reviews

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Calling readers and reviewers!

Published October 5, 2016 by admin

 

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Hey, remember that awesome book I wrote, Olde School? It’s currently up for grabs on the Juniper Grove Book Solutions Review Library, so if you request it you can read it for free in exchange for an honest review (Don’t let Clyde influence you. Please feel free to be honest).

paddlelump-review

Maybe not this honest

I’m still plotting out what comes next, but I’m extremely proud of that title and would love the word of mouth to keep going! So if you’re a book blogger, reviewer, or a reader who’s into quirky fantasy with a touch of horror, check it out!

All the info on how to request the title can be found here!

 

paddlelumpshill

More reviews makes my characters stop shilling for me, I swear

 

Comic & Film Review Roundup 2

Published December 7, 2015 by admin

Time for another batch of the reviews other people want me to do for some reason! The story behind this is I had a geektastic talk with Sharon Stogner of I Smell Sheep Review Blog at Imaginarium, which led to me agreeing to do comic and movie reviews as I can.

Really I just wanted people to give me comics, but they don’t have to know that.

This Damned Band 1 – Think Almost Famous meets rock folklore meets Led Zeppelin meets Spinal Tap meets demons. A great set up.

This Damned Band 2 – A little more uneven than issue one, but still intriguing. This issue follows the band on their tour along with continued tensions and strange happenings.

This Damned Band 3– The band records in a French chateau and contemplates a missing groupie. The bassist’s money problems come front and center, along with some further haunted happenings.

This Damned Band 4 – The band faces off with masked intruders in the chateau. The magic mushrooms are back, plus there are uncomfortable discoveries in the band manager’s room. Some really creepy moments make the weird pacing and art changes worthwhile.

I also got asked to check out as many films in the Another Hole in the Head Festival, which had so many awesome horror entries that I really wish I could’ve just binged them all. Sadly, between being crunched for time and being sick, I only got to two, but they were two awesome films.

Nina Forever – I believe this actually comes out in theaters in February, but I loved this one. When a boyfriend still mourning his ex tries to move on with a new love interest, things take a weird turn when his dead former girlfriend shows up every time he and his new girlfriend try to be intimate. More of a horror/romance/relationship movie hybrid, I was really pleased that it took on the metaphors head on instead of trying to be really campy or in-your-face.

Sacred Blood – An ‘operatic’ film without the singing, this is a melodramatic look that spends time treating all the undead characters as people, which is nice. I’d have liked a little more explanations for some things, but the film just looks stunning and there are some nice stand-out performances, as well.

 

Comic Review Roundup

Published December 2, 2015 by admin

So along with people foolishly inviting my writer-type opinions on their sites, I’ve been invited to guest review for the awesome blog I Smell Sheep. And more than once, too!

Seriously, this is something that’s been a ton of fun so far. While it’s still my policy to not officially review small press or indie books (obviously I still give my general thoughts on library books in my SJ Reads posts), I’m all about reviewing comics and movies if someone’s going to enable me. While I do read a few superhero titles, I have a passion for the fact that graphic novels can really tell stories in a unique way – from realistic titles like Persepolis, The Property, Fun House, or something meant to mirror reality like Maus, to epic stories like Sandman or horror titles like Locke & Key. There are some truly unique titles out there that aren’t getting the love they deserve or people may not know unless they specifically follow a certain title or publisher, so I love the chance to discover new titles and share them with others.

Since these were done for the I Smell Sheep Blog, I’ll spare you full reviews and link you to the actual ones. I’ll have to divide this up because I’ve actually done more than I realized, but here’s the first batch.

Dark Horse Comics Presents # 15 – Admittedly one of the reasons I jumped on board was because I knew the blog had an in with Dark Horse and I had just discovered Finder and I love it with an unholy passion. So when this title came up and featured serialized Finder, I was ready to fight to the bitter end for it. Truly, though, every story in this issue was fantastic and has opened me up to some other titles I can’t wait to check out.

Dead Vengeance 1 -A carnival sideshow act comes to life and tries to figure out who he really is. A lot of flashbacking, but a really interesting set up that reminds me of the older Creepy and Eerie titles.

Dead Vengeance 2 – More information on John Dover’s tragic past, as well as a unique allusion to a possible time travel element, plus it takes us back to the carnival!

Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 1 – Love this. So ridiculous in the best possible ways. Dr. Zomboss tries to take over town with some help from the future…and a metal butt. Brings to mind a lot of the Saturday morning cartoons I used to love watching.

Love Hurts: The Complete Love Hurts (Horrifying Tales of Romance) – Translated from a Swiss comic, I believe, this is amazing. I love this thing. A collection of short stories that blend horror and romance elements, these are twisted, warped, insightful, emotional, and just so inventive I can’t stand it. Loved.

 

 

 

 

 

Calling all Readers and Reviewers!

Published September 24, 2015 by admin

There are some upcoming opportunities for readers, reviewers, bloggers, et al!

Want to read for free? Heck, want to read Olde School for free?

Seventh Star Press is looking for honest reviews for their Read to Review program. Basically, fill out a form, choose a title, read it, post your honest review, then you get to choose another title. For a full run-down of how the program works, as well as the submission form, check out the link!

But you should totally request Olde School first. Just sayin’.

Also…

Tomorrow Comes Media is looking for reviewers and tour hosts for some upcoming titles. Click the links for full synopses and tour info:

Born of Swords by Steven Shrewsbury (Sword and Sorcery)

Codename: Knight Ranger by John F Allen (Urban Fantasy)

Hellscapes vol 2 by Stephen Zimmer (Horror)

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer (Sword and Sorcery)

Giveaways, guest posts, reviews, and all the rest

Published May 27, 2014 by admin

Wow, it was a busy start to the week yesterday! Time to catch everyone up before we move on to fun stuff today. I’ve got reviews, guest posts, a giveaway…it’s time to break it down (I feel like there should be a joke here, but I have no idea and my brain keeps strict joke and pun hours and is not having it at all).

Bitten by Books – I’m part of the Six Year Blogaversary giveaway, specifically day six, major prize 2. You could win a $20 Amazon gift card from me, signed books from Jim Butcher (I KNOW!), Alexandra Ivy, Lara Adrian, and some fun author swag. Share the link and be sure to enter to win!

Witches, Vampires, and Me Oh My – This blog is run by my friend Crymsyn Hart and she graciously allowed me to terrorize it with a guest post introducing Olde School and the ins and outs of Kingdom City. If you haven’t gotten into the title yet and want a brief introduction, this is the place to get it!

SpecMusicMuse – Scott Sandridge had me here yesterday, as well (I know, I don’t know when I got so fancy, either!). Not only did he give Olde School a wonderful, insightful review, but he has an interview where we talk about the conception of Kingdom City, how I navigated the character of Paddlelump, and, of course, music. Find out why he says “I enjoyed reading Olde School so much that I nearly forgot that I was reviewing it. The story pulled me in and refused to let me leave.” And I am totally putting that on a sampler at some point.

Manic Readers – Talking about the book here, as well. I go into a little bit about why I’ve put together the elements I have for the title, and delve a little bit into my love of folklore. Good, good stuff from a great blog for authors.

 

So be sure to check all those out (I’ll wait), and I’m sure someone Kingdom City-ish at some point will be along to put something fun up.

 

 

 

Kick it Olde School and join the tour!

Published April 21, 2014 by admin

So Tomorrow Comes Media is doing a blog tour for Olde School, and we’re looking for people who might want to participate! Book Bloggers, Reviewers, etc – if you like different types of fantasy, paranormal titles, fairy tales, silliness, a dash of horror, and a blend of all of the above, please check out the link and sign up! It’s going to be a blast – guest posts, interviews, promo stuff – I’m open to it all. Maybe Clyde will even deign to grace certain blogs with his presence. 🙂

If you’re not but know of people who might like to get on board the tour or help promote the title, please feel free to share the link with them and spread the word!

If you’re interested in signing up for the tour, the form is here!

 

If you’re not sure you want to do the tour, but are interested in reading the book for free in exchange for an honest review, feel free to do that, instead! To be part of Seventh Star’s Read to Review program for Olde School (and other titles if you like!), email stephen@tomorrowcomesmedia.com

 

Thanks to any and all participants, as well as anyone else who recommends the title to their friends!

 

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Author Interview: G.L. Giles

Published August 8, 2013 by admin

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a willing victim, but today G.L. Giles joins me in the interview hot seat!

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SJ:  Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

*Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

GL:  My process has undergone changes as I’ve hopefully matured as a writer and that includes taking everything quite a bit more seriously these days—though I still fancy myself a humorist upon occasion, too! J In that vein, I am a vegetarian, so I don’t sacrifice any animals, but I do murder the hell outta some veggies and fruit, compliments of my NutriBullet, before I sit down to type for the day. Alas, no cape and chanting, as I preferred going skyclad whilst chanting and circling my bonfires in homage to the Goddesses of the Greek pantheon, but at almost 49 years old now, my neighbors would surely be turned to stone watching me—more quickly than gazing upon Medusa, I’m afraid! On a more serious note, my process in writing my WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.) involved lots of coffee beforehand, too, but no outline was necessary this go-round, as I was basically reworking the first edition—making sure that there were no ‘plot-holes’ for anyone to step in this time, hopefully sharper dialogue, changing the tone somewhat, etc.!

SJ:  Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

GL:  I believe in meticulously planning AND the muse!! So, parts of WATER VAMPS came from planning and studying the various kinds of ‘real-life’ vampires:  Psychic Vampires and Sanguine Vampires. And, I also had a dream which I reworked for parts of my Prologue, etcetera. Let’s see:  “…shady deal with a dark power?” Hmmm…does my being published by a vanity press (early on in my career as a writer) count? 🙂

SJ:  What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

GL:  I try not to play favorites at this point, but there are certain characters that are closer to my heart than others. Certainly, the protagonist, Robyn, in WATER VAMPS is nearer and dearer than the antagonist:  Jonas. What I wasn’t expecting was to kind of bond with two of the secondary characters:  Candace and Molly. Here’s an excerpt from my WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.) showcasing their rather irreverent dialogue (taken from page 45):

            Robyn caught up with her friends, Molly and Candace, while switching out books for her next class at her locker. “Hey, Robyn, you excited about Marion’s birthday bash?” a breathless, from being a bit overweight and having two classes close together on the opposite sides of the school, Molly managed to get out—behind her locker’s door to the left of Robyn’s locker.

            “Well, yeah, now that I have my costume picked out. What are you going as?”

            “I was thinking of going as a vampire,” Molly said softly, waiting to see how her friend would react. “Do you think that it’s too ‘out-there’ for Charleston—especially with it being a South of Broad Halloween-Birthday party?”

            Robyn rolled her eyes and replied, “If you ask me, Charleston needs to get a little more ‘out-there’, as in with the times…it’s the ‘80s after all…I love it…your idea…yes, it’s out there—a necessary ‘out there’!”

            “Here, here,” Candace chimed in. “As if we’re not ‘out-there’ enough being the only public lesbian couple our age here!” And with that, Candace, moving from her locker to the right of Robyn’s locker and bypassing Robyn, quickly gave Molly a kiss on her cheek. “You know, out of the closet, out here, out there…as long as it’s out!” And, at that, all three of them burst into peals of laughter. When their laughter subsided, Candace said, feigning having had her feelings hurt, “Hey, you didn’t ask me what I’m going as.”

            Playing along, Robyn smartly answered, “Maybe I didn’t care to know!” Again, all three burst into laughter.

            “Oh yeah?! Well, now you’re gonna know, whether or not you want to,” Candace replied with a broad smile. “I’m going as a zombie.”

            “Great gods,” Robyn teased, “that’s even more ‘out-there’ than a vampire.”

            “What about you, Robyn?” Molly asked, with her sweet Southern drawl.

            “A ghost.”

            “Boring!” Candace teased, and that made the three of them fill the locker hall with laughter once again.  

 SJ:  If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

GL: I’m pretty sure Cthulhu and most horror writers will want to sacrifice me anyway for my answer, but the truth is:  children’s picture books championing animal causes. It’s no secret that I’m both canine crazy with a ‘pittie’ named Dejah Thoris and feline crazy with 7 cats:  Anubis Star, Eclipse, Luna, Vega, Comet, Bo and Dyson. I am both fascinated and frustrated by the following genres:  horror, mystery and thriller. They are infuriating to me in the sense that to write well in any of them takes a lot of dedication and frustration—at least for me—but the payoff of having a finely-crafted work in your hands at the end of the process is pretty amazing, too!!  

SJ:  If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?

GL:  Probably in WATER VAMPS since I know already know the ‘rules’ in this ‘cosmos’ I created and unlike in my children’s picture books, it spans centuries and many geographical locations, so there probably wouldn’t be as great a chance of boredom; it is an adventure story, too. My loved ones I would stick on dry land in WATER VAMPS—away from the water vamps who might consider them a tasty snack.  By contrast, I’d definitely stick my enemies in the water with my water vampires! [evil laugh with fangs bared] But, with my luck, the water vamps would not be hungry that day, so the enemies would survive as ‘fodder’ for my next novels. J

SJ:  Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?

GL: Perhaps know the rules for the blockbuster hits/bestsellers, and then turn them on their heads? That way one is true to oneself and can actually make a living at it? I don’t really know…I’ll let you know if I ever have a bestseller! 

SJ:  Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

GL:  It’s not too late to change paths! J Just kidding, but it is a very challenging, competitive field, so expect an uphill battle, and if you happen to have it come easily, then be amazed and grateful for your good fortune because it doesn’t really happen that often.

 SJ:  What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

GL:  Definitely books worth buying!

SJ:  Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

GL: I’m taking the liberty of substituting your “or” above for ‘and’, as I recently had the distinct pleasure of being sent “AFTER DEATH…” (edited by Eric J. Guignard) for review, and there wasn’t a story in the collection that I didn’t find captivating—for the content and well-crafted storylines.

And, now plug time, too! Here’s my synopsis of WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.):

Take a both fun-filled and treacherous ride into the waters surrounding the peninsular city of Charleston, South Carolina with G.L. Giles’s water vampires. Slake your thirst for different vampire species and subspecies at the same time! On dry land, you’ll also experience a part of Charleston, South Carolina (set primarily in the 1980s)—from White Point Garden to The Battery to the surrounding marshes, complete with plough mud and fiddler crabs—atmospherically rich with the inherent tapestry of the Carolina Lowcountry and then embellished with a healthy dose of dark fantasy! With several species of vampires in the mix, conflicts naturally arise. Add to that, some of the various species of vampires, as well as some of the humans, also have potentially fatal run-ins with some of the specters and shape-shifters found in this young adult novella as well. More than just peppering the plotline are the mostly human protagonists, Robyn and Marion, who are like contemporary versions of Robin Hood and Maid Marian in many ways—that is, with Robyn being a female and Marion a male in Giles’s mythology—and the ‘young love’ version to boot, as they’re middle school kids. Yet, unlike other children their age, they have special ‘gifts’ and a lot of responsibility for those so young in years. You see, they have the distinct burden, squarely placed upon them, of being the only ones who can save their older counterparts from another place and time: Setiana and Vasario.

Here are some of the reviews:

 “Water Vamps is one of the most clever supernatural stories I’ve read in years… only the singular mind of GL Giles, in all her guile and wit, could have come up with the idea of aquatic vampires who behave like the sirens of yore. As wildly out to sea as the premise seems, Giles’ rich, warm, and emotional writing style manages to make everyone seem so real, and our young protagonists, Robyn and Marion, are as grounded and substantive as can be. Water Vamps is a truly unique, engaging story – the sort of which makes GL Giles the worthy successor to the authors of my childhood (Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeleine L’Engle) and will certainly earn her a place in the canon of today’s most imaginative and engaging emerging fantasy authors.”

 Staci Layne Wilson, author of DARK LULLABY and co-host of Inside Horror

 “G. L. Giles once again brings vampires to life, this time in a young adult novel spanning centuries, dimensions and death. Giles’ tale of protagonists Robyn and Marion includes all the usual suspects one expects from a good horror tale; vamps and werewolves, romance and loss, life and death. Mixing these ingredients with a brand new revisionist spin, Giles creates a world familiar yet astonishingly different from similar young adult fare. Giles has not forgotten what it is to be twelve. Armed with this knowledge, she lures readers in with interesting characters and daring messages not mired in traditional fantasy tropes. Giles cannily circles the familiar before transforming her tale into something entirely new. Water Vamps is a tale of tolerance and understanding, written in descriptive, engaging prose.”

Will Colby, reviewer at KillingBoxx

“A good storyteller shows the ‘human’ in the alien creatures, in this case water vamps, and the ‘alien’ in the humans and GL Giles’ “Water Vamps” lives up to a great fantasy tale because of it. A new kind of vampire is created in Water Vamps and Giles fascinates readers with those differences. It is not just blood sucking vamps but a kind of species that lives in water and behaves sometimes similarly to sirens. These creatures live by a set of rules – ones you probably haven’t encountered before – and these codes are mirrored in the young lives of the human protagonists. Targeted for young adults, the depth of the story easily catches adult readers in its snare as all good fantasy/fairy tales do.”

Gary Starta, author/reviewer and a ‘Top Ten Finalist in 2010’s Preditors and Editors Poll for Science Fiction’

“I was thrilled when I read about the Water Vamps that Giles created…every author needs to come up with a new twist that makes their vampires unique and memorable. With vampires seen as a species, Giles has definitely done this overall, but then she takes it a step further by creating an entirely new species that seems a little like a mermaid, a little like a siren, and all vampire!…Their story [is told in] “Water Vamps,” and it will slake the thirst of anyone wanting to know more. Giles weaves a tale of intrigue and gives us a glimpse of the underwater world of the Water Vamps, and the history and origins behind these beautiful and dangerous creatures is truly unique!…We get to interact with these creatures on a more personal level:  they go to school, have spelling and vocabulary tests, have to deal with their parents and even crush on each other. In this sense, we get to see the more ‘human’ side of the water vampires and see that the youth water vamps are similar to the human heroes, Robyn and Marion. Written for young adults, the main characters are children, and the adults are secondary to the story, which will appeal to any young adult. Robyn and Marion understand each other, and they (like the water vamps) have to deal with all the things children deal with, despite their unusual gifts. Even without these gifts, Robyn is a role model for any young female with her strength of character, respect for adults (at least those who deserve it) and her loyalty to Marion, who deserves his own credit for his loyalty and friendship…In the end, even the water vamps come to be [those] we can relate to and accept in this thrilling ride into the waters of Charleston, South Carolina.”

Deanna Anderson for Target Audience Magazine

“G.L. Giles has written a YA book worthy of a closer look by young adults and adults of all ages.  Her stories read like a welcome canteen of water when one has been in a desolate literary desert for too long.  Let’s face it.  One can’t throw a stake without hitting one of the many vampire novels out there these days.  With Giles’ book however, one hits a rich vein of gold or perhaps in this case, blood and, as every vampire knows, the life is in the blood.  The life blood of “Water Vamps” is in the talent of such a gifted writer as Giles.  Such are the literary riches one finds in “Water Vamps.”  If you love vampires, you are in for a rare treat.  The most intriguing thing about her Water Vamps is that they are a fantastic and wholly unique twist on the vampire myth.  Even if vampires are not your cup of tea (or goblet of blood) you will be engaged by Giles.  It is her skillful writing style, engrossing narrative and some of the most interesting characters in all of literature that brings delight to the reader. I absolutely love the biracial storyline with Robyn and Marion. With this, Giles doesn’t merely tell a story.  She digs deeply into the human consciousness, bringing out old modes of thinking and revealing them in the light of day, inviting the reader to expand his or her mind. This is story-telling at its best.  The most important thing I can say about this book is this:  Best twist on the vampire mythos ever.”

Evelyn Smith, author of “Transylvania, Louisiana” and “City of the Undead,” for Eviesite (WordPress Blog) 

“G.L. Giles creates a delightfully original vampire mythology in her young adult book Water Vamps. The main characters Robyn and Marion (aptly named after the literary adventurers Robin Hood and Maid Marian) engage in their own adventure involving Water Vampires, a complex hybrid of ravens and mermaids—with teeth! Giles celebrates the unconventional in numerous ways throughout the book, which any vampire-lover will embrace whole-heartedly. Her compelling tale follows the burgeoning young romance between Robyn and Marion which leads to their dangerous encounter with the Water Vamps. Giles mixes her unique history of vampires and the background of Charleston, South Carolina, creating a fully absorbing fantasy tale. Together, Robyn and Marion discover a pair of deceitful adults and a perilous, hungry species who are more than they appear to be on the surface and with whom they have more in common than they realize.”

Bryce Warren, author of “Voodoo Mayhem”

“GL Giles delivers a new concept to an old tale noteworthy of a fictional television documentary. Her descriptions of her characters lend charm and mystery to the history of how vampires have always been perceived. I think Stoker would be well pleased to see this ‘new breed’.”

Rena Short Brashear, Reviewer (for Target Audience Magazine, etc.)

 Links to purchase a copy of WATER VAMPS (2nd ed.):

http://www.amazon.com/Water-Vamps-Gl-Giles/dp/1613181477/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1374877510&sr=8-1-fkmr0

http://gialee3.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/water-vamps-2nd-ed-now-available-on-kindle/

http://www.blackwyrm.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=145

Links to connect with G.L. Giles:

https://www.facebook.com/WaterVamps

https://twitter.com/AuthorGiaLee

Thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity, Selah!

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Thanks very much to GL for sharing her thoughts, excerpt, and work with us! It looks fabulous, and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far!