Being published is not always what you dreamed

Lee Goldberg posted this cartoon on Facebook today; I just had to share it.

Also, if you haven’t read the glorious McGrave, read my review and go buy the book.

Book Review: McGrave by Lee Goldberg

Mcgrave Mcgrave by Lee Goldberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are some books that you read and feel enlightened about the world around you. There are some books that are fascinating and insightful, making you think. Then there are some that are just unashamedly fun.

McGrave is a straight up actioneer, pure fun, and revels in what some would call cheesy cliches. Instead these cliches are actually part of the humour Less has used to make this story fun.

This story was originally written as a pilot for TV and reminds me greatly of the 80s cop shows. In fact, if you ever saw the hilarious Sledge Hammer, then you could imagine a similar take on action and cop adventure played straight. This McGrave adventure is certainly an escapist pleasure and it had me laughing and entertained throughout.

Treat yourself, unless your idea of a treat is Tolstoy.

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Book Review: The Dead Man: Kill Them All by Harry Shannon

Kill Them All(The Dead Man # 6)Kill Them All by Harry Shannon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harry is the latest author to contribute to The Dead Man series of novellas. It must be daunting to receive the call.

Lee Goldberg: Hi Harry. Do you want to write an edition of The Dead Man?
Harry Shannon: Why sure Lee, I love that series.
Lee: Okay, just don’t fuck it up!

Fortunately Harry has come through with the writing goods to keep the series’ reputation intact. Matt and his axe are back, once again visiting a small town, ready to kick some evil arse (I’m Australian, we spell it arse, not ass). This time, though, some professional bad guys are after his blood, literally.

Harry’s other books are worth checking out as well. He writes horror (the Night Series) and thrillers (Mick Callahan series), showing the creepy thrills in this Dead Man book weren’t an accident. Lee and Will continue to deliver the goods with this series.

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Tyson Adams’ 2011 Book Awards: The Awesomes

I’ve read a few books this year (+140) and have decided that I needed to talk about my favourites of 2011.  I also thought it fair to award my favourite reads of the year an Awesome.

As you will have noticed, my reviews of books are more about my impressions of the book and talking about how much I liked the book, rather than a recap of the plot, etc. My reasoning behind this is simple, I want to say “read this book” to people rather than fall into my bad habit of spoiling the ending.

My list is based upon what I have read this year, so obviously some great books (Snuff) have missed out due to lack of reading hours in the year. Also my read list does include some books that were published prior to 2011. There were some categories that were sadly under-represented and some that had some very intense competition.

Also, the fact that I finished a book shows that it was worth reading. I have my reading rules that stop me wasting valuable reading time on books I’m not enjoying. This means that any books on my read list are entertaining (well, unless I was particularly disgusted with the crappiness of the book in question).

Awesome of 2011

10 hours of non-stop reading fun, 12 if you count meal and toilet breaks. I could not put this book down, it had me enthralled with Reilly’s fast paced thrills and explosions. This books defines The Awesomes.
Also, I would like to extend my condolences to Matthew and his friends and family on the loss of his wife Natalie.

Awesome Literary Fiction
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Mystery & Thriller
This is one of two heavily over-represented categories in this year’s Awesomes. 
Awesome Crime

Blood Work – Michael Connelly
13 Hours – Deon Meyer (technically I started it in 2011, but only finished it this year)



Awesome Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Paranormal Fantasy
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Science Fiction

Peace Army – Steven L Hawk



Awesome Horror

Dead Man Series – Lee Goldberg, Will Rabkin, et al.



Awesome Romance
There were no nominees in this category this year. Better luck next year.
Awesome Humor
Right What You No – Tyson Adams’ blog
I’m allowed to be self-congratulatory. Plus I didn’t read any funny books this year.
Awesome Nonfiction
This is an oxymoron, so it is invalidated as a category. Having said that I did read several nonfiction books this year, mostly on climate change. I should make mention of On Writing by Steven King, which really had me agreeing with Steven’s insights.
Awesome Graphic Novels & Comics

The Boys – Garth Ennis

This is the second over-represented category on my list. 


Awesome Indie

Awesome Poetry
Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Book Review: Holiday reading

I’m back from my holiday, refreshed, revived and vertical. To kick off my post-holiday blogging I thought I’d review the books that entertained me over the break.

On Writing – Steven King
I finished this book off on a rainy afternoon. I immediately sat down and wrote a lovely little short story that will tie in with my first novel – Overturned Stones. I can’t recommend this memoir highly enough to writers. Although I must warn everyone that you may incur a sore neck from nodding in agreement.

The Emperor’s Tomb – Steve Berry
I bought this book the week it came out in Australia in paperback, only now have I managed to read it. This is another solid thriller from Berry, with Cassiopeia and Cotton trying to stop a power brawl in China. He also touches on the much debunked abiotic oil theory (1, 2).

When the Women Come Out to Dance – Elmore Leonard
This is a collection of Leonard’s short stories; including Fire in the Hole, upon which the TV show Justified is based. There is the characteristic Leonard dialogue and characterisation present in some great little stories. Aside from the last story in the collection, I quite enjoyed this book.

The Dead Man: Blood Mesa – James Reasoner, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin
In fairness, I actually read this before I went on holiday, but didn’t get around to posting my review. My review: bloody good. Matt and his axe are back and a bunch of archaeologists get the sharp end after the touch of Mr Dark. James has done a great job, as Lee and Will continue to find very talented writers to help with this series.

Implant – Jeffrey Anderson, Michael Wallace
I’ve been plugging away at this book for a while now. I’ve finally given up on it as it hasn’t grabbed me. Nothing wrong with the book – it is well written, the concept is solid, the characters interact well – it just doesn’t appear to be to my taste. I’ll probably come back to this one at a latter date.

Book Review: The Deadman: Hell in Heaven – Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

I’m not a fan of gambling. I once watched a friend of mine place $1000 worth of $1 bets on roulette in the space of half-an-hour before heading to the ATM to get more money to throw away. I’m pretty sure I could have found more fun things to do with that grand, and not all of them would have been immoral. Since I’m not a fan of gambling I’m not a fan of horse racing, a sport that exists merely in order to gamble. In spite of that, I feel the need to use horse-racing vernacular.

Since I have begun receiving each Deadman novella prior to release, I feel like I’ve had the inside running on the Darby winner. Hell in Heaven is the third in the series and once again it is a winner! It will be on sale from tomorrow (4th May) so grab it. If you like a well written, pacy, horror thriller, this book, and series, is for you.

A quick recap is in order, but I’ll try not to add any spoilers, the last time I did friends disowned me, even though I was saving them from The Crying Game. The hero of this series is Matt Cahill and his trusty axe. In the first book, Matt recovered from a mild case of death to discover that he could now see the evil eating away at people’s souls. This lead him to discover he had picked up a nemesis he dubbed ‘Mr Dark’. In the second book Matt has set out to track down Mr Dark and introduce him to his axe. To find answers he stops off at a mental hospital. Nothing bad ever happens in a mental hospital. Now in the third installment Matt has stumbled into Heaven, population 136, actually 137: they were expecting him. Matt may be able to see evil, but does it have to be evil that makes bad things happen?

This series has kept me rapt from the first page, quite an accomplishment considering that the authors have been running a baton relay of writing. Fortunately these authors are the Jamaican sprint team doing the 4x100m relay, each stage just gets better and better. A few thrills, a bit of mystery, a strong overarching storyline, a cool lead character and a few horrifying bad guys, should keep people glued to their e-reader (unless you prefer to read dead trees, in which case glued to the page). Also I should note the bonus chapters for the next installment of the Deadman series, The Dead Woman, will be by David McAfee and appear to promise the series will keep going strong.

Book Review: Dead Man – Ring of Knives by James Daniels

There is a saying in the music industry that the second album is the hardest. You are backing up your first work in the series and the pressure is on to not just come up with new material but to create something better. But what do you do with the band that changes its entire lineup and releases a new album? Well normally you would avoid it like a “Guns ‘n’ Roses”* Chinese Democracy album.

James Daniels has had the unenviable task of taking on the second installment of the Dead Man series of novellas started by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin. Now James has taken an interesting tact with the second novel: he has tried to outdo Lee and William and succeeded. Given the high standard set in the first novella, Face of Evil, this is no mean feat.

When we left Matt Cahill he was starting his trek to discover why he made an amazing recovery from his mild case of death and why he can now see evil as other’s souls are eaten away by it. Seeking answers he is trying to speak with another who has been similarly afflicted. What better setting for a horror novel than a psychiatric hospital!? This book expands upon how Matt’s story and hints at Mr Dark. But Mr Dark isn’t who Matt has to be worried about in this book.

So James has done this series proud and has created a thrilling, suspenseful read. I really enjoyed this sequel and I pity the poor writer following on from James. They don’t have to just be as good or better than the first, now they have to top this one as well.

*It hasn’t been Guns ‘n’ Roses since Slash left.