Years and years ago, actually decades ago, I was a stay-at-home mom for a bit, with my then youngest child who would not fall asleep at nap time. Over time, I realized that while he wouldn’t sleep, he would sit in his crib for a bit each afternoon, listening to Yanni at the Acropolis, looking at story books, and I could sit and write. And write I did. I wrote and wrote and wrote over many months. By then, my youngest was talking, and he somehow understood that Mommy was writing a book, and he kept nagging me to keep going. And I did.
And so, after a long journey we arrive at the final category of this year's Grunter Awards - Young Adult. Now, deciding what is and isn't a Young Adult novel can be a tricky old business. In this case I've used two criteria to decide what fits in this category. Firstly, if an author calls it a Young Adult novel, then I'm pretty much inclined to believe him/her and I will place it in this category. Secondly, if I'm reading the book and it seems to be pitched toward Young Adults, then I'll slot it in here as well.
Anyway... that's the rationale, so here we go with the Young Adult Category.
The year is 2118. The First Journey from Earth into interstellar space has been successful, but the explosive secret carried aboard Voyager 1 will have grave consequences.
Yay! Well, I'm back from an incredibly peaceful week in the sleepy, rural, village of Rizal, Occidental Mindoro, The Philippines and it is time to wrap up these wonderful 2017 iteration of the Grunter Awards for excellence in Indie Authors.
This category is one that I am genuinely in awe of the authors who write in this genre. As a kid, I grew up loving and reading Robert A Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. Since then have always been fascinated by people who have the vision to see the future and more importantly to put it down on paper.
I've read some super Sci/Fi this year, so without further ado here are the nominations for this year's Science Fiction Grunter.
I’m delighted to announce my two sci-fi novellas, The Forgetful Man and Second-In-Command are available now, having launched in November and December respectively.
The stories are dark, with gruesome happenings throughout. They are from the sci-fi genre and in an urban setting, based in modern times in the fictional city of New Hampton. To give you an idea of the type of city you’re dealing with reviewers have referred to the city as reminding them of Gotham City or Sin City
The mystery theme plays a big part in both novellas and in my overall series.
These novellas delve into the background of a few characters and add a little more information to the overall world itself.
Now, to the good stuff…
And so we come to another one of the big categories in this year's Grunter Awards for Excellence in Indie Publishing - Romance/Adventure. Almost every book has a romantic interest, but here, in this category I've tried to refine the choices to those books that principally promote romance as the main theme of the story. Naturally, therefore, you'll probably find some Chick-Lit in here, but since I've become a big fan of quality Chick-Lit, I make no apologies for that. So, who made it this year and why? Let's find out, shall we?
Today, we meet author B.L. Blair and her latest novella in her series: The Lost McCaw
The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the Lost and Found Pets series. Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.
A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.
When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw.
Today we enter the serious world of memoirs and "how-to" books. I've read a fair selection of them this year and some memoirs touched me deeply, while some "how to" books gave me great ideas and inspiration. Certainly, from my perspective, as a writer, I can understand how hard writing "How to" books can be. At what level of understanding do you pitch it? It can be very easy to overestimate your reader's understanding of the subject. Kudos to those who write in this category. Similarly, memoirs, especially the painful ones, although cathartic for the author, must also be very trying - reliving that pain as you put it on paper. An excellent category and some great nominees, so let's get into it.
Today. we come to another of the big categories - Mystery/Mayhem. This category covers a wide variety of sin, but suffice it to say if the intent of your book is principally to outline and solve a mystery, or it involves a heap of violence, maiming and/or killing, there's a fairly good chance it ended up in this category. There have been some wonderful books I've read this year in this category, but here are the three that had the biggest impression on me.
As a reader and especially as a professional reviewer, I am required to read all sorts of genres and that's a good thing, for me especially. The downside of that, though, is I do end up reading some pretty hard-hitting, violent and often depressing stories, especially some of the memoirs. It is lovely to occasionally come across a book that has no pretensions other than to be funny.
Writing humour is very difficult and I am in awe of the three nominees in this category. I only wish I had half their wit (although that could make me a half-wit, of course).
Anyway, it is with great pleasure I present the nominees for this year's Grunter Awards in the Humour Category.
Today we arrive at Historical Fiction, my favourite category, for two reasons; firstly, as a reader it is my favourite go-to genre. I adore well-written, accurate, historical fiction. I remember my daughter asking me one day, "how come you know so much, about so many things?" My answer was simple - "I read a lot, but also, I read a lot of historical fiction, so I know something about pretty much all periods of history." The second reason I love historical fiction is because it is always such a tightly contested category, with some superb authors vying for the Grunter Award. I'm pleased to say, this year is no exception.
Okay, so now it is time to dip our toes into the "dark side" and take a look at the best erotica books I've read this past year. I know some authors look down their noses at erotica writers, but the reality, for me anyway, is that good writing is good writing, whatever the genre and one thing is for sure - there are only so many ways any writer can describe an orgasm and still maintain some freshness and interest in the story. In that respect, a fine erotica writer will stand out from the morass. That's what I hope I'm highlighting here, some very fine erotica authors. The other thing, of course to consider, if there wasn't a market for erotica - people wouldn't write erotic novels. There is - and they do, so on with the show.
Until the last few years, fantasy was not a genre I generally would read. Science Fiction, certainly, but fantasy, not so much. I'm glad I've dipped my toes in the water and tried the genre. There is so much scope for writers' imaginations and I am frequently blown away by the sheer brilliance of some of the stories I have read.
This year was no exception and trying to even choose the top three books to nominate in this category, was an absolute nightmare. There are some fantastic books that have missed out, but at the end of the day, that's what I'm here to do - to choose the three fantasy novels that have touched me the most this year, so without further ado, here are my nominations for Excellence in Indie Publishing for 2017, for the Fantasy category:
Today's category in the third annual Grunter Awards is none other than Dystopian Fiction.
DYSTOPIAN? What on earth is that? Well, I have to admit up until a couple of years ago, I had no idea myself, but now (due to all my reading, of course) I am a much more learned fellow. Dystopian Fiction - what is it? When in doubt about these things, one must always go to the ORACLE - The great Wikipedia, of course. So, here is Wikipedia's description of Dystopian Fiction:
"Dystopian fiction (sometimes referred to as apocalyptic literature) is the creation of an utterly horrible or degraded futuristic society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion, or dystopia. They are often metaphors for the different directions humanity can take in its choices."
NOW YOU KNOW - IT'S ON WITH SHOW!
Today, I'm thrilled to bring you an article from Simon Lindley titled, World-Building 101.
Simon's new book, Mannethorn's Key, the first in the Key of Life Trilogy will be available on January 5th.
You can pre-order Mannethorn's Key, here on Amazon:
Today, I'm looking to help out a colleague who wants to tell you all about her new release, which is available now for pre-order.
SILENT SONG by JACI WHEELER
Today's nominations come from the genre we call "Contemporary Literature". Now, what is contemporary literature? I hear some of you asking. Well, frankly, your guess is as good as mine. For me, as a reader and more specifically as a reviewer, contemporary literature is any book that doesn't fit into the other categories I designed when I started reviewing. I'm sure there is a much more technical definition of contemporary literature somewhere, but to be honest, I don't care. I love reading good books and all the books in this category were exceptionally good and it will be damn hard to choose a winner, but that's what we're here for, and a winner must be chosen. It's a difficult job, but someone has to do it - so, on with the show.
And......welcome back to this year's third annual GRUNTER AWARDS for excellence in indie publishing. Remember, again, these awards are only my opinion and only cover books I have physically read over the last 365 days - some 145 books in total.
Today, we will be honouring those authors who try to please the fickle, little minds of children. I am in awe of children's books and they are so very important. A child who learns to read early has the entire world opened up to them and their imaginations and thought processes are stimulated greatly by the written word. Reading as a habit that is started early, will last a lifetime and, as authors, we all have a vested interest in children learning to read and acquiring that lifetime habit.
So, without further ado, let's move onto the nominees for Children's book of the year.
Well, it's finally here - my favourite month of the year: December. Yes, it's coming up to Christmas and that's reason enough to be excited, for sure, but it is also the time of year when I review the many magnificent books, almost exclusively from indie authors, I have been privileged enough to read over the past 365 days.
From this review, I make my totally SUBJECTIVE decision as to which books rank where, in the great scheme of things - culminating in the announcement in a week or so of THE SUPREME GRUNTER AWARD FOR 2017.
Yes, I love it - and not because it gives me any great power, because after all this is just my humble (yeah right!) opinion. But, as someone who is a voracious reader, I like to think it does a tiny little bit to promote the amazing indie talent we have out there.
This year, I managed to read 145 books, as opposed to 142 the previous year. I'm confident, with a bit of dedication and effort, I can make 150 next year, which would be a milestone for me.
Anyway, enough of my mindless rambling, it's time for this year's first award in The 2017 Grunters. The Category is ANTHOLOGIES/COLLECTIONS