Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cinderella Necromancer by F.M. Boughan - Excerpt, Giveaway & Tour

Today, I'm hosting author F.M. Boughan and her novel CINDERELLA NECROMANCER with an exclusive excerpt and a tour-wide giveaway.

The book sounds exciting and from the excerpt, I already love the author's writing.

Happy reading!

Author: F.M. Boughan
Pub. Date: 5 September 2017
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Pages: 324
Formats: Paperback, eBook

CINDERELLA, NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster. 

Excerpt from Chapter Two: The Beginning

On the morning of my fifteenth birthday, my mother died. It was a cruel and terrible death, wrought with pain and suffering and moments of relief between the screams.
When death finally took her, the darkness hovered like a plague over our home, my father and younger brother and I only moving and breathing to survive, though if anyone had asked us why, we couldn’t have given an answer.
On the morning of my sixteenth birthday, the darkness descended in a form incarnate, though at first, we couldn’t see it.
Why should we have?
Father thought he’d brought me the best birthday gift a father could give his daughter: a new mother.
I saw nothing but a vile attempt to replace someone utterly irreplaceable.
I screamed, threw the pot I was holding at his head, and locked myself in my room for three days.
On the fourth day, six-year-old Edward knocked on my door.
“You can’t stay in there forever,” he said, his small voice wavering. “Father is threatening to call the locksmith. Mother—”
“Don’t call her that or I won’t speak to you,” I said.
He paused before continuing, an awkward pause that made me wonder—no, suspect—that she stood outside my door too.
She is threatening to take a hatchet to your door,” he whispered, so soft I could barely hear.
Was she now? I wanted to see her try. Difficult, though, being on the other side of the door.
“And ruin Father’s fine craftsmanship? She wouldn’t.”
But I didn’t know if she would or not. After all, I’d only caught one glimpse and hadn’t even seen her face. Or looked in her eyes. I’d been a fool.
One’s eyes say so much more than most people suspect. While the superstitious bustle about, trying to hide their true names—for they believe there is power in names—they should really be wearing dark glasses and learning to speak while gazing at the ground.
Names? Please. Child’s play.
To learn the state of one’s soul, find their gaze and hold it.
But I’d thrown a pot and run away.
How differently things might have turned out if I’d only followed my own rule.

Find CINDERELLA NECROMANCER on: AmazonB&N,  iBooksTBDGoodreads

As part of the blog tour for Cinderella, Necromancer, there is a tour-wide giveaway, where ONE winner will receive a finished copy of CINDERELLA NECROMANCER & a signed bookplate, International. (Wherever The Book Depository Ships)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Faith Boughan
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she's been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).

Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird... among other things.

F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman

Connect with F.M. Boughan via her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Keep up with the rest of the tour for interviews, reviews, and other excerpts.

Week One:
8/21/2017- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview & Book BriefsReview
8/22/2017- Nadaness In Motion – Excerpt & Darque Dreamer ReadsReview 
8/23/2017- rabid readers book blogExcerpt & The Desert Bibliophile Review
8/24/2017- Up 'Til Dawn Book BlogGuest PostBooks, Boys, and Blogs Review 
8/25/2017- Tara's Book Addiction Spotlight & Bibliobibuli YAReview

Week Two:
8/28/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post & A Dream Within A DreamReview
8/29/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post & Portrait of a BookReview 
8/30/2017- Morbid Romantic Excerpt & A Weebish Book BlogReview
8/31/2017- Arvenig.it Interview & Pandora's Books - Review
9/1/2017- Rainy Day Reviews Guest Post & The Autumn Bookshelf - Review

Monday, August 21, 2017

Crazy Crab, children's picture book by Mark Evans – Book Review

Book: Crazy Crab
Author: Mark Evans
Illustrations: Steve Page
Publication date: 25 July 2017
Number of pages: 28

Review by Nadaness In Motion

Crazy Crab is a short, fun, children's picture book by Mark Evans, with illustrations by Steve Page.

Crazy Crab is about Steve, an excellent Hermit crab marketer, who "can sell fried calamari to a squid", but who is unhappy with his life despite his success.

Steve is a crab with a dream, an ambition to become an astronaut. All his friends think he is crazy to dream such a dream, but Steve, with his hard work and strong ambition, ignores them and works hard to attain his goal.

Crazy Crab is a beautiful story with a lesson at the end. If you work for it, your dream will become a reality.

The illustrations are vibrant, interesting and exciting.

Full of hope and encouragement, Crazy Crab is a must-read for all children and parents.

Note: I received a free copy of Crazy Crab by Mark Evans in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Mark C. Evans was born in Perth, Australia and studied Theatre and Film and Drama Teaching at university. He has spent most of his career as a professional actor performing on TV, film and stage.

As an actor he toured schools during Book Week performing as characters from children’s literature and it was during these tours he discovered the wonderful influence that a great story can have on children.

He has been a writer and director of many short comedy films and loves to spread laughter through his words and cheeky, off the wall sense of humor. He lives with his family in Perth and has a serious addiction for finding new picture books at his locally library so he can read them to his children and be inspired by other great writers.

To learn more about Mark Evans, please visit www.mark-c-evans.com. Or connect with him via his Facebook author page and Facebook book page.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Romancing Dr. Love by Rebecca Heflin – Book Review

Book: Romancing Dr. Love
(Book 1 in the Sterling University series)
Author: Rebecca Heflin
Publisher: Rebecca Heflin Books, LLC
ISBN: 9780997181203

"What, or should I say who, Dr. Love, has made you so cynical when it comes to matters of the heart?"

Romancing Dr. Love by Rebecca Heflin is the first novella in the Sterling University series. As with most Heflin books, Romancing Dr. Love is a standalone.
Samantha 'Sam' Love is a psychology professor at Sterling University. From the beginning of the book, we meet the university 'hottie', literature professor Ethan Quinn and learn that he has liked Sam from a distance for some time.

As the daughter of renowned sex therapists, Sam seeks to get out of their shadow, while at the same time preserve her reputation, as men have followed her all her life, thinking that because of her parents' work, she is good in the bedroom. In truth, Sam has never looked at sex as something to be enjoyed. She has also been recently dumped by her ex who had called her 'frigid'.

“Have dinner with me this weekend.” Well, that just popped out.
Her eyes flew open as she shot him a confused look. “What? Why?”
“Why? Why does a man ask a woman out? I like you.”

At Sterling University, Sam is working on a patent that would enable couples to find their matches through science rather than love. Sam is looking to get her work patented through the university to prove to herself.

Sam is quite a flawed character and I like how Helfin drew her, made the reader connect with her and sympathise with her.

I liked the theme of family and relationships in Romancing Dr. Love. Because of her parents' work, Sam has never had roots anywhere, and is accordingly planning to just stay for some time in Sterling for work then move on to advance her career. When she goes to Ethan's home and sees the family photos, she can't help but feel a pang of jealousy that she didn't have that with her parents.

There are other characters in the book such as creative writing professor Delaney Driscoll, whom Heflin is focusing on in the third book in the series.

Heflin often creates perfect men and Ethan tops the list. It's easy to fall in love with him and Sam realises that Ethan's presence is making experience new feelings but also threatening her research; especially, when he signs up as a subject in her study.

Something about his kisses switched off all higher-functioning parts of her brain, leaving only her reptilian instinct in control—a little like leaving a teenager at home without adult supervision. For an entire weekend. With a cabinet full of liquor.

I liked Sam's character development. It was slow, jittery; even Sam was feeling it. However, there wasn't much for Ethan. Felt he was too perfect. I think he'd put Austen's Mr. Darcy to shame.

The imagery, dialogue, description, and overall word choice throughout Romancing Dr. Love were beautifully written. There were sections I wish I could quote whole.

I like how Heflin included scientific bits in the novel. I was worried it wouldn't hold out till the end. Then I realised the problem wasn't with the theory but with Sam herself, whose thinking was a bit flawed because she had never experienced love and therefore doesn't believe in it. Also because of her flawed thinking, Sam believes that Ethan's parents' marriage failed because it was built on respect.

“You’ve taken love, with all its mystery and beauty, and reduced it to something as romantic as a cholesterol test.”

Heflin often also builds stories around writers, or in this case, in this case a psychology and literature professor and the world of academia, where Heflin herself has experience. 

Overall, Romancing Dr. Love is a beautiful and exciting romantic novella. Easily read in a day or two tops. I highly recommend it.

Generally, kissing for her held the same level of interest as vanilla ice cream—she could take it or leave it. But kissing Ethan was like indulging in cookies ’n cream ice cream with extra chocolate sauce on top. And white chocolate sprinkles. Decadent. Sinful.

Overall rating: 5 stars

Note: I received a free copy of Romancing Dr. Love in exchange for an honest review.
Note II: The book contains a couple of bedroom scenes.

Check out Nadaness In Motion's other book reviews for Heflin's books:

About the Author:

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women's fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.
Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

Connect with Rebecca Heflin via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nail Your Novel Instant Fix – Book Review

Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips for Fascinating Characters by Roz Morris is a short book of bite-sized general writing tips for a variety of genres.

I pretty much bookmarked every page, because each one had valuable information.

Seasoned authors, if there is such a thing, might feel that the book is pretty basic or for novice writers, but for me, I think every book that handles writing help is a valuable addition.

One of the things I liked about the book was Roz's interactive, down to earth writing style. I felt like she was sitting there with me giving me bits and pieces of writing help.

"Use background detail with care. Too little and the characters float in a void. Too much, and the reader doesn't know what to look at."

Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips for Fascinating Characters can be used and reused as a checklist before starting a book, novella or piece or after finishing the first or second draft. It acts as a reminder to the author of what they might need to add or edit in their story.

"Characters don't have to be likeable. But they must make us curious."

Now for the above quote, I've been making up mental notes as I read books. Likeable is one thing, but in some books I've read, the main character – at least – was irritating, boring and/or annoying. With that in mind, I could not like the book. Twice I didn't finish the book, and a few other times I gave negative reviews because of that. It's an idea worth remembering but authors must take care of.

I'd love to pick up the full-length books under the Nail Your Novel titles in the future.

"Dystopias aren't about worlds. They're about characters under special pressure." – This was news for me, simply because I often focused on worlds in dystopian novels, which I don't consider reading often.

I also liked the parts on "Show Don't Tell" and "Make Your Fictional People Individuals".

"Give your antagonists good characteristics too. A fatal flow is usually a strength misused."

Overall, I'd give the brief Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips for Fascinating Characters five stars. It added information to me, it helped me and it's definitely a book I can recheck over and over. Definitely worth reading.

Note: I read Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips for Fascinating Characters, the short introductory book. There are three other books with Nail Your Novel in the title, each tackles an aspect of writing in more detail. 
I downloaded it the bite-sized version which is currently free via Amazon.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Takhayyal writing prompt 68: Dragon Awakens!

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.

Let's cut to the chase shall we?

Bring your pen and paper (or a new word document) and let's get writing!

Image found on Pinterest. Photo credit: Kate Pfeilschefter (as far as I can see)

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.
Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!


Friday, August 4, 2017

Awaken! Muse - Poem

Today, I'm sharing a new poem I wrote, where I call on my Muse to wake up and inspire me. The first image is of the original poem (nothing crossed out, lucky me!), and in case you can't read cursive, I'm including the typed version below it.
(Not my best handwriting, since this was an on-the-spot thing)

Awaken! Muse

The red sun sinks
In the mighty sea
Some say
Blood has been spilt,
Some say
Romance shall be born,
But I say:
Awaken Muse of the Night
And let my pen write!

Feel free to check/like the image on my Instagram account, where it first appeared. Follow me there for book reviews, travel pictures, writing, and more.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Nadaness In Motion's July Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Report

In July, I joined Camp NaNoWriMo in order to get some ‘real’ writing done.

The Camp NaNoWriMo is a month-long challenge that is meant to help writers work on their manuscripts and drafts without the pressure of the 1,667 words per day requirement meant for November, when the original NaNoWriMo is in progress.

NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is when writers “try” to leave the world behind to focus on their books for a whole month. November’s NaNoWriMo attempts to get writers/authors to write 50,000 words in a month. Not an easy feat.

The July Camp NaNoWriMo did not have a specific word count target but allowed authors to set their own targets and to increase or reduce that number based on their progress.

I had originally planned 16,000 words for Darya’s story, an average of 500 words per day plus 500 bonus for the end of the month.

Trying out the Camp thing allowed me to learn a few things about myself and writing habits, or rather what I can do and what I can’t.

For Darya’s story, I was able to write around 4,000 words. I was disappointed. BUT I realised 4,000 was better than nothing. I had also realised that I couldn’t write during week days, which trimmed the number of days I can actually write on. Add in some errands, travelling times and other bits, 4,000 words is progress that is neither good nor bad. It’s a start.

Also in July:

·        Wrote SEVEN poems! I haven’t done that in a while!
·        Wrote 4 book reviews. (Not a major achievement but I wanted to add it in)
·        Wrote 2,050 words in a new short story (Untitled, hoping to finish it in August)
·        Wrote around 720 words in a sci-fi story (Also untitled & planning to finish it in the first week of August)
·        Wrote 244 words as general prose (Divided on two pieces)
·        Wrote 673 words for a flash fiction piece (can’t remember the title but will check my notes)

Overall: I wrote around 7,720 words in July.
But the bottom line is: I wrote!

So what are my plans for August?

New word count target but this time I’ll take into consideration the fact that weekdays are hard to include. How many? I’m thinking 10,000 words, then I’ll decide if I need to raise this target.
I’ll keep the flash fiction and poetry word counts outside this limit though and see how things turnout.
I never know if I’ll write poetry or not, so I’ll leave this to chance and whenever inspiration hits.

Note: I also want to thank author Devorah Fox for encouraging me to take part in the July camp.

If you’ve participated in Camp NaNoWriMo for July, please share your word count and progress. If you have suggestions and/or help tips, please feel free to share.