I’ve been knee-deep in a very sticky first draft for most of this week (second-book syndrome; it has been kicking my backside), so reading time has been limited. Imagine my joy on Thursday evening when I finally got to write the magical words “The End”!
After that stress and strain, I was delighted to relax with Olivia Wildenstein’s The Masterkey. I love Olivia’s writing and was thrilled to find another book in the series. I read The Masterpiecers and The Masterminds a while ago now, and I think The Masterkey, although set chronologically earlier than the others, is a new addition to the world. It’s also utterly fabulous. The Masterkey focuses on Aster, Masterpiecer Ivy’s twin sister. Aster is heartbreakingly lovely and damaged, and Josh is simply a poppet (probably don’t tell him; he might not be flattered).
I’ve mentioned before my perception that everything’s part of a series now, and yes, sometimes that’s annoying, but The Masterkey reminded me that it can be a really good thing. As a reader, when you find a world you enjoy, you want to spend more time there. I know it felt like a real treat to get back with Ivy and Aster again. So now I’ve got the opposite problem of being sad that there isn’t more to read about them – never happy us readers, are we?
I’m on a roll, readers. This week I read and reviewed Slayer by JA Armitage and JA Culican with time to spare. When a trainee dragon-slayer and a dragon shifter come face to face there are bound to be sparks. I loved this Romeo-and-Juliet story about Julianna and Ash discovering the truth about their villages’ enmity. And thankfully, while there’s plenty of lies, betrayal and fighting, no one gets poisoned in Slayer.
And since I can’t bear to be without a book, I also grabbed Joanne Macgregor’s The Law of Tall Girls, a new release by one of my favourite authors. I don’t read many contemporary books because speculative fiction is my first love. But, oh my, when they are this good it’s a pleasure to switch genres! Curiously enough, Romeo and Juliet also featured here, with a high school play of the ill-fated lovers’ story. The Law of Tall Girls is beautifully written with real emotional punch. I loved it.
Check back next week to see what I pick next from the Shattered Worlds collection – or elsewhere!
I travelled in time and space this week, with Kristy Tate’s The Pirate Episode. It’s a time travel romance which took me to the sunny Caribbean during the American revolutionary war.
I loved it! The sense of place was gorgeous – I could feel the sun on my face. Kristy’s writing is light and deft and I vehemently wanted a happy ending for her characters. Perfect weekend reading!
And because I am a reading demon at the moment I snapped right to the present day and also read Cookie O’Gorman’s Ninja Girl. This is her second (as far as I know) and it was just as much a delight to read as Adorkable. It is flawed – I could see the plot twist coming a mile off (way before any of the characters did, which was a bit unlikely), but somehow that doesn’t matter when you’re reading Cookie O’Gorman!
I loved them both. Check back next week to see how I got on with Slayer. It features dragon shifters, and I really hope I like it better than Shadow Queen which has the same trope but left me cold!
I’m blogging in support of a friend today, on the topic of dreams.
I had a Dream…
I dreamed of being a published writer once. Ah, wait, no, I don’t mean a day dream. Of course I had the “dream” of being a published writer, otherwise I wouldn’t be here now, but long before I was published I had a proper, sleeping, dream of being published. I was in some kind of refectory (maybe I’d been watching the Harry Potter films, because that’s what it was like, lots of us sitting before long wooden tables eating breakfast) and the postie walked in with the mail. He stood at the end of the long refectory table handing out envelopes, and then pulled a rectangular, book-sized package out of his sack and held it up with a sly smile, “Does anyone know who this might be for?” In the way you have in dreams I knew it was MY book, printed and back from my publishers ready to be unleashed on the book-reading public. I stood on my chair, “Me! It’s mine!” And practically climbed over the table in my eagerness to reach the physical end result of all my writing efforts.
I can still remember that sense of utter delight at knowing my book was finally a real thing. Being published for real was different (no refectory tables, for a start), but every bit as exhilarating as I’d dreamt.
Well, I’m going to have to go metaphorical here, because I don’t think my childhood dreams about foot-eating pigs are entirely relevant to reading and writing.
My nightmare isn’t, as you might expect, not being able to write. I’ve tried giving up and I just can’t do it. Even if you took away my PC, burned all the paper and pens and pencils in the world and didn’t let me have even a stick of charcoal from the fire I’d still write – it would just be in my head. My nightmare would be if I lost the ability to write – if I could no longer construct a sound story and write it in an entertaining manner. My nightmare would be to lose my writing competence without losing the desire to write well. Shudder.
My Dream for the Future…
Is simply to keep on doing what I love, and to get better with each book. However, given that my writing always explores some aspect of ecology and humanity’s care of the planet, it would also be utterly marvellous if the world could not implode in a global disaster so there will still be people around to share stories with.
Now, the reason I’ve been blogging about dreams is to celebrate and support my dear and lovely writer friend, Alison May, whose new book, Midsummer Dreams, is out today. Alison writes contemporary romances (oddly, some people display no desire to write melodramatic fantasies where the end of the world is nigh!), which are packed with a wonderful emotional punch. Check out the details below.
Four people. Four messy lives. One party that changes everything … Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect. Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself. Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers. Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach. At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.