Currently…Warming

Sometimes I take part in the Currently… blog hop series.

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Loving…

The British weather at the moment. It’s glorious and sunny; a good return from Italy, as there’s been a minimal drop in temperature. Indeed, the temperature indoors in Britain matches the air-conned lounges of Italia, so not much change there. But will it last?

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My mum’s garden

Reading…

THE TROUBLE WITH DEMONS by Lisa Shearin. I love this author’s style and characters, but I’ll admit that I am rubbish at keeping up with these books. I got given the Raine Benares series #1 and #2 and then didn’t read them for ages, then I only recently had the money to buy #3. As far as I am aware (from memory), there are at least 7 books.

Writing…

Metropolitan Magic online collaborative story. I took a break to think out the layout of these coming POVs, but I think I’ve got over that bump and can’t wait to write more.

If only my serious novel rewriting was going so swimmingly…

Watching…

I love watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s very addictive, as all Netflix shows tend to be, yeah? Apart from that, there’s not much on my virtual to-watch list. My YouTube to-watch list, however…

Thinking about…

My plans for next year. I can’t say much, but there will be big things happening, and I have my eyes set on planning. Because planning is so much fun.:)

Anticipating…

Starting my Masters course. It’s a bit of time away yet, but I’ll be moving to the capital, which of course, is something different for me. And different things have never sat so well.

Wishing…

For a safe and short journey for my holiday in Poland. I’ll be doing some volunteering for a week, then participating in the World Youth Day, which is something I’m definitely nervous about, but also proud I get to be a part of.

 

Have a good rest of your week.:) Did you post a Currently… post this week? What have you been up to?

Currently…

Sometimes I participate in the Currently series on Tuesdays…

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Loving

That there will be a new Five Nights at Freddy’s game. Okay, I don’t play the series, but I enjoy watching YouTubers like Markiplier and 8BitGaming playing it. As I mentioned in my review of the novel, I enjoy the lore and the elements of mystery the way Scott Cawthon has woven them through the games.

Reading

AlexB_Curse1A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON by Christine Norris. It’s a Steampunk Cinderella retelling, and it’s keeping me on my toes, even though I’m less than halfway through the novel yet. Another Curiosity Quills Press novel (I got it with Hour of Mischief), this flows around merrily (or not so😉 ) and has two voices from compelling characters.

 

Watching

Well, Star Trek: The Next Generation has just popped up on Netflix, so I’ve been watching a couple of episodes every night and relishing in nostalgia for a show I’ve always loved, but not seen for a number of years.

Writing

An old collaborative piece about that I have recently been inspired by my packing to work on. It’s coming to its end, and I don’t want to lose the work we have done, simply because the story is incomplete.

Whilst my chapters from 2009 are abysmal to say the least, you can read the story here.

Thinking About…

Packing. My mum is moving house mid-July whilst I will be on holiday in Poland, so all my packing has to be done before we go to Italy this week, and packing has been consuming my mind.

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Anticipating…

It goes without saying that I’m anxious about the state of Great Britain at the moment. Never have so many young people cared about the politics and seen it go so far the opposite of what they wanted. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen next, but we must remember to not descend into negativity.

Making me happy…

The Boyfriend. He knows exactly how to cheer me up when I’ve not seen him for a couple of weeks, and I get to see him again tomorrow, then we’re heading to Venice, which lightens my heart.

On the Thames

Did you write a Currently post this week? What have you been up to?

HOUR OF MISCHIEF Review

(What’s this? Another review? Well, I read on the way to work, okay.)

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Born in a whorehouse in the slums of Fortuna and burdened with a prosthetic arm, seventeen-year-old JANET REDSTONE doesn’t think she owes the Clockwork Gods anything—which is why she makes a living stealing from their temples. But when she lands her team in prison, making a pact with the God of Mischief, ITAZURA, is the only way to right her wrongs and free her friends.

Janet doesn’t trust Itazura as far as she can punch him, but with her soul in his hands, she has no choice but to do what he says. The clockwork gods and the bad-tempered elder gods of the ancient past are locked in a game of cat and mouse and the human realms are caught in the middle. If Janet can’t somehow convince the gods to step in a save the world, humanity is in an abyss of trouble.

Using her unconventional wits, an impressive tolerance to alcohol, and a strong right hook, Janet has to convince the gods that humanity is worth saving. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult to stop an apocalypse when you’re slowly being driven crazy by the Lord of Mischief, especially when he starts growing on you.

(Also, yay, an excuse to use Steampunk gifs!)

Author Aimee Hydman is someone I admire, having acquired an agent and deal during college/university. So, I was eager to get my teeth into her debut, particularly as it’s Steampunk right off the bat.

It’s hard for me to pick a favourite element of the book. The setting was luscious but not over-described – Fortuna, Janet’s home city lies on part of a clock-shaped world. I am rather jealous, actually, of how Hyndman incorporated her world-building into the Steampunk aesthetic of the novel and explained through it the human characters’ relationship with the clockwork gods.

Speaking of the characters, they were also engaging. Janet’s the kind of spunky heroine that my teen MC, Agnetha, would hate and be best friends with. It wad great to have the book narrated by Janet; she makes a number of questionable decisions – yet, one understands her reasoning and even supports her. Not only because we see it through her eyes, but also because she is fearlessly faithful to her friends.

Speaking of which, I was sad we didn’t get to see more of the Pendulum Thieves, but, again in retrospect that the is a book1, My favourite character, however, was the goddess Laetatia. Despite being world-weary and as assertive as Janet, she is a foil to Janet with her femininity and elegance. She combines Janet’s strong qualities with a softness that makes her an appropriate companion/big sister figure in the novel.

There was also a lot of set up for later, with hints of foreshadowing here and there that I appreciated. Got to love some subtle foreshadowing (though, Shakespeare does tend to ram it in your face…). Granted, I didn’t realise this was the first of a (potential) series until the final chapter, so I was expecting the mysterious elements to be wrapped up by the end. Okay, I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed they weren’t, but at the same time, I liked that they weren’t all solved. Hyndman avoided rushing the reveals with some deus ex machina explanation or the old “as you know, Fred…” trope. (You can tell I’ve been editing the end of my first-draft novel, cant you? *grin*)

I planned not to be interested in any potential sequels (I have too many books on my to-read list to be involved with series at the moment) but the cliff-hanger-esque feeling to the ending meant that there are so many questions still unanswered in the novel that I want to snatch up the sequel if it’s published.

4 Steampunk pieces out of 5.

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I took a star off for the typos I noticed. I consider this not the fault of the author but of the editor, who I would expect to have caught these things before publishing, and whilst I do admire Curiosity Quills Press, I have heard of a few editorial problems from them.

Would I recommend the YA Steampunk novel? Absolutely. It’s an adventurous quick read with a take-no-trouble-from-anyone heroine and, yes, a somewhat dreamy god who’d rather give you a trick than be a hero.

~

About the author:

Aimee Hyndman, by Aimee HyndmanAimee Hyndman has been writing ever since her toddler fingers could grasp a pencil. A lover of all things speculative fiction, she spent many a night penning the beginnings of novels that would never see the light of day. Now attending college in Iowa, double majoring in Creative writing and English, she has clearly never lost her love of the craft.

When not writing and avoiding her school work, Aimee enjoys reading, singing, and acting at her school’s theater department. She is also a lover of anime and all things Disney.

Her area of specialty is fantasy of all sorts but she dabbles in many genres— whatever she feels compelled to write at the moment. The plot bunnies are never ending but, luckily, so are the words!

 

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Book

I missed the chance quite a while ago to write about the finesse of mystery accompanying the Five Nights at Freddy’s game series by Scott Cawthon that has almost haunted me since I learnt about them. Never played, but always fascinated.

The thing is, it didn’t translate well to book form. Don’t get me wrong: I wanted to love it and I did, but…there were some things I couldn’t overlook and that I still questioned once the novel was over.

It’s been exactly ten years since the murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and Charlotte has spent those ten years trying to forget. Her father was the owner of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and the creator of its four adult-sized animatronic animals, and now Charlie is returning to her hometown to reunite with her childhood friends on the anniversary of the tragedy that ripped their town apart. Curiosity leads Charlie and her friends back to the old pizza place, and they find it hidden and sealed, but still standing. They discover a way inside, but things are not as they once were: the four mascots that delighted and entertained them as children have changed. The animatronic animals have a dark secret, and a murderous agenda.

(blurb from Amazon)

As the premise is based on the (not so secretive) reveal in the games that it’s not only the animatronics coming alive but also that the pizzeria has a deadly history of child murder – of the thriller of a past murder and the paranormal element that surrounds the automatons – this was the appeal to me at first, but then the story itself caught my attention.

I liked the characters; although they were mostly stock characters: the love interest, the popular girl, the smart one, they still helped to aid the story forward with their own qualities, and I think that is what made this big cast effective. I liked Charlie, and I appreciated that we saw from her perspective, as she seems to be the most sensible of the characters.

The setting, too, was well brought out. The sleepy town still reeling in the wake of the murders. The residents there, who still have their theories and hold their guards up. And, especially of course, the dark mall built around the remains of the pizzeria. I lost track of some of the rooms and the layout of the pizzeria, as the characters all darted around them repeatedly. And whilst this was disorientating – and I’d say the layout of the pizzeria should be obvious, as it’s the main location of the inciting incident and the present of the plot – it’s not that important to reading the story, as long as one knows the main rooms.

On the other hand, some turns of phrase jarred with me, or read as if they could have done with more polishing. I think the problem partly comes from the high standard I set myself for writing and precise syntax. I tend to expect it from all I read, which is no fault of the authors themselves. High expectations = being letdown somewhat.

So, 3/5 stars because it was a great story, a little roughly written at times, and missing just that added sparkle to make it a great novel. I can’t say what it was, but I expected something more from the surprises and so the reveals weren’t that dramatic to me.

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, though. If you like teen voice and tense storyline that can be read quickly, I’d say give Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes a peruse.

Cover Reveal for The Vrai Domicile

Today on the blog I’m hosting the cover reveal for THE VRAI DOMICILE by Courtney Ruggles. This is the second book in her Domicile series published by Elephantine Publishing. It’s a dystopian, about a girl who wants to be more than a number, wants to escape the Elder-ruled world in which she lives and love the boy she’s not been taught to.

THE SIXTH DOMICILE (book 1):

When Q becomes an Adulte, The Domicile threatens to take away everything that makes her happy. She is forced to marry an abusive soldier who demands she conform. Whispers spread about the unconventional lessons she teaches her new students. And when Q openly disobeys the Elders, the people become restless, questioning the truth of the world in the wake of such defiance.

THE VRAI DOMICILE:

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre

Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

 

Title: The Vrai Domicile
Series: The Domicile Series
Author: Courtney Ruggles
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Genre: NA, Dystopian
Release Date: 24th August 2016
PRE-ORDER NOW
And here it is, the cover for book 2:
I love the colours and the shapes on this cover – they stand out so much, especially amongst the standard female-white-woman-in-a-pretty-dress covers one sees so much nowadays. There’s also something about the hands that really draws the eye to the centre of focus and suggests the plot.
Funnily enough, I have a similar mask as an ornament on my desk. I like masks. Masks are pretty.:)

Currently, on a Wednesday

The currently posts are meant to be on Tuesdays (or at least author Katy Upperman does it on Tuesdays, from whom I got the idea), and I fully tried to post it yesterday, but I’ve had so much catching up to do now I can’t do it until after 8pm that my work on it during the day turned into only half a post. And I didn’t even think of WordPress. #mylife #howdotheydoit?

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Loving…

Interacting with young ones in my new job. Their vitality and enthusiasm is so rewarding.

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Reading…

HOUR OF MISCHIEF by Aimee Hyndman. It’s a YA Fantasy/Steampunk with rich setting and relatable characters.

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Writing…

I was working on edits for Horology, but I’ve neurotically changed gears again, and have returned to WTCB with new ideas.

Watching…

Old Miss Marple episodes. I do missing having a daily or even weekly murder mystery hit to watch as I write and relax in the evenings.

Listening to…

Steam Powered Giraffe’s third studio album MK3. With the hour+ travel to work and back, I’ve been using my phone as my MP3 player again – complete with the music I listened to three+ years ago. As a consequence, I’ve not listened to my favourite band for a while, and, having been through their fourth album, space opera Vice Quadrant, multiple times, I’ve rather forgotten the joy of many of the songs in pop 50s-focused album MK3.

I’m just going to be mean and insert the teaser for Vice Quadrant, which will have you humming that fragment of Progress and Technology for hours until you go out and buy the song.😉

Anticipating…

Moving out of the house I’ve lived in the last year for my third year of uni, which I’ll be doing in two weeks. I’m the last housemate around (And currently typing this in the space of my kitchen.), which means I’ve got a tonne of housework to be doing at some point in between working and doing much-needed (to keep my mental health stable) rewriting. I plan to work on the big bathroom this afternoon.

Wishing…

To get back into my writing mode. I have been wanting to keep pressing on with my editing for a while, and it just hasn’t happened.

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What have you been up to? Did you post a Currently… post this Tuesday?

Thank you all for the support you gave us.

Hashtag-throwback-Thursday. I have been looking back over the writing I have done in the last however many years, and I am reminded how much I have enjoyed writing for anthologies, instead of the endless cycle of writing and editing and querying and editing and… I still have many friends that I met through collaborating on anthology works with them. Although the short story format still somewhat evades me, I enjoy the challenge, and I enjoy the reward of seeing something written and out in the world.
Scream For Charity, self-published by Jamie Hall, was my first work outside of writing sites, and it changed the way I looked at the publishing world. I still love Genevra and her story- and one day perhaps she will see the light again.

That Fantasy Blog

Many of you may be aware that for Christmas ‘That Fantasy Blog’ published a compilation of horror short stories with the aim that 100% of our proceeds would be sent to UNICEF to help them combat child suffering around the globe.

I would just like to take a second to thank everyone who helped us in this endeavor:

Rebecca Besser for her great story “A High Price for Hope.”

Katy Hulme for her brilliant tale “The Dragon and the Moon.”

Alexandrina Brant for her riveting “A Rosary, A Fume Cabinet, and a Music Book.”

Alex Sabo for his bloodbath of a tale “Christmas Chainsaw Massacre.”

Jamie Hall for his heart-thumping “12 Hours.”

And a big thank you to Britt Martin for his amazing cover image.

The limited run of “Scream for Charity” came to an end a week ago and now that the final stats have been collected we here at “That Fantasy…

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