Young Adult

Vikings, Reddit, and Real Life

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The last month has been hectic. My pay-the-bills job has been keeping me busy, plus other things outside of work have got me to the point of not wanting to do any writing when I finally have spare time.

I know that’s not the attitude to have, but it’s just been exhausting. That said, I think things are finally easing up a little which is giving me time to think about my next project.

I’ve decided to work on a new idea that’s been floating around in my head rather than the other story I got part of the way through before stopping to write Badlands and The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.

It’s still a little too early in the game to give away too much, other than to say it may make me a target for religious nut-bags. It’s a humorous tale of God and the Devil, Christ and few other family members and the havoc they cause.

Other than that I’ve been spending a lot of time over on Reddit as a way of not doing any writing. The Writing Prompts subreddit is one of my favourite places to hang out, reading all the prompt-inspired responses. I’ve posted a few of my own over the time, none that have really taken off until the one I posted the other day.

The prompt I submitted was: You accidentally summon a demon by trying to pronounce IKEA product names. I honestly didn’t expect it to get any traction, much like the ones that I posted before. But to my utter astonishment it took off, trending as high as top spot in the subreddit and garnering over 7,800 up-votes and even a gold star.

If you’ve got a bit of time, go over to Reddit and check out the awesome responses people have posted. It’s great to see how people interpret the response in different ways.

In The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior related news, it’s now been a little over a month since I released this book and I can honestly say it’s by a wide margin the best-selling book I’ve ever put out there.

It’s been snapped up by people all over the world, including countries I’ve never reached before. Sales have slowed a little since its initial release but I’m still seeing lots of people grabbing copies through Kindle Unlimited, and even the odd paperback copy being sold. Having people read and enjoy something I’ve written really makes my day.

That’s all for now. Back to procrastinating …er… working on my next book. 🙂

Judging Books By Their Covers

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Yes, I know you’re not supposed to judge books by their covers but I’m talking about my own here so I think I’m okay.

I’ve never been 100% happy with the covers of Boneyards or Badlands – the two books of the FTW series, so over the last week or so I’ve been busy reworking them into something I’m happier with.

This time I’ve tried to incorporate something that feels more like the world described in the book.

Boneyards takes place (mostly) inside the Boneyards where piles of scrap are picked over by the people living there. Check out the Boneyards page for more on this book.

I think the new cover shows this much better than the concrete wall of the previous cover. The good news out of all of this is if you previously purchased a copy with the old cover it’s now a collector’s item! 🙂

The cover of Badlands has also been updated to look more like the environment our heroines are exposed to.

The book takes place outside the walls of the city, in the baron wastelands beyond, the imagery which I’ve tried to inspire on the cover. Check out the Badlands page for more about this book.

I’ve also made the two covers similar in both colour scheme and title area to help join the two together when seen as a set.

If you’ve not yet read the series, what are you waiting for? Check out the sample of Boneyards over at Amazon!

Both books as well as the combined edition are available on Kindle Unlimited as well if you’ve got that.


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Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.

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Surprise Sale – USA

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Since yesterday I managed to completely bonehead the start times of the Kindle Countdowns for “Boneyards & Badlands”, the sale has now started for US customers and anyone else buying from Amazon.com. You can pick it up during the next week for only $0.99!

Check it out at Amazon.com

Surprise Sale – UK

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Boneyards & Badlands – The complete FTW series in one book on sale at Amazon.co.uk for only £0.99!

Check it out at Amazon.co.uk

Book Review | Frogkisser! by Garth Nix

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This one snuck onto my list when I was about to begin reading something entirely different. It popped up in my GoodReads list as an “also read”, and the cover and title intrigued me enough I had to check it out. It looked fun, and I enjoyed the sample so grabbed myself a copy and got stuck into reading it.

Frogkisser! by Garth Nix is a fun tale full of re-imagined versions of your typical fairy-tale happenings such as princesses stuck with evil step-parents (or in this case, step-step-parents), princes turned to frogs, talking dogs, and even an appearance by Snow White and the Seven Dwarves… though not in the way you might expect.

As always, the blurb before we get too much further:

Talking dogs. Mischievous wizards. An evil step-stepfather. Loads and loads of toads. Such is the life of a Frogkisser.

Princess Anya needs to see a wizard about a frog. It’s not her frog, it’s her sister’s. And it’s not a frog, it’s actually a prince. A prince who was once in love with Anya’s sister, but has now been turned into a frog by their evil step-stepfather. And Anya has made a ‘sister promise’ that she will find a way to return Prince Denholm to human form…

So begins an exciting, hilarious, irreverent quest through the Kingdom of Trallonia and out the other side, in a fantastical tale for all ages, full of laughs and danger, surprises and delights, and an immense population of frogs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review | Dreadnought by April Daniels

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I’m on a bit of a heroine kick at the moment – FYI – I just made myself triple check the spelling of that to make sure it didn’t come across as something else entirely. Between what I have read and a number of books I plan on reading next there are quite a few female protagonists in my future.

This book – Dreadnought by April Daniels – came through my WordPress feed thanks to Reading Sanctuary, and after reading their review and checking out a sample I was hooked. I grabbed a copy of the full novel that same night. Narrated by our heroine Danny in a close first person perspective, you can’t help but get sucked into her world.

Quick Note About This Review

This is the first time I took notes as I read to help me when it came time write the review. Usually I just wing it and try to remember the salient points, but this is an effort to make the reviews I post better.

First up, the blurb: Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review | The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

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Sometimes poking around random GoodReads lists pays off big time. That’s certainly the case with this one – The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I grabbed the sample chapters from Amazon and knew right off it was one I’d lose myself in, and after I bought the full story, I found I was right.

A time-travelling pirate ship? Count me in right there. But there was so much more to love about this novel. Lost love, adventures through time, romance, action, myths brought to life, redemption. Plenty to keep you busy. But first, as always, let’s check out the blurb.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveler. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question . . .

Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

Nix and her crew mates can travel anywhere in history (including to fictional worlds), so long as they have a hand-drawn map of where they want to go. The kicker though is once they’ve used a map they can never return because maps are only good for one trip. The “how” is fairly wishy-washy, in that you have to believe in the map and it’ll take you there. No less implausible than other time-travelling devices though, so I don’t fault it on that. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Book Sale!

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If you missed the Boneyards and Badlands sale last week, well good news! The combined edition of FTW Series is on sale now until March 12th for only $0.99 / £0.99!

The FTW Series is an exciting young-adult fight for survival in a dystopian future. Featuring strong, no-nonsense female lead characters, this duo of face-paced, action-packed books will keep you up all night because you won’t want to put them down.

All FTW Series Books On Sale!

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Both books in the FTW Series are now on sale until March 5th! During those dates both Boneyards (Book 1) and Badlands (Book 2) will be on sale for only $0.99 / £0.99 each!

The FTW Series is an exciting young-adult fight for survival in a dystopian future. Featuring strong, no-nonsense female lead characters, this duo of face-paced, action-packed books will keep you up all night because you won’t want to put them down.

Book Review | Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

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stargirlThis was another book that popped up while I was perusing Goodreads for my next read. It suggested Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli as other people had read it after reading other books I was looking at. The simplistic cover drew me in and I had to know more.

I read the sample and the existing reviews and I grabbed a copy straight away. It’s aimed at the young adult market and really (I think) should be required reading for all school kids. Hell, I think most adults could learn something from reading it too.

The story Mister Spinelli weaves is thoroughly engaging and I read it almost in one sitting (other commitments got in the way). Within the 200 pages you can’t help but love the main characters and root for them along the way. Read the rest of this entry »