Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Launch - Thaloc Has a Body

Read Thaloc Has a Body

He knew the legend, but didn't believe it until it threatened to swallow his soul. If his theories were correct, he had one chance. Only one shot to save his life. He crawled forward grabbing Brandon by the ankles, pulling him back into the room

"I've changed my mind. I need you." His voice sounded hollow, as though speaking into a large barrel. It reverberated through his head and the sensation made him pause.

Bill felt Brandon roll onto his back as he spun in his grasp.

"No! No, let me go. Please!" Brandon's screams echoed in the stone chamber. "I won't tell anyone you were down here. I promise! Please! Please, let me get out of here before we both die. Let me go!"

Thaloc Has a Body, second book in the Brodie Wade series, has now been officially launched.  It's available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, and it's well worth checking out.

We first met Brodie Wade in Death Has a Name.  He's a paranormal investigator who gets hints and information from a mysterious entity known as the Truth.

This time around, the Truth has some bad news.  Brodie is going to die.  His friend Phil is in terrible danger.  Meanwhile, a series of murders has been happening at the Granspire Museum, and it just may involve a demon from ancient Egypt.

If you like your paranormal thrillers with real originality, engaging characters, plenty of action, and a dark edge, you won't go wrong with the Brodie Wade series.  Check out both books.

Death Has a Name - Thaloc Has a Body

Friday, July 29, 2011

When Words Collide Writer's Conference

I'm going to a writer's conference in August. If you're a writer in the greater Calgary area you should check out When Words Collide. It looks as if it's going to be pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Recommended Reading - The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres

Buy the Jecosan Tarres Omnibus for 26% off

“I don’t have parents,” Jeco said, hoping that the redhead would have enough decency not to make fun of that. “My father was killed in the war, and my mother died.”

“There you go, lying again,” the redhead nodded, satisfied. “‘Killed, died!’” he teased. “I bet they’re just the same kind of drunks like the rest of us got…”

Jeco did not know how it all happened. Before he could think, he was on his feet, and the red-haired guy lay on the floor holding his jaw. Other boys got quiet at once, their eyes wide with fear. The redhead looked at his hand. When he saw blood he jumped up, swearing furiously, and threw himself at Jeco.

I've blogged about Laura Lond before. I have recommended My Sparkling Misfortune and the first adventure of Jecosan Tarres, The Journey. Now Laura has gathered the entire Jecosan Tarres trilogy together into an omnibus. Save money! Get the whole works for six bucks!  Even better, it's on sale until the end of July.

Here's the author's official description:

The Adventures of Jecosan Tarres trilogy tells a story of a young blacksmith's apprentice visited by a supernatural messenger and called to prevent a war between two powerful kingdoms.

This Omnibus Edition contains all 3 books of the trilogy.

THE JOURNEY - His warrior father killed and his mother dead by the time he was eight, Jecosan Tarres is young and poor. Yet he has things many men do not: a faithful heart, a strong spirit, and the knowledge of truth. On a life defining journey with his dog Gart and friend Dalian, he goes to Kanavar, the ancient capital of Meoria. In the service of the king, he must prevent the war that is about to break out.

THE PALACE - Having completed his difficult journey, Jecosan makes it to his destination – the king's palace – but so does his enemy, whom he is yet to discover. Jecosan enters in service to the king as a kitchen worker, proving himself worthy of the task and more. Still, he has much to learn while looking to fulfill his purpose.

THE BATTLE - Having done his best to fulfill the commission given him by a supernatural messenger, yet apparently having failed to do so, Jeco and his friends, Dalian and Lord Farizel, find themselves running for their lives from the wrath of King Alvard III.

Buy the Jecosan Tarres Omnibus for 26% off

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recommended Reading - The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate

Read The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate.

It all started with the dog—a real one, not a mech one. Not that Matilida Upton blamed the poor creature for changing her life in a most dramatic and permanent fashion. No, the blame could be laid squarely at the studded boots of Sir Magnus Grimshaw, the queen's Chief Royal Inventor.

Good steampunk can be so incredibly fun, and this book has some very fun stuff.  A plucky heroine with a paranormal ability.  Dirigibles. Sinister government agencies. Cool technology.  All the trappings of a really awesome story are here, and the author does a pretty good job of pulling it off.  And really, who can resist a story about a sky pirate?

I do need to include a warning for the more testosterone-oriented of my readers.  It's no coincidence that the guy on the cover has his shirt undone.  This is a steampunk romance, but it is undeniably a romance.  Beneath all the super-cool trappings of the steampunk genre you will find all the trappings of the romance genre as well. 

If the romance stuff doesn't put you off, chances are you'll thoroughly enjoy this book.  The plot is full of swashbuckling action.  There is a mad inventor, some nasty corsairs, and a poor lost puppy.  There is a lot to like.

The title is a bit unwieldy, but it does tell you pretty much what you need to know.  The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate (A Steampunk Romance) (An Historical Paranormal Romance).  It's by CJ Archer, author of the Witchblade series. It's only three bucks.  Check it out.

Read The Adventures of Miss Upton and the Sky Pirate.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Recommended Reading - Death Has a Name

Get this book at 50% off

She held a glowing orb tightly in her right hand and a .45 in her left. Both hands were covered in blood from the man she'd always known as her mentor.

Was the beast now free from the chains that held him bound in the eternal realms? In the five years since she'd been promoted, her life had been relatively uneventful. But in the past twenty-four hours, everything had come undone. What had she become? A killer? A protector? She wasn't sure any more. Her life was spinning out of control.

Death Has a Name is a paranormal suspense novel by Jerry Hanel.  Are you looking for something that stands out among the werewolves and vampires?  Look no further.  Here is the official description:

There is a Truth that exists. It is active. Alive. It fights the bounds of reality to make itself known. It's not my truth. It's not anyone's truth. It is The Truth.

There are times when select individuals can see and interact with The Truth, but Brodie Wade has been able to interact with it since he was a child. It has scarred his mind and body, but it also gives him the ability to know things that he shouldn't know. Thus, he has taken employment as a psychic detective.

Working together with Detective Phil Dawson, Brodie must summon all of his will to go head-to-head with The Truth to solve a string of murders. It appears that Dominick Fredrickton -- the Midnight Killer -- has returned from the grave, beheading those who get in his way.

When The Truth confronts Brodie and tells him that he must protect the Third Key, Brodie is must discover what - or who - The Third Key is.

Can Brodie stop Death from obtaining the Third Key and regaining his physical form?

The sequel, Thaloc Has a Body, will be officially released on July 30.  You can get a copy right now from Smashwords, though, right here.

Death Has a Name is 50% off until the end of July.  Get your copy here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recommended Reading - The Jade Owl

Read The Jade Owl for 50% off

“We are Guilinese,” Ao-ling said. “The Jade Owl is my family’s heirloom, but it did not originate with the Xiao family. In fact, it has been the Xiao family’s curse. It was never ours to keep.” Her eyes opened wide. She leaned toward Rowden. “It is never anyone’s to keep.”

The Jade Owl is a remarkable adventure novel about five people on a quest through modern-day China for an ancient artifact with mystical powers.  Nothing less than the integrity of space-time is at stake, and the fate of us all is in the hands of one of the most fascinating groups of mis-matched heroes imaginable.  There is a professor, a kung fu expert, a scholar, a drag queen, and an artist.  As they search for the owl they are pitted against ruthless, powerful people who will do anything to get it.

The Jade Owl is a fascinating adventure story, and it is beautifully written as well.  Edward Patterson holds an MA in Chinese history, and the depth of his knowledge comes through on every page.

There are four books in the Jade Owl series, but this one works as a stand-alone volume.  All of them are available at half price through the end of July.

Read The Jade Owl

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Tour Character Interview

An interview with Bert Hoover, protagonist of Bert the Barbarian, is live at Bards and Sages:

Recommended Reading - An Exercise in Futility

An Exercise in Futility is half price until the end of July

“This knife, and probably a few others, were forged a century or two ago using some very, very advanced magic. Inside the hilt, there is a column of glass made from wizard’s sand, which is standard for long-term enchantments. The runes engraved in the blade keep the spell ready. Prick your finger on the blade and you’ll see a glimpse of the Underworld. Leave it in the cut and the vision lasts longer. Keep it there long enough, and the King of the Underworld comes by for a chat.” Joseph’s lip curled upward. “He’s a nice man, really.”

An Exercise in Futility is a classic sword-and-sorcery novel by Steve Thomas.  Ezekiel wants to be a soldier, but a debilitating injury puts his life on a different path.  He goes to stay with his uncle and learns magic, instead.  War, however, will not be so easily avoided.

It's a short novel, but it has an epic feel.  As Ezekiel grows into his new role, and learns to bring the dead back to life, he begins to wonder if it might be possible to bring life back to an entire civilisation.

An Exercise in Futility is a bargain any time at only three bucks.  From now until the end of July, though, you can get it for half price.  Check it out here

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Blog Tour Begins Today

First stop: John Hartness at  Tomorrow I'm at Bards and Sages.

Recommended Reading - Rogue Hunter

Rogue Hunter is an incredible 75% off until the end of July!

She leapt into the air and activated her Icarus Tech Propulsion Pack, its twin-turbo sonic propulsion engines mounted just above the small of her back, thrusting her like a bolt of lightning away from the laser fire and towards an overturned excavator vehicle. She had to duck to avoid being struck by the subsequent laser blasts zipping by her, as well as hot shrapnel that rained from the excavator’s hull like fiery hail.

Lasers!  Jet packs!  A space-faring bounty hunter on a deadly mission with the fate of the galaxy at stake!  What's not to like?
Rogue Hunter: Quest of the Hunter is a rocking space-opera adventure by Kevis Hendrickson.  Here's the author's official blurb:

Zyra Zanr is the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. Criminals everywhere cower at her name. During the attempt to capture a notorious fugitive, she stumbles onto a conspiracy to murder the senators of the InterGalactic Alliance. Behind this plot is a clandestine force seeking to destroy not only the InterGalactic Alliance, but mankind as well.

War looms on the horizon as Zyra collides with this deadly force threatening to rock the very foundations of time and space. Zyra’s quest to uncover the mastermind behind this plot will pit her against an evil menace beyond her wildest imagination. Only Zyra can save humanity from an impending holocaust. Victory will mean the salvation of the human race. Failure will mean the end of all that Zyra holds dear. The battle for the future has begun!

Join Zyra Zanr in her 115,000 word (327 page) sci-fi epic and enter the world of the Rogue Hunter!

Winner of the Red Adept Annual Indie Award (2010): 'Top Science Fiction'.

Check out Rogue Hunter at 75% off.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Recommended Reading - Blue Bells of Scotland

Buy Blue Bells of Scotland - 50% off until July 31

The clearing was warmer than the last time they'd met, but just as dark. Mist snaked through the wood, gripping Fearchar and Tearlach's legs with cool fingers. MacDougall had brought three of his men. "In case," he said grimly, "someone changes his mind." Four hands settled firmly on sword hilts, assuring that no minds would change.

"I've told ye all I know!" Fearchar glared around the circle. The trees pressed thick around them. As well as he knew the land, even he would not get far in such inky darkness. And Tearlach's courage would not stretch that far. "There was no need for this."

"We need more," spoke the large man from the last meeting.

"I can give ye no more, no matter how many men with swords ye bring! I know no more."

This is one of the better books I've recommended so far.  Laura Vosika can really write.  All the trappings of a great adventure story are here.  There's time travel, war, betrayal, and romance.  At a deeper level there is a story of growth and redemption, temptation and difficult choices.  It's all delivered in prose so lovely you would keep reading even if the story wasn't so cool.

I'm going to let the author describe the book, because she does a better job of it than I could.  Here is the official description:

Shawn Kleiner has it all: money, fame, a skyrocketing career as an international musical phenomenon, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants-- until the night Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower.

He wakes up to find himself mistaken for Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Soon after, he is sent shimmying down a wind-torn castle wall into a dangerous cross country trek with Niall's tempting, but knife-wielding fiancee. They are pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead.

Thrown forward in time, Niall learns history’s horrifying account of his own death, and of the Scots’ slaughter at Bannockburn. Undaunted, he navigates the roiled waters of Shawn’s life-- pregnant girlfriend, amorous fans, enemies, and gambling debts--- seeking a way to leap back across time to save his people, especially his beloved Allene. His growing fondness for Shawn’s life brings him face to face with his own weakness and teaches him the true meaning of faith.

Blue Bells of Scotland is both a historical adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.

Buy Blue Bells of Scotland - 50% off until July 31

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Recommended Reading - Tales of the Dim Knight

Get Tales of the Dim Knight at half price until July 31.

    “Fine, I’ll let you go this time, but don’t let me catch you doing this again.” Powerhouse dematerialized the ropes and turned to the thief. “As for you, young man, I’ll let you go with a stern warning. Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.”

    The thief shrugged. “Why not?”

    “Because it’s wrong.”


    “Because it doesn’t belong to you.”

    “Why not?”

    “Because you didn’t work for it.”

    “Why should I have to work for it?”

    Powerhouse grabbed the thief, turned him upside down, and swooped sixty feet up in the night sky with the screaming boy.

   “Because I said so!”

    He put down the boy with freshly wet pants.

Tales of the Dim Knight is a tongue-in-cheek superhero novel by Adam and Andrea Graham. Mild-mannered janitor Dave Johnson is the ultimate fanboy. Stuck in a dead-end job, he enriches his life with fantasies of superhero glory. He's got the comic books, the action figures, even the lunchbox. It may be costing him the respect of his wife and oldest son, but Dave is a hero in his own mind.

Then he meets Zolgron, a symbiotic alien who gives him incredible powers. There is no question what Dave will do with his new-found abilities. He will become a superhero for real!

Now all he has to face is cynical citizens, ruthless gangsters, the slow deterioration of his marriage, and the ever-present threat of copyright infringement.

Tales of the Dim Knight is laugh-a-minute superhero action. Dave isn't the smartest man on the block, but he has the heart of a hero. As the invincible Powerhouse, he will keep the streets of Seattle safe for truth, justice, and heroic dreams.

Get Tales of the Dim Knight at half price until July 31.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recommended Reading - Catch an Honest Thief

Catch an Honest Thief - Half Price until July 31

Dr. Alexia Zimmerman wondered, not for the first time, why people believed that burglars always wore black. Efficiently, she donned white gloves to match her outfit and slid through the doorway into the first chamber. That particular stereotype was about to cost the City of Haven its livelihood. Again.

Alexia Zimmerman has a secret. By all appearances she's a buttoned-down psychiatrist in the high-tech experimental city of Haven. However, she has this unfortunate compulsion. She can't quite resist a locked door. Guards and security cameras? Even better.

The crystals that power the city have been stolen before. Now security has been cranked up so tight that poor Alexia can't resist it. She doesn't mean any harm. She'll return the crystals, just as soon as she's proven she can take them.

But then a real thief shows up, and things get complicated.

Catch an Honest Thief is a genre-busting book with elements of science fiction, mystery, adventure, and romance. Alexia is a butt-kicking and thoroughly endearing protagonist, and the supporting cast is quite good as well.

Catch an Honest Thief - Half Price until July 31

Monday, July 11, 2011

Looking for Fantastic Bargains

If you're an author with a book that's fantastical or adventurous, I'd like to write about it in this space. The book has to be good enough for me to recommend, and it has to be more or less in keeping with the theme of the blog. Any branch of the fantasy genre is welcome, and anything with science fiction or lots of adventure. Ninjas, pirates, anything with a cool pulp vibe works for me.

It also needs to be discounted, preferably with a Smashwords coupon.

I want to be able to sincerely recommend every book I blog about, so I can't promise to list every submission.

Put the basic info and a Smashwords discount coupon code into the comments below, or email me at brentn at netscape dot net.

Book Giveaway

There is a fantastic indie book giveaway going on right now at You can score a free copy of Lord of Fire, several books I've recommended, or several dozen other titles. Check it out. The giveaway runs until the end of July.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recommended Reading - Courtesan

Read Courtesan

She turned to the right and almost made the street when a heavy hand came down on her shoulder.
"You'll be coming with me, Saroya."
Muscles! She recognized the voice immediately.
"Let go of me," she ordered in her best professorial voice. It had no effect. Standing behind her, he gripped both of her upper arms. At least she didn't have to look at that face with the hard eyes.

Courtesan, by D.A. Boulter, is an excellent piece of space opera.  Saroya, a gifted physicist, has found a way to shorten interstellar flights.  It's priceless information.  In fact, governments are willing to lock her up to control this technology.  Major corporations are willing to kill her to maintain the status quo.

When agents break into her apartment, Saroya flees.  Hunted and harried, she disguises herself as a hooker.  That's when she meets her potential saviour, a spacer named Johannes.

He hires her as a courtesan.  All she has to do is act as his companion for an eight-month voyage.  Naturally she doesn't tell him her secret.  Johannes, however, has secrets of his own.  This trip will be more interesting - and dangerous - than either of them suspects.

This is a well-written and fun adventure story with an interesting view of humanity in the age of interstellar flight.  The lead characters are quite engaging, but their relationship is anything but smooth.  Both of them are intelligent, strong-willed, and capable, and their roles throw them into inevitable conflict.  The sparks that fly are highly entertaining.

Suspense and danger, romance and high adventure, challenging ideas and high-quality world-building - Courtesan has a lot to offer.  Check it out.

Read Courtesan

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recommended Reading - Bayne's Climb

Read Bayne's Climb

The mountain stood before him, and he stood before the mountain. They were alike in many regards, the mountain and the man, it broad at its base with crags rising up along its ridges, he broad at the shoulders with muscles growing like rugged hills along his arms. Even their heads were similar, his pale and bare beneath the morning sun, the mountain’s encrusted with the white of snow. Glints of bronze and steel winked where his sword hung on his back and an armless chain shirt enveloped his chest; the mountain, too, spotted sparks of brightness, these from the morning dew resting high along its peaks and even higher among ice and snow.

I recommended another book by Ty Johnston in June. Bayne's Climb is set in the same world as City of Rogues, though it takes place centuries earlier. It's also a very different sort of storytelling, though it is built on the same foundation of heroic adventure on an epic scale.

In the Kobalos trilogy Johnston demonstrated that he can tell a solid, exciting, suspenseful story. Now he has written a new trilogy, and he is exploring new ground as a writer. The Sword of Bayne trilogy is, on the face of it, a straightforward tale of high adventure. A soldier wakes up on a battlefield with no memory of his own identity. Soon he is trekking up the side of a mountain to face a powerful sorcerer who may hold the answers, if Bayne can just survive the meeting.

There is a lot more to it, though. Johnston is trying new things. In the Sword of Bayne novels he experiments with allegory and literary writing. Mixed in with the practical problems of a swordsman on a mission are deeper issues of identity and existence. Don't worry, it's still a two-fisted tale of heroic fantasy. There is, however, a poetic, lyrical feel to the prose.

Take a fascinating glimpse at the process of a pulp-style writer growing as an artist and learning to create something that is beautiful as well as exciting. These are shorter books, novellas or short novels. At $.99 Bayne's Climb is more than worth the price.

Read Bayne's Climb

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Get a Free Book

Buy Lord of Fire and choose another title for free!  There's a pretty good selection, too.  Check it out at Phillip Thomas Duck's "Excuse Me Miss."  Look for the "Buy One, Get One" link when you get there.

Back to the book recommendations tomorrow.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Recommended Reading - Kissed by Darkness

Read Kissed by Darkness

Smart and sassy and ready to kick butt, Morgan Bailey is a character you will enjoy spending time with. She's a professional vampire hunter, keeping the streets of Portland, Oregon safe for human beings. Naturally, though, things are about to get complicated. A mysterious new client has hired her to hunt down a Sunwalker, the worst kind of vampire, one who can walk in the sunlight.

It's more than a straightforward hunt, though. It seems the Sunwalker has stolen a powerful artifact, and the client wants it back. Morgan's world, already far from simple, is about to get a lot more complicated. The vampire clans have marked her for death. An honest-to-God Templar Knight is after her. And the magic artifact is awakening something within Morgan, something powerful, something dark.

This is urban fantasy at its best, cool and sexy, loaded with fun, full of fascinating characters and unexpected plot twists. Check it out.

Read Kissed by Darkness

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Recommended Reading - Hard Day's Knight

Check out the Dark Knight chronicles

I hate waking up in an unfamiliar place. I’ve slept in pretty much the same bed for the past fifteen years, so when I wake up someplace new, it really throws me off. When that someplace is tied to a metal folding chair in the center of an abandoned warehouse that reeks of stale cigarette smoke, diesel fuel and axle grease - well, that really started my night off on a sparkling note.

It's not just hunks who get turned into vampires.  Fat guys who play too many computer games can end up undead, too.  Hard Day's Knight, the first book in the Dark Knight chronicles, is spooky, hilarious, exciting, and fun.

Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood are vampires.  They're also detectives, and they've stumbled into the biggest case of their afterlives.  Children have been disappearing, but that's just the beginning.  Halloween is three days away, and is going to be unleashed.  Something bad.  Bad enough to frighten two denizens of the darkness who would really rather be playing XBox games than trying to save the world.

John Hartness has created a superb team in the form of Jimmy and Greg, proprieters of Dark Knight Investigations.  They're pretty good detectives, when they're not too busy swapping insults.  Hard Day's Knight is a very-well-crafted story, with a mystery plot, plenty of suspense, and combat and mayhem along the way.  The book never becomes so ridiculous that you can't take the plot seriously, but it is constantly, inventively funny.  Jimmy and Greg bicker with each other, they bicker with their dorky new client, they bicker with the neighbourhood priest. 

This ebook, it must be said, has a really lame cover.  It sucks.  Look beyond it to the brilliant story within.  It's great fun to read.  I highly recommend it.

Check out the Dark Knight chronicles