Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I first heard whispers about this book on twitter. Comments about a “badass skateboarder”, time zombies, vampires, Greek Gods, and tentacles. I decided I had to check it out myself. The story revolves around skateboarder Billy Purgatory, and his uncanny ability to find himself in the center of trouble with the undead and ancient gods. We start the story with Billy at age ten saving the life of a young girl from a couple vampires, but this girl is more than she seems. I began to read with eyebrows raised questioning how this author, as he revealed more and more of these disconnected creatures; was going to spin these elements into a fine tale. I pictured water spiraling into the darkness of a storm drain. To my delight however, the spiral of water began to rise high into the sky as a tornado, a force of dark nature. Next thing I know I was on the field when the time zombie arrived, I was riding the train with Billy and Anastasia.  I felt the heat around Lissandra as she ran from the fire. Without realizing it, I had stepped into the story. It is not something that happens often.

The story is well written and fast paced. The author does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. My favorite character by far was Anastasia, I fell in love with her. The way the author brought out the inner turmoil of who and what she is, and of primal evil that is her being was brilliant. I am not a fan of P.O.V. changes in a novel, they normally annoy me to no end. This book makes frequent changes of both P.O.V and time, but the author did an excellent job of blending it in to make it not only tolerable, but at times enjoying. This book is obviously not for everyone. If you can’t sit at the breakfast table with a fellow time zombie, Greek God, and a vampire or two, then this book is not for you. However, if you are one of those people with an open mind, embrace the darkness, and have a thirst for something unique and original. I highly recommend this book.

I give Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird five stars.

Find it on Amazon

Find it on Barnes and Nobles

Read Full Post »

A Keya Quests Update

Sorry everyone. It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy the past few months and things are crazy.

The first draft of The Keya Quests: The Staff of Dionysia is in its second round of editing. Current target is June for its release.

For Keya’s fans, The third book picks up where we left off in book two. The race of fairies has return. Their new queen has led them out of the darkness and into the light. But there are many injured in need, a kingdom that must be rebuilt and dead to bury.

Far away to the east, a fortress lies under siege. A wizard seeks a stone of power protected by staff created by Queen Dionysia, the second of the gold-winged fairies. For two thousand years the staff has protected the stone, but it’s power fades. A plea for help has been sent by the high priestess that protects the stone, but is it too late?

Back on the island, trouble brews. Will the secret of the portal be revealed. A new queen must complete a task, and a wedding must be planned. Join our favorite hungry heroine on her continuing  journeys, her quests….

Book four in the Keya Quests series, The Curse of the Black Sword , is underway.


Read Full Post »

The Keya Quests: The Staff of Dionysia

Here it is, the latest cover art for the third book in the Keya Quests series. “The Staff of Dionysia”

My cover designer is the very talented Robin of Covers by Robin

Read Full Post »

Welcome fellow blog hoppers on this the next leg of the Blog Tour de Troops weekend! I hope you enjoyed your visit with my fellow author C.C. Cole if you missed her blog check it out.

I am grateful to the men and women who are serving, or have served in our military forces. It is because of their selflessness and courage that we are safe and free to pursue our dreams. When I heard about the Blog Tour de Troops plan to give free books to the soldiers who are serving our country. I jumped at the chance to participate.

A number of years ago, I did a genealogy search on my family. Going back 12 generations I found many of my forefathers served proudly over the centuries in our military. From a father and sun who served multiple tours together in the revolutionary war. To others who fought in world war 1 , 2,  and Vietnam. They served their country with honor as do the men and women in our armed forces today. We would not be here today if not for their service and sacrifice, as will our children’s children be here because of those who fight today to keep our freedom.

For this veterans weekend event, I thought I would share a short personal story. My father when world war II broke out, was not old enough to enlist in the armed forces, so he joined the merchant marines. When he turned 18, he immediately enlisted in the army. I am the youngest of three, so I don’t know if it was the time span, or having told the tales too many times to my brothers, but my father never talked about the war. Yet, he was strangely addicted to the mind-boggling horde of world war II movies that followed. I don’t think he missed a single one. As a kid these movies were great, lots of action, explosions and suspense. (blood and gore not withstanding) But that was all they were, entertainment. It always left me with a surreal vision of war.

On weekends, I would get to stay up late and watch these movies with my father. It was a special time the two of us would share. One evening, the two of us were watching a remake on the D-Day invasion.  We were quietly sitting watching the scenes of the transports hitting the beach as the waves of troops disembarked to engage the enemy. In one scene, If I remember it correctly, a heavy cable was strung between two ships to move supplies to the beach. A large wave broke shifting the position of the cable catching a supply transport on its way to the beach. The transport was flipped over, the men and supplies on board tossed into the sea. It was at that moment out of the blue my father said “I was on that” I wasn’t sure what he meant by the remark so I questioned him. It turns out the scene we were watching actually happened. The transport was a merchant marine craft and he was part of its crew. They were ferrying supplies to shore when the cable caught the ship and flipped it over. My father hit the water but made it to safety.

From that moment on, those movies had a whole new meaning. I found myself wondering how may other scenes were based on actual event. It gave me a new appreciation and understanding for those soldiers in our armed forces. So to all of you currently serving, and to the memory of those who have passed, I say thank you!

Hopefully I haven’t put anyone to sleep with my ramblings, if so WAKE UP! 😉 I want to thank you all for stopping by on this leg of the Blog Tour de Troops your next stop is with the talented A.K. Taylor check her out!

Before you run off, don’t forget to leave me a comment with your name and email address so I can send you a link to download your free copies of my book. They are available in kindle and PDF versions.

One more thing to mention. The Indie Book Collective is raising money to buy kindles for the troops.
If you’d like to donate money toward those Kindles for our soldiers, simply use
Paypal and ibcprograms@gmail.com as the address to send money to. Please
note on your payment that it’s a Troops donation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Read Full Post »

Blog Tour de troops

Blog Tour de Troops

I will be taking part in the upcoming Blog Tour de Troops  November 11th-14th. Anyone posting on my blog on November 13th will receive a free ebook in either pdf or .mobi format of both current books in the Keya Quest series. For each request the commenter will receive a free copy for them and one for a soldier. This is a great way to get the men and women who serve in the arms forces free ebooks.

The event is sponsored by the Indie Book Collective


Read Full Post »

Gabriel’s Return Author Steve Umstead

Author Steve Umstead has spun a masterful sequel in this, the second book of the Evan Gabriel trilogy. Gabriel’s Return picks up 6 months from where we last left Gabriel and his team. On the not so distant Mars, Gabriel and his team have been slowly cleaning up the corruption on mars. When the most influential governor on mars learns of her sons capture by terrorists on the far away world of Eden, she enlists the aid of Gabriel and his team to rescue him. Gabriel must deal with the bitter memories of his ill-fated mission there 5 years prior.
The story is entwined with a well crafted mix of sub plots. They blend perfectly into a fluid sequence of events. the author did a perfect job of inserting enough information from the first book where needed to remind one who has read the first, or fill in those who haven’t with enough knowledge to learn the whole story. The sci-fi toys we all love so well live up to the expectation and are believable. I was impressed with the details of the harsh environment on Eden and its inhabitants. I could visualize it as if I was there while reading. One of my few complaints of this author’s first books was that it was too short. The author must have listened, because this book is just right. The plots move quickly keeping you on the edge of your seat.
My only complaints with this book are very minor. I though the ending did an excellent job setting up the third and final book, but I felt it was too typical for a middle book of a trilogy. I would have preferred less of a cliff hanger, but that is just my personal preference. My other complaint is with the rebellion leader. I don’t want to insert spoilers. It was too transparent is all I will say.
I highly recommend this book it was well worth the wait. With the quality of this book, it’s going to really raise the bar for the final. I can’t wait to see.


Gabriel’s Return is available as an ebook for Kindle and Nook, and is also available on Goodreads.

More information about Steve can be found on his blog here: www.SteveUmstead.com

Read Full Post »

The cliché, is the comfort food of the literary world. While many may argue that point, our language is full of them. We hear them every day. While they are condemned and frowned upon, the reality is people like to use them. Everyone does it in one form or another. They are part of every day. Be they an “ace in the hole” or their “bark is worse than their bite” clichés are all around us. There is nothing like reclining by the fire on a cold winter’s day watching your favorite movie while eating your favorite comfort food. Yet even those prized foods whether it be mac & cheese or shepherds pie when eaten too often is not a good thing. The same is true with a cliché. While most will tell you to eliminate them all in your writing, they are something your readers will relate to. In moderation and under the right conditions they meet a need. The question is when is a cliché too much? Everyone has their favorite set of “hated clichés” the mere utterance sets their blood on fire. The two that irk me most are “What’s new in the outside world” and the infamous “whatever” The latter, raises my blood pressure 50 points at its mere typing. So, when is a cliché over used?

I have to say, I love my readers, they are so full of life and diverse in opinion. Whether their comments are positive or negative, they always come from the heart and if you look carefully, you will always take away something of value.  A couple of weeks back one of my readers sent me a message. They had read the long-awaited second book in my series and can’t wait for the 3rd. However, they had a comment, or perhaps more appropriately a command. “You have exceeded the usage of the phrase “You know what I mean” in the second book. You are not allowed to use it in the next one. This caught me off guard, while I always attempt to limit or avoid clichés, I thought “wow, maybe I screwed up.” I use as part of my editing process, online and local software that searches out and highlights over used and common phrases. During the edits I never once saw that in a list. I opened the manuscript and searched for the phrase. It turns out in 426 pages, 141,000 words I used the phrase 8 times. Once every 53 pages on average. Didn’t seem like a whole lot to me. So I inquired if the reader felt I had used it a lot in the first book. The answer was no. Searching the first book I found I had used it 7 times. hmm… this set me off on a quest to find the magic number. I began asking people what was their most hated clichés and if I had over used them in my books. As I searched each phrase, I would find 4, 3, 6, 7 but never more. With the help of a friend we started going through the most common phrases we could bring to mind, again they totals were 6,4,7,2 etc… none of them 8. The number 8, the symbol for infinity, the only unique number in a sea of averages.

So my readers, what is the correct answer to my question? I honestly don’t know, but I can tell you as I type away at my latest WIP, the solitary number “8” stands alone on a post it to remind me the err of my ways… You know what I mean

Read Full Post »

Here is the final version of The Battle for Shivenridge video book trailer I hope you enjoy it.

Read Full Post »

Shaman, Healer, Heretic

A Kachina, Sumerian gods, spirit helpers, shamans, the multiverse, and an orange cat named Nacho. What is not to love about this book? The story focuses around a modern-day techno shaman named Olivia Lawson, Livvy for short, who is just trying to make ends meet while helping those in need. You see, Livvy has a gift, she is a techno shaman. She travels to the multiverse finding lost or trapped souls, and helping them find their way back.  When a Kachina enters not only the real world, but her bedroom, Livvy soon learns something is very wrong in the multiverse, and she must find a way to make it right. This is a fast paced story that keeps you in suspense up until the end. The Author has created a rich and full of life set of characters that makes the story seem real.

I learned of this author through the endless sea of tweets drifting across the net. As a fan of Urban fantasy I purchased a copy and I am so glad I did.The plot is well thought out and it is full of twists and turns that will keep you second guessing through out. It’s obvious from the start the author put a lot of care into the people, creatures and gods portrayed in the story. Her bio states she was a former archaeologist, it is probably this knowledge that makes the world she creates so real and accurate. My only complaint was that there were a lot of chapters 79 total, I would have prefered there be less chapters but longer in length, but that is just my personal preference. I highly recommend this book.

I give this book 5 stars

This book can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Noble to name a few.

Read Full Post »

Jade Dreams (Sacred Stones)

Jade Dreams is an enjoyable young adult tale of a girl named Becca, who dreams of times gone past, of samurai, and a mysterious girl with piercing green eyes. We start this tale with the death of Becca’s parents in a tragic accident and how both Becca and her brother Timmy must cope with the loss with the help of their Aunt Sarah. We soon learn that Becca’s dreams are more than just dreams and Becca must risk all to save her brother from the shadow realm. With the help of a legendary swordsman, his grandson Mike, and Joey an unusual red-headed boy, and a special sword, they embark on their quest to free her brother.

This is a well written albeit too short for me (I want more!) story. The pace is fast and compelling. it is a wonderful glimpse into a world of virtue and honor. For the anime/martial arts fan, I am sure they will find it entertaining. I have very few complaints with the story, I’m not a fan of shifting perspectives in a story especially as it is moving toward a climax, but that is just my personal quirk and I thought the author handled it well. This is the first book in the sacred stone series and I impatiently wait for the next in the series. I highly recommend this book.

I give Jade dreams 4.5 stars

Jade Dreams can be purchased from Amazon and Smashwords to name a few.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: