Friday, 23 September 2016

Wolf Eye Alibi (Wolf Eye Lighthouse Series) (Volume 2) by Terri Lyndie

I normally don't start a series at the second book, but I was assured this was a stand alone book. The writer just has set a few books in the (I assume) fictional and eccentric town of Wolf Eye. It is my first book by this author and I'm pleased to have discovered yet another talented independent author. This was a fun and 5 star read.
Wolf Eye Alibi (Wolf Eye Lighthouse Series) (Volume 2) by Terri Lyndie on Amazon

The books starts strongly with a wedding descending into chaos as the Groom and Bride are arrested for murder. I was hooked from the first chapter as I followed hapless bridesmaid Mia run from the law when the local cops wants to arrest her and the groom’s brother (Jonah) too, as accessories to murder. The character of Mia is great; a pampered Manhattan princess out of her depth in the Michigan wilderness. I chuckled as she was thrown from one ordeal to another; fighting off mosquitoes as well as Jonah’s advances. As this book is written from a first person perspective we experience these ordeals first hand and you can’t but help liking Mia. A few chapters in I was rooting for her and Jonah to get together and find out who framed the not-so-happy couple.  Even though this is the second book in the series, it stood perfectly on its own and I had at no point the feeling that I had missed something. Funny, racy and action packed till the end.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Losing Nuka (Litmus Book 1) by Kayla Howarth

One of the lovely things about being part of a writers group (IASD) is to share our experiences. Being it our highs or lows, other writers sharing help us connect better with the world. A few years ago I would not have considered blogging and engaging on other social media. Kayla Howarth is one of the success stories coming out of our group. She must be very hard working as I see her name popping up everywhere and her books are now getting the attention they deserve. She has taken the brave step to concentrate fully on her writing and I think it is paying off. Book 2 in the Litmus series has just been released and I thought it was high time to see what Kayla has been doing with her time. I enjoyed the Institute series so I knew it was not going to be a chore. I'm glad I found this a five star read too.
Losing Nuka (Litmus book 1) by kayla Howarth on

Losing Nuka is the spin off from the Institute series, of which I devoured the first 3 books. First the good news; Allira married Jayce and had a baby together (yeah!). The couple live happily together in the suburbs with Nuka, William and their daughter Illyana. Now the bad news; time has moved on from the end of the last book and the little six year old Nuka is now a stroppy 18 year old teenager. She knows Allira isn’t her real mother but when she starts digging into her back ground she discovers that a lot of things were hidden from her; including who her birth mother is. From here on the book could be carrying the tag line: Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true. Nuka blunders into the world as only stroppy teenagers can and starts looking for her biological mum. Her privileged back ground does not prepare her for the underground world of illegal fights (Litmus) and all other sorts of shenanigans her biological mother is involved in.
The style of this book will be familiar to Kyla’s fans. We see the world from the perspective of the main character; Nuka. We experience her love, pain and doubts first hand. We might not have great sympathy at the start for this girl but as we experience her growth as a woman so directly, we certainly have a few chapters in. The dialogue is again sharp and packed with humour. Especially when Nuka and her love interest Brett are sparring it out. There are some good characters here and the action comes thick and fast. I found myself rubbing my rib cage as I joined Nuka on her journey into the belly of Litmus and she had her ass handed to her after a rough fight. Great stuff Ms Howarth. It would be better to read the institute series first as this is a continuation of the story, but I think you would have no problem reading this book as a stand-alone. Most of the returning characters are explained just not in great detail. Looking forwards to Saving William, the next in the Litmus series.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Smoke & Mirrors: and other stories by Tom Benson

I'm quite familiar with this writer and have even shared the pages with him on the Anthology 'You're not Alone.' So when he advertised that his bundle of short stories was free, I had no hesitation in downloading it. It is a short book and even shorter for me as I had come across some of them in other publications. However a good introduction to Tom Benson's work. 5 stars.
This is a nice bundle of short stories. Short, but full of impact, drama and excitement. The themes vary, from an Alien criminal on the loose here on earth to a pilot trying to find his way to his downed plane in order to stop it falling in enemy hands. If there was one common thread it would be retribution, hence the tag line ‘The end justifies the means…’. There is something warm and comforting (somewhat nostalgic even in the Pawnee express.) in reading these stories; we encounter some good guys doing the right thing or a wronged person getting his pound of flesh. I think the writer really comes into his own when he sets his story in a battlefield situation. I know Tom Benson has a military background and it shows in the detail. It makes the stories that much more real and believable. Some of the stories have since or before appeared in other bundles, so if you have read some of Mr Bensons work you might have already come across some of these. If you are new to this writer it is a great introduction to his work. Recommended.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sam's Song: A Sam Smith Mystery (The Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 1) by Hannah Howe

 I would like to give you a work in progress report, but I've been rather distracted by work, the beach and, well I'm just looking for excuses here; it is too hot to write! Penny Hunter is going to do the editing again on 'Conversations with Tom' but due to other work projects, we have put the publishing date back to Christmas.
Meanwhile I'm working on a series of short stories. It is in the shape of a number of interviews by a journalist that works for a Edinburgh paper and is about some of its fictional famous citizens. As per usual it will be tongue firmly in cheek. I have been reading, and this first in a series of detective novels was very enjoyable. I gave it 5 stars.

Sam's Song: A Sam Smith Mystery (The Sam Smith Mystery Series Book 1) by Hannah Howe on Amazon

Sam Smith is a tough wise cracking private detective, but behind the confident exterior hides a rather damaged woman. She is prone to self-doubt and suspicious of men. This book reads like a classic detective novel, narrated in the first person with a lot of humour. It reminded me a little of Sam Spade and there is also a fond nod to Phillip Marlowe in the name of the main characters cat. This book however is very modern and I like the fact that Hannah Howe has worked some very current topics into her novel, like domestic violence. This is a very good start to a series of currently eight books. Sam Smith is someone I can relate too and I admire her courage. There is still a lot to explore in her character as she gingerly embarks on a new romance and I’m sure her next case will have me glued to my kindle again

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Darkness Divided: Part Two in The Unfading Lands Series by Katharine E. Hamilton

The glorious summer is slowly coming to an end. We still are having hot days but we also are seeing a few clouds and the occasional shower. Still using my beach time productively to read some books. This one is the second in a YA series. I really enjoyed the first one and was looking forwards two part two. It was still good but not as pacey as the first. I gave it 4 stars.
Darkness Divided:Part Two in The Unfading Lands series on

It was a while since I read the first book in the unfading lands series and part two had been on my ‘to be read list’ for a while. As I enjoyed book one I was looking forwards to the follow up. The book starts with Elizabeth and her brand new husband Clifton, traveling to his Kingdom. There events take a dramatic turn and I was once again gripped by the story. The writer has developed Elizabeth into a character I like very much; she always seems to see the good in people and the positive in a situation. Here we also get to know the character of Isaac a little better as he continues his transformation from spoilt Prince to hero. We find out more about Lancer and what made him the bitter man he is. I would like to say I enjoyed this book as much as the first, but somewhere in the middle my mind started to wander a bit; the story had slowed and I think the writer wanted to explore the romantic sides of her characters a little more before the final exciting finish. I could have done without some of these bits as it was clear at the end of book one who has feelings for who. Darkness Divided stays firmly in YA territory but I would warn against very young readers picking this up; some limbs do get separated from their owners and the battle scenes are bloody. The book finishes with many questions unanswered and I’m pleased that the third book in the series is ready. I think the first book appealed to the girl in me that likes to see a strong-willed-sword wielding heroine and the second part slightly annoyed the girl that hates romantic yucky stuff, so I look forwards to more battles and magic. (Maybe even a marriage or two, I’m not completely heartless!)