Friday, 11 December 2015

The Branches of Time

This book was given two me by a very nice Italian author I met via twitter. He very kindly emailed me a copy of his book. I normally do my reading on a kindle, so it took me a while to commit myself to reading it on my computer. This book is showing again what range of genres there are available from Indie authors. I would also like to say that the translation on this book was nearly perfect and well edited. I rated this 4 stars:
The Branches of Time by Luca Rossi

In this book Luca Rossi has created a universe full of magic and dark powers. On the day of a wedding virtually the entire population of the Island Turios is wiped out by an act of dark magic, only the priestess Miril and a couple Lil and husband Bashinoir survive. The King from the northern lands wants them all gone as the mere fact of them living on this island means that a barrier traps the king and his population. Things happened about 2000 years ago, separating the two populations and trapping one on an island and the others in a cold and forbidding land. The island has been protected by two priests, but now only Miril survives. She honours Lil but also gives her an impossible dilemma by proposing priest hood to her. Priests are not allowed husbands. I liked the dynamic between the three survivors on the island. Lil becomes closer and closer to Miril, while Bashinoir is left alone and at a loss.  The story shifts about between times and locations but I managed to keep track of the story line. Beanor is suitably over the top as the sex crazed, cruel maniac of a king. Him and his court provide some very raunchy story lines! It never becomes entirely clear what events happened two thousand years ago, which left me a little frustrated at the end of this book as I still know very little about why the two peoples were separated, but this being part one I’m sure all will be explained in book 2. I think however, a little more explanation might have helped this universe Mr Rossi created really come alive.  I was given a free copy by the author for an honest review. I would not mind getting book 2, but have so far only managed to find book 1 on amazon.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Horror, History and some good laughs

Two reviews of three very different books.
The Little Book of Horrors by Lacey Lane on

I read this authors first book and knew what to expect with this book, but I did read this book with one eye closed and snuggling into my jumper to hide from the pages. If you’re not a fan of horrible things happening to horrible and innocent people alike, put this book back on its virtual book shelf and go and watch some fluffy kitten videos. If you are however a fan of grizzly horror and not averse to some raunchy sex scenes, then put this in your shopping basket and enjoy with the lights switched on. My favourite story was Karma is a bitch. All three are well written, fast paced, gruesome and sexy. I rate this 4 stars.
Goin' Postal and the Creek by Rhoda D'Ettore on

I do like the fact that this author has put together two short books and given us, the reader value for money. On the face of it they are not related but after reading it you get a sense of being presented with a very American portrait. A very warm and insightful portrait by someone who loves her country and it’s diverse people. In Goin’ Postal she relates some of the stories (in part fictionalised to protect identities I’m sure) she experienced while working for the institution that is the US postal service. Not only do get a glimpse into the life of an everyday worker, but also how a postal worker experienced going through some turbulent historical times (The 9/11 attacks) This ties it nicely to The Creek which is the local history of a settlement on a creek from the civil war until the civil rights movement. The second book still has it comedy moments, but is over the whole more serious and a good example of exploring US history through the experiences of local ordinary people. Goin’ postal was my favourite of the two as it was just such a guilty pleasure of getting an insider view. I had no idea of the things that went on in the postal service. Both are a good, fast paced read. I rate this 5 stars.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Competition time

A girl just can't win. Promoting a book is just one of the hardest things going. I wasn't getting anywhere so I resorted to paying for advertising. This had some good results. I wanted to do a big advertising blast around the start of December to get my free book up in the Amazon free book charts. Apart from paying 3 companies I wanted to promote the book myself on social media too. I got a list of one of the companies of groups to target on Facebook. I duly signed up to varies groups and posted about Language in the blood. I've now been banned from doing this until the 8th of December!!!! Of course Facebook wants a slice of the advertising budget too. So here is the competition I'm running. follow the link to win a paperback copy of Blood Ties (Language in the Blood book2)
Paperback giveaway
Good luck!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Henchmen by Eric Lahti

I had the pleasure of working with Eric Lahti on the Anthology; Holes. This was Eric's project and he steered it to a book of short stories we are all proud off. We're using it as a showcase for Indie authors and hopefully by reading the book you will discover some talented authors. Here is the link again:
Holes on
So it is high time I discover some of Eric Lahti's books.
Henchmen by Eric Lahti on

Buckle up and let the Henchmen take you for a ride. You might not understand all the fantastic characters Eric Lahti introduces us to, or even agree with them; but trust me getting on this thrill ride will certainly beat reading the paper. I’m a kitten loving European, that doesn’t get America’s fascination with guns and it’s paranoia about their own government, but it certainly makes for good, high octane entertainment.
What sets this book apart is its cast of strong and original characters. The group of self-proclaimed super villains are let by a seven foot tall woman called Eve. She has assembled a group of henchmen to tear down the Government. Each of the men has been approached by Eve for their set of skills. Jean and Frank are a gay couple that can get them into any building or computer system. Jacob is a biker that loves his guns and has many useful contacts. Steve; the narrator has worked for the government but has valid personal reasons to hate them. He is also a good guy to have around in a fight or provide an inappropriate wise crack. The interaction between the gang provides many comedy moments and there are some great lines here.
One night whilst out for a night of Sushi served on a naked woman (Is this hygienic?) The team help a young woman, (the serving dish) Jessica, when some Yakuza want to do very bad things to her. (I kid you not, worse than tying her up and serving sushi from her stomach!) The Yakuza gangsters are after a secret weapon her father helped develop. Eve and her henchmen offer their help in finding her father and Jessica becomes part of their team. This leads them on a very dangerous path of secret government projects and things that should probably not see the daylight. Eve is evasive about who she is and why she is bullet proof, but she has a clear agenda and the others are willing to follow her. Why? I think because they share her ideology, she pays well and cares about her team. Steve at one point muses whether she is a minor goddess but none of them knows. The thing is, Eve is intriguing and as a guy with a grudge willing to do bad things you have to ask yourself; why wouldn’t I join a seven foot bullet proof blond, intent on creating some serious havoc?
There is a fair bit of graphic violence and strong language, but I think with a title like Henchmen you should be prepared for this. Guns, violence and the odd alien thrown in for good measure; just enjoy. Part 2 is already out and part 3 is in the process of being released, which is good news.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Betrayal: The Consequences by Sharon Browlie

This is the follow up to a book I enjoyed and reviewed earlier. The sequel is much shorter and i think the author has missed some opportunities. I decided to give it 5 stars anyway as it was a very good read. I always enjoy Sharon's descriptions of Edinburgh in the late 1980's. I've lived in the town from 1991 to 2011 and know all the land marks she describes. One of the places she goes to in this book was a nightclub called Cinderella's rockefella's in St Stephen street.
This is right around the corner from where Cameron grew up; Clarence street. Cameron would have known this building as a theatre, which it remained from it's opening in 1890 until 1915. Then it became a riding school, a cinema, a dance hall and in the 80's a nightclub. It burned down in 1991 and I lived in Clarence street at that time but had the misfortune to be on a family visit that evening and therefor missed the fire. (And by all accounts it was the fire of the decade!!!) Now the review of the book:
Betrayal: The Consequences by Sharon Brownlie on

I hugely enjoyed Sharon Brownlie’s debut novel, Betrayal, so I was looking forwards to the follow up Betrayal: The Consequences. We catch up with DI Brennan and her team at the day of Helen King’s sentencing. If Brennan thinks this will be the end of her involvement in the case she is mistaken. A heart wrenching letter from Helen lands on her desk shortly after she is taken off to prison. So is the sequel as good as Betrayal? I would have to say yes and no. The book was engrossing and Sharon brings her characters to life, we feel compassion for them and we understand them. The only reason I say no is because the book is very short and I think the author has left some obvious avenues unexplored. I wanted more of Brennan and her team and the carrot of a fresh case was not taken. I hope Ms Brownlie will come back to Gayfield police station as I think she has a great cast of characters here. Her descriptions of Edinburgh in the late 80’s are wonderful and provide a fantastic back drop for a gritty crime thriller such as Betrayal.