Books that have stood the test of time.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Way more than usual. I was ill last week and when I’m ill, all I want to do is watch a film or read a good book. I need heartwarming things to heat the cold slamming my system (can you tell I’m a tit when I’m ill? ‘slamming’ lol).

I watched a really good film based on a recommendation from a good friend. It was called Hope Floats and it was just the sort of film I like to watch in between yelling ‘I’m poorly’ at my poor husband. As I said, I also read a lot of books. This week I’m back to critiquing, writing, marketing (which I suck at) etc, which leaves little time to read all of the books that I want to. This got me to thinking. I recently had a discussion with a friend about all the books we’d love to reread. She wants to try and fit in Harry Potter. I thought I’d share the books that I would love to reread, and why. These books have stood the test of time with me, and I often find myself thinking about them.

A Tale of Redwall by Brian Jacques.

redwallThere are 22, YES, 22 books in this series and I want to read every single one of them again. I plan to buy them all for my children too. These books are exceptional and provided me a whole different world to escape into for much of my crappy childhood. The characters – a bunch of mice, crows, voles, squirrels, snakes, ferrets, magpies, hares….the list is extensive and each one is as interesting as the next. The description is vivid, from summer feasts to bloody battle scenes, oh my gosh – stunning. I just clicked on the ‘Look Inside’ on amazon and a contented sigh escaped my lips. These books are MAGICAL. If you haven’t read them yet, whatever your age – I highly, HIGHLY, recommend them.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

whjpgHow sad I am that this was Emily Brontë’s only book. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it – lots. Highly criticized in its time, Wuthering Heights went on to become…..YOU KNOW!!! It’s a beautiful classic that has inspired many productions for film, television, opera and stage plays as well as many retellings. And let’s not forget the song – THE SONG!!! The themes and issues were deemed too controversial in the mid-nineteenth century, however by the later part of that same century, more people argued its corner and saw it for what it is – a haunting and beautiful tale of love, jealousy and loss. And how beautiful is is that her sister, Charlotte Brontë, edited it after her death to create a second edition?

Vale of the Vole by Piers Anthony

vovAnother wonderful, magical fantasy. This is one of the first books that I vividly remember reading. It was like nothing I had ever read before and opened me up to the fantasy genre. Absolutely fantastic.

 

 

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

thoWho doesn’t want to reread this one? After reading Vale of the Vole, off I went in search of something similar and this is what I found. I adored it. In fact, I loved it so much that when I found out that Bilbo Baggins wasn’t starring in Lord Of The Rings, I threw a strop and wouldn’t read it (I was a child!).

 

 

I, Houdini by Lynne Reid Banks

ihI want to read a lot of these types of books again, I was a big fan of Dick King Smith so those are on my list too, but this book by Lynne Reid Banks is amazing! It’s the tale of a Hamster who, as the title suggests, is a bit of a Houdini, always escaping his cage and going off on fantastical adventures. When I reread this book, I’m going to read it to my youngest daughter, Phoebe – she’s inherited the bookworm gene and I know she’ll enjoy it.

 

There are a lot of classic books in that list, so now on to the modern. All of these I’ve read recently. Usually I delete books from my Kindle once I’ve read them, unless I really, really love them. So, here they are!

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

av_This book is soooo beautiful. Archer is the town pariah. After an accident left him mute, Archer has lived a very sad and solitary existence. I’m not going to go into the blurb, but suffice to say that love finds a way to bring Archer the happiness he truly deserves. I am a MEGA FAN of Mia Sheridan. Her books are so beautiful and poignant – I can’t get enough of them.

 

 

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

sbI’m going to hold up my hands and say ‘I have a thing for stepbrother books’. The premise to them all seem fascinating. Forbidden love, often a jerk of a stepbrother (gotta love those bad boys!) and how it’s all overcome. This one is my favorite – I love it and I will be reading it again. Like Mia Sheridan’s books, I have also read all of Penelope Wards books – I ❤ her!

 

 

Drive Me Sane by Dena Rogers

dmsThis book sang to me because of the issue it explores. So often I find that psychological problems are brushed over in fiction or that they’re easily fixed. Not so with this book. This is the poignant tale of an ex soldier struggling to deal with events that haunt her. Realistic and poignant – a beautiful romance.

 

 

There we have it! Those are SOME of the books that I want to reread. There are many, many more, but these ones instantly sprang to mind. If you have a moment, I’d love to know what’s on your list – maybe I can add more to my TBR pile!

 

 

 

 

Halfskin by Tony Bertauski

Cover - HalfskinBiomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier.

We become better.

At what point are we no longer human?

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation.

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity.

Add-to-Goodreads-Button

 

 

Excerpt

THE REAL AVENGER’S BLOG
Shooting Truth-Bullets Since Birth
Subscribers: 3,233

It’s the end of time, peeps.
Mark this date, put a black X on your calendar because it’s all over, starting today. It used to be that if you didn’t like the laws where you lived, you just moved to another state or another country. Freedom existed somewhere in the world. We had a choice. I mean, hell, if you were desperate enough you could live on the South Pole with penguins and shit.
Not anymore.
Today, it’s all over.
Today, M0ther was born.
Who’s M0ther? Our M0ther. Already got a mother? Now you got two, only this one will know everything about you. You can’t hide from her, she’ll know when you’re full of crap, know where you stash your porn, know when you pick your nose and when you eat it.
You’ll hate her, and she’ll know that, too.
Case you’ve been asleep for the last 10 years, the Mitochondria Terraforming Hierarchy of Record is what I’m talking about.
Let’s just call her M0ther.
A mother that doesn’t bake cookies or wash your underwear. She’s not getting up to make you French toast or wipe your nose. Nope. This bitch is going to spy on you until you’re dead. Which may be sooner than you think.
M0ther is somewhere in the frozen plains of Wyoming. No pictures of her exist because no one’s allowed to even flyover. But rumors say she’s this massive dome, a computer the size of a football stadium, like some artificial brain heaved out of the frozen soil that’s wirelessly connected with every biomite in existence.
Did you catch that? EVERY BIOMITE IN EXISTENCE!
Hear that buzzing on your phone? She’s listening.
Feel that tickle on your laptop? She knows you’re tapping.
All that Do Not Covet Your Neighbor’s Wife crap? Yeah, that’s the real deal, now. M0ther might tell your wife what you’re thinking about doing to Joe-Bob’s wife mowing the lawn in a tube top.
George Orwell wasn’t even close, man. I mean, Big Brother was just a pea shooter compared to M0ther. Big Brother was pissing on a forest fire; M0ther’s bringing the goddamn ocean.
Here’s the official statement from Marcus Anderson, Chief of the Biomite Oversight Committee.
(BTW, he looks like a gargoyle. Right?)

It is with great pleasure that, after ten years of global effort, I present to you the greatest feat of humankind. I present to you a regulatory system that will keep all people safer and healthier for centuries to come. Bionanotechnolgy has put us on the brink of greatness, but with that comes uncertainty and danger. The human species has the potential to live forever. Or end tomorrow.
I prefer the former.
Mitochondria Terraforming Hierarchy of Record is linked to every booted cellular-sized biomite living inside our bodies. Its primary function will be to monitor individual levels of biomites and take appropriate action if, or when, they cross a previously determined threshold. This will keep us human.
This will keep us safe.
Forever.

amazoncomamazonukamazon-button

 

 

 

Also available at the following locations:

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Apple

Google Play

Smashwords

Audible

ATA

During the day, I’m a horticulturist. While I’ve spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I’ve always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I’ve always fancied fiction.

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I’m a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I’d rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That’s the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.

Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it’s only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

In 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer’s Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult’s struggle with his place in the world.

After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.

And I’m a big fan of plot twists.

You can find out more on the authors website and blog.

A peek at my WIP ‘Finding Immortal’ and my battle with ‘the pit’

For the last few days I’ve been in a funk. You know that point where you can no longer form a coherent sentence? Where any words you string together are a bit crap, or even a lot crap. And even those times where you seem to be able to kill it when writing dialogue but as soon as you need to add the action, reaction, emotion, you fall on your ass and pick yourself up only to rather unceremoniously face plant the floor? That stage of writing – that’s where I’m at. In that dark little pit trying to claw my way out. Of course, the faster I claw, the further I slip so maybe some quiet contemplation is needed. Hmm.

I keep reading and rereading my earlier chapters and thinking – hey, I wrote that, I like it – so why can’t I do it anymore? I dunno. We all get to this stage though, that’s for sure. Then, at some point, something strikes and we can do it again. I’m waiting for that moment, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share a little bit of my WIP because one of my cp’s tagged me to do so. So here’s the opening of Finding Immortal – it’s still a little rough around the edges and there’s stuff I need to add per my amazing cp’s advice.

Finding Immortal

The text notification from my cellphone cut into my thoughts with the sharpness of a razors edge. Another message from Alex. I knew without casting so much as a glance at the screen. It was always him. Lana preferred email and sent me pictures of whatever country she’d chosen to gallivant through that week. I tipped my head back, staring into the sky above the Mallory estate. Clouds, heavy with the weight of unfallen snow, hung low, threatening to explode at any moment.

Lucas shifted next to me on the cold porch steps. “Aren’t you going to read it?” His breath billowed into the air, mixing with the muted light of the frosty morning.

Shaking my head, I pulled my phone from my jeans pocket and tossed it to Lucas. “No point.” Alex’s messages only ever consisted of one letter, a simple ‘x’, and though I’d replied on several occasions, asking how and where he was, he never responded.

Lucas slipped my cell into the front pocket of his green hoodie.

I tried to take a deep breath, but the familiar stabbing at my chest prevented anything more than a small inhale. For the past three months, the simplest of things hurt, opening my eyes each morning ranking amongst the most painful. My mind began to fog, pulling me back to the night of the ferocious battle with Sol and Selena. The night the colors in my world had paled to barely recognizable blurs of insignificance. Nathaniel’s face flashed and I clawed at the memory, desperate to hold it strong and unwavering, but as always, it faded to obscurity.

I raised my head as the crunch of hurried footsteps sounded across the yard of the Mallory estate. Kyle’s black hair lay flat and damp against his forehead, his maroon t-shirt and gray sweatpants bearing the sweat patches of his run. As he drew closer, he pulled his earphones from his ears and whipped off his top, then used it to scrub the moisture from his face.

Lucas rose from the steps to greet him. “Just in time, breakfast’s ready.”

Kyle slung his t-shirt across one shoulder and used his other hand to rub his taught stomach. “Good, I’m starving.”

Lucas pushed the front door open and stepped inside.

Kyle held his hand out to me. “You coming?”

I dropped my gaze to the ground. “No, I’m not hungry.”

One, two, three. I counted the maroon stripes on Kyle’s sneakers, at the same time, wondering when he’d begun to color co-ordinate his wardrobe.

“Tough shit, babe. You’re eating.” Kyle grasped my wrist and pulled me from my perch. I landed with a thud against his solid chest.


So I’ve kinda killed two birds with one stone(<<< ooo – a cliché, I should know better). I’ve talked about my feelings without talking about my feelings and I’ve shared some words. Now I’m off to stare out of the window. Hope the rest of you are coming along well in your writing endeavors!

New Release: The Dracula Deception by Jake Devlin

blood

I was really lucky to read this book prior to release and I have to say, it’s genius! Like all of Devlin’s books, the humor will have your belly shaking with laughter.

draculaThe setting: The Transylvania Institute for the Terminally Insane (TITI; pronounced “Tie-Tie”), where patients are not treated to be cured, but are allowed to live out their delusions in relative comfort in a supportive environment.

The plot: A down-on-his-luck actor’s audition for a role to support one particularly peculiar patient plunges him pathologically into a nightmarish maelstrom of madness and mayhem.

The characters: A manic mix of patients and staff catapults the roller-coaster plot to its shocking, heart-stopping finale.

Adapted and updated from the hit 1974 stage comedy of the same title. (The print version includes photos from one of the original productions.)

amazoncomamazonukamazon-button

 

Free on Kindle today: The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants by Lori L. Clark

bkg1

the heart knowsEstelle “Star” Falconé, a thirty-year-old tattooed bartender, was once a free-spirited dreamer who dabbled in astrology for fun and secretly dreamed of becoming a rock-star some day.

Twenty-one-year-old Shane Harper was once the star of his high school basketball team. With a full ride scholarship, his dream was to play college basketball and study astronomy. When a tragic car accident permanently sidelines his basketball career, college is out of the question.

Sparks fly when their two worlds collide.

Can a relationship survive between a thirty-year-old starry-eyed woman who’s on the run from an extremely dangerous man, and a twenty-one-year-old science guy who’s hell-bent on protecting her at all cost?

***Caution*** This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+) containing adult situations, non-consensual sex, and violence. This is a full-length, standalone novel.

amazonuk amazoncom Add-to-Goodreads-Buttonamazon-button

 

bkg

105 Reading Challenge 2015

This year, I’m taking part in a reading challenge created by Nori. l-4The 105 Challenge is a goal where I’m going to try and read 105 books during 2015. I got the number 105 by taking 12 (months in a year), adding two to make 14 (for absolutely no reason), then doing 14 + 13 + 12 +  11 + 10 + 9 + 8…+ 1.

In one respect, this challenge is easy for me. I can read 105 books in a year, in fact I can read more and I will have to read more because I review on several review sites and those books I can’t add to this, so maybe I’m making things more difficult for myself – not maybe, I am, but what the heck!

So here goes. The categories I’ll be reading are listed below. Genrally, I’m a New Adult junkie, but I have to pull away from that a little so I can mix it up a bit. I hope this remains enjoyable, it’s never easy stepping outside of the comfort zone, but I’m going to go for it and something tells me, I’ll be happy I did!

In a little twist, I’m going to make sure I leave reviews on amazon/goodreads for every single book I read.

So, here’s the categories:

14 New Adult (obvious, eh?)

13 Ebooks

12 Contemporary/Paranormal Romance

11 Books recommended to me

10 Indie Author’s

9 Books from a series

8 Books made into movies

7 Books from a debut Indie Author

6 Young Adult

5 Middle Grade

4 Short Story Collections

3 New Releases

2 Re-read

1 Horror

So that’s my list! The one on the bottom causes goosebumps to prickle on my skin – eek!

 

 

A Crazy, Fun Day

Without a doubt, yesterday was one of the funnest days I’ve had in a while. As you all know, I gave away Fractured Immortal for one day only. I expected about 100 copies to be downloaded from the Kindle store – that’s what people told me to expect. Imagine my surprise when everything exploded.

explode

The giveaway started at midnight Pacific standard time – over here, that’s 8am. By the time I buggered off to bed for the night, I was sitting at #9 in the UK Vampire fiction kindle chart, #42 in the US Vampire fiction chart and as Jake kindly pointed out, #37 in the US Wizards&Witches fiction chart.

yayminions

Like the geek that I am, every time I settled on the same page as one of my favorite authors, ahem, I took a screenshot. No shame here. You all know what a little weirdo I am anyway.

Some people don’t like to give away their books because of all the work they’ve put into it. I wanted to give away my book for that very reason, I wanted more people to read the world and people I had created, and now they will. Hey, if I was in it for the money, I’d bugger off and be a doctor.

So, yesterday was a crazy fun day that I enjoyed very much. Thank you to all of you that downloaded and I really hope you enjoy it.

ATTACK-HUG-gif-let-me-love-you-jpyC