http://mybook.to/FALLOUT is awarded an @IndieBrag Medallion! #Post-Apocalyptic

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone, the other day I received an email that lifted my spirits. For those who may not know, I’ve been suffering with an exacerbation of my asthma lately and am now on my second treatment of steroids. My husband and I are on a strict lockdown, but at least we can be together. At first, it looked as though we would have to separate for the duration so that he could keep working, but we’ve found a way around that. Yay. Anyway, the email was from IndieBrag, and they wrote to tell me they have award my book FALLOUT one of their prestigious medallions for excellence. To say I’m thrilled is a massive understatement! {Huge grins all around}.

They are in process of adding FALLOUT to their site, but if you’d like to check out other B.R.A.G Medallaion Honourees, click HERE. I’ll be updating the cover and boasting the badge as soon as it’s all ready to go, but I just had to share my awesome news here. 

I hope you’re all keeping well and safe and finding things to smile about.

With hugs and appreciation, Harmony 🙂


 

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#BookReview: The Hallows by Victor Methos @VictorMethos

Hi everyone. Today, I have another book review for you … and–delightfully–it’s another high star rating 🙂 I’ve been blessed with the last lot of books I’ve read.  As the start of my review says, I saw this on a blog last year, and–again–failed to note where, lol. 


About the book:

A ruthless lawyer cross-examines his life after a guilty client walks free in this sharp legal thriller from the bestselling author of The Neon Lawyer.

Ruthless defense attorney Tatum Graham has been living large in Miami, but when his recently acquitted client claims another victim, Tatum has a crisis of conscience. Disillusioned, he heads to his small Utah hometown for a simpler life…but that’s not what he finds.

Soon after he arrives, Tatum’s childhood crush offers him a job at the county attorney’s office and assigns him a murder case. The victim is a teenage girl not unlike the victim in the last case he tried. Now a prosecutor, Tatum sees a chance for redemption, but politics, corruption, and a killer defense threaten to thwart justice.

To complicate matters, Tatum’s estranged father has terminal cancer, and the time to reconcile is running out. Tatum moved to Utah to find clarity, but his thoughts swirl with old feelings and present dangers. As the case heats up, so does the risk, threatening to adjourn Tatum’s new life before it begins.

 

My Review:

 

 

 

 

 

I came across this book last year on a blog that I now can’t remember (this before I started making notes, lol), and I finally got around to reading it this week. I loved it. As you can see if you follow my Goodreads updates, I read it in two days flat. And that would have been one sitting if real life hadn’t intruded.

Victor Methos is now on my list of top authors for 2020, and I liked him enough to go and order his paperbacks … only special books make it onto my physical shelves.

The writing is tight and flows smoothly. The characters are realistic and incite your sympathy or other relevant emotions. The plot, pacing, and world building are all done excellently.

In short, I found nothing in this book not to like. I didn’t make one single notation while I read, which is a first in a loooong time. Because my fingers were glued to the pages, I didn’t even stop to highlight sentences that stood out for me.

If I could give more than five stars for this read, I would. As it is, I give The Hallows a solid five stars. Don’t just go read this book … go read this author!

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


If you’re interested, here are the Amazon links: US and UK.

These are not affiliate links.

 

 

©Harmony Kent 2020

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Why Write Wrong? #1

Hi everyone. You must go to Story Empire today and check out Marcia Meara’s first SE post! It’s a good one … do you peek, peak, or pique? >>>

Hi, Folks! Marcia here, checking in from way down south in central Florida. Hope you’ve all been having a great week, so far. Since this is my first “official” post as a new member of t…

Source: Why Write Wrong? #1

How to Publish with KDP: Part Six B | Story Empire

Another installment from me over on Story Empire today on how to self publish to Amazon’s KDP programme >>>

 

Hello SErs. Harmony here. As promised earlier, here is the second part of the sixth installment in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript fro…

Source: How to Publish with KDP: Part Six B | Story Empire

#BookReview: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine @rachelcaine

Hi everyone, today I have a review for you for a book I came across in August last year on Joan Hall’s website, which I got around to reading, finally! >>>


About the Book:

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

My Review:

 

 

I first came across this book on a fellow author’s website in August last year and finally got around to reading it.

The opening was powerful and hooked my attention. Written in first-person and present tense, it took me a while to get used to this, but I did enjoy it. The pace keeps up throughout the book, and the identity of the killer kept me guessing until very near the end. On the whole, I could relate to the characters and cared what happened to them.

Originally, I was going to rate this a five-star read, but the dop-off-a-cliff ending let it down immensely for me. While many of the threads woven through this story got tied off, the book ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, which I didn’t like at all. I’m in two minds as to whether or not I’ll look out for the next book in the series because of this.

One line that stood out for me: ‘… a gun can’t protect you unless you protect yourself mentally, emotionally, and logicaly. It’s the punctuation at the end, not the paragraph.’

All in all, an enjoyable read that gets a solid 4 stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


Amazon Links if you’re interested: UK and US.

 

Please note, these are NOT affiliate links.

 

©Harmony Kent 2020

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Update to #coronavirus struggles and #Amazon’s rationale for banning ads for my book FALLOUT

Hi everyone. I had a nice long weekend to celebrate hubby’s birthday. Sadly, I’m now struggling with an asthma episode, so if I’m not online as much this week, that’s why. I’ve doubled-up my meds and have a phone call with the asthma nurse scheduled for Wednesday afternoon … for obvious reasons, I don’t want to go to the GP surgery unless I absolutely have to. The receptionist I spoke to said things were crazy, and she sounded well frazzled … I feel for those on the frontlines right now.

I finally had a reply from our friends Amazon, about why they have banned ads for my book, FALLOUT. Here goes >>>

 

I’m laughing so hard at their question at the bottom of the email … Were you satisfied with the support provided? …

Whaaat??? LOLs. Um, no. I wasn’t. Actually. It took so long to get a response, and to my mind, this bans just about half of every fiction book ever written.

What’s more, hubby and I were browsing on Amazon Prime for a movie to watch, and right up there on newly added was a virus-related apocalyptic film!! So, was that a ‘satisfactory customer experience’? NO!!

I’m lost for any further response to this.

 

And I’m sick of all the panic and hoo-har about the Covid-19 virus. As an asthmatic, I’m supposed to self-isolate for up to four months … even from my husband … um … unless he moves out, that isn’t possible. We have an open-plan bungalow with one bathroom and one kitchen. Due to my disability, he also does a lot for me. 

Likewise, because of all the idiotic panic buying, I can’t actually buy any essentials … so, hubby and I are having to scavenge in every supermarket just for the basics, which increases our social exposure massivley.

Lastly, hubby can’t self-isolate with me because he is self-employed, and no work equals no pay … so, to miss four months of work? How are we supposed to manage? The advice from the government might sound good, but it is in no way practical or doable for the average citizen.

That’s it from me today, folks. Stay well and keep safe.

 

 

 

©Harmony Kent 2020

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Fishing for Plots #Plotting #StoryEmpire #WIPs | Story Empire

Hi everyone. Today, Mae has a great post over on Story Empire about ‘fishing’ for plots >>>

Hi, SEers! It’s Mae Day on Story Empire, and I’m here to talk plotting—and fishing.  Early in our marriage, my husband introduced me to flounder fishing. That attachment eventually evol…

Source: Fishing for Plots #Plotting #StoryEmpire #WIPs | Story Empire

#BookReview: The Book of Koli by M R Carey @michaelcarey191

Hi everyone, I have another book review for you today. This one was an ARC from NetGalley, and I loved it …


About the Book:

 

‘A captivating start to what promises to be an epic post-apocalyptic fable’ Kirkus

EVERYTHING THAT LIVES HATES US . . .

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognisable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, the Shunned men will.

Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls.

He’s wrong.

The Book of Koli begins a breathtakingly original new trilogy set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

‘Narrator Koli’s inquisitive mind and kind heart make him the perfect guide to Carey’s immersive, impeccably rendered world’ Kirkus

‘Carey writes with compassion and fire – strange and surprising and humane’
Lauren Beukes

Look out for the next novels in the trilogy: THE TRIALS OF KOLI and THE FALL OF KOLI

 

 

My Review:

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, Little, Brown Group UK–Orbit– for a free ARC of this book.

The cover intrigued me, mostly due to the lack of anything much other than creeping vegetation. And the title made me wonder, what’s this going to be about? So, I gave the description a once over … EVERYTHING THAT LIVES HATES US … ooh, now, I liked the sound of that. And I adore post-apocalyptic fiction. So, I requested The Book of Koli and duly received an advanced copy. I’ve never read anything by M R Carey before now, so I had no idead what to expect.

The narrative pulled me in from the first line of the first page and never let up until the end. Because this is the first book of a planned series, it ends where the next stage of the story will continue in book 2, so is a little open-ended due to that, but the threads from this first book are, by-and-large, tied up nicely.

I connected with all the characters, who are well drawn and realistic, and I care what happens to Koli and Ursala, as well as certain others, whom I don’t want to mention here so as not to put in spoilers. I hate spoilers. The world-building was excellent, and I’m intrigued as to what happened to bring the world to its present state in this story. I expect we’ll find out in book two.

As other reviewers have commented, the narration in the voice of Koli takes some getting used to, but very quickly, I found that I enjoyed the alternative way of speaking and the rythym. Here are a couple of examples …

‘She didn’t say knowed, she said known, …. It was how they said those things in the old times.’

‘… my ma sometimes called the engine Summer, …’ (for indian [injun] summer!)

And lots of English place names have been subtly altered, such as Half Ax, Ludden, Burnt Lea, etc.

Here are a couple of lines that I loved …

‘… or else a hollow in the ground and a hope that was hollower still.’
‘I seen now that dying wasn’t just one single thing that happens one single time. A little of it comes with every ending, collecting in the heart of you like rainwater in a barrel. This was a big lot of dying all at once, and it daunted me.’

This tale brings us a boy just coming of age, who has so far lived a sheltered life within the walls of his village. But his thirst for knowledge and wanting to get his hands on old tech propell him into places he never knew were there. The dystopian element is limited in this first story, but the post-apocalyptic element is huge and enjoyable. We have trees that move to trap unwary humans for food, as well as dropping seeds that burn into a person, and don’t even ask about the wild animals! It’s great to watch Koli grow as his story unfolds, and I look forward to reading more about him and his adventures in the coninuation of this series, which I’ll be looking out for.

I don’t want to say anymore here, because that would bring in spoilers. Suffice to say, I loved this book. It gets a solid five stars from me. The only reason I didn’t read it in one sitting was because real life has a way of demanding your attention for other things.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

 

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Using The Five Senses: Taste

Another great post about using the five senses in writing from Joan Hall today on Story Empire >>>

Hey, SE Readers. Joan back with you today with the third in a series on using the five senses in writing. Today’s topic is about our sense of taste. If you missed the first two posts, you can read …

Source: Using The Five Senses: Taste

#NewBook: Comes This Time to Float by Stephen Geez @StephenGeez

Hi everyone, today it gives me great pleasure to showcase author and friend Stephen Geez with his latest book … the first in a long while, and I look forward to taking a peek. I’ll let Stephen take it from here >>>


Salutations!

I am elated to find you here at Day 10 of my extended blog tour. I am humbled by the kindness of my wondrous host, Harmony, for sharing some blog space today. I hope to interest you bookish types in trying my first book in way too many years, this my only collection of short fiction: Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez. You could add another “by Stephen Geez” to that, as I put the moniker in the subtitle, too. I’d be forcing it to find a theme, except maybe that all my stories try to look at something I think is important, but told in a decorative sort of way. Written here and there among novels over two decades, they show a variety of genres and styles, as I get restless. Now they’re tucked between jacketed hard covers and softs, or in e-however-you-likes.

The Enticement

Each tour stop will offer the opening paragraphs of a story from the book, then link to the full story online. A few will also link to audio-shorts narrated by me. A promo video will be foisted on you every day. Using a narrator didn’t seem right for my own trailer, so yeah, it’s me. Be sure to post reviews in your favorite places, most helpfully if Amazon.

And you, the reader, I thank, too.

 

A Geez Author Blurb

Stephen Geez grew up in the Detroit suburbs during the American-auto domination. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. He retired from scripting/producing television and composing/producing television music, then expanded his small literary management firm into indie-publisher and multi-media company Fresh Ink Group. Now he works from a deck overlooking the lake in north Alabama, helping other writers share their compelling narratives with the world.

The Book Blurb

Prepare to think as you explore these wildly disparate literary short stories by author, composer, and producer Stephen Geez. Avoiding any single genre, this collection showcases Geez’s storytelling from southern gothic to contemporary drama to coming-of-age, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy—all finessed to say something about who we are and what we seek. Some of these have been passed around enough to need a shot of penicillin, others so virgin they have never known the seductive gaze of a reader’s eyes. So when life’s currents get to pulling too hard, don’t fight it, just open the book and discover nineteen new ways of going with the flow, because NOW more than ever Comes this Time to Float.

The Promo Video

Today’s Excerpt

“Holler Song”
Retta danced the willy-nilly, grabbed at slick branches, then lost both feet and whomped back-end down on the ice. Hit ’em mean like that and 70-year-old bones act scared, then angry, then out for revenge—and they’ll complain bitterly for weeks. It’s not how hard the ground is, makes ’em mad; it’s how brittle the bones has got.Now a sheet of frozen slick, this low patch in the double-rut drive-back had been needing some ’dozer work a long time running, one of many get-to’s set for when next year’s lump-sum money could hire some younger help. Hardly anyone drove it but Randall, easing the pickup ’tween overgrown mirror-snaggers when he brung groceries and what-not to Lurlene and her girl. Deputy Wallace used to ramble back here regular-like to pretend friendly and keep an eye for signs local cookers mighta set up, but when he found Hollis’s makeshift lab a ways down
Cutter Road, his brother Cletus shot him dead. State Police come in and tore ’ern up from there to right up Middleton Holler just beyond. Now a new deputy’s donetook over, but ain’t yet been out here lying about smells to claim “probable cause” when he trespasses on Lurlene and Retta’s private property. This very minute would be a good time, him to show for a howdy-ma’am, seein’ as how there’s an old lady needs picking up off her arse.Retta rolled over on her side and wound up mashing the holdin’ end of that pocketed fish-knife into her thigh, then managed despite bad arthritis to pull herself up and set about shuffling forward, keeping to the treeline for more grab-branching. She came to sight of cousin Lurlene’s place, built by their granddaddy when he carried his unimpressed young bride here for a lifetime of second thoughts in the hills of East Tennessee. Lately the place looked embarrassed at being let to run down, but now the dim gray fog and last night’s snow gave it a fairy-tale gingerbread-house look, all sugar-frosted and gleaming with drips of icing drooping its eaves. Wisps of smoke fed by a stingy stack of splits curled from the chimney and bent north to tickle more sleet from dark clouds of a mind to paint these hollers another coat of quick-freeze.Lurlene stepped out and stood on the wide, covered porch. Ten years younger than cousin Retta, she looked real old of a sudden. Bundled in wool coat, crochet hat and scarf, jeans and hide boots, she’d already got a mind to head out. “Found her, didn’t they?” she asked as Retta stopped at the slicked-over bottom step. Eyes red and swole, Lurlene had been crying, imagining the worst and expecting nothing better.

The Whole Story

I’ve posted the whole story on my blog today. I’ve set the link to open in a new tab so that you can also stay here! https://StephenGeez.WordPress.com

Find the Book Now

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My Struggles with #Coronavirus2019 …

Hi everyone, today’s post is a bit of a heavy one. First up, I’m not sick with the dreaded Covid19, but for certain, the panic and oversensitivity is having a HUGE affect on my life.

Hubby and I cannot get any groceries because of the idiotic panic buying. All we want is one pack of toilet roll, a bit of pasta (one of our staple meals), and that sort of thing, and the shelves are empty. We can’t even get lactofree milk right now.

And now Amazon has banned ads for my book FALLOUT … the ad has been approved and active since September 2019, and now–all of a sudden–it’s too controversial. 

To say I’m fed up has got to be the understatement of the decade.

Everything seemed fine until I got this message from Amazon on Saturday …

 

The big joke? … I haven’t even submitted this ad since last year when it went live!

The next screenshot shows the advert that has been approved for the last six months, and you can see a charge on there that shows Amazon has been placing the ad, but … wait … as of March 7th, it is now banned.

Immediately, I raised a query with Amazon’s help department, and I got this message within a matter of hours …

I waited until Monday 9th and then asked again if somebody could, please, clarify the issue for me … as of now, I have heard nothing at all from them. Amazon seems to be ignoring me. So, all I can conclude is that they have banned the ad because it dares to meniont the V word … VIRUS!!!

Sorry, but this strikes me as nuts. This sort of panic and overreaction is far more dangerous than the actual disease.

Whatever the sudden turn around on Amazon’s side, I believe that they need to let adults be adults and make their own choices. Honestly, the world these days feels more censored than it was in Victorian times, and freedom of speech no longer exists for the vast majority.

The irony, of course, is that FALLOUT is about nanotechnology and a virus based on that. The book is set way in the future in a planet in outer space. So, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the current Covid19 outbreak. Furthermore, the flu kills many more people every year, but my ad and book were somehow acceptable back in September?

I’m throwing up my hands here … what, if anything, can we authors actually write about anymore?


Okay, rant over. But if any of my books suddenly disappear from sale, I wanted you all to know to why.

Thanks for bearing with me! 🙂

 

©Harmony Kent 2020

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#BookReview: No One’s Home by D M Pulley @DMPulleyAuthor

Hi everyone, another Tuesday and another book review for you … this one is another book I picked up after seeing it recommended on someone’s blog last year. At some point, I did start making notes on which book I saw where, lol, but we’re not there yet! Ahem, … okay, so onto my review >>>


About the Book:

For fans of The Haunting of Hill House comes a dark tale of a mansion haunted by a legacy of tragedy and a family trapped by lies.

Margot and Myron Spielman move to a new town, looking for a fresh start and an escape from the long shadow of their past. But soon after they buy Rawlingswood, a foreclosed mansion rumored to be haunted, they realize they’re in for more of the same…or worse.

After a renovation fraught with injuries and setbacks, the Spielmans move in to the century-old house, and their problems quickly escalate. The home’s beautiful facade begins to crumble around them when their teenage son uncovers disturbing details of Rawlingswood’s history—a history of murder, betrayal, and financial ruin. The Spielmans’ own shameful secrets and lies become harder to hide as someone or something inside the house watches their every move.

As tensions build between the family members, the home’s dark history threatens to repeat itself. Margot and Myron must confront their own ghosts and Rawlingswood’s buried past before the house becomes their undoing.

My Review:

 

 

 

 

 

The supernatural element to this book caught my attention right off, and the story within its pages did not disappoint. The narrative pulled me in from page one and didn’t let me go until I’d finished the final page. D M Pulley makes for the fifth on my list of ‘top authors’ for this year, and I will be checking out her other books.

Apart from an overuse of exclamation marks in some passages and a lack of hyphenation to join words that need joining, the writing is well edited and error free. The characterisations and world building are done excellently, and I connected with each and every one. The timeline shifts around, but new chapters mark the shifts, and it is clear where you are at each point. I adored the historical elements scattered throughout this tale.

While the author writes from third-person omniscient, which reads as head-hopping, she has written it so well that the shifts of point of view flow well from one to the other, and as I read, I knew whose head (POV) I was reading from. The only other author I’ve seen do head-hopping this well is Stephen King.

The ending tied up all of the loose ends and rounded up the story nicely. An author note at the end gave some interesting insights about the history of the area and the inspiration for this tale.

My only regret is that I didn’t have the time to read this in one sitting and had to let it go for hours at a time. If you like a spooky, chilling read that will have you turning the lights on in the house, then this is the book for you. Brilliantly written. It gets a resounding five stars from me.

 

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

 

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


If you’re interested, here are the Amazon links … UK and US.

Please note, these are not affiliate links.

 

©Harmony Kent 2020

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Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Check out this great post by Mae Clair over on Story Empire today … gotta say, I love this picture! >>>

 

Hi, SEers. You’re with Mae today for a look at writing action scenes. Of all the types of scenes that go into constructing a novel, I used to dread action the most. Not so much these days, but they…

Source: Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Character Archetypes: The Herald | Story Empire

Check out a great post on Heralds by Craig Boyack over at Story Empire today >>>

Hi gang, Craig with you today. This is post number four in the character archetypes series. In the Hero’s Journey, there are some common characters that are likely to show up in all stories. This d…

Source: Character Archetypes: The Herald | Story Empire

Thanks for the Welcome & a Brief Introduction

Check out Marcia Meara’s first post for Story Empire today  >>>

Happy Wodin’s Day Everybody! I’m Marcia, and I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful welcome I received yesterday from the gang here at Story Empire and from many of their friends a…

Source: Thanks for the Welcome & a Brief Introduction

#BookReview: Can You See Me? by Lee Lynne @LynneBarrettLee

Hi everyone, as well as a special announcement (see my reblog today for Story Empire), I have a great book review for you today. This one I picked up after a recommendation on someon’es blog late last year, but I can’t remember whose, lol. Anyway, I’m super-thrilled I followed this book up. Here’s my review >>>


About the Book:

Would you know if someone was watching you?

In the dark days since the sudden death of her surgeon husband, Julia’s main worry has always been Tash. Her student daughter was broken—she worshipped her father. But six months on, Julia thinks the light is returning. She is about to find out that she’s wrong.

When she saves the life of a boy who’s been hanging around her beach cottage, the questions start. All she has to go on is the butterfly tattoo on his wrist, but who is he? What was he doing there? And why was her late husband’s watch in his bag? Julia wants to believe it’s a casual theft, but an ominous arrival in the post confirms her suspicion that there is more to it than meets the eye.

As Tash remembers a string of strange incidents she had previously brushed off, Julia realises they are both being watched. Someone’s been toying with them, trying to frighten them, but why?

Determined to protect her daughter, Julia races to discover the boy’s identity. But what she doesn’t realise is that the truth is right in front of her. Will she see it before it’s too late?

And a bit more From the Editor …

Every now and then a character turns up in fiction who changes the game. Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. Lyra in His Dark Materials. Amy in Gone Girl. Eleven in Stranger Things. They fit themselves into your life, some demanding to be heard, others simply not going away.

This striking debut from Lynne Lee has one of those characters. As soon as I read the first “moth” chapter and encountered that deeply intelligent and viscerally angry voice, I knew.

Fortunately, Lynne has crafted a book that is big and brilliant enough to accommodate this unforgettable voice. Julia is our safe place—the tiger mother who discovers that she and her daughter are being watched. She will stop at nothing to protect her, but she also wants to understand. To see.

I don’t doubt that you will want to understand too—and I hope that, like me, you will feel your eyes have been opened to the borders of life just a little bit more by this dark and profoundly human tale.

My Review:

 

 

 

 

 

I loved this book. Lynne Lee is now one of my top authors of 2020, and I will be reading more of her books, which by the way, are written under the name Lynne Barrett-Lee. [Lynne Lee is a pen name.]

First up, one of my fave lines from the book: ‘… it hits me that our past is all so much debris clinging to the tideline; ..’

I connected with each and every character in this book. I could relate. They were all real and believable. The narrative hooked me and pulled me right in, much as a moth to a flame … and there are a lot of moths in this book, which made my skin crawl. But that was the whole point.

I guessed–tentatively–who the main agressor was by about the 60% area of the book, but I still couldn’t be a hundred percent sure until later on. And, then, of course, there was still a big shocker involved in that denouement. The author did such a skillful job, I even felt sorry for the antagonist as well as all the protagonists. And the MC felt real and sensible and didn’t do stupid things, even though a lot of the time she had no clue what was going on or why–she used her head and analytical skills.

I find myself not wanting to say too much more because I don’t want to put in any spoilers. All I can say is, Go Read This Book!

As you’ve probably guessed by now … Can You See Me? gets a resounding five stars from me.

***

 

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

 

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

 

If you’re interested … Amazon buy links … UK and US

please note, these are NOT affiliate links


©Harmony Kent 2020

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A Special Announcement from Story Empire

Hi everyone. Story Empire doesn’t usually post on a Tuesday, but today, they have a super-special announcement to make! >>>

Hello, SEers.  Mae here, leading off a splashy announcement. If you’ve followed Story Empire for any length of time, you know we don’t  post on Tuesdays. But we have something so exciti…

Source: A Special Announcement from Story Empire

How to Publish with KDP: Part Six A

Hi everyone. I have another post up for my how to publish to KDP series over at Story Empire today >>>

Hello SErs. Harmony here. As promised earlier, here is the sixth installment (in two parts) in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from yo…

Source: How to Publish with KDP: Part Six A

Using The Five Senses: Smell

Check out a great post today from Joan Hall over at Story Empire. How do you use your sense of smell when you write? >>>

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you with the second in a series of posts using the five senses in writing. To read the first part on sight, click here. Today I’m writing about smell. I probably overlook…

Source: Using The Five Senses: Smell

#BookReview: Knife Edge by Simon Mayo

Hi everyone,

Today I have a book review for you. This was an ARC read from NetGalley and publishes on the 11th of June.


About the Book:

You never know where danger may come from…

6.45am. A sweltering London rush hour. And in the last 27 minutes, seven people have been murdered.

In a series of coordinated attacks, seven men and women across London have been targeted. For journalist Famie Madden, the horror unfolds as she arrives for the morning shift.

The victims have one thing in common: they make up the investigations team at the news agency where Famie works. The question everyone’s asking: what were they working on that could prompt such brutal devastation?

As Famie starts to receive mysterious messages, she must find out whether she is being warned of the next attack, or being told that she will be the next victim…

My Review:

 

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for this Advanced Review Copy.

I’d never heard of Simon Mayo except as a British DJ before, so I had no preconceptions about this book. The cover and the description both intrigued me, so I requested a copy.

The storyline started out strong but soon fizzled, and by the middle it sagged a lot. I pushed through and kept going, and the last 20% picked up to a rip-roaring pace, which I enjoyed greatly. However, the ending was left quite open and dangling with many questions unresolved. I found the writing passive in the extreme and the book needs a solid edit. The narrative is full of telling rather than showing and every character has to know or feel or see or hear, instead of simply experiencing. This puts a block between the reader and the immediate action and spoils the pacing.

I found that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, and not enough to care about them one way or the other.

Not a bad read, and on the whole set at a good pace. Though this one doesn’t make it onto my ‘re-read’ shelf, I would probably consider other books by this writer in the future.

I give this book 2.5 stars, as it sits somewhere between ‘It was good!’ and ‘I may have liked a few things’ (see my note on ratings below). I round this up to 3 stars for rating purposes.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

 

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.

3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.

2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.

1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

 


© Harmony Kent 2020

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What is Your Style of Learning?

Check out a great post from Mae Clair today over on Story Empire >>>

Hi, SEers! Mae here on a cold February day. If you happen to live in the southern hemisphere and are enjoying beautiful temperate weather, please bottle some and send it up north! Winter doldrums a…

Source: What is Your Style of Learning?

Character Archetypes: The Ally

A fun and informative post from Craig Boyack over at Story Empire today >>>

Hi gang, Craig with you today. This is post number three in the character archetypes series. In the Hero’s Journey, there are some common characters that are likely to show up in all stories. This …

Source: Character Archetypes: The Ally

Week in Review

Lots of writing links to check out over at Joan Hall’s place today >>>

Hey everyone. It’s Friday again! I’m always glad for weekends. We’ve had lots of rain in the past two weeks. Nothing like our friends in the deep south, but nonetheless, I could u…

Source: Week in Review

How to Publish with KDP: Part Five

Hi everyone, I have another how to publish to KDP post over at Story Empire today >>>

 

SErs. Harmony here. As promised earlier, here is the fifth installment in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from your computer and…

Source: How to Publish with KDP: Part Five

#BookReview – A BOY NAMED RABBIT by Marcia Meara

A great book review for A Boy Named Rabbit over on Deborah Jay’s blog … I’m looking forward to reading this series! >>>

My first review of the year was for book #1 in Marcia Meara’s WAKE-ROBIN RIDGE series, and I’m moving right along with my review for book #2, A BOY NAMED RABBIT. I read all four back-to…

Source: #BookReview – A BOY NAMED RABBIT by Marcia Meara

How to Publish with KDP: Part Four

Hi everyone. Today, over on Story Empire, I have another installment on my how to publish series >>>

ello SErs. Harmony here. As promised earlier, here is the fourth installment in the post series dedicated to taking a step-by-step look at how to get your finished manuscript from your computer an…

Source: How to Publish with KDP: Part Four

Using The Five Senses: Sight

Hi everyone. Joan Hall has a great post on using the five senses in writing over at Story Empire today. This is the first of the series and well worth checking out >>>

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you on this Valentine’s Day. My post today is the first of a new series on using the five senses in writing. As authors, it’s easy to overlook one or another (at least fo…

Source: Using The Five Senses: Sight

Week in Review

Hi everyone. Joan Hall has her week in review over at her place today with lots of writing related links and this lovely sunrise >>>

 

Hey, everyone. Time to wrap up another week. Happy Valentine’s Day! Last week I wrote that my daffodils were getting ready to bloom. Sure enough, the first blossoms appeared over the weekend.…

Source: Week in Review

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Oh Baubles by Harmony Kent

Oh Baubles gets some love today over at Marcia Meara’s place … doing my happy dance >>>

via GIPHY

I’m super happy to welcome Harmony Kent here today. Harmony is sharing a wonderful review of her book, Oh Baubles, and I know you’ll enjoy reading it! Don’t forget to pass it arou…

Source: #ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Oh Baubles by Harmony Kent

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye

Check out this great collection of books over at Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore today >>>

 

Delighted to see so many reviews coming through for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore so I will be adding an extra update in the week to make sure they get showcased. The first author with a re…

Source: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates #Reviews -#Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Memoir D.G. Kaye

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