One thing I decided to add to my blog is a book review section that I’m tentatively calling Just Booking It. Basically, I decided to take the Read 50 Books a Year Challenge, so, I’m blogging about the books I’m reading. This is in my copious time between writing somewhere around 5 books each year, not to mention the production of a print book and a compilation.
Why I’m Reviewing the Competition
You may be wondering why I’m writing about the competitor books. Actually, I’m not worried if you find someone else’s book to be wonderful and you find a new author to read. A rising tide raises all ships, as we independents say. If you’re an Urban Fantasy reader and you like some of the books I recommend, chances are you’ll enjoy my books, if you’ve stumbled upon my website. Which is awesome.
Keeping Me True to My Goal
Another reason for reviewing books is that it will keep me true to my goal of reading at least 50 books in a year. Yeah, that means you get reviews of all the books I read, whether it’s Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, Nonfiction, or whatever. Some books you’re just not going to care about. Other books you may find interesting. Whatever. But I will let you know whether I like them or not.
Books I’m Currently Reading
Not surprisingly, I have a list of books I’m reading right now. I include them at the end of my reviews so you can buy them and read along, if you’re so inclined. Note that the books I list on the reviews have affiliate links that gives me a small amount of compensation, which enables me to keep this page going. So, if you buy the books, please support this website. Thanks.
Yep, I finally got around to creating a compilation of the two books, That Dragon was in No Way My Fault and A Date with a Werewolf, now together for both a Kindle Unlimited compilation and a print book! The compilation is $2.99 or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. The print version is $5.95 USD. Either way, it’s a great introduction into The Ironspell Chronicles. Check out the new preview function beneath the photo below.
Tonight I entered “The End” on Yes, Ironspell, There is a Santa Claus. Normally, I give myself some time between editing and the first draft, but given the publication date (Christmas) and when it’s actually due on Amazon (Solstice), I’m pretty convinced I have to get it in top shape now. By the way, you can read the first chapter HERE.
This Book Surprised Me
Unsurprisingly, (see what I did there?), the ending changed from what I planned. I realized as I was writing it that the running gag was actually a major piece in the story. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprise, I’ll keep quiet about it. Order a copy, if you haven’t yet.
Frost and Fire should be out in March; You can thank Yes, Ironspell, there is a Santa Claus for that
I know, I know. I promised Frost and Fire after Hellfire, but after writing the first two chapters, I suddenly looked at the calendar and discovered it was October. So, I made up my mind to write the Christmas story first. And yeah, there is a Santa Claus in it, but this isn’t the type of bedtime story to read to your kids. Unless they’re at least teenagers. Look for Frost and Fire on Amazon. I just got the preorder up, so it might be a bit before it shows up on my series list.
If you don’t hear from me sooner, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, Happy Hanukah, Merry Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, or whatever you celebrate.
I love getting free stuff, and I bet you do too. That’s why I’m telling you about the Free Paranormal and Fantasy Tales promotion going on right now through the end of December. Check out the free books, and maybe you’ll find another author you enjoy.
The Krampus is kidnapping children. Santa makes an unscheduled stop to ask Ironspell and his Jotun partner, Vetr, for help. Together, they must visit Hel to gain entrance to the Krampus’ stronghold. But can they rescue the children and stop the Krampus from enacting his dastardly plan?
If you’ve been a fan of mine for some time, I’d wager you probably know I take quite a bit from myths and legends. It’s not surprising to see werewolves and vampires in an urban fantasy. But what about the gods and the creatures, such as the Jotun? Well, in the next several posts, I’m going to give you insight into my crazy world and what I’ve borrowed and from where.
Not surprisingly, I take from the Norse and Viking legends. The Norse had some pretty cool ideas when it came to their pantheon and the landvaettr (land spirits) that inhabited their world. The Norse had their own version of zombies, vampires, and yes, even werewolves, so I tried to blend that into my writings to provide richness in that particular world. If you’re a fan of the Marvel comics, you know that Jotun are giants. In the myths, Jotun could be frost giants, fire giants, or something else. I tried very hard with Winter of Our Discontent and Oathbreakerto add these creatures to the story and make them believable. You’ve already seen Eir, Loki, Odin, Thor, and Tyr, not to mention Fenrir and Jormungandr, so I figure that’s pretty well covered.
What About the Christian Side?
I’ve decided to add the archangels and demons (not to be confused with Tuzren, the daemon) to the mix because Christianity has its own rich lore. I decided that dealing with the Watchers and the Angels gives me enough to work with without adding Yahweh and Jesus to the story. Sure, the Christian god is part of people’s faith, which is why I keep the story focused on the angels and demons. I figure the Christian god has enough to do without worrying about what our hero, Ironspell, is doing. Plus, he’s got angels to handle the tasks at hand.
What About Other Pantheons?
I’ll probably be adding more pantheons as the series progresses. The Roman/Greek gods are always interesting, and probably the best known. But there are Celtic gods, Slavic gods, Hindu gods, Native American gods, and Egyptian gods. I suspect I’ll be bringing those in as the stories progress. After all, there are plenty of rich tales in that folklore.
I’m hoping to give a little background in some of the legends I use right here as the books come out. Anyway, be free to ask questions in the comments.
I just had a fan ask me for a list of books by MH Bonham (that’s me). I’ll preface it by saying these are fiction titles of mine that you can get online. These are the main ones, although I suspect I have some smaller pieces of work out there that my fans can access online. So, here’s the list. I’ll try to keep this updated as new releases appear.
Since I’ve been running a bit late on Oathbreaker, I thought I’d give you a sample chapter to whet your interest. Let me know what you think! You can preorder it HERE.
Oathbreaker — Chapter One
When I met Odin again, I knew I’d need a bigger can of whup-ass. If I managed to survive the army of fallen angels or Watchers, as they called themselves.
Standing in the cavern where Fenrir, the Wolf of Ragnarok, had laid stricken with venom from the Mayan feathered serpent god, Kukulkan, made me realized how fucked up my life was. Everything had been going more or less according to plan until Sigrún, one of Odin’s Valkyries, had betrayed me. She decided to turn the Wolf of Ragnarok back over to Odin, even though I had told her and Odin that I had a plan. Apparently they didn’t trust me enough to at least listen and try it.
Now, all they did was delay Ragnarok, instead of maybe avoiding it altogether. And Kukulkan bit my werewolf girlfriend and her mother, injecting them with powerful venom. My friends, Elryn, the Light Elf and Tuzren, the demon, had transported them out of there before the Watchers could kill them.
Now, I turned in time to see the Watchers rush toward me with their flaming swords drawn. Usually, a Normal person would’ve freaked out and begged for mercy. After all, it’s not every day you get to see bat-winged, albinos with fiery swords and automatic weapons. But, I’m not a Normal, or a person without magic.
My name is Officer Robert “Bob” Ironspell-Cabas, a Denver cop, although most of my friends call me Ironspell, and that’s the name I go by. I’ve been hesitant to call myself a wizard—or a mage, as the stuck-up magic users call themselves—but I’ve been slinging around spells like a fairy grabbing doughnuts on a three-day sugar buzz. In other words, saying I’m not a wizard no longer cuts it. I’m just not the best wizard out there, and as my Dark Elf relatives like to point out, I’m not that well-trained. But, at least I’m housebroken.
So, when the Watchers came blasting into the cavern looking for Fenrir and instead got me, they were understandably upset. I recognized two of them almost immediate: Azazel and Samyaza. The two fallen angels looked both beautiful and menacing as they half flew, half ran towards me. The Watchers looked much as they had when they were part of the Heavenly Host, except they now had bat wings instead of feathers, and their furrowed brows and menacing glares told me all I needed to know. They were pissed.
Azazel’s title was commander of the Watchers, and his white hair was only outdone by his almost translucent skin. Samyaza’s black hair contrasted with the same pale skin. Both were intensely beautiful, but both held haughty and arrogant expressions which marred their faces. They wore fatigues and battle armor in the style you’d see on any GI. As they rounded the corner on me, I cast a shield, hoping to buy enough time to create a portal and get the hell out of Dodge. Except I wasn’t in Dodge.
I was in Montana, somewhere in the wilderness far away from help. So, I tore open a Gateway to Denver and dove towards it. At that moment, I saw what I would call “Dark Force Lightning”—you know, that black and purple lightning that came from Emperor Palpatine’s hands?—hit my Gateway and it snapped shut. I slammed headfirst into the cavern’s wall.
You know how in old cartoons they’d show stars or little birds flying around someone’s head? Seeing stars isn’t exactly like that, but it’s close. More like my vision went tunneled with flashes of lights. The only reason why I didn’t go unconscious was I had my hands out in front of me. And that fucking hurt. Big time.
What hurt infinitely worse was Samyaza grabbing me by the neck and hauling me to my feet, a la Darth Vader. Apparently it was a Star Wars day. I could only wish for A New Hope.
“Where is Fenrir?” the Watcher demanded.
“There are no plans. We’re on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan,” I squeaked. Yeah, witty, I know.
Another Watcher came around from the interior of the cave. I didn’t seem to recall him disappearing. “There’s no one else here. Whoever was here is gone.”
“Acknowledged.” Azazel stood beside Samyaza and leered at me. “So, where did you put the Wolf? Did you bring him to your home?”
“Errrrh…nerrrh…” I gasped for breath.
“Set him down but hold onto him. We won’t get our answers from a dead man.” Azazel looked at me with a calculating expression.
Samyaza looked askance at his leader, but lowered me down until my feet touched the ground. I breathed in as the pressure around my trachea subsided. “I don’t…have…him…” I panted.
“No? Then, kill him.” Azazel turned around to bark orders at the other Watchers.
“But, I know…where…” I began before Samyaza’s fingers tightened on my throat.
“Wait.” Azazel raised a finger. The pressure stopped. “You know where the Wolf of Ragnarok is?” I nodded. “Tell me, then.”
I stayed silent until Samyaza removed his hand from my throat. I coughed a few times. “Why should I tell you? You’ll kill me after you get the information.”
Azazel nodded. “Very shrewd. But I’ll kill you anyway because I think you’re bluffing.”
“Go ahead. Even if you figure out where he is, you’ll never be able to get to him without my help.” I shook my head.
Samyaza reached for me, but hit the shield I silently constructed after Samyaza moved back. Azazel screamed and charged me, but I threw my own version of Force lightning at him. Mentally, I decided to call it “wizard lightning” since I wasn’t working for the Dark Side.
Azazel lit up like a Fae firestorm. The lightning knocked him backwards unceremoniously on his ass and lit his wings on fire. The stench of burning bat wing was enough to make me gag.
I thought I knew what a pissed off demon looked like. I had Tuzren, who was a daemon, technically, though every wizard and mage I knew called his kind demons. Daemons are creatures from other planes of existence and not in the general Nine Worlds—or Nine Universes. The Watchers, aka the Fallen Angels, aka the Judeo-Christian demons were nothing like angry Tuzren. Tuzren, when pissed off, was scary; the Watchers, however, were positively terrifying.
“Kill him!” Azazel shouted and his skin grew red and burst into flame. All at once, the two dozen or so Watchers that assembled around me attacked.