Announcing the March Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the March Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. This one was pretty historic.  This month is the second-most voted on month to date. That’s a pretty awesome stat to hand out. I’m thrilled and honored at everyone involved.

We had 6,019 votes this month.

It was a pretty stiff competition between about five books. No one really pulled away, and that made for some exciting matches.

The March Book Cover of the Month is…

 

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Heshayol by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd! 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!

Heshayol received 335 total votes. If this cover and art looks  familiar, it’s because his first book Anaerfell was in the Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round. I also read and reviewed it.

Since April only has 30 days, Metal and Stone by K. Potter and The Past is Never by Tiffany Quay Tyson. will be in next month’s cover bracket because they finished second and third respectively.

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

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Over a millennium ago, at their father’s command, Tyran and Drast sent the Horned God to the Netherworld in hopes of gaining everlasting life. Instead, they sparked a chain of events that led to the near destruction of the Ash Tree and the liberation of the old gods. Now, with the world waning, the two brothers are freed from Anaerfell to travel to the frozen realm of the dead and resurrect their enemy with hopes of restoring balance. Tyran and Drast journey between time and space with limitless magic at their fingertips to face demon legions, forsaken immortals, and the realization that the malevolence of their father is not yet done.

While the first ennead of books in Thrice Nine Legends can be read separate of one another, the following is the chronological reading order for full enjoyment.

Anaerfell, The Blood of Dragons, Book 1

Warden of the Ash Tree

The Highborn Longwalker

Melkorka, The Kaelandur Series, Book 1

When Blood Falls

Dyndaer, The Kaelandur Series, Book 2

The Name of Death

Maharia, The Kaelandur Series, Book 3

Heshayol, The Blood of Dragons, Book 2

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Heshayol 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 FebruaryJanuary and December’s book.


Feb_Cover_Collage
Here’re Josh’s and JC’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. I’m still  behind my interviews, and I’m just not sure how or when I’m going to get back on that. I will try though.

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

A Special 5-Star Review for Caught!

A Special 5-Star Review for Caught!

caught-front-coverGreetings all,

As usual, I’m sharing what reviews I find for my books. However, this review is special to me. You see, Joshua Robertson is someone whom I respect a great deal. He’s a brilliant writer, a well-respected member of the community, and someone I consider a mentor. When I saw that he’d started reading Caught, I felt a degree of fear. I feel it when any of my author friends read my work, but I’ll admit that I was slightly more nervous than I had been.  So when I saw his five-star review for the book, I had to let out the breath I’d been holding since it appeared on his “currently reading” tab.

Some of you might recognize the name. You should, I read and reviewed Anaerfell fairly recently. I can say first-hand that Mr. Robertson is a busy man, so even seeing him take the time to read my book was an honor. The fact that he liked it has me on cloud nine.  I’d like to take this chance to thank him now. Thank you, Mr. Robertson.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round Begins!

The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round Begins!

WildCardGreetings all,

I have to admit, I’m super excited about this project. I love tournaments, and I love book covers. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I hope you all do as well.

In addition to giving you the link and some guidance, I wanted to give you some insight as to why these eight covers were chosen.  So here we go!

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: This is one of only two covers to receive more than 1,000 total votes. Unfortunately, it face the OTHER cover. Schwab’s 1,091 votes didn’t carry it through. It was the runner up, but didn’t make on it’s second time up. I still think it’s an amazing cover, and with 1,000 people behind it, I felt it deserved a final try.

The Dragon Rider Vol. 1 by T.J. Weekes: This was November’s runner up, and since I always put the runner up in the next tournament, I felt this time should be no different.

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan: This book was one of only two to finish as runner up in two different brackets. A lot of people liked this book cover. So if this was one of two books to be a runner up twice, it only stands to reason the other would get in too, right?

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson: Your darn right it stands to reason.

51VhLwOV75LAnaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd: This doesn’t surprise anyone who follows my blog, but I had to make the announcement. This book was in a downright fight with Bentz Deyo, and it was just fun to watch. The cover also received a total of 574 votes.

The Other One by Amanda Jay: It finished as a runner up and received a total of 433 votes.

To Brave the End by Frank Dorrian: Another runner up to fall just short, it received 348 votes in it’s first try.

Fate of the Big Bad Wolf by Neo Edmund: It also received 348 votes. It was a runner up, and even performed pretty well on its second try.

Three hundred votes is an important benchmark. Since I went to the two-week, total voting style, the winners all received a maximum of 350 votes. So my thinking was people who earned enough votes to win under the old system deserved a chance with the new one.

Now that’s said, let’s go over the basics:

This bracket has eight books. The top four selected will move on to the 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket. Winning is good (and I use vote totals to create the matches in the BCOTY bracket, but all you really want is to finish in the top four.

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 November Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the November Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

It’s kind of cool to know I’ve been doing this for a year. We’ve picked out 12 amazing covers, and we still have some work to do (more on that below).  For now, the November Book Cover of the Month bracket has just wrapped up. This month had a great surge of voters. Three particular authors came out in force and really got their following involved, and that’s wonderful to me.

We had 4,177 votes this month.

This was honestly one of my favorite months to watch. We had some wonderful matches, and one of those matches has me clicking refresh even as I type this announcement. The Sweet Sixteen match between Prey till the End by S.L. Eaves and Living the Good Death by Scott Baron was back and forth for nearly a week. I don’t remember that match being more than five votes apart, and they both had more than 30 people vote their covers all the way to the winners’ circle.  It’s so close, I actually feel the need to type an announcement for each of those covers, and wait until the bracket closes to edit the winner in.  I had to check back and fourth, but it was fun watching it.

The November Book Cover of the Month is…

 

 

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Living the Good Death by Scott Baron! 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!

Baron received 268 total votes. He edged Eaves out of the sweet sixteen by two votes.

NOV_Cover_CollageHere’s the part where people may upset. Though Eaves would have one had she beaten Baron, she didn’t. The runner up to this (the author who won her side of the bracket) was  The Dragon Rider Vol. 1 by T.J. Weekes. I did a lot of thinking, but the fact is Weekes earned the right to try again by winning her bracket. Sure, the NCAA may loop Alabama into the playoffs, and I can’t even say I’ve never done it (though that was an extreme even beyond this) before, but the Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round only has one slot left, and Weekes earned it.  You have to be the runner up.  So Weekes will be the final entry into the aforementioned (and still to be discussed below) wild card round.

For Baron, he doesn’t have to stress over another “tryout” bracket. He’s in the main Book Cover of the Year Bracket.  Let’s look at the summary for his book.

 

 

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Wearing nothing but psych ward pajamas and fluffy slippers, the odd girl wasn’t really dressed to kill. Being the Grim Reaper, however, she felt confident she could make it work.

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind of day when things just don’t go your way. Like when your botched suicide attempt and claims of supernatural powers get you hauled to the emergency room, placed under observation, then transferred to a locked-down psych facility.

The girl who thought she was Death had failed miserably in her efforts to shed the troublesome human body in which she was trapped. The result? Finding herself surrounded by nutjobs, locked in a mental ward ruled by a humorless doctor with a Napoleon complex and a penchant for sleight of hand. Sure, she did technically bring it on herself, but how was she to know that trying to off herself in public and using her outside voice to proclaim she was Death incarnate would result in a psych ward lockdown?

With that problematic little blunder behind her, the concerns now vexing her were pressing. Escape, both from the mental hospital, as well as from this plane of existence, was vital, but equally so was addressing the other issue haunting her. The big one. The one that could end the world. The issue that with Death missing, people would rather inconveniently no longer die like they were supposed to. Eventually, things would hit critical mass. She just didn’t know when.

The situation was, well, grim, to say the very least. An irony not lost on the girl claiming to be the Death.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Living the Good Death 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 bought Manning’s first cover, Howard’s cover, Deyo’s coverJones’s CoverHubert’s Cover,  MacNiven’s cover,  Jon del Arroz’sRob J. Hayes’sChris Philbrook’sR.L. Week’s, and Manning’s second winning cover. They are also on my TBR. Manning’s review is here.  Howard’s review is here. Deyo’s review is here. The review for Jones’s book is here.  I’m currently reading Hubert’s book.
Here’s
 Baron’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. I’m frankly behind my interviews, but I’m hopeful my vacation can give me a chance to get caught up.

But wait! There’s more!  Starting Dec. 18, my Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round begins. Weekes and seven other authors who came up just short of winning a monthly bracket will have five days to duke it out for one last, last chance to get into the Book Cover of the Year bracket. The way it will work is the top four winners (as determined by Brackify) will earn the four remaining slots into the Sweet Sixteen of 2017 (I like the ring of that).

WildCard

V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows.

Michael J. Sullivan’s Age of Myth.

Kara Swanson’s The Girl Who Could See.

Joshua Robertson’s and J.C. Boyd’s Anaerfell (Which I’ve read and reviewed).

Amanda Jay’s The Other One.

Frank Dorrian’s To Brave the End.

And Neo Edmund’s Fate of the Big Bad Wolf.

When the bracket kicks off, I’ll post a summary of why each book made it into the Wild Card Round, but I felt it fair to announce who all eight were so, if they read this, they can start to summon their followers.

Now, that brings up some additional news. My first ever BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR tournament is coming. This will feature all 12 BCTOM winners and four “Wild Card” covers.

The Book Cover of the Year Bracket (for which I’m purchasing an actual trophy to send to the artist) will launch Jan. 1. It will be a two-week tournament. Then, I’ll launch the December Book Cover of the Month, which will start off a new year. Yes, that means I’ve decided to to this at least one more year. It’s exhausting, but matches like this one make it fun, and I’ll do it as long as it’s fun.

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

Book Review: Anaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd

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Image taken from Amazon.com for review purposes under fair use doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary: Anaerfell by Joshua Robertson  and J.C. Boyd was listed in my February Book Cover of the Month bracket. my March Book Cover of the Month. It’s an epic fantasy about two brothers who literally set out to kill death. Using the boost taken from a ceremony and the blood of a dead dragon, Drast and Tyran set out on this mission for reasons of family loyalty and glory.

 

Character:  This was my favorite part of the book. Drast and Tyran aren’t your typical fantasy brothers. They’re flat out monstrous in some degrees. They have justifiable reasons for their behavior, but it’s their efforts to find nobility in a world without honor that kept me reading throughout this story. I’ve already said I’m a huge fan of “white-hat” good guys, but these protagonists are compelling because their circumstances are plausible and compelling. What makes this dynamic perfect is the unconquerable love between these brothers. That sort of relationship is one I can get behind. If you love stories with compelling characters, this is a book you’ll enjoy.

Exposition: This was about average in terms of epic fantasy. It didn’t drone on in any areas, but there were certainly a few (probably necessary) information dumps. The authors do a nice job of weaving this in as necessary, so it doesn’t slow the book down.

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Image of J.C. Boyd from Amazon.com

Description:  I’d say the description of the characters and action is deeper than that of the scenes and landscapes. It’s visual without being visceral. However, I’m a fan of that sort of skeletal description. Show me what I need to see and let my imagination take over with what you want. Details mater, but only the right details.

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Image of Joshua Robertson from Amazon.com

Overall: This was a different sort of fantasy story, where the protagonists struggle with their shortcomings every bit as much as they struggle with their opponents, and that’s rare. Even more so, those internal conflicts don’t seem overly melodramatic. Fans of original magic systems with interesting “costs” will enjoy this fantasy element. Fans of grittier characters with flawed backgrounds will love it.

NOTE: As I mentioned above, Anaerfell did very well in it’s bracket. It had a tough fight with The Unleashed, but it didn’t quite make it. For this reason, Anaerfell will get another shot against eight other covers in the Book Cover of the Year Wild Card round. That will kick off the week before Christmas. Stay tuned for more on that.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sharing the Joy: A Few Friends of Mine Won Some Awards!

Sharing the Joy: A Few Friends of Mine Won Some Awards!

I was surfing the social media waves today when I noticed a few friends of mine have earned some recognition. I love it when people I respect get some props, so what better way to offer my congratulations than to post a brief announcement for them on my humble little blog?

The Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest released their winners.  They give awards in pretty much every category you can shove a book in.

Without further chatter from me, let’s spread the good news.

21192864_10156178007845931_2953333170833284155_nAnaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd: Winner of the contest’s bronze medal in the Young Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Epic category. Just to point out a humble/not humble fact. Every book I’m about to mention was a book I discovered by it’s cover. Anaerfell was  put in my February Book Cover of the Month and is still one of the most voted on books in the bracket’s history. Joshua and I became friends during that bracket. To put a final touch on the coincidence, Anaerfell is actually next on my TBR list.

21272158_1316997008409745_2922550445147677218_nMagic Price by C.L. Schneider: Winner of the contest’s bronze medal in the Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Epic category. A few years back now (has it really been a few years Cindy?), I was surfing the aforementioned social media waves when I saw the gorgeous cover. I sent a message saying as much.  We got to talking, and I tried her book out. Here’s the review on THAT particular book. That book’s sequel was actually one of the best books I read in 2016. This book’s magic system is flat-out awesome, and Ian is an amazingly sympathetic character. If you check out the reviews, not the content warnings on this. There’s some steamy stuff in there. As if that wasn’t enough, Cindy plucked another medal from the contest!

21230799_1316996651743114_8640255488860905993_nFlash Point by C.L. Schneider: Winner of the contest’s silver medal in the Adult – Fiction – Fantasy – Urban category. Flash Point was in my March Book Cover of the Month. I’ve read it. The review is actually scheduled to drop on this blog Wednesday. I didn’t read the book that won this category’s gold medal, but I’d stand behind how well Flash Point did. Flash Point is an urban fantasy with great mystery, action, and dragons. I’ve missed Dresden Files, and Flash Point filled that hole for me. Dahlia is a deeply complex character (a strength of Cindy’s). There are still four months left in the year, but this book is currently on my top three for the year.

These authors are wonderful people, and the books I’ve read are great. I expect Anaerfell to be equally enjoyable. Any time someone I care about gets credit or accomplishes something, I want to leap in the air an pump a fist. This is just blog version of that. If you haven’t tried these books out, add these awards to my firm recommendations.

Thanks for reading,
Matt

99 cent Dragon’s Blood!

99 cent Dragon’s Blood!
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All images provided by the author with his permission.

You remember Anaerfell? It was one of the great covers in February’s Book Cover of the Month (made it to the final four)!

Well if you were looking for an excuse to pick it up (I already did), here’s one.

Joshua Robertson, the book’s author and a guy I’ve had the chance to sit on panels with and grow to truly respect, is selling the electronic version of Anaerfell: The Blood of the Dragons (see…headline makes sense now doesn’t it?) for just 99 cents in preparation for his new release June 7.

Blood and Bile is coming your way, and Joshua wanted to celebrate by making it next to impossible to avoid buying a copy of his work.

 

While Anaerfell is a bit farther down my TBR list than I’d like, I’m glad to have met him and excited to get to his book. If any of you are hankering for something to read, I wouldn’t pass up this deal. I’ve spent 99 cents on plenty of stuff, and this seems like a much bigger value than 32 ounces of soda.

So check it out. Even if you’re like me, and you just plop it in the TBR rotation, you’ll be even more glad you saved money.

Thanks for reading

Matt