Book Review “A Match Made at Christmas” by Ellen Jane

So I’ve had a lot of reading to do. I feel swamped. In the last few days I’ve felt like, ehh, maybe I’ve bit off more than I could chew. So then, just to try and knock something off my list, I picked out a short story that I was interested in and started reading it.

And it was dull. Derp. At the beginning I actually put it down,walked over to where my poor wifey was innocently eating, and sat down and complained about the woes of being a book reviewer. Spoiler?: she wasn’t very sympathetic.

So this morning, just a scant few hours ago, I picked up my ebook again and decided to give it another go.

And again, the beginning was dull and a bit listless. But hah! Once the magic began (literally, there’s magic in the story) – the magic began. Harr harr harr, see what I did there?

Y’all I LOVED this short little cutesy story. It was adorable once the magic started and the action began. I literally didn’t see parts coming and it was just so great!

What was good about it? Cutesy. Adorable. Happy. Fluff. Magic. Adorable life lessons neatly packaged in easy-to-understand tidbits. Lesbian. No obnoxious male characters. No obnoxious ‘but we’re gay’ wailing throughout.

Nope. Just happiness and Christmas-ey joy and magic all throughout. I loved it.

Now what’s not to like about it? If I was to zap myself into the author’s room, sit her down, and give her a solid talking to, what would I tell her to fix (becauseI’m obviously the world’s greatest editor and know-it-all when it comes to writing)?

Well, I would advise to somehow get the story started faster. Maybe that’s just me complaining, maybe I was just depressed last night (I was, actually, and am fighting depression a lot these days so I can be jaded). But I found the story slow to start and dull. There was nothing that hooked me in the first page or so and compelled me to keep reading. I read because I had to. Were I to be scrolling through an online bookstore (like Smashwords, cough cough) I  would have read the beginning of this short story and closed it and moved on with my life. Boo. Not good. Books are supposed to hook people in at the beginning. Short stories even more so.

But what else? Not much, really. There were few tropes, good character depth, and believable interactions combined with hilarious fantasy happenings. I wished the story was longer but appreciated the short quality of this story.

All in all, I really really liked this short story. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who likes Bridget Essex’s writings. This author is one to keep an eye on! Find it HERE.

 

 

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How Has Life Been?

Well, first of all, in case you didn’t notice, my book is up for pre-order! Join my throngs of fans (I’m joking, haha) and get yourself a copy NOW!

Second of all, I’ve hurt my wrist. Ouch. Not so pleasant. Writing hurts, doing dishes hurts but I’m still doing all that. Because I’m stubborn.

Now, on the upside, I’m proud to announce that in the coming year I am committed to rewrite and self-publish a fantasy story that’s been mulling in my head since I was a child (literally!). This will be it’s third rewriting, and hopefully the last! Yaaayyyy! Last night it felt like something clicked in the air and I was finally able to get the story started again – for good!

So yes, Farfadel and it’s shenanigans will be getting published, but that’s not what I will be working on. I will be working on a story about mental health, coming of age, racism, and mysticism all at once! And magic. Always magic 🙂

 

Pre-Orders Available!

Hey everyone! Guess what? YES! “A Tale of Two Queens” is available for pre-order NOW!

Described by one fan as “A mixture of Tolkien and Terry Pratchett” (yes, I have some fans already!), the world of Farfadel is about to explode over you the moment you get a hold of this book! So don’t hesitate! Jump, run, squeal, and rush over HERE to pre-order yourself a copy just in time for the holidays!

And once you’ve done that, head over HERE to join the reading group dedicated to those reading Farfadel’s novels! Goodies and awesomeness will be posted soon!

Wishing you all a very lovely day y’all! Much love your way ❤

 

It’s A-LIIIVE!

My Youtube Channel is now live! I’ve put up my book review as well as a parody of my interview with Tori Fletcher. Please go and show it some love! ❤ Of course, also let me know what you think, what you’d like to see done, and any other ideas you have!

Lots of love,

Michael

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Author Interview – Tori Fletcher

Hi everyone and welcome to our very first Author Interview! Today’s guinea pig/author is Tori Fletcher, author of “In the Shadows of the Pyramids”.

So Tori, hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where were you raised, what major childhood events marked you, and what major adult events have shaped you?

Tori: I was born and raised in Louisa, Kentucky, a tiny little map dot in the south. A major childhood event that marked me was my thirteenth and fourteenth year. In which, I attended six funerals for loved ones. It led to a lot of darkness and a very extended bout of depression. Adult events that have shaped me is doing things on my own, staying away from relationships, toxic and otherwise. I’ve learned volumes about myself, my own demons, my own ghosts in the last three or four years, which led me back to my writing.

Interesting! And how have these major events affected your writing?

Tori: The deaths that I mentioned earlier basically shoved me into darkness, as it did my writing. For the first year or two after the deaths, I continued writing, but I stopped soon after. I spent my entire high school career only writing when my English classes demanded it. It was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made to date. But, thankfully I picked it back up and reignited my passions for reading and writing. Thus far, I’ve learned how to harness the darkness I face into my writing. My latest writing professor told me my work was reminiscent of Poe, which was the highest praise for me.

Oh, Poe! What a compliment indeed! But what inspired you to start writing and When did you start writing?

Tori: It may sound cliché and broken record-ish but reading made me want to start writing. I was in love with book as much as I am now when I was little, so I spent a lot of my time in the library. I remember being in my elementary school’s library, I was looking for the Spiderwick Chronicles and thought, how cool would it be to see my own name on these shelves? So, I began writing, mostly nonsense, fairy tales and fan fiction, but it began and hasn’t ended, however grateful I am for that.

I think we’re all grateful you’ve kept writing 🙂 Now, what’s been your personal biggest stumbling block when it comes to writing?

Tori: It’s definitely my eagerness to spoil my own plot twists. I get into my writing so fast, that my characters let every secret come tumbling out of their mouths. I’m working on lengthening my work, ITSOTP is the first nearly full-length book I’ve written, edited, finished, and published. An even longer one (hopefully) is in the works right now.

Well congratulations on that! I really hope your works can lengthen up the way you want them to. But, what is more important to you, character development or plot?

Tori: Character development, for sure. I find that if my characters, my people, aren’t relatable, aren’t actually people, then the story they’re telling isn’t going to matter. I myself enjoy reading a book the most when I can connect with a character, so that’s what I try to do for my readers as well.

What makes your work and this one in particular special?

Tori: I believe that the combination of my gentle, want-to-please-everyone nature and the fierce darkness mix well together. I think it makes my work good, emotional even. ITSOTP is special in this way too because my characters sometimes let their emotions get in their way, sometimes they use them to their advantage and others’ demise. I’ve never read a story like it, even though I may be the smallest bit biased, I honestly believe I’ve never even heard of a story about Egyptian slaves turned vampires.

True, haha, I’ve never really read anything like it either! So, what happened ‘behind’ this book? Any funny stories that occurred to you?

Tori: The ‘behind the scenes’ of this book isn’t very interesting, I’m afraid. The story dawned on me as I was watching The Prince of Egypt for the millionth time. Coincidentally, I’d just finished binging The Vampire Diaries, and I thought, what if I were to combine the stories (sort of)? Of course, I didn’t follow the movie exactly, or even closely. I simply used the setting, theology, as well as the stories of the slaves in that movie. I didn’t follow The Vampire Diaries either, as it were. But, I feel like those two things were the driving points in creating this story. While I was writing it, the story started out simple, but as the characters grew, in history and numbers, it became more complicated in a good way.

Complicated can be hard though! What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

Tori: The most difficult thing about writing this book was discovering that one of its main themes was death and overcoming your own circumstances. Like almost everyone, I fear death the most out of everything, so it was difficult to face down the chasm that yawned open as I was writing ITSOTP. I’ve only had the minimal circumstances, I know that, but I felt these characters’ grief, heartbreak, and other emotions like I feel my own, so it felt real. It felt like I’d experienced everything, and while it was amazing, it was also scary and difficult to put myself through that. But, I don’t regret it and I look forward to diving back in with my current work in progress.

Sounds intimate. What personal elements did you draw upon to write this?

Tori: Almost all of my characters experienced either the death of a loved one or the loss of love. In both cases, I’ve had my fair share of experience. The funerals, the breakups, even the disappointments that I’ve been through all aided me in the writing of ITSOTP.

Alright, personal aside! What objective material did you draw on for this novel?

Tori: I researched all I could about Egypt, how the pharaohs ruled, and their gods so I could create my own Egypt-like landscape and theology. I don’t think I can ever read another vampire book with all I’ve read in research to create my vampires. The mix some Dracula, The Vampire Diaries, and Twilight in order to come up with my glorious beasties. The research was cumbersome, but the outcome is amazing.

Nice! Any final takeaway lessons from this book?

Tori: The final takeaway lesson from ITSOTP is don’t be scared of the darkness inside of you. It can be scary at times, but everyone is a little bit monster. Keep family close, even if they’ve wronged you, left you, abandoned you. It may not seem like it, but they can help you. Whether it be helping you keep the darkness, the monster inside at bay, or embracing it, it’s never better to do it alone, lest it swallow you whole.

Well on that inspiring note, we have to depart. Thank you very much Tori for opening up to us and sharing so much!

And for all of you out there reading, you can find Tori on Instagram and Twitter here:

Instagram: @torimaelynn_author

Twitter: @ToriM_Author

And her book “In the Shadow of the Pyramids” is available on Amazon here Link: https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Pyramids-Battles-Lore/dp/1973467593/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544410946&sr=8-1&keywords=in+the+shadow+of+the+pyramids

Book Review “In the Shadow of the Pyramids”

“In the Shadow of the Pyramids”, or ITSOTP as Tori shortens it, is one of the first indie books I have read in my life, and my first I’ve finished as a book reviewer. And I have a confession to make…

I thought it was a romance. I thought it was going to be a happy exercise in fluff.

You see, little birdies, my wife went away for a week to travel with her family when I started this novel. I was lonely, miserable, and wanted something to cheer me up.

Well, spoiler alert! It’s not a fluffy romance. ITSOTP is a dark, angst-filled novel about vampires killing things while having anxious and gruesome flashbacks about their lifes and deaths all while doing anxious and gruesome things.

It did NOT cheer me up. In fact, I had a hard time reading it because it’s just not my genre. I don’t like angst, vampires, or much dark stuff in general. I even like cream and sugar in my coffee. So let’s say I’m perhaps not the target audience for this novel.

But personal tastes aside, what can be said about ITSOTP?

It’s a quirky book. It wasn’t entirely predictable because of this. There was funny moments, there was some twists and turns. I liked the descriptions of bizarre body languages and the sleeping on the ceilings.

It’s dark. Gratuitious murder for the sake of it? Sure, why not?

It’s fantasy. I need to point this out because the mythology doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell, nor does it reflect any sort of cohesive mythology. I also highly doubt a celebrated general would be wasting their time whipping slaves on a work field.

Light, easy, morbid read? Sure, why not.

Is everyone going to love it? No, probably not. I certainly didn’t. But, if you do like violence aplenty, death and morbid monologues and angsty flashbacks then maybe you’ll like this.

What I do have to say is that it’s definitely a different read. It fits into the vampire genre, but with a twist of ancient pseudo-Egypt.

 

 

Someone’s Publishing a Book!

Harken ye, harken ye, I am spreading the word! Erin Crocker is publishing a novel!

Why should you care? Because it’s a horror lgbt+ novel, that’s why! Also, this author has been on NailedIt!, and that’s a badge of honor (also my favorite show).

When can you get ahold of this here ye not so olde book? Today! Verily, preorders are now available for Erin Crocker’s “Forbidden” at (one of) these here yonder links! Clicketh thee and verily, the book shall… magickally appear? Or maybe you’ll get a rat. Who knows?

https://www.facebook.com/authorerincrocker/

https://twitter.com/authorerink

https://www.instagram.com/authorerincrocker/?hl=en

Preorder link: https://amzn.to/2rs3Sy7

What else, verily? Ah, dearest reader, holdeth thy bosom! Clutcheth thy buttocks! For LO and BEHOLDETH! A teaser sentence~

“Does evil lurk in Devil’s Creek, or are residents of Paradise Grove manifesting a darkness far more sinister?”

And that was that!

So dearest readers. Get on yon’ horses. Get on yon’ donkeys. Get off yon asses. Read this book!