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text 2015-09-20 13:45
Curiosity Quills Press Is Looking For More Reviewers!
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James
Destruction: The December People, Book One - Sharon Bayliss
Prophet of the Badlands - Matthew S. Cox
The Deathsniffer's Assistant - Kate McIntyre
The Curse Merchant - J.P. Sloan
Sharcano (Sharkpocalypse #1) - Jose Prendes
The Artful - Wilbert Stanton
The Mussorgsky Riddle - Darin Kennedy
Havelock: One - Jane D. Everly

Okay, I normally don't do this kind of posts but Curiosity Quills Press is one of my favourite publishers and I really enjoy reviewing their books. That's why I thought I might know some people who would also enjoy it.

 

They are now hosting an event to gain more reviewers in their mailing lists, and as a reward for just signing up you'll get three books of choice from their ebook catalogue. If you would PM me and allow me to tell them I sent you there, I also get three books (which be nice as I really like their books).

 

I did a quick check of my reading stats this year and so far this year I've read 29 of their books. That's almost 14% of what I've read this year!

 

I think they publish around 10 books a month, in all kinds of different genres. I've been on their reviewers list for a while now and I generally receive two emails a month (which I'm usually even looking forward to): one announcing new books that can be requested for review, and one invitation to join on one or more blog tours. What I really like is that you don't have to enter anything and it's just fine not to participate if you're busy or don't think you'll like the books.

 

Some of the books eventually make it up to Netgalley, but I noticed many do not.

 

Every time I mailed with the staff they have been really friendly, and even writing a negative review for a blog tour (I once wrote a two star review on a book that just wasn't for me and the response I got was just 'too bad, these things happen, hope you enjoy your next book better') is not a problem (which is something I find really important and which is why I'm really hesitant to enter other blog tours).

 

You can find more information on this event here.

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review 2015-08-03 07:56
Return Of The Saboteur
The Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur - James Wymore,Aiden James

Warning: The following synopsis does contain some spoilers for the first book. If you haven't read that book yet, why not read my review of Fractured Earth.

 

The Machine Monks fight to keep control of the Actuator while enemies attack the base. As besiegers wear them down, the rest of the world struggles to adapt to the chaos left in the wake of the great change. Their only choice is to push forward and find the next key and shutdown the fantasy realm surrounding the base. When they do, Xenwyn will die.

Haunted by the incalculable death toll all over the earth, Jon accepts the mission to recover the next key. Despite his injuries and as much as he hates to leave his newfound love, he refuses to let all of humanity suffer if he can fix it.

Desperate to keep Xenwyn alive, Red determines to find a magical cure before Jon gets back with the key. Each time he takes her across a border, might be the end.

Seeing all his friends in turmoil, Dragon Star sets out to find the saboteur. If the architect of this dark world cannot offer any means of setting things right, he will at least see consequences for the horrors he unleashed.

None of them ever imagined the Actuator could still make the world even worse.

 

 

Thanks to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review during this blog review tour!

 

Luckily, after the large cliffhanger at the end of the first book, this book starts off right where we left it. Having recovered the base and the actuator, they are besieged by an army of orcs who want it for their own. At the same time they are both looking for the rest of the keys, mostly the one in front of Cenwyn's key and perhaps even more importantly they are looking for the person who's responsible for all this mess. 

 

Everything I liked from the first book was here again. The style and different genres change really fast but it works. I was always looking forward for the next change and wondering what would happen to them there. Some regions were of course more interesting than others (the romance novel), but that's something you'll always find. It also felt a little less repetitive, even though they are basically doing the same things as in the first book. 

 

There's a large cast of characters but thanks to their specific genre, it gets easier to keep all of them apart. It also helps that they all enjoy reading, of course. The big twist in the end I saw coming, but I'm still not sure how they are going to battle it. So, unfortunately, another cliffhanger ending. And I'll have to wait for the next book and can only hope it won't take too long!

 

Return of the Saboteur is the second book in the Actuator series. The first book is Fractured Earth. There is also an anthology with stories from the different genres/regions, called Borderlands.

 

James Wymore:



Moving often as a youth, James Wymore’s family finally settled in the desert paradise of Utah.

 

He spent a couple years in Korea contemplating the balance of opposing forces. After learning chaos theory in college he found the ideal environment to continue his studies of the uncontrollable, and became a teacher. He earned a Master’s degree before departing from the academic path to seek the greater freedoms of fiction. Still fascinated by the borders of randomness, he now spends his free time playing and creating games with his friends and children.

 

Although he patiently awaits the Tallest Writer in History award, James Wymore has won several awards for his short stories.

 

His early books, rumored to have been written as young as sixteen, are forever locked away. Now a published author, he has realized one of his childhood dreams.

 

In his dwindling free time, he draws a line of death themed comics called Parting Shots. You can see them along with games he makes and his disorderly blog at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

 

Aiden James



I began writing stories roughly fourteen years ago, after pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter in Denver and later in Nashville. My writing career could’ve been a brief one, as it started one night when it was my turn to read a bedtime story to my two young sons. Rather than read the ‘Mouse birthday book’ for the umpteenth time, I began a ramble about a mystical world parallel to our own, a world where sinister creatures sought to take a little boy into their hidden lair… forever.

 

My first critical reviews from my young audience were mixed. My youngest child, Tyler, was enthralled about the magical place I created, and eagerly awaited more. However, my oldest, Christopher, thought it was the dumbest tale he had ever heard! Luckily, my wife, Fiona, listened nearby. She thought the idea had potential, although she kept that fact a secret until the following spring, 1997. When she suggested I create a fuller blown version of this story, it marked the beginning of my love affair with writing stories.

 

I wish I could tell you that the experience has always been a glorious progression, where crafting characters, incredible landscapes with captivating plots, and surprising twists was easy. Far from it. It took nearly three years for me to complete my first novel–based on the bedtime story to my boys who by then were young teenagers—and another two years to decide if I liked it enough to show it to anyone else.

 

Since then, I have written nine more novels, and presently have five established book series out there, with a brand new sixth series set to start in the fall with Curiosity Quills Press. The first installment of this new series is entitled “The Serendipitous Curse of Solomon Brandt”, and will be a serialized project before it is released as a full book in early 2013. After this series, which explores the true nature of good and evil, who knows what will be on the menu next? Something dark and creepy… Or, perhaps something light and fun?

 

Definitely, I intend for it to be something well worth your time to check out—Just wait n’ see!

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review 2015-08-01 20:00
Fractured Earth
The Actuator: Fractured Earth - James Wymore,Aiden James

As I'm sure a lot of my bookish friends will agree with me: we have all thought at least at some point 'what if the world was more like the one in a certain book'. Well, the Actuator makes exactly that happen. The so-called Machine Monks feed the machine with their favourite genre-ideas and the Actuator makes it happen. For some reason this is highly secretive military invention (I'd say it would work wonderful in theme-parks as well). But what if security fails and 20-something Machine Monks are feeding the machine at the same time? One moment you're just a Key Hunter, the next you're battling Orcs and the base's Commander has turned into a dragon.

 

I liked it. It had a very fresh idea and besides, since it focuses a lot on books and genres (and the tropes as well) I didn't feel like it could go wrong. The world is fractured into a lot of different regions, which are all modelled after someone's favourite genre. So, the base is a medieval epic fantasy world but since they need to recover everyone's key (to shut down their part of the simulation) there's an almost unlimited variety of genres possible in the book. Which was something I really liked. The border are strict and everything that's taken from one region to the other morphs into something to fit the genre as best as possible.

 

In what other book can you find dragons, space opera, vampires, steampunk and pirates without it feeling too crowded? It was a lot of fun, even though not everything added up for me. Why isn't everyone's key just at the base? How do they know exactly what everyone's key is? Also, at a certain point during reading it started to get a bit repetitive as there seemed to be a pattern as soon as they entered a new region. But all in all, I liked it more than I expected and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

Fractured Earth is the first book in the Actuator series, the second book is called The Return of the Saboteur (Review to follow). There's also an anthology with short stories from the different regions called Borderlands.

 

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2014-10-16 15:57
Solid standalone novel with some nice siege battles
Salvation - James Wymore

Amnesia plot can be a great way to introduce reader to your imaginary world. And it also makes an introduction full of tension. When I read a summary for Salvation, it reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies The Bourne Identity. So I was looking forward to reading it.

 

Similar to The Bourne Identity in Salvation wounded soldier is saved from death on a battlefield by two villagers, a husband and wife. They turn out to be scavengers who use a military equipment from the battlefields in everyday life. Still, they do not lack compassion and nurse the soldier back to health. The soldier has amnesia so they name him Elwood. Elwood might turn out to be their salvation when invaders attack nearby small mountain village called Winigh.

“I’ll die before I see Winigh destroyed by Hyzoi.” He made the oath easily, deep down knowing he must already be bound by similar oaths now forgotten.

“I don’t think we need another person to die for us,” Bowen said as he scratched his salt and pepper beard. “Way I see it, we need somebody who can live for us.”

The world building is pretty sparse. But it worked. Elwood has amnesia and does not remember anything. And other characters live in god-forsaken village so they do not know what is happening except some big news. For example: they know there is a war in progress, but they don’t know details about attackers, Hyzoi. This was too bad since they are weird looking amphibians and I would have loved to know more about their culture and reasons for war.

 

The magic is also not explained. Villagers know that some of them have magic. But how the hell it works they do not know. It just does.

 

There is even a love story hidden in a plot, but it was shadowed with battles. There is no time for romance in war.

 

The battles were very well written. I was often biting my nails waiting to see how it will be resolved. There were a couple of good twists that gave the war an air of unexpected.

They saw him as a general who could lead them to victory, but they did not know the cost of victory in war. When they did, he would no longer be a hero. They would think of him as a butcher. His only comfort would be in knowing they would still be alive to have those thoughts.

The ending was too tame and ordinary for me. I expected something more original if we took in regard originality of invaders.

 

In The End..

I hoped for a lot of action, and of course a good fantasy, and I am happy to report that Salvation delivered all that. And it’s a standalone novel! A rare occurrence in fantasy genre. The world and magic might not be explained much but there are a lot of intense battle scenes to make up for it.

 

Recommended for fans of fantasy (duh) with amnesia plots, small mountain town settings, siege battles, …

 

Disclaimer: I received this ebook from publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Source: www.bookwormdreams.com/book-review-salvation-by-james-wymore
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review 2014-08-03 00:00
Salvation
Salvation - James Wymore Fantastic! That is one word of many to describe this book. This was the first book I ever read by James Wymore. And I can now say it won't be the last. A new land is brought to life, filled with vivid characters, amazing scenery, and pulse-pounding anticipation!

The book starts off with a man who wakes up with no memory and is given the name "Elwood" by the couple that found him. He was the lone survivor of an enemy attack by a race of sea monsters called the Hyzoi. Elwood quickly settles into life with the couple as a part of the family. But still his past haunts him. He is torn between the secrets of the battle and who he was and the life he is now happy with.

A few seasons after he is saved he spots the Hyzoi bringing in more ships to attack once again. It is winter and the mountain community is cut off from any help. If an army was defeated by these monsters what can a 100 villagers do?!

This story builds in such a way that you cannot tear your eyes from it. Like a single small ember as it ripples, shifts, sparks and builds into a blaze! That is what happens here. The pace is calm, and serene. The landscape and lifestyle presented to us in a way that frees the imagination. I could see each cottage and homestead. Each character was wonderfully portrayed. Macey and Bowen especially tugged at my heart.

The depth that is given is amazing! This story is heartfelt and dramatic. Part drama and romance mixed with intrigue and adventure. Not to mention an stunning battle. Each new scene presented I could feel a part of. The tragedies moved me to near tears, the anticipation of battle had me on the edge of me seat, nervous for these characters you easily come to love and adore.

The only downsides were these: One it was short. I wanted more!!! And secondly Elwoods past may be unknown to him but for me it was painstakingly obvious. So a little less clues there would have added a bit more to the story.

Otherwise, I loved this book! I am eager to read more books by James Wymore and I highly encourage this book to anyone who loves fantasy, epic battles, surviving/chases or even fans for historical romance. The blending of aspects makes this an appealing read for men and women about equally. So be sure to check this book out!

*Special thanks to Curiosity Quills Press for allowing me to read a copy of this book through Adobe Digital Editions. This was provided via Netgalley in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.*
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