Saturday, 26 February 2011

My Third Favourite Author...

Normally I don't bother trying to put the author's that I enjoy into lists - it feels bad somehow, as if I am judging them rigidly. So I usually just list them in no particular order. However, there are a few that I do list and this is merely because I will pick them up at any cost to my wallet!

Sir Terry Pratchett is the top of my list. If you know his writing this will need no explanation, if you don't know his work, then I have to ask, where on earth have you been for the last fifteen to twenty years? Google him, pick his books up in the library and get yourself hooked - my personal favourite character is Granny Weatherwax.

Neil Gaimen is second on my list. He hasn't brought out as many books as Sir TP, but he is just as good and his book "Stardust" was made into a hit movie. I love his dark humour.

The third person on this particular list is a relative newbie to the publishing world. He has the dry humour and sharp observational skills of Sir TP and the dark yet thoughtful world view of Neil Gaimen. I have the unvarnished honour of being one of his many friends and (before you think this is just Fangirl talk) I would be his friend even if I didn't like his writing.

His debut novel "Wizards" was published by independent publisher Pfoxmoor in December last year and his second novel "Hellogon" followed shortly from Night Publishing.

He is now bringing out a series of Novellas through Pfoxmoor and Smashwords. Who is this publishing marvel?


Why John Booth of course!

Young healthy men are dying, drowning in the Seine with alarming regularity. The only thing they have in common is that they look like each other. Can so many have given up on life and have chosen to kill themselves? There is the faint whiff of otherness about their deaths and when that happens the authorities of Paris turn to the one man who might solve the crime.

Inspector Monde walks the dark side of Paris where the supernatural can be found. Every police force has an Inspector Monde though they try to deny it. When the blood chills and the hairs on the back of the neck rise they send for him and don't look too closely at what he does. For the Inspector does not particularly believe in the Law but will fight for Justice to his last breath.
Marie: An Inspector Monde Tale of Strange and Terrible Adventures is a macabre tale in the tradition of pulp horror fiction, the chills leavened with John Booth's dry humour.

I love the way the author effortlessly draws you into the story with a few well aimed words and leave you wondering what else the Inspector has dealt with if he shrugs something like this off as normal!

And the icing on the cake for this eBook publication? It is available for FREE from Smashwords! Now that is definitely cool...

To pick up your FREE copy of Marie: An Inspector Monde Tale of Strange and Terrible Adventures by John Booth click on this link:

As it's been a while since I published the reviews on the blog, I'll re-run them for you...

Peter Craig has been trained from childhood as a fifth columnist for the British Empire. He thinks he has been expelled from the Establishment for murder.
The truth will take him to other worlds and lies will be his only hope of salvation.
Can he save two worlds or will he destroy one or both of them?
Is he a hero or a villain?
When I read a Book, it has to grab my attention quickly and hold it. If I have to work too hard to understand what is going on or get lost in too much information, then I will often put it down as quickly as I picked it up. I suppose in that sense, I am very much like the Young Adults this book is targeted at.

Hellogon is a complex story of love, betrayal and power. John Booth has a writing style that immediately brings you into the world you are reading about. With a few well written paragraphs, he hooks you and before you know it, you’ve read more than you intended to.

The story challenges stereotypes and brings up difficult subjects like genocide and sexuality in a way that makes them easy to understand either side of the issue, but as well as making you think, it is also entertaining, perfect for its target market.

Peter’s relationships with the young women around him are handled deftly, with a touch of romance and a wry sense of humour reassuring the reader that the characters are taking the predicaments they find themselves in seriously. What sex scenes there are superbly crafted, in a way that is natural.

Hellogon discusses the uses of power and the basics of politics without making them boring. From a Teaching point of view, this books would make a brilliant book for a discussion group in secondary school, either for English or Personal and Social Education.

John Booth also knows how to craft a cliff hanger. The last chapter of the book had me alternately aghast at what had happened and agog to find out what happens next!

While the book is aimed at the Young Adult Market, the readers need to be mature enough to handle the subjects covered. It is a book that I can see myself giving to my son and daughter when they are older, safe in the knowledge that there is nothing in the story that would harm them at all.

Hellogon is an enthralling read and one that I can thoroughly recommend, not just as a Writer or Editor, but as a Teacher and a Parent.

To read a free sample:

To buy a copy of this marvellous book:

Jake is 18, unemployed, living with his parents. Jake has a secret in his bedroom – a hopscotch court. 
He uses it to visit strange worlds. It helped him find his dragon and missing people, including Jenny, his girlfriend. She doesn’t think Jake is weird. Princess Esmeralda thinks Jake should repay past mistakes. 
Jake is a wizard and his life is about to get interesting.

John’s style of writing is highly entertaining and “Wizards” would make the perfect present for the older teenager in your life. In fact I will go so far as to say that you will probably be fighting over who gets to read it first!

Jake is a kid when he discovers that he can use Hopscotch to jump to different worlds. And that he can use the same power to find people. So, when at eighteen, he is asked to find Jenny, he agrees reluctantly. Within a few months all hell has broken loose and not just because of his unusual pet!

“Wizards” is an entertaining, funny, light-hearted and serious look at growing up into your own powers, be it mind, magic or muscle, something that many teenagers will be able to empathise with.

Available in Kindle and Print from Amazon.
So that's everyone brought up to date on the published works of John Booth - if you would like to know more about him or read more of his wonderful work, visit his website - Scrawls in the Dust.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Something to look forward to and a little something for you to read...

I've written a lot of things. Short stories, long stories, Novellas, Novels, Poetry, even an article or two... some of these (mostly the short stories and poetry) have seen the light of day as print in anthologies or screen words on a website/blog.

And this is wonderful. Of course it is.

That isn't to say that I don't want to go further. Or that I'm not working towards the holy grail of a writer's life - a seven book deal and a huge movie company wanting to make all seven books into a movie... - no, I'm kidding on that, just getting a novel published is about as far as most writers go.


I have a cunning plan... *said in best Baldrick impression* ...I am taking baby steps. The first few were to actually get said short stories etc out into the world. The next couple were to establish a writing identity (hence the Tiger Princess thing) and a blog. Then I deviated a little and started a webzine... only a small diversion and not one that I expect to get much bigger than it is at the moment.

The next step is to get a published presence that is all my own - not through an anthology, but through self publishing.

So here is the sneak peek - I'm going to publish a series of novellas through Smashwords. I'll post more info as and when they are available, but the project is going well so far and with a little help from my friends and family (especially those with E-Readers) I may get somewhere with it.

I have also put the first chapter of the first book of my YA Series "The Secret of Arking Down" up on Night Reading and this is another step - attempting, seriously to get into print through Indie Publishers.

But to do this, I need help - and this is where you get to read.

Go to Night Reading join, take a look around and then read and comment on my chapter - "The Secret of Arking Down, Book One: The Angel's Crown" - it'll help get me noticed and might even get me into next month's poll to be picked to be published!

So, go on. Give me a hand here... you know you want to! *Flutters Eyelashes and smiles coyly*

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Looking back, Looking forward and Being Interviewed...

The past four years have been such a steep learning curve. Not only have I entered a new career - Teaching - I have also learned how to write properly.

Getting short stories published helped me with that; I had to learn how to put the stories together properly, how to edit them and how to handle rejection. Slowly and surely my writing got better and better, to the point where I actually started to consider myself a writer.
Now after four years and my publications in anthologies hitting double figures, I figure that I'm about ready to take another step.

When I started writing seriously, I was thinking in terms of publishing a novel through the traditional route of getting an agent, then the agent getting me published. The thing is, the publishing scene changed so fast recently, what with E-Readers and so forth that I got very confused and backed off a bit.

So after a bit of procrastinating and other useful activity, I find myself ready to try e-publishing. I'm not going to say much right now, I want to do a big reveal when I actually get to the publication date... *grins*


Ahem... enough of that.

Anyway. I've been lucky enough to become a good enough writer that people want to interview me (I have no idea how that happened *rolls eyes*) and was lucky enough to be interviewed by Suzannah Burke last year. Just recently, another of my short stories was published as a part of  the "Words to Music" Anthology (you may recall my post about it) and Noelle Pierce decided to interview each of the writers in the Anthology on her website.

Well today it was my turn... and this is the result...Please Welcome...Kira Morgana!

Have fun!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Book Review - Poison of a Smile

As it is “Women in Horror” Month, I was trying to get a book for the Tuesday review from one of the many female horror writers I know and love. However, the book I ended up selecting is written by a man.


Allow me to clear things up a bit…

I was browsing through the pages of wonderful books at Night Publishing and one cover just jumped out at me… take a look for yourself:

There's something about the girl on the front that draws you in. She looks so innocent, yet there is a hint of mischievousness about that one sided smile.

So I read the blurb…

She will take her pleasure in your destruction .... 
When Gabriel Holland and David Leigh are lured to the haunted town of Carliton in search of their beloved Helena, they find only mystery and malice. And Christian Salazar, connoisseur of torments, master of Alatiel, the creature that Helena has become, awaits their company ....

That sounded interesting. I’m always up to read a bit of horror and this fitted the “Women in Horror” month bill perfectly…

From the first sentence, Steven Jensen paints a world with words. “The Poison of a Smile” is a mysterious chilling tale that sucks the reader in and draws them through the pages.

Set in the 1800’s, amongst the artistic circles of Camden, “The Poison of a Smile” relates the story of Alatiel and her introduction into one such circle of artists as a painters model. One by one, the artists fall under her spell and die. Helena Graham, the sister of one artist also succumbs to Alatiel, but instead of dying, finds herself a part of the creature…

Steven’s writing style reminds me a great deal of Oscar Wilde. His use of language, while formal conveys the terrifying events with a great deal of panache. His descriptions have a cinematic quality which help the reader to understand the story and the cliff hanger certainly ensures your attention!

I did enjoy reading this book, but I can see that some readers would have trouble getting past the style of writing. It is not a book for everybody and certainly not one for under eighteens. Still, it has a well crafted edge and is worth buying for the bookshelf

“The Poison of a Smile” is available in both Print and Digital formats:

Kindle US:


* * * * * *

About the Author:

'The Poison of a Smile' is the stunning first book of local history journalist Steven Jensen's 'Salazar' series.

The second in the series - 'Blood Is Sweeter Than Honey' - will be released shortly through Night Publishing

Please welcome…Suzannah Burke

Please welcome…Suzannah Burke

Suzannah Burke is one of my heroes (I may have said something about it before) and this interview from Noelle Pierce is particularly good.

Focusing on the effect of music on writing and inspired by the "Words to Music" Anthology, Noelle reaches into those crannies and pulls out the soul of Suzannah's story "Cajun Queen" for inspection.



Saturday, 5 February 2011

Moving home base...

No, I am not talking about the Gardening and DIY shop...

...That should confuse the US and Aussie readers....

...I'm actually talking about my webzine, Welcome to Wherever.

As much as I like the interface on, the technical difficulties (problems uploading, being booted out at odd times, unable to upload large files, images, sound files etc) were getting me down. Most of my stress each month was to do with the technical aspects!

So Welcome to Wherever... has moved. I've shifted it to and I've found their interface rather straightforward. The February Edition isn't as pretty as the January edition...

...not because of you, Brian...

...but only because I have just finished uploading the content and setting up the pages. I've done very little tweaking and fidgeting with the widgetting or theme - I spent until 4.30 am this morning attempting to get the content up as fast as possible, so please, forgive me the rough edges.

While I was sorting that out, I checked the stats for last month and was knocked for six with shock - in a good way, I hasten to add!

In the four months that the webzine was on weebly, it had 3290 unique visitors! That's an average of 822.5 per month! In the last month alone (since I registered the webzine with I had 1604 unique visitors!!!
I never thought I would get fifty visitors, let alone that many...

So, if you want to check out the wonderful stories and poems, the stunning artwork of Brian Talgo and the magnificent Mama Masha's Kitchen, not to mention a whole heap of stories that have been entered in the competition, you need to go here - 

 - and rummage through the site. Feel free to leave comments on the content - there's a comment's box on each content page and I'm sure that the writers of each item would be glad to hear from the readers we are trying to entertain!

Also, don't forget to read and vote in the competition - - it's easy enough to do. Each story is linked to the title in the list on the main page. Once you've read all of them, decide which one you liked best and fill out the form on the main competition page. (hint: it's the one the link above takes you to.)

So that's it from me for the moment. I need to go and collapse now - I'll be back on monday with the Monday Muse Mystifier, as usual!