As lots of my readers know, I do quite a bit of beta-reading for friends who are novelists, both aspiring and already-published. It's work -- a fundamentally different kind of reading than just reading for pleasure -- but since I'm very picky about for whom I will undertake this work, it's also usually quite enjoyable.
And just to give those writers a little bit of a promotional bump, I'll name names this time.
So my 39th book, actually one I finished earlier this summer, is Ink for Thieves by the obnoxiously talented Jennifer Williams, who tweets as @sennydreadful and whose website, at which she occasionally blogs and posts bits of her excellent short fiction, here.. It was even better than my already high expectations and any publisher with half a brain should be knocking on her virtual door for it (though I'd rather she moved on with it her own bad self and became another Kindle millionaire. And a podiobook of it, read by the author and her cheeky boyfriend Marty, aka @boxroom would be great fun, too).
My 40th was one by a young friend of mine right here in Cheyenne, Colin Stricklin, who shows some promise. It's going to be a nice entry in the urban/dark fantasy genre when it's all straightened out, sort of Ray Bradbury meets American Beauty by way of Donnie Darko (see, we've already worked out his elevator pitch). I think I've talked him into offering this as a podcast novel when he's done with rewrites, so get ready for teh crazy!
And my 41st, which I just started yesterday, is one from my good friend and co-author (though our collaborative Lovecraftian Western ball is waiting in his court right now while he dives with his racket to return some other serves from publishers and others demanding his time as a hotshot on the rise) Adam Christopher. This will be my third beta-read for him overall; I had the pleasure late last year of being among the first to enjoy his delightfully bizarre superhero noir opus, Empire State, which is coming out, I think, next year from Angry Robot Books; I read his godpunk-cum-space opera Ludmilla, My Love late this last spring, and now I'm on his giant straight-up superhero/crime entry Seven Wonders, which is off to a cracking start and is very exciting so far. If you want to see what his stuff is all about but don't want to wait until Angry Robot offers up the goods, you can check out his blog here. Click on "Free Fiction" and you can not only read some good short stories but the entirety of Adam's vastly entertaining Lovecraftian steampunk extravaganza The Devil in Chains.
If you look carefully at my list so far for the 100 Books Challenge, you may find that I have two #22s; a prior entry I hinted at as "Super Secret Beta Reading" was Ludmilla, My Love and then I blundered on and counted Mike Shevdon's Seven Nails as #22 also. I have yet to fix this because I am a lazy sod that way, and so I declare retcon. I've already read an Adam Christopher this year, yes, but I failed correctly to count it, so I get to count Seven Wonders for my 100 Books and not violate my additional one book per author restriction. So there.
Back to the beta!