Monday, 31 December 2012

Wanted: Dead or Undead - Angela Scott

Red is a woman who needs or wants no one, it only complicates life. She is travelling east to find her brother, fighting zombies along the way. A plaque has hit the country, possibly the world but Red can take care of herself. The trouble is, after running into Trace at a saloon, she is no longer alone and she doesn’t really know what he wants from her. As they continue to travel, they pick up more and more people, all of whom discover why she is so good at killing zombies.

Angela Scott writes with a lovely descriptive piece of work, in fact the image of the baby in the cot stayed with me when I closed my eyes. I liked the feisty MC, she takes nonsense from no one but as the story continues and we learn of her horrendous life, we get to see her softer side. Trace is more of a gentleman than cowboy but again it works in the relationship between them.

The idea of treating zombies as a plague has intrigued me for some time and unlike recent books about the apocalypse there are no bombs, weapons of mass destruction that can wipe out some of the numbers, here you just have a gun, a sword and they are greatly outnumbered. What I like about this book is the change in Red and what grows within her and wondering whether it will take over.

It is nicely written, paced well and good strong characters. I will be reading the second book.

Ethan's Story: My life with Autism - Ethan Rice

This is a children’s book written by eight year old Ethan Rice. It is fully illustrated and shows you how Ethan deals with life with autism.

The illustrations are fantastic in their simplicity. Very well drawn and nicely coloured. What I loved about this book, even when we are only given a line or two per page, is the insight we get from this. I know it is aimed at children but I still found this very interesting. I love that we are told about how he feels in different situations and how he looks at the positive side of autism. This is not something we tend to see in books and films and I found this so refreshing.

This is a book that should be in all primary schools to show the pros and cons of this condition and I highly recommend it.


Golden - Monika Pardon

Sonora has had a lot to deal with in her life, watching her parents die and recently her grandmother. Now she lives with her wicked Aunt who is less than happy that she has to deal with her. The only thing keeping her sane, are her friends and Luke who is her Aunt’s reluctant boyfriend.

One day trying to find shelter from torrential rain, she and her cousin find themselves in a small cabin. Suddenly they are attacked by bears, they both survive but it wakens something inside Sonora that leads her down a path of family secrets and deadly vengeance.

With everything Sonora has been through it’s nice to see her as a strong character, ready to fight anything that is thrown her way but still we get to see her softer side as the story continues. Luke’s character is also interesting as we watch his conflicted feelings over what he wants to do and what others demand from him.  They work well together, both being tough, strong characters. As we follow them and she starts to discover about her blood line and the search for the codex, I must admit it reminded me of the holy grail and the theory of Jesus having family but it didn’t distract me from the book.

The story builds up well, we get a sense of something not right and it slowly opens up into Shadow Realms and fae. This is a well paced piece of writing and a good start to the series. Monika builds up the suspense well and pulls the plot together nicely.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Are you listening to me? Well are you?

I apologise for ignoring everyone out there but the holidays are coming, or so a certain advert tells me. Are we all done and raring to go, for a  change, I am. I have bought, spending way too much, everyones presents and even wrapped the majority. Go me!

Pulling myself away from the festive celebrations I still managed to finish the first draft of book two in the series of the Sword of Idis and I have even been writing a book aimed at just one person. How many times do you read a story and feel it didn't end they way you would like, well I promised to write a story just for her and I owe her BIG. Did you hear that Jane? She is the person I turn to when I need to ramble about where a book is going and boy do I ramble. As a writer, we all need someone who will put up with our nonsense because every writer wants someone who can understand how and why they do it. They feel that everyone should have their passion and love of books, regardless of the type of book. And I love books and films I have to admit. Jane may say I have to analyse everything and she sits and suffers through it all. This feels like a GO Jane post and maybe it is as I wanted to say to writers that you need that person, whether its a partner, teacher or a good friend.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Cover Reveal: Birth by Janell Rhiannon

Thank you for stopping by! And now, without further ado, the cover reveal for Birth, book one in the Livingstone Saga, by Janell Rhiannon. Read on for the synopsis, biography, and stalker links.


Medieval Spain 1208 AD

When Iseo’s father sends her to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela—to await a profitable, arranged marriage—Father Tomas discovers her natural talent for stone working and trains her to become the first female Maker of Gargoyles. Guided by heavenly inspiration, she carves the sacred stone, freeing the glorious gargoyle she names Celestino. He exists in a cycle of flesh and blood for forty days, morphing between the body of a man and a winged-lion, and resting for seven days in stone. Iseo knows the beast well, but the man surprises her. Their mutual innocence complicates the natural bond between Maker and gargoyle, as it blossoms with the first blush of love. Sharing only a single kiss, they struggle to resist temptation, even as fate cruelly tears them apart.

Celestino is a mighty adversary against the combined evil of demons and Fallen angels, in the great battle between Heaven and Hell. He possesses the strength to send demons screaming back to Hell, and the consecrated heart to exorcise them from human souls.
When Celestino discovers that what he thought was demonic possession is really decay of the soul, he discovers that hundreds of infant baptisms performed by midwives were tainted. An encounter with a mysterious Archangel reveals that someone is making use of an ancient relic known as the Tear of Lucifer stone. Once the relic is used on a person, their soul is condemned to Hell upon their death, with no hope of salvation.
The Arch promises to help Celestino destroy the stone and punish the person responsible for bringing it to Santiago in the first place.

Iseo & Celestino … let their love possess you.

Janell Rhiannon has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master's degree in history, she became a part-time college history instructor and eventually settled into teaching high school. 

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. Reading fiction never stopped. Now, Janell writes and publishes her works online. The Livingstone Saga: Birth is her second YA novel, and the first book in the planned gargoyle trilogy. History, mythology,  and fairytales are her favorite things to write about. When she’s not writing, Janell loves spending lazy days with her granddaughter, going to the movies, and drinking coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Her secret obsession is Twitter, once she starts, she can’t tweet just one.

She resides in CA and continues teaching freshmen and writing. 
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Find out about Janell Rhiannon and The Livingstone Saga

Stalker Links: 
Like on Facebook: Livingstone Saga
Follow on Twitter: @theravenangel 
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Monday, 26 November 2012

Coffee and Cake

     Let’s see, I have been reading a lot of information out there about blogs and ‘How yours can succeed,’ and have noted that I seem to be ignoring all their advice, which isn’t good. I’m wondering how people do it without life getting in the way, really people; help me out on this one. Somehow I don’t think work would let me reduce my hours just so I can keep up on top of  this or all the other marketing that’s needed to get your book noticed by more than family and friends.

     The thing is it’s all about marketing, you wouldn’t believe what I have on my Amazon wish list for goodie bags. I think that somewhere down the line you actually have to write a book and let someone take charge of your baby but even with their help you are still expected to get out there. Don’t people become writers so they can barricade themselves in their homes, never to see the light of day again? Well they may pop out for the odd book signing though you can do that via Kindle nowadays.

     So I need to be honest, I did set up this blog to get noticed but I don’t want to sit here and do a weekly rant, though I’m doing a good job right now. I want to be able to help, if I can, with those in the same position as me or maybe you are just setting out and thinking about writing and want some advise. Maybe you are a reader rather than a writer and therefore reviews and trailers are more your style?

     Seeing as though I have to get back to the daily grind of coffee and cake, no scratch that, what am I saying, I mean writing of course, I will leave you with two books that have been a great help to me recently.

250 Things you should know about writing didn’t exactly tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it is a great moral boost, that really helped me.

I had to include a blog book and out of all the information floating around out there, I found this very useful.




Monday, 19 November 2012

More than magic - Semester Abroad

Jen was about to spend her summer on board a cruise ship, studying and seeing the sites. What she does see, will change her life forever. She meets a strange group of people, who do and say things that cannot be possible. Here she is thrown into an unknown world, where the strange and unusual are common place and something on the ship lies in wait.

Elizabeth’s writing is relaxed and easy and you are quickly drawn into the story. I must admit at first I thought we were heading down the Twilight route, with a group of strangers and a girl who observed things others didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised then when we were shown a world of magic and love. As Jen is completely new to magic, she asks questions that we want answered ourselves yet at no point did it feel like the information was dumped into our laps. I liked the way she is unsure about everything and questions the necessity of certain things.

The fight scenes were well thought out, letting the reader clearly picture every detail.  The relationships between the group works really well and they all have a distinctive personality. At times, the pace did slow a little too much and I felt a couple of the scenes could have been reduced. Saying that, I did like the intertwined lives of all the different types of magic, which included vampires and werewolves but also mermaids and elementals. I will look forward to reading the next in the series.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sveta (Neuri series) - Poppet

Sveta, jumps straight into action as we read about a horrendous attack on a human and the description almost lets you hear the ribcage snap. There is a rogue vampire group wanting to frame the Neuri for the attacks but there is something deeper behind their reasons.

In amongst all this violence is the love between Sveta who is neuri and Zena a human.

As I am new to this author, it took me some time to get use to the style of writing. The book is written all in 1st person but rather than staying on one character, it constantly switches from one point of view to another by simply putting the person’s name at the top of the page. Rather than swapping all the time it might have been easier to write the whole thing in 3rd person.

This is an unusual story with a love theme interwoven in its layers. If you can get passed the writing style, it is well worth a read.


Monday, 5 November 2012

Willow (Blood vine series) – Amy Richie

From the very beginning we found out that Willow is not a typical teenager. She is a werewolf and has known for sometime, so she isn’t allowed to act like a normal girl. No connections, no friends, the only company she has is a narcissistic foster mother, Bella and an annoying little sister, Ivy.

As life moves on she is thrown into a new terrifying situation, she has been chosen to lead a pack of werewolves that she didn’t even know existed.

The book is written with a nice sense of humour throughout. I like the connection she makes with her new pack and her relationship with Gage, which of course provides an important part of the story. The writing is nice and easy and flows well. Richie draws a good picture of the world she created in a not so run of the mill werewolf story and it keeps you reading to the very end.

S.P.I.R.I.T (Fire Storm) - Dawn Gray

When Samantha Rickets suddenly finds herself in the middle of an unknown town, when she was in bed a few moments ago, she ends up in the arms of Zander. He is a military man under a special task force dealing with the paranormal. Chasing ghosts and demons, Sam is soon dragged into the fight.

You quickly realise that there is a special bond between them and they tap into their own powers and uncover a mystery that has been pulling them towards each other for years.

Dawn Gray has a lovely style of writing; it is fast paced and never slows down. You are thrown straight into the story and it slowly unfolds before you in lovely descriptive tones. The adult content is well written without being crude and I really enjoyed the read. The main characters are well developed and I wanted to know how it would end for them.

There are questions that I feel were never answered, such as the identical town, had they been drawn into a parallel universe, were there now two sets of parents but it did not distract me enough not to want to know what happens next.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Kasadya (Hellhound Awakened) - Karen Swart

There is a constant battle between good and evil and Kasadya, known as Kas is about to be thrown squarely in the middle. She knows she is fallen and must fight against evil to have a chance of redemption but of course it is never going to be that easy.

It isn’t just a straight good against evil story, and it soon shifts from her day to day training to fighting for her life and then changes again once she escapes. I like the switches in the book and the characters which are well developed. The men in the story do seem to fall for her quite easily and she does respond, though in her own words she admits her hormones are going crazy.

From the writing style I assume that it is written for the slightly younger market rather than YA. The style is easy and conversational and kept me interested from beginning to end.  And talk about cliff hanger ...
This is a nice, enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the next one.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

My Baby

So, I finally let my baby go, well if you can call it a baby. He has been sitting on to my hip for over 6 years now. I can't even call it a toddler, can I?

I know every wanna be author, dreams of seeing their writing in print and I was no exception. Then again, maybe I was. The idea of people actually seeing my work gave me the 'no what if it's not good enough,' vibe.

Does every author wrestle with this? Dive into a spiral of uncertainty, constantly switch from it's good to bad, or simply drive your friends and family crazy. Got to a point that people were actually avoiding me, or then again, when I think about it, they tried to avoid me before all my madness.

What I wasn't prepared for, was the fact that my baby was no longer just a single entity, I had to put him down and watch as people took care of him instead of me.  The hardest part was letting everyone know he was out there, on his own. Self promotion is just not me but I'm learning, well with a lot of help.

And there is a lot of help out there , so many blogs and articles just forcing their advice on you. Did I say forcing, no, surely not, you've read it wrong, honestly. All authors are in the same boat and although they want their's to be at the top of the list, they are more than willing to help. Read about their experience, their journey, even mine and you never know you might actually learn something or I might at least.