Friday, October 31, 2008

Dauntless, The Lost Fleet, by Jack Campbell

John “Black Jack” Geary was discovered in his hibernation capsule one hundred years after he fought in the first battle against the Syndics. He finds that he is a legend, a legend that far exceeds his actual deeds. His time in service makes him the senior officer in the Alliance fleet that has just suffered a stunning defeat and is trapped in Syndic space. It becomes Geary’s duty to get the fleet back to Alliance Space. The plot sounds familiar; other authors have used it with varying degrees of success. Jack Campbell in Dauntless, The Lost Fleet uses it extremely well. I was hooked from the first page. In Dauntless, The Lost Fleet Geary starts on an adventure that will last through 6 books. Four of the books have been released. The fifth comes out in April of 2009. I have watched John Geary grow as the series progresses. The plot also expands and grows as the series continues. The first book has enough action and adventure to hook anyone who loves Science Fiction Space Opera. You get an extra bonus if you love Military Science Fiction. Jack Campbell is a pen name for John Hemry, a retired Navy Officer. He uses his military experience to write believable military stories. Dauntless, The Lost Fleet is a well planned start to a great series. Look for another story that uses the same premise, being tossed forward in time, tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

“I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army.” So starts Old Man’s War, a different kind of military science fiction. There are two books that follow Old Man’s War; The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony. These books tell the story of John Perry and those are his words. The Earth of Perry’s time was the source of colonist for new planets (all from overcrowded third world countries) and soldiers for the Colonial Defense Force (all from the industrialized nations). If you signed up for the Colonial Defense Force all you knew was that you would leave Earth never to return, you would have to fight, and you would be made young again. People on Earth knew very little about what happened outside of their planet. The Colonial Union had become the voice for humans in space and the Colonial Defense Force was the army to enforce and protect the Colonial Unions’ policies and colonies. One of the Colonial Union’s policies was to keep Earth in the dark. This is the theme and the main conflict in this gripping series of stories. When you start with John’s story in Old Man War you don’t see this as the main theme. By the end of The Last Colony, everything falls in place. Old Man’s War is a great stand alone story. The book is filled with surprises. Old Man’s War starts as a military story and near the end you find it is also a love story. If you read the entire series it becomes humanity’s story and Earth’s story. The military part of the story becomes less important and the human aspect takes over. There are many surprises before the story arc in the three books ends where it began, at John’s wife’s grave. John Scalzi in Old Man’s War has written a must read for those of us who love Science Fiction.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dark Light by Jayne Castle

This is the latest in Jayne Castle’s Harmony Series. Jayne Castle is a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz. So far there have been 6 books in the series. Dark Light continues the story of a group of Earth colonist who settled Harmony when the Curtain (a vast energy field) appeared. The Curtain allowed interstellar travel. Thousands left Earth to settle new planets bringing with them all the comforts of home. Trade between Earth and the new planets allowed the settlers to continue a very comfortable lifestyle. Then just as the Curtain appeared it vanished, leaving the settlers of Harmony on their own. They had to adjust to a new way of life. Old technology did not work and the new technology was based on the fact that Harmony had been settled before. The former settlers vanished leaving behind only ruins and amber. Amber caused new skills to appear among the settlers. Some people could resonate with amber and that became the basis of the new technology. But the former residents of Harmony also left behind ghosts and traps. Ghost hunters appeared and thus the basis for this series of stories. Each story is filled with adventure, conflict and of course love. But love never comes easy, nor is it recognized at first. Dark Light is the story of Reporter Sierra McIntyre and Ghost Hunter Guild boss John Fontana. They come from two very different backgrounds. Working together they generate some resonance of their own. And what Harmony story would be complete without a dust bunny. Elvis, Sierra’s dust bunny, has his own role to play. If you are a fan of this series, enjoy. If you have never read any of Jayne Castle’s Harmony books, start here. You will be searching for the other five. Dark Light is a great addition to the Harmony Series.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SMR Publication Sale

Steve Miller and Sharon Lee of SMR Publication and authors of the Liaden Books are holding a sale. SMR has been located in the basement of Steve and Sharon’s home. SMR is moving and will have its own office and location. This means moving all the book cartons opened and unopened from the basement to the new location. A book that is sold does not have to be moved, therefore the sale. Between now and November 7th or until the move is finished Steve and Sharon are offering 20% off on all titles. To get the discount just put openbox in the coupon box on the order form. I ordered copies of the Liaden Universe Companion, Volume 1 and Liaden Universe Companion, Volume 2. Having the companion books will make it easier to find and read my favorite stories from the Chapbooks. If you have never read any of the Liad books this would be a good time to order one. Be prepared to be hooked. These are some of my favorite comfort books (books to read and reread). If you are a fan this is a good way to get missing books to add to your collection. Go to to order.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Book by Jodi Thomas

Jodi Thomas has a new book, Tall, Dark, and Texan. It will be released tomorrow, Oct.28, This is the third book in her Whispering Mountain Series. If you have never read anything that Jodi Thomas writes pick one of her book up. You will be in for a treat. She sets all of her books in her native Texas. She writes both contemporary and historical romances. She writes with a smooth easy style. The pacing in her stories is excellent. Nothing is rushed, romance proceeds at a believable speed. She builds the tension letting the reader enjoy the journey. Her characters stay true to themselves and react in a believe manner. The Widows of Wichita County, Finding Mary Blaine, and Twisted Creek are three of my favorite Jodi Thomas contemporary romances. For historical fiction check out the Wife Lottery series. Starting with The Texan’s Wager published in 2002 and ending with The Texan’s Reward published in 2205 you can follow the lives of 4 fascinating women as they look for a home and find unexpected love. The great thing is you don’t have to wait for the next one in the series to be published; you can get them all right now. Jodi Thomas is a guest this on this week. If you leave a comment you are entered to win a Jodi Thomas book. Be sure to check out this award winning author.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

My son introduced me to this series last spring (2008). He had me read The Hedge Knight, a short story, to introduce me to George R.R. Martin’s writing style. I liked how he wrote so I read A Game of Thrones. Be warned if you like A Game of Thrones you will want to read the entire series. I have now read all the published volumes in the series. I have a few other warnings about reading A Game of Thrones. You never know who is going to be killed off. No characters are safe, main characters, secondary characters, any can go, new characters are introduced and some characters disappear leaving you wondering when or if they will reappear. The books are written in a series of small scenes. Each scene features one of the important characters. As you read you are being switched from character to character, and from place to place. It could be confusing, but Martin in A Game of Thrones and each of the succeeding books, keeps the pace of the action moving forward. Martin is a perfectionist and as a result has taken a long time to write each book. Deadlines come and go and fans will still be waiting for the next book in the series. If you start reading now you can skip waiting for the books already published, but you will join the rest of us waiting for the next book. I have favorite characters in the series and am anxiously waiting the next book in The Song of Fire and Ice series. I have watched 2 deadlines come and go. All I can do is wait. For more information visit George R.R. Martin's web site at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baen Free Books

FREE! FREE! FREE! Yes, Baen does have a free library. The books can be downloaded to your computer or other reading devices or they can be read online. What is the catch? Most of them are the first of a series.
Baen wants you to get hooked and buy the rest of the series. Some of the titles available are:

With the Lightning by David Drake, Part of the RCN Series
Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
1812: The Rivers of War by Eric Flint.

This is a excellent way to check out authors you have never read, series you are not sure about or just without spending any money. There is a button to donate money if you are so inclined, but that is your decision. Follow this line to start reading free.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baen Books

If you like Science Fiction and you like to read on a hand held reading device or on your computer you should check out Baen Books. Baen sells the entire release for each month (usually 6 books) for $15.00 or you can buy individual books for $5.00. The monthly list is a mix of new releases, first releases in paperback and re-released titles. If you want an old favorite just check their catalog. Baen often picks up authors who no longer have a publisher but have a loyal following. Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, authors of the Liaden books, are an example of authors who arrived at Baen after their publisher went out of business. If you can’t wait for a certain book to be published check and see if it is released as an ARC. These usually come out months before the regular publication date and sell for $15.00. Authors like David Weber, David Drake, Catherine Asaro, Elizabeth Moon, John Ringo and Eric Flint are published by Baen. For those of us who read all the time Baen Books helps stretch our book buying dollars. Check out

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Husband Trap by Tracy Anne Warren

Violet and Jeannette are identical twins, or almost identical twins. Violet is bookish, wears glasses to see and is painfully shy; Jeannette is a social butterfly, the favorite daughter, spoiled and willful. Two hours before her wedding to the handsome Duke of Raeburn Jeannette backs out. To keep the family from the ruin and scandal this will cause Violet takes her place. This is an old plot trick that is used for a fresh and entertaining story. I could not help but pull for Violet. She is a such a charming character. The Duke misses all the clues but I still liked him. On the other hand I was glad to see Jeannette disappear early in the book and stay gone until the end. If you like romance and light entertainment this is a book for you. Even though you know where the book will end, it is fun to follow Violet and the Duke’s journey.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wildrose Press

I have recently purchased eBooks from Wild Rose Press. So far every book I have purchased has been enjoyable. Heart of Stone by Sandra Kay and Letters from Home by Jo Barrett were pleasant well written romances. The story lines are predictable but handled in a way that kept my attention throughout the books. The Prize by Debra Doggett was outstanding and is reviewed on this site. Since I am a prolific reader I always like to find a new source of reading materials. I also like the saving that that I get buying eBooks. Wild Rose has many of its books on in the multiformat that downloads on my eBook Reader. The reader is also reviewed on this site. This format can also download and be read on the computer. There are also free stories you can download to check out different authors styles. If you enjoy a good story check out the offerings at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

EBookwise Reader

My first post on this blog was a book available only as a ebook. I read it on the EBookwise 1150 ebook reading devise. This is a hand held reader sold at It is about the size of a paperback book, is under a pound and has a backlit screen. It fits easily in one hand and the button to turn the page is conviently located on the left side of the screen. Mine has the 64 megabyte card and will hold about 100 books. Any book offered at Ebookwise will load on the reader. Multiformat books at will also load in the reader. In addition any book in plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), Microsoft Word documents (.doc), HTML (.htm or .html), and Rocket eBook Editions (.rb) will also load in the reader. Baen offers all of their ebooks in .rb. The downside is the number of books that are in formats that are not compatable with the reader, the upside is how many books are compatable with the reader. I load it up when I travel and don't have to worry about carrying paperback and hard cover books. When fully charged the battery lasts 9 to 10 hours or you can read with it plugged in to house power. The price is much lower than many ebook readers. The unit with the 64 megabyte card is $139.00. I have gotten my money's worth in the year I have owned mine. There are full directions for uploading books and I found the directions very easy to follow

Monday, October 20, 2008

Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery Series

I purchased Murder on Astor Place the first book in the Gaslight Series several year ago and was immediately hooked. Victoria Thompson has written a very well researched series set in New York during the time Teddy Roosevelt was cleaning up the New York Police Department. Each book (there are currently 10) looks at the different groups that lived in New Your during this time. One main character is Sarah Brandt, the daughter in a upper crust New York family. She has broken with her family and is a mid-wife to the people in the lower classes in New York. Frank Malloy is a Irish cop who trys to blend the culture of the Police Department with good police work. They are the product of two very different classes and under ordinary condition would never have met. The two main characters are very well developed. The pacing of the stories and the tension between the two characters is well written. The secondary characters are well written and very believeable. I own copies of the entire series and have loaned them out friends who have loved them as much as I do. The series is best read in order. If you love mysteries this is good series read and enjoy. I hope Victoria continues to write about Sarah and Frank and the mysteries they solve together.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Prize By Debra Doggett

Futuristic Romance

I loved this book. Debra Doggett has written a beautifull paced book with the right amout of tension between Cardis (the female) and Stellan (the male). Stellan is a native of a backward planet where the spaceship Cardis is traveling on crashes. Using a tradition from Cardis's planet Stellan has three days to convince her take him as her lifetime mate. The premise is not new but the author gives it fresh new life. (more)

Both characters have issues that are easy to identify with. I hated for the book to end and I hope this is just the first book Debra Dogget publishes. The book is published by Wild Rose Press and is available only as a e-book. You can purchase this at Fictionwise, Amazon Kindle and Wild Rose Press.

3:00:00 PM
by JC Jones
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