While I’m away from keyboard – or home, anyway, since in all honesty I have multiple keyboards with me – I knew I wouldn’t have the time to read and review for the blog. So I asked some friends to give me links to promote their stuff, instead of mine. Or even promoting just one thing, like I do with my reviews (ok, ok, I know I usually do multiple things in reviews).
So here you are, plenty of goodness for everyone. I’ll let my readers look at blurbs and sneak-peeks to see what they like best. Dear readers, feel free to add links and blurbs in the comments, too!
The April Series, by Mackey Chandler
April is an exceptional young lady and something of a snoop. After a chance encounter with a spy, she finds herself involved with political intrigues that stretch her abilities. There is a terrible danger she, and her friends and family, will lose the only home she has ever known, and be forced to live on the slum ball Earth below. It’s more than an almost fourteen year old should have to deal with. Fortunately she has a lot of smart friends and allies. It’s a good things because things get very rough and dicey. They challenge the political status quo, and with a small population the only advantage they have in war is a thin technological edge.
THE PIUS TRILOGY
By Declan Finn
As the head of Vatican security, Giovanni Figlia must protect a new, African Pope who courts controversy every other day. The Pope’s latest project is to make Pius XII, “Hitler’s Pope,” a saint. Things haven’t gotten better since the Pope employed American mercenary Sean Ryan. Then a body fell onto the Vatican doorstep. Soon, a pattern emerges– people who go into the Pius XII historical archives are dying. Each time, a priest has been in the background– a priest close to the Pope. One of the victims was an al-Qaeda operative, drawing Scott “Mossad” Murphy of Israeli intelligence to Rome. Now, Ryan, Murphy and Figlia must join forces to unravel the mystery around the Vatican, as even the man Giovanni is supposed to protect looks like a suspect. To get out of this alive, they must discover if Hitler’s Pope was a Nazi collaborator, or a pious man.
Brad Handley sent me a book review
Music City – an Urban Fantasy by Sara Harvey
This is a great story that easily moves from Irish folklore to a modern urban fantasy, laced with a history of Nashville and the country music scene. I found the story to be a page turner and could not put it down. More then once I had to stop when my eyes were tired. In some ways this favorably reminded me of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. The characters you want to root for are worth rooting for and the villains are worthy of your scorn. Sara is a costumer and does a great job of placing you in a room as the events happen by giving you the lighting (light creeping through the fog), wardrobe and textures of the scene (musty velvet drapes). Her style is unique and delightful to read.
Collisions of the Damned (Pre-order)
by James Young
The Pacific Fleet has been defeated. The Imperial Japanese Navy is ascendant. In the Dutch East Indies, a band of Allies in old, tired ships desperately attempts to hold the line. _Collisions of the Damned_ is the second in the Usurper’s War Series, where Adolf Hitler’s death in 1940 has led to a very different World War II.
By Anita C Young
Coping with the loss of her husband and transformation to a supernatural being, Dr. Kayaran Ingham is thrust into the Architects of Lore’s strange, arcane world. As the first Seer born in over a 1000 years, Kay finds herself coveted, feared…and hunted. Forced to track the terrorists that killed her husband, Kay finds herself wondering if she has more in common with her alleged enemies than her friends.
Andrew Boyer reviews The Martian by Andy Weir. Just give me that old time science-fiction. I admit, I can get a little too focused on details. I enjoy solving puzzles, and figuring out how things work. It’s apparent that Andy Weir’s mind works the same way, as this book gave me all that and more. A character to root for in a life and death struggle, believable plot twists, and some humorous pop culture references to lighten it up: it’s a recipe for a book I couldn’t put down.
by James Schardt
Short Story. A lawyer witnesses a triple murder while stranded in a rural town. Events quickly escalate. Was it actually murder – or vigilante justice? The local Provost is a former hero turned drunkard in need of redemption. Will they be able to uphold the rule of law and still ensure justice is served?
Forge A New Blade, Book 2 of The Laredo Trilogy by Peter Grant
An action-packed tale of invasion, resistance and the savagery of war!
Dave Carson, new President of Laredo’s Government-in-Exile, needs allies and weapons to drive the Bactrian occupiers from his planet. He finds the interplanetary arms market holds its own dangers instead, and Bactria wants him dead.
Satrap Rostam wants to cut Bactria’s losses, end the fighting, and set up civilian rule over Laredo. Unfortunately, his nobles depend on the profits of war. If he can’t overcome them, they’ll bury him.
Meanwhile, the survivors of the resistance on Laredo have their own plans. . .
Michael Kay sends me this note and recommendation:
This is a good buddy from survival forum we are both on. He does a webcomic you can check out at www.wanderingones.com. Be prepared to kill a couple days. This is his first book, I believe, other than compilations of his comic work. A lot of his comic work would fall into SF, as he does a lot with the spirit world interacting with humanity, and one short bit about a man who is compelled to travel through time to fight evil with his companion talking wolf.
The Sage Wind Blows Cold (Mac Crow Thrillers Book 1) Kindle Edition
by Clint Hollingsworth
WILDERNESS THRILLER, Chanticleer Dante Rossetti Awards 2014–Official Finalist
Bagging a killer should have been the end of it, but it was only the beginning.
Young tracker Mackenzie Crow, working at his uncle’s bounty hunting business, is ambivalent when an old flame pleads for help. His intuition tells him to scram and not look back, but Mac’s conscience won’t allow him to say ‘no’ to finding a lost child in the woods. Not sure where he stands with Kailee, Mac soon finds out: she is married to his old rival and she has kept this from him in order to solicit his expertise.
Once in the woods with the Search and Rescue team, Mac comes into his element and within a short time has found the child’s trail. He also finds something completely unexpected: a strange set of tracks following the girl. It’s clearly the day for unwanted surprises.
Deep in the woods, desperately following the trail, Mac comes upon an SAR volunteer face down in the forest with an arrow in his back. Little does Mac know, this is just the beginning of his problems.
Before this is through, he will be hunted by a psychopath and cadre of foreign mercenaries, all wanting to remove him from the land of the living.
Fancy Free by Pam Uphoff
In the last parts of the Twenty-first century, AI, Artificial Intelligence is commonplace. Highly able computers, and nothing more . . . until some rare and as yet unidentified trigger creates an actual personality.
Artificial Personalities, APs or hals, are illegal. Destroyed upon discovery. Even Beowulf, the AP the government controls, and uses to hunt down emerging hals, isn’t legally recognized, has no right to existence.
So you’d think that when the Special Grid Security Unit started paying extra attention to the area where a certain cooking show operates, Fancy Farmer—the AP who runs the show—would be concerned.
But Fancy has a bigger problem.
She’s been stolen.