Week Four: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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For the past month, I have been taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens. 

#FictFBFeb17 has now come to an end. I would like to thank Faith for hosting such a brilliant exercise. This challenge allowed us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offer readers insight into their stories. Not only that, as a result of this challenge, I have new names to add to my ARC readers list, and have had readers message me to let me know that they downloaded my EVO Nation series thanks to my posts! What a brilliant result. Thank you to everyone who has shared and commented on my posts, and a big thank you to those who have asked for ARCs when Zombie Playlist is finished.

I chose to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day was a different theme, and here are my posts from the last week.

Day 22: Flop

Day 23: Flinch

Day 24: Frozen

Day 25: Fifty

 

Day 26: Fulfil

Day 27: Future

Day 28: Finish


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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February Reads Round Up

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Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

16443577_1422744914443588_878056584_nFull Review: Frenchman’s Creek.

I gave this book 5/5. Another Du Maurier masterpiece. Pirates, Cornwall, and adventure. Brilliantly written characters and narrative that keeps you enthralled. A healthy dose of danger and macabre. Highly recommended.

 

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

16809103_1436806583037421_1035257087_nFull Review: Old Man’s War.

I gave this book 3.5/5. Interesting concept of space colonisation, elderly recruits given young bodies to fight in the army, and sci-fi by the bucket load. I found the age aspect refreshing; old minds in young bodies.

 

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

16780461_1433774133340666_2063343453_nFull Review: The Hero fo Ages.

I gave this book 5/5. Perfect way to conclude the trilogy. Nothing I say will do this series justice. Epic world building, character development, and narrative progression. A series not to be missed.

 

Suffragette: The Diary of Dottie Baxter by Carol Drinkwater

16707182_1431094340275312_273811952_nFull Review: Suffragette: The Diary of Dollie Baxter.

I gave this book 3/5. I’m not usually one for reading books with a diary excerpt layout as I find them jarring. That being said, this book has long excerpt so its not too choppy. A great way to educate young adults in the Suffragette movement.

 

True Calling by Siobhan Davis

16977056_1445355945515818_1947444955_nFull Review: True Calling

I gave this book 4/5. A new planet to sustain human life, a bizarre, televised, ‘pairing system’ to ensure reproduction, and an enormous dose of deception. The two POVs gave the narrative another dimension, and the love triangle was fun to read. One for Hunger Games and Divergent fans.

 


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Review: True Calling by Siobhan Davis

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True Calling by Siobhan Davis 4/5

16977056_1445355945515818_1947444955_n.jpgFor Ariana Skyee, Planet Novo was everything it promised to be until the authorities introduced “The Calling” as their response to repopulation. Now, all seventeen-year-olds are to participate in this Bachelor-style pageant to find their perfect match, marry, and have children.

But that’s not Ariana’s only concern. Thanks to the government-sanctioned memory erase, she has no recollection of Zane, the mystery boy who haunts her dreams. Things are further complicated when the pageant commences and her feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify. Together, they start to realize not everything about their new home is as it seems.

Entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, Ariana sets out to identify the truth. Conflicted over warnings that Cal isn’t trustworthy and alarmed at the government’s increasing interest in her, she doesn’t know where to turn. But her search for the truth comes at a high personal price. When her world implodes, discovering the past shapes her future with devastating consequences.

Review:

Ariana lives on Planet Novo, a man-made habitat twelve hundred miles from the surface of Earth. Repopulation is taken seriously and The Calling is a bizarre, televised way to pair seventeen year olds with their perfect match to ensure more children.

I started reading this book in 2016, but had to stop due to ARCs and review requests. I picked up where I left off and easily fell back into the story once again.

This book had a strong Hunger Games feel to it- without the killing of the opponants. The us and them (government) factor was a strong, underlying theme. I found The Calling a weird, futuristic way to pair people to repopulate. It’s a unique concept, and I had great fun learning how the system was set up and at what lengths the government would go to ensure it’s success.

That’s not all. Ariana is caught in a love triangle; one that enfolds for Ariana just as much as it does for the reader. What are the government hiding? Ariana has to try and fill in the void of her erased memories and keep those feelings separate from her current feelings. The narrative is well paced and kept me engaged until the end. I want to say more, but I must refrain from spoilers.

The two POVs added an interesting dynamic to the narrative. I enjoyed Zane’s perspective, although, I did feel like I was getting double doses of the same information from time to time.

Fans of the Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy True Calling immensely.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

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Guest Post: Naming Characters

Brianna Merritt has kindly hosted me on her wonderful blog. Pop over to gain insight into my process for naming characters. And while you’re there, why not click that follow button. You won’t be disappointed.

Brianna Merritt Writing

kayleigh-chapman



Today I have a fabulous treat for you! I’ve asked the wonderful writer Kayleigh to share her insights and inspiration on finding the perfect name for any character. 

Thank you to Brianna for having me guest post on her wonderful blog. When Brianna asked me what I might be interested in writing about, I had just been questioned by a fellow writer about how I choose character names. The timing was great, and I hope this post is helpful in some small way.

Many moons ago, I put together a check list of eight important factors to consider before naming a character. The following tried and tested steps have not failed me, yet.

Gut instinct: Always and foremost go with what feels right. A perfect name is only perfect because it feels that way to the author, and hopefully, the reader.

Google it: Run all possible name combinations through…

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Week Three: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day 15: Familiar

Day 16: Forward

Day 17: Feel

Day 18: Fringe

Day 19: Fling

Day 20: Fever

Day 21: Follow


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Muse-ic

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What have I been listening to whilst researching and taking notes for EVO Ghost? Well, one song in particular is drawing my attention of late. This is not a new song to me or the EVO Nation series. I have listened to this song during the drafting of books one and two, and now, it is making an appearance again for EVO Ghost.

The lyrics for this could have been written for EVO Ghost. The theme of fighting for your life is important in both this song and my book.

Death surrounds
My heartbeat’s slowing down
I won’t take this world’s abuse
I won’t give up or refuse
This is how it feels when you’re bent and broken
This is how it feels when your dignity’s stolen
When everything you love is leaving
You hold on to what you believe in

What is on your writing playlist? Are there any go to songs that inspire you regardless of how many times you’ve heard them?

Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Update 19/2/17

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It has been nearly five weeks since my last update. Oopps! I have been working on both EVO Ghost and Zombie Playlist since the last update, so working out the word count is going to be interesting. I haven’t thought to do a word count in these last five weeks, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

Word Count:

On the 13/1/17 my EVO Ghost word count was 27k. I am now at 38.5k. I didn’t check my word count for Zombie Playlist in January, but I am at 12.5k now, so I’d hazard a guess that I have written about 4k in five weeks. EVO Ghost steals more of my attention, so 4k isn’t too bad.

Researching and Note-Taking:

I may not have written more than about 15k in five weeks, but I have been researching various subjects for EVO Ghost and filling my notebook like you would not believe. As I have said before, I don’t write well if I plan too much, but recapping on the first two books, and mapping out chapters I have already written, has been useful.

I rarely make notes for Zombie Playlist. The notebook that I use is mini, and I only seem to use it when I’m on the go and can’t get to my laptop. I write long hand to type up at a later date. I’m sure more note taking will occur, but EVO Ghost takes priority. Sorry, Dagger, but you have to wait your turn!

Busy Bee:

This week has been a particularly bad writing week. I say week, more like ten days. I’ve had a lot on: school craft afternoons, half-term holiday, three parties, family visits, a wedding, a gardening day… It has been never ending. If I really wanted to, I could have written between six and seven in the mornings when my daughter eats breakfast and watches TV, or for a few hours in the evenings once she was in bed, but I simply didn’t want to. I’ve had a nice week reading and watching Netflix and Amazon. I’m catching up on Black Sails, and have now entered the last season of Breaking Bad. Yes, I’m late to hop on the band wagon, but I’m here now. Oh, and I also watched all of Santa Clarita Diet.. and season three of The 100. Not forgetting, I’m up to season two of Peaky Blinders and episode three of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series. Okay, okay, I’ve watched a lot of TV.

March is the Month:

I have told myself to treat March as a deadline month. I don’t actually have a deadline, or set one for myself, but I would like to write at least 1k words a day, making the most of those early morning hours and evenings where possible. I’m not too fussed if I fall short on the 1k daily goal, as long as I’m actively writing every day. I shall let you know how I get on when I remember to post another update.

Excerpt:

My excerpts shall be short to avoid spoilers.

Zombie Playlist

“There’s a car. Does that mean someone lives here?” King whispers.

“How do I know? I can’t see through bloody walls.”

“Then, we knock.”

I look to him in disbelief. “Season yourself up first. It’s only right if you’re going to serve yourself up as a zombie snack.”

“So, we’re going to break into someone’s house?”

“What are they going to do? Call the police? If you want, you can stay here, and I’ll scout the place.”

He doesn’t take much convincing. His knuckles turn white from gripping the bat, and he sinks further into the grass. “Don’t kill anyone who is alive. Please, Dagger, I mean it.”

“As long as they’re not trying to kill me,” I say, climbing the fence and sprinting to the side of the building with my gun raised.

EVO Ghost

I can’t ask people to fight, Teddie, because I am a sheep in wolf’s clothing. All I can do is try to provide safety- that is my service.”

“Do what you’ve got to do. You’re the one who has to live with yourself and your choices, just don’t judge me on what I have to do, because I have to live with myself too.”

“Although I now see that my campaign was futile, I’m intrigued as to what has changed with you? You would not allow me use your name to further my cause.”

“I’ve found a leader to believe in.”

Grayson lowers his eyes. “Ah, yes, I believe you have. I had to look that man in the eyes today, after betraying him all those years ago. I saw no hate.”

“Rafe isn’t fuelled by hate, but by what’s right.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Review: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

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Old Man’s War by John Scalzi 3.5/5

16809103_1436806583037421_1035257087_nWith his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry’s service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens.

The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring their youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including a brain-implanted computer. But all too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry must fight for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds.

Review:

I have been neglecting my sci-fi reads of late. I wanted something to get me thinking, take me on an adventure in space, and surprise me at every turn. Old Man’s war has a fantastic concept: take old people, give them a new body, but on one condition… they are part of a space army, and their youth comes at a price.

During the first one hundred pages or so, I could easily stop and start this book. Sometimes, going days between reading it, helped me to get back into the story when I found the time. That being said, it did pick up, and I read the remainder of the book much more quickly.

Scalzi’s imagination is broad and a wonder to read. I wanted sci-fi and I got sci-fi by the bucket load. The characters were refreshing; the older generation- even after they swap bodies- still had seventy-five year old, wise minds. It was a fun mix of old and young. And what would you do if you were seventy-five and suddenly in a younger body…Oh, they did! Lots!

The overall narrative was fast paced. The beginning was a little slower, but the real action started at about chapter seven. We follow Perry through his transformation, through combat, through injury, and through an unexpected encounter. The story progression was well thought out and paced. Scalzi has woven a thought provoking, sci-fi tale that readers, whether eighteen or eighty, can enjoy.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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Review: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

book-review

The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson 5/5

16780461_1433774133340666_2063343453_nTricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson’s saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

Review:

By now, you all know what I think of Sanderson- master storyteller and narrative God! Yet, again he hasn’t failed to disappoint. What a conclusion. What a gut wrenching, heart breaking, euphoric, awe inspiring, way to end a series. Damn you, Sanderson. You both enthrall me and break my heart. There were times when I wanted to put the book in the freezer. We’ve all been there.

I can’t talk about this book without reviewing it as a whole in regards to the trilogy. Everything has finality, I felt satisfied with the conclusion, and I am glad that my husband encouraged me to start this series. Small characters in book one, naturally develop into important characters by book three. Don’t get me started on the amazing character development throughout. Of course, Vin and Elend are legendary to me, but Sazed, Spook, Marsh. As a writer, I have serious character envy. As a reader, I love them all.

At about 95%, one sentence made up of six words had me sobbing like a baby. Just a pre-warning.

I always rave about Sanderson’s world building because it is fully submersive. It envelops you in a reading bubble that is hard to pop, even when you have finished the book. I can’t wait to read book four. Book four is based on different characters in the same world, and although my heart hurts a little at the prospect of reading on without my much loved characters, I know I can’t miss out on Sanderson’s newbies.

The Mistborn series is not to be missed. Just telling you about it doesn’t do it justice.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

Week Two: Fictional Flashback February 2017

fictfeb

This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day 8: Freedom

Day 9: Fear

Day 10: Friendship

Day 11: Found

Day 12: Four

Day 13: Fragile

Day 14: Forever


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

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