I’d like to share something I nominated over at KindleScout. The book is Victor Boone Will Save Us by David Joel Stevenson, and it had me hooked from the moment I read the sample.
At the time of writing this it has 14 days left in its campaign, so you should check it out before it’s too late. Of course, you could always buy it later on, but if you nominate it and it is successful, you can snag a free copy.
So what’s it about? The blurb:
Robby does the saving, Victor takes credit.
Victor Boone is a handsome jerk who uses incredible powers to fly around in spandex and save his city’s citizens from evil doers – especially the busty ones. But he’s not a superhero.
In truth, an invisible, insecure and overweight Robby Willis has the powers, but he’s so terrified of anyone knowing he exists that he’s not comfortable with a cliché disguise. The two men form a partnership: Robby does the saving and Victor takes the credit.
Problem is, Victor’s been murdered.
From the opening paragraphs of the first chapter you’re in the thick of the action, and by the end of the first chapter the “hero” is dead. No spoilers there since it says as much in the blurb. After which comes the fallout, with Robby dealing with the death of Victor and the potential new love interest in his life who knows more about him than he’d like. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve really been having a lot of fun with the Writing Prompts of late (as you’ve probably noticed from the plethora of blog posts recently). Here’s a quickie I wrote on my lunch break.
I’m enjoying them because they’re giving me something to do while I wait and see how my KindleScout campaign pans out (more about this at the end if you’re interested).
[WP] A child wants to be a supervillain when they grow up, rather than a superhero.
“I’m sorry, you want to be a what?” Berserko Fantastico said to his young daughter, Natalie.
At only seven years old she was already a handful, and in hindsight he should have noticed the signs earlier. In the past three months alone she’d designed and built three doomsday devices and attempted to sell them on Craigslist to various evildoers.
If he hadn’t been home at the time then Evil Incorporated, The Diabolical Duo, and the Fellowship of the Fiendish would all now be the proud owners of her handiwork. Read the rest of this entry »
A short story this time (just shy of 5,000 words) from a Reddit Writing Prompt. Written as 2nd person (a perspective I rarely read and up to now haven’t written in)… but it suited the “game” theme as many old point-and-click and text-adventure type games would employ this style. It’s written as if they’re scenes in a game.
[WP] You are the protagonist of a point-and-click game.
The Story: Maze Quest
Standing South of the Mansion
You are standing in the once manicured grounds to the south of a white stately mansion, but what have now overgrown from neglect. The mansion has stood abandoned since the former owner died many years ago and now, as the sole heir to the Stackson family fortune, the mansion and the acres she stands on are now all yours.
As you survey the lands to the west, the legendary hedge maze that has formed part of the scenery for over four-hundred years fills your view. To the east stand the burial grounds with mausoleums and monuments to the long dead.
Knowing that every window and door were padlocked and boarded over to deter thieves, you brought along with a rucksack which contains: Read the rest of this entry »
My latest novel – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior – has been accepted by KindleScout and will be live for thirty days on their site. If after the 30 days are up the KindleScout team like what I’ve written I can be signed up for publishing with Amazon.
Want a shot at getting a copy for free? Well, all you need to do is nominate my book – click here to go straight to it – and if Amazon choose to pick up the publishing rights everyone who nominated it scores a free copy! Simple as that.
So what is the book about? The blurb:
This is the story of a true Viking hero you won’t learn in schools. Gustav the Great. Gustav the Powerful. Gustav the Dragon Slayer. A story so fantastic and shocking not even the History Channel would dare turn it into a TV series.
Every word of it is true. Totally true. How do I know? Because it’s all about me. Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.
Experience the awesomeness of my unexpected voyage to an undiscovered land where I survive shipwrecks, arena death match spectacles, rampaging rhinoceraptors, naked and rather surly giants, and even dragons! Well, a dragon… all in my pursuit of fame and glory.
So basically a mash-up of multiple genres: Vikings, comedic fantasy, sword and sorcery, and a little bit of Dungeons and Dragons all wrapped up into a fictional biography which I hope you’ll find entertaining.
I’ll post further updates on my books progress over at KindleScout. The campaign will run through to about the 22nd of May, then I’ll find out within 2 weeks of that if I’ve been successful.
Wish me luck and don’t forget to nominate me for your chance to get a free copy!
I know I only just posted some flash fiction less than an hour ago… but I couldn’t resist this one. Again, from Writing Prompts on Reddit.
[WP] In a far-distant future, children of age are paraded en masse to an ancient relic which is prophesized to only accept the touch of a chosen one. Sadly, it’s just a locked smart-device.
The children marched single file along the wide promenade. Crowds of people, twenty rows deep lined both sides, cheering and waving to the little heroes in the hope that one might unlock the relic lost to time.
Long ago a seer known as Quatre-Chan had prophesized that a child of ten years of age would unlock the device and we would know true wisdom. So many years had passed, so many children had attempted to unlock the secrets of the relic, but none had succeeded.
I was the high priest that day. That fateful day that everything changed. Read the rest of this entry »
Another lunch break and another piece of flash fiction inspired by Writing Prompts on Reddit.
[WP] You’re usual D&D group was a no show for your campaign, jokingly you wish for interesting players to play with… That’s when 3 people from history appear at your table complete with character sheets.
“For the last time, no, Julius, you can’t cast magic missile,” I said as I rubbed my temples, thinking that perhaps wishing for these idiots was a bad idea. Maybe if I wished hard enough my usual gang would show up and I could kick these guys out.
“Why not?” asked the Caesar, breaking my train of thought. “I have prepared my spells.”
“Yes, but you’ve already cast your limit for today. Who was next in initiative order, JFK or Genghis?” I said, consulting my notes.
“Me,” Genghis Kahn growled from across the table. His eyes studied the map laid out before him. Read the rest of this entry »
I very nearly passed this one by but now that I’ve finished it I’m glad that I didn’t. I say I almost passed it by because the way the opening chapters are written didn’t appeal to me. The quick chopping and jumping around between dreams was off-putting, but I skipped past them to where the real story starts. The opening is basically prologue and, thinking back on it now, could be dropped all together.
I get that we need to know the origins of what is happening, but I think it could be worked into the story much easier than how this book opens. Not all styles appeal to all people of course, so you might be different, but I found it difficult.
That said, once the real story starts just before the second Big Sleep, the plot takes off at a fast clip and barely slows down. It was this that kept me reading and why ultimately I enjoyed the book, even if I didn’t like the opening.
Mostly set inside the dream world, Ms Gray does an excellent job of keeping believability alive while injecting plenty of fantasy elements that could only be conjured up in a dream. The concept of the Greymen and the world they inhabit and what they do was a new one for me and were one of the things that piqued my curiosity about this novel in the first place.
A nice fat twist towards the end of the novel makes me want to read the next one, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next book in this series.
The only other notes I made while reading this was Read the rest of this entry »
[WP] “For a serial killer, he’s awfully polite. Even sends me post cards from time to time.”
The first postcard was strange. A cityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona on one side and a hand-written note “Thinking of you in Phoenix,” on the other. No signature or name, only my address in Trenton, New Jersey.
At first I thought maybe someone had sent it to the wrong person until I got another less than a week later. This one had both my name and my address.
“Missing you from Montana,” it read, but still no details of the sender. The picture was a landscape of beautiful, windswept mountains. I made a note to visit there one day if I had the chance.
Another week passed by and with it came another postcard.
“You left a hole in my heart as big as Texas,” again with no name. The picture on the front was the flag of Texas.
That was a little more specific. Was it someone I’d dumped in the past? I’d been through a few recently. My standards have always been high, and I’m known to dump people I’m seeing for the shallowest of reasons. I’m not going to apologize for being picky.
The most disturbing one came a few days later. Read the rest of this entry »
This one snuck onto my list when I was about to begin reading something entirely different. It popped up in my GoodReads list as an “also read”, and the cover and title intrigued me enough I had to check it out. It looked fun, and I enjoyed the sample so grabbed myself a copy and got stuck into reading it.
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix is a fun tale full of re-imagined versions of your typical fairy-tale happenings such as princesses stuck with evil step-parents (or in this case, step-step-parents), princes turned to frogs, talking dogs, and even an appearance by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves… though not in the way you might expect.
As always, the blurb before we get too much further:
Talking dogs. Mischievous wizards. An evil step-stepfather. Loads and loads of toads. Such is the life of a Frogkisser.
Princess Anya needs to see a wizard about a frog. It’s not her frog, it’s her sister’s. And it’s not a frog, it’s actually a prince. A prince who was once in love with Anya’s sister, but has now been turned into a frog by their evil step-stepfather. And Anya has made a ‘sister promise’ that she will find a way to return Prince Denholm to human form…
So begins an exciting, hilarious, irreverent quest through the Kingdom of Trallonia and out the other side, in a fantastical tale for all ages, full of laughs and danger, surprises and delights, and an immense population of frogs.
I’m sure you’ll be eager to hear that my work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior – is now at the “beta reader” stage of editing.
That means it’s getting much closer to being completely finished! Once I get it back and comb through the notes, adjusting my draft where necessary, and it’ll be one step closer to putting it onto Kindle Scout.
In the meantime I’m busy working on some other things for the book. Firstly, in my books I like to have a custom “mid-chapter break” or “section break” if you prefer. In a lot of books these are three little asterisks “***” or bullets “•••” or the like that usually denote passage of time during a chapter.
I’ve always gone with a little symbol I like in all of my books to date – – for no other reason than I happen to like it. But with Gustav I’ve made a custom symbol, Gustav’s head: