Sometimes an adventure starts with a wardrobe, a board game, or a magical castle – Wolfbaene starts with two boys and two dragons 🐉
William Knight doesn’t belong in Trinity Boys College. He is bullied constantly and is always wondering why he doesn’t fit in. When he is suddenly whisked away from the human world to the medieval village of Chermside by a talking dragon, he is given a deadly task only a true knight can achieve. The task? Rescue the queen from a dungeon, win his knighthood, kill the king who murdered his father and return the town to its former glory before the dark magic of the king ruins the beautiful town forever. To make matters worse, he is expected to undertake this deadly quest with a conceited boy named Thomas Knight; his brother. Could things get any worse?
Wolfbaene – The Next Quest will be out this year and the magic continues.
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I’ve read around 25 books this year, but these are my favourite (mostly because they’re some of my favourite authors).
Anyone who knows me would tell you I have a small obsession with dragons, and whilst none of these feature dragons, they do transport the reader into adventure and beautiful places; and I do love to travel.
Without further ado, here are my picks for 2017.
1. Origin – Dan Brown
Dan Brown is one of my favourite authors, so it’s only fitting his latest release would top my reading list for 2017. Dan Brown brings us Robert Langdon again in this science fiction mystery thriller and I couldn’t put it down.
When Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim, Museum Bilbao, to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever”, his life is spun out of control in a desperate bid to save his life and the lives of others. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced to flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal.
The heart racing quest with Robert Langdon (I always picture Tom Hanks) through Barcelona was nothing short of fantastic and if you feel like a holiday to Greece, I’d definitely read this one!
Here’s the Kindle link;
2. The Break – Marian Keyes
This is the latest release for one of my favourite authors and I wasn’t disappointed. Marian Keyes is a wise, witty, Irish writer who seems to be able to mingle humour and heartbreak like they belong together in a delicious chocolate cake. Really! Take my word, she does it so effortlessly.
In The Break, Amy’s husband Hugh says he isn’t leaving her. He says he still loves her, but he needs a break – from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! It caught my attention so dramatically; I couldn’t put this book down. Hugh wanted six months to lose himself in South East Asia (which did sound great), and there was nothing Amy could say or do about it.
Gosh, now that’s some mid-life crisis!
Hugh’s mid-life crisis is enough to send Amy and her extended family of gossips and eccentric friends into damage control – bringing tears of laughter and heartbreak (so have plenty of tissues!).
Here’s the Kindle link;
3. The Stationmaster’s Cottage – Phillipa Nefri Clarke
I love a good romance novel; one with mystery, beautiful settings and hunky love interests – oh and a dog is always a winner! When this book was released, I couldn’t wait to buy my Kindle copy, settling on the couch with a wine and some tissues.
The book opens with Christie Ryan’s carefully constructed life being turned upside-down with the inheritance of an abandoned cottage in an Australian seaside village. A damaged painting, a hunky guy (with dog) and the discovery of old love letters draws her into the heart wrenching world of Thomas and Martha and their fifty year old mystery. Christie is a gorgeous character who I immediately connected with and found myself cheering her on as she unravelled the mystery she’d been plunged into.
If you love a good romance; one with mystery, beautiful settings and a hunky love interest (with a dog), then get your copy here;
4. The Art of Keeping Secrets – Rachael Johns
I recently attended a Rachael Johns book tour for The Greatest Gift at the gorgeous Katherine Susannah Prichard library in Perth, Western Australia. I won’t lie, I was a tad excited to be meeting Rachael, after speaking with her over social media and us becoming Facebook friends. So, as I had my books signed and I settled down in my chair to listen to her speak about her latest release – with the burnt orange sun setting behind the surrounding gumtrees (we have the best sunsets!) – I was already planning how and when I’d read my first Rachael Johns book, The Art of Keeping Secrets.
I was holding a signed copy of The Greatest Gift and The Art of Keeping Secrets, feeling like I’d won the lotto. The blurb on The Art of Keeping Secrets had really caught my eye!
They started out as the “misfit moms”–the trio of less-than-conventional parents at their sons’ tiny private school. They’ve shared everything. Or so they thought. Now, on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York City, they’ll sightsee, they’ll shop, they’ll catch a few Broadway shows. They’ll tell all…
After seventeen years as a single parent, Neve will reveal a past sin that could destroy her relationship with her son. Emma will uncover the roots of her exhaustion and divulge the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And Flick–who knows a little about crafting a flawless exterior–will share the shocking truth that lies beneath the veneer of her perfect marriage…
So, of course when I arrived home, after saying hello to the hubby and the poodle, Moet, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled onto the couch with The Art of Keeping Secrets – I’m so glad it was a Friday!
Here’s the Kindle link;
5. Stars of Fortune (Book I of the Guardian Trilogy) – Nora Roberts
I’ve read almost all of Nora’s books – yes, I’m slightly addicted. And when my daughters bought this gorgeous book for me at Christmas, it wasn’t long before I’d sunk my teeth in (well not literally, but, you get the gist?).
This story has everything (except dragons). In true Nora style, it has steamy romance, mystery and adventure, but it also has a fantasy element and supernatural theme.
I was immediately drawn to the main character, Sasha Riggs, a reclusive artist, haunted by vivid dreams that she turns into extraordinary paintings. As she becomes more and more desperate to understand her visions, she finds herself drawn to the Greek island of Corfu, and I was there with her. Isn’t is fantastic when you can read a book and travel to beautiful places?
Sasha arrives in Corfu (and this is on my “to visit” list) and encounters Bran Killian, an Irish magician with a warm charisma and secrets dancing in his eyes. She’s never met Bran before, but she knows him only too well – because this is the man from her dreams. Bran is the man she seems fated to be with… if she can find the courage to accept who she really is.
Together they meet up with others who have come to Corfu to find answers and a dangerous, yet, wonderful adventure begins.
Here’s the Kindle link;
I’ve heard it said, quite often, it takes a tragedy or a dark period in life to truly get to know your Self. I guess this makes perfect sense that a writer would write far deeper when submerged in grief or emotional turmoil, because they’re thinkers. I’ve also heard of writers not knowing they’re writers until tragedy or illness strikes.
For me, this is true. I wrote a medieval adventure for middle-grade kids (and adults who love a good fairytale) – when I injured myself and had nothing better to do while the kids were at school. I was house-bound for months and when reading, housework and midday television wasn’t enough, I started to write down story plots and characters – jotting down things that crept into my imagination. I found it quite liberating; like writing in diary of sorts. I finished two manuscripts by the time my injury had repaired, I discovered there was more to come. I had started writing a romance novel – just for my own eyes and used it to re-discover my young Self. Between school drop-off, studying to be a Library Technician, school pick-up, mum duties and wifey stuff, I wrote a story of love, depression, cancer, bereavement and family. I wasn’t experiencing any tragic periods in my life, but I drew on some of my past and delved into the character of a twenty year old girl on the brink of finding the love and lesson of her life. Infinite Completion was born.
Almost two years later my world tipped upside down, with the death of my brother. And whilst I had just started the sequel to my romance novel, it brought out some very dark writing moments, for sure. My heart was shattered, and with this came grief, anger, and a lot of questions.
I wrote a lot. I wrote to complete my sequel, but I also wrote my feelings and muses during the weeks of my brothers passing – like I had to get to out of my head and onto paper – literally written on paper, in scrap books and note books, and any piece of paper I could find. Writing made sense. It helped me see in the dark. I started to take notice of the flaws in people, in our society and of course, my characters. Valentine, my brooding, handsome, singer of a local pub band opened up and boy was it messy. His story was Absolution – something neither of us were ready for.
I’d stumbled into writing kids adventures, with friendly dragons and grumpy knights – and as my newly awakened passion emerged, I found more of my Self as I worte about romance and real life stuff. Then, in my darkest hour, I uncovered a strength to pull apart my thoughts. To take each piece and develop Valentine’s character even further. I wanted to adress social issues and make the reader think. Really think. To say this was hard is an understatement. Writing Absolution drew out my pain and displayed it in someone else’s voice. It was pushing my boundaries and making me work harder. Then, as I had the finish line in sight, my husband had a severe stroke, miles away from home. My world, my children’s world and his world spun on its axis. With months of therapy; for us all, I really felt I’d never write again. I could feel it calling me, but I just didn’t have time. My every waking hour was about my husband, our kids and my Self.
Nonetheless, as time went on, I found time to sit. And think. And write. I was drawn back to Valentine and his world – where I submerged in his grief. I could have drowned myself in alcohol or drugs – at times I felt like it. But, I was a mum and wife. I wasn’t going to give in. I could, however, write without causing any harm to myself or anyone else.
I eventually finished Absolution and on October 10 2016 it went live on Amazon.com.
I am working on another couple of manuscripts, and wouldn’t wish dark times on anyone, but I know writing is my answer to grief and its many layers.
Is this something you do as an artist? I’d love to have some feedback from other writers or artists about what drives their best work.
I’m always up for a challenge, and when Fate plays her hand, I graciously accept.
Taking on the challenge of writing my first book was probably the craziest thing I’ve done, and to delve into the world of magic and children’s literature, has been a life-changing journey. I grew up in a time of Pete’s Dragon and Peter Pan, with a wild imagination and a passion for books. I was fortunate to have a mother who encouraged me to read and learn. But, reading your favourite Golden Books classic and writing a children’s noteworthy adventure are as different as Paddington Bear and Cinderella.
However, as a woman heading into her 40’s, I took up my pen and paper, opened my dusty imagination and met some wonderful characters.
I met Miles Tissle, the elf who’d be unwillingly challenged to save his village, with the help of a stubborn and courageous faery, Audrey Appleby. I uncovered adventure after adventure, writing it all down. Until I finally stumbled across William and Thomas, who showed me a world of medieval fantasy, dragons, werewolves and castles; and here my heart exploded.
Wolfbaene became my first published book. Two boys, two dragons, a werewolf and a magic book – promising an epic adventure. It brought me out of my comfort zone and gave me new experiences as I visited primary schools and attended festivals, reading and sharing my children’s book with others.
Now, I’ve been invited to read part of Wolfbaene at an upcoming medieval festival in November, and I need your help.
I’m running a COMPETITION for one of my readers to win a $50 Dymocks voucher (Australian residents only). And this is perfect for the kids!
1. Share this competition on your Facebook, & twitter (tag me @wolfbaene)
2. Send your favourite part of Wolfbaene to firstname.lastname@example.org
Entries close on November 10, so if you haven’t read Wolfbaene yet, here’s the kindle link;
D.S. WILLIAMS (one of my favourite authors) has a new book out this month!
D.S. Williams is the author of the supernatural romance series ‘The Nememiah Chronicles’.
Wife and mother to four demanding teenagers, D.S. Williams started writing at the age of five, when life was simpler and her stories really didn’t have to make much sense. When you’re five, happily ever after always ended the story and how you got there didn’t matter so much.
Older and wiser, D.S. Williams has continued to write… and write… and write. With the support and encouragement of her husband, friends and the Ellenbrook Writer’s Group, she has finally come to the conclusion that she can’t keep hiding from the world forever and should try sharing the numerous novels which have been written over the past 40+ years.
D.S. Williams enjoys writing (obviously), reading (voraciously) and making lists (obsessively). She’s enjoyed a lifelong addiction to foods starting with ‘ch’ – cheescake, chocolate and chips – and when it comes to books, she loves a really good cliffhanger. Be warned!
She shares her life with her husband of twenty eight years, the Gang of Four and the current furry residents, Tuppence the Groodle and Angus the Bull Mastiff.
Pre~order Protective Hearts! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R8A2VX4/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_awdm_8NZPub0MBQA9Z via
And check out her work!