Wednesday, 18 March 2015


It has been quite a day. Not only was it glorious sunny weather and did I get to finish the excellent untamed by Steven Jeral Harris while getting a tan, I also got two five star reviews from my fellow reviewer group members. So I feel all warm and glow for more than one reason.

One thing I do wonder now I read a lot of self published books; why the hurry to publish? If you want to sell a product, do you not want it to be the best it can be? I sometimes get taken aback by the amounts of mistakes I spot. I'm a Dutch woman who has to speak French all day for work. I know my English is less than perfect. Maybe that is why I'm maybe less complacent than an English or American writer and sought the help of a professional before I put my work out there. Anyhow I never include that the book has 'editing' issues in my review as that can be corrected in the Kindle age. Plus I'm still angry at all my teachers who just took their red pens to correct spelling but failed to give me any feedback on my writing!

Untamed by Steven Jeral Harris

This book gripped my by the throat like the supernatural beast from the very first chapter and didn’t let go! This is a supernatural thriller of the best kind, exciting, very scary at times, but with well written believable characters.
Iva Hill is a teenage girl plagued by illness and insecurity. She thinks that her life will change little when her mother gets a new job and moves her to New York State. It is the town her mother grew up in and she gets re-acquainted with her uncle Frank, a local detective. He is investigating a gruesome murder that leaves him bewildered and worried. Iva’s mother enrols her in the local college. Things take an unexpected positive turn and slowly Iva begins to make friends and thinks she is getting the life she always wanted; a normal one. But the town is hiding a dark secret and Iva’s new found ‘normality’ puts her in grave danger. The-worried-mother versus girl-reaching-adult hood relationship is well described and you can feel the warmth, but firstly and foremost this is an exciting book with lots of action. I would recommend this for young adults, but with a warning that there is swearing, violence and a torture scene, but nothing that shocked this not-so-young adult.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Twist In The Tale by Matthew Williams

I'm always a sucker for a freebie, so I downloaded it ages ago to my kindle when it was available for free. I read it while commuting to Monaco in 2013. To say that this review was long over due is an understatement. However the book is very, very short, so the review too is rather brief. But hey you had a post from me yesterday.

Twist In The Tale by Matthew Williams

This is a bundle of short stories, each with a twist at the end. They are written from a number of different perspectives, an interesting mix of first and third person views. Mr Williams’s style is light and breezy and I read the book during a few train commutes, for which short stories such as these are ideal.

Monday, 16 March 2015


You might have spotted some changes recently. Firstly I thought I’d better change the heading of my blog. The line ‘as she struggles to write the follow-up’ was outdated. The follow-up to Language in the Blood, Blood Ties, came out in January.

If you recently visited my Amazon page you may have noticed that the cover of Language in the blood has changed from this:

To this:

I believe that I should explore every avenue of book promotion. I have little faith this will work but I gave advertising on Amazon a shot. I was very surprised that they rejected my campaign. It took a bit of back and forth but the reason they rejected the campaign was the design of my cover. It fell foul of their blood and violence rules. (What!) A toy dog lying on a marble floor smeared in ketchup was judged to graphic. I used their software to design a new suitable cover and now the campaign is running and having very little effect as predicted. I did like Amazon KDP’s cover design software and probably will use it again as it was just so easy to get a professional look in very little time. So which cover do you prefer? I hope to go back to the original as it had a very distinct look that I carried forwards to book 2 and sums up the quirky nature of the books.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Truth Finder

Motoring on with reviewing books.It is always a good sign when you get through a sizable book quickly. It was nice to read a well edited book, not all self published efforts are!

The Truth Finder by Penny Luker

The Truth Finder is set in the fifth millennium, in a world destroyed by nuclear wars. There remain but three inhabitable cities and the land in between (The kingdom of light). Some of humankind has evolved to possess special powers. Vrail is one such young boy. He is a Truth Finder, one who has the ability to read minds. At the start of the book we find him alone at the age of 17 after the death of his father. We follow his at times perilous journey into manhood. The author describes nicely how Vrail experiences his gift is as much of a curse as a blessing as he finds his own place in this dangerous world. Even though the story is set in the future, the land between the cities has more of a ‘Shires’ feel about it. People go about farming the land and use horses for transport. Some of this book reminded me about the Hobbit. Vrail also enjoys normality next to a cosy fireside and at times wishes he wasn’t special. I think this book will appeal to a young adult that likes to read adventure/fantasy.
My problem with the Truth Finder was that it screams for a follow up and I hope Penny is hard at work on book number two. There was a wealth of information to take in about this new future world, but I feel I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what there is to know about the cities. We got to meet many fascinating characters, but apart from the main character Vrail, we don’t know too much about any of them. Especially Vrails neighbour Grace, a fellow thruth Finder and the woman he is closest to seems very interesting. She is over 300 years old! She must have some interesting stories to tell. I’m looking forward to reading the follow up and I hope Penny goes a bit deeper into the many characters she has introduced me to.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Belarus update

When Elspeth Morrison and I decided to publish the bundle Something Short, she decided that she wanted to use the proceeds to help out a friend who was raising money to send a group of volunteers to Belarus. I whole heartedly agreed. We would have liked to have sold more books but I like think the little we contributed is making someones live better. Below is the link with the story of STAND international and how their volunteers fared in September.

Blago, September 2014

Of course you can still buy our book on Amazon. Even though the trip has been, the support for this project in Belarus is ongoing so any future royalties will go to this project.


I'm busy reading Penny Lucker's The Truthfinder just now, I'm totally engrossed in the story so a review should follow shortly.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Another one

Spring has certainly sprung here in the côte d'Azur. Maybe it is the fact that I can have my balcony door open that my work rate has increased. I mostly concentrating on reviewing and getting my name out there. It is a long term strategy, but I hope it will pay off in the end.

Now the following book review does not fulfil the usual criteria of only reviewing independent books, but it was sitting on my kindle and I read it a few months ago and I thought, why not do a review of some things I'd enjoyed and already read.

A year in the merde by Stephen Clarke

This book was recommended to me by a French colleague.  I was glad she wasn’t offended as the book isn’t very complimentary about the French at times, but it is very very funny.

It chronicles the story of a young Englishman who takes a job in Paris with a French firm. It is about working, living and finding love in Paris. 

Like the writer I live and work in France and I recognise many of the situations he describes. As it can be hard to get to grips with the differences in culture, France eventually changes you and you can’t but help falling in love with the place despite its failings. This is a light hearted, easy read and shouldn’t be taken too serious. I loved it.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A Paris short

After reading two sizable ebooks I took a breather and tackled this short story;
Rendevous, Place saint-Michel By Felipe Adan Lerma

This is a short story about an American (Texan) Grand-father who takes his grandchildren for a walk one night along the streets of Paris. His grandson wants to photograph Paris at night and his two cousins come along for the excitement. What I liked about the story is the author’s description of Paris by night, and the rather sweet story of his granddaughter experiencing her first kiss.

The author describes this book as a short stand-alone story, but it also forms part of another book; Slumming it in Paris. I might have agreed if it was altered a little. We’re introduced to a bewildering seven characters but only four take parts in the story. The language the Author uses might be common in Texas but I found words such as ‘Kinda’ and ‘gonna’ sat uncomfortably with more poetic language like ‘Her eyes caressed a smile.’ I think this makes a much better chapter than a short story.
I give it 3 stars.