Friday, July 11, 2014

Heroes and Heroines - Coming Soon

Starting 28th July a load of handsome men/creatures will visit my blog for the Heroes tour. Drop in each day to see which author's heroes make an appearance.

On the 4th the Heroines start their week of visits. 

Get to know the heroes and heroines from your favourite authors.

See you soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Favourite books on my bookshelf

I love fantasy books, but which fantasy authors do I like and if I had to pick one of their books as my favourite, which one would that be? I've chosen five of my favourite authors and these are Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Naomi Novik, Trudi Canavan and Terry Pratchett.

Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern series is wonderful, although as time went on she did tend to repeat the stories from a different angle. Now Anne is no longer with us, her son Todd has taken over the series. At first I wondered if he could live up to his mother's reputation. Surprise, surprise he breathed new life into the dragons. I also like Anne McCaffrey's other books, both solo and written with other authors. Her Planet Pirates and Crystal Singers books are breathtaking. I would say that my favourite book of this author would be Killashandra the first book of the Crystal Singers trilogy. It has life, love and humour and also drags you into the story and holds you there, while hurtling you through space.

Naomi Novik's Temeraire series took me back to Napoleonic times but introduced dragons into the history books. Once again the first book of the series is my favourite. It was wonderful how a battle could lead to so much confusion and change the life of a sea captain who thought his future to be straightforward. Taking care of a dragon egg and later the dragon who emerged and bonding with him changed his private and military life forever. However, Captain Lawrence teaches Temeraire a strict code of ethics which the dragon interprets his own way and they end up in even more trouble.

David Eddings Belgariad and Mallorean are both marvellous series in their own right. I always thought they were a lighter version of Tolkein's Middle Earth, but have to admit these books also have their dark moments. David and his wife Leigh have also written other series set in a similar time period/ background, but I think the first book of Belgariad will always remain my favourite. Pawn of Prophecy really got to me with the young befuddled hero who had no idea who he really was, or why he had got mixed up with these strange magical people. It was also the first fantasy book I read which got me hooked on the genre.

Trudi Canavan has written a beautiful series about the two different types of magic - black and white. The magicians of Imardin believe white magic is the way to go, but is it? In the third book The High Lord (my favourite) the High Lord Akkarin reveals his hidden secrets to Sonea, an apprentice magician. She is fearful but also fascinated by his revelations, but they change the world she has always known into something completely different. The whole series, plus the sequel series, makes magic seem so natural I wondered why we don't have it in our world.

And last but definitely not least Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series is fantastic. I have no idea how he comes up with all the ideas. I mean who would imagine a giant turtle with four huge elephants on his back and a flat world on top of the elephants with the whole lot flying endlessly through space? Question: Is the turtle male or female? Only Terry Pratchett can take such a concept and add humour to the mix. Now comes the difficult bit. Which one to choose as a favourite? They all have great characters but I have a soft spot for Rincewind and Granny Weatherall. I think I'd have to opt for The Colour of Magic. This book introduces the Discworld and three characters two of who continuously appear throughout the series. First there is Rincewind - Wizard - failed. He only knows one spell and isn't allowed to say it. Next is Twoflower - the Disc's first tourist and lastly his luggage - he plays a major part in this book and a minor part in one of the other Discworld books. What's so special about the luggage? For a start it moves itself around, no wheels or hoisting onto shoulders for this trunk. The Luggage (spelt with a capital L) has legs and runs after its master (or anywhere else that takes it's fancy). 

I hope you enjoyed a look into my bookcase - yes I have all of these on my shelves. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Release

Caishel - Cloud Kingdoms Book One, is released by Desert Breeze Publishing. This is a fantasy romance book set on an alternate world. Castles float in the air and nahars (unicorn type of animal) are the usual mode of transport.

Caishel survives on the streets of Ardville by dressing as a boy, but she jumps at the chance to become a page in the cloud castle. Sire Ailan offers her the job as he believes her to be male. He soon finds out the truth, but keeps the knowledge to himself. The safest way to protect Caishel is to maintain her disguise. His major problem is can he protect her from himself?

Caishel strutted into the departure hall with a show of bravado. A few feet inside the hall, a hand pulled her to a stop.
"What are you doing here?" A boy dressed as a castle page asked aggressively. "Trying to steal something I bet. Guard!"
Caishel struggled and managed to free herself, but a guard appeared and grabbed her arm.
"What's going on here?"
"This filthy urchin," the page's tone showed he considered Caishel a piece of dirt, "has no right to be here. He's probably trying to get up to the castle so he can steal something."
A crowd gathered, attracted by the commotion.
"Is this true, boy?" The guard demanded.
"I'm going to the castle to be a page." Defiance colored her words.
"A page! You a page! The likes of you don't get hired as pages." The crowd muttered in support of the other boy's words.
"Would someone mind telling me what's going on here?"
Ailan hadn't spoken in a loud voice, but his cool authority cut through the murmuring crowd and an abrupt silence fell as everyone turned to look at him.
"This urchin shouldn't be here, Sire," the guard holding Caishel's arm replied. "We think he's trying to get up to the castle, probably to see what he can steal."
"He says he's going to be a page to a noble." The page sneered. "Of course, it's got to be a lie. None of our nobles would hire a wretch like him."
"You are?"
"Frano, Sire! Page to Sire Moir," the boy replied crisply, but his self-assurance withered under Ailan's scrutiny.
Caishel hid her amazement at the way Ailan gazed silently at the guard. The man shifted uncomfortably until the Sire flicked his hand; the guard released her.
"Thank you. Now if you would be so good as to clear the way, my page and I would like to board the transport."
The crowd instantly moved aside for the Sire. Caishel grinned wickedly at the boy who had spoken, then waggled her fingers at the end of her nose. Frano scowled, anger darkening the youthful features.
"I think the rude gesture was a little unnecessary," Ailan commented quietly as they took their seats on the transport.
"Stuck up preeve! Thinks he better than me. Why shouldn't I show him what I think of him?" Her shoulders hunched, Caishel sank down in her seat, annoyed the Sire had seen her insulting gesture.

"I can think of one good reason," Ailan replied. "Your work hours and free time will be spent with the other pages. It's not a good idea to make him your enemy before you even get to the castle!"

Visit Marva Dasef's blog to read another excerpt and be in the draw to win and ebook of Caishel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 2014

Not too bad a start to 2014. Almost finished decluttering the house and tidying up the property, nearly finished final read through of my February release and looking forward to seeing Dolly Parton in two weeks time. 

I've always wanted to see Dolly Parton as I love her singing and the sense of humour that comes across in her interviews. For the first time in 30 years she's coming to Auckland so friends and I are going to the show. We're really excited to be able to see her.

On another note the North Island had a big earthquake today. Felt it here in the South Island, but only as a teacup shaker. 

This is an update to where I am at the moment, but hopefully in future I'll be able to update my blog on a more regular basis.

Hope you all had a good festive season and 2014 has started well for you all.