5a.m. Flash 261212 – Free Sci-Fi eBook by Kenna McKinnon 26-28 December

There’s a buzz in the air—and it’s deadly…

Kenna Mary McKinnon’s novel ‘SpaceHive’ is free on Kindle from 26th to 28th December. Here’s more about Kenna’s book…

SpaceHive_Front_Cover avatarAfter getting kidnapped by giant alien bees, twelve-year-old Jason Anderson is transported to a spaceship called SpaceHive. There, he learns of a horrifying plot to annihilate Earth’s human population so that extraterrestrial bees and wasps can migrate to a new world.

As a swarm of spaceships make a beeline toward Earth, Jason must convince three friendly worker bees to help him escape his space prison and find other humans to aid in his mission to stop the invasion. But General Vard, wasp commander of the Black Watch, has other plans.

Can Jason unite the nations of Earth in their common fight to destroy these alien invaders? Or will Earth be lost to the sting of conspiracy and a worldwide massacre?

Amazon.com link: http://www.amazon.com/SpaceHive-ebook/dp/B008SYCHFG

Amazon.co.uk link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/SpaceHive-ebook/dp/B008SYCHFG

Book trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFSCTRLTlL0

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KennaKenna McKinnon is a freelance writer/photographer and self-employed medical transcriptionist who lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Although her degree is in Anthropology (with a minor in Psychology), Kenna has spent her life writing.

She enjoys exploring the psychology of the human condition, especially when the accompanying human is dropped into complex and unusual circumstances. Kenna has lived successfully with schizophrenia for many years.

She has three wonderful children and three grandsons. Her website is http://kennamckinnon.blogspot.ca.

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** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Short Story Saturday 016: review of ‘Bewilder’ by James Eddy

Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the sixteenth review in this series. This week’s review is of ‘Bewilder’ by James Eddy.

BewildersmokeI love stories that unfold as they go along, no info. dump at the beginning but just enough to intrigue us then explain as we read.

Any reader who is also a writer is going to pay extra attention to the quality of the writing and they will not be disappointed here. My favourite phrases included ‘He’d drunk in’ (rather than the more usual ‘taken in), ‘melancholy undercurrent’, ‘diamond cascade of rain and tears’ and ‘misery dripped from my face’.

James has avoided using commonplace metaphors / similes and they’re not overdone, as is the mix of past (saw) and past perfect (had found); once the reader is advised that something happened before the simple past, we get our head in the time frame and are then told of that in the simple past (rather than too many ‘had’s). The descriptions of the characters and places are detailed yet leave enough for our imaginations to fine-tune.

I’d printed out the story and taken it for a dog walk where I made comments (in red – I love red pens) and ticks where there were passages I liked. The pages (five of A4 in Arial 12, in case anyone was wondering how long the story was) are covered with ticks so that says it all.

On the down-side… this is a review after all, giving the name of the bar spoiled it for me as I then had a clue as to the ending (which I won’t give away) but I still enjoyed the story enough to write a “Wow!” at the end. 🙂

Thank you James for inviting me to review your story.

Bewilder is available at: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Smashwords.com (free), Diesel ebooks.com, and Kobo Books.com.

I reviewed his story Heart over Head over Heels (which is available for free from Smashwords.com) here.

Youngblood booksJames Eddy was born in Braintree, Essex in April 1980. After moving first to Colchester, Essex, the family settled in South Norfolk and James was able to enjoy the wide-open spaces and quiet of the area which fed his imagination.

Following an undistinguished University career, he began writing scripts for films and acting out the cliche of the drunken writer. He diversified by moving into prose and eventually focussed enough to write a collection of Short Stories called ‘Diamonds’ along with several other short stories a novel and novella. He released ‘Bewilder’, the first story from ‘Diamonds’ in April 2012, followed by ‘Heart over Head over Heels’ in May. James’ website is http://youngbloodbooks.webplus.net.

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If you’d like to submit your story (3,000 words) for review, or  take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with lad lit novelist Andy Holmes – the five hundred and sixty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

My blog is now available on Kindle!

Hoorah! I only recently discovered that it was possible for Kindle / Kindle app owners (which basically means anyone with a computer) in the US / UK to subscribe to blogs.

Because I’m in the UK I can only see the UK price which is £0.99 per month, for c.100 postings (daily interviews, author spotlights, guest blogs, flash fiction, poetry etc.). I guess it would be a similar equivalent in the US dollars, perhaps someone would let me know? I know I’m biased but I’d say that has to be a bargain. 🙂

Whichever way you subscribe (and / or visit / comment / click the ‘like’ button), I’m very grateful that you do, thank you.

Mine is available via:

While I’m here, is there something else you’d like to see on this blog? Is there too much of one thing and not enough of another? If you have an opinion, do email me, and / or comment below.

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You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

Short Story Saturday 007: ‘Claws’ by Stephen Booth

Welcome to the Short Story Saturday and the seventh review in this new series. This week’s review is of ‘Claws’ by crime novelist Stephen Booth. It is the longest of the stories I have reviewed so far at, I estimate, c. 15,000 words.

Amazon.co.uk’s description of Stephen’s book reads: “Derbyshire Police Detective DC Ben Cooper is on assignment to the Rural Crime Squad to investigate wildlife crime. On the wild Peak District moorlands, Cooper steps into the middle of a conflict that has been raging for years over one of the most prized landscapes in the National Park. Many lives are at stake. And, in this battle, not all the victims are human.”

The shortest hooks are often the most catching and this story’s, ‘The bones were tiny’, certainly grabbed me.

I’d not read the back cover blurb or Amazon’s description before starting the book and you would have thought that the title and seeing a bird on the front cover should have given it away, but my first thought that they were children’s bones and although I soon learned of the true origin, the story was so compassionately narrated that I felt equal affinity to them, and compelled to read on.

Having read Stephen’s writing before, and met / interviewed him, I know his work to be dark (which I love, and write) yet he gives a light touch to his characters. There is a warmth to even the strangest of creatures, in this case bird collector Kevin Hewitt, and although he is the antagonist in ‘Claws’ there are instances where I felt sorry for him. Only just. 🙂

A good story entertains and educates and it ticked both boxes for me. Although I have been to the Peak District a few times I know little of the area and the policing that is involved. I was carried along with the description of the procedures rather than bogged down by them and found it really interesting.

My favourite line of the book was at the end of chapter 1: “She did speak to us,” said Cooper. “Around here, that means we’re practically best friends.” It shows the skill of such a writer to create subtle humour within their characters, and the rapport between DC Cooper and his colleague PC Tracy Udall would make me want to read other books featuring them, which I’d say is the success of any piece, especially such a short one.

And the downside? There wasn’t one, it’s an easy read, although I did spot a typo on page 38. 🙂

‘Claws’ is one of a series of Crime Express, priced at an RRP of £4.99, of a similar stature to ‘Quick Reads’. Others in the Five Leaves Publishing’s Crime Express range include Ray Banks’ ‘California’, Danuta Reah’s ‘Not Safe’, Rod Duncan’s ‘Mentalist’, John Harvey’s ‘Trouble in Mind’, and Charlie Williams’ ‘Graven Image’. ‘Claws’ is available from Westlea Books in various formats, as a paperback from Amazon.co.uk (£3.69), and as an ebook from Reader Store and Smashwords ($0.99), Amazon.co.uk (£0.72) and wherever good books are sold (as the saying goes). 🙂

Stephen’s website is http://www.stephen-booth.com and he’s prolific on Twitter and Facebook.

A former newspaper journalist, Stephen Booth is the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have so far appeared in 11 crime novels, all set in England’s beautiful and atmospheric Peak District. The Cooper & Fry series has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and Detective Constable Cooper has been a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British author. In 2003 the Crime Writers’ Association presented Stephen with the Dagger in the Library Award for “the author whose books have given readers most pleasure”. The novels are sold all around the world, with translations in 15 languages, and are currently in development as a TV series. The most recent title is The Devil’s Edge. His other books include Lost River, The Kill Call, One Last Breath, and Blind to the Bones.

Biography taken from my interview with Stephen last October – which you can read here.

UPDATE FROM STEPHEN VIA TWITTER: “15,000 words is spot on, Morgen. That was the specification for a Crime Express title, though it’s been extended since.” Woo hoo! 🙂

If you’d like to submit your story (50 to 2,500 words) for review take a look here. I am also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays (which are usually later podcasted).

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with writer, editor and publisher Kim Maya Sutton – the three hundred and nineteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. And I have a new forum at http://morgenbailey.freeforums.org.