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Month: February 2017

World Building in Fantasy Fiction – How to Name Countries, Cities, etc.

Naming places in my WIP is hard. I don’t mean whole countries, I usually struggle alright through those (more detail in a bit), but towns and rivers and little hamlets are the worst! The good news is you don’t need to name everything. The bad news is, when you do name something, it needs to fit and it might just need a little bit more work than you thought.

Before we look at how you name absolutely everything, let’s think about what actually needs a name. You also want to consider your map for this, because you don’t want to have so much information drawn into it that it overwhelms your reader.

The only places you need to name are the ones important to your story.

Let’s use one of my maps as an example:

The only bits I named are those important to the story itself, either because my MC Rachael went there or because their importance was mentioned. Over the course of Rise of the Sparrows, Rachael goes to Blackrock, Arlo’s hut, Aeron’s hut, and eventually makes her way to the White City. It may not look like much on the map, but would you really want to try to make sense of where she is if I had named fifty towns, ten rivers, and three smaller settlements just to make the place appear more lived in? Your map is an excellent way of giving your readers a chance to get to know your country, and of following your characters as they go about their business. That won’t be easy if it’s crowded with all of the names. Your readers don’t need every corner named to know that other places exist.

The other places on the map aren’t being visited in Rise of the Sparrows but they are mentioned, and are important to one or more of the characters; therefore, they needed a name.

So you can breathe easy! Your world needs to be believable, but you don’t need to name everything to achieve it.

Once you know what needs a name, how do you go about finding it? Well, there’s no one guaranteed way to naming your countries, but here are a couple of things you can consider:

Rifarne was the first country I named, ever, and I named it early on in my writing process, so what the country is known for has changed a little since then. In this specific example, I eventually went with River, Farming, and Bone (I can’t explain the latter; it no longer makes sense to me)

To ensure credibility, not every one of your countries should be from the same background. Therefore, not every country should sound like a Britain equivalent, for example. So how do you make sure that your countries sound polish, danish, french, or russian?

Well, remember those words you noted down in the step above? You translate them. To use a different example – for my country Hjeva I used the words home and beautiful and then I translated them to Norwegian, Hjem and Vakker. I then played around a little by combining different parts of each word with each other until I had something that sort of resembled a country name. The result was this mess:

Excuse my handwriting… I never thought anyone would ever see this mess!

If the steps above worked well for you, you can do exactly the same thing again! I name everything this way, and I’d like to think that it’s served me well so far.

It can get a little messy (see picture for indisputable proof), so I recommend you leave plenty of room in your notebook!

That’s up to you. Everyone’s process is different, so if you prefer to name your countries first/last, that’s fine. My worlds always feel much more complete to me once I’ve got the names figured out. I am completely hopeless at naming things, however, and tend to leave it quite late. By the time I finished the first draft for Darkened Light I had placeholders all over the draft! That’s totally fine. You can always fix it later, in the edit, so don’t worry too much. Chances are your characters will take you to places you didn’t predict, so you can’t name everything before you start writing anyway. (Unless you’re just that organised. In which case – how?? Don’t the Gods of Procrastination get to you??(Also, don’t forget to leave your draft room to develop and breathe.))

How do you name your countries, towns, and mountain ranges? Do you go with whatever feels right, or do you have a system? Grab a cookie and talk to me! 🙂


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#FictFBFeb17 Days 11-24

Welcome to an extra large version of Fictional Flashback February! I couldn’t post last week because my old blog was moving to this shiny new self-hosted server, so this week I’ve got two week’s worth of character insights 😉

Next week I’ll have a few bits of news regarding Wardens of Archos and my newsletter, too, so keep an eye out for that <3

Onto #FictFBFeb17! To remind you – the two characters I chose to introduce this month are Doran and Naavah Ora. Both are from my WIP Darkened Light, which will be out later this year (after Wardens of Archos). The challenge was created by my sister in spirit and talented writer Faith Rivens, who blogs over here. I recommend checking out her blog and her amazing book if you haven’t already ^-^

Day 11Found

Day 12Four

Day 13Fragile

Day 14Forever

Day 15Familiar

Day 16Forward

Day 17 Feel

Day 18Fringe

Day 19Fling

Day 20Fever

Day 21Follow

Day 22Flop

Day 23Flinch

Day 24Frozen


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

For all of my musings, click me.

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

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Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #2)

siege-and-storm-leigh-bardugo

“Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.”

nano-reward-4What I thought:

I’m not sure what happened but I’ve got no notes for this one…

Not because I didn’t enjoy it, I did, but because nothing stood out enough to me to want to note it down, I guess? I’d heard from several people that Siege and Storm is the weakest book of the trilogy, and I would agree, but it was still an enjoyable read and there were loads of things I liked about it.

This was his soul made flesh, the truth of him laid bare in the blazing sun, shorn of mystery and shadow. This was the truth behind the handsome face and the miraculous powers, the truth that was the dead and empty space between the stars, a wasteland peopled by frightened monsters.

There were a few new character additions in Siege and Storm, but my favourite is Sturmhond. The story took a dark turn very quickly, and he added some much needed comic relief! He also opposed the Darkling himself. In person. Openly! That alone has earned him some brownie points. I also adored Nikolai – cocky, self-assured Nikolaj who can talk his way out of any situation.

And while we’re on topic… Yes, I know Genya has made some bad decisions. I don’t care. I still love her. Although I did miss her and look forward to seeing more of her again in Ruin and Rising.

“Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.”

Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.”

That Russian mythology I loved so much played a strong part again here, too. I mentioned in my review of Shadow and Bone that I did some digging, but it was actually Siege and Storm that made me want to know more! Russian folklore is fascinating, and the way Bardugo includes it in this trilogy is a thing of beauty.

No matter what I said, we both knew the hard truth. We do our best. We try. And usually, it makes no difference at all.

While it wasn’t as good as the first book in the trilogy, I’d be lying if I said that I struggled through it. It was a smooth read and I’m excited to start the concluding title in this wonderful series!

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Have you read Siege and Storm, or would you like to? 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.

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WWW Wednesday 22nd February 2017

 

Hey look, it’s my first post on my new website! 😀 <3

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 Wednesday

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

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What I’m currently reading

Blood Gifted

This month I was part of an indie author event on Facebook called Our Books Are Not Free, and this is one of the many books I bought as a result! I had my eyes on Lacoba’s books for a while, so this was a great excuse to spend some money on an eBook haul 😀

I’m almost halfway through now and enjoying it. I haven’t read too many books in this genre so it’s a welcome change.

Blurb:

What’s a girl to do when she learns she’s the key to breaking a centuries-old family curse? Become dangerously intimate with a jaw-dropping vision of male hotness hiding a secret agenda of his own.
Nothing could be simpler.
Or is it?
When primary school teacher, Laura Dantonville, learns of her family’s dark ancestral legacy, she’s propelled into a secret underworld ruled by magic, mystery and murder, and stalked by vampire clans who would do anything to possess her. For her protection, she’s assigned a guardian not knowing that part of her role in ending the ancient curse that has plagued her family for centuries, involves having a child with him.

And she has one day to make a decision.

With only five years left of servitude to his sire, Alec Munro reluctantly accepts to act as Laura’s guardian or risk remaining in slavery forever. But can he maintain a platonic relationship between them when something far more intimate is required to end his sire’s family curse?

With time running out, Laura must decide to either accept Alec or allow her vampire-hating detective boyfriend to end the legacy his way – by eliminating the undead side of her family.
After all, they’re not human are they?

Being unable to age is just the beginning.

Zero to 100,000

This year I want to read more theory, so I figured I might as well include my theory books here 🙂 I know some of you are writers, too, so hopefully you’ll find this beneficial! (If this is you, would you like to see reviews for them here, too?)

It’s been interesting although most of the information wasn’t new to me. Because it’s an old book some of the information is outdated now, but I still picked up a couple of tips nevertheless. There might be a newer edition which my library just doesn’t stock. If you’re new to social media, or specific corners of it, you’ll learn a lot, but for someone like me who’s been using social media for a while new information is scarce.

I’ve still got a bit left to go, so it’s not too late to change my mind!

Blurb:

I work in digital media publishing, yet I’ve struggled, like most of the business world, to understand how to make social media work for me. Sarah-Jayne and Dean tackled the challenge with an energy that has to be seen to be believed. These two are now my #1 source of information and have provided simple and effective strategies that have helped me to monetize social media. Continue reading (It’s a really long blurb…)

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What I recently finished reading

Ashael Rising

It seems like so long ago since I finished this! I really enjoyed Ashael Rising. Since my review will follow soon and since it’s already on Goodreads I won’t go into too much detail now. It had excellent world building and intriguing characters. Kinsella is an author to watch for sure! I’ll be keeping an eye on future releases 🙂

Blurb:

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

Ruin and Rising

You guys, Ruin and Rising was so good! Definitely the best book in this trilogy <3 I flew through it. My only regret is not having more books set in Bardugo’s incredible world, I think I’ll be hungover for a while <3

Also, I’m struggling to hate the Darkling. All I feel is pain.

Blurb:

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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What I think I’ll read next

The Fool

Last year I discovered so many fantastic new authors, and Liz Meldon was one of them. Paranormal erotic romance is quite far away from my usual genre, but I really enjoyed hers and am looking forward to The Fool. I believe this is a short one, so I’ve put a little more on my tbr list this week ^-^ You can all laugh at me in two weeks time when I fail miserably 😛

Blurb:

One night can change everything.

That’s what they always say, and for now, vampire hunter Delia hopes it’s true. After years of mediocre performances, she’s still nothing more than a grunt in her hunter league, stuck on surveillance duty and low-level vamp busts.

So, when her informant drops an amazing lead in her lap, she jumps at the opportunity to take down the region’s rumored vampire leader at an invite-only masquerade ball. Clad in a mask and an uncomfortable dress, Delia throws herself into the fray—only to realize she’s woefully unprepared for the night that awaits her.

Also… Some ridiculously attractive guy dressed as the Fool keeps distracting her.

One night. One job. One man. One chance to change her life.

All she has to do is not screw it up.

Crescent Moon

I read the first book in this series last year (don’t read the blurb if you want to avoid spoilers) and loved it. Fahy was another author I came across last year, and now he’s on my insta-buy list, same as Meldon (once I’m caught up on what they’ve released so far, that is). Urban gothic was a new genre to me, too, so I dare say last year was a bookish success! 😀

I’m really excited to read on, and will get to it as soon as I’ve finished The Fool <3

Blurb:

What do you do when your world is turned upside down?

When you discover your father had a direct hand in the genocide of much of the world’s human population?

Phoebe Harkness’ life has changed forever. Thirty years after a cataclysmic world war that eviscerated one third of the human population, a new sub-species of vampire-like drones has set its teeth to the survivors of humanity.

They’re not the only ones: ‘Genetic Others’ such as vampires, werewolves and more roam the streets of New Oxford, trying – and sometimes failing – to live peacefully amongst humankind.

But that is all about to change.

A spate of serial killings have occurred, rocking the already fragile ecosystem of New Oxford.

Brutal murders and mutilation are now commonplace.

Phoebe must get to work. She is named as liaison between the Genetic Others and the Cabal, the ruling order of the walled city.

She must negotiate with the Tribals, a subset of werewolves cast aside by the cultural hegemony of the Cabal.

But before she can make any progress with the Tribal leader, Kane, she learns of more murders – and three missing students. And Kane’s daughter is among the missing…

One of the victims leaves a message in blood: ‘Crescent Moon’.

Now Phoebe must act urgently with the help of Kane and her former paramour, vampire Allesandro to track down the culprit of these horrific killings.

But who is conducting all of these strange happenings behind the scenes?

And what does it have to do with the Crescent Moon…?

Crescent Moon is the gripping second instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.

The First Five Pages

I’ve actually already this one but since I’m editing my second book now, I figured it’d be a good one to read again. Last time I borrowed it from my library and then bought my own copy right after I finished it, so I must have liked it.

Blurb:

Editors always tell novice writers that the first few pages of a manuscript are crucial in the publishing process — and it’s true. If an editor or agent (or reader) loses interest after a page or two, you’ve lost him or her completely, even if the middle of your novel is brilliant and the ending phenomenal. Noah Lukeman, an agent in Manhattan, has taken this advice and created a book that examines just what this means, and I have to tell you, it’s one of the best I’ve read. Continue reading (what is it with theory books and insanely long blurbs??)

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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!

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Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha #1)

shadow-and-bone-leigh-bardugo

“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.”

nano-reward-3What I thought:

After I devoured Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom last year I just had to read this trilogy, too <3 So I treated myself and made Shadow and Bone my first read of the year ^-^

I knew that the more powerful Grisha were said to live long lives, and Darklings were the most powerful of them all. But I felt the wrongness of it and I remembered Eva’s words: He’s not natural. None of them are.

I instantly loved Alina. She’s a young woman who gets thrown into a destiny she couldn’t want less, with a power she can’t control and doesn’t want to possess, against odds she can’t hope to survive. I can’t tell if I loved her for her, or because she reminded me of my girl Rachael.

Because I read the duology first I came to Shadow and Bone with a different view point – the places, the people, the events that play such a big, vital part in Shadow and Bone I’d already heard of. Because of this I felt like I was coming back to a world I already loved, despite not having seen these places in the duology. The familiarity was there, and it was wonderful.

“You’re shaking,” he said.

“I’m not used to people trying to kill me.”

“Really? I hardly notice any more.”

Two things stood out above all others for me. One is the Russian mythology that plays a big part in this trilogy. I’ve actually done a bit of digging and love how Bardugo has adepted Russian folklore to fit her world! The world building is excellent, but then I already knew that 😉 The second highlight is Alina, and how she copes with her situation. She’s far away from familiarity when she arrives at the Little Palace, and doesn’t know who she can trust. Her own power is a mystery to her, and I loved seeing how she coped as the story went on.

I also love Genya. End of story <3

If you’re looking for a fantastic fantasy trilogy, or if you loved Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, then I urge you to read Shadow and Bone!

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Have you read Shadow and Bone, or would you like to? 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.

4 Comments

World Building in Fantasy Fiction – Your World’s History

I don’t know about you, but the word ‘history’ always reminds me of high school where the same stuff was repeated every year, and where one sentence spanned most of one page in text books.

bad-memories

Don’t worry, your world’s history doesn’t need to be a nightmare and conjure memories of boredom and sleep overtaking you! In fact, your world’s history is the reason your world is what it is when your story starts. It’s kinda important.

It’s an intricate, detailed, and sometimes complicated thing. I don’t want to overwhelm you with information; rather I’d like to give you the starting points to help you make your world as believable as possible without losing its magic. And to make the whole thing a little less daunting, I bet you that I can break it down in as few as six hundred words! (Not including this intro, of course)

Your world’s history encompasses everything, and it’s the reason plotting this specific aspect is so daunting. Just take a look at our own history – the many wars, the natural disasters, the countless civilisations which preceded ours! Where the hell are you supposed to start? How much do you need? When do you stop?

You’ll be relieved to hear that you don’t necessarily need all that, unless your story calls for it. How far back you want to go is entirely up to you. You can plot your world’s history all the way back when dinosaur-equivalents roamed your lands, or you can start at a time that’s relevant to your plot. The latter is what matters, but I won’t stop you if you want to go all out!

Because this step is a wee bit overwhelming, it can help to draw a timeline or make a list of important events throughout, well, history. Start at the beginning of your story, and work backwards. For example, imagine your main character is the last of her race. Why is that? Why has an entire people all but gone extinct? Was there a war? Did natural causes kill everyone? In many stories, dwarves have long since become an extinct race, or elves were driven out of their homeland. What happened to cause this?

Think about the landscape, too. Perhaps a city has disappeared, a great rift has torn a country in two, or a once fertile country has turned barren. Wars and widespread natural calamities tend to leave scars!

too-much

There are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to break this down into small, doable chunks.

What are the large events (such as war/famine/genocide/natural disasters) that affect your world and characters?

What caused these events?

How long ago did they happen?

How do they affect your world and characters today? Why?

The environment we grow up in shapes us a great deal. Where did your main characters grow up? Focus on past events that have made the town/city/small collection of huts what it is. Has war ravaged the country for years? Has your main character grown up with stories of a local hero? Is the town, or the whole country, known for any large scale events like an invasion, or a natural catastrophe like a volcano erupting? Perhaps your main character’s people are peaceful and live secluded in a forest, but were driven out by deforestation. What have past events done to the people living there? What have they done to your main character?

The same list of questions I’ve suggested above can help you sort through this one, too!

But we’re getting more into character development and personal history now, so let’s move on.

Your world and its history will develop as you write and build your story, same as your characters do. Having some of it, maybe even most of it, figured out before you write that first word is brilliant, but don’t panic or feel like you haven’t prepared enough if you have less than that. Sometimes we start a new story and we know everything long before Chapter One is typed, and sometimes we know the bare bones of our newest book baby. It’s a long process, and takes time. Your world’s history is no exception.

you-got-this

So relax, and enjoy yourself! Your history will come to you eventually if it doesn’t before you name your MCs, and it will likely do so because you’re writing. You don’t need to have everything figured out before you start – knowing that something huge happened at some point in the past is an excellent start!


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#FictFBFeb17 Days 4-10

10022017

Happy Friday, friends!

I hoped to have better (edit related) news for you by today but it’s still going slowly. Since I’m doing my editing course at the same time, the day job is still a thing and no one’s found a way for my house to clean itself yet I’m trying to remember to take breaks where needed and not burn out. If you have a full time job, successful writing career, a happy husband, and children to raise without your house falling into terrible disrepair, I salute you and bow to you. (at the same time!)

But there’s one thing I can give you, and that’s the first full week of Fictional Flashback February! #FictFBFeb17 is a hashtag created by my sister and awesome writing buddy Faith Rivens, and it’s a wonderful way for us to introduce our characters on Instagram and Twitter to you! (and it’s definitely not too late to join in if you want to give it a go!)

Both of my chosen babies this month come from my WIP Darkened Light. Enjoy 🙂

Day 4Fix

day-4-doran

day-4-naavah-ora

Day 5Fair

day-5-doran

day-5-naavah-ora

Day 6Fade

day-6

day-6-naavah-ora

Day 7 Finally

day-7-doran

day-7-naavah-ora

Day 8Freedom

day-8-doran

day-8-naavah-ora

Day 9 Fear

day-9-doran

day-9-naavah-ora

Day 10Friendship

day-10-doran

day-10-naavah-ora


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

For all of my musings, click me.

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

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Review: Touch by Briana Morgan

touch-briana-morgan

“The Seeker has grown up in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime, and for most of her life, it hasn’t bothered her. But when some of her classmates are arrested for touching, she decides to try the most forbidden of things and touch another person. When she discovers the power of touching, and how it changes her and those around her, will the Seeker be content to return to a life without it?”

www-11012017-2What I thought:

I’ve never been hugged before. I don’t know anyone who has.

And so begins this wonderful play about the basic human need to be touched.

The Seeker lives in a future where all touch is outlawed. Hugs are sold illegally on the street like a modern day drug, and past users, like the Seekers mother, are watched closely by probation officers. The Seeker is a young woman who wonders what it would be like to have her hand held, to be embraced by her mother, or to be kissed, and writes down her thoughts in her diary, but when her mother finds out she’s furious.

The Seeker’s desire to know tops her fear of being imprisoned, and she decides to brave the unthinkable and pay a dealer for a hug.

What follows is the moving story set in a world where a basic human right and need has been taken away, and one girl’s refusal to accept it. It’s a short story (I read the whole thing in thirty minutes) but its message is strong and the story and characters develop beautifully.

If you’re looking for a quick, poignant read then I can’t recommend Touch enough! I really enjoyed my first dive into plays and would love to see it on stage if given the chance.

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Have you read Touch, or would you like to? 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.

Leave a Comment

WWW Wednesday 8th February 2017

www-08022017

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 Wednesday

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

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What I’m currently reading

08022017-2Ashael Rising

I’m very nearly done with this now and should finish it on Thursday. It’s the only ARC I’ve got at the moment so I’ll be able to return to my tbr pile after this!

I’ve really enjoyed it, and should get my review written early next week. Since I only post one review a week here it’ll be a while before it’ll go live but it’ll be on Goodreads right away 🙂

Blurb:

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

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What I recently finished reading

nano-reward-4Siege and Storm

I really liked Siege and Storm. I’d agree that it wasn’t as good as the first book, but I still flew through it and I love the Russian mythology weaving into it. I’m excited to read the final title in the series now and see how everything’s going to play out.

Blurb:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

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What I think I’ll read next

nano-reward-5Ruin and Rising

This is still my next read… It’s taken me a while to get through my ARC since I read two books parallel to each other for a while, but it won’t be long now! I’m hoping to start it on Friday, maybe even Thursday. I’m really looking forward to it now!

Blurb:

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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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!

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A-Z Name Prompts – H

monday-promptspiration

Happy Monday, everyone!

It’s time for another writing prompt, chosen by you! 🙂 This week, the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who voted 🙂 As always, if the prompt speaks to you feel free to borrow it. If you publish your interpretation please link back here so I can be nosy ^-^

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Hosea

(m.; salvation)

My dear Hosea,

before you set fire to this letter please read it first. Pretending this isn’t happening won’t make it go away. Your father and I didn’t raise you to be an idiot.

I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you in person. Your father and I didn’t anticipate things would escalate this soon. I really hoped it wouldn’t come to this, but since my letter has been delivered to you it must mean I’m dead.

We have done everything we could to prepare you for this. I know you won’t feel ready, but you have to be. I hope you can find some reassurance in the knowledge that there isn’t a person alive now who’d embrace what I’m about to tell you and feel up to the task.

We’re not from Earth, Hosea, but we are Earth’s salvation. Go to London. My contact will find you. I know you’ve been preoccupied with New York recently, and there’s a reason for this, but please, don’t go anywhere near America. Go to London, and speak to my contact. She’ll explain everything, I promise.

I’m sorry I can’t explain more in this letter. It’s too dangerous to have all our secrets spelled out on paper, so you can go ahead and burn the letter now.

I wish this could have gone differently. Your mother wished for me to train and lead you in this; I hope she won’t be too cross that I failed before we could save everyone.

Give my love to Lily.

Forever yours,

Aunt Emely

Hosea crumbled the letter into a ball and threw it at the wall. What a load of fucked up rubbish! If he was so important, why had neither his Dad nor Emely ever mentioned it before? The letter had to be her final joke – and one hell of a tasteless one at that!

Hosea rummaged through his drawer until he found his passport. He packed it away together with his wallet in a backpack he threw over one shoulder.

He was eighteen years old, not eight. He was too old to do as his aunty said, final wish or no.

Hosea locked the door to his apartment, and called a taxi to the airport. There was a flight to New York in two hours.

He’d definitely make it.

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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

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