Diamond Star Halo, by Tiffany Murray

I finished Diamond Star Halo last week and have been lost for words to describe how amazed I am about this author’s writing style. This book is one of my favorite adult fiction books so far, along with “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer. Both books are an inspiration for me and Tiffany Murray has, without any doubt, the secret, magical touch I wish for my own novel.

“Diamond Star Halo” was built with original characters that are magical and raw-realistic at the same time and this can only be done by a very good writer at the top of her game. Tiffany Murray uses two of my favorite writing tools mingled along the storyline: metaphors and a rich-action plot where even the farm animals, the horses and the leaves take on an important spot in almost every scene.

Good books are always the best teachers.

(…)
After Elvis, we found Fred Connor.
It was a day when the beech leaves were just thinking of colour and change; a day when the warm rain that pounded Rockfarm bubbled and spat. It was a day like any other day when we found Fred Connor wrapped up in a red cloak on one of our guest beds.
This baby was almost breathless; and he was the smallest I’d ever seen. Mum had us kids huddle round that piss-yellow candlewick cover to really take him in, and when she touched Fred’s forehead with her cold wedding band, he opened his black eyes. I didn’t understand what she meant when she squealed, ‘Kids, come look! He’s part seal-pup, part bloody Heathcliff.’
I do now.
Of course we all knew where Fred had come from, and it wasn’t from the birds and the bees and the shaky knees of our parents: our dad hand’t picked him up, an urchin, one dark and stormy night, and Fred didn’t fly half-cocked from Never Never Land, either. No, Fred Connor arrived at our farm weeks before with an American band called Tequilla. Though Fred didn’t arrive on his own two feet: Fred Connor kind of floated.
This is where I’ll start then, though the truth is I don’t know where to begin because I came out backwards.
‘Arse-wise,’ Nana Lew calls it; so maybe the story begins with Rockfarm: this home I was born to, this recording studio built by my freckle-handed father on his own Welsh mud.
Rockfarm: a place where rock stars in sunglasses roam, a place where farm cats have toes that run up their legs like pegs on a line.
My Rockfarm.
(…)

By Tiffany Murray, in “Diamon Star Halo”

Murray’s Questions & Answers here.

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11 thoughts on “Diamond Star Halo, by Tiffany Murray

    • Hi,

      No, never heard of it.

      I often use the new-addictions-library-shelf as inspiration for my next read and if I like what I’m reading on my next visit I search for more books from that author.

      When I really LOVE a book I go to the shop and buy it to give my support to the author.

      What about you?

    • Actually my first book, when I had just barely learned to read full paragraphs, was about killer, red ants in a tropical forest. Yes, it was a horror story (ants eating humans alive, again and again, slowly, while they screeeeaammmmed!), I was seven and my father had a lot of books like that in his shelves and he finally allowed me to read some with the only condition that I would stop if I started to have nightmares at night.

      My second book, in between more ‘girly’ ones and text books from school, was Dracula – the original book. Also an horror story.

      As a child my favorite movies at night were always horror stories with zombies (which I saw curled up in a big blanket and jumped a lot and had nightmares but didn’t confess to that to my father) and aliens that were green lizards inside human-flesh bodies. Nowadays they are making a remake of that series called V.

      After those two, and then as a young teenager, I read the diary of Anne Frank and then some – at the time – famous book about an addict teenager and her friends in a very sad, black and decadent underworld full of sex, drugs and rapists.

      Then I read several futuristic books always with male main characters and written by male writers, which I don’t really remember the names at all but loved all the same. The themes I remember: Aliens; Planet Earth without electricity; a man with telepathic powers; another one about a man who could predict the future; and in the mix of it all one day I discovered even some adult books over my father’s closet that let me with a lot of questions and the next week I was grateful the books disappeared all together…

      As a a child and a young teenager my readings had nothing to do with female characters or female writers (except a few exceptions like Anne Frank).

      Since then, I’ve had a passion for vampire stories and horror stories all my life, but started to read them less and less and prefer to see them more often in movies as most vampire books are not the old style horror I grew up with and that was disappointing.

      Then, I crossed paths with a book called Twilight when I was still in Portugal… you know what happened next.

      I’m reading more female action-romance novels right now because it’s the gender in which my own novel is written. As english is still a work-in-progress for me, I cannot go away from the style in which I want to be writing or else my novel will become harder to write. As much as I enjoy it, the truth is reading is still homework for me and I have to read what I want to write.

      Still, I would buy your book because as you can imagine, horror stories were my first read after my ABCs and I imagine your writing could be that old-style horror that I loved to read after 5 years out of diapers.

      Y’know it’s funny, but you don’t know me at all, Reg : P

  1. You’re so right, we hardly know each other but I always visit to read your Blog.
    If someone had said to me that I would be able to show loyalty and friendship to someone I have never met before, nor probably ever will meet, before I owned a computer I would have laughed in their faces. I had pen pals as a young soldier but they were only so I could go and meet girls on my leave instead of going home, (which I only ever managed on a shamefully few occasions).
    So this whole Blogging thing is very peculiar, isn’t it?
    My wife and daughter love the whole Twilight thing, I’m afraid it’s too touchy/feely for me but then again they don’t like reading about the Romans in Britain as I do, so I suppose it all balances out, lol.

    • Let me confess something to you. The Twilight saga was perfect for me because it’s an easy read, and I needed an easy read at the time. With ‘easy read’ I mean that the words and sentences (and thoughts!) in it are really easy to understand.

      After I’ve read the Twilight Saga (the four books two times) I was ready for other books. Books with metaphors and harder languages. Nowadays, I see the Twilight Saga as a nostalgic piece of work that allowed me to be where I am today – that is – it allowed me to be confident enough to believe I can understand written english good enough to maybe write professionally one day. That’s what Twilight represents to me. The beginning. It had to be easy to represent that.

      The Twilight Saga – and all books from Cecelia Ahern BTW – are for me as dolls are for a female teenager, I remember and treasure the days they were special to me and the days when I was happy playing with them, but I hunger for better reads nowadays and especially more mature books.

      I’m still finding my way, of course, still trying my foot inside different rivers, without really taking the plunge and swim for it; I’m just trying to take from female writers everything that I can, but my main goal is never aimed at romance (although I’ve learned all good stories must have some and it sells like chocolate!).

      About the first part of your comment, you, to me, are my only real commentator and the only reason I leave the comments open. Of course I care about Brenda (the Brazilian girl who lives in Australia) as well. But it doesn’t feel like the same thing, probably because she’s not a novel writer, and her mind is not on the same path, and maybe because of the age gap… don’t know.

      But for me you are the only reason why I still have the comments open ’round here. I think you get me… even in some posts where I’m not even direct and use a lot of metaphors and similes, you still get me. So yeah, I look forward to read your blog always and your book one day.

      Take care.

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