Sunday, 26 June 2016

Review - Hidden by Karen E. Olsen

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is well written, with a likeable protagonist,and  the author was skillful in the timing and the way of the revelations. It kept me guessing and wondering right to the end. And as for the end - loved it! Anything else would not have worked half as well.

Hoping for a sequel.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Review - The Mistake I Made by Paula Daly

I read this in one sitting!

The author was skilful in building the protagonist's recklessness through the novel, and the
reader becomes totally immersed in her character by then we realise her stupidity - 
or the lengths she goes to in her desperation. I enjoyed learning about physiotherapy 
and the author's knowledge and enthusiasm shone from the page, providing a strong
 framework for both the plot and characters.

There are only two negative comments (and they're not strictly negatives) - I'm not so keen 
on the title and if the blurb hadn't popped up when my mouse hovered over it, I would have 
passed this novel by. And that would have been a shame.  Plus the very last email seemed 
out of character for Henry. I don't think the novel particularly needs a hint of a HEA with him. 
I believe it would have been stronger without....

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Requiem for the Living by A.J. Locke

This is the second in The Reanimation Files series, and it more than lived up to the promise of the first. I even think I like it better!

Fast-paced, action-packed and convoluted, it had me guessing right to the very end - which was totally unexpected.  Selene has grown as a character, and this time the problems she faces aren't mostly of her own making.  

Moving straight on to book 3!!

Here are the links to the author's page and Amazon:

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Affairs of the Dead by A J Locke

This is an urban fantasy,bordering on a paranormal romance.

The first sentence is an excellent hook and sets the tone for the novel and the initial scene was quite shocking in some ways, but delivered in a humorous and rather tongue-in-cheek way.

The heroine is sassy, opinionated and flawed, makes poor choices (as do we all), and can be both likeable and unlikable at the same time. Both her character and her circumstances develop throughout the novel, revealing a multi-layered personality that is not evident initially. The reader gets much more than first appearances would suggest. Even though she does things I would not personally condone, I still believe her to be a character who deserves the reader's empathy because she does grow as the story progresses to realise that some of her actions and attitudes might be less than attractive. If there wasn't for this development then Selene would be a decidedly unlikable character.

Every time I thought I could anticipate what was going to happen next, the author threw a curved ball and and surprised me, which kept me turning the pages and I thought it was well paced with a good mix of action and slower scenes.

This is the first novel in a series and I shall look forward to the next one from this author.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

How much info is too much when it comes to an author?

As a reader, I don’t want to know anything about the people who write the stories I love (sorry Stephen King, not even you). I just want them to write and keep writing. Knowing stuff about them, including their writing processes – especially their writing processes – detracts from my enjoyment.  I think what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want the author intruding on the story. I simply want the story to be, rather than think about why it was written, how it was written, or if the author has a penchant for wearing odd socks while typing, or anything else about him or her.

As an author I tend to hold the same view – why should whether I am married, drive a bus, or live in a tent, matter to my readers. Surely it should all be about the story and nothing but the story? Who I am and what I have experienced affects my writing, of course it must, but does the reader need to know all the gory and mostly boring details – do they have a right to know?

It could be argued that the public has a right to know if their beloved author has murdered someone, evaded their taxes, or any committed any other crime. Readers might not want to buy his books again, and that is understandable.

But is also begs the question of: where is the line drawn? At a criminal record? Maybe…

What about moral issues? You may not like that your favourite author has slept with hundreds of women, or cheated on his wife…

What about religion? Politics? Sexual orientation? He’s a vegetarian? He hates guns? He doesn’t recycle? He wears a Wee-Willie-Winkie nightcap to bed?

Where does it end? Where should it end?

Should it even start?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

A Year of Being Single - Fiona Collins

IMOGEN is supposed to be on the most romantic weekend of her life and instead she’s quickly realised that her current boyfriend definitely isn’t ‘The One’ and actually One Big Mistake.
FRANKIE is fed up. Fed up of her good-for-nothing husband and her four, unappreciative children. Well, they hardly notice her anyway, maybe it’s time to shake it up a little…
GRACE thought she had the perfect life. Gorgeous little boy and perfect, hardworking husband. Or rather, she did, until she realised her husband was shagging his ‘work’.
It’s time for a change – and to ditch the men who are dragging them down! It’s time for A Year of Being Single. Swearing off men, these single ladies don’t need to put a ring on it…right?
Perfect for fans of Jane Costello, Helen Fielding and Fiona Gibson, A Year of Being Single is the laugh-out-loud debut that everyone’s talking about!
I loved this book! It's a laugh-out-loud read, the author's style is easy and engaging, and the premise is intriguing. Great for curling up on the sofa on a rainy day, or one of your holiday reads on the beach. 

I really do hope to see more from Ms Collins.

A solid 5 stars

Thursday, 21 April 2016

She’s a bit too old to be writing erotica, isn’t she?

I was in a bookshop-cum-coffeehouse the other day, when I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between two ladies at the next table. Okay, couldn’t help is an exaggeration – I was actually earwigging.

They were discussing an author who publishes erotica and trying to guess her age from her photo. They appeared to be a little disconcerted that she writes candidly and graphically about sex, yet was at the older end of life’s age-range.  One of them was so disgusted that she swore she would never read another thing the author wrote. ‘It’s like thinking about your grannie doing it,’ she said.

It has long been a tradition to put author photos inside the back cover of hardbacks. I remember seeing an early shot of Stephen King and feeling a little disappointed that he wasn’t more….more. I could happily have carried on reading his work in ignorance of his appearance. And ignorance about any other aspect of his life, for that matter.

This got me to thinking about the wisdom of readers knowing too much about authors. Surely it’s enough to enjoy the books they write?  As readers do we have to know how many kids they’ve got, or whether they like oats for breakfast?

 And does it matter how old they are? Sex sells sex – I realise that. And maybe if said author had posted a photo of a young, lithe, thing dressed in skimpy underwear and wielding a whip, in place of a real headshot of herself, then maybe readers would relate more to the idea of her, than to the reality of her. But shouldn’t her writing speak for itself? Does she have to be young and sexy to write about youth and sex?

Of course not! In the same way that authors can write young adult when their teenage years are long behind them. In the same way that an author can write about loss and heartache, and death and love, and envy, and rage, and altruism, and kindness – and all the other human emotions and conditions we all experience to some degree or another.

Yes, it does help an author’s writing if he or she has experienced what they are writing about for themselves, but that is what sets a good story-teller apart from the rest – they can imagine, they can empathise, and they can put all those emotions into words and get them down on paper.

It’s the story and the way it is told that counts.