Catrin Russell

🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author Spotlight: E. C. Greaves

Check out this spotlight for Fantasy author E. C. Greaves!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hi, I’m Ed Greaves. I was born in the UK, but have lived most of my life in NZ. Besides writing books, I’m also a specialist secondary teacher who works with kids who have behavioural and academic barriers that prevent them from attending mainstream schooling. I also spend a good deal of my time making video games (mostly horror stuff) and working on old cars and bikes.

2. Tell us 5 fun facts people might not know about you!

  • I can speak Russian.
  • I played drums in a post-hardcore band that did the rounds during the ‘scene’ days here in NZ.
  • I can draw and write with both hands.
  • I have an Autobots tattoo.
  • My sister, Charlotte Greaves, is also a writer – check her books out too!! 🙂

3. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some “This or That”-questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Ebooks OR physical books?

I definitely prefer physical books, and even do my final rounds of editing by ordering a cobbled together version of my own books, which I can scribble notes all over. Nothing beats that new-book smell!!

First person view OR third person view?

I prefer first person because it lets me get inside a character’s head. I’m a sucker for first person present-tense for maximum ‘noir narration’ style too. That said, I do think that any first person perspective needs to have a hard cap on just how introspective our narrator is. Too much, and I start wishing I was reading in third again!

Plot driven OR character driven?

Character driven stories are my preferred style. I certainly want a plot, but it needs to stem from how the characters work their way through whatever the author has thrown their way.

Thing is, it’s often a fine line for me.

I can’t stand when issues are entirely derived from unrealistic lack of communication between characters. A bit of angst is fine, but crikey, I do wish more protagonists just had a good old fashioned heart-to-heart with their foils! So if the character is driving the plot into strange and uncomfortable territory, I’m like to bail outta the taxi!

Shop at an actual bookstore OR shop books online?

Whilst, as I mentioned, I do love that new book smell… I live in New Zealand.
Most of the bookshops here kinda suck. There are VERY few that would ever stock indie stuff, so I get that from online sources (despite the godawful shipping costs, and the lack of options as far as hard vs softcover goes!)

Hero OR anti-hero?

I like heroes. Good old fashioned good people, doing good old fashioned good deeds.

I’m honestly so over “deconstructions” “Subverted expectations” and all that other stuff, that I am enamoured with kind-hearted and pleasant characters, who strive for good. I don’t really write them that often, myself. But I like to think that positivity is somehow manifested into the universe when we think or feel positive vibes, and those characters bring a little more of it into being… or something weird like that!

4. When you look for books to read, what trope, theme, or type of story will always catch your attention?

I suppose stuff with an undercurrent of philosophy. I studied it for several years of my life (somehow didn’t end up working in a cafe, either!) so I always like to see philosophical and ethical issues and quandaries worked into stories – regardless their genre.

As far as genre goes, I love old-fashioned adventure fantasy, although my all-time favourite book is Starship Troopers (Movie too, though it really isn’t an accurate representation of the book, nor is it some kind of critique or response!)

5. If you were to describe your writing style using 3 words, what would they be?
Honest, unpretentious, and… maybe evocative? (as evocative as honesty and a lack of pretence can be!)

6. So what do you write? Tell us a bit more about your chosen genre, style and ongoing projects/WIPs/series!

I write coming-of-age fantasy novels. Or at least, I have just finished the last draft of the final book in a trilogy of the sort, and will be releasing it in October – yay birthday release!!

The series follows a girl who is stolen by beast-people in order to satisfy the terms of a mysterious pact made by their matriarch. They’re inspired in part by Slavic myth and folklore, and have all the usual adventure, mystery, and action you’d expect, alongside a dash of romance and humour too!

The series link is: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Q8ZBQQR

After this series, I started work on a pirate fantasy, and some others, though I’m not too sure which will make it to the finish line first.

7. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The most recent release is “Sister of the Dead,” which is book 2 in the aforementioned trilogy, and which you can grab from uncle Bezos here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B55GNKRL

This story is a little more contained than the first book, and sees our heroine embarking on a journey to an ancient city (filled with cool ziggurats, all manner of weird oddities, and a boatload of danger) in order to figure out what on earth has happened to the Spirits of her people’s dead. Like I said about the series in general, there’s plenty of action, adventure, mystery, and yeah, romance too. There are also pirates in this one. Several, in fact!

I’m also set to release “Mother of the Bond” in October, which is the finale to this trilogy!

8. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

I have a website: www.ecgreaves.com

And am on zuckerbook, sorry, ‘Meta” at: /ECGreaves.Author

And twitter at: @GreavesEc

Book Review: Gravitas

📚 Review time! 📚

📚 Gravitas by Christopher Russell

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Gravitas is a short but exciting story about a villain called Scraw, who works “with” the local authority in his attempts to save their city of Lestadt from the Saeleen.

And by “with,” I mean: he basically forces anyone else to do as he says, good or bad. Mostly bad. Or… Yeah, all bad.

Gravitas is a highly entertaining read, and being a lover of real crime, reading about villains is certainly something I enjoy. Like a deep dive into a dark mind – wonderful!

As for the story itself: the scenes are well-described, the prose flowing, and the characters layered despite the low page count. The world-building is fabulous, and I absolutely loved the twist at the end. Fantastic little read!

Author Interview: Steve Heiman

Check out this author spotlight for Steve Heiman!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

After decades of dreaming about being a novelist, the Covid-19 Lockdown of 2020 became my golden opportunity to actually make it happen. A lifetime resident of the Northwest, I now live in Portland Or, and look forward to a future life in the country with a dog and several cats while writing more zany escapades.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
I prefer a little of each. But if I have to pick, then spring it is!

Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, herbal tea at night.

Morning or evening?
Evenings 100%. Mornings are for sleeping!

Library or museums?
Museums. Spent many years as a visual artist as well. 

Witches or wizards?
Wizards rule, but witches heal, so we kinda need both. I’m not much of an either/or person. My books reflect this.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Originality of concept and writing style. I mostly tend towards sci fi and some fantasy. I love a good escapist story. But I also like to be moved, compelled, and intellectually invigorated.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write science fiction and fantasy. 

I just completed the second book of a sci fi comedy series.

The first book is titled Greetings, Planet Earth, where Jack Gripper, a prank playing trash man, is selected by aliens to represent earth. The sequel is titled Help, I Lost My Planet! where Jack must travel the galaxy to fight the evil LameLame, the species he cast aside in his selection process. I am currently writing the third book Oops, Wrong Universe! and am also working on a YA fantasy novel titled The Source of All Magic.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

Book Two of the Jack Gripper series

Oops, I Lost My Planet!

Jack’s worried. The LameLame have started a war. And the Council wants him to save the galaxy.

So much for enjoying pizza and peace on Earth. The problem is it’s only been three months since Jack became a washaluki. He’s just discovering the extent of his power. Yet now he must journey across the stars and battle his blobby foe. The ones destroying planets. Yeah, no big deal.

Space slugs? Check! Sentient spaceships? Check! Slimy supervillains? Of course! This whacky space adventure spans galaxies and dimensions, but still somehow manages to trip over the cats!

Purchase Book One here

Purchase Book Two here

6 . What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

My real-life inspirations stem from the current frontiers of science and theological speculation. The global issues we face are crucial and as an artist I want to uplift and inspire but still ask the big questions, such as what are our global goals? What priorities do we have as a species? How can we work together to overcome the negative aspects of modern life? Most can agree we could do a better job of protecting our children, elderly and at-risk members of society. The most pressing issue of our times is protecting the global biosphere. But it’s not my place to preach to people, so I chose a light comedic medium to address these important topics.

My inspiration and writing style draws from diverse influences such as Shakespeare, Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins, Asimov, Clarke, and Niven and most of the greats of sci fi. Also fantasy, from Tolkien and Le Guin and C.S. Lewis, and from classics such as Steinbeck and Hemmingway. My comedy work is inspired by Douglas Adams, Harry Harrison, Monty Python, Firesign Theatre and other comedies of that style. 

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I’m sure my creative process is unusual. For me, the creative process is part discovery and part my reflections of our current times and culture. I write as time and creative inclination strike in conjunction. 

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Start young. I waited way too long.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

Websites

https://www.steveheimanauthor.com/home

 Blog

https://www.steveheimanauthor.com/blog

 Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/SteveHeimanNovelist/

 Twitter

https://twitter.com/SHeimanAuthor

Tuesday Teaser: Hold the rod!

🔥 Tuesday Teaser 🔥

🖤 Here’s a snippet from my current WIP, The Condemned. It’s part of my unedited first draft 🖤

“Alright. Go ahead—take it.” He offered the fishing rod to her.

Iselyn looked at it for a moment. “Take it?”

He grunted. “Aye, ye’ve obviously got tae hold the rod if ye want tae learn.”

Pursing her lips, Iselyn knelt. She grabbed the rod with both hands and settled down beside him. She lifted it high, the hook dangling dangerously close to her face before she attempted to throw it back out. It landed on the edge of the water.

Gharrus cringed. “Careful now. Ye nearly got it caught in yer hair then. And ye need tae cast it out further than tha’! Ye won’t catch fish on the rocks any time soon.”

🖤 The Condemned – a stand-alone Romantic Fantasy novel, perfect for readers who enjoy dark and gritty fantasy tales with romance and explicit steam 🖤

Writing update!

🔥 Writing update! 🔥

🍁 Lately, I’ve been working on the prequel of my WIP, The Condemned. The story takes place a few years before the main book and follows other main characters than those featured in The Condemned. But there will still be romance, intrigue and a baddy villain 😁 I’m almost done with the first draft, so I’ll be sending it to my alphas soon 🥰

Shout-out to this amazing reader!

🔥 Sunday Shout-out to Terry Davis for her review of The Resurgence of Light (The Light of Darkness, book #3) 🔥

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “The plot thickens, as they say.

Just when you think you’ve figured out whats going on, a new twist hits! Now a band of mercenaries has been added to the mix and entire villages of Demons are mysteriously dying… and the Priesthood is being blamed.

Catrin Russell’s third installment of this series doesn’t disappoint. The action remains fast paced. Characters go from official duties to sexual encounters -not always expected either- and back at the turn of the page. Better yet, these stories aren’t filled with smut simply to titalate. The sexual encounters add to understanding characters choices and actions and help define who they are. We are given glimpses into the many ways good or evil operates even in these most intimate moments. Even so, those scenes don’t overpower the stories playing out within the larger story.” – Terry Davis

Author Spotlight: Deborah Jarvis

Check out this spotlight for Fantasy author Deborah Jarvis!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

My name is Deborah Jarvis, and I am the author of The Keyralithian Chronicles, including The Crystal Pawn and The Ivory Queen, and the upcoming urban fantasy novel, Wolves Running. By day, I am an English teacher at a high school; by night, I am a fabulous adjunct college professor and writer. I am active with greyhound rescue and the promotion of this wonderful breed, and do custom leatherwork on the side.

2. Tell us 5 fun facts people might not know about you!

I used to raise fancy pigeons,
I love houseplants,
I collect Uranium glass,
I have a Nelson’s Milksnake,
I can’t cook, but I love baking.

3. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some “This or That”-questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Ebooks OR physical books? I prefer physical, but am getting more ebooks due to rapidly filling shelves.
First person view OR third person view? Either. I write in both.
Standalone OR series? Series. They are like potato chips. You can’t write just one.

Read multiple books OR one at a time?  Multiple. With my line of work, I am reading a school book analytically and another fiction just for fun.
Signed edition OR first edition? First if I can find it.
Graphic novels OR comic books? Graphic novels, though I do have some special comics.
Plot driven OR character driven? character
Zombies OR dragons? dragons
Witches OR vampires? werewolves
Shop at an actual bookstore OR shop books online? Online ONLY because I can only see one book at a time and I won’t walk out with $70 worth of books!

Hero OR anti-hero? Hero, unless it is Batman. Always be Batman
TBR list OR mood reader? Mood reader
Music while reading OR silence? Silence, but I can tune ambient music out.
Read in bed OR read on sofa? either

4. When you look for books to read, what trope, theme, or type of story will always catch your attention?

Fantasy or linked to history. I love high fantasy, urban fantasy, and historical fiction, so anyone of those will make me happy.

5. If you were to describe your writing style using 3 words, what would they be?

Detailed, flowing, thoughtful

6. So what do you write? Tell us a bit more about your chosen genre, style and ongoing projects/WIPs/series!

I definitely love the aforementioned types of fantasy and I have several projects in the works. The first is Wolves Running, an urban fantasy about shapeshifters who are suddenly revealed to be a part of moden society and how they and those around them deal with it. It steps away from the ubiquitous were-animal trope and looks more at animals that chose to undertake the task of helping humans by learning to become them. Over time, they mostly adjusted to mingle with our society, but when one of them is exposed, members from different clans choose to end their secrecy by coming forward and working with the governments of the world. Wolves Running takes place right after that event has transpired, and the characters deal with the fallout while trying to maintain their human existances. This story will be the first novel in The Shapeshifter Symposium.

The second project is the third book of The Keyralithian Chronicles, The Ebon King. Deirdre Hawes has seen the end of the war but not the end of the betrayal within the kingdom of Keyralithsmus. Separated from most of her friends and family, Deirdre undertakes the daring rescue of the prince while, on a separate journey, the rest of her companions search for the fabled land where Tali is said to be from. Each of the journeys is fraught with danger, and Deirdre struggles to overcome the separation from her husband before the magic that binds them destroys them both, hoping all the while that her friends will bring help from the far northern wastelands.

The third project is titled Forever Demond. A being who’s lived for over a thousand years, a lost vellum manuscript, and a secret that could undo the fabric of reality as we know it. That is what Marcy Collins finds when she travels to Rome to help excavate a recent catacomb lost since the 900s. But there are others who are trying to decipher the secrets held within the manuscript, and the only one who can possibly stop them is a mysterious archaeologist by the name of Francis De Mond. As Marcy delves deeper into the manuscript and the secrets of the catacombs, she finds more than what she bargained for in Francis De Mond. As forces converge on the monastery connected to the catacombs, the secrets they hold must be protected at all cost, lest parts of history itself become as if they have never been.

7. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My most recent release is The Ivory Queen, the second book in The Keyralithian Chronicles. Deirdre Hawes has managed to reach the edge of the desert and must cross over it and travel through the Escalon Jungle in order to find the dragon who lives in its depths. With the aid of the Alari, a centaur Shaman, several friends, and the prince she is becoming more magically connected with daily, Deirdre must find within herself the strength to find the dragon and prove herself worthy of its aid. Only then can she return to Keyralithsmus and call on the help of the dragons for the coming war.

Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/47YZ1L

8. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

Please check out my Social media and Website @ https://linktr.ee/the_rael_coyote

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