Update 2014-11-22


Hi All,

The next chapter of Return: Dreadknight will drop sometime the 1st of December. Also, check out the new reviews below.

Also I’m looking for Original English Light Novel authors to interview, feature or jab with a sharpened stick when I require amusement. If you’re game, please email james.kresnik@returnnovel.com.

Thanks for waiting and have a great [insert harvest-time holiday here]!


Light Novel Review – The Gandharva

The Gandharva Cover

The Gandharva (Devasur Series Book I)

Author(s): Nikesh Murali and Bhavana Murali

Amazon eBook | Wattpad

The Gandharva is a fast-moving, unique paranormal romance adventure with tight delivery and a straightforward plot, which makes it a perfect introduction into the emerging Original English Language Light Novel (OELN) format.

Dev, a heavenly Gandharva, has been banished with his fighting brothers to Earth. He earns his keep­­‑and nourishment­‑by stealing the hearts of young maidens. He is the picture of a romantic anti-hero: equal parts charming, rakish and conflicted. Unfortunately, both his affection and appetite are drawn to fellow student Maya, a sharp and stalwart woman who has struggled to balance university, a difficult family life, and thwarting otherworldly pursuers who just happen to be ancient enemies of the Gandharva clan.

Dev and Maya’s college romance is well-developed, earnest and, most importantly, works smoothly within the context of the story: a modern, middle-class India transformed into a setting for an ancient Hindu struggle. It is refreshingly unique to western audiences because Nikesh and Bhavana’s exposition and narrative maintain both the necessary texture and accessibility to make the world building enticing and convincing.

Unfortunately, not everything follows the divine plan. The supporting characters, and in particular the villains’ motivations are sometimes two-dimensional, however they serve the purpose of advancing the plot. Still, the story charges toward the inevitable drawing of lines, then an equally rapid blurring of those lines leading in to the next part of the series.

The Gandharva is as sensual, breezy and slightly pulpy as a good Light Novel should be, and the next part promises even more fast-paced romance and adventure.

Who would be swept-up in an angel’s arms? Readers who like fun, fast-paced paranormal romance wrapped in unique themes.

Who’s feet would stay firmly planted on Earth? Those looking for a hefty plot and expansive character development.

Rating: ****

Back For A Limited Time


Hi All,

I’m stopping by just to let y’all know that I’m working on new material for your enjoyment. Work on “Return – Dreadknight” is continuing and I will post revised and updated chapters on Wattpad. The Book 3 draft is also underway. Finally, a new review and author interview for yours truly will be posted shortly before I return to the aether. Thank you again for your patience and I look forward to seeing you again.


James Kresnik

Book Review – Falaha’s Journey

Falaha's Journey Cover - Descent, The Pit, Perseverance

Falaha’s Journey Cover – Descent, The Pit, Perseverance

Title: Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements (Descent/The Pit/Perseverance)

Author: Jeno Marz

Smashwords | Amazon

I so love this series’ ability to do it all.

It’s an epic, but told with a singular voice. It’s a space-opera on a universal scale, but it leans heavily toward intricately detailed hard science. It has big action, but it revels in down-to-earth and touching, intimate moments. It’s often deadly serious, even downright gory at times, but it balances that with interactions full of warmth and humor. It is told from an alien culture and perspective, but resonates with very human wishes and hopes.  I know “this has it all,” has become a clichéd way of putting things, but what else can be said when a story has, well, everything?

There are a few practical things to note about Falaha. This is a complete omnibus edition, meaning you don’t have to wait to finish it. And while this series has a younger female protagonist, it is definitively adult in its sensibilities and action level. In all, this is a remarkable and inspired series and I hope someday to see more from Jeno Marz.

Rating: ★★★★★

War May Never Change, But My Marketing Sure Does


Hi All,

After much reflection–and an authorial meltdown leading to an epiphany of sorts– I’m making marketing and networking changes effective immediately:

1) No more blog-whore-style self-promotion. Why? Because I have found that it is neither effective for myself nor the vast majority of authors. It creates noise, engenders insincerity and annoys busy people, present company included.

The most effective long-term marketing is a well-written, well-edited, entertaining story with a well-defined market positioned in an accessible, highly visible place. If you want to aggressively promote your book, then either get a publisher or use a direct book-promotion service like BookBub which is designed for maximum effect for a nominal investment. If you’re going to promote on social network sites, please don’t spam other writers’ feeds.

2) If you’re an author, and you haven’t actually read at least one of my books, don’t contact me to peddle your crap. Real authors are also voracious readers, and my books are short, tight novellas that can be read in a single afternoon. I have read at least one book from every author I have actively networked with, and the only time I have contacted an author before I finished is when I really loved their work. If you as an author can’t do that much, then you’re either not serious about your craft, not careful about who you work with, or seeking an exploitative, one-sided relationship. Do not try to play me for a fool, you will not like the result.

3) I will no longer write long-form reviews. Hell, I’m so untalented that I can barely write books, much less anything else. Short reviews and comments are about all I can handle with my limited mental and temporal capacity. And don’t let the self-promoting, alpha-douche marketing scum of the world fool you, pessimism, humility and honesty are all fine and necessary traits.

4) I might continue working on this magazine project and the Original English Light Novel Reddit, but only if there is any energy or outside interest, and so far, there appears to be little of both.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope all two of my fans aren’t too disappointed with these changes. I’ll update next week after I finish this meltdown. Have a good weekend, Take Care, and stay in touch.


James Kresnik

I’m Now a Reddit Caporegime: New OELN Subreddit

Hi All,

I went looking on Reddit for an Original English Light Novel (OELN) space, and I didn’t find any, so I made one: http://www.reddit.com/r/OELN/. “Great, more work.,” I’m thinking. But what the hell, it had to be done.

Now, if you have any stories, commentary, critiques, art, or blogs related to Original English Light Novels, then feel free to throw it up there, just don’t be too spammy about it. Also, if you know of an existing subreddit that feature original English language light novels, please let me know so I can promote those sites on the sub.

In other news, it looks like I’m about to move again, so my schedule will be disrupted a bit. The reviews will be up on my blog shortly, and new Return – Dreadknight chapters will follow as soon as possible. This is basically a spell-checked draft, so if you find any story problems, please feel free to comment here, Wattapd, Reddit, wherever you feel comfortable.

Thanks again, Take Care and stay in touch.

James Kresnik

Moving On Now

Hi All,

I’ve finished the current revision of Return – The Survivalists, however, it won’t be published again as an e-book anytime soon. Instead, I will resume with the next part of the story, Return – Dreadknight on Wattpad as an ongoing series until I get sick of the whole farce and pick up something more productive and healthy, like wingsuit flying.*

Both books will be published as a print volume in the near future, but that depends on budget and audience. I want to bring a full editorial team on board to polish the work properly, and of course my artists needs to eat. If anyone has any good ideas for fundraising that does not involve vain attempt at selling e-books, I’m all ears.

I’ll finish work on the review for Bhavana Murali’s Light Novel Thrist and Jeno Marz’s epic Falaha’s Journey soon. I’m also working on a new project featuring Original English Light Novels (OELN). Please watch this space for more details.

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to continuing Return – A Light Novel Series. Take Care, and stay in touch.


James Kresnik

*Yes, that was sarcasm, I think.

“The Survivalists” 2nd Goes Weekly

And yes, this time I mean it.

I’m done with the 2nd Edition edits, so I can now say that with much confidence. A new part will go up every Tuesday on Wattpad until the bitter end. I’ve included some new material, so if you like kisses and fights then go knock yourself out.

I’m also closing in for the kill on “Dreadknight” and expect to have that done by the end of this month. I’m seriously thinking about posting the draft chapters to “keep it movin,'” though that depends entirely on my mood and capacity for embarrassment.

I’m still working out the kinks on my new site here. I’ve added links but done away with likes and comments. Of course that may change at some point in the near future depending on my capacity for silly games and deafening silence. If you really need to gripe you can go to my Wattpad profile.

Let me know how I’m doing and enjoy the rest of the story. -James Kresnik

The Survivalists Parts 11-13

Hi All,

I’ve posted three more revised parts in the past few weeks:

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

I’m also working on a new Wattpad book review that I hope to get up shortly. -James Kresnik

Review – Minutes Before Sunset


Minutes Before Sunset is an solid and very readable paranormal romance story from veteran novelist Shannon A Thompson that hits all the right spots for the genre in a comfortably deliberative style. Continue reading

“Yes, I have a truck. No, I won’t help you move.”

Quick update here.

Finally making good on my threats, I’m moving from increasingly creeper WordPress.com to WordPress.org on my own domain.

Also as of, uh, nowish, this new site is now an author blog, and The Survivalists is moving to Wattpad for the moment. Praise Capitalism.

The reason? It’s impossible to find a natural readership on WordPress.com. While it’s very easy to find struggling authors on WordPress.com, it’s pretty hard to find a good audience for this book. So, I guess we’ll see how this all works out. Feel free to leave some hate mail. I’ll eventually get to it.

Oh, and the Minutes Before Sunset review I promised? I’ll probably post it once the smoke clears. See all those noncommittal statements I just made? Thanks for waiting. -James Kresnik

Return – Dreadknight Draft Progress 2014-01-06

Even as I’m slogging through the second edition of Book 1, I’ve been plinking through the final act of Book 2, Dreadknight. All I can say at this point without spoiling too much is that it will involve a rather interesting air raid.

I’ve also decided on keeping the blog on WordPress.com for now, but I’m going to scape up the money to ditch the ads sometime this month. Rejoice.

Speaking of ads, I’ve set up an e-mail list, but I will only bug you with actual publishing updates, as well as discount promotions, when available because I hate spam as much as you do.

Finally, I turned Likes back on for some posts, so please like my stuff if you like, like it. -James Kresnik

RE: START 2014

I hope everyone has launched into the new year in good spirits and in good shape. My 2013 was–how shall we put it–an exciting and perilous year for myself, along with many other aspiring authors who are taking our first modest, shaky steps into self publishing. Continue reading

Return – The Survivalists Part 2

Ma Sue was an imposing, broad-shouldered, pale-skinned female. She stood at least 200 centimeters tall—taller than most Trainees, male or female. Her frame balanced that height with a muscular yet statuesque figure that seemingly every other female Trainee secretly desired. Her yellow hair was unusually long for a Guardian, and she kept it high and tight with a dazzling array of loops and braids.

Esther noticed that Ma had swapped her usual PT t-shirt and sweats for dark green and black camouflaged fatigues. She was leaning back in her chair, idly cleaning her fingers while intently reading a tablet placed flat on her desk. She also noticed that the bunk behind her desk was not yet made. A small pot of coffee on the desk was still warm.  Her silver back up .500 caliber revolver pistol and sleek black ASR rifle were visible in the open weapons locker, and they both smelled of propellant gel. Ma must have just run back from proficiency training. Esther glanced over at the tablet, but all she could make out was, “Condition 3: Approaching Unidentified” on the display. Continue reading