Calling All Beta Readers

After months and months and months and  . . .  well you get the point – MONTHS of writing, re-writing (entire manuscript held hostage within writing program  – HOLY COW freaked- me-out- melt- down), editing and rewriting some more,  my first novel – Mark of Shamash,  in the Tablets of Destiny series, is ready for me to close my eyes and hand it out to beta-readers interested in Historical/Fantasy/Myths.

Requirements: Capable of a 1 month turn around. Available in either MS Word, or Rich Text. Use of Edit Mode Comments only.  Stay within Beta Reading Guidelines (which will come with the MS). All communications will go through email (not on my blog or social media).

Give Away: Finished eBook copy of MS (if and when it goes to POD, signed copy), as well as mention in Dedication, Blog and Social Media Accounts.

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The Review: Skin Games

19486421 Skin Game; Jim Butcher, 2014

Hi, my name is Shawn Spjut and it’s been 3 days, 6 hours and 45 seconds, since I read my last Harry Dresden novel.

There. I freely admit to being completely addicted to the White Wizard-Dark Knight-best-of-intentions, but-my-choices-just-keep-getting-me-further-and-further-into-trouble, Harry Dresden. A character who welds magic like a bull in a china shop, has so many vulnerabilities its like reading Swiss Cheese, and is completely lovable – smartass mouth and all.

My only question is, if wizards really do live long lives, how in heck will Harry make it to a hundred and fifty, without some series prosthetics, and a lot of pharmaceuticals? No man, wizard, or supernatural being (outside of were’s, vampires, and shape shifters), can get beaten up, thrown down, stomped on, broken or bruised as often as he does, and still keeping moving like a young buck for long.

If my calculations are right, this guys only in his thirties, maybe early forties, and he’s already in need of some serious mojo to keep from feeling the pain.

Just sayin . . .

Now before I rave any further, I have to admit, after reading Ghost Story, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to keep going (the only book in the series I didn’t care for). But then along came book #14, ‘Cold Days‘, and my faith in the world of Harry Dresden, Wizard at large, was restored. What better conundrum, than to put a well-intentioned wizard at the beck and call of an evil Mab, and then stick around to see if good really does prevail?

As for the plot? Lets just say, Butcher continues the fight for good and evil with old friends and enemies alike – as well as bringing in a few new twists to do what he does best; fight bad guys, create chaos and mayhem, tease us with romance, then leave us begging for more.

On my readers scale of 1-5 stars, I’m giving Skin Game 3.99999 stars for being a great read, and Jim Butcher 4, for knowing where to let the curtain fall.

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The Review: Blood Rights

9571401BloodRights; Kristen Painter, 2011

Hand over heart – or maybe I should say, hand over jugular – when I first picked up Blood Rights, I wasn’t sure it was something I wanted to read. First, it’s by an unknown author (at least to me). Second, it was on a subject that has been written to death (forgive the pun). And third, I had just finished reading the latest book in Jeaniene Frost’s ‘Night Huntress’ series, and didn’t feel like reading some other authors rendition of the same genre – at least not for a week or so.

Face it, sometimes a reader can get so caught up in the characters in one series, to read about someone else in another, just feels like cheating. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but I doubt it.

With that said, I finally bit the bullet, asked Cat and Bones to forgive me, and began reading Kristen Painter’s Blood Rights (House of Comarre). It only took a couple of pages and I was hooked. Whatever emotional attachment I had going for my previous fav’s, had to make room for the new kids on the block – Chrystabelle and Malkhom.

So much for fidelity.

Fast paced. Interesting characters. Plot twisting. Unique addition to an already well established genre. In other words, because of ‘Blood Rights’ there were several days I didn’t get a whole lot of writing done on my own novel.

As for spoiler alerts, I’d say it was like reading the modern-day version of Frankenstein meets Electra meets Cruella De Vil meets the Volturi, with Casper the Ghost and Kitty Kitty thrown in for good measure. An interesting crew of characters that hate to love and love to hate, with enough vampiric mystery and suspense to compel its readers to keeping turning the pages until their done.

On my readers scale of 1-5 stars, I’m giving Blood Rights 3.5 stars for a great read, and Kristen Painter 4, for proving to readers that there is always a new way to skin an old genre.

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The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers Chp. 97Chapter 97 All in the Family

Ignoring the cramped muscles in his shoulders and back, Clifton remained hidden behind the tree, the elbow in its limbs allowing he and his weapon an unobstructed view of anyone coming down the track. Within the past few minute the jungle around him had become silent, the lack of bird song and insects a good indication that whoever had managed to get past Dell and the others, was nearby.

Relying the wolfs keen sense of smell, it didn’t take him long to locate at least one assailant directly to his right, not far from where he’d tied the mare. He hated leaving Innis alone, but having no way of knowing how many more there were, he didn’t have a choice. (more . . . )

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The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers Chp. 96Chapter 96 Flight of Wolves

The first thing Clifton did while he finalized his plans to take Innis north where he could keep her safe during the transition from human to werewolf, was to get her out of her office into one the apartments used by her personal guard during their shift rotation.  Lieutenant Dell had two guard waiting, one to stay with her, the other to stand watch outside. Once he knew she was safe, he then sent messages to Morgan and several key members of the Cabinet, informing them of her departure, as well as authorization for her son to act on her behalf interim.

As soon as Clifton realized the changes in Innis behavior were similar to those of a werewolf in the early stages of transmogrification, he’d started making arrangements to take her to a cabin north of the city. . . (more . . .)

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The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers Chp. 95Chapter 95 Choices Made in the Dark

Morgan disentangled himself from Radu’s arms and legs, her firm flesh a pale white against the dark blue sheets. Rolling out of bed, he padded out of the room, the pounding on his front door reminding him to grab a pair of jeans off the floor on his way out. Black arrows on the entryway clock pointed to just after midnight.

Peering through the door’s spy hole, he saw one of the governor’s personal guard standing on the other side,  her amber colored eyes fixed on the door in front of her, an official couriers bag tucked beneath her a blue clad arm. (more . . .)

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Reality Check For Authors #25: Great Storytelling is Like Great Cheesecake

Check no. 25 Storytelling and Cheesecake

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July 29, 2014 · 12:21 pm

The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers  Chp 94Chapter 94 Lincoln Square

Bracing for the brutality of his imminent demise, Spider instead found himself watching as those same talons that only seconds ago were aimed at ripping out his throat, now clawed at the scarred hand wrapped around his assailants own neck.  Above him the reaver’s eyes gleamed, his blue skin a spectral backdrop for the thing now dangling from his grasp.

“Thought you might need a hand.” Gloriach said,  the echo of a broken neck sounding in the tunnel seconds before he threw the creature across the passage, its body making a dull thud at it hit the wall, then slid to the floor, its snout at an odd angle. (more . . . )

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The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers  Chapter 93Chapter 93 In Darkness It Waits

Infecting the boy with only as much venom as needed to keep him unconscious for several more hours, the revenant left him cocooned inside a room far below what had once been a thriving community of shops and stores. An area it was intimately familiar with, having hunted there years ago before migrating to the other side of the Big Lake.

With his the young damphir now safely out of reach of his would-be rescuers, the creature began laying a different trail. One that would lead its enemies into a trap from which it had no intention of allowing them to escape.  (more . . .)

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The Remnant: A Dystopian Paranormal Story

Keri Westi Book Covers SarielChapter 92 Of Flesh And Blood

Theo stared at the tunnel’s entrance, willing the angel to reappear, unsure whether his demands to save Pedal in exchange for saving the dark angels life, would be met.

Until tonight, the Anakim were nothing more than myths told by old priests in hushed tones. Their reality little more than words on paper, the prophetic warnings of their appearance long forgotten. Now that he’d seen not just one, but two, he didn’t know whether to rejoice, or be afraid.

Psychic warnings tore through his mind seconds before he was thrown to his knees as the island shuddered under the explosive shift of the cavern’s collapse. (more…)


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