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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. 🙂

Vikings, Reddit, and Real Life

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The last month has been hectic. My pay-the-bills job has been keeping me busy, plus other things outside of work have got me to the point of not wanting to do any writing when I finally have spare time.

I know that’s not the attitude to have, but it’s just been exhausting. That said, I think things are finally easing up a little which is giving me time to think about my next project.

I’ve decided to work on a new idea that’s been floating around in my head rather than the other story I got part of the way through before stopping to write Badlands and The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.

It’s still a little too early in the game to give away too much, other than to say it may make me a target for religious nut-bags. It’s a humorous tale of God and the Devil, Christ and few other family members and the havoc they cause.

Other than that I’ve been spending a lot of time over on Reddit as a way of not doing any writing. The Writing Prompts subreddit is one of my favourite places to hang out, reading all the prompt-inspired responses. I’ve posted a few of my own over the time, none that have really taken off until the one I posted the other day.

The prompt I submitted was: You accidentally summon a demon by trying to pronounce IKEA product names. I honestly didn’t expect it to get any traction, much like the ones that I posted before. But to my utter astonishment it took off, trending as high as top spot in the subreddit and garnering over 7,800 up-votes and even a gold star.

If you’ve got a bit of time, go over to Reddit and check out the awesome responses people have posted. It’s great to see how people interpret the response in different ways.

In The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior related news, it’s now been a little over a month since I released this book and I can honestly say it’s by a wide margin the best-selling book I’ve ever put out there.

It’s been snapped up by people all over the world, including countries I’ve never reached before. Sales have slowed a little since its initial release but I’m still seeing lots of people grabbing copies through Kindle Unlimited, and even the odd paperback copy being sold. Having people read and enjoy something I’ve written really makes my day.

That’s all for now. Back to procrastinating …er… working on my next book. 🙂

Book Review | Goddamned Freaky Monsters by Rick Gualtieri

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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.

The Blurb:

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Live!

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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.

Kindle Scout Update

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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!

Update

You can read a sample section of Gustav Gustavson here or buy it as an eBook or Paperback from Amazon*.

*Paperback still coming soon.

The Waiting Game

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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.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

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 »

Book Review | Critical Failures V by Robert Bevan

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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 »

Hot Tip | Victor Boone Will Save Us

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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 »

A Chance to Get a Free Copy of My Book!

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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!