Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gary Starta's Demon Inhibitions

Need a new book for your Kindle? Of course, we all do. You can never have enough, right? Sci-Fi writer, Gary Starta grabbed my attention with his aggressive promotion for his new book "Demon Inhibitions" published by Chanpagne Books.

Reading the inside blurb, this seems like a really fun and different book that's in need of some ocular exploration. This book has a ton of angles including sci-fi, paranormal, and an interdimensional cat! There's a ton more to this so that's why it's on my short list of things to read.

Check out the blurb:

"Chasing a soul stealer in her reality, psychic investigator Caitlin Diggs inadvertently travels through a portal to another reality and witnesses her fugitive kill her alternate self in DEMON INHIBITIONS. Assuming her alternate's life as an agent of the FBI's Preternatural Crime Division, Diggs believes... her position might help her capture the soul stealer until she finds he may be part of a sinister terrorist plot to keep humans and demons living in segregation. A girl, whose singing inhibits the evil urges of demons, is on the terrorist's hit list and Diggs will ultimately learn her fugitive is neither supernatural nor demon, but a genetically engineered hit man incapable of being enthralled."

Get Demon Inhibitions at Amazon here.

Friend Demon Inhibitions on Facebook

Check out Gary's page on Cold Coffee

Friday, June 29, 2012

May Blog Stats

I hate math but I love stats. Last month, May 2012, was the biggest month in the Nick Valentino Blog history since I started writing in it in 2008. Sure I went through a lag where I was pretty bad about updating it but I'm on the upswing and the data is encouraging.

So I took the blog traffic, put it in a fancy graph maker and came up with a bar graph of which posts were most successful to least successful. It's so interesting what people read. Every one of these blogs was promoted the exact same way so I have to wonder where some of the stats come from. This month's stats are just as interesting and perplexing.

Of course the death of Beastie Boys hip hop mastermind MCA got the most traffic and my post on getting married and finishing Thomas Riley 2 were 2nd and 3rd I thought it was really interesting where the bands came into play.

Here's the nifty graph: enjoy!

Tomorrow, I'm doing a post on writer Gary Starta!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Catherinette Rings

Today we're talking about bad ass steampunk jewelry. For those that don't know yet, Catherinette Rings has been putting out some of the most creative and amazing jewelry for years now. You can hardly Google the word steampunk without having them pop up in the first results.

Personally, I find their work absolutely beautiful, dark and elegant while completely enbodying the aesthetic of steampunk. From what I'm gathering, it looks like they use guitar or bass strings in a lot of their stuff which is also brilliant.

Here are some really cool examples of their work. Check the links at the bottom for their facebook, blog and etsy shop!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Today we're going to take a quick break from wonderful authors, music, and steampunk culture to talk about drinks. Homemade drinks at that! Lizzie and I are always on the search for wonderful and powerful new adult beverages that have yet to be discovered or have been sadly forgotten in the past. When we lived in Nashville one of our favorite places to go was the famous Patterson House which is a speak easy style place that serves drinks from the prohibition era along with seasonal offerings that you're not going to find at most other places.

So we've stumbled upon a few of our own really great and easy to make drinks that we'd like to share.

The Nikki Heat
Named after a fictional character in the show Castle, The Nikki Heat is a slight variation of a drink I tasted from John "Ichabod" Anderson at Dragon Con a few years ago. It's spicy, sweet and tastes like Christmas!
1.5 oz. Fireball Whiskey
3 oz. Cream Soda
.5 oz Grenadine
Serve over ice and enjoy.

The Valentino
Named after our surname, Lizzie constructed this drink that's smooth, a little sweet and can transport you to your favorite beach in one sip. Warning, you can probably drink ten of these if you're not careful.
2 oz. Coconut Rum
4 oz. Pomegranite/Cranberry Juice
1 sliver of lime
Serve over ice and enjoy.

Orange Hook
The Orange Hook (which I just named because we couldn't think of a great name before) was discovered by Lizzie when she had a beer in one hand yet was craving orange juice. With the beer flavor still in her mouth she took a sip of orange juice and wow... genius struck. It sounds gross but it's amazing! Think of a more robust mimosa. The measurements for this drink vary as you can drink a lot so it depends on the glass you're using.
1/3 glass of Copper Hook Beer (from the redhook brewing company)
2/3 Non pulp orange juice.
Serve cold (No ice) and enjoy and enjoy and enjoy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stephen Zimmer's Spirit of Fire

It's out now! Spirit of Fire. The third instalment in the Fires in Eden series from the talented, amazing and wonderful Stephen Zimmer. Mr. Zimmer is giving epic fantasy a new gold standard with his richly detailed novels. He's a road warrior and hits a ton of cons and book signings so if you get the chance, you should really go hear him read. I went to his Nashville signing for the second book in the series and it was a blast. (Sometimes he gives away bad ass prizes too.)

Published on Seventh Star Press, Stephen pulls the reader into a huge world of conflict that rivals all epic fantasy you've ever read. I'm telling you, don;t miss out on Spirit of Fire or any of the books in the Fires in Eden series! And may I say that you'll not meet a cooler guy than Stephen, seriously.

Check out the Amazon blurb below then go buy the story in print or on your kindle with the links.

"A maelstrom of war engulfs the lands resisting the designs of the Unifier to bring about a new order, of a kind that has never existed within Ave. Battered by a massive invasion force from Gallea, the tribal people of the Five Realms and their Midragardan allies are being driven eastward, towards the sea, while the Saxan lines are wearing down ever thinner on the Plains of Athelney. Time is running out quickly, as an ancient creature of legend soars through the skies with a brave young Saxan. They carry the desperate hopes of two realms sorely beset by a voracious enemy. Diabolic entities conduct a great hunt, as a malignant darkness deepens across all of Ave. The exiles from another world must gain refuge, or find themselves ensnared by the long reach of the Unifier. The very nature of creation itself stands in the balance. It is a time when the honor and fortitude of many are put to the test, and terrible prices are paid for resisting great evils. It is also a time of awakening for many, old and young alike, some of whom may yet discover the spirit of fire that lies within. The third installment in the Fires in Eden series, Spirit of Fire is richly imagined epic fantasy with a diverse ensemble of characters that offers a new world to explore for the readers who enjoy large-scale tales along the likes of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erikson, and J.R.R. Tolkien."

Buy the print book here!

Buy the digital version here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Gig Harbor Restaurant Review Blog

Lizzie and I love going to new restaurants and bars. It was a little difficult to find a comprehensive review site for restaurants around Gig Harbor where we could get a good cross section on what was here. Yelp and Urbanspoon are great but I feel like sometimes people just go on there to slam a place unjustly. We decided to start a little separate blog where we can review places in and around Gig Harbor from our perspective. This is usually pretty short, honest and to the point. We'll give readers a nice look at what's good, what's not and what will make your trip to Gig Harbor more enjoyable.

So far, we have twelve reviews on the books now and we'll update it when we try new places. We understand that this won't be the next Perez Hilton blog but it will stay around as a nice little place where people visiting beautiful Gig Harbor Washington can rely on honest opinions.
We hope you enjoy!

Visit the Gig Harbor Restaurant Review Blog here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kindle Fire

For Father's Day I got something totally unexpected and awesome. Lizzie and the kids got me a Kindle Fire and a sweet Star Wars shirt. Being my first "official" Father's day as a step-father, I thought it was insanely sweet that anyone got me anything at all but I have to tell you it feels so good to be recognized in such a short time. For ssomeone in my position, things can be really hard from time to time and you don't always know where you might stand or how much you may be appreciated. So this was a really big deal for me. Everything really hit home in a great way due to everyone's generosity and genuine sentiments.

I've always wanted an e-reader, or Kindle to be exact, mainly because I wanted to be able to buy short stories and books from authors I like and am friends with. Now I can do that! I got David Blalock's, "Angel Killer", Norm Cowie's "The Guy'd Book", and of course Elizabeth Darvill's (Now Elizabeth Valentino's) Love In A Time of Steam and Bound By Blood.

I also really wanted to be able to get the free offerings that talented writers put on Amazon so it's super cool to have such a vast selection. I'm now able to explore people's work and become a paying fan with no risk. Pretty stoked on that.

So far, I love the Kindle Fire. It's fast, super easy to use and it's like a mini computer that I can take everywhere. It plays music, downloads books of course, lets me watch vids, surf the interwebs... Too cool! I realize I'm like 6 years behind everyone with the whole tablet thing but this is new for me so I wanted to squawk about it. If you're on the edge of getting an e-reader, just go for it, you won't be sorry.

While I'm at it, if anyone has free e-books or books they'd like to promote here, let me know! I'd love to help and read your work!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Norm Cowie ebooks

Free ebooks are fun! You risk nothing but could gain everything by downloading a fun piece of literature. Today I'm spreading the word about a bunch of Norm Cowie's books that are on Amazon for free for your kindle today!

Norm is a great guy that I met at Printer's Row in Chicago a few years ago. He's quick, funny and writes the same way which is a joy. He has an angle on humor that few others possess and I absolutely mean that in the best way. What are you waiting for? He's got four ebooks up for free so don't miss out!


Friday, June 8, 2012

My Crazy Cooking Shows

I've been thinking about this for a while. I watch a lot of kooky shows and figured it's about time to give you a little inside look. I've always been a TV show fiend that hops from series to series finding my favorites for some strange reason or another. Here's your inside look into what I'm watching now in the world of cooking:

Sweet Genius: First off, the host is absolutely insane. This guy is the perfect mix between Augustus Gloop and the doctor that sews people together on the Human Centipede. (Dr. Heiter) He's silly and goofy and awesome to watch but you always wonder if he has some insanely twisted torture chamber in his basement. Liz and I get a huge kick out of Chef Ron and are totally addicted to his show. Every time he announces a new "Mandatory Ingredient", I'm compelled to yell out something obscene because that's what I feel like he would really like to say. He actually did say "Chefs, come grab my buns!" last night. Anyway, this show is so fun and I can't get enough.

The Next Food Network Star: At first, I thought this was just kind of like Top Chef but without the dynamics and personalities. Alas, I was wrong. The angle of the competition is totally different and not totally reliant on cooking, as the chefs have to compete as television personalities as well. It's cool to see the the added elements to this like that they have celebrity team leaders although I have a hard time looking at Giada De Laurentiis as she reminds me of a Bratz or Monster High Doll.

Chopped: I love cooking shows... I can't help it. They all have a fun dynamic and most oif them leave me craving some gastronomic twist on a pot pie or something of the like. Chopped is a competition where chefs attempt to make the best three courses in a ridiculously short time out of a basket of ingredients that is nearly impossible to combine into a good dish. They get stuff like, Salmon, Chicken Noodle Soup, Matzo Balls and cheese flavored ice cream. It's good fun and usually ends up with the winner having the best worst dish of the group.

Diners, Drive Ins and Dives (DDD)
I used to HATE Guy Fieri. I thought he was such a doofus. Now I watch his show all the time. I love blue collar food however it's presented and I love to see every opinonion of it. Of course Anthony Bourdain will always be the God of good eats and good prose but it's time to stop being bitter and judgemental, so I like all perspectives now, including Guy's. (Hey and he's even been to Nashville to showcase some pretty awesome places.)

The Staples:
Of course nothing will beat Top Chef and Anthony Bourdain No Reservations but as you can see, for me, there are some up and comers that are doing really well for one reason or another in my book.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Elizabeth Darvill "Steamed Up"

How cool is this? Liz just got her new cover for her Spice Brief story "Steamed Up" which is part two in her steampunk erotic series from harlequin today! The first one is Steam Heat, available here. Last time we got a booty shot, this time we have under boob! Who knows what the next one might show. I'm super proud of her for getting these done, not only are they uber naughty but the writing brings in even non romance readers which is a huge feat! I don't care who you are, you'll need a cold shower after reading these.
This comes out in September on Harlequin Spice Briefs so be on the look out for some naughtiness in the early fall. I can't wait to see it!

In the meantime, follow Elizabeth here on Twitter and Friend her here on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

ZOVA Books

As I wait for the incoming edits for Thomas Riley 2, I thought it would be good to introduce my new publisher ZOVA BOOKS. I first met with the good people at ZOVA in person at San Diego Comic Con 2010. It was so exciting to hear their budding plans and their enthusiasm back then, nearly two years later, they've turned their bubbling book plans into a super volcano. They have their hands in a ton of amazing and ultra exciting things, not only in the publishing world but in the universe of film, and media as well.

I'm super excited to be a part of this company and they have a ton of amazing writers on their roster that run the gambit of literary genres, so as you can imagine, I'm honored to be in their company. ZOVA BOOKS holds the contracts for Thomas Riley 2 and 3, so you'll at least see two books coming from these fine folks. I'm also absolutely stoked on the help they've given me so far. I really believe that the character development in book two is already stronger because of Amanda at Zova. I'm so happy that my crazy characters have become crazier and now you'll get to see some glimpses of backstory in Thomas, Cynthia, Ann and Kathleen Benika.

Have I gushed enough? Okay, okay, I'll stop for now. Take a minute to check them out everywhere:




Tumblr Feed:


Monday, June 4, 2012

George The Animal Steele

When I was a little boy I loved wrestling. In the 80s, it seemed totally real and I totally bought into the good guy, bad guy characters and loved and hated them all. I had a bunch of favorites, Macho Man Randy Savage, Koko Beware, The Junkyard Dog, rowdy Roddy Piper and of course Hulk Hogan.

In the pantheon of old school favorites was none other than the green tongued, hairy backed turnbuckle eating George The Animal Steele. This dude was absolutely nuts and always got an infectious hearty chuckle out of my dad that left me rolling around on the floor laughing with him.

So this morning, my dad calls and tells me that George The Animal Steele is not only alive but he threw out the first pitch at a minor league baseball game... But of course he couldn't just throw the ball... The 75 year old Steel chewed the cover off the baseball, sauntered aimlessly off the pitcher's mound and threw the tattered ball like a caveman might throw a rock. It's hilarious and I'm still laughing as I type this.

For you old school wrestling fans, or just those that like watching wonderfully crazy people, enjoy: