WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! And other cool things (Like RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence)

Hello blogosphere, it’s been a while.

For anyone actually taking note of events in my life, you’ll have seen that, among other things, I had a miscarriage last year. This is my primary excuse for not writing in such a long time, and I’m sticking to it (even if it isn’t strictly true).

It is physically a difficult thing to deal with a D&C, etc., BUT the emotional and mental impact on me has been biggest. I found myself less eager to write, and more eager to curl up with a book and escape reality. It’s only this last month where my mind has begun to resurface and remind me how good it feels to write and to participate in the writing community online.

And thusly I come to you, a runaway blogger and aspiring author, to ask you to share with me books you’d recommend I read this year. They can be published in 2017, or older than Elric of Melnibone.

The following books are ALREADY on my list, and I do recommend that YOU read them too, because they are by my favourite authors (of course).

1. RED SISTER by Mark Lawrence (http://amzn.to/2lCo506)

It’s not until you’re broken that you find your sharpest edge

A brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS.

“I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin”

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

A brilliant new series from the bestselling author of PRINCE OF THORNS”

2. The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch

“With 50,000 copies sold of The Republic of Thieves and with praise from the likes of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin the saga of the Gentleman Bastard has become a favourite and key part of the fantasy landscape. And now Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver must become a soldier.

A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames. 

And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway…”

3. Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (should be out  in November :P)

“Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

As the world tips into a war for control of the mythical artifacts of power made from Shard, characters are swept up into new dangers which will threaten their integrity and their lives.

Huge, ideas-filled, world-spanning fantasy from a master of the genre.”

Okay, thanks everyone for sharing! *high five*

Winners of the BLINK Fan Art & Review Contest 2015

FIRST PLACE:

Dollars: BLINK by @rimacchi-

By Rima Takanashi

Read Rima Takanashi’s book, “Theories of Unbalanced Forces and Black Holes” on Wattpad for free. Click HERE.


 SECOND PLACE:

Waking the Dead: Empire of War by @SpectralX

empire of war

Read @SpectralX’s book, “Paragon King” on Wattpad for free. Click HERE.


THIRD PLACE:

Review of “Dark Tidings” by @HannahRossFantasy

SPOILER ALERT

I have just finished reading “Dark Tidings”, by author KenMagee. At first, when I saw the length of the book, I was a little apprehensive – but soon I was pulled in and finished the whole whopping 66 chapters in record time. It’s a light, easy, humorous, thoroughly amusing read which has all my favorite elements – magic, time travel and world-embracing evil conspiracy. The two principal characters, Madrick and Tung, make a hilarious antagonistic duo, and the other main hero, Michael, provides the seriousness, commitment and balance that are needed to fight the bad guys. The idea of a small group battling a powerful organization is appealing and sympathy-inducing.

A few caveats: I feel this book would have gained a lot from the presence of a real, strong, good female character with sound principles. The character of Faith is kind of predictable – even as she first appears in the story, it was pretty obvious to me that she is going to betray Michael. I would have added another female character (not necessarily with romantic settings) to antagonize her.

Overall, the book is very enjoyable and leaves one craving to read more.

Read @HannahRossFantasy’s book, “Paths of the Shadow” on Wattpad for free. Click HERE.


Warhammer: Empire of War by @Vallhalla

Untitled-1g

Read @Vallhalla’s book, “Sorrow’s Hold” on Wattpad for free. Click HERE.

BLINK gets Featured

It’s that time of the year again folks (the time where I actually put up a blog post). I hear the gasps from the Wattpad audience over there, and yes *points to readership with dashing smile* I actually write sometimes. bows to applause and interspersed booing*

And for once I have something interesting (and notable) to say.

Me and this other guy Steve Ford (@cashjo on Wattpad) have written a book.

The book is finished.

The book is being featured on Wattpad for the next six months.

You should go read it. (click HERE to go to the book).

If you don’t read it your hair will start falling out.

Just kidding, but go read it okay? We need all your deep dark opinions over there (but if you can, be nice, we like that too).

And for those folks too lazy to actually GO to the Wattpad site, here is the book blurb thingimabob:

‘I don’t know how I do it, but I can look at a photo and enter that moment in time. Is it real? Hell, I don’t know, but something happened last time, something weird. I think I can change time and that fucking scares me.’

A serial killer is on the loose, taunting police for years. A near fatal accident and a murder will change John forever unless he uses ‘the Blink’ one more time.

© 2015 by Steve Ford and Joy Cronjé. All rights reserved.

You see? It actually sounds like you wanna read it.

Right? Nervous stare. Nervous chuckle.

Okay, I’m out. *insert awkward goobye here*

Privelage and Poverty

Hi folks. So I wasn’t going to post this originally, and I had many good reasons not to valid even now as I post it. For one, I’m not a fan of rants, and things might get a bit ranty soon.

Another, this is not on topic with much of what’s on my blog (Fantasy and Grimdark Stuff), and you know, sticking to your theme and all, but then I thought. Stuff that. This is an issue for me, a big one that I constantly have shoved in my face.

Third is probably that I’m going to offend a whole stack of readers, but *shrug* so be it.

Rich people make me angry. Sorry if you’re rich (though many of the rich folk don’t think they are rich): Do you have a car? Do you have a job? Can you afford basic necessities like clothing and food? Do you own a home? You. Are. Rich.

Now, before someone’s panties get in a knot, I am generalizing here. Not ALL rich people make me angry, alright? And my anger is not without reason.

And besides, I could be considered above the breadline because even though our household struggles to get food and clothing enough, we’re doing okay, and we have a car and a job and a roof over our heads. So I’m not rich, but, in the context of the above criteria, you might call me middle class.

So what am I getting all huffed up about? Because someone else has more money than me? No, no that’s not it. Something else entirely. I see many many people suffering more than I am, no food, no clothing, cold and hungry on the streets, addicted to alcohol that keeps them from feeling the pain of a failed life, etc. etc. Many, many people are suffering, dying of hunger, of cold, of curable diseases, of ailments a good bandage and clean salve might have fixed. Too many.

The thing that makes me angry is that (generally) the people with the most to give often are most reluctant to help. I know, I know, the Oprahs of the world exist, and bravo to you all. My personal hero Oprah person would be Patrick Rothfuss (he’s not only a bloody amazing writer, he also runs these awesome charity things and focuses a lot of energy and time and money on helping the westernized world turn their blind eyes to the world’s need).

Like I said, I wasn’t going to post this, but then I came across this:

An echo of my life experience, to a measure (allow me some dramatic flair). This is literally the kind of thing that makes me angry. Fuming. *steam blows from ears* And my anger can’t even be directed at a certain person, but when I see an opinionated well off person belittling someone who is struggling, it makes my blood boil. And when I see families left on the streets because people who have something to give are too selfish to reach out a helping hand, that makes me angry.

Sure, we can’t all help everyone, but each of us can help someone. Even if all you have is a one bedroom apartment and just enough salary to get by eating pasta the whole month, there is someone out there who could use your help. Share your pasta, give the homeless guy a blanket, do SOMETHING for a person in need.

We’re all human’s here, right? It irks me that (example) a person will choose not to help someone who asks them for help so they (the person being asked) can afford an extra few days of vacation at a luxury resort. Well, ma’am, sir, your luxury resort days? They could have bought hope and a future for someone. That person you said no to? You could have FED THEM for a month. You could have changed their lives.

*Throws hands in air* What has happened to humanity, or have we always been this cruel? I’m not innocent here either, but if more of the world did more good to the rest of the world, I think humanity would be better as a race. I… I just… *gives up* Is this an unreasonable anger? Do tell me. Ugh. *walks away*

Announcing the winners of the Fandom of the Thorns Competition

look guys, I *judged* (evil laugh) and the winners arrrreeeeeee…..

that thorn guy

Kareem Art by Kareem Freshpots Mahfouz

Thank you very much to everyone who took part in this little contest and shared their thoughts and feelings on Mark’s books. It was very difficult to choose only three out of over forty superb entries and I wish I could have a book sent to every one of you.  

Very many thanks to guest judges Alicia Wanstall-Burkeand Joy Cronjefor helping with this difficult decision! The three winners we finally agreed on are:

.

Garrett Rentz:

“There is a beauty to Mark Lawrence’s writing that I’m hard pressed to find anywhere else. Masterfully written characters and beautiful prose outlining a mysterious, yet familiar, world. Lawrence has a wonderful way of making you fall in love with characters as broken and flawed as any the world has seen. There’s something in Jorg beyond the hatred and cunning that feels as basic to…

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Want free stories? + Give me Blogging Advice

Having recently made some new blogging friends, I’d like to hear from anyone and everyone out there (particularly if you happen to be an avid reader of fantasy). What kind of blog posts do you enjoy the most and why? As I said before, I’m new at this blogging thing. Help a sister out here.

Please, share, I wanna know what people out there are reading.

Secondly, do you like free short stories on blogs? Read More »