Thursday, 14 January 2016

The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories

I love and hate Sci-fi almost in equal measures.  I don’t understand tech- babble at the best of times, add to this warp-speed, phasors and other futuristic tech-speak and I’m completely lost. What I do love is where the writer’s imagination can take you. Sci-fi is a wonderful blank canvas to paint your own colourful picture. In The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories, Tom Benson and his six guest authors have used their canvas well. If Techno-babble is used it is to quickly outline a futuristic world and to set the scene.  I loved that each of the guest authors had chosen a completely different theme and style; which makes this book a great show case for Sci-Fi writing. This is selection of short stories that is easy to read, with something for everyone. (Even for fans of erotica!) I gave this 5 stars.
The Welcome: and other Sci-Fi stories on Amazon

Monday, 11 January 2016

Updated Layout

You might have noticed that I have changed the page a little. When I initially set up the blog I was led by what other bloggers were doing. Even though I review a lot of books my blog is not a reviewers blog but a writers blog. I found as such that adverts were not appropriate and I have removed most of them. You might have also noticed a new logo to the side. If you click on it it will take you to a treasure chest full of independent books. The group has it's roots in the facebook group started by Paul Ruddock. My thanks go out to Tom Benson and Ian D Moore who have worked so hard on this website and I will hope it will put my fellow indie writers and I on the map.
Indie Author Support and Discussion

Friday, 8 January 2016

A Noble Pair of Brothers (The Underwood Mysteries Book 1) by Suzanne Downes

Firstly happy new year to you all. I can't believe it has been nearly a month since my last blog. In my defence; I've not had much time to read so it took me a while to finish this book, even though it was a cracking read. I have been busy with writing and Conversations with Tom is reaching completion. For the first time I will be using Beta readers. Three very kind fellow writers are reading the draft and will hopefully come back with some constructive criticism. I'm hoping for a release date in April. So as for resolutions. I thing I hope to achieve is to establish myself more as a brand, not an easy task as my short stories and now Conversations with Tom are so very different from the Language in the Blood books. Maybe I should release Tom under a different name? Maybe I should do a 3rd Language in the Blood book? Now the first book in the series is free and the readership is increasing this seems a logical thing to do. Lots to think about in 2016, now the review:
A Noble Pair of Brothers by Suzanne Downes on Amazon

I liked this book very much. At times I felt myself transported to a Victorian front room, snuggled up in a velvet house coat in front of a roaring fire. Only to put my kindle down, and blink against the harsh sunlight. (As I live in southern France.) Suzanne Downes really brought the 1820’s to life for me with her use of language and attention to period detail. The romantic story line and how the Underwood brothers interact with women reminded me a lot of Jane Austen. Like Ms Austen this book is witty but also shows the plight of women in the early 1800’s; Ms Chapell, the Governess, who after the death of her father has no option but to take a post at the tyrannical Sir Henry Wynter household, where she is disrespected and bullied. Then there is Charlotte Wynter, Sir Henry’s pretty, but spoiled daughter that is keen to marry, as this will be her only escape from her alcoholic father.
The murder plot brings this book firmly into the modern era. It had me guessing to the last and the unsavoury details surrounding the murder are certainly not something you would find in an Austen novel. The Underwood brothers are two very complex but also very English characters and I understood their actions. I’m intrigued to find out where the second book takes us as neither brother had set out to become a detective. (Yet!) I’m delighted there are seven books in the series as I want to read more by this writer. A must read for fans of mystery and period drama.

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.