Monthly Archives: September 2016

Backlist Burndown: The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2) by Brian Staveley

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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.

What?! Yeah, taht right! DJ is acutally posting a book review! 😀

Completely forgot I still had a couple novels reviews stored away for the Backlist Burndown! (so no, sadly, this is not me having free-time to read in medical school).


The Providence of Fire (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #2) by Brian Staveley

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: January 13, 2015

Edition: Hardcover, 608 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5


This was why I nominated Brian Staveley for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alesha Escobar

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Today I am interviewing Alesha Escobar, a fellow time-travel enthusiast, and author of the paranormal fantasy series, The Gray Tower Trilogy, which is currently on sale for 0.99¢!

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

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

Alesha Escobar: Of course! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, I’m an unrepentant caffeine addict, and when I’m not writing, I’m probably stalking other authors whom I adore. I enjoy reading the classics, as well as sci-fi and fantasy, and the Hellblazer comics. I’m married to an amazing geeky guy who storyboards for The Simpsons TV show.

DJ: What is the Gray Tower trilogy about?

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Alesha: It’s about an alternate World War II, with a supernatural twist. The Nazis have recruited warlocks and vampires to help them win the war, and British intelligence has responded by hiring wizards trained by the benevolent yet aloof Gray Tower. There’s magic, espionage, heart-pounding action, with a dash of humor and romance thrown in.

DJ: What were some of your influences for the Gray Tower trilogy?

Alesha: The historical research was a huge influence. There really was a Special Operations Executive (SOE) spy organization during WWII, comprised mostly of women who Winston Churchill believed would go unnoticed while infiltrating Nazi-occupied territory but could still deal a lot of damage. He called them “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” with good reason. In terms of the fantasy aspect, an important influence was Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time). I was fascinated by the structure of the Aes Sedai society and how they functioned at various levels in greater society. Readers who are familiar with that will pick up on the parallel structure presented with the Gray Tower and its wizards. Continue reading

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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Bloodbound Trilogy by Erin Lindsey

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Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. The Bloodbound series is her first effort. She divides her time between Brookyn, NY and Calgary, Alberta. She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.


*The pubsliher was kind enough to provide one (1) set of the entire Bloodbound trilogy by Erin Lindsey, to go along with this except! That’s all three (3) books!!!! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview :)


The Bloodsworn (Bloodbound #3)

by Erin Lindsey

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Continue reading

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Author Interview: Alex Lamb

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Today I am interviewing Alex Lamb, author of the new science fiction, space opera novel, Roboteer, first book of the Roboteer trilogy.

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

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

Alex Lamb: Sure. I was born in Britain and now live in Santa Cruz, CA. I’m a dad. I like hiking. And I’ve had a rather confused career. I’ve been an improv comedy instructor, a research scientist, a software developer, and a communication skills trainer for Olympic athletes, executives and engineers. My resume looks like a bomb hit it. Right now, though, I’m loving being a writer.

DJ: What is Roboteer about?

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Alex: It’s about a young man, Will Monet, who’s been bred to interface with machines. He grows up on a human colony world, Galatea, that’s struggling with a failed terraforming project. Genetic engineering has become the norm.

His planet finds itself suddenly caught up in a war with Earth: the homeworld that abandoned them a long time ago. The government has passed into the hands of a group of religious extremists and they want their colonies back. However, they’re not that keen on keeping the actual colonists.

Will finds himself working on a starship on a secret mission that might decide the war. However, these aren’t your nice, ordinary, clean starships. In this future, starships need to be miles on a side to fit in all the horribly radioactive accelerator machinery they run on. And the only room for people on those ships is a space about the size of a minivan tucked right down in the center. All the work on the ship is done by thousands of robots out in the hull, and it’s Will’s job to manage all of them. The other five people on the ship are genius scientists and military officers who make all the decisions.

They find themselves fighting for their lives. And the mission gets bigger than any of them expected. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Brian Evenson

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Today I am interviewing Brian Evenson, author of the new science-fiction novella, The Warren.

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DJ: Hey Brian! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!

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

Brian Evenson: Thanks, very happy to do it! I’m a writer who is known for having one foot in literature and one foot in genre, for bringing elements of both literary fiction and genre fiction together. I’ve published a dozen books of fiction under my own name. Under the slightly different name B. K. Evenson, I’ve published an Aliens novel, two novels set in the world of the video game Dead Space, and a collaboration (Lords of Salem) with Rob Zombie.

DJ: What is The Warren about?

Brian: It’s about a person, named X, who may or may not be human. He is alone in a place he calls the warren, on a hostile planet, with only a kind of machine he calls the monitor to advise him. But the monitor is old and flawed and has vast sectors of data that are corrupted. He knows that there have been others like him—some of their memories seem to have been implanted in him, maybe even their whole personalities—but he’s alone now. When he encounters someone who is both like him and not like him, his questions really begin. Continue reading

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New-Release Spotlight: The Thirteenth Man by J.L. Doty

About the Book:

From the author of The Treasons Cycle, The Gods Within, and The Dead Among Us series comes a stand-alone science fiction novel for fans of David Weber, B.V. Larson, Lois McMaster Bujold, and more!

When Commander Charlie Cass, the bastard son of the Duke de Maris, returns from five years in a squalid Syndonese POW camp, he finds that little has changed in the Realm. As always, the King and the nine Dukes are conspiring against each other, but now some of them are plotting with Charlie’s old enemy—and as interstellar war looms, they certainly don’t need Charlie Cass messing up their delicate plans. Unfortunately for them, that’s what he’s best at.

Which means he’ll likely face the headsman’s axe.

Spanning the galaxy, The Thirteenth Man blends the best traditions of space opera and military sci-fi into a non-stop adventure that’s as much Patrick O’Brien as it is John Scalzi.

Continue reading

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Author Interview: D. Nolan Clark

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Today I am interviewing D. Nolan Clark, author of the new science fiction novel, Forsaken Skies, first book in The Silence series.

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

For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself? (Or who you actually are?) 😉

D. Nolan Clark: Ha! Yeah, it’s a pseudonym. I’m actually David Wellington, the bestselling horror writer. D. Nolan Clark is what I call myself when I’m writing science fiction. I’m really excited to bring this book out—in some ways it’s the book I’ve been trying to write since I was six years old and I first saw Star Wars. I always meant to write science fiction, and in fact when I published my first novel (Monster Island) I thought I was writing sf. Of course, it had zombies in it, so it got put on the horror shelf.

DJ: What is Forsaken Skies about?

D. Nolan Clark: It’s about the Great Silence, the Great Filter, the Fermi Paradox. The question of why, in a universe full of planets capable of harboring life, we’ve never detected any. The book suggests one answer for that question. It’s also about a future where runaway capitalism and runaway militarism have left us in a very bad position to find out what happened to all the aliens. Continue reading

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Author Interview: Janine A. Southward

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Today I am interviewing Janine A. Southard, editor of the new urban fantasy anthology, Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology.

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

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

Janine A. Southward: Hi, DJ. Thanks for having me! I’m a science-fiction/fantasy author and editor. (My most popular book is probably Queen & Commander, for those of you who read young adult space adventures.) In the past few years, I’ve been writing more and editing less, so it was great to get back to working with other authors on this new project.

DJ: What is Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology about?

Janine: Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is about the intersections of magic and technology in our modern lives. We all walk around with smartphones in our pockets these days. We sleep with them and consult them for the tiniest things. But do we really understand how they work? Would adding a magical element make a huge difference?

This anthology includes fantastic explorations of modern human nature, from the guy who ignores a phone that always gives perfect directions to the team of programmers who create an app that does magic.

My favorite thing about these stories is how positive they are about technology. Lately, half the non-fiction articles I read complain that phones and digital culture are destroying human interaction. Not in Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology! It’s got matchmaking phones and helpful diet trackers instead. Continue reading

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Author Interview and Giveaway: Erin Lindsey

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The pubsliher was kind enough to provide one (1) free copy of The Bloodbound (Bloodhound #1), that the first book in the Bloodbound trilogy, to go along with this interview! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview:)

Today I am interviewing Erin Lindsey, author of the new fantasy novel, The Bloodsworn, final book in the Bloodbound trilogy!

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Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Erin Lindsey: When I’m not reading or writing, chances are I’m doing something else creative, like playing music or painting. Or I’m in the mountains. I have a deep love of the outdoors that I think probably comes through pretty strongly in my writing.

Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Alix? Were you inspired by any historical figures when developing her character?

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Erin: Alix stubbornly refused to be the noblewoman I thought I wanted her to be. Those refined manners just wouldn’t stick. I’d start a scene with the idea that Alix would behave in a manner appropriate to her station, but it never seemed to work out that way; she was constantly putting her foot in her mouth and messing it up. The result was a lot more awkward moments of Alix fighting her own nature than I’d ever planned. It’s kind of a cliché for authors to say that their characters have minds of their own, but they kinda do sometimes.

Q: What appeals to you about writing Fantasy? What is your process for world-building?

Erin: One of the things I like best about writing fantasy is the chance to dabble in what ifs. Starting off with a premise and then going through all the implications of that premise in order to build your cultures, history, etc. For example, what if winter lasted years instead of months? It seems like a pretty small twist at first, but when you start to think through the implications – how these different circumstances would affect familiar societies and institutions – the ramifications are actually huge. I really like to play around with questions like these, starting out with a world that’s very like our own, and then giving it a twist. Altered geography, say, or a fork in the road of history. It’s a creative exercise, but also an intellectual one. And it makes for some really rich, believable settings. Continue reading

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Author Interview: S.C. Flynn

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Today I am interviewing S. C. Flynn, author of the Australian YA post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Children of the Different, just released.

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DJ: Hey S.C.! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!

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

SCF: I am an Australian/British/Irish/Italian reader and obsessive reviser. I was born in a small town in South West Western Australia, but I have lived in Europe for more than twenty years. First the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of my ancestors. That has been a great experience, but also difficult and lonely at times.

My whole life has been fairly multicultural, I guess. The town I grew up in had lots of different nationalities. And there was the Australian Aboriginal culture. When I lived in London, there seemed to be just about every culture in the world! Then I met my Italian wife and lived in Italy, and now I speak fluent Italian. So you never really know what directions life will take you in!

Oh, I have played old jazz and drunk strong coffee all my life. So not much of a morning person, no.

DJ: What is Children of the Different about?

SCF: “Children of the Different” is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set in Western Australia. The story begins twenty years after a brain disease killed almost the entire world’s population. All the survivors had something special about their brains, and now their children go into a coma at the beginning of adolescence and either emerge damaged or with special powers. The novel follows the Changings and later adventures of two telepathic twins, Narrah (a boy) and Arika (a girl). Continue reading

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