I was born in Stirling, Scotland and we emigrated to Australia when I was fifteen months old. I didn’t want to leave and apparently I cried a lot on the plane. There’s a vicious rumour that a missing loaf of bread had something to do with my parents leaving so suddenly, but my critics will do anything to discredit me! We settled in Melbourne and eventually the outer eastern suburb of Bayswater North. I started writing very early on because we had no television and I hate playing sports of any description. I’m one of those Aussies who’s never surfed, hates beaches in the summer and thinks cricket is the most boring game on the planet.
I finally got serious about writing in 1995 when my father was on life support and watching him waste away drove me to write something, anything to escape. After he died I just kept writing and haven’t stopped yet. I got my Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing in 1998 from Box Hill TAFE and got into writing web content. I’d cut my teeth on the old Australian Jodie Foster website, which no longer exists and no, we never met Jodie Foster but it would have been nice don’t you think? I wrote lots of short stories and started a few novels. In between I kept working full time on building sites and in factories. What else do you do with a Diploma of Arts?
I escaped Australia in 2003, I think there was an early release scheme going for frustrated ex Brits and I took it. I took the first train to Scotland and apart from brief excursions to England I tend to stay local, more or less. My first novel, The Boston Slasher was released in 2008 and my second book The Deepening Dark was released in December 2013. Angel of Mercy was released on July 1st, 2014 and I hope to release many more books on Smashwords over the next few years.
In the future I hope to win Euromillions, retire from full time employment and hire an army of minions to cater to my every need but until then I’ll have to keep on writing and publishing. I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoyed writing them. Don’t forget to leave a review, even if it’s only a few words because feedback is something I always look forward to.
Where to find Alastair Rosie online
Angel of Mercy
by Alastair Rosie
(4.00 from 1 review)
When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die...
The Deepening Dark
by Alastair Rosie
Published: November 24, 2013
A shadow has fallen across western Tuath as proud tribes are broken beneath Bulkaran boots. Only in the east is their influence limited. Led by their enigmatic queen, Rhianna the horse lords of the northern plains are all that stands between Zavod and complete subjugation of Tuath. In the deepening dark hope is kindled and a heroine is reborn.
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Smashwords book reviews by Alastair Rosie
The Ruby Curse
on Dec. 13, 2013
I've only just started appreciating steampunk as a genre, so maybe I'm not the best one to review this from the perspective of a steampunk fan but having read The Ruby Curse I'm actually quite intrigued by the genre. I've read a few over the last six months but I admit my opinions were soured by the whole Batman thing which I found ludicrous and poorly done from the perspective of world building.That being said, I'm a stickler for realism when it comes to building worlds, if you want to break the laws of physics then do it but do it consistently and don't throw in silly little gadgets just for product placement value.
The world of The Ruby Curse is not one of those kinds of worlds. It's actually well thought out. Makayla has put a good amount of research into creating her fictional world, there could have been more detail but I would put that down to the size of the book, perhaps a larger novel would have given her time to expand her world and give it more colour.
The story revolves around an escaped convict, Violet who discovers that not only is she one in a long list of heroes but she's also crucial to unlocking the reason behind the disappearance of the mages. Along the way she is shackled to Ethan, a do gooder cop, and Aurora, a blind mage. This unlikely trio is helped by Aurora's cat, Nox and Violet's dog, Morrigan. The trouble starts almost straight away when Violet acting true to form refuses to play along as hero, not unless there's something in it for her. She's not your traditional hero, more the antihero, a teenage squalling brat who does whatever it takes to get what she wants when she wants. Ethan seems dragged along behind and Aurora looks to be the only one with the courage to slap her down now and then. It ends on a cliff hanger so I can only assume and hope that we see a sequel as I was really getting into it.
I found Violet to be an interesting character who might actually mellow and she probably has to if she's going to hold my interest. There are times I want to slap her down. Ethan looks a little too tame for her but maybe with a little more work he too can be a little tougher. The most fascinating character for me was Aurora who seems more in control of herself.
Overall it's a good read and a good start to a series. Character development over the next book, or two, will be the key but it's a great introduction to Arcova. We need a little more colour and detail about Arcova instead of being yanked along behind Violet and her comrades. It helps to draw breath now and then and take a good look around before facing the next obstacle. I think that's my one problem with the book, it wasn't long enough. Worlds like that take a little more time to unfold and you need the luxury of a longer word count to do that properly. But as I mentioned before it's a great start and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Violet, Ethan, and Aurora in the sequel.
NB* This review was originally posted on Goodreads twelve months ago.
on Dec. 13, 2013
The last time I saw Violet, Ethan and Aurora in The Ruby Curse, they were on a quest to find the missing mages in Yokley’s steampunk world of Arcova. Violet was an angry brat of a werewolf saddled with a good two shoes Guardsman, Ethan and a blind mage, Aurora. They were endearing characters and I found myself wondering after the final chapter what happened next? Did they escape the house in one piece?
And that is the sign of a good book, you want to know more. Triton answers that question but leaves you with the same question at the very end, what will happen next and will they or won’t they? The sexual tension between Violet and Ethan is building and it looks like a battle Violet isn’t completely prepared for, it’s not like you can knock out the guy who saves you, right?
Convinced by Ethan to help retrieve a gifted scientist, Kaia from an underwater research lab, Triton, Violet is very much the reluctant hero and she’s still a pouting, streetwise brat we’ve come to know and love, unless you’re Ethan and the butt of her smartarse replies. Yokley however has started Violet on a journey of self discovery and part of that seems to be the peculiar notion that not all men are out to get you, Violet. It’s an oddity for young Violet and Yokley has treated us to flashback scenes of Violet’s childhood where we learn she was once just a normal girl. I won’t spoil it by telling you want happened to make her the way she is but I do understand the why now. Throw in an encounter with a sky pirate, an encounter with Flock agents and coming face to face with Desdemona and you’re in for the ride of your life.
Yokley’s style is instantly readable and you feel like you’re inside Violet’s head looking out with amusement at the situations unfolding before you. Her sense of humour is dark and sarcastic but you feel a part of Violet even while you watch her lashing out at those closest to her. However Yokley cares deeply about her characters and that comes through loud and clear, they’ve got a story to tell and things they need to do and say. Yokley is just the writer trotting alongside them to record the event as faithfully as possible. It’s that characteristic that lifts this book above many others I’ve seen lately, while there is some degree of control because you’ve got to finish the book, a good writer allows the characters room to breathe and make their own mistakes.
Book Two can be read as a standalone novel as there’s some back story connecting you to The Ruby Curse but I’d still recommend you read Book One first otherwise you might find yourself a little confused. On the plus side however the story moves very quickly and while there are moments of reflection they’re more like pauses in between the action scenes.
Yokley has started her own journey towards the creation of a fine series that will surely stand the test of time. It’s quirky and there are places where I think I wouldn’t have written that but these characters stay with you after you’ve finished the book. I’m waiting for the third book in the series and wondering what happens after she comes out of the tent.
I’d give it five stars, worth reading and I can’t wait for Book Three.
The Shadow Watcher
on July 20, 2014
REVIEW OF THE SHADOW WATCHER
BY ROARI BENJAMIN
REVIEWED BY ALASTAIR ROSIE
Many of us have experienced the sensation that we were being watched and that theme has been utilised by countless writers over the centuries. It taps into our fear of the unknown combined with an innate curiosity as to what is out there. Roari Benjamin’s, The Shadow Watcher is one of those classic novels that pops up on the grid now and then. Admittedly there are some flaws in the plot but this is a debut novel from a new writer so I’m overlooking them for the most part.
Samantha Marquet is a quiet, studious young woman who’s been hurt in love and loses herself in writing and her part time job at a bar. We learn that her father died when she was quite young and left her with a fortune, which she tries hard to ignore in an attempt to make it on her own terms. After a violent encounter with another mysterious watcher we are introduced to the main shadow watcher, Michael, an immortal being from the future sent back to watch over her. There is a hint of Terminator here as what Samantha does will impact the future dramatically and the fate of the Flamella tree, a marvellous tree whose fruit gifted future mankind with immortal life. The tree has gone missing and her father’s supporters want to find it again. There are others from the future who also want the tree for their own purposes and therein lies a tale that is part Terminator, part Jumpers with strap on devices that can propel the wearer through time in a frantic race to keep the Flamella tree out of the wrong hands.
There are places where I think the plot could have been a bit stronger but this is a debut novel and speaking from experience, hindsight is always twenty twenty. Benjamin however has drawn us into Samantha’s head fairly quickly and we’re content to just ride along to see where we wind up next. Along the way we meet the Society, who support her father and mother, Jayden (Samantha’s best friend), Artemis the cat and a bunch of assassins and adventurers who add colour and tone to the story. The time travel does give you whiplash but she explains where her characters are going before they activate their devices. The world is well designed and she’s stayed away from detailed explanations of fictional technology, which would have been fatal and simply told a story of one woman’s journey to find her place in the world. It’s a classic coming of age even though she’s in her twenties and a woman of the world. That alone is refreshing because I’m getting a little tired of seeing high school kids acting and speaking like adults. I know as a teenager I certainly wasn’t that mature so making Samantha older is a nice touch. Samantha is one of those endearing characters that works her way into your being and you’re cheering her on even when she makes dumb mistakes because she’s so very human.
As a debut novel it works well. It introduces you to a new world and leaves enough strings dangling for a series. The character arc could be a little better as some characters do develop but others seem to stay the same and while they are part of the supporting cast it’s important to make subtle changes to their character as the story progresses. I thought Bailey, her boyfriend was excess baggage and while the love triangle works in many other books, in this one we’ve got enough alpha sex appeal with Michael to comfortably dispatch any rivals for her affections. He seems to pop in to give her a cuddle and then disappear again so one has to ask why he’s there at all. We all know she’s got it bad for Michael and vice versa, Bailey is just there to make up a triangle that shouldn’t exist in the first place to be totally honest.
I’d give this four stars because it really is quite good for a first novel and I look forward to reading a sequel although this book can be read as a stand alone novel.
Written by Alastair Rosie.