#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Turning of the World by John Privilege @BeardyJohn #bookreview #dystopian #postapocalyptic

I have recently started adding the reviews I’ve written to BookBub by taking them straight from Goodreads, a few at a time. I thought as I could no longer add them to Amazon.com this was a good way of sharing them with a, mostly, US based audience. As I’ve been adding them I’ve been reminded of some terrific reads which lead me directly onto this…


Renee at It’s Book Talk began the Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing. I have seen posts on Between the Lines and  Alison Williams Writing and I shall be sharing old favourites using this hashtag.

The Turning of the World

I know my memory is appalling but I don’t believe I’ve read any post-apocalyptic books before, always imagining them to be full of zombies which have never tended to be that scary to me as they seem to move so slowly I’m pretty sure I could get away from them. So although this book was recommended to me I approached it with some trepidation. What I found however was a post-apocalyptic world made far scarier because of its normality. I’ve never failed to be surprised, or rather horrified, at the way communities can turn on one another in times of trouble and I could really see this story being the way it would go should such a virus hit the world.

This story is set in Northern Ireland which is devastated, like many other countries before it, when the Quang-Tri Flu spreads like…well, like the flu only this flu kills anyone who contracts it. There are a few who are immune for whatever reason and gradually these individuals come together in various forever changed communities.

Bobby, a Canadian (and not a Yank as he has to keep reminding everyone) from whose perspective this is written is a great character. He’s in Northern Ireland after marrying Sally and to all outward appearances is tough and heroic, a leader, of sorts, amongst the band of survivors he finds around him but we get to see his inner fears and sorrows at the loss and sadness created by this tragic virus.

Violence breaks out, often brutally, both from those in charge as well as those just struggling to survive. Desperation for water, food and medicine grows as supplies run out and finding safe places to shelter becomes an issue. Some give up whilst others take advantage of the situation but there are some who meet the challenges of this bleak new world with regret for what they have to do in order to survive.

John Privilege’s writing is wonderfully descriptive without being overly so, ‘On her bad days I would sit with her and stroke her hair and whisper to her as she hung her head and wept, heart-sore and lost. She would look at me, her dark eyes full of tears, her mouth curling into a quivering smile, her cool hand on my face.’ Beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, would definitely recommend it to all who enjoy good writing and solid storytelling and I look forward to seeing what Mr Privilege produces next.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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#WordlessWednesday ~ Things I Like ~ Elvis Presley #elvispresley #rocknroll













Images courtesy of Pixabay

Tomorrow is the 41st anniversary of his death and I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, do you?

Posted in Wordless Wednesday | 4 Comments

#TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview for Dilemma by Stephen Bentley

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I chose to read this book as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

This novella has a gripping opening as it starts with three bombs simultaneously exploding in three Italian restaurants in three different cities. The deaths caused and the fallout from these explosions resonate throughout the story.

Bentley is a former undercover cop and therefore writes his main character, Steve Regan, with great insight. It is also clear that he has lived in, and is very familiar with, Thailand although I felt at times there was a little too much telling rather than showing me this knowledge.

It may be the name of the main character that instigated this thought but as I read the book I was reminded of cop shows of the 70’s. The writing was stark and brutal with little emotion and as the state-of-the-art comms room towards the end is described as having typewriters I guess I could be about right with when it was set.

I did finish the read but felt it would have benefitted from tighter editing and possibly a proofread as well to help avoid some distracting typos. This is the second part of a planned trilogy which might interest those readers who like crime fiction but this author has also written a very well received memoir of his part in Operation Julie which I think they would also find fascinating.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Accountability Post #16 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

You see, me saying I was speeding up and positively gloating on nearly managing to reach the 5K words total in a week was asking for trouble, wasn’t it?

You know how it is, one minute riding the crest of a wave buoyed by your success…


The next wiped out by the very same wave and finding yourself face-planted in the sand…

face plantedI have been unwell and it has been all I can do to manage my day job tasks, which must take precedence, without having the addition of my writing on top. I won’t go into what’s wrong with me but I know what it is and that it is likely to last for a while (I also know it isn’t serious).

Anyway, I’ve had to reassess my capacity for work and sadly that means putting my writing onto the back-burner, unless I find I’m having a good day. The pressure I was putting myself under was becoming overwhelming so this decision, whilst hard, makes sense. Hopefully I will be back up to full speed again very soon. 😀

Because of my state of mind I haven’t been particularly focused on any writing things and even if I have done anything I can’t now remember what it was so bear with me and I shall get my trusty pad out for the week to come and write things down.

I hope you have all had a much better week than me and for what they are worth I shall leave you with the numbers… xx

Project B – Hill of Beans –  previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 25,004 words – now 25,500 words.

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Retro-fitted #bookreview for Inside Room 913 by Bruce A Borders @BruceABorders #mystery

When I started this writing caper I decided to review everything I read. I posted those reviews to Amazon in the UK and US (you could in those days without having to spend $50 with them first! #JustSaying!) and Goodreads. It didn’t cross my mind to post them on my blog… duh! As I’m aiming to stick to a blogging schedule – oh, how we laughed! – and as I read desperately slowly I shall add in these retro-fitted book reviews when I don’t have a current one to post.

Inside Room 913

I thought the start of this story was a little slow because of the amount of detail given but the writing quickly settled down and I found myself drawn into this intriguing and original mystery. Just who is inside Room 913? There are many rumours put to Cynthia when she starts work at Parkview Manor which does seem strange particularly as she has been warned not to talk to anyone about it. Nobody seems to take any notice of the privacy requested by the occupant of Room 913 and you can see even though she is told not to go near the room unless to deliver food or to have anything to do with its occupant she is not about to heed such warnings. But Cynthia is curious, very curious and cannot leave the mystery alone, purposefully going looking for the answers to her questions.

There is a great twist at the end and I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys a smooth, easy to read mystery.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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#WordlessWednesday ~ Things I Like ~ Mountains















zugspitze-1048995__340Images courtesy of Pixabay
Posted in Wordless Wednesday | 4 Comments

Retro-fitted #bookreview of Scared: Ten Tales of Horror edited by Rayne Hall @RayneHall #anthology #TuesdayBookBlog

When I started this writing caper I decided to review everything I read. I posted those reviews to Amazon in the UK and US (you could in those days without having to spend $50 with them first! #JustSaying!) and Goodreads. It didn’t cross my mind to post them on my blog… duh! As I’m aiming to stick to a blogging schedule – oh, how we laughed! – and as I read desperately slowly I shall add in these retro-fitted book reviews when I don’t have a current one to post.


I always enjoy reading a selection of short stories when I don’t have the time to concentrate on a novel. I read these recently whilst travelling and they were an excellent companion. I’m not sure exactly what makes something horror rather than suspense and I guess it comes down to what personally makes you scared so for me many of these were more suspense than horror but very well written suspense throughout.

An anthology gives you the opportunity to sample the work of several different writers without committing to a full novel and I found the writing of all of these, though varied in style, equally excellent in quality.

I’m not going to comment on each story, as this would become far too long, but to mention a few I particularly liked Death comes to Maggie McDaniel by Grayson Bray Morris. It was cleverly structured and flowed very well. Druid Stones by Rayne Hall was very good with a brilliant twist at the end which is never easy to carry off well. Life in Miniature by Tracie McBride was a great idea and very well executed. I was going to leave it there but have to mention finally that I liked the way the everyday fears of the protagonist in Out of Order by Karen Heard were swiftly replaced by those of a very real and truly horrible nature.

You will all find your favourites in this collection and I’d recommend this book to all who like a bit of darkness in their reading. I will certainly look out for work by any of these writers in the future.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Accountability Post #15 ~ To Reach that Goal ~ #amwriting #selfpublishing

Being the end of/beginning of a month this week it’s been a busy one for me so I’m quite surprised the word count has risen quite as much as it has. As for other things going on Parallel Lies is one of the prizes in a giveaway this week for Book Club Fiction, plus there is an ereader to win! If you fancy having a go the link is below:

Enter to Win 20 Book Club Novels!



Otherwise, I’m still waiting to hear further from Findaway Voices about the audio book of The Joker, which appears to be taking quite a bit of sorting out. The audio versions of the other books are also still in the planning phase.

All of my books are now wide on all the platforms I can find and it’s nice to see sales appearing via Draft2Digital and Kobo. They’ve already done better than they did the whole time I had them wide before so it goes to show how much better I am at getting this stuff sorted out this time around.

I don’t think too much other writing type stuff has happened this week but I have decided I am definitely going to have a giveaway to celebrate Parallel Lies having been released a year ago and it will run for the whole of September.

I started gathering prizes for it this week and although I’m very excited about sharing these with you I shall have to be patient and try and get some decent photos so you can see what you could win. 😀

I think that is it, a quiet week for my news but a busy one for the word count…

Project B – Hill of Beans –  previously 5532 words – still 5532 words.

Project C – Parallel Lies sequel – previously 20,160 words – now  25,004 words.

Just a smidge under 5K in the last week 😀 I’m speeding up!

Posted in Accountability | 8 Comments

Blue Sky Tag

Blue Sky Tag

Thanks to Sarah Brentyn for sort of tagging me and making me answer these questions she made up. Yes, she made them up. That’s in the rules. Yes, there are rules, they are at the bottom. Damn it, I’ve only just realised that means I’ve got to make up some questions too…

I had fun anyway, so here goes…

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Yes, absolutely. We all do. Having said that I’m very open minded when it comes to books so I would be completely happy for someone to give me a book, without a cover, and I would give it a go.

What’s your favorite color? (Specific shade would be awesome…just saying.)

Green – it’s the colour of nature and every other colour goes with it because of that. I find it calming. I chose evergreen carpets which are not meant to show the dirt… ahem… they lied. And I have blue green walls which I’ve never tired of.

Which animal is smarter: chimpanzees or dolphins? (Except if Geoff Le Pard plays because he will say “mice”.)

I’m tempted to say chimpanzees but I think this is a trick question and it will be dolphins. However these two and Geoff Le Pard’s answer would all be wrong because it is actually pigs.

What’s your least favorite part about writing: editing, revising, or proofreading?

Revising I think. If there is a difference between editing and revising? I like editing but I’m assuming revising is rewriting, and I don’t like that. I get someone else to do the proofreading as I can’t do that with any degree of proficiency.

Are there any mythological creatures you wish were real? 

Dragons, I think. As long as I was the one in charge of them. No one would mess with you if you had a dragon, would they? And you could fly everywhere.

Which ridiculously popular book did you not enjoy?

Most books of the moment are so over-hyped they’re never going to live up to expectations and therefore I rarely read them. However, I think The Girl on the Train was one of those for me.

Do You Prefer / Which Would You Rather questions:

Pen or pencil

Pen – A black Bic medium to be precise.

Wine or beer

Wine, red.

Bean bags or straight-back chairs

Bean bags.

A pile of proofreading or a stack of math worksheets

Well I’ve already said I can’t proofread but as maths is too close to my day job I’ll take the proofreading, as long as it’s someone else’s work – I’ll spot the mistakes then!

Monty Python or Three Stooges

Monty Python, of course??

There’s a thing about 11 for this tag: 11 tags, 11 answers, 11 questions… Something like that.

I’m rubbish at tagging people (do I know 11 people?) plus you might be busy then there’s all that added pressure of feeling like you have to do this, so no I’m going with this…

Consider yourself tagged.

Join in, have a bit of bloggy fun, use the fabulous Blue Sky Tag banner (that Rachael Ritchey designed).

If you’re going to play, here are your questions:

  1. If you had to change your name, what would you change it too?
  2. What was your favourite childhood injury?
  3. Given the choice would you be a Bond girl, a Bond villain or James Bond himself?
  4. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you call it?
  5. Which character from any book do you most relate to? (and do tell me why!)
  6. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?
  7. Pilates, or Pie and Lattes?
  8. Sunsets or sunrises?
  9. India or Iceland?
  10. Cocktail or cuppa?
  11. The Stones or The Beatles?

So, there you go. Let me know if you take up the challenge, I’d love to read your answers.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing and Sharing | 4 Comments

#WordlessWednesday ~ Things I Like ~ Cats! #cats #kittens














kittens-1916542__340Images courtesy of Pixabay
Posted in Wordless Wednesday | 2 Comments