Indie Book Review: The Perfect Son by Kyion S Roebuck

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Review:

I’ve always liked short psychological thriller/mysteries, and The Perfect Son provided exactly what I love about the genre. My mind was running with questions the whole time I was reading it. Has his mind split in two? Has he been experimented on? Is he a robot? Is he possessed? I love these stories that walk the boundary between science and the preternatural. The mystery was compelling, the ‘Perfect Son’ was both a sympathetic character and a really creepy kid. Then there was the mother. You can never tell with mothers in these sorts of stories. Are they as nice as they seem?

The pacing was well done, and after being absorbed in the mystery I felt I was well-rewarded with a satisfying ending. Not that everything is explained in nitty-gritty detail, but it mystery is resolved enough so that I felt content and could fill in some minor blanks with my own imagination. I found it a very appropriate ending for this sort of genre (the reason I say this was I saw a review that lamented the ending not being explained enough, and I thought it was it was unfair. The ending was right for the story).

An enthralling horror-esque read. Highly recommended for a dark and stormy night.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

The author requested me to read this book and I purchased it of my own accord. This is an honest review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Currently on Amazon for US$0.99

Author Goodreads

The Perfect Son, by Kyion S. Roebuck

Book Length: 68 pages

Pyscho-Thriller (Novella)

According to the Blurb:

After barely surviving a near fatal accident, fifteen-year-old Cody Winters returns home changed in ways that defy science. He’s now more intelligent, polite, responsible and mature– practically every parent’s ideal son. Oddly, he can’t remember anything about his life prior to the injury, but nothing stays buried forever.

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Weekly Haiku Challenge: Lethargic Heat

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Fret about the heat

Long warm days tiring me out

Wish the weather’d chill

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge this week was fret & chill.

Maybe it’s a little selfish to complain about heat when my friends in the Northern Hemisphere are still in winter (though some are telling me it’s getting nice and mild, others still have pictures to prove the snow’s still around). I guess I’ve just had a slack day. Almost went for an afternoon snooze, and now I feel like the heat of the day is brimming under my skin. I should take my own advice and drink more water.

Gonna have an ice cold drink now 🙂

PS ‘Tiring’ is two syllables. Trust me, I googled it 😉

PPS I know the photo was taken back in October, but it was a good one, and I was too lazy to go outside and take a new picture of glaring sunlight. Plus the plant probably isn’t in bloom like that anymore. I think it’s the apartment block next door’s front yard?

My new adult urban fantasy book The Black Swan Inheritance is FREE until Feb 6 when you download it from Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble or the iBooks store! (is that iTunes? no, I had to go through the iBooks app) This giveaway is in celebration of the lovely new cover designed by Emma Wakeling. You can probably see it to your right——>

Flash Fiction: Striving to Relax

Relax. Empty your mind…

What’s an empty mind meant to look like? The darkness of space, or a blinding white light?

Breathe deep. Concentrate on your breathing…

But breathing is the most natural thing you can’t concentrate on it thinking about it doesn’t help it just… crap! I forgot how to breathe! I can’t breathe!

Okay, don’t concentrate on your breathing. Ignore your breathing.

Relaxing is painful!

Alright, imagine a peaceful place… a deep blue lake-

Am I in the lake?

You’re not in the lake – you’re imagining the lake.

So… I’m on the bank of the lake? Is it muddy or sandy? Are my feet meant to be in the water?

You’re further up the bank on a grassy slope, watching the sunlight twinkle across the surface of the water.

Twinkle? Stars twinkle. Sunlight reflects much stronger than that. I wouldn’t be looking at it, it’d burn my eyes.

Forget the lake. Lie back in the grass and look up at the clear blue sky. No, you’re not looking into the sun!

I hate lying on the grass. There’s always prickles or ants.

There are no prickles or ants.

That’s unrealistic. I can’t believe that.

You scrutinised the place you are sitting before you sat down – there are no prickles or ants!

But ants can move…

.

I give up and open my eyes, before turning the ‘soothing sounds’ music off and uncrossing my legs. Wincing a little, I stretch out one leg, sigh with disappointment, and rest my cheek on my other knee. Finally, I rise up and open the door.

“How did the meditation go?”

“Not well. But on the plus side, I was able to brainstorm for a new flash fiction.”

My new adult urban fantasy is currently free when you download it from Smashwords!

Author Dos

Writing Madness

To accompany my previous post, Author Don’ts, I’ve compiled a list of things you, as a new author, should do.

  1. Be nice to everyone you come in contact with. I’m not talking about every John Doe you bump into on the street, but anyone you contact through your blog/Twitter/review requests, whatever. Always make an effort to sound polite and well-meaning, even if someone is being a twit.
  2. Unplug for a while. Always set aside time to just sit down and do what it is you need to do, whether it’s editing, rewriting, writing, outlining… whatever. Procrastination is your enemy, and Facebook and Twitter are leading the attack.
  3. Write something new. I’m not talking a new manuscript, but a new idea. Relying on cliches and old tropes might get you sales, but you can’t be afraid to be an innovative author!
  4. Keep organized! This applies to everything, from editing notes to…

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Author Don’ts

Writing Madness

As with anything, being a new author means making a few mistakes. With the help of the people in the NaNoWriMo group on Facebook, I’ve compiled a list of things new authors shouldn’t do.

  1. Publish a book too soon. Just because you want to get something out there doesn’t mean you should rush. If self-publishing, take the time to make sure that your story is ready. If putting out a sequel, make sure that it’s really at it’s best, and that you’re not just pushing it out there to appease fans.
  2. Never talk religion or politics on social media unless it directly relates to what you write. There is a fine line between supporting gay rights and posting incendiary comments and arguing with people. You don’t want to turn people off from your story just from some stupid comment on Twitter who they disagreed with.
  3. Another one on that…

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FREE EBOOK! The Black Swan Inheritance is ON SALE!

To celebrate the new cover of The Black Swan Inheritance the ebook is available for FREE on Smashwords until 6 Feb! That means you can get a epub, mobi or pdf copy by clicking here!

The Black Swan Inheritance Final CoverThe new cover design is by Emma Wakeling of Emma’s Artbox and DeviantArt!

Through the Smashwords Premium Status function, other retailers should have this option soon (Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, etc). Stay tuned!

Book Review: Libriomancer by Jim C Hines

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Review:

This is a book for bibliophiles. I highly recommend everyone have at least a look at this book and the idea it presents simply because it’s so excellent. Unless someone has thought of this idea before: using books as ways to bring objects and other things from the stories into reality. So you can get that light saber! Or Excalibur! Jim C Hines uses this idea in some pretty funny ways, especially the idea that you can accidentally get bitten by a vampire when you stick your hand in the book. That means every different version of vampire ever written is real, and running about in mishmashed nests. This book has Charlaine Harris’s ‘southerners’ and Stephanie Myer’s ‘sparklers’.

I picked up Libriomancy because I really liked Jim C Hines’ other books, especially his Fairy Tale reimaginings “Princess” series (I will always love the interpretation of Red Riding Hood as a violent vengeful nutter CLICK HERE and you will know what I mean).

Okay, for now I’ll get past the idea behind this urban fantasy and analyse the tale presented. See, the actual story is… it’s only ‘okay’. Compared to the wonderfully original idea behind the world, the story is glaringly unoriginal.  Not that there’s nothing wrong with an okay/seen-it-before story playing with a new idea. I’m a big believer in “same-same but different” books that gradually try new things. Having said that, with such a cool idea as Libriomancy, when compared to the actual plot there’s just no comparison: the idea is better than the story. It’s a shame, really. Makes me feel like I’m retreading old territory with a new toy.

The characters were, hm, relatively interesting, I guess. Isaac Vainio is a geeky screw-up that basically screams ‘IDENTIFY WITH ME’. The second protagonist (called the deuteragonist, but I don’t think many people know that. I didn’t – I had to google it) is more interesting, but at the same time very isolating. It was difficult for me to like her, I’m sorry to say. I appreciate the direction the author went with tying her to the rules of the world, and it was actually a pretty brave thing introducing a character that has such a weird nature, but in doing so it makes her, literally, a blank slate. How her character arc ended did give me hope that she will grow as the series progress, but so far it is severely limiting growth, and that’s just disappointing. Understandable, but still very disappointing.

In conclusion, I still recommend anyone who likes any sort of speculative fiction, check the story out and decide for yourself. Read the blurb, down the free sample from Amazon, at least to appreciate the idea.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Libriomancy, by Jim C. Hines

Magic Ex Libris #1

Book Length: 308 pages

Urban Fantasy (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

Indie Book Review: Betrayed by Becky Durfee (Jenny Watkins Book 2)

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Review:

After loving the first book so much, I was excited to read the sequel and finished it quickly. Becky Durfee has set up a wonderful paranormal mysteries series, nicely paced with another compelling mystery.

This time, it isn’t about figuring out whodunit – the visiting spirit shows Jenny exactly who her killer is. Instead, the challenge is to figure out a) who this man is and b) how to prove he’s a killer to the police. Instead of a cold case, we get a current murder. Instead of a forgotten victim, we have a whole town in mourning for this tragedy. With a few already established characters , this book is a perfect sequel – take everything that a reader loved about the first book (which is why they’ve bought the second), and make the mystery and perspective so completely different from the first so that it’s all fresh and new. A perfect match of the ‘same-same, but different’ mantra.

I did have a niggling “why aren’t they pursuing (x) more?” when Jenny was doing her amateur detective work, but for all my annoyance, Jenny did do the understandable thing in that circumstance by deferring to the police. It isn’t what I would’ve done, but Jenny isn’t me, and what she did was within her character so I couldn’t blame her.

Having said that, she does take some very bold steps by the end of the book, twisting what I accepted as an almost-cozy mystery into something more thriller-ish with its edge of danger. Nice.

A worthy sequel, and a series to watch.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Betrayed, by Becky Dufree

Jenny Watkins Mystery #2

Book Length: 204 pages

Paranormal Mystery (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Someone, somewhere, had been strangled.

Psychic Jenny Watkins’ second vision comes through the eyes of the victim. While she doesn’t know when or where the strangulation took place, she does get a good look at the killer. With little else to go on besides an image in her mind, Jenny races to put a name to the face before he strikes again.

The sequel to Driven, Betrayed offers an unusual plot, an element of romance and humor throughout.

Author Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123147.Becky_Durfee

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JennyWatkinsMysteries

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Driven-Jenny-Watkins-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B00CXX0LOC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421712621&sr=8-1&keywords=driven+becky+durfee

Weekly Haiku Challenge: #Tay4Hottest100

If the hipsters fail

Pop music comes out on top

Gotta Shake It Off!

Ronovan’s weekly haiku challenge has provided a surprisingly relevant challenge with the words ‘pop’ and ‘fail’.

While I’m not big into music, I am big into watching indies completely lose their sh*t over #Tay4Hottest100

This isn’t because I’m a horrible and vidictive person (…well, that isn’t THE reason) I just think it will be funny.

For those who don’t know, every Australia Day (that’s January 26th, the landing of the First Fleet, so there’s plenty of controversy surrounding that day without this mess but this isn’t the time for that…) Triple J (which is an old and hugely popular alternative radio station that airs across the country) counts down their Hottest 100 list of songs from the previous year. Triple J is for indies, hipsters, and people who enjoy alternative music, but it’s become something of a tradition that every Australia Day EVERYONE MUST (along with the older traditions of getting drunk, eating lamb, and sitting in a blow-up pool #straya) listen to the Triple J countdown and complain about it.

It’s pretty rare for any ‘popular’ song to make the list. I think the three times I took part in this two decade old tradition I couldn’t recognise any of the songs played, except for that one time when Thrift Shop took the top spot.

Taylor Swift’s Aussie fans have collectively decided to rort the system by voting “Shake It Off”, the poppiest pop song ever, into what is pretty much the anti-pop charts. See, anyone can vote online for the Hottest 100, but the list of song choices are made up of what Triple J has played in the last year, which does not include any Taylor Swift song. Being liberally minded folk, Triple J has a loop-hole where you can type in the name and artist of the song you want to vote for. What has usually been the domain of Triple J die-hards has now attracted the focus of people who want prove their dedication to Taylor Swift, just because they can.

This sh*t has made the news in Australia repeatedly for the past month. I kind of hope these Swifties win, just to see peoples reactions to it 🙂

http://theconversation.com/taylor-swift-triple-j-and-what-the-youth-market-really-wants-to-hear-36643

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-28-popfail/

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Flash Fiction: Delusional Dialogue

“It’s like my skin is covered in little ants.”

“That’s prickly heat. You haven’t drunk enough water and now you’re overheating.”

“What? I’m not a computer.”

“Go have a shower, drink half a litre of water and then eat some sugar. If you haven’t developed a migraine after that, you’re good.”

“How can you live like this? You don’t even have air conditioning!”

“This isn’t that hot. The fact that you’ve managed to experience heat stress is more to do with you than the heat.”

“This isn’t that hot? I’m sweating in places I didn’t know I could sweat! It’s like every part of my body is an armpit.”

“So go have that shower.”

“Ugh. I think there’s a bug running behind my knees but it turns out its sweat tricking down! How can the backs of knees sweat?”

“Naturally.”

“I’m a ham, baking in my own glaze.”

“Are you just going to complain or are you going to do something about it?”

“Actually, I think the heat is making me more creative.”

“That’s not creativity – that’s delusion. Seriously, you need to cool yourself down or else you’re gonna suffer some brain damage.”

“Heat can do that?”

“Heat, and me. Go have freaking shower already.”