Normally I'm not much of a thriller fan, but Yeager's Law by Scott Bell is well worth the detour. This book doesn't rely on cheap jump-scare tactics and eerie feelings to communicate a sense of danger, which is nice. It's fast-paced and action-heavy. If you're looking for a bit of modern-day swash and buckle, this one is for you.
Bell flips back and forth between multiple viewpoints to give us all angles of the story. That can get confusing, but I never had to check back and figure out who was whom. For a batty reader like me, that's an impressive feat. Even with all the viewpoint switching, there were still a few surprises saved up at the end, which made it fun as well as interesting.
There's a low-key romance element there too, which helps a lot - especially since the love interest in question is an impressive lady herself. Fainting damsel in distress she is not.
My only complaint is that the "bad guys" were at times a little too definitively "bad," but only a little. I never felt it was outside the bounds of reason, but once or twice I wrinkled my nose a bit. Still, Abel Yeager and his cast of co-stars were plenty awesome enough to make up for it.
This book is part one of a series, and I definitely plan to check out the next installment!
Abel Yeager is dead broke, down on his luck, and suffering from a serious case of what-the-hell-does-it-matter. His transition from active Marine to stateside long-haul trucker hit a wicked speed bump when his rig was involved in a wreck that claimed the life of a pregnant woman and laid him up for several months.
Back at work but deeply in debt, Yeager meets bookstore owner Charlie Buchanan in St. Louis and jumps at the chance to haul a load of remainder books to Austin for her. On the way south, a crew of truck thieves tracks his every move. But none of them know what Charlie’s ex has smuggled inside the book pallets, who he stole it from, or how far the owner will go to get it back. Charlie’s the first person Yeager has cared about in a long time, but as their bond deepens, so does the danger they’re in.
With enemy forces closing in, Yeager battles greed, corruption, and his own fatalism in a bid to hold true to Yeager’s First Law: come home at the end of the day.
I'm sure by now you know all about my Patreon page, but you might not know that I am also a patron to six artists on Patreon. Today, I'd like to share a couple of my favorite Patreon artists.
"Don't quit your day job" is the kind of sarcastic saying people use to indicate that someone is bad at what they're doing, but for many artists, that statement applies even if they're awesome. The arts don't usually pay well, and even when they do, it's notoriously inconsistent. As a result, even artists who are talented and successful can't turn their full focus to their craft. Enter Patreon.
Patreon is a great crowdfunding program which allows artists to work without worry about fluctuations of income.
Without patrons, artists have to find a way to supplement their income, which can be a huge bummer when those supplemental income sources have nothing to do with the art they create.
Today, I want to share with you six artists I support directly from my own income on Patreon, because nothing is better than knowing that your contributions support not just one, but seven members of the artistic community. I'll also add in some super-useful animal pics along the way, for science. Here's a preview:
Look at those adorable knees! I mean - AHEM. In no particular order, here we go.
N.K. Jemisin is an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her work is always fresh and exciting. She sets up strange worlds and storylines with effortless poise, and her characters are so full of heart it hurts sometimes. If you've never read her books, I highly recommend her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
This should of course be followed by everything else she's ever written in quick succession.
What do I mean by "award-winning author," exactly? Well, check out her description on the about section of her website:
Her work has been nominated for the Hugo (three times), the Nebula (four times), and the World Fantasy Award (twice); shortlisted for the Crawford, the Gemmell Morningstar, and the Tiptree; and she has won a Locus Award for Best First Novel as well as the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award (three times). In 2016, she became the first black person to win the Best Novel Hugo for The Fifth Season.
So what does this masterful storyteller need from Patreon? Well, from her own description, she wanted to quit her day job. In order to quit her job and devote herself to writing, she needed a steady, dependable income.
N.K. Jemisin had serious writing chops and the awards and publications to prove it, but she still needed the promise of steady income to quit her day job and devote time to her craft.
What do patrons get?
She reached and blew past her initial income goals, so she has time to write and even opened up some of the upper-tier bonus award to everyone. Patrons can expect perks like:
Exclusive short stories
Adorable cat pics
Monthly Q&A videos
Early looks at chapters
All of this is available to every patron, for a dollar per month as long as her income stays above a certain level.
Best of all, she writes more than ever now, so you can binge read her work with even fewer interruptions.
Fredrin/Fred Gallagher/Piro is a webcomic artist best known for megatokyo, a manga-style online comic which started in 2000 and has maintained a devout, sometimes obsessive, fanbase ever since.
I'm one of those fans, and as soon as Fredrin mentioned he had set up a Patreon account, I jumped at the chance to add my name to the list. He quit his "day job" to support himself and his family with his art years ago, and ever since Megatokyo has had fewer and fewer updates.
That seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Part of the reason was because he devoted his time to many, many projects, like the Endgames Series or re-draws of the comic for his Megatokyo Omnibus. Part of it was due to a much more basic reason, as addressed on his Patreon page:
Oddly enough, the writing, drawing and creation of comic pages is the one thing in Megatokyo that does not directly support itself.
Megatokyo has always been free, and he doesn't stuff his page with ads, so the money he made from the site was always from side jobs. Thankfully, his side jobs involved illustrating characters from his own comics for commission, which is closer to making money via your art than any of my other favorite Patreon artists got.
What do patrons get?
He has a few tiers of rewards, but even at the very lowest level (one dollar per months) patrons can expect things like:
New comic strips 1 day early
New drawings 1 day early
Best of all, he's back to posting regularly! Yay comics.
That's all for now. I'll be back soon with another installment of my favorite Patreon artists. Check these two out! You have nothing to lose!
Would you like something to read, at a great discount? Of course you would.
I'm joining some of my fellow Scribophile members in a reading round robin, where we each buy everyone else's books and check them out. We all priced our books reasonably for the event, so many of these books will be 99 cents for a limited time! Many of them are also in the kindle lending library, if you have that. This means that my reading list is pretty packed for this month already.
I don't normally plan my reading list so far in advance, but it seems like a good opportunity to give everyone a peek at my bookshelf. Note: I haven't read any of these yet, so I'm not sure what genre they are or how long. This is my untested future plans.