Author: Adriaan

Writing Update

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Here’s what we’ve been up to since we published Curse Bound earlier this year:

Rebecca completed an adult fantasy/humour novel, working title: The Witch’s Diary. Our first-readers have provided feedback and she’s gearing up to query it.

Adriaan completed a YA low-fantasy novel with a gender-fluid theme, working title: Part Time Girl. He has been querying it and has had some partials requested.

We have not forgotten the Mist Warden series! We recently completed the outline for book 3: Death Bound. There’s death and mayhem in Coldwater as the gate’s magic pushes farther into this reality.  Jess, Drew, and Mac face the toughest challenges yet, making decisions that will change the course of history.

Review: A Spell in the Country

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“A Spell in the Country” by Morgan Smith

A young soldier from a small town thrown into the heart of battle against supernatural evil threatening her country. Which incidentally puts her in close company with top scholars, nobility and of course the gorgeous prince :)

The story generally flows quickly across a landscape with detailed history. There’s a slow part in the middle where I was wondering if there was going to be any more action, but rest assured, the ending delivered some real tension.

Sometimes a contentious point in medieval fantasy settings, but gender equality is handled well and consistently. The author has obviously put some thought into how traditional concepts of chastity, purity and objectification would map out in a society with full equality (Shades of old-school Mercedes Lackey).

I found the hints of backstory about attitudes toward magic intriguing. How the state religion is split over it’s handling, and it’s viewed with significant suspicion by most citizens. I would have liked a few more details but the viewpoint is an eminently practical soldier. As much as magic drives the plot, we’re only seeing the surface. I expect this will be fleshed out more as the series goes on.

Response to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

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(Image credit: Wikipedia CC BY 2.0)

For those in the LGBTQ+ community who are scared and hurt, reach out to your family and friends if you can—talk, hold them tight, tell them you love them. If you can’t and need someone to talk things through with, please call a help line. You are precious and you are not alone. There are people who care about you that you haven’t even met yet.

For anyone feeling helpless who wants to do something positive but isn’t sure what, please consider donating money and/or time to local, national, or international organizations that offer programs supporting LGBTQ+ people. They are just a quick Google away and all of their resources will be stretched thin in the coming days and months.

This tragedy reaches beyond country borders. LGBTQ+ people worldwide will feel this hurt deeply and may need help. Please also consider donating to distress lines and if you can, donate blood. Your blood may not reach the victims of this tragedy, but it will reach someone else in crisis. Saving a life is the best response I can think of to this senseless horror.

Last, but by no means least, speak out against hate in all its forms. Don’t stay silent. You never know who is listening. Someone’s life may depend on your response to that hatred, in that moment.

A short list of the many organizations you could help:

http://www.orlandoyouthalliance.org/

https://give.thetrevorproject.org/checkout/donation?eid=63307

http://www.thecenterorlando.org/

http://www.glsen.org/blog/where-honor-victims-orlando-shooting

http://www.fyrefly.ualberta.ca/SupportfYrefly

http://www.distresscentre.com/

http://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/donate-e.htmlhttp://www.calgaryoutlink.ca/#!support-us/ctzx

http://www.calgaryoutlink.ca/#!support-us/ctzx

Review: Minder Rising

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If you love character driven romantic suspense, pick this one up! The female lead (Imara) and her good friend (Rayle) jump off the page. The male lead (Lièrén) takes a while to shine, but when he does, I think he’ll win your heart. Particularly since he finds a way to help the woman he’s fallen for _without_ taking over. Building on her strengths rather than flaunting his own. This is very refreshing to see.

This is a very sex-positive story but does not delve too far into ‘hot’ romance (which I appreciate – I’d rather focus on the romance, not the sex). I also appreciate the proper accenting of the pinyin used for Chinese names and dialog! (This is a pet-peeve of mine :) )

Minder Rising is the second book of the Central Galactic Concordance series by Carol Van Natta. You may want to start with the first book Overload Flux. Personally, I wanted to read #3 Pico’s Crush, but was advised to read Minder Rising first to get some background, and I’m glad I did.

Tips For Reviewing Books

As authors, we become embedded in the literary world. We’ve read hundreds of reviews and written scores. We forget sometimes that not all readers are this hard-core, and are a little trepidatious about dropping a review online.

What you may not know as a reader is how your review makes our books more visible to other readers. A certain number of reviews are required to enter promotional lists on Amazon and elsewhere (this bar keeps rising). Readers also say the total number of reviews (not the rating) is a primary factor in deciding to take a closer look at a book.

 

General Advice:

Honest: Be bluntly honest. Leave a review for other readers, not the author. If you don’t mention a problem you’re just setting another reader up for disappointment and potentially generating worse reviews for the author in future.

Fair: Try to evaluate the book thinking about that other reader. What do they need to know to choose this book over another (or not)? If there was something that bothered you, try to make it explicit, Eg:”There wasn’t enough romance for me” rather than “It was boring.” (Also, if you received a free book, an ARC or a review copy, it’s good practice to mention this at the start of the review.)

Size Doesn’t Matter: Make your review as long or short as it needs to be. If you have an essay in your heart inspired by the book, go ahead. If you just want to drop a quick note saying you enjoyed the read, go ahead. Generally positive reviews can be shorter because they don’t need to explain (Tolstoy effect).

 

Where To Leave Reviews:

The best place to leave a review is Amazon:

Amazon: Chaos Bound (.ca) (.co.uk)

Amazon: Curse Bound (.ca) (.co.uk)

Goodreads is also a great place to leave reviews:

Goodreads: Chaos Bound

Goodreads: Curse Bound

Links to other stores, both online and off, can be found on the book pages:

Chaos Bound

Curse Bound

Please also consider voting for our books on Goodreads lists. Readers often use these lists to find other books in a specific genre.

Duplicate Reviews: It is completely appropriate to duplicate your review across multiple stores/sites if you would like to reach a broader audience. For example: Reviews on Amazon local stores (ie. Amazon.ca) will not show up on Amazon.com.

 

A Special Note on Cultural Awareness / Appropriation:

We want to represent multicultural societies in our writing, but we’re well aware that we can’t know everything there is to know about cultures outside of our European-Canadian upbringing. We’re bound to make mistakes. We encourage feedback in these areas and promise to take it as a learning experience.