Apr 142014
 

People sometimes ask me what’s the purpose of a writer’s group in today’s world. Why not connect online and be done with it all?

Because there’s magic when you can connect in person and realize the person you’ve gotten to know online is so much more interesting in person.

Blood and Iron cover

Such it is with my buddy Jon Sprunk, who is a true writer pro and a super dude. And he’s got a new book out, as well. Which means he’s taking a turn in the spotlight.

Jon, what song makes you think of your book?

Answer: “Revelations” by Iron Maiden. I’m a child of the 80′s metal wave. This song in particular evokes the majesty and mystery that I tried to put into every line of my new epic fantasy, “Blood and Iron.” But, of course, I’m not writing just for the metal crowd. This new series is about the clash between rival cultures, the friction between social strata, and the real price of liberty. You won’t elves or unicorns within its pages, but you will find magic, the kind of elemental sorcery that can destroy as well as create. I hope you’ll give it a try.

 

Wait. He said IRON MAIDEN??? Duuuuuuude. I told you he was cool, didn’t I?

Now, after all that, you totally need to know what Blood and Iron is about.

This action-heavy EPIC FANTASY SERIES OPENER is like a sword-and-sorcery Spartacus set in a richly-imagined world.

It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn’t even begin to understand.

Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn’t last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen’s court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire’s caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

 

Jon’s gotten some good reviews on this already, especially about his world-building, and especially from some of the industry’s big names in reviews. How can you ignore that??? You can’t, I know, so here are some buy links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million
Indie Bound

Get to know Jon. You’ll be glad you did.

Jon’s website
Jon’s facebook fan page
Jon’s twitter

Mar 132014
 

Count on my friend Deena at e-Book Builders to bring me word that I’m falling further behind than ever when it comes to author Jill Edmondson’s rocking series, the Sasha Jackson Mysteries.

And that she got to format it? The only thing that would make me less jealous would be if I got to edit it. (If that happened, though, Jett couldn’t borrow my copy like she usually does.)

I still need to get started on this series, and I’d better get to that sooner rather than later because this is now the fourth.

Ahh, for more time to read…

And remember… even if your book has been published, if it needs a proofread by an eagle-eyed expert, I’m here. Not that I’m pointing fingers at Jill or anything. Nope. Not me.

Oct 262013
 

Deena at e-Book Builders is at it again! She has exposed me to so much more Rock Fiction than I’d ever expected… why’s everyone hiding from me? I’m really very nice…

She’s featuring author Rick Soper, who writes a Rock Fiction series that sounds intriguing, if a bit overpopulated (By Rick’s own admission, which makes me even more curious to read this series).

Go check him out. Let me know if you’ve read his books, and what you think if you have. I’m curious.

Sep 092013
 

Jaleta Clegg is another of my long-time friends. In fact, if you missed it, I hosted her a little over a year ago, when she had another new release. This might even be the same series… In fact, it is!

Jaleta cover

Don’t worry if you’re new to the series… read on.

Let’s start with the reason we’re here: Jaleta, What song makes you think of your book?

Chicago – We Can Last Forever. No, my book is not a sappy love story. It’s science fiction adventure, heavy on the action and explosions and fight scenes. But I have this thing for sappy 80s love songs. I write my action scenes with them playing in the background. My iTunes library is chock full of sappy love songs for that reason. I also have a lot of movie soundtracks because they make great mood music, but it’s the love songs I keep turning to for inspiration.

Love songs? Really? And we’re friends? Good thing Jaleta is awesome in so many, many other ways.

So if you’re looking for some good adventure, try Cold Revenge. It’s book 5 in the series, but don’t let that stop you. Each book was intended as a (mostly) stand-alone story with a complete beginning, middle, and end.

Cold Revenge – Revenge is a dish best served cold. Jerimon is about to serve Dace to the Targon syndicate. On ice.

It’s on Amazon exclusively!

Book series website – The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Jul 152013
 

It looks like word of the Featured New Book spotlight is spreading. I’ve got a bunch of posts to bring you guys — keep it up! I love the deluge.

Today’s author is Frederick Brooke, who I’d never met before he dropped into my inbox. Good to know you, sir! After reading this post, I hope you’ll all join me in hoping Frederick isn’t a stranger in West of Mars-ville.

collateral damage hi res cover

His new book is called Collateral Damage, and here’s Frederick himself to tell you more:

The whole time I was writing COLLATERAL DAMAGE, I had Eminem’s song “I’m Not Afraid” going through my head. I finally realized why when I was working on a scene with Michael Garcia. Michael has had some of the same troubles with drugs and anger and abandonment that Eminem riffs about.

I guess I had to
Go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you
Might still be in that place
Just lettin you know that you’re not alone
If you’re tryin to get out
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road
Just follow me, I’ll get you there

If he could, Michael would follow. Eminem captures the desperation and helplessness of an addict, and the rage and complete lack of self-esteem that so often go with it. Michael would follow if he had someone to follow – but isn’t that how it is with anthems like “I’m Not Afraid”? They inspire us. The singer can also be the leader we follow, if only virtually.

The language of the song is beautiful, arresting, a vision:

Okay, quit playing with the scissors and shit and cut the crap
I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in a rhythm for you to know it’s a rap
You said you was the king, you lied through your teeth
For that fuck your fillings, instead of getting crowned you’re getting capped

Lord Byron himself would have admired Eminem’s wordplay, weaving a jumble of images involving the creative dentistry of rappers, their visions of royalty, and the rituals of kings and crowns. Through his own art, Eminem finds his own way out of the deadly maze of drug addiction.

My character, Michael Garcia, is also a poet. I don’t want to spoil the story by quoting the whole poem here. But the question of whether Michael will find his way out of the maze through art or any other means is one essential element in the book COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

Michael and his friend Husker put on a big reunion of Iraq War veterans in the book, and they call the party “Collateral Damage.” When Annie, his old lover, asks him how they came up with that name, Michael doesn’t have to think long about the answer. “It’s who we are. What we are. They had their war, they got what they were after. Think about how we’re damaged.” To which Annie Ogden says: “I’m not damaged. Speak for yourself.”

Ooh, love it — and I’m not much of an Eminem fan, as catchy as his music is.

Ready for the blurb?

Annie Ogden is back. Like it or not, she’s about to learn about Collateral Damage.

A love story.

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

And some links for you, too!

First off, the all-important buy link. It’s a Kindle-only book, so us without Kindles are out of luck (bummer).

Now, on to the social fun!
email
Twitter
Amazon page
Goodreads
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