Tag Archives: Book Lovers

Desperate Ground: (Ali Sinclair #1) by L J Morris – Review (FREE BOOK ALERT!!)

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Desperate Ground: (Ali Sinclair #1) by L J Morris which is currently free on Amazon!

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Thriller.

When the secrecy of a nuclear weapon agreement is thrown into doubt, a disgraced intelligence operative is recruited to find out if the deal is still safe…

Ali Sinclair, wrongly convicted and on the run from a Mexican prison, is enlisted to infiltrate her old friend’s inner circle and find the evidence.

The only people on her side are an ex-Cold War spook and the former Royal Marine that was sent to find her. Together they discover that the stakes are much higher than anyone knew, and the fate of the world is at risk…

But when you live in the shadows who can you trust?

Review

Ali Sinclair and Frank McGill are not to be messed with.. Ali has quite a skill set and with Frank backing her up with fire power when needed you are in deep trouble if they come calling.

Sinclair has spent time behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit.. she took the blame for the right reasons but she will never trust those in power again who left her in a hell hole of a prison.

When Sinclair breaks free Frank is their waiting.. nows she’s keeping her head down as she will be sent back to jail if caught.

When Simeon Carter learns of a potential situation that could use the skills and knowledge of Sinclair it’s Frank who must act as a middle man and gain Ali’s support… this is a chance for her to come home..to be free.. it’s not one she can pass up. She’s the ideal candidate.. she’s got the skills and a past connection on the inside to help… or are they part of the madness also?

As Frank and Ali set out on their mission Simeon is also doing his bit..he’s got an expert working with him to uncover the threat but with limited info it’s not going to be easy.

It soon comes clear there is more to this threat than originally thought and it could have devastating results… and worse still there’s a mole.. someone on their side is calling the shots..but who? and why?

Everything comes to an explosive conclusion but the threads are left to set the scene for the next book in the series which I’m excited to read.

What I really enjoyed about the book was the plot..the whole idea of how the bad guy thinks he can get his hands on nuclear weapons was fascinating.. the whole idea that security put in place to protect these system could be exploited was right up my street.

The story is quite plot driven and I would have loved a little more character development as I didn’t feel like I knew the team well enough by the end of the tale..Sinclair and McGill are a tight but I’d like to explore the background to this more.. hopefully we will see their connection grow further in the next instalment.

Desperate Ground is a spy thriller full of action and violence.. it’s the perfect thriller.. reminds me of Mission Impossible/James Bond and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ali is such a strong and fearless force it’s hard not to love her.

My thanks to Bloodhound Books and the author for the chance to read/review the book. Get your copy now while it’s on offer for free!!!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Thriller.

It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.

Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?

Review

Do you know what the first thing that stands out after reading this book? It’s not just how good the book is but also how good the author is in linking his books while at the same time allowing you to read as standalones… for an avid fan like myself I loved the name drop of Charlie Cameron :).. (If you’ve not read the Charlie Cameron series yet you should do!)

So we’ve met Mackenzie previously in a tale called In Harm’s Way..a thriller that packed a punch. To give you a bit of a background without spoilers Mackenzie is a survivor after she was abducted and held captive.. it’s been around 5 years and she’s trying to rebuild her life by supporting others who have suffered domestic abuse… she will never forget and the scars run deep but inside she knows just how lucky she was and she’s willing to pay it forward.

Little does Mackenzie know her life will take a sharp turn after a chance meeting at the scene of a car crash..can she save this woman?

The worst happens when Mackenzie must turn away another in need.. she simply can’t help everyone and this has deadly results and sends her life into a spiral downhill fast!

Racked with guilt Mackenzie won’t let this happen again so when she’s asked to help by a concerned mother will she step over the line to get the job done? You bet she will! The issue is she’s came so far in her life that there’s a chance of love on the cards… but can she hide the truth of recent events?

Deadly Harm has a gripping plot that’s packed full of detail..There’s no holes in the tale.. it’s simply perfect and paced so that you are just hooked.

For me there’s quite an important message within the tale and that’s the whole domestic abuse angle..while the physical scars may heal the emotional ones will never truly heal and it’s important we all remember this.

I felt for Mackenzie.. she’s so strong and to have her as the female lead was an excellent choice.. she’s also backed up by an amazing ensemble of characters, each play their part to perfection.

The addition of DI Andrew Geddes into the mix was the perfect move. Deadly Harm really give him a chance to develop as a character and his struggles made him human and relatable.. I think it’s one of the real reasons I get sucked into Owen’s work..he gives you characters you can’t help but get invested in… you actually care what happens to them.

As thrillers go this has to be one of the best and Owen knows how to ramp up the action just when it’s needed… he never fails to give you hard-hitting thrillers that have moments that will stay with me forever.. If ever a tale needed to hit the small screen then this is it.. Get on it Netflix!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick

Here’s the blurb

Genre: – Fantasy/Steampunk

Lost with her ship and crew in an unfamiliar land, Min’s first command could be her last.

Nothing here behaves the way it should:

The magic that powers her skyship has been drained, rendering it immobile.

The sky is an endless twilight, lit by the luminous fish that swim in it.

Off starboard, there’s also the country-sized dragon that is looking particularly hungry.

It will take all of Min’s training and experience to get her people safely back home, but as the truth about the Darkstar Dimension begins to be revealed, Min will have to prove to her crew – and to herself – that she is still the best person for the job.

Review

The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon is the newest offering from Benedict Patrick. I’ve been a fan of the author for a while after being sucked into his work with his rather unique imagination. The style of writing always keeps me engaged and its impossible to put his books down.

In the latest offering we are following Min.. Captain of the Melodious Narwhal.. well I say Captain but she’s not really and the rest of the crew have no issues with letting their commanding officer know what they think of her and her fancy academy training.

When we first meet the crew they are in danger as their ship plummets to the ground.. the issue is no one knows what’s went wrong..or even where they are..

Now it wouldn’t be much of a story if they died in chapter one so it won’t shock you to know they make it.. just.. it’s then they realise things aren’t quite right and it slowly becomes apparent this isn’t their home.

Slowly drifting towards and island they notice they aren’t alone and this is where we meet the wonderful Brightest..this old man has a lot of tricks up his sleeve and the biggest is the fact the island isn’t quite an island.. I’ll say no more on that J

We soon learn from Brightest that the Darkstar Dimension sucks all sorts of things into it from other worlds.. including them..the issue is the ship is broken and they have no way to get home.

A moment of hope is given when Brightest explains these rifts that open into the Darkstar Dimension sometimes have a pattern to their movements and Min’s homeworld will reappear.. in three years!

Faced with that bombshell the crew have mixed feelings.. There must be a way home..and what price are they willing to pay to get there?

Min is pitted against some of the crew in a battle that will test her resolve.. she’s strong willed and wants to uphold the values set by her people.. but not everyone agrees.

While Min tries to keep her crew in check Brightest takes her on a trip through a rift in search of food supplies.. while there who will keep the crew in check?

What happens next is full on heart stopping! The Darkstar Dragon is hungry.. and the one thing keeping them safe is also their one chance of making it home but can Min convince the crew the price is too high? As the suspense builds so does the excitement!

There’s so many wonderful characters in this book and the plot was just exceptional.. I don’t know where the author’s ideas come from but he continues to amazing me.

The only word I can think of the describe the book is “exceptional”

The pace of the tale is slow at first.. so many questions waiting to be answered but the author has put you right in Min’s shoes.. you learn as she does and this perspective just adds to the suspense of the unknown.

There seems like endless possibilities in this world that’s been created so I do hope more is on the way 🙂

Full 5/5 Stars from me for the author who continues to offer fun, exciting and gripping tales.. I almost feel bad that I burn through his books so fast but they are just so damn good!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Many Blessings of Rejection as a Writer – Guest Post by Ike Pius

I arrived at the bridge but couldn’t find the strength to jump. How did I get there?  

Let me tell you my story.

Inspiration struck in 2015, and so I wrote a short story. I wrote to several online journals,  and then I finally got a chance with a British based online magazine to publish my story serially. The first episode was a hit and so I discovered that I might have made an error. Bomber Boy deserved to be more than a chapter in another person’s book. After some thinking, I decided to publish it online as an eBook. A very interesting story, it was loosely based on the true events of December 25, 2008, in which a young Nigerian man had boarded a plane bound for the United States of America with a bomb in his underwear. His intentions were clear:  blow up the plane, send the 300 people on board to hell.

I was sure that it would become a hit, just as it was well accepted in the British magazine.  I excitedly  hit the publish button expecting to see my book become a best seller, and my name rise to fame. I thought maybe I could win the Pulitzer!

I was wrong! I quickly learned that if you are going to make any sales you need to do a lot of publicity, and one way to do so is to have good reviews on your book.  I started the process of requesting for reviews. That was how my problems started.

The World Loves to Hate

In my searching, I came across a certain American woman who owns a popular blog. Her name is Karen. As the stars would have it she works at the particular Airline where my story was taken from. As a matter of fact it seems that she was quite involved in the sad event from which my story is derived. She had first-hand information about it. I was very happy that she agreed to read my book, and write a review.

It was a disaster! She hated my book so much that she spent all her time calling out even the slightest spelling and punctuation errors. The review was so one sided that it did not see a single positive side in the book it was all about. This woman bashed everything about my book; from the disclaimer I put at the beginning to the way I ended the story. Even though the book was clearly marked ‘Fiction,’  she said my work did not tally with the details of the original event, and put up the ONLY 2 star review on my book page till date.  (Just google Bomber Boy: Ike Pius her review is quite prominent. ) She made it quite clear that she considered me and my book a nuisance.

At about the same time another American woman reviewer from whom I requested a review wrote that my book was just an attempt to humanize a extremist. She said that I had no talent, and that I was sympathetic to extremists and  their actions. She said this even though I included an Afterword at the back of my book, in which I condemned violence in all forms, and called for more sense from Africa which has become a battleground. I do not believe she even got to the Afterword. She probably saw an African writing a book, and decided to put him in his place. If you google Bomber Boy: Ike Pius you can find her damning review.

Those two reviews have probably killed  my chances of successfully marketing that book.

I was Knocked out Cold 

Bashing an Author’s writing work is an act of evil. It brings feelings of frustration, dejection, and can even bring extreme depression. In my particular case I stopped promoting my book on twitter and facebook, and I did not even write as little as an essay for months at a stretch. To put it simply I stopped being an Author. I stopped being alive.  I wanted to die.  That was how I got to rock bottom as I stated at the beginning of this article.

But something happened that brought me back to life.

Karen, the first  reviewer I mentioned at the beginning, basking in her success in killing my chances on Amazon, then came back to another book marketing website (GoodReads) to repeat the patriotic action. SHE DID  THIS AFTER THE PERIOD OF ABOUT 2 LONG YEARS. I did not ask her to do this, and neither did she ask or notify me. Apparently, she just searched for my book on Goodreads, and said to her self: ‘shoot it down again.’

What Hit the Reset Button on my Brain?

To be honest it was pure rage! I was so angry when I saw her peddling her hate again on goodreads that I did not even realize that I was up and doing again. As electric shock therapy can revive a comatose brain, so was I resuscitated.  I saw that I could fight back if I really wanted to, and so here I am- fighting!

Their words have not only sparked my brain into activity, but they have unwittingly given me a story to tell. The rocks that have been thrown at me have now become the steps upon which I climb to become a better writer-a greater writer.

To add icing on the cake, I now consider myself qualified to give words of encouragement to younger ones who might have experienced the pain of rejection for the first time. I do exactly that in the next paragraph.

Keep Pushing, don’t Let them Win

To tell you the truth, I think it takes a lot to become successful as a Black person in almost any field of endeavor. You have to work extra hard! You have to put in the extra effort just to get a chance to show your abilities.

This could sometimes mean writing more job applications, submitting more contract proposals, going to more casting auditions, attending more dress rehearsals, and doing more practice sessions. But the extra work can make you better.

I tell people that I have written more review requests than I can count, and that I have been ignored or rejected well over 100 times-to be modest. This has made me more sensitive to the few opportunities that I have got, and I have been able to build solid working relationships with the few people who have been responsive.

I can confidently tell you that chances will come, and if you seize your moment, you can make it. There is nothing in this world that you cannot achieve if you do not give up.

The Most Important Part of My Story 

If I had given up then you would not be reading this post now. I firmly believe that the information contained here will be useful to somebody somewhere. Who knows, it could even save someone’s career.

Furthermore, by not giving up I have met many kind Authors and Reviewers, some  of whom have taken a stand with me basically because they have been disgusted by the actions of my detractors.

I have received many words of encouragement from many fine people all around the world, and now I have recovered my dignity and refueled my ambition.

A Summary of my Story

How has rejection been a positive thing for me?

It has inspired me, no, forced me to become a better writer. As a result writing has become for me a real, and profitable venture.

It has forced me to reach out, and to network more with readers and reviewers and now I better understand what readers appreciate.

It has made me more socially aware, more conscious of what is going on in the world.

About the Author : Ike Pius is an Author who wants to feature on every blog in the world. I ask that you read the most touching story I have ever written: When I Went to Hell https://onelovespace.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/when-i-went-to-hell/

Twitter – @IkePius

Song of the Centurion by Steven A. McKay – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Song of the Centurion by Steven A. McKay.

Here’s the blurb

It is AD 430. Against all odds Princess Catia has been rescued from her brutal Saxon captors and Bellicus is taking her home at last.

As the giant warrior-druid knows, however, the gods rarely make things easy and, even if he can escort the girl back to the North safely, their troubles will be far from over…
In a land beset by the rivalries of petty warlords, Dun Breatann has stood solid and secure for untold generations. Trouble brews though as King Coroticus has cracked under the pressure and, as well as starting a war with the neighbouring kings, he has become jealous, suspicious, and often blind drunk. When the king’s paranoia finally boils over during a winter feast, Bel finds himself with two choices – accept exile, or complete another seemingly impossible undertaking.
So much for the returning hero…

Accompanied by his massive war-dog, Cai, and the ever-loyal former centurion, Duro – who has his own painful issues to contend with – Bellicus must somehow survive a journey east into enemy-held lands. There, he will need to use his gods-given talents to the full if they are to survive the winter frosts and carry out the mad king’s orders without being captured or killed by the men of Dalriada.

Folklore, superstition, the healing power of song, and even a wondrous white stag will all play a part in the companions’ continuing adventures, but, no matter the outcome of their mission, it will take a miracle to untangle the mess they’ve left behind in Alt Clota. Armies are gathering and, when spring returns, the people of Dun Breatann will be under siege once again.

Will their legendary warrior-druid be there to defend them, or will the new ways sweep away the old once and for all?

Review

When we last saw Bellicus he had just rescued Princess Catia from the Saxons. As he makes his way back to the King and Queen we see that the relationships between Catia, Bellicus and Duro has grown strong and they’re all looking forward to a nice warm welcome on their return…

You’d think the King would be happy to see the return of the Princess but in Bellicus’s absence the King has changed.. he’s not the man he was and his quick temper is slowly putting his people under  strain.. they will only take so much.. can Bellicus help set the King back on the right path?

Well he tries.. he really does but in the end the King sends Bellicus away on a mission.. a mission that seems doomed to fail.

Bellicus will honour the King’s wishes but he knows the Saxon’s are the real threat so he needs to get this task done.. and fast.

Things never go to plan of course and Bellicus must use all his cunning to make it out in one piece.

When all is done it’s time to return home.. but how will the King receive him this time?

McKay has outdone himself with this one. Being a fan of the author my biggest fear was him moving away from a series I loved to something new.. would It live up to expectations.. well it smashed the ball out of the park to be honest.

While the first book in the series The Druid was very plot driven to get the readers sucked in to a new series, book two is character driven development which is what I wanted to see.. this is the kind of action I need.. the kind of connections with the characters I want.

The word to describe this book is “Development” in more than one way. Not only does the tale develop amazingly I feel it shows real author development as McKay cements is credentials as a top-notch author.. he’s no one trick pony. He himself says that at one point progress on this book was side-lined for a while as he was involved with other projects but you’d never think that from reading the book.. it flows perfectly, the direction is never forced and that ending was pure brilliance.. as a storyteller McKay is up there with the best of them..the whole white stag storyline was not only riveting but joyous to read.

Bellicus along with his loyal war dog Cai and Duro the centurion are the perfect team.. they complement each other superbly and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Duro for me steals the show as I felt he had a larger part to play in this tale compared to the first book in the series..(for obvious reasons if you’ve read the book)..  he was often the one who put a smile on my face with his humour but I also felt for him.. there’s some deep wounds that will take time to heal and this side of him really makes you take a shine to him.

Overall it’s a cracking read.. but it’s more than that.. it’s the perfect 2nd book in a series.. it shows growth from the first book but leaves you in no doubt this Is a series you need to keep following.

Everyone should have a copy of this on their bookshelf.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon.

Here’s the blurb

Genre –  Crime Thriller/Police Procedural

A gruesome discovery. A secret long-buried. The past uncovered.

When Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is called to a quiet residential property what he discovers is truly shocking – the mummified body of a new-born baby. The tiny corpse, hidden inside a cardboard box at the back of a wardrobe, is only found after the death of the homeowner, Andrea Ogilvy.

Until a few years ago Ogilvy was a foster carer for the local council, looking after hundreds of children during her career. But something made her give up her role. But what? Nobody truly knows.

DNA analysis on the child leads Gray to three women; one of which may be the abandoned baby’s mother. As Gray digs deeper he uncovers painful family secrets and a multitude of lies. It seems vulnerable young women were being exploited by a man in a position of power. But who helped them cover everything up? And why?

And someone is setting a dog onto teenagers – criminals early in their careers. Seemingly a vigilante is operating, doing what the police won’t. And, as usual, Gray’s complex personal life interferes with his job.

Who is the baby? Why was it hidden? What lives will be shattered by Gray’s investigation?

Review

The Silent Dead is book 6 in the Solomon Gray series by Keith Nixon. To enjoy this book you don’t necessarily need to have read the rest of the series but it would certainly help you understand Sol’s personal situation. The great thing is the author very nicely links back to past events so a new reader can get an idea of what has happened whilst also keeping the loyal readers hooked.. you get sucked in..it brings everything back.. I found myself playing out bits and pieces in my head remembering the past events in Sols life… it sticks with you.

So Sol once again has his work cut out for him when a baby is found…but the poor little thing has been dead for years.. but how did they die and why was the death hidden for so long.

There’s twists and turns and dark secrets come out left, right and centre.. the author plays with you.. always misdirecting your thoughts..keeping the truth tantalizingly close until the right moment! Loved it.

Let’s just say a few people have their lives turned upside down from these events.

Sol has his personal life to deal with too and more than one stained work relationship causing him a headache. I really love this side to the story, not only does it increase the suspense, it also delivers in bucket load the character development I always yearn for.

The Silent Dead is the perfect thriller.. it’s packed with some cracking moments when the action hits. There’s also quite a harrowing side to the tale that will stick with you long after you’ve finished.

If you like thrillers this books for you… if you like suspense this books for you.. if you like police procedural novels this books for you.. if you want a heart wrenching plot this is for you.. if you want.. oh you get my drift ha. I can’t see anyone not loving this book.

Let’s talk characters for a moment.. Sol in particular.. while the ensemble cast certainly play their part well it’s Sol who sticks with you.. as he should.. he’s flawed.. he’s dealing with a lot of past pain and it shows sometimes when he really needs to step back.. but that’s what I love about the guy.. it’s real.. I’ve make errors.. I’ve needed to apologise at times.. but I always have the best intentions.. that’s Sol.. I identify with this character as I can see his thought process and would act the same as he does and this connection will keep me coming back time and time again.

I know from the author’s notes that Sol will be back.. just not soon.. While that’s hard to take I can’t wait to see what Keith comes up with next.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Snowbound (Malykant Mysteries Book 8) by Charlotte E. English – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Snowbound book 8 in the Malykant Mysteries by Charlotte E. English.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Fantasy.

Detective. Judge. Executioner.

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: the most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Konrad may be finished with the coven at Divoro — but are they finished with him? Outside the gates of Ekamet, a new ice-palace has arisen, its grisly contents aimed squarely at the Malykant. Its message is clear: interference with the necromancers’ aims will not be tolerated.

Forced to return to Divoro, Konrad does so with trepidation — for murderers tend to run away from the Malykant, not towards. What dark purpose does the coven have in mind, and is he walking straight into a trap?

Review

To say Charlotte E. English has been prolific with the releases would be an understatement so I’m a little behind but catching up fast.

Longevity isn’t something easy to achieve in my opinion.. it takes a fantastic imagination to keep tales fresh and interesting.. Charlotte E. English knows the recipe well and serves up another delicious read.

If you aren’t familiar with the series it follows Konrad Savast.. he’s the Malykant.. he’s one person you hope you’ll never meet..his job is to deliver justice for those murdered.. and if you are unlucky to be on the wrong side of him it’s a lifetime of pain that awaits you.

The series has been developing at pace and Snowbound is linked heavily with the last book in the series The House At Divoro, so please do read the books in order otherwise it won’t make much sense.

Forced to return to Divoro Konrad is set for an out-of-body experience which has you gripping the edge of the seat. This tale shows how vulnerable Konrad really is… his Malykant powers can’t always save him.

For me this books screams character development as Nanda, the inspector and Tasha come to the foreground to save Konrad, this enabled the author to explore relationship dynamics but also have a little bit of fun with Konrad who is quite powerless for once.

Snowbound is another cracking tale. The page length is short at less than 150 pages but the author’s style fits perfectly, effortlessly packing in so much yet keeping the flow natural rather than forced. I’m always surprised how much plot the author can fit in within a few pages.

Dark and humorous is the only way to describe this series and Konrad’s serpents Ootapi and Eetapi epitomise the series, they always put a smile of my face.. the back and forth with Konrad is just a delight to read.

It’s another 5/5 stars for Charlotte E. English.. once again proving she’s the Queen of the short story.

Look out for my review of book 9 in the series The Zolin Conspiracy shortly!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.