fiction and other writing

Archive for the ‘Young Adult Fiction’ Category

FREE The Truth Finder 24-25 November 2018

The Truth Finder is free this weekend on Amazon’s Kindle. Ususally it’s £1.99 but always free on KU. The paperback is £6.99. You can download it here.

The Truth Finder is the story of Vrail, who can read minds and talk into people’s heads, but his gift can put him in great danger from people who want to control and exploit him. In the fifth millennium, those with gifts have to take extra care. The Earth is struggling to survive after it has been polluted and damaged by wars that have made most of the planet unihabitable.

Here’s my latest review – thank you Sarah Stuart
Sarah Stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about Truth Finder – it’s a five-star story
4 October 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
It’s very easy to identify with people living on Earth in the fifth millennium, made so by the clever use of recognisable everyday items upgraded, and how matter-of-fact people were. Rooms could be made smaller or larger depending on whether you needed space to entertain friends or to sleep in the bedroom. “Of course, we have to be careful not to drop things or the mechanism jams.” Also, the geography of what remains of inhabitable Earth is clear, and it is frighteningly believable that man would have polluted most of the planet.

Okay, so there I am “magicked” forward – and I do need a magic carpet; most sci-fi/fantasy leaves me cold. I fascinated by Vrail and his struggle to control his gift to read people’s minds and become a truth finder who can trace criminals, save lives, and stay sane! He’s an ordinary young man, no better or worse than the average youngster, battered by voices in his head, and the thoughts of others he’d rather not know.

That’s a simple introduction to a very detailed story. Many previous reviewers refer to it as YA, and it would certainly appeal to the teenagers I know, but I neglected all sorts of things I should have been doing to read it and it was a sad moment when I realised all I had left to do was write a review.

Coming soon – The Visualizer (sequel to The Truth Finder).

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The Truth Finder is free 28 -30 September 2018

The Truth Finder is free this weekend on Amazon’s Kindle. You can down load it here.

Vrail is a truth finder on earth in the fifth millennium. There are others on earth who have special gifts and they are often exploited by those in positions of power. Vrail has to find a way to use his powers for good and avoid being captured by those who would use him.

Here’s a review by Eric Lahti
5.0 out of 5 stars Read minds at your own peril

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Penny Luker’s The Truth Finder is a YA story about a young man far in the Earth’s future who can read minds and communicate telepathically. In this world there are others with similar gifts such as the ability to create mirages of sorts. Throw in a pinch of political intrigue, a shot of coming-of-age story, and a dash of magical swans and you have a very rich YA story that avoids the traditional pitfalls of talking down to its audience. Our protagonist, Vrail, is not out to save the world from the shadowy forces of danger. He’s not the most powerful person in the world. He’s, arguably, not even the most powerful person in his village. And that right there is a powerful way to tell a story; rather than making the main character so amazing that he becomes a charicature or something to strive for but never attain, Luker tells us a story that we can fit ourselves into. It has a lot of moving parts – coming-of-age, political intrigue, hints of things that started normal but became magical – but Penny pulls it most of the way together.

I say most of the way because there are some dangling threads left at the end. The primary story is told, but bear in mind the subtitle of the book Future Earth Book 1. It simply wouldn’t be proper to finish everything at the end of this. Besides, if the whole story was told there’d be no reason for a sequel and I’d personally like to see more of the story. Here’s to looking forward to Future Earth Book 2.

I hope you enjoy this book. The sequel is well on its way!

Cover Reveal – The Truth Finder

The Truth Finder has had the same cover for six years; a beautiful painting by my brother-in-law, but it’s now time for a change. The cover above was created by Sharon Brownlie – Aspire Book Covers. I love it.The cover has captured the city of Mebsuta in the background.

Although the Truth Finder has been out for a long time now, I’m just reading it through again before I add the new cover, but I thought I’d give an early reveal. I’ve also had the cover done for the sequel, The Visualizer, but I’m keeping that back until I’m nearer publication. The Visualizer is about two thirds written, so it will be a while but I’m aiming for before the end of the year.

Fantasy, Short Stories, Children’s Books and Poetry

Just a reminder that all my e-books are free on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited all the time. If you don’t have K.U. then the ebooks are still reasonable.

The Truth Finder is £2.35 and $3.06. A young adult fantasy novel.
The Mermaid is £1.58 and $2.04. A book of original short stories for adults.
The Green Book is £1.99 and $2.58. A children’s chapter book. Great for bedtimes!
Tiny Tyrannosaurus is £2.01 and $2.06. A children’s chapter book.
Nature’s Gold is £2.00 and $2.59. A poetry book of varied forms of poetry.
Autumn Gold is £2.01 and $2.60. A poetry book. Poetry to enjoy.

All the above books are also avaiable in paperback. Desdemona The Dragon Without any Friends, a children’s picture book, is also available in paperback for £8.99 and $12.46

Why not check out my books? Here’s the link to Amazon. UK and here’s the link for USA

Book Review: Joshua’s Island by Patrick Hodges

Joshua's IslandJoshua’s Island by Patrick Hodges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Joshua Harper lives in a happy family with both parents and an older sister. Not the sort of child that would be a victim of bullies, you might think, but he is slightly small for his age and his parents are working long hours. Rhonda the most popular girl in the school takes a dislike to him as she likes to show her power to the rest of the school. She sets her little gang against Joshua and makes the whole school treat him as an outcast. To say the least the head of the school is ineffectual, if not grossly incompetent.
Like many children who are bullied, Joshua feels ashamed and doesn’t enlist the help of his parents. He just has to survive one more year and then he will move school. In science class Joshua is partnered with Eve, one of Rhonda’s group. She won’t talk to Joshua because of everything she’s heard about him, but eventually she realizes that they are all lies and that Joshua is being beaten up on a regular basis.
This is the story of Joshua, with Eve’s help, trying to reach safety within a school environment. It is beautifully written and I believe it should be in every secondary school library (suitable for children eleven and over).
It is written in the first person, which makes the events more immediate as you feel the emotions. It is also written in two points of view, so there is a chapter by Joshua and then one by Eve. This works well, because within each chapter the author sticks strictly to one point of view.
I recommend this book to everyone over the age of eleven. Joshua and Eve are thirteen and there are some excellent younger characters. Obviously this book is aimed at an audience of young people and not at my age group but even so I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

View all my reviews

The Truth Finder – 5 Stars by Lesley Hayes

TF CoverToday I woke up to find this fabulous review of my young adult novel, The Truth Finder.

5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling read, 21 Feb. 2015
By
Lesley Hayes (Oxford, UK) – See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Truth Finder (Future Earth Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Knowing this book was primarily aimed at young adults, I wondered how much I would enjoy it, but within a very few pages I was gripped by the narrative. Although the story in this future world is set in the fifth millennium there are fascinating parallels with our modern age. I couldn’t help feeling that Vrail’s gift (which doesn’t always seem such a gift to him, especially when he first recognises its wider impact) is almost a natural extension of the instant connection we have now via social media, where in a sense we do constantly ‘read each other’s minds.’ In this future world there are other unusual talents that have possibly developed from brain experiments conducted in the ruined past: a growing number of ‘visualisers’ can shape-shift and create deceptive illusions for others. Those who have been born with this gift are feared, exploited, and persecuted in a world still not ready to accept the potential transcendent leap. I loved the curious juxtaposition between a reimagined antediluvian civilisation that has grown out of the ashes of a destroyed 21st century world, and a futurist society which has retained many of its technological advantages while functioning within a largely feudal system. Penny Luker manages with great skill to pull this off without too many obvious flaws of logic – or perhaps I was so enthralled by the story that I threw logic to the wind and went with the flow. The character of Vrail is superbly drawn. He grows into adulthood retaining the integrity he has developed as a child, learning at his father’s knee the responsibility that comes with his telepathic powers. I felt for him, having lived my own life as something of a truth finder. Intuition can be a double-edged sword, and Vrail’s talent is in demand by the forces of both the good and the powerful. Seeing into the perverted depths of an evil mind while assisting in the pursuit of a particularly vile criminal takes Vrail to some dangerous edges, both mentally and physically, and these events are well drawn, realistic, and beautifully written. The storyline presents a number of dilemmas for Vrail, which are cleverly resolved by the end. Nevertheless, as a reader there is relief in realising that in some ways his story is only just beginning. This is the first book in what I guess could be as long a series as Penny Luker’s imagination can stretch. I feel certain that any young adult who reads this will be eager to read more. I am impressed, and highly recommend this book.

***

I’ve read one of Lesley Hayes books called Oxford Marmalade. There’s a link to that book here. You can find my review on this blog. I was so impressed with the writing, the characters and the stories and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author. It’s great when you find a new author, whose writing you love. Do check out all her books on Amazon. I’ve added a few more links below.
The Drowned Phoenician Sailor
Round Robin
Without a Safety Net

Book Review: The Institute by Kayla Howarth

The Institute (The Institute #1)The Institute by Kayla Howarth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Institute is a place where Defectives live out their lives away from the rest of the population. Many Defectives are aggressive so it is thought safer to isolate them in this way. Allira’s brother, Shilah, is a Defective. He knows the future before it happens and Allira and her father are determined to keep Shilah out of the Institute. Allira wishes her mum was around but her mum has been missing for years and then her best friend Ebbodine, also goes missing.
School friends Drew and Jax have a car accident and Allira rescues them. Jax dies and Allira becomes friends with Drew.
In this story all children have to visit the Institute once a year. When the next visit occurs it is announced that every young person will be given a blood test, which will show whether or not they are a defective. Allira is frightened for her brother, but is that her only problem?
This is a well written tale of the future, where the characters are clearly drawn and the places are easy to visualise. The reader gets a profound sense of the injustice of the treatment of Defectives.
The author has written an ending that sets up the continuation of the story in book 2, The Resistance.
I highly recommend The Institute as a great YA novel.

View all my reviews

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