Book Review: Avenger

Book two of the Sanctuary Series

By Robert J Crane

I like this – it is a good book.  I reviewed the first in the series (Defender) earlier this year, and regardless of some critique, I thought it was a good overall read.  This second volume in what is (I gather) quite a long series is a clear step above that first.  Nice work Robert.

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James’s Writing Experience: Interlude 1

It’s time for my monthly blog on my writing experiences.  Hurrah!  Now, at the beginning of the year I set out a loose plan for what I’d write about each month, and this month was going to be all about the fear of being a writer – that question that goes through all writers’ heads:

Am I any good?

Will people like what I write?

What if they don’t?

I’ve read many people who have said that this sense never leaves you, regardless of how successful you are, and for me this is true.  I’m not successful, but it certainly still haunts me.  But at some point you’ve just got to say f*ck it, and get yourself out there.

But it wouldn’t be a blog of I didn’t write about what was on my mind at this very moment, and so I’ve changed my plans.  Instead of talking about fear, I would like to relay something that has recently happened to me which has somewhat changed my perspective.  Here’s what it is. Continue reading Confidence

Let’s do the News: April 2016

Another month, and another head scratching moment as I wonder what I’ve been up to.  Fortunately, this here website happens to be a bit of a log of activity, so even I know what’s been going on!  This is excellent news.

And just as last month, this month I have been mostly writing the novella Mandestroy; a prequel to Fear’s Union.  I’m still on track for a summer (cough!) release, and this month, I spent most of my time doing a first review of my work, and nailing the story arc.  A reviewed first draft, as-well as a log of all my activity, is available here, and I’m very excited about the progress.  I’m learning things about my writing process that I never even knew!

But what else have I been up to?  Here’s what:

  • Watching the 6 nations and ultimately coming up short in my fantasy 6 nations mini league (devastated);
  • A busy social calendar including an Easter weekend wedding;
  • Writing about my first attempts at actually putting pen to paper in the regular writing experience blog;
  • A book review of Dangerous Women – a collection of short stories edited by Gardner Dozois and George RR Martin;
  • A book review of Michael McClung’s excellent fantasy debut, The Thief who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids;
  • A book review of C.C. Hogan’s first book in the Dirt Series, called Dirt;
  • Reading a lot (apparently);
  • And Beagle completed the third part of his blot around the World of Ku.
Now, because it is my main focus, here’s the news on the upcoming novella.

Continue reading Let’s do the News: April 2016

Beagle’s Blot Three | Over Adunas

Confidence.  It’s a wonderful thing.  That is, until it’s blown away by the sour breath of reality.  I am no adventurer.

Buoyed as I was by the false bravado of my manly pursuits in the employ of the inn, the frail and inflated expectations I had of myself came to be well short of requirements.  For all the hammering and sawing; sweat and toil; boldness and bravado; and underneath the shallow veil, I was still a soft son of the city.  The residents of that decrepit old inn may have bought my display easily enough, but the mountains were not such fools.  No indeed – they ate my disguise for breakfast.

Continue reading Beagle’s Blot Three | Over Adunas

Book Review: Dirt

World of Dirt #1 by C.C. Hogan

What a great story.  This is all about the “little man” being thrown unexpectedly into a world entirely outside his sphere of recognition in a quest to save his little sister.  What’s not to like?  And in the process he meets lots of interesting characters, and of course, discovers lots that he didn’t know about himself.  He is unrecognisable, and yet entirely recognisable, by the end of the story.

And it is not only the key character who is intriguing.  HisBook_Cover_Dirt “friend” – though they certainly didn’t start out that way; just ask Weasel’s face – is a very interesting character, full of complexity which you only begin to scratch the surface of.  So that leads you to think about what will happen further down the line, which is effective.  There are lots of other close companions, but I think these are the standout “humanoid” characters, though there is a suggestion that others will show their vivid colours in the future.

Continue reading Book Review: Dirt