Tag Archives: The Soulseer’s Chronicles

Sunday Post – 12th June

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

My editing marathon is grinding inexorably onward. I’m now line editing Breathing Space before letting it loose on my long-suffering beta-readers. Debbie has completed reading through Dying for Space for me and has handed it onto Sarah.

This week hasn’t been quite so frenetic. It was lovely to resume my Creative Writing classes on Monday and Tuesday and catch up with everyone after the half-term break. On Wednesday evening our writing group met up and discussed each others’ work amid tea and laughter. During Thursday evening I attended the monthly West Sussex Writers’ meeting to hear Jane Lythell, who has written the successful psychological thrillers The Lie of You and After the Storm. She talked to eve-of-war-sample-2-639x1024the group about her journey to being published and also discussed characterisation and how she crafted her protagonists. It is always fascinating to hear how different authors approach their work and Jane was a fluent, articulate speaker with plenty to say – including some intriguing details about her upcoming new release, Woman of the House, which is more of a contemporary novel about a woman coping with a demanding job and increasing commitments at home.

 

I’ve also now received a copy of the cover for the anthology Eve of War, in which my short story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ will appear. Isn’t it gorgeous? The release date is 20th June.

 

As regards reading – I’m coming to the end of a hefty tome that almost stopped me in my tracks…

The Passage – Book 1 of The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in thepassagethe whole world.
She is.
Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.
He’s wrong.
FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.
It is.
THE PASSAGE.
And there you have the blurb of this apocalyptic, science fiction vampire book that runs to 766 pages. The first section, where it all goes to hell in a handcart, was something of a slog – not because there was anything wrong with the book, indeed, the writing is remarkable and engrossing. However, I hadn’t appreciated that it starts in our world before it all slides away, which I always find a bit of a problem. Fortunately, just as I was on the verge of giving up, the section ended and we were plunged into the future, post-apocalyptic world. I will be reviewing it sometime in the next week.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 5th June

* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Cursed – Book 2 of The Soulseer Chronicles by Sue Tingey

Teaser Tuesday – The Passage – Book 1 of The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Annihiliation Score – Book 6 of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

Friday Faceoff – All That is Gold Does Not Glitter featuring Empire of Black and Gold – Book 1 of The Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky

2016 Discovery Challenge – May Roundup

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

Juliet E. McKenna’s interesting article on the similarities between aikido and writing when breaking new ground – http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=2172

Which Zodiac Sign Fits Your Protagonist Best? This is a really nifty getting-to-know your main character exercise by Sara Letourneau. https://saraletourneauwriter.com/2016/06/09/zodiac-signs-and-character-traits/

This is a lovely slice of photo journaling through India. The Road Goes Ever On… – https://indigodrift.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/the-road-goes-ever-on/

How realistic do you want injuries to be in books? Kristen Burns writes about this in her excellent article. http://blog.kristenburns.com/realism-in-books-injuries/

Lovely examples of space art, brought to us by Steph P. Bianchini – http://earthianhivemind.net/2016/06/08/space-art-nasa/

100_4927The weather has finally woken up to the fact it is nearly mid-June and we’ve had a lovely week of warm days and nights, so that suddenly everything in the garden is going mad. It’s frankly something of a jungle, but amongst the weeds and mayhem, my echium spires are taller than ever, this year, thanks to the mild winter. I’ve enclosed the pic to show the scale – those canes I’m holding are 6 ft long.

These foamy white bracts of flowers are on a spiky-leaved plant 100_4943I’ve owned for about a decade – and this is only the second time it’s flowered. The garden is full of the lily-like smell and it is crawling with bees – dozens of them. If I leave the back door open, the scent suffuses the kitchen, leaving me light-headed and happy. Summer… at last!
Once more, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog and I hope you can find the time and, maybe, a sunny nook where you can get lost in a book. Happy reading, everyone!

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* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Cursed – Book 2 of The Soulseer Chronicles by Sue Tingey

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Sue and I catch up with each other at Fantasycon every year, so I was thrilled that her debut book, Marked, had been scooped off the slush pile by Jo Fletcher. I read and enjoyed it – see my review here, so was more than happy to read the latest release in this series.

CursedAble to see ghosts in both the human and daemon worlds, Lucky de Salle is a commodity – and a liability. And when her best friend Kayla mysteriously disappears, she and her daemon guard stumble onto a secret that makes her even more of a danger to her enemies. Now she’s being hunted by the daemon Henri le Dent and Amaliel Cheriour, the court’s sinister executioner, Lucky has to rely on her wits, her inner strength, her friends – and the emerging talents that make her far more than she thinks she is.

Lucky is now travelling in the Underlands, accompanied by the two daemons who have marked her, Jinx the Deathbringer and Jamie the Guardian. My strong advice is to track down the first book in this entertaining series, as this one picks up right from where Marked left off. Tingey writes with pace and conviction. All too often when loved ones are kidnapped, it seems the protagonist is more concerned about the details connected to the chase, but Lucky’s real fear for Kayla pervades this part of the adventure. This made me care about her again, and hooked me into the story.

In addition to a likeable protagonist, the world is peopled with a number of vivid characters, including a cute, shape-changing drakon – and Tingey manages to pull off a device that normally has me rolling my eyes. There is a love triangle going on – both Jinx and Jamie want Lucky. But don’t reject this one because you are sick of the angsting and hand-wringing that normally goes with such dynamics, because there simply isn’t any… The three of them are quite happy for things to play out as they are – matters are conducted with more latitude in the Underland, apparently.

Court life doesn’t get any less lethal, with the King teetering on the edge of outright madness and the book continues to gather pace as the story gallops to the exciting and unexpected climax, with a vile cult making an effective and very unpleasant antagonist. There are plenty of surprises along the way and, while this particular story arc has been suitably concluded, there are still some major question marks surrounding Lucky’s role and what her enemies will do next. All in all, an action-packed adventure that is great fun.
8/10

Sunday Post – 5th June

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Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

As it’s been half term, I have had a break from my teaching commitments, so have managed to motor ahead to complete editing the third draft of Breathing Space. We had the grandchildren staying over last Sunday and Monday, which was lovely as ever – and the puppy that my daughter is fostering also came for a sleepover. Unfortunately, she spent her time in the garden digging up the cats’ poo and eating it, which gave her an upset tummy – a real shame, as otherwise she is a poppet.

littlehamptonlibraryOn Wednesday evening, I attended a murder mystery evening at Littlehampton library, as part of their 110th anniversary celebrations – making them the oldest free library in West Sussex. The murder had been designed by Ann Cleves and was thoroughly entertaining, despite the fact that I was hopelessly wrong in guessing whodunit.

 

 

davidconstanstineOn Friday evening, as part of the Worthing World of Words 2016 literary festival, I attended a poetry reading by David Jenny FeldmanConstantine and Jenny Feldman. It was brilliant – both these poets were inspirational – I particularly loved David’s poem ‘Rec’ and Jenny’s poem ‘Swifts’. They also talked about their work, what inspires them and their writing process. I came away buzzing.

Yesterday, I attended three more brilliant talks as part of the Worthing WOW Festival – the first one was by my writing buddy and professional editor, Sarah Palmer who gave a workshop on how to write a synopsis. She gave us a step by step ‘how to’ guide and even more importantly, an example of a synopsis. As I’d rather write ten novels than one of these beasts, I found it really helpful.

The second talk was on social media for writers, where Nichola Smalley, who is the publicist for the literary publishing company And Other Stories, explained the different forms of social media and how writers could use them. Her best advice was to concentrate on the platform that we feel most comfortable using and to enjoy ourselves.

Literary agent Victoria Salter gave a fascinating talk on how she saw the state of the UK publishing industry, given the major changes she has seen in her nine years as an agent. This was a really interesting insight in what an insider felt about some of the seismic changes that have convulsed the industry.

I’ve had a really sociable, enjoyable week, in addition to reading four books, which are:

dangerousjourneyDangerous Journey – Book 3 of Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton
During his stay last Bank Holiday weekend, Oscar was very keen to finish this story, so we curled up on the sofa together during a chilly afternoon and joined Phillip, Baby B and Nick on their battle against the Prince of Darkness. Once more, a tension-filled, enjoyable adventure that held Oscar’s attention until the end.

thehousewithnorooms1

The House with No Rooms – Book 4 of The Detective Daughter’s series by Lesley Thomson
When I attended the launch party for this book the previous week, of course I scooped it up – and got my copy signed. So I immediately dived into it as a treat – and loved it. Lesley writes with great perception and intelligence in this unusual whodunit.

 

lastcallatthenightshadeloungeLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
This intriguing urban fantasy deals with the life and doings of Chicago bartenders, who battle evil flesh-eating demons by using cocktails – and these recipes are set out in The Devil’s Water Dictionary. This is great fun, with an intriguing, fresh twist on the urban fantasy trope, and an appealing protagonist, Bailey Chen. My review will be posted on the blog during the coming week.

 

Cursed – Book 2 of The Soulseer’s Chronicles by Sue TingeyCursed
I read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Marked, so when Sue contacted me and asked me if I’d like to read the second book, I immediately agreed. It’s great fun, with plenty of pace and chockful of surprises as half-daemon Lucky de Salle begins to discover what she is capable of. My review will be appearing on Brainfluff during the week.

My posts last week:
Sunday Post – 29th May

Review of Change of Life – Book 2 of A Menopausal Superhero series by Samantha Bryant

Teaser Tuesday – Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen

My 1,000th Post – Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2016 – May Roundup

Friday Faceoff – In the Beginning There Was Nothing, Which Exploded featuring Hilldiggers – Book 2 of the Polity series by Neal Asher

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The House With No Rooms – Book 4 of The Detective’s Daughter by Lesley Thomson

Other interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week:

Joanna Maciejewska’s great piece of short fiction – Miye’s In http://melfka.com/read-online/miyes-in … A fabulous short story…

Self published thriller writer Seumas Gallacher generously shared his findings, when he tried a selection of a number of book-marketing websites aimed at the indie market.
…Authors–caveat emptor re book-selling websites–the final report makes for sorry reading… https://seumasgallacher.com/2016/05/31/authors-caveat-emptor-re-book-selling-websites-the-final-report-makes-for-sorry-reading/ … via @seumasgallacher

A tempting offer, if you’re looking for a quality read at a VERY reasonable price from one of the best indie writers I know.
Flaming June? Curl up under the blankets & read! …https://zenandtheartoftightropewalking.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/flaming-june-curl-up-under-the-blankets-read/ … via @guineapig66 Great value for a great book!

A really enjoyable quiz.
What Is Your Spirit Animal? https://www.buzzfeed.com/egeen/what-is-your-spirit-animal-2c0p3 … via @buzzfeeders This is fun:))

And this is also a hoot…
Eleanor Roosevelt says: | The Müscleheaded Blog https://jeanreinhardt.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/eleanor-roosevelt-says-the-muscleheaded-blog/ … via @jeanreinhardt1 This made me howl with laughter…

As you can see, it’s been a busy week – again. And a momentous one, given that I’m now a millennium blogger, so here’s to the next thousand posts! Many thanks to all of you who take the trouble to visit and comment, it’s always appreciated. I’m now hoping that the weather will stop sulking in the foothills of April and finally give us a June worth the name, as I’m fed up with wearing jumpers and thick coats. Have a great blogging and reading week, everyone.