The Oddfits Review

Title: The Oddfits
Author: Tiffany Tsao
Publication Date: Feb 1 2016
Genre: Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Amazon Link: here

★★★★☆

Eight-year-old Murgatroyd Floyd doesn’t fit in—not as a blue-eyed blonde living in Singapore, not in school, and certainly not with his aloof expatriate parents, who seem determined to make his life even harder. Unbeknownst to him, there’s a reason why he’s always the odd boy out: he is an Oddfit, a rare type of human with access to the More Known World, a land invisible to most people. Yet unfortunate circumstances keep Murgatroyd stranded in the Known World, bumbling through life with the feeling that an extraordinary something is waiting for him just beyond reach.

Seventeen years later, that something finally arrives when a secret organization dedicated to exploring the More Known World invites Murgatroyd on a mission. But as the consummate loser begins to grow into the Oddfit he was meant to be, the Known World becomes bent on exterminating him. For once in his underachieving life, will Murgatroyd Floyd exceed expectations and outsmart those trying to thwart his stupendous destiny?

The Oddfits is written in the same quirky style as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (which I love) but lighter, or as the Insanity series (which I also love) but less insane, or as Alice in Wonderland (guess what? I love this one too!) but more mature and a tiny bit less whimsical… you get the gist. I love this realistic but humorous style of writing that I feel is getting more popular now than ever before, but this book is missing some of the depths which the others use the style to portray. Looking back at what I just read, I see no actual message or moral. It’s a nice story, sure, but one without any meaning, which was especially pronounced in the rather anti-climatic, unremarkable ending, which was paced exactly like the rest of the book. Actually, when I looked at the percentage done on the bottom of my kindle at some point I was shocked to find it at 99% – no major changes happened to the action, no major lessons were learned… there was an attempt at both these things at the very end, but it feels very sudden and not properly built up, and Murgatroyd changes his perspective very quickly, after years of refusing to, because it fits the story.

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About Tegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Tegon Maus Website: http://www.tegonmaus.com

Author on Tirgearr Website: http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon/

Interview with Tegon Maus

Today I’m hosting the Wishing Stone book tour! As part of this tour, I have interviewed Tegon Maus, the author of the book, about his creative process:

What was the inspiration for the Katoy?

My father was born and raised in Hawaii. In my family it was impolite to eat everything on your plate. If you cleaned it down to polish it was a sin – it meant you were ungrateful for what you had or worse yet, you didn’t have enough to eat. Leaving a few crumbs, a morsel or two, showed you were grateful and satisfied. It was the polite thing to do. Time has gone by, and my wife and I have much the same thing. A little soda left in a can, a little mac and cheese still stuck to the plate, a few bites of meat… they’re all deliberately left for the “Little People.” Whenever something comes up missing or misplaced, like keys, bills or whatever it is we’re looking for, it’s because of the “Little People.”

A lot of writers are known for their desks. How does yours look right now (including any mess)?

My desk is no different. I use the strata system when placing things on my desk. I know how deep the page I’m looking for is by the colour of the candy wrapper from that week.

Why do you write?

I’m a practiced lair and writing it down helps me remember where I left off. When Dearheart and I were first married I worked 2 jobs. She came with me and read to me. Hundreds of books, one after the other. Now, 46 years later, her eyesight is beginning to wane and I write to hear her laugh. Marilyn Monroe said, “If you can get a woman to laugh you can get her to do almost anything.” You can ask my wife – it’s true!

What is you earliest memory of wanting to write? Your earliest memory of reading?

Reading? In truth, I have a good deal of trouble reading. If Dearheart reads to me, it creates a picture in my head as vivid as TV. I can remember every detail, every smell, every feature the story holds. If I read it myself I have trouble visualizing it and keeping the words straight. I have no idea why, but I can’t “see” the story if I read it.

What was your inspiration for Max and Esther, and Esther’s abilities?

I like this question very much – you’ve read my story differently. I have been exposed to elderly women for some years now. The people I based these women on frequented my wife’s shop many, many times and nothing made either of them more clairvoyant than a bottle of wild turkey and a good smoke! They were always very fun and always full of surprises… and remarkably accurate!

Writing and publishing a novel takes a lot of effort. Any advice for when things get hard?

For me, the hardest thing related to writing is getting people to read what I’ve written. Or, worse yet, trying to market it! You can write the best book in the world and the lengths you have to go through to get people to even look at it is insane. Writing it? Easy as pie. Afterwards, getting it published, getting it read, getting it reviewed and then getting it sold? I can’t think of anything harder!

The Wishing Stone is only 99 cents for the duration of the tour! Snatch it up now.

Wishing Stone Web Tour Schedule

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Feb 15 Review & Giveaway

Second Book to the Right Feb 16 Excerpt & Giveaway

Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Feb 17 Review & Excerpt

The Libromaniac & Bad Case of Libromania Feb 18 Review & Interview

Pomegranate Radio Feb 19 Podcast Review

Inspire to Read Feb 22 Review

Books, Books, and More Books Feb 23 Review

Christy’s Cozy Corners Mar 1 Review & Giveaway

Deal Sharing Aunt Mar 3 Interview

INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS Mar 10 Excerpt

fuonlyknew Mar 14 Review & Giveaway

Lisa’s Writopia Mar 17 Review

The Wishing Stone

Title: The Wishing Stone
Author: Tegon Maus
Publication Date: August 10, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction / Technothriller
Amazon Link: Here

★★★☆☆

During that last summer, as if in punishment for being happy, Kate was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The last time we used the wishing stone was at the hospital the morning she died.

On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished the same. Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about it again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or in the existence of God.

Then, after three miserable lonely years, the unthinkable, a second chance… Warwick.

I’m going to try to be quite brief with this review: I didn’t like this book as much as I liked Machines of the Little People. It had a lot less of the whimsy that the first book had, and the characters seemed suddenly a little less deep and a little more archetypal. While I liked that Roger was no longer the typical mad scientist, plenty others took his place, and the plot twist regarding him was too sudden a u-turn to be good. There was no build-up or suggestion. Additionally, Ben being in Warwick meant some of the adventure left the story: besides more harmful depictions of diseases such as dissociative identity disorder, not much actually happened.

However, it didn’t suck, as per se: it had its ups and downs, some good dialogue on Ben’s part and some plot twists that actually were surprising in a good way. It wasn’t even a full star behind the other book: it just left me with a sense of disappointment. I’d hoped that the writing style would improve, and I was wrong.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, as part of the Wishing Stone Web Tour.

Machines of the Little People

Title: Machines of the Little People
Author: Tegon Maus
Publication Date: April 20th 2014
Genre: Science Fiction / Technothriller
Amazon Link: Link

★★★☆☆

Ben Harris’s sister died of cervical cancer more than three years ago… his best friend and her husband, Roger Keswick, disappeared the day before the funeral. For the next six months everyone from the local police to the Department of Defense searched for him but to no avail… it was as if he had simply fallen off the face of the planet only to reappear at work as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

Then by the purest of coincidences Ben finds himself pulled back into Roger’s life only to discover he has remarried… to Jessica… a woman the looks, sounds and acts just like his dead sister. To complicate things Roger is insistent his home, his car, his life is infested with tiny elf like creatures he calls the Katoy. He claims they run massive machines under his house and watch his every move… every move that is until Jessica is found bludgeoned to death in his living room and Roger is nowhere to found … again.

First of all, let me tell you this: Bad grammar and writing style drive me up the wall. Often, I end up not finishing the story. I love nothing more than I do a well-polished story, and this ain’t it. And yet, I finished the book, partially because I promised too, but also because the plot is actually quite good.

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First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday #1

This is the second book in the series, I know, but I feel that this paragraph actually represents the entire writing style nicely. So here goes:

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A secret is a strange thing.

There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.

Monday Books #1

This will be a combination of Mailbox Monday and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

So:

What I Read Last Week:

Machines of the Little People by Tegon Maus

What I’m Reading This Week:

Starting:

The Wishing Stone by Tegon Maus

Continuing:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson

What I’m Reading Next:

Chimera Vaun Murphrey
Shattered Blue by Lauren Bird Horowitz

Books I Got This Week:

The Red House by Mark Haddon, from a pay-as-much-as-you-want charity book table at Sainsbury’s
Alchemist Academy by Matt Ryan, from Amazon, via a bargain email
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, also from the Sainsbury’s pay-as-much-as-you-want charity book table

Stacking the Shelves

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This week I actually got a print book!

 

love Neil Gaiman’s writing. I found out about him through Terry Pratchett (they collaborated on Good Omens), I have been to his show (in which he read some of his stories and his book The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains) and now my aunt got me this book! It’s a collection of short stories and the only new paperback I got in a while, but I don’t know when I’ll read it.

Now I just need to find a way to remove the price sticker…

Mind Games

Title: Mind Games
Author: Teri Terry
Publication Date: March 5 2015
Genre: Psychological Thriller, apparently? I think Dystopian Sci-Fi fits better.
Amazon Link: Link

★★★★★

In a future world, life is tightly controlled by the all-powerful PareCo. Standing out from the crowd is dangerous so misfit Luna hides her secrets carefully, not realising her own power. Unlike her friends and family, Luna has never been able to plug into Realtime, PareCo’s virtual world, where almost everyone now lives their lives. So how do PareCo know about Luna, and why do they want her for their elite think tank?

The truth is hidden in a web of shining silver secrets, and the corrupt authorities would do anything to keep it that way. Can Luna find a way to use her own hidden powers and bring the truth to light before it’s too late?

I’ll admit, the thing that enticed me about this book was the author. Teri Terry also wrote the phenomenal Slated trilogy and all of her books are really thought-provoking, especially in terms of morality and legal issues, which is something that fascinates me.

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Hidden Deep Review

Title: Hidden Deep
Author: Amy Patrick
Publication Date: March 23 2015
Genre: Fantasy YA
Amazon Link: Link

★★★☆☆

He isn’t supposed to even talk to a human, much less fall in love with one…

Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she’d be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She’s a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he’s not supposed to exist.

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