18 The Anthology – Get your free e-copy

18 Anthology

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.

Help Wanted – What Do You Think Of The Blurb?

Picture by Pakom

Picture by Pakom

Here is a big shout out to my readers, thank you all for tagging along on my journey and following my blog. If you want to get involved and give me a helping hand, it would be great if you could let me know what you think of the back blurb for my upcoming novel ‘Blood Rage’. You don’t have to write War & Peace, I’ll be happy if you just leave me a short comment. So here it is:-

Conall is a loner, a thief with a secret trying to survive in the cruel world of Kirree. Commissioned to steal a magical talisman, he sets out on a dangerous journey that leads him to a new friendship with Erin – a rogue trying to make a better life for herself. When Conall discovers Erin has been imprisoned by a ruthless power-monger, he must decide if he should help her or focus on the job at hand – A job which ultimately leads to his betrayal.

Set in a tough and gritty world of magic and mythical creatures, the odds are stacked against him.

Book Review – Shatterwing by Donna Maree Hanson

Shatterwing (Dragon Wine, #1)Shatterwing by Donna Maree Hanson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is part 1 of the Dragon Wine series and tells two inter-twining stories. One follows the story of Salinda, a slave with a gift she must protect at all costs. The other traces the path of Laidan, a girl who has a similar gift thrust upon her, before she too is enslaved and struggles to survive.

The Bad Stuff: To be honest, other than a couple of typo’s, there is nothing I picked up on. The only thing I would caution, is that this is set in a gritty world, where there are some pretty sick people that do some pretty nasty things. If you are prudish, this book is not for you.

The Good Stuff: The story world is well established and the characters have some depth. There are dragons and magic in an archaic setting that lends to the dark side of human nature. The protagonists have a real hard time of it with life going from bad to worse. The author sure doesn’t show them much love and this makes you want to see them succeed. Oh, and did I mention there’s dragons?

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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What’s Happening With Me?

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Yay! I finally got my internet sorted after my move and now have access to the net again. I never realized how much I rely on the internet, until I didn’t have it, and I must say, it’s great to be back online.

So what’s been happening with me? Well, apart from the usual paid job, the moving and trying to sell the old house, I have been working on cover art for my book. After giving a friend a few tips on what I was looking for, he has put some time and effort into coming up with a few covers for me – and what a great job he’s done. He’s also sent me the sample files, and I have been mucking about with them trying to tweak them a little to suit my preference. I hope to upload these for voting on sometime soon, so I can see what cover you think should be on the book when it comes out.

I’m pretty sure I have my back blurb ready too, so I’ll put that out first to give you an idea of the book before I hit you up with the covers. On top of that, I have also split the original book so I can expand on it, and I am currently working on a short story to do just that. What’s more, I plan to release the short story for free and follow it up with a ‘cut price’ novella that will lead onto the novel before I publish. By doing tings this way, I can buy myself some time for the house to sell, so I will be cashed up enough to get my edit done on the novel. Everything is moving in the right the direction though, so hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I have my first novel out.

Until then, keep an eye out for my coming posts, take care.

Moving Pains.

Picture by Greg Westfall

Picture by Greg Westfall

I have been very busy of late moving house and sorting out everything that comes with a change of address. I have been selling old furniture and shopping for new items, connecting services and notifying change of address to every Tom, Dick and Harry. I’ve also had issues with my internet connection, it’s been about 5 weeks now and it still isn’t up and running. I have become a Wi-Fi gypsy, roaming around to locations where I can log on for 30 minutes to check my e-mails, etc… With all this chaos, I’ve had little time to blog, write, or do any of my usual writing related activities. I feel like I’m in limbo, stuck in a place where I have words to plant and ideas to sow, but no tools to do the work and no time to tend for them while they grow. Hopefully, after this week, I will escape this place of torment and get back to the world of order and convenience – back to my writing, blogging and alike. Once I get on my feet again, I will post an update of where I’m at with everything, until then, I just wanted to say thank you, I appreciate your patience while I traverse these tumultuous times.

Book Review: The Indie Author Power Pack by various authors.

The Indie Author Power Pack: How To Write, Publish & Market Your BookThe Indie Author Power Pack: How To Write, Publish & Market Your Book by Sean Platt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Indie Author Power Pack is a collection of books for authors that is jam packed with info that will help you to become a published author. It consists of 3 books: Write, Publish Repeat by Sean Platt & Johnny B Truant, Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran and How to Market a Book by Joanna Penn.

The Bad Stuff: There is a lot of repetition in these books that feels like it is only there to fill the pages.

The Good Stuff: There is a great deal of useful information in these books, all in the one place. I have spent years reading ‘How to’ books and searching the net for information that is stored in this set.

This great value pack was a limited time only offer and you may find that you need to purchase the books individually now. There are 3 books in the set that only cost me 99c on Amazon. There’s heaps of useful info on publishing and marketing. Well worth the money! If you want to know how to self pub an e-book, set up a mailing list, set up a blog, this will give you the info you need. I give it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review: 18 by various authors

1818 by Melanie Bird

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

18 is a selection of short stories from some of Australia’s new and emerging Speculative Fiction authors. In the interests of full disclosure, I note that I am one of the contributing authors.

The Bad Stuff: As with any collection of stories from various authors, the stories and the writing styles vary greatly. The stories are from new and emerging authors at different levels in there writing journey and there are going to be some stories you will like, and some you do not.

The Good Stuff: There is a great collection of short stories in this book, with something for everyone who reads Spec Fiction. Considering the e-book is available for free, it is a bargain. If you are looking for a series of short stories to occupy you on the ride to work, this book will give you a few to choose from.

Fantastic value, a selection of short stories ranging from quirky to downright scary (I’m not just saying that because I am one of the authors, I actually believe it’s true). I give it 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King.

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On Writing is half a tutorial on how to be a successful writer and half auto-biography of Mr Kings life.

The Bad Stuff: For me, this book was so highly recommended, that my expectations were huge and I ended up being a little disappointed. I did not agree with all of Mr King’s opinions and I sometimes struggle with his writing style, though evidently he is a great author and has a lot to teach.

The Good Stuff: There are some nuggets of information in this book that will help any author. Mr King shares his knowledge of successful techniques with us, as well as his personal experiences both in writing and his private life.

I enjoyed the auto-biography part of this book more than anything else, it was very interesting. I was expecting more from the ‘writer’s guide’ section of the book though. Don’t get me wrong, there is some very good info in this book, but I had heard a lot about it and I guess it’s kind of like when you are told how great a movie is and you go in with really high expectations, then you feel a little let down. I think I would have appreciated it a whole lot more if I had no expectations of what I would find between the pages. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book review – The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1)The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Sword of Shannara is an epic fantasy novel about a vale man torn from his normal life and thrown into a quest to retrieve the Sword of Shannara and destroy the Dark Lord to save the world as he knows it.

The Bad Stuff: This book has some stark similarities to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. There is a Dark Lord, black wraiths, small vale men, elves, a strange wizard that disappears on other errands and a crazy gnome who has a magical item. This really irked me. There is also some repetition, overuse of words and a writing style that tells rather than shows.

The good stuff: The storyline is good and would be enjoyable for those who have not read the lord of the rings trilogy, or those that will not be bothered by the similarities.

In my opinion, this is a good fantasy novel, let down by the fact that it is so similar to another authors work and yet, not quite as good. For this reason I’m only giving it 2 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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Book Review: The High Lord by Trudi Canavan.

The High Lord (Black Magician, #3)The High Lord by Trudi Canavan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The High Lord is the third book in Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician Trilogy. It carries on the journey of Sonea as she continues to learn the art of magic. In this final instalment, Sonea and Akkarin have been exiled from Kyralia for the use of Black Magic.

The Bad Stuff: As always, I struggle with the internal monologue and it’s use to lead the reader. There are some obvious plot twists that could have been presented more subtly.

The Good Stuff: This is set in a well defined world, with familiar characters whose stories have been followed through the previous two books. The story flows smoothly and brings a conclusion to the series.

On the whole this was a great end to the Black Magician series. I enjoyed all three books and so far, have found this title to be my favourite of Trudi’s books. I give this one 4 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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