Guest Author Julia Hughes

Today our guest is author Julia Hughes who wrote yesterday’s book “The Griffin’s Boy” here is a link to it if you missed it.

Julia Hughes

1) Where is your home town?

London, the most beautiful city in the world.

2) How long have you been writing?

Always, and I’ve always enjoyed writing, but … around six years or so, something clicked. I realised that the books I most enjoy reading are those that allow me as a reader to fill in the gaps. As a fledgling author, I tended to paint the entire picture, but now, I have enough confidence in my stories to allow my readers’ imagination to take flight.

3) Why did you decide to write The Griffin’s Boy?

In “The Griffin Cryer”, my main character, Frankie, is in a hopeless place. Her brother, Michael, is in a coma. He shows no signs of recovery, and has had to be resuscitated several times. Frankie’s estranged father has already given his consent for medical staff to allow his son to die. Frankie’s mum begins to express her doubts that they are doing the right thing in keeping Michael artificially alive. Frankie feels suffocated by her mum’s over-protectiveness, and alienated from her peers at school. When she accidentally summons the griffin and his rider into this world, Frankie is forced out of her own misery. She’s determined to help griffin and rider back to their own world. Then she becomes aware that she can also help her brother back into this world. I wanted to write a story for young adults, and I know that often teenagers can feel very alone, and even powerless. But this isn’t the case, if you believe in yourself, you can change your own world; even something as small as taking up a new hobby, or learning a new art or craft can make a difference. Originally, the griffin and his rider served to illustrate the premise that out of the blue, something very special can happen in anyone’s life. But the griffin was awfully mischievous, and his rider was fantastically proud, and really quite arrogant (as befits someone who rides a griffin), and even while I was sketching out “The Griffin Cryer”, I knew I had to write their story.

4) Can you tell us more about the training a Griffin and his Rider would expect to get?

I put this question to Griffin Master Romulus. His response was “work hard and study, and who knows – maybe you’ll be selected as one of my recruits and discover for yourself what makes a griffin rider.”

5) How long is the training and what are their roles afterwards?

Again, Griffin Master Romulus answered: “Once a recruit is selected, training will continue until they can demonstrate their ability to patrol and protect both as a team, and individually.”

6) Where and when is the book set?

“The Griffin’s Boy” is set a few years before “The Griffin Cryer”, and takes place on Ella-Earth. Set in a parallel universe, Ella-Earth is our world’s twin, except evolution has taken a different path, and mythical beasts exist.

7) Can you explain ley lines in more detail?

Ley lines are another name for the telluric currents that criss-cross both this world, and our twin, Ella-Earth. They’re invisible to the human eye, but our ancestors were aware of them, and built many monuments along these ley lines to mark them, the most famous example being Stonehenge. In our world, birds and other animals use them to navigate. In Ella-Earth, they are used as conduits by spirits, both good and bad. Ley lines are visible to griffins, who are the sworn enemies of demons and bad spirits; and so griffins are the natural guardians of ley lines.

8) For those who haven’t read The Griffin Cryer how does it link to The Griffin’s Boy?

There are hints in “The Griffin Cryer” that the mysterious rider summoned by Frankie has no right to be a griffin rider. Once in a single generation, a person is born with the talent to cry down or summons griffins. However, it’s unheard of for a nameless nobody to be invited to join the elite Griffin Riders. I knew that Balkind’s rider must have achieved something very special for Romulus to select him as a recruit. This is his story.

9) Do you intend to write any more adventures for the Griffin Rider?
One of the Guardians of the Stones is still missing, as is his crystal. I’m certain there are still stories to be told. In particular, Samara is a strong character, and I’ve a feeling sparks will definitely fly when she meets Frankie.

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

Drop by my site anytime:, or visit my Amazon author page, it’s been a delight to meet with your readers, and I hope to stay in touch!

The Griffin's Boy (The Griffin Riders)

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The Griffin’s Boy by Julia Hughes

The Griffin's Boy (The Griffin Riders)The Griffin’s Boy by Julia Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having previously read the Griffin Cryer, I was delighted to be able to read The Griffin’s Boy, a companion book which tells us the story behind the Griffin Rider. Balkind is a young Griffin selected for special training, but a mishap with one of the new recruits put his training chances at risk. Neb is that boy who grooms the Griffins and he is determined to help Balkind.

Disobeying orders, Neb and Balkind set off to follow Griffin Master Romulus, but on the way they end up making a daring rescue of a young boy from the village of Darkling. By the time the Griffin Master arrives in the village Neb and Balkind are heroes. They make new friends and soon Neb finds himself disobeying more orders in a desperate attempt to save Samara from danger and a very unpleasant marriage.

There are some great details about the Griffins, their wings, feathers and flight veins, plus we get to read about how the Griffins patrol the ancient Ley lines, sensing the energy from the lines and keeping demons at bay. You can almost feel the magic that flows from Balkind when he faces and destroys a demon.

This book was a pleasure to read, Julia Hughes has written another great book.

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View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Julia will be joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest author.

Rosie’s Good Read Collections – Children’s books

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse. Some of these books would easily cross over into the Young Adult market too.

18521427Hurrah! This is the first in the Becoming Anorak Nid series by Alix B macey. Perfect for 8+ children + reluctant readers. Nid avoids water at all costs – in whatever form it takes; puddles, ice-bergs, baths, even spit – do you? In the face of all this, for goodness sake don’t spill the beans, but Nid has a job to do – will he be able to pull it off though? Purposefully, with a touch of mysterious silence, lurking in the corner of Mr. Busy’s bumble sale – underneath holey socks, smelly jumpers and odd knickers, is the magical answer to all of Nid’s bonkers thinking – that could change his life forever… Joined by his astonishing mute ant friend, Sile Ant – who for obvious reasons has no speaking part (quite odd in a book really?), Nid heads off on one of the most challenging adventures he will ever have to undertake –ever, in the whole world of England. Goodreads, My Review; Alix is a local author and I was very pleased to support her work.

19186566 Whoopee! Phew..the story thankfully continues in this, the 2nd in the exciting fictional children’s adventure “Becoming Anorak Nid” Series by Alix. B Macey.
Has he become Anorak Nid, or has he began to become? Is he becoming… or just beginning? When we left Nid things were getting very strange indeed. Where had Cricket the cricket mysteriously disappeared to? What was that ribboned scroll in his inside toffee wrapper pocket of his new anorak and just who were those mysteriously vague words intended for?
If you think this is all strange enough (or absolutely boring) you haven’t even started yet! Things are really starting to get a wee bit kooky in “Becoming Anorak Nid, in a second – and why orange marmalade really isn’t his colour!” Goodreads,,, My Review;

18332864Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man. Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions. That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard. Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t. STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory. Goodreads,,, My Review;

13013797Rhyllann Jones’s geeky cousin Wren is convinced an ancient diary can lead them to the mythical treasure of Bad King John, last seen 900 years ago. Trouble is, “The Brotherhood” will stop at nothing to get to it first. Even more dangerous in Rhyllann’s eyes is Detective Inspector Crombie. This father of four daughters knows Rhyllann is lying, and is certain Wren is a master manipulator. Crombie is determined to keep the boys safe at any costs. This leads “The Brotherhood” to take desperate action to learn the secrets Wren keeps, plunging Crombie and Rhyllann into a race against time across the wild Cornish moors. “But the treasure is guarded. He who wishes to enter the secret chamber must first ensure he knows of the Celtic rites and mysteries. No other hand is permitted to touch Caliburn, sacred sword of the Celtic Nations.” The Celtic Cousin Adventures continue with A Ripple in Time, a time travelling fantasy, and An Explosive Time in which Crombie makes a comeback, along with a surprising guest star. Goodreads,, Several of Julia’s other books would also fit here, The Griffin Cryer appeared in my YA collection, and Julia has a new book out The Griffin’s Boy, which I am planning on reviewing in March.

Rosie’s Good Read Collections; Young Adult (YA)

Welcome to “Rosie’s Good read Collections”, I’ve put together the books I’ve read into subject headings that I think the books belong to, for you to browse.

15845605Fifteen-year-old Therese watches her parents die. While in a coma, she meets the twin sons of Hades—Hypnos, the god of sleep, and Thanatos, the god of death. She thinks she’s manipulating a dream, not kissing the god of death and totally rocking his world. Than makes a deal with Hades and goes as a mortal to the Upperworld to try and win Therese’s heart, but not all the gods are happy. Some give her gifts. Others try to kill her. The deal requires Therese to avenge the death of her parents. With the help of Than’s fierce and exotic sisters, the Furies, she finds herself in an arena face to face with the murderer, and only one will survive. Goodreads,,, My Review:

18395230The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading. Heads would Roll,Hearts would Break…In the end, would it matter who Reigned? Goodreads,,, My Review:

18367881For Kaeden Parish, life in Solace has always followed certain rules—everything makes sense, everything can be planned for, and everything is as it seems. Unfortunately, the secret harbored by his gorgeous, albeit guarded girlfriend is about to shatter all of that. After a successful attack on his life opens his eyes to a world of war, shadows, and supernatural creatures—a world he didn’t plan for—Kaeden finds himself resembling the sort of monster he has always feared. As he desperately struggles to resist a new temptation, danger draws ever nearer, threatening the ones he loves most. A prophecy tells of a final battle and great destruction, and Kaeden must decide which side he is on, a choice that could mean the end of the world. In Book 1 of the Solace Series, P.K. Gallagher pulls readers into a realm where good and evil are at war, and the outcome of it all rests on one young man’s decision to either go and live…or stay and die. This is where Parish begins. Goodreads,,, My Review:

18471970Sixteen-year-old Michelle is a product of the Institute’s eugenics program, where people are bred like livestock. One doctor decides which kids get to grow up, and which disappear. Only Culls walk into the slum outside Institute walls, and they never come back. Michelle has survived every purge, and she’s about to win a luxurious life as a breeder. Then the doctor banishes her brother Seth and her boyfriend Brian, and she risks everything to find them in the cutthroat slum. She’s in trouble until handsome Dillon stakes a claim to her. Michelle is mortified, because Norms are practically animals. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted plan and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle and her friends must find Seth and Brian, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help her find her lost boyfriend. Goodreads,,, My review:

16285047Leah Vindral is suffocating–trapped in her own skin. In a land where magic is feared, magic saved her from death … but it came with a terrible price. Marked forever, she is shunned and isolated by those she loves most. Brimming with bitter rage at those who abandoned her, Leah flees from her childhood home only to be swept into an impending war: Mora, a wicked witch, has been imprisoned for years, waiting like a spider in the folds of her web for the chance to regain the powers once stripped from her. It is there, while she waits, that she learns of a strange young girl … a girl who can speak to unicorns. Now Leah must save the country that shuns her, for if Mora returns to power, all will be lost. But can Leah, who is so frightened and confused herself, find the strength to save them all? Goodreads,,, My Review:

18298944One September evening, around twilight, Francesca Shaunessy calls out for her dog to come to heel – however instead of a black Labrador, a dragon like beast emerges from the mists surrounding the twelfth century church and graveyard, followed closely by his rider. Frankie is astounded to discover she has an unexpected gift: She is a “Griffin Cryer”. Balkind is the sweetest most loveable griffin ever. Unfortunately his rider is the rudest man in this world or any other. Despite problems at school, and a complicated home life, Frankie feels compelled to help the Rider and his griffin return home to Ella-Earth. In doing so, Frankie escapes her own emotional prison, and becomes aware that there’s a chance that she can help her comatose twin brother back into this world. Goodreads,,, My Review:

10897866When fifteen-year-old Jacob Lau is pulled from the crumpled remains of his mother’s car, no one can explain why he was driving or why the police can’t find his mother’s body. A beautiful and mysterious neighbour offers to use her unique abilities to help him find his mom. But in exchange she requires Jacob to train as a Soulkeeper, a protector of human souls. He agrees to her demands, desperate for any clue to the mystery of his mother’s disappearance. But soon Jacob finds himself trapped in a web of half-truths, and questions her motives for helping him. Goodreads,,, (This was free at the time of going to post)My Review:

11250674Ever since her sixteenth birthday, strange things keep happening to Seraphina Parrish. The Lady in Black… burns Sera’s memories. Unexplainable premonitions… catapult her to other cities. The Grungy Gang… wants to kill her. And a beautiful, mysterious boy… stalks her. But when Sera moves to Chicago, and her aunt reveals their family connection to a centuries old, secret society, she is immediately thrust into an unbelievable fantasy world, leading her on a quest to unravel the mysteries that plague her. In the end, their meanings crash into an epic struggle of loyalty and betrayal, and she’ll be forced to choose between the boy who has stolen her heart and the thing she desires most. Wander Dust is the breath-taking fantasy that will catapult you through a story of time, adventure, and love. Goodreads,, My Review:

Good Deeds week 26th May – 1st June.

Good deedsMay 26th – Doing the rounds of blogs and Tweets. Proud to support Harula who has taken up the challenge to do a Good Deed a day with me.

May 27th – Spring Bank Holiday here in the UK today, it’s been a pretty lazy day filled with book reading! (My perfect type of day!) Just e-mailed a friend to offer to be the driver on our night out at a show on Tuesday.

May 28th – Bit of a strange day today. Tried to make the girls at work tea or coffee before I left, but they declined my offer. Was able to give away some of my rice that I had won to a friend as payment for a dress alteration, but then she felt unqualified to alter the dress, left her the rice anyway. Took another friend out to see a show, but she became ill and left half way through. Stayed up until 2am with my son as he had a bad cold and couldn’t settle. I think the universe was testing my resolve today.

May 29th – Had a good clean and tidy up around the house today. Emptied out all my copper coins from pots and purses and added to my jam jar. Set up a book review and posted to Goodreads and Amazon.

May 30th – Started reading a new book ready to review for an author. The children are on half term school holiday so my usual routine is different. I’m not out and about so much this week. Days at home mean that I need to search out different ways to do Good deeds. A late trip to the supermarket allowed me to have a friendly chat with the lady at the till.

May 31st – Editing, editing, editing, Oh I hate editing! Ploughing my way through painful editing of my second book. Popped out for an hour to drop off some items to my Mum. The June issue of Fleet Life dropped through the door today, so I scanned it in to my blog and set up a post ready to publish when the on line version goes live. Hopefully tomorrow! 5 more authors get a bit of free publicity.

June 1st –  Publication day for the on line version of Fleet Life. Was eager to get my post out, but they hit an upload problem which wasn’t sorted until this afternoon, featured authors were Jean Fullerton with “Call Nurse Millie”, Julia Hughes with “The Griffin Cryer”, Dan and Sean Campbell with “Can’t Sell, Won’t Sell”, Alan Titchmarsh with “The Haunting” and Judith O’Reilly with the book which inspired these weekly posts “A Year of Doing Good”.

June Fleet News

Rosie’s Reads in the June Issue of Fleet Life

June Fleet NewsThis month I’m proud to present the following books as part of Rosie’s Good Reads in my local Fleet Life magazine. Over 5000 copies go out to people in the area and the on-line version is available world wide. Go to click on the on-line directory and find me on page 10 of the June issue.

Call Nurse Millie by Jean Fullerton

The Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes

The Haunting by Alan Titchmarsh

Can’t Sell, Won’t Sell by Sean and Daniel Campbell

A Year of Doing Good by Judith O’Reilly.

The Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes

The Griffin CryerThe Griffin Cryer by Julia Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a brilliant book for the YA market and very readable as an adult too. If you like dragons then you’ll enjoy the Griffin in this book.  Teenager Frankie, accidently summons a Griffin when whistling for her dog, and must then try to help the Griffin and it’s rider return home to their parallel universe. There is a mix of modern life and very old English Celt history, with the temptation of more books to come in the series. A great book.

View all my reviews

This is the second book that I’ve read written by Julia, they are very well written and good YA stories.

Guest Interview with Julia Hughes

Today Julia Hughes is my guest. I plan to read and review Julia’s book here on the blog in the near future. I love the tip about pretending you are stuck to your seat with glue! Here are Julia’s replies;

1) Tell me your name
Julia Hughes – I write under my maiden name so I don’t embarrass the sons! 
2) Where do you live?
The last village in London – a fact that also annoys the sons – they’d much rather be living among the bright lights, but marching over the fields with my dogs is when I really have a chance to think, and see things as they might be – if only the story had panned out differently …
3)When did you start writing?
At a very early age. With another primary school friend I co-wrote a screen play for a television series – I remember it was about the French resistance. I cannot remember why we decided on that subject – but it became awfully complicated as it seemed the entire school wanted a part. 
4)What type of books do you like writing the most?
Without sounding flippant, if I don’t think my current WIP is my favourite book ever, I know I’m doing something wrong. I don’t write in any one genre, this is the beauty of being indie. “An Explosive Time”, the third in the Celtic Cousins’ Adventures was my attempt at writing a ‘thriller’ and that was a lot of fun, but I think most of the credit can go to Stephen Spencer who is a master at the craft of mystery/thrillers. 
5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1. Pretend there is glue on your chair, and if you can’t complete your word count for that day, write the equivalent word count in excuses. It’s surprising how quickly “Writer’s Block” skulks away and doesn’t trouble you again.  
2. Read the bestsellers in your genre – read as a reader, and then as a critic, and then break the story down – what works for you – what doesn’t – I’m not saying you should adopt another writer’s style, but you will become more knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts of story telling via the medium of print.  
3. Cherish your beta readers and critique partners. 
6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?
Stephen King’s 11/22/63 – Excellent. I loved the way Mr King deals with the consequences of time travel, and meddling with pivotal moments in history. It’s fair to say I lapped it up. 
7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.
“The Griffin Cryer” is my latest release, and is a YA fantasy suitable for everyone who’s ever dreamed of flying on the back of a griffin: One link serves all Amazon sites:
Monday catch my book review of “Tick Tock Run” by H Elliston and on Tuesday we are back with another guest author, Stephanie Hurt. Plus watch out for a new and exciting addition to the blog coming soon.