Category Archives: Independent (Indie) Authors
Some Personal Thoughts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Short Story: LEAF BY NIGGLE
In a previous post [ https://peterkazmaier.wordpress.com/2023/02/20/some-personal-thoughts-on-tim-kellers-exposition-of-matthew-chapter-11/ ], I talked about the significant beneficial influence Tim Keller’s podcast had on me in 2022 and now in 2023. In another recent podcast, Keller introduced me to a short story of Tolkien’s that I had not read before: LEAF BY NIGGLE.
This story was especially poignant for someone who is a writer and sometimes wonders “if all this work that goes into writing a story is worth it.”
A word of caution. My thoughts on this story contains spoilers, so perhaps you’d like to stop here and read the story before you continue.
Read the rest of this entry →
My Science Fiction Books are on Display at Lino’s Auto Repairs Inc.
I have, for many years, had my vehicles serviced at Lino’s Auto Repairs. Dimitri, the current owner, has not only given me excellent service, but from time to time amazed me as he was able to solve troublesome, intermittent faults that occurred with my vehicles.
One time when I brought in my vehicle in for service, Dimitri noticed a decal advertising my books. We began talking about Science Fiction and I realized he was an SF fan. He purchased The Halcyon Dislocation and then, after reading the first one, all of my other books as they came out.
Just recently Dimitri suggested that I set up a display of my books in his waiting room. What an opportunity for me! As an Indie author, the challenge amid the hundreds of thousands of titles perpetually in print, is getting noticed enough for interested readers to find your books and give them a try. We have all found ourselves in an automobile repair waiting room, tired of reading the paper or bored with checking our phones. Perhaps some will give my books a try.
Thank you for your great service Dimitri and for this opportunity to display my books!
Posted in Coventry 2091, Getting-The-Word-Out, Independent (Indie) Authors, Science Fiction, The Battle for Halcyon, The Coventry Chronicles, The Dragons of Sheol, The Halcyon Cycle, The Halcyon Dislocation
Tags: Auto Repairs, Independent (Indie) Authors, Science Fiction, SciFi, The Battle for Halcyon, The Dragons of Sheol, The Halcyon Cycle, The Halcyon Dislocation
DRAIG a Fantasy Novel by Anne C. Miles
Draig is the second book of the Call of the Lorica, a series written by Anne C. Miles. She continues to build her world and we enter into a phase where there is conflict between the forces of harmony (Majisters and their allies) and the forces of dissonance (the Conclave driven by the Eighth of the Cyntae—the dragon Doran). Several major victories are won by Dane and the Majisters, but will they be enough? Toward the end we see the battle lines for the next book take shape. In a truly terrifying scene, the dragon Doran, detaches himself from a tattoo on Modric’s arm, and tortures the Conclave leader to teach him the importance of success. Will the forces of good be destroyed as Modric fully expects? Who will be the next king? Is Sara (a person from our world who interacts with the world of the Majisters, primarily through Dane) facing a battle of her own in our world with her boss, Bastien?
It is difficult to write a sequel as compelling as the original story, yet Anne Miles has done a masterful job. Although much of the story line is set by the first book, there are many surprises and some animosities surface as the forces of evil masquerade as the good. Draig left me eager for more and I look forward to the third book. I recommend reading the stories in order. My rating: four stars.
Review of Glen Robinson’s THE SERPENT AND THE DOVE (HERETICS#2)
Having read, Heretics#1, I must say that THE SERPENT AND THE DOVE did not disappoint. Like its predecessor, it was an action-packed thriller full of suspense, heroic action, peril, as well as intriguing plot twists. The Heretics, as an organization, are about to go international and respond to training requests from teams in other countries.
Betrayal from within the organization leads to deadly strikes against the new teams and forces the Heretics organization to go into hiding until the betrayer can be discovered. Key to the disaster is a person called Veritas who uses human pheromones (a topic of scientific debate and speculation) to great effect.
This is a well-written story that kept me reading. I cared about the main characters and the suspense was handled well. Until the end, I was looking at rating it five stars, but I ended up at four. The author is clearly setting the reader up for the sequel, but there were so many loose ends that it left me somewhat dissatisfied. I, of course, expect some loose ends to make room for a sequel, but this story felt as if there were too many for my taste.
Perhaps, when the next book is available, and I have read it, the loose ends that trouble me now, will be the appetizer that will cause me to enjoy the sequel more thoroughly.
Review of Bowen Greenwood’s Science Fiction Love Story ONSLAUGHT
Langston Wheeler is a member of the Brotherhood of the Gentle Hand. That is to say he is a telepath with extraordinary powers that has pledged to use these powers only for good and in service to others and never to aggrandize power.
On being sent to the planet Felicitas to investigate a rogue telepath, he meets the beautiful, courageous, and brilliant Tia Dynn. As a Gentle Hand, Wheeler is only permitted by his order to marry other telepaths. As he struggles with his feelings for Tia, it turns out the rogue telepath is actually part of a preliminary incursion, preparing Felicitas for a full scale invasion by telepaths and their army of hybrids. Langston and Tia are thrown into a fight for survival. The terror, the fight sequences, and the narrow escapes are well-handled and contain some interesting surprises.
In summary, this is an interesting, entertaining love story and thriller in a sub-genre that might be termed superman meets supermodel. It’s a story I will likely read again. I heartily recommend it to others.
I rate Onslaught four stars.
A Review of J. K. Bailey’s ZEALOT FINALE #1
J. K. Bailey’s first book is a wonderful testament to his vivid imagination and story-telling ability. The story follows the adventures of a boy Chen and is full of wonderful imaginative inventions: Zoas which are animal human hybrids, Wryym which are dragon beings, there is a creature called Bio-Weapon, and a mobile plant-being called, appropriately enough, Venus (reminiscent of the Venus flytrap).
I enjoy books that not only tell an imaginative story, but also make me think. At one point Chen, when talking about fear, makes the counter-intuitive observation that “strength does not do away with fear, love does.” I thought about that for some time and came to agree with him.
My rating: 4 stars
Review of C. S. Wachter’s A WEIGHT OF RECKONING
The fantasy Worlds of Ochen are seven planets linked by portals. Although the worlds are linked, the actions in the series occur on seven islands, one on each world. The islands differ by climate, by the presence or absence of magic, among other things. If you read these books be sure to look at the beautifully illustrated maps on the Wachter Website (https://cswachter.com/).
A Weight of Reckoning is the sequel to the Seven Words series. The action begins quickly with plans for human sacrifices designed to bring back a guardian demon that had been banished. The focus and the capstone of the increasing number of weekly human sacrifices, is the blood and ultimate sacrifice of Prince Rayne who was instrumental in banishing the demons from Ochen in the first place.
The fast-moving story is replete with personal sacrifice, hard choices, desperate actions, and self-sacrifice as it moves from world to world in its march to the final conflict. Reminiscent of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis’ writings, I loved how the author thoroughly anchored this story in a world view that recognized Good and Evil.
Wachter is a superb story teller and world builder. Her writing is clear, concise, and precise. The characters are well-crafted and detailed descriptions of the landscape put the reader right in the middle of a vivid action scene. I highly recommend this series. Although I began with this book, I plan on returning to the first story and read them from beginning to the end.
My rating: 4.5 stars
Time for a New Magnetic Sign for My Vehicles
Since I have just finished my fifth book, it seemed time to update my rather modest advertising. Having a sign on my van is one inexpensive way to draw attention to my writing. The last sign I had on my vehicle only featured my first three books. So this time I wanted to focus particularly on The Dragons of Sheol and Coventry 2091.
My books are listed on many of the major online bookstores: Word Alive Press-Anchor, Walmart, Indigo, Barns and Noble, and, of course, Amazon (it will hopefully appear on Apple soon, but they seem to take longer than anyone else to list). If you’d rather not search the site for my name, you will find links at … https://wolfsburgimprints.com/buy-books/
Posted in Coventry 2091, Fantasy, For Authors, Independent (Indie) Authors, Peter Kazmaier, Questioning Your Way to Faith, The Battle for Halcyon, The Coventry Chronicles, The Dragons of Sheol, The Halcyon Cycle, The Halcyon Dislocation, Writing
Tags: Magnetic Sign, Science Fiction, Writing
The “What If?” of COVENTRY 2091
Science Fiction stories often begin with a “What If?” question. Coventry 2091 is no exception.
A Comment on Sara Flower Kjeldsen’s Excellent Blog: READING AN ENTIRE BLOG BEFORE COMMENTING
Posted by Peter Kazmaier
Link to Sara Flower Kjeldsen’s blog: https://saraflower.ca/2023/02/05/reading-a-persons-entire-post-before-commenting/
Link to a cited reference in Sara’s blog: https://www.sciencealert.com/people-who-read-the-facebook-newsfeed-think-they-know-more-than-they-actually-do
I wholeheartedly agree, that as a blog commenter, I ought first to thoroughly read and understand the thesis of any blog before I respond either in support or in disagreement. For me that is a discipline that I ought to practice in my reading.
However, having conceded that point, I also believe as a blog writer I ought to structure my blog argument in such a way, that the modern reader with all the attention deficits they bring to the written word. cannot help but capture my central argument even if they skim that last few paragraphs of my missive. Note, to be perfectly clear, I am not at all saying that any Sara’s blog posts suffer from this deficiency. I am merely stating that as a complement to thorough reading, I always want to practice best writing practices in my blog posts.
Why the complementary focus on blog structure? In 2011, I read William Powers’ book, Hamlet’s Blackberry. It was either while reading the book itself, or hearing some excellent lectures on Powers’ book by Pastor Bruxy Cavey, that I realized that the age of emails had modified both my own and many other people’s reading habits.
In my case, feeling the pressure of reading and responding to many, many emails a day, I found, as Powers predicted, that I would read the title and first paragraph and then, without thinking, skim the rest of the text. This modern proclivity of skimming, does not at all excuse the blog commenter from reading the blog carefully before responding, but it did signal to me as a blog writer that I should do what I can to mitigate this reading defect. In essence, I resolved to use the title and first paragraph, as much as I am able, to communicate a succinct version of my thesis, so that even those who read no further can grasp my argument.
At least one commenter attributed inappropriate responses to Sara’s blog to trolls who presumably are deliberately misunderstanding her argument since they write using uncharitable criticism to inflame passions and provoke heated responses. No urging for them to “read the whole blog” nor any effort on my part to make the thesis apparent in the first paragraph will curtain their activity, since the whole mechanism of trolling is to miss the point.
However, there are likely many readers who miss the point inadvertently because of time pressure. True they should not comment without a thorough reading, but I think it would be of value to structure my blog in such a way that they get the general idea of my thesis or point despite their rushed perusal.
Posted in Essay, For Authors, Independent (Indie) Authors, Non-Fiction, Personal Reflection, Writing
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Tags: Blog Posts, Commenting, Straw Man Argument, Trolls