And Books 5 Came

As always, meant to do this sooner. As always, claim to myself I will get back into blogging properly. But hey, new year ahead. I can make the lie to myself all over again 🙂

Anyway, Book 5 and Book 5.1 of Treading Twisted Lines happened during my absence from doll thermometer. I’ve updated the Treading Twisted section on here, anyway, so there’s stuff up about them there. Hope you have a look, a read, add on Goodreads, review, and all the nice things, should you choose. Thought I should say something, as I plan to have Book 6 out in January 🙂

Book 5 is Trials of the Gods’ Hands – here’s it’s lovely cover. I about flipped out when Nathan Cover Designer first showed me 🙂

Trials of the Gods Hands 01

Gifted mind reader Samson prays for some way to aid his blessed, but ailing friend. His prayers at last answered, the young priest struggles to combat the near inevitable: but for a miracle, Kai will be hospitalised, or ordered into his abusive father’s care, by a court bound to act in his best interests. His own prospects so slim, Samson offers all he is for Kai. But even that may not save him.

Book 5.1 is Trials of the Gods’ Hands: The Grid. You will note both name and cover are quite similar. Book 5.1 was the original Book 5, but it didn’t quite work in my head on its own. Still, I wanted to share everything that happened with Kai during this time, so decided to release an extension to the book. This is hopefully the one instance where it’s best to read both to get a full idea of what’s going on.

Trials of the Gods Hands The Grid 01

Never self-assured in his life and forced before a panel of doctors, Kai struggles to save himself from a future worse than death. But though the court-appointed experts mean him no harm, Kai’s father has sneaked an antagonist into the private interview. And that antagonist has teeth.

As always, available for US$0.99 from all the nice book places – Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo eBooks and so on. Links are on the Treading Twisted Lines page if you’d like to click. Mean to do a general 2015 updates post soon. But may wind up getting distracted – I often do. But this isn’t as hard as I always seem to make myself think. So maybe I’ll have the motivation in 2016 to get more into it – I’m marginally more active over at Tumblr, if anyone’s interested in having a look there. And by active, I mean reblogging pictures of books, tea and flowers. That’s pretty much it. I’m not very good at internet-ing anywhere. But here’s to slogging on!

Almost Belated Trumpets – Treading Twisted Lines Book 4 Almost Out!

I’ve been meaning to post this for longer than a while – sorry for the late notice. Thought I should update anyone who may be interested: Book 4 of Treading Twisted Lines with Darren, Maddi, and Kai – Book 4 that I’ve been working on since the end of 2012, Book 4 that has eluded me for so long, caused so much grief and despair – is finally being released. The magical date is 16 July 2015.

It’s called Suddenly Calling – a far cry of the original working titles (Stronger, The Little Strong Girl, etc), but I quite like it. Here’s the lovely cover and short blurb:

Suddenly Calling 01

 

Kana, strong by name and nature, has served the Okens since childhood. As further domestic inequities come to light and realities of a darker world are affirmed in scanty articles and upper-class gossip, Kana is gradually guided from reluctant complacency, and inadvertently scouted by unions, radicals, and Gods.

A rollicking tale of family, puppies, hand-to-hand combat, workplace frustration, celestial intervention, sticking it to the man, and tea …

The main challenge in writing this book was that for a long time it felt like a story of necessity, the other protagonists having already been introduced and this one needing her opening – there was no massive burst of inspiration, like the first three. Inspiration was attained, though, in many random tiny bursts. Also, the story takes place over such a long period of time, and I was keeping very close in mind that this series was meant to be a “short” story cycle.

Well, it’s officially a plain old story cycle now: I’ve got around 60,000 words for you here, all for the lovely little sum of 99 cents. Same format, too – please don’t mind that I haven’t gone with chapters, even though Book 4 is much longer than 1 – 3; I wanted to keep some consistency. Let me know if it really doesn’t work, though 🙂

Lots of time left to pre-order – and pre-ordering does help. Every pre-order will boost the story higher and higher – maybe high enough it’ll actually be seen. Suddenly Calling can be pre-ordered from Amazon, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. It’s up on Goodreads, too, if you’d like to add it 🙂

And if you haven’t read Books 1 – 3, don’t worry: each story is independent – you just get the full experience reading them all. But if you do want to give them a go, they should be a click away at the above links 🙂

Thanks so much for everyone’s lovely support. Here’s hoping Book 5 won’t take another two and a half years …

Walking: Five Short Stories from the Sands – Book Review

Met a nice author on Goodreads and read their book. Enjoyed it. You can have a look at W.G. White on Goodreads and purchase the book (it’s cheap) from Amazon.

walking

Here’s the review:

It’s a challenge with 100,000 words or more. But with Walking: Five Short Stories from the Sands, White has created depth. Introducing a new protagonist with each story, each bringing a new perspective and trudging through poles-apart circumstances—this is despite the Walkers and Riders living practically on top of each other and highlights the distrust between them—White has crafted a full world with limited page space. More little touches, such as differences in speech even among the Walkers, help flesh out the life going on around the stories and make this book fulfilling on more levels than only the surface plots.

I’m a fan of dystopian stories and was attracted to this uniquely-imagined rover future. The people here still manage to be selfish and bigoted despite having lost everything—somehow I’m not surprised. But there’s still good, and it shines through in each story in different ways, both blatant and quiet. A literary boost now and then, reassurance there’s no need to give up on our race just yet, is always welcome.

As with many indie books I’ve read, there are some grammatical issues here. As well, there were a few words that seemed out of place, a few sentences that were confused and briefly confused me. However, White’s style is generally engaging, and there are multiple examples of quite powerful descriptive writing.

The Rider and The Shuffler stood out in my mind, the former painfully close to the bone and the latter a solid redemption story. The Cultist was violent and sad, always a poignant combination. The Walker manages to be both twisted and touching, a feat I respect, while The Chaperone covers twisted and twisted, if that’s your thing—White should be proud of that creature of horror he’s created here.

Walking imagines a bleak, evocative world through appealing characters we can get behind, even if we don’t agree with what they’ve done. Three and a half stars from me; I’d recommend this book to those who like satisfying, visceral reads in one sitting.

Exciting News! New Cover of Michelle Proulx’s Imminent Danger Revealed! Will Be Re-Published In Coming Months!

I love the NanoWriMo 1 November midnight sitting. Already feel like I have a head start. Project this year: Treading Twisted Lines. The short story cycle’s not technically a novel. But why not be a NaNoRebel? With any luck, this year’s NaNoWriMo will see the next few stories complete, possibly released before year’s end. Cross all of the limbs.

But no more NaNo for now – there is some exciting news I must share. Hopefully many of you are aware of Michelle Proulx.

MP Author Photo

This is Michelle…

…she was born on the market moon of Vega Minor where she spent her formative years reading, writing, and gambling at illegal underground jsgarn fighting rings. While en route to Alpha Centauri, Michelle crash-landed her space yacht on the planet Earth. She now lives in Canada and divides her time between observing the local fauna and repairing her star ship.

If you have not met her, she lives here online and is the talented author of what remains the best indie book I’ve yet read – Imminent Danger and How To Fly Straight Into It. I would gush here, but, to save on postage, here’s a link to my review. As it happens, Imminent Danger has just gotten some work done in the cosmetic sense and now has a brand new shiny cover for its upcoming re-publishing!

Imminent Danger Cover Reveal

It’s just so pretty!

And now, from the author herself, the story behind the shininess:

In the far-gone year of two thousand and twelve, a naive young authoress with a trusting heart gave unto a company called iUniverse thousands of dollars with which to publish her novel. But alas! For this foolish young authoress did not realize the assisted-publishing path was fraught with peril, and the thousands paid were not in value received. Control was relinquished, prices did skyrocket, and the young authoress cried out to the heavens, “Woe is me! Would that I had done this publishing business myself!” And the young authoress did take it upon herself to publish the novel, commissioning a talented artist to provide her with a new cover that doth more accurately capture the spirit of her novel. And lo! The new cover is revealed.

And in case my word of its quality and the promise of a beautiful cover to spruce up your bookshelves isn’t enough, here’s the book summary to further entice you – there just aren’t enough young adult sci-fi romances in the world.

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse.
Trapped on a spaceship bound for the slave markets of Sirius B, Eris fears she’ll never see her home again. But then fate whisks her away from her reptilian captors and into the arms of Varrin, a fast-talking space pirate who promises to deliver her safely back to Earth. He claims to have her best interests at heart, but Eris soon discovers that her charming rescuer has a hidden agenda.
As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life, and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have?
Cannot recommend this read enough for fun and giggles and excitement. And there are alien shopping scenes – I love shopping scenes! And the aliens just make it better! Shall provide links to purchase pages once this fine work is re-published. Very much hope all you lovely people will support a deserving artist by enjoying her work.
Also, an exciting giveaway is happening on Michelle’s blog – get over there to see what you could win and how to win it!

Imminent Danger Book Review

I took my time about it, but here it is:  a review of Michelle Proulx’s exceptional novel Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight Into It. A fantastic read—why not head over to her site (links above) for a look? Definitely worth more than a click.

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I’d been meaning to read Imminent Danger for some time. When I finally did read this independently-released young adult science fiction romance—a genre I’m now hoping to see much more of—it was after trudging through a book a really didn’t enjoy at all. I’m not meaning to make comparisons here, but reading Imminent Danger directly after that disappointing book did highlight many glowing aspects of this very well-written novel.

For starters, despite being set predominantly in space surrounded by many-armed blue aliens and the like, this novel felt real. And if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good, realistic speculative fiction. Extra-terrestrials and setting aside—vivid as the descriptions of beautiful space crafts and sprawling alien marketplaces are—I think a heavy contributor to this strong sense of real is the dialogue. This was natural and unforced—an author’s skill in generating such dialogue may be easily overlooked until a few samples of novels chock-full of unnatural dialogue are endured.

Eris I found to be a brilliant protagonist. Though she spends much of her time forced to be a damsel in considerable distress by the increasingly dire situations she finds herself in, she is down-to-earth about it, a determined individual and very easy to relate to. Varrin is terrible and wonderful, charming and appalling—the kind of person anyone would dearly love to shove in a muddy puddle. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would be able to pull it off—he’s too wily. I hope Eris manages something along those lines in the sequels—sequels I’m very much looking forward to.

This novel was exciting to read, fast-paced, and somewhat addictive, but perhaps what I loved most about Imminent Danger was that it made me laugh. A lot. A sizable fraction of my time with this novel was spent giggling aloud—there are not many better signs of a good time than that.

Michelle Proulx’s Imminent Danger was an absolute delight to read and a novel I highly recommend to all lovers of the young adult genre. Four and a half gold stars for you, Michelle 🙂