Fact Vs Fiction

31 Outlook Hotel – Introduction, Interlude 1 & Act One

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-h7ify-e2f089

Apologies for the sound quality all well be fixed by the next episode, I am going to be reading this amazing project I was honoured to be part of over the coming weeks. you can either listen to the episodes or grab yourself the free ebook and read ahead.

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Wilt In Nowhere by Tom Sharpe

When his endlessly capricious wife Eva receives plane tickets for the family to visit Auntie Joan and Uncle Wally in Atlanta, Wilt knows only one thing – that nothing could entice him to fly three thousand miles over the water, and especially not two rotund Americans with more money than sense. What better way to escape and find equilibrium then to embark on a walking tour? Just Wilt, the countryside, and an ill-judged bottle of whiskey…

Meanwhile, Eva finds her plans to inherit Joan and Wally’s fortune slipping away faster than her sanity, thanks to a combination of sinister teenage quadruplets with foul mouths, and her unexpected role as lead suspect in a drug-trafficking plot.

Outrageous, darkly comic, and packed with calamity on top of calamity, Tom Sharpe’s latest episode of Wilt’s misadventures is a razor-sharp farce that will delight fans both old and new.

I love these books, just when you think that Wilt’s life cannot get any more complicated, Tom Sharpe dreams up another set of outrageous circumstances for him. You could read this as a standalone book however, I would recommend the full series so you do not miss out on any of the extraordinary circumstances that have plagued Wilt and led him to the insanity that his life has become.

Witty, absurd, and verging on the unbelievable this storyline takes you sauntering through the English countryside at an increasingly erratic pace, you find yourself feeling for the unlucky Wily and questioning how many mirrors he must have broken as a child for his life to turn out this way.

No surprise this is a 5 out of five stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – In The light of Madness By Hemmie Martin

 

As always we start with the Goodreads Blurb….

A murdered boy in a Cambridgeshire graveyard sets in motion an investigation into the local church and school, with suspicions of a cult murmured throughout the community. With their first case, DI Eva Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox explore the various levels of desperation and malice that can stem from an unhappy or dissatisfied life, where no one takes responsibility for their actions. They quickly find that everyone harbours a secret which, left uncontrolled, can bring forth devastating self-destruction.

I really enjoyed this book, there is a good balance between the procedural side of the story and the home lives of the characters.  The characters are diverse and I can see them developing and providing more interest as the series develops.

I think there are a few different things that give the reader pause for thought in this storyline, the family issues regarding hereditary illnesses, the dynamics of families and, the ways that roles are taken on by different members are relatable. The bond is there between the sisters despite their obvious differences, however, the portrayal of their relationship is realistic and in many ways reflects the struggles of inequalities in the siblings in terms of responsibility and emotional requirements.

The procedural side is well researched and enjoyable, it is informative without getting bogged down in every detail. Overall this is a great start to a series and I look forward to reading more.

I am thrilled to say I can give this 5 out of five stars.

Amazon Uk link

Author FB page here

Author website https://hemmiemartin.com/

Book Reviews

Book Review – Jenna By Tom Stearns

To protect her sister, Jenna endures a living hell at the hands of her mother and ‘uncles’.
But when the boys at her school think they can do the same they are dead wrong.

From the author of ‘Wrong Place, Wrong Time’ comes ‘Jenna’; a harrowing tale of abuse and bloody revenge.

WARNING 18+ NOT FOR THE EASILY OFFENDED.

First let’s address the warning, serious, pay attention! although not graphic in the descriptions of the abuse you are left in no doubt about the hell that Jenna has to endure. This storyline is tragically all too believable and although the ultimate outcome may not be one that would happen in real life the events that take us to that point very well could.

The characters are well written and truly believable your heart will break not only for Jenna but for her younger sisters innocence that she is fighting so hard to protect. You will want to reach inside the pages of this book and slap the mother for the way she participates in her daughter’s destruction.

This is a story of abuse and survival, of how things escalate, and the consequences of a girl trying to get through each day. It is well written the only complaint may be that you are left wanting more, that you feel you need to know what happens at the end whether Jenna can ever truly have a happy ending or whether she is damaged beyond repair. We can only hope that the author will answer these questions with a sequel at some time in the future.

For stars I give this 5 out of five very disturbed stars, it is not easy to read but once you start you will be gripped.

Amazon UK link

Find the author on FB here

Fact Vs Fiction

Storytime – Empty From Disintegration & Other Stories

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-sd4ad-de4784

This week is a story week and I read one of my own short stories, Empty. this is a favourite of mine because it links my two short story collections.

Flights of Fancy · Tuesday Reflections

My Sims 4 Challenge – Starting up!

Years ago my daughter got me into playing Sims, it is something I play every now and again but never seem to stick to the challenges but now I have decided to set myself a new one and I will be sharing it with you. I got the idea after watching this video…

So my plan is to redevelop the lots basing the Sims on the characters in my books. It will obviously be a slow project as I don’t have a lot of time to play but I will set aside one or two hours per week to do this then share with you how it is progressing.

If you have read the books then feel free to throw in lots of feedback, the first lots will be based on the first Queen of Ages trilogy book and feature the characters from there. I will start off with two households, Celdwady and Brawd, as father and son, then  Jacantha and Trywn as a married couple.

I don’t have the cheats so it will be based on the base game and the packs we have. if any of my author friends have SIms 4 and fancy taking up this challenge or readers if you wish to create a world based on characters from your favourite books share with me on social media what you create.

So let’s begin…

I have started with the Celdwady/Brawd household and I decided that instead of one big house I would create a collection of huts for them…

The photos are not brilliant, I must have removed the screen recording app I used before for screenshot so had to take it on my phone, I will remedy that before next week. There is a fourth hut to add as I intend having one as a kitchen-living area, one as a study, a bathroom and then finally one for the bedroom. They have both got followed the conservation path in terms of career, this fits in best with a Druidic lifestyle from the choices available.

As you can see the interiors are quite sparse at the minute because you really don’t get a lot of funds to start a house from scratch on a vacant lot but I will come back and play this a couple of times to get all the basics in before I start building the next household.

The interiors will take a little more work and moving things around but it is a work in progress, the worst thing was trying to create the actual sims themselves, although I have made Celdwady an elder no way does he look anywhere near old enough. The sim you can see in the photos is Brawd, I will do some pictures of the sims and how I set them up at a later date if anyone is interested.

I decided to set up the Queen of Ages Characters in The Magic Realm expansion pack but as I think there are only four or five lots it will mean trying to keep as many characters from each book constrained within the lots, maybe one for each book, then, one for the bad guy/guys.

Do you, or have you ever played Sims? Or any of the other games where you recreate life such as Second Life, I joined that to go to the Duran Duran Universe there and attend club night where the actual band members were online being the DJ. If you do or have let me know your experiences in comments and if you do a post showing off yours ping those links to me.

Fact Vs Fiction

Thoughts On Thursday – If you could speak another language, which would it be and why?

This is a question I have considered before. At school, I did 5 years of Frech and left with an O-level, and one year of German which I really could not get my head around, but the language I really wanted to learn was not available on the school curriculum. Italian has always sounded so musical and passionate, plus combined with the French I already knew I would have been able to pick out a little more Latin.

I have considered trying to learn it now with youtube course such as this …

But I have to be honest the idea of conjugating verbs really makes my head hurt and it is easier to learn languages when you are younger so my chance has probably passed. The fact is it is a beautifully expressive language and the best example of how emotive it can be is to be found in opera, this scene in particular from Hannibal…

You don’t need to understand the actual words to feel the pain behind them, I am not an opera buff, in fact if i am honest I am not a huge opera lover but this one gave me goosebumps the very first time I heard it.

They say Italian is the language of love and I think that is probably down to the way even a shopping list can sound passionate, while arguments may sound more heated than they actually are you would never accuse those involved of not caring about the subject being discussed.

What language would you like to learn? Answers on the comments section…

 

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

His Garden: Conversations With A Serial Killer by Anne K. Howard

This week something a little different with some true crime…

 

You want to know what happened? Ask Anne.”—serial killer William Devin Howell

A monster was on a killing spree. In just nine months, seven people went missing; all of their bodies eventually discovered in a wooded lot behind a suburban strip mall. But the investigation that led law enforcement to their suspect, William Devin Howell, is only part of the story behind HIS GARDEN: Conversations With A Serial Killer.

A practicing attorney, author Anne K. Howard first contacted Howell while he was serving a fifteen-year sentence for the murder of one of his seven victims. He was about to be charged for the remaining six murders. A unique and disturbing friendship between the two began, comprised of written correspondence, face-to-face prison visits and recorded phone calls. Howell, who had been unwilling to speak to any members of the media, came to trust Howard.

In the years that follow, the suspect shared his troubled history with Howard but refused to discuss the charges against him, promising only to tell her everything when the case was over.

That time has come.

HIS GARDEN probes the complicated and conflicted mind of William Devin Howell–Connecticut’s most prolific serial killer. Both sacred and profane in its narrative style, the story on these pages explores the eternal question of human evil and its impact on others, including the woman he chose to hear his horrific confession.

William Devlin Howell was not a serial killer that I was acquainted with, then I heard Anne Howard on a podcast discussing her book and decided to give it a read. I am fascinated by true crime, what makes a serial killer into the monster, could things have been different, was there a different path the could have taken. this book looks at all those traditional true-crime elements as you would expect but it also gives you a very different and unique insight into the world of true crime writing.

Anne Howard talks candidly about the role of the author in these types of books, about the conflicts raised within her by the act of interacting with the serial killer and finding that it is not always that easy to reconcile the man and his actions. I think that is, of course, one of the most intriguing aspects, so many times when someone is arrested for the most horrific crimes we hear friends and neighbours speak to what a lovely man he was, how polite, how quiet, but it makes sense, the victims would be more wary of a freak, of someone outwardly strange or aggressive but the nice guy can get victims alone so much easier.

In an age where journalists are often criticised for the lengths they will go to for a story, it is nice to read about the fact that the decisions to go down certain routes, is not always as easy as it may seem, and also that while dealing with someone who saw his victims as less than human, she was able to show them as the vulnerable flawed people they were and give their families some, albeit painful, answers.

This is not an easy read, at times it does seem to drag a little however, I would say it is worth pushing through it, the book is not as sensationally told as some other true crime books but it is one of the most thought provoking I have read.

I give this book 4 out of five stars.

Book Reviews

Book Review – The Cottage By Lavinia Urban

 

Lydia is left reeling as she discovers that for the past eight years there has been a block on her memories.
Not only is she a shapeshifting witch but she is also a Gatekeeper to the Dark Realms.
Giving up the only life she knows Lydia travels back to her home town of Mystic Valley where things become heated when she meets her soulmate in her dreams.
Follow Lydia as she discovers who she really is as she tries to unlock all of her memories.

As those of you who have been around for a while know, Lavinia was a dear friend who passed away last year, that being said I always review book straight down the line and this one will be no different.

This book is a quick read, it is aimed at YA and I read it in a day, but that is not to say that it does not have substance. Although this was intended to be the start of a series it can be read alone, it is a paranormal coming of age story and while I will not deny that some readers may find it frustrating that we never learn everything there is to know, I do think it is a good enough start to make it worth reading nevertheless.

There are a few typos but nothing that can distract you from the story and as Lavinia is not around to fix them I feel it unfair to hold those against her. Part of me wished she had written this as an adult series but that was not her preferred genre and I have to judge this book for what it is and know if I have come across this age 12-13 I would have absolutely raved about it.

So I am giving my score based upon how it would relate to it’s intended audience, I have no qualms about giving this a 5 out of five stars, and remember that sales of this book help Lavinia’s family continue without her and show she is not forgotten.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars