Monday, 31 August 2020

Book Read in August 2020


Naples '44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis - 3 stars

Recap: The diary of a British military intelligence man in WW2 occupied Italy.

Review: Small snippets of Italian character help to bring these accounts alive but the offhand references to things like rape and squalid living conditions render events unimaginable. This was a slow read for me.




First Second Coming by Jeff Pollack - 3 stars

Recap: A new God appears to journalists Brendali and Ram on their new talk show and utters an ultimatum.

Review: This book is part thriller, part romance, part religious ideology and part futuristic. A review book from THE Book Club, I thought from the intro blurb this would be humorous - my mistake, it's a very serious, very well researched opinion novel on the world's religious difficulties. There's a lot here to digest, the romance adding lighter notes and the thriller parts heightening the tension.



The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker - 5 stars

Recap: Former Queen Briseis, given to Achilles as a prize during war, tells her account of events.

Review: I really liked this. I've also read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller so it was interesting to have the story told again but this time from the women's perspective. I enjoyed the historical fiction element as well as the character interplay and development.



Thief of Stars by T.W.M. Ashford - 5 stars

** spoiler alert ** Recap: In his quest to find a way home, Jack Bishop is recruited by a slave race to steal a star.

Review: Still loving the characters and the world-building. Jack's emotions pull you in, especially at the end with the big reveal. I was so sad when Tuner didn't make it and Rogan's reaction just had me in bits. It's pacey and well-written and makes you want to cry, in a sort of good way. There are so many good bits, I'd probably end up retelling you the entire book. Looking forward to book three.



Prey by L.V. Lane - 4 stars

Recap: Belle is an Omega and she's hiding, that is until Alpha brothers Silas, Nate and Dax find her and claim her.

Review: It sure is fun to read a book that makes you feel naughty lol. I thought the author handled the sex scenes well, it wasn't a massive cliche or overly repetitive and the characters were fleshed out enough for you to make a connection to them. The worldbuilding/backstory at times felt a little placed and from a storytelling point of view there were some missed opportunities but let's face it you're not reading this novella for that reason. The werewolf brother was a stroke of genius. Definitely a fun 'romp'!


My Life In Your Hands by Tammy Lloyd - 4 stars 

Recap: A new supermarket is coming to the Hopes home town. That's a good thing... right?

Review: I think what made this book a disturbing read was the fact that it's only a few short steps away from where we are now and those parallels always work well. I'm not sure the technology was quite right for the late 1980s - did they even have fitbits then? Whilst the majority of the book flowed well and had good pace, the beginning was bogged down with too much exposition. I'm wondering whether this is the first book in a series because the ending felt clipped and definitely left you dangling. That said it was an easy read, entertaining and you really felt for main character Diane Hope and her son - also, the ramifications for education based on the Singlemart points plan really got to me.



Athena's Child by Hannah M. Lynn - 4 stars

Recap: Medusa's story

Review: I enjoyed this Greek myth retelling. It was a quick read, well-paced and I came away with feelings of compassion for the snake-headed gorgon. I know aspects of the Greek myth but you could read this without any knowledge at all, it's explained well without being overloaded.



Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Holly Rae Garcia

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author Holly Rae Garcia.

Holly is a corporate photographer by day. When she's not shooting or editing, she writes short stories and novels and runs a local book club. They meet at the pub. Okay, they're a wine club that talks about books. Semantics.

She's worn a lot of hats over the years, working as a waitress, bartender, 911 dispatcher, wedding photographer, lab technician, and a handful of soul-crushing roles at soul-crushing companies. But not her current role, that job is fantastic (in case her boss is reading this).

Holly loves the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Keyes, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King. Dark stories with sad endings are her jam. In her own writing, she leans towards the horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres.

Close to the Bone Publishing released her debut novel, Come Join the Murder, on March 27th, 2020. Her novella coming out Oct 30th, 2020, The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot's Revenge, was co-written with her husband and fellow author, Ryan Prentice Garcia.

Holly lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

What kind of stories do you write?

I like to write dark stories with a revenge focus. Whether that’s psychological thrillers or horror books, I feel like revenge is one of those unique situations that can turn anyone into a killer. I love playing with the idea of the bad guy being good and the good guy being bad, and that we’re all capable of evil if pushed far enough. Contemporary, human-based books are my preference to read and write. I've dabbled a bit in fantasy for a few short stories, but I feel like real humans are the most interesting and horrific creature out there.

Can you describe your writing why?

To see if I could. I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, and I just wanted to see if I could write a book. Looking back now, it’s hilarious how na├»ve I was about the whole process. I’m obsessive by nature, and devoured everything I could find on the topic. But the best way to learn how to write a book… is to write a book, right? The learning curve was enormous and often painful but I was driven to see it through. I learned a lot about the craft, about what I liked to write, and cut my teeth on many short stories along the way. I would not recommend it to new writers, but it was my process and I wouldn’t change it for anything. As for why I continue to write, I’m addicted to creating worlds and people that weren’t there before and the idea of making readers feel something from my writing. Whether that’s disgust, fear, or joy, the idea that someone is imagining and feeling things from my words… it’s almost magic.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

I’ll share the opening of Chapter 23 from Come Join the Murder. Some of my favorite sections would spoil it too much, but this section after a storm where water collects around a child’s swing and moss-hung trees tower above…is one of my favorite non-spoilers.

“Rebecca leaned against the edge of the sink in the kitchen and listened to the coffee maker putter as it dripped water through the grounds and into the pot below. Above the dirty dishes was a window to the back yard, framing a large oak tree that oversaw the small fenced in space. Gray moss fluttered as it floated from the branches. Underneath the hanging moss was a well-used swing set. The chains creaked as the swing slowly rocked; an invisible wind pushing an invisible child. Attached was a slide with water pooled at the bottom from last night’s storm, and a few branches from the tree had fallen around it. Rebecca grabbed a dishtowel and was halfway to the back door before realizing she didn’t need to wipe down the slide. There was no longer a soggy-bottomed boy to worry about.”

Tell us about your latest project

Come Join the Murder is one of those twisted, dark thrillers about a mom who is seeking revenge for her son’s death. Told in both her perspective and that of the killer, the chapters dance around each other until the two finally meet. As the novel progresses, we see Rebecca’s downward spiral as she obsesses over her mission.

I’m currently working with my husband on a Bigfoot horror novella tentatively titled Easton Falls Massacre. I love sci-fi or cryptozoological horror, even the cheesy B-story stuff. I realize Bigfoot is very different from Come Join the Murder, but the dark themes are prevalent throughout both.

What is your favourite cake?

I would have to say… anything free in the break room at work. Self-control goes out the window, especially if there’s still a corner piece with lots of icing available. To me, that’s the only point of cake, to be a vehicle for delicious icing. If I’m buying, my favorite would be Tres Leches. Which is funny, because that one doesn’t have any icing. 


That's a new one on me, Holly. I'll have to check it out. You can connect with Holly at her website hollyraegarcia.com/ and find her books on Amazon.

Join me next week when I have an extra slice of cake with Rob Edwards.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!


Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Tuesday Poem - Colour Changes

It's not time yet but it soon will be
The mornings will reclaim some darkness
And the evenings will lengthen
A darkness is coming

It's still yellows and oranges
Bright things still twinkling
Cerulean blue dancing in the sky
Summer still shines

But the seasons will shift
September rustles around the corner
And Autumn is checking 
That it's dancing shoes are ready

Browns and reds and purples are shifting
Greens and blues and yellows fading
The earth is saving is strength
Changing colours, falling

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Downshifting Moods

Have you noticed that things seem a bit tough at the moment?

Some people struggled right at the beginning of lockdown, some began nosediving more towards the middle but a lot of us are having a hard time right now.

Being a creative - be it music, art, words or another medium - it's a tough cycle. There are ups and downs, periods of sublime inspiration and pits of utter despair. That's normal. As are those feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome as well as the total loss of self-belief. 

However, what we're experiencing now is a double-dip. All the usual plus an extra dollop of lockdown blues. 

Why is it happening now? I don't know. But it very definitely feels like a collective, almost herd-like response to our external environment. 

Creatives ride those waves of inspiration and I think what's happening at the moment is that instead of all of us feeding off each other in a positive feedback loop, no one is looping at all. 

I mentioned my wobble to an artist friend who agreed wholeheartedly. This was echoed by a writer friend who had also reached out to other writers. We are collectively wobbling. 

And that's okay. It's fine to not be 'on it' all the time, that's just life. And let's be honest, 2020 has been a whopper of a year.

So what is it I'm actually trying to say here? 

Be kind to yourself, take a break, have a slice of cake, enjoy something. You can't be on it all the time, no one can. But you can look after yourself. 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

A Slice of Cake With... David Kummer

Today I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author David Kummer.

David is a young writer who leans towards horror, mystery, dystopian, and young adult fiction. He lives in Madison, Indiana, a small town on the Ohio River, with lots of history and settings that influence his books. He also reviews horror movies and books on his blog, davidkummer.com, as well as free short stories and other material.

What kind of stories do you write?

The books I write generally have elements of horror but they focus a lot more on the personal side of things and the character’s development through those events. I love to have quirky characters and weird names, people that you probably would avoid if you saw them in town. But when you read about them, they become some of your favorite people.

I also love writing about the end of the world or at least a state of being in a darker setting of world. Whether that’s an apocalyptic desert scene or the calm before a nationwide pandemic, I enjoy these types of settings and exploring how different characters react. Everybody has a different way they try to survive and a style that’s completely their own. I think scary and world-ending settings allow me to explore my characters most effectively. And of course, everybody loves a good mystery.

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve been writing since I was really young, but I personally feel like it helps me to exercise the thoughts that build up in my head. There are pros and cons, of course. I sometimes feel more insecure or doubt myself more while writing, but at the same time I have moments of satisfaction. It’s a difficult balance, but I work to keep going. I think with each book that I write and improve at, I feel a little bit better about myself and what I’ve been able to do.

I love to entertain people and I really enjoy the moments when my book makes a lasting impact on someone, but at the same time a lot of the writing process is about myself. Struggling versus myself, working through my own limits. And in the end, I try to deliver the best product possible.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

This is from my book Until We Burn, right near the beginning.

A yellow sign stood by the road, its color a thousand times brighter because of the fire. Dancing, brilliant flames were reflected on the shimmering surface, blinding anybody who stared for too long. “Church” was written in deep, black letters against a background brighter than the sun, standing out against the darkness all around it. 


Tell us about your latest project

My book focuses on a group of four young adults that are traveling through desert wilderness, towards this mysterious destination called “Home.” One of the group members, Lucy, is sick and her condition worsening. The main character, Art, is falling in love with her at the same time. The book centers around that conflict, of loving a doomed person. But in a bigger sense, it’s about the journey itself. The four of them are being chased as they travel, with no option but to push ahead, no ability to turn back. Their only hope is to reach Home before Lucy dies and before they’re caught. But the closer they get, the more they understand. Home isn’t what they think.

The majority of my books are thrillers or mysteries, but Home was a lot different. I wrote this book in the months after my grandfather died unexpectedly, so while there are mysterious elements in the book the bigger point is asking big questions. It was my process of working through that whole experience. It’s meant to be thought-provoking, something that sticks with you, and hopefully something you think back on fondly. But more than anything, it begs the question, “Where are we going?”


What is your favourite cake?

My favorite cake is Boston Cream Pie, which might sound like a pie but it’s definitely a cake and it’s excellent. It’s been my favorite cake for a number of years and I don’t really know what the best part is. I do love whenever it’s super cold and the chocolate is kind of frozen, but also the vanilla pudding or whatever in the middle.


You can connect with David here:

Website: davidkummer.com 
Twitter: @DavidKummer7

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Holly Rae Garcia.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round! 


Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Tuesday Poem - Blueberry Muffins

I like blueberry muffins
he said
But not strawberry ones

Can we make blueberry muffins
he said
All cakey and nice

Then I can eat blueberry muffins
he said
They're so yummy 

I'd love to make blueberry muffins
I said
It's a lovely idea

Cooking with you is the best
I thought
It's our thing since you were little

The thought of making muffins
with you
Makes me smile from the inside out


Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday, 17 August 2020

Those Lazy Days...

You know when you kick back in the holidays, when the days feel like they're never going to end and you just get slow? When you're baked by the sun and tricked by long summer evenings into thinking that they will never end? And then suddenly you realise that September really isn't that far away and holy moly you've got a lot of work to do.

Those hazy, lazy days of summer have certainly put me in a contented comatose of thinking I have plenty of time left. I really don't. There are only two weeks left in August - two weeks! I've got to get the boy ready to go back to school and I've got to get me ready for the boy going back to school.

I had planned to release Little Book of Autumn in September but I've only written half the poems because, you know, I had all that summertime. 

I had planned to finish writing The Silk Thief by September because, you know, I had all that summertime.

I had planned to finish at least one of the training courses I've signed up to this year because, you know, I had all that summertime.

Well now I've only got two weeks of that summertime left and boy oh boy do I have a lot of stuff to get done. I need a vacation already!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Alex Gedd

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author Alex Gedd.

Alex Gedd is a military veteran, now retired after a medical discharge, fulfilling a life long dream of writing full time. An avid reader, pet owner (his co-authors are six cats and two bird spiders) and a bit of a nerd.

What kind of stories do you write?

Above all, I write about people, how they interact with the world and each other. The need to stay human no matter what. Oh, and this is all happening in the future and some of my characters are genetically engineered and there's space travel. 

Can you describe your writing why?

Writing is a form of relaxation for me. An escape from reality, if you will, and often the only way to share my experiences, things I don't want to remember and can't forget. I see glimpses of people I served with or knew in my characters, and that's my tribute to them. 

Tell us about your latest project

I'm writing a series of books called Weapons Don't Have Names; book one just launched on Amazon. It's a story of two artificial soldiers making a journey across the galaxy to complete a mission they were assigned - transporting two young women who might have some very secret and very dangerous information. It gets dark and violent in places because the future world is anything but utopian, but there's hope, friendships and some comic relief as well. 

What is your favourite cake?

It's probably a terrible thing to say here, but I don't have a sweet tooth at all, so I don't eat cake... or any sweets, really. But give me seasoned meat wrapped in a tortilla or other flatbread and I'll eat that all day. 

*****

Gasp! But we'll let you off - that means there's more cake for us! You can connect with Alex on Facebook and check out his books on Amazon

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with David Kummer.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round! 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Tuesday Poem - Heatwave

The heatwave crawled over the buildings
Sagging low, draping over cars and people
Pressing down relentlessly
Not caring if it was morning, noon or night
It bore down
Heating streets and cars and buildings
Making people listless and crazy

The wind refused to blow
Refused to laugh and play and tumble
The clouds all fled the sky 
And the rain dried up to nothingness
The heatwave gloried in its dominance
Of the world below and 
Of the heavens above

A listless child tries to cry
It's so hot, it doesn't know what to do with itself
The birds have stopped flying
And the insects all went to ground
Plants shut down and cling to the promise of moisture
Fridges hum in desperation 
As cold water churns through pipes

The heatwave luxuriates in its time of dominance
Because it knows it won't last forever
But while it's here it will press every last nerve
It will destroy as many night's sleep as it can
It will lay a whole country low
Burning skins and baking hearts
Turning bright minds into soup

It revels before it must leave
Before the rain clouds muster and bring back life
Before the thunder shakes the firmament
And the lightning cracks the sky
Before the plants and the animals and the man
Can breathe and live and be again
When the heatwave says goodbye


Monday, 10 August 2020

Mid-Year Review

Here we are with my 2020 Mid-Year Review and it's a bit late. That kinda gives you an idea on how my writing year is going!

I mean... 2020... what can you say? It's been a scary year so far. The world has definitely been through the wringer and I don't think there's a single person on the planet who hasn't been affected one way or another. 

As a creative, I have to think about how I can keep the inspiration flowing and keep inching towards my goals. So let's take a look at the year so far.

Books Published


Little Book of Love, the sixth book in the Little Book Series

Love isn't just romance and flowers. Sometimes it's tears and anguish. This collection of twenty-five poems from author and poet Claire Buss take you on a journey of love from delight to heartbreak, including pets, children and those we've lost. Love is everywhere and affects everyone but sometimes we can't say what we feel. Hopefully, these poems will inspire you to spread a little love in your life.


Available in ebook and paperback:

mybook.to/LBLOVE 





The Gaia Collection, all three Gaia books in one volume

The Gaia Collection is the complete trilogy of all three hopeful dystopia, climate-fiction, Gaia books together in one volume.

The books are set 200 years in the future. Most of the planet and the human race have been decimated during The Event when the world went to war with high-energy radiation weapons. Those who are left live in isolated cities across the globe thinking themselves safe and secure from threat. 

In The Gaia Effect, Kira and Jed Jenkins – a young couple who were recently allocated a child – together with their closest friends, discover Corporation have been deliberately lying to them and forcing them to remain sterile. With help from Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, the group of friends begin to fight back against Corporation eventually winning and taking over the governance of City 42.

In The Gaia Project, Corporation fight back under a new, more terrifying organization called New Corp and Kira, Jed and their friends end up fleeing for their lives trying to find a safe place to live. They travel to City 36 and City 9 in vain and must go further afield.

In the final book, The Gaia Solution, the main characters have ended up with the Resistance and not only do they have to deal with surviving against New Corp but an extinction environmental event is looming on the horizon and they’re running out of time to save what’s left of the human race.

Available in hardback and eBook from your favourite retailer:

https://books2read.com/u/mYp9pY


Published Short Stories in Anthologies


The Funny Club - FREE BOOK

Hello and welcome to the Funny Club. This book is an eclectic mix of 12 authors who write different shades of humour in a variety of genres. From satire to smirk, laugh out loud to giggle, we’ve got your funny bones covered. Strap yourself in and refuse to move until you have soaked up every last gag. This is is a not-for-profit publication and free for fans of comedy to enjoy. We hope that the stories within whet your comedy appetite and that you explore the other work of the authors you enjoy.

Includes my short story Bodies in the Graveyard.


Get your free copy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Funny-Club-Nicky-Blue-ebook/dp/B085GCV7TX


Tales From The Pirate's Cove: Twelve tall tales of piracy and plunder 

Set sail for adventure!

Join us in the company of pirates in this treasure trove of stories from a crew of talented authors.

Expect the unexpected - with tales stretching from the high seas to high orbit, from swashbucklers to space corsairs. Navigate these pages to find monsters, time travelers, buccaneers, ghosts and more.

Twelve stories. Twelve authors. Twelve worlds to explore.

Come, me hearties, there are new horizons to discover.


Includes my short story The Last Pirate.

Available to pre-order on Kindle:

mybook.to/piratecove

Release date for eBook and paperback 14th August 2020.


THINGS I HAVE NOT YET DONE...

I have made zero progress with my audiobook plans which I'm really sad about but homeschooling took such a big chunk of my time and in a small flat, it is impossible to keep children quiet for the sake of recording. 


THINGS I AM STILL WORKING ON...

The Silk Thief is the next Roshaven novel and I'm about 64k through the first draft with just a dozen or so more scenes to write. A crit group is also pulling it apart which is great because I can sort out all those problems and niggles before having a reasonably polished second draft. I hope to finish the first draft by the end of August. I just had a chat with my cover designer about the cover and I think it's going to look really good - I can't wait to see it! 

Little Book of Autumn, book 7 in the Little Book Poetry Series will be coming out in September - fingers crossed. I haven't finished writing all the poems yet but it's about half-way completed so that's good. 

And then if I really look ahead, Little Book of Christmas will appear, as if by magic, towards the end of November. It'll be full of tinsel and everything.


And that's the end of my writerly progress. It's not that bad really. Sometimes you have to take a moment to properly reflect before you can realise what you've managed to achieve. 

I hope you have had or will have the chance to reflect and review your year so far and see what you've aced and what you still have to conquer. It's a great way to keep focus and keep moving. Good luck for the rest of 2020!

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

An Extra Slice of Cake With... C.H. Clepitt

This week I am delighted to welcome author C.H. Clepitt back to my blog for an extra slice!

C H Clepitt has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of the West of England. As her Bachelor’s Degree was in Drama, and her Master’s Dissertation focused on little known 18th Century playwright Susannah Centlivre, Clepitt’s novels are extremely dialogue-driven, and it has often been observed that they would translate well to the screen.

Since graduating in 2007, she gained experience in community and music journalism, before establishing satirical news website, Newsnibbles in 2010. In 2011 she published her book, A Reason to Stay, which follows the adventures of disillusioned retail manager, Stephen, as he is thrust into village life and the world of AmDram. Clepitt’s feminist fantasy, The Book of Abisan not only crosses worlds, but confuses genres, and has been described as a crime drama with magic. She has often said that she doesn’t like the way that choosing a genre forces you to put your book into a specific little box, and instead she prefers to distort the readers’ expectations and keep them guessing. Her 2016 work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse does just that, as just like the characters, the readers won’t know what’s going on in this laugh out loud satirical sci-fi.

Describe the types of books you love to read

I like fast-paced stories that jump right in and don’t stop until the end. I can’t be doing with books that spend 3 pages describing a tree.

Which authors inspire you to write?

Philip Pullman for worldbuilding, Sarah Waters for perfectly drawn characters and time periods, and you for nagging me until I get on with it!


Since we last had a slice of cake, what have you been working on?

Crikey, I think our last slice of cake was about 2 years ago, so quite a bit! I had my first foray into contemporary women’s fiction with Curtain Call, which was very well received, I’ve released an urban fantasy series about dream warriors which has kick-ass lesbians and swords (lesbians love a sword) and I have started a series called Shakespeare: Fixed, where I modernise Shakespeare’s plays and “fix” all the problematic bits. My queer take on Twelfth Night won a Booksquirrel award and achieved Amazon Bestseller status in its category, which was exciting.

 

 

What is your next project?

I have recently released book 3 in my Dream Warriors series, Wide Awake. This one is a change of pace, it’s narrated by a man, so totally different voice and world view. Hopefully, people will enjoy it. I’ve included the blurb as an attachment.

I have also published Eye of the Beholder, a similar premise to my Shakespeare Fixed project but with fairytale Beauty and the Beast! 


Have you recently tried any new cake? What was the last cake you baked?

It was my birthday recently and I had one of those Colin the Caterpillar cakes, does that count?

The last cake I ate was a very disappointing Chocolate Log, and I don’t wish to discuss the experience further.

*****

Connect with C.H. Clepitt on Facebook, Twitter and her website

Join me next week when I interview Alex Gedd. If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!


Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.


Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Tuesday Poem - The New, New Year

September is the new New Year
And I’ll tell you for why
Although a time children may fear
Their parents just can’t lie
Lockdown’s been tough
Homeschooling’s been rough
By July we’d all had enough
Back to school kid, with love 

A new New Year means lots of new things
Costing an arm and a leg
Bedecking our children out like kings
Adhering to scholastic rules and regs
Shoes and coats they don’t love
Ten packs of pencils, still not enough
Obnoxious coloured uniform is rough
Sorry kiddo, no choice, just tough

See the parents are filled with secret glee
Cos they’ll have time for hot cups of tea
And space without noise, clutter or fuss
Or even, if they want, hours of hush
Lockdown’s been tough
Homeschooling’s been rough
By July we’d all had enough
Back to school kid, with love

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website clairebuss.co.uk. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Book Reviews July 2020

Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News by Emily Maitlis - 3 star 

Recap: Newsnight presenter and journalist Emily Maitlis gives us behind the scenes info on some of her more famous interviews.

Review: It was interesting and well written but to my shame, I recognised very few of the individuals featured so found it hard to really connect with the stories. It was a book club pick and I'm glad I read it because it's made me realise I really need to watch the news more and read a newspaper occasionally!

A Children's Bible: A Novel by Lydia Millet - 4 stars

Recap: A group of children experience a possible end of the world event.

Review: I enjoyed the writing style and I adored the little boy Jack and his linear thinking about the bible. I thought there was a great disconnect between the kids and the adults. It was suitably terrifying in a first world problems scenario looking at the end of the world as we know it now. My niggle was the ending. I don't like endings that don't end. Call me a lazy reader but I like to know what happens next and not to be left with my own wondering, especially when it involves words like Jack was sick now. I ended the book feeling lost, worried and without the information I needed. 

The Call of Blood by Lana Melyan - 4 stars

Recap: Nicky, Nate and their friends finally have their showdown.

Review: A solid ending to this mini-series. Connie's magical injury had my heart in my mouth but I really thought she would end up a vampire rather than an immortal, still at least she gets to stay with Logan. No main character deaths which is fine but would've added a bit more oomph to things. Nice touch with the parental farewell across the veil. I'm glad they won in the end.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by
Hallie Rubenhold - 4 stars

Recap: Hallie Rubenhold leads us through the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Review: I don't generally enjoy reading non-fiction but this captured my interest and I found it fascinating to read the accounts of the victims' lives based on the small amounts of fact and large amounts of distorted newspaper accounts available. The life stories were informative, emotional and revealing. I liked that Jack the Ripper was given next to no page space.