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!

Review.

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

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.

 

waywocket.jpg
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!

Half Bound Release Day Blitz


Title: Half Bound (A Helheim Wolf Pack Tale)
Series: Half Blood Series #5
Author: Lauren Dawes
Publisher: Vixen Publishing
Date of Release: November 30, 2017
Genre: Dark urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Audience: Adult
Page Count: 288 pages
Format: e-book and paperback



Synopsis:
An accident. An abduction. A choice.
Casey is no stranger to double standards. Her whole life has been filled with them, and as the only daughter of a werewolf alpha she has been fighting an uphill battle since birth. She’s determined to become an enforcer—a soldier for the pack—and even more determined to prove to everyone that she is more than capable of looking after herself…that is until she takes a phone call that could end not just her dreams, but also her life. She is faced with a decision that will not only test her loyalties, but also her own inner-strength.
Crippled by obsession. Resuscitated by love.
Broken and barely healed, Andrea has finally escaped the man who instead of loving, honoring and obeying her, beat, tortured and terrorized her. Uninterested in anything other than finding herself again, she is blindsided by Brax who holds the power to heal her shattered and distrusting heart. 
Half Bound is the electrifying conclusion to the Half Blood Series. 
Book Links
Excerpt:
Screaming. High. Keening. Agonized.
Saxon recognized the emotions because he had had them too. He’d screamed until his throat was raw and his mouth was dry. He had suffered unbearable pain, blanketed over by drug-induced hallucinations or vivid dreams. He preferred the dreams to this reality he was now living in. Another scream. It caused him to grit his teeth.
The poor bastard.
It was probably just another one of Vivian’s attempted converts. He had heard enough drips of conversation about what she was doing here; she was biting people, trying to bring them through the Change, but what Saxon couldn’t figure out was, for what purpose? Was she trying to create her own pack?
A scream that chilled the marrow in his bones echoed through the walls. Another followed and Saxon stopped breathing completely. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to clear the drug cloud fogging his brain. He recognized that voice.
Casey was here.
“No,” he rasped. He strained his neck, trying to turn around to look at the wall—as if there was suddenly a window he could look through to see her there. But there wouldn’t be a window. He would just have to use his imagination to come up with the ways she was being tortured. Hearing her distorted voice over the phone had given him hope even though he didn’t deserve it. That hope crumbled, though, when she’d agreed to come…
For him.
He’d had a lot of time to think about whatever this was between him and Casey. She was the most infuriating female he’d ever met. She was nothing like the refined woman he thought he would eventually settle down with. He didn’t think he’d get the privilege of getting mated to a female wolf. He would have been content with a human, but…then there was Casey.
Casey, who had blown into his life like a breath of fresh air. She challenged him, antagonized him, battled with him. And she was here now, protecting him when the roles should have been reversed. He couldn’t let her sacrifice herself. Despite the leaden feeling in his body, Saxon tried to break the ties on his wrists and ankles again. He struggled for a brief moment before fatigue took over. Whatever they’d been giving him, and whatever they continued to give him, was keeping him weak.
“I knew her mewling would rouse you.”
That voice, that vicious purring made Saxon’s blood pressure spike. He flared his nostrils, confirming it was only Vivian in the room with him. That meant…
“Kade is with her,” Vivian taunted. “He is with her and he is not being a very good host.”
About Lauren:
Born in South Africa and raised in Sydney, Lauren Dawes is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance writer and the author of the Dark Trilogy and the Half Blood Series. In 2009, she quit her full-time job teaching English as a Second Language to finally begin writing “that book”, letting her overactive imagination pour out onto the digital pages.
She currently lives with her husband and daughter in whatever city the army happens to posted them to.

Other titles by Lauren Dawes

Half Blood Series
Half Blood (Half Blood #1): http://www.books2read.com/halfblood
Half Truths (Half Blood #2): http://www.books2read.com/halftruths
Half Life (Half Blood #3): http://www.books2read.com/halflife
Half Cast ((Half Blood #4): http://www.books2read.com/halfcast
Dark Trilogy

Dark Deceit (Dark Trilogy #1): http://www.books2read.com/darkdeceit

Dark Desire (Dark Trilogy #2): http://www.books2read.com/darkdesire
Dark Devotion (Dark Trilogy #3): http://www.books2read.com/darkdevotion
 
Giveaway:

Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.

 

Links:

FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.