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Win a Free ARC of Gary Corby’s The Ionia Sanction

October 18, 2011 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft, The Wife Unit  10 Comments

Details below!

Athens, 460 B.C. Life’s tough for Nicolaos, the only investigating agent in ancient Athens. His girlfriend’s left him and his boss wants to fire him. But when an Athenian official is murdered, the brilliant statesman Pericles has no choice but to put Nico on the job.

The case takes Nico, in the company of a beautiful slave girl, to the land of Ionia within the Persian Empire. The Persians will execute him on the spot if they think he’s a spy. Beyond that, there are only a few minor problems:

He’s being chased by brigands who are only waiting for the right price before they kill him.

Somehow he has to placate his girlfriend, who is very angry about that slave girl.

He must meet Themistocles, the military genius who saved Greece during the Persian Wars, and then defected to the hated enemy.

And to solve the crime, Nico must uncover a secret that could not only destroy Athens, but will force him to choose between love, and ambition, and his own life.

I’m giving away not one but TWO Advanced Reader Copy’s of Gary Corby‘s The Ionia Sanction.

(one, two ARCS AH AH AH!)

All you have to do to win is:

**Comment below with your email

**Have a valid postal address somewhere in the world

That’s it. Don’t you love simplicity? I sure do!

I will randomly select two winners on Sunday, October 23.

I will put that copy in the mail on Monday. That version will be an virgin ARC, waiting for your hands in breathless anticipation.

The other copy will go out sometime next week after my lovely wife is done reading it.

Which leads me to “How Gary’s Book Almost Caused a Divorce,” by Anthony Pacheco, Rehabilitated Hack Writer.

See, there I was, innocently editing my latest novel, when I get an email from Gary. Gary asks hey, do you want an ARC or two for giveaways?

I’m sitting in The Writer Chair(TM) at home, and go something like “Ah, man.” This is where I get into trouble.

Wife Unit: What?

Anthony: Gary wants to send me an ARC of his next book.

Wife Unit: What’s an ARC?

Anthony: That’s an advanced reader’s copy, available before you can buy it. Normally for reviewers and promotional giveaways.

Wife Unit: Cool!

Anthony: Well, it’s my policy to not accept promotional material including ARCs for books I recommend.

Wife Unit: But this is Gary’s book.

Anthony: Yes.

Wife Unit: You know how much I liked the first one.

Anthony: Yes.

Wife Unit: And…

Anthony: And?

Wife Unit: …

Anthony: ?

Wife Unit: It’s a good thing this couch is really comfortable.

Anthony: Um…

Wife Unit: I’m sure you would not be the first husband banished to the couch over an “ARC.”

Anthony: Um…

Wife Unit: The dog could use some company downstairs. He can keep you warm.

Anthony: Um, I think I’ll tell Gary thanks, that is really nice of him and send him our address.

Wife Unit: Thank you, Husband.

Now this story does not end here. Today I get in the mail the two ARCs.

Wife Unit: Oh! My book! Yay!

Anthony: Who loves you?

Wife Unit: You do! But… I just thought of something. If I read the ARC now, I’ll just have to wait longer for the next book.

Anthony: …

Anthony: I am so blogging this.

The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby

December 06, 2010 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, Characterization, Plot, Setting, The Craft  61 Comments

Update: Comments closed, winner selected!

pericles commissionHere I insert my standard disclaimer: I target my book reviews to novelists.

Also, if you would like to win a FREE copy of The Pericles Commission, comment on this post. I will select a commenter at random and mail you the copy. You need only to have a valid postal address somewhere in the world. The contest ends December 13 at noon, Pacific Time.

The Pericles Commission is a wonderful debut novel by researcher and writer Gary Corby. A murder mystery set in ancient Greece, the novel is also a political thriller, a coming-of-age-story and a cultural study all in one tight, little, whirlwind package of historical mystery goodness.

And Corby pulls it off masterfully.

Thus, I give you a disclaimer. If you are a novelist who likes to write murder mysteries (as I do), this book will make your head spin. Corby’s artistic creativity at putting a mystery together has the capability of frying your poor writer brain if you attempt to deconstruct the novel beyond its entertainment value.

The plot goes like this:

Early one bright, clear morning in Athens, 461 B.C., a dead man falls from the sky, landing at the feet of Nicolaos.

It doesn’t normally rain corpses. This one is the politician Ephialtes, who only days before had turned Athens into a democracy, and with it, kick-started western civilization. It looks very much as if Ephialtes was assassinated to stifle the world’s first democracy at its birth.

But Ephialtes has a lieutenant: a rising young politician by the name of Pericles. Pericles commissions the clever young Nicolaos to expose the assassin.

Nicolaos walks the mean streets of classical Athens in search of a killer. He’s totally confident he’ll succeed in finding him.

There are only a few small problems. Pericles is looking over his shoulder, critiquing his every move. Nicolaos would like to get closer (much closer) to Diotima, the intelligent and annoyingly virgin priestess of Artemis. He’d prefer not to go near Pythax, the brutally tough chief of the city guard. It would definitely help if the main suspect weren’t Xanthippus, a leading conservative and, worst of all, the father of Pericles.

But most of all, what Nicolaos really needs is to shake off his irritating twelve-year-old brother, Socrates, who keeps making helpful suggestions.

Can Nicolaos save Athens, democracy, and the future of western civilization?

Oh, how I loved Nicolaos, and Corby’s voicing with his main character leaves a reader not so much seeing the wonders of ancient Greece through his eyes, but living it in a visceral, immersive escapism that I had not experienced in a murder mystery since Vernor Vinge’s Marooned in Realtime.

There is a certain purity in murder mysteries. There’s a dead body. Sometimes more. The stakes are high, and beyond the expert voicing and characterization, the gem of The Pericles Commission is its sheer relentlessness.  For this novel is relentless in the stakes. Corby ratchets them up again and again and again until a reader is left almost panting with tension, reading furiously as nothing so much as the fate of humanity is on the line.

This novel happily dances around thriller territory and simply calling it a historical murder mystery is an understatement.  If you are a writer, don’t let the fabulous research blind you, or the mesmerizing voicing nor the purity of how the setting comes alive. Never has a historical book been so much fun to read. It was intelligent escapism at its highest form, and that, dear writers, was simply awesome. The Pericles Commission is not so much a novel as it is crack for mystery lovers.

Don’t forget to comment below to win a chance at a free copy!

So Blogging This, Part V

October 27, 2010 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft, The Wife Unit  3 Comments

[12:52:52 PM] heatherpa: I finished Gary’s book

[12:52:58 PM] heatherpa: When is the next coming out?

[12:54:35 PM] Anthony Pacheco: LOL

[12:54:40 PM] Anthony Pacheco: same time next year

[12:54:47 PM] heatherpa: but but but…

[12:54:56 PM] Anthony Pacheco: Once a year

[12:55:01 PM] Anthony Pacheco: He is working on book 3?

[12:55:08 PM] heatherpa: sigh you writers….

[12:55:15 PM] heatherpa: what do you do with your time? Write faster!

[12:55:26 PM] Anthony Pacheco: OMG I am so blogging this.