Taking a Break and Re-charging (Part 2)

Hello Readers,

I find myself with a little spare time on my last night in Brussels, and as I promised you all some photos of France, I thought I would use the time to add some (and a few from Belgium too). Being a fantasy author, I like to take photos of medieval buildings and the like for reference material. So here are a few of my favourites:-

France: Notre Dame (inside and outside) and Sacre Coeur (at the top of the hill up the many steps).

Belgium: a selection of photos from Brussels (Grand Place), Ghent and Bruges.

And finally, a picture of J.K. Rowling’s hand prints set into the paving on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Scotland –

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Taking a break and re-charging.

Hello Readers,

I know I’ve been a little bit quiet lately, but as always, I have been busy. I have finished a draft copy of a book on self publishing and it has been reviewed by my beta readers. The feedback is good with some constructive criticism, helpful tips, and positive comments. My Goodreads giveaway has wrapped up and I have sent all the prizes to the winners, with 5 lucky readers winning a copy of The Crimson Guild and 1 winning a copy of Blood Rage. I have had 2 short stories beta read too and I have received positive feedback on them. After all that, I have put everything aside to enjoy a much needed holiday.

I was a little worried about parking my book on self-publishing for 4 weeks. Things are changing so quickly in the self-publishing world that I wanted to get it out as soon as possible. But sometimes you have to take time out to recharge, and when you are travelling from Australia to the UK, France and Belgium, you just have to make the most of it. So, tools have been put down to collect dust while I relax and recharge.

I’ve had such an awesome time catching up with friends in England that I haven’t seen for over 15 years. I’ve also made some new friends in Essex and I’m having a great time in Montmartre, Paris. Paris is a beautiful city with so much history and Montmartre is such a lovely part of it. There are cafes and bars everywhere, and there are many, many stairs you can climb to help burn off all the calories you consume eating and drinking. I’ve also been on a guided bike tour of the city while I have been here and I would recommend it to anyone that is a competent rider. It was truly enjoyable and I got some great photos and some good ideas for my stories. I have 1 more night in Paris before heading to Edinburgh for an underground tour of the old city beneath the Royal Mile. I’m really looking forward to it.

I doubt I will post again before I return to Australia, so I’ve added a few photos from England (Paris snaps to follow at a later date).

Enjoy!

 

Book Review – The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Review – The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson continues the story of Vin and Elend in the aftermath of the Lord Rulers fall.

The Bad Stuff: The only criticism I have of this story is that the explanation of the magic system was repetitive and overdone. Aside from the fact that I knew about it from the previous book, it seemed too explained more than required in this novel.

The Good Stuff: I really enjoyed this book. It continues seamlessly from book one with all the much loved characters and a full introduction to the Koloss, who were only breezed over in book one. The complexity of the plot seems to get deeper and deeper, with multiple sub-plots taking you through a maze of story questions that keep you reading. I would say this series was well mapped out before the first book was ever written, and what a great job Brandon Sanderson has done.

This is another great fantasy novel that has hooked me into reading the 3rd novel in the series, which I’m sure will not disappoint.
I’m giving this an allomantic, page pushing 5 out of 5 golden bookmarks.

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A Question of Series. Would You Want the First Book?

I have been spending a lot of time of marketing lately, looking for ways to build the awareness of my books. This has prompted me to take a look at the things I have done to try and work out what is working and what is not. In the process I had a realization around my fantasy series ‘Blood Rage’ that has raised a question in my mind. The question relates to a strategy I implemented a while ago. It was to release a novella and a novel in the series, and release a boxed set with an exclusive short story that preludes the novella. The problem I have is that the short story is effectively book 1, the first in the series, and is only available in the boxed set. This boxed set is cheaper than buying the novella and the novel, and I was thinking it would be a value add, but now I’m wondering if this is putting people off buying. The question is would you buy a boxed set from an unknown author, and if not, would you want to buy the second book in the series to try them? I feel that people would want book 1. So I thought I would ask you, do you have any thoughts around this?

Book Review – Art and Craft of Writing: Secret Advice for Writers.

Art & Craft of Writing Fiction: Secret Advice for WritersArt & Craft of Writing Fiction: Secret Advice for Writers by Victoria Mixon

Book Review – Art and Craft of Writing: Secret Advice for Writers by Victoria Mixon.

The Bad Stuff: It’s a pretty short book and a lot of the information has been covered before.

The Good Stuff: I have been writing for some time now and I’m always looking for new information. There were one or two nuggets in this book for me, but mainly it was that Victoria looks at things from a slightly different angle and explains them in a slightly different way. This resonated with me and I will keep this book on hand for reference in the future.

Overall this book is put together from the authors most popular blog posts. In my opinion it is worth a read, you may not new information from it, but you may look at things with a new found appreciation and understanding. This one gets 4 golden bookmarks from me.

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Ever Wonder How You Can Help An Author?

Picture by tsaiproject - Creative Commons

Picture by tsaiproject – Creative Commons

 

 

Hello Readers,

We need your help! That’s right, you have the power to help us authors out. If you’ve ever wondered how you can help your favourite author, I’ll give you a few tips here.

Firstly: Buy their books (this always seems to help, no matter how often you do it).

Tip 2: Reviews are king. If you read a book and you enjoyed it, leave a review! Leaving a review to say how much you enjoyed the book will make the author feel warm and fuzzy. But more than that, readers like to know what other people thought (which may prompt them to go on to buy the book themselves). It also helps with an authors ranking on places like Amazon.

Tip 3: Ain’t got time to write a review? Then leave a star rating – It all helps.

Tip 4: Share and like posts about their books. Your friends will see your post and may be interested in reading the book too.

Aside from purchasing an authors books, these little things will help out. I can also say, hand on heart, that most authors also have a day job. And, if they could just earn a little more from their book sales they might be able to reduce their hours and… write more books!

So if you can, blog about it, share your thoughts on social media, write a review on Amazon or Kobo or wherever else you can. What are you waiting for… Go help your favourite author.

Book Review – Supersize Your Subscription List: Build yourself a fan-base and boost your writing career, by Steve Turnbull

Supersize Your Subscription List: Build yourself a fan-base and boost your writing careerSupersize Your Subscription List: Build yourself a fan-base and boost your writing career by Steve Turnbull

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Supersize Your Subscription List by Steve Turnbull is a quick read that looks at the techniques used by authors to build a subscription list.

The Bad Stuff: There is not much bad stuff in here to be honest. I knew most of the information in the book, but I have researched this topic and for those that have not, it is a little gem of a book. Could it have been longer? Possibly, but then you would need more content, and in my opinion there is not much that was not covered.

The Good Stuff: The book was short, but it was concise and covered everything that it needed to. I love that the author did not fill up his pages with guff, unnecessary wordage just for the sake of it. He is to the point and summarizes the process well. I learnt a little more about things I was not sure on too, so for me, the book was worth it.

Overall this was a quick and informative read that gave me a little bit more knowledge than I already had. That’s a win in my mind. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 Golden bookmarks.

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A review of ‘Blood Rage’ – I love it when readers enjoy my books.

Genre – Epic Fantasy/Action Adventure Pages – 294 Just finished reading “Blood Rage (The Blood Rage Series, Book Three) by Allan Walsh. Having read “The Crimson Guild (The Blood Rage Series, Book Two)” earlier in the month, I was pleasantly surprised and grateful to Allan for gifting me an e-copy of this book. The […]

via Blood Rage (The Blood Rage Series, Book 3) by Allan Walsh — Book Review Village

Do You Like Fantasy Maps in Your Novels?

Hello Readers,

I released my first fantasy novel this year and in what seems like a bit of a fantasy tradition to me, I included a fantasy map in the front. I was just flicking through my blog pages to see if they needed an update and I stumbled across the picture. The artwork is my own and does have some rough edges, but I felt this gave it an authentic feel (though others may feel it looks amateurish). Anyway, I got to thinking, as a reader, do you like to have a map or do you just skip over it to get to the story? Personally I like them, but I’m interested in what other readers think. And for those that like fantasy maps, here is a picture of mine which can is found in the front of ‘Blood Rage’.

Map of Armada20170219 So, what do you think? Is a map important to you? Does it add anything to the story? Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you and happy reading!

A very short review – Bleach, Vol 13

Bleach, Volume 13Bleach, Volume 13 by Tite Kubo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yes, I just read another Bleach volume. I am trying to get through the 21 volume box set I was gifted for xmas a couple of years ago. Thanks T. I enjoyed this volume more than most, I think Kenny is a badass! That’s all I’ve got to say 🙂

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