Tweep Nation Ep 22 – Amber & Dionne Give Rachel a Brazillian

This week on Tweep Nation we had the pleasure of talking to the super fabulous Rachel Thomson (@badredheadmedia). She was generous in sharing information on how to increase your profile on social media and we discussed ways you can use the internet to sell your books. When the serious stuff was out of the way we discussed brazillians, gross stuff in our food and the perils of walking the streets with a 4 year old. Join us for some great info, and a few giggles, and oh dear the ‘f’ and ‘p’ words made an appearance. Will we ever behave?

Shadows of the Realm Reviews and Thank-Yous

My fantasy adventure book has been getting a few reviews lately, which I’m very excited about. Of course they’re not all fantastic because we all have different tastes. However, in my bests interests, I have included the ones I think give you a sense of my book and yes, they’re by the people that really enjoyed it (well what do you expect?). I’d also like to thank everyone who has read my book, and in particular those who have taken the time to review it. Reviews are the best way to support authors if you have enjoyed their book. So thanks to the generous readers who have taken the time to support me. I’m blowing kisses and sending virtual chocolates, you have all made me a very happy writer.

Helen says:

I picked up this book knowing a little of what to expect, dragons, adventure, good vs evil. I started reading and then could not put the book down until I had finished. I lost track of time reading it.

The book centers around a secret group called Realmists, possessed of magical powers who are sworn to protect their world, Talia, from the evil race that exists in another realm. This race once lived on Talia and were banished, but are determined to return.

The book contains a surprising variety of characters, ranging from teenagers through to adults and magicians of advanced age. And of course the dragons, who in this case are portrayed as being on the side of the realm. The dragon characterisation is fascinating. The words used to draw a picture of their intelligence, strength, and their nature are so powerful that the reader has absolutely no difficulty in accepting them as part of the world we are drawn into. Equally the human characters are drawn as individuals, each with their own backgrounds, faults, opinions and reactions. Again it makes it very easy to find yourself drawn into their world.

Realmists can bond with one selected animal, a creatura, and even these are well drawn with a great variety of animals used. I found it a pleasant surprise to be able to read about , as it were, familiars who range from rats to panthers. Another pleasant surprise is the way that the Creatura’s point of view is also presented.

All through the book I felt an odd sense of familiarity. I could not pin down why at first, it was not that I had seen the plot or any major plot devices used before. Some elements of the world drawn can be found in other fantasy novels, for example familiars, but that was not it either. In the end I simply had to conclude that it was due to the way the writing drew me in and made me feel a part of the book from start to finish.

Wxmouse says:

4.5 stars for this beautiful high fantasy book by Dionne Lister. From a nightmare awakening, to mythical and magical creatures, this book comes together with well laid out characters to deliver a fun escape into a fantasy realm. While the book comes to a resolution, it leaves you edgy and wanting for more. I personally can’t wait until book two is out.

Amber says:

Dionne Lister’s Shadows of the Realm starts out with a scene that grabs you, and does not let go, even after you’ve finished reading. Exceptional in the fact that it is a completely unique novel, Lister creates a new world that is so realistic, it makes the reader want to grab a ticket and head over for a nice permanent vacation. I fell in love with the characters, and was disappointed when the novel ended, and am ready for more. I will be impatiently waiting the rest of the books in the series, and am desperate for more!

So if these reviews have aroused your interest, head over to Amazon or Smashwords and prepare to be drawn into a fantasy world you’ll want to call home.

OMG I’m Rich!

Ok, I just had to share this. I’m still laughing at the irony. If you haven’t seen one of these generous emails, here’s your chance. I don’t have time to write much here because I have to hurry up and provide my details because they don’t know my name, or they forgot to put it after the ‘dear’ because they’re so busy. I can’t wait to be rich, woohoo!







Attn:Honorable Beneficiary




This is to bring to your notice that Office of the Payment

Coordinator of Federal Republic of Nigeria has been appointed by the United Nations Organization to pay compensation payments to 100 victims of fraud.

This mandate came after several allegations and petitions was tendered against the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other Offshore Payment Centers across Europe,Asia and America at the last United Nations general meeting in the United States of America.The United Nations Security Council in agreement with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other affected countries have agreed to pay a sum of US$3,000,000.00(Three Million

United states Dollars)only, each to all shortlisted beneficiaries as compensation before the end of this year 2011.

However,note that your information was listed as one of the

beneficiaries of the compensation exercise.To this development,you are advised to contact the Office of the Payment Coordinator Nigeria Dr Musa Abuganem through email ( ), telephone 2347080811028 , re

-confirm the  following information below to them for a final verification before payment.


Full Name:

Full Address:

Age/ Sex

Tel Number:


Yours faithfully

Mrs Inna Johnson

Secretary UN Desk London.



Shadows of the Realm Earns its First Badge

In the big push to get my book out there, I found a great website, Grub Street Reads. These girls have come up with a great idea for recommending indie books. They have a sound criteria of what makes a good book—rounded characters, consistency in plot and character actions, pace, grammar, spelling, overall plot (you get the picture). When they recommend a book, the reader knows it is going to be of a certain standard.

I applied to them and waited, only a couple of weeks, for the outcome. I must admit, my nails are shorter; it’s always nerve-wracking when someone is ‘judging’ your work.

I am so pleased to announce that I passed the test. My fantabulous book (if I do say so myself) Shadows of the Realm, is now recommended on their website and I get a cool badge to display on my cover and my website. The badge reminds me of the little medals they stick on wine bottles. They also had this to say about my book which makes me smile every time I read it:

You have done a great job of creating characters with distinct voices and personalities. It was a pleasure to go on this epic journey with them. 

So if you’re a reader looking for a good book, visit their site, they obviously have good taste ;). Ok, well I’m off to continue my happy dance then I think I’ll need a little nap.

Tweep Nation with Guest Author Maria Savva. Cut! Take Two.

Today, on Tweep Nation, we were joined by London Author, Maria Savva, who has written several books and has a smooth voice—love that English accent. I’ve read her latest book, A Time to Tell, which I’ve reviewed on my blog. We had to start twice because I stuffed it up (getting up early kills me). We chatted editing, writing and Twitter and there was a little bit of giggling (well what do you expect?). If you have the time and like to be entertained please join us.

What? Shadows of the Realm is in a ‘Real’ Bookshop?

Part of my blog post is probably going to piss a few people off. I’m sorry in advance, and want you to know that I’ll still love you if you disagree with what I have to say—it’s not personal, it’s sensible. I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to wave it around occasionally.

So, firstly, the non-offensive part—what’s the latest news from my journey with Shadows of the Realm, you may ask (or maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway). Yesterday I visited a super cool, exists-in-the-real-world, fantasy/sci fi/horror bookshop—Infinitas in Parramatta (in Sydney) where I nervously presented my book to the owner, Tim. I have to admit, he was not blown away like I was hoping, but he agreed to take two of my books, which is awesome!

Tim has been in the book business a long time and he has seen a lot of indie books recently, many of them not up to scratch, so I’m lucky he gave mine a go. I know where he’s coming from, because many indie books I read have not been edited, nor proofread, and while it’s common to have a few (and I don’t mean a lot, I mean a few) typos, it’s disheartening when grammar and punctuation have been neglected in the author’s attempt to entertain us with their genius.

Why do some authors think it’s ok to do only half a job, when they wouldn’t do it at their 9-5 profession—imagine going to the mechanic and he takes the engine apart and decides he’s had enough. Treat it like a business, because your reader is not an idiot, and while you won’t fire yourself, a reader probably won’t come back for the second book if the first was a disaster.

I guess I’m having a little whinge because it’s been damn hard to get my book into shops. Everyone needs to read it first to make sure it’s not more suited to cleaning number twos in the bathroom. Why is this? Is it because my book looks like crap? No, because I have an awesome cover, done by a professional. Is it the fact that I look stupid when I turn up, because I’m wearing a clown suit and have a fish shoved up my nose? No. It’s because indie authors have a bad name, as a lot (and I’m not saying all because there’s some very professional and talented ones out there) only do half the job. The rest of us get battered with the same crumbs so it’s super duper hard to get anywhere.

Anyway, enough whinging from me. I’d like to say thanks again to Tim, I really appreciate the shelf space in Infinitas. I have my fingers crossed that some lucky reader will notice it and do something earthshattering—buy it. I’ve also managed to get my book into a library and a school, with more shops and school libraries currently considering it, so I’m kinda happy. To all those indie authors out there who work hard to put out the best product they can—you are awesome and I salute you  :).

I’m Glad I Made Time to Read A Time to Tell

I wasn’t sure what to expect from A Time to Tell as I have never read anything from this author before, but I’m so glad I did. It’s been the first book in a while that I couldn’t put down. I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen to the characters. If I had to label it, I would say family drama, contemporary.

There was always a lot going on, and a lot of it sad. I admit, at times, I did think that too much was going wrong—but thinking about what has happened to many people I know, I realised it never rains, it pours. The story was believable and unfolds at a good pace. The author deals realistically with themes of domestic violence, difficult familial relationships and the fact that so many people live their lives because of others’ expectations. As much as I raced to get there, I was sad to reach the end, because I wanted to watch their lives continue to unfold. I will certainly be reading more of Maria Savva’s work.

I give it 4 well-deserved, twinkly stars.