Aug 21, 2015

Stepping back from Publishing - Update.

So, it's probably about time I catch up on blogging. And, a good way to do that is to catch up on what we got up to this summer.
Back in May I wrote about why I felt I needed to take a break from publishing. Things were slightly different on the home front this summer. For one thing, stepping back from the pressure I was putting myself under for publishing turned out to be the right decision and I now feel ready to start dipping my toes back in.
I never planned to stop writing, but initially felt I needed a little break to recharge. As any writer knows, taking a break isn't as easy as it would first appear. In the beginning, I promised myself no new projects, but it was very difficult to let go of the habit of carrying a notebook and pen. I didn't exactly manage it. Even when I wasn't writing on paper, I found my mind was still whirling with ideas. I was still processing what my next moves would be in this great adventure of publishing. I was still drawn to places that inspire my writing.
What was a girl to do? Okay, so I gave in a little. More on that in upcoming blog posts. I also took out my crochet and knitting needles.

After years of scribbling in notebooks every time I sat down for a coffee, or on a train, or bus, I couldn't stop writing. Not even for a week, never mind the summer months! Knitting and crochet turned out to be a way to keep my hands busy and following patterns kept my mind from wandering, prompting a barman in a hotel we stayed in to asked if I was a smoker trying to quit. I chuckled and explained smoking wasn't my particular addiction.

I also baked - A lot.


If anything, taking a break has reaffirmed to me that even though I love all this other creative stuff I get up to, my first love is writing and that I want to share my writing by throwing my hand back into publishing soon.

Another big change this summer was my son settling into his autism adult service. However, we still managed a bit of exploring. On my next blog post I'll be talking about our trip to Donegal and the connection to The Tuatha Dé Danann from Shades of Atlantis.





Aug 17, 2015

Review - Saving Evangeline by Nancee Cain

 Omnific Publishing 
Release date: May 26th 2015

Summary

Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and was responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.

Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth, but there’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been allowed back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch: he can’t reveal his angelic nature, and he must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.

Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers tries to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?


My Review

This review has been a long, long time coming. I read this back in June but because of other commitments and taking a step back from writing for the summer, I haven't been blogging much. My apologies to Naccee Cain for the long delay in sharing my love of this stand out debut novel. 

Who over a certain age doesn't remember the allure and drama of The Thorn Birds, both the mini series and the book, and the captivating intrigue of  the priest torn between his love of God and his love of a woman?

Father Remiel isn't a young man like any other, he isn't even a priest, and not particularly happy with his lot. He is an angel in disguise...and I don't mean that metaphorically. There is every reason why this book shouldn't be a romance, neither of these two is in place or time in their existence that screams datable. However, love is not convenient, it's messy, stubborn and intrusive. It sometimes creeps into cracks that appear when someone is falling apart and helps to glue them back together. It's not people who find love, it's love that finds people. Which, let's face it, makes us root for Remiel and Evie even more. 

When an angel with rebellious streak is bored in Heaven, what's his boss to do? Send him on a mission to save a depressed young woman from herself. The catch, he has to do it in a guise of a priest. A battle of wins ensure after Remiel recuses Evie. Though I got a sense immediately that these two flawed characters would need to save each other if either is to survive. 

Well written, this novel is sharp, intriguing, and witty. The author doesn't shy away from sensitive subjects but handles them with care. I can sometimes be critical of books dealing with suicide and depression but felt this writing held up very well. The author clearly has a good insight. Not one moment of wanting to throw the book across the room.

It is full of angst and emotionally draining in some parts but perfectly balanced with the hope of a happy ending. The imagery immerses the reader in the story, so much so, I could easily image this on a big screen. It's adult so there is sex scenes. I felt they were a natural progression rather than something forced for the sake of squeezing sex into the book. 

All in all, this is an excellent debut and expect big things from Nancee Cain.   

Buy it now


 For a full list of stockists

About Nancee Cain  

During the day, Nancee Cain works as a nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge.

Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder.

Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)

Facebook     Twitter      Website     Goodreads

May 26, 2015

Release Day! Saving Evangeline by Nancee Cain

I couldn’t be more delighted to bring you the news of this wonderful debut from Nancee Cain. It’s already gathering plenty of 5 star ratings, with many more sure to follow.
Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and was responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.
Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth, but there’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been allowed back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch: he can’t reveal his angelic nature, and he must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.
Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers tries to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?

May 12, 2015

Trouble Me by Beck Anderson–Release day!

Trouble Me is the follow up to Fix You, in which a film star and a young widow find their lives turned up side down by a chance meeting on a jogging trail. You can read my full review of Fix You here.

Omnific Publishing

Release 12th May 2015

In Fix You, movie star Andrew Pettigrew (Andy to his fans, Andrew to his friends) somehow found the level-headed love he was looking for in young widow and “regular girl” Kelly Reynolds. Now, as they work to mesh their growing relationship with his gold-statue ambitions, things go a bit sideways, in true Hollywood fashion.
Though they’re still wonderfully in love, it’s challenge enough for Andrew and Kelly to decipher what it means to be a family—and a growing family at that—between takes on set. But Andrew also brings history with a temperamental co-star, assorted paparazzi, and someone out there who has serious, perhaps obsessive, issues with him into the mix. Suddenly the Reynolds-Pettigrew clan must fight not just to stay together, but to stay safe.
In Trouble Me, the sequel to Fix You and third novel from Rita finalist Beck Anderson, Kelly and Andrew struggle to stay sane within their whirlwind life. It’s a life that’s equal parts amazing and amusing, less glamorous than you might expect, and spiked with very real fears no amount of stardom can overcome.
Will Andrew and Kelly be torn apart, or will they help each other stay strong at their broken places?

Goodreads

Amazon

About the Author

Beck Anderson believes in the power of perfectly imperfect women and in the healing power of love. Her first novel, Fix You, grew out of those beliefs and the time to write afforded by the worst Thanksgiving blizzard she’s ever witnessed in West Yellowstone.
Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two pre-teen males, loving one post-40 husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

Website     Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads

 

While we are talking Omnific Publishing, let me introduce you to an upcoming debut release from Nancee Cain. This is one for the To Read list. Add it to your Goodreads shelves here.

 

Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and was responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.
Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth, but there’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been allowed back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch: he can’t reveal his angelic nature, and he must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.
Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers tries to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?

Apr 22, 2015

Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson-New Release

 

Congratulations to Nicki Elson on her latest release, Vibrizzio. I’ve loved everything Nicki has written so far, so I’m betting that I’ll love this too.  

Adult Read

Swoon Romance

Released April 21st 2015

Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries (long-lasting) and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category. Thank the gods of Internet ordering.
After yet another failed relationship, the twenty-six-year-old investment analyst is convinced that real guys aren’t ever going to live up to her expectations—so why should she bother with them when the only thing standing between her and her next mind-blowing O is the case in which she keeps Vibrizzio? Yep. She gave it a name. An Italian name!
She’s determined to keep her dating life purely electronic...though she occasionally fantasizes about Hayden King, the delicious new associate she just got partnered with at work.
While Lyssa manages her romantic risks by deleting men from of the equation, the ever-charming Hayden protects his heart by diversifying his love life across multiple women.
As the two young professionals travel together around the country for business, their flirty working relationship develops into a close friendship that hurtles toward something more.
Between hot tub confessions in Baltimore, an accidental kiss in Dallas, and an all-nighter in Chicago, Hayden proves himself to be better than any fantasy, and Vibrizzio's days may finally be numbered.

VIBRIZZIO at Amazon

Apr 14, 2015

Rise to Me by Shani Struthers–Review

Supernatural

Adult

Crooked Cat Publishing

Summary

“This isn’t a ghost we’re dealing with. If only it were that simple…”
Eighteen years ago, when psychic Ruby Davis was a child, her mother – also a psychic – suffered a nervous breakdown. Ruby was never told why. “It won’t help you to know,” the only answer ever given. Fast forward to the present and Ruby is earning a living from her gift, running a high street consultancy – Psychic Surveys – specialising in domestic spiritual clearance.
Boasting a strong track record, business is booming. Dealing with spirits has become routine but there is more to the paranormal than even Ruby can imagine. Someone – something – stalks her, terrifying but also strangely familiar. Hiding in the shadows, it is fast becoming bolder and the only way to fight it is for the past to be revealed – no matter what the danger.
When you can see the light, you can see the darkness too.
And sometimes the darkness can see you.

Review

Finally, I’m getting around to writing this review. After reading the first book in this series, The Haunting of Highdown Hall, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Let me just say, I grew up on dark supernatural and horror. From a young age I probably saw more movies and read more books in the genre than I should have. I had nightmares because of James Herbert and Stephen King books, and one of the first movies on our home cinema(a projector and screen) was The Masque of the Red Death. So I don’t scare all that easily.

I knew from teasers and the author that this would be a darker story that the first. I more or less laughed it off. Reality is so much more frightening than fantasy, the idea that something could happen rather than something that is impossible. Shani Struthers knows how to take a scenario right up to the line of possibility. That’s what makes this book so creepy.

In saying all that, it took me longer to get through than I expected. It was a lot to take in and even when I wasn’t reading it, I was still thinking about it.

Ruby and the team at Psychic Surveys are back, along with Ruby’s matriarchal psychically gifted family. The book starts out as expected with Ruby and co. helping spooks to find their way back into the light. It quickly takes on a darker tone when she is called to the home of a deeply troubled young man convinced he is being stalked by something evil. Ruby tries her best to help him but the encounter opens a doorway in her memory to a dark encounter of her own. 

“I see you, Ruby, I see you.”

Colour me chilled to the bone with that line.

And so begins an escalating  fight between good and evil where Ruby is the prize. Ruby isn’t about to lose herself so easily, and neither are her friends and family, especially her mum, Jessica, who has been little more than a zombie for many years.

There is a lot of detail in this book, a lot of history on Ruby’s life before the first book, on spiritualism and the history of occult. It’s a meaty read but I found, especially in earlier chapters, that the reader gets a little break to digest while characters went about their daily lives and give a real sense of who they are and what they are about. This is important to making the reader want to root for them. This story is layered and deep, thought provoking while not being pretentious.

Shani Struthers once again shows why she is an automatic buy for me. Her writing is fantastic, her prose tight and realistic with enough description of surroundings and characters to completely submerge the reader in to the world she has created. Everything was tied up at the end, there were no characters left dangling over cliffs. I got a sense that there may be more darkness to come in future books.

It’s difficult to talk about this book without giving too much away, so I’ll leave it there. It’s a must read, especially for those who read books or come out of a cinema shrugging at what was meant to be spine tingling. 

links

Goodreads     Amazon.com      Amazon.uk

About the Author

An avid reader, I'll wade through pretty much anything but hot favourites right now are romance, horror (not gory though, more supernatural) and contemporary. Am discovering some wonderful books through Goodreads and writing circles on Facebook - haven't had to pop into Waterstones for ages! I'm also the author of The Runaway Year, published by Omnific Publishing - a contemporary Cornish romance with a healthy dash of sass. Later this year my second novel will be available - a paranormal mystery this time. Psychic Surveys Book 1: The Haunting of Highdown Hall will be published by Crooked Cat Publishing and is the first in a series which will only get darker.
Read all about it on my website or on my blog. I'm also on twitter: https://twitter.com/shani_struthers and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shani-S....

Mar 21, 2015

Command the Tides by Wren Handman–Excerpt

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Book Title: Command The Tides (The Chronicles of Midvalen, Book One)

ISBN: 9781623421809

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Available in Paperback and Ebook March 17, 2015

Summary:

Enter Midvalen, a world of kings and kingdoms, princes and pretenders.
In the Kingdom of Miranov, Taya seems to have it all: she owns her own store, she’s engaged to be married to a handsome man, and she’s a success. But the truth is more complicated than anyone could guess. Her engagement is a sham, an agreement of convenience that she made with Darren so she can own land and he can get his mother off his back. She thinks things have become complicated when she realizes that she's fallen in love with him, something she never planned to do. But what's worse is discovering that her simple sailor boy is actually the crown prince of neighboring Sephria, and his usurping Uncle is trying to kill him.
When Darren shows up at her door, bleeding and fleeing assassins, Taya is drawn into a complicated mess of politics, fighting, and broken hearts. Her allegiances will be questioned, her love will find a new course, and she’ll do it all while trying to stay alive, save the day, and guard her heart.

Excerpt

“David, help Ryan cover the trail. I’ll help Sarah take Darren. Taya, take my sword and cover us.”

“The girl? She’s like to cut off her own feet as an enemy!” Liam hissed.

Taya felt her face grow hot. As always when she felt embarrassment closing in, she covered it with anger. She grabbed Jeremy’s sword by the hilt, drawing it out with one smooth motion and swinging it down so the point touched the

ground just an inch in front of Liam’s foot. She felt Jeremy take a staggering

step backward, startled.

“I will not only cut our enemy, I will cut the feet off of our enemy and

leave them to bleed in the dirt. I haven’t let us down yet, and I certainly don’t

intend to start now. And if you ever call me ‘the girl’ again, I will show you

exactly what I am expert at cutting off,” she snarled, and then she hoisted the

sword and spun on her heel, storming away before he could react.

She stood at the edge of their sad, sodden company, the hilt of the sword

resting snugly in the palm of her hand, her back straight and her head held high,

and the only thing going through her mind was the fact she had absolutely,

completely, no idea how to use a sword.

Amazon    BN.com    Goodreads     Simon and Schuster

Author Bio

Wren Handman is a novelist, fiction writer, and playwright. Her first novel, Last Cut, was published by James Lorimer Publishing Ltd (Sept 2012) and is aimed at teenagers with reading difficulties. She has published short stories both in print and online, including in the anthology Voice From the Planet (Harvard Square Editions) and the online magazine Crow Toes Quarterly, an award-winning Canadian children’s publication. For regular updates check out her short fiction project, Lucid Dreaming (www.wrenhandman.com/lucid-dreaming), which responds to original art pieces with flash fiction stories.