By Peter Welmerink
I can't believe it myself. I actually took some time and sat down and read some books this summer. That doesn't often happen between family, work, and trying to write my own stuff.
Below are a few books that really stood out for me.
WEST MICHIGAN RISING is a Alt History intense thriller. There are some current real-world issues that come to mind in this book. Maybe that's why it touches a nerve and you get emotionally involved with these fictional characters and landscape.
HEART OF A LION is an epic fantasy romp of a strong kickass female character, Rayden Valkryie. I haven't read many books with epic and awesome female fantasy characters who aren't afraid to flex their muscles and get dirty. This is the first book in a series about this character. I look forward to the next books.
BORN OF SWORDS is another epic fantasy continuing tales of Shrewsbury's Gorias La Gaul character. The more I read of this character, the more I like, and I have to say, out of the books I read so far featuring this character, this one is the best so far. Well worth picking up and wetting your whistle on this character.
All three books are available in ebook and paperback form. I picked up the paperbacks because, well, I am kind of old school. LOL
WEST MICHIGAN RISING
By Russell Slater
Publisher: Peninsulam Publishing
The United States of America is gone. The state of Michigan is no more. Following mass nuclear terrorism, North America has fractured into dozens of independent countries. Citizens of the Great Lakes Commonwealth are shocked by news that their leader has been assassinated in the capital city of Detroit. A new president with a new vision takes office and bans the private possession of firearms, forcing the God-fearing rural population of West Michigan to struggle for their rights against overwhelming odds. Principled regional rulers are transformed into reluctant rebels as West Michigan confronts national tyranny.
HEART OF A LION
By Stephen Zimmer
Publisher: Seventh Star Press
Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.
A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.
The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.
Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.
Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.
Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.
BORN OF SWORDS
By Steven Shrewsbury
Publisher: Seveth Star Press
Deliverance will come... But that is another story. What makes a legend but the stories told about him? Interviewing Gorias La Gaul, the biggest legend of them all, is a dream come true for young scribe Jessica. Where other girls her age would swoon beneath the steely gaze of the warrior, Jessica only has eyes for his mouth, and the tales that come from it...when he takes a break from cursing or drinking. Unfortunately for Jessica, Gorias doesn't really have time to babysit. She's found him in the midst of an annual pilgrimage of sorts, and though he agrees to let her come along, it's not without a warning: You may not like what you see and hear. Just don't come crying afterward. Whether viewing past visions with magical gemstones or jumping into the fray alongside the barbarian, Jessica's about to get firsthand accounts she won't soon forget...and discover legends are far from reality, and just as far from being pretty. You wouldn't expect a youth of love and friendship from the greatest killer to walk the Earth, would you? These are tales of some of Gorias' earliest days, back before he'd found his swords, to a time when a dragon needed killing. Tales back before his heart had hardened. Maybe. For most men, the future is not certain and the past is prologue. For a legend like Gorias La Gaul, even the past is up for debate. One thing is for certain about these tales. They will be bloody. Such is always the way for a man... Born of Swords...
Summer might be fading, but there's no time like relaxing a bit, scooping up a good book, and doing a little reading.