Book Review: Living the Good Death by Scott Baron

Book Review: Living the Good Death by Scott Baron

This book was my 2018 November Book Cover of the Month.

Living the Good DeathSpoiler Free Summary:  Living the Good Death by Scott Baron is about a young woman who truly believe she’s death. While the mental institution profiting off her “illness” wants to keep her around, she’s trying to get back to the spiritual world so she can get back to work. Then she meets a man. As her relationships in this world grow more powerful, she’s forced to decide if she really is crazy or not. Will she let go of her delusions to accept the life that’s opening up before her, or will she reject this world for a chance to return to the next.

Character:  The main character was solid. She’s proactive. She’s sympathetic. She’s a clever character with the right amount of vulnerability and sass. But I had some issues with the male love interest. He’s a single father, and he takes up this toxic relationship with a woman who may (and certainly appears to be) suicidal and unhinged. He’s doing this just when he’s about to get his daughter back after his own break. Personally, I could never reconcile that character issue. It didn’t make the book horrible by any means, but I kept getting frustrated with his arc because I couldn’t believe a man in his position would seek a relationship. Especially with a woman whom he had to work so hard just to date.

Exposition: This was great. Most of the plot unfolded naturally, and I really enjoyed the use of the scene (more on that) and the nature of the characters. It let what’s already a shorter book go by that much faster.

Scott BaronDialogue: This is where the sass of the main character really paid off. The dialogue was crisp and witty, just like I like it. The entertaining dialogue and comedy of the story sometimes clashed with the serious arc of the male love interest (see above).

Description:  I was happy with the description here. It wasn’t as visceral as it could have been, but for a story of this sort, I thought it was appropriate. The most visual description is in the character, which is what I tend to want.

Overall:  Even though some of the character decisions weren’t something I could swallow, this story has a lot of charm and humor. It’s a fast read with some pretty solid chuckle moments. If you want a quick read and you have a darker sense of humor, this might be right up your ally.

Thanks for reading

Matt

The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

The 2017 M.L.S. Weech Book Cover of the Year Bracket Starts Now!

BCOTYHello all and Happy New Year!

I’ve been building to this for quite some time, and I’m so excited to kick things off. This is it! Twelve Book Covers of the Month join four Wild Card Book Covers to comprise a sixteen-book tournament to determine which one will rule them all!

If you like, you can take a look at each book cover’s winning announcement: December, January, February, March, April, MayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberand The Wild Cards.

The Weech346 book covers. 43,724 votes. All leading to this tournament! The covers were ranked 1-16 by the number of total votes each received. That means the cover that received the most votes (Loveless) is going up against the Wild Card that received the fewest votes. (The Girl Who Could See), and so on and so forth.

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.

It’s been fun, but, as I mentioned when I announced the Wild Card Winners, I’d like to end this tournament on a high note. I’m trying to get 10,000 total votes. Please, tell everyone. Get people to vote. I want this trophy to mean something, and it’ll frankly mean more as more people vote.

Also, if you’re wondering where the 2018 December’s Book Cover of the Month bracket is, worry not. That bracket will kick off RIGHT after the BCOTY ends. So this month will be pretty full and by the time we get to Feb. 1, people might be pretty tired of it. I’m not sure what else to do about it, so I’m open to ideas, but this is what I got right now.

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…

 

 

51QxQhmi8TL

 

 

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

The November Book Cover of the Month is Halfway Done!

The November Book Cover of the Month is Halfway Done!

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, this month started out solid, but it’s slowed way down. Any help getting word out and getting people to vote would be appreciated.

1,796 votes so far.

51nY6pcjfDLPrey till the End, by S.L. Eaves took the lead on Day 2, and has been pulling away ever since, but the most it would take anyone to take the throne is 15 voters putting them all the way through to the championship round.

Most Voted on so far: Prey till the End has the most total votes so far with 128.

Least Voted for: Empire of Dirt by Philip C. Quaintrell. This cover has 30 votes. I’d like to see it get a bit more support.

Eaves is slowly pulling away at the moment. He’s got some stiff competition from Living the Good Death in the Sweet 16. Eaves has a five-vote lead in that round, but if Scott Barron is going to catch Eaves, it only takes six people to do it. Eaves is also fighting a tough battle in the Final Four where Half-Asleep Guardians by Aurel Larue is only four votes behind, which means five people could change all that.

51x3Sop7TYLMother of Chaos by John Patrick Kennedy is in second for the moment, but Kennedy is barely hanging on in every round of the bracket. He’s winning nail biters with no more than a four-vote lead in any one round.

This will be the only update for this type of bracket. I hope readers continue 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 November Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

The November Book Cover of the Month Starts Now!

NOTE: We’re going to have two brackets. This month’s winner is automatically in the Book Cover of the Year bracket. However, the runner up will be placed in a Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Round bracket, which will launch the week before Christmas. Stay tuned for that.

November’s bracket has 30 new books. Chosen by R.S. Broadhead and The Fallen Queen by Janie Marie (last month’s 2nd and 3rd place covers) also get another shot at the title.

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.

The Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Bracket will kick off just as soon as the November Book Cover of the Month tournament ends. If you want to leave a comment for a cover you liked that didn’t get in, feel free. I’ll consider the options, though I think the ones I’m looking at now all have a justifiable right to be consider wild card entrants.

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