Max Power’s 100th Review on amazon – The Max Power Choice Award – a special book carefully chosen

Max Power’s 100th Review on amazon – The Max Power Choice Award – a special book carefully chosen

This award is given in this instance to the book for which I have posted my 100th review on amazon. However the selection of this particular book by this particular author is indeed a choice and no accident.   This very special award is given to an author who epitomises excellence in their craft. The winner of the Max Power Choice Award for 2015, can go to none other than the very wonderful Lesley Hayes.

It is called the Choice Award because as I approached my 100th review, I considered all the reasons why a writer should get prominence as my 100th review.  It is after all a milestone and I felt it should be marked by a genuine and talented writer. As it happens this writer inspired me to write my very first review for her wonderful The Drowned Phoenician Sailor and she has inspired me ever since.

There are few writers, established or Indie that I go back to time and time again with the absolute confidence that I will be guaranteed a wonderful read. Lesley Hayes is quite literally a hidden talent to most of the world. She possesses an attention to detail in her work both figuratively and literally.  Her characters are imbued with a sense of normal that make them believable, engaging and you just know you are reading a book of quality from the very first page.

There is place and time in her work, often that place is her seemingly beloved Oxford and the time is always a wonderfully evocative, sensual thing in her tales. She sometimes reminds me of one of my favourite authors Henry James although Lesley is far more accessible and contemporary of course and indeed though his fans may be aghast at the suggestion, she is far more talented. I love her work and while here this award stems from the point of her latest book being my 100th review, I recommend that everyone goes out and buys a Lesley Hayes book today.  Wonderful books one and all from a gifted writer. Congratulations to Lesley Hayes, My choice, the recipient of the Max Power Choice Award for 2015.

An image posted by the author.

Leslehttp://www.amazon.com/Lesley-Hayes/e/B00HR65DESy Hayes

FIND DANGEROUS PEOPLE HERE;

http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-People-Lesley-Hayes-ebook/dp/B016P0YVU8/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Lesley Hayes was born in Deptford, in South East London, in 1948, and started writing almost as soon as she could talk. Her first story was published when she won a literary competition at the age of 13. Between 1966 and 1992 she was regularly and prolifically published in literary and women’s magazines, writing stories, serials and articles, and in 1986 had a novel published called ‘Keeping Secrets’. For the following two years she had a weekly slot on BBC Radio Oxford reading her short stories, and in 1999 a collection of linked stories called ‘Oxford Marmalade’ was brought out on audiotape, read by the actress Susanna Dawson. Her son and daughter, born respectively in 1969 and 1971, helped her throughout these years to keep her feet on the ground and her sense of humour alive and well and occasionally kicking. In 1990 she came to the conclusion that continuing to write about the fascinating vagaries of the human condition just wouldn’t be enough, and for the next four years she trained to become a psychotherapist. Her successful career as a psychotherapist over the ensuing years took her away from fiction writing, but brought quite different rewards. It was a fork in the road she never once regretted taking, and she was aware of using many of same creative skills and insights. During the past five years the compelling urge to write fiction has again emerged, and she has given in gracefully to the inevitable return to her first love. Her novels ‘The Drowned Phoenician Sailor’ and ‘A Field Beyond Time’ are now available on kindle, along with three collections of short stories. Now that the genie has once again escaped from the bottle, more will soon follow.

OTHER BOOKS BY LESLEY HAYES

Through a Glass DarklyThe Oscar DossierWithout a Safety NetOxford Marmalade: SHORT STORIES BY LESLEY HAYESThe Drowned Phoenician SailorA Field Beyond TimeNot Like Other PeopleRound Robin

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The Max Power book of the year 2015

The Max Power book of the year 2015

As a writer I understand the value of reading. It is one of the great pleasures in life for me and as I posted my 100th review on Amazon this week, I revisited all those wonderful reads and tried to select my favourite book from all of them.  It was a difficult choice at first and then I re-read the review of one very special book that I had posted and I was instantly reminded of the effect this book had on me when I read it.  Here is my review, judge for yourself, but first a word about the author.

I first discovered Jim Murray’s books while sitting by the pool on vacation in the Canary Islands. I was absolutely hooked on Jim’s magnificent book Brother. It connected with me on many levels, partly perhaps there was instant ease as we both hail from Ireland and I wallowed in the flow and cadence of the language.  But it was much more than that. Jim Murray’s writing is so technically brilliant that it almost goes unnoticed.  The writing seems so simple despite its complexity and that is the genius of his craft.  Brother led me to Doubly Ugly and again he had me hooked from the first page.

When I discovered he had a third book available The Galapagan, I hardly dared imagine he could surpass his first two but how wrong was I?  This is a dark and wonderful tale and it has become one of my favourite books of all time.  Independent authors or Indies as they are most commonly referred to, struggle in the vast commercial world of publishing despite a wealth of talent that exists.  It can be difficult to identify true quality when glancing through the vast catalogues of books available.  It was with this in mind that these awards have been developed to help you find the true gems…and  so I want you to take a moment to consider not just The Galapagan but all of Jim Murray’s wonderful books, each one a gem in their own right.

Here you have a chance to read a marvellously talented artist and to be part of his story by spreading your enjoyment among your friends. I am proud to announce that my book of the year 2015 goes to The Galapagan by Jim Murray. Congratulations Jim.

My Max Power book of the year 2015 is The Galapagan by the wonderfully talented Jim Murray.

Jim Murray

Jim Muhttp://www.amazon.com/Jim-Murray/e/B00CLOUMGK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447429171&sr=1-1rray

no1

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and lyrical, a fantastic book, June 22, 2015

This review is from: THE GALAPAGAN (Kindle Edition)
Sublime and Lyrical, a fantastic book.
A remarkable tale, The Galapagan of the title is Gabriel, isolated from the world as a child because of his dysfunctional family; he has grown up different to the rest of the world. This book owes so much to a great Irish tradition of writing. There are literary equivalents to Joyce except this is accessible in a way Joyce is not to so many people; there is a sense of darkness like Frank O’Connor, the humour of Behan and Flan O Brien and the eccentricity of Patrick Mc Cabe. But this writer has his own distinct voice and he is a delight to read.In here we have the brutal and savage Anton Crow a veritable monster in the tradition of Frankenstein’s monster. Gabriel feels responsible for his Anton in a way I can’t explain without spoiling the plot, but it is this sense of responsibility for what he feels he has created in some ways, that is at the heart of the book. There is much violence and terror between the pages of this brilliant book but all to a purpose. There is line after beautiful line in this book that demonstrates the author’s wonderful turn of phrase like, “He is abandoned, like an outcast from the tribe, beneath the night the like of which he’s never witnessed, the stars like dandruff across an undertaker’s back.”

I have read two other books by Jim Murray, Brother and Double Ugly and here again he returns to familiar themes of guilt and connection, characters whose fates are somehow bound together, who have a sense of responsibility, are tied to, or hold a grudge against another and ultimately turn in on themselves desperate to understand their own purpose, value and meaning in the world. Lyrically splendid, emotionally addictive, this is a book that is filled with all sorts of gems. The narrative is magnificent, the dialogue sublime and the plot rips along at a fantastic pace. There is so much to enjoy. It is a wild ride and there is madness and fear and a blend of mayhem and terror that kept me on edge. But there is more, colours – hints of Dostoyevsky and lyricism that flows through every page.

There are few writers who can maintain this standard of quality writing and Jim Murray is up there with the best of them. I loved Double Ugly, Brother is still one of my favourite books from last year but The Galapagan has surpassed all my expectations. There is little else to say except that if you have read Jim Murray before you will know what a talented writer he is so you will certainly want to read this book. If you haven’t then I urge you to open up this wonderful book and discover a writer you will instantly become addicted to. Five stars out of five for a book that deserves ten.

FIND THE GALAPAGAN HERE;

Other books by Jim Murray are Brother another equally enthralling read and the superb Double Ugly. And they can be found here

BRODOUBLEU

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Jim-Murray/e/B00CLOUMGK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447155695&sr=1-1

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Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

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Announcing the winner of The Max Power Indie Author Story-teller Award 2015

Announcing the winner of The Max Power Indie Author Story-teller Award 2015

As a writer from Ireland, I understand the value and importance of the great art of story-telling.  When I get that sitting by the glow of a fire being read to feeling, I know the writer has cracked it.  To this end I have selected from my 100 reviews, two very special writers who made me feel this way.  The essence of good writing is the ability to tell a good story.  This year the Max Power Indie Author Story-teller Award goes jointly to two truly great tellers of tales, Nico Laeser and Christoph Fischer.  Here are my reviews of their books- But first a word about the authors.

It was never my intention to split this award but my absolute delight in reading all of their books reviewed here made it an impossible decision. As a writer, I understand how difficult the technical side of things can be, but more importantly the ability to actually tell a wonderful story is the key ingredient for reader enjoyment.  I call this a Story-teller award because these books are not just words on paper.  Nico Laeser and Christoph Fischer have an incredible natural ability to bring you into their world and I personally have seldom enjoyed reading more, than when I have had the pleasure of being told stories by these two rare talents.  While Christoph Fischer has a larger catalogue than I have reviewed to date, Nico Laeser has a new book coming out in the early 2016. I cannot recommend them higher and I urge you to discover the wonderful, intelligent, talented works of Christoph Fischer and Nico Laeser. Please take the time to read these reviews and do yourself a favour by investing in their works. Congratulations gentlemen, take a bow.

Christoph Fischer Nico Laeser

                               Christoph Fischer                     Nico Laeser

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mpsta

5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, February 21, 2015

This review is from: The Healer (Kindle Edition)

I took a punt on a new author to me and I was delighted that I did. This a book has an original plot that at the same time makes you feel like you already know the chief protagonists. From the opening page you are immersed into the story and what a story. I like to be drawn into a book but I need to be kept interested and I most certainly was.

No chance of spoilers from me, I would ruin the book for you if I did. All I will say is that the story centres around Erika, who choses to seek alternative treatment for her cancer. The alternative treatment she seeks and the deceit, plot twists and intrigue that follows, just mount up. I wanted to put the book away several times but kept going back for just one more chapter. You will love the flow of this book. Perfectly paced for me, a well balanced study in character I have become a Christoph Fischer fan today. If you are the sort of person who is afraid to take a risk with a new author, you need not worry, you are in safe hands. Pick this book up and look for his next one.

FIND THE HEALER HERE;
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mpsta

5.0 out of 5 stars Original and clever, April 30, 2015

This review is from: Skin Cage (Kindle Edition)
I’ll start by using the F-word. Flippin’ great read. What a clever and original story. I can’t possibly refer to the plot without completely giving it away. This is an original piece of writing that held more than one surprise for me. It is not the usual type of book I would read but it caught me right from page one and never let go. The book for me comes in three parts and is well written. Nico Laeser tells the story of Daniel, (that’s all I can say) in the first person and initially I had no idea where it was going. That is the beauty of the book. The transitions within the story are handled with aplomb and it is truly well crafted. I have to say it is one of the best books I have read in some time. I am officially a Nico Laeser fan now and I will be looking for more from this stylish writer
FIND SKIN CAGE HERE;
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mpsta

5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, engaging, enjoyable., July 27, 2015

This review is from: Time to Let Go (Paperback)
This is the third book that I have read from the very talented Christoph Fischer. It is not my favourite of the three but that is hardly a slight on the book or the writer who has given me The Healer and The Gambler, both of such an incredible high standard that it is hard to compare. This story felt a little different in style for me, but nonetheless compelling for that. The subject of Alzheimer’s and how it infiltrates a family is one close to my heart having first hand experience of the illness. I have to applaud the author for demonstrating a close understanding and portrayal of the effects of what is ultimately a traumatic time for those touched by the terrible blight of the illness on a family. The characterisation here needed to be top notch and Christoph Fischer once again proves here how good a writer he is. I felt the pain, hurt, anguish and desperation as it oozes from the pages of this book. He uses such simple techniques to draw the reader in with engaging narrative and simple dialogue. I was quite touched at times here and I am generally often left cold by books that try too hard to touch me. Time to Let go does no such thing. It feels true and effortless again demonstrating the craft of a writer who knows exactly how a story should be told. I am already eyeing up my next Christoph Fischer book. an absolutely well deserved 5 stars from me.
FIND TIME TO LET GO HERE;
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mpsta

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, June 2, 2015

This is the second book I have read by Nico Laeser and while Skin Cage enthralled me and sent me looking for another title by the same author, Infinity has ensured he is an author I will return to time and time again. Beautifully written with a complex story on many levels, made simple by a clear narrative that kept me wanting more. There can be no doubting the talent of this writer. The devices and imagery he draws upon are so skilfully handled that I was completely in touch with him on so many levels throughout. There is depth to this book, layers that unfold and keep you looking for more. It is dark but always engaging. I believe a good book should be more radio than television, by which I mean the writer needs to conjure up images that the reader will see in his or her own way by using their imagination. I wont give away any plot except to mention that from early on, when I read about the Mudmen I knew the author was spot on in making my reading experience something special. This is my kind of book. Brilliant.

FIND INFINITY HERE;

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1511442042?ref_=cm_cr-mr-title

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mpsta

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story telling, July 24, 2015

This review is from: The Gamblers (Kindle Edition)
There is a wonderful connection between Christoph Fischer’s books. I read The Healer some time back and was tempted to come back for more by this stylish author. While both books are very different, it is the writers narrative style and voice that links them. There is a simplicity and authenticity that is very attractive. Here he tells the story of Ben Andrews, a man whose life is changed by fortune and continues to be changed throughout, by the choices he makes. The cover and the title say little and everything. I wont reveal plot spoilers but the transition from the opening lines on board a flight to New York right through to what is a superb ending ensured that I have another favourite author. I read this book a couple of weeks ago and have been slow to review it but in the intervening time, the story has stayed with me. I have seldom read a book that took me along the way this one did. The Gambler’s didn’t take off at 100 miles per hour but there is a gradual, growing l intensity that grabs hold of you and never lets go. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay this writer and this book is to say that I found it somewhat addictive. I read it on holiday and literally kept sneaking a few more pages in every time I got a minute to myself. I would go further than to say pick up The Gamblers if you want a wonderfully written story. Having read two Christoph Fischer books, I now have a third on my Kindle so I have to say, take your pick, you can’t go wrong. There is even a nice introduction to ‘The Healer’ thrown in at the end to tempt you to another book I heartily recommend from a genuinely great story teller in a slightly old-fashioned sense, which is a good thing, The Gamblers is one of my favourite reads this year.
FIND THE GAMBLERS HERE ;
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Coming soon from Nico Laeser

 

har 

‘Harmonic: Resonance’

The whole world is waiting for the gates of Hell to open; at least half of them wait on their knees, praying for it to be quick, praying to a god that not even the dead can say exists.

I have done all I can to prepare. All I can do now is wait with the rest. I don’t know if anyone will make it through, or if anyone will ever listen to this recording. I’m sure that everyone’s version of events will be different, but the end will most likely be the same for us all. They are everywhere now, strange variations of the basic demonic form—horns, talons, and teeth. They too are waiting for the transition, the next convergence.

My name is Emily. I am twenty-three years old, and I will probably not make it to twenty-four. I don’t know what I’m hoping to achieve with this recording, if anything, but I have no one left to talk to, so you’ll have to do…

FIND ALL NICO LAESER BOOKS HERE

http://www.amazon.com/Nico-Laeser/e/B00SF3C732

 

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Other books by Christoph Fischer
The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)The Black Eagle Inn (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)
In Search of A RevolutionConditioned (Conditions Series ) (Volume 2)Conditions (Conditions Series Book 1)
 
FIND ALL CHRISTOPH FISCHER BOOKS HERE;
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Christoph Fischer  Nico Laeser
                         CHRISTOPH FISCHER                  NICO LAESER
mpsta

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Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

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The Max Power Recommended Read Award 2015

The Max Power Recommended Read Award 2015

To coincide with the publication of my 100th review on amazon, The Max Power Book Awards were created to celebrate great Indie authors and to highlight the depth and quality of talented available through the world of Indie publishing.

In addition to the overall winner of the Book of the year award, the Indie Author Story-teller Award and the Max Power Choice award, ten special Authors have been awarded the Max Power Recommended Read Award for 2015.

These are books of quality that inspired me to pick them out from the 100 reviews and highlight them for a little special attention. Spread across genre, the selection criteria was strict.  Importantly the selection process was not inter-genre with each competing on its own merit across all genres. This was perhaps the most difficult challenge in terms of selection for there were so many books I have loved  that choosing ten was tough. That being said you can be assured that the Max Power Recommended Read Award is not lightly given, so pick one of these wonderful books up and you will be sure of a quality, enjoyable read.  Many of these authors have extensive catalogues, so this short list is your perfect reference point to add to your personal library or indeed, the perfect gift for someone you know who loves reading.

The recipients of the Max Power Recommended Read Awards 2015 are to be congratulated and they are in alphabetical order;

Tom Benson

Tom Benson

Thttp://www.amazon.com/Tom-Benson/e/B00C9HTUTY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447430445&sr=1-1om Benson

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting,

In a Taste of Honey, Tom Benson embodies everything that is good about this genre. Right from the opening paragraph I was gripped when Kimberly receives a terrifying telephone call from her sister’s phone. What follows is a tale of revenge with no holds barred and a heroine who will stop at nothing to achieve it.

This book embodies everything that is good about the genre, action-packed, smart and with an attention to detail that leaves others in the shade. This is a book where everything has been cleverly thought out and researched, that kept me just wanting to get back to the next chapter over and over again. There is no letting up, yet the clever thing about this book is the balance in its pace. In order to get to where it is going, the reader is not short-changed in the detail and Tom leaves no lose ends.

Where other stories can get bogged down in the finer detail and lose you, A Taste of Honey keeps that balance just right and I couldn’t help but find myself equally absorbed by the story, whether our heroine was getting her hair cut or exacting painful revenge on one of her targets.

Intriguing, exciting and eloquent, this is a thumbs up from me. I have read two Tom Benson books that led me to this one and all I can say is he just keeps getting better.

FIND A TASTE OF HONEY HERE;http://www.amazon.com/Taste-Honey-Tom-Benson-ebook/dp/B00QPSAU9C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1447431835&sr=1-1&keywords=A+TASTE+OF+HONEY+TOM+BENSON

Other books by Tom Benson;
Coming Around: and other erotic storiesAmsterdam CallingTen Days in PanamaBeyond The Law
Love and Romance (An Anthology of Poetry Book 2)Humour (An Anthology of Poetry Book 1)Give & Take: A Tale of EroticaSmoke & Mirrors: and other stories
Beyond The Law: RetributionMilitary Matters (An Anthology of Poetry Book 4)Thrills and Chills (An Anthology of Poetry Book 5)Natural History (An Anthology of Poetry Book 3)
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Sharon Brownlie

Sharon Brownlie

http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Brownlie/e/B00Q55XL0K/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447430863&sr=1-1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling,

This review is from: Betrayal (Kindle Edition)
My kind of book. I completely loved it. Dark and compelling. This has what I want in a book, great characterisation, believable dialogue and a super narrative. I love character driven books and I simply adore an anti-hero. Helen the central character in this story is so very flawed and the way Sharon Brownlie gradually brings her to salvation (in my eyes anyway) is brilliant. It starts with a violent scene but the book never crosses into gratuitous violence for me and I like that. It does contain other violent scenes as it is the story of a damaged woman addicted to drugs and who is dealing with the emotional and physical scars that result from the abuse she suffered as a child. It is often a tough read but all the better for it. I couldn’t put this book down. No plot spoilers but get this book. It is original, superbly paced and I want more.
FIND BETRAYAL HERE ;

Other Books by Sharon Brownlie

Betrayal: The Consequences

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CIMG8978 - Copy

Lucinda E. Clarke

http://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars A great read,

Very much away from the normal type of book I would read, I found myself immersed into this autobiographical tale from the opening. I can’t imagine writing a book like this. It reads like a fictional tale at times, that is to say I have often found autobiographical work to be more stilted which is not at all the case in this book. The sense of time and place is beautifully captured, as is the appreciation of what it would have been like for a woman working in a male dominated career in Africa. I enjoyed her reference to working on the stage in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin as a child, a classic overstatement to secure success at an audition. Truly this is one of the more enjoyable books I have read this year. Do yourself a favour and pick up this lovely book.
FIND TRUTH LIES AND PROPAGANDA HERE;
Other books by Lucinda E. Clarke;
More Truth, Lies and Propaganda: in AfricaWalking Over EggshellsAmie an African AdventureAmie and the Child of Africa
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Diana J. Febry

Diana J. Febry

http://www.amazon.com/Diana-J.-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1447432894&sr=1-3

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and engaging,

I’m turning into a Diana J Febry fan. This is the second book I have read from her in the last month and I have to be honest – that’s a rarity for me. I like to add variety to my reading schedule but in this case I had picked up both books for my Kindle and having read and enjoyed the first, I decided to read the second and I am glad I did. I had forgotten all about good old fashioned murder mystery tales of late as I have veered away from them in recent years. They can be tedious and predictable but not so with this book. While both Bells on her toes and this follow on book Point of no return, retain the same two detective leads, they stand alone and there is no need to read the first before the second although for character development I would say it is best. This book is an example of a writer getting better with experience and also a good demonstration of how to develop characters in follow on books. Very much in the vein of solid thought provoking, keep you guessing, old fashioned, dare I say English (as a compliment) murder mystery stories, this is a quality piece of work. The great thing I think is the pace of the story, it engaged me from start to finish and the thing I had forgotten that I mentioned earlier was the fun I had as I began to try and guess the ending. Believable dialogue, a strong narrative and very much a character driven book, Diana J. Febry hit all my key markers for a good read here. Most importantly, I enjoyed the story. She sets the scene right from the start and allows it to develop in a way that is natural, entertaining and engaging. I can forgive most things if a story is good, here I had nothing to forgive. Really worth adding to your library. Pick it up you wont be disappointed.
FIND POINT OF NO RETURN HERE ;
Other books by Diana J. Febry
Bells On Her ToesEach To Their OwnThe Skeletons Of BirkburyElephant In The RoomDebts And Druids
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Anne Francis Scott

Anne Scott Francis

http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Francis-Scott/e/B007TTCK9O/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars A clever tale,

There’s nothing like a good story well told. That’s what you get with this perfectly paced well balanced tale from a writer I know I will be going back to. I like a bit of creepy, especially when it is well done. The trick is to keep the momentum up and where so many others have tried and failed Lost Girl gets the balance just right. I never spoil a plot so I wont change that today. I will say that while I am only familiar with the setting for the book from films or TV, I found myself reading with a Tennessee accent after a few pages and that for me means I am right in the story. Great descriptive writing, smart dialogue with an intriguing narrative. I know this is part of a trilogy so I can tell you for sure I am going to be reading more from this spook spinner. Pick it up and enjoy.
FIND LOST GIRL HERE ;

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Eric Lahti

Eric Lahti

http://www.amazon.com/Eric-Lahti/e/B00HUWZM2M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars More Please,

This review is from: Henchmen (Kindle Edition)
What the…? This is a seriously entertaining if not somewhat hard to classify book. That’s a good thing for me. Henchmen gets straight into the action and it never lets up. This tale of villains that you really have to love rather than hate is told from the point of view of the writer’s chief protagonist and Henchman, Stephen. Eric Lahti has played around with genre here, which can be dangerous but works very well indeed in this case.
Key to the success of his style is his use of humour and a superb ability to create likeable characters who while you sometimes need to suspend belief to accept, are in fact characters that the reader quickly attaches to and this for me made the story work. Quite gruesome at times, it is a dark, funny tale that for me has more than one eye on a future cinematic ambition. There is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps I got a sense of comic book or graphic novel about Henchmen as it has a very visual impact on the reader. I could imagine each and every scene as I read the book, a credit to the author who’s attention to detail is a big part of the enjoyment. My only criticism is that the blurb for Henchmen might put some people off reading the book as it lists the varying parts of the book that on the face of it may not appeal to everyone, but this book is more than the sum of its parts, so I for one am glad I picked it up. I want more from Eric Lahti, a new departure in reading for me and one to watch for the future.
FIND HENCHMEN HERE;
Other books by Eric Lahti
Arise (Henchmen) (Volume 2)
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Ian D. Moore

Ian D. Moore

http://www.amazon.com/Ian-D-Moore/e/B00NDTBUQ8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447759142&sr=1-1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Deadly,

This review is from: Salby Damned (Kindle Edition)
I have to confess that this is the first Zombie book I have read. I am a fan of some of the classic zombie movies and I do like The Walking Dead, so there are my zombie credentials up front. What did I think of Salby Damned? Loved it. What are the key ingredients of a good zombie fest? Well first you need a good source story. How do they come about? In Salby damned Ian D Moore handles this perfectly but no plot spoilers. How do you kill them? What happens when you do? Again these details are handled well and as original as you can be, within the limitation of the premise that zombies have to actually meet the general undead criteria of zombies in the first place. The level of peril that the main characters are put in must be high and the hero must have the right strengths and qualities to persevere. In each case Salby Damned succeeds in ticking all the right boxes. More than that, I would think it difficult to be original in a genre that has been done to death (excuse the pun), but this book manages to feel fresh and entertaining, including enough twists along the way to make it a very enjoyable read indeed. I liked the pace, great opening, no hanging around and nicely finished off which is always important. Great read for me, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Look forward to the planned sequel.
FIND SALBY DAMNED HERE;
OTHER BOOKS BY IAN D. MOORE
The Amazing Adventures Of Ken Brown - Australian Wombat: Bedtime Stories For ChildrenYou're Not Alone: An Indie Author Anthology
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Katerina Sestakova Novotna

Katerina Sestakova Novotna

khttp://www.amazon.com/Katerina-Sestakova-Novotna/e/B00P207W0O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1447433391&sr=1-1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and original,

Refreshingly, here is an author comfortable with dialogue and narrative in equal measure, unafraid to have a unique voice and in the process Katerina Sestakova Novotna has written a creative and original collection of short stories. I say short, some are longer than I would traditionally expect from short stories but if anything their detail only enhances the reading experience.

With what is clearly a strong understanding and relationship with Hawaiian traditions, culture and spirituality, I found myself intrigued by tales of a place and culture unfamiliar to me and while I found common themes recurring throughout this collection, every story has its own particular quality. Themes of love, passion, sexual awareness, spiritualism and sometimes a disassociation with reality give weight to what is a clever, well written book. Katerina managed to keep me intrigued throughout, never quite sure where the stories were heading but always finding a satisfactory destination. Definitely a writer I will seek out again, pick this one up and enjoy.

FIND HAWAIIAN LEI OF SHRUNKEN HEADS HERE;
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Senan Gil Senan
Senan Gil Senan
reccom

5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent book

The Fifth Seed is the second book of the Beyond the Pale series that I have read by Senan Gil Senan. The first book was so entertaining; I had no hesitation in going back for a second bite as it were. Set in a wonderfully contrived future, the author has demonstrated yet again his ability to conjure up incredibly imaginative and original concepts and ideas and I was gripped from start to finish. It is difficult to write a review on this story without spoiling the plot but I will do my best. Set in the future, using originality and a complex but easy to follow plot, he ties together, different worlds through characters familiar to me from the first book. There are many themes here relating to religion, spirituality, philosophy and science, but for me the book works by the simple fact that the author ultimately deals with the fundamental elements of human nature, love, greed, bravery, loyalty and family for example. There are some clever well thought out narratives and even some biblical analogies, plenty to get your teeth into alongside an exciting story line. He examines questions of consciousness and God on a variety of levels and looks at the influence of technology and imagines a vast array of wonderfully original future technologies. While many writers fall down trying to invent or imagine futuristic worlds, here the imagery is so clear and well thought out that you can’t help but see exactly what he is trying to evoke. Don’t just pick this book up, go find Beyond the Pale and read that first. While both books should stand alone as separate reads, why not read them in the right order. Great read for me, excellent stuff and I can’t wait for more.
FIND THE FIFTH SEED HERE ;
Other books by Senan Gil Senan
BEYOND THE PALE
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Andrew Updegrove

Andy Updegrove

http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Updegrove/e/B006URQKHE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

reccom

5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, gripping entertaining,

For me this is a very classy thriller. Superb opening to the story and what follows is an intriguing story of espionage with the cyber security expert Frank at the centre of the story. But it is much more than that. I loved Frank, a wonderfully flawed genius who I warmed to immediately. The author is skilled when it comes to characterisation across the board but Frank is the perfect example of how a writer needs to give depth to their creations. The narrative is strong and consistent and the writer shows off his technical knowledge without detracting from the story or losing the reader. He clearly is more familiar with the world of computers than I am and it is a complex book in terms of plot strands and the actual technical background information. However Andrew Updegrove brought me along with him every step of the way. I never for one second felt overwhelmed by this side of the book, a tribute to his knowledge of the subject matter behind the storyline and his great story telling ability. I am not generally a fan of books about espionage, cyber terrorism or conspiracies for that matter, but I was completely engrossed in this book from start to finish. There is a great sense of style here. I believe that having read this book that I know exactly what to expect from his next one. Thriller writers often revert to cliché and can be lazy in terms of recycling the ideas of others. Not so in this case. I found The Alexandria Project to be original and it carried a strength of voice that appealed to me greatly. This is a gripping, funny, clever and above all entertaining read. I am officially an Andrew Updegrove fan and cannot wait to read his next one.
FIND THE ALEXANDRIA PROJECT HERE :
Other books by Andy Updegrove;
The Lafayette Campaign: a Tale of Deception and Elections (Frank Adversego Thrillers Book 2)
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REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

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fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

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Too close for comfort … But I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fish…

Too close for comfort … But I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fish…

It appears I may be harder to kill than I imagined, yet easier to kill than I might have liked. My week has been an unimaginable horror, crossing to the edge of life, peeping over, before ever so carefully leaning back.

I am fearless in the face of death it seems, but surprisingly helpless to do very much about it. Questions of control, fate and destiny abound in my head. Some of the ‘great’ imaginings for writers and the world in general, is how we will face and deal with our final moments, and what will we face when we pass through the thin veil of life. Would it be ok for you to sit back and let me share my experience with you? Please bear with me it’s been a long, tough week.

I suppose it is usually late in life, that those that do go there and survive, get to see what the experience is like. It is funny, but despite the fact that so many people experience this and come out the other side, we have very few definite answers. This fateful week, I have twice kissed the face of death and perhaps given my chosen path as a writer, it is something I feel compelled to put to paper.

There are two parts to this really. First is the experience in itself and the second is what conclusions I have drawn from my hands on experience as it were.

To begin with, I guess I imagined a few things as we all do. We work from knowledge gleamed from stories, parents, school, religion, the media, movies, so many sources and I like any other, had made lots of assumptions all of which were wrong.

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There would undoubtedly be terrible fear. Death has to be frightening right? Not so. Fear never even remotely entered the equation. I am not actually sure why that is, but maybe in the heat of it all there is no time to be afraid. I doubt that is all there is to it though. It is not that there are more important things to consider at the moment of death. Let’s face it, sounds like there is potential for lots to be scared of from what we  read hear and believe.  I just know that for me at least, fear wasn’t one of the things I had to deal with. In hindsight, that was the biggest surprise and perhaps for anyone reading this and indeed for me, a big comfort.

To say I’m a lapsed Catholic, is like saying Oliver Reid was a lapsed Pioneer and my second presumption was that I would maybe return to Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the holy saints in Heaven, to save my poor wretched soul and keep me from the fires of hell. Definitely didn’t occur to me for even a Nano-second and to be fair, I really thought that some cowardice might sneak up on me and chase me back to the ‘auld faith in my last moments.  This was a big question in my head in the past.  I really thought I’d play the odds and try to lash in a couple of Hail Mary’s and a quick ‘Oh My God I am heartily Sorry…’ Maybe I was finally honest with myself when I needed to be.

There were no epiphanies, no moments of clarity, no ‘stay away from the light Carol Ann’ moments, no life flashing before my eyes.  Now it is here that I need to digress to help you make sense of what went on, because later on, after the trauma while I was in recovery, I did something unusual that helped me put things in perspective.

 

My lonely isolation in CCU was only saved by my trusty Kindle. I was too foggy to read something fresh, so I re-read my short story contribution to the You’re Not Alone Anthology by a group of talented Indie writers (and me as well).  It was appropriately written to raise money for the McMillan Cancer care a very worthy charity. I hate reading my own stuff but tired and bored as I was, I felt I could at least follow something short that I had written, without too much bother.

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http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Not-Alone-Author-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00Y5RCOOE

The story I wrote is called Babes and I cried re-reading it as I had done writing it.   I am repeating myself for anyone who reads my blogs, but I am an emotional writer. I had not read it since it was written, but it turns out that I was predicting my own reaction to the prospect of death. Who knew? Now maybe, just maybe that is the important thing, the key, the secret, the real truth about how we will all face this inevitable prospect.

You see for fans of my blogs, there are plenty of pointers in my case. I’m a dreadful melancholic. Never a mortiphiliac, obsessed with death, rather I have a sad soul at my core.  I am generally a happy man but beneath the surface, it lingers even at the best of times and there it was, waiting for me as I lay helpless on the table in Dublin’s Mater Hospital, crashing into oblivion…a great sadness came to me.

I am blessed with so much love in my life, that the thought of how my passing might effect those that I love deeply, really hit me.  Reading back over Babes, it was almost like I was making a premonition.

There was chaos, pain and people doing everything to save me. I calmly watched them as the light faded. I had no intention of just going.  I wanted to stay, there was fight in me that much I know, but I couldn’t control the forces that were overwhelming me.  It was beyond doubt that the arm of the reaper was bulging and our arm wrestle to the finish was one I would lose.

That is the meat of the story, the heat of the battle.  In those moments lie the pain and the sickness the opportunity for all the things I presumed would come but didn’t.  My feelings were clear and precise.  Having tested his strength, I knew death could beat me without breaking a sweat.  I saw it waiting there.  Giving up was not the option but my thoughts came from my natural soul. I was sad to leave my children, my wonderful Joanna, my family, my friends, even my beloved dogs. The cavalry arrived. An amazing medical team saved me and I will be forever grateful.

Facing a second trauma back in the ward which lasted much longer, I had  more time to think even as the pain began to completely overwhelm me and the darkness threatened again. Once more, I was unafraid, again no flashes, once more the real me, the melancholic held my hand and gave me that knowing look.

So is that the truth of our lives at death? Do we all feel and experience our finality, on the basis of our true nature. I know I faced my greatest darkness without any soul searching, in the midst of the chaos of others filled with angst, fear and panic, as they tried to save me. I was who I am in my soul, a man with a heart filled with sorrow for whatever reason.  It was not the worst thing I could have felt and in many ways, it is a comforting thought for me now.

Unfortunately, I may have to go back in the future to face the surgeons again and unlike before, I will have some fear, but it is not the fear of death, only of the memory of pain because that is still a little fresh.  But I handled the pain before, so I know I can do that again. I only hope I don’t have to.

My conclusion I guess, is that there is nothing to fear in death except who you are in life. What will come next is beyond our control. How we face our death, will be how we have faced our life. When you think about it, most religions kind of get that bit right, in a general sense anyway. We cannot protect those we leave behind, they will mourn regardless.  I have already learned to be a man more at peace in my life, to smile more and enjoy the small things.

In all honesty, writing this has been an epic chore for me, what would have taken me fifteen minutes has taken me hours, but that’s not a whinge just a statement of fact due to my current weakness.  I only say this to make the point, that this is what I do. This… is who I am. I am a writer and maybe I can’t whip up something like this, quite as fast as before right now, but I can still be who I am, because I want to be that man.  Be your best self no matter what, look for the  smiles in others and share a few of your own, trust me even an old melancholic like me likes to see a smile.

Already this week I have discovered the sheer joy in a scaldy cup of weak hospital tea and a couple of soggy pieces of cold toast. Ah… the simple things in life… Best to find the things that bring you happiness, treasure them and never, ever forget that and this is from the horses mouth, there’s nothing to fear. Never waste time worrying about what’s to come, it’s coming one way or the other. None of us are getting out of here alive. You’ll go as you are and if you alright with yourself, I reckon, everything will be alright with you. Don’t panic, if it turns out we all get reincarnated as dolphins, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fish.

th

 

REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

twitter @maxpowerbooks1

 

 

 

 

The Max Power Book Awards ; My five star reads..

In advance of the 2015 Max Power Book Awards I would like to remind book lovers of some of the great books I have read by reposting here some of the five star reads I have enjoyed on the way to posting my 100th review on amazon. Pick one of these wonderful Indie books today and discover a whole new world of talent.

choicempstacropped-111.jpgreccomno1

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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb collection of short stories for a worthy cause., July 14, 2015

This is an incredible collection of short stories from a variety of international Indie authors, who have come together to help raise money for MacMillan cancer care. It is a book to be picked up not only because this is such a worthy cause, but the multiple talents of the authors involved make this one of the finest collection of short stories you will ever pick up. From the elegance of Lesley Hayes opening story right through to Nico Laeser’s beautiful tale at the end, this anthology is peppered with fantastic stories. It is almost impossible to single out any one story due to the sheer quality of each of them. I enjoyed them all, Dolphins Dance by Mike Billington was a wonderfully evocative piece for me, Katerina Sestakova Novotna has a touching story using Hawaiian mythology and traditions as a backdrop. Brilliant stories from BL Pride, Sylvia Fae and Andy Updegrove and clever tales from Tom Benson, Luicinda E Clarke, Christoph Fischer and Eric Lahti. I could really list them all. This is the book to pick up for two great reasons. Number one, all funds go to a great cause and number two it is a superb and I will repeat that superb example of what a short story collection should be. Often books of short stories falter under the demand on an author to be consistently good with each tale they tell. Perhaps it is the sheer variety and individual talents on display here, that puts this up there as a fabulous book worth reading. Pick up this book today, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
FIND YOU’RE NOT ALONE HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and engaging, September 3, 2015

I’m turning into a Diana J Febry fan. This is the second book I have read from her in the last month and I have to be honest – that’s a rarity for me. I like to add variety to my reading schedule but in this case I had picked up both books for my Kindle and having read and enjoyed the first, I decided to read the second and I am glad I did. I had forgotten all about good old fashioned murder mystery tales of late as I have veered away from them in recent years. They can be tedious and predictable but not so with this book. While both Bells on her toes and this follow on book Point of no return, retain the same two detective leads, they stand alone and there is no need to read the first before the second although for character development I would say it is best. This book is an example of a writer getting better with experience and also a good demonstration of how to develop characters in follow on books. Very much in the vein of solid thought provoking, keep you guessing, old fashioned, dare I say English (as a compliment) murder mystery stories, this is a quality piece of work. The great thing I think is the pace of the story, it engaged me from start to finish and the thing I had forgotten that I mentioned earlier was the fun I had as I began to try and guess the ending. Believable dialogue, a strong narrative and very much a character driven book, Diana J. Febry hit all my key markers for a good read here. Most importantly, I enjoyed the story. She sets the scene right from the start and allows it to develop in a way that is natural, entertaining and engaging. I can forgive most things if a story is good, here I had nothing to forgive. Really worth adding to your library. Pick it up you wont be disappointed.
FIND POINT OF NO RETURN HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars A clever little tale, May 8, 2015

A short book perfectly told about a trio of vampires and I really enjoyed it from start to finish. I whizzed through this book and while I am not normally a vampire book fan as such, John Hennessey did the genre proud. I always look for originality, pace, and great characterisation in a book. Murderous Little Darlings scored on all counts. The story is simple enough but cleverly contrived to catch the reader out which I liked. Five stars well deserved. You can’t go far wrong with this clever little tale.
FIND MURDEROUS LITTLE DARLINGS HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars A good story, November 4, 2015

I did rather enjoy this book. Sometimes I come to a book with a misconception and I did in this case. For some reason likely fatigue, I skimmed the blurb and expected something different. When I read the book I looked back and was bewildered that I misunderstood. The story without giving anything away centres on the problematic interfamily dynamic that exists when one person, in this case the mother struggles with depression and how her daughter in particular though not exclusively, copes in the circumstances. It is a difficult subject to write about in fiction and I think Lisa Shambrook has managed to not only tell this tale without being too maudlin or melodramatic, but she has really made this a book that you will read fairly quickly if you are drawn in as I was. Personally, Lisa took me on a journey that was well written, nicely contained and essentially, the key for me – a good story. 5 enjoyable stars from me.
FIND BENEATH THE OLD OAK HERE ;

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5.0 out of 5 stars great story, February 9, 2015

I like a cracking tale and I am not afraid of a bit of swearing but I tend not to go for romance books. I expected more romance than action, drama and in particular suspense so I was actually pleased that while there is romance involved it didn’t kill the mood for me. If you don’t like sex violence and bad language this is perhaps not for you but if you want a sparky, well paced piece if intrigue that keeps you guessing then this is definitely the one for you.

Plenty to keep the reader engaged, this has all the right ingredients. I like the setting, Salem seems so familiar to me as it has been used in so many books and movies, but importantly The Killing Times is very original. I liked Elizabeth La Rue and that went a long way to help me engage with the book. Lead characters have to have something special about them so when a writer gets that right, it is half the battle. Definitely one to pick up with my earlier warnings in mind, but there is the added bonus that if this is your cup of tea, you can find plenty more Morgan Kelley books to keep you going. Great Mystery and suspense, I am officially a fan. Pick this one up

FIND THE KILLING TIMES HERE;

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REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

http://www.amazon.com/author/maxpower

https://maxpowerbooks.wordpress.com

fhttp://facebook.com/maxpowerbooks

twitter @maxpowerbooks1

The Max Power Book Awards ; My five star reads… (ed.3)

In advance of the 2015 Max Power Book Awards I would like to remind book lovers of some of the great books I have read by reposting here some of the five star reads I have enjoyed on the way to posting my 100th review on amazon. Pick one of these wonderful Indie books today and discover a whole new world of talent.

choicempstacropped-111.jpgreccomno1

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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding horror, October 27, 2015

This book does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a collection of three short stories and each one is a little gem in their own right. I am a fan of a good scary story and the author clearly understands the requirements of a writing a quality horror story. Many authors fail to fully appreciate just what is needed, fear, surprise, suspense, mystery and even an element of spoiler to prepare you for the fright. Lacey Lane hits the target every time. The writing is crisp, the dialogue clever and sultry at times, there is an element of adult content, so be warned if you are not expecting it but it all comes together very nicely to create a great little book that is superb value for money. I downloaded this and read almost straight away. I had intended to dip my toe in and come back to it later but got sucked in and read in one sitting. Definitely one for Halloween but seriously this one is going to be a good read anytime. I would love to read a full horror novel from this particular author, something to get my fangs into….
FIND THE LITTLE BOOK OF HORRORS HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, May 7, 2015

This review is from: Betrayal (Kindle Edition)
My kind of book. I completely loved it. Dark and compelling. This has what I want in a book, great characterisation, believable dialogue and a super narrative. I love character driven books and I simply adore an anti-hero. Helen the central character in this story is so very flawed and the way Sharon Brownlie gradually brings her to salvation (in my eyes anyway) is brilliant. It starts with a violent scene but the book never crosses into gratuitous violence for me and I like that. It does contain other violent scenes as it is the story of a damaged woman addicted to drugs and who is dealing with the emotional and physical scars that result from the abuse she suffered as a child. It is often a tough read but all the better for it. I couldn’t put this book down. No plot spoilers but get this book. It is original, superbly paced and I want more.
FIND BETRAYAL HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely collection, April 7, 2015

This is a lovely book of short stories and flash fiction by Paul Ruddock with a few guest writers thrown in for good measure. It is a thoroughly enjoyable collection of stories, plenty of variety and entertaining throughout. The style for me was somewhat old-fashioned which I like and indeed there is also a great sense of the writer’s origin, in that the stories were for me reminiscent of an older generation of classic British writers, again- a good thing. I read this book over a couple of days as it was easy to dip in and out of the tales which are short and pithy. This is the first collection of stories from Paul Ruddock and I know he will go on to produce even more fine work. It is also a book whose proceeds are going to a worthy cause, another reason to pick this lovely collection of stories up today.
FIND NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT AND OTHER SURPRISES HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars A well told story, May 25, 2015

This review is from: Joshua’s Island: Revised Edition
I dipped my toe into Joshua’s Island, only realising after I started that I was perhaps not the intended target audience. That being said if anything the fact that it is a YA book and I still enjoyed it, says a lot for the story-telling ability of the author. Told from two different perspectives, Joshua and Eve, this is a book that will connect with many because of the subject matter, bullying. Skilfully handled but more importantly from my perspective it gave me what I want most from a book, a good story well told. While dealing with an important and sensitive matter, it is never preachy not does it lose itself in sentimentality. The world is cruel as the victim of bullying and Patrick Hodges captures the pain and anguish suffered by the main character Joshua perfectly. I enjoyed Joshua’s Island and expect there is much more to come from Patrick Hodges.
FIND JOSHUA’S ISLAND HERE;

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5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp and intelligent, July 9, 2015

Simple but not simplistic, sharp and intelligent, I really enjoyed this tale of a killer on the loose in Florida who likes to kill when it rains. Giving different points of view, the author switches seamlessly, telling the story from different perspectives, and it is not something that I have often seen done with such aplomb. I read this book sitting in the sun on my vacation and it was perfect. My mother-in-law is 90 and no longer reads for her self and she loves this type of story so I began telling her the shortened version of each chapter and she also enjoyed it, so much so, I was pestered every day to tell her then next instalment, high praise indeed believe me. The pace of the book is perfectly balanced and while it took me several days to read it, that was down to other distractions and I constantly wanted to get back to where I had left off. In order to successfully see different point of views, the author has had to occasionally use long passages of narrative and while it can be distracting if not handled correctly, here we see how it should be done. Essentially and importantly, at the heart of the book is a great story and that for me is the most important thing in any book. This is the first book I have read by Mike Billington, but I can promise it won’t be the last. Great read, pick it up.
FIND MURDER IN THE RAINY SEASON HERE;

covers

REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy

You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –

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twitter @maxpowerbooks1