Tag Archives: Writing

Flash Gordon – War Of The Citadels by David Hagberg – Review

Today I’m going to be reviewing War of the Citadels book 2 in the Flash Gordon series by David Hagberg.

Here’s the blurb

Sent on a rescue mission by the leaders of the planet Earth, Flash Gordon and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov find themselves involved in an intricate war plan which threatens the existence of the entire universe. Each step they take propels them further into the complex plots and counterplots of two warring worlds.

Review

This is the 2nd instalment in the series by David Hagberg. In the 1st instalment we learned of the ⁰reappearance of the Interstellar Exploration ship GOODHOPE.. with it’s crew all found dead. The ship had been launched 200 years prior and Zarkov was tasked with discovering what had happened aboard ship when suddenly the drive spools and our heroes are whisked away across the galaxy to a distant planet.

We soon learned of a war that has raged for thousands of years that could impact everyone..Flash, Zarkov and Dale decide to help.

While on the planet a ship from Citadel II appears.. the enemy..and all hell breaks loose.. they’re more advanced than first thought and this could mean the end of Citadel I and our heroes.

One hope remains.. The creators of Citadel I came from a planet called Centrus. The location of this planet has remained secret.. for everyone’s sake.. but they may still be alive, or at the very least have technology that can save them. Zarkov soon finds a way to locate Centrus and sets off in search of something to help them in their quest.

As with the previous instalment the author throws in some great twists alone the way leaving the reader wondering what the hell is going on.. gripped.. and excited..It’s not all smooth sailing and sometimes you can be left wondering who actually are the good guys in this? Is Flash backing the right team? Is this to save people or will it simply cause the war to continue?

Overall a really exciting read..I’m really enjoying the series. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to reading them.

If you can pick up a copy I highly recommend you do..old school SyFy.. what’s not to love!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon. I also highly recommend AbeBooks if you want to find a copy :)

An English King by Gabriel Stein – Review

Reviewing as a hobby means sometimes I forget to read books I really want to as I take on too many review requests.

During this year I’ll still take on requests but I’m going to focus more heavily on my own reading pile.. I’ve some brilliant books just waiting to be picked up.

Next up being An English King by Gabriel Stein.

Here’s the blurb

Gerne – Historical Fiction

Constantinopolis. 1096.

Sometimes the enemy comes from within.

Edmund has fought the Normans most of his life – at Hastings under King Harold of England, and later in Greece as a soldier in the Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Emperor.

His dream is to lead an army of battle-hardened warriors back home and expel the Normans from England.

With the Empire finally at peace, Edmund feels that the time has arrived to fulfil his duty and avenge his king.

But there are rumours of a new threat. Large hosts of armed Latins – westerners – are marching towards the city, brandishing the sign of the Cross. One of the Crusader leaders is Bohemond of Taranto.

England will have to wait, while Edmund is tasked by his Emperor with a delicate and dangerous assignment: find out if Bohemond is friend or enemy. And if he is an enemy – stop him.

Edmund’s assignment will take him through Anatolia. Battles and sieges await.

The Varangian’s strength – and spirit – will be tested like never before.

Review

An English King is book 2 in The Varangian Series. I very much enjoyed the 1st instalment so I was looking forward to this one.. did it disappoint..not in the slightest!

We are back with Edmund and the Varangian guard.. this time he’s no fresh recruit.. he’s a seasoned warrior and life is looking good for him.. he still dreams of a return to England but he has a family now who rely on him.

A new threat arrives.. the issue is they aren’t really an enemy… it’s the Crusaders.. the problem is they will pass through the Emperor’s land..someone needs to make sure they behave themselves.

As they pass through the Emperor agrees to send in his own troops to support the effort.. the upside for him means he can hopefully reclaim lands long lost to the Empire. The downside for Edmund means he’s tasked with going along with Bohemond of Taranto…. Enemies once… can he be trusted now?

There’s battles aplenty.. treachery.. and loyalty when you least expect it and it will test Edmund to the fullest.

While fighting physically Edmund is also dealing with the mental side of things.. he’s been part of the Empire now for a long time.. will he ever go home.. does he want to.. will it be the place he remembers.. it’s an internal struggle for him. Edmund will need to put these thoughts on hold if he’s going to make it back in one piece.

The battle sequences were detailed and exciting to read. I really felt immersed in Edmund’s world.

As the battles continue the stress begins to show and loyalty is tested..without the Emperors presence the Crusaders trust starts to wane… how long can Edmund and the Emperor’s men keep everyone on the same side.

While An English King is a work of fiction it’s very detailed and shows a keen interest in the subject matter.. this adds to the tale..it’s what sucks you in.

If you are looking for an interesting and exciting historical fiction read you could a lot worse than this. A beautifully brutal tale at times.. showing the stress Edmund is under … it’s a slow burner..it’s all about the build up but when the action really hits it’s cracking! For me it’s all about the development of Edmund as his place in the Empire is solidified.

4/5 Stars!

To find out more head to GoodreadsorAmazon.

Flash Gordon – Massacre In The 22nd Century by David Hagberg – Review

One of my aims in 2020 is to focus more on the books I want to read rather than just review requests. I’ve found myself being snowed under so much with requests that I’ve got a cupboard full of forgotten books.. well no more 😊

Today I’m going to be reviewing Flash Gordon – Massacre In The 22nd Century by David Hagberg.

To give you a little background into my choice of story I’ve had a few Flash novels in my collection for years… I used to be part of the local Scout group who held regular jumble sales.. I wasn’t a big reader but I loved books.. the covers attracted my eyes and at the time I would be paying around 10p for a book.

I remember quite vividly those days, I used to help out at the jumble sales by sorting the clothes that had fallen on to the floor.. When I got a bit sick of that I’d pester my mam for some change to do some bargain hunting myself and it was either toys, bric-a-brac or books that took my fancy. I remember spending around £5 and having bags of things to take home. My mam didn’t mind I don’t think. We weren’t exactly poor but we couldn’t waste money either so I made the most of my time at the jumble sales.

I remember I picked up a Flash Gordon book.. I loved the cover.. It was book 3 of the series but thought for 10p why not. That book has lived with me ever since. A few years ago when I started reading regularly I looked into buying the rest of that series of books which even ended up with me buying a few online from America.. I might not have read any of the books but when I commit I commit fully.

Here’s the blurb

Sent on a mission to investigate the mysterious reappearance of the Interstellar Exploration ship GOODHOPE, Colonel Flash Gordon and his companions, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov discover much more than they had bargained for. Stranded in deep space, the trio find themselves drawn against their will into a war of worlds which has lasted thousands of years…and which threatens the very existence of the planet Earth.

So here we are.. after around nearly 20 years here’s my review!
Review

Massacre In The 22nd Century is the first in a 6 part series by David Hagberg.

An interstellar starship arrives home to Earth..the issue is this ship departed 200 years ago and was presumed lost.

No one is answering onboard, Hans Zarkov is enlisted to gain entry onto the spaceship to investigate what was happened since he’s an expert on older technology. Dale and Flash are going along for the ride.

What they find onboard will change their lives forever and will catapult them into a war which has been going on for thousands of years..will they ever make it back to Earth?

Quite honestly the plot of this book blew my mind.. It was fantastic! Detailed and well structured but overall utterly fascinating and the ending left me In no doubt I’ll be reading the entire series. I was hooked from chapter 1!

Characters wise I loved Flash and Zarkov.. Dale’s a little bit annoying when she ignores what’s asked of her.. she’s impulsive.. hopefully as the series continues, she will start to work better with them as Flash/Zarkov accept her as part of the team.

As the story continues it setups the series perfectly.. it gives you just enough to grab you.. suck you in.. masterfully securing my attention.. so much so I’ve started book 2 already.

What Massacre In The 22nd Century shows me is that a good story will stand up to the test of time.. this story was written 5 years before I was born but still effortlessly consumed me.

Old school science fiction and I loved it!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads!

If you fancy a copy why not try Ebay or AbeBooks 🙂

Christmas Gone Crazy by Jamie Adams – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Christmas Gone Crazy by Jamie Adams.

Here’s the blurb

A weirdly sweet Christmas tale about two twenty-somethings who find themselves on a Christmas mission in the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland.

Review

I know it’s not Christmas but we all need a little Christmas cheer don’t we?

A reporter is tasked with heading to the Swiss Alps to look into reports of someone claiming to be Jesus.. while there things take a turn with a surprising ending that left me wondering what could happen next..

For me this short tale was about a miracle..anything can happen.. when you least expect it.. and leaves it up to the reader as to what they want to believe.. was this just coincidence or did the stranger claiming to be Jesus play a part? I’ll guess we will never know.

The tale is short at just over 20 pages and is a fun read that kept my interest. Perfect if you’ve not got a lot of time and fancy a quick read.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

4/5 Stars.

David’s Book Blurg’s Top Choices for 2019

Ok.. so there’s still time for some last minute gifts so I want to share my top picks! These are just some of the books I’ve read/listened to this year! Click the pictures to head to Amazon to have a look in detail!

  1. Are you an audiobook fan? If so you’ve got to get Lucia by Steven A McKay. It’s a gut wrenching slaves tale set in Roman times.51cHfw39UnL._SX342_
  2. Fancy a delicious new mystery novel? then look no further than No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky. (Currently at the bargain price of £0.99 on Kindle!)46203408._SY475_
  3. Do you like a police procedural kind of novel and like flawed leads? Well The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon is the book for you.47969376._SY475_
  4. Enjoy a bit of Science Fiction without the word count? Take a look at The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon!415GhUysFtL
  5. Like a bit of a historical read.. ever heard of the Hittites? look no further than Empires of Bronze by Gordon Doherty.51Odsq2iUkL
  6. Not quite sure what you are after? Fancy more than one book? Well why not get a boxset of goodness? Check out forged in Fire, a set which includes books by authors Prue Batten, Simon Turney and Gordon Doherty 5168XFNxseL

 

There’s so many good books out there.. these are just a few of the hundreds i’d happily recommend so do check out my reviews and see if anything takes your fancy.

Do get in touch and let me know what book gifts you give and receive this year 🙂

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

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.