Interviews, Deals and Excitement!

charisma1  Earlier in the month I did several interviews for Charisma +1 The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Gamers, Geeks and the Socially Awkward without knowing quite when they would be posted. The answer is – today- all of them.  (Which is great!)

The first was a podcast over at G*M*S Magazine in the RPG Interview Room I had a great time visiting with Paco. He says, “I was indeed very curious about it and very curious to find out what was inside the book, as I was curious to find out how it’s been written to avoid being patronizing or confrontational, so an interview was on order. And find out I did and I now can’t wait to buy that book and have a proper read!”

Technically the podcast went live a few days ago, but I just only found it today. You can listen to the interview here:


pinkraygunI also had a great visit with  Sonia over at She says, “I loved it. It’s a quick and easy read, and I did find myself laughing outloud in moments, and learning new terms (I did appreciate the glossary). I also appreciated when she discussed harassment it wasn’t exclusionary to man scolding, as women are just as apt to blur (The “Soft No” section) and cross appropriate lines.” See the full interview here.


Lastly, though certainly not least – and you will be hearing more about this over the course of the next month or so – Charisma +1: The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Writers, Geeks and the Socially Awkward has been included in a great writer’s bundle over at This is a special bundle running for October to help new writers prepare for the madness that is NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month) $15 will get you 12 eBooks on writing and the business of Writing. You can’t get a better deal that that!





Review: Bloodletting Part 1 – Peter J. Wacks and Mark Ryan

Bloodletting_Cover_FinalThis is the first book in a new Epic Fantasy series, the Affinities Cycle, by Peter J. Wacks and Mark Ryan. It can be purchased through this month alongside books by Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson, Kevin J. Anderson and more. (It’s a steal at this price).

I had the opportunity to read Bloodletting Part 1 this weekend during a plane ride to and from Denver, not ideal circumstances I admit. Chapter 0, necessary for giving an overview of the world, was denser than I generally care for. The story starts at Chapter 1, in an idyllic fantasy novel setting – the small village.

Shortly thereafter the screams of small children accompanied me as I dove into the first battle scene in the book. They provided an appropriate soundtrack to feel like I had been transported as the kidnapping, death and destruction began.

After the initial shock of battle and the ensuing chase the book calms down, allowing us to get to know the main characters, Tetra and his sister Halli, as well as some of the new races that Mr. Wacks and Mr. Ryan introduce us to. We get a great look at Tetra’s motivations and determination, as well as the bond that sustains both he and his sister through their trials and tribulations. (And they are many and varied.)

This book feels like what it is – the first book in what will hopefully be a much longer series. Well written and engaging, in the vein of George R.R. Martin, but not as intimidatingly long, it’s worth picking up.

Review: A Whiskey Jack in a Murder of Crows – by Sam Knight

So, I took advantage of the Kobo deal that I posted about back on February 18th. I’ll admit it; I read a lot, so the offer of free books was too tempting. When I’m on a roll I finish three to four books a week. My usual genres are sci-fi, fantasy and historical fiction. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a western or a mystery, but I’m trying to branch out.  Sam Knight’s book rolled both into one and was a real treat.

Here is the blurb from the book:

Rainbow County California

Unrivaled sunsets, placid lakeside orchards, pleasant mountain vineyards, and a rural lifestyle.

The only thing that stopped this place from being idyllic was the noise from the cars on the highway. And murder.

Left for dead, helpless as he watched the murder of his family, Jack is a broken man.

Six months later, Jack is attempting to recover, both in body and in soul, at a vineyard he inherited from his uncle. California Wine Country seems like a good place to start over and escape the nightmares of his daughter’s dying cries.

Until the local barkeep tells Jack his uncle was murdered.

Whiskey Jack was a quick read, with excellent dialog that allowed you to get a real feel for the characters.

The scenes where Mr. Knight describes and replays the murder of Jack’s daughter and his wife were some of the most chilling in the book and had me shuddering in my seat. His reprisal of Jack’s daughter’s last words throughout the book made for an eerie look into a tortured soul.

The story itself touches on something that has been a hot topic for Westerners for as long as the US has existed; dealing with land rights and water rights (couched in mayhem and murder). Mr. Knight, through his handling of the mystery, proves that he has a good grasp of both, and illustrates well the lengths that people will go to for love of money.

With the graphic content and heavy topic matter I expected to find the book difficult. Instead I found it to be a quick and enjoyable read.

Sam Knight is a Colorado based author. You can visit him on the web at

You can purchase A Whiskey Jack in a Murder of Crows Here