This free short story had three parts. The first is the story of the Little Mermaid. If you can imagine Ariel wanting legs, not for the ability to walThis free short story had three parts. The first is the story of the Little Mermaid. If you can imagine Ariel wanting legs, not for the ability to walk, but because they will come - how can I put this - with female sex organs? That’ll do… Prince Eric is actually the son of the guy who owns half the city (the ‘king’) and he moors his enormous boat out in international waters (so that they don’t break any laws) and mermaid Bianca hangs over the side and watches them. You get the idea. Eric also has other enormous assets. Pinocchio is renamed Picockio and I will give you one guess which part of his anatomy grows when he lies. Snow White… well, the dwarves have been renamed too… there’s Furry, Flashy, Gimpy and yeah - I can’t actually list the dwarves’ names here… trust me. And the Mirror just loves watching women. *** This was a free download from the Sterling & Stone website when you join their mailing list. In fact, they give away the first volume of all their series and believe me, that’s a lot of series. The stories are funny, cleverly written and pretty damn sexy....more
I read a lot about writing, and I listen to a lot of pod-casts from people in the word industry, and I watch a lot of youTube videos from writers… youI read a lot about writing, and I listen to a lot of pod-casts from people in the word industry, and I watch a lot of youTube videos from writers… you get it. I’m trying to improve my craft (or am I just procrastinating? Who knows? Shhh… Don’t say it…) But regardless, this title keeps being mentioned ALL the time. I follow Rachel’s blog and she is one of the rare individuals who not only blogs about her experiences, but who also shares actual figures for sales and profits/costs, and she gives real advice on how to survive out there as a self published author. She embodies the indie ethos of helping out other people. It is not a lengthy effort - 65 pages on kindle and it cost the huge amount of A$1.03. Curse the Aussie dollar. That’s 99c for you US people. She not only tells you how she increased her daily word limit, she also has great information on plotting and editing. If you are thinking, ‘I don’t even write 2k a day - this book isn’t for me’ - think again. She tells you what might be wrong with your method, and how to get past blocks or stalled story lines. And she admits that sometimes you put a lot of time into something and it just won’t work. That’s where plotting it out becomes worthwhile. Believe me, you want to know if the story is going to work before you spend days writing tens of thousands of words or designing a whole world for a story that never gets written. Plot it out and learn early. In the world of plotters versus pantsers (people who just write) there is much debate. I swing back and forth myself and Rachel admits that different works sometimes need different methods. Like all advice, it may not suit you, but I have to say it was really refreshing to read someone who just says what has and hasn’t worked for her. There is so much that she wrote where I was nodding and agreeing with her. Oh, heck, I do that! Although I am still not entirely sure that there is room (to quote her) for someone “to write Murder She Wrote in space with anime-style mecha driven by cats.” But if I ever read it, I’ll know who to blame. I’ll be reading this title again or maybe writing a bullet point summary of my own… and that is not procrastinating… how dare you suggest it is. *grins* ...more
MILF is an erotic serial that introduces us to Natalie, a harassed mom in the upper middle class with two teens and a debt too large to jump over. SheMILF is an erotic serial that introduces us to Natalie, a harassed mom in the upper middle class with two teens and a debt too large to jump over. She takes a lot of cash from an old college friend to be her partner in sex. Olivia needs an extra woman for her escort job that night and she talks Natalie into doing it for old times sake. Then her husband announces that he turned down the promotion that Nat was literally banking on and Nat decides to go all in. It’s about 40 pages or about 10k words and it’s quite sexy but I just didn’t like Natalie/Alexa as a character so I am not sure that I would continue with the series. This was a free download from the Sterling & Stone website when you join their mailing list. In fact, they give away the first volume of all their series and believe me, that’s a lot of series....more
Erotic fiction with comedy and it’s a good mix. I have always thought that the person you can laugh with in bed is the one. This was a free download frErotic fiction with comedy and it’s a good mix. I have always thought that the person you can laugh with in bed is the one. This was a free download from the Sterling & Stone website when you join their mailing list. In fact, they give away the first volume of all their series and believe me, that’s a lot of series. It’s 85 pages, divided into three sections and follows the three staff at the adult video store called Happy Endings; Tiffany, Heather and Seth. They’re young, they’re horny and they work in a sex shop where the customers provide endless amusement. Tiffany struggles with casual sex but Heather and Seth are on for anything, and often with each other. It is very adult, with lots of swearing and offensive words, so if you are easily offended don’t read it. But it was a bit of fun. ...more
This is really a guide for non-fiction authors on how to write the book that Bolt says we all have inside us. The non-fiction market is and probably aThis is really a guide for non-fiction authors on how to write the book that Bolt says we all have inside us. The non-fiction market is and probably always will be HUGE compared to the fiction market. If you want to move volumes (and make money), that is the place to be. This volume is also very ra-ra shake the pompoms you can do it stuff, but that is exactly what it is supposed to be. And read his bio on Goodreads; that is clearly exactly who Chandler Bolt is. Good luck to him. I have teens who are struggling to find their place in the world. It’s a rare person who knows exactly what they want to be, let alone shares it with others. And does it for free. This ebook was a free download from his website. And it does have some good advice for any book writer. self publishing school *** Some days I forget how I even got to half of these websites. I think I heard him talk in a podcast. He keeps preaching that ‘done is better than perfect’. I thought that was a Flylady line, but it is SO true. You can rework a story a thousand times and it will never be perfect. And he does guide you through his writing process, tells you exactly where and how to hire an editor and what to expect from them. And warns you will have to pay for it. Cleverly, the book has lots of links back to his website - which is what good marketing is all about. And he does offer something for your clicks so you don’t feel cheated. It is Kindle based and assumes you will use Amazon but most people do. He gives you a step-by-step guide on how to upload, market, publish, etc. All the strategy. Even which day of the week to publish. I must admit, I never thought about that. He talks you through amazon search keywords - it is helpful to think of Amazon as the second largest search engine in the world - and how the more info you give it, the more your work will show up in those searches. It is a pretty good, easily readable, super condensed guide to writing and publishing.
But what non-fiction books do I have inside me, though?… hmmm? To be honest, my non-fiction books would probably be ‘A guide: How to write fanfiction’ or a funny retelling of my time living in Indonesia as an expat. A year in Provence has nothing on eleven years in Jakarta; let me tell you… friends remind me of funny incidents that I have already forgotten. Should have written it down at the time, eh?...more
The urban fantasy goes to the country. Beset by investigations (after the Lesley incidents in the last book) and perhaps more than a few doubts from oThe urban fantasy goes to the country. Beset by investigations (after the Lesley incidents in the last book) and perhaps more than a few doubts from other officers and with a healthy dose of self doubt, Peter Grant gratefully accepts a trip to the country. The local police in a small village in Herefordshire need The Folly’s assistance. Two young girls have disappeared. No one really thinks it is a magic case, but a retired agent lives nearby and it is worth asking him if he has noticed anything. And Peter needs the break. So it is just Peter, on his own with help from Dominic, a local PC assigned to assist him. Missing children cases are always a magnet for the press, and everything has to be done by the book. Dominic has an extended family to rival Peter’s, a boyfriend with a land-drover and a burgeoning interest in the work Peter does. Peter also has to remain in contact with the equivalent of Internal Affairs. Some days after the girls have gone missing their phones turn up; dead. And not just dead, but magically fried the same way magic always fused out Peter’s phone until he came up with a solution. Now it is a case for the Folly. ****** There is much less of the London crowd for obvious reasons and it is much more of a police procedural. We learn a bit more about Nightingale’s back history, a bit more about Molly, but nothing about Lesley (not really - sigh). To learn that there are in fact retired agents is neat and an option for later stories. There is a lot less color, literally, most of the locals are white. And then Beverley Brook shows up; sent by Nightingale she says and she immediately gets Peter into trouble with the local goddesses who predate the Romans. To get out, she makes a deal with them without checking with Peter that he is on board with this plan. (view spoiler)[She agrees to ‘birth’ a river god, using Peter as the father. I guess the distance they traveled downriver doing the deed will determine the length of his river. She jokes that if the boy watches Doctor Who Peter will have had some influence, but otherwise he’s just a means to an end. I assume this act will have MAJOR consequences for the future. Plus, how does it affect his relationship with all the river gods if he is now a father/ consort/ whatever the heck he is now, rather than just Beverley’s occasional shag? (hide spoiler)] Aaronovitch has moved out of the urban landscape and I think it is a great idea; he has literally expanded worlds and in England where there is so much history, it makes sense to utilize it. I loved the idea of the bee girl, and her bee boys. Logical again. And that she is the granddaughter of the retired agent also makes sense. The agents come into contact with so many different creatures, one or two (like Peter) might be sleeping with the enemy. Fraternizing with the weird? Whatever… *resists urge to write ALL of the Nightingale x Molly fanfiction* The cover is great! Other than being a quick sketch map of the region, everything on it is relevant to the story: a backpack, two mobile phones, a UFO, a dead sheep, a traction engine and small patches of forest. Very clever. And foxgloves are relevant, too. There are a lot of unresolved issues but I assume that they can all wait for the next book. This one was very much like a branch off the main story tree.
Three stories in this volume, same as book1. One of the things that really annoys me is the tag line that oversells the book. My copy has ‘JK Rowling RuThree stories in this volume, same as book1. One of the things that really annoys me is the tag line that oversells the book. My copy has ‘JK Rowling Russian style’ written on it. This book has absolutely nothing to do with Rowling’s world other than there is magic. I don’t care if the Daily telegraph said it or not, but if you set me up to expect something and it isn’t there. You’ve annoyed me as a reader. *** The first story is that of a Dark witch, Alisa who drains herself magically in an operation against the Light. She is sent off to a children’s camp in the Ukraine to recover. To do that she is given permission to recharge her energy by collecting the bad dreams of the children. She is the favorite of her boss Zabulon but instantly falls in love with another camp leader, Igor, who turns out to be a Light mage. The insta-love just didn’t gel for me, and her journey to the camp was pretty ridiculous. It just felt wrong for a woman who is literally powerless (and hasn’t been that way for decades) to behave the way she did. *** In the second part we follow a new character who doesn’t know what he is doing and has large gaps in his memory but feels compelled to go to Moscow. Every time he meets an Other, he suddenly acquires magic upgrades with no explanation. The problem is, that he is so confused it leaves the readers confused as well. And not in a good way. Character are killed very cheaply and with no time to mourn. It feels like a waste of a death. (view spoiler)[And do we need to constantly refer to Tigercub as a whore? And the homophobic parts where Alisa forces men to have sex with each other? What the hell? Don’t even get me started on all the diatribe about how horrible Ukraine is. (hide spoiler)] It is all about the possession of the Talon of Fafnir who died in the Twilight in his dragon form; minus a claw evidently. *** The third story was just… gah… I had to force myself to finish it. It mostly consists of Anton and Edgar getting mindlessly drunk and telling the readers all their random ideas for what will happen at the Inquisition and who is planning what. Pages and pages of telling. (view spoiler)[a messiah? Seriously??? And with all the super magic curses she could have used - ‘I hope nobody loves you’ was like hitting him with a feather. (hide spoiler)] I get that they are all pawns in the endless light versus dark battle but I just felt nothing for any of the characters in this volume. Real pawns can win chess games anyway so that metaphor is wrong and tired. It was used so constantly I was tired of hearing it. But the random other hand or god more powerful above everyone didn’t make sense in this world of magic and other levels of reality. Because one side is ahead in the endless light versus dark fight, or the balance tilts their way, the universes spawns a random person who suddenly becomes an all powerful Other to shift the balance back? What? It means that whatever motivations people have to do good or evil count for nothing. If it is always held at a balance then the entire process is futile.
Set in alternate universe of book lovers, the world reels when Jane Eyre is kidnapped by super bad mean guy Acheron Hades. This is a world where the pSet in alternate universe of book lovers, the world reels when Jane Eyre is kidnapped by super bad mean guy Acheron Hades. This is a world where the police are literatecs investigating crimes against the book world, the Crimea war never ended, Winston Churchill didn’t make it to adulthood and so on. People go door to door to push the theory that Shakespeare did not write his plays rather than preach religions. Vending machines read lines of literary works. Original manuscripts are kept in museums for people to gaze at. A production of Richard III is treated like a showing of The Rocky Horror Show with the whole audience acting it out and reciting all the lines. There are no jets, only air balloons but people do have cars and specifically Porsche. Sometimes it is a little hard to keep up. I suspect that if you haven’t read all of the classics it name drops that you would be fairly lost. Martin Chuzzlewit for example was Dickens least popular novel in this world. No one would notice if a minor character in it was kidnapped. Thursday Next’s clever uncle makes a Prose portal powered by bookworms that can transport a person into a work of fiction. The machine is wanted by everyone including the bad guy and a global corporation. Sadly, they still exist in this literature loving world. As does golf… shame about that. It’s an intriguing idea with lots of potential, but it is so busy trying to be clever that it forgets to be heartfelt. No, that’s not the word I want… I can’t think what it is. I think Fforde forgot the story trying to be punny. Thursday is in love with an old boyfriend, but I just didn’t feel it. Nor did I feel the loss of her brother. And I should if those are her driving conflicts. She has a pet dodo. Someone went nuts with a backyard DNA kit and voila - everyone has pet dodos. Although he seems to be particularly useless and I’m not sure why he exists, unless the only reason is because Fforde says he can. This book is full of tongue in cheek jokes; like her boss is named Braxton Hicks - those are the fake contractions pregnant women get that are designed to move the baby into the right position before birth. Another is called Dr Runcible Spoon (from the Owl and the Pussycat poem), and another character is called Jack Schitt, so that the author can literally say the ‘You know Jack Schitt’ line. (It’s an English phrase meaning you know nothing - just in case people don’t know.) Her brother is an Irreverend rather than a reverend… get it? Gah. It’s full of that kind of thing and unfortunately it comes across as almost smug. The editing made me want to pick up my red pen. (view spoiler)[ Check this part of chapter 12 where she goes to visit her brother. “I opened the gate and entered the well-kept graveyard. … ambled at a slow pace past the rows of well-tended graves. … Anton’s grave was well kept up; obviously weeded regularly. … I looked around at the well-kept building and graveyard.” Eek. Say it one more time; I dare you. She is known as the hero who went back into the battle to collect wounded but then later she says she didn’t do that. Huh? The idea that you can’t say Acheron’s name because he will know where you are is constantly forgotten. The idea that silver hurts him is never explained. What is he? Part werewolf? Why is he unable to be shot? Why doesn’t time stop affect him? What is his motivation? Other than just to be evil… mwahaha. It’s not enough. It flips from first person pov to third in many, many places. And we know Fforde gets first person pov because he specifically uses it in the Eyre parts to hide from Jane. And random vampires appear in one chapter where Thursday went to rescue another agent. They never showed up again and are not explained… why? Maybe they are in later books but they are only here so that Thursday can have silver bullets in her gun when she needs them. How certain people can travel into books, or some characters can get out of them, isn’t really explained either. How can Rochester and Jane be in love in the book when that doesn’t happen until later, and in this original version of Jane Eyre, they don’t even end up together? She marries St John and goes to Africa. How can Rochester know he’s in a book? Let alone send the solicitor into the real world at the exact right time, or run guided tours for Japanese Bronte fans. (It defrays the cost of the estate, don’t you know.) It talks about how Rochester will not exist if the book isn’t fixed, but he does exist when the narrator, Jane, isn’t around. He runs tours for heaven’s sake. And they keep repeating their lives in this completed novel where Jane doesn’t choose him - the housekeeper said - so why would he cease to exist if the book ends? It makes no sense. Thursday’s time traveling father was so deus ex machina it was annoying. He shows up as bullets are heading for her face. Oh, puleez. How does he even do this? And if it is genetic, she ought to be able to do it. And why can’t he show up in the books and rescue her? And don’t call your hero’s brother Anton when your bad guy is Acheron. Too close. Whoops… that turned into a rant. *sorry* (hide spoiler)] It was an easy read, I laughed at a few things and I will probably read book 2 - if only to see if the editing gets better… I did love the faux-used book cover look. *goodness… that’s pretty sad. ‘I did like the cover,’ she says* ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more