Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Inside Out by Jack Kearney – Review

Title – Inside Out
Author – Jack Kearney
Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Length –    204 Pages
Publication – June 2015
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

As an actor, Danny Belson has played many criminal types, but as the prisoner transport bus pulls out of the LA county jail, the realization of his conviction overwhelms him. The irony is that only six months ago he taught an acting workshop at the same institution he is now going to be incarcerated in. Danny had been chosen to take part in California’s answer to New Jersey’s highly acclaimed “Scared Straight” by actually working with the inmates of the Medium Security Federal Prison in Lompoc. In his short stay, Danny made some interesting friends as well as unforgiving enemies. Utilizing a groundbreaking format, Follow Danny as he goes from a care free beach volleyball loving, pool shooting, actor, who’s only worry is knowing when his next audition will come, to a convicted murderer. Written using flashbacks, with no chapters, learn what a struggling actor goes through, and how, after his incarceration, Danny’s life is turned INSIDE OUT.

Review

Inside Out is a rather interesting book. It reads easily with no chapters just page breaks which is something I’ve not come across before but it worked well.

The plot I enjoyed a lot, Danny’s life has been turned upside down due to a wrongful conviction and we get a first-hand account of how things came to be as Danny looks back at the recent events in his life

What I really enjoyed about the book was how quickly the author managed to change the energy of a scene.. one minute you think things are going ok for Danny and then bam..(For obvious reasons I won’t tell you what happens.. I don’t want to take anything away). There’s even a couple scenes in jail when I had my hand over my mouth thinking..Oh My God

For me personally the relationships that developed with his fellow inmates happened a little too fast, yes he’s met them before but would they really want to be his friend that quickly..and trust him so much? I’m not sure.. but it didn’t take anything away from the story.. just moved it on at a fast pace at times.

The thing that struck me the most was how easy the author found it to make me feel like a was reading a script rather than a book.. his own personal experiences gave his writing something different to what I’ve read before..it really did feel like I could imagine this playing out on a TV screen .

The major plus for me was the development of the lead character Danny and how he changed during his time in prison. I’ve no experience myself but I can imagine for some it would be one of the most life changing experiences ever and you get to see this through Danny

While the story is slow to get to the good stuff it’s perfectly set up for a reader who likes a bit of suspense. With this one you are left waiting and waiting to find out how things will play out in prison while you learn about how Danny ended up there in the first place

Dramatic is the word I’d use to best describe this book..the few light-hearted moments mixed with some hard scenes makes this a decent fast paced read indeed

Definitely worth a read that’s for sure

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work.

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

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Blog Tour – The Eden Tree by Peter Worthington – Review

1Title – The Eden Tree
Author – Peter Worthington
Genre – Mystery/Contemporary Fiction
Length –    280 Pages
Publication Date – 19th July 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis                 

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” John James Morgan knew the day he was born. Two days before his sixty-first birthday he found out why. John is a happily married businessman, father and grandfather, living in Cheshire, in the heart of England. Happy, that is, until his family face a crisis. A terminal one. At the local market, a flower-seller tells John a story that changes his life. Assured his destiny is in his own hands, John crosses the globe in pursuit of a religious artefact which has remained hidden for two thousand years. Presented with an antique box containing maps, parchments and a bag of leaves, John returns to the UK and witnesses a miracle. With the box in his possession, John and his family find new friends and enemies; lives are threatened and people die, although some will be healed. With the help of many different people, from all walks of life, John’s journey will finally lead him to the discovery of an extraordinary and mysterious tree. But what will this Eden tree mean to John, his family, their faith and their future? The Eden Tree is author Peter Worthington’s first novel; a fictional account based on his own experiences with his son, John Wesley, who underwent treatment for cancer but sadly passed away shortly after his seventh birthday. The Eden Tree has allowed Peter to give his much-loved son “a happier ending.”

Review

This book was a bit of a surprise to me I must admit. When I first picked it up I had no idea how much love had clearly been put into the book and the story behind it..that came as soon as i opened the book and read the dedication and the acknowledgements and I was immediately touched that the author plans to help Great Ormond Street Hospital through this book.

Even before chapter one I had a warm fuzzy feeling tingling within me.. the anticipation

The story follows John, his world starts to fall apart. Wesley is terminally ill and there seems no hope.

Little does he know many years ago a box was found that contained the leaves of the Eden Tree. This box has been kept safe under strict instructions it’s only to be given to one man.. the man who bares the symbol and asks for help.. Without knowing what is about to happen John is whisked away on an adventure where a cure exists.

I must admit I’m not religious but I have the utmost respect for anyone who does… I wasn’t sure at first if this book would be for me with its religious undertone but  it’s done in such a way that if anything I found it intriguing, it was very well written so even someone like myself could enjoy the tale

It’s a fast paced book and I felt a couple of the relationships that formed happened a bit quickly but I can see why the author did this.. there was such much to cram in this book.. so much story to tell and quite a few characters but it all worked well.

The characters themselves were great, lots of them, each with a different personality. Sometimes with so many characters it’s hard to remember who is who but not with this book,   the author clearly defines each character and their place in the tale

It a nice, well written story that’s heart-warming but at the same time has the added buzz of adventure

One thing I did think early on with the story is if you got these magic leaves..how could you only help one person..if you don’t, how do you choose who to save..whilst also trying to keep this cure safe as anything like this would clearly be exploited. It was good to see the author tackle this towards the end of the book where the family discuss life and death.. it would be good to see this explored more but I imagine that would be a very difficult tale to write if it was possible.

This book is a labour of love and you can tell just how much the author has put into this tale. Every time I read a chapter I thought of the real Wesley and how the author has wrote this for him and it gives the book that extra something in my opinion

I liked this one.. a lot.

My thanks go to the author and Authoright for the chance to read/review the book and take part in the blog tour

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The author has kindly wrote a piece on the process he went through with The Eden Tree, I hope you enjoy the insight as much as I do –


 

How I Got to the Finished Product. – Peter Worthington

I have been writing for a number of years. Some of my articles, short stories and flash fiction have been published. But the novel ‘the Eden Tree’ has occupied my time for a decade, with the actual writing and editing process over the past four years.

In 1980 when my wife and I were told that our toddler had cancer we were plunged into another existence. Wesley at three and a half years old endured his treatments with heroism and a smile. Sadly, after a short remission, his cancer returned and he passed away two weeks after his seventh birthday in 1984.

I have wanted since to write a novel about his life. Initially I was imagining non-fiction. But as a Christian pastor I was drawn to the miracles of the Bible. The idea came which gave me an alternative Wesley story. One with a happier ending.

From the idea – some years ago- of healing leaves from the Eden tree I began to use an A4 folder in 2012. I divided it for Characters, Chapters, Research and Resources. I had a page for each chapter and scribbled as ideas came and also inserted some notes in a clear folder.

Once I had enough of a storyline I started to type chapter one in Word. Initially I had John Morgan’s arrival in Tel Aviv as the prologue but after a few months I realised that needed to change as it did not seem to fit. So after some tries I inserted a new prologue as the two brothers discovering the box. A website I use for reviews gave me a clear thumb up.

I found the writing very enjoyable and often woke in the night with new ideas to insert in a chapter. My storyline was clear after the first year and once I had a timeline for characters, events and scenes that worked my novel took shape.

I had three drafts before I finally found an editor. I knew as a debut novel the Eden Tree needed a full structural edit so in November 2015 I sent her a few chapters to see what she would do. I was so pleased with her suggestions that I commissioned her for the full edit later that month. It is amazing with the technology that enables an editor in New Zealand edit and send back her suggestions using Word’s edit function. After three edits and my editor patiently explained her amendments along the way we finally reached the finished manuscript. The 85,000 words had been honed to a leaner 75,000. The novel had less meandering, clearer focus and made a much better read.

By that time in December 2015 I had also discovered after sending samples to various agents – nearly having my fingers burned by one – that Authoright would be a great fit as publisher, printer and publicist. The CEO phoned me personally to talk me through the process. I commissioned them in November/ December 2015 and was kept informed throughout and found it easy to negotiate. They sent several design suggestions for front cover and the one that I chose is ideal. I have found the team professional and courteous.

The momentous day arrived when twenty copies of the Eden Tree were delivered to my home in May 2016. I felt I was dreaming as I lifted the novel and I’m sure my face was beaming. Since then I have spoken to groups and used social media and my website to spread the news. My novel will be released for sale on July 19th. If I can do it anyone can!

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Bomber Boy by Ike Pius – Review

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Title – Bomber Boy
Author – Ike Pius
Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Length – 41 Pages
Publication – 2013
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

300 passengers. One plane. One bomb. One switch. One Omar Farouk to set it all aflame!

Welcome to the fast moving world of advanced terrorism where Jihadists in Oman or Afghanistan can blow up buses, trains, and planes in New York, Madrid, or London-without even going there.

This is not the world of the future; it is our world as it is!

A world unpredictable, unforgiving, and deadly!

Review

This isn’t my normal genre I’m willing to admit but after being approached by the author for an honest review and reading reviews already posted I was intrigued and wanted to see for myself what this book was about.

First let me tell you terrorism isn’t something to take lightly.. and I feel the author did well to do the subject justice. The book is from the potential bombers perspective which I thought gave a twist on other tales I’ve read on a similar topic.

The main character is Farouk, as you read the book I felt he’s a man being torn up inside.. not knowing which side is right or wrong.
Overall it was an interesting read and it does make you think about the motives behind events such as this.. things aren’t always as straight forward as they seem

To find out more head to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com or Goodreads.