Book Review: Greyhound of the Baskervilles

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Greyhound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle with some new bits by John Gaspard

My husband knows how much of a crazy dog lady I am. Sometimes while he is working away, he sends me random surprises. So finding this book in my mailbox one afternoon made my day. I just finished reading it and writing a review for a newsletter for a greyhound group I’m in, so I thought I would share here.

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This is new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”
It’s the same story. Mostly. That is, it contains the same characters, the same action, and much of the same dialogue.
What’s different?
Well, it’s a little shorter, a little leaner, a little less verbose in some sections.
But the chief difference is that it’s now narrated by a dog. A greyhound, in fact, named Septimus.
In this new edition, he tells his story of how he became “The Greyhound of the Baskervilles.”

Legend has it that the Baskerville family are cursed to be murdered by a demonic hound that lives upon the moor. So when Henry Baskerville is the next heir set to move into the family home in Devonshire, there are worries that his life is in danger. Holmes sends Watson and Septimus to go with Henry, and start an investigation into the truth behind the hell hound.

.I was very pleased to discover that the book is in the point of veiw of Septimus, the greyhound that Sherlock rescued. Septimus takes his job seriously, as he knows he plays an important role in helping his master solve crimes.

The creepy atmosphere is perfect for this mystery. The moor, the fog and curious neighbors all combine well for this tale.

I highly recommend this book for any bookworm who loves dogs, especially greyhounds. I love the classics but I find sometimes they can be a bit verbose, so I enjoyed this leaner version. I was chuckling in the first few pages at Septimus. Like any dog, he worries he will starve to death one day (even though he is very well fed) and he can be stubborn (who wants to walk in the rain?!)

Does Septimus help save the day? Does the hell hound exist and who really wants the Baskervilles dead? You will just have to get a copy and find out yourself. 😉

I found this cartoon by Richard Skipworth, which I found very fitting. 😉

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New Year, New Goals

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Last year I decided to set myself some goals for 2018. Get back to reading, increase how often I write, etc… I wanted to make another list for goals for 2019 and try to improve upon what I managed to do this year. There are some personal things I want to work on, but they won’t be on this list. They aren’t resolutions, just changes I want to make, and not because its the time of year everyone tries to improve themselves. These are things I want to do anyway.

So, here is my new goal list for 2019!

The Book Pile: I didn’t reach my goal of reading 15 books in 2018. I had some personal life crap that put me off of doing much. I can’t read or focus well when I am stressed. But I did get 9 or 10 under my belt, discovered a new author and binged on some great books. This year I am attempting to tackle this reading challenge from Pop Sugar. Right off the top when I read this list I have at least 11 books on my shelf that fit for it. I plan to set my goal again for 15 books, and hopefully this time I will reach it at the very least.

Blogging: I will be blogging book reviews again, writing topics and the like. I would like to make a schedule but instead I will aim for writing once or twice a week.

Writing:  One thing I really want to improve is how much I write and work on my projects. I want to spend at least 10 minutes a day writing. Which is better then what I do now. There are times I go months without writing, and I really want to change that. Plus I have too many plots in my head that need to come out. You know, to make room for more ideas I can’t keep up with. 😉

Other stuff: When I was looking back on my Facebook photos the other day, I forgot how fun this year was. From comic con to a mini road trip with my mom and sister, the good outweighed the bad. I want to keep that up. I have a few ideas for this year that I hope pan out. I also have small projects I want to get at, like some crafts and I have stacks of photos that need to be organized.

So, do you have any goals for the year? If so what is on your list?

A Magickal Interview With Candace Osmond

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If you have been here before, you know that I am a big fan of Candace Osmond. I discovered her because of her Darktides series, which has magick, time travel, pirates, adventure and more!

Now she is onto a new story, with more magick and time travel, but a in different world and new characters to fall in love with. Her story, co authored with J.J. King, is newly in my hands, thanks to being on her ARC team. I recently talked to her about her new story, co authoring, and life after Darktides.

Hey Candace! Thanks for coming back! You’ve been a busy bee! The Dark Tides series just ended, how are you feeling about that?

Writing Dark Tides was a total rush. We did a rapid release with each new book in the series releasing every two months for the last year. Now that it’s wrapped up, I feel like I can finally suck in a full breath of air LOL but it also makes me anxious to not have a brand new book to give to readers yet.

I’m very excited about your upcoming project! The Rite to Reign box set. Can you tell us a bit about it? 

I’m excited, too! The theme of the box set is Royal Witches. So, all 24 books have a fantastical witchy theme. There are nearly 30 authors in total, some partnering up and co-authoring a book like myself and JJ King did. But there are 24 books in total, plus two bonus books by USA Today Bestselling Authors Rebecca Hamilton and Monica Corwin for free!

The group also banded together and created a custom spell book, recipe book, and short story collection that are all totally free to readers when they pre-order the set for $0.99. You can get our FREE gifts right here.

Oh my gosh! That sounds fanastic! Tell us more! What is your story called? And what is it about?

Mine and JJ King’s story is aptly titled Reigning Magicks and follows the epic journey of Princess Ashlynn, a powerful Celtic witch and rightful heir to her kingdom’s throne. But her father doesn’t care about that. He plans to use her as a tool to bridge peace between their kingdom and a rival Scottish clan of witches and sorcerers.

Of course, stubborn Ashlynn will have nothing of it. She ventures out in search of a way out and stumbles upon an ancient ritual that will grant her a wish. But it goes awry, and Ashlynn is thrust to the future; our modern day.

There she meets a handsome gypsy prince and powerful sorcerer, Cian Boswells. He’s in a similar predicament that Ashlynn had been forced into and together they solve one another’s problems while also falling in love.

Is it going to be the start of a new series for you or a stand alone project?

At first JJ King and I had planned for it to be a stand-alone project, something fun for the box set. But as we kept writing and developing the characters of Cian and Ashlynn, we realized there’s so much more story to tell. So, it’s set for a trilogy!

That sounds exciting! So you’re co authoring this as well, correct?  What’s that been like?

I was terrified at first. I’d never co-written anything before, not to this degree. Also, JJ King is one of my closest friends. But the process was amazing! We learned a lot about one another’s writing style as well as technique and discovered just how well we compliment one another. The key is to establish ground rules and what you expect from the other upfront, before you begin writing.

Going through this experience, would you co-author again with someone?

Only with JJ King LOL Coming form a background of screenwriting, I’m a very plot-driven writer. JJ is more focused on the descriptive narrative, so we just work so well together.

What goals do you have for the box?

Our main goal is to release on Dec. 11th and soar to the tops of charts, with a focus on NYT and USA TODAY. We’ve set goals along the way and are working hard to meet them. But pre-orders are crucial to this goal. It helps us to see how far we are and how far we have to go before release day.

When does it come out?

Dec. 11th is the official release date! But after that, the price goes up so be sure to pre-order to grab that sweet $0.99 deal plus all the pre-order goodies.

I pre-ordered ages ago! I can’t wait for release day! What writing goals do you have for the rest of the year?

For the rest of 2018 I’m focusing on this box set release while writing book one in my new series that’s slated for a 2019 release. It’s called Kingdom of Sand & Stars and is a Time Travel Fantasy Romance with an ancient Egypt setting. You can find out more about it on my Facebook page!

Thanks so much for the chat, Candace! Now, if you all will excuse me, I have a novel to read…and a review to write!

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Writing News: My Book Release!

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Happy October, y’all! It’s 2:32 am on this first day of my favorite month and I can’t sleep. For two reasons. 1) I napped a lil too much today. And 2) My e-book is now LIVE!!! I am so excited! I got the email just a few minutes ago from Amazon that it’s now up and available! *squeeeee*

 

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Lily Myers is living an ordinary life until she meets Quinn Carter. When Quinn turns out to be a century-old vampire, Lily is thrust into a reality where she’s an unwilling believer. But as her fear fades and her curiosity wins out, she finds herself falling for Quinn and learning more about this new world. From hunting down a vampire killer to meeting werewolves, Lily’s life has definitely taken a turn…but whether it’s for the worse or better, she’s still finding out.

This collection of short stories are those that I have written over the last ten years. The first story, Awake and Alive, is one I am proud of as it was the first story I ever had published. But each one in this collection holds a place in my heart for one reason or another.

I have fallen in love with these characters, and I keep getting sucked back into their world. There is so much I can do with the world I created for them. And they are always getting into trouble somewhere and meeting new…beings.

Since October is a month for spooks and the supernatural, I figured it was the perfect time to release my collection. I plan to write some posts this month about my characters, but in the meantime you can start getting to know them over here at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. 

I do plan to expand to Kobo and a few other places. Bear with me, my fellow word lovers. This world of self publishing is a new one for me. 😉 Now I think it is time for me to head to bed, since work isn’t too many hours away!

Book Release!

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I’m a part of an awesome little writers group called The Story Forge. This past winter, we decided to put together our first anthology. For some reason, we decided to make humor the common theme. But from light chuckles to full blown laughter, we managed to put together a book that we hope everyone will enjoy.

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What’s funny? How do we know? Why is the answer to that question different for everyone? The writers of the Story Forge Writers Collective have no idea either, but in an attempt to understand those questions have taken on the challenge to write “something funny.

My story, Switch, is featured in this collection. It will also be featured in MY OWN ebook coming out soon, but more on that later!

If you are interested in what myself and my rag tag group of friends think is funny, you can find The Good, The Bad and the Funny at Amazon. Oh, and all proceeds of this ebook will go to our local library, where we have our meetings at each month.

 

Book Review: The Siren’s Call by Candace Osmond

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I have been patiently impatient for the release of the fourth and final book in the Dark Tides series by Candace Osmond. And finally, I got a copy in my hands!

Warning! Some spoilers ahead…

I have been devouring these books. This series has everything I love. A handsome hero with a hard past, a strong and kick ass heroine who keeps going even when she wants to quit; secondary characters that are complimentary and support the FMC and MC. There’s no cardboard cutouts here. Each person has their own important role to play.  Not to mention adventure, romance, time travel, action, quests, and more!

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As the crew reach the shores of England, the power of a wish weighs heavy on Dianna’s shoulders. What should be a simple task snowballs into an endless pit of questions and second guesses as Dianna’s yet to mutter the words that will finally put an end to their formidable journey.

Find her mother before Maria Cobham ends her life. 

The mission is simple, yet so much stands in the way. Including Roselyn Wallace, queen of the port and an old friend from Henry’s past. Time after time, Dianna reluctantly crosses paths with the tall, dark beauty until she finds herself in a world of trouble. Can she dig her way out before everything she’s worked for falls apart? Or will the world Dianna loves wash away with the unforgiving tides? 

As I began to read, I had so many questions. What wishes would Dianna make? What would become the fate of her evil sister and the mother she thought was lost? When would the siren call on her and what would she ask of Dianna? And what of Benjamin; would Dianna find out if her wish worked, or was he still stuck on the cursed ship?

So. Many. Questions.

I was excited and thrilled to start reading book four. I dived right back into the story of Henry and Dianna. I devoured it, but tried to take my time simply because: this is the last book in the series. *insert super sad face here*

The writing flow is consistent throughout the entire series. It was if Candace sat down to write a novel and it turned into something she had to break into four sections.

The title ‘The Siren’s Call’ works in a few ways. That’s one of the things I love, that each book title doesn’t give away the story. Instead it captures several aspects of the story, ones you don’t see coming. One aspect this fits is that one of the places Henry and Dianna visit is called The Sirens Call. It’s the home of Roselyn Wallace, a woman that Dianna not only feels jealous of but doesn’t know if she trustworthy. In a way, Roselyn is a siren of sorts, with her beauty and Dianna wonders if that will lure Henry back into the arms of his former flame.

Dianna and Henry’s characters are always growing, as are the secondary characters. There has been growth in friendships and relationships. And the hard times they all go through only make them strong, better and smarter. I just adore Lottie, Finn and Gus.

With being the last book, there were loose ends being tied, including some I forgot. Dianna had to take Charlie home to see his dying mother, and to bring Pleeman’s ashes back to his family. Neither event went as expected, but life never does.

I felt Dianna’s desperation throughout the story. She never stops believing that she will find her sister, even when she is doubted. She never stops her quest. She is also on a time limit of sorts. Dianna needs to finish what she started before she is to pregnant to stop. And she also needs to protect the growing baby inside of her.

The end of the book….endings are the hardest to read, when a series you are in love with is ending.

Of coarse, Dianna and Henry get their HEA. It wasn’t easy getting there, but they make it.

There was one detail at the end that made me go “OMG you are killing me here!”

Here’s some bad news, kids. The ending leaves you wanting-no, NEEDING- more. I had a half hour of processing what I had just read. The ending of the series ended on a cliffhanger.  Then I reached out to Candace, because I needed help processing it all. I didn’t expect a book series to end on such a…WOW note. Not like that, anyway.

So, here’s the good news, kids: Candace will be writing with these characters once again, sometime down the road when the siren calls to her to return to this awesome world she created. She’ll be working with other worlds and projects she’s creating at the moment. As much as I want more NOW, I can wait. Because when the time comes I will happily step back into the magical world of Dianna, Henry and the others that Candace has created.

On a personal note, I have another reason for being happy about this series. When book one came out, all I knew is that Candace was an author in an online writing community I am in. Her book was promoted, I read the blurb and knew it was for me. But now I have also gained a new writing friend. Candace and I have been talking during the year, giving each other pep talks and chatting about writing and life. So I feel like I have made a new friend, which is a gift in itself. And hey, never hurts to know one of your fave authors. I won’t let her forget about coming back to Dianna and Henry someday, and getting back to that cliffhanger. 😉

If you want to grab up your copy of The Sirens Call, get it at a few places including amazon.com or at amazon.ca.

Happy reading y’all!

Book Haul

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In the last week or so I have had a mini book haul. Brand new beauties for my very crowded bookshelf.

I had read some e-books, but because I loved them so much I had to get the hard copy. If you have read earlier reviews, you know I am a big fan of Candace Osmond. I ordered the first 2 books in her Darktides series….book three may or may not have been ordered as of last night. 😉

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I also bought Beyond The Sentinel Stars by Sherry D. Ramsey last week. It is the third book in her Nearspace series and I am looking forward to reading it soon.

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My newest book in my collection was given to me just the other night. My husband knows me all too well. I guess he doesn’t tune me out all the time after all. 😉 As you may know, The Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie. So imagine my surprise- and joy!- when I got this lil gem.

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I started reading this the other night. I am loving it so far! I got an awesome hubster.

So, any new books on your shelf these days? What are you reading?