18 The Anthology – Get your free e-copy

18 Anthology18-diagonally







On one of my recent posts I mentioned that my Writers’ group – Vision Writers’, were producing an anthology. Well, I am happy to announce that ’18’ is here! Woohoo, I hear you all shouting. And believe me, I am just as excited as you are. The anthology celebrates 18 years of Brisbane based writers’ group – Vision Writers’. The group has a number of published members, including our founders Marian De Pierres and Rowena Corey Daniels. Vision Writers’ has a variety of characters from all walks of life, and as a member of the group you’re sure to get honest and invaluable feedback on any stories you submit for critique. I have learned a great deal from this fantastic Medley of Sci fi, Fantasy and Horror Authors. 18 Showcases the talents of some of our current authors with thirteen stories to lose yourselves in. The anthology covers tales of Wizards, Dragon’s, Spirits, Mobsters and much more. These stories will take you to new worlds; worlds of fantasy and worlds of horror. Thanks to all who helped put this anthology together: Trahern, Belinda, Talitha, Meghann, and all the other writers involved. 18 is available as an E book for free on various sites, check out my ‘Publications’ page for details.

So, enjoy and once you’ve sated your reading appetite, please post a review or let me know what you think via comment on this blog post.

Book Review – Bleach Vol.3 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol. 3: Memories in the RainBleach, Vol. 3: Memories in the Rain by Tite Kubo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bleach Vol 3 takes Ichigo to the cemetery for the anniversary of his mothers death. If he’s gonna find a hollow anywhere, my guess is it will be at the cemetery!

The Bad Stuff: I really struggle with finding the bad stuff in this series, so I’m just gonna skip this bit.

The Good Stuff: More Manga, how good is that! Tite does it again, but the plot thickens in this volume as Ichigo meets the Hollow that could have killed his mother. Another hilarious instalment, the teddy bear cracks me up.

Vol 3 moves the series forward revealing more about Ichigo and his abilities, 2 down and 18 volumes to go. Another 4 out of 5 Golden bookmarks for this installment.

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Book Review – Bleach, Vol.2 by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol. 2: Goodbye Parakeet, Good Night My SisterBleach, Vol. 2: Goodbye Parakeet, Good Night My Sister by Tite Kubo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bleach Vol 2 continues the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a Soul Reaper, hunting evil spirits called ‘Hollows’ that eat the souls of humans who have psychic energy.

The Bad Stuff: Hmmm… I think there was a crease in one of the pages.

The Good Stuff: Manga, Manga, Manga, what’s not to like? And Tite Kubo gives us some of the best Manga you can read. As with volume 1, I loved the illustration and the wit, the characters provide some good banter that makes you laugh. Everything you would expect from a Manga title.

Vol 2 builds on the series, only 19 left to go. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 Golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

Emotion AmplifiersEmotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is really a reference book for authors to assist them with their writing. It is a companion to The Emotional Thesaurus which I have not read at this time, but based on this companion, I am interested in getting myself a copy.

The Bad Stuff: I know this is only a companion, but the book is very short and there are only about 14 pages of narrative to guide the reader on the use of the contents. The remainder of the book is reference material and I feel the book could have been fleshed out with both more narrative from the author and more reference material.

The good stuff: This book is a great idea and could be very useful to a writer who wants to develop their characters and/or their story in the spectrum of the emotional amplifiers explored. If it just had more reference material on a broader range of emotions, it would be a worthy addition to any writer’s toolbox. My guess is that the content I would like to see in this companion book has already been captured in the authors other work, The Emotional Thesaurus. I hope to find out soon enough.

In my opinion, this book will be a good guide to assist with writing, if only it had more content it could have been an amazing reference tool. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged is the continuation of The First Law series and follows the stories of the First of the Magi, Logen Ninefingers, Ferro, and many more of the host of characters within the book.

The Bad Stuff: As with the other novels I’ve read by Joe, the only bad thing is that the book comes to an end and you want more.

The good stuff: This book has a full cast of characters and Mr Abercrombie moves easily from one to another allowing the story to flow. I love the relationship between Logen Ninefingers and Ferro, The sudden shifts in temperament of Bayaz, the character arc Jezal Dan Luthar moves through as his character grows and there is so much more to love within the pages of this book. The characters paths are woven seamlessly together in a dangerous and intriguing world. I have come to expect great things from Joe Abercrombie and he did not disappoint me with this novel.

In my opinion, this is a superbly written fantasy novel with a well established society, governments, clans, etc… The action, twists and political scheming keeps coming and holds the readers interest until the end. There are some richly described places, well defined characters and interesting fantasy elements. I have come to expect great things from Joe Abercrombie and he has not let me down with this fantastic novel. Call me biased if you will, but JA is without doubt my favourite author and I’m giving this one 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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What Are You Looking For In A Book?

Picture by Emilio Nanni

Picture by Emilio Nanni – Creative commons Licence at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

Hello again, my blog posts are taking a back seat at the moment, but I thought I should take a bit of time to write one up and let you all know I’m still here, just busy with other stuff at the moment. Anyway, I’m waffling, so let’s get on with it.

I am currently reading Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Before They Are Hanged’, and I have to admit, I’m loving Joe’s work at the moment. Every one of his novels I’ve read so far, have stood high above any other fantasy I have read. I love his style, the gritty, no holds barred, bare your teeth and snarl at anyone that doesn’t like it, writing. To me, his prose is impressive and his stories are unique. There may be other books out there that are similar, but I haven’t read them, and I’m lapping it up because these two elements make his work a truly enjoyable read.

This has led me wonder, what is it others seek from a good book? Is it originality? Is it Style? Is it the emotional journey you take when you follow a character through their journey? Is it all of the above? I’m very interested in knowing just what is it that makes a great book for you?

Thanks for reading my post and I hope to hear some of your thoughts on this.

Know much about adventure? I’ve just had a crash course.


Hello again, I thought I would give you another update as I have just had two weeks off work. I spent the first week fine tuning the formatting I have done for the anthology my writers’ group are producing. I also got stuck into my novella and managed to get my first draft done – Woohoo! The second week I spent taking a break from both work and writing, heading over to New Zealand with the family for some adventure. And what an awesome time we had. In the five days we were there, we managed to visit an ice bar (a bar where everything is made of ice, including tables, chairs and glasses.),


enjoy coffee at the boathouse,


take a walk through Queenstown Gardens,


enjoy a meal at Chicco’s, visit the cookie shop, take the gondola up a mountain, ride the luge, ride a ski lift, do a Zip Line tour, visit arrowtown,


visit Milford Sound (beautiful)


and do this:-

Ledge swing 9

Yep, that’s me swinging in mid-air and now I think I need another holiday to relax!

What was your last big adventure?


“It’s the questions we can’t answer …”

“It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

Checking In.

Photo by elPadawan

A big hello to all my friends, readers, followers and the like. Yep, I know, I have been missing from my blog page for a while, but it’s okay, I haven’t been kidnapped by short dudes with brown cloaks or anyone else for that matter. What I have been doing is formatting the e–version of an anthology my writers’ group are putting together. It has been quite a learning curve for me as this is the first time I have created my own e–book. You may remember that some time ago I wrote a series of posts on the basics of how to create an e–book. Well, while I had a little mess around with the principles within that previous post—which all made sense to me and seemed to work just fine—I am now much the wiser. It seems the methods in that post will work, but may also present issues on some readers.

What have I learnt? I have learnt that HTML is much easier than I would have thought. If I were writing that post today, I would tell you that you need three programs, not two. They would be Word, Calibre and JEdit. But rather than have me, an amateur, new to formatting tell you how to produce an e–book. Why not get a Pro to tell you. That’s what I did. So the best piece of advice that I can give you if you want to learn how to format your own e–books is to purchase a copy of Guido Henkel’s ‘Zen of ebook formatting’. It has worked for me and you can check out the quality of my work after using Guido’s book as a guide, when Vision Writers’ latest Anthology ‘Darkest Depths’ is released in the near future. Oh, and the really good news is that we plan to make the anthology free.

Hang on, don’t go yet … I have more news. The other reason I haven’t been blogging much lately is that I have been concentrating on finishing my novella—one of the three books in my Blood Rage series. I have made great progress on this and am not far off finishing it. My dilemma now is that before I turned it into a series it was going to be one novel and I put some covers out to be voted. I had a winning cover and had every intention of using it for the novel. Only now I feel I need three covers that compliment each other for the series and I’m not sure the cover I have will be the right choice. I’m tossing up between getting two new covers done that work with the one I have, or getting someone to complete three new covers for the series. Anyway, I will ponder that when all the editing is finalized. But for now, you can look forward to my Blood Rage series being released this year. That is what I am committing to.


Book Review – The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blade Itself is a fantasy novel about … well, a host of characters and the parts they play in this tale of feuds, conspiracies, and wars. Set in a vicious world with well-established cultures and classes, magic and science, superstitions and beliefs.

The Bad Stuff: The only bad thing about this book is it comes to an end and leaves you wanting more.

The good stuff: This book has a full cast of characters from Logen Ninefingers, Bayaz and Jezal Dan Luthar, to Major Collem West, Sand dan Glokta, and Ferro. Their paths woven seamlessly into the story in a world where life is neither fun nor fair. The characters own their individual personalities, their individual traits and their individual problems, while war broods all around. Abercrombie weaves a tale of respected men who lie and scheme, barbarians who have honour and respect and strong women who kick some serious arse.

In my opinion, this is a superbly written fantasy novel with a mix of aristocratic society and down-in-the-gutter, bang-to-rights hard men. This action packed novel packs a punch and deserves a place on the shelf of any true fantasy fan. I’m giving it 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review – Zen of ebook Marketing by Guido Henkel

Zen of eBook MarketingZen of eBook Marketing by Guido Henkel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zen of eBook Marketing is written for writers who want to know how to market their eBooks. Written by author and programmer, Guido Henkel, this is the second book in his Zen series and provides a general overview on marketing ebooks.

The Bad Stuff: This book will give you a general overview of marketing techniques and the Social media available to market your books through, however it does not provide a detailed breakdown of how. If you are a seasoned writer that has been selling your books online, you will know most of the information within this book already.

The Good Stuff: This book gives a wide range of methods and provides a good deal of content around the differences in the social media available. There is a wealth of information between the pages and I certainly learnt a few things from reading the content. This would be an ideal book for someone starting out and will more than likely provide something new to the authors already well on their way to marketing their books. As with Zen of ebook formatting, this book is easy to read and understand and has some valuable tips inside.

This is another great addition to the toolbox of Indie writers. It will give you a better understanding and good insights on how to market your books. This one is worthy of receiving 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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