A Website That Tells All…

Books HD
Books HD sourced from Flicker

So I am meant to be editing Compliant, or writing one of the two books I am working on. Or probably better yet making a start on pancakes for the kids lunch or the brownies for footy tomorrow.

But I made a huge mistake (Aside from finally letting myself watch the promo episode of the Walking Dead. But that’s a whole other post) I jumped on Twitter.

Currently Pantera Press is having an open house with the NSW Writer’s Center. It’s absolutely fabulous and if you’re on Twitter Check it out under the hash tag #PPOpenHouse, or either of the other two’s twitter pages. It’s been incredibly informative.

Among the suggestions and talk was another hashtag #mswl. I was curious as it’s something I had seen been used before but was clueless as to what it meant.

It’s a hashtag used by publishers, literary agents, editors, etc in order to promote the manuscripts they are currently seeking. Can I say ‘Oh My God!? This is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to get published and are not sure if your manuscript is ready to face the world.

Be sure to check out the website Manuscript Wishlist. Hopefully it can help bring together writers and publishers and fill our shelves with some more pretty amazing adventures.

Bec
xx

Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Book One in The Everlife Novels

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Firstlife

Please note, the synopsis below is from Harlequin’s website. My review is below.

Firstlife – Gena Showalter

Step one…you die.

ONE CHOICE.
TWO REALMS.
NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live — after she dies. There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, long-time enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms that will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

 

REVEIW

Oh my God! I am going to quit reading. I just can’t handle the emotions right now.

Firstlife, was a book that popped up constantly in my newsfeed in all my social media. I have to say her publisher Harlequin Teen did well with the advertising. The images and snippets that they posted intrigued me and I added it to my, will buy later when I’ve finished my to read pile.

Last week, I saw it in my lovely local bookshop (A HUGE shout out to Meg’s Bookstore. I couldn’t ask for a better bookshop or people to run it) and bought it early on a whim. That dreaded stand by counter. And well the colours were pretty.

My plan was to read it over the next week, in between working on my new novel. That didn’t happen. I started yesterday afternoon and finished today. I had issues putting it down.

The book was action packed from start to finish and where there wasn’t action, there was sarcasm, banter and wit. Yes, I do realise I have an issue with my enjoyment of that kind of stuff. I won’t deny it. It makes for good reading. It can also lighten the mood considerably. And given what Gena put me through emotionally, especially as the book progressed I’m glad it was there. (FYI this is a good thing. I love a story that pulls at the heart strings, leaves you crying and yelling at the author through the front cover about what they have done. Not so much in a room full of people.)

The plot was fantastic, I loved the way in which it has been put together. It reminded me a lot of the heaven vs hell type stories but with a twist. It was so refreshing to read something different.

I enjoyed how she used people’s perspectives on life and how things happen. Eg fate vs for your actions there are consequences.

My biggest gripe would be that I managed to foresee the ending and what side she ultimately chooses from early on. I have no issues with how and who she chose, just that for me it was obvious.

The first few pages were not as captivating as I had hoped, but they did establish a good foundation about the personalities of two of the feature characters, Killian and Archer. That said, I feel that while it wasn’t something that would normally grab my attention in a book. It really did help as the story progressed.

The book itself bothered me, for my own personal reasons. I couldn’t figure out what was so different about it, it took me a good third of the book to realise that it was written in first person, present tense. Not something I see a lot of or even write. I have to say it made for a great read. Once I figured that part out I was fine J

Tenley, just amazed me at how strong she was. But something about her seemed to scream through the book, especially with her number obsession. I could almost picture her doing her numerology thing. And while it was great, it did throw me at times, the way that random number facts popped up. You would be reading, and getting into the scene and then ‘oh wow, look at that.’

Killian and Archer have their own little side story that I would love to hear and they really did help add to the story line. They reminded me a lot of the devil and the angel on your shoulder. Except the devil’s still wearing a halo.

I can’t wait for book two, Lifeblood.

Without giving away the storyline, it was great. Intense and well worth the read. It had a lot of action and a nice sideline. If you enjoy The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner series, you will enjoy this. I give it 4 and a half quills.

You can find out more about Gena Showalter through the Harlequin website, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her official website.

Bec
This review is my own thoughts; I am by no means endorsed nor was I requested to write it up. Synopsis credit to Harlequin. I got the picture off their website.

 

Raelia- Lynette Noni

Quill Rating:

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Please note, the Synopsis below is from the back cover of the book. My review is below.

Raelia by Lynette Noni

Book 2 in the Medoran Chronicles.

“Life is full of Crossroads, Alex. Full of Choices.”

Returning for a second year at Akarnae Academy with her gifted friends, Alexandra Jennings steps back through a doorway into Medora, the fantasy world that is full of impossibilities.

Despite the magical wonder of Medora, Alex’s life remains threatened by Aven Dalmarta, the banished prince from the Lost City of Meya who is out for her blood.

To protect the Medorans from Aven’s quest to reclaim his birthright, Alex and her friends seek out the Meyarin city and what remains of it’s ancient race.

Not sure who –or perhaps what- she is anymore, all Alex knows is that if she fails to keep Aven from reaching Meya, the lived of countless Medorans will be in danger. Can she protect them, or will all be lost?

 

REVIEW

First and Foremost, I want to say. Oh my God! Lynette you big meaner! I sincerely hope someone has grounded you and taken away your Disney movies for a weekend.

I just can’t…There are no words right now for what the ending of Raelia did to me. I am without a doubt an emotional wreck right now, for a multitude of reasons. And I will list them without giving away too much for the people who haven’t read it. So I will talk in code. Good luck. ;p

  • Seriously, you did that? I just… it’s so sad. Can we say plot twist? I was expecting more airy interactions.
  • I’m pleading with you, that three bright lights can turn on four. Enough said, I’m still mad. But it will make for an excellent book three. Well done.
  • As per above…I was so right about one of my OTP’s, but I protest their treatment. But as with point two, it helps make for an excellent plot for book three.
  • Page 342 busted my theory about one character being another in disguise. While I’m not completely unconvinced that they aren’t connected somehow. Which I will freely admit is probably me looking too far into it, but the mind works in mysterious ways.
  • And I’m still disappointed that the article I read about The Medoran Chronicles becoming a movie was just a dream and not actually real. Although because of this, we will let you watch Disney movies during your grounding, cos that one’s not your fault.

 

Right, now that that’s out of the way.

Raelia is the second book in The Medoran Chronicles (You can read my review for Akarnae HERE). Written by Lynette Noni, an Australian author and published by Pantera Press, it’s not hard to see what all the hype is about.

I loved the first one book in the series, my daughter loved it. My husband who is a political thriller/crime and dragon and knight fantasy reader is even considering reading it. I mentioned I was going to get him a new book and he told me to wait he wants to read Akarnae first. I’ve also loaned it to a friend for her 12 year old son, who still hasn’t had the chance to read it, because his Mum got too it first and is enjoying it.

Now for Raelia, I loved it. And I would say possibly more than the first. It was sarcastic, witty, funny, charming and I found myself smiling and laughing more than I usually do.

This last week has found me getting more annoyed than normal with life because all I wanted to do was read and find out what happens next, but something always came up. I was so annoyed I didn’t have the time to read, so much in fact that I considered cancelling a first aid course to read it.

In order to finally finish it, after a batch of family related events. I told my kids I had to work and locked myself in my bedroom with a coffee and went for it. FYI it worked, they let me ‘work’ in peace! If it wasn’t for a busy week, I would have read it in less than a day. So, when Draekora is released I’m booking in a reading day.

Which on that note…I want to keep reading *hint, hint* Please someone, tell me I don’t have to wait a whole year to find out what’s going on?
Let’s start with the cover. It was beautiful and bright and just as captivating at the first one. And like the artwork for Akarnae, I could just look at it for hours. It is one that I would use happily for those decorative books. Problem is I’d have to buy a new lot for that, as my original copies will become well loved rather quickly.

My biggest complaint was that it was similar to the first cover and I may have glanced at it and put it back on the bookshelf thinking it was the Akarnae and panicked later because I lost my book. But that said I love the design concept of her, stepping through a doorway of sorts and into whichever world she is visiting in that story.

The plot of the book was fantastic, it had a couple of plot twists that have kept me guessing, ruined my theories and destroyed me. I needed to remind myself it’s just a book. And I was grateful for the headphones my kids were wearing when I may have yelled at it. Because there was two places especially  which got a “No! You’ve got to be kidding me!” followed by “You have some explaining to do!”

I didn’t get as confused with this one as I did the first, in some places, which was fabulous. I did however end up with a whole list of questions and an author that is forcing me to work on my patience. 😀 I have a feeling there will be a few major plot twists coming.

There didn’t seem as many subplots in this book as there was in the first. I’m not entirely sure if this was a good thing or bad thing. I feel a lot of this story was setting up for what is to come, which in itself is exciting. Not all the questions I had were answered, such as weapon availability. But it left it open and allowed for it to flow into the next book.

I feel that maybe her parent’s are a bit too relaxed about everything that’s happening. And the fact that they are more concerned about their work than their daughter bothered me a bit. But that could be the Mum in me. While I understand that she is almost an adult, in a boarding school, surrounded by protection, I’d personally be more panicked. But we don’t know their whole story, so there may be more going on than I’ve read. I did wonder at times when she was going to visit them.

I was a bit disappointed there wasn’t as much library interaction as last time, but given the circumstances I suppose her avoidance was necessary.

I am worried, and speaking from experience with my own writing, that Lynette may run out of witty remarks and banter and need to recycle some. But that said so far she has done amazingly well. So I wouldn’t be surprised if my worries are for nothing.

I am still loving Jordan and Bear. I can’t fault them, or their behaviour. Same with D.C. Their response is such a normal teen/social reaction. Go with the flow, stand by your friends and sense of mateship. Even in their darkest moments, they are true to form and react as you would expect. In each and every circumstance.

You could also see a growth within the characters from the first book, which was fantastic. I hate seeing characters that go through various events and circumstances and it has no effect on them.

The introduction and involvement of more characters was great.

I enjoyed the interactions with Skyla. It made for an amusing group activity, the potential for her skills and humour from her reactions was huge. And that’s all I’ll say.

I am deeply intrigued by Kaiden. Almost to the point, I’m thinking a novella back story would be pretty nuts. But I have a feeling the mystery and questions around him will be answered in the up coming books.

Reading the book, you would not believe how excited I was to see the word ‘Mum’. I know it may not mean a lot to some, but to see Aussie spelling in a novel is just pretty amazing. I also know it’s random, but hey it’s the simple things, right?

So there is so much more I want to add, but I don’t like doing spoilers. You really do need to read this one. And the first. As with the first, I feel that it will suit most people regardless of their genre preference. Mine is crime/mystery/religious fiction (Kathy Reichs, Dan Brown, Kathleen McGowan) and I loved this. And I said with my last review, I struggled to read Harry Potter, I just couldn’t get into it. But I loved this. I also know of a couple of Harry Potter fans who adore these books as well. I give it 4 and ¾ quills.

I will also add, I am a huge Viral’s series fan (written by Kathy and Brendan Reichs) and I enjoyed Raelia more than I enjoyed the last novella, Spike, that was released earlier this year. I even found it harder to put down than The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (especially the last three books in that series).

Raelia is available in bookstores, although I don’t think it’s available in all of them. But be sure to ask your local bookshop if they can order it in. If not it can be purchased through Pantera’s website HERE and through multiple e-book formats such as iBook store, Amazon, Kobo and Google (according to Pantera’s website.)

If you want to read more about Lynette Noni, her profile is available HERE and she is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Bec
This review is my own thoughts; I am by no means endorsed nor was I requested to write it up. Synopsis credit to Pantera Press. I got both of these from the book.

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

I am so sorry for not posting. Busy is an understatement. My family has had SAPSASA (an inter-school sports competition), birthday’s, work, training courses, volunteer work, sport and study.

I will be updating the blog this week, so look out for that. I will be giving you a run down on my new novel, Compliant. I wrote it for a TAFE assignment, long story short. I was only meant to do a couple of chapters and got carried away… I have a first draft, and an idea for a second.

I was also working on a supernatural fantasy book, when the most amazing idea came to me. So I put that aside and am now working on a medieval fantasy novel!

This new piece is taking me forever to write. By that, I mean it’s flowing slower than anything else I have written. I have scenes in my head but I am not up to those parts and I am struggling with connecting the dots so to speak.

My new piece is rather interesting, every time I hear the song Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol (there’s a link to the youtube clip attached to it) I picture my two main characters. It fits them perfectly. Well, their lives as the story progresses.

I can vividly picture them in this scene in my head. The song just doesn’t suit the genre/theme of the book, cars and knights and maidens don’t blend well, but it suits the story. So we just won’t mention the car part.

The joys of writing. It doesn’t always make sense.

Also coming up in the next two weeks:

Review for Lynette Noni’s Raelia, (you can read my review for her first book Akarnae HERE)

Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instrument Series

A post on doing research for your work.

Bec