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Friday, September 28, 2012

Awfully Familar Review

Awfully Familiar is a new take on the story of the Pied Piper.  When I finally sat down to read the book I found it very difficult to put down.

The story focuses on a rat named Scrap; who it turns out was really a boy turned into a rat by an evil wizard.  It begins with scrap being forced to fight against dogs for the entertainment of some kids.  Afterward, he is thrown into a maze where he meets two goblins and another rat named Switch.  After escaping being eaten by the goblins, Scrap and Switch escape and make it to the wilderness where the rat kingdom is.  There Scrap is half-welcomed since he is not a real rat, but an enchanted one.  As the story progresses Scrap finds himself the prisoner of an ogre, whom he later escapes and then becomes trapped in a witch’s house.  In his pursuit of learning what happened to him and how he got turned into a rat, Scrap eventually makes it back to the city where it all began.  There he tries to stop a war between the Piper and another man named Black, but of course the wizard shows up.  At that point, Scrap has to figure out how to stop a war, stops a power mad wizard, and get changed back into human form.

I found the story to be engaging.  Even though it is based on an age old tale of the Pied Piper, it has enough twists in there to make it wholly different and new.  The writing style is easy to follow and with all the twists in the story the reader stays engaged.

I actually liked the book and would recommend it to others.

It is available on

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Muterra Review

MuTerra is a Dystopian novel set in a somewhat futuristic world where the earth was hit by a comet that destroyed virtually all life.  Two groups of people manage to survive the cataclysmic event.  The first group lives underground in a bunker that was built long before the event took place.  The people there are led by a Frank Bishop, later referred to as Director Bishop.  Director Bishop has a vision of what he thinks the world should look like and it using the catastrophe as a reason to make his vision a reality.  Director Bishop has a son named Keith, whom he uses for his own ends.  The man is not the fatherly type.
The second group of people to survive the event were the crews of two submarines.  They set up a camp on shore where they battle radiation and an increasingly hostile world.  They lose over half their numbers but the survivors manage to make a living.

As the story progresses, the people underground ditch the titles they had before they moved there.  Everyone is expected to take their fair share of the work. Money becomes obsolete. People are expected to work, but are not paid in money; instead they receive food, shelter, and an eradication of disease.  Keith and his wife life in this new world.  Keith is given some sort of serum which makes him resistant to the radiation outside while he conducts above ground observations for his father. One day he comes back to discover that his wife stumbled upon a secret: the government had a cure for cancer over fifty years before and Director Bishop knew about it. Soon afterward they are expelled from the underground community. Keith’s wife dies from radiation exposure and Keith moves on stumbling upon the above ground settlement. Along the way he frees a Rock Wolf and befriends it.

Keith befriends the people of this new settlement and realizes that his father will destroy them in order to establish his perfect world. To prevent this, he decides to ensure that those underground stay there. Once he adverts the immediate crises, and Director Bishop gets his just due, Keith decides to move on: a wanderer at heart. 

Like most novels of this genre, it centers o an event that causes society to remake itself into one where there is centralized control and people are just puppets, not free.  Doe the most part, I found the story engaging. However, there were many areas where the story dragged from over explanation.  The author spends most of his time telling the story instead of showing the action. This seems to be a habit among modern writers. This makes those areas a boring read which detracts from the story. But, when he got away from these moments, then the story picked back up.

But otherwise, this is an okay book. It’s not too long of a read, and if you like Dystopian literature, then you might like this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Deby Adair Guest Post


Imagination is our greatest tool. When you create something meaningful, you share it with the world, even if no one ever sees your final effort. When we imagine, and then create, we are stating by our thoughts and actions who we are, and that person follows us around day and night for everyone else to see, interact and share with.

If we have music in us, then we strum, sing or write our lyrics. If we have art in us then we sketch, draw or paint. And if we write, we are usually sharing our deepest thoughts and projections.

Writing is a tool that can captivate an audience in a way that no other art does. A book presents an opportunity to immerse ourselves, sometimes completely, into the lives of others, and in the process, it changes us forever…we have now walked in another’s shoes and we will never be the same again. Although it may be argued that a movie will do a similar thing, the difference between reading a story and watching a story, is that a reader must go that extra mile and play the movie in their head, their way, with only the writer’s word to prompt the screen inside the mind.
As writers, we hold the world in the palms of our hands and, like all projections, how we do it is what counts.

Remember that what you write will reach inside the minds and hearts of others and, by the power of your words, resonate. How do you choose to create what resonates in others? 

Writing is something that comes from within a writer; a deep need to share a story, a theme, experience or something which the writer themselves chooses to explore. 

When writers ask me how to deal with writer’s block, I have one response: Writer’s block comes to you because you are trying to write what isn’t you. When a writer ‘blocks’ they are experiencing these key things: fear, self doubt and a desire to please others.

When writers ask me how they should fix their writers block, or indeed, why is it such extremely hard work to write, then my responses are simplistic, based on the need to change something that they’re doing. 

At first, my answers can be met with some resistance. ie: Often, a writer has a preconceived idea of what kind of writer they are, or want to be, and that may be the problem… in not knowing what you truly should be writing as opposed to what you think you should be writing. ‘Writers block’ will always begin there.

Do you love writing? Does the written word in and of itself give you incredible joy? Does the thought of composing a sentence and describing a moment, a scene, a sensation, a palette of colour, transport you with inspiration and excitement? What entices you, the writer, to capture an audience and transport them? 

I’ll ask a question: Can you effectively captivate with something you don’t know, or don’t understand or have never come close to experiencing? Perhaps, or perhaps not. 

During the process of writing, part of the joy is for us as writers to explore how a scene, projection, moment or situation may occur, creating that rush of creativity, the adrenalin and thrill that actually makes us want to write!

If you have decided that writing is in fact for you, that you have the guts, determination and the hard-driven discipline required to master your much loved skill, but you sit down to write and falter, then you must ask yourself why. 

A highly skilled young University student asked me to read a piece of their work and to offer a critique. It was an evocative piece. Very dramatic, very intense, extremely wordy, descriptive, exciting… but it lacked something. It didn’t ring true. It was a good piece of writing but I was left unmoved. I thought carefully about the piece before I gave her my critique. 

Finally, this was my response: When you write, the most important thing to remember is not to try to impress the reader but to find your own individual style. Don’t try to write with someone else’s style. Don’t copy the sort of writing that will outwardly impress you but feel to the reader as if they’ve read your book at least a hundred times everywhere else!

Write what you know. Write what you feel. By all means, use the power of your imagination, but don’t try to construct what isn’t innately a part of you because it will read cleverly, but not reach hearts and, as writers, our job is to reach hearts, otherwise we have just added to a high pile of pulp.
When a writer writes from deep inside themselves, reaching into what they know, how they’ve grown, the insights, the hurts, the joys, the depths of their being, then they lose writer’s block. They may have decided to sit down and write that great money-spinner and instead, written a poignant or meaningful story of something that jogs a memory of a day in their schoolyard. The piece they actually may end up writing may seem totally un-commercial, however, it may leave the writer, and ultimately the reader, deeply satisfied. I assure you that when you write from your inner truth you will always become a better writer and that is what really matters in the long run. You want to reach the hearts and minds of your readers. 

When people read, no matter what the genre, they unconsciously go there to learn something, even if they feel they only want to be entertained. When they read, they want to leave your book/short story/poem, prose or paragraph, and feel that it was a moment in time that you loaned them and which they have captured; that borrowing from your ‘knowing’ it will leave them stronger, better able to face the world.  Write what you own… share with us, the reader, what you know and feel.

Writers often ask me why they can’t seem to get the discipline of the thing. My response, based on experiencing the roller coaster of life, is this: No matter what is happening in your life, and I mean no matter what, write something every single day; every single day go to your work and at least sit with pen in hand, with computer open and ready; if you find nothing there, then edit something you have previously written; look at your writing and be ruthless with it; teach yourself to know if that flowery sentence is valid or just satisfying an itch to be vocal; train yourself in excellent sentence structure and that often, less is more. 

Readers these days want to get to the point… so learn the skill of writing brilliantly with a sentence well built, rather than a paragraph that repeats itself. 

Take the pain from losing loved ones, your illness, a job you hate, the spiteful neighbour and use it to write! Don’t wait for when life will get good, for when you live in the right house, have the right amount of money, have the perfect relationship, have wonderful heath… all or some of those things may never happen, so write! Be your own best creator!

Write something, even if it’s for two minutes a day, every single day until the hardship of the discipline becomes your addiction and your high… then you have learned the true love affair of writing and have built a solid relationship that will let you call yourself a writer, a marriage where you have learned to merge words with the love of making it happen. 

Remember, the entire fantastic residue of living, is stored within all of us. Don’t write about things you don’t know just because you think that’s what readers want, and worse, because someone else got rich from it… write what YOU know and, if you do it thoroughly, seriously and with real craft and commitment, readers will love your tale about the day you dropped your lunch at school and ten kids laughed at you but one stepped forward to help… because when it’s genuine, we, the reader will know it and cheer you on!

Deby Adair © 27.08.2012



       About the Author

Deby Adair is an author, artist, graphic artist and equestrian. An avid follower of the mystical and mysterious, Deby Adair has always loved the purity and truth of unicorns and their archetypal majesty. A past professional equestrian, Deby loves all animals and champions animal rights, the environment and human rights. She believes we must take care of our natural world.

An avid reader all her life, Deby began writing stories, poetry and prose from a very young age, the WISH trilogy is based on many works of writing and art which she produced as a girl but later embellished and created into her three novels.

Writing this trilogy and creating a vast collection of wonderful, exciting art works has occupied her for many years now. We hope you enjoy her much loved books and wonderful artwork as much as Deby enjoyed creating them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012





An underlying theme of my book is the importance of family. Trent and Cage are sticking together despite Cage's infection. Cage wants to keep his father safe, and Trent just wants to help his son get better. When they meet up with Cassie and Rose they are reluctant to let them join them. 

Cage instantly likes Cassie and wants to help her. Cassie of course likes him as well, but the environment they are in is not the best place to acknowledge this. The last boy she liked got a healthy dose of her teeth in his face. If there really is a cure then when they get better Cage is hoping she will stick around. Trent is relentless in his quest to help his son. 

Cage has lost his mother to the disease and is uncertain of what is happening to him. In a moment of weakness he attacks someone only to regret it later. He is one of the only ones that acknowledge that they are going to become monsters. 

I think that Cage wants his Dad to make it, but he also wants to keep him around. They both struggle with figuring out the best thing for both of them throughout the novel. 

Thank you so much for letting me share on your blog. I hope the people that read Zombified enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

xx Lyra Mcken

Lyra McKen (aka, Emily Walker) resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel.

Cassie is a typical teenager.  She’s crushing on a boy and trying to make it through high school. It’s a typical day of classes when all hell breaks loose. Forced to run and hide the situation just keeps getting worse. She makes a mistake and soon becomes infected. She meets others like her and together they sent out to find a cure. Is their fate already sealed? Can they find a cure before it’s too late? See what happens through the eyes of the infected when Cassie tells you how Zombies are people too.