Book Review: EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE by Liana Brooks

I HAVE A CRUSH ON DOCTOR CHARM!!

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of a superhero romance, but within the first few sentences, I was hooked!

I am sorry to say that I am not immune to Doctor Charm’s… uh… charm. In fact the entire story was completely charming! If the premise of a superhero falling for a supervillain isn’t enough to intrigue you, throw in four absolutely adorable little girls, a smattering of genetically engineered minions, and then blur the line between good guys and bad guys and you have the start of EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE.

I found myself rooting for Evan and his quest to repair his marriage and win back his superhero wife Tabitha (Zephyr Girl.)It’s not your ordinary romance by any stretch. It’s MUCH better.

If you haven’t read this one yet, you owe it to yourself to do so IMMEDIATELY!!! (As I turn up my Agree-With-Me Ray.)

SOVRAN’S PAWN: The First Week

Initial response to SOVRAN’S PAWN has been incredible! I couldn’t be happier with the reception my debut novel has gotten. Thanks to everyone who has shared, tweeted, talked up, and bought a copy! Your comments are pure gold to me. Here are just a few comments people have sent to me:

  • “I am madly in love with Blade. You had better write a sequel!”
  • “Oh, and yes, I did buy it, despite not being a big sci-fi fan. Surprisingly, I’m actually enjoying it. Who knew?”
  • “I downloaded it last night and read the first chapter this morning…love your imagination.”
  • “If you love your heroes in the mold of Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds, you’ll be left idolizing Blade Devon.” ~ 4 out of 5 stars
  • “I can’t stop reading!”
  • “A fast, fun read!”

With no pretentions at great literature, SOVRAN’S PAWN is escapist fare; space opera with a bit of romance tossed in. If readers are entertained for a few hours, I consider my mission accomplished.

The BLACK WING CHRONICLES series is about the hero’s journey from callow youth (or ingénue) to Big Damn Hero who puts it all on the line to save the Commonwealth. I’d like to thank everyone who has embarked on the journey with us. I promise, there will be more! Just check out my WORKS IN PROGRESS page or the BLACK WING CHRONICLES page. And yes, Blade has his own series, THE MERCENARY ADVENTURES OF BLADE DEVON, with the first installment, ARCANA DOUBLE CROSS, in revisions with an eye on a Fall 2012 release. For those wondering whether Bo will become that Big Damn Hero, I invite you to read the excerpt from the first chapter of BARRON’S LAST STAND, the final installment of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES.

Special Feature – Interview With Blade Devon

Blade Devon AvatarGotta Name My Blog was fortunate enough today to score an interview with holofeature heart throb, Blade Devon, the charming rascal whose imaging pad heroics in Underneath Dead Star catapulted him to cult hero status virtually overnight. The technical challenges in getting this interview from the Commonwealth were legion. We’re still not sure how we made it happen and we’re not sure we could fold space enough to reproduce the results. As it was, the holographic image of Blade that accompanied the transcript of the interview was impossible for our computers to translate, so we had to rely on Yahoo! Avatars to come up with a rough approximation of the man himself. We think we captured his personality quite well, don’t you? The following is pretty much the entire interview, except for the off-topic bits where Blade kept hitting on our GNMB correspondent.

GNMB: Thank you for taking time out of your busy shooting schedule to talk with us today, Blade.

BD: Happy to be here.

GNMB: Now, you haven’t been making holofeatures for very long, have you?

BD: Nearly three years now. Seems much longer than that.

GNMB: Already you’re getting typecast into the action hero role. First playing Rube in Underneath Dead Star

BD: My breakout role.

GNMB:which is fast becoming a cult classic. Then you moved on to Dwarf Star Incident, and then Fire and Ice. In all three holofeatures you played a two-fisted action hero.

BD: The old adage is to play to your strengths and you’ll never go wrong.

GNMB: Your bio says that you’re a former Inner Circle Agent, but I find that hard to believe.

BD: Why is that so hard to believe?

GNMB: Why would the Inner Circle allow a former operative to take on such a high-profile career?

BD: I’m afraid you’ll have to ask the IC for the answer to that. I’m not authorized to speak for the organization.

GNMB: I did ask the IC and they confirmed that you did, in fact, join the Consular Guard at the age of sixteen and were trained in Search and Rescue, beyond that, they had nothing to say.

BD: Then I guess I was never actually an IC operative so they shouldn’t care one way or another how I choose to make a living, should they?

GNMB: Aren’t you concerned that you’ll be brought up on charges for falsifying your military service?

BD: I’m more concerned with hitting my marks, remembering my lines and not showing up on set blind drunk or hung over.

GNMB: So despite the fact you’re discounted as a glorified stunt man, you take your roles seriously?

BD: I leave the stunt work to my brother, Chase. That’s real work. On the types of holofeatures I’ve made, the stunt performers have the hardest jobs on the set. My brother puts in far longer hours than I do, and he’s the one risking death and injury just to get the most exciting shots. If the critics are going to dismiss me, they should do it for all the right reasons, saying that all I do is look pretty and make sure they get my good side. Calling me a glorified stunt man is actually a compliment.

GNMB: You got your start in holofeatures working for your brother as a stunt performer, didn’t you?

BD: Yes, when I left the IC… I mean, when Chase got tired of letting his freeloading little brother sit around on his sofa all day watching the holovid and drinking his liquor, he told me that either I drove in this one gag, or I looked for a new place to live. So not wanting to live on the street, I agreed. The producer thought I was pretty and next thing I knew, I was making holofeatures.

GNMB: It sounds like you don’t take your holofeature job any more seriously than you take the IC.

BD: Just because I treat everything with contempt doesn’t mean I don’t take anything seriously.

GNMB: Pintubo Racing has just announced that you’re one of their drivers for the upcoming racing circuit. Do you take that seriously?

BD: Of course I do. It’s what they pay me for. The contempt only comes out when there’s a proviso in my holofeature contract that won’t allow me to drive for Pintubo while working on a holofeature. Producers and investors tend to be reluctant to let their lead actors die in a fiery crash before they wrap shooting. They’re unreasonably touchy that way.

GNMB: How dare they?

BD: Well at least they’re honest enough to prefer that I die rather than be maimed or horribly disfigured. Death in that manner would make my last feature epic and legendary. There wouldn’t be any of this guano about being a glorified stunt man. The critics would sit around and point out the promise in my performance and the subtle genius of my portrayal. They’d speculate on how brilliant I would have been in a few more years. Retrospectives don’t have the same emotional impact if you’re merely disfigured.

GNMB: So what’s next for Blade Devon?

BD: I’m taking some time off to recharge before I start work on my next holofeature. Pintubo wants to enter me in next year’s Catarrh Endurance Rally. My brother is retiring from the Catarrh after his win last year and he’s already on board to be my crew chief. Other than that, I’m thinking of taking a cruise.

GNMB: Well, I hope you enjoy your cruise, Blade and best of luck in the Catarrh and on your next holofeature. Any hints on what we can expect from your next role?

BD: I’ve been told to get my singing voice into shape. It’s a musical, and my agent says there are no explosions in the entire script.

GNMB: Do you sing?

BD: No.

GNMB: That could be problematic.

Blade shrugged and flashed me his trademark lopsided grin. Once again, I was left to wonder whether he took anything seriously.

***

If you’d like to learn more about Blade Devon and the cruise he took, look for SOVRAN’S PAWN, Book One of THE BLACK WING CHRONICLES coming out April 20. Follow the links for a sneak peek.

Sovran’s Pawn Blog Tour Dates Announced

SOVRAN’S PAWN, Book One of The Black Wing Chronicles…

…is on schedule to be released on April 20 in e-book format. Look for it on Amazon and Smashwords.

JC Cassels – Big Damn Hero Blog Tour Dates

Apr 16 TK Toppin pt 1
http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

Apr 18 Pauline Baird
http://www.paulinebjones.com/

Apr 20 Publication and launch with SFFSat (with a snippet from SOVRAN’S PAWN)
https://jccassels.wordpress.com/
http://misa-buckley.blogspot.co.uk

Apr 23 TK Toppin pt 2
http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

Apr 24 Space Freighters Lounge
http://spacefreighters.blogspot.com/

Apr 25 Pippa Jay
http://www.pippajay.blogspot.com/

May 2 Imogene Nix
http://www.imogenenix.blogspot.com/

Dates TBA:
http://westofmars.com/blog/

HEIDI’S PICK SIX:
http://heidirubymiller.blogspot.com/

Participants who comment will be chosen at random for a FREE e-copy of SOVRAN’S PAWN.

Check back here for more information as it develops.

New Title – New Cover

As the countdown begins to publication for the first installment of The Black Wing Chronicles, all of the pieces click into place.

First the title change to Sovran’s Pawn and now I’m pleased to announce an exciting new cover from Tomomi Ink, who also has designed covers for the fabulous TM Hunter’s Aston West series as well as rising new author Patrick Stutzman’s Alone on the Edge.

I’ll be unveiling the new cover on Saturday. Prepare to be amazed! It’s much better than this one!

Book Review – Ambasadora by Heidi Ruby Miller

From the first pages, Ambasadora had me hooked. I couldn’t wait to see where author Heidi Ruby Miller was taking this story. Her well-conceived, and very complex society explores so many avenues of human nature, making me question why our societal mores are what they are.

I fell in love with the characters. She did a brilliant job of fleshing out the bad guys and making them sympathetic as well. The good guys are suitably heroic with just the right mix of human fallibility to keep them interesting. Until the end, I was never entirely sure which romantic interest was going to end up with whom, and my doubts made perfect sense given the society Miller created.

The only difficulty I ran into was on a personal level. Being a Tampa native, it was disconcerting to me to read about the four moons, all named Tampa, and then reading about the Hub, which is also well-known bar in downtown Tampa, oft frequented in my misspent youth. That gave me a chuckle and I enjoyed sharing what I considered a sly inside joke with the author. But Miller’s brilliant and vivid descriptions soon made me forget all that as I found myself hip-deep in the worlds she’s created.

This book has it all, action, adventure, political intrigue, science gone wild, cyberpunks, social commentary, and romance. It will leave you breathless and clamoring for more.

Ambasadora is a definite E-ticket ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages well into the night. I already have my copy of Greenshift, the prequel to Ambasadora, and I cannot wait to start reading it! But first, I have to catch my breath from Ambasasora.

***

If everyone told you love wasn’t real, would you still be willing to die for it?

Sara Mendoza and Sean Cryer are.

In their multi-partner, caste-ruled society, love and jealousy are considered emotional fallacies, nothing more than fleeting moods and sentiments biased by hormones. Relationships and conceptions in this world obsessed with celebrity, beauty, and power are based on DNA and lineages…or should be. But not everyone believes in the ruling traditions of the all-powerful Embassy. A quiet rebellion prowls the dark underground of this shiny world where techno-militants calling themselves fraggers grow in numbers and bravado. The Embassy intends to silence the fragger movement before the heresy of equality spreads throughout the system.

Sara Mendoza is part of the Embassy’s plan. Captured, tortured, and falsely accused of treason, she is given a chance to win back her freedom. She only needs to charm information from one of the fragger leaders, then kill him. But by the time she figures out the Embassy’s intel is flawed and that Sean Cryer is her true mark, she’s already in love with him.

Sean knows why Sara is on his ship from the start, but as a lonely, anti-social doser, he doesn’t value his life, only his ideology within the fragger organization. Against his better judgment, he becomes her protector, each day caring more about a future he was always afraid to hope for.

***

If you’d like to purchase Ambasadora or Greenshift,

you can find them on Amazon: