Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I came across WATCHERS: THE COMING OF THE KING as part of my increasing involvement in the author segment of the twitter-verse. I followed author William Meikle, and he followed me back. One of his tweets caught my eye, and as I am wont to do, I checked his profile. That lead me to his blog, and the rest as they say, is history. In this case, it is a slightly altered history of England and Scotland complete with vampires, magic, religious mysticism, and several satisfying twists to historical and even biblical stories.

THE COMING OF THE KING follows Martin, the son of the Thane of town called Milecastle, and his friend Sean as they go on divergent yet connected quests. Martin goes searching for evidence of an impending attack by the vampire hoards, and Sean must protect a young woman that plays an important part in events to come. Along the way they meet a world-wise Scottish traveler that may be critical to their survival, magical allies thought to be nothing more than myth, and of course, vampires.

Combining fantasy, horror, and history into a unique world all his own, Meikle spins a tale that draws you in quickly and doesn’t let go until the last page is turned.  The only downside is a few places in the story that feel as if the pacing is slightly off, usually during the lead up to a battle that draws out a bit too long. However, never to the point where you lose interest or come out of the story. In fact it wasn’t until I went back to look for this review that I even noticed it, so it was relatively minor.

Definitely a good read, and I will be purchasing the next book in the series, WATCHERS: THE BATTLE FOR THE THRONE very soon.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: Contract of Betrayal by Tammy Salyer

Aly Erickson is back and better than ever!

Contract of Betrayal is the second book in Tammy Salyer's Sprectras Arise Trilogy. The first book, Contract of Defiance, created a universe populated with a variety of exciting and well-rounded characters. The adventure that begins in Contract of Defiance transitions smoothly to Contract of Betrayal, and the characters continue to naturally develop as they face new challenges.

Salyer introduces several new characters in this book and seamlessly weaves them into the existing cast, providing more depth and complexity to an already rich series of relationships. Some of the character interactions originating in the first book are expanded and developed in this story, and we find out more about the backgrounds of some of the main characters, which equates to being able to relate to them all the more. Salyer's characters are the foundation that support the story, each bringing their own individual flavor to the overall story, and doing their part to advance the story smoothly and effectively.

The story builds smoothly around this superb cast, picking up where the action in Contract of Defiance ended. Having completed their original mission, Aly, Vitruzzi, and the rest are working on a new plan for taking on the Admin when things are thrown into chaos by the arrival of a new ship to Agate Beach. Complete with rekindling of old flames, battles with old enemies, and of course, a good dose of betrayal, Aly has her plate full once again. Without giving any spoilers, let me just say that the action picks up quickly and progresses at a rapid, yet controlled pace throughout. Things come to a fulfilling conclusion for the crew, while still dangling the promise of even more excitement to come in the last book of the trilogy.

Salyer has a very smooth and easy reading narrative style, and both of the books in this trilogy can easily draw you into a single-sitting completion if you aren't careful.

Monday, March 4, 2013


According to Webster- a : change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means

OK, so some people call it a mid-life crisis, but I think the definition above is more fitting (except for the supernatural part). And it is what brought me around to being a writer. You see, I toyed with creative writing in high school long (really long) ago, but the military, marriage, kids, jobs, and just life in general conspired to push the writer to the back for decades.

Then last year, frustration with my current career track had me second guessing my life choices and thinking about making a career change. But with the economy the way it is, leaving a good stable job for the unknown is akin to financial suicide, so I was stuck. A few months of frustration and semi-depression set in and things looked grim.

But then one day I saw some blog from an independent author that had started writing later in life, and a light went off. I could brush off some of those old writing habits, and see if something came out of it. I read a LOT of science fiction and fantasy books, on the order of three or four a month, so I went with the "write what you love" mantra and dug in. Now almost a year later, I have a 90K word novel going into it's final edits, and due for publishing in July, and another YA fantasy novel about 1/3 of the way through rough draft stage. I spend a few hours almost every day writing, and here is the best part; my satisfaction with my current job has gone back to the way it used to be.

You see, the job didn't change, I did. I took the focus off of the daily grind and put it onto other things, writing being foremost among them. But I also added exercise, a new passion for Scotches, Bourbons, and other whiskies, and pipe-smoking. Many friends and family members joked about me becoming the archetypical writer during a mid-life crisis, but it was just a series of coincidences that led to this combination of hobbies and passions. But what is important is that it is what worked for me at this point in my life.

So if you are stuck in your job, your marriage, your health, anything, take my word for it, and start your own metamorphosis. You have the ability to emerge a better person if you put your mind to it.