A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth ~ Review and Giveaway

Posted: January 7, 2016 in Aliens, Blog Tour, giveaways, reviews, Science Fiction
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I’m very excited to share A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth with ya’ll.

  I have a an interview with the author, along with my review.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Interview with Author Gerhard Gehrke

Thanks so much for taking time out from your busy tour to answer some questions. Let’s get started, shall we?


  1. How long did it take you to write A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth?

Two years before editing was complete. It still feels like I didn’t spend enough time on it but if I ever wanted to move on, I had to stop tinkering and let it go so people might actually read it.

  1. What is your target audience?

The book should be accessible to non-science fiction fans and be right up the alley of those comfortable with the genre. It is not overly grotesque or graphic and is appropriate for younger readers. There’s some disrespectful language and mild violence. Three aliens get accidentally impaled with a kite, so be warned.

  1. Could you share with us a favorite part you enjoyed writing?

My editor insisted on a new first chapter where the main character would be introduced and we just spend a few moments with him before the aliens show up. Here I got to reintroduce Jeff Abel to the story and was able to describe him in his mundane element working as kitchen help at a restaurant, while touching on the fact that he used to be a computer programmer who developed a distrust of technology, paranoia, and chronic bad luck.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a messy desk with a desktop. Here I have room to adjust my keyboard, my multiple notebooks and Post-Its, and sit at ergonomically horrible angles while pecking away at the keys. Usually one of my wife’s cockatiels is sitting on a knee or foot.

  1. Are you currently working on anything new?

I have a follow-up to A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth that is now going through editing. Also I have a post-decline of civilization novel I’m writing where a young girl escapes from a secret sanctuary only to discover that the world outside is a much more complicated place than she had ever imagined.

Five fun shorts.

You are an alien on earth:

  1. Can I take your spaceship for a spin? If you’re telling me you can actually see our ship, then Zn’Fordell is going to get an earful about his ‘foolproof’ cloaking device.
  1. What is your reaction the first time you see a human? “Look, Gurgl’inada, these look just like the natives of Epsilon Eridani 4. Maybe we should be more careful this time.”
  1. Do you have a favorite TV show or movie? We do. Mostly our own shows. But to get good reception on this planet we will have to obliterate your moon as Zn’Fordell forgot to plug in the TiVo.
  1. Are you going to eat my cat? Well he did start it by eating my navigator. Unless by chance you’ve trained your cat in advanced astrogation?

What came first? The chicken or the egg? The egg enjoys deflecting attention to the chicken in order to obfuscate its true diabolical parentage which currently grows under your own city streets. Go ahead, eat the eggs. What doesn’t kill you makes you ours.


A Beginner’s Guide To Invading Earth

by Gerhard Gehrke

ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarth book cover

Genre: Science Fiction


My Review

I expected some humor in this story. The title sure suggests it. As does the fun cover art.

There’s a whole lot of laughs here. The author’s choice of casting his main protagonist as your average Joe makes it mysterious and fun.

And the aliens. What can I say. You’d expect them to be intelligent, right? They come from galaxies far, far away. They must be smart to be able to conquer space travel.

Well, that’s not the case here. They seem completely unaware of how scary they look to us humans.

The first few attempts at contact fail dismally. One alien gets run over by a truck, several get shot, and many more meet sticky ends. And when you see the story from their point of view, you’ll shake your head at just how inept and clueless they really are. I wish I could share some of their attempts with you, but don’t want to include spoilers. I may have a warped sense of humor, but I had to laugh, a lot, at how some of the aliens met their ends.

Jeff has no idea he’s been chosen as the person of first contact with the aliens. Why would he. He’s nobody special. When contact is made, he’s soon embroiled in alien politics and conspiracy. He has some help from an outcast alien and a woman with her own agenda. It’s crucial that he discover the reason behind all of the alien deaths before Earth and humanity becomes a target.

I laughed at the beginning, and the laughs just kept coming. The aliens were kind of gross, in a funny way. They smelled. I mean really smelled. And they acted more like children than intelligent beings.

An action/adventure science fiction story for all ages. With loads of laughs and fun characters, and plenty of adventure, this is one I’d recommend to all readers. It has something for everyone. Sure kept me entertained for a few hours.

4 Stars



What would you do if you found a dead alien on a lonely highway?

Was it an accident, sabotage, or murder? And why is everyone blaming Jeff?

The extraterrestrials aren’t waiting for answers. They want revenge. And Jeff isn’t ready for company.

His only hope is an outcast mechanic from another world and a woman who might do anything to get off planet, including selling out her own kind. Jeff has to get to the bottom of why there are so many alien bodies piling up and who is really responsible.

A science fiction adventure novel, A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth tells the story of a reclusive ex-computer programmer who is the unwitting central figure of a plot to keep humanity from ever making first contact.


Enjoy this glimpse inside!

First contact with the humans wasn’t going as planned, as was obvious by the rank smells that choked the air of the alien visitorsʹ craft. But no one called them aliens where they came from.

Seven little Greys, short bipeds with large heads and big eyes and delicate limbs, sat in the flight seats of their ship’s crew compartments and listened as the Mission Commander lectured them from the Command Module. The harangue lingered in the air, not as words or even sounds but as a smell, a ripe one replete with pheromones and scent packets that the Greys used to speak with one another. A new string of curses from the Commander’s glands smelled of licorice. The Mission Commander composed itself. It wiped sticky sweat from its hairless frontal lobe.

The lights and displays in front of the seven crew members blinked and flashed. No one would so much as touch a button until the Commander was finished addressing the crew.

“I’ll hear no more of it,” the Commander said. “We’re on the human world. We go forward. Probability calculations for success show at 100%. The computer will be trusted.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

ABeginnersGuideToInvadingEarth author pic

Gerhard Gehrke studied film at San Francisco State University. He wrote and produced several shows for community television. His Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror short stories have appeared in several publications, including an Editor’s Choice-winning short story at AnotheRealm.com. A Beginner’s Guide to Invading Earth is his first novel.

You can connect with him at these links

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Blog

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N


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  1. Mary Preston says:

    The five things had me laughing. Loved this.

  2. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the interview and your review. This book sounds like such a fun and interesting read!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Thanks so much! The author sure did give some great answers and there was so much I wanted to share in my review. Had such fun!

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    thank you for the chance to win :)

  4. Mai Tran says:

    Who knows you the best?

  5. Congratulations on your debut, G. I am a cover girl and like to find out how much input authors have on their covers. Do you have the final say?

    sherry @ fundinmental

    • Good question. I gave two ideas to my Cover Designer and my Book Manager gave insightful input. One design goal was to have a single feature that stands out that would be recognizable even when seen in thumbprint or small like on Amazon and on a mobile phone. So we went with the alien standing in the foreground, and the background is the incoming pickup truck that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

    • Thanks Sherry. Greg Simanson my cover designer took a suggested scene I had in mind for the cover and gave me two images to choose from. My Book Manager had some helpful input as well, especially on the cover needing to focus on a single element so the cover would be identifiable as a thumbnail, as this is how so many covers are viewed on sites like Amazon.

    • The cover designer Greg Simanson gave me two rough cover designs based on a scene I had described to him. My Book manager had input as well and helpfully recommended that the design stick to one central image so that when the cover is viewed in thumbnail it could be easily recognized. So I was never the sole voice on which direction the cover would go, which was a good thing.

  6. Becky says:

    Would love to win! Crossing my little fingers.

  7. Not normally my type of read, but I am a bit curious as it sounds kind of funny. :)

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I was laughing from the beginning. It;s different and fun, Stormi. I’m glad i had a chance to read it:)

  8. Thank you so much for having me. I loved your interview questions and thanks for the review.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      You’re welcome and thank you for the fun read! And for those witty answers. I had some laughs with those fun shorts!

  9. Betty W says:

    Great post-I enjoyed the interview, thank you!

  10. Rita Wray says:

    I liked the interview.

  11. momjane says:

    A fantastic review. I really loved the excerpt.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Sounds like a cute story.

  13. Thanks Rita, momjane, and Stephanie for taking a look!

  14. Judy Thomas says:

    I really love the cover :)

  15. Thank you Laura for having me and for some fun questions!

  16. Tramond Roper says:

    government + shapeshifters= real

  17. Thanks for the intro to a new author for myself!

  18. Peggy says:

    Do you write every day? Do you have a word goal for each day you write?