#BookReview for A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and Six Centuries) of Magic by Alice Tarbuck

My review for A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and Six Centuries) of Magic by Alice Tarbuck.

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful, and draws you into the author’s world, opening your eyes to the magic in everyday things all around us, seeing beauty where others only see ugliness. It’s an honour to be on this journey alongside the author during this insight to her year, to read her thoughts and learn about witchcraft, nature, and so much more.

There is a spell at the end of each chapter, but I feel that the real magic is in the author’s words and thoughts, which are transmitted to the reader and leave you feeling somehow different afterwards. I highly recommend this book for its gentle wisdom and enchanting prose, it’s one of my favourite books of the year.

https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Wild-centuries-Magic-English-ebook/dp/B089776H6R/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Wild-centuries-Magic-English-ebook/dp/B089776H6R/

#BookReview for It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater


My review for It Will Be Quick by Karl Drinkwater, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

Where do I start with this review? I love Drinkwater’s books, I’ve read all of them so far, and each one remains in my mind for a long time after. It Will Be Quick is no different. This collection of short stories held me spellbound, each one cleverly crafted and so well written you feel like you’ve read an entire novel in just a few pages.

It’s not easy to create characters and situations in short stories that capture the reader, but Drinkwater has achieved this and much more. You’re desperate to know what happens to the two strangers stranded on a rocky island in the middle of the ocean, fighting for their lives as hours, then days, pass; your heart aches for the little boy who sacrifices everything for an undeserving mother; you are with a mother as she gives birth, so incredibly written that you’re left stunned at the end; and a story from an era of thousands of years ago, sad, poignant, and frighteningly real, will remain with you for a long time.

These are just some of the stories. There are many more, such as the old man shunned by a society that only listens to money, a woman who finds a computer game gives a much-needed edge to her life, a man whose cycling holiday takes a bizarre turn, and then there is the stunning ‘Miasma’, which you have to read for yourself.

Once again Drinkwater has surpassed himself, proving that anything he writes is a must-read. As with all his books, I highly recommend It Will Be Quick.

Paperback links:
https://www.amazon.com/Will-Be-Quick-Karl-Drinkwater/dp/1911278177/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Will-Be-Quick-Karl-Drinkwater/dp/1911278177/

Ebook coming soon!

#BookReview for Stickychuck by Brian O’Gorman

My review for Stickychuck by Brian O’Gorman, 5/5 stars.

I love this author’s books, from Dawn of the Spiders to The Roland Sink Hour (a definite must-read), and couldn’t wait to read this collection of short stories.

I wasn’t disappointed. I have no idea what goes on in this man’s head, but whatever it is, it’s scary! It’s not only the stories themselves, it’s the way he creates such realistic characters. Brian O’Gorman has a talent similar to Stephen King’s for creating people you feel like you’ve known all your life. You invest time and emotions into getting to know these people, which makes their fates even more painful to read!

There’s a great selection of short stories, some mere pages, others much longer, some downright creepy, others that will make you think. My favourite is Diabolus Vanitas, it has a completely unexpected ending! Stickychuck, the story that gives the book its title, is one of those twisted tales that make you wonder how the author came up with it!

There are 14 short stories to freak you out, scare you, or show you the dark side of humanity, from a spider that won’t die to a wall that won’t let you leave town, and a chocolate-flavoured salad that’s too good to be true! A great collection that I highly recommend!

https://www.amazon.com/Stickychuck-Short-Story-Collection-English-ebook/dp/B08FJGT435

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stickychuck-Short-Story-Collection-English-ebook/dp/B08FJGT435

#BookReview for Colors and Curves by Kristina Beck

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My review for Colors and Curves: Summer (Fours Seasons #3) by Kristina Beck, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

The perfect read for summer! I loved the story, the setting, the characters, and the instant love story between Skylar and Julius. This is Kristina Beck at her best – smouldering looks, sensuous scenes, lovable characters with messed-up lives, and a storyline that has you rooting for the protagonists.

Although this is a standalone, it features Skylar, a character we met in the previous book. She’s one of my favourite characters in the series – fun, quirky, full of life, but with some problems that prevent her living life to the full. Julius is more serious, his difficult past having sucked the joy for life out of him, but when he meets Skylar, he realises there could be so much more, if he will open up to her.

The author deals with some tough subjects, as she often does, and there’s a scene that will have you in tears. But the hope and joy that abounds through the book more than makes up for it, and will leave you wanting to read more about this couple’s life! Highly recommend.

Preorder on Amazon

#BookReview of Chasing Solace by Karl Drinkwater

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My review for Chasing Solace by Karl Drinkwater, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I knew Karl Drinkwater was writing the sequel to Lost Solace, so when he asked if I’d like a review copy, I jumped at the chance! You can read my review for Lost Solace here.

This book surpassed all my expectations – Opal is back, feistier than ever, the AI has evolved into a sentient being called Athene, and it’s non-stop action for two-thirds of the book as Opal continues her search for her sister.

The tension begins on the first page, and carries on all the way through almost to the end. There’s a new lost ship, and it’s even scarier than the first one, with a nightmarish layout of an abandoned abattoir inhabited by creatures only Drinkwater’s mind could come up with! I couldn’t put the book down, I had to find out what happened next as Opal makes her way through the spaceship, trailed by…well, you’ll have to read it to find out!

I love how the author gives his AI personality and characteristics that you can relate to – even the AI in Opal’s spacesuit grows on you, leading to a heart-wrenching scene at the end. While Athene fights her own battle with another AI, where the author gives free rein to his imagination.

There are some incredible scenes in this book, some that will keep you on the edge of your seat, others that will take your breath away with the intricate detail and beauty of the narrative. Another great read from Karl Drinkwater that I highly recommend!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for A Time for Challenges by Mette Barfelt

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My review for A Time for Challenges (the Solvik Series, book 6) by Mette Barfelt, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

After the last book in the series, I was interested to see what subject the author would tackle this time. I never thought it would be an unplanned pregnancy! Set in the beautiful fictional town of Solvik, this story follows the trials and tribulations of Tony, Divya and Annabel. Other characters pop in from previous books, adding a touch of familiarity, and new ones are introduced.

Once again Barfelt has created a touching story, taking the reader on an emotional journey as Tony, Annabel and Divya try to work through their problems and find a solution. There are highs and lows, and a bitter-sweet ending that will tug at your heartstrings.

I love this series and can’t wait for the next one, even though it will be the last. I’ll be sorry to say goodbye to all the characters I’ve come to know over time! Highly recommend.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Random Bullets by Joy Mutter

My review for Random Bullets by Joy Mutter, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read a couple of Joy Mutter’s books, and I have to say, she is the master at creating complex, disturbed characters who you’re not sure if you should feel sorry for or hate!

I love how this story takes off at a running pace, introducing you to the various characters and building up to the inevitable climax. Set in a calm park on a hot summer’s day, everyone taking advantage of the beautiful weather during their lunch breaks, their tranquillity about to be shattered by the sound of a bullet. We are introduced to the secondary characters and left wondering what their fates will be while the author tells us Edward’s story.

Edward is filled with a rage that has been burning for many years, ever since finding out his narcissistic mother disinherited him in her will. The story takes us back to his childhood and adolescence, revealing events that slowly make Edward more and more unhinged, and urging him forward to the fateful day in the park.

Mutter is so good at ‘excusing’ her characters’ behaviour, that it is difficult to decide whether you should hate them or feel sorry for what life has thrown at them. As you read Edward’s back story, you find yourself agreeing with his innermost thoughts, even while being disturbed by them. Not many authors manage to do this, and I commend Mutter for her particular skill at bringing this off!

A great read I highly recommend.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for The Westwood Witches by Sarah Northwood

Pink quill books pick_jpegThis is my review for The Westwood Witches by Sarah Northwood, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

I’ve read all of Sarah Northwood’s books, so when I got the chance to work with Sarah on her latest novel, I was really excited! I’ve seen this book transform from its first draft to the final, polished version it is today, and it has been a privilege to be a part of the whole process. Sarah has worked hard at developing the story into something she should be extremely proud of.

Right from the start, I loved this book! Aero, the protagonist, lacks self-confidence, finds it hard to make friends, and is fed up with being bullied at school. But underneath her timid exterior is a feisty young girl just waiting to come out. And when she inherits something special from her grandmother, her life completely changes.

This story is different from your usual YA. There’s no eye-rolling, or flouncing out of rooms in a huff, or stroppy teenage fights with the parents. And there’s no soppy love story with blatant misunderstandings and teenage angst. Instead, Aero is portrayed as a ‘real’ teenager – one who is trying to find her place in life while dealing with school, studying, and all the usual problems 17-year-olds have to face, which are exacerbated when a tragic event occurs. And of course, Aero is no ordinary 17-year-old girl.

The book is a mix of fun, sadness, hope, terror, new beginnings and sad endings. The reader goes through every emotion with Aero as events unfold and mysteries are revealed. The author has also created a whole new world called the Shadow Realm, filled with mystical creatures, which I look forward to learning more about in the next book.

This is a wonderful, unique YA story that I highly recommend!

You can pre-order it now at the special price of 99c/99p. The book releases on 30 September 2018.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Coffee Break Companion by S.L. Grigg

I’m pleased to be part of Sharon Griggs’ blog tour this week. I read her book, Coffee Break Companion, in a couple of days, and thoroughly enjoyed it! Before my review, though, here’s some information about the book and the author.

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Blurb:

Grab that cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer), maybe add a splash of something stronger, settle down and enjoy your break with this gripping collection of flash fiction and poetry that will send shivers down your spine. With an added bonus of a longer story at the end that will fill your lunch break. What are you waiting for? Dive in! Everything from a discovery in an Ice Cavern, to a tornado. Mermaids, and Dragons. Mystery and Horror. This collection of flash fiction and poetry has something to capture anyone’s imagination, with a final chilling thriller that will leave you gasping for air.

About the author:

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This is the first published book by S.L. Grigg having previously written a popular blog on mental health, and having articles published by Mind, the mental health charity, and NHS England. Working for NHS England from a home in Bromsgrove, England, S.L Grigg lives with a partner and two adult children. S.L Grigg has studied everything from Science and Law, to Journalism and Pilates but writing has always been the greatest passion in S.L.Grigg’s life.

www.facebook.com/SLGRIGG76

www.slgrigg76.wordpress.com

Wherever you are in the #World this link will take you to your local #Amazon site so you can pick up a copy of my #firstbook #selfpub #newauthor #indieauthors #free on #Kindleunlimited

https://t.co/3AYfZ79zLl

Here’s my review for Coffee Break Companion, 5/5 stars!

It’s not easy to create credible, interesting characters in a short story, but S.L. Grigg does just that – not once, but over and over again in each story in her book. Be warned, though, and don’t get too attached to the characters – she also has a knack of turning an ordinary, run-of-the-mill situation into terror-filled moments with a twist you won’t see coming.

Right from the start, I understood these stories would be something special, and the author didn’t disappoint. Some are long, some are short, and throughout, the book is interspersed with some wonderful poems that will touch your heart.

A lovely read that I highly recommend.

6 month offer

 

Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood

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My review of Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood, 5/5 stars.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I have to say he creates brilliant characters with incredible depth to them. This is the story of Vincent, told from his point of view, starting from his childhood. The reader is drawn along as events unfold and Vincent’s life goes out of control, apparently through no fault of his own. His mother and his brother appear willing to do anything to keep him out of trouble, but this doesn’t stop him from being arrested and ending up in jail.

Vincent is a complex character, and as you read you find yourself wondering if his version of events is the real one or not. He makes mistakes that cost him dearly; you can see him heading towards disaster, unable to prevent his future from unfolding. The story draws you in, keeping you turning the pages as you follow events spanning fifty years of his life. You’ll also briefly meet characters from his other book, The Boy Inside.

Everything that’s hinted at throughout the book is revealed at the end, leaving you with mixed feelings; is Vincent a nice guy who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or did he bring everything on himself?

This isn’t your usual crime novel, but it gives a great insight on the British prison system, and on the prisoners themselves. A great read, well written and well edited, that I highly recommend. Fifty Years of Fear earns a well-deserved Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information).

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