Posts Categorized: Books that caught my eye

One to watch out for: ‘Rivers of Hell’ by Marina Finlayson

April 1, 2017 Books that caught my eye 0

Anyone who’s been following this blog for any length of time knows how much I love Marina Finlayson’s writing. I don’t normally get along with urban fantasy, but something about Finlayson’s style is a perfect fit for my reading needs. Maybe it’s that the characters feel so real I’d love to have a drink with them, maybe it’s that the stories are convoluted yet easy to follow, or maybe it’s the quirky Aussie humour, but I’ve loved everything she’s written to date.

It’s no great surprise, then, that I’m excited to see that the third part of Shadows of the Immortals is out. I can’t wait to find out what Lexi and Syl and friends get up to this time round.

And look at that cover – awesome or what?

You can find it on


One to watch for: ‘Where The Waters Turn Black’ by Benedict Patrick

November 11, 2016 Books that caught my eye 0

Occasionally, I like to tell you about a book that’s caught my eye, one that I haven’t yet read myself, but one I feel deserves a bit of a spotlight shining on it. Benedict Patrick is an author who’s already attracted a lot of attention. His debut novel, They Mostly Come Out At Night, has been highly praised and was a round-winner in Mark Lawrence’s competition for indie fantasy, the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2016 (or #SPFBO2), although sadly it missed out on making the final group of ten.

Now his second book, Where The Waters Turn Black, is about to be released, and it sounds just as original and fascinating as the first. You can pre-order now, or buy on the 16th, at just 99c (or equivalent) until 22nd. If you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Prime, you can borrow for free. It’s a stand-alone, so no worries if you haven’t read the first book. Here’s the link to

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

And this is as good an excuse as any to show the awesome cover from the first book. And waddayaknow, this one’s 99c for a while, too. You can buy or borrow it at

The villagers of the forest seal themselves in their cellars at night, whispering folktales to each other about the monsters that prey on them in the dark. Only the Magpie King, their shadowy, unseen protector, can keep them safe.

However, when an outcast called Lonan begins to dream of the Magpie King’s defeat at the hands of inhuman invaders, this young man must do what he can to protect his village. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to convince them to trust him again.

They Mostly Come Out At Night is the first novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Straddling the line between fantasy and folklore, this book is perfect for fans of the darker Brothers Grimm stories.


New release round-up: books I’m looking forward to reading

September 10, 2016 Books that caught my eye 0

Once again, my backlog of books to be read is growing and, with two new releases of my own this month, the time for reading has shrunk alarmingly. I hope to catch up a bit next month when I’ll be off to Australia for three weeks, with my trusty Kindle fully charged. Until then, here are some recently released books that I’m really excited about reading.

Finally, finally a sequel to the amazing The Healers’ Road by S E Robertson, which was a five star read for me back in 2014. I described it as literary fantasy, a beautifully written story of two very different people thrown together and gradually inching towards an accommodation as they travelled about offering their opposing styles of healing skills as needed. In The Healers’ Home, the two have a settled place to live for the first time. I can’t wait to find out how they adjust to a very different way of life. You can read my review of the previous book here.

Here’s one that I should have mentioned before, because it’s been out for a while. For The Wildings is the final installment of Kyra Halland’s six-part Daughter of the Wildings series, a western/fantasy/romance mash-up that I’ve absolutely loved. The mixture of magical fireworks with cowboy-style shoot-em-ups is something that really shouldn’t work, but absolutely does. Combine that with Halland’s customary elegant world-building and a gentle romance, and this whole series is a winner. I’m looking forward to finding out how it ends. You can read my review of Beneath The Canyons, the first part of the series,  here.


New release round up: books I’m looking forward to reading

July 6, 2016 Books that caught my eye 0

Confession time – I don’t read as much as I used to. In prehistoric times (2011-2013), I routinely read two books a week, more than a hundred over the course of a year. Sometimes I read an entire series of books one after the other, and not short, light reads, either – my preferred genre was (and is) epic fantasy. Fast forward a few years and there just isn’t the time any more for that kind of consumption. My writing has gradually eaten away at my free time, and I’ve got to the point where I only get sustained reading done when I’m travelling. I’d like to pretend that I’m pressured by fans to write more, and publish faster, but actually I just love writing! So no one to blame but myself.

What this means is that there are lots of books coming out that I plan to read and review when I get the opportunity, but I really want you to know about them right now, so I’m going to be doing these mini-roundups quite regularly. Even though I haven’t read these books yet, I’m happy to recommend them, either because I’ve read the previous books in the series or because I’ve read other books by the author. These are all authors whose work I love!

So, here we go.

Bloodbonded: Amy Rose Davis

I absolutely loved Ravenmarked, the first in the Taurin Chronicles, saying that “…it just wraps itself around you like a warm duvet. There’s a strong warrior with a secret, an innocent long-lost heiress to the throne, a prophecy, a rebellious princess, a usurper with a conscience and lots of magic, and although this sounds terribly clichéd, Davis gives it all a fresh feel and a bit of romantic fairy dust.” This is the long-awaited second installment of this sweeping epic fantasy.

The Cauldron’s Gift: Marina Finlayson

I’ve loved everything Finlayson has written, and her trilogy, The Proving, which opened with Twiceborn, was the book that got me to love werewolves, not to mention a whole raft of other shifters – including dragons! The unique Australian setting and fast pace made the whole series unputdownable. Her next venture was into a fairy tale retelling, The Fairytale Curse, and although it’s more YA (young adult) that The Proving, it was just as action-packed, featuring the author’s trademark Aussie humour. This new book is the second and final part of the Magic’s Return series (ETA: my mistake – it’s a trilogy).

Awash: Dawn Lee McKenna

This is part 6 of the Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense series, which is far more about the characters and their intertwined lives than the actual murders. Great dialog, great humour and a brilliantly evoked and atmospheric setting, which is almost as good as being there. If you want to start at the beginning, look for Low Tide, and if you want more of McKenna’s writing, her stand-alone love story, See You, is one of the finest books I’ve ever read.

Deadly Web: Mike Omer

I’m not usually a fan of serial killer books, because body parts – ew! But Omer’s eccentric cast of characters and laugh-out-loud humour makes the Glenmore Park series unmissable for me. Watch out for the unforgettable Rabbi Friedman! This is part 2, and the first in series is Spider’s Web.



One to watch out for: ‘Six Celestial Swords’ by T A Miles

May 1, 2016 Books that caught my eye 0

I haven’t read this one but wow, look at that cover! And for everyone who grumbles that all fantasy is set in a pseudo-medieval European world, this one is very definitely not! You can find it on Amazon.

Here’s the blurb:

Inspired by the rising chaos in Sheng Fan, Xu Liang, mystic and officer of the Imperial Court, leaves his homeland for the barbarian outer lands in search of four magical blades to unite with two sacred weapons already in the possession of the Empire. His plan is to bring all of the blades together and return them to Sheng Fan’s Empress as a symbol of unity that will bolster the people’s faith in the Imperial family and assist against the surge of dark forces.

Complicating his plan is not the finding of the blades, but finding them with bearers; foreigners who have no intention of parting with them and less intention of serving an Empire they’ve scarcely heard of. It becomes Xu Liang’s task to ally himself with these barbarians of the outer realms and unite them with his cause, as well as with one another. Only the complete reunion of all six blades and their fated bearers can stand against chaos, rising like a dragon from slumber beneath the foundation of a nation unprepared.


One to watch out for: ‘The Fairytale Curse’ by Marina Finlayson

April 27, 2016 Books that caught my eye 0

The Fairytale CurseI don’t normally post about books I haven’t read, but sometimes I just have to tell the world about something that’s coming soon. I’m a huge fan of Marina Finlayson’s writing, I loved The Proving series, which started with Twiceborn, and even her short story, The Family Business, was terrific. So you can believe me when I say I’m really excited about her next book, due out May 8th. And isn’t that the most awesome cover? You can pre-order the book now at Amazon. Here’s the blurb:

Most people only wake up with hangovers after parties. Seventeen-year-old Violet wakes up with frogs falling out of her mouth whenever she speaks, and her twin sister CJ’s dripping diamonds with every word. As if starting at a new high school wasn’t hellish enough, they’ve been hit with a curse straight out of a fairy tale, with not a handsome prince in sight.

Apparently Mum and Dad don’t work for the military after all, but for a secret organisation dedicated to keeping the magical denizens of the world safely locked away. These are not the harmless fairies of children’s tales, but powerful beings with a score to settle for their long years of imprisonment. Now the barriers are failing, and if Vi can’t find answers fast the world will be overrun with vengeful fairies. And then there’ll be no happily ever after for anyone.


Books that caught my eye: ‘Hawkridge’ by Julian Kindred

February 17, 2015 Books that caught my eye 0

Generally, when I write about books here, it’s a review of a book I’ve read. I read and review perhaps 50 books a year. There are many more I’d love to get to, but… so many books, so little time. And if I don’t read it, I won’t review it. But sometimes a book will catch my eye for some reason, and even though I don’t have time to read it myself, it’s interesting enough to mention here. This is one I found in Joel Friedlander’s cover design awards. I love a book that blurs genre boundaries, and this one does it in glorious style – it’s a fantasy western, complete with ranch hands roping… wait for it, dragon calves. Wonderful! Here’s the cover and blurb. Note that I haven’t read this, but if anyone has, do post a comment.

Colt Hawkridge thought he was content with his life on the frontier, wrangling drakes and working the ranch. Good, honest work, even if a body risks getting mauled. But when he tracks down a runaway drake calf to the edge of the Hawkridge Mountains, he discovers a danger that threatens everyone he knows, and makes an ally who seems intent on throwing him into dangerous situations for the fun of it.

With the help of a half-goblin slave girl and a sickly mage, and armed with an orewood sword housing the spirit of a dryad, Colt must escape an underground labyrinth, rescue a bunch of slaves, and save Drake Iron ranch from a horde of goblin raiders.