Announcing the June Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the June Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. This month was comparatively slow, but things got a bit better late in the game.

We had 2,560 votes this month.

It was close for a few days, but then the winner had a ten-voter surge and never looked back.

The June Book Cover of the Month is…

61iQpoT0C9L

 

Alphas and Airships by Melanie Karsak! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Karsak received 145 total votes.

A Guiding Light by Susan Copperfield came in second, so Copperfield becomes the first author this year to get two second chances. We only saw that happen twice all of last year.

But for now, let’s look at this month’s winner!

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

With Lionheart as the new alpha, the streets of London are quiet.

But above the realm, mischief is brewing.

While airship pirates are a common plague upon the kingdom, the airship Fenrir proves particularly troublesome–especially on a full moon.

Clemeny must take to the skies before these shape-shifting Vikings kick off a new Ragnarok. Easier said than done now that she’s down one good eye, a partner, and not to mention the fact that she gets motion sick.

On top of that, the new scar across her face makes Clemeny feel like she’ll have better luck intimidating her foes than finding a beau. But Agent Edwin Hunter, recently assigned as head of Clemeny’s division, is proving to be an interesting prospect. Despite her apprehensions, it’s up to Agent Louvel to chase Fenrir across the heavens.

Alphas and Airships
 
is a retelling of the Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe. Alphas and Airships is Book 2 in the Steampunk Red Riding Hood series.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Alphas and Airships to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I buy all the winning covers. I’ve already bought MayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuaryDecember’s book.


MAY_Cover_Collage
Here’s Melanie’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about her and her work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. Truth is interviews are a bit hard to arrange on my end these days.  I’ll try to get back on track, but things are looking a bit busy lately (in a less good way at the moment).

The July Book Cover of the Month is coming along, and that contest will launch Aug. 1.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Advertisements

A June Book Cover of the Month Update

A June Book Cover of the Month Update

With just seven days left in this month’s bracket, it’s time to update you all on how things have been progressing.

As I type this, we have 1,580 votes so far. This is unfortunately far slower than normal.  I’m afraid we might not even get to the 3,000-vote mark (which I feel is average). Any help you all could offer to get these authors and artists some much-deserved attention, would be much appreciated.


61iQpoT0C9LAlphas and Airships 
by Melanie Karsak is in the lead at the moment.

Most Voted on so far: One Thousand Tears by Pauline Creeden, which is in fifth at the moment, is just two voters behind Karsak, but Creeden does have the most total votes so far with 128.

Least Voted for:  Metal Chest  by Chris Yee. This cover has 14 votes.  That might be the fewest votes I’ve ever seen, and Yee’s cover deserves a lot more credit than that, but I’ve already stated that I think all of these authors deserve a lot more love.

The honest fight is the one between Alphas and Tears in the Elite Eight.  Ragged Heroes by Andy Peloquin (and a bunch of others), is technically in second place, but it only has one Finals vote. It’d need some fifteen more people to vote it all the way through to help it take the lead. It’s possible, but it looks as if fans of this month’s bracket are far more interested in the left side of the bracket than the right.

51mZ8ezNU8LA quick reminder of how the tournament works. The easiest way to win is to have the most people vote for you in every round. The trick is you have to have the most people vote you through in each round, all the way to the final.  As an example, 100 people could vote someone through to the finals, but that doesn’t do a cover any good if he doesn’t win the first round. It’s not total votes. It’s not simple championship votes. The winning cover has to have the most votes in each round of the competition.

This will be the only update for this type of bracket. It’s been slow so far, so I hope readers start lining up to support their authors by voting, liking, and sharing the bracket with as many people as possible.  You can vote at this address!

I’ll announce the winner is just seven days!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: For Steam and Country by Jon del Arroz

Book Review: For Steam and Country by Jon del Arroz
51ex3PMhSnL
This image was taken from Amazon.com for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

First off, before we get to my regular Wednesday review, please let me wish you all a happy Fourth of July. I love my country, which was one of the main reasons I served it for ten years as an active-duty Sailor, and I still serve as a DOD instructor. God bless our country, bless our service members, and may we hold true to the principles under which our great nation was formed.

Spolier Free Summary: For Steam and Country by Jon del Arroz is a story about Zaira’s life is thrown off course when her dead father’s will places her on the deck of the last remaining air-ship in the empire. She’s face with the choice to leave the life she thought she’d have or embrace the life her father led, the same life that took him from her. Her life grows even more difficult when she encounters the Wyranth Empire, the empire behind her father’s death. This was my June Book Cover of the Month winner.

Character:  I’d say this was the strength of this story. There were issues I had with it, but the characters are proactive (for the most part). Zaira does seem to be a pretty standard character for YA novels. She’s the unsure, female on her own fighting to prove she’s tough enough. The trope is more of my problem than the execution of the character. My frustration is that Zaira seems to pretty much go with things.  She does however, start coming to her own in the book, which gives her a pretty decent character arc. Constant reminders of how like her father she is annoyed me as a reader even more than her as a character. I felt like there was a missed opportunity here since her father had been absent for much of her life. Rather than investigate that potential conflict, the book focuses mostly on plot-driven events.

Arroz
This image of Mr. Arroz was taken from his webiste for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Description: Other than the non-stop references to her similarities to her father’s physical traits, the description of this book is, what I feel, good for a steampunk novel like this. As always, I stress I’m not one who loves a lot of detail in description. For steampunk lovers, there might not be enough of those little, minute details the genre loves so much, but I wasn’t bothered at all.  I saw what I needed to, and my imagination took care of the rest.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The June Book Cover of the Month Starts Now

The June Book Cover of the Month Starts Now

JUNE_Cover_CollageHappy first everyone! As is now officially tradition here on my blog, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

The Flipside by Jake Bible  and A Guiding Light by Susan Copperfield join 30 brand new covers this month.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the May Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the May Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. This month was a pretty close month! I’m glad June is a 30-day month because that means we might see another highly-contested bracket.  There weren’t a ton of votes, but it was a close contest.

We had 3,235 votes this month.

It was a three-horse race the entire time, but one book managed to get seven more voters than the rest.

The May Book Cover of the Month is…

51A1OLcVHTL

 

 

Clara’s Diary by Angelique S. Anderson! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Lenders received 227 total votes.

The Flipside by Jake Bible fell just eight votes short in the finals, and A Guiding Light by Susan Copperfield fell just four votes shy in the Final Four. The good news is (remember that 30-day month I mentioned?) both covers get another chance to win the title in the June bracket.

But for now, let’s look at this month’s winner!

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

In a tale of monstrous proportions, with a flash of steampunk gadgetry, experience the impossible. After leaving the police force and striking out on his own, Detective Desmond still struggles to come to terms with the death of his daughter six years later. Then disaster decides to come knocking again. This time, a young Octilune woman is found dead. As a species of half-octopus, half-human, Lizbeth Patinson’s death is a tragedy. Raging against the two injustices, Detective Desmond does everything in his power to find the murderer. When evidence points to him, he has twenty-four hours to prove his innocence. Is Detective Desmond really guilty of murdering two young women in cold blood? Or will he find the evidence needed to exonerate himself and finally find the closure he’s been looking for? Get ready to swim for your life.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Clara’s Diary to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I buy all the winning covers. I’ve already bought, AprilMarchFebruaryJanuaryDecember’s book.


MAY_Cover_Collage
Here’re Angelique’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about her and her work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. Truth is interviews are a bit hard to arrange on my end these days.  I’ll try to get back on track, but things are looking a bit busy lately (in a less good way at the moment).

The June Book Cover of the Month is coming along, and that contest will launch July 1.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt

The May Book Cover of the Month Begins!

The May Book Cover of the Month Begins!

 

MAY_Cover_Collage

Happy first everyone! As is now officially tradition here on my blog, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay joins 31 brand new covers this month.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the April Book Cover of the Month

Announcing the April Book Cover of the Month

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. This was a solid month with an amazing (and possibly the most historic) comeback.

We had 5,885 votes this month.

The competition was pretty close up until about the halfway point. Then one book stopped playing around and took off. That was some amazing support to be honest.

The March Book Cover of the Month is…

 

 

51yF0lij+0L

The Unlicensed Consciousness by Travis Borne! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Lenders received 434 total votes.

Siren’s Lure by Frost Kay managed to come in second, which means she gets a second shot at a Book Cover of the Month Award.

But for now, let’s look at this month’s winner!

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

When dreaming becomes an occupation…but it’s no picnic and what must be done is not for the faint of heart. Very few can do it successfully, or stomach it, until Amy comes along. She’s special, but not for any reason you’d imagine.

Jump twenty-five years into the future where the last of humanity survives in the last city, a quaint town surrounded by a great wall. Science is limited, except in the facility where technology stabilizes the world of dreams, where consciousness itself is harvested in exchange for protection.

When the unexpected happens Jim is faced with a gut-wrenching decision that could change everything. But it’s what his malcontent self had always wanted, right? Travel beyond the solar system, through wormholes, into The NOTHING—The SOMETHING as some call it, then explode out; to the edge of the universe, realms unrecognizable—and depending on his choice, possibly into a world of doom purposed for the unimaginable. But is this really just a dream, a MAP as labeled by Ted and the other scientists?

Journey into a vast desert with mezcal-drinking Felix in his clunker pickup where secrets run deep. Meet Mister Quain Renmore in a world unimaginable; he wants to disclose more than he’s allowed to—beware of his slaps and kicks. Push the boundaries of the system, testing its limits with newfound powers. Will it burst through causing the ultimate surge, or is it already too late? And will it even be enough to save them—the drone army has already punched through the defenses! Head to the safe room, pack in tight while Amy, Jim, and the lenders battle against all odds to pull off the impossible.

Experience the beginning where it all started, 25 years ago. Powerful companies race to develop AI, and one man with a prescience greater than your typical mortal manages something special by working nearly 20 hours per day. He’s rudely blunt and tells it like it is. But can he tear down the walls that hold him prisoner to a world of hate? Will he realize, he doesn’t have to go through this alone. Hatred forged from years of abuse and mockery, once a nerd but now a king, haunted by terrible speculations of a perspicacious mind he knows things will take a turn for the worse and decides to unfold a chair, pop open a beer and watch it all burn, but now…has everything changed? He finds someone special across the border in Mexico, but can newfound love assuage the demons raging war inside his mind. His immense mental capability is balanced by a terrible trio that bullies his rational and sanity.

With a select group of friends and a rescued heart, will he alter the plans? While there can be no stopping the coming destruction, could he and his team pull it off anyway? Maybe, with the assistance of another very special mind.

Horrific terrors delivered to your spine, encounter myriad dream worlds, learn lessons from goodhearted characters like old Nanny at the fair, laugh at red-headed Myron, Amy’s wacky chainsaw-wielding school buddy going ballistic on tourists in the canyon map. Cry when new love is born, also cry when trust is shattered.

A warning to all readers: attempt to retain your lucidity while things snowball for civilization, fires rage, and volcanoes vomit. Bear witness to mass destruction on a comprehensive scale—but just as the lights are about to go out for good: along comes Jim, Amy, Rico, and the lenders, assisted by head scientist Ted—in the future; Herald, the love of his life, and his friends—in the past. Can Herald and his team outrun the approaching nightmare in the hover-jet? Can Amy and Jim slip through where all others have failed? Will a species prove itself worthy? Will a beacon for intergalactic assistance be heard, and if so will it arrive in time to save the final stragglers?

(END BLURB)

I’ve added The Unlicensed Consciousness to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I buy all the winning covers. I’ve already bought MarchFebruaryJanuaryDecember’s book.


Feb_Cover_Collage
Here’re Travis’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about him and his work.

I’ll try to find out who did that cover. Truth is interviews are a bit hard to arrange on my end these days.  I’ll try to get back on track, but things are looking a bit busy lately (in a good way).

The May Book Cover of the Month is almost set, and that contest will launch June 1.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt