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Blogmas Day 9: dissent:RENEGADES by R.J. Furness // Review

What a wonderful review for dissent RENEGADES! 😀😀😀😀

Title: dissent:RENEGADES by R. J. Furness

Rating: ★★★★★

Release: 16th October 2017

Synopsis: Centuries from now, during a new ice age, only three human colonies are known to exist. Scorr Tanta, the first city, is vast and resourceful, whereas Eklips is more desolate. Ellie, on the other hand, works in Port Harmony; a harbour town. As an apprentice orgo-keeper, the only highlight is getting to ride the animals that she cares for. Then, a chance skirmish at the market draws her closer to Haylee and her friends, and everything begins to change. Desperate to join them, Ellie has heard many tales about Haylee and her group of renowned warriors. What she doesn’t know, is how much danger follows them. Ellie is soon tugged into a much different world than she had first assumed. A world built on dissent, and filled with secrets.divider-2461548_1280Review:

A thrilling and immersive book that will…

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dissent BOOK TWO – Cover Reveal

“Morrigan” is released on Monday, and as usual, it has a ‘coming soon’ feature on the back cover.

Therefore, it’s time to introduce you all to the second “dissent” book. This one is called “VENGEANCE”, and I plan to release it around July 2018. This story will pick up from the end of “dissent RENEGADES”.

The cover has (again) been illustrated by my amazing friend Amy Leslie. Wow…what a talent she is! Anyway, don’t take my word for it; check out her beautiful work here.

You can also see her wonderful illustration for “dissent VENGEANCE” right here…

I think you’ll agree that Amy has done an outstanding job.

Let me know your thoughts!!! 😁

Star Wars & Me

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

I was a young boy with a vivid imagination. To be honest, in my head, I am still that young boy with a vivid imagination. Either way, as a youngling, I had an inbuilt need to submerge myself in stories where I could escape to new worlds. Once there, I could go on amazing adventures with various characters. So many wonderful creatures lived in these make-believe worlds too. New creatures, monsters and other such things, were everywhere.

From memory, this all started when I was a toddler. I remember my dad reading me Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’, and I still have that book now. Then, there was C.S. Lewis and Narnia; oh, how I wanted to be able to climb through my wardrobe into different worlds. Roald Dahl’s BFG was also a particular favourite, and I have to mention Lord of The Rings (how can I not).

To be concise, I love great stories, and I always have done. I love it even more when remarkable things are born out of pure imagination. Here’s my point…

Star Wars first arrived in our home through the T.V. one Christmas. From the first minute, it fired my imagination like NEVER before. Perhaps it was because I was a child, and a movie is more visual in some ways. Honestly, there could be many reasons why. What I do know, is that from that point, my ‘need’ to live in these new worlds was unstoppable. Everywhere I went, and in everything I did, my creativity took over. In the classroom, I visualised monsters lurking around outside the windows. Walking to school, I wondered if any of the cars driving passed may turn into robots (yes, I loved Transformers too). Every part of me lived inside these stories. I discovered new ‘things of wonder’ on a daily basis. They were in books and comics that I read, and T.V. shows and movies I watched. They were everywhere! Better still, I began developing my own creations; from curious new places, through to the people who lived there. Then came the mighty creatures, or even monsters, that resided alongside them. As a writer, that’s where it all began for me, and my hope is to spark people’s imaginations too. I want to create amazing adventures which we can journey through together.

Throughout all this, Star Wars has remained particularly special to me. In Star Wars, there has always been everything I wanted (or needed, I haven’t decided which). What I do know, is that I still get excited every time there’s a new movie coming out. In essence, Star Wars is a fairy tale set in another galaxy (far, far away of course). But it has always been so much more. I always find each of the tales spellbinding, and the Jedi, well…
Who wouldn’t want to be a Jedi?

For me; the characters are all loveable in their own unique ways. How amazing that even the droids have such well-developed personalities? The creatures are equally awesome, and I’ve always had a particular soft-spot for taun tauns. In fact, Hoth is one of my favourite settings too. Star Wars is timeless, and the force will be strong in us for generations to come.

Then, there is Princess Leia…

In the beginning, like all classic fairy tales, there (apparently) has to be a princess who needs rescuing in some way. Despite that, Princess Leia was always so much more. She was feisty, independent and the leader of The Rebellion. Let’s be realistic, without Princess Leia holding it all together, things may have gone much better for The Empire. I mean, she played a critical role in taking out two Death Stars.

Carrie Fisher did an amazing job of bringing Princess Leia to life. She will also carry on inspiring so many people for generations to come. Needless to say, I know how sad we will all feel, watching her once again in ‘The Last Jedi’.

Rest in Peace Carrie Fisher – I miss you so much already.

thNQ1OMDLF

Publication Day

The very first ‘dissent’ book is published today!! 😁

As you know, this book is called ‘RENEGADES’ and it kicks off a whole series.

To buy, you can click one of the links below. I would love to hear what you think when you’ve read it too!

🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2xKOYo8 🇬🇧

🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2lDmkDz 🇺🇸

Best Wishes

R.J.

Morrigan – Cover Reveal

As you know, the first book in the ‘dissent’ series (RENEGADES) is released on Kindle on the 1st November.  In addition, there will be a paperback edition, which is just having final adjustments before it is published.  But here’s the thing…

On the paperback’s back cover, there is a small coming soon element, featuring the cover of the next book I will release.  Therefore, I realised that it’s a good time to tell you a little about it, and (drumroll) show you the cover!

This next book is called ‘Morrigan’, and it is a shorter story about one of the characters from the first book.  However, this is not the sequel to RENEGADES, it is a spin-off of sorts.  In fact, I have referred to it as ‘a dissent story’.  I am hoping to release ‘Morrigan’ by the end of this year.

Now for the exciting part – The Cover!

Beautifully illustrated by the wonderful Amy Leslie, I think this cover perfectly captures Morrigan.  I am super-pleased with it, and really hope you love it too.  Amy is an excellent artist, and I haved loved working with her on the artwork for Morrigan.  You can find more of her work on Facebook right here.

Without further delay, check this out…

Morrigan Final Cover 2

Don’t forget, the first ‘dissent’ book is available for pre-order NOW, and you can order it here…

UK:  Buy “dissent RENEGADES”

USA:  Buy “dissent RENEGADES”

That’s all for now.  Let me know what you think of the cover for Morrigan…

Reading At School – Opinions Wanted

Last week, one of my sons (Ian) was enrolled into a book club at school. It’s fair to say that his ability to read (in a functional sense) is above average for his age. As such, along with others of a similar ability, he was moved into this group. The book club’s purpose, is to promote comprehension and encourage an understanding of the literature that they are reading. Well, that’s my understanding.

I was introduced to this concept when he brought home a new book. It had a note attached, telling me what page he should read up to; and by when. Needless to say, being a diligent family, we did as required. However, there was a problem…

The book that he was working on in this club, bored him. I mean, seriously bored him! It could be heard in his tone, seen in his mannerisms and let me tell you; it took an age to sit him down in the first place. By the way, the point of this article is about personal taste, so I’m not going to name the book.

At this point in my tale, it is worth mentioning that Ian reads books every day. This is his choice too, we don’t have to motivate him. Much of the material he reads at the moment is written by Dav Pilkey, but he also reads a great deal of books by many other authors too. If you read the attached article, it gives away one of the many possible reasons that Ian finds Dav Pilkey relatable. They share a similar sense of humour. Likewise, the characters in Captain Underpants have ADHD, and so does Ian. So, Ian is reading about children who have similar traits. He is also identifying with the challenges that the characters face. In fact, it appears that Mr Pilkey also had these qualities. In the article, Dav explains that he explored his strengths, with encouragement from a particular teacher and his parents. Yet otherwise, he was commonly seen in a bad light at school.

Ian also has autism, and where comprehension is concerned, care has to be taken. This applies to instructions as well as literature; in either written or verbal form. Because of this, Ian tends to operate at one extreme or the other. If he understands something and can visualise it, he submerges himself. You should see him walking down the street, whilst in his head he is living in Super Mario’s world. In contrast, if Ian doesn’t engage with something, you’ve lost him completely. With Ian, this is easy to see. Game over!

But doesn’t this exist for all of us? We all have things that we like and don’t like. Not only with literature or anything school related, but with everything. I’m talking movies, TV and games; even food. So, on that basis, why do we still insist on force-feeding children literature, that they are never going to engage with? If there is a book club in school, why couldn’t it cater for individual tastes. Everyone could pick their own material, and then share what they’ve read with the group. The questions they need to answer around the book could all be the same, but with different books will come a variety of answers. Likewise, this book club would then self-promote a love of reading. Ian would talk about Captain Underpants for example, and the child next to him may think ‘Wow! That sounds great!’. Ian may also learn of other material that interests him. It would be a perpetual loop of enjoyment for all things literature.

James Patterson sums up my point here…

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Please don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of people pushing boundaries. I believe it is healthy for us to explore things we sometimes don’t normally lean towards. Again, this goes for literature and anything else in life. However, when children start at a point of enjoyment, I believe that they would pick up an enthusiasm for other things from peers. This itself would promote their exploration. I’m thinking of Ian coming home saying ‘Dad, you’ll never guess what. This kid at school is reading (fill in your own suggestion), and it sounds fantastic!’. After all, nobody told him to read Dav Pilkey, he just found it on the shelf.

Isn’t this preferable to grown-ups imposing literature that some will never enjoy? That will never teach them to engage and understand the content will it?

As a side note, I’d also like to point out, that this seems to be a general culture in our education system. In short, every school I come across takes this approach, not just ours. This rambling isn’t in any way targeted at one institution; the approach is much more widespread than that. Otherwise, James Patterson wouldn’t have pointed it out. To my knowledge, he didn’t attend the same school Ian did lol. I’m certain that many of you see the same things. As my mum said…’That’s the way we all learned.’

But does that make it right?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please feel free to comment away!

 

“DISSENT” RENEGADES Cover Story

Happy Friday everyone. I don’t know about you, but…

It always intrigues me how an artist, or someone creative, gets from their concept idea to the finished piece.

Well…

Where the cover for my first book is concerned, I can (sort of) show you in pictures!! And, you are in for a treat.

As I have said before, the artist behind my cover is called Dawn, and she is just incredible. You can find out more about her here…

Dawn’s Facebook Page

Meanwhile, gaze upon these beauties and enjoy. It’s fascinating how such a great piece, became so fab!

Let’s start with the sketch…

Then came the background…

And finally the detail began on the Orgo itself…

In the end, this was the result…

Although, we did take the hugely important decision to remove the nostrils from the Orgo. They just weren’t working on the illustration!

Then, after adding in the text, we had the cover for the first DISSENT book.

This one is due for release on the 1st November!!!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing that process as much as I did. Would love to hear your comments. Please do keep in touch. If you haven’t signed up already, you can be first for DISSENT news by completing your details here…

Speak soon 😀

UPDATE:  After going through this process, we decided to develop a cover which was much more abstract in nature.  Still using the original illustration, we eventually decided with this cover as it is today…

dissent RENEGADES Kindle Cover

For those that are still reading…

At some point in the near future, I will release a paperback version of the book, with the original illustration as the cover.  This will only be available for a limited time!

Keep watching!!!!!

© R.J. Furness, 2017. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, without express and written permission from this site’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to R.J. Furness, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.