Another tricky week, this week, readers. The Shattered Worlds Read Along finishes today with Miranda Hardy’s Death Knocks, except that I’d already read that, having got myself a bit out of order (it’s fabulous, btw). So there wasn’t a book from the collection that I felt as though I needed to read.
So, I haven’t read a Shattered Worlds book this week. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading. I hope that will only happen when I’m no longer breathing! But this has been a week where I’ve focused entirely on myself.
As well as busily writing my nano words (I’ve hit 42k – OMG, crack out the choccie brazils, I have never written this consistently fast before in my life!) I was also on deadline to get my final clockwork war book to my editor ready for her to start work on Monday. So that’s what was on my Kindle, having a final read through to make sure that any plot holes big enough for me to see were filled in before it was sent off for a professional assessment. There will, sadly, be other plot holes that hid while I was reading, but that’s why I use an editor.
Being at 42,000 words when I’m aiming for a 50,000 word first draft means I’m actually on the home straight. I want to finish by next weekend, so I can actually slow down a lot and still hit my target. I hope that’s going to give me time to read, because I really want to lose myself in someone else’s worlds.
First off is the new release by one of my favourite writers – Kelly St Clare. Blood Oath (co-written with Raye Wagner) came out this week and I’ve only made it into chapter two so far (it’s great; Kelly’s books always are). With a bit less time writing and more reading going on in my life, I hope that will also be finished by next weekend.
Check back next week to see if I’ve met either or both of my new deadlines!
Well, it was looking like I might not manage a Shattered Worlds book report this week. Life’s been manic and I haven’t had as much time for reading as I would have liked.
However, I’m delighted to report that I reached THE END of The Magic or the Rulership by Emily Martha Sorensen while I was waiting for my takeway last night.
I loved it. It’s set in a fantasy world and had some glorious touches – I adored the idea that being a mathematician was a surefire way to poverty, and the system for power in the world was absolutely fascinating.
The other thing I truly adored was the humour that infused the story. Tevan’s feelings about his intended, Ainlinn, were extremely wry and amusing, and their meeting with the Ruler was laugh-aloud.
And the reason I’ve been so busy this week? Well, I was racing to finish revisions on the final clockwork war book so I could clear my desk ready for Nano. I am joining that mad band of authors aiming to write 50k words during November. So far, I’m at 16k on day 5, so I’m pretty happy with progress so far. I’ll keep you posted!
My blog is late this week, because I only finished Curse Breaker last night (not a slow reader, I’ve been taken up with lots of non-fiction reading this week, all about marketing, social media and advertising, yawn). Curse Breaker is just as lovely as I hoped it might be: a beautifully-realised fantasy world with some fabulous characters, a kickass heroine, heartbreaking prince and page-turning abilities that reminded me of Michelle Madow.
And do you know what, I’m more than halfway through my Shattered Worlds challenge, and I am so impressed by what a fabulous group of writers I’ve joined with. I only knew a couple of my fellow contributors before getting involved in Shattered Worlds (and them only through Facebook), but everything I’ve read so far is creative and powerful and well worth reading. When people are still blowing the tune that indie-published books are in all ways sub-standard I’m proud to be a part of a group blowing that myth out of the water.
Check back next week, I’m jumping into Elizabetta Holcomb’s time slip next.
Well, my learn from my reading this week was to GIVE IT A CHANCE, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!
This week I picked Death Knocks from Shattered Worlds. It starts with two boys playing console games while they babysit one of their little sisters. I’m sorry to have to admit I’d probably have put it down right there if I was free reading because I am that impatient a reader. Fortunately, I gave it a bit more of a chance (and only a bit more – you probably get 3 pages of everyday life before the story kicks in), and I ended up glad I had.
Death Knocks is creepy as all get-out. It did a really good job of turning the everyday (a knock at the door) into something VERY unsettling. Told in alternate chapters by a male/female POV voice the characters were fabulous (I loved sidekick Marcus and his “shiitake!”), and the story rattled along, dragging me with it in the breathless way I love best. I’m so glad I stuck with it!
Next on my list is Audrey Grey’s Curse Breaker. I’ve been looking forward to this since I read an extract way back before the set even launched, so check back next week to see what I made of it.
This week I read A G Henley’s The Scourge. This took me by surprise in a lot of very good ways. What seemed at first to be a pre-industrial fantasy world turned out to be set in a post-apocalyptic future. There were other twists like that, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But in short, very little was quite as it seemed. Narrator Fennel was ideal to experience this story with us, because you really couldn’t always believe your eyes (Fennel is blind, so doesn’t have the option to trust her eyes!).
And that’s the only reading-for-pleasure I’ve managed this week. I have been busy with my own books, though: proofing the paperback of The Clockwork War, the Kindle version of An Airship from Ashes, and revising The Tinker Queen ready for editing while working on the first draft of finale The Immortality Device, so it’s all go in my house!
If you’ll forgive me a bit of self-promo, I’m delighted to say that The Clockwork War is now available as a real life ink-and-paper book. If that’s what floats your boat, check it out.
I’m looking forward to next week when I should have more time for reading. Check back next week to see what I’ve picked from Shattered Worlds.
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!
Well, this week’s story taught me not to be so prejudiced, frankly. There are 21 books in Shattered Worlds (minus my own) and my target is to read twelve in twelve weeks, so I need to cut them down a little.
I only glanced at Richard’s Story, thinking I’d have a quick look and knock it right off the list. I rarely read books with a male POV, and I really don’t like sport, so a book about a boy whose aim in life is to get a soccer scholarship (even if that gets interrupted by the apocalypse) wasn’t going to be my thing, was it?
Blimey, I shouldn’t have written this one off so quickly! I was gripped in the first page. It is about a boy, the eponymous Richard, but it’s not about football at all. Rich is a rather fabulous, perfectly ordinary teen whose plans for life are destroyed by a terrorist apocalypse. His narration was spare and emotional, heartbreaking and terrifying in places (especially given how the world is right now). I was utterly gripped.
So that’s me told!
I’ll be back next week to chat about The Pirate Episode, which is next on my list. I read a quick extract of this before publication and loved it, so that one was an easy pick.
If Facebook is your spiritual home, and you like a bit of company in your reading, the Shattered Worlds authors are holding a read-along. Check it out and jump in when you have questions or comments about the books you’ve read.
Having enjoyed my Alphabet Challenge tremendously, I’ve found myself a new challenge to keep me focused on my reading for the next twelve weeks.
Today marks the start of my Shattered Worlds challenge. My new book, The Clockwork War, is one of the YA novels in Shattered Worlds, which became a USA Today bestseller last week (yippee!). The collection will be exclusive to Amazon (and Kindle Unlimited) for the next ninety days, and I’ve set myself the challenge of reading and reviewing one of the books each week that it’s out.
(Please note, I’ll be reviewing here and on the Paisley Piranha blog, not on Amazon itself, because I’m a contributing author to the set and impartiality and terms and conditions, blah, blah.)
I have already read one of the other stories. I started with Cortney Pearson’s The Perilous In-Between, because that was the other steampunk story in the collection and I wanted to read her take on the genre. Check out my review on the Paisley Piranha blog, but in short: it’s deliciously glorious.
So, I’m moving on to the apocalypse. Check back next week to see what I’ve made of Rebecca Rode’s Richard’s Story.
Oh my goodness, I thought I might slacken off when I didn’t have my Alphabet Reading Challenge to keep my nose in a book. I’m delighted to say that hasn’t happened at all!
Since blogging last I’ve had a lovely week off, taking a holiday by the seaside. I also caught up on some of the books I wanted to read “just because” rather than because they start with the necessary letter of the alphabet to fit my challenge.
I got through the whole of Rachel E Carter’s Black Mage series (terrific – the list of imaginary worlds in which I want to take a holiday grows exponentially!). I read an out of left field 5* book that just happened to catch my eye in a Facebook group I’m a member of. Ember Burning was unsettling in the best way – creative, eerie and populated by fabulous characters.
And finally, I read a book by a fellow author in the Shattered Worlds collection. I decided to start with Cortney Pearson’s The Perilous In-Between to check out her take on steampunk, and it’s glorious – delightfully fantastical and beautifully written.
I’m now back to work and writing hard on my clockwork war series – book two is about to go to my proof-readers, and I’m on the home straight to complete the writing of book three. While I’m doing that, my reading is research for what I’m going to write next (ideas are coalescing, but I’m not certain which story I’m going to pick just yet). I’ll keep you posted!
If you’ll excuse me a plug, Shattered Worlds is out now and today is the last day to get it at launch-day-bargain price of .99. Next week it will be going up to the regular price of $2.99, so if you’re dithering, dither no longer and grab a copy!
I am so excited to share this with you – my next release will be part of a set with 22 other novels by a group of uber-talented YA writers: Shattered Worlds
Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.
.99 for a limited time!
From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you’ve been dying to get your hands on!
This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today’s New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!
Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can’t be found anywhere else.
Preorder now for your passport to SHATTERED WORLDS!
USA Today bestselling
author J.L. Weil USA Today bestselling authors Armitage & Culican New York Times bestselling author N.R. Larry Rebecca Rode Kristy Tate A.G. Henley USA Today bestselling author Jane Redd Miranda Hardy and Jay Noel Ali Winters Audrey Grey Elana Johnson Megan Linski Elizabetta Holcomb Cindy M. Hogan Liz Long Julie Hall Cameo Renae Jen Minkman Cortney Pearson Ainsley Shay Katy Haye USA Today bestselling author Emily Martha Sorensen Nichole Giles