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Sleipnir’s Heart by Ken Lange

Take a trip through Romania in search of the thing that will help his friend survive and come face to face his own savior from years ago.

If you’re looking for a copy of this short story you can pick it up here… https://instafreebie.com/free/on8nP?s…

Title: Sleipnir’s Heart
Author: Ken Lange
SeriesWarden Global
Publish Date: March 18, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Action Adventure
Source: Free download instafreebie.com

Publisher’s Description: When I crashed on this planet fifteen thousand years ago, I thought that my friend—the living spaceship Sleipnir—was destroyed. But it turns out the mysterious signal I’ve been receiving for the past nine years is his cry for help. It’s led me back to Romania, back to the mountain I almost died on, and—just maybe—back to the legendary being who once saved my life.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is a mind bending series.  I’m just gonna start with that.  Next, I’m gonna tell you to scope out the author’s web page.  It will clue you in to what started this whole adventure of the Stone Born.  Normally, I really don’t mention much about the web sites, but this one is rather cool.   Anyway, back to the series.  It’s got time travel, a spaceship, supernatural creatures, ancient beings and mythological connections-pretty much something for everyone.  That’s the series, though.  The short story is a short adventure to retrieve something very important and is only a tiny blip in the whole big picture.

This short comes between book 1 and book 2, but please, for goodness sake, DON’T start the short first!  This is not one of those series that you can just hop in the middle and think it’ll be ok.  It’s a twisted tale with a puzzle beneath the surface as well as one wrapped around the outside.  It’s reading time well worth spent, that’s for sure.

Like I said, it takes place right after the ending of The Wanderer Awakens.  It sheds a little more light on the living spaceship that is bonded to Viktor.  The story explains what Viktor is looking to retrieve to hopefully help Sleipnir mend.  It’s a well written quickie that will leave you wanting to quickly move on to The Storm Bringer, which, trust me, is something you’ll want to do.

 

Our reviews in this series…

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The Wanderer Awakens by Ken Lange

2016-standout-award-badge-smallComplicated, yet simple. A story within a story that has a story built around it. Cults, monsters, and even evil humans all take part in conspiracies and machinations. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because it’s quite often hair-raising.

I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

the-wanderer-awakens-final3Title: The Wanderer Awakens
Author: Ken Lange
Series: Warden Global, Book 01
Publish Date: November 15, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
CoverDanielle Fine
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description: My name is Viktor Engel Warden, and I’m here to tell you that there’s more to this world than you might suspect.

 There are things that slither and pass unseen through the night, and it’s my job to stop them. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Twenty years ago, I ended a nightmare that would’ve brought the world to its knees. I thought it was over . . . but I was wrong.

 The Cult of Fenrir has returned, and they’re stronger than ever. Now I’m in a race to find the survivors of that day so I can stop them again. Permanently. If I get things wrong . . . which I won’t . . . but if I do . . . it might just bring about the apocalypse. But, hey, no pain, no gain, and all that BS. Right? Yeah, I’m not buying it either.

The Wanderer Awakens publishes tomorrow, November 15th.  Pre-order yours at Amazon.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

No rest for the wicked, and certainly none for those that secure the peace.

This is a contemporary fantasy, a lot of treachery, scary monsters and plenty of death and dismemberment. The dismemberment is fairly graphic so be sure to be prepared. There isn’t a cliffhanger, but the end will make you want to hop into the next book, which is not published yet, so pace yourself.

I was so enthralled by this story that I whipped through it in no time flat. It was a story to get lost in because the protagonist is exactly the kind of character I love to read. Viktor is snarky and savvy with a penchant for monster slaying. He has vowed to protect humankind all the while staying in the shadows. There is a definite push/pull within this story. Who is the villain? Who do they work for and why are they doing what they are doing? Don’t try and figure it out – just go with it. You’ll see at the end how everything fits. That’s what makes it fun.

I like the fact that the protagonist is not a young 24-year-old that thinks he knows everything. Even though this is a fantasy genre, there are certain standards of reality that I put on the characters and Viktor did a good job of adding a bit of reality to the story. The secondary characters were engaging and very likable (except for the bad guys – those I loved to hate).

badge5v4There are PLENTY of questions that go unanswered but that only means there will be more books. The ending was a twist I never saw coming and after it was revealed I did a major face-palm because I should have. It was all right there, black and white but it only came together with a solid click at the end. I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s got a little history, a little mythology and a lot of action.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

I’ve only read a couple of books where the immortal protagonist isn’t bitter, crazy, a complete jerk, or so broken that he or she is unable to function in the world. Ken Lange’s The Wanderer Awakens is one of them.

Viktor Warden is ancient and he’s seen a lot of crap, but he still knows how to love. Despite the awful things that get thrown at him during the course of the book, he retains perspective and humanity. Observing the morning work crowd, he muses . . .

For them, this is just any other day—like the one before, and the one before that—and they move through it never comprehending that these moments make up the entirety of their existence. They miss the moments in between that make living such a spectacular gift, never realizing that life can be cut short without warning. [. . .] That’s why I strive to seek out the things that bring me comfort and love at every opportunity.

Though told in first person perspective, the author doesn’t write a lot of exposition. Some readers will LOVE that the book is mostly “what happens.” Personally, I would have liked more in-depth information. There are some really interesting aspects to the book that I would have liked to know more about The Mystic Courts of Comus, the Cult of Fenrir, and a few other things I don’t want to reveal here. I would really have loved more info on the psychology of some of the characters as well. I tend to like spending time on the world building and characters and would have liked a deeper delve into both of those.

badge3v4Despite that, the book tells you everything you really need to know for the story it delivers, and the story is very interesting. There is a little bit of everything here—mystery and monsters; guns, gods, and gourmet food; secret societies and crazy cults. And a description of the most amazing shower I’ve ever heard of.  I hope that one’s real, ’cause I’d really like to try it out. 🙂 3.5.

If you like this book…

…you might try  Accession of the Stone Born by Ken Lange – here’s ONE BOOK TWO’s review.

You might also try: Yancy Lazarus series by James A. Hunter, Black Magic Outlaw series by Domino Finn or Harbinger P.I. series by Adam J. Wright.  There is also Immortal Remains by Sean Cummings or Made for Sin by Stacia Kane.

I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Cover Reveal for Warden Global Series

One Book Two is pleased to be hosting the cover reveal for Ken Lange’s Global Warden series!

the-wanderer-awakens-final3Author Ken Lange is updating the look of his Warden Global series and Vigilis Urbani Chronicles to create a stronger visual connection between the two—as they are written in the same universe, though about different characters—and to keep the look of future covers consistent. The new cover for The Wanderer Awakens is the first taste of the new style for the series.

Isn’t it scrumptious?!?!?!

Cover artist Danielle Fine did an amazing job setting the tone for the first book in the Warden Global series, The Wanderer Awakens.

See our review for The Wanderer Awakens here, and our interview with Danielle Fine here.

the-wanderer-awakens-audible-coverIn addition to a new cover, The Wanderer Awakens will be released in audio very soon! It should be available on Audible.com sometime in January. Narrator Marlin May brings Viktor Warden to life with both his humor and his gravity. Check out the audio sample at the bottom of the page.

Accession of the Stone Born, the first book in the Vigili Urbani Chronicles, will receive its makeover sometime in February, and it will also be published in audio later this year. The second book in the Warden Global series should be published sometime late this Spring, with the second book of the Vigili Urbani Chronicles making an appearance before the end of 2017.

See our review for Accession of the Stone Born here.

Accession of the Stone Born by Ken Lange

Awesome new series alert!! Join the incredible world where Gavin Randall, goes from normal everyday kick ass human to powerful, nearly immortal Vigiles Urbani.  Incredible trip!

29988745Title: Accession of the Stone Born
Author: Ken Lange
Series: The Vigiles Urbani Chronicles Book 01
Publish Date: May 16, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Military
Source:  Provided by the author

Publisher’s Description: Former DOD operative Gavin Randall is coming home after twenty-eight years of war. Dismissed by the government he spent his life fighting for, his only solace is knowing that the life waiting for him is one of peace.

Unfortunately, Gavin stumbles upon a secret underworld that exists alongside ours, one populated by vampires, mages, and bloodthirsty werebeasts.

Now, Gavin finds himself recruited by the Biblical Lazarus, leader of this hidden community. He must track down those who seek to disrupt the fragile peace keeping these nightmare horrors at bay. If he fails, more than his life will be forfeit.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

…..so matter of fact that it wasn’t the act of taking someone’s life that bothered him.  It was clear he didn’t have an issue with it, but it was more a matter that someone was such a waste of space that to acknowledge them would allow them credibility they didn’t deserve.

OR

Remember, men of real character have always been made out of hard choices and harder lives.

This is an urban fantasy with a military based protagonist. Action and mystery within the supernatural world. No sex, no graphic violence (there is violence just not described in blood soaking detail) and no cliffhanger.  There is a little swearing, but it’s just normal every day stuff.  There is a possible romance that may or may not develop, but other than that, no mushy stuff.

I have a new author to follow, harass, stalk or whatever other verb you’d care to use.  He came to me in a flash of light.  Well, okay, a friend emailed me with a suggestion of his book to read and my phone’s LED indication of a new email flashed.  Hence, flash of light.

Seriously, though, this guy is a very good writer.  Accession‘s world is modern day New Orleans.  The protagonist is a “do the right thing” kind of guy that worked for the military for all his adult life and now that the military is done with him, he needs to figure out what to do in the civilian world.  If I were to do a comparison of this book to other books I’ve read, I’d be hard pressed to nail down another character that Gavin, the protagonist, is remotely similar to.  Briefly, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden popped into my head, but that isn’t quite right.  The closest I can come is that Gavin is kind of like Larry Correia’s Owen Zastava Pitt from the Monster Hunter International series.

The world that the author built for Gavin Randall is so dimensional and so very well written that I liked him immediately.  When I say immediately, I mean by the time I reached the end of the first page.  The like only grew from there.  Gavin is his own man and that cemented his identity as a free thinker with no allegiance to any one particular faction. That made him perfect for the “Job”. Each of the secondary characters are individuals. They are fleshed out and their personalities have personality. There are the politicians, the sidekicks, the wanna-be, the shunned and also those characters that I love to hate.

badge4v4If I were to read between the lines, I could see the parallelism between our world and Gavin’s.  Things aren’t always fair but if I don’t stand up for what is right, then all it leads to is perpetual downfall.

This was an amazing book.  It is definitely worth your time.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

In Accession of the Stone Born, Lange has created a world with a variety of supernatural characters and a very interesting history. Though born to this world, Gavin Randall was not raised in it and is therefore ignorant of its existence. When he finally does become involved, he can view the world as an outsider who is not attached to outdated and unhelpful prejudices, beliefs, and political alliances and therefore can be a catalyst for change.

I particularly love the relationship between Gavin and his uncle, Andrew. From Gavin, there is both the love and respect for an older family-member and the awareness that humans, and leaders of Andrew’s caliber in particular, can be fallible. From Andrew there is near-fatherly love, a desire to mentor, and the frustration of a leader who can’t control an employee too new to be trusted completely.

badge3v4The magic of the Stone Born is something I haven’t really seen before, which is nice.  I’m eager to see Gavin’s story continue and learn more about his world. 3.5.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

Meet Ken Lange, author of Accession of the Stone Born

imageWere there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?

Considering I’m average height, the whole six foot six thing was a bit daunting. I never realized that it was so hard to find clothes that fit or even a bed that was comfortable. The fact that the average door in the US is 6’9” tall, anyone 6’6” and above feel a need to duck most of the time. All problems I don’t have.

Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.

  1.  I’m a big cat person for starters.
  2. I work best in complete silence; the stories don’t like the outside competition.
  3. Sushi is one of my favorite foods.

Where did you get the premise for this book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book based on magic and it sort of evolved from there.

What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?

To be honest, I’m not sure. I think it’s a matter of style, I suggest reading a bit and see if it fits their expectation. Books are a lot like a good meal, I like my steaks medium rare while others love theirs well done and we will never agree. But that’s okay, a lot of people like their steaks medium rare. It’s just a matter of personal preference.

What is your book about?

It’s about a man who lost his way early in life. He left home after his parents died in an accident and went to work for the government as an enforcer for nearly thirty years. With the political shifts and changing views he became an outdated tool that was summarily dismissed.

Once he returns home, like many others, he isn’t sure what to do with himself. He’s clear on a couple of things, he doesn’t want to become a mercenary and he needs to get his feet under him. Of course fate has other things in mind when he’s introduced to the Archive and all its wonders.

He finds a new purpose within the Archive and strives to make the world around him a better place. As he says, peace is maintained by those willing to do great violence in its name. He’s a hard man and one that sees the world for what it is, even if he doesn’t understand it.

What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they enjoy the book for what it is, entertainment, but if they wish to take more away, then I hope they take a hard look at the people around them and realize that they’re not so dissimilar.

 

Please share a short excerpt 500 words or less.

I heard the quiet thud of soft-soled shoes rapidly pounding the sidewalk behind us. My body tensing, I grabbed Heather in my far arm, swinging her around me and holding her at arm’s length, which allowed me to spin around and face the runner. The small yet handsome Asian man barreling our way was barely five feet tall. The officer reached out for him, but the runner ducked and planted a palm into the man’s chest, sending him sprawling through the open gate where he landed hard on his back, slapping his head against the black stone walkway with a sickening crack.

The Asian man seemed at odds with himself, moving like a young man but appearing to be in his mid to late thirties. His bald head gleamed in the moonlight and his focus was on Heather. Increasing his speed, he pulled out a long silver dagger. He was fast, muscular, and most importantly, a threat.

Our attacker hadn’t anticipated Heather being spun around, several feet out of reach, and his blade pierced my coat and shirt, allowing its razor sharp edge to leave a long shallow gash across my ribs. It wasn’t life threatening, yet the warm blood trickling down my side was annoying and a little itchy. He pulled the blade back and flicked his wrist, and slamming the ridge of my hand against the man’s throat, I lifted him off the ground, propelling him several feet back.

He was unarmed now, the dagger seemingly vanishing from sight, and it registered in my mind that I hadn’t heard it hit the ground. Discovering the weapon’s whereabouts was secondary to handling the man who wielded it.

He fell back gracefully, pulling his knees up, rolling over his shoulders and neck back to his feet, prepared for a fight. He was dazed and slow, which was bad news for him. I sped towards him in a low footballer’s stance and he kicked out a foot, landing hard against my shoulder.

He wasn’t heavy enough to slow me down, and I grabbed the leg. Catching sight of the fence, I changed tactics. Forcing myself upright and pulling his leg along with me in a nasty twist, I heard it snap at the ankle and knee before I felt it give way as I pulled it from the socket. He lurched back as I swept a leg underneath him, forcing him around and allowing his face to plow into the wrought iron fence, which was forced downward with all his body weight and a good shove from me. A long black iron fleur de lis erupted from the back of the man’s head, causing him to convulse in an oddly rhythmic fashion for several seconds. Finally, the twitching stopped and he slumped against the fence with his knees on the sidewalk, resembling some sort of gruesome prayer to an uncaring god.

 Writing Style Questions:

 Are you a plotter, a pantser or a combination of both?

A little of both I suppose; I try to have it all plotted out but sometimes the story or the characters disagree. For example, Heather was supposed to die, apparently she had other plans. It’s a little weird but it happens.

What was your favorite part of the story to write?

All of it, mostly. I always start by writing the first couple of chapters and then the ending, so I can’t change it up too much.

Was there a part of the story that was difficult to write?

The ending was tricky, otherwise it flowed easily enough.

Do you have any quirky writing habits?

Other than the silence? I suppose, if I have to do anything else that day, writing is pretty much off the table. I need to be able to sit with the story and let it move onto the screen. Interruptions, be it errands, going out for lunch or appointments pulls me out of that space and it’s difficult for me to get anything done.

What advice would you give to other writers?

To be themselves and not try to be someone else. It’s a lot easier that way.

 

Book Description: Step into the strange and unusual world of the Archive with Gavin Randall, meet Lazarus and learn about the Stone Born. A necromancer is on the move and thousands of souls hang in the balance.

Links to the book on Amazon:

 

 

US: http://amzn.com/B01EMEIV1O

 

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EMEIV1O