0.99 Sale for Gustav Gustavson!

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Quick announcement for today. The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior is on sale at Amazon and Amazon.co.uk for only 0.99 for the next week.

To celebrate I’ve made a little video for the occasion.

 

Edit: Apparently embedding a video from Facebook isn’t as straight forward as I thought. Moved it to Vimeo 🙂

Book Review | The Totally Legend of Brandon Thighmaster by Steve Wetherell

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My plans for the weekend went out the window the second I received an email from Amazon telling me about new releases from authors I love. This one in particular is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time. I immediately jumped onto Kindle Unlimited and grabbed my copy.

Brandon Thighmaster, sexually attractive monk from the Temple of the Many Fists, ab-crunched his way into my world when he joined the Authors and Dragons podcast which I’ve been listening to since its inception. I remember his debut episode like I listened to it yesterday, mainly because I almost died from laughing. All that said, you don’t need to have listened to the podcast to enjoy this story.

The Blurb:

“Hi. I am Brandon Thighmaster. Monk. Hero. Inspiration. I enjoy crunching, squats, looking at myself, looking at other people looking at myself, and long walks on the beach. I also do adventures and stuff, and I guess you can read about them here. But enough about you, let’s talk about me. Brandon Thighmaster.”

This tale set in the same universe as the podcast, follows the embodiment of ultimate physical perfection as he embarks on his quest to leave the monastery where he has spent his entire life honing his fighting prowess, and punch his way through the entire back catalogue of fauna and occasionally the flora the world provides.

His character wanders thoughtlessly and aimlessly, always seeing opportunities to look at himself or work on his cardio routine, until he stumbles upon a rouge, Pritti Brightblade, in dire need of rescuing from a group of orcs. After a successful intimidation which is misunderstood by the orcs, he joins his first party of adventurers and joins the good fight to save a nearby settlement.

Written with the same humour Steve delivers each fortnight during the podcast, this was an entertaining read from start to finish. Set in the Pathfinder universe (that the Authors and Dragons podcast is played in) meant I didn’t need to try to understand the world mechanics (like the magical healing abilities of clerics, etc). I already knew the systems of that world so it felt like home.

Hopefully this is the first in a long series, not only by Mister Wetherell but also by the other authors of the podcast. I’d love to read more from this universe.

TL;DR Version

We have a saying at the Temple of the Many Fists. Read this story or get punched in the face. Check out the sample on Amazon!

The difference a few days makes

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A minor update today on my current work in progress – The Second Coming. I wasn’t fully in love with the previous cover I’d designed, and after showing it around neither were other people so I went back to the drawing board.

I ditched basically everything except part of the title font and the little horns, and came at it from a different angle, the end result being what you see here.

Sitting at a little shy of 14,000 words, the work in progress is progressing really well. The words and plot are flowing nicely.

No guesses on when the first draft will be done yet though. It really depends on how much time I can find each day to write. I’ve got out a few thousand in the last few days though which has been really good progress.

That’s all for now. The kids are being quiet for the moment so I should try to bash out a few more words into the draft. 🙂


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Check out my most recently published novel

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Available exclusively through Amazon.

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#AmGoingToHell

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After a few weeks of not touching the work in progress at all, I’m back into it at full steam. I added approximately 1000 words since last night, so the total currently sitting at around 11,300 words and nowhere near done yet.

I’ve also (because I can’t help myself) been working on a cover design. First attempt is shown here. Not 100% on the design, but it’s literally the first attempt.

It’s a comedic urban fantasy novel featuring the God’s daughter Sapphire, and the Devil’s daughter Skylar, as they hunt escaped demons in Las Vegas and generally try to stay out of mischief.

It’s got everything you need to keep you laughing. God trying to get laid. Dinosaurs scaring the virgin Mary. A misnamed son of God (Chris, aka Jesus) and the faith he accidentally started. Stan, the Devil (who thanks to a misprint is now more commonly known as Satan) and his headstrong daughter Skylar, and a stripper named Cindy Doo-Yoo who bears the second child of God, Sapphire.

Here’s an (unedited and un-proof read) snippet from the first chapter.

“Behold,” said God. “I am your creator and you will lay with me.”

God cocked an eyebrow and stroked his beard. A beatific smile peeked out from behind the lush, white facial hair. His robes gleamed brightly in the late afternoon sun, and God knew he had it in the bag.

Mary was less than impressed. She scowled at God and flapped her hands to dissipate the smoke that threatened to darken her recently laundered bedsheets.

“I’ll give you this,” Mary said once the smoke had cleared, “as far as pick-up lines go it’s one of the more unique ones I’ve heard.”

“But I am your creator,” God sputtered. “I am bestowing upon you the great honor of being the bearer of my child.”

God stroked his beard again and pushed a hand through his hair, slicking it back. He was sure this approach had worked in the past. Mary put a hand on her hip and looked at God, an expression of skepticism painted on her face.

“If you’re really God, then prove it,” Mary said.

“Easy!” God said, then mumbled, “whatever happened to just having faith?”

“What was that last bit?” asked Mary.

“Nothing! Right then, let’s get started,” God said and clicked his fingers.

Behind him materialized two equally enormous and fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. Mary didn’t know what they were, but when two hulking anachronisms appear out of thin air and scream at you, it doesn’t much matter if you know what they’re called or not.

I think it’s coming along nicely. The few week break I took from writing turned out to be a very good thing as I brainstormed a lot of the plot and added lots of extra complexity into the story line.

So why did I take a break? Well, that’s something else entirely. My wife and I are developing an education app and website to help young children learn to read and spell as well as other things along the same line. Making the app has been taking up a lot of my time while I get it right.

It’s still a few weeks away from being ready, so I won’t be giving away anything just yet. Stay tuned to this blog for more on this in the coming weeks.


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Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.

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Book Review | Hell’s Titties by Robert Bevan and Steve Wetherell

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Whaaaat? A  collaboration between two of my favourite authors – Robert Bevan and Steve Wetherell?


Or more accurately shut up and take my Kindle Unlimited payment in about 8 week’s time. But still, how could I resist. Hell’s Titties, a small town nestled between the “twin peaks” of East and West Tittie in the Appalachian Mountains, is the unwitting town sitting atop an ancient evil.

The Blurb:

Nestled between two peaks in the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mountains, a quiet town sits upon an evil as old as the hills themselves.

Bucky Wallace longs to break free and see the world outside of Hell’s Titties, but the town isn’t ready to let him go.

The heroes of the story, Bucky and Floyd are a couple of lifelong slackers living in a trailer where their retirement plans hinge on growing weed and a stash of nudie mags dating back to the 70s. Bucky, slightly more ambitious from Floyd is determined to climb the ranks of Texaco and make something of himself, the reasons why a bit ambiguous. Bucky alludes to it at one point and I don’t think ever fully explained… but maybe it’s just something for future books?

Anyway, in a comical series of events Floyd accidentally and correctly perform an ancient ritual that school kids of the area have been using to get laid for decades to summon a demon.

From out of the toilet bowl crawls a cockroach demon which takes, among other things, a particular liking to the nudie mag that brought it into being. Being out of their league, demon-hunting wise, they recruit a few others into helping them. An ex-girlfriend of Floyd’s (Rainn) who owns the occult book shop, Zelda, a Velma-esque girl who takes an instant liking to Bucky, along with a few others that round out this newly formed Scooby gang.

Actually, if I had to summarise the book in one sentence, it’d be “How Scooby Doo could have been if it were written for adults and had more dirty jokes.

Together armed only with super soakers half-filled with bug spray they hunt the demon to capture it for fame and fortune. Of course, a bumbling troop of slackers and stoners will always stuff things up, and the authors do not disappoint.

I thought the story was very well written for a collaboration. The writing styles were consistent and for the most part I couldn’t tell who had written which parts. A few moments had me thinking “yep, that’s a Bevan bit,” or “that’s a Steve turn of phrase,” but generally it read as if a single author had written it.

I look forward to more of Bucky and Floyd as they hunt down more demons in future books.

TL;DR Version

How Scooby Doo could have been if it were written for adults and had more dirty jokes. Check out the sample on Amazon.

 

Book Review | So Not a Hero by S.J. Delos

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Hmmm, where to start. I grabbed So Not a Hero by SJ Delos because I’m going through a bit of a superhero kick at the moment and the story sounded interesting.

It is, don’t get me wrong. The story and world-building is solid and enjoyable. The main character has a ton of back-story and issues she needs to work through and you begin rooting for her pretty much straight away.

The Blurb:

A reformed villain.
After serving two years in a Federal prison, Karen Hashimoto is out on parole and eager to put her criminal past behind her. No easy task, since she’s also the former supervillain known as Crushette. A chance encounter leads to an unexpected opportunity, and she is recruited as the newest member of the city’s premier team of superheroes: The Good Guys.

A new hero.
Now Karen has new teammates, a new code name, and the daunting responsibility of trying to be the hero everyone thinks she can be. Becoming a champion for Truth and Justice is going to be rough, especially for the ex-girlfriend of the notorious Doctor Maniac. Karen will have to do everything in her powers to keep her past from ruining her future.

It was so much simpler being the bad guy.

Some of the support characters seemed a little cookie-cutter though. The story could have done without a lot of the deep-seated misogyny inherent to many of the male characters. The way the author treats the main characters made me a little uncomfortable. Sure, I get there are arseholes out there that treat people like this, but it came across as a little gratuitous at times.

There are a couple of sex scenes, one at the beginning which establishes Karen hitting rock bottom, and one multi-page effort midway through. About mid-way through the second one I found I just wanted the story to skip ahead.

I’m not averse to reading sex scenes, however this one did drag on a little. Plus, I couldn’t help but think it was maybe a little bit of wish-fulfilment for the author. A thought that occurred to me a few times while reading. A sexy, do-anything superhero who madly wants to make love… I’ll let you make your own mind up.

Will I read the next one? Sure. The story arc got me engaged enough to care about the characters and what happens next. The points I take issue with don’t put me off enough to not want to read the next one.

TL;DR Version

Great story with some hard-to-like characters. I recommend checking out the sample on Amazon first before jumping into the whole novel.

Ghostbusters, Doctor Who, and the Next Generation (aka my kids)

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I had the distinct pleasure of indoctrinating… er, I mean introducing my kids (6 and 3) to the world of Ghostbusters on the weekend. Completely unintentional, mind you. I hadn’t meant on them watching it, but they wandered out when it started, saw the librarian ghost (thought she was fantastic) and sat and watched the whole thing.

Their favourite part? The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man of course. Once we’d finished the first one they saw the picture of the “Lady Ghostbusters” (as they’ve dubbed them) as we had to watch that too.

So over the weekend we’ve watched the original twice, the remake once, and a heap of the cartoon Ghostbusters on YouTube. Plus, today I’ve printed out a heap of colouring pages to keep them busy.

I always held out hope that one day my nerdier interests would influence their tastes. When my eldest was a baby and I’d be nursing her and watching Doctor Who, I used to tell my wife that we were enjoying our favourite show together.

Neither of my kids have so far shown an interest in the Doctor, but it seems as though I’m at least on the right track.

As for the Ghostbusters reboot (the Lady Ghostbusters according to my kids), I really enjoyed it. Had a heap of great moments that had me laughing out loud, and the whole sequence at the end when they’re sort of back in time was fantastic.

It’s a shame the mysogonerds had to go and ruin its chances (and the chances of any sequels) at the box office by spreading their hate before even stopping to consider that it might, in fact, be good for the franchise. So they’ve successfully robbed us of any chance of seeing more Ghostbusters any time soon.

Of course now the same thing is happening with the announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor in Doctor Who. I’m sure the BBC will stick to their guns, and we’ll see a few seasons with Ms Whittaker at the helm of the TARDIS. I believe this will be the shot-in-the-arm the Doctor Who franchise needs to keep it going strong.

I’ve been a fan of the Doctor since I used to watch the original series as a kid, and again with the rebooted continuation. Since the (seemingly at the time) throwaway line during “The Doctor’s Wife” episode about the Corsair being a bad girl during some of his/her regenerations.

That planted the seed in my mind that one day we might see a Time Lady. Then following up with The Master / Missy regeneration, and the on-screen regeneration during Hell Bent, it seemed like an almost certainty.

Personally I can’t wait to see Ms Whittaker’s take on the Doctor. My personal preference for the role was admittedly Richard Ayoade, who I’d still like to see as the Doctor one day. But until then, I’m eager to see a Time Lady in the role. I think it’ll give a unique depth to the character we’ve not seen before, and I for one can’t wait.

I hope my Kindle never dies

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I love technology. I love all the new clever things that people way smarter than me invent and put out.

Even my Kindle isn’t immune. New versions keep coming out: back lit, no buttons touchscreen, etc… but my Kindle is one thing I refuse to update.

It’s got one job to do and it does it well. Yes, I need a light to see the screen. Yes, I have to press buttons to navigate… but damn it if this humble piece of tech doesn’t hold a special place in my heart.

It looks worn out, well used and loved to death I prefer to think. I hope it never dies. 😀

Got one in worse condition than mine?

My Kindle with subtle ad for my book 😉

Book Review | Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

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There are plenty of people out there who love Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, I however am not among them. This one popped up on a few lists I was trawling through for my next read. Lists like “Funniest books of all time” and “Best books of all time”, and so on… so I admit my hopes were high for this one.

But I found myself fighting not to give up on the book many times. There was just so much waffling I found myself skipping ahead as I pushed further into this novel.

The whole made up religion thing, Bokononism and the various paragraphs devoted to it throughout the novel, I just didn’t find funny at all though it was clear that was their intention. A religion founded on the believe that everything is founded on lies, including Bokononism.

The Blurb:

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh…

So what sounds like an interesting premise and something that should appeal directly to me failed to do so. This book that was pegged in a “Funniest books of all time” list failed to raise even a smirk.

Disjointed and rambling are two words that first come to mind when thinking how to summarise the book. Maybe had I been around at the end of World War 2 or experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis first hand I might find more humour in this book, but alas for me it just fell flat.

TL;DR Version

Struggled to finish this one, but others seem to enjoy it. Check out the sample on Amazon and make up your own mind. At least you can’t say I didn’t try to warn you. 🙂

Book Review | The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III

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“Bizarro fiction? What’s that?” I thought to myself when I first heard the term. Of course, I needed to look up this previously unheard of genre, landing on suggestions. Most of them fall into the NSFW category, and I guess this one – The Haunted Vagina – does too, to a degree. Depends on how prudish your IT department is about the word ‘Vagina’.

Most examples I found looked as if they were trying to outdo each other with outlandish book titles. There are certainly some interesting ones out there…

Anyway, after a bit of a crawl through GoodReads I landed on this one that sounded less disturbing than others I’d seen, and sounded funny enough that it might be a good introduction to the genre.

What’s it about? The blurb:

It’s difficult to love a woman whose vagina is a gateway to the world of the dead…

Steve is madly in love with his eccentric girlfriend, Stacy. Unfortunately, their sex life has been suffering as of late, because Steve is worried about the odd noises that have been coming from Stacy’s pubic region. She says that her vagina is haunted. She doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. Steve, on the other hand, completely disagrees.

When a living corpse climbs out of her during an awkward night of sex, Stacy learns that her vagina is actually a doorway to another world. She persuades Steve to climb inside of her to explore this strange new place. But once inside, Steve finds it difficult to return… especially once he meets an oddly attractive woman named Fig, who lives within the lonely haunted world between Stacy’s legs.

So that sets the scene. Stacy’s been hearing strange noises from down below for most of her life. One night after an adult-sized skeleton crawls its way out of her, she talks her boyfriend Steve into a mission to investigate.

Armed with walkie talkies and greased up like a Scotsman in an air duct, he ventures forth and finds Stacy is a doorway to an alternate reality.

It’s a short story, novella I guess at around 100 pages, but Mister Mellick packs quite a lot into those pages. The world he describes his both warped yet made vibrant and interesting by his words, and what happens once Steve gets trapped there kept me reading to the end.

Will I read more bizarre? I’m not saying no at this point, but it was a bit of an eye opener as a genre. I’ll see what GoodReads suggests as “also reads” once I’ve marked it as “Read”.

TL;DR Version

Certainly an eye-opener. An enjoyable short read. Check out the sample at Amazon.