Silver Princess By Lea Carter – review

An enjoyable fairy tale full of twists and charm…

silver p.PNG

From the very beginning I found myself immersed in a world of fairies by way of this charming story full of tension, twists and even some action.

Part love story and part coming of age, the book focuses on Rebecca; a fairy princess who is rescued by a mysterious man-fairy named ‘Scamp’. Their romance is subtle and gradually reveals itself much like the story as a whole making it an enjoyable read suitable for all ages, something which is rarely well executed in literature these days. Its a sort of princess and the pauper story until more is revealed in the latter stages.

There was never a dull moment in a book that is very well written and immersive throughout.

4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Weekly Ramble #26

I’m writing the book I was always destined to write. Of all the writing journeys we take, they can normally be linked back to a pinnacle moment in time. Many of us hold the memory of it close and dear, we’re protective of it, for some of us it has grown alongside our own personal growth much like our dreams. It feels far away from now and it could be  that manuscript sitting in a drawer, or a file unopened for years on an old computer. It may not have ever graced the writing process and sits forgotten whilst we have moved on.  What if that story stayed in the back of my mind since this whole deal began? What if I never forgot what it did to inspire my writing efforts. What if everything I did in writing was for that story inside me?

So what good is it just sitting forgotten when really it’s the purpose of all of this. We cannot take our dreams with us, so why the hell should it sit gathering dust on the mind? 

This blog and my writing is the most successful it has ever been right now.  If I could ever define my efforts as a writer it would be one of a chancer who takes the risk from opportunity that is sometimes presented by circumstance. Holy shit that sounds technical but I know what I am, I always have. Slowly people are taking that on with appreciation, and I very much admire the efforts people make to tell the world about my work, I am thankful also.

I started this whole deal when I was twelve years old on a rainy Sunday afternoon facing a windows 98 computer. It was an escape and that was when I typed the initial words about a character named Jack Thorn who fought against robots in the future. The story and premise grew up with me and took on many incarnations from a handwritten Tesco value notepad to a fully typed up first attempted draft of 40,000 words when I was fifteen and should have been studying. 40k aint bad considering it was attempt numero uno.

Still this story and those within it stayed alive in my mind. Even back then I vividly remember sighing and looking at the keyboard whilst muttering “What the hell have I got myself into? Writing books is hard…”.  Even when life took center stage I was reading, Crichton, King and Conan Doyle who were residing on my growing shelf.

I moved house, jobs, had tough times and good. Witnessed great successes and losses, I lived until the dream of writing fully gripped me. Still that story stuck out, even when I started again with a character named Clark Thorn, I learned to write by figuring out his journey.  Those first few years (2012-2015) I was writing 4 hours a night. You have to find the ability to write within, it cannot be taught, anyone who says that is a bullshit merchant no matter how subjective. I found my voice during those years, my starry eyed belief thought a literary agent would pluck me from the slush pile and I would be on Graham Norton in two years time. Pipe dreams are nice, but they are not reality. I’ve only ever got anywhere by rolling up my sleeves to prove that I can write, I know I can and so do my audience.

It’s going to take a lot of work to convert an old time action story to today’s audience, there will need to be a balance, but Jack Thorn is home to me, it always will be, and his story will reside in serial form on this blog from next month. It’s a story of humanity intertwined with the destiny of those who look to defend it. This is the book I have always aspired to write, and write it I will!

In the future there will be robots…

(Jack Thorn will premiere on Thursday Evenings from March and will be serialized through this blog. Next year I shall be querying agents with my story of the future. Do not fear though, I have at least 3 other writing projects currently in development for I am the writing machine! And I’m still reading and reviewing indie stuff) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nocturnal Blood by Villimey Mist – review

A modern vampire story that takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns…

Nocturnal bloodIt’s incredibly brave for an author to put together a book where the lead character suffers from anxiety and OCD; something which makes Nocturnal Blood a unique modern, and rewarding reading experience.

Leia Walker narrates the story using a style of writing that very much places the reader in her head. She overthinks, worries and generally struggles with her thoughts for a majority of the time. To begin with I found this slowed things down but the more it unfolds the more I found myself supporting what is a phenomenally brave character. Her development throughout mirrors and runs parallel with the story as a whole which is essentially a road trip of discovery into the world of vampirsim across the US and Canada. So you could say Leia’s individual path is a journey inside a journey.

She is joined by Sophie, whom in early stages reveals herself to be a vampire. You could say they are polar opposites to begin with and their chemistry grows along the way. Together they embark on a trip that is part escape and part chase.

Seeing as this is a vampire story there are the usual tropes that Sophie explains in part and some are discovered as events unfold. There is also a whole host of new original ideas and terminology much of which could be explored in potential sequels which I would be very interested in reading.

Overall I found Nocturnal Blood to be a highly readable tale of bravery, friendship, character development and vampires; a genre in modern times that doesn’t get nearly enough credit especially when stories like this exist. Even though I downloaded the E-version of this book I thought I would also mention the cover art is fantastic!

5 Stars

Weekly Ramble #25

It’s okay to have anxiety. Sometimes the smallest of stuff can bring you down. We’re human after all and the world is slowly grasping that. Unfortunately this world can be prone to making us anxious and it can also turn our thoughts dark.

I say this with my fair share of experience. In part, dark thoughts can be part of an authors work process like all artists or creators, much of it can be self inflicted or sometimes triggered by the arbitrary or just the need to go to a certain place. The work we do creates a level of expectation in our heads that most of the time it doesn’t succeed that expectation. We build stuff up in our heads and on paper it may look awesome and then the world appears to reject it or ignore it. That may not be the case at all, and brandishing everyone with carelessness is careless in its own right. The whole manifesting ignorance is just a thing in our head, like anxiety and subsequent dark thoughts.

If this stuff comes from within then so can solutions and ways out of it. For me things and thoughts turned dark a while back, really dark. I don’t feel it necessary to give any details other than I thought I was done with writing. Eventually a lightning strike of epiphany hit me, that dark thinking passed, inside my brain had figured it out. Internally I was thinking about all the good that I have in my life, it pulled me through. And that is my advice for anyone going through stuff, take some time and just think about what you’ve got in life that simply makes you smile; a memory, a person, hell even your job. You’ll be surprised how resilient you are inside because I found out I am.

It took me a while to process that whole being ‘done’ with writing. But it did pass, and since then the time after has been my most successful as an author, blogger and creator. Your moment could be over the next horizon.

I finished my latest writing project over the weekend, it’s a great achievement but for me it’s redemption for carrying on in life. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you cannot find yourself in creating, I have several times and yes there will be anxious thoughts, sometimes on a daily occurrence, you have to breathe and think. You can work through it. Talk to others about it, none of us are really alone in this world anymore.

 

Odd Spirits by S.T. Gibson – review

A modern story about feelings and relationships intertwined with spiritual magic…

odd spirits

S.T. Gibson has delivered an original tale that gradually unfolds around a married couple who experience a kind of spiritual disturbance in their house.

Although there are elements of several genres blended together in this book such as romance, paranormal and spiritual they are all combined in a light way that makes for some great and very addictive reading which would suit all readers.

The two main characters ‘Rhys’ and ‘Moira’ are a believable and very real feeling couple who have to look within to resolve their issues. One of the best things about this book is the characterization and the way this couple interacts with each other. This story is about them after all and their resolve fitted perfectly to the rest of the book as well as the whole concept of novellas.

Good novella’s don’t get enough credit and this one in particular is a gripping and enjoyable read.

5 Stars 

This blog has been nominated for the Liebster Award!

I can happily announce that this rather small blogging operation has been nominated for an award!

liebster

First and foremost I humbly accept and let me take this opportunity to say thank you to the Thinking Moon Blog for the nomination. This is the first time my writing efforts have ever been recognized in any way, it truly does mean a lot but this award nomination isn’t all about me (begrudgingly moves away from the spotlight…)

As well as being the rules of my nomination (more on that in a bit) it is my duty to say something about the fellow blogger who nominated me. The Thinking Moon Blog  contains a huge and diverse amount of content categories from sustainability articles all the way to Buffy the Vampire Slayer stuff (my favorite category). You can also find more Thinking Moon content via the tweet machine and Instagram. The word on the street is this awesome blogger has got a book in the pipeline! Check out the blog and remember to hit the follow button.

So, what is the Liebster award? 

Well firstly ‘Liebster’ is a German term which means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The Liebster award is an award that exists on the internet and is given by bloggers for bloggers. The whole deal is for bloggers to spread the word about each other in a rather nice way. This thing grows year by year as blogging communities grow. 

Here are the rules: (control c’d from Thinking Moon… more info via the Liebster site)

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Answer the 5 creative and unique questions given to you.
  3. Write a small post about what motivates you in life (not just in blogging)
  4. Nominate 2 – 6 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award
  5. Create 5 creative and unique questions for your nominees
  6. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.)
  7. Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post

Unique questions given to me….

Q1: Who was the last indie author/musician/podcast/lemonade stand you supported and why? If not who do you think you will bring your support to this year?

the pass

The last Indie Author I supported was Susan Mary Malone, her immersive collection of short stories ‘Over the Pass and Other Stories’ made for some wonderful reading and escapism. One of my main goals this year is to support as many indies as I can considering I am one. The best way to show support to any author is to leave a review and interact. 

My reason for supporting this author and many others is the fact they all approached me via the tweet machine late last year. I put up a simple request for some reading suggestions which eventually got over 30,000 impressions, I soon installed twitter back on my phone… 

Q2: I’m obsessed with tattoos and I know not everyone is, but if you were to get one what would it be. Or if you have one already what is it and why?

Tattoos are very popular these days but nothing has ever motivated me to get one. I’ve been told that if you want to get a tattoo you have to be really sure, I can’t even decide what I want for lunch most days.

As a kid I was obsessed with drawing stitches on my hands so perhaps I’ve already got enough ink flowing through me, I did become a writer after all… Thinking about it, if I ever did get a tattoo it would probably be something from my books. ‘Twister’ from Open Evening has a rather distinctive bad ass tattoo on his upper arm. (yes I just plugged my own book…)

Q3: What was your favourite childhood television show?

‘The hardest thing in this world is to live in it…’ 

created by

Of course I am quoting Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even though I only caught the final two seasons of this show back during it’s original run when I was 12/13 I still count it as childhood. I have since watched the whole deal (several times, normally every few years).

There are so many things I could say about ‘Buffy’ and even ‘Angel’ equally but we’re only at Question 3 so I will just say this. If I never watched this show then I would never have ever been inspired to become a writer. And even before those aspirations came to me, I viewed Buffy Summers as my first ever television hero. The latter episodes see her become a leader and an adult whom I looked up to an incredible amount. And that counts for all of the characters who spoke to me in different ways. The cast really were that group of older kids I looked up to and this show got me through some real tough times.

Q4: What scares you the most, that most people consider to be irrational?

I really don’t enjoy flying. I know that can be quite common and I did manage to get myself through a long haul flight to mexico and back but I still really, really, really don’t like it. The worst part is literally waiting in the departure lounge before. The waiting to go and do something I really don’t want to, I find quite hard. What I don’t like about flying is the sensation and the lack of being in control. Take off is pretty cool though… ‘you cant take the sky from me’… 

Q5: What is your favourite place to bring an out-of-town guest?

pitch.PNG

on the pitch….rock and roll man!

There is only one place I would class as my home away from home and that is Loftus Road Stadium; the home of my football team Queens Park Rangers located in Hammersmith West London. Since a very young age my Dad took me with my brother to watch them play in what is quite a small but wonderfully immersive stadium. Wherever you sit you’re normally close to the action and the atmosphere is always electric. I may not seem like the usual football following type, and I’m not really, but QPR are my team and if anyone is looking for an afternoon or evening of football culture and atmosphere, I recommend it!

A little bit of motivation for life…

It would be easy for me to say money motivates me in life but in large sums it motivates pretty much everyone apart from Bill Gates and people who own oil. What motivates me in life is balance, and I’m not trying to be super positive or half glass full here.

I have an awesome job in science and I have a just as great hobby in writing and blogging. In between that I have a significant other and a great bunch of friends. All of this stuff doesn’t function unless they are balanced. Balance in life leads to variety which in turn leads to being happy. A winning lottery ticket wouldn’t go a miss either!

My Nominations and Questions…

The bloggers I would like to acknowledge and nominate are…

Bookshelf Battle –  a fellow indie author and blogger.  I follow Bookshelf Q Battler because of the level of humor and sheer content all of which I find to be very pleasant. I have even read/reviewed the novel written by this awesome blogger called ‘The Last Driver’. Check it out.

Bookworm –  a reading and writing blogger whom I have recently connected with via the tweet machine and is always there to like or retweet my stuff.

This whole deal is optional so don’t feel any pressure to participate and nominating others is entirely optional but just remember no wordsmith is an island, we’re in this together!

Of course there are numerous more supporters out there, all of which I would like to thank for reading and following this blog.

Questions for nominees:

  1.  You’re sitting in a bar at an empty table. There are 4 seats available, living or alive name any 4 people you would invite to join you and why?
  2. Name a film or television show that has shaped or influenced you in some way?
  3. What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in writing or life?
  4. When was the last time you laughed out loud?
  5. You have the opportunity to gain a super power. What is it and why? (invent your own or pick a known one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #24

Hand writing a book is hard. Being so used to the availability of the backspace button I fear what I have written could be complete and utter shite. Then again, being confined to the page with just a pen has been an interesting and refreshing challenge.

On the surface it would appear a tad pretentious to say ‘my next book is going to be completely handwritten’ but I’m doing it to channel the inner method of the book’s main character. Eventually it will get typed up which is all part of the editing process. I am also embarking on this journey to come away from screens and Microsoft word just to find myself because this infliction (yes I view writing like that sometimes) can wear away at the soul. Overall I do this because I enjoy it, from the whole initial idea thing spinning around in my head all the way to writing ‘the end’, all of that is great, but what comes afterwards is probably what will turn me away from writing, maybe one day.

g beside me

Progress has been clunky with this handwritten project but this has been the busiest time of my life. Busy is good, a distraction from the rat race, an escape from the mundane. Time is ticking away quickly and we’re in Feb already. 2019 is going to be a unique journey that may not see a book release, but content is building so another publication won’t be far off.

For now I’m reading a lot of indie stuff, leaving reviews and interacting on the scene. I’m doing my best to give back. Writing and publishing isn’t all that what being a writer is. I’m trying to interact and comment on stuff whilst trying to be genuine. There are too many fakers on the interweb super highway, so when you get my attention it’s for real. There are some fantastic bloggers and fellow authors out there, many I have been acquainted with in the past year or so. We represent a generation of new words. New words are good. New words are the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not the Lee Hall who wrote ‘Billy Elliot’

Hello everyone. Important message here, well all of my blog posts are. I feel somewhat inclined to reach out to everyone in general just to say I am not the Lee Hall who wrote Billy Elliot. Quite recently I have received messages from people assuming that I am that same Lee Hall. I am not. But my name is Lee Hall.

And yes this blog post is totally dedicated to me not being the guy who wrote Billy Elliot!

It isn’t particularly difficult to work out that I am an Indie Author of 4 books and 2 plays. None of which is Billy Elliot. I mean that in the most sincere way but use your fu**ing eyes! I’m sorry for swearing but all you really have to do is read probably the first few lines of my profile on all social media outlets to grasp that. I’m not angry either (that’s not allowed either these days).

However, speaking of me, here are the four of my books that are competitively priced on amazon, you should buy one and leave a review….

books

Over The Pass, and Other Stories by Susan Mary Malone – review

An anthology of deep and wonderfully descriptive short stories that whisks the reader away…

the pass

Using a combination of vivid settings and a deep immersive writing style, Susan Mary Malone has put together a book of tales that can best be described as escapism in it’s purest form. The american landscape described throughout will make any reader think that they have stood overlooking places of natural beauty even if they have never been there and that is just one of the many values this book contains.

Human feelings and emotion are woven together along with the sometimes grand settings even if they are simply in the backdrop because in the foreground is where much of these stories subtly take place. At a glance it would even appear that nothing really happens throughout the duration of each but there is so much more within and it’s literary art of the highest caliber.

I very much enjoyed the descriptive nature of the writing which was complimented and balanced by the individual stories, all of which are in the moment and are even savored.

In particular I very much enjoyed ‘Winter’s Prey’ which for me set the president of discovery for what was to follow in what I believe to be a unique collection of stories.

5 Stars  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Reasons why you should read indie books

January is over, it felt like a whole damn year but we got there. It’s February now and my reading list continues to grow as I continue to network with fellow indie authors.

How many reviews have you left recently? I’ve left 4 this month, and they constitute to 4 reasons why you should read indie books because all of them are written by indie authors!

altaica

I opened my reading account with ‘Altaica’ (The Chronicles of Altaica) By Tracy M Joyce. Late last year I reached out via the tweet machine to the indie author writing community. One post particularly gathered a lot of interest including Australia! Tracy M Joyce introduced me to her fantasy world that flowed and read like historic fiction.

In my review I made comparisons to Wilbur Smith and even Tolkien and that is no way an exaggeration because this accessible and immersive book is world building at its finest.

Even if you’re not convinced by my review there is an abundance of them via amazon…

undertown

The best cure for completing a book is starting another and so I consulted my list which consisted of many different indie books but ‘Undertown’ by K.Noel Moore just stuck out to me.

“Something happened tonight, I don’t know what. Something that ripped the veil between the Chicago of the living and the Chicago of the dead…” 

This novella (which I managed to read in one sitting) is a gripping and clever fusing of real events intertwined with paranormal fiction. If you were to combine the crime wave era of 1930’s america and a deep but subtle building ghost element you’ll get ‘Undertown’ which is available now via amazon…. 

I kept the ghostly and paranormal tempo going by reading ‘Blood of the Sixth By K. R. Rowe’ next…

sitch

In this book there is a lot going on, but it is written with such clarity it never clouds or confuses the reader. To quote my review ‘Blood of the Sixth has a complex interwoven plot which is delivered in a way that makes it an easy to follow read; something I imagine the author has worked tremendously hard to achieve. The whole layout of the book from short sharp chapter length, to characters all the way to general story has been well thought out’.

I found the story to slowly build and gather steam later on but in the earlier stages I was gripped by what is a compelling and sometimes chilling tale with some twists and a little gore (I’m dead inside so not a lot phases me..). Overall a great read which you can grab via amazon here..

And finally, and by no means least The Alien Diaries by Glenn J. Devlin: my review literally dropped the other day! 

alien diraries

I’ve had this novel pegged for a while as the premise is so damn intriguing and without giving any spoilers away, it is!

‘The Alien Diaries’ has two simultaneous stories running throughout, one of which is via a diary from the 1700’s and the other set in modern day as those characters read the diary. It’s a clever combination in which the narration and tenses changes in what seems like an effortless style (although I imagine the writer put in a huge amount of work to achieve).

I really enjoyed this book and even found myself taking my time because there was a small element of me not wanting it to end. Check it out here….  

So I’ve managed 4 books this month, with 30 as my target this year. Remember folks above all, reviews are gold dust, so leave one!