Archive for January, 2018

Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood

January 31, 2018 - 11:29 pm No Comments

Fifty Years of Fear by Ross Greenwood
Published 1st October 2017
365 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

You are introduced to Vincent at the age of 14, a difficult age for most teenagers. Even more difficult if you are timid and anxious. Adding to his fears was his dad who had suffered a stroke. Following Vincent for the next 36 years whilst he battles his fears and finds out what type of man he is.
Vincent is a character that if you saw him in the street, you would just walk past him. Whilst he was a bit a loner, there was times where he came out of his shell and made friends. Reading those scenes, you could see how free he was and showing that he didn’t have a care in the world. Watching his back or sometimes causing the trouble was his older brother Frank. Frank came across as a thug, always getting into trouble and rebelling against the rules, even being blamed for the disappearance of a school boy who bullied Vincent
The author tackled a few difficult subjects and whilst you are reading this story, it makes you think. The story showed the stigma that goes with people who have a mental health and the fear that families have talking about it. Whilst this is an emotional book there is some humour usually from Vincent and one of my favourite scenes was when he met Betty and Arnold at the hotel in Cromer. Even now after I have finished this book Vincent is still on my mind, did he do what he was reported to have done, would he had been different if they had talked about mental health when he was younger. This is a stand-alone story that will take you on an emotional journey. This was my first book by this author and I have already downloaded some of his other books to read

Gideon’s Passage by Ben Laffra

January 30, 2018 - 9:29 pm No Comments

Gideon’s Passage by Ben Laffra
Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing LLC on 10 October 2016
435 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Being a fan of Horror, I have purchased a lot of books from Optimus Maximus Publishing and can always guarantee a good read. Knowing that the publishers always sign great authors I purchased Gideon’s Passage without hesitation. Not having read much historical fiction, I did not know what to expect, however I was up for the challenge.
We are first introduced to Gideon Roland de Boyne when he is studying at the University City of Orleans in France, a son of a renowned business man, he was a man of learning. Keeping with family tradition, he finished his studies and enlisted with The Knights of St John. Progressing through the ranks he is sent to battle against the Ottoman, a mighty force that are taken over Europe.
The story tracks Gideon’s life and it shows how he grows into an honourable man. He treated every man equal regardless of rank or the colour of their skin, this caused everyone he meets to love and admire him. He was willing to pass on his knowledge and learn from others and even when he engaged with the enemy, his diplomatic nature saved numerous lives. However, whilst he had an easy-going nature, he did not take to fools and would not waste his energy with them.
Throughout Gideon’s life he encounters 3 strong female characters, each very different but all of them add to Gideon’s life and his is love of learning. Catherine, his first love in France, a woman of dual nationality, who helps him understand more about the Ottoman. Gonul Femi, the doctor employed by the Ottoman not only saved his life but helped him understand and learn the Persian language and finally Marina di Andrea Gamba who was not afraid to fight.
Even the minor characters played a big part in this story and I enjoyed reading about Daniel Nourtie, a giant of man, a regular soldier who became a good friend of Gideon.
Whilst reading this story, I learnt so much about the 16th Century, an era that I hardly knew. The story is well researched, and I wanted to learn more. This book was full of passion whether it be a sex scene or a battle scene, with the minutest detail added to make an exciting story. I actually delayed finishing this book as I did not want the adventure to end, I just wanted to carry on reading and if it was a further 435 pages I would not have minded as the story sucked you in. This is the first novel I have read by this author, but it will not be last as I can carry on reading about Gideon. This definition of a wordsmith is a skilled user of words, but if you look further down the definition you will find Ben Laffra’s name there. This is author has helped me love historical fiction

The Snow Witch by Matt Wingett

January 23, 2018 - 9:13 pm No Comments

The Snow Witch by Matt Wingett
Published by Life is Amazing on 1st September 2017
196 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

When Donitza Kravitch turns up in snowy Portsmouth with a rucksack of clothes and her violin, she had nobody. Constantly on the move and trusting no-one Donitza has always been alone. Through the playing of her violin, she makes friends in unlikely places, and uses her love of music to spread the magic.
Donitza was always a lone and did not make friends easily. She relied on her instincts to survive always staying in the shadows. However, when she played her violin she became the person that every noticed and admired. She was a character you took to straight away and if I met her in the street will bring out my motherly instincts. One of her admirers was Eddy, a sweet natured young man with a heart of gold, this made him an easy target for bullies. Eddy kept his feeling about Donitza hidden, but his small acts of kindness gave it away. Celia a lonely old lady who gave Donitza a roof over her head. Celia was a sweet lady who sensed when Donitza needed help. Suffering her own loss, having someone to care for gave her a purpose. Riley was one of the evilest characters I have ever read about, causing misery wherever he went. A bully and a brute who loved inflicting pain and suffering.
The author wrote a beautiful story and draws you in from the first page. Using a handful of characters, lets you get to know them in detail and Donitza story is tragic in parts. The magic element is throughout the story, whether it be through Donitza’s playing or the stories that her mom told her. I am so glad that I read this story and if you love your stories with an urban fantasy feel then get this book. Not to give anything away but the epilogue was brilliant, I loved what happened and it felt justifiable

What Hides Within blog tour

January 17, 2018 - 7:29 pm 1 Comment

I have been lucky to be involved on the blog tour of What Hides Within by Jason Parent. Here is my review of  the book that is not just about a spider

What Hides Within by Jason Parent
Published by Bloodshot Books 15th December 2017
352 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Clive was a regular Joe, Mr average, he had a 9-5 job, a friend with benefits and a strange roommate. However, after a canoe trip and an encounter with a spiderweb, he picked up a hitchhiker, who changed the person he was.
Reading about the change to Clive, showed what a boring life he had led. He became more confident and readdressed his life. He was not now the guy who people ignored when they walked past, although that could be because he was talking to the voice in his head.
With only a handful of characters, it gives you the chance to know them in depth. Each character had their quirkiness, Kevin and his love of Hannah Montana, Felix and his love of forgotten porn, Morgan and her love of Clive and Judith just wanted friends.
The story had 3 stories running concurrent, Clive’s and his relationship with Chester, a murdered young girl and a mad bomber. Sound confusing but it wasn’t, all the stories interlinked to make a gripping read. Having read other books by Jason Parent, I knew to expect twist and turns, he always has a knack of letting you think you know what is going to happen and then takes you by surprise with the outcome. Some of the one liners especially from Chester had me laughing out loud as she had a dry sense of humour. The humour helped break up some of the tragic scenes, especially when it involved young Victoria.
Whilst this is horror, it had a mystery/thriller feel to it and unless you do not like spider, you will enjoy this read.

The Eyes Have No Soul by Matthew W Harrill

January 16, 2018 - 11:23 pm No Comments

The Eyes Have No Soul by Matthew W Harrill
Published by Creativia on 9th January 2018
293 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Since losing her parents to horrific circumstances all Clare Rosser an exceptional forensic analyst wanted to do was to find out who did it. Constantly being denied a detective job, Clare decides to take matters into her own hands and do her own investigation.
Clare was very independent, having to bring her brother up, she learnt to stand on her own two feet. When she was becoming seriously ill, her stubborn nature came through as she searched for the answers. Whether she was tackling bureaucratic male chauvinist detectives or the Viruñas she was always determined to make everything right
If you have read this author’s other books, then you know that he takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey and this story was no different. From the 1st tragic incident, had me reading into the night as I wanted to know who or what was behind the murders. With Clare only having a few close friends it gave you the chance to learn more about them and I really enjoyed knowing more about Sheriff Terrick Heckstall, a man of principles who upheld the law to protect his town. As soon as ARC stepped in and helped the story picks up pace and you sense something dramatic is going to happen. If you have read the ARC Chronicles you will know what ARC do for society, although you do not have read this series to enjoy this story.
Whilst this story is a fiction, it highlights how serious diabetes can be if left untreated and gives the readers the symptoms to look out for if they suspect that they or someone they know has the condition. However, this book also shows that with modern medicine it can be treated and suffers lead a regular life.
If you want a thriller with a horror feel to it than you will not go wrong reading this book. Another great read from this author