Category Archives: Book Review

Another Great Review for Living Like A Vampire!

We all know how important reviews are for writers. It boosts our ranks on Amazon, making our books more visible for readers, and hopefully result in more sales which, hopefully one day, makes our writing sustainable.

Leonard Tillerman is one of those wonderful people who writes reviews for pleasure. He buys our books (instead of trying to get a free copy) and writes honest reviews. He really cares about our books! Now, because Leonard writes from the heart, you’re not guaranteed a great review. If your work sucks, he’ll tell you (in a nice way!). Getting a review from Leonard isn’t easy, though. There are so many other writers vying for one. Yet, I worked hard, did my best… and Leonard picked my book!

I must say I’ve been biting my nails while waiting for the verdict. He ramped up the tension as he was really busy at work and had to postpone reading my book. I was relieved and over the moon when he told me he loved my book! Here’s what he wrote:

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Have you ever considered what you would do if you saw the world as you know it coming to an end?  Your very existence being replaced by the arrival of a new order which has no mercy or place for you.  Mere fodder for their impending triumph.  Would you attempt to preserve your life by running for the hills and hiding?  Perhaps you would choose the opposite approach and make one last desperate stand.  Fighting to the bitter end to protect your loved ones and way of life.  What would you do?  If such a potential scenario intrigues you, then Suckers-Living Like A Vampire by Jacky Dahlhaus, would be an excellent pick for your reading pleasure!

Essentially, the book begins by following a trio of teachers who are forced to flee their town and hide from an ever-increasing horde of vampires who are terrorizing the countryside.  A virus has created this vampire menace called suckers who are stronger, faster and superior to the mere humans who they quickly utilize as their food source.  In the midst of this bloody terror, our main character, Kate, encounters a handsome and suave sucker by the name of Caleb. Sparks fly and despite everything, our heroine quickly falls in love with the handsome vampire.  She is beyond smitten!  However, after Caleb disappears, Kate finds herself roaming and searching to find her lost love.  Will she ever find the true love she has been missing in the midst of chaos, terror and destruction?  Or maybe she will soon discover that it has been there all along?

B1_W600_RGB_180531This novel would certainly fit into the paranormal romance category.  However, it is also quite full of non-stop action and plot twists which really make you stop and think.  It is a good versus evil theme, but there are plenty of “sub themes” which take place as well.  While there is certainly love and romance in this book, there is also fear, suspense, surprise, mystery and foreshadowing of things yet to come.  There is warfare, gangs of wandering vampires and plenty of blood and gore.  It is truly a book which is hard to put down as it is both engaging and entirely creative!

There are a number of interesting characters in this novel as well.  The author’s narration style and quick, snappy chapters make it quite easy to follow the story without getting lost in the plot details or in regards to the various characters.  While there may be a number of different characters in the tale, Kate and Charlie are explored and developed in the most detail.  Kate makes for a convincing, yet somewhat naïve heroine.  Nevertheless, by the end of the story we have seen incredible growth in her and get the sense that big things are yet to come for this brave, young woman.  Charlie on the other hand is a very atypical hero who experiences steady growth throughout the book.  He is a very easy character to love and relate to.  The reader will find themselves cheering for Charlie on more than just one occasion!

Living Like A Vampire has all the elements which are needed for a wonderful story.  Descriptive writing which flows, a fascinating plot and some very intriguing characters.  The setting also totally matches and supports the storyline and gives a very “dystopian feel” to the time and place. Due to some sexual content and violence, I would recommend this novel to an adult audience. I absolutely look forward to reading more from Jacky Dahlhaus.

5 out of 5 Bloodsucking Stars for this one!

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Thanks again, Leonard, for such a wonderful review!

Leonard Tillerman has his own website with lots of great reviews of indie author books. You can find them all here.

Great 5 Star Reviews!

I am so happy to receive reviews for my books. Today, I received two and they are both five star reviews. It’s hard to stay in my seat! 😀

This first one is from Ingrid for Book 1, Living Like A Vampire:

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The second is from Sandra for Book 3, Raising A Vampire:

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Thank you so much, Ingrid and Sandy! You made my day!

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Book Review: Shifters Stand

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I read this book as I was intrigued by its blurb. Even though it is the third book of a trilogy, it was easy to follow. The backstory was slowly revealed the further I got into the book, yet from the first page onward, the story is engaging.

Characters are fleshed out, emotions are well described, and tensions are high to get mates back as their lives are at stake. The Shifters must defeat their enemy or all will be lost. Until the very end, you don’t know if this is going to happen or not as the threats are as real as it gets. Whether the Shifters make it or not… well, you’ll have to read the story. Take some time for reading as you will want to know the ending.

Mr. Griffith has produced a great ending to a great, and clean, YA adventure.

Get your copy on Amazon.

 

Everything You Expect From A Vampire Book!

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I just found out I have another review for Raising A Vampire! This time the reviewer is from closer to home (Aberdeenshire). Boris must have seen my add on a local Facebook page 🙂 . Here’s what he said:

4.0 out of 5 stars Bloodsucking, romance and betrayal

“Set a few years after the first book, Kate and Charlie’s daughter Sue is now 8 years old but looks twice that age. Sue’s true nature is revealed when she defends her mother from an attack. Soon they find themselves held prisoner in a facility especially designed for suckers. There’s bloodsucking, romance and betrayal: in short everything you would expect from a vampire book.”

Glad you enjoyed it, Boris, and thank you so much for the review!

Raising A Vampire Review

A Monster of All Emotional Rollercoasters!

I just saw the review I received from Sandra Vattimo, a person I don’t know but who apparently read Book 1 and now Book 2. It appears she liked it, so I must be doing something right 🙂 .

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Here’s what she wrote:

“Book two of the Suckers Trilogy was filled with just as much excitement as the first, but was laced with more emotional turmoil. The cause of the turmoil is a huge spoiler so I’ll try my best to share my anxiety carefully.

**If you haven’t read book one, the following will be considered SPOILERS**

I hope you all paid attention to the end of the first book because this one begins 10 years later. The world was provided with vaccinations against the virus which had caused all the problems to begin with. It doesn’t take too much imagination to realize not everyone has been located for vaccinating. It also doesn’t take further imagination to understand it won’t work on everyone.

But what about the babies?? Early on in this story we learn the answer to that question. Baby Sue is now a 10-year-old young lady. A series of awful events lead to the heart of the story. I spent most of the read on the monster of all emotional rollercoasters. I was angry, then hopeful. Frustrated beyond belief, then confused and hopeful again. Throw in some heartbreak and a bit of relief.

I loved reading this book. The ending was a mix of happy and sad. Sue’s future looks … Kate and Charlie appear to be … I was sad when “he” died. I was happy when the other “he” died. I will continue to mourn until the final book in this trilogy comes out.”

Thank you so much for your review, Sandra! It made my day and all my sweat, grit, and love worth it! 🙂

Raising A Vampire is available on Amazon

Book Review: ‘Games People Play’ by Owen Mullen

 

If you’re expecting an American-style, fast-paced, action-packed story, you’ve got the wrong book. Owen Mullen’s ‘Games People Play’ is a typical Tartan Noir, with private investigator Charlie Cameron as the protagonist. We see the world through his eyes and it’s not a pretty one. Charlie struggles with a loss of his own and, as he tries to find missing persons for other people, as you delve deeper into the mind of Charlie, you find out who his missing person is.

Mullen has described some excellent vivid characters, very believable and endearing. As Charlie tries to make sense of life and help others to find their loved ones, you can feel the pain and desperation Charlie is feeling as he is fighting his own demons. Life is not an exciting rollercoaster all the time and the life of a private investigator is not always as rosy as it may seem.

If you’re not from Glasgow, it’s still easy to follow Mullen’s descriptions and find yourself immersed in the scene. Throughout the story, several plot lines are followed. This may distract from the original story line of the disappearance of the little girl, which never leaves the mind of Charlie and ultimately comes back to the foreground, but they give you an excellent insight into Charlie’s character and sets the scene perfectly for the continuation of the series.

I enjoyed reading Mullen’s book and will be looking forward to the next one.

You can find Owen Mullen’s book ‘Games People Play’ here.

From Russia with Love: Movie vs. Audio Book

I finished the audio book of ‘From Russia with Love’ surprisingly fast. I listened to it during my gym trips and as I go there three times per week, it was over before I realized. It appears I listen faster than I read 😀 . It was the second audio book I listened to and I must say I like it. It is not a perfect way to ‘read’ the book, as I often find myself losing concentration which makes me miss little bits here and there. With Ian Fleming’s story, I didn’t find this a problem, I didn’t miss the line of the story. I have immediately got myself a new book, Good Omens, written by the late Terry Pratchett and Neil Gayman in 1990 and I find their writing not suited for audio. Too much happening, too many references to past text. I need to get another one.

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Back to From Russia with Love. I listened to the story before I (re)watched the movie. I was surprised about the detail Fleming gives in his story. I always had the impression that his writing was ‘below average,’ that it was ‘cheap’ and ‘full of action.’ This didn’t mean there is little information in his writing. The first chapter describes one of the scenes which appears later in the movie. It’s the one where the assassin is being massaged by a pretty lady in her underwear. In the scene, no one talks. Not one word is said, but Fleming details everything. In particular, the girl’s thoughts are described, how she despises the man her hands are working on for no apparent reason. How he terrifies her without ever having said something to her. Fleming describes extremely well what sort of a man he is. After all, he is an assassin (but the girl doesn’t know this). I liked this opening of the book.

There is a lot of telling instead of showing. Every person and every scene are described. I didn’t mind this, but I guess that is partly the director in me. I suppose it helped when they made the movie. Fleming also used a lot of adverbs and adjectives. Again, I didn’t mind this, but I did notice.

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When I watched the movie, the first thing I noticed was that they didn’t follow the book. The sequences were different, scenes were added, helicopters and explosions were added. Another big difference is that SPECTRE replaced Russia as the ‘bad guys.’ I’m not sure if this was done because the relationship with Russia was precarious, but it was a surprise. I hadn’t realized when I read the book. Then again, it had been ages since I watched the movie. As the movie was made in 1963, Sean Connery is very young in the movie. So young, I almost didn’t’ recognize him 😀 . I was annoyed when I was watching him and his co-actors on the screen. I missed the information provided by Fleming in the book. The backgrounds, the character traits, the details; they were totally dismissed. The movie seemed like a very cheap copy.

My conclusion is that I preferred to read the book over watching the movie. But I guess you already knew I was going to say this 😀 .

Book Review: The Demon of Devilgate Drive, by Colin Garrow

Book Review: The Demon of Devilgate Drive, by Colin Garrow

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‘The Demon of Devilgate Drive’ is another great story by Colin Garrow. It’s my third book I’ve read by this wonderful author. This time, the protagonist is a boy, Jeff, who, together with his pal Suzi, goes looking for a school pal named Jimmy. Jimmy is often ‘missing’ from school, but this time it’s different. Jeff and Suzi seem to stay ahead of police investigations and stumble upon a dead body. But is he really dead? Did Jeff hear the dead man talk? More than one ‘mysterious’ occurrence happen to Jeff and Suzi, but together they face all kinds of danger.

I love the way Garrow describes his characters. They are so endearing. Like with ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall: Volume 1 (The Christie McKinnon Adventures)‘ and ‘Death on a Dirty Afternoon: Volume 1 (The Terry Bell Mysteries),’ you can immerse yourself into the story without a problem. This time, you’ll be transported back to the seventies, when children played outside until dark and nobody had a phone on them. As is Garrow’s calling card, the people in the story speak with accents which helps you with your travel to a different location. When you time travel, you may as well go some place nice 🙂 .

Even though the protagonists are children, this doesn’t by any means mean this is light reading. Your children will be biting their blankets while you read to them with a spooky voice about the things that are lurking in the dark!

Check out The Demon of Devilgate Drive

Book Review: Death on a Dirty Afternoon, by Colin Garrow

Death on a Dirty Afternoon

I had already read one book by Garrow, called ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall.’ I liked it so much, I decided to read another.

‘Death on a Dirty Afternoon’ is the story of Terry Bell, a taxi driver, who finds his friend Frank dead on his dining table. Together with Carol, the taxi company’s secretary, he tries to find out who did it. More murder happens, more mayhem.

The first thing you need to know is that Terry and the other characters talk with a Geordie accent. Even though I have never talked to someone with a Geordie accent, never been to the area, I found it easy to follow and it set the scene beautifully. Garrow does a great job setting scenes and building characters. You can just imagine yourself watching it all happen in front of your eyes.

The story is told by Terry himself and the insights to his thoughts are at times comical yet so humane. His relationship with Carol is one of the subplots that was interesting to follow. The tension builds up quickly and only goes up from there. What happens in the story is thrilling but on a realistic level. These characters are made of flesh and blood and there is no Hollywood-style over-the-top action. All of it could be true. There is no gore or sex in it (no matter how much Terry wants it :P), but it does have adult themes. The way Garrow describes it I think it is suitable for 16 and up.  This is a story that you will want to read to the end. You’ll never suspect the twist.

Thumbs up to Colin Garrow to come up with such a witty, funny cabbie-turned-sleuth. I imagine plenty of interesting stories to follow and I can’t wait to read them.

You can find Garrow’s books here.

A Book Review: Graveyard Rose, by Ginny Clyde

4/5 stars

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I was part of Ms Clyde’s launch team, but unfortunately I am such a slow reader that I’m sorry to say I’m a bit late for the launch now. But as I finally finished the book I am happy to give my review.

Lenara is a young woman without a mother who has to find out about love and life on her own. Her father provides her a comfortable life, but this doesn’t take away any of the perils that Lenara must face, particularly those she has to face when getting the medication that her ill sister so desperately needs from the dark forest. It gives for an exciting story.

I found that Ms Clyde has a nice way of storytelling. It draws you in and you feel like you are there. Graveyard Rose is a pleasant read with vivid descriptions and likeable (and not so likable) characters. It is great to see another book with a female character who stands up for what she believes and wants in life and it’s a good read for any teenaged girl.

Graveyard Rose is the first in the series of The Rose Chronicles and the end of the book leaves you wanting to find out what happens next as this is definitely not the end of the story. The second and third book in the series are already out on Amazon.

You can find The Rose Chronicles here.