Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


“Trinity” by Clare Davidson: Review + Giveaway!

Welcome all to this exciting post about Trinity by Clare Davidson. Trinity is Clare’s debut novel in the epic fantasy genre, and what an epic book it is. Stick around until after my review and find out how you can have a chance to win either a paperback or eBook copy!

First off, enjoy the cover and the synopsis from the back:

Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom. Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed. Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Doesn’t that just sound awesome? I think it does. And if that’s not convincing enough, here’s my review:

When I picked up Trinity, I didn’t know what to expect. Normally I stay away from epic fantasy, but after reading this, I must say that I don’t regret it.

The world is vivid and its characters and history detailed and intriguing. As soon as I began reading, I succumbed to the story and when the action picked up only moments later, I was hooked. The trio of characters was unique and their dialogue and relationships real and heart-wrenching.

The characters struggle through cities filled with people who oppose one of the main characters, and others who would drag Kiana back to safety. Instead of taking that route, she pushes forward with the help of her guardian and new friend, intent on righting the wrongs of the past.

The journey is perilous and odds are stacked against them and still they push their way onward.

If you’re not sure whether you should pick up this book or not, let me assure you that it is worth every penny. I fell in love with the characters and the way Clare Davidson portrayed them. I adored the world and how as the story went along, more and more answers and questions were revealed.

Read this if you like fantasy. Read it if you don’t. It’s an excellent book and I recommend it to all.

Let me assure you, this book is an exhilarating ride of emotions, characters, powerful events and secrets that unfold as you continue reading it. Why don’t we get to the part everyone’s waiting to hear about?


This is where you will have the amazing opportunity to win one of four copies of Trinity that Clare has so kindly made available for this giveaway. There will be four winners and you won’t just get a copy of Trinity, oh no. You’ll get awesome goodies, as well. Why don’t I explain?

  • One lucky person will receive a signed copy of Trinity + Trinity-related bookmarks!
  • Three lucky people will receive an eBook copy of Trinity + Trinity-related bookmarks!

A book and bookmarks? Tell me, which reader can resist new bookmarks? I know I can’t. Now for another important part. To enter, you need to comment on this blog post with your answer to a task that Clare has deviously created. Ready for it? Here it is.

As a girl growing up in Blackoak Tower, Kiana used to ask her Guardians to describe the outside world to her. Describe your favourite thing in THIS world in one sentence.

What’s your favorite thing on Earth? Let us know in the comments and you’ll be automatically entered to win!

The giveaway lasts for two weeks; the deadline is September 9th, 2012. Get those comments posted and spread the word of this awesome giveaway!

With that out-of-the-way, here’s a bit of information about the author:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

If you’d like to keep in touch with Clare and see how her writing projects are progressing, you can follow her here:

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Book Review + Giveaway of “Dominant Race” by Elisa Nuckle!

On Sunday, July 1st, Elisa Nuckle released her novella, Dominant Race, the first in The Modified Trilogy. As a friend and beta reader, I was lucky enough to read the novella twice before its release and immediately after its publication, I purchased the Kindle version and read it a third time.

To celebrate the release of Dominant Race, I would like to share my review. Additionally, Elisa has graciously allowed me to host a giveaway of two copies of her new novella.

Book Description

Lilia is a genetically altered human – a modified – with special animal instincts and abilities. She is half wolf and half human under the microscope, and it shows in her territorial pack mentality.

When Lilia learns about a growing threat against all modified, she leaves home for the first time to join a militia that, like her and her family, survive in the fragmented remnants of the United States, the Old People country.

Their enemies? The Eighth General of the Greater Cities and the ever-expanding devolved, degenerate modified that are mindless killers, blind instinct and rage in human form. When a coup occurs in the First City, Lilia and the other defenders must choose: help reinstate a government in the business of killing their kind, or defend a radical modified in the business of killing everyone else?

Dominant Race is a 32,000 word novella and the first book in the Modified Trilogy.

Doesn’t that sound awesome? Well, trust me, it is. Here’s my review, if the description alone wasn’t enough to convince you:


Disclaimer: I am the author’s friend. I did, however, buy my own copy of the book to read and review and I do not regret sticking with her during the journey of writing this book, nor do I regret spending $2.99 to get it.

In Dominant Race, the author has created a dystopian world with scientific aspects and merged them alongside unique and interesting characters to create a world that I want to know more about.

Lilia, the main character, is strong-willed and a touch rebellious as she leaves behind the only life she ever knew to help others like her. She is a modified; a human with DNA enhanced by animal DNA. The story focuses on the modified struggle with the normals – the humans without genetic enhancement.

Between the war that blossoms as this novella progresses, there is love, heartbreak, and a family struggle. Elisa Nuckle tells only the basics of the Earth’s past, which leaves readers with plenty of room to envision the history of the Old People (the original humans on Earth) and how things turned into their current state.

Emotions get in the way and create a spectacular story that left me wondering how it will progress. It is war. A brutal war. Not everyone will survive. Judge for yourself if it’s a happy ending.

If you enjoy science fiction, dystopian, or fantasy, then I recommend this novella that contains a touch of all of the above.

4 1/2 stars from me. It is worth the read and I’m looking forward to the rest of the trilogy!

Dominant Race is available for purchase on:

Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Apple Store coming soon!

You can also add it to your shelf and review it on Goodreads.


Two random commenters will receive a copy of Dominant Race via Smashwords coupons. Leave a comment and you will be automatically entered into the drawing, which will happen via a random number generator.

The giveaway ends next Sunday, July 15th! Get your comments posted on this blog post before then. Winners will be announced in that day’s blog post.

To help the author along, it would be great if you could spread the word about the giveaway! Reviews after reading the novella would also be much appreciated. Reviews should be posted on at least one of the above-listed websites.

To wrap this up, follow Elisa Nuckle, without whom this giveaway wouldn’t be possible at all. Check out her websites:

WordPress | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Enjoy the giveaway and spread the word about it! And even if you don’t win, pick up Dominant Race; for only $2.99, it’s well worth it!


Editing: Choosing when to start

Almost a month has passed since I finished the first draft of Tales of The Forbidden and since then, I haven’t even opened the document. I chose not to for a specific reason – to distance myself from the characters I spent a year with, the trials I endured with them, and the twists and turns in the plot that I laid out for them – the words I weaved.

Many writers say to take a break from the draft after finishing it; I concur.

When you first finish a draft, you’re exhilarated, high from the rush and perhaps even sad that it’s over. Many writers want to whip the draft into shape as quickly as possible and dive into editing straight away.

That makes it easy to overlook mistakes.

Distancing yourself from your first draft is the first step to disconnect yourself from your characters and the world you created. That way, when you dive into it headfirst after your break, you look at it with fresh eyes, from the view of a reader, or an editor – someone who is rediscovering an old tale, something you have a vague recollection of in the distance shelves of your memory.

Editing with this fresh view allows writers to spot mistakes they would have been too blinded to see otherwise. Plot holes, no matter how small. Typos, sentence structure, grammar, wrong word usage, and every other little thing that shows up when you’re powering through words to get that first draft on paper (or a screen).

This is the reason I delayed my start of the edits of Tales of The Forbidden to February 1st.

Choosing that date gave me a month to relax and focus on other things, to use some of this much-needed time for myself and some fun things, like catching up on some reading and videos games.

But, fear not! In just ten days, I will begin edits and get into writing the sequel, Mercy of The Forbidden.

Let’s get this show on the road.

Don’t forget about my current giveaway! There’s one week left to enter. Click here to learn more.


E-Book Giveaway: A Glimpse of The Dark

That’s right, folks. I’m starting off the new year with a giveaway of my book A Glimpse of The Dark. It is available only in Kindle format; if you do not have a Kindle, there are plenty of programs that allow you to read Kindle files!

This giveaway is a thank you to everyone who follows my blog and puts up with my sometimes irregular posts. Because of all of you, I passed 100 followers this morning; thank you so much!

There are three copies available.

Without further ado, here’s the synopsis and then your entry form:

A teenager’s taste of death.
A lover’s fall from grace.
A spiteful ex’s chance at revenge.
A fearful girl’s moment of peace.
An ancient heir’s breakthrough in magic.
A succubus’ memories of a painful past.
A scorned son’s night of fun.

Seven stories, seven topics. Seven tales fill this book and lurk in the darkest depths of fantasy. The dark is their common theme, while each individual story shows an entirely different view. The victim, the successor, the antagonist. Take a look through the eyes of each character and live their lives, feel what they feel, and find out what drives them.

Many horrors lurk in the dark. Are you ready to see them?

Fill this out to enter! Name and email gets you one entry. If you do everything, you have four!

Subscribe by adding your email on the right side of my page.

‘Like’ Natasha McNeely on Facebook.

Enter now and see if you’ll win! The deadline is January 29th and the winners will be announced February 1st.

You have two weeks to enter, so get to it! Please spread the word; let’s make this a great giveaway!