30 August 2010


Tempest Rising (Jane True #1)
Author: Nicole Peeler
UK Publisher: Orbit
UK Publication date: 2010
Genre: Paranormal, fantasy, romance

Summary (from Goodreads): Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.
It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever rub the genie's lamp.

Review: When I first came across this book, it was undoubtedly the cover that caught my eye - it looks so cool. (I'm bad I know.) Whilst the cover suggests a cutesy/goth YA book, the content is a whole lot more sexual and explicit. Which would explain why the book has its own warning on the back.

Jane True is twenty-something, living in a small coastal town with her ailing father. She has the tortured background that seems to be a common feature of YA novels: her mother disappeared when she was a child, she looks after her father, and she is ostracised by the community because of a tragic event that blighted her past.

After finding a body in the sea, Jane becomes embroiled in a supernatural world she never knew she existed. The plot follows Jane as she learns about the gnomes, nahuals and succubi living around her and discovers she herself is a halfling, since her mother was a selkie in the form of a seal. With her new love interest, vampire Ryu, they investigate why so many halfings are being killed off. There is plenty of action especially in the second half of the book, although as a whole it is well paced and fast moving. The first half of the book sets up a lot of the context and world building, which may have dragged a little in this book, but will set the scene for the rest of the series.

Jane's character and her inner dialogue, often her libido, is sassy, funny and realistic, voicing thoughts we all have but wouldn't necessarily share. There are a number of pop culture and literary references which might slow the reading if the audience doesn't get the reference, but I admittedly just skipped over them (yes, again, I'm bad).

The relationship between Jane and Ryu is very steamy and sexual; not that I mind a bit of sex. There is a limit on how much is necessary and realistic - personally I can't imagine many people would be in the mood after fighting in a big battle and getting choked to near death. The relationship itself lacks chemistry and substance, which may be down to the fact that we know little about Ryu, other than he is a vampire and investigator, and therefore have little investment in him as a character. Building on his character would definitely have helped carry the story and their 'hot-for-it' bond.

Anyan, a barghest/dog, keeps popping on along the way to watch over Jane and help out in desperate times. He's one you certainly want to find out more about.

Despite its minor flaws I enjoyed reading the Tempest Rising and imagining the world that Peeler sets up. Its not the kind of book I would necessarily want to re-read, but I would buy the second book, Tracking the Tempest, to see what happens next in Jane True's world (and hope that perhaps there is a little more to Ryu than meets the eye).

If you enjoy UF with a big dollop of sex on the side, then I would add this to your list next time you go to the bookstore.

Rating: 4*

22 August 2010


I shamefully have to admit that, yes, I do decide what to read next by looking at the book's cover. I'm a sucker for a cool cover image. Like this one for Nicole Peeler's book...

So, on a different note, I've kinda got distracted from my original novel. I've now started 2 other short stories. I can't tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I know I need to focus on getting one thing finished, but my mind wanders and I do get bored easily. I think its helping developing my own writing and style, but I don't want to end up with a tonne of unfinished stories and nothing to show for it.

Just how do writers keep focused on one thing...!?

21 August 2010


Just got some new books...Trudi Canavan's 'Princess of the White' and Lemony Snicket's 'The Bad Beginning". I loved reading Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy, and I'm hope this series will be equally as good. As I loved watching the film 'A series of unfortunate events', and generally books are better than the film version, I thought it might be inspiring for my own writing.

I've got to a bit of a sticking point with my novel. I've got to about 4,800 words so far...but I'm thinking too much about it all. I just need to write and see what comes out. Maybe some reading will give me the break I need.

18 August 2010


Having finally decided to write my first novel, last night I went to my first Authors talk organised by Lisa at the 'London Writers' Cafe'. Being completely new to the world of writing and publishing, it was really interesting to hear from three very different authors who have each had very different experiences of getting published. Crime writer, Leigh Russell, talk passionately of how she submitted her work direct to a publishing house and within weeks was contacted for a meeting with them. Sue Moorcroft was very honest about the hard work needed to make a living from publishing short stories and novels. And finally, Karen Mahoney explained how she approached American agents to publish her urban fantasy, Iron Witch, which I can't wait to read! Fiction Editor at Blue Door Books, Laura Deacon, gave her perspective on reading manuscripts and taking on new authors. She is obviously very passionate about books, reading and new writers - I just hope that every publisher is the same!

So as a start to my writing, here is a short poem. I hope you like. let me know what you think...