Review of A Flicker of Steel by Steve McHugh.

Over a short amount of time, I powered through Mr McHugh’s the last three books of Hellequin Chronicles and then straight on to the first book of The Avalon Chronicles. After reading A Glimmer of Hope and seeing that the second book was up for pre-order, I was extremely excited.

So I have finished A Flicker of Steel, and now want to read the next one… but I have to wait until November…

I guess I should start with this review. Where was I? Oh yes, A Flicker of Steel. FoS expanded a lot from the last one, it been two years since the previous book and is set after Scorched Shadows (So now I understand the timeline), we pick up with Layla as a full-time agent. As this expands what happened after the takeover (if you want to know more read Hellequin Chronicles) and catch up Tommy, Oliva, Cassy, Chloe and Harry.

Seeing how they have grown and have been dealing with this new status quo and how they all need desperately need a win. There is not much I can say about this book without spoiling the heck of it.

The growth of Layla from the first book to the end of this one was marvellous to watch. In the first one, she thought she was a monster like her father, in this one she has accepted that darkness exists within herself, but you don’t need to lose yourself.

The book is action-packed and fantastic.

And again my hat goes off to Elizabeth Knowelden’s narration as it allows the humour, excitement, emotion and characters come to life. Her skill to give the listener/reader the full picture from her use different tones, accents and pitch. Miss Knowelden is brilliant and brings the level of the book beyond five stars!

Just like Mr McHugh has written so far, every book builds on the previous books and finally this book it connected to the larger storyline. Which make me want to read the next book, to see what happens!

5 out of 5 stars! (With Miss Knowelden 10 out of 5 stars!)

 

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Review of Hounded by Kevin Hearne

I have been looking at this book for a while now as I love this style of writing. I am glad I grabbed it, 5 out of 5 stars!

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Oberon, just this frisky wolfhound is enough for this book to receive 5 stars from me. He is truly one of the funniest, literal and droll characters I have ever read. Fortunately, that wasn’t the only thing I enjoyed about the book.
How Mr Hearne shows the inner working of an ancient druid, that they aren’t blast-blast magic but more subtle and a heck of a lot more interesting. The way the shadow world is connected to the real one was handled really well. The understanding of mystical lore of trees and also of the fae with a connection to the Tuatha Dé Danann was amazing.
The main character Atticus was just dripping with coolness, he might look 21 but was born over 2000 years ago.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

You can find Mr Hearne books at this link, Hounded Iron Druid #1

The Day I meet Raymond E Feist.

This day has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, obviously meeting Mr Feist was a high point, while that dip was heading into the bookstore by the name of Pulp Fiction. Being attentive to Raymond’s Q & A today reminded me to stick to my guns and continue to write and create.

After leaving the Gold Coast for Brisbane, I continued to listen to Kevin Hearne‘s book Hounded: Iron Druid Chronicles, narrated by Christopher Ragland. While listening to the audiobook and I had a plan before heading to Mr Feist’s Booked Out. First was to go to Book Face Orion then to Pulp Fiction, to see if either bookstore would stock my books on their shelves.

The trip was long, but I was glad to be distracted by a humorous and enjoyable story by Mr Hearne (and I love that Irish Wolfhound!) Once I arrived at Book Face, it was a simple exchange, and my books were picked up by some incredible people; just love people being friendly. Book Face being my third bookstore stocking Lake Merrin and FableLands Interrogation was terrific.

On a high, with my books being taken and later heading to the event I thought it would be perfect that Pulp Fiction would be the fourth. How wrong I was!

At this point was my drop from sky-high to the darkest pit of despair. Now people might think, ‘you need to have thick skin.’ Surprisingly the retail representative at Pulp Fiction told me as such after ten minutes of berating me with why I wasn’t a real author, as I am independently published by Ocean Reeve Publishing.

I won’t go into what he said or that he wanted me to buy a book about the 42 reasons why you will never be an author and the 11 that would. All I could remember that I was asking if he would grab my book, and he was rude and disrespectful to me. I used to love this store, now it is dead to me.

Now I was angry and sad by the ignorance of this retailer, who wanted to lecture me on the subtler points of publishing. Which he has little or no idea, and with his own words doesn’t have the attention span or skill to be a writer himself. They say ‘those who can’t do, teach’; I wish to differ now, those who can’t do, bully those who can.

Being at my lowest for the last few days, which was a feat with my mother in the hospital. This was remarkably changed when I stood in line outside of Brisbane’s City Hall waiting breathlessly to listen to one of my favourite authors, Raymond E Feist.

Being in the presence of Mr Feist, showed me that this was a master of the written word. His casualness of being an author of a book series that spans thirty novels was wow! When he talked about writing, all I could do was nod dumbly to his every word. It was fantastic and what happened before was just a fleeting memory.

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His start in the fictional word was similar to the writing of Lake Merrin, started as a Role-playing game and evolved into a fantasy novel. The number of rewrites you need to do and the ability to cut away things to make sure your story is strong.

Then I lined up for him to sign my book, and while waiting in the line, I happened to start a conversation with a fellow fantasy fan named Jeremy. This became the most amusing thing of the evening that he was wearing a Machine Head’s shirt and as we approached Mr Feist, I was dumbstruck by him, Raymond notices Jeremy’s shirt and goes off on a chat about the band and then reminisced about a concert with the main attraction The Who. I just didn’t care as he was looking at me and I was a part of a conversation with RAYMOND E FEIST!

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All in all, it was a great day, minus the encounter with that bully of a retailer. Now I will send off a signed copy to my sister in Canada, as that was my last goal for the day.

5-star review of Hand and Talon by Melonie Purcell

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I grabbed this book for Rose Montague’s 12 days of Bookmas, but after being suck in after the first few pages, I was hooked!

Ms Purcell has marvellous creativity, her grasp of the lore she created for this book was fantastic! From the Callers to mages to the fae and most of all Kyrni, each was given a perfect amount of time to drip the information into your imagination.

I did also grab the audiobook, and the narrator Kristan James was spot on with her tone, pace and brilliant skill of bringing Melonie’s book to life.

This is a book to remember, and I might delve into it soon. Highly recommended!

Update For Samuel Colbran; The Creative Side.

Hello all, it has been a while since I have written a blog. Most time I can’t think of anything compelling. There are so many fantasy authors out there, and I am just a drop in the ocean. So I am using this to update everyone, go figure.

So what has been happening in my personal, professional and creative worlds?

Let us start at the creative, I mean I love my creative life, as the stories come to life and blossom into incredible books. I have finished my companion novella to Lake Merrin; it is called The Great Spoon Heist. Pretty much, two weeks have passed since the conclusion of Lake Merrin, and the Rejects realise that Klaus Handwerk, a lumber trader gave them a job. So this is about them discovering the mystery that WayWocket found out in Lake Merrin.

 

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Lake Merrin, love writing this!

 

It was a significant bit of fun writing this, as Lake Merrin is in the present tense and it’s POV is the stream of consciousness, it was hard to go beyond the perspective of Lone Solo. As I wrote this book in past tense and third person, it allowed me to explore my main characters and how Lone’s mindset did not squint their personalities.

I had one of my friend’s model the cover for me as WayWocket, it going to be awesome. He is thinking while licking a spoon (if you want to know why, you have to read Lake Merrin, no spoilers here.) I am going to have him cosplay this character at a future Oz Comic-Con, it will be radical to see my character to come to life.

 

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Here is a basic mockup of the probable cover.

 

I am also working on book two of Journal of an Adventurer; I am about 10k words in. After finishing this first draft, I will be starting FableLands Fugitive; the first novella will be called Jamila and James: Ardor. This novella will be following the conclusion of Interrogation, as the Arcs split up to escape Doctor Hamill, they find out the police and agents of BPResearch are hunting them. Can Jamila and James find a balance between uncontrollable emotions to survive this organized search of the Arcs of FableLands?

 

 

My next one will be talking about my professional life.

For the links to my books head to either www.samuelcolbran.com or Amazon.com.

 

Book Review for A Glimmer of Hope by Steve McHugh

Steve McHugh new series The Avalon Chronicles, A Glimmer of Hope. I grabbed the audiobook for this, and it was brilliant.

After finishing the Hellequin Chronicles, I didn’t want to leave this roller coaster of a fantastic and imaginative world Mr McHugh has created. I was glad that he wrote this series as it explored the new landscape from the previous book, Scorched Shadow.
I love it!

I love how there is a strong female protagonist by the name of Layla Cassidy, understanding her motivation and how that continues the whole mythology of Mr McHugh’s work was marvellous. I love the mythology and how Steve created it. I would highly recommend his book, but make sure you start at Crime of Magic first! I look forward to part two and three. 

5 out of 5 stars!

The Species Within by Kimberley Clark

I love this book, the characters were fantastic, the lore was terrific (I am a bit of a lore buff) and my all time favourite character is Kuron. Not to go into spoiler territory but at a certain point, I even fist pumped with excitement because Kuron did something. That doesn’t happen often when I read a book.

There are some sexy times in the book, but this never distracted me from the storyline. Even though the premise was straightforward, it showed how talented a storyteller Kimberley is as the story was marvellous and engaging as I read this in one sitting, which only my top 15 authors can do to me.

I would highly recommend this book!