Category Archives: Uncategorized

John Owen Theobald: What the Raven Brings (Blog Tour and Review)

 

raven-tour

John Owen Theobald
John Owen Theobald's picture

Born and raised in Eastern Canada, John moved to the UK to study the poetry of Keats, and in 2009 received a PhD from the University of St. Andrews. He lives in London, England.

John is the author of the Ravenmaster trilogy. At the height of the Blitz, 12-year-old Anna Cooper is sent to live with her uncle, the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, and discovers that the fate of the kingdom is in her hands. Book 1, These Dark Wings, was released on 11 February 2016, and What the Raven Brings was released 1st Dec 2016 from Head of Zeus, UK.

book cover of What The Raven Brings

London, 1942: the Blitz is over but the war rages on. With the country still fighting for its existence, a young girl takes to the skies…

After her mother was killed in an air raid, Anna Cooper was sent to live with her uncle, the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. Now, he too is dead. His dying wish was for Anna to be the next Ravenmaster, keeper of the birds who, according to legend, guard the fate of the kingdom. But the Tower authorities won’t stand for a female Ravenmaster, let alone one who is not yet sixteen years old.

Denied her destiny, Anna is desperate to escape the Tower and join the war effort. She bluffs her way into the glamorous – and dangerous – world of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.

But no matter how high she flies, Anna can’t escape her past… nor the secret that it conceals. A secret that could change the course of the war.

Guest Post

I set out to write the origin story of a supernatural legend, and went on to write about something very real but no less amazing: the courage and strength of women in wartime.

When I first heard the legend, ‘if the ravens leave the Tower of London, Britain will fall,’ I wanted to know where it came from. It turns out no one knows. Although the legend has been credited to everyone from Charles II to the Victorians, the first record of it isn’t until the 1950s.

So I wanted to write the origin story of this unexplained legend.

The Tower is a place of many superstitions, but this one – ‘Britain will fall’ – seemed to have its roots in war. The Blitz was Britain’s darkest hour, so I imagined this was the best time for a legend like this to take hold. It is easy to envision the people living in the Tower clinging to this belief, especially as the Blitz intensified and the ravens died, one by one, from starvation or bombing.

In These Dark Wings, the legend originates as a protective charm, as a sick old man, the first Ravenmaster, tells his terrified niece not to fear the Blitz: all she has to do is look after the ravens. They will keep Britain safe. So my character, Anna Cooper, a 12 year-old orphaned by the Blitz and sent to live at the Tower, ensures the survival of the legend.

In Book 2, What the Raven Brings, the war rages on and Anna (now 15) yearns to escape the Tower and join the war effort. She bluffs her way into the glamorous – and hazardous – world of the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce.

The ‘Attagirls,’ as they were called, piloted all kinds of aircraft, collecting Lancaster bombers from factories and delivering them to aerodromes, bringing Spitfires to airfields to be tested and armed, and taxiing pilots to Fighter Command in transport planes.

On top of the rigorous training involved, Anna has an additional problem. Fighting to earn her wings and prove herself, obstacles emerge from an unexpected source: men of the RAF who believe women have no place in the skies.

Because women were deemed unsuitable to be trained on the instrument panel (life-saving in bad weather), or the radio transmitter (life-saving when needing to check in with an RAF station), and since they were banned from flying planes fitted with weapons (life-saving during a run-in with a Luftwaffe raid), female pilots had the dangerously absurd job of flying the aircraft blind, deaf, and without weapons. And in Anna’s case, direct sabotage seems a chilling possibility.

The legend of the Tower ravens protects Anna in These Dark Wings, but in What the Raven Brings she has to learn to protect herself and those around her.

Anna was originally inspired by my grandmother, who lived in London throughout the war. I grew up listening to her stories about it all – the fear and sadness, but also the excitement and the mischief. For Book 2, I took inspiration from my other grandmother, who was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and one of the toughest people I ever knew. The stories of my grandmothers convinced me to try and pass on their fighting spirits with these novels, which have become a celebration of all kinds of strong women in wartime.

Review

A wonderfully written series, capturing the times with the feelings and mind of a child. The author has a fantastic ability to take you what ever your age and put you in place of Anna Cooper. When HOZ first passed on to me a copy of These Dark Wings i was skeptical, YA can be a hard genre to get right, to talk to that age group where they are starting to feel and be a bit more grown up, but also to appeal to the adults who dip so often into this genre. This author pulls it off with the trick of communicating to all at the same level, my father in Law does it with children, no matter the age he talks to them like they are grown ups, it works.

The writing has that wonderful sparse quality that still conveys so much meaning and sentiment, its exciting and consumes the reader, making them part of the story not just a voyeur. Its a series i highly recommend and one i look forward to reading more of

(Parm)

Series
Ravenmaster Trilogy
1. These Dark Wings (2016)
2. What The Raven Brings (2016)
thumbthumb

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

E. S. Thomson: Dark Asylum (Blog Tour Guest Post)

E S Thomson

esthomson17-eoincarey_0081-1

E. S. Thomson was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire. She has a PhD in the history of medicine and works as a university lecturer in Edinburgh. She was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.

 

The lips had been darned closed with six long, black, stitches. Clumsily executed, they gave the face a crude deaths-head appearance, like a child’s drawing scrawled upon a wall . . .

1851, Angel Meadow Asylum. Dr Rutherford, principal physician to the insane, is found dead, his head bashed in, his ears cut off, his lips and eyes stitched closed. The police direct their attention towards Angel Meadow’s inmates, but to Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain the crime is an act of calculated retribution, rather than of madness.

To discover the truth Jem and Will must pursue the story through the darkest corners of the city – from the depths of a notorious rookery, to the sordid rooms of London’s brothels, the gallows, the graveyard, the convict fleet and then back to the asylum. In a world where guilt and innocence, crime and atonement, madness and reason, are bounded by hypocrisy, ambition and betrayal, Jem and Will soon find themselves caught up in a web of dark secrets and hidden identities.

Guest Post

Writing Dark Asylum, E.S. Thomson

Although I set my books in London of the 1840s and 1850s, it is this history of medicine in Edinburgh that forms the background to much of what I write.   I can’t leave my house without being reminded of it.  Down the road from where I live, for instance, Scottish surgeon James Syme used to own a villa.  I pass his house every day.  James Syme lectured at Edinburgh University medical school throughout the mid 1800s.  He could excise a hip joint faster than anyone – without anaesthetic, of course.  Meanwhile, across town, James Young Simpson was experimenting on himself, trying out a new drug, chloroform, which was to revolutionise surgical procedures and make all areas of the body – including the brain – accessible to the surgeon’s knife. Not far from Syme, on the other side of Morningside Road, Thomas Clouston was building the Royal Edinburgh Asylum.  Ways of treating the mad varied greatly in the mid Victorian period, from incarceration and neglect, to more unusual but humane ‘hygienic’ practices.  Pioneered by Clouston, these included lengthy walks – or runs – around the asylum grounds, dancing, gardening, and the consumption of rich and sedating foods, such as custard.  

Thomas Clouston became one of the key supporters of the first generation of women doctors in the city.  Some years earlier, a young man named James Miranda Barry had graduated from Edinburgh University Medical School.  Barry worked as a surgeon in the British Army all his life. On his death he was found to be a woman, who had lived her entire life disguised as a man, entering the medical profession some sixty yearsbefore women were formerly permitted to receive a medical education.

Around the same time that Barry was at the University, and Syme was amputating legs before crowds of cheering students, a less orthodox medical man was lecturing on the new ‘science’ of phrenology.  Phrenologists believed that a person’s head might be measured and calibrated with a view to explaining their character traits and disposition.  Andrew Combe, and his brother George, both Edinburgh man, started a craze for head measuring that was to remain influential in some quarters of the medical profession for over forty years.

Over the road from the university medical school, a druggist named Flockhart plied his trade, providing James Young Simpson with chloroform, while across town, more medical men were establishing a physic garden that grew to be second only to Kew in terms of the size and magnificence of its collections.  Syme, Clouson, Simpson, Barry, all had their likenesses taken using the new and developing technology of photography.  In 1840s Edinburgh, two pioneers, Hill and Adamson, captured numerous images of the city and its inhabitants, demonstrating to the world the potential of the new medium.

All these ideas have found their way into my work.   I set my books in London, as I wanted a dark anonymous place which the intimate setting of my home city could not provide.  In terms of the medical profession that dominates my novels, however, Dark Asylum and Beloved Poison are pure Edinburgh.

Series
Jem Flockhart
The Blood (2017)
1. Beloved Poison (2016)
2. Dark Asylum (2017)
thumbthumb

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

David Gilman: Vipers Blood (Review)

David Gilman UK flag

David Gilman's picture

David Gilman has had an enormously impressive variety of jobs – from firefighter to professional photographer, from soldier in the Parachute Regiment’s Reconnaissance Platoon to a Marketing Manager for Penguin South Africa.

He is also a hugely successful television screenwriter. For the last six years he has been principal writer on A Touch Of Frost. He has lived and travelled the world gathering inspiration for his exotic children’s adventure series along the way.

Now, David is based in Devon, where he lives with his wife.

book cover of Viper's Blood

Buy a Signed Limited HB

and

Buy a Signed Limited HB edition of Defiant Unto Death

A gripping chronicle of pitched battle, treachery and cruelty’ ROBERT FABBRI.

Edward III has invaded France at the head of the greatest host England has ever assembled. But his attempt to win the French crown is futile. The Dauphin will no longer meet the English in the field and the great army is mired in costly sieges, scavenging supplies from a land ruined by decades of conflict.

Facing a stalemate – or worse – the English are forced to agree a treaty. But peace comes at a price. The French request that Blackstone escort their King’s daughter to Italy to see her married to one of the two brothers who rule Milan – the same brothers who killed Blackstone’s family to revenge the defeats he inflicted on them. Blackstone, the French are certain, will never leave Milan alive..

Review

Book four in the Master of War series and the bone crunching intensity of this series shows no signs of abating. Blackstone and his men leading the way, first at Reims and then onward towards Paris, the war of muck, mire and attrition takes its toll on all and truce is finally in the air. Tasked with taking the kings daughter to his deadliest enemies  the Vipers of Milan, Benarbo and Galeazzo to see her married to Galeazzo’s son and thus provide the funds to secure the release of the King of France, this sale was vital to the stability of Europe. Yet to Thomas Blackstone it was a means of access to the man or men who arranged the death of his wife and child. Revenge is in the air, will Blackstones rage cloud his judgement, can his friends survive to aid him in his wrath?

As ever David Gilman provides us with a well researched book set right in the heart of the action of 1300’s war torn Europe. There is no pretension to pomp and parade, even royalty is down in the mud and the damp, their only concessions to rank being the ability to get dry and eat better food than their men. With Gilmans writing, you can feel the ooze of the mud, the bite of the cold, most of all you can feel the weight of the sword and armour, the draw and weight of the bow and the rushing death of the arrow storm and the disregard of mortality.

But if you mistake this book and series for just the hack of the sword you would be missing out on so much more depth. Blackstone is a complex man, with a deep loyalty to his men and to his King. His honour is something he holds dear, but not so dear that he would get his men killed needlessly for it. He wages war for soldiers and men, he will not stand for the rape and murder if innocents, his punishments are swift and they are brutally final. He is a no nonsense man who holds his emotions close, his feelings for his men expressed in bluff soldiers conversation and friendly abuse, his love for his son threatening to overwhelm him while at the same time he knows he must raise him to be hardy enough to survive this brutal world and so appearing at times the cold father. All this is reflected upon as is Blackstone’s battle with his own guilt and grief over the death of his wife and child, he may have dragged himself from the bottle, but for a man like him, facing all that emotion is not an easy task…. and i pity the person in front of him when he is having a bad day dealing with it all.

A truly excellent book and part of an excellent series.

(Parm)

Series
Danger Zone
1. The Devil’s Breath (2007)
2. Ice Claw (2008)
3. Blood Sun (2009)
thumbthumbthumb
Master of War
1. Master of War (2013)
2. Defiant Unto Death (2015)
3. Gate of the Dead (2015)
4. Viper’s Blood (2016)
thumbthumbthumbthumb
Novels
Monkey and Me (2014)
The Last Horseman (2016)
thumbthumb

1 Comment

Filed under David Gilman, Historical Fiction, Uncategorized

Mary Gibson: Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (BLOG TOUR)

marybiog

Mary Gibson was born and brought up in Bermondsey, south east London. In 2009, after a thirty-year career in publishing, she took the opportunity of early retirement to write a book of her own! The result was her début novel, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, which was inspired by the lives and times of her grandparents in World War One Bermondsey. The novel went on to become a top ten Kindle best seller and has been selected as one of twenty titles for World Book Night 2015.
Her second novel, Jam and Roses, about three sisters living in the Dockhead area of Bermondsey during the 1920s, was published in paperback in May 2015, having been a Nielsen Top 20 hardback bestseller. Her third novel Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys which is set in Bermondsey during World War Two, was published in November 2015.

Over 250, 000 copies of Mary’s books have been sold to date and she is delighted to have signed a new two book contract with Head of Zeus

Mary’s fourth novel, Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams, was published in January 2017 and is set in Bermondsey during the 1930s.Mary now lives in Kent and is writing her fifth Bermondsey novel.

bourbon-creams-blog-tour

bourbon-creams-cover

Frank Rossi promised Matty the world. The Cockney Canary would become a world famous movie star. As his wife, she would be one half of a power couple, feted and adored by all. But the Wall Street crash puts paid to that and as Frank becomes more violent and unstable, Matty knows she must escape and so she flees at dead of night.

Once home in Bermondsey, she goes into hiding and starts desperately looking for work. But only the hated biscuit factory, Peek Frean’s, is hiring. Then, as a secret from her past comes back to hurt her, Matty learns that Frank is on the move, determined to find her and get her back.

Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams. The new novel by Mary Gibson
Order Kindle Edition Today | Available from 1st November 2016

Parmenion Books Blog guest post By Mary Gibson

My Bermondsey

Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams is the fourth in my series of novels set in Bermondsey, the village-like, working class, riverside area in south east London where I was born and grew up during the nineteen fifties.  The story takes place during the nineteen thirties depression era when life was particularly tough in Bermondsey, an area already blighted by poverty. The heroine is Matty Gilbie, a character who first appeared in Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts and who we left on the brink of music hall stardom, debating whether she should leave Bermondsey and go to America to pursue a career in the ‘talkies’. Matty is unusual in being able to escape the life of a factory girl, as for most in Bermondsey at that time there was little other choice.

But if there was little choice, there was certainly variety. Crammed within Bermondsey’s densely packed 1300 acres, factories abounded: Crosse & Blackwell’s pickles, Southwell’s and Hartley’s jam, Lipton’s tea, but there was also Pearce Duffs custard and blancmange; Peek Frean’s and Jacobs biscuits; as well as Shuttleworth’s chocolate factory . No wonder the place was called London’s Larder! There were also numerous smelly industries. Breweries, heavy with malty aromas – Courage’s beer; Sarson’s vinegar; vile smelling tanneries such as Garner’s and Bevington’s; the Alaska fur factory. The bone yard stench of Young’s glue factory vied with sweet California Poppy from Atkinson’s cosmetic factory next door and the grammar school I attended was situated between the two. We always prayed that the wind would be in the right direction!

But my heroine Matty’s escape is short lived, and after some success on Broadway and in the talkies, she is forced to flee her mobster boyfriend, returning to Bermondsey with her dreams of screen stardom in tatters. There she finds herself exchanging tinsel town for biscuit town! For the only place Matty can find work is in Peek Frean’s biscuit factory, which occupied such a vast tract of land along the railway viaduct in Bermondsey that it became known as ‘biscuit town’.

As with all my novels, much has been inspired by my own family history and the personal anecdotes of many elderly relatives and friends. I first decided to write about Bermondsey when I realized that the once tight knit community I grew up in had vanished forever.  ‘You never know what you’ve got till it’s gone’; so goes the saying, but I think that sometimes you can know what you’ve got just at the point of losing it. During the nineteen eighties my parents were part of a reminiscence group called ‘Bermondsey Memories’. A group of academics conducting a study about building ‘communities’ in the modern world came to interview my parents. The academics were looking for answers in the history of Bermondsey, but all my parents could tell them was that times were hard in those days, growing up between the wars, and people naturally helped each other. Ironically, the very things that had potentially caused most misery in the lives of Bermondsey people: the poverty, poor housing, lack of health care, had proved to be the source of their community spirit. But when your birthplace becomes the subject of an academic study, you know it is fast fading into history and I wanted to capture that lost world before it was totally forgotten.

Each of my novels focusses on a different Bermondsey factory and a different decade during the first half of the twentieth century. The first, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, begins in 1911and was inspired by my paternal grandmother’s early life. She worked as a powder packer in Pearce Duffs custard factory at the time of the famous Bermondsey women’s strike of 1911 when thousands of women walked out of the factories, dressed in their Sunday best, one sweltering day during what became known as the ‘Summer of Unrest’. I also drew on many of my grandfather’s experiences in the Royal Field Artillery during World War I driving a six horse gun team. He was, like most returning soldiers, reticent about the war, but he did share how deeply affected he was by the plight of his horses, and I included this in the novel.

My parents left me a rich archive of written and oral memories as well as video diaries and photographs and this was the starting point for much of my writing. But my own historical  research took me deep into the fascinating story of how Bermondsey changed from being one of the most notorious slums in London to a virtual socialist utopia by the end of the nineteen thirties. This was due largely to the pioneering work of its Independent Labour Council under the leadership of Bermondsey’s visionary MP, Dr Salter and his wife Ada. I have woven much of their municipal pioneering into my second novel Jam and Roses, in which I drew on my maternal grandmother’s life, working in Southwell’s jam factory in the Dockhead area and struggling with extreme poverty through the twenties.

In Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams the Salter’s vision of new housing estates replacing old Victorian slums and a health care system which would become the envy of every borough in Britain was becoming a reality. And my heroine, Matty Gilbie, eventually plays her part by joining the work of the Bermondsey Borough Council film department, which produced their own health education films and screened them in the streets from a mobile cinema, which had been converted from an old disinfectant van! But already there were dark clouds of economic depression and the prospect of war looming.

In 1927, when the armaments race in Europe was already beginning, Dr Salter made a chilling prophecy. He declared that when the next war inevitably came ‘Bermondsey will be an area of smashed buildings, wrecked factories, devastated houses, mangled corpses, and bodies of helpless men, women and children…’ Fourteen years later during the Blitz he was proved tragically right. This was the Bermondsey I chose to explore in my third novel Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys, where I drew heavily on my father’s own war diaries of his time in the RAF in the far east and on his letters home to my mother, who was a gunner girl in the ATS.

When World War Two ended, Bermondsey was a scene of devastation. Of its 19,500 dwellings only 730 escaped bomb damage and 50% of its population was gone – lost to bombs and battles or evacuated, never to return. It was a common saying when I was growing up, that what Bermondsey Borough Council’s slum clearance programme had begun, the Luftwaffe had finished.

As a child my playgrounds were the numerous bomb sites littering the riverside borough. Shells of wrecked houses made for dangerous ‘camps’ and the deep, concrete tanning pits of ruined leather factories made for deadly hiding places. It is this chilling territory I am now exploring as I write my fifth, as yet untitled, Bermondsey novel.

The closure of the docks in the late sixties sounded the death knell for Bermondsey factories and within a decade most of them had either closed or moved out of London. The docks had fed the industries and the industries had fostered a community, unchanged for hundreds of years. Only as it disappeared did I realize its worth, the close knit, supportive way of life, based upon shared work, shared hardships and extended families all concentrated in a small area at the heart of London was gone forever. This was the vanished way of life which I hope I have managed to capture in my novels

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Adrian Magson: The Bid (Review)

Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson's picture
Adrian Magson is the author of 20 crime and spy thrillers. His series protagonists include Gavin & Palmer, Harry Tate, Marc Portman, Insp Lucas Rocco and Gonzales & Vaslik. He is also the author of Write On!, a writers help book.

Author website

The prisoner who wakes up in a box miles from anywhere.

The jailer who doesn’t question his job.

The shipment of drones stolen in transit from a cargo hub.

The kidnappers planning a devastating attack on US soil.

When James Chadwick, a drone expert, disappears suddenly, Cruxys Solutions investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik are assigned to track his last movements. With few clues to go on, the hunt moves from London to New York, gathering speed as they close in on a horrifying plan to kill the US President and inflict total damage on a US Air Force base.

And time is running out.

Review

This is the first of my “read a different author books” for this year… and its always great to strike gold on the first attempt. I have to be honest, i own the first three Harry Tate books and for some reason they are sat on my shelf unread, they sound great and yet my reading pile never seemed to allow for me to read them (i seem to always be trying to keep up with the review pile rather than the read for myself pile, its great when the two coincide).

The Bid follows Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik as they search for their client who is missing, his Insurance contract comes into effect as soon as he fails to check in. This extra insurance security must be for a reason and as they dig into his past they discover this consultant is more than he appears on the surface, and his skills are in demand by people who will do anything to make him work for them. His life and his family under threat.

The book follows both from the perspective of the trackers and also the man who holds him captive, all is not  what it seems with the captors, this is not your average terrorist cell. The author give the plot plenty of pace and action, without ever once drifting into improbability, the scariest part of this book is that everything is utterly probable, and scarily real.

Given that the book i had finished prior to this and was so so good, i needed something to really grab me, i had actually ditched 4 books in between that book and The Bid because they just didn’t cut the mustard i could not get into them, i had the worst post book hangover. But The Bid, grabs you from the first page, its a very hard to put down book, pulling you across the Atlantic and then across the USA in search of James Chadwick , following the thinnest of threads and battling the reddest of government tape. Because of the utterly realistic nature of the plot, the people really come alive on the page, the exhaustion and frustration, the captivity and desperation of the hunt and the pace and power of the plot, it all culminates in a very tidy Action Thriller and i will most certainly be reading more from this author,

Recommended

(Parm)

Series
Riley Gavin and Frank Palmer
1. No Peace for the Wicked (2004)
2. No Help for the Dying (2005)
3. No Sleep for the Dead (2006)
4. No Tears for the Lost (2007)
5. No Kiss for the Devil (2008)
thumbthumbthumbthumbthumb
Harry Tate
1. Red Station (2010)
2. Tracers (2011)
3. Deception (2011)
4. Retribution (2013)
5. Execution (2013)
thumbthumbthumbthumbthumb
Lucas Rocco
1. Death on the Marais (2010)
2. Death on the Rive Nord (2011)
3. Death on the Pont Noir (2012)
4. Death at the Clos du Lac (2013)
Rocco and the Snow Angel (2015)
thumbthumbthumbthumbthumb
Marc Portman
1. The Watchman (2014)
2. Close Quarters (2015)
3. Hard Cover (2016)
4. Dark Asset (2017)
thumbthumbthumbthumb
Cruxys Solutions Investigation
1. The Locker (2016)
2. The Bid (2017)
thumbthumb
Novels
The Lost Patrol (2010)
Smart Moves (2013)
thumbthumb
Collections
Killer Fiction (2010) (with Miles Archer, Mort Castle, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Thomas Millstead and Simon Wood)
Shades of Mayhem Vol 1 (2012)
Shades of Mayhem Vol 2 (2012)
thumbthumbthumb
Non fiction
Write On – The Writer’s Help Book (2011)
thumb

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Amanda Bouchet : A Promise of Fire (Blog Tour)

Amanda Bouchet

Amanda Bouchet's picture

Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

A French masters graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.

 

book cover of A Promise of Fire

 

KINGDOMS WILL RISE AND FALL FOR HER…
BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

Catalia “Cat” Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods-and her homicidal mother-have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm-until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin’s fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

The Kingmaker Chronicles:
A Promise of Fire (Book 1)
Breath of Fire (coming January 2017)
Heart on Fire (coming Fall 2017)

Review

A clever debut novel, somewhat outside my normal read, with beautiful cover art. The author has clearly put a lot of time and effort into the building of this world, she mixes this with some fast paced and amusing dialog guaranteed to draw in the reader. Her piece de resistance is her characters, a wonderfully real imagining that coupled with the dialogue brings the book to life. There is a great plot here that in many respects is just beginning to unfold, I will be very interested to see where the series goes next…

(Parm)

Series
Kingmaker Trilogy
1. A Promise of Fire (2016)
2. Breath of Fire (2017)
3. Heart On Fire (2017)
thumbnailthumbnailthumbnail

Leave a comment

Filed under Amanda Bouchet, Uncategorized

Ezekiel Boone: Skitter (Review)

 Ezekiel Boone
Ezekiel Boone's picture
lives in the United States with his family and has an entirely healthy respect for spiders everywhere.
book cover of 

Skitter
BUY THE BOOK  27th April 2017
Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own.
Review
How do you follow an action packed blockbuster like The Hatching? Where billions of man eating spiders explode into major cities around the world chewing through the population like a wave of death?
It seems to take it back a step, you focus a bit more on the people trying to save the world, you leave the vicious wee beasties slumbering in their cocoons, with the ever present threat of a 2nd hatching. Around the world mankind falls to its usual politics and self aggrandizement with a select few aware that this hasn’t ended, that this is a lull in the cull of mankind.
Once again Ezekiel Boone writes with the power and pace of a Hollywood blockbuster, this isn’t a book that will sit for long on the bed side table, i’m sure like me you will devour it in very few sittings. Its gripping, its horrific, its clever and it has HBO series written all over it. This book two does have a touch of the middle child about it, but that’s par for the course in a series, the author does his best though to create a unique story rather than just a transition to the finale, and achieves this very well. We are however left with that cliff…. what will come next, how will we stop these spiders, how will the mutations manifest? what are the giant sacks? Just what horror has the authors mind conjured next?
I for one cannot wait for the next installment
(Parm)
Series
Hatching
1. The Hatching (2016)
2. Skitter (2017)
thumbnailthumbnail

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized