#BookReview : The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert @mimi_albert @penguinrandom @NetGalley #PublicationDay

35997403

I am so delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert, it is due for publication today and available in various formats.  Published by Penguin it can be purchased from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

My Thoughts:

When you think of fairy tales it is often woods, wolves, castles, princes and princesses with a happy ever after.  The Hazel Wood is nothing like that, it contains fairy tales but they are darker with an underlying feeling of dread to them.  The reclusive and mysterious author Althea Prosperine published her only novel Tales of the Hinterland.  Her granddaughter Ella has never met Althea, never read the book, but is aware of it.  In fact not many have met Althea or even have a copy of the book.  Ella and her mum Alice have to move around a lot, they keep their heads down, always try to keep ahead of the bad luck that seems to shadow them.  This story is how Ella and the reader learns about The Hazel Wood, the book and the bad luck.

This is a brilliantly woven story using the basic premise of a fairy tales.  Twisting them into a dark and brooding journey for the reader.  As we follow Ella and Alice there are things that are seen out of the corner of an eye that gives feeling of the supernatural that have mysterious darker undertones, shadows that linger, people that don’t quite fit in, this all adds to a feeling of tense suspense.  As the story unfolds there are several twists that I didn’t expect, they are clever and make this an extremely addictive read. There are several characters in this story and they are easily remembered and play their parts well, they have good backstories, and while I didn’t like all the characters I found them intriguing.

Once I started this story I could not put it down, the descriptions give a vivid and imaginative picture.  I loved the style of the writing, at times it had the fairy tale feel you would expect, but also a darker much more intense feel that was far removed from fairy tales.  I would like to see follow on from this book as there were several characters that I would like to know more about, and some that left me with questions. But overall it has been beautifully put together and is one I would absolutely recommend.

So if you like a dark and twisty fantasy read that has some roots in magical fairy tales then this is a book for you.  It is a young adult read, that an older adult loved.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for my eARC of this wonderful book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

You can visit the author in Twitter and also find all the links to purchase the books HERE

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this brilliant book 🙂 xx

Advertisements

#BookReview : The Wait For Shadows by Karl Holton @KarlHolton

37669222

I have been eagerly waiting to share my thoughts on “The Wait For Shadows” the 2nd book in The Shadows Series, by Karl Holton. Published by Thuja it is available to purchase in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US 

Synopsis:

An assassin wants revenge but doesn’t know who to kill. 
A drug dealer wants revenge without the muscle to kill. 
a ‘wild beast’ can help them both. 
Can anybody stop it? 

The last six days in ‘The Weight of Shadows’ were just the beginning. 
Danny Benedict and the whole team must get ready — it’s day seven. 
The second book in the ‘Shadows Series’. 

Every morning you can watch the sunbeams glitter, 
certain you no longer need to wait for shadows. 

My Thoughts:

I have been looking forward to reading this 2nd book in the Shadows Series.  Would Karl keep up the fast paced, explosive read I had experienced in The Weight of Shadows ? Well I read this book in one sitting ! So yes it did live up to my expectations as I was once again transported into the murky double-crossing underworld of the secret services, the underhand dealing of gangs, the high-end criminals in organised international crime and all the fall out, action and adventure that goes with it.

I loved the way Karl has, at the beginning of this book included a list of the main characters giving a brief description of their role, this immediately jogged my memory and the story began.  We are taken into a scenario where some departments use the useful, but slightly illegal resources of a certain boss, he is one of those grey area bosses.  He has been involved in illegal practices that has made him a billionaire, but his resources are the only way some people can be found.  He is a rogue, but one of those good baddies. Along with Benedict, Wallace, Watkins, Paddy and Pip the story leads you into money laundering, drug dealing on an international scale.

The pacing of this book is fast, well-balanced and keeps in well with the style of the story.  There are chases, ambushes, snipers and assassins that will add to a body count as the team work their way through leads, dirty cops, sneaky sly secret service agents and hedge fund management. Benedict and Wallace have a great dynamic as they work together, both brash but can see the professionalism in each other.  I like this combination and look forward to more adventures with the duo.

I would recommend to readers that reading the first book in the series would be beneficial, there is mention of the previous story. Even though brief explanations are given, reading the first will give essential background.  I personally don’t think you would get the same enjoyment from this one if it is read as a stand alone.

So to finish up, this is a book I would highly recommend to readers of fast paced action and adventure, with corruption, double-dealing in the murky underworld, and high-end organised international crime world.  This is a great book that took me straight back to the world that I loved so much in “The Weight of Shadows”.  Now then Mr. Holton, when is the next book out 🙂

About the Author:

17023766

Karl Holton’s first book, ‘The Weight of Shadows’ came out in July 2017. It is the first in a new crime thriller mystery known as the ‘Shadow Series. The second in the series ‘The Wait for Shadows’ came out in December 2017. Both are available on Amazon.

Karl previously worked in financial markets for over thirty years, before deciding that he had to write. He couldn’t leave this dream any longer.

He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and two children.

Follow Karl on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

My review  for “The Weight of Shadows

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, please give it a share if you liked it.  Better still go and get a copy of this explosive thriller and see what you think xx

#BookReview : The Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade by Shah Jalal @LegendofHorian @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR #BlogTour

Legend of Horian Cover

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for the first in a series of books by Shah Jalal, “Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade” .  My thanks to Rachel at Authoright UK PR for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

‘Long ago in the distant Kingdom of Dycentia, storytellers sang the legend of one of their own; a hero the likes of which were only born in forgotten lands, in forgotten times. This Dycentian’s name was Horian and although his life was cloaked in shadows, the secrets the storytellers sang have been passed down through the ages, known to only a select few and now preserved in these pages so that they may never be forgotten. The residents of today’s world can benefit from the lessons of bravery and duty in Horian’s quest. Few could have survived the soul-seething journey he undertook to access the most awesome weapon on the face of the earth. Few could be entrusted with the responsibility of wielding such a sovereignty seizing sword. However, it was only with the Dycentian Blade that Horian would literally govern the godly powers required to massacre the Mightiest and Most Malignant Monarch of Demons and Everything Foul, and to right the many wrongs that had been done.’

My Thoughts:

Horian has returned home after 4 years training. His home is a village in the Kingdom of Dycentia.  His father Juratan, is a wizard and also the craftsman behing the Dycentian Blade, a sword that has been imbued with the power of 9 elements, no ordinary man care wield it, it has to be someone who can prove his worth and pass the tests required by the Gods.

This is a really interesting fantasy read that the author has built around the kingdoms of Dycentia and Galleria, describing the differences between the inhabitants, building and structures, the landscape and also the history. These are told in conversations between characters and also in descriptive passages.  A book that leans heavily on the “good ‘v’ evil” plot, as well as the role the gods play in everyday life for some, but not all.  There is a build up to a large battle, though it is not featured in this story, but the foundations have been laid for what is to come.

I though the plot was good and is based around Horian’s journey, or quest that will lead to further adventures.  It is basic in some ways, but as this is the start of a series it is more about getting to know the people and their customs and traditions.  I did find the religion featured quite a lot, but it is part of the story and how the gods are involved in this world, but it has been balanced with the believers and the non-believers.

This book definitely hit a lot of the right notes with me and I am interested to see where this story leads to next.  It has introduced me to a new world, with different inhabitants, with history, religion and some interesting characters.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who want to start a new journey in fantasy.  It is well written with a lot of detail and explanation, has action,adventure and the promise of more to come. A book that has set it’s foundations down.

About the Author:

Although born in Bangladesh, Shah Jalal has lived most of his life with his family in England.When not writing he helps his father run the family retail business in Leytonstone, London.

Follow the author on Twitter ~ Website ~ Facebook

Check out other bloggers thoughts on this tour.

Monika Cover 2

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go a get a copy of this book and let you journey begin xx

#BookReview : Hunting Nora Stone by Colin Weldon @colinweldon

511fkXiPoaL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Hunting Nora Stone” by Colin Weldon today, a self published book available in paperback and also eBook.

Synopsis:

Taken from the streets, no money, no family, Nora Stone is transformed by a black ops division of the CIA. Her body, now a mixture of sophisticated bio-engineering, has become a lethal weapon. A weapon that has disappeared. Eddie Conrad, an Ex Navy seal turned military analyst, is counting the days to when he can be officially discharged. His nightmares, following a year in captivity in Syria, the only survivor of a mission gone wrong, are growing worse. When the bodies of a tactical team sent in to find Nora Stone show up horribly mutilated, Eddie is coerced into going back into the field to find her. But Nora wants to be found, is waiting to be found. And is ready to take revenge

My Thoughts:

Nora Stone, a nobody who is part of a top-secret bio-engineering research and development program and she has gone AWOL.  Eddie Conrad has been ordered to bring her in.  He has the support of a tech geek and a psychologist, they have no real field experience, but have invaluable knowledge and background of Nora.  As things evolve in the story, Eddie soon realises that he does not have all the facts, things don’t smell right and discovers that there are secrets, cover-ups, lies and corruption.  Also that there are things that are more top secret than top secret itself.

This is a well paced book that I really enjoyed reading.  It has a technological aspect to it, with computers, bio-engineering and various other things, but to be honest it is not an intense information overload, it gives enough to make you realise that this is advanced science but not so much that you get bamboozled. What starts off as being a woman hunt, takes a few turns and reforms into something else, very nicely manipulated to add some good plot twists.  It has a good deal of conspiracy, corruption and secrets of a military aspect, that goes down well with this reader.  The characters themselves I found to be memorable, and soon recognised them and their roles, there is not a huge cast, which for this book is perfect given the top top-secret aspects.  They are gradually introduced as the story progresses.

So given that it is a book with a technology side to it that I would not understand if too advanced, I found it to be an enjoyable, well paced book, that I actually felt I understood and made sense.  I really liked the idea behind it, the bio-engineered or super soldier aspect.  As I said I really liked this, it is a book that put me in mind of Universal Soldier meets Jack Reacher.

I think this would appeal to readers who like a military style action adventure read, with an element of slight sci-fi, with a good deal or corruption and conspiracy thrown in.  A book that I would have happily read in one sitting if I didn’t have to go to work.

My thanks to Colin for sending me a e -copy of this book, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased. I will add that there were a couple of typo’s but nothing that detracts from the story and my enjoyment of reading it, and I have not accounted for these in my rating of the book on Amazon or Goodreads.

About the Author:

14769995I am from Dublin, Ireland and have been writing most of my life. I studies Journalism and then went on to do an MA in Screenwriting. I love travelling, reading but most days you’ll find me sitting in one of the many coffee shops around the city trying to write stories.

Follow Colin on : Twitter ~ Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1975773772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1975773779
  • Purchase from Amazon UK  ~  Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy this book xx

#12DaysofClinkStreetChristmas : Outremer by D.N.Carter : @Authoright @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000 #BookReview #Blogtour

 

 

Many thanks to Rachel at Authoright for the invite to take part in the “12 Days of Clink Street Christmas”. My post today is for “Outremer” by D.N.Carter.  This book is available in hardback, paperback or as an eBook.

 (Check out the calendar at the bottom of this post for more information.)

Synopsis:

Who Controls The Past Controls The Future
An epic love story must overcome religious divide and a plot to eradicate two blood lines, as the Crusades and the search for the ancient mysteries of the Holy Grail gather momentum.
Raised by his father in La Rochelle, France, Paul Plantavalu is known for his artistic nature, inquisitive mind and Christian faith. He also has an unshakable love for his Muslim childhood friend, Alisha al Komaty. Courageous and outspoken, she returns Paul’s love. But their path is paved with obstacles; religion, war, political chaos and a mysterious enemy determined to destroy their family lines.
Sometime between 1110 AD and 1120 AD in the aftermath of the first crusade, a small band of nine knights — the founding knights Templar — recover ancient precious artefacts left by a former, advanced civilisation, beneath the City of Jerusalem. Ruthlessly guarded, the secrets revealed by this discovery are highly prized by powerful and dangerous forces far and wide; the repercussions of their capture are inextricably linked to Paul and Alisha. As Paul starts to experience dark and vivid dreams and the fragile balance of peace starts to crumble, it will fall to an enigmatic man known as Kratos and his female warrior protégée Abi Shadana, to safeguard Paul and Alisha.
Paul and Alisha’s love story weaves between the threads of our reality and other realms — from the Druids to the Sufi mystics, the Magi of the East, the secret political arm of the Knights Templar and the Isma’ilis, the Assassins. Knights and pilgrims alike will witness some of the darkest battles ever fought. The discovery of a unique sword’s lethal power and whispered connections to King Arthur and the Holy Grail lead Paul and Alisha to question if their lives ever be the same again.
The first of a four-part series, Outremer is an historical epic, which sweeps across England, Scotland and France, to Syria, Jerusalem and Egypt. Discover the truth — and crack the ancient code — behind the great mysteries of the High Middle Ages for yourself.

My Thoughts:

This is a huge book, not just in length, but also in detail, content, description, plot and research.  The research alone that has gone into this book is in itself vast.  If you want a book that takes you through the history of the Knights Templar and the events of the high middle ages then this is a must read.  Also included is a vast array of things relevant to the time and their connections through history, and includes Christianity, Muslims, Islam, Egyptology, symbolism, paganism, Arthurian Legend, folklore and astrology, this list only just scratches the surface. It is the first in a planned series of four books, and feels to be just the tip of the iceberg.  I am so excited about this upcoming series after reading this first instalment.

All of the above and more have been cleverly wrapped around the love story of Paul from a Christian family and Alisha from a Muslim one.  In theory these two families should be enemies,at the time of crusades when Muslim and Christian are at war.  But this is not the case, the families have been friends for many years, and respected by some of the highest ranking Grand Masters, but why is this information not available to all, and known only by a select few.   Paul and Alisha’s story is one that is destined to be. But one that some would like to wipe out, to stop and erase the bloodline. While we learn this story as it happens, we also meet an old man, he has a story and tells it at the local inn to a mixed background audience.  He tells the story of Paul and Alisha, but it is after it has happened, a few years later in fact.  The audience initially believe he is telling a tall tale, but there are things for some of the audience that ring true, and as he tells his tale he fills in the history.  Not just of the families but of all things from all ages and many countries, he has details of dates, people, places, events, and then religions, legends, myths and facts.  He has detailed documents to prove the information he gives.

I could write so much about this book, there is so much information in it, from various sources and backgrounds.  It is almost like reading a history lesson as it happens.  The descriptions for the settings and the people have been really well done.  I really like the way the two stories complement each other.  One as it happens, the other in the future. There are many characters in this story, the major players quickly become identifiable, and after a few appearances so do the smaller re-occurring players.

The historical content in this is huge, at times I did find myself overwhelmed by it, and at times I got confused by my lack of understanding.  But to be honest, the parts I found confusing didn’t take anything away from the story or my enjoyment of it. There are some very interesting elements in this, some of which have previously been brought up in Dan Brown books, there is a reference to his work in the bibliography, and not all of the theories in Brown’s books I understood either and yet still loved them.

So if you want a serious book about the high middle ages, and are ready for an amazing journey, then this is the book for you.  I would definitely recommend this to readers of Historical Fiction, readers of History and mention that it contains some historical romance.  It is a well researched, well presented and a real epic of a book.  I eagerly await the next instalment.

About the Author:

After strange and vivid experiences whilst living in Cyprus as a child, author D N Carter has been fascinated by the history, myths and legends of the Middle Ages and mankind’s past. As he got older travels to Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Languedoc region of France and the deserts of Arabia fuelled his enthusiasm. While not decoding maps and mathematical codes D N Carter enjoys adventure sports from parachuting to microlight flying. Today he divides his time between East Anglia in the UK and the south of France with his family.                    Visit the author – Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 658 pages
  • Publisher: Clink Street Publishing (9 May 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911525255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911525257
  • Amazon UK

Check out the other brilliant books, dates, bloggers for

Clink Street 12 Days of Christmas.

12Days2017_Calendar

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, please give it a share. Better still, go and buy this book.

 

#BookReview : #Melokai by @RosalynKAuthor

36103391

Today I am delighted to be sharing “Melokai : In the Heart of the Mountain”, Book One by Rosalyn Kelly. It is available as an eBook, but I would suggest spending the extra on the paperback version.  I was sent an eARC of this book from the author for my consideration.  My views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

Synopsis:

She thinks it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning.

“Trouble will come from the east. A wolf will claim the throne.”

Legendary warrior Ramya has successfully reigned over Peqkya as Melokai for twelve years. Prosperous, peaceful, and happy, her people love her… or so she thinks.

But Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy.

Is the sudden appearance of a mysterious cave creature from the east the trouble the prophecy speaks of? Or is the threat something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves… does the ferocious war with their kind mark the end for Peqkya?

Before Ramya can answer, she and her fearless warriors must first crush a catastrophic rebellion that threatens to destroy her and devastate her beloved nation.

My Thoughts:

This books starts with action from the outset and does not let up.  Melokai Ramya is told that “A wolf will claim the throne”, her throne no less.  The story that follows introduces several other races of people and their interactions with each other. Some of the races have trade agreements and tentative alliances that seem on the face of it, to work.  There is however an underlying discord, one that will threaten the fragile peace of all the races.

This is a great read.  Rosalyn has created a world that has vivid descriptions of not only the people but also the landscape.  Each race has its own distinctive physical characteristic, this compliments the land they live in, each land is also unique to each race.  Within the races there are factions that are unhappy and strange alliances are formed, they want change to those in power and also to the restraints that are placed on them.

I am always a little hesitant when I read fantasy books like this.  I spent a lot of time a few years ago, reading many books of this genre, some were great but I also found quite a few were lacking.  I am happy to say that Melokai falls into the first, it really was a great read.  It has a lot of attention to detail, not only has Rosalyn described the details of each race and their corresponding landscape, she has done it so I can visualise them.  For me this is an important feature especially in a fantasy book. The character list is very large, and this is why I suggest buying the paperback rather than the eBook version as there is a great list of people and places, as well as a map.

The story has been written in such a way that you are gradually introduced to the various races, it has been done that it makes sense and gives a great flow to the story.  This is all wrapped around a plot that is in essence a power struggle, but it has a real sense of depth.  There are many elements in this book that make for really interesting, intriguing and addictive reading.  This is the first book in a series, with the second due next year (2018), I for one am really going to be keeping my eye out for this.

This is a book is one I would highly recommend to readers of Epic Fantasy, with lots of different other elements.  It is a well paced book, very well written and a fantastic read.  I would like to thank Rosalyn Kelly for sending me a copy of this book.

About the Author:

81zC9rkJAnL._SY200_

Rosalyn Kelly grew up in the magical New Forest ​in the south of England and has lived around the country ​as well as in the Middle East, and travelled all over the world.

She studied English Literature and Language at Oxford Brookes University before embarking on a PR and marketing career.

After ten years telling the stories of international brands and businesses, she decided the time had come to tell her own and her debut novel MELOKAI was written in 2016 after quitting her job, going travelling for four months and then writing solidly for the following four.

The inspiration for her epic fantasy trilogy came when she was trekking in the mountains of Nepal’s stunning Annapurna Sanctuary.

When she’s not putting her heart and soul into book two of the In the Heart of the Mountains trilogy, she daydreams about where to travel to next, paints with acrylic, reads voraciously and writes book reviews on her blog.

Follow the author on Twitter or on her Website
Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.

#BookReview : Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe : pub @matadorbooks : @NetGalley : #ChristmasBooksforChildren

cover125772-medium

“Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe” by S.L.Browne is available now in eBook and in paperback.  Published by Matador / Troubador Publishing

This is a children’s book recommended for ages 7-9 years.  A science fiction and fantasy read.  This is a book I read for as part of my idea for the books children would like for Christmas.

Synopsis:

In S. L. Browne’s debut children’s book, a small boy called Magnus is whisked away from a dying overheated Earth by his mentor Marlo, only to discover that he belongs to a tribe of aliens known as the Guardians of the Universe living in a different dimension. Marlo, a very ancient and disgruntled wizard, has failed to stop the evil Murdamond from destroying Earth through his unquenchable desire for shiny and beautiful things.

When Magnus arrives on his home planet, he finds that humans have not yet evolved and that dinosaurs still exist. Marlo tells Magnus that he fears that Murdamond will try to move to this new, healthy planet to steal all of its treasures now that he has ruined the old Earth. Upon their arrival in the Deruweld village, they discover that Murdamond has already arrived and he is holding Magnus’ parents hostage in the dungeon of his brand new castle.

Magnus realises he has been tasked with a dangerous and urgent problem to solve. He has to save his home planet, rescue his parents and save the Universe from the ghastly Murdamond and his henchmen. He must use all his wisdom and powers, along with his dinosaur friends and the strange Jewelled Book of the Universe that decides life would be more interesting if it transformed into a girl, in order to defeat Murdamond before it is too late.

Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe is the first book in a fantasy trilogy that takes inspiration from Roald Dahl and Dick King Smith. The book contains dinosaurs, space travel and time travel in a humorous and magical story that will appeal to young readers aged 7-9 years. S. L. Browne’s debut book also contains an important message about climate change.

My Thoughts:

This is an interesting book with some diverse themes running through it.  Magnus is shown how he can travel to alternate universes, though tornado’s with ancient monolith as a portal and the magic book being the key.  On arrival at this other world, he is told to expect a simpler lifestyle where greed and money do not exist, but dinosaurs do!  While here he discovers more about himself and his other abilities.

This is a mish-mash of things, a mix of The Wizard of Oz and a twist of Roald Dahl.  The book looks at the way humans treat the earth, exploring the effects of money, power and greed.  But even in this other world setting there are traces of these and they are getting stronger.  It does sound as if it would be quite heavy reading when the topics include climate change, extinction of animals and power struggles, but it has been done in a basic way, not to simple though. I felt it was a good book to introduce these themes and wrap them around a suitable story.

As I read this, I kept thinking back to the books I read as a child.  Would I like this one ? Yes, actually I think I would have enjoyed it.  My one criticism is that this story did finish a little too abruptly, I didn’t feel that it was finished properly. I am aware of it being part of a series and in my copy, there was a preview of the next book, but it was just a little sudden.

I think this book would appeal to readers of the indicated 7-9 year age range.  An interesting story with a very important message, but done in a very accessible and not over the top sort of way.

I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley and Matador for my copy of this eARC.  I requested it and my views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

EDITION
ISBN
PRICE

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.

#BookReview : Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux @Bulletjac : @Propel_Tech : pub by Shuvvy Press

36430138

I wish to thank Propel Technology for sending me a copy of “Hit The Road Jac” by Jacqui Furneaux.   The story of her journey over seven years to 20 different countries all on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet, with no plan.

Synopsis:

“Read this and you’ll want to go on an adventure. Jacqui’s tale is not just obviously inspiring, but her story makes you think about the pleasures of nature and simplicity; about taking the time to just stand and breathe life in, something we all quite wrongly think we don’t have the time for. Her words reminded me of myself as a child, being inventive, imaginative and at times pretty cheeky to get what I wanted. Though clearly tough and dangerous at times, her journey seemed to create joy, a self-made joy. Nothing better. I’m a huge fan of her trip, it’s made me think…… I bet it will make you think too….!” SUZI PERRY

My Thoughts:

Wow!  is an understatement for what Jacqui has been through in her seven years of travelling and has described in this book.  She has pushed her way through things that most people would shy away from.  This lady certainly likes a challenge.  For her 50th birthday she bought her Enfield, in the following 7 years she travelled on it around India, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, South and Central America visiting 20 countries on her journey, with only occasional trips back to the UK to see her family.

As Jacqui leads you through her adventure you also learn of her own life.  She explains why she made the decision to travel and she does it in an honest way.  She is quite candid as she travels to new places and meets new people, as well as her own personal journey as she finds herself.  She shares how she dealt with the ups and downs of life, love, family, relationships and travel, just like the cover of her book.  A game of snakes and ladders, all ups, downs and working your way through to an end goal.

Along the way she became a well seasoned and respected traveller, keeping an account in her diaries.  She has learnt how to repair and maintain her bike that has taken her across mountains, beside volcanoes, deep gorges and passes with the occasional mishap.  She has been in the odd accident, bruises, scraps and broken bones, but has recovered to continue her journey and survived to tell the tale.

This book is written in a very easy to read style, it covers a whole range of things that make up a really interesting travel memoir.  It has a humorous side to it at times, and is also pragmatic.  It has an edge of the seat feel and a great all round read.  She shares her feeling on the places she has seen, the kindness of strangers and that some of the places she visited will never be seen again.  Her travels started in 2000 and since then their has been civil unrest, conflict and war that has changed the landscape as well as damaging or destroying buildings.  I love the fact that the bike is still going!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of Travel Memoirs, Travel Guide, Educational, Reference, Biography and Non-Fiction books.  I can think of a couple of my own family members that would be interested in reading this book.  I think different people will take different things from it.

About the Author:

scan0005

Picking up my brand new Enfield from the showroom in Chennai, India.

In 1998, after bringing up a family and being a nurse and health visitor, I set out on a year’s journey, on my own for the first time ever. I started backpacking in Thailand and explored many South-East Asian countries armed only with wide-open eyes and a guide book. Six months into the trip and feeling quite the adventurous explorer, I went to Pakistan and India before returning to the UK.

But I found I really liked travelling and although at my age I really should have known better, I set off again, this time combining my love of travel with my other passion … motorcycling. I’d owned various Japanese motorbikes over the years since passing my test aged 24 but had never had an Enfield!

Exchanging guide books for road maps, for my 50th birthday I bought a 500cc Enfield Bullet in India and rode it, initially alongside the Dutchman who had suggested the idea. None of it was planned. I would not have dreamed I’d be having this chance of a lifetime when I should have been saving for my retirement. But life’s too short not to take a chance. 

Follow Jacqui on her Website  or Twitter , her website is well worth looking through, there is loads of great content.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Shuvvy Press (2 Sept. 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0956430562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956430564
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

I would like to express my thanks to Propel Technology for sending me a copy of this book.  My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.  The pictures are from Jacqui’s website, a site I recommend visiting.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy the book.

#BookReview : The White House Files by Sara Cobb : @writesarawrite

51QpleK8bhL

This book is available now on kindle.

Synopsis:

She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.
They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Smithsonian archeologist, Roslin Williams gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to excavate the areas where The White House once stood. When she uncovers an Air Force One plane containing human remains and a mysterious briefcase, she’s determined to dig up any information on the airplane and the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in, to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?

My Thoughts:

This book is set hundreds of years in the future, the main protagonist Rosalin Williams is part of an archaeological dig in what is thought to be the grounds of the White House.  It is during this dig that the discovery of Air Force One is made.  It is all witnessed via a “live news-feed” across the country and also by a mysterious, generations old secret organisation.  The realisation that Roslin has unearthed something that could expose and threaten their existence is too much for them to allow her to continue.  When they go after Roslin to stop her discovering what is contained within the plane, they find she is not to be intimidated, also that she will risk much to get to the bottom of her discovery.

This was quite an interesting read.  Yes, it is set in the future, but does not have loads of futuristic, gadget tech terminology in it.  It is set hundreds of years in the future, but at times you forget that and easily think that it is only decades and not ceturies, mainly due to this lack of terminology, for me it made the story flow easier, without tripping and stumbling over terms that could confuse.

The characters are recognisable and drew a range of emotional reactions as I read, the main one is Roslin, she is a reasonably strong character, stubborn and principled and, though she does take a while to warm up to Mark Appleton, their partnership does work well.  The plot, though basic, is quite light, has a good pace to it and keeps the story flowing and interesting.  It kept me occupied to read it in almost one sitting, and intrigued me enough to keep turning the pages.

Overall an interesting book that has a prequel or first book feel to it, and I would be interested to read another if there is a follow on book. I think this would appeal to readers who prefer a more lighter futuristic read, with non of the geeky futuristic terminology in. A good book for an entertaining lazy afternoon read.

Book Details:

  • File Size: 2134 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0745XFGH7

Purchase on: Amazon UK | Amazon US

 

 Author Links:

Follow the Author on : Blog SiteTwitter | Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post, if you like it, please give it a share.

#BookReview : Ghosts and Shadows by H. Max. Hiller

51nea48+cPL

This is the 3rd in “The “Cadillac” Detective” series. It is available to buy now in Hardback, Paperback and Kindle. 

Synopsis:

2017 Finalist in the Book Excellence Awards:The oath Detective Cooter “Cadillac” Holland swore to defend his home against foreign and domestic enemies is put to the test when evil men from both sides of the border start a war on the eve of Mardi Gras, an election, and the first Super Bowl in Saints’ history. A shadowy operation has resurrected the blueprints for the classified operation that nearly got Detective Holland killed in Iraq, and now threatens his life again. When Detective Holland’s friends and family are also put at risk, he is forced to call upon the skills and mind-set learned as a Special Forces and Intelligence operative to keep the peace between local heroin dealers and a violent Mexican drug cartel, outsmart a defense contractor, and take on a loose-cannon Federal official out to cover the tracks of a deal gone bad to avert a bloodbath when New Orleans can least afford it.

My Thoughts: 

I will warn you before I even start with my thoughts on this book, I LOVE this series.

This is the 3rd in the series, (4th if you include the prequel), each of these books has a different feel to them.  The previous have a little more content regarding living and social conditions after Hurricane Katrina, but this one does not contain as much.  I assume this is because things are moving forward and people are starting to get back on track with their lives, but I may assume too much here!

Anyway, one of my favourite detectives is back in his not so subtle way.  Cadillac is like the proverbial “bull in a china shop” as he comes across incidents that don’t quite add up.  Also a blast from the past rolls into town, confirming his instincts that something is amiss, but why and what links random events is something that he and his business partner will have to work out.  Cadillac owns part of a restaurant business with his friend Chef Tony, though Cadillac more has more of a silent partner role. They have known each other from their time in Iraq, the skills and techniques learnt there will hopefully keep their family, friends and people of New Orleans safe from the threat of a possible gang war.  He steps on many toes, stopping for nothing and no one to get to the bottom of events.

As I mentioned this has a different feel, the main characters are still there, but this time alongside Cadillac, Tony joins him on the front seat.  Tony has been in and around the previous books, but in this one he really pops out, because of this we are able to get information regarding the time he and Cadillac spent in Iraq, filling in some the details that have previously only been alluded to.

As this one doesn’t include as much social comment regarding Katrina, Hiller has instead incorporated one of his other passions into the story.  That passion is food, now before you think this is an odd inclusion into a crime, mystery, thriller book, think again.  It has been worked in very well and shows the diverse and multicultural aspects of the city’s inhabitants. Also as I have mentioned, Tony is a chef, he and Cadillac run a restaurant, so there is a basis for it being there.

Yes I love this book, as I have all the others each one is unique, with some very memorable characters that have been involved from the start of the series, and have become like old friends.  The pacing for this book is faster and this is due to a time scale factor within the plot, the plot itself has many elements that included drug dealers, corruption, murder and cover-ups.  Hiller’s style of writing keeps them clear, crisp, concise and not at all confusing, I think this is what I like so much, a no-nonsense approach that really makes sense, but also gives you something to think about.

So would I recommend this book ? Oh absolutely.

Do I want to read more by this author ? Most definitely.

Yes I am a big fan, and would recommend to readers who like crime and mystery genres, that also has social and cultural elements incorporated into the story. It does read well as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading the previous books, including the prequel to get the bigger picture.  It will be time well spent. Don’t just take my word for it, go buy one of his book and you will see for yourself, I have included the Amazon links below.

Again a huge thank you to the author for bringing these books to my attention.  My views expressed are my own.

 

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: NEMO Publishing (28 Dec. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1635877628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1635877625

 

Links to Purchase the books in the series:

Blowback (prequel): Amazon UKAmazon US

The Blue Garou #1: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Can’t Stop the Funk #2: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Ghosts and Shadows #3: Amazon UK  | Amazon US

About the Author:

13459894 My relationship with New Orleans began with a job cooking in a cafe on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. My foodservice resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic music and dining destinations. I no longer reside in New Orleans full time but I keep to the expat creed of “Be a New Orleanian wherever you are.”
A devoted reader of detective and crime novels, I have worked as a chef on a boat traveling the inland waterways since Hurricane Katrina and began thinking up stories about a detective living in post-Katrina New Orleans, which I now write in my spare time.
My life is divided between working on the water and preserving a Victorian-era home in Hannibal, Missouri that I share with my wife and our rescue pets, which include a neurotic wolfhound/terrier mix and too many cats.

Many thanks for reading my post. 

If you like it, please give it a share, or even better go by the book 🙂