Opening Lines #YA #TuesdayBookBlog

I read a great post recently written by Cathy from Between the Lines book blog. Cathy shared some of the opening lines from books she’s read over the past twelve months that drew her in. It was a wonderful collection. You can read it HERE.

With the release of my new young adult urban fantasy book, Oath Breaker on the horizon (8th June 2017 with BHC Press) I thought I’d do a twist on Cathy’s post and share some of my favourite opening lines from YA fantasy books.

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire

Every day, Jess Brightwell passed the Spartan warrior statue on his way to and from his quarters. It was a beautifully made automaton, fluid and deadly, with a skin of burnished copper. It stood in a dynamic pose on its pedestal with a spear ready to thrust, and was both a decoration and a protection against intruders.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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There will be no awakening.

The sleeping woman will feel nothing the next morning, only a vague sense of unease and the unshakable feeling that someone is watching her. Her anxiety will fade in less than a day and will soon be forgotten.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier received similar treatment – though an extra half-dozen guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines. That was expected by Adarlan’s most notorious assassin. What she did not usually expect, however, was a hooded man in black at her side – as there was now.

Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

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I stand at the edge of the crowded square, watching the executioners light the pyres. The two men, dressed for work in red cloaks and charred leather gloves, circle the narrow wooden platforms, their lit torches held high. At the top of each pyre, four witches and three wizards stand chained to a stake, bundles of wood heaped around their feet. They stare into the crowd, determined looks on their faces.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Angel

London, April 1878.

The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.

Mythology by Helen Boswell

Mythology

We all have secrets. Skeletons that insist on hanging around no matter how hard we try to banish them. We hope they won’t rise up and clatter their bones at the wrong times or in front of the wrong people. Of course, there are the good kind of secrets too – the ones we eventually tell the people we care about. But most of the secrets out there are the real kind, the deep and dark kind. I would know. I can see them.

One Way Fare (Null City Book 1) by Barb Taub

One Way Fare

1972, Seattle

Gaby’s new employee handbook was clear: missing a client appointment was an excellent way to get fired. But it didn’t say a thing about breaking and entering. She’d checked. Over the past hour, she’d knocked, called, tried the house phone, paced and automatically straightened the paintings lining the elegant hallway of Seattle’s Olympic Hotel. Despite the muted voices from within the suite, the brass-bound double doors to the Presidential Suite remained closed.

Awake at Dawn (A Shadow Falls Novel) by C.C.Hunter

Awake at Dawn

“You have to stop it, Kylie. You have to. Or this will happen to someone you love.”

The spirit’s ominous words flowed from behind Kylie Galen and mingled with the crackle and pop of the huge bonfire about fifty feet to her right. The frigid pocket of air announced the spirit’s presence loud and clear, even if the words were only for Kylie’s ears and not for the other Shadow Falls campers standing in the ceremonial circle.

Guardians of the Lost Lands (The Guardian Series Book 3) by Shelley Wilson

guardians-of-the-lost-lands

Claws scratched at the cold rock just inches from his bare feet. The twisted limbs of these tormented creatures snaked through the bars of his cell as they tried to reach him. Starved and beaten, the monsters craved his blood.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to add your favourite opening line in the comments below; it doesn’t have to be YA or fantasy.

Inspirational ABBA logoExciting news! I’ve been nominated for the Most Inspirational Blogger Award 2017 at the Bloggers Bash.

The criteria is: Who consistently inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Or perhaps they have become a muse to you with constant provision of inspirational content or imagery? Who’s the one blogger that’s touched your heart? This is the nomination for them.

I would be eternally grateful if you could throw a vote my way – link HERE

 

#BookReview Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Review

Title: Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong

Author: Dr. Tim Cantopher

Category: Self-Help

My Rating: 4*

Depressive Illness

My Review:

I’ve blogged about my struggle with depression on a few occasions, and so it’s my ongoing mission to find books that help me make sense of this horrendous affliction.

The Curse of the Strong is a short book at only 114 pages. This appealed to me. If you suffer from depression, you will understand the struggle to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. Holding this book in my hand, I felt like I could finish it without too much trouble.

As well as the manageable size of this book I was also drawn in by the content.

  • What is depressive illness?
  • What causes it?
  • What to do when you get ill.
  • Recovery.
  • Staying Well.

These are the questions I ask myself daily.

I’ve been told to ‘snap out of it’ a couple of times and believe me, I wish I could. To discover in the first few pages that depressive illness is not a psychological or emotional state and not a mental illness, but a physical illness was a huge relief.

According to Dr. Cantopher, Clinical depression is every bit as physical a condition as pneumonia or a broken leg. He goes on to explain that this can be demonstrated in the chemical analysis of the cerebro-spinal fluid (this is the fluid found around the brain and spine) by showing a deficiency of two chemicals.

What I liked about this book was the way in which Dr. Cantopher feeds his reader the scientific information behind depression without losing his audience. I was grateful for the simplistic way he describes the limbic system for example.

He uses cases studies to put his points across, and the section on cognitive therapy was interesting to read as I didn’t find CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) to be of any help for me when I had my sessions. It made me review a lot of the work I’d already done.

He lost me completely when talking about medication as he goes into great depth about the history of antidepressants and their chemical and trade names. I skimmed over these parts as I just couldn’t focus.

To finish, Dr. Cantopher reviews practical ways to help yourself, including relaxation exercises, time management, and tips for sleeping.

I liked his down to earth approach and the fact that he has worked with clients for many years. Although Dr. Cantopher hasn’t suffered from depression himself, he has seen the harsh realities, symptoms, and effects on his patients and uses his knowledge to offer a practical, manageable book that will offer some help.

People who get stress-induced depressive illness tend to run too hot. They spend too much of their lives putting in too much effort. When confronted by a sea of troubles, they try to deal with them all at once. By now this will be a familiar picture. When they get over-whelmed they just push harder. Because they are so over aroused, they have difficulty in getting to sleep and then, when they become ill, they start waking in the early hours of the morning as well. Then they deal with the mounting tiredness by trying to push their way through it. So the conditions are in place for the fuse to blow.

At the end of the book, there is a list of useful addresses and recommended further reading suggestions.

Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong is an easy read that offers good advice. It will be helpful for anyone suffering from stress-induced depression as well as family or friends who wish to understand this illness better so they can offer support.

BUY a copy from Amazon UK or Amazon US

Book Blurb:

This book has helped many thousands of those who have depression. This new edition, written by a leading consultant psychiatrist, explains that depression tests the strongest of us. Dr Cantopher guides the reader through the nature of depression, its history, symptoms, causes and treatments. He covers the latest information on medications, new guidelines as to the management of depression, and stresses that no one should be to blame for succumbing to depression.

 

#BookReview The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Title: The Devil’s Lieutenant

Author: Shervin Jamali

Category: Supernatural Thriller

My Rating: 4 Star

 

The Devil's Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali
Amazon UK | US

 

My Review:

I enjoyed this novella. Although it’s written using short, snappy sentences the flow works incredibly well and substantiates the distracted, grief-stricken pain of the main character, Michael. Continue reading “#BookReview The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog”

#BookReview Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT

Title: Cursed Love Blues

Author: Kate Wickens

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens

My Review:

Cursed Love Blues has it all; gods and goddesses, lots of sex, music, and even vampires! The author doesn’t hold back with her descriptive prose, and this novel is, therefore, far from a clean read. Continue reading “#BookReview Cursed Love Blues by Kate Wickens #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT”

#BookReview Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis #YA #TuesdayBookBlog #Dystopian

Title: Gathering Frost

Author: Kaitlyn Davis

Rating: 4 Star

Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis

My Review:

Gathering Frost was a pleasant distraction from real life, exactly what I was searching for in a young adult fantasy book.

Following an earthquake, New York City merges with a fairy tale realm when a castle and its magic splinters through into the real world. Queen Deidre casts a spell over the land, feeding off the inhabitants emotions while keeping them subdued and, in effect, turning them into moving statues. Continue reading “#BookReview Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis #YA #TuesdayBookBlog #Dystopian”

#TuesdayBookBlog Inspirations behind the Reading Group by @DellaGalton #GuestPost #Romance

I first discovered my next guest between the pages of Writers’ Forum magazine many years ago, and her sound advice has helped shape my writing ever since. As well as teaching me so much about the skill of penning a novel, short story, or article, I have also thoroughly enjoyed reading her fiction work.

So, I was delighted when my stalking paid off, and she agreed to write a guest post about her latest release, the next instalment in her series the Reading Group. It is my pleasure to introduce author, Della Galton.

Della PArker

One of the Inspirations behind the Reading Group

I really enjoy writing about friendship.  It’s a theme that runs through many of my books.  In the Reading Group series the focus is on female friendship. I have some amazing female (and male) friends. Some of them have been in my life for over forty years and some are newer, but they are all very important to me.  Although I don’t ever transport real people lock, stock and barrel into fiction I do use elements of them and I do write about the issues that affect them.

            Serena, the Main Character of The Reading Group April is a lady who struggles because she doesn’t fit into her family – she has always felt that she is not quite good enough.  I have one or two friends who feel like this – in fact it’s surprisingly common.

            And of course if your family aren’t supportive it makes friendship massively important. So Serena needs her friends more than most.

            The Reading Group is about a group of friends who meet to discuss a classic novel each month and discover that – spookily – one of their lives mirrors the plot.          

            In April they are reading Jane Eyre and Serena, who’s headmistress of Poppins Private School, is half hoping that reality will echo fiction, as it has before, and she will meet her own Mr Rochester.

This doesn’t stop her from being slightly alarmed when her secretary arranges an appointment with Mr Winchester, the father of a troubled pupil.

It would appear that Mr Winchester has an ex wife who is also rather troubled (or possibly completely deranged!). To add to the drama there is turbulence (as there usually is) in Serena’s own family too. Serena begins to wonder if being a romantic heroine is all it’s cracked up to be

trg-april

The Reading Group April is out on 30 March.

The Reading Group Summer Holiday is out 27 April. 

You can pre order both now.

You can find Della on her website www.dellagalton.co.uk or on Twitter, or you can find her on Facebook.

You can read my #review of The Reading Group: December HERE

Reading Group - Bookends 2

 Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

 

#Author Interview – Mike Russell #TuesdayBookBlog @strangebookseye

I’m delighted to welcome author, Mike Russell to have a chat about his books, writing life, and being an astronaut…maybe…one day! Over to Mike.

Mike Russell Author

The Fun Stuff

What part of the world do you come from?

The south of England in the UK. I currently live in Brighton with my girlfriend and two cats.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

First an astronaut, then a pig-farmer, then a writer. I am very happy to be fulfilling the writing dream. I am now a vegetarian so I won’t be fulfilling the pig-farming dream any time soon, though a pet pig might be nice. As far as being an astronaut… there’s still time.

List three words to describe yourself.

Alive, creative, hopeful.

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Hmmm… I don’t know but it would have to be a comedy.

What’s your favourite snack food when writing?

Tea and toast.

If you had a super power, what would it be?

Used with caution.

NOTHINGISSTRANGE

The Sensible Side

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing?  What do you do when you’re not writing?)

When I was 12 years old I began writing a novel called ‘Imagine Infinity’. I designed the book cover and wrote about twenty pages before deciding that I needed more life experience and abandoned it. I thought this early attempt was lost until my parents found it in their loft a couple of years ago. I still like the title. Years later, I began writing again. Then one day a friend was putting together a spoken-word event. Knowing that I wrote things, she asked me to contribute. This led to many years of regularly performing my stories in clubs, bars, galleries and various other strange venues. Happily, I just kept being invited to do more. This proved to me that there was an audience for my writing. I then began publishing my stories.

Where did the inspiration for Nothing is Strange come from?

Inspiration for me is exactly that. I have moments of inspiration that come at odd times. It is always something new to me, giving a certain insight beyond what I already know and it comes with a small euphoria. Where it comes from is a mystery. I love inspiration. I love exploring the places that inspiration reveals to me and I have a huge desire to share what I discover. We are all mysteries surrounded by mystery and filled with mystery! I like to explore that mystery.

What do you like the most about writing short stories?

I like to be able to create many different, sometimes even contradictory, worlds. Short stories enable this. I see the nature of life as paradoxical. As soon as someone says ‘this is the way things are’ you can be sure that something will happen to prove them wrong. Writing stories can show that the truth can take many forms.

Can you give us a brief excerpt from Nothing is Strange?

From the short story ‘Dunce’ from ‘Nothing Is Strange’:

The lights dimmed to darkness. Kitty Malone, the beautiful star of the show, was stood centre stage. A shot was heard. Dunce jumped right out of his seat.

‘What was that?’ he said.

The lights came back on and Kitty was lying in a pool of blood. Dunce let out a scream then shouted:

‘Someone call for an ambulance! And the police!’

The audience thought that Dunce was an actor, that the play was being cleverly extended beyond the stage, questioning the boundaries of theatre.

‘What’s wrong with you?’ Dunce shouted at the audience. ‘How can you carry on as if nothing has happened?’

‘This is wonderful, just wonderful,’ I heard someone say behind me.

Kitty was stoically sticking to her role, thinking that the show must go on, but Dunce was clambering up onto the stage, crying, stroking Kitty’s hair and checking her pulse.

‘She’s alive!’ he shouted with relief.

‘No I’m not!’ Kitty hissed at him through clenched teeth.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Discovering strange and magical things!

What can we expect from you in the future?

I currently have three books published, all available from Amazon (please see below for link). I am currently working on more stories and also novels, which will be published in good time. If you follow my website www.strangebooks.com you will receive an email when each new book is published.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Author Website: https://strangebooks.com

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Facebook

Author Bio

AuthorMike

Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the south of England. As a child, he enjoyed daydreaming, art and writing strange stories. As an adult, he enjoys daydreaming, art and writing strange stories.

Book Blurbs

‘Nothing Is Strange’ is a collection of 20 mind-expanding short stories.

“A unique collection of short stories that takes readers to bizarre places and lets them experience dreamlike situations that I have yet to read in other books.” Readers’ Favourite

Buy it HERE

‘Strange Medicine’ is a fantastic collection of extraordinary tales of transformation.

“Full of meaning and emotion, with an awesome front cover to go with it. Great Stuff.” Always Trust In Books

Buy it HERE

STRANGEMEDICINE

 ‘Strungballs’ is a surreal, science-fiction/fantasy novella.

“This is like nothing I have ever read before… a highly unique, weird and perhaps even mind-altering reading experience.” Fantasy Book Review

Buy it HERE

STRUNGBALLS

Mike Russell’s books have been described as Strange Fiction, Weird Fiction, Weird Lit, Surrealism, Fantasy Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction… but we just like to call them StrangeBooks.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here:  Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook pages http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson and http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest