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.
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.
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.
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.
On offer are some chilling poems and a series of stories about Friday, a black cat with a penchant for curious events.
Friday’s stories will be available to read for free until November 3rd.
Van Leerdam is also the author of The Silver Feather, a haunting, macabre tale which was featured here as a new release earlier this month. It’s on sale until November 1st for 99c in your favourite digital store. and is also available as a paperback via Amazon.
LILY LUCHESI and fifteen other authors have just released Damsels of Distress, an anthology featuring strong female leads that should never be underestimated.
It’s on sale right now for just 99c, and is incredibly good value.
PETER BLAKEY-NOVIS has been sharing 31 Days of Horror on his blog at Embrace The Darkness. He has featured a number of excellent novels, novellas, and blogs in his listing.
So, plenty of spooky and horrific treats for Halloween. Who needs candy? Go nuts!
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.
‘Blessedly Bound’ is so bewitching,I found it hard to put down.
The central character, Gwen, is an enigma of strength and vulnerability combined, which makes her easy to empathise with: surely, when we are being honest, that is how we perceive ourselves?
The reader is also tantalised by the fact that the reader doesn’t ever really know who the good guys are – the candidates for Gwen’s “hero” are compelling blends of good and bad, so that one is never really sure which way each of them will turn out.
While the pivotal storyline of the book is brought to a satisfying resolution, there is still plenty of mystery and intrigue left for sequels as questions, doubts, and fears remain.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.
I’ve given this great paranormal mystery read five stars.
Blessedly Bound and other books by the same author are available on Amazon.
Not until I started reading did I realise how ironic the title is – many more questions than discoveries were arising in the most fascinating and heart-stopping ways. Absolutely, 110% intrigued, I had to keep on reading to find the answers to my own questions and theories, as well as Jessica’s.
This book is a fast-paced roller coaster of emotions, complete with loop-the-loops and tilt-a-whirls of mystery, secrets, horror, and intense personal conflicts for a number of key characters.
It’s a mark of a great writer that a story can take you on the journey not just of the main characters and the key plot, but also of the other characters through sub-plots that weave seamlessly with the main story. Characters I disliked intensely in the first book became more likeable not only through the development of their personality and actions, but also through gaining a greater understanding of their motivations and histories. Other characters that I quite liked in the first book underwent an almost opposite kind of transition. Once again, DalRae reminds us through this fabulous book that no matter how confident we might be that we’re right about people or situations, or even that we know something for sure, things aren’t always what they seem.
If you’re looking for delicious paranormal mystery adventure laced with more than a dash of hot sauce and romance, look no further. DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are the books for you.
Now, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next in the series. I’m definitely hungry for the next course.
Aliya DalRae’s Jessica Sweet mysteries are all available on Amazon.
‘Bittersweet’ by Aliya DalRae is the story of Malcolm, the black cat who features in Sweet Vengeance and Sweet Discovery, the first two novels in the Jessica Sweet trilogy.
The Jessica Sweet paranormal/mystery/romance novels portray Malcolm as a dark, mysterious creature who keeps his secrets closely concealed. ‘Bittersweet’ shows much more of who he is – sensitive and loving, yet carrying a burden that nobody else can understand.
This is a powerful and moving story, even for readers who are not familiar with DalRae’s Jessica Sweet novels. It works equally well as a standalone story, a companion backstory to the novels, or a very effective appetizer as an introduction to the novels.
DalRae’s writing is highly expressive and yet still so comfortable that the reader is drawn right into the world of Fallen Cross.
This book can be easily read in an hour, so ‘Bittersweet’ would be a perfect lazy afternoon or end of day read.
I’ve given this ADR novella five shiny stars.
‘Bittersweet’ is available on Amazon as an ebook or in paperback.
Alternatively, you can get it free via Instafreebie by signing up to Aliya DalRae’s mailing list.