Review: 66 Metres by J. F. Kirwan

Synopsis

The only thing worth killing for is family.

Everyone said she had her father’s eyes. A killer’s eyes. Nadia knew that on the bitterly cold streets of Moscow, she could never escape her past – but in just a few days, she would finally be free.

Bound to work for Kadinsky for five years, she has one last mission to complete. Yet when she is instructed to capture The Rose, a military weapon shrouded in secrecy, Nadia finds herself trapped in a deadly game of global espionage.

And the only man she can trust is the one sent to spy on her… 

Book One of Nadia Laksheva spy thriller series

Amazon

 

Review

What an absolutely incredible thriller!

As soon as you start this book you find yourself thrown into a really intense story! As Nadia grows up an learns that her father is not the man she thought he was, her mother cold and her sister a prostitute her dysfunctional family could be a complete story in itself!

But dragged into the sordid world of the Russian Mob this story is so much bigger than you think it’s going to be at the start!  The character building is exceptional and the author spares no details in his description he really is a very skilled story teller! The diving scenes in particular are so detailed that it feels impossible that you aren’t there living it with Nadia and her diving crew!

This fast paced thriller will leave you gasping for breath and I can’t wait for book 2!

Reviewed by Nat

Author Bio

  1. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

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Disclosure: The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own.

 

Review: Life After Death Beyond Doubt by Susan Starkey

Synopsis

Life After Death Beyond Doubt: How my Spirit Guide gave me factual evidence of my previous life on earth

There is one universal question to which there seems to be no definitive answer: what happens to us when we die? Many people have their own individual theories; different faiths have different beliefs. The rest of us we can merely shrug and resign ourselves to the fact that we can never know the unknowable. Just a few years ago, Susan Starkey would have felt the same way. But following a move to Spain, a sequence of astonishing events changed her life dramatically, turning her scepticism on its head, especially regarding the question of what happens to us when we die. Starkey is now convinced that there is a life after death; this book reveals her personal experiences and shares the verifiable evidence of her discoveries. In this profound story, Susan Starkey explains how she uncovered the roots to her past life, along with a vast family network that had been lost to her for centuries. She shares her ability to contact the Spirit World through a new-found ability to communicate through automatic writing. Life After Death Beyond Doubt is a remarkable and insightful guide to the afterlife, one which will bring comfort to others who may be searching for the answers that Susan Starkey has been given. Her work may prove beyond doubt that there is an existence after death and that we never truly die.

Review

I am going to be honest and say that whilst I hope that we go somewhere wonderful where when we die I am a massive sceptic when it comes to a spirits ability to pop up into our lives through mediumship but I have tried my hardest to review this book objectively.

There is no doubt that what this author has discovered about herself and her past lives is absolutely mind blowing and there are definitely pieces of this puzzle that cannot be explained by pragmatic reasoning.

The Author shares real insight into her journey and experience of the spirit world and it is such a personal story to share that I feel privileged to be able to have read it.  I think the images of the automatic writing and other photography (I don’t want to give too much away) really makes it feel that she is sharing something deeply personal to herself.

If this is your kind of area then you will love the insight into the spiritual world that this author provides

Reviewed By Nat

Author Bio

susan-starkey

About the author: After leaving the corporate rat race, Susan Starkey moved with her husband to the idyllic countryside of Andalucia Spain where she enjoys exploring the natural beauty of the area, sampling the regions delicacies and on occasion turning her hand to property renovation projects. A previous skeptic, Susan has since embraced Mediumship after a chance invitation to a spiritualist meeting strongly challenged all the beliefs she held and led her on a path of spiritual discovery.

RBC Taylor Prize Jury Names 2018’s Five Best Books in Literary Non-Fiction

At a standing-room-only press conference held in downtown Toronto, the three-member jury announced five finalists for the seventeenth RBC Taylor Prize, selected from their previously announced ten-title longlist. In all, the jury, composed of Christine ElliottAnne Giardini, and James Polk, read and evaluated a record breaking 153 non-fiction Canadian written books submitted by 110 Canadian and international publishers.

 

The shortlist and jury citations for the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize are:

Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering’s Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown(Canmore, AB), published by Douglas & McIntyre

Of the book, the jury wrote: “Cartographer and explorer Vitus Bering ended his life on a barren Aleutian island while his shipwrecked crewmates fought off vicious blue foxes, the elements and scurvy. The hardships and privations of the explorers, scientists, labourers and horses, sent across Russia by Peter the Great to seek a route to North America beggar the imagination. They built their own roads, ships and a new kind of social order, and made enduring discoveries, all in the teeth of monstrous winds, seas, storms, bureaucracy — and hungry little foxes.”

Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place by Daniel Coleman (Hamilton, ON), published by Wolsak and Wynn

Of the book, the jury wrote: “Daniel Coleman explores the world from a small patch of land at the back of his house, a mini-empire between Coote’s Paradise Marsh and Hamilton Harbour. In vivid, exacting prose, Coleman tells us of the moods and beauty of the Niagara Escarpment, the paths of local animals, the wayward tricks of the water table, the rich indigenous history of the area, and of our modern inroads into the environment — highways, houses, slag and built culture. This is a masterpiece of nature writing, reimagining civics and possibilities, as Coleman surveys what he understands is ‘a holy land right here’ behind his house and beneath his feet.”

Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk (Toronto, ONAddis Ababa, ETHIOPIA), published by Doubleday Canada

Of the book, the jury wrote: “Starting with A is for Airway, physician and humanitarian James Maskalykleads us through the many ways in which our bodies sustain and fail us, and how we become better able to tend — and attend — to each other. This book is a study in contrasts. Medicine as practiced in a world-class Toronto hospital — and at bare bones clinics in Sudan and Ethiopia. Maskalyk’s busy life as a healer in a Canadian city and in Africa — and his grandfather’s quiet work on a farm and trap line. For Maskalyk, ‘Medicine is life caring for itself’ and is ‘the greatest story’.”

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga (Toronto, ON), published by House of Anansi Press

Of the book, the jury wrote: “Talaga has written Canada’s J’Accuse, an open letter to the rest of us about the many ways we contribute — through act or inaction — to suicides and damaged existences in Canada’s indigenous communities. Tanya Talaga’s account of teen lives and deaths in and near Thunder Bay is detailed, balanced and heart-rending. Talaga describes gaps in the system large enough for beloved children and adults to fall through, endemic indifference, casual racism and a persistent lack of resources. It is impossible to read this book and come away unchanged.”

In the Name of Humanity by Max Wallace (Toronto, ON) published by Allen Lane Canada.

Of the book, the jury wrote: “As World War II drew to an end, Hitler intended further mass slaughter while other Nazi leaders scrambled to cover up evidence of genocide. Max Wallace’s gripping account of the tense endgame of the Nazi nightmare is told in meticulous detail and with great compassion, culminating in the astonishing story of a Jewish freedom fighter bargaining for the salvation of the survivors with the devil himself, the architect of the killing camps, Heinrich Himmler.”

Noreen Taylor, founder of the Prize and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation, spoke at the event and made these comments: “I am, yet again, staggered by the breadth and power of our storytellers, and the appetite of Canadian readers for stories about ourselves, about our neighbours, about our shared earth, and the historical and current challenges we all face. This simultaneous reaching outward and examining inward is part of what makes this country so strong.”

Also in attendance was Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, who added: “On behalf of RBC Wealth Management, congratulations to each of the authors who have been named on this year’s shortlist. As finalists, they join an impressive list of talented writers. We are very proud to sponsor the RBC Taylor Prize as it continues to celebrate and inspire exceptional talent from across the country. The Prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence in Canadian non-fiction on a global scale, as well as developing the careers of the authors it celebrates.”

The RBC Taylor Prize winner will be revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday February 26, 2018. The Prize luncheon will once again be held at the Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto.

About The RBC Taylor Prize

Established in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation and first awarded in 2000, 2018 marks the seventeenth awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception, the Prize consists of $30,000 for the winner and $5,000 for each of the remaining finalists. All authors are presented with a custom leather bound version of their shortlisted book at the awards ceremony. All finalists receive promotional support for their nominated titles.

Sharing a commitment to emerging Canadian talent, The Charles Taylor Foundation and RBC will also grant the fifth annual RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Award. Shortly after the announcement of the 2018 Prize, its winner will name their choice of emerging author to receive this $10,000 award.

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are: Vijay ParmarDavid StainesEdward TaylorNadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor. The Executive Director is Su Hutchinson.

The presenting sponsor of the RBC Taylor Prize is RBC Wealth Management. Its media sponsors are The Globe and Mail, Cision, Maclean’s magazine, Quill & Quire magazine; its in-kind sponsors are Ben McNally Books, Event Source, IFOA, The Omni King Edward Hotel, and the Toronto Public Library Board. Open Book and Huffington Post Canada are Friends of the Prize.

Review: Gray Hawk Of Terrapin by Moss Whelan

Synopsis

Gray Hawk of Terrapin is a heart-wrenching Y/A fantasy by Moss Whelan that introduces Melanie (Mool) Fraser.

Ever since her father’s death, Mool has been talking with an imaginary green lion named Inberl. When Mool’s mysterious uncle gets sick, she and her mother take the train from Vancouver, Canada to the inner world of Terrapin, where Inberl is arrested because he’s looking for Gray Hawk. Springing into action, Mool sets out to rescue Inberl.

Mool’s know-it-all cousin, Olga, helps track down family friend Parshmander who might know how to save Inberl. They corner Parshmander at home, where they overhear mention of Gray Hawk, but the girls are captured and interrogated. Upon release, Mool feels success when she sees a secret map, finds a hidden bridge and crosses it with Olga. On the other side of the bridge, they find a secret city that keeps Terrapin at war.

Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey laced with evil, chronicling histories of cruelty, kidnapping, and false imprisonment in search of meaning and justice.

Review

This is the kind of book I loved as a teenager. It reminded me a lot of the Philip Pullman or even CS Lewis books which I devoured in my youth.

It is a bit of a slow start but the excitement builds up through the chapters. The characters are well thought out and I found the main character Mool to be very likeable and relatable. I loved the way every day teenage problems were interwoven into the journey of discovery which Mool goes on in this magical world.

The other characters and creatures are certainly interesting and creative. The descriptions in the book made me really feel that I had stepped inside this other world where Terrapin exists. There are quirky turns of phrase and made up words which all add to the author’s highly individual and imaginative style. Actually the style is highly intelligent which was refreshing albeit sometimes complex. I sometimes had to stop and check I had read a sentence properly to get my head around the sense of it. This reminded me of Terry Pratchett novels at times.

The reader is kept guessing throughout the book and I had no idea where the plot was leading me which was pleasing.

Moss Whelan has more than a touch of genius and I’m sure will soon be a household name. He will be up there with the great names in fantasy fiction. There is bound to be a sequel to this and I look forwards to reading other novels by Moss Whelan.

Reviewed by Coralie

Author Bio

Moss Whelan (1968) born in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the Canadian author of Gray Hawk of Terrapin published on January the 12th, 2018. He is an English Literature Bachelor of Arts, a Creative Writing Associate, and possesses a Diploma in Writing for Film, Television, and Interactive Media. He is active in the online Fantasy community and teaches Creative Writing. His work depicts a return to transcendent self-esteem in contrast with world views that shape perceived reality. He received the President’s Award at Douglas College and the M. Sheila O’Connel Undergraduate Prize in Children’s Literature at Simon Fraser University. A survivor of PTSD, he hopes to be a voice for continued access to mental health.

 

Review: The Soulweaver by Heidi Catherine

The Soulweaver
Heidi Catherine
Publication date: January 19th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

She’s loved and lost him a hundred times across a thousand years. She can’t bear to lose him again.

Lin’s dreams are haunted by faces of people she’s never met. Unable to shake the feeling she’s lived before, she’s drawn to Reinier—a stranger whose soul is heartbreakingly familiar from a time gone by.

Reinier helps Lin unravel the mystery of her past life as Hannah, a girl who sacrificed herself for her true love, Matthew. As Lin falls hopelessly in love with Reinier, her memories of her life as Hannah sharpen and she finds herself unable to let go of Matthew.

With her heart torn in two, Lin must decide whether she should stand by Reinier’s side or track down Matthew and fight for his love. What she doesn’t know is that her decision will ripple across our troubled planet, affecting far more lives than just her own.

Winner of Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award, The Soulweaver is a story that will change the way you see the world.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Review

This book COMPLETELY took my breath away! It took me two days to read it and I cannot believe how much I enjoyed it!

The story follows the story of two souls intrinsically entwined to find each other through each one of their lives.  A beautiful tale of love in all it’s forms in the fight against evil and the destruction of our planet!

The story is skillfully written with an excellent ability to intertwin to seemingly unrelated girls lives into one without causing confusion this heart wrenching story will have you completely entranced.

It truly is a phenomenal story and I am so glad I got to review this one!

2018 is definitely going to be a great year for books if the last two reviews I have done are anything to go by!

Reviewed by Nat

Author Bio:

Heidi’s debut novel, The Soulweaver, won Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and will be released by Crooked Cat Books on 19 Jan 2018.

Not being able to decide if she prefers living in Melbourne or the Mornington Peninsula, Heidi shares her time between both places. She is similarly pulled in opposing directions by her two sons and two dogs, remaining thankful she only has one husband.

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Review: Happiness: The Inside Job by Matt Pepper

Synopsis

One thing which every person on the planet desires is to live a fulfilled and happy life. So why does happiness seem to elude so many of us? Are you fed up with thinking ‘I’ll be happy when…’ but who knows when that will be? Are you done with continually changing your circumstances believing this will lead to a happy life, only to find that you don’t feel any different? How can we simply ‘get happy’ when the pressures of jobs, mortgages and relationships are upon us all?

Enter Matt Pepper, who has spent twenty years researching, learning and practising the tools and techniques he has discovered which have enabled him to help his clients live a happy and fulfilled life. In Happiness: The Inside Job, he has collected all of this knowledge together into one place with each and every chapter filled with insights,  case studies and quirky illustrations, which will give a new understanding of how to enjoy life. Matt’s concepts are so simple to grasp and apply, you’ll wonder how you never thought of them yourself! So the question is, are you ready to be happy?

Putting the power back into our own hands and equipped with his Happiness Barometer, Matt shows how you can find your inner happiness and keep hold of it —no matter what is going on in your life. Divided into seven sections, Matt firstly introduces the tools to ‘Fire up your own happiness,’ where we are invited to explore different life scenarios and our reactions to them depending on where we are on The Happiness Barometer. Matt also reveals how we can expose our Ta-Daa, becoming the person we know we can be, by getting rid of any alter egos we may be holding on to —whether it’s at work or in social situations — before moving on to share tips on how to tend to our Emotional Garden in order to create an abundance of positive feelings.

Then, after we’ve weeded out our negative emotions it’s all aboard the Groovy Train of Thought, where we’re taught how to fill our mind with positive and happy thoughts and listen to our gut instinct —because it’s what’s inside that counts. Matt then explores how we can ‘Turn our muck to luck” showing that by changing our mindsets, we can learn how to bounce back from tough times and jump over life’s hurdles instead of getting bogged down in the darkness. Finally he looks at how we can ‘Pimp up our purpose,’ and by following what feels right we can point ourselves in the right direction. By providing tools and tips to gain perspective on whatever life can throw at us, we will find out that true happiness really is an inside job.

A light-hearted and accessible approach to self-development, Happiness: The Inside Job is the perfect read for those of us looking to find their inner happiness and keep hold of it, no matter what is happening in our lives and transform into ‘A Happiness Generating Machine.’

Review

I am such a big fan of personal development books and I find the topic fascinating so when we were asked to review this book I jumped at the chance!

This book is such a vibrant and fun book it completely suits the topic!! The illustrations are on point for the tone of the book and it is packed full of concise hints and tips without the patronising tone that some books in this genre lean towards.

I love that the author illustrates his points clearly with examples from his client base as it really makes this book more than a list of dos and don’ts.  He also brings his points alive using clever metaphors and descriptions backed up by the illustrations.

The book is a quick read….two days in fact…and doesn’t waffle on about the science behind his points.  It’s the common sense voice that we all need to hear without feeling like we’ve been told off!

It’s more of an investment than a one time read and I fully intend to read this insightful book again and again as the author suggests dipping in and out when I feel that perhaps I’m a bit off course on where I want to be or in the “wrong soil”.

If you are looking to get on the The Groovy train this year and pep up that happy talk then this is a great book to help you do that!

Reviewed by Nat

Author Bio

happiness-the-inside-jobAbout the author: Matt Pepper has been working within the health and personal development industry for over twenty-years with clients ranging from artists and film directors, to chief executives and their workforce, civil servants and students. A passionate speaker, Matt also lectures on happiness and wellbeing for medical teams including those at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He loves giving his ‘PeppTalks’ where he shares the essence of this book, motivating groups and organisations from all walks of life. Based between Oxford and London, he lives with his wife Tash, their three children and two cats.

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Disclosure:  The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

 

 

Cover Reveal: Covet by Micalea Smeltzer

Covet
Micalea Smeltzer
(Enchanted #2)
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

On the run from the Iniquitous, Mara feels lost and helpless. Without Theo by her side she’s left bare and vulnerable, but she’s a fighter and, with blood boiling in her veins, she vows to avenge him.

The Iniquitous have already taken so much from her, and she refuses to sit back and let them take anything else. She trains harder, preparing herself physically and mentally to take them on. As her magic grows stronger, so does the voice speaking to her from beyond the grave.

She wants to believe it’s real, to give in to what feels right, but if she does, her mind might be lost forever.

Add to Goodreads

Sequel to:

 

Author Bio:

Hi. I’m Micalea. Ma-call-e-uh. Weird name, I know. My mom must’ve known I was going to be odd even in the womb. I’ve written a lot of books. Like a lot. Don’t ask me how many, I don’t remember at this point. I have an unhealthy addiction to Diet Coke but I can’t seem to break the habit. I listen to way too much music and hedgehogs have taken over my life. Crazy is the word that best sums up my life, but it’s the good kind of crazy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

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Review: The Girl Without Magic by Megan O’Russell

The Girl Without Magic
Megan O’Russell
(The Chronicles of Maggie Trent, #1)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: January 9th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Death would have been easier, but the Siren wasn’t through with her.

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Trent fell out of a battle and into the Siren’s Realm, a land where secrets hide in the shadows and pleasure comes at a price Maggie is unwilling to pay.

The time for the Siren’s reckoning has come, sweeping away all she deems unworthy to live in her realm. Those without magic are hunted by the Siren. Those with magic are hunted by the Stricken. Fighting or hiding seem necessary to survive. But there is a different way.

Bertrand Wayland, unaging and unrelenting in his determination for Maggie to accept her fate, slips in and out through the stitches that bind the Siren’s Realm to other worlds, gaining magic and having glorious adventures. When Maggie follows Bertrand out of the Siren’s Realm, seeking an adventure of her own, she finds instead a world of magic on the eve of war. To save innocent lives Maggie risks her heart, her life, and her only chance of returning to the Siren’s Realm.

Goodreads / Amazon

Review

This book was the first review for me of 2018 and what an amazing start to my review year it was!

I have read other works by Megan O’Russell and like those this one did not disappoint.

When Maggie Trent arrived in the Sirens realm I felt she was a meek and naive girl but my was I wrong! This story is action packed and full of Drama as well as a touch of romance.  I’m so excited to see that this isn’t the end of Maggie Trent’s journey and am so looking forward to book to!

The world building is amazingly detailed from the smell of the troll to the grandeur of those rich in magic this book will quickly envelope you in it’s story.

The book tells little of her life before her appearance in the Sirens realm but it gives just enough to build Maggie Trents character and I do hope as the story line develops that we see more of an insight into her past…as well as learning more about Bertrand Wayland!

This is a captivating story with darker undertones that I would happily recommend to anyone!

 

Author Bio:

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series The Tethering and Girl of Glass, as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2017 projects include The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic.
For more information on Megan’s books visit MeganORussell.com.

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Interview: Moss Whelan Author of Gray Hawk of Terrapin

I am so excited today to share with you a recent interview I did with Author Moss Whelan who has written Gray Hawk Of Terrapin.  It is one of the best interviews I’ve ever done.  He has provided such insight into him as a person and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!

What drove you to write? Do you feel that anyone can be a writer?

I think anyone can become a writer, but there are a lot of people that don’t need to. I’ve been spending so much time around Fantasy writers that I’ll fall into conversations with people who act like they are meeting a unicorn. Which they kind of are, I suppose. But being driven to write is what it takes. You have got to have a story burning inside you that you want to communicate. And the weird thing is that it’s a public service. Writers provide the elixir vitae that people need. We need storytellers. I need storyteller. I’m a very unhappy person who has to go on a quest every day to rediscover the center of everything. That’s what drives me.

Along the same lines…..What qualities do you think a writer needs?

Hmm. I’ll straddle that fence. The writing game is easy. Anyone can crank out a book. You put it on the shelf, maybe in a notebook or printed out, and that’s it. The publishing game is a whole other game. You’ve got to be a rewriter. You’ve got to be willing to look at your story and say, “This is a block of stone that I’m going to carve into a statue.” That hurts. That makes you cry. You want it to be good, but it’s not–and it never is. It never can be. It’s a never ending quest for perfection. You go into the forest and face your dragon / ego. But that’s not all. You have to work with people. If you want it to be good, you have to listen to criticism. You have to say thank you for eviscerating me. May I have another? And one day, you wake up and you are bulletproof. On a good day.

What drew you to the Fantasy Genre.

It’s not a literary gender to me. It’s psychological paradise. It’s a state of mind that I get to return to. I get to talk with you and other people about the most important part of us. And, can I communicate what it’s like to get a free pass to Tolkien’s Faerie, to Return, and then then try to invite people into their own headspace. “Hey. This isn’t about you or me. This is about all of us. We can really get some work done here. We can ask the big questions. We can share this medicine inside.”

I find the idea of Inberl the green lion fascinating how do you come up with the idea of him?

Inberl grew in the telling. Initially he was planned as a mentor kind of character. The guise of green lion came from The Red Book by Carl Jung where it symbolizes the process of healing the psyche. The world of Terrapin is a reflection of the human mind, you can see it in the mandala-like layout of the map and the various city states of consciousness. By the end of the rewrites, when Prodigy Gold said, “Yes. We are going to tell this story,” the green lion had become connected to the world building and one of the powers of the world. Ultimately, Inberl is the personification of the state of One’o’Clock, one of the pieces of my own mind, and dearly loved.  

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

It was Tolkien. I read Wizard of Earthsea which was a love hate; it being like looking into a mirror. I had a bad childhood: illness, crime, poverty, abuse, and death. Narnia was verboten in the commune but I’d heard a recording of The Hobbit and read LoTR. It meshed with playing D&D with the other commun kids. In the mid 90’s I wrote fantasy as an intentional way to return to my experience of Middle Earth. I studied Beowulf in college because of him and then read “On Fairy Stories”. That galvanized everything for me: there was a way to Return. I went to Oxford to visit his grave and say thank you for that way back home. He’s my hero.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Yes. The E of P (The Enterer of Pictures) was the first book that I could say, “I love this, and I want to share this other people.” That was 25 years ago. My current agent said it had great setting, but that I should study Creative Writing for character. This is another case of listening to people. She was totally right. I knew she was right. So I got back into school, college, and studied. I held onto the The E of P as long as I could but it began to grow out of its shell. The world became Terrapin and the main character became Mool. But I’m cool with it: there is no Gray Hawk of Terrapin without The E of P.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The chapter that meant the most was the climax. In the end, there was so much hope there. During writing that scene, I was listening to Jim Henson singing “Rainbow Connection” and wanting to communicate that hope. What is most important? What is essential? Can I communicate that? Can I get that in a reader’s head and have them share that dream. I was just tweeting with a local speculative / gaming restaurant about inclusivity. Is there a way we can get kinder and cooler? Is there a way that we can put fear and hate aside? We’ve got a lot of work to get done in the next hundred years, and that chapter is me taking aim and addressing that issue.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to?

The one character that I need to return to is Azimyodi. My bright-browed center of everything is the axis mundi of Terrapin, the character around which the entire world spins. There’s a lot issues that I’m exploring there: self-esteem, individuation, transcendence. I ask questions like: “Why aren’t we talking about this void inside us? Why aren’t we addressing the cause of addiction? Why is there so much silence?” Why do we focus on the outside world when we could be looking within Imagination?   

Is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Time travel as geography! I’d love to drive a car from one time to another. So, meet with dinosaur people in a prehistoric city, then drive over to a UFO city of machine people. I’d like to really smash that barrier and say, “It’s happening now. Let’s have a great time.”

Gray Hawk of Terrapin is a heart-wrenching Y/A fantasy by Moss Whelan that introduces Melanie (Mool) Fraser.

Ever since her father’s death, Mool has been talking with an imaginary green lion named Inberl. When Mool’s mysterious uncle gets sick, she and her mother take the train from Vancouver, Canada to the inner world of Terrapin, where Inberl is arrested because he’s looking for Gray Hawk. Springing into action, Mool sets out to rescue Inberl.

 

Mool’s know-it-all cousin, Olga, helps track down family friend Parshmander who might know how to save Inberl. They corner Parshmander at home, where they overhear mention of Gray Hawk, but the girls are captured and interrogated. Upon release, Mool feels success when she sees a secret map, finds a hidden bridge and crosses it with Olga. On the other side of the bridge, they find a secret city that keeps Terrapin at war.

Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey laced with evil, chronicling histories of cruelty, kidnapping, and false imprisonment in search of meaning and justice.

 

Author Bio

Moss Whelan (1968) born in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the Canadian author of Gray Hawk of Terrapin published on January the 12th, 2018. He is an English Literature Bachelor of Arts, a Creative Writing Associate, and possesses a Diploma in Writing for Film, Television, and Interactive Media. He is active in the online Fantasy community and teaches Creative Writing. His work depicts a return to transcendent self-esteem in contrast with world views that shape perceived reality. He received the President’s Award at Douglas College and the M. Sheila O’Connel Undergraduate Prize in Children’s Literature at Simon Fraser University. A survivor of PTSD, he hopes to be a voice for continued access to mental health.

 

Twitter: @moss_whelan       @prodigygoldbks

Review: Feel Me Fall by James Morris

Feel-Me-Fall

Synopsis

Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

Review

I wasn’t sure at the start, the first introduction to the characters felt like a cliched made for TV movie, but stick with it!

Based around the aftermath of a school trip that ended in a plane crash, this is a story of teenage survival in the ultimate hostile environment. To say that this plot builds and twists is an understatement, some points this rollercoaster moved so fast, I found myself flicking back to check I hadn’t accidentally missed a chapter or two!

As it developed I found the characters fascinating, Lord of the Flies meets John Green (and that is high praise indeed from a huge YA fiction fan) I felt that this novel was has a brilliant mix of intrigue, suspense, escapism and black humour.

A definite must read.

Reviewed by Jessica

Disclosure: The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own.