Friday, 30 December 2011

Review - One Voice Too Many by Paul Martin Midden

One Voice Too ManyOne Voice Too Many by Paul Martin Midden

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

Do we really know each other? Jeremy Walker seemed like a decent human being: hardworking, independent, intelligent. But he has a past that he can not quite shake and a terrible secret that only he knew. Despite a history of rocky relationships, he was determined to make a success of his relationship with Macy, an attractive woman who was similarly smart and independent. Will he succeed? The obstacles loom large.

My Review

The book starts really well, easy to follow and well written. Jeremy gets out of his car, walks and walks and walks until he stops at a diner, orders food and then just breaks. Whilst Jeremy lands in hospital the book jumps back to when he first meets Macy and even goes back to his previous relationship and family life.

We slowly learn the other side of Jeremy and how he "copes" and functions everyday and how his family see his behaviour. The book for me dragged in some places and then spelled out every thing else so you didn't have to think about anything as it was all laid out for you in minute detail.

Jeremy is socially awkward although he hides it well, as we follow his story we see his coping strategies and how it unravels and effects those around him. I think maybe if your into psychology and studying human behaviour you will really like this book but I went into it thinking it was a thriller and just felt it was a really long and drawn behaviour study with a story around those observations of Jeremy and his wife.

In the last quarter I thought something big was going to kick off but again it was more about behaviour and interaction than the big finale I thought was coming. Sadly this is a 2/5 for me. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy, I would read this author again as the writing was smooth and easy to read it was just the focus and little actual content I had issue with.

This book is available on amazon for anyone wishing to read it.






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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Review - I Am Scrooge, A Zombie Story For Christmas by Adam Roberts

I am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for ChristmasI am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas by Adam Roberts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

The legendary Ebenezeer Scrooge sits in his house counting money. The boards that he has nailed up over the doors and the windows shudder and shake under the blows from the endless zombie hordes that crowd the streets hungering for his flesh and his miserly braaaaiiiiiinns! Just how did the happiest day of the year slip into a welter of blood, innards, and shambling, ravenous undead on the snowy streets of old London town? Will the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future be able to stop the world from drowning under a top-hatted and crinolined zombie horde? Was Tiny Tim's illness something infinitely more sinister than mere rickets and consumption? Can Scrooge be persuaded to go back to his evil ways, travel back to Christmas past, and destroy the brain stem of the tiny, irritatingly cheery Patient Zero?

My Review

Well it is an odd little story to say the least. At 153 pages it is a tad too long, I feel it started out decent and got a few smirks if not giggles but then it just went off into madness. The story follows loosely the original Christmas Carol (with the character Scrooge, Marley and the 3 ghosts) and then comes the zombies.

It isn't meant to be taken serious and I would think written for a laugh so don't pick it up with any real expectations however it does go quickly down a bizarre road. From meeting some big names ie Jack The Ripper and Dickens, to time travel and a new explanation about what Christmas really is about and how zombies fit into it all.

It has the gore for the hardcore zombie fans who expect nothing less but to be honest, other than that I wouldn't go into it looking for anything more as it offers little else. A promising start that quickly goes downhill, for me it was more so with the second ghost and his horrific murder of the english language. Sadly another 2/5 for me.







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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Author Interview with David A. Koop




Contact Information:

Author’s Name: David A. Koop - pronounced “Cope”

Website Address: www.somedaygroup.com

Blog Address: www.somedaygroup.com/category/blog/

--
What is the title of your book?
Cancer It’s a Good Thing I Got It!
The Life Story of a Very Lucky Man

What is your book about?
My book is about my life… my childhood and
growing up, my adventures as a young man, my varied and successful business
careers, my love for my son and my family… all the things that made me
the kind of man who could successfully battle and survive a terminal cancer
diagnosis. The book tells of my duel with cancer from diagnosis, through surgery,
chemotherapy, and my ultimate recovery and ongoing war with chronic pain and
other side effects of having survived. Throughout the book, I share my personal
philosophies on life, success, and the one true thing that matters in this life… our
personal relationships. I also include tips for those going through cancer or other
serious illnesses and for those who care for them.



Why did you decide to write it?
I looked death square in the face when my
doctors told me I had less than 9 months to live and should “get my affairs in
order.” I know, first hand, that the “someday” we all dream of doing this or that,
may never come. I wrote the book to encourage people who are fighting cancer
or other serious illnesses to be positive and focus on something to live for. For
those who have been fortunate enough not to face serious illness, I wrote the
book to encourage them to recognize that someday may never come. TODAY
is someday! Live your dreams, now. Tell your family you love them, now. Heal
old wounds, now. When our time is up, all we get to take with us is a heart full
of memories of those most dear to us. No one on their death bed looks up and
says, “GOD just one more day please, just one more day in the office and I can
finish that Thompson report.” No, they ask to have more time with their family
and friends.



How did you get your book published?
I worked with an editor in Colorado. He
has worked for decades in the book industry, including writing books for Readers
Digest. The first draft I sent him came back lacking the praise I was sure I would
receive. He pointed out what were some flaws in my story line. The book had
holes in it based on me subconsciously assuming that the readers would know
what I know. They weren’t there… how could they? So, rule number one, tell the
whole story. It took the original draft and two more total rewrites to get to the
book I have today.

Getting the email from my publisher that my book had made it onto the Top 10
Bestseller list was a huge boost of encouragement and the royalty checks are nice
too. The biggest lift comes from the reader’s; people who don’t know me, people
who have read my book and feel compelled to share how it has helped them or
touched them... that is the best part of all. As a writer, I have no idea what people
are going to think, but when they share their true heartfelt feelings it is just
wonderful.



What types of readers will be interested in your book?
My book is for more
than just someone suffering from a serious illness or adversity. It is of interest to
friends, family members, caregivers, and medical personnel (one reader actually
reads passages from my book to his staff at staff meetings!). It is also for anyone
who is looking for inspiration to transform their own life. I ran away at 15. Never
graduated from High School, yet I became a very successful business person and
even served as an adjunct professor of law at Denver University College of Law.
In this way, my story appeals to people in the business world as well.



What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books
in the same category?
My book is written in a conversational style. As if we
were sitting in my family room sharing a glass of wine. It is a deeply moving and
personal account of my life, my love for my son and my unfailing ability to believe
in something greater than myself. Readers will come away ready to create the life
they have been dreaming of.

Do you plan to publish more? Yes. I am working on the next book now, having
completed the first several chapters. It is based on the workshops that my wife
Carrie and I teach. With years of gender studies and as PAX licensees, we work
with men and women to help them create meaningful and lasting relationships at
work and home.

Review - Double Dead by Chuck Wendig

Double DeadDouble Dead by Chuck Wendig

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

Coburn’s been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he’s a vampire and all, it doesn’t much bother him. Or at least it didn’t, not until he awoke from a forced five-year slumber to discover that most of human civilization was now dead—but not dead like him, oh no.

See, Coburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like brains. He’s smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he’s starving. And nocturnal. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire not only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transition from predator to protector—after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

My Review

Aw I so wanted to love this book, the idea is pure brilliance however the story just didn't cut it for me (to be fair I had huge expectations). Some of it is really good to be honest for example we get to know how the disease started and spread and I love that and find it is usually lacking in zombie books (and movies). All questions that were raised throughout the book is answered which is another huge must for me.

However there was so much I disliked, for this to be a fair and honest review I had to give a two star rating. The vampire is a poor show compared to what we have viewed over the years, he gets his butt handed to him more often than not. His attitude really sucks for the most part (I did start to warm to him near the very end) and some of the dialogue seemed just a bit over the top although some of it was funny. That said the things I didn't like my o/h thought was quite funny (I read it out to him) so I definately think that whilst I thought the book was ok some readers will love it.

The other characters are varied and have some good traits but again there was noone who stood out for me or stayed with me, well maybe creampuff :D The way it ended I think there will be more to the series, will I get it? Yes I think so and hope that Coburn is more endearing and a better vampire than our first meeting. The writing of the book is very easy to follow and barring the swearing (which doesn't bother me but sometimes it just seemed over the top and there for the sake of it) I quite enjoyed the authors style of writing. 2/5 for me this time but I am very picky so if your a zombie and or vampire fan give it a try






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Friday, 23 December 2011

Review - Cancer It's A Good Thing I Got It! by David A. Koop

Cancer - It's a Good Thing I Got It!: The Life Story of a Very Lucky ManCancer - It's a Good Thing I Got It!: The Life Story of a Very Lucky Man by David A Koop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads


David Koop Conquered the World of Business.

He Wasn't About to Let Cancer Put Him Under.

David Koop had it all-a storied business career, beautiful son, and prospects as far as the eye could see. Then a surprise cancer diagnosis turned his life upside down. It was osteo sarcoma-a form of bone cancer-and it was growing on his spine. Doctors told him to get his affairs in order.

More than three years later, Koop continues to beat the odds. Cancer: It's a Good Thing I Got It! is his eye-opening account of a remarkable journey through hospitals, treatments, friendships and emotions as he struggles to maintain a positive attitude and will to live. In this frank and uncensored look at one man's battle with cancer, Koop reflects on his life before and after the diagnosis. The surprising conclusion will leave you awed at the strength of the human spirit: far from a death sentence, the medical woes unleash a powerful self-assessment that leads Koop to a whole new sense of purpose-and the love he has sought all his life.

Full of humor and occasional grief, this memoir of a life still in progress will move you to make changes for the better. You'll come away inspired to live your life to the fullest and embrace the gift of personal relationships. And you'll find hope for meeting the unexpected challenges that can strike when you least expect.

My Review

When I first got this book I looked at the title and felt really uncomfortable, I mean it is cancer and they are saying it is a good thing! It also stirred up a lot of notice and comments as I carried it about and took it with me to read by just about everyone who saw it. Since reading the book and hearing Davids story I totally understand it's title and would say to everyone don't judge or dismiss it until you have read it.

The story is in short chapters and reads just like diary entries or like conversations with the author, it is very well done and really easy to follow. Any big words or procedures are explained so well that whether you have any medical knowledge or not you will be able to follow it with ease. Almost the first half of the book deals with the initial telling of the diagnosis and what lead it and his life up until that point, relationships, jobs etc. There is also quotes at the start of every new chapter which are also in themselves quite moving.

In the actual content some people might feel it is hard going as this is a truly honest account of what he went through from before, during and after his diagnosis. It is a open and both heart breaking and warming story of one man and his family dealing with something most of us hope to never have to encounter. From physical complications after treatments to the mental anguish of trying to cope after being told you are going to die. Trying to live with and beat the odds and breaking to the news to his family.

This book stirs up a host of emotions, sadness, joy, grief, laughter, hope, inspiration to name just a few. I feel this would be a quick read for most as it is hard to put down (it took me so long as work and Christmas has gotten in the way) but I could have easily read this in on sitting had time permitted.

I think this book would be a great read for anyone, whether you have been touched by cancer, feeling down or just want an uplifting (true) story then this is a book for you. I really enjoyed it so it is a 4/5 for me.

I would like to thank David for introducing me to his book and sending me a copy and sharing his journey with me. You can also find David here http://www.somedaygroup.com/ for updates on how he is doing.

You can purchase the book via Amazon.co.uk for £18.95 paperback or for the kindle £7.15





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Monday, 19 December 2011

Review - Coffee At Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter

Coffee at Little AngelsCoffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

Phillip, Sarah, Kaitlyn, Caleb, Maxine, Grant, Melanie and Josh grew up in a small town where they spent their high school years together as an inseparable clique. But high school has ended, and they are all living their own “grown up” lives, each under the impression that their group has basically come to an end. When Phillip dies in a hit and run accident, Kaitlyn summons the others to all come back home, forcing a reunion that no one is particularly interested in partaking in.

Coffee at Little Angels follows how each character deals with the death of a childhood friend while at the same time dealing with their own ignored demons after years of separation. Events unfold as the group tries to rekindle the friendship they once shared to honour the memory of a friend they will never see again.

My review

Sadly this book just didn't do it for me. At the beginning I thought we were going to get a ghost account of how things were after Phillip is killed. However he is only in it very briefly at the start (a few small appearances and again at the end). I thought it was going to have him walking us through it as the story went on).

I didn't form any interest in any of the characters and had to keep going back to reread the chapter to remember what it was about. I was constantly mixing Melanie and Maxine up too and the characters seemed more caught up in their own nonsense than the fact that their friend had died.

The story itself (once you remove the whose who issue) is really easy to read I just found it a bit confusing and annoying that they were mostly self involved and poor old Phillip who is the reason they all get back togerther is pretty much not the focus.

If you like a story that is not too serious and don't mind it jumping around a bit then this is for you. I did like that the chapters were quite short as they went from person to person so I could put it down and pick it up every 5 or 10 minutes rather than being locked into big chapters.

Sadly I just didn't gel or connect with this book at all but would like to thank the author for giving me the opportunity to try this book, 2/5 for me this time.










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Competitions winners are..........................

For the printed copies of the author giveaway

vivian walton

Mark Bridger

Mark Rewhorn

Rachel Craig

Vanessa Rozee

For the ebook copies

Valerie Hartley
laura stewart
Patricia Avery
kelly koya
jennyb

For the black Kindle cover the winner is Maci234 and the white kindle cover is
Brit86. Maci234 I don't seem to have anyway to contact you, please message me your details so I can post the cover to you. If I haven't heard from you in a few days I will pick another winner, thank you.

Thank you so much to everyone who took part and apologies as I was meant to announce the winners on Saturday but it has just been so hectic with the run up to Christmas. I have sent the details on to the author for the Confessions Of A Corporate Slut and I will get the Kindle covers out as soon as I can.

Please remember Decembers pre-loved giveaway is still open so if you haven't already you can still enter for it.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wish I Was Here for me is...................

is a wee feature from Janice Horton for in time with her new book


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reaching-for-the-Stars-ebook/dp/B006ICFIZG/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1323876507&sr=1-3-catcorr

Places to find Janice

www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com
A www.loveahappyending.com author
Follow me on Twitter @JaniceHorton
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/nbaWed


So where am I wishing I was today? VEGAS BABY




If you need a why well it's hot, the slushes from the Cocacola stores are awesome. The shows are second to none and we went there for a wedding and Honeymoon. I have been to Vegas twice I hope to go back in the new year.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Review - All I Want For Christmas Is You by Lisa Mondello

All I Want for Christmas is You (Fate with a Helping Hand)All I Want for Christmas is You by Lisa Mondello

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Blurb from Amazon



Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Santa Claus is going to have a rough season... Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter Kristen, she has done a pretty good job for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That's why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn't Santa's bag.

But this Santa has a plan...

Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful Real Estate developers in town.

Building a house is easy. Building someone's trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.



My Review



Lauren Alexander and Kyle Preston are the main characters in this story. Lauren is devoted to her 6 year old daughter and always puts her first. After being badly hurt she lets noone get close to her and certainly not a man.



Kyle Preston is a family oriented man, successful but a man with a past and his own baggage. After a chance encounter their paths cross and eventually a friendship blooms. Lauren is distrustful and wants Kyle to keep his distance but there is something about Lauren that Kyle can’t seem to let go.



What a lovely wee story! I just loved Kristen after the first chapter (it isn’t really about her but I just had to mention it and once you read it you will see why). The story is very easy to read, well written and nothing too challenging. I felt like I was reading a modern day mills and boons book (that is a compliment I used to love those books). There is one or two steamy scenes but nothing too risky or outrageous. A great wee feel good book and just perfect for this time of year so for me it’s 4/5 this time. This book is currently free for the Kindle on Amazon.co.uk and if your doing a December Christmas read it is perfect to snap up or if you just fancy a wee pick me up.



Thank you to the author for giving me the chance to read this book and introducing me to her work, I would definitely read more by this author.





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Monday, 12 December 2011

Review - Counter Camouflage by Bojan Miladinovic

Counter Camouflage : Serbian urban storyCounter Camouflage : Serbian urban story by Bojan Miladinovic

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

Incapacitating a home alarm makes you a skillful thief. Creating an alarm which can be incapacitated by special remote and installing it- makes you skillful and a very impudent thief. Branko's team for alarm installment becomes greedy, so, to avoid the jaws of the law, Branko takes the advice his old professor once gave him:" Sometimes when you don't know how to avoid danger camouflage yourself, perhaps the danger will avoid you." A few years later, he meets a girl who is crazy about medieval jewelry. Wishing to fascinate her, he tries to buy her a copy of medieval ring. However, he figures out pretty quickly that the only convincing copy is - the original. Once a thief - always a thief. Branko steals the ring from the museum, presenting it as a prefect copy. Once again, he tries to use the old trick the professor taught him, but this time he is forced to - counter camouflage

My Review

The blurb for the story drew me in as it sounds really good and to be fair there was parts of the story I did like. However, I found the issues and errors made through the story being translated really made some of it hard to follow or really annoying to read. There are some good turns of phrase that weren't lost during translation (although they are very few and far between) however one of my favourites was "you don't have to say anything I saw it in your eyes". This is in relation to the relationship with Olja and Branko who are our main characters.

I think maybe reading this story in the language it was written would make the whole story and reading experience very different but for me it was a struggle and that largely is down to how it has been translated which I feel is not the authors fault but whoever did the translating. My other issue is that some chapters you wouldn't be sure who the interaction was between until a few paragraphs or pages in which also took from the enjoyment. Maybe it would have helped it the chapters or page breaks had inserts for who was speaking or use their names in the dialogue more.

I have never read a novel set in Serbia before so found anything about the culture or laws really fascinating however I think there could have been a bit more for those of us who know nothing about it. For example there is a part in the book mentioned about a tradition on a day in March that women are not treated as equals, I would have liked to have known why even if just a few more lines.

I really enjoyed reading about the Griffon Vultures, again this was something I had never heard of before and the book does have a few interesting wee stories slipped in like this that kept me going.

The language was a huge issue for me which really affected how I enjoyed the book so sadly it is a 2/5 for me. I want to thank the author for giving me the chance to read their book and introducing me to their work and my first experience reading in Serbia.



This book is available on Amazon for £0.86 or on the authors site for free http://www.myspace.com/countercamouflage



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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Kindle Cover giveaway

At almost 200 followers AND it is almost Christmas I am having one more giveaway (please check the competitions tab for all ongoing competitions). I have two kindle covers to giveaway, the oldest version of the kindle (the 1st one out with the keyboard) the cover is white. The new Kindle 4 the cover is black (that's the one Amazon is selling at the moment for £89). Please see the picture below.




These are brand new and can be given as a gift or kept yourself, they are in their original wrappings.

If you want to win just leave a comment on this post and leave your blog url, if you don't have a blog just leave me a way to contact you (if you don't want to leave your email on a public site please email me with kindle giveaway as the title) and state which cover you want to win. I will let this competition run until Friday the 16th, and post them out as quickly as possible. If your in the UK you should get it in time for Christmas, if your overseas delivery time will vary.

Good luck and feel free to share

Review - We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Five Star Paperback)We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

A stunning examination of how tragedy affects a town, a marriage, and a family, for readers of Rosellen Brown's Before and After and Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World.

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But such generalizations provide cold comfort when it's your own son who's just opened fire on his fellow students and whose class photograph--with its unseemly grin--is blown up on the national news.

The question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years ago, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York.

Telling the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault?

We Need to Talk About Kevin offers no pat explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents--whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton--have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in suburban comfort. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy--the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.

My review

This was my second time reading this book, I re read it after watching the movie because I had some questions.

The story, whilst I have given a 5 star rating and I do think it is a great story it takes an age to get started (it is needed to see the whole picture) but it is hard going at first. The book is made up of letters from Eva to her husband Franklin (instead of chapters).

Eva takes us through her life before Kevin, her relationship with Franklin and how she percieves things as they happened. Events don't always go in order as they happened, it reads like her diary rather than letters but it works really really well.

This book will stay with you, it is a fantastic read so when you pick it up and its long and drawn DON'T give up on it. It is a really long start and slow but once it gets going you won't be able to put it down and if you have kids you will be thankful they turned out as perfect as they did (compared to Kevin).

Great book which is still weird as it is so slow paced but honestly it is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone, 5/5 for me.






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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway with Jacqueline Gum, Confessions Of A Corporate Slut

Welcome Jacqueline and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions and this awesome giveaway (5 printed copies UK only, and 5 e-books international, see below the interview for the giveaway details).





How did you get started with writing?

[jacquelinegum] I started as a child with the good old fashioned lock and key diary. I felt like I had so many important things to say…. to myself! Laugh! Because I stuttered, writing was often was a way for me to “speak”. I wrote notes to my parents and my brother, and loved to correspond with letters to my cousins, too.



What is your book about?

[jacquelinegum] The premise deals with a successful woman who sells her business and applies her business acumen in an effort to help her husband and his business. But being a professional woman, she tackles the duties of a corporate wife as she would any career…balls out and fully invested! Laugh! To her, it was a lateral move.



Who would you say the book is aimed at?

[jacquelinegum] Almost any age group of women. For younger women, I think it might be more a cautionary tale. For women who came into their own in the 70’s and 80’s and shared a lot of these experiences, it seems to provide some affirmation that they weren’t the only ones. I’ve had women approach me who said they were embarrassed after the demise of their marriage, and this book enlightened them in knowing there is a whole herd of us out here! There’s comfort in that, somehow. In my mind, you can only get to that peaceful place when you admit complicity and take responsibility for your part. After all, who built that world for him and became a part of it? I’ve had men attend a few of my book club meetings to tell me that they really liked the work, and even a VP of FedX said that he loved it!
What inspired this book?

[jacquelinegum] My own marriage and a few like marriages. The era of women and their role in marriage was confusing during the 70’s and 80’s.Most women had very traditional role models in their mothers and grandmothers, yet were being encouraged…baited, really, do get out there and do it without men at all! Roberta, like many, tried to piece together some hybrid of those philosophies. I wanted to highlight that difference, so it’s a retrospective view. Though, I think some women are still falling into that trap.



Did anyone inspire you for you characters?

[jacquelinegum] Hillary Clinton, Silva Spitzer, myself, and a few close women friends who shared their stories with me.



Do you have another novel on the go? (if not what would you write about next?)

[jacquelinegum] Yes, I am in the last editorial stages of a book, working title, Bull Justice. The first few chapters can be found on my website:www.jacquelinegum.com, as well as some published short stories, and the very beginnings of my third novel, The Flame Dame Chronicles



Where can your fans find you?[jacquelinegum] www.jacquelinegum.com. And, I’d love to be found!

My review of this book is here http://www.alwaysreading.net/2011/07/review-confessions-of-corporate-slut-by.html

Printed copies (for UK entries) Please use the contact form below, the author needs your name, address and telephone number as per Amazon delivery requiremets. For the e-books again please use the form below with you email address and name. The author will gift the cost of the book for download. Please respect the author and giveaway by getting the book gifted (I know we all respect the ARCs we get but some people have abused this gift service before, I know none of my readers would do this but must put it out there anyway, thanks).

This competition will run until Saturday the 17th of December when I will announce the winners, good luck.


Fill in this form with the above information and which copy you would like to win. Click here to contact me

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Review - Shadows And Fire by Jennifer Fales

Shadows and FireShadows and Fire by Jennifer Fales

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Publisher Outskirts Press, Inc
Pages - 108

Blurb from the back cover

"In the parallel future, mankind has created its own worst nightmare - a hybrid species of supernatural beings that demands a high toll in return for peace. Follow the adventure of a tortured man seeking redemption and a brother and sister, the unwilling product of both worlds, torn apart, determined to reunite with one another. And remember that nothing is what it seems under the dome."



My review

To be honest I was so close to giving this book a two for a few reasons. There are so many characters it is hard to remember who is who and what their part is and they were very fleeting and we only had a few pages for most of them. The main characters are the twins Lilith and Laydon, Father Augustin and the bad guys Aamon and Maltha (although there is more to Maltha than I first thought).

The chapters are very short which in a book so small they would be but I do like small chapters. The idea of the hybrids I really liked too, half human and half whatever animal has been spliced with human.

My main problem with the story is there isn't enough of it (yeah yeah I know good author always leaves you wanting more) but I think for the whole story to come together we need more. I feel and will have to confirm this with the author that this is just the start of a series in which case I would have waited and put them all together. Or the next one should be the prequel so we can get a better understanding of the hybrids and how they came to be so different and powerful.

That is a lot of complaining for a 3 star rating right? However the way she has wrote certain parts of it is so well done and she paints quite a picture than you can visualise some of the scenes in beautiful detail. And the basic idea is so unusual that I think anything below a 3 would be quite unfair. So for me 3/5 this time, I would read this author again as I like the writing style but I definately need more background and information on the origins and characters. A very quick read at just 108 pages and I feel we could definately have done with more and it would have added to the value of the story.

Thank you to the author for introducing me to her work and sending me a copy of this book. All opinions are 100% mine, I was not paid or influenced in anyway for this review.







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Review - Blood Hunt by Christopher Buecheler

Blood Hunt (II AM Trilogy #2)Blood Hunt by Christopher Buecheler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

He killed her lover, and for that crime and many others, Two Majors cut off the vampire Abraham's head, reduced his remains to ashes, and scattered them to the winds. Now each night she wanders New York, freed from the chains of heroin addiction but longing still for Theroen's kiss, the taste of blood on his lips, the echo of his thoughts in her ears. There are other vampires out there; she knows it, and so she hunts.

Tori Perrault spent a dozen years living in the woods, stalking her prey in the dark and killing without mercy. Now, she too has returned to humanity, and struggles to come to terms with all that has happened. Her parents' love smothers her and life seems empty. She spends her nights in the bottle, and in the company of strange men. She doesn't know that she is watched, until the fragile life she has rebuilt is torn from her and she is dropped suddenly into a world she never knew existed.

Rhes Thompson and Sarah Taylor have never met a vampire, and never want to. All they want is to help their friend Two, who falls further away from them with each passing day. They have all but given up when they are thrust into a world of madness, death, and vampire politics beyond their understanding. They must abandon their concern for Two, and worry instead about saving their own lives.

Blood Hunt is the ambitious sequel to the popular Urban Fantasy novel The Blood That Bonds. Nearly twice as long as the first novel, Blood Hunt weaves together the stories of Two, Tori, Rhes and Sarah, along with a large cast of characters both old and new, as they attempt to navigate their way through the difficulties they face.

My Review

Since I finished The Blood That Bonds I couldn't wait for this book to find out where Two and Tori's advetures went. We start off with Tori and how she is re-adjusting to life after all she has been through and back living with her parents. Something happens that noone could have seen coming and changes the path of Tori's and those around hers life.

Two is miserable with what her life has become, Tori is miles away with her parents and she can't face her friends or her existance as a human. Two finds herself in a bottle constantly and walks the streets trying to find a vampire, any vampire to try and reclaim some kind of vampire life she had before it was all taken from her.

A friend had read this book and said she didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the first so I was apprehensive. However I was up most of last night tearing through it following the girls stories. I think it is because it is so very different from the first installment. The first one was so fast and delved us into a world we knew nothing about, everything was on the edge of your seat. This time we get a look at the bigger picture, hear more about the vampires and strains that exist and the introduction of The Children Of The Sun.

I really ejoyed it, it was great to get more depth on the vampire history and how the story unravels now it has these new twists. There is still violence, fighting, sex(some of it graphic but you should be used to it by now), blood and love and twists and turns throughout the book, it is just different paced from the 1st one but it still works really well.

What didn't I like? Well I can't say too much as I don't do spoiler reviews however some of Twos character in this book annoyed me as she came across as quite selfish at times with no regard for her friends. I would have liked to have read a lot more about Tori aswell, however I know with book number 3 I will get that and I'm just disappointed I will have to wait but as I have said before it is a good author they say who keeps their audience wanting more.

It is a thicker book than the first one and I got through it in just over a day as I couldn't put it down, the things I liked far out weighed the small things I didn't so it is a 4/5 for me and apologies my review has became so long!

This book is available for the kindle for £1.99 (the first book is free for the kindle ((the blood that bonds)) and in paperback from Christophers website http://www.iiamtrilogy.com/bloodhunt/






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Winner of Author Giveaway - Paradox:The Angels Are Here is.....


As always names are put onto pieces of paper and one is picked at random from a container.

Marybelle (no web address given) - well done, I have sent you an email and you will be hearing from the author shortly.

Thank you to everyone who took part, Decembers pre-loved giveaway is now open and the kindle cover(s) competition will bu up shortly.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Review - The Blood That Bonds by Christopher Buecheler (x2)

The Blood That Bonds (II AM Trilogy #1)The Blood That Bonds by Christopher Buecheler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Blurb from Goodreads

Two is trapped: hooked on heroin, held as property, forced to sell her body to feed the addiction. Time brings her ever closer to what seems an inevitable death and Two waits, uncaring, longing only for the next fix.

That’s when Theroen arrives, beckoning to his Ferrari and grinning his inscrutable grin. He is handsome. Confident. Eager to help lift her out of the life that’s grinding her down.

The only problem? Theroen is a vampire.

His blood can cure her addiction, grant her powers she has never had, change her forever into something greater than she was. But when he sinks his teeth into her neck, Theroen also thrusts Two into a world of danger, violence, madness and despair. The powerful, twisted elder Abraham will use her arrival to shatter the uneasy peace that exists in his mansion, bringing an end to the dark game he has been playing for centuries.

My Review

This is my second time reading this (I wanted a recap as I am going to read the second installment) and it was just as good as the first time if not better.

Two is a prostitute kept in her profession by her vicious pimp Darren and her addiction of heroin. Along comes a client who will completely change her life and living as she knows it. What follows is a tale of love, blood, frienship, sex and distruction.

The story is very different from most of the vampire tales I have read in the way the vampires are with each other, how they turn, how it lasts, the families interactions and how they "bond" with each other. It is a story of love, a very unlikely friendship, retribution, revenge and mostly one young girls journey through what can only be called an unbelieveable rollercoaster.

The story has a great pace, the writing is very easy reading and the story is very simple to follow. There are a few good twists in it and the only thing I would caution readers o is some of the scenes are a bit graphic but most vampire/gore lovers know to expect some aspect of this in this type of book. I loved it both times so it is another 5/5 for me.

*This book is free as an ebook on Amazon or you can buy a print copy there too*




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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Decembers Pre-loved giveaway is If I Should Die Before I Wake by Michelle Morris

Book condition is great, the spine has no creases and isn't broken. There are a few indent marks on the cover and the back cover has a little residue from a previous sticker and a borders sticker on the bottom of the back cover.

From what I remember this book is not for the faint hearted.

This will run until the last day of the month in December and due to New Year will post out a little later when normal postal services resume. Good luck and feel free to share the link.

Blurb From Goodreads

Carla spends a summer night sitting by her father's bed, his gun on her knees. When he wakens she will get retribution for the childhood he has stolen from her and her mind, which he has destroyed. As she realizes the full horror of her life and despair, she relives the years of loneliness, self-disgust and pain she has endured. Exploring the troubled mind of a brutalized teenager and the violent, abusive intimacy of a daughter and her father, "If I Should Die Before I Wake" depicts Carla's disintegrating world with an unforgettable intensity. Michelle Morris has written a literary classic about the fundamental taboo of our society, incest.

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My review can be found here http://www.alwaysreading.net/2011/09/review-if-i-should-die-before-i-wake-by.html

Novembers Pre-loved Giveaway winner is.............

Lindsay from http://thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.com/

Congrats Lindsay and well done, thanks to everyone who took part and please keep an eye out for Decembers Pre-loved giveaway AND an additional kindle cover giveaway (both the older model with the keyboard and the new one).

Lindsay please message me your name and address and I will get it to you in the next few days.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Calling all zombie/vampire fans

OMG guess what I found today?????? A book with zombies AND vampires :O *screams* Oh I do hope it is great as it is such a bloody good idea.

From the back cover

A VAMPIRE IN ZOMBIELAND

Coburn's been dead now for close to a century, but seeing as how he's a vampire and all, it doesn't much bother him. Or at least it didn't, not until he woke from a forced five-years slumber to discover that most of human civilization was ow dead - but ot dead like him, oh no.

See, Colburn likes blood. The rest of the walking dead, they like flesh. He's smart. Them, not so much. But they outnumber him by about a million to one. And the clotted blood of the walking dead cannot sustain him. Now he's starving. And on the run. And more pissed-off than a bee-stung rattlesnake. The vampire ot only has to find human survivors (with their sweet, sweet blood), but now he has to transitio from predator to protector - after all, a man has to look after his food supply.

As you know I love my zombie books and quite enjoy vampires too so cannot believe I have found this book and even more shocking hadn't heard of it before. Once I have read my next in the list review book(s) this is definately getting read, excited!




I also got 6 other books (1 from bookmooch) and another 5 from Waterstones. Mostly undeed zombies and 1 werewolf book and a book by an author a friend reviewed (couldn't find the actual book she reviewed so bought that one instead.

Review - Laughing At Wall Street by Chris Camillo (ARC)

Laughing at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing (by Reading Tabloids, Shopping at the Mall, and Connecting on Facebook) and How You Can TooLaughing at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing (by Reading Tabloids, Shopping at the Mall, and Connecting on Facebook) and How You Can Too by Chris Camillo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Blurb from Goodreads

$20,000 to $2 million in only three years— the greatest stock-picker you never heard of tells you how you can do it too

Chris Camillo is not a stockbroker, financial analyst, or hedge fund manager. He is an ordinary person with a knack for identifying trends and discovering great investments hidden in everyday life. In early 2007, he invested $20,000 in the stock market, and in three years it grew to just over $2 million.

With Laughing at Wall Street, you’ll see:
•How Facebook friends helped a young parent invest in the wildly successful children’s show, Chuggington—and saw her stock values climb 50%
•How an everyday trip to 7-Eleven alerted a teenager to short Snapple stock—and tripled his money in seven days
•How $1000 invested consecutively in Uggs, True Religion jeans, and Crocs over five years grew to $750,000
•How Michelle Obama caused J. Crew’s stock to soar 186%, and Wall Street only caught up four months later!

Engaging, narratively-driven, and without complicated financial analysis, Camillo’s stock picking methodology proves that you do not need large sums of money or fancy market data to become a successful investor.

My Review

If I had to use one word to describe this book it would be interesting which really suprised me. I don't normally read books like this and was hesitant to agree when the author approached me with an ARC. However I am glad I did.

The story isn't just numbers and figures or mind numbing droll like that, Chris has taken a subject that us non investors can find hard to grasp and dull and explained it in simple terms and made even enjoyable to read. Chris tells us how it all started for him during his childhood and how he made his own ways of being successful at a really (I think) risky business.

He does go over some numbers and figures and when it came to the percentages I was wavering with losing interest as I have never been big on that side of maths however I stuck with it and it was interesting to see how this whole thing works. I now know about financial boards and where I would go if I wished to purse more information on investing.

Some of his tips and "events" that have helped him are really general and basic things anyone can do but until it is pointed out you wouldn't even think about it. I liked how through out the book he put his own personal stories in so it wasn't just a how to book but you actually felt like it was someone you knew talking you through how to do this stuff. He also uses everyday things like magazines etc to explain about trends or something that would give you the edge with items in our everyday life.

I found it really interesting, even the few bits that were above me and I am not comfortable workig with but have a better understanding of it and the whole investment process. I think it is a great book if investing is your thing as it will open you up to avenues you may have over looked. And for your average non invester person like me it is a great and easy way to learn about this kind of stuff. For me it's a 3/5 for this one.

Thank you so much to the author for giving me an ARC to review and introducing me to the whole investing scene and his work.

As always all opinions are my own, I was not paid or influenced to write my views. The book is available on Amazon.co.uk for £15.29 or Amazon.com for $15.50 If you purchase a copy today you can help support an amazing cause. Please check out the link to read more http://www.laughingatwallstreet.com/pres...






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Monday, 28 November 2011

Review - While I'm Still Me by Jeremy Mark Lane

While I'm Still MyselfWhile I'm Still Myself by Jeremy Mark Lane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb From Goodreads

A passionate December love affair.
The meeting of an unexpected traveler.
The consequences of protecting a young new acquaintance.
A journey into an unknown past.

In the stories of While I’m Still Myself, Jeremy Lane eloquently describes the life changing impact of the brief encounter, showing that life and love are not shaped by an entire lifetime, but by the fleeting moments with unexpected people in unexpected places.

My Review

What a great wee book. I am always wary about short story books as I find more often than not I really don't like the stories, too much change in pace and or writing or I just don't like it. The only one I pick up knowing I am going to enjoy is Stephen King (love his books!). Anyway I agreed to review it and I am so glad I did.

The stories are fairly decent length and variety, some are really short and some are a good length to get you involved and engrossed in the story. My favourites are That Winter (a boy meets a girl and becomes by chance in a diner and can't stop thinking about her, when he gets home there is a pleasant suprise waiting on him). The Pebblestone 5 (a group of young kids living in a small town all have 1 thing in common, they all have a secret and only tell each other when one of them is in the right place at the right time to do something about "it"). And Souls in the wind (a story based around racial issues). The other stories are good too but those 3 I really reallu enjoyed.

The writing is very easy to read and follow, again with short stories most of the time it is best to read them by dipping in and out. I sailed through this in one sitting and read over an hour or two as I really enjoyed the way the easy flow of the stories. This was my first time reading this author and I would definately read more of his work, 4/5 for me.

Thank you so much to the author for giving me the chance to read this. The individual stories are available in ebook format just now for just under £1 each and the whole book will be available in treebook format January 2012 on Amazon.



Visit the author here http://jeremymarklane.com/about/






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Review - Slaughterhouse Heart by Afsaneh Knight

Slaughterhouse HeartSlaughterhouse Heart by Afsaneh Knight

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Blurb from the back cover

As a volunteer as St Margaret's Hospice, eager and helpful Meryl is looking for a role in life. The arrival of Jamie, the son of a patient, may be just what she is after. He is charismatic, young and above all troubled.

Jamie's father has only days to live but between father and son is a lifetime of misunderstanding. With well-meaning Meryl hovering in the background, Jamie embarks on his long, dark night, facing the secrets, lies and heartbreaks behind his father's life. Could the most powerful legacy Jamie faces be an inability to love?

My review

This is a powerful book and really good for a debut novel. The subject matter is quite close to my own heart in one way or another. Jamie's relationship with his father is non existant, filled with anger, fear, resentment and even shame he has no love lost with either of his parents.

The story jumps about a lot. We have James (Jamie's dad) as a boxer in the prime of his career, then it flips to him as his health deteriorates, to be im hospital. From Jamie as a child to then Jamie as a adult. Meryls life both inside the hospice and her homelife with her husband and some of their rituals. Margaret also features and we read about her past and then back to present day where she is now. There is no one main character I would say as the story gives us a bit of history and detail about them all but ultimately it is all about Jamie and his father.

I didn't like Jamie much as a character and couldn't really say I did for any of the others really as to some degree things about them annoyed me or wasn't worth a mention or second thought. I had moment of liking Meryl and certainly feeling sorry for her at one point.

The book conjures up many emotions which I think will be individual for each reader and effect how they feel about and enjoy the story. It is a genius way to write a book to be honest. I had things I really liked and parts of it I wasn't too sure about or left with questions so for me a respectable 3/5.






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Author Interview with Ron Wyn, Author Of Irregular Therapy




Ron was kind enough to send me a copy of his book to review (my review is here http://www.alwaysreading.net/2011/11/review-irregular-therapy-by-ron-wyn.html )



Ron has an interview already prepared for us, thanks again Ron

Who is Ron Wyn? Please tell us about yourself.

Having formally plunged into the depths of scientific and psychological abstractions, Ron Wyn has both sides of the brain covered. Primarily a man of thought, his systematic mind insisted on a skeptical approach to life, a because-I-have-seen-I-believe modus operandi, but his troubled relationships ended up leading him to a path of action that opened his heart to new and exciting inner experiences.

Ron has been working with teaching, coaching, translation, and writing for over 25 years. Since 1998 his interests have expanded to include alternative treatments and therapies such as rebirthing, Applied Kinesiology, Reiki, shamanism, Kabbalah, and meditation.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ron lives and works in Chicago with his wife and son.

What is the genre of your work?

The genre of my work is officially self-help / relationships / psychology.

I call my genre of work awareness. What this means is that my goals are to color the world with meaningful and inspirational words while effectively bringing out a wealth of down-to-earth knowledge in simple and understandable terms to promote practical solutions, and to demystify spirituality while guiding and supporting fellow humans on their journey to reconnect and realign with their true nature—awareness.

Why did you choose this genre?

Ever since I was a young child I have been entangled in my own thoughts, my own little world, trying to analyze the things I do and why I do them. I remember climbing up to the roof when I was 8 or 9 and thinking about life while gazing at the blue sky. Can you believe that? Having a psychiatrist father also meant that I spent much of my formative years around mentally ill individuals in mental institutions, and have thus become utterly interested in the functioning of the human mind and its practical development. Since that time I have been almost obsessed with answering questions we all ask ourselves, such as why are we the way we are? Why are we here? What’s this all about? Where are we going?

How is writing in the genre you write, different than any other genre?

I am pleased to say I have reached a stage in my personal development where I am able to see my life objectively, as if I were another person observing from the outside. Although this has been a recent achievement, I’m no stranger to logic or objectivity. In addition to psychology, I have a degree in mathematics! So the scientist in me contributes with a scientific-method approach in the way I write and in the way I observe and develop my own self, while the psychologist in me analyzes and guides me into the depths of my own being. And I have all the fun just watching the entire thing!

What are some of your books or stories that have been published?

Although I have been writing for quite a while, irregular therapy is my first published book. It is part of a series. The irregular therapy book series came to fruition in the aftermath of a storm—a storm I call the first four decades of my life. From wounded child to rebellious teenager and troubled adult, I eventually reached a point where I felt completely lost. I certainly knew what was best for me, but try as I might, I couldn’t overcome the old, repetitive patterns that ran my existence. Finally, I came to see I had to do something about my precarious situation. I had to do something to make things better. I decided to take quality time and really dig deep into my troubles and face my fears. Well, it so happens that I took notes as I went along. Hence comes Book One: the storytelling, the more subjective part, the emotional release. It’s a story about how my despair over broken affairs and damaging repetitive behaviors led me to look within and realize that by clearing my inner patterns, my relationships with other people improved as if by magic. Although it was written from a man’s point of view, I feel the book is beneficial to either gender—men will find structures and stories they can certainly relate to, and women will be able to better understand men and their issues, especially regarding relationships.

irregular therapy: one man’s struggle to find meaning, money and a soul mate can be purchased on my website www.irregulartherapy.com in several formats: paperback, ePub, Kindle, or PDF. It can also be found at major online outlets worldwide such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

ISBNs

Paperback: 978-0-9832810-4-7

ePub: 978-0-9832810-3-0

Kindle: 978-0-9832810-5-4

PDF: 978-0-9832810-2-3

I’m currently writing the second book in the series, which should be out by the end of 2011. The second book in the irregular therapy series reflects the results of my note-taking process. It is an attempt to organize the knowledge I have acquired throughout the years—translated not only into techniques, but also into first-hand knowledge of human behavior and functioning. And, as a teacher at heart, I do my best to convey this knowledge in simple, understandable, and practical terms.

Where do you get your ideas for writing?

My ideas come mainly from my personal life experience: the events I have witnessed, my travels, my relationships, my thoughts and interpretations. I have found that I am able to express myself well in writing and this also helps me in my catharsis—I am able to expunge old habits and patterns, leaving room for new and improved ideas.

What is your favorite thing about your book?

I think it is just the way the words came out. Direct, honest, but from a place of pity. I also enjoyed fully exposing myself. It gave me the sense that my entire life is nothing but a story. And it also feels good to have nothing to hide.

Why and when did you begin writing? Is there any one person who had a big influence on you or encouraged you to write?

I have been writing ever since I was a teenager. No one really influenced me then; I just found I felt good, I felt lighter, after writing. It gave me a sense of relief. I have always been able to expel things from my system this way. Later in life I think John Lennon was a great influence. Not in terms of writing, but as a role model on self-expression.

What is your writing schedule? What atmosphere do you need to write?

I mainly write in the late morning hours. I enjoy writing when I’m wide awake. And I need peace and quiet. No music, no one around. Writing is almost a mediunic experience to me. It just comes out. Once I start writing, inspiration keeps coming and coming and coming. I just jot down whatever comes through my system, and when it stops I feel exhausted, but great. A few days later I come back and edit the material. It’s like I’m reading it for the first time….

What projects are you working on now, or planning for the future?

I have much more material planned for the irregular therapy project. In addition to the book series, I have been developing a website, www.irregulartherapy.com, and blog, blog.irregulartherapy.com, where I have placed much of my writing and intend to develop other areas of interest such as music, guided visualizations, and subliminal messaging, among other things. I have been exposed to many teachings and techniques on my journey, and now it is time to show others the tools that have assisted me. I’m positive they will help many people as they have helped me. Finally, I am also available for speaking engagements and life coaching.

What kind of advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to write and be published? Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?

My advice is simple. Just do it. Don’t let your mind get in the way and sabotage you by saying your work is not good enough, the market is saturated, things of that sort. Other people will also say these things to you, you know. Don’t pay attention to them. But be realistic. Gather your energy and persevere. Make an inner resolve and go for it. Set aside some time every day for your most important work and stick to your schedule. Self-publishing requires a lot of planning, but it need not be daunting. You can publish your own work, but that does not mean you’ll have to do it alone. Establish your budget; be smart and honest about the stages you can complete yourself. For example, you might be enthusiastic about design, but unless you are a professional designer, I suggest you outsource your cover. You don’t want to look amateurish. In my case, I wrote and edited the book, then sent it out to an expert for his opinion (I was not going to commit my time and effort to something that was not good, or something that reflected some delirium of grandeur). I had a couple of people copyedit it. Then I invested most of my money in the cover design and text. The rest was technicalities. Setting up a website, finding a distributor, joining associations, submitting articles, marketing. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. If you’re committed, you can do it. Or maybe your budget allows you to hire a book shepherd, who will do it all for you. I know I didn’t have the money for that. But the book is out, nevertheless.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I make music, sing and play the guitar, read a lot, meditate, and work out. I also enjoy computer programming. But these are all weekly activities. On weekends, I do as little as possible and just hang out with my wife and teenaged son (whenever he allows us to be around him). After all, as Bill Watterson so truthfully put it, “Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”

What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?

This is certainly one of them. Seeing my book published, holding it in my hands, seeing my website ready and people’s reaction to it. There have also been many other moments, which I consider stepping stones in my development process. Such as when I lost my last job and went on my own. That was a scary, but great feeling. And when I met my wife. That was the end of a lifelong search. Truly amazing. Well, no use elaborating here. You can check out these stories (and much more) in detail by reading irregular therapy: one man’s struggle to find meaning, money and a soul mate!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Review - The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo

The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø




Publisher Vintage (2007)
pages 618

Blurb From Goodreads

1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.

1999: Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

The Redbreast won the Glass Key prize for the best Nordic crime novel when it was first published, and was subsequently voted Norway’s best crime novel. The Devil’s Star, Nesbø’s first novel featuring Harry Hole to be translated into English, marked Nesbø as a writer to watch in the ever more fashionable world of Nordic crime.

My Review

This for me was an up and down read in that some of it was fantastic and I couldn't put it down yet other parts of it was slow and the Norwegian names were a bit confusing so I had to look back to remember who was who.

The book is split into two, the past in the 1940s during the Natzi War we follow a small band of soldiers. The soldiers fate is revealed and the choices made by one will influence what happens up to present day.

Present day we follow a cop (Harry Hole) who has his own issues and baggage and before long is caught up in and investigation where the soldiers from the past are involved in one way or another and the story goes from there. Things get dangerous quickly and Harry has to put his own personal demons aside to track down a professional killer who wont let anything or anyone get in his way.

I loved when it went back to the past and the story was with the nurse and the soldier and the interaction with the soldiers together. The relationships, stress and hardships they face with war. however even back there some of it dragged and took a bit of time to get the point.

Present day - most of my questions got answered but again the pace went from slow and drawn to fast and jumped back and forth.

This was my first Jo Nesbo book and whilst I did like it I found it a hard slog in some parts yet totally riveting in others. There was one big issue in the book that wasn't addressed however I am sure it will be dealt with in another book. I think the bad and good are fairly even so this book is getting a 3/5 for me and I will read this author again.






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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Changing the look

Please bare with me whilst I play with the look of here yet again. No doubt I will go back to what it was as I hate change and cannot get it to look how I want but after FF and seeing so many fabulous layouts and blogs I want to try tweeking mine again.

Watch this space and if you happen to visit during the tweaking ad it look out of sync - I am currently tweaking and it will look better lol, thanks.

Special thanks to my hubby for helping me with my new stars for my ratings and adjusting my grab my blog button and they all match the new theme colour. Pretty geeky brag but I can't do any of this stuff and it took me ages to tweek the design so to have personalised touches makes me one happy booker geek! :D


And my new blog button

Photobucket

Friday, 25 November 2011

Follow Friday




Follow Friday is a meme hosted over at ParaJunkee http://parajunkee.com/2011/11/feature-follow-my-book-blog-72-2.html if you want to take part please click on the link and read what you need to do.

This Fridays question is Q: It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for – blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

For me it is all the wonderful people I have met doing this, I have found new authors via review requests and been introduced to new genres. But also wonderful bloggers including the co host of this FF http://www.alisoncanread.com/ who I have followed since I first did these memes and everytime I stop over she always takes the time to reply to my comment and returns the visit which can't be said about a lot of bloggers and I really appreciate whe people do this (look at her amount of followers it is no easy feat!). I always return visits/follows and comments but know how time consuming it can be.

I am also thankful to the lovely people who don't think twice about helping out when I need it or answering my many many questions and they have fabulous blogs too. I hate naming some because you are guarenteed to miss so many as there are wonderful people out there but the most recent are Carole http://dizzycslittlebookblog.blogspot.com/ Ellie http://curiositykilledthebookworm.blogspot.com/ Jenny http://chocolatechunkymunkie.blogspot.com/ Lindsay http://thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.com to name but a few (and all of my followers on Twitter).

It has been a while since I have done a FF but it is good fun and a great way to meet and reconnect with other bloggers. If you have found your way here for the first time or revisiting please check out the giveaways and upcoming competitions. Feel free to share or tweet them and any comments and new followers will be returned, thanks.

Review - Twenty Tiny Tales by Willie Wit

Twenty Tiny TalesTwenty Tiny Tales by Willie Wit

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

A Collection of 20 spring-loaded 'smallstories', bursting with surprises and fun.
Read them and then see things around you from a fresh new angle.
:0)

My review

Twenty Tiny Tales hits the nail on the head, the stories are very short and quirky. For the most of them you start reading it thinking you know what the story is about only to get to the last few lines and find it is about something completely different. Particularly in the case of my favourite one of the tales The Wedding. I really enjoyed this and would have given it a 5/5 purely on how fabulous and genius it was.

The other one I really enjoyed was Overtime (all parts) again because it is something different and has a few parts to it, to be honest I think a book could have been made out of this alone (with much more depth it has huge potential) as it is really interesting.

The stories are tongue in cheek and if you go into it looking for something to make you laugh and light reading you will enjoy it. The other stories were fine and enjoyable, if not then certainly readable but for me The Wedding and Overtime shone through whilst the others I could take or leave. 3/5 for me and I would read more by this author again.

Thank you to the author for giving me the chance to read this book and for everyone else this is available for the kindle on Amazon for £0.86.


View all my reviews

Review - The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

The ReaderThe Reader by Bernhard Schlink

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Blurb From Goodreads

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

My Review

I think the word I would have to use for this book is shocking. More than once I was shocked reading it and actually gasped at one point. The story starts with a young 15 year old boy being helped by an older lady when he is sick, upon returning to thank her for her help they embark upon a physical relationship. This in itself is quite shocking as she is around twice his age but the relationship is very turbulent and bizarre not counting the age issue.

The book jumps on in years and Michael finds himself once again with Hanna in his life when he least expects it and a huge secret about her past. Does this explain why she was the way she was with him or is there something else she is keeping hidden?

The book is written in very short chapters so makes for a quick read and the writing and story itself is very easy to follow. The end takes a turn that I was not expecting (as it had done at the beginning despite knowing a relationship was on the cards).

The book has riled a few feathers with some readers as they feel the author trys to evoke sympathy for Hanna despite what she has done, some have slated the actual writing and felt the content was poor. I for the most part enjoyed the book and as I said it took a few turns I did not expect, it kept my interest and was for the most part easy reading. I think it is fair to say we have another marmite book, I am on the side of liking it and for me it is a 4/5.





View all my reviews

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Author Interview with Patti Roberts, author of Paradox: The Angels Are Here

Thank you so much Patti for doing this author interview and giving us a copy (ebook) of your book to giveaway to one of our lucky bloggers. Btw great picture :D

This is So Many Books, So Little Times first author interview & giveaway (may more to come).



Gorgeous graphics on the front cover - something I forgot to mention in my review!


So lets get the ball rolling with some pre-ready questions and some new ones:



Where were you born and where do you call home? I was born in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. However, I consider 2 places home. Darwin in the Northern Territory, where I grew up. My heart will always think of Darwin as home. And Cairns, Queensland, where I have now lived for over 20. Cairns really is a beautiful part of the World. Where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Book 2 in the Paradox Series (Progeny Of Innocence) is just about to be released. It continues on from where book 1 (The Angels Are Here) ended off. It is a story being Narrated by Juliette, a soul that died 900 years ago when a battle raged, and Angels fell.

If your book became a movie who would you like to play the main characters (from book 1)? I don't want to say for Grace, I would like everyone to form their own opinion about that character.

For Angela (teenager) Ksenia Solo from Lost Girl.

For Brian Connors Eric Banner

For Wade Alex O'Loughlin

For Kate Connors Radha Mitchell


How is book 2 and 3 coming along and when can we expect them to be out? Book 2 – Progeny Of Innocence is due out 30th November…..

What or who inspired you to write? A broken heart. It was either go shopping for a new wardrobe or….. buy a new laptop. I chose the laptop, started writing, and here I am. The best decision I ever made!

And how long have you been writing? I have been writing since 2009

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
I really liked the word Paradox, and the meaning. It makes you think, see things from other perspectives. And the cover I ended up choosing for book 1 is kind of dark and mystic, Gothic I thought. Little bit EMO. I liked it, it really suited the story. It is by the talented artist Hazel Brown from Overland Park, United States.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life? Yes…real events. And there are lots of bits of trivia throughout the book that mostly only I know about. Like the little friend of Grace’s Patrick Wheat, that dies in the book. I used the name Patrick to honor the life & death of Patrick Swayze. And the boys surname “Wheat” was the surname of the character that Patrick Swayze plays in the movie “Ghost”. That is just one example.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
George RR Martin. Author of the Game of Thrones.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Ebooks, I love my kindle. And paperbacks. Have never liked hardcovers.

Have you ever read a book more than once? Not really. There are so many books out there waiting to be read….

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
PS I Love You. And TV's shows. The Vampire Diaries. The TV show is way better than the books.



Do you have a book trailer? Sure do - http://theangelsarehere.wordpress.com/book-trailer-book-1/

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
I really like them. I had fun making mine.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read, read, read and write, write, write as much as you can

What are 4 things you never leave home with out? Phone, bag, lipstick, money.

Computer or pen and paper for writing? Laptop and a notepad for keeping notes and ideas.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
At the desk In my room, usually in the middle of the night.


One of your favorite quotes – you meet people for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

List 3 of your all time favorite books? Kane and Able was very good. I'm really enjoying the Game of Thrones series right now. And a ton of new books from Indie Authors that I have met on goodreads. Awesome bunch of people.

Where can your readers stalk you?


Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/PattiRoberts7
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Paradox-Series/150822348341990
Blog - http://theangelsarehere.wordpress.com/
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/980856.Patti_Roberts

After reading my review on your book was it deliberate to have so many questions raised and unanswered in your first book and why?
(I do personally think it has peeked ((for me)) huge interest in the second book.

Most certainly it was deliberate. And I'm glad that it left you asking questions and wanting to know more. I like to read a book and watch a movie where it isn't all spelled out for me. I like to have to really work at searching for clues and try to work out what's happening. I like the uncertainty of it all. Life is like that…. There are always more questions than answers. That is what keeps life so interesting. I understand that some people like and easy read, not a lot of thinking. I'm just not one of them. 

Great Patti thank you so much for your time and your thoughts and again for the giveaway.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

You don't have to be a follower here or of Pattis blog.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Paradox: The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts please leave a comment with your email and or you blog address and a winner will be picked through the usual method (names in a hat) and we will get the book to you.

Synopsis for Paradox:The Angels Are Here by Patti Roberts (From Goodreads)

Nine hundred years ago, I died...

A little girl's world is turned upside down by a visitor,the Angel of Death. She finds herself trapped in a nightmare, consumed by her paralyzing loss and overwhelming grief. The haunting visions and untimely deaths of others are a constant reminder that life and death are only a heartbeat away.

A journey crossing Two Worlds. One Ancient - One New.

How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth & Legend?

Where lives are bound by blood - and nothing is as it seems. In a World where there are more questions than answers. This journey will leave you wanting and have you asking... Who, When, Where?

Is your Guardian Angel From Heaven or Hell...?

Paradox - Progeny Of Innocence (#2 in the
Paradox Series) Available November 2011

Well from I first started reviewing

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