Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pirates and Concubines

This morning I got a book junkie hit! Even though I already have a million (OK not a million, but A LOT ) books in my TBR pile, the two that arrived in the post today are particularly exciting...

Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
by Lauren De Stefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


I've been waiting on Wither for what seems like forever and I can't wait to get my teeth into it! This book is to die for aesthetically... hope the story parallels the awesomeness of the cover.



Steel
By Carrie Vaughn

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

As soon as I came across Steel I knew I had to have it. There aren't many pirate books out there in the YA Fantasy genre!


Book love. Such a great way to start the day.

Sam x

Barnes & Noble

Good news!

Moon Spell and River Cast are now available to download from Barnes & Noble!


Sam x

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another BS Teaser (Blood Solstice not Bull...well you know...)

Hey folks,

With just a little over two weeks to go until the release of Blood Solstice I'm getting all excited  - note excitement -------->>


For those of you not in the know Blood Solstice is the final novel in the Tale of Lunarmorte and my personal favourite. So much happens!! There's action, revenge, betrayal, love, hate, battles, Paris!, blood, ashes, tears... ahhhh.
Anyhoo here's another quick teaser...

"Dear goddess, it was all her fault.
She felt the box of dishes begin to shake and she clenched her fists, bringing her emotions back under control. It was all too late anyway. What was done was done and there was nothing she could do about it. She didn’t have the energy to do anything about it.
Frustrated as all Hades at herself, Jaeden began ripping her clothes off. Once naked, she crouched down on to all fours, luxuriating in the soft mud that seeped between her fingers and toes and cushioned the weight on her knees. She pushed the change, wincing in relief at the piercing of each hair through her skin, eyes burning taut as her ears transformed, her face shifting. Her jaw cracked as it elongated out, her teeth filling her mouth rapidly. The echoing snap of her bones as her spine, legs, and arms morphed sent a premature howl from between lips still formed from the median change. Jaeden gasped in satisfaction at the stinging pain of her claws lengthening, and concentrated on slowing the process to prolong the happy liberation the change wrought."

Release Date - April 15th 2011




Sam x

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great Choice!

This is such a random post but...

Yay! Casting directors got it right!

A little birdie told me Jennifer Lawrence had been cast as Katniss in the 2012 Movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games, one of my all time favourite novels. Now IMDB are confirming that Jennifer Lawrence is indeed going to be Katniss and I have to say I am really impressed by the choice.
A girl who can go from this...














to this...








is in general a rare thing in Hollywood. Moreover I've seen Jennifer's acting chops in the movie Winter's Bone and let me tell you she was awesome! They've picked a real winner for Katniss - this is definitely an actress who can bring the complex, tough, likeability of my favourite heroine in fiction to life. It was going to take a lot to impress me with whoever they chose for Katniss. But they've done it. Now I can't wait for 2012.


If you still haven't checked out The Hunger Games... what are you doing?! Get to the library or a bookstore now! :-p




Sam x

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Low Red Moon

Hey folks,

Hope you've had a great weekend. Here's my book recommendation for the week...

Low Red Moon
by Ivy Devlin
amazon - paperback £4.42

Blurb

The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin. (taken from goodreads)

My Review
**** Great Read

Low Red Moon is not your typical fantasy about werewolves. I've read quite a few reviews for Low Red Moon and been surprised by the average ratings it's received considering it was a highly promoted novel in a popular genre. I get it, though. Reading the blurb, even going by the beautiful cover and gorgeous stylised format of the book inside, I was expecting not urban fantasy but at least modern fantasy along the lines of Maggie Stiefvater, Meyers etc.

But Low Red Moon isn't modern fantasy, it's modern gothicism. Lyrical, like an epic poem of the surreal and macabre, Low Red Moon is a dark fairytale, utilising popular fiction to try and integrate gothicism with modern morality - in particular the message is about the evils of destroying our forestry for economic gain.

For the most part for me Devlin's modern gothicism worked. When you think of Low Red Moon in the terms of a fairy tale, as a long poem, the quickness with which everything happens doesn't agitate as it seems to have done with many readers. I've read many reviews saying the romance between Avery and Ben developed too quickly, that the story was too rushed. However, Low Red Moon isn't the length of the average fantasy novel, it isn't written in the traditional prose of an average fantasy novel, and so I don't see why it should be understood or absorbed in the same manner as other fantasy novels. The surrealism of the relationship between Avery and Ben emulates the entire story. We move through the novel with Avery in the heady fog one finds themselves in when grieving. Everything about this book is carefully thought out. And for me, for the most part, it works. My only complaint is Devlin's dialogue. She utilises the word "said" almost every time characters are speaking - "I said" "He said" "Renee said" etc, and I'm positive it's supposed to emphasise the state of Avery's mind... she's not quite in the moment with people. I think this because the only time the dialogue use changes is when she's remembering talking to her parents - words like "asked" "whispered" etc are used. It's clever but for me it was also just annoying, I found it too monotonous.

Other than that, however, I think this is a beautiful addition to the genre, and a great example of modern gothicism.

Not what I expected. Four Stars.




Sam x

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kindle Surprise!

Just a quick post to say I've now added a page to facebook so if you like click LIKE! :-)
Just search Samantha Young YA Fantasy Author.

Also I'm quite excited because as you know I'm a bit of a book junkie and today I got a KINDLE for my B'day!!! Thanks C! Love it! Lots of exclamation points just to emphasise the excitement. Just another thing to tempt me away from doing the things I'm supposed to be doing. I downloaded Alyson Noel's Evermore (Immortals #1) so I'm gonna go check that out.

For someone who was a paperback fanatic... lovin' this little piece of technology, I'll tell ya.

Have a great weekend folks!

Sam x

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Portobello Library Book Group

Just back from visiting with Simon and Heather and their book group of young ladies at the Portobello Library in Edinburgh. Had such a good time, laughed a lot at their unbelievable enthusiasm for all things book related (including their awesome love of the Hunger Games), and listened to some of the most confusing, yet hilarious book descriptions I've ever heard!
I answered some pretty funny questions about the Tale of Lunarmorte from this boisterous crew and discovered a massive Jaeden fan in Hannah - much of the discussion involved me dodging questions about Jae in the next two books since the girls have only read Lunarmorte.
It's so brilliant to see teens that enthusiastic about reading and am definitely going to check out some of their recommendations.

It was definitely a day of firsts for me. I heard the weirdest interpretation of Katniss' character in the Hunger Games I've ever heard. I knuckle touched (I think that was the phrase used - God I sound old!) with Lois and Grace... meaning perhaps I earned some kind of respect (I think for being Team Peeta), and was asked 'what would I ask the Queen if I met her?'. I couldn't think of an answer but I thought the question the girls posted to the Queen was pretty original - 'Have you ever considered buying hair straighteners?'

A great afternoon with an excellent group of book lovers. Thanks for having me guys!

Sam x

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Paperback abandonment

Hey folks,

just a quick post to say I'm aware the paperbacks are out of stock on amazon.com for the Tale of Lunarmorte series and it's very temporary. The covers have been changed so the books are just being reformatted. The paperbacks should be available again in the next couple of weeks. Books are still available in ebook though!





Sam x

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inspiration

It seems for a lot of writers music can be a big inspiration to the creative writing process, and I'm no different. Music is a big thing for me, always has been, and I have pretty eclectic tastes - even more helpful when it comes to inspiring different characters, worlds etc.
Usually for me a song or perhaps lyrics or even just the mood of the tune I'm listening to can inspire a scene or even an entire chapter. But one song... inspired an entire novella.

I'm a big fan of the Cardigans and love their album Super Extra Gravity (one of my all time favourite albums). I was driving home from work one night listening to this album when the song Overload came on. In that 25 minute drive down the motorway I had an entire novella playing out in my head completely inspired by the dark, romantic storytelling of that song. It was a bit weird for me at first because although romance plays a big part in all of my stories (every good story should have a lil' bit of romance) I've never just written a flat out romance before. But that's what Drip Drop Teardrop, a novella, is. A paranormal romance inspired by the song Overload. It's a great song. You should definitely check it out.







Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella
Coming Summer 2011.

Overload Lyrics

Overload, oh what a match we are,
as we romance along towards the fire escape.
Open fire, forever in your arms,
splendid time we have
doing what I dread.
Oh my Lord, can I buy some time?

I'm learning to dance,
dum di dee dance.
I am dancing, OK.

Overlord, Lord of the Underworld,
full of wonder girl,
as we twist and twirl.
Hot and dry, high in my cloven heels,
this is how real love feels,
as we prance and die.
Oh my Lord, such a fancy fire.

As we dance.
You sure can dance.
dance, dance.

You I will never forget.
I hope you remember me later.
I'm swimming in a puddle of sweat,
I'm hot baby, don't burn your fingers.
I'm tenderly served on your plate,
the band must continue to play,
so we can dance.
I love to dance.
Baby, dance with me.

Yeah I can dance.
Your love is to dance.
Now dance me home.

Check out the tracklist from Super Extra Gravity...




Sam x

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wicked Lovely

OK, Book Recommendation time... already. I don't know where my weeks go.

Wicked Lovely
by Melissa Marr

amazon - paperback £4.54

Blurb

All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read. (Taken from goodreads.com)

My Review
***** Awesome

Aislinn sees faeries. She has to pretend she doesn't because faeries... pretty scary creatures and not too happy when mortals have the Sight. But when two powerful faeries start stalking her, Aislinn knows she's in trouble, and it's not long before she realises she's landed smack bang in the middle of a war between the Summer King and the Winter Queen.

I love, love, love this book. From the poetic title to the beautiful cover to the luminous prose, I just ate it all up and was completely satisfied when I was finished.

The plot drifts along at an addictive pace, enhanced by Marr's lyrical descriptiveness. Scenes from Wicked Lovely literally spill from the pages in stunning silvers and golds, completely sweeping you up into a wondrous, macabre, and lustrous fae world that outshines many others in this genre. What I especially loved was the juxtaposition of the ethereal world with the realism of Aislinn's teen life. Marr doesn't shy from the edgier themes - disturbing violence, sex and cursing (none of it gratuitous, it has its place and point) - and for me this worked, making the idea of faeries living among us more authentic. For me Marr is a Karen Marie Moning for teens (awesome!).

Aislinn herself was a surprise. As a heroine, she isn't the most open character. She's otherwordly and distant, and surprisingly this paid off. As the reader I wanted to get to know her better, she was fascinating and a bit of an enigma, which made it easier to understand why Keenan and Seth were so intrigued by her.
As for Seth I think he is definitely one of the most three dimensional teen hero's in the YA genre. He just jumped from the pages and was incredibly likeable and sexy.
The fae characters themselves, Donia and Keenan, are complicated and interesting and I can't wait to read more about them.

A stunning story and definitely on my favourites shelf.


Five Massive Massive Stars!





Sam x

Upcoming Projects

So I've already mentioned I've got a couple of other projects on the go. Here's the two that will be published after Blood Solstice. I still haven't made my mind up which will be released first... that all depends on the editing etc.
But check 'em out (they both have pages on my blog now too).

Slumber
The Tale of a Sleeping Beauty

Coming Summer 2011. Cover unavailable.

Haydyn of the Dyzvati, the Princezna of Phaedra, and the last of the mage who instils peace in their world, has fallen ill to the mysterious Sleeping Disease.
Now Phaedra is crumbling into chaos and only Rogan, Haydyn’s best friend, and the last of the Azyl – a mage with the power to find anything asked of her – can find the Somna Plant that will wake Haydyn from her dying sleep.

Rogan must set off across the provinces protected by the Royal Guard and their young Captain, Wolfe Stovia, the son of the man who murdered Rogan’s family.
Desperate to save her friend, Rogan will put aside her differences with Wolfe to find the Somna Plant.
But Phaedra has other ideas and soon Rogan is caught up in a disastrous adventure of kidnap, prejudice, magic, betrayal, and love; a journey that will test her and make her question everything she believes in.



  Drip Drop Teardrop, a novella

Coming Summer 2011. Cover Art pictured.

Avery hasn’t had it easy.
When she was ten years old her parents died in a car crash. Now nine years later her Aunt Caroline is the only family member she has left. And Caroline is dying.
So when Death comes knocking (quite literally) in the form of the dark and dangerous, Brennus, Avery makes a deal with the reaper in order to save Caroline.

Brennus is an Ankou.
One of the many, once mortal men and women, who were given the choice to become an immortal in exchange for ferrying the dead over into their afterlife.
Nine years ago Brennus took Avery’s parents and tried to take Avery. But she fought him and won. Amazed by her strength Brennus followed Avery and has watched over her.
Now he knows Avery is the one to offer him freedom from his obligation to the dead.
And he’ll stop at nothing to have her.


Sam x

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quick Change Act

Hey folks,

OK cover update already. The covers I had for the Tale of Lunarmorte have always niggled at me... they just needed an extra something. So they've been changed. Still the same gorgeous girl (my good friend, Ashleen, thank you!) but they're more colourful and, I think, more eye-catching.
You can check out the other two book covers on the Tale of Lunarmorte page but for now here's Moon Spell...

Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance...




Sam x

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sneak Peek

Hey folks,

With the release of Blood Solstice fast approaching, I thought I would give you all a sneak peak with some quotes from the final novel in the Tale of Lunarmorte...

#1

"An unshakeable rage was pouring out of Lucien's pores like smoke. A pale-faced Ryder was watching him warily as they listened for the next noise from outside their cell. The sound of a faint commotion had been going on for a while - they had already heard a door crash open and the growl of a lykan. Then a girl screamed and Lucien and Ryder had looked at each other in horrified surprise. Had that been Caia?"

#2

"She caught the eye of the magik who had targeted her and narrowed her eyes, flooding his lungs with water. He gasped and fell to the floor. At that she turned, pulling witches and warlocks off of lykans and faeries with her magik, dousing vampyres who had been set on fire, rescuing faeries by sending up shields. She was battered and targeted, exhausted by her need to defend not only herself but others, whilst being on the offensive at the same time."

 #3

"Pulling on her best acting skills, Caia scowled at him, and used just a little of her magik to force him back from her. She could tell by the widening of his eyes that he felt it. 'Alexa wants to fight. She's a grown-up and it is her decision... not yours. And Reuben's right... when Lucien and Ryder are absent then the Elder's and I are in charge. Last time I checked you weren't either one of us. Now the Elder's have raised no concerns over Alexa's involvement so that leads me to believe they think she should be allowed to make up her own mind." A rumble of grunts from the Elders confirmed that. "I suggest you swallow that decision gracefully.' "
  
#4

"She raised her eyebrows, looping her hands around his neck and wriggling provocatively. 'Looks like I've just been promoted to Alpha then, huh?'
   Lucien made a face. 'Well the job is yours if you want it, but I should warn you that the contract is bull crap. I've received none of the perks that were promised.'
   'Perks?'
   'Oh, you know... a lifetime supply of beer and foot massages, a harem of women to bathe and clothe me etcetera...'
   She snorted and pulled back from him. 'Harem of women?'
   He grinned unrepentantly. 'Did I mention my sense of humour is greatly underappreciated?' "


Eeeh excited about the release. Not long now. Hope you've enjoyed the sneak preview. :-)

Sam x

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A teaser and a Review

Quick post.

Another great 5 star review in for River Cast. You can check out the review from Alisa @ Cry Havoc Reviews here.

Alisa's also blogged a great teaser tuesday for River Cast, which you can check out here.

Yay!


Sam x

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blood Solstice

Hey folks,

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Can't believe it snowed! What's that about? It was pretty and it didn't last very long - just how I like my snow.


So all weekend I've been working on the finishing touches for Blood Solstice: Part Three in the Tale of Lunarmorte and it's nearly ready! Yay :-) So it should be available for purchase by the beginning of April. Exciting. Slumber will probably follow that a month or so after and then I've got a novella I've written which will be released after that and then the first in the Warriors of Ankh Trilogy will be released after that. Ooh busy busy.

Anyhoo, here's the cover for Blood Solstice and the back book blurb...

In the war between the Daylight and the Midnight Covens, Caia knows she must make a choice. In their bid for victory in war, both Midnight and Daylight have committed atrocities, and Caia needs to gain a foothold of power in the upper echelons of the fight if she is to stop the extremists.

Not only does she have Marita, the Head of the Daylight Coven, to contend with, but a mysterious vampyre who has orchestrated battles from the shadows of the war for many years. He is old. He is powerful. He is nigh un-killable… and there is only one thing he wants: for Caia to end the war his way.

When tragedy strikes, Caia must decide whether to answer to him and become the extremist she was trying to destroy, or defy the vampyre…
And bring them all down on her own terms.



Not long now!

Sam x

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pixies, Aliens and Faeries... oh my

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

OK, so this week I'm giving three book recommendations. They're all YA novels and each a fun read in their own right... plus excellent covers. Thumbs up.

Need
by Carrie Jones

Paperback from amazon £4.49

Blurb

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect Facebook friends. It's little wonder, since she's had a fairly rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, her stepfather just died and her mother's almost given up - in fact, she's sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to 'keep Zara safe'. Zara doesn't think she's in danger; she thinks her mother just can't cope. Zara's wrong. The man she sees everywhere - the tall, creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road - is not a figment of her imagination. He's a pixie. But not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine's got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures. And they seem to need something - something from Zara...

My Review
***** Brill Read

When Zara White's stepdad dies, her mother sends her off to stay with her stepdad's mum in Maine in the hopes that Zara will be able to work better through her grief. But moving to Maine doesn't help all Zara's problems... say for instance the freaky guy that's stalking her.
Need is a such a fresh and unique addition to young adult fantasy. I love how dark and macabre the pixies are in this novel and the whole Pixie and Were mythology is wonderful.
I really enjoy Carrie Jones' modern prose and love the way the writing echoes the slow crescendo of the plot to build the suspense. There is one scene in the novel which was particularly creepy and very Stephen King, so well done, loved it!
As for the characters I'm pretty much hooked. Zara is a little off-kilter, great sense of humour, wacky and a genuine heroine with an honest hero complex. Her new friends, Issy and Devlyn are kooky and cute and her love interest Nick is just enough hot to be perfect.
Love the Pixie King. He's got this vulnerable monster thing going which is hard to pull off, but Jones does it.
Looking forward to Captivate.
Five Big Stars!


 Red Handed
by Gena Showalter

Paperback from amazon £4.49

Blurb

Phoenix Germaine has been trying to earn back her mother's trust after going into rehab and kicking Onadyn -- the drug of choice for New Chicago teens. But when a party in the woods turns into an all-out battle with the most ferocious aliens Phoenix has never seen, she's brought home in what appears to be an Onadyn-induced state. Hello, reform school.
Except, what her mother doesn't know is that Phoenix has just been recruited to join the elite Alien Investigation and Removal agency, where she'll learn to fight dirty, track hard, and destroy the enemy. Her professional training will be rigorous and dangerous, and the fact that one of her instructors is Ryan Stone -- the drop-dead gorgeous, nineteen-year-old agent she met in the woods that night -- doesn't make things any easier. Especially when dating him is totally against the rules....
Wildly imaginative, action-packed, and thrilling, Red Handed launches Gena Showalter's stunning new alien huntress series.

My Review
***** Awesome

Phoenix is a former flyer - a drug addict - and with this being her second time out of rehab no one really trusts that she can change her ways, even her mom, the only person she thought she could depend on. But when her friends are attacked by a group of predatory aliens in a party at the woods one night, Phoenix's life changes drastically. After witnessing how well Phoenix can take care of herself, Ryan Stone and A.I.R (Alien Investigation and Removal) take her under their wing and into training to see if Phoenix can really turn her life around and graduate to become an A.I.R field agent.

The only problem for me with Gena Showalter's Red Handed was that it was too short. I absolutely loved the sci-fi world she created and Phoenix is now in my top five kickass heroines. Phoenix is such a wonderful voice. She has all these realistic vulnerabilties, guilt, anger and determination, and to top it off she just don't take crap from no one! Such a likeable character, and the friendship she strikes up with her other trainee girls is so well-written - every girl  is unique and likeable in her own right.
Ryan adds a bit of spice and romance to the story and he's verrrry hot. sizzle.
The plot itself is fast-paced, action-packed, clever and fun. It just doesn't last long enough! I wanted more!

Overall a brilliant, fun read in the older age bracket of the YA genre.

4.5/5 stars! (and the .5 taken off is just because it could have been longer)



Glimmerglass
by Jenna Black

paperback from amazon £5.09

Blurb

 

It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp… 
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble.  When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.  
 Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again…

My Review
**** Great Read

Dana Hathaway has decided to run away from her alcoholic mother to her Fae father who lives in Avalon in England. But what Dana doesn't realise is she's running from one life of drama into another. Once in Avalon, she discovers the truth about her heritage, a heritage that quickly ups her status from 'teenage runaway' to 'important political pawn'.

This was definitely one of those 'I have to buy this because the cover is sooo cool and I just love the title' books. Thankfully it lived up to both. Admittedly the first few chapters are a little slow to get going but Dana's humour and self-deprecating attitude pull you into the story, and then it's just non-stop action from then onwards.
What I liked most about Glimmerglass was not only the fresh idea that Avalon is a real place and humans believe in the fae, but also the wonderful use of history (the War of the Roses) to explain the unseelie and seelie factions. It was such a nice touch and really well done.

Moreover, Black just has a way with characters and I particularly loved the way Dana bounced off each of them. There was nothing cliched about the characters; her friendship with Kimber well developed, her insecurities with Ethan spot on, her strained 'don't know how far I can push this' relationship with her father brilliant reading, and her frustrated desperation with her mother was described with authenticity. I also loved Dana and Finn together, they were really funny, and I have to say I'm stuck between Ethan and Keane. I thought at first Keane, because Ethan's not your typical hero, but then he went and got all hero-y so...I'm stuck. I hope to see more of the both of them in the next instalment, Shadowspell, and then maybe I'll make up my mind.

Overall a fun, intelligent and refreshing entry in the faerie genre.

Four Big Stars!



Sam x

Friday, March 11, 2011

So far... so good!

Hey folks, got the first two reviews in for River Cast: Part Two in the Tale of Lunarmorte. Tis' looking gooood :-)

You can get check out Mundie Moms 5 star review here. Mundie Moms were also good enough to review Moon Spell (5 stars! Yay) and you can check that out in the same post.

Jamie at Writers Write, Right? gave me an awesome 4 star review, which you can check out here.

Fabulous. Always great to hear someone say they like my books :-D

And remember folks, if you do buy the books and like 'em, please help me out with some reviews on amazon :-) I'll buy you sweeties! Wait... that sounded slightly creepy. No sweetie buying. Um. I'll just be really grateful instead.

Sam x

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Paperback Edition of River Cast

Just a quick blog post to let you know that River Cast: Part Two in the Tale of Lunarmorte is now available to buy in paperback from amazon.com priced at $8.99.

Sam x

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

River Cast Release!

Hey folks!

Ooh exciting! River Cast: Part Two in the Tale of Lunarmorte is now available in ebook!

It's available from amazon.com on Kindle for $0.99 (U.S. friends... please let me know it definitely is priced as this)
from smashwords.com in many ebook formats for $0.99
and amazon.co.uk on Kindle for £1.14

River Cast should be available in paperback on amazon.com by Fri 11th March.








Sam x

Gibberish Syndrome

Writer's Block. Those two... nasty little words.

One minute you're going about your business, fingers flying over the keys as you turn the pages of your notebook to flesh out all those handwritten scribbles that equate to chapter summaries only you can make out, and then the next minute you're churning out gibberish that has little to do with anything.
Yup, no matter how much character and plot prep you do, it all means nothing if you get Writer's Block - otherwise known as Gibberish Syndrome (note the capital letters, underscoring the importance of the disease).
If you hadn't already guessed, today I have Writer's Block. I have a ton of notes scribbled down in my fancy notebook (I actually collect a set of notebooks and use one to each series or novel) - http://www.beautifulnotebooks.co.uk/embellished-manuscripts-71-c.asp <----- see how pretty - but they literally mean squat right now because my brain has gone on vacation today. Yay (that's a sarcastic 'yay').
I try different things to overcome Writer's Block and most of the time they work. My biggest cure is putting on my headphones and heading out for a nice long walk. By the time I come back I feel refreshed and ready to glue myself to my laptop. Or I'll sit and read a book for a half hour, an hour. Or, like today, I'll mess around with my blog (:-p note the new look), or obsess over getting a puppy...



I want one!






...Or watch a little Tim Burton to get the creative juices flowing as they say. Well I've tried four out of five of those today and nothing worked. Nada. Zippo. Zulch.

Sucks.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that sometimes there isn't a cure for the Gibberish Syndrome. Thankfully, for me it's usually like a 24 hour bug - inconvenient, irritating and pretty pointless. A bit like this blog post... I was bored with all the brain malfunctioning.

Anyhoo, on a side note...
Because I've been uber organised (it's a miracle!) I've bumped up the release date for River Cast: Part Two in the Tale of Lunarmorte. The novel should be available by Friday 11th March. I'll blog when it's ready to purchase.

Wishing you a non-Gibberish Syndrome day :-)

Sam x

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Clarity

Hey folks

Because I intend to be super busy tomorrow and thus avoiding the temptation of the internet and bugging all the wonderful book bloggers who take the time to read my emails (I really appreciate it you guys) I'm going to do my book recommendation for this week (Week beginning 7th March) today.

Book Recommendation

Clarity by Kim Harringston
Hardcover - £8.17 from amazon.co.uk

Description


When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most? (blurb taken from http://www.goodreads.com/)

My Review
***** Awesome
Clarity 'Clare' Fern has psychic abilities, as does the rest of her family. Living in a small town on the Cape, Clare, her mother and brother make a living during the summer giving readings to tourists. So naturally the townies think Clare is a freak. But Clare doesn't give into the locals... because she knows her abilities are real. And those abilities are about to come in handy when a young woman is murdered and Clare's brother becomes the prime suspect.

What can I say? Veronica Mars meets Harper Connelly. Love it!

Plot - well paced, exciting, clever, engrossing. All good adjectives. I read this in a couple of hours and considering I picked up four books I just couldn't get into before I picked this up (yeah, I was in one of those annoying restless moods) I was amazed how quickly I was drawn into the story. As well as the murder mystery there are subplots involving Clare's complicated romantic entanglements and I loved how real and emotional it was; there was nothing contrived about it, which is always excellent. Even better, this was an actual murder mystery that kept you guessing. I think I suspected everybody at some point in the novel.

Character - I absolutely love Clare's voice. She's someone who knows herself and believes in herself. She's got backbone and spunk, and isn't afraid to stand up for herself. Some of her comebacks had me laughing out loud. What was particularly interesting for me was her character development as she races against time to prove her brother's innocence - she starts off as such a principled young woman and quickly realises how easy it is to forget those principles when someone you love needs you. Great stuff.
The other characters are brilliant as well, they all have a wonderful back story and Harrington does such a good job of making her characters three dimensional that you even find yourself rooting for people you might not normally.

Clarity leaves us with an open ending so I'm guessing there is more to come from Clare and I for one am hugely excited to have a book equivalent (with a paranormal twist) of my favourite show, Veronica Mars. Cannot wait for the next novel!

Five massive Stars!



Definitely one to pick up guys. Lurrrrved it.
Sam x

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fairytales and Arcade Fire


Hey folks :-)

I just felt like blogging a random post. Mostly about how AWESOME Arcade Fire's Album The Suburbs is. Cannot stop listening to it... but who would want to when it's soooo gooooooddd. Ahhh. Makes me happy.
Whilst I've been head bopping to The Suburbs (yes, there are a surprising number of head bopping songs on their epic chillout, folksy, electro, french pastoral, indie, alternative, don't know what the hell it really is but it's genious, album) I've been formatting and editing and writing etc etc. I've just put up a page for the novel that will follow Blood Solstice: Part Three in the Tale of Lunarmorte, and it's a stand alone novel, not part of a series or anything, and it's fantasy rather than urban fantasy/paranormal fantasy. The novel is called Slumber (the Tale of a Sleeping Beauty) and you can check the page out to see what it's all about but it's definitely been one of my most enjoyable novels to write because when you set a story in a world of your own making you can pretty much let your imagination run free which is always great :-)



                                                                                              

       <----------- AMAZING!











Oh and yeah wee favour to ask?! :-D
If you guys happen to purchase Moon Spell (and I really hope you do, remember folks still only $0.99/£0.71 on ebook) I would so appreciate it if you could leave reviews on amazon for me. That would be wonderful, indeed it would.

Ugh my back hurts. Sitting on your butt writing can make your body ache more than you ever thought it could. Plus... squinty eyes :-s
Arrggh well, so worth it.
Anyhoo, I'm off to continue with the typing equals stories thing I've got going on whilst Arcade Fire serenades me and inspires the process!



Sam x