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Book Review - Mysteries and Misadventures

Thank you Judith Crow for writing this book review.
Mysteries and Misadventure - Tales from the Highlands by Aaron Mullins


I do like short stories. There’s just something about having the option to dive into a book for five minutes and emerge having completed an entire story.

Aaron Mullins' Mysteries and Misadventures is a collection of short stories which are inspired by the area we live in. It always helps when you can put yourself in the place where the stories are set but, never fear, Aaron has a genuine gift for descriptive writing which allows people from any place to put themselves in the settings he skilfully creates.

I regularly do the “first read” of the Crowvus Christmas Ghost Story competition, meaning that I can be reading over a hundred supernatural stories in a very short space of time. That makes me choosy and means I come at any such stories with a very critical eye. Mysteries and Misadventures does stand up well in this light. Again, that descriptive writing is what …
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Book Review - Ashes and Blood

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for "Ashes and Blood" by Katie Zaber.

BLURB
“I’ll start at the beginning. Long ago, before roads, before we built structures, before medicine
was discovered, before the government was created, before man gained any knowledge, there
were The Five. Independent from each other, The Five had a mutual respect for one another.
They knew their roles in the world and their duty. They were gods…”
An adventure begins when an otherworldly tree captures the attention of Megan and her friends.
The environment morphs around them, transferring them to an exotic planet. Stuck in a rural
town still maimed by the plague, a chance encounter with a familiar face gives Megan and her
friends some security during their adjustment period.
While settling into new, promising lives, they are attacked and stalked by planet Dalya’s
humanoid inhabitants, who focus on Megan. One dark night, after an epic, magical attack, the
Fae King’s knight is sent to …

Thank You and Goodnight - an #AuthorOfTheWeek blog

It's been great sharing this week with you all. I haven't missed a day with my blogging, although they tended to be pushing a little bit close to midnight, and I've loved sharing writing advice as well as my upcoming books with you.

Time's a funny thing, isn't it? While I'm sitting here typing, I've lost track on the number of days and weeks since the lockdown began. In some ways it seems to have been an age ago, in others last year seems just like yesterday. My decision to make Time the evil character in Caledon was in part a product of this cruel trick.

There's a writing-world adage, telling authors they should write what they know. It's when I look back at time, and realise all I've done in the last 35 years, that I see how fortunate I am. I'm not going to lie and say things have always been perfect, they haven't.
But life has.
It's been utterly inspirational! And there is no doubt in my mind that, if I didn't believe in the m…

What's Next? - An #AuthorOfTheWeek blog

This is my penultimate (one of my favourite words!) blog as #AuthorOfTheWeek, but I hope you've enjoyed my tips about inspiration and writing. Today, I'm making an offering to the reading community, and giving you a small sample of four novels which are up-and-coming from me over the next couple of years. At the moment, two of them are still nameless and, although the other two already have covers, I'm sworn to secrecy about them!

Allow me to introduce you to them!

The third book in the Tenterchilt family saga Beginning on the field of Waterloo, this third instalment (although it was actually the fourth one I wrote!) follows the Tenterchilt sisters in a period of peace. But peace is a luxury which is denied to the family, partly owing to ghosts of the past, partly owing to the cruelties of outside forces.
Among These Dark Satanic Mills This is a totally new style of writing for me -set in the here and now, which is way out of my usual comfort zone! This book will be released…

When The Inspiration Runs Out - an #AuthorOfTheWeek blog

During my #AuthorOfTheWeek interview, I mentioned (amongst a lot of other things) that the lockdown has challenged my focus with writing. I've begun several things which have been fated to end up on the back-burner or just completely discarded.

My #AuthorOfTheWeek interview!
The truth is, when all those other things I'm mentioned so far this week fail to inspire me, there's one last-ditch attempt I have of getting writing. And that rests with a very significant group of people: my characters.

I have a terrible - but incredibly rewarding - habit of allowing my characters the gift of Free Will. Sometimes they resist, sometimes they run wild, and then on other occasions they actually dictate the next development. I have utmost respect for each one of them, goodies and baddies, men and women, human and inhuman. Why? Because when I've completely run out of steam, they're the ones who make the story their own.

I've had some great feedback on my characters, but one of…

Music to Inspire - An #AuthorOfTheWeek Blog

Three years ago, when I launched my first book, Clemency made me two CDs to take with us on our roadtrip. In many respects, those became the soundtrack for my entire family saga. But many of the songs belong to the finished novels. This blog is looking at the music which inspires me while I'm writing.

As I mentioned in last night's blog and in my #AuthorOfTheWeek interview, most of the music I listen to when I'm writing has no words. This is the safest way of ensuring I don't just start writing out the song lyrics instead of my stories! But, for the sake of this blog, I'm thinking about a mixture of songs and instrumental music, just to ring the changes!

So I've come up with 6 pieces which inspire me (there could have been many more, but I don't want to bore you!) - here they are:

1 - The last three tracks of the Gladiator soundtrack (Elysium, Honour Him, Now We Are Free) [Hans Zimmer]
I fell in love with this soundtrack from the moment I went to watch the …

People Who Inspire - An #AuthorOfTheWeek Blog

So far this week I've shared with you some places and some things which have been a source of inspiration for me. Today, I'm going to share some people who have inspired me. Some of these people are not what I would call heroes, but are people whose stories have touched my own and, in some cases, whose work I hope to continue and honour with my own writings.
I unashamedly have an obsessive nature. If I uncover a new person (usually someone from deep in the realms of history!) I want to know all I can about them. There have been several occasions when I've deviated from the research I was meant to be doing, and click through a series of links until I find myself researching someone who I have no idea how I even found them! The back button is very useful for this!
One good example of this was when I was researching for a book which is coming out next year, called The Year We Lived, which is set just after the Norman conquest. Most of my characters who are erroneously called…