author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: The Emissary – Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio (@OneGreatYear )

Atitalan Emissaries had been sent to guide humankind in evolution. They had been reviewselected to leave their land, to die and be reborn for the span of a Great Year Cycle. They were to guide Humankind, but they should not have been aware of their identity, their mission. But Quinn was, he remembered his time as Marcus, just as he remembered each of his past lives. He also remembered his soulmate, Theron, and sought to find her so they could once more be reunited. Just as there were those sent to guide the world into a new golden age, so too were there those whose skills and purposes were turned to darker purposes. All things in balance, and yet the scale still seemed unequal. Marcus’ childhood friend moves against the Emissaries. He too possesses past life memories and the darker force aiding him will stop at nothing to quash the emissaries and their attempts to guide fate.

The Emissary is the start of Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio’s The One Great Year Series. It acts as a foundation, allowing the reader to be drawn into the present day situation before reliving parts of the past which brought the main character, Marcus aka Quinn, to the point he now finds himself. This book sets a great background and starting point for what could be a gripping series. There had been clear attention paid to detail, characters, personalities, and rivalry. There are some good ideas which can be viewed as both historical and futuristic, and some interesting play om myths and legends. I enjoyed the steady pace and rising tension as the understanding of what is to come becomes clearer. Alternative history meets low/ urban fantasy to create a battle of light vs darkness that spans the reaches of time.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

Articles, author, Digital Marketing, writing

Traditional and Digital Marketing

Times have changed. When I was a young girl advertising had a different approach and the markets themselves were also different. To me, since I am an author, this is more noticeable in the book industry. Indie authors were still a concept, but they could only be printed through very expensive “vanity press”, and e-books were not even on the market, hard to believe now isn’t it? Over the last 20 years we have seen a change. With the introduction of services like Amazon KDP, Lulu, and countless others, it is now easier than ever to tell your story and turn it to print or e-book. The problem now is not getting printed, it is getting noticed. Hopefully, over the course of my posts, I will help you to understand the vast ocean that is marketing, and since it is something I am currently studying, we can learn together.

In today’s post I am simply going to explain the two main types of marketing. This will allow you to think where best you want to focus your time and resources in a manner that best suits your product.

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Book review: The Case of the Tattooed Buttocks – Alan Hardy (@AlanWilliamHard )

When a blonde beauty arrives uninvited and expressing she has news only to be shared reviewin Cullot’s presence, you can bet it means trouble. Although murder probably wasn’t what most of the guests at oil magnate, Mr. Henry Barble’s, mansion were expecting. The details seem a little hazy, tattoos, underwear, no two stories seem to collaborate. Ex-inspector Cullot inserts himself directly into the investigation, taking point despite being considered a suspect himself. All too easily he falls back into his old rapport with his former side-kick, Detective Sergeant Watkin. But his presence is not a blessing to everyone. Something strange happened here, and it is down to them to uncover the truth behind The Case of the Tattooed Buttocks.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect, Alan Hardy’s, The Case of the Tattooed Buttocks seemed as if it would be a fun read, and it was exactly that. There were some lines I couldn’t help but laugh at. Whilst it is a well-constructed murder mystery, complete with hints and clues, it is also filled with characters who are brimming with personality. Filled with humour, intrigue, and mystery that will keep you turning those pages while enjoying every moment.

Book link:

 

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Book review: King of the Nine Hells – Dean Klein

There are some books that should never be read. Some power and promises that are reviewbetter left undelivered, lost in the flow of time. Such could be said about the Imprecation Sortairii. Forged in the dark ages its power is both ancient and terrifying. When an antique bookshop owner happened across it he could hardly believe his luck. It didn’t matter the tome was not for sale, and its acquisition, which should have eased some of his burdens, did nothing but add to them. It was sold and returned, deemed evil, haunted, and cursed, but that is just part of its lore. Any possessing it can have their dreams come true, for a price. Its last return came with a request, one which was not heeded and now threatens to unleash unknown terror on the world and all whose path it crosses.

Dean Klein’s King of the Nine Hells is a thriller/horror following spanning an era from the dark ages to the present day building up the events as they unfold. The author has multiple main characters, from the scriber of the grimoire to those whose hands it touches. With such a vast and timeless tale the author has ensured a clear indication of time and place at each chapter start making it easy to follow and understand, especially since each chapter adopts only one characters narrative. There is some great scene setting and developments. Threat, fear, and tension build from the first page to the last, with an ever-escalating threat that keeps you intrigued and both eager and terrified to find out what will happen next.

Book link: (I could only locate a paperback at this time.)

King of the Nine Hells

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Destination: Unknown – Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug)

Harriet’s life was anything but normal. Since her mum’s diagnosis, life had changed. Her reviewhome, her responsibilities, and her school, everything was different. She was a student, a carer, and now, it seemed, a time traveller. It happened early one morning, a ghost appeared and beseeched her aid. Back in the 1900s her father had been accused of murder, and whilst their family had no concerns for money, a guilty verdict would ruin them, driving them into poverty and shame. Of course, they were born at different times, so how was Harriet supposed to clear the name of someone already long dead, and change events already dictated by time’s hand? Time travel of course.

I have read a large number of Joey Paul’s books. There is just something about her first-person narrative I find captivating. Destination Unknown is my most recent acquisition and there are a lot of things about this book to love. There is an attention to detail in regards to how a carer feel, the toll on them, their fears, concerns, and the worries that shape every thought, every day. I found this added a lot of depth to the characters and plot, and easily built up an understanding and empathy that those not having been in a situation like Harriet’s would not even consider. The same focus has been applied in reflecting the 1900s, even down to mannerisms. I enjoyed watching the pieces fit together as the plot goes on, and the formation of bonds, friendships, and understanding.

Book link:

 

author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Vazdrag – Daniel J. Strait (@daniel_strait )

Onward the group proceeds through the black door. Onward in their quest and… around reviewin circles? Surely that can’t be right. But that is exactly what is happening. The latest Black Door seems to be a trap, sealing them within a strange labyrinth. Tempers rise and passions stir as they find themselves trapped. But as with all things, this too is a challenge to be overcome, a way to prove themselves of being worthy to journey onward. The Roarrgs possess a ‘magic’ of the likes this motley crew have never witnessed, strange contraptions, and metal ships capable of flight. They appear gracious hosts, but can they be trusted? These beings suggest they can be of help, but their help has a price, a dangerous price.

Daniel J. Strait’s Vazdrag is the third book in the Silver Tears series. Nakiata, Shadow of Thought master, has already gathered two other members of the prophecy, and only two remain. Vazdrag picks up from the point where book two finishes. During their latest adventure, you see a shift in the bonds already formed between the three main characters, Nakiata, Ka’tia, and Dravone, and building tension between them. Daniel J. Strait possesses a very direct tell-style narrative which favours explanations, and focuses on world and character building. From beginning to end you see the characters grow, develop, and evolve, not only with skills but on more personal levels too. I noticed the most alteration in Nakiata, and it is a development I will watch with interest. The direction of this particular instalment has taken a more science-fiction turn, showing the author’s aptitude for cross-genre writing. Action, adventure, trials, and danger await at every turn, along with the hope of new allies, until once more another adventure awaits.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

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Book review: Relics of Andromeda – Jonathan Michael Erickson (@EricksonAuthor )

Anka had been raised to fear relics, touching them was taboo. Their power had razed reviewcities, and had destroyed the bridge between worlds. So when one called out to her by name she knew true fear. She was a warrior in her village, brave, quick, and strong, yet the pull was impossible to resist. As is their way, when a person discovers a relic a walk down the Long Road is made to secure the item in Ankharra. With her on this journey is her friend and shaman, Tamreh, and her closest friend, Trevor. Little do they know the journey they are about to undertake is nothing like the one the expected. All is not as it should be, as it has been for the relic carriers before, and this change in tradition breeds distrust, distrust that in answered in drastic actions.

In Jonathan Michael Erickson’s Relics of Andromeda, time travel, myths, fear, foreboding and danger unite in a tangled web to deliver an intriguing and gripping plot. There is some fun and amazing use of science fiction technology. Along with attention to world building, cultures, ideas, and implementations which made this a real pleasure to read. I enjoyed the struggles of the main characters and their gradual tempering as the plot progresses. You are invested in the characters from the start, which is a feeling that only grows through their hardship, discovery, and betrayal. Jonathan Michael Erickson has created an amazing, deep, and complex world, matching it with characters, structures, history, futures, and a threat every bit as deep. Action, betrayal, heartache, heroics, and daring fill this book to the brim as past, present, and future collide. I can honestly say I am on pins to find out what happens next.

RF_Official_Reviewer

Book link:

 

Articles, author, reading, writing, Writing Tips

308 words that can be used instead of said

Over the last several years I have been compiling a list of words that can be used in place of said. I have already shared this list with come of you as part of support groups, but I decided, since I recently publicly posted it on Facebook, I may as well add it to my website.

So I give to you, 316 tags (I know the title says 308 but I found a more recent file since posting). Although one of the words, is indeed, the word said, and some are intended to be used in conjunction with others

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Book review: Blackout – Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug )

Tally should never have written that email. Then again, she didn’t believe her doctors or reviewher parents when they told her the life she remembered, the friends, the love, the parties, had all just been a dream within her coma. A coma she had slipped into after taking drugs. She knew she wouldn’t do that. On her release she had reached out to the popular kids, her friends, but in return received only scorn and mockery. She had been popular once, if only in her dream, and she was determined to be again. She would find her way back, and along the way clear her name. Of course, if she didn’t take the drugs, then it was clear something else must have happened, and her regaining her memory is not in everyone’s best interest.

I have read a number of books by Joey Paul, and no one quite writes like her. I love her engaging first-person narrative, especially how they are tailored to the focal character’s personality. Tally is a great character, confused, funny, and determined. Once you pick up Blackout time will lose all meaning as you find yourself enthralled in the expertly told tale. The style of this book reminds me a lot of the point horror I used to read while in school, while it is aimed at a young adult audience, adults will find it just as gripping. Well-written, enjoyable, and moving, well deserving of five stars, and I’ve already picked up another book by this author for my to read list.

Book link:

 

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Book review: Game Six – Judy Bruce

When her mother is caught in the crossfire of murder Brit suffers an endless stream of reviewnightmares. In a blink, she has lost her best friend, her home, everything. But she is not one to sit and lose herself to grief, not when there are answers to find and someone to be held accountable. It is amazing what secrets you uncover when given a motive look. Grudges seem abundant, but something uncovered suggests maybe, just maybe, the real target was not among the dead. With the help of her closest friend, Liz, and the handsome police detective, Brit vows to bring this killer to justice, but whether it will be delivered by her hand or the law’s has yet to be decided.

Judy Bruce’s Game Six focuses on Brit’s life in the wake of tragedy. She is a strong character who will let nothing stand in her way in finding the truth. Judy Bruce focuses a first-person narrative tell style of writing switching to the occasional third party perspective when focusing on things outside of the character’s knowledge. There are some good ideas, along with a few red herrings. Unlike this author’s Wind series there isn’t really much in the way of hidden clues for a reader to follow in order to conclude who is responsible, mainly due to the nature of investigation making such revelations impossible without spending a great deal of time on the involved characters’ histories. This is less of a who-done-it and more of an investigative drama. Liz and David make a good supporting cast in an enjoyable and unique tale. Heartbreak, gumption, moxie, and persistence drive the characters and the plot forward to its final and gripping conclusion. I must confess to having a special place for Liz in my heart, she is well-conceived and does wonders to cast a new light on people on the spectrum that those standing in judgement of their more difficult behaviour would overlook. I look forward to more from this collection of characters. I give Game Six a solid 4.5 stars.

Book link: