#BookReview |Bandit Country by Andrew Turpin @AndrewTurpin

51dVLYAL6mL._SY346_Bandit Country by Andrew Turpin, the third book in the Joe Johnson series.  Available from Amazon UK HERE in paperback of eBook format.  Buy the box set and read The Last Nazi, The Old Bridge and Bandit Country HERE.

Synopsis: 

A trail of high-profile sniper victims across Northern Ireland. Rising tension over the US president’s imminent visit. And the on-going bloody conflict driven by republican terrorists.
Ex-CIA war crimes investigator Joe Johnson quickly realizes there’s much more to it after he’s called to Belfast by a man who claims to be worried about the impact on his business of a long series of terrorist bombs and shootings.
The sniper’s body count rises, but with his motive remaining a mystery, fears mount as the president and UK prime minister’s visit for a G8 world summit draws nearer. 
Eventually, Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson come to believe that the key lies in files, documents and secrets from nearly thirty years ago that certain high-flying public figures would rather remained unread.
Bandit Country—the third book in the Joe Johnson series—dives into the murky depths of historic conflicts between British security forces and the IRA, as well as the illegal US-based fundraising and weapons smuggling operations that armed the terrorists.
Meet Joe Johnson today and discover how he uncovers hidden truths from the past in an effort to prevent another devastating crime happening now.

My Thoughts:

Joe Johnson is back! This time in Northern Ireland. He has a freelance job offer that has connections to troubles in Northern Ireland from the 1980’s. Now 2013, the political stage has changed, Sinn Fein have political positions and there is a peace agreement in place.  Not all feel hopeful about the future and grassroots dissidents still make their feelings known with bombings and shootings, this affects business and is the reason why Joe has been called in.

I am a big fan of this series with Joe as the main protagonist, an ex-CIA war crimes investigator. This book feels a little bit different to the others, a slight step away from the war crimes investigations with more emphasis on events at the time of its setting in 2013, there are however many references to 1984, as well as other decades that are just as important.  Joe is soon in the thick of the action, his experiences, expertise and knowledge are all assets that he will need.

It is a story that covers many aspects of IRA, The Real IRA, Sinn Fein and also the thoughts and feelings of the people on the streets.  The mistrust, the distrust and the fear to hope things will actually change for the best as well as showing the frustrations of the dissidents at grass root level.

As the story moves forward the inclusion of arms shipments, smuggling and also US backers for the cause make an appearance as Joe tries to learn of an active sniper. This along with the added extra details that the author includes adds that believable factor I like in a story.  Things like how fast the helicopter flies rather than it just flying past, or why two guns of the same model have slight differences. These extras make me think that the author knows his stuff and done the research. The one thing I always enjoy with this authors work is the addition information he includes at the end of the story, where he found his sources, what books or sites he used. A great place for further reading and a great insight into the background of the book.

You could read this as a stand alone, it would work well I think, but I would definitely recommend reading the other books in the series. They give a great deal of information about Joe and importantly show his tenacious character.

This is a fast paced, action packed, thriller.  The author has created a balance of fact and fiction backed up with a huge amount of research and is the backbone of this book, add to that an amazing story that has been fictionally wrapped around events and you have a convincing read.  A Highly Recommended read from me.

About the Author:

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Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.

His first book in the Joe Johnson series, The Last Nazi, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, was published in February 2018.

Who is Joe Johnson? He’s an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world. In particular, he is frustrated by the sectarian and religious conflicts that generally lie behind such crimes.

The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.

Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.

He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.

Follow Andrew on Twitter ~ Website 

The Joe Johnson Thriller Series: Books 1-3 (The Joe Johnson Thriller Series Boxset 1) by [Turpin, Andrew]

 

 

The Joe Johnson Thriller Series 

Available from Amazon UK

 

 

Many thanks for reading my post, a share or like would be amazing 🙂 xx

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#BlogTour | #GlimmerOfHope by Steve McHugh @StevejMcHugh |#GuestPost #BookReview @annecater

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I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for “Glimmer of Hope” by Steve McHugh, the first in The Avalon Chronicles.  Available in various formats and you can get a copy HERE. I am over the moon to have a Guest Post by Steve, he discusses his “Getting published” experiences, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read the book in time for the tour, I should have a little more faith in myself as I can also share my thoughts on the book I did have time to read 🙂 xx Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour x

Synopsis:

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.
Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.
But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.
To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

Guest Post by Steve:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published. 

Every author you ever speak to about how they became published has a different story. This is mine. 

I was 25 back in 2004 when my first child was about to be born, and I figured I should actually try this whole writing thing seriously. Turns out writing a book is hard. Who knew? 

It took me several years to get to a place where I had written something I actually thought worthy of publication, it was my second completed book, and was called Crimes Against Magic (spoilers, it did get published). 

I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. I just wanted to see my book in shops. I had no illusions about being a best-seller, or the next [Insert name of famous author here] I just wanted to write the best story I could, and get it out there. 

I sent query letters and synopsis to agents, making sure that I actually gave them what they asked for, and received quite a bit of useful feedback about why the book isn’t for them, but good luck. 

By 2011, I was beginning to feel a little downhearted. I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get the book published, I’d been writing other things in the meantime, and wondered whether or not Crimes was actually worthy of publishing. 

Several self-published friends of mine at the time spoke to me about how they’d been able to do well through self-publishing and that maybe I should look into it. 

Well, first I decided to send the book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, and it ended up in the semi-finals (last 200 out of several thousand, I think). I found the whole process rejuvenated my thoughts that the book was worthwhile. I set about the self-publishing route. 

It took me a year or so to get the book properly edited, a good cover, and reading up on how to get your book noticed before I clicked upload and it was on Amazon. 

Then things got a bit unexpected. People started buying it. Quite a lot of people. 

By the end of the year, I’d published book 2, Born of Hatred, and by the January of the following year had 2 books that together had sold in the tens of thousands of copies. I was over the moon. 

Then things got even more unexpected. 

A publisher by the name of 47North (part of Amazon publishing’s own imprint) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in working with them on relaunching the 2 Hellequin books, and also writing several more for them. I said yes. 

After the third book came out a year later, I also got an agent in the form of Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. 

So, in the end I did get my books in stores, and I did get an agent, and publisher, but I sort of took a detour to get there. And none of it might have happened if I’d never taken the chance on self-publishing the book. 

After 6 years of being published, by the end of 2018 I’ll have had 10 published books and 1 novella. It’s a staggering thing to consider that I’ve come all this way in such a short period of time, and that my journey from aspiring author to best-selling author was one with so many twists and turns, with so many lows and highs. But sometimes you have to take that chance, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, it can change everything in ways you can’t even imagine.

Follow Steve on Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook Author Page

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with this author and what an absolutely brilliant introduction I had via Glimmer of Hope.  Layla is the main character in this book, a woman who has problems trusting and accepting people in her life.  She has a history and a story that is best kept secret, but she does have two good friends and she will need them as she discovers what this world and life holds in store for her.

Oh this book was a great read that hit all the right spots for me.  An Urban Fantasy with a whole range of legendary, mythological and folk-lore characters and above all magic, spirits and demons.  As Layla learns that there is more to her life than what she first imagined, she has hidden her past from others, but then others have also hidden parts of Layla’s past from her to protect her. She will discover that she does have a place and a role in life and believe when I say you don’t want to mess with her. The author has created a great mix of characters and has given enough details for the reader to see his “other” characters.

This is a fast paced, kick ass, saving the world, urban fantasy novel.  I did think it had a bit of a feel of being aimed at a YA audience. I am looking forward to continuing this journey  and read future books from The Avalon Chronicles, and also to start to read the Hellequin books. A great read that I would definitely recommend to those who like Urban Fantasy, Action and Fantasy genres, or a great start for those who want a bit of escapism.

If you want to see what others thought of this book, check out the dates and below

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great if you liked it.  Get your own copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : End Game by @Matt_Johnson #EndGame #RobertFinlay @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing m thoughts today on End Game by Matt Johnson. My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy of this wonderful book and also for my spot on the tour.  This is the final book of the trilogy and you can purchase all the books from Amazon UK in either eBook or paperback.  BUYING LINK

Synopsis:

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Thoughts:

This is the final instalment in the Robert Finlay series.  I do have a little confession here, and please don’t tell anyone, but I have not read any of the other books (hangs head in shame) but I have ordered them (raises head a little higher).  When an email from the wonderful Anne Cater dropped in I was not going to say no, reviews from other bloggers about the two previous books were wonderful and glowing, after reading End Game I can absolutely see why.

So to my thoughts, surely the fact that I immediately bought the other two books after finishing this one is testimony as to what I thought.  But in case you are not convinced by that…. With any book in a series, characters are important.  You follow them as they evolve and grow, you know their back stories, problems and history as well as their interaction with others (whether they play nicely in a group or not).  But as I have not had this experience (yes I know!) I found that the dynamics of the characters very evident, they have strong personalities and traits and have a great established believable feel about them.  It didn’t take long for me to remember them or to identify them within the story.

Right then to the plot, where to start, well there is an underlying plot from the previous stories, again something you would expect from a trilogy.  Matt has included great references to this and there is enough for this, late to the party reader, to get enough of an idea to understand.  It has also given plenty of intrigue and left me wanting to know more about the back stories, hence me the first two books.  For End Game, you are plunged into a world of British Secret Service and Police Investigations at an intense and breathtaking pace .  There are real life events that have been mentioned and incorporated into the story, I love this as it gives the reader a great reference point for the setting of a story.  These real events and also the authors own experiences give a real edgy feel to this story, the author knows his stuff.  It’s the lit details that add that extra element, these seemingly trivial little facts that are added are there because of the authors experience within the  military and police force.  This “insider” knowledge is what makes the story stand out and adds that important authentic and believable factor.

This was an absolute pleasure to read, it was intense and intricate in its plot and in the details but not at all confusing, fast paced and addictive.  The espionage aspect is devilish with a real edge of the seat feel.  A brilliantly woven tale and one that I Highly Recommend. Don’t just take my word for it, buy all three books and see for yourself.

About the Author:

Matt Johnson Author Picture.jpg  Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

The Robert Finlay Trilogy by Matt Johnson

Wicked Game      ~    Deadly Game      ~     End Game

Click on the title and it will take you to Amazon.UK website.

Since writing this post I am happy to say, my copies of the first two books are now here,  now I  have the full set 🙂29243814_10214155310511089_6356634460884041728_n

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or, go and buy yourself a copy HERE   🙂 xx

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

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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

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

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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:

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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.

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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

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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

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#BookReview : #Melokai by @RosalynKAuthor

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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:

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

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“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:

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