Book Review | South by South East by Anthony Horowitz

28 May, 2016 / 5 comments

Anthony Horowitz is a very popular kids author in the UK, and I saw a stack of his books in our library when I picked up The Boundless.  I picked up this one, largely because of the plaintive message from one of the characters at the front of the book “This is the third book…

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#FlashbackFriday | Rajah of Nilgiri

27 May, 2016 / 13 comments

I’ve been doing Flash Fiction on Fridays for a long time now, and my first reaction on seeing Michael D’Agostini’s Flashback Friday was to think, no – I do flash fiction then.  But I need to write and edit my books, and doing new flash fiction every Friday detracts from that writing /editing time.  So just on…

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#Fi50 – Mixed Messages

25 May, 2016 / 8 comments

It’s that time again, when I locate the Bookshelf Gargoyle’s prompt for the Fiction in 50 Challenge and set to work on the somewhat difficult task of a good (and complete) story in fifty words.  You can join in any time – just go to Bruce’s sign up and prompt page here. This month’s prompt is…

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Greenhorn poster with laurels-lowres

Update on Greenhorn – book and movie

23 May, 2016 / 4 comments

Three years ago I published a review of Anna Olswanger’s middle grade novel  Greenhorn. I ‘met’ Anna because we were both involved in the Love MG Actually project launched and co-ordinated by Sally Harris, which in turn led to the BookElves project.  Isn’t it fascinating how one thing leads into another? I stayed in touch with Anna (as…

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cloud formation like waves

Sunday science – Kelvin Helmholtz clouds

22 May, 2016 / 7 comments

Clouds that look like waves? These are so beautiful I had to share them with you… … read the whole explanation, with more photos, on the EarthSky website. Picture by Paul Chartier  posted on earthsky.com.  These Kelvin Helmholtz clouds were photographed on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Tupper Lake, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains.

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Book Review | Fireflies by Bree Wolf

21 May, 2016 / 10 comments

This book was nominated as a Great Middle Great Reads Book of the Month, in a special edition for indie authors.  I was a little doubtful about the book from the blurb, but got drawn in, and read it in two sittings.  It’s the first of an as yet unfinished trilogy, but it stands alone….

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Flash Fiction

#FridayFlash Fiction | Return to Sender

20 May, 2016 / 4 comments

Back to Chuck Wendig‘s very creative prompts today. I don’t know where he finds these random prompt generators on the internet (maybe I should google ‘random writing prompt generator’ and find out), but this one gave us two descriptions of crime fighters to pair together and, er, do whatever we fancied with them in 1500…

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On reviewing books – and a Clean Sweep update

16 May, 2016 / 10 comments

At the beginning of April, I got a surprise email from Goodreads.  No, it wasn’t a comment, or an update, or a new giveaway notice, not even a newsletter. It was an email from Otis and Elizabeth Chandler, the founders of Goodreads, congratulating me on becoming one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads, and…

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Book Review & Tour | Decanting a Murder by Nadine Nettman

14 May, 2016 / 2 comments

I’ve always been impressed with the Great Escapes blog tours.  I picked up Decanting A Murder through this network, and it proved to be a really enjoyable experience from start to finish! If you like cosy mysteries – or even crime dramas, you may well find things on these tours that you’ll enjoy. I was all…

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#FridayFlash Fiction | Rock, Sky and Water

13 May, 2016 / 2 comments

Today’s challenge from Chuck Wendig was to get a random photo from a site and use it as the inspiration for a 1000 word story.  This beautiful picture was the first up, and I neglected to note the photographer’s name, for which I apologise.  Please leave a comment and I’ll publicly praise you! I am…

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Report from Camp NaNoWriMo

9 May, 2016 / 5 comments

The price of doing both Camp NaNoWriMo AND the A to Z Challenge in April was that my reading time disappeared completely and my email answering time was sadly neglected.  In fact, I only dealt with urgent emails.  When I finished my story at Camp, I started on the backlog – over 400 of them!…

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Book Review | The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

7 May, 2016 / 3 comments

This was the Great Middle Grade Reads group’s Book of the Month for March, and I read it in two sittings over Easter, with a paperback from my library. The Blurb (from Goodreads) “She’s the most powerful steam engine in the world,” Will’s father tells the reporters. “She’d pull the moon out of orbit. As…

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Flash Fiction

#FridayFlash Fiction | Jeremy Pocket and the See-Through Wall

6 May, 2016 / 9 comments

I was sorely tempted to take this week off, or to give you a snippet from Viridian System Book 2.  But Chuck Wendig had challenged people last week to give him an awesome title, from which he selected ten for us to choose from – and I couldn’t resist this one.  It’s 1000 words, and…

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May I suggest 2016

May I suggest… Giveaway Hop

5 May, 2016 / 37 comments

I told you on Sunday there was a lot going on in May!   Thanks to Valerie at Stuck in Books I’m hosting a stop in the May I Suggest… Giveaway Hop from  May 6th (Fri) to 19th (Thurs). These are books I recommend, and I thought I’d pick out a range of books I’ve enjoyed…

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#IWSG – Is the force with you?

4 May, 2016 / 21 comments

May the fourth be with you. Having got that out of the way, it’s appropriate really, because today my insecurity about my work is going to crop up again, and this time, it’s the realisation that I don’t like today’s books. That’s a sweeping statement of course, and it would be more accurate to say…

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A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

#atozchallenge Round-up post | World-building wisdom

2 May, 2016 / 34 comments

Wow!  It’s over for another year – but then again, it’s not really over, since there are all those new friends I made when visiting – and all those I missed out. Although I feel I did better than some years, I only got to the first 200 on the sign-up list, plus about four visits…

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May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge and Children’s Book Week

1 May, 2016 / 5 comments

I know, I don’t usually post on Sundays, but there’s just so much going on that I’ve left till after the A to Z. First – the Children’s Book Week Giveaway and goodies is taking place on the Princelings of the East website.  Please pop over and take a look. Next, I’m having a blitz…

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Zndaria and the Z of the #atozchallenge

30 April, 2016 / 15 comments

Welcome to the last (or is it last but one?) post of the 2016 A to Z Challenge. What a journey! My world-building theme started at Alpha Kenworthy and ends at Zndaria, by way of Lothlorien and Turgonia, to name but two.  Today I review The Golden Wizard (The Scrolls of Zndaria #1) by J…

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#FridayFlash Fiction | The White Rose of York

29 April, 2016 / 4 comments

Friday is flash fiction day, and I’ve restricted myself to just over 800 words to bring you a piece of Viridian System series backstory, which readers of The Perihelix have been asking for.  Well, they wanted to know more about the enigmatic Aramintha, anyway, so here’s some world-building about the planet York.  I hope you…

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A Spell for Chameleon

X is for Xanth

28 April, 2016 / 11 comments

In my quest to talk about world-building from A to Z I was expecting trouble when it came to X.  Fortunately, before I was reduced to building my own planet beginning with X for the Viridian System series, I found an alphabetical list of fantasy worlds, and there (among a couple of others I didn’t…

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Beginnings of a Hero bookcover

W is for Windemere #atozchallenge

27 April, 2016 / 10 comments

Windemere: A place of magic, of dragons, of evil beasts that live under the earth and rise up to snare the unwary, of desolate wastelands, and green fields and forests.  A good place for my W post in my world-building trip for this year’s A to Z Challenge. Beginning of a Hero, the first book…

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V is for the Viridian System

26 April, 2016 / 6 comments

Well, today V hits Viridium, the spur for my world-building theme for this year’s A to Z.  I have a detailed description here which is an edited version of that on the Viridian system website.  Then I’ve answered my own question to authors about their approach to world-building!  Yes, I’m interviewing myself again!  If you’d like…

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U is for Ulric

25 April, 2016 / 14 comments

Ulric is a planet within the Imperium, although it is not a planet, but a large moon, orbiting the planet Daedalus, which orbits the star Barnard at 1AU, the same distance as the Earth from the Sun.  Barnard, as it is generally termed in my Viridian System universe, around the 29th century, some 700 years…

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Turgonia in Conspiracy (Emperor’s Edge 4) by Lindsay Buroker

23 April, 2016 / 10 comments

T is for Turgonia, the main city in Lindsay Buroker’s fabulous Emperor’s Edge series.  Since it’s Saturday, it’s book review day, but since it’s the A to Z, I have to focus on world-building.  My review is of Conspiracy, book 4 in the series, which starts with The Emperor’s Edge, continues with Dark Currents, and then…

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#FridayFlash Fiction | Sunset Strip – Elder Council

22 April, 2016 / 5 comments

S is for Sunset Strip, the binary planet of the Viridian System whose major industry is leisure and tourism. Whenever I write flash fiction for any worlds in the Viridian System at present I’m always thinking of what I’m writing in the second book, and some of these stories may turn into scenes in that, or…

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