Review of ‘Kings and Queens’ by Terry Tyler

Rosie's Book Review Challengers 1Well this is a new one for me.  This is the first time I’ve posted a review of a book I’ve read on this blog.  Or any blog for that matter. And this book certainly is a good one to have for a first review. Though technically I’ve written loads of reviews of books I’ve read. You can read many of them on Goodreads.

I’m doing this as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Challenge, where a number of authors have donated their books to be sent to readers, who choose one of the books, in exchange for an honest review.

I chose to read Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler.

So here’s the review.  It’s a really good book, so take a look (no rhyme intended lol).

An intriguing twist on a well-known historical saga

This book was a slow burner for me. I felt it took a while to get going, in terms of the action unfolding. But once it did the story pulled me along and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I thought the idea of updating the story of Henry 8th and his six wives to modern day Britain was ingenious. The story begins in the seventies when Harry Lanchester takes over the running of the family business when his father dies. Tyler goes on to tell the tale of Harry and his succession of wives and mistresses in a saga which spans four decades. Tyler depicts the passing decades with accuracy and nothing ever felt anachronistic as I was reading it.

I thought that Tyler did a fantastic job in getting inside the heads of Harry’s love interests. All of the six women were completely different from each other in terms of character and disposition, and that helped to make the story move along quickly. I think the character who stood out for me the most was the updated Anne Boleyn – Annette Hever. I really felt that Tyler almost resurrected Anne Boleyn in the form of this modern character and she felt so real – I could easily understand how she’d taken Harry’s heart and then lost it again.

Harry Lanchester was equally believable and knowing a little bit about Henry 8th, I could easily picture him in my mind. He’s an equally likeable and ‘loathable’ character and I thought that Tyler mirrored Henry 8th’s character with that of the modern Harry perfectly.

You don’t have to know anything about history to enjoy this novel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gripping story with an exciting plot and memorable characters.

Emergence by K. L. Schwengel – Cover Reveal!

coverreveal

I’m pleased to have the privilege of doing a cover reveal from one of my favourite fantasy authors, the lovely K. L. Schwengel.  First of Her Kind, the first book in the Darkness and Light series can be found at Amazon.com and Amazon UK.  Emergence is the second book in the series, and continues the story of Ciara, a young woman who in the first book was gradually learning about the forceful magical powers she possesses and how she could control them…

Emergence ~ Book Two of the Darkness & Light Series

The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of whom wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.

For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.

Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

About the author:

K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed.

She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Kathi’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.

mequinnHow to connect:

Blog: http://myrandommuse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLSchwengelWrites

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathils01/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLSchwengel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6871795.K_L_Schwengel

 

A post-Christmas post

Writing just do it

Hey everyone. I hope this post finds you well and that you all had a fantastic Christmas. I did. It was quiet and uneventful (apart from the usual family-seeing, opening-presents time) but good. It was lovely to catch up with my brother and sister who I don’t see that often.

Well I’m still working away on my current novel-to-be Reunion. I did over 1100 words on it yesterday, so I’m pleased with how it’s going. I hope to publish it some time in 2014.

I haven’t found the process of self-publishing entirely easy, but then I don’t think any self-published author I’ve been in contact with has. My debut novel The Inheritance hasn’t done as well as I would have liked. Like my good friend Jade Reyner I’ve experienced some, shall we say, less than favourable reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

But it’s easy to focus on the negatives. I’ve had plenty of good reviews too and that keeps me going. Also as my husband is quick to remind me, I wasn’t originally going to publish The Inheritance and it’s largely down to him that I did. He felt it was important for me to have a book out there being read by people, to have the experience of self-publishing.

And I have to say I get a real buzz seeing it on Amazon and Goodreads, getting feedback from people who’ve read it, even if that feedback isn’t always positive. Now that I’ve been through the process of self-publishing a novel and learning to market it, I feel stronger as a writer. I’m constantly learning – aren’t we all – and I feel that my writing style is improving.

So I hope that when I come to publish Reunion, which is more of a straightforward romance than The Inheritance, my acquired knowledge of self-publishing will stand me in good stead.

On another note, but related to writing, I’ve given up with Scrivener. A week or so ago I had another play around with it and I couldn’t make sense of it. It just seems so complex and I was going round in circles with it. Luckily I didn’t lose any work as I just copied and pasted from Word into Scrivener. But it was really frustrating for me to not get anywhere with it. What I really need is to sit down with a physical person at my desk who is experienced with using Scrivener and can teach me how to use it.

Till then I’m sticking with Word! Or for the moment at least anyway. It’s a far simpler programme than Scrivener and far easier to navigate my way around! I wonder if there’s a way for the people who developed Scrivener to make it more user friendly?

Anyway I’d love to hear your reflections on your writing experiences of 2013 and if you’ve had more success (or less if that’s possible!) with Scrivener than me.

Until next time… Happy New Year for 2014!

Ups and downs on the self-publishing journey

I’ve been experiencing the different sides to being a self published author since I published my debut novel The Inheritance in September.

It was selling quite well to begin with and I was really encouraged. Then it slowed right down. I wasn’t doing very well in the US until I did my free promotion over 5 days from the end of October to the beginning of November. I had nearly 9500 free downloads during that time, the vast majority of them in the US.

But after that I came back down to earth with a bump. My novel was selling much better in the US than before the free promo, but worse in the UK. My sales in other parts of the world weren’t good either. Eventually my sales dived again and now I find myself selling one or two copies here and there.

Well I guess one or two is much better than none! It is quite disheartening though. I do feel that The Inheritance is a bit tricky to place in a genre, which could be partly why it’s not selling hugely.

And then I had a couple of bad ratings on Goodreads. Although they were unaccompanied by a review, for some reason I felt worse than when I read a review with the same rating on Amazon. But as my writer friend Kate Frost says, bad reviews come with the territory.

Bad reviews can be a little hard to stomach though after you’ve worked so hard on something. Although as my husband said, it’s not necessarily because my writing’s that bad, it’s just that it wasn’t to someone’s taste. As Kate also said you have to take bad reviews with a pinch of salt, just as you might a five star review which raves about a book. You don’t  know if they’re being fair or not.

I guess I’ve just got to keep my chin up and keep trying, promoting The Inheritance when I can and not being too downcast that it’s not selling that well.

How do you deal with disappointments in this self publishing journey?

The Inheritance is FREE from today for 5 days!!

TheInheritance

Well it’s here. As of today my debut novel The Inheritance is free on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for 5 days until Monday.

If you haven’t yet read it, why not download it now while it’s free? And let me know what you think of it. Feedback whether positive or negative is always good!

Check out my Goodreads page too where you can read a short bio of me and connect with other readers/writers. I can also be contacted on Twitter via @ElaineJeremiah.

I hope you all have a good day and for those of you who are preparing to take part in NaNoWriMo – good luck!

The Inheritance will be free soon!

TheInheritance

Hi everyone. This is just a brief blog post to let you know that my debut novel The Inheritance will be FREE on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for 5 days from this Thursday.  (I will post the web address details on the day.)

The dates are: Thursday 31st October to Monday 4th November. If you haven’t yet purchased it, why not get it for free during this period?

And if you have bought The Inheritance and enjoyed it, please spread the word. I’d be really grateful!

Happy writing everyone. :)

End of my blog tour – interview with Kate Frost

TheInheritance

After over a week of interviews and guest posts on my fellow writers’ blogs, I’ve got to the end of my blog tour to promote my debut novel The Inheritance.

And to finish up today I’m back where I started – on my friend Kate Frost’s blog being interviewed by her. Kate is a good friend of mine. We live fairly close together and she’s the first person I’ve followed on Twitter who I’ve met face to face!

Kate has been a real support and help to me over the past year or so on my quest to publish The Inheritance. So take a look at her interview with me. She asks me some great questions which I hope you’ll find interesting. You can even find out which of my characters are like me and which of them I’d like to meet.

I’ve really enjoyed my blog tour, especially answering your questions about how I came to publish The Inheritance.  I’ve also enjoyed the preparation for it, contacting my fellow writers and arranging it all as well as answering the questions for my interviews and writing my guest posts.

If you missed any of my blog tour dates and would like to take a look you can find the details here.  Thanks again to Kate, Joanne, Jade, Briana, Martin and Laurey for helping me with my promotion.  I really appreciate it guys!

If you would like to buy The Inheritance it’s available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com.  I’m also on Goodreads and you can contact me on Twitter via @ElaineJeremiah.