Friday, August 31, 2012

The Game Called Revolution has received its first review


I say! What a ride! A very different steampunk novel, there are plenty of heroic characters and villains that I felt involved with and I particularly liked the way the author used Enlightenment-era inventions.
A thoroughly ripping yarn with a different take on Steampunk. To be honest I feel that there may be a few too many fog-bound London adventures, so it's exciting to get out into Paris and revolution-torn Europe.
Well worth a read.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Game Called Revolution 2nd Edition

I took the feedback I received from the free download of The Game Called Revolution and have published the 2nd edition. The story itself has not changed; mostly I just corrected the problems with the French language that were present in the first edition. In addition, the Kindle and paperback versions have been merged into one Amazon page (, and I have lowered the price of the paperback version a little bit to $11.25.

You can still download the 1st edition for free until 09/13.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Expendables 2 is Epic

Just saw The Expendables 2 this past Saturday. I enjoyed the first one, but part two blows it out of the water, something I don't get to say about a sequel very often. Stallone once again leads a star-studded cast of badasses, and thankfully Bruce Willis and Arnold have bigger roles this time around. Conversely, a few characters are minimized (don't get too attached to Jet Li) or left out entirely (I didn't see any of Micky Rourke in this one, which is a bit tragic since he was the best actor in The Expendables).

This one is also a lot funnier than the first, with the actors throwing constant jabs at each others' hit movies. Arnold, to no one's surprise, has the best lines, like "My shoe is bigger than this car!" and "I'm back!" No doubt about it: this movie caters to fans of these action stars who remember their heroes' best moments and want to relive them.

In addition to the returning cast, several new faces are along for the ride. Chris Hemsworth's brother Liam joins the team, but as with Jet Li, don't get too attached to him either. Also, for the first time in the series a woman joins the team. Maggie Chan (played by Nan Yu) is able to hold her own among the testosterone-fueled cast. Chuck Norris has a few scenes that play off his legendary mystique, and Jean-Claude Van Damme does a very good job as the villain (you really want to see him die a painful death at the end). Speaking of Van Damme--I was a huge fan of his back in the 90's (even started a Van Damme fan club), and I'm glad to see he can still kick the crap out of someone if given the chance. He and Stallone have a slug--and kick--fest in the movie's climax.

Go see this movie. Then go to Stallone's house and bow to him and say "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kindle Spotlight -- Flash Gold

I recently finished reading Lindsay Buroker's novella, Flash Gold, and I'd like to share my thoughts on the book if I may.

Flash Gold is the story of Kali McAlister, an 18-year-old girl living in the Yukon. She's an inventor of sorts, making advanced mechanical devices that utilize a mysterious power source called flash gold. Her inventions are so revolutionary that people have started calling her a witch. As you can probably imagine, this causes her to lead the life of an isolated outcast.

One day a rugged stranger calling himself Cedar arrives in time to save Kali from thugs trying to learn the secret of flash gold. Cedar claims he has come to protect her for the duration of a sled race she is about to compete in with her newest achievement, a steam-powered sled. Despite her reservations at the idea of accepting the help of a mysterious stranger, Kali agrees to let him protect her in exchange for a cut of the prize money from the race (should they win). Together they set out to win the race and thwart the various evildoers who want to either kidnap Kali or sabotage her advanced sled.

At around 80 pages, the story didn't take me long to finish. It's by no means poorly written; Buroker certainly knows how to tell an engaging story with likeable characters. However, I can't help but think there is wasted potential here. The story's main hook--at least, to me--was the sled race. Would Kali and Cedar be able to win it while fighting off the bad guys? Suffice to say, the race itself ends up being irrelevant and seems like mostly an interesting backdrop in which the heroes could battle the villains. If Buroker had placed more focus on the race itself, she could have ended up giving us a more satisfying rollercoaster of a story (although one particular battle on a frozen lake is pretty cool).

As it stands, I liked Flash Gold but I think it could have been much better. This particular novella is obviously just the setup to more adventures with Kali and Cedar (which Buroker has already written). But at the low price of free, it's definitely worth checking out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Game Called Revolution -- Download it Free for One Month

From now until 09/13, you can download TGCR in its entirety, absolutely free, by going to [no longer available].

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kindle Spotlight - The Angel of the Revolution

Today's Kindle pick is George Griffith's steampunk epic, The Angel of the Revolution, A Tale of the Coming Terror. At around 446 pages, it's a story you can sink many hours into.

The plot concerns Richard Arnold, a young man in England at the beginning of the 20th century who devotes his life to creating the world's first fully functional airship. After years of effort, he finally succeeds, but at the expense of everything else in his life, to the point that he finds himself broke and about to be thrown out of his home. Fortunately, his invention comes to the attention of the Brotherhood--or as they are more commonly known, the Terrorists--a revolutionary group dedicated to nothing less than the complete breaking down of society in order to rebuild it according to the will of their leader, the mysterious Natas. Arnold soon agrees to join the Terrorists and build airships for them in order to achieve their common dream of peace on earth through military intervention. You see, they are determined to bring overwhelming force to bear against the nations of the world to make them play nice (this should be familiar to anyone who has seen the anime Gundam 00).

The Terrorists are aptly named, as they use the brutal power of Arnold's weaponry to make a very blunt point about the nature of war. Even though their main nemesis is the ruthless Tsar of Russia, who is waging a vicious war for control of Europe and Great Britain and to whom they show very little mercy, I often found myself wondering just who was the lesser evil. As the Terrorists rain horrendous death and destruction upon their despotic enemies, you start to question who you want to see win the war.

Speaking of war, the strange thing about this story is just how little actual conflict Arnold and his friends face. Once he builds the airship fleet for the Terrorists, there is rarely any doubt as to their chances of victory. They frequently storm the battlefield with such overwhelming firepower that you know they're going to win every time. The only real conflict for Arnold is his desire to win the hand of the fair Natasha (Natas' daughter), whose hand seems unatainable at first but the problem actually resolves itself without too much trouble.

Nevertheless, George Griffith has painstakingly crafted a believable story of war. In fact, he spends a great deal of time detailing the movements and military strengths of the various sides of the war. Despite the lack of challenge the protagonist faces in his journey from penniless genius to undisputed master of the skies, the book becomes harder and harder to put down as it goes along. You want to find out the secret of Natas and his strange power, and how the Terrorists came to be, and so you keep reading. Also, there are numerous detailed pictures that help bring Griffith's world into sharper focus.

All in all, I recommend all steampunk fans read The Angel of the Revolution. I just hope the second book in the series has more conflict.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I am now a member of NAIWE

That's the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. If you are interested in joining, click the ad to the right of this post.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Depression and Asperger's Video

This is a video I made to bring awareness to the plight of people living with mental illness. In addition to writing, this is also something I am passionate about. Use the Full Screen option for best viewing.