Fortune’s Pawn: a book review

image from http://www.goodreads.com
Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.
That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.
If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you’d get Deviana Morris — a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.

Overview

Devi Morris wants nothing more in life than to become a Devastator – the elite personal guard of the King of Paradox himself. So when an opportunity comes knocking to drop ten years from the wait, Devi follows it, and becomes security detail on the Glorious Fool. The only problem is, the Fool is notorious for being cursed. Crewmen don’t live long on her jobs, despite her being a trading ship. Still, nothing is more stubborn than a mercenary’s ambition (or at least this mercenary) and Devi’s dream is on its course – until she starts hearing screams that short out her powered armour, screams cried by invisible tentacled monsters and killed only by vacant little girls and faceless black aliens. But Deviana Morris is nothing if not adaptable, and these things she can overlook.

That is, until she starts seeing glowing, translucent, many-legged bugs immune to time, space, and atmosphere.

Bugs that no one else can see.

This is one job that’s going to stretch her to the limit, unlike any other. Continue reading

Contests galore!

The Twitter contest is over.

But don’t fear! I have another contest starting today!

Head on over to my Facebook page:

 JP Marshman

And you’ll find this photo. That’s the contest entry. All you have to do is like and comment on the photo to be entered. Sharing gets you a second entry.  The winner will receive a FREE copy of my novel PURITY from Smashwords in the format of their choice. My only stipulation is that they review when they’re finished reading.

The winner will be drawn at random in a week, so get you entries in and good luck!

Wizard’s First Rule: a book review

Image from http://sot.wikia.com/
Image from http://sot.wikia.com/

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help … and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword– to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed … or that their time has run out.

This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.

Overview

Richard Cypher is a man on a mission: after the curious murder of his father, he sets off on a personal quest to find the killer, despite all misgivings. The only evidence he has is a branch of thorn that he soon finds in the forests near the boundary – carnivorous, semi-sentient thorn. On his way home, not much closer to finding out his father’s killer, he encounters a beautiful woman hiking through the woods in clothes not at all appropriate for hiking: and she is being followed by four men.

With Kahlan’s help, Richard saves her from the men and they hurry home. Soon, Richard and Kahlan both are swept up in a dangerous adventure out of their control, and together they must save the land from evil reminiscent of dark magic from many years before, with the help of eccentric wizard Zedd and boundary warden Chase.

Wizard’s first rule: People are stupid. Continue reading

The Library: an Interactive Reading Extravaganza!

I had an idea the other day, as I sat in my living room surrounded by an ocean of books. I keep a list of the books I own for both neurotic purposes and in case there’s a fire, and as I was adding the most recent purchases to the list, I had a sudden thought:

What if I let people decide what I would read?

I have been thinking for a while that I would go through alphabetically and read all the ones that I haven’t read yet, but where’s the fun in that?

I’ve spent the past few hours reorganizing and reformatting my library into genres and whether or not I’ve already read them, and turning that into a .pdf file that’s easily accessible.

There are kids books. There are teen books I took from work and would never really want to read. There are epic classics that would probably make me want to weep. There are beloved tales dear to my heart.

The options are there.

With over 300 books to choose from, this could get real.

And maybe I’ll have friends at work pick books for me, to add to the fun.

It’s an opportunity to influence the life of another person, even a little – and to potentially humiliate them.

Each book I read I’ll do a review for, on the website here – and I’m considering doing a vlog review as well, if the book is a spectacular mess or particularly good.

So here’s your job, Internet:

Review the Library, pick a genre, and once we have a majority vote, we’ll cast another vote for books within the genre.

And I will read that book.

Without complaint.

This has the potential to be a big deal.

Think of it like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story – only you’re really effecting someone’s life.

The Library is here, waiting to be perused and admired.

And yes, Star Wars gets its own genre. Obviously.

So vote as much as you like, and get your friends to vote. Let’s get an overwhelming majority.

And pick something for me to read.

 

My Head Is An Animal, an album review

My_Head_Is_An_Animal

My Head Is An Animal

OF MONSTERS & MEN

Dirty Paws
King and Lionheart
Mountain Sound
Slow and Steady
From Finner
Little Talks
Six Weeks
Love Love Love
Your Bones
Sloom
Lakehouse
Yellow Light
Numb Bears

My Head Is An Animal is the debut studio album by the Icelandic group Of Monsters & Men. You, like me, might have heard their song Little Talks all over the radio for the past year and a half. And, like me, you probably got it stuck in your head a thousand times before finally finding out what it was called and who it was by.

After finding out what it was and listening to it several times on YouTube, I decided that I needed it for myself.

Now, I’m one of those rare few who still prefers to buy music than to download it. Not just for ethics’ sake – though I do genuinely want to support artists, as I am one myself – but because I like having my own copy and because I’m paranoid about getting viruses on my beloved computer. I considered for a moment ripping the song off YouTube – then decided, without research, hey, the rest of the album must be good, too.

So off to iTunes I went, in search of glory.

And, boy, did I find it. Continue reading

A new year

Happy New Year!

The fourteenth year of the new millennium is upon us. Just when I started getting used to writing 2013 on things, too.

2013 was an interesting year for me. It had plenty of highlights – some good, and some bad.

I hope 2014 will be as eventful, if not more.

    • I hope to publish CHANGELING, my one true love of fantasy novels.
    • I’ve made a pact to go to the gym, which I can see going fairly well. The main reason I never went before was because I had no one to go with, but I have two friends in said pact this time.
    • I’ll, in all likelihood, have to move again – but this time to live with the aforementioned love of my life.
    • And also get a cat.
    • And maybe blog properly, because my current schedule is shit and should maybe be managed better.

How has 2013 shaped up for everyone else? The general consensus that I have seen was that it was a mediocre year – but together we can make 2014 amazing.

Happy New Year, everybody!

for auld lang syne, my dear
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
for auld lang syne!

Through the Door, a book review

through the door

Celtic mythology and the modern world collide in Through the Door, the first book in the new urban fantasy series The Thin Veil.

Cedar McLeod lives an ordinary but lonely life, raising her six-year-old daughter Eden on her own while trying to balance the demands of her career and the expectations of her mother. Everything seems normal until the day Eden opens her bedroom door and finds herself half a world away – and then goes missing. Suddenly, Cedar realizes her daughter is anything but normal. 

In a desperate search for answers, Cedar tries to track down Eden’s father, who mysteriously disappeared from her life before Eden was born. What she discovers is far beyond anything she could have imagined. As she joins unlikely allies in the hunt for her daughter, Cedar finds herself torn between two worlds: the one she thought she knew, and one where ancient myths are real, the stakes are impossibly high, and only the deepest love will survive.

Facebook was actually the one to recommend this book to me, by advertising along the sidebar telling me that it was similar to my favourite book in the whole world and beyond, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. High praise indeed, so I clicked the link and decided to wait until the day came that I would own a Kindle. Then I would buy it and revel in Celtic lore. This is something that has always fascinated me, partially because of my love for history, partially from Outlander, and partially because I’m Celtic (my father was born in Wales). The other day, in order to test how Purity looked in format, I downloaded the free Kindle app to my smartphone. I remembered how I wanted to read Through the Door, and here we are. I read it in about two days.

Through the Door follows the story of Cedar McLeod, who is an ordinary woman from Halifax only trying to be happy. When she finds out she’s pregnant, she is anxious to tell her baby daddy, Finn, the good news. But before she can even get the words out, he vanishes from her life without a word. Fast forward seven years, and their daughter, Eden, is coming into some very strange powers, and these powers get her into trouble when she vanishes. In order to explain the inexplicable, Cedar hunts down Finn’s family and finds herself in a world beyond imagining. Continue reading