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I know, I am supposed to come on here and give everyone some deep insight into who I am and the nature of my existence, but for all that I have been writing for better than half my life and have been publishing the results of those efforts for several years, I have not in the past nor will I likely in the future do such a thing. To be perfectly honest, I am simply and without question just not that interesting, personally or professionally, perhaps that is an assessment that is overly humble or unfair, but it's a truth that is nevertheless fundamental. In a day and in the age when seemingly everyone is all too eager to document their every personal detail and display their every passing thought, I personally can find no compelling reason to do the same. Call it a quirk, call it a choice, or call it my own personal form of crazy, but there is me living through the dull-drums of existence and there are my books which at their core are the stories I've told myself over the years, and one category is considerably more interesting to me than the other.
When I first started writing, all those years ago, I didn't begin by putting words to a page for profit, or because I had delusions that one day I'd be celebrated for my efforts. I did it because it seemed like it might be a good way to pass the time, and in that moment, though I hardly understood it at that time, I found something when I wasn't looking for it. Since then, as time has passed, and I have honed my abilities, the underlying element of that moment of self-discovery hasn't truly changed, Entertainment. I don't write books because I can, I certainly don't write them for the sake of profit, though there is a glimmer of hope that one day there might be more of that. I write books because it's fun for me, it is my own strange kind of hobby and my own odd form of self-entertainment. And even if were to reach a point on some future day where the scales tip and I feel that this whole attempt to publish the results of my efforts is no longer viable, I will undoubtedly keep writing, if only for my own sake. I first published my books after a long and troubled decision making process, which ultimately weighed out marginally in the favor of the idea, that perhaps because I liked my books a great deal, that perhaps there were people in the world who would find an equal amount of joy in them. While at times there has been good reasons to doubt that belief there have been moments when that belief has proven true.
I am not like most writers, that is a truth best acknowledged right up front, I don't write my books thinking to imitate another author with their pulse pounding action, high drama, or unending tension. I write the stories I find interesting, create the worlds I think are cool, to follow the characters I like, through the events that unfold in front of both them and myself as we work our way towards whatever may come. I don't plot out my novels, I don't outline the story, I don't pre-program the dialogue, and often enough even I am surprised by the end of the current chapter as things change on a whim. My books are an organic process that grow and shift, free from over-sight and restrictions and ultimately often lead to place not even I can predict. Whether those who read my books like what comes of my strange hobby is more often than not is my very last concern, and while I might feel compelled to apologize for that being the case, it doesn't or won't change the facts in the end. Each book and each series I write are a result of the page's progress through the succession of each line and paragraph, loyal only to the facts on the page and require only the input of myself as a conduit in allowing those words to progress through their natural courses. So the end results of those efforts often enough take a path not even I expected, but I for one won't and will never change that fact.
My books are often strange and unexpected, I feel it is only right to acknowledge this, and there have been some in the past who have taken exception with that fact, angry that I did not meet their expectations. But I did not write my books for them, I wrote them for myself, selfish though that is, and I certainly did not publish my stories for them. Ultimately I publish my books for the small percentage of people who might read them and like them, and for the occasional bits of far flung joy I get from having people tell me how and why they enjoyed something I wrote. If you are one of those readers who starts a book with expectations and the belief that it is the writer's job to meet those expectations, please look elsewhere. But if you are one of those readers who reads simply for the joy of it, without expectations of what you might find, than I hope you will like what I have written.
on Oct. 09, 2012 :
Great series of books they hard to put down once you start read. Have read all her books, look forward to more books in all series
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
on Oct. 02, 2012 :
I have to agree that so far, this is the best in the series, and the most entertaining. FORTUNATELY, one of my neighbors has a cat who recently had a litter, so I was able to get my kitten fix over there.
Not at all a complaint, but I was surprised that Alya was a blond. I must have missed it when it was mentioned before, because I always imagined her with black hair and blue eyes. Not sure why.
Also, I fell COMPLETELY in love with Ferin! I could just picture him, inbetween fuzzy ball of fluff and that awkward adolescence, standing up all proud, his tail high in the air.... and then he gives this little squeak of a meow to activate the gate. BEST part of the whole book was picturing that proud squeak.
My only complaint, actually was that I couldn't understand why Sarath and Alya were always so upset with him. "Monorth! How DARE you do something useful and make people happy! How DARE you teach our children useful tricks and spells! You may have given me a priceless, one of a kind sword, but how DARE you give me that piece of junk when you had a LEGENDARY lying around?! You ass!" Maybe it was just me? I didn't see a reason for anyone to be upset with him.
Also, LOVED the Saki. Brilliant! Excellent book all round and can't wait to start the next one!!!
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on Sep. 02, 2012 :
The series just gets better, once I start reading I cannot stop
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Aug. 03, 2012 :
At the Gates of the World's Rim by Shiva Winters.
What I like about Shiva is that not only is there no end to her imaginings but each book gets much better. This is not one of those series where the second book is less than the first and the third is having trouble getting up to par. No. She makes each one better than the previous and they read quite well so that you might shuffle them up while reading and not get too confused.
This installment begins to add to the already large dynamic family of Monorth. He and his sister now share a daughter through her partner. This is no ordinary young girl, its Monorth's offspring after all. We'll be seeing a lot more of her.
Monorth's name basis relationship with the gods is growing as the gods seem to be drawn into his life as though he's some sort of spiritual lightning rod. Nix and Monorth are getting into the serious business of visiting and mapping out the gates to all the worlds beyond the rim.
Monorth is still an outcast from the Salak'Patan so he's playing it all close to the vest but he's collecting such a vast library of knowledge that it's becoming evident that he shouldn't keep it to himself. He is going to have a tough time trusting others to handle it all .
Nix and his fire cats are beginning to also grow their family and as they start expanding out into more preserves he and Monorth soon discover there are other being such as the fire cats who seem to represent each of the godly elements. Monorth also seem to be collecting a number of the 7 legendary swords of the gods.
It's all leading up to a major turn of events.
If you like Science Fiction, Fantasy, steam-punk, furry stories, Sword and sorcery, and even a few fire breathing dragons. (to say nothing of the cats). These novels are for you and it would be a shame to let a few spelling errors spoil the best read of the year.
J.L. Dobias author of Cripple-Mode: Hot Electric
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on July 30, 2012 :
Another excellent book in the Salak'platan series. An even stronger and deeper plot with many twists and exciting adventures. I couldn't put it down. I've read all four of the books in this series to date and am looking forward to book 5!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on March 18, 2012 :
I find myself unable to explain why I like this book so much more than the first two in the series. Perhaps it's because it feels much more like one long plot, a bit more traditionally structured. Or maybe the additional characters felt right to me. *shrug*
If you've already read the first two books you should know if you like the series or not. If so, stop reading this review and buy the book. Now. If not, you probably won't start loving the series by reading the third.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)