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A new lease of life for my books

As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Recent reading in fiction



I am a greedy reader, and my eyes are bigger than my stomach. (I will not bore you with laments on the size of said stomach.) I have a TBR pile that would stand taller than me if it were really one pile, but in fact it's several piles, which makes the total count a bit less daunting.

In recent weeks I've vanquished a couple of fantasy novels by favourite authors. Glenda Larke's The Dagger's Path continues the story started in The Lascar's Dagger. It begins with a murder, and thus the tone of the book is set. Yes, there's plenty of violence, but as usual, Larke gives us a tale full of exotic places and intriguing characters, which, as she says in her endnotes, pays tribute to her love affair with South-East Asia. The Dagger's Path ends with hints that book three will bring a whole new variety of magic into play. I'm looking forward to it already!

 

By contrast, Juliet Marillier's Tower of Thorns , the second Blackthorn and Grim novel, is set in an imagined ancient Ireland. Unlike the author's earlier leading characters, the protagonists of this series are mature adults, perhaps in their late twenties or early thirties. Blackthorn is a wise-woman: a travelling healer who has been unjustly imprisoned by the vicious Lord Mathuin of Laois. She and a fellow prisoner, known only as Grim, managed to escape at the start of book one and had a long and adventurous journey home. In Tower of Thorns, they once again set out on a long journey: one fraught with adventures and near disasters. 

Second only to fantasy in my preferred reading are historical novels. Good historical novels: the kind that display the writer's knowledge of the chosen period as well as telling a good story. Of all the people writing in this genre, perhaps my top favourite is Bernard Cornwell. I've recently read his novel called 1356 - a story that pays tribute to the Hundred Years War: the people who lived through it and the people who died because of it. George RR Martin is on record as saying that Cornwell writes 'the best battle scenes of any writer ... past or present'. 


It's impossible to disagree with Mr Martin here, because Cornwell's battles are the go-to pages for any writer wanting to learn how to master the art of mass bloodshed, at least on paper! In the past I have grouched about Cornwell's tendency to 'head-hop' - i.e. to tell us what character A is thinking then in the next paragraph to shift into character B's headspace. Many readers these days dislike this, largely, I think, because of the influence of film, where we tend to stay with the main character for most of the time and only shift to another character if and when there is change of scene. I was pleased to see that in 1356 Cornwell has abandoned this bad habit and given us an even better read as a result.

Right, that's run-down of my recent reading in fiction. I've read a couple of excellent non fiction books, too, which I'll save for next time!


Sunday, 25 October 2015

A little giveaway




With the help of my good friend Robert Denethon, I have created a sampler of scenes from the first two books of The Talismans trilogy. The sampler is free to dowload in mobi, epub and .pdf versions from Dropbox.



Sampler for Kindle readers
 

Sampler for epub readers

Sampler for .pdf readers 



I hope this tempts a few people to buy book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, and, of course, to stamp impatiently while waiting for book two, The Cloak of Challiver, which is due for release early in the new year.

Happy reading, friends!
Saturday, 10 October 2015

Book review: The Shattered Sea trilogy by Joe Abercrombie




Half the World, Half a Sea and Half a War make up The Shattered Sea, another excellent trilogy from Joe Abercrombie. Not, perhaps, as gripping as the author's First Law trilogy, but a good read with a story full of ups and downs and well-drawn characters.

Abercrombie, as usual, creates excellent characters, well-rounded and individualistic: cardboard cutouts they are not! There is a different central character in each book: Yarvi, the protagonist of Half a King and a somewhat minor character in book two, Half the World, turns up again in book three, Half a War, so he is the unifying factor of the over-arching story. Book two, Half the World, features characters from well down the social scale, yet it contains a touching love story as well as lots of action and a particularly likeable protagonist. 'The girl who wants to be a fighter' is a common stock character in fantasy, but Thorn is so well-drawn we hear her darkest thoughts, see her deepest fears and live with all her strengths and weaknesses, so she is raised from stock character status to leading light.

The shining light in book three is another female - Skara, a young woman who defends her destined role and learns how to deal with opposition on all fronts, and at the end there is a hint that she might also find the fulfillment that most illusory of dreams - true love.

The story overall is a complex one, made up of many threads. To make any sense of the trilogy one should sit down and read the three books in order within a few weeks, at most. The complexity of the story grows out of the complexities of the characters and their supporting circumstances, so there are lots of twists and turns.

This trilogy's main theme is, to my mind, ambition and how dependent success is on character and circumstance. Every character finds his or her own level in life - sometimes moving up, sometimes down, depending the strength of their ambition, their characters and their supporting circumstances. It's a bumpy ride, but it does end on a note of hope for the future - not necessarily a thing we expect from an Abercrombie tale! I'd be interested to read a fourth book, featuring  Skara ten years later, when love's young dream has had a chance to turn sour. Now that would be true Abercrombie style!
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