Sunday, 12 January 2014

Review: Fractured (Guards of the Shadowlands 2) by Sarah Fine

Lela's back on earth, but that doesn't mean her job is done; Mazikin have broken into her world, and it's her job -- and Malachi's -- to stop them. But between the monsters that breed like rabbits and the task of hiding the truth from their schoolmates, their task seems an impossible one.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Belgrave Daughter Blog Tour

The Septemgeminus Prophecy states: "A powerful sorceress with blood laced in gold sevenfold shall determine the fate of the world."
Fawn Belgrave's magical powers are the coveted prize in a bet between God and the Devil.
When she meets Caleb, the dark angel assigned to seduce her, Fawn's life is turned upside down.

About the Book:
 Title: The Belgrave Daughter
Author: Zara Hoffman
Series: The Belgrave Legacy #1
Expected release date: November 25th, 2013
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Fantasy Romance

View or buy at:

About the author:
Zara Hoffman is a teen author. She spends most of her time doing homework and writing new stories. When she isn’t wrapped up in projects, Zara can be found relaxing with friends and family, listening to music, reading and writing, or playing with her dog, Riley.


So you decided to write a series! Most people–even in the writing world–will call you crazy for embarking on this long and arduous journey, but the satisfaction of writing your story over multiple books and getting to know your characters and plot super well will be worth it in the end. But before you jump head-first into writing the first book, you need to plan your series–even if only a preliminary sketch that will most likely change over the course of writing the series.
I've only read one book on fiction series, and that was Writing the Fiction Series by Karen S. Wiesner. I highly recommend it for everyone, even people who aren't writing a series because it speaks a lot about consistency, and everyone can use some more help with that. In addition to that, I really love The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing. It has great advice from many renowned writers. Both of these books I consider must-buys for all writers.
I'm a semi-plotter, semi-pantser. Or as Stephanie Morrill of Go Teen Writers says, I'm a "Plantser." Let me explain. I start writing the first scene that comes to mind and keep going until I get stuck. Then I go back and re-outline. I do this for non-series books, too. But with a series, after outlining the whole first book, I go ahead and roughly outline the next and maybe 3rd book. If there's more in the series, I may try and put something down for them too, but it depends. Then I go back and revise the first book to hint at what comes in the subsequent books (Karen Wiesner calls these "Series Plants" in Writing the Fiction Series, and honestly, they're genius devices).
My process involves lots of revision, no matter how good the first draft is, because if I do something in the first, it will always affect the later books, and I go back to the later outlines to reflect that.

If you're writing a series, you're in it for a long haul. Don't half-ass anything and cut corners. It will leave your story somewhat flat, and readers will lose faith in you incrementally as the series progresses unless you have it all together.

Enter the Giveaway, with a prize of five signed eBook copies of The Belgrave Daughter!

Find the tour schedule here.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Book Review: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

Between her witch classes with Ms T and tip-toeing around Zoe, Sydney doesn't have much time for her relationship with Adrian, but they make do. However, when new discoveries are made about restoring Strigoi and what's really in Marcus' tattoos, the couple find themselves on dangerous paths...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Young Adult Blog Party: Do Authors Have a Responsibility to Their Readers?

It is a miracle; I am posting. Actually posting. Thanks to Matt over at The Little Engine That Couldn't and his wonderful Blog Party, I have an actual idea for a post. Hurrah!

The blog party is all about a genre known best as YA, or Young Adult. I've seen a lot of talk on YA review blogs lately about what is actually appropriate for books for teens, and it's made me wonder: do the writers have a responsibility for the appropriateness?

My first answer would be very loud and very in the negative if you asked me this question. In fact, I might even slap you upside the head for comedic effect. Unfortunately, my second reply would be a quiet and begrudging yes. But not in the way you might think.
 A lot of aforementioned bloggers have talked about the sexual and explicit content of books. In fact, I'm pretty sure the (what seems to me when I have done no research whatsoever) rise in the 'Christian' genre is linked to this. Adults want their kids to read something 'clean' that affirms their own views and makes them accessible to what one adult calls 'the people of the tunnel', who laugh cynically at anything they need to believe in that isn't a fanon OTP. And that's good for them. I'm not going to go into that because it's a whole different kettle of morals.
 What I am going to go into is this idea that our young, impressionable minds can be dirtied and manipulated more than those of adults. This is where my emphatic, instinctive 'no' came from. Our society acknowledges that the media can manipulate us... but they also think that our generation -- the turned on generation, the one that will go and look for its own answers if it doesn't like the ones it finds -- are more likely to be twisted, simply because of our age. I have a giant issue with this. I may be gullible, but the rest of my generation aren't as stupid. If we see sex in a book, we're not going to be ruined like a maiden in Victorian literature. If we read a swear word in a book, it's not going to make us go around repeating it (after all, by the time you've made your way into the 'Young Adult' section of WHSmiths, you've already learnt a lot of things your parents never wanted you to know). We don't, as much as adults might feel it is their duty to do so, need to be protected from these things in our literature.

We need to explore them.

 And this is why I think that authors -- and not just the authors, but their editors and publishers too -- have a responsibility to us, their young readers. These people have a responsibility to show us the entire world, preferably objectively, and let us make up our own ideas. Like I said before, we're the internet generation; if we don't like what we hear, we'll Google search until we see something we agree with more. But we need to know we don't like it before we go a-looking. And we can't do that if we have clean, or even worse, biased novels shoved down our throats. The longer I spend on this earth, arguing my views with opposing parties, the more I think that, however right my political and philosophical views seem to me, it is wrong to try and force people onto my side. As a writer, I don't want to be writing novels as propaganda for my own beliefs. Not any more. I want to write something that will make people think about -- explore -- something. If they happen to find that they believe what I believe, then hurray. But that shouldn't be the main aim.

 In short, authors do indeed have a responsibility to their readers: not to censor things they don't need to know, but to let them think about the very things that the rest of the media restricts and come to their own conclusions.
At least, I think so.

Charlotte out!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Yes, friends. I am now famous enough to get an award. You are shocked, are you not?
The lovely Eryn over at was wonderful (and wise -- I do have a pitchfork, after all)  enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award! Hurray, and thanks very muchly, Eryn!


  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the ten questions given to you by the nominator
  • Nominate ten other bloggers for the award who have less than two hundred followers
  • Create ten questions for your nominees to answer
  • Let the nominees know you have nominated them by going to their blog and telling them

The Questions (dun dun dunn! also, the colour might look crappy but I felt like mixing it up a bit so go with it, minions):

  1. Are you an early bird, or a night owl? Which would you prefer to be and why? I'm a night owl, as I think most people my age probably are. However, I think being an early bird would probably be a blessing since society seems to think that the day starts in the morning.
  2. What's your favourite kind of story? Adventure, romance, etc. I love all sorts of stories *shifty eyes* okay, so maybe I read a bit too much YA paranormal romance, but is that really such a bad thing? It's a good genre!
  3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be (could be an imaginary place)? Hmm. Well, I couldn't live anywhere too warm because we vampires literally melt, but I also couldn't live anywhere too cold because as a cold-blooded reptilian hybrid thing I can't regulate my own temperature, so I suppose my ideal place to live would be in Goldilocks and the Three Bears land, where everything is juuuust right... until you get mauled, obviously.
  4. What is the first sentence of your current work-in-progress? 'The day that I lost my family was the day I started losing my mind.' It seemed like a opening at the time, but not so much anymore. Pretend you never read it.
  5. What is your ideal writing setting? Like, time of day, location, beverages to sip during. I like to write in the evening, sat in my room with angsty music blaring and lots of chocolate. Beverages would just take away from the... productivity...
  6. If you could stay any age forever, what age would you choose? This is another hmmm one. Hmm. I suppose I'd stick at the age I am now (seventeen, for those of you 'rinos that don't stalk me) just so I didn't have to work. But that's just me being lazy and scared of the future.
  7. What are your favourite historical figures? I wasn't aware I had any favourite historical figures, but if I do, they'll probably have to be the people hanging around Russia during the Revolution -- especially those who were part of the Revolution. Honestly, I just find the Russian Revolution interesting.
  8. What is the thing you think about most when you are writing a story? The characters. Always. What they're doing, what they're thinking, how much pain I'm causing them (mwahaha) -- I'm always thinking about my characters and seeing everything from their perspectives.
  9. What is your favourite animated movie? I'd have to say Finding Nemo.
  10. Coffee or tea? Anything but. I can't stomach hot drinks. But if I absolutely had to had to had to choose, I would go for tea.
My Nominees:

  • Jonathan
  • Mark
  • Anne
  • Lily
  • Oliver (I don't know how many followers you have but I nominated you anyway)
  • Sam (who will have to send the link to his blog since he changed it)
  • Cait and Mime (again, I'm not sure how many followers you have, but I nominated you anyway)
  • Matt
  • Jumbled Writer
My Questions:

  1. How many trees live in your garden? If you don't have a garden. how many trees live in your heart?
  2. If you had to do one hobby for the rest of your life, what would you want it to be?
  3. Do you know what a hobby horse is (because I don't)?
  4. What do you enjoy most about being nominated for awards?
  5. This is an open question. Tell the world what you think it needs to know.
  6. How many books do you own?
  7. Which is your very favouritest book?
  8. How long do you spend on each blog post (on average)?
  9. Has an animal ever tried to murder you?
  10. What is the best thing you have ever done, ever?
Charlotte out!