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Monday, 16 July 2018

Review of 'The untold Tale' by J. M. Frey

One of the better things about being a reviewer and reader for Voracious Readers Only is that I am offered books and can chose which ones I will read and review. The drawback is that the books are all e-books and I like a real book to read in bed. Technology and I still fight and it takes determination to read on my Blackberry when I have to tap several times to turn a page or I touch the screen and we fly back to the beginning or another chapter. Still I  have found several good books to read despite the techy problems.

'The Untold Tale' is an interesting fantasy read. The setting - which I won't talk too much about for fearing of spoiling the surprise - is nicely original. The male MC, Forsyth Turn, is interesting if a trifle annoying at times.  He does wimp on about being a wimp. The female lead, Pip, is also irritating at times too,  but this adds to her stroppy nature and makes her more 3D. The plot is a lovely mix of all the old fantasy plots turned upside down and therefore turned into humour. There are some delightful moments of comedy, especially on the so-called Quest.

My one complaint is that so much was stuffed into the plot that we were in danger of mental indigestion, but that's more a writer's POV as I'd have liked some tighter editing, for example of the feminist thread, which was belaboured at times. This is the first of a series so I sympathise with the author in that she must get enough of the themes and characters she will work on later established now. But she writes a good character and her dialogue is apt for each character.

If you like fantasy and want a different one for a change, give this novel a try. It's a fun read, there's enough in the plot to make one think, and it is funny, more so if you know the typical fantasy plot lines and so can see where the mickey is being taken.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Review of the new edition of When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

Readers rejoice! SMASHWORDS.com are holding their July e-book sale. All sorts of good reads available free or at bargain prices. Catch my and my colleagues Writer's Choice historical novels on sale there.  SMASHWORDS SALE JULY 1st to JULY31st.

When the Wind BlowsWhen the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Produced as a piece of social commentary and satire at the time the British government were offering this ridiculous booklet of advice for what to do in the case of a nuclear attack, 'When the Wind Blows' is a hard hitting graphic work, one of Raymond Briggs's best.

It is no easy read, especially for those of us who grew up during the Cold War and had bomb shelter practices and the very real threat hanging over our heads.

If there is a new edition out I advise people to read it just to see the sheer futility of the possibility of surviving a nuclear bomb. I'd like the younger generations to be a bit more serious about the dangers and possibilities of a nuclear attack and start a new, loud and noisy Anti-Nuclear Campaign. With dangerous idiots in charge of countries with nuclear capabilities around the world it would be nice if more people yelled 'Ban the Bomb!'

Don't try this one on children, this is a serious adult read and a clever one at that.

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Friday, 15 June 2018

Review of 'Skeleton God' by Eliot Pattison

Skeleton God (Inspector Shan, #9)Skeleton God by Eliot Pattison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another well written tale from Eliot Pattison. Once again poor Shan, who longs for a quiet life, visits to his son and from Lokesh, finds himself a tool of Colonel Tan who has put him in place as a constable in a poor Tibetan village.

Who put a mobile phone in a saint's grave? It's an ancient tomb guarded by a special and well loved old nun but now it's opened, and the saint's body is accompanied by the remains of a Chinese soldier killed fifty years ago and an American man murdered only hours earlier, but his phone gave his hidden grave away. Shan is once again having to try and protect Tibetans, sort out the mess and find a home for the soldier and the American.

It's a good read, with the characters we know still growing and developing, Tibet as ever an intriguing setting, and a plot with enough twists to keep you guessing. Fans will enjoy this addition to the series, newcomers, get cracking with The Skull Mantra and enjoy the whole series.

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Review: Finding Davey by Jonathon Gash

I have always enjoyed Jonathon Gash's Loveday series and learning about antiques, fakes, and rogues in the antique world. The author had a way of creating characters that were 3D, likeable and amusing. 'Finding Davey' however is a standalone novel and it's a stunner. I really couldn't put it down, it's a page turner and a heart tugger.

Again Jonathon Gash uses his knowledge of antiques and furniture, but this time it's different. Bray is a grandfather who works as a skilled and knowledgeable craftsman who makes beautiful furniture and repairs antiques and makes reproductions from the original plans. his work revolves round his grandson. When his son takes his wife and Davey to a wonderful theme park holiday in America Bray is left behind with Davey's dog. And in America, where where anything can be done for money, Davey is kidnapped. It appears there is quite an industry in kidnapping attractive children for rich childless couples.

Now this is where I award five stars for the plot and my writer's brain gasps in admiration. We don't see grandfather Bray dashing off to America to find his grandson. He tries to help his son and wife who are falling apart torn by guilt and grief and he plans. And his plan is brilliant, based on the information he gets from medical specialists on memory and what will have been done to Davey to turn him into the couple's little boy.

There's a lot of medical information about what is done to these kidnapped children who are deliberately watched, approved for some rich couple, then snatched. Bray seeks to find out how young Davey's mind will be wiped of memories and works out a method to restore Davey's memory if he can find him. And finding him is brilliant.

Read the book. It's a great read

Saturday, 26 May 2018

May 25th-29th my e-book sale on at Smashwords, Kobo and Amazon

It seems to me that all the short C.V.s and writer bios I have to pump out whenever I have a  book sale on and must sign up with the email newsletters grow more and more manically cheerful.

How about the following as a C.V.?

p.d.r lindsay feels old - she is – and lost among the tech style of writing. She’s passionate about words, feels the loss of people like Shakespeare , those who wrote the King James Bible, poets who made words dance, like Gerard Manley Hopkins. Where are they? p.d.r. has been trying to trim her style to modern tastes and fails. Trying to make words behave again in a more acceptable modern way is hard and it hurts!  And messy post-modern, contemporary content drives her nuts.

p.d.r. lindsay has published over 100 short stories, 2 anthologies and three novels and is struggling to shape a fourth novel which will satisfy her and the modern reader. She’s floundering and thinks longingly of the days when she could write a poem or two in a lunch break. These days the poetic muse had deserted her. Something to do with age and cynicism?

Doubt it would encourage readers to buy a book!

I've just been to our annual Rotary Book Fair - a weekend sale in a massive warehouse truly stacked from floor to ceiling with 2nd hand books for sale. I go to pick up those wonderful and expensive university press books on topics like Food in England, European Cathedrals, British Castles. I can afford two or three dollars for them but I look at the staggering trestle tables loaded with fiction and I despair. The same names piled up there by the hundred. How on earth can I compete with Traditional Publishers, readers' reluctance to try new authors and get my books noticed amongst the millions Amazon publish each year?

I have no idea! But it is hard to struggle and care and love my characters and write their stories amidst the competition. 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Stupefying Stories: Submission Guidelines

Stupefying Stories: Submission Guidelines: Last updated: 30 April 2018 Who We Are Edited by award-winning science fiction writer Bruce Bethke , STUPEFYING STORIES is a bold attem...

Have a look at this!


Whoopee! The e-book sale is off already. It's a good feeling knowing that new readers are finding the characters and the stories one has invested so much time and love on when writing their tales.

Tizzie is already selling.and is being featured on Friday May 25th 2018 at www.ebooksoda.com. Check it out for free and bargain ebook deals! 

And my silence has been due to getting this new novel finished! More book reviews soon. And searching through my Japanese photos for research for new stories I found the photos for the exciting archery festival.