1 Month Down 2021 Edition

January was a good month for me on a lot of fronts, although I didn’t blog about them. I did put a bit more of my writing journey on Facebook on my author page though.

January Writing News:

30558 words written. Most of it in my just over 27k MG/YA fantasy novel. “Sibling Rivalry: A Children of the Realms Tale” will be getting pitched to agents and editors during the February 3rd #SFFPIT event in Twitter. You can check it out at this LINK. If anyone is on Twitter and would be willing to help Retweet me, you can find me on Twitter under andrewmferrell

My February goals include knocking out the rest of the two short stories I’m working on for my Meteor Fall project. Hopefully then that collection will start to come together. I’m working with some great friends of mine in the writing world. I think readers will enjoy the world we’re creating.

I’m also planning on getting a big chunk of my wip “Bible of Mars” done. This was an idea my father in law came up with when we used to carpool to the day job. Involved people having migrated from Mars to earth for some reason. I ended up finding a plot and outlining it last year. I don’t think I’ll finish it this month. It should be a fun SciFi romp though.

Family Heritage Book 3: Reunions & Rebellions is in the hands of some betas and proofreaders. I have a cover mock-up I’ll share later this month I think once I think I have a handle on its publication date.

On the home front things are going pretty good. My oldest started his job and it’s going alright except for constant changes in his sports schedule messing with his work schedule. But basketball season will be over soon and then he can put in a few more hours. We’re getting along pretty well. I’m proud of the choices he’s making lately with regards to school and his future.

Emma and Jackson are still giving Dad a run for his money. Here’s Emma and I playing on a 15-20 ft snow pile behind our house yesterday.

It was harder to climb than I thought it would be because the snow was very fluffy and didn’t pack down well. I kept sinking and sliding back down. It was fun though. Wife and Jackson watched from a window and laughed pretty hard at “Daddy fall down. “Daddy fall again”. As Jackson put it. He’d had enough by this time and had gone back inside.

I have a short story of n a collection called “The Depths of Love: an SFWG anthology” due out February 10th. I happen to know if you preorder the ebook and send a screenshot to the publisher, you are entered to win a paperback copy of any short story collection they’ve published.

Cloaked Press also has its 2021 edition of Spring Into SciFi coming later this month or first week of March. Currently accepting submissions for the first Summer of Speculation themed anthology as well. Catastrophe is the theme. All the details are on their website.

I’m hoping to get more updates here on the blog in the future. Maybe just a weekly check in with some more writing and family news as that’s my focus here. Thank you all for coming along on this crazy journey with me.

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

recamelotECFisher

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.

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.

Book Review: Banned by Angel Leya (Running Toward Illumia Book 1)

Banned
(Running Toward Illumia 1)
Angel Leya
5 Stars

You need to grab this book now and start a magical journey with the talented Angel Leya.

Astrea is an outcast amongst outcasts, the Banned. Her lack of red hair and freckles, a trait that seems to protect them in the mists of their forest home, make her stand out when all she wants to do is fit in. The forests of her home are lacking in sustenance of late, creating a real fear of famine and starvation. When Astrea spots a unicorn in the forest, she’s thinking it’s her lucky day. But, what if killing such a majestic creature brings about a worse curse then starvation?

Come get your feet wet with this quick trip into the latest realm from a talented writer. I’ll be quickly moving on to the next book in the series.

Banned on Amazon

Angel Leya’s Website

Book Review – Trading Darkness: A Dark Fairytale by Lisa Hofmann

Trading Darkness : A Dark Fairytale
Lisa Hofmann
5 Stars

My Gentle Readers, Lisa Hofmann delivers on all counts in her novel, “Trading Darkness : A Dark Fairytale”. She gives us love and betrayal, magic of many kinds, and the classic dichotomy of light and darkness.

Our story begins with a realm gripped by witch hunting madness and poor Agnes is caught in the middle. She makes a deal with a demonic power in order to try and save her family, but the demon has designs of its own.

The Blackvale familial lands of Wildenburg have a dark secret, and younger brother Gregory is about to find out just what his family’s prosperity costs. When his older brother refuses to see through his end of the pact with the Century Demon that protects their tiny fiefdom, Gregory faces a difficult decision. He must choose one of his twin daughters to sacrifice to the demon. Lose one, or lose everything as his brother so recently discovered.

Gregory gives up Louisa, but then spends the rest of his life and his sanity trying to discover if she lives. He even goes so far as to make a deal with the Immortal Wishmaster, who hides his own dark past.

Lisa weaves these characters together in such a way that you’ll be deep into the book before you realize it. She draws you into this world and makes you care about each character, even the ones you should dislike. Gregory, the father who had to make the most impossible choice. The Wishmaster, bound to balance his own light and darkness within. The Century Demon, wholly given over to revenge, even has a past that makes her bitterness understandable.

I’m so glad I picked this up and will be keeping my eye out for more from Lisa.

Grab your copy on Amazon now.

Book Review – The Sand Dweller by Molly Neely

sanddweller

The Sand Dweller
Molly Neely
5 Stars

This book, my Gentle Readers, is a fantastic journey of one man’s quest to overcome his birthright and find redemption.

Molly weaves classic Christian And Egyptian figures into a tale stretching from thousands of years BC, to present day.

Lucifer’s top general in Hell, Azazeal, has a desire to possess the fallen first female, Lilith.  He proposes a bet, a winner take all battle between a single offspring from each of them. With Lucifer’s blessing they begin.

What follows is a spiritual journey that challenges the concept of “nurture vs. nature”, begging the question “Can one overcome their birthright?” Malachi bin Sinai, son of Azazeal, would like to know. His path weaves from ancient Egypt, past the crucifixion, a stint as a Roman gladiator, to end in a brutal battle with his nemesis, Ra.

I couldn’t put this one down and I doubt you will be able to either.

‘The Sand Dweller’ on Amazon

Molly Neely on Facebook

Molly Neely on Twitter @mollyneely

Book Review – Celtic Curse: Banshee by D.J. Doyle

celticcursebanshee
The Celtic Curse: Banshee
D.J. Doyle
4 Stars

Gentle Readers, I know it has been some time since my last review. I have been terribly busy and I apologize for that. Let’s dive into this one shall we?

This story has love, betrayal, murder, supernatural curses, and eventually, a seeking of redemption. The beginning is great in that it gives us some background on the Banshee and why she is doing the haunting she is. I feel this was rushed quite a bit. Her becoming a banshee could almost have been a novel (or at least a novella) all on its own.

Fast forward many generations and finally the bloodline is linked strongly enough to its Irish roots in order for her to come back with enough power to enact revenge again. This begins a race against time before the Banshee takes her next victim. Again, to me this was rushed a bit. There is also some tension, and one not so mild sexual scene, that seemed gratuitous and forced. Perhaps there was more to this storyline that made the scene/tension less “WOW, Here I am”. If so, I think it was lost to the editing floor.

Overall I thought it an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what the author does with their next work.

Celtic Curse:Banshee on Amazon

D.J. Doyle on Facebook

Book Review – God is a Woman by Michael Tavon


God is a Woman
Michael Tavon
3 Stars

I’m going to put a little parental advisory here, my Gentle Readers. While not nearly the most explicit thing I have ever read, there are parts of this book not suitable for the kiddos.

That said, I want to like this book. Price Jones is a broken man. A broken home, molestation, and a mother who eventually checked out on drugs lead to an adult who can’t cope without alcohol. Price’s redeeming quality centers on his ability with the written word, at least to the few people close to him. His latest book sold more copies than his previous two, but he isn’t topping any best seller lists. His journey to redemption is, if at all possible, going to be difficult.

There is a great story here, even if you ignore the sometimes gratuitous sexual explicitness. The problem for me was in the editing/proofreading of this work. There are many varied errors that will snap the attentive reader out of the story. If you can overlook them however, you can find a great journey of self discovery and redemption.

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Book Review – The Student by Frank Weisener

thestudent
The Student (Jerome Water Book 1)
Frank Weisener
4 Stars

 

Crime Dramas are not my normal cup of tea for reading, my Gentle Readers. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the TV shows, I just normally do not read them. This series might become my first exception. Frank does a great job of weaving flashbacks and character backstory in bite size chunks so that you can understand the depth and motivations of his creations. Each chapter gives you a date and time, as well as the primary players in the scene. This allows you to follow along with the investigation as well as the criminal’s activities.

Something is wrong at Miami’s prestigious Florida International University. FIU students are turning up dead. It’s up to rookie detective Jerome Water to crack this case and bring the perp to justice. He’s not alone, however. He has his mentor, aging detective Poole, and former Miami Dade police officer turned private eye, Franco Tamargo. Can these three gumshoes find out who’s killing the students of FIU? Grab your copy of “The Student” today to find out.

The Student on Amazon

Frank Weisener on Goodreads

Book Review – 2020 by Jim Mosquera


2020 (Chandler Scott Series Book 1)
Jim Mosquera
3 Stars

Gentle Readers, this book will make you think. Jim weaves a tale of financial power players and behind the scenes politics that’s a bit too close to home.

Chandler Scott is a rising star reporter with his own show on the El Mundo television network. With the help of his mentor, Axel Schultz, he begins digging into a story mired deep in the current economic crisis. His investigations make him a target, as well as his girlfriend.

Jim Mosquera does some things right and some things wrong, in my humble opinion. The story begins very slow. There is a lot of info dump of character biographical information. The author seems to do this to establish the pedigree of the character and lend credibility to their statements and actions. While important for the story overall, these chunks of history really slow down the action in the first half to two thirds of the novel. The action does pick up from there. There is also a bit of restatement where a character says something, then the author gives us nearly the same thing as a separate sentence. This bogs down a few of the great dialogue sequences.

These issues aside the book ends on a note of making you want more, to find out just what Chandler is going to do in the wake of the forces arranged to control the flow of and existence of money in the United States and the world.

Jim Mosquera’s Website “The Sentinel.biz”

2020 on Amazon