Cover to Cover #458: Prepping and Planning A Story

Listener Questions: Tad from Mesa is one of the few who has an old edition of Mistress of Dragons and he's interested to see how the new version evolves, really enjoyed Stackpole's At the Queen's Command, and wants to know if there's an update on the Talion Revenant sequel ebook challenge.

Mike S stresses the importance of keeping notes, having a way to make notes and take down story ideas -- whether that's pen and paper or iPhone or iPad, and giving yourself permission to allow the first draft to not be perfect and just complete it.

They also talk about the plan to tear down and rebuild Mistress of the Dragon, and what to expect during the process.   [Read more...]

Review: "Roil" by Trent Jamieson

Trent Jamieson’s Roil, the first book in The Nightbound Land duology, promises... and delivers.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #457: Listener Questions

The new "Cover to Cover" will be switching to an every other week schedule, mostly to give the guys and the listeners time to do the actual work required... MRM doing the writing for Mistress of the Dragon, and the listeners doing the assignments and asking questions via voicemail.

Discussion: Alison in Denver airs her frustrations about the ever-increasing prices of ebooks, seemingly changing from week to week, and asks whether there's a guideline for consumers to effectively register their complaints about the out of scale ebook prices.   [Read more...]

Review: "Debris" by Jo Anderton

Jo Anderton’s debut novel is a compelling tale which pulls you in right from the start. Debris is told from the point of view of the protagonist Tanyana, as the story progresses she searches for the truth behind her change of circumstances and meets a number of interesting characters along the way.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #456: DIY EBooks (We're Not Dead Yet!)

Mike M and Mike S jump back in the saddle, chatting about what they did on their extended summer vacations: Stackpole went to a few conventions (Gencon, Origins), and published his first digital original book, Perfectly Invisible, while Mennenga stretched his muscles as a TV show director with the new and improved Slice of SciFi TV.

Starting in January, follow along with the guys as they delve into some "best practices" for writers who want to self-publish and digitally distribute their own works, from preparation to production to marketing and sales.   [Read more...]

Dual Review: "Twelve", "Thirteen Years Later" by Jasper Kent

Before I start reviewing “Twelve” and "Thirteen Years Later" I have to go on a rant, a rant about books with serial killers. The success of "The Silence of the Lambs" has meant a huge number of books featuring serial killers. I find the popularity of serial killer characters unnerving and annoying. Unnerving, because this hero worship of insane killers, is well unnerving.   [Read more...]

Review: "Steampunk" edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

I do enjoy a good short story anthology and Steampunk really fits the bill. It offers 14 terrific stories all in the Steampunk genre (although some of them are pretty loosely connected -- I'm looking at you Garth Nix!). And the quality of the stories are uniformly good.   [Read more...]

Review: "7th Sigma" by Steven Gould

I have to admit that I didn't buy 7th Sigma because of the excerpt called "Bugs in the Arroyo" that you can find for free on the Tor website. I bought it because of Summer's love for Steven Gould's Jumper. I've never read Jumper, but Summer's enthusiasm for Gould is contagious.   [Read more...]

Review: "Heart's Blood" by Juliet Marillier

In Heart's Blood Ms. Marillier has created believable characters, both living and dead who grow and change through the book. Far from being a knock-off, the story and style stand out nicely on their own. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to discover her work.   [Read more...]

Review: "The Goddess Test" by Aimée Carter

What I didn't expect was to be reaching for a tissue in the first twenty pages. Ms. Carter nicely sidesteps the whole unequal romance trope by placing the emotional center of the novel in the relationship between our heroine Kate and her mother Diana. Kate's frantic grief over her mother's looming death drives the plot and gives more weight to the story than a YA romance would normally command.   [Read more...]

Guest Review: "Dead Reckoning" by Charlaine Harris

I get a bit exhausted for Sookie. There are always someone or some things "out to get her." Throughout Book 11, there are constant threats from different sources, and Sookie is on high alert most of the novel. Sookie still struggles with being a good person, for her world is continually violent and evil visits her seemingly day in and day out. In Dead Reckoning, you don't see her grow much as a character, as she doesn't have time to do much of anything except try to stay alive.   [Read more...]

Review: "The Enterprise of Death" by Jesse Bullington

The Enterprise of Death really broke my normal reading rules. You see, normally if I stop reading a book that's it -- Game Over. I just don't pick books back up and continue them. I did put The Enterprise of Death down several times, because it was just too intense for me. And, at one point I stopped reading it for a couple of weeks while I went on to other books

But I kept coming back to The Enterprise of Death, because I just had to find out what happened to the characters.   [Read more...]

Review: "Coronets and Steel" by Sherwood Smith

The setup for Coronets and Steel reminds me irresistibly of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Glenraven. Tho' to be honest. I think this is a better book with more realistic characters. And that is saying a lot when the plot involves identical cousins, magic, kidnappings, royalty, mysterious middle European countries and much daring do and plot twists.   [Read more...]

Review: "Enclave" by Ann Aguirre

I was given a promotional copy of Enclave. It is the first book in a proposed series. Enclave deals with the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse in a world where those people who are trying to maintain civilization are all very young with a life expectancy of only their early twenties.   [Read more...]

Review: "Red Glove" by Holly Black

Red Glove is promoted as a YA novel, although I'd put it more at the 18 year old to adult end of the spectrum than the 13-16 year old range. If your kids are old enough to watch the "Sopranos" or "The Riches" and they like those shows, then this is the right book. Much like those shows, Red Glove contrasts the supposed glamour of a criminal lifestyle with the pain it causes our hero. A younger reader might only see the glamour and magic and miss the misery.   [Read more...]

Cover to Cover #455: M D Lachlan

Interview: This week, Mike and Mike chat with MD Lachlan about the first book in his new series from Pyr Books, Wolfsangel. What happens when you take a werewolf story and combine it with Norse mythology and legends? This series is one look at how that could have happened.

M.D. also talks about his background and experiences with gaming and his thoughts on magic and science, and the limitations of Hollywood magic.   [Read more...]