Skip to content

Month: June 2016

Review: Infernal Ties by Holly Evans

ReviewsInfernal Ties

by Holly Evans

“The Hawke twins are hunters. They keep the supernal community of Prague in line, and they’re good at it. The witches whisper their names when something goes bump in the night, and the lycans tell stories of them to make their cubs behave. When Quin doesn’t come home after what should have been a quick rogue-disposal, Evie begins to worry.

Evelyn Hawke is a force to be reckoned with. Nothing and no one will stop her from getting her twin back. She’ll do whatever it takes, even dive into the supernal world and work with those she despises to find Quin and dig him out of the very large hole he’s got himself into.

Little does she know the far-reaching consequences of her actions.”

WWW 29062016.2What I thought:

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this novella. I’ve been looking forward for this series to kick off, and was not disappointed!

I love kick-ass female leads (I mean, who doesn’t?), and Evie is definitely one of them! She’s very unapologetic and willing to do what must be done to reach her goal, even if that something includes stepping over corpses and cutting fingers off dead people. I knew I’d enjoy it when this happened: “Rogue or not, they were likely to watch out for him. Once pack, always pack, until death do them part or some shit.” You had me at shit, Evans! But enough with the teasers 😀

Infernal Ties takes place in a Prague where supernatural beings exists everywhere, without most people ever realising it. Evie and her brother, Quin, are hunters – trained to hunt down supernatural creatures and kill them. They are both rather good at what they do, so when Quin goes missing Evie doesn’t waste time in trying to find him.

Even though Quin is missing and we don’t get to meet him directly, I still felt like I knew him enough from Evie’s stories about him. Evie and Quin are twins with some major differences – the biggest one being that Evie hates the supernatural community and doesn’t try to hide it, whereas Quin is fascinated by it and tries to learn what he can and has an open mind. Evie sees enemies in every elf, vampire, werewolf and witch while Quin is trying to learn from them. I’d love to see Evie develop a more open mindset, but something huge would need to happen to change her mind I think.

The supernatural’s incorporation into our world is seemless and interesting – the idea that elves, vampires and werewolves (and everything in between) are everywhere and we just don’t realise it definitely had my attention! And that there’s a powerful witch with my name, if in pronounciation only, certainly earned cookie points, too ^^

One refreshing thing is that there’s no love aspect to this novella. At one point I thought that Evie might develop something with the elven alchemist (yes, despite her hating all supernaturals) but it seems like he might be more interested in her brother, which I’m so very okay with <3 I’ll keep my hopes up for the sequel. Pretty please?

Since this is a short novella it was a very fast read for me, and I finished it in no time. That there are fast-paced action scenes everywhere helped that along as well.

Infernal Ties is an exciting novella which sets up the storyline well and promises a great series!

Infernal Ties is out tomorrow 1st July, so add it to your tbr lists now!

————————————-

Are you excited for this series, or have I made you curious? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

11 Comments

WWW Wednesday 29th June 2016

WWW 29062016

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

WWW 29062016.2

Infernal Ties

Lucky me received an ARC of Holly Evans’ newest novella, Infernal Ties! I’ve been looking forward to reading it for a while, so when this arrived in my inbox it changed my reading plans a little. It’s a very fast read so I’m nearly done with it already despite only just having started it.

It’s an exciting prequel to the series which will begin later this year. My full review will follow next week Thursday 🙂

Blurb:

The Hawke twins are hunters. They keep the supernal community of Prague in line, and they’re good at it. The witches whisper their names when something goes bump in the night, and the lycans tell stories of them to make their cubs behave. When Quin doesn’t come home after what should have been a quick rogue-disposal, Evie begins to worry.

Evelyn Hawke is a force to be reckoned with. Nothing and no one will stop her from getting her twin back. She’ll do whatever it takes, even dive into the supernal world and work with those she despises to find Quin and dig him out of the very large hole he’s got himself into.

Little does she know the far-reaching consequences of her actions.

***

What I recently finished reading

WWW040516.2

Six of Crows

Six of Crows was one of my first tbr-list additions on Goodreads nearly a year ago, so I figured it’s about time I read this! I was worried it got over-hyped for me because when I first came across it people were shouting it from the rooftops, but fortunately that wasn’t the case. It was a fantastic read with incredible world building and amazing characters (Why am I even telling you this? You already know this! If you’re as late to it as I was, read it NOW!), and has left me excited for Book 2. My review shall follow tomorrow 🙂

Blurb:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

***

What I think I’ll read next

WWW040516.4The 5th Wave

No change here! Since my ARC of Infernal Ties arrived I’ve had to push this back a little, but I’ll read it next time – I’m fairly sure that I’m not waiting for any other free books at the moment… And since I’m very nearly done with Infernal Ties now, I’ll likely start this tomorrow if not today today 🙂

Blurb:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

 ***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

24 Comments

Professional Edit Types Explained by Briana Morgan

Briana Mae Morgan Banner

I’m very excited about today’s guest post, because it answers a question many new writers face: Why are there so many different editing options, and which one do I need? What do I pay for?

When I first looked into getting an editor for Rise of the Sparrows, I had no idea what the difference between a line editor and a copy editor was, and several other writers I asked were just as confused. Briana Mae Morgan is my editor, and she’s offered to clear things up! We hope that this post will answer your questions, but if there’s anything else you’d like to know ask away! 🙂

Thank you so much for popping in, Briana. So, what are the different kinds of editing services writers can get?

What Are the Three Different Levels of Edits?

Editors are important. Writers of every category, genre, or skill level can benefit from using an editor. If you choose a traditional publishing path, you won’t need to worry about booking an editor, as that will be taken care of for you. However, if you’re self-publishing, you should try to find a freelance editor.

At some point, you’ll also need to decide which type of editing to pay for. Confused? So are a lot of my clients. That’s okay! Here’s a quick breakdown of the three most common types of editing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Developmental

In a developmental edit, an editor looks to fix big-picture issues, such as story structure, plot, pacing, dialogue, characters, and more. During a developmental edit, an editor isn’t concerned with things like sentence variation, flow, or spelling and grammar. Instead, the focus is on how the piece works as a whole.  Does the plot make sense? Are the characters fully formed and relatable? Does the dialogue sound realistic?

I can’t speak for other editors, but for me, if a client pays for a developmental edit, I also include a line edit and a copy edit as part of the deal.

Line

Line editing is a little more in-depth than developmental editing. At this stage, and editor combs through the manuscript with a careful eye, paying special attention to any parts that read strangely or are hard to understand. In a line edit, the focus is on issues at a sentence and paragraph level. Are there many clichés? What’s the best word choice? How many sentences or paragraphs start the same way? How can that be changed?

Like a developmental edit, when I do a line edit, I also include a complimentary copy edit/proofread.

Copy/Proofread

The copy edit or proofread is what most people think of when they hear the word editing. At this stage, an editor picks through every last word of the piece, double-checking the spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This type of edit is typically performed on a piece that has been edited at least once and is (more or less) ready for publication.

No matter what type of writing you do or what stage of the publication process you’re in, it’s likely that at some point, you’re going to need an editor. Whether you choose a developmental edit, a line edit, or a proofread, it’s important to know the benefits and the limitations of each. The next time you go to book an editor, hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of everything that is involved.

Thanks for hosting me, Sarina!

Thank you for taking the time to explain everything! ^-^ If you’d like to get in touch with Briana, you can do so via her twitter or via her website.

Has this answered your questions? Is there anything else you’d like to know about what an editor can do for you? Grab a cookie and don’t be shy – we’ll do our best to answer 🙂

—————————

For all other guest posts, take a look here.

For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

5 Comments

642 – The One Who Got Away

Monday Inspiration

Happy Monday, everyone!

Don’t you just love it when you work on a prompt you didn’t have much hope for, and suddenly it becomes more? This prompt was like that, and about half-way through the words flowed much easier – I even have ideas for a continuation or two! 🙂

That’s hypothetical at the moment, though, so forget I said anything ^-^

If the prompt speaks to you, feel free to use it – if you do, please link back here so I can be nosy ^-^

***

Write a love letter to the one who got away

“Hey Dean

I don’t know if you remember me – your life has been so busy. You’re everywhere. The news on TV, the paper, even my Mum can’t stop talking about you. Anyway, it’s me, Shauna. We went out briefly in college, only for about two months. I know I said I was okay when you broke up with me and moved across the world, but I lied. I love you. I’ll always love you.”

Frustrated I draw long, angry lines across the words. Hot tears burn in my eyes and blur my vision. What’s the point? He just got engaged to some super hot, super skinny chick from the South.

There’s no way he remembers me.

————–

For all other writing prompts, check here.

For CookieBreak’s homepage, click me.

All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

2 Comments

Progress Update – No Progress

A Book's Progress 3

This is going to have to be quick! And let me say right away that there’s no excerpt this week, either.

MeanGirls1

It’s been one of those rare weeks where I’ve had all these grown-up responsibilities which took me away from my desk. You know the ones.

responsible grown up
It’s rare but, you know, I can totally be responsible when I have to be *ahem*

So the only things I can really report are these:

No words got written this week, I’m looking at using Pinterest more to promote my book alongside my research, and I’ve made this amazing cork board out of paper:

FakeCorkboard

Things were getting a little confusing in my notebook because I had bits and pieces of information and random ideas scattered throughout, but no easy way of seeing everything at once. It’s looking a little bare right now but the first index cards have been placed, and there’s some heavy highlighting and colour-coding going on 😉 I’d share a better picture but that might spoil the plot ^-^

Next week I’ll have a lot of catching up to do! I’d like to be halfway through the draft by the end of July, which might be a little tight but I do work well to deadlines!

 

A wonderful weekend to you all! 🙂

Sarina

——————-

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

The gifs came from Giphy

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

7 Comments

Happy Birthday, CookieBreak!

One year ago today, I published the first ever post on Cookie Break – which makes today my little blog’s first birthday!

blog birthday 2 blog birthday1

It’s been an amazing year, and it feels like everything has happened. I’m putting together a post on the things I’ve learned about writing in the previous year, which will be published in a couple of weeks 🙂

Thank you to everyone who’s made my first year here, trying to be a writer, amazing <3 You all know who you are, so go ahead – pat yourselves on the back! Get yourselves a cookie! <3 I never thought I’d make such amazing writing and blogging friends, but here we are ^^

Thank you for all your support and generally being here, whether you comment regularly or lurk secretely in a corner <3

Love,

Sarina

25 Comments

Productive Procrastination with Pinterest

Pinterest is my favourite form of procrastination. Not only can it be inspiring, but it allows me to do some visual research, too! And any form of procrastination that makes me want to work isn’t really procrastination… right? Today I thought I’d share some of the pins I’ve saved with you 🙂 I’ve got a different board for each book I’m writing, and you’re very welcome to check them out here.

Since I only want to tease you without spoiling anything I’ll tell you which board the pins are from, but not how they relate exactly – feel free to interpret them however you wish 😉 Happy procrastinating! ^-^

Relics of Ar’Zac Book 2

Pinterest Research Book 2.1

ÀGORA

Pinterest Research Book 2.4 Pinterest Research Book 2.3

Immortals (temp. title)

Pinterest Research Immortals.1 Pinterest Research Immortals.2 Pinterest Research Immortals.3 Pinterest Research Immortals.4

???

Pinterest Research Gods and Demons.1 Pinterest Research Gods and Demons.2 Pinterest Research Gods and Demons.4 Pinterest Research Gods and Demons3

Do you use Pinterest for your research? Share your account below, so I can be nosy and stalk you! 🙂

——————————–

All images are from Pinterest.

For all of my other musings, click me!

For Cookie Break’s home page, have a look here.

16 Comments

Progress Update – Plot all the Things!

A Book's Progress 3

It’s been a wonderful week of plotting, everyone! I felt like I didn’t know enough about where the sequel was going or who was going to do what, so I took some time this week to plot some more. And then, since I had so much fun, I started plotting my various other projects as well 🙂

PlotAllTheThings

I’m nowhere near finished, but there’s progress and I’ve really enjoyed exploring all the different possibilities. There’ll be a lot more plotting next week as well but until then, let’s move on to more important things.

Like the word count, and the excerpt 😉 (But know that I’ve come up with some rather cruel plot twists and scenes.)

Since I failed miserably to reach my last two word count goals, I set my aspirations a little lower this week, and ended up writing more than the previous two weeks. What have we learned? Aim low 😛

This week I wrote 3,900 words on Relics of Ar’Zac Book 2, which brings the total to…

word count 17062016

WOOT WOOT! 😀

I’ve got a bit of research ahead of me as well as the plotting, so the next few weeks promise to be interesting ^^

Next week I won’t get as much writing done because I’ve got two grown-up things scheduled. The research might have to wait another week so that I can write instead.

Oh, and Eye of the Seers is a temporary title only, so don’t get used to it 🙂

Now, to the excerpt! You know when you write a new chapter, and you think halfway through that it’ll need a lot of editing? That’s what most of my writing has been like, so when I tell you that I didn’t hate this short excerpt while I was still writing it, it should tell you how special it is. It will still get rewritten, but I don’t feel the same amount of dread thinking about it 😛

Here ya go ^^ Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! 🙂

“Do you recognise this?” Rachael asked, choosing her words carefully.

Kaida nodded. “I do. I have spent many years studying history, and have spent a large part of my studies on the old magics. I know this banner from paintings and drawings only, but to see it for myself… This banner—this whole temple—was around before the war that buried the old magic in time. All this was here when magic was an accepted part of the Northern Reaches. So many secrets have been lost, but this simple banner prevails. Doesn’t that astound you?”

Rachael swallowed. She hadn’t given it any thought, but Kaida was right. She had seen it for herself in her vision. The country Rifarne used to be. The magic that used to flow through its people.

She had wanted to be accepted within society, and more recently she had tried to understand her gift which—according to everyone she had talked to—only she possessed. This temple and its colours were a living memory to everything the war had destroyed. In a way, she was the same. Her gift was a remnant of the old days also.

——————-

All content belongs to the author, Sarina Langer.

For all previous updates on my books’ progress, click me!

For Cookie Break’s front page, take a look here.

10 Comments

Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley Lee

Reviews

“In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.”

Book Review: The Making of Gabriel Davenport by Beverley LeeWhat I thought:

The Making of Gabriel Davenport was not what I expected – in all the right ways!

The opening line alone was beautiful, and drew me in right away. It also got dark very quickly, and set the tone for the rest of the book. I wasn’t even five (short) chapters into the story before I was fearing for Beth’s life, and I still feel for everything that’s gone so terribly wrong for her. While she wasn’t one of the most active characters throughout the book she’s one of my favourites, which says a lot I think.

I love The Manor. It’s the perfect sanctuary (demons notwithstanding) and gawd, the things I’d do to search that vault and that library! They both sound like someone’s perfect happy place! It might be time to start a list of fictional places I’d love to visit, and put this one at the top… Not that Carver would let me.

The one thing I really didn’t expect was the supernatural twist. I knew there’d be a demon and something evil from the blurb, but I didn’t expect someone who could see the dead, or fudging vampires. Not the fake, sparkly kind. The dark, dangerous kind. I thought I knew who my favourites were until Clove walked in.

The characters are real and convincing, and I felt protective of Beth early on. Olivia is my favourite character. She’s a girl with a fascinating ability, who’s unapologetic, and who gets shit done!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought it, but it wasn’t this and I can’t wait for the sequel. The Making of Gabriel Davenport ended in such a brilliant way, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Buy it on Amazon | Add it on Goodreads


Have you read The Making of Gabriel Davenport? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

Please note: All reviews contain affiliate links. I do not review books on this blog that I didn’t enjoy or believe in–all reviews are recommendations.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

Want to know what else you can find on this blog? Take a look here.

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on my books and recommendations to help you grow as a writer:

7 Comments

WWW Wednesday 15th June 2016

WWW 15062016

This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

WWW WednesdayThis meme will be categorised together with my book reviews. All links will get you to the book’s Goodreads listing, as always 🙂

***

What I’m currently reading

Six of Crows

WWW040516.2

I couldn’t resist any longer!! 😀 After all these good reviews I’ve seen I had to read this next, and while I’m only about a third through I’m really enjoying it. It’s very fast paced, which is why I felt a little lost at the beginning. There is a lot going on and a lot of people are introduced in the same chapter, but by now I’m used to who everyone is. I think.

I probably won’t finish it and get the review written in time for next week Thursday, but I should have it up the week after that 🙂

Blurb:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

***

What I recently finished reading

TheMakingofGabrielDavenport

The Making of Gabriel Davenport

The Making of Gabriel Davenport is Lee’s debut novel, and wasn’t at all what I had expected – in all the right ways! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew that I had to read this and I was not disappointed. The opening line was beautiful, and the tone for the book was set rather quickly. Overall it was a dark and fascinating read. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my review here, so keep an eye out for that 😉

Blurb:

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to the English hillside town of Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic, rural childhood. But in a single evening, the Davenports’ dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness– and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel Davenport, now a capable, curious young man, makes the ill-fated decision to go looking for answers about his mysterious past. As soon as he begins his quest, his life becomes a place of shadows. The people he loves and trusts are acting abnormally. The strange woman who lives upstairs is even more haunted than usual. Even his most trusted friend seems to be hiding something.

As one fateful night deepens, and the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago. He is faced with a choice: continue living the life that was never his to begin with, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality more sinister than anything he’s ever known.

The darkness is watching.

***

What I think I’ll read next

WWW040516.4

The 5th Wave

This has been waiting on my bookshelf for far too long! I already nearly picked it over Six of Crows, so I’m positive that I’ll read this one next. I’ve heard a lot of great things about it, and the blurb is amazing so I’m really looking forward to it. Right now I’m not sure if it’s a sci-fi novel or just another zombie apocalypse thing, but either way I’ll be speeding through Six of Crows to get to this.

Blurb:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

 ***

Have you read any of these and would like to chat about it? I look forward to hearing from you if you do – just leave a comment below and we can get this book club started!

32 Comments

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive exclusive freebies, access to newsletter-only giveaways, and sneak peeks!

(Oh, and my unconditional gratitude.)