The Wanderer’s Curse

Jennifer Lacewing is a lonely teenager whose father is too important to be around. Surviving in Helix, one of the last bastions to the small human existence on a decaying Earth, she longs to be a peaceful farmer. But things never go as planned. When Jennifer and Collins, her best friend, are forced to join the Wanderers, a small group that can mysteriously survive outside the safety of Helix’s fences, she is devastated.

And something else is amiss. Was it a coincidence that she became a Wanderer at the same time her father has been falsely accused of murder?” In a rush against time, Jennifer must complete her Wanderer training and clear her father’s name…or lose him forever.9781943050833-ebook Curse 290pg Rework.jpgAvailable on Amazon.com

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You can read the first 4 chapters for free following this link.

Fablehaven

Review Jacob Pelley
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Book Blurb

For centuries, mystical creatures of all description were gathered to a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic in a cynical world. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite. . .

Kendra and her brother Seth have no idea their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws give relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken, an arcane evil is unleashed, forcing Kendra and Seth to face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save her family, Fablehaven, and perhaps the world, Kendra must find the courage to do what she fears most.

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Settings

Modern Fantasy is one of my favorite settings when done right. This book did it right. It took the things we enjoy in the modern world and put them in a cabin like setting. The grounds of Fablehaven feel like that park you visited as a kid and always found something new about it. There was the safe area you parents told you to play in and when they were distracted had the fun adventurous parts. Brandon Mull does a excellent job  of world building while letting the reader still imagine what the world could look like. It feels like you could spend your whole life in Fablehaven and never see it all.

Main Characters

There are two Main characters and a host of support characters. Even though the story is around Seth Sorenson and his sister Kendra all the supporting characters are well done and relevant to the over all plot. If you have a high energy little boy in your life you can relate to Seth character easily. Kendra is a little dry, but will grow on you. She is the kid that never leaves the safe zone of the playground unless she knows for sure can get away with it. I feel like all the mistakes Seth makes in this book I would have made them too.

 

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Recommendation and Ratings 

If you are a fan of Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Adventure, and Clean family friendly Fantasy  this could be the book for you.  If you are taking a plane or bus trip this is the perfect book for that. It took me two days of leisurely reading this book to finsh it. To this day I still pick it up and read it once a year. Overrall 5/5 for a great family book that you can pass to your kids one day. This book could be a stand alone and you could be content with how it ends. Thankfully there is five in the series and a new run that just started if you wanted more.

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Journal Entry: Day 96

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Chopping wood is the worst thing ever! It wouldn’t have been so bad, but the wood splitter broke down. That is when mom pulled out  the mauls and we had to do it the real way. Dad, David and I had to this back at home, but doesn’t mean I liked it then. Mom, Lily and Courtney got the easy job of stacking wood in the shed. Will was here to help out while Dad is gone. He is in great shape so I thought it would go a lot better, but no. This was the first time he has ever chopped wood. Again another thing he has never done! I am so jealous of gridey life. Then again he lost almost everything when this disaster happened. The best part of today was when the girls were stacking the wood and found a snake. Courtney and Lily  both ran out of the woodshed screaming. Courtney I expected it from, but Lily was a surprise. Lily has chased down the charred, but was scared of a little old gopher snake. Mom chased the snake out so the work could finish. I was so sore I could barely move. At least that was all the chores for today.

 

Everyone was too sore and tried to play some DnD tonight. We got to watch some old movie in the mess hall with the other families here.  Mr. Mills put on the movie spaceballs. It was like a knock off of star wars, but boy was it funny. Mom checked in with Dad during the movie. I snuck away to listen in. They ran into a large group of the charred and Fremont was injured. Dad said that after that they made camp for the night to tend to him.. Tomorrow night they should be in the area of the last location the Gonzales. There is a chance they might find other survivors to. Which bring back more people than planned would be  like a present in this new world we live in.

Journal Entry: Day 95

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It was raining when Dad left to go find the Gonzales.  I think it was the first time I have seen rain since this whole ordeal started.  Courtney was all tears watching him leave. Once you could no longer see them in the distance Courtney latched on to me and did not let go.  She crushed all the air out of my lungs with inhuman strength. Lily had to step in to break it up. Once she saw me go from bright red to blue.  Pretty sure Courtney bruised one of my ribs. Lily lead Courtney back inside the cabin. Mom had to go inside once Dad got into the Beast Brooke was a mess too.  I even saw a few tear from Lily. Going to be a lot of emotions in the cabin. I wanted to warn Will a head of time before he came over. Sure he has a sister, but only one sister.  He has never witnessed the storm emotion from three at once.

 

Jobs still needed to be done even though Dad was leaving and it was raining.  I managed to save Will from the estrogen onslaught once he arrived. Each person deals with stress in their own way.  Crying and a lot of hugging was not how I handled it, but it worked for my sisters. Today’s job would have been to cut some firewood, but I talked mom into letting us clean the kitchen in the mess hall. Little did Mom know is that I cleaned most of it already. Giving Will and I some free time after we finished what was left.  The mess hall has a large screen tv and a few arcade games cabinets in it. We got a few hours of goofing off in and none was the wiser.

 

Will and I headed  back to our cabin in the early afternoon.  Mom and Lily cooked dinner which was fantastic.  Courtney, Brooke and Beth baked a large cake for dessert.  Everyone seem to be over this mornings ordeal. While we ate Courtney went of the basics on how to play DnD with Will and Beth.  Then later in the evening Olivia and Megan came over. Will got strong armed into playing a fighter while Beth the cleric. We played long into the night until Mom broke up the fun. Tomorrow was still a school day and that stack of firewood still needed to be chopped.  Mom checked in with Dad once everyone left. It seems everything is going to plan on their end. The rescue party should reach the spot where the Gonzales last checked in sooner than expected. I still have a bad feeling about them being out with all those charred. Who knows how bad things have gotten close to the main city.

 

 

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

World War Z:
An oral history of the zombie war
By Max Brooks
 Review by Jacob Pelley
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Book Blurb

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Settings

This book is set in the world after the zombie apocalypse. Humainty has won the day and now it is time to reclaim what is thiers. The story goes over the cause, the effect and the failings of humainty during  the zombie apocalypse. It also goes over the trumpits and the sacrifices people had to endure to survive. The history is vast, but manageable to take all in. From the battle of Yonkers, to the rise of Cuba the author crafts a great narrative of what the landscape looked like during and afterwards.

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Main Characters 

There is no real main character of this book outside of the Interviewer. He is cataloging s major events from people perspectives that survived.  Though I did have a favriote story and that was from Todd Wainio a soilder at the battle of Yonkers. He is even voiced by Mark Hamill in the audiobook. Each interview is relevant to the over all story and intresting. I did find the Whackos parts a little slower in pacing than the rest.

 

Recommendation and Ratings 

If you are fan of  Science Ficition, Thrillers with a supernatural side, A little bit of humor in your Science Ficition or Zombies this is the book for you. I give this book 4/5 due to its garphic nature. This is a rated R book, so not suitable for kids under the age of 16. Now if you are over the age of 16 and okay with that rating this is a 5/5 book. This is one of my favorite audiobooks of all times. The book is an fantastic read, but the audiobook is just amazing. Here is a small list of the voice actors Max Brooks, Nathan Fillion, Simon Pegg, Denise Crosby, Bruce Boxleitner,  Jeri Ryan, Mark Hamill, Rob Reiner and Rene Auberjonois. If you had to choose between reading this book or listing to it go the listing route 100%. Also avoid the movie at all cost it pretty much has nothing to do with the book.

Journal Entry: Day 94

Day 94

I guess  getting back to a normal life will have to wait again.  The charred attack a last night. They injured two people bad enough that surgery was needed.  I don’t know the people that were attacked, but Dad seems upset about it. Where do these things keep coming from?  To make things worse the Gonzales have still not checked in and a search party is being formed to go look for them. The beast is back to running shape again and Dad volunteered to drive.  Mom was not happy with that. I didn’t think a person face could turn that color when she found out. In total six people will be leaving to try and track them down. Dad, Mr and Mr.s Robinson, Fremont, Miller and Mr.Jack.  Miller is a retired US marine and one of the nicest people in the world. Mr.jack is the second in command of security and is not a fan of kids.

 

The plan is to go where the Gonzalez last checked in and try to track them down.    Their route was the back road that I am really really thankful we didn’t take. It is way to windy for my stomach.  The trip there and back should only take a week, so Mom will be incharge while Dad is gone. Which isn’t she always incharges anyways?  Cars have been know to break down on that route, so I hope that is all that happened. Though that was before the charred. When we broke down the longer we stay put the more we were attacked.  Will and Beth will be staying with us while the Robinsons are gone. At least there was that good news. Though having Beth stay the night might be a bit challenging. I still don’t know who read my journal, but I am sure my crush on her will be brought up sometime this week.  Courtney is going to start a D&D campaign tomorrow night. Can you believe both Will and Beth have never played before. Megan and Olivia are going to join us to! At least there will be something to take my mind off Dad being gone. For their first campaign Courtney is going to run Ravenloft.  Will and Beth are in for a treat! Now to get some rest. Because even though Dad is leaving doesn’t mean I will get to sleep in tomorrow.

Journal Entry: Day 93

Journal Entry Day 93

The last two weeks  have been normal. Other than the purple colored sky and having to live in a old summer camp. Will and Beth started to join us on our home schooling. The Robinson’s are needed elsewhere, so Mom took over their training. I was surprising what they didn’t know. Like how to splint a broken arm or how to filter water. To be fair everyone struggles their first time trying to make a fire with just sticks and no matches. Mom definitely kept us busy. We learned  to make soap, aspirin from willow bark and how to make a bow. Also the boring stuff like math, book reports, learning latin and some PE. mens sana in corpore sano!

On the job training has gotten a little better. I  followed Dad for a few days, learning on how to repair the solar panels. It was a lot of setup, but these things need to run for a long time. Dad was strict on me, but it was to make me understand the importance of the job. On the last day of following Dad we had to repair main refrigerator for the cafeteria. A rat got inside the wiring and shorted it out. While it was down Dad decided it was a good time to do the yearly maintenance. I didn’t get back to our cabin until almost morning. Then they made me get up early for school the next day to! At least it has been quiet around the cabin. The charred have not attack in days. Only one more family has shown up and the Gonzales are overdue to check in. Though with the way the roads are they should be here eventually. Them not checking in the last couple of days has not sat well with Mom and Dad though. There are talks of sending a rescue party to go find them. Using the route they last check in on. I hope I don’t get volunteered for that.

 

Child of the DayStar

 

Child Of The Daystar

Book one of the Wing of War Series

By Bryce O’ Connor

Book review by Jacob Pelley

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Book Blurb
Among the scattered fringe cities bordering the Cienbal desert, the true name of the Monster of Karth is spoken only in whispers…

Raz i’Syul Arro.

A sellsword of the utmost caliber, Raz is a killer of paramount skill and highest regard. Towering tall even amongst the atherian, he is the only of his kind to live free in the “civilized” confines of mankind’s varied cultures. He has no need of loyalties, his sole affections pledged to the gold crowns that buy his time and skills. Wed to his blades, Raz’s only friends are the Moon and Her Stars and the shadows they bring with the night.

But Raz was not born to the mercenary’s way, to the butchery and battle of day-by-day survival. Raz, like a sword, was hammered from steel and fire and ashy smoke, forged on the ruins of an old life. And Raz knows who he owes this new path to, this carved way of blood and iron. The Monster of Karth, after all, would never forget who gave him that name.

And some debts can’t be paid in gold…

 

Settings 

Bryce O’Connor did a great job of world building in this book. At times I could feel the heat of the dessert sun on my neck. Other times the chill of the winter winds from the north. The pacing in this book was good. Something you could read and come back to easliy.  This is a epic fantasy book and I always judge these books harshly for its settings. The Auhor did a great job on coming through on that end. Yes there is magic, other races and monsters that feel natrual to this  world. Tolken would be pleased with the work.

 

Main Characters 

The main and supporting character are beileveable and likeable. Raz is a well rounded protagonist. Even though he is not human he is written like someone you could have dinner with. I was not a big fan of Sryah.  I usally wanted to get past the Syrah chapters and get back to Raz. Though Sryahs development is important  her first chapters are  weaker.

 

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Recommendation and Ratings 

If you are a fan of Fanstay, Epic fanstay, Horror, Dark fanstay this could be a good fit for you. This book is not for people under the age of 16 as it gets a little graphics. I would give this book 4/5 stars. The only reason why I knocked of 1 star is that I can’t reccomend it to people of all ages. If you want to check out more of the Authors work you can find it here. https://www.bryceoconnorbooks.com/dragon-fantasy-the-wings-of-war/. Which BTW he has one of the nicest Author web pages I have ever seen.

State of the book day 91

State of the book

It has been over 91 days since my book the Wanderer’s Curse has been released. I have sold over 150 copies in that time. That is 1.6 books a day which is fantastic. Adjusting for all the debt to profits I have made $115. That is accounting for a new suit,  a 10X20 poster, event cost, hosting and domain for the website. Though it has been a long time since I have actually sold a book as of late. Here are a few things I have been up to since the launch of the book.

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Book blurb nightmare

I had to rewrite the blurb a lot. It took a total of 10 rewrites to finally get it where it needed to be. That is not just rewriting the same paragraph over and over again it was 10 new and unique blurbs every time. These are some of the ones that didn’t make the final cut. My coauthor Sarah finally came through with the best one.

Blurb rejects

Maazer Basilisk is the trusted leader of the wanderers of Helix, a settlement fighting to survive in a toxic world gone mad. But civilization comes at a cost, and to ensure humanity’s survival behind the walls of Helix, someone has to travel beyond. It’s a dangerous job, something Maazer becomes all too aware of when his partner is killed and he’s left alone for the first time in living memory.
Now he has been tasked with finding two new recruits, and the most obvious candidates are best friends Jennifer Lacewing and Collins Foss. Observed for years by the powers that be, both yearn to serve their settlement, but is becoming a wanderer what they truly want? Even being in contact with Maazer is perilous, and if they are chosen, it means becoming Outcasts…and leaving any chance at a normal life behind.

Since the fall of the last great city, Granite Heart, the settlement of Helix has been struggling to survive in a dangerous and toxic land. How does humanity continue? Sheer will? Partly. A stubborn unwillingness to die? Definitely.

Jennifer and her best friend Collins, teenagers that have been observed for years, are about to be given the worst job placement ever: Wanderer. Wanderers brave the wastes to protect the colony from beasts, bugs & bandits. If life wasn’t already hard enough, Jennifer and Collins are sent outside the colony’s limits on a simple mission that quickly becomes rife with murder, blackmail, and peril. What is at stake?-father’s life/exile, friendship, Kara’s life, the town under attack, frenemy Kara

Fixed Blurb

Jennifer Lacewing is a lonely teenager whose father is too important to be around. Surviving in Helix, a last bastion to the small human existence on a decaying Earth, she longs to be a peaceful farmer. But things never go as planned. When Jennifer and Collins, her best friend, are forced to join the Wanderers, a small group that can mysteriously survive outside the safety of Helix’s fences, she is devastated.

And something else is amiss. Was it a coincidence that she became a Wanderer at the same time her father has been falsely accused of murder?” In a rush against time, Jennifer must complete her Wanderer training and clear her father’s name…or lose him forever.

Here are the resources that I used to fix the blurb

Starla Huchton was a big help in reworking the Blurb. Her site has one of the best run downs on how to write a better blurb.
https://www.starlahuchton.com/crafting-the-dreaded-blurb/

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Dave Chesson over at Kindlepreneur has a huge wealth of knowledge that is free on how to become better at being a author. Dave does care about you being successful. He took the time out of his busy schedule to give me advice and looked over my many many blurbs revisions. He also has a great podcast and created KDP rocket which is useful for making amazon adword campaigns.

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Lastley under the recommendation of Dave Chesson I read the book How to write a sizzling synopsis by Bryan Cohen. It was an easy read, but gave important insights on what to do. I read the book in under 3 hours and I am not the fastest of readers. His basic rundown on how to write a blurb looks like this
1:Introduce the main character
2: Establish the Beginning stakes for the character
3:Escalate the tension for the character
4:Repeat steps 1-3 for additional main characters
5:Bring the characters together
6: Raise the stakes even higher for the characters
7: Put the characters in the ultimae danger of failing,dying ETC

Once you have the beta Blurb trim it down more
1: simplify as much as possible
2: Trade down words
3: Remove ant phrases that will slow the reader down
4:Read out loud and for areas that need additional emotional Impact
5: Ensure that you end with a Bang
6:Get feedback
7: Read it out aloud one more time
Bonus try to keep it under 300 words
But you should read the book as well!

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For those that like twitter @Jac_Onue enjoys helping people with thier blurbs to. He helped me with mine and gave constructive feedback.

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What I am working on now

I am trying to network more, so much more than what I have been doing. Also reaching out to different book bloggers and podcaster. Next week I will going to be on Central Valley Talk.com, working on getting on to a local tv news station, and hosting a small event here in town. Finally getting in touch with artist for reworking the book cover and hydra logo, but I really like my cover right now.

 

On the Subject of the Unforeseen Consequences of Book Blogging — By The Past Due Review

Seeing as it has been over two years since I began The Past Due Review, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some of the unforeseen consequences of running a book blog. I realize that I have expanded my content to include movie reviews and Music Monday posts, but this site began with […]

via On the Subject of the Unforeseen Consequences of Book Blogging — The Past Due Review

Journal Entry: Day 79

Day 79

Got to meet one of those giant spiders face to face today. Thankfully it was dead when they brought it into center of the complex. Last night it tried to attack one of the goats at the farm. I did not think bugs could get this big. It had fangs the size of my hand, long coarse hair with spindly legs and 12 jet black eyes. Mr.Meza the goat herder didn’t want to accidentally shoot the goat, so he cut down this spider with a pair of tree shears in his underwear. I wish I had a quarter of the courage Mr.Meza had to do that. Mom then took the spider away to the med lab to do a autopsy on it. She asked if I wanted to help and I turned her down. Courtney and Olivia volunteered for the job of assistant. I got stuck doing both of their chores while they helped Mom. I was so sore at the end of the day. Even with the attack today I slept great knowing people like Mr.Meza are around.