Author Archives: Lindea

Ollie and The Orca

Title: Ollie and The Orca
Series: Bubba n’ Buddies
Author: Laura Maw
Publishing date: Oct. 2014
ISBN: 9780992115128
Purchase Link Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Bubba is out on one of his undersea adventures when he finds a frightened Orca trapped by a fishing net! In this attention gripping yet comical tale, Bubba works with his buddy Sammy the Seagull to free Ollie. Come along and join Bubba the Bottlenose dolphin as he makes a new buddy while sharing a day they won’t soon forget.

My Review:

Ollie the Orca presents a cute little story about friendship. It shows how you can get through”impossible” situations with some help from friends. The language is brief and clear which makes the story easy to follow. The flow to the narrative is simple which would make it easy for early readers to read. The only negative thing is the artwork: it is hard to distinguish “terrified” from “joyful” in the characters facial expression.

After the Storm

Title: After The Storm
Series: Timber Ridge Riders #8
Author: Maggie Dana
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Publishing date: November 20th, 2013
ISBN: 9780985150471
Purchase Link:

Synopsis: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the Timber Ridge girls are excited about getting dates and new outfits for the school dance. But a blizzard plunges them into reality when the barn’s power goes out. If Kate and Holly don’t act fast, a pony may die. But Angela Dean doesn’t care. She spreads false rumors that Kate can’t be trusted around horses.  If Angela succeeds in her latest vendetta, Kate might lose all she’s worked hard to attain-her place on the team and the respect of her two closest friends.

My Review:

After the Storm felt much like a filler book. The one incident with the pony happens in the beginning of the book, and not much happen after that. Teenage girls do have fights, but as Holly’ boyfriend told her: their argument sounded stupid.

“For once Adam was speechless. He opened his mouth, then shut it again as Holly blurted out her problems with Kate. But the more she talked about them, the dumber they sounded.”

This pretty much sums up the book. The arguments and the reasons for the arguments seem contrived. But what Adam thinks about it kind of makes up for some of it. Also because Holly and Kate are apart for much of the book every second chapter is devoted to each of their POV. The change of the POVs in it self is rather wasted, firstly because there is little to no distinction between the two voices, secondly because from the synopsis it seems like Kate is the main character while Holly is her sidekick.
Kate’s “long distance-relationship” with the famous actor should come to an end at some point. It doesn’t fit in with the story, and is more of a nauseant than entertaining.
I have been reading a lot of the books in this series, but this is the first one which is majorly disappointing. As for now I’m content with continuing reading the series.

Five Elements of Story

pen to paper

A story can be sorted into five important elements. These elements are necessary in order to give the story a drive and in order for the reader to get excited about and understand the story. The five elements are: Plot, setting, conflict, character & Theme (in either order).

Plot

The plot sets the action for the story. Often when I write I start with developing a plot. The plot needs to outline whats going down and what’s going to happen. What does your characters need to archive? How are they going to archive it, and what do they have to do to archive it. The plot is a series of events that will lead to the story’s conclusion.
Ex. a group of people stranded in the desert, they need to find shelter and ultimately they have to find their way out of the desert.

Conflict

The conflict is a struggle in the plot. Often when I think of conflict I try to ask myself: “What is the worst thing that can happen now?” The conflict can be internal or external.
An external conflict come from outside the main character: anything from the action of another character (ex. a bandit shows up) to an environmental change (ex. a Sandstorm).
An internal conflict is a struggle inside the main character, often portrayed as a dilemma. (ex. if stranded for a long time the question of cannibalism might arise).

Setting

For me, setting almost always comes with the plot. The setting sets the scene, where are they, when are they? The setting should tell where the characters are situated: in a city, a desert, our world or a fantasy world. It should also answer what time period we are in, are they the past, in the present or somewhere in the future. This doesn’t have to be a definite answer, but the environment and the characters should reveal what time-period they exists in as the action will evolve different depending on where we are in time.
Ex. if the group in the desert are in the past they won’t have lighters (it gets very cold in the desert at nighttime), and if they are in the future they might replicators or other special gadget that will aid them (to create tension: find a way for the future tech not to work).

Characters

The characters carry out the actions. The characters could be anything, humans animals, dragons, depending on what kind of story you are writing. They can be silly, righteous, mean-spirited, funny or anything you’d like. Though there should be conflicting character-types.
When creating a character, try to avoid stereotype. In certain types of stories stereotypes can be entertaining, but mostly they are insulting and can seem like  lack of effort and imagination on the writers part.

Theme

The theme of the story is the main idea and it contains the central belief or topic of the story. It contains the idea that the author would like to convey to the audience.  The characters’ actions, interactions, and motivations all reflect the story’s theme. In order to find the theme, try to figure out what the story really is about.
Often the theme can be something abstract like: sacrifice, preservation of innocence, isolation or resurrection.
Moral is not included in this list, but the theme is closely linked with the moral a story tries to convey.

Four

Title: Four
Author:Chris Johns
Publisher: Three Faced Media
Publishing date: April 29th, 2015
ASIN: B00WW0DSRI
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: What if you realized the world faced an apocalyptic future of devastation and destruction from pollution, overpopulation and global warming… and you knew how to stop it… What would you do?

My Review:

“Four” is a book that present a unique perspective on current issues such as disease, global warming, and overpopulation. Soon it also becomes a science versus faith debate, by partnering up two main characters: one which rely on science and one with all his faith in God. Both the viewpoints are well presented.
The characters seem realistic and their actions are well founded. Each of the characters present their own set of morals and values, which makes them more like individual people and less than characters on a page.
My problem with this book was how it was formatted, as every time the author started on a new line it was a double space. This made it hard to distinguish between paragraphs and semi-paragraphs and made the copy the book seem less professional. However, pushing through the story was worth it in the end.

four banner

Ten Book Titles Or Covers which Made Me Buy It

TOP TEN TUESDAY 2
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. A topic is provided for each Tuesday. This week’s topic is an open one, I chose to pick an earlier topic which I was not a part of: Ten Books Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It.

I think we all have those moments when we do judge a book by its cover, and that is alright, but sometimes it ends badly. I’m guilty of judging books by their cover, but I usually read the book synopsis before making an actual purchase. Though, I can honestly say that I’m more likely to buy and stay with a book with a pretty cover.
For titles: I think we all have or sweet-spot when it comes to titles, some titles are just too perfect and we just have to have them.

What books did you buy because of a pretty cover?

Here’s my list:

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate. 
For this book it was both the title and the cover which did it. When I first saw this cover it reminded me so much of the artwork of Victoria Frances of whom I’m a huge fan. The title was very simple and clear, also it told something about what I might encounter in the book: fallen angels. At the time I was working about a movie script about fallen angels so this book seemed like a good fit.
Luckily it did pan out all right, I did really like fallen. And I also got to meet the author for an interview in Birmingham while she was on a book tour.

2. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. 
Wintergirls just had this gorgeous cover and it just spoke to me from the shelf at the book store where I was browsing shelves. This book is to this day one of my absolute favorite books. “Wintergirls” is also the first boo I read by Laurie Halse Anderson, and she became one of my favorite authors after reading this book and “Speak.”
The title of this book was also perfect and with the eerie back-text, I just knew that this book had to be bought and read.

3. The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan.
I got this book as an ARC back in the days, and the title is amazing. The title made me feel, so I figured the book had to be good. Linked with the cover of this book, which has sort of an elegance and vulnerability to it.
Upon reading the book I did actually enjoy it quite a lot. It was the first ARC I ever read. I could write it a wonderful review, and noting feels better than to leave a great review for an authors debut book.

4. If I stay by Gayle Forman. 
Another of those books where the title and cover makes me buy it. The difference with this book is that I bought it blindly. I had no idea what it was about, I did not know any of Forman’s previous work, yet still I actually pre-ordered the book months before it was due to be released. Lucky for me: I did not come to regret it. Today this book is by my top ten favorite YA-novels.

5. Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel. 
My first hit and miss for this list. I feel for this book-cover, it was just gorgeous and artistic (the cover-picture does not convey how magical the hardcover book and partly see-through dust-jacket is). Also it is a bout vampires, I love vampires. And I thought this book really looked amazing. Sadly looking amazing was the only thing it did good, and I ended up hating it’s content.
It was rather sad to write a bad review for this book which looked just so stunning. This book serves me as a reminded to not judge a book by its cover. All that’s glitters is not gold.

6. The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide.
There is a cat on the cover, need I say more? It eyes are sparkling!

7. Radiance by Alyson Noel
The cover is ten times of cute.

8. The Last Archangel by Michael D. Young
The title got my interest.

9. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost 
The title again, never managed to actually read it.

10. Tithe by Holly Black 
One of my biggest purchase regrets (books). The Cover tricked me…

The Venetian Job

Title: The Venetian Job: Bad guys and action: Max’s Italian holiday
Series: The Max Books #3
Author: Sally Gould
Publisher: Orbis Media
Publishing date: December, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9941827-4-6
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: In ‘Mafia Encounter’, when Max is on a family holiday in Sicily, he and Charlie notice the mafia seem to be following them. Are they related to the mafia boss? Will they have to learn the business? Will their lives ever be the same?

My Review:

Curiosity killed the Cat is not a saying Max adheres to. Max is a middle grade book hero, he follows his imagination and curiosity, which tend to get him into trouble. As he is a kid he does like impulse control, which is something that make him easy to relate to, he is a “hero” but still human.
This is the first book in the series I have read, and though most readers would start at book one, I missed references to Max’s history through the two first books. The story starts very abruptly and for me it was confusing at first, though I presume the backstory and characters are more dished out in the first two installments.
Though the minor issues aside, I could imagine Max  a younger Alex Rider adventure type, and the book certainly did not lack anything in the adventure department.

Except:

Sharing a hotel with a mafia boss – even if he was a little old man – didn’t make me feel safe and warm inside. I could feel my stomach doing somersaults while we waited for the elevator. I wondered if Charlie was nervous too. He wouldn’t admit it, even if he were.

Eventually there was a ping and the doors of the elevator opened. It was empty. That was good. Well, it was good as long as no mafia guys got in before we got out.

“I think I’ll do fifty laps,” said Charlie, after the elevator doors closed.

“What about Marco Polo? I want to say we played Marco Polo in Italy.”

He looked at me like I was stupid. “Marco Polo came from Venice; Italy wasn’t a country back then.”

Trust him to turn something fun into a history lesson. “Yeah, whatever.”

The doors of the elevator opened and we followed the signs to the pool. It was an indoor pool, there were three lanes and it was probably about fifteen metres long – long enough for races. I knew as soon as I saw it that Charlie would want to race.

At first I didn’t see anyone in the pool, but then I noticed a figure push off from the edge. Geez, I wanted to have the whole pool to ourselves. Then I saw two men in black suits sitting at the side of the pool. The bad feeling in my gut came back. At first I didn’t recognize them because they weren’t wearing sunglasses. One of them got up and came over to us as Charlie and me were stripping down to our swimmers. I could barely take off my shorts, I was shaking so much.

The man in black was tall and he had big shoulders. He said something to us in Italian.

Charlie said, “Parla inglese?”

I knew that meant, Do you speak English? I hadn’t worked out how Charlie could say four English words in only two Italian words.

“Come back to swim later,” ordered the man in black.

“Sure,” I said and began to put my shorts back on. I wasn’t stupid. I knew from school that if someone three times bigger told me to do something, it was best to do it.

“We’re staying at the hotel. We’re allowed to use the pool.” Charlie folded his arms.

Was he crazy? “We can go back to our room and watch the wrestling,” I said to him. “Let’s go.”

The man in black leaned toward Charlie and said very softly, “Mr. Petruzzelli owns hotel.”

Mr. P must’ve been Mr. Mafia in the pool. That was good enough for me. I was out of here. If Charlie wanted to stay and get his head blown off, that was his business. Real casual, I began to walk back toward the elevator.

I heard a voice behind me. “Boy! You stop!”

Author Bio:

Sally Gould loved books from a young age, but never considered writing them. While she was busy getting up to the mischief that teenagers get up to, she forgot about books all together. Then total insanity took hold and she became a corporate lawyer. Fortunately, she had two sons and they inspired her to write stories for children. Of course, her oldest son is responsible, logical, studious, considerate, grateful and even makes his bed. The youngest one is only interested in having fun – lots of it. And, except for his teachers, he makes everyone laugh. Their antics have inspired many of Sally’s stories. Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her family and two dogs – Pebbles, who is sensible, and Jade, who just wants to have fun.

Contact Sally Gould:
Email: sally@sallygould.com.au
Website: www.sallygould.com.au 
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5010299.Sally_Gould
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sallygouldchildrensauthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Are you on the List?

Title: Are You On the List? :A guide on how to become a modern Socialite
Authors: Kitty Brucknell, Lewis-Duncan Weedon, Olivia Cox
Publisher: So Vain Books
Publishing date: Nov. 12th, 2014
ISBN: 9780993066009
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Socialite: a high-profile person in society, who often engages in social activities such as parties and other exclusive gatherings. Someone who everyone wants to be.
Are you on the list? is not only a guide for looking good and feeling great, but it’s a must-have that every girl needs to be successful.

My Review:
“Are you on the list?” is a step by step guide on how to become a socialite. It opens with introducing what a socialite is and continues on to fashion, make-up, hairstyles and social does and don’ts. It is clearly intended for the girls in their late teens, and girls in particular because there are relatively few tips towards boys (other than “wear a suit and a tie”)
It does outline how to buy quality products, and how to dress for success. And the fact that it emphasizes the importance of being oneself rather than pretending to be something else is a huge plus. Faking might take you places, but it will only take you so far.
For me, the most interesting chapter was on networking because of my complete lack of skills in that area. It felt like this chapter could have elaborated and been more in-depth, though then again who would think social interactions is rocket science.

In conclusion the book seemed to be more aimed at young aspiring fashionistas rather than socialites. It is quite possible that those two terms are two sides of a coin, but my initial thought after reading the book was that this is more a book to promote fashion rather than society.

Just go for it!

pen to paperThis might seem like silly advice…“just go for it”, but when I speak to many aspiring writers, they say that’s the thing that they really needed to hear to give them the boost to at least give writing a try!

It’s very difficult to actually get started, I know. I had the idea for Lockdown rolling around in my head for a long time before I put the pen to paper. I wrote out plans, I brainstormed, I thought about plotlines, but I couldn’t actually work out how to just start. It was intimidating, what if I failed? What if I was rubbish at writing? Then my dream would be over, just like that. In the end, I spent far too much time worrying, and not enough time writing.

Then one day, I decided to just give it a go and now I’m so grateful that I did. Sure, my first draft might have been terrible, repeating things I forgot that I’d already written, missing major plot points that I’d intended to include, but I had something written down, something real to work from – and that was an achievement in itself. I’d worked out a basis for how I was going to get the story from beginning to end and that gave me the basis I needed to get the book written.

Of course, then the real hard work started. Then I needed to get everything right, I needed to make it flow, make it interesting – funny and gory in equal measures. It took a few times, a few re-dos. I even left it for a while, so I could go back to it with a fresh perspective and that helped me a lot because it meant I was looking at it without the tunnel vision that you get when working closely on something for a very long time.

Once I had the story written, and up to a standard I was happy with, I had to decide what to do next. I chose to send it out to a bunch of publishers because why not. I’d spent a lot of time on it, so I wanted to do something productive with it! I was expecting rejections – everyone will get them, you just have to be thick-skinned enough not to let it bother you (it’s the same for bad reviews – you will never be able to write something that everyone on the entire world will like because everyone has unique, individual tastes) and of course I got a few – but then I got offered a three book contract by Triplicity Publishing. Now my second book, Forgotten, has just been published and I’m working on the third…all because I gave it a go.

I guess I’m writing this because I want to give other people the advice that I wish someone had given me. Just go for it. You’ll never know if you don’t try and isn’t it better to fail than always wonder ‘what if?’ It may even lead to some really great things, so stop worrying, stop procrastinating and simply start writing!

By Samie Sands

Author bio: ‘Lockdown’ – the first book in the AM13 series – is Samie Sand’s first novel. That and the sequel ‘Forgotten’ have been published by Triplicity Publishing. She is currently working on the 3rd and final installment. Aside from her novels, she has had a number of articles published in e-zines including one of the most popular pieces in Zombie Guide Magazine. Samie has also had a number of short stories published in a wide range of very successful anthologies.

Cottonmouth and the End

Title: Cottonmouth and the End
Series: Cottonmouth #3
Author: C. S. Fritz
Publisher: David C Cook
Publishing date: May 1 2015
ISBN: 9781434706911
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Not everyone has a furry beast for a best friend. But Freddie does. Tug loved Freddie so much he gave his life for him, then came back to life and left the boy with three mysterious gifts. Now Freddie’s determined to find Tug … but to do so, he must first discover the secrets of the gifts.

My Review:

Cottonmouth and the End is the conclusion to the story of Freddie and his journey. Yellowthroat is still with him. The dark land he has entered will again test him, and he meets Menson the Deceiver again. In this book the parallel to the Gospel is much clearer than in the first two, but the story can still be enjoyed without adding religious dogma to the interpretation. It is a story of spiritual growth and moral. It shows us that there is nothing to be feared in the dark other than our own mind. Tug the King of the Great Blue makes a grand Aslanic entrance back into the story after Freddie has faced his final trials. All loose ties are tied up in the ending, I know where Freddie is going, I know where his parents are and I have a feeling of completion.
Again, the illustrations are great, but simplistic, and they are accompanying the words rather than drawing all the attention.

Top Ten Authors I really want to meet.

Top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. A topic is provided for each Tuesday. In this post I will tell my Top Ten for the topic at hand. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Authors I really want to meet.

As a student of Creative Writing I am often fascinated by the people behind the books. But I also have a sort of respecting view that says that the work is not a representation of the author, which leaves me with a sort of awe for them. After all authors are miniature gods: always creating new worlds, and we all might just be on the pages of a book.
To make the list easier for myself to make, I have not picked authors that are dead, otherwise the first three spots would just be too hard to make out. You know J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen… how to sort through those people

1. J.K. Rowling
For me the top pick was obvious. Harry Potter has been such a big part of my life, and my late childhood. To meet the queen of the Potter Universe would be fantastic. Additionally to spin the wheels of imagination in the heads of millions of Potterheads, J.K. Rowling seems like such a wonderful person. She does a lot for those who are less fortunate and she support charities. It all just sums up to an amazing person that I would really love to meet.

2. G.R.R. Martin. 
I love Game of Thrones, the TV-series and the books. The books are brilliant to me, though I know my high opinion of them might be biased, which is why I will never write a review. G.R.R. Martin is just someone I would love to get writing tips from, I don’t know how he manages to braid all the red threads together,  and I would love to be able to build conflicts the way he does.

3. Darren Shan
Darren Shan is one of my favorite authors, and I think I would very much love to pick his brain on how to write literature for Children and Teens. The Saga of Darren Shan is my favorite vampire series, it’s got none of that paranormal romance none-sense and it is brutal. The Thin Executioner is another book of his that I absolutely love. To get to chat and pick up some writing tips on how to do grotesque without making it too extreme would just be great.

4. Gayle Forman
I know that her books “If I stay” and “Where she went” got a lot of buzz and they both made my cry, but those two books are not why she is in this list. Her book “Sister’s in Sanity” a boo about teenager Brit who gets enrolled at  Red Rock, a bogus treatment center that claims to cure rebellious teen girls. The book is brilliant, and the fact that these kind of camps exists is just horrible. Reading the book I felt sick to my stomach because of the kind of mental abuse they encountered at the “treatment center.”
I would love to write about such issues myself, but I would not know where to start.

5. Suzanne Collins
I am sure she will show up on a few lists. I am a fan of the Hunger Games, and I would like to meet the author of that neat little trilogy. She is an author I have never really researched a lot about, but she seems like an interesting person and I like how her brain work: who would think to make fiction out of reality TV and war. (Yes yes, I know about the Japanese Battle Royale, but if you read both of them they are significantly different.)

6. Lauren Brooke
As a little horse-crazed girl, I loved the Heartland-series. And I still love them, even though I quit the book club before I got all the books in the series. Though I am not quite sure if Lauren Brooke is an actual person or just a persona for a ghost writer/s. Very little is know about her, but I would love to meet her to have a great conversation about Natural Horsemanship and natural remedies to help horses (and people)

7. Laurie Halse Anderson
I would love to meet Laurie Halse Anderson, because of the wonderful books she writes. She writes on very taboo subject: rape, depression, eating disorders. A lot of her books are banned in school libraries, which only means that they are books worth reading.
There are no glamorous lies in her books, her writing is very raw. My favorite book of her is Wintergirls.

8. John Ajvide Lindqvist
I know that his book “Let the Right One In” has a sort of hype in the aftermath of the vampire-craze in 2008. He is one of the few horror authors I really like. I really love his creepy and dark horror. additionally his horror. His books are filled with dirty realism and dark taboo horror. The movie adaption of “Let the Right One In” did by no means measure up to the creepiness of the book, and the movie was creepy (I’m talking about the Swedish adaption which Lindqvist wrote the screenplay for, not the american knock off). “Handling the Undead” is another amazing book of his.

9. Lorna Byrne
Usually I don’t have too much of a listening ear on for other’s religious babble. But Lorna Byrne talks about angels in such a beautiful way, and in a way that is so free of judgment. She is one of the few people I would let preach to me, because she is so accepting of other religions. I, myself, is a Pagan, and her ideology that every religion is one just fits very well with my belief. Because of this I have actually taken the time to read her books, and I loved he biography “Angels in my Hair.”

10. Anthony Horowitz
Okay, I love Alex Rider, and I am so sad that the books about him are now over. The Alex Rider books are my “flight books” because they are the perfect length for a flight from London to Oslo. I love all the adventures Alex Rider venture out on, even is he is very reluctant to go on them. I am glad it is over for him now, poor boy, but I just wish these book would continue forever.
The Gatekeepers-series is also one of the series I enjoy to read, though I think I am one book behind right now. Anyhow, I would love to get some writing tips thrown my way.

Honorable mention:
When I finished this list, I remembered one author I forgot to put on it and I felt so sad, but I also couldn’t remove any of the ones I had put in my top ten.
My Honorable Mention is Sue Monk Kidd. Her writing is just so different from other books I have read, and I absolutely loved “The Secret Life of Bees.” I would very much like to meet her.