Signed Book Giveaway & Interview: Jeffrey Bardwell, Author of Broken Wizards

Folks, please give a warm welcome to Jeffrey Bardwell. He kindly lets me heckle him with questions and is also offering up 5 signed advanced review copies of Broken Wizards, open internationally! Scroll to the end of the post to check out that giveaway!

1. If you could be an extra on a TV show or movie, what would it be and what would you be doing?

If I were a background character, I would be the cheeky voice of experience gleefully hanging lampshades on all the plot holes while the protagonist was walking down the street and pontificating or ordering a pizza. I would be the very astute, very snarky delivery boy who would be stiffed his tip for my troubles.

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

Fiery breath? Long nails? Flaky skin? I’m half way there already every time I wake up in the morning. I would much prefer to be than to have a dragon. That way, I’d be the one making the messes instead of cleaning them up (of the destructive burning building variety). Any dragon I own will be house trained.

3. As an ecologist, what’s the most interesting gross fact you know?

There are several species of fungi that will invade insects’ bodies and nervous systems and turn them into zombie bugs. I find the concept terrifying. I once had a mentor who could eat a ham sandwich with one hand and perform a blunt dissection with the other, so gore doesn’t really gross me out these days. My nightmare fuel is more psychological and of the body snatchers variety.

4. 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?

Um . . . Batman, hands down. Save me, oh knight of darkness!

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

The one with the most engaging plot twists of course: Game of Thrones. Mostly, I just want to wipe my mind and binge watch the whole series after it’s released while curled up on the couch with the love of my life. Now, where can I find some of that brain-warping fungus?

6. Who are your favorite hero duos from the pages?

It’s a tie between Sherlock Holmes and Watson and Batman and Robin. I guess it’s no coincidence the the latter are the superhero expies of the former.

7. What does your Writer’s Den look like? Neat and tidy or creative mess? Can you write anywhere or do you need to be holed up in your author cave?

My den is a semi organized mess. I can usually jot notes, work on revisions, write the bare bones of scenes, and plot novels anywhere. But actually sitting my butt in a chair and writing chapters at a time requires either my desk in the basement or the kitchen table, depending on the weather. I hope to get a proper office organized someday in the guest room, but as they say, hope springs eternal.

8. If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class in SFF literature, what books would be on there as required reading? As passing discussion?

Oh, wow. You’re asking that of an ex academic [rubs hands together and grins]. Let’s teach! I would arrange my course around authors rather than books. I guess I would start with Edgar Allen Poe and the intersection of mystery, horror, and fantasy and then look at how different authors have added their own unique spin on SFF over the years. I’d throw in some lesser known authors like James H. Schmitz to show off a few outliers like well-rounded, perceptive female characters. Then, we’d examine common tropes and how they reflect how SFF changes with society and then start deconstructing them. Now that I’ve said all that, I really want to teach that class . . .

9. It’s a long sailing trip: what books make it into your trunk and why?

I admit I would cheat and bring the following: 1) a hand crank generator, 2) an AC/DC converter, 3) a few shrink wrapped ereaders with an eclectic mix of everything I can cram into them, and 4) OK, one or two hardbacks: Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein and The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve read those multiple times over the years, so I wouldn’t mind being stuck with them when my generator fails or the boat sinks and it’s desert island time.

About Author Jeffrey Bardwell:

Jeffrey Bardwell is an ecologist with a Ph.D. who loves fantasy, amphibians, and reptiles. The author devours fantasy and science fiction novels, is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove, and has eaten a bug or two. The author populates his own novels with realistic, fire breathing lizards. These dragons are affected by the self-inflicted charred remains of their environment, must contend with the paradox of allometric scaling, and can actually get eaten themselves.
The author lives on a farm, is perhaps overfond of puns and alliterations, and is a gigantic ham. When not in use, he keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall of his office. Email at:


Places to Stalk Jeffrey Bardwell

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Book Blurb about Broken Wizards

Time’s up for mages!

The wizard purge is in full swing. Sorcery is illegal in the modern, steam-powered Iron Empire. The Magistrate’s Black Guards hunt the uncivilized mages using mechanized armor and mysterious, clockwork weapons. The guards deliver their prisoners to the Butcher, Captain Vice. All wizards are tortured and executed as traitors to the state . . . with one exception.

That exception is Devin, an outbreak mage and ex artificer, a prince of machinery. The Magistrate exiles the youth over Vice’s protests to the wild kingdom of wizards and dragons. Devin only knows gears and springs, but his savage magic offers salvation, if he can tame it. The exile must learn to harness his dangerous, new powers before the Butcher tracks him down to finish the job.

Follow Devin’s quest in Book One of The Artifice Mage Saga. Join the fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

Amazon ~ kobo ~ Free Sample


Jeffrey is graciously offering up 5 signed ARCs of Broken Wizards [OPEN INTERNATIONALLY]. Do the Rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) What books would you take on a long sea voyage? 2) Where do you live? Giveaway ends May 10th, 2017, midnight.

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The Caped Crusade by Glen Weldon

WeldonTheCapedCrusadeWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrator: Glen Weldon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (2016)

Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

Author’s Page

Batman has been around for a long time, longer than I was aware of before giving this book a listen. I knew he had been a comic book hero before the Adam West Batman series, but I hadn’t realized how many versions of him had graced the comic book scene. Now I do. This book is a treasure trove of Batman info that entertained this Batman fan.

The book is laid out in a mostly linear timeline, though once the movies come on scene the author did focus on a movie at a time (including production time and stuff that leaked to the internet) interspersed with what was going on elsewhere in Batmania world (cartoons, comics, etc.). I didn’t know the original Batman started off toting a gun and several of his earliest comic escapades were lightly veneered copies of Dick  Tracy or The Shadow storylines. I think this might have irritated The Shadow fans of the time, just as knock offs of Tolkien’s works irritate Tolkienheads today. So I’m glad that Batman eventually grew into his own.

I found it very interesting that Batman cycled throughout the decades from dark crime fighting vigilante, without a side kick, to a kind of campy, more kid friendly version and back again…..  and again….. and again. For me, I have always gravitated more towards the darker versions. I am surprised that Batman did not start off with an origin story, but leaped on to the pages of a comic strip doing what he does as a full grown man with his own objectives. Later, he ditches the gun and gains a cape, a sidekick, and an origin story. I’m a bit undecided as to whether or not the trade actually assisted Batman in solving crime.

So let’s talk about the underlying gayness (or not) of Batman and Robin. My first thought is, who cares? Whether or not Batman and Robin have had an intimate friendship doesn’t stop them from fighting crime, having torn up psyches, or looking buff in tights. I hadn’t realized this was such a big point for Batman fans until I read this book. If Robin and Batman came out of the closet, I would still be a fan. Their sexual orientations don’t detract from them being interesting characters. Batman has had many, many adventures, in the future and the past, in other worlds, magic and science fiction colliding, being a good guy and a bad guy, so I don’t see why there isn’t some alternate universe out there where Batman is gay. Anyway, it was interesting to see all the fan comments on the movies, cartoons, and comics concerning Batman’s personal relationship with Robin.

This audiobook comes with a downloadable PDF that features examples of Batman art & comics throughout the ages. Each image has the related text from the book making it a great addition to the audiobook. I had fun reading through it and seeing how Batman changed throughout the ages. Over all, this was a very entertaining and enlightening book and now I’m inspired to go out there and track down some Batman goodness that I haven’t seen or read before.

I received a copy at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Glen Weldon does a great job narrating his own book. He’s a true nerd with a passion for this topic and that comes through clearly in his narration. I really appreciate him using silly voices for quotes by other Batman fans, fanatics, and experts throughout his book. His humor is on display, though I like that he delivers it succinctly without laughing at his own jokes. 

What I Liked: Plenty of Bat-facts; the cover art; PDF of images to accompany the audiobook; great narration; Batman’s image has cycled through the ages; commentary from fans and experts; the author’s own enjoyment of the subject.

What I Disliked: Nothing – it’s a very interesting book!

What Others Think:

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