“Ella: The Slayer” by A.W. Exley

The flu pandemic of 1918 took millions of souls within a few short weeks. Except it wasn’t flu, and death gave them back.

Ella: The Slayer by A.W. ExleySeventeen-year-old Ella copes the best she can; caring for her war-injured father, scrubbing the floors, and slaying the undead that attack the locals. Vermin they’re called, like rats they spread pestilence with their bite. Ella’s world collides with another when she nearly decapitates a handsome stranger, who is very much alive.
     Seth deMage, the new Duke of Leithfield, has returned to his ancestral home with a mission from the War Office — to control the plague of vermin in rural Somerset. He needs help; he just didn’t expect to find it in a katana-wielding scullery maid.
     Working alongside Seth blurs the line between their positions, and Ella glimpses a future she never dreamed was possible. But in overstepping society’s boundaries, Ella could lose everything – home, head and her heart…

This is an Edwardian retelling of Cinderella

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed the new take on this older fairy tale! Zombies are very much my thing and instead of the usual apocalyptic group of survivors, this author put a lot of thought into the twisted plots of this story. Despite the many changes to the original Cinderella story, she is still recognizable in this book due to her bravery, step-family, and the romance that ensues. I couldn’t help but read this book in one sitting and I look forward to the other books in the series!

You can purchase your own copy on Amazon.

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Writing Updates

Another year is more than halfway gone. Despite many terrible events, it appears my life Just Keep Writingis back on track. This coming month is NaNoWriMo and while I plan to write quite extensively, I won’t officially be joining in the mayhem. If capable of pulling this off, I expect to have around 65k-75k words written in the span of a month across four books. To see the full list along with the cover reveals and giveaways, you’ll need to join my street team.

After those four books are completed, I will be ahead of my writing schedule and will continue surging ahead. By working on multiple projects at once, I am more capable of churning out a higher word count by switching between them as needed. With so many trunked stories from over the years, there is no way I’m going to be running out of material any time soon.

 

“Midnight Retribution” Published

Midnight RetributionReturning to Midnight Hollow, Loralye and her companions discover the Elders have completely unleashed the Werewolves. Hope for their future is restored when an important alliance is made and an elaborate plan is set into action. They must face a variety of strange monsters, an astonishing discovery, and overcome grief. It’s still only the beginning of returning Midnight Hollow back into a safe haven.

This is fourth in a thirteen book series. Available on Kindle.

A Five-Star Amazon Review – This is a must-read! I’ve patiently waited for this book to release since finishing the last one. Feldman did not disappoint with a fast-paced exciting story.

The shocking twist in this book will have me thinking about these characters and story for awhile. Can’t wait for the next!

 

“Shadows of the Sea” Published

Pirates, mermaids, monsters, oh my!Shadows of the Sea

The depths of the ocean hold many untold secrets. Some are beautiful tales of mermaids who ride seahorses, and others are massive monsters bent on destroying every ship crossing its path.

Delve into these seven stories by the following authors: A.M. Cummins, Marcus Bines, Joann M. Shevock, Hui Lang, Irina Ivanova, Layne Calry, Angel Blackwood.

This is one of nine anthologies that have been published so far by J.E. Feldman’s FWG. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

A Five-Star Amazon Review – Top-class salty fantasy fiction! I bought this as an opportunity to read some new and different authors and I was not disappointed. Some really excellent writing and stand-outs for me are Blessed be the Brine by Marcus Bines (Enjoyable nods to the classic magic-comes-true tropes of the 80s, but with some proper horror suspense thrown in. Loved the tension building in the curtain scene); Seapod Seven by A M Cummins (delightful chance to inhabit a near-future world, establishing bases in the depths and finding we don’t know everything we think we do, and our inate curiosity and guileless assumption of affability may not be the best qualities for explorers); Malicyne’s Puzzle by Christian Michael Dutton (fabulous piratical adventure disrupting gender expectations, with shades of Indiana Jones and a twist in the tail); and A Legend of Five Stones by Irina Ivanova (beautiful bittersweet mini-epic of tragedy and *hopefully* triumph). Really looking forward to searching out other titles by these authors, my only complaint is that some of the stories ended too abruptly…but is it just that I wanted more?

“Jeremy Cutler and the Torch of Time” by Michael Faix

Five stars! From the moment I began reading, I thought to myself, this reads just like Harry Potter! The narration has a similar tone of voice as the first two of Rowling’s books and I couldn’t help but begin to feel excited about this. The book did not disappoint. This is a wonderful story about a young boy that all ages are going to love reading. Can’t get your child to enjoy reading? Hand them this next.

Summary – 

JEREMY CUTLER knows nothing of sailing with pirates, visiting a cursed villagejeremy, or confronting dark magic. All Jeremy wants is his family to be the way they used to be, and to have Christmas again, which had been cancelled three years ago, after the horrible accident.

But worlds collide when two ghosts arrive, sending Jeremy down a path to a fantastic place to search for an invisible castle that holds a grand destiny. But first, Jeremy must make it past the terrors of the forest… before something much worse finds him.

Purchase link.

How to Write the Right Idea

This article is in follow up to “How To Find the Right Idea.”

By following the five easy steps from the previous article linked above, you should now have an idea to start writing with. But, now what? How do you begin writing it? Everyone has a different way in which they write, so you don’t have to do the following steps in order. However, it’s essential they are included for your story to be whole.

  • Main Character
  • Point of View
  • Tone
  • Style
  • Theme
  • Setting
  • Plots and Subplots
  1. Main Character

    To begin the story, you’ll need to establish who your main character is. With a quick internet search, you can find hundreds of different templates so you won’t forget any minor details.

  2. Point of View

    This is the viewpoint from which you tell the story. You have options between First Person, Second Person, Third Person Limited, and Third Person Omniscient.

  3. Tone

    The tone of your story can be serious, humorous, satirical, passionate, sensitive, zealous, indifferent, caring, caustic, etc. It depends on the material you have decided to work on.

  4. Style

    Style is the choice of words and the use of language, sentence construction, imagery, etc. This is the dialogue between characters, figurative language, personification, similes, hyperboles, puns, etc.

  5. Theme

    This is the main idea that weaves the story. There are different levels to this from explicit, implicit, multiple, and secondary.

  6. Setting

    The setting is the world-building portion of writing. Here is a search for templates. It’s a good idea to take a look at multiple versions to find one you’d like to use or create your own. You’ll be less likely to forget to add details by going this route.

  7. Plots and Subplots

    Plots are the order of events that happen within the story. This can be done in chronological and with flashbacks. The normal pattern of action is as follows: rising action, steady action, suspense, cliffhanger, foreshadowing, climax, coincidence, falling action, and resolution. There are progressive and episodical plots, depending on the length or type of story you’ll be working on.

As said in the previous article, don’t spend too much time dwelling on all of these details and don’t get carried away with the world-building at the beginning. You’ll end up creating too much information to be included within the book and, unless part of a series, it would be a waste of time. There are planners and pantzers in the writing world. Some authors prefer to have an entire outline before starting out while pantzers start with an idea and build the rest as they write. I fall more into the pantzer category on most projects.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them below in the comments.

“The Bow of Destiny” by P.H. Solomon

Five stars! Wow. The characters are larger than life in this. You could almost expect them to climb out of the pages, I’m not even kidding (and promise I’m more sane than Athson at the beginning). This story is very well-written. It certainly leaves you desperately wanting more. There’s a good thing there are more books, though I can hardly contain my excitement for the next one. Another awesome author has made it onto my reading list. Do yourself a favor if you love fantasy and adventures. Give this a read. Comes highly recommended.

Summary – 

Haunted by his past.

Hunted in the present.

Uncertain what is real.

This unique epic fantasy will keep you turning pages as Athson discovers his destiny is both inconvenient and unavoidable.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragicdestinyally orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the mage who serves Magdronu the dragon.

When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, Athson’s not sure it’s real.

But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And they serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu.

Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra.

But Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are.

With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson faces frequent danger, his grasp on reality, and the reasons behind his tragic past.

Purchase link.