Friday, 9 October 2015

Review: Link by Summer Wier!

For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.

Or at least, it used to.

Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that's missing—her father.

Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.

If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves.

Dreamy, fluid, and beautiful, Link pairs the mystery of science fiction with the minor-key melody of a dark fantasy, creating a tale that is as human as it is out of this world.
Available now from Amazon, and other retailers.

My review

A captivating YA sci-fi read!

I knew I'd have to read this as soon as I saw the blurb. I love fantasy, sci-fi and alternative universes, and this book delivered on all the things I love in speculative fiction. I was thrilled to get a review copy!

Kira is a relatable teen and her reactions are realistic throughout the story, even when dealing with the unknown. I really liked her close relationship with her mother, something you don't see often in YA. The characters and the world are so well-written, I was completely engrossed in the story. The sci-fi part is well done without becoming too overwhelmed in details, and I was fascinated by the captivating - and rather scary! - portrayal of alternative worlds. There are enough twists and secrets to keep you turning the pages to find out the next surprise. I was hooked from beginning to end!

The story stands alone and has a satisfying ending, but it's the first in a trilogy. I'll definitely be signing up for more!

5 stars.

Summer Wier is an MBA toting accountant, undercover writer, and all around jack-of-all-trades.  Link is her debut novel and the first in The Shadow of Light series. She has three short stories appearing in Fairly Twisted Tales For A Horribly Ever After and co-authors the Splinter web serial. When she’s not digging through spreadsheets or playing mom, you can find her reading/writing, cooking, or dreaming of the mountains in Montana.

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Cover reveal: Hybrid by K. T. Hanna!

Hybrid is finally almost ready for release. S.P. McConnell worked magic again here.

Hybrid (The Domino Project #2) is the sequel to Chameleon. It's set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower causes ecological disaster, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world. Book two furthers Sai, Bastian, and Dom's journey in their fight to live free from GNW imposed rules.

The goodreads blurb is as follows:

As Sai recovers from her life-threatening injuries, she struggles to piece together her damaged relationship with Dom. He fights the parasite within, suddenly freed from the interference of the other Dominos in his head.

Inside Central, Bastian’s Shine dosing has become a dangerous dance. Enhanced security protocols and endless meetings have him on a tightrope, with little room to move without revealing himself. When the GNW release the Damascus to begin their systemic hunt of the Exiled, the noose closes around the rebels and their allies. If they can’t disable the threat, the Exiled won’t be the Damascus’ only agenda

Without further ado - here's a teaser of the cover by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.

Go see the full cover at YA Interrobang!

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?!?!
Sit back and bask in this for a moment.
It's available for pre-order for $3.99 and will be available on November 10th, 2015!
Amazon Link
It will also be available in print via CreateSpace, Amazon, but best of all, the local indie store is being really supportive and already has it available for pre-order in print there!

Watermark Books


Haven't read Chameleon? There's still time to catch up!

Get it HERE!

About the Author

KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.
Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis


To celebrate, we're giving away a copy of books 1 & 2! With an Amazon e-card, and a SWAG pack!
Winners will be announced on Monday October 19th!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Writing Wednesday & IWSG

Since my last update, I've finally finished the never-ending edits (for now!). Collision is on the final proofread, and Indestructible is up next. Also, formatting!

I also stumbled through to the end of my YA SF draft. Just. I know first drafts aren't my strong point, but this one is plot holes all the way through, and I'm honestly dreading revising the thing. I'm pretty sure it'll be a 50% total rewrite. *sigh*

To distract myself from the awfulness of drafting, I've been planning a new series, which is based on one of the YA urban fantasy manuscripts I wrote last year. I liked the original version, but it had a lot of major plot issues. So I stole some of the background and a few characters to make a new series (adult urban fantasy with faeries, sorcery and necromancers!). I've outlined a trilogy and some possible follow-ups, then dived into the first draft. Luckily, I'm having fun with this one! I'm at 6K so far.

So... that means I have three projects-in-progress: my fantasy trilogy (first book drafted), my YA SF (first book drafted but in need of serious reworking), and the new urban fantasy trilogy.  After I drafted the Alliance series back to back, I wanted to do that with all my series, but as it turns out, my brain likes to jump genres a lot. :P The Alliance series is a contemporary fantasy/sci-fi/high fantasy hybrid with each book focused on a different universe, so each book was a completely different experience to write. With my other series, which are all one sub-genre only, I get stuck when my brain randomly decides to shift into, say, high fantasy mode when I'm drafting sci-fi. It only takes me 1-2 months to write a draft, so it doesn't totally stop my progress, but it's a little frustrating. I hope I can get my brain to focus long enough to draft this new series...

Also, I have book releases coming up! Demon Heart is out on the 19th. If you want to help me out, I'm organising blog tours to promote Demon Heart and/or Collision. :)


It's also the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for IWSG! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.

I've been in Insecurityland ever since finishing my last lot of edits, and I'm not even sure why. Part of it's my crazy release schedule next year--I'm publishing a lot of backlist books, which leaves me with a dilemma about which project to focus on next, because it'll affect which books I end up publishing in 2016/17. My last draft is, well, a mess. I've honestly never finished a project with so many plot holes, so naturally my brain started catastrophising about how I've got even worse at writing. Thanks, brain...

Aside from that, I have to think about marketing and which series would be the best one to focus on, considering my existing series. As awesome as it would be to write more cross-genre weirdness, it's tricky to market and the costs of self-publishing are, well... a little difficult to ignore at this point. Sometimes reality tips a bucket of icy water on your head and you realise the most fun projects you want to write might not be the best options for a cash-strapped freelancer with no time and even less money. *le sigh* Anyway, I can still write all the projects on my list. I just have to rein myself in from accidentally wandering between sub-genres in the same book!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

September Update: What I've been up to!

 It's time for my monthly update on all things happening in the Writer's Nest!

What I've been reading

Reflections: On the Magic of Writing

Diana Wynne Jones is one of my all-time favourite authors, and as soon as I saw this collection of essays, I knew I had to buy it. *goes off to reread Howl's Moving Castle again*

Chameleon (The Domino Project, #1)

I've had my eye on K.T. Hanna's debut since the cover reveal! Chameleon is one of the best YA sci-fi novels I've read in a long time. The action starts on page one, and kept me riveted until the final page. The characters are three-dimensional and complex. Sai is a fantastic lead character, strong and kickass but with a vulnerable side. Although she's a believable teen, the writing had a mature feel which will appeal to adult as well as YA readers. The other characters are well-developed and interesting, and there's just enough detail to create a vivid picture of the future-world without slowing the pace. Mostly, I loved how fresh and unique this story felt. I'd thoroughly recommend Chameleon to fans of both YA and sci-fi!
Amazon UK

Demon Road by Derek Landy

I'm a huge fan of Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant series, so I knew I'd love Demon Road. Amber thinks she's an ordinary teen, until she turns into a demon. This could have been cliche and predictable, but as it's Derek Landy, the story is anything but. This is a fast-paced page-turner with snappy dialogue, dark humour and creepy monsters. I'd thoroughly recommend this fun, dark paranormal adventure.

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Queen of Shadows is one I've been looking forward to for a long time, and as I predicted, it swept me away from the first page. This series has developed so much from the world shown in Throne of Glass, and I was so invested in the characters, I barely paused while reading this 600-page book. Despite the book's length, the pacing is great, with every character getting their chance in the spotlight. While I predicted early on how the love interest-subplot was going to develop, it's handled maturely and doesn't detract from the thrilling, action-packed plot. There were so many heart-stopping action sequences, badass characters and thrilling twists. My only criticism is that I thought things wrapped up a little too neatly for Book 4 of a 6-book series--but given Maas's exceptional writing skills, I've no doubt she has great plans for the last two books!


The Awesome

The Awesome is a totally unique YA paranormal, one of the most fun books I've read for a while. The narrative voice is witty, and Maggie as a character is a refreshing change from many YA heroines because she's confidently, uniquely herself.
Amazon UK

Twelve Kings (The Song of Shattered Sands, #1)

I picked up this book on a whim because I was in the mood for great fantasy. Luckily, Twelve Kings delivered! The world-building is fantastic, and the intrigue kept me turning the pages.


Otherbound has a seriously cool concept, and I was excited to read it! The story follows Nolan, an ordinary teenager who sees through another person's eyes whenever he blinks or sleeps. Amara lives in another world entirely, and acts as a protector to a cursed princess. This compelling YA fantasy drew me in with its sheer creativity, and has great character development.

This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

I loved These Broken Stars, and I was so excited to read the sequel. This Shattered World follows two teenagers on opposite sides of a vicious conflict on a terraformed planet--Jubilee, a soldier, and Flynn, one of the rebel group native to the planet. Again, I was completely swept away. This is an action-packed read from the outset, and the character development is fantastic. This series always leaves me with a major book hangover, and with some intriguing threads left open, I'm excited for the third instalment!

What I've been writing

I sent first-round edits on Darkworld 4 back to my publishers.

I did final edits on Books 2 and 3 in my YA post-apocalyptic superhero-fantasy series, which I finally got to announce!

I also did another two major revisions on Collision (Alliance, #3) after CP and beta feedback. It's on track to publish in November!

Total words written in September: 41K (+ 13K added in edits)

What else I've been up to

I celebrated my 24th birthday at the safari park. :)

Plans for October
  • Demon Heart (Darkworld, #3) releases on the 19th. :)
  • Final edits on my YA post-apocalyptic series.
  • Final proofread on Collision (Alliance, #3). Formatting and pre-order upload. Order proof copies.
  • Finish this draft, and start another one (I'm still deciding which project to focus on next!).
And in next month's newsletter: Demon Heart release, Collision pre-order, and more information about the Indestructible trilogy. :)

Plans for the rest of the year

Collision releases in November. :)

Darkworld Book 4 is with my editor, so I should hear back about Round 2 edits at some point. Also, cover art.

Speaking of cover art, I got the designs for the first in my YA post-apocalyptic trilogy!

As I'm launching Indestructible in January, I'll be doing the final proofread, formatting, and making promo plans.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Announcing... new books! :D

I've been looking forward to announcing this one for a while! :D Yes... in 2016, I'm publishing a new series!

If you're following my blog, you've probably heard me mention a certain YA post-apocalyptic fantasy novel called Indestructible. It's had an interesting history--I wrote it in 2013/14, put it through three rounds of critiques and polishing, drafted the sequel... and shelved it for a year, because a) post-apocalyptic wasn't selling, and b) when I decided to try self-publishing, the Alliance series demanded my full attention.

Once I'd finished drafting that series, I pulled out Indestructible again and decided to rewrite the sequel and turn it into a trilogy. I then revised all three books, hired a freelance developmental editor and did another major overhaul, and I've been waiting for the madness of my summer schedule to be over before I announced the news!

So: Indestructible. It's a post-apocalyptic superhero story about invading monsters from another dimension and a group of super-powered warriors who were supposed to defend the Earth, but failed. So we're kind of screwed. ;) The series has a few things in common with the Alliance series, but it's more YA in tone and content. I'm publishing Indestructible early in 2016!

Before Alliance series readers panic, I'm still publishing the rest of the books in the series next year! In fact, I've now confirmed a release date for Collision (Alliance, #3): 17th November 2015. The Alliance series books are much more complicated and need a dozen rounds of editing each (unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating!), and I don't want to overwhelm my CPs, beta readers or cover artist. The Indestructible series is already complete and edited and cover art is in progress, so I can publish those books on a quicker schedule. And the dates for the Darkworld series are set by the publisher.

Want early news? I'll be sharing covers, blurbs and excerpts with my newsletter subscribers first.

I'm also officially opening membership to my Advance Reader Team! The ARC Team is like a mailing list, except I'll only send an email out when I have advance copies of one of my books available. To explain a little: I've published six books in two years (I know! I can't believe it, either. :)), and I haven't been super-organised with keeping track of blogger and reviewer details. I get 30-50 emails a day, and it's easy to lose track... especially when I'm publishing multiple series next year. I don't want anyone to miss out on my future releases! So, you only need to sign up to the team once, and you'll get an email when copies of each book are available to review. There's absolutely no obligation to sign up to review every book, and you can opt out at any time. That way, I'll have all the information on one spreadsheet when I send out e-ARCs of Indestructible in December!

Sign up here!

If you want to help out and get access to behind-the-scenes stuff, there's also my street team, which is always open for members. :)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

#WIPMarathon September Update

It's time for another #WIPMarathon update, hosted by Ifeoma Dennis!

Last report wordcount:

I was at 17K of the YA SF WIP. I'd also finished edits on Indestructible and was partway through editing the second book.

Current report wordcount: 

I finished edits on the sequel to Indestructible, then got edit notes on Book 3. So, back into the editing cave I went! I did the last major edit, and read over the trilogy again.

I also did final revisions on Collision (Alliance, #3) with CP/beta feedback. This one's been through eleven major revisions in ten months (seriously), more than any of my other books. But it's finally done!

And I sent Darkworld revisions in to my publishers.

I'm at 49K of my YA SF draft.

WIP issues this month: Again, project-juggling. I'm still slow to switch my brain between projects, which causes difficulties when you have to keep jumping from edits on one series to another!

I also reached the stage of my draft where the plot went completely out of hand. Once again, this one started well, veered off the rails, and will definitely need some major reworking in edits. Le sigh.

Four things I learned this month in writing:
  • I can't read other books when editing and actually concentrate properly. I noticed this in August, too, but it's like my brain just shuts out any words apart from my own (and client work). If I try to read, I can't enjoy it because my Inner Editor is in overdrive. (As opposed to drafting, when reading other books inspires me!)
  • I'm getting slightly better at project-jumping...
  • ...but I won't schedule edits on two series in the same month again. Especially when there's a chance of a third lot of edits hitting my inbox. (For those counting, I've done multiple editing passes on five books in the past three months. Eep.)
  • I'm never going to get a book right the first time. If I actually wrote an in-depth outline for all my books, I might be able to, but I always hit a wall during plotting and end up leaving the details vague. If I waited to have all the details down, I'd never actually start writing...
    What distracted me this month when writing: Life! Birthday stuff, work stuff, lots of freelance work and possible travel plans!

    Goal for next month:

    Finish this draft!

    Final proofread and formatting on Collision (Alliance, #3), and get the pre-order up.

    Also, Demon Heart releases on the 19th. :)

    I'd also like to do the final proofread of Indestructible.

    Last 200 words:  I just escaped the editing swamp, so I don't have anything new to share... but there'll be a teaser from Demon Heart when it releases in just over three weeks! :D

    Wednesday, 23 September 2015

    Writing Wednesday

    It's time for another Writing Wednesday update! This week, I hit the final stretch of the Months of Never-Ending Edits as two lots of feedback on Collision and my edit letter on the third book in my YA post-apocalyptic trilogy hit my inbox at the same time. The universe has a habit of doing that. :P

    Once I'd recovered, I dove back into the final book in my trilogy and fixed all the immediate issues. I then project-hopped to Collision and did some restructuring for pacing, cut a bunch of words, added a bunch of new ones, and fixed any other issues. I've never been through eleven drafts on a project before, but this one was particularly stubborn. Luckily, it's almost ready for a final proofread! :)

    Now I'm back to working on my trilogy. Hoping to fix the rest of the issues this week!