Saturday, 4 July 2015

5 days left on the #cyberpunkmalaysia #giveaway!

Just a quick note to say that you have 5 days left to enter my giveaway for Cyberpunk: Malaysia, so head on over to the GIVEAWAY PAGE to enter. :)

Also, to all my American readers, happy Fourth of July!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

#bookreview: Hidden Fire by Deirdra Eden

To read my review of book one of the Watchers Series, Knight of Light, click here.


Hidden Fire (The Watchers, #2)Hidden Fire by Deirdra Eden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At 19, Lady Auriella is the Watcher of England and she's beginning to feel like a miserable failure. The newly-crowned King Edward doesn't believe in the Shadows and publicly mocks her position whilst trying to find her a suitable husband. Her world falls further apart when she's sent to assassinate the King of Scotland.

Her journey is fraught with danger - not just from the Shadow Legions and ghosts from the past, but from the strange Watchers she meets on the road and the one handsome Scottish Watcher who keeps trying to steal her heart and her hand.

Hidden Fire is a fascinating read - for younger readers. Personally, I felt that it lacked a little bit of polish and refinement which would have made it a better story. As it was some of the plot "twists" were pretty much predictable. It makes light reading for older teens and adults who are trying to be young.

I received a copy of this e-book from Eden Literary in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Friday, 26 June 2015

Lunch time poetry

My heart isn't here anymore
She said
I drift
Unanchored to reality
Untethered to this life
My heart
Tastes the sweetness of
A song I never wrote
Of a poem I never read
A line I can't grasp
The meaning of
Slips
Slips away
But I was never here
She said
My heart isn't here anymore

Maybe it never was

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

#bookreview: The Children of Darkness by David Litwack

The Children of Darkness (Book #1)The Children of Darkness by David Litwack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What if all that you have ever been taught as good and right, the light that you've been taught to appreciate turns out to be the hand of darkness that has been holding you down?

When Nathaniel Rush of Little Pond discovers that the vicars of the Light have things to hide - things that may change his understanding of the world - he has to decide if he should run away from this knowledge, fitting back into the normalcy of life he has always known, or if he should pursue it, like in his dreams of being a knight and hero.
Along for the adventure is Orah Weber, the girl he would give up his freedom for, and Thomas Bradford, the doubter, the one already broken by the Light. They must find the hidden keep, preserved for centuries by the keepers, so that the truth and knowledge of the past ages and civilizations won't be lost to the world.

Litwack's writing is fresh, and Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas come to life in your imagination as you flip (or click) the pages of this book. That's not to say that the other characters are not well fleshed out as well - they are. You feel for the painful history between Nathaniel's father and Orah's mother, and at times you are even drawn to understand the arch vicar, who seeks the keep for reasons of his own.

The Children of Darkness was originally published as There Comes a Prophet, and has been re-edited, expanded, and re-released with a new publisher in line with its rebranding as book one of the dystopian trilogy, The Seekers. Because I'm not exactly one who remembers minute details of a book I read 2 years ago, I can't tell you exactly what has changed during my re-read - but I would say that the pace has slowed a little, with snippets of Orah's thoughts coming to the fore, pushing her forward as a stronger driver of the story than before.

I received this ebook copy for review as part of a Novel Publicity tour.

View all my reviews

“A fresh perspective on our own society...[an]  enjoyable read that will make you wonder just how society will judge us in the future.”  Lexie

2

About the Author:

David Front PageThe urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

After publishing two award winning novels, Along the Watchtower and The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, he’s hard at work on the dystopian trilogy, The Seekers.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

Website: www.davidlitwack.com
Facebook: David Litwack - Author 
Twitter: @DavidLitwack

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More Reviews!
“Litwack’s storytelling painted a world of both light and darkness–and the truth that would mix the two.” Fiction Fervor

The Children of Darkness is a dystopian novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” C.P. Bialois 

“This is a satisfying exploration of three teens' journey into the unknown, and the struggles faced by all who seek true emancipation - both for themselves, and for the people they love.” Suzy Wilson

“Litwack's writing is fresh, and Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas come to life in your imagination as you frantically flip (or click) the pages of this book.” Anna Tan

“...many profound themes, lovely characterizations and relationships” R. Campbell

“I was enthralled and intrigued by the authors creation of this society... David Litwack has an enjoyable and captivating writing style.” Jill Marie

“...a perfect story for young adult readers, but its underlying theme and character development will keep any adult engaged.” Kathleen Sullivan

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Speculative Literary Fiction - a #guestpost by @DavidLitwack

It's finally here! Children of Darkness - Book One in The Seekers Series is available NOW. Check it out on Amazon.com. FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. GET YOUR COPY
“A must-read page turner.” Kirkus Review

About the Book:

The Children of Darkness - CoverThe Children of Darkness
The Children of Darkness is about a society devoid of technology, the result of an overreaction to a distant past where progress had overtaken humanity and led to social collapse. The solution—an enforced return to a simpler time. But Children is also a coming of age story, a tale of three friends and their loyalty to each other as they struggle to confront a world gone awry. Each searches for the courage to fight the limits imposed by their leaders, along the way discovering their unique talents and purpose in life.
"If the whole world falls into a Dark Age, which it could plausibly do, who could bring us out of it? According to David Litwack in The Children of Darkness, the only answer is us, now, somehow reaching into the future." - Kaben Nanlohy for On Starships And Dragonwings
Publication Date: June 22, 2015 from Evolved Publishing 

Purchase Link: http://smarturl.it/Seekers1 FREE WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23485495-the-children-of-darkness

Speculative Literary Fiction



Someone recently asked me why I use the term “speculative literary fiction” to describe the genre of my novels. While both terms are used frequently on their own, they are not often paired together.

Speculative fiction is a term coined by Margaret Atwood in an effort to avoid the hard-core sci-fi label (she said she needed a category that meant sci-fi without Martians). It has been used to describe a number of sub genres—space opera, techno-thrillers, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, even fantasy—basically anything that is not “real world.” The key to speculative fiction is the what-if aspect. What if the world as we know it was different in one or more ways? While this what-if, alternate history/alternate world approach can be used to explore future technology or just spin a good yarn, it also enables an author to focus on some theme by altering an aspect of the world as we know it.

Literary fiction is usually understood to mean quality writing, deeper characters and an exploration of universal themes.

So why combine the two? The primary purpose of declaring a genre is to set the expectation of the prospective reader. Using the term speculative fiction by itself can misrepresent a book. Readers might expect Star Wars or the Zombie Apocalypse, or an emphasis on some hypothetical technology such as faster than light spaceships or time travel. Literary fiction tends to imply real world, such as The Help or The Secret Life of Bees.

Many great books have speculative premises, but are literary in nature. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a good example, or the works of Ursula LeGuin. Even a novel like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road might fit. While it’s certainly post-apocalyptic–we find out little about the cataclysm that brought about the current state–the author dwells on the relationship between the man and the boy, and the power of love. Another example might be Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. While the what-if of this world is the use of cloning to grow organs, it’s told from the viewpoint of the clones, and shows much more about relationships and the human condition than about technology.

I use speculative literary fiction as a term to distinguish alternate history or alternate worlds, where the emphasis is not on whiz-bang technology, aliens, space travel or the like, but more on deeper characters and universal themes, brought to the fore by the unique difference in the imagined society or world.

About the Author:

David Front Page
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter's editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.
After publishing two award winning novels, Along the Watchtower and The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, he’s hard at work on the dystopian trilogy, The Seekers.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

Website: www.davidlitwack.com 
Facebook: David Litwack - Author 
Twitter: @DavidLitwack

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More Reviews!

“Litwack’s storytelling painted a world of both light and darkness–and the truth that would mix the two.” Fiction Fervor
 “The Children of Darkness is a dystopian novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” C.P. Bialois 
“This is a satisfying exploration of three teens' journey into the unknown, and the struggles faced by all who seek true emancipation - both for themselves, and for the people they love.” Suzy Wilson
“Litwack's writing is fresh, and Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas come to life in your imagination as you frantically flip (or click) the pages of this book.” Anna Tan
 “...many profound themes, lovely characterizations and relationships” R. Campbell
 “I was enthralled and intrigued by the authors creation of this society... David Litwack has an enjoyable and captivating writing style.” Jill Marie
 “...a perfect story for young adult readers, but its underlying theme and character development will keep any adult engaged.” Kathleen Sullivan

Monday, 22 June 2015

#MusicMonday: Long Way Home by Bebo Norman


So I will, I will not give up this fight
I will not lay down and die
I will not carry this heart of stone
I may not be your place to run
I may not be your kingdom come
I may stumble through this great unknown
But I will be all that is true
I will not give up on you
I was made to be with you alone
'Cause you and me, we get to see
The long way home

----

I've been on a bit of a nostalgia trip ever since I drove down to KL for the book launch. I dug up the old CD bags and put them in the car for the trip, and I've been listening to Bebo Norman since Monday! It's been years.

(And funnily enough, I remember most of the lyrics, and the harmonies. Because I sing too much in the car.)

I also like this song because of how unromantically romantic it is.