BookFunnel Giveaway!

AmazingFantasyGiveaway.pngDon’t know what to read? Why not pick one of the Amazing FREE Fantasy Novels from this Amazing Fantasy GiveAway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends July 20, so hurry!

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

What To Watch? Immortals

Last Thursday, we were deciding what to watch on Netflix. We read the blurb for Immortals, but the rest of my family wasn’t too convinced. As I held the TV remote (a rare occasion), I pressed play and, to my surprise, everybody was pleased I did afterward.

Immortals

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Cast

The movie has a spectacular cast and, for the life of me, I don’t know why I had never heard of this movie before. As the main characters, it has Henry Cavill as Theseus and Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion. The role of Zeus is shared by Luke Evans, in the role of the god, and John Hurt, in the role of the old man-form of Zeus.

And then, for the vampire-lovers amongst us, there’s Kellan Lutz (aka Emmett Cullen in Twilight) as Poseidon, Joseph Morgan (aka Niklaus “Klaus” Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) as Lysander, Stephen Dorff (aka Deacon Frost in Blade) as Stavros, and Daniel Sharman (aka Kaleb in The Originals) as Ares.

The two women in the movie are Isabel Lucas as Athena, goddess of wisdom and daughter of Zeus, and Freida Pinto as Phaedra, an Oracle priestess who joins Theseus on his quest (and being the love interest).

Plot

King Hyperion, who wants to free the Titans (to revenge the death of his family) and hopes to slay the gods this way, is hell-bound to find the Epirus bow, the only weapon that can free the Titans. He uses the visions of Phaedra, the Oracle priestess, to locate it.

Immortals2In the meantime, Theseus, his mother, and many others try to flee from Hyperion and his approaching Heraklion army. Unfortunately, Theseus’s mother gets killed by Hyperion and Theseus is imprisoned. At a chance meeting, the Oracle Priestess sees Theseus being part of the future and organizes to set him free. Zeus tells the other gods not to interfere with the troubles of men, but, of course, they do.

What I liked about Immortals

The first and foremost thing that struck me watching the movie was the beautiful aesthetics. The director, Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall, Mirror Mirror, Self/less), is known for his unique visual style, and Immortals is a wonderful example. The colors and texture jump off the screen when the story is good and beautiful, yet are bleak and colorless (except for the color red) when dark and gloomy. You could say it is the enhanced version of 300 (I actually only found out it was from the same producers as 300 after I watched the YouTube trailer 😀 ).

With such a cast, you can’t expect otherwise than the performances to be excellent. They draw you into the story from beginning to end.

As this is a movie based on Greek mythology, there are quite a few fight scenes. All done impeccably, easy to follow, and believable, with lots of blood gushing out of inflicted wounds (I can see why they did a 3D-version of the movie).

What I didn’t like about Immortals

Immortals3As the common critique was when the film came out in 2011, it could do with a bit more character development and (hence) better script. I actually quite liked the overall story.

I must admit I didn’t like Luke Evans in the role of Zeus. They should have taken someone to match, if not surpass, the physical appearance of Micky Rourke.

Summary

This is a beautiful movie to watch if only for pleasing the eye. Beautiful colors, beautiful people, beautiful scenery. The story isn’t real (at least, it’s not a ‘real mythological’ story), but I thought it believable (as far as Hollywood movies go). It does have quite some gruesome moments (crushing of testicles, cooking of humans, and the necessary blood-shed) in it, so I’d recommend it for older teenagers and up.

My Irish Writers’ Podcast Interview

When I was in Ireland last month, attending the Dublin Writers’ Conference, I happened to meet Máire Brophe (I think it’s pronounced Moira, but do correct me if I’m wrong, Máire!). We got chatting about orcs and other fantasy creatures, as you do. She mentioned that she did podcasts and asked if I’d agree to an interview. Of course, I said yes!

It was a bit scary at first, the thought of being recorded. I hate my own voice, for one, and I kept thinking ‘what if I get stuck with words?’ I’ve had it before, many times, that all of a sudden I get insecure and both the English and Dutch language try to get out at the same time. Or I can’t find the English word I want to say. Yet, it was surprisingly easy to talk to Máire. The interview is actually twice as long as I remember 😄.

Listen to the podcast here.

The first seven-and-a-half minutes are an interview with Ann Richardson, who wrote a non-fiction book on Celebrating Grandmothers, and then it’s my turn. You’ll also get a ‘sneek peek’ about the next novel I’m writing!

Thanks again, Máire, for the opportunity, and I wish you all the best with your own novella, After the World, and the Irish Writers Podcast. I do hope you get to write that full novel one day!


PS: If you buy the Suckers Trilogy books from my book store, you get a 15% discount!

Meet the Author… Jodi Ann Fahey

I met Jodi on Twitter. Her Casey Blane vampire book covers are beautiful and her book content enticing. Hence, I wanted you, my dear fantasy lover, to meet her too.

Jodi Ann Fahey

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Biography

Jodi Fahey studied journalism from the time she was in high school. When she attended Fashion Institute of Technology, she was able to branch out into the world of advertising. It was in that field that Jodi learned Graphic Design as well as film production and photography, both as a model and a photographer. Jodi’s articles on local businesses and events were published in local papers.

Jodi is a freelance web designer and ad developer. Her work has been published in European Homes and Gardens as well as BiBi Magazine. Also, she has done freelance work on Poetry Bay Online Poetry Magazine and Long Island Quarterly.

Utilizing all of her learned skills, Jodi has started her newest venture, the Casey Blane series. Jodi not only writes her stories, but she also designs her own covers, creates her own trailers, and designs all her ads. She also created her own website.

What made you want to become a writer?

I’d always loved to write and have been able to do a large range of projects. My first was a poem A Desolate Beach when I was fourteen. It was created for a submission in the Reflections contest in school and won. That was my first and only attempt at poetry, but it did spark an interest in writing for me.

After that, I was able to study journalism in high school. When I moved onto college, I took photography, and learned graphics, even modelled, too. All paved the way to what I do today.

Since High school, I’ve done ads, interviews, self-help, and instructional how-to articles. It wasn’t until I had my children that I even though of taking on a project as grand as the Casey Blane Series.

My son was really the one that awoke the writing bug in me. He was in kindergarten and was given a project of writing a short story. His teacher explained it as needing a beginning, middle, and an end. Well, my son being the intelligent child he was, and still is, challenged that theory. So, his story was:

There once was a horse named Kyle. He went to the top of the hill. Nothing happened. By Kyle Fahey

Needless to say, I received a call from his teacher that same day.

So that night, I told him about the use of his crayons by bringing out our hefty, six inch thick, Webster Dictionary, and explained to him that his story was a great start, but we have so many more words available to us, and they all want to be used. I opened that dictionary and told them that each of the words in the book are a writer’s crayon that a writer uses to make the story more colorful.  And a writer can write about anything.

Kyle, being Kyle, challenged me by saying, “Well, you can’t write about shoes!”

I laughed and right on the spot, I told him a story about a boy and his wet shoes. That story is currently being illustrated as we speak and my son has named it My Wet Shoes.

Jodi Ann Fahey_Letorian DescendantsAt that time, Kyle was not at all pleased by that and decided he wanted to stump me with a spatula, from which, The Killer Spatula was born. It’s a short tale, and one we use during camping, but that spatula comes out at Boy Scout events, even today.

A few years after that, my daughter had a very traumatic event happen to her and a friend of hers. Sadly, it was what cost her friend her life. Bullying is a horribly dangerous thing and the scars from it we carry throughout our lives. I wanted to help her and always said to her that you can’t change them, only yourself and how you view them. If you believe in yourself, their words hold no meaning. Power is within us. That was the inspiration to the Casey Blane Series.

What do you love most about the writing process?

That is a very good question, Jacky. I would have to say being able to create a world, a vision, in my reader’s mind. I think that’s an art in itself.  The process to achieve that, though not a simple one, I do find the most enjoyable. My characters are given a life way before the first word of the book was put to paper. I have characters that go back four hundred years and some that only came on in this lifetime. What that did, was it gave each and every one of them a voice and I feel that you can actually read it and hear them as they speak because of that detail.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

I believe both. Being able to write is definitely a gift and one that I fully enjoy. However, since I did start the series, I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up in the middle of the night with an idea or a thought and just stayed up the entire night writing. So, the lack of sleep from a midnight thought is one thing a writer will tell you is definitely a curse of the art.

What does your typical writing day look like? How many hours a day do you write?

As a very intelligent man once told me, Beem Weeks is his name, I am a writer with a day job.  I do work full time and put in almost sixty hours a week, just there alone. I am a mother of two, in addition, so my days are specifically planned out to accommodate all things. So, after my day, children are fed, house cleaned, and Facebook takeovers are done, and I am off to writing, I give myself at least fifteen minutes a day to write. Though, I can tell you, I think that has happened only once. Most of the time I write well into the night and fall asleep on my work.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

My first draft is done in pen. I can’t tell you how many of my pages have pen blobs from falling asleep with my pen in my hand.

I do have a funny story to share about that, too. I organize my chapters, so that each notebook is one single chapter. It worked out wonderfully for the first book. However, for the second, Lucian Sword, I ran into a small issue. On just one chapter, Chapter 22 to be exact, I had lost the notebook for. So, I rewrote it, went back to editing on the first book, picked up the second again to transfer it into my computer, only to find that chapter went missing once again. That happened four times.

Well, as it turned out, it was a good thing. I took it as a sign that the chapter needed to go in a different direction and, boy, did it ever. It happens to be one of my favorite scenes in the series thus far.

Do you write alone or in public?

Jodi Ann Fahey_Lucian SwordI do enjoy writing alone. My favorite spot to write is sitting on the arbor overlooking the Long Island Sound in a small local park by me. I love to hear the call of the Red Tailed Hawk that has nested there for years, and the sound of the waves below me. That’s on a nice day. Otherwise, I’m in my office corner, a corner of my bedroom that I made my own spot.

Music or silence?

Oh, definitely music. My favorite groups that I find inspiring are Thirty Seconds to Mars, Florence and the Machine, Muse, Evanescence, Imagine Dragons, Within Temptation, Linkin Park, and Mute Math, to name a few.

Do you outline or just write?

Outline. Definitely. I need to know the flow of the books prior to starting them. Don’t get me wrong, it does change as it goes, but at least I have a direction. I also have a timeline, a family tree, and a bible of facts for this series. As you read it, you will see why these were necessary.

What genre do you consider your book(s)? Have you considered writing in another genre?

The Casey Blane series is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance mixed with Action Adventure. I like to write movement and feeling, so my style does carry that element. I want the reader to feel the tension as they read it.

I have actually written other genres. I have just joined the Double DD group of writers (https://thedoubledd.com) created by Fredd Caroll and was given many wonderful opportunities there. I was given the opportunity to work with J Morgan Woodall with Lost Love Letters where I was able to expand to romance. Also, through them I was given the opportunity to do a Romantic Comedy through Genre Swap. In addition, I’ve been asked to do Live Writes and do have many wonderful opportunities to test out different genres there and work with great authors, like Steven Evans and Zorha Edwards, as well. I’m seeing a possible horror novel in the near future.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Another great question, Jacky. I did have to do research for this series. As I stated before, each character in the Casey Blane series has a story behind them. I did it that way, not only so that each character had depth to them, but because I wanted to have the possibility to go back into the story, as well. So the story doesn’t have to just be one angle, but many.

The second book, Lucian Sword required far more time to develop because it takes place in Northern Ireland and carries many tales of the land with it as the story moves forward. I wanted to make sure I had it perfect. So, that one did take seven years.

Thanks so much, Jodi, for sharing this with us. I love how your son made you become a writer. And I’m impressed with your research for your second novel taking seven years!

To let you know a bit more about Jodi Ann Fahey’s books here’s some more info:

Her first book, Letorian Descendants, was released December of 2016. In the fall of 2017, it was given the distinct honor and recognition by being named and awarded a finalist for the Book Excellence Award. In December of 2017, it was also awarded ‘one of the Most Memorable Reads of 2017’ by Stratford Living.

Jodi’s second book, Lucian Sword, was released November of 2017, and was immediately made ‘Book of the Month’ by Rave Review Book Club for the month of January.

Her third book, Dragon Lines, is set to release December of 2018, and Jodi is also part of two anthologies scheduled to release in 2019, so stay tuned!

Ways to connect with Jodi Ann Fahey:

Facebook Author page

Facebook group 

Twitter

YouTube

MeWe

Goodreads

Tumblr

Website

Instagram

All Authors

Amazon

What to Watch? Shooter

Excuses for my lateness of posting my weekly What to Watch? I was still travelling from Holland to Scotland yesterday (driving from Newcastle to Aberdeen), and I can tell you that typing on a laptop in a driving car isn’t easy 😀 . So, why Shooter (the TV series and not the film)? Because my son recommended it to me.

Shooter

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Cast

The Netflix TV series is based on the film Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg as the main character, which is based on the book Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter which again is loosely based on the US sniper Carlos Hathcock (but none of the story in the TV series has anything to do with Hathcock).

The retired US sniper veteran, Bob Lee Swagger, is played by Ryan Phillipe. He’s not a new kid on the block as he’s been in front of the camera since 1992. His wife Julie is played by Shantel VanSanten, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson plays Nadine Memphis, the investigating FBI agent. Omar Epps, also know from his doctor role in House, plays the Secret Service agent and ex-commander of Swagger, Isaac Johnson. I need to mention Eddie McClintock, who plays Jack Payne, and David Marciano as Memphis’s boss, Howard Utey.

Plot

Bob Lee Swagger is a retired US sniper, now spending time with his wife and daughter. His ex-commander, Isaac Johnson, seeks him out and asks for his help. There are rumors that a sniper is going to take out the US President during a visit to Seattle. Swagger reluctantly agrees and tries to figure out where the sniper could shoot from. All angles seem to be covered, until Swagger figures out something is wrong and tries to prevent the shooting. Unfortunately, Swagger is too late, and the visiting Ukrainian President is killed. As Swagger is on the spot of the crime, he’s arrested for suspicion of being the murderer. Swagger must prove he’s set up for a crime he didn’t commit.

What I liked about Shooter

As you may know, I’m not a fan of senseless violence. So, why did I like Shooter? Because the first few episodes were very suspenseful and were (somewhat) believable.

Someone, in a review on Rotten Tomatoes, mentioned there was no humor in the series at all. They are wrong. I loved the character of Jack Payne. He was so funny. Intentionally or not, he made me laugh out loud and care for him more than for Swagger. Same goes for Howard Utey. His character was less believable, but still gave it a less dramatic twist for me.

What I didn’t like about Shooter

As I said, I don’t like senseless violence. This series is supposed to be realistic, but people are being killed left, right, and center without any remorse. I don’t mind if this happens in fantasy movies with non-existant creatures but not in a series about humans and by someone who’s supposedly the good guy. Besides this, Ryan Phillipe reminds me of a pouting school boy, not a seasoned veteran. Maybe it’s just my age…

The further you get into the series, the more unbelievable it becomes. We finished the first season, but I doubt we’re going to watch the following two.

Summary

Shooter is a good show to get away from it all and have you on the edge of your seat for a couple of evenings but don’t expect it to be too realistic or see fantastic performances.

I haven’t seen the movie with Mark Wahlberg as the sniper, but I’m dying to see it now.

Meet the Author… Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz is the author of the Legends of Windemere novels (fifteen books already!) as well as various other novels. The covers of his Windemere books attracted me as I retweeted them on Twitter, but, being a vampire-lover, his new WIP War of Nytefall – Loyalty made me contact him for an interview.

Charles Edward Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz

Biography

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. Legends of Windemere is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

If I want to be technical, it was in 2nd grade and I wrote a picture story called Hunt for the Ruby Monkey. This was heavily based on King Kong, but I was trying to show characters and build tension without knowing it. This was a gift for a friend, so I don’t have it anymore. Prior to this I was writing little books that involved jokes, my week, or animals.

Charles_E_Yallowitz_ImmortalWarsSince I didn’t really know what I was doing during this attempt, I would say the real first story of mine would be Immortal Wars: The Summoning. I was in high school and decided that I was going to be an author. One of my favorite things to do was read comic books, so I went with superheroes. It was about four teenagers who discover they are immortals and need to protect the universe from a band of evil immortals who are about to return. Each character had a magical weapon built on one of the nine planets. This was in the 1990’s, so Pluto hadn’t been downgraded at this point. I had an entire series planned out with the weapons switching hands, deaths, births, and any twist that came to mind. I only wrote the first book, which was ‘The Summoning’, but then I moved on to fantasy.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

It’s the cursed gift that keeps on giving.  The curse part is that authors can find it hard to explain things to other people. You become very aware of spoilers, so you have to explain stories without going into the details. This can lead to confusion and the sense that nobody understands you. The gift side is that you develop this drive to create and explore worlds that you’re helping to nurture with your words. There’s a thrill to the building of a story from nothing to an intricate world that can draw others into it.

What is your writing Kryptonite? Have you ever gotten writer’s block?

My mood can be my personal Kryptonite. Once I’m annoyed or flustered, I lose the ability to focus on my creative thoughts. It isn’t that I have to be in a good mood to begin with, but I need to have a clear mind. Otherwise, the issues of the real world will get in the way of fiction and that doesn’t always match up. This is really hard for me because I don’t have an office or anywhere private to write.  So, I’m constantly running the risk of being distracted. As far as writer’s block goes, I’m lucky that I’ve never really hit a creativity wall. If I have a problem, I walk away to work on another project and it comes to me the next time I sit down.

What is/are your book(s) about? Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

All of my books are exciting action adventures that can take the reader out of reality. They’re pure escapism, especially since I write in third person present tense.  It’s not a common style, but it means my books read like tv shows and movies where you see things unfolding in real time instead of them being past events.

Charles_E_Yallowitz_QuestoftheBrokenHeartedMy most recent book is Quest of the Brokenhearted, which is on sale for 99 cents until the end of July. This is a spinoff of my series, Legends of Windemere, and it shows the fate of a supporting character named Kira Grasdon. Over the course of the previous adventure, this merchant house heiress lost everything and now she is struggling to survive on the streets. She learns about warriors going to Lacarsis, the City of Evil, which has begun to move. Deciding that she will either find a new reason to live or meet her death, Kira heads into the monster-filled city. This is an exciting, action-packed adventure, but it also looks into the psychology of a hero who has already been broken.  Mentally, Kira is hanging on by a thread and I think this is a state that many people can understand.

Do you have any difficulty writing characters of the opposite sex?

I don’t feel like I have any difficulty writing female characters. I only use their gender to designate clothing to some extent, pronouns, relationships, and physical appearance.  Beyond that, the abilities and personalities for a man can still be used for a woman.  Both can be brave warriors, cunning thieves, or sadistic villains.

Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I’m trying to find a middle ground for most of my books. Each book and series tells a self-contained story, but they take place in the same world. Every entry adds to the depth of Windemere and builds it into a playground for future heroes.  This would be similar to Middle Earth or the various comic book universes.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Charles_E_Yallowitz_War of NytefallI’m currently working on a fantasy vampire series that takes place in the world of Windemere.  It’s called War of Nytefall and it’s my current ‘core project’ for the next 3 years. After that I have about 30 other series and one-shot stories that I’ve been outlining over the last 15 years.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

The most useful thing I learned when it came to writing was that I had to write what I loved. If I enjoyed the story that I was working on then that would come through and the readers will have a better experience. The most destructive lesson that I learned nearly cost me the first book of my Legends of Windemere series. I let a lot of people read it over the course of ten years and I tried to implement every suggestion that was given. This made a mess out of the entire story and even caused trouble for future volumes. It required a lot of rethinking and rewriting before I felt comfortable publishing it.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

There are a lot of common traps, but there are two that come to mind. First, there is always the temptation to respond to negative reviews. Not everyone gets the warning that you have to take the lumps in silence. This means a new author can build up the reputation of being a ‘spoiled and combative’ person. The other is the ‘Pursuit of Perfection’. I’ve known many aspiring authors who refuse to publish until their work has met this ideal of flawlessness. They will read every book they can find on the art of writing and tear their work down at the slightest mistake. In the end, they enter a cycle that they can’t get out of that seems to stop at the first draft stage at best and they eventually give up. The truth is that every story will have a flaw of some kind because it’s a human writing it.

How do author friends help you become a better writer?

Charles_E_Yallowitz_LegendsOfWindemere15Discovering the large community of authors online was like wandering into a place that feels like home. You get a level of support and insight that people who never considered being an author can’t give you. Criticism is given in a more palpable method and discussions are allowed instead of the blunt tearing apart that non-authors think are necessary. There’s also a lot of sharing of experience and tools, which helps new authors avoid some of the pitfalls. Honestly, the whole community functions better as a support structure than a pit where everyone is out for themselves.

Where can we find you online?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Tumblr

Amazon Author page

Anywhere else where your book(s) is/are for sale:

Smashwords- Beginning of a Hero

Thanks so much for you time and chatting with us, Charles. I’ll be looking forward to reading your vampire stories!

All Charles E. Yallowitz’s books are available on Amazon. Take your pick!

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Charles_E_Yallowitz_Books_2

Charles_E_Yallowitz_Books_3

Charles_E_Yallowitz_Books_4

Charles_E_Yallowitz_Books_6

Charles_E_Yallowitz_Books_7

What To Watch? The Limehouse Golem

Ever since I saw The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio in 2009, I’ve been a fan of Bill Nighy’s work. Obviously, I like him best in Underworld, but he also plays in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, another two of my favorites. He didn’t disappoint in the movie I’m about to talk about in this post.

The Limehouse Golem

Limehouse_Golem.jpgCast

Bill Nighy plays Inspector John Kildare, the main character who has to solve the murders. Originally, Alan Rickman was given the role of the inspector, but he had to withdraw due to declining health. I would have liked to have seen Rickman in the role as I think his appearance and voice would have suited the role better, but Nighy does a great job as well.

The second main character, Lizzy Cree-charged with murdering her husband, is played by Olivia Cooke. She puts down a very good performance, reminding me a bit of Helena Bonham Carter. Douglas Booth plays Dan Leno, the actor/cross-dresser, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him on the screen. Acting, of course. Daniel Mays was a very convincing constable George Flood, Sam Reid the weird and creepy John Cree, and Maria Valverde the jealous Aveline Ortega.

Plot

Nighy plays Inspector John Kildare, a man appointed to investigate seemingly unsolvable Limehouse Golem murders. These murders, graphically depicted, are so gruesome that people think no human being could have committed them. Lizzy Cree is the wife of John Cree, found dead in his bed. When the maid, Aveline Ortega, hands the police officer a vial with poison she found in the kitchen, Lizzy is taken into custody on the suspicion of murdering her husband. Kildare links the murder of John Cree to the Limehouse Golem murders. Throughout the story, the interrogation of Lizzy by Kildare is interrupted by flashbacks of what has happened to Lizzy in the past. Only at the very end does Kildare figure out who has committed the murders.

What I liked about The Limehouse Golem

It is a wonderfully done period drama, mixing a whodunnit with horror (says who you can’t cross genre in one story?). I loved the women’s hairdos, the clothing, the setting. It was all very convincingly done.

The story starts slow, picking up the pace and keeping you on the edge of your seat as more as more red herrings are thrown into the story. You keep on guessing until the very end when the revelation is made.

It was nice to see some new faces on the screen.

What I didn’t like about The Limehouse Golem

Toward the end it became increasingly clear who had done it. There just wasn’t any evidence yet.

Summary

Overall, I thought it was a most enjoyable story, taking you back to Victorian London (a favorite time of mine). It is a nice way to spend an evening, trying to guess who the perpetrator is and seeing the elimination process develop. Performances are great, enhancing the enjoyment. I recommend this movie to those with a strong stomach due to the graphic depictions of the murders.

Brush Up On Your Tenses – The Conditional Tense

Conditional Tenses

Conditionals are a grammatical mood (remember moods) to express:

what happens

will happen

might have happened

would have happened

if you do

will do

did

did

something

In other words, they talk about the consequences of facts/hypothetical situations.

Example: If you read this article, your writing may improve.

In this example the improvement of your writing may happen, doesn’t just happen. It is a possible consequence of the condition of reading this article. Your writing may improve if you read this article. And yes, the sentence still means the same when you turn it around, but like always, you use a comma when you put the ‘if’ part before the main clause.

Conditional sentences have two parts:

  1. The main clause, stating what could/would/should happen (in past, present, or future)
  2. The conditional clause (the ‘if’ clause), stating what the condition is for the main clause to happen

Conditional tenses can be positive, mostly using ‘if’ in the condition, or negative, using ‘unless’ in the condition. The negative conditional tenses use the same sentence structure as the positive conditional tenses.

There are four types of conditional sentences, expressing different meanings.

Zero Conditional Tense

This is a commonly used form of the conditional tense.

Usage:

For general truths/realistic expectations, not specific situations.

Construction:

If clause –> simple present

Main clause –> simple present

Example: If you write, you are a writer.

 

First Conditional Tense

Usage:

These refer to possible conditions and probable real-world results in the future, based on facts. They are often warnings.

Construction:

If clause –> simple present

Main clause –> simple future (may contain modals)

Example: If you write today, you will finish your book tomorrow.

Example: If you don’t write today, you may not finish your book tomorrow.

The second example includes a modal in the main clause.

Note: For the next two Conditional tenses, you need to know:

The present conditional tense is formed by two elements: would + infinitive

Example: It would work.

The perfect conditional tense is formed by the elements: would have + past participle

Example: It would have worked.

Second Conditional Tense

Usage:

To describe a situation anytime that is very likely unreal. The if clause is hypothetical and/or completely unrealistic, i.e. not based on facts. The main clause, i.e. the result of the conditional, is probable but not certain.

Usually, a modal auxiliary verb (must, shall, will, should, would, can could, may, and might) is used in the main clause to express the (un)likelihood of the result happening.

Construction:

If clause –> simple past

Main clause –> present conditional/present continuous conditional

Example: If I won the lottery, I would share it with you.

Often, If I was… is replaced by If I were…

Example: If I were you, I wouldn’t do it.

Again, modals are usually used in the main clause.

Example: He might write a review if you paid him for it.

 

Third Conditional Tense

Usage:

To describe how things would be different if something had changed in the past. The main clause describes a contrast of the current reality, but the if clause could have been real.

Construction:

If clause –> past perfect

Main clause –> perfect conditional/perfect continuous conditional

Example: If only I had paid more attention at school, I would be a better writer now.

 

Mixed Conditional Tense

The ‘mixed’ refers to the different times of the two parts of the conditional sentence.

 Usage:

  1. When you express a present result of a past condition

Both parts of the sentence are a contrast of reality.

Construction:

  • If clause –> past perfect
  • Main clause –> present conditional

Example: If I sold a million books for 99c, I would be rich.

This is not the same as the Third Conditional Tense, where you use the past perfect and perfect conditional.

  1. When you express a past result of a present/continuing condition.

Construction:

  • If clause –> simple past (now or always)
  • Main clause –> perfect conditional (before now)

Example: If I wasn’t so distracted by social media, I would have finished my novel a long time ago.

 

Overview

Conditional sentence type Usage If clause verb tense Main clause verb tense
Zero General truths Simple present Simple present
Type 1 A possible condition and its probable result Simple present Simple future
Type 2 A hypothetical condition and its probable result Simple past Present conditional or Present continuous conditional
Type 3 An unreal past condition and its probable result in the past Past perfect Perfect conditional
Mixed type An unreal past condition and its probable result in the present

An unreal (current) condition and its probable result in the past

Past perfect

 

Simple past

Present conditional

 

Perfect conditional

(Table adapted from https://www.ef.co.uk/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/)

The Watson Letters – An American Werewolf in Londen

I’m afraid I haven’t got a ‘Meet the Author’ interview for you this week as I’ve been too preoccupied with my trip to Dublin. However, some of you may remember Colin Garrow’s interview from 2016. Ever since I met Colin, I’ve been a great fan of his work. I’ve read his books The Demon of Devilgate Drive and Death on a Dirty Afternoon. I have, as well, read several of his The Watson Letters blogs.

Just now, Colin has started a new blog series, titled An American Werewolf in London. Holmes, Watson, and the witty and clever Mary, Watson’s wife (love that woman!), will tackle a new paranormal phenomenon in the UK capital. Get a bite of this one, and many more as Colin will continue the story in fortnighly(-ish) additions.

Read An American Werewolf in Londen, by Colin Garrow!

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Another Great Review for Living Like A Vampire!

We all know how important reviews are for writers. It boosts our ranks on Amazon, making our books more visible for readers, and hopefully result in more sales which, hopefully one day, makes our writing sustainable.

Leonard Tillerman is one of those wonderful people who writes reviews for pleasure. He buys our books (instead of trying to get a free copy) and writes honest reviews. He really cares about our books! Now, because Leonard writes from the heart, you’re not guaranteed a great review. If your work sucks, he’ll tell you (in a nice way!). Getting a review from Leonard isn’t easy, though. There are so many other writers vying for one. Yet, I worked hard, did my best… and Leonard picked my book!

I must say I’ve been biting my nails while waiting for the verdict. He ramped up the tension as he was really busy at work and had to postpone reading my book. I was relieved and over the moon when he told me he loved my book! Here’s what he wrote:

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Have you ever considered what you would do if you saw the world as you know it coming to an end?  Your very existence being replaced by the arrival of a new order which has no mercy or place for you.  Mere fodder for their impending triumph.  Would you attempt to preserve your life by running for the hills and hiding?  Perhaps you would choose the opposite approach and make one last desperate stand.  Fighting to the bitter end to protect your loved ones and way of life.  What would you do?  If such a potential scenario intrigues you, then Suckers-Living Like A Vampire by Jacky Dahlhaus, would be an excellent pick for your reading pleasure!

Essentially, the book begins by following a trio of teachers who are forced to flee their town and hide from an ever-increasing horde of vampires who are terrorizing the countryside.  A virus has created this vampire menace called suckers who are stronger, faster and superior to the mere humans who they quickly utilize as their food source.  In the midst of this bloody terror, our main character, Kate, encounters a handsome and suave sucker by the name of Caleb. Sparks fly and despite everything, our heroine quickly falls in love with the handsome vampire.  She is beyond smitten!  However, after Caleb disappears, Kate finds herself roaming and searching to find her lost love.  Will she ever find the true love she has been missing in the midst of chaos, terror and destruction?  Or maybe she will soon discover that it has been there all along?

B1_W600_RGB_180531This novel would certainly fit into the paranormal romance category.  However, it is also quite full of non-stop action and plot twists which really make you stop and think.  It is a good versus evil theme, but there are plenty of “sub themes” which take place as well.  While there is certainly love and romance in this book, there is also fear, suspense, surprise, mystery and foreshadowing of things yet to come.  There is warfare, gangs of wandering vampires and plenty of blood and gore.  It is truly a book which is hard to put down as it is both engaging and entirely creative!

There are a number of interesting characters in this novel as well.  The author’s narration style and quick, snappy chapters make it quite easy to follow the story without getting lost in the plot details or in regards to the various characters.  While there may be a number of different characters in the tale, Kate and Charlie are explored and developed in the most detail.  Kate makes for a convincing, yet somewhat naïve heroine.  Nevertheless, by the end of the story we have seen incredible growth in her and get the sense that big things are yet to come for this brave, young woman.  Charlie on the other hand is a very atypical hero who experiences steady growth throughout the book.  He is a very easy character to love and relate to.  The reader will find themselves cheering for Charlie on more than just one occasion!

Living Like A Vampire has all the elements which are needed for a wonderful story.  Descriptive writing which flows, a fascinating plot and some very intriguing characters.  The setting also totally matches and supports the storyline and gives a very “dystopian feel” to the time and place. Due to some sexual content and violence, I would recommend this novel to an adult audience. I absolutely look forward to reading more from Jacky Dahlhaus.

5 out of 5 Bloodsucking Stars for this one!

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Thanks again, Leonard, for such a wonderful review!

Leonard Tillerman has his own website with lots of great reviews of indie author books. You can find them all here.

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