My First Blogger Review!

A review of Copper Centurion – 4 1/2 Stars! Plus a look at the final cover art for Roma Aeronautica!

Hi all,

I just wanted to share the news that Copper Centurion received a 4 1/2 star review (or 4 & 1/2 airships out of five review) over at GNostalgia, a fellow wordpress blog that focuses primarily on steampunk novels. I am so very thankful to him for taking the time to review the novel. You can check out the review here.

I also wanted to remind everyone that I don’t pay for reviews, but I will send out my books for reviews if I think I may have a chance of getting one. In my opinion, buying a review is not worth it. But I won’t beat a dead mechaniphant to death over the matter.

In other news, I just approved the final cover and formatting for Roma Aeronautica. I’m looking to release the novella late summer most likely, so be on the lookout. Here’s a look at the final cover art!


Hmm…smells like we may have struck… Copper! Copper Centurion, that is!

It’s Copper Centurion publishing time! woo woo! Tomorrow the ebook is available! Learn more, plus a bonus viewing from Roma Areonautica!

Hi everyone!

I know, I know. “Posting again, Daniel?” YES! I am very excited because I just spent the last hour or so plugging in various forms and cover arts and uploading epub documents. But you see, I have other fun things for you, besides reminding you that Copper Centurion will be available tomorrow, May 1, 2013. It’s a big day for me, personally, as I have successfully continued down the road to being a self-published author, but also a personal milestone, as I have made the (exhausting) journey once again.

So here’s the bonus material! I’ve got two covers for Roma Aeronautica below, and I’d love some criticism and comments on the covers. I won’t share which one I prefer, because that might skew the results! Roma Aeronautica 1

So here they are! Help me pick! The differences are in the background, but I’d love to hear what you think!

Roma Aeronautica 2






So I hope you liked those, and I can’t wait to share Copper Centurion with all of you! Here’s the links to the current sites! For Amazon and Barnes & Noble or Smashwords. I’ll be trying something new and publishing direct to iTunes this go-around, but I don’t have that ready yet. ūüôā Ciao!

Copper Centurion Release Date Announced!

The release date for Copper Centurion has been announced! Click to learn about prize winning opportunities!

Greetings to all my readers and fans!!Copper Centurion 800 Cover reveal and Promotional

I am extremely excited to announce that Copper Centurion will be released on May 1, 2013. This full-length novel has roughly 80,000 and will be on sale for $3.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iStore, Kobo, and all other platforms through Smashwords. There will also be a print version available on the same day.

I am currently looking for the following…

  1. 7-10 people willing to read ARC copies of the novel.
  2. 10-15 people willing to host me for a blog tour in May.
  3. 2-3 people to be on my ‘street team’ – requesting the book at your local library, leaving the promotional posters at the local independent book store/library if possible, generally promoting it on twitter, goodreads, etc.

If you’d like to do any of these (or just want to know more) email me at daniel(dot)ottalini(at)

If you’re nice enough to help me make this book release a blast, you’ll get some awesomely exciting prizes.

  1. An electronic copy of both Copper Centurion and Brass Legionnaire (If you don’t already have the first one)
  2. A digital arts booklet featuring all the illustrations from the series (so far) plus never-before seen concept designs and rough sketches.
  3. Your name in a drawing to win a Nook/Kindle (Haven’t decided yet!)

This will be done on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up for your slot today!

Review – iFeel by Marissa Carmel

A review of the novel iFeel by Marissa Carmel – Part of her book’s blog tour!

Hi all,
I’m doing my first blog tour here and featuring Marissa Carmel’s novel iFeel. I know what many of you are thinking – Daniel, you write historical alternate history with a decidedly non-magical flair, what are you thinking? – Well first, I wanted to review something different, and two, just because I write that now doesn’t mean I always write that. Plus, I enjoy reading a variety of novels, so this one was a good pick for me.

Alivyanna Christianni is one of those people with too much emotion and too little control. As she slides between one near-breakdown to the next, fate throws a new wrench into her otherwise isolated and lonely life. As though she needs a new problem. Liv is being hunted by a spirit walker, a big-old-nasty thing that enjoys sucking souls out of people for food and fun. After a terrifyingly near-death attack, she meets her savior and protector, Justinian, or Justice. As Justice tries to get Liv to realize who and what she really is, she fights her own battles on the inside, waging between love, hatred, disgust, and acceptance, leading up to an excellent stopping point for the next novel in the series.

The Good: The novel was quick and had little downtime, the scenes were well described and the world was both involved and believable. The characters are realistic, even if the story behind them is somewhat supernatural. I’ll admit, I figured, for a while, that vampires would feature prominently into this story. But they don’t, barely being a blip on the radar screen. I really liked the Seraphs, semi-angelic humans who are supernatural and have gifts, as well as the involvement of other types of supernaturals. Too often we focus on one type in a story, when mythology and history are full of many, many different types of supernatural entities.

The Bad: There are times when you go “what just happened?” and you go back to reread and it still doesn’t make sense. The flow throws you out and you get confused. Also, some of the sayings the author uses are just… Here’s a good example “It was like an A/B conversation she could C into.” Liv’s mind is sarcastic, but it’s a tad bit overdone in this aspect. Oh, I admit I also didn’t really like how some words were emphasized like THIS but in completely different font. Maybe I’m a finicky reader, but little things like that detract from a story’s experience. Liv is never really the master of her emotions and lets them lead her around by the nose, but that’s what happens when you are an Empath and that’s your skill, so I can’t fault her for it.

Overall: Good story, engaging. Definitely for the fans of supernatural books and shows. People Who enjoyed Vampire Diaries or Twilight will enjoy this book, but don’t read it expecting vampires, and Liv at least has some capacity to think for herself when she isn’t overwhelmed by emotions. 3 1/2 stars in my book.

You can purchase her book, iFeel (The Vis Vires Trilogy) for $4.99 and check out her website here.

How to respond to Reviews (positive or negative)

Brass Legionnaire gets a Five-Star Review, and how to deal with Reviews as an Author.

I’ve heard it been said before that self-published authors are a picky lot.

Who, us?

Actually, I agree. One of the downsides of being a writer/publisher is that you become so connected with your book that is is like a child. You are the one who put in love and effort and pushed it to grow and mature. You also scrapped up the funds to get it edited, revised, and probably some nice cover art or formatting along the way.

And heaven forbid someone dis your child. It’s like that annoying parent at the soccer game who is yelling at your kid because they just aren’t quite as fast as theirs, as good as theirs, or as big as theirs. Or perhaps, they’re making snide comments because your child is better, and they are jealous.

Either way – child or book – we get insulted. If you have to hop through a million hoops with a publisher – editor, cover art, everything else more outside of your direct control – You might not feel as protective about your novel.

Today, I’m exceptionally excited because Brass Legionnaire got a five star review from a reader. Now what should I do as the writer? I could go several routes. Since it is a positive review, I’m probably more likely to respond in a positive way. The review also included some constructive feedback – something the reader would like to see more of in Copper Centurion (ie book two).

I’m not going to respond on the posting because that’s not my place to respond. Could I? Yes, but I won’t (not because I don’t want to) but because I feel as though I don’t need to be such a micromanager.

But I’ll tell you what I will do. I’ll listen to the constructive criticism. The reviewer thought I should have more camaraderie between the troops. And you know what? I should!

Any author should be able to look at reviews with an objective eye. The key thing is to take a deep breathe and back off. Not everyone will find your novel their piece of cake. That’s a fact of life. There will always be someone out there who will be spiteful or angry or mad over small things. You can’t control that. What you can do is avoid petty fights and maintain your reputation as an author. If you become known as an author who takes feedback and criticism (with a grain of salt) with grace and a willingness to at least THINK about it, then you become someone who people want to work with or talk with or learn from.

So long story short, keep the reviewer’s wishes in mind, but the story is yours in the end. If they point our typos or errors or problems with formatting or editing, get it fixed! If its a story content thing, make sure you have beta readers.

No one likes a prickly porcupine, so don’t be one!

Son of Neptune – Review

Review of the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series – Son of Neptune – By Rick Riordan

Greetings all! A long time ago I did a few book reviews, and since I’d like to mix things up here on the blog, I’ll continue to do some more during this summer. In addition, read through to the bottom of the story to see a special offer to self-published and indie-published authors.

The Son of Neptune is the second novel in Rick Riordan‘s The Heroes of Olympus series. It also happens to be one of my favorite of Rick Riordan’s novels. Personally, I’m a fan of Roman mythology and culture (As evidenced by my own novel!), so this ‘flip side’ of the Percy Jackson world was a long time coming. (Warning, the story contains some spoilers, but then again, you already knew that.)

Percy Jackson has amnesia. On the run from monsters who don’t seem to stay killed, and armed only with his own wits, skills, and trusty pen/blade Riptide, he follows the directions of Lupa, guardian she-wolf of Rome, towards safety. In his rush to reach a safehaven, he makes a fateful choice – Carrying the goddess Juno (i.e. Hera from the Greek Mythological World) in a archetypical ‘journey’ into the lands of Camp Jupiter, Rome incarnate in the Western Hemisphere.

In this strange new world, Percy seems out of place. Everything is neat and tidy and organized down to the last component. There are daily roll calls and official inductions for new recruits. Another big change – while readers of the rest of the Percy Jackson series will understand that only demigods can stay at Camp Half-Blood (With a few exceptions), Camp Jupiter is open to all with demigod blood or ancestors. Indeed, a vibrant community with ‘Roman’ citizens of all ages exists alongside Camp Jupiter in “Little Rome”.

I really liked this component, as it opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the characters. Before this, the reader was left to wonder – what do demigods do when they grow up? How do they get married and where do they live? Riordan provides the answer. So Percy gets his tour of the camp and the city, joins the 12th legion – the last official Roman legion that has existed unbroken since the time of the empire.

With his new friends, Frank, son of Mars (not Ares, but the roman aspect of Ares, Mars Ultor) and Hazel, daughter of Pluto and ‘sister’ of Nico Di Angelo – yes, that Nico from the other books – Percy is assigned to assist Frank on a quest after some judicious Roman head bashing in their version of capture the flag.

Setting north to rescue Death (capital D) from the clutches of Gaea, earth goddess with a major case of revenge, and her supremely powerful giant children, they demigods encounter a world where death is reversing itself, and once eliminated enemies are returning. Oh, and they find time to rescue a foretelling harpy, a rainbow goddess with a penchant for organic food, and discover the truth behind internet seller Amazon (Think literal), as well as a nice stop at Frank’s own house in Canada. We learn about Frank’s gift, but also his curse, throughout the book. No longer does Riordan focus on the naivety of his characters as in his earlier novels, but rather on their challenges forced upon them. Every hero has a weakness, but we learn our character’s weaknesses off the bat, and they must strive to find their strengths.

Finally blasting through these challenges, they arrive to find that rescuing death is about more than simply bashing down the front door, but must take sacrifice on one member’s part to bring balance to the situation.

I have to give the book five stars. I really enjoyed it and loved the characters, although Hazel should probably be on some meds for all the blacking out she does. The plot and follow through with the action and humor that Riordan twists into mythology helps younger readers blend the gap between fantasy and realism. It also helps us get past such incredibly tough names to pronounce (Say Laistrygonians three times fast – and that’s an easy one!). I truly enjoyed the book and can’t wait for Mark of Athena, the conclusion to the series, to come out this fall!

Zombie Survival Guide – A Review

Top Ten Lessons For Surviving a Zombie Attack

10. The Zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on…

This month I’ve been in a bit of a Zombie kick, so I’m going to review two books by Max Brooks, First the Zombie Survival Guide, a non-nonsense guide to surviving a world teeming with zombies (fictionally, of course…right?) Then in a few days I’ll be reviewing World War Z, Max Brooks’ semi-biographical/fictional oral account of the Zombie War.

Continue reading “Zombie Survival Guide – A Review”

Four Children vs an Evil Mastermind: Round 1

The Mysterious St. Benedict Society is the suspenseful and entertaining story of four youngsters – Reynie (unknowing leadership material), Kate (gadget girl with an unusual twist), Sticky (Bookworm/Intelligence Figure), and Constance (the youngest and most stubborn member of the team) – on a quest to save the world. Although it doesn’t appear that way at first, this is actually, in my view, a more heartwarming story demonstrating great morals for young adults. Written in a similar method to A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, The Mysterious St. Benedict Society is a New York Times Bestseller, and author Trenton Lee Stewart has done an admirable job creating a believable world in which some quite unbelievable things happen. Definitely a must read for those children who loved the Lemony Snicket books, Society, is a bit more mature in some ways, with more interesting, and less obvious, methods of evil infiltrating the story and plot. Continue reading “Four Children vs an Evil Mastermind: Round 1”

The Lost Hero – Review

The anticipation surrounding Rick Riordan’s latest novel The Lost Hero was so strong, we could have built a temple atop it! What’s not to love? A whole new batch of demigod heroes sent to rescue the world again. Riordan’s novel gratefully returns us from his brief Egyptian venture (personally, that was a poor choice of a new series, but I’ll cover that later) and returns us to the god fearing, monster battling world of camp Half-Blood. This time, we follow a whole new set of demigods as they race to uncover who, or more precisely, what, has stolen a member of the Olympic counsel.

Continue reading “The Lost Hero – Review”

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