Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

The Silverblade Prophecy, Free on Kindle Until the 9th!

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June 8, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Silverblade Prophecy, .99 Cents on Kindle for a Limited Time Only

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CM3PL6
Synopsis:
Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.


After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.


Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….


The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Double Whammy – Review of The Kingdom of Vosh: The Chained Princess, Plus an Interview w/ Jason C. Conley

SpecMusicMuse Review—The Kingdom of Vosh: The Chained Princess by Jason C Conley

Vosh_white_COVERPrincess Jasper is your typical rich spoiled brat until her father’s kingdom gets overthrown by Lord Buul, a deformed brother she never knew she had. Chained to a monstrous creature named Vork, she escapes with Vork’s aid. And with a motley band of misfits, that includes a boy trapped inside a steam-powered machine and a handsome pirate she knows she shouldn’t trust, Jasper must find a way to retake her father’s kingdom from the clutches of her tyrannical brother.

Fantasy meets steam in an epic battle of good vs. evil that resembled some of my favorite Anime, all the way down to the bizarre misfits and “OMG!” plot twists. All rolled up in timeless and age-old themes, both philosophical and political, that wholly relate to the modern day. Jason C. Conley’s The Kingdom of Vosh: The Chained Princess is, to put it mildly, an epic undertaking.

The oft-cheesy dialogue and extreme characterization is typical of Anime, and one could say a requirement for the genre, but which might be off-putting to the casual novel reader. There are some things that work in an animated film, or even in a graphic novel, that just doesn’t come out right when attempted in novel format—and vice versa. That being said, I personally like the Anime-ish feel that it gave, but I’ve been an Anime fan since the first day I watched Akira.

I also found the POV shifts irksome and even confusing. While the occasional switch from Jasper’s first-person POV to Buul’s third-person POV was an interesting experiment, I think it could have been handled a lot better. For one: section breaks (***) between the paragraphs where the shifts occur would’ve been nice. And second, it sometimes seemed that Jasper’s POV would sometimes border on the omniscient.

It could be that I was reading an ARC (and if so, it’d be nice if small presses would start putting “Advance Review Copy” somewhere on their, well, advanced review copies) and the problems I encountered with clunky POV shifts and a couple minor grammar snafus and typos that make grammar Nazis like me want to yell “Aw Seig Hell No!” won’t be present in the official finished copy. I hope so, because it’s a great story well worth its chance in the spotlight, and I would hate to see editorial problems (and easily fixable ones at that) get in the way of its success.

Best to read while listening to: the soundtrack to the Elder Scrolls series.

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JasonCConleyInterview With Jason C. Conley

Why did you decide to become a writer, and when?
I don’t know if it was such a conscious decision or not.  It came out of necessity to bring this story out of my head!  It kept bothering me. Like a pesky neighbor’s dog, it kept barking in my ear all night.  So I had to shut it up and get it on paper.  Luckily, it was interesting enough to get a few people’s attention!

I sensed a bit of Anime influence in The Kingdom of Vosh. How close to, or how far off, the mark am I on that?

Pretty close.  Anime, comics, old serial action adventure movies from the 60’s, even videogames, they all played a part in influencing this story. Stuff like Ninja Scroll, Akira, or other over-the-top stories with wild characters and a damaged antagonist.  Movies like Clash of the Titans, (the old one), or Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, The Wizard of Oz, anything concerning a grand quest that included crazy creatures and wild technology.

I also noticed some themes, and events, in the story that parallels our modern day world.

Now here we go!  That’s more like it.  Are you sure you’re ready for the answer?  Absolutely!  I am an observer by nature, a listener.  And what I have observed and been awoken to, especially since 9/11, is a world that has been overtaken by lies from the elite.  Now this isn’t necessarily something new, but the scale and magnitude of such deception and the means by which they are willing to go to maintain control certainly is.  Rogue elements within our government, usually part of the military industrial complex or financial system, have within the past sixty years, since JFK, orchestrated a coup over the American people.  Other similar groups overseas have done so with different means, specifically overwhelming debt creation such as what is going on in Greece.  The result is a massive population that is being steered and milked and driven into the ground by a very, very, select few.  We are being lied to on a grand scale.  Our financial system is collapsing, the dollar is losing its buying power.  Wall Street is at record highs but so is the unemployment rate, homeless rate, bankruptcy rate, divorce rate, and violent crime rate. There is a worsening disconnect between these ruling elites and the ‘unwashed,’ and I believe we are coming to a very critical point in time where these two bodies are going to collide.

This is how tyrannies are formed, not overnight, but through deceit and manipulation.  Patiently. And one of these techniques is what’s called a “false flag” operation.  This is taught in military handbooks as a way to control, distract, and confuse the enemy into believing a person or group is responsible for an act when in reality it is another.  Hitler did this in 1933 by burning down the Reichstag building and blaming it on the Communists, thus giving rise to the Nazi party in Germany and solidifying his control.

More recently, in 1962, the US Joint Chiefs secretly authorized Operation Northwoods as a way to bring the US into war with Cuba.  The head of every branch of the US Armed Forces gave written approval to sink US ships, shoot down commercial aircraft and blow up buildings in Washington DC and Miami and then blame the terrorism on Castro.  It is only through the denial by then President Kennedy that this plan was stopped.  Ironically, Kennedy was then assassinated the next year by who the elite called a “Cuban sympathizer.”

Now what is even more troubling is the rise in advanced weapons technologies such as the drone program and the NSA spying programs.  These weapons of war are now being turned on the populace they were sworn to protect.  Under who’s orders?  What cause?  Security?  Who’s?  Over 30,000 drones will be in the skies over the US within the next six years. Who are they watching?  It’s certainly not Al-Queda.  That’s a Washington Times article.  That should send chills down your back as the Constitution is rolled over. The question is how far will the public allow this to go?  It’s only by waking up to what is going on around us will we not find ourselves under a tyrannical government.  It is allowing the tools of tyranny to be available on a massive scale to control and potentially enslave millions of people.

Oh, but I’m an alarmist though, right?  We are Americans, we would never do such a thing to our own people.  Right?  Ask the Japanese Americans who were put in internment camps during WWII or my own ancestors, the Cherokee Indians, who were removed from their own lands and slaughtered in the Trail of Tears.  We forget how brutal and indifferent people can be if it is not happening to their immediate circle.  And that’s not even touching on 9/11.

So yes, to answer your question.  But I was nowhere near as heavy handed in the book as I was just now. We have to get these ideas into the general lexicon of the people because they don’t realize the deception that is taking place. A well informed public is a safer public.

What attracted you to Steampunk?
The overall asthetic appearance of the technology as well as the way it seemed like anyone could build it in their garage if they had the time.  It’s partly why it’s taken off like it has in Cosplay at conventions.  It’s because it is buildable by everyday Joes out there!  It’s the common man’s jetpack.

How did the idea for The Kingdom of Vosh develop?
Through my artwork mainly.  I was the artist throughout the book, even creating the cover back in 1999.  I would imagine these characters and how they would appear and then sit down and draw them.  Stories began to swirl and eventually a plot materialized.  It was my intention to bring it to life as a graphic novel but I settled on just an ordinary novel with my artwork before each chapter.

Has music ever helped you in your writing, or influenced your writing in any way? And what kind of music works best for Steampunk?

I wrote The Kingdom of Vosh while listening to movie soundtracks, namely Daft Punk’s Tron soundtrack and the Dark Knight’s soundtrack.  It was that techno-funk, pulsating groove that got me into the world. Metal clanking and thumping in rhythm, then some crazy techno whir as it pulsated with the beat, it seemed to fit the genre well.

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The Kingdom of Vosh: The Chained Princess by Jason C. Conley is now available!  Hardcover, Paperback, or digital.
Find us online at:  www.thekingdomofvosh.com
Our Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/TheKingdomOfVosh
Or our Pinterest page at: https://www.pinterest.com/jconley78/kingdom-of-vosh/

December 15, 2013 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Overkill Blog Tour

For Immediate Release

April 5, 2012

 

25 Date Overkill Blog Tour and Cover Art Unveiled for Steven Shrewsbury’s Latest Gorias La Gaul Adventure!

 

 

Seventh Star Press is proud to unveil the cover art and illustrations created by award-winning artist Matthew Perry for Steven Shrewsbury’s newest Gorias La Gaul novel, Overkill, as well as announce the dates and sites for the Overkill Blog Tour.  A pre-order window for a limited edition hardcover is also being opened in advance of the book’s official release.

(Illustrations by Matthew Perry from the first edition of Overkill)
The Overkill Tour is being hosted by Babs Book Bistro, and will feature 25 blog sites over 25 days, beginning April 20th and running through May 14th .  The tour will feature a number of activities, from interviews, to reveiws, guest blog posts, and contests/giveaways.

 

Overkill is the second novel featuring the iconic sword and scorcery figure Gorias La Gaul, following the debut of the character in the novel Thrall, released in late 2010 from Seventh Star Press.  Gorias La Gaul is also featured in two short stories, Author and Finisher of Our Flesh, and Insurmountable, both available in eBook format in the Blood and Steel: Legends of La Gaul collection in the Seventh Star Singles catalog.

 

The story told in Overkill takes place in an ancient time, before a great flood wiped clean the earth, destroying everything upon it.  Before the deluge, in a time now forgotten, the world was a place of warriors and witches, conflicts between kingdoms, and, until their extermination, dragons.  In this world, men may live centuries, fallen angels have begotten terrifying spawn, and sometimes, the best hope can be found in a brothel.

 

In the land of Transalpina, a new religion spreads, and important men are dying mysteriously, slain by what can only be the fire of dragon breath.  Summoned by the Queen Garnet, the legendary warrior Gorias La Gaul

returns to the place where he once saved the queen’s young granddaughter from treachery and enslavement. The Princess Nykia is gone, and soon others may try to claim the throne.  The queen has little choice but to turn to the only man who ever told her no.

 

With the aid of one of the queen’s elite guard, the battle maiden Alena, and the young palace servant Orsen, the old mercenary will face pirates and traitors, monsters and foul magic in the quest to find the missing heir and learn the truth behind the disconcerting murders.

 

Overkill will be released in softcover and Kindle versions during the third week of April.  The novel is now available for pre-order in a beautiful hardcover edition that is strictly limited to 75 copies.

 

The limited hardcover edition will be signed and numbered by Steven Shrewsbury and includes a bonus illustration from Matthew Perry not included in other editions.  It will be accompanied by an assortment of collectibles, including a set of glossy art cards, bookmarks, and magnets.  The limited edition hardcovers will also be bundled with the eBook version (provided as a direct ePub file for users with Nooks, iPads, or Sony eReaders, and gifted as a Kindle file for Kindle users).  Those interested in securing one of the 75 limited hardcovers can place a pre-order at: http://seventhstarpress.com/documents/pre_orders.html

 

The Overkill Blog Tour Dates and Participants Are As Follows:

 

 

April 20  Watch Play Read

April 21   SpecMusicMuse

April 22  Splash of Our Worlds

April 23   Edi’s Book Lighthouse

April 24   Sci-Fi Guys Book Review

April 25   Jess Resides Here

April 26   Book Den

April 27   That Book Place Blog

April 28   Urban Fantasy Reviews

April 29   Evie Bookish

April 30   Eva’s Sanctuary

May 1     Azure Dwarf Horde of Sci-Fi & Fantasy

May 2     Darlene’s Book Nook

May 3     Ginger Nuts of Horror

May 4     Ali’s Bookshelf

May 5     The Magick Pen

May 6    Book and Movie Dimension Blog

May 7    The Cabin Goddess

May 8     Bee’s Knees Reviews

May 9     I Smell Sheep

May 10   Once Upon A Time

May 11   Ritesh Kala’s Book Review

May 12   Goatfairy Review Blog

May 13   Fantasy Book Review

May 14   Babs Book Bistro

Contact: C.C. James

Public Relations, Seventh Star Press

ccjames@seventhstarpress.com
Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky

April 7, 2012 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , | 1 Comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Seventh Throne (Rising Dawn Saga, Book 3) – Stephen Zimmer

The third book in Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn saga, The Seventh Throne, continues the adventures of Benedict Darwin and the gang while introducing new big bads like Ares and Set.

 

Benedict gets kidnapped and tortured for information by the government, Gregory leads an armed resistance against the hijacked UCAS, and Friedrich partakes a quest into the Abyss in search of Erishkigal. And all as martial law gets declared on the UCAS, the Abundant Harvest virus is unleashed onto the world, and war is declared between the UCAS and Mandaria.

 

You’ll find twists and turns galore as Zimmer continues his epic saga. And his descriptions of the Abyss is just as vivid, detailed, and (darkly) fascinating as Purgatarion—drawing from myths from many diverse cultures. The third installment is just as much a page turner as the second was.

 

Also, Erishkigal FTW!

 

Best to read while listening to: Epica, Nightwish, Metallica, Megadeth…and maybe some Enya for the Abyss scenes just to mess with your head even further (hehehehe). Just kidding. Enya works for Purgatarion. Midnight Syndicate is perfect for the Abyss scenes.

October 15, 2011 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Storm Guardians (Rising Dawn, Book 2) – Stephen Zimmer

The second book in Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn saga, The Storm Guardians, starts out strong and stays that way. Where the first book, The Exodus Gate, primarily set the saga up, it’s in the second book where it picks up the pace.

The setting is like a paralell modern day world. A very familiar world where mostly the names have changed: the UCAS=USA, Grand Charter=Constitution, Yorvik–you get the picture. Although I’m not exactly sure about the small town Godwinton…. (Godwin’s Law?)

The shapeshifting An-Ki are now divided into three clans and despite crossing time and space to escape the global flood and find themselves in a time period they know nothing about, they still find themselves pursued by their ancient Nephilim enemy that managed to cross the Gate as well. Fortunately, they now have help, in the form of a new order of Avatars known as the Watchers.

However, in the spirit world, Beleth leads an army of nasties out of the Abyss and invades Purgatarion in what is quite possibly the most epic and imaginative battle I have ever read in any fantasy novel. Heck, you even get to root for spiders (for once).

All this while Dagian Underwood, Jovan, and the rest of the conspirators (a mixed bag of human and Dark Avatars) continue their march toward a one world government with the revealing of Living ID, along with a federal assault on a home in Godwinton reminiscent of real world events such as Waco and the Brown residence.

The second book reveals many mysteries as Benedict Darwin and the gang continues to find themselves caught up in a conflict so big that no single world can contain it. It contains a large cast of characters, yet Zimmer manages to keep the pace going while still giving each chracter’s proper time in the spotlight. If anything, The Storm Guardians, is a promising continuation to the saga.

Best to read while listening to: Anything from Rob Zombie (no joke). Also, there’s a new band called the Sons of Liberty….

October 8, 2011 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment