Saturday, 28 February 2015

Betrayal by Sharon Browlie

Not got up to much writing myself or anything else for that matter as I've been engrossed in my Kindle book. An excellent story set in Edinburgh, which was a very pleasant surprise when I started reading. I give it 5 stars:
Betrayal by Sharon Brownlie

Helen king is a young woman who has been abused by her father and betrayed by the very people that should have protected her. When she sought help from her father’s employers; the Army, she was sent away to a children’s home in Edinburgh. Here she befriended a boy Ashley Renton. When he was adopted she set out to Gloucester to find him.

At age 15 Helen was ill equipped to fend for herself and soon found herself in the clutches of violent pimp Addie. Her life descended in a never-ending nightmare of drugs and prostitution.

Then one day she overhears a conversation and recognised the voice of her former teacher. Helen decided then to no longer be a victim but return to Edinburgh and revenge the wrongs that were done to her.

Betrayal is a gritty crime novel mainly set in Edinburgh. We get to experience the story from the angle of Helen and from the eyes of D.I. Belinda Brennan as she investigates ‘Helen’s revenge’. I enjoyed this book immensely; the characters are well developed and believable. Edinburgh makes a great setting. And as I used to live there for many years I could clearly imagine where the author was taking me. A great first novel!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


Here is the first of the reviews I'm doing of a series of four independent writers I promised to review. I did enjoy this one and gave it four stars.

Amie, An African Adventure
By Lucinda E Clarke
Working full time I don’t get to read a lot, so the fact that I managed to read it within a week says a lot about this book. It follows the story of Amie a young naïve English woman that follows her husband when he gets posted to Africa. Amie initially has her doubts about going and the author hints that at some point things are going to go very wrong, but convinced by her husband and her family Amie accepts her new life and sets out for Africa with her husband. There an experienced expat woman takes Amie under her wing and shows her the dos and don’ts of living as a white woman in Africa. As Amie initially struggles with the completely different mentality of the citizens of Togodo, she comes to enjoy her new live. So much so she longs to go back to Togodo and its capital Apatu during their annual visit back to England. And here is my slight quibble with the book, Togodo is a fictional country. It is obvious the author has a wealth of knowledge about living in Africa. I’m sure many of the things Amie experiences have happened or been told to the author. She certainly weaves all these impressions into a good story. But every time Apatu or Togodo were mentioned I was left disoriented wondering which country and which regime this was based on and where I was geographically as the story felt very real (somewhere in East Africa near the equator was all we were told) especially . However if you do like a riveting adventure story and to get a general insight into how western white workers live and work in Africa, I can certainly recommend this book.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Five and Four stars

The first review is in for Blood Ties  and it is a 5 star. This is great news and it reminded me to go and do some book reviewing myself. This is a book I read a wee while ago and the review is long over due.

Fat Vampire:an underdog vampire novella by Johnny B. Truant

I stumbled across this book when I released my own book Language in the Blood and wanted to see what else there was out there in funny vampire books. I liked the idea that not all vampires are slender and beautiful. This is the first in a series currently counting six books.

The story follows Reginald Baskin, an overweight young man who after suffering at the hands of bullies in high school now works at a fitness company. He finds that things are much the same since high school and he is still being tormented by the physically fit.

Things change when Maurice, a young shy Goth starts work. It is he who 'saves' Reginald after he is devoured by vampires. Maurice turns him into a vampire like himself.

Even though Reginald never felt so good, his physical shape hasn't changed. He might feel he is running at great speeds, but most prey could outrun him. I enjoyed the way the author described Reginald's slow acceptance of his new live and the humorous consequences of being a overweight vampire with low self esteem, but the author is also sticking very closely to most vampire myths. I'm looking forwards to reading more in the series and hope the author starts pushing the boundaries of vampire myths a bit more. Promising start to a fun series of books.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, 29 January 2015


Well who said old dogs can't learn new tricks? I've certainly been on a steep learning curve since I decided to start writing. In the old days that involved a typewriter, a thesaurus and then a post office to send your precious manuscript to a publisher.
A lot of things have of course become easier with word processors, but using them to their full extent was a new skill set for me.
As I decided to not take the tradition route and self-publish I now had to master that role too. I can tell you it is not an easy one and publishers probably deserve their cut. Publishing your own book is one of the hardest things to do. So the latest trick this old dog is getting to grips with is Twitter. You can now follow me on:


I'm also doing another book promotion on Amazon on the 31st of January and the 1st and 2nd of February. Mainly to welcome new twitter followers. I've never used Twitter so it is all very weird and wonderful and we'll see how it goes. Here is the link:
Language in the Blood

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Free book offer

I’ve finally released my third book. Blood Ties, Book 2 in the Language in the Blood series is now available via Amazon. Unfortunately it is only available in e-book format. However, if you download the free Kindle app you can read it on your computer or tablet. Here is the link to stampede to the shop:

If you haven’t read the first book, you can download it for free on the 24th and 25th of January via the following link:

All reviews to my books are more than welcome and if you want me to review your book, leave me the link to your book here or contact me via facebook. I do have a few rules for the books I review.

1.       They have to be self-published; if you’re lucky enough to have a publisher you don’t need my help!

2.       To help you I will buy your book, but only if it is available on Amazon kindle and at 3$ (2£) or less.

3.       I work full time, so I will probably not get round to reviewing more than about a book a month.

4.       I will publish my review on my blog and Amazon, but only if it merits 3 stars or more. If I don’t like your book I’ll contact you with some notes.

5.       There are some genres I really don’t enjoy so don’t send me any links to erotica and horror. I don’t have children so I don’t think I can judge a children’s book, but young adult is fine.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

At long last

I'm so pleased to announce the publication of my third book. It is the follow up to Language in the Blood. Here is the link:

At the moment it is only available as an e-book on Amazon, but even if you don't have a kindle you can download the app for free that lets you read it on your computer. Keep watching this space because there will be a free promotion for a few days on the first book.

Now the really hard work starts of promoting the book and letting the world know that it is out there.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Little things
One thing I'd really missed since moving here had been the new years celebrations. Edinburgh's Hogmanay is something every one should experience at some point in their lives. This year I was determined to be there and already started planning in July. Despite the winter weather doing it's best by forcing the cancellation of a flight, we arrived in Edinburgh on the 27th of December only 9 hours later than intended. We've left Edinburgh only 4 years ago, surly not much would have changed?
The streets were indeed very familiar, but now a shiny new tram ran along it. The tram works are a thorn in many an Edinburgher's side as they ran horrendously over budget and time, but I think they are an improvement, they give the city a transport system fit for the 21st century. (They shouldn't have dug them up in the 60's, but what's done is done and I say 'welcome back trams')
The next day we didn't notice any changes, but plenty of things we never noticed before. It had us turning to each other and remarking 'well we're not in France anymore'
I'd forgotten how cold the wind could be, it cuts right through you. I don't think I'd ever worn a hat and gloves were we live. (I'm actually writing the blog on the balcony in my T-shirt)
Traffic lights take an age to change, leading to impatient pedestrians to take their lives in their hands by dashing over the road in front of traffic. Here the green light often coincides with the pedestrian light being on green too.(so take care when you go around a corner in France!)
Bit obvious but nobody says 'bonjour'. We had become very used to greeting everybody when entering lifts, busses and shops. If you do that in Scotland people think you're a complete idiot.
It felt very wrong to leave a pub without paying. Of course we had already paid when we placed our order but we had to keep reminding our self because we had become so used to a waiter coming to your table to serve you and then leaving a wee dish with the bill.
Maybe it was because of the huge influx of tourist over Hogmanay, but suitcases were everywhere. In the morning they rattled behind a tired looking tourist towards a tram or bus stop and in the afternoon they rattled cheerfully behind a fresh faced tourist looking for their hotel. I even spotted one rattling along a cinema isle. Probably someone with a long wait between checking out and checking in for their flight.
All in all we had a lovely time catching up with dear friends, but now I'm pleased to be back in the sun again, but now and then you need to do the things you miss and be reminded why you moved away in the first place.