Pinehurst: A Novel Review

I’ve just finished reading the first novel in the Young Adult Pinehurst series and I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I read this novel within around three days and read half of that in one sitting.

Pinehurst, written by Nicole Grane, was a great novel that kept me hooked throughout. I found that I loved Evie’s carefree, rebellious attitude and even though she realised her magical abilities were above average, she wasn’t one to brag. The reader gets a really clear insight into her thoughts and emotions on several things including school, family, magic and the most important thing, guys! It’s written from a first person perspective which allows the reader to get very close and I have to say, I really liked the girl.


*Spoiler Alert!*

The reader follows Evie, the protagonist who has a problem with authority and constantly rebels against her dad using her magical abilities. When she’s shipped off to Pinehurst she thinks things will go just as she wants them as she always has, but she soon finds out her dad won’t budge an inch. As she finally begins to settle into life at her new magic school she makes some friends, learns a lot about her dad that she never knew and finds out that she must travel to the Underworld in a bid to save him. All of this is done with her mentor, and complete hotty, Antonio.

I’d give this novel 4.5 stars out of 5. Why minus the half star? Towards the end of the novel I noticed a few typos etc that distracted me a little and therefore upset the flow. That’s the only reason. Looking forward to the next one!


Where to find it


I got the Kindle edition of this novel from Amazon:

Writing and Critiquing Partners

After taking some advice from a dear friend TS Woolard, I found myself working in a new notebook tonight complete with a new story idea. I have to say that although it took a while to get into it I did get there and I have found myself bursting with ideas for it. Where my other project seems to have come to a bit of a stand still where I’m trying to figure out some of the important plot points, I can work on this in the mean time. Great idea!

I’ve also learned that there is a distinction between a beta reader and a critique partner. Beta readers read the final novel and comment on things such as characterisation and story structure (amongst other things) where a critiquing partner is someone you share with as you work. So for example, every time you finished a chapter you would email it to your critique partner to get an ongoing assessment of it. I think this is a really neat idea. It means you know how things are working as you’re writing and gives you plenty of scope to change if needed.

I’ve written about twelve chapters of the first project I’ve been mentioning. Now that the idea is beginning to become more formulated in my mind I realise that I’m going to have to go back and change quite a lot of it. It’s quite disheartening at times but also very crucial. I think drafting and re-drafting is a very important process of writing. I also like to keep tabs on how many times I draft and keep the different versions of my work if possible.

So tonight, I have been editing ma NaNo novel from 2013, writing a little on my YA novel and outlining for the second one. Productive much!

Writing Marathon?

I’ve been working on my new novel idea for a little while now. I’ve been trying to write some everyday in an attempt to keep it moving forward and not forgetting about it as I have so many other projects. I’m quite happy with the way I’ve managed to keep up with this so far (as well as brainstorming other ideas) as the only times I’ve finished a novel in a rapid time before is during the month of November and the notorious NaNoWriMo.

However, it almost seems like there’s this wall I hit evertime I write and I can’t quite understand it. I will write and find that I’m enjoying it but usually, once I’ve hit a chapter boundary, that’s it. I call it a night. I keep asking myself why but I can’t figure it out. It’s like I’m pre-programmed to stop after a certain amount as if continuing to write could be detrimental to my health. That’s ridiculous! I wonder if anyone else comes across this and if they do, how they bypass it.

I know different people write in different ways, some maybe bit like me in little sound bytes. I envy those who can sit and write for extended periods of time without breaking a sweat. A friend of mine, Charmaine Pauls, just posted on her timeline that she has been writing nine hours a day for seven days! I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that.

Does anyone else have similar or different techniques? When you’re trying to get in the writing zone, how do you prepare? Do you have background noise? Do you have a particular space to write? I’d love to hear about it!

You can check out Charmaine’s facebook page here:

Or her blog here:

More shorts coming your way




Do you listen to music as you write? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It really all depends on where I am at the time when I’m writing. I know that may sound strange. I have more of a habit of listening to movies in the background as I write. Anyone else do that? It’s those familiar movies that I feel a strong affiliation with (oftentimes they are the Middle Earth creations, Lord of the Rings). I do have the soundtracks too, but I like being able to take a glimpse at the screen and seeing a shot that might just get me hooked or thinking about something else or even spark an idea no matter how many times I’ve seen it.

I don’t often write something from music. I listen to a lot of heavy metal and rock and while it is absolutely my favourite music, I find that it isn’t often conducive to writing! Can you believe that 😉

Saying that, there will be times I hear a song that really catches my ear, or my heart, and it takes my mind on a wild journey.

Do you have any music like that?

Gendered writing?

As I’ve been sorting through all of my notebooks and random pages of writing and novels that I’ve written over the past few years I’ve come to the grim realisation that a lot of my novels include a broken family and a move to a new house/area. I don’t do it intentionally I promise! I come from a pretty ‘normal’ background with parents who are still together and a family that likes to spend time together so I wonder why a lot of what I write features families that are torn apart for one reason or another.

I also have mainly female protagonists. Don’t get me wrong, I write from the point of view of men from time to time but when I do it’s usually a short story. None of my longer works are from the point of view as a man. I feel like I could be missing out here. Of course, it’s easier to write a female character as a female because I have been through it. I know what some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions are that are attached to being a young woman. Do you find you write as a particular gender?

I want to challenge myself to write as a male lead in a novel. I think it’s a big feat but perhaps just challenging enough to stretch my imagination and my writing capabilities!

My protagonist in The Doors (due for publication in September) is a young woman who is moved halfway across England with her parents when her dad gets a new job. She’s one of the favourite characters I’ve written so far 🙂


Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

Micro fiction. I can have a go at this! I have written some in my time (I won’t say they’re particularly successful) and I agree that they’re useful for working on word count and condensing. Here we go!

Rain rushed through the damp streets, legs pumping. Behind her, the pursuer was close. Wet footsteps had followed her since she left the bar. They got closer and then a hand clamped her shoulder and spun her. She gasped. She faced a tall man. “You forgot your purse,” he said.

Daily Prompt: If I Could Turn Back Time

Well isn’t that one of those questions that make you think about your entire life in a second (does it flash before your eyes likes it does mine?) For some the answer might come easily, for me, not so much. I think I’m more inclined to think about going back in time to change something (pessimistic thought?) but when I think about all of those things I might change, I have to stop and think. Would I really? If I changed anything in my past—any little piece of it—I might not be the person I am today. And I like the person who I am today! Of course I made mistakes—a whole load of them—but still, it was a learning curve. I would rather be a person with a past than a naive young woman. I think!

Then again… there may be a few ex partners I’d never date!