Lily’s Blog 15/06/14

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Oh my GOSHHHHH im so excited right now, I’ve officially decided im going to start writing my own novel…TODAY! Yes i am going to actually start putting fingers to keys and mapping out what the hell is going on inside my mashed up brain. I need to get this out before i actually forget what i want to write about, it’s happened before, im a dope. So, watch this space, i will be updating on my progress.

Anyway, i am currently reading Purified by Brian Robert Smith. Its going well, although i have encountered a few foibles, nothing too major however. Am quite enjoying it if im honest.

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I want to raise an issue with ‘reviewer bashing’ at present…. and there is nothing that grinds my gears more. I with authors would understand the difference between criticism and bitchyness. Lets be honest, if you want to publish your own book, you need to get yourself a backbone and some thicker skin! Understand that not everyone is going to enjoy your book, this is because everyone is different and is entitled to their own opinion, you may have heard of a lil thing called freedom of speech.

AUTHORS, I IMPLORE YOU TO READ – Before you go reviewer bashing, just remember this. They have taken time out of their life, to read something YOU have written. Also, in a lot of cases, YOU have been the one to ask the reviewer their opinion and a review of your book. If you don’t want harsh reality handed to you on a plate, i suggest you don’t do this. YOU should also check the background of a reviewer you are asking for help, as all reviewers are different. Some are blatantly honest and constructively critical, which i think is the better of the two kinds if im honest. Some will just tell you what you want to hear – these are the more useless people who are as helpful as an inflatable dartboard. However, if you want an unrealistic expectation of your book, maybe these are the people for you.

Rant over.

I just needed to say this as a good friend of mine has had this happen recently. She read and gave a completely realistic and fair review of a young authors book. Instead of understanding and appreciating the effort and feedback, she has decided to flame the reviewer instead. This is very poor reaction from an author and it does reflect badly on you. It will also put reviewers off reading your book. Anyway, no naming names & im going to move on now…. *breathes*.

Oh & happy Fathers day to any daddy’s out there today! Huzzah 🙂

Toodle Pip~

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Lily’s Blog 08/06/14

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BACK ON IT LIKE A CAR BONNET!!

Yes, as from today im back in the game. I’ve had quite a long break to sort out life, I’ve had a few changes, tweaked a few things etc… But I didn’t want to give up blogging so the back burner is back in business!

I may have been away from my precious blog for a while, but by no means did i give up reviewing and reading! Therefore, over the next week i will be starting to post up some of the reviews i missed while away.

I’ve also joined the reviewing team at BSL Publications, here are a few words from the brains of the operation:

BSL Publications is here to help authors take their work to the next level. We hope that will be with us, through our publishing company but we know some authors prefer to be independent, so we provide services to help them as well. As part of our services we will be offering editing, book covers, and free reviews. We want authors to progress to new heights! Please come and visit us, we’re ready, willing, and eager to help!

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This month only, they are also giving away either a 3D or 2D book banner!! One is permitted per customer, sweet huh?!

Anyway, i look forward to reconnecting to you all and i cant wait to get posting!

Toodle Pip~

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Book Review – Forever Fae (Forever Fae #1) by L.P. Dover

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Fantasticle 4 Stars

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Ok, this is the first fantasy romance I’ve read in AAAAAAAGES and I totally forgot just how much I loved them!!! I also read this book with my WONDERFUL *squeezy huggy* Book Buddy and reviewer extraordinaire, Miss Branwen *bows her into the room*. You can find her review of this book linked below.

Ok *cough* review-ish time *grins*

Forever Fae is a fantasy/romance novel about a Princess of the Summer Court in the land of the Fae (far-far-away). The lead character and said princess is named Calista. Shes a frickin awesome heroine and sex-betch who can just about kick anyone (or anything’s) butt.

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Blurb: He leans down, lips parted, and then our lips connect……….We didn’t know that this one kiss has FOREVER changed the Land of the Fae.
According to the Prophecy proclaimed many years ago, Princess Calista of the Summer Court is destined to change the Land of the Fae from the evil determined to destroy it. Her powers are phenomenal, and she secretly trains for battle with her handsome warrior friend, Merrick, who unbeknownst to her protects her heart as well, in hopes of keeping it for himself. At least, until the seductive Prince Ryder attends the Guardian Ceremony and instantly sends a fire burning through her veins and a connection so deep they both discover a love above anything imaginable.
No one knows how Calista is destined to change the kingdoms, but there is one that does. He not only craves Calista’s power, but her body as well, and his goal is to steal her power, make her his Dark Queen, and take over the Land of the Fae.
Will the evil succeed in claiming Calista’s soul? Or will the two men that fight for her heart save her from despair, and help her fulfill her destiny to become what she was meant to be.

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So, the book starts when Calista turns 18 years old and is paired with her new guardian and best friend Merrick (WOOOO MERRICK I LOVE YOU *throws panty-ho’s*). Together they are blood bonded and he is trusted with the duty of protecting Calista for the rest of her life, it also helps that he’s madly in love with her. Then enters…dun, dun …..dunnnnnnnn, drop dead gorgeous Prince Ryder from the Winter Court. Of course he and Calista fall madly in love (awkward triangle emerging), under the watchful eye of their enemy Alasdair (how ominous!).

I have to say, this book thrilled and surprised me with its twists and turns… alas it even broke my heart at one point *sulks*. It truly is a novel which displays a great deal of love, happiness and sorrow. Though saying that, there were a lot of icky bits aswell. Yes, im talking about you evil wizard Alasdair. Oh god he was so creepy, i felt like washing myself repeatedly whenever he made an appearance.

I also loved how the story was told in turn by each of the main characters, it really gave you a good insight into their inner thoughts and feelings. This is SO important for a book for it to be successful, in my eyes. If you can’t love the characters, or create any kind of bond or emotion toward them, then how can you love the book. You need to know how they feel and see the inner battles and expressions come out and be displayed upon the pages in front of you. L.P. Dover really got this aspect 100% right and i could already tell from the first chapter i would love this book.

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Ok, so I mentioned a love triangle yes? Ok, before you start thinking “oh FFS not another one!!” ITS NOT THE SAME, STAY HERE, READ ON & TRUST ME!! This is different and if you give the book a chance you will totally see what I mean. Calista isn’t like other whiney heroines I don’t care to mention (*cough*sparkley vampires*cough*) she’s decisive and doesn’t string along the opposite sex, which is another reason why shes awesome 🙂 !

This was a refreshing change to the dull-ness of recent fantasy romance and totally deserves a 4-star rating!

Oh… yeah im meant to be critical about something arent I? … *thinks* …. OH YES!! That’s one gripe I had, the blurb stated this was an adult romance and most certainly was not a YA *wags finger*. However I didn’t think anything was that bad, in fact it could have been steamier. I can see you wouldn’t want a child reading this, but adult teens, I don’t see a problem 🙂 .. considering the book was about an adult teen 😛

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Ok, want to get your wonderful mits on a copy?
(go oooooon ;D)

Amazon.co.uk: Forever Fae
Amazon.com: Forever Fae

Review by the wonderful Branwen: Click meee!

Book Review – Everville by Roy Huff

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3 Stars!!

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Firstly, thank you Roy for providing me with a free copy of your e-book for review 🙂

I feel I need to justify my rating on this book. I’m giving it 3 stars but as i keep trying to stress, this isn’t a bad rating. The book was good, I liked the imagination. It just wasn’t 100% to my taste, but you can’t expect everything to be.

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Everville is described as “Somewhere between here and there, sometime between yesterday and another day”.

Blurb: Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. He studies hard, plays hard, and is incredibly charming. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he was drawn into a different world, a world unbeknownst to him. He mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His tragic excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between.

With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.

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With regards to the story, it was ok. It was very unique and told from the perspective of Owen Sage, a freshman at Easton Falls University. The story dives in head first and follows Owen to his first explorations of Everville, which he begins visiting through his dreams. He has two best friends, Dante and Anika, who are with him from the very beginning and help him along his journey (never actually following him into the world however). I would go into more detail about the rest of the characters but I’ll be completely honest and admit I don’t really remember any of them. None of them really got my attention and I found them very forgettable. (sounds mean but its true!)

To me the story felt like it was being told from Owens mind, which is all very nice but there wasn’t a lot of character interaction. I thrive from getting to know the characters and establishing a bond with them, yet I did not receive any of this which to me was very disappointing. Also I did notice (what little dialect there was) was quite scrambled and I struggled to tell who was actually speaking at times! Owen was average and uninteresting at best, I got the feeling his view of the world was very grey. Nothing seemed to interest him or create any flux of emotion within him.

Then there was the keeper. I cannot seem to recall him speaking very much either, however you got to witness his journey as a ‘Fron’ in his own adventure in the past. Owen is transported through a mind device into the memories and we live this tale along with the current story. I thought this was actually a nice feature of the book and I actually found this story more interesting than the main tale! *nods*

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Ok, let me start on the ‘Fron’. Everytime they popped up all I could think about were them little guys from ‘Despicable Me’. I found it quite hilarious. They were also the main reason I stuck with the story to the very end as I found them to be the only likable characters. Oh and considering the Fron were meant to be hairless, I cant even begin to imagine what a female one would look like! Holy heck, I can’t see them winning any beauty contests, hah!

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I also couldn’t get to grips with the obligatory ‘bad guy’. They were called Them and lived in The Other Inbetween. I couldn’t get my head round their lack of presence. Dont get me wrong, they were mentioned a lot but they never interacted with the main storyline or the characters. They were always just lurking around in the background somewhere.

In summary…..the concept was great, the side story was good and I finished the book! There was a point when I almost classed this as a ‘did not finish’, however I said I’d read this book and provide my honest opinion. This is what I have done.

If you’re not a massive character buff (unlike me) then this may be the perfect book for you. It’s an easy read and has a lot of redeeming qualities. Roy Huff has created a lovely imaginary world full of unique places and magic. I can honestly see it being made into a successful children’s TV series. I’ll keep my fingers crossed

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Would you like to get a copy?
(Its free until the 16/05/2013)

Amazon.co.uk: Everville
Amazon.com: Everville
Unfortunatly it does not appear to be avaliable on Smashwords at present.

Book Review – Water (Akasha Series 1) by Terra Harmony

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2 1/2 Stars

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Let me start by saying, this is NOT what i expected. Also, YOU can expect minor spoilers in this review, hopefully nothing too ground breaking however.

To be honest i started reading this book as i was in the mood for some YA cheese. I spotted it whilst surfing on Amazon, Book 1 – Water was being sold as a freebie which i found appealing.

I soon found this wasn’t what i was expecting at all…. it went from mildly boring moaning female lead to – holy crap she’s being raped by an inanimate object-!! This certainly was not the book i thought i picked up. The cover is beautiful, there’s no skirting that issue but that’s where the pretty ends. Things get shocking to say the least!

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Ok, so lets start with the bluuuuurb:

Elemental powers in the palm of her hand…and it won’t be enough to save her. When Kaitlyn Alder is involuntarily introduced to a life of magic, she becomes part of an organization hell-bent on saving the Earth. Just as her new-found life holds promises of purpose, romance, and friendship, the organization divides and a rogue member holds Kaitlyn hostage. Now one of the most terrifying men the human race has to offer stands between her and Earth’s survival.

Its short snappy and to the point. When it mentions the ‘hell bent on saving the planet lark’, it’s not kidding… at some points during this story I felt like I was taking part in a lecture. I get the feeling that the author is a closet tree hugger aswell as an aspiring writer.  

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Gripe number one, this book promised romance – if you can call what Kaitlyn and Micah have romance, I’d worry about your personal life. I’d maybe suggest you call the witness protection programme. At first Micah is all exotic and ‘look at me and my amazing eyes & im gonna snog your face off’ & then this quickly turns to ‘i need to train you and your magic, try not to suffocate while I try and rape you’ …. ick!! Seriously, when Kaitlyn had the chance, she should have high-tailed it outa there asap. Micah is supposed to be her ‘protector’, I’ve yet to see any real protecting. Even when his so-called brother tried to knife a picture into her back, he just brushed it off like she was being unnecessarily whiney. *rolls eyes*

I think if i had to pick the two best words to describe this book, its ‘Stockholm syndrome’. All in all the book was quite well written but there were some serious lulls, some of the explanations were unnecessary and it took the story nowhere. I think it maybe could have done with a little dumbing down on these parts and spiced up a little on the main story.

I feel Kaitlyn could have done with a little more maturity, the way she acts at times is very childish and i forget shes meant to be an adult -so to speak-. For example, some of the dialect is extremely inappropriate for someone who has just been (or is being) sexually abused. Which brings be to Shawn, I genuinely felt real emotion toward this guy, none of it good. He’s the guy who I believe brought the story to life more then any of the other characters. Honestly, he was vile! I do think he needed more of a back story however. There was no real drive as to why he would do what he did. Fair enough his girlfriend was killed, but why direct this anger toward Kaitlyn when she had nothing to do with it. The only real explanation that was given was ‘he wanted her powers’, but why this meant he needed to capture her and rape her *shrugs* what a freak show!

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So concept GOOD… delivery BAD.

This book wasn’t really for me but I’m sure there’s an audience out there for it. I didn’t like the mix of YA and psychological torment… i think a more clear genre should have been established from the start.

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Want to get a copy:
As far as i can tell, this first book of the series is still free, so grab a copy if its your thing!

Amazon.co.uk: Water – Akasha
Amazon.com: Water – Akasha

Book Review – The Remarkables by A.D. Elliott

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3 1/2 Well Deserved Stars

Ok, very interesting indeed!

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Blurb: Owen Johnson’s day was progressing just like it did for most other teenagers. By lunchtime he had climbed a tall building using abilities usually reserved for superheroes; he’d flirted with the girl he had secretly adored for years; he’d come home to find his dad had been kidnapped and a mysterious stranger standing in his living room; and finally he’d been rescued by the elderly woman next door who had suddenly revealed that she had the power to launch people through the air.

“Reaching Out” introduces Owen Johnson to the world of The Remarkables, a group of seemingly ageless war heroes, each possessing unique gifts that had been used to fight evil. Now they must help Owen find his dad, and uncover a new threat to our way of life. Along their journey Owen slowly starts to learn the secrets of his past, and uncovers surprising truths about himself and those that he thought he knew: some of which he is glad to learn, some he may wish he hadn’t.

First off, let me explain my rating of 3.5 stars. I just want to make it abundantly clear this is a GOOD scoring, not a bad scoring. I would give it a 4 star (which is the same as alot of the books i love) however there are few parts of the book i fell out with. Firstly, there are a few spelling errors. I’m not gonna be pedantic and start listing these out (im not THAT ocd), however, i think with a little tidying up this novel could indeed be ‘Remarkable’… (sorry, that was lame.) A few areas of the storyline did lul at some point, but nothing ghastly enough to make me put it down for an unmentionable amount of time.

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I would have loved to have seen more character development, they all had so much potential and i expecialy liked Mrs Argyle. Although, not sure if this is because she had the most face time out of everyone, so her personality was able to evolve. She really cracked me up.

Owen, i found a little bit wet. I had the impression he was the main character but he didn’t really have any strong traits which drew me too him. He wasnt even a knob so i couldn’t hate him either. The only real emotion i could draw from him was his ‘tingly feelings’ toward Kate & he occasionaly worried about his Dad. I also think Kate could have maybe been a little more sassy or headstrong, would have matched her particular power nicely. I think some aspects would have worked better with less thinking paragraphs and more interaction between the characters.

Kates sister Fiona i think should have been featured earlier. It would have been great to have her built as a more solid character, give you time to love her before the betrayal for maximum impact. I wanted to be able to shout into the kindle ‘you nasty lying cheating betch’, alas i didn’t care enough. Since she first walked onto the pages i could sense treachery. In one way, this is a very good thing as the emotion and general vibe was given off VERY nicely indeed, however i feel it could have been delivered with a little more oompfh! Hence an earlier meeting would have been ace.

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Once i reached the end it was obvious there is a second book on the cards, which also makes me think it would have been cool to have saved some of the characters for this installment. I felt like too many key people were introduced in such a short amount of time that i didn’t really get to know them very well, they all seemed like awesome people which is why i feel like this is a shame. Clive for example has an ACE power, he seems like a right character but he was left out alot of the time. I think Myrtle (the kick-ass cow) had more feature time then Clive and she couldnt even talk lol. I’m hoping we get to see him alot more in the second novel.

This brings me nicely onto the super powers! I LOVE the concept of ‘reaching’ into another world. It’s so much more original then other super power books i’ve read and does make this a stand alone concept. There are of course the elementals, wind/water/fire, these powers are used by drawing the active elements from another time and place in another world. Then there are powers like Owens, which to be fair to the guy, its a pretty cool power. He has the ability to reach his hands into another place and grab onto rock faces/solid objects. Not only this but when he’s doing it he also is granted super strength to his body, so he can carry people and be like – Batman, eat your heart out! Rockclimbing in mid air!! Katy also has the spectacular ability to punch stuff, REALLY hard. I tell you what, if that was me i would have abused that ability to high heaven, that would be SO fun!!!

My biggest end of book gripe was the UNKNOWN!!! Argh, i still wanna know how the majority of the characters got their powers, and who these ‘supernatural government’ type peeps are, from what i can gather, they are utter a-holes. Gutted, oh well, i hope book 2 is out real soon. Presuming there is a book 2. One can hope!

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Want to get your mits on a copy?

Amazon.co.uk: The Remarkables
Amazon.com: The Remarkables

Book Review – Few are Chosen by M.T. McGuire

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4 Star-ies!

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Oh no! What an ending. . . can’t believe I’ve been left hanging like this. So i don’t spoiler this to hell on the very first paragraph, I’ll shut up now.

Ok, so this was ‘Few are chosen’ by M.T. McGuire. An amazing little gem i might not have ever gotten round to reading without a slight push in the right direction. I did read the blurb, however, it sounded soooo strange? I wasn’t convinced it was something i would enjoy.

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Blurb: “The Pan of Hamgee isn’t paranoid. There must be some people in K Barth who aren’t out to get him; it ‘s just that, right now, he’s not sure where they are. His family are dead, his existence is treason and he does the only thing he can to survive getaway driving. As if being on the run isn’t bad enough, when he finds a magic thimble and decides to keep it, he unwittingly sets himself on a collision course with Lord Vernon, K Barth’s despot ruler. Unwillingly, The Pan is forced to make choices and stand up for his beliefs, beliefs he never knew he had until they were challenged. But faced with a stark moral dilemma, will his new-found integrity stick? Can he stop running?”

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Ok, the first thing that put me off was the whole gangster thing. I’m not a big gangster fan. I don’t like Scarface, the godfather, blah de blah, just isn’t my thing. But this is the most unconventional gangster story that has ever been written!!! (but this IS the first one i’ve ever read, so no basis of comparison really).

The Pan. The funniest hero ever with the strangest name. I’m still non the wiser as to why he’s called The Pan but you will be surprised at how fast you actually get used the strangeness of things. That’s one of the main things i really liked about this book, nothing was predictable, including any of the names of people, places & snurds. The Pan is a yellow bellied outcast of society, never up on his luck but always just gets on with it anyway. He lives on the run in K-Barth (yep, that’s what i said) and is a member of the gangster group, the Mervinettes. The Pan is a GBI – Government Blacklisted Individual and therefore completely socially unacceptable. His role within the Mervinettes is the get away driver; he’s completely disrespected and receives regular beatings as payment. Even the violence soon becomes hilarious as you read on…. And I realise that sounds quite sick ha-ha.

I think my favourite character has to be Big Merv, leader (obviously) of the said gangster group. I don’t know why, but no matter the situation he always comes out with a witty retort & he’s mostly always angry (Swamp thing after my own heart).

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I love this world the author has created, so many similarities to our own, yet they are worlds apart. The book is full of wit, humour and lashings of sarcasm, a perfect recipe for a great read. Seriously though, you can’t really go wrong when you have a character called ‘Sir Robin Get’ HAH!!

Ok, before i sign off, there is one more then i have to mention… the snurds!! Oh my god, I WANT ONE!!!! Basically, snurds are the preferred mode of transport in K’Barth. The Pan’s for example is modelled on a Lotus Elan. These bad boys not only act as general road transport, but they fly and have submarine mode as well! Also they are packing some serious artillery, which could come in extremely handy when your in a mile long tailback. Anyway, I’ve attached the authors concept on a piccy below. I must mention as well this is some seriously good artwork, you can really appreciate it a whole lot more as well while your reading the book.

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I recommend this book to anyone of any age, but it helps if you have a sense of humour and your not too stiff around the edges (aka a boring codger).

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Would you like to get your hands on a copy of this book?

See below!

Amazon.com: Few are Chosen
Amazon.co.uk: Few are Chosen
Smashwords: Few are Chosen
Website: Few are Chosen