Book Spotlight – “Conquest: A LitRPG Novel” by Aleric Elos

Overview

A primeval darkness threatens to destroy mankind…

The world’s largest gaming platform in the entire industry is led by a man with many secrets. The popular game DarkForce features the World of Zion which has been plagued by the destructive will of the Leviathan for centuries. What gamers don’t know is that the World of Zion actually exists, and the Leviathan has fed off of the souls of men and his fodder has become scarce. He now turns to Earth with an insatiable hunger. Only a woman from Earth who levels up to discover a divine inner power can challenge Earth’s Apocalyptic Fate.

Where To Buy:

AMAZON

From the Author

Aleric Elos is the Award-Winning Author of The SciFan™ Universe series. Known worldwide as the “Godfather of SciFan”, he likes to play MMORPGs, and since he doesn’t have the software engineering experience to develop his own games he decided to express his creativity in LitRPG form.

Links

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Book Spotlight – “Lady Blackwing” by Devorah Fox

 

Overview

Mercedes is just trying to make her way through life: taking classes, working her shift as a barista, and writing short stories that she never seems to finish. After a minor accident, she finds herself imbued with startling powers. She projects future events and rewrites the past, with disastrous consequences. Her first attempts to use her strange talents incite a zombie attack and bring an Egyptian goddess to life. Stunned by awesome abilities that she can’t seem to control, Mercedes wonders if she’s been cursed. Can she be cured? And if she can’t, what then?

Where To Pre-Order (Release Date May 10th 2017):

AMAZON, EPub (and other formats)

From the Author

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic historical fantasy series including “The Redoubt,” voted one of 50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading 2016, and ”The Lost King,” awarded the All Authors Certificate of Excellence. She also wrote “Detour,” ranked in the Top Ten Thrillers in Preditor/Editors Readers’ Choice Poll and “The Zen Detective,” a finalist in the Golden Books Award Contest. She co-authored the contemporary thriller, “Naked Came the Sharks,” with Jed Donellie, contributed to “Masters of Time: a SciFi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology,” and “Magic Unveiled: An Anthology,” and has several Mystery Mini Short Reads to her name. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in The Barefoot Palace on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.

Links

Website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Smashwords, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Goodreads, Newsletter

Return of the Newsletter

Yep, you read that right. I’m bringing back something that has gone neglected for far too long, my newsletter emails.

What happened to the newsletter anyway?

Back in 2015, I tried to start up a regular newsletter, with people subscribing to receive updates and book news by email. Well, needless to say I got very mixed results, because I really had no idea how to go about running a newsletter, and I had very little to say.

It didn’t help that between changes at Gmail, and alterations to the services offered by the site I sent the newsletter from, emails were likely ending up in people’s spam folders instead of being delivered. Now remember, everyone on that list had already confirmed they wanted to hear from me, but the open rate dropped considerably, and I lost interest in continuing the newsletter.

What changed?

It all started when I began putting together the events for the Brain to Books Fantasy Genre events, and needed a way to keep in touch with authors who were participating. All of the authors needed to receive the same email, and some of them needed to receive event-specific emails, and so was born a new mailing list.

Through careful planning of the events, and working out ways to send specific emails to the relevant authors, I got a feel for how the newsletters could work. Fast forward a few days, and I come across a service that did what my old one did, but came with the bonus of many of the features I needed being free.

So, I started looking into the details, and wondered if I could get my newsletter back off the ground. And thankfully, there were a number of people who’d already expressed an interest in hearing more from me, after they had completed the Brain to Books Fantasy “First Lines” Scavenger Hunt event.

I had a ready-made list of new people who actually wanted to know more… hmmm… but what to send them?

Well, I was already updating my graphics for my social media sites, so why not try something new with the newsletter. I created some new graphics to us as headers…

And here’s what went out…

Actually, the answer to this question wasn’t a simple one.

In my first email to you, I promised to give you some background information on my favorite lupine (werewolf), Richard Parsons. And then I realized just how hasty I’d been in making that promise.

You see, when you’ve been writing about a character for the best part of eight years, they undergo a kind of metamorphosis. Initially, what you have is a very basic idea of the character, some broad personality traits, and maybe a rough idea of what they look like.

Then you sit down and start writing, and things change. In Richard’s case, they changed a lot. Which meant making sure what you got was actually representative of Richard as he turned out.

So, I dove through my piles of notes, website pages, story outlines, finalized stories, and everything I’d shared with others, and discovered the ideal way to introduce Richard…

Read “A Fireside Chat with Richard Parsons” by A.F. Stewart & Timothy Bateson

Find out who Richard is connected to…

There is a lot of other information about Richard, and the other characters in the “Shadows Over Seattle” series, over on my website.

Now, it’s a little sparse compared to the depth of information that Sandi and I have created over the years of creating this series.

So, here’s an open invitation to find out more.

  • Keep following these emails, my blog, and the website for information as it’s posted…
  • Or, drop me an email, and let me know what you’d like to know more about, and find out information before anyone else.
  • Just don’t expect too much in the way of spoilers…

Join The Conversation

Now, it may look like I’m just giving away a bunch of links to material that I’ve already put out there, and that’s true.. For now!

I want the newsletter to be more than a rehashing of old material. I want to turn it into a way for people to be part of the conversations that go on behind the scenes.

By subscribing, you’re going to have access to me as a writer, and be in a position to ask me questions, show what projects most interest you, and maybe even influence some of my writing. You see, I know that I don’t know everything, so if you have knowledge that might be relevant to one of my projects, I might just be asking you questions too…

You’ll also receive updates from my blog, so you’ll never have to miss a single post, unless you want to.

As time goes on, I might expand the newsletter to include other things, like reviews of books I’ve recently read, or reviewed in the past. Of course, if I hear enough people want to see something, I will definitely try to include it.

Book Spotlight – “Do You Believe In Legend?” by Ani Manjikian

Book Blurb

Legend isn’t about people. It’s about pursuing a dream or higher ideal. About believing in something impossible and transforming the belief into reality through faith and hard work. The future is a legend written and unwritten.”

Jo Mason believes that creativity, spontaneity, and faith exist as definable words, but not actionable items. Negative consequences always follow the rare positive outcomes. It seems her destiny is surviving a chaotic world she can’t control. Hearing her own voice where she shouldn’t have leaves her wondering about her place in time.

Jeff has always been a part of her life, offering encouragements, wise words when she needed them, and many other things she can never completely thank him for. She knows he replaced her cousin who died saving his life. When she questions why he didn’t get to stay with his family, Jeff replies that without fixing the timeline everything she knows would be different.

When Jeff’s twin brother Randy falls into her lap, both literally and figuratively, Jo hopes he can give her a better answer. There is only one slight problem… He doesn’t remember anything about himself or his life and what he does, doesn’t help.

Together, the three of them learn that life isn’t about who or what you know, but who and what you care for.

From the Author

headshot400x400From a harsh diagnosis of hydrocephalus at birth, Ani has developed into all-around person with the technical knowledge and analytical mind of a programmer, creative and detailed orientation of a writer, and aesthetic instincts of a photographer. Her writing career started when a friend in Cyprus made her promise to stop throwing away her writings because she thought they weren’t good enough.

Links

BUYING LINKS

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

 

Rest In Peace Carrie Fisher (1956-2016) – My Personal Memories

carriefisherEarly Tuesday morning, we lost Carrie Fisher, after a heart attack earlier in the week. There are very few actresses who have become such massively iconic figures that their passing leaves gaping holes behind them. But, in my opinion Carrie Fisher is one of them.

Actress, writer, mental health advocate, and a star that almost everyone respected, Fisher sprang into the spotlight with Star Wars, and remained there. Her role as Leia might be what most people remember her for, but she had a hand in writing, or improving the screenplays for a number of very popular films.

However, my deepest respect has to go out to Fisher for her role in raising mental health awareness, and the way that she treated being bi-polar. When talking about her own mental health, Fisher was blunt, outspoken and for the most part disarming:

I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.

I get lots of awards for being mentally ill. Apparently, I am better at being mentally ill than almost anything else I’ve ever done. Seriously – I have a shelf of awards for being bipolar.

When it came to interacting with the fans, Fisher was well known for having embraced her role as Leia. She handled the attention the role brought her with grace, humor and an acceptance that few could have managed. For me though, her humor was best shown in her tweets, and social appearances. In September this year, she tweeted:

The only exercise I get lately is running off at the mouth & jumping to conclusions…..

And it is for these kinds of quotes that I am going to remember her best (excluding quotes from films). But, while we’re remembering this amazing woman, I felt that I should share some of my favorite on-screen memories…

carrie-fisher-star-wars-1977Princess Leia – Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)

For the vast majority of people growing up when I did, the first of the Star Wars films wasn’t the first time we saw Carrie Fisher playing the role that made her famous. However, it remains her most pivotal role, in my opinion.

Once reported as saying that she would

…go hang out with a bunch of robots for a few months and then return to my life and try to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. – source Business Insider

On the character of Leia, she has said:

Leia is not a real character. She is more of a caricature, and is somewhat one-dimensional. It’s not really possible to write out a list of Princess Leia’s likes and dislikes. I do know her favorite color, though, it’s white. She wears white all the time. But that doesn’t help me much. – source IMDB

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The Mystery Woman – Blues Brothers (1980)

The Blues Brothers duo of Jake and Elwood Blues originated from minds of Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, and first appeared on “Saturday Night Live”. Bringing great music to a TV audience, it was far from inevitable that they could translate that popularity into film. And, indeed, despite it’s all-star cast from music, film, and television, the film was far from a cinematic success.

Yet, it remains one of the biggest cult classics of all time, filled with amazing music, and some great guest appearances. None of these is more memorable than Carrie Fisher’s role as the ‘Mystery Woman’, who spends most of her on-screen time either preparing to, or actually trying to kill Jake.  For me this is one of the strangest roles in the film, because it takes a very long time to find out why she wants Jake dead. (And honestly, with the way he treats her, I can almost sympathize with her).

carrie-fisher-star-wars_lncima20161223_0140_3

Princess Leia – Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens(2015)

When Disney announced they were planning to do a new Star Wars film, that would follow on from the original trilogy, I was thrilled. But that was nothing compared to the joy of hearing that many of the original cast would be returning to reprise their roles.

Most importantly, we were going to get to see what happened to two of the characters we loved most from the series, Han and Leia. It was a shock to see how much time had passed for the two of them, and how the events between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” had changed them. But, when Han and Leia are reunited, it’s very clear that the love between them is still very much there.

I personally think this is one of the best performances Carrie Fisher ever put together, and gave us a story that was well overdue.

My Year In Books (2016) – According to Goodreads

Last year, Goodreads pulled together a page of statistics based on my reading habits for 2016. According to my Goodreads profile I read less books than I did last year, and failed in my goal to read 35 books this year.
Given that some of the books I read were sent to be as advanced reader copies I know there are a handful of books missing from the list, but I’m not sure they can make up the difference.
One thing that has improved is the percentage of books that I’ve reviewed after reading. So, onto the stats: