Monthly Archives: December 2015

Backlist Burndown: Scourge of the Betrayers (Bloodsounder’s Arc #1) by Jeff Salyards

Backlist Burndown is a monthly meme hosted by Lisa from Tenacious Reader where you put aside at least one book from your blacklist every month to read, and then post a review of it on the last Friday of that month.

Scourge of the Betrayers (Bloodsounder’s Arc #1) by Jeff Salyards

Publisher: Night Shade Books

Publication Date: May 1, 2012 (first published Jul 25, 2006)

Edition: Hardcover, 320 pages

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Rating: 3/5

Salyards fights scene are brutal, rough, intense, and bloody. Some of the best I’ve ever read. Continue reading

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2015 In Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Guest Post: The Importance of Worldbuilding by Megan E. O’Keefe


Megan E. O’Keefe lives in the Bay Area of California and makes soap for a living. (It’s only a little like Fight Club.) She has worked in arts management and graphic design, and spends her free time tinkering with anything she can get her hands on.

Megan is a first place winner in the Writers of the Future competition, vol. 30. Steal the Sky is her first novel.

You can find Megan online at and@MeganofBlushie on Twitter.

 The Importance of Worldbuilding

by Megan E. O’Keefe

I love character-driven fiction. Give me a strong voice, solid motivations, and a protagonist willing to act, and I’m on board. But no character exists in a vacuum. They, like us, are products of their world and their upbringing. In genre fiction especially, characters are inextricably linked to the world you craft around them. For a character to be compelling, so too must be the world in which they inhabit.

It was worldbuilding that first lured me into writing fantasy. I found the idea of secondary worlds (worlds created from whole cloth) to be absolutely fascinating. You can create anything at all; the only limit is your imagination and what your readers are willing to believe. A well crafted world can transport you to fantastical, impossible places. Through internal consistency and vivid imagery, a well built world can also increase a story’s verisimilitude to make the reader feel as if they’re really there. Possibilities abound, but unfortunately writers too often fall into the trap of re-imagining medieval Europe, or perhaps the Renaissance. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Peter McLean


Today I am interviewing Peter McLean, author of the debut urban fantasy novel Drake, the first volume in the Burned Man series.

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DJ: Hey Peter! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Peter McLean: Hi, thanks for having me! Well, I’m English and a married grandfather in my 40s. I’ve been writing for over twenty years, and actually taking it seriously for perhaps the last five years or so. Since leaving school I’ve been a kung fu teacher, a Wiccan priest, a Unix technician and a chaos magician, and I am now an IT account manager at a multinational outsourcing corporation.

DJ: What is Drake about?

PM: Drake is a contemporary noir fantasy thriller about an alcoholic, hard-gambling, demon-summoning hitman and the murderous, chainsmoking angel he teams up with. Together they battle Furies and face Lucifer himself in their search for redemption. Continue reading

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Book Collecting: Update #18


LONG OVERDUE – but here are some books I got singed back in October!
Continue reading

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Book Review: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King

Publisher: Plume

Publication Date: June 24, 2003 (first published January, 1 1997)

Edition: Paperback, 672 pages

Genre: Horror, Western, Post-Apoclyptic

Rating: 4.5/5 Rating

Wait, did we just got some ANSWERS!? Continue reading

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Guest Post: My Experience Promoting Superhighway on Twitter by Alex Fayman


Alex Fayman was born in the former Soviet Union. His family immigrated to the United States in 1989 when he was twelve, in pursuit of religious freedom. Alex holds a PhD in finance and enjoys teaching and doing research at a university. He is happily married and has three sons.

 My Experience Promoting Superhighway on Twitter

by Alex Fayman

In February 2015, I published my first novel Superhighway and was looking at a daunting task of promoting the book without a single dollar allotted for promotional purposes. I had never used Twitter, so in February I started learning to tweet with a handful of followers @AlexFayman. 6 weeks after I started tweeting, I had over 9,000 Twitter followers. The Twitter community really appreciated the creative ways I came up with to advertise Superhighway. I used images of exotic locations, cars and people in order to convey the subject matter of the book. I still use a great hook line “What would you do if you had the power to fly through the Internet and change data?” Continue reading

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Book Review: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King

Publisher: Plume

Publication Date: June 24, 2003 (first published January, 1 1991)

Edition: Paperback, 422 pages

Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy, Post-Apoclyptic

Rating: 4.5/5 Rating

This was The Dark Tower I’ve been waiting for Continue reading

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