Tag Archives: cecilia gray

Day 17 – Author I wish people would read more

Not sure how this actually fits with the post - I just like Baby Brains :)

Not sure how this actually fits with the post – I just like Baby Brains 🙂

Just sneaking a post in at the end of the day – this book challenge is like a second job at the moment 🙂

For this topic, I couldn’t pinpoint a single author, but what I really do wish is that more people would give indie authors a chance. I know that there are books out there from indies which haven’t been edited well or are several drafts off being publishable – but you get previews in e-readers now, which give you a pretty good taste of that person’s writing and the story to give you an idea whether it will be for you or not. I still use these previews with traditional authors, to see if I really want to read the book (sorry Fifty Shades I couldn’t even get through the free preview!)

In the last couple of years, since I became an indie author, I’ve been lucky enough to meet and read several great indie authors, writing in a range of fiction genres. Several of them will be appearing in the Indie Author Event we run in May on my other blog, Aside from Writing, today I thought I would tell you about some of my favourite ones so far:

Amy Martin’s In Your Dreams books are really well written, exciting stories about Zara ‘Zip’ McKee and her blossoming romance with the new boy in school who suffers from narcolepsy. Or is it…? Once the truth about his condition begins to come out, you get a whole other story instead. I’ve just read the second book in the series and need to write my review (maybe once this challenge has ended, if I still have fingers!)

Marie Landry is a lovely author and blogger from Canada, I’ve been lucky enough to feature with her a few times in the past and she’ll be appearing in Indie Month again with us this year. Her romantic tales have been really good, my favourite being Blue Sky Days about a young couple dealing with their relationship around the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Fancy something with a little action?

Tony Talbot’s Eight Mile Island is a fantastic action-mystery, which will have you questioning the narrator as well as your perception of reality in the book. I’m just in the middle of reading Tony’s latest book, Medusa, a futuristic tale, set in a water-filled world – so far, it’s been great!

Jade Varden’s brilliant Deck of Lies series kept me hooked for eighteen months, waiting to find out what was coming next in this contemporary YA murder-mystery. It was as good as any traditionally published series I could pick up! Jade blogs on all things writing on her own blog – if you have an interest in writing you should certainly check out her Writing 101 section. Jade Varden – Blogspot

If you like your action with a little history Michael Cargill’s wartime short story in the Shades of Grey collection is good and I believe a full length follow up in a similar vein is due soon. Hazel B West’s books all have an historical setting, On A Foreign Field follows an English knight into William Wallace’s camp, giving a unique perspective on what might have been there. The research and detail of Hazel’s writing is as good as any historical fiction I’ve read. (My review for Aside from Writing is here).

These are just a few of the indie authors I’ve read, enjoyed and would heartily recommend. A quick glance through my Goodreads book list includes even more still, ranging from children’s books by Sara Zaske and Nicola Palmer, Lynda Meyer’s gritty Letters from the Ledge, Zombie with a brain from Stephen Herfst…vampires with human brothers in Patricia Lynne’s Being Human…Pride and Prejudice retold as US teens in Fall for You by Cecelia Gray.

The list just goes on and on, and I have enjoyed these indie books just as much as I do anything else I’ve come across from traditional publishers. I won’t deny there are indie books I’ve been sent to read that have not been a great standard, but I’ve just chosen not to read them, just like I’ve chosen not to read other books. All I would say is treat every book on it’s own merit – if you’ve never read an indie, find someone you like the look of, check out the free excerpt and if you like it, read it. If you don’t – move on to the next one, there’s lots to choose from 🙂

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Just Finished…Fall for You

Fall for You is a younger adult book, aimed at early teenage girls (I imagine). It is loosely based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and you know what? I liked it! After reading plenty of ‘heavier’ books recently, I was in the mood for something quick, easy and light – and that’s exactly what I got.
The story is set predominantly in the grounds of the Jane Austen Academy, a prestigious boarding school, which up until recently had been solely for girls. In this it reminded me of a modernised version of the Mallory Towers or St Clares books by Enid Blyton, which I loved as a child: who didn’t want to play lacrosse and have jolly tea parties on the pavilion with the other gutsy girls who filled the dormitories of those books? Maybe just me then. But Lizzie – our leading lady surprisingly enough – certainly had shades of this about her.
As a character I found Lizzie irked me a little in the first couple of chapters – she was a tad on the bitchy side and I just thought she was mean with Anne and Emma particularly. However, I also get that this was part of her character establishment – after all she needed to be a little snooty and judgemental didn’t she. Thankfully, she mellows out pretty quickly and in with some slightly Louis Lane style tendencies sets off to investigate the mystery surrounding the new owners who are making so many changes to her beloved Academy.
This was a little jaunt down memory lane for me in terms of reading as I don’t tend to do ‘girlie’ romance stuff very often. But the younger girl inside me who devoured Sweet Valley High books (please don’t judge me too harshly!) in her early teens and wanted to go to boarding school, really enjoyed this lightly fluffy, fun take on Austen’s book. It is well-written, with good dialogue and enough variety in the supporting characters that they have depth and interest. The main characters are only ‘lite’ versions of the originals – Georgiana, Dante and Lizzie being the most like their counterparts – and the events of Fall for You only pick up some key scenes from Pride and Prejudice rather than being a complete re-telling, which I think worked well for the story. Nice reflections of the original book, without trying too hard to replicate and mimic, which I think would have felt very contrived.
Overall thoughts: if you like a little romance, fluff and fun, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this! 3.5* 

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
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What are you currently reading?

I started this retelling of Pride and Prejudice on Monday night and am already 50% done. Lots of fun, nicely written with good characters that are ‘shades of Austen’ rather than carbon copies. It’s good easy reading and would definitely suit people looking for some light, summer reading – it’s girlie enough (you’d probably guess from the cover) and expect plenty of boy talk, gossip and fun.

What did you recently finish reading?
I expected more from this, I have to say. The idea is strong and the writing is good enough, however the execution in plot and characters I found to be a bit lacking. I’d say 3* being kind. (Review is here if you’d like to hear more). I cannot imagine what happens in the subsequent books having found very little in this one (there’s something like eight books!)
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m thinking either another ‘Angel’ book to get me along on the Heavenly Challenge or a Vampire one for the Olympic Goodreads Challenge (I’m all about the challenges this summer!) They’re quite good as they’re helping me tackle my burgeoning TBR pile. The two most likely candidates are below – perhaps I’ll go for ReVamped first: good reviews, lovely author and it’s a ‘Canadian’ book and so I’ll get a double-whammy reading it in July for Marie Landry’s Canadian Month! (It all depends on how quick I get through Fall For You).

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WWW Wednesday – 5

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
——————————————————–
What are you currently reading?

Little Zombie 🙂

I’ve just started Zed by Stephen Herfst – really good so far…I’m a sucker for zombie films/shows, but this is the first time I’ve read a zombie book. I’m also still plodding along with The Passage by Justin Cronin – but it’s been relegated to my ‘lunchtime’ read and I don’t often get a ‘proper’ lunch so I think it will be a slow burn.
What did you recently finish reading?
I’ve just finished Shade of Grey a series of short stories by Michael Cargill. Although the stories aren’t specifically linked they have a particular flair and style that is recognisable in each. Overall, I loved the set and will definitely be reading more by this author – he draws such fantastic and beliveably real characters that I frequently found myself lost in the worlds he created. There is something particularly immediate about the way he writes and I love the realistic flaws and personality traits each of his characters exhibit – he does a good job of crawling around inside people’s heads.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Next up in my tbr pile is Last Stop This Town by David Steinburg and Fall for You by Cecilia Gray – both are YA books and the authors are featuring in the Indie Author Month in May on my other blog http://asidefromwriting.wordpress.com Take a look at the site and see who’s featuring as there are a whole range of different YA authors covering romance to horror and dystopian to vampires – there are daily freebies and competitions, as well as the chance to meet new authors and books in time for summer!
🙂

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