Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Mystery Thriller Week February 2017

I'm very excited to be part of Mystery Thriller Week (MTW), which runs from February 12th to February 22nd 2017. It's a week full of books, reviews, quizzes, author interviews, prizes and lots more.

https://mysterythrillerweek.com/2016/12/02/kickoff-feb-12-19-2017/

I'll be reviewing some books and posting author interviews over that week. I love mysteries and thrillers so this a great chance to learn about new authors, both indie and traditionally published.

I'm also participating in the MTW progressive story, which will be posted across several blogs. Should be fun! Updates will follow...




Chroma, Imogen's Secret, by B Fleetwood

Another excellent indie published book.

Chroma, Imogen's Secret, is about a seemingly ordinary 16 year old girl who has the ability to read people's auras - their Chroma - so that she knows their emotional state. This ability also allows her to transmit and read thoughts through touch. She also heals quickly, runs quickly, and uses advanced technology. She lives with her comatose mother and has a close relationship with her grandfather, who, she finds out, has been keeping secrets about her past. There's also the strange anomaly with her birth certificate, and she keeps having a recurring bad dream.

Things become threatening when a mysterious boy called Araz turns up who seems to be very interested in her abilities, and suddenly her entire life is threatened.

This story is told from the third person point of view, mainly Imogen's, although we also see from Araz's as he tracks her. In between the chapters of the present day are Tanastra's Chronicles which relate the back story to the present day events.

Imogen's Secret, the first book in a series, is a well written and engaging paranormal adventure, with a touch of romance that doesn't dominate the story. It's well grounded in the present day, and I enjoyed the fact that it was set in part in Birmingham in the UK. The characters are believable and engaging, and it's well plotted, the story moving forward constantly. There's plenty of action, but this was balanced with nice moments of reflection. I highly recommend it!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32954784-imogen-s-secret?ac=1&from_search=true

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Musings on NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month finished at the end of November, and I managed to write about 20000 words, missing the target of 50000.

50000 words works out at 1667 words a day, which in theory doesn't sound that much, and actually isn't, if you clear a good 2-3 hours for writing. Unfortunately when you work full time, and have a few other things to squash in to your day, like eating, sleeping, reading, book reviews, marketing, yoga, and some down time, this doesn't always happen. And here in the Southern hemisphere it was Spring, and that means lots of gardening for me. When the sun shines, I just have to get out there!

Some days the writing goes really well, and then you hit a patch when having time to write anything at all just doesn't happen. And I really can't force words out if I have no clear idea of where I'm going. Writing is an organic process, during which putting pen to paper facilitates the flow of words and the story unfolds. But if I hit a plot issue, I need time to let that gestate, and I find a way forward by doing other things. Early in book 3 I needed to sort out a fundamental plot point before I could move on. To write anything after that point would have been gibberish, and would have involved lots of editing and rewrites, on top of lots of regular editing. Because something always needs changing as the story and characters evolve.

Will I do NaNoWriMo again? I'm not sure. While I admire the principles, I'm not sure it works for me. However, it did kick start book 3, which is something!
Ah well, enough naval gazing...





Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Carrigan Painting: The Mysteries of Billamore Hall Series, Book 1, by BJ Richards

This is a review of another book by an indie author. It's a short read, designed to be read in a couple of hours, and is the first in a series of novellas about Billamore Hall.

The first story starts with the main character, Sandra, starting her job as the curator of the Billamore Hall Museum. Unfortunately her appointment follow the murders of the previous three curators.
Just before the official opening, Sandra finds an old corridor in the basement of the museum, and a painting that seems to be inhabited by a ghost. She is haunted by the lady in the picture and is led to try and work out who she is and why she is haunting her. She finds a family connection, and the mystery deepens.
This sets off a chain of events in which Sandra is attacked, and she needs the help of her friends Josephine and Nathaniel.
At the end of this novella, although one of the mysteries is solved, there are still many questions needing to be answered.
This is a fun read for those who enjoy cosy mysteries, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

I must admit that I really like the idea of short linked novellas, it's a great way to structure a story.
You can see it on Goodreads -
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33024898-the-carrigan-painting?from_search=true

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Virtual Book Fair





Thanks for visiting my booth. I am the author of Tom's Inheritance, a YA fantasy adventure that finds Tom on the search for King Arthur. This book is the first in a trilogy.
I've always loved the King Arthur stories, they are a rich store of British folklore and myth, and underpin our sense of national identity. I also love the magic and mystery that these stories invoke. There are witches, wizards, faeries and dragons, and I decided I wanted to explore what Arthur would do in the Otherworld rather than in Britain. I also wanted to investigate the stories through the eyes of a contemporary teenager who finds himself in a world of myth and magic. Some of the old characters are in the story, as well as lots of new ones.

Summary: When Tom accidentally crosses to the Otherworld in search of his missing grandfather, he meets the mysterious woman who has been appearing in his dreams - Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. She tells him he must travel to Avalon and wake King Arthur from his enchanted sleep. Something dark is stalking the old forest and Vivian needs Arthur's help.
The journey is filled with danger, magic, powerful allies, and an ancient enemy. Tom's life may never be the same again.
A magical tale for older children and all lovers of Arthurian legend.

Buy the book today for $0.99  or 99p UK
https://www.amazon.com/Toms-Inheritance-TJ-Green-ebook/dp/B01LYC8PY2 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toms-Inheritance-T-J-Green/dp/047335215X
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toms-inheritance-t-j-green/1123572907?ean=2940152931143
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/tom-s-inheritance

About the author: I was born in England, but moved to New Zealand 10 years ago. I live with my partner and my cat. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, but I also love gardening, shopping, watching films and yoga. And I also work, but that's life!

You can follow me on other social media sites.
Pinterest under Mountolive: https://nz.pinterest.com/mount0live/my-books-and-writing-author-name-tj-green/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tjgreenauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15099365.T_J_Green
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tjay_green

Upcoming projects: The sequel to Tom's Inheritance is called Twice Born and is scheduled for release early 2017. I'm currently writing Tom 3 - as yet untitled. I'm also planning some short stories around Tom's friends, and I have an idea for a new book!

Giveaway: For a free kindle copy of Tom's Inheritance, please subscribe to my blog under the About page.
Or to go into a draw to win a kindle copy, comment in the post below and tell me why you love the King Arthur stories or films. The winner will be drawn at random and the offer closes at midnight on Monday 21st September.

Scavenger Hunt: 4

And here's a quick taste of Tom!                                




Sunday, 6 November 2016

NaNoWriMo Progress

Well, I don't think I'll hit 50000 words by the end of the month, but I have made a solid start on Tom 3 and written 5379 in 6 days. And it's so good to be writing every day. I've got a pretty good idea of where I'm going, for now...

And I've got a new book. Research for this book and many more :) I'm in my happy place!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Arthurian Legends - Excalibur

Over the years I've read lots of stories about King Arthur, and of course they have influenced my re-telling. I'm not a fan of the Grail stories, but love the mystical tales and the crossover with faerie and magic.

The stories developed over hundreds of years and are influenced by different writers and the ages in which they lived. The layers upon layers of stories are confusing, so I'm not about to go into those; there are hundreds of books written about them. There are also hundreds of books examining whether there really was an Arthur who ruled Britain.
I'm currently reading a fascinating book called Pendragon: The Definitive account of the Origins of Arthur, by Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd. They look for the origins of King Arthur and in doing so examine fragments of tales from Welsh histories. The first author to make King Arthur popular was Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae and he references the early Welsh material, so this is where their investigation begins.
In the early stories though there is no Excalibur. Geoffrey calls Arthur's sword Caliburnus, possibly taken from the Welsh 'Caledfwhlch' meaning Battlebreach or Hard Breach. The name Excalibur was introduced by Chretien de Troyes in 1180, and that is the name I have used in Tom's Inheritance as it is now so closely associated with Arthur.
Excalibur symbolises power and signifies the rightful leader of Britain. It has the power to cut steel and it blinds enemies. It was forged by a skilled blacksmith, probably from the Otherworld or Faery, and was given to Arthur by the Lady of Lake - she was also a late introduction to the tales.  In Tom's Inheritance the Lady of the Lake uses Excalibur to bargain with Merlin, for Arthur. To do what? Ah, but you'll have to read the book!
Excalibur's scabbard also had special powers to protect the owner from bleeding to death from battle wounds, however Morgan Le Fay steals it and throws it into a lake, disappearing forever.
Arthur has other weapons, some with magical powers, but I'll talk about those another time. They may make an appearance in my next book, Twice Born.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday news!

I managed to get some writing done on Tom 3 - I just won't count it on NaNoWriMo. So far there's wolves, and a tournament, and the usual gang are rolling in to join the party.

And look, it's Spring! Cherry Blossom and Kowhai.

The Miranda Contract by Ben Langdon

This review is on a book by another indie author. I've already reviewed it on Goodreads and Amazon, but thought I'd share it here.

The Miranda Contract is about superheroes, or uber humans as Ben Langdon calls them; humans with naturally enhanced powers.
The plot centres around Dan Galkin who has the ability to draw on electricity and use it. Otherwise he's a normal enough kid, trying to avoid being dragged into super-villainy by his crazy grandfather, the Mad Russian, who seems determined to make Dan pay if he refuses to comply.In order to get Dan to join the game he manipulates a few other uber humans into his plans to kill the innocent Miranda, the global reality superstar singer. Dan finds himself in one mad race to try to protect Miranda, himself, and other innocent people, whilst for a while having his powers suppressed.
The story is told mainly in the present, but also uses flashbacks to show how the Mad Russian manipulated Dan as a young teen and how he made friends with other uber humans. It is also told through various points of view, mainly Dan, Miranda, and the Mad Russian, although as other characters are introduced we also see from their viewpoints.
The action is pretty much non-stop, the story starting mid-action scene, and it progresses from there. This makes for a fun action-packed ride, although my preference would have been for some slower sequences, as those that were there worked well and allowed for greater character development. I would also have preferred the story to be told through less viewpoints, which would have sharpened the story.
However, having said that, the two main characters were very engaging; there was a nice spark to their relationship which grew and changed with the story. And the story was lots of fun, very energetic, and it was great to see Dan progress from a teen hiding from his uber powers to fully embracing them. I'm curious to see what happens next!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20937377-the-miranda-contract

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Indie Author Day and NaNoWriMo

In honour of Indie Author Day on October 8th in the US, I've lowered the price of Tom's Inheritance to $0.99 on Smashwords and Amazon, and it's 99 pence in the UK. I'll leave it at that price for a couple of weeks - enjoy! Links are under Books.

Meanwhile I've signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I'll be endeavoring to write 50000 words in November. I'll be writing Tom 3 - it's a working title. Seeing as I've only written one chapter (which I cannot count), it's the perfect challenge, although I'm not sure I'll be saying that by the end of November...

I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Hanging Cage (The Northminster Mysteries Book 4) by Harriet Smart

This is a great detective book set in the Victorian age. It starts with the investigation of a suspicious suicide and progresses from there. There's another suicide, a missing woman, and a very disturbing lord of the manor. I won't say any more!
The two main characters, Major Giles Vernon, and the police surgeon Felix Carswell are engaging, and the story moves swiftly. There are also some good subplots that add to character development.
Although I started with the fourth book in the series, I found I could read it without confusion. However I enjoyed it so much, I've already bought the first book of the series.
Great find, I'm looking forward to the rest.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28812657-the-hanging-cage

The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson

Excellent read by a fellow indie author! This book is a mystery/thriller/detective story which deals with the restoration of art to their rightful owners (if they can be identified) following theft by the Nazis during the Second World War.
The story kept me engaged from the start; it deals with a fascinating time and an emotive subject. It's well written and has been well researched. I must admit it's a subject that fascinates and infuriates me equally. I can't understand how people can treat others so badly, and continue to do so over many years.
Great setting too. I've never visited Amsterdam before, but I think I'll add it to my 'to visit' list!
Zelda is a great lead character and I look forward to her future exploits.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30000039-the-lover-s-portrait

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Hello World

My first blog. I guess it had to happen sometime!

Entering the world of indie publishing means embracing social media in all its many varied and fabulous forms. I'll try not be a slacker and to regularly update this page, whilst trying to keep writing Tom 3. Yes. Tom 2 - Twice Born - isn't published yet, it's with my editor, but there's always more to write. Tom has many more places, interesting characters, and strange creatures to meet in the Other.

In the meantime I'll post a few book reviews. When I'm not writing, I'm reading. And there's always research on my favourite writing subjects!