Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Writing, Editing and Life

Enjoying the life of a writer - Camperdown park, Dundee

I thought it was time for another update on how things are going with my writing and the DI Shona McKenzie books. Yes, I know that her name was McLeod in the last blog. This is the first major change in the series. I discovered poor Shona had a name which was too similar to the heroine in another Scottish Murder Mystery series so she has changed her surname. She wasn't very happy about it, but there you go, life is tough. 

For anyone who has recently joined this blog you may be wondering what this is all about. I can hear you saying it's a book review blog. For those of you who want to catch up with my journey here are the  previous blog posts on this subject

In the last blog I was working on the second book in the series. I am several chapters into this and loving the way the story is going. However, I have put it aside to edit book number one. I am finding this strangely enjoyable and think the way the book is developing will make it a stronger read. I am using a book called Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron, to help me do this. This is a great little book and the chapter on characterisation alone is worth the money. I reckon this could be useful to any writers. Click on the Amazon link to the right and check it out further if you are a writer.

Just to prove that Wendy is not all work and no play, I have been out enjoying the sunshine for the past few days. The best thing about being a writer is that you are not stuck indoors. Setting the scene is important in my novels so I've been out and about exploring Dundee. I find that the trips give me inspiration and the photo's help me to keep the scene in my head. Here are a few photo's of Dundee to give you a little flavour


Camperdown Park - Woods and plenty of nooks for inspiration

The Friary - An Iconic Dundee Building

RSS Discovery - You never know what could happen whilst treading these ancient boards

There's only one small problem with this. The pictures are all taken on nice days. There is a lot of ran and snow in my books. If there is one thing we know how to do in a spectacular fashion in Dundee that's weather. Never fear. Di Shona McKenzie is ready to track down killers whatever the weather. Nothing and no one will stop her. 

On that note I am going to ignore the rather spectacular thunderstorm outside my window and get back to editing. Have a great week and, as always, keep reading. 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Book Launch - Missing Believed Dead by Chris Longmuir

On Thursday evening I had the privilege of attending the book launch of Chris Longmuir's new book. Chris is a talented Dundee Author who writes the Dundee Crime series. 

This turned out to be a fun evening withe added bonus of a glass of wine and some excellent home made tablet. For all my non Scottish readers you will need to google tablet. I can guarantee you will want some.

Chris read from Missing believed dead giving an enticing flavour of the book I can assure you it is certainly atmospheric and tense. She also read out a scene about DS Bill Murphy, her very likeable, detective. As Chris says, her readers want to mother him, and that hits the nail on the head. This is a worthy third book in the Dundee Crime series. 

That's all for now in bookaholics. See you all soon with another exciting book for you to read. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Kabrini Message by J.R. Egles #ActionAdventure #SciFi

It's very exciting today on Bookaholics as we have our first ever guest blogger. I would like to welcome Marie Egles Carhart who is going to tell us about an action adventure, SciFi, book written by her late brother Joe.

Thank you so much for having me on Bookaholics today. I really appreciate this opportunity to share my story with  you.

The Kabrini Message is a sci-fi novel written by my late brother, Joe (J.R. Egles), back in 1987. I only recently discovered Joe’s manuscript (hand typed by our mother) in a box in my attic. It was in a manilla envelope that just said, “Joe’s Book” in my mother’s handwriting. The whole “story-behind-the-story” can be read on the two-part blog post I did, so I won’t repeat the entire thing here.



But basically, after reading The Kabrini Message and becoming entranced by it, I decided it must be published. This “message” just had to make it out of the attic and into the hands of the public. I know everything happens for a reason, when and how it’s supposed to. I believe my “message” in finding this forgotten jewel was to get it out there and right now, twenty-six years after it was written, just must be the right time.

I also wanted to make sure The Kabrini Message was finally published as a gift to both my brother and our mother who always believed in him. I have been “on a mission”…yes, a woman obsessed! But the journey has been a fun, fascinating and educational labor of love and I am thrilled and so very grateful to say that as of January 18, 2013, more than a quarter of a century after it was written, The Kabrini Message is a published novel!

Here is a blurb for The Kabrini Message. I really hope you will all enjoy it and thank you again!

An alien race. A shocking message. Let the evolution begin…

During an archaeological dig in Greece, Jeffrey Driscoll stumbles upon a miraculous find: ancient crystals with celestial coordinates that will connect humankind with the Kabrini, a highly advanced alien civilization. His discovery leads him on a quest from the jungles of Africa to the Islands of Greece, from the streets of London to the tombs of Egypt, from WashingtonD.C. to Los Angeles, Jamaica, and Vienna, and finally to the deepest depths of space and Earth’s first global space effort, the Legacy mission.

When Driscoll Mining and the U.S. Army complete deep space construction of the Kabrini communications network, the Legacy mission is deemed a success. But a dangerous terrorist group hungers for revenge, and Driscoll will stop at nothing to save the project. As his obsession with the Legacy mission spirals out of control, he risks losing everything—his company, his grasp on reality, and the one thing he’s ever truly loved: his wife. And when humankind finally makes contact, they discover the Kabrini Message isn’t exactly what they expected to hear…

Thank you Marie it has been lovely to have you and find out the story behind your brothers book. I am sure the bookaholic readers will enjoy this.

YouTube Video Trailer



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Babe's Bible: Gorgeous Grace and Sister Acts by Karen Jones #christianfiction

Gorgeous Grace Amazon UK                            Sister Acts Amazon UK

Gorgeous Grace Amazon US                            Sister Acts Amazon US

Today on Bookaholics I am reviewing the first two books in the Babe's Bible trilogy by Karen Jones. Before anyone thinks this is a conspiracy, despite the fact we have the same surname we are not related. I don't even know her, but I now know her writing which is excellent.

The first book Gorgeous Grace introduces us to Grace who is a curate in a Church of England Parish. Grace is a real person who is down to earth and certainly not a cardboard cut out. We get to know about her and her life in a no holds barred fashion. The book is also about her best friend Chloe, married with three children, who has an affair with a married man. The implications of this are far reaching and well described. However, this is almost two books in one as Jones skilfully weaves between the modern day tale and the tales of women from the bible. The historical stories are as intriguing as their modern day equivalent. 

Book two, Babe's Bible continues the stories of all the characters introduced in the first book. This is as good as the first. Like the first book it does not hide the difficulties that Christians face but confronts them head on. This book is down to earth and some people may find it too much so. However, I feel it is both necessary for, and adds to, the compelling story. This is real Christianity with attitude. 

Both these books draw you in to the lives of the women involved. You can almost feel you are there. These are not saccharine coated Christian books but take you to the heart of the problems Christian women can face. I loved these books and can highly recommend them. My only complaint is that I now want book three and Karen hasn't finished it yet. Karen, if by any Chance you are reading this please get it out soon.

Even if you are not sure you like Christian Fiction then I would urge you to try these. I think you will be pleasanlty surprised. 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Aymaran Shadow by Hemanth Gorur - Supernatural Thriller

Once again I find myself broadening my horizons in my reading tastes. I do not usually read supernatural thrillers but I was asked if I would like to review this one. The blurb looked interesting so I decided to give it a go. I am jolly glad I did as it turned out to be a cracking read.

The action of this story takes place on a world stage. Sanya, a student, finds herself disturbed by terrifying visions, whilst two different but equally terrifying people are stalking her on the internet. Her fear is real and she is a credible character.

The tension and terror in this book is almost palpable. The author uses words well to ramp up the tension and I felt that I could picture the very evil itself. At every stage I found myself wondering what would happen next. I really did not want to put the book down. The ending came as a complete surprise to me, especially the final twist. I found myself rooting for Sanya and hoping she would win over the evil surrounding her. I would highly recommend this book. Even if this is not the type of book you usually read then give it a go. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Despite the fact that I was asked to review this I was not at any point asked to provide a positive review. The review is based on my reading and obvious enjoyment of the book.

I am now off to write a bit more. I have a couple of books awaiting my attention and I am going to start the next one tonight. Tune in to the next blog to find out what they are all about.

Until then I will leave you with this thought:

Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them - Lemony Snicket

Monday, 1 July 2013

Great Books by Candy Ann Little

Today on Bookaholics I am fortunate to be reviewing a couple of great books by Candy Anne Little. One is a Christian Romance and the other a contemporary mystery.

Unforgiving Ghosts

As regular readers of this blog will know I am not a huge romance fan. However, this took my fancy and so it made my reading list. It is the story of Megan Black who flees her hometown without looking back. With no money, and nowhere to live, she finds herself a job, as a cook, with the Peterson family and soon finds herself part of the family. Their son Steven has a soft spot for Megan and is developing romantic . However, this is more than your average romance. There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises. Megan has to deal with the memories and ghosts of her past and this is a large part of the book. Relationships are a large part of this book and I feel Candy Ann Little has written them well, displaying a feeling for all depths of emotion. The ending of the book was a complete surprise to me and a definite twist on the usual romantic fare. This is the type of book which you should add to your summer reading list. Sit in the garden with a glass of something cold, relax and enjoy this book. I would definitely recommend it.

Murder of an Oil Heiress - Coming November 2013

And so on to the murder mystery. This is not released until later in the year but I was fortunate to be given an advance copy. As a mystery this book works well but it is the characterisation where this book really comes in to play. The characters are extremely well written and every aspect of the way in which humans behave can be seen in this book. I felt I could picture each character perfectly and one of them is the most loathsome I have ever come across in a book. I felt like killing them myself. The way the characters interact was also well drawn. I also enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of the book and the way in which it could have been any of the characters who could have committed the murder. The ending has a surprise twists which adds well to the overall plot of the book. This is not an on the edge of your seat type mystery but one which is enjoyable. It is not long but definitely well worth reading. 

At the beginning of the book there is a scene which is adult rated. However this is completely in context and sets the scene for the subsequent events. 

So grab yourself one of Candy's books and find yourself a new author today. In the meantime I'm off to  spend some time writing my own book. I will see you all soon with another great read.