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Getting to know: Carrigan Richards!

Hi, Carrigan!

We’ve done the professional interview. Now, let’s get to know the real you!

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Stubborn, funny, goofy

What is your biggest fashion regret?
Cut-off blue jean shorts rolled up

There’s a zombie apocalypse and you can only use the first item to your left to survive. What is it and how long would you live?
My phone. I’d survive for a while. I’m small and can outrun zombies!

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
A dog. Because they are such amazing creatures, and live life to the fullest.

If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?
Hopefully someone cool. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence because she kinda acts like me in real life. Except, I’m no where near as outgoing as she is.

You’re hosting a dinner party and can invite four guests (dead, alive, real, fictional, anything goes). Who would you invite?
Edgar Allan Poe. Tori Amos. Dave Grohl. And my grandparents.

Great choices!
Finally, would you rather always having to speak your mind or never being able to talk again?
Speak my mind.

Great! Thanks, Carrigan!

To see Carrigan’s serious interview and the links to her new book ‘Under an Onyx Sky’, please click here.

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Author interview: Carrigan Richards!

Hi, Carrigan!
Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

Before we start, why don’t you ‘rell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a YA author originally from Birmingham, but now I live in Atlanta. I am engaged, and we have 3 dogs. I love to write and listen to music, as well as gardening.

Brilliant, thanks!
So, what inspired you to start writing?
I think it was growing up and watching my mom write. I always came up with scenes and story lines in my head, but never wrote them down. And then one day, my mom lost her job and I wrote her a poem, and then I couldn’t stop.

That’s very sweet!
Who has been your biggest supporter(s)?
My best friend, my fiance, my family, and of course my readers.

What do you find most difficult about being an author?
Editing.

I can understand that!
Where is your favourite spot to write?
Outside on the patio. That is until the mosquitoes start attacking. I do most of my writing on the chaise.

Why should perspective readers pick up your books?
My books are unique in that they all feature a strong female character with realistic reactions to events.

Brilliant answer!
Can I ask, if you don’t mind, what you’re currently working on?
I am working on my next YA Fantasy series. I can’t give too much away, but I will say it’s about fairies and elves.

Sounds very interesting!
Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers? Thank you so much for supporting me and for being awesome!

Brilliant! Thanks, Carrigan!
You can learn more about the lovely Carrigan Richards by clicking on the following links:
Her website
Her Facebook page
Her Twitter account

Note: Carrigan’s book ‘Under an Onyx Sky’ goes live TODAY! Get it here now:
Amazon UK  (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Great literary father figures for Father’s Day!

I’d like to begin this post by saying Happy Father’s Day to all of those celebrating today!

I’d also like to add that you don’t have to be male, or a biological father, to be a great father figure!

Therefore, I’d like to say a special Happy Father’s Day to the mother’s that are also filling the fatherly role, and the men that may not be biological fathers, but who are definitely great dads!

To mark this day, I’ve decided to make a list of what I think are the top ten greatest literary father figures.

1) Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird.


I’m sure that Atticus Finch is at the top of most lists when discussing great fathers! Atticus teaches his children to stand up for what they believe in and to treat everyone equally.
2) Arthur Weasley and 3) Molly Weasley – Harry Potter series.

Not only is Arthur Weasley a devoted father to his children, he also becomes a father figure for Harry when the Weasley’s practically adopt him! Yes, he’s quirky, but he always puts his children first!
4) Albus Dumbledore – Harry Potter series.

Also a father figure to Harry, there is never any doubt about how much Dumbledore cares!
5) Miss Honey – Matilda

Miss Honey adopts Matilda from her ‘parents’ that really don’t care about her, showing her what a loving family really is like!
6) Wendy Darling – Peter Pan

Wendy, though not actually their mother, ends up acting as a mother to the lost boys and shows them what love is.
7) Morticia and Gomez Addams – The Addams Family

A loving couple who always encourage their children to be whoever they wish to be!

8) Ned Stark – Game of Thrones series

Ned Stark is a devoted father. I can’t say much more due to spoilers but people who have read the books will know!
9 & 10) Carlisle Cullen and  Esme Cullen – The Twilight series

No matter what you think of the books, it’s clear that the Cullen’s are very caring and protective of their children.

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Who else should be on this list? Let me know!

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Review: ‘The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen’ by R.T Lowe

Genre: Urban / Fantasy
Length: 500 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 4 stars.

Synopsis: Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

Review: I have not read a book by this author before, but I am glad that I did. This is definitely a promising start to the series!

To begin with, I found this book a little difficult to get into and a bit confusing. I’m not sure if this is because I don’t usually read this genre, but I found the prologue and it’s relevance a little confusing. However, when I started getting into the main part of the book, the prologue started to make sense and I found myself really enjoying the story. I was also finding it quite difficult to put down! R.T Lowe’s writing style flowed nicely and I found it very engaging.

This book is very fast-paced and interesting, with a great plot and likeable characters. I really enjoyed the way that Lowe wove the past and the present together.

I liked the character of Felix, and found him well-developed, if a little quirky. However, in terms of interest, I felt myself leaning more towards his best friend, Allison, who was loyal, fun and strong. I also loved the character of ‘The Faceman’, who really creeped me out! I’d love to see more of him! Maybe his own spin-off book?

The reason that I have given this book four stars instead of five is the way that the author sometimes included information that felt irrelevant, especially in terms of descriptions. While this wasn’t a big issue for me, it did impact on my enjoyment a little and I often felt that the book could be shortened by removing these unneeded pieces of information. I also felt that some scenes either happened to fast for me to follow properly or jumped around a little too much, meaning that I had to go back and re-read sections.

I felt a little disappointed when the book ended as I was just starting to get proper answers, so the ending felt a little abrupt. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, though! R.T Lowe has written a complex and puzzling story which I’m eager to learn more about! Very highly recommended.

★★★★ – A brilliant start to the series. Complex and puzzling, I found this book impossible to put down. The prologue was confusing to begin with and I sometimes felt that the author included irrelevant information and the story jumped around a lot in parts. Eager to read more! Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (Paperback)

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Review: ‘Grave Intention’ by M.A Comley

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Psychological 
Length: 260 pages (approx.)

This is Book 2 in the Intention Series.

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Private investigator Ellen Brazil is hired to find ex-banker Charles Dugan, who disappeared after his mansion burned to the ground. Ellen quickly discovers that Dugan’s new profession–playing poker full time–has earned him a circle of very dangerous “friends.” Ellen’s investigation is disrupted when her mother is injured, leaving Ellen to wonder why her mother’s abusive husband has gone missing when he should be at the hospital. Ellen finds herself trying to solve two cases at once while smoothing over her own personal issues. When she learns Dugan has plans to flee the country, Ellen knows it’s imperative to find him before the gang he owes money to discover his whereabouts and carry out their grave intentions.

Review: This book isn’t as fast-paced as the first in the series, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. In fact, I would say that I enjoyed this book more. Grave Intention really added depth to the characters and showed what made them the way that they are. We also learn more about the relationship between Ellen’s mother and stepfather, and why Ellen and her step-father have such a bad relationship – though I suspect that there is more to uncover here!

Like the first book in the series, the dialogue, characters and situations in this book are believable. The crime in this book is also based on a true British news story. I really enjoyed the elements of humour injected into the dialogue. Ellen and Brian’s banter was great, a continuation from the first book, and strengthened by the inclusion of a new employee. It was also nice to see more of Ellen’s brother, Jim, and his family.

★★★★★ – Based on a true story, this book has believable and well developed characters, dialogue and situations. The banter is great! Very highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Rant: How NOT to react to negative reviews!

Warning: Ranting ahead.

I know I’ve ranted about this topic before, but it really bothers me (and leaves me screaming like the above picture of Homer Simpson!!)! This is a perfect example of how an author shouldn’t respond to a negative review.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this authors response to a 1 star review that he received on Goodreads.

Now, I can see that the review may not necessarily be considered a ‘good’ bad review (if that makes sense?) as it stated that the reviewer loathed the book because it was ‘wordy and pretentious’ but it doesn’t go into detail. It is also worth noting that the reviewer offered to rewrite said review in a more constructive way, but the author refused, saying that the reviewer shouldn’t bother leaving a review at all if it was a negative review.

If a book receives a negative review, does that mean the author should ask for the review to be taken down? No. A reader should not be attacked for leaving a negative review. Reacting like this is a sure way to prevent readers from touching your work in the future.

Firstly, a review is an opinion and everyone is entitled to an opinion. Not everyone is gong to read the same book and feel exactly the same about it  because people like different things. Secondly, each person is entitled to express that opinion. Goodreads describe themselves as ‘the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations’, meaning that its purpose is to create a platform for people to express their opinions about the books that they have read. Yes, some reviews could be considered better than others, and some people leave only a star rating, but authors need to remember that while readers rely on reviews, they can also tell the difference between the reviews that are fake, praising a book that they probably haven’t read, and the reviews that are genuine and honest.

Receiving a 1 star review must hurt. I can understand that. To create something, pour your heart into it, edit it meticulously and then release it into the world, only to have someone tell you that it’s awful and they hate it must make an author feel miserable. However, this is not the way to react to a negative review. Contacting a reviewer who has left a negative review for more information about the things that they didn’t like and areas that they thought could be improved is fine if it is done in a respectful manner. I’ve exchanged many an email with authors who thanked me for my review and asked for clarification and I’ve enjoyed the discussions. Constructive and respectful feedback is helpful to both readers and the author.

I’d like to end this rant by saying that this is a rare case and almost every author that I have had contact with has handled themselves in a respectful manner, regardless of the rating that I gave their books.

This author is unfairly adding more fuel to the fire surrounding Indie authors. As you’ve probably noticed, I read a lot of Independently published books and I’ve also done interviews with Indie authors. Out of all of the reviews, interviews and interactions with Indie authors that I’ve done since starting my blog just over a year ago, I can think of two authors that I have had a negative experience with. To put that into perspective, I believe I have done 69 reviews at this moment, and 2 of those received a negative comments. Not all of those reviews were glowing, so there have been a lot of authors that have not necessarily received the review or rating that they wanted, but who have acted in a respectful manner.

As I’ve said before, this is a rare case. Most authors do not react like this, whether they are independently published or not. Let this serve as a lesson in how not to react to negative reviews, but please, don’t paint all Indie authors with the same brush after reading this authors response.