Milestones – or a Few Accomplishments over the Last Seven Years!!

Milestones!

Milestone the first:

Today’s post marks a number of milestones! What milestones, you might ask? The first significant milestone is that August 12 marks seven years since The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian publication date! Since that day,  The Carnelian picked up an Indie BRAG Medallion and a Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal. I’ve published the other three books of the series, attended many festivals and books signings, spoke at schools, and learned more than I ever thought possible about writing. I’ve met amazing authors, reviewers, and book promoters. I keep writing (can you believe three WIPs?) and hope to publish my fifth book (the start of a new series) in 2020.

The Carnelian Cover Milestones

Though I haven’t hit the bestsellers list yet, I am eternally grateful to each and every person who took the time to read one or all of the books. My favorite author moment came from a teacher (and former classmate). She told me she struggled to get a student to read. When she told the student she knew an author (me), and maybe he would read my books. I sent her a set. She reported back to me that he loved them and has become a voracious reader! That makes it all worthwhile!

Milestone the second:

I also celebrate reaching the 15,000 Twitter follower milestone! Writing The Gemstone Chronicles made me aware of the various avenues of social media and, after trying most of them, settled on Twitter as my main social media platform. I know it isn’t a huge following, but I continue to grow it and I hope I’m providing some assistance to other authors out there.

Milestone the third:

The final milestone I’m marking is that this post is my three hundredth blog post! That’s right! This blog started on August 12th, 2012 to announce The Carnelian’s publication. What a long but interesting journey it has been! I’ve written posts about my books, book promotion sites, gemstones, duct tape, conspiracy theories, and many book reviews! I’ve even slipped a few posts about submarines and my time in the Navy. I like to post my book reviews and maybe give a fellow author a bit of exposure. I hope my posts reflect my rather eclectic interests both in the different genres I review and the occasional foray into my hobbies and interests.

As always, I’m humbled and grateful for everyone’s continued support and for the readers who’ve taken time to read my books and read and comment on my blog posts. Though I can’t thank all of you personally, please know how much I appreciate you and will try to continue to provide enjoyable content!

Connect with me:

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Say hi and let’s connect! Don’t miss a post either. Subscribe to the blog!

The Space Navy Series by Jonathon Fletcher!!

 

The Space Navy Series Books One & Two!!

Space Navy

Space Navy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If my readers recall, a few years ago I reviewed two Space Navy novellas by Jonathon Fletcher. Full of action and enough sci-fi to satisfy, the first of the two books, entitled Josiah Trenchard and the Might of Fortitude, introduced Josiah Trenchard and the Space Navy. The series now totals nine novellas!

Josiah Trenchard and the Might of Fortitude blurb:

Commander Josiah Trenchard is a no-nonsense, foul mouthed, alcohol fuelled action hero.

He’s been fighting hard in the war that’s been raging between the United Worlds and the insurgents ever since the Belatu-Cadros uprising on Mars, four years ago. Trenchard was almost killed during that battle; scarred both physically and emotionally. Now he’s fighting the increasingly desperate insurgents once more when he’s unexpectedly re-assigned to an untested prototype vessel.

The Wolverine class “Might of Fortitude” has been designed to be the deadliest hunter-killer in the fleet. The cramped, submarine-like vessel is about to be launched on her maiden voyage. Her mission: to hunt down bloodthirsty pirates who have unleashed a reign of terror throughout the asteroid belt.

As Commander Trenchard struggles to cope with a woefully inexperienced crew of misfits and reprobates, bad turns to worse when the hunter becomes the hunted and he must put his life on the line to save his ship, his crew, and the honour of the Space Navy.

The adventure continued in Josiah Trenchard and the Morgenstern. This one follows our intrepid crew as they ahve to face an enemy like nothing they’ve seen before!

Josiah Trenchard and the Morgenstern blurb:

Captain Josiah Trenchard is a no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, alcohol fuelled action hero.

After surviving a mutiny aboard the star-ship “Might of Fortitude”, Josiah Trenchard has been promoted to Captain and is finding out that it’s not what he imagined. When insurgent terrorists kill thousands of innocent people on Earth, he and his crew are sent on a mission to protect a facility, vital to the war effort, which is located deep within the Kuiper belt.

Unfortunately, the insurgents have now become allies with the heavily armed pirates who prowl the asteroid belt. They are racing to occupy the facility and steal a dark military secret, hidden within the space-station. In the midst of battle, a terrible “something” wakens from cryogenic slumber and carves a wake of death and destruction throughout the space-station. Can Captain Trenchard save the day? Just who is the mysterious leader of the pirates and what are the dark motives of the Papaver Corporation?

Why am I telling you this? Well, Jonathon Fletcher combined the two novellas into the first full length Space Navy novel. Called The Space Navy Series Books One & Two, the book is out now! Since I’m a former submarine sailor, I took no offense at the language. Surrounded by sailors, I heard much worse on my boat! The action is first-rate, and the stories move quickly. If military science fiction with a little bit of submarine heritage appeals to you, then check out this series!

Connect with Jonathon Fletcher:

Find Jonathon Fletcher on his Amazon Author page and on his website. Discover more about Jonathon (despite his characters, he’s a gardener) and the entire Space Navy Series! While you’re there, leave him a comment or a review. In addition, maybe you’ll pick up a book or nine!

Connect with me: 

I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so find me and let’s connect! I’d love to hear your thoughts on Jonathon’s books or anything else you have on your mind!

 

Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) by C.B. Pratt – My Review!!!

Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) – My Review!!!

Dark Mountain Cover

 

I’ve had this novel on my TBR list for a while. I read the first two books of this series and enjoyed them, so Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) needed to measure up to those. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): Welcome to the Ancient World…where the mythology, monsters, and gods are real.

Eno the Thracian sets off to find the truth about himself and his possible descent from the Gods of Olympus. Instead he becomes involved with a race of people kidnapped from their homeland, set to toil endlessly by the will of a mad philosopher.

Facing his own fears and doubts and the curse of the Great God Pan, Eno also finds a woman worthy of his love, danger around every curve, and mushrooms…lots and lots of mushrooms.

Meanwhile, a hidden menace from the dawn of time threatens the civilized world and only Eno the Thracian, Hero for Hire, can stop the inevitable destruction.

What I liked: Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) entertained me! While perhaps a bit darker than the previous books, this one held all the elements for me. Eno is an excellent hero who embodies the classical hero characteristics. He is mostly humble, willing to take a stand for what is right, and constantly searching for ways to improve himself and the world he inhabits. Such is the case in Dark Mountain. The story is good, too, as we follow Eno trying to make amends with Pan, visit his mother, and follow the quest to the end. All told, I enjoyed the book!

What I didn’t like: As I mentioned above, Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) was a darker book than the first two of the series. For me, Eno seemed sad and not as vibrant as before and left me a little depressed at the end.

Overall impression: In spite of the darker tone of the book, I liked it! Not as full of the swaggering, boisterous Eno from the first books, it still captured my attention and kept me guessing through the end. If you like a modernized take on Greek mythology, give this one (and the series) a try!

My rating: 4 Stars

Connect with the author: Find C. B. Pratt on her website and her Amazon Author Page and discover her books and more about her! Please consider leaving a review for Dark Mountain (Eno the Thracian #3) or any of her other works.

Connect with me: I always enjoyed hearing from readers of the blog, so leave me a comment or drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. You can find on social media, too! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so stop by say hi, and join the conversation!

The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker – My Review!!

The Emperor’s Edge – My Review!!

Emperor's

 

 

Steampunk is a genre I’m beginning to like more as I read it more often. I enjoyed the mix of fantasy and steampunk elements in Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge quite a lot. Here are my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

What I liked: In addition to the fantasy and steampunk I mentioned above, I simply liked the story. Amaranthe is a nice character, with tons of self-confidence (and a bit of self-doubt), Sicarius is a believable villain/hero with a mysterious side, and the rest of the supporting cast plays their roles well. Filled with enough action and intrigue to keep me turning pages, The Emperor’s Edge was a most enjoyable book!

What I didn’t like: The Emperor came across as an idealistic simpleton, and the regent was a bit stereotypical. Likewise, the gang Amaranthe negotiated with was too easy for a tough street cabal.

Overall impression: The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker was a fun steampunk read. I liked the characters, the action, and the way the villains ended. All in all, a good book for those who enjoy fantasy and steampunk!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Have you read The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker? What about any of her other books (and there are a bunch)? If you have, or plan to, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and authors love them!! Another thing authors like is to connect with their readers and fans. You can find Lindsay Buroker on her Amazon Author page or her website.

Speaking of connecting, you can connect with me on the socials! Don’t be shy, just stop by and say hi. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe. Lastly, if you want to email me, drop me a line at bill@williamlstuart.com!

 

A Fine Line: The Beginning by J.C. Brennan – My Review!!

A Fine Line: The Beginning – My review!!

A Fine Line Cover

 

I was looking for something different to read and A Fine Line: The Beginning showed up in my recommendations. Not normally a fan of Civil War era novels, I wanted to read this one as the blurb and the cover intrigued me. Read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): This historical fantasy will take you on mystical journey with William T. Healthaway and the Crew one you won’t soon forget. William T. Healthaway, a Union soldier, fights in the battle of Pickett’s Mill. The battle is brutal and treacherous. However, however, William will soon learn that surviving this battle is only the beginning of his adventure. He is about to be thrown him into a whirlwind of preternatural happenstance and danger he and the rest of the Crew could never have dreamed possible.

The war awaiting them after their homecoming is one which has been raging for centuries; a war that will lead them into a world they never dreamed might exist. Unknowingly, the family will be plunged into a world of mystery, encountering intrigue, deception, death, temptation, and powers not of their world. With every miraculous power revealed will come a sinister evil. William and his Crew will find themselves in a world which defies every reality.

What I liked: A Fine Line: The Beginning drew me in from the start. The battle scene, William’s injury, his vision of Caroline, and his rescue by Tyrone and Cecil, set the stage for the book. Add to it the powers Tyrone and Cecil possess, and the reunion of William’s war compatriots and all the elements are in place for this historical fantasy! The elements of good versus evil, temptation, redemption, and sacrifice all play important roles as the story unfolds. All told, a good read!

What I didn’t like: At times, the introduction of the characters’ powers seemed forced. In addition, for a historical fiction piece, much of the interaction among the characters was more modern than the time setting would dictate.

Overall Impression: A Fine Line: The Beginning was an intriguing and interesting read. Good characters, an ancient lineage, awakening powers, and the battle between good and evil kept my attention. I read this one quickly and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

My rating:  4 Stars

Connect with the author:

Have you read A Fine Line: The Beginning? What about any of J.C. Brennan’s other books? If you have (or will), please consider leaving a review. And, if you have a moment, stop by her Amazon author page or website and discover more about this talented writer! I know she will appreciate it.

Connect with me:

Like (or dislike) my review? Please let me a comment and let me know. If you want to connect on the socials, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, too!

 

The Calling (Gateway Book 1) By Louise G. White – My Review!!

The Calling (Gateway Book 1) – My Review!!

The Calling Cover

The Calling (Gateway Book 1) by Louise G. White caught my eye while browsing suggestions from Amazon. The blurb sounded good, so I decided to give it a read. Below are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): On the run and hiding from ‘the suits’, Carolyn’s life is far from straightforward. After her mother and brother go missing in a most extraordinary way, (through a hole to another world which appears in the kitchen wall!), she is determined to track them down and bring them home. But life is never that easy! Rescued and protected by a group of unusual and likeminded ‘people’, Carolyn hones her magic and fighting skills. Whilst answering a ‘call’ to retrieve a human from another world she’s faced with a quick decision and ends up bringing a demon back with her. Little did she know what effect this demon would have on her.

What I liked: Carolyn is a great character. Spunky, resourceful, and coming into her power, she answers the calling lethally. Once she meets Note, things get really interesting. The story moves along at a good pace, and the scrapes Carolyn and Note add a nice backdrop for their burgeoning romance. Ethan carries a torch for Carolyn (while trying to be the cool demon hunter) and Sean (the brooding mysterious one) add a depth to the character list. All this while Carolyn tries to figure out how to get her Mother and brother back from the otherworld. All in all, The Calling is good stuff!

What I didn’t like: The first part of the book was confusing. Carolyn is dodging government agencies, answering calls, and killing demons, but it isn’t clear why. It frustrated me as a reader! I also thought the repeated sexual near misses between Note and Carolyn became too repetitive and detracted from the story.

Overall impression: Once I understood what Carolyn was and why she was doing what she did, I liked The Calling. Carolyn’s character was easy to identify with, Note was a cool demon snake guy, and Sean was an excellent mystery. Despite the issues I listed above, I enjoyed the book and put the next two on my TBR list!

My rating: 4 Stars

Have you read The Calling? What about Louise G. White’s other books? If not, why not check them out and give them a try? And, while you are at it, stop by Louise G. White’s Amazon Author Page or her website and say hi! If you read any of her books, please consider leaving a review. I know she will appreciate it!

How did you like this review? Leave me a comment and let me know. Connect with me on the socials on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you prefer, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog. I look forward to hearing from you!

Halfway Bitten by Terry Maggert – My Review!!

Halfway Bitten by Terry Maggert

 

Halfway Bitten Cover

 

This is the third book of Terry Maggert’s I’ve read and the second of the Halfway Witchy series. The first book of the series, Halfway Dead garnered a 5 Star review from me, so the second book of the series, Halfway Bitten had a lot to live up to. It succeeded!

Synopsis (from the author): The circus came to Halfway, and they brought the weird.

When clowns, vampires, and corpses start piling up in town, Carlie has to break away from her boyfriend, Wulfric, to bring her witchy skills to the table- or grill, as the case may be.
When the body of a young woman washes up in the lake, it unleashes a spiral of mystery that will bring Carlie, Gran, and Wulfric into a storm of magical warfare. Spells will fly. Curses will rain. Amidst it all, Carlie will make waffles, protect her town, and find out if a man from the distant past can join her in happy ever after.
With love and honor at stake, Carlie has no peer.

What I liked: Carlie and Gran are wonderful familiar characters that I just enjoy. The first person narrative is done well, with just the right mix of snarky commentary and conversational storytelling. The premise of the book is the appearance of creepy clowns, vampires, and the circus come to town. The battles that Carlie and Gran fight, the passage of power and knowledge from Gran to Carlie, and the interaction with the ghosts make this an excellent read!

What I didn’t like: I thought the book could have used more Wulfric. He plays such an important role in the book, but I didn’t get enough backstory on the character. Other than that, not much to complain about!!

Overall impression: Halfway Bitten by Terry Maggert was a great entertaining read! Filled with witchy magic, cool characters (even the French Canadian ghost), sacrifice, and a satisfying conclusion, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a bit of witchy fantasy!

My rating: 5 Stars!!

If you read the book, please consider leaving a review! It’s always great for an author to hear from readers!

Connect with the author:

Find Terry Maggert on his website or on his Amazon Author Page, too, to discover when the third installment of the series is coming and discover his other books!!

Connect with me:

Like my review? Please leave me a comment about it! Don’t like the review? Leave me a comment and let me know how I could improve it. If you don’t want to comment here, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, and Tumblr. You can send me an email, too, at bill@williamlstuart.com. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe to the blog!!

Christmas Offers from The Gemstone Chronicles!!!

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year (and I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was as amazing as mine was), the focus shifts to Christmas and gift giving. In the spirit of the season, The Gemstone Chronicles is proud to announce two Christmas offers!

Offer Number One (for US only): If you want to order a set of all four of The Gemstone Chronicles books in paperback (and autographed by me), the special price through December 15th is $45. You can also order individual copies of each book for $14 each.

 

  • Buy autographed copies of The Gemstone Chronicles for $14 each (and I will pay shipping and handling)!
  • Buy the entire 4 book series for $45 (which is $11 off the cost of buying the books separately – and I will cover shipping and handling)!

 

Just send me the ship-to address, who you would like the books dedicated to, and they will be on the way! Send the information to bill@williamlstuart.com. I will email you to let you know when the books ship (and I promise I won’t spam you or share your email address).

Offer Number Two: I decided to make the entire series, in ebook formats, $0.99 for the month of December. Not just the first book, The Carnelian, but also The Amethyst, The Emerald, and The Ruby. Perfect way to load up a new Kindle, iPad, or Nook for Christmas! And for less than $4! That is a hard deal to beat! And this one applies to my international friends, too, so check your country’s Amazon site, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords, or other sites for the reduced price!

Christmas Offers The Gemstone Chronicles series

Take advantage of these two special Christmas offers and find out why Book One: The Carnelian was awarded a BRAG Medallion! And, if you are so inclined, consider leaving a review. I would love to know what you think of the series!

Christmas Offers THE-GEMSTONE-CHRONICLES-BRAG-for-Web 1

Connect with me:

As always, you can connect with me on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Tumblr, or just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to meeting new friends!

I also want to thank all of my new readers and readers from years past. Your comments, reviews, and feedback have made me a better writer, and will be instrumental in making my next book better by far! So, thank you!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!

Author Spotlight – Sonia Taylor Brock!!

I have turned on the author spotlight for this week and today’s featured author is Sonia Taylor Brock! Sonia is an Atlanta-area author, so it is my pleasure to highlight another Georgia writer!!

 

Sonia Taylor Brock photo

 

Sonia’s urban fantasy book I am highlighting today is The Inheritance of a Swamp Witch.

 

 

Sonia Taylor Brock The Inheritance of A Swamp Witch cover

 

The first in the Swamp Witch series, this story takes place in the Swamps of Southern Louisiana. Told in the Cajun dialect, it is about the adventures of a young man into the surprising world of the supernatural. He is shocked to learn that the world he has been accustomed to is not what it seems. In fact, nothing is what it seems. He discovers Witches, Dragons, Trolls, Fairies and Angels are only the tip of the iceberg.

Author Bio:

Sonia Taylor Brock, Author currently self published, has written two books, THE INHERITANCE OF A SWAMP WITCH and A WITCH’S WELCOME. Both of THE SWAMP WITCH series, the books are the result of a wonderful conglomeration of Cajun Creole culture and bringing legends of old into a modern focus in this urban fantasy. New twists on the creation of Vampires, Were creatures, Angels, Trolls, Titans and magic and how they mesh with today’s world where humans understand The One God and the power of prayer. These books use humor and adventure to tell the story.

She has also written a series of short stories that revolve around the main character of THE SWAMP WITCH series and how she affects changes in the destiny of the people she meets. Sonia has worked with several publications throughout her career such as The Cullman Times, Creative Loafing Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Facility Safety Management Magazine, Galz Magazine and published articles in Trade Publications as a Marketing Professional throughout career.  Sonia is a colorful person and characterizes her life development as constantly evolving and never ending. She refuses to be old and professes to have a young mind even it does seem to forget more things now. She loves to Live, Love, Laugh, Dream and dance in the rain. Sonia currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her Husband James and her daughters and grandson.

Connect with Sonia:

Book Links:

Sonia has written and published the second book of the Swamp Witch series. Entitled A Witch’s Welcome, I have included the cover photo below.

 

 

Sonia Taylor Brock A Witch's Welcome Cover

Book Links:

Visit Sonia’s links, check out her books, buy them, read them, and leave a review! I know she would appreciate it!