Search This Blog

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cover Reveal: Thicker Than Blood

Hello there all you strange people out there!

Allow me to introduce a brilliant author. She's currently working on a five-book series entitled The Magicians series, she is a funny and interesting person, so without further ado I introduce you to 
Lindsey Sablowski
Lindsey R. Sablowski is a fantasy author who lives in Maryland with her boyfriend and two cats. 
Lindsey has always adored reading and writing. Some of her favorite authors include John 
Greene, Phillipa Gregory, Michael J. Sullivan, Tamora Pierce, and Mary Stewart.
Her two published books, Cursed With Power and Shadows and Embers, are part of the 
Magicians series, consisting of a total of five books. The third installment in the series, titled Thicker 
Than Blood, will be releasing in August 2014.

To stay updated with her progress in upcoming books and to learn more about the Magicians 
series, you can follow her blog at:

Now, allow me to explain. Sablowski has already finished two books out of her series - Cursed with Power and Shadows and Embers - so this is the cover revea#l for her third book Thicker Than Blood. Let us begin with a brief snippet from her new novel (which is delightfully intriguing): 

We followed the noises and passed by more trees until Léal was in our sight. He performed a spell which hit the tree in front of him. Rostland held me back and gestured he would advance first.​Slowly stepping forward, Rostland said, “Léal, you need to stop before you hurt yourself.”​He turned around and glared, but sweat covered his face and ran past his neck. ​Léal replied, “You knew her for one year; I knew her for five. She kept saying time and time again she was on my side, and I never once believed her until the end.”​Rostland took another step forward, but Léal raised his hand. I considered moving closer to help if anything spun out of control, but I was confident in Rostland.​“Do you plan to kill me again? Come now, you’re making a fool out of yourself,” Rostland said in a firm voice.​Léal whispered a word and cast a spell, causing a ice shard to strike through Rostland’s chest. Every muscle in my body tensed, but Rostland quickly ripped the icicle out and threw it on the ground. The icicle broke apart into pieces, and the two men stared at each other.
Hmm, I am just itching to read this! So, have I intrigued all of you as well? Then, I suppose I should reveal this cover seeing as that's what this is all about. So allow me to show you the beauty of Thicker Than Blood's cover!

How do you think it compares to her other two novels in the series? 

Ah, next time I'll definitely have to invite Sablowski for a guest post! It would be marvelous. Now then, it's time I fled the scene of this beautiful crime. I hope you enjoyed this brief cover reveal and that you - as much as I - want to read Sablowski's series! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review - Chasing Freedom by Nicola S. Dorrington

About the Book 

Chase Finn is being hunted, and if he ever stops running he’s going to end up dead.

It doesn’t matter that he’s only seventeen. It doesn’t matter that just a few weeks ago he was a normal teenager. All that matters is that he is a threat, and the Agents tracking him will stop at nothing to see him neutralized.

With the line between friends and enemies blurring, Chase discovers he is just a pawn in the middle of a war that’s lasted for centuries, but he isn’t going to let himself be used any longer.

Soon both sides of the war are going to learn that the most important thing about Chase Finn isn’t that he’s a werewolf, it’s that he’ll sacrifice everything, even his own freedom, for the people he loves.

My Review

I'm not going to lie, this book took a little while for me to get into, but when I did, I found it really enjoyable. This is a book that I would usually pick up from the bookstore, as it is filled with werewolves, shifters and vampires. This automatically assures me that this book is going to be full of some butt kicking scenes. How can you have so many supernaturals together and not get some epic battle scenes?

This story really began to draw me in, which is not a surprise given all of the mystery that you are immediately given. Who is after Chase? And why do they want him? You are left wondering and waiting. I think the initial questions that are asked when the story first begins are what really drew me in and made me just want to keep flipping those pages.

Not only was the plot great and gripping, but I really enjoyed the characters. Chase, who I kind of found to be a little annoying at first, really grew on me and his relationship with a certain shifter was so fun to read about. Though none can really match Maladict for me. He was just the greatest for me, what with his snarky and sarcastic attitude. He's a vampire after my own heart, really. I don't know that the story would have been the same without him.

If I were going to rate this story, I'd give it a four. The plot took a little time to pick up, but when it did, it was great. And I found that I really enjoyed the writing style too, which is almost as important as the plot in my opinion.

Overall, a very good read and one that I would highly suggest to anyone looking for a good supernatural read.

Where to find the book 
All Other Formats:

About The Author

Nicola S. Dorrington is a 30 year-old writer from England, currently living in the Cayman Islands,
where she procrastinates by staring at the ocean. CHASING FREEDOM is her second novel, set in a wet and mythical version of the country she left behind. Her first novel THE LAST KNIGHT was published 2013. She fully expects to one day be a crazy old cat lady - only with dogs.

Where to find Nicola 

Head on over to Nicola's blog and enter to win some pretty nifty stuff. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Daydream if you must, because that's the only escape you'll get from reality during daylight hours.

Well, Hello There

Hey there readers. Been a while, hasn't it? Don't worry, it's not you, it's me. I've been pretty lazy busy the last few months, what with writing, family stuff and preparing for college. That's right, this girl is a senior and just a very few weeks away from being done with high school forever. It's very exciting, though I'm also a bit nervous.

I mean, who isn't nervous about going off to college? You have to say goodbye to the childish ways of the past and become an adult, which is a very intimidating title. I mean, I've always thought of myself as more mature than most girls my age, but come July 27th, I'm going to be a real adult.

Not going to lie, it feels weird every time I think about it. One night a few weeks back, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep when I really understood that this was it, I'm growing up. For a very long time, I've wanted to get older and be able to do grown up things, like drive. Now I am driving and thinking about buying a car, which is just crazy. I've also been forced to think about college and what I want to do with my life afterwards.

I'm still not really sure what direction my life is going, despite the hours I've spent thinking about it. Of course I want to be a writer and get my stuff published, but that is still a few years down the road. So, what do I do until then? Where should I live after school? Do I want to move back in with my family or stay out on my own? There are so many questions and frankly, I don't have many answers.

These questions aren't all going to be answered any time soon, I know that. I'm sure I'll be going back and forth with my options until the last minute, even if that isn't the adult thing to do. But despite the fact that sooner than I can believe, I'll be moving out of my parents house and starting an adult life of my own, I'm happy. I'm still nervous and apprehensive and I'm going to question every decision I make from now on, that's okay. People can't become responsible overnight and becoming 18 doesn't magically give you the answers. It'll take time and I've just got to be prepared to screw up - a lot.

I'm not really sure if any of this makes sense, but I hope you can all find something useful among the mush. Saby and I will be trying to post much more often now and I think we'll have some cool posts for y'all in the not too distant future.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Long time no see?

Hello there, 

It's been a while, no? The last year has been very hectic, and it's definitely been filled with fun and maybe a few mishaps. I mean, I even managed to break my foot. So here's to hoping that 2014 will be a little bit better. 

There will be a few upcoming blog tours and reviews, but that's on my side of the fence. I'll have to send some messages to those lazy co-authors of mine. I'll be damned if they don't forget that they're a part of this blog, too. Ha ha.

Anyways, despite this being the first day of back to school, there happens to be a snow day. Which is great news by my definition, but all good things must come to an end. Which is why I'm hoping for a snow day tomorrow as well. Why? Well, on Wednesday I get to have this cast removed. Woo hoo! Only to get a new cast put on. Bummer. 

Ha, guess it was my fault anyway. I mean, I broke my foot all because I decided that I wanted to try out for the "baby-gate jumping olympics". A not-so-bright idea on my part. 

All that aside, I'd like to wish you all a late Happy New Years from myself (and surely those lazy co-authors of mine). So, until a later date. 
Just going to post this here because I can. :) 

- Write on

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Almost Married

New books are a great way to spend one's time regardless of whether it's the holiday or not! So take a look at this newest book that'll be coming out next year by Roe Valentine! 
 Almost Married
 Roe Valentine
 Contemporary Romance
Release Date
 27 January 2014
Realist, Dr. Carla Harris, believes that people create their own fate, through hard work and careful planning. She believes in playing things safe. But, while preparing for her upcoming nuptials she’s forced to confront the most reckless thing she’s ever done, her estranged husband, Jacob.
Idealist Jacob Moreau believes in soul mates, as much as he believes in saving endangered companies. When his long lost wife reenters his life seeking a divorce, he is convinced more than ever they are meant to be together. And he will do—and lose—anything to have her again.
She thought she had her life planned to perfection. He thought they made perfect sense together. Would marrying Jacob be the craziest thing she’s ever done, or divorcing him?
You can add Almost Married to your to-read list on Goodreads:
I now present to you the author: Roe Valentine!
Roe Valentine was born into the right family. Not only does the name Valentine suit her, but her grandmother, unknowingly, introduced the young Ms. Valentine to her first romance novel. She hasn’t read anything else since. She calls herself a romantic at heart and believes that love conquerors all.
(I'm kinda sorta jealous of her author photo, I mean
my author photos always have this "deer in head-lights" look.)
The San Antonio native, who now lives in Houston, attempted to write her first contemporary romance novel when she was nineteen years old. That attempt didn’t take, but her story has a happy ending. She kept pursuing the dream until she landed her first publishing contract. Almost Married is her debut novel.
When not busy writing or reading love stories, Roe can often be found in a yoga class or chatting with friends at her favorite coffee shop. Enjoying margaritas with some girl-talk isn’t unusual for her either. For a night in, she watches reruns of her favorite TV shows and, of course, romantic comedies on her Roku, usually with a glass of wine.
Feel like contacting this lovely author? Send some messages her way, she loves chattin' with her readers (who wouldn't?):

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Push yourself

When you begin writing, usually it's in a very simple way and everything you write within the first few years of writing is the same. This is alright if you don't ever plan on going anywhere with your writing, but if you want to write for the New York Times or write a best-seller, then you need to try something new.

Now, there are about a billion ways of writing and if you read a lot, you've probably read so many different ways that it makes your head spin. All of these ways of writing probably didn't just magically happen when the writer put pen to paper. I'll bet you that it took them years of trying out new ways to write before they came up with the best for them.

Maybe you write first person and use very simple, common, everyday words. Well, why not push yourself and try something new? How about third person, using synonyms for some of your favorite words and stretching your vocabulary. Try not to use the words 'that' and 'it' so often. Maybe even write a genre that you've never even thought about writing  before.

All of these things can help you grow as a writer. Even if you decide to stick with first person narrative, your writing style will not be the same as it was before. By exploring new ways of writing and thinking, you're expanding your creativity and improving the way that you write.

Just try pushing yourself and trying something new, because if you just continue writing the same way, how are you bettering yourself?

- Kailyn

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cover Reveal - Vision of Shadows by Vincent Marrone


December 30, 2013

Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer? 

After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.

And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.
You can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads:

Want a taste? 

Journal of Bristol Blackburn
Sunday, March 17th

There are times when being psychic really bites and this is one of them. Here it is, three in the morning and all I can think about is the boy who will eventually have his hands on me.

I have no idea what his name is. We’ve never met, but I feel like we’ve grown up together. I’ve had visions of him since I was six years old. Now, eleven years later, I know we’re getting closer and closer to finally meeting. I think it’s going to happen any day now.

And the thought scares the hell out of me. 
I know what Dream Boy will look like. In a word: hot. Dark hair that falls loosely over his deep blue eyes. He has an angel’s face and the devil’s grin. 
I know he’s got a bad boy attitude. Half the time, I get flashes of him getting hurt. Sometimes he’s playing the hero. Other times, he’s just being an idiot. Many times, it seems like there’s someone who enjoys hurting him.

What I don’t know is what he’ll be to me. 
There are times when he seems to love me. Don’t ask me why. But he’ll look at me with nothing but love and contentment in his eyes. Earlier tonight, I had one of those dreams. One where he couldn’t keep his hands off of me. Weird that I know every inch of his body, yet I have no idea what his name is, huh.

Then there’s the other vision. It was the first one I had of him and the one I have most often. It’s the one I woke from tonight, the feeling of his hands still on my skin.

In that vision, he doesn’t look at me with love, but hatred. He has his hands wrapped around my neck as he slowly squeezes the life out of me.

So any day now, I’m about to meet the boy of my dreams—literally. Then I get to see if he’s going to be the love of my life, or the end of it.

Funny thing is, I’m not sure which idea scares the crap out of me more.

 About the Author. 

Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.
Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.

As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent?
Check out where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment. You can also connect with Vincent on Twitter and Facebook

Wow, what a stunning cover! I don't know about you, but I can't wait to read this book.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I know I'm a little late on the band wagon that is The Fault in Our stars, but better late then never, right? 

For the past I don't know how many months, I've been seeing a lot of posts from my friends about this amazing and very sad book and I was determined to read it. So while I was staying with my brother, I asked my sister in-law to take me to B&N so I could get it and started reading it on my plane ride home.

I'd like to say that this book captured my attention right away and that I fell in love with it from the first words, but then I would be lying. Not that I didn't like it, but it's one of those books where I had to force myself to read on, though really all I wanted to do was put it down and pick up a book I knew I loved, like Vampire Academy. I didn't though, most of the time. I pushed onward and was well rewarded.

The story centers around Hazel Grace Lancaster, who currently has cancer and because of it, she has sucky lungs and has to wheel her oxygen around with her all day. Within the first few pages she meets Augustus Waters, a sexy cancer survivor that I grew to love very quickly. There's just something that I really love about Gus and I rather think that he's the reason that I wanted to keep reading. 

Funny, depressing, a little crazy and sad are words I would use to describe this book. It's about cancer, so you expect it to be a couple of those things, but funny? Well, let's just say that for me, it's Augustus that adds that much needed humor to the story. There's nothing wrong with Hazel Graces' humor, but I don't think she'd be half so funny without her partner in crime. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the story, even the parts at the end, where I cried like a baby. There was just something about this story that really grew on me and made me glad that I worked my way to the end and can say proudly that I finished this much loved book. Now I want to pick up my copy of Looking For Alaska that I picked up at the same time.

But, as there is always one of those, I found this story a little hard to read. The style in which John Green writes isn't one that I would say I enjoy and sometimes I had a hard time following along with the story line. Here and there I found it very difficult to read on and there were some aspects of the overall story that I think he could have done without.

In the end, I give it 3.5 stars and recommend that you pick up a copy, as well as a box of tissues, and enjoy.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cover Reveal: Yours, for Now by Siren Allen!

Hello and welcome back to all of you darling readers out there! Are you getting bored? I mean, I don't post very often, do I? I'm terribly sorry about that! However, there appears to be a lovely new cover reveal that I've got for you all! 

I'm sure you'd be delighted to hear that Siren Allen's book "Yours, for Now" is going to be put up on the blog! 

Check out the information below and see if you'd be totally interested in this new book (*cough* like I just so happen to be *cough*)

The question: "Would you like to try BDSM with me?"
Elizabeth Kemp never thought she'd ask friend and colleague, Preston Lancaster to be her submissive. Even more surprising, he agrees – on one condition: she has to return the favor. Her two weeks as his Domme end with a dramatic climax she wasn't prepared for – she's hopelessly in love and terrified he'll break her heart.
Dr. Preston Lancaster has been in love with Elizabeth since the day they met. His two weeks with her are more than he ever imagined, but when the tables are turned, she refuses to make good on her promise to reciprocate. Preston isn't giving up without a fight, but he's not fighting for two weeks of dominance anymore. He's fighting for forever.
Can Preston convince Elizabeth that her heart is safe with him – or will two weeks be all he has?
Are you interested yet? You can add "Yours, for Now" to your "to-read" list on Goodreads! C'mon, you know you want to:
Ah, right! I should probably introduce the author, so let's just ask this question for the sake of asking it:
Who is Siren Allen? Well, here's the answer:
Hi, my name is Siren Allen. I'm a writer and lover of all things erotic and romantic. I reside in southern Mississipi where I write steamy romances that are guaranteed to make you blush. When I'm not listening to the characters in my head and jotting down their adventures, I am busy working as a Clinical Laboratory Technicien. I love to travel, preferably with my husband, so he can do all of the driving. I enjoy time with my family, who are just as silly as I am. I have no children...yet, wish me luck! My hobbies are reading, writing and shopping, though I hate trying on clothing. If I wasn't a writer or a Laboratory Professional, I would probably be a Secret Agent. But that's the beauty of being a writer; you can create your own world and be whoever you want to be. In my imaginary world, I am Queen and my siblings are my minions.
Alright, so I've pretty much told you all there is to know about the book and Siren Allen, right? I guess that's it... right? Oh! I almost forgot (seriously) that this post was all for that cover reveal! Haha.
Well, shall we have a drumroll please?

Without further ado, take a look at Siren Allen's "Yours, for Now" cover REVEALED!

I think this cover deserves a round of applause with its enticing image. I mean, really! That man is just too hot to be on a cover. He should probably be lounging in my living room, instead. *cough* Hold on, don't listen to me. I'm supposed to be keeping this about PG-13, but actually... when you think about it, it's kind of impossible to promote an erotica without going above and beyond PG-13, so let's just keep what I was saying and I'll try not to add to it.

Anyway, that's all we've got for you today! Come back and maybe we'll have more news from or about Siren Allen and her novels! (Personally, this one is interesting me greatly).

Write on.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Guest Post: Lindsey Sablowski!

Hi, my name is Lindsey Sablowski, and I am the author of the young adult fantasy book Cursed With Power and the upcoming sequel, Shadows and Embers (releasing July 26th!). Today I've been asked to talk about how I write my novels and develop the characters.

A novel is honestly like your child. It's special, it's unique, and you know it from beginning to end. You're there with it from the moment it's "born" to the day it "spreads its wings." That's the wonderful part of being an author -you get to bring something into this world that you can be proud of. 

I realize every author has a different way of writing their novel. For me, it changes with each book.  For Cursed With Power I didn't do any outlining for the first draft, and then it wasn't until revisions that I really started to outline what would happen in each chapter.  For my upcoming book, Shadows and Embers, I outlined a lot because I didn't want to skip over anything important. Whether you want to outline or not, I do think it helps a lot to have some kind of organization of ideas for your book. It's so easy to start writing a chapter, think up an idea, and then forget it in the next five minutes. You're a writer, have some fun with your ideas, get creative and have a organized and working system to keep them all together.

As for development with characters, I think a lot of this relies on focusing on people in your everyday life. I write fictional stories, but the characters in my books are created because of people I have met in my life.  Some are more strongly based on individuals than others. This especially goes along with relationships as well. I know what it's like to lose people and to find someone you thought you had lost again, and those kind of experiences can really help when it comes to developing your characters into relationships with one another. People fall in love with characters because they can relate to them or because they have feelings for them. All throughout a book you have chances to show what each character means to the other, and that's how authors like John Green and Stephen King really get to people... They can either scare them or make them cry all because they took something people know and put it into words.

I think another great point to remember with characters is that every character deserves to have their own voice. You know the saying "walk in someone else's shoes?" That is exactly what you need to do for your characters. You need to walk in their shoes, walk with them, talk with them, everything possible until you know exactly who they are. Know them so well that when another character comes along you can clearly tell the difference between the two people talking.

I hope I shared some news tips with everyone that can help, and whenever in doubt remember there are hundreds of books and websites that go into greater detail about all of this.  Enjoy your days, and thanks for having me!

Lindsey Sablowski
Published YA author of Cursed with Power

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Shadows & Embers by Lindsey Sablowski

Welcome to you all, fellow readers! I'm glad to see that you decided to show up today to take a peek at a lovely cover reveal from Lindsey Sablowski and her new novel Shadows and Embers! It sounds interesting enough to me, and if I ever find some loose change around the house I might just go and buy it. 

Without further ado...

It's 1569 in Transylvania; Léal Irvine has committed to a powerful man all for the sake of revenge. Handsome, young Irvine is a high-ranking magician working for Esmour's organization, Destin, which is composed of Dark magicians from around the local areas. However, one by one magicians vanish or die, and suddenly the world of magic is not as safe as it once was. One of the members and Léal's best friend, Nicia, betrays the organization before the downfall. Unfortunately no one realizes the act of treason might have saved her life.

A year later Destin has fallen, and Léal sees the world through icy blue eyes. With only five Dark magicians alive his survival is constantly threatened, and he has no great leader or trusted allies to turn to. After infiltrating Belsgar and killing a member of the Magic Council, the war between darkness and light is no longer something anyone can walk away from. A new villain rises with a secret that could be deadly; meanwhile Nicia works to prove her loyalty to Léal while trying to revive their friendship.

Sides will be chosen, relationships will be at stake, and in the end the balance of the magical world will depend on the outcome of the war. When you're walking on a thin line between revenge and forgiveness how do you choose the right path without stepping too far over the crack?

Sablowski's even given us the chance to check out her book jacket, and I can certainly say that it is beautiful! Wah! I want my book to be published, too!

That's all! Isn't it lovely, though? Ah, the joys of being an author. 

Looks like I've best get going. I mean, having a job is not the funnest thing anymore, but I have to get to work eventually to win my bread, eh?

Write on!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To write or not to write?

That is the question. Is it not? I mean, I've been sitting at my computer and have begun to put off my novel writing. I know I shouldn't be doing it but some people just lack a bit of inspiration after vomiting their first 18,779 words. Seriously, though, I'm wondering what should happen next. At the moment I feel like I'm writing John Watson's perspective of Reichenbach Falls (if you haven't watched that episode yet then please do!). 

Ah, the reason why I posted today was because my good friend and fellow Inkie (more on that later) has made me a novel cover for my NaNo project. I adore it! 

What do you think? Awesome, eh? 

In fact, it's inspired another half of the story. But I'm limited to what kind of awesomeness I can include, seeing as in the 1800s there wasn't a huge technology boom like there is now. So we'll see how far I can take my dearest Evans and will he break with the death of all of his family and friends? We'll see.

I wonder if I should mention this? I'm going to be posting my lovely novel cover up on a seperate page and I'll add a wordcount bar to show you my progress on how it's going. That should keep you interested, eh?

Write on! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Welcome to Camp!

Summer has come and it is here to stay - at least for a little while. 

Let's have a show of hands as to who has entered Camp NaNo this summer? I sure have! I'll be participating this July, so I'll only be there for a month. I'm not very spirited to move on to August. That's just too much "word vomit" for me! 

My novel - Watcher - is quite the piece of work let me tell you, but there are always times when I struggle to get through it. I'm always itching to rewrite and erase but I refuse to allow myself such a measly means of escape.

Instead, I power through! It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.

I'm always doubting, but then I'll write a wonderful scene that has even me in tears and I'll realize that this is what I want. I want these tears because they signifie my hardwork and eventually they'll be the readers' tears!

I can't say much more than this, but it's going well. I've got 15,000 words so far and I'm trekking onwards on this long road to finishing my novel. So how have I managed to get through the first week of NaNo? Let me tell you this:

  1. Be brave. You can't freeze in the face of danger, you must move forward no matter how daunting the cliffside may be.
  2. Don't murder your friends and family (figuratively speaking). Of course, you might be extremely irritated because of the fact that they keep banging on your door and telling you that you should do something with your life and not be sitting at the computer writing a novel that could possibly change the course of history itself but don't let that deter you.
  3. Think positive. This is the hardest of them all. I mean, there were times when I just looked at my novel and immediately though: what the hell is this? Some kind of gibberish fit only for trash! but I pushed on. That's the immediate thing. Just tell yourself "When I finish this novel, I might be as famous as J.K. Rowling or it might be as awesome as Stephen King's novels!
  4. Don't look back. This is another of the hard ones. You must always move forward. To look into the previous words that you've written or the previous chapter leads to your untimely demise. I swear it. If you can't handle the pressure of looking forward, go ahead and look back but remind yourself that if you stop there this is all you'll be getting. There won't be another word after that last sentence.
  5. Listen to music! That is my salvation. I swear that music has helped me get through the toughest of scenes and the roughest of roller coasters. It's all that I care about when I'm writing.
  6. WARS! A lot of you might not understand the concept of a Word War but (if you happen to be a former Inkie then you won't need this explanation) if you have a bunch of writer friends then gather 'em up. Set a time (:45 to :55) and then you explode into action! You Write! In the given time frame you are to write as many words as you possibly can. At the end, you post your total wordcount (you can try an online site if you don't have Microsoft, like: and then post up the snippets that you've written. Of course, if there are spoilers then you don't really have to. It's completely and entirely up to you. 
  7. Goodluck charms. This is the last one of my little tricks. I use my goodluck charm - being a notebook and a pen - which always inspires me and reminds me that I have to write no matter what. 
You know, there are multiple ways to encourage yourself to write. Some people reward themselves after having reached a certain goal - either with cookies, dinner, lunch, breakfast or just candies. I suppose that's one way to do it, eh?

Anyway, I've got to get back to my own writing, so I'll wish you luck with yours. I'll get back to you next week and see if I can give you a little info on my own project so for now I'm going to drink the wine of literature and spew it up on paper! 

Until next time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Q&A With Author Nicola S. Dorrington

Seventeen-year-old Cara Page Knows what mark she's going to get on her English test next week. She knows in three days her history teacher is going to be late because his car broke down. She knows she's going to give the new boy a nose bleed on his first day. 

She knows because every night she dreams of the future, and every day those dreams come true.

Now she's dreaming of a boy, and a future that can't be real. Because if it is, then everything she thought was myth and legend is actually true, and there is an evil coming that will tear the country apart.

Lance Filwer is a boy with secrets of his own, and a past full of mistakes he can't undo. Cara is his second chance, his chance to succeed where he failed before - if only she'll trust him enough to let him help her.

Cara needs to know what's happening, but the answer lies in a long forgotten past, and an ancient legend. To find it Cara will have to travel into the depths of Wales, and the heart of ancient Britain. 

With Wraiths, creatures from the darkest of myths, dogging her every move, Cara knows it's only a matter of time before they catch up with her. And myth or not, they will kill her.

Her only hope is Lance, and the birth right she must claim, if she is to prevent the future she has foreseen.

You can buy THE LAST KNIGHT on Amazon.
You can add THE LAST KNIGHT to Goodreads

About the author
Nicola S. Dorrington is a 29 year-old writer from England, currently living in the Cayman Islands,

where she procrastinates by staring at the ocean. THE LAST KNIGHT is her first novel, set in a wet and mythical version of the country she left behind. She fully expects to one day be a crazy old cat lady - only with dogs.

You can find out more about Nicola on her blog, on Facebook and on Twitter at @NSDorrington. 

I asked Nicola a few questions and here is what she had to say!

When did you begin writing and what prompted you to try it? 

I started writing properly when I was about fourteen or fifteen. I’d always carried on stories in my head when I read books I particularly enjoyed (I suppose it was fan-fiction in its own way) and I just decided to try writing some of them down. I moved quite quickly onto writing my first novel. It was about 20,000 words long and I was so proud of it. I think I still have it somewhere!

Where did the idea for The Last Knight come from? And how long did it take you to finish writing the first draft?

I think I always knew that I would write a book about King Arthur, but for a long time I had no idea how to make it different and original. After all, the legends of King Arthur have been re-told so many times. Then one day I had this idea about a girl having memories of a life that wasn’t her own. It seemed like a cool concept but I didn’t really want to do reincarnation, I wanted something different, and so The Last Knight was born. To begin with all I knew was that she had these visions and that they were somehow connected to King Arthur – it was a long while before the plot as it is now really came into its own.

As for how long it took for the first draft – not that long. I think I finished the very first, rough, long-hand draft in about 7 weeks. It was one of those ideas that just takes hold. Of course, I almost immediately went back and re-wrote about 90% of it, and then it got put away for a few months before I went in for the next re-write. I’ve now been working on it for about 3 years.

The Last Knight is full of myths and all sorts of fantasy creatures. What is your favorite fantasy or mythological creature? 

Oh, now that’s a tricky question, because I love a lot of them. But I would probably have to say dragons. There is something majestic and beautiful about dragons.

Is your main character, Cara, based on yourself?

I wish! About the only thing we share is blond hair. I don’t think I could go through the things she goes through and come out as strong as she does. But she is based on a few people I know.

When you were writing The Last Knight, where there any books that you read as inspiration?

I read a lot of books on King Arthur the whole time I was writing. T.H White’s books, snippets of Malory and Geoffrey of Monmouth. And I read a lot of books on British mythology and folklore.

Are there plans for a sequel in the future? 

The second book, The Last Pendragon, is currently in the first draft stages. I’ve had to put it to one side to focus on the release of The Last Knight, but I’m hoping it won’t take me three years to get this one finished!

What book are you currently reading? 

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It’s an adult sci-fi, so a bit different to what I write, but Terry Pratchett is one of my all-time favourite authors!

Right before you sit down to write a book, is there anything that you do to prepare yourself and get those creative juices flowing?
Well, I always write long-hand in spiral bound notebooks and I like to have a fresh, clean new notepad when starting something new. I almost never work at a desk, I prefer to write curled up on the couch, but I have to be comfy and I have to have the TV or something on in the background because I actually find silence too distracting. I’ve normally let the ideas stew in my head for a while before I put pen to paper so by the time I sit down to write the words are pretty much leaping onto the page.

Be sure to pick up your copy of this shiny new book! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Afflicted: Guest Review

Welcome! I've returned now that Summer Vacation has begun and I've got a wonderful little gift for all of our loyal guests at "Hotel de Musings". Today we've got Jelsa, a warmly-welcomed friend, to be our guest reviewer for Afflicted, the sequel to Battle Scars by Sophie Monroe.

1/5 stars

Every pet peeve that I have, I found in this novel. To prove I’m not crazy, I have marked some quotes from the book to back up my points. Here goes:

Repetition of words:
The word “fuck” appears 146 times in the novel. Not only that, the novel is only 197 pages. A few pages had this word on it three or four times. Yes, people curse. But when characters are resorting to only using curse words instead of word choice with more substance, it becomes annoying instead of an asset.

“Another part of my anatomy” (page 6) /“Certain part of my anatomy” (page 25) --> This is Blake referencing his, for lack of a better word, genitals. Not only is that phrase repeated, but it is also not what a teenage male would actually think. To add to the inconsistency, partway through Blake starts referencing this part of his anatomy as “bam-bam,” which is apparently what he has named it. There are so many things wrong with that name that I don’t even want to unpack them. Piper also somehow knows its name. However Blake never mentions it to her, which means Piper must’ve read Blake’s mind or something.

The phrase “claimed my mouth” is often associated with kissing in this novel. Not only is this an awkward phrase, it also doesn’t show what is actually happening. There’s different types of kisses and different lengths of kisses. None of this information is shown when this phrase is constantly used over and over again. The phrase “kissed me passionately” is used over and over again as well. (I also noticed this in Carrier of the Mark.) That phrase also does not give readers real information about anything that is actually happening.

Description of Characters:
Character descriptions are there for a reason. One of my pet peeves is when character descriptions are blocked together, they’re all formatted the same way, and they’re very stereotypical. This book’s character descriptions fell under all three categories.

For example, on page 20 Blake meets a girl named Hayley after a set.

She was a petite brunette with the body of a swimsuit model.

Descriptions like these can be weaved in much more subtly. Describing a girl by her body more instead of her face also doesn’t really make sense because most people look at faces first when they meet people.
On page 35, Piper describes her boyfriend, Cole.

“He was handsome in an all-American boy way with his military haircut and freshly shaved face. He had dark brown hair, big brown eyes and a perfect smile.”

My critique of this sentence would be the following:
-What is the “all-American boy way”?

-Hair and eyes description is at the same time. Usually this should be spread out. Putting them together is very stereotypical.

-What is her definition of a “perfect smile”? Some people like dimples. Some don’t. Letting readers know this information makes the characters more realistic.

Unlikable Characters
There was not a single likable character in this entire novel. Blake is a sex-obsessed boy who spends almost the entire book sleeping with different girls. While relationship abuse is a very serious matter, the relationship abuse in this novel was strung along and repeated over and over just so the book would have some sort of plot. (Although not a very interesting one.) Readers have no reason to want Piper and Cole to remain together. Of course, Piper does end up with Blake, but if Cole is going to be in the novel, readers need to understand him. No character is 100% “good” or 100% “bad.” 

A successful story is able to reveal a characters’ strengths and weaknesses, no matter if they’re protagonists or antagonists. In this novel Cole was 150% antagonistic and, while I also really hated Blake throughout the novel, at least Blake wasn’t abusive.

Also, Blake is definitely a Gary-sue. Every girl he runs into wants to get into his pants, simply because he’s “attractive.” While physical appearance is what most people first notice about other people, a relationship based solely on physical and sexual attraction doesn’t last long in the real world. In the real world people have emotions. Many emotional things and emotional moments happened in this novel, but the emotions were skimmed over and usually sex resulted. As a reader this was very frustrating. While I know that sex before marriage is common in today’s society, reading six sex scenes about fifty pages into a novel is definitely a plot issue. This was a sign of an entire novel of relying on sex for intimacy instead of compassion, emotional intimacy, and friendship.

Besides seeing each other as sex partners, I see no reason for Blake and Piper to be attracted to each other. I was holding out for a well-written emotional scene to redeem this novel, but I was sorely disappointed.

Grammatical mistakes:
My biggest grammatical pet peeve is when people do not punctuate dialogue correctly. Throughout the entire novel, the dialogue grammar was punctuated incorrectly, and it was very difficult to force myself to keep reading on because there is a legitimate way to properly format dialogue, believe it or not.

For example:

Page 8: “Every thing’s going to be fine. Stop worrying.” She teased, placing her hand to the side of my face in an effort to comfort me.

I see more than one problem with those sentences, but I’ll stick to my point for now.

“Teased” is synonymous to “said.” Therefore the punctuation should be:
“Stop worrying,” she teased, placing…

Another option would be to format it with the verb beginning its own sentence, which would look like:
“Stop worrying.” She placed her hand to the side of my face.

When a whole novel has that error throughout it and this author has already published a few novels, this is absolutely unacceptable. If this error happened once or twice, that’s forgivable. But when a whole novel is written that way, that is a huge problem.

(By the way, notice how “every thing” is separated when it should be joined. That’s one of many mistakes in this novel.)

Throughout the novel, there were also instances where the narration would switch from past to present tense and then back to past tense. After a certain point I got tired of recording examples, but here is one from page 16.

I tried calling Rowan again and got her voicemail. We’ve been playing phone tag all week, but in three days we would be in Arizona and I planned on surprising her.

Somehow the author managed to use past, present, and future tense in one sentence. This was, however, done incorrectly. In the second sentence “we’ve” should be “we’d.”

Not only is changing tense incorrect, but it’s also confusing. If a reader begins reading in past tense, they expect the story to stay in past tense. If it switches to present it implies that there’s been a shift in time when there hasn’t been. (I’ll admit this excerpt is not the best example, but at least it gets the point across.)

My favorite mistake was by far the following sentence from page 126.
She walked over to the China cabinet.
China is the country, not a type of silverware.

Okay, I take back what I said. This is my favorite mistake, from page 92.
“I really like her mom and I’m looking forward to bringing her home to visit with me so you can meet her.”

Blake was referring to Piper, not her mom, while talking to his own mother. The lack of commas and punctuation in proper places was a nice recipe for giving this reader a good laugh after reading this sentence.
I could go on about a character “balling” their eyes out on page 158 and find other examples, but that probably covers the grammar inaccuracies enough.

Could’ve Been Written Better:
There were several info-dumps in the novel (the prologue, page 16, page 32 for an info-dump on Piper, and yet another info-dump on page 34. If I’m talking about myself and I say I have black hair and brown eyes and a dog named Waffles that likes to take walks and I like to read and write young adult novels and I’m in a relationship for the first time in my life going on nine months almost and I have two younger brothers who like to play basketball and I’m in college studying to be a psychology and child development major with a minor in music (if you read all that I apologize, it was to make a point) and I just talk about superficial things that could be shown in a novel all in one place, readers get bored and glaze over it. Readers have no reason to care about all that information. Instead if an author wants to reveal information about a character, it can be weaved in subtly.

 A character’s brothers and dog can wait to show up somewhere else in the novel. The major and minor in college information can be shown through a character having a violin recital, or reading a psychology textbook or talking about a psychology experiment such as the slippery slope or Milgram’s experiment (it was quite shocking, I suggest you check it out. Sorry for my awful pun). Then the information adds to the story instead of wasting space.

I don’t even remember what I read about Blake and Piper because honestly, 1) I didn’t care and 2) all the information was in one place, and it was ridiculously long. Through editing and better writing all this information could’ve been shown instead of told, as well as have enriched the story greatly instead of boring readers. 

This might just be my personal opinion, but it would be nice to know a main character’s name somewhat soon after that character’s introduction. In this novel Piper’s last name isn’t revealed until page 191, less than 10 pages from the ending. As a reader I might not have liked Piper a whole lot, but less than 10 pages from the ending is not the place to reveal a main character’s last name.

A birthing scene does not take half an hour. However the birthing scene on page 196 spans merely a few paragraphs and takes half an hour. No mention of the pain involved and fatigue. The author clearly did not research birthing, which usually takes around 10-12 hours just to finish the first of three parts. About half an hour to an hour is usually involved in the actual birthing process, followed by the after birth. In the book it’s very casually mentioned that the entire process takes half an hour, which is very inaccurate.

Even if Piper was far enough along that the second part was already beginning, she would’ve been in pain much sooner than described in the novel. Considering a good part of the novel hinges on the fact that Piper got pregnant, this scene should be much more important, lengthier, and more accurate.
Telling, not Showing

There were many examples of this, but let me just name a few:
Page 33: His expression menacing…
Page 34: He truly did look sorry…
Page 37: He looked torn…
Page 38: Clearly torn up about the whole conversation…
Page 157: I said firmly, getting angry with her…

70% of communication is body language. 20% is tone, and 10% is the actual words communicated. What does it mean to have a menacing expression, look truly sorry, or torn? It varies based on character. Some characters are more physically expressive while some turn away when upset. People also express their anger differently. The author missed many opportunities to show how the characters are different because of simply telling emotions instead of showing them. Yes, emotions were (and should) be present due to the subject matter in this novel. They just weren’t presented in a way that a reader can actually connect to.

This topic was basically covered throughout the other sections, so I’ll let this be and recommend no one read this novel. (If I rate a book 1 out of 5 stars, then it’s synonymous to “I don’t recommend it for anyone.”) If what you’re looking for is a novel driven by sex and the same plot points bouncing back and forth, go ahead. But if you’re looking for a book that shows characters struggling through real issues aided by each other emotionally with a real plot line, this is not your book.

If you read this far, thank you for your time, and happy reading.


Come again! I hope you heed Jelsa's advice, I mean. I took a gander at the book myself and let me just say that I completely agree with everything she's said! 

Beware this book, beware! 

Sorry Madame Monroe, but we'll be looking for a better turnout from you soon, eh?