Monday, 30 July 2018

Day of Celebration

This week I become another year older, though whether that makes me a whole year wizer...well the jury is out on that one.

However, this time of year, sends me into a spiral of thoughts about where my life is at and where it will be heading next. I think about the things I wanted to achieve by the time I reached this point in my life - some I've accomplished, others I have not.

I think about the things I am grateful for. Although I do not have a family of my own, my parents are hale and healthy, my brother, sister in law and now my nephew enrich my life. I'm still writing if not selling as well as I would hope, but I haven't given up. I still enjoy telling stories.

In 2019, it will be ten years since my first book Soul Market was released by Eternal Press. It marked the start of my published career. Since then I have published many of Cassandra's stories, and others beside. Now that I have broken from my publisher and more than a dozen of my books are out of print. I am debating whether or not to start republishing Cassandra's adventures starting with a tenth anniversary edition of Soul Market. However, with so many projects still unfinished (its has not been a good year for me so far) whether to invest time into a lengthy and expensive process is a matter of some internal debate. I'm not a famous author, so doing a tenth anniversary edition is perhaps a little audacious - though I have been meaning to start republishing the books my publisher had to take down after our parting.

Each title is in a process of re-editing and I've been wanting to change or add bits to the stories for sometime - either bits that my original editor cut out or bits that I think after reading and re-reading them for the last few years would make them better. It's a hard decision to make. After that comes the idea of cover art - do I go for something similar to what it was originally or something completely different.

Several of my favourite series have had re-covering over the years - from TV tie in covers, to bright neon colours, to going from black covers to white covers, intricate cartoon masterpieces to simple symbolic images. I did once hope to find a new publisher to take these burdens from my shoulders but a lot of chatter has convinced me that self-publishing may still be my only way forward.

What I do know is the future is uncertain but I will raise a glass to celebrate my...(never ask a lady her age) birthday and hope the remainder of my year is a good one

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Dusty Pages Reviews: The Gender End

The breathtaking, earth-shattering GRAND FINALE of the bestselling Gender Game series.

Return to Matrus and Patrus one last time...
The final book in the series is what I would call a Tears before bedtime book. It's gonna make you cry before it gives you the happy ending that will allow you to sleep at night. If you've been reading these books from the very beginning and have become full invested in the characters and their world, then you will understand what I mean.

As the final book in the series it balances the talking with the action very well and has a very clear end to it. However, that said, there is a bit of bait thrown into this book. Its a connection to another seven book series written by the author set in the same universe as the first but digging deeper into an encounter the characters have with another civilization in this book. It a very clever ploy of the author whether she did it deliberately knowing she was going to be writing about that culture or whether the idea that their story was one that needed to be told too, evolved after she had included them in this final novel. Personally I think it was deliberate as there was just a little bit too much detail.

Where as I enjoyed the series overall, with the quick quick slow of her writing style, I'm not sure I'm ready to invest myself into another seven books series - although it is tempting to learn more about these new characters. I am satisfied with the ending that whether or not I chose to read more by her I will be haunted by anything left unfinished.

I give it

Monday, 23 July 2018

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... Louise Ashton

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

I use both but I usually use a thesaurus when writing my work on computer. In try and see what different words I can use instead of repeating the same words over and over.

2. What is your best childhood memory?

One of my childhood memories is that of going to Woolworths to buy CD and Cassette Singles and Albums. No one goes out and buys music rarely anymore especially CD Singles, as people download music nowadays. I used to love going to Woolworths with my friends on a Saturday and buy CD and Cassette singles by some of my favourite bands and singers at that time.

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

Michael Jackson as he was my favourite singer of all time (still is) and I never saw him in concert. I actually had tickets for what was meant to be his final tour – This Is It – but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. So I would bring Michael Jackson back from the dead so that I could see him live in concert.

4. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

I would travel back to the past to experience some of the different eras gone by and witness some of the major events in history. For example: such as the 1966 Football World Cup when England won and also at that time to see the Beatles hysteria!

5. Would you rather explore a new planet, or the deepest parts of the ocean? Why?

Most people know what lives under the ocean but we don’t know what lives beyond our World (Earth). I would therefore like to visit a new planet to see who lives there and if they are human species like us. Also to find out if we do have a parallel universe.

6. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

No, I do not aim for a set amount of words or pages a day. I let my imagination run and write down as much as I can when I can.

7. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Sometimes I let a book stew for a bit. Sometimes I have an idea and can continue writing the story and then I have a while where I cannot continue it. I therefore leave the story for a bit and get back to it when I have more ideas about where I want to take the story.

8. Do you think giving away books for free works and why?

People love a free book. I have promoted my books for free for a promotional period on Amazon (where they are available). I find that many people do download or purchase the books for free. However, once they have downloaded them I find that they do not write reviews or provide me feedback. I would love for everyone who reads my books, to provide reviews of my books on Amazon, on my Twitter page and on my Facebook Page (where I have a section for visitors to write their reviews).

9. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I wish to say a massive THANK YOU to my readers and fans for believing in me and my writing. Thank you for supporting me, whether that is by purchasing my books, leaving reviews, providing me with feedback, subscribing to my monthly newsletter and following me and my work on Social Media.

10. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

My characters are not based on any one particularly. However I do reflect on my life and include or add parts into my stories, depending on what I am writing about.


Emma and Shane become new parents. Emma thought she now had the family set up she always wanted but then Shane starts to go away for work regularly. Does Emma need to be suspicious of Shane's whereabouts, or is it all in her head?


About Louise

Louise Ashton is a mother of one child. She is from Essex, England. Louise enjoys reading autobiographies. Louise currently has five books published on Amazon in Paperback format and eBook format.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Dusty Pages Review: The Gender Plan

"I just had to believe we'd dealt a death blow of our own. 

That today would be the beginning of the end..."

Ready for the explosive PENULTIMATE BOOK in The Gender Game series?
Nearly at the end of this series and I have no idea how its going to end. It almost seems like it could go on forever. This book balances the slow paced planning and plotting with the executing and action much better than any of the previous books. I was still flicking a bit trying to cut out some of the waffling and move the story along, but a lot less than the previous book in the series.

Much like the other books, this one build the action up to a crescendo and ends with a cliff hanger, trying to ensure that the next (and final book) gets bought so you can find out what happens. Also it leaves it on the idea that we will finally get a question answered about what is beyond the borders of Matrus/Patrus. The parallels between the end of this book and the end of the first book are very similar in that we leave the hero flying in/on something that she can't control heading into areas unknown to discover something.

I give it

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Commuter

Insurance salesman Michael (Neeson) is on his daily commute home when he is contacted by a mysterious stranger (Vera Farmiga, The Conjuring, The Departed) and forced to uncover the identity of a hidden passenger on his train before the last stop. As he works against the clock to solve the puzzle, he realises a deadly plan is unfolding and is unwittingly caught up in a criminal conspiracy. One that carries life and death stakes, for himself and his fellow passengers.
I'm a big fan of Liam Neeson (I watched all three taken films back to back - that's commitment) and he doesn't disappoint in this film either. Stuck on a train with his family under threat he has to try to work out who on the train he can trust and who it is that the people pressuring him are after - all he has is a name.

I recommend this movie as its classic of it genre, the mystery, the drama, the conspiracy and the action. I'm not sure how much longer Neeson is going to be able to keep playing characters like this, although he's good, you can't help but feel his age in this movie. In his late sixties, those action sequence must have taken their toll.

It's available on DVD for £8.75 on Amazon

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

TBR Pile 2018 - Six Month Update

It's hard to believe that Six months of the year have already passed. I thought this week, to give a short break from reviewing that I would take a look at my TBR - my to be read - pile and see what's gone and whats been added.

So far this year I've read

The Minaturist - Jessie Burton
One of Us is Lying - Karen M McManus
Whisper My Name - Jane Eagland
Friend Request - Laura Marshall
Harry Potter & The Cursed Child - JK Rowling
Allegiant - Veronica Roth
A Harmless Little Game - Meli Raine (e-book)
Death Knocks Twice - Robert Thorogood
The Vampire of Highgate - Asa Bailey
The Hook Up Experiment - Emma Hart (e-book)
The Vampire King - Joanna Mazurkiewicz (e-book)
One Shade of Gray - Monica Corwin (e-book)
Black Heart Blue - Louisa Reed
Gender Game
The Gender Secret
The Gender Lie
The Gender War
The Gender Fall- Bella Forrest (e-book)
Knight of Wands - Nina Mason(e-book)
Firebird - Alice La Roux(e-book)
Wolf Hollow - Lauren Wolk
At Any Price - Brenna Aubrey (e-book)
Sunshine - Robin McKinley
Werebear's Nanny - T. S Ryder(e-book)

A good mix between e-books and the paperbacks that are sitting piled in my room (literally piled). I keep telling myself not to buy new books until the pile is a lot smaller but I just can't help myself and the list has seen the following additions

Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
Kaspar Prince of Cats - Michael Morpurgo (Audiobook)
Reflection - Elizabeth Lim
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Audiobook)
Mistress of All Evil
Fairest of All - Serena Valentino (with the intention that I will also at some point be buying Poor Unfortunate Soul and The Beast Within)
Wildthorn - Jane Eagland
And One More Thing - Molly Harper (Audiobook)
The Queen of Air & Darkness - Cassandra Clare (as soon as its in paperback)
The Cuckoos Calling - Robert Galbraith (fully intended to add the Silk Worm and Career of Evil if I get on with the writing style - love the dramatizations on BBC)
Time Stoppers - Carrie Jones (Audiobook)
Twice the Growl - Milly Taiden (Audiobook)
A Stranger in the House - Shari Lapena
A Risk Worth Taking - Laura Landon (Audiobook)

With the hopes of getting The Book Jumper - Mechthild Glaser and Magnus Chase and The Ship of the Dead - Rick Riordan for my Birthday next month.

Added to my Kindle

The Dating Experiment - Emma Hart
Twelfth Floor - Monica Corwin
Knight of Cups
Knight of Pentacles
Knight of Swords - Nina Mason
The Man of Legends - Kenneth C Johnson

I'm currently reading The Gender Plan by Bella Forrest with The Gender End lined up to read after. (Both e-books)

Only another 24 Weeks of reading time left. I best get cracking :)

Monday, 9 July 2018

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Sheri Poe Pape

1. Tell me about your book, Cassie Pup Takes the Cake, and where you got your inspiration for it?

Cassie Pup Takes the Cake is about Cassie, a white miniature schnauzer, who is adopted into a new home, with a new owner who owns a bakery, who quickly signs her up for a cupcake bake-off with national cupcake champion, Cordelia Cat. Sparks fly from the beginning between the two, along with crazy fun and unexpected endings.

This current book will be part of a series and is based off the real-life adventures of our own dog, Cassie.

2. Have you ever danced in the rain?

Yes I have danced in the rain. Many moons ago.

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

I have gone a week without doing any writing.

4. Mountains or the Beach?

I have always preferred the beach.

5. You’ve just been kidnapped and the people from the last TV Show/Movie you watched have to save you. Who is it?

The knights in shining armor to the rescue are the Monkees.

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

I would travel to my one ancestor’s home of Exeter, Devon, England, to experience where my family came from.

7. What feels like love to you?

Love to me is respect, faithfulness and devotion.

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

Davy Jones of the Monkees. He was my favorite Monkee, an acquaintance of mine and a very nice guy to know.

9. In what ways do you hold yourself back?

By not writing more!

10. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

I would go to the past, specifically Victorian England to solve the Jack the Ripper case.

11. What motivates you to succeed as a writer?

For now, to keep the memory of Cassie alive by all the books I write about her. She was ultimate unique and so human!

12. What makes you cry?

Cruelty to animals and humanity.

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

I write in the children’s book genre because, although I am an adult, I have the spirit of the child still in me and I enjoy these stories to write and read.

14. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Yes I do, but for a week at a time.

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

Yes, it definitely does. This current children’s book is colorfully illustrated.


Cassie has a new home, and a new owner with a bakery, who quickly signs her up for a cupcake bake-off with national cupcake champion, Cordelia Cat.  Sparks fly from the beginning between the two, along with crazy fun and unexpected endings.  Who do you think will win? 

About Sheri

Sheri Poe-Pape has written many internet articles about people in the arts and history and has been the Director/Educator of the Pape Conservatory of Music for the past thirty-eight years. She is the author of two children’s picture books, Cassie’s Marvelous Music Lessons and Cassie Pup takes the Cake?? Each day, she warms up on the piano, and for fifteen of those years, a small dog has been her constant companion

Website | Facebook | Twitter