Okay, so I'm boasting again, but if I can't do it on my own website, where can I do it? Here's my latest Amazon review for Demon's Grip. 5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Running Waves of Emotion and Cunning Demons. July 27, 2013 By Mr. Richard Lw Bunning This is the third of a planned four parts. All three books already published can be read as one offs, but I advise starting with "Lethal Inheritance: Diamond Peak". Just how original Newland's fantastical vision is becomes far clearer in this latest book. Meat is being put on the characters, even on those of the demons. Also, we are beginning to understand better what the Peak itself is all about. The metaphysical aspects of the series are being steadily reinforced, as are the human and humanistic interactions. As we are drawn along this other path, which stands alongside our physical world, I increasingly wonder if black serpentine can truly be defeated. As Ariel and Nick's relationship matures so does its complexity. Ariel's … [Read more...]
A well written, original YA urban fantasy: ‘Buried’ by Gerilyn Marin
Buried is a well-written, very original young adult urban fantasy, and is far better than some of the offerings from much larger publishing houses (this is from Curiosity Quills Press). It is well thought-out, well finished and very streamlined. Nothing necessary is missed and nothing is overdone. It flows well, unravelling the mystery at just the right pace, and the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes. The story is about two teens. The boy, Grey, has just arrived in Cadence's town. Yes, he's the new boy in school, and, yes, he is cute, but that's as far as the cliched YA beginning goes. The story soon became unique; Cadence is barely aware of his cuteness, what bugs her about him is that he is not remotely perturbed by the strange poltergeist activities in the town. The town has always been like that, but someone from outside should be freaked out by dusters flying, unthrown by human hands, at a teacher, and other such things. So Cadence makes up a reason to … [Read more...]
Review: The Reunion by Dan Walsh
Title: The Reunion Author: Dan Walsh Publisher: Revell Books Genre: Contemporary fiction I loved this book. It was incredibly inspiring and brought tears of joy at the end. I was impressed by the depth of feeling and skill in the writing, and also by the depth of generosity of the men with the money. Essentially this book honours the unsung heroes of Vietnam, those who died, those who fought, those who were injured and those who saved other people’s lives and were decorated for it. Aaron Miller is one of those honoured for his heroism, but he now lives in near obscurity, working as a handyman in a humble trailer park. After the war, he became addicted to the painkillers he was given for his injures and his life spiralled downwards. He lost his wife, his family and ended up living on the streets, until he had an epiphany and turned to the church. With God’s support he turns his life around, but his wife still doesn’t want anything to do with him. Though estranged from his adult … [Read more...]
Watch out for over-editing.
I've read a couple of books that I thought were over-edited. One had the feel of something the publisher might have asked for 10,000 words cut out of to suit the usual less than 100,000 words. It had big gaps in the plot & character growth as if chunks of the story had been taken out. Another one had the blandness of something worked over with every rule in the book in mind. There was nothing 'wrong' with the writing if you looked at it technically, but it had no pizzazz. I remember feeling that perhaps it lost its individuality in the push for perfection. In our efforts to make our writing the best it can be, we run the risk of losing the rawness or freshness of our original vision. After years of working on something, it's easy to lose that spark under a pile of prunings. I know, because I think that's what's happened with Lethal Inheritance. To fill you in. I got an agent for my YA fantasy novel Lethal Inheritance back in 2010. She asked for some changes and the removal of … [Read more...]
The best fantasy illuminates reality & highlights truth.
The best fantasy is real. This might sound like a contradiction in terms but it’s not, simply because fantasy must be believable or it won't quite work. That doesn’t mean that the fantasy can’t be wildly outrageous and bizarre, it can, but the characters have to act and react like people, and cause and effect must operate logically and consistently within whatever world the author has created, or it simply won’t work. That’s what I mean by ‘real’. Characters have to do things for clear reasons and in line with their motivations, otherwise the story won’t make sense. And if those characters, be they automatoms, walking plants or whatever don’t have humanlike feelings and reactions, or at least ones we can understand and feel for, we just won’t care about them, and if we don’t care, we won’t engage with the story. But, the very best fantasy goes even further than that. It illuminates reality and highlights truth. That’s what gives books what I call ‘guts’ or ‘soul’. Beneath the fantasy, … [Read more...]
Interview with Mary McDonald author of ‘No Good Deed’
I came across Mary in the comments on a post on the Fiction Groupie blog asking if people would buy self published books. Some people said they would never look at them. Mary began her comment with - As a self-pubbed author who has never been traditionally published, I guess I'm one of those some of you would never buy. Then she went on to say that her book No Good Deed was doing quite well. I checked out the book and bought it (only $3.99 on Smashwords for the ebook – I can take a risk for that). From the reviews I read, I thought it might be a candidate for an M-Award. It was and I awarded her one last week because I found the book highly moving and memorable. Here’s the blurb. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances,Chicago photographer Mark Taylor finds himself in the incredulous position of being arrested as a homegrown terrorist and incarcerated as an enemy combatant. There's no rights, no trial--no way out. After reading it, I wanted to ask Mary some questions and I … [Read more...]