One of the oldest Science Fiction (etc.) Conventions is Dragon Con. The nominations for Dragon Con Awards are out. I want to urge you to register to vote. Then, vote! If I may influence you on a couple of votes. Best Paranormal Fiction: I would suggest Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi. I really enjoyed this book and it’s worthy of this award. I should note that this is his second nomination. The other book I would recommend is A Change in Crime by D. R. Perry in the Alternate History Category.
So, how do you sign up to vote? Go to the Dragon Awards Voting Sign Up Page and fill out the form. Then, when you get the form, vote! Both of those authors I recommended are good indie authors, and we need to support them!
There is a great way to support up and coming artists of all types: Patreon. With Patreon, you can choose artists that you like and support them by giving them as little as $1 per month. Artists offer different incentives for increasing levels of support, making you a part of an exclusive club. Let me put you at ease on one point: I am not asking for money through Patreon, so this post is meant for information only. Of course, I know many different people who have set up Patreon accounts for their work as an author. I want to highlight a couple. The link to their Patreon account will be connected to their names.
The first is E. A. Copen. She does a great job of crafting her stories and making you stay up way later than you planned when you start reading her work. She is best known for her Judah Black novels set in a small town in west Texas called Paint Rock. (And I love the stories not just because I’ve lived in Paint Rock!) She just released Beasts of Babylon which is different – a paranormal western horror story which I really enjoyed and she’s also got a new series called Broken Empire coming out soon. She’s an author that deserves any kind of support you can give.
The second is R.R. Virdi. He’s best known for his Grave Report Series (Grave Beginnings, Grave Measures, and the soon to be released Grave Dealings) and the first of the Books of Winter, Dangerous Ways. He has some other things coming out as well and the man’s creativity and talent are mind-blowing. He and Ms. Copen are friends. I found out about Ms. Copen through Mr. Virdi. Both of them are wonderful people and if you start supporting them, I have no doubt that one day, you will thank me.
Obviously, there are other authors and artists on Patreon. You may need to be on Patreon. Many of the artists of the middle ages had wealthy sponsors who allowed them the chance to paint. Your support can make you a digital age sponsor where, no one person can sponsor another completely, but working together, we can help support the arts.
You will see one more review of R.R. Virdi’s work after this one soon. Then, I will be unable to review his work until Grave Report #3 (title unknown to us common folk yet) comes out. I am expecting it this year. He is becoming one of the most well known Urban Fantasy authors around. I highly suggest you check out his books. My review of Dangerous Ways is here. In the meanwhile, Grave Beginnings was the starting point. Here’s my review of Grave Beginnings!
Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Die
What do you get when you cross Mike Hammer and Jack Bauer…and then kill him? Meet Vincent Graves, a dead detective who solves crimes and isn’t afraid to bash in a few heads in the process, as long as he does it by the deadline. A real deadline it is, too. If he fails, he dies. Lon Chaney may be the man of a thousand faces, but Vincent, is the man of a thousand bodies…probably…but who knows. He keeps coming back as the victim of the crimes he solves and no one knows exactly how many crimes he’s had to take care of. Except, perhaps, his enigmatic handler, Church. Church doesn’t help Vincent much; he just gives him the time that Vincent has to solve his cases. He doesn’t tell Vincent his new “name” or even what kind of creature killed him. Did I fail to mention that Vincent is a paranormal investigator?
In Grave Beginnings, Vincent begins his short-lived case by clawing his way out of a casket that had just been buried. Then, without knowing the name of the body he has come back in, he meets Church who gives him 24, no, make that 13 hours to solve the case. In that time he has to figure out who he is, who and what killed him, and then dispatch the monster to its eternal punishment. Along the way, Vincent is joined by an FBI agent who helps him figure out what’s happening. Meanwhile, she doesn’t know he’s dead. And she doesn’t realize that they are dealing with a supernatural world until things become obvious.
Vincent and Ortiz, the FBI agent, take on this case wisecracking their way through New York City as the clock keeps winding down. Along the way they meet all kinds of supernatural creatures: some who would be just as happy to kill as help, others who are out for blood, while others just enjoy killing their prey, and Vincent and Ortiz are their prey. In the end, as destruction reigns all around them, Vincent and Ortiz make life and death decisions that ultimately end the chase. Who lives and who dies? You’ll have to read it to find out. It’s a great read and I am looking forward to more Case Files from the Grave Report.
Dangerous Ways by R. R. Virdi
When R. R. Virdi was a young child, I am sure that people told him that he lived in his own world. In Dangerous Ways he doesn’t so much invite you into his world, as he opens a vortex that sucks you in from opening scene. Virdi’s world is the foundation for all his writing in the Urban Fantasy genre. His first series, The Grave Report, and this book, the first in The Books of Winter series, all take place in this amazing world and not only do we get a compelling story, we get another view of this wonderland from a different angle.
Did I say wonderland? Well, Alice surely wouldn’t recognize this wonderland as we see the ominous side of many fantasy creatures we have come to know and love in the writings of others. We follow the journeys of two characters, dare I name them? Yes, I will. Jonathan Hawthorne and Cassidy (Cassie) Winters lead us through this world popping into the most interesting and frightening places. Their journey is fraught with danger from the very creatures they need to contact.
Jonathan gets involved in Cassie’s problems knowing full well that his help could cost him his life. But, Cassie is a girl in trouble whose amazing powers have marked her for death from the creatures of this world while she has no understanding. The journey through the world also sees interesting growth in the characterization of Cassie as she adapts to this unknown world and its strange ways during her adventures. The adventures keep you guessing as new dangers and creatures beset the two all the way to the end of the book.
Given what I have read from Mr. Virdi there is a simple rule to follow: when he releases a book, buy it. You will be sure to be on a roller coaster ride of adventure and emotions that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to get to “know” RR Virdi online. He is encouraging, funny, and an overall nice person. He’s recently made ARC chapters of his newest book, Dangerous Ways, available online – one a week. I am thoroughly enjoying each one! That being said, someone who got a full Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) posted a review. Check out this review at A Drop of Ink Reviews. Then, if you’re still wondering, go to the link above and check out the first few chapters. You’ll be hooked.