The Jester (The Riyria Chronicles #2.5) – Review

The Jester (The Riyria Chronicles #2.5)The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again Michael J. Sullivan, delivers an excellent story.
This, story falls between the first two major series and features Royce and Hadrian. It is exactly what you have come to expect from the pair.
This is a great short story and wonderful diversion.

I got the audiobook copy Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, and he did a wonderful job.

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Trailer for Scout Of the Apocalypse

Today, I would like to bring you something I am extremely proud of. This is the trailer for a book that, while I didn’t write it, I had a hand in making sure that it got published.

This is a great middle grade novel, with just the right amount of “scare” to make it a proper zombie story, while keeping it about the scouts and not the zombies which makes it just that much better.

If you know me personally, you might recognize the scouts and zombies.

If you enjoy the trailer please consider getting a copy of the book. You can find it here.

-Jeff

Scouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie Plague – A Review

Scouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie PlagueScouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie Plague by Michell Plested
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zombie here, Zombies there, zombies everywhere, and not a scout in sight. Having read this book, that I think would be the scariest thing I could think of.

This part, high adventure, the part campfire story, part traditional zombie story kept turning pages long into the night, and looking over my shoulder the whole time. I kept promising myself I would put it down at the end of “this” only to find myself reading on and on.

Follow Scouter Mike and his troop of scouts and they return from their practice survival training only to find themselves in a world gone mad where their training might be the only thing that keeps them alive.

Though this book is a tradition zombie tale with all that that entails, it is still BSA / venture scout age appropriate. It is definitely something that will be sharing with my scouting age kids.

While I am not normally a fan of zombie / scary stories, Mr. Plested’s easy narrative style won me over and helped me along until I was so hooked I could not put it down.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with any scouting experience, as well as any one who loves a good scary campfire story.

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Dimensional Abscesses Giveaway Contest

Abscess2

If you have been living under a rock, like have for the last month, you might have missed that Michell Plested and I have released a new book. Dimensional Abscesses is a collection of short stories about places you don’t want to go. The stories range from time travel, to other planets, to hell and back, and of course down on the farm.

I am very excited about this book. Not only is it really a great book, but Michell and I have worked very hard on it, and it is the first book that we are releasing in our new imprint, Evil Alter Ego Press. For these reasons and many more, I want to get it into as many people’s hands as possible. So without further delay…

I am giving away 5 Ebook copies of Dimensional Abscesses: Portals to Places You Don’t Want To Go.

What do you have to win?

Simple. Leave a comment below before June 5th, with a place (real or fictional) you would not want to go and I will pick my 5 favorites.

And of course sharing the contest with your friends will make it more fun. So please, Tweet, Post and Plus it to your heart’s desire.

UPDATE (We are so close)

I just wanted to give you all an update on the anthology and Michell Plested and I have been working on.

UPDATE (We are so close).

Anthology Title and other things – A long overdue Update

Anthology Title and other things – A long overdue Update.

evilalterego

Great Britain at War – A Review

11150498[1]If you have been reading this blog for some time you know I am a real sucker for history. I really get into it, when I start learning about a time period I find myself sucking up as much knowledge from as many sources as I can. So when I finished Dan Carlin’s latest episode on World War I I was itching to get more.

I found my self at podiobooks.com and stumbled on Great Britain at War. This is a straight read of this book, which in itself is a collection of articles written by Jeffery Farnol. The narrator did a great job getting into the feeling of the articles, and the articles themselves are incredibly powerful and eye opening as the cover the time leading up to the war to nearly at the end. This would be a great resource for first hand material for teaching about this very difficult time in history.

I recommend this book, which you can get here for free on kindle or the podacast version of it which you can get here for free from podiobooks.com

I never really thought of podiobooks as a place to look for history, books and they don’t have a huge selection, but what they do have, I will certainly be checking out in the future.

Shooting Stars: A Teenage Vampire Love Story from a Boy’s Perspective – A Review

Shooting Stars: A Teenage Vampire Love Story from a Boy's PerspectiveShooting Stars: A Teenage Vampire Love Story from a Boy’s Perspective by Philip Carroll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Philip Carroll Does it again. In Shooting Stars he takes a genre that I don’t normally like or even read, and made me really enjoy this story. And now on with the review.

Being a teenager is hard, really hard. Add to that, moving to a new school, and joining a sports team. Jocks and Cliques that you don’t have a chance of understanding unless you have lived in a place all your life. And don’t get me started on the girls. Chuck has all of these problems and more when he moves to his new school from Washington State. He discovers that not only does he have to deal with all the normal problems of moving to a new school but he has accidentally stepped into the middle of a battle ground on a higher plain.

When his new girl friend Kelsey, turns out to be more than he excepted he finds him self in the middle of a battle that nothing he has ever experienced can prepare him for. He will need everything he has and more if he hopes to get out of this one live.

Part of me wonders if I like this book so much because I was Chuck growing up. I moved to a new school in high school, joined the Cross Country team, did well, and met the girl of my dreams only to have her turn out to be so much more than I thought she was. My girl friend (and now wife) didn’t end up having magical powers or anything but still she was special. But I think that it is more that Chuck’s story is one that a lot of teen aged guys can relate to.

In Shooting Stars : A Teenage Vampire Love Story from a Boy’s Perspective Mr. Carroll gives us an engaging story. More than that, he gives us real characters who you can relate to. They have hopes and dreams, and he drags you down, some times kicking and screaming, into their lives. At one point I found myself yelling at the book, “Oh no Chuck that is such a bad idea!” I really cared about these people, and when the book ended I was really sad that I could not continue to be friends with them.

Mr Carroll does not glorify the demonic forces that are vampires but instead exposes their true ugly nature, and the forces required to do battle with them. This to me was a huge deal, and for a teen aged romance involving vampires it was a breath of fresh air.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have known Philip Carroll for some time, I follow him on social media and I consider him a friend. I was given a Beta copy of an early version of this book and an advanced readers copy (ARC) of the book and enjoyed both immensely. While I probably would not have picked up this book normally because as I said I don’t normally read this genre, Philip has opened my eyes. If you have any doubt, I am going to buy copies for each of my teen aged boys so that they can read it.

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Flypaper Boy: Coming of Age – A Review

Flypaper Boy: Coming of AgeFlypaper Boy: Coming of Age by Philip Carroll

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Flypaper Boy thinks his super power is lame. I mean really, what can a superhero do when his super power is sticking to things until someone comes along with some nail polish remover to free him. That is until he is kidnapped by bad guys and is forced to become a super villain. What is a good guy to do, when he has to use his powers for the forces of evil?

Flypaper Boy: Coming of Age follows Jimmy Wheeler AKA Flypaper Boy on his first real adventure. This is a superhero book. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am really not that much of a super hero fan, but this book caught my attention and held it.

High school can be hard enough if you are different, harder still if you have to move to a new school. Through it all FlyPaper boy manages to keep his cool, remember his mission and stay true to his moral code.

Let’s be honest here, Jim Wheeler is a teenaged boy, and he is surrounded by teenaged girls. He is going to notice them. He is going have feelings for some of them. But all the while he manages keep a lid on his hormones and and stick to his moral code, not only for being a hero, but also for being a human. That is one of my favorite parts of the book. Multiple times he is presented with opportunities where he could have taken advantage of the situation, and yet he never does.

This book is not so much about being a super hero, probably why I liked it despite my normal aversion to comic book superheroes, and much more about being a kid in a tough situation, trying to find his way through who happens to have super powers.

Mr. Carroll did a wonderful job, grabbing my attention and keeping it. His characters have depth, they have flaws, and they have to live life the best way they know how. I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to sharing it with my kids.

A Note for parents: If you are looking for a good book to start the school year with, this is a good one. It is certainly safe for middle grade readers though probably older ones will appreciate it more. If they are still in the eeew boys / girls are yucky stage they might want to wait another year or two. And the book is aimed more at boys than girls, though I think girls will like it too.

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It’s Time to Start Promoting Mik Murdoch: The Power Within

Mik2[1]I really enjoyed Mick Murdoch, read it to my kids, share it with everyone I can, and I have been really looking forward to this book. I can’t wait for it to come out.

While we are waiting (not long now It is out on Aug 1st) please Help Michell spread the word about it.

It’s Time to Start Promoting Mik Murdoch: The Power Within.