Midyear Freak Out Book Tag

Gets nominated, looks at pile at half read books. Panics! Reads a new book. Then finishes reading a couple from the pile.

Thank you Claire @brizzlelassbooks for nominating me πŸ™‚ It was absolutely awesome seeing the cover of my second book on Claire’s to be read list. I took that as a subtle hint and now Book 2 and 3 on their way travelling around the world. Every now and then I venture outside my genre to see what’s happening over the fence. Though I must admit to staying with the fantasy genre most of the time. In case you haven’t guessed I am a writer my spare time. When I looked at all the questions I thought the only way this will work is if I include a few books outside of 2017.

1. Best you’ve read so far in 2017

For this I am going to go back to 2016. It’s wonderful to have books written by people I am acquainted with. So a Young Adult Action Thriller sat on my bookshelf for about 6 months. Not my normal choice of genre, but ‘The Cut Out’ was written by my fellow author Jack Heath. I had read some of his earlier work and was aware of the progression of his skill level, but this one caught me off guard. The Cut Out is a teenage version of James Bond that questions social issues between the action scenes. This is the second book I left on the shelf for far too long.

2. Best sequel of 2017 so far

Let me get in my time machine and speed back to the present day. I have just finished reading ‘The Griffin’s Flight’ by K. J. Taylor, the sequel to ‘The Dark Griffin.’ Katie is a fellow author and I am looking forward to some new releases soon. Her griffins were originally nesting over at Harper Collins and have moved several times. I am eagerly anticipating a more permanent home for them soon.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

This may surprise you, but I did make a half-hearted attempt at approaching publishers. Prior to self-publishing because I suffer from fatigue. Pantera Press sent me a lovely reply. At the time they were specialising in eBooks. When I made the rare trip into the city I discovered they have been printing paperback. In true fantasy style I picked up the trilogy for ‘The Medoran Chronicles’ by Lynette Noni. One fantasy book is not enough. You may not know that in Australia it is near impossble to get fantasy traditionally published. Congratulations to Pantera Press for supporting the genre.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017

Tad Williams revisited the world of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. What more can I say? This fantasy series is responsible for keeping me up late at night when I was in high school. It is also the reason why I have not read the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Gasp! From Tad Williams I moved on to the ‘Wheel of Time’ series by Robert Jordan and there was no going back. I am really looking forward to ‘The Heart of What was Lost’ and ‘The Witchwood Crown’ by Tad Williams.

5. Biggest disappointment of 2017

Please excuse me while I travel back to 2015. It was the year of disappointing reads. I will rush over the most ghastly disappointment. This can be blamed on the marketing team of a traditional publisher. The moral of the story is, do not try to pass off a paranormal romance as fantasy. Just don’t. I have only ever consented to reading two romance novels in my life and this is not one of them. For the author’s sake I will not mention what it was.

6. Biggest Surprise

Let me hop back in the time machine and get back to 2017. ‘Half a King’ by Joe Abercrombie had been recommended by my beta reader. He reads fantasy and grim dark, and I was not sure if this was payback for asking him to read a story about a teenage sorceress. He’s a Joe Abercrombie fan. Upon opening the book my first thought was ‘I didn’t think anyone could cram that many tropes into the first 30 pages’. I am still reading and so far it has been a pleasant surprise.

7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you)

I am still reading Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Half a King’ so the jury is still out on this one, but it is certainly in the lead.

8. Newest fictional crush

In all seriousness the only crushing I do is trying to figure out how to mess up someone else’s fantasy world. Cue maniacal laughter… Mwa ha ha ha!
I ventured into the second ever romance novel I have ever chosen to read. Thank goodness for Duke Perrington. There’s nothing like a decent villain to spoil that happy fantasy romance. I am referring to ‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J. Mass. You were all thinking I was going to say Chaol weren’t you? There is a huge amount of work that goes into creating a great villain, I admire the author for that.

9. Newest favourite character

Quinn from ‘The Impossible Quest’ series by Kate Forsyth. This is a middle-grade fantasy that follows the journey of four children to save their kingdom from an evil witch. Quinn is a good witch who has to use all her skills to help the group find magical creatures.

10. Book that made you cry

Back to 2016 and there was a scene near the end of ‘The Dark Griffin’ by K. J. Taylor that came close to bringing a tear to the eye. I will not spoil it for anyone, but it was not quite what I expected.

11. Book that made you happy

‘Wolves of Witchwood’ by Kate Forsyth. This story dared to venture away from the sparkly pretty version of a unicorn in a children’s book. It’s always nice when magical creatures are given more realistic traits.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation of 2017 you’ve seen

For this I would have to go back to 2015 with ‘The Martian’ by Andy Weir. It’s so nice to see a science fiction story that was written just for the sake of being science fiction.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year

I can write a novel, but give me a review and I struggle with more than one sentence. I am the type of person who will write ‘it was good’ if I enjoyed the story. This year I am aiming for two sentences or more in a review.

14. Most beautiful book you bought or received this year

For beautiful I would have to go with ‘Crooked Kigndom’ by Leigh Bardugo. This is a book I bought based wholly on the design of the cover. The image is either a town or the wings and tail of a crow depending on how you look at it.

15. Books you need to read by the end of the year

Let’s see… I have ‘Half a King’ by Joe Abercrombie, ‘The Impossible Quest’ series by Kate Foryth, and ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo. I will be adding ‘The Heart of What was Lost’ by Tad Williams soon.

That’s about it, and thank you for the nomination πŸ™‚


The Versatile Blogger Award

I have been nominated for this award by Romana @ ABookNerd. Thank you πŸ™‚ She has a wonderful blog!

The last week has been rather chaotic and exciting all at the same time. The books arrived, I only ordered ten and they flew around the world so fast! They will soon be the most travelled books at this rate. This was totally unexpected and I appreciate the enthusiasm. The last thing I remembered to do was practice the author signature πŸ˜›

The Rules:

1)Β Display the award on your blog.

2)Β Thank the blogger that nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

3)Β ShareΒ 7 facts about yourself.

4)Β NominateΒ 15Β 10 0 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blog. (I am happy to be nominated, but prefer not to pass it on.)

Um, okay 7 facts now let me think…

Photograph by Rex Direen, 1995
  1. Did you know that at night you see in black and white, then your mind fills the colour in? When I was young I would go out into the garden at night and see everything in… you guessed it… black and white.
  2. I have written poetry for years, but… It is my sister who won a poetry award at school.
  3. After keeping my room tidy for a whole week my mother let me paint my room. So I painted the ceiling and then the room.
  4. My first cat, Sam, thought it was fun to roll down the hill over and over again. Each time he would bump into me and interrupt my writing with a look that said ‘Oh, I didn’t see you there.’
  5. At university a friend who was studying a computing course asked me to play a game of chess. I hadn’t played for a while and won much to the amusement of everyone else watching.
  6. I have an accidental habit of separating metal toy mind teasers (the type that connect and then you have to figure out how to separate the parts). I was visiting a friend and during the coversion managed to unlock five of these just by picking them up. My friend was not impressed because she had not been able to unlock any.
  7. Last of all… I am a tea drinker, I don’t think I could make it through the day without a nice cup of hot tea πŸ™‚






The Cramm Award

Thank you to Sergio @Scamander’sSuitcase for nominating me for the Cramm Award, and also Liv @theCramm,Β who created this award!

I usually post once a month but the universe has other ideas, at this rate I will have been posting twice a week πŸ™‚ In other news it feels like the last three years have just been crammed into one week. The paperback for the re-release of my first book arrived and oh my goodness. It looks so amazing! It would look at home on my bookshelf it’s so exciting to actually see it. I’m going to leave you with a cliff hanger and save a photo for the next update! Well, maybe a peak won’t hurt.

Rules (Bloggers have class):

    • Include that titbit about who created this awesome award (With link)
    • Mention the person who nominated you
    • Share three things that motivate you to blog
    • Share three people who inspire you to blog
    • Share one thing you hope to do that will improve the world
    • Answer your challenge question
    • Nominate 10+ bloggers and give them a fun β€˜challenge question’ (I don’t share, but I am happy to be nominated.)

Three Things that Motivate Me to Blog:

  1. Each post shows me how far I have come. It’s a little snapshot in time. When I am struggling and need a reminder that every bit helps move forward it’s uplifting to go back and trace my steps.
  2. Sometimes I meet people with similar interests or who just may be dropping by. It’s a fantastic way make a connection.
  3. On one hand being a writer can be incredibly lonely. It’s a long difficult path to follow with much to learn along the way. On the other hand it is incredibly social and relies on a fantastic team of people for support. Blogging allows me to hide away and at the same time reach others over a far distance.

Three People that Motivate Me to Blog:

  1. This probably sounds silly, but there is a small group of people who look forward to the occasional update. When I know there is an audience it makes blogging more fun.
  2. Β This may surprise you, but I am the only one of my many relatives who writes novels. It creates this slight sense of amazement and bewilderment, to avoid any awkwardness it’s easier to blog. That way they can be part of the journey without having to ask.
  3. Last of all, I motivate me. After all who else is going to write it, blogs don’t write themselves!

One thing I hope to do to improve the world:

Writing is one long journey taken one step at a time, just as kindness is a virtue taken one small act at a time. I like to start by being polite, it makes the day a little brighter.

Challenge Question: If you could change into any animal at will what would it be, and what would be the first thing you would do?

What a question for a fantasy author? I would change into a dragon, and the first thing I would do is fly. Then start collecting a hoard of valuable items to keep in a lair buried deep in the hillside, in between dive bombing into the river so as to splash passers-by.