Monday, February 28, 2011


Here is my review of 300 Nights by Kriss Perras running waters who was featured on this blog earlier this month

Review: 300 Nights by Kriss Perras Running Waters

If one was to take a coin called ‘unfettered creativity’ and casually toss it into the air, this particular coin would have two distinct sides…science fiction on one and fantasy fiction on the other. These are two genres that allow the writer total and unencumbered freedom when crafting not only their story, but the environment in which that story will be told. Personally, I have a deep passion for fantasy fiction and a natural affinity for the genre’s sensibilities, but the same can not be said for science fiction, in that I enjoy reading and watching the genre, but I doubt I could write it well. Having admitted that, I can say that I do truly enjoy the science fiction and some of the great works it’s produced over the years.

300 Nights is what is described by the author as a Cyber punk thriller and the first of a projected trilogy.

I don’t particularly like spoilers as a review element and so I will confine this review to a story overview and my impression of the way in which Ms. Running Waters crafted the work. 300 Nights is set in the future (though with the ever increasing pace of technological development, possibly not that far into the future) and deals with the apocalyptic consequences of a massive solar flare and ELE meteor storm that essentially decimates the planet. The dire circumstances this extinction level meteor storm creates are further exacerbated by the fact that the bolides (space rocks for we neophyte sci-fi readers) are infected with an extremely virulent contaminant that prior to death, evokes a state of extreme psychosis in its victims.

Yet, this global calamity is only one facet of an intricate and richly woven plot that will allow Ms Running Waters an immense amount of creative latitude in the subsequent volumes of this trilogy. Under what she has labeled Continuity of Government (cog) protocol, the governments of the day have created massive underground facilities that are controlled and coordinated by sentient super-computers. The security and integrity of these operating systems are protected by agents who employ advanced virtual technology in the form of avatars known as lightwalkers to defend against hackers attempting to compromise these computer systems. Effectively, the plot of 300 Nights unfurled along two distinct but closely related tangents and I will deal with each of these separately.

When dealing with the surface disaster, the author employs a narrative style that one might associate more readily with a screen play script, but she utilizes this style to great effect. The staccato delivery is ideal in describing the frenetic pace at which events unfold and the overwhelming sense of numb horror experienced by the survivors both during the storm and in its wake. Like novels such as The Mist and The Road, Ms. Running Waters captures eloquently the terrifying rapidity and totality of how the thin veneer of basic civility vanishes in the face of chaos and loss of societal order. To my mind, the critical element in successful weaving this type of tale is found in the authors ability to establish an empathy with the survivors on a deep and atavistic level…to experience their fear and desperation as if first hand…The narrative style achieves this admirably and will not disappoint.

As well as this segment of the novel is executed, it is in the fraught description of life in the underground facilities that the author fully hits her stride. There is a wealth of complexity to be had here and a great deal of background detail that is exposed more through intimation than actual prolonged narrative. This style was used brilliantly in Robert Jordan’s fantasy epic Wheel of Time series…In the initial offering of the series, Eye of the World, Jordan hints at a rich tapestry of history and a myriad of factions, both good and vile, but only enough to tantalize the reader…In subsequent volumes of the series, the layers of complexity are developed in perfectly executed increments. In 300 Nights, the underground facility is a techno Mecca designed to be the nexus of power in the event of precisely the kind of disaster that befalls the surface world. Denizens of this city have been selected for their technical prowess and many have lived their entire lives without ever having glimpsed the surface world. These segments of the story are rich in technical detail that should keep most hardcore sci-fi buffs engrossed and entertained. In the wake of the crisis, the lightwalkers find themselves immersed in a desperate struggle to stop a master hacker (referred to as a mind bender) from subverting the COG computer system. There is a certain level of cynicism that always seems to accompany constructs where the world is driven by technology…a pervasive loss of humanity. The author skillfully weaves this cynicism into the plot elements…conveying that impression that dependence on technology has created an emotionally sterile world. One particularly sinister literary device comes in the form of the Basic Protection Corporation…a group of nations sharing the same purported agenda and connected by the same sub-terrainian, virtual-technology driven facilities. Their vision for the post disaster world is chilling and particularly well rendered. It is apparent to the reader that there is an extremely deep and detailed back story to be had here and Ms. Running Waters had taken a tip-of-the-iceberg approach to revealing it that is sure to make readers anxious for the release of the second installment of the trilogy

To summarize, this is an engrossing, taut and well-paced novel that touches on all the requisite elements that make a good sci-fi read. I highly recommend this novel and rate it 5/5.


Today's featured guest author fellow Smashwords Author Franz McClaren and Home Lost, bk 1 of Clarion of destiny. Franz anticipated that this is going to be an eight title fantasy epic:

Here is the cover of his novel:

Here is a brief synopsis:

 Leena receives the Garlan branch. From first contact her life is changed. After a solitary journey she returns home to find her village in ruins. Confused and alone Leena sets out to search for her family and to discover the reason that the Garlan branch has selected her.

Here is the web address where you can purchase:

I wish Franz all the best with his series and hope that everyone will take a moment to visit his site at Smashwords.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The featured author for this post is Tracy Falbe and the first novel of her series: RYS CHRONICLES BK 1

Here is the cover of Tracy's novel:

Here is a Synopsis of Tracy's Novel:

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I

by Tracy Falbe

Have you ever looked at the facts of your life and realized your dreams won't come true? Have you ever looked into the unknown and seen opportunity? For Dreibrand Veta, a young officer in the Horde of the Atrophane Empire, these questions explode from his spirit in a fit of rage and launch him into an epic struggle. After he encounters a rare super race, the Rys, he is forced to choose sides between passionate rivals and navigate his way through a foreign culture all while plotting to seize his own wealth and glory. In this opening novel of The Rys Chronicles you'll meet a man scarred by bad deeds who answers the call of a heroic cause. An unconventional heroine will tug at your sympathies as she bravely faces adversity with all the strengths and vulnerabilities of her womanhood. And overarching it all are the rys. Their magic makes them superior to humans, but they are not above employing humans in their deadly schemes.

Union of Renegades opens the four-part fantasy series The Rys Chronicles.
Here is the link to where Chronicles of Rys can be purchased:
Here are various ways in which you can contact Tracy and follow her on line:
I encourage all fantasy authors to visit Tracy's sites and sample the first offering of her fantasy cycle...I wish her all the best with her project.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Other than the actual creative process of writing an actual novel, there are certain aspect of the writing for public consumption process that present an author with rather intense challenges that can inspire much gnashing of teeth and endless consternation. I have always found the book teaser to be the most ire-raising little literary device…made all the more so by the immense importance of its function. This synopsis on the jacket, back cover or retailer website (along with the graphic elements of the cover) represent the first impression opportunity for a novel and can inspire a prospective reader to make the decision to purchase or pass on a product…especially if the novel they are considering is written by an author with whom they are not familiar.

The fantasy genre, by its very nature is one that lends itself to an expansive writing style because it offers entire worlds, cultures and mythos to be explored along with complex plots and a large cast of characters. Therein lies the challenge for my fantasy series, Journey through the Land of Shades: the distillation of a coherent and compelling 400 character teaser (limit imposed by the publisher for posting on retailers sites) from what is likely to be a three thousand page plus, character and plot driven, culture and mythos rich epic fantasy series. As I struggled with this literary device for the upcoming release of the initial novel in the cycle, I winced at every word culled and every letter trimmed from my initial draft. Still, there is the essence of the challenge, to craft a brief description of the novel that succinctly capture’s the artistic soul of the work in a way that is intriguing.

Here is the end result…though still a character or two over the prescribed limit.

Journey through the Land of Shades

Islena Doraux was an extraordinary woman living an ordinary life. Daughter of the Tempest…this memory whispered at the edges of her consciousness; echoes that were the stuff of legend in a dozen worlds. An ancient nemesis would reach across the boundaries of our reality and draw Islena into an antiquated world in search of the Proclamations of Omnipotence and compel her on a Journey through the Land of Shades.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The next featured author on my blog is fellow Smashwords Author Franz McLaren and the first volume of the Clarion of Destiny cycle, entitled Home Lost.

Here is the cover of his novel:

Here is a brief synopsis of his initial volume:

In “Home Lost”, Volume 1 of the the eight volume fantasy “Clarion of Destiny”, Leena receives the Garlan branch. From first contact her life is changed. After a solitary journey she returns home to find her village in ruins. Confused and alone Leena sets out to search for her family and to discover the reason that the Garlan branch has selected her.

You can learn more about Franz McLaren's epic fantasy series at this publisher portal:

I wish Franz the best with this project...the fantasy world can only benefit from a vast and varied library to choose from.

Friday, February 18, 2011


My next guest author is Nicki J Markus and a fantasy e-book novella entitled Dragon's Heart; a story based loosely on Irish Celtic Mythology.

Here is the Novella's cover:

Here is a brief teaser for her novella:

"All her life, Laoise has longed for adventure and daydreamed her days away. But the time for dreaming is past. Deep in the bowels of the earth a dragon wakes and the fate of her people and the entire world now rests in Laoise’s hands. Can she and her guide, Bearach, complete their quest to the Underworld in time or will her first real adventure also be her last?"

Here is the link to Nicki's site:

Here is where you may follow Nicki on Facebook:

Here is where you can follow Nicki on Twitter:

I hope everyone takes a moment to visit Nicki's site and I wish her the best of luck!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Since deciding to use this blog to help fellow fantasy authors, I've received a flood of requests to be featured. As I'm presently immersed in the pre-publication phase of my next novel (Journey Through the Land of Shades...first volume of a five part fantasy cylce), I can only get to a few of these per week.I believe that this concept of genre cross promotion has the potential to benefit everyone who participates...the more exposure for the artist and the genre, the better. My initial intention was to concentrate on epic high fantasy in this promotion...though I will make allowances for urban and youth fantasy. Due to time constraints, I cannot accept offerings from other genres...though this is hardly a proprietary idea and others should consider applying the same concept of reciprocal cross-promotion to their chosen areas.

Today's featured author is Jess C Scott and his novel entitled The Other Side of Life

Here is a synopsis of the novel:
Anya and Leticia are partners-in-crime who steal for a living. Their world turns upside down after a chance encounter with fellow rogue, Ithilnin—the enigmatic leader of an Elven band of thieves.

A scuffle to prove who’s “the better thief” transforms into more than Anya and Ithilnin ever bargained for. They retrieve the missing piece of an ancient poem, before getting caught in the secret dealings of a megacorporation. What they uncover threatens to alter the very essence of not just human life, but the other side as well.

Elven intrigue, cyberpunk action, and a deadly dose of danger come together in The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].

GENRE: Urban Fantasy / Cyberpunk / YA with adult crossover appeal

Here is the link to Jess' website along with the places that his novel can be purchased.

1. LINK FOR The Other Side of Life PDF:


I hope that visitor take the time to check out his site and I wish him well with his project.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The love of fantasy can be fostered in children from an early age...Inkheart and Harry Potter can chart a course through the imagination that can lead to Steven Erikson and Robert Jordan as an adult. The imagination of a child is a wonderful garden to cultivate.

To that end, here is a fantasy offering by Australian author...Patricia Puddle and her youth fantasy novel entitled, Velvet Ball and the Broken Fairy.

Here is the novel's cover:

Here is the Synopsis of Patricia's novel:

Nine-year-old Velvet is sick of being teased at school and called a pixie just because she’s bald. Avoiding bullies on the school bus, she takes off into the woods. On her way home, she comes upon a fairy caught in the bow of a tree. The tiny doll-like creature claims to be Roseberry - Fairy of Crabtree Forest. Velvet doesn’t believe in fairies, but when Roseberry promises to grant her a wish, she takes a chance and wishes for golden curls. Just like Velvet thought, Roseberry's magic doesn’t work and when the fairy tries to fly away, she falls to the ground with a thump. Feeling sorry for the helpless little sprite, Velvet takes her home and hides her in her bedroom. But the fairy isn’t at all endearing, she’s rude, bad mannered and spoilt. All she's interested in is trying on Barbie clothes, dancing around the bedroom, and causing mischief. Velvet figures the fairy has no powers because she didn’t pay attention in Magic School. Roseberry's not interested in learning anything, she’d sooner play jokes and get Velvet into trouble. Velvet’s had enough and wishes the nasty little snot would just buzz off, but her heart breaks when Roseberry's kidnaped by a gang of bullies. They think the fairy's just a doll and use her as a football, catapult her into trees, and toss her around. When Roseberry's grabbed by the gang leader’s snotty-nosed baby sister, Velvet tries to save her, but before she has a chance, the toddler stuffs the fairy in her doll pram and wheels it indoors. Now Velvet has to break into the house without been seen by the crabby-looking woman in the kitchen, plus the boys are coming back up the garden path.

Here are key links to Patricia's blog and sites where this novel can be purchased:

Here’s my blog site:

Here’s the links to buy my book:

It’s available as a paperback with Amazon:

As an eBook with Amazon Kindle:

With Smashwords as an eBook:

As an eBook with Barnes and Noble NookBooks:

I hope that everyone will take the time to visit Patricia's site and explore the fantasy world she's crafted....

Saturday, February 5, 2011


When I consider the challenges that I’ve face over the last few years in the effort of writing for public consumption, it occurred to me that authors would benefit greatly from fostering a climate of community rather than competitiveness…that we could all benefit from the notion of mutually reciprocal cross-promotion. Every neophyte author is faced with the same slippery slope of roaring indifference when trying to spread the message of their craft to the reading public…challenges that can be disheartening to say the least.

To this end, I’ve decided that I would open the blog portion of my site to the concept of featuring the offerings of other fantasy authors who are more or less in the same situation as myself. Fantasy is a genre of immense creative and artistic potential and stunning beauty and those who love the world of the epic fantasy saga are ravenous consumers of the art. Thus, there is no need to take the me for myself approach to promotion and the community of fantasy author can benefit by spreading the gospel of the genre as it were…both their own works and the works of others.

The first work I would like to feature is not a fantasy novel, but rather a modern sci-fi...arguably a close cousin of the genre. The novel is entitled 300 Nights by author Kriss Perras.
Here is a link to the novel's site on barnes and noble
Here is a brief synopsis to the novel:
About the Book:

300 Nights is a cyberpunk science fiction novel where a society

controlled by genetic manipulation creates social classes based on

neural implants and gene bums. The biological superpower, the Basic

Protection Corporation, controls the key to human survival. Yet, the

Company stands idly by while a deadly space-born virus hurled down to

Earth during an apocalyptic meteor storm annihilates the human

population above ground. Exiled to the Earth’s womb, humanity now

faces the BPC-born threat of another race more powerful and genetically

superior to the Homo Sapien. Humanity hangs in the balance with their

defenders Benner, caught in the Demon’s Hole of the next generation

Mindbender, and Miranda only just discovering who she really is in a

gritty new world.

Hard Copy ISBN: 978-0-557-79969-5

eBook ISBN: 978-0-557-82430-4


    Hopefully, visitors will take the opportunity to visit Kriss' site and take a close look at 300 NIGHTS