Friday, 20 January 2012

I'm claiming reading back!

THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER UPDATED

I've thought long and hard over this and have decided to stop updating this blog. Recently, my enjoyment of reading has decreased to an alarmingly low level and this is mainly due to the pressure of having to read at least two books a week and reading books I don't necessarily want to read. I am an average pace reader but in order to get at least two reviews up a week, reading is consuming all my time and when I either have to do something else or don't feel like reading, I feel under immense pressure to pick up a book. Basically, this blog has made reading the ruler of me and it's no longer a pleasurable passtime.

So, I'm claiming reading back for myself, I'm taking it back to one of my favourite hobbies and if it takes me two months to read one book then so be it. I'm giving up the deadlines!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me over the last six months. Blogging has been a real experience and I will certainly still be following everyone else - but as a reader and a fan from now on rather than a fellow blogger.

I'm leaving this blog up for posterity but may eventually get brave enough to delete it. However, as of today, 20th January 2012, I am no longer posting any more content.

I wish everyone the best and thank you once again for your support.

Lyrical Brown

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Interview: Dean Johnson

Today, I'd like to welcome Dean Johnson, author of Moondreams, for one of my grillings. You can read my review of Moondreams here.


How would you describe Moondreams in a tweet (140 characters)?

A warm, toes-in-the sand, beach read about how relationships are the bricks and mortar of your foundation, but you must build your own house. (with a character to spare!!)

How did the story of Moondreams come to you?

When I was younger, there was a time when I was, I suppose, a bit aimless. I had dropped out of college, was working in an auto garage, was doing some stringer work for a couple of local newspapers, but really had no idea what or where I wanted to be.

The fragmented nature of the novel reflects that theme.

I took that, mixed in a little of when I met my wife, added a dash of a few childhood experiences, stirred in quite a bit of imagination, and cooked up Moondreams.

Both Kirah and Bryan are very strong voices, how did you come up with their characters?

I’d have to say that both Kirah and Bryan are composites. Each have some qualities of people I know, but neither is based any one individual. What gives them strong voice is that they both have a little part of me in them, I suppose.

What kind of research did you do for Moondreams?

While I was raised in the region where Moondreams takes place (Southern New Jersey), I had to make sure my landmarks were accurate and my descriptions precise. I visited a few sites for notes. I even pulled to the side of the road once to write out some notes on details of an old highway motel.

What are your writing habits? Are you the kind of writer who plans everything or are you a seat-of-your-pants writer?

I write a lot in my head. I have a tablet nearby at all times to jot down an idea or a detail of a unique setting I run into. I use my phone quite a bit to record ideas – especially when driving. I don’t know what’s worse: writing down notes on paper while driving or talking into my cell phone.

I usually have a scene in mind when I start out, but what I had in mind at the beginning isn’t always what’s there at the end. I love when this happens. The scene takes a life of its own.

What’s the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing for young adults?

Writing for young adults is a balancing act. You have to be careful not to insult them by being too “young,” that is – your themes and scenes too antiseptic, you know, stuff Grandma would expect a young adult to read. On the other hand, your audience is still children and the adults that help make the decisions what their children (their students) read.

When and why did you decide to take the plunge and self publish your book? Did you always plan to publish it?

After I had written this book, I had a few friends read it. I made some revisions and sent it out into the wild, wild world of a dwindling publishing industry. I received a couple of wonderful rejections; you know, not a form letter. Had an agent show some interest, but for whatever reason, that didn’t pan out. So, I put the book aside and worked on other projects.

When I saw how the indie book world was growing and how more people were becoming interested in taking a chance on reading new authors, I decided to dip my toe in the water.

What’s the story behind the cover?

My wife took this picture. It is on the beach in Ventnor, NJ. I photoshopped in the moon and darkened the picture a bit. When my wife and I were dating, she lived in Ventnor, and she and I walked that beach countless moonlit nights.

If you had room on your shelf for only 3 books, what would they be?

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe and The Bible

What are you working now?

I am working on several pieces. I’ve finished a memoir called Winter of a Furious Season. It’s the story of a 17 month period when my wife and I were just married and had to deal with the illnesses and subsequent death of both my parents and my wife’s mother (her father had passed away before I had met her). It’s a story of survival amid a tsunami of cancer.

I also am writing a lot of small pieces. I recently had essays published in the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and the Atlantic City Press. I’ve had pieces in many other newspapers as well including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer to name a few. I will be collecting some of the pieces I’ve done over the past ten years or so and will probably publish them as ebooks.

I also have two other pots on the writing stove, both in the young adult genre. One is an historical piece about a young child misdiagnosed with a mental disorder in the late 1960s. The other is about a middle school young man who is a middle child of middle aged, middle class parents and how he develops an identity after borrowing a few others.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Review: India Dark - Kirsty Murray

*NEW*
Extent: 336 pages
Publisher: Templar
Pub Date: 1st January 2012


A story of secrets, lies and lost innocence. MADRAS, 1910: Posey Swift and Tilly Sweetrick are caught up in a scandal that will change their lives forever. Singing and Dancing across a hundred stages as members of a troupe of Australian child performers, they travel by steam train into the heart of India. But as one disaster follows another, money runs short and tempers fray. What must the girls do to protect themselves, and how many lives will be ruined if they try to break free?


It's nice to get away from over populated genres once in a while and find a story that sticks with you because of its originality and poignancy and there are few books that do this better than those based on true stories. The originality is in the truth itself as no one writes fiction about real life - it's too dull, lacks perfection and doesn't have succinct beginnings, middles and ends. But once in a while some clever writer digs up a story worth telling and passes it through their magic keyboard to create a book that really moves you. Kirsty Murray is without doubt one of those clever writers.

India Dark's basis in truth is a real asset to this story as you're not just tagging along with fictional characters, you're empathising with real people. Hopelessness and desperation ooze off the page but it's made all more poignant by the fact that this really happened to real people. It's clear that the author has really studied her characters, she knows them inside out and knows exactly how each one would react to different situations. The chapters are told from the point of view of either the innocent Poesy Swift or the feisty Tilly Sweetrick who both have such distinct voices, the reader is drawn into seeing the story from two very different sides. Here's the clever bit: Tilly's voice begins very obnoxious so you immediately side with Poesy, thinking that her innocence and openness are allowing you to see what's really happening, however, as the story moves on, you begin to see that it's not Tilly who is obscuring the truth but it is in fact Poesy. She has sealed her eyes, ears and mouth with innocence tape, leading the reader through her enforced perfect world which leaves you stinging with pity as Tilly and the forces of evil gradually peel the tape off. In the end, I much preferred Tilly's voice as she actually had the maturity and the guts to save the children from a cruel fate.

The setting for India Dark is fascinating. I had no idea people used to tour troupes of performing children around the world and of course there's a lot of socio-political history that goes with it. Everywhere seemed to belong to one European country or another back in the early 20th century and Kirsty Murray has expertly captured the feelings, reactions and trends of the times, the strange mix of east and west that really weren't all that compatible. It's a real lesson in social history and the tour around southeast Asia and India is a colourful backdrop to the story. The episodes of travel work really well with the developing plot line and characters. It's a real treat to get a glimpse into life at this time and the author has created just the right tone for it to be authentic yet relevant to a modern audience.

India Dark is a real gem of a book by the fact that it's a real standalone story. It doesn't fuel any genre craze but instead it stays with you as a unique testament to the human condition. It's a cautionary tale of the danger of innocence and lies but also a tribute to unyielding courage in the face of hopelessness. A great way to start 2012!


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Interview: Ciye Cho

Today, I'd like to welcome Ciye Cho, author of Shiewo: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure, for one of my grillings. You can find my review of Shiewo here.


How would you describe Shiewo: A Fantasy Flight to Adventure in a tweet (140 characters)?

Shiewo Morose is the captain of a flying ship. With a song and a quest, this young woman is about to discover an adventure without limits...

I thought Shiewo was such an original story, where did the idea for the book come from?

I've always wanted to write a book about a flying ship powered by music. It's an idea that combines several of my favorite things: clouds, colors, music, and fantasy...

I love your cast of varied and original characters and Shiewo makes a great hero. How do these characters come to you?

When I assembled the crew, I thought it was important that they each had a different core trait (i.e. tenacity in Shiewo; shyness in Theo), but I also wanted to create characters that were unusual and unexpected. I think that coming up with characters is sort of like inventing imaginary friends...

How did you go about creating Shiewo’s colourful and fantastical world? Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from some of my favourite subjects: meteorology, horology, nature, and music. For example, while musical flight is obviously impossible, each level of Shiewo's flying ship, the Odyssey, has a basis in real-world musical science.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of writing high fantasy and setting a story in a world where anything can happen?

The most challenging aspect would be finding a way to present something fresh and original. The most rewarding aspect would be bringing readers into a world of your own creation--letting them see, hear, and experience things that don't exist.

When and why did you decide to take the plunge and self publish your book? Did you always plan to publish it?

I decided to self-publish a few months before the completion of "Fantasy Flight." I thought it would an exciting challenge that would allow me to expand my project creatively on my own terms.

What kind of writer are you? Do you have any rituals? Do you plan a story from start to finish or just see what happens?

"Fantasy Flight" evolved quite a bit over the course of writing... so I don't know if I really focused too hard on absolute planning. As for rituals, I like to draw cross-sections of every world I work on. I obsess over details, and I've probably sketched out every last gizmo and machine within the Odyssey.

What’s the story behind the cover art?

The cover showcases each character's personality and look. For example, Theo is shown with his perennial expression of worry, while Erduu is seen looking mighty zen-nish. As for Shiewo, if you look carefully you'll see that she's not really smiling or frowning; she's a complex character and I think the central image of her captures that well.

If you had room on your shelf for only 3 books, what would they be?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, James and Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Do you have any hints for what we can expect from the next book?

Book two of Shiewo's Odyssey will see the intrepid captain face off against Horologo's time serpent. Beyond that, you can expect time travel, action, oddball antics, and a bit of romance.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Review: Kevin's Point of View - Del Shannon

*DON'T MISS*
Extent: 402 pages
Publisher: self-published
Pub Date: 4th June 2010


To escape the emotional turmoil of his father’s death 12-year-old Kevin Tobin has retreated inside himself, developing his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes everyone with his superhero antics, his ability to escape inside himself becomes critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father’s death. When a mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted by a ruthless villain who is determined to retrieve the package, which holds the key to his plans for world domination. After enlisting Kevin’s teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the group escapes into the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado and eventually discover that Kevin’s entire existence is because of the love of someone we never expected.

Kevin's Point of View is Del Shannon's debut novel and shows a deep appreciation for the powers of imagination, family ties, and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it. The fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style makes this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.



For a woman in her twenties, I have to confess I'm a real sucker for a middle grade male-oriented action adventure. But I need to be more specific: I like middle grade male-oriented action adventure that has depth and doesn't patronise the reader and it is without doubt that Kevin's Point of View fits very comfortably into that category.

I found the lead character, Kevin, immediately both intriguing and engaging. He is a boy who lives in his imagination, blocking out reality by immersing himself into scenes from superhero cartoons to the point where he no longer engages with reality. Del Shannon is expert at losing his character in his mind and nurtures the reader into empathising with his hero - he's troubled but he's courageous and determined to fix both himself and his family, whatever it takes. As for the baddy - whom I judge very harshly as they are always important to me! - Del's has to be one of the better written ones, a real ruthless, looming threat that gets your skin crawling and your jaw clenching through narrow escapes.

The story itself is cleverly wrought. You begin the book as if someone has just scattered all the pieces of the puzzle in front of you and with each turn of the page you can fit another piece back into place. Mystery is key to this plot and Del Shannon is skilful at creating it, knitting it in comfortably with substantial action sequences. In fact, once the action gets going, there are not many places to pause and take a breath. In some cases this can be a bad thing: maintaining a high level of action and adrenaline leads to blocking out the natural curvy line of highs and lows in a plot that bring dynamics to the story, moments of external threat mixed in with moments of internal reflection. I think what Del Shannon has done, however, is wrap all these moments up, creating strong dynamics within a high adrenaline environment. This is what gets me excited about well written books for boys - how the author goes about sustaining interest in the reader while also putting them through a spectrum of emotions and begging them to form an opinion. Kevin's Point of View is full of those little lightbulb moments when amidst the action realisation dawns and you figure out what's going on - and then it doesn't happen quite how you expected and when it does you're on the edge of your seat. Gasp, gasp, gasp.

This is definitely one of the better MG boys books I've read, it's thoroughly engaging, has plenty of high adrenaline action but yet contains a clever, well-constructed story with characters of great emotional depth. Boys will love it and as a twenty something year old woman, I have to say I love it too.


Monday, 9 January 2012

Review: The Iron King - Julie Kagawa

*DON'T MISS*
Extent: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira Books
Pub Date: 21st January 2011


Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



Well, I have to say this is one of my favourite novels to come out of the paranormania, and trust me there are not many paranormal books on my list of all time favourites.

Swooning females are not my idea of good heroines and there seem to be far too many about at the moment - I have to keep reminding myself what century it is. Julie Kagawa, however, has hit the proverbial nail on the head with Meghan Chase, however. Yes, she does have her swoony, pathetic moments but so does anyone who doesn't know how to fight powerful fairies. At the same time, however, the author gives Meghan plenty of alone time to show off her independence and resourefulness. It's nice to have a bit of strong, handsome, unfathomably-attracted-to-the-plain-heroine male saving the day action, but Julie Kagawa pushes her heroine, landing her into situations where she has to use her own wit and defend herself. That's why, for me, The Iron King rocks. All hail the female lead that is not just a cowering, incapable wreck!

OK, feminist rant over... I love the mythology of this book - it's so closely woven into the real world and the stories that we all know that the Fey world seems so real. It parallels Narnia but where C. S. Lewis created a whole new mythology, Julie Kagawa taps into the rich mythological history of our own world, making it less epic fantasy and more urban fantasy, a fantasy that is highly accessible and believable. More than that, you really get a sense of how greatly the author respects and treasures the magic you find in old stories, myth and folklore. The Iron King is a warning against sacrificing imagination, creativity and such grown up nonsense as "there's no such thing as fairies" for the sake of progress and technology. What happens when there is such a dramatic shift in our culture? What happens when we confuse myth, legend and imagination with uselessness? If it's not forward motion or efficiency improvement, it's worthless right? So wrong! The magic of stories consumes my free time, it's where I escape to in order to take a break from having constantly to progress the world. Don't get me wrong, I love my gadgets, I'd die without the internet and my phone is permanently attached to me - but so too is a book. I walk in two worlds, the technological one and the magical one. I agree entirely with Julie Kagawa's sentiments but she can rest assured that as long as people keep writing books like The Iron King, the magic will never die.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sorry for absence!

Sorry I haven't been posting in the last few days, I've had a horrible flu bug which has meant I can do little more than lounge on the sofa... Will be back shortly though! I'm doing everything this week that I said I was gonna do last week. :-)

xx

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Review: Project New Age - Daniel Piros

*DON'T MISS*
Extent: 162 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Pub Date: 26th July 2011


For sixteen years, they thought they were totally human. Now, three kids discover that their parents genetically engineered them as part of "The Project", and it's their destiny to save the world from... something... somehow... sometime... With no further information on their destiny, all the human-wolf hybrids can do is get used to their new forms, try to hide the ever-present ears on the top of their heads from the other kids at school, and listen to the police scanner, waiting for someone to commit a crime in the peaceful "town" of Keswick, VA.


Sometimes I don't have the patience to sit through a waffle-ridden 600 page epic with the story starting at around page 200. It's at times like these that I reach for a book like Project New Age. There's no hanging about in this book, you're hit with the story on page 1 and there is a distinct lack of waffle throughout. In fact, it's so devoid of waffle there were moments when I had to sit back for a few minutes and invent some of my own. That just shows you how well trained traditional published books have gotten me really.

In describing Project New Age, however, I think "traditional" is the last word I would use. It's pretty unique in every way really. It reads a lot like manga or a graphic novel where settings and descriptions are allocated to the artwork with only speech and space-time locators written down. Except, there's no art in Project New Age. At first I found this a bit unnerving, it's not something you find in 99% of books, but after a while I got it. Daniel has left the majority of the work up to you, the reader. Sort of, fill-in-the-blanks reading. Don't get me wrong, it's not devoid of all description, the story is just wrapped up more subtly than in other books. I thought it would hinder the plot and leave the characters in 2D but actually the story really builds and strengthens towards the end while I grew quite attached to the characters who developed very distinct personalities. Chris, for example, the narrator, can be witty and soft one minute and then deeply philosophical the next. If only there were more 15 year olds who thought as much as him!

Another original feature of Project New Age is that it takes a lot of elements that are very popular at the moment - paranormal, superhero, small town with a secret - but mixes them up and presents them with more than a hint of satire. So many paranormal books take themselves extremely seriously, striving to keep a frown on the reader's face, which certainly works if you're in that sort of mood (and I frequently am!) but Project New Age is a lighter alternative where the characters openly mock the threats in the story and some plot elements are more than a little bizarre - all I'm going to say is watch out for the parasitic guitars!

If you are looking for an orthodox read full of lilting, colourful descriptions, the likes of which would shower it in awards and have reviewers racking their brains to find novel adjectives to describe the description then you better look elsewhere. But if you want someone to talk to you straight and let you fill in the blanks with your own imagination and provide you with new ideas then look no further.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Self Publishing Spotlight: Project New Age by Daniel Piros

Welcome to my Self Publishing Spotlight!

This month I'm very pleased to say my spotlight has landed on author Daniel Piros and his lupine superhero novel Project New Age.

For sixteen years, they thought they were totally human. Now, three kids discover that their parents genetically engineered them as part of "The Project", and it's their destiny to save the world from... something... somehow... sometime... With no further information on their destiny, all the human-wolf hybrids can do is get used to their new forms, try to hide the ever-present ears on the top of their heads from the other kids at school, and listen to the police scanner, waiting for someone to commit a crime in the peaceful "town" of Keswick, VA.

I'm afraid I have been useless and not yet posted my review of Project New Age - I've been too caught up in Christmas and New Year... But it will go up this week so stay tuned! For now, Daniel has written me fab guest post all about his writing journey.


Hello, and welcome to my fifth attempt to write my Self Publishing Spotlight. As you can probably tell, I’m very nervous. When this review comes out, it will be the first professional review and the first publicity for Project New Age. The first real test of whether my writing is actually any good. The old saying “build it and they will come” isn’t true. Books sell through publicity, not through being good. So if I mess up in this article here, I could turn everyone away from a book they might love.

So, no pressure, right?

I don’t deal well with stress. But I am good at overcoming obstacles. During the summer of Kindergarten, I went from a below-average reading level (to the point that my teacher gave me a “special” list of books to read over the summer) to reading chapter books. In one book.

Those “special” books the teacher recommended bored the hell out of me. I didn’t want to read them. I had my sights set on more interesting — and more challenging — books.

Eventually, my stubbornness forced my mom to let me try to read The Magic Treehouse books, which were the books my two older brothers were reading. She thought I’d finally realize that I couldn’t read anything that hard, and quit bugging her about it. But, by the end of the first book, I was reading every word by myself, without any help from my mom.

One book was all it took for me to learn to read, and learn to love to read.
Needless to say, Mom was surprised.

About two years ago, I finished another one of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride books. I was addicted to them. And I couldn’t find any other author who could satisfy the intense craving I had for more of his books. So I tried to write my own book.

I failed. Very badly.

But I enjoyed failing, so I kept trying. I became obsessed with writing novels. My mom worried about me a lot. Then, she read Project New Age, and urged me to self-publish it.

Seems like she has a habit of underestimating me, huh?

Well, I underestimated myself, too. Writing had always been a challenge for me. And I hated it. Or so I thought. Turns out, I love writing when I’m writing freely about something I’m interested in. When I’m writing about something I don’t care about (like an essay on Prohibition), I hate it.

Writing has now become my greatest passion and obsession. When I sit down at the keyboard, I can just type away, letting the ideas flow freely. What comes out is mostly humor, with some deep thinking beneath the surface.

Project New Age is largely a satire of superhero stories, although it does have some deep ideas in it. In school, too much emphasis is placed on the themes of books, what you can learn from them, how they can change your life and make you a better person, yadda, yadda, yadda. None of the books I’ve read for school have had that kind of impact on me. They just bore me. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so in my writing, I strive to make it so. That’s why my dedication reads, “I dedicate this book to anyone who enjoys it. And I apologize to everyone else.” If my books change someone’s life for the better with the meaning beneath the surface, and help them through tough times, that’s great. But I’ve found that the best thing when times are tough is to just laugh and have fun.

Life needs humor. People like to laugh. And when people take things too seriously, there can be a lot of conflict. For example, there’s a taboo against making jokes about religion, and look at the things that have happened when people take their religion too sternly. The Crusades. The Inquisition. Terrorists who call America the “Great Satan”. George W. Bush. If people would just take a step back and think, “Wait a second... I believe in a giant man in the sky who reads minds and grants wishes” and laugh a little, a lot of that conflict could be avoided. If people were more conscious of how crazy their own ideas sound, they’d be more willing to accept that others disagree, and even that their ideas could be wrong, and aren’t worth killing people over. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Project New Age relies heavily on the characters, particularly the narrator, Chris. Chris is half human and half wolf. He loves BACON!! and being petted and scratched behind his ears. He can also be very philosophical. Sometimes, he’s asking to be petted, or showing his great love of BACON!!, and other times — or even simultaneously — he’s talking about his views and philosophy on life. For example, towards the end of Project New Age, Chris says, “My thought is, ‘Believe whatever you want, just don’t let it interfere with others’. If that means you believe God is a flying spaghetti monster who turns into a giant pig, then that’s fine. Just don’t let it interfere with my spaghetti and bacon marinara.”
I have no idea whether Project New Age — or any book I ever write — is going to be successful. The odds are against it. But I’m not worried. I’m pursuing a career in Engineering, so I can make a steady income with that while writing on the side. That way, I don’t have to worry about selling enough books to support myself or whether I’ll have the next book ready in time. Writing will remain a free and enjoyable activity for me.

When I write, I don’t worry about what word works best or is the most descriptive. I just let the words flow naturally from my mind to my computer. It gives my writing a more natural, laid-back style. Conversational, I think it’s called. It doesn’t have much detail, but it seems to work pretty well, because I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on Project New Age so far.

I’m now almost done with the second book in the series. There are a lot of loose ends in Project New Age, so it was a little hard to tie everything up, but I think I managed pretty well. The second book isn’t quite as humorous as Project New Age is, simply because the plot gets a lot thicker and deeper. I think it’s still good, though.

I actually started working on the third book recently, which involves ghosts. Originally, I had no intention of having supernatural elements in the series, but I like it this way. It’s a lot of fun to try to figure out explanations for how things like that could work.

So, to any aspiring writers out there, my advice to just relax and write naturally. Don’t worry if you’re absolutely awful. I was when I first tried, but after writing a few stories, I got better. And don’t let writing become something you “have to do”, make sure you’re writing because you want to write.


Sound advice Daniel! Thank you so much for participating in my Self Publishing Spotlight, letting us in on your experiences with writing. Daniel's book is available in paperback from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com or in digital format from Lulu. Find out more about Daniel and his books on the Project New Age website.

To find out more about the Self Publishing Spotlight feature or to submit a book, click here. I'm especially interested to hear from authors planning to publish in 2012.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Wishlist Diet #23

*The Wishlist Diet is part of the In My Mailbox meme hosted by The Story Siren*
Well, I had a cracking Christmas! Look what Santa brought me - that's right, it's the boxset of the new UK signature cover hardback Harry Potter books. They are currently sitting pride of place on my shelf, making me want to read them all again for the hundredth time...

I shall resist and tell you what I will be reading this week.

To Read:


India Dark by Kirsty Murray
Dreaming Dangerously by Kathleen Harsch

To Review:


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Project New Age by Daniel Piros

I have to admit, since Christmas, I have been downloading LOADS of books in the Kindle 12 Days of Christmas, getting some brilliant titles for 0.99p! So now my reading list is as long as a...really long thing... Anyway I'm not complaining, I'm very excited about what's coming up in 2012!

Can't wait to hear what you've got in store this week! I hope Santa brought everyone a mountain of books!