Tag Archives: Ragnarok Publications

Guest Post by Bradley P. Beaulieu

The good folks over at Ragnarok Publishing are running a Kickstarter for a new anthology featuring female protagonists, Hath No Fury, which ends in a few hours.  They asked me to help get the word out and offered suggestions that would help to do that, including possible guest posts by some of their contributors.  One of the authors with a story in the book is Bradley P. Beaulieu.  His contribution features the protagonist from his current series, The Song of the Shattered Sands.  I reviewed the first volume, Twelve Kings in Sharakai here.

So without further ado, here’s Brad:

I was recently at a convention—GenCon down in Indianapolis—and I was doing a short video interview where we got to talking about the state of the field and how quickly (or not) it changes. My basic take was that it’s a field, much like most of the entertainment industry at large, that’s pretty slow to change.

Why? Well, it’s complicated, but I think a lot of it boils down to how editors (and these days more and more, purchasing panels) decide what a publisher is (and isn’t) going to buy. For the purposes of this conversation, I’m just going to call these folks “editors”, but know that these days it’s almost never a single person that’s making the call, but rather a number of people, including sales, marketing, and other executives—especially if we’re talking about a hot author or property—but it all starts with the editors, so let’s be reductive for the time being. Continue reading

Hello? Is Anybody Still Out There?

*peers out into the darkness*


Did they all go home?

Look, I realize it’s been two and a half weeks since I last posted something.  I apologize for that.  I’m not usually this quiet.  I have been working on a couple of things, but they’re not quite ready to go yet.  It’s a long post, part rant and part review followed by a related review.  I need to reread some stuff, which will have to wait until after finals.

I’ve got one more to give.  (I gave one tonight; yes, some administrator who doesn’t have to be there scheduled exams for Saturday.)  Grades for graduating seniors have to be in by noon Wednesday.  It’s more of a headache to do those separately, so I’ll should be done with the semester (except for dealing with unhappy students) about then.

20150509_213907If I weren’t dealing with the worst sinus infection I’ve had in a long time, I would have had at least one post up in the last few days.  I hope to get it done tomorrow.  Then blogging, fiction writing, and reading should pick up quite a bit.  Especially since my son won’t be going to anymore out of town dive meets on weekends since that’s all over for the year, which means I won’t be spending so much time in a car.

Oh, and one other thing.  This little item you see on the right arrived in the mail today.  I’m looking forward to diving right in.  This looks like it’s going to be one of the top fantasy anthologies of the year.

2014 in the Rear View Mirror

And good riddance to it. But before I get to that, here’s a quick rundown of the publishers I thought had the best overall lines in 2014. Rather than do multiple posts across all the blogs, I’ll list everything here.

I received more review copies than I was able to read this year.  I would like to thank everyone, large publisher or individual, who sent me something to review.  I apologize if I didn’t get to it.  Personal factors also cut into my reading more than I would prefer.  Still, I managed to read quite a bit from a number of different publishers.  What follows is a list of who had some of the best overall material in 2014 with a brief commentary.  These are trade publishers, not indie publishers.  In most cases, I’ll not discuss individual titles. Nor will I do a best books list.  I wasn’t able to read as many titles as I wanted, and as a result there are some glaring omissions in what I did read.

The list is in alphabetical order, not ranked. Continue reading

A Review of Shane Berryhill’s Bad Mojo

Bad MojoBad Mojo
Shane Berryhill
Ragnarok Publications
Paper $13.95
ebook $3.99

If you like your supernatural thrillers with a strong Southern ambience, then Shane Berryhill’s Bad Mojo might be just your glass of tea (sweet tea, of course).

Ash Owens (short for Ashley, but don’t you dare call him that) is a veteran who came home from the Middle East with a monster. Literally. He keeps it in check with help from a conjure woman named Zora Banks. They now work together, solving problems for the residents of Chattanooga. Of course most of their clients are from the supernatural community, which lends their cases an added element of risk.

Ash is approached by a Senator of his acquaintance to help find the missing wife of a Congressman who is running for governor. She’s disappeared into the supernatural community and is hooked on drugs. Oh, and if Ash can find the missing woman’s diary, well then, all the better.

You can see where this is going to go. Of course it isn’t going to be that simple… Continue reading

An Atomic Love Story

Apocalyptic MontessaApocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu
Mercedes M. Yardley
Ragnarok Publications
trade paper $7.99
ebook $2.99 Kindle Nook

This isn’t your typical romance. Actually, according to every romance writer I’ve heard or read, the story must have a happy ending, one in which the hero and heroine come together against all obstacles. I don’t think the ending of this one is really very happy. Only inevitable.

But then most heroines aren’t capable of reading minds, nor are they telekinetic. And most heroes aren’t pyrotic, nor do they lead the heroine into a life of serial killing.

On the other hand, they do come together against all obstacles. I mean, if the hero kidnaps the heroine for the purpose of killing her, probably in some brutal fashion, that would qualify as an obstacle, wouldn’t it? I would think such a thing would make it hard for the couple realize they’re soul mates. Wouldn’t you?

But they do come together, and they do turn out to be soul mates. Of course, given the things that form the foundations of their relationship, abused as children, alone or worse as adults, serial killing, the conclusion of such a relationship probably wouldn’t fit a romance writer’s definition of true romance.

Yardley is not an author whose work I’d read previously, but she’s definitely an author to watch. While I found this novel disturbing, I also found it powerful. Here’s an example of what I mean. Montessa has been working as a stripper and living with her boyfriend, the poster child for dirtbags, except to say that is to insult dirtbags everywhere. She is kidnapped by Lu, and she’s reflecting on her life in the face of what she believes will be certain death: “Because it was easier to be with a man who wanted to murder her, and would appreciate it, than be with a man who would only beat her to death.”

That’s powerful stuff, and it’s powerful not only because it’s disturbing, but there’s a good chance that at some point in your life, you’ve probably known someone whom that sentence describes. They may not have verbalized it, and in fact would probably have denied it, but you could tell from the choices they made that the sentence I quoted pretty much summed up their life.

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu won’t be for everyone. But if you can handle the dark subject matter, you might be surprised at how sympathetic both characters turn out to be and how powerful the novel is.

I’d like to thank Nick Sharps at Ragnarok Books for the review copy. I read the epub version. There was no problem with any of the formatting. This was a professional job, and Ragnarok is a small press to watch.