Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #15

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until December 7th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today we have: Worlds of Possibilities (http://www.crmoss.blogspot.com/?zx=75ab74dbdcdd7af6) Please check them out and show them your support.

BBT Drasmyr Banner copy

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #14

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until December 7th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today we have: The Bunny’s Review (http://bunnysreview.com/2012/11/drasmyr-matthew-d-ryan/#comment-3748/) Please check them out and show them your support.

 

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

BBT Drasmyr Banner copy

Old Movie Review: Cowboys and Aliens (2011)

Some friends and I rented this movie the other night on kind of a lark… well, actually, they wanted to see it, and I was willing; so, we saw it. I wasn’t expecting much. I mean, something named “Cowboys and Aliens” just strikes me as silly. Apparently, it’s based on a graphic novel of some sort. The premise is basically in the title: space aliens versus cowboys. Like I said, kind of silly. The cowboys really shouldn’t stand much of a chance. But, of course, in Hollywood anything is possible.

 

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by the film. It was an intriguing blend of mystery and action, there were even some elements of horror. Not only were the aliens technologically superior, they were physically superior as well. So, it was a real David and Goliath type of scenario. The only advantage (and it wasn’t so much an advantage as an equalizer) the cowboys had was that one of them (Daniel Craig’s character) had an advanced alien weapon attached to his wrist. This he used to great effect throughout the movie.

 

The movie stars Daniel Craig as the ruffian Jake Lonergan and Harrison Ford as the retired army officer Colonel Dollarhide. Both are rough and tumble sort of characters who are at each others throats early in the film, but then put their differences aside to go and hunt some aliens with a collection of other cowboys, bandits, and even some Indians for good measure. The aliens are responsible for a number of abductions and attacks throughout the area. The only truly effective weapon the good guys have is the aforementioned device on Jake Lonergan’s arm. Things like guns, bows, and spears work to a certain extent but just lack that guaranteed lethality that they have against humans.

 

The movie kept me interested and seemed plausible enough (assuming you accept the premise) up until one instance where a woman walks out of a fire amid a spectacular pyrotechnic display. We are shortly informed that she is an alien from another world, but my first response was that they were throwing in weird mysticism and magic which didn’t really belong in a sci-fi film. There are a couple questions they leave unanswered in the film, like how did this woman get to earth, but after that one bit with the fire that I’m still a little irritated by (it was just an excuse to startle us with special effects) the movie returned to a “rational” sequence of events.

 

Overall, it was definitely better than I expected. I don’t intend to buy it, but it was worth seeing the one time. I’ll give it three and a half stars.

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #13

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until December 7th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today we have: Reviews by Molly (http://reviewsbymolly.com/) Please check them out and show them your support.

And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.

Another Nomination for the Very Inspiring Blog Award.

As a continuation of my post the other day, since I messed up with yesterday’s blog tour link, I’m going to nominate The Masquerade Crew for the Very Inspiring Blog award. Theoretically, they should nominate 15 other blogs in turn, but to me, that seems kind of excessive. This is only the 2nd for me on this go around. Anyway, three cheers to The Masquerade Crew (http://masqueradecrew.blogspot.com/)

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: #11 and 12

Yesterday was pure chaos. As a result, I think I forget to post the daily link for my blog tour. So, with apologies to The Masquerade Crew, I will post the link here in addition to the link that is due today. So, here goes:

 

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #11

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until December 7th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today we have: The Masquerade Crew (http://masqueradecrew.blogspot.com/)

Please check them out and show them your support.

 

Blurb Blitz Blog Tour: Stop #12

My blurb blitz blog tour for my vampire fantasy novel, Drasmyr, continues today. Every day until December 7th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where promotional material for my book will be posted consisting of a blurb and an excerpt, or so. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize. Today we have: The Book Connisseur**( http://bookconnisseur.blogspot.com/2012/11/drasmyr-matthew-d-ryan.html)

Please check them out and show them your support.

Very Inspiring Blog Awards

Very Inspiring Blog Awards

I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blog Award by S. M. Colletti at the Wizard’s Tower. (Thank you very much!) a couple days ago. I couldn’t quite get around to nominating 15 whole blogs (as the rules dictate) so I only nominated 14. Of those fourteen, one of them turned around and re-nominated me for the same Award again. Unfortunately, I can’t find the link, and I can’t remember who did the nomination. I feel honored that they nominated me again, but I can only follow a finite number of blogs. Anyway, I will try to honor the rules to a certain extent and nominate several more blogs.

I don’t think I can quite handle nominating 15 more blogs (that seems like such a large number), so I’m going to nominate just 1 other blogs for the Very Inspiring Blog award and complete my original list of fifteen. Theoretically, I should be nominating thirty blogs in total, but that is quite a bit, so I’ll have to settle with fifteen.  The rule of nominating 15 others is not too steadfast and I simply don’t follow that many blogs on a regular basis. So, I give you;

1. http://headinavice.com/

Movie reviews—because everyone is entitled to his opinion. And, from what I can tell, his opinions are well-justified and interesting.

Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula” by Bram Stoker is a well-regarded classic of horror literature. I’ve read this book about four times, now. The first three times through (years ago) I liked it, because I liked vampires and was very interested in the part this book played in the legends that have grown up around them. I walked away from the book thinking it was okay, but kind of tame by modern standards as a piece of horror fiction. This last time through, however, my view of this book has changed. It is a masterpiece.

I think in my younger years, I was too much enamored by sword fights and spell battles, the typical fodder of fantasy fiction. This book doesn’t really have much of that. It is all about a developing plot and building suspense. It is one part mystery, one part horror, not so much a fantasy action book. The prose throughout, although somewhat dated—it was written in 1897—is still remarkable and fluid. It’s a little difficult adjusting to the diary narrative, but once you do so, it is a remarkable read. Having read the story before, I pretty much knew what was going to happen. Even so, I enjoyed pretty much the whole thing. I picked up on a number of different aspects of the story that I don’t remember noting before (of course, it has been several years).

I’ve read here and there that this book is really all about sexual repression or what-have-you. I totally didn’t get that. The only elements that might indicate that, that I picked up on, where as follows: 1) the penetration of flesh by vampire teeth, which is true of all vampire stories. 2) Lucy Westenra kind of idly comments in one of her letters that she kind of wished she could marry three different men because she didn’t want to break any of their hearts. 3) Later in the story, a tacit connection is made between love and blood transfusions and Lucy winds up getting transfusions from four different men in an attempt to save her. Taking all these things together, I think you can interpret the work as promoting polygamy if you want to go that way, but I hardly think it is definitive. There is no connection whatsoever between romance and blood transfusions; maybe at the time it was written, it was thought that there was, but really? You’re trying to save a woman’s life. What else would you do? I’ve also read that the work promotes homosexuality. Throughout the work the male characters are described as “manly men” or something along that route by the other male characters (and the female characters). It’s kind of odd from a modern perspective, but I think that was largely the manner of speaking of the time period. It’s another: if you want to go that route, I think you can, but I, personally, did not think that that was the point Bram Stoker was trying to get across. I just thought it was a mannerism of the time period.

Basically, I’m kind of the opinion that all these literary critics and analysts go looking for things in the books they read, and whether the author intended the work in that way or not, the critics interpret it as they see fit. The critics also enjoy the “shock-value” of their interpretations of classical works. Once upon a time, our society would have been “shocked” by polygamous and homosexual themes being present in Dracula. That’s no longer true today, but by now, it’s become accepted that that is what Dracula is all about. Heaven forbid someone just write a cool story.

Anyway, the book’s great, but I think it was intended for a more mature audience. I don’t think a young adult audience would fully “get” it. I know I didn’t when I first read it. I’m not going to review the plot because I think most people know it already. The Francis Ford Coppola movie from a few years back followed the book pretty closely, although it kind of went with the over-sexualized theme and changed some of the characters around to suit that end. Whatever. If you don’t know the story, and you can put up with some of the older-style language (it’s certainly not as bad as say “Canterbury Tales,” but every once in a while the language may stump you), get the book and read it. It’s well worth it.

Before I part, I’ll list the cast of characters: Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker, Lord Arthur Godalming, Quincey Morris, Dr. John Seward, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Lucy Westenra, and, of course, the esteemed, renowned, and rapacious Count Dracula. There’s also three other unnamed vampire chics, and a host of minor characters spread throughout.

Anyway, I’ll give this book four and a half out of five stars.

This post originally appeared on Goodreads on 10/15/12.

Very Inspiring Blog Awards

I have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blog Award by S. M. Colletti at the Wizard’s Tower. (Thank you very much!).

I don’t think I can quite handle nominating 15 other blogs (that seems like such a large number), so I’m going to try to nominate 14 other blogs for the Very Inspiring Blog award. I hope the rule of nominating 15 others is not too steadfast but I simply don’t follow that many blogs on a regular basis. So, in no particular order I give you;

1. http://iiteeeestudents.wordpress.com/

An insightful blogger.

2. http://biblioklept.org/

A blog that always seem to have a wide eclectic collection of thoughts, excerpts, drawings, and other things related to the world of literature.

3. http://everyuselessthing.wordpress.com/

A blog full of witty commentary about life and other not-so serious subjects.

4. http://booksnobbery.wordpress.com/

A quirky, personable lady who cracks me up every time I read her.

5. http://thatfantasyblog.com/

A blog about Fantasy and other interesting things.

6. http://jelowder.wordpress.com/

The blog of the author of the book “The War of Whispers,” which I think is a really cool title; but it is a book I have yet to read.

7. http://eleventhstack.wordpress.com/

A menagerie of interesting things from book reviews to random lists of literary type things.

8. http://www.infinitecurio.com/

A book about literature and the wonders of the written word.

9. http://ileandrayoung.com/

A writer of fantasy, comedy, and vamp-fiction. Be warned, though, she also pens some more adult content than is suitable for the very young.

10. http:/bfgb.wordpress.com/

A collection of book reviews.

11.http:/madeofbooks.wordpress.com/

A blog about literature and books.

12. http://sheamacleod.wordpress.com/

Everything’s better with Dragons. What else need be said?

13. http://sophieetallis.wordpress.com/

An author’s blog about writing.

14. http://lindseyclarke.wordpress.com/

Paranormal thriller writer, reluctant poet and nice but dim blogger.

Half A Movie Review: Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part Two

<Spoiler alert>One of the duties I have as an author is to post on various blogs throughout the Internet, opining about this or that, to try to attract some traffic to my web-site and blog and  hence to increase downloads of my book. With that in mind, I have made fun of Twilight on numerous occasions, primarily because, as a guy, it is fun to make fun of that particular series. I’ve never read the books, and up until the other night, I’d never seen any of the movies. Well, some of my nieces wanted to see the latest film, if for no other reason than to see what all the fuss is about, so I went with them. I did this not only to give myself some more credibility when I make fun of them (which I only do in a half-hearted way; I know people who like the series and as I haven’t read it, I really can’t judge beyond saying that romanticizing vampires in that way seems strange to me), but also to check out the competition in the world of vampires. Personally, I prefer Drasmyr over Edward Cullen for a number of reasons. Anyway, I saw the movie. I have certain psychological issues that interfere with my cognitive functioning and they’ve been acting up lately. Still, I did my best to focus on the story, and it just seemed tedious and kind of sappy up until the big battle at the end. The battle was actually kind of cool and exciting; it made some of the more tedious parts more worthwhile. But then you find out the battle never happened. What a let down! I guess I’ll give the movie two stars. It just was not my cup of tea.