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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Book Review: Obsidian (Alex Caine #2) By Alan Baxter

This is another great read from Alan Baxter!

Book two picks up the story of Alex Caine and Silhouette not very long after book one. However, Alex is already feeling like a bit of a loose end needed direction. Along comes Armour! International secret society protecting the world from evil magic. I found myself wondering where these people were in book one. An explanation was given, but I found it a bit cliché. That was okay, the start of the first book was also a bit cliché and it turned out great.

A new character is also quickly introduced, Claude Darvill, son of the main villain in book one. His introduction, in hindsight, is also a bit cliché, but I didn’t notice while reading the book.

Also introduced early are a trio of would-be wizards seeking a mysterious magic treasure. As they hunt for the treasure, Alex (with friends) hunts them and Claude hunts Alex. They all come together and Alex’s special gem (stuck in his chest from book one.) triggers a trap that sends them all to Obsidian.

Obsidian is an interesting place and is well created. The rest of the story basically follows Alex, and friends, attempts to find a way out. This involves lots of all round action and drama; Another great roller coaster ride.

One slight disappointment, for me, was that I work out how it was going to end well before the end. This took a little bit of shin off the story, because I found it predicable, but I still enjoyed the read.

One other issue, for me, is the use of foul language. I get that Alex and friends are tough and talk tough. What I don’t get is an immortal creature that has been trapped in a pocket universe for some thousands of years also talking and swearing like someone from a pub in Kings Cross. It just frustrates me.

If you loved book one, you will like book two. However, book three is the best of all, and that will be my next review.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Writing Journal: Getting Back Up

As the end of 2014 comes closer, I look back over my writing journey for the year and see one success, finishing the first draft of 'Loney Susan', my first novel.

Compared to that I see a lot of failures, to many to count. The most recent being my complete failure to keep my commitment to write every day in October. I lasted about a week and a bit. To make the most of it, I tried getting up at 4am to write for an hour before my usual 5am start. I was completely exhausted after just two days and that was it. The one positive was the writing day I had on the long weekend.

I really loved the writing day, it work. I wrote more than 2000 words and really enjoyed it. It got me thinking about how I write best. It is in clearly set aside blocks. I almost always get a good bit of writing done when I do the one hour Writing Race on Facebook on Wednesday night. Sadly, I often have other commitments and can't do it.

Now that I'm picking myself up again from another failure, what to do? Look for regular blocks of time to write. It has to be something concrete, not just I'll write for the next hour. (Although, maybe I should try that.) things like the Writing Race and having a writing day seem to be what works. I just need to find more of them.

On another writing topic, I currently have three stories out there hoping to be accepted. I'm really hoping for two out of three at least.

On more writing, I have two short stories and a novella to finish.

On Lonely Susan, I want to start draft number two.

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