August Chilling with Books Corner 2021 and Author Spotlight – McKenna Dean and Jillian Webster

These days my reading time is limited. I have a lot of writing to catch up and a few projects I’d like to attempt. Currently I have been hard at work doing a major overhaul of my first novel including a new cover. With luck I will have it done soon so I can work towards a release of the second in the series. The writing community is an extremely supportive one, in particular the writing community on Instagram and all the wonderful bloggers out there that continually add to my learning. It has inspired me to do more with my work hence the overhaul, time consuming as it has been.

In the current difficult climate, the support of others keeps us going. This has given me pause to consider what I can do in order to contribute. Reading and reviewing is important, but I have been thinking along other lines as well. Having featured authors in the past I realised I could do more with my monthly Chilling Corner posts and perhaps make featuring authors a regular occurrence. There are of course many doing this already. However, I truly believe more support can never go astray.

Moreover, I know how hard Indie writers work and featuring some of them would give me great pleasure. Self-publishing can often be a lonely endeavour. There is so much we need to consider for ourselves yet every author I interact with gives generously of their time. For this reason, the spotlighting will not be based on my own reading preferences. Instead, those featured will come from all parts of the genre world and each will have their own special twist to contribute to readers.

Every month I hope to present someone new along with a few books I have managed to read that have been sitting on my TBR (to be read) list. This month I begin with two authors I have featured previously but who have new releases.

Spotlight on Jillian Webster

Jillian released her second book The Burn of a Thousand Suns in her trilogy The Forgotten Ones a month ago. The Weight of a Thousand Oceans, Book One was her first work of fiction, and was published in June of 2020.  The second book continues the story in a completely different setting. Both books have an air of originality which keeps the reader wondering. 

I first featured her back in October 2020. I thought I might give you insight using her own words. Jillian is “a bit of a restless soul. It wasn’t until I arrived on the shores of New Zealand that I found a life I truly loved. It was effortless, like being reunited with a long-lost love. I didn’t know a soul in the country and was only supposed to stay six months. It was my final stop on another epic backpacking adventure.”

It boded well for her writing and her series. She says, “the idea came to me out of nowhere, after reading a quote by Warsan Shire where she writes about laying an atlas in her lap, whispering, “Where does it hurt?” The earth responds, “Everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.” Since then, “The Forgotten Ones trilogy has taken on a life of its own. Originally meant to be a single book told from the perspective of our children’s children after the world is destroyed from global warming, the story has now turned into a fantastical trilogy about the contemporary story of Mother Nature.” Check it out.

Spotlight on McKenna Dean

McKenna has just released her new book under the name of M.K. Dean, An Embarrassment of Itches: An Animal Lovers Cozy Mystery (Ginny Reese Mysteries Book 1). Very different to when I first featured her in February 2019 for her series of paranormal novels, this new series still maintains the lovely sense of humour and warmth that is a major part of her writing. She calls this new one Diagnosis Murder meets All Creatures Great and Small…” I can’t think of anything to add to that – it’s perfect. Having been a fan of Mckenna’s previous paranormal novels I was excited to see her try a new genre. The warmth is there, the quirkiness, a slow burn romance and a murder.- what else can you want? 

 

When I did the original feature, she talked a little about the writing bug. “See,” she tells us, “I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was quite small, I sometimes found myself turning off the television because the episode I was watching was too intense—and then I made up my own ending to the show. When I was eight, I had a grubby spiral notebook I carried with me everywhere, in which I wrote a running serial about a group of horse-crazy girls who solved mysteries. It was so popular that I had a waiting list of fellow third-grade readers. I wrote fanfiction without knowing what was—terrible self-insert stories in which I was the worst Mary Sue of them all—always coming to the rescue.”

As I said this new one is different, but doesn’t it fit in well with her childhood escapades?

From my TBR (to be read) pile

 Falling and Uprising – Natalie Cammaratta

I seem to be drifting towards dystopian lately. This one is from a new author for me and also happens to be YA. Normally, I don’t read much in the Young Adult genre but this one took my fancy so I thought I would try it. There was a very original feel to this that I enjoyed. These days it is hard to find something different but this managed fresh and a female lead that didn’t get on your nerves with selfish or childish behaviour. As a result, I read it in one sitting,

Dance of Hearts – Byrd Nash

My second  book was a fairy tale retelling. Cinderella was adorable and quite different to what we have been used to and consequently it was an absolute delight. And I will be reading the series.

Until next month,

Barb

Questions for me? Want to share your views and ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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