My First Bow

Well my first proper Composite bow. I don’t count the Nerf bows sitting around the house.

Greetings All!

Kittens
Little cuties, Kuro and Harley

What a May! Blink and you’ll miss it. Earlier in the month, it was my birthday. I’d like to thank everyone once more for your kind wishes. Then, just a few days ago, it was my beautiful husband and I’s first year wedding anniversary. A lot has changed in a year. We’ve moved houses and adopted two gorgeous little kittens, Kuro and Harley. It has been an extremely productive year for both of us. I’ve written the vast majority of Blessed Cursed since then.

Last weekend we attended the Medieval Market and Fantasy Faire in Ipswich, QLD. It was fantastic to see so many interesting stalls and people. My eye was caught by the Archery stall and I didn’t go home empty handed. Once home, we set up a little practise range in the garage and boy, were my shoulders sore the next day! I think I need to start some strength training for my arms.

What I’m Writing:
I’m still working away at Blessed Cursed. In reviewing, I’ve discovered I’m no longer happy with two of my chapters and I’m completely re-writing them. I’ve also decided to flesh out the last quarter of the book more so my novel is now looking like it’s going to be 150k words instead of the 100k goal I set when I started. I’m hoping to have those chapters re-written by next month then the review can start again where I left off. At this stage, I can’t give an estimate as to when the review will be finished but I just really hope it’s before August.

What I’m Reading:
I’ve finished the last three books I have in the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. They were First Fall, Dolphins of Pern, and Red Star Rising. I enjoyed them thoroughly although not as much as some other books in the series. I liked First Fall and Red Star Rising because they are set earlier in Pern’s history. It was nice to read about the first Dragon riders in First Fall and the problems faced by them in Red Star Rising to convince the Holders Thread was real when it hasn’t been seen in centuries years.

GotrekSince finishing that series, I started a new one which is somewhat different to what I normally read. Gotrek and Felix is a Gothic Fantasy series set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Gotrek is a dwarf slayer who is pledged to meet his doom in epic combat. Felix is a human who, after getting very drunk, agreed to accompany Gotrek on his travels and write an epic tale of Gotrek’s death once he’s achieved the glorious end in battle he seeks. The problem is Gotrek just can’t seem to find anyone (or anything) strong enough to best him in battle so he keeps looking. I’ve finished the first four books being Trollslayer, Skavernslayer, Deamonslayer and Dragonslayer. I’m currently halfway through Beastslayer. All written by William King. Are you picking up a theme with the titles? I’m reading them in the two omnibus collections which I’m very happy for. Apart from the first two novels, the last three have read like one long story. The first book, Trollslayer is probably the worse. It reads to me like a collection of short stories which became a novel. Each chapter is a story and there isn’t really an over-arcing plot. I found the writing repetitive. However the second book onwards has been really good and I am enjoying the story. Set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, it’s much darker and more gruesome than I am used to but not to a fault. That is simply how that universe is. If considering to read these books, I suggest doing a little bit of research into the Warhammer Fantasy universe as it will help you understand the races and attitudes. I myself only had a very limited knowledge to start with but it certainly helped.

Till next time,

Ashleigh

April Update

Greetings!

That’s another month done and dusted for the year 2016. It’s now April. Am I the only one who’s a little freaked out with how fast this year is going? My sister is currently preggers with my first little niece and we are all pretty certain we’ll be welcoming her into the world before May. I’m sitting by the phone just waiting for the call. It’s going to be a busy month!

What I’m Writing:
I was hoping I would be finished the reviews for Blessed Cursed by the end of March. Safe to say I was over confident. I’ve completed about half the manuscript so it may just take another month before I’ve finished. I’m still on the look out for Beta Readers so if you are interested please drop me a message and I’ll let you know the details. Blessed Cursed is currently sitting at roughly 120k words so I can safely say it’s the longest novel I’ve ever written so far.

What I’m Reading:
I’m still on the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Since my last update I’ve finished Moreta’s Story. A good book but probably not the best in this series. I feel the ending is too forced. Without giving much away, the tale of Moreta is known to anyone who has read the early books in the Dragons series including the end. I can’t help but feel McCaffrey really wanted to write this story about Moreta but, because she had already set the ending in earlier books, couldn’t change it. Therefore the ending feels forced, sudden and to be completely honest, a bit disappointing.
In March, I also read Nerilka’s Story,  Dragonsdawn, The Renegades of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern.untitled
Of these, I have to take a moment to talk about Dragonsdawn. To put it bluntly, I. Love. This. Book. I do. I really do. Dragonsdawn would take a spot on my all time favourite books list. My copy at home is falling apart from too much reading. Dragonsdawn is set in a different time period to the rest of the series and tells the tale of the very first dragons and their riders. It’s the thickest book in the series (and for good reason because it covered a lot!)
I’ve only three more books in this series before I finish it and start on the next one. Does any one have any suggestions?

Have an awesome April!!

Ashleigh

Beta Readers for Blessed Cursed

Greetings!

It’s time for a new month and a new season! Here in Australia, we are moving from Summer into Autumn. I can’t wait for the days to start to cool. This summer has been particularly hot with the naughty El Nino driving temperatures up. For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, Happy Spring 🙂

What I’m Writing:
In February I was able to finish writing Blessed Cursed! Yay! Happy times. I’ve already started the reviewing process and hope for that to be completed by the end of March. I’m making great progress this year. Here is a brief synopsis.

Blessed Cursed

When the Gates of Hell are opened
And darkness walks the land
Everything will crumble
Rock returns to sand

For four hundred years, Demons have slaughtered the innocent and destroyed the cities of man. Those who managed to escape were often infected by the Demon’s Curse. A poisoning of the blood, it granted them speed and strength but as the infection takes hold, it also drives them insane. The Church of Light sent its best warriors to take down the fell beasts but still they multiply and no one knows why. When Arden’s best friend is tainted by the Demon’s Curse, she puts her own life aside to find a cure before her friend looses her mind forever.

I’m starting to look for Beta Readers to read Blessed Cursed and give me feedback. Would you like to help? I’d like people who read regularly and who like Fantasy. I’m looking for completely honest feedback with as much detail as possible. If you would like to be a Beta Reader, please CLICK THIS LINK and fill in the contact form. Please include some of your favourite books so I can get an idea of what you like.

What I’m Reading:
In this last month, I’ve been reading the Dragons of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. As I said in my Feb post, I just love it. I read the followingdragonsong instalments last month: Dragon Flight, Dragon Quest, Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, The White Dragon and Dragon Drums. Of all these books, I think my favourite would have to be Dragon Flight followed by Dragon Song and Dragon Singer. The Dragon Song/Singer duo is about Menolly, a girl who loves music and writes the most beautiful songs. But girls can’t be Harpers and the Sea Hold which is her home has no time for such things.

The book I’m currently reading from the Pern series is Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern. I am hesitant to read this novel again. Its ending is incredibly sad and I don’t really like books that make me cry. But it’s been years since I’ve read it and I figured I’d give it another go. Maybe it won’t be as bad the second time around.

Have a great March guys, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to be a Beta Reader for Blessed Cursed.

Ashleigh

February Already!

Hi internet friends!

Wow February already. Where is 2016 going?

I’ve had a pretty good year so far and I hope you have as well. I’ve been writing solidly for Blessed Cursed and am on track to finish the first draft in the next few weeks. Then it’ll be onto the ‘fun’ part of editing. Once that’s been completed, I would like to find a few people who would be willing to be my Beta Readers. All you have to do is read the manuscript and tell me your honest thoughts about it. Let me know if you would be interested in helping me 🙂

Since my last update I’ve finished reading Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness and Immortals series. Both fantastic. I can’t speak any higher of them. I’ve also read Game of Throne. I did enjoy this although I did feel nothing was resolved. I understand it’s a complicated series and I intend to keep reading but I couldn’t help but feel a little let down when the book simply ended. I’m currently reading Dragon Flight by Anne McCaffrey. This is another book which I first read years ago when I was a teenager. What can I say except I love dragons and the Dragons of Pern series captures them beautifully. I’m very much looking forward to re-reading this series which is currently taking up almost an entire row on my book shelf. Are you guys reading any good books at the moment?

I do have some sad news as well. As of Jan 2016, my publisher for the last three years closed its doors. Unfortunately this means that Birth By Fire’s Embrace and the rest of the Amethyst series will be out of print while I look for a new publisher to take it up. I’ll keep you updated on how I’m going but it’s a long process. If you would like a paperback copy of Birth By Fire’s Embrace, there are a few online shop such as Amazon which still have a few copies in stock. I myself also have some which I sell for $10 plus postage. I’ve had a lot of people asking me when Standing In The Wind’s Shadow will be released. Unfortunately I simply don’t know how long it will take to find a new publisher.

But no sense dwelling on the unchangeable. There are words to be written and worlds to build.

Till next time,

Ashleigh