Book Review: ‘The Castle’ by Nikki Moyes

A highly original and engaging short read.

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Nikki Moyes The Castle
‘The Castle’ is a fantasy/scifi short story about Risha, who finds herself vulnerable because of her age and place in society.

 

This is a story in which the author has created an empowering female lead character for a YA audience, something that we definitely need to see more of at this point in time. Rather than dwelling on her weaknesses, Risha focuses on her strengths and uses them to face the situation in which she finds herself.

 

The reader is quickly immersed in Risha’s world, becoming an observer and looking over Risha’s shoulder as she transforms from an observer into an actor in the story that unfolds,  taking some surprising turns that keep the reader guessing.

 

Highly original and engaging, this is a great short read that can easily be enjoyed in a lunch break.

Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded ‘The Castle’ a Gold Acorn.

 

Find your copy on Amazon.

Book Review: The Riddle of the Gods – Shiva XIV Book 3 by Lyra Shanti

Space opera of epic proportions.

Continuing directly from the first two books in the series, ‘The Riddle Of The Gods’ follows the inter-planetary conflicts and politics that impact so powerfully on the lives of Ayn, Pei and Axis and their compatriots as they fight against the corruption and oppression that has placed their universe in peril. Their battles are personal as much as they are planetary, and as the drama unfolds, the urgency with which they must fight increases. Choices must be made, relationships and alliances are formed, and consequences can be significant far beyond individual circumstances. Through all this, the theme of honor and loyalty is pervasive.

One of the elements of this series that I really admire is the way in which Shanti leads her characters on a personal pilgrimage in which each must accept who they are as an individual before they can fulfill their destiny. It’s a powerful lesson that addresses the most crippling fear of many people: ‘Am I enough?’ in a resounding and positive way.

This really is an elegantly constructed universe, and its stories are compelling. Shanti has yet again demonstrated her prowess as a world-builder and architect of complex, deeply involving characters and storylines.

The Shiva XIV series really is a brilliant space opera of epic proportions. Get on board— it’s a trip you don’t want to miss.

Acorn Award I Golden

As with Shanti’s Shiva XIV Books 1 and 2, and companion novellas, ‘The Riddle Of The God’s’ has received one of Book Squirrel’s shiny Gold Acorn awards.

Find it on Amazon.

Meet a New Author: Rebecca Langham

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

Interview Red

Today, I’m talking with Rebecca Langham, whose debut sci-fi novel ‘Beneath The Surface’ launches on January 15th. 

Hi Rebecca, it’s great to chat with you. 

Hello, Book Squirrel! Thanks for having me!

What inspired you to write?

When I was about four years old or so my mother enrolled to study at university, having always wanted to attain a degree but finding it difficult with four children. A couple of years later, she undertook an honours degree and did a lot of work to write a major research thesis. She took me with her to conduct interviews and I also sat in on a lot of her lectures when she struggled to find a babysitter. I didn’t quite understand what she was writing, but I knew that whatever it was it would be long, interesting, and fabulous. So I wanted to be a writer too, even though what my mother produced back then was the history of a major Australian corporation and nothing at all like the fiction I imagined myself writing.Rebecca Langham Beneath the Surface

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

‘Beneath the Surface’, my sci-fi novel that is being released on 15 January 2018. This is the only full-length novel I’ve completed so far and, after all that hard work and many difficult lessons learned, it’ll always have a special place in my psyche.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I love so many books, shows, movies and songs! It’s so hard to choose. As far as novels go, I absolutely adore Michael Cunningham’s use of language in ‘The Hours’. Fannie Flagg’s ‘Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café’ also really stayed with me. Those are some of the most memorable and heart-wrenching characters I’ve ever seen on the page. I adore the film adaptation as well, but so many rich stories from the book were left out of the film.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I’m terrible at just choosing one answer for questions like this. ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville and ‘The Surgeon of Crowthorne’ by Simon Winchester were both thought-provoking reads that I became very emotionally invested in this year.

What are you working on writing now?

I’ve just started the second book of my sci-fi duology. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the first draft, but my goal is to try and have it finished by the middle of the year so it can be published about a year after Book I.

Who designs your book covers?

Natasha Snow. She is amazing!

I’ll say! That cover is magnificent!

Thank you!

What’s your favourite TV show?

As always, I would struggle to just name one. Amongst my favourites are Battlestar Galactica, Xena: Warrior Princess, Jane the Virgin, Orphan Black, Farscape & Wynonna Earp.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

There are a few of these. The main ones I can think of are Labyrinth, Willow, and A League of Their Own.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. It’s taken me a while but I’m finally getting there.

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Octavia Butler

Bryce Courtenay

Sarah Waters

Where can we find your book?

The best way to support me as an indie author is to go straight to the publisher – NineStar Press – where you can actually preorder the e-book and get it early!
You can also find the Kindle edition on Amazon.

You can pick up a physical copy from major retailers, including Amazon and Book Depository.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

FB – https://www.facebook.com/RLanghamAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rlangham85

Website – www.rebeccalangham.com.au

Book Review: ‘Tempus Fugit by Timothy Casey

This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company.

Timothy Casey Tempus Fugit
This book is a fabulously naughty romp through time and space with Veerle, Myst, and Verrick along with a diverse range of friends, adversaries and AI for company. It had me laughing on the first page, and countless times throughout. The storyline is original and interesting, made complete by questions that need to be answered and some serious and touching moments for balance. The humour with which the story is delivered is refreshing and clever.
It does contain mature content, so it is suitable only for an 18+ audience. It’s LGBTI friendly, so it’s sure to please anyone with an open mind and a sense of humour.

 ‘Tempus Fugit’ was a really nice change and a great escape from the more serious and thought-provoking reading in which I often indulge. It is most suited for any grownup looking for a lighthearted read that still gives the grey matter something to do.

Silver Acorns

‘Tempus Fugit’ receives a Silver Acorn.

                                                                                                   Find it on Amazon.

December 6 ~ Featured Book: ‘Tempus Fugit’ by Timothy Casey

This humorous sci-fi romp is a brand new release. It’s Timothy Casey’s debut novel, so I hope everyone will show ‘Tempus Fugit’ some extra love today. 

Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 6 is ‘Tempus Fugit’ by Timothy Casey.

This humorous sci-fi romp is a brand new release. It’s Timothy Casey’s debut novel, so I hope everyone will show ‘Tempus Fugit’ some extra love today.

Timothy Casey Tempus Fugit


Wasting Time Travel has never been such fun!

Veerle and Myst Solassen – two debutante princesses who love to dance and party – are out to find a space pirate who has done them wrong.

There’s enough here for everyone of age to enjoy! Time Travel, Sex, Humor, Heroics, Thrills, Disco, Sex, Space Piracy, Gender Bending, Aliens really loving to have Sex and some light Opera, too. 

It’s One Hell of a Ride! That’s what She said!

I found it at Amazon.

 

Author Interview: Claire Buss

Welcome to another interview in the “Nuts About Authors” series. Today we welcome Claire Buss, Indie author extraordinaire and a generally very nice person!

Interview Orange

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.

Claire Buss The Rose Thief

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!

How exciting!

It is, rather.

Congratulations! It’s on my TBR pile as we speak. 

Oh, thank you! How big is your TBR pile?

It’s nuts. 

*laughter*

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?

Lois Lane.

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.

You’re right!

Some of the best books I’ve read have been Indie books!

Right again!

*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.

Where can we find your books, Claire?

You can find my books on Amazon.

 

And where can we follow you on social media?

My social media links are as follows:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/busswriter

twitter: www.twitter.com/grasshopper2407

website: www.cbvisions.weebly.com 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16197976.Claire_Buss

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/grasshopper2407/

Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWrKBeiBMQg_subFM9ot2vw

G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClaireBuss2407

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Grasshopper2407

 

Thanks for chatting with me today, Claire.

Thanks for being such an awesome squirrel!

And remember, folks: support an Indie author today!

And eat cake!

Yes! Eat cake!

Book Squirrel Review: The Quantum Soul Anthology

There are some fantastic authors included in this collection.
This book is jam-packed with great value for the price.

Anthology The Quantum SoulThere are some fantastic authors included in this collection. Lyra Shanti, Claire Buss, E.M. Swift-Hook and Alan Van Meter are authors whose work I’ve read and enjoyed before, but I’ve also appreciated the opportunity to read work from authors that are new to me.

Obviously in an anthology, some will be more to one’s taste than others, but even those that I haven’t really gotten into have been really well written, very interesting and engaging stories. There are some really intriguing variations and blends into the realms of fantasy, magical realism and dystopian stories, as well as more classic scifi stories in this collection.

If I had to pick two favourites – which is quite a challenge – they would be the contributions by Jeanette O’Hagan and Lyra Shanti.

Project Chameleon, Jeanette O’Hagan’s account of Jerren’s experiences of being transformed into a cyborg, is both confronting and thought-provoking. The imagery is sharp and powerful. Writing from a perspective within Jerren’s mind is highly effective in positioning the reader to feel empathy and feel complicit in his thoughts and responses.

The Endymion Device by Lyra Shanti is a Sci-fi detective story with a distinct noir feel to it. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Shanti’s Shiva XIV series, and I love the way she writes. This compelling story is completely unrelated to that series and has a very different premise and setting, but is just as rich in imaginative detail.

This book is jam-packed with great value for the price.
Silver Acorns

It’s a Silver Acorn award for an excellent collection of great stories.

Get your copy today at Amazon.