IY: eBook Review: Reboot, Pippa Jay


Reboot Cover Art

Credit: Pippa Jay

Author: Pippa Jay
Title: Reboot
Genre: Sci-Fi
ASIN: B00JD0M8DA
Length: ’26 pages’

‘”Welcome to immortality in utopia!”
From the moment Damien signed up for a perfect life with ReGen Inc., he didn’t ask any questions. He didn’t want or need to know. But after he’s rebooted this time, there are gaps in his memory he can’t ignore, and people he no longer recognizes are accusing him of betrayal. When someone dies, he’s determined to go looking for answers…but sometimes it really is better to forget.

A cyberpunk short story.


It’s been ages since I wrote a book review. I thought I’d ease myself back in with some shorts. And boy did I pick a good’un!

Cover:

five starsAwesome. Beautifully composed and very telling of what to expect (but only after having read the book – which I think is a great feature). It’s got a great ‘sci-fi’ feel without being in your face and even though I lean away from faces/people on book covers this one didn’t distract my reading of the piece.

Story:

five starsTricky to do this without giving too much away but Damien signed up for a new, immortal life with ReGen Inc and gets ‘rebooted’ if he irreparably damages his body. It’s a process he’s gone through many times before, except this time he can’t remember the events leading up to his current reboot.

I love this idea and as I was reading I could see it on screen. This story belongs in a cinema, played out with a racing score, brilliant effects and talented actors.

Characters:

four starsLike any good story the cast is minimal and integral to the fast paced plot. There wasn’t a single wasted character here and I appreciate that. Damien’s character is beautifully written with just the right blend of confusion and irritation laced through to pull us nicely through the plot. At no point did I find his musings over done or expositional, they just were.

Overall experience:

four starsI read this story while The Sprogs were in the bath and I managed it because I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Yes, it’s a short story, but it was such a pacey and exciting short story that I didn’t need to put the Kindle down as I have in the past with other shorts.
It made for a great pit-stop reading experience, which I’ve found to be something Pippa is particularly good at.

Final score:

4.5 starsAverage across all scores 4.5 which is a clean 4.5 stars.
This is the third short I’ve read by Pippa and though I’m reviewing them out of sequence, I just want to say that I’m THOROUGHLY enjoying going through her work. This short is an excellent example of pulling a reader along for the ride, letting them learn as the characters do in a way that doesn’t feel at all like you’ve been cheated. The ending of this piece is particularly jaw-dropping and rounded off a great sci-fi-mystery in a totally satisfying manner.
new ileandra signature,

 

 

Posted in Books, Ileandra's Posts, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RS: I Haz Planz 30/07/15


*sigh*

Anyway . . . another week down and we’re right on the cusp of a new month. How does it look?

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Work out how to put up Goodreads author interview . . . and do so!
Not an interview so much as questions that pop up for authors to answer. I’ve done that, but I don’t want to spend too long answering automatic questions, so I’ve not done any more. If you guys have something you want to ask about, feel free to write up a question for me here.

~Send x2 review requests for ‘Sugar Dust’ and/or ‘The Full Story’
Two more requests sent. I’ve had further confirmation this week (thanks Nick!) that reviews are really very important. I need to find a way to encourage people to write more. Not sure how yet . . . but I will.

~Locate (and put in a safe place) all the feedback for ‘Slippers & Chains: Second Base’
Done. In fact, I’d all ready done it. Or there was nothing more to add since the last time I totted up the comments. Regardless, it’s done and I’m ready to go at the novel with fresh eyes. Just let me at it!

 Activities For This Week

  1. Release the ‘Sugar Dust’ paperback (squeeeeee!)
  2. Send x2 review requests for ‘Sugar Dust’ and/or ‘The Full Story’

Thoughts…

Really don’t have much to do for now. I could cheat and put some of August’s goals in here, but I think Ileandra will appreciate what is, essentially, an additional week to clean up ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ to beta standard.

Then, and only then, will it be really my turn. ^_^

Oh, and:

Raven posing with paperback copy of Sugar Dust

Nearly ready!

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts, Slippers & Chains | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

RS: Tropes In Erotica – The Crass/Foul-Mouthed (Sex Addict) Best Friend


Cover art for Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust

Available Now

*sigh* This is another trope I’m guilty of. What can I say, I actually quite like it. ^_^

Those of you who aren’t familiar with ‘Sugar Dust‘ won’t know about Cindy . . . I’m going to tell you about her.

She’s Karen’s best friend and flat mate. She’s a firm, out and proud lesbian, described as short, skinny, covered in tattoos with ice-white hair, shaved into a shoulder length strip down her head. She’s also the most foul-mouthed character I’ve written (and published) to date.

Here’s a tiny snippet, not from ‘Sugar Dust’, but from the second in the series, ‘Second Base’ which is currently with beta readers.

Cindy slapped her thigh. “Oh my fucking god, you’re going to be so high.”

“This isn’t funny!”

“It is. You get so horny when you’re high, it’s amazing. Why do you think I keep offering to cook?”

Dan inched away from the two women. He saw the storm brewing and preferred to be out of range.

“You cook because it’s your turn.”

“I cook because I get to spice up the food.” She winked.

“You spike my food?” Sam’s voice rose several octaves.

Cindy closed the small space between them and tucked a wisp of straight brown hair behind Sam’s ear. “You are so fucking hot when you’re pissed at me. That’s the other reason. I love it when you go all ‘copper’ on me.” Still smiling, Cindy shoved her girlfriend against the sideboard. “We’re gonna have so much fun tonight. You’ll be high, I’ll be drunk and we’ll fuck like bunnies until we’re too sore to move.”

This is tame, for her, but I don’t want to give away her best lines. ;-)

Cindy likes sex. A lot. Like other ‘best friends’ in this trope, she makes no secret of the fact and is active and vocal in her encouragement of the lead (in this case, Karen) to ‘go out and get some.’ These characters can often (but not always) be gay too. Dunno why . . . they just are. *shrugs* Cindy is gay for the simple fact that my personal life is so full of LGBTQ folk that it feels unnatural not to include the same in my writing.

I’ve seen this character a dozen times over and though it’s usually a woman it can be a man too. What I love most about this trope, however, is that if done well, this character can tell you tonnes about your main character, just through their interactions. If readers enjoy them there is a risk that requests will come through to give this character their own story (yes . . . there will be Cindy shorts coming up one day) but given that these characters tend to write themselves, it’s a simple thing to do.

So long as they are real and three-dimensional. No one wants to read a 15,000 word sex joke, right?

 Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Raven's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IY: Mah Plans 27/07/15


What a day. -_- I feel a bit raw. On the bright side I’ve got a lot done this week and I’m pleased with the results. Wanna see?

Actions Last Week

~Complete editing on another chapter of the remaining secondary timeline

. . . nuff said.

checking off feedback~Read through first chunk of ‘Dead or Alive’ in full in preparation for deep edits
Not only have I read through my notes from feedback sessions with PWG but I’m two thirds of the way through deep edits. Last night I pretty much just thought ‘Fuck it . . . let’s just do this shizz.’ And away I went!
Feels pretty good to know this first part will be ready to go soon. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about exactly how I want to release these stories. I’ll chat about that in my monthly round up next week. ;-)

~Make two review requests (in person/via email/via blogs/via strangers) for ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’
Yep, two made and as well as that I had a promo post plus a review from the extremely kind, Rachel Lawrence. Find the promo here and the review here. Heh, that put a smile on my face today when nothing else seemed to. ;-)

Activities For This Week

Wheeelp . . . if I plan to meet the goals for July I need to get a bit of a wiggle on. The big stuff is done, but now it’s the nitty-gritty.

  • Complete deep edits on ‘Dead or Alive’ and leave to rest
  • Transfer ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ to Kindle in preparation for full read through
  • Finalise cover art for first instalment of ‘Dead or Alive.’

Thoughts…

generic calendar with mountains from OpenClipArt‘Dead or Alive’ is a fun project. I’ve never done anything like this before. I will give you all the details next month, but for now, know this: I’m working on the cover. And I’m asking for your help. If you’ve not seen this video yet, please take a moment to look at the mock ups I’ve created for different parts of the ‘Dead or Alive’ serial.

I need to know what covers/images/tones/fonts/atmospheres you like best. Not knowing anything about the book – as is often the case when you browse – which of these covers would you pick up for a closer look? Which of these designs would draw you in to read the back blurb? Which of them speaks to you of a genre you may enjoy reading?

Any and all comments eagerly welcomed and very much appreciated!

Yeeeeah, that’s pretty much it. Catch you next week lovelies. ^_^

new ileandra signature,

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Ileandra's Posts, Saar's Legacy, Walking The Razor's Edge | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

IY: Fantasy Creatures – Unicorns – ‘The Pedlar’s Bag’


So . . . about that flash I promised you? Once more I failed in that regard. Not even like last month with the 700 ish zombie story, but more. I started writing something I’ve tentatively named ‘The Pedlar’s Bag’ based on a prompt I got from the PWG. It isn’t finished, not by a long shot, but I deliberately twisted the prompt (which was ‘the wrong suitcase’) to fit what I wanted to do. And to include unicorns.

It’s rough and pre-edits, but I don’t want to promise you something and fail to deliver it. Here is the first section of that story and, when I get around to it, the rest will follow.

Mamma’s going to die.

The thought filled Saila with dread. The fact that she knew the terrible event was coming did nothing to ease the ache in her heart. She sat by the bed, smoothing sweat-damp hair from her mother’s clammy cheeks. One hand fisted in the blankets, twisting the dirty wool into tight curls.

“Would you like some water?”

Iliah shook her head. Coughed. “No, dear heart. But I would like some sleep.”

“Of course.” Saila at once plumped up the bank of pillows supporting her mother’s head. After wiping her damp forehead with a cool cloth she stepped back from the bed and drew the ratty curtains over the narrow window. “I’ll be back in an hour.”

“Don’t rush yourself. Rest. You must be exhausted.”

Saila’s lids dragged downwards and each breath she exhaled seemed to come with a yawn, but she smiled and shook her head. “I’m fine. I’ll prepare dinner instead.” She fled the room before the tears could fall, rushing from the small house and into the yard where chickens scratched at the dusty earth alongside Misty and Shadow.

Instead of their usual gleeful barks, sombre silence greeted Saila as she stepped towards them. They pushed their damp noses in her palms and licked her face when she bent to kiss each on the end of their delicate snouts. “Come.” She patted her legs and the dogs followed.

Beyond the land belonging to the house fields of deep green grass stretched away in every direction. Grazing the land with delicate nips of their sharp teeth, two horses shared the field with four sheep, a cow and a mule with a crooked left ear.

Saila ignored them all aiming instead for the tall oak tree in the centre of the field. Taller than the house she shared with her mother, the tree had branches protruding from the trunk in almost radial spokes. The patterned continued right to the top and make the tree both pleasurably scalable in Iliah’s youth. When she reached it and stroked the bark, her fingers picked out the scratches put there five years ago.

She couldn’t read, but she trusted Jamie when he told her that he’d put her name there alongside his. The heart she recognised, a five pronged shape surrounding the other indents she assumed made their names.

Shadow immediately started digging at the root of the tree, as though sensing her ultimate goal. She let him and even stepped aside to let Misty joined him, ducking to avoid the clods of dirt thrown up by their paws. After a minute the dogs lowered their hands and pulled at the hessian sack buried within, drawing it free with a shake.

“Thanks,” she whispered.

Both dogs whined.

“I know. But if it can help Mamma . . .”

Saila opened the sack and shook the leatherbound book onto the grass. As ever the sight of a real book fascinated her. Too poor to afford any of her own, and unable to read them anyway, she regarded the portable homes of the written word items of magic and wonder. She touched it, tracing the pattern etched on to the front; a horse, midstride with a fluttering mane and a single horn protruding from its forehead.

Just like she had every day for the past week, she pulled the book into her lap and leafed through the pages. Blank. Every single one. And, like every day for the past week, she mulled on what it meant.

Everybody knew that unicorns were magical creatures. Appearing only in times of direst need, to those most deserving. It made no sense then, that this book, with its blank, creamy pages, once belonged to an old peddar selling iron pots and pans in the market.

Shadow growled at the book.

Saila clutched it tighter to her chest. “I didn’t mean to. It was a mistake. His bag looked just like mine.”

Reproach shimmered in the canine’s eyes. Perhaps he didn’t believe her either.

No matter how often she told herself it was a mistake, there had been plenty of time to return the book. The man lingered in the village for four days before leaving, mending cook-ware, telling stories and drinking himself into a stinking stupor in the local tavern.

Saila knew full well that she should have returned the bag the moment she realised the mistake. At the very least her mother needed the sweet herbs and pulses purchased with their last few copper pieces.

And that’s what I have so far! It has potential, even if it starts in the wrong place and takes a bit too long to get going. But isn’t that always the way with a new project? You ‘write yourself into it’.

So this is my opening, later at some point, I’ll post the rest. Then I’ll clean it up and decide what to do with it.

new ileandra signature,

Posted in FUN!, Ileandra's Posts, Other Writings | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RS: eBook Review – *Terms And Conditions Apply, Pippa Jay


*Terms & Conditions Apply cover art

Credit: Pippa Jay

Author: Pippa Jay
Title: *Terms and Conditions Apply
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
ASIN: B00AA0V798
Length: ’36 pages’

“Welcome to Venus Ascendant, a Public Grade space station in the Andromedan Sector. With our open-to-all policy, any being in the universe can find their perfect R & R, romantic getaway or dangerous liaison at our purpose built resort. The on-board empathic AI Ganesa ensures that anyone coming to Venus Ascendant will find their heart’s desire, with suites that transform from luxurious boudoirs to sunset-lit beaches to dark BDSM dungeons. So come to Venus Ascendant and find exactly what you’re looking for!”

It was meant to be a romantic getaway for Marie and the love of her life Jaisen; a chance for him to get to know her better after months of her denying him more than a few stolen kisses. Instead, Marie finds herself dumped and alone on Venus Ascendant with no credit for a transmat and the next starship home not due for another hour.

But the all-seeing AI isn’t going to leave anyone aboard the space station with their dreams unfulfilled. Marie’s boyfriend might not have made it to the station, but there are others willing and able to take on the role – even if they aren’t entirely human.

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

Cover:

Not sure what it is about this one, but I don’t like it as much as some of Pippa’s other covers. Maybe because the faces are such huge features . . . I’m not sure. Regardless, something about this one gave me pause. Not that it stopped me picking up the book though. ;-)

Story:

Dumped by her boyfriend as she reaches the holiday destination set out for the pair of them, Marie has some time to kill before she can go back home. Cue a stunning AI, tasked with ensuring that any and all visitors to Venus Ascendant are happy and fulfilled.

Another great idea.Simple by well played out and touching in all sorts of cute (but-totally-non-twee) ways.

Characters:

Marie: The dumped girlfriend. I think this is the first time I’ve felt immediate sympathy for the ‘dumped girl’ trope. Marie had a few moments of self pity before firing right up and getting the hell on with it. I know this is a short story, so she’s pressed for time, but this is the sort of character I like and I’m pleased to see it executed so well.
Soren: Adorable in a sad and kinda ‘I just wanna-hug-him’ sort of way. Guess I’m more of a softy than I though because as his past was revealed (slowly and non-info-dumpy) I grew to like him more and more. And to feel that he kinda deserved something good to happen to him.

Eroticism:

Not erotic so much as sensual. It fit the tone of the book incredibly well and I think it was the better choice for these two characters. Something in the style of Harper Miller or KC Falls would have been too much for these two. Especially given the length of the story too.

Overall experience:

A (very) good read. The end was a little abrupt for me – can’t talk too much about it without giving things away – but the story rounded up nicely, which is a great feature for a short story. Not dangling questions and a very satisfying end of completeness. Also the book is formatted nicely and written in such a way as to gently pull me along without feeling like I’m getting dragged.

Final score:

Average across all scores is 4.2, which rounds out to 4 fireballs.

A sweet little story, actually very different from the things I usually read. It reveals in me a desire for HEA or HFN stories that I used to think weren’t for me. There’s something slightly bitter sweet about this one, but I did enjoy and would gladly recommend it.

At the very least because the piece is a great piece of romance blended with believable sci-fi, but also because . . . hey, it’s a good read!Raven's Signature In Black

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Raven's Posts, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

RS: I Haz Planz 23/07/15


Can I take a second to show you this? I’m slightly, recently obsessed with the dude and this video is largely the reason why:

There. I said it: I ADORE ED SHEERAN!!!

. . . bite me. The dude is AWESOME!

Okay . . . now that’s out of my system.

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Complete fresh back and front data for ‘Malcolm’ and, if necessary for ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story’
Yup. We’re all up to date now. Just waiting for Smashwords to work through the manual checks for the premium catalogue and for Amazon to put the files through their own checks. Then I’m all back on line and ready for sales. I hope. Heh.

~Work out how to put up Smashwords author interview . . . and do so!
Done. I have an interviiiiiiew! ^_^ Wanna see? Here ya go.

~Send x1 review request for ‘Sugar Dust’ and/or ‘The Full Story’
Done. In fact, I did two! One kinda doesn’t count, as it was a quick snippet of a question over Twitter, but the other was a full request done in the usual manner. All we can do now is see what happens, eh? ^_^

 Activities For This Week

  1. Work out how to put up Goodreads author interview . . . and do so!
  2. Send x2 review requests for ‘Sugar Dust’ and/or ‘The Full Story’
  3. Locate (and put in a safe place) all the feedback for ‘Slippers & Chains: Second Base’

Thoughts…

Most of this month’s jobs are done. All being well with Ileandra I should be back in control of DSB in August (maybe . . . ?). With that in mind, I want to be ready for the neatening work on ‘Second Base’.

Aaaah, bring it!

Oh, and:

Raven's Signature In Black

Posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment