What happens to a world where things are valued more than people? In the midst of songs and stories about jolly old Santa comes a tale of foreboding and darkness that speaks to a materialistic and selfish world.
The story immerses the reader in an environment where “naughty” far outweighs “nice”, and where the consequences affect all of humanity. Yet still, even in the depravity and darkness, a small flicker of hope survives— perhaps just for one more night.
‘Merry Apocalypse’ is a well-crafted short story with a powerful message. We may not be experiencing the apocalypse, but its warning is relevant and timely.
‘Merry Apocalypse’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.
This is a complex and powerful story of love and hatred, desire and repulsion, truth and deceit that are inextricably interwoven.
In a world of enmity, fear and suspicion, not every Dungari is the enemy.
This is a complex and powerful story of love and hatred, desire and repulsion, truth and deceit that are inextricably interwoven. As layers of deception are uncovered and characters learn truths about themselves and others, the reader is steadily drawn deeper into the story.
Action, danger, and desire combine to deliver a story that is thrilling in every sense of the word.
While this is a cleverly crafted dystopian/post-apocalyptic story, it also carries an important message against bullying, exploitation and abuse that is most appropriate to the world we live in today. As ‘Dungari Rise’ contains erotica and some quite graphic violence, it is suitable for adult audiences only.
It’s a pleasure to give this great read a Gold Acorn.
Welcome to another interview in the “Nuts About Authors” series. Today we welcome Claire Buss, Indie author extraordinaire and a generally very nice person!
Welcome to another interview in the “Nuts About Authors” series. Today we welcome Claire Buss, Indie author extraordinaire and a generally very nice person! Welcome, Claire!
Thanks, Book Squirrel!
What inspired you to write?
I am inspired by all kinds of things – the different people I meet, books I read, random ideas I have at 4am in the morning. What I find difficult is carving out the time to actually write so most of my ideas get jotted onto scraps of paper which are carefully saved in a box for later perusal. Oftentimes it will be the character voice in my head that shouts the loudest! I do prefer to immerse myself in one project at a time.
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m about to have a baby! But until very recently, I have been in the final stages of getting my latest book, The Rose Thief, ready for publication. I’ve worked through all my beta reader feedback and I’ve done the scariest part – the final read through before setting up for ebook and paperback. I am really excited about this book, it was so much fun to write. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses and it’s up to Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher and his team to find out who the thief is and stop them before love is lost forever in Roshaven. Think Terry Pratchett meets Douglas Adams.
And that’s just been released, right?
Yes! Last week!
It is, rather.
Congratulations! It’s on my TBR pile as we speak.
Oh, thank you! How big is your TBR pile?
What movie can you watch over and over again?
There are a few actually – The Princess Bride, LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies, Constantine and 28 Days (not the Zombie movie!)
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?
It’s a full-time job being an Indie author and that’s not just the writing aspect. You are, for the most part, your own editor, proof-reader and marketer. Most indie authors already have a day job so it’s really about being dedicated to something you love and couldn’t imagine not doing. The marketing side is constant, you have to work on it every day and keep momentum – there’s an awful lot of authors out there but the good news is that people still love reading so all you have to do is get out there and find yours.
Two things in life I wish were easier.
1 – eating cake and not putting on weight
2 – learning how to not feel guilty for either not writing or doing the housework or spending time with my family
I’m with you! Those would be great things to make easier.
*high fives for cake*
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
I’ve had a few 5 star reads so far this year but I think the series that I am enjoying the most is Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. I’m on book four now and they’ve all been brilliant. I love all the subtle – and not so subtle – literary references and admire the huge amount of world-building that must have gone into writing the series.
What’s your favourite season? Why?
Autumn. It’s not too hot like the summer and you can wear a cardi with practically every outfit. There’s that lovely crispness in the mornings and still a few summery days to enjoy, leaves to crunch and lots of apple-based desserts. Springtime can be a bit wet although all that new growth is lovely. Winter can be too dark as well as bone-numbingly cold, at least Autumn is golden.
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?
This is tricky because I haven’t read all the books yet but based on the small amount I have been able to devour I would have to say the top of the pile would be Sir Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series, his sense of humour and great intellect. As cliche as it may sound, I do admire JK Rowling’s persistence with Harry Potter and whilst I am well aware that her kind of success is unlikely to happen for me, it is motivating to know that you should never give up. I think my other literary inspiration is every indie author out there who is giving 100%, writing quality books and supporting others in the indie world.
Indie authors are amazing.
Some of the best books I’ve read have been Indie books!
*another high five*
What’s the best vacation you’ve had?
My best vacation memories are those spent on my grandparents’ farm in Wales. Animals, fresh air, the Welsh coastline, homegrown produce and freshly baked cakes, an open fire and lots of love.
This suspenseful thriller had me hooked right from the start.
This suspenseful thriller had me hooked right from the start.
Immersed immediately in the world of post-apocalyptic London in 2025 and the life of the main character, Corporal Catherine Hyde, the drama unfolds steadily from the first page. From that point, the tension starts to build and the questions begin to gnaw at both the reader and Corporal Hyde.
Hyde’s character is brilliantly developed. She is likeable, strong enough to be a hero and weak enough to be believeable. The reader feels as though they know and understand her, and begins to feel defensive of her when she faces challenges from the situations she faces and from other people. Her flawed humanity contrasts profoundly with her strengths, adding another layer of deep complexity and irony to the story.
There are some incredibly confronting scenes which Denison has crafted to be both compelling and extremely uncomfortable: despite the strong desire to “look away”, the reader has to keep going because the story is just that good.
There is nothing predictable about ‘Only The Few’. The author keeps the reader wondering and guessing right up until the last page. On going back to previous chapters and re-reading sections, it became evident that the author had achieved exceptionally clever delivery of clues that the reader will never realise are clues until they return to those scenes after finishing the book. That is a sign of a gifted writer with a talent for creating and crafting fantastic stories.
The book concludes with a teaser line about a “companion” novel which spurs the curiosity and keeps the wondering and guessing going. I know what I want that companion story to be, but I guess I’m just going to have to wait until it arrives to find out if I’m right.