It’s been a busy month of getting back into the swing of things; catching up on work I needed to do for Alternative Chef Kitchen which involves publishing some new books this year, releasing season 3 and quite a lot of other stuff:-) As well as getting the kids settled in the new school routine (which happened surprisingly well). Writing a new novella called Conflicted which is part of the Familiar world and will be released in June as part of an anthology with other fantasy and urban fantasy writers (more about that later:-). I also did a little beta reading for some other authors and…I turned 40! Yep that’s right kids, I’m a “real” grown up now. Technically. So they tell me;-).
So all in all I haven’t managed to read as much as I’d hoped, yet writing all that out I’m kind of impressed I managed to read anything at all really.
Ok so let’s get stuck into it…. what I read in February.
From the fiction shelf:
It was all fiction this month.
- FAB (Book 1) by Mark Gillespie. So this was a cool little book actually. I don’t usually read speculative fiction but I found myself intrigued with the blurb/ story concept (What if John Lennon had lived?) also triggering me to press “buy” and read it is that my hubby is a big Beatles fan and we’d just watched the Beatles movie 8 Days A Week. So the basic premise is: What would happen if John Lennon lived and Mark explores the possibility of him entering politics. So considering what’s been going on in the USA I found myself thinking of the movie Wag the dog. Anyway it’s easy to read and not weighed down by too much political jargon, with some good story points too. I’ve bought another of Mark’s books after reading this one in another of his series (which also sounded intriguing:-).
- The Wolf You Feed by Angela Stevens. The name for this book comes from the Native American Indian poem about the battle between the two wolves that lives inside each of us (one is evil and one is good). Which one grows? The one you feed. The story follows the life of Tore Valgr (a werewolf) from the age of 18 to his mid 30’s and the conflict with his brother Erik. It had that “long book feeling” (which I like in a book) but is also really easy to read. It’s a tear-jerker though so I’d suggest buying some good tissues. I’ve bought the second book in this series too:-).
- Six Dead Men by Rae Stoltenkamp. From the moment I started reading this book I was drawn in. It was a great read and if you like reading about psychics, murder mysteries and romance then this is a book for you. In the book detective Robert Deed has an uncanny ability to pick his suspect and is trying to solve the mystery of six seemingly unrelated deaths when he comes across the unsuspecting suspect Maddie Briscot. His gut instinct says she’s guilty, but his heart say’s she couldn’t be. I’ll leave you to read the rest:-)
Beta reading is when you read someone’s manuscript before it’s published (generally before it’s properly edited after the author has written the full draft, and made sure the story is comprehensive and readable). A beta reader is a bit different to being on an Advanced Reading Copy list (or an ARC list). Being on an ARC list means you’re an avid reader for books that author writes and you’re one of the first people that get to see an almost final copy of the book – or sometimes it is a final copy of the book. The book is given to the “special” group of readers so they may leave an honest review when the book is officially released. Generally getting on an ARC list is a position you apply for. I’m currently looking for ARC readers as I am looking to release two (hopefully three) books this year Familiar, the novella Conflicted and a third which isn’t yet named. If you’re interested in becoming an ARC reader for me then enter your name and email address below and I’ll forward more details soon. In the mean time… here are some writers to watch/ stories to look out for based on my Beta reading for the month of February.
- Upcoming romance By Kay Seeley. Having grown up as an avid romance reader, I offered to beta read this new romance by Kay Seeley. It’s a broad sweeping romance and had me thinking of Gone with the wind, Pride and prejudice (though it’s a contemporary story). Kay has a number of books published already (which I haven’t read yet, but after reading her new book, I’m certainly curious to go and check out).
- Upcoming urban fantasy By C.C.Beth Currently I’ve only read the first chapter of this book, but I was intrigued and would be interested in reading the rest of the book. What I read had me thinking of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series (which I like). So she’s an author to keep a look out for:-)
Anyway that’s all for this month. I’ll be back again next month with more. If you’d like to check out what I read in January, just click here. And if you’d like to suss out my March list then just enter your name and email address below and I’ll send you an email next month.
P.S. If you’re wondering how magical realism is different to urban fantasy you can read the books to find out because both are a good example, but also Angela and I had a chat about this in Writer chats 3 (If you’re a writer, you can check that out here.)