Monday, December 31, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: By Any Other Name by Michel R Vaillancourt

Dear Readers,
this is the last day of 2012 and I would like to close 2012 with a review. Regularly readers know that I have a knack for steampunk. Yesterday I reviewed an epic fantasy and today you get the review of a DIAMOND in the world of STEAMPUNK books!



Introduction
On December 1st, I told you that I bought digital copies of the first two books in the  Sauder Diaries series by Michel R. Vaillancourt.
Yesterday I finished reading A Bloodier Rose (digital, 1st edition (25th October 2012) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B009NI33R2] which is the second book in the series.
And today I deliver the review of By Any Other Name (digital, 2nd edition 11th June 2012) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B008AP8VJE] which is the first book in the  Sauder Diaries series.


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:


By Any Other Name  
(digital, 2nd edition 11th June 2012) 
[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B008AP8VJE]
"A pirate-infused steampunk world, rooted in the historical fabric of Victorian Europe, in which the Crimean War ended with a stalemate and not a victory. Airships and clockwork mechanisms are the technology of the future, mad scientists and engine-driven dragons run rampant, and Russia stands tall as the supermenace overshadowing the world. Living amidst this vivid, turbulent clockwork world is Hans Sauder, a gentleman's son and German expat. While en route to University to study engineering, his airship is waylaid by the nefarious pirate ship The Bloody Rose. Confronted with a choice to either join the crew or be tossed overboard into the most volatile wilds of Europe, Hans reluctantly steps into the role of a pirate.
As he is given the kind of education no university could have prepared him for, Hans finds himself at the center of a paradoxical world, where the Captain conducts piracy with a gentleman's keen business sense, the most lethal crew members are the women, and the dark underbelly of a "peaceful" Europe is exposed at every turn.
As the story unfolds, Hans' new life is further complicated by the romantic advances of the leader of the ship's gunner-marines, a ruthless and no-nonsense woman with a chip on her shoulder. As well, Hans is perpetually dogged by a deep conflict between his sense of morals and duty to his family, and the challenges and adventure of this new life he has discovered." [Source]

My Expectations
I must say the cover and the blurb created a certain atmosphere. I expected a fast paced adventure with steam driven technology, airship battles and pirate life in a world which goes far beyond the borders of Victorian England.


The Delivery
The 253 pages of the story are divided into 14 named chapters introduced by diary entries and an epilogue.

Follow me back in time to the year 1888. Follow me to a world which differs from the world of 1888 we know from our history books. In the world of the Sauder Diaries  the Crimean War ended with a stalemate. A result of the war is a zone called Scorch Land and peoples are afraid of remains of war in form of dragons Galvanotaurs. These dragons have nothing to do with your imagination of a dragon. The dragons in the Sauder Diaries are war marauding 90,000 pounds war machines directed by an autonomous analog differential analyzer. Galvanotaurs are hand-built human war machines which means the consist of flesh, nuts and bolts.
The dominant means of transportation and in Europe, Middle East and Africa is the airship.  Of course there are also military airships.
Airships dive the sky like advanced sailing vessels. And like on the sea merchant airships are the preferred prey of pirates, air pirates.
airships are driven by steam and some use advanced engines.

The Sauder Diaries tell the story of Hans Sauder. The Sauder family left Bremen in Germany and emigrated to England. It is important to emphasize that England in the Sauder Diaries represents a lot  of what we know from Victorian England when it comes to society.
Hans is a well educated man who appreciate the Victorian society.

Hans is on board a passenger air ship on his way to the Kungliga Tekniska högskolan in Stockholm which is an airship engine design school.
Then the air ship is arrested by the infamous pirate air ship The Bloody Rose. Hans got the choice to be tossed over board or to join crew. He decided for the latter. And that is where an extraordinary steampunk adventure set sail .......

The whole story is told from Hans Sauder's point of view. Every chapter starts with a diary entry by Hans. At first you may be surprised because the content of the diary entry is like a summary of the chapter. But each diary entry is like a bait. The entry reveals just enough to force you to continue reading and it works through the whole book.
is an excellent story teller who always knows to use the right words to unfold emotions, character studies, action and technical depictions in a most entertaining way. 

The captain and the officers of The Bloody Rose is an incredible bunch of people. Very individual characters from different countries described in inimitable manner and they all develop within the story !!!!
But the most impressive character development  is delivered in the person of Hans Sauder.
The Bloody Rose is the stage, the crew members are the actors, and Michel R. Vaillancourt use each character to reflect the world (e.g. the role of women in Victorian England, in Mideast and on board) in grand style and in the microcosm of the individuals. The interaction between the crew members themselves and between the crew members and Hans Sauder is a ballet of words. The slowly but surely blossoming romance between Hans Sauder and the Russian Annika Nadezhda, who is the Captain of The Bloody Rose’s the Gunnar-Marines, is definitely the cherry on the cake. 
To be honest, I'm no fan of romance but what Michel R. Vaillancourt delivers is even for me that convincing!!
I hope you will understand that I do not give you any details about other characters like Captain Blackheart or Chief Engineer Arietta Atala, a woman of Ethiopian heritage and there roles in the game of Hans Sauder's life.
Now it is important to tell you that beyond everything told before, there is a lot of action in the air and on the ground. And furthermore you get a lot of insight how to steer an air ship and how the engines and cannons work.
It seems that every word has a meaning there is no wadding. I hope I do not ring hollow when I tell you that the British Intelligence Service has an impact on the story.

I will not dissemble that By Any Other Name ends with a kind of cliffhanger. I must say it is just the ending the book deserves and the best argument to read the next book.
Anyway I have been happy that I could continue reading with the second book, A Bloodier Rose.


By Any Other Name is one of the best steampunk debut novels I read so far.

THIS BOOK ROCKS!


Further information
There is an interview from January 2012 with over at Surly Muse.
Visit the Michel R. Vaillancourt site.
Like the Sauder Diaries on Facebook
Michel R Vaillancourt on Twitter


The book trailer

The whole instrumental from the book trailer
- The Iron Rose by The Clockwork Dolls


ENJOY READING

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Ashes of Heroes by Gabriel Archer and Jack Canaan

Dear Readers,
this is my last but one review in 2012.


Introduction
In November I posted about the book I review today.  I do not want to copy and paste the whole story. But at least you should get the facts why I decided to read and review the book.
I received a kind review request by mail. The mentioning of George R.R. Martin in the promising book description made me sceptical enough to read the first chapter before my gut feeling told me to go for this book. Be sure that I will not talk again about the mentioned author within the review.

Before I forget let me tell you that I received a digital copy of
Ashes of Heroes (digital 2012) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B009NNL4V4] from the authors Gabriel Archer & Jack Canaan which I read for this review.


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:


Ashes of Heroes (digital 2012) 
[Amazon Kindle ASIN: B009NNL4V4] 
"Everything was in place: a thousand years war waiting for a champion; a great evil was stirring in the Ash Lands; a wise priest kept an ancient prophecy; there was a reluctant hero fated to fall in love with the beautiful maiden.
Then the hero readily slaughtered an innocent village and it all went to hell...
In the ensuing mayhem – dark-alley knife fights, merciless executions, savage massacres, bloody civil war, epic battles, duels for love, cold betrayals, and hot jealousies – two men battle for the chance to lead their country to salvation. In turn, each will become savior and traitor, hero and rogue, redeemer and accuser, until there is nothing left to them except cold steel and raw humanity.
Follow the aging priest down his misguided path and witness how the fear of his mortality has stripped him of his morality, leaving nothing but an obsession of creating a hero in his own image, price be damned. Escort the morally gray, real characters, matched only by those of G.R.R. Martin's Games of Thrones, as chaste maidens become lewd whores, godly men shift into depraved killers, and hesitant heroes turn in to willing villains.
Follow the narrative’s bloody footprints, past deflowered flowery maidens, around depraved ambitions and good intentions – careful, don’t trip over the bodies - until you make a left at the dark humor, then keep going until you are steeped in the Ashes of Heroes..." [Source]

My Expectations
Based on the blurb and on the cover I expected a lot of action and intrigues accompanied by interesting characters.

The Delivery
The 275 pages of this fantasy story are divided into 21 consecutively numbered and individually named chapters. Beside that the book contains a map.

From now on every word regarding Ashes of Heroes is totally biased because I enjoyed this book so much that it was impossible for me to write a "normal" review.
Epic fantasy needs great characters as much as soup needs a pinch of salt. The characters are the linchpins of the book(s) and Ashes of Heroes is no exception.  The characters with their personality, their knowledge, their history, the wisdom, their emotions, their connections to the world around them, their dreams and wishes, are indispensable and the more unique they are, the better the story will be.
The special characters of Ashes of Heroes are the heart of the story.
You are looking for classic black and white characters? Then please don't waste your time with reading this review about a book you will hate.

Welcome to a world where nothing is like it should be.

Listen to an 800 years old story teller which appears when Renz is drunk.
Renz is a young soldier who tries to escape the boredom in a border fort by using his charm to bed women first before thinking about consequences. But he is also much more. He is a defender of his brother and a dreamer of a grander life. He is a reluctantly pawn in a greater game. His development and his decisions have a great impact on the story. The Renz from the beginning of the story has nearly nothing in common with the Renz at the end of the story.
Of course there are a lot more characters. The depths of their characterization depends on their importance. But be sure they all show enough substance to think about their actions and reactions.
There are two more characters who need to be described a bit more.
The following prophecy is the fate of Jindar-UI Xanor also known as Xan:
"Five hundred years shall pass from the Silver Tiger's retreat.
From the peerless darkness,
He emerges, bringing shadows.
They cloud judgment, they vanquish spirit,
And destroy honor.
Yet these things will surround him,
For his destiny is to shadow the darkness, and light he will ekhal."

Year after year he is searching for the one and only hero. He collects disappointments like pearls on a chain. Follow Xan and witness the impact of an unfulfilled prophecy. How wise it is to manipulate someone to become the promised hero? I talk about Loar who likes to build castles in the air and who is convinced that you can do good things with a sword.

There is no way out that these characters cross their paths.

Now let's have a look at the world. There are political, military and religious fractions in the known world bonded on the surface by the common enemy "existing" in the region called the Ashes. But there is much more brooding in between the fractions. Treason, conspiracy, envy, striving for power and vanity are not unknown.

Action? Of course there is action with blood and gore. But the real danger lay inside the characters. Scared and burned souls can lead to the edge of the apocalypse and therefore be much more dangerous than armies and other beings. 
The inner thoughts of some of the characters will be crawling up your spine and show you how gorgeous a goose flesh can be.

The authors Gabriel Archer & Jack Canaan are definitely gifted writers. They found the right words for every situation and sometimes it is getting poetic.

I never read such an impressive and imaginative prosaic depiction about passing water (page 34 and 35)!  KUDOS!


What a great first book in a series! Unbelievable that Ashes of Heroes did not find its way to a big publisher.

Ashes of Heroes is a book which does not need to shy away from comparison with other well known epic fantasy books.

Ashes of Heroes = synonym for poetic, abysmal, gorgeous and terrifying epic fantasy




Further information
Anyway I recommend to visit the official Heroes of Ashes site. The authors show a certain kind of humor. Just read what they tell about themselves.



"Captain Gabriel Archer, IX, Ph. D., Esq. is a world-class lothario. There is a high probability that he slept with your wife or – if you are a beautiful woman – you. Mr. Archer is an expert marksman and can shoot an a amoeba off a fly’s head. He practices law in NYC for fun. He is the first sword of the Empire. He endorses self-reliance over political candidates. His hobbies include your wife (or, quite possibly, you, Mrs. Dear Reader); writing realistic magicalism, a genre he single-handedly invented with co-author and sidekick, Jack Canaan; creating fictitious and utterly true autobiographies; and breathlessly staring at the mirror. He has an advance doctorate in armchair philosophy and has spent years learning to make armchairs from Buddhist monks high in Himalayan mountains. He looks striking in a tuxedo. Although warned many times not to, he went there. He also discovered Martha’s Vineyard in 1602." [Source]

"Sir Jack Canaan ibn Hatzel, Sr., M.D. is a world-class lothario. There is a high probability that he slept with one of the women you know, or - if you are that woman - you. He is so pleasant that imaginary friends invented him for company. Dr. Canaan has worked for every single intelligence agency in the world, often double- and triple-crossing himself to the point that he remained loyal. He is a veteran of the First Angelic War and the Second Lebanese War. His hobbies include pleasing dear readers; writing realistic magicalism, a genre he single-handedly invented with co-author and sidekick, Gabriel Archer; ripping wings off angels; and unmasking hypocrisies. Ancient Canaan is named after him. He once had a date with destiny, but stood her up in favor of a ménage à trois with fate and karma. He does everything better naked." [Source]

ENJOY READING

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1253

Hello and welcome to issue #1253 of Edi's Weekend Wave which is the last one  ..... in 2012.
I'm sorry to say, that you will not get rid of me and my blog which looks a bit old fashioned. I know there are new gadgets available but I tend to stick to my format.
I hope you will visit my blog in 2013 as regularly as you did in 2012.
Despite that I hope and wish for myself to deliver more reviews.
And I hope and wish 2013 will see you healthy, full of dreams and ideas and the power to do what you want to do. 

ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost
The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB


  1. Reading progress
  2. Best of 2012?
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. A history book
  2. Awesome giveaway
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Reading Advice
  2. Travel Posters
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Reviving Redwood

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Madness

The Lighthouse

Now there are two days left to finish reading my 80th book in 2012! I'm quite happy with the number of books. But I read less pages than in 2011 which shows that the number of books is relative. Nevertheless I did not expect to reach 80 books because there have been weeks where I read nearly nothing. In sum I read 626 pages last week.


I finished

- Time's Arrow (pb, 13th of November 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1781080634] by Jonathan Green which is the latest book in the world of PAX BRITANNIA....


- By Any Other Name (digital, 2nd edition 11th June 2012) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B008AP8VJE] by Michel R. Vaillancourt
I liked the first book in the  Sauder Diaries series a lot. This is steampunk plus pirates and more.



I'm

- 52 pages in The Victorian Tailor (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0312642334] by Jason Maclochlainn

This is definitely a great book when you want to learn something about tailoring in Victorian area

- 222 pages in Burton & Swinburne series.
Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1616145354] by Mark Hodder
I resumed reading ...

- 56 pages in an unpublished book. Mark Lord, an UK based writer, asked me if I could read his new novel and tell him if the story is understandable and makes sense. It is historical fiction set in England ...

- 82 pagesin A Bloodier Rose (digital, 1st edition (25th October 2012) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B009NI33R2] by Michel R. Vaillancourt
This is the second book in the  Sauder Diaries series.


As I wrote before I read 80 books in 2012. When you look around, you see a lot of best 2012 books list. This year I decided against such a list. But I will write a bit about my likes and dislikes within next month.

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

I'm still interested in history which explain why I buy history books from time to time like today where I found a digital copy of The Knights Templar: The History and Myths of the Legendary Military Order (digital, 19th October 2011) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007BPLTO8] by Sean Martin for just 99 EUR cents. It is a short book with just 160 pages but I hope it will deliver the main facts.
"The Knights Templar were the most powerful military religious order of the Middle Ages. Formed to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land, they participated in the Crusades and rapidly gained wealth, lands and influence and were answerable to none save the Pope himself. In addition to having a fearful military reputation, they were also Christendom's first bankers, and invented the modern banking system that is still in use today, and were also involved in exploration and engineering. Seemingly untouchable for nearly two centuries, the Templars fell from grace spectacularly after the loss of the Holy Land: in 1307, all Templars in France were arrested on charges of heresy, homosexuality, denial of the cross and devil worship. The order was suppressed by the Pope in 1312, and Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master, was burnt at the stake as a heretic two years later.
The myth of the Templars was born and in the ensuing seven centuries, they have exerted a unique influence over European history: orthodox historians see them as nothing more than soldier-monks whose arrogance was their ultimate undoing, while others see them as occultists of the first order, the founders of Freemasonry, possessors of the Holy Grail and creators of the Turin Shroud. Sean Martin considers both the orthodox and conspiratorial version of events, and includes the latest revelations from the Vatican Library." [Source]


Would you like to win a set of Courtney Schafer's 
The Whitefire Crossing (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1597802833] and   The Tainted City (pb, October, 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1597802833].

Then I recommend to visit Pat's Fantasy Hotlist by following THIS LINK.

Over there you also find the blurbs of both books.


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere
Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

When it comes to reading a  series, I like to get an advice in which order it makes sense to read the books. I still belong to the people who read only the first book in the  Malazan Empire series. Fortunately ther are blogs like The Wertzone, which give advicein this matter. So you want to know in whoch order to read the books by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont then have a look at

Can you imagine fantasy and science fiction without travel? How would fantasy and science fiction related retro travel posters look like? One result is shown over at WebUrbanist. Have a look at



That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies
Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

Instead of a movie trailer I show another CGI short movie. For me this short movie fits to the near end of the year. It is a bit melancholic but also offers a new beginning.


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

I never learned Latin but I also did not conquer the world ...


"The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin.
Heinrich Heine, German critic & poet (1797 - 1856)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1252

Hello and welcome to issue #1252 of Edi's Weekend Wave which is the last but one issue in 2012.
It has been a good week for me and the blog till Thursday evening. Then cough and running nose returned. I can't remember the last time when I got it twice in one month. It is annoying and hinders me to enjoy my days off.


ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost
The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB


  1. Reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. Three books for free
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Bonsai Art
  2. Giant Robots
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Merry Christmas

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Madness

The Lighthouse

What a great week. I posted three reviews and I finished three books! In sum I read 769 pages.


I finished

- King of Thorns (pb, 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0007481897] by Mark Lawrence
An excellent read.

- Sea of Crises (digital and pb, April 2012) [ASIN: B007QYPU8U; ISBN-13: 978-0985401405] by Marty Steere
I liked it a lot. Read my review.

- Invaded: The Darkest Day (digital, July 2012) [ASIN: B008QDDSBG] by by Rosalie Skinner
This is the fifth book in the amazing The Chronicles of Caleath series.

I'm

- 95 pages in Time's Arrow (pb, 13th of November 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1781080634] by Jonathan Green which is the latest book in the world of PAX BRITANNIA....




Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

Incredible! I "survived" another week without buying a book!
BUT I got three books for free.
Thanks to Civilian Reader where I spotted following information.
I hope the offer is still valid. You have to try.

As you can see, the world is still turning. There has been no apocalypse.
Night Shade Books celebrates the WE SURVIVED! giveaway.


You can get a free digital copy of following three books:

SEED (digital, November 2011) [Kindle ASIN: B006QO19X6] by Rob Ziegler.
"It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants -starving masses of nomads who seek out a living in desert wastelands and encampments outside government seed-distribution warehouses.
In this new world, there is a new power. Satori is more than just a corporation, she is an intelligent, living city that grew out of the ruins of Denver. Satori bioengineers both the climate-resistant seed that feeds a hungry nation, and her own post-human genetic Designers, Advocates, and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori seed; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use Satori seed to the nation's starving citizens.
When one of Satori's Designers goes rogue, Agent Sienna Doss-Ex-Army Ranger turned glorified bodyguard-is tasked by the government to bring her in: The government wants to use the Designer to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and reassert themselves as the center of power.
Sianna Doss's search for the Designer intersects with Brood and his younger brother Pollo - orphans scrapping by on the fringes of the wastelands. Pollo is abducted, because he is believed to suffer from Tet, a newly emergent disease, the victims of which are harvested by Satori.
As events spin out of control, Brood and Sienna Doss find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive climax promises to reshape the future of the world." [Source]


Osiris (digital, February 2013 !!) [Kindle ASIN: B00AQK80N8] by E. J. Swift,which is the first book in the The Osiris Project series.
"Osiris is a lost city. She has lost the world and the world has lost her.
Adelaide Rechnov wealthy socialite and granddaughter of the Architect, spends her time in pointless luxury, rebelling against her family in a series of jaded social extravagances and scandals until her twin brother disappears in mysterious circumstances.
Vikram Bai lives in the Western Quarter, home to the poor decedents of storm refugees and effectively quarantined from the wealthy elite. His people live with cold and starvation, but the brutal winter coming promises civil unrest, and a return to the riots of previous years.
Brought together by circumstance and fate, these two very different people attempt to bridge the divide lurking at the heart of Osiris, but who is using whom, and what secrets will they uncover" [Source]

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (digital, December 2007) [Kindle ASIN: B005M9430W] by John Joseph Adams.
"Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon — these are our guides through the Wastelands...
From the Book of Revelation to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one of the most challenging and enduring themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse.
Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction — including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King — Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders.
Complete with introductions and an indispensable appendix of recommendations for further reading, Wastelands delves into this bleak landscape, uncovering the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.
Contains the following stories:
Introduction by John Joseph Adams
The End of the Whole Mess by Stephen King
Salvage by Orson Scott Card
The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi
Bread and Bombs by M. Rickert
How We Got In Town and Out Again by Jonathan Lethem Dark,
Dark Were the Tunnels by George R. R. Martin
Waiting for the Zephyr by Tobias S. Buckell
Never Despair by Jack McDevitt
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth by Cory Doctorow
The Last of the O-Forms by James Van Pelt
Still Life With Apocalypse by Richard Kadrey
Artie’s Angels by Catherine Wells
Judgment Passed by Jerry Oltion
Mute by Gene Wolfe
Inertia by Nancy Kress
And the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth Bear
Speech Sounds by Octavia E. Butler
Killers by Carol Emshwiller
Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus by Neal Barrett, Jr.
The End of the World as We Know It by Dale Bailey
A Song Before Sunset by David Grigg
Episode Seven... by John Langan
Appendix: For Further Reading" [Source]


AND THAT IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

Email stillhere[at]nightshadebooks[dot]com and you’ll receive an auto response from Night Shade Books with a username, password and link to our download site where you’ll be able to download the .epub or .mobi files of three of Night Shade’s most exciting and appropriately apocalyptic titles: Seed by Rob Zeigler, Osiris by E.J. Swift, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams. ("at" and "dot" added) 


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere
Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

I really like bonsai trees. Maybe I found an alternative over at the WebUrbanist. Have a look at




I think most of us know giant robots from movies. But over at Dark Roasted Blend you find the proof that you can find them around the world. You do not bleive me? Then have a look at


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies
Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.



Instead of a movie trailer I want wish all my readers a MERRY CHRISTMAS with the following video:


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

If you do not know what glucose is then click HERE ..........

"Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250
Harper's Index, October 1989

Friday, December 21, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Sea of Crises by Marty Steere


Dear Readers,
sometimes it is my gut feeling which decides whether I read a book or not. On December 12th I received a review request which I read and replied on December 16th. And today I present you the review of this book. I must say that is quite unusual for me. But my review will justify why it is good to trust the gut feeling from time to time.


Introduction
 Author Marty Steere sent me a review request for his debut novel Sea of Crises. I read the book description within the mail and my gut feeling told me to read and review Sea of Crises.  I replied and within a day I received a digital copy of the book, which used for this review.
Author Marty Steere  is
"The son of a career air force officer, Marty Steere grew up on or near military installations across the country and overseas before settling in Southern California, where, when he's not writing, he practices law. Sea of Crises is his first novel. His second, Defian Heart, is slated for release in early 2013". [Information sent by mail]


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:


Sea of Crises (digital and pb, April 2012)
[ASIN: B007QYPU8U; ISBN-13: 978-0985401405]
"That shouldn't be here.
Those are the last words uttered by Commander Bob Cartwright in September 1976, just before all communication with the crew of Apollo 18 is inexplicably lost during the astronauts' first moonwalk. Frantic attempts to re-establish communications with the astronauts are unsuccessful. Three days later, however, as NASA is scrambling to put together a rescue mission, astronomers detect a burn of the service propulsion system, and, on schedule, but still in eerie silence, the command module begins its return transit, culminating in the welcome sight of the capsule descending majestically beneath a trio of parachutes into the South Pacific. But when the hatch is opened, the navy divers tasked with assisting the astronauts into the recovery helicopter make a gruesome discovery. The bodies of the three men inside have been burned beyond recognition, victims of a failed heat shield. And with them has died any chance of learning the meaning of Cartwright's enigmatic last statement or what transpired during those three blacked out days in the Mare Crisium, or Sea of Crises. Unfortunately, unless and until man returns to the moon, it's a mystery that will remain forever unsolved. Or will it?
Thirty-six years later, Cartwright's sons make a shocking discovery: The capsule that came down in the Pacific Ocean with three charred remains was not their father's capsule. And the body they buried all those years before was not their father. What they've uncovered puts the three brothers on the run, chased by a ruthless group who will stop at nothing to preserve the secret behind the fate of the Apollo 18 astronauts. The brothers will need to set aside past differences and pool their talents if they are to stay alive and unravel the mystery behind what really happened in the Sea of Crises." [Source]

My Expectations
A book related to the Apollo 18 mission. When you look at the
The Apollo program, you will notice that the official Apollo 18 mission has been canceled. So I expected a fast paced thriller including science fiction elements, historical elements, a touch of mystery and to forget conspiracy and revelations.


The Delivery
The 232 pages of the story are divided into three greater parts which are divided into 17 consecutively numbered chapters. The book ends with a note from the author.

The title of the book - Sea of Crises - is the English name of the lunar mare Mare Crisium and it is one of the main settings of the story.
The importance of the moon setting is expressed by the fact that a third of the action takes place on the moon. I can't deliver any detail because the would mean to destroy your reading pleasure.
But I can assure you that this part of the book is breathtaking from several points of view: The action itself, the action under low gravity, the twist and turns. The description is that good that at times I thought I have been on the moon myself. Gravitation has a great impact on the action. Do you know how much you would weigh on the moon? This moon weight calculator can answer your question.
I must admit that this part of the book is a real highlight. It takes me a lot of power to hinder myself to tell you more about it.

Fortunately I can tell you a bit more about the rest of the book. While reading the book you get sometimes the impression that several scenes and characters look like stereotype. I think that has something to do with the subject conspiracy. On the one hand there is always at least one person who wants to discover the truth and on the other hand there is mostly an organization which try to hinder the person. Of course author Marty Steere could not escape this dilemma. But he used it in an intelligent way. He combined the conspiracy theme with other themes like friendship, fraternal strife, love, trust, ethical values.

There is a lot of action in the book which always find a counterpart in inner thoughts and character exploration. I still remember a passage in the book where the author described the last seconds of a basketball game. I did not want to read that at this time because I wanted to know how the story continues. But in the end I understood, that this scene delivered an insight on some of the characters.

I know that all sounds a bit vague but every word more would give away far too much of this splendid story.

The book is well structured, The prose fits well and it is nearly impossible to stop reading. It is a real page turner.

I highly recommend Sea of Crises to everyone who likes to read an excellent conspiracy thriller with an exquisite mystery:
Discover on earth what happened on the moon!






For more information about the book please visit the official site of Marty Steere where you will find a  Sea of Crises Q&A.


FOR FREE: Princess Soraya and The Secret Order of Maracanda

Dear Readers,

Between the first and second book of the Varangian trilogy Sabine Atkins ended up with a new idea.

"While creating the background for Edric, the hero in my "Varangian" book series, I ended up with wanting to write a Young Adult novel as well, but with a female main character and written for a predominantly young female audience." [Source]

Since a couple of weeks the first result is availablae in form of Princess Soraya and The Secret Order of Maracanda  (eBook , 2012) [ASIN: B00946EZX4] which is the first book in the Princess Soraya Adventures series.

"A girl of noble birth falls in love with a strikingly handsome warrior, who is both angel and demon ...
Princess Soraya is the daughter of the sultan of Maracanda, a bustling city on the Silk Road, one of the most important trading routes of the Middle Ages. Her careless life is interrupted when she goes on an ill-fated journey with her father, and her life is saved by Edric.
As if being overwhelmed by all her new feelings for a boy trained to become a merciless killer isn't enough, Soraya soon finds out that the sultan's trusted alchemist is involved in the dangerous endeavors of a secret group of alchemists and jinn.
This confronts Soraya and Edric with a choice between giving in to their growing desire for each other or saving a splendid city from destruction." [Source]

As a regularly reader of the blog you know, that I normally do not read YA novels. So why do I post about this book?

The reason is quite simple. I'm a fan of the Varangian trilogy by Sabine Atkins - review of Varangian: The Stone of Babylon, review of Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus -  and I thought it would be a good idea to show you, that there are more stories starring Edric the Varangian.

AND TODAY - December 21, 2012 - YOU CAN GET Princess Soraya and The Secret Order of Maracanda  FOR FREE.






Thursday, December 20, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Grave is the Day by Michael Drakich

Dear Readers,
In the past days I recharged my battery and work on reviews with new verve.  Today I present you one of the reviews I promised to deliver until end of 2012.

Introduction
In August I reviewed the fantasy novel The Brotherhood of Piaxia by Michael Drakich.
Recently the author came back to me with a new novel. I expected fantasy and so I have been surprised when I read the blurb of Grave is the Day because it sounded a lot more like science fiction. Anyway I have been intrigued enough to give the book a try. And that is what I think about Grave is the Day.


Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:


Grave is the Day (digital, my edition October 2012)
[Smashwords] [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007KPS442]
[Paperback, ISBN-13: 978-0983129707]
"In October of 1957, more than Sputnik fell to Earth...Set against the back drop of the Space Race and the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union have a new issue to deal with: ALIENS.The Braannoo and the Muurgu are at war with each other and Earth becomes the newest battleground for their struggle. The capture of aliens near small town USA unites three players from different quarters, Commander Kraanox of the Braannoo, First Lieutenant Way Bucknell as his captor and seven year old Justin Spence, the first to make alien contact." [Source]

My Expectations
Based on the blurb and on the cover I expected a character driven story with action and twists and turns.

The Delivery
The 225 pages of the story are divided into 46 consecutively numbered chapters.
I do not know how Michael Drakich did it but when you read the book you get the impression the story is definitely longer.
Maybe one of the reason is the time span covered in the book - one average human life.

As you could read in the description this is one more book about aliens who discover earth. Fortunately it differs from all the stories I know about aliens on earth.

Aliens - aren't they these little green men in flying saucers? I think that has been a well known imagination in the 1950s. Michael Drakich has been clever enough to ignore that picture. His aliens look like humans.
And he went further. Like the Cold War on earth the Braannoo and the Muurgu from planet Traanu are at war with each other. The difference is that they use real weapons instead of saber-rattling.
The space ship crash is the result of a space ship battle which brings the Braannoo  Kraanox to an unscheduled visit of planet Earth. Kraanox is one of the main characters. Due to former studies he knows a lot more about earth and its inhabitants than vice versa. Of course the injured Kraanox tries to escape the military but that is just a delay of his arrest. Anyway there is time in enough to introduce the next main character, seven year old Justin Spence. He is the first one to meet an alien which he can't identify as an alien. Justin offers Kraanox a piece of carrot cake. A gesture which has an impact of the rest of the story. Finally Kraanox is arrested by First Lieutenant Way Bucknell, who is the third main character. So we have an alien, a boy and an officer. What a great mix! Each of them shows an own personality and they develop within the story which revolves around these three characters.

The rest of the story we follow these three individuals and author Michael Drakich does a great job to connect the characters with the ongoing history of earth and Traanu. It is fascinating to read how events on earth are related to the Braannoo and the Muurgu.
Furthermore the story leads in a completely other direction as I expected. I can't tell you more without spoilers but at the end of the story you will know why Michael Drakich did it this way.
I admit that I have had doubts around the middle of the book but they proved to be unsubstantiated.

At first sight is Grave is the Day a enjoyable science fiction story. But there is so much more which depends on the attention of the reader to be discovered. Do you really know what it means to live in a democracy? Do you really understand the concept of friendship? Do you know why it is so important to have moralities? 
Read Grave is the Day and you get answers to these question. No, no, no, Grave is the Day is far beyond to be a handbook for humanity but it breathe values in the way the main characters act and cope with their surrounding. All this will be revealed to you when you start to think about the story a day after you have finished the book.

Grave is the Day is a pleasure to read. It delivers action, emotion, fun, character development, historical events or in one word it is entertaining. But it is so much more. While you read and enjoy something infiltrate your brain, your thoughts, like a slow burning black powder fuse. And the day after you finished the book, the democracy, friendship, moralities "bomb" explode in your head. Please excuse this martial picture. It is the humble try to explain to you what happened to me.

This is my short and handy summary of Grave is the Day:
Enjoyable science fiction with a thoughtful afterburner

In case you missed critical notes: I delivered none.

From my point of view Grave is the Day by Michael Drakich is a great gift for Christmas, Easter, Birthday and so on.


ENJOY READING

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus by Sabine Atkins

Dear Readers,
the end of December 2012 is coming nearer and I still have not posted a single review in this month. That will change today. Regularly readers will know which review you will get today. This is the next episode in a story which took its origin in August 2011. The first episode ended with

Edi's Spotlight: Varangian: The Stone of Babylon by Sabine Atkins


Introduction
On November 17th 2012 I wrote about the next episode which will end today with the review of the second book in the series, Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus (e-book and pb, 2012) [Amazon Kindle, ASIN:B00A6UY3S4] by  Sabine Atkins.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:


Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus (e-book and pb, 2012) [ASIN:B00A6UY3S4] [ISBN-13: 978-1481003278]


"They had survived for centuries ... Now they didn't know whether they would survive the next second.
Two heroes, two different worlds - and not a lot of time left to prevent their destruction!
In the second part of the VARANGIAN trilogy, one of Edric's former enemies, medieval knight Count Baldwin, who inadvertently ended up in the supernatural realm of Teneo Mundus, is confronted with protecting a small group of refugees in a world he perceives as true hell.
On Earth, Edric is juggling the tasks of defending himself against assassins from Teneo Mundus, finding the artifacts which help him stop the destruction of both this world and Earth, and traveling with two smart, beautiful women whose characters are constantly on opposite sides." [Source


My Expectations
I read the 248 pages of Varangian: The Stone of Babylon in three days and liked it a lot. Of course I expected that Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus will continue on that level without dropping into the well known second book in a series malaise.

The Delivery
First thing I noticed was the increased number of pages! The 376 pages of Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus are divided into a prologue and ten named and consecutively numbered chapters. Unbelievable but true, I read the book in three days!

I do not want to repeat the book description which is at the same time a summary of the story.

Let us have a look at the two parallel running story lines. On Earth the Anglo-Saxon Edric has to cope with a world  which looks quite different compared to the Byzantine Empire he comes from. Fortunately he is not alone. His quest is to find the parts for the key to open a "door" to the  supernatural realm of Teneo Mundus, a world where the enemy prepares for the final fight. In order to hinder respectively kill Edric, the assassins of Teneo Mundus are sent to earth.
That means the earth story line is head most a travel, hunt and fight story. There is a lot of tough action and it is good to see that Edric even with his supernatural berserkrgang need the help from other.

Edric is still the character as known from Varangian: The Stone of Babylon. But author Sabine Atkins offers more insight to Edric's inner life - the impact of his dreams, the emotional roller coaster when it comes to relationship with women, emerging doubts  and more. It is also good to see that people like Caren, Renata and Kevin are much more than prompters without soul and brain. The relationship between these characters has a direct impact on the story.
The fights versus the assassins are impressive and it is not always predictable if all characters will survive or not. Fortunately author Sabine Atkins did not forget that a slight smile from time to time is welcomed.

The most impressive devlopment compared to Varangian: The Stone of Babylon is the indroduction of the realm of Teneo Mundus with the character of the medieval knight Count Baldwin. I admit that Count Baldwin is my favorite character in Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus. Baldwin, Edric's human antagonist, thrown into a distant world which has not much in common with the world he knows. Sabine Atkins takes time to introduce Baldwin and his intellectual world to the reader. It is one of the highlights to see the development of Baldwin. A knight with principles and a plain view of the enemy in form of Edric turns into a man who takes a stand again the inhabitants of Teneo Mundus and the evil Henry Delion. At first unintended he supports Edric while protecting other survivors of the Byzantine Empire. A medieval knight with a heart and soul buried deep, deep, deep in the fathom of his intellect.
With Count Baldwin the story got an impressive counterweight to Edric.
I can't wait to see when they will meet the first time on Teneo Mundus.


I can assure you that Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus did not drop into the well known second book in a series malaise.

Honestly I have nothing to criticize.
Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus delivered more entertaining  pages than expected.
Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus introduced a new main character with a fascinating development.
Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus continues the story on a high level.
Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus prepared everything for the final book in the trilogy.


Varangian: The Assassins of Teneo Mundus is an excellent fantasy story full of action and emotion, inner thoughts, two worlds and great character development.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Historical Fiction for free: Catching the Eagle by Karen Charlton

Dear Readers,

do you like historical fiction? Do you like 19th century England?
Would you like to get a novel based on a true story for free?

Then I have something interesting for you!
I talk about Catching the Eagle (2011) [available in hardcover = ISBN-13: 978-1908483034; in paperback = ISBN-13: 978-1908483041 and in Kindle format =ASIN: B006IBBNT2] by Karen Charlton, which is the first novel in the Regency Reivers Series.
"Easter Monday, 1809: Kirkley Hall manor house is mysteriously burgled. When suspicion falls on Jamie Charlton, he and his family face a desperate battle to save him from the gallows.
When £1,157 rent money is stolen from Kirkley Hall, it is the biggest robbery Northumberland has ever known. The owner sends for Stephen Lavender, a principal officer with the Bow Street magistrate’s court in London, to investigate the crime. Suspicion soon falls on impoverished farm labourer, Jamie Charlton, and the unpopular steward, Michael Aynsley.
Jamie Charlton is a loving family man but he is hot-tempered and careless. As the case grows against him, it seems that only his young brother, William, can save him from an impending miscarriage of justice. But William is struggling with demons of his own. Desperate to break free from the tangled web of family ties which bind him to their small community, he is alarmed to find that he is falling in love with Jamie’s wife." [Source]
Following video delivers the background of the story:

You can read the prologue and the first chapter over at the author's site.

Today you can download the Kindle edition for free!!
I don't know how long the offer will be valid. So hurry up if you want a copy.





Go! Grab your copy now and then return to this post.
I have something more to tell.


In Catching the Eagle you meet Detective Stephen Lavender and his  sidekick, Constable Woods.
Both are the main characters of the new Detective Lavender Mystery series. The first book in the series, The missing Heiress [Hardcover = ISBN-13: 978-1908483706; Kindle = ASIN: B00AJA8HYM] has been released on 6th of December 2012.
"Northumberland, November 1809: A menacing figure stalks women through Hareshaw Woods and a beautiful, young heiress disappears from her locked bedchamber.
The townsfolk cry 'witchcraft' and the local constabulary are baffled. Helen Carnaby's worried uncle sends for help from Bow Street magistrates' court in London. Detective Stephen Lavender and Constable Woods now face their toughest and most dangerous assignment. Convinced, at first, that this is just a simple case of a young woman eloping with a lover, Lavender and Woods are alarmed to discover a sinister, murderous world of madness, violence and secrets lurking behind the heavy oak door of the ancient pele tower at Linn Hagh. Why did Helen Carnaby flee on that wintry October night? How did she get out of her locked bed chamber? And where is she now?
Hindered by Helen's uncooperative siblings, distracted by gypsies, rebellious farmers, highwaymen and an attractive and feisty Spanish senora, Helen Carnaby's disappearance is to prove one of the most perplexing mysteries of Lavender's career." [Source]
In order to celebrate the launch of The missing Heiress, author Karen Charlton is running a competition which closes December 31st 2012.
With a little bit of luck you can win a signed copy of The missing Heiress.

In order to take part, visit the author's site and follow the instructions. 
GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave issue #1251


Hello and welcome to issue #1251 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
After last week I feel like a balloon which lost nearly all air. As a result I needed more sleep which had of course an impact on all my plans for the weekend. Anyway with some delay I deliver the next issue of the Weekend Wave.


ENJOY READING ....

Edi's Guidepost
The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB


  1. Reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. An international giveaway
  2. A short story to read for free
  3. Between Dark & Light by D. A. Adams
  4. A Book for 2013
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. 3D Book Sculptures
  2. Edwardian Advent Calendar
Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Hobbit Video Log Part 10

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Madness

The Lighthouse

There was not much time for reading last week. I was happy that I could finish one book and continue reading another book. In sum I read 284 pages.


I finished

- The Water Room (digital 2010) [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B003M5IKTS] by Christopher Fowler.
I love Bryant & May. I look forward to read the next eight books of the series.

I'm

- 406 pages in King of Thorns (pb, 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0007481897] by Mark Lawrence
At least a progress of 71 pages. I hope to finish the book until Christmas ...


Next book on the list is

- Time's Arrow (pb, 13th of November 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1781080634] by Jonathan Green which is the latest book in the world of PAX BRITANNIA.

Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

I bought NO book last week!! A wise decision when I look at all the unread paperbacks and digital copies.

As mentioned above, Time's Arrow (pb, 13th of November 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1781080634] by Jonathan Green will be my next read.

"Paris. City of lights. City of lovers. City of dreams. Yet if one man gets his way its inhabitants will soon be forced to endure a nightmare such as they have never known.
But dandy detective and Hero of the British Empire Ulysses Quicksilver is determined to get in his way; although he has problems of his own to deal with first before he can try to rescue the French capital from its earth-shattering fate.
Arriving at a murder scene - with the dead man's blood on his hands - Ulysses is forced to go on the run, so that he might track down the real killer. His intention: to clear his good name, and get back to England in one piece and as quickly as possible; for the love of his life is about to take a most ill-advised trip to the Moon.
But that might be easier said than done, for the terrorist known only as '-Le Papillon' is preparing to bring chaos to the capital.
When a butterfly flaps its wings, a wise man prepares for stormy weather. And with Ulysses Quicksilver involved, it's bound to be the worst storm on record" [Source]

Would you like to win a copy? Then take part in the
GIVEAWAY : Jonathan Green - Time's Arrow (Pax Britannia)
over at Upcoming4.me. This giveaway is open internationally until 22nd December, 2012.

So far I read the first to books in the Bryant and May Mystery series by Christopher Fowler. There is an excellent article about the series by the author himself which I recommend to read if you are interested in the books.
Maybe you would like to read a short story for free. Then you should visit 
Dead Good Christmas Slays: An exclusive short story from Christopher Fowler
and read  Bryant & May On The Beat.


In summer 2012 I read the first three books in  The Brotherhood of Dwarves series by D. A. Adams.I enjoyed The Brotherhood of Dwarves, Red Sky at Dawn and The Fall of Dorkhun. All books have been published by Seventh Star Press. As regularly readers know, I have a certain relationship to author Stephen Zimmer and also to Seventh Star Press.
Therefore I would like to share with you following information directly from Seventh Star Press.

"For Immediate Release December 14, 2012
Seventh Star Press is proud to reveal the new cover art from Bonnie Wasson for the highly-anticipated Between Dark and Light, D.A. Adams’ fourth book in the acclaimed Brotherhood of Dwarves Series.
The editor for the new fantasy novel was Philip Hopkins, who handled the editing duties for the previous title in the series, The Fall of Dorkhun.
Between Dark and Light continues the adventures of the dwarf Roskin, and the stakes have never been greater. The Great Empire has surrounded the Kiredurks and are preparing to conquer the kingdom, but unknown to them, Kwarck, the mysterious hermit of the plains, has his own plan in action. To the east, he has summoned an elven army and charged Crushaw with leading them into battle. To the south, Roskin will gather an army from the fractured Ghaldeon lands. But to the west, an ancient and powerful evil stirs. The Great War is about to errupt, if Roskin can overcome the Dark One…
The character-driven fantasy series which begins with The Brotherhood of Dwarves, and was continued with Red Sky at Dawn and The Fall of Dorkhun, has seen a steady growth in its international readership, becoming one of the best-selling franchises at Seventh Star Press. Between Dark and Light will be released in eBook, softcover, and limited hardcover editions.
All editions will include interior illustrations from the award-winning Bonnie Wasson, whose cover art for the first book in the series, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, won the Artist Choice Award for Best Warrior at the 2012 Dragon*Con Art Show.
The eBook version will be available on Kindle and Nook in the coming week, followed by the softcover edition. A pre-order window for the 75 copy limited hardcover will be announced shortly.
A blog tour in support of Between Dark and Light will be taking place in February/March of 2013.
For further information on the Brotherhood of Dwarves Series, Seventh Star Press, and its titles, please visit Seventh Star Press, or the author’s site." [Source]


A few days ago I came in contact with author Michael J. Martinez. His first novel will be published in May 2013 AND I'm on the reviewer list!
The Daedalus Incident (pb, 7th of May 2013) [ISBN-13: 978-1597804721] by Michael J. Martinez. The book is available for pre-order on several sites. For details please visit following site which will be updated by the author regularly.
I saw the cover, read the description and knew immediately that I must read and review The Daedalus Incident.
"Mars is supposed to be dead…a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.
Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its lucrative mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation — and, inexplicably, a 300-year-old journal.
Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.
With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.
Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!" [Source]

No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere
Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

After a while the time has come again to recommend a post over at the WebUrbanist. This post is definitely for people who like books, stories and art. Don't hesitate to visit



The number of online advent calendars is growing. I must say that year after year I follow less. But a few days ago, I discovered a very special online advent calendar. There are no doors to be opened and the only things you can win is entertainment and knowledge. London is my favorite town and the blog Ian Visits is my favorite blog about London. Ian does a great job by telling news about London and sharing information about the history of London. This year he runs a calendar
"... based on adverts printed in the newspaper during the month of December exactly 100 years ago – in 1912, the Edwardian era.
Each day I will display an advert from my collection of the Illustrated London News for your delight." [Source]
What a wonderful idea! I like it a lot. Have a look and decide on your own if this advent calendar is worth to visit each day. Start your visit here:
An Edwardian Advent Calendar – 1st Dec

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......


Movies
Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.



When everything goes well, my wife and I will see The Hobbit on Monday evening. We decided to go for the 2D version. In the past months I posted all the parts of the videolog by Peter Jackson. So I think today is the right time to show you the 10th part.


That's all for today. See you next time....

Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

I think you know why I chose this quote .......

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schulz, US cartoonist (1922 - 2000)
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