Posted tagged ‘reviews’

July Clippings

30 July, 2022

Reviews & Mentions

Thank you to Troithulu for your inspiring review of Uneasy Allies!

Thank you to Ruth for such a glowing review of The Kaerling series, and, in particular, Fair Wind and Elkadanu, both of which can be found at Amazon!

Thank you to Chris R Sendrowski for such an encouraging and heartfelt review of Elkadanu in May!

Thank you too to Priscilla Bettis for her wonderful review of my first collection of poetry, Insides, also at Amazon!

Thank you also to Shey for mentioning me and my book, Elkadanu at ShehanneMoore !

Publications

Thank you Susi Bocks at The Short of It for publishing 5 of my poems – these five, along with many others, will eventually be part of a collection of vampire verse…

Thank you Luna for publishing my poem, Fringes of Fear from my 2nd poetry collection, My Mythology at The Poetry Bar!

Thank you to Spillwords for publishing I Want It Darker, another of the poems that will appear in my vampire poetry collection which is due out in 2023!

Thank you to Mark at Lothlorien Poetry Journal for publishing NINE of my haiku!!!

Thank you to David Gardiner for publishing my short story, Beechmast Copse in Personal Bests Journal Issue 4!

Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of Elkadanu, published in May. It’s only £1.99 – why don’t you treat yourself to it this summer?

Special Offers

My Mythology is still FREE on iBooks, Kobo and Nook. On Kindle, it’s just 99c! (Amazon don’t like me making my books free for some reason…) This is a book full of fantastical poetry about creatures out of legend and in other worlds and it’s only discounted until 31st July…

Silver Fire is available as a FREE download in the July Blowout which ends 31st July – so grab it quick! This is the first book in my dark fantasy series The Kaerling.

Dragonscale Leggings is also available as a FREE download in Imagine That Young Adult giveaway which also ends 31st July. I’ve never made this book available for FREE download before, so get it while you can!

And, a sample of Elkadanu is currently available to download, FREE of charge in the Sample Extravanga giveaway, and guess what? That one ends on 31st July too – funny that! This is volume nine in The Kaerling series, and is an excellent introduction to the characters and storyline.

Don’t forget to check out my OFFERS PAGE every month for freebies and sample chapters!

Changes …

I’m no longer able to use Facebook! It takes so long to load that I very often can’t read other peoples’ posts, or, if I can read them, I can’t respond to them. I also can’t always schedule posts on my Author Page. Very frustrating! So please don’t try to contact me via Facebook because I’m only checking in there every 1-2 months. If you need to contact me, either send an email to freya.pickard@gmail.com or leave a comment on this site.

Other News

Jonathon B. Hoyt with whom I have collaborated over the years in both my Newsletter and for the covers of my books, now has his very own blog! Please take a look and follow and like if you enjoy his work at Jonathon B. Hoyt.

Pure Haiku is once again CLOSED to submissions. Selected haiku from the theme of Volcano, will be appearing between 1st September and 30th November. Sign up to Pure Haiku to receive notifications! And thank you to everyone who sent in their haiku for my consideration!

August is a Rest Month for me so I won’t be online now until the beginning of September. I intend to work on my vampire poetry, read a lot of paperbacks, create pastel and watercolour pictures, listen to music and rest… See you in the autumn!

Much love Freya xxx

Recent Reviews

16 June, 2022

Following my blog post in March on Why Reviews Are So Important, I wanted to share a handful of reviews that I’ve received over the past 18 months.

Aura Vere (Volume 6 of The Kaerling)

“The protagonists of the previous stories in this series finally meet, but dire forces gather in secret, in aid to the threat from the North for their own gain! Now that the characters are together, what plans might they make that will ensure or stop the kaerlings’ conquest of Falna for their side in this crisis? What has happened to Erl’s memory, and who does Lored meet at the Temple? I enjoyed this one enormously!” Troithulu

“This is a lovely book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We learn more of Lored who is probably my favourite character and the revelations about his past were both unexpected and intriguing. There’s a sense of the different story lines starting to merge and it’s good to see Erl beginning to play his part. You don’t have to have read the others in the series to understand this one, but I’d recommend starting with book 1 – you won’t be disappointed!” smallblondehippy

Uneasy Allies (Volume 7 of The Kaerling)

“Been waiting a few months for this since I finished the previous book. And I wasn’t disappointed! Incredible world building and amazing characters who travel through it. This is traditional fantasy as its best.” Jiri

“I enjoyed reading this from start to suspenseful end! Otta and her brother Erl travel with the priestess Undine, her acolyte Tari, and the taku-kevir Lored to catch up with their foes and rescue Derri. But trouble brews as they are trailed by a dark agent who does not have their continued existence at heart! Do they manage to evade pursuit, or will their unseen enemy find their spoor and renew the hunt? Find out!” Troithulu

Fair Wind (Volume 8 of The Kaerling)

“I love this whole series. Each book builds. Suspense and action. My only disappointment was that the next book was not available yet. I love the magic and different cultures that interact with each other. Just delightful and dreadful at the same time. What do I mean? You’ll have to read the series…. you’ll be glad you did!!” JimRuth

“It’s been a while, but this was certainly worth waiting for! Fair Wind continues the 4 companions’ journey in their quest to rescue Derri and Lally from the kaerlings. Pickard doesn’t disappoint as they embark on a short voyage and end up stuck on the Isle of Kiros. Beautiful imagery, poignant prose and characters I just love! More please!” Jiri

Elkadanu

“The adventures in this series are fun. The twists and turns amazing! And I don’t want to wait, but I need to wait for the next episode!!” Jim Ruth

“This is one of those fantasy series that flies under the radar and really should have a wider audience. Freya has a real command of the written word and her pacing and beats flow perfectly, making the story a very pleasant read and the world an even greater pleasure to visit…” Chris S

The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories

“This was the first indie novella I’ve ever read and I was really blown away by the tight and evocative prose. All four fantasy tales were well paced, with interesting characters and settings laid out before you without being too heavy handed or-and I hate to use this word-info dumps. A solid collection by a writer with a true mastery of storytelling and the written word. I will definitely check out her other works!” Chris S

Insides

“I only know Freya through her poetry. I was unaware of her struggle with cancer until I began reading Insides. I immediately connected to Freya’s journey because of my own. She gave words to the invader, words that I’ve too often found elusive. Her poems are at times dark and treacherous, at times hopeful and light, but always they faithfully capture the ups and downs, the misery and the longings of those doing battle with cancer. Kudos to Freya — you’ve spoken for thousands of us.” Gwen Plano

“Pickard’s collection of poetry deals with her insides that were invaded by cancer. Her feelings, her body’s workings, her surgery, and the seasons she missed while trapped focusing on her healing. Plus a sweet, heartfelt cat poem. Pickard’s lines are generally short with snapshots of emotions, animals, stomas, even her surgeon’s fingers. Some poems are freeverse, others syllalbic. She is equally skilled at both.” Priscilla Bettis

As any author will know, these kinds of reviews are necessary to writers who often feel alone and isolated because of their chosen profession. Keep them coming! And don’t forget to check out my latest book, Elkadanu on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo and other stores!

Why reviews are so important

4 March, 2022

Reviews are important to me, both as a reader, and as an author.

And when I mention “review” I simply mean one or two sentences telling other people why they should read a book. “From page one I enjoyed this novel. As I submerged further into the characters, scenes, and story, it only got better — excellent read and looking forward to reading more of this Author’s works.” J Steele

As a reader, I tend to read only 4 or 5 star reviews as I’ve found that any review less than 4 stars reveals more about the reviewer than the product. And to be honest, I just want to know why readers enjoyed the book, not their pet hates or dislike of certain types of themes/characters/style of writing etc.

As a reader, the most helpful reviews I’ve read have been short and sweet, basically saying “I enjoyed this book because…” Any reviews that are long or go into detail about character development and plot arcs, turns me off straightaway. That’s not a review, that’s a critique, and I’m not interested!

As an author, I am dependent upon positive comments and reviews. Without them, I cannot promote my books. And, if I can’t promote my books, I can’t earn the money I need to pay the bills and simply live!

The more reviews a book has, the better chance an author has of getting it included in a paid promotion. Many promos require a book to have at least 10, sometimes 20 positive reviews.

As I’ve mentioned above, a review need only be one or two sentences saying why the reader liked the book. This doesn’t take long to do and indeed, I spend no more than 15 minutes a couple of times a month typing up the reviews I write for the books I’ve enjoyed reading, and post them on both Amazon and BookBub. “Freya’s ability to craft complex characters and create an interwoven storyline show’s well in this volume! The way things play out as the story unfolds, with some mysteries answered and others yet to be revealed, makes me want to know more of this world!” Troi

Reviews are really helpful when they’re posted on Amazon (as most promos require Amazon reviews) as well as Goodreads, Kobo, Nook and iTunes. So, if you have recently read a good book, please take a couple of minutes to compose a maximum of two sentences to encourage other people to also buy the book and get it up on Amazon etc. This really helps both the author and potential readers.

And, if you’ve ever read any of my books, please consider leaving a positive review about them on the above mentioned sites! You never know, I may well dedicate one of my works in progress to you!

Don’t forget that Insides is just 99p / 99c on Kindle as well as Apple, Kobo, Nook and other bookstores! Grab your copy quick before the price goes up! And check out the book trailer HERE!

Books I recommend!

31 January, 2022

I seem to have read mainly long books recently but do have 4 reviews to share with you today! (Sometimes, when I’m creating first drafts, I don’t read at all in order concentrate on my own creativity. The following reviews are of the books I’ve read since the beginning of November 2021…)

War of the Fae by KJ Baker This is the third book in this series and it’s as tense and action-packed as the others! From the beginning, Asha has questions and her doubts nearly ruin everything. I enjoyed both the action and the introspection in this tale, and the exploration of how deep a mate’s bond can be, was fascinating. If you love paranormal romance, you’ll love this book!

The Terror by Dan Simmons is one of the most profound books I’ve ever read. This book contains incredible, seamless story-telling. This is a gritty, visceral tale of survival set in the Arctic in the late 1840s and gives the reader an explanation of what might have happened to the crews of The Terror and The Erebus. The book is far more bloodthirsty and exciting than the TV series! The book also contains a mythological and spiritual side which I found extremely satisfying. Brilliantly researched with excellent delivery – this is one book I will definitely re-read! (Tip – watch the TV series before you read the book otherwise you might find the TV version disappointing!)

I also enjoyed reading Male Sexual Health by Dudley Seth Danoff. This book is a must read for any female author who genuinely wants to understand the sexual motivations of the men she writes about.

I re-read The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien in December. I took my time, enjoying my journey through Middle Earth. (This is the first time I’ve re-read the book for 7.5 years, since having cancer). I forget so much between reads and love all the details that make me feel as though I am there with the companions as they travel. For instance, did you know that the road delves down between red rocks crowned with pine trees before the last mile of grassland before the Ford of Bruinen? And I just love the way Tolkien describes how the Ents move – like herons wading through grass, but moving a lot quicker than herons can fly. And the way Saruman’s eyes glint red when he’s brought to bay at the tower of Orthanc, still gives me shivers!

Have you read (or re-read) any of these books recently? If so, what was your opinion of them?

Don’t forget that Insides is just 99p / 99c on Kindle as well as Apple, Kobo, Nook and other bookstores! Grab your copy quick before the price goes up! And check out the book trailer HERE!

For all my reviews and comments on the books I read, please check out Amazon and Bookbub!

November Catch Up

18 November, 2021

A mega thank you to Editor Susi Bocks for nominating my poem, Sailing, for The Pushcart Prize! Wow! I am overwhelmed! You can read my poem and find out about Pushcart by clicking on the links.

A huge thank you to Swords & Sorcery Magazine for publishing my short story, Bladesong. If you’re into The Kaerling series, this tale will give you an insight into the dark world of the First Age of Nirunen and of the horrors the ancient heroes had to face.

And a big thank you to Cold Moon Journal for publishing my haiku about the ocean recently!

Thank you also to Spillwords for publishing my poem, Bite Me, recently. This is a vampire poem with a difference; can you tell which one is the victim and which is the predator?

And thank you too to Luna for publishing my poem, Mist, back in September. This poem portrays a scene from my latest book, Uneasy Allies.

Have you bought your copy of Uneasy Allies yet? It’s the latest volume in The Kaerling series. If you have already read it and enjoyed it, I would love it if you could leave a one line comment about why you liked it at the store you purchased it from!

Pure Haiku closed to submissions on 31st October on the theme of Ghostlight. I’m in the process of selecting the haiku to be published at Pure Haiku between 1st January and 31st March 2022.

My Patreon supporters have been reading my tales about Kirri and Ebkah, two heroes from the First Age of Nirunen, and they’ve also been receiving my unique poetry postcards every month, painted and written by me! If you’d like to get more of a glimpse into the mysterious world of Nirunen as well as helping me promote my books, please consider donating on my Patreon profile!

My Newsletter readers have received three character studies this year as well as poetry and a story. The third and final part of my serialised story, Resurrection, will be available in December.

I’ll be making some changes to my Newsletter and this blog in 2022 so watch this space and I’ll explain more in January next year!

That’s all for now, as I’ve been busy writing volumes 10 – 12 of The Kaerling recently – 89,000 words in October. Who needs Nanowrimo?!!!

I’ll be back next week with my final post of the year and a new book cover reveal. See you then!


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