Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas/150-Follower Giveaway WINNERS

A belated Merry Christmas to you all (not just the winners), and a Happy New Year!

Congratulations to Katie McCurdy and Am Hengst! I will be emailing you soon, and you have 7 days to claim your prize. First-come-first-serve style.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Soundtrack giveaway!

I'm not hosting this giveaway, but you should still check it out! The prize is the winner's choice of soundtracks (either Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows by Hans Zimmer or Captain America: The First Avenger by Alan Silvestry) This ends December 30th, so hurry!!

http://inkslingerblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/soundtrack-giveaway-2011/

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas/150-Follower Giveaway!!

As promised, here is the giveaway!! There are two prizes this time, both of them being paperback books. Here are the details!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Song of Unmaking Winner!

For the first time in BiR history, I think, I'm going to make this short. The winner is...R.P.H (Ryan Heart)!! Congrats!! You have 7 days to email me to claim the prize before I choose another winner.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Star Chosen

Star Chosen, Joe Chiappetta, self-published, Science Fiction, March 15, 2010, 126 pages.


Synopsis: Deleting history was just the beginning. Blast off with STAR CHOSEN, a space opera of post-biblical proportions! After war, heartbreak, attacks to your faith, and the erasure of all history and culture, whose side will you fight on: the Proud... or the Chosen? Xeric Award winner and Ignatz Award nominee Joe Chiappetta crafts "Star Chosen," a science fiction epic for all ages. In a time yet to come, the high-tech Faith War threatens to destroy all religions across the universe. One small yet bold group, known as "the Chosen," survives due to a miraculous favor from a mysterious military man. In intergalactic combat and matters of destruction, this military man knows no equal. Yet on the home front, his family is falling apart. Unlike most families of the future, torn to bits by addiction to virtual reality products, this man's family crumbles under his terrible involvement with weapons of experimental technology. As the man continues to cross paths with the kind-hearted Chosen people, he dreams for a chance at redemption with his wife and daughter, who have disappeared to an unknown planet.


My thoughts: I must be frank. This book bored me to death. Firstly, the page layout made me work twice as hard to read it, and one page had two page's worth of words in it. Secondly, the writing was really underdeveloped. Dialogue, narration, and description all seemed starved of imagination and quality. I am sorry to say that I read half of it, but could not finish. In what I did struggle through, the Gospel message was put forth very boldly, if not cheesy at times. A large part of the book (from what I can tell) takes place in a church, its youth group, and its mission group. Thus, the reader is "preached at" often, which could put off potential secular readers.


This book was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.


My rating: 2 stars


Please rate this review on Amazon!




Upcoming reviews
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn
  • Lifting the Wheel of Karma
  • The Land of Darkness by C.S. Lakin

Saturday, December 10, 2011

DPP Day 10

I'm caught up! Here's the photo:


These trees are awesome without leaves :D


DPP Day 9

Day 9 photo:


A random, half-hearted fence, in the rare Washington sunshine.


DPP Day 8

Day 8 photo:


Winter-themed nature art. :)


DPP Day 7

Day 7 photo.


My school's chapel sanctuary.


DPP Day 6

Here's the next photo:


Less-traveled section of a shoreline park. I like the moss :)


DPP Day 5

Day 5's photo.


My bedroom wall, with decor.


DPP Day 4

Here is day 4's photo!


On a dock with friends.


DPP Day 3

Day three!


I liked this perspective :)


DPP Day 2

Here goes DPP day 2!


Trees in my front yard.


DPP Day 1

I'm a little late to start in on this, but it should be fun nonetheless. The December Photo Project (DPP) is a goal to post a new picture each day from December 1-25. Here is the first!


This was taken on a Marine Biology field trip to Owen Beach!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour - Corus the Champion - Day Three

All right, day three! I have a surprise for you! (A GIVEAWAY!) This isn't the 150-follower one either. I'll be sure to start that after this one ends. Here are all the details!

You can share this giveaway on facebook with the share button below. (You MUST tell me you did so and give me the link to the share. I will be adding these entries manually)








Gillian Adams Beckie Burnham Morgan L. Busse CSFF Blog Tour Carol Bruce Collett Theresa Dunlap April Erwin Victor Gentile Nikole Hahn Ryan Heart Bruce Hennigan Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Julie Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Marzabeth Shannon McDermott Rebecca LuElla Miller Eve Nielsen Sarah Sawyer Kathleen Smith Donna Swanson Rachel Starr Thomson Steve Trower Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Rachel Wyant

CSFF Blog Tour - Corus the Champion - Day Two

I know this day is a bit late, but the day three post will be coming today too. This day's feature is an interview with the author of Corus the Champion, D. Barkley Briggs! As he is really busy, I had to keep the questions short and easy. I hope you enjoy it, because I certainly did!


Welcome! What has surprised you the most during the writing of The Legends of Karac Tor?

The stories themselves have offered surprising twists and turns that were not a part of the original draft. As an author, when characters come alive in your heart and then bleed onto the page, they sometimes behave unpredictably, just like people behave in real life. It's been fun—and sometimes challenging—to watch the plot bend around a particular curve ball a character might throw my way. For example, Flogg was tricked by the Fey and handed over to the gnomes in Corus the Champion. When I sent him into Elkwood with Ewan, I didn't expect that to happen, but a major plot point for Book 4 results: the rescue of Flogg.

What is your favorite dessert?

Easy. My mom's Chocolate Angel Strata Pie. My family lies, cheats and steals without remorse when that pie comes around, which is only on the holidays. Also, my mother-in-law fixes the best homemade cherry pie on the planet, no contest.  

If you could have any Christmas gift you wanted, which would you choose?

I could offer many serious answers to that question, but instead I'll aim for something a little lighter. I'd love to have the ability to remember jokes for later retelling. After I hear a particularly good joke, I always tell myself to remember it. I might even rehearse it once or twice. But it never fails, a week later, or a month, whatever, when I try to remember—bam, it's gone. Nowhere to be found.

If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would it be?

I might get dinged for my lack of originality, but I'd love to just sit in the same room with C.S. Lewis while he was writing, and listen to him talk out loud. No need to be co-author. On the opposite end, humorist Dave Barry would be a real kick, too.

Do you have anything you can tell us about The Ravaged Realm, or even the fifth book (such as the title), and do you have any writing plans after the LoKT?

My agent is prioritizing a number of my previously finished projects, both fiction and non-fiction. I would love for LoKT to do well enough to demand further books, but they would almost certainly be prequels, as Tolkien did with the Silmarillion. The fifth book, The War of Swords, is quite literally, the end. Regardless, I might need a break from the epic sprawl. People who enjoy epic fantasy appreciate the complexity and drama, and I do, too! But it takes a toll, holding all those plot strands together.


Thank you for sharing your time with us!


Tour participants:

Gillian Adams Beckie Burnham Morgan L. Busse CSFF Blog Tour Carol Bruce Collett Theresa Dunlap April Erwin Victor Gentile Nikole Hahn Ryan Heart Bruce Hennigan Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Julie Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Marzabeth Shannon McDermott Rebecca LuElla Miller Eve Nielsen Sarah Sawyer Kathleen Smith Donna Swanson Rachel Starr Thomson Steve Trower Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Rachel Wyant

Monday, December 5, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour - Corus the Champion - Day One

I got a little over-excited yesterday and posted the review early. So, I'm just going to re-post it here. Tomorrow and the next day there will be new stuff.


Corus The Champion, D. Barkley Briggs, Legends of Karac Tor, Living Ink books, Fantasy, June 7, 2011, 432 pages.




Synopsis: He was once the greatest champion in the land.
Then he disappeared.

With Nemesia's defeat, the Barlows have helped turn the tide in the Hidden Lands. But the victory is short-lived. An even greater evil stirs in the north with a fierce new army bent on destruction. As the twins, Gabe and Garret, discover their own special powers and chase down long forgotten mysteries hidden in time, a thin thread of hope emerges: a fabled king was once rescued from death on our world and hidden on Karac Tor. But who is he?


Each brother has their part to play. Hadyn must travel north to warn the land barons, while Ewan and Sorge set out to rescue Corus from the clutches of Hel. As ancient destinies rise from the ash heap of history, Ewan is left with a bitter choice. Will he sacrifice what is most precious to discover whether Corus lives? Even more important, if Corus is alive, can he wake the Sleeping King of legend...before it's too late?






My thoughts: Corus The Champion continues the well-written, character-steeped form of the previous book. The plot continues well also. All the Christian teaching in the book was accurate, yet behind-the-scenes.  Lots of characters come forth and strut their stuff in this volume, and it worked well. Kudos to Mr. Briggs!

This book was provided free by the publisher, in conjunction with CSFF Blog Tours. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are mine.


My rating: 5 stars



Please rate this review on Amazon!


Buy Corus the Champion!
Check out more Christian Allegory!


Upcoming reviews
  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn

Tour Participants:

Gillian Adams Noah Arsenault Beckie Burnham Emmalyn Edwards CSFF Blog Tour Carol Bruce Collett Theresa Dunlap April Erwin Victor Gentile Nikole Hahn Ryan Heart Bruce Hennigan Christopher Hopper Jason Joyner Julie Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Marzabeth Shannon McDermott Rebecca LuElla Miller Eve Nielsen Sarah Sawyer Kathleen Smith Donna Swanson Rachel Starr Thomson Steve Trower Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Rachel Wyant

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Song of Unmaking

The Song of Unmaking, D. Barkley Briggs, Legends of Karac Tor, Living Ink books, Fantasy, October 14, 2011, 336 pages.


Synopsis: The dreadful Goths have invaded Rockval, testing the strength of Bitterland's beautiful, widowed ruler. Meanwhile, the Barlow brothers are growing stronger in their powers-all except for Ewan, who traded his gift away to save the life of his friends.

Soon it becomes clear that the Goths are the least of their worries. A terrible machine is being built high atop Mount Vishgar, above Rockval, where the raging winds never cease. If the machine really does release the Song of Unmaking, what will happen? Can Arthur lay aside his grief and once more become a great leader of men? And what is the mysterious Doorless Tower, Nein Dyrr?




My thoughts: Being the most recent of this series so far, I started to see some small writing/spelling errors in the book. Maybe these were simply overlooked, but I haven't seen these in the previous two volumes. That aside, the characters were just as good as before, the Christian story was filled in a bit more, and I'm still on edge to see what happens!

This book was provided free by the publisher in conjunction with Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.


My rating: 5 stars


Please rate this review on Amazon!


Buy The Song of Unmaking!
Check out more Christian Allegory!


Upcoming reviews

  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn
  • The Dark Age by Jeff Horton


Corus the Champion


Corus The Champion, D. Barkley Briggs, Legends of Karac Tor, Living Ink books, Fantasy, June 7, 2011, 432 pages.


Synopsis: He was once the greatest champion in the land.
Then he disappeared.

With Nemesia's defeat, the Barlows have helped turn the tide in the Hidden Lands. But the victory is short-lived. An even greater evil stirs in the north with a fierce new army bent on destruction. As the twins, Gabe and Garret, discover their own special powers and chase down long forgotten mysteries hidden in time, a thin thread of hope emerges: a fabled king was once rescued from death on our world and hidden on Karac Tor. But who is he?


Each brother has their part to play. Hadyn must travel north to warn the land barons, while Ewan and Sorge set out to rescue Corus from the clutches of Hel. As ancient destinies rise from the ash heap of history, Ewan is left with a bitter choice. Will he sacrifice what is most precious to discover whether Corus lives? Even more important, if Corus is alive, can he wake the Sleeping King of legend...before it's too late?




My thoughts: Corus The Champion continues the well-written, character-steeped form of the previous book. The plot continues well also. All the Christian teaching in the book was accurate, yet behind-the-scenes.  Lots of characters come forth and strut their stuff in this volume, and it worked well. Kudos to Mr. Briggs!

This book was provided free by the publisher, in conjunction with CSFF Blog Tours. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are mine.


My rating: 5 stars


Please rate this review on Amazon!


Buy Corus the Champion!
Check out more Christian Allegory!

Upcoming reviews

  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta
  • Book of Dreams by Davis Bunn


The Book of Names

The Book of Names, D. Barkley Briggs, Legends of Karac Tor, Living Ink books, Fantasy, March 15, 2011, 400 pages.


Synopsis: From an ancient land of myth and legend comes a cry for help. Will two teenage brothers from our world find the courage to answer the call?

After tragedy strikes, Hadyn and Ewan Barlow must adjust to a depressing new life. But when a secret viking runestone opens the door to a world in peril, they are given a choice: join the battle of this magical, foreign land, or never find their way home again. In the Hidden Lands of Karac Tor, names are being stolen. Darkness spreads. As strange new powers awaken within, will the Barlows reluctantly answer the call to fight? Or will they succumb to Nemesia's dark spell and join the Lost...forever?




My thoughts: I hadn't heard a great deal about these books before a particular friend kept recommending them to me, but now I can see why he did. This first book, for instance, has wonderful writing, deep characters (I really got into them!), and an awesome plot and adventure. The Barlow family goes through severe grief, wonderful joy, and many other emotions throughout, looking to God for answers, and it made the book one of my top favorites. Any reader of fantasy (or even deep legend) should read this series!


My rating: 5 stars


Please rate this review on Amazon!


Buy The Book of Names!
Check out more Christian Allegory!


Upcoming reviews

  • Corus the Champion by D. Barkley Briggs
  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Star Chosen by Joe Chiapetta


Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award


Thank you to Evangeline Han for giving me this award! (I'm sorry it took so long to post) Thank you once again for your very nice comments!

I don't have time to say much, so I'll get right on to the award:

Award information:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated me.
2. Share seven random facts about myself.
3. Pass the award on to five blogger friends.
4. Contact and congratulate the nominated blogs.
Seven random facts:
  1. I like to wear distinguished articles of clothing. You may have seen pictures of me with a duckbill capa trenchcoatfingerless gloves, etc. That's what I'm referring to.
  2. If you didn't notice from the trenchcoat image, I love Doctor Who! (I even bought a sonic screwdriver replica)
  3. I really (x40) love movie/game soundtracks. Instrumental music is amazing, usually. Hans Zimmer, John Powell, James Horner, John Williams, Michael Giacchino, Ennio Merricone, and (my hands-down favorite) DAVID HIRSCHFELDER!
  4. I love cats. Don't hate on 'em. :P (unless they fight you) Mine are rather kind-hearted...
  5. I've been learning Latin for over 3.5 years.
  6. I am the oldest grandson, on my Mother's side.
  7. I'm afraid of balloons o.0

Now for tagging five versatile bloggers...
  1. Millardthemk at In Print (I know you're prolly too busy for this, and that's fine. Just wanted to give you some recognition and a compliment)
  2. Jake at Teenage Writer - Jake has exhibited great versatility: his family has moved to Africa! Monrovia, Liberia to be exact. (You rock, Jake!)
  3. Ryebrynn at Ryebrynn's Random Ramblings - Same reason as above!
  4. The Director at Castles, Quills, and Cameras - Her posts are great! Whether it's about movies, writing, music, or awesome quotes, she always has something interesting to say.
  5. Cson at Hornspoon Reviews - His writing is clear, and his topics are always interesting.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Precisely Terminated

Precisely Terminated, Amanda L. Davis, Cantral Chronicles, Living Ink Books, Dystopian, September 12, 2011, 464 pages.




Synopsis: With microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, the slaves of Cantral and Cillineese have labored under the tyrannical rule of the nobles and their computers for centuries. Monica, a noble who avoided the implanting and escaped a death sentence at the age of four, is now sixteen and is in hiding. She lives with the slaves inside the walls of the Cantral palace, pretending to be one of them while the slave council plots a way to use her chip-less state to destroy the all-powerful computers that strike down any hint of rebellion.

The fate of millions rides on Monica's shoulders. As the only chip-less person in the world, she must find a way to destroy the computers and free Cillineese from the nobles' iron fist before they strike with the ultimate punishment--death for everyone inside the city walls.




My thoughts: This being her first book, Amanda Davis has done a masterful job of creating something original. Very few Christian dystopian books such as this have come to my attention. I was embedded in the story from the start 'till the end. Her characters were quite diverse. Most importantly, they made you think and ask questions.

Concerning the plot, Amanda has done very well in not repeating her father's work. She has given the characters completely different outlooks, settings, situations, and decisions to make. I admire her writing and am looking forward to more!

This book was provided free by the publisher in conjunction with Glass Road Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 5 stars


Upcoming reviews
  • The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Corus the Champion by D. Barkley Briggs
  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Unwanted

The Unwanted, G-6 Chronicles: The Unwanted Trilogy, Daniel L. Carter, Fantasy, OakTara Publishing, June 14, 2010, 240 pages.


Synopsis: Born out of vengeance, five discarded children must fight to keep their family safe from the homicidal geneticist who created them. Millions of lives stand in the balance as sacrifices are made. This family will never be the same as heroes rise and fall in The Unwanted book 1 of The G-6 Chronicles: The Unwanted Trilogy...

My thoughts: This book has the feel of an epic story, but hasn't quite achieved that status. The characters weren't fleshed-out enough. They certainly underwent several learning points, and improved themselves, but it didn't feel like they were real enough. The plot, however, shows a bit of promise, if a bit cliche. With all this said, about half-way through the book, I began to really enjoy it. I'm interested to see where Daniel Carter goes with the series.

This book was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 3 stars


Buy The Unwanted!

Upcoming reviews

  • The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs
  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Corus the Champion by D. Barkley Briggs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Legends of Karac Tor

As it turns out, I have two blog tours for the same series converging on the same day. With Glass Road PR, I am touring Corus the Champion, and with CSFF Blog Tour, I am touring The Song of Unmaking. Unfortunately, due to college apps, school, job searching, and other things, I am only in the middle of The Book of Names. Therefore, reviews will be up shortly for each book, but for now, I will let you know about an AWESOME contest being run by the author!
9780899578651.jpg

THE EPIC OPPORTUNITY



Hope Underground

Hope UndergroundHope Underground: The 34 Chilean Miners - A Story of Faith and Miracles, Carlos Parra Diaz, Imago Dei Books, Nonfiction/Christian Inspiration, September 28, 2011, 191 pages.


Synopsis: "God has never left us down here"
Thirty–three miners – trapped beneath the Chilean desert. _their situation, at first, seemed hopeless. Yet instead of abandoning hope, the miners, their families, communities of faith, the Chilean government and rescue workers united in an effort to achieve the impossible. What drove these people to defy failure and persevere against all odds? How did a small, white butterfly, a wayward probe, and a '34th miner' all play a significant role in the unfolding of this incredible story? While most reports of this stirring drama focus on what human effort can achieve, Hope Underground reveals the spiritual nature of the miners' experience, highlighting amazing details of how God's providence turned a potential tragedy into the most successful mining rescue of all time.

My thoughts: When I consider today's world in light of God and His Word, I am often discouraged by the lack of glory publicly given to Him, such as in the media. This book showed the opposite of that. Written from the point-of-view of a pastor, everything is based upon God. Prayer is used multiple times, Bibles were passed out to many people, including the Chilean President. Miraculously, with no casualties, the collapse of the mine served God's greater purpose. It is a wonder how God works. I recommend this account to anyone who may be interested in current events relating to Christianity.

This book was provided free by the publisher, in conjunction with TBB Media. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 5 stars


Check out more Christian Inspiration books!

Upcoming reviews
  • The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Corus the Champion by D. Barkley Briggs
  • The Song of Unmaking by D. Barkley Briggs

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thunder in the Morning Calm

Thunder in the Morning Calm, Don Brown, Pacific Rim Series, Zondervan, Suspense/Fiction, August 16, 2011, 336 pages.

Synopsis: Lieutenant Commander 'Gunner' McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps.

As it happens, Gunner's grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather. Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying.





My thoughts: If you are a fan of books full of military operations, incompetent hostiles, and navy battles, this is a worthy book in those regards. The fact that everything came from a Christian standpoint made it even better. The mechanics of war are examined in an interesting way, watching them play out as a possible war approaches. Brown develops his characters well, even if they appear for a meager two pages. Gunner, determined to find Americans still held captive and give them freedom at last, keeps in prayer with God all the time. From the start of his deployment to the conclusion of his mission, he shows us that a person can really serve both God and America. God bless America.

This book was provided free by Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

My rating: 5 stars

Please give this review a helpful rating on amazon!

Buy Thunder in the Morning Calm
Check out more Suspense Fiction

Upcoming reviews
  • Hope Underground by Carlos Diaz
  • The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs
  • Corus the Champion by D. Barkley Briggs