Sunday, July 13, 2014

'Invader: Death Beach' by Simon Scarrow & T.J. Andrews

As much as I hate giving out my eMail to be notified of stuff, I might have to reconsider since I missed the release of Simon Scarrow’s new eBook by almost a month. As I’m prone to do on a regular basis, I was trolling around looking for something new to read.  Somehow I came across this new one by Scarrow and Andrews and yelled at my computer! I HATE missing new releases from authors I enjoy, so I promptly went over to the website and signed up for his newsletter.

This is the first installment in the new ‘Invader’ series and it is damn good! But I warn you, it reads very fast so be ready for that. The setting is familiar, fighting in Britannia on the island of Vectis, but the characters are different. At just around 300 pages Simon sets the stage for us to like, loathe, root for, and hope for death these new characters.

Rome might have been glorious, but she also had her fair share of corruption. Understatement of the week right? Enter Centurion Ocella. Prideful, stupid, arrogant, and a pain-in-the-gladius. Then there is Option Figulus. A soldier’s soldier and a man who shuns the spotlight. You just know these two are going to go heads up! 

Simon gives us a short-story that is only a small morsel of a bigger meal. But damn… this morsel is prime Grade-A served on Pickard China with a dry red on Lord Howe Island with Misty Copeland as the waitress. If I seem a little over the top, so be it. One thing that Simon does well is putting you front and center of the action. His descriptions of battle are as exciting as they are bloodthirsty. There were a few parts that I read twice. Twice because I literally cringed the first time I read it.

Friendships are forged, enemies are destroyed, “important” men swindle their way in front of better men, and no rest is had for a weary brave legionary. When writing a story that will be an ongoing series, too many author make the mistake of wasting time setting up the story while the story becomes a damn blood bore! Simon doesn’t have that problem and as a reader, I’m happy as a clam. The setting up of the characters is done with the deft skill of an author who knows what the hell he’s doing.

Their last eBook series were five eBook novellas that were released about two months apart. I searched the web and I can see at least two more titles in this series but came up blank after that. Let’s hope for at least that this time.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

BrownGirls Publishing ‘Words with Friends’ Contest

Are you a ‘Words with Friends’ addict? Are you a reading addict? Well now you combine your love of the two with our new contest!

To enter, all you have to do is submit your name and ‘Words with Friends’ user name to I will get you signed up and paired up. Please make sure that you send me your correct user name. Contestants that send incorrect user names will be disqualified.  

You may even have a chance to play against a 'BrownGirls Publishing' author! They told me they wanted in on this so I said "OK, bring it!!" ReShonda is already talking noise (like she usually does) so we'll see if she can beat some of you!

The grand prize winner will have their choice of three BrownGirls Publishing titles, and you get to choose which titles you want. The contest will work on a bracket system and the more the merrier so please share with your other book loving/word game loving friends.

Our contest will start on 7/21/2014 and will end when we have a winner.


-   You will have three days to complete your game(s). If you are paired with a player who has taken longer than 24 hours to move, please let me know.

-   Prizes will be awarded as eBooks not printed books.

-   Please check back to this page for any updates.

-   If you have any questions or please eMail me –

Thank you for playing and thank you for supporting BrownGirls Publishing, good luck!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

‘Blood of Rome: Retribution' by John Salter

I read the first book (‘Blood of Rome: Caratacus’) in this series about three weeks ago. And despite a few validated issues, I knew I was going to read book two. And read it I did. And read it I enjoyed. While ‘Caratacus’ dealt with the fight for Britannia… oh wait sorry… the fight for Albion mainly through the eyes of the scouts, ‘Retribution’ deals with it through the eyes of the soldiers as well as through the eyes of Caratacus… oh wait sorry… Caradoc.

John Salter treats us with another well-told story about Rome and her (failed?) attempt to conquer Albion. Rome is determined, Caratacus is defiant, the fields are flush with guts, and blood flows free like the Nile. We’re also given backstory on Caracatus, which is almost a second story in itself. I found that to be particularly entertaining. While I will always pull for Rome, I can appreciate the story of those she fought to overpower. Rebellion in any form makes for good story!

The story of the three brothers could easily be its own story, especially in the hands of Mr. Salter. Once you read about the backstory of those three, the title ‘Retribution’ makes perfect sense.

Soldiers, legionaries, Generals, and auxiliaries. All fighting and dying for the great glory of Rome! There is surprisingly a lot of story in such a “short” (269 pages) book. There is also one surprise from book one that I didn’t see coming. One that made my blood boil and one that had me really looking and paying attention to the goings on in this story.

The grammatical errors took a major dip in this book but they were still there. Maybe by book three (yes, there will be a third book!) they will disappear all together. I only bring this up because John did. And it does matter.
John is a very welcomed voice in the growing field of Rome historical-fiction. I have absolutely have no problem recommending John’s work to anyone looking for a good Roman story.