Posted in Author Friends, Publicity, The World of Books

Looking For A Good Read: My Top Recent Reads

Woohoo, I got a mention in Michelle’s Dennis’s Blog!

My Wonder Emporium

I’m often looking for the next book to drown in. The one thing I do (and I know I shouldn’t) is judge a book by it’s cover. After the initial ‘love at first sight’, I hope I’ll connect with the character/s in the first few moments… then SHAZAM I’m in! 

Here’s a little list of the books that caught my eye and dragged me under… 

Protective Hearts
D.S. Williams

After being kidnapped by the Chicago Heart Ripper, Finn O’Flaherty is his only surviving victim.
Rescued by her brother, Finn suffers heartache in the aftermath as she struggles to come to terms with what happened and battles the amnesia that prevents her from identifying the serial killer.
Caleb Sheppard is determined to protect Finn out of respect and a sense of duty towards his friend’s younger sister. He suspects there is more to the prolific serial killer than meets the eye…

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Posted in Author Friends, Publicity, The World of Books

The Seventh is OUT!

Sasha’s amazing new book is out today! Congratulations to her and go and check it out for yourself!

S.D. Wasley

Happy bookday to me!#TheSeventh - SD Wasley

Just a quick post to say my book, The Seventh, was released today and you can now purchase the e-book (various formats) or Kindle edition from Amazon and other places listed below.

Available as e-book/Kindle edition at …

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon Australia:

Multiple e-book formats from Evernight Teen:

Later today in e-book: All Romance e-Books and BookStrand

Coming soon to …

Within a week: Barnes & Noble, Sony, Apple iBooks, Chapters-Indigo/KOBO, and Coffee Time Romance (plus a few others).

Hard copy

In a couple of weeks.

Here’s the blurb:

So, here we all were. Wasn’t it nice to be in the car together as a family? My parents, me … and my ghosts.

Sixteen year old Mimi Alston has company. No less than three ghosts follow her around, and only she can see them. At her last school, she was…

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Posted in Author Friends, Publicity, The World of Books

Spotlight on an Awesome EWG Author – Part Two

This week, I’d like to talk about a friend and fellow author – Rebecca Raisin

Bec has been part of the Ellenbrook Writers Group from the very beginning, and not only is she a talented and brilliantly creative writer – she’s also been very supportive of other authors who are just starting out.

Rebecca Raisin:

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile.  This love of books morphed into the desire to write them.  She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friend with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly, believe in true love.

Books by Rebecca Raisin:

(Click on the covers to visit Amazon)




Follow Rebecca Raisin:

Posted in Author Friends, Publicity, The World of Books

Spotlight On An Awesome EWG Author: Part One

Been meaning to do this for a while, as I wanted to let everyone know what a talented group of people I have in my life.

A couple of years back, I moved to Ellenbrook and started looking for a writing group.  Prior to the move to Western Australia, I’d lived in another area where there was no writing group, but I was hopeful to find one here.  No such luck.

With a local writing group unavailable – I decided on the next best solution – and started one myself with the assistance of Ellenbrook Arts.  Ellenbrook Writers Group was born, and whilst we’ve remained relatively tiny, these people more than make up for it in sheer, brilliant talent.  This week, I’m focusing on Anna Hub:

Anna Hub:

About Anna:
When I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.
When I studied nursing I thought I’d found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I’d learnt enough to pursue the dream.
My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it’s something I can’t live without. It’s a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.

It’s a beautiful sanctuary.

The Shadow Hunter Series 

by Anna Hub

(Click on the covers to go to Amazon and buy the book – they’re all less than a dollar!)

Book One: Beyond the Shadows

Book Two: Shadow Hunters
Book Three: In Night’s Shadow
Book Four: The Shadow Thief
Posted in The World of Books

Season of the Raven – by Denise Domning

I  recently had the pleasure of being asked to read and review Denise Domning’s new book ‘Season of the Raven’, the first book in her Season of the Crown Mystery Series.

My first introduction to Denise’s writing was through her series ‘The Graistan Chronicles’, a medieval romance series which I thoroughly enjoyed .
Season of the Raven is set in the same time period, beginning at Michaelmas in the Year 1194.   Whilst this first book solves one murder, Denise has used the book to set-up a continuing backstory which I imagine will continue through the series.  To say more at this stage, would reveal too much for the new reader, suffice to say there is much to look forward to in this new series.
Season of the Raven introduces us to Sir Faucon de Ramis, a former Crusader who travels to the tiny village of Blacklea.  He is to meet his Uncle, Bishop William of Hereford and is surprised to discover another relative, Lord Rannulf Graiston is also in attendance.  Both Bishop William and Lord Graistan are characters from ‘The Graistan Chronicles’ and Denise has neatly tied this new series to the old with the appearance of much-loved characters from the past.
Sir Faucon discovers he has been named as the Keeper of the Pleas for the area surround Blacklea, which will provide him with an income, whilst allowing him to build a life of his own.  It also lumbers him with an overbearing and bossy monk, Brother Edmund as his clerk.
From here the story moves quickly, as Sir Faucon finds himself called to the village of Priors Holston, where the local miller has been found dead.  Initially it would appear the death of the alcoholic man was accidental, but as we soon find, there is much more to this death than meets the eye.  As the story progresses, Sir Faucon finds himself wading into unknown waters, coming to terms with his new job, whilst trying to deal with his annoying, interfering and officious clerk.  
Denise has written a wonderful story, She has a mastery of medieval times and brings the history to vivid life.  Her creative prose is wonderful and brings the medieval period to the readers lap.
The characters are well-rounded, and as the relationship between Sir Faucon and Brother Edmund continues, we get a better understanding of each man and their reasons for what they do whilst investigating the residents of Priors Holston.  I particularly enjoyed the evolution and it will be interesting to see how it pans out in future books.
I would highly recommend this book to lovers of books set in the medieval period, but equally, it is a great mystery for those who enjoy a solid murder with all the follow-up detective work required.  This book was particularly entertaining in this regard, introducing us to a second monk, Brother Colin who is the Priory Herbalist and integral to discovering that the death was murder and not accidental.  In a modern world where technology is so important in homicide cases, to read about using very basic methods of deduction was both interesting and well-written.  I very much hope Brother Colin will make appearances in future books.
‘Season of the Raven’ is currently available to purchase from Amazon – click on the book cover above to go and purchase it.
About the Author:
Denise Domning is the award-winning, best-selling author of eleven historical novels and the co-author with Monica Sarli of one gritty, hard-bitten memoir of addiction and recovery. Of the two genres she frankly prefers the rats, grime and fleas of the Twelfth Century over the ghettos and drug use of modern Kansas City. For Denise, writing means using words as her time machine and painting an accurate portrait of a past. Open any of her novels, whether Twelfth, Thirteenth, Sixteenth or Nineteenth Century, and step into a bygone era. As one reviewer put it “…you live the life and the language, smell the odors of unwashed humanity, and hear the sucking sounds as your flimsy shoes slog through mud and muck.” Now doesn’t that sound romantic?
Denise and her husband Ed live on a farm in Cornville (yes, Cornville), Arizona, where they plant veggies, milk cows and have an Easter egg hunt every day.
Posted in Advice & Information, Ramblings, The World of Books

Redeeming Qualities… or Why a Character Can be Utterly Useless…

I’ve been reading a book this week – which is not, in itself, an unusual occurrence.  I’m a voracious book lover and read between three to five books a week.

What is different and completely out of the ordinary, is my reaction to the book.  I loathed it.

I’m pretty much open to every genre and read  a wide variety of authors.  I try to finish every book I read, giving it the best possible chance of gaining my attention.  Because I tend to leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I do my level best to get to ‘The End’.

With the particular book in question, I made it to ‘The End’, but spent the second half of the book questioning why I was bothering.  There are other books in this author’s series, but I will never attempt reading them because of the experience I had reading the first one.

The problem?  I hated the main character.  In fact, I didn’t just hate her.  I loathed her.  Abhorred her.  Hoped she would get killed before the book finished.  I’m not willing to name the author, or the name of the book – mainly because this is only my opinion, but the main character in this particular book was so incredibly self-centered, she defied belief.  I couldn’t find one likable feature in the shallow portrayal created by the author.  

Creating a character that readers will invest in isn’t easy, but the author in this situation made a shallow facsimile.  We all have both good and bad aspects of our personalities – that’s what makes us human.  No person on the planet is all good, nor is anyone completely and utterly evil.  The most-sainted among us will have done something naughty at some stage in their life.  You may be the equivalent of Mother Teresa, but at some stage you must have told a little white lie, stolen a peek at someone’s homework or nicked an extra chocolate from the fridge when nobody was looking.  

Equally, the most evil person on the planet must have some redeeming feature, such as loving his mother, or patting a puppy once-upon-a-time, or dropping ten cents in a donation box.

In the book I was reading, I think the author was going for a Legally Blonde/Reece Witherspoon kind of character.  Unfortunately, she failed miserably.  The main character was completely self-centered, considering only her own situation.  She was stupid to the point of needing to be committed for her mistakes.  She didn’t care how she hurt other people, only that she ‘got to the truth’ in the case of her boyfriend who was accused of a crime that she was convinced he didn’t commit.  Never mind that said boyfriend turned out to be married, and whilst not a murderer, was most certainly an embezzler and a cheat.  Forget about the fact that he up and left without a word to her, or that he had many, many annoying and irritating habits which she didn’t like.  Other than a cursory examination of her emotions, she was determined to find and rescue him.  Stepping all over other people while she was at it.  

Add to this her obsession with fashion, her self-obsession and a willingness to auto-dump anyone and anything if it didn’t fit in with her plans and you have a heroine in a book who would be lucky if Mother Teresa could like her.  I certainly didn’t.

Balancing a character’s personality isn’t easy.  When writing, its all too easy to have a picture in your head of who the character is going to be, what their motivation is and how they’re going to get there.  But please, please, please! Remember that your idiot blonde can’t be a complete moron in every aspect of her life.  Remember your axe-murderer must have a reason he’s turned out the way he has.  Remember your pious goody-two-shoes must have moments of temptation placed in his path.  Otherwise, you’ve created a character whom readers can’t relate to and won’t care about.

What you’ve actually created in those sorry circumstances, is a caricature whom readers will abhor.  And unless they’re pig-headed like me, they’ll be closing the book before they’re anywhere near ‘The End’.