Saturday, April 28, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave Issue #1217

5 comments
Heavy Bombers: Fearsome Angels of the Cold War over at Dark Roast Blend

Hello and welcome to issue #1217 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Tomorrow we leave our home for hopefully relaxing two weeks which we will spend in Bansin (more info) on the Baltic Sea island Usedom. That means two weeks without computer, phon, noisee, stress and so on. Only me, my wife and the Baltic Sea.

The issues #1218 and #1219 of Edi's Weekend Wave will be replaced by alternative posts.But there will more action on the blog. You will get a lot of input. For the 14 days of my absence I prepared in sum IX posts for you!! No, there will be no guest blogger. I did this all on my own.
So don't forget to visit Edi's Book Lighthouse.

How will the comment section of my blog look like after our return on May 13th? The result depends on you.

ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. A real book
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Airplanes
  2. Mark Hodder interview

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. Once again The Avengers

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Refuse

The Lighthouse



Reading progress? Somehow I managed to finish one book. I needed most of the time for finishing posts. In sum I read 266 pages. I look forward to my holiday. There will be more time for reading.

I finished

- In the Name of the King (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A L Berridge


I'm


- 202 pages in The Alchemist of Souls [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by Anne Lyle
No progress.


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

This week I received a paperback copy of Bitter Seeds (mmpb,2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0765361202] by Ian Tregillis which I ordered a long time ago. To whatever reason the publishing date of the mmpb has been postponed again and again. The hardcover has been published in 2010. Hopefully the story will not repeat with The Coldest War which is the second book in the Milkweed Triptych series.

"It's 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly normal man gets caught in between.
 British secret agent Raybould Marsh is haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him.
 When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities--a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present--Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay.
But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be." [Back of the book]
Why do I want to read this book?  I read Liviu Suciu's convincing review in 2010. Afterwards I knew I wanted a copy of this book. But due to space problems I buy mostly mmpb and it took time until they published it. And a few days ago Graeme gave a Ten out of Ten which dos not happen that often.


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

To be honest I have been far too tired to get more input for this part of the post.

I like aiplanes I was a boy. And every time I find a post like this one - Heavy Bombers: Fearsome Angels of the Cold War over at Dark Roasted Blend - I must read it.

Mark Hodder, the author of the Burton & Swinburne gave an interview over at a Forbidden Planet signing of his latest book: Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (November 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1616145354].



That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

It maybe a bit crazy. Tomorrow morning at 6 am we go on holiday. And what do we do today? We go to cinema before packing our bags. Luckily we got two tickets for Marvel Avengers Assemble !!!
I think that is reason enough to post the trailer again.




That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

It seems Jean-Paul Sartre has a point ........


"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
Jean-Paul Sartre, French author & existentialist philosopher (1905 - 1980)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Overkill Blog Tour: Writing an aged Hero by Steven Shrewsbury

2 comments
Dear Readers,

today Edi's Book Lighthouse is the blog stop on the

It all began with Thrall (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-09780983108634] by Steven Shrewsbury. I reviewed the first novel starring the aging warrior Gorias La Gaul. Thrall ends with the following words: THE END ?

Fortunately the answer has been NO.
In December 2011 followed the release of two short stories:

Author and Finisher of Our Flesh by Steven L. Shrewsbury (Blood & Steel: Legends of La Gaul Collection) [ebook, where to buy] my review
and
Insurmountable by Steven L. Shrewsbury
(Blood & Steel: Legends of La Gaul Collection)
[ebook, where to buy] my review.

And now Overkill (pb, 2012) [ISBN-13: 978-1937929800] by Steven Shrewsbury is in the starting blocks. Yes, this is the sceond full novel starring Gorias La Gaul.

When I have been asked to be part of the Overkill blog tour I agreed with pleasure because it delivered me the perfect opportunity to get a detailed answer to a specific question. I wanted to know why Steven Shrewsbury chose to write about an aged hero.
I got my answer in form of a guest post which I share today with you.

Here we go:


WRITING AN AGED HERO
by Steven L. Shrewsbury

Someone asked me why I made Gorias La Gaul (the flawed hero of OVERKILL and THRALL) 700 years old. Seeing as both works are set in an antediluvian age where most everyone lives to be near to 900, I wanted a guy that’d lived a long time, lots of trail dust and even more than sixty years could provide. True, he’s seen and done a lot in his aging body, and frankly, this would provide an endless amount of back-story. No, I didn’t vomit this saga out in one volume but don’t intend to write a series where each one is so interlocked a casual reader can’t grab one and enjoy the stand-alone tale.

I also made him older as I wanted limits on his ability. Gorias can actually get tired, and thus it tests my creativity to get him out of a situation. In THRALL he battles a man of superior ability at a slave caravan. He must use his guile to defeat him, not just his badass strength.

Another reader asked if I created Gorias older as I’m not in my twenties any more. Frankly, I haven’t written for my own age group ever. There may be a few legs on that theory as one’s mortality can bring about fears, perhaps small, but they manifest in strange ways. Giving my main character the usual aches and pains of life makes for a real read, I wager. I oft say, “I’m not over the hill, but I can see the base coming up fast.”

Let’s face it: Most fantasy stories are in pretty hard to swallow realms anyway. I set mine, usually, in a lost sliver of our own Earth’s history, thus, the sky is blue, the seasons roll and there’s one sun in the sky. However, among the dragons, odd creatures and weird magicks I try to make the characters as real as possible, Gorias is older, not a real paladin by any means, and he runs into bad seeds. Having a series of characters motivated by petty greed, or flaws in their character makes for interesting tales, I think. Not every bad character is really bad, certainly not in their own opinion.

Nosmada, the dark lord in THRALL isn’t evil in his mind and just trying too appeasing his God’s wrath albeit in a bizarre way. The motivations of Queen Garnet in OVERKILL seem starchy and elitist, yet Gorias goes along for the ride. The diverse groups he meets, the religious maniacs or pirates, military men and warriors, all have their own agenda. If Gorias were a teen on his first adventure, I doubt he’d have made it through the opening chapters with any realism attached. Plus, his long history makes him a target. Many want to kill Gorias to be a part of his legend, a portion of that bar song, like he relates, “The part where I get killed.”

700 years of life won’t give a character a TWILIGHT glittery glow, but the rough surface left by such time is a canvas I chose to paint on, usually with material drawn from the hearts of fallen foes.


I hope you enjoyed the guest post as much as I did.
In case you have missed the other blog tour stops you don't need to worry. Of course I deliver you the list of all Overkill blog tour stops:

April 20 Watch Play Read

April 21 SpecMusicMuse

April 22 Splash of Our Worlds

April 23 Edi's Book Lighthouse

April 24 Sci-Fi Guys Book Review

April 25 Jess Resides Here

April 26 Book Den

April 27 That Book Place Blog

April 28 Urban Fantasy Reviews

April 29 Evie Bookish

April 30 Eva's Sanctuary

May 1 Azure Dwarf Horde of Sci-Fi & Fantasy

May 2 Darlene's Book Nook

May 3 Ginger Nuts of Horror

May 4 Ali's Bookshelf

May 5 The Magick Pen

May 6 Book and Movie Dimension Blog

May 7 The Cabin Goddess

May 8 Bee's Knees Reviews

May 9 I Smell Sheep

May 10 Once Upon A Time

May 11 Ritesh Kala's Book Review

May 12 Goatfairy Review Blog

May 13 Fantasy Book Review

May 14 Babs Book Bistro

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave Issue #1216

9 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #1216 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
I returned from my business trip to UK on Friday 10.30 pm. So I have to write this issue of the Weekend Wave today (Saturday).
You will notice that this issue looks a bit different compared to the last ones. Beside that you read the last but one before my holiday.
I think I used the word holiday in the past weeks a way too often. But that shows how much I look forward to it. Anyway don't forget to comeback while I'm away - I prepared interesting things for you.

ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. What I came across after my return
  2. I have to tell you a story
  3. Reading progress
  4. An Announcement
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. A digital copy for free
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Post series
  2. Massing Manuscripts
  3. Post series

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. One Game, Three Videos
  2. An Advertisement

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Refuse

The Lighthouse

I always hesitate a bit to open my mail accounts and my Google Reader after the return from a business trip. Of course I know that there will be a lot of entries but how many? Anyway the longer I blog and the more people I get in contact with the more entries I get.
"Only" 120 mails and more than 1000 Google Reader entries are waiting for me. In case you wait for an answer please be patient with me.
My priority for today is to write and post this issue of the Weekend Wave.


And now it is story time.
I need to tell you something which does not happen that often. As I mentioned several times, I have been on a business trip to UK last week.
That happens once a while. Of course I also inform people/friends with whom I stay in contact.
Author A L Berridge belongs to the mentioned group of people/friends.
She mailed back and asked me where I will go to. Of course I told her.
And then she came back with an magificent proposal: Let us meet!! I got excited and danced around the table! I assume you know the answer I sent to her.
So in the evening of last Thursday I met an author for the first time in my life!
We met and started immediately to talk and went on talking for the next two hours. It was unbelievable. So many things to talk about. We could have continued for hours but unfortunately she had to leave after two hours. I hope you understand that I do not go into details. But I can tell you we talked about wild mix of topics from books to family, from past to future plans. I never, never, never expected that. We know for sure that we want to meet us again - whenever it will be.
It have been lucky circumstances. This was the perfect combination of business trip and private matters.

Anyway I reviewed her first book Honour and the Sword and be sure you will read more about A L Berridge on Edi's Book Lighthouse soon.
I also recommend her posts over at The History Girls at the 20th of a month.



Reading progress slowed down last week due to my business trip. In sum I read 188 pages. But sometimes it is more important to meet people instead of reading.

I'm

- 224 pages in In the Name of the King (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A L Berridge
At least a progress of 188 pages.

- 202 pages in The Alchemist of Souls [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by Anne Lyle
No progress.


I just want to remind you that on Monday, April 23rd, Edi's Book Lighthouse is the next stop of the


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

I have been lucky this week. I found time to read a handful of private mails during my busines trip last week. And one of these five mails have been sent by author Stephen Zimmer. He wrote me that I could get the second book in the Leland Dragon series by by Jackie Gamber for free on one specific day. I informed immediately my wife which downloaded the electronic copy of Sela (March 2012) [Kindle edition, ASIN: B007LD3L0U] for me.
"Peace was fleeting. Vorham Riddess, Venur of Esra Province, covets the crystal ore buried deep in Leland's mountains. His latest device to obtain it: land by marriage to a Leland maiden. But that's not all.
Among Dragonkind, old threats haunt Mount Gore, and shadows loom in the thoughts of the Red who restored life to land and love. A dragon hunter, scarred from countless battles, discovers he can yet suffer more wounds.
In the midst of it all, Sela Redheart is lost, driven from her home with only her old uncle to watch over her. As the dragon-born child of Kallon, the leader of Leland's Dragon Council, she is trapped in human form with no understanding of how she transformed, or how to turn back.
Wanderers seek a home, schemes begin to unfurl, and all is at risk as magic and murder, marriage and mystery strangle the heart of Esra. A struggle for power far older and deeper than anyone realizes will leave no human or dragon unaffected.
In a world where magic is born of feeling, where the love between a girl and a dragon was once transformative, what power dwells in the heart of young Sela?" [Source]


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

In the world of book blogs you will find either by recommendation or with the some luck post series.
Today I highly recommend all the post series WOMEN IN SF&F MONTH over at Fantasy Cafe. So far 17!!! posts are available.
So far I did not find to read each post in detail but promise a lot of excellent content.


I like mysteries and I also like to read about missing things like documents. In case you would like to read more about it I recommend
to read Missing Manuscripts: 7 Lost Wonders of the Written Word over at WebUrbanist.


I must say I found a lot of book recommendations for myself over at Falcata Times. On April 17th they started a STEAMPUNK WEEK.
So if you are interested to discover steampunk authors and their books I recommend to have a look at this still ongoing post series.

That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

This is one of these weeks which deliver as many interesting movie trailer for me as a mummy delivers blood for a vampire: Exactly zero!

After all these years I still like to play video games. In difference to former times I spend significantly less time for playing and I am more selective nowadays. But it seems I found my game for 2012 - even the game will be released not before December. I do not want to tell you much about it. I watched following videos and read the available information over at Game Informer. There are a few things which really aroused my interest: The setting, to make decisions which have an impact on the story AND the surrounding, the variety of possible solutions. And the name of the game is: DISHONORED

DISHONORED: The offical trailer


DISHONORED: Stealthy, Gruesome Murder


DISHONORED: Creating Steampunk Beauty

To be honest the gentlemen at 0:20 reminded me of a PC game from 2001 with the title Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.

As I told you in my introduction todays content is different. I did not find a trailer I would like to share with you.
Fortunately I am what I am which means I am always good for something unexpected like the following one:

If you have more than one electronical device in your home the challenge begins: cable management. How does it look like behind/beneath your TV, DVD, BLUE RAY, SOUND SYSTEM, GAME CONSOLES, and, and, and, ......

I admit I am not the perfect cable manager. The following ad shows a possible solution:

Did I get paid by IKEA for posting this ad? NO ! But if the would offer me an UPPLEVA (a 32" would be appreciated) for free would not deny it ....

That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

Today I dismiss you with a thought-provoking quote which is more than 200 years old .....

"I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.
Voltaire, French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Sentient Fire Giveaway Winner

2 comments
GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!


Today is a lucky day for three persons because today I announce the winners of the

The Sentient Fire
Giveaway


The price(s):
- A Smashwords Coupon Code for one copy of The Sentient Fire
- Two 50% off Smashwords Coupon Codes for two copies of The Sentient Fire

The Smashwords Coupon Code for one copy of The Sentient Fire goes to ...... RaveAir !!!
Congratulations RaveAir. Now you can check for yourself if you can cope with the cliffhanger or not. I look forward to read your opinion.
I sent you a mail with the code.


The First 50% off Smashwords Coupon Code for a copy of The Sentient Fire goes to .... rubydog !!!
Congratulations rubydog. Please send a mail with a valid mail address to edisbooklighthouse[at]gmail[dot]com. Without I can't send to Code to you.


The Second 50% off Smashwords Coupon Code for a copy of The Sentient Fire goes to .... Alex J. Cavanaugh !!
Congratulations Alex. I sent you a mail with the code.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Edi's Weekend Wave Issue #1215

12 comments
Hello and welcome to issue #1215 of Edi's Weekend Wave.
Holiday is coming nearer - only two weeks to go. Before I will be on a business trip to UK from Tuesday afternoon to Friday evening. When everything goes well I have to tell an interesting story in the next Weekend Wave issue.

ENJOY READING ....


Edi's Guidepost

The Lighthouse
News and information straight from the horse's mouth by Lighthouse keeper ediFanoB

  1. Reading progress
  2. A Reminder for you
  3. A Reminder for myself
Books
The latest report from our shelf shop net correspondent Bona
  1. A German book
  2. Finds for my neverending book list
Blogosphere
Messages from the depths of the blogosphere by spheronaut Bona Fide
  1. Buildings at isolated places
  2. A new book source for me

Movies
Remote control junkie Fide and his zapping highlights
  1. The Wooden Cabin

Quotes
The member of the house of quotes and a quote himself the Keeper of the minutes ( we call him Kotm) fished for you
  1. German proverbs, sayings and idioms Refuse

The Lighthouse


Dcisions, decisions. Reading is my hobby but I do not live in a vacuum. To keep it short: I read only 181 pages last week. But I kept 50% of my promise and finished on book. I do not complain because I did a lot of other things last week.


I finished

- Into the Valley of Death (ARC) by A. L. Berridge
Excellent historical fiction!
Will there be a review? Yes!
When? 10th of May 2012!
Will you tell more? It is part of .....
Why do you do that? I want to arise interest for something special on Edi's Book Lighthouse the blog while I'm on Holiday.


I'm

- 31 pages in In the Name of the King (2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0141043746] by A L Berridge
This is the second book in the The Chevalier Series
I hope it will continue on the same level as Honour and the Sword (review)

- 202 pages in The Alchemist of Souls [ISBN-13: 978-0857662149] by Anne Lyle
I wanted to finish it last week .... Anyway I like this fantasy story set in Elizabethan England a lot.


I just want to remind you that you still can take part in my latest giveaway:

The price(s): - A Smashwords Coupon Code for one copy of The Sentient Fire - Two 50% off Smashwords Coupon Codes for two copies of The Sentient Fire This giveaway is opened world wide and ends on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

To take part is simple. Click on the cover which takes you straight ahead to the review and giveaway.


Two weeks left until we go on holiday and I still have a lot to do:

- Preparing posts for the time while my wife and I are on holiday (you will not get rid of me while I'm away)

- Prepare posts for the time before holiday (Thre will be mininum four and maximum five)

- To finish my two current reads (hopefully I'm not too tired during my business trip)

- Decision what to read on holiday (DONE! Read the following passage)

Anyway I feel highly motivated to do all these things. And with such a lovely wife at my side I will achieve it.

I can tell you love moves mountains ....


From emotional point of view it is nearly impossible to decide what to read on holiday. The only way out is to look at the facts:

- We will take our Sony Reader with us. So far I have around 30 unread books stored over there. As we share the reader, it makes sense to take additionally some paperbacks with me.

- Normally I read 70 pages per day. We leave on April 29 and return on May 13. So I will count the travel days as one day. That means 14 days multiplied by 70 pages per day equals 980 pages which means two to four books depend on the length of a book.

After torturing my brain for hours I finally decided to take following four paperbacks with me:


I love to read series but I fail ofen to finish series due to manifold reasons. Do you know the Nightrunner series by Lynn Flewelling?
I posted about it in October 2012 and I wrote:
"I plan to return to the series in May 2012."

Traitor's Moon (pb, 1999) [ISBN-13: 978-0553577255] is the third book in the Nightrunner series and the first on my holiday list.

The story of Alec of Kerry and his mentor Seregil of Rhiminee, a spy, rogue, thief, and noble continues.
"Seregil and Alec have spent the last two years in self-imposed exile, far from their adopted homeland, Skala, and the bitter memories there. But their time of peace is shattered by a desperate summons from Queen Idrilain, asking them to aid her daughter on a mission to Aurenen, the very land from which Seregil was exiled in his youth." [Source]

Last year I read The Martian Ambassador (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080] by Alan Baker within our holidays. Maybe this is a good omen take the second Blackwood & Harrington Mystery:
The Feaster from the Stars (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1907777-080] with me.
"LONDON, 1899
Something strange is happening on the London Underground. The ghosts which haunt the platforms and tunnels are being seen much more frequently than usual, and it seems that they have become angry and frightened for some reason. There is, apparently, something on the network of which even the dead are afraid, and the train drivers and other staff are becoming increasingly reluctant to work there. The new atmospheric railway is being installed, and the railway companies are demanding that the mystery be solved before their investments go up in a puff of steam. When a train driver named Alfie Morgan is driven insane by something indescribable in the remote section of the network known as the Kennington Loop, Queen Victoria instructs her Bureau of Clandestine Affairs to investigate.
Enter Thomas Blackwood, Special Investigator, and Lady Sophia Harrington, Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research. Along with Detective Gerhard de Chardin of the Metropolitan Templar Police and the famous occultist Simon Castaigne, Blackwood and Sophia plunge into a terrifying adventure which takes them from the dank tunnels of the London Underground to the depths of interstellar space and a dying planet known as Carcosa, where a horrific being from beyond the ordered universe has set its sights on Earth. The being is known as the King in Yellow, or the Feaster from the Stars, and unless Blackwood and Sophia can prevail, it will descend upon the Earth and consume every living thing upon it!" [Source]


Unbelievable but true there is a series where I'm only one book behind regarding reading. It is the fifth of planned seven books. That is the reason why I avoid to post the blurb.


Gates of Rome (2012) [ISBN-13: 978-0141336497] by Alex Scarrow
(Fifth book in the TimeRiders series. I read all the books so far and reviewed the first three books. It is a great series about time traveling. Also adults can enjoy this series.)


The last and final book is ... no historical fiction as you may have expected. I have mentioned the book three times before and that should be reason enough to take my copy of Babylon Steel (544p., pb, 2011] [ISBN-13: 978-1907992384] by Gaie Sebold with me.
Mmmh, you can't remember what the book is about? At your service:

"Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex… other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock.
She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it’s tax time, and there’s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night’s takings are at risk when Babylon’s hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat." [Source]
Gaie Sebold wrote about Babylon Steel:
"I never expected that I would write about someone who runs a brothel; about sex and sexuality in a fantasy setting. Heavens, I wasn't even brought up to think about such things in any setting. But there. There's probably some apt saying about this, and if I ever find it, I shall quote it." [Source]
And you should know that Gaie Sebold is working on a sequel ...

The more I read and think about these four books the more I want to read them. In fact that means 50% less books compared to last year.
I can hold them in one hand. How many pages? *piping and looking into the air* Sorry, was that a question where you expect an answer?
around 1872 pages whin means 134 pages per day ....


Enjoy your weekend ....


Books

Dear readers, I'm the one to tell you about books - only books? What about novellas and other stuff? My name is Bona. I scour shelves, shops and the net for books. If you call me a book whore I would not gainsay you. But be aware I have my own, sometimes elusive taste.

I bought an electronic copy of a book in German written by a German author! That happens seldom. I share this information especially for all my readers who look for interesting reads in German. I hope this alternate reality novel is after your taste:
Die Fahrt des LEVIATHAN (2012) [Kindle edition, ASIN: B007RNJMO8] by Oliver Henkel
"Wilhelm Pfeyfer, Major und Kommandant des Militär-Sicherheits-Detachements in der Hauptstadt von Preußens einziger amerikanischer Provinz Karolina, dem einstigen South Carolina, wird zur Aufklärung eines Falles herangezogen, der so gar nicht seiner Stellung gerecht wird: Die Great Eastern, das bei Weitem größte Schiff seiner Zeit, streift einen Felsen und wird leckgeschlagen, und das mit dem preußischen König an Bord – ein Attentatsversuch? Pfeyfer und das Schiff geraten in die Wirrungen des Sezessionskrieges. Die Nordstaaten haben weit mehr Mühe, die Insurgenten zurück in die Union zu holen, als ihnen lieb ist. Die konföderierten Sklavenhalterstaaten hingegen leiden ohne die gewohnte Ausfuhr von Baumwolle und Tabak große Not. Da bietet ein undurchsichtiger Vertreter eines europäischen Landes gegen eine Gefälligkeit an, den Südstaaten Ausrüstung und Waffen zu liefern. Die Great Eastern kommt als Transportschiff wie gerufen. Das Schicksal scheint sich zugunsten des Südens zu neigen ..." [Source]
And this is my summary of the content in English for all people who do not speak German:
As I told you before, this is an alternate reality novel.
1862. Amercian Civil War. Wilhelm Pfeyfer is the commander of the security department of the Prussian province Karolina which is the former South Carolina. Officially Prussia is neutral. But when The Great Eastern with the Prussian King aboard springs leak, a wheel of events is set into motion ....

I look forward to read a book in German after a long time.


While visiting a lot of blogs last week I discovered new books for my list over at My Favourite Books and over at The Book Smugglers.


The people from What Shall I Read? attended the one day shooting of the trailer and posted additional pics which you can find here and here.

You just have seen or skipped the trailer for The Bleeding Land (ebook April 26 2012, pb May 22 2012) [Kindle ASIN: B006WAIUTU; ISBN-13: 978-0593066157] by which is the first book in new epic historical fiction series by Giles Kristian set in England 1642.

"England 1642: a nation divided.
England is at war with itself. King Charles and Parliament each gather soldiers to their banners. Across the land men prepare to fight for their religious and political ideals. Civil war has begun.

A family ripped asunder.
The Rivers are landed gentry, and tradition dictates that their allegiance is to the King. Sir Francis’ loyalty to the crown and his desire to protect his family will test them all. As the men march to war, so the women are left to defend their home against a ruthless enemy. Just as Edmund, the eldest of Sir Francis’ sons, will do his duty, so his brother Tom will turn his back on all he once believed in…

A war that will change everything.
From the raising of the King’s Standard at Nottingham to the butchery and blood of Edgehill, Edmund and Tom Rivers will each learn of honour, sacrifice, hatred and betrayal as they follow their chosen paths through this most savage of wars." [Source]
There is no denying I love historical fiction as much as steampunk, epic fantasy and space opera. I will be a challenge to find the right balance on the blog.


In October 2011 I read and enjoyed Phoenix Rising (pb, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049766] by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris which is the first The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences novel.
With The Janus Affair (pb and Kindle, May 29, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0062049780] the second novel is ahead.
"Evildoers beware! Retribution is at hand, thanks to Britain's best-kept secret agents!!

Certainly no strangers to peculiar occurrences, agents Wellington Books and Eliza Braun are nonetheless stunned to observe a fellow passenger aboard Britain's latest hypersteam train suddenly vanish in a dazzling bolt of lightning. They soon discover this is not the only such disappearance . . . with each case going inexplicably unexamined by the Crown.

The fate of England is once again in the hands of an ingenious archivist paired with a beautiful, fearless lady of adventure. And though their foe be fiendishly clever, so then is Mr. Books . . . and Miss Braun still has a number of useful and unusual devices hidden beneath her petticoats." [Source]
Beside that there is a growing list of short stories - so far a dozen is available - set in the world of The Ministry Of Peculiar Occurrences - which cover persons and events from ministry archive.
For detailed information please visit the short story department of the ministry. I need to go there soon because I do not own any of the short stories and I should find time to review the first book in the series ....


No more today, see you next week ......


Blogosphere

Hey, I'm Bona Fide. I just came back from my last foray through the blogosphere. What can you expect from me? I tell you: Everything from Art to Fart as long as there is any faint connection to books. And here is some honey from the beehive blogosphere...

It is time to direct your view to a fascinating and imaginating post over at Dark Roasted Blend. The post title gives you a hint in waht direction it goes. Be prepared for a lot of pictures when you visit


Whenever possible I try to find new book sources beside publisher catalogues and book blogs. And a few days ago I discovered the Historical Novel Society. The deliver guides to different topics and they have - most interesting for me - an archive of currently 2467 book reviews!! That will take time to comb through the archive.


That's it for today. Come back next week for more ......

Movies

Hey, it's me Fide. I'm a remote control professional. I'm that fast that I can watch two movies at the same time.
But don't worry. All the stuff I present to you will be shown at normal speed.

A film for boys. Author Alex J. Cavanaugh told me he like The Cabin in The Woods mre than his wife. The film entered the cinemas in US. In Germany we have to wait until June 2012.
"Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods." [Source]
Before you watch the trailer have a look at the official site.



That's all for today. See you next time....


Quotes

I 'm the Keeper of the minutes. But I don't mind when you call me Kotm. No, no. I don't explain to you how to pronounce.

I followed the quote but it did no work. Seems I did something wrong. But I don't know what:

"Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, English dramatist, novelist, & politician (1803 - 1873)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Edi's Movie Impression: Iron Sky

9 comments
Dear Readers,

you know I post often film trailers but I normally do not write about the movies I watched in cinema because I find it more difficult than to write about books. As always in life never say never. Today I share with you my impressions of a movie which I saw together with my wife on April 11th 2012.

It is a Finnish-German-Australian movie and there are still negotiations in progress about the rights for US market.

I posted several trailers in the past two years. I talk about


On Wednesday evening (two days ago) my wife and I went to cinema and watched IRON SKY. I told my wife before that she should not expect an Oscar candidate.

In 1945 the Nazis left Earth and built a swastika shaped base on the dark side of the moon. STOP! What?? The dark side of the moon??

Come on, it should be general knowledge that the dark side of the moon does not exist!! Of course we can only see one side of the Moon. When you want to talk about the backside of the moon then you should use the far side of the Moon.
But come on, the dark side of the moon is much more mysterious than the far side of the moon.

Let me return to the movie. Time jump ..... 2018. An American discovers the Nazis on the moon.

See with me the first four and a half minutes. It is important that you that before I continue.


These four and a half minutes set the level of expectation.
Snippets and pictures flashed up in my mind - Apollo 11, sf movies from the fifties, star wars, propaganda, Sarah Palin, The Third Man - coalesque to a strange blend of comedy, ruthlessness and collision of past and present.
What a mix. It seemed to get an enjoyable evening. And then it happened. Instead of continue with the strange blend, a wild and sometimes uneven plane ride with vent holes and gusts began. Good scenes wer followed by flat ones. Good ideas suffered from execution. the larger than life presentation of the Nazis failed sometimes. And jokes popped up out of nowhere. All the CGI scenes were awesome. Nearly unbelievable what they did with the low budget for this kind of movie. The adaption of Nazi Propaganda by the Amercian president showed the sensivity of following certain political currents also in nowadays US. Up to date is the presentation of the UN and the unscrupulousness when it comes to raw material for the future. Once a while you will laugh and a few times more you will smile.

It is not a bad movie but there are scenes which show how good the movie could have been.

The soundtrack has been created by the Slovenian band Laibach. There is a wide range of songs which is partly unexpected.
And this is my favorite Iron Sky song:


All in all I liked the movie more than my wive did. She said to me that this is a movie for boys. I must admit that the majority of visitors have been men between 18 and 30.

So if you like science fiction with comedy and parody, which is sometimes not strong enough to present the Nazis larger than life, if you have a faible for good CGI scenes and you think megalomania and egocentricity are the perfect deadly brothers for the end of dictatorship then you should go to see IRON SKY.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: The Sentient Fire by D W Hawkins

12 comments
Introduction

Today Edi's Book Lighthouse is the last stop on The Sentien Fire blog tour.

Today you get a double feature:
The review of The Sentient Fire (e-book, 2011) [where to buy] which is Book One Of The Seven Signs by D.W. Hawkins AND a giveaway at the end of the post.

Never heard of D.W. Hawkins and his The Sentient Fire before?
It does not suprise me in case you visit my blog for the first time. But in case you are a regularly reader ....
Anyway D.W. Hawkins is one of these authors who do not have a million Dollar contract with one of the big publishers.
Nevertheless for me he belongs to the growing group of authors who should find more attention. Noble words which I try to emphasize with my review.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store.
The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

The Sentient Fire (2011)
by D.W. Hawkins
[where to buy]

"In one short night, Dormael Harlun’s life was changed forever.
Tired and half drunk, Dormael stumbled upon Shawna Llewan, a beautiful young woman, wounded and near death. What he didn’t realize was that his decision to come to her aid would be only the beginning of his unwitting role in a labyrinthine and perilous game.
Suddenly, Dormael and Shawna find themselves surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction. All avenues to safety are closing rapidly, and their only hope is to find the key to a dangerous secret lost to antiquity. With every ally a potential foe, they can rely only on Dormael’s brother Allen and his cousin D’Jenn to escape the will of a tyrant, the designs of a traitor, and the attention of powers beyond their imagining. Dormael has never been much for games, but destiny has rolled the dice for him and irrevocably placed him in the middle of a deadly game he must desperately play for keeps. Should he lose, he will forfeit not only his own life, but the lives of the ones he loves." [Source]
My Expectations
A first book in a series. A group of people on a quest with twists and turns. That sounded solid. I hoped for a well executed story laying the foundation for an epic quest. But I did not expect a nearly 800 pages opus! My expectations were rising after the revelation of the story length. I was curious in which direction D.W. Hawkins would go. Fantasy readers know what I mean without naming other authors.


Delivery
Let me start on a more formal level. The book is divided in 31 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue. Beside that the book contains portraits of the main characters Dormael Harlun, D'Jenn Pike and Shawna Llewan. If you like to have map you need to visit the author's site.

Let us have a look at the main characters.
Shawna is a gifted swords woman. Allen, Dormael's brother is a strong warrior. Bethany is a mysterious young girl. Dormael and his cousin D'Jenn are - surprise, surprise - magicians. I did not expect that. I will come back to magic later. Beside that we have Emperor Dargorin, Maaz the necromancer and his brother Maarkov who is a gifted swords man.
Even with this short description it is possible to differ who is mor white and who is more black. That means there is a lot of different grays inhabitating the world. And that gives the world a more real touch and makes it a lot easier to connect with characters because the behave human. But attention: Do not be too credulous! The characters are not static. They develop and reveal new character traits.

There are many more characters. Some with important roles and other with tragic roles. Some of them have a short span of life. Each character with a name is important for the story and their actions or non actions have an impact on the main characters. They are like cogs in a clockwork.

So the characters belong on the plus side of The Sentient Fire.

All these people do not act in a vacuum. There are at least three continents with different landscapes: The Sevenlands, Alderak and Rastardia. The ilands Solace and Kerallia are located in the Stormy Sea
between The Sevenlands and Alderak.
These continents and islands are populated by different tribes who live in realms and have different affinities to weapons, magic, trade, farming and more.
Magic is performed by wizards. There is a developed magic system with a variety of aspects: from shapeshifting over levitation to powerful attacks and healing. And there is also another kind of magic, dark magic .....
And there is a third power which belongs to magic for me: LOVE

Regarding the use of weapons, tools and transport the world can be compared to medieval Europe.

The setting looks partially familiar but by combining well known ingredients with own ideas D.W. Hawkins created a world which delivers fascination, curiosity, exotic and familiarity at the same time.
To say it with one word: Distinctive!

So the setting belongs to the plus side of The Sentient Fire.


Did you read the blurb? Then you know the plot: Young woman in trouble and a hero who saves her. That's all??? On the contrary. At the end of The Sentient Fire you will still don't know the whole plot. Don't be disappointed or afraid. It is just Book One Of The Seven Signs.
The plot is revealed like you peel an onion. Every layer shows new impacts and implications. There are hints leading in the past and to mysterious places. People get involved you never thought about. And every time you think you have the story under control, you here a faint voice from the deep of your reader whispering: "You are so wrong."

So the plot belongs to the plus side of The Sentient Fire.


That all leads to the question how these ingredients have been executed within the nearly 800 pages? The answer begins with another question.

How do you divide nearly 800 pages that the reader don't loose interest or feels overextended? D.W. Hawkins chose a chapter length which reminds of short stories. And he executes each chapter like a short story with the exception that the end is not a real end. It is like eating eating a tasty piece of cake where you know while melting the last bit in your mouth you need to eat one more piece. But you can read more chapters in a row than eating piece of cakes.
D.W. Hawkins varies emotional passages (love and death), thoughtful scenes, detailed action sequences in different form (fights, thievery, torture and more), historical and magical lessons in way that the word boring disappears from your word pool. And that is done in a fluent style with the appropriate vocabulary.
Of course the book ends with a kind of cliffhanger. But that is not unexpected for the first book in a series.


So the execution belongs to the plus side of The Sentient Fire.


The Inevitable
This is the last part of my review. This is the part which authors fear and readers look at first: Judgement Day! Thumps up or down!

Let's have a look at the bill
Characters = Not perfect but amiable which means human; easy to connect with
Setting = familiar mixed with author's ideas means: Distinctive
Plot = Multilayer; still not fully revealed;
Execution = From soft and thoughtful to exciting and action packed
Entertaining factor = High

The Briton in me would say: "Not bad for a fantasy debut novel. It is worth to take in consideration to read the next book in the series"

The German in me would say: "You get a lot of well executed content for your money. That is a true epic fantasy book."

The fantasy lover in me would say: "I found a gem before a publisher discovered it. A great debut. I can't wait to read the next book in the series."

End of review


Before we come to the giveaway sponsored by D.W. Hawkins, I want to thank him for sending a review copy of The Sentient Fire and for the invitation to the blog tour with my review without knowing the result.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

The price(s):
- A Smashwords Coupon Code for one copy of The Sentient Fire
- Two 50% off Smashwords Coupon Codes for two copies of The Sentient Fire

This giveaway is opened world wide and ends on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

To take part is simple. Just leave a comment below and tell me your favorite fantasy series. Please keep in mind that I need a valid mail address in order to send you the code in case you win.

I will use random.org to choose the winners who will be announced on
Monday, April 16, 2012.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL PARTICIPANTS!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sela Blog Tour: Like a Moth to Dragon Flame by Jackie Gamber

4 comments
Dear Readers,

welcome to a special day on Edi's Book Lighthouse.

When it comes to dragons I do not jubilate like many other people. They do not belong to my favorite fabulous creatures. The reason for that is another topic. But as you may understand this is a reason why I seldom read books where dragons play a significant role.
Fortunately I know people who find ways and means toconvince me to read "dragon" books. One of them is author Stephen Zimmer. He is guilty that I read Redheart (April 19th, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-0983108672] by Jackie Gamber which is book one in The Leland Dragon Series.

And the Leland Dragon series continues with Sela.
When Stephen Zimmer asked me if I would like to be part of
two reasons persuaded me to accept:
- I really liked Redheart even I did not write a review so far
- It gives the opportunity to get more information about an author and her/his books

So I jumped at the opportunity and asked for a guest post. I wanted to know why Jackie Gamber likes dragons so much that she writes a series starring dragons.

What shall I say?

I'm happy and proud to have Jackie Gamber on the Lighthouse today (Authors listen to wishes).

“Like a Moth to Dragon Flame”
By Jackie Gamber, author of REDHEART and SELA, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series

The mention of dragons can be found throughout multiple cultures: Asia, South America, Europe, even Australia. Symbols of luck, or power, wisdom, or even being able to see “the big picture” (due to their higher vantage point), dragons are steeped in our histories and our collective psyches.

But, why?

I can’t speak to thousands of years, or for thousands of people, but I know what fascinates me about the magnificent creatures. Look at the amazing things they can do! Breathe fire (or poison, or ice, or any imaginable breathable substance), fly, take an arrow to the chest and live. They are mighty. Overpowering. Mysterious.

Kallon Redheart (of Book One) first introduced himself to me in a dream. At the time, he had no name. He was just a red dragon, and somehow, I understood that dragon to be me.

Eventually, the dream faded, but Kallon lingered, and he developed into a character with his own story to tell. But I still remember how he was “born” from the depths of my subconscious with a message.

The way our cultural symbols, throughout time, have carried messages from one subconscious mind to another. Faster than a blink. With an understanding we often can’t even put into words.

For me, dragons are magic. They have answers that humans are still too young to even know how to ask for. They have been part of the mystery that is living higher. Stronger. Above the pettiness.

The message of my dream was that I could be that dragon of power. To choose. To fly. To believe.

It’s the same message reflected in Kallon Redheart’s story. And in the story of Sela, Book Two of the series.

It’s a message for anyone who sees a dragon, but understands a symbol. And who dreams, more than anything, of learning how to fly.

Jackie Gamber is the award-winning author of “Redheart” and “Sela”, Books One and Two of the Leland Dragon Series, now available! For more information about Jackie and her mosaic mind, visit http://www.jackiegamber.com


And meet Jackie elsewhere on the world wide web at:

http://www.amazon.com/author/JackieGamber

http://www.twitter.com/JackieGamber

http://www.facebook.com/jackiegamber

http://www.lelanddragons.com


Jackie Gamber, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me and my readers.

I told you at the beginning of this post that dragons do not belong to my favorite fabulous creatures. But I read and liked Redheart. That means there is something magic in this book. I think most of you like dragons more than I do. So if you did not read Redheart so far then it is time to have a look at it. For readers of Redheart, Sela is a must read.
If Jackie Gamber could not convince you then you should use following links where you can have a look inside the books. By the way both books are available as softcover and in digital format.

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