Monthly Archives: August 2013

Month of Reads – August

This months reviews are again a little thin on the ground, but I read a couple of beauties and I am delighted to share my thoughts on them with you! Happy reading folks!

The Reapers Are the Angels (Reapers, #1)

The Reapers are the Angels – Alden Bell

Plot – Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can’t remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

Review – I admit that I am partial to the post apocalyptic novels, though I don’t often read zombie ones. This book caught my eye as I was browsing the old Kindle section on Amazon and thought it looked like a fairly decent read. That said, I couldn’t put it down.

Temple is only a young woman, still in her teens. She’s a special sort of person, more an old wise soul than a teenager, and a fascinating character at that. She’s strong and independent, well able to look after herself despite the United States being infested with zombies. (Meatskins as Temple calls them, or slugs).

Travelling, she finds a colony of survivors living in a couple of office blocks. She catches the eye of the distasteful Abraham. Of course, a situation arises where they don’t meet eye to eye and Temple comes out the better for it. However, it brings the unwanted attention of Moses Todd, Abraham’s brother, who is seeking vengeance. The play between these two very similar personalities is intense and a strange sort of respect forms between them during the cat and mouse play that then ensues.

This fascinating book might contain zombies and other horrid creatures, but it really focuses on the characters and the dynamics between them. Really enjoyed this book and there are a few surprises along the way I certainly did not expect.

A couple of things people might find odd in this book are the lack of quotation marks for speech and it takes a little while to get used to that and imagining a southern type drawl to the voices.

Rating – Ya’ll deserve 4 outta 5 stars

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Guardians of Evion – Evelinn Enoksen

Plot – “…cantankerous dragons, evil, ambitious immortals and heroic telepaths who
will sacrifice everything to save their loved ones and their volcanic world …
a romantic, adventurous science fiction saga that begs for a sequel.”
Kirkus
Review

Numak believes his destiny is to be a Rider; but when his life is turned upside down by a beautiful young woman and a mysterious ancient, he learns he is far more extraordinary than he could have imagined.

On the harsh world of Evion, a wild place of storms and earthquakes, Numak Teorenn, a young telepath, is sent to study at the Tarei Waystation in the mountains of Suli. All
Numak wants, other than to become one of the revered Dragonriders, is to find
answers regarding the mysterious death of his twin sister.

He soon learns that his life has a greater purpose, for which nothing has prepared him, and his understanding of reality and of his own being is transformed. When he discovers
the truth of his destiny should he fight it or embrace it? Will he have any
choice at all?

A strange and compelling narrative which encompasses philosophy, adventure and romance within a richly imagined world, embellished with the author’s own extraordinary art.

Review – This fast paced adventure encompasses everything that is good in fantasy and from the very first page, I knew I was going to like this very much. By the end, I loved it . . . And who doesn’t love dragons?

Numak Teorenn is a telepath who wants to become a Dragonrider and discover the truth surrounding his missing twin sister. Sent to study at the Tarei waystation, it isn’t long before the naïve Numak is drawn into trouble and discovers that his destiny is greater than he could have imagined.

The world Enoksen has created is so beautifully wrought, every detail imagined minutely. The book contains some of the authors own amazing artwork, and really adds some lovely touches to the whole story, giving you a visualisation of the world you never though possible. Along with this, there are other characters along with Numak, who add depth and emotion to the story, by bringing their own pasts and emotions with them. The dynamic mix of adventure, imagination, hints of romance and the discoveries the main protagonist faces while he searches for the truth make this a multi-layered and exciting read.

All the while, the characters must face some painful truths while they try to fight an enemy who seems far stronger than they are. And the evil Ilya . . . She spices up an already heady cocktail of fantasy and I can only imagine the fun the author had in creating her bad self. The subtle blending of the science fiction elements work very well within the story, but I have to admit, the surprising and cranky dragons occasionally steal the show!

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars (mind that one in the sky…)

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The Indie & The Masses

This Little Light, is the lovely Cara Olsen’s page and her insightful and inspiring page has some lovely little gems in it!

This Little Light

Traditional Publishing is rapidly becoming not so traditional. A new world develops, along with a new set of rules. There are certainly mixed feelings about this new world, but now more than ever agents are skeptical and pristinely selective. The inveterate publishing houses look to foster their recurrent, reliable authors, for they represent what is guaranteed.

I am a subscriber to Publisher’s Lunch (For those of you who don’t know, this is the less costly version of Publisher’s Weekly). From what I can tell, the percentage of fresh meat being tossed around the butcher’s shop is paltry. There is a niche; a very small, tightly molded niche, and if you’re lucky enough to fill it then you’ve beaten the odds.

As the mainstream doorway for budding authors continues to inch shut, writers —  facing rejection and presented with other options — are taking their labor and their rights into…

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Healer’s Touch

This month, the Bandits are promoting the excellent steampunk, western, fantasy epic, Healer’s Touch, by Deb E Howell! This New Zealand author has a flair of her own!

HEALER’S TOUCH

Deb E Howell

For Llew to heal, something must die.

Llew, a young pickpocket who lives as a boy on the streets of a wild-west mining town, finds her real problems begin when she survives the gallows. Forced to run, she persuades a group of fighters escorting a young girl to her wedding to let her travel with them across the badlands. On the journey Llew faces hostile tribesmen, desperate bandits and, the enmity of her own companions should they find out who and what she is: a girl, a fugitive, and a feared Healer. One of the fighters, Jonas, possesses superhuman prowess as a warrior, and carries the knife able to ‘kill the unkillable’; the knife that can kill Llew. Despite being of races at war for centuries, they are drawn to one another.

During the journey, they encounter Braph the magician, Jonas’ half-brother and potential nemesis. He pursues them as they journey across the sea to the continent of Phyos and at the moment Llew finally feels safe, he abducts her. He begins to take what is most precious to him: her blood.

Healer’s Touch is a mesmerising mix of fantasy, steampunk and Wild West adventure – and even a dash of romance!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb E, Author - Dunedin, New Zealand

Bio:

Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction.

Deb lives in Dunedin, New Zealand with her family and a menagerie of pets.

Links:

Website/Blog: http://deberelene.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deberelene

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/deberelene

and many more…

Excerpt from Healer’s Touch

 “Llew!”

He gathered her to him. So alive moments earlier, now limp. All he could see was blood. It covered her hands, soaked her shirt and pooled on the ground. He clasped her chin, turning her to him. The touch sent a tingle through his fingers even as more blood gushed from her open throat and he jerked his hand away, letting her head fall back. His eye was drawn by movement in the grass. One of Llew’s hands had fallen to the ground and the grass around it was dying in an ever increasing circle.

Jonas swallowed down his revulsion and dumped her unceremoniously on the ground, jumping to his feet. In a daze, he reclaimed his knives from the corpses, taking them to the water’s edge to clean with vigorous sweeps of his fingers down the blades. He berated himself for even toying with the idea of getting involved with her. What did he really know about her? He knew her name. And now he knew all he needed to know.

He wiped the half-clean blades on his thigh, sheathed them in his vest and drew the big knife at his hip. He cradled it in his hands, watching the moonlight fly off as he tilted it back and forth. There was one purpose to this knife’s existence: to kill the unkillable. And there was no safer time to make an attempt on the life of an Aenuk than when they were already half dead.

Jonas turned from the water. The meadow was now like a hayfield. Each blade of grass, each leaf of clover, each dandelion had given its all to provide but a tiny fraction of the energy – jin, as it was known in Turhmos – needed to bring a person back from near-death.

She lay unconscious, but her breathing was steady now. He had limited time to act. He crouched beside her, knife hovering over her back right where her heart should be, assuming Aenuks had a heart. But this was Llewella. She wasn’t like the Aenuks he had faced on the Turhmos killing fields. She wasn’t trained to fight, to continue to fight, and to take the enemy with her when she faced final death. She was merely a girl doing what she had to do to survive.

 

PURCHASE LINKS

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/323265

Amazon US (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DJE8NSK/

Amazon UK (Kindle): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Healers-Touch-ebook/dp/B00DJE8NSK/

 

MY REVIEW – I purchased Healer’s Touch on Kindle and read it in a couple of sittings. I really enjoyed this – it has a fast pace and well developed characters, especially the MC, Llew, whose healing talent is a blessing and curse (depending on who and what you are). Along with a sympathetic and gutsy MC, there are a host of other great characters. I have a certain soft spot for the strong and brooding Jonas, and despised the baddie of the piece, Braph. To have such reactions to characters is a mark of good writing in my opinion. In particular, the tenuous (and tongue-in-cheek) relationship that develops between Jonas and Llew is very well handled, in light of the fact that Jonas has the implement which can kill Llew. And the book is full of such moments, which leave you wondering what will happen next!

It was a completely unique reading from the get go and the first book I have come across that has a mix of western, fantasy and steam-punk elements, and as I said in the beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The world-building was very well detailed and I got a keen sense of the world and peoples Deb E Howell has created.

In saying that, I’m now really looking forward to the next instalment in the series. The ending of the first book left me wanting to know more – there were hints of drama and trials to come, so I guess I’ll just have to be patient!

Excerpt from The Reluctant Prophet

Things are getting very exciting now and it won’t be long until my debut novel is available! Just to whet the appetite, I’ve posted an excerpt from the first chapter for everyone to look at. Hopefully it captures your imagination and interest. Press the link below to read the excerpt.

The Reluctant Prophet – Excerpt from Chapter One

THE COVER TRP  Esther

Poster Artwork and Release Date!

I have to share this amazing poster with everyone. It was created by the very talented Ken Dawson (Kenny Dreadful) and I have been very excited to share it with everyone. I think it captures the essence of my main character perfectly!

Also, the release of The Reluctant Prophet is eminent and I’m looking forward to opening up that bottle of champagne on the 1st of September when it is released!   

Image

Who Likes Art?

Tina Closser invites artist and author Evelinn Enoksen to showcase her work on her blog. This talented artist did the cover for my own forthcoming novel!

The Nerdy Paige

Well, I know I do. I’ve always admired people who can make images from their mind come to life. I, personally, can’t draw a stick figure without the help of AutoCAD. So today I’ve invited fellow Kristell Ink author Evelinn Enoksen here to showcase some of her artwork. In addition to being a talented author she’s also very talented artist. Her new book Guardians of Evion is out now in mutiple formats and has some pretty dandy pictures of dragons. If you’re into science fiction / fantasy mash-up with lots of dragons then I highly recommend this little gem. But hey, you came here for the art. Right so let’s get to it.

GoE Book 1 Destiny

This piece is the front cover of Evelinn’s Book Guardians of Evion: Destiny. She made this from a sketch she fixed up in Photoshop.

Trinnack City skyline

This is one of my personal favorites. It is Trinnack City, a location in her book. This was a…

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Flash Fiction Competition from Kristell Ink

Kristell Ink are running a flash fiction competition. Have a gander and have a go!

cnlesley

https://kristellink.submittable.com/submit/22350

Feline Flash Fiction Competition

On the 16th July 2013, Kristell Ink is exactly one year old…

“Holy potato, Batman! How did that happen?”

Exactly. Time has flown, and our first twelve months have been full of excitement, heartache, heartbreak, laughter, happiness, sadness and tears. However, we wouldn’t change a thing. We’ve loved putting together our books and releasing them into the big bad world.
Non-Compliance: The Sector, Strange Tales from the Scriptorian Vaults, Healer’s Touch, Guardians of Evion, Darkspire Reaches, Space Games and The Art of Forgetting: Rider… all of them have that something special. Over the next twelve months we have more wonderful titles to share.
As a little thank you/ writing challenge, we’re running a small flash fiction competition. In 500 words, we’d like you to tell us a fantasy/science fiction/steampunk/ subgenre story involving something with a feline feel.
“Feline? Huh? Why?”

Well, In May 2013, Kristell…

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