Search

Lurking In The Shadows

Honest reviews for whatever I want to review.

A Few Words…I have an horn, and I shall Toot It!

Okay, I write. I’m an Indie Author. Reviews are sacred and highly revered by us Indie Authors.  And, let’s be honest, they are hard to come by.  So when I saw I had a new review, I was happy.  When I read it, I was happier.  Had to share.

This is for the first book I ever wrote: The Ancients.

w

Thank You!

theancients-goodreads

Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (part 2)

Part 2 from yesterday’s reblog. Give it a read.

Through The Gateway

seekerhound3

Keesa opened her eyes to bright sun. She groaned as she moved. Every single muscle in her body screamed and the cut she suffered was throbbing. She blinked, trying to focus to the light. When she finally adjusted, she gasped at what she saw. Her attacker was staring at her a few feet away. His tail was twitching and he was scowling. Unsure what to say or do, she decided to sit up. She managed to do so without wincing visibly. Then she looked around nervously, certain that the seeker hounds would be there as well.

Realizing that they were, in fact, still alone, she decided that she needed to speak. She cleared her throat, “Um…are you alright?”

He continued to stare ominously.

The silence was uncomfortable and frightened her. “I think you hit your head. You nearly drowned as well.” When he didn’t speak yet again, she took a…

View original post 2,346 more words

Book Giveaway: GoodReads

Great author giving away a book…now you must go and enter.

Source: Book Giveaway: GoodReads

Tales From Imagia: Crystal Blue (Part 1)

A great short about an important character in the Imagia series. Give it a read.

Through The Gateway

Crystal Blue

This is set a few years before “The Gateway to Imagia: The Tale of Sam Little”.  As a mother figure for Sam, Keesa never shared much of her story to save him the pain. Though I didn’t realize she would have such an impact, she seems to be a bit of a fan favorite. So, why not give her the story she deserves?

The forest was a blur around her as she ran. She had reached her top speed some time ago and her lungs were burning. She’d grown up in the forests of Imagia. The very earth her claws dug into was almost one with her as she made her way through the wild paths. Any kupa cat could navigate the forest in their sleep on most days. Of course, most days they didn’t have to run for their lives.

* * * * * * *…

View original post 1,877 more words

Book Review: Sunshine Girl by JM Turner

51S3pHoeglL

Description:

Kat Cantrell’s family is falling apart and her best friend is a wreck. Kat suspects she’s to blame but nobody will confirm or deny anything – she’s being thoroughly ignored.

So when two detectives turn up at the house and ransack her bedroom, Kat wants to know why. She follows them when they leave and finds herself at the morgue.

Quite literally.

It’s her body on the slab.

Kat is no longer alive, but she’s not quite dead enough. To move on properly she needs to solve the mystery surrounding her death – but how can someone who cannot communicate with the living pass on the terrible secrets she discovers about her family and friends? Secrets that show that her death was not so much a terrible accident, as murder…

Review:

Having read a few of the author’s previous works, I was interested to see the transition from Young Adult Fantasy to Adult Paranormal.  Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.  An accomplished author, JM Turner proved she is a literary force to be reckoned with.  Sunshine Girl was a drastic departure from the Young Adult Fantasy of the Seelie Princess trilogy.  It is the story of a girl that wakes up dead…literally.  And she needs to find a way of communicating with the living to help solve the mystery of her death.

Turner wove an intricate mystery, which is an accomplishment in itself, which kept me guessing right up to the end.  Each time I thought I’d figured out the story, I was proven wrong.  Well-developed characters, an addictive story-line and great dialogue dominate this novel.  I found myself looking for more spare time just to keep reading.

There was one plot issue I found while reading.  I say this, as I am honest in all reviews, so I feel I have to.  Did it detract from the story-line? No.  Did it detract from my enjoyment of the story? No.  So why mention it?  Because it’s there, and authors thrive on honest feedback.  I won’t mention the details, but it’s so minor that you, the new reader, may not see it as I did. No spoilers here.

All in all, Sunshine Girl is a very well-written, enjoyable story.  I highly recommend this story to anyone that likes paranormal mysteries.  There is a bit of adult topics included in the story-line, so not really for the younger reader.  I liked it a lot.

4.5 of 5 Stars (rounds to 5)

Author Interview: JM (Jill) Turner, author of Sunshine Girl

51S3pHoeglL

Today on the blog, I am going to interview a great author.  I met JM Turner through the Dragon’s Rocketship a couple years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch.  Well, she has a new book out, so it’s time for an interview!

Welcome Jill!

Hi Mike!

So, can you please tell the audience about yourself?

Okay, I live in the UK and I’m a mum of two girls; one of them is married and has her own children now, and the other is almost 16 – don’t ask about the age gap, it wasn’t meant to be quite so huge! Apart from writing, during the day I work in education – with SEN and lower ability children. I also work as a proofreader for my local university, and I copy edit and proofread for local businesses as well as authors and aspiring authors.

When did you start writing? What motivates you to do so? What inspires your writing?

I started actually putting my ideas down in writing a few years ago now but have spent the last 30 years or so making stories up and telling them verbally to my children. It was my youngest daughter who insisted I write them down that set the idea in my head that she may be on to something. When she had a bad experience in school – she had a teacher who really didn’t like her and made it exceedingly obvious in class – she had no idea how to deal with what was going on. She was so upset by it all that, after I’d dealt with the matter, I began to write what became my first book where a little girl is ill-treated by a teacher but gains the upper-hand and overcomes it all in a way she could never have imagined.

Originally, the story was meant to be just for my daughter, but she loved it so much I decided to try and go further with it. The book turned into a trilogy and since then stories have clamoured to climb out of my brain and onto the page, so much so that if I don’t write I can’t sleep!

Inspiration comes from various things – The Seelie Princess trilogy came from what I’ve just mentioned; Nan Nose Best came about because I wondered what a teenager would do if she had a Nan who decided to get involved in social media and insisted on posting family things publically on the teenager’s page; and Sunshine Girl came about because of something that happened many, many, years ago that has played on my mind ever since.

Your latest book, Sunshine Girl, is a bit of a break from your works I am familiar with.  Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Yes, it’s a more adult story than the others and is quite a bit darker. It deals with the paranormal – a ghost girl called Kat, who at the outset is upset because nobody will talk to her. She finds out why when she sees her own body lying in the morgue and realizes that she’s dead, but not quite dead enough! She can see everyone she loves falling apart around her, but can’t communicate with them. She’s in limbo really, and to move on she has to find out who killed her, and why. To do that she has to find a way to let the living know what she discovers so that her murder can be solved.

Having worked my way through half of Sunshine Girl as of the time I am writing this interview, I am impressed.  I’ve read your Seelie Princess series and I have to say, you’re a damn fine writer.  So I have to ask, which genre do you like to write the most? What draws you to it? And why stray from your favorite genre?

Well, thank you very much for the compliment! I still love fantasy, but currently I’m into somewhat darker issues – the paranormal, murder, mystery type of things. I think this has come about now because my youngest child is older – she insists on reading everything I write so that part of my brain had to stay hidden until now! The fantasy side of things is still very much present though, and there’s a spin off from The Seelie Princess coming at some stage this year. It deals with an issue that was left slightly open-ended in the trilogy which readers have asked me about. (A favour was asked of someone and they were granted it with the proviso that the favour would be returned if needed – in the spin off, that favour is called in!)

At the moment, I am drawn to writing more for adults – Sunshine Girl has been waiting in the wings as I was unsure whether to publish it or not, purely because it is so different to the other books I have written. However, I saw and entered a competition to be traditionally published with a short story (10K words) based around the theme of a haunting. My story for the anthology is called ‘Joe’. I was the first writer accepted into it and the anthology is being released later this year. When I received the news that the owner of the publishing company had cried over my story, it gave me the push to release Sunshine Girl. I’m currently writing a book about a child abduction!

Now that I’ve mentioned it, can you tell the reader a bit about your Seelie Princess series?  What other bodies of work do you have out there?

51k56emmr0L._SY346_ 51Fimqpyt1L 51qqwe0lqrl

As I mentioned before, The Seelie Princess came about because of a bad teacher. The child in the story, Clary, is being pursued by her teacher who has a problem with the way Clary wears her hair (this was one of the things that happened between my own daughter and her teacher). Clary wears it over her face in an attempt to hide away and stay safe.  In the book, the teacher is a banished Unseelie who needs Clary’s hair to get her powers back. Clary doesn’t know it, but she’s a Seelie Princess who was sent to Earth as a baby to escape the Seelie Wars. By the end of the first book, she discovers her latent powers and her father comes to take her and her mother back to Seelie.

The next two books follow on from that with what happens to her when she gets to Seelie, and what happens to the best friend she left back on Earth when the Unseelie try to kidnap him. He goes on the run and finds an unusual egg in his old teacher’s house, where he thinks Clary may have ended up.  Clary rescues him and takes him (and the egg) into Seelie with her. When the egg hatches, they discover they’ve brought a dragon into the Kingdom… and then the Unseelie trick their way back into the land of Seelie.

The third book deals with the aftermath of the fresh Unseelie takeover, and how Clary and Sam deal with the loss of her family and her land. She has to try to find a way to take the Kingdom back.

Necessary fun question – If you could have one magical power, what would it be and why?

Oh wow! Magical power? To be able to go back and forth in time and stop it where necessary. I’d go back and tell my younger self not to be so damn stupid on more than one occasion! To be honest, I’d probably say the same to a few others, too! Ooh, and it would be great to be able to warn people not to be in certain places at certain times – or to physically remove people from situations that don’t have a good ending – a few good lives could be saved that way, especially one that is particularly close to home for me! And I’d stop Princess Diana from getting in that car!

Necessary fun question number two – Which of your many characters would you like to meet in person and have lunch with?  Why and where would you go?

I’d quite like to meet Niamh, the feisty Shee. We’d go to the palace in Seelie (before the Unseelie take it over) and she’d show me how to kick ass and still come out on top!

I’d like to meet Sam and his dragon – she would take me on a flight all over Seelie so I could see all the creatures I presently see only in my head.

And I’d love to meet the Unseelie teacher after she’s come unstuck…!

The internet is an amazing thing.  It can bring people that live on opposite sides of the world, or just a few states over, together.  We became friends through a great FB group.  Tell me, how have you used social media in your writing?

One of my books (Nan Nose Best) is about how social media can change lives! Personally, I have an FB author page and I’m on Twitter. I also have a website. I try to engage with people on each of them – some more successfully than others. At the moment, Twitter seems to be engaging the most people, which surprises me slightly as I personally know more people on FB. People re-tweet far more often than they share posts on FB. I share all the things I do, from editing and proofing to featuring other authors and posting my own musings on things.

And a follow up to the above questions, promotion is very important to any Indie Author / Artist.  What techniques have you used that were successful?  Unsuccessful?  Wanting to try but haven’t yet?

I’ve tried using FB for promotion but, as we all know, unless you pay, very few people actually get to see your posts. It’s frustrating when you have xxx amount of followers and only a tiny amount of them get shown your posts. I’ve found (personally) that advertising on FB doesn’t justify the cost and it doesn’t make any money – unless you’ve got tons of money to invest in yourself and can plaster your books all over the site! (If you’re rich enough to do that, go for it!) I also think that there are so many authors advertising on FB nowadays that nobody takes any notice any more. They just scroll on past. Having said that, a lot of my sales have come from being a member of author groups. If you interact with the other members, they are more likely to buy what you write. It’s good, but very time consuming. Twitter is now starting to pick up without my having paid for advertising. It’s a numbers thing. The more followers you have, the more likely it is that people will take a chance on your work. The downside is that all I see on there are memes or book adverts. I’m currently advertising Sunshine Girl on AMS. I got all excited when I saw that I’d sold 7 books within the first few hours – turned out only one sale had come from the ads – the rest had come from people from the groups I mentioned on FB!

What are your plans for the future?  Anything you can tell us about?

I’d like to be able to stop doing the day job and concentrate on writing, proofing and editing, but I’ll need to win the lottery to be able to do that!

And finally, the big question I ask to end every interview.  It’s very cliché, but I have to ask it.  What advice would you give a young (or old) author/artist out there just starting out?

If you’re writing to get rich quick you’re best off knowing someone with influence! If you don’t know anyone like that (and most of us don’t!) then write for the love of it. Don’t wait! Writing anything that you’d like other people to read is a steep learning curve and there will be highs as well as lows. Read a lot, too – discover what good writing is – find the kind of things you like to read and figure out why you like them.

Join author groups and read all the advice they throw your way – take what you know to be good advice and take the rest with a pinch of salt. Join critique groups (and develop a thick skin) – *caveat* – join good critique groups, not those where the people writing them are vicious! Learn the rules of writing; you have to know the rules to be able to break them convincingly! Talk to people. Authors are probably the most generous people I have ever come across and, in the main, will help you as much as they can. Join writing groups; lurk for a while and pay attention to what people say.  Make friends with those who give good advice as opposed to those who like the sound of their own voices but don’t really know what they’re talking about by interacting with them. If you have any advice for people, give it kindly. Some groups are better than others for all of this and, if you’re serious about wanting to be a writer, (this is a long term thing) then be on good terms with other authors! Word gets around very quickly if someone acts like an ass!

When you have written your story, put it away for a few weeks and come back to it with fresh eyes. You’ll find mistakes that way. Spell check. Grammar check. Plot check. Tie up loose ends. Send it out to trusted beta readers (you’ll find them through the groups you’ve joined) and, if several of them point out something that’s not working, take it on board (after you’ve sulked/thrown a tantrum/sworn a bit – all on your own!) and work those kinks out. And, most importantly, if you want to do this seriously, get yourself a good editor. If you put your work out and it hasn’t been edited, it will show, and you’ll get a name for yourself in the wrong way! It’s worth the investment. Lastly, invest in a great cover to entice people into opening your book. You know that saying – you can’t judge a book by its cover? It may be true, but if you can’t even get them to open the book, no-one will ever know that your book is the next Harry Potter…

Good luck, and if you want to chat to me, feel free to drop by and say hello!

Jill, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.  We wish you great success on your new book, and in the future.

Thanks for having me, Mike! It’s always a pleasure to talk to you!

If you want to follow Jill, please click on the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/authorjillturner

https://www.twitter.com/JillMTurner

https://authorjmturner.wordpress.com

https://littleredlines.wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Turner/e/B0142S490M/

 

Blatant Unsolicited Promo!

Here is some unsolicited promotion. I know a couple of the folks involved in these fine stories via the inter-web. Good people. Good authors.  Inklings Press has a high standard for their collections, and now they are finally putting their story into a paperback. I’ve got mine pre- ordered!

Give them some love, and check out what they do.

qqq

Inklings Press is pleased to release its first paperback publication, Tales from the Tower: The Collected Stories from Year One.

Tales from the Tower collects Inklings Press’ first release Tales from the Tavern, an anthology focusing on fantasy, and second release Tales from the Mists, an anthology of horror. First came fantasy, then came fear. Now both anthologies are available in one paperback collection. Catch the start of the Inklings Press revolution — ten tales from the authors who started it all.

Inklings Press expects paperback versions of all its anthologies to be available soon. Look for announcements for your favorite anthology, or collect them all: Tales from the Universe, Tales from Alternate Earths, Tales of Wonder, and the upcoming Tales from the Underground.

Tales from the Tower can be found exclusively through Amazon. When you purchase the paperback, you’ll also receive the e-book free of charge. So, send us pics of you holding your copy and let’s see where in the world you take us!

A Few Words… I Hate Unicorns

Did that get your attention?  Good.

So, life sucks. I’ve been dealing with some craziness in my personal life as of late.  I won’t bore you, as it’s personal, and none of your business 🙂

However, all the spare emotion that has been swirling around me lately, as tripped a trigger and made me write just a bit.  When I was thinking about life and things, this short story came to mind.

What does this have to do with a fantasy writing hating unicorns, you might ask?

Nothing really.  I love fantasy, but hate unicorns.  Never really saw the draw to them, as there are so many other mythical creature out there to like. But, this story has unicorns in it.  Not sure why. Read it if you like.  Or don’t.  I’m not pushy.

Hope

(Alternate title: I Hate Unicorns…)

The last tendrils of mist clung tenaciously to the ground as the sun crested over the mountains to the east.  Standing in the middle of the clearing were two of the most beautiful creatures ever to walk the earth. Coming from the north was a unicorn of purest white.  The yard long horn that grew twisted from its head was solid gold, glinting in the sun so brightly that no one could look directly at it.  It’s hooves, also golden, were capped by tufts of fur that fluttered like gossamer wings in the cool morning breeze.  But, most enchanting, was the mane that cascaded down the unicorn’s neck.  Depending on which angle you looked at it, different iridescent colors could be seen, swirling within the fibers, accentuated by the movement of the majestic creature.

Equally beautiful in its appearance, but for other reasons, was a unicorn from the south, though this creature instilled you with fear and despair instead of happiness and peace.  Black as night, it stood as tall as its counterpart across the glade, but nothing else was similar.  Where the creature of light had golden hooves, this creature’s hooves were made of the blackest obsidian capped by stray wisps of fur, looking much like charred webbing.  The mane of this creature, though awesome in appearance, reflected all the stars of the night’s sky, but offered no comfort when beheld.  But, most frightening of all, was the horn.  Fully four feet in length, not a trace of gold could be seen; nor any color for that matter.  If one were to look closely at this horn, it would be as if looking into the great void of death itself.

Fox and faun stood next to imp and elf. Hiding amongst the foliage and lingering shadows, the denizens of the forest watched as destiny was fulfilled.  For they all knew, without doubt, there was nowhere to hide from the outcome of this inevitable event.  Dark had always been envious of light. Time had not changed this throughout the millennia since the last such encounter.  And though one could not survive without the other, only one could dominate the earth.

The black and the white began to circle the perimeter of the clearing, each trying to gauge the other’s resolve. With a feint towards the center, the black snorted towards its enemy; billows of steam issuing forth from its nostrils.  But the white was patient and would not fall for such bait.

After a complete circle of the glade, the impatience of the black won out. Rearing on its hind legs, the beast let out a blood-curdling equine scream and charged at the white.  Clumps of dirt were thrown into the air, as those obsidian hooves tore into the earth.  The white, no longer able to resist, followed suit, and made for the black.  When the beautiful creatures met in the middle, their horns crashed together, sending sparks into the surrounding wood.  Where sparks of the black hit, the foliage withered and died on the spot; where the white sparks landed, everything bloomed.

Following the horns, their bodies slammed into one another.  Teeth bit, hooves smashed; the battle was fully engaged.  Neither would give ground. The black lunged, trying to pierce the side of its opponent, while the white jumped and kicked.  Within minutes, both combatants sported numerous cuts; blood flowed freely on both sides of the battle.

Taking a step back, the black began to circle the white.  Tipping its head down, it dragged its horn in the ground, creating a circle of lifelessness.  Before it could be trapped inside the circle, the white charged.  Springing the trap, the black swung its head around while dropping its body to the ground.  Instead of attacking the side of the black, the white found itself impaled upon the black’s horn.  Bright red blood fountained from the wound, as air escaped the punctured lung of the white.  A dying gasp was all the white was capable of as the black stood up; its powerful muscles easily lifting its opponent off the ground.  With a contemptuous flip, the black unicorn sent the now lifeless body of the white to the ground.

The earth shook as the body hit, sending shockwaves across the land.  Blood flowed freely from the wounds of the white, soaking into the earth below.  As it did, all color drained from the earth.  Like water across a pane of glass, the blue left the sky.  Rainbows dripped, while leaves emptied themselves of all color.  Once the blood had completely left the body, nothing was left to color the landscape but grays, blacks and a dirty off-white.

The black stood over the white, triumphant.  The Dark Ages had returned. Contemptuously, the black beast walked over the carcass of the white, adding insult as it passed.  The creatures within the forest wept as the new ruler passed them by.  With a snort, the black unicorn tossed its head back in a mock salute to its dead foe, then walked off to rule its darkened land.

But all was not lost.  For it only takes a spark to give light in the darkness.  An elf pointed.  A hare looked.  Soon, all the creatures that had watched the devastating battle surrounded the dead unicorn.  Though its lifeless body no longer held a spirit, the golden horn gave off an untainted glow.  For it held hope.  And that’s really all that is needed in the darkest of times. Hope.

For the one or two of you that actually read through this, I hope you enjoyed it.  It was very therapeutic to write.  Thanks for reading.

I still hate unicorns.

Zombie Promo…

The Bloodshot Books edition of the cult splatterpunk novel, THE BREEZE HORROR by Candace Caponegro, is now up for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. It crawls from its grave on April 28th. I promise you… you have never read a zombie novel like this before. PRE-ORDER HERE!

via CALLING ALL ZOMBIE-LOVERS! — bloodshotbooks

WordPress.com.

Up ↑