Release Blitz: The Last Grand Master

Title: The Last Grand Master

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon

Genre: Scifi / Fantasy

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, God of Evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard-king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost him and Miceral their lives.

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. Andrew’s imagination has helped him create works of high fantasy, paranormal thrills and touch of the futuristic.

What’s better than discovering a new fantasy series to devour? Getting the first book free! Andrew is offering The Last Grand Master, book one in his Champion of the Gods fantasy series, as a free download if you sign up for his monthly newsletter. 

If you love free eBooks, you’ll want to keep subscribed to Andrew’s newsletter even after you get your free copy of his book as he has other sci-fi/fantasy authors  lined up that will be giving away free eBook downloads for subscribers throughout 2017.

*CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

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Want to find out more about Andrew: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Kindle)

The Last Grand Master on Amazon (Paperback)

Review: A Toaster on Mars by Darrell Pitt

28237538For fans of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett comes a hilarious new space and time adventure.

Teenagers on skateboards jumped off walkways, dropped a dozen floors and activated rockets to safely land walkways below.
Blake took a deep breath, inhaling something that smelt like a cross between burnt plastic and toffee apple.
Neo City, Blake thought. Home, sweet home.

NEO City, 2509.
After a series of operational bungles, as well as
the accidental death of his partner, special agent Blake Carter’s career at the Planetary Bureau of Investigation is in trouble.
To make matters worse, he’s just been assigned a new partner—and the beautiful and brilliant Nicki Steel happens to be a cyborg.
When universe-famous criminal Bartholomew Badde steals a weapon capable of destroying whole planets at a time, Blake and Nicki must work together to recover it—an investigation that takes them to all corners of the weird and wonderful galaxy.
But things get serious when Badde kidnaps Blake’s teenage daughter, Lisa. Can Blake prove he’s still a first-rate agent—not to mention father—and save Lisa in time?

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thank You Netgalley, Darrell Pitt and Text Publishing for allowing me a copy to read and review.

My Thoughts: So straight up the synopsis has offered up some high expectation for this book to meet and as an Adam’s fan I was like “Bring it on Pitt”. While I did grow to kinda like the lead character Blake Carter, he was in no way the adorable Arthur Dent – but that’s ok because he wasn’t supposed to be.

We follow Blake Carter a middle-aged agent with the Planetary Bureau of Investigation as he gets kicked off his current long running case, assigned a Cyborg as a new partner and having to deal with his ex-wife after their daughter is kidnapped. And of course, *spoiler alert* getting the bad guy – with a lot of help from the Cyborg, the ex-wife, some Elvis’s and an odd pirate-like space captain.

The “Zeeb Says” sections throughout the story while humorous at times and very ‘Hitchhikers’ in the style of narration, which I should have loved, I found a nuisance. I’d just be getting into the rhythm of the story and they’d distract me from it. Why was this so? I really don’t know! Did they feel like a poor Adam’s imitations? No that wasn’t it. Was it just because I was trying to hurry and finish the book because it wasn’t floating my boat and they were slowing me down? Yeah, I think that was more it.

I thought this book was going to be right up my ally; sci-fi with silly humour etc. But no, while I liked the book and can see its merits, unfortunately we didn’t click. I had to force myself to stay focused and read on. This book is listed as Middle Grade, so I’m not the target audience. But I can’t quite get my head around this book’s listing.

I’m trying to figure out who on earth would be the right audience for this book, because it is by no means a bad story. I think it’s a good story despite my personal enjoyment issues. If it was a Friday night telemovie I could totally see my father chuckling while watching it on the couch with a beer in his hand as he’s sprawled out with only his green and gold footy shorts on unwinding after another week of working hard in the Aussie heat.

I would say it’s definitely not for Teens, those self-absorbed self-torturing darlings wouldn’t give two hoots about this middle-aged law enforcement officer from the future. I’m thinking 8/12-year-olds who have a love of sci-fi for sci-fi sake and don’t care too much about who the hero is if there is lots of action and adventure – yeah, it’d suit them. MAYBE even a “daggy dad” type who wants to switch off his brain after a long day at work and read something that’s simple and amusing – I totally thought I fell into this category, but apparently not.

I do intend to check out Pitt’s The Firebird Mystery and Diary of a Teenage Superhero and see how I go with them, because I think Pitt’s a good writer, just that this book wasn’t for me. THREE ‘I Liked It’ STARS.

Review: Hero by Belinda Crawford

Guest Post: The Writing Process By Taylor Hondos

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8284039Taylor is the author of the “Antidote” trilogy. She began studying at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and is getting a degree in English. She enjoys reading and writing instead of doing her homework. She is currently working on “Prospect,” the second book in the trilogy.

Guest Post: The Writing Process

Truthfully, I had no clue what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I had written many short stories and poems. They eased my mind and I realized just how much I loved to write. One night, my brother put on the movie, I, Robot. I was writing a quite terrible short story about aliens (*shakes head in shame), and it hit me. What if the world was turning into robots? I was a senior in High School with a big idea. I thought I would just write a quick short story and call it a day. But my heart wouldn’t let this idea go. My short story turned into fifty pages, then eighty pages. This is when “Antidote” was born.

I wrote the entire book out in my journal. Mind you, it was a horrible rough draft. Words scribbled all over the page, but when I was done. It was all I thought about. I began to extend it. I wrote out an entire trilogy on paper. I told my family about it. I told it to anyone who would listen to me. I read it out loud to people who wanted to hear. When I realized that people were into the idea, I began to type it out.

I typed it pretty fast. It took me about a month and a half to finish. I typed every night. Sometimes even ditching the journal ideas and writing new scenes. It was such a good time for me. The book came so naturally to me that it was as if I was meant to write this book. I was just typing it for myself but when I got to 210 pages, I said to myself “why not try and get published?”

I started to send it out to many places and finally self-published in 2014. I began typing out the next two books and sent my second book to Booktrope. That is when my dream came true. I have my dream team, my dream cover. Most of all, my goals seem to be closer than ever.

In 2016, what I thought sent my world crashing down, was actually a small earthquake leading to something great. Booktrope closed down. I thought it was kind of the end of the world. That’s when Patchwork Press came into my life and changed it once more, and for the better. I feel in control. I feel like I am with a group of writers who appreciate me and are behind me every step of the way.

My publishing story is much different than other authors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I have gained experience from self publishing and being with a small press. I know that I can use this knowledge for the rest of my book writing days.

My writing process may be a little different than most, but it works for me. As a writer, you MUST find what works for you. Not what works for others. This is your dream. This is your passion. When the time is right, it will come to you. By “it” I mean the story or even the patience to tell your story to the world. For me, it came naturally because I feel like this was the story I was meant to share.

Writing the Story:

                Dialogue is my strong suit. Character building? Not so much. Since I know my own self, it is easy to begin to work on the things that don’t come so easily to me. When it came to sitting down to write, I found my own habits and tendencies. I found what worked for me. Since I was writing in high school, school came first. Now that I am still writing, I am in college. So I have to put school first (yeah right) and writing next.

I had to find the perfect time to write as well. I write at nighttime. It is my way of cooling down from the day. Sometimes I’ll put music on. It helps me find the right things to say when I feel like I can’t find them. I’ve been able to find the time and place that allows me to be free of the world and write my books. That is my advice to writers; find that one place that makes you feel like you can do anything and write. For me, that is alone in my room, particularly at 11 at night, with music to escort my thoughts.

My goal every night is to write at least one chapter. If what I am writing is complete crap (and trust me, there are days like that,) I stop and go to bed. I reevaluate my life (kidding) and by the morning, I am refreshed and remember why I love this. This is a passion. Without it, I couldn’t stay up countless nights and sometimes forget my homework for school the next day.

Editing Process:

Basically I go through a lot of editing. I will be the one who goes into my book fifteen times and still miss a lot. My eyes, and my great friend, Edee’s eyes, alone edited the first edition of “Antidote.” I have found, it takes more than us to fix a book and it’s problems. Now that I have edited the book so many times, I have found my bad habits. I see that I can have plot holes without even realizing it! Here is my advice to you: When you think you’re done, you’re NOT. So the editing/publishing process for “Antidote” went like this (2016 edition).

  • Wrote “The Antidote,” which is the self-published version.
  • Edited the book about four times over before sending it to my friend, Edee, who is also a self-published author.
  • Edited all the mistakes Edee fixed for me.
  • Edited the book about another four dozen times.
  • Sent it off to Self-publication Land.
  • Wrote “Prospect,” which is the second book in my trilogy and sent that off to Booktrope (wait for the squeals when I got accepted and asked to republish “The Antidote”).
  • And so it begins. Process begins with me submitting the Self-published version of “The Antidote” for rewrite and edit.
  • Change name from “The Antidote” to “Antidote.”
  • Edit number one from my editor. I fixed all the mistakes I was foolishly making.
  • Send off my first round of edits back to her.
  • Editor sends me the second round of edits.
  • I fix all mistakes and send to Proofreader.
  • Finally “Antidote” is ready.
  • Repeat steps 9-13 with “Prospect.”

Now that I have republished “Antidote” one last time with Patchwork Press, I have started to edit “Prospect” with its finishing touches.

That is just a super dry run of how it went. I was an amateur. I had to change a lot. Sometimes I would write things that didn’t make any sense and would have “What??” in the margins. I look at writing completely different now. My mind is stronger and sharper now by seeing the mistakes I made. The editing process takes a lot longer for me now because I thoughtfully/logically put words together. I know that it isn’t just the story that matters. Every single word must make a difference and an impact somehow.

What I’ve Learned:

I have learned a lot from my experiences with writing. I have learned my own strengths and most importantly, my weaknesses. Most of all, I have learned why I am here, as a writer. I am here to write for my happiness. I am here to write so I can bring joy to others as books bring joy to me. I want to change someone’s life. Make them crave books as so many books have done to me. Right now, it isn’t about being successful in book writing. It is about learning the ropes and one day I know I will be a fabulous writer. It is a long road ahead. But it is the road I want to be on forever.antidotemedia

Antidote (Antidote, #1) by Taylor Hondos

Life sucks, and then you rot. No one knows how Dermadecatis is contracted, but its existence has changed everything for 18-year-old Lena, in this riveting debut from Taylor Hondos.

No contact with other people.

Masks must be worn in public at all times.

Four months ago men, women and children alike began to rot from the inside out, and the world as we know it changed forever. Life goes on, but now everything revolves around the need to survive and find a cure for Dermadecatis, the disease that Lena Alona’s father discovered.

Unfortunately for Lena and everyone else who is desperate to survive, her father’s secrets died when he did.

Published June 1st 2016 by Patchwork Press (first published May 30th 2014)

Taylor’s Links: GOODREADS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | WEBSITE

**Cover Reveal** Demonic Pact by Majanka Verstraete

demonic pact

Sixteen-year-old Halfling Angel of Death Riley Scott is on a dangerous mission. To save her friend’s life, she must make a pact with the man who just tried to kill them both and break him out of the Celestial Prison, guarded by Angels of War—fearsome warriors who can squash her like a fly. If caught, she’ll be sentenced to eternity in that impenetrable prison. Riley will have to make deals with demons and her number one enemy, turn her back on her most loyal friends, and risk losing her family forever. Worst of all, her very existence is in the hands of her devious new allies.

Title: Demonic Pact
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Series: Angel of Death, Book Two
Publication Date: March 2016

Majanka’s Website | Majanka on Goodreads

If you missed the first book >>

23168992The Soul Thief (Angel of Death Series #1) by Majanka Verstraete

When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

For My Review of Book One Click HERE

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

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Saga, Volume 1 (Saga: Collected Editions #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

* * * * * *   My Thoughts   * * * * * * 

Saga debuted in 2012. This 160 page paperback ‘Saga Volume One’ collects the first 6 monthly issues.

In these first six issues we see Hazel’s birth, learn a back story for her parents romance and see her parent’s constantly fighting to keep her alive and free. We are introduced to some key players; Hazel and her parents Marko and Alana, Prince Robot IV, The Will and Lying Cat – all setting up for a truly epic long running comic series. I’M EXCITED. I only wished I hadn’t waited so long to get on board.

This comic series has action, humour, forbidden romance and a witty cross breed alien baby (Hazel) as the narrator. I would have to say it’s the best comic I have ever read – sorry Batman, sorry Batgirl, sorry Starfire, sorry Scooby Doo, sorry Xmen, sorry Green Arrow, sorry Outcast, sorry The Walking Dead. Ok so you really can’t compare most of those comics to one another, but you get my point.

This right here is an adult comic, and I’m not saying this because it’s got a few inter species sex scenes. Underneath the battle, the bloodshed and the humorous respite, this is a story of a mother and father battling the odds and the universe to give their little girl the best life possible.

I read Frank Miller’s Batman because I love bad boy heroes and vigilantes. I read Amanda Conner’s Starfire because she fricking adorable and orange. With Saga I had the action and fighting the good fight of Batman and Starfire, plus more. I connected with the characters. By the end I wasn’t just reading it for entertainment. I was reading it because I gave a shit about what happened to the world I had just entered.
I was enthralled from page one of issue one “Am I shitting? It feels like I’m shitting!” to the last page of issue six “And then my grandparents came to live with us”.

Not to mention the artwork is stunning!

I’m hooked, good thing I’ve already got the next four collections ready to go. Issue #32 is out today, but if you’re like me and prefer the compendiums over the single issues, it’ll be four more months before the ‘Saga Volume Six’ is available.

star.5

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Bookish Babble Y15.W15

The answer is 42 Edition:

I had this as the background on my home and work computer for years before I had my son and he took over the prime real estate.

I could never get the hang of Thursdays, or any other day of the working week.

Best opening line ever!

I love this robot fella, in fact the only non-human book characters I love more are Eeyore and Dobby, with Hedwig and Mr Tumnus coming close behind him.

I always keep a towel in the back of my car, very handy; it can be a towel, a blanket, a poncho, a huge tissue 😛 etc.

And BAM!! the Dolphins have the right idea.

Love is Pain.

Until next time, so long and thanks for all the fish.

The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K.L. Horvath

26043206The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K.L. Horvath

 

Kindle Edition, 348 pages.
Published December 8th 2015 by Booktrope Editions (first published May 10th 2014).

I received a copy from the Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Don’t miss K.L. Horvath’s compelling time travel fantasy with talking beasts, iron monsters, otherworldly creatures and a desperate father!

For centuries the great Houses of Time have watched over the mythical creatures, those who manipulate the past for their own ends and humankind. But now the houses have dwindled and few are left who remember the mandates. One, in fact, is determined to put the world in its proper place—beneath his rule.

To do that, he’s kidnapped Jack Lyons, the youngest of the Time Travelers. And to get him back and defeat Bliss, Lord Aralias Lyons, Jack’s father, will do anything he has to. He’ll fight wicked spiders, an army of clockwork men, let his son suffer and manipulate time itself in order to right what Bliss has put wrong. He’ll even allow the innocent Miss Clara Heartwell to discover more about the Travelers than most mortals know.
Through secret and deadly deals with dragons, battles back in time and with Jack himself, Aralias has to think smarter, act faster, and be more decisive. Because in the end, saving Jack is all that matters … GOODREADS.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * My Thoughts * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Where to start? I guess you could say the main characters were Aralias Lyons, his son Jack, a woman by the name of Clara Heartwell, Nicholas Seraph and the bad guy of the story, Simeon Bliss. Bliss had minions and Aralia’s also had other family members in the mix. Aralias is not quite human. He is a 223-year-old traveler. A guardian of the rotating sun. A traveler of time. His son Jack starts the story out at 9, but becomes 14 by the end.

I found myself flip flopping with this book. From loving it one minute, Aralias riding a Pegasus in battle. To thinking ‘oh shut up’ at Clara and Aralias banter the next.

For me the story didn’t really start to pick up until we see Jack using his powers for the first time and future Jack coming back to warn his dad about Bliss’s Dragon attack – this all happened around the 20-30% – so it was a bit of a slow starter for me.

What I liked: The detailed Victorian-Steampunk-awesomeness! Aralias fight through time to save his son and as it turned out, the whole of time itself. Individually I liked all the characters and felt they all had their own purpose in the story.

What I Didn’t: I love romance in adventure stories, but I didn’t click with Clara and Aralias. I think the father-son-bond would have been more than enough to push this story along. I liked Clara and felt she was important to the story, but the romance between her and Aralias was awkward, unnecessary and frustrating. I think if she just grew to be their adventure loving friend the story would have flowed better.

I think the idea for this story is brilliant and I’m glad I read it. But sadly I wasn’t blown away. 3 I liked it stars.star.3

Aurthor Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Amazon US | Amazon AU

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

23395680Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

Paperback, 599 pages
Published October 2015 in Aus by Allen & Unwin.
 * * *  Synopsis  * * *

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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* *  * *  * *  * *  * *  My Thoughts  * *  * *  * *  * *  * *

I can’t figure out how to review this book without sounding like a gushing thirteen year old who’s just won tickets to One Direction. It was beautiful, quirky, funny, action packed, exciting, thrilling, twisting, turning, loving, murdering, madness.

I loved the layout idea! The story is told through memos and messages, transcribed footage and images. The textual images are stunning. At one point you have to turn the book 360 to read the spirally writing. You feel like your falling into the void. All the little notes made it feel as if you were really reading a report of actual events. The writing was brilliant I felt as if I was watching the transcribed video footage.

The story line is just my kind of thing; super computers, deadly viruses, young lovers separated and unlikely heroes – I can’t say too much as it’ll give away all the fabulous twists and turns. Just went you think you know whats going to happen, the whole thing switches up. HELL YES, Five Stars, bring on book two and three. Best book I’ve read this year.

star.5

LINKS: Illuminae on Goodreads | Kristoff’s Website | Kristoff’s Twitter | Kaufman Website | Kaufman Twitter

Buy Illuminae: Booktopia | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Book Depository

The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete

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The Soul Thief (Angel of Death #1) by Majanka Verstraete

Thank you to Majanka, Booktrope and Net Galley for giving me a copy of this book to read and review.

Synopsis mk3

When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.3c83e-addtogoodreads

My Thoughts mk3

We get straight into the action with this book, seeing the main character in a horrific car accident. Riley Scott is a Halfing Angel of Death but she doesn’t know that yet. She isn’t hurt all that bad physically in the accident but the chain of events it sets up changes her life forever. She goes from being a normal sixteen year old girl to finding out some serious family secrets, coming across a range of paranormal beings she didn’t even know existed and through no fault of her own becomes a target for the bad guys.

By the end of this book we know who the good guys are, have seen Riley kick some butt, but we’re not quite sure who all the bad guys are. So I’m sure there will be plenty more twists and turns in book two and three.

The cliff-hanger ending of this book really sets Riley up with some epic tasks to accomplish. This book is action packed, intriguing, full of paranormal beings and the main characters are easily likable. Bonds of friendship are tested and some romance is thrown in too.

I liked the way the book dealt with the whole God/Angels thing, I’ve found it to be a bit of an interest killer for me with angel related books. I tend to stick to shape shifters and witches for my paranormal, but Majanka appeased me.

I’m going to leave it at that, anything else I think off to write just feels like a Spoiler!

Four stars for this strong start to what promises to be a fantastic new paranormal young adult series.

4s

Now a quote: riley scott

I read this and thought “Ohhh I like that. I have to write that down. Yes, I never needed a knight in shining armor, but damn a cunning wizard could come in handy. I should use pretty font and Instagram this quote” 😛 :-).

Author’s Links mk3

Author’s Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

Purchase Links

Amazon | B&N | Booktopia AU | Amazon AU