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Posts Tagged ‘Clare Daly’

As we close out the year and look forward to the approaching New Year, I wanted to round up all of the posts I’ve been lucky enough to feature from independent publishers and authors this year.  There have been so many brilliant books, wonderful authors and lovely publishers who have been part of my Friday feature and I cannot begin to thank them enough for entrusting me with their books and tales, it’s an honour to be asked to review any book and I always feel so privileged.

I’ve recapped the posts from Urbane Publications, Orenda Books and No Exit Press so far, and due to flu I’ve not had a chance to pull together the posts for the other publishers who have been part of Celebrating Indie Publishing yet, but here goes!  A huge end of year round up of Indie Publishing on The Quiet Knitter.

Bloodhound Books:

Review of Death Parts Us & Author Feature with Alex Walters

Review of End of Lies by Andrew Barrett

Bombshell Books:

Review of The Trouble With Words & Author Feature with Suzie Tullett

Elliott & Thompson:

Review of The Classic FM Musical Treasury by Tim Lihoreau

Review of Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones

Review of Sweet, Wild Note: What We Hear When the Birds Sing by Richard Smyth

Review of Hitler’s Forgotten Children by Ingrid Von Oelhafen and Tim Tate

Review of Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall

Review of Travellers in the Third Reich: The Rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People by Julia Boyd

Review of What’s Your Bias? The Surprising Science of Why We Vote the Way We Do by Lee De-Wit

Review of The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities by Paul Anthony Jones

Cranachan Books:

Review of Fir For Luck & Author Feature with Barbara Henderson

Review of The Beast on The Broch & Author Feature with John K. Fulton

Review The Revenge of Tirpitz & Author Feature with Michelle Sloan

Review Buy Buy Baby & Author Feature with Helen MacKinven

Review Charlie’s Promise & Author Feature with Annemarie Allan

Review Nailing Jess by Triona Scully

Review Punch by Barbara Henderson

The Dome Press:

Review Sleeper & Author Feature with J.D. Fennell

Black and White Publishing:

Review The Ludlow Ladies’ Society by Ann O’Loughlin

Modern Books:

Review De/Cipher: The Greatest Codes by Mark Frary

Review Literary Wonderlands Edited by Laura Miller

 

And not forgetting the wonderful authors who have been involved:

Anne Goodwin

Review of Underneath & Author Feature

Carol Cooper

Review of Hampstead Fever & Author Feature

Clare Daly

Review of Our Destiny is Blood & Author Feature

Ray Britain

Review of The Last Thread & Author Feature 

 

Wow, what a year it’s been!  I can honestly say that I’ve discovered some absolutely brilliant books this year, some were ones that I might not have noticed if I had not been making such an effort to read more indie books – just shows you, there are hidden gems out there, you just have to open your eyes to the possibilities of brilliance!

Thank you authors, publishers, readers, bloggers, everyone who has taken time to read my Celebrating Indie Publishing feature, everyone who has commented on the posts, your support this year has been immense and I definitely would not have managed this without you all.

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Hello and welcome along to another post to celebrate indie publishing, where I like to shine the light on another book from an independent publisher or author and share some book love with you all.  Today I am delighted to share a review of Our Destiny is Blood by Clare Daly and Clare’s kindly put herself in the hot seat to answer some quick questions about herself and her writing habits.


Book Feature:

Description:

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Ireland, 1847. Seventeen-year-old EVELYN MOONEY has just burnt a man to death with her bare hands. Now she has to run, keeping it a secret from her brother MICHAEL, until she can figure it out. Together they flee their famine stricken homeland, crossing the Atlantic to New York and into the household of Russian aristocrat VLADIMIR DERMATOV. But their new master has a secret of his own and when his dead brother makes a miraculous return, the stage is set for a reunion unlike any other.
For SASHA is now a vampire, seeking retribution on the brother that left him in the hands of a monster. Their fates will be decided in the mansions of Fifth Avenue and far below them, for a dark force lurks beneath the city who would bring them all together.

My Thoughts & Review:

It’s not often that I read a book with vampires, I tend to prefer my forays into the occult and dark side to be on screen in tv or films, but there was something about the description of this book and the magnificent cover that grabbed my attention and had me lured in from the get go.

Our Destiny is Blood is a fascinating read steeped in history, the setting of 1840s Ireland during the famines makes for a harsh life for our main character Evelyn and her brother Michael and the desperation of the time means their lives are forever changed.  Evelyn has a secret that she cannot share with her brother, one that she doesn’t fully understand but one that ultimately it saves them when they need it so they can make their escape to America.
Leaving famine, and hard times behind in Ireland, they board a ship bound for a new life in America.  They sign up for a period of  servitude to pay their fares and are lucky enough to be employed together once they arrive in New York.  They find themselves in the employ of a Russian aristocrat, Vladimir Dermatov, known simply as The Master to those in the household.  He is a man who keeps few staff and has his set ways of how things are to be done, and Evelyn and Michael must find a way to work in harmony with the others.

Whilst we see the story of Evelyn and her new life in America, there’s also a thread of another tale running through this novel, one of darkness that sends chills through a reader.  Out in the darkness are monsters, ones that humans do not see, and few humans know of their existence.  These monsters hunt, and where better to find prey than a prison?  Especially one so remote that no one would suspect anything untoward?

This is a well written novel that links history and fantasy well, the join of these two is almost seamless and I have to admit to being very impressed with the writing.  Clare Daly is a wonderfully talented  writer, demonstrating skill in setting some incredibly atmospheric scenes that readers can almost feel tension crackling from the pages.   She creates characters so rich in detail that they get under the skin of the reader, you become invested in them and frantically read on to find out what their fates are.
I absolutely loved the feeling that I’d been transported to the 1800s, the way that it all came alive from the pages was spectacular.

 

You can buy a copy of Our Destiny is Blood via Amazon UK

 


Author Feature:

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

The best thing I think, is the capacity to disappear into a story. It’s a portal to another world, where you can breathe in another space, go into another person’s mind and have a look around – like an explorer or time traveller. Any period of time, anywhere in the world, right from your desk. These places become like a second home and the people like family. That’s an amazing thing.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

It’s very tough mentally and picks endlessly at my self-confidence. You have to just accept the bad days when they come – when you question your skill set and convince yourself you’re not good enough to stand in the same arena as your heroes.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

I’d love to have written Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It suits my sensibilities I think in writing about harsh times and was a touchstone when writing certain scenes in Our Destiny Is Blood, where Evelyn encounters boys living off their wits on the streets. Also, Oliver is such a pure soul, caught up in a cruel world and trying to find his way. It really is a very dark story and it made a huge impression on me when I read it in my teens. The characters and setting are so vivid.

 

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

If I’m writing, then it’s always in my mind. I find it simmers away when I’m doing other things. Dialogue often comes when I’m hoovering or walking back from the school having left the kids in. So switching off is a bit of an issue, ha. When I’m trying to ignore it, I’m generally with the kids, cooking, doing homework or out for a ramble.

After that its books and TV. I can usually be found with my head stuck into a new Charlie Parker thriller by John Connolly. I love his books. I’m also a huge fan of The Walking Dead. I’m not a zombie horror fiend but I started watching it because Andrew Lincoln was in it and I’m still with it, eight seasons later. It’s so brilliantly written. You constantly question what you would do yourself in those horrifying situations. You feel part of it – invested.

Do you have a set routine for writing? Rituals you must observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

Yes, I found out very quickly when I started writing that I’m a morning person, so I get up at 5.30am and get two hours in if I can before the kids are up for school. Then I write while they’re in school. I’m useless at night. I’m generally in bed by 10.30pm but I think accepting your body clock and working with it, is the best thing you can do. My brain is alert early, it’s useless later.

I like to listen to music on headphones when I write (generally so I won’t wake anyone, but also because it’s just me and the music in a world of our own.) Some mornings I might put on the headphones, get writing and realise half an hour later that I haven’t hit play on anything. Other days I need that music to kickstart me.

I started listening to a Southern Gothic playlist on Spotify (some of Our Destiny Is Blood is set in the Deep South) so I listened to the likes of The Civil Wars, Hozier (It Will Come Back is definitely an anthem for the book), Billie Marten, Whiskey Shivers, Carrie Ann Hearst, Bruce Peninsula – some acts I’d never come across but whose songs became the soundtrack to this book. I liked that they were off the beaten path and I wasn’t going to hear them when I turned on the radio.

What’s on the horizon? What can your fans look forward to next?

Well I’m half way through the next book in the series so there’ll be more adventures from Evelyn, Michael and Sasha, hopefully around March/April of next year. I always had a series in my mind and I found when I finished the book, I missed being in their company so I’m loving being back with them. It’s like being a member of a really cool gang and I feel lucky every day to be included in it.

I’ve also written a modern supernatural detective story which I’m really excited about. I wrote it last Summer. I set myself a challenge of three months for a completed first draft, writing seven days a week and at the end of it, I found I’d joined another cool family and had a complete story. When I finish the next vampire book, I’ll go back for a second draft.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

I would say, read for fun, for entertainment, for escape – allow characters to wrap their arms around you. The world is a cruel place and I think although my book details a specific period of history, I don’t think the world has changed too much in terms of injustice and cruelty, and we need whatever escapes we can find.

 

A huge thank you to Clare for taking part and for sharing some more about herself, it’s always nice to get to know the person behind a book.
If you would like to know more about Clare and her books then you can follow her on Twitter or visit her website

 

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