Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Cast of Stones Review and Readers Theme

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones
by Patrick Carr
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers


In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. 

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

Available 2/1/13:

About the Author:

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Awards: ACFW Genesis Competition 2010 Finalist for “A Cast of Stones” in Speculative Fiction.

Find & Follow:

Here is my review for this wonderful adventure!

The Readers of the cast lots


“A Cast of Stones” is in many ways a coming of age story. So, if I can draw a comparison to Star Wars, Errol became my Luke Skywalker and I needed to come up with an Obi-wan Kenobi. In the end, I elected to use several. The plot of my stories kept separating Errol from everyone. Actually, the name Errol means wanderer and one of the things you’ll notice is that he never gets to stay in one place. Anyway, I elected to use Luis as one of Errol’s mentors. What Rale does for Errol in weaponry, Luis does for Errol in lots.
Another reason I wanted to have readers and a collection of readers, the conclave, was to give my world some of the depth it needed to seem real. This is where my research for a previous novel came into play. The idea of randomness served me well here. If a reader is trying to ascertain the correct answer to a question, then he needs the draw to be completely random. The lots would have to be the same size, shape, and weight. Imperfections in the lots would lead to imperfections in the draw, potentially giving the wrong answer. Though pine might be sufficient for a rather trivial question, it would be totally inappropriate to determine one of greater importance. I loved having Quinn talk about the different types of wood and stone. It’s always fun to get a little nerdy in my writing.

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

Grand Prize (USA & Canada):  Print copy of entire series of three books (#2 & #3 as they are published) + A Cast of Stones Mug + Lend your name to a character in book #3!!

2nd Prize (USA & Canada): Print copy of A Cast of Stones

International Entries: eCopy of A Cast of Stones

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and sponsored by Bethany House & the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Only on this Tour... the author shares the Creation, his Goals, some Visuals and Excerpts on each of these mini-themes:

The Herbwomen of secret lore
The World of The Staff & the Sword
The Readers of the cast lots
The Watchmen, elite warriors
The Clergy of power

Catch the entire Tour!!

1/23 - Backing Books - Herbwomen
1/24 – Christian NovelsReviewWorld
1/25 – I Am a Reader, Not a WriterReaders

1/27 – Reads to ReelsWatchmen
1/28 – LDS & Lovin’ It - Clergy
1/29 – Proud Book Nerd - World
1/30 – Open the Page - Herbwomen
1/31 – Wonderings of One PersonReview - Readers

2/3 – Simple Wyrdings - Watchmen
2/4 – Bookworm Lisa – Review – Clergy
2/5 – Passion & LifeReaders
2/6 – Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf – Review Herbwomen
2/7 – Coffee, Books & Me - Readers
2/8 – Backing Books – Review – World

2/10 – Letters to the Cosmos - Watchmen
2/11 – Jill WilliamsonReview – Clergy
2/12 – ADD Librarian Herbwomen
2/13 – Worthy 2 ReadReviewWatchmen
2/14 – Hey, Tara!World
2/15 – Pieces of WhimsyReview - Readers

2/17 – CTF DevourerReviewClergy
2/18 – Pause Time - Readers
2/19 – A Backwards StoryReviewWorld
2/19 - Christy’s Cozy CornerHerbwomen
2/20 – Min Reads & ReviewsReview Watchmen
2/21 – FINALE BLAST, Winner announced

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Wizard of OZ: A SteamPunk Adventure

The Wizard of OZ: A SteamPunk Adventure was an unexpectedly entertaining and captivating story. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into this new type of genre. I try to be open to good stories no matter what genre they are written in, and the benefit of this strategy revealed such a precious jewel to me in the form of this book.

The story itself is a purely delightful and really cool twist to the beloved original story of the Wizard of OZ. While this twist on the story is not all warm and fuzzy as the original, it still mirrors the original story plot pretty tightly. The changes made to the characters and the land of OZ are substantial, but at their core, they still lend homage to the original storyline.

In this story, we learn how Dorothy tragically lost her mother and how her father was stolen away which is how she came to be with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, who are of no relation to her. We watch as she does all she can to prepare herself to run away and find her father. She is determined to do what is necessary to rescue her father who was taken to OZ which is a prison that spans an entire country. This massively elaborate prison houses all of the world’s criminals in order to help make the world a safer place.

What Dorothy finds in OZ is far from anything she ever expected. As her journey progresses, she begins to learn things about OZ that she is sure no one on the outside is aware of. Those secrets could threaten the illusion of control that the outside world desperately clings to in regard to this place.

The people that Dorothy meets along the way are multi-layered with a depth of character that she never expected in a million years. They range from being truthful little minions to a highly deadly mixture of deception and split allegiances. The volatility of this mixture is to the point where you at times can’t tell who is telling what seems to be the truth in order to gain what they want while appearing to help Dorothy find her father, and who is just playing a well-practiced part in order to fool those around them while all the while truly helping Dorothy. All of this is enough to make your head spin while trying to keep it all straight as it shifts and turns upside down and right side up all at the same time. There is not a dull moment anywhere in this story which makes the numerous twists and turns so mind-boggling and yet so fun all at the same time.

While the story ends with Dorothy’s journey feeling like it has only just begun, hope begins to germinate in OZ. The question is whether or not that hope will be allowed to bloom into a wonderful new day for OZ or be twisted and warped into a dark version of this new hope.

I am eager to see how the author, who has earned a place on my bookshelf, will continue to shape and mold this very promising and intriguing story. I will be on pins and needles until the sequel to this book is finally released allowing me to find out the fate of OZ and Dorothy herself.  I know that anyone who enjoys discovering a good story will ravenously devour this one and eagerly anticipate the second course of this literary feast.