The Authors Bookshelf – Dr J Aislynn d’Merricksson @JAdMerricksson

Welcome back to The Bookshelf. Each week I feature an author or book blogger and talk about their bookshelf with them. It’s a light-hearted, book focused, Q&A.

This week on the bookshelf I have author Dr J Aislynn d’Merricksson. Aislynn writes sci-fi / fantasy and to top it all of is a metaphysicist, kind of mind blowing right?

Check out her her bookshelf below…

What was the first book you remember having on your bookshelf?
Ok, wow, that’s been a loooong time! I have fuzzy memories of Little Golden Books stacked by my bed. The first book I really recall is Leo the Lop by Stephen Cosgrove. My grandmother had gotten me most of the Serendipity books, and I’m now collecting the series for my nephew.

What was the most recent book you added to the bookshelf?
Umm, too many to process on the Kindle so I’ll go with hardcopy. It was Unearthed by Amie Kaufman.

Which book have you most recently read from your bookshelf?
The Ballad of Huck and Miguel by Tim DeRoche and The Infernal Battalion by Django Wexler.

Which 5 books from last year would you not let go of from your bookshelf?
Caraval by Stephanie Garner, Gilded Cage by Vic James, River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey, HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George

Which books are you most looking forward to adding to your bookshelf?
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown, Island of the Mad by Laurie R King, Star Trek: Discovery- Desperate Measures by Dayton Ward, Child of a Mad God by RA Salvatore, Age of War by Michael J Sullivan

What was the most recent addition to your writers bookshelf?
Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig

Which of your own books are you most proud of adding to the bookshelf?
Evalyce: Obsidian Alcatraz, and the book I co-authored, The Wizard’s Bestiary under the name Ash DeKirk.

Which book on your bookshelf do you most wish you had written?
None, because if I had, then the story’s be different, or I would be different. I like the stories the way they are!

Is there a WIP we can look forward to adding to our bookshelves?
Evalyce: The Language of the Trees, though I’m currently stuck.

Can you share a picture of your bookshelf / favourite bookshelf?

Dr J Aislynn d’Merricksson’s Bookshelf

To view the full bookshelf visit the author’s Amazon Page.

About Dr J Aislynn d’Merricksson

J. Aislynn D Merricksson - Author Image

I am a university graduate with a BA in Anthropology, and both a Masters and a PhD in Philosophy. I have a specialization in mythic studies, especially dragon mythology, and in archaeology and anthropology. Until recently, I taught classes in mythic studies and ethics, among which were Blessings of Bragi: An Introduction to Myth and Legend, and a pair of classes (The Mythic Feminine, The Mythic Masculine) which focused on the Heroine’s Journey and the Hero’s Journey respectively, which I compiled myself.

I have been an avid, albeit shy, writer of both poetry and creative fiction for over two decades. I am a published author, with two books to my name (Dragonlore, as Ash DeKirk, The Joy of Being, as Cala Gobraith) and one co-authorship (The Wizard’s Bestiary, as Ash DeKirk). I currently have several works in progress- a mystery set in the world of Evalyce, a horror story set in the same world, and plans for a book on rune lore and rune weaving in the works. I would eventually like to compile the type of book of world mythology that I’ve always wanted.

I live in beautiful California, where I am an innkeeper, and live with my sister, brother-in-law and two adorable kitties.

(As I am sure you’ve noticed by the publishing credits, I have a plethora of names. Ash Clark is my legal birth name. Ash DeKirk/Cala Gobraith are pen names. I am currently in the process of changing my name to Julianna Aislynn d’Merricksson.)

Facebook: J Aislynn d’Merricksson

Twitter: @JAdMerricksson

Litsy: @DrJAdMerricksson

Website: www.aislynndmerricksson.com

 

 

 

The Bookshelf

the-bookshelf-logo

Thank you so much for taking part! It’s been a pleasure having you and really interesting to see what you have been reading. Caraval and HEX are two which are also permanently pinned to my bookshelf, superb books.

Taking Part
I’ve currently put a pause on taking new applications for The Bookshelf. I recently put a call-out for participants on Facebook and am currently booked up into May so want to get through most of these lovely people before I open the floodgates again. If you already have a form to return to me, feel free to do so, just be aware there is a quite a wait right now.

#Review: Mother of Wolves by J. Aislynn d’Merricksson @cala_gobraith

Description

It is a year of awakening and change for Kalla kyl’Solidor – the Wolf Who Sleeps. After a fire wyvern attacks her home, she sets on a harsh path to self-discovery.

With the future of their world at stake, Kalla and her magister embark on a journey that will shake the foundations of De Sikkari and shape their destiny.

From the depths of Xibalba to the plains of Arkkadia, and the soaring heights of the sky continent of Argoth, they journey to claim their rightful place in the world, and to put an end to the source of destruction before chaos claims the realm.

Review

This isn’t a particularly easy review to write, I stopped reading at about 85% but I can’t offer you a good reason for my reaching the point where I couldn’t read anymore other than to say I didn’t gel with this book and despite pursuing for a large chunk I didn’t find a connection anywhere.

Kalla is a mage who takes on a new magister, Aleister, and the pair of them set out on a journey to track down the culprits of a wyvern attack on Kalla’s home. This is a strongly written epic fantasy with a steampunk twist. There is  a journey through the world of De Sikkari meeting many different creatures with a host of powers.

d’Merricksson is a strong writer and storyweaver, if you trawl the reviews for this book you will see nothing but praise to back this up. So why couldn’t I connect and engage with this story? I don’t know. I just didn’t connect with the characters or the story. Nothing jumped off of the page and grabbed me in the way I hoped.

The cover gave me the impression of a paranormal romance and this is definitely not what you get with this book, I think that whilst the cover isn’t the be all and end all the cover on this book doesn’t speak to the books content or tone at all.

I can’t sit here and write this picking holes in a book that doesn’t have anything to pick holes in, this was in my opinion a personality clash, a book that wasn’t meant to be for me. I do think this is a book that many others will thoroughly enjoy and I look forward to seeing the reviews rolling in!

A huge thank you to J. Aislynn d’Merricksson for a review copy of this book with which to provide my honest review.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleMother of Wolves
SeriesEvalyce Worldshaper #1
Author: J. Aislynn d’Merrickson
Genre: Fantasy | Epic Fantasy | Steampunk
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 12 July 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 158
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wordery

Week in Review – 11 June 2017

My surgery went well this week, but the after effects knocked me for six. Luckily Hubs managed to get some last minute compassionate leave and took the rest of the week off of work so I wasn’t struggling around the house.

Recovering has also meant taking a bit of a break from blogging which I’ve really needed. I think with some bad experiences the past few weeks things were getting on top of me and taking a few days out helped me find my mojo again. I realised I’d become really negative and that’s not at all who I like to be.

Walking out of Darkness the 10-mile hike I’m taking part in, to raise funds for Bipolar UK has been postponed, this works out quite nicely for me as I will now be in full health when it happens in September rather than just getting back on my feet in a couple of weeks time. If you would like to sponsor the details are in the sidebar.

I had a nice chunk of money in my gift wallet on my amazon.com account so decided to treat myself to the US versions of Jen Williams’ Copper Cat books. I absolutely adore the US covers and really wanted to add them to my shelves. They arrived this week and they are even better in person than the pictures give them credit for.

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed Alphabet of Thorn and Skullsworn

Other Posts

This week I had the blog tour for Mother of Wolves; book blitzes for My Roommate’s Girl, Falling for Dante, and Down and Dirty. There was also a cover reveal for Pot Love and Pot Love 2. Finally, Shelley Wilson was on The Bookshelf this week.

Giveaways

  • Signed Copy of My Roommate’s Girl + Chocolate (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

#BlogTour: Mother of Wolves by J Aislynn d’Merricksson @cala_gobraith @lolasblogtours #Excerpt

Welcome to my stop on the Mother of Wolves blog tour from Lola’s Blog Tours. Today I have an excerpt from this book for you!

Description

It is a year of awakening and change for Kalla kyl’Solidor – the Wolf Who Sleeps. After a fire wyvern attacks her home, she sets on a harsh path to self-discovery.

With the future of their world at stake, Kalla and her magister embark on a journey that will shake the foundations of De Sikkari and shape their destiny.

From the depths of Xibalba to the plains of Arkkadia, and the soaring heights of the sky continent of Argoth, they journey to claim their rightful place in the world, and to put an end to the source of the destruction before chaos claims the realm.

Book 1 of 4 in the Evalyce: Worldshaper series

Mother of Wolves - Tour Banner

Excerpt

Kalla knelt down by the prisoner, where he now lay slumped against the wall. She ran gentle hands over him, assessing the damage. He had many wounds, but most were minor, certainly nothing she couldn’t handle easily. Kalla studied him for a moment, then took a deep breath, fully committing herself to her course. Hand under his chin, Kalla raised his face to look at her.

 

“What is your name?” she asked softly.

 

“Ale.. Aleister. Aleister Balflear.” He attempted a wry grin. “The Sky Fox, at your service, milady.”

 

“Well then, Aleister Balflear, I am Kalla kyl’Solidor and I am in need of a magister. What say you?”

 

A single brown eye widened, then he broke out in a fit of laughter that dissolved into another bout of coughing.

 

“Me? A magister? Milady, no offense, but I’m a thief, not a warrior. I fear you would be getting the short end of that deal,” he replied.

 

“To be honest, I have no wish to take a magister at all, but the Powers that Be say I must. I’m not looking for brute strength. I value cunning and intelligence more and a fox should have more than enough of that.” Her questioning look was rewarded with another half-smile.

 

“Very well, milady. If it keeps me from Tysin’s clutches, I accept.”

 

“You must be sure of this. Being magister to a mage means you are bound to them. I will be able to sense you, and you I. There will be times when I will need to rely upon you as a conduit of power, and times when I will need to rely on you for protection. If I should happen to die, so will you.”

 

He nodded acceptance and sank back against the wall, his strength finally starting to fade.

”Then I guess I’d better make sure that doesn’t happen anytime soon.” There was the hint of a grin in his words.

About J Aislynn d’Merricksson

J. Aislynn D Merricksson - Author ImageAllemerra! That’s ‘hello’ in Argosian. Argoth is one of the countries of the world of De Sikkari, where my Evalyce novels take place. It is a vibrant world, as real to me as the mundane world here. The ‘J’ in my name stands for Julianna, but I prefer Aislynn.

I have a degree in anthropology you see. I approach my writing from the viewpoint of an anthropologist. My sister calls me a ‘biblioanthropologist’. I like the word. It fits perfectly! What are writers but consummate anthropologists? Writers must employ the skills of the ethnographer, the cultural anthropologist, the archaeologist, the linguist, and sometimes even the psychologist and the naturalist in order to weave their stories. I do not craft this world. I merely found the key to it and happen to have the skills (and courage) to share it with others.

I was destined for a career in forensic anthropology. A medical issue thwarted those plans and I ended up with a bachelor’s in archaeology, and later a master’s and a doctorate in philosophy. Along the crooked path away from what I found familiar, and into the unknown, I

discovered a knack for poetry, and a gift for writing. I’ve honed these raw skills to something worth sharing, and found the key to a world I’ve fallen in love with.

There was a decade-long love affair with teaching, in which I crafted many of my own classes related to mythic studies, anthropology, archaeology, and ethics. My favourite class crafting was for an intro to mythology class. I did not want a boring listing such as Intro to Mythology. So…. I tweeted several famous people, authors, actors, and the like, the question- what would you name a class on mythology if you wanted to be creative. The last person I ever expected to respond was Mark Sheppard (Crowley on Supernatural. His response was ‘Bob’. So I took the challenge, and in the end, I had a class called BoB, a gift from the King of Hell. The full name was Blessing of Bragi, Bragi being the poet and keeper of stories in Norse mythology.

An observant person may notice that my eyes are heterochromatic. One is blue and one is hazel. Now, true heterochromia is rare. In my case it is a personal choice. That medical issue was a serious one. At the age of twenty, I lost my right eye and had prosthesis put in. That gave me the opportunity to express my eccentricity and insist on an eye that was a different colour. It also forced me to confront one of my greatest fears- that of losing my eyesight altogether.

I think I have Loki to thank for that. I follow a Norse spiritual path called Rokkatru. Brother Wildfire always has lessons for me. Fun fact-Loki is also known as the Lord of Laughter. My lessons generally are to teach me to laugh at the mild or major setbacks in life. It’s a lesson I’m slowly learning.

My crooked path has led me to a wonderful home in Northern California, where I live with my sister, bond-brother, bond-mate, niece, a guinea pig, and two kitty cats. Yes, we have a large house! Sometimes it feels a little crowded, but most often it is nice to have the closeness of family.

I spend my nights as an innkeep, which usually gives me ample time to write, or to read. I love to read! I was an early reader and I always have a book with me. That’s a passion that lead me to becoming a professional book reviewer, freelancing for several review groups such

as the San Francisco Book Review. Such bliss! Paid to read! What could be better?

Synmerra! That’s good-bye in Argosian 🙂

Feel free to stop by Port Jericho! Always happy to see new people. http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

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Book & Buy Links

TitleMother of Wolves
SeriesEvalyce Worldshaper #1
Author: J. Aislynn d’Merricksson
Genre: Fantasy | Steam Punk
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 12 July 2015
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 158
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository 

Week in Review – 4 June 2017

I’ve had a bad week this week, the dark cloud of depression has knocked me for six and a few things have made me doubt blogging. I had an author ask me to change my rating on their review which hurt more than I thought it would when I’d heard other people talking about similar encounters. I obviously said no, I think it’s safe to say as bloggers we all value our integrity and to do something like this undervalues all of our reviews not just that one.

My infection didn’t shift with the antibiotics so I’ve been given another, longer course of antibiotics which will run into my operation next week, it always makes me really angry and moody which is not helping my depressive mood or my reaction to negative situations any! I also ended up in hospital again on Friday with suspected Lithium Toxicity (which is a kind of blood poisoning) so I’m starting to feel like a real frequent flier in that place at the moment! All being well, my operation is next week, I have posts scheduled to go live while I’m away but I will likely be AWOL for a few days at least. So please don’t take it personally if I don’t visit you or don’t reply to any messages. I will be back!

Then there is my ongoing drama of trying to get a ticket to BristolCon a fantasy/sci-fi convention in October. On their website they say they offer an unwaged “membership” (their form of a ticket). I’ve been trying to get one for about 3 weeks now and it’s impossible. Last year I couldn’t go because I couldn’t afford it, this life on benefits is hard but I’ve tightened my belt a lot and have a bit to spare so could afford the early bird unwaged membership and with Jen Williams one of their guests I was well chuffed to go.

You can’t change the ticket option on the website so I tweeted them and sent an email to the address on the ticket page, after a few days I put a message up on my facebook page as I know a few people who go every year and know the people who run it and asked them if they could help me out with a contact. A few days later I got a reply on Twitter with a different email address and a promise someone would reply. I sent the email and nothing, nada, nil. And on June 1 the prices went up so I guess I won’t be going after all, which sucks! I have to say though they shouldn’t offer alternative prices if they aren’t going to honour them…that is really, truly, crap! I also won’t be trying to go again, even once I’m back in work and can afford full ticket price, I’ll go elsewhere.

Finally, in more positive news I’m taking part in Walking out of Darkness at the end of the month, it’s a mental health awareness event, walking ten miles in Weston super Mare. I’m taking part with my Brother and a mutual friend of ours and we are raising money for Bipolar UK. We have a fundraising page where you can donate if you feel so inclined or details of our text to donate are in the sidebar. We are grateful for anything you can spare for this amazing charity. Although as it’s just a couple of weeks after my operation I may be biting off more than I can chew! HAHA!

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Book of the Month

I swear I only did this last week! How has it come around so quickly?!

Red Sister - Mark LawrenceI had a few books that were in the running this month with 5* reviews but only one stood out hands and feet ahead of them all and that was this one.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence 

Red Sister was the kind of read that glues you to the page from the first word to the last. It was enthralling and fantasy writing at it’s very best. If this doesn’t become a classic in the genre then I will eat my fluffy hat.

“I ended up spending the last hundred pages or so with my breath held, toes clenched,  and grinding my teeth, there was just so much tension.”

For the full review click here.

To Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepositorySpeedyHen

Most Viewed In May

the-last-days-of-magicIn contrast my most viewed page in May was Mark Tompkins The Last Days of Magic, this was actually one of my Books of the Month for May. But I found out on Friday by chance that Mark is actually running a sponsored post on Facebook using my review which I’m both very flattered about and grateful for aswell.

Currently Reading

What I’ve Read

New Books

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

Giveaway Wins

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed My Beautiful Disaster Part 2 and The Modern Girls Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully.

Other Posts

This week I had book blitz for Smoke and Mirrors, When Smoke Rains Down, Lone Wolf and Damned Either Way. a blog tour for The Velvet Chair, my new feature TBR Topple, and on The Bookshelf was the very lovely Louise Rose-Innes.

Giveaways

  • Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box (Intl winner would get eBook prizes) (Blitz-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $30 Amazon gift card & ebook copy of The Velvet Chair / 4x ebook copies of The Velvet Chair (International tour-wide giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $100 Amazon gift card / A set of signed copies of the A Breed MC series (International Blitz-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

Week in Review – 28 May 2017

A huge thanks to Janet and Susan who both let me know that I had been quoted in the recently released paperback version of Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell. This was a wonderful surprise and I am in great company with Whispering Stories, From First Page to Last, Paper Love Story, and By The Letter Book Reviews all being quoted aswell.

This is the second book I’ve been quoted in and it feels wonderful! I can tell I’m not going to get bored of seeing my words in print!

After feeling ill last week, I ended up in hospital this week for a brief stint! Turns out I had a really bad UTI. I’ve had a course of antibiotics, and am now on the mend (I wrote a full post on the whole drama on the other blog). Of course it all coincided with when I was supposed to see Iron Maiden so I was not only really unwell, I was really annoyed aswell and everyone was getting the brunt of my bad mood, so apologies to all of my loved ones for my epic sulk!

I have a couple of new features in the pipeline, one will kick off in June and the first post is already written and ready to go. The other I’m planning for July, I have a few posts that I’m working on but I have a facebook post over on my page looking for some feedback on the overall idea as I’m still not 100% sure this idea will fly. If you have time to take a look and give me your thoughts that would be great! It’s the pinned post on my page.

Finally, I have come up with the idea of arranging a Book Bloggers Meet Up in/around Bristol. I have one blogger on board already but it would be great to have an idea of who may be interested if this went ahead and the types of things you might like from such a get together… i.e. Would you like authors there aswell? Speakers? Food and drink? And so on… I can’t guarantee I can meet all requests but it’s worth knowing what the wish lists look like! Drop me an email and I will start plotting and planning!

So, onto my bookish update this week…

Currently Reading

I’ve had real trouble reading with being so ill and being on super strong painkillers, trying to get my head into my fantasy books this week has been impossible, I tried a slightly lighter fantasy read I have for an upcoming blog tour but still couldn’t concentrate so ended up slipping back to the trusted romance and have even been a lot slower with that than usual.

What I’ve Read

New Books

I’ve been on a bit of a spree this week, as well as the one’s below I’ve pre-ordered a bunch which I will put in as they arrive! Oh dear I need to sprout a couple of extra heads at this point!

Bought / Freebies

Book Post

eARCs

Reviews

This week I’ve reviewed, Kiss Me at Willoughby Close, Red Sister, Groupie, Alice in Brexitland, and Roadie.

Other Posts

I had a book blitz for Dark Illusions this week and on The Bookshelf was the very lovely Book Blogger Lorraine from The Book Review Café.

Giveaways

  • Head to my pinned post on Twitter to enter to win a book of your choice from BookDepository up to the value of £10. This is international to celebrate reaching 2,000 followers on Twitter.
  • £10 Amazon Gift Card / Paperback copy of Find me at Willoughby Close (Tour-Wide Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • $50 Amazon gift card + signed copy of Groupie (Tour-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter
  • Signed copy of Dark Illusions / $25 Amazon gift card from Dark Illusions (Blitz-Wide International Giveaway) Rafflecopter

Next Week on BrizzleLass Books

 

Week in Review – 30 April 2017

This week I drew the winners of my Blogiversary Giveaways, all of the winners have been notified by email and I’ve received word that some of the prizes have already landed. 

I’m so grateful to everyone who entered, for the people who donated prizes, and to all of you for all of your support.

The lucky winners were:

  • The Last Days of Magic – Holly
  • Caraval – Ali
  • Caraval Goodies – Kerry
  • Bookishly Goodies – Suzanne
  • Book & Nook Candle – Jill

I also had a wonderful experience with an author this week which I wanted to share, especially during these times where there is so much talk of aggression from authors. 

I wrote a negative review on the back of not being able to finish a novel. I was very disappointed about this because I’d been very much looking forward to reading this book and as all of us do I did my best to make sure that the review I wrote was reflective, honest, but fair. 

The response I had from the author was nothing short of wonderful and far beyond gracious. We had a short conversation and she even recommended some other authors to me. I know it can’t be easy at all to know the work you’ve put your heart into hasn’t been well received but to be so lovely when you read that is something I’ve certainly never experienced before. If I’m honest, I’m even more gutted than I started out that I didn’t get on with this book, because now I know the author is really nice aswell!

Flash Giveaway

So, I bought myself a new Kindle cover and like the highly intelligent person I am, I bought the wrong size *insert clapping here* the ebay shop I bought it from, after making me think they were going to refuse to let me return it, actually spun things around and sent me the correct one at no charge and told me to keep the wrong one (5 star review for them). So, I now have a cover which is of no use to me. So I figured if anyone out here in book blog land wants it…it’s yours! It is for a Kindle Fire HD 2013 7″ model and the picture to the right is the design on it. If you want it just pop a comment below to say you want it. I don’t expect this to be popular so first comment that wants it wins. Simples!

So, onto my update this week… (as always click on the covers for more info/to see the posts)

Currently Reading

Cry Wolf - Greta Stone

What I’ve Read

There Is Always More To Say - Lynda Spiro HEX - Thomas Olde Heuvelt

New Books

I’m sticking with being strict on not having too much adding to my TBR at the moment. I really need to clear it down some more.

Bought / Freebies

The Keepers Sienna - Rae Rivers 

eARCs

Mother of Wolves - J. Aislynn D'Merricksson

Reviews

The Dragon's Legacy - Deborah A. Wolf  Find Me At Willoughby Close - Kate Hewitt The Darkness of Love - Catherine Green the-unlikeable-demon-hunter-deborah-wilde

Other Posts

I had a lovely guest post from dual-timeline novelist Suzanne Rogerson this week, and author of The Guardian J.L. McFadden wrote a really personal guest post which was very well received earlier in the week.

Prowlers & Growlers The Guardian - J.L. McFadden the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • eBook Copy of Thrust by Sybil Bartel with Rough (International) Rafflecopter
  • Amazon Kindle Fire or $100 Amazon Gift Card and FREE eBooks from Prowlers & Growlers – Blitz Wide (International) Rafflecopter
  • 1 Signed Paperback of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter – Tour Wide Rafflecopter