A book from another world in my handbag

It is great to challenge ourselves with new genres, and ‘We Other’ is a dark fairy thriller. According to reviewers, ‘We Other’ is a magical novel to inspire the imagination. ‘In the book you will meet faeries you would never want to meet on a dark night,’ explained, the author, Sue Bentley. Intrigued, I asked Sue to address her readers, and tell us more about her novel.

 

 

Dear Readers – I am delighted to present We Other.

In this extract we meet Jess Morgan, a loner who doesn’t fit in and has few friends. Her life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined.

I chose this extract to introduce Jess, whose story this is. She’s feisty, difficult and street-wise – with good reason – but she’s vulnerable too, with a good heart.

The reader should be tempted to place my book in their handbag because it’s a complex and rewarding read, with many twists and turns which will keep them guessing.  I’m rooting for Jess and I hope you will too, once you get to know her.

Best wishes and I hope you enjoy the extract. Happy reading!

Sue Bentley

 

Words from the book…

And then looking through the opening into the final gallery, Jess caught sight of a large painting hanging by itself. Her breath quickening with excitement, she walked rapidly towards it.

There was a small crowd of people in front of the painting. She could only glimpse details through the shifting bodies, but she knew it was the one. She hung back, wanting to prolong the moment when she stood face to face with that figure wrought from shadows. Leave me alone with it, she thought. Go away. All of you.

Oblivious to the air around her tingling and shimmering, in a way that was beginning to feel familiar, she stared at the painting. As she moved forward, time seemed to shift into slow motion. A slew of sound echoed hollow and discordant in her ears as every person standing in front of the painting turned in a single movement. They looked at Jess with glazed eyes, before drifting sideways in a single body, moving as if in the steps of some tightly choreographed dance, and melting from the gallery.

Everyone else had somehow left too, she realised. She could see people strolling around the other galleries through the archways. But here, she was alone. In the sudden stillness Jess caught her breath. The painting was revealed to her in its entirety. Or as she thought oddly, it revealed itself to her.

She was not disappointed by what she saw.

More about the book…

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of her worries. Drawn into a new world of rich darkness, she finds herself torn between love, family and a growing sense of a new, powerful identity.

Strapline for the book – Fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

What the reviewers say…

‘Darkly delicious. Lights the blue touch paper and runs away.’ Peter J Goodchild

‘Absolutely magical. Compelling story and gorgeous writing.’  Freda Warrington – award winning author of 21 fantasy novels

‘Give yourself time. You won’t want to put this down.’ Ruth Webster

More about Sue…

Sue Bentley is fascinated by English Folklore, the extraordinary in the everyday and the darkness that hovers at the edges of the light.

Sue says…

Louis Armstrong says it best – ‘the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night’ You can’t have one without the other.

I always enjoyed ‘real’ fairy tales – not the sanitised Disney versions. For example, in some versions of Cinderella – the ugly sisters snip off their toes to be able to cram their feet into the glass slipper.

I was that kid in a class of pink tutus who was dressed as a vampire bat. I never wanted high-heeled dancing shoes, I wanted sturdy boots to go tramping around forests looking for the shapes of goblins in the trees.

As for characters – Goody, Goody is all very well, but it can get boring. We all love the ‘bad’ characters who do doubtful things – they’re much more fun to write about.

I am intrigued by Sue’s exploration of the ‘darkness that hovers on the edge of light’ and wonder what she presents to the reader in ‘We Other’.  The extract evoked my imagination, and I wanted to know why Jess ‘wasn’t disappointed’.  This novel sounds as if it will challenge the boundaries of the imagination, as it has done for the reviewers.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Something ‘Broken But Not Lost’ in my handbag

Broken

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivy Logan is presenting the cover reveal of her gripping young adult romance, ‘Broken’.  It is a coming of age romance of sacrifice and love. As I am unfamiliar with this genre, I asked Ivy why I should place her supernatural fantasy adventure in my handbag.

Here is Ivy’s explanation:

Talia, my heroine, belongs to a time when there were no handbags. But for the modern reader, a handbag is all about a woman on the go with so much to do, places to go, things to achieve.

Broken is so apt for the modern reader, who is on the move, as you can pick up the at any time and find sanctuary in another world.  The novel will draw you into a magical world where women are not perfect, but love gives them the power and the courage to fight dragons. We all face dragons, in real life, for the love of our families.

Talia is fragile, has been hunted and has lost her entire family to an ancient curse. As an independent woman, she doesn’t need a prince to protect her, only to love her.  She has learned the best lesson in life- take a stand and face your nemesis head on.

This book offers young girls a female hero who believes in, her family, love and friendships. Although a fantasy, this book has a significant message.  Broken is the portrayal of a strong woman who deals with violence, bullying, grief and sacrifice.

Talia may live in a fantasy world, but like any girl in modern society, she has her own problems and insecurities to overcome before she is strong once again.

It is intriguing the way Ivy has presented an inspirational message in the story. Ivy weaved her magic and had me hooked on her clever tale, and I read the blurb to discover more…

The dark shadow cast by an ancient prophecy shatters an innocent family, but all that is broken is not lost.

Unaware of her supernatural legacy, half blood sorceress Talia has a unique childhood. Although protected by the love of her parents, Talia is instructed in the art of combat by her mother, Caitlin, a powerful sorceress of the Heichi clan.

When Talia’s family’s worst nightmare comes to pass, her protected life spins out of control. Everything she believes in and everyone she loves is cruelly snatched away and Talia is forced to flee the attentions of a mad king.

Choosing a path of retribution devoid of love and friendship, Talia comes to learn that love can be received even if it is not sought.

Broken’ is a tale of Talia’s coming of age, reuniting with her family, and seeking vengeance. Most of all, it chronicles, Talia’s rise from the ashes and how she finds herself again.

Set against a background of time travel and supernatural forces, read Talia’s epic saga of love, sacrifice, and discovering the hero within.

Once the magic spell of the blurb had been cast, I asked Ivy to present some magic words from the story…

Caitlin finally saw a way out of her torment. She had been born a guardian and it was now time to don the mantle again. She had to protect her little family.  She and the cursed child must be separated from each other. If they were not together, the prophecy could not come to pass.

But how does a mother choose? Choosing between her children seemed implausible and unthinkable, but for the sake of her family, she had to do it. She had to know which child lived under the shadow of the curse.

In little Joshua, who was so innocent and without guile, Caitlin saw Michael and the peace and calm he brought to her life. In Talia, she saw an image of herself, the strength, the promise of power, and unfortunately, the pain it could bring. Talia was the half blood; the prophecy predicting Caitlin would betray the Heichi on account of her child had to be related to Talia.

Broken Not Lost‘ is yet to receive reviews.  However, the prequel, Origins – Legends of Ava, has received wonderful reviews and this bodes well for the release of the novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do the reviewers say about the prequel to Broken, titled, Origins –The Legend of Ava?

‘What an introduction! It just leaves you hungry for more. Ivy Logan knows how to build a beautiful scenario even if it is a tragic one. The taste of her mythology is a fresh one. I can’t wait to read more.’ Selene Kallan

‘I have just had the pleasure of reading this short story and prequel to Broken; book one of The Breach Chronicles. The author has introduced the reader to a world where supernaturals live on earth and the complications that this can bring. In this story we meet Ava and the Heichi sorceresses and what a gripping start to the story it is when tragedy and subsequent decisions surrounding this, creates unease among the supernatural. This is a story you must read and it has left me wanting more. I hope it isn’t too long before Broken is released so that I can find out what happens next.’ Ann Walker

‘Picture the opening scene… The beautiful yet unassuming girl, the bad boy rebel… A budding romance. Without giving too much away, they don’t feature all that long in plot. This novel starts as it means to go on, it take all those YA tropes and lets you know that isn’t going to happen here.
I’m genuinely excited to read more of this story. The world being built is rich and new. I’m an artist and I’m already itching to bring to life on paper. The characters are, for lack of a better word, human. Flawed in a real sense that allows you to emphasize with them. The multi perspective way the story is presented allows for a 360 view of events. A very important factor to this introductory piece. I can’t wait for the next installment!’ Faith Summers

‘Ms. Logan has done a great job of setting up the premise for Broken, Book 1 of the Breach Chronicles. The characters are well described, their emotions jumping off the page, and all beautifully worded. I’m looking forward to reading the first installment of the series as this prequel peeks my interest to the epic saga that is to follow.’ Jacky Dahlhaus

 

 

Broken is Book 1 of The Breach Chronicles.   The cover evokes intrigue and Ivy’s writing has the magical quality required for this genre. I believe the readers will not leave this fantasy world until they are reassured that all is ‘Broken But Not Lost’.  This is Ivy’s debut novel and I wish her all the best with her magical adventures!

 

Please see my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Who’s Afraid of the Werewolf Assassin?

Shelley Wilson

Shelley Wilson

 

 

 

 

I sat outside of the café enjoying the winter sun, as I waited for author, Shelley Wilson to arrive. Thankfully, I had decided to wear my walking jacket and hiking boots and purple ski hat to ward off the chill.   The blue sky breathed glorious colour into the sea, and the sun brushed my face.  Mesmerised by the magical light bathing the scene, I contemplated what I would drink to warm me up. Finally, the fresh icy temperature drove me inside the café to wait for Shelley’s arrival. 

Shelley celebrating a publishing deal.

Having travelled from the Midlands, by car, Shelley arrived bright and early and full of enthusiasm; her positivity shone from the moment she arrived. Wearing black knee-high Timberland boots with black leggings and a Harry Potter slogan t-shirt Shelley delighted in the location of my Bloggers’ Café.  I ordered an Americano and pain au chocolat, Shelley ordered a skinny latte and a croissant.

Shelley has recently gained a publishing contract from BHC Press and has written shelves full of books.  Beside writing young adult fiction, she is also a motivational blogger. I was excited to meet with an author who has pursued a successful writing career through the indie route.  Intrigued, I asked Shelley to tell me more about her novel Oath Breaker.

Where is the werewolf assassin?

Shelley: What would happen if little red riding hood was a werewolf assassin?

Mia is torn between training to hunt wolves and becoming one of the pack.

Jessie:  Ah, so you have challenged the fairy-tale.  It sounds fascinating and scary.  How has the novel been received?

Shelly removed her gloves to retrieve pre-printed page of reviews from her large brown bag trimmed with a beige piping.

Shelley: I have been so excited with the overwhelming responses.

Shelley Wilson’s best book by far…a fast-paced, excellently written young adult novel. – Barb Taub.

The reader will enjoy the build-up of tension and suspense, the riveting and likeable characters, the surprising plot twists, and spine-tingling secrets to be found behind the locked doors of Hood Academy. Paranormal YA fans will not want to miss this one — it is a true delight! – InD’Tale Magazine.

Shelley Wilson Oath Breaker

Oath Breaker is gritty, fast-paced, and addictive, and the need for answers drove me alongside Mia until the whole truth was discovered. – The San Francisco Book Review.

Jessie:   Wow!  Brilliant accolades.  Please, give me a tempting couple of words from the novel

Shelley: How could I tell him that my dad was the one who tried to kill me and that a wolf had jumped through the window and ripped out his throat? Who would believe me?

Jessie: How did you feel when you had finished writing Oath Breaker, and did you miss any of the characters?

Shelley: I was filled with a sense of satisfaction when I’d finished writing Oath Breaker as my protagonist, Mia, had come such a long way. From the broken young girl at the start of the book, she had evolved into a strong and independent young woman. I guess I did miss having her around. Perhaps that’s what spurred me on to write the sequel!

Jessie: Who would you like to read your book and why?  This could be another author, someone famous, a friend or a member of your family. 

Shelley: Ooh, what a fabulous question *ponders this for way too long.* I’ve been a fan of young adult (YA) books for many years, but before discovering the delights of Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah J Maas and Jana Oliver I was an avid follower of the TV Shows and script writers that shaped this genre. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a firm favourite of mine so I’d love it if Joss Whedon read my book and then called me to say ‘Hey Shell, loved Oath Breaker and think we should make an epic TV series based on your characters!’ – It could happen!!

Jessie: Why should I keep your book in my handbag?

I listened for the werewolves when the moon shone bright.

Shelley: The full moon rises every month and we all know that any werewolf worth his salt will be shifting and howling well into the night. Think of Oath Breaker as your go-to guide for dealing with these hairy neighbours. If the top tips laid out by the hunters’ doesn’t sit right with your ‘all animal are cute’ vibe then at least you’ll have something to read when the wailing keeps you up until the early hours!

Jessie: What is the last sentence written in your writer’s notebook?

‘To every pack, a cub is born. Unleash the hunter to protect and serve.’

Jessie: It sounds as if you are planning another novel, but I won’t pry. What is the biggest challenge for an author?

Shelley: For me, I would say that marketing, and encouraging readers to leave a review are the most challenging aspects of being an author. Writing and editing the book is the easy bit!

I love social media and I’m fortunate that my YA Facebook followers are great at engaging with me online. The writing and blogging community on Twitter is also hugely supportive. Fellow authors know the importance of reviews, sharing special offers, and cross promotion but getting the reading public to do the same is much harder. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all remedy so having, and maintaining, an author platform on social media and through a blog are vital tools which can eat into valuable writing time.

Jessie: What is the best advice that you have received as a writer?

I’m not sure this piece of advice is purely for writers’ as I tend to use it in all areas of my life – ‘fake it until you make it.’

I’ve never declared myself as an aspiring author, instead I’ll shout from the rooftops that I am a writer. My writing career started on the self-publishing stage and I was proud to be an independent author. Thanks to my ‘faked confidence’ many of my fellow traditionally published author friends were surprised when they found out I was self-published. I was proud when they complimented me on how I handle myself and my author platform.

All that fake it until you make it paid off as I recently signed a ten-book publishing deal with American publisher BHC Press and sold the audio rights for two of my non-fiction titles to WF Howes.

Shelley waiting for Harry Potter

About Shelley:

Shelley Wilson divides her writing time between the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction, and her motivational non-fiction for adults.

She is an obsessive list maker, who loves pizza, vampires, and mythology, and can be quite excitable around a castle ruin.

Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire but raised in Solihull, West Midlands, Shelley lives with her three teenagers, one eleven-year-old fat goldfish and a black cat called Luna.

It was a pleasure to meet a fellow Leeds lass! I met with Shelley the day of the Super Blood Moon, and our conversation did pique my imagination. I confess that I listened for the werewolves when the moon shone bright in the night sky.  I am intrigued by the way Shelley manipulates fairy tales and applies mythology to her novels.  There are many layers to her novels and she presents a very contemporary, motivational message in her novels.  She is lively, fun and energetic – all the qualities required for a successful writer.  Her self-belief and ‘fake it till you make it’ philosophy is great advice. Oath Breaker has received wonderful accolades and she should expect that phone call very soon…

Contact Details
Twitter: @ShelleyWilson72
Facebook: facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson
Blog: www.shelleywilsonauthor.com
Website: www.shelleywilsonauthor.co.uk
Publisher: http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_SL_Wilson.html
Email: authorshelleywilson@gmail.com

 

 

Please see all my author interviews in My Guests chat room and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.com.