For Real by Alexis Hall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
1. The first person pov is a SINGLE PERSON NARRATIVE. If your story can't be told from one person's pov, it is NOT a first person story. There's a reason this is a "thing" and one has to be an extraordinary writer to violate such rules. Sadly, this author is not. (see point 3)
2. WTF with character 2 addressing the reader?
3. In an effort to differentiate I from I, the author created two caricatures, rather than two characters.
4. No plot, no character development.
5. Unbelievable relationship. (not because of the age difference--emotionally they were both teenagers-- but because they were both too self-absorbed to actually sustain a relationship with another person)
6. "story" consisted of nothing but angst and sex. Angst, angst, sex. Sex, angst, angst. Angst, sex, sex. If that's your cuppa, have at it!
Although the author tells us the characters fall in love, it's not shown. In fact the characters are such angst-ridden, immature, self-absorbed dicks, I'm surprised they were more than peripherally aware that each other had actual, you know, personalities. One assumes. Somewhere. The author never really showed us that, either.
I suppose as erotica, it might work, but I didn't find the sex scenes all that hot, although I'm willing to concede it's because I didn't care about the characters and whether or not they had good sex.
Conclusion? A lot of words. Nicely put together words, admittedly. Not much substance.
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L. M. Langley is a first generation immigrant living in what she thought was going to be a punk town (it's not!). Her flash fiction story, “The Way It Should Be”, recently appeared on Blue Dandelion. If you think you hate second person stories, or if you’re not sure what one looks like, be sure to click that link!
Her novel, The Whole Trying Thing, was recently released by Ninestar Press and she enjoys typing really fast with only two fingers, no matter what anyone else says. Because touch typing is SO last generation...
Her favourite authors and influences are Sylvia Plath, Oscar Wilde, Stephen King, Gertrude Stein, J.M. Barrie and William Golding, to name a few.
She says, “I write lit-fic because I think genre rules are hard.”
L.M. is also working on a game/western visual novel called Talk to Me. Which I got to play the demo, because I am special. Check it out on itch.io https://boop.itch.io/talk-to-me
Or better yet, become a part of the magic by contributing to the Kickstarter! (hurry!)
Fever by Tonya Plank
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I would not have thought it possible for a writer to take something as sensual, sexy, and romantic as ballroom dance and suck the lifeblood out of it.
First, this is not book one in a series, it is part one of a serial novel, and a very long, very tedious, very repetitive beginning it is. I know dance lessons are tediously repetitive, but a novel should not be.
It took me three tries to make it to the end, and by the time I got there, I didn't even care that it was THREE HUNDRED PAGES OF BEGINNING with no story resolution. I was just so damn glad it was finally over.
Tedious. Repetitive. The most boring ballroom dance story I have EVER read. A "how-to" NOT write a dance story. Okay, originally two stars (because I slogged my way to the very end, hoping for some sort of payoff. But now on review. ONE.
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photo (c) TGDavison Photography
Patricia M. Bryce began her career as an author with the publication of a short steampunk story “The Soul of the Sky Queen” in the anthology Dreams of Steam: Gadgets published by Dark Oak Press, but she began her writing in earnest with fan fiction. Inspired and motivated by publication, she dusted off her fanfic and turned it into the original YA Fantasy series, Forged.
But Patricia isn’t afraid to tackle any genre that strikes her fancy, from her coming-of-age romance Close to You to her upcoming alt-history novel Princess in Hiding.
In her own words: "Someone asked when I began to write. The simple answer is that I've written stories as long as I've known how to put two words together. From simple tales of our day, to the more fantastical tales of the Fae world, and even the world of young romance."
Her favorite authors are Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Tolkien, C.S Lewis and Sydney Blackburn.
You can find Patricia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaisleyRose1
Or visit her site: http://patriciambryce.weebly.com/
Find all of her books here: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-M-Bryce/e/B00U815USS/
The Whole Trying Thing by L.M. Langley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I gotta be honest—when I first started reading this book, I was baffled. I had no idea what was going on for far longer than I’d normally put up with. But the characters, setting, and even the author’s writing style engaged me enough to keep reading.
The author interweaves the past and present in a way I found easy to follow and doled the story out in breadcrumbs of information that were just too intriguing to not follow.
I also have to say that as much as I loves me some happily ever after/happily for now, I actually found the end just a teensy bit disappointing. Because I really didn’t like the main character, Lucas, AT ALL (which is to say, I RELISHED not liking him, and thus believe it was the author’s intent I didn’t like him), and thought he deserved to lose everything.
In spite of that, I have to give the story four stars, mostly because I couldn’t put it down. And I really loved Issam. Though be warned, this author doesn’t give us any perfect characters, there’s a great deal to go “hmm” about with all of them.
I don’t know I’d call it a romance, really—it lacks the fantastical, feel-good elements of a traditional romance—but it’s definitely a m/m story worth reading.
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OMG, that's two good reviews IN A ROW! Somebody get me a food taster, they must be slipping me something...
Asa Linehan was born in New York. She lives in Maryland with her husband and children. Asa’s flash fiction “Unintended” was recently published in a literary magazine called “Ripen the Page,” which you can read here:
Her favorite writers are Paulo Coelho, Jorge Amado, and Sylvia Plath.
Asa has a strong and active presence on Facebook and she is very cheerful and supportive of her fellow writers. Check her out at https://www.facebook.com/AsaLinehan
When she’s not working on her novel, she can also be found on Instagram and Twitter!
Also, enjoy this random image from the campground...
The Machine by E.C. Jarvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am really picky about steampunk stories, and I was cautious going in with this one. Of course, one the best things about not expecting much is that I get to be happily surprised when the book turns out to be well-written, well-plotted, with engaging characters. The m/c goes on a believable journey from retail clerk to airship pirate captain.
If you enjoy the webcomic Girl Genius, you'll enjoy this book.
Also, author understands the difference between series and serial. This is the first book in a series and has a satisfactory conclusion while leaving enough loose ends that I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
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That came out sounding dry, but I'm so not used to writing positive reviews, haha! Enjoyed this book very much! Buy it! Read it! Review it!
Quicksilver Taxed is now available for pre-order! It officially goes on sale Monday, June 13. I'm excited to finally have the third novella out there! Now to figure out how to format them all for print…
Fortunately, www.DIYBookFormats.com has some great templates available for free. Yeah, I'm talking it up because Derek Murphy is my new internet crush. (Sorry, Piper Vaughn). He has tons of free resources for indie authors available. I less than three him! Or at least until I run into trouble using his templates, then the romance might be over.
Meanwhile, back at the bait shop, the unfolding story of Port Stephen continues (“a story of romance and fishing” or should it be “of fishing and romance”?). I just realized both my m/c's have the same initials—RW. Must be some subconscious thing going on…
Write on, my friends! Will try to post more regular updates!
Yes, it's time for a random blog entry. I already mentioned that two out of three of my March short story submissions were accepted, and Dreamspinner is moving along at quite the pace. They're aiming for a September release for their Starstruck anthology and I'm so excited to be a part of it!
I'm looking at structural edits now, and am rather pleased with myself, as it's mostly punctuation changes and a few instances of passive voice. Surprisingly few.
I'm arguing for the lack of question marks in certain dialogue—because I believe just because the words form what we know as a question doesn't mean the speaker is actually asking a question. In dialogue—and that's a key point—I feel a question mark indicates the speaker's tone of voice, that rising lilt we use to ask a question. Sometimes the character speaking isn't asking a question. In fact, in my opinion, a lack of question mark can tell a reader a lot about how the words are spoken. “Won't you please come in.” is a bored, spoken-for-the-sake-of-politeness phrase. “Won't you please come in?” Might also be only polite, but the speaker is making more of an effort to sound sincere.
I will let you know if I win!
On the May Two Four weekend (a Canadian holiday more formally known as the Victoria Day weekend) we moved house to Port Bruce for the summer. It's been exciting, but also a hassle, as we've never done something like this before, so a lot of running around for all the things we forgot or never thought about. Internet is good here, so long as I'm in the bait shop. (Hi, from the bait shop!)
I did buy one of those “turbo internet sticks” that supplies mobile internet (the internet your smart phone uses), but cell service in this particular area is also iffy and when I do ha
Hey, kids, it's another post about me, me, ME. But some great things have been happening, and I hope I can be forgiven for being excited and wanting to share.
On the cover design front, Scout Media has asked if I would like to be their official cover designer, and naturally I said, HELL YES! or rather, a decorous, "I'd be honoured." This comes after doing a cover for their upcoming anthology, A Journey of Words (to which I've also submitted a story, nope-not-nervous). The cover isn't quite finished, as seven author names will be chosen to be highlighted on the cover and the editors are still reading. I'll be advertising it SOON!
That brings us to the writing side of things. Remember a couple months ago I mentioned City of Dreams? Quick recap: I wrote City of Dreams for submission to Less Than Three Press's open call for submissions for an anthology to be called Enchanted Soles. The story had to involve magic footwear. They rejected me with a polite "sorry, not quite right for this collection" (which was a completely fair rejection--I'm terrible at writing to a theme--but also could have been a euphemism for "you suck.") Then I re-submitted it for the Fairytales Slashed Vol. 7 anthology. Because why not give them an opportunity to reject it twice?
You'd think this would be "But they accepted it!" and they did, but not for the Fairytales Slashed anthology. So very technically speaking it was rejected twice, ha! But more importantly, they received eleven stories with urban settings like City and decided to create/publish a themed series of stand alone ebooks. They offered me an opportunity to be a part of that. HELL YES! I mean, "I'd be honoured."
Also next weekend is the Victoria Day long weekend (or May two-four) and we're moving down to Port Bruce for the summer. Assuming it doesn't snow. Nah, we'll still be going if it snows. We're funny that way. Yes, kids, I'll be writing from the beach; be jelly. Internet is iffy down there so I might need to spring for some fancy internet dodads to keep in touch with everyone.
Keep watching this space for more details!