Book Review – The Surgeon By Tess Gerritson

Confession this was a reread…

Sorry for the quality of the picture, I always try to find a picture of the cover I have on my book, so on with the Goodreads blurb…

In Boston, there’s a killer on the loose. A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these killings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful medic with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and attempted murder but she shot her attacker dead. Now she is being targeted by the new killer who seems to know all about her past, her work, and where she lives.

The man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her once again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…

The fact I decided to reread this does give you a clue I enjoyed it, though to be fair my book piles are all messed up so I may reread a lot over the coming months. This is the first book in the Rizzoli & Isles series though we do not actually meet Isles at this point. I had forgotten how little we actually get to know about Rizzoli in this book and went into it with knowledge gained from the rest of the series and influenced by the TV series and I have to say it does actually change the reading. This first meeting with Rizzoli she is brash, reactive and a little bit of a stereotype, she reminds me of Cagney from the Cagney & Lacey TV series, I think this is in part because other than the victims she is the only female character and is made to look harder as a result. I really did believe when I picked this book up I would award it a five, I am sure that is what I would have probably done after the initial read but in this read through there were issues.

The book is supposed to be the first in a series centred around two characters, yet we only meet one of them, I can forgive this because I would assume when the author first wrote this she possibly did not know she would make it a series and involved the second female character, however for the first part of this book Rizzoli is almost a secondary character and almost treated like the bitchy woman scorned in some places. The interactions with Rizzoli and many of her colleagues are quite clichéd, though I appreciate it is realistic that a woman cop has to work harder to prove herself  certain aspects such as the tampax in the water bottle I would hope would be outdated with improvements to workplace equal rights laws, but to be fair I cannot comment to whether this would be factually true. Overall I still enjoyed it and I know I loved it the first time round, I cannot decide if you would enjoy this more going into it with the knowledge from the TV series or not, I think it may spoil the story but give the character more depth.

I had to stop to think about the score I would give this and decided that I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars, it will be interesting to reread more of this series.

Looking towards the future!

Over the last couple of months while I have been suffering from lethargy in terms of posting I have been working away behind the scenes and I thought today I would take the chance to fill you in on some of what is going on in the background.

The first thing is I have signed up for a course on Exploring Copyright: History, Culture, Industry it is a free 4 week course, just 3 hours a week. you might wonder why I would take on doing extra study when I am already snowed under and I am not gaining a qualification from it but I am looking at it as a chance to gain knowledge which may be useful going forward. We all know in this Internet age that cyber-piracy is something many authors are coming up against, work plagiarised or republished on pirate sites where they are given away for free, and while some will argue that gaining readers this way is a counterbalance to the loss of earning on that book, for others it is a loss they cannot afford. We all write the copyright notice at the front of our books but how much of it do we understand, what actual rights we have and protections are offered by it. If you are interested you can find more details here.

The other thing I have been looking into is publishing options, it was brought up on FB a couple of weeks ago that there were other options for print on demand other than KDP and Createspace, so I took a little time to look into it. The most popular way is the use Createspace however I have found a suggestion that long term it may be best to use a combination of Createspace and Ingram Sparks, you can read the article I found helpful here. The trilogy I am working on at the minute will remain on Createspace as setting up the other requires money to invest in buying ISBN numbers but I have begun the process of getting ready for this for future series. When you buy the block of numbers you register them to an imprint name and I have decided to go with Raven’s Rest Press, I have set up an email, FB and Twitter to grab the name there, I will be adding the logo to my other books and I would not be averse to perhaps collaborating with other indie authors who want to publish under the name and help promote each others work. I am not going to  go too much into things here as obviously I am still setting it all up but I will keep you up to date with my experiences. Right off to the day job now after all until the books start selling I have to fund the present as well as investing in my future.

Book Review – Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination By Helen Fielding

I think this is actually an interesting contrast to my last book review…

As always we begin with the Goodreads blurb…

At the close of the last millennium, Helen Fielding debuted the irrepressible (and blockbuster-bestselling) Bridget Jones. Now, Fielding gives us a sensational new heroine for a new era…Move over 007, a stunning, sexy-and decidedly female-new player has entered the world of international espionage. Her name is Olivia Joules (that’s “J.O.U.L.E.S. the unit of kinetic energy”) and she’s ready to take America by storm with charm, style, and her infamous Overactive Imagination.

How could a girl not be drawn to the alluring, powerful Pierre Ferramo-he of the hooded eyes, impeccable taste, unimaginable wealth, exotic international homes, and dubious French accent? Could Ferramo really be a major terrorist bent on the Western world’s destruction, hiding behind a smokescreen of fine wines, yachts, and actresses slash models? Or is it all just a product of Olivia Joules’s overactive imagination?

Join Olivia in her heart-stopping, hilarious, nerve-frazzling quest from hip hotel to eco-lodge to underwater cave, by light aircraft, speedboat, helicopter, and horse, in this witty, contemporary, and utterly unputdownable novel deluxe.

It may seen ironic that the last book I reviewed I complained about the plot being too far fetched but while the other die so within the thriller genre here in Rom-Com/Chick-Lit it works perfectly, the author mocks the very absurdity of the plots within the actual title, but here mixed with comedy it works brilliantly. The Bridget Jones author manages to create another cast of characters that grab the imagination though I have to say the lesser characters are less rounded than in the first Bridget Jones book, however it is not really an issue, as unlike those others, these are not likely to feature again. I did really enjoy this book, it is fun and an easy read which provides perfect escapism, it is definitely the perfect holiday read, there is a but though!

I was happily engrossed in this book until I noticed that I was running out of pages and seemed a long way from the story being resolved. The action in the last section of the book seems a little hurried and lacking in the detail and atmosphere building of the earlier sections, it is almost as if she was busy writing a great book and then it was pointed out she was reaching her word quota and had to finish it off quickly. I am not sure if the answer would have been to leave the last section for a next book and build up the previous action to the climax of this one or to just have risked making this one longer, I certainly would be happy to see Olivia have more adventures but only the author knows what her intentions are in that regard.

So to scores up until that last bit this would have had the perfect score but because I felt the last bit was on diet rations it gets 4.5 starts out of 5.

#leeds2018 – Live Ticket Launch!

I was going to do Tuesdays for #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017 posts but as more events are added to my calendar it makes sense to pick Tuesdays as the day for all my posts about live events and signings. Darker is creeping up on me just ver 7 months to go but this week it is the #leeds2018 event which takes precedence and that is because this Friday 3rd March at 8pm tickets go on sale, and in a brilliant move the ladies from Hourglass Events are heading north and will be hosting the launch live on FB from the venue. Of course being just down the road in Huddersfield means it would be rude not to go join them for a beverage or two, (though not too many need to be on a train back at half ten as I have work next morning and next train is half one!)

So if you live in Leeds or in the surrounding areas why not come along and join us for a little tipple but if you can’t do not despair, instead grab you chosen beverage, get comfy on the sofa and join us live on line in this group, which you really should join anyway because there are some amazing authors in there, so click here to pop over and join up.

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Lazy Sunday #27

We missed last week due to my illness and the next couple of weeks have rather important days falling on the Sunday, so this is the final Lazy Sunday for this year so I decided to share a couple of extra posts today, hope you enjoy them and thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who share the blogosphere with me.

The first couple are very dear friends who both lost loved ones this year and remind us that no one is promised tomorrow and that this time of year the empty chair can be especially painful.

  1. The wonderfully talented Dallas lost her dad this year, she shared the the painful journey of watching a dynamic man lose his battle against diseases which rob you not only of your body but your mind https://crazytraintotinkytown.com/2016/12/01/for-next-year-i-think-ill-just-be-happy/
  2. Another friend lost her mum and her bravery in sharing the grieving process both before and after her mum’s passing is to be applauded, we protect ourselves so much from the parts of life we don’t want to consider that when we are personally struck it breaks us, only by being brave enough to face the darkness can we really appreciate the light, https://veggiewitch.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/grief-is-a-surreal-place/
  3. I don’t want this to be only about grief so I want to share this awesome blog, they do not publish very often but when they do the photos and knowledge they share blow your mind https://sartenada.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/white-trees-arboles-blancos-arbres-blancs-arvores-brancas/
  4. Next up is one of two posts from the same blog but for very different reasons, so first of all because I love the way this lady keeps her sense of humour when so many others would have given in to despair https://jmgoyder.com/2016/11/29/green-juice-adventures/
  5. The second post is one she put up for her son, because we all have dreams but taking the step to make it happen is always the hardest part, https://jmgoyder.com/2016/11/09/ming/
  6. One from one of my favourite places to read poetry, an alternative look at the festive season https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/christmas-lies-bleeding/

And finally because I believe we should end this one a high something to make you smile

Cover Reveal!!!! Queen Of Ages: Ascension

I am really lucky to have some fabulously talented friends, I had very specific ideas for the covers of my Queen Of Ages Trilogy and I had made a decision that I wanted something different to the normal computer manipulated images that grace the covers of most books these days, I love the copies of Tolkien I have with hand illustrated plates and maps and also the covers of the Terry Brooks books I possess so I ambushed a dear friend and talked over my ideas with her.

Stage one was persuade her to take on the project, thankfully she was excited as this was her first foray into cover design.479968_10151512765564076_2079061210_n So let me introduce you to Debra Arnott, a woman of many talents.

Stage two was the creation of the three idea boards for the individual book covers, thankfully Debra completely understood where I was coming from with the random pictures, scribbles and poorly explained half ideas. She took the patchwork of ideas and skilfully merged them together to create a fantastic piece of art for me. A couple of tweaks were needed along the way including discussion of one or two elements that would be digitally enhanced but the result is amazing and something I look forward to hanging on my wall as soon as I get a frame. if you would like to see more of her amazing art work you can check out her page DA Creations here or my personal favourites are her paintings on wood which you can find on her page Wood Winked Art On Wood here.

Stage three was photographing the art work and adding the text, a process which was very hit and miss and was again inspired by the fantasy novels in my bookshelves. So without further ado I would like to share the cover art with you first the kindle version, second the print version (minus the blurb at the minute and finally the actual original painting so you can see you how wonderful it is minus the text.

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