Review: Breeder Slave by P. L. Parker

Nice when a romance starts off knocking the Bechdel test on the head. Two women are on a desert planet, hunted by some pretty nasty aliens. They aren't as alone as they thought on the planet when they discover another alien injured and on the verge of death, that is unless they help him. First off this is a much darker romance than I'm used to. There is some extreme violence which is tempered with friendly conversations between the women. I could have done without all the swearing but I can see why the author put it in. Just not my cup of tea. It isn't like they have gratuitous vulgarity. Instead each word is carefully picked and thoughtfully used. The only other thing that I could complain

Review: Return to Riversleigh by Anne Ashby

I love that it is set in New Zealand. As a kiwi I can appreciate the subtle hints of the setting like bacon and egg pie. I've been collecting New Zealand authors and making a list. It isn't often that one finds me completely by accident on Goodreads. We have a adrenaline junkie who is suddenly saddled with a niece and nephew. Seeing his future as endless boredom he is driven to extreme measures. An Adventure park in rural New Zealand. Okay so New Zealand is known for its extreme adventures so it wasn't a completely stupid idea. I liked that the main character Luke was so nervous about it. Though being an adrenaline junkie he isn't stupid and an adventure park is risky. The Love interest Shan

7 Things only South Africans Master

It is Christmas and that always brings out the South African in me. We eat Koeksisters and Braai boerwors. It made me think about things only South Africans would understand and I came up with this list of things we all mastered some time in our lives 1. The perfect amount of milk in our Pronutro Pronutro is breakfast cereal that is crushed maize. My favourite was the chocolate flavoured. But too little milk and you were eating maize flour and too much and you were drinking your breakfast. Just keep in mind because of sanctions South Africa has some very interesting food stuffs. So don't judge us on our cereal eating habits. 2. Flicking your toes on the beach I lived near a beach with black

How not to write about disabilities

I made this mistake once. Wrote a cool protagonist who was blind and by the end of the book he had his sight back. I was wrong. First of all I only used the disability as a plot device instead of thinking of the character and how it would really effect them. Then I committed the cardinal sin. I made it go away. People with disabilities can't just put them down and move on. They have to live with them day in and day out. To minimise a disability that it can just go away. That is truly evil. I made this mistake and I regret it. I can't even fix it as it would create a massive plot hole to keep him blind. So I'm writing a new novel and this one has a lady who has lost a hand. There isn't going

Author Myths and legends

I've got a friend at work who is doing her Masters of Creative Writing. I'll admit I'm jealous but I offered some advice that her thesis piece shouldn't be a novel that is her baby but rather a throw away idea. The whole thing behind that is that it doesn't have to be perfect. Your precious baby that you have been thinking about for a decade or more it is never going to see the light of day if it is the first thing you tackle. Instead take a alright idea and write that first. Which made me think of other myths people have on writing. Myth 1: You have to be in the mood to write This is also related to having a good idea to write. You can take any idea and it is your skill that makes it a good

Why Dragons collect things

I got my second rejection the other day. Don't feel bad for me this is a good thing. First off I hardly ever enter competitions because I write things that are too long. Secondly I am terrible at flash fiction so I wasn't surprised. Especially when the comments were that I needed to flesh it out. I was already at the word limit. I can't do short. But the other comment they had was that they didn't get the whole Dragons collecting thing, that a woman would happily be 'owned' and I thought 'crap I haven't been able to get across my point' that is a fault in my writing. So I thought I would explain a little why I have the whole collecting thing in my stories. Some back story to my Dragons. They

Gifts for Book Lovers

With Christmas just around the corner I thought I would help people out with offering tips for buying presents for book lovers. Pretty much everything on Etsy A lamp shaped like a book or glows. An Embosser. T-shirts There are so many T-shirt that are based on books. I love them and would have a whole cupboard filled with them. Below are some links to different sites that have T-shirts for that book lover in your family. CafePress RedBubble Society6 Zazzle Literature Art I got my brother a poster of Wolverine once and it is awesome. A great gift for anyone who likes books. AllPoster Redbubble PosterWorx Literary Mugs and other cool things. A box that looks like a book. I have one of these. S

7 Tips to be a better Beta reader

I work at a school and we always lament at the shocking lack of communication. It has reached legendary levels but even when communication does happen it is often terse and can be taken the wrong way. I've been thinking about this with Beta reading. I'm usually quite harsh when I do Beta reading. I have to remind myself to point out the good stuff along with the buts that don't work. I recently did some Beta reading and I even pointed out the nitty gritty stuff and the author came back thanking me and I was thinking, I was a bit mean and now I regret that. So here are my tips that I have learned about giving feedback. Tip 1: Be specific Don't be vague about your comments. This isn't helpful

Interview with Ono Ekeh

I think I spent ten minutes trying to say your name correctly. Don't feel bad it took me three days to learn how to pronounce my home town. Tell us about your latest novel or project: My latest novel is a 65K project called Icon of Clay. It is the third book in my The Children of Clay series. In this novel, Bridget Blade is a reincarnated god, who has been forced into hibernation by her husband and the military but wakes up unexpectedly, decades ahead of schedule. Bridget now has to deal with the fact that her husband has found a new love and that she is now officially classified as dead, and has no one. She is determined to win her husband back but he goes on a secret mission to Africa wher

Review: Love Undefined Anthology

I don't usually go to writers groups. I've taken workshops and played with groups online but mostly I write by myself and share my wins with a local author at my workplace. But recently I joined a group. They are awesome, not just because they give feedback freely but because they talk about the same things that interest me. It is this group that have compiled this Anthology. I don't know most of the writers in the book as I'm still new to the group and to frank I'm terrible at names. Man, was I impressed from the get go. A great cover and I'm always biased towards a book with a great cover. The first story blew me away. So well written and engaging. I loved it. The others continued on with

Don't be the Grammar Nazi reviewer

I love reviews even the ones I will be mentioning here so don't get me wrong write reviews regardless. I was going through the new reviews I had on my books and saw one that said basically wonderful book but needs a good editor as the grammar needed work. It doesn't, not really and I will explain why in a moment. But I realised that commenting on grammar in a review is not really needed. I'll still read a book that someone said had terrible grammar because to be frank those people who mention the grammar are what I call Grammar Nazi. I hire a Grammar Nazi to do my editing so there is certainly a place for them. But not in a review and here is why. 1. Grammar is an artificial construct Yes, y

15 ways to be a better writer over night

I've learned a few things on my journey and I like straight forward rules, especially if I know why they are rules. So I thought I would share some of the straight forward steps I learned to help better improve your writing. 1. Avoid Exclamation points I got this from my editor and I thought she really had a point. She said that exclamation points are ambiguous. I mean what did you want to achieve. Someone yelling or emphasis? For either of these there is a way to get this across without the need of a exclamation point. Italics for emphasis and caps for volume. Taking out the exclamation gives more detail. There might be an argument to put in when someone is shocked but then only if they did

Interview with Bety Comerford aka B T Lord

I see you have two names, what do you write under each of your pen names. I write non-fiction under Bety Comerford. I publish fiction under my pen name B.T. Lord Tell us about your latest novel or project: I am about to release book 5 in my Twin Ponds Murder Mystery Series set in Maine. I also have a free novella, featuring the same characters, available for download through my website www.btlordwriter.com. I’m in the process of developing a new series that will feature murder mysteries with a touch of the paranormal. What got you started writing? I was actually published in 2nd grade in the school newspaper. I guess you could say that’s when the writing bug bit. There was something abou

Review: Princess of Draga by Emma Dean

Okay let me start off with a bit of drooling. This book has a beautiful cover. The formatting inside with the Initial is a lovely curly font. There has been obvious care been taken in how this is all put together. I wouldn't completely class this as erotica but the heat level is certainly there. Which anyone could have figured out as it does start with a courtesan with a client in the first chapter. The one thing the author did right that I often complain when it comes to stories that focus on the sex is lazy writing. This author is not a lazy writer. She takes her time to build up the tension and she lets you get to know the characters before getting technical in the details. The whole 'bor

How not to combine images

I have many hats when it comes to publishing. I write, I blog, format and cover design with a little editing on the side. So I look at many things with a critical eye. One particular thing that bugs the heck out of me is when it is obvious that two images have been combined. I think this is because people have used things like Canva or other software that aren't as easy to combine images. The problem is the lighting. It looks like the special effects from a 1980's movie and very cringe worthy. So below is some advice to how to blend images better and with limited software. Professionals may cringe but this is what I have learned through trial and error and like I said can be used in differen

Interview with Julie C. Gilbert

Your name seems popular as I know a few. Tell us about your latest novel or project: My NaNoWriMo project this year was Redeemer Chronicles Book 3: Reclaiming the Darklands. (Book 1: Awakening can be obtained for free from my website.) Book 1 introduces people to Victoria (Vic), the Chosen Redeemer of a planet called Aeris. Book 2 has Vic and her friends scrambling to stop a holy war between the two magic races on the planet. Book 3 picks up where The Holy War (Book 2) ended. The Outcast (ultimate evil here) has targeted Vic’s family and friends because he knows she can stop him. In her heart, Vic knows she must reclaim the Darklands, but she doesn’t know how or what (or who) it will cost. I

Interview with Chris Africa

Love the name. But then I am biased as I was born in South Africa. Tell us about your latest novel or project: On October 5, I published The Elf and the Amulet, so my latest project has been marketing and promotion. But I'm even more excited to be finishing up the sequel, The Cloak and the Acrobat. Readers can look forward to a reunion of friends, some daring stunt work from a dynamic new character, an exciting incident where Nita's righteous activism gets her into a load of trouble, and an opportunity to see the world through Andrev's eyes. I absolutely love the cover. What got you started writing? According to some stories, I emerged from my mother's womb with pencil and notebook, furiou

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