Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kindle Worlds

Amazon has announced their new project: "Kindle Worlds". A platform for fan fiction where authors (new and old) will be able to write fan fiction and earn money. Amazon has secured licences for three fiction worlds at the moment: Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Little pretty liars.

This is a really interesting idea. It will give the opportunity for many fans to publish their fan fiction stories and earn some money. And it will give readers the opportunity to expand on the universes that they love. Haven't you ever felt like you can't get enough of some fictional world (i.e. Star Wars, Star Treck, Middle Earth, Westeros, Marvel Univers, DC Univers, etc.). I have, in more than one occasion.

I personally, will not be writing any fan fiction (for now; you can never say never). But I would very much enjoy reading fan fiction of my favorite fictional Universes.

So let us hope that Amazon secures more licences, and the options increase.

I will be watching the developments closely.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I've just opened shop on Shelfari. I had my Goodreads account for some time, but didn't know of the existence of this other similar web. I joined and so I have one more venue to let my books be known to the public.

If you are a member of Shelfari, or Goodreads for that matter, don't hesitate to add me as a friend.

Before they are hanged - Book two of the First Law Series

The second book in this trilogy is even better than the first. Now that the characters were introduced in the previous book, in this book we get to know them better and love/despise them. We also can see how they start growing, their decisions influenced by these changes. In the first book there was one character who I didn't like too much, I saw it as a bit boring and not well connected with the rest of the plot. But in the second book I changed my opinion and looked forward for reading a chapter that featured this character, as the connection was well done -with the main plot- and I got to appreciate it.

Joe Abercrombie's mastery of dialog and action scenes is amazing. However his characterizations are his best asset. In each chapter we follow a character, and hear his thoughts and feel his emotions. He manages to do this in a seamless and beautiful way.

Several of the characters take on a long trip to the edge of the world, others set out to fight a war in the north. But I don't want to spoil the fun for those who might pick the book up and read it.

All in all, when I finished reading, I could not wait to get the third and last book of the trilogy and find out how it ends, and mostly, what is the doom of those imaginary friends I've gotten to love and hate so much: Logen, Glockta, Jazele, Bayaz, Coronel West, etc.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Blade Itself - The First Law Book One

At first I was a bit lost (as in most fantasy books you can find). Tolkien didn't write it so there are no endless description of the lands and the people (I love Tolkien, mind you). Joe Abercrombie jumps right into the action.
Soon I got used to the new setting and dove into the story with my eyes closed.
This is the first book of a trilogy, so it does not end. Some might not like this, but I rather enjoy trilogies and series. If the characters hook me, I'm always eager to read more about them.
The characters are great, in fact, it's the best part of the trilogy. They are so different, odd, and non-stereotyped. There is no good or bad characters; each has its good parts and its bad parts. In that sense its much more realistic than many fantasy books around.
Another thing that I really enjoyed was the fact that it's for adults. Most of the fantasy written now (or in the past) is for young adults. This trilogy aint.
So if you like fantasy but prefer a more adult tone on the books you read, this is the trilogy for you.
In this first book we are introduced into the main characters: Glockta, a cynical crippled that tortures people; Logen, a warrior trying to change his life, haunted by his past; Jazele, a self-centered, vehement, stuckup, rich-boy, aristocrat; and several others just as peculiar as these.
There are several plot threads (another thing I love about a book), that cross in several occasions. But it's not a complicated plot, so regardless of how many threads the story follows, you won't get lost. As I said before, the best thing about these books are the characters, and how they confront the situations that come upon them.

A great read, really recomendable.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sneak Peek

Here you have a sneak peek of my as yet untitled novel I'm writing at the moment. This excerpt belongs to the first chapter. Have in mind that it's a first draft.

He proceeded due east, toward the villa. It was visible from the road but hidden to Keller’s gaze by a low hill covered with pines and sycamores. As he topped the hill, below he could see a wide plain where the villa was located and beyond, the path that snaked to Kalycom Road, flanked by tall elms. Keller reined the horse to a stop and squinted his eyes. A carriage was moving down the path, toward the villa, pulled by a couple of white steeds. Before the vehicle, a detachment of six soldiers on horseback, rode in double file; the front-right one carrying a pole with the symbol of the Senate on the top, a golden olive tree. This could only mean that a senator traveled in the carriage. Keller’s lips curved momentarily, the expression vanishing as quickly as it had emerged.
He could only think of two senators who would travel south to his villa, instead of summoning him with a messenger; Senator Illiard Elanor and Senator Clemen Jaress. However, if it were young Clemen, he would have come with a much smaller escort, maybe even without any. He was a bold young senator who was still trying to prove himself before the rest of Senate. So it had to be good old Illiard.
Keller heeled the horse to meet the visitors. He reached the paved path in a moment and met with the garrison halfway to the villa. The soldiers reined their mounts and the carriage driver followed suit.
“Gain way, old man!” bellowed the officer in charge of the detachment. It was a young sergeant who was but a bit older than Keller’s own daughter. By the looks of him, he was given the rank for his noble blood, but looked greatly inexperienced.
Keller glared at him, his brow frowned deeply, his eyes flashing with fury.
“I said Ga—“ the officer was unable to finish the sentence. Keller moved his horse quickly and unsheathed his short sword, putting the cold sharp point in the officer’s throat.
The young soldier gasped and turned pale as a corpse.
The man beside him, the one carrying the Senate symbol, was a weathered mid-aged soldier; he watched the scene with some satisfaction, in silence. The rest of the escort was motionless as well. Keller felt sad, what good was an officer who’s soldiers did not respect him, so much as to stand still when a man threatens his life.
“Sergeant, he is Lord Keller Argoth; sir”, explained the standard bearer.
“That I am”, proclaimed Keller, pulling back his sword and sheathing the weapon in a quick nimble movement.
“Ah— ah—“, stuttered the officer.
The soldier beside him snorted in contempt. Keller trained his glare on him reproachfully. This officer might be unworthy of the respect of his soldiers, but it was no excuse for their behavior.
“I should have you all lashed. What kind of training have you had?”, questioned Keller to all, but glaring at the standard bearer. “Were you not told that you must defend your officer? Or are you so witless as to not know that?”
No one spoke, their expressions hard, their eyes looking forward, avoiding his glare.
“It’s unfortunate that you are not under my command. I believe that I could still make real legionaries out of the lot of you”, he spoke, more to himself than to them.
A bold and wrinkled head poked out through a window in the carriage. When he saw Keller, he smiled chuckling. “Greetings, Lord Keller”, he waved a small pale hand full of long bony fingers.
Keller turned his head and gazed at the old Senator. His expression remained unchanged.
“You should make sure that your escort is qualified. This lot would shit in their paints if confronted with a real danger”, he made the last remark glaring at the officer in contempt.
“Forgive me, Lord Keller”, the young sergeant muttered dropping his gaze to his hands.
Keller eyed him a last time, and then moved his steed to stand beside the carriage window. He held Illiard’s hand firmly, his expression softer, yet not smiling. Keller seldom smiled.
“It’s good to see you”, he said. “Shall I meet you at the villa?”
“Very well”, answered Illiard returning to the shadows inside the carriage.
Keller moved the horse up to the officer again, and nodding at the structure down the path ordered, “Move along”.
“Yes, my lord.”
Keller pressed his heels sharply and his steed jumped into a canter, leaving the party behind.

The Test - A short story

I've just published a new short story. It is called "The Test" and the blurb is as follows:

In the near future, scientists develop a method to discriminate people who will possibly develop pathological behavior and become killers, rapists, etc. Is this a blessing from the heavens, to rid society of unwanted individuals, or is it a curse?

The Test

The cover is in fact provisional. It doesn't convince me so I'm working on a new one to change it.

Massive book giveaway!!!

Here is the link:

Contest goes from May 10-May 15, 11:59pm EST

Good luck.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Halfway home - Hugh Howey

This was a great book. Some have qualified it as young adult fiction; maybe the fact that the characters are all teenagers draws that conclusion, but I don't quite agree. The book has many adult themes like: "What does real freedom mean", "the struggle for power", "strength comes from unity", "how most people will follow an idea or person like sheep", "can we change our destiny, our position in life; and should we", etc. There is a theme that is usually used in young-adult fiction; "rebellion against the powers that be".
I think that this book has more layers than most people have noticed.
But, enough of that and lets talk about what a page-turner this book is. I bought it and a couple of days later I have already finished it. It's not a long book, but being as busy as I usually am, it is something unusual to finish so quickly a novel. But the truth is I couldn't stop reading; had to find out what happened next.
I think that the best books are does that have this effect on you, those that you must keep reading until you reach the end.
When I finished, I smoked a cigarette in the balcony, musing over the story, the characters, everything.
Summing up, it's a great book and I recommend it.