Review of Parts, Pieces and Aspects of a Frozen Mouse By AJ Mouse.

One thing I love about AJ Mouse’s novels was experiencing something that you don’t think is common, but it is surprising how her books have a connection to me/my life that spans beyond what we deem as normal.

I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of her new book; Parts, Pieces and Aspects of a Frozen Mouse. It picks up from the first book, expanding from Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse. I love this series, and each work allows me to see in my mind’s eye of these ten beautiful people.

Again taking up the pen are Jade and Anne, but we had a bit more of an insight into the others. Peter’s survivor spirit, Ray’s dance parties, Jane’s calm and beautiful soul and Lucy’s understanding of passion and touch.

Miss Mouse gives us much warning when the rabbit-hole could be too profound for some, but I would suggest you read even with this advice to skip as you need to see and feel. Monsters are not hiding under the bed but in plain sight.

I adore this book and the series. My love of these ten people makes my heart sing. The honesty and compassion of this book brought me to tears, laughter, anger and joy.

This again has knocked another big-time fantasy author off my top ten #1 books. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to see the world behind that curtain people fear to open, that monster hides behind normality, and a mental disorder does not mean you are an odd duck.

Exceptional and insightful, 5 out of 5 stars!

You can pre-order at the links below, at her website: ajmouse.com or at Ocean Reeve Publishing: oceanreeve.com

P.S. Thank you for sharing your lives with me, Jade, Anne, Lucy, Peter, Neil, Zen, Jane, Nancy, Ray and of course Mouse.

 

Mouse and her 9 brothers and sisters.
Mouse and her 9 brothers and sisters. Love you guys!

 

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Staying Strong

There have been a few things happening to me of late, I try to not involve my personal life with my professional life, but since I did my live asking for help, that idea has been thrown out the window.

The thing about me, I am a large guy with a huge heart. I will listen and help the best way I can, as this is my nature. Being a full-time carer for my disabled mother takes up most of my time so when I can write it is my escapism. I love my mum, and I never want to see her in a nursing home but it is hard, and I have to stay strong.

With being on the verge of being homeless with my mother who uses a wheelchair, the writing community has stood up and brought my books, some don’t read fantasy as I won’t just accept handouts.

So all these extra books need to go somewhere, why not give them to charity? Why yes that is a brilliant idea. I have submitted my novels to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, this foundation sends books to the remote communities in Australia to help improve the reading level of my people, how could I not help.

The other I am becoming involved with Juiced TV, it is run by sick and injured children, just because they are sick doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. This show is broadcast in the hospitals, and Saint Jara of the Hammer might head in and visit.

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This made me realise that storing up these emotions was a bad idea. As the old saying goes ‘A burden shared is a burden halved’, I have shared my burden, and I can now deal with life’s punches. Make sure you reach out if you are in trouble and everyone else if you haven’t heard from someone, just ask ‘Are you okay?’

For everyone who has and will help me thank you so much, it means the world to me. Not only for me but my mum.

 

Links to ILF: Website

Links to Juiced TV: Website

Review of Hounded by Kevin Hearne

I have been looking at this book for a while now as I love this style of writing. I am glad I grabbed it, 5 out of 5 stars!

Review.

Oberon, just this frisky wolfhound is enough for this book to receive 5 stars from me. He is truly one of the funniest, literal and droll characters I have ever read. Fortunately, that wasn’t the only thing I enjoyed about the book.
How Mr Hearne shows the inner working of an ancient druid, that they aren’t blast-blast magic but more subtle and a heck of a lot more interesting. The way the shadow world is connected to the real one was handled really well. The understanding of mystical lore of trees and also of the fae with a connection to the Tuatha Dé Danann was amazing.
The main character Atticus was just dripping with coolness, he might look 21 but was born over 2000 years ago.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

You can find Mr Hearne books at this link, Hounded Iron Druid #1

The Species Within by Kimberley Clark

I love this book, the characters were fantastic, the lore was terrific (I am a bit of a lore buff) and my all time favourite character is Kuron. Not to go into spoiler territory but at a certain point, I even fist pumped with excitement because Kuron did something. That doesn’t happen often when I read a book.

There are some sexy times in the book, but this never distracted me from the storyline. Even though the premise was straightforward, it showed how talented a storyteller Kimberley is as the story was marvellous and engaging as I read this in one sitting, which only my top 15 authors can do to me.

I would highly recommend this book!

Review for Off Axis by D.D Scarlet

I just finished Off Axis, and still reeling from this complicated story Ms Scarlet created. I gave the first book four stars, but this is a five star all the way. The richness of the world of the modern Vampire is layered, layer upon layer of intrigue and complexity.

In this book, D.D expanded the pov to other main characters. Off-Axis opens the reader up to the mindset of very primal creatures. Mars is still the main character, and his emotional range is impressive.

Ms Scarlet has taken the trope of Vampire and made it feel like it is real in this world. Then she shows you how entirely broken that world is

Becoming a Plot Snob.

The thing about becoming more experienced in writing is that you start to notice things in other books or media. Some authors can spot grammatical errors from a mile away or be very forward in pointing out spelling mistakes. I have been finding, that I am not a Grammar ‘Nazis’ but a Plot Snob.

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Most of my life, I have been a roleplayer, either pen and paper or computer games and I love watching movies and exciting television programs. Lately, I started to see plot holes in the premise of said work, and when beta-reading, I can see a loose thread quite quickly. Which brings me to my next dilemma, how to ignore it.

When I realised that I was becoming this snob of plots, was when someone in my gaming group was pitching ideas for upcoming games. I can understand that it is just the foundation but wow they were all boring, and I could see the direction the ‘story’ would have gone. Of course, I said no, I am not interested, but I like hanging out with my mates.

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My issue is that I start to think, how can I improve this story or can I tell it differently to make it enjoyable. I haven’t found too many writers that I have that opinion, some are not my cup of tea while others are marvellous. Seeing substantial plot holes in a television show, especially police or crime shows. I use to love watching these shows, but now they are just so by the formula.

So at beginning of the show, crime happens, police or investigators question people to the point that they might push their civil rights, but as long as they find the ‘bad’ guy, it is all good. Then some very obvious clue takes them to a bad guy, and then the interrogation happens. After a few threats/questions with no lawyer present, they confess to everything! Boring!

If you keep walking down that well-trodden road, you’ll find that people become bored. I’m not saying I am perfect, but due to this train of thought, I will always try to improve my storylines to make sure they are not formulaic.

Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.

 

Links:

FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.