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Holiday Half-Off Sale

In honor of the holiday season, I’m offering a deal on The Journals of Bob Drifter.  Buy one book (hardcover or softcover) and your order is half off for any remaining books you buy!  Just head over to my bookstore HERE and grab up a few copies as gifts for those readers in your life!  I’ll be more than happy to autograph them all with any personalizations you wish.

The sale isn’t limited to what version you buy.  You can buy a softcover version, and still get 50% off the total price regardless of how many hard or soft covers you order.

This is my first holiday season as an author, and I hope a buy-one-get-one-free sale like this is enough of a way to thank you for supporting my dream.

The sale runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15.  When you go to your shopping cart, enter the code “Holiday” to receive your discount.  The sale will run as long as supplies last.

I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season.

M.L.S Weech

Book Review: Magic Price, Book One of The Crown of Stones by C.L. Schneider

I bought this book because I saw its amazing cover while trolling on Twitter.  I’m very glad I purchased it.  What makes this book stand out is its blending of original ideas.  I’ve read books where magic is addictive.  I’ve read books where magic has a price.  Here, C.L. Schneider blends the two to create an interesting source of conflict that also helps make her main character more compelling.  There are other forms of blending that I like in this.  The originality of this book is in the juxtaposition of ideas to create something new.  As an author, that in itself was impressive.  The fact that some of these themes I recognize (whether by intent of happenstance I do not know) are from other stories that I love only amplify my appreciation for this book.

Most books that get four-star reviews from me (on Goodreads or Amazon) tend to have compelling, proactive characters, Troy has both.  His supporting cast is equally compelling.  It’s not common for me to like books with a scope like this told from the first-person narrative.  This is because I tend to want to get in the head of multiple characters when they interest me.  Even the antagonist has a point of view I would like to investigate in the future.  Still, the use of first-person narrative was skillful enough that I could look past my desire to know what other characters were thinking.

I’ve mentioned a few times how I have what I call “drop what you’re reading” authors.  Honestly, Sanderson and Wells top the list in print form.  Butcher and Brett top that list in audio form.  I mention this because I also have authors who I love being able to go back to.  Let’s call them “What can I count on if I want a good book” authors.  Schneider has placed herself in this category for me.  It’s important to have a solid stable of writers to turn to, writers that you know will provide books with solid, interesting plots; compelling characters; and just solid writing.  I’ll probably wait for a few books in the series to come out (or for it to finish).  This isn’t because the books aren’t good.  It’s actually the opposite.  One of the best things that happened to me as a reader was getting handed Book One of the Wheel of Time.  One of the worst things to happen was receiving Book One before Book 12 was finished (much less 13 and 14).  As a result, I tend to be very picky about what series I start and when.  So don’t take my waiting as an indication of quality.  Instead, see it as the truth that I can only handle anxiously waiting for so many different books at a time.

Anyone looking for an original magic system, intelligent blending of ideas into something original, compelling characters and seat-of-your pants action should give this book a chance.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

M.L.S. Weech

I’m participating in an online book tour!

I’ve joined forces with Enchanted Book Promotions to generate a tour for The Journals of Bob Drifter.  They’ll be a few interviews, some reviews, book excerpts, and even a few giveaways.  I’ll be using social media to pass along individual events, but you can get a link to the whole schedule here.

M.L.S. Weech

Red City Review Finalist

I’m a finalist for the 2015 Red City Review Book Awards!

I mentioned earlier this year that I submitted The Journals of Bob Drifter under the Science Fiction Fantasy category of the Red City Review book awards.  I just found out I’m a finalist.  Each category has five, and Red City Review selected another five honorable mentions in addition to the other four finalists.  See the announcement here.

I want to start by offering my most heartfelt congratulations to:  Craig Giles, author of “The Darkness of Strangers;” Andrea Perno, author of “Remotely Unplugged;” Richard Perkins, author of “Bones of the Emperor;” and J.W. Lolite, author of “Circumstellar.”  They are the other finalists for the category.  This is my first book, and this was the first contest I’ve submitted my book for.  I express how excited I am, and I hope you are as well.  Congratulations for writing what Red City Review feels are the top five science fiction/fantasy books of the year.

The grand-prize winner and five, first-prize winners are scheduled to be announced Dec. 1.

I’m just so honored to receive this news.  I submitted the book hoping for a kind review, and got one of the most kind reviews I’ve read so far.  Now this.  I’m stunned and motivated to keep working on this silly little dream of mine.

M.L.S. Weech

The Journals of Bob Drifter is now available through Audible.

Click here to pick up a copy!

I’ve been talking about this through social media for some time now, but now that the project is complete, I felt it appropriate to talk about it a little more in depth.  The first is that this is a major dream-come-true for me.  I love audio books.  They bring the characters to life for me.  They help me finish more great stories because while I’m reading something on my e-reader, I can follow another story while driving around (something I do a lot of between my normal job and marketing my books).

I’ve learned a lot about the process of making an audio book.  The first was finding narrators.  I’m spoiled on Wheel of Time and The Stormlight Archive, listening to male and female narrators.  So I was able to find Angel Clark, who helped me find Gary Furlong.  The worked with me to create the audio version of the book, and I’m very pleased with the result.

One thing they helped me do was to locate and correct some issues that made it into the book.  I assure you, I didn’t change any content.  I only corrected errors, the biggest being a few typos with dates and another issue that didn’t actually work with the time line.  I felt it important to make this product the best it could be, and correcting those typos helped me to accomplish that.  These corrections took a bit of effort on Angel and Gary’s part, and they were very open to helping me to do that.

I’m still learning as I market my book and develop alternative formats.  I think one thing I’d like other hopeful authors out there to know is that you should never stop learning.  We work to create the best stories we can.  Whatever we do, we should strive to look at what we’ve done and grow.  It doesn’t take away from the wonderful feeling of accomplishing something I’ve wanted to do since I was eight.  It just motivates me to to use what I learn to make the next project better.

With that, here are a few notes on what I’m working on:

I’m done touring for Bob Drifter.  It was a fun, amazing experience.  I was thrilled to meet so many people and talk to them about my book.  Even more thrilling was running into people I’d sold the book to at later events and hearing them say how much they enjoyed the book.  I’m simultaneously humbled, honored, and amazed every time that happens.

The end of the tour means I can put the bulk of my energy into revisions for Caught.  The book is going nicely and I feel solid I’ll have it out somewhere in March, but I’ll take more time with the revision process than I did with Bob.  Everything moved so quickly with Bob, I felt like I had to keep pace.  Rushing led to some decisions I’d like to have back, and I won’t make that mistake with this book.  I have six chapters left to revise.  After that, I’ll start marketing.  I’ll self-publish if I don’t get picked up by Dec. 1.  That will keep the timeline the way it should be.

I’ll try something new for the audio version of that book.  I’ve already identified the narrator for that book, and, as this Narrator is a friend of mine, I’ll have a bit more editorial and managerial voice.  Working in the field of media, I have the luxury of knowing quite a few audio production professionals.  Working with Angel and Gary was great, but as a self-published author who is still working on building his brand, any opportunity to save without reducing quality must be investigated.

The Perception of War is still moving along, if slowly.  I realized that this is already the best written book I have.  I don’t really compare quality of stories very much.  In this case, I only mean that the process feels right to me.  The prose and structure seem stronger.  The book is at 26,000 words so far.  It’s going to be MUCH larger than I’d originally thought.  The world, characters and scope took off on me, but in a good way.  I feel like I’m making a lot of the right decisions with this project.  This means I lose time to look at other projects in need of revision.  I also lose time to research future books, but I tend to do best when I have one major project, and one alternative project to step away to when I need a break or feel stuck.

I’ve given it some thought, and I’ll try to fit in a lot of reviews when/if I have time.  For now, I’ll rate them on Amazon and Goodreads.  I’ve been on a great streak of reading lately, but when the tour wrapped up and the audio book started to draw my attention away, I realized I’d read six books and two audiobooks before I’d realized. (I blame Dan Wells, his books are fast paced and entertaining.  I didn’t want to stop reading his work in the time it took me to rave about it.)

It’s good to be back at a more realistic pace.  I sincerely hope you’ll check out the audiobook.

M.L.S. Weech

A Student Video Project

A student at the Defense Information School in Maryland, MC2 Kristin M. Schuster, did a few multimedia projects on me.  Check them out here and here.

I’m very pleased with how the project came out.  She’s a great storyteller and I’m very pleased with the project.  I’m grateful to her for her work and glad to share it with everyone.

Audiobook Review: “Taming the Goblin: Book Two of the McGunnegal Chronicles” by Ben Anderson

As soon as I finished Strange Land, I downloaded its sequel.  Taming the Goblin expands on the world Anderson introduced us too.  It impressively builds on what is actually an enormous cast.  I’ll admit the shift of the other McGunnegals and their exploits pulled me away from what I liked most about the trilogy, but it was obviously a necessary process to set everything up for the conclusion of the story (which I’m almost done listening too.  I’m pretty behind with reviews).

Colleen is still the star of the show, but a helpful Goblin worms (forgive the pun) his way into the reader’s heart as the story progresses.  This book on it’s own probably wouldn’t hold up (the reader would be a bit lost without the first book).  It’s also not quite as strong as the first book.  Those opinions don’t mean the book isn’t entertaining.  Remember, I’m still already 90 percent through the third book in the series.  What Anderson does is give the reader more characters to meet and learn to care for.  He also develops the scope of the world, setting up what will likely be a new set of adventures.

The ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, but I admit I would be frustrated if I couldn’t jump straight to the next book.  The story is solid.   The plot progresses nicely, and it sets the table for what should be a solid ending.

This book takes the Irish folklore of the last and trades off a bit of the charm for a little more drama, making it a tad more mature without straying too far from the younger audience I think it’s intended to please.

It’s a solid sequel that preps the reader for the end of a quaint, charming fantasy tale.

Shore Leave 37!


I had the true privilege to be a part of Shore Leave 37 last week.  It was a nice break from working on revisions to Caught and working on the discovery draft of Images of Truth.  Shore Leave is a a fan-run science fiction convention that had an absolutely awesome guest list.

I met a ton of wonderful fans of science fiction, and I had a chance to talk to a lot of those fans about The Journals of Bob Drifter.  Conventions have thus far proven to be the best way to market my book and reach new readers.  I’m constantly amazed at how many people are willing to give new, independent authors a chance.

This event was one of the most successful I’ve had, and I’m so grateful to the people who purchased copies of my book.

I took some time to recover.  As great as it is to meet people, sign autographs, and talk about my book, it takes a lot out of me.  I’m 73 percent through the second draft of Caught and four percent through the discovery draft of Images of Truth, the first book in a science fiction/fantasy serial series I plan to play with through the years.  As of today, I’m back at it, happily producing about 1,000 words a day.  I’m happy with the way those two projects are going.  I’m even taking a quick look at a few other projects I plan on releasing in 2017, the biggest of those being The 1,200.

My next big convention is the Baltimore Comic Convention in September.  I’m looking forward to it.

Keep visiting this page for an upcoming audiobook review.

Audiobook Review: “Redshirts” by John Scalzi

How it took me this long to listen to this book is a mystery.  It’s sheer genius!  First, it’s such a wonderful parody of a common science fiction series theme.  It’s Galaxy Quest meets Stranger Than Fiction, only it’s funnier than both combined, and I LOVED both of those movies.  So take a clever idea written by a hilarious author and add narration by none other than Wil Wheaton, and you have the recipe for a well-deserved Hugo winner.

I think the last two hours slow it down a bit.  Had I not waited a few minutes before writing this review, I would have let that bring my opinion of it down a smidge, but what the last few hours did was close all the gaps, which is honestly something I get mad about other authors not doing.   I’m pretty biased when it comes to the inspirational material, but that bias also makes me incredibly critical of those who screw it up.  Here, Scalzi blends a perfect mix of comedy, drama, ridiculousness (oh so much ridiculousness), and heartwarming characters without being disrespectful of the source material.  I understand a series adaptation is in the works, and I can’t wait to see it on TV.  Heck, for the irony alone I’ll watch it.

Redshirts is an unashamed comedic salute to science fiction television and the characters we love to watch die in the most idiotic ways.

Audiobook Review: “Into a Strange Land” by Ben Anderson

Strange Land is a charming fantasy story that goes into interesting places with creatures that haven’t had the limelight in quite some time.  I enjoyed it.  True, a younger cast indicates a younger target audience, but the story had enough wit and intrigue to keep most audiences engaged.

I enjoyed Strange Land so much, I picked up the second audiobook in the series.  I actually own a few versions as I tend to like to collect multiple editions of the same book.  I’m odd that way.  Sometimes I buy an audio and e-version of a story and sort of race to see which version I get to first.  In this case, the audio version one, so I’ll stick with that format.

The characters are equally adorable and compelling.  This is the main reason I’m rushing to get the audio version of the book as I don’t want to wait to finish what I’m reading (still reading Magic Price if you’re wondering) when I had time to listen to more audiobooks.  This is one way I’m able to keep moving through books at such a fast pace.  I digress:  the most fascinating part for me was the use of leprechauns and gnomes.  Oh sure, we see goblins and dwarfs.  We hear tell of many other magical creatures, but it’s nice to read a fantasy story that doesn’t just regurgitate Tolkien elves and orcs.  I enjoyed Tolkien’s work, but seeing someone go to a different set of lore was a big plus  for me.

This is a solid story that has me wanting to see how it ends.  While Strange Land is clearly the beginning of a series, it doesn’t just drop off in a cliffhanger like some modern dystopian fiction sequences tend to do.  It leaves the reader at an acceptable pause point.  Also, the whole trilogy is available, so there’s no need to wait to see what will happen.

Though the best audience might be younger readers, I think any fan of Irish folklore will find at least something to enjoy with this book.