May 28, 2014

The time I deleted the blog post I spent so much time on

I don't know if this happens to other bloggers, but there are times when I write a blog post, go over it again and again to try to word it just right, and then delete the whole thing before hitting the Publish button because I think it sucks. Is that common? Or is it because I'm a writer and I don't want to publish garbage, even on my blog? (Yeah, I know, some of you are thinking that most of my blog posts are garbage anyway, but that's a topic for a different time.)

I just deleted a blog post because, although it started out as a good idea, I didn't have enough evidence to back up the point I was trying to make. I've deleted other posts because after I started on them, I decided the topics were too boring, too controversial, or I just didn't feel confident enough to talk about them. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Sometimes I think I should be more spontaneous and write about whatever springs to mind, even if it's half baked. After all, isn't that what blogs are supposed to be for in the first place? I'm not writing a book to be published or a news magazine, I'm writing a personal blog. One that almost no one cares about anyway!

So this post is my attempt to do that. If I had my usual filters on, I'd delete this post because, really, who cares about the time I deleted the blog post I spent so much time on?

May 24, 2014

Book review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.

Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

May 17, 2014

Aqua and an interview with M.A. George

Today, I'm happy to introduce Aqua, the latest novel by author M.A. George. (I've read Aqua, and it's good!) She also graciously participated in an interview that you can find below.

Meet Layla McKelland:
Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair),
Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright, let’s be honest…there’s no “slightly” about it),
International Woman of Mystery, and…
Okay, just scratch the bio.

The only real “mystery” in Layla’s life is why her father has never been on the scene. Or why her mother drags Layla to a new coastal home every year.

Nothing about the latest hometown seems too newsworthy…until a routine day at the beach leaves Layla questioning whether she’s read one too many paranormal fantasy novels. The plot thickens when a random guy claims to know things about her father—a bizarre claim he backs up with an equally impossible stunt. And Layla soon finds herself on the wrong side of a mysterious attempted drowning…on her own kitchen floor.

When all is done, Layla will attest that fact is far stranger than fiction. And nothing in real life is ever as transparent as it seems…Not even water.

Especially not water.

You can buy Aqua at:

May 14, 2014

Book review: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

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High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

May 10, 2014

The tenth

I was looking at my author page on Amazon recently (hey, I'm paranoid because I'm afraid one day all of my books will disappear, but that's a topic for another post), and I noticed something interesting. In order of publication date, these are my books and the date they were published on Amazon:

  • Numbers Plus Four - Feb. 11, 2011
  • George and the Galactic Games - Nov. 10, 2011
  • With Five You Get Fortune Cookies - May 10, 2012
  • In the Hands of Children - Aug. 10, 2012
  • Beyond New Eden - Mar. 8, 2013
  • Drive - Aug. 10, 2013
  • Keep Your Enemies Close - Jan. 1, 2014
  • Protect - Mar. 10, 2014

Notice anything?

Five out of eight books have a publication date on the 10th of the month! Two others are within two days of the 10th of the month. Two books were published on August 10th. If not for the apparent premature publication of Beyond New Eden, I'd have two other books published on March 10th.

May 5, 2014

Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

I'm pleased to announce the release of Mary Hades from Sarah Dalton, author of the Blemished series and the bestselling Kindle Single My Daylight Monsters as well as a co-collaborator on Through a Tangled Wood.

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager.

Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite…

Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement.

Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken?

The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single My Daylight Monsters. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure. 

You can purchase Mary Hades at the following retailers:

May 3, 2014

(Audio)Book review: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Listen at LibriVox

War of the Worlds by Herbert George Wells (H.G. Wells) was published in 1898 at a time when he wrote a series of novels related to a number of historical events of the time. The most important of these was the unification and militarization of Germany. The story, written in a semi-documentary style, is told in the first person by an unnamed observer. It tells of the events which happen mostly in London and the county of Surrey, England, when a number of vessels manned by aliens are fired from Mars and land on Earth.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

The War of the Worlds is only the second audiobook I've listened to, the first being Jeffery Deaver's The Bone Collector several years ago. The 1953 film adaptation of The War of the Worlds was the first alien invasion story I'd ever seen, and it helped spawn my interest in the genre.

One frequent comment I've heard about audiobooks is that the reader makes a big difference. That was definitely the case with The War of the Worlds. The book started off well enough, and I liked that the reader had an English accent to match the location where the story took place. Then the Martians landed. Instead of feeling anxiety at the encounter, I felt... bored. The reader's monotonous delivery took away a lot of the suspense from the narrative. The lack of emotional range continued to bother me throughout the book.

In rating this audiobook, I primarily based it on my listening experience, which was just mediocre due to the reader. However, when I tried to imagine reading the book myself, I can see how it'd be better. If you get a chance to read The War of the Worlds, I recommend picking up the book and reading it yourself rather than listening to the LibriVox version that I did.