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Julianna Baggott

21 Writers I Admire

By Amazon, Books & Authors, Gay, ThinkingNo Comments

As an avid Reader I have a list of writers I admire. The list is below and is split into genres. The writers are listed in alphabetical order by their surname’s, so the order doesn’t indicate the preference. Along with each Writers name (and link to their official website) is a bit of blurb as to why I admire them.

General Fiction

ps-i-love-you-book-cover 1. Cecelia Ahern – Her first novel P.S. I Love You shot to the top of the best seller charts and was later turned into a film. I admire Cecelia Ahern because the subject of all of her books is: the strength of the human spirit. Her books are also superbly written.

Related Reviews: Book Review: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern, Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern and Book Review: How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern.

2. Emma DonoghueRoom first novel of Emma Donoghue’s that I came across. I admire the concept of Room, along with the stylistic telling of the story. I must admit that I didn’t know that Emma Donoghue has written so many books or done the variety of writing that she has in her career. I may well pick up one of her many published books in the future. Related Review: Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue.

shopaholic-series-book-covers 3. Sophie Kinsella – She is most well known for her Shopaholic series. The idea really was just ahead of it’s time in terms of predicting the credit crunch. I admire her because of her appeal to a wide audience, her light and easy-to-read style and because she previously wrote in her real name: Madeleine Wickham.

After writing as Madeleine Wickham she took a break from writing and came back with The Secret Dreamworld Of A Shopaholic written as Sophie Kinsella. She used this name to see if she could get her work published as a new Writer and because her work was different than that of Madeleine Wickham.

I’m looking forward to the release of Shopaholic to the Stars. Related Reviews: Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.

4. Isla Morley – She makes this list for her second novel Above. I admire Morley for this novel for so many reasons: it’s well written, it’s a great idea, it’s perfectly paced, etc. It’s the only book I’ve ever described as phenomenal. Related Review: Book Review: Above by Isla Morley.

5. David Nicholls – David wrote One Day, a brilliant love story. I love a good love story so admire him for this story set over a lifetime. He has written Starter for Ten and The Understudy, both of which I want to read. He does some acting as well.

the magicians assistant 6. Ann Patchett – I discovered Ann Patchett through her novel The Magician’s Assistant, which I am currently re-reading. I admire this book’s brilliant opening line: “PARSIFAL IS DEAD. That is the end of the story.” Ann Patchett’s writers voice had me hooked from page one, till the very end. I admire her for writing this is a beautiful story and telling it expertly. Ann Patchett has since become a voice for independent book stores and authors which are other reasons for my admiration.

Ann Patchett’s other novels are The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, Bel Canto, Run and State of Wonder. All of which I want to read. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett.

Fantasy Fiction

The-Magicians-Guild-Trudi-Canavan 7. Trudi Canavan – A friend introduced me to Trudi Canavan’s work and I’m so glad he did. I admire her intricate story telling and the sheer number of books and trilogies she has completed.

I’ve just finished reading Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan, so expect a review soon. Related Review: Book Review: The Magician’s Guild (Book 1) by Trudi Canavan.

8. Steven J Mepham – He is a good friend of mine, who is currently working on his first novel. His ideas, plots, characters and description are all exceptional. When his first novel is published it will be outstanding and I will be reviewing it here.

9. J. R. R. Tolkien – I discovered Tolkien when The Lord of the Rings films came out. I’m yet to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I have read The Hobbit. I admire the longevity of his work. Related Review: Book Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (printed by The Folio Society).

Gay & Lesbian Fiction

In-His-Secret-Life-Mel-Bossa-Cover 10. Mel Bossa – I admire Mel Bossa for her writing style and tackling of tough subjects. She must be given praise as a woman for writing exceptional gay stories. I discovered Mel Bossa through her book: Franky Gets Real. She is one of my all-time favourite writers and now has a string of books to her name.

Related Reviews: Book Review: Into The Flames by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Franky Gets Real by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Split by Mel Bossa, Book Review: Suite Nineteen by Mel Bossa and Book Review: In His Secret Life by Mel Bossa.

11. Yvonne Heidt – Heidt writes lesbian literature. I admire her for her writer’s voice, style and the care readers come to feel for her characters. I’m currently reading her novel The Awakening. Related Review: Book Review: Sometime Yesterday by Yvonne Heidt.

12. Adrian Lilly – I admire Lilly for the amount of work that he produces. He has a number of projects on the go at any one time, yet always maintains the quality of his writing. He writes gay-themed literature that thrills, without resorting to erotica to thrill the reader. I’ve read two books in The Runes Trilogy, which is a story about gay werewolf’s. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Wolf At His Door (Runes Trilogy Book 1) by Adrian Lilly and Book Review: The Wolf in His Arms (Runes Trilogy Book 2) by Adrian Lilly.

Spirituality / Paganism

ly-de-angeles-witchcraft-book-cover 13. Ly De Angeles – I admire Ly De Angeles for her clear and concise sharing of knowledge in her book Witchcraft: Theory and Practice.

14. Ellen Dugan – Wrote Elements of Witchcraft: Natural Magick for Teens, which I read as a teenager and had a huge influence on my pagan practice. Her engaging writers voice and good use of language engages young people well. She showed me the path to working creatively with the elements.

cassandra-eason-psychic-development-book-cover 15. Cassandra Eason – The first book I ever read in spirituality/pagan genre was Cassandra Eason’s A Complete Guide To Psychic Development. It lit my imagination and interest, leading me to collect a library of books in the genre. A Complete Guide To Psychic Development is one of Cassandra Eason’s many titles. Two other titles that I have read and enjoyed are Cassandra’s Psychic Party Games and A Year and a Day in Magick: A Complete Week-by-week Course to a Lifetime in Magick.

16. Judy Hall – I admire Judy Hall for her comprehensive title The Crystal Bible, which to this day is still my reference for anything I want to know about crystals. Since she has gone on to write The Crystal Bible Volume 2 and The Crystal Bible Volume 3.

advanced-witchcraft-book-cover 17. Edain McCoy – She shows her passion for all things pagan with her engaging writing style. Edain McCoy has a number of titles published, but my favourite is Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher. Many pagan books simply regurgitate the same basic information and offer nothing for someone who has been pagan for a number of years. In Advanced Witchcraft: Go Deeper, Reach Further, Fly Higher Edain McCoy showed that she knows what she’s talking about and offered me new ideas to develop my pagan practice.
utterley-wicked-dorothy-morrison 18. Dorothy Morrison – Shows her personality in her writing style. She’s a strong, independent woman with attitude and her books are enjoyable, full of ideas and engaging. I like that she covers the darker side of paganism and witchcraft, not just the lighter side like many pagan/spirituality authors. A good example of this is her title Utterly Wicked: Curses, Hexes & Other Unsavory Notions. The first book I bought on magic was her Everyday Magic title, which I have read from cover to cover repeatedly.

YA Fiction
19. Julianna Baggott – Is a poet who I discovered through her YA novels in The Pure Trilogy. The Pure Trilogy is hugely different from her previous work and I admire her for opening herself up to a new audience. Related Reviews: Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott, Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott and Book Review: Burn by Julianna Baggott.

gone-michael-grant-book-cover 20. Michael Grant – Michael Grant’s Gone Series is brilliant. It’s fast paced and has kids stuck in a dome, some of whom have powers. The series has a great plot, realistic characters and each of the books is an addictive page turner. I admire Michael Grant for knowing how to thrill readers. Related Reviews: Book Review: Plague by Michael Grant, Book Review: Lies by Michael Grant, Book Review: Hunger by Michael Grant and Book Review: Gone by Michael Grant.
Charlie higson - The Enemy 21. Charlie Higson – He is a author, actor, comedian and writer for television and radio. I like everything about The Enemy Series. The concept, writing style, plot, pacing, settings, perspectives, characters and their development. I admire his ability to grip readers from the start to the end of each book and his history of creative diversity. Related Reviews: Book Review: The Fallen by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Sacrifice by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Fear by Charlie Higson, Book Review: The Dead by Charlie Higson and Book Review: The Enemy by Charlie Higson.

I admire all Writers for writing. Not only are they creating something, but they are taking an emotional risk by sharing their work with the world. To write, edit and publish a novel also a major time commitment for the Writer.

I’ve noticed a theme about the Writers in this list. That is that many of them do a number of different creative activities. It might be writing in different forms (e.g. poetry, for TV, radio or stage) or do something completely different (yet equally creative) like acting, performance or artistry.

Which Writers do you admire and why? Leave a comment below.

Blog soon,


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Book Review: Burn by Julianna Baggott

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
burn-j-baggott-book-cover Burn is the third and final book in The Pure Trilogy. You might also like to read Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott (Book 2) and Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott (Book 1) to get a complete overview of the whole series.

Burn by Julianna Baggott is the spectacular, sensational and fast-paced final book in the trilogy. Inside The Dome, Partridge is in charge, or is he? He’s forced into marrying Iralene, as he begins to uncover more of his fathers secrets. Pregnant Lyda realises that she feels trapped and would rather be in the ash-covered outside world.

Meanwhile outside The Dome, Pressia, Bradwell & El Captain travel back from Ireland with a bacterium that could take down The Dome. With The Dome being potentially able to be brought down, what will this mean for the Pures inside and the Wretches outside?

The intricate plot thickens and continues to reveal secrets of the past, even towards the end of the book. The bacterium evens the playing field between Pures and Wretches, which is indicated by this note from the Wretches to the Pures:

“We are here, my brothers and sisters,
to end the division, to be recognised as human,
to live in peace. Each of us has the power
to be benevolent.”

(From: Burn by Julianna Baggott, 11th January 2014.)

Throughout the book the characters continue to develop; giving them a sense of realism. Only the character Foresteed felt under-developed and one of convenience. He seemed to serve only one purpose: to push Partridge into making difficult decisions. His actions, thoughts and reactions in the final scene are not mentioned which was peculiar. Baggott told the reader characters thoughts often and could have shown more.

Generally the editing was good, but could have been better. The were a few noticeable typos and other mistakes in the advanced copy received; but these did not interfere with the flow of the story.

The epic finale is right at the end of the book, on the last few pages. Pressia is inside The Dome, while outside Wretches surround it in a circle and The Dome’s guns are firmly pointed at them. Will Partridge become his father? Will the Wretches be successful in taking down The Dome? And what will happen to the Pures, if they do succeed? To find you, you’ll have to buy Burn.

I was worried that Baggott might not be able to get to the end of the story. But the ending did come, and with some unexpected twists. Baggot used her poetic talent which was welcome and added depth to the ending. Don’t be mistaken in to thinking that this is a happy-ending-for-all type of book; there are gains and losses on both sides. The reader finished the book feeling satisfied and with a hope of new beginnings in a new world for both Pures and Wretches alike.

Burn is an addictive read because of the captivating plot and its fast-paced telling, which the reader will be unable to put down. Burn is written so that if you’ve not read Pure and/or Fuse you’ll still know the backstory and be able to enjoy the book.

Pure, Fuse and Burn make up a superb post-apocalyptic series that is a must read for anyone who loves these type of stories. Without doubt this series deserves an award for its originality, engagement of the reader, brilliant structure & style and expert storytelling.

Burn, along with Fuse & Pure are available to buy on Amazon.

Review soon,


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Book Review: Fuse by Julianna Baggott

By Books & Authors, Reviews2 Comments
fuse-book-cover Fuse by Julianna Baggott is the second book in the Pure Trilogy. Pure was the first book and my review describes Pure as a brilliant read and full to bursting with original ideas.

Fuse was already on My Book Schedule when Headline Publishing approached me asking if I wanted a preview edition to read and review on my blog. When I knew it was on it’s way my #Fusebook Excitement made me buzz.

When Fuse arrived I put down whatever else I had been reading and immediately started it. After reading Pure, I had high expectations for Fuse and I am pleased to say that it completely exceeded them.

Before I tell you about the book, I need make clear that I’m going to avoid giving away any spoilers. This is mainly to avoid any death threats from massive fans (like myself) of the Pure Trilogy.

Fuse begins by re-introducing the main characters and what’s happened since the end of Pure. Pressia & Bradwell are now being hidden by the new OSR headed by El Captain. The OSR has changed since El Captain took over. Gone are the death sprees and ruling by fear; now the OSR are offering recruits to their army food & shelter small acts of kindness in exchange for their help to take down the Dome.

Pressia spends her time making prosthetic limbs for some of the children of the families who’ve joined the OSR army. Pressia keeps Bradwell at arm’s length fearing losing another person she loves. Bradwell uses the time to explore the six black boxes they found in Pure continuing his search for the truth. Bradwell discovers that the first five boxes are like libraries containing thousands of books; but the sixth box that he names Finnigan is different. Finnigan has liking for taking samples of DNA and seemingly has a personality.

Meanwhile Partridge & Lydia are being hidden by the Mothers, being kept separate so that Partridge can’t take advantage of her. Lydia has become independent since Pure, being taught to hunt and fight by the Mothers. Partridge spends his time drawing maps of the Dome while keeping safe his mothers vials and away from Ellery Willux (his father).

Pressia, Bradwell, El Captain, Partridge & Lydia’s plan is to wait for Ellery’s DNA to degenerate and then for Partridge to go back to the Dome and take over. Ellery forces them to rethink their plan when he ups the ante taking a young wretch girl and making her Pure. The Dome programmes her mind so that she can only speak one message: we want our son returned. At the same time Ellery releases spiders that attach themselves to wretches, count down and explode. Then other wretches disappear and return from the Dome Pure. However the first young wretch girl starts to show signs that her DNA is rapidly degenerating.

Pressia & Bradwell discover that Finnigan is the key to finding a formula which is needed along with her mothers vials to cure the young wretch girl’s degenerating DNA. Pressia, Bradwell, El Captain, Partridge & Lydia meet together to decide how to respond to the potential to find the formula and how to respond to Ellery’s threat. Pressia, Bradwell and El Captain decide they will try to unravel the mystery that will lead to them learning the location of the formula. Partridge decides he must go back to the Dome.

Pressia, Bradwell & El Captain will need to travel great distances across land and sea going through a National Park to get the formula, but will they all survive the perilous journey?

Partridge is going back to the Dome, but what does his father really want with him? Partridge knows his father has dark secrets but why has Ellery kept Iralene suspended for him? And what about Lydia – why has she chosen to say goodbye rather than go back with him?

Fuse builds up to a truly epic ending. Pressia is faced with a choice, do nothing and lose someone that she loves or take action against that person’s wishes. Partridge is also faced with a choice of taking an action that will lead to him becoming what he hates the most.

Fuse has captivating characters; builds on and adds to the many fantastic orignal ideas presented in Pure. It did have a few editing errors, for example at one point Pressia stabs a beast with a knife and then in the next sentence pulls a spear out of the beasts carcass (p. 140), but these minor editorial errors didn’t affect the flow or my enjoyment of the story.

When I read Pure I didn’t think Baggott would be able to better it, but with Fuse she has took the characters and the storyline to a whole new level. It’s an incredible piece of literature that demonstrates Baggott’s wonderful imagination and creativity. Fuse is easily the best book I’ve read all year.

Like most trilogies you could read Fuse as an individual book, but I think it would leave you feeling you had missed the beginning of the overarching storyline. For this reason Fuse is better enjoyed if you’ve read Pure. So read Pure first and let it wet your appetite for Fuse.

Fuse has left me desiring Burn the final book in the trilogy due out in 2014. Fuse is available to pre-order/order on Amazon.

Write soon,



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#Fusebook Excitement

By Books & Authors, Happiness & JoyNo Comments

Headline Publishing emailed and asked me if I’d like to read and review Fuse by Julianna Baggott the latest book in the Pure Trilogy. Pure the first book in the trilogy was a brilliant read with some really orignal ideas. You can read my full review of Pure here: Book Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott.

In fact I’d enjoyed reading Pure so much that I’d already added Fuse to My Book Schedule. So with Headline kindly offering to send me a free sample copy before the official release date, how could I say no?

After Headline emailed stating they would be sending it out shortly I began to buzz with excitement. Until the day a parcel arrived with #Fusebook on the envelope. At that point my excitement exploded and I instantly put down whatever I’d been reading to start reading Fuse. Here’s a photo of what arrived:

(Click image for full size.)

A HUGE thank you must go to Headline for sending it out. I’m reading it at the moment and it’s a really addictive read that’s exceeding my high expectations. A review will be coming in the New Year.

In the meantime you can buy Pure the first book in the trilogy which will get you ready for Fuse when it is released in February 2013.

Write soon,


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