Book Review – Re: Camelot Part One: The Descendant of the King by E.C. Fisher

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Re: Camelot Part One: The Descendant of the King
E.C. Fisher
5 Stars

King Arthur is one of my favorite literary legends. I’ve read lots of variations and this one delivers on so many levels. Potentially spoilerish comments follow.

Young Arthur is an orphan and outcast at the private school his guardian sent him to. That all changes when he walks through a door and finds himself on the planet of Avalon. He quickly learns that not only is Avalon the birthplace of the real life King Arthur and Merlin stories he grew up on, but that he himself is a descendant of King Arthur.

Darkness of old has returned to threaten the kingdoms of Avalon and Arthur is the only one who can wield Excalibur to defeat it. Now he must race to reunite Excalibur with the sacred weapons used by the original Knights of the Round Table.

The only negative I have about this story is I need the next installment. Like, really must have it.

Grab your copy on Amazon now.

You can check out my interview with E.C. Fisher here.

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Fatherhood: May 9th, 2018

Here’s a few of the things I have learned about my daughter in the few weeks since she turned two.

1: If you stub your toe and exclaim “Shit”, your two year old will constantly repeat said word at inappropriate moments, making you feel like the worst parent ever.

2: You can spend longer than ten minutes “dumping” imaginary buckets of water in the sink or bathtub.

3: Farting is just as funny to a two year old girl as it is to males of all ages.

4: Falling asleep requires clutching one of Daddy’s earlobes in between your fingers. When the Kung fu grip starts to relax, it’s time to place toddler in her bed and RUN!

5: Lastly, (for now) if you have a sore back and move stiffly in the presence of your toddler, they will parade in front of you exaggerating your motion.

Bonus: Even bald Daddies can have their hair styled by a two year old.

Book Review – Hatching the Phoenix Egg by Joel Horn

Hatching The Phoenix Egg

(Mare Tranquillitatis Series Book 2)

Joel Horn

5 Stars

Joel Horn takes his precocious band of misfit geniuses from ”Lost Coast Rocket” (see my review here) to the next level in this exciting sequel. I always try to stay spoiler free in my reviews but…

A trip to Jupiter, epic science, world ending comet, and a trip home nearly missed while his own government decides to take him out of the sky. Top this off with a deeply held secret finally revealed to his true love (aside from the science of course)…

Life’s never been so precious, or complicated, for Ken O’Brien.

If you enjoyed “Lost Coast Rocket”, you should pick up this sequel right away.

Find it on Amazon.

Meet The Author Monday – K.C. Dreisbach

Welcome to another edition of Meet The Author Monday. This week we are going to talk a little bit with K.C. Dreisbach, author of Trials of The Working Parent. This Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist tackles the tough topic of balancing parenthood with a career. Per usual, my comments/questions will be in BLUE and K.C. will be in GREEN.

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Thanks for stopping by K.C. The issues you tackle in your book are near and dear to my heart, being a working parent myself. Before we get into that, let’s talk about some of your earliest experiences with reading.
Although reading is one of my absolute favorite hobbies now, it wasn’t always. As a child, I struggled to read. I’m not sure if it was because I was learning to speak two different languages at once, or if it was due to an undiagnosed learning disability, but my kindergarten teacher at that time didn’t make things any easier. It’s a long story, but I experienced significant amounts of emotional and psychological abuse from that teacher…. And I never said anything about it. I grew to hate school, lying desperately to avoid having to go. Eventually, my parents switched me to a new school, and there, my 1st Grade teacher was able to detect that I had been abused.

Sounds like someone who shouldn’t be teaching. But I am glad that things got better for you. With the abuse uncovered, where did things go from there?
Reading was an uphill battle, and even though my reading skills improved, my hate for it didn’t change. It didn’t matter what my parents did, I hated reading and writing with a deep, loathing passion. Things didn’t change until my father gave me a gift that would be a game-changer for me. That gift was a copy of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I didn’t even look at it until a year later when the series became hugely popular. All my friends were reading it, so I decided to give it a try. I was hooked! And after that, I became an avid reader.

Rowling definitely knows how to put together a story. She is one of my favorite current authors. Have you stuck with fantasy or do you have other favorites now?
Definitely fantasy, especially epic fantasy. But I’m open to pretty much all fiction. I struggle a little more with non-fiction, but I’ve read some stuff I enjoy in that category too.

With the earlier struggles you faced with reading and writing, what made you decide to cross the line from reader to writer?
Truthfully, I wrote my first short story when I was in 3rd Grade as part of a class assignment. My teacher was so impressed by it, she passed it on to my principal to read. This was the first time, but it wasn’t the last. In each grade, there was always an assignment that revolved around writing a story. I think the next one that I received attention for my writing was in 7th Grade, where I had to write an alternate ending to a short story.

Eventually, I started writing regularly in my spare time, and I completed my first novel when I was about 20 years old, after working on it for 5 years. I never attempted publishing it, but it was truly a wonderful feeling to complete it, and it inspired me to work on my next project.

So, to answer your question, I don’t think there was a “moment” really. I think it was more of a gradual transition, slowly evolving from non-reader to writer.

An incredible journey given your literary beginnings. I’m glad you saw your way through the initial difficulties. What is your preferred genre when you put fingers to keys, or pen to paper?
I definitely dabble in many. My current published work is a non-fiction book on parenting while maintaining a career. I am a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, so I’m currently writing about parenting and family relationships. But, I also write fiction, though I haven’t attempted to publish any of it. I hope to break into publishing my works of fiction within the next few years, however.

I hope you will as well. There is always room for a fresh voice, especially in fantasy, at least in my humble opinion. Tell us about your journey from writer to “published writer”.
I think the biggest journey for me has been the writing. Trying to find an opportunity to write with two young kids and a full-time job has proven to be quite challenging. I’ve written a few fiction novels, but none that I have felt ready to share with the larger world yet. The first book I truly felt ready to publish was “Trials of the Working Parent.” It was scary though because it was a very personal book in many ways. I pulled back the curtain on so many topics surrounding parenting, and I disclosed so much about my own journey as a parent, that publishing “Trials…” left me feeling a little naked. So, you can imagine my relief when it was pretty well received by readers.

It looks like a book I need to pick up myself. I’m guessing based on your topic for your book that you have more experience than just as a therapist. How do you spend your non-writing time?
I’m a pretty busy person. By day, I am a Clinical Supervisor for a group home for boys. I also provide training opportunities in my community to universities and local school districts on different topics in mental health. Most importantly, I’m a mom of two kids, my five-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son. They keep me pretty busy when I’m not working.

You truly are ‘working parent’ just like you wrote about. Do you have anything else you would like to share before we direct readers to your website?
When “Trials…” was first released, I was asked by a blogger why I wrote “Trials…” in the first place. It didn’t take me long to respond. I wrote “Trials of the Working Parent,” so that other moms and dads could see they were not in this struggle alone. Being a working parent is very difficult, the amount of guilt you feel all the time is very real and overbearing. “Trials…” was meant to help parents realize that it’s “ok” to not be perfect, it’s “ok” to have a job you love, and it’s “ok” to feel overwhelmed by parenthood.

Thank you for sharing your story with us K.C. and I hope you will come visit us again when you have those fantasy works ready for other eyes. I’d love to share them with my readers.

If you would like to keep tabs on K.C. you can find her at the following links. Give her a follow and encourage her to share her fiction works with us as well.

Website(NonFacebook if applicable): http://www.kcdreisbach.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kcdreisbach

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kcdreisbach

 

If you are thinking you would like to be featured on Meet the Author Monday, please check out the page and fill out the form to get started.

Book Review – The Dandelion Farmer by Mathew McCall

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The Dandelion Farmer
Mathew McCall
4 Stars

Well, my Gentle Readers, Mathew McCall delivers an interesting view on Mars Colonization through his novel, “The Dandelion Farmer“.

The story centers on one, L. Edwin Ransom, the self professed Dandelion Farmer, and an incident with evil millionaire mogul, Du Maurier. Du Maurier has a strange interest in Ransom’s little farming operation, but is it greed? Or something deeper? The planet Mars has seen its share of bloodshed when the peoples of Earth came calling upon its longtime denizens. An uneasy peace has held for a couple of decades since the Tellurians (Earth people on Mars), broke free of their Earthbound governments to establish their own rule. This peace is tenuous at best and the ever present threat of more war keeps everyone on edge. When Du Maurier’s threats escalate into more violent attempts upon the life of Ransom and his people, he heads to his father-in-law’s home where he is caught up in the man’s quest to find out what happened to the Aresians (original settlers of Mars who disappeared after years of war witht he Tellurians).

McCall fashions this world and the storytelling as a collection of letters, journal entries, telegraphs, and excerpts from historical texts. This means sometimes telling the same scene from different perspectives. Some readers may find this tedious, but it does provide insights into the personalities of the various characters. Some of the more historical records included could probably have been trimmed or cut out for sake of keeping the action going, but they allow the reader to see the depth to which McCall has developed the setting he created his story within. Of particular interest to me was the character of Adam Franklin and later, Aelita: an Aresian who grew up in Tellurian society after she was orphaned during the war.

I won’t hold back here. This is a long read with some dry parts (the aforementioned historical texts for one). The overall story though is intriguing. McCall leaves you wanting to finish the chase to discover the Aresians, and see Du Maurier get his just rewards along the way.

Grab your copy on Amazon now if you’re ready to join the Dandelion Farmer on his quest.

Meet The Author Monday – Reid Templer

This week’s Meet The Author Monday is Reid Templer, who has his debut novel available on Amazon now. Per usual, my questions/comments will be in BLUE and Reid will be in GREEN.

Thank you for stopping by, Reid. It’s always a pleasure to get to meet a new author and find out about the origins of their forays into the literary world. What was your introduction?
At the age of thirteen, my father gave me two books which were dear to him: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and the Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Both bored me. The symbolism, theology, and meaning of each went over my head, naturally, and, for a time, I was convinced that books simply didn’t suit me. This changed about two years later, when I happened on a copy of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I became enthralled in her trilogy, and haven’t stopped reading since.

I agree that Crane might be a bit of heavy reading for the average 13-year-old. From Inkheart, you began delving into what genre(s)?
I predominantly read fantasy, although Horror and Science Fiction do interest me a great deal.

Sounds like we have similar tastes. We might have to compare reading lists sometime. What made you decide to cross over from reading stories to writing your own?
When I was fourteen, I experienced a dream which would inspire my first (and thankfully unpublished) novel. A year later, when I had finished Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, I learned that the author had published the book at eighteen years old. I don’t know exactly what drove me to it, but from that day onward, I strove to publish a story before I turned eighteen. In this regard, I failed, but it did motivate me to write every day.

Paolini did have an advantage in that his parents were involved in the publishing industry. Can’t be too hard on yourself over that. What is your chosen genre to write?
Right now I would consider myself a fantasy writer, although, within time, I hope to develop a story in every major genre.

Ambitious goals. I wish you the best of luck with your goal. How has your publishing journey gone for you so far?
For the past three years, I’ve been writing, editing, and rewriting my newest novel, Storytellers. It was a hard journey, fraught with doubt, but I’m proud of the completed work.

Congratulations. It’s an incredible feeling to hold that published work in your hands. Outside of writing, what are you currently working on?
I’m currently pursuing a Sign Language Interpreting degree.

Interesting career path. Tell us a little bit about your book.
Thank you for taking interest in my interview. The book I’m promoting is Storytellers, which is available in paperback at any major book distributor and on Kindle for ebook. Here’s a short blurb:
After the gods and goddesses known as Storytellers conceive children who threaten their immortality, Pokeetle and his allies must fight to keep their offspring from being sacrificed for power.
storytellers

Thank you for coming by and talking with me today. Your book looks interesting and I wish you the best with it and your future works.

If anyone would like to keep up on Reid’s work, you can follow him on Twitter @ReidTempler

Anyone interested in being featured on Meet the Author Monday, please check out the form and let us know all about you.

Meet The Author Monday – Matt Drzymala

This week on Meet The Author Monday I get to introduce you to a copywriter and award winning creative writing author, Matthew Drzymala. His latest work, “The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread” is available on Amazon now. Usual arrangement here, my questions/comments are in BLUE and Matt will be in GREEN.

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story, Matt. How would you describe your reading habits and how has it impacted your decision to be a writer?
I’m an avid reader, but the biggest influences on me as a writer are Roald Dahl and Terry Pratchett.

Their way with words, how they made up names and places and generally had fun and made you feel comfortable is how I approach my writing.

I want my readers to laugh, love and enjoy my characters and stories – just like two of my favourite authors.

Pratchett is one of my favorites as well. I have to agree the way he created his world is masterful. Aside from those two, what else do you like to read?
I read a lot of thrillers, you just end up gripped by them.

Although I don’t actually write them.

Is there a moment, or person, most responsible for you crossing the line from just an avid reader to crafting your own stories?
My fiancee, Elaine, is who encouraged me to write. Although I could say it was authors, it was my partner who gave me the confidence to write.

She backs me at all times, even when I don’t feel I can write. If it wasn’t for her I would never have written a single story.

She encouraged me to study creative writing and is my number one supporter at all times.

As writing is such a solitary thing, it helps to have that support.

Such a beautiful thing to have that kind of support because, as you said, writing is usually a solitary activity. Venturing outside that writing cave can be scary without that kind of support. So since you do not write thrillers, what do you consider your genre of choice?
I would say my genre is humour.

Is that its own genre?

I think so, but it includes so many other genres. I’ve written mysteries and romances, all with a lot of humour thrown in.

Many people aren’t sure what to expect when I say I write humour because humour could be a joke book.

I write all sorts of stories, but they always include funny scenarios. I want to make people laugh. I don’t want it to be just about jokes, far from it, it has to have a story that intrigues and touches people, but I always want them to have a good time too.

The world definitely needs more laughter, so yes, I agree. I think humor is, and should be, its own genre. One we sorely need. You have the support system, you crossed that threshold to writing stories. Where did you go from there?
I’m solely a self-published author.

I’ve never approached a publisher because humor is such a difficult genre to sell. It’s not a genre that publishers want to sell so much.

Thrillers. Erotic. Romance etc. I’d stand a chance.

But for me, it’s about writing what I enjoy. Maybe one day I’ll approach a publisher, but I haven’t so far.

Being an author has expanded into me joining a community where I’ve attended book signings, run my own creative writing workshops in schools and colleges as well as be part of an author panel for local authors.

And I’m now a copywriter, writing web pages and advertising for businesses – something that would never have happened had I not been an author.

I see your point about humor being a hard sell for traditional publishers. Is copywriting your day job then?
My day job is payroll, but I also run my own freelance copywriting business.

I somehow manage to fit in a lot of TV and film in-between all this.

Sometimes I end up completely drained, but if it means working for myself as a writer in the future, it’ll all be worth it.

You must have some impressive time management skills to accomplish all of that. I wish you the best with making writing a full-time job in the future. Did you have anything else you would like to share before we get everyone the links to find you and your work?
Writing is something I have loved for a long time. It is a huge part of my life.

I’m a national award winner in creative writing and I have a diploma in Copywriting.

There’s such a huge world of writing out there.

Being an author is vastly different to copywriting. They are two different disciplines and being an author doesn’t mean you’ll make a good copywriter.

Odd, but true.

Thank you for sharing your insights and your journey with us, Matt. I hope you will stop by in the future when you have any new humorous stories to share and update us on your progress towards writing full time. For anyone looking to follow Matt, you can find him at the links included below.

Website: http://www.matthewdrzymala.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/mattdrzymalaauthor

Twitter: @mattdauthor

Instagram: mattdrzymala

If you are an author interested in being a part of Meet The Author Monday, just check out the page for all the details.