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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Interview with Sean Danker, Author of Admiral, Plus Giveaway!




MBS is pleased to welcome Sean Danker, author of Admiral, for interview today.
I enjoyed this sci fi mystery adventure. Please see my REVIEW for more information about the book. 

Q1. Why sci fi mystery? What do you enjoy most about writing, and reading, in the genre?

SEAN: I've always been into mysteries, and SF appeals to me because it's home to straightforward, exciting things like creature features, but it can also be used to explore larger and more complex issues.

Q2. What inspired you to write this particular story?

SEAN: I really wanted to do something in space - there's been a lot of SF in my life, so it was kind of a given that at some point I'd write a space opera. With Admiral, I got to combine the things that characterize my writing in other genres with the things I really like in science fiction.

Q3. What is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome when you want to write?
SEAN: Deciding which projects to pursue has been a struggle for me. Sometimes the book I want to write isn't necessarily the most commercially viable book to write. I have to find a balance.

Q4. Can you please share one thing you found surprising or unusual when researching or writing Admiral?
SEAN: I originally wrote Admiral as a standalone novel telling a very contained story; I was worried when I was asked to turn it into a series, but the story actually lent itself very well to sequels and an overarching story - that surprised me, but I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out.

Q5. Do your work career/hobbies/interests influence your writing?
SEAN: My hobbies and interests certainly do, but I try to keep fiction and my professional life separate.

Q6. What are some of the best tips you’ve received on writing and what one tip would you pass on to new authors?
SEAN: The best tip I've ever gotten is to persevere - whether in the writing itself or the publication process. Not giving up is important in any career. A thick skin and a willingness to cooperate are good to have too.

Q7. What do you normally read and what are you reading now?
SEAN: My reading's pretty eclectic, but at the moment I'm reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X.

Q8. Are the interesting portraits on your blog your own art work? Renderings of your views of your characters?
SEAN: There might be some of my work on the site somewhere, but the vast majority of what goes into the blog posts is done by other artists.

Thank you for sharing with your readers.

ABOUT SEAN DANKER:
Sean Danker has been writing since he was fifteen. He read entirely too much Asimov in college, and now we’re all paying the price for it. His hobbies include biting off more than he can chew, feeling sorry for himself on Twitter, and telling people to lighten up. He is currently serving in the military on a base in North Dakota. Find the author online at http://evagard.com/
 
GIVEAWAY
One print book from the Publisher; US only


(Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.)
For 3 Extra Bonus entries
(a) comment on the review, the interview OR
(b) Visit the Author's website and tell me something you learned or like there.

* This contest is open to US only for Print Copy.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) May 14, 2016.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after May 14, 2016.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

Book Review: Admiral (An Evagardian Novel) by Sean Danker

Good blend of mystery, intrigue, space sci fi and engaging characters.
Admiral (An Evagardian Novel)
by Sean Danker

File Size: 901 KB
Print Length: 310 pages
Publisher: Roc (May 3, 2016)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
ASIN: B00S75RYXG
Genre: Sci Fi,
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


FIRST IN A NEW MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”
He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.
Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.


Review:
“Admiral” is awakened from stasis to find three Evagardian recruits… and an empty ship. The three new graduates were expecting to be on a royal ship, not this freighter. The three consist of a tech, Ensign Nils, Lieutenant Deilani, specializing in bio, and a negotiator, Private Salmagard. Admiral raises suspicion because he is young and didn’t even know his promoted rank. Deilani distrusts him immediately while Salmagard shows recognition and deference. Nils isn’t sure who to follow but he wants someone to give direction in their strange situation.

Admiral clearly has experience in unusual, and dangerous situations and he doesn’t hesitate to take charge. They discover that the ship has crashed and they are stranded although they don’t know where. Too soon they realize that the ship is in a precarious situation, the planet is hostile and it will take the concerted efforts of everyone if they want to survive to be rescued.

The story moves at a quick pace as the four jury rig supplies and employ tricks to ensure survival. They are on the edge of death first in the ship, then traveling across the planet to a suspected colony. They are desperate and battling a new species enemy when they make their last ditch effort to get rescued.

I enjoyed the mystery of the Admiral’s identity, catching a few hints along the way. I liked how the author kept it secret and I enjoyed the scene when it was finally revealed. I enjoyed all four characters and how they work together, even when at odds. There is creativity in the survival efforts and imagination in the new species that is discovered as the story progresses. There are other elements that make you think of the ‘trapped in a box with no way out’ type mysteries.

I think I enjoyed this as much as The Martian (which had the advantage for me of listening on audio). I highly recommend this to sci fi and mystery lovers. I would love to read more adventures with the Admiral, especially if he could somehow team up with the others again.

I received this title through NetGalley for an honest review. This qualifies for NetGalley Challenge and “A” in Alphabet Soup Challenge. Please see author interview and GIVEAWAY .

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Book Review (with GIveaway link): Reaching Angelica: Book #2 in the Tag Series by Peter Riva

Another wonderful sci fi adventure from Peter Riva, with engaging plot and characters.
Reaching Angelica: Book #2 in the Tag Series
by Peter Riva
File Size: 1678 KB
Print Length: 340 pages
Publisher: Yucca Publishing (February 2, 2016)
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
ASIN: B01AFE9UVU
Genre: Sci Fi, Cyberpunk
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


In a massive spaceship destined for Alpha Centauri B, with a genesis crew including Zip the telepathic dog, his old friendly nemesis Cramer, and a computer being name Ra (now inhabiting a human form and calling herself Aten), Simon Bank emerges from a hundred-year coma and is hailed as an awakened hero. Stuck with unwanted responsibility, he is forced to try and solve the entire enigma of the universe—a small undertaking—before the spaceship, his friends, and all life on Earth are swatted out of existence by super beings he has accidentally awakened.

Simon’s only hope is to plunge into other dimensions with his mind—into the secrets of the universe’s pan-dimensions—as only he knows how. The fate of all life hangs in the balance as he struggles to prove himself worthy of the Path and the absolute trust his friends place in him. Simon knows all too well that if he fails there is no hope—none at all—for anyone and that includes his best friend, an artificial intelligence computer called Apollo, which he sadly left behind. Besides, Zip would not be pleased, either.

For fans of cyberpunk and classic science fiction, Reaching Angelica is the second book in Peter Riva’s Tag series, the comic, thrilling, and continuing saga of Simon Bank—ex–master system computer wrangler and very unlikely savior of the universe.


Review:
This continues with the characters that I came to enjoy in The Path, with a few twists. It also continues with the dedication to the principals the lead characters chose for their adopted path.

The story is still narrated by Simon Banks, the brilliant codifier who helped parent, if not birth, Apollo (aka Peter) and Ra (nka Aten), two sentient computers. These computers friends helped Simon, with a few select humans like Simon’s oppositional friend, detective Cramer, to spread peace to all of earth creating Simon’s image as a hero.

The mind thoughts are the mature Simon although now he resides in a 10-year-old SynthKid body after waking from a hundred-year coma. Ra has been reborn (downloaded/transferred) and is now a maturing teenage girl known as Aten. Cramer unexpectedly has joined the community on the ship traveling to colonize a new world. There was some concern about Cramer’s comatose state but Simon knows just how to jar him awake resulting in the mature (mostly), cunning of the former detective brimming in his seven-year-old body. Added to these characters is Zip, a telepathic dog on board who attaches himself to the group of heroes.

I enjoy the expanded universe exploration even if some of the scientific theory again passes over my head. It doesn’t hurt my appreciation of the perceived danger and concerted efforts needed to save mankind from extinction. Everyone works their part of the puzzle but, once again, it is Simon who must enter the world of virtual code. He is in a time pressure to locate and either hide from, negotiate with or outwit a superior, universe-controlling entity. It is feared that the entity may view humans as a virus to be wiped out rather than beings who can contribute to the entity’s plan or purpose… if only Simon can figure out what that might be.

The rapport among the characters continues to be fun and invigorating. The sci fi, cyperpunk adventure is fast paced with danger, excitement and a natural humor. This is the second book in the series and I do recommend reading The Path first to get a proper foundation for the characters and the path they are on. I highly recommend both books.

I received this through iRead Tours for an honest review. This qualifies for R in my Alphabet Soup Challenge. See my review of The Path and the Giveaway link*** HERE.***

Praise for Reaching Angelica
“Thrilling moments keep the suspense high in space. . . . The way Riva describes the mysteries of the universe is intriguing. . . . This cyberpunk world has its own laws of stretching brains wide with its mind-bending concepts.”
—Jake Vyper, Fantascize.com



Full tour schedule can be found at the author tour page at iRead Book Tours.

Monday, May 2, 2016

MBS April 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

Martha's Bookshelf April 2016


My goals are repeated below the book list. I was ahead by two in January but down by five in February. I am up one in March; down one in APRIL so I am down a net of three for four months, which is close to target although I do need to pick it up a bit. :-)
Total read = 14
Audio/Audible = 7
eBook = 4 (one tour review)
NetGalley = 2
Print (LBC) = 1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TBR = 3 (obtained prior to 2016); year to date = 31
New to Me Authors = 9; year to date = 39
Series Continued = 2; year to date = 8

There was one 5.0 rated book in April and six 4.5 rated.

Code for the list is:
A = Audio/Audible     ABJ = Audiobook Jukebox    ABB = Audiobook Blast
E or ETour = eBook
NG = NetGalley
P = Print
LBC = Ladies Book Club
TBR = From the TBR shelves prior to 2016

  1. A-- Audible Book Review: Fire Touched: Mercy Thompson Series, Book 9, by Patricia Briggs; Paranormal, Urban Fantasy; my rating 4.25.
  2. NG-- Book Review: What We Find by Robyn Carr; Contemporary Romance, Small Town; my rating 4.25.
  3. ABJ-- Audible Book Review: Dream Kisses: Romance on the Ranch Series Book 1 by Verna Clay; Contemporary Romance; my rating 4.25.
  4. LBC-P-TBR--Book Review and Giveaway: Arena by Karen Hancock; Sci Fi, Religious Inspirational; my rating 5.0.
  5. ABB-- Audible Book Review: Redfall: Fight for Survival: American Prepper Series, Book 1, by Jay J. Falconer; Sci Fi, Dystopian; my rating 4.25.
  6. E-- Book Review: Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton; Sci Fi, Fantasy, Humor; my rating 4.0.
  7. A-TBR-- Audible Book Review: Variant by Robison Wells; Sci Fi, Teens; my rating 3.75.
  8. E-- Book Review: Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection: Box Set Books 1-3 by Barbara Venkataraman; Mystery, Amateur Sleuth; my rating 4.5.
  9. E-Tour-- Book Review and Tour Giveaway: The Path by Peter Riva ; Sci Fi, Techno Thriller; my rating 4.5.
  10. A-- Audio Book Review: Bad Deeds by Robert Bidinotto; Thriller, Espionage; my rating 4.5.
  11. E-- Book Review: The Rage by Matthew Babaoye; Horror, Occult; my rating 3.5.
  12. A-- Audio Book Review: Dark Sanity by Paul L. Centeno; Sci Fi, Steampunk; my rating 4.5.
  13. NG-- Admiral 4.5 (review to be linked)
  14. A-TBR-- Professional Integrity 4.5 (review to be linked)

I have certain goals to reach my challenges and reading total for 2016.


The YEARLY reading goals+ Progress (+ after the number means I am ahead; - means I am short; no symbol means I am right on goal.)
Total = 180................... End of April = 57
Audio =  72................... to date = 27+
NetGalley = 42.............. to date = 6-
Tours = 24..................... to date = 9 (incls 2 NG)
Ladies Book Club (LBC) = 12.. to date = 4
Print = 12...................... April = (4) These are same as the LBC books.
Mixed in (hopefully includes TBR books I've won) = 18 to date = 0-

My TBR goal is to read at least 100 from my shelves, whether Audible, Kindle, other ebook or print.
TBRs read as of April = 31-

This breaks down roughly to 15 books a MONTHLY in these formats (with TBRs, print, LBC and others overlapping at times):
Audio --  6
eBooks -- 2  (author review/tour or TBR)
NetGalley -- 3.5
TBR Print  --  1
TBR eBook -- 1
LBC -- 1
Other -- 1

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Post May 1, 2016/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday May 2, 2016



I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

This was another fast week. Work was steady but good. I had to deal with a virus in one of my Dropbox folders but Dropbox has been great and I expect all to be fixed in the next day or so. [Just to clarify, the virus came from a staff person whose computer became infected so when she downloaded and uploaded to the dropbox a group of the files became infected. It was not the fault of Dropbox at all but it was alarming until I learned that Dropbox is able to roll back to before the infection so only a few items will have to be reloaded.] Weather has been nice - very spring: warm with some rain.


I finished three books: two audios and one ebook. I posted three reviews, a special offer post and a Mother's Day giveaway. I also posted my usual memes.

I enjoyed visiting other blogs early in the week. some new ones which I was glad to 'meet'.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review: The Rage by Matthew Babaoye; Horror, Occult; my rating 3.5.
  • Audio Book Review: Bad Deeds by Robert Bidinotto; Thriller, Espionage; my rating 4.5.
  • Audio Book Review: Dark Sanity by Paul L. Centeno; Sci Fi, Steampunk; my rating 4.5.

Finished Reading:
1. Audio/MP3 (Narrator)


Dark Sanity
Written by: Paul L. Centeno
Narrated by: Martin Wurst
I enjoyed this action-packed audio.
My review is linked above.




2. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Admiral (An Evagardian Novel)
by Sean Danker
I really liked this sci fi mystery.
I will be hosting an author interview as well as my review on May 4.
Click on book title for full description.



3. Audible (TBR/free)


Professional Integrity (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)
Written by: Michael J. Sullivan
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
This is a quick listen with the usual Riyria 'charm' and mystery solving.
This is from my own Audible Library.
Publisher's Summary
One of the genre's favorite pairs returns in a classic fantasy short for both Riyria veterans and first-time readers.
Several years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire organization better known as Riyria. Things have gone well enough for the team as they do "jobs" for various nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that's a first for the pair. All is not as it seems, but Royce is determined to get the bottom of what's actually going on. After all, he has his professional integrity at stake.
Originally released in the Blackguards anthology published by Ragnarok Publications, this is a standalone short story of 10,800 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for existing fans to spend a little more time with old friends.
©2015 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2015 Audible, Inc.





Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Tour)


Reaching Angelica: Book #2 in the Tag Series
by Peter Riva
Midway through; this is reading quickly and I'm enjoying it.
My review for iRead Tours will post 5/3.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio/MP3 (Narrator)


In the Mist of Killarney: An Irish Faery Tale
Written by: Robert McCallum
Narrated by: David Ocean
I am looking forward to this which looks/sounds like a fun, easy listen.
I received this from the Narrator.
Publisher's Summary
Ireland, 1911. After encountering a faery in the woodlands near his home in Tralee when he is a child, Professor Emmet Brehon spends his life pursuing the belief that faeries are more than just elements of mythology. While teaching Irish mythology and folklore at a university in Dublin, he receives a note from a stranger who claims to know where faeries can be found. Following the map that the stranger gives him, Emmet travels to a faerie circle and mound near Lough Leane in Kerry, where he encounters two ghostly little girls and a faery light. Snapping a photograph of the girls and faery light with his Brownie camera, Emmet's life becomes twisted when he discovers that he can't rid himself of the photograph, and disasters occur whenever he is present. He soon loses all in life that it is precious to him, including his sanity.
©2015 R. L. McCallum (P)2016 R. L. McCallum



3. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Much Ado About Highlanders (The Scottish Relic Trilogy)
by May McGoldrick
Time for a romance and this one sounds good.
I was invited to read this and received the title through NetGalley. 
(Releasing 5/3/16.)
In the heart of Scotland, this Highlander is about to meet his match in a brand new romance from bestseller May McGoldrick.

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agreed to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan’s power in the north, he expected a bit of an adjustment. He didn't expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride…and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

Kenna Mackay thought she was safe in a priory full of nuns learning the craft of healing, but when she is kidnapped by her own husband, the battle of wits begins anew. But even as passions ignite, a deadly secret from Kenna's past rises to the surface and put their new love in jeopardy. As a heartless villain closes in, two headstrong lovers find themselves locked in a struggle between evil and the power of undying love. And this time, Alexander is determined he will not lose his wife again.



4. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue)
by Katie Ruggle
This sounds like a romantic suspense I will like.
This is a new author for me. Received through NetGalley.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month!
“Sexy and suspenseful, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”—Julie Ann Walker, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
“Chills and thrills and a sexy slow-burning romance from a terrific new voice.”—D.D. Ayres, author of the K-9 Rescue Series
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...
When captain of Field County's ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook, meets new diver Louise "Lou" Sparks, his orderly existence is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he's never felt more alive...even if keeping her safe may just kill him.
Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who’ll stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.



April 10, 2016 - I got caught up while we were away. Reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church. I will also be listening (sometimes) to the companion commentary online.

I posted three reviews last week which leaves me two coming into this week plus others I hope to post.
I have one more scheduled review for May:
May 3 Tour Review Reaching Angelica by Peter Riva (iRead)
May 4 Admiral by Sean Danker
and I hope:
May 5 Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick
May 7 Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle

Unscheduled for May:
Carnations in January by Clare Revell
Violets in February by Clare Revell


I have begun the five nine, now seven nine (again) author ebook and audio reviews committed with no specific dates.
My NetGalley shelves are still at six which I am getting to this week/ month.


I hope to add a 'prom' short story to eTreasure's NetGalley this week. Plus we are preparing the next release.


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

This week I accepted eight ebooks for review.
I picked up two kindle titles one for $.99 and one for $1.99.
I added more free kindle titles to my library. Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I received these twp titles from PBG (Pelican Book Group) Booklovers:
Carnations in January
Violets in February
both by Clare Revell
I am looking forward to these Christian romances. :-)


I received a four eBook series by Lance Erlick from iRead Book Tours for tour reviews; two in June and two in July:


Regina Shen: Resilience (Book 1) and
 Regina Shen: Vigilance (Book 2)



Regina Shen: Defiance (Book 3) 
and Regina Shen: Endurance (Book 4) (Releasing in July.)


I received this ebook  title from the author:
by Barbara Venkataraman
Once again I am very pleased the author offered the next book to review.

I received this title through NetGalley:

The Bluebonnet Betrayal, A Potting Shed Mystery
by Marty Wingate
I read The Red Book of Primrose House and decided I would like to read another.


Won
NONE

Purchased

I picked this one up for $.99:
Anything for You (The Blue Heron Series)
Kristan Higgins
I have a print book by this author and having heard good things thought I would pick this up.

This one was $1.99:
Windwalker (The Prophecy Series Book 1)
Sharon Sala, Dinah McCall
I saw this by an author I like. I took a quick look and liked it.
So I succumbed. :-)


Free

Over the past week I only added 41 free Kindle titles to my library. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

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