Rika’s Ramblings

In The Land of Olympians

greek-chill-apollo-3

Not exactly what Apollo looks like in my novel, but it was such a cool pick I had to share. Photo credit goes to whoever is responsible for creating the picture.

I’ve started writing again (after a bit of a hiatus), and I’m beginning to get back to my usual schedule!!! Not going to lie though, it’s been hard and gruelling and I was very tempted to give up on Dagger of the Sun but after having put so much time into it the previous year, I wasn’t ready to let go just yet. Instead, I dove back into the land of the Olympians and it started undergoing some rewrites (apparently, I was a very, very bad writer a year ago and threw similes and metaphors into every chapter like I was a rapper with unlimited atm access.)

I don’t have anything to share yet excerpt wise, but I’me hoping for something juicy by the end of the week – so keep your fingers crossed.

But I can share that I’ve written almost 25, 000 words and have nearly edited all the kinks in the first few chapters that were making it difficult for the story to move forward. I spent most of July and June editing the previous chapters and looking through the infinite versions of chapter four (there are at least 5 very long, very different versions of this chapter) and deciding what parts I wanted to keep from each and trying to consolidate them into one legible chapter.

I will keep you guys posted with more updates soon and thank you to everyone that has stuck by me on the long journey that is DotS. There will be a notable lack of reviews for a while as I’m trying to focus on my writing, but I will eventually have to take a break for some reading and reviewing so I don’t crash and burn.

But for now, that’s all!

Thanks,

Rika Ashton (aka Woman Currently in Writer Mode)

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What Do We Know…

That is today’s question…well, more precisely, the question is “What do we know about Kresley Cole‘s upcoming Immortals After Dark novel, Sweet Ruin?”

I know what I know…which is ZIP…

ZERO…

ZILCH!

No, really, I clearly have not been keeping up with the forums so when I saw the cover and title earlier today, I was baffled.

So I should probably rephrase the question and instead of asking “what do we know,” I should probably be asking “what do you know?”

Because what you know is what I want to know…

Get it…

Got it…

Great!

So please, please, please share!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Informationless Blogger)


Blurb Reveal: SECRET SISTERS by Jayne Ann Krentz

So I haven’t even gotten my hands on Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) and she’s already teasing me with another future-favourite-to-be in Secret Sisters. Somehow from the tone of the blurb, it seems like Ms. Krentz upcoming romantic-suspense novel is different from her usual…

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters – until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel – a place she never wanted to see again – a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….

I’m very excited…and very nervous because I have no idea what to expect.

But mostly I can’t wait to get my hands on the novel!

Rika Ashton

(aka “Can it be December already?”)


Booking My Summer…and Then Some!

Hi all,

Soooo it’s been a while, huh?

What can I say? Every time I thought about updating my blog, I was too tired to move…the thought’s about as far as it got. Teaching can drive you crazy it seems. And that sense of accomplishment? Most day’s I just end up waiting for it and it never arrives. Until Friday. And then…HALLELUJAH!

Long tangent short, I’ve been busy. 😦

But not too busy to start pre-ordering my summer/fall/winter reads, which include some of these highly anticipated novels by proven authors:

First up, Blood Kiss by J. R. Ward, Black Dagger Legacy book one:

The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated–and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

Second, Siren’s Call by Jayne Castle:

In the mysterious world of Harmony, there are places filled with unexplored marvels. But Rainshadow Island isn’t about to give up its secrets . . .

In the alien catacombs of Rainshadow, there are creatures whose compelling songs lure the unwary to their death. That’s why Rafe Coppersmith, hired to clear out the catacombs for exploration, needs a music talent. He knows the perfect one, but she probably doesn’t want anything do with him . . .

Ella Morgan had once fallen hard and fast for Rafe, but then he disappeared for months and he’s not about to tell her why. Ella, too, has secrets that only her dust bunny knows. She’s not just a music talent, she’s a Siren: a paranormal singer capable of singing men to sleep – or to their deaths.

But once on Rainshadow, Rafe and Ella will learn that surrendering to passion doesn’t come without risks – and fighting fire with fire only adds to the flame . . .

Read number three is none other than About a Vampire by Lynsay Sands:

In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new Argeneau novel, a vampire accustomed to seducing every woman he meets finds the one determined to resist him . . .

With immortal good looks and scorching charisma, Justin Bricker has yet to meet a woman he can’t win over. His potential life mate should be no different. But instead of falling into his bed, Holly Bosley runs away and ends up mortally wounded. To save her, he has to turn her. And then Bricker learns the shocking truth: Holly’s already married.

Holly wakes up with a bump on her head, a craving for blood, and a sexy stranger who insists they belong together. She needs Bricker’s help to control her new abilities, even as she tries to resist his relentless seduction. Choosing between the world she knows and the eternity he offers is impossible. But Justin is fighting for his life mate – maybe even his life – and he’ll break every rule to do it . . .

And because I love historical reads as much as paranormal ones, book four is Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey’s passionate new tale about a gunfighter running from his past who finds his future when he escorts a beautiful outlaw to her hanging. Featuring one of Lindsey’s most intriguing heroes: the dangerous and mysterious Degan Grant from One Heart to Win.

With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget – until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal’s list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with.

But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial.

Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever.

And that’s all I have on my list for now, with the exception of the upcoming Nalini Singh novels…but that’s a given. 😉

Rika Ashton

(aka Bookworm)


Blurb Reveal: ARCHANGEL’S ENIGMA by Nalini Singh

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging and writing recently – mostly due to first an annoying flu and then my post recovery laziness…and *cough* bingewatchingNarutoShippuden *cough*…but more on that later.

I did stop by on Twitter and Facebook a few times to share book news, but if you haven’t been following along, then be prepared for one very happy surprise!

Nalini Singh is writing Naasir’s story! Yes, that Naasir…the one who stole every heart and every scene in Archangel’s Shadows. And now finally the enigmatic Naasir is getting his own novel, very appropriately titled, Archangel’s Enigma.

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required—those more common to predatory animals than to man.

Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda, a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets, is fascinated by his nature—at once playful and brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it’s too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows…and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare…

We do have to wait until September 2015 to read it, but the next Psy-Changeling novel should dull the pain in the meantime.

So tell me…did Naasir steal your heart in Archangel’s Shadows or was he just another character?

Rika Ashton

(aka “NAAAAAAAAASIR!”)


Throwback Thursday: A KINGDOM OF DREAMS by Judith McNaught

This week for Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d shine the spotlight on a novel that I haven’t read yet, but one that has been on my “must-read” list for ages. Judith McNaught’s A Kingdom of Dreams comes highly recommended by many of my own favourite authors, including Julia Quinn. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. 😦

Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will—until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web…a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

Seems like this novel will consist of a love-hate relationship…a thematic trope that I’m slightly tired of, but I might give it a shot because this cover is gorgeous! (Yes, I’m that shallow.) But can you blame me, this cover has such a fairy-tale feel to it.

I’m going to try and make time for this novel over the long weekend we have coming up…it’s very much overdue for a reading.

But for those of you who have read it…what did you like about this novel? What did you hate? And if you haven’t read it, would you…judging by cover or blurb?

Rika Ashton

(aka Shallow Cover Lover)

 


Book Twins…Separated at Birth!

I was looking through the covers for some of the digital review copies being offered by publishers and I came across two that were eerily similar…fraternal book twins, shall we say!

The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.

A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?

The cover for The Arrow by Monica McCarty – part of the awesome Highland Guard historical romance series by the way – looks very much like the cover for Knight Avenged by Coreene Callahan – part of the Circle of Seven series that I have been dying to start!

Alone in a world on the brink of war…two unlikely allies will discover a love greater than time.

Exiled from her home, powerful oracle Cosmina Cordei holds the key to uniting those protecting mankind from evil. But just as she makes her way into the holy city to perform an ancient rite, the enemy closes in for the kill.

Drawn by a destiny he won’t accept…elite assassin, Henrik Lazar, detests the mystical curse handed down by his mother. But when the sorcery in his blood is activated and past pain comes back to haunt him, his new abilities come into play and he must learn to control them.

Rescued by Henrik in the heat of battle, Cosmina must decide whether to trust the assassin who loathes the goddess she serves or face certain death on her own. Forced into an untenable position, Henrik is left with a terrible choice—protect the magical Order he despises, or deny destiny and lose the woman he loves forever.

Of course, both covers could have been inspired by the Arrow (television show starring Stephen Amell) and who could blame the cover artists for the illustrative shout-out! I sure don’t! 😉

Spy any other “separated at birth” covers recently?

Rika Ashton

(aka The Cover Seeker)


Weekend Wrap Up 1.0

It’s been a HECTIC weekend at the Ashton residence! Hospital visits, end of the year exam panics, and work dramas were just some of the highlights – although I’d have to say that hospital panic was probably the biggest, most unpleasant surprise.

Middle Bro had an appendectomy on Thursday and had an overnight stay. Of course, the crazy fool – I can say that now because it’s been two days and he’s better – actually liked the hospital food and got mildly high on the oxy. (Okay, I kid – and he probably needed the pain killers after the surgery…probably.) Plus, the other crazy fool – this one being my sister (aka Sole Sista – sole because she’s the only one I’ve got) – also likes hospital food so middle bro and her had a roarin’ time.

All this, of course, happened the day after me and Little Bro ditched Middle Bro to go and watch X-Men: Days of the Future Past. But while I was adequately guilt ridden over the whole thing and the soundtrack to Adventure Club’s “Wonder” (feat. The Kite String Tangle) kept playing in my head, Little Bro’s conscience is apparently missing because maintained his normal levels of jerkosity. (Of course, he and Middle Bro could have some dude’s understanding that their sisters are not privy to.)

Then, of course, there are the end of the year exam panics and both Middle Bro and Little Bro are doomed to failure unless I, with my never ending fount of wisdom, aid them in there time of need. (Yeah, basically I’ve been conscripted by my mother to make sure they pass and don’t disgrace the family name – but, since there are limits to the miracles I can perform, I’ll just try and help them pass.)

Of course, exam drama at home means exam drama at work because I am both a teacher and tutor, so all my panicked students are lining up at the gates hoping for a last minute miracle.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Then, again, with the BC Teacher’s Strike going on it might.

But with all that went on last week, my writing schedule was also kicked a week over…le sigh…but it’s back to the grind Tuesday night. I’m hoping to post some teasers from Dagger of the Sun soon. There’s been little progress on the page yet, since both Chaos and I are squabbling over the format, colour, and aesthetics.

On the other hand, I have been making some headway into all the ARCs I’ve been given, so more reviews are definitely on the way.

I hope your weekend was more relaxing than mine!

Rika Ashton

(aka The Frazzled)


Amazon v Hachette: Don’t Believe The Spin

Know the Hachette and Amazon drama that’s been on everyone’s mind, blog, site, tv, dusty car door? Well, here’s another take on the showdown.

For another spin, I previously reblogged an article by Jay Kristoff.

Both writers make excellent points and the articles are definitely worth a read.

Rika Ashton

(aka Keeping It Critical)

David Gaughran

amazonhachetteThe internet is seething over Amazon’s reported hardball tactics in negotiations with Hachette.

Newspapers and blogs are filled with heated opinion pieces, decrying Amazon’s domination of the book business.

Actual facts are thinner on the ground, however, and if history is any guide, we haven’t heard the full story. Here’s how it started.

In a historical quirk of the trade, publishers and booksellers negotiate co-op deals at the same time as the general agreement to carry titles. (For those who don’t know, co-op is the industry term for preferred in-store placement, such as face-out instead of spine-out, position on end-caps, front tables, window displays, and so on.)

At publishers’ insistence, the same practice has continued in the online and e-book world, namely that negotiations regarding virtual co-op (e.g. high visibility spots on retailer sites) take place at the same time as discussions over general terms and publisher-retailer discounts.

There is a lot…

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Amazon, Hachette, and Flaming Bullshit

I had to reblog this because the battle between Amazon and Hachette is still ongoing with no end date in sight. Plus, this article outlines why we, the readers and writers, should CARE!

Rika Ashton

(aka Just One Take on the Drama)

Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant

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Beautiful people, a moment of your time, if you will.

I won’t bang on at length about this (there are many who will), but there’s some important stuff you should be made aware of.

If you are a book lover, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

If you are a reader, THIS SHIT AFFECTS YOU.

I presume you’re one of these, because you’re on my blog. So please take 5 minutes of your day, and read on.

In short:

* There is a big French publisher called Hachette. They publish many amazing authors (not me, har har, ego joke) and many incredible books. If you look at your shelves, you’ll find books from Hachette or its imprints.

* Amazon.com is currently engaged in “business negotiations” with Hachette, and is seeking “more favourable terms” in their new contract. In short, Amazon want Hachette to lower their prices, so…

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