Sunday, 30 November 2014

Ninja Sauce Webcomics at Stripgenerator.com

When I was younger, so much younger than today... I wanted to be a comic book artist. But I can't draw. 

Thanks to Strip Generator!

Here's the link to NinjaSauce gallery.

I can now create comic strips.

But I still can't draw.



Friday, 21 November 2014

This conversation may or may not have happened: a.k.a. Kindle Ninja's Top 10 Books 2014



No Snobby Reader was hurt in this conversation.
SNOBBY READER: What are you smiling about?

KINDLE NINJA: Just finished my list of top 10 books for the year.

SNOBBY READER: Let me guess, 9 of 10 are crime and mystery books by Koontz, Patterson, Lehane, and Brown, and one token outlier, possibly a memoir.

KINDLE NINJA: Hah! Not even close. These are mostly indie books. Here, have a look - from #10 to #1.
 




SNOBBY READER: Ah, obscure titles, from unknown authors.

KINDLE NINJA: Is that disdain I detect?

SNOBBY READER: You know how I feel about crappy books.

KINDLE NINJA: There will always be crappy books, indie or not.

SNOBBY READER: I read books that challenge the mind.

KINDLE NINJA: Calculus books do that, but they’re no fun. You should try to read books outside of your preferred genre. Meet obscure authors. Mingle with the commoners, your Highness.

SNOBBY READER: They don’t measure up to the Classics or the Nobel winners. I take pleasure in reading more serious works of literary art.

KINDLE NINJA: As opposed to?

SNOBBY READER: Oh, you know, those soppy young adult books that contribute nothing to literature.

KINDLE NINJA: Well, that’s just too bad. Seven of my top 10 are YA. 

SNOBBY READER: That’s quite the departure from your reading norm…

KINDLE NINJA: I know and it’s great!

SNOBBY READER:  So what are they about? Oh wait, let me guess…Wizards? Demi-gods? Muggles? Cheesy teens?

KINDLE NINJA: Young carers, astral travelers, gangsters, troubled teens…

[Click on the covers to view the Amazon pages.]

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1028074612https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1028076777
http://www.amazon.com/HEARTS-ARROWS-S16-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00MFQG3YO/http://www.amazon.com/Now-You-See-Emma-Haughton-ebook/dp/B00M8JHYIM


http://www.amazon.com/Where-Bluebirds-Fly-Wendy-Storer-ebook/dp/B00AFE2PIQ



SNOBBY READER: Well, at least there are no aliens, elves, and pirates.

KINDLE NINJA: That’s not entirely accurate.

http://www.amazon.com/Curse-Wexkia-trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00EYSLUQ2http://www.amazon.com/Titanian-Chronicles-Journey-destiny-1-ebook/dp/B00F3UYKZS
 



SNOBBY READER: What next? Chicklit?

KINDLE NINJA: That’s #6. 


 

SNOBBY READER: Oh dear. You've completely gone mad! You really turned your back on your genre.

KINDLE NINJA: Not at all. This one's right up my reading alley. I just added more variety. It’s called branching out. You should try it.





SNOBBY READER: I’ll stick to what I know.

KINDLE NINJA: You’re missing out on a good thing. 

*****

The TOP 10

1. Bring Me Sunshine (Wendy Storer)

2. Ambient Light (Lorraine Adair)

3. Where Bluebirds Fly (Wendy Storer)

4. Hearts & Arrows (Kate Hanney)

5. Untethered (Katie Hayoz)

6. I'm Still Here (Kathryn Biel)

7. Now You See Me (Emma Haughton)

8. Curse (Dale Furse)

9. Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny (Leisl Kaberry)

10. The Blue Diamond: The Razor's Edge (P.S. Bartlett)

**Follow these brilliant authors on Twitter. Links provided.


*****

Notes:

1. Bring Me Sunshine' by Wendy Storer and 'Untethered' by Katie Hayoz are finalists in the Mslexia Children’s Novel Award 2013.
2. 'Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny' by Leisl Kaberry is a Reader's Crown Winner 2014 - Fantasy category.
3. 'Now You See Me' by Emma Haughton is published by Usborne. Not an indie book. 
4. I read over 60 books in 2014. Not a lot, but that's 50 more than what I read in 2013. So it's a lot for me.
5. These are the books that  I enjoyed reading. #1 'Bring Me Sunshine' made an impact on me; it certainly hit close to home.
6. Books are published between 2013-2014.
7. My reviews can be found here.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Episode 25 Conversations over Milk & Cookies - Jane Yates

Welcome to Episode 25 of Conversations over Milk & Cookies hosted by Kindle Ninja.

Hi, Kindle Ninja here, you know, the ninja who occasionally stalks indie authors and invites them to conversations over Milk & Cookies. 

What is this madness, you ask? It's my way of supporting indie authors. We interact with them everyday, directly through tweets, or indirectly through re-tweets, but we don't really know much about them. Their personalities really don't shine through in 140 characters. 

Of course, that changed considerably when the Milk & Cookies segment was born. Since its inception, we've seen the funny side, silly side, dark side, and all other sides that these wonderful authors don't let show. 

Today, I'm having a conversation with author Jane Yates

Jane, a dyslexic, mother, artist, and story teller. Lives in Oxford and works at the Pitt Rivers Museum, a museum of anthropology and world archaeology. Her Paradox Child series of YA books features the museum and its objects.

Let's get to know Jane in more than 140 characters, shall we?


KINDLE NINJA (KN):  Welcome to Conversations over Milk and Cookies. How do you like your cookies? Chewy? Crunchy? Crumbly? Something else?
I am very proud of my homemade peanut butter cookies. I swapped the recipe for a copy of my first book Paradox Child with a real American writer. The recipe uses a whole stick (block) of butter and a whole jar of peanut butter, plus soft brown sugar. They are soft and a bit sticky, and are best warm with cold milk. Yum :)
 
Give me the recipe and nobody gets hurt! I’d assume I’m the person you’d want to drink Milk with, but who’s the person you’d want to have tea with?
Yes, milk and cookies with you, of course, but if you were busy, I would quite like to take tea with the Queen and meet the corgis.


Tell me, have your dogs ever eaten your manuscript?
Har Har, I have two spaniels called Buster and Mandy, who both star in my first three books. They haven’t eaten my manuscript, but they have left paint paw prints over the Oxford BBC radio studio, when a plan to get them to paw print a book for the presenter, went terribly wrong.

Writers are very interesting (and sometimes quirky) people with strange rituals. What is your strange writing ritual?
I often write in the early hours of the morning, between 2.30 and 4. Then go back to sleep for an hour or so, walk the dogs, have a cup of tea, then go to work and try and look awake.

You're basically a zombie. So, what would you consider as your 15 mins of fame?
I was lucky enough to be invited to Uri Geller’s home once as my youngest and I painted him a painting and he invited us to give it to him. It was just about the time of the eclipse we had. He was a real gent, bent a spoon and gave me a drawing, which had Dog, God, in the middle of it.


How important is the choice of character names in your novel  (or any novel for that matter)
For Paradox Child series, all the females in the main family are named after flowers. Gardening and magic are very important to them. In my last book Garden, the main character, is called Aberdeen. My ancestors are from not far from Aberdeen.  I have never changed the name of a character yet.

If your novel “Paradox Child” would be made into a movie, who do you want to play the main character/s?
Oh I have already met one of the actors I would like to play Pitt Rivers, a Victorian gent and Museum owner. I went to sign books at steampunk Doncaster event  and on the stand next to me was Paul Redfern. Other than that, I don’t mind.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1101597269
Click to read Kindle Ninja's review of Paradox Child




  
So, is there really a time machine hidden in Pitt Rivers Museum?
Someone from London came up to look for it after reading my book. There is a cupboard that I had not noticed was there for two years. Also there are hidden floors in other Oxford buildings. The Natural History Museum, Ashmolean, History of Science all have hidden floors. Also the Bodleian library has not only a secret floor but a tunnel that’s goes right under Broad Street.

 
Have cupboard, will travel.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? Name one item you’d bring from the future.
Victorian period, just love that era.

Flying boots, they’re bound to have them.

How do you feel about doughnuts without holes?
They are the best type, as you can put ice cream on them.

What’s the book you wished you’d written?
The Hunger Games

What’s your favorite word?
Awesome

Least favorite word.
Bugger

What would you rather be doing now? (instead of answering these questions).  
Sitting in a Jacuzzi, I love them


What do you do to decompress?
Snore loudly 

What bizarre food have you eaten?

When I went abroad once in my student years, I could not work out what meat was in the stew, the waiter did not speak good English, and said it was ‘like meat’

  
Hah! Fear Factor! If book reviewing-ninja were to raid your fridge, what would he find in there?
Lots of jam I made :)


So, making jam is your jam! What’s in your purse right now?  

1.56  pence far too many loyalty cards and library card

Hah! Not even enough to buy your book! And I thought authors always carry wads of cash. (No?). On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about life right now?
I would say I was a 6.24 but that on my scale of 1 to 6.24 :)
 
I've heard about that Yates scale...Nicholas Sparks or Dan Brown?
Dan

J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer?
They’re both good I can't choose

Ninjas or  Time Travellers?
Oh too hard!! I guess Ninjas who can time travel, oh I should so write that book :) The book I’m writing now is about pirates that time travel, just as deadly. 


I see what you did there. Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed the milk and cookies.
Thank you for the awesome questions, you’re the best Kindle Ninja!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

REVIEWS: Kick-assery, Hilarity and Skilful Plotting!




My TBR pile for 2014 is down to 6. It will be cleared in no time! I already have my Top 10 books in place and ready for the 'year-ender' post (subject to change, depending on how mind-blowing the remaining 6 books are).

In the meantime, check out my latest reviews. (Alternatively, you can click on the thumbnails to redirect you to Goodreads)

THE BLUE DIAMOND

 by P.S. Bartlett 

5 / 5 ★★★★

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1038006365
This book should come with a warning label that says “you may develop a temporary pirate accent”. This is just one of the many side effects of reading ‘The Blue Diamond’. The other is the sleepless nights tearing through the pages, many many pages.

There’s a feisty pirate at sea and she’s not to be messed with. Swashbuckling Ivory “Razor” Shepard, with three of her equally fearless female cousins, set sail to escape the manhunt, err femalehunt. Forget damsels in distress, you won’t find them in here. Instead, you’re treated to a rampaging story dressed up in the trappings of pirate lore.

I rarely read a book in which the character moves the story forward – it’s usually the scenes and dialogues that do that. The amount of Ivory’s kick-assery could put Black Widow and Lucy to shame (there’s no synthetic drug involved but plenty of grog). It’s almost hard to believe this is a historical romance. It’s only when she’s with Capt. Maddox that she shows her vulnerability. It gets a little bit cheesy for my liking, but the kick-assery outweighs the cheesiness, so it’s all good. (Arrr, matey! Oops there it goes again).

***

DCI JONES CASEBOOK: Raymond Francis Collins

by Kerry  J. Donovan

4 / 5 ★★★★

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1088868132

This is a well-written novella that introduces Detective Chief Inspector David Jones and his partner Detective Phil Cryer as they solve the murder of a young man in the park. The author has quite a different approach to the narrative because the identity of the killer is already known. In fact, the reader is privy to the details of the crime, so the mystery is in how DCI Jones will solve the case. It's like a crime solving mystery in reverse. The killer has got a bit of "Psycho Norman Bates" personality going on. This makes him more fascinating than DCI Jones.

This is right up my reading alley and will definitely follow the case.

***

KAFE CASTRO

by Christina Fifield-Winn 

4 / 5 ★★★★

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1088870556
Hilarity ensues when an American woman, high on drugs (Novocaine), reflects on her life in a foreign land (Denmark), after she finds herself half-naked in the backyard of a strange man (Pervy Robe Guy).

It’s frantic. It’s zany. It’s like watching a movie filmed entirely with a shaky camera. Lots of awkward situations, some a little far-fetched, but entertaining nonetheless. Short story but plenty of laughs.

***

NOW YOU SEE ME

by Emma Haughton 

5 / 5 ★★★★

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1043361671

A tragic loss. A missing best friend. A grief-stricken teenager.

I was drawn to the plot like a moth to a flame. Undeniably intriguing.

The story was skilfully plotted to elicit shock, amazement, and utter disbelief. It’s so effective that you might even willingly overlook some things that remained unclear, specifically Danny’s motivations. But then again, perhaps someone doesn’t have to have an elaborate reason – just one simple reason is enough considering all what went down.

But there was closure. A beautifully executed closure.