Tag Archive | Fantasy

Five on Friday

 

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Five Books – Five Genres – One Author

Looking for a new book to read this weekend?
Try one of these books by Valarie Savage Kinney

 

In the Presence of KnowingTitle: In the Presence of Knowing
Series: Secrets of Windy Springs, #1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Keisha is pregnant and on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Hiding out at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival, she discovers a world of magic.

Stepping into new and unfamiliar territory, she finds herself among people different from any she’s met before. Though she feels she’ll never fit in, Keisha finds hope when she meets Rogan, who plays the troll. As friendship blossoms into romance, she soon discovers that Rogan, as well as others at Windy Springs, have abilities beyond the average individual – abilities that the child growing within her shares as well. When danger comes to Windy Springs, she’ll need the combined powers of Rogan and his friends to keep her and the baby safe.

In the Presence of Knowing is the first book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.

Amazon

My review:

In the Presence of Knowing is an amazing introduction to the Secrets of Windy Springs series.

We meet an amazing cast of fleshed out, unique, and non-conventional characters.
Keisha is strong and yet vulnerable. Rogan is kind and compassionate, and not the typical handsome hero.
Captain Dash is eccentric and is one of my favourite characters.

The setting was beautifully described. I’ve never been to a Renaissance Faire, but it’s now somewhere I’d love to go. I loved the ‘family’ bond and the atmosphere that was depicted in the book.

This is a wonderfully written book, with a mysterious storyline that kept me engaged.
I’m sure there are plenty of ups and downs still to come in this series and, after the sudden cliff-hanger at the end of the book, I am desperate to know more!

 

 
SlitherTitle: Slither
Genre: Paranormal, Horror

We’re often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She’s hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?

Amazon

My review:

Much more than a horror story…

A fascinating story that kept me on the edge of my seat and was impossible to put down.
The well thought out and unique plot twisted it’s way through this well-written book.

The main characters were well-fleshed out, each had their own flaws and abusive pasts to deal with, but worked wonderfully together to help and heal each other.

The villains were dark and menacing characters and easy to hate.

 

 
HeckledTitle: Heckled
Genre: Thriller, Psychological

Drinking. Drugging. Cutting.

Exxel Jensen has spent his life finding ways to rid himself of the Heckler, and failed miserably.

On the surface, his future is bright: a beautiful wife, a child on the way, and a career he loves as a stand up comedian.

Beneath the surface lurks the darkness: crippling depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.

Helena Jensen has seen her husband spiral downward before and feels helpless to stop it as she watches him falling again.

She would do anything to help him, anything to diminish the pain that plagues him.

Exxel knows she would, and he also knows she can’t.

Because the person fueling his depression and addictions is someone she can’t see.

And how can he explain the Heckler to anyone, when he doesn’t even understand it himself?

Amazon

My review:

The author takes the reader on a dark jouney to the depths of despair in this accurate portrayal of depression.

As someone who has depression I could relate to the feelings of worthlessness that Exxel experiences, and count myself lucky I don’t have a heckler.

Well done, Valarie, for tackling this much misunderstood condition, with care and compassion!!

 

 
ConsumptionTitle: Consumption
Genre: Horror, Short Stories

…Consumption is a chilling collection chronicling the stories of six people consuming or being consumed by something unnatural.

The Satisfaction of Mercy
Mercy was left for dead in the toxic sewers of Detroit, and now she is consumed with the need for revenge.

Jagged Disintegration
Kelsey has fallen victim to a terrible virus with the power to destroy her life from the inside out.

The Wedding Takeover
Laura is determined to finally have her perfect wedding day, even if she must steal it from someone else.

To Scotland!
Eric is broken-hearted when his best online friend disappears, and he’d give anything to have her back… but not like this.

Creeping Moss
Celeste didn’t notice the first black spots, until they spread and took over every aspect of her life.

Maternal Consumption
Samaria has fought the gnawing hunger in her gut for years, until she’s finally satisfied by eating something she shouldn’t.

Amazon

My review:

A collection of short, superbly creepy stories from Valarie Savage Kinney.

Six quick reads that will make your flesh crawl, send shivers down your spine, or make your hair stand on end…. possibly all three!

My favourites were The Wedding Takeover and Creeping Moss.

 

 
51QOy9hLbILTitle: Just Hold On
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

A Heartbreaking Struggle…

Two strangers are thrown together through insurmountable tragedy.

Since his family disintegrated a decade ago, Jake has kept his heart safely ensconced within the protective walls he’s erected. Determined to live out his life alone and free of the burden of love, Jake’s world is turned upside down when the grief of a woman he hardly knows calls him to step out of his comfort zone. Once Marnie enters the picture, he tries not to notice how broken, how pitiful…and how beautiful she is. Jake is torn between doing the right thing for himself….and doing the right thing.

Devastated by loss after loss, Marnie is left a shell of her former self. After losing her home in a fire and numbed by yet another heartbreaking tragedy, she is unable to communicate or even function on her own. Marnie finds she must place her trust in a quirky stranger and his three-legged dog. Desperate to reach out to the only stability in her life – Jake – but paralyzed by pain, she struggles to pick up the shattered pieces of hope. Marnie wonders if she will ever learn to live – or love – again.

One year. One apartment. Two strangers, each wrapped in their own personal turmoil. Can Jake and Marnie overcome the obstacles before them and find love despite the odds?

Amazon

I haven’t read Just Hold On… yet.
But as I enjoyed the four books above, it is on my to-read list!

 

 

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Atlantis by Carol Roberts

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51fIso3t-7LWhen Alanthea, high-priestess of Atlantis, connects to a woman in her dreams, she becomes haunted by a mystery. Compelled to trace the other woman’s life she finds coded poems that hold clues to the predicament of her people. Now she has to venture ever farther into forbidden territory to link past and present, and understand the real danger threatening Atlantis.

Arakon always thought of himself as an orphan, a loner without any real belonging. But after a strange encounter his life changes, and he is drawn into events beyond his control.

They move parallel in their search for answers until their destinies converge, and the weave unravels. Yet what they finally uncover lies deep at the heart of collective evolution, and what has been set in motion cannot be undone.

Amazon

Excerpt:

Time shifted as Arakon carefully turned and dug his heels into the horse’s side. A good horse, a strong horse, just like the old man’s had been. The shade of the trees embraced him, and the sound of the water came closer. Would he still find the track? Was there a track? Time shifted further, and he felt an eerie sensation between his shoulder blades. The forest was too quiet, the water overly loud. Gideon started to slip, and he reined the stallion in even further.

The filtered light threw strange patterns onto the ground, and when the moment came, he let go of the reins and let Gideon run. Leaves slapped him in the face, and as the noise became deafening, he could see the glistening spray which lay like a shimmering web ahead of him. Gideon shied but could not stop. They raced on until the tree-line opened up, and he could see the gorge falling away in front of him like a black, open mouth.

 

 
Author Bio:

A10OB2P-XLL._UX250_Carol Roberts is a freelance writer with particular interest in cultural myth. Originally from Vienna, she has spent all of her adult life in the Far North of New Zealand. Her work took her to several different countries, where she indulged her fascination with stories, particularly those dealing with the creation of man.

‘Atlantis’ is her first full-length novel; speculating on concepts of the human condition, the meaning of individual and collective destiny, and the choices within that. Her second novel ‘Tower of Babel’ is also complete.

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Valentine Countdown Blitz – Day 7

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Gifted by the Moon by Lillith Black

 

 

Gifted_by_the_Moon_cover_Lillith_BlackHe was born to love her, but will she allow herself to be loved?

Amaris comes from a poor broken family where she was never loved. On the night of her 19th birthday, she meets Gustavo, handsome, eloquent, wealthy. When he tells her that he is destined to love her, she rejects the idea, but the mysterious sparks that fly every time they touch, stop her in her tracks.

Gustavo reveals to Amaris that they both belong to an ancient order of the Moon, and he is born to be only with her, to love and protect her. When she falls violently sick, and only Gustavo knows how to save her, they are forced to travel across the world where Amaris discovers her true self and wakes up the powers that could start a war between two feuding ancient clans.

When the fight breaks out, and Gustavo and others are kidnapped, Amaris has to accept who she is and step into her power to save the ones she loves.

Amazon

Snippet:

Amaris flung the door open and threw herself into Gustavo’s arms. “Oh my god, you are here! I missed you so much…” she mumbled into his shirt.

She heard him gasp, and he embraced her hard, desperately. “I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to see you,” he murmured, his voice warm and husky.

They stood there for a moment, until he noticed, “You are trembling… god, you are soaking wet and cold!”

He picked her off the ground and carried her into the room, swinging the door closed with his foot. “You know, I can walk,” she murmured into his shoulder.

“I know, but I really wanted to do that,” he grinned, his eyes searching hers.

 

 

Lillith_BlackLillith Black lives in Southern California, where she enjoys sun and warm weather and writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

She loves a good book; her favorite genres are paranormal romance, sci-fi and fairy tales. Her favorite shows include Doctor Who, Stranger Things and X-files. Her favorite book hero is Sherlock Holmes and, when she travels, she spends her evenings in the hotel room binging on Forensic Science.

She is currently working on a vampire romance Love Me or Bite Me.

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Saturday Spotlight

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Treaters by CJ Rutherford

(The Divine Conflict Book 1)

A post-apocalyptic survival fiction novel

 
36270240“They never hunt alone, and these things rule the night!”

When the world ends on Halloween night, Jaz, a retired US Marine thinks it’s all over.
His friends, his family…they’re gone.

He’s alone, and on the run from the slaughterhouses of the cities.

On his desperate dash to the desolation of North Dakota, Jaz encounters Jennifer, and together they escape to the wilderness, and safety.

As Jaz and Jennifer come to terms with the fact they may be the last two people alive, they realize the attack on Halloween night was just the beginning, and safety was a foolish dream.

Something more sinister is at work, and it’s coming for them.

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My Review:

A fantastic read that kept me on the edge of my seat.
It’s an amazing mix of horror, fantasy and romance, with plenty of action.
It grabs you on page one and doesn’t let go until you reach the end…
And what an ending – I didn’t see that coming.

The treaters are out to destroy all humankind and something else is destroying all life on earth.

After the death of his friends, Jaz is left to survive the end of the world on his own, until he meets Jennifer. They may be the only two people left on earth after the treater’s invasion.

Thanks to CJ Rutherford’s descriptive writing, I joined Jaz and Jennifer (and Tray, the dog) as they ran, hid, survived attacks and fell in love.

This is an awesome book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

**I first came across CJ Rutherford’s Treaters when it was a short story in The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology which I read and reviewed in October, 2015.
Since then CJ Rutherford has taken that short story and turned it into this terrific novel.

 

The Author:

4sZhqFeZ_400x400CJ Rutherford has always been a story teller, even if they started out in his mind only. He grew up on a farm in very rural Ireland, and was left pretty much to his own devices most of the time.

So, he invented his own world, with fairies, trolls, and other mystical creatures.

His stories stayed with him throughout his life, sometimes scrawled down on scraps of paper, and occasionally brought to life in a sketch (although he’s the first to admit what he drew and what you might see might not bear any similarity to each other.)

Along came two daughters, and at last he had an outlet for his imagination. As the girls grew up they were enthralled by the characters and the worlds their father created. He even brought them to life in his fantasy world, and they never knew when he sat down to tell them their bed-time story, whether they would be fighting a dragon or playing with one.

But time moves on, and daughters grow up, and soon enough, CJ needed another way to tell his tales.

The rest, as they say, is history…or the future, depending on how you look at it

 

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Also by CJ Rutherford: Tales of the Neverwar

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Claude the Imaginary Dragon – lives in CJ’s head

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Genres

Looking for a new book to read this weekend? Try one of these 5 reads!

 

Dead NormalTitle: Dead Normal
Author: D M Singh
Genre: Humour, Paranormal

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

Amazon

 

My review:

I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

 

RiddleTitle: Riddle
Author: Elizabeth Horton-Newton
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Seven years ago Kort Eriksen went to prison for killing his girlfriend Desiree. Now he’s back in Riddle and some people think he got off easy. Others, including long time friend Norma, think he was railroaded because he’s the only Native American in town. Grace Donahue is running away from her past. Trapped in Riddle until her car is repaired she develops a friendship with Kort. Suddenly accidents are happening and people are dying. Is Kort adding to his list of victims or has someone else taken the reins? As mysteries from the past rise to the surface, more questions will be raised. The suspect file grows as victims fall. Is Desiree’s killer back for more or is someone trying to avenge her death? The riddle of Riddle will be solved, but how many bodies will it take to find the answers?

Amazon

My review:

A well-written book, with an intriguing storyline and a great cast of fleshed-out characters.

The book has believable romance and unpredictable mystery.

A true riddle with many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

 

The GuardiansTitle: The Guardians
Author: Gina Moray
Genre: Horror

There’s something in the fields…

Hank Smithson has been battling bad crops, sabotage, and the bank for the last few years, and has decided to do something about it. A talk with a mysterious stranger named LaReux leads him to build a special scarecrow, a Guardian, for the field. Hank is skeptical of its power, but one scarecrow becomes three and the fields prosper. But there’s a problem – people are dying and success always comes at a price.

A determined cop…

Carlos Higgins and his partner are sent from the Wichita Police Department to investigate an unusual murder in the sleepy town of Runner’s Mill. While on the case, several more die and they all have one thing in common – Hank Smithson.
While Higgins and Landley believe they know the killer, they learn that the real culprit is deadlier and more terrifying than they could have imagined.

Amazon

My review:

I enjoy a good horror story and having read Gina Moray’s short story, Cemetery at Devil’s Bend, I knew I had to read her debut novel, The Guardians, and I wasn’t disappointed… it was everything I hoped it would be!

With this descriptive and wonderfully scary story, Gina had me gripped from the start and kept me on the edge of my seat as the gory body count rose and had me wondering who, if anyone, would survive the terrifying evil.

Not for the faint hearted, but if, like me, you like a good scary book, The Guardians is well worth reading.

 

Illusional RealityTitle: Illusional Reality
Author: Karina Kantas
Genre: Fantasy

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.

Becky will soon learn that her arrival is no accident. If learning that she is Thya, the heir of the enchanting land isn’t enough, she’s then told that an Oracle prophesied that she will save the gentle Tsinians from slavery and domination by Darthorn, the Warlord of Senx.

It is at a festival where she is introduced to the Tsinian council and her kinsmen, that she learns the whole truth. The council are so certain that a union between Darthorn’s son, Kovon and Thya will create peace between the two lands. However, Darthorn has plans for Tsinia as does Kovon for Thya and neither are good.

Although her future has been planned and if she is to save Tsinia she must marry Kovon, Thya gives her heart to another. A love that is forbidden and dangerous.

Illusional Reality is a story about hope, courage, love and sacrifice.

Amazon

My review:

An interesting and enjoyable read from Karina Kantas.

This well-written story clipped along at a good and steady pace.

The detailed descriptions let me see the magical land of Tsinia, with it’s tree-top dwellings and it’s friendly and peaceful inhabitants. Senx, the home of her ‘intended’, Kovon and his father, Darthorn, is a much darker and gloomier place.

The main characters are well fleshed out, and Thya/Becky runs through the whole spectrum of emotions, from disbelief to acceptance, anger to peace, and love to heartbreak, and I felt them along with her.

I am hopeful that Illusional Reality is the first book of a series!

 

The WastelandersTitle: The Wastelanders
Author: Tim Hemlin
Genre: Dystopian

When water is scarce, a drop is more precious than gold. In this post- apocalyptic world, America is controlled by a corporate oligarchy known as the Water Cartel, and warrior-priest Joey Hawke finds himself trapped between a mysterious geneticist amassing a clone army and a group of political fanatics convinced that a dead president will rise from his tomb to lead them to salvation.

Caught outside his spiritual haven when the Cartel moves against the Wastelanders, Joey is aided by Bear, an enigmatic weapons runner, a lovesick Scrapwoman, and Bernie Hawke, his estranged father. But against the Cartel’s military strength, led by the power hungry Rex Fielder, Joey’s only hope may be Si-Ting, a young woman with prescient abilities—a woman who not only holds the key to his heart but also to an American conspiracy to crown its future with the withered laurels of the past.

Amazon

My review:

Reading A Friend in Need inspired me to read Tim Hemlin’s Wastelanders.
I was fascinated by the brief introduction to the world and its characters and needed to know more.

The story starts with a bang and had me hooked from page one, with it’s unique and strange world filled with interesting and believable characters.

The plot is intelligently thought out and well written, with surprising twists that add to the complexity of the story

Marvellous!

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Ghosts of the Sea Moon by A. F. Stewart

GhostsSeaMoonPromo

Come set sail with ghosts, gods and sea monsters.

Title: Ghosts of the Sea Moon (Saga of the Outer Islands Book 1)
Author: A. F. Stewart
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publication Date: January 13th, 2018
Paperback Price: $12.99
Digital Price: Release Price $0.99. Will go up to $2.99 on February 14th

 

Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters.

GotSMMedIn the Outer Islands, gods and magic rule the ocean.

Under the command of Captain Rafe Morrow, the crew of the Celestial Jewel ferry souls to the After World and defend the seas from monsters. Rafe has dedicated his life to protecting the lost, but the tides have shifted and times have changed.

His sister, the Goddess of the Moon, is on a rampage and her creatures are terrorizing the islands. The survival of the living and dead hinge on the courage and cunning of a beleaguered captain and his motley crew of men and ghosts.

What he doesn’t know is that her threat is part of a larger game. That an ancient, black-winged malevolence is using them all as pawns…

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

The Captain

      Captain Rafe Morrow paced the quarterdeck of his ship, Celestial Jewel, the signs of an oncoming squall setting him on edge. Blustering wind rattled the sails and the crew’s nerves, their usual jaunty hubbub reduced to grumbling and snipes. Trouble travelled on that wind. Rafe could smell it woven in the air, and his blood prickled with a sense of worry. The ship trembled as if with warning. He glared at the sky and its darkening clouds painted amber and crimson from the setting sun. A storm sky coming ahead of a full moon meant dark magic and sea monsters would prowl the waves this night.
      The Moon Goddess will hold sway tonight.
      A trickle of blue energy raced across the back of his hand at the thought.
      Damn her…and her beasts.
      On the breath of a sigh, he whirled to face his crew. “Storm’s coming, boys. Doesn’t bode well, not with the moonrise tonight.”
      “How long, Captain? Will we be in the thick of the weather or just what comes after?” A rough-edged sailor, Pinky Jasper, spoke up, but all ears of the deck crew listened for an answer.
      “It’s coming within an hour or two, out from Raven Rock, by my reckoning. After nightfall by certain. We’re heading in, boys, but we’ll likely hit the edge of it.” He heaved a breath, exhaling. “It’ll be a bad one even for this crew so expect trouble.”
      A shiver of tension settled over the deck. Some of the crew cast worried glances at the sea and each other. Others shivered, and a few more whispered prayers. Storms brought bad memories and nervous anticipation to the sailors of this ship.
      “Which port then, Captain?” The mariner at the ship’s wheel chimed in. “Might make Abersythe if we head north.”
      “We might, Anders. But we head east. We’ll race the edge of the tempest, but it’s closer and the ship will find better shelter anchored at Crickwell Island.”
      “Aye, sir. Laying in course to Crickwell Island.” One-Eyed Anders turned the wheel and the ship’s bones groaned. Others of the crew adjusted the sails, and the Celestial Jewel leaned into her new bearing headed east.

 

Free companion prequel story:

Sea Bound

Author Bio:
Horror AuthorA steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and still calls it home. The youngest in a family of seven children, she always had an overly creative mind and an active imagination. She favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novels, novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry.

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Saga of the Outer Islands

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Ghosts, Gods, and Sea Monsters

Aaspa’s Eyes by Jane Jago

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If Aaspa was human, having blue eyes wouldn’t matter. But she isn’t, so it does. And when she finds out how she came by the colour it rocks the foundations of her world. Can she emerge from the web of spite and rumour with her head held high? Or will her enemies manage to use the secret to lever her over the edge into insanity?

Amazon

 

Aaspa’s Eyes was the third book I bought during the
12 Days of Christmas Book Buying Event.

 

 
My Review:

The story itself was entertaining. Angels, demons, vampires and a variety of other species appear at different points in the book.

The main characters, Aaspa and Aascko, are hunters and mates who seemed to do as much populating of their nest with various waifs and strays as they did hunting.
They were well fleshed out and I liked the different sides of them – the ruthless hunter, the gentle parent and the loving partner.

The world building was minimal, and the book, in general, was lacking in description. Apart from the fact that hunters have wings and crests, I have no idea what they look like. My imagination could fill in on some of the other characters, such as Owl and Small Cat. Then there are the drones a type of servant whom I thought at first were possibly mechanical, until I discovered they could eat and drink!!

Adding to my confusion is the fact that Aaspa and Aascko weren’t the only characters whose names began with Aa, there were a lot, and I struggled to remember who was who. Having to go back and figure that out pulled me from the story, which would otherwise have been well-paced.

*not for under 18’s due to a few ‘unnecessary’ explicit sex scenes.

 

The Author:

Jane Jago lives in the beautiful Westcountry with her large dog and her favourite husband (yes, he’s large too).

She spent half her working life cooking, and the other half editing other people’s manuscripts. Both these occupations seemed to take up a large proportion of her waking moments, leaving little or no time for the stories that filled her imagination.

But time moves on and it became possible to squeeze out the odd hour here and there to get some words onto ‘paper’. The Long Game took nearly two years to write, principally because the characters kept doing unexpected things requiring rewrite after rewrite.

Since then, Jane has learned that the story as it begins in her head is unlikely to bear very much resemblance to the finished book.

Equally, she has learned to enjoy the journey, as her characters take her to places she never knew existed while they play out their lives on the page in front of her.

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