“Darke Apocalypse” by Lee Hall

A huge thank you to fellow author Ellen Khodakivska for a wonderful review of my latest book…

Ellen Khodakivska

If you want to ‘go beyond true darkness’ and feel goosebumps running back and forth, this book is definitely what you need.

“The Prophecy of Old states that everything in Life and Death must be balanced.” Lee Hall, “Darke Apocalypse”

The Plot: Blake Malone, Caitlyn Turner, Luke Hartford, and the rest of the crew come back to a ‘ghost town’ Darke Heath to break into a final fight with the true darkness that only pretends to vanish. On the contrary, it becomes more dangerous, darker, and ruthless than ever. The night creatures hide among the shadows, make up their dark-minded plans, and are ready to use the pure souls as bait to entrap those who stay on the bright side into their dark empire. Only time will show the result of the fight between the light and the darkness. Because the creatures living ‘beyond true darkness’ always have a creephole…

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“Darke Awakening” by Lee Hall

A huge thank you to fellow author Ellen Khodakivska for this wonderful review of Darke Awakening….

Ellen Khodakivska

If you want to ’embrace the true darkness’ and have a ride on a ‘ghost horse’ through crowded night creatures, this book is what you need.

“Most people in this world have some good in them. especially when someone needs a little help”, Lee Hall, “Darke Awakening”

The Plot:  Blake Malone comes back to Darke Heath to confront the evil that starts awakening. ‘The sleepy town, surrounded by pines’ hides more and more dark and dangerous secrets. Those that are supposed to be buried appear to be alive and perilous more than ever. The life paths of Blake Malone and Twister are destined to cross, and together with the rest of the crew, they have to be pretty innovative to gain victory over the night creatures. The demons, shadows, vampires, and many other night creatures can’t wait to break into a fight, the outcome of which is sometimes impossible to…

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Exclusive Excerpt: ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’ by Arianne Nicks

Fellow author Arianne Nicks shares an exclusive promotional excerpt of her novel ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’

I should have done as I was told, but I was curious and kept my eyes open.

In the next moment, I wished I had listened. Kane was looking straight through me, frowning. His gorgeous smile disappeared, and his grip was stronger and steadier. His countenance was almost scary. Around us, huge white light circles were growing and spinning faster and faster. I got dizzy and felt like I was the one reeling. I knew what was happening—relocation spell. How did I not think of that? The dizziness got my mind all foggy, and I lost track of my surroundings. I was seeing multiple faces of Kane, all of them unclear and glimmering. Mercifully, in a few seconds, the circles disappeared. When I got my senses and balance back, I saw the landscape changed. The darkness of the night was gone, and so was the dense forest in Chicago and the shadow of my house.

A slow, warm wind ruffled my long hair from behind my shoulders. It brought a fresh, flowery smell, like a dewy garden in the early morning. Maybe because it was an early morning here, with a hidden, shy sun. We were surrounded by the most splendid and majestic trees I have ever seen in my life. Absolutely huge and thick trunks, with bright yellow leaves forming immense, round crowns, almost competing with the sun. I felt my mouth opening in awe of them. If I had to put an image to the word magic, this would be it. Ironic, wasn’t it?

“Ginkgo trees,” Kane said, smiling. His frown was gone, and he was himself again.

I unwrapped my arms from around him. He let me go but grabbed my hand.

“We’re here,” he added.

“We’re…where?”

“We’re in Japan. Come, my father is waiting for us.”

Oh, there. Yes, that’s where we were going. My thoughts were functioning again, so I could think about what happened. I didn’t know they could relocate with another person, especially with a commoner. It appeared to have taken more focus and more time to cast this on two people; I remembered the other ones disappearing almost instantly. That, or Kane tried to take it easy on me so I didn’t pass out. Still, the reeling sensation was more intense than I was prepared for.

This is an exclusive excerpt of ‘Soul of Light and Thunder’ by Arianne Nicks. You can find more information here.

“Cemetery House” by Lee Hall

Happy Halloween

To celebrate today’s spooky date I am sharing a recent and wonderful review of Cemetery House by Ellen Khodakivska which is a read perfect for the season…

Ellen Khodakivska

If you want to find yourself in the middle of shadows, monsters and foreseers, fire and dictionaries of dreams, creepy creatures, and a rain of ash, this one is what you are looking for.

“In this life you can either love or die; or you can just live…” Lee Hall, “Cemetery House”

The Plot: After an epic survival in “Open Evening,” Luke Hartford opens a new chapter of his life. It appears that “survival is just a beginning,” and pure evil keeps spreading its tentacles to get it done. Together with a new crew led by a man named Twister, they go to their hometown to face creepy creatures hiding in the shadows. “Cemetery House” meets them with mortal danger, demons of the past, and lots of riddles needed to be resolved to survive and see a sunrise again. The only way to get out of the hell is to…

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Guest Book Review: ‘Neglected Merge’ by Eve Koguce

Guest Book Review by Arianne Nicks

“Neglected Merge” is the first book in “The Neglected Merge” trilogy by Eve Koguce. This book is a fantasy utopian romance featuring Tauria, a 32-year-old woman living in what’s supposed to be a “perfect” society. After undergoing a near-apocalyptic experience, “the merge”, people have rebuilt society with no room for conflict, unpleasantness, or unhappiness. Everyone is living their best life, having the most fulfilling jobs and the best relationships.

Tauria’s world is disturbed when a “Winged One” lands in her home, one of his wings injured. The man, Doron, is part of the royal family of the Winged Ones. While he recovers in Tauria’s home, they fall in love.

The challenge they face is that of bringing their worlds together – the Wingless and the Winged Ones. Politics and love are woven into the story. To bring their societies together, Tauria gets a job that allows her to start preparations for contacting the Winged Ones. On the other side of the mountain, Doron actively pleads with his father to initiate a relationship with the Wingless. Will they succeed in creating a world where a relationship between a Winged One and a Wingless is possible?

I have enjoyed the first book in this series. The environment and the worlds created are unique, and the characters are interesting in their overpolite ways. I had issues believing in Tauria and Doron’s relationship at the beginning, as everything happens quickly and with few details. However, as the story evolves, they grew on me, and I was rooting for them in their endeavors. Doron’s love and passion for Tauria are sweet, and the contrast between this and Tauria’s more serious side is sometimes funny. I also liked how the friendship between Tauria and Byrne developed throughout the story. For the next books, I hope to find out more about Abelia (Doron’s sister) and her story.

“Neglected Merge” is definitely a distinctive read!

This is a guest review by Arianne Nicks the author of Soul of Light and Thunder. You can find more information about Arianne via her website here.

“Darke Blood” by Lee Hall

A huge thank you to fellow author Ellen Khodakivska for this wonderful review of Darke Blood

Ellen Khodakivska

If you want to dive into a fantastic vampire/witch action-packed novel, this one is totally what you need.

“Sometimes you don’t need to say anything to say everything.” Lee Hall, “Darke Blood”

The Plot:  Blake Malone arrives in the forest town of Darke Heath. He hopes to make a fresh start and find answers to some riddles. The encounter with a pretty, mysterious woman named Caitlyn reveals more secrets than he could expect. Moreover, his memory starts playing a tricky game with Blake Malone, giving him more and more riddles hidden in the true darkness of the Darke forest. You can find out whether Blake Malone can fight the darkness and discover all the secrets by reading this brilliant, blood-freezing thriller full of vampires, witches, and true darkness.

The Writing Style: This is the next book in the “Open Evening” series, and, truth to be told, the plot thickens and…

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Social Media & Book Marketing (Emag 17th Ed)

Hello kind blog followers. I’d like to share with you a very recent appearance I made in an interview via the awesome Scribble’s Worth Book Reviews blog…

For those interested in creative ways to market yourself on social media this is the one for you!

Scribble's Worth Book Reviews

Get your Free E-mag copy now

Book marketing is one of the, if not THE biggest challenge authors of indie books face in their daily lives, and social media is still a great tool to make cheap book marketing, yet many don’t know how to use it. SO! We invited some of the authors we noticed that are using social media to their advantage in creative ways, such as Lee Hall, Tyler Wittkofsky from Tea with Coffee Media, Ashleigh Bonner and the incredible Ryan Cipriani !

Do get your Free E-mag copy now

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An Experiment in Flash Fiction – An Excerpt

An Experiment in Flash Fiction by Megan Hinde – an excerpt…

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I chose a few pieces of flash fiction from a random number generator. I organize my flash fiction by number of words per piece. So I took 24 to 545 and generated five random numbers. The following are the corresponding word count (as close as I can get) of each piece of flash fiction. Enjoy and check out the ebook or paperback of An Experiment in Flash Fiction available on Amazon. – Megan

An Experiment in Flash Fiction is for me, all my musing printed in one place. Inspired by Agatha Christie ‘And Then Their Were None’ and Clue, my original take on ‘Mr. Plum, in the Conservatory, with a lead pipe.’ Sometimes twisted, sometimes heartfelt, always a good time regardless of length.

First number drawn 196 closest piece in word count:

Old Relic -198

Old Relic

Out on the northwest side of town, among the rubble from fallen buildings…

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Learn how to enjoy having your work critiqued by Sherry denBoer

via Sherry denBoer Author

Learn how to enjoy having your creative work critiqued might sound like an impossible assignment, but, in my experience, releasing the dislike or fear is about mindset.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, the value of creating relationships with critique partners, I remember the jitters that came when first handing off a manuscript for critique.

Like most things precious to us, we don’t want to have our work dissected, altered, and criticized. We want it to remain whole, unchanged, and pleasing just as it is. And sometimes, we believe that our creation reflects us; so, critique it, and you critique us. We don’t enjoy hearing about the parts of our creation, and thus about us, the creator, that might need improvement.

But why are we so fragile about this? I can only speak for myself. Maybe you can relate.

When I first received a critique of the first draft of my manuscript, the many red markings in the margin (or wherever they fit) rose from the page like warning signals of personal failure. Even when I told myself I’d be okay with whatever came back to me, those pages of red markings were difficult to digest… at first. The next day, after I’d slept on the comments, interestingly, I felt differently about them. One or two of the comments immediately stood out; their improvement to my work was undeniable. If one or two comments made that much of a positive difference, what might all the rest do?

And just like that, I transformed from a wounded ego to an eager creator once more-more excited about my project than ever.

Instead of fearing failure or personal judgment, I experienced renewed excitement about my manuscript, and deep gratitude for the person who’d taken the time to read it, and the care to comment so generously.

My mindset had changed. The critique experience became thoroughly positive; it became a lesson in which I quickly found great value. I was now excited to contemplate and evaluate each thought or suggestion given to me. I moved through each comment with care and consideration. For each critique provided, one of the following occurred:

  • I accepted a critique suggestion outright;
  • I used the clear misunderstanding of a critique remark to change a manuscript description, plot element, character intention, word choice, or another such manuscript-related component. Each change brought a noticeable improvement;
  • Each change brought a noticeable improvement. I reworked a critique to better suit the intention of my manuscript;
  • I altogether discarded a critique.

Sometimes, well… I’d say, most of the time, we’re too close to our work to see objectively where it needs improvement.

Here are a few examples of errors or omissions we can too easily miss:

  • Words that don’t convey the meaning we intend;
  • Improper use of pronouns;
  • Improper use of tense;
  • Repetition of phrases or words or overused expressions;
  • Use of clichés;
  • Misspelled words;
  • Holes or gaps; the missing bridges that connect the plot or scene structure;
  • Creation of a character who lacks depth or isn’t relatable to the reader;
  • Inconsistencies in the timeline or other details.

In time, handing a manuscript or some other heartfelt creation over to a peer for critique becomes easier. We,

  • Move past worrying about being judged and get back to the business of producing the best creation we can;
  • We see the remarkable value in each critique—even the critiques that at first seem too heavy-handed or harsh;
  • Each remark becomes a path to improvement of creation and craft.

To enjoy having your creative work critiqued might sound like an impossible assignment, but, in my experience, releasing the dislike or fear is about mindset.

This is a guest post by Sherry denBoer and you can read the original version here.

You can also find Sherry on Twitter.

If you would like to publish a guest post on here then please do reach out.

Guest Book Review: ‘Cascade: The Sleep of Reason’ by Rachel A. Rosen

Review by Rohan O’Duill

A generation has passed since climate change brought about the Cascade that transformed the world, smashing the tectonic plates of the political landscape and infesting the wilderness with demons and shriekgrass.

“Jonah knew that holding power always meant drowning, that every second in office meant fighting for oxygen, with one’s enemies baying like hunting dogs on the shore. Ian, with the treacherous sea in his fisherman’s blood, must have been used to drowning.”

The character complexity in Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel Cascade is fascinating. Ian moved from a working-class fisherman’s family into being a campaigner and protestor. When he developed magical powers and the ability to see into the future, he aligned himself with the new hope in politics. But it turns out that predicting the future doesn’t mean anything in a political system that is just not fit for purpose to deal with the climate crisis. It’s a chilling observation of the struggles in today’s corridors of power. But despite the weightiness of the messaging in this climate-disaster fantasy, there is a whole lot of laugh-out-loud moments and action that keep this 400 page novel careening along.

“You go lookin’ for terrorists, you see every daft kid dreamin’ of his 72 virgins and every chinless loner prick with a case of blueballs that he blames on his ex-girlfriend.”

Ian Mallory is Malcolm Tucker with heart, and the abuse that he dishes out to confuse and divert attention from his actions is priceless. His apprentice, Sujay, is not far behind with the cutting observations, although these start out mostly in her own head before circumstances force her into the open.

What starts out as a political thriller with magic, quickly evolves into a quick-witted action-filled fantasy that explores climate change, activism, corruption, racial profiling, brutality and the chaos inflicted on the world through popular politics. This is all held together superbly through Rachel’s beautiful writing style and storytelling ability.

This is a guest book review by Rohan O’Duill who you can find on Twitter.