It is a skilful writer who develops the characters in such a way that the reader visualises them in all their different expressions, holds their breath in moments of suspense, and only realises they were doing so when they let that breath go.
Miranda Brock is one such writer.
The sequel to Souls Discovered, this is the second in Miranda Brock’s The Keeper’s Way series for young adults and older. Brock has crafted another exciting and deeply involving story in which The Keeper, Autumn, and her Searchers confront the terrible powers of evil in their efforts to rid the world of those very powers. There is plenty of action to keep the story going, and there are a number of absolutely gut-wrenching moments that keep the reader absolutely enthralled.
Just as Autumn and her Searchers know each other better and have a stronger connection in the second book, the reader also feel a stronger bond with the central characters because they, too, know them better now. I didn’t even realise how much I had invested emotionally in this book until I finished it.
After reading Book 1, I knew better than to expect a predictable ending in the sequel, and Souls Asunder does not disappoint. I’m so keen for Book 3 and dead keen to know what happens next.
Miranda Brock has definitely cemented her place in my shortlist of “one click authors” whose books I will buy in a heartbeat.
Because Book Squirrel was giving star ratings rather than Acorn Awards when he reviewed Book One, both books in The Keeper’s Way series are receiving a shiny Gold Acorn today.
A short companion story to Landis’ The Fight For Light series, this is a powerul and deeply moving story. In one sense it might be interpreted as a love story, but it is far more than that – it is a tale of sacrifice, resistance and hope against hope that one day, the darkness might not always win.
In this, I found ‘Fractured’ to be a profound story to which I could relate in a very personal way.
Much of my own poetry is an expression of that same hope: that the demons and the darkness might be overcome. It’s an age-old story, but Nikki Landis has crafted it in an original and compelling way. Her characters are complex and flawed, and her exploration of how fascinating evil can be is incredibly perceptive.
Although it belongs to a series, this book works well as a standalone story. Prior to reading ‘Fractured’, I had not read any of the full novels in the series to which this story is a companion, but I now plan to do exactly that.
This is an excellent read that can be completed in one day if desired, or enjoyed over a longer period without losing track of the story.
I’m giving it a lovely Silver Acorn!
Fractured and all of Nikki Landis’ books are available on Amazon.
Hi folks, welcome to another Book Squirrel Author Interview! Today we chat with Lyra Shanti, author of the brilliant space epic series Shiva XIV and a number of other incredible works.
I confess, I’m a little star-struck.
Oh, you sweet thing!
Right, where was I? Ah yes. Here we go! What inspired you to write?
Where to start? So many things inspire me! Great films, books, plays/musicals, music, anime/manga, poetry, laughter, sex, love, rain, moonlight, the ocean, tall ancient trees, mountains, lakes, and so much more!
Truthfully, everything affects me. I’ve been writing poetry, plays, and songs since I was a child of seven, but I didn’t start seriously writing stories till I was in my late 30s. I always wanted to try novel writing, but was terrified I wouldn’t be good enough. Then, one day, I felt the urge to try. I stared at the blank white screen and suddenly envisioned an infant, held up at an altar by a priest. It was Shiva XIV I saw, but I didn’t know it yet. Slowly, the story came to me, and the rest is history. What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I’ve read a few good ones, though I haven’t had a ton of time to read (spending most of my time writing and editing!) But I loved Sweet Vengeance by Aliya DalRae. Can’t wait to read book 2, Sweet Discovery! It’s such a fun, sexy paranormal series!
Oh, I’ve read those! They’re great! What are you working on writing now?
I just finished book 4 in my sci-fi series, Shiva XIV: The River of Time. Yay! I’ll be promoting that for a while, but my next book will be The Artist, a complete departure from sci-fi and fantasy.
It’s a story about a man named Apollo Antonius Vidali, an artist fighting his madness in search of true love. It will be a cross between historical romance and erotic freeform poetry! I can’t wait to get that done by next year. I think my fans will be totally surprised, and that’s exciting!
What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?
I have a strange aversion to whistling. Not so much when a person does it on key and it’s a song they know well… but when it’s meandering and slightly off key. I can’t explain why, I just hate it so much. I’ve yet to write that into a book… I may at some point. Maybe if I were to write a thriller or murder mystery. I could see a murderer whistling right after he’s killed someone. Terrifying!
What movie can you watch over and over again?
Lord of the Rings. All of them…The extended versions. Not even kidding! Lol
I would also repeatedly watch Close Encounters, Back to the Future (all 3), Titanic, The Wizard of Oz, The Muppet Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and of course, the original Star Wars movies.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Basically what I am. 🙂 From the time I was 7, I wanted to be a songwriter… and playwright. I never envisioned myself as a novelist. That’s new, but feels right!
Sometimes you just have to run with what life brings you, eh?
What’s your favourite season? Why?
Winter… especially in S Florida. There really aren’t weather changes here, like, at all… so winter is the only time it isn’t hot and humid. I love cooler weather! I love sweaters and snow and holidays!
Autumn is a close second. If I were living where I grew up (in Bellingham, Washington), there would be beautifully warm colors in the trees and a crisp, cool breeze in the air. It would be heaven! Plus, Halloween!
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?
Growing up, I loved Alice in Wonderland. I think Lewis Carroll had a bigger influence on my already wacky brain than I realized. Then, Shakespeare plays made my heart and mind swoon! And of course, I loved Tolkien and J.K Rowling. But my biggest influence and inspiration would be Hermann Hesse. Books like Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and Narcissus and Goldmund had a huge impact on me as a young adult, and as a writer. His stories were full of philosophical “East meets West” ideas, but also romantic relationships with flawed characters I deeply related to. I have to say, without his writing I would never have been a writer myself. His stuff was poetic and brilliant!
What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
It’s hard work. A lot harder than some might realize… all the writing, editing, promoting, and worry over if anyone will like the story.
Ultimately, though, it’s worth all the pain. At the end of the day, I get to see my worlds born into a virtual reality where it will live on forever. And I can say I did it my way… like Sinatra. 😉
Name two things in life that you wish were easier.
Editing books! And a second thing? Hmm… Driving a car in the city. Driving itself doesn’t scare me, but other people in their cars do! They’re nuts!
Wait! Nuts are good!
Okay. I guess you could say they drive me crazy! *makes Fozzie Bear face* Get it?! Wakka wakka!
The third book in the series, this sequel to ‘Blessedly Bound‘ and ‘Burning Captivation‘ takes the central character Gwen and the reader on another emotional roller coaster of danger and discovery as she seeks answers and justice, which are equally difficult to find. There are plenty of heart-in-your-throat moments as the story unfolds, especially as the distinctions between good, bad and sheer, unrepressed evil become clearer.
As with the previous books in the series, the central mystery and some of Gwen’s questions are solved, but other challenges and quests remain for future books. There is nothing repetitive or boring about this story or this series of books. The story just keeps on developing and building with each new phase.
Yet again, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lucretia Stanhope’s work. It’s another Golden Acorn from me.
A couple of weeks ago I read and reviewed ‘Blessedly Bound‘ by Lucretia Stanhope. ‘Burning Captivation’ is the sequel, the second in Stanhope’s Elemental Witch Trials series.
Equally as enchanting as the first book in the series. this sequel to Blessedly Bound sees Gwen’s life take a turn in a direction that neither the reader nor she expected. A mystery that Gwen must solve becomes increasingly complicated by developments in her own life that spiral beyond her control. Still discovering the extent of her own power and what it means for her life, she is thrust into a world plagued by intrigue, political machination and vain ambition.
Stanhope’s supporting characters are complex and multi-dimensional, making them a challenge for both Gwen and the reader to figure out. The delicious way in which she blurs the lines between good and bad, friend and foe, adds layers of intrigue to the story and engages the reader deeply in the story.
As with the first book in the series, the central mystery is solved, but other questions remain in its wake. The reader is left with the suggestion that something big is about to happen in the next book, but also with the knowledge that it could be something that might just complicate Gwen’s life futher before things improve for her again.
For anyone who hasn’t read Blessedly Bound, this story could stand alone quite effectively. But then – why only read one great book when you can read two?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a Golden Acorn from Book Squirrel for this great book.
Both ‘Blessedly Bound’ and ‘Burning Captivation’ are available on Amazon.
The Silver Feather is a hauntingly macabre tale for October reading or for any time of year. It will please lovers of horror and ghost stories, and provide a delicious treat for folks who love to find a good spook in a book.
Reviews are already coming in on Amazon and Goodreads.
Here’s what they have to say so far:
Fun Fact: When the story was finished, it came up at 6664 words. The author added two more words so that this spooky little read had exactly 6666 words.
Just right for a month which offers both Friday 13th and Halloween, don’t you think?
A deliciously creepy story, ‘The Celtic Curse: Banshee” tells the story of the origins and then the conclusion of one family’s experience of a banshee’s curse.
Perfect for lovers of the Gothic and the macabre, this tale is permeated by plenty of classic horror, superstition and dark supernatural power, which are in part balanced by the normality of the central characters who unwittingly fall under the curse.
I found this novelette to be perfect reading for a stormy late September afternoon, given that both Friday 13th and Halloween are approaching.
The Celtic Curse: Banshee is available via Amazon for kindle or in paperback.