Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks

Book Review: Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks
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Cover of this book was taken from Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary: Night Stalker by TR.L. Weeks was my 2017 September Book Cover of the Month. Casey is a young woman who’s husband died. She’s haunted by reoccurring nightmares in which a stranger inflicts great pain upon her. One day, she rediscovers that not only is the man of her nightmares real, but he’s working against her supernaturally resurrected dead husband, who now only seeks pleasure in the suffering of mortals.

Character:  Casey is actually pretty proactive, but that’s what bothers me. She’s too quick to swoon and too quick to accept things for my taste. She also seems incredibly naive, and while that would be okay if that was her character arch in which she grew more discerning, but that’s not the plot. Rather than let the conflict of her clashing worlds drive the story in interesting directions, the character is forced along, which makes her feel hard to believe.

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Title image for R.L. Weeks taken from her Amazon Page for review puroposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

Description: This was well done. I got the imagery I needed without bogging the story down. It had a decent mix of detail and room for imagination.

I don’t typically give reviews like this. Most stories always have something that I can cling to and study. I don’t ever want to bash, and I hope I stopped before I got to “bashing status.”  This last section is simply me explaining that even this story deserves a chance if you’re in the writers’ audience. Please don’t let my own biases affect your willingness to give a story a try. No, I didn’t enjoy this story much, but yo might, and I’d like to hear why.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

An October Book Cover of the Month Update

An October 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 3,988 votes so far. The fact is one author brought the full support of his following, and it shows. It’s staggering to see, and, frankly, intimidating.


51rMZ5ybJ0LUntil Nothing Remains 
by C.A. Rudolph has a strangle hold on the lead

Most Voted on so far: Rudolph has a staggering 752 votes, mostly because 84 people have voted him all the way to the winner’s circle.  It would take the rest of the top five combined to catch him.

Least Voted for:  Dawn of War by Aaron Hodges has 26 votes each. Maybe it isn’t the best cover this month, but dragons alone should be worth 30 votes, shouldn’t they?

Honestly, Rudolph looks untouchable, but that’s what would make a great come-from-behind victory so amazing!

There’s still a week left, and we can at least see if the runners up can get interesting. After all, the first two runners up get another crack in November’s bracket, which is the next to last chance to get into the Book Cover of the Year bracket.

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This is currently the first runner up. If voters keep supporting this cover, it’ll get another shot in November’s bracket!

A 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. I hope the record does get broken and that I see voters 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

Announcing the September Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the September Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. It was great to see a new cover bracket happen!

We had 2,520 votes this month. It was another slower month, but part of that is because I didn’t have the time I normally have to get word out. For that, I’m sorry. Still, it was decent month, and the winning cover stood out before I ran out of time.

The September Book Cover of the Month is…

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Of Fire and Storm by D.G. Swank! 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!

Swank  received 181 total votes.

As runner up, Sorcerers’ Web by Lucia Ashta gets a second chance to claim the title in October’s bracket.

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

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Book two in the Piper Lancaster series in the Curse Keepers world.

Just when Piper begins to accept her new role as demon slayer, a fresh threat rises.

People are disappearing, and Piper is sure a sinister, otherworldly force is at play.

Add to that ghosts who show up out of thin air, warning her of a danger she won’t be able to outrun, and a freaking bevy of supernatural creatures hiding in the background, and Piper suddenly has her hands full. Especially when the new creatures aren’t demons, or ghosts and she has no idea how to deal with them.

Or whether or not they be good little monsters, or bad.

There is one man who has the knowledge she needs to survive but she can’t even count on him. Why? The bastard left town.

One thing is certain: a big bad demon’s come to town and Piper has to stop him—but she needs help to do it.

If only she could figure out whom to trust…

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Of Fire and Storm 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 AugustJulyJuneMayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuary, and December’s book.


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

SEPT_Cover_CollageThe October Book Cover of the Month is coming along, and that contest will launch Nov. 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 September Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

The September Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

But first, an announcement. The Power of Words is officially live! I’m thrilled at it’s early success.  I sold out of physical editions during the Baltimore ComicCon (I’ll talk more about that on Saturday), and I had more preorders for that book than any other I’ve ever had. It’s live, but it’s still only 99 cents! It will be until Oct. 14, when it goes to its regular price of $3.99. All four of us (TW Iain, Richard T. Drake, Heidi Angell, and myself) are so proud of this. I hope you’ll preorder a copy.

SEPT_Cover_CollageNow, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

Born to the Blade by Michael Underwood, Marie Brennan, and Cassandra Khaw, and White Mind by Emma Stallings 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

An August Book Cover of the Month Update

An August 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 1,903 votes so far. I admittedly have to acknowledge that the bulk of my disappointment stems from how much support the bracket had last month. The truth is, we’re on pace for what’s normally a solid month in the bracket, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to see these authors and artists get more support. I’d appreciate anyone spreading the word.


51rDS-imzhLA Pipe of Wings 
by Sarah K. L. Wilson is in the lead at the moment.

Most Voted on so far: Wings has the most total votes so far with 134. She’s had 15 voters send her all the way through to the winner’s circle, which gives her a lead.

Least Voted for:  Bellweather by Susanna Kearsley and Bitter by V. MoodyThese cover have 16 votes each. I’m honestly shocked Bellweather is that low and has so few votes.  Bitter is a solid cover, and I don’t think it deserves that little love either.

Wings looks pretty comfortable with 15 finals votes.  Born to the Blade by Michael R. Underwood (and a few others) is currently in second place (only 9 voters away). But things get interesting when one looks at the whole bracket.

Wings has a less secure lead in the Sweet 16. Wings is only five votes ahead of The Last Great Reaper by Billi Bell.  Fallout by Jacqueline Druga is actually only eight votes away from spoiling the whole thing (if you’re rooting for Wings). If Druga can get eight or so voters to push her all the way to the top, she’d take the title.

One benefit of a smaller turnout is how close things are.  It’s not unreasonable to think one of these authors can call up about ten fans. So I’m excited to see if the tables turn at any point during the last week of the bracket.

51RfBYChb-L._SX260_A 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. I hope the record does get broken and that I see voters 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

The August Book Cover of the Month Has Begun!

The August Book Cover of the Month Has Begun!

Happy first everyone!  This is the bracket launch, but first, we interrupt this bracket for two very important announcements.

EngagedFirst: I’m engaged! She said yes.  Well, I knew she was going to, but I finally got around to giving her the ring that’s been taunting me for at least a few months.

 

 

 

 
Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKSecond: The Power of Words is officially available for preorder! You can lock in your ebook for just 99 cents. It goes live Oct. 1, and will be 99 cents from today until Oct. 14.  All four of us (TW Iain, Richard T. Drake, Heidi Angell, and myself) are so proud of this. I hope you’ll preorder a copy.

 

AUG_Cover_CollageNow, it’s time to start a new book cover of the month competition.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan 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 July Book Cover of the Month!

Announcing the July Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

We’ve just wrapped up another month. It was simply a historically amazing month. It did so well, I’m pinching myself trying to make sure I’m not dreaming. My goal for this is exposure for authors. Yes, I get some exposure as well, but I’d rather get exposure through helping others get visibility than any other way. This month made me hope we’re reaching a new level.

We had 9,787 votes this month. That’s far and away a new record! Thank you so much! For a moment, I thought we were actually going to crack 10,000.

One cover pulled away early; another surged late (big time), but it wasn’t enough to catch this month’s winner.

The July Book Cover of the Month is…

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Asunder by L. Steinworth! 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!

Steinworth received 784 total votes. I’d put her as the early favorite to win the Book Cover of the Year Bracket in December.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan came in second, so Sullivan gets a shot at next month’s title. Hopefully he gets the same support. Usually, 30 Finals votes will get a win.  Sullivan had 64, so he’d be the very early favorite. Also, Sullivan has been in several of these brackets. He’s come in second a few times. I think he’d like to get a win.

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

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Alden knew life in the Shadowen Thieves Guild would cost him greatly, but when their next mission means abducting Princess Mayli Drake of Ammos, the price is too high. Defying the guild, Alden sets out to return Mayli safely home in hopes of restoring peace with the kingdom of Brimley. Mayli feels as though her life has torn asunder after being taken captive. However, if she is to survive, she must come to trust the renegade thief loyal to her mother’s killer. As Alden pleads for Brimley’s innocence, Mayli begins to question what she thought she knew about her kingdom’s enemies.

(END BLURB)

I’ve added Asunder 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 JuneMayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuaryDecember’s book.


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

Steinworth actually designed this very cover herself.  There’s a video of some of it somewhere, and I’ll try to link it.

The August Book Cover of the Month is coming along, and that contest will launch Sept. 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