Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist

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DIVIDED by Sharon M Johnston



Sharon M. Johnston

Publication Date: November 24 2015

New Adult Science Fiction Romance

A new heart should mean new life, instead it’s a living nightmare. 

Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, she has the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull her new dream world. Yet, life starts to unravel when Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab, but she can’t ignore the strange instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed. Torn between love and the obsession, Mishca must decide between the two men. But as the organization responsible for her weird powers moves in, she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.




SOMEONE MUST DIE so I can live. I’ve come to terms with that. Before it turned my stomach, thinking about my donor’s death, but now I’m used to it. Most likely, it’ll be a car accident or a drunken fall. It won’t come from illness or any other natural causes that corrupt human organs and make the deceased ineligible to be a donor. A violent, painful death will be my savior. It’s the only way I’ll ever get my new heart.

I open my eyes and stare upward, hoping the white fluffy clouds splotched against the blue sky will distract me from my imaginings of people dying. I guess I’m not as used to the idea of getting someone else’s heart as I thought. The harsh Australian sun makes me squint.

I swing my legs around and hoist myself upright on the stadium bleacher, looking over the sports field. Readjusting my tank top strap that had slipped off my shoulder, I try to conjure up happier thoughts. At least I won’t be responsible for the person who dies, even if I get a new heart out of the mess.

Yeah, happier thoughts.



I’ve got one BIG prize bundle as part of the celebrations!

You could win:

  • Heart Marcasite Earrings
  • $10 Amazon Gift Voucher
  • Owl Christmas Decorations
  • Dinosaur Christmas Decorations
  • Owl Pen
  • Heart Pen

Author Bio:

Sharon JohnstonSHARON JOHNSTON is a New Adult author from sunny Queensland, Australia. She specializes in intriguing stories and soulful contemporaries across category boundaries. Working as a PR specialist by day, in her spare time she writes, blogs for YAtopia and Aussie Owned & Read, spends time with her fur babies, and plays computer games with her family. She’s also been trailed by women wanting to know where she buys her shoes.

Find Sharon on TWITTER and FACEBOOK and on her WEBSITE.

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Thursday Think on the Romance Genre

Alexandrina Brant:

But for some people, marriage and 2.3 children works towards this lasting relationship. It’s about relative feelings and situation – such that no relationship is like another. This post highlights that not all romance in novels has to end in marriage or commitment, though. You know – in life nowadays, there are so many different ways in and around monogamy, and it might be good to see more of those in popular fiction.

Originally posted on TRISH MARIE DAWSON:

Like what I assume are millions of other people over the last few months, I came across E! Online’s article this am about the lovely Goldie Hawn, pulled from her Porter Magazine article in June, and one of the things she talks about is her ongoing 32 year relationship with Kurt Russell. If you don’t know much about them, they still aren’t married, which is actually kind of awesome and impressive, considering this is a Hollywood couple, where dating/marriage status never seems to stay the same for long. Even us normal(ish) folks can look at a relationship such as Hawn’s and Russell’s and find it inspiring. In this interview, Goldie says about relationships:


I’ve always loved Goldie Hawn, but as she ages (beyond gracefully and beautifully, may I point out) she continues to be not only a positive influence for other women in the acting industry, but all women…

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How Do I Become A Writer?

Alexandrina Brant:

Great advice for those thinking of writing as an income by Katie Teller.

Originally posted on Aussie Writers:

I get asked this question a lot, especially by my “non” writer friends. I think it’s interesting because I know it secretly means How do they become a writer? I’m also fairly certain most of the people who ask me haven’t read my books, but that’s another issue at this point.

So I’ll begin with one thing: a burning need to write a story. Then another, then another. This need needs to be more than just an idea. You need to write it down, hash out the plot, the twists and turns, develop the characters.

No time? Congrats, I don’t have time either. I’m a mother and wife, which in themselves are crazy busy gigs, I have a baby and almost five year old, have church and family commitments, and work. Yes, my work is mostly edits, but that leaves very little time for actually writing, and before I received…

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What Are you Writing? Sunday Fiction

A day late, but I wanted to participate in Vanessa Rodriguez’s Sunday Fiction Post-Up where writers share extracts of their WIP or latest works. After an exhausting weekend, I’m back home and I get some time to myself again. This extract is from my contemporary romance short, ‘SoS’, which I finished the first draft of today. This is from page 25, paragraph two.

I looked up. Cheeks in royal red tried a smile back.

“You’re not…embarrassed, are you?” I asked.

He jolted, and the notebook snapped shut. For a second, I wondered what he thought was important enough to be writing now, yet private enough that he thought I’d be spying over the miles of interstellar space.


“It’s alright!” I raised one hand. As if I had anything to be defensive over.

But the tension was there. I’d already overstepped the mark and my cheeks burnt. Trust me. Trust me to eff the norm up again! I winced. I had a nice thing going – I happened to, as weird as it was, like interrupting my quiet Thursday evenings off to receive a Skype from across the oceans… Even the terminology sounded dreamy, as if the solid masses of water weren’t a barrier, but a wave and path leading us together.

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Whodunnit On a Sky Cruiser: A Review of MURDER OUT OF THE BLUE

MurderBlue_AlexB1908. A gruesome death on board the Sky Liner RMS Macedonia exposes the clash of class, secrets and sexuality in upper class Edwardian society. On her journey home Maliha Anderson, Anglo-Indian daughter of a Scottish engineer and a Brahmin scholar, hopes to make peace with her past, her future and what she sees in the mirror every day – until the nurse of wheelchair-bound General Makepeace-Flynn is murdered. The General declares his innocence and Maliha is the only one to believe his story. With landfall in India only hours away Maliha must find the real murderer before the culprit can escape, even though doing so puts her own life at risk.

A 92-page novella by Steve Turnbull

I bought MURDER OUT OF THE BLUE at the Steampunk convention, Steampunks in Space, last year (and it is also listed under ‘Steampunk’ on Amazon), but I’d have to admit that there was less Steampunk involved than I expected. Perhaps this comes from the assumption that all Steampunk contains gadgets and gears and top hats perched at a less-than-discreet angle.

Which – as one knows – is all rather jolly poppycock.

Anyway, the vibe I got from reading was, for the most part, more Dieselpunk. At least, had I not known the era, I would have said late 1920s, early ‘30s. One character, Temperance, even appears in my mind in an early flapper-style dress, complete with long cigarette holder. Nevertheless, I’d say the setting felt realistic and absorbing.

Just not my vision of Steampunk. And I’m totally allowed to say that.

I’d also say that the blurb makes out that there is more plot than there actually is, but I suppose that’s what one can expect from a novella. For those of you who know Steampunk writing, it’s a far cry from the heavy, action-packed writing of Cherie Priest or the teasing, poking-fun-at-society of Gail Carriger.


This was an interesting read with an Agatha-Christie-esque feel to the writing with the idea of limited suspects in an enclosed space without police. Murder could happen at any point, and indeed it does, followed swiftly by a suicide, which only heightens the drama and the resolve of the protagonist.

I managed to guess the murderer, though not the motive, and I suspect this may have come from my Agatha-Christie-reading suspect-everyone mentality! Nevertheless, I liked the touch of every suspect having a secret or something to keep from others. The characterisation, too, was strong, though a touch on the archetype side – the General in the wheelchair, his acidic wife, the ‘modern’ woman and the happily-married couple. In a novella, there is little time for extensive character development, but I saw glimmers of it where necessary.

Maliha was a sympathetic protagonist. Although I couldn’t empathise with her being biracial, I liked that it played in an aspect of her investigations and one of the reasons she was able to be more intellectual than the average Edwardian 19-year-old. She’s been through enough already that she’s developed a hard-enough skin to snoop.

“What are you doing?” said Temperance from the door.

“Just thinking.”

“I am told gentlemen are not attracted to women who think.”

Indeed, it is snippets like that one that bring the characters to life. It’s cliché (one would find it in most a Christie novel), but nice to have something that one takes for granted in the 21st Century said out in the open.

I enjoyed the voice of the piece, even if there were times I felt it could be stronger. The novella is written in third-person (and has a couple of POV swaps that I felt could have been omitted) and this takes us away from really knowing Maliha’s sense of person. We weren’t close to her. In addition, some sentences I found were overwritten and sounded a little pretentious for the prose, and I spotted a fair number of run-on sentences, which made me stop and pull a face.

Overall, though, it was an enjoyable short read, and I would recommend it for those of you who are fans of Agatha Christie books and the pacing of the TV episodes, rather than for the Steampunk side, which doesn’t play much into the plot, as the author intended (which is a good thing in terms of the story, but I would’ve preferred more gadgets and sparking science).

I’d say 3 ½ stars out of five.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll pick up the other novellas in the Maliha Anderson series. The epilogue hinted at more to come, a cadence yet to close, and I liked how quick to read this novella was, even though the pacing wasn’t rushed. I’m just not desperate to read on yet.


A Shot of Reckless By Maddie Paige

Today on the blog: a cover reveal for a new college New Adult book coming out with Elephantine Publishing – A SHOT OF RECKLESS by authors writing under the name Maddie Paige.

Art major, Roxy Thompson, is a ball of fun—but she’s also careful to keep her walls intact when it comes to men. She likes relationships just like her coffee: light and sweet. After having her heart shattered once before, she’s determined not to ever feel that broken again.

College senior, Lake Foster, is just tempting enough to make Roxy rethink her rules of engagement. Suddenly, high-dollar shots and a no-strings night out aren’t enough anymore. But Lake isn’t looking for long-term. His future is set, and in four months, he intends to graduate and leave Georgia—and everything in it—behind. Luckily, short-term fun is Roxy’s specialty, and Lake can’t resist what he promises will be a fleeting taste.

Will Roxy and Lake really walk away when their time is up? They only have one shot to find out.

Maddie Paige
Writing duo Maddie Paige bonded over books, shirtless boys and Step Up movies. One lives for her coffee while the other prefers hot chocolate. Both lovers of romance, they tag teamed a manuscript over late nights at Steak ‘n Shake. They live in Atlanta, GA and A Shot of Reckless is their debut.
A Shot of Reckless comes out October 14th! 
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Don’t be a hoarder

Alexandrina Brant:

As a hoarder [of writing and of life-stuffs] myself, I can relate to this post. I still have a document of pieces that I’ve removed from my main manuscript, and I am being to accumulate removed snippets of my other stories in other documents!

Originally posted on Aussie Writers:

Moving house is kind of like revising a manuscript.

Stay with me … it’s not that much of a stretch.

My family just moved from the house we’ve lived in for the past fifteen years. So much much can accumulate in that much time. So much STUFF! We culled when we packed things away and culled again when those things went to the storage shed. Now, I’m not a hoarder — neither is the hubby — although I do still own my English texts from high school. Wuthering Heights is a favourite, okay. So is Paradise Lost … and Romeo and Juliet. Chaucer, well he’s … I can’t part with all those old words! It’s just English texts though, I didn’t keep anything else, promise. Forgive me; we’re all book people here, right?

Anyway, during the past few weeks as I’ve been unpacking boxes and discovering things I couldn’t possibly…

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