Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book Review of The Truth about Eggs by Delphine Richards


Book Title: The Truth About Eggs
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Crime
Pages: 326
Author: Delphine Richards
Date Published: 7 November 2016

Synopsis:

Llanefa's Devil Tree is a hoax thought up by locals trying to boost tourism in the area. During the month of August, it was said that the Devil Tree released evil spirits into the community unless it was visited and paid homage to.
Nobody tells the tourists that this is a scam to bring income to the area and it remains Llanefa's Best Kept Secret!
Some people have no interest in tourism or hoaxes.
Manon, Anna and Natalie are keeping their own secrets.
Why does Manon keep the baby hidden from everyone?
Anna's secret wish is to break into the film industry. When she is brutally raped, she knows she won't be believed, so her only alternative is a bleak one.
Why is Natalie's secret so shameful that she cannot even share it with her best friend?
On an August Bank Holiday, DCI Tegwyn Prydderch is hoping for a quiet few days while he is 'on call' in the area. His wishes are shattered when things begin to go wrong and he has to deal with the fallout.
Will the Devil Tree myth become reality?

Review:


The Truth about EggsThe Truth about Eggs by Delphine Richards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a wonderfully thrilling read. I loved it!

Llanefa is a small Welsh village that is struggling to survive. The local's make up a legend around an old oak tree, which they call the Devil Tree, to encourage tourists to visit. But when terrible events unfold, is the legend coming to life?

There are several characters in this story that have their say. There is Manon, a young woman hiding a baby; Anna, a young woman haunted by a brutal sexual assault, and Natalie, another young woman with an eating disorder. There are a couple of other characters that are introduced too. Then there's DCI Tegwyn Prydderch, a Welsh police detective who finds himself trying to piece together what happened.

This story is a chilling, suspenseful tale which kept me guessing and had me sitting on the edge of my seat throughout. Each chapter follows a specific character, though some chapters follow the character of Natalie the most. When I first started reading I wasn't sure how all these separate story lines actually fitted together. However, as the story progressed, it became a little clearer towards the end; there is one common denominator that ties them all together. Nevertheless, the author successfully wove several red herrings into the tale that kept me guessing for ages. I feel I need to mention that there is a scene that I found to be incredibly disturbing. This scene is of Anna's brutal sexual assault. It is graphic in content, but I didn't feel that it was used in a gratuitous way. It depicts the horror of such an attack and it leaves a bitter taste of disgust in ones mouth when reading it. It felt incredibly realistic and it still sends shivers down my spine when I think of it, even days after reading the book. Therefore, reader beware. The other characters' stories are also not easy reading, and I'm sure Manon is in need of some psychological help.

I reached the end of the book feeling emotionally wrung out. Although the story concludes satisfactorily, it hints at a possible continuation of the series and I'm looking forward to it. The Devil Tree is stirring! *Dun Dun Duun* (cue evil music).

Delphine Richards is a new author to me and I've not read her other works before. I love her fast paced writing style, which kept me turning the pages, and the flow is wonderful. I would definitely consider reading more of her books in the future.

Due to explicit scenes of sexual assault, as well as violence, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. Or those who have a nervous disposition, or have been in an abusive relationship, as this story may cause flashbacks. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love horror, psychological thrillers, thrillers, detective or mystery genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:

Delphine Richards is a British author. Unfortunately, she doesn't have much information about herself or much of an online presence, but you can find her through these links:


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review of Balanced on the Blade's Edge (Dragon Blood Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker



Book Title: Balanced on the Blade's Edge
Genre: Steampunk/Epic Fantasy
Pages: 230
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Date Published: 29 March 2014

Synopsis:

Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism—he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship—but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron—what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…

Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.

Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade—her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.

Review:


Balanced on the Blade's Edge (Dragon Blood #1)Balanced on the Blade's Edge by Lindsay Buroker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Dragon Blood series. I loved it!

Colonel Ridge Zirkander is a wonderful character. I really liked him. In fact, I have a bit of a book boyfriend crush on him. I love his irreverence and dry wit. It reminds me of the way Richard Dean Anderson portrays Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG1. He is one of the best pilots in the Iskandian army. He is charming, though irreverent, and his flying skills are in great demand, but due to an event that sees him punching a diplomat he has been given new orders and sent to prison mine in the Ice Blade mountains as the new commander. The mine contains crystals that power their dragon fliers - planes that are designed to look like the dragons that once lived millennia ago. When he arrives at the mine, he is confronted by an unusual sight - a woman wearing a summer dress in the middle of winter.

Sardelle Terushan is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a sorceress and a healer. When her home, where the Referatu lived came under attack, she found refuge in a mage stasis chamber. There she stayed until she woke three hundred years later, when she was found by a couple of miners. Determined to locate her soulblade, Jaxi, but struggling to come to terms with the amount of time that's passed, she finds herself confronted by the challenge of hiding her powers in a world that detests magic users, and her attraction to the new mine commander.

This story is a mix of steampunk and fantasy. I started to read and didn't put it down until I finished it. I found myself completely hooked from the first page. I love the world-building the author has done to bring this book to life. I also love Jaxi, Sardelle's soulblade. She is a young sorceress who died due to illness, but before dying, her soul was magically placed within a sword. Soulblades bond with their handlers until their handlers die; guide or assist them when needed, then either bond to a new handler or allow themselves to die when they no longer wish to serve. Jaxi is six hundred years old, but because she died young she has a decidedly teen outlook at times, with sarcasm being one of her tools, as well as an irreverence for a person's privacy. I love her witty banter, some of it had me giggling.

Iskandia is at war with Cofahre, a rival nation that is determined to take over Iskandia. The Cofah use dirigible type balloons to fly over the ocean, thus the steampunk feel to the story. The Iskandian pilots fly planes that are shaped like dragons but remind me of the old-fashioned planes from the early 1900s - lightweight - though with a mix of propeller and thrusters which reminds me of the Harrier jets that use something similar sans the propeller. The author has mixed these two to create something unique. As the story progressed, I found myself looking forward to seeing how it all played out.

Ridge and Sardelle make a wonderful couple and their chemistry is instantaneous. I love how the author wove their love story together with action filled sections that kept me on the edge of my seat. The magical owl is uber scary! There are a couple of scenes between these two that are a little steamy but not explicit. I must admit that I felt a little sorry for Ridge at times, as he gets two for the price of one in this relationship, but he seems to take things in his stride. I reached the end of the book and immediately went and purchased as many books in the series I could, as well as pre-ordered the next book in the series which was due to be released. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Deathmaker, as soon as I can.

Lindsay Buroker is a new author to me. I love her fast paced writing style, and the flow is wonderful too. I haven't read any of her other books before, however, she has found a fan in me. I am looking forward to reading her other book series as soon as I can.

Due to scenes of a sexual nature (though not explicit) and some violence, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love steampunk, paranormal romance, low fantasy and epic fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:

Image & info taken from Amazon Author Page
Lindsay is a full-time independent fantasy author who loves travel, hiking, tennis, and vizslas. She grew up in the Seattle area but moved to Arizona when she realized she was solar-powered.

Author Links:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book Review of A Case of the I Love You's by Micah Lorenc, illustrated by Jesse Leyva



Book Title: A Case of the I Love You's
Genre: Children's Book
Pages: 48
Author: Micah Lorenc
Illustrated by: Jesse Leyva
Date Published: 1 September 2015 (Hardback)

Synopsis:

You'll never guess what happens when a mother's love reaches its limit and simply can't be contained. Follow an unsuspecting family as they take on an uncommon challenge. A brother and sister duo must use their wits and creativity to save their parents from a rare and mysterious illness.

Review:


A Case of the I Love You'sA Case of the I Love You's by Micah Lorenc
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic children's book! I loved it!

The story is a mix of fun rhyme and beautifully drawn illustrations. The illustrations follow the story perfectly, so a child who cannot read properly yet can understand what is going on. I love the way the artist has drawn this fictitious family, and their facial expressions and antics made me smile.

The story is told through the eyes of the children as their parents become infected by a virus. This mysterious virus is rather contagious and makes people blurt out "I love you" at odd moments. The family try their best to cure this virus, but there's no stopping it. By the time the book ends, all the members of the family are affected by this "I love you" virus. By reading this book the reader becomes infected too. It is such a sweet story that by the time I finished it, I wanted to shout "I love you" to my family too. In fact, I still may just do that. *wink*

"I LOVE YOU!" There, I feel a lot better! *grin*

Micah Lorenc has written a lovely children's book that made me smile. He uses simple language for the most part, so children should be able to read this on their own (depending on reading ability, of course). However, there was a sentence that I read that I found a little jarring even though it rhymed with the previous one. It's where the mother first becomes infected and she is rather apologetic about her outburst. My editing hat reared it's head and made me think that the sentence could have been written differently and still rhyme somehow. However, that is my only grammar niggle and other readers may not have the same reaction. The children may not even notice, to be honest. As I said, it could just be me being pedantic, so I'll leave it to the readers to decide for themselves. This is the author's debut children's book and I am looking forward to seeing what else he comes up with in the future.

I highly recommend this book to children from the age of 3 (as a bedtime story) and up to 8 as a young reader. I also recommend this book to adults looking for a fun and entertaining read for their children. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:

Unfortunately, I am unable to locate any information about this author as this is his debut book.

Author Links:


Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Audio/Book Review of The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality Book 2) by Jack Campbell


Book Title: The Hidden Masters of Marandur (Pillars of Reality #2)
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Pages: 370
Audio Book Length: 13 Hours 24 Mins
Author: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Date Published: 10 June 2015 (E-Book)
10 February 2015 (Audio)

Synopsis:

When Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain took down the Dark Mechanics and Dark Mages at Dorcastle, they thought they’d covered their involvement well enough to divert their Guilds’ suspicions. The assassins sent after them by their Guilds, which had trained them from childhood, indicate otherwise. Armed with the knowledge that their respective Guilds are now trying to kill them, and knowing their strengths are greater together, they reunite. Rumor has it the key to saving their world from the Guilds’ iron-fisted rule is in the dead city of Marandur. But before they can even attempt to traverse the empty wastelands and avoid the imperial guards surrounding Marandur, they’ll have to survive the Guilds’ agents, who are determined to capture them at any cost, and by any means necessary.

Review:


The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality, #2)The Hidden Masters of Marandur by Jack Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in a fantastic epic fantasy series called The Pillars of Reality. I absolutely loved it!

Mari is a fantastic character and I liked her from the moment she was introduced. I love her determination to do the right thing, even at the cost of her own life. She is an eighteen year-old Master Mechanic. She has attained it by qualifying as the youngest Lady Master Mechanic since the Guild was first formed several centuries earlier.

Mage Alain is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot. He is seventeen years-old and one of the youngest Acolytes to achieve Mage status. He has been taught from a young age not to show or feel any emotions and that the world he lives in is an illusion, where nothing is real.

I listened to this story in audio format, rather than read it. The story is once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews. He does a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. Even Alain, who's voice is meant to be flat and emotionless comes across with subtle hints. You would think that Alain's voice would be monotonous, but it's not so. I love the way he brings all the characters to life with different accents, inflections and tones. He even makes the women's voices sound perfect for each character. As for his narration, he read the story clearly and concisely, and his pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to more books read by this narrator.

This story picks up a few months after the events in Dorcastle (see Book One: The Dragons of Dorcastle). Alain has been sent by his guild on a contract to protect some common soldiers who are travelling to war. Along the way, they are attacked.The foresight Alain has developed has shown him that a storm is coming, though he has no idea what his vision means, so wishes to seek answers. Meanwhile, Mari has been sent to Tay (sorry, unsure of spelling due to only hearing it spoken and not reading the book), a region that has fallen into anarchy, by her guild. Unwilling to be a sacrificial lamb, Mari goes in search of Mage Alain. Together once more, they face several challenges and dangers. However, one of their leads takes them to Marandur, a city declared dead by the emperor one hundred and fifty years previously, where they make a startling discovery. Will they survive only to stumble at the final hurdle?

This story introduces us to the world of Dematr. It is a mass of contradictions. There are two great Guilds who hold all the power over the common folk - The Mechanics and The Mages. These Guilds have held power for centuries and refuse to relinquish their hold and reject change of any kind. However, this is slowly strangling the world, making it harder and harder for the Mechanics, especially as their technology is regressing. This story has a steampunk feel to it, with machinery being steam driven at times - trains for instance. Though there are some more modern items such as far-talkers (walkie-talkies to you and me), torches using batteries, and rifles and pistols that are decidedly more modern-day. Mages use energy from the land around them and some of their own energy to make spells. These spells can be used in various ways - from hiding oneself to creating a dragon.

This book is told through the eyes of both Mari and Alain and I found myself completely hooked from beginning to end. I loved meeting the two main protagonists once more, and watching (in my minds eye) the story unfold as I listened. The story is full of action, adventure, and danger and I found myself an emotional wreck at times. Have you ever read or listened to a story and felt completely emersed in it? This happened to me whilst listening to this book. These characters have come to life for me and have become my friends. I found myself missing them when the story finished, so I began listening to it again. I've listened to this book now at least four times. Each time I listen to it, the story and characters sweep me up and carry me away to a world that is alien and yet familiar at the same time, and makes me want to go and visit it. This book ends with a slight cliffhanger and the audio version has a preview of the next book in the series, which I am now looking forward to reading/listening to. I will be listening to The Assassins of Altis as soon as I can.

Jack Campbell is a new author to me. I've never read or listened to any of his other books. However, I may have to add him to my favourite authors list, as he's found a fan in me. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and descriptive, and the flow of the story is good too.

Although there is no mention of any scenes of a sexual nature, I do not, however, recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 15 due to some violence. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love dark or epic fantasy, steampunk or action/adventure and supernatural/paranormal romance genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:


"Jack Campbell" is the pseudonym for John G. Hemry, a retired Naval officer (and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis). As Jack Campbell, he writes The Lost Fleet series of military science fiction novels, as well as the Beyond the Frontier continuation of The Lost Fleet, and The Lost Stars series (a spin-off of The Lost Fleet). He has also written the Stark's War series and the Sinclair/"JAG in space" series, and has written many shorter stories featuring space opera, fantasy, time travel, and alternate history. Many of these stories can be found in the three Jack Campbell ebook anthologies. He lives with his wife (the Indomitable S) and three children (two of whom are autistic) in Maryland.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Review of Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 1) by Dianna Hardy



Book Title: Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel
(Blood Never Lies Book 1)
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Pages: 237
Author: Dianna Hardy 
Date Published: 27 April 2018

Synopsis:

Blood Shadow is a companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series and also acts as a PREQUEL to a brand new series to come. You don't have to read Eye of the Storm to enjoy this novel (some background is given). However, we always recommend you do in order to gain full understanding of how the characters have arrived at this point.

Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better.

David, her tender, kind boyfriend of two years is all she needs ... and she doesn't really need him, which suits her just fine. Never mind the occasional guilt that she doesn't really love him; he'd never hurt her in a million years - that's worth its weight in gold.

But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.

Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her.

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

Blood never lies.

This is a dark urban fantasy novel of approx. 70,000 words containing scenes of a sexual nature and some violence, which may disturb some readers.

Review:


Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 1)Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel by Dianna Hardy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a new companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series. I loved it! You don't have to read the Eye of the Storm series to read this book, but I recommend that you do, so you have a good grasp of where Selena has been and where Jennifer is heading.

Jennifer Warren (aka Selena Smith) is an extremely complex character. I felt for her as she hasn't had an easy life. This is a woman I loved to hate in the Eye of the Storm series, as she was a real *i*ch. Five years after being given a new name and a new life from her ordeal at the hands of the Tridents, she is trying to put her life back together as best she can. However, there's a bad moon rising (okay, it's a super blood moon, but you get the idea) and her saviour sends her an ominous warning. As the life she's tried to build slowly unravels, will she find her inner strength once more, or will the changes coming break her?

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. Told through the eyes of several of the characters, we get to see their thoughts and feelings. Selena has had a really raw deal being a female wolf in a male dominated world; she has had to fight for what she wanted. Now as Jennifer, I found her to be slightly more tempered and, even though scarred mentally if not physically anymore, she has more vulnerability than Selena ever showed. This could be because being human, Jennifer cannot draw on her wolf's strength. However, her experiences have left her damaged emotionally and she struggles every day with nightmares. I do wish she had spoken to someone about her ordeal, but can understand her reluctance, as they would probably have committed her into an asylum when she told them she was a wolf.

Besides Jennifer, we are also introduced to several characters, such as David - Jennifer's boyfriend, Roman Dalton - Jennifer's saviour who has secrets of his own, Hai - Roman's surrogate father and mentor, and Prisha Patel - David's best friend and work colleague. I have mixed reactions to the various characters. I like David and think he's a wonderful man; Roman is still a bit of an enigma but I like him too. He's also not had an easy life growing up. There's a definite chemistry between him and Jennifer that fairly radiates off the page, so am interested to see where they, or the author, takes us as the series progresses. Hai is a character I love. He is full of Chinese proverbs and wise sayings that annoy Roman and confuse Jennifer, but I found him to be a loving man who took a scared boy under his wing and gave him much needed love and attention. Then there is Prisha. I found her to be similar in her attitude and characteristics as Selena. She may be another character that I may love to hate as the series progresses. Watch this space!

I don't want to give any spoilers and this book is so hard to describe without giving huge ones. Therefore, I will try to keep this as short as possible by saying: READ THIS BOOK! Blood Shadow is not always an easy read, especially if you or someone you know has gone through an abusive relationship, as the main character has gone through hell and it may cause a triggering event. Having said that, there is one scene between Jennifer and Roman that is serious but light at the same time. It's incredibly hard to blame Roman for something he did accidentally when he was trying to save her life and he's horrified about it, but it's still a violation of sorts. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself if you'd be amused or horrified by his actions. There are also some rather touching scenes, so you may need a tissue or two.
At the end of the story, we get to meet a new character who will be one of the main characters in the next book in the companion series, Aftershock. Her name is Jasmine. However, if you've read Reign of the Wolf, the sixth book in the Eye of the Storm series, you would have been briefly introduced to her as a baby. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, but I'm dreading it too. This is because I know it'll be an emotional roller coaster ride and I'll end up feeling like I've been put through the wringer, just like this one - a book hangover in the making!

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance). She has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words; ripping your heart out with them, but also filling you up with them too. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content. However, there are flashbacks from Jennifer/Selena's past that are explicit, as well as scenes containing some bad language and violence that may offend some readers, so I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may have a triggered event by reading this book. Having said that, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and/or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:



"Whether paranormal or contemporary, the one thing all my stories have in common is the fight for what you really want from life." (Dianna Hardy)

Dianna Hardy is a UK-based, international bestselling author of The Witching Pen series, and the Eye Of The Storm series. She combines a titillating mix of contemporary and paranormal romance, as well as urban and dark fantasy, into her writing, to bring you stories that are action-packed, fast-paced and not short of heat, with the focus on both character development and the plot. She writes full-length novels and short fiction. She has also written poetry (first published in 1997) and esoteric books and articles. Nowadays, she chooses to concentrate on writing fiction.

In December 2012, Releasing The Wolf hit the Kindle Paranormal Fantasy charts in both the US and the UK, where it stayed for three months, enjoying a highest ranking of #20. The first two books in the Eye of The Storm series have enjoyed success in the top 100 of Fantasy charts on Kindle US and Kindle UK, and all books in the series to date have reached the top 100 of the Fantasy iTunes charts in Netherlands, Norway, Australia and the UK, with Heart Of The Wolf (book 3) reaching #1 in Denmark.

The Witching Pen series, 'Til Death Do Us Part and A Silver Kiss, have also hit the top 100 of Kindle and iBooks charts (Fantasy, Romance and Horror) in a number of different countries worldwide.

Although quite active online, Dianna prefers the quiet company of nature and animals to the hustle and bustle of people. She loves anything paranormal (she doesn't really consider it "para"), organic food, walking barefoot, the smell of the woods after rain, and summer days.

However, she is also sustained by coffee, chocolate and the occasional vodka.

Having graduated from Richmond Drama School (London) in '98, she spent the next few years in a multitude of jobs (both acting and non-acting), studying anything that fascinated her, searching her soul, and finally found her passion where it had always been: at the end of a pen.

She currently lives in South Hampshire, UK with her partner and their daughter, where she writes full-time.

Official site: diannahardy.com

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review of Vicious Rumer: Haunted. Hunted. Cursed. You've Never Met Anybody Like Rumer Cross by Joshua Winning



Book Title: Vicious Rumer
Genre: Crime Thriller
Pages: 200+
Author: Joshua Winning
Date Published: 24 April 2018

Synopsis:

Rumer Cross is cursed.

Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.

Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she’s targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she’s hiding an occult relic, she’s drawn into the very world she’s been fighting to avoid.

Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother’s dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she’s cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she’s ever grown close to has died screaming.

Review:


Vicious RumerVicious Rumer by Joshua Winning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

This is an intriguing crime thriller set in London, England. I loved it!

Rumer is a fascinating character. I found myself not only liking her, but also feeling sorry for her, though I also wanted to shake her at times too. She is nineteen years old, but seems more mature. This is due to her upbringing I think. She has grown up in foster care, knowing that her mother was a notorious assassin. Unfortunately, she believes herself to be cursed as everyone she comes to care for dies in the most terrible ways. Working for a private detective as a shadow (someone who follows, watches and listens to garner information), she is thrown into a life and death struggle when a mobster turns his attention in her direction seeking an occult relic last known to be in the possession of her mother, who died several years previously.

Although not YA like the author's previous works, this is an intriguing crime thriller that instantly caught my attention when I read the synopsis. Knowing that I would also be taken on an amazing journey was a bonus.

I started reading and didn't put the book down until I'd completed it. The story is told through Rumer's eyes and in first person. I found myself fascinated with Rumer and her life. I cannot imagine how knowing that you are the progeny of a criminal/assassin (even if deceased) would affect your life. Rumer emotionally distances herself from everyone in the hope that she will not 'kill' like her mother. She carries around a huge burden of guilt for things that she has no control over too. Understandable in some ways, annoying in others hence my desire to shake her at times.

There are several interesting characters introduced. Rumer's employer is Julian Hart and runs Hart Detective Agency, but he is only in a few scenes so didn't really get a feel for this character. Reverend Mara is the name of the mobster who is after Rumer and I found him to be a strange character. He is obsessed with locating an occult weapon called the Crook Spear. Then there is Bolt, an ex-policeman who befriends Rumer. I would have liked to have gotten to know him a lot more as there seems to be some chemistry between him and Rumer and would have liked for the author to have explored this a bit more. There are also a few other characters introduced, like George for instance and someone thought to be long dead.

Vicious Rumer is a pulse pounding read full of action, danger and violence. There are several twists and turns that surprised me and I found myself on an emotional roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I did find some scenes disturbing, particularly the one containing George and I shed a couple of tears for not only him, but Rumer too.

The occult weapon with the weird name is not what I thought it would be. However, so as not to spoil it, I will not say what kind of weapon it is. I will say that when it was disclosed I was completely thrown; I had a completely different weapon in mind. The end of the story sent chills up my spine. There could potentially be a sequel as it finishes ambiguously and ominously.

Joshua Winning has written an intriguing crime thriller with a kick-ass heroine. I love his fast paced writing style, and the story flowed beautifully. He is one of only a handful of male authors who I have added to my favourite authors list and I can't wait to see what he will come up with in the future.

Due to the nature of the story (danger, violence, bloodshed), I do not recommend this book to young readers or those of a nervous disposition. I do, however, highly recommend this book if you love crime thrillers with kick-ass heroines. - Lynn Worton

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About The Author:


Joshua Winning was born in Cambridge, but don't hold that against him. He's attempted to escape reality for most of his life by writing. As a child, that involved poring diligently over anything by C.S. Lewis or Robin Jarvis.​

When he's not writing about Sentinels, Joshua can usually be found watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Wire and Daria. He also works as a freelance journalist, writing about movies for Total Film, Little White Lies and movieScope.​

Joshua currently lives in North London with his cat Mia. Unfortunately, she's not a great conversationalist, but he's working on it.

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