Friday, 30 January 2015

6 Short Stories by Jack Croxall

Usually I don’t read YA/science but having read and enjoyed Tethers by Jack Croxall, I was glad of the opportunity to receive an ARC of his Six Short Stories being released on Amazon Kindle February 8, 2015.  One of the stories, X, won the eFestival of Words Best Short Story in 2014.

These are curious, charming, heart-warming, and strange stories that make a quick and interesting evening read.  I like that the author approaches off-the-wall themes in a practical sort of way, keeping the weird factor manageable.

The author has a way of writing that emotionally connects with the reader through feelings common to all of us, even if the story is unusual.  Some of these stories, perhaps all, could be read aloud to older children.

If I have one criticism, it is that some of the stories are waaay too short.  I’d especially like to see Roseroot Rectory lengthened because I want to know more about the ghost!

Some of the stories begin with a note about a newspaper clipping (from the Sentinel) that ties it into the story. What a great method for writing a novella, from a series of clippings relating to the same event.

If you're looking for a short, varied read, you'll really enjoy 6 Short Stories.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Coastal Magic Con Feb 5-8 Hurry!

February 2015 Coastal Magic Convention will be held from Feb 5-8 at Daytona Beach, Florida, for authors and readers of urban fiction, and paranormal romance.

Registration through EventBrite is closing January 14, so if you're interested, no time to waste! Here's the link:
Coastal Magic Con Registration
What a great place to have a convention, along the very broad beach of Daytona.  This beach is so wide that in the summer, people drive their cars along it and park there!

There will be many featured authors, including Terry Spear, Christopher Rice, Larissa Ione, and so many more.

Events include meet and greets, panels, lunch with an author, charity raffle, swag crafts, and even a movie "Cinema Craptastique" with Damon Suede.

A great reason to get away from northern sub-zero temperatures and have a great time with other authors and reading lovers alike!
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain image.

Friday, 2 January 2015

A Job From Hell

A Job From Hell
Jayde Scott
I was interested in the premise of this book, and admittedly was attracted to the cover.  Even the video trailer is well made though there are some overdone themes apparent right away.  I’d read really mixed reviews about it but decided to try it.

I made it halfway through the book.   A Job From Hell is substantially dialogue; relentless, trendy, teenage chat.

Young Amber amazingly gets a summer job as a housekeeper up at an old manor house in Scotland despite not having qualifications, and promptly gets into trouble with vampires and demons on account of following her brother’s plans to steal hidden jewels.  The manor’s owner is the very attractive and secretive Aidan that Amber falls for despite having a boyfriend that she is hoping to marry.

About a quarter of the way in, the author introduces another POV; that of Aidan.  This immediately lets us into what he’s thinking and feeling, and advances the story quickly.  Ultimately, I kind of liked the alternating POV, perhaps just to get away from some of the dialogue.

By page 140 of 360, Amber is prepared to sacrifice her life for Aiden. Yes, she may have caused the problem being a mortal who won the underworld race, but this is on very slight acquaintance of Aiden who she has also recently discovered is a vampire and is in somewhat of a horror about it.  Yet she is prepared to sacrifice her life?

The author gives Amber a quick, self-deprecating humour, so I think this is what some readers find appealing in this book.

I was hoping for lots of moody, Scottish scenery/images in the mix but there was next to none in the first half.

The plot moves, and I think Jayde Scott can plan out a book with a mix of characters, but I won’t be reading more of her novels for the next 10 years or so until she matures.  I have also come to have a strong aversion to the word ‘smirk’ which is much overused in current YA/NA books to bad effect.

If you're 16-20, or a valley girl, you might really like this book.  I would have been annoyed if I hadn't downloaded this book for free.