Interview: Josh Powell, Author of The Berserker & the Pedant

PowellTheBerserker&ThePedantSeason1Everyone, please welcome Josh Powell, who authored the very entertaining The Berserker & the Pedant – so worthy! You can check out my review of it over HERE. Today we talk about Josh’s kickstarter project, other fantasy authors, TV shows and plenty more. Enjoy!

If you could be an extra on a SFF TV show or movie, what would it be?

Oh, that’s a fun one.  If it’s a main character, it’s too easy – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!  As an extra I’m thinking SG-1 as a Jaffa or Goa’uld.

Would you rather have a dragon, or be a dragon?

If the dragon can polymorph, be a dragon.  Otherwise, have a dragon.  Preferably a Pseudodragon or Pocket Dragon or a sarcastic Jhereg so I can bring them with me.

If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?

A superhero, the other ones might bite or probe after saving me.

Would you choose to live permanently in a fictional world, or visit as many as you liked but you couldn’t stay more than a few hours?

If I get to choose which fictional world, stay permanently.  If not, visit as many as I can.  There are some worlds you just do NOT want to live in :)

Myths and beliefs that we would consider fiction or fantasy in modern literature once upon a time shaped history (think of all the hunts for unicorns & dragons). Do you see modern fantasy fiction affecting human cultures today and how?

I see modern fantasy more as a reflection and recording of who we are and strive to be at the time it was written, rather than shaping who we are becoming.  Sci fi is the vision of what we want to become in the future and actively shapes it.

What has been your worst or most difficult job? How does it compare to writing?

Sitting at a desk working for the government as a programmer.  The people were great, but I could not stand being given two weeks to do something that only took 30 minutes. That experience is definitely reflected in my Sci fi writing.  Writing is the opposite of that, I have 30 minutes to do what should take two weeks!

If you were sent on a magical quest which other 4 fantasy authors would you take with you?

Totally different answers than if I was hanging out in a bar with them. On a quest I’d like Jim Butcher as the wizard for his creativity and magical knowledge, Larry Correia to be the tank and kill the monsters, Patrick Rothfuss to be the bard, and since I’m not sure who the cleric is, Anne Rice to be the necromancer and raise the dead.  Back at the tavern, I’d want Steven Brust and GRRM swapped in there somewhere.

Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?

I try not to gush, when I see someone I’m a fan of I prefer to valiantly hide on the outskirts of their vision, stalking them just out of range saying “Oh my god, is that…” while pretending to look at something else.  That’s what I did at Baycon with Amber Benson, I think I really pulled it off well.

Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?

There is a Kickstarter to turn The Berserker and the Pedant into a graphic novel series.  Some really amazing talent, veterans of Marvel and DC, have lined up to contribute to the work.  The sketches and pencils for the first issue are in, and the artists are working on the inks and colors.  So exciting!  You can find the details at www.pedantpublishing.com

Also, Dragon Apocalypse, the sequel to The Berserker and the Pedant, is available to preorder and will be out in another month.  It’s only 99 cents until soon after it’s released.

PowellTheBerserker&ThePedantSeason1Book Blurb for The Berkerker & the Pedant:

Gurken Stonebiter, avatar of Durstin Firebeard, templerager of the Stonebiter clan, is in a pretty pickle.

He’s an axe-happy, grammatically-challenged dwarf on the hunt for blood. Thieves made off with temple property, sending him into a fit of vengeful rage. Seeing as he’s a Berserker, it’s in everyone’s best interest not to get Gurken’s hackles up. Gurken often dissolves into a fury of blood, lust, and carnage unlike anything seen in the age of men. When he finds those whom he assumes to be the aforementioned thieves, he is unable to control himself. Thus for our heroes, a master magician named Arthur and a girl-child named Pellonia, the blood flows until poor Arthur is hacked into pieces.

It takes all the temple priests (and all the king’s men) to put Arthur back together again. Imprisoned for their supposed crimes, Pellonia and Arthur aren’t willing to sit around the dungeon on principle, and so promptly escape. They return the following morning to join Gurken on a hilarious and dangerous adventure to the Mines of Moog to recover the sacred Orb of Skzd. Along the way they face gruesome deaths at the hands of enormous arthropods, an amiable Minotaur, and excitable dragons, making them wonder what exactly they’re doing on this quest in the first place.

Pellonia, for one, is much more than meets the eye, and although she has the body of a pre-pubescent girl, she is full of snark and knowledge beyond her years. Her past and fate become apparent as they meet mysterious denizens from her childhood. Arthur’s ability to frequently engage in death throes only to return once more is to be admired as well as puzzled over. Unfortunately, one too many dismemberments occur and some shortcuts are taken during the resurrection process, to Arthur’s utmost shame and revulsion. Gurken, with his brash temperament and willingness to confront anything that challenges them, though it be ten times his size, is both an enviable asset and a terrible curse along the way. The three companions come together to brave obstacles and solve puzzles hindering them from obtaining the goal of their quest.

Within the Mines of Moog, the lurking creatures multiply in size, cleverness, and deadliness. Well, with the exception of a new knoll dwarf ally, who joins them as a healer to serve against future dismemberments. Kitten-sized ants, elven maidens, and others occasionally strive to assist our heroes on their oft-forgotten quest.

Gurken’s adventures run the gamut of the fantasy genre, taking us through the ridiculous to the mythological, passing through epic fantasy, and finally resting on fantastically improbable. The rapid, so-fast-you-might-miss-it pace of the short stories make for one incredible, bordering on the absurd, ride that will enthrall fantasy lovers everywhere. Fantastic creatures abound in these stories, and it takes a clever eye to catch all the different breeds and specimens from orc to elf. Blink and you will miss a flippant phrase or a clever beast of burden flickering into existence and going out. Gurken’s adventures have a cunning, dry, tongue-in-cheek style and quick-as-a-whip writing that will have fans of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride and Piers Anthony’s Xanth series begging for more.

Places to Stalk Josh Powell

Website

Facebook

Twitter

GoodReads

Audible

The Berserker and the Pedant: Season One by Josh Powell

PowellTheBerserker&ThePedantSeason1Where I Got It: Review copy

Narrator: Robert Ashker Kraft

Publisher: Josh Powell (2015)

Length: 3 hours 51 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Berserker & the Pedant

Author’s Page

Gurken Stonebiter is a berserker dwarf, not a specialized cucumber. He’s on a mission and not much will stand in his way other than his rash temper. Along the way, he picks up a grammatically-oriented magician, Arthur, and a pre-pubescent lass, Pellonia, who has snark to share. There’s plenty of death, and thankfully resurrection, and even more mayhem.

When Arthur died the first time, I was a little sad. After all, we had spent some quality time getting to know his love for proper punctuation. But I was happy to find out that there was a way or two to bring even a dismembered person back to life. Arthur blamed the very large ants, and rightly so! Arthur would not be their last victim. Later in the story, Arthur has to be resurrected again but there is a bit of a mix up and Arthur has to make do with what he gets. Ha!

Gurken is my hero throughout the story playing the uncomplicated straight man to all the humor and the occasional pun. Over time, he becomes attached to both Pellonia and Arthur. With his rough edges and big heart, he stole the show. When he’s made a decision, he follows through with everything. Towards the end, he has a tough choice, and once made, he has to shove it down the authorities’ collective throats. He did it with style.

Pellonia started off as the kid side kick. She was cuter than a button and as obnoxious (in a funny snarky way) as a broken zipper. Later in the story, we meet one of her siblings and then plenty is revealed about her to her new friends. Her secret family ties explained her knowledge on certain subjects and her adult attitude. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the surprise was a nice little twist and let the story take a larger, unexpected turn later on.

The answer to one quest leads to another. The action for these three never ceases. This story has a really good balance between humor and action. I was never bored with the tale. In fact, there were moments where I snort-laughed out loud. This book definitely starts off a solid fantasy humor story. However, there is a bit of a curve into science fiction by the end. It was nicely done and totally made sense with the characters and plot. Sometimes I don’t enjoy stories that try to meld scifi and fantasy as it feels forced. However, in this case, it was smoothly done and never made frown. There is a bit of cliffhanger at the end. Definitely looking forward to season 2!

I received this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Robert Ashker Kraft was an excellent fit for this story. He had a very nice brogue for Gurken that totally suited the character. He had this nasally ‘I always know best’ voice for Arthur, especially when he was going on about grammar. His female voices were quite good, especially for Pellonia.

What I Liked: The cover art; awesome characters I was instantly attached to; great balance of action and humor; a touch of the punny but not too much; a nice blend from fantasy into scifi; excellent narration.

What I Disliked: Nothing – I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

What Others Think:

The Fish Place

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

KristoffStormdancerWhere I Got It: Review copy

Publisher: Audible Studios (2013)

Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda

Length: 14 hours 47 minutes

Series: Book 1 The Lotus War

Author’s Page

The world is polluted and it is only getting worse. The Shogun Yoritomo rules with an iron fist, taking whatever pleases him. The Lotus Guild holds sway via their knowledge of mechanics and running the empire’s many machines. The black lotus pollutes land and people alike, choking out the wild places, tainting air and water, and providing a temporary, poisoned escape from reality to those who smoke it. Yukiko, a 16 year old young woman, is of the Fox clan and has a special gift, one that she must keep secret. Her father was once a mighty hunter and the Shogun has not forgotten his past feats. He is sent on a hunt to bring the Shogun a live thunder tiger. However, one hasn’t been seen in so long some now believe they were only ever myths.

Honestly, it took me about 4 hours to get into this book. I’m really not sure why. This book has so many things that I love about fantasy in general and steampunk/dieselpunk in particular. It did take me a while to get attached to Yukiko, our main character. Nevertheless, once I became caught up in the story, I did not want to put it down. In fact, there were some moments towards the end where a few tears (just a few!) might have been jerked out of me. If you’ve been waffling about whether or not to give this book a try, then I definitely recommend it. Just be prepared to let the story gain momentum.

First, this world is not quite like anything else I have come across. I know the description says it is steampunk but the Lotus Guild’s tech relies much more on petroleum products than on steam power. But many of the literary elements of a good steampunk are there – we have an airship (highly flammable!), a guild that is pretty darn secretive about their tech, and goggles. Can’t have a good steampunk-like tale without goggles. On top of the tech, we have a feudal Japan-like setting. There’s plenty of Japanese vocabulary and cultural references throughout the book. There’s a series of islands too, though this book focuses on Shima. No matter what sub-genre you stick this fantastical world in, make sure to also label it ‘Awesome!’.

We don’t meet the thunder tiger, Buruu, until perhaps 3 hours in. He and Yukiko do not start off as friends. Indeed, far from it. In fact, their meeting and subsequent need to survive together is rather harrowing. Yukiko has a secret power that only her father knows about which is the ability to Ken with animals – basically mindspeak with them. The point where Yukiko and Buruu start working together was when the story really started for me and I became fully engaged. I really enjoyed the sometimes banter between the two. Also, Buruu has a rather distinct personality and pretty much only 1 way to solve problems – kill it! He’s not one for thinking about consequences. Yukiko has to be the one to do that for the both of them and that forces her to grow as a character.

Yukiko started off as a pretty self-sufficient yet angry teenager. Her father is often drunk on lotus smoke and Yukiko has to fend for herself most of the time. This is a pretty standard character set up and perhaps that is one of the reasons I was slow to come to enjoy this book. Once she and Buruu end up lost together in the last remaining Shima wilderness, things change. Yukiko is no longer raging (internally or externally) at her neglectful father. She now has a purpose, albeit a small one of mere survival. That blossoms into a larger purpose once she meets some unexpected folks. One revelation after another leaves Yukiko hardened into a focused individual who has one goal in mind. The Shogun should be worried.

Yukiko also has another unexpected ally – Shin. He’s a young guildsman who was badly injured. Through his eyes we learn some awful secrets about the Guild and their purposes. Shin, like so many others, didn’t have a choice about whether or not to be in the Lotus Guild. However, once fully indoctrinated, it is nearly impossible to leave. The Guild is responsible for much of the environmental pollution, the slavery and continued attempt to conquer new lands, and the lotus smoke that both intoxicates and poisons the users. In short, they have much to answer for.

Once the story picked up for me, I quite enjoyed the plot. There’s plenty of well-written fight scenes that had me holding my breath. Also, there is deception, intrigue, and a touch of romance. Yukiko’s and Buruu’s friendship continues to grow. In fact, there was this intense scene where we learn just how fond Buruu has become of his young mistress. Ah! I was worried for our main characters at that moment. The plot has a few twists, most of which revolve around revelations of the past. As Yukiko learns more about the Shogun’s past ill deeds, the more she focuses on him as the evil-doer and the easier it is to forgive her father.

I’m very glad that I stuck with this book. I came to love the main characters and to care about the land and what will become of its people. While the ending (which was most excellent) closed the story arc for this book, it also left us nicely set up for book 2. I’m definitely looking forward to more tales of Yukiko and Buruu!

I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Narration: Jennifer Ikeda was most excellent in her performance of this book! She had a great voice for Yukiko and her fluid Japanese accent for many of the Japanese words and names really added to the flavor of the book. I totally loved her voice for Buruu. She really managed to capture the tone of an angry thunder tiger! There were plenty of emotions in this book and Ikeda did a great job of imparting those to the character voices.

What I Liked:  Yukiko grows throughout the book; Buruu also does a little bit of growing but I loved his character early on; the setting is quite engaging; the many, many mysteries of the Guild; revelations from the past; the ending was quite satisfying.

What I Disliked: This book started off slow for me, taking about 4 hours for me to get into it.

What Others Think:

The Book Smugglers

Dear Author

Fantasy Book Critic

Fantasy Book Review

Strange Horizons

SF Signal

Kushiel’s Chosen Part III

Tofu kitty with a very good book.

Tofu kitty with a very good book.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Chosen is Book 2) is one of my all time favorite series. The red along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Allie at Tethyan Books is our host. We’re covering Chapters 27-36, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1. Do you think Joscelin might have really considered using the “terminus” in the fight between the Unforgiven and the Yeshuites? How deep do you think his loyalty to the Yeshuite people goes, and why do you think he feels so driven to arm, train and protect them?

I think the thought might have flashed through his mind in a kind of after-the-fact kind of way. If he had taken out one of the Yeshuites I think he would have wished to have committed the terminus move just so he wouldn’t have to live with the pain of it.

I think he has a bit of a blind spot where it comes to the Yeshuites. And this blind spot allows him to put them on a pedestal and admire them. And this allows for a type of loyalty towards them whether they are in the right or the wrong.

I think Joscelin is one of those people who needs to feel needed, deeply. He’s been trained to serve, but he has his pride. Phedre is being more and more independent and not requiring his aid as she did during their Skaldi captivity and then long escape. The Yeshuites need a champion, or, at least, a trainer.

2. What do think of the differences between the culture of La Serenissima and the City of Elua, and the differences in how they conduct their political intrigue?  Who would you favor for the next Doge?

At first I was going to say that La Serenissima has more extremes than the City of Elua… but then I thought of some of Phedre’s assignations. Still, I think the extremes are more on display – the great flirtatiousness of the men, the street fighting, the very colorful gentlemen clubs and their open declaration for one political contender or another, their open hostility towards homosexuals, etc. I think there are still extremes in Elua but they are held more privately. Also, Elua is much more tolerant when it comes to the various forms of sex and the women have the same opportunities for education as the men.

I think La Serenissima conducts their political intrigue more loudly, with more flash (while at the same time making back door deals with another party if necessary). The political intrigue we have seen in Elua has been much more subtle with the masterminds playing things very close to their chests.

I am not sure who will be the next Doge. Honestly, I have forgotten how this bit of politics plays out.

3. What do you think of Phedre’s plan to play along with Severio’s romancing?  Do you think he is approaching the matter with more sincerity than his parents?

I think Severio is completely sincere and is trying his best to woo Phedre. While she says that she has no intention of marrying him, I think she is deeply enamored by the courtship. Subconsciously, she may be waffling. After all, she’s never really had a suitor who tried to woo her affections and has offered her marriage.

However, this courtship does provide a good cover for why she lingers in La Serenissima and it provides some contacts while she searches for Melisande.

4. There is a lot of fortune-telling in this section, from the Oracle in the temple to the astrologer.  What do you make of the Oracle’s answer to Phedre?  Why do you think the astrologer killed himself, and do you think he would he have been able to lead them to Melisande?

As Severio said, of course Melisande will be in the last place Phedre seeks her, because once you find something you usually stop looking for it (unless you are Joscelin and have found real love but don’t feel appreciated so you keep looking for something external to justify your life).

I’m not sure why the astrologer killed himself. As far as we know, he was a loner – no wife, no kids, etc. So I think the only thing Melisande had to threaten him with was pain or imprisonment. But would that be enough to send a man into suicide instead of fleeing the city?

5. Joscelin and Phedre meet a couple who have made compromises in order to build a happy life together.  What do you think of their family, and does their example give any hope for Phedre and Joscelin’s future?

We know that Phedre is thinking along these lines. She’s questioning all the hurt in her relationship with Joscelin and what she could do to cease it or make it better. However, we don’t know if Joscelin is thinking about this at all.

Phedre basically proposed to him (and apparently it is not the first time) when she offered hi, the place at her side as consort. And he turned her down (again). Now Phedre is one of my favorite characters in epic fantasy, but she rarely hears the word ‘No’. So I think Joscelin repeated refusal of this offer must sting something fierce. Perhaps Phedre is clinging a little to her hurt as well.

Other Tidbts:

 

What did you think of the voice that came over Phedre during the Unforgiven fight with the Yeshuites? A touch of Kushiel entering the fray and bringing it to an end?  That scene gave me a few little goosebumps.

Having a small but well armed & trained militia at one’s beck and call can be both a good and a bad thing. Barquiel may become even more suspicious of Phedre of word of the Unforgiven’s loyalty gets out.

The first time I read this years ago, I  didn’t know how to pronounce ‘Doge’ and had never heard of the office. I brought it up at knitting circle and the ladies were quite amused (in a kind way) and enjoyed telling me what they knew of the real life Doge and the history of the office.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Nancy at FaeStruck’s Reviews & More
James at James T. Witherspoon
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Anne Manx: Birth of the Cat by Larry Weiner

WeinerAnneManxBirthOfTheCatWhere I Got It: Review copy

Adaptation: Todd A. Kaylor & Tom Dheere

Illustrator: Karl Waller

Publisher: Radio Repertory Co. of America (2013)

Length: 24 pages

Series: Book 1 Anne Manx graphic novel, prequel to the audiobook series

Author’s Page

Anne Manx is a rookie cadet at the intergalactic police academy. There, she meets Jean Richmond, who is a senior cadet. Fans of the audiobook series will also recognize other characters like Jack Reynolds.

Since I am already a fan of Anne Manx via the audiobook series, I was quite intrigued by this graphic novel. Here we have the origins of Anne and her law enforcement career. She’s young and has some self-confidence, but circumstances will harden her further into the tough, decisive private investigator I know and love from the series.

Jean Richmond, oddly, becomes her friend somewhat and also gives her some mentoring. This really explains some of the exchanges these two characters have later in the series. I really enjoyed this blossoming friendship as both women can be a bit bullheaded.

The plot itself was an exciting mix of character development, getting to know the police academy, and action. It’s law enforcement, so sooner or later we have to have some weapons play and hand to hand combat. I was not disappointed! Also, this was a great way to sneak in some future scifi tech, which I also enjoyed.

We have several male characters tossed in to balance the ladies. While Jean & Anne are the primary females, we see some others, mostly as background but all in academy uniforms looking professional. The men some times needed saving and some times did the saving. It was a great give and take balance that I so like about the audiobook series.

The dialogue varies between serious talk about the plot and sharp, sometimes cutting, humor. This book is an excellent origin story to the Anne Manx series. It really is a good fit, mirroring everything that I enjoy about the audiobook series.

I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Illustration: The cover art of the audiobooks reflects the faces of the voice actors for the major characters and I wondered if the art in this book would do the same. Indeed it does! Since I already have this idea of what Anne and Jean look like, it was awesome that the illustrator kept this going, perhaps smoothing the lines a bit to make Jean & Anne look younger. While both ladies are curvy, I didn’t feel they were two exaggerated. Also, both men & women at the academy where tight pants with big bulky jackets. While I appreciated that the uniforms were the same for both sexes, there were more backside shots of women than men. I personally would have liked this to be a bit more balanced – meaning that I wouldn’t have minded a few more backsides of men being on display. 

What I Liked: Anne’s earliest days in law enforcement; her relationship to Jean Richmond; unisex uniforms; illustration goes well with the audiobook cover art; good mix of action, character development, and academy life; by the end, Anne is a bit tougher. 

What I Disliked: This is a small criticism, but I would have liked a bit more equality when it comes to the occasional focus on buttocks. 

Audiobook Giveaway & Interview: James Livingood, Author of Pale Rider

LivingoodPaleRiderFolks, please welcome the highly entertaining James Livingood. I have had the pleasure of enjoying 3 of his stories (Pale Rider, Summer Sword, & Magic Factory). We chat about Brandon Sanderson’s works, supernatural creatures, Firefly, and plenty more. Also, don’t miss out on the audiobook giveaway at the end of this post!

Would you rather have a dragon, or be a dragon?

I would rather have a dragon than be a dragon. Popular media shows dragons as hording gold and the closest I’ve every come to that is having a “piece of eight” pirate treasure mounted in my office. I am not very materialistic.

If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?

I like the idea of a supernatural creature saving me from doom. Much of the current portrayal of superheros seem like “happy accidents”. They accidentally gain great power and now use that power for good. On the other side of that space aliens feel like deus ex machina. They can be anything the author wants because humanity has never met an alien. Furthermore, alien technology can be whatever the author wants. However, supernatural creatures are purpose driven which I find fascinating. They exist for a reason and that binding (then breaking) of rules is what draws me to fiction.

LivingoodMagicFactoryIf you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

Book: God Emperor of Dune

Movie: Flash Gordon

TV Series: Firefly

For me, the entire Dune universe came to a conclusion in the God Emperor of Dune book. Flash Gordon is something my family watched on a regular basis. The soundtrack was created by Queen and the movie was a cheesy type of fun. Finally, Firefly was well written and a pleasure to watch.

If you were sent on a magical quest which other 4 fantasy authors would you take with you?

Brandon Sanderson would be the guide, since he knows the rules. Kevin Hearne could provide jokes and positive attitude. Jim Butcher could be the brooding one in the back that comes up with a crazy plan. Finally, I could sacrifice Terry Goodkind to the lion / volcano / angry natives. After reading all 11 of the original Sword of Truth series, I ended up only liking one book.

Who or what are your non-writer influences?

There are a lot of them: family, friends, teachers. I’ve been lucky to have so many great people in my life that singling just one out is difficult.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you chose to do?

My other job is playing with technology. Beyond writing, it’s the closest thing to playing with magic. Using universal machines to create anything and communicate anywhere feels very magical.

LivingoodSummerSwordCare to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?

I once got into an awkward argument with Brandon Sanderson. I felt he wrote the exact same female characters better than Robert Jordan. He was humble and disagreed. However, I was in full fanboy mode and I kept pushing my point. It was very awkward.

Which favorite fictional worlds would you like to visit?

I am working my way through Scott Meyer’s Magic 2.0 series. I think it would be fun to visit a world that I could program like a computer code. Living in that world would be like the holodeck in Star Trek.

What is the first book you remember reading on your own?

The first one I remember reading would be Where the Wild Things Are.

LivingoodPaleRiderBook Blurb for Pale Rider: Zombies Versus Dinosaurs:

“I am often left to wonder why a zombie, walking around in the sun, smells better than a pooping dinosaur.”

Two worlds collide in this action novelette. Zombies have destroyed civilization. Gasoline fuel is no longer an option, but humanity must find a way to survive. In response to trying to restore our way of life, we engineer franken-monsters. Because of their small brains and massive sizes, these beasts make quick work of farming and clearing land. These large creatures are immune to the zombie virus and perform excellently in loud conditions. They are easy to train. They behave like war horses, prone to help charge in and defend our livelihood.

In honor of the past, and to help build our future, we named these creatures dinosaurs.

Places to Stalk James Livingood

 

GIVEAWAY!
James is giving away 5 Audible.com copies of Pale Rider: Zombies Versus Dinosaurs! To enter do the Rafflecopter thing below OR answer the following in the comments: 1) Do you have an Audible.com account? 2) Please leave a contact email (I promise not to do anything evil with it) 3) Do you have an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment? Giveaway ends September 15, 2015, midnight.

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Audiobook Giveaway & Interview: T. W. Fendley, Author of The Labyrinth of Time

FendleySolarLullabyFolks, please welcome the talented T. W. Fendley to the blog! I have enjoyed a few of her short stories (The Mentor & Solar Lullaby). Today we chat about favorite SFF book series, remote viewing, how the Iron Man would fare in an obstacle course, and plenty more! Also, don’t miss out on the most awesome audiobook giveaway (Audible.com & Audible.UK) at the bottom of this post!

If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

If I can only chose one, I’ll pick Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. The idea of psychohistory inspired me to learn about “real-world” cycles of all sorts, and to speculate on others. But I’d also love to read the Harry Dresden, Lord of the Rings, Sookie Stackhouse, Narnia, and Harry Potter series again for the first time—they were all so much fun, and in different ways, so I really can’t choose!

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you choose to do?

When I was in college, I had a hard time deciding between pursuing a career in art or writing. Journalism won out, and years later, I switched to writing fiction. I still enjoy painting, especially with watercolors. I’d also love to get more involved in scientific research because I think the world is an incredibly fascinating place.

FendleyTheMentorIn this age of publishing, self-promotion is really necessary for the author. What do you enjoy most about advertising yourself and your works? What do you find most challenging?

I like meeting people from around the world—especially readers, but also other authors. My blog, The Writers’ Lens, has helped with that. The most challenging part of self-promotion is linking up with the “right” readers. I feel the ones who connect with my particular mix of history, science, and fantasy are kindred spirits.

What do you do when you are not writing?

One of my favorite past-times is remote viewing, a scientifically based protocol that allows intuitive processes to flow easily. As part of the Applied Precognition Project, I help make stock and sport predictions, and have a lot of fun. I also host a website on Associative Remote Viewing: www.ARV4fun.com.

Which favorite fictional worlds would you like to visit?

I’d love to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinker Bell (avoiding Capt. Hook and the crocodile, of course). It would be wonderful to meet Aslan in Narnia, and to play quidditch at Hogwarts with Harry Potter. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t turn down a trip anywhere with the Doctor!

FendleyZeroTimeWhat is a recurring or the most memorable geeky argument or debate you have taken part in?

In the remote viewing community, we talk a lot about retro causality – how the present affects the past — and quantum entanglement.

You have to run an obstacle course. Who do you invite along (real or not, dead or not)? Will there be a tasty libation involved?

Since I’m not at all athletic, I’d ask Iron Man to “help” me run the course. Then we’d fly to Stark Tower, where I’d fix us each a frosty Bellini (white peach puree and prosecco) to celebrate.

FendleyTheMentorBook Blurb for The Mentor:

This quirky, futuristic romp into extreme consumer activism pits time-traveling sentient giraffes and lions against each other in a society where corporations have total control. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

FendleySolarLullabyBook Blurb for Solar Lullaby:

Dr. Flare Haich offers the only hope for diverting a solar flare that will dwarf the 2012 Mayan Event, which killed her parents and a half-billion others. She must overcome the betrayal of one she trusted and launch Empress III to keep the Sun’s fiery message from scorching the Earth as One Imix—the time of new beginnings—arrives.

FendleyJaguarHopeBook Blurb for Jaguar Hope:

Two black jaguars become the symbol of hope for a race facing extinction when they accompany a dying traveler back to her home planet. JAGUAR HOPE, a novelette, tells of the ill-fated journey to Earth’s Age of Crystal in this action-packed prequel to my historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME.

FendleyTheMotherSerpent'sDaughterBook Blurb for The Mother Serpent’s Daughter:

Four-year-old White Heron begins her journey as a master shaman when she arrives in Teotihuacan with her sister Quilla and Mama Couen. Her fledgling skills prove the only defense against a priest of the Lord of Darkness in THE MOTHER SERPENT’S DAUGHTER, a short story prequel to the historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME.

FendleyTheLabyrinthOfTimeBook Blurb for The Labyrinth of Time:

Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn’t sixteen-year-old Jade’s idea of fun. She’d much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director’s son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs.

Following the ancient stones’ guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and–with a shapeshifting dog’s help–seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.

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 GIVEAWAY!

T. W. has graciously offered up not one, not two, but three audiobook giveaways! You can enter all three if you like. All are open to Audible.com and Audible.UK folks.

Giveaway #1: Jaguar Hope & The Mother Serpent’s Daughter. Giveaway #2: The Mentor & Solar Lullaby. Giveaway #3: The Labyrinth of Time.

To enter, do the Rafflecopter thing below OR answer these questions in the comments: 1) Are you Audible.com or Audible.UK? 2) Which books are you interested in? 3) Please leave a contact email (I promise not to do anything questionable with it). 4) What fictional worlds would you like to visit? Giveaway ends September 15, 2015, midnight.

Giveaway #1: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3: a Rafflecopter giveaway