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Some bookish updates!

After finishing my latest draft a few weeks ago, I’m taking a mini-break from writing fiction to catch up on my TBR pile and generally chill out, as I’ve had a lot of stuff going on lately.

Some of the more exciting things that have happened are:

Unofficial Detective, book one in my Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy, having now been released as an audiobook (link here).

Unofficial-Detective-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

A Book For Pandora, my full length poetry collection, also now available as an audiobook (which surprised me when my publisher suggested it, but I now think is a great idea, especially for those who find it hard to read poetry — sometimes a different medium makes all the difference — and you can find it here.)

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The cover for my YA speculative fiction, The Origin Stone, being entered into All Author’s cover competition (you can vote for it here – thank you kindly!)

Poetry uploads will continue as normal, and there may even be a book review or two coming up too.

As always, thank you for reading my humble blog.

Kate out!

Poetry

Picture perfect

A lot of ground can be covered in a moment,

ink staining the cells with vibrant pigment;

imprints of days that will never fade

and smiles that will always bring joy to my heart.

You’ve watched me unfold and wash away

the paint that has sunk deep into my pores.

I’m stepping up into who I am,

not hiding away any longer.

There are parts that are blunt, insensitive and uninvolved.

There are parts that are curious, creative and full of love.

Intrigue, sass, laughter, empathy.

Or a void.

You take it all, see it all,

hold it all

because you’re holding me.

At the same time, I’m holding you,

so no matter how we step across the board,

we’re perfectly balanced,

perfectly in place to checkmate

everything that the future might throw at us.

Together. In time.

A dance we take until

the day we vanish.

Until the day we give our final kiss,

if anything about us

and the love that grips us

can even be final.

 

Poetry

Wallpaper

We can wrap our bodies in as much decorative paper

as we like,

but still it will rip and tear

the more we leave it up for display.

Prodded, examined and manhandled

until it is mere tissue paper,

hanging limply from the weathered remains

of our original form,

so covered in dust and mildew

that we no longer know

who we were before we prettied

ourselves

to other people’s tastes.

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Cover reveal! Unseasoned Adventurer: Half-Wizard Thordric Book Three

Hello everyone, if you’ve been following me on social media, then you may have already seen the cover for the third and final book in my Half-Wizard Thordric series, if not, then here it is! (complete with blurb/back cover copy):

Unseasoned-Adventurer-Main-File

After six years in the Wizard Council, Thordric’s confidence in his magic has grown tremendously. But when High Wizard Vey, Thordric’s superior and closest friend, goes missing, he faces his greatest challenge yet.

Between finding a way to save him and trying to keep things calm at the Council, Thordric finds himself venturing to the four countries surrounding Dinia to seek out other forms of magic.

But his quest is far from easy… and dangers he never even dreamed about soon spring onto his path.

 

The book is currently available for pre-order, and will be published in a few weeks.

Happy reading!

(And now I have three matching covers, I can finally put them all together!)

Unofficial-Detective-Main-FileAccidental-Archaeologist-Main-FileUnseasoned-Adventurer-Main-File

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More Rainbow Bookshelf Videos!

Hello lovely people, as the title of this post suggests, I’ve made more videos where I go through my shelves and find books with specific colours from the rainbow. I was only going to link one video here, but then I remembered that I forgot to link the video I did last week, so here they both are:

For my orange/yellow selected books, click here

And for the latest one, all about green books in my collection, click here

Enjoy!

…though I do tend to ramble…

Reviews

Review: Moroda by L. L. McNeil

Moroda is the story of a girl who escapes from her home city as it is burnt by Dragon fire, and tries to find her place in a world now threatened by war. With her sister, a foul-mouthed sky pirate, two weapon smiths with the ability to transform into animals, an ex-solider from the city, a man with the power to fly and control storms, and a man whose race is known for being deadly killers, she travels across the world of Linaria in search of the answers she so desperately seeks.

I first heard about Moroda via Twitter, as one of the people I follow retweeted a post by the author which showcased the cover. It caught my eye immediately, and led me to read the synopsis, which I found very captivating. I think the reason for that is it hinted at the idea of the plot itself revolving more around Moroda’s own personal journey of self-discovery than the typical fantasy quest of saving the world with an object/magic/intense training. It does have this basic element within it, because of the threat the dragons (and certain others) pose to all of Linaria, but McNeil has cleverly twisted it so that you don’t really notice such a trope is being used.

What’s captivating about Moroda’s character is that she is forced to recognise her own short-comings by spending time with characters with vastly different backgrounds and ideals to her – she and her sister grew up in relative luxury compared to most, but when their father suddenly died, all financial stability they had went out the window. So as she watches her companions, she starts to realise that she has very little experience in most areas of life and is eager to improve on that.

The other characters in Moroda were equally interesting. The sky pirate, Amarah, who is strongly independent and not afraid to speak her mind, is so well-written that I had a solid sense of who she was from the off. Palom and Anahrik, who have the ability to transform into animals, played well off of each other, highlighting that even though they have a strong friendship, they are very different people – Anahrik is hot-headed and quick to take up a challenge, whilst Palom is more rational and patient (until a certain point in the story, where Palom actually takes on some of Anahrik’s personality traits, for reasons I can’t state because of spoilers). Morgen, the soldier – in fact, I believe he is a captain – is a bit harder to get to know because his arc is somewhat slower that the others, more on par with Moroda’s, where he doesn’t really know what to do or where he belongs after the city is burnt. But I slowly picked up who he is: a good man initially quick to follow orders, then after he becomes aware that those orders may not be for the best, just a man trying to do his best to help prevent the oncoming war and protect those he loves.

Then we have Kohl and Sapora, both from races which Moroda knows relatively little about. Kohl calls himself a dragon hunter, and initially warns Moroda and her sister about the dragon heading to their city. He is an outcast from his race, and we don’t really find out why until a good way through, though the whole time it was unclear whether he was trustworthy or not – I wanted to, but felt like I should be wary. Though he can’t transform into an animal like Palom or Anahrik, he has wings on his back which allow him to take to the skies. His race all have the power to harness thunder and electricity, though his powers go a step further as he can freeze things. But it does seem very much like a power he doesn’t want.

Sapora is my favourite character, mainly because all the reader knows about him initially is that his race is associated with violence, and even though Moroda wants to look past that, his very presence put her on edge. The arguments he and Amarah have reveal a lot about both characters, and show off his sharp tongue.

Eryn, Moroda’s younger sister, is introduced very strongly, but as the story went on, I felt as though her individuality was lost. She follows Moroda because of how close they are – they have no other family, so they’ve had to depend on each other since losing their father. While Moroda can be a bit rash and impulsive, Eryn tends to hold her back to get her to consider things first before she takes action. I enjoyed the fact that even though Moroda is older, Eryn is the one who is most mature. However, some of her reactions and traits were ‘told’ rather than ‘shown’, and I think that’s why she paled as bit as a character for me.

With such a cast of characters, the plot is very driven by them, which is rather refreshing to see in fantasy. If I hadn’t enjoyed the characters, and had they not been so well written, then I would have said this was just an okay book. As it is, I think Moroda is quite the riveting read, and actually got me out of a reading slump I’d been in for a while. Yes, there is a lot of world building, and some of the lands and customs are only lightly touched upon, but I have to consider that this is the first book in a series, so many of the questions I have about Linaria will probably be answered in the sequels.

I consider myself quite an avid fantasy reader, and personally,  I would rate Moroda well up there with some of my favourite reads by authors published by big publishing houses. I really highly recommend it – even though I finished it a few days ago now, the story is still with me.

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Cover reveal! Unofficial Detective, book one in the Half-Wizard Thordric series!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am squealing with joy to FINALLY reveal the cover of my debut middle-grade fantasy novel, UNOFFICIAL DETECTIVE. Please take a look at the wonderful design my publisher, Creativia, has come up with (plus my unofficial blurb, just to give you an idea of what the book is about!):

Unofficial-Detective-Main-File.jpg

Thordric has been told his whole life that his magic – that of a simple half-wizard – is dangerous and he must never use it. All over Dinia, half-wizards are treated the same, their magic labelled as dangerous and uncontrollable. But deep down Thordric knows that’s not true.

​When Inspector Jimmson reluctantly calls upon him to help out with the investigation into High Wizard Kalljard’s murder, Thordric realises that the old wizard’s life was taken by magic. However, in order to prove his theory, Thordric has to learn how to control his own powers to find the evidence needed.

Will he succeed, or will the perpetrator forever remain a mystery?

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Expectations of the Homo Sapien has a new cover!

Recently, I was introduced to Canva.com by the Facebook page Books Go Social, and discovered that I could make my own ebook covers either for free, if I didn’t use any images, or at a small fee ($10) if I used an image and wanted it for multiple uses. So, after much deliberation (well, not too much, because I knew it needed to be done) I made a new cover for my novelette, Expectations of the Homo Sapien, a story about a young professor attempting to teach the working classes evolution in Victorian England – a task which doesn’t go too well.

I knew my old cover didn’t really give any hints about what genre the story was in, and though I liked it for its simplicity, it didn’t have any intrigue to it at all:512ckcMx6aL

So I decided to make one with an image and font that gave a sense of the time period. Here’s what I ended up with:

A Novelette

The setting of the image is similar to one detailed in the story, and I like how the model appears to be waiting, or indeed, expecting, something, which I thought worked well with my title. I also love how dark the room is, because even though the story isn’t really dark, it does have its moments.

Anyway, I’m quite pleased with the results and find the new cover much more appealing. The Kindle version is live on Amazon now (though for some reason, when posting links on Facebook, the old cover still shows up in the page preview), and the paperback version should be live in a few days.

Poetry

A book for Pandora

At the very bottom of the box, under all the aluminium ring-pulls, squashed bottle caps, tarnished costume jewellery, bent paperclips, and neat bags of lavender long lost of their scent, is a single book with one word stamped across its cover in gold lettering. The word looks familiar, but you can’t recall what it means. You spell it out: H-O-P-E. The meaning refuses to stir in your mind, so you pick it up, turning it over in your hands and caressing the cover. A button catch clasps the book shut. Even when you press it, it refuses to open. Dismayed, and by now a little bored, you put the book back. Under the lavender bags, under the paperclips, under the jewellery, under the bottle caps and under the ring-pulls. Now the book is completely obscured, you close the lid of the box and turn away, intending to walk off and forget about it. But even though the book is hidden, buried under so much, you cannot let go of it. You know it’s there, and it always will be there, waiting for you to pick it up again.