Adventure

Book Review | 4 Shorts by Robert Bevan

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Four short stories I’ve been waiting to read finally made it into Kindle Unlimited. I grabbed all of them as part of Robert Bevan’s 5D6 release where he rolls up 6 shorts into one book (the first two reviewed here).

As usual, Mister Bevan proves himself the master of low brow humour. In these final four he delivers an astounding array of disgusting and hilarious scenarios for our hapless heroes to fight their way out of.

Tossing the Salaad – Deftly sidestepping any possible copyright infringements by a subtle renaming of the monsters, this book sees everyone’s favourite Cooper impregnated by the amphibious Salaad after what first could be mistaken as a prostate exam. From there things get decidedly more gross.

Pixie Dicks – Magical memory loss leads Tim to be a lot less of an asshole for the bulk of this story, a side some of his friends may prefer. Sent on a mission by a bunch of pixies, the boys prove they are capable of rising above all, especially when the pixies have been such dicks to them.

Fistin’ the Furious – One of the more confusing of the bunch, the team hook up with an attractive woman for a mission to kill her siblings. A mind/body swapping spray swaps the guys with the grotesquely deformed siblings, which is where some of the confusion came in. It was a little hard to follow in places and made more sense the second time through.

The Fuccubus – By the title it should be obvious what this one is about. The boys are “tricked” into wanting to have group sex with a half-elf who is really a succubus and wants to suck our their souls via… well, you get the idea.. This one had me howling with laughter, easily the funniest short that Mister Bevan has put out in a while. The others were funny, no doubt, but this one really took it to the next level.

TL;DR Version

Funny as hell, but not for the easily offended. Check out the sample at Amazon!

 

Almost Done!

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The first draft of my current work in progress is almost done. I’m at about 80% of my 30,000 word goal for this one, so I’m sitting on a little over 24,000 words.

Once that’s done though the real work begins.

By real work I’m talking about going back and reading through the whole thing. Adding where necessary (I tend to gloss over parts on my first run through, so need to add in parts for it to make sense) and deleting where necessary to tighten up the story where it’s messy. And then going back to fix grammar and typos I introduced by adding new bits.

I’m happy with the current cover design I’m using, the Heaven / Hell split you can see at the top of this post. My name is smack bang in the middle of the Hell section. I’ve no doubt the subject matter of this one might make me a target of religious nut bags who can’t see the funny side of life, so at least I’ve got a head start on them.

I’ve also been actively avoiding thinking about the blurb, since that’s one of my most hated parts of the process. Trying to condense the novel into a couple hundred words that makes people want to click the “Buy Now!” button.

But these are the evils one must accept when trying to carve out a life as an author, especially a self-publishing one.

Sale Update

Last week I ran a 0.99 sale on The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior. I’m happy to say it was a huge success, and as it happens, it was my most successful sale I’ve ever run, with heaps of people grabbing a copy to read.

I’m quietly hopeful that some of these will turn into Amazon reviews. They’re one thing I’ve never had much luck at getting. I’ve read somewhere that only like one out of every hundred or more readers will leave a review, so I would have thought I’d have seen a few more by now. Perhaps the 1 in 100 is actually much higher.


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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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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 Fantastic Fable of Peter Able by Natalie Grigson

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It’s tough being a fictional character. Peter, a now adult Boy Wizard, has been abandoned by his writer and left to fend for himself in the land of fiction.

The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able by Natalie Grigson showed up during my Kindle Scout campaign as a previous winner. I enjoy tales of characters left behind so was keen to check this one out. Peter and his pals in this one, the cast of NPCs by Drew Hayes and so on.

First, let’s check out the blurb:

The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able is a fantasy novel – with a twist. You see, Peter is a Boy Wizard. Or rather, Peter is an adult Boy Wizard who lives in the land of Fiction. His Real World author has abruptly concluded his series, and Peter is suddenly free to explore his world, liberated from the almighty Plotline. Of course the transition into free will isn’t exactly an easy one, and there are plenty of Twists and Turns to keep our Protagonist guessing along the way. After all, this is Fiction.

In the vein of authors like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, this book will delight fans, not just of fantasy, but of literature in general. There are plenty of familiar faces from Fiction appearing throughout, as well as many new ones, like Peter, the charming Randy, and a ficus tree named Bob – who, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have a face.

I know what you’re thinking: yet another story about a boy wizard. Well, don’t despair; yes Peter is a boy wizard but Harry Potter this is not.

This is an incredibly fun tale of what happens to fictional characters once their writers have abandoned them, or once their series have come to an end. It starts just as Peter realizes he is now free of his writer’s whims and can do what he likes… if he can work out how to open the door. Read the rest of this entry »

Free eBooks Bonanza!

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For the next few days I’m running a free book promotion with Amazon, which means you can read a selection of six of my ebooks for nothing!

Why? Well, mainly because I’d like to get more people reading what I’ve written, and what better way to do it than to give out a heap of freebies.

From now until about Tuesday next week you’ll be able to grab these six books from Amazon for nothing.

So what are the books? They’re a selection of five of my short stories as well as Boneyards – book 1 of the FTW series. Follow the links below to Amazon.com, and happy reading!

Read the rest of this entry »

Maze Quest – A Text-Adventure Short Story

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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.


The Prompt:

[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 »

Book Review | Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Progress Updates

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My focus this week has been split between first-round editing of my work in progress, the comedic Viking fantasy “The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior”, and reading the superb superhero coming-of-age story “Dreadnought”. More on Dreadnought further down because first up it’s all about me! lol 🙂

So my first round edits basically involve me printing out the entire Word document as well as converting it to spoken word with a text-to-speech program. Then I sit and listen to the mechanical voice reading my story back to me. Any errors or awkwardness I find I correct on the print out. When I’m done with that, I’ll update the Word doc and convert to Kindle for a read through before I send it off to my beta reader.

I’ve also been tweaking my cover art for my work in progress. I had a brainwave late one night earlier this week that the cover I’d settled on was a little too flat and it might look good if it was stacked-paper. So I got to work editing the artwork which resulted (after a few horrendous attempts) in the new cover design shown here.

I had to adjust a few of the colours because once I shrunk it down to thumbnail size I couldn’t read any of the title text. To make the colours more complimentary, I changed the water and the background to green, and I think overall it works. So it’s the one I’ll be publishing with (unless hit by some major inspiration and redesign the whole thing, unlikely).

Below is a quick progression of how the cover art matured over time. The first (lame) attempt was mainly to get the bones of the idea in place (such as the Viking long boat at sea) and then go from there. Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review | The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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Sometimes poking around random GoodReads lists pays off big time. That’s certainly the case with this one – The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I grabbed the sample chapters from Amazon and knew right off it was one I’d lose myself in, and after I bought the full story, I found I was right.

A time-travelling pirate ship? Count me in right there. But there was so much more to love about this novel. Lost love, adventures through time, romance, action, myths brought to life, redemption. Plenty to keep you busy. But first, as always, let’s check out the blurb.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveler. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question . . .

Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

Nix and her crew mates can travel anywhere in history (including to fictional worlds), so long as they have a hand-drawn map of where they want to go. The kicker though is once they’ve used a map they can never return because maps are only good for one trip. The “how” is fairly wishy-washy, in that you have to believe in the map and it’ll take you there. No less implausible than other time-travelling devices though, so I don’t fault it on that. Read the rest of this entry »

Work In Progress Update

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update on my comedic fantasy work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior (TTTAOGGLVW for short, lol).

Well, it’s going really well, about 95% complete or thereabouts, and is now officially the longest single work I’ve written to date. Currently weighing in at a little over 47,100 words, I’m aiming to get it above 50,000 by the time I wrap it up.

Why? A couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a nice beefy number for a novel, and make it a good 10,000 words longer than my second longest. A decent sized read and makes for a nice thick book on the bookshelf. 🙂

Secondly, I’d like to try Kindle Scout and they have a hard 50,000 word minimum limit for submitted works. Never heard of Kindle Scout? This is what they do: Read the rest of this entry »