What I’m reading today II – Goodreads update

Alex Ankarr is 7% done with A Shadow on the Sun: Although it’s well-written I’m having trouble suspending disbelief due to the characters’ very ‘fantasy world-building’ names. It’s always a problem with made-up names, and I’m still at the point of finding them slightly risible. The story’s good so I’ll be able to shake that reaction off soon.

Honestly I’d be as happy if fantasy authors just called everyone Bill and Ted. Well, not the girls, maybe.


‘The Christmas Mansion’ by Hollis Shiloh – Goodreads book review

23463307629_ec6ca5fb52_kThe Christmas MansionThe Christmas Mansion by Hollis Shiloh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three point five. Nice attraction between the MCs, and an interesting combo of house restoration and magic!

View all my reviews

Image – Andy Miccone on Flickr, public domain.

Plotzing* over Plots

11052054925_3421bbdc21_o*thanks to Louise Fitzhugh via Harriet the Spy. Tomato sandwiches and all.

I’m trying to plan out a plotline for a sequel to A Spell For Destruction, my ‘gay-wizard up to no good with a dodgy ex-boyfriend and his new fiancee’ title. (That’s a sub-genre, right? I think that’s a whole sub-genre in itself.)

(Just a plotline. I’m still hacking away at my wolf trilogy-tetralogy-quintet etc. That’s the one that’s getting actual words added to it, instead of just me doodling mind-maps and making lists of character traits, and places on the ballpoint-pen map where the main characters can shag like bunnies. Em, not bunnies. Or a bunny and a wolf.  Which is probably a risky combo.)

Now, a title is easy – A Spell For Creation, right? Well, probably. Or on the other hand possibly not. But it’ll do as a placeholder for the time being.

The title’s not a problem. Forget the title. But the plot might be a little bit of a problem. Thing is, I thought I was being terribly clever with the first book in the series. In which Pell – he’s the warlock-one – is hired by his old boyfriend, to check out that his new fiancée is absolutely legit and on the level.

(Pretty harsh, right? To hire your old love for that, doing the magical private dick thing and private investigatoring all over the new flame’s past history? But on the other hand, Pell is very good at what he does, and he’s totally over Stephen. Or so he tells himself.)

I won’t give away the whole thing – you’ll need to read the actual book for that! But suffice it to say, that what appears to be going on here isn’t what’s actually occurring. There’s unseen motivations, hunters who are actually prey, and a narrator who hasn’t got access to the true facts of the situation…

Which leads, naturally, to a cliffhanger ending, and a sudden switch in the power balance and relationship statuses.

Cliffhanger endings! Undisclosed last-minute surprises! Because readers are going to go for that, right?

Oh, boy. Readers were mad at me! Check it out here on Goodreads, or here on the link for the book on Amazon.com if you don’t believe me. How mad? Pretty mad!

Well. Readers have a right to their reactions. (LOL, as if they don’t know that already.) And it’s the first book in a series of either two or three – haven’t quite figured that out yet. So I figured I could fix it up and justify the machinations of the characters and the emotional development via – HEY LOOK AT THAT DINOSAUR OVER THERE! THE ONE IN POLKA DOTS!

Well, via some chicanery, a few further plot twists, and the hidden stew of feelings of the apparently unmoved and unloving narrator, that’s what.

Yeah, easy to shrug off some sharp reviews, when your struggles with a sequel are relegated to some distant spot in the future. Except, now it’s time to at least have a tussle with the plot outline for A Spell For Destruction II! And I’m not laughing anymore!

So wish me luck, because I’m sharpening my 2A pencils, furiously scribbling away at dozens of mind-maps with convoluted arrows shooting off in every direction, and writing down lists of major plot points that leave yawning gulfs of WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS HERE? in the middle. From underpants to profits, in 92 easy steps!


Image – Thomas Ingoldsby, no known copyright restrictions.

Warlock Wishes


And if I had

magic power that could

I would not enchant your heart

Would not even think to start

Would only let you know I would

Not even do it though I could

Preferring means of sweat and work

write you poems !¡! — like a twerp

Honest courting, tried and true

Yours the power, up to you.

And if that didn’t work, perhaps a teensy little charm.

© Alex Ankarr 2015 All rights reserved

Image Anna Irving via Creative Commons licence

Love Spells & Personal Hells – Fluffy Gay Romance!

Tenn is a trainee warlock, but he’s pretty good, close to his Masters in the subject in fact. Honestly, he’s pretty good! So how on earth he manages to accidentally, drunkenly put a love spell on the gorgeous guy Connor in the apartment below him is a mystery… And one he has to set right, if only the supernaturally enamoured Connor will let him!