books, Uncategorized

Unofficial Detective merchandise!

My publisher surprised me today by announcing that they’ve designed merchandise for Unofficial Detective, the first book in my Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy. I’m rather chuffed with how they look, and just how many options there are (mugs, t-shirts, cushions, posters).

There are two different designs, one featuring the book cover, and one with just the main image:

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If you would like to order one, you can get a 10% discount by using the code NCHAPTER. You can find them here and here.

As always, thanks for your continued support!

Poetry

Inner Art

Choose your canvas carefully,

not too large it might swamp you,

not too small so your vision spills from the sides.

Measure it, carefully, then study its texture.

Find all the bumps, irregularities

and note them down

so you can take extra care. You may

even wish to make them a feature,

and if not, then certainly don’t let them hinder

your self-worth.

Next, you must sketch out your idea,

adding to it once you’ve gotten used to each part.

Once it’s all clear to you,

you can add colour, add certainty.

Gently layer it on.

When the piece is finished, step back

and know that everyone will view it differently,

with no opinion weighing more than another.

Be proud of it, and let it show.

 

Uncategorized

Update on The Origin Stone!

Greetings!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book update, so apologies if you have no clue what The Origin Stone is. For you guys, here’s the low-down: The Origin Stone is my first YA book, and it’s set to be released in late Feb/March 2019 by Nuff Said Publishing.

Here is the premise:

Emily Renzi thinks she’s going crazy. After her parents move to a quiet village, she senses that something is off about the house they’re living in. Dreams of strange creatures invade her sleep, and mysterious shapes appear in the garden. Confiding in her older brother, Ru, they research the house’s background and find that a scientist disappeared there during World War Two. Afterwards, sightings of strange creatures were whispered around the village. Could the creatures in Emily’s dreams and the ones rumoured about be the same? And if so, what do they want from her? As she struggles to piece together the truth from the fiction, she finds out that beasts aren’t always monsters – humans, however, are a different matter.

I’ve been spending the last few weeks combing through the manuscript with my editor, and we’re now in the final stages. Which means…I have ARCs! They are digital only copies, but still, if any book bloggers/vloggers are interested, they can get their hands on The Origin Stone early.

We’re also nearly there with the cover design, which I’m also super happy about. Despite The Origin Stone being my first YA, I wrote the original draft years ago, so it’s been a while in the making. And in a few months, it’ll be out!

Honestly, having my Half-Wizard Thordric trilogy and The Door Between Worlds published was exciting enough, but with The Origin Stone, I’m practically beside myself with glee.

I will be holding a few giveaways for ARCs at some point down the line, so look out for those when I announce them here and here.

As for now, I have to make my way to my day job and pretend I’m calm and collected. *sigh*

Kat out!

Uncategorized

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.