Robert Bevan is an author I’ve been reading for years now. His Critical Failures books in the Caverns and Creatures series are some of the most re-read books on my Kindle.
Between each Critical Failures books he puts out 6 short stories which eventually get bundled into their own six-pack. These are the most recent two which I read one after another (I was behind a little since it took a few weeks for them to get onto Kindle Unlimited).
While the title seems somewhat literal, you need to understand the short stories Mister Bevan puts out are always puns or jokes on whatever the theme is. Cornholed for example, isn’t about what you might think. Probing the Annis is another.
Anyway, a subset of our usual heroes are tricked into following a sorcerer through a portal where their doom awaits them. Not an uncommon occurrence for the hapless heroes, but Bevan always manages new and disgusting lows in which to take the story.
Tricked into becoming slaves / target practice for stone giants, the boys must escape. Through a series of misunderstandings they’re not sure which fate they’d prefer.
Continuing the tradition and possibly one of the grossest covers yet, From the Bowels of Hell Hounds finds our heroes as escorts of a wagon filled with magical goodies on its way to an interesting character I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of, maybe in the canonical series.
Count Fabulazzo welcomes them, calling off his hell hounds just after they’ve barbequed the groups horses. PS – If you’re a horse lover then this series (not just this book) isn’t for you. They meet their demise in a startling array of horrors.
Tricked, of course, into accepting the mission which is really a ruse for them to become the fall guys for the real mission, they’ve no alternative to accept the quest set to them by the Count to retrieve what was stolen.
Fans of the podcast Authors and Dragons will enjoy the appearance of a religious zealot by the name of Sinas, who I couldn’t help but read in the voice of Rick Gualtieri’s “Silas Kane” voice.
Both of these were lots of fun to read. They’re non-canonical to the overall series so can be enjoyed as individual reads. What happens in these has no impact at all to the main story, but knowing the background of the characters helps understand their motives so if you haven’t yet, go read Critical Failures.
I should preface this review with a <POSSIBLE SPOILERS> warning since Goddamned Freaky Monsters is book 5 in The Tome of Bill series. If you’ve not read the first four, maybe look away now.
After reading the first 4 books in quick succession I decided a short break was in order before continuing with the series. That short break turned into 6 months as other books kept demanding my attention.
But finally I’m back on the Bill train, having finished this one over the weekend and lining up to read the next one when I’m finished what I’m currently reading.
Three months have passed since the fateful encounter in New York City that ended with the disappearance of Bill Ryder – gamer, geek, and legendary vampire. Now he’s back, awakened halfway across the globe with no allies, clothing, or clue as to how he got there. The only thing he’s certain of is that his captors plan to use him for their own nefarious ends and don’t care how much blood they spill in the process.
Escape might be the least of his worries, though. Civilization teeters on the brink of chaos. Mythical beasts, once thought the stuff of fantasy, are breaking through the veil, intent on waging war against mankind. At their forefront stands an ancient evil, the last remnant of a cult thought long dead, and he’s about to cut a swath of destruction through the world not seen since biblical times.
Bill’s only chance is to reclaim his life, reconcile with his friends, and muster every bit of attitude he can – because if he fails, Hell on Earth will become far more than just a corny saying.
It’s official! The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior is now live on Amazon.
Off to a good start with lots of people already reading it 😀
A laugh-out-loud comedic fantasy novel about the forgotten and self-proclaimed legend known as Gustav Gustavson.
Well the bad news is after almost 14 days of waiting Amazon let me know I didn’t get picked up by Kindle Scout.
The good news is I’ve just hit publish on The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior so it’ll be available through Amazon real soon now for Kindle and in a few days for paperback.
I’ll post links once it’s live, so check back soon!
*Paperback still coming soon.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
My Kindle Scout campaign for The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior came to a close on Monday, and since then I’ve been
impatiently eagerly waiting on a response. It finished with a flurry of activity pushing up my total views… the one thing I wish I could see was how many nominations in total I received.
I can see how many people looked at my page in total, but I’ve no idea how many people actually nominated it. It’d be a handy statistic to know.
So now I can’t do anything but sit and wait until I receive an email from Amazon. In the past I’ve received “was not successful” messages for books I’ve nominated only a day or two after their campaign ended, so does waiting longer mean I’m being considered more closely? Or maybe they’re just busy and haven’t got to me yet. I prefer to think it’s the first one. 🙂
Either way, I’m glad I went through the experience. If nothing else it’s given me a lot of exposure I may not have otherwise received. I’ll post another update when I hear back from Kindle Scout. In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed for me!
Ever since I wrote the first line of this post, I can’t get the line “Waiting, waiting, waiting. I’ll never get out of here. I’ll die in Casablanca.” out of my head. Maybe I’ve seen that movie too many times.
Robert Bevan is someone I’ve been reading for a long time now, getting into his books a few years back and reading them all multiple times. His latest book in the series, Critical Failures V, has left me a little on the fence.
While each book in the series so far has followed the standard formula of problem at start -> solved at end + new cliff-hanger (introduced to keep you wanting the next one), this one meandered along without much urgency and ended without any real satisfaction.
In this one, the expanding cast of unique characters has been split into multiple groups as they set out to find Tim who they believe is trying to abandon them all in the game. The splitting of the party was something I particularly enjoyed as it allowed some lesser characters the chance to shine on their own, giving us a chance to get to know them better.
Mister Bevan does a great job at pulling together all the divergent paths the characters have taken by the end, but this is where it fell down for me. I looked at the progress bar on my Kindle and thought it must have been malfunctioning. It said 99% and I felt that the climax of the book was about to kick into gear, but instead I was left with a cliff-hanger ending without any real feeling of satisfaction.
I would have gladly waited another 6 months or a year or more to have this storyline play out to a more satisfactory conclusion. As it is, it feels like I only read half a book, and for a book that’s close to 100,000 words, it felt kind of short. 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!
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 »
While on my search for a new book to read I came across an oldie but goodie that I’ve read countless times – The Amateurs by John Niven. If I was to make a list of the all-time funniest books I’ve ever read, this’d be very high on the list.
I bought this way back in 2009 (I think?) after reading the blurb and knowing it was for me. This was back when I still bought paperbacks, so I even imported it from the UK because I couldn’t wait for shops in Australia to carry it.
I’m not a golfer, but you don’t have to be to enjoy this story. Yes, the main character is obsessed with it but mainly because how bad he is at it. Until one fateful day he cops a golf ball to the head and his whole life changes. Sort of for the better, but a lot for the worse… Read the rest of this entry »