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Judith Rook  (with Alison Dere)

Books by Judith Rook

A MIXTURE OF GENRES

First Steps for a Hero   –   A Realist Fantasy for Young Adults

http://geni.us/Hero1  http://geni.us/Hero2  http://geni.us/HeroGoodreads

book-cover-with-titling-19-10-16

I said earlier that I had written a short story on the theme of heroes and heroines.   I have finished the writing  but it is no longer a short story.  It has turned into a novella of nearly 30,000 words.
This is a straightforward tale of how an ordinary youth, living an ordinary life in the English north country in the middle of the last century, finds himself with a problem and does his best to deal with it.  But, in the best traditions of fantasy and fairy stories, he finds a mentor who teaches him how to become a true hero.   I should add that the mentor comes from a parallel human world in the multiverse.
First Steps for a Hero is also a matter of a few first steps for me.  It is my first novella and, as I say, it is my first move into the world of the young adult reader.   I have a very strong feeling that it will not be my last.  Although the story arrives at a satisfactory resolution, I made it open-ended for continuation in the follow-on novel.
This is set in the other-dimensional world, and again it is directed to the young adult reader.  I am assuming that the ethical concepts of duty, responsibility and goodness still endure because that is what the novel is about, combined with world-building, adventure, and the defeat of a truly evil enemy.
Synopsis:
David Eldwick is a farmer’s son, living in the north country of England in 1969.  He has finished high school and will enter agricultural college in the Autumn.Martin Horner, who lives on the farm next door, is jealous of David and has made his life at school as unpleasant as possible.  Although David resists Martin’s bullying, he avoids fighting with his tormentor.Martin and his father intend to seize ownership of the Eldwick land by forcing David’s sister into a future marriage with Martin.  David warns Martin off, but Martin wants Jenevieve and goes ahead with his plans.David has no idea how to handle his adversary, but a stranger comes to work on the Eldwick farm, and things begin to change.The stranger, known as the Captain, comes from Arrath, an Earth-like world, existing in a parallel universe.  He teaches David how to defend himself against Martin, and David begins to develop in skill and character.The young man grows to like and admire the captain.  He discovers that people from Arrath have been visiting Earth for a long time and he becomes curious about the other world.Martin decides to force David into a confrontation, and at the end-of-summer ball, he kidnaps Jenevieve.  Knowing that finally he will have to fight, David confronts Martin.  He saves Jenevieve, and the captain invites him to visit Arrath.The captain warns David that malevolent creatures from yet another parallel universe may have found their way onto Earth, intending to infect it with evil. But David learns that on Arrath, he can train to become a warder, a skilled guardian against the darkness.Before David can make the crossing into the parallel universe, he detects the entry into Earth of other beings.  His Arrathan companions discover that the intruders are the evil creatures who threaten both Arrath and Earth.Because the presence of Arrathan humans on Earth must be kept secret, David volunteers to draw the enemies away, so that his companions can return to their world undetected.Alone and pursued, he meets the greatest danger of his life, but he must overcome his fear and protect both Arrath and Earth.
What will be David’s path into his future?  Does he truly believe that the other universe exists and that it can affect the lives of people on Earth?  Will he become a farmer or a warder of Arrath?

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The Three Ways of Desire  –  An Erotic Romance

http://geni.us/TTWODsmAD  http://geni.us/TTWDGoodreads  http://geni.us/TTWDprint

Cover Image (2)

In June 2016 I decided to relaunch The Three Ways of Desire because it had become difficult to market it in tandem with my other titles.

I wrote the novel in the first months of 2015 under the name of Judith Rook but the relaunch is in the name of Alison Dere, who will also write the follow-on when she has finished Judith’s works in progress.

The Three Ways of Desire is a reaction to a comment made by a beta reader, a retired publisher’s editor. I apologised for including a reasonably explicit sex scene in one of my other books, and his comment was: “The storyline needs it, and sex sells.”

All right, I thought, and wrote a whole novel of sex scenes. However, because all of my writing is character-driven, I gave it a strong storyline and, I think, strong characters, which is not always the case in erotic novels.

It had a surprisingly strong female lead, strong and sexy men and plenty of adventure … I loved the grandeur, the adventure and the role reversal that resulted in the woman having all of the power, which was a nice change. (Amazon Review)

Alison Dere is not simply another name for Judith Rook; she is a quite different character. Therefore she has her own Facebook and Twitter identities: http://geni.us/ADAuthor and http://geni.us/AlisonDere.   You may like to visit her there.  I am still building her identity on those platforms, but it will take some time.

Book “Blurb”

On a world controlled by élite military and merchant families, Yolande is due to be sold to the highest bidder. Against all custom, however, her strange and remote guardian, Morrain, decides that she will belong only to him and his best friend, Hagen, although if his plans are discovered, it will mean the end of his family’s wealth and influence.
Morrain forbids Yolande to have contact with other men, apart from Hagen, and begins to take her, unwillingly at first, through a series of sexual adventures. He binds her emotionally to him and marks her as his possession. Yolande begins to respond to and care for the man who treats her with both hard passion and gentle tenderness.
But Yolande will only be safe from the other families when she is married, and although Morrain cannot be his ward’s husband, Hagen agrees to marry her and share her with her guardian.
Yolande comes to equally love the two men who now dominate her life. Although intriguing sensuality binds them together, Yolande finds fulfilment in the developing relationships, before being swept up in a rebellion and abducted.
Can Morrain and Hagen rescue the woman they both love and desire with equal passion, without revealing the extent of their mutual feelings for all to see?

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Planet Woman

http://geni.us/p1w2   http://geni.us/p1w2Sm   http://geni.us/PWGoodreads

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I have written the Sci-Fi (space opera) novel titled Planet Woman. I hope that you have been able to read the book and that you are visiting my blog as a consequence.

Planet Woman began with one single event–the heroine’s name, Tethyn.  I have researched the name for a possible provenance and have discovered that it doesn’t exist in its own right but that I have probably derived it from the name ‘Tethys’ of mythological significance. However it may be, the whole of Planet Woman has been generated by the name.

After a basic plan had been constructed, the book was written in its raw form in just over three months (not less than one thousand words each day), but then the editing work began, and this took four months with two draft versions. I was very lucky to be in touch with a retired publisher’s editor who gave a final, third draft a careful scrutiny and finally the thumbs up. I am extremely grateful to this gentleman. He was in the writing and publishing business for over fifty years. He knows a great deal.

Synopsis:

Lewis Brock, First Peer of the ancient Haute-Forêt family on the planet of First Home has been used to having his own way, so far as women are concerned.  But when he is sent as envoy to a reclusive planet called Circe he meets a woman who will not let him have his own way.

Tethyn Claibrook-Merjolaine lives her own vital and useful life on the planet she loves and plans never to leave, but although she clings fiercely to her independence, the appearance of the intriguing and commanding man disturbs her happy and comfortable existence.

Circe is one of the sentient planets in the system; Circe can think, and the humans who live with her are slightly different from the humans on other planets.  However, they keep themselves to themselves and do not make contact with non-thinking planets.  But now Circe is reaching out to First Home, the strongest world of the solar system, because she has sensed a great danger approaching from far off in the galaxy, and she is making plans to deal with it.

Tethyn must escort the envoy and his entourage on an expedition to her hidden family home where he will encounter the planet herself, see some of her powers and learn about her past.  The envoy is deeply affected by the experience.  During the excursion Tethyn admits to herself that she has come to love Lewis although in return she cannot hope for anything other than his desire.  But desire is not enough, and when Lewis wants to take Tethyn to First Home, she refuses him.

Then personal danger for Lewis arrives.  An enemy has followed him from First Home, and lives begin to change.

Publication

The decision had to be made whether to seek print publication or whether to look at independent publishing. I read Mark Coker’s very interesting observations about how the publishing world is changing and decided to become an independent publisher of my own book.

Mark’s instruction book, Smashwords Style Guide dealing with the preparation of a book for epublication was an eye-opener, as was the process itself. The excitement I enjoyed when my first hyperlink worked was worth all the effort. For three days, my world was pretty well restricted to the pages of Mark’s book, but I learned a tremendous amount and the other books I have e-published have been easy to format.

I decided to price Planet Woman as ‘free’ for a time so that I could get a reasonably accurate picture of people’s interest in my book and after three days, the picture was already beginning to build. The ‘Smashwords’ website is a marvel of efficiency.

However, when I put the book onto the e-shelves with a (modest) price attached, the downloads fell right off.  It does appear that independent authors need to allocate quite a large amount of their time to self-advertising through media such as Facebook and Twitter, and of course through a personal blog.

If you purchased my book to read, I hope that you enjoyed it. I will be very interested indeed in any comments you may wish to make. Constructive criticism I can handle.

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Man of Two Planets

http://geni.us/m1o2p   http://geni.us/m1o2pSm   http://geni.us/Mo2PGoodreads

Man of Two Planets Final Front Cover

This book is the second in the ‘Circe’ series, and it develops the character and experiences of Borto, the brother of Tethyn of Planet Woman.  As I wrote Planet Woman I began to realise that the storyline would go on into the future, and because Borto had grown into a very likeable character I decided that the second book would have him as the protagonist, although Tethyn does not disappear.

I have grown to like Borto a great deal, but I also like the horrible Darland and the even more horrible Vaire.  They both feature strongly in this second book, and I have already planned a strange sort of redemption for Vaire in the third book of the series, which I have not yet begun to write.

Synopsis:

Borto Claibrook-Merjolaine, born and raised on Circe, the planet with a mind, is the only man of his generation to become a warrior.  As he learns combat skills on the neighbouring planet of First Home, his mentor Hal detects a dark creature hidden deep inside Borto’s personality.  Coming from Circe’s own shadow, the being adds extra strength to Borto’s normal Circean abilities.

Also living on First Home, Borto’s sister, Tethyn, realises that she must go to find the source of a great danger which is threatening both Circe and First Home.  Another planet, farther off in the galaxy, has learned about First Home and is preparing an invasion force.

Against the wishes of her beloved man Lewis, First Peer of the High Forest family, Tethyn asks his greatest adversary, Darland Courvenier, to take her to meet a man from the enemy planet so that Circe can learn about the advancing peril and prepare to defeat it.

Circe is also in danger from First Home.  Darland and his close friend and lieutenant, Vaire, have begun to realise that Circe is a very special planet, possessing strange powers.  They want to learn her secrets.  Vaire goes to Circe to discover what he can about her, at the same time drawing Tethyn’s best friend, Rayanna, the woman he has come to deeply desire, unwillingly closer to him.

Returning briefly to his home planet, Borto finds that contraband weapons have been hidden on her surface, infecting the planet with the negative force they carry.  As he helps to defeat the arms smugglers, the thing that Borto has been dreading happens, and his new powers are revealed.   But Borto learns that what has happened to him is right.  Even as a changed man, he can remain true to himself and go confidently into the future.

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2 Comments

  1. Marjorie

    Hello,

    I would first like to thank you in advance for reading my humble remarks about your book titled ‘Planet Woman.’ All in all I truly enjoyed your book, so much so that I decided to leave a comment, which is rare for me. I agree that it is not a book that should be read through quickly. For me the story took some time to get into, although I can’t really say when or at what part that was. Maybe it’s because I felt that the whole story so far has been a very gradual build. In saying that, I feel that your book appeals more to those who are reading it not for the thrills, but mainly out of curiosity as to what you will do with such a unique setting, plot and characters. I like the way culture actively plays a role and how we can progressively understand the characters thoughts and actions by understanding their culture, while at the same time the characters themselves try to understand each other. We see them changing and growing in an effort to improve, not knowing what possibilities it will lead too. There are so many unknowns, and so many questions that I hope will be answered in time. Personally, I like to know what each character is thinking and how they perceive others in more detail. Similarly to how book 2 opens with Borto’s thoughts and reactions to his changing circumstances. Again that is just a personal preference. I guess not fully knowing adds to the possibilities. I look forward to continuing this particular journey when the 2nd book becomes available. Unfortunately I can’t say this from experience as I’ve never published a book, but in regards to the eBook situation, I think it is safe to say that most if not all authors face the same problem. If your question is what would make your book worth paying for, I wish I had a general answer… For me, I know I would solely out of curiosity.
    Thank you writing 🙂
    Best regards,
    Marjorie

    Reply
    1. JudithRook (Post author)

      Hello Marjorie,
      Thank you for your extremely thoughtful and very interesting post on ‘Planet Woman’. You have given me a great deal to think about.
      You make a very strong point about how far I should go into a character’s thoughts and, as you have already picked up from the first chapters, I think I do go further along this line in the second book.
      I wonder if the introduction to ‘Planet Woman’ slows things down. The retired publisher’s editor I refer to in the blog told me that in science fiction readers like to know how the settings became established in the first place. Thinking about my own (also probably yours) quite vast experience of reading I agreed with him and so included the Foreword. The book originally began with Artona going on as she does.
      Another very important aspect which you write about is the ‘getting into’ the story. I have two ‘beta readers’ (one family, one friend) and one said she was into the story immediately and the other said exactly what you say; that it took time and was a gradual process of unfolding. Since I started to write I have become extremely interested in the whole process of reading. I have begun to look into some of the research which has been conducted into this field of human activity. There’s a lot of it.
      I particularly appreciate your final point – what would make ‘Planet Woman’ worth paying for? – and I share your conclusion. I also wish I had a general answer. As the writer, all I know is that I thought of ‘Tethyn’ and the storyline began to open and I simply had to write it down – like you, almost out of curiosity. I still regard myself essentially as a reader.
      Two days ago I wrote ‘THE END’ to the second book which is to be titled ‘Man of Two Planets’. Two or three weeks of solid editing have begun. I expect to post the book by the end of July at the latest.
      The third novel in the ‘Circe’ series is also on its way.
      Thank you once again for your response and your thoughtful and extremely perceptive comments. Opinions so clearly stated have a distinct effect on my writing.
      Warm regards,
      Judith

      Reply

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