Week in Review – 5 March 2017

I’ve decided to start doing a review post each week…hopefully it will last but I think it’s nice to see what’s been happening and I always enjoy others posts like this! I’m not 100% on the layout of this post yet, I may tweak it a bit over the next few weeks while I get my head around how I want it to look but hopefully it will settle in! Clicking on the covers will take you to their Amazon page or the blog post, depending on the section they are in.

I’ve been having a few issues with the old bipolar this week so haven’t read as much as I would have liked as I’ve been on extra medication to sedate me which doesn’t help but I’ve still managed to get through a few! I also had a day out with Hubs at Warwick Castle, it wasn’t as good as I expected, I kinda feel like Merlin have ruined the castle vibe a bit (I really like my castle’s) with all their trying to turn it into a low-key theme park. Honestly I like going to a castle and crawling around all over the castle sucking in the atmosphere and learning about the history. Anyway it was nice for Hubs and I to get some time together before he heads off and starts his new job next week.

the-ninth-rain-quoteThis is technically from last week, but as I wasn’t doing these posts then I’ve put it in here. My pre-ordered copy of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams arrived and there on the first couple of pages was a quote from me! This is the first time I’ve had a quote in print and it just happens to be in my current favourite author’s book so pretty much a striking gold moment!

I’ve also booked tickets to go and see Wonderland the musical with some of my family this week. It isn’t until May but it does look quite magical so I’m looking forward to that.

I’m now planning my blogiversary celebration next month and what goodies I can giveaway to you lovely people! If any authors reading (or even you crafty type people) want to get involved hit me up as I’m always happy to talk collaboration for these things!

Book of the Month

I’ve also decided to pick a book of the month which I’ll include in this post, I’m hoping this will help me at the end of the year when I do my Top 10 as it took me literally hours to narrow it down last year! Now as I wasn’t doing this before I’ve included January aswell so without further ado here are my books of the month for January and February, with links to the reviews if you click on the covers…

runemarks-joanne-m-harris the-ninth-rain-jen-williams

Currently Reading

When the floods came clare morrall

What I’ve Read

Considering I’ve been quite ill this week I’ve done fairly well this week, I’m only counting three of these given the Ladybird book took me five minutes!

curse-of-stars norse-mythology the-ladybird-book-of-the-zombie-apocalypse celtic-fire-liz-gavin

New Books

I’m still gaining more books than I’m getting through each week! I know, a common problem but still, we need some brakes to go on here people!

Bought

dragon-of-ash-stars serve

Gifts

the-ladybird-book-of-the-zombie-apocalypse

Book Post

living-in-the-shallows-tani-hanes

eARCs

the-vets-at-hope-green-pt3 the-last-days-of-magic lost-rider-harper-sloan the-idea-of-you-amanda-prowse

Reviews

Dark Promise was the first paranormal romance I’ve read in quite some time and it was awesome, The Year of Saying Yes is turning into an enjoyable chick lit novella series, and The Zombie Apocalypse Ladybird book had me in stitches and was a great gift from my Niece!

dark-promise-nikki-landis the-year-of-saying-yes-hannah-doyle the-ladybird-book-of-the-zombie-apocalypse

Other Posts

a great mix of fantasy book blitzes this week, and I launched The Bookshelf a weekly Q&A feature, it will be for bloggers and authors, this week it kicked off with author Kierney Scott who had some awesome answers and a bookshelf to die for!

the-collective-r-s-williams the-oracle-k-s-marsden life-is-but-a-nightmare-erin-hayes songs-of-insurrection-jc-kang the-authors-bookshelf-logo

Giveaways

  • 1x eCopy of Holdfast by Kate Carter (International) Rafflecopter
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card from Life is But A Nightmare (International) Rafflecopter
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card from Songs of Insurrections (International) Rafflecopter

#BlogTour: The Oracle by K.S. Marsden @KSMarsden @UFBooks #GuestPost

Today I’m pleased to welcome K.S. Marsden to BrizzleLass Books as part of the Ultimate Fantasy Books blog tour for The Oracle, the second book in her Enchena series. She has written a great post on making fantasy a reality for the blog today so do dig in and enjoy. There is also a giveaway at the end of the post.

Description

After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David.

Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real.

New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.

the-oracle-tour-banner

Guest Post

Making Fantasy a Reality

“Well, Captain Rian, half of Enchena are convinced that I am a deity; and the other half know that the current heir to the throne is from another world. Not to mention, that everyone knows King Hrafn brings people back from the dead on a daily basis. So really, I think two-hundred-year-old-royal-Gardyn-sympathisers isn’t much more of a stretch.”

One of the things I love about reading (and writing) Fantasy books, is that there is no limit where your imagination can take you.

Your story can have any character you care to create; any setting; time period; magic, etc.

You are asking your readers to believe in something completely made up. Whether it is a creature or species that lives alongside humans; or a completely alien world; you want to encourage your readers to suspend their disbelief and join the adventure.

Ask readers what they like about their favourite Fantasy books, and most will say how real it is. Readers want something immersive, they want a world or society they wish they can be a part of. For that to happen, it has to make sense.

Established Creature/World etc

One option is to use something that is already established and has its own rules.

Let’s use vampires as an example.

If you want to write something quite light involving vampires, take the popular rules that absolutely everyone has heard of: drinking blood; immortal; burn in the sunlight; a stake to the heart kills.

All you have to do is mention “vampire” and most readers automatically accept those four rules.

As a writer, if you are happy with those rules, you can work them into your story to show how your character approaches them. Are they blood-thirsty or hate being leeches? Are they depressed with immortality, or gods above mere humans? Whatever you decide – STICK TO YOUR RULES.

If you want to write something more intense and with extra depth, there is a plethora of vampire lore across the many fields of books, films, historical studies and myths.  Have at it!

Will your character be related to Vlad the Impaler, with all his violent tendencies? Will your vampires take after Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with the ability to control the mist and fog and enchant young women? Will they be the ugly, demonesque enemies from Buffy? Or will they be glittery vegetarians, as shown in Twilight?

There is no wrong answer, this is your creation. Again, I would caution – STICK TO YOUR RULES.

New Creature/World etc

Another option is to use something that is entirely your own creation.

The perks of this includes no limits on your imagination, so if you want a pink flying rhino called Steve, that likes to knit, that’s fine. If you want a world made purely of volcanoes and fire-creatures, go for it!

You just have to understand that this all exists outside the everyday reader’s knowledge base. You can’t take for granted that the readers know that Steve the pink rhino will only eat cucumbers, and the fire-creatures suffer from hay fever. You can design any rules that you want for your characters, as long as you STICK TO YOUR RULES.

As long as you treat your fabrications with respect, so will everyone else.

Rule building

Whichever route you take, and whatever fantastical element you decide to use, there are four little tips I would give:

1) Establish your rules

A lot of writers remark that they get lost in their own world – this is a good thing! If it doesn’t feel like a real, tangible world for the writer, how is the reader supposed to believe it?

Personally, I would recommend writing down all the background information in a notebook. This works equally well for an in-depth research into the life of Vlad the Impaler, and keeping track of all the nuggets of mythology that interest you; or for Steve the pink rhino and all of his favourite stories.

You might never include the information in your published work, but it’s this background that will give your stories a sense of reality.

2) Make your rules fair

Also known as “give your character a hard time”.

Nobody wants to read about a character that cheats all the hard bits of life. How are readers supposed to get excited and root for a person who glides through the story because all the rules benefit them?

Likewise, it’s hard to really feel the tension and danger your hero might find themselves in, if said hero has X ability that means he’ll always win. It just wouldn’t happen in real life, and as I always say – life would be dull if it were easy.

It might be tempting, to make a rule that will automatically benefit your character, especially if you’ve written yourself into a corner and can’t see any way out without introducing a new rule. That’s the quickest way of a potentially great scene making a reader feel cheated.

I recommend sitting back and trying to come at it a different way. You might surprise yourself!

3) Remember that your readers don’t know your rules

After you’ve spent months, or even years, with your new world, it almost feels like a second home. You know it inside out, you know the background and circumstances behind every relationship, political tension, and story.

Please, please remember that your reader does not.

Try not to jump straight into the deep end without a few clues to guide your readers along.

I would definitely recommend getting some readers (these can be beta-readers, friends, or random people) that have no knowledge of your work, and see how easily they grasp the story. I know this is common practice for a lot of writers as part of their editing process, but it’s best to check how it is received by laymen.

4) Stick to your rules

You’ve picked these rules, now stick to them.

There may come a point in your writing where you realise a rule just doesn’t work for your story or hero. That’s fine, you can cut it or change it, just make sure you everything you have already written is edited to meet this new rule change.

There is nothing worse than reading a story with one set of rules, which jumps to a new set, with no warning or explanation.

About K.S. Marsden

Kelly Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.

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Giveaway

This is a great giveaway, there are 5x ecopies and 1x signed copy of The Oracle available in this tour-wide giveaway. Head to Rafflecopter to enter! Good Luck!

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Oracle
SeriesEnchena #2
Author: K.S. Marsden
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 1 January 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 222
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon USBook Depository