Monthly Archives: September 2013

Review #3

And the positive reviews continue to roll in. Here is what Betsy Harrison said about my novel on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/730582546. Otherwise here it is below!

“The Guardian of The Core is reaching the close to his 200 year term as Guardian and must seek out a replacement. Letters arrive at different places to assemble the best of the best for the competition to see who will be chosen as the apprentice. Prince Hydro, Eirek, Zain, Zakk, Gabrielle, Prince Evber and Cadimar are the contestants for the apprenticeship.

“The trials would sort the strong from the weak. Nothing else matters.” These are the thoughts of Guardian Eska as he finally meets those called to attempt the trials.

Through a series of four trials they will be tested for knowledge, strength, survival and more with only one spectator allowed to witness the trials, Senator Numos. After each trial, some will be dropped while others continue on until only two are left. These two will compete in the final Trial with the winner to become the new apprentice and eventually the new Guardian.

All of the contestants want to win, but at what lengths will they go to to be the final person left? Rivalries and friendships. Which will it be?

Totally unique and very interesting story line, plot, setting, and characters. The author does each person justice by not focusing on just one or two but spreads out the developing plot between them all. This story has me awaiting the next book to see if the characters and story go the way I have developed them to go in my mind.

I gave this book 5 stars. Actually, I’d give 6 if I could.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)”

Thanks Betsy for enjoying the book.

As An Author…

This is a poem I made up. I haven’t done poetry for a while, but this one just came to me so I figured I had to write it down. WordPress is being stupid and not allowing me to tab so that is why the bullet marks are in there so that I can indent, so just imagine that you are reading the poem without them in there.

As an Author…

I survey the scenes our senses savor

  • Causing us to sniff and salivate

I am trained to paint pictures

  • Not tell tedious tales

I create charismatic characters

  • But only by observing others

I notice the nuances that make you, you

  • And make them, them

I might obfuscate observations

  • Or, I may dissect definite details

I can orchestrate the Swan Song

  • And may compose a crescendo
  • As captivating as Casanova’s charisma
  • Or as drawl and dilapidated as death

 

But, for it to be anything at all

  • Ostentatious or otherwise

 

I need sky-shattering support

  • For I am an undiscovered underdog without it.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find it enjoyable and relatable (especially if you’re an author).

Profession Change

No, no, no, I’m not changing my job as a writer. I still love writing and publishing and will continue to do that until I retire from the scene, but recently I just had a change of heart regarding some of my other life happenings right now.

So, I graduated college from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and Advertising. In my mind the perfect combination. I was going to be the best copywriter ever, just like Don Draper himself. Than graduation came, and I looked for jobs and all the Ad Agency jobs require experience (well tell me, where do I get this experience you so claim I should have already)? An option, to go to copywriting school but since I live in Wisconsin and the Big 3 (Creative Circus, Miami Ad School, and VCU) are all on the east cost, that option would be arduous to say the least. With that being said, I have been trying to get my foot in the door at marketing arenas but have thus been unsuccessful which has been really depressing on my part. You know, they say to you, get a good GPA in college, be involved in organizations and internships, and you’ll have a job after college. I did all of that. Check. Check. and Check. I was president of 3 organizations, 3.6 GPA had an advertising internship, but still couldn’t find a job.

So, I used a little bit of my sales experience and started selling insurance, which is fine, I don’t mind it but passionately, it’s not me. I want to be an author. I love going to critique sessions and seeing other peoples work and helping them market their own book since publishing this first one has plunged me so deep in the industry its amazing. I have learned so much from this road of self-exploration and publishing my book than any amount of internships could teach me. But, with that being said, selling insurance is hard work. Don’t get me wrong you can make a lot of money at it if you are passionate about it and stick in it long enough, but that is where it is hard for me. Call me stupid but what is going to get my name out there to establish my platform as an author more, selling insurance or taking time to write stories and submit them to magazines? Probably the latter. What pays the bills? Probably the former. But the former is commission only and I have to fill up my gas tank every two days to drive to appointments which makes it not probably for me at this point in my life. Basically, it’s like I am starting up to companies at once which is a definite strain on a budget.

Then, I got to thinking. My friend recently just became a teacher and I am so proud of him for that and honestly my mom was a teacher for 38 years and although she had a messed up schedule, she had her summers off and a steady, secure job. Something I relish and crave and want. My personality, I think, would make me a great teacher and already having the experience in marketing and writing I could teach kids about things that they will need or want to know going into college. So now I have decided to go back to school to get my teacher’s certification in English so I can teach at the high school level.

This job would be fantastic for a number of reasons. (1) It’d be steady pay. (2) I can get the joy of a critique session while I am working and love being able to help students with their writing. (3) It would compliment my writing schedule the most, allowing me summers off to write like it’s my job. Oh wait, it kind of is. (4) When thinking about where most books take off nowadays what age range do you imagine? I would say mostly young adults in their high school years to early college years because they have the most time to read. If students knew that their teacher wrote a book, maybe they would go out and buy it. Who knows? From there it has the chance to expand, but those are all just my hopes, dreams and aspirations. We will see how that actually turns out.

But, for now, I am bent on going back to school to become an teacher because at heart it’s something I want to do. Also, my dad passed along to me the Wisconsin G.I. Bill which paid for my first bachelor’s degree to get me out of college debt free–something I cannot be grateful enough for. But my dad told me recently that if I went back to school the bill would grant me a stipend of a certain amount per month to help pay for education until the age of 26. So, if I am going to go back and do anything, now would be the time. And I finally pushed myself to make it that time. I am in the process right now of getting everything registered for spring semester so I can start and get my new career path on track.

I hope it works out for me and I guess a quote I just came up with recently that I have really liked is this, “The scariest thing about taking the plunge? Not knowing if the water will be deep or shallow.” I like that quite a bit and can’t wait to see what this plunge has in store for me.

MY SECOND REVIEW!! :)

Hi everyone,

Alright sooo I finally got a second review in now and it comes from a reviewer who requested my book over NetGalley. Speaking of which, if you want to read it and review it before it comes out on December 10th, sign up for a NetGalley account and I can send you a link to download it on your e-reader.

Anyways, here is the review. It comes from reviewer, Duchovney Osborne. He says….

“I don’t normally put a synopsis of the book on my site but this book is so good, I’m making an exception in order to peak interest and hopefully introduce you to a great read you may have overlooked. The synopsis below is taken from Goodreads.
{ As Edwyrd Eska approaches his two-hundredth year as Guardian of the Core, he must find an Apprentice to train under him. His title and role compels him to safeguard and govern his universe, Gladonus, as each Guardian before him has done and those after him shall continue to do until relieved of such duties by will of the Ancients. Prince Hydro Paen, Eirek Mourse, and Zain Berrese—amongst other contestants—receive invitations to compete in a quest of Trials intended to determine who becomes Eska’s Apprentice. An old adage goes: “the toughest trials test you truest” – and these events challenge their fortitude through tenuous partnerships, intellectual rivalries, and battles of weapons’ mastery. Along the way, each contestant must attempt to overcome personal demons that haunt them. In this tale of ideal dreams and lucid aspirations, these competitors find theirs threatened by deceit, betrayal, sabotage—and even flesh—as all become vital to success…}
My thoughts in short I really enjoyed this book. All the characters, world building, action and intrigue you would want in a book, well its in this one.
My recommendation this book is worth grabbing a copy. I think this is a book that will pick up steam purely from word of mouth.
I received a copy of this book in ARC form from the publisher. This does not change my opinion in any way.
4 out of 5″
Thanks Duchovney for the review. You can check out his blog at http://bookcoffeereview.blogspot.com/
I hope to get more positive reviews as the publication date draws nearer.
Thanks for reading everyone and for the continued support I receive. It means a lot to me.

MY FIRST REVIEW!!! :)

Okay so I’ve been sending out galley copies for a while now and I finally got my first review back from one of the readers. I am so excited that I’m posting all of it here! It’s kind of long but I like it all and I am hoping the other reviewers will feel the same way. This is for the book, The Trials of the Core, the first book in the series, Guardian of the Core, which you can like at www.facebook.com/guardianofthecore 🙂 Anyways, here is the review!

“If fans of science-fiction or fantasy are looking for something unique and unconventional, The Trials of the Core blends the two genres in a way that is simple yet elegant.  Michael Thies creates a universe that is sort of a cross between Harry Potter and Game of Thrones.  Written unpretentiously and with clear character voices, this is the first installment of a series that has potential to speak to both young and mature audiences alike.

In a faraway solar system known as Gladonus, twelve distinctive planets – each with its own culture of inhabitants – form an intergalactic kingdom.  Presiding over this collection of nations is Edwyrd Eska, a “Guardian” who protects and rules his republic with stoicism and gumption.  Underneath Eska’s firm exterior, bits of softness shine through as he searches for an Apprentice who will ultimately become his successor.  Six young warriors compete in a series of trials to prove who is worthiest of accompanying Eska during the twilight years of his reign.

Among them is Eirek Mourse, the “everyman” who rises from the mundane life of a pauper to embark upon a journey that leads him to seek out a greater purpose for his existence.  Although Eirek is far from robust in the brawn department, he compensates for it with compassion toward others and brainy resourcefulness.  Unlike the typical hero, Eirek’s path meanders in several unexpected directions as he attempts to reconcile his long-term desires, lack of self-confidence, and abandonment issues in the absence of his uncle and onetime mentor, Angal.  Battling his competitors as well as natural elements, Eirek – who has been unable to cast Power – finds that his inner demons are his greatest adversary as his quest concludes in a surprising manner.

Eirek’s main adversary – as well as a common foe to many of the other characters – is Prince Hydro Paen.  The son of a royal lord on the planet Acquava, Hydro brings an entirely new spin to the concept of the “antihero” as his delusions of grandeur impede the genuine affection he harbors toward his fellow countrymen and his family’s legacy.  As he intends to stop at nothing to seize the reward of becoming Eska’s Apprentice, Hydro loses sight of some of the greatest qualities that a leader should exemplify; yet, he remains a strong contender for the coveted title even as a final showdown ensues.  The prize Hydro eventually captures proves to be alternately filled with both promise and darkness, leading the reader to ponder what it could mean for the future of Gladonus as a whole.

A third finalist in the trials, Zain Berrese, exemplifies some of the deepest character complexities imaginable.  Saddled with guilt for failing to save his former lover, Ava, from death, Zain struggles with his role in the apparent demise of his best friend, Zakk – a fellow gladiator who was also slated to compete in Eska’s trials.  Haunted by visions of the comrade he fears he has killed, Zain finds himself distracted throughout the trials by the sexual wiles of a female warrior, Gabrielle, along with a battle of egos against several of their male rivals.  It’s often tricky to get inside Zain’s head, but that only goes to show how immensely conflicted he remains over what qualities Gladonus will require from its next generation of leadership.

In addition to the seductive and cheeky Gabrielle, numerous secondary characters pepper this saga of Guardian Eska’s grueling competition.  Cain, a suave-yet-cerebral prince who vies with Zain for Gabrielle’s affections; Cadmar, the beefy and often-bullheaded Garian soldier who craves the apprenticeship as a matter of honor; Tundra, a wise but outspoken elder who serves as one of Eska’s closest advisors; and Senator Numos, the portly, seemingly jovial politician who observes the trials with tight lips and keen interest.  Each of these characters has a perspective to share, causing the astute reader to theorize what role they might individually – or collectively – play in later editions of the series.

The author oscillates between fast-moving action and slower moments of rich character development, never truly revealing his hand in terms of which character is destined to come out on top by the end of the trials.  These young competitors display a nice balance of elemental magic, physical strength, and mental prowess to battle the various creatures thrown in their paths as they strive to prove their merit to an enigmatic ruler.  A variety of supernatural creatures come into play throughout Eska’s trials, my personal favorite being the fairy-like Windies.  Other antagonistic species – reminiscent of ogres and centaurs – create life-threatening obstacles that turn our young warriors inside-out to show what they are truly made of.

A common quality linking all of these diverse characters is their perseverance; the six ambitious personalities jockeying for Eska’s favor individually value either wisdom, honor, compassion, power – or some combination thereof.  Their interactions result in a compelling series of alliances, feuds, friendships, and grudges.  One cannot help but anticipate that their future paths may become continuously intertwined even after Eska’s newly-minted Apprentice finally assumes his or her mantle of power.

Michael Thies has created a colorful and action-packed world that taunts the genre-lover into delving beneath the surface of what a character initially appears to be.  While several mysteries embedded within the plot are left dangling, the story concludes with the implication that this battle was only the beginning for Gladonus – and that more ominous, and much more complicated days await its future.

I highly recommend The Trials of the Core as an introduction to a cosmic saga that challenges adventurous readers to leave one’s assumptions and expectations at the door.  This nebulous narrative dares you to pick a side, reinforcing the menace of how no character is safe from confronting an untarnished destiny.”

Thanks for reading and I hope to have plenty more of these to come in the following weeks!

Review of Riddick

So, one of my favorite movies ever was Chronicles of Riddick. I thought the whole movie was tastefully done and it had lots of twists and action in it that kept me guessing until the very end. When I heard that a new Riddick movie was coming out I was intrigued. Where did this one fit into the story line? Is it before Pitch Black? Is it after the Chronicles of Riddick? I had to check it out. And I did. Here is what I thought.

The beginning of the movie we get Riddick chronicling his life and what happened to him after he took over the throne. He is in pain and on a planet we have never seen before and the first fifteen minutes are just him showing his survival skills. The beginning could have the pace picked up a little bit. We see him get his dog pet and eventually we see him with his dog grown which raises the question, how much time has passed? How fast does the dog grow? Once the dog is grown he sends a beacon which attracts bounty hunters and finally the action begins.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the other movies but the connection this one plays is with Pitch Black and a guy named Johns who is never really focal to the story telling but we get his dad who hunts down Riddick in this one to find out what happened to his son. The connection is tenuous at best. The creatures that Riddick and the Mercs face in this movie are pretty unique and entertaining, however, I feel as though its really contrived that they, essentially, are underneath of the whole planet and when it rains a shit-ton come out. Wouldn’t they feel getting walked on? How would they survive if they are just in some sort of stasis until it rains?

The ending is good though, and there is definitely going to be another movie coming out as Riddick tries to find his home (which I thought was destroyed in the first movie, or they showed a clip of it being destroyed I am pretty positive).

Overall, it was a good movie. Worth the investment and when dealing with action-type movies I tend to negate looking at plot and structure and overall plotholes just because if I did that then most movies would get torn to shreds. I give it a 6.5 out of 10 just because I liked the action, but I was expecting more in a sequel to Chronicles, I was hoping for more real action instead of a “filler” movie as I would call it. I am looking forward to the next one though.

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