Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

DamselKnightcomplete

Sometimes the best knight is a damsel.

In a world where women are seen as weak, defenceless creatures for men to protect and own, one orphan girl wants to be different. She dreams of being a knight. Slaying dragons, taking down armies with her father’s sword. Only her foster parents don’t agree with her views. On the night of her betrothal to a man over twice her age, the King’s soldiers come to their tiny village, and in the chaotic aftermath she’s left with a choice. Go back to life she knows and marry a man she despises, or journey onward and risk death to earn the knighthood she dreams of.

The road forward isn’t a safe one for a girl travelling with only her foster brother as company. Magic lurks in dark places. Vengeance burrows deep in many equally dark hearts. And all around the circle armies are gathering to defend the Kingdom against a threat that has not been seen in a thousand years.

This is the entire 140 thousand word fantasy. By buying this you save 41% over purchasing each individual part.

 

The complete collection. This is nearly 140 words of story. If you took the time to preorder it, today is the day it arrives on your device. If not, then here’s the link. 

If you’re not too sure whether to buy it, the first part is free. It’s on amazon here. And in case amazon still haven’t updated it to free, here’s the smashwords link. Try it out and see what you think.

As always, happy reading. My next book release is Truth Seeker; a crime mystery with a paranormal edge. It comes out in two weeks time on the 18th of December. Or you can preorder it here.

Coming up next are some more short stories, and a few more books in my supernatural mystery series ‘Crystal Wolves.’ The first in that series can be found here, or at smashwords. And right now I’m playing with a book series that involves a disgraced soldier, a decades long battle with invading aliens, and a whole bunch of people you’d never bet on to play any part in saving the world. Or that’s the idea so far. I’ll update you as it progresses.

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DamselKnightpart4

Sometimes the best knight is a damsel.

In a world where women are seen as weak, defenceless creatures for men to protect and own, one orphan girl wants to be different. She dreams of being a knight. Slaying dragons, taking down armies with her father’s sword. Only her foster parents don’t agree with her views. On the night of her betrothal to a man over twice her age, the King’s soldiers come to their tiny village, and in the chaotic aftermath she’s left with a choice. Go back to life she knows and marry a man she despises, or journey onward and risk death to earn the knighthood she dreams of.

The road forward isn’t a safe one for a girl travelling with only her foster brother as company. Magic lurks in dark places. Vengeance burrows deep in many equally dark hearts. And all around the circle armies are gathering to defend the Kingdom against a threat that has not been seen in a thousand years.

In the final book of this four part 140 thousand word fantasy, we follow Boone as she’s accused of being a woman. If she’s found guilty her sentence will be death, and that’s the least of her troubles. The barbarians have a plan, and when Boone finds out who’s behind it, everything changes.

 

The final part! You can get it here.  If you haven’t discovered this story yet, you can find the first part here at amazon, and here at smashwords. The smashwords copy is free, and the amazon one will be once they change it. So you can try out the story before you buy it. And in case you know you want to read the whole thing, here’s that link. The collection comes out in only two weeks!

If you didn’t hear about the offer on my mailing list, you can get a free review copy of the complete collection of Damsel Knight right now. Just email samaustinwriter@gmail.com with a link to your review on Damsel Knight part one so I can check you’re a reviewer instead of a hoarder. Then I’ll send you a epub review copy of the collection, or a less pretty pdf if you’d rather read it in that format.

To avoid missing out on future opportunities like this one, sign up for my mailing list at: link.

DamselKnightpart3

Sometimes the best knight is a damsel.

In a world where women are seen as weak, defenceless creatures for men to protect and own, one orphan girl wants to be different. She dreams of being a knight. Slaying dragons, taking down armies with her father’s sword. Only her foster parents don’t agree with her views. On the night of her betrothal to a man over twice her age, the King’s soldiers come to their tiny village, and in the chaotic aftermath she’s left with a choice. Go back to life she knows and marry a man she despises, or journey onward and risk death to earn the knighthood she dreams of.

The road forward isn’t a safe one for a girl travelling with only her foster brother as company. Magic lurks in dark places. Vengeance burrows deep in many equally dark hearts. And all around the circle armies are gathering to defend the Kingdom against a threat that has not been seen in a thousand years.

In the third part of this four part 140 thousand word fantasy, the barbarians are closer than ever to taking the King’s City. But Boone comes to realise there are enemies lurking within the castle walls as well as beyond them.

Guess what guys! The third part of Damsel Knight is out here. If you’re looking at this wondering what the heck Damsel Knight is, go here: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/new-book-release-damsel-knight to my post about the first part.

The first part is now free at smashwords link.  It’s supposed to be free at amazon too link, but they’re taking ages updating that.

For those interested in the full collection link, it’ll be available on December the 4th. So in about a months time. You can preorder now and it’ll arrive to your device on the release date.  This is the full 136 thousand words of fantasy. A lot of story.

Fancy a review copy of the complete Damsel Knight collection before it comes out? Send me a link to your review of any one of the Damsel Knight parts released so far (email = samaustinwriter@gmail.com) so I can check you’re a reviewer instead of a hoarder. In case you missed it above, Damsel Knight part one is free. And I’ll send you a epub review copy of the complete collection. Or if you insist, there’s also a less pretty pdf version.

This won’t last forever, so request your review copy quick. If you want to receive details of future review offers and book updates join my mailing list at: link.

Way better than twilight.

So, this is a story about two adolescent kids who meet each other and fall in love. And one of them is a vampire. No-one sparkles. If Edward was this type of vampire, twilight would be a lot cooler. There’d also be a lot more dead people.

Here’s the blurb:

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

The variety of vampire portrayals in books and media is fascinating.  On the one side you have the overly romanticized vampire of twilight. On the extreme other end of things, you have the kind of vampire from the book series ‘The Strain’ (which is also a TV show that I highly recommend). The Strain vampires have no redeeming features whatsoever. The infected turn into these gross things full of worms, and they shoot this strange stinger like something from their throat (usually at people they love), which drains them of blood. Plus, aside from this killing instinct, most have the brainpower of a particularly bright potato.

Eli (our vampire from this book) is somewhere between the two. They’re scary. Eli could break Edward like a twig. But they’re also capable of thoughts, of fear, and of love. Eli is even more interesting than the rest of their kind, because they were turned as a child, and their body and mind is still very much a child’s.

They like playing games, they don’t like hurting people, they make choices they haven’t thought through (very much like a child). You get to know Eli through Oskar’s eyes, and in many ways Eli is younger than Oskar, and in other ways much older. You come to fear them, and also love them, much as Oskar does.

Now some warnings. While this is a very raw, beautiful book, one of the pov characters is a pedophile and thus has some not beautiful thoughts. It’s an interesting contrast with the much more innocent povs of Oskar and Eli. We don’t see the pedophile guy do anything too icky (apart from once later in the book – but he gets just deserts for that).

If you’re a vampire fan, or a fan of raw feeling books, I think you’ll like this one. The characters are anything but two dimensional. Even the guy who’s a pedophile is really quite decent at times. He strangely enough has a very strong moral code. Oskar who is downright innocent in a lot of ways fantasizes about killing people. Eli who has the power to kill and does kill, gets no pleasure out of it, and seems to regard it as a sad fact of life.

It’s these complex characters in their desolate seeming setting that makes this book grip so strongly. Four stars. It lost a star because the pacing seemed a little off to me, but not disastrously so. I really enjoyed reading it. For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/943402.Let_the_Right_One_In

P.S: There are two films based on this book. They’re pretty much the same except one was made in Sweden, and the other America. Both are awesome. Go watch.

 

DamselKnightpart2

Sometimes the best knight is a damsel.

In a world where women are seen as weak, defenceless creatures for men to protect and own, one orphan girl wants to be different. She dreams of being a knight. Slaying dragons, taking down armies with her father’s sword. Only her foster parents don’t agree with her views. On the night of her betrothal to a man over twice her age, the King’s soldiers come to their tiny village, and in the chaotic aftermath she’s left with a choice. Go back to life she knows and marry a man she despises, or journey onward and risk death to earn the knighthood she dreams of.

The road forward isn’t a safe one for a girl travelling with only her foster brother as company. Magic lurks in dark places. Vengeance burrows deep in many equally dark hearts. And all around the circle armies are gathering to defend the Kingdom against a threat that has not been seen in a thousand years.

In the second part of this four part 140 thousand word fantasy, Bonnie and the others team up with an unlikely ally to escape the witch’s clutches, but escape is not as easy as it sounds when your enemy has magic and a forest full of lost ones on their side.

 

Great news guys! Part two of the Damsel Knight series comes out today! For my post on part one go here. 

Part two is here for only $2.99, or you can preorder the complete collection here for only $6.99. A saving of 41% over buying each individual part.

If you like some epic fantasy with girls who want to be knights, dragons afraid of heights, and the odd zombie cow thrown in, then check it out.

Parts 3, 4, and the complete collection are available for preorder now. If you decide to preorder any of them, expect part 3 arrive on your device on the 6th November, part 4 on the 20th November, and the entire collection on the 4th December.

To always be informed when there’s a new release, sale, or free review copies, sign up to my mailing list: here.

DamselKnightcomplete

Sometimes the best knight is a damsel.

In a world where women are seen as weak, defenceless creatures for men to protect and own, one orphan girl wants to be different. She dreams of being a knight. Slaying dragons, taking down armies with her father’s sword. Only her foster parents don’t agree with her views. On the night of her betrothal to a man over twice her age, the King’s soldiers come to their tiny village, and in the chaotic aftermath she’s left with a choice. Go back to life she knows and marry a man she despises, or journey onward and risk death to earn the knighthood she dreams of.

The road forward isn’t a safe one for a girl travelling with only her foster brother as company. Magic lurks in dark places. Vengeance burrows deep in many equally dark hearts. And all around the circle armies are gathering to defend the Kingdom against a threat that has not been seen in a thousand years.

Part one is out now here: USA   UK

Parts two, three, and four will be released every two weeks. Two weeks after part four comes out, the complete collection will be published.

To save over 41% over buying each individual part get the collection, available for preorder now. Here’s the links: USA   UK

This epic fantasy took a loooong time to write. It’s almost 140k! And that’s after editing. But I told the story I wanted to write. There’s a big coming of age theme in here. Lots of choices and identity finding going on amid the action, along with a few ‘what the heck is my gender?’ moments. The main character has a lot of growing to do, and she ends the story very different to how she starts.

In case you missed that, yes the main character has some gender questioning going on. The questioning is designed to suit the specific character and circumstances she grew up in, so don’t expect her experience to be representative of all. For one thing, if you happen to gender questioning or in any way non-cis yourself, I doubt your experience involved going on missions to slay dragons.

If it did, send me pictures! I want to see!

There are few extra layers to this book if you’re willing to look for them. If not then enjoy the surface tale of a girl dragging her foster-brother along on her journey to become a knight, in a world where females are expected to be nothing else but damsels. They meet some interesting friends along the way, and a lot of enemies too.

This is the fourth book in the series.

Here’s my review of the first book: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

Here’s my review of the second: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/book-review-we…martin-5-stars/

And here’s the third: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/book-review-we…fire-3-5-stars/

Another five star book. This series continues to amaze me by how much I need to read ‘just one more page.’

Now, a warning. We don’t get all the pov characters in this book, and there’s quite a bit of overlap with the events of the next book. While G R R Martin was writing book four he found it much too long. So he decided to split it up, showing most of the story from half the povs, then in book five showing the story from the rest of the povs, along with more to the story.

Some people say they’d have preferred it kept chronologically and split down the middle, but I understand why he did it that way. There wasn’t a good stopping point around the middle. It would’ve made for a unfulfilled and very confusing story, skipping from pov to countless pov, and not arriving anywhere. I think this was the best call.

A lot of the less interesting povs are in this one, plus we get some new povs from Theon’s uncles. I don’t like them as much as the established characters, but they do tell an important side of the story. And I don’t really know them. Maybe they’ll develop, or the herd will be thinned and we’ll lose some more povs.

We do get a lot of Jaime who goes through even more development. He’s changed a lot in a short time. I enjoyed his story a lot, particularly when he falls out with Cersei. I never liked her.

Arya continues her ‘becoming a badass’ training. She doesn’t really do a lot, but I can see that this is going to give her some cool skills for the future.

We spent a lot of time in Dorne where interesting things seem to be setting up, but not much really huge is happening.

Brienne goes on her quest to find Sansa. She encounters heaps of trouble. It’s always interesting to be in her head. She has a different view of the world from our other povs, being a maiden knight determined to prove herself.

I loved every moment reading this book, and wanted the next one the moment I put his one down. So five stars. Given a bit of distance from it, I think this is a lower five stars than the past books. Still very enjoyable, but not as brilliant as the last book.

For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13497.A_Feast_for_Crows

This is the third book in the series.

Here’s my review of the first book: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

And here’s my review of the second: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/book-review-we…martin-5-stars/

This is a giant book. It’s split into two parts, and each one of them is a hefty read by itself. Could you imagine it in hardback? Reading it could double as a workout.

Anyways, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous ones. Despite its size I was kept glued from start to finish. It is a big book, but you don’t notice that reading it. You just drop into the world, and zoom, time flies by along with the pages.

There are LOTS of different characters, and quite a few story lines. You might find it a bit of a mess trying to keep track of everyone, but it’s a beautiful mess. You might end up forgetting a minor character here or there, but the important ones are surprisingly easy to keep track of.

Everyone is fighting. Bodies pile up, and some of them are main characters. I won’t give away who.

There’s a lot of feelings in this book. Gah, like the way Robb is trying to be a brilliant leader, but he’s a teenager! So there’s this whole other side to him that’s just ‘I need an adult!’ And Cat just wants to hug and protect him, but knows she has to help him grow up.

I felt really sorry for Cat. She’s the smartest one, and she’s surrounded by idiots who think everything she says is wrong because of what’s between her legs. She’d be an epic war leader if she were allowed. And she goes through so many tragedies in these books.  She is not having a good year.

Dany is pretty kickass. She’s doing so much good, and she has an insane amount of determination in her. I like her a lot, but I also like a lot of people in the place she’s planning to invade. So, conflicts there.

Jaime goes through the most epic journey I have ever seen from ‘hate this guy’ to ‘actually he’s all right. A jerk, but he has a heart.’ He tried to kill Bran! How can I be liking him? But I do. I like him, and the relationship he develops with Brienne is the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I’d be happy if G R R Martin released a dozen weightlifting sized books of just them two wandering around having adventures. I’d read them all.

Jon makes what everyone else is doing child’s play. You read their povs, and think the war is brutal, and I hope my side wins. Then you go to Jon who has real problems. He’s up against monsters! It makes the war look like a group of kids squabbling on the playground over who gets to play with a neat toy.

Sansa has gone through so much character development. By the end of this book she’s a completely different character to the one we met in the first book. Arya has hardened a lot too. She’s going to grow up to be a very scary person.

Theon. Yeah, let’s not talk about Theon. I spent most of his povs shaking my head in exasperation at him saying ‘Dude. No.’ Every bad decision made me want to yell ‘Bad Theon’ and spray him with some water, then sit him in a corner until he saw sense. Do you think that would take a long time? I think that would take a long time.

To me this book was every bit as good as the last one. So if you liked that one, you should like this one. You get incredibly invested with the characters (but we do lose some more – so be prepared). There are some povs like Davos that are a bit meh. But most of the characters are really fun to follow. Five stars. No question.

For more reviews of this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/768889.A_Storm_of_Swords

and: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/147915.A_Storm_of_Swords

I’m enjoying this series greatly. To read my review of the first book in this series go to: https://samaustinwriter.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/book-review-we…hrones-5-stars/

I’m not the biggest fan of epic fantasies. I love all the pieces: dragons, quests, strange beasts, strange worlds. But I find a lot of the writing gets bogged down with all the details, or characters. I love the idea of epic fantasies. I just find it’s so easy to make them boring to read. While this book has a lot of characters, and a big, interesting world, it’s in no way boring.

Because I was analyzing it, the first book took months to get through. I enjoyed it enough that I figured if I wasn’t picking it apart I’d zoom through it. Since I made it through this one in four days, I think I was right. Putting it down to attend to life’s many demands was difficult.

I found it every bit as good as the first book. The characters were deep and wonderfully flawed. The action kept coming. The plot unfolds nicely, and never dawdled long enough for me to get bored.

We keep up with our various characters. Jon seeks the wildings beyond the wall. Dany tries to find allies for her quest to claim the iron throne. Tyrion (one of the most interesting characters in this book) is ordered by his father to become the new kings hand, and the Starks are everywhere. Bran and Rickon are on the run. Robb is a king of an army. Arya (now Arry) is a serving wrench in the middle of a world torn by battles. Sansa undergoes epic character development as she learns more about how brutal the world can be.

All their stories move forward. All the characters change in some way. They grow, some of them too quickly. The world in these books is rich, the plot engaging, but my favorite part of this series is rapidly becoming the character development. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it. It’s beautiful.

They’ve all undergone harsh circumstances. They all react differently. They adapt and rise to the occasion – some sooner than others – but most lose something of themselves along the way. Some break, and eventually pull themselves together with jagged pieces all sticking out.

The hound, who I thought I’d hate forever after he killed Micah, shows a softer side in this book. I’m amazed at how Martin can make characters who do such horrible things, and still make you like at least part of them. So, good book. Five stars. If you’re wondering if this is as good as the first one, the answer is yes.

For more reviews on this book go to:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10572.A_Clash_of_Kings

 

 

This was actually suggested to me during one of my writing craft classes. As a kind of extra credit thing my teacher suggested I analyse this book looking at things such as pov character selection and scene layout.

So on the 9th of September 2013, I did just that. And on the 21st of January 2015 I finished.

What did I learn from this experience? A lot. This book is worth the hype. Not only is it fun and engrossing to read, on a structural level the scenes are so pretty. They stick exactly to the traditional scene structure. I found like two slightly convoluted elements to scene structure in the whole book. And this is a BIG book.

That made the logical side of my brain very happy. For the more emotional side of things, it was interesting looking at how the writer helped the reader connect with each character. In the first half of the book, every pov character choice was spot on. He tends to choose the most vulnerable character, the one who knows the least, or the one with the most to lose. I had some questions about one or two pov choices after that, but they were tiny little doubts. I still think he made the right choice.

‘I don’t want to analyse the thing,’ you say. ‘I just want to know whether I’ll enjoy reading it.’

The answer to this from my point of view is a resounding YES. Analyzing this was made difficult because I kept on wanting to read the next scene, not stop and analyse the one I’d just read. I ended up having to compromise with myself and read a few scenes before going back to analyse, read a few more, and so on. If I didn’t have to analyse I would’ve whizzed through this in a few days (as I did with the next books in the series).

If you like fantasy, go read this book. Even if you’re just curious, go read it. It’s awesome. Definite five stars from me.  The plot keeps pulling you forward, the characters are so flawed and engaging. The world they live in is rich and interesting. I don’t tend to like epic fantasies, but this one won me over.

For more reviews on this book go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13496.A_Game_of_Thrones

Oh, and as a by the way. Did anyone else notice the parallels with roman britain? Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a fan of celtic britain and the two are often best studied together, but I kept having flashbacks to that wall the romans built in the north to keep the ‘barbarians’ out. Hadrian’s wall. Of course, that was nothing like the scale of the wall in the book, but it felt like it had the same essence to it.