A MelanieM Release Week Review: The Great North (A Legendary Love Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

 

BOOK 1 in MCB’s House Line “A Legendary Love.”

Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks’ time.

Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land’s End.

Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two meet, their love and attraction may change the course of history.

In The Great North author J. Scott Coatsworth combines mythology, science fiction and romance and comes up with something quite wonderful.   Coatsworth, in an almost stunningly compact story for something of this scope,  provides us with detailed, and vivid world building.  With scenes past, present and future spread here in the story, we get glimpses into this post-apocalyptic world at differing stages.  From the use of small details throughout, we get accurate idea or pictures of where the characters are, filling things in with our own imaginations…none of it pretty of what might have happened to our world.

I really loved the characters down to their descriptions. It showed how quickly civilization had broken down so that even physical characteristics once again had become isolated into “islands” as had earlier gene types. The types of global disaster also drove the leftover population into self isolation with minimum communication with each other.  Coatsworth also worked the rationale for Dwyn village’s religion rejection of “same sex love” into a cautionary tale of birth rates and survival.  So many elements here that are woven into the story that capture the reader’s attention and imagination.

The romance between Mael and Dwyn is caught up is something huge, the mythology building here is as beautifully done as it the scientific groundwork the author laid down.  In fact the imagery and beauty of the cold is striking as it is fearsome, easy to see it both cutting and awe inspiring.  Just as it should be. I don’t really want to go into further details here other than I wish there was more to this part of the story.  However, this is only the beginning of the series.  I hope to find out more about what’s coming, what’s in store of the people there.

I love The Great North.  This whole series holds great promise.  I can’t wait to see where it goes.  But for now I leave you with how it all starts, a story I highly recommend.

“We celebrate Dwyn’s Day as a testament to true love and sacrifice. It’s a remembrance of the way things were and the way they’ve come to be. In the end, let it be a reminder that every one of us has the power to change the course of events through love.”

—Dillon Cooper, New Gods and Monsters, Twenty years After Dwyn

Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay does a good job with the character.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Barnes & Noble |  Amazon |  Kobo | iBooks |  Goodreads 

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 119 pages
Published June 14th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASIN B07172TL6H

A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Hell For The Company (Brimstone #1) by Angel Martinez, Narrator: Vance Bastian

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Rating: 4.75 rounded up to 5 stars out of 5

Banner300x250Demons and Angels have been among us for thousands of years, in many cultures and in many forms. What happens when you set the Mischief Corner authors loose on the vague prompt “Write a story about angels or demons?” The poor unsuspecting world is about to find out.

From Angel Martinez – Hell For The Company: Brimstone #1

Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything’s going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.

He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn’t know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia.

Hell For The Company (Brimstone #1) by Angel Martinez as narrated by Vance Bastian was my very first audiobook.  I normally take one look at the running length on an audiobook, think about all the things I have to do, and move along.  But Hell for the Company was different.  At a play time of 2 hours, 2 minutes, I thought that’s doable, given my schedule, even during the holidays.  Another absolute plus?  I had already read the story, loved the series, so I thought I was prepared for what I would find in a narrated version.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

This was so much better. Boy, am I going to have to rethink my entire approach about audio books.  This version, listening to Vance Bastian’s narration made me see (hear) the story in an entirely new light. I enjoyed it even more, laughed at places I didn’t even remember reading the first time around.  And even when I knew the dramatic scenes were coming, the sniffles still flowed.

Vance’s voice went from melodic for the wonderful drag queen IA. Ivana, to gruff and surly for the demon Verin, the later posing my first and only stumbling block for audiobooks.  It wasn’t the way I imagined Verin sounded, I expected more hell fire I suppose.  Its the same issue you might have with characters going from book to the screen, we imagine them a certain way, not the way they appear on the movie screen. So I had to expand my versions into the verbalized ones here.  Once done,  there were no limits to my enjoyments of the narration and the enthusiasm that Vance Bastian employed in his reading of Angel Martinez’ story.

The time went by so quickly.  Floating cows please come back.  Ness, I adore you. Oh, Shax, you demon you, I can never get enough of you! Much more so this time around.  Angel and Vance, you have me convinced.  Yes, it looks like audiobooks are the thing for me.  There will be more in the future.  And it all started with the marvelous Hell For The Company (Brimstone #1) by Angel Martinez and the wonderful narration by Vance Bastian.

I love this series.  Shax, the Brimstone crew and all its misadventures and now I get to look forward to listening to them as well.  Are you a lover of the supernatural? A reader of science fiction?  And romance too?  How about a combination of all three?  Here is a story and series you can’t pass up and a lively narrator that makes the words shout, laugh, giggle and snort.  Such two joyful hours I never imagined.

Are you a audiobook virgin too?  Make this your first and see what an adventure lies before you!

Cover Artist: Freddie MacKay did a terrific job on the cover.  Love the floating cows.

Sales LinksiTunes  | Amazon | Audible

Book Details:

Audible Audio, Play Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Published November 17th 2015 by
Mischief Corner Books (first published December 31st 2013)
ASINB017Y2HI1K
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBrimstone #1

 

A Special Narrator Insight from Vance Bastian on Angel Martinez ‘Hell For The Company’ (audiobook, excerpt and contest)

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Hell For The Company (Brimstone #1) by Angel Martinez
Narrator:  Vance Bastian
Format: Audiobook, Play Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Release Date: December 5, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay

Playing in Somebody Else’s Playground

Adding Value to an Established World

By Vance Bastian

Don’t you love being asked to come over for a play date? I know I do. You’re being granted the chance to play with toys that aren’t yours, but toys for which you may have created entire fantasies in your head. And being asked over by somebody you’ve long respected and admired? MAGIC!

Once the excitement cools, trepidation usually sets in. Will you understand all the rules? What if you break something? Will you be invited back?

After all, artists carefully craft their worlds. They must codify laws of reality, conjure systems of magic, and in some cases birth entire pantheons. Some authors horde stacks of notebooks each containing tomes of meticulous details regarding their creations. That is to say, you’re lucky if that information is in a tangible form. Sometimes it’s all in the artist’s head. No matter how the data is created and archived, I have yet to meet an author who doesn’t call their grand work “my baby.”

Fans are no less protective of their favorite author’s creations. Some fans pride themselves for memorizing witty one liners. Others trade blows about the cataclysmic importance of a character’s eye color in the book not matching the actor’s in the film. Perhaps the highest compliment, outside of a well-written review, are the supporters who are inspired to write fan fiction because their spirit has been transported to the artist’s world.

That’s a powerful legacy to be invited into. Being asked to collaborate is a huge freaking honor.

How do you avoid botching that first invitation?

Find a way to add value.

Send your inner worrywart to the bar for a stiff pint or seven. You’ve got this. After all, you were invited to join because you have something to bring to the project. So bring it.

Whether you are able to interpret it into another language, design companion art, or give voice to the characters, you can take pride that you have the skills required help the artist’s vision grow. Once you set aside your reservations and fire up your own creativity, that aforementioned magic will happen.

Mind your hubris. You’ve not been brought on board to criticize the art and demand changes. So send your know-it-all to the bar with the worrywart.

Instead, respect that the artist is basically saying, “here’s my beautiful, fragile creation. You can play with it, but help me make it shine brighter for all the world to see.” Those fantasies you had in your head about the author’s works? Share those. Use them as a springboard for ideas so you can really put your talent to excellent use.

And for the love of all the art in the world, remember to play a little!

MAGIC!

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Blurb

Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything’s going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.

He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn’t know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia.

Categories: Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Science Fiction

Excerpt: Mischief Corner Books

Buy the book:   iTunes |  Amazon  |Audible

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Meet the Author, Angel Martinez:

While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

 

Meet the Narrator, Vance Bastian:

Vance Bastian loves being a professional storyteller. He writes urban fantasy about sandmen and reapers. He has grown his acting and voice background into a career performing voice-over work and narration for both radio and audiobooks. He is also a founding host of the WROTE podcast – bringing you interviews and news of authors who write, perform, and tell LGBTQ stories. When nobody’s looking, Vance is a complete sci-fi and fantasy geek.

 

For more on Vance, please visit:

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops:

14-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews

15-Dec: BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads

16-Dec: Hearts on Fire, Prism Book Alliance

17-Dec: Books, Coffee, & Captured Moments

18-Dec: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Love Bytes

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $10 gift card to Amazon or AllRomance eBooks.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prize provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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