No Way Home Paperback Cover and Launch Party!

We’re only a few days out from launching the science fiction anthology, No Way Home. You should see it go live on Amazon this Monday! In the meantime, here’s a look at the cover art for the paperback edition, designed by Jason Gurley. Give it a click for the full-size version to best soak it all in.

No Way Home CS IMGTo celebrate the release, we’ll be hosting a Facebook Launch Party throughout the day on Monday where we’ll be giving away signed copies of our novels and talking about the No Way Home anthology and all-things sci-fi.

And, be sure to keep an eye on the No Way Home Goodreads page for our giveaway contest. The contest should go live tomorrow and will run until March 12. Five lucky winners will get a free paperback copy! Feel free to click Want to Read in the meantime, though.

No Way Home Paperback Cover and Launch Party!

Review: Apocalypse Weird: Reversal (Polar Wyrd Book 1) by Jennifer Ellis

apocalypse weird-reversalAbout Apocalypse Weird: Reversal

Publication date: Feb. 23, 2015

Snow, Volcanoes, and the End of the World

Contrary to Sasha Wood’s expectations, the isolated International Polar Research Station on Ellesmere Island turns out to be an incredibly dangerous assignment. After researchers and sled dogs go missing in a freak storm, distress calls go mysteriously unanswered from the outside world. Cut off and stalked by strange killer polar bears, Sasha and station caretaker, Soren Anderson, must search for their missing colleagues in the frozen tundra as their instruments begin to reveal an incredible truth: The feared magnetic pole reversal has occurred and the north has become the south. Psychotic scientists and giant methane-venting craters are just the beginning of a terrible and weird new reality as the leader of a polar research station down in Antarctica walks out of an otherworldly mist from the other side of the earth. Everything is being turned upside down, literally and figuratively. The Thing meets The Core on the plains of Ellesmere Island somewhere lost inside the Apocalypse Weird.


About the Author

Jennifer lives in the mountains of BC where she can be found writing, spending too much time on skis, and working as an environmental researcher. She also has a PhD and has been known to read tarot cards.

Her Derivatives of Displacement series is science fiction fantasy for middle-graders and adults. Books one and two are available, and book three is coming in 2015. Her second novel is a romance with a dystopic edge entitled In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation. She has also contributed to several anthologies, most notably Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, which hit #16 in the Kindle Store.

You can subscribe to her blog for the latest book news and industry insights at http://www.jenniferellis.ca. She tweets at @jenniferlellis.


My Thoughts

[Note: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the author for review.]

I’m a sucker for arctic survival stories, and have a particular soft-spot for thrillers and horror stories that are set against a snowy, frigid backdrop. So, when I learned that Apocalypse Weird would be venturing to the far north with Jennifer Ellis’s Reversal, I was eager to read it, particularly once I saw The Thing get name-dropped in the description.

I’ve mentioned in my other reviews of Apocalypse Weird titles that I was enjoying how this open-sandbox world was shaping up, and this entry is no different. As with the other titles kicking off the AW launch, there are certain touchstones to help unify it to the larger universe being constructed here but with enough room to maneuver to allow Ellis to tell her own unique story set in a very unique part of the world.

We have mentions of Dr. Midnight, several mysterious URLs, demonic members of the 88, and a deeper look at the day of blindness. All of this is fairly naturally crafted into Ellis’s own narrative about the End Times, which sees a sudden and complete reversal of Earth’s polarity and a central mystery about what, exactly, is happening. And this mystery is where a good amount of fun questioning comes into play – how did a scientist from the antarctic end up in the arctic, why is the polar research station suddenly different, and what’s with all these weird craters that have mysteriously appeared?

This culminates in a heated finale that gives us, perhaps for the first time, a glimpse at the true inner-workings of the Apocalypse Weird universe and an indication of just how expansive the overarching mythology could prove to be as the story builds. As with the other entries, there is a shared expectation of what comes next and further musings over how and when these various series will intersect, but whatever culmination is on the horizon promises to be big. In the meantime, the journey, which is really only just getting started, mind you, is shaping up to be epic and well worth reader’s investment. Keep on rockin’ it, Weirdos!

Buy Reversal On Amazon
Review: Apocalypse Weird: Reversal (Polar Wyrd Book 1) by Jennifer Ellis

Review: Apocalypse Weird: Immunity (Immunity Book 1) by E.E. Giorgi

Immunity_FT_FINALAbout Immunity

Publication date: Feb. 23, 2015

Scorched by fire and the longest drought in recorded history, survivors flee the Land of Enchantment in order to escape a mutated flu virus that turns ordinary people into mass-murderers. Only a few resilient scientists have remained, gathered in one of the last national laboratories still working on a vaccine against the deadly virus.

When the disease starts spreading among the military corps guarding the premises, the laboratory turns into a bloody carnage at the hands of the infected soldiers. Determined to succeed where her mother has failed, immunologist Anu Sharma pairs up with computer geek David Ashberg to find a cure and escape the massacre. Outbreak meets World War Z in the deserts of the Apocalypse Weird.


About the Author

E.E. Giorgi grew up in Tuscany, in a house on a hill that she shared with two dogs, two cats, 5 chickens, and the occasional batches of stick insects, newts and toads her dad would bring home from the lab. Today, E.E. Giorgi is a scientist and an award winning author and photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she’s somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories. Her debut novel CHIMERAS, a medical mystery, is a 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award winner.

NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/SPCvT
BLOG: http://chimerasthebooks.blogspot.com/
PORTFOLIO: http://elenaedi.smugmug.com/
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EEGiorgi/posts


My Thoughts

[Note: I received an advanced reader’s copy from the author for review.]

Author E.E. Giorgi delves into the Apocalypse Weird world with Immunity. Set in New Mexico, the story focuses on two scientists, Anu and David, who are working to find a cure to the H7N7 flu virus that has devastated Los Angeles (see Nick Cole’s The Red King for the scoop on that) and kicked off a zombie plague.

The writing is crisp and straight-forward, and Giorgi kept me hooked all the way through. After reading Cole and Bunker’s efforts, it was a bit refreshing to discover how tonally different Immunity was, despite being part of a shared universe. The first half of the book is a quieter effort than the other Apocalypse Weird books I’ve read, but certainly no less engaging. Giorgi is focused on the characters first and foremost, along with the science behind the bio-engineered autoimmune flu, and it makes for nifty reading, giving a bit more depth to the interrelated works without making the shared events feel repetitive.

Giorgi draws in several of what are quickly shaping up to be Apocalypse Weird staples: there’s the radio rantings of Dr. Midnight, and although the central villain, General Wick (perhaps short for Wicked?) Naga is not explicitly defined as one of the 88, the text makes it apparent that he is,  and he brings his Black Hand subordinates in tow.

The inciting incident here is the day of darkness, when the whole world went blind for a day, as mentioned in Texocalypse Now, and it drives the back half of the book into all-out action as the plot’s various elements are drawn together in a fiery, adrenaline-fueled climax.

There’s a dash of science, a good bit of conspiracy, and plenty of apocalyptic dread casting a large shadow over the work. Giorgi brings a subtle bit of welcome flavoring to the Apocalypse Weird smorgasbord by taking a techno-thriller approach to the End Times, while fleshing out the AW world in sensible fashion. Immunity is a solid addition to the apocalyptic tapestry taking shape so far.

Buy Immunity At Amazon
Review: Apocalypse Weird: Immunity (Immunity Book 1) by E.E. Giorgi

No Way Home – Releasing Soon!

No Way Home Kindle

I have to admit, this has been sort of an emotional morning. I, along with the other contributors to the No Way Home anthology, just sent out ARCs to our reviewers.

There’s been a huge measure of involvement in this project, each of us devoting a heck of a lot of time, effort, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into creating this collection. Pretty soon, we’ll be sending it out into the wild for readers to enjoy and opine on.

Whenever I release something, there’s a good bit of nerves to go along with it, and this is no different. Maybe there’s a little bit of safety, though, a little less weight carried, thanks to the number of other talented authors involved here. If my contribution with Revolver falls flat, well, at least there’s a solid batch of titles to prop mine up! And, honestly, there’s some real doozies in here. I’m ridiculously proud to be included in this anthology with so many other talented authors; it’s just awesome.

We started formulating this book back in July 2014, and the ball really got rolling as we moved into the fall, building up a good head of steam. The last few months have moved at a frenetic pace, but our curator, Lucas Bale, and editor, Alex Roddie, have really kept this ship on course, and kudos to them. This was a seriously labor-intensive project for them especially, and they’ve done an incredible job keeping us all in line!

No Way Home lands online March 2. We’ll be running a KDP Select promo during the first week of its release, with a sale price of only 99 cents. I’ll certainly update you with links as they become available, but for now you can add it to your Goodreads queue.

Keep an eye out for reviews in the coming weeks leading up to our release. And be sure to pay attention to the other authors involved: Lucas Bale, S. Elliot BrandisJ.S. CollyerS.W. FairbrotherHarry MannersNadine Matheson and Alex Roddie.

No Way Home – Releasing Soon!

Calling All Reviewers: NO WAY HOME ARCs Available Soon!

No Way Home KindleAccording to our wonderful curator, Lucas Bale, advanced reader copies will be available soon! So, here’s where I ask you for some help.

Our release date is March 2, and we’re hoping to launch with a solid number of honest reviews. If you are willing and able to provide a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and your own blog (if applicable), please contact me by submitting a request. The ARCs will be available in .mobi files for Kindle, but epub files may be a possibility.

Copies will be going out early next week, so get those requests in ASAP!

Here’s some details on the release:


An anthology containing stories by some of the most exciting new speculative fiction authors working today: Lucas Bale, S. Elliot BrandisJ.S. CollyerS.W. FairbrotherMichael Patrick HicksHarry MannersNadine Matheson and Alex Roddie.

Stories From Which There is No Escape.

Nothing terrifies us more than being stranded. Helpless, forsaken, cut-off. Locked in a place from which there is no escape, no way to get home.

A soldier trapped in an endless war, dies over and over, only to be awakened each time to fight again – one of the last remaining few seeking to save mankind from extinction.

In rural 70’s England, an RAF radio engineer returns to an abandoned military installation, but begins to suffer hallucinations, shifts in time and memories that are not his own.

A widower, one of ten thousand civilian space explorers, is sent alone to determine his assigned planet’s suitability for human colonisation, but stumbles across a woman who is part of the same program and shouldn’t be there at all.

A depressed woman in a poverty-stricken near-future America, where political apathy has allowed special interests to gain control of the country, takes part in a particularly unpleasant crowd-funding platform, established by the nation’s moneyed elite to engage the masses.

An assassin from the future, sent back in time to murder a woman, is left stranded when he fails in his mission and knows he will soon cease to exist.

These sometimes dark, sometimes heart-warming, but always insightful stories and more are to be found in No Way Home, where eight of the most exciting new voices in speculative fiction explore the mental, physical and even meta-physical boundaries that imprison us when we are lost.

Calling All Reviewers: NO WAY HOME ARCs Available Soon!

Apocalypse Weird!

4-of-5-covers

Over the next few days, I’ll be diving into a few books tied into the Apocalypse Weird universe.

The Apocalypse Weird banner is the brainchild of indie author Michael Bunker (Pennsylvania, The Wick), hybrid author Nick Cole (Soda Pop Soldier, The Wastelands), and a few others to tell tales of weird science, apocalyptic destruction, dystopian visions, and hordes of zombies and cannibals, the occasional Kaiju, and various good, old-fashioned mayhem.

For a primer on this stuff, check out Bunker’s blog post, “What is this Apocalypse Weird that everyone is talking about?

Also check out “Apocalypse Weird – A Revolution in Publishing” over at Stefan Bolz’s blog.

I’m pretty excited to see what these authors have in store for us readers and how the AW universe unfolds. This could be a really thrilling step forward in the indie digital publishing scene, and a great way for authors to reach a new audience (and vice versa). And, if you’re a writer, word has it the AW crowd is looking for new contributors.

The first wave of five books (you can see the cover art for four of them up above) is due out Feb. 23. The Red King by Nick Cole, which kicked-off the AW line, landed back in November (I reviewed it here), and at the time of this writing I’m about 25% into Texocalypse Now, a collaborative effort between Cole and Bunker. I’ll have a full review of it up in a few days, and it’s available for pre-order at Amazon. Keep an eye out for Immunity from E.E. Giorgi, and possibly a few others in near-future.

Apocalypse Weird!

Review: Gemini Cell by Myke Cole

gemini cell

About Gemini Cell

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

Myke Cole continues to blow the military fantasy genre wide open with an all-new epic adventure in his highly acclaimed Shadow Ops universe—set in the early days of the Great Reawakening, when magic first returns to the world and order begins to unravel…

US Navy SEAL Jim Schweitzer is a consummate professional, a fierce warrior, and a hard man to kill. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds himself—and his family—in the crosshairs. Nothing means more to Jim than protecting his loved ones, but when the enemy brings the battle to his front door, he is overwhelmed and taken down.

That should be the end of the story. But Jim is raised from the dead by a sorcerer and recruited by a top secret unit dabbling in the occult, known only as the Gemini Cell. With powers he doesn’t understand, Jim is called back to duty—as the ultimate warrior. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realizes his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son…


About the Author

As a secu­rity con­tractor, gov­ern­ment civilian and mil­i­tary officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Coun­tert­er­rorism to Cyber War­fare to Fed­eral Law Enforce­ment. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deep­water Horizon oil spill.

All that con­flict can wear a guy out. Thank good­ness for fan­tasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dun­geons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing.


My Thoughts

[Note: I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher via NetGalley for review.]

Myke Cole is an author that’s been on my watch-list for a few years now. He first caught my attention with his debut, Shadow Ops: Control Point, which immediately garnered the quick pitch of X-Men Meets Black Hawk Down. Color me intrigued. But, for whatever reason, I never got around to reading the damn thing and it has sat in my TBR pile for going on three years. In that time, Cole has completed the Shadow Ops trilogy and is now working on expanding the world he created there.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned about Gemini Cell, the start of a prequel series to the Shadow Ops stuff. I had a perfectly good entry point now, without further adding to the backlog of a series already in progress, that was custom-built for a Cole newbie like myself. And let me tell you, this book is a terrific way to get in on the ground floor of Cole’s expanding story. There’s no learning curve required, and no knowledge needed of his previous works. It is the perfect entry point.

By the time I hit the 30% mark on this book, I was kicking myself for not having experienced any of Cole’s earlier work, because it was just that damn good. And the X-Men comparison? It may be less applicable to this particular story, but I will say fans of other comic book properties like Venom (particularly Rick Rememder’s recent run) or Spawn, with maybe a smidge of Robocop tossed in for good flavor, will be in for treat.

As a military vet, Cole is able to imbue a hearty dose of realism to the ops conducted by the book’s Navy SEALs and the going-ons of the Gemini Cell. But what he really nails are the little things, those deft touches that help this book shine, such as Schweitzer learning how to talk post-mortem. His body is dead, he has no pulse, no need for air, and no way to make his vocal chords vibrate to produce sound, unless he puts an incredible amount of will into it. It’s a terrific and thoughtful aspect that helps enrich the supernatural proceedings.

I also appreciated the stark contrasts between Schweitzer and the jinn he shares his corpse with – these two are polar opposites in everything from ego to combat styles. Cole plays this part of the story straight-up and avoids any worryingly hokey, mismatched buddy-cop hijinks, which would be an enormous disservice to the material. Rather, it’s dark and edgy and appropriately grim. It’s serious, dangerous business and readers who underestimate how well it works could be in for a vicious reprimand.

Gemini Cell was a terrific and brisk read, a real fun page turner. Think Vince Flynn plus a whole lot of magic mixed in and baked in hellfire, and you’ve got the gist of how awesome Myke Cole’s new series is shaping up to be. This book just has so many genre elements that I love, and Cole lovingly blends them together, that it makes for an easy recommendation. I haven’t read any of this author’s past works, but I aim to catch up fast. He’s just earned a new loyal reader in me.

Buy Gemini Cell At Amazon
Review: Gemini Cell by Myke Cole