Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X

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Spending my gift vouchers

Hello lovely followers,

Last month I was lucky enough to get Amazon vouchers, not only for Christmas but for my birthday too. My family and friends know me so well! 🙂

As you can see from my “So, What’s on my Kindle” page , I have read and absolutely loved standalone stories as well as book series from a number of different authors. Both Amazon and Goodreads e-mail me when authors that I’ve read before release new titles (very kind of them) so I know that a couple of my authors released books in December and so guess what I spent some of my vouchers on… lol!

a-stone-kissed-sea-by-elizabeth-hunterA Stone-Kissed Sea (Elemental World #4)

by Elizabeth Hunter (Goodreads Author)
Released 6th December 2016

An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood.

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.

Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.

When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.

one-fell-sweep-by-ilona-andrewsOne Fell Sweep

(Innkeeper Chronicles #3)

by Ilona Andrews (Goodreads Author)
Released on 20th December 2016

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

Source: Goodreads | New Releases for *Tabytha* December 2016 (my authors)

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111Both of these books continue series and it was quite a while ago that I read the previous book,s so I think I will have a bit of skim reading to do so that I can refresh my memory with the various characters/plot etc.

We live in an interact world, so you can check out my progress on by clicking on my profile at Goodreads.

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Goodreads Reading Challenge

Hello my lovely followers,

If you’ve meandered around Tabytha’s Universe, you will know that I like to read; that’s what this post is all about – what I’ve read this year. 😉

As some of you may also already know, I’ve been busy working through a professional qualification this year (as I type this, I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping that I have passed my final assessment and thus am a qualified level 3 teaching assistant – I won’t find out until mid-January) so I’ve haven’t had my nose stuck in my Kindle as much as usual this year, although I have read many teaching related articles and books, however, my point is, I signed up to the 2016 Reading Challenge on Goodreads back at the beginning of the year and set my reading goal to a paltry one book a month. Easy, I thought, I can read 12 books with my eyes shut (I think there’s a joke in there about audio books) but as it turned out my research and assignments keep me busier that I had expected!

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now1111Having said that, I feel that Fate has been on my side! I have been very lucky as my friend, and amazing romance author, Mandy Baggot has released two books this year – thank you Mandy for helping with my reading goal. Lol!

So, finally with just a couple of weeks to spare, I managed to complete the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge and have read 12 books this year. I thought you might like to see which ones they were…

A note on the Goodread’s Star Rating system:

1star = I did not like it

2star = It was OK

3star = I liked it

4star = I really liked it

5star = I loved it!

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Goodreads | Elizabeth Hunter answers your questions — Ask the Author

Hello Lovely Followers,

As you may know, I’ve recently joined the online reading/book website and I love the idea that we the readers get the chance to ask our favourite authors those burning questions…

Elizabeth Hunter Hey Esther! Thanks for asking such a cool question!

I knew fairly early in the Elemental Mysteries series that I wanted to write SOMETHING about Carwyn, but I wasn’t sure if it would be a full novel or a novella or what have you. But I knew he had stuff going on and a story to tell. I keep a LOT of notes and timelines for all my characters, so when I went back to weave his story into the existing series, I just had to refer to my notes from the series when I was building his story. (which, yes, did get complicated at times)

It was a very similar approach to how I wrote Damien and Sari’s story, though that one took a lot more work and world-building because it went back in Irin history.

Elizabeth Hunter I do not have a date yet, because I have not received an offer for The Staff and the Blade from my usual audio producer. HOWEVER, it one does not come, I will produce it myself. But because of that, I don’t have a date available to give you. I wish I did!

Please consider signing up for my mailing list (link on my website) if you want to be kept up to date. I usually send that kind of release info out to subscribers first.

Elizabeth Hunter What a great question! Thanks for asking it. I’m so glad you liked The Staff and the Blade, and I’m especially glad you enjoyed Sari.

I think the key to writing well-developed characters is spending mental time with them. Before I start writing anything down–even notes or outlines– I ask questions about them that really make me question their character.

What is the thing they love most? What do they hate? What makes them proud? What is the worst thing they have done? What is the best? What are they most afraid of? And on and on from there.

When I’ve spent time with those questions in my mind, I can start to know what that character would do during a situation or how they would solve a problem. A lot of that ruminating might have nothing to do with what actually goes into the final book, but it will helps me know my characters and make them real.

Elizabeth Hunter I do! The next book in the Irin series will be Leo and Kyra’s book. I don’t have a title or date yet because I’m working on the next Elemental World book, A Stone-Kissed Sea.

Elizabeth Hunter Definitely not the last one! I don’t have a release date for the next book in the series, but there will definitely be more. Thanks for asking, Ela!

Source: Goodreads | Elizabeth Hunter answers your questions — Ask the Author

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Ten Things I Learned About Publishing in 2015

I’m not an author, I am a reader. I downloaded A Hidden Fire when I bought my Kindle as it was free and I loved the writing style so much that I was soon hooked. As a quick look at my What’s On My Kindle page will tell, I’ve since downloaded & loved the rest of the series and more!!
This post is a real eye opener for me, reminding me that most of the authors are bloody magicians – creating fabulous stories for me to read while ensuring that their “hobby” (?) still pays their bills!


 bow1. This business moves too fast for anyone to predict.

This is why I don’t predict. I only tell you a few things I’ve learned this year. You can find my posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013 at the links. (I didn’t do 2014, long story.)

A lot of people consider me an early self-publisher, and I only started doing this in 2011. That’s four years ago, guys! I’m a baby at this. And yet… I’m not. Things that are common knowledge for me are still new for authors who spent all or most of their time under the traditional system. So I know a lot, but I’m still learning, too. And you have to keep learning. Nothing is static in publishing anymore. Advice that was written in stone two years ago is inapplicable today. Keep on your toes. Keep learning. At the same time…

2. My…

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