Win $50 on Amazon!

It’s easy. Just click this link and you can enter Aften Brook Szymanski’s contest.

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What are you waiting for?

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Book Review: Gerald and the Amulet of Zonrach

Gerald

I’m thrilled to announce the release of Gerald and the Amulet of Zonrach by Carl Hackman!

Summary:

In the realm of Wyverndawn, a wizard’s height is the mark of his power, and shrinking an entire inch is disastrous for twelve-year-old Gerald.

Looking for promotion of an inch or two, Gerald attempts to create a village landmark using his superior wizarding skills. But the spell he bought – from a guy who knows a guy – is a tad more powerful than he anticipates. The resulting earthquake breaks off a chunk of Wyverndawn from the rest of the realm allowing Vabalaz, a highly dangerous wizard, to escape from prison.

A red-faced Gerald is banished from his village and, to complete his shame, is demoted another inch; two more and he’s likely to become a Royal Equine Poop Disposal Coordinator. Gerald’s questionable acquisition of a certain golden amulet could be the answer to his problems. But when Vabalaz discovers it may also be the key to creating his elite wizard realm, Gerald is elevated to evil wizard’s enemy number one.

Gerald’s hopes of returning home hinge on repairing the damage to Wyverndawn and thwarting Vabalaz’s plans. Failure could mean Gerald’s next spell might well be his last.

My Review:

A fantastic mix of quirky and serious, Gerald is a fun character with a lot of heart. Hackman’s premiere delivers a surprisingly powerful feel good story you won’t want to put down.

You won’t want to miss this amazing story. Get it now!

Chaos Chronicles Paperback

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Now available in paperback! The Actuator 3: Chaos Chronicles

This book includes amazing stories by 9 authors. It isn’t “optional” like the Borderlands Anthology, though. These stories are machine monks, separated from the main group, and their struggles after the saboteur comes back to wreak more havoc on the world. It’s part of the main story line, so you absolutely must read it before the series climax comes out later this year. If you are following the Actuator series and only want your books in paper, the time has finally arrived.

Read more about the series on my Actuator page or…

Get it now!

How Long is a Story?

Today I guest blogged on Forever Writers. It’s all about the arbitrary classifications publishers enforce on stories (genre, audience, word count, etc.) and how the Actuator series shatters them all! Check it out!

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Book Review: Death by Cliche by Bob Defendi

Death by Cliche cover

The first time I encountered this book, I listened to the audiobook. I laughed SO MUCH! Now I’ve read it, and it still cracks me up. Bob Defendi is some kind of genius. That must flow from his extensive writing, game designing, and gaming background.

My review: Dragged into an awful alternate fantasy reality by the hack DM who tried to murder him, Damico has to try and manipulate the real world through the tritely constructed game dimension. Defendi is a masterful writer, making you love characters you knew were one-dimensional just moments before and keeping the reader on the hook to the very end. Oh, and did I mention it’s funny?

Trust me, GET IT NOW! (Also, if you check his blog, I appear occasionally… most of it’s not true. Well… some of it’s exaggerated.)

Your First Published Novel

My latest, and possibly last, book acquisition is Death By Cliché by Robert J. Defendi. I say it’s possibly my last acquisition because I’ve been stepping back and not doing much in the way of acquisitions lately. The story of this one is much too fun not to share. I’m not going to tell it myself, however. Defendi has been writing a series on getting his book published, how to make audio books, and several other useful bits for new aspiring authors. I recommend you check out his blog: Playtesting.net for a great perspective. And occasionally the posts mention me, although only about 2/3 of everything he says is true. 🙂

Review: The Summer the World Ended

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As far as Riley McCullough is concerned, her best friend getting ‘dragged’ off to Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks of summer vacation was the end of the world―at least until the bombs fell.

Life in suburban New Jersey with her mother has been comfortable, not to mention boring, to an introverted fourteen year old. As if her friend’s surprise trip wasn’t bad enough, her expectations for the ‘best summer ever’ disintegrate when she gets sent across the country to stay with a father she hasn’t seen in six years. Adjusting to a tiny, desert town where everyone stares at them like they don’t belong proves difficult, and leaves her feeling more isolated than ever. To make matters worse, her secretive father won’t tell the truth about why he left―or what he’s hiding.

Her luck takes an unexpected turn for the better when she meets a boy who shares her interest in video games and contempt for small town boredom. In him, she finds a kindred spirit who might just make the middle of nowhere tolerable.

Happiness is short lived; fleeing nuclear Armageddon, she takes shelter with her dad in an underground bunker he’d spent years preparing. After fourteen days without sun, Riley must overcome the sorrow of losing everything to save the one person she cares about most.

Review: You already know I’m a lifetime fan of Matthew Cox‘s cyberpunk, of course. This YA is a bit of a change, though. It has the apocalyptic feel, but spends the time with his main character and digs deep. It’s an emotional ride, and I highly recommend it. I can’t say much the synopsis didn’t, because I’d hate to give any spoilers. This almost borders on horror, and I highly recommend it!

Get it on Amazon!

More reviews on Goodreads.

Author Bio: Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.