ARC Review | Wardens of Archos (The Relics of Ar’Zac, #2) by Sarina Langer

The rarest of things: a strong middle volume in a trilogy!

Wardens of Archos by Sarina Langer

Wardens of Archos (The Relics of Ar’Zac 2) will be published on 16th October 2017.


SPOILER ALERT

This is the second book in the series and so the blurb below contains spoilers for book 1 – Rise of the Sparrows. However, my review is spoiler free!


The blurb: Once a despised street rat, now the reigning queen of Rifarne, Rachael is at the centre of everyone’s attention. All she wants is a few peaceful moments to herself — but her kingdom has other plans.

A Mist Woman brings her a gift, and a warning: Aeron’s death has released the Dark One’s shades into the world. And Rachael, as the only living seer in existence, is the only one who can stop him before he destroys everything she’s beginning to cherish. But can Rachael trust the Mist Woman, or is Kaida just another sorceress playing with her life?

Rachael is running out of time. The shadows are coming, and their claws are reaching for her.


My take:

Sarina very kindly gave me an advanced reader copy of Wardens of Archos to read.

Continue reading…

Advertisements

Review | Rise of the Sparrows (The Relics of Ar’Zac, #1) by Sarina Langer

A confident series opener and debut.

rise of the sparrows by Sarina Langer book cover

The blurb: Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, a homeless orphan with the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person to stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the King to become Queen to a people who once wanted her dead may well be the only way to do just that.

My take:

Sarina very kindly gave me an advanced reader copy of Rise of the Sparrows to read in return for an honest review.

Continue reading…

Review | The Safe Word by Karen Long

A gripping series opener. 4/5 stars.

The Safe Word by Karen Long book cover

Thank you to Karen Long for sending me a copy of The Safe Word in return for an honest review.


The blurb: There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Only someone capable of understanding the killer’s creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven is uniquely qualified. Driven by a complex personality she pursues only the facts, only the things she can see, but never casts a judgement.

But she also has a dark and dangerous secret – one that will threaten her very survival.


My take:

I met Karen at a bloggers/writers meet-up in London back in March and she kindly offered to send me a copy of The Safe Word. Thank you Karen. It’s a total coincidence that this week is also her blog tour for this book. And, if you head over to Have Books Blog, you can enter a draw to win a copy 🙂

This first installment in the Eleanor Raven series has everything fans of police procedurals could want. An escalating, chilling serial killer. A competent, hard-boiled female detective on his tail, struggling as she totes round a new partner who also happens to be an irritating rookie. A likeable cast of colourful secondary characters. Hell, there’s even a dog! Ultimately, the experience reminded me of watching some of the best crime drama I’ve seen. In fact, this book could easily be adapted into a cracking TV mini series.

Continue reading…

Q&A with author Sarina Langer

I’m delighted to welcome Sarina Langer to Art and Soul as part of the celebrations for the publication of her first book, Rise of the Sparrows.

rise of the sparrows by Sarina Langer book cover

The blurb: Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, a homeless orphan with the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person to stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the King to become Queen to a people who once wanted her dead may well be the only way to do just that.


Hello Sarina! Welcome to Art and Soul and congratulations on publishing your first book! Could you tell us, in your own words, what Rise of the Sparrows is about (no spoilers!)?

Rise of the Sparrows is about a girl who is struggling to survive. Her name is Rachael, and she has the rare gift of a prophet – which makes her a shunned criminal in the eyes of many people. She has been homeless and on her own since she was a child, and while she has learned how to defend herself and where to find food there’s only so much she can do if no one leaves their leftovers out for her. Her visions scare her. She can’t control them, so when she sees herself dying and helpless in a place she doesn’t recognise (she’s also surrounded by demons) she knows she needs to do something. She didn’t expect to run away with a girl who can set fire to everything and everyone, and who doesn’t know that burning people alive is a bad thing, no matter the situation!

Continue reading…

Editing your own writing: identifying your errors and bad habits

Support group for writers editing cartoon

Back in December, I wrote a post asking whether you can ever really finish editing a piece of your own writing. I talked about how I’d recently re-read my entire novel after a six-month break and been surprised by how much I wanted and needed to change.

In this post, I thought I’d share some of my editorial findings and pet problems. All punctuated by some good cartoons, of course 🙂

Peanuts Snoopy Editing and writing cartoon

One of my most common editing notes was “fix flow”, which makes it sound as though I need a plumber rather than an editor! These were places in the story where I felt the connection between sentences or paragraphs was too sudden or jarring and needed smoothing; as if reading were like climbing down a ladder and suddenly a rung was missing. I blame these absent rungs on a previous round of harsh word-cutting prior to submitting to literary agents. From “internet wisdom” I became convinced that if my MS was over 90,000 words I had no hope of anyone asking to read it. And so I cut as many words as I could, leaving things a little too bare in places. However, now it seems I’ll be self-publishing, the book can be as long as I damn well think it needs to be! So the words are going back in (you can’t stop me, mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha… you get the idea).

Continue reading…