Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Seasons Greetings



Merry Christmas one and all. I would like to take this time to thank everyone who contributed to Dusty Pages this year, be it giving an interview, providing a guest post, or commenting on a post. Thank you so much.

Dusty Pages is taking a small break, but we’ll be back in the New Year with new interviews, reviews and posts. Have a great Christmas time and New Year. Cheers 🥂

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Dusty Pages Review: Uncovering You (Parts 1-3)


Join Lilly and J.S. as they begin their twisted tale of love and revenge. Uncovering You: The Complete First Boxed Set includes the first three books the best selling dark romance series that has captivated readers all over the world.

I saw an post about this on Facebook. The extract sounded hot, a little rough sex which I am not opposed to in my romance reads. However, this was something entirely different. Dark Romance could be considered a step outside that safe little bubble that I was taught as a writer you had to adhere to. In fact it touches on subjects that requires me to put a trigger warning on this read. Its not a fluffy bit of BDSM.

That said, there were parts of the story that I enjoyed. I liked the mystery surrounding Lilly's kidnap and her subject imprisonment until she agreed to sign a contract to become for all intents and purposes a sex slave to a very rich man with a temper who can do whatever he wants and get away with it. I like the character of Rose, who is somewhat of a friend to Lilly and knows that J.S is treating her badly and she is there against her will but both are unable to do anything about it. There was an incident with a dove...well, I was glad that I hadn't recently eaten.

What frustrates me, apart from J.S continual mood shifts, is that three parts in, I still have no idea why he picked Lilly and neither does she. It is baffling. There hasn't really been any hints so far, other than he went to a lot of effort to get her, there were some serious Machiavellian style shit going on in that process let me tell you, and its frustrating. I understand from what little googling I've done that this story spans 10 installments. So be warned before you buy that you might be committing for a long haul. Currently only parts 1-3 are available as a box set. I'd be interested in reading more, say if the author released parts 4-6 as a box set too - but right now buying the individual parts is too much for my budget.

I give it



Monday, 17 December 2018

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Erin Casey


1. Tell me about your book, The Purple Door District, and where you got your inspiration for it?

The Purple Door District is an urban fantasy book set in Chicago. A young werebird named Bianca is being tracked by Hunters, so she goes to one of the Purple Door Districts, a safe haven for parahumans, ie. werewolves, vampires, magic users, etc. Basically, the PDD is a neutral zone where parahumans put their differences aside to live in a peaceful community. Usually. The book follows her story, as well as the stories of those in the community and how they come together to save her. My friend and I started creating an urban fantasy world while roleplaying, and The Purple Door District was born from that. I intend for it to be a series, and my friend and I hope to also co-author another series set in the same world in the future.

2. Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so what was it?

Oh yes. I learned just how much goes into the editing process and how important consistency is. Each time I thought I had everything planned out, I’d notice a continuity error and would have to go back through the entire book and fix it. I also learned how important sensitivity reading is. I have a diverse cast, so I reached out to several people to do a sensitivity reading on the book. I know you can’t please everyone, but I want to make sure that I represent people as correctly as possible.

3. How important do you view maintaining your twitter account?

Pretty important. It’s a great way to connect with writers and readers. I love answering daily questions, reading about people’s struggles and successes, and sharing valuable information from other writers. The literary community is just that…a community, and it’s so important for us to stay connected and remind each other that we’re not alone. I want to encourage other writers to keep going with their craft, and Twitter is a nice place to do that. Plus, #pitchmad and #pitchwars are a great way to help get your book out.

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

Wales. Besides urban fantasy, I write medieval fantasy. One of the manors in my book is based on a real castle in Wales, and I would love to go visit it. I think it would be incredible to walk through the same halls my characters would have walked (if they’d existed, obviously). I’d like to make a stop over in Ireland too since a lot of my family came from there.

5. In what ways do you hold yourself back?

Well, like many writers, I have a lot of self-doubt problems. Most of the time I never think that I’m good enough, so I have shelves filled with unfinished books. The Purple Door District is my first attempt at really showing the world what I can do. I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified, but I’m also excited that I’ve finally taken this first important step. I can’t live in fear when writing is what I love to do.

6. What motivates you to succeed as a writer?

Other writers! I know that might sound silly, but working with the community really encourages me to move forward to succeed as a writer! I’ve met so many fascinating people during my journey, I’ve gone to writing conventions, and I’ve spread my wings by helping others with their craft. All of that combined keeps me motivated to work and write. There’s something special, too, about helping someone else and watching them succeed.

7. How would you survive a Zombie apocalypse?

No. I’m a clutz, so I’m pretty sure the first time I’d have to run from a zombie, I’d trip and land on my face.

8. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?


Fantasy, urban fantasy, YA fantasy, medieval fantasy. Have I mentioned fantasy? I really enjoy world building and coming up with magic systems. When things were rough as a kid, I would read a lot of fantasy books to help me escape. I’d like my own books to be an escape for other people.

9. Have you ever considered collaborating with another writer? If Yes who, if no why not?


I’ve wanted to collaborate with a few writers, actually. The one I’m working with now is an incredible writer. She and I have been working on developing the urban fantasy world for a long time, and we’re finally plotting out the various books that we want to write together. Our goal is to do a main canon series. The Purple Door District is just one component of our world. I decided I really wanted to focus on that aspect. I think it’s fascinating working with another writer because we have our own strengths and weaknesses. We balance each other out pretty well, and it’s nice not to be alone when working on our craft. The only downside is finding the time to actually work on the book together! We both work full-time jobs, and we live in different time zones.

10. Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Definitely! As much as I hate to say it, people do judge a book by its cover. I had a professional artist create mine because the original one I made definitely wasn’t up to par.

11. What part of your writing time do you dedicate to marketing your book?

Right now, I’m dedicating a lot of time to marketing. With The Purple Door District coming out in December, I’m trying to do interviews, find places to sell the book, gain a following through twitter, Instagram, wattpad, facebook, etc. The past week I did spend more time editing, but I would say a good portion of my time right now is dedicated to just marketing. It’s not a problem, though. I enjoy it and it helps me meet new people.

12. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

I’ve written a lot of other books. I have about five books in an anthro wolf series that I’d love to publish one day, but I always get nervous that people will think it’s ridiculous. I wrote a medieval fantasy trilogy that I put on the backburner to write a YA LGBT fantasy book. I’m currently querying the YA fantasy. I do intend to go back and work on the medieval fantasy. I also write some stories on wattpad that I’m debating if I want to try to get published. Basically, I write way more than I actually try to publish.

13. What has your experience been like as a new Indie Author? Bruises, Highlights, and lessons?

Exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time. I’m lucky because I know a lot of Indie authors who have been willing to offer advice to me along the way. I’m experiencing a lot of trial and error in my marketing plan and just trying to find what works for me and what doesn’t. It’s all a learning process. I think one thing that has me on edge is the whole, am I good enough? I’m the one deciding to publish the book. I have to do all of the marketing and preparation for it. Will it be enough? Will I actually be able to put it out in the world and gain a following? I suppose only time will tell.

14. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?


Ha! My characters always hijack the story. I can have the entire thing plotted out, and ten minutes into writing, one character goes left, the other character goes right, and I’m stuck trying to drag them down the middle. That’s why I usually have multiple POVs; each character wants his/her story told.

15. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

I work as a proofreader for a company as my full-time job. I’m the Director of The Writers’ Rooms, a non-profit corporation that focuses on providing a free and safe environment for writers no matter their income, gender, background, and skillset. I’m the Communications and Student Relationships Manager at The Iowa Writers’ House, a literary organization that focuses on helping writers with their craft, career, and community. I also periodically volunteer at RARE, a raptor rescue center in Iowa City. When I’m not doing all of that, I’m working on my books and also taking care of my seven birds. Sometimes I sleep.

___________________________________________


Bianca was supposed to attend art school in Chicago, not run for her life from Hunters. The only chance she has to survive is to find The Purple Door District, a safe haven for a parahuman like herself. When she stumbles upon a magus named Gladus and a fellow avian named Carlos, she thinks she's found safety. But the Hunters are relentless, as is the dark force driving them. Vampire, werewolf, avian, magus...It's up to the parahumans of the Purple Door District of Chicago to put their differences aside to save Bianca and stop a dark threat from destroying their peaceful community.

BUY

About Erin

Erin graduated from Cornell College in 2009 with degrees in English and Secondary Education. She decided to expand upon her teaching knowledge by leading writing sessions at first for the Iowa Writers' House and now for The Writers' Rooms. She attended the Denver Publishing Institute in 2009 and has been a recruiter ever since. She is the Communications and Student Relationships Manager at The Iowa Writers' House and one of two Directors of The Writers' Rooms. She writes children's poetry and stories for Whimsical Whiskers and volunteers at RARE, a raptor rescue center. She's also a devoted bird mom. When not volunteering and working, she's writing her LGBT YA fantasy story, posting urban and regular fantasy on Wattpad, and sharing her literary journey on Instagram.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Patreon | Wattpad

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Dusty Pages Review: The Dating Experiment

Setting up a dating website with the guy I’ve been in love with since I was five wasn’t my smartest idea.
Especially since he’s my best friend’s brother—thankfully, she’s okay with the fact I’m pulling a Sandy and I’m hopelessly devoted to him.
Which is why it’s time to get over him.
So I do something crazy and ask Dominic Austin to find me a date. He does—if I find him one, too.
Since we own Stupid Cupid, it should be easy, right? And it is.
My date is perfect. His date is perfect. Everything is perfect.
Until he kisses me…
I read the first book in this series, The Hook Up Experiment, and it follows on from that story but following two of the other characters. Chloe runs the sister site to Peyton's Pick a Dick hook up site from the first book, and is madly in love with her co-owner, Dom (Peyton's older brother). However it has reached a point where she knows she is never going to have him, so she wants to get over him by having her life long crush use their dating software to find her a perfect match. However, unknown to Chloe, she is the object of Dom's affection and he just hasn't found a way to tell her.

Sarcasm, binge drinking, and little bit of hot sex follows. I do like Emma Hart's style, her snarky trio of friends makes me laugh out loud when they really get into it. Dom has his moments too which I loved. However, be warned, this is a slow burn. It was getting to a point where I just wanted to lock the two in a room and go Dom you like Chloe, Chloe you like Dom - discuss!

I'm a little sad that all though there is a trio of friends, that from book one, the last one Mellie, appears to have been in a relationship and won't get her own book. I just sort of want more. I like the characters, and the epilogue was not enough closure for me.

Still, I give it



Friday, 7 December 2018

The Little Shop of Sonnet

Dear Readers,

Recently I decided to open another page on Facebook, because for those of you that don't know, I also make some jewellery & bookmarks from time to time. Mostly, I did this as presents for friends & family, but they convinced me that it was good enough to sell...

https://www.facebook.com/littleshopofsonnet


And this is how The Little Shop of Sonnet was born. I hope that it will be a place for people to come look at my stuff without feeling the pressure to buy. I think my prices are reasonable and I intend to offer copies of my books to buy through this page as well.

I'm currently only accepting payment by Paypal ( as I do sincerely believe its the safest method of payment over the internet) and have already sold a couple of pieces. To see the sort of thing I sell, either click on the banner above or there are some samples below.

Enjoy !



Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dusty Pages Review: Kaspar

Kaspar the cat first came to the Savoy Hotel in a basket - Johnny Trott knows, because he was the one who carried him in. Johnny was a bell-boy, you see, and he carried all of Countess Kandinsky's things to her room.
But Johnny didn't expect to end up with Kaspar on his hands forever, and nor did he count on making friends with Lizziebeth, a spirited American heiress. Pretty soon, events are set in motion that will take Johnny - and Kaspar - all around the world, surviving theft, shipwreck and rooftop rescues along the way. Because everything changes with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he's Prince Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Muscovite, a Londoner and a New Yorker, and as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic…

I got this as an audio book and recently while being ill, popped it on to listen to it. First thing I want to say is that I played this through my iPhone. It was clear as a bell and didn't tax the battery too much so I was pleased in that respect. The second is how much I loved this story.

Although written for children, and while it is a simple tale, it is a very enjoyable. I like that it was set around real places and events though in regards to the Titanic you can't really know what happened or if there were in fact any pets on board - I'm pretty sure back then you didn't have to have a doggy/kitty passport like you do now. I enjoyed the narrator - even though I'm pretty sure it's a full grown man reading, I was pleased by how boy like he managed to make Johnny sound. I was totally convinced it was the memoirs of a young man who'd had an extraordinary beginning in life.

Kaspar was every bit the regal pussy cat. The authors description of him was purr-fect (lol) and I compared him to my own sleek black feline who too believes himself to be of royal descent treating me as his servant. :)

Of course as its written for a younger audience, it has a happy ending. I liked that certainty with this story, that no matter what they went through, it was going to be all right in the end.

I give it



Monday, 3 December 2018

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Richard Stephens


1. Tell me about your book, Soul Forge, and where you got your inspiration for it?

On a November evening in 1982, I was sitting around listening to music when the song, Run to the Hills, by Iron Maiden came on. It was as if a switch was triggered inside my head. I immediately gerry-rigged an old, broken Underwood typewriter, and the Soul Forge Saga was born.

2. If your book was made into a film, who would you like to see play the lead?

Val Kilmer, looking exactly the way he did when he played Madmartigan in Willow.

3. What are the top three books in you TBR pile?

1) Perimeter, by David M. Kelly

2) The Black Elfstone, by Terry Brooks

3) Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf, by R. A. Salvatore

4. If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be and why?

Ronnie James Dio. He died much too early. I love his music. His voice was amazing.

5. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing?

Years. I was 9 when I began writing. At 17, I the Soul Forge Saga, was born. (At that time is was called, The River Styx.) I dropped out of school in grade 10 to support my new born son and with his birth came responsibility. I worked at a local bakery for the next 22 years before I went back to school to finish my high school diploma. I then worked with the Waterloo Regional Police Service for the next 12 years. During this time, the ups and downs of life pulled me away from writing. Over the years, I tried to carry on with The River Styx, but I got into the swing of writing consistently. I have subsequently retired from the Police Service and now gratefully get up every morning with the thrill of devoting my days to my characters.

6. Which do you use more often, dictionary or thesaurus?

Definitely a thesaurus. As a Canadian writer, I also rely on the internet to keep me true to my heritage. Our English spelling differs from the U.S. and I struggle to maintain my Canadian identity by adhering to spelling words with ‘ou’ instead of ‘o’, and ‘re’ at the ends of words instead of ‘er’, etc. Sometimes reviewers will leave negative comments about misspelled words, which of course, they’re not.

7. What makes you cry?

Anything emotional. I’m a big sap.

8. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

I write epic fantasy. I love the fact that the reader can be spirited away to fantastical new worlds populated by eccentric characters. It allows one to escape the mundane trial that modern day life throws at us.

9. Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Absolutely. Books are no different than everything else in life. When a person is single, their attention isn’t drawn by someone they think is ugly. Their attention is piqued by someone they consider good looking. That doesn’t mean the person will be a good fit for them, but it has at least opened the door for a closer look. Books are no different.

10. If you could have an answer to any question, what would that question be?

How to live forever.

11. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

Several. When I was 9, I wrote a Hardy Boys type of story. I then wrote another adventure involving children. When Star Wars came out in 1977, I was hooked and immediately wrote a 600 page sci-fi. At one point I started a fictional account of a naval raid on Japan set in the Second World War, but never finished it.

With regard to ever publishing these stories—no. I used to read some of my earlier works to my sister when we were kids. She’d last about five minutes before she fell asleep. Hmmm, perhaps I can sell them as non-medicinal sleeping aids!
__________________________________________________


An epic tale of loyalty and betrayal, fantastical creatures, breathtaking vistas and one man’s need to rescue his darkened soul. Accompanied by a band of eclectic characters, Silurian Mintaka embarks upon a journey fraught with demons, both physical and psychological, seeking revenge on the those responsible for murdering his family. Those closest to him fear his decisions will end up killing them all as the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.

BUY

Book Two - Wizard of the North also available with Book Three - Into the Madness due to release on 15th February 2019!

About Richard


Born in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1965, he began writing circa 1974, a bored child looking for something to while away the long, summertime days. The Hardy Boys led to an inspiration one sweltering summer afternoon when he thought, "Hey, I could write one of those." And so, he did. However, life put his dream of becoming a writer on hold.

In early 2017, however, he resigned from the Police Service to pursue his love of writing full-time. With the help and support of his wife Caroline and his 5 children, he has now realized his boyhood dream.