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Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: Straight to Hell - A Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter Novella By John G. Hartness

cover, image, John Hartness, Straight to Hell, horror, humor
Straight to Hell - A Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter Novella
by John G. Hartness
April 28, 2015
Quincy Harker is back, and the stakes are higher than ever. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a swearing, drinking, misanthropic half-vampire with a bad attitude and an itchy trigger finger. Harker and his team of misfits have just a few days to prevent the actual end of the world, as a group of fanatics have kidnapped a young man thought to possess the power to open the Seven Seals.

The thrilling sequel to Raising Hell brings even more action, more explosions, and more Renfield to readers.

Quincy Harker is still kicking-ass and taking…well, honestly he doesn’t care what your name is, if you’re a bad guy you’re going down. Usually with a lot of blood and screaming. In this second installment of the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series we learn a bit more about Quincy and Detective Rebecca Gail Flynn’s backgrounds. The first chapter is the two of them trading barbs and “bonding” which kind of felt weird for this series, but at the end of the chapter they were off to guard a stoner college student who also happens to be The Lion of Judah—the one that can open the seven seals from Revelations.

Quincy, Flynn, Detective Smith, and the mysterious Renfield end up having to fight ninjas, a dragon (not really a dragon because “There is no such thing as a mother***** dragon!” and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The story is fast paced with a ton of action squeezed into this novella, which makes for a quick and fun read. I really enjoy the voice the author give Quincy Harker. Like I mentioned in my review of book 1, it has an action/ horror comic book feel to the story.

Review: Raising Hell (A Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter Novella #1)

4 “Plan B” Sheep


About the Author:
This is me, and this is where I write. I’m John “Falstaff” Hartness and I’ve been writing for years, for myself and for other people. Once upon a time I did a little gig for Turner Broadcasting as part of their My South ad campaign and that got me interested in writing fiction and poetry again. After writing a poker blog for several years, I’ve transitioned into writing fiction, and launched this site to be my internet home. This is where I try out new stories, new essays and poems, and post photos of some of the shows I’ve designed.

I grew up in Bullock Creek, South Carolina, the youngest of four kids. I’m a graduate of Winthrop Universty with a BA in Theatre Performance, and I live in Charlotte with my lovely wife Suzy. We’ve been active in the theatre community around Charlotte for years, and between us we’ve worked for almost every theatre group in town at some point. My work has primarily been as a lighting designer, but I've also directed quite a bit, done sound and set design, and even acted once in a while. But I’ve always wanted to write, and this site is where I do it. So welcome, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Character Confessions:Dora (One for Sorrow: The Cunning Prophet Series #1 by Jane Godman + giveaway

Today’s Character Confessions features author Jane Godman introducing the female lead from her erotic romantic suspense books, The Cunning Prophet Series. 

Jane: It’s great to be here at I Smell Sheep! I’m a huge fan. Let me get straight on with the introductions. This is Dora Balniel—
Dora: Why not tell them my full name? After all, you chose it.

Jane: Okay. This is Isadora Electra Freedom Balniel. Dora for short.
Dora (rolls her eyes): See what I have to put up with?

Jane: You know there’s a good reason for the name. It comes out later in the series. Now, a bit of background to the first book, One for Sorrow. Dora here is from Dublin. She’s a freelance biomedical scientist, but she is also a psychic investigator who works with the police—
Dora: Rewind a bit. Dora here doesn’t want to be psychic. Dora here would rather poke her own eyes out with sticks if she had a choice.

Jane: Dora is a reluctant psychic investigator. Does that sound better?
Dora: A bit.

Jane: When five girls have been raped and murdered within the space of eighteen months on the Isle of Man—
Dora (snorts): Yeah, right. The Isle of Man. Not the Maldives or Bermuda. That would have been too exotic. You had to send me to the Isle of Man.

Jane: We’ve been through this. You know why I chose the Isle of Man. Firstly, it has sentimental reasons for me. My grandfather was from a village called Ballasalla on the island. Secondly, it is set right in the middle of the other British Isles so it is a mix of them all in miniature. Thirdly, it is steeped in ancient history which was important to the story. Finally, I needed a setting that had very little experience of serial killers. Plus, you know very well, Dora, that you grew quite fond of the island in the end. Until—
Dora: Whoa. We said we wouldn’t talk about that.

Jane: Agreed. Anyway, you can’t argue that I gave you some very interesting experiences on that island. Don’t forget this is an erotic romantic suspense and you had three hot men competing for you in this book.
Dora (smiles reminiscently): Okay, that part was fun. But you tortured me as well! You let that killer get inside my head. He was controlling my mind, showing me what he was doing to those girls, taunting me. Anyway, why is this called Character Confessions? What am I supposed to have done that I need to confess to?

Jane: Oh, Dora, where shall we start? Don’t you want to come clean about what happened in the shower? Or are you going to try and quickstep around the interesting matter of what went on in that dark corner of the dance floor?
Dora: Seriously? You brought me here to talk about my sex life? I thought you’d found out it was me who wrote those messages on your car.

A scuffle breaks out…

One for Sorrow (The Cunning Prophet Series, Book One)
Five girls have been murdered on the Isle of Man in the last eighteen months. When DI Harry Grimshaw is told he must work with a psychic investigator, he is hostile and sceptical, in spite of the fact that tattooed, foul-mouthed biker Dora Balniel is not a stereotypical clairvoyant.

In spite of their animosity, they work together to sift through Celtic legend and magpie folklore to probe the mind of an obsessive serial killer known as The Daaney One. It becomes clear that Dora has been deliberately lured to the Isle of Man by the killer and that he has the ability to probe her mind. With the murderer controlling what Dora sees, Harry struggles to maintain control over the situation and keep Dora safe. As the sizzling attraction between them builds, it will require all of Harry’s ingenuity as well as her own psychic ability to ensure Dora is not the next victim. 

About the Author:
Jane Godman writes in a variety of genre. Many of her stories are heavily tinged with the supernatural and elements of horror, with haunted characters tormented by dark secrets.

The Jago Legacy Series, her gothic romances, are love stories with a dash of horror and a creepily ever after. Her dark erotic romantic suspense books, The Cunning Prophet Series feature supernatural elements and a charismatic, obsessive villain. Jane also writes steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing and is working on a three book series for Harlequin in their Nocturne (paranormal) line.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Young Adult horror novella she has coming out later in the year with MuseItUp Publishing!

Jane loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at:


Amazon gift copy of One for Sorrow

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday Swag: Tracy Tappan

Sunday Swag Team!
Riverina Romantics 
 I Smell Sheep 

Featured Author: Tracy Tappan

About the Author:

I’ve always been fascinated by men who are especially skilled with weapons, from every type of ancient warrior to modern day soldiers. I suppose that’s why I married a man who used to saddle up in an H-60 Seahawk helicopter strapped with Hellfire missiles to spend his days fighting bad guys. Now I put my imagination to work writing about tough, but sensitive, heroes who wield swords, knives, guns, and their bare fists…and, of course, the women who tame them!

After earning a Master’s degree in MFCC, Tracy Tappan did clinical work before devoting herself full time to writing. She was born with a fertile imagination that has compelled her to write in several genres. During nearly a quarter of a century spent as a military wife, she lived all over the United States and in Europe, enjoying seven years overseas, first in Rome then in Madrid. She’s now settled back in sunny San Diego with her husband, a menagerie of pets, and two children who seem to think they can come and go as they please.

postcard, two bookmarks, Military romance booklet, sachet (it smells so good!)

Head over to Riverina Romantics and win more Swag!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Comic Review: Vamplets #1 Action Lab Entertainment

Writer(s): Gayle Middleton and Dave Dwonch

Artist Name(s): Amada Coronado (p), David Dwonch (i) Bill Blankenship (c)
Cover Artist(s): Amanda Coronado (a), Bill Blankenship (c)
32 pgs./ FC/All ages $3.99 (reg.) / $4.99 (var.) USD

Teenager Destiny Harper is at a crossroad in her life. Graduation is coming, and she has zero prospects for the future. Answering an ad for “The Night Care Nursery” seems like a great idea, until she is magically transported to Gloomvania, where dark creatures lurk the streets, and the world is being mysteriously overrun by baby vampyres called Vamplets! Can Destiny serve her term as Governess of “The Nightmare Nursery” and return home? Fairy tales get a modern update in this coming of age tales of monsters, mayhem, and magic! Variant cover by William Blankenship (Limited to 1500 copies!) and Gayle Middleton herself (limited to 2000 copies!).

OMG! Is there anything cuter than a vamplet? No, there isn't. Check out how they are made..."poof"
This comic is geared at any age, but I gotta say girls are gonna love it more, because most of us have done the babysitting thing for money.

Destiny is your normal awkward teen who doesn't know what to do with her life. She has a crappy job at the mall food court. But a twist of fate lands her at the door of The Nightcare Nursery looking for a babysitting job. She soon finds herself down the rabbit hole in Gloomvania.

I like the anime style artwork and fast pace story. Lot's to love and nothing to hate in this one. Action Lab Entertainment does it again. Nothing but quality from this small publisher.

And the merchandising:
5 "deportransmutated" Sheep


Friday, April 24, 2015

Interview: Writer Victor Gischler (Sally of the Wasteland - Titan Comics)

Gef Fox (Wag the Fox) was kind enough to interview Victor Gischler, writer of Sally Of The Wasteland (Titan Comics), for the flock! Check out Gef's 4 1/2 sheep review of Sally of the Wasteland #1-5
Victor has also written such comic book titles as X-Men, Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, The Punisher, Conan, and The Shadow. 

Gef: What was the impetus behind Sally of the Wasteland? It felt like it harkened back to some of those great post-apocalyptic films of the 70s, so was there any kind of inspiration from that era?

VictorYes, I think so. And the 80’s. It’s a whole stew of influences from Mad Max to Barbarella. I also love the idea of “atomic monsters.” Purely B-movie science which I think works well in an over-the-top, irreverent book like this.

Gef: What was it about this series, if anything, that you approached differently from the previous titles?
VictorWell, the obvious thing is that it’s creator-owned and for mature readers. Or at least mature readers who still embrace their inner immaturity. So I guess I like the fact we can throw a lot of rules out the window. I don’t hold anything back, or if I do it’s because of a decision I’ve made not because I have to play it safe for a mainstream audience. There’s nothing wrong with a mainstream audience, but sometimes it’s nice to cut loose. I like the opportunity to follow my instinct and damn the torpedoes.

Gef: Tazio Bettin did one heck of a job bringing Sally and her motley crew to life. How did this collaboration come about?VictorI was at the SugarPulp Festival in Padova, Italy one year, and Tazio showed up with some illustrations he’d drawn based on scenes from my post-apocalypse novel GO GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE. They were great drawings. So when it came time to find an artist, I already knew he had talent, appreciated my writing, and was familiar with the genre. I was very lucky to connect with him, and his art just keeps getting better and better.

Gef: What do you consider to be the saving grace of apocalyptic fiction?
VictorThis isn’t a “saving grace” but it’s something that’s always attracted me about the post-apocalyptic genre, and that the fact that we’re looking at the ruined version of something very familiar – a city, a society, a civilization. There’s something very compelling and morbidly fascinating about that brand of destruction and ruin.

Gef: Fantasy football time: How would Sally fare in a cross-over issue with another female comic book character, and who might be on your wish list to see her team up with or go toe-to-toe with?
VictorAwesome. Take note comic book publishers! This is your next best-seller.

I’ve heard people say Sally has a slight Harley Quinn vibe, so that might be cool. I’m also a fan of Tim Seeley’s Cassie Hack. Let’s toss Lady Deadpool into the mix too.

Gef: What's the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Or what piece of writing advice do you wish would just go away?
VictorThis notion that you have to sit on broken glass while writing.

Wait … that’s not writing advice? Damn it, who told me that?!

Gef: What kind of guilty pleasures do you have when it comes to books or movies or whatnot, assuming a writer capable of concocting Sally of the Wasteland is even capable of guilt?
VictorYeah, I don’t do guilt. Short of child porn or something like that, people should read whatever the hell they want and just own it. But, hey, I’ll take the question in a different direction. I LOVE watching golf on TV. My fave sport. So many people think it’s so boring that I guess I’m supposed to be embarrassed to admit it. I’m not.

Gef: What projects are you cooking up that folks can expect in the near future, and how can folks keep up with your shenanigans?
VictorI wrote an epic fantasy novel called INK MAGE and the sequel THE TATTOOED DUCHESS will but published in a couple months. BUT … you won’t know what’s going on in book 2 unless you read book 1 first, so every man, woman and child reading this needs to order INK MAGE now.

Go ahead … I’ll wait.

I’m also teaming again with Titan Comics for a creator-owned book called TERMINAL TOWN and Titan Books is publishing an APPALLING (but fun and pulpy) novel called GESTAPO MARS.

Sally Of The Wasteland #1
Writer: Victor Gischler
Artist: Tazio Bettin
Letterer: Jon Chapple
Series: Sally Of The Wasteland
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
Saving the remains of civilisation plays second best to keeping her sweetheart safe as our smart and sexy princess of the wild frontier runs a gauntlet of gigantic genetic freaks and roving gangs of blood-hungry barbarians!

The ever-so-cute but ever-so-slightly-insane Sally is the wayward daughter of writer Victor Gischler (X-Men, Angel & Faith, Noir) and artistic up-and-comer Tazio Bettin. This first issue in a fantastic new series proves Armageddon can be fun!

About the Author:
Victor Gischler is the author of such novels as GUN MONKEYS, SHOTGUN OPERA, GO-GO GIRLS OF THE APOCALYPSE, THE DEPUTY and others. His work has been optioned for film and translated into numerous languages. He's also written such comic book titles as X-Men, Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, The Punisher, Conan, and The Shadow. He is a world traveler, grad school survivor and BBQ aficionado.