Audiobook Reviews · Book Reviews

Book Review – The Girl in the Ice (Detective Erika Foster #1) by Robert Bryndza

 

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

I started reading this in print form but then swapped to listening to it on audiobook, and I have to say this book really lends itself to that format really well. I love that the main character in this book is a flawed female, she is not ‘strong’ she is human, she can be strong but she also is broken and vulnerable, that makes her more relatable than some of the strong female characters you often find in police procedurals.

The overall story line is good, and plays with the idea that if you have enough money you can get away with anything, the characters are well written, as are the descriptive passages, you can visualise the scenes set for you.

Because I did listen to it on audio book I do have to also comment on the fact that the narrator nailed it, I completely loved her voice and the way she told the story.

I am so far behind and writing these reviews he has written a full series and is onto a second crime thriller series, and I am going to be honest I was unsure what to expect from this book when I first read it when it came out. I have read and loved Robert’s Romcom series following the exploits Coco Pinchard but I think it may be fair to say that he has now found his true genre.

I give this an outstanding 5 out of five stars and highly recommend checking this series out.

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

Book Review – The Plan By Whitney Dineen

Bead shop owner Amelia Frothingham has been keeping a secret from everyone she knows.

She pretends to be the ultimate care-free bohemian chick, but the truth is, she’s the world’s biggest control freak. Much to the delight of her Southern family, Amelia’s life appears to be smooth sailing. That is, until bad boy rockstar Huck Wiley mysteriously blows into town like a spring tornado.

Like every other woman under eighty with a pulse, Amelia’s intrigued. So when Huck starts showing up in her shop with flirtation in mind, she finds herself getting sucked into the rock god vortex. But her previous attempts at long-distance love have always ended on a sour note, so Amelia has vowed never to repeat the experience.

What Amelia doesn’t know is that Huck has a secret of his own, and he has no intention of returning to Los Angeles before he’s good and ready.

Will Huck stay in town, scattering the beads Amelia has finally gotten sorted? Or will he head back to his glamorous life and take her last chance at spontaneity and love along with him?

Find out in this deliciously funny romcom about love and life in Creek Water, Missouri!

I grabbed this book as a freebie via bookbub and I sort of wish I had come across it another way. The book is the third in the series and, although it can be read as a standalone, the fact is, once you have read it there is not a lot of point in going back to read the others. As they are all interconnected around one family so by starting at book three you know the outcomes of book one and two, but I will confess to going on and reading book four, and I will be reviewing that at a later date.

I loved the characters and even though it is set in a small town the author manages to ensure there is a real diversity both amongst the local and those who are introduced in this story. This is a clean romance so for those who like things dark and steamy, you should probably give it a miss. but overall an enjoyable story.

I give this four out of five stars, partly for annoying me by giving book three away free instead of book one but also I would have just liked a little bit more interaction between some of the characters.

6. Saturday · So it's Saturday

Weekly Round Up -Saturday 2nd January 2021

Podcasts

I have let my back catalogue of podcasts build up lately, and especially in December, apart from listening to one or two that you have heard about before I had been letting others slide but this week I began listening to some I am way behind on starting with Court Junkie. As you know if you have read these before I love true crime and this one looks at the on going court cases and their back stories. You can listen for yourself here.

Music

I have been listening to more music and especially the latest Kylie album Disco, I am also working on the Spotify playlist for the book I am working on, so far it is a mix of 80’s pop and dance music but am sure there will be some more steamy tunes getting added as the book progresses.

This Kylie tune is on there and is also my ring tone…

Reading

I have been reading lots of dark romances and fluffy love stories the last few months, billionaires, mafia bosses, and gangsters, lots however, have also had strong female characters. I would like to palm this off as research but the truth is I have wanted quick easy reads that don’t require too much thought, but I have also been listening to the new Robert Bryndza series on audio book, I finished book one and loved it and am two thirds of the way through the second, I do need to go back and finish the first police series he wrote too. you can find the new series here on Amazon in all formats and I will be reviewing it.

Watching – TV

I haven’t watched much normal TV over the festive period this year but the one thing I know you are expecting me to post about is Doctor Who however, that is sat on TV waiting to be watched this evening, the only other programme on a normal channel I have been watching is All Elite Wresting, I have always said that Pro Wrestling shows are the best soaps around, this week sadly they have been mourning the passing of one of their stars so this clip is a week older.

Watching – Film

As I mentioned with books I have been reading lots of romance and the same goes for films, I have been watching lots of Rom Coms that do not require a lot of concentration my favourite of these was The Holiday with Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, the idea of a house swap is both appealing and terrifying, I would love to stay in someone else’s house but hate them being in mine going through my stuff and judging me lol. I know a lot of people will have seen this film years ago but just in case here is the trailer…

 

Watching – Netflix

The Netflix pic for this week is a festive Rom Com, it is of of the multitude of festive films I have watched but this made me laugh the most…

 

Don’t forget to leave your recommendations for what to watch or listen to in the comments below.

Resolutions 2021

2021 At last! Thank Goodness 2020 is done.

A new year means a new start, and of course, resolutions about making the new year better than the previous, and I am no different. Last year I allowed events in both my personal life and the world in general distract me and wear me down until I lost my writing mojo. I made an attempt to rally however, I failed there after a couple of good weeks it all went back downhill, but I took a different approach and decided to prepare to make 2021 my best year yet. So here we go with this years writing resolutions…

  1.  I will blog at least five times a week. I previously had quite a good following on here and plenty of interactions, I will work on regaining that audience and rewarding those who have stood by me for whom I have the greatest respect and affection.
  2.  I will publish a minimum of four books this year, I have a couple already well under way and want to get the rest of the Queen Of Ages Trilogy published so I can move on to the two other series that I have floating around in my head.
  3. I will make sure all pries are posted out within two weeks of them being won unless I am waiting for a postal address.
  4. I will get the podcast back up and running and be consistent at that, I will also arrange for interviews with author friends as part of that.
  5. I will get the Raven’s Rest Press website set up to allow readers to order print copies of my books, which can be signed and shipped to them if they cannot attend signings.
  6. Once the trilogy is finished I will look at creating the special hard back trilogy version.

So just half a dozen resolutions to get by backside back on track, let me know in comments, do you make resolutions? If so, what are they?

Happy New Year to all and remember…

Book Reviews

Book Review – Hunter’s Claim (The Alliance Book 1) By S.E. Smith

Jesse Sampson and her two younger sisters have lived a hard life on the streets of Seattle, Washington for the past several years.

Four years before, the Earth received its first visitors from space causing mass fear.

Alone in a world gone mad with just her sisters, she has learned to use the darkness and the remains of the city to survive and keep what was left of her family alive. She has seen the savage side of human nature and finds they are not much different from the aliens who conquered Earth.

The Trivators have taken control of Earth to prevent the humans from destroying it in their fear.

A world of warriors, they are sent out by the Alliance of Star Systems to seek out new worlds. Their mission is first contact. They are to establish communications with the leaders of the new worlds they find and bring them into the Alliance.

Any resistance is to be quickly subdued to prevent unnecessary death of the inhabitants of the new worlds they find. Their payment comes from the success of their mission.

Hunter is what he is called. A hunter, one of the elite clans of the Trivators who seek out those who resist. His abilities to track, capture and eliminate those who try to harm any warrior is renowned.

He finds the tables turned when he becomes the one captured by a group of ruthless humans. Hunter is shocked when a strange human female risks her life to help him escape only to disappear into the ruins of the city.

He now has a new mission, finding the female who saved his life. He is determined to find her before she is damaged by others of her kind.

What he finds is a reward beyond comprehension to a Trivator warrior, a family.

Can he convince Jesse that he can give her and her younger sisters a better life on his world? Or will fear keep her from accepting what he has to offer?

I have really mixed feeling on this book, on the one hand the writing is brilliant and the characters the author has created are engaging and you do find your self pulling for them but, on the other hand I do have a couple of issues with this.

I think the biggest problem I have is the time line of the story, it seems to be that Jesse and her sisters decide to completely trust these aliens far too quickly, I would like to have seem some sort of allusion to a passing of time where they had resisted and protested a little bit more. I do understand wanting to keep the book to a reasonable length but I would have much preferred it to have been split into two books, on the voyage to a new land where the relationship’s between Earthlings and aliens is built up over more time with greater mental and physical conflict, and the second bit starting with their arrival at the new world and a lot more description of the adjustments to arriving in this incredible new place.

However, I have to judge it based on how it is, so I am going to give it a four out of 5 stars, I did enjoy it I just wanted more.

You can get the book here…

Hunter’s Claim: Science Fiction Romance (The Alliance Book 1) eBook: Smith, S.E.: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

And find out more about the author here…

SE Smith | Facebook

Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Rightful Owner by Hemmie Martin

When a murder occurs in an exclusive swingers’ club, DI Wednesday and DS Lennox find themselves immersed in a murky world of sex and secrets. It doesn’t take long for the members to turn on one another, and for their clandestine affairs to come crashing into their everyday lives. As Wednesday experiences the pressures of work and caring for her mother’s mental illness, and Lennox’s ex-wife has him worrying about the sustainability of his role as a father, their case brings about questions of personal freedom and they begin to wonder if we are all, in fact, owned in one way or another.

This is the second book in this series and I really enjoyed it, each case is different from the last and this one takes the reader behind the curtains of the rich and privileged. The plot takes the detectives into a world where the rich believe they are above the law and that they have the right to do as the please.

This is contrasted with the mundane issues faced by the detectives in their personal lives, how to balance work and home, while maintaining a clear head in order to solve the crimes.

I recommend this book and hope that there will be more to come in the future, I give this five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars

You can get the book here…

Rightful Owner eBook: Martin, Hemmie: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

And if you want to interact with Hemmie you can find her on FB here…

 Hemmie Martin Author Page | Facebook

 

1. Monday · Book Reviews · Monday Musings

Book Review – Living a lie, Part One By M.L. Kacy

Because I have so many book reviews to get done I am going to do a second one on a Tuesday until I catch up…

 

In your early adult years, you think that you know it all. Well that’s how I was looking back on my life. Nearly nineteen-years later, it’s true what they say, you always learn by your mistakes, mistakes make you into a stronger person. Boy, did I make a hell of a lot of mistakes. I never thought that my life would turn out the way that it did. There are only four things that I would never regret, my four beautiful children. They were, and still are, my saving grace, my redemption of sorts. When the darkness became too much, thoughts of them would pull me into the light.

This is my story, it’s not a story that is all sweetness and light. It’s a story of love, regret, devastation, darkness and maybe a little redemption.

So here we are, I shall start from the beginning.
Part One

***Disclaimer- Some of the content in this book can cause triggers for some. Also, contains profanity, erotic scenes and only suitable for readers 18+***

This book is biographical of an extraordinary woman who has overcome so much in her life. Reading this as just a reader you cannot help but fell so much empathy for the main ‘character’ Rhea, I don’t want to say too much but she goes through events which are so traumatic and it is so well written that you do feel her pain and empathise with her.

For me reading this as someone who actually knows the author it adds another level of heartbreak and you want to run over to her and give her a big hug. The only issue I have is that I only bought part one, I strongly recommend buying the newer versions with part one and two together.

I give this a heart wrenching five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
1. Monday · Monday Musings

Book Review – The Runaway In Love, the Runaway Trilogy: Book 2 By Helen Bright

With police interviews and an ongoing threat to contend with, Kolya has to work harder than ever to keep his young wife safe. His vow to respect her innocence becomes harder with each passing day, so when an opportunity to create distance presents itself, he doesn’t hesitate to take it.
Tess is in love, though she’s finding it difficult to deal with her husband’s high-handed behaviour. Due to her background and fiery temper, she has little respect for authority, which often leads to potentially volatile situations.
If they want their marriage to survive, both will have to compromise, and give in to the soul-deep feelings which have gripped them since the day they met.

The story continues and if you want to read my review about the first story you can find it here, I love this series, the whole premise of the series fascinates me, I know some people may find it hard to believe what Kolya would take Tess under his wing but the whole thing of being responsible for a person who saves your life and vice versa intrigues me . It also helps that the characters are so well written, there are such a variety and each has been given the same attention even if they are a secondary character or only appear for a brief period in the story.

I confess to being friends with the author but the only way this influences me is in that I can nag her to get the final part of the trilogy out and then move on to telling us more about the other characters.

For me the score on this is so easy, five out of 5 stars.

3d rendering of 5 gold stars
#Nano2020

Nano Update 2 – 08/11/20

The week started off so well, I was writing every day and even though I wasn’t quite hitting the targets I wasn’t far off. The life happened, or more specifically  combination of incidents at the day job, I was left emotionally and physically drained and missed several days, In previous years this would be the point I would have just thrown the towel in, life was against me, what was the point.

But this year is different, this year I am not letting others drain my dreams and destroy my future, today I take control of my life again and get back to the writing. Before it all went wrong I did hit another milestone…

Of course most people have hit that by the end of day three and buy day seven should have doubled it and added some, but for me it is a spur to push me to up those stats and get those words down, so let’s see where my restart is beginning…

5309 / 50000 total words
On average, you write  663 words per day!
At this rate you’ll be done on January 14, 2021!
I guarantee this story will be finished long before that but in order to do so I must not let myself be distracted and let other people determine my actions and my life. Hopefully by Wednesday I will have much better numbers to discuss.