportunities both as creators and consumers. I don't worry as much any more. I know there are people that will always gravitate towards having stories told to them. The more I think about it though, the more I hope that it acts as the proverbial gateway drug to not just basking in someone elses story but telling your own. That's what it's done for me. 

Bio:

Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take, bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life filled with adventure.


Check out the IndieGoGo campaign for his newest book here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick | Book Review

This is the first story I've ever read by Philip K. Dick and now I want to read more of his work. I've always wanted to read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" the book that the movie Blade Runner is based off of. But on to this story.

This short story was a really fun read. It has an interesting premise and a fun twist at the end. If you're looking for some offbeat light Sci-Fi reading check this story out. You won't be disappointed. It was very entertaining and a fun idea. You'll see what I mean when you read it.

Have you read any of Philip K. Dick's stories? Which one is your favorite? Should I start wtih "Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Memories 03 | Michael J. Sullivan
GUEST BLOG POST

Download the .mp3

Book Memories: How I became a reader by Michael J. Sullivan

It’s probably not a good thing to admit, but when I was young I hated reading. Yep, even though I make my living now from writing books, there was a time when I had no interest in the written word. One of my worst memories was the summer I tortured myself with Big Red, a 254 page “chapter book” that I suffered through just so I could say I’ve read a book in my lifetime. But this post is supposed to be about my best memory not my worst, so I’ve already wandered off track.

How I came to reading probably doesn’t seem like an overly pleasant experience. It started in the dead of night (or at least what I thought was the dead of night at the time).  My brother and I shared a small bedroom and since he was ten years my senior he stayed up much later than I did.  He rushed in, switched on a blinding light, shook me awake, and then spend the next several hours rambling about a book he had just started reading. Apparently he was so enthralled with it that he just had to “tell someone.” Even if that someone was his younger brother that he really didn’t have much in common with.

This went on night after night, and I only caught half (or less) of what he was telling me…it always takes me a while to gather my wits when woken in the middle of the night...but one thing that came across loud and clear was his enthusiasm for the story. Much of what he was telling me didn’t make sense. There were strange words I’d never heard of and places that were nothing like where we lived in the suburbs of Detroit. But I tried to stay awake and there were some cool things that stuck with me.

Eventually the nightly visits ceased, and while I didn’t realize at the time that I would miss them, I can look back now with great fondness. Both my brother and I are “getting up there” in years and this was the first time we shared anything together (besides our room). It was a binding tie that stays with me even to this day. But again, I’m wandering off track.

So anyway, it was sometime later…I really can’t recall how long. It was a Sunday, which I remembered because back then there were only three network stations and Sunday afternoons contained golf, bad black and white movies, and not much else. It was raining, and I was bored enough to do some organizing of our bedroom.  In doing so, I came across a book. The book. If there had been anything else to do, I might not have opened the page, but since the story got my brother so excited, it was worth trying to see what all the hub-bub was about.

It started out with:


“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”

Wow, I thought. This is much more interesting than the story about the Irish setter.

So I curled up and dug in. My life was never the same again. All that kept running through my head was, “So this is what reading can be like. Needless to say, when I finished it, I dug into Lord of the Rings. Then I was bugging my mom to take me to the library as I worked through all the Narnia books. It wasn’t too long before I ran out, which is what transformed me from a reader to a writer.

I wanted more…and I wanted stories to go the way I wanted them to. I’ve always been mad at Lewis for returning the children to ordinary lives after they had lived as kings and queens. The best way to manage this was to write my own books, so I started typing out stories on my sister’s portable typewriter. I illustrated covers on construction paper, and used staples or punched holes and used string to bind the pages together. A whole new world opened and not only did I discover the joy of reading, but the untapped potential of a nearly limitless world.

So for those who have read my stories you can either thank (or blame) my brother Patrick (his first name is John, although everyone calls him Pat) FRor waking me up in the middle of the night so share his enthusiasm for Tolkien. It was the spark that ignited the fire, and without that my life would have turned out much different. I hope that everyone has someone in their life that nudges them on the way to reading…and, I’d be even happier if some of those got the writing bug as well.


Bio:

Michael J. Sullivan is author of The Riyria RevelationsThe Riyria Chronicles, and his soon to be released science fiction thriller, Hollow World.  He has written twenty-three novels, published nine, and has been translated into fifteen foreign languages. His works have appeared on more than eighty-five “best of” or “most anticipated” lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and Audible.com. He spends part of his time trying to help aspiring authors learn the intricacies of publishing through a regular column on Amazing Stories, and he’ll soon be featuring author interviews on Adventures in Science Fiction Publishing.

Contact:
Website: www.riyria.com