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.


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!


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 -