Monthly Archives: September 2013

Horrorfest is coming…Join Us

After the success of our Indie Month at Aside from Writing in May, I really wanted to do another ‘feature month’ on the blog – and here it is!

We’ll be hosting our first ‘horror fest’ in October on the run up to Halloween. As this is the first time we’ve done it we’re looking for horror authors, or just creative types with spooky short stories up their sleeves, to take part. We’d also love to feature some reviews by bloggers of any ghost / horror books they’ve read and would like to share with us.

Our own group of authors who run the blog will be testing their skills writing in the genre and posting them for you to scream (or laugh) at. We’d really love to feature more short stories from the creepy side of life, so if you’ve got one you’d like to showcase – get in touch! We also have a range of other features to offer authors – if you would like to take part, with an interview, guest post or ‘book of the day’ feature, please contact us at bonniesyorkie at gmail dot com

(You know what to do with the email address, put the right symbols in to keep the spammers from our door!)

 

 

 

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TGIF Look Back – 6th September

Welcome to TGIF Look Back it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following questions with some Friday feeling…do one or all, whatever you feel like because it’s Friday 🙂

FUNNY – What made you laugh this week?

READING – What were you reading this week?

INSPIRED – What inspired you this week? 

DONE – What were you mainly doing this week?

ANGEL – Who was your angel/star of the week?

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

As I’ve not done one of these in ooh, over a year, I thought it was about time I did another – not that I’ve had a particularly thrilling week, or anything 😛

FUNNY – Re-runs of Cougar Town – you gotta love ‘Penny-Can’ 🙂

READING – I’m doing a final re-read and edit of RMT, following receipt of the first reviews from the ARCs. The feedback has been really helpful in determining what parts stay and which go, before the final version goes out. I’m starting to realise that one of the hardest thing about being in Balik’s head is that I’ve already been there, in Cassie’s first – and pulling out his knowledge, without seeing hers all the time isn’t as straight forward as you might think.

INSPIRED – I finished watching a TV show called Jericho this week. I missed it when it aired originally back in 2006 – 2008, but have watched the two seasons back-to-back in the last month. The depth of the characters and the realistic portrayal of how ‘normal’ people deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack was really gripping. If you’ve never seen it, I’d recommend adding it to your Lovefilm list – it’s certainly got me back in the mood for finishing Outlanders, once RMT is finalised this month.

DONE – Editing and re-writes, with dash of ‘proper’ work.

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So…how’s your week been?  🙂

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Just Finished…Finding Sky AND Seeking Crystal

Joss Stirling A solid 4.5* for me – Stirling’s realistic, punchy dialogue is lots of fun, and as an English girl, I definitely found myself sucked in to the protagonists new life in America. Who hasn’t imagined themselves living in a new country? In lots of ways, it has the ingredients of a standard paranormal YA: bit of romance, paranormal-ish elements, school experience, issues with parents, etc. I just found that Stirling put it together in a really enjoyable, accessible way, that had me hankering for more.

As it often is, I think it was the realism of the characters that I enjoyed the most – there are some nice twists in the plot and I liked the main ‘couple’, even though Zed’s not my type really, so I’ll not be heading into a fan-girl frenzy (discovered reading another book, that I’m probably more of a Xav or Yves Benedict girl myself 🙂 Sky is a nice protagonist: a bit feisty, with some realistic splashes of nerves, sarcasm and self-doubt – Zed, as the slightly erratic ‘bad boy’ who is lovely with Sky, becomes more believable as you get into the story and understand the impact his Savant powers has on his life and perception of the world.

From the paranormal side of things, I liked the idea of Savant powers and look forward to seeing how the bigger network (that’s hinted at in this book) develops in the other novels. I went straight off to get another one, so I was definitely smitten 🙂

There was a ‘missing moment’ freebie – Challenging Zed – which I dipped into, before moving on to another book in the series. It is a nice little addition giving some of Zed’s perspective on his early meetings with Sky. It helps give you some background to why he behaves as he does – the only oddity for me, was that it was not written in first-person, as the other books are. It that sense, it gave you more information, but told you, more than showed you – slightly distanced from the character, it feels different from the main books. An interesting detour nonetheless.

Seeking CrystalSeeking Crystal 

I jumped straight to this book from Finding Sky – and this gets the full 5* (oddly enough, it’s book 3 not 2 – and I can’t actually explain why I did the jump, but hey!)

Picking up a familiar group of characters from another angle was a good start – as we had the backstory and saw what happened when soulmates (who knew about the whole system) react when they meet.

I loved Crystal from the beginning – different from Sky in book 1 and probably a more interesting a character from my point of view. Xav – the main man of interest in her world in the early chapters is also probably more my type – so I found their relationship development more fun – more sarcasm and eye rolling, than brooding and nervous.

There are some mildly cheesy elements to the book – James Bond-esque action included – but you know what, it worked. Venice as the backdrop came to life well for me (I’ve been many years ago) and if you do suspension of disbelief and just go with the story, then you can sit back and enjoy it. Let’s face it, you’re reading about Savants, with a multitude of psychic gifts, in the first place.

One thing that I got more involved with in this book was the Benedict family as a whole – there are a lot of them (9 in total), and that’s a lot to take in during the first book. I could not have matched guys with their powers after reading that – as they are more fleeting characters and outside the main activity for much of the book. In Seeking Crystal you get to see them used in context, which makes them more memorable, and the whole ‘Benedict’ thing begins to make more sense.

I read this in just over a day and enjoyed every minute. Meeting Phoenix in this book, I’m looking forward to finding out more about her in her own story (Stealing Phoenix book 2). I think with the explanations given, you can easily read the books out of order, without losing anything – although why you’d be as silly as me to read them out of order, I wouldn’t know.

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Just Finished…Goddess by Josephine Angelini

Goddess

** spoiler alert **
I’m a little on the fence about Goddess and I’ve ummmed and ahhhed over how to rate it – I’ve hovered around 3.5* – 4* and will stick here.

I’ve obviously been sucked back in to Helen’s world and enjoyed it, as I read the book in two days and stayed up until 1am this morning to finish it. Perhaps, I’m a little disappointed in how the book has come together – a lot happens in this final instalment and I feel as if there could have been a fourth book in there, splitting out the events and giving a bit more time to spend with the characters and relate to the events affecting them.

There are a lot of characters, and with several long standing main characters going through significant changes in this book, I almost felt as if I didn’t get chance to spend enough time with them to get the full effect. Because of this, some of the key emotional scenes, reliving the battles and losses of the Trojan war lost some of their impact for me. (Maybe on a slower re-read, I’ll pick up more). I would have liked a bit more Ariadne and Jason – as they have been so involved earlier, but they felt a little sidelined. The one newbie that I really liked was Andy – she was a nice addition and I think fitted into the ‘cast’ of the play the most effectively.

The other part I’m not sure about, is whether I would have preferred not to know the truth behind Daphne’s lie so early in the series. Unless it was a completely sucky book, which gave no happy ending (which doesn’t happen often) you knew that Helen would find a way to be with Lucas. I was waiting for the reveal throughout, and I wonder if I would have felt their emotional turmoil more if I still believed they were related. It’s a small thing, and probably personal preference, as I like twists in the tale. I remember feeling so sad for Helen and Lucas, when they believed they couldn’t be together initially – once I knew it was a lie, I was waiting for the revelation that would allow them to be together.

Overall, it was a good read, there is a lot to taken in for the conclusion to come together. I enjoyed it – but would probably have enjoyed a four book series better 🙂

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