December 7 ~ Featured Book: ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss

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.

Claire Buss The Rose Thief


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?

‘The Rose Thief’ is available at Amazon.

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December 4 ~ Featured Book: ‘A Steampunk Christmas Carol’ by Angelique S Anderson.

Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 4 is ‘A Steampunk Christmas Carol’ by Angelique S Anderson.

I’m always excited to find a new perspective on traditional Christmas stories. There is no doubt that this book promises exactly that!

Angelique Anderson A Steampunk Christmas Carol

Professor Langdon has taken over Octagon Inn, and the lives of those around him. Selfish and greedy, no one can do right by him, and he even goes so far as to cut the wages of those working at the inn. 
Lord Adrian and Lady Wylie are still mourning the loss of their friend, Professor Cornelius, and are sure that the dreams Adrian had for his esteemed steam-powered carriage setting the precedence for transportation in 1850’s New York, are a thing of the past.  Professor Langdon has his own agenda with Adrian’s carriage. 
Can a down-trodden ghost and three of the celestial beings known as the Immortal Ones, along with a feisty dragon, change Langdon’s heart and mind, in time for the Christmas season?
Find out in this fun steampunk twist on a classic tale!

I found it at Amazon.

 

Book Review: ‘Souls Asunder’ by Miranda Brock

Miranda Brock TKW 2 Souls Asunder

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.miranda-brock-souls-discovered

Golden Acorns
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.

The Keeper’s Way series is available on Amazon.

 

Author Interview: Heather Dawn

Interview Orange

Welcome once again to Book Squirrel’s latest ‘Nuts about Authors’ interview.  Today I sat down with Heather Dawn to discuss life as a writer and her novel, Imbroglio: The Ties of Love and Lies.

Heather Dawn Imbroglio

Hi Heather, thanks for being here and chatting with me. 
Hi, Book Squirrel. Thanks for having me!

What inspired you to write?

Pain inspired me to write, plain and simple. I needed to get out of my circumstances into someone else’s, and thank God it worked!

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

I penned an essay in college entitled, Dear Little Girl, which was an assignment to write a letter of advice to myself as a child. Despite the intense joy of publishing a novel that’s getting five-star reviews, the timeless words in this essay resonate with me the most, allowing me to walk down memory lane and relish the nostalgia of my youth, grow from the mistakes, and ultimately, appreciate who I’ve become as an adult. I never would’ve thought such a simple assignment would be so invaluable to me.

What are you working on writing now?

Between my tasks as an elementary school mom and an independent entertainment production events contractor, I’m sneaking in the sequel to my debut novel.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

My best vacation was a nine day trip to Italy, exploring more than eight beautiful cities and stretches of breathtaking countryside from Rome to Lake Como with a wonderful group of ladies, our own tour “mother,”  a private tour bus, delightful hotels, and food that made me hurt myself trying to devour it all!

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing?

My pet hate is deception––lying and hiding in relationships. Yes, I absolutely built that despicable behavior and its consequences into my writing. That is what Imbroglio, the Ties of Love and Lies is all about! An intense storyline of drama, action and suspense where a woman’s omission (intended to maintain the interest of one surprisingly debonair, irresistible and likewise mysterious man) collides with his secrets, and the two are led on a volatile, even dangerous, journey for truth, forgiveness, and love which neither of them could have fathomed. I think it would just be lovely for every reader of Imbroglio to recognize the fears that entice us to lie and consider the lamentations of Carlos and Shannon when facing such temptation! Perhaps my genre would evolve to “romantic suspense fiction with a lesson.” Hmmm…

What movie can you watch over and over again?

I can watch The Incredibles over and over and over. And over. There is something about the dynamics of their relationships. No perfection among super heroes there!

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

I wanted to be a veterinarian. With all my heart. And then I saw what happens when animals get worms and diseases. I said, “No thank you.”

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Beverly Cleary began my passion for reading with her character, Ramona (as in the pest.)
Ernest Gaines wrung the tears from my eyes with his masterful and deservedly highly-praised novel, A Lesson Before Dying. I admired his ability to write about a subject so heartbreaking and yet keep readers engaged to the end.
Stephen King paints a story so dexterously. I remember the idiosyncrasies of his characters being so vivid in my mind, loving the way he drew me into a tale, and feeling terrified to read on.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

It will challenge your fortitude. Unlike when there is a publisher behind you, there is no one to convince the world that you (the self-published artist) have talent except you. Keep pressing onward!

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

1) I wish erasing the painful emotional scars imparted by others and restoring hope to the lost was easier. 2) I wish it was easier to say what needs to be said.

Those can be tough challenges indeed!   
Where can we get your book?

Imbroglio: The Ties of Love and Lies is on Amazon.

Heather Dawn Imbroglio Author Pic

Fantastic! And where can we follow you on social media? 

Oh! That’s easy!

Author Interview: James B Peartree

Interview Lime

Welcome back to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview James B. Peartree, author of Pack: The Three Moons and its soon-to-arrive sequel. 

James Peartree Pack Cover
Thanks for joining us today, James. Why don’t you start by telling us what inspired you to write?

What inspired me to write most of all, was my desire to redefine the werewolf mythos sensitively, without dragging it kicking and howling into the 21st century. Although if I’m being totally honest, I’ve loved writing from an early age and was looking for a suitable excuse to do so.

What’s your favourite book by written by someone else? 
My favorite thing that someone else has written has to be Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf. It’s a book you actually devour and once finished, you want to go back to the beginning and read it all over again.

What are you working on writing now?
I am currently working on the third book in the ‘Pack’ trilogy and another paranormal novel. I think it’s important to keep another project running at the same time as your primary one. It seems to work for me at least.

That sounds like it keeps you busy! What’s the best vacation you’ve had? 
The best vacation/holiday I’ve ever had was travelling to Sri Lanka with my family when I was 10. I’d never been abroad up until then and it really opened my eyes to the world beyond East London and Essex.

What movie can you watch over and over again? 
The movie I could watch over and over again would be An American Werewolf in London. I still love it to this day and strongly believe that it doesn’t need to be remade with modern CGI methods. If they could do a director’s cut of the original where they added back in some of the deleted scenes, this would be good enough for me and most other die hard AAWIL fans.

What is your pet hate? Have you ever built it into a character or used it in your writing? 
My pet hate is people who are pig-ignorant, bigoted or even worse, both. I wouldn’t say that I’ve made a conscious effort to add these traits to any of the characters in anything I’ve written. Although they are traits that are commonly found amongst evildoers I suppose.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written? 
The one thing I like the most which I have written would be a short story titled Maurice. It would fall into the ‘psychological paranormal’ subgenre if that subgenre even exists. There I go again, creating my own subgenres. It should be published at some point in the near future, probably in a charitable publication.

There’s nothing wrong with creating your own subgenres. That might be an effective way to create a niche market. 
Good point!

Thanks!  What’s the best book you’ve read this year? 
The book I’ve enjoyed reading the most this year was Lies by T M Logan. It had me gripped from the very start and I struggled to put it down; reading until the summer sunrise was repeated until I’d finished it.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
What aspiring writers should know about being an indie author, is that it’s an arduous process from opening chapter to release date. After which you have to get your next book written and out there whilst promoting the first as well. In short, don’t expect to write ‘The End’ then sit back and watch the royalties roll in. This only ever happens for world best-selling authors I do believe.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier. 
The two things in the world that I wish were easier are:
 a)  Getting aid to areas of the world where it’s desperately needed.
 b)  Bringing those who persecute the weak or defenceless to justice.

I so agree! It’s hard for us little guys to know how to help make that happen, though! 
It sure is, Squirrel.

So, James, where can we find your books?
You can find my books on Amazon.

And finally, can we follow you on social media? 
Sure! I’m on Facebook.

Thanks for being here today, James! It’s been great chatting with you.
Thanks, Book Squirrel!

Book Review: Shiva XIV – The Veil of Truth by Lyra Shanti

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When I wrote my review of the first book in the Shiva XIV series, I said that this could easily become everyone’s next favourite space epic series, and that  it would easily fill the void that Star Wars fans would experience after the final episode.

Having just finished ‘The Veil of Truth’, the second book in the series, I stand wholeheartedly by those words. This brilliant space opera series really is a gift that keeps on giving.

Lyra Shanti Shiva XIV 2 The Veil of Truth

Following directly from the action and story of of ‘Shiva XIV’,  this book is once again woven from highly original and engaging stories in which the characters find themselves in a web of conflicted love, loyalties and ambitions that develop and unfold as the they pursue justice and discover truths about themselves that are not always either welcome or pleasant.

Shanti’s magic envelopes the reader, not just in the magical realism that is blended so beautifully with the sci-fi elements of this book, but also in her writing itself. The reader is swept along, easily visualising the worlds and characters that are central to the story. The worlds are intricate and complex, each with individual qualities that make it unique from the others. Shanti then plays these worlds off against one another, adding to the personal stories of the characters so that the reader truly understands that there is much more at stake than the fates of individuals.

Shanti really is a very gifted storyteller who takes the reader on a new and often surprising journey. The plot lines are well developed and strong, woven so skilfully together that the reader doesn’t always realise how intricately and significantly the characters’ stories contribute to one another.

The book ends not with a cliffhanger as the first did, but rather with a surprise and a very strong sense that there is more to learn and discover before the story can really end. I’m very much looking forward to reading book 3, ‘The Riddle of the Gods’, and continuing this fantastic journey.
Golden Acorns

‘The Veil of Truth’ by Lyra Shanti gets a lovely Golden Acorn.
It’s available on Amazon, with the rest of this amazing series and some excellent short stories that also take place in the Shiva XIV universe.

Book Review: ‘Bound’ by R.M Gauthier

R.M. Gauthier Bound
The mystery surrounding Landon Miller builds to a heart-pounding crescendo in this fantastic sequel to ‘Control’.
 The action is fast-paced and unpredictable, providing a really effective contrast between those moments of waiting and wondering that heighten the tension and intrigue even further.

Gauthier’s characters are for the well-written and believable, and the reader continues to build empathy with Lexi throughout the story. I felt involved in the story and shared in Lexi’s frustration and anger with various situations and other characters at various points of the plot. Gauthier very cleverly positions the reader to understand the central character so that her responses feel both reasonable and justified, even though the reader might not personally respond in the same ways. In all honesty, I know Lexi is much more brave than I am, even if her stubbornness is something I can totally relate to.

This was a great read that focused on the mystery and the chase, rather than the “underground lifestyle” portrayed in ‘Control’, which was really only alluded to in ‘Bound’.

Golden Acorns

‘Bound’ gets a lovely shiny Golden Acorn!

I’m really keen for the release of the third book in the series.