Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 13 is ‘’No Rest For The Wicked’ by M.L. Sparrow.
This looks like an interesting fantasy story with a touch of romance and a holiday theme, too!
When a rich gentleman finds a beautiful young woman lying in the snow, on the brink of death, he takes her back to his house and, when she has recovered, employs her as a maid. Immediately Elira realizes that Anthony Luther is no ordinary man and nothing about the house she now lives in is as it seems, for Anthony is a powerful wizard.
Inexplicably drawn together, they begin a tentative romance, but it’s not just Elira’s uncertainties and the rules of upper-class society which drive a wedge between them; rivalries and a precious family heirloom, a priceless necklace of unforeseen power handed down through generations, threaten not only the couple’s happiness, but also their lives and the safety of the people around them.
This Yule story is fantastic in both senses of the word. In ‘Father Winter’, Eric Tanafon takes the reader on a magical journey to the Great White North in which ancient mysteries and secrets of life are revealed.
I chose this book because I enjoyed Tanafon’s ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ so much. I was delighted to discover another gem that I could treasure. Once again, I found the author’s writing is so expressive and evocative that the story played like a film in my mind as I was reading, especially the northern night scenes.
The characters are beautifully crafted and seem to spring to life off the page. Connor is a troubled teen and Holly his younger sister who just wants Connor to be on Father Winter’s “good” list. Through their respective journeys, they encounter a variety of people and creatures who help them to discover and achieve what they need to, each in their own different way.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough for any day of the year, but especially for December reading.
I’ve given it a delicious Gold Acorn.
Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 8 is another brand new release: ‘Once Upon a Fabulous Time’.
This is an anthology like you’ve never seen before: nine reinvented fairy tales for adults by six different authors, each a standalone novella, embedded in an entirely different and original fairy tale.
Dreams really do come true…
Millie Monroe has one bright spot in her life: her job at the library. When a wealthy investor comes to town, she is overjoyed by what his presence could mean for the library…and for her.
Early one afternoon, while working alone, Millie encounters a magical book that insists on being read. Similar books continue to appear, transporting her to strange realms, from the Fabulous to the bizarre, where adventure and romance rule the day. From Wizards to Werewolves, Dragons to Santa Claus, this parade of enchanting creatures opens her eyes to the events taking place around her.
She also discovers that when dealing with creatures of the magical variety, even in fairy tales life isn’t always sunshine and Unicorns. Perhaps when looking for her heart’s desire, she should look no further than her own little corner of the world.
If you believe…
‘Once Upon a Fabulous Time’ is available at Amazon.
Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 7 is ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss.
This rollicking, humorous fantasy story looks like great holiday reading.
Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?
Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 4 is ‘The Red Rider’ by Randall Allen Dunn.
A reinvention of the traditionally loved Red Riding Hood, this captured my attention with its striking cover and fascinating promise of a fairy tale blended with the story of a Joan of Arc type figure.
Little Red Riding Hood is heading back into the woods to meet the big bad wolves… but she’s not little anymore. Having survived a childhood attack from a savage wolf, 16-year old Helena Basque remains disfigured with triple scars across her face. Bullied and plagued by nightmares of a supernatural wolf that spoke and stood upright, Helena urges her father to teach her how to hunt and defend herself. When she loses her parents and young sister to the wolves, receiving no help from the French government or her local priest, Helena sets out on her own to avenge her family.
Armed by her friend Pierre with a repeating crossbow and other unique weapons, Helena takes a stand against the creatures, donning a red cloak like the one she was once forbidden to wear. She soon discovers a mysterious cult of werewolves with secret plans to seize control of Versailles and the entire French nation.
Isolated and determined to accept whatever fate befalls her, Helena wages a one-girl war against the monsters as a strange and unlikely hero, refusing to surrender or slow down until she destroys the beasts. Every last one of them.
Welcome to another interview in the “Nuts About Authors” series. Today we welcome Claire Buss, Indie author extraordinaire and a generally very nice person! Welcome, Claire!
Thanks, Book Squirrel!
What inspired you to write?
I am inspired by all kinds of things – the different people I meet, books I read, random ideas I have at 4am in the morning. What I find difficult is carving out the time to actually write so most of my ideas get jotted onto scraps of paper which are carefully saved in a box for later perusal. Oftentimes it will be the character voice in my head that shouts the loudest! I do prefer to immerse myself in one project at a time.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m about to have a baby! But until very recently, I have been in the final stages of getting my latest book, The Rose Thief, ready for publication. I’ve worked through all my beta reader feedback and I’ve done the scariest part – the final read through before setting up for ebook and paperback. I am really excited about this book, it was so much fun to write. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses and it’s up to Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher and his team to find out who the thief is and stop them before love is lost forever in Roshaven. Think Terry Pratchett meets Douglas Adams.
And that’s just been released, right?
Yes! Last week!
It is, rather.
Congratulations! It’s on my TBR pile as we speak.
Oh, thank you! How big is your TBR pile?
What movie can you watch over and over again?
There are a few actually – The Princess Bride, LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies, Constantine and 28 Days (not the Zombie movie!)
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
It’s a full-time job being an Indie author and that’s not just the writing aspect. You are, for the most part, your own editor, proof-reader and marketer. Most indie authors already have a day job so it’s really about being dedicated to something you love and couldn’t imagine not doing. The marketing side is constant, you have to work on it every day and keep momentum – there’s an awful lot of authors out there but the good news is that people still love reading so all you have to do is get out there and find yours.
Two things in life I wish were easier.
1 – eating cake and not putting on weight
2 – learning how to not feel guilty for either not writing or doing the housework or spending time with my family
I’m with you! Those would be great things to make easier.
*high fives for cake*
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I’ve had a few 5 star reads so far this year but I think the series that I am enjoying the most is Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. I’m on book four now and they’ve all been brilliant. I love all the subtle – and not so subtle – literary references and admire the huge amount of world-building that must have gone into writing the series.
What’s your favourite season? Why?
Autumn. It’s not too hot like the summer and you can wear a cardi with practically every outfit. There’s that lovely crispness in the mornings and still a few summery days to enjoy, leaves to crunch and lots of apple-based desserts. Springtime can be a bit wet although all that new growth is lovely. Winter can be too dark as well as bone-numbingly cold, at least Autumn is golden.
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?
This is tricky because I haven’t read all the books yet but based on the small amount I have been able to devour I would have to say the top of the pile would be Sir Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series, his sense of humour and great intellect. As cliche as it may sound, I do admire JK Rowling’s persistence with Harry Potter and whilst I am well aware that her kind of success is unlikely to happen for me, it is motivating to know that you should never give up. I think my other literary inspiration is every indie author out there who is giving 100%, writing quality books and supporting others in the indie world.
Indie authors are amazing.
Some of the best books I’ve read have been Indie books!
*another high five*
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?
My best vacation memories are those spent on my grandparents’ farm in Wales. Animals, fresh air, the Welsh coastline, homegrown produce and freshly baked cakes, an open fire and lots of love.
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.