Book Reviews · Fact Vs Fiction

Book Review – The Spook’s Curse By Joseph Delaney

 

 

The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward have travelled to Priestown for some unfinished business. For, deep in the catacombs of the cathedral, lurks the Spook’s nemesis – The Bane. A creature he has never been able to defeat. As Thomas and his master prepare for the battle of their lives it becomes clear that The Bane isn’t their only enemy in town. The Quisitor has arrived, searching the county for those who meddle with the dark – witches, warlocks and Spooks!

My mum gave me this series of books for my son to read, he was 10 at the time and just beginning to really get into reading for pleasure. Because he is autistic I decided to take a quick read first just to be sure that he would be able to follow the book and if I am honest I cant say who enjoyed this book more.

The book is well written and there is a great mix of characters. The plot is easy to follow and just dark enough to intrigue without risking nightmares for your pre-teen. The book also explores family dynamics, and the way not every member is born to follow the same path.

Along the way you see the characters also have some moral choices to make, choices about what is right and what is safest. The choices are not always easy to judge and the reader will have to explore the grey areas between black and white.

Even though this book is not aimed at me it was an enjoyable read and I have no problem giving it 5 out of five stars. It is a book I have recommend to numerous people looking for things their kids can read especially boys.

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Book Signings · Fact Vs Fiction · My Books

Myths And Legends

It has been a while since I logged into WordPress and I guess it will take me a while to adapt to this new look and I am most disappointed they took away the classic editor which I preferred over this. However, that is not the reason I am here today, normally Monday means a book review but today it is a shameless plug for a charity anthology I am part of. I really enjoyed writing this and hope you will enjoy not only my story but all the others included. The book was intended to launch for the Indie Love Signing in Cardiff which should have been happening this weekend but now has had to be cancelled until 2023. This book will be available for a limited time, but will be available again closer to the actual signing.

Tales of knights, dragons and curses are not just for children.

Join us as we get up close and personal with mythical creatures, magical moments and dashing quests for love as Indie Love presents The Myths & Legends Collection.

From Egyptian Gods to Arthurian legends, Robin Hood to Hades, there is something for everyone.

With 7 exclusive stories available for a limited time, are you ready for an epic romance?

You can grab your copy here but the 99p offer is ending very soon.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Flat Share By Beth O’Leary

 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast.
Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash.

Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly-imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I confess when my daughter first told me to read this, I resisted. I tend to avoid books where there seems to be lot of hype about it, mainly because they tend to let you down, but this one did the opposite, it far exceeded my expectations.

Yes, it is chick lit. but the characters written are not only realistic but also likeable, you find yourself rooting for them and rooting for that happy ending. I have to admit personally the idea of sharing a flat this way would terrify me in real life, yet in this modern world, where housing costs are increasingly expensive, shared houses and flats are becoming the norm for some people, especially for students and young single professionals. This makes the ideas behind this book even more intriguing, I loved the idea of leaving the hand written notes rather than just text messages, it provides a contrast against the ‘real’ lives of Tiffy and Leon. 

If you haven’t already guessed I totally recommend this book and you can grab your self a copy in your local bookshop or via amazon.

I give this 5 out of five stars along with thousands of others.

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Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review: The Murder Game By Rachel Abbott

That’s the thing about old friends… they never let you forget.

The first time Jemma and Matt were invited to Polskirrin – the imposing ocean-view home belonging to Matt’s childhood friend Lucas Jarrett – it was for an intimate wedding that ended in tragedy. Jemma will never forget the sight of the girl’s pale body floating listlessly towards the rocky shore.

Now, exactly one year later, Jemma and her husband have reluctantly returned at Lucas’s request to honor the anniversary of an event they would do anything to forget.

But what Lucas has in store for his guests is nothing like a candlelight vigil. Someone who was there that night remembers more than they’ll admit to, and Lucas has devised a little game to make them tell the truth.

Jemma believes she and Matt know nothing about what happened to that woman… but what if she’s wrong? Before you play a deadly game, make sure you can pay the price…

From the four-million-copy bestselling author of Sleep Tight comes a psychological thriller that will have you gripped until the last page. Perfect for fans of Something in the Water, The Woman in the Window and The Silent Patient.

I got this book via Bookbub I have a feeling I paid 99p for it, the title and the blurb just caught my attention and I decided to give it a go. Although Amazon and Goodreads list it as the second book in a series it honestly, felt like it could be read as a standalone, I haven’t read the first one and the detective whose series it is part of does not play a major role in this story until the last few chapters.

This book is about secrets, desire, and betrayal, and I loved it. The first part of the book is told from the point of view of the outsider in this group of friends, the one who married into the group and has no idea of their hidden past, a past where it seems everyone has something to hide.

Normally, I get who the murderer is half way through the book, and yes in this I did get one person right but I did not get the whole picture, there are twists and turns aplenty as you unravel what different characters are trying to hide.

I highly recommend this book and it is very reasonably priced so if you want to grab a copy try here.

I give this book five out of 5 stars.

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Book Reviews

Book Review – Shadows in the Mind by Hemmie Martin

 

 

The death of a patient in a psychiatric unit leads DI Eva Wednesday closer to the world she’s been trying to avoid. Attempting to separate paranoid emotions from reality proves challenging, and having her mother in the unit adds another layer of complication. As Wednesday begins to put the pieces of her case together, she is compelled to hold on tightly to her own sanity as the lives of those around her unravel before her eyes.

The next book in the DI Eva Wednesday series and this one is a little more personal. My grandma had dementia so it really hit home in the way her mum’s deterioration progresses, and the impact this has on all the other family as they fight to come to terms with it and the fact that it may also be waiting in their own future.

The author does a brilliant job of balancing the home/work life balance and how it is impossible for one not to impact on the other, no matter how hard you work to keep them separate. My only grip is that occasionally the intricacies of the different characters issues did lead me to having to flip back a page or two, to double check that I hadn’t missed something but I think that sometimes reading during lockdown my mind does wander,

The only other negative I have is that I wish Hemmie would number the books on Amazon, I know there are a couple more books I need but I want to buy them direct and have them signed like the ones I already have but for the rest of you you can find Hemmie’s books here

I love this series and hope that book signings will resume soon so I can see Hemmie again and complete my collection but in the meantime I give this book 5 out of five stars.

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Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Thirteen (Eddie Flynn #4) by Steve Cavanagh

 

The serial killer isn’t on trial. He’s on the jury.

Hollywood actor Robert Soloman stands accused of the brutal stabbings of his wife and her lover, but he is desperately pleading that he had nothing to do with it. This is the trial of the century, and the defence want Eddie Flynn on their team.

The biggest case Eddie has ever tried before, he decides to take it on despite the overwhelming evidence that Robert is guilty. As the trial starts, Eddie becomes sure of Robert’s innocence, but there’s something else he is even more sure of – that there is something sinister going on in the jury box.

Because of this, he is forced to ask: what if the killer isn’t on the stand? What if he’s on the jury?

There are very few crime books where I get to the end before I am sure who did it but this was one.

This was a great read on many levels, you have the dynamics of the crime itself but on top of that there is the complexities of human interactions and emotions within the jury. I have never sat on a jury, and obviously those I know who have cannot talk about it, but I can imagine that on a longer case it might be normal for relationships of one nature or another to develop between jurors, likewise there would be some who would really wind you up. It is the dynamics of these interactions which draw you in to this cleverly crafted book.

As it is a well known book I don’t think I need to say much more but I will give it five out of five star.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

Book Reviews

Book Review – The Hunted And Other Twisted Tales By Paul J Kearns.

The Hunted and other Twisted Tales is an anthology.

The titular story, The Hunted, tells of two young vampires caught in a mortal battle with an ancient werewolf. They will have to use all their abilities to try and outsmart an enemy who is far superior to them in every aspect.

Within the other pages of the book you will find six more short stories crossing genres of horror, action and dark fantasy. They have a running theme of supernatural transformation and supernatural beings beyond the realm human of human understanding.

With elements of gore and dark humour these stories are not intender for the faint of heart.

This is a book that has me divided because I actually enjoyed the stories, my favourite and one I highly recommend is In The Basement, but I have to be honest I hated the actual book itself. So, let’s take this one bit at a time.

The stories themselves are well crafted and had some interesting plot twists, I liked them enough to have a favourite, as mentioned previously, and I would highly recommend this as a book to read on kindle.

Here is where it gets tricky, and I feel bad. I like the cover, black, white, and read classic horror colours and fangs, of course, leave you in no doubt what you are about to get, I did remind me of Hammer House of Horror, and some people might think it looks a little dated and simple but for me it was okay.

The problems start when you open the book and are met by stark white sheets rather than cream (a mistake I made when I first published Disintegration. and one that I have to confess I am stuck with as Amazon does not allow you to change). This is something that is part of the learning curve, the next bit is a personal bugbear of mine, if you are going to publish an anthology or short story collection you need to put in a contents page. I know it is not a long book and I did read it in one session, but it is still something I would expect to see.

Now, the next thing is something that I was also guilty of when I first published but have since gone back and remedied, and that is that the text has not been justified, when you do the copy for Kindle it doesn’t matter their software does it for you, but once you put it into the print form you really should, it just looks so much better and more professional. And again you could say that does not matter but when you are competing against so many other books you have to present your work as best you can, which brings me to the final thing, the editing.

Throughout the book it is just too inconsistent, one paragraph is indented then the next half a dozen are not, speech seems to be indented the majority of the time. I am not going to say it stopped me wanting to read the book but several times when I had to put it down it made it hard to find my place again which annoyed me.

All the issues are so easy to fix (except the white paper he is stuck with that) he just needs to find to find someone to help him with the editing or proofreading just to point things out, something we all needed when beginning our writing journey. I really hope he does find someone to help him because he has real talent with the writing side of things, and that he is not too upset when he reads this.

Because of the issues I have to give this book 3.5 out of five stars if it was edited properly there would be an extra full star there, but please consider reading this on your kindle as I say the stories are actually good.

If you want to find out more about Paul you can find him here.

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review Super Mum? By Stacey Broadbent

This is not my usual type of book but I picked it up at a signing after meeting the author.

Have you ever had to repaint an entire room because your daughter likes to draw on walls? Only to have her draw on the new paint within a matter of days?
I have.

Have you ever had to scrub another person’s bathroom because your other daughter didn’t quite make it in time, and thought the best idea was to smear it on the walls and toilet seat?
I have.

All I ever wanted was to be a mum.
Turns out, it’s not quite what I imagined it to be. I’m not that perfectly dressed, refined mother who’s always portrayed on TV.
No. That’s not me.
I make mistakes. My children aren’t perfect. In fact, they can be downright devilish at times.

And I have three of them. Three!

What the hell was I thinking?

This is a crazy story of the desire for child number four, even though hubby is not quite on the same page. I have two kids fifteen years apart so I cannot imagine the craziness three, and that is from someone who is the oldest of five kids, but I think it was easier when there were less demands from social media to be the perfect parent.

The author takes you through a few weeks in her life, the book cover is illustrated by her son so it truly is a family enterprise and is a fun easy read. I think anyone with kids will recognise elements in this book I know a few times I laughed out loud knowing I had been in a similar position.

It is a quick read but I still give it a five out of five stars for making me laugh.

If you want to find out more about her books you can find her here

Lazy Sunday

My Year So Far!

I should have started recording episodes for the podcast by now but I am still trying to get my microphone set up again so I thought I would share a few photos from the last week and a half since the start of 2021.

This is the cover to this years journal, the last year I had a rose gold glittery one and given how the year went I decided on this one this year that is a little plainer with a classic feel to the floral enhancement. Let’s hope this year I get to write about a couple of signings.

This has been my life for most of this year so far, either mud or the ground is frozen and every hoof print filled with ice.

Sunday the 3rd we brought Preeya out of the field for the first time, she handled it really well, she is almost as big as mummy now can’t believe she is only nine months old.

Monday I headed to my daughters, I thought I would share these with you so you understand why I usually take photos with my head to one side, if you look at the first photo you can see I have a fat and thin side to my face. Other people can tell you it doesn’t look as bad as you think it looks but one you have it in your head no one will tell you otherwise.

Tuesday saw me back at work, we have these t-shirts, we play messages over the tannoy but guess what people are still not staying back, I get not everyone believes there is a virus, I am not getting into that but even if you don’t believe does it really hurt you to keep your distance from people, I want my life back, I want to see my family and friends, that can only happen if people apply common sense.

Wednesday morning just who ended up sat in the mud while dragging straw down the field to where the horses stand to have their hay. Maybe I should buy waders rather than wellies!!

Thursday morning I was debating what I could share and I thought I would show you the odd random item from my house that I love, this is my dream catcher that hangs above my bed. I normally remember my dream and it is very rare I have a bad one, I have had this for years but lately it is beginning to lose the odd feather.

Coming home from work Friday night it started snowing but it is hard to catch the snow on your mobile camera lol,

I was thankful to have my hat with me though as it was cold.

Saturday we had snow but not enough to really slow the pace of life, helped my friend take two of her horses out for their feet trimming and for a quick walk round the block as the roads were clear.

Saturday night lockdown style and the only affection I was getting was a nose rub from the cat. 

Hope you all are staying safe and making the most of each day in any way you can.