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I wish… (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


“What is that?”

“What? The bowl? I thought it was nice. I got it at the market.”

“Ssshhhh…sure love, nice.”

“You hate it.”


“I’ll move it—”

“No, no, leave it. It’ll be-uh-nice to look at over dinner.”


What Sara doesn’t know is that the bowl… it brings with it more than just a pretty exterior. A curse sits upon it.


I should know… I’ve been here a long time. Now I wait, and hope Sara doesn’t rub the side.


They never use their wishes wisely. A taste of freedom before I’m forced back into my pretty prison cell.




This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.



The Butterfly Stone – Release Party Recap

The release party for The Butterfly Stone was held on April 21 at the Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre

Below are some of the images of that memorable day. Full of family, friends, fun and an amazing cake!

I want to thank my publishers, Wyvern’s Peak Publishing for Skyping in on the day. Also the wonderful Lauren Lynne who we managed to also get via Skype!

I also want to the Lesley Bailey of the LATC who was incredible as always. Things only flow smoothly when you have the best, and I was lucky to have the best!

Speaking of the best. Best IT man and MY special man, thank you Gerry for making everything work! (and not telling me of any issues! you are the best!)

And to mum and dad for helping with everything (and especially dad for helping to collect the cake and for listening to me stress about it the whole way home).

The Butterfly Stone is out now!


Review: Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Dragon Gate

Review: Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Dragon Gate by D.C. McGannon and C. Michael McGannon


About the book

The attack on Hunter’s Grove High School by a Greater demon and the bully Donnie Wickles delivered a crushing blow to Charlie Sullivan, his friends, their families, and their once quiet, peaceful community. Everyone soon discovers the demon terrorizing Hunter’s Grove is only the beginning of their troubles.

A trail of destructive, sinister activity–including the theft of a dangerous artifact, the release of a bloodthirsty Greater from captivity, and the threat of all six main portal cities coming under siege–stretches Charlie Sullivan and a broken and tired team of monster hunters across the globe.

The first team lands in Japan, at the site of one of the most embarrassing events in the country’s history–Rashomon, the Dragon Gate. There, Charlie Sullivan faces the King of Demons, his vengeful lieutenant, and an army of creatures rising from the worst of nightmares. What happens next triggers a series of global cataclysmic events that some will not survive.

A new breed of monsters is released to level chaos against humanity as the master plan and purpose of evil in our world is revealed.

Suffering immense loss, exhaustion, and being tested beyond the limits of human understanding, Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters face their most dangerous task as they set out to quell an ancient darkness that has now been awakened.


My thoughts

Phew! Action, adventure, loss and love. The Dragon Gate jumps straight into the end of Book Three: Council of the Hunters, with the battle for Charlie’s school. Brutal and full of magic, this first fight reminds us that Charlie and his friends are still young, and still learning about their abilities and their weaknesses as they become Monster Hunters. Help comes from a surprising group of allies but it is only the start for this adventure.

Its a race against time, a race against a powerful Monster Hunter who has plans to awaken the Ancients and open the gates to release them into the human world. Charlie and his friends and family are overpowered at every turn but their love for each other and their faith in themselves gives them enough strength to keep fighting. But the deadly battles to come will take a toll on all of them…

One that they might not be able to pay.

This is an emotional ride, full of twists and turns. Charlie is really starting to come into his own as a leader while each of the Monster Hunters are tested like never before. Darcy, Lisa, Liev and Nash are terrific characters and I always want more of Nash! And of course, secondary characters Drang, Dink, Fish, Priest and Chen could easily hold their own series!

I love the mix of cultures and monster myths that are woven throughout each of these stories.

I also the family feel to these stories, and the true friendship and love between the team. This is a great series to get for family and friends alike, especially if they like a good magical battle!

A book that is rollicking good fun. A great story of friendship, love, and sacrifice.


You can read my interview with DC McGannon here

What hides inside (Friday Fictioneers)

Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.


They sit, bereft, waiting… they’re full of spiders who have made homes inside the dark enclosed stinky places. I think there might even be a mouse. I’m sure I’ve heard it, or maybe little imps, or gnomes?

Its winter and cold outside. The dog avoids those boots like there’s a snake inside.

Hmmm, no… probably not.

Grandpa comes up every summer.

Whatever’s in there will need to find a new home then, because Grandpa won’t think twice about sweeping them out. The image of homeless pixies plays on my mind.

Tomorrow I’ll take out the broken birdhouse. Doll blankets too.



This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word Count:100


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.



Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

About the Book

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

My thoughts

OH gosh, this is the Cinderella tale of my heart. A true geek fairy tale. I really enjoyed this modern day retelling of the Cinderella story. From the moment I read about the food truck called the magic pumpkin I fell in love with this little story. Main character Elle is a true fan, the ultimate fan. Taught to love Starfield by her beloved father, its all she has left of him after his death, and her only escape from her cloying evil stepmother and stepsisters (a true stepford family). A blogger who knows every detail from every episode by heart, Elle discovers Darien Freeman – soap opera star Darien – has been cast as her hero in the remake of Starfield. What a disaster.

The idea of making the “prince” an actor is a fun twist. Sage, Elle’s work colleague, is a fabulous magical character that I’d love to see more of. This retelling really dives into the world of fandom and cosplay, and shows how important fandom can play to a true fan’s heart. It also shows how deeply that loss can hurt when a show is no more. The fandom in this story is a family that comes to Elle’s aid when she needs it the most. Fans understand each other in a way that “non-fans” can never understand.

I read it so quickly and loved every minute of it. Any Cinderella fan will enjoy this retelling.

And I love all of the geek-in-jokes, so many references! A true geek’s book. I definitely recommend it for a book that you can escape into for a time.


A little magic (Friday Fictioneers)



All I could see was the yellow spire, calling me, urging me on.

He wouldn’t be here. His ship had disappeared into that black hole and my heart had gone with it. Never again would I see his smile, hear his laugh. But he’d promised.

“Meet you under the spire thirty years ago.”

Time travel. Huh, what good was it when you couldn’t undo… I swallowed hard. Don’t think it. Go… for him… for us…

For me.

I stared up at the night sky, stars hidden by neon lights.


“Hello stranger.”

I spun around, my heart in my throat.




This is a Friday Fictioneers Prompt

Word count: 100



A little story for my mum. She loves a good time travel romance story.

Happy mother’s day in Australia for this Sunday, Mum.


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

Review: The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith

About the Book

Teenager Leila’s life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she’s never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve. But the voices in Leila’s head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn’t working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.

My thoughts:

This is a great book that I really enjoyed. The fantasy elements mixed well with the genuine conflicting emotions experienced by Leila, the young main character of this story. Leila’s adoption (while obviously a massive part of her life) takes second fiddle to the mystery of the voices in her head and the hidden grove she is drawn to.

There is commentary on school bullies, the delicate balance between the environment and development, and also commentary on school groups, friends, romance, social media and coffee. I loved secondary character Sarika, Leila’s best friend. I also loved the characters of Leila’s adoptive parents. This is a great tale that doesn’t focus on the adoption journey but on what happens after. Leila’s emotional journey into accepting her adoptive parents while learning about her biological family. I enjoyed the social media pages of conversations between characters. A great standalone book. A good read.


Lady of the woods (Friday Fictioneers)

PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

As darkness fell, the woods fell silent. No one came out here. No one wise.

Mini was not wise. She was five and she was lost. Her arms were covered in goosepimples. Dusky air chilled her throat and made her nose drip. Two green lights, no bigger than her little finger danced up ahead. They were leading her home.

Only she hadn’t told them where home was.

At the top of the stairs the two lights were joined by another. And another. Until there were too many to count. They made the shape of a lady and beckoned her on.



Word Count: 100


© solothefirst. All Rights to the works and publications on this blog are owned and copyrighted by Solothefirst. The Owner of this site reserves all permissions for access and use of all documents on this site.

A Hand Full Of Sand Can Save Your Life – AntipodeanSF

A new short story out

You can read part one below

Trust is a hand full of sand

Review: Publish and Perish by Phillipa Bornikova

Review: Publish and Perish by Phillipa Bornikova

About the Book

Linnet Ellery, a young attorney at a prestigious New York vampire law firm has proved she has extraordinary luck—and not just in the courtroom. She has walked unscathed through events that would kill a normal person.

Linnet’s elven ex-boyfriend is trapped in Fairyland, and Linnet will have to lead a raid into Fey to free him—alongside her boss, whom she is falling in love with. But a love affair between a vampire and a human is strictly forbidden, and any violation is punishable by death for both parties.

As events unfold, Linnet determines the source of her mysterious power, and is dismayed to discover that she is the most dangerous person in the world to her vampire and werewolf friends. The more secrets and treachery she uncovers, the more Linnet realizes that a decision must be made: Can she be her true self, without sacrificing everyone she cares about?

My thoughts

A few chapters in I was hooked. I haven’t read the first Linnet Ellery book but I found it easy to follow along and was quickly sucked in. (I’ll be going back to read the first Linnet Ellary book now). Linnet is a lawyer with a super power. Somehow she can remain untouched when attacked, a strange magic that keeps her safe while those around her die.

In a world with Vampires, Fey and Werewolves Linnet is something… else.  But that something else is a threat to everyone she loves. To keep them safe, she will have to die.

A great book with a world I thoroughly enjoyed. Fun characters full of attitude, I enjoy the Fey world and almost want to see more of it. Linnet is a great hero who is dragged into madness through no fault of her own. Her strength is to keep going, to fight back and to save her loved ones at all costs.  If you like a good vampire/werewolf this is a fun one to sink your teeth into.

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