AND THE WINNER IS!! I am ashamed to say that I almost forgot to draw a winner for this blog post, BUT, I saved myself at the last minute. 🙂 The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift card is Stephanie Ortiz Jenkins!! Stephanie watch your inbox! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It is always a challenge to pick just ten books from the many books I read each year. Because it was so difficult this year, I have listed a Bonus book and also some fabulous short stories. I hope you enjoy my Top Ten, and if you see a book that catches your interest, click on the purchase link and add it to your TBR list!
Excerpts are a time honored tool for
blog tours, and that’s what I’m bringing you today.
Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy. It’s
filled with monsters, magic, and fantastic creatures. It also has gunpowder, so
cannon, muskets, and pistols are included.
To set the scene, the characters are forced into starting a war with a neighboring country. They came to this city to do some historical and political research. It isn’t coming together very fast, and James is on the verge of a new plan.
James strolled up and down each dock,
occasionally checking the mooring of a ship. Putting a finger to his hat
whenever a crewman spotted him.
The end of the third dock was empty.
Even the lamps weren’t lit. The only light came from quarters on a ship tied to
the second dock.
“Hello, mate,” a rough
James cleared his coat away from his
pistol before turning.
“No need for that. I mean you no
harm. Seen you down here walking the nights away. Been watching you.”
“What for? And come forward so I
can see you.”
“You’re a cautious man, I see
that. Well armed too.” The man stepped forward. Long grey stubble covered
his face. He wore a small tricorn, and carried a cutlass. “I seen your
“And what type is that?”
“Long stares out at the water.
Touching the ships as you pass. Hand on your face while you’re thinking of
something. Probably a big loss of some kind. Family farm? Lost love? Maybe a
title? Something along that route.”
“Pretty close, mate.”
“A few of my mates and I been
lookin for a fellow like you. You’re a man of the sea, and can’t wait to get
back to it.”
“I’m sure there are plenty like
me around. Good luck in finding someone.”
“Hold up, mate. We’re just talking.
Names Johnny Jump Up. There’s men around like you and I, but not too many with
money to invest.”
“I don’t have any money,
“Your mates bought a chest.
Carried it back to the Ghost yesterday. Looked real heavy. They spent
some too. Nice kit the lady bought. Kind of pricy. Seems like you own a slave
“How long have you been watching
“Longer than that fella all
dressed in black. He only showed up the other day. Asks a lot of questions
about who’s new in town. Asked if anyone’s been flashing a lot of gold
“Speaking of him, maybe you
wouldn’t mind continuing this conversation back at the tavern.”
“Naw. Too many ears at the
Ghost. There’s another tavern, just down the way. It has ears too, but nobody
cares. Called the Dead Man’s Rest. Heard of it?”
“Saw it from a distance last
“Don’t want you to think I’m
leading you into a trap. You go there. Order a bucket of beer. I’ll be along in
about half an hour. It’s a safe neighborhood, but you might want to tuck your
purse in your boot. If you know what I mean.” Johnny held out a lantern.
“Use me lamp if you’re worried.” He struck a match and lit the flame,
before placing the lantern on the dock and stepping back.
James picked up the lantern and
Johnny stepped aside. “I’ll make sure your shadow ain’t around. Then I’ll
join ye inside.”
“Any particular draft?”
“Get the yellow one. The dark
one’s gone off, give ye the shits now.”
“Good to know.”
honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a
political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms.
James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes
through with the plan.
soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those
who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of
cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the
ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually,
they’re going to have to engage the enemy.
goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to
collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue
of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of
monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.
I was born in a
town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in
the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the
times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of
getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.
I moved to Idaho
right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career
was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in
with both feet.
I like to write
about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science
fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours.
I hope you enjoy the ride.
What I enjoyed most about this new book from C.S. Boyack is the fantastic job of world-building he accomplishes through creative writing. I had no difficulty visualizing the cities, the boats, the monsters, or the people that make up this story. The root monsters are a surprise and it’s fun to see them take on personalities and start to become somewhat human. The goal of James Cuttler is often different from that of his makeshift crew, but he manages to keep everyone happy with enough looting to satisfy any good pirate. His goal is to start a war between two countries and rescue his fiance. The adventures along the way, the battles, the exploration and discoveries kept me turning the pages. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite character. I love Mal for his devotion to James (aka Captain Bloodshot) and for his incredible ability to grow monster creatures in dirt, using his special magic. I love Serang for her fierce loyalty and amazing physical abilities. Plus, she has her own surprising brand of magic. The romance that blooms between Fala and James’ best friend, Dan, is believable and adds a touch of sweetness to the story. But I think my favorite character is the half-goblin half-human woman, Halfrid, who ultimately gives James the magical tool he needs to accomplish his goal and rescue his fiance. The action and battles are intense. The ending is satisfying. Anyone who loves adventure on the high sea mixed with fantasy and magic will enjoy this story as much as I did.