Sunday, 11 August 2013

Change Is In The Air...

Recognise this book?  Well, I'm delighted to say that a 2nd Edition will be issued very shortly.  More, it will have a brand new cover, with an image created by the talented Chris Graham.  Exciting?  I certainly hope so!  As the first in the G1: The Guardians mixed genre series, Shade of Evil was definitely in need of some updating.

The 2nd Edition will be released sometime before the end of this month, August 2013.  So what, you may ask, does the new cover look like?  Well, I thought about telling you, but then that would spoil the surprise, wouldn't it?  To keep you going in the meantime, you can enjoy this stunningly attractive substitute cover: 


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

"Defender" by Chris Allen: A Book Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading Defender just a few days ago. The fact that I have now finished reading it is very significant! I am not a fast reader, not by any stretch of the imagination. That's a fact I always make very clear when asked to review a book. In this instance, I wasn't actually asked to read Defender but I so enjoyed it, how could I not do so?

Those who have read my reviews know hat I say little that's specific about storylines. I have no desire to give away anything of importance to potential readers - and how can I know what they think is important. So I'll stick to my formula!

Defender introduces us to the shadowy Interpol branch: Intrepid. It launches us into the violent, tangled-web world that combines espionage, soldiering and policing. The agents are hard, efficient people dedicated to a cause: the protection of the innocent, whatever the cost, whatever the means. The world has turned hard and harsh. Criminals are just a small part of the tapestry of threat. Terrorists, brutal governments that don't respect their own people let alone international law, arms dealers, drug dealers, business cartels interested in profit at any price, government agencies that cross the line between national interest and criminality. These are the shadows that Intrepid's agents must navigate through, bringing justice, one way or another. And here, in Defender, we meet Alex Morgan, one of Intrepid's best agents, locked in a battle to bring the coldest and most dangerous of criminals to book. A country wrecked to satisfy corporate and personal greed, a rogue with no loyalties except to himself, cravens and the callous. And behind it all, that corporate entity which directs it all. Caught up in it all are the thousands of innocent victims of a nation thrown into savage chaos, bystanders with no part in any of it, and a few brave ones, like Alex Morgan, other Intrepid agents, police forces as dedicated as those of Intrepid, and a young woman, Arena Hall, hurled into this most dangerous of environments.

Death stalks the pages of this book. Sudden, violent death. Can Alex Morgan and his comrades and friends bring justice where it is due? Only time will tell. But the campaign will travel across half the world, until it culminates in stunning climactic action in Sydney. Success and failure are never more than a heartbeat apart.
I had great trouble putting this book aside, for any reason! It's a breathless ride, with very few opportunities to relax. Would I recommend it? Do apples grow on trees? This is one of those books which I will treasure as part of my library! I can only offer my strongest recommendation to anybody who likes to feel their pulse occasionally! Yes, there are moments when you may be made to feel uncomfortable, but know that those passages reflect an ugly reality we are (mostly) protected from. This is a book for adult readers who enjoy the very best writing.

Five stars? I'd double that if I could!

View all my reviews

~ Steve

Friday, 12 July 2013

Well I Never...

Actually, I guess I did! Last night, during the latest episode of Insomnia Central, I sat staring at the latest empty mailing packet which had cared for my latest paperback edition.  In fact, it was the courtesy copy of the second edition of For the Sake of Mercy.  Anyway, that's beside the point.  As I said, I was staring at the empty packet and it kept enticing me with faint whispers.  By about 3 a.m., my resistance hit bottom, and I gave in to  its blandishments.  I picked it up, and it instantly demonstrated, by the waving of its corrugated cardboard sections, what I must do.  There was a part of me which still suggested that the surgery I was about to perform was  ungrateful, but the Tempter was dominant by now.

With more care than you might expect of somebody operating on virtually zero sleep for more than a week, I made a few marks in pen, including using a CD as a template for a curve.  In what can probably be described as a moment of unconventional thinking, I also used my Kobo Mini eReader as a template, to draw the apertures I was being told I needed.  With the judicious use of a pair of ambidextrous scissors (mightily useful when you need to be able to swap hands while cutting!) and a  pruning knife I have had for many years, The gross shaping took place, the cardboard surgery.  A few checks proved that the end panels this produced would be very difficult to fix in place.  A careful piece of more scissor work trimmed the sides off one of the pieces left after excision to create the end panel apertures, and I had two slightly shaped strips which would serve me well.  The application of a gel type glue fixed these strips at each end of the base, forming 'stops' for the end panels.  More of the glue (having done battle with the strings it produced) along the inside edge of each 'stop' strip, and the firm positioning of the flaps, was the final step.  Okay, so I also turned the construction upside down and placed a large heavy book on it, to keep the flaps in the right places until the glue had set, but that hardly counts as a step.

With the glue dry, only one more thing remained to be done.  All right!  Two things.  First, there was the ceremonious placement of my collection of my very own paperback editions of my books upon this carefully crafted 'shelf'.  The second, some hours later, I admit, was the taking of a photograph so that I could share my triumph with a world that will doubtless think me a very sad individual!

It is with (foolish) pride that I give you my Recycled Book Mailer Shelf:

Recycled Book Mailer Shelf by Steve K Smy, 2013

All comments are welcome, even the mockery I probably deserve!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Reblog: "Have You Got It Covered?"

If I upset you with what follows, I regret doing so, but I am honestly speaking out in an attempt to help!
I’m on Pinterest.  I’m a member of several book groups on Pinterest.  And in the last few weeks, I’ve noticed something about book covers.  There are more and more being shown on Pinterest that I wouldn’t, in all honesty, look twice at!  It’s not the actual imagery in all cases, either, though there are some…  No, the problem lies in the titles.  I simply can’t read them!  They are in colours so close to what they overlay that they aren’t visible, lost in the background.  One thing I work hard on is a cover, and getting titles visible isn’t, as far as I’m concerned, that difficult.  In fact, it couldn’t be easier!  Yes, I might agonise over whether to use, say, plain white or a strong but bright yellow, but the principle of contrast isn’t difficult to understand.  If you’re determined to reflect the background colours in the titles, you really do have to use a font that allows outlining, which has to make the letters visible by using a contrasting colour.  There are also certain colours that really don’t work well.  Reds can be very difficult to see, for example.  You also need to think how a cover will look to different people: the colour blind and the visually impaired, especially.  Look at your proposed  cover in negative as well as what the majority would see.  If you use red titles, how do they appear to a colour blind person?  Is the font so fancy that a visually impaired person would only see the stronger parts of letters but lose the detail, making the titles unreadable.

Read the rest here!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Evertaster Blog Tour!

Evertaster Tour
The Buttersmiths' Gold



Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all.

Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

Purchase on


About The Buttersmiths' Gold

The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story. 124 pages. By Adam Glendon Sidwell. Published by Future House Publishing.

Evertaster, Book #1:

A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.

When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.

Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.

Purchase on


Book Trailer

Author Adam Sidwell

In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He’s been eating food since age 7, so feels very qualified to write this book. He once showed a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Adam currently lives in Los Angeles, where he can’t wait to fall into the sea.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/2/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $25 US.  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Friday, 10 May 2013

Review of my eBook "Thief"

Tracey Wickham has just posted a very kind review of my fantasy short story ebook, Thief.  I am delighted to say that she gave it a glowing 4 stars!

You can find Thief at most online book stores, though not Amazon.  The primary download site, however, is Smashwords.  It is available free, at this time.

Thief is the first of a series of short stories, which goes by the same title.  More can also be found at Smashwords.

Interviewed on Book Goodies

I'm interviewed on Book Goodies!  Check it out - if you're interested, of course.

I'd be pleased to get feedback here or there.  I'm never comfortable doing these things, but I understand why many people find them interesting, having interested several other authors.  Having read what they have to say, I feel far less accomplished!

Don't forget to check my main website for lots of author interviews!