Monthly Archives: March 2012

Just Finished…Bites by Ninfa Hayes

I’ve not read any ‘vampire books’ for a while now. Before I started Bites (last night at midnight, finished first thing this morning!) I was thinking to myself “I don’t really do vampire stories” but that’s not true: I read most of Ann Rice’s books, Twilight Saga, all the True Bloods (until about book ten when they got dull), Bram Stoker, dabbled in YA vampires with Blue Bloods, the first House of Night and a couple of not-so-good indie onesand I liked most of them: some I loved, some not so much…and that doesn’t stop at books because I was a Buffy fan (not so much Angel) and have been loving the True Blood TV series. Perhaps I just go through phases of reading and then find myself a little under-awed with a genre after a while?

Anyway, I realised, I do “do vampire stories” – it’s just that I like ones that are written well, have some depth, interesting and/or original ideas… And Bites does 🙂

Bites is actually a novella of two short stories: Demonica and Last of the Blood – one is a more traditional vampire story, the other a semi-demon crossover with a smattering of angelic backstory which I was hooked on by the end of the first page… Both stories read well and quickly – as short stories there is a limited amount of world building (obviously!) but they introduce interesting characters and concepts.

In Bites, Damon is a thoughtful vampire – with shades of Louis, perhaps Angel, Edward and Bill about him – in how he views the existence he has and vampire/human relationships. I liked the POV story-telling from his side and found his rather poetic voice carried me through his story with interest. The resolution the issues of the story fits perfectly with his character. Catherine also really interested me – I think her experiences and perspective would offer a good story.

Demonica was my favourite of the two stories – this was a 5* for me – I loved the origina story aspects of the beginning and found myself drawn in very quickly. Again – good characters – the female lead is a great, strong person, but with believable weaknesses and flaws. The theological basis for the ideas crossing into the author’s own mythology were intriguing and believable – i love this blending of myths and I think what Ninfa sets up here is a good basis for longer novels.

Overall, I think this is a good debut for a new writer, showcasing her skills for writing interesting characters in familiar situations for the genre, but still doing something original with them. Her stregnth definitely lay in Demonica for me as an overall package it appealled more to me….Definitely recommended 🙂


Tonight is the Midwinter Solstice Ball, the most important night in the Daemonic Court’s calendar.

This is the night when new disciples are chosen, when demons come out to play, and all bets are off.

As it happens, tonight is also the night I become Queen.

When the sweet scent reaches me I know I have found what I’m looking for. My hands reach out in the darkness to the unaware girl. She’s warm and soft and doesn’t even get to scream before I’m drinking deeply from her, her struggles too feeble to bother me. Only the blood counts.

Irina is about to become Queen of the Daemonic Court and Damon is on the run from his own nature … where will their paths take them?

Two short stories that will seduce you with romance, danger, sensuality … and Vampire bites.


TGIF Look Back – 30th March

Welcome to my first TGIF Look Back it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following questions with some Friday feeling…

FUNNY – What made you laugh this week?

READING – What were you reading this week?

INSPIRED – What inspired you this week? 

DREAM – What were you dreaming about this week?

ANGEL – Who was your angel of the week?

YUCK – What made you go ‘ewwww’ this week?
My TGIF Look Back…

FUNNY – Breakfast radio made me laugh a lot this week – to the point that I probably looked rather crazy laughing like a hyena on the way to work 🙂

READING – I’ve done very little reading this week, partly because I’ve been trying to concentrate on doing some writing and also because we’ve been preparing features for a major indie author event in May…So all this leaves me about 30 pages into The Passage…

INSPIRED – I’ve mostly been inspired to buy books this week – there’s been lots of interesting authors coming through our emails at aside from writing I’ve added a load more books to my Kindle TBR pile – so much for clearing it down! 🙂

DREAM – Very mixed, however, there have been lots of steep hills figuring in my dreams in various guises, whether I’m dream-driving or dream-walking…usually means that I’m preoccupied with a difficult decision to make as I find it an uphill struggle.

ANGEL – Angel / star of the week for me is a lovely little boy named Ted, he’s from Manchester and is just five years old. Currently he’s undergoing treatment for leukemia and has been helping a local radio station raise £50k in just one week for children in the same situation. The story of how he and his family have coped with his condition really touched me – there’s a little picture of him from yesterday on my facebook page – needless to say – I’ve sponsored him 🙂

YUCK – Anyone who knows me well will recall I’m not the best around feathery things – I don’t mind birds at a distant but close up with the flapping and everything? Just ewwwwww…Anyway – for work this week I had to go to an area of our building literally swarming with giant seagulls and pigeons – even between me and a pane of glass it gave me the heebie jeebies – that’s like Room 101 for me!

New Weekly Meme – TGIF!

This week I was looking around for some inspiration for a new regular blog post to do…I liked doing the WWW Wednesday hosted by  Should Be Reading and will probably be doing that pretty frequently – although this week I’m still stuck in the middle of The Passage, it’s a HUGE book, so it killed my chances of completing the March reading challenge as well as doing the feature!

Anyway – what will I be doing for my own meme? Well, I liked the idea of looking back at the week gone by and thinking about the good, bad and ugly…so I’ll be launching ‘TGIF Look Back’ and featuring it each week on my blog, there are six different things to think about each week connected to the letters F R I D A Y 🙂  Sounds simple enough, take a look at what my week has been like when I do the first feature tomorrow

Thinking about Cassie…

I’ve recently read a review of Hope’s Daughter on Goodreads (view it here) and it got me thinking – in a good way – don’t worry I’m not about to begin a rant about reviews and readers! Instead I was thinking that it’s really interesting to see how readers view your characters once you’ve created them, bundled them into a book and then sent them off into the world. The lady who reviewed Hope’s Daughter wasn’t really sure of what to make of Cassie at the beginning of the book and I’d agree with that – Cassie is rather confused and has plenty of self-doubt to contend with early on 🙂 who doesn’t at that age?

What I found most interesting was that the reviewer found Cassie more interesting once she got onto her placement and began to interact with Balik. I’m not sure whether I intentionally wrote it to work in this way – it’s hard when you’re inside one character’s head and not another to work these things out sometimes – but I knew that Cassie hid a lot of things from herself and those around her until she saw how open and honest you could be, even on the space station, if you were a person more like Balik. As you read from Cassie’s point of view in Hope’s Daughter it’s not surprising that you see her the way she sees herself – she’s almost uninterested and dismissive of herself early in the book. When you see her later on, especially when she’s with Balik, the reader gets a new filter to look at Cassie through – even though she might miss some of the compliments in their conversations, the reader obviously doesn’t and you get to see not only a different side to Cassie, but I think perhaps the real person there, who she’s kept hidden for a long while.

Cassie turned out to be much stronger in Hope’s Daughter than I think she was going to be originally, which was a pleasant surprise for me. And actually, she’s done the same thing in Outlanders as I work through the plans for that and the next book – I think she’s going to behave in a particular way and start writing the scenes that way, only to discover that once again she’s stronger than I gave her credit for 🙂 But you’ll have to wait to see what happens to know what I’m talking about here!

On a different note, this is all interesting for me because at the moment I’m camped out in Balik’s head as I’m working mainly on The Rainbow Maker’s Tale for release in late spring/early summer. It’s funny because after reading the reviewer’s thoughts on Hope’s Daughter, I realised I have a reversed situation happening inRMT and I’m writing through it now. Balik is certainly very interesting early on – highly suspicious and digging around in places he shouldn’t – but he’s a very lonely character because he isolates himself. One of the nicest things about writing from his side of things is seeing the changes in him that Cassie brings about. He might make her more interesting and confident – at the moment I’m seeing a lot of her making him live and be a little more human…


PS – I should say ‘thank you’ to Erin the reviewer who sparked the idea for this post in my mind as you’ve helped me get over a little writer’s block I’d been having with Balik recently 🙂

A Writing Journey

I’m currently working on a guest post for Marie Landry (author of Blue Sky Days, which I read and reviewed for aside from writing blog last month) and the suggestion she gave me was to post on my writing journey so far.

It’s a great topic and has really had me thinking over the last week or so (even whilst I was away on a break in Edinburgh, trying to get inspired for my fiction work again!) I never thought to look at this whole experience as a journey, but that’s exactly what it is…

Sometimes you have company along the way in the form of friends and readers, who come along at the most helpful of times and keep you motivated to go on – I saw a new review for Hope’s Daughter appear this week on amazon, which definitely made me feel this way (see it here). There are also lots of paths to choose, you might have lots of books you could be working on, but you have to pick one and knuckle down to it…In each book you can take the characters down a hundred million different routes, but in the end you have to choose just one.

I’m not going to go on about this too much here as it will probably end up duplicating the post I do for Ramblings of a Daydreamer, but if you’re interested in seeing where I end up on this little journey of mine keep watching this space 🙂

Exclusive peek at The Elementals Series

Just a little note to let you know that after mentioning this series in a guest post I’ve just written for another blog, I thought it might be worth letting people have a little look at what it looks like… The piece is posted in the usual place here for little reader extras 🙂

Air (Book 1) – Sneak Peek