Tuesday, 14 November 2017

It's Happening Again!!!

I have this weird thing going on. I could stand in a vast crowd and the weirdest most messed-up person among them would always make a bee-line directly for me and start talking to me like they had known me their whole life. I have no idea why this happens. Is it my aura? Have I got one of those faces? 

Today at work is a prime example and prompted me to write this post.

I had to drive to Colchester today, an ancient Roman city, to do a couple of small jobs. It's a nice drive out that way. After completing my work in a converted army barracks there was this one guy sitting in the middle of the square talking on his phone. I walked back to the van and he was lingering around. He stepped up looking a little timid and said, "Can we have a little chat?" 

My first impression is that he lives in one of the flats and wants to report a fault with something as I'm the maintenance guy. Makes sense, right? "Yeah, no worries, mate." I walk over to him expectantly. "What's the problem?"

"No, no, there's no problem. I, er, I just wanted to have ... a little chat."

My second impression is, is this bloke having a laugh? "I'm a bit busy, mate. I've got to get to my next job."

He looked very disappointed.

So, I have two options at this point, and being me I try to strike up a conversation. I already know from years of experience I should have chosen the other option and jumped in my van.

"Do you come from around here?"

He kind of cast his gaze around the square looking a little confused, paused to think about it and replied with the name of a road, but didn't look absolutely sure about it.

I start to ramble. "I don't know the area, mate. I've just come up here to do some work. All the way from Hertford." As I'm chatting away I notice this bloke is just staring at me and not even attempting to add anything to this conversation, so I continue to ramble on.

"Well, it's better than being on the dole." (That's being unemployed for you non-English people.) "Not that it's worth signing on the dole these days. You've got to be pretty messed-up to get anything out of them." I'm doing light humour, politics, you name it, this guy is still just standing there with his hands in his pockets, staring.

After an uncomfortable pause he says all sheepishly, "That's what I am ... I think."

It's only at this point that the penny drops. Yeah, I am incredibly slow. He's one of 'them'. It's happening again! Now I'm thinking, what does he mean, that's what I am? Does he mean unemployed or pretty messed up? Now I'm back-tracking. Ramble back-tracking.

"I know what it's like. I've been self employed for over thirty years, in and out of work. It's not easy. I used to hate signing on the dole." His reply was the funniest thing I've heard.

He pointed across the square and spoke his words very slowly and carefully. "I'm going to go over there now ... if that's okay?"

"Yeah, okay, mate. Crack on!" I shook his hand. "Nice to meet you."

He nodded and walked away, disappearing around the corner. All I could think was, man! Have I reached that point in my life where I'm scaring off the scary people? That can't be good.







Monday, 25 September 2017

Title: Didi and the Gunslinger by Patti Larsen



General Information


Publisher: Purely Paranormal Press
Author: Patti Larsen
Year of publication: May 30th 2015
Number of pages: 299

Plot summary: (blurb)


Trash Heaven has been Didi Duke’s home for as long as she can remember. The dumping ground of the galaxy provides her with everything she’s ever needed or wanted. Except, maybe, the attention of her inventor father, always busy with his next creation. Good thing he’s passed on his talents to his sixteen-year-old daughter. With the company of her best friend—the cyborg crow, Pip—Didi is happy to scour her territory for treasures discarded as trash. But, when an evil Underlord kidnaps her father, Didi can no longer hide herself away in the garbage. Her plan to resurrect a retired cyborg gunslinger and rescue her dad leads her into danger and the heart of the rotting planet—Trash City. She’ll figure out the rest of her plan—eventually.

Positive points


I really enjoyed reading this story. It's one of the most enjoyable stories I have read for a while. I loved the characters, human and none-human. It was a perfect mix of goodies and baddies with a story-line filled with twists and turns. There was plenty of action to keep me turning the pages. I looked forward to getting my Kindle out at work and was sad when the story ended leaving me wanting more! Hats off to the author!

Negative points


There was nothing negative. The book was well written in 3rd person perspective and showing the story from two points of view. It worked well. It was also well edited.

What makes this book unique


The characters made this story unique to me. The robotic crow was a touch of genius.

Overall impression


A very well written and well edited story that I enjoyed very much. I totally recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a bit of sci-fi and a lot of adventure.

My rating

 A very well earned five stars!



Amazon US:



Amazon UK:



Meet the author



I'm an award winning writer with a passion for the voices in my head. With many (many!) titles across many (many!) genres, all in happy publication, there's no end in sight...

That being said, I'm short (permanent), slightly round (changeable) and blonde (for ever and ever). I love to talk one on one about the deepest topics and can't seem to stop seeing the big picture. I happily live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, home to Anne of Green Gables and the most beautiful red beaches in the world, with my very patient husband and multiple cats, pug overlord and lady and Gypsy Vanner gelding, Fynn.

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Book Review - Perilous by Tamara Hart Heiner



General Information


Publisher: WiDo Plublishing
Year of publication: 2010
Author: Tamara Hart Heiner
Number of pages: 265

Plot summary: (blurb)


Jaci Rivera joins her best friends Callie, Sara and Amanda for a night of pizza and shopping. But an evening at the mall turns into a terrifying twist of events that drive Jaci and her friends 2000 miles across the Canadian border. The girls find themselves alone and running from unknown enemies on all sides, and not even the police can be trusted. . . . Detective Carl Hamilton is called out on a homicide case where the partially decayed body of an unidentified teenage girl is found along a remote highway. He is drawn into a life and death race to stop the killers before they strike again.

Positive points


I really enjoyed reading this story. It kept me on the edge of my seat with the many twists and turns. The suspense was awesome and left me really rooting for the characters. Each one came over as realistic through different POVs. It was very well written, absolutely flawless. Great job, Tamara.

Negative points


I found nothing negative about this book.

What makes this book unique


It is not something I would normally read, so to me it was unique and very enjoyable.

Overall impression


A great and suspenseful story.

My rating


It has to be a big, fat five stars!



Meet the author




I live in Arkansas with my husband and four children, two crazy boys and two pretty little princesses.

I am the author of the young adult suspense PERILOUS series (DELIVERER, PERILOUS, ALTERCATION, and PRICELESS), INEVITABLE, LAY ME DOWN, and the Cassandra Jones saga. My non-fiction book about the Joplin tornado came out in May, 2014.

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Book Review: Sign of the Green Dragon by C. Lee McKenzie



General Information


Publisher: Self Published
Date of publication: 7th May 2016
Author: C. Lee McKenzie
Number of pages: 182

Plot summary: (blurb)


Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure. After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen. When team mates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure. With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.

Positive points


This was a great adventure story for kids. It was well written and well paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep young minds entertained. It reminded me of the type of adventure I would have love to go on as a kid AND as an adult. Funny enough, I just got myself a metal detector to go on a real treasure hunt myself and this story was the perfect inspiration.

Negative points


I didn't really find anything negative with this story.

What makes this book unique


I loved the oriental dragon aspect bringing the two cultures together to add even more mystery.

Overall impression


A great fun-filled adventure that was a mix between Indiana Jones and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

My rating:




Book links:


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Meet the author, C. Lee McKenzie




My Passions: 

Besides reading and writing, I love to do two things: I love to hike. I love to practice Yoga. Well, three things if you count eating. I love to eat. That’s why I love to hike. Might as well make it four things, because I love to spend time with my family and friends. Wait! I love to grow my own salad. And cats—I love to grow them too, so now I’m up to six things I’m passionate about. I know there’s more, but I’m out of space and you don’t need to be bored.

My Favorite Books:

Anything with Hobbits.

Anything Stephen King writes, except I don’t like some of those stories at night when I’m alone or even if I’m not because I’m a real sissy in the dark.

Anything with a dragon in the title or on the cover.

Barbara Kingsolver’s books.

Edgy Joyce Carol Oates books.

E.B.White’s Essays, and stories that start, “Once upon a time . . . .”


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Monday, 12 June 2017

Book Review: Bellanok - A fantasy novel by Ralene Burke



General Information


Publisher: Self-published
Date of publication: October 24, 2016
Number of chapters: 36
Author: Ralene Burke

Plot summary: (blurb)


A haven for myths and legends . . . until evil discovers a way in.

With evil darkening the mountains to the north, the fairy queen, Fauna, must journey from the island realm of Bellanok to the modern world to find the man the Creator appointed to save their kingdom. A man she has been dreaming of her whole life.

Brian is a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up on God. He's tired and frustrated--a failure. No sooner does he make a decision that jeopardizes his career than an unusual blonde woman shows up and tries to convince him he is some kind of savior.

Fauna must open Brian's eyes to a different reality, and Brian needs to embrace the haven's secrets. If neither of them succeeds, Bellanok will succumb to evil and the world will lose all trace of innocence.


Positive points


This was a great fantasy adventure aimed at the Christian fiction market. I loved the realistic characters that really brought the story to life. The story was filled with all kinds of mythical creatures brought together in a battle between good and evil having to fight against impossible odds. I really enjoyed the story never knowing where the story would go in the many twists and turns. A great book by a great author!

Negative points


I wasn't quite sure of what age group this story was aimed at. It read similar to a children's fiction story, but with adult main characters. Not that that is actually a negative point, but the only negative thing I could come up with.

What makes this book unique


For me it was the first time I have read a fantasy aimed at Christian fiction market so this was unique for me.

Overall impression


If you are a lover of fantasy but don't like in-depth descriptions of blood and gore then this will be perfect for you! A great adult fantasy.

My rating


As I don't have anything really negative to say about this story, it has to be five shiny stars!



Amazon US



Amazon UK



Meet the author



BIO:


On the day I was born, the doctor’s told my parents I probably wouldn’t live. I had a large tumor in my neck, and it was growing by the hour. When they finally removed this man-fist-sized tumor, the experts said I would be mentally and physically handicapped for the rest of my life, unable to care for myself.

Boy, did we prove them wrong!

Today, I not only take care of myself, I balance a husband, 3 kids, a career, and homeschooling. Granted, there’s often plenty of dirty dishes in the sink and toys on the floor, but who cares? I’m wrangling Spiderman, teaching princesses to sing, and pursuing my passions—what’s better than that?

I became a Christian when I was young. The miracle surrounding my survival pretty much sealed the deal. And, except for a few rebellious years, I’ve spent my life pursuing His calling—to change lives with the written word.

This calling started out in fiction novels, where I spin fast-paced tales of angels and demons, fantasy worlds, and the broader calling of every human being.

But the passion didn’t stop there!

The deeper I delved into the publishing world, the more I realized that I loved critiquing and editing—and I was pretty good at it. So, I took some classes, joined a couple of organizations, and committed part of my career to making other writers’ work SHINE!

Finally, there was only one natural outlet for my addiction to social media—get paid for it! So, I’ve been studying up on the various platforms and the mental marketing tactics in an effort to help other writers and publishing-related organizations grow their social media platforms. It’s a lot of fun.

So, join me on this crazy journey we call life, business, and the pursuit of happiness! Don’t be afraid to ask questions, weigh in with your opinions, or share your knowledge. I love hearing from people! (There’s a lot of love, as you can see.)


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Monday, 8 May 2017

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever - Review



General Information


Publisher: SFBC; First Edition edition
Year of publication: May 1, 2002
Number of chapters: Varied (3 volumes)
Number of pages: 1152 pages

Plot summary: (blurb)


This complete "Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" contains the books "Lord Foul's Bane", "The Illearth War" and "The Power that Preserves". The first chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever is a fantasy series written by Stephen Donaldson. The series follows the principle character of Thomas Covenant who is a disillusioned, bitter and very cynical writer afflicted with leprosy. Shunned by society, Thomas is hit by a car and awakes in a strange alternate world full of strange creatures and magic.

Positive points


I have always been a high fantasy fan and this is the first time I have read a Stephan Donaldson novel. I have to say the media hype was correct. These books definitely deserves to be among the classic fantasy legends. It had everything a proper fantasy should have and by the end of the book I was on the edge of my seat, caring so much for the characters. I cried, I'm not ashamed to say. Admittedly, that is nothing unusual for me, but still. Great series!

Negative points


When I first started reading this series I got about two-hundred pages in and stopped reading for quite a long time. I struggled to get into it. I think the problem was, I disliked the main character at first. But as my wife bought me this as a present, knowing I wanted to read it, I thought I should at least try to read it. And I am so glad I did! And I was rooting for the main character long before finishing the first book.

What makes this book unique


I would have to say the main character. This guy who suffers from leprosy and all the issues that go along with this condition thrown into a fantasy world really was quite unique. The most unusual hero.

Overall impression


Fantastic! Enough said. If you love fantasy, you will love this.

My rating


Has to be five stars!



Links


Amazon US



Amazon UK






Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Through the Eyes of a Child by Kurt Chambers



When I was a child,
I remember when,
everything in life.
seemed much simpler then.

I try to capture that feeling,
from the eyes of a man,
when my heart is bleeding,
I try all I can.

Life's such an adventure,
when you are small.
This tiny person,
who knows nothing at all.

There is a whole world,
crammed with exciting things.
You want to discover,
the joy that they bring.

The smell of good food,
or the warmth of the sun.
Something you made,
or just wanting to run.

The taste of ice cream,
and a day in the park.
Wondering what's out there,
when my garden grows dark.

You imagine great things,
that the future could hold,
and believe almost everything,
when you are told.

As you get older,
the illusion grows frail.
Flowers less sweeter,
their colours more pale.

You think you grow wiser,
by the things you are taught,
but one day you realise,
you have only been caught.

You are trapped in a world,
that was created for you.
Not by your dreams,
or what you wanted to do.

If I could only go back,
to the days I once knew,
when all things in life,
were shiny and new.

To dream new dreams,
and once again smile.
Life is so much brighter,
through the eyes of a child.