Saturday, June 20, 2015

Darklight On... Kathrine Leannan

 Today's Darklight On is ... Kathrine Leannan
Welcome, Kathrine


How did you come to write fantasy? What attracted you to the genre?
To write for me, is as innate as it is to breathe. I couldn't imagine a world without dragons and faeries, unicorns or Pegasus. I have always been drawn to the fey. Magic is all around us, as is darkness. My muse is named Mimi, she is a 1000 year old dragon who crashed into my life two years ago.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

Until very recently, I was a Pantser.

In the past, I would know, say, the end of a story, or a great middle bit, but little else. I always have a good idea of the main characters, but as is the way of epic fiction, numerous other characters are born along the way. At least that was the way it had been with the writing of Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

However, that apparently was the honeymoon period. Reality well and truly set in when during the recent edit (rewrite) of Redemption - Book 2 of the Katana Series, I learned the rhythm of each scene and how crucial that is, to good writing. The great first line, the story arc and the BAM sentence to finish. That takes planning. This I have learned.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I love Angus. He to me, is just a delicious Highland male. I love that he is so strong, honourable and protective. Yet at the same time he can be brutal. Of course I love Hades the magnificent Friesian stallion. He is beautiful beyond words. As for Jilly Louise she is all sass. She is me.


What are you currently working on?

I am currently in final edits for Redemption. I am also mapping out the book from my PhD thesis—but that is another story for another day. All of my works of fiction have a Scottish theme or influence. I am so completely drawn to them. Curse of the Witches of the Moor is a book about a secondary character in the first two Katana books. This is very different from the first two. I am looking forward to finishing it.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

That moment when Mimi and I are in sync and the ideas come so fast I only have time to make dot points. This is why I have a note pad and fifteen pens in every handbag I own. Mimi is oblivious to  anything but the story. Many times, I have had to veer off the road, grapple with my handbag and scrawl the words down—dragons don't take kindly to repeating themselves. Also the elation when after reading the work I am satisfied with the voice, style, flow and tempo. Those two words "The End" also feel great, especially after rewrites and edits.

What can we expect from Kathrine Leannan in the future?
Books with strong characters, written with passion, in a style that is different. Also I hope to achieve critical acclaim as an author of non-fiction and leave a legacy to my profession. Such is my commitment to these goals, that I have given up work, to write full time. The Katana Series is four books in duration. The Dark Witches Coven Series also is four books. After that, I imagine the creatures of the dark will continue to find their way to my pages.

Who are your favourite authors?

I am a fantasy/paranormal devotee. I rarely read outside the genre because I am easily bored - the exception to that statement is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander Series. My favourites (Who else) J. R. Ward., J. K. Rowling., Karen Marie Moning., Richelle Mead., Sara Douglass., Jean M. Auel., P. C. Cast., Sherilyn Kenyon., Kresley Cole.


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading: The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

Beauty and the Beast- the series, The 100, Star Crossed, Penny Dreadful, Stargate Atlantis, 12 Monkeys, Eragon.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?

This is something no one will tell you. There are rules to writing. Find like-people, join groups, learn the craft. But most important of all, keep writing—find the joy that the words bring and give them life.



Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series

From the immortal kingdom of the Samurai, Imperial Leader Yokami Sukani and his wife Tomoe Gazen yearn for the child they know they will never birth. Tomoe’s Katana keens bereft, for the next Daughter of the Sword. Meanwhile, Bishamon, the God of War, and his Katana, wreak havoc in his endless pursuit of pain and suffering. 

Bishamon’s Sword of War must disappear, forever.
The battle of Culloden Moor is forty-eight hours away. Epona, Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs and crops, prays for the coming of the girl child prophesized to be born with the Sight for the magnificent Friesian horses.

Yokami’s Katana recognises Marie MacDonald.
A bargain is struck.

In modern Australia, the awaited one, Connor MacDonald is birthed, awakening the ancient Scottish Horsemen from their three-century slumber.

Brutality finds her.

Bishamon, mad with rage, hunts for his blade.

Will he regain his instrument of destruction?

Born of the blood of the ancient Scots, named Daughter by the immortal Samurai, doubly blessed or doubly cursed, will Connor MacDonald be Bishamon’s instrument of revenge?

Buy links:  Amazon / KoboSmashwordsiTunes / Barnes & Noble / Grimoire Books

About the Author:  FacebookTwitter / LinkedIn / Google Plus / Website

Friday, June 5, 2015

Real Life Paranormal with Kathrine Leannan


In 1986, I became aware of the relentless tick, tick, ticking of my biological clock. At 29, my then, partner and I decided we should tie the knot and set about making a baby. We were ecstatic, when just three months later, I was pregnant. I had all the usual worries that occur to all mothers to be, praying the baby was born well and healthy.
As the pregnancy progressed, I became increasingly worried and anxious about the child. I had no evidence on which to base these concerns as I was very well and everything was proceeding as expected.
By the time I was eight months along, I had gained the body weight of a small horse and my dreams started to be invaded by darkness and fear. I couldn't explain it. All I knew was that I was terrified that my baby was going to die. I knew these were unreasonable thoughts. I also knew, as an overachiever, I was worrying myself to a frazzle over nothing more than fear and my constant companion—dread.
My son was born after a long labour. He was beautiful, healthy and...did I mention beautiful? I on the other hand, became a she-bear. I wouldn't let him out of my sight. He slept with us and was always in the same room as us, so I could see him and hear him. My sense of fear for his wellbeing escalated. I became obsessed with checking on him. Twenty times a night, I would lay my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing. I lived in absolute, unreasonable fear of losing him.
When he was just four months old, I was working a casual shift in Neonatal Intensive Care, when I received a phone call at work. It was my husband.
My blood ran cold.
In the background, all I could hear was the sound of a gasping child. My husband was frantic. He said our son was very hot and that he kept going stiff and then floppy and that he wouldn't wake up.
I don't remember the hour drive home. I flew into the house and all of my worst fears came crashing down on me. My son was fitting continually and he was unconscious.  Every bit of training as an RN and a Midwife left me. I walked around the house, holding my son, telling him not to die, pleading with him, not to leave us.
Sometime after this, common sense kicked in and we called an ambulance. A paediatrician friend was at the hospital waiting for us. After he assessed our son, he came out and put his arm around me and told me that my little boy had suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage (stroke), was completely paralysed down the left side and that he was going to die.
My son was transferred to a big city hospital paediatric intensive care unit. The overwhelming fear that I had lived with for so many months, paradoxically had left me. I knew in my heart that the threat to him had passed and that with our love, he would survive.
 It took a very long time with exercise, stimulation and absolute determination to achieve not only his survival, but his continued improvement. I still wouldn't let him out of my sight. I would still wake up twenty times a night to make sure he was still breathing. He was 7 years of age before he slept through the night.
It took me a lot longer.


Trailer to Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Darklight On ... Christina Craig

Today's Darklight on is ... Christina Craig
Welcome, Chris

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
The first novel I ever read was Lythande, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Although it was pure fantasy, I fell in love with any fiction that was beyond my everyday realm. Speculative Fiction, in essence I believe, questions the boundaries of what could be and what secretly is – I find this very exciting!

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I start as a pantser and when I realise the story or character has potential I make a conscious effort to develop the plot. It always changes though when a character decides to do their own thing.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?
Yes, she’s a sub-character in the first novel I wrote ten years ago. She’s a skilled fighter with sword and knife and keeps her heart guarded. One day I’ll bring her story to light. I’ll keep her name a secret for now but her initials are BB.

What are you currently working on?I’m working on Through The AusHole, a speculative fiction with quirky humour and fantasy elements. My partial 50 pages scored me a publisher interview a few years ago, before I had children, so I’m determined to work through my edits and get it out there.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
When a plot twist works, when a character says the perfect line to the bad guy, and of course, finishing!

What can we expect from Christina Craig in the future?
As a writer I simply hope to keep perfecting my craft and getting my novels polished and published. As an artist, designing premade and custom e-book covers as Two Decade Designs.

Who are your favourite authors?
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Juliet Marillier, Paulo Coehlo, Lian Hearn, Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey, Sara Douglass, Alastair Reynolds, Kym Wilkins, David & Leigh Eddings, and of course many others.

What are you currently reading?
There’s a lovely newbie at work and when we discovered we liked the same fiction she loaned me her favourite book - Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I have enjoyed Tripod, Dr Who, Star Trek Generations, Voyager and Deep Space Nine, Torchwood, Game of Thrones, Stargate, and my favourite movies are Labyrinth, Willow and The Fifth Element.

Do you have any advice for emerging writers?
Don’t compare yourself to others but do aim to master the craft of writing. Listen to your voice because what makes it unique is what will make your story fly.
Thanks for having me, Chris


Target Solstice (published in the novella collection, Sisters of the Shadows)

They are us … or are they?

The Phain have been trapped on Earth for a century. They pretend to be human. Flesh by day, Phain by night. Some manipulate, use and abuse us. The others defend us, while searching for a way to leave Earth.

When Cressida Ryan’s husband Gabe is killed, she learns his secrets and why her unborn child is a threat to the Phain.

Now she is a target. To save her life she must discover her heritage and follow Gabe’s ghost across the world.

If she can trust the Phain she might survive, and if they trust her, she could give them something even greater.

Buy Links:  Amazon / Smashwords
About the Author:  Facebook / Ormiston Press / Two Decade Designs

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Magic Thursday with Kathrine Leannan ~ Redemption, Book 2 of the Katana Series

Redemption - Book 2 of the Katana Series
Born of the blood of the Celts, chosen by the Gods—widow, Connor MacDonald seeks a new life, a new beginning. 

Fate intervenes.

She is owed a boon by the Gods. What will they offer her in Redemption for her past great sacrifice?

At dusk, the sun made its slow descent across the sky. Connor showered and changed into a pair of blue denim jeans. Before she pulled on the white cotton shirt with three quarter sleeves, she caressed the tribal tattoos on each of her upper arms. The God Killer—Yokami Sukani’s sword and the Sword of War vibrated their welcome from their resting places under the ink. Images of the Samurai and his wife, Tomoe Gazen flooded her mind.
As she buttoned her shirt, she murmured, “I miss you guys, but I so don't miss the God crap.” A sense of hope for the future settled on her.
 With the leather tab between her index finger and her thumb, she pulled on brown leather boots with three-inch heels and stood up. She nodded to her reflection in the mirror—good enough. The last thing I need is for the McVeys to think I'm not up to the job! A bloody man—Jesus!" After she unwound her long braid, she brushed the wall of hair straight then pulled the thick hank away from her face and wound it into a tight severe bun. She scooped up the keys from her dressing table and headed for the front door. She took a quick look around as she spoke aloud. ‘Well…I guess it’s now or never.”
As she walked up the stairs to the porch of the main house, she raised her hand to knock. Loud, raised voices came from inside the house. Her fist stopped in mid-air. Douglas’s voice boomed above everyone else. “…woman... Christ’s sake… Doona know… dressage school… booked... cancel… Holy God... mess… I ... Ewan! …hell…should have… Jesus God!”
Her chin dropped to her chest as she shook her head. As she stood, the setting sun, warmed her back. “Oh great, just bloody great!” After two minutes, she squared her shoulders and pounded on the door with her fist. The shouting stopped almost immediately. Mrs O’Donough swung the door open—her cheery red cheeks flushed above her wide smile. “Oh lass, come on in. Tea will be on the table, verra soon.” She took a step back and ushered Connor into the house.
In the dining room, the scrape of chairs screeched across the floor as the five men seated, rose to their feet. Tension thrummed in the room. Her heart clenched when seated next to Ewan, was a girl with shiny blonde hair. Connor guessed she was about ten or twelve years old. Next to her, balanced on a fat blue velvet pillow was an equally blonde boy who was perhaps a little older than her nephew Ethan; maybe he was three or four. Panic rose in her chest. Oh Shit! Kids! I am so not ready to deal with kids! The renewed pain of losing James, fanned her rising agitation.
Mrs O’Donough pulled a chair out at the far end of the table opposite Douglas. “Sit yourself here, I’ll be gettin’ the meal if anyone needs anythin’.”
Douglas glowered as he looked over the rim of his glass. “Care for a drink lass?”
Heart pounding, she tried to smile. “Tea, please.”
“Tea! Jesus! Cat’s piss! We drink whiskey at Glen Rowan before the evenin’ meal.”
“Good to know Mr McVey, but tea will do me, just fine.” A spike of irritation flared as he scrutinised her. The silence in the room was claustrophobic.
He sipped from his glass, while he continued to gaze across the table at her. No one else in the room spoke.
Five minutes later, the housekeeper breezed back into the dining room with a tray, laden with cups and a teapot. “Tea it is lass. I’ll take one with ye meself, while the vegetables finish off.” Connor almost smiled, imagining the woman with her ear plastered to the wall in the kitchen, eavesdropping on every word.
She set the tray down on the table with a clatter. Connor looked up at her and quirked an eyebrow in thanks. Mrs O’Donough smiled back as she poured two cups, handed her one then settled back onto her chair.
As the hot strong tea sang on her taste buds, Connor closed her eyes. “Mmm, thank you. Tea they say, is good for what ails you. Well most things…” The familiar bite of grief snapped at her. Hidden beneath her shirt, a solid gold ingot, her engagement ring and wedder dangled from the chain around her neck. The weight of the gold, a constant reminder of the past.
The older woman’s numerous chins wobbled when she nodded her head. “I doona think ye have met the bairns yet, have ye?” She tipped her cup toward the little girl sitting on the opposite side of the table. “Tessa?”
The girl looked over to Connor and smiled “My name is Theresa Mary Margaret McVey, but you can call me Tessa, and this” she turned and pointed to the little boy next to her, “is my brother Andrew Angus Michael McVey. But you can call him Andrew.”
“Hi. I'm Connor.”
“I know.” Tessa leaned forward, eyes bright. “My da” she inclined her head toward Ewan sitting next to her “and my uncles said that you were a bloody woman and that you are as sexy as hell!”
The men at the table shuffled and fidgeted in their seats. Ewan groaned and blushed as he stared at Tessa.
“Well you did! Don’t say you didn’t, because you did. Sexy as hell that's what you said” she stared back at him.
Ewan leaned over and scowled. “That's enough. It’s very rude to repeat adult conversations.”
Crossing her arms over her chest, Tessa slow blinked once. “Well I’m not an adult and you said it in front of me and Andrew.”
Whiskey slopped onto the tablecloth when he slammed his glass down onto the table. “Tessa! Enough!”
Mrs O’Donough threw back her head and bellowed a laugh that seemed to bounce off the walls. “Oot of the mouths of babes lassie! Never a truer truth be told, than the truth itself.” She leaned over and dug a chubby elbow into Connor’s ribs.
Douglas snorted, his bushy grey brows furrowed as he glared at the housekeeper. “Her bloody name, is Connor. A lad’s name. How the hell were we to know she was a lass?”
Connor smiled when the older woman ignored Douglas’s scowl and turned to face her. “So, you're a rider then?”
Momentarily speechless, she stared at the other woman as she recovered from surprise. Seriously? I guess news of the world Championship win, hasn't made it up this far! The first embers of anger, began to glow red. "Yes, something like that, Mrs. O’Donough.”
“Now, now, there’ll be none of that Mrs. O’Donough business, lass. We're all family here. I have been hoosekeeper to this old man before these lads were even born. So ye can call me O'Dee like evra one else. These lads” she waved her arms about, “like young Tessa and Andrew here, couldna say O’Donough when they were wee bairns, so it got shortened a bit to O'Dee and ‘tis been that way ever since.”
“Well thank you O'Dee and I appreciate the tea.”
“Jesus woman!” Douglas thumped his fist on the table as he looked to the housekeeper. “Enough with the gawpin!’ These lads have already had three of me best whiskies and the bairns need food.”
“Enough yourself, old man. Your meal will be ready when it is ready and not before.” 
“Hmmmmp!” he grumped.
Connor laughed out aloud.
 “Somethin’ funny lass?”
“You sounded just like my da then, when you hmmmmped.”
His voice rumbled. “I doona think I made such a noise.”
“Yes you did da. You do it all the time,” smirked Aaron, who was a pea-in-a-pod younger version of his father.
Douglas glared at his son, who immediately stopped smiling. “Shut it Aaron! 'Tis is no laughing matter.”
Ignoring his son, Douglas looked at Connor. “Your father, is he a Scot?”
Smiling, she held the hot teacup between both hands. “To the bone.”
Douglas squinted at her. “Is he? What’s his name then?”
She bit her lip, to stop herself from smiling. “Angus.”
Douglas rolled the name over his tongue a couple of times. “Angus MacDonald? Angus MacDonald... Where have I heard that name before?" He looked across the table to her, eyebrows beetled. "Does he attend the Aberdeen Highland Games on the first Saturday in July? I know a good many of the Scots who come to compete.”
“Yes. Da and my brother Cameron usually come up to the New England for the Games most years.”
“Do they now?” He took a long sip of his whiskey, pursed his lips, rolled the liquid round in his mouth and swallowed. Still frowning, he stared down into his glass. “Angus MacDonald… I know that name… Where do I know that name…?” He took another mouthful, when suddenly he made a strangled, choking sound. The whiskey in his mouth spurted like a fountain into the air then rained down on the chequered tablecloth in golden droplets.
Connor pushed back her chair, went round the other side of the table and hammered him between the shoulder blades with her fist.
Spluttering, he turned round on his chair, to face her. “Angus MacDonald! Not the Angus MacDonald, the breeder of the Nimerlin Fey line of the black Friesians?”
“The one and the same.” She returned to her chair and sat down. “I see you’ve heard of him.”
Douglas turned his head and shot a disbelieving look to Ewan. “Heard of him! Jesus Christ! His horses are legendary and his dressage school…”
Leaning forward on her elbows, she intertwined her fingers in front of her. “No Mr McVey, my dressage school. My parents bequeathed the business to me. I am owner and dressage master for the Nimerlin school.”
“Well then,” a wide smile broke across his face as he picked up his glass and took a small cautious sip of the amber liquid, “perhaps this arrangement willna be such a disaster after all!”
The glossy, blue-black feathers of the raven blended into the gloom. His white eyes, ever alert, widened when the Shadow commenced its familiar dance. The black roiling mass leaned down on him. "Sentinel! What have you to report?"
"Dark One, there has been an arrival. A female—"
The Shadow reared back as if to strike. "You would dare to waste my time with trivialities? I care not who comes and goes. You know your mission! You know the opportunity that I seek." A cackling laugh erupted from her chest. "Oh the joy! I relish the moment when I can—"
The raven's beak clacked line bone on bone. "There are God threads around this female!"
Darkness surrounded the bird. "God threads you say? Be warned, do not lie to me. Your mate and chicks depend on your loyalty." Five thin projections sprang out of the Shadow just as a black glistening tongue sprang out of a gaping maw in an exaggerated display of finger licking. "Return! Find out what you can and report to me immediately! The evil tongue reappeared and circled the black cavernous mouth. "You know the price of failure." 




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Twitter                        Kathrine Leannan (@Kathrine Leannan)

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Enchanted Orb with S. E. Gilchrist

Enchanted Orb with S. E. Gilchrist

The year I decided to treat my writing hobby seriously, I had the usual dreams – of seeing my books on shelves, receiving lovely fat advances from big name publishers and giving up my day job to write full time.

But I was also beset with doubts; doubts of my ability to first, finish a book and second, receive that heart pounding call. Then once I was published a new set of doubts hit me; what if no one likes my book, what if no one buys my book and (shudder) what if I receive awful reviews?

Well, I’ve had my share of both good and bad reviews. I have yet to see a print book on the shelf and I now base my dreams on the reality of being an Australian writer in today’s world. It’s not easy, it’s hard to make a living and you have to work hard if you want to achieve the success you crave. I’ve learned everyone’s path is different and what will work for one writer may not work for me. I’ve grown a thicker skin, learned to treat my writing as a business – you can’t please everyone. I do read my reviews however with a critical eye and think about what the reader has said and whether and how I should improve the next story.

Fear can cripple you, hold you back, keep you in what you think is a safe comfortable place and we all doubt ourselves at different stages in our lives. So if you’re holding back on submitting that first book to a publisher, holding back on entering contests, holding back on going to a conference or joining a writing group, focus on your dreams and take that first step. You never know where that  one step will lead you.

Latest release:

My latest release is Cosmic Fire, episode two in my Mars Academy series. The series is based around the need of the Earth Republic to find and claim another earth-like planet. In the story line, Mars has long been colonized and remains under the Earth Republic’s control, however, there is an underground movement of revolutionaries who want an independent Mars. On the exploratory space ship, I have a crew made up of people from both the Earth Republic and also Mars, some of whom are part of the revolutionaries. And also on board is a secret group of saboteurs. I’ve thrown in romance, action, adventure and a touch of suspense – all my favourite ingredients.

Hopefully, readers will also enjoy the series.

For more about me visit my website.


The Mission – find and claim a new earth

Ensign Dana Lawson of Sector Seven fire team on the star ship, Columbus, has one goal: her own command. On an exploratory mission to Alpha Centauri A, she has the opportunity to earn her stripes, but instead faces a challenge that threatens to send her plans up in smoke.

Rick Morgan, a guy with heartbreaker imprinted in his DNA, the warmest smile and the bluest eyes she’s ever seen, ignites a fire inside her heart. He is trouble, on every level…and he’s brought his dangerous past with him.
Now a saboteur has Dana and Morgan in his sights. Together, they must learn his identity before he strikes again and kills them both…or destroys the ship and everyone on board.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Darklight On... Rowena Cory Daniells

Today's Darklight On is... Rowena Cory Daniells
Welcome, Rowena

The Author’s Dilemma

We all grow as writers. The book we wrote fifteen years, five or last year is not written the way we would handle the same basic story today.

How much do you rewrite, when a book is reprinted?

The Fall of Fair Isle is a reprint of my original trilogy, and is being released as an omnibus. It tells the story of Imoshen, last of the old royal family of mystical T’En, and how she comes to terms with General Tulkhan when he invades her island kingdom. Intent on smoothing the transition of power, things become complicated for Imoshen when she learns that her once-betrothed, Reothe, has survived and he comes to her to help him reclaim Fair Isle. To who does she owe her loyalty?

The sale of this manuscript sale was the thing that took me from a published author of short stories and children’s books to an internationally published fantasy author. Back then I struggled to be a romance writer. Try as I might, I could not keep the narrative focus on the two main characters, I kept veering off into subplots and action.

This trilogy was written over a three year period and you can see from book one to book three that the focus of the story veers into a battle to save their island kingdom. In fact the ending of book three is not the original ending. I wrote a fourth book at the time and asked the publisher if they would be OK with a quadology instead of a trilogy. They said they wanted a trilogy so I had to come up with an ending to book three and put book four aside.

After book three sold out the publishers closed down the line and the editor moved on, leaving me ‘orphaned’ and book four in limbo. This happens and back then there were less opportunity for authors to self-publish.

Despite this setback, I kept writing using the history of the T’En that Imoshen discovered in book four as a basis for the world building of The Outcast Chronicles, which is set six hundred years earlier. I was intrigued by the idea that what we are told in the history books is a sanitised version of events.

After the success of King Rolen’s Kin and The Outcast Chronicles, my publishers came to me to ask if they could reprint my original trilogy. This raised some interesting problems as readers of The Outcast Chronicles would wonder at the apparent inconsistencies between this trilogy and the world building in Fall of Fair Isle. (Much mystical knowledge had been lost or deliberately hidden and Imoshen had to discover her gifts and uncover her people’s past). In the end I decided to insert a few hints from book four into the trilogy to explain the apparent discrepancies.

After fifteen years there is always the temptation to rewrite but apart from smoothing out a couple of sentences and inserting those clues as to the fate of the T’En, I let the books stand.

Hopefully, this will be enough to please both readers of the original trilogy and those who have read the prequel, The Outcast Chronicles. Has anyone been in a similar position with the re-print of an earlier edition and wondered how much tweaking to do, if any?

Rowena Cory Daniells

Thanks, Rowena 

Buy Links:  Rebellion Books  Booktopia
About the Author:  Website  Twitter

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What We Are Reading April Edition

So here we are in April, a quarter of the way through the year already (now THAT is a scary thought) and if you're anything like me, scouring the pantry for Easter chocolate your kids might have forgotten to eat.
Some of you may have noticed that March's edition of WWAR was a no-show... I'm very sad to say it got sucked into a black hole and is now being read by our alternative selves who exist in a parallel universe. Seriously though, my apologies - last month I was very deep under a writing rock, trying to get a manuscript finished and entirely forgot about it. But not to worry! Onwards to April...

From Kylie Griffin -

I've just finished reading CAPTIVE PRINCE #1 and PRINCE'S GAMBIT #2. There is a Bk#3 but not out yet (darn it!).

C.S.Pacat (a fellow Aussie author!!! woohoo!!!) writes an incredibly engrossing fantasy romance series with complex world-building, twisted political plots, tortured & tormented heroes, Damen & Laurent, whom you barrack for (it's a male/male FR for those unfamiliar with the series), and you get sucked right into their story.

You can't help but be dragged in right from the start when Damen is betrayed by his brother and handed over to be a slave to his enemy (although no one knows that Damen is a prince). Laurent (the enemy prince) is such a fascinating, layered character that you dislike and are intrigued by him at the same time.

I can't say any more without giving away plot spoilers but if you don't mind reading a male/male romance (Bk#1 isn't a romance but there's a LOT of character building and growth between Damen & Laurent) and if you like a gritty, complex fantasy romance then this series is for you.

Book #2 continues the incredible layers of political intrigue and manoeuvring, awesome world-building and complex character development, and there is a deepening of the friendship/relationship between the heroes. The romance is raw & heart-wrenching.

Be warned, Book #2 ends on a cliff-hanger, and leaves you wishing July would hurry up and arrive (release date for KINGS RISING #3).

This series is going on my keeper shelf.
As for myself, I've dabbled with a few things this month. I read Who Wants To Date A Superhero
Admittedly, I don't usually read erotic romances, they're just not my cup of tea, but I thought the premise to this book sounded interesting, kind of quirky and a fun read based on a reality show to date a superhero. 
This was really well written and I liked the author's style of writing, however I felt like the overall story was a bit up and down. Some bits I was really invested in and wanted to keep reading, but there was a few places the story lost me, and I actually put it aside and read another book in the meantime. If you're looking for a light, entertaining erotic romance read, then this book is perfect for that. If you're looking for something with more substance and depth, then this might not satisfy. I enjoyed this for what it was and will be getting the next book in the series because I'd like to know what happens to the other characters in the book.

I also read Homecoming, the third book in The 100 series. Now, I know I'm more invested in these books because of my love of the TV series and all things Bellarke (Bellamy and Clarke's relationship), and I think that if it wasn't for that, I may not have read these books at all. They were a little bit predictable, and despite the premise being unique, the characters and story arc didn't do anything to blow me away. 
In saying that, I ended up enjoying this 3rd book far more than I expected to. It was definitely the best book out of the three so far, because this time there were far less flashbacks and far less focus on the usual angsty teenage love stuff. We got more actual story and interactions with the others on the ground, plus we had a bad guy in Rhodes to hate and a secret villain revealed in the closing chapters. All in all, it was pretty good, with the romance complementing a stronger plot.My only real nit-pick? No sure why Finn is on the cover when he's not even in the book, and they killed him off in the TV series. Why isn't it Bellamy? Or did someone in the cover department make a huge mistake?
I'd like to hope there are going to be more books in the series simply so I can get my Bellarke fix, since the writers of the TV show don't seem to be moving in that direction, but I think I read somewhere that the author doesn't plan on writing any more. 

So that's it for another month. If you haven't already, I'd strongly recommend reading CS Pacat's book, and side note, she's going to be at the RWA conference this year!

- Jess Anastasi