Broadside No. 6 – an author advertisement

Hear ye hear ye me mateys!  I announce an additional broadside to me Captain’s log.  What is a broadside ye ask?  Traditionally:

  1. A broadside is the side of a ship, the battery of cannon on one side of a warship; or their coordinated fire in naval warfare. From the 16th century until the early decades of the steamship, vessels had rows of guns set in each side of the hull. Firing all guns on one side of the ship became known as a “broadside“. source
  2. A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. Historically, broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. source

What does this mean for me mateys?  Well tomorrow I will publish the sixth edition of me broadside that will highlight a specific favorite author and their work.  Who ye ask?  It’s a surprise . . .

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On the Horizon – the jersey devil (Hunter Shea)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi/horror eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the jersey devil (Hunter Shea)

Title: the jersey devil

Author: Hunter Shea

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: August 30, 2016 (paperback and e-book)

ISBN: 9780786038879

Source: NetGalley

You see, the first mate has a Piney Pa in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and through him,  I had heard of the Jersey Devil. It’s just that the idea that the Pine Barrens, of all places, has its own monster was just ridiculous and silly to me.  Kinda like the Chesapeake Bay monster Chessie.  Seriously, who thinks of this?  But it is a THING.  Many Southern New Jersey folk I’ve met on excursions seem to talk about the Jersey Devil with a mixture of fondness and fun.   Most of them include “Yes, I have seen it.”  Cracks me up.  Plus I wanted to switch to some sci-fi after reading so many fantasies.  I miss the genre.  So, mutant monsters that live in that bizarre corner of the world known as the Pine Barrens.

And the first half was great.  The death and mayhem in the Pine Barrens cracked me up.  The Pineys were portrayed as loner gun-toting inbreed crazy psycho families.  Gun-toting loners, yes.  I have met a few.  The rest was just silly and made me laugh out loud.  I liked reading about places and then looking them up to see if they are real.  Cranston.  Check.  Apple Pie Hill. Check.  I love stuff like that.

The book also has a family destined to fight the Jersey Devil – the Willets.  The family is marked with hoof prints that stem from the family matriarch’s encounter with Devil 60 years prior.  She moved to New York with her husband, Sam, after the encounter.  No one knows why her children have inherited the mark.  But they will have their revenge.  This involves a tricked out van, lots of ammo, and a bad-ass attitude.  I enjoyed this family immensely.  Old Sam was just awesomely fun.  There is also a cryptozoologist friend who is silly too.

However the second half of the book failed.  There is going to be a mild spoiler so read on at yer own peril.  Once the Willets have their first real encounter with the Jersey Devil, the plot kinda falls apart. The prepared Willets family just never seems prepared enough.  There are kidnappings and side stories that just muddied the waters.  Also some exposition in the middle set-up where the final showdown was going to take place.  And how they bring down the Devil was good but predictable.

Also the reason for the mark turns out to deal with bestiality which just grossed me out.  The descriptions surrounding the Jersey Devil and rape were just a little too unnecessary for me.  Plus the “reality” behind the myth was a let down.   But it was so close to the end of the book that I chose to finish.

I wouldn’t choose to read this book again, and I wish somehow it could have ended with one major fight rather then a longer drawn out mess.  Overall a disappointment.  But I did enjoy the author’s style of writing and other Goodreads fans seem to rather love it.  Maybe it’s just me.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Kensington Books!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

THE LEGEND LIVES
Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth . . .

THE DEVIL AWAKES
Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth . . .

THE BEAST MUST DIE
It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Hunter Shea – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the jersey devil – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – a mortal song (Megan Crewe)

Ahoy there me mateys!  It’s raining eARCs here on the horizon and when it rains it pours!  This review is of eARC number four since August 11th and I thought that was a lot (it is).  Finishing this one meant all eArcs were read.  Then I got approved for 7 more in three days it took me to read this one.  Arrrrr!  This Captain’s plotting and hard work is paying off.  So I be reviewing and noting observations of eArcs in me log for many days ahead. After that I can get back to me ports to plunder list (or “to be read” to ye landlubbers).  It currently is 768 and counting.  And as always I stand amazed and positively giddy that publishers want the opinion of this salty Captain . . .

I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

a mortal song (Megan Crewe)

Title: a mortal song

Author: Megan Crewe

Publisher: Another World Press

Publication Date: September 13, 2016 (e-book)

ISBN: 9780993980688

Source: NetGalley

Yet again, the cover caught me eye (shocked?).  In the past I would have said covers didn’t make me pick up books.  But gorgeous cover art now tends to lead me to the blurb which usually determines if the book be a likely fit for me.  This cover had 1) a young girl; 2) holding a sword; 3) with Japanese flair; and 4) a hint of magic to it.  Cause of the mountain maybe?  Her hair whipping in the wind?  See . . .

mortal song

The main character Sora (great name) is living on Mt. Fuji with the kami.  On the day of her 17th birthday, she longs to begin training for her major duties on the mountain.  Only the mountain and all the kami are taken hostage by a demon and Sora learns she is a human changeling.  Can she and her companion find and train the “true hero” in time?  Can Sora adjust to her new place in the world?

While I enjoyed this novel overall, I had some quibbles.  Good things first.  The setting in Japan was lovely with Mt. Fuji as the center point for the action.  Seemed well researched overall.  I liked the author’s use of kami and ki particularly where it came to Sora.  Sora was a good character and the parts of her coming to terms with her humanness and the loss of her powers was the best part for me.  The secondary character Midori was wonderful and I wish she could have played a bigger part.  Oh, and I liked the ghosts and a certain sparrow.  The set-up  in the plot for why these characters existed made me happy.

The less happy things started in the second half of the book where the book’s premise wasn’t as strong.  Add in prophecy and love triangle.  Neither of which I enjoyed.  The prophecy seemed like an afterthought with the humanness of Sora taking focus.  The love in the book was simplistic and rather irksome.  I did like that characters made mistakes but the resolution of them was kinda anti-climatic.  As was the ending.  It just kinda stopped.

There were magical artifacts that were never really explained. Action that took place “off-page.”  Sora’s musical talent that is talked about a lot and then never plays a part of the plot.  The characters go into cities and shrines as part of the plot and not much exciting happened in any of them though the ideas around them had potential.  There was some blending of technology and magic.  I would have liked to see more.  The actual kami girl, Chiyo was kinda bland.  Maybe some chapters from her point of view of how her life changed would have been fun.

Overall I just feel the extremely interesting ideas of this novel were not developed as much as they could have been.  The book was a little repetitive.  But again, I enjoyed the book and I am glad I read it.  I would be willing to read another book by this author.

Side note:  While perusing the author’s website, I saw the e-book is currently on pre-order for $0.99 and ye get some bonus content when ye buy.  Interested?  Click here for details on the author’s website!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Another World Press!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Sora’s life was full of magic – until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Megan Crewe – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

a mortal song – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – skeen’s leap (Jo Clayton)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

skeen’s leap (Jo Clayton)

Title: skeen’s leap

Author: Jo Clayton

Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media

Publication Date: August 9, 2016 (e-book)

ISBN: 9781504038454

Source: NetGalley

Okay as usual, the cover with a bad-ass woman led me to take a closer look at the novel and read the blurb.  The cover:

skeen

The main character, Skeen, is described as a tough thief of artifacts – in space.  So, yes, I was interested.  I like to think of her as sort of an Indiana Jones and space pirate combined.  Arrrr!  She gets stranded on a planet with no money and no ship.  A rumor leads her towards a set of ruins where she hopes to get enough artifacts to raise capital to get off planet.  Instead she goes through a portal to another dimension.

The author was new to me.  Apparently the author is known for her “complex, beautifully realized societies set it exotic worlds and stories inhabited by compelling heroines.”  She unfortunately passed away in 1998 due to multiple myeloma.  This publisher is reissuing the Skeen trilogy as e-books.

I gave this one a read.  Complex societies.  Check.  Compelling heroines.  Check.

Things I loved (in no particular order)

  • Lots of strong female characters!
  • Skeen – a tough, crafty, intelligent woman who is just plain awesome.  I could certainly learn a new trick or two from this accomplished thief.
  • Shapeshifters!  Hooray!
  • Alien / Different cultures.  The description of the 8 waves of people are fun.  The book doesn’t not really get into the nitty gritty of the other cultures but the peeks into them are super fun.
  • The rag-tag bunch of people that end of being in Skeen’s traveling party.  They are all oddly endearing in their own ways.  I like them all.
  • Sea Captain Maggi.  She and I are kindred spirits.  Arrrrr!
  • Women are in charge of their own sexual lives.
  • Victorian Era sounding chapters titles like “A Day, A Night, Another Day of Dull Travel.  We’ll Skip all That and Get Right to the Next Exciting Bit.”
  • Flowery Descriptions.

Things I didn’t like (in no particular order):

  • Slow pacing.
  • Flowery descriptions.
  • Traveling.
  • Those three things tie together.  There is a lot of traveling.  Like the whole book.  Lots of descriptions of land being traveled through, food being eaten, and sleeping places.  I would say this book is a lot of showing interspersed with some actions scenes.
  • Some sex scenes where there is guilt involved even though the two parties are consenting adults.  Not sure what the point of the scenes were.  Maybe it gets explained in later books?

This book to me was more fantasy then sci-fi due to the setting and feel of the novel.  Some of the weapons were sci-fi and space-like but much more were rather primitive bow and arrow kinda things.  It didn’t really feel like sci-fi because the other dimension seemed more magical – like do ye usually see shapeshifters in space?  Of course, that could be awesome.  But that is for another story another day.  This novel is an unique little book that is somewhat hard to classify but I definitely want to read the rest of the series!  Plus the e-book is currently on Amazon for $1.99 so ye might want to give it a shot.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Open Road Integrated Media!

The publisher’s website has this to say about the novel:

This fast-paced, gritty space adventure introduces the unforgettable Skeen, a hard-edged heroine and intergalactic thief trapped in an unknown universe.

Jo Clayton, creator of the popular Diadem Saga, introduces a delightfully unforgettable new character—a tough, sexy, futuristic tomb raider Lara Croft with issues—and sets her loose in a wild and woolly galaxy of dastardly villains, alien shape-shifters, and all manner of strange sentient life-forms.

Skeen is a bandit and a rogue, a master thief wanted throughout myriad solar systems for plundering the rare antiquities of countless alien civilizations while always keeping one rocket ship–length ahead of the intergalactic law. A “rooner” with a dark past, she now finds herself penniless and abandoned on a miserable backwater planet, at the tail end of a string of very bad luck, with no option except to follow unreliable rumors to a supposed fortune in gems hidden among ancient ruins. What she finds instead is a gateway into another world—and a universe of trouble.

Now, trapped in a strange new reality with no way out, Skeen must find the key to reopening the portal, and that will entail making contact with the mysterious aliens who created the interdimensional passageway. But the enigmatic Ykx vanished eons ago, and finding representatives of a highly advanced and possibly extinct extraterrestrial race is not going to be easy for the silver-tongued lone wolf outlaw. It doesn’t help that Skeen’s entourage keeps expanding by leaps and bounds with unwanted hangers-on whose interference could end up damning her to an eternity in nowhere.

The first book in a thrilling trilogy featuring the inimitable Skeen, Skeen’s Leap cements Clayton’s well-deserved reputation as one of the premier purveyors of science fantasy, alongside Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Wry, witty, and wondrously inventive, featuring a colorful cast of delightful and deliciously weird alien types, it is a space opera romp guaranteed to transport genre aficionados to new and wondrous worlds.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jo Clayton – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

skeen’s leap – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

On the Horizon – the secret horses of briar hill (Megan Shepherd)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this middle-grade fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

the secret horses of briar hill (Megan Shepherd)

Title: the secret horses of briar hill

Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s

Publication Date: currently October 11, 2016

ISBN: 9781101939758

Source: NetGalley

This was a beautiful little gem of a book.  I originally saw a review of this book by Lola @ hitormissbooks.  It was the stunning cover of the book that made me know I had to read it:

pony

The premise of the book cemented it.  The story takes place during World World II at Briar Hill Hospital in the English countryside.  The hospital takes care of children with tuberculosis.  Our main character is a wonderful girl named Emmaline May, and she can see winged horses in the mirrors of the hospital.  Until one day she finds a winged horse in the old abandoned garden on her side of the mirror.  What happens next?

The idea of winged horses drew me in but it is Emmaline May’s story that is truly magical.  Her perspective is sensitive, compelling, bittersweet, and completely engaging.  Her friendships in this book are endearing.  But above all it was Emmaline’s determination that I reveled in.  I couldn’t help but cheer for her.

The writing is lyrical and beautiful.  The illustrations are stunning.  I would consider this book to be magical realism.  The end of the book can be interpreted in many ways.  For a while after reading, I continue to change my mind about which reality could be true.  I have also continued to think about the book many hours after finishing it and know that I will be forever grateful for Lola’s review for the introduction, NetGalley for accepting my request, and the author for creating a stunning book that captured my heart.

Please read Lola’s review here to get another perspective on a truly lovely book.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Penguin Random House!

The publisher’s website had this to say about the novel:

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own . . .

To visit the author’s website go to:

Megan Shepherd – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the secret horses of briar hill – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

There Be Dragons on the Horizon – the dragon in the garden (Erika Gardner)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this urban fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here are me honest musings . . .

the dragon in the garden (Erika Gardner)

Title: the dragon in the garden

Author: Erika Gardner

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Publication Date: February 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781310425547

Source: NetGalley

So a confession of a sort: this pirate is not that into urban fantasy.  Now to be fair there are some such novels that I have liked including magic bites which I reviewed on me blog.  But in general it doesn’t usually float me boat.  However I kept being mesmerized by this cover and title on NetGalley:

dragon garden

Every time I saw it I felt compelled to click on it again.  After multiple views, I gave in and requested it thinking, “well, if I am not approved then I have me answer.”  Then I got approved.  I couldn’t help but be giddy.  I am a sucker for all things dragon, and I had to know about why the dragon was in the garden.  A compulsion had come over me.

So I read it and while I can say that I did not love this book, I do think that it is me not the book.  And that’s okay.  The story is about a woman,  Siobhan, who has the sight and has a pivotal role in the fight between evil and mankind.  This book has it all – kick-ass heroines, a variety of angels, an Oracle, a prophecy, demons, fey, other dimensions, and above all an awesome dragon.

The dragon was the highlight for me, the world-building fun, and the snark along with silly details like slogans on t-shirts made me happy.  Siobhan was a decent main character.  I could have done without the love triangle though.  And how people were always rushing in to save her.  I mean I get that she is learning to use her powers but still.

Also there was a lot of sitting around and exposition for the first half of the book interspersed with brief “fights.”  It is the first book in the series and the plot seemed slow but I imagine that will pick up in the next book.  While I do not plan on reading the next novel, if ye like urban fantasy, ye might want to give this one a try.  Just make sure to tell me what ye think of it.

Oh and here is an interesting blog post by the author about the book in case yer interested.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Tirgearr Publishing!

The publisher’s website had this to say about the novel:

Siobhan Orsini has the Sight–no lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her. After inheriting her grandparents’ house in CA’s wine country, she meets a talking dragon–a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. Seeking the Oracle, Siobhan learns her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Can she save humanity?

To visit the author’s website go to:

Erika Gardner – Author

To buy the novel please visit:

the dragon in the garden – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Off the Charts – city of the lost (Kelley Armstrong)

Ahoy there me mateys!  For those of ye who are new to me log, a word: though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes.  Occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were.  So today I bring ye:

city of the lost (Kelley Armstrong)

Though this novel is off the charts, the author has been spotted herein before.  This is an adult thriller/mystery/crime novel that struck me fancy because it sounded cool and because I highly enjoyed both her fantasy and her young adult novels.

While this was not me favorite of her books thus far, I certainly liked it.  I always appreciate this author’s writing style.  Her books are fast paced and quick to read.  This one took me two days.  As usual, I loved her characters, setting, and getting absorbed in me reading.

The setting – an off-the-grid town in the Yukon where people come to escape their old lives.  The problem- murder, of course!  The main character- Casey a detective with an usual past who is tenacious, kick-ass, and fun and has something to hide.  She ends up in the town of Rockton to help find out who-dunnit and maybe find love in the process.

This book was full of plot twists – only some of which I guessed.  I didn’t really care about the murders.  The how and whys of the investigation seemed kind of lax.  However the author certainly tries her best to make every single person a suspect which was amusing.  The romance was good in some ways because Casey is a strong willed woman but a little too much junk thrown in to add romance suspense.  But overall I just went with the flow and tried not to think too hard about the whys and hows.  It worked because I loved Casey, kept reading, and have no regrets about how I spent my reading time.

Apparently book two  is currently scheduled for February 7, 2017.  Looking forward to it.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Don’t look for Rockton on any map of the Yukon. This tiny, off-the-grid town doesn’t exist. Neither do the people in it. They’re all on the run from their pasts, needing a place where they can disappear for a few years.

Casey Butler has come to Rockton mostly to help her friend escape a brutal ex-husband…but Casey may also be fleeing a murder she didn’t quite get away with. And as she discovers, the town is in rather desperate need of a police detective, particularly one with homicide experience.

If you would like to read more about the author visit her site and blog at:

Kelley Armstrong – Author

If you would like to buy this novel to go:

city of the lost – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List