Tuesday, 26 April 2022


Today, I am very pleased to be joining Sue Bavey from Sue's Musing's in this special cover reveal for the new book by Dawne Archer called Trekker Girl.

Now what makes this special you may ask? Trekker Girl is the story of Dawn Archer, who trekked across the Sahara in order to raise funds for Thrombosis UK.

Dawn experienced this first hand when she had a Deep Vein Thrombosis and the proceeds from the book are going to the UK Charity to raise awareness of this potentially life threatening condition, which is where blood clots can form (usually in the legs and cause a Pulmonary Embolism, which can cause Pulmonary Arrest)

Anyone can experience this, so that is why awareness of the condition is vital. And this is something that has affected me personally as my father experienced this many years ago, although luckily it was caught in time.

Anyway, onto the cover reveal, and a bit about the author and the book. 

Brave or foolhardy?

That is the question Dawne asks herself when she stubbornly pursues her goal of trekking in the Sahara Desert to raise funds for Thrombosis UK.

As she battles excruciating back pain and slogs across the unforgiving desert landscape in boots held together with gaffer tape, will her determination to educate others to the perils of thrombosis drive her to achieve one of the toughest challenges of her life. Or will trekking in the Sahara prove a step too far?

All profits from book sales will be donated to the charity Thrombosis UK which works to educate the public and health professionals to ‘Spot the Clots’. Knowing what to look out for might save your life or that of someone close to you.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | goodreads


About the Author 

Dawne lives a full and active life, indulging her curious nature through travel by any means possible. Backpacking, road trips, cruising, sailing, whatever opportunity comes her way. 

Brave or foolhardy? That is the question Dawne asks herself when she stubbornly pursues her goal of trekking in the Sahara Desert to raise funds for Thrombosis UK.

Suffering blood clots in her leg and lung at the age of 26, Dawne’s quest is to raise awareness of thrombosis, donating profits from sales of “Trekker Girl Morocco Bound” to the charity.

As a radio presenter, she interviews people from all walks of life. Often, she becomes the interviewee, talking about her brush with death and how life is still an adventure, despite her diagnosis of an inherited clotting disorder.

Dawne started writing to describe the ups and downs of her unforgettable desert trek. Reliving her travel experiences encourages her to write on, and you can read about some of her adventures in her chapter of “Itchy Feet”.

Watch out for more from Dawne Archer, Trekker Girl.

Email: trekkergirl@outlook.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/trekkergirl2012/
Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/dawnearcher
Twitter: @DawneArcher19

And now on to the new cover for the book!


And finally some information Thrombosis UK



Every six seconds a person dies from VTE globally.

VENOUS THROMBOEMBOLISM – formation of a clot in a vein e.g. Deep Vein Thrombosis in the leg, part of which can break off and travel to the lung forming a Pulmonary Embolism.

Our priority is for everyone to KNOW the Risks Signs & Symptoms of VTE and to support research to extend UNDERSTANDING into the PREVENTION and BEST MANAGEMENT of VTE.


Hello Folks

Another book tour for you. I am pleased to be joining Zooloo's Book Tours in order to discuss Peter Taylor - Goody's new book, A Kinder City.

As usual, Zooloo's book Tours has given me a book that expands my perspective, and I enjoyed this tale. So, without much further ado let's crack on!


A Kinder City by Peter Taylor – Gooby

Publication Day : 30th March 2022 by Matador Books

Page Count : 284 pages


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The City is governed by the grim law of profit and loss. No exceptions, no place for compassion, pleasure, the warmth of friendship or the ardour of love. David, an Enforcer committed to the Law, meets Sarah, a villager from outside, and begins to understand that a different, more joyful, life is possible.

A Kinder City tells the story of their tangled relationship and of how they fall in love, and of their struggle against Franklin, the richest man in Market World. If the only law is the market, why not sell everything – and that includes the air we breathe, the land we stand on, the water we drink? No exceptions. His giant factories spew forth the road beasts – the huge machines that devastate the lands beyond the City in pursuit of yet more wealth. Not content with cloning animals, he traps horses in exo-skeletons and works them to death. Torn between her growing passion for David and her revulsion at the City that he is pledged to protect, Sarah turns her back on him.

In despair, he confronts one of the convoys supplying Franklin’s mills and releases the horses trapped within the giant trucks. Pursued by terrifying security guards they escape to the Broken Lands and witness at first hand the desolation that results from ruthless strip-mining and industrial farming driven purely by greed, and the misery of the remaining villagers. In their struggle to survive and return to the City they discover the power of their love for each other. Sarah challenges Franklin to his face and, helped by David, sparks off rebellion among the poor of the City. Together they defeat Franklin. He must learn what it means to be destitute and alone in Market World. The possibility of building a kinder City lies within their grasp

David an enforcer for Market World meets a villager called Sarah, condemned for breaking the rules of Market World in that she was flagrantly giving a gift of apples to someone. She is subsequently arrested and her horse Juno impounded.

For some inexplicable reason, David finds himself thinking of Sarah and when she is put on trial, he in turn breaks the rules and performs an altruistic act by paying the fine that she accrues as a result of her misdemeanour.

Thus begins David’s adventure as he follows Sarah to her home in the Villages.

Peter Taylor – Goody’s A Kinder City is an unconventionally told tale of greed and the effects of capitalism.

Initially, the first part of the book resembles a picaresque novel as David moves through the world as he follows Sarah and her horse Juno through the various districts of Market world. We see the affluence of the city, and then move to the poorer, industrial parts of Market World which is governed by the asset obsessed Franklin, who has a vision of spreading his influence throughout the whole of Market World and then we finally end up in the agrarian world of the Villages, on which Franklin basically wants to impose his idea of progress.

This imposes a conflict on the character of David, who throughout the book questions the ideals of Market World and its effect on the people and the environment of Market World.

It is at this point that the book morphs into a kind of allegorical tale of the effects of capitalism and colonialism upon the environment and its effects upon the world in general.

As I said, I found that it was an unconventionally told tale. In some places, it puts me in mind of a Swiftian allegory. However, in others, it reminds me of G. K. Chesterton, particularly when we get to the industrialised, nightmarish vision that Franklin has for the world.

I particularly found David’s transformation from blind follower of Market World laws and ideals to a flagrant activist against Franklin’s vision of the future intriguing. And I think that this is what the tale is about. We get to see David’s journey throughout the book, his initial conflict that not everything is as it should be, to finding his own voice and the cause he wants to fight for.

David and Sarah are both interesting characters, with Sarah being the catalyst to changing the internal world view that David holds dear and subsequently forces him to question and changes these ideals to make him a more interesting individual. In addition to this the narrative moves the plot along at a pace that keeps the reader interested. The thriller element of the book works well  and there is plenty of action in the story to maintain the pace of the book.

A Kinder City is an interesting story that raises some pertinent questions about the effects of a society motivated by profit, has on its people and its environment.

About Peter Taylor-Gooby

Peter Taylor-Gooby is a sociologist. He has published widely and made many TV and radio appearances. His novels deal with issues that matter – love, money, power and environmental disaster. He has worked on adventure playgrounds, in a social security office and as a teacher. He loves walking, cycling, writing and talking to his children

You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter,




Monday, 25 April 2022


“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” – Neil Gaiman

I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but I have recently cultivated an appreciation for the short story, and this collection by Catherine McCarthy is one that I have wanted to explore for a while.

Mists and Megaliths, is the second collection of Catherine McCarthy’s short stories and she has also recently written a novella entitled Immortelle.

Now let me tell you I immediately loved this collection of stories. There is such a plethora of styles and tones, each story different from the last. From creeping, ominous dread, to sharp black humour and also a bit of cosmic horror (which is always going to get my vote as this is one of my favourite genres).

The stories themselves have one thing in common, in that they are about Wales in some way. This is one of the things that intrigued me about this collection, as I have recently visited the country and fell in love with the wild countryside and gorgeous vistas that were outside my door when I woke up. .

Anyway, back to the book!

One of the things that I love about horror is the vastly different ways it can be encapsulated. There can be the ultimate gross out horror or there can be that subtle feeling of unease that makes you turn your head to see if there is something hiding in the shadows behind you. Mists and Megaliths tends to fall into the latter end of that statement, and in other stories, such as Spirit of the Sea, it is barely visible. In fact, that story, the fear is based around feelings of trust, acceptance and faith and is such a wonderful story.

I enjoyed every single one of these stories. Each one bringing forth different feelings and emotions. I loved the incorporation of Welsh myth and folklore into the stories. I always have a soft spot for tales that mix folklore with the story, and these stories are so rich with it that I immediately fell in love with the tales in this book.

When reviewing this book, I wanted to write something pithy and clever, but I knew someone had said it much better than I ever could, and I think that the quote from Neil Gaiman perfectly describes what I felt with this book. There were times that my heart was broken, such as in the initial story Cragen, I went to another world with the tale Retribution, and I enjoyed each and every story.

If you want a short story collection that has a diversity of styles and tones, then I cannot recommend this one enough. I have got Door to read sometime in the future. Oh, and one last thing before I go. I have to mention the cover design of this book. I read in the acknowledgements that this is done by Catherine McCarthy's husband and I think that it perfectly captures the essence of the book.

Sunday, 24 April 2022


Hello fellow Nerds

Today I am looking at some classic Judge Dredd with one of the biggest storylines at the time. I would like to thank Rebellion Publishing and Netgalley for the Advanced Reading Copy of this book.

Now let's get this out in the open, this was always one of my favourite storylines (and I thik I still have it in its original format), and it was a delight to see this story collected in one place.


The Essential Judge Dredd series is the perfect introduction to the Lawman of the Future - in Necropolis Judge Dredd must face off against his most popular foe, Judge Death!

The essential Judge Dredd graphic novel series – the ultimate introduction to the Lawman of the Future!

Mega-City One is under siege from the Dark Judges, Dredd has been exiled to the harsh wastelands of the Cursed Earth and time is running out for the citizens he once swore to protect. With the body-count rising and hope running out, will the Judges be able to turn back the tide of death?

Essential Judge Dredd: Necropolis is the ultimate Judge Dredd Vs The Dark Judges storyline. A comic book ‘summer blockbuster’, written and drawn by Dredd’s co-creators John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog), where Dredd must reclaim his badge from the imposter Judge Kraken and retake Mega-City One from the grip of the Dark Judges; Death, Fear, Fire and Mortis. 

Necropolis was a massive storyline in the annals of 2000AD history. It was proceeded with portents of foreshadowing and the aftershocks of the storyline were felt many years after. I recall this series with a kind of fondness as it is such a good story.

The comic starts with the run up to the main event and we learn that Judge Dredd has taken the long walk to the Cursed Earth. In Mega City One, Judge Kraken (Judge Dredd’s clone brother) is sentenced to death for his part in the Judda rebellion. However, a plan is hatched to replace Judge Dredd with his clone brother, Kraken, in attempt to plug the gap that the retirement of Judge Dredd has left.

Necropolis, written and drawn by the dream team of Dredd creator John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, and brings back fan favourites Judge Death and the Dark Judges (Mortis, Fear & Fire), and also brings in the Sisters of Death, Nausea & Phobia.

So, if you are not familiar with Judge Dredd & the Dark Judges, let me explain! The Dark Judges are from a parallel dimension in which they have judged that all crime is undertook by the living, so in an attempt to rid crime, they have deemed that all life is the crime and have eradicated the sin from their own world by eradicating life.

It was so good to revisit this seminal storyline. The story is as fresh as it was thirty years ago. Surprisingly, it does have an element that was a little risky in that the main protagonists don’t actually make an appearance until quite some way into the story. You would expect that the main characters would be the star of the show from the beginning, but there is a significant amount of story building with the Sisters of Death before the Dark Judges make an appearance and devastate Mega City One. In addition, Judge Dredd does not blast his way on to the page until much later in the story, and he has been radically changed by his time in the Cursed Earth.

The artwork by Carlos Ezquerra is equally as amazing as the story. As I said earlier, the story was written in 1990 and it does reflect the time period. Madchester was in full swing and there was a neo - psychedelic edge to popular culture and this is evident in the multi- coloured panels and vivid strokes that were present in Esquerra’s art.

The story itself is cleverly written by John Wagner, highlighting that Dredd can never be replaced, and we see that as Judge Kraken succumbs to doubt and questions his ability as a law maker. Wagner does not hold anything back and this is an over the top storyline that continues to delight.

If you are new to the earlier Judge Dredd storylines, is this a good place to dive in? It is a steep learning curve and some knowledge of earlier storylines is useful as there are references to these stories and the mythology surrounding Judge Death, such as when he was encased in the expanding plastic Boing in one of the earlier stories, or the time that Judge Anderson was taken over by Death. However, I think that the new reader should get along with this iconic story and be able to enjoy it without hours of investigation. 



Wednesday, 20 April 2022

 Hello and Good Day

Today, I join Zooloo's Book Tours to spotlight Justin Newland's book The Coronation. However, before we talk about the book I want to send a heartfelt thank you to both Zoe and Justin Newland for a wonderful signed copy of the book. This was such a lovely surprise as I was not expecting it. In addition to the book, it was accompanied by a lovely letter.

Right, on to having a look at The Coronation.

The Coronation by Justin Newland

Publication Day: 1st December 2019 by Matador

Page Count: 328 pages


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It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.

In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.

Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history… 

The Coronation is an interesting book that highlighted aspects of history that I was not particularly familiar with. It is a historical fantasy that takes place during the Seven Years War, which is typified as the first global conflict and ran from 1756 – 1763.

The story focusses on the conflict between Prussia, Austria and Russia, and is based in the year 1761, with the tale mainly revolving around around Countess Marion Von Adler and her plight to look after her tenants when a group of Russian soldiers requisition the food from her estate for the company. In the midst of this, Marion Von Adler is injured by a Russian captain, and is summarily defended by Ian Fermor, a Lieutenant within the company. The captain takes revenge for what he sees as an affront on his honour and also as an act of insubordination. He subsequently injures the aforementioned Lieutenant, leaving him for dead. He is nursed back to health after a miraculously returning from the brink of death. Whilst on the edge of death, Fermor experiences a vision from the two headed Adler Eagle, who shows him the path that he is to take.

The book is an interesting combination of  history, magical realism and faith. The historical backdrop that the story is set against is an intriguing one, and one which led me to investigate certain events that I was not familiar with.

The book is a layered story and has a number of plots and subplots that can take the tale in different directions to what you would expect. I particularly liked the main characters of Ian Fermor and Marion, and when the plot moved away from them, I found myself wanting to get back to them. I think that the main reason for this is that Marion is such a multi faceted character that had a good deal of depth, particularly her compassion and her commitment to those around her. For me, Marion kind of stole the book whenever she was on the page in all honesty.

At times, I did  wonder where the book was going, and how the book would reach its conclusion. However, once I got to grips with the flow of the narrative, I became more comfortable with the writing style, and just buckled in till the end. The book definitely took me out of my normal reading comfort zone, and it showed me a different type of literature that I would not seek out independently.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that focusses on historical events that I was not familiar with, and buttressed with a supernatural element that fits the tone of the story. On the whole the characters are good, and although I would have liked to have spent more time with the main characters, it was an intriguing storyline that kept me engaged throughout.


About Justin Newland

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

You can connect with Justin on Facebook, and his website


Tuesday, 19 April 2022


I have had quite a number of Rob J. Hayes's books on my Kindle for some time and I eventually got around to reading Along a Razors Edge. Now I have to ask to myself why the heck have I left it so long. This book is quite simply brilliant.

There are so many things to like in this book, but it is mainly the character of fifteen year old Eskara, or more importantly what she is to become.

The book is written in a first person narrative from the point of view of Eskara, an Orran sorcerer who, along with her almost brother Josef, has been captured in the war against the Terrans and thrown into the brutal prison called the pit.

We then follow Eskara's life in the pit and the harsh, miserable existence that both her and Josef endure. The constant harassment from Prig, the team leader. In addition to that she has the overseer of the prison taking a special interest in her.

The story recounts Eskara’s time in the Pit and the trials and tribulations that she experiences in her everyday experiences. As we move through Eskara’s tale, we learn that as a child she was taken to the Orran Academy to learn Sorcery. We see how she developed as a mage and how she ended up incarcerated in the pit. In addition to that, we learn of her future and the path that she takes to become The Corpse Queen. She narrates how she has to dig in the Pit and ultimately the initial part of her, much larger story.

I must say that I was immediately invested in Eskara’s story from the opening paragraph. Eskara herself is a fascinating character and it is her voice that we hear. At times she is scathing of the system, yet there are moments of tenderness, especially with Josef, who she perceives as her brother. She tells us that throughout her time in the Academy they are virtually inseparable and that they are two halves of the same coin.

Rob J. Hayes does a fantastic job of taking familiar themes that you find in fantasy and breathing fresh life into them. For instance, there is a coming of age tale entwined with found family and also a wizarding school. However, Rob J. Hayes twists these tropes and makes them interesting and fresh.

You cannot help rooting for Eskara, even though you know that her character is not particularly full of decent moral fibre. However, you swiftly realise that she is a product of circumstances and that if her road had been different she would have been very different.

There are so many things to like in this book. Obviously Eskara steals the page every time she is there. However the book is filled with vivid side characters that are equally as fascinating as Eskara.

The story itself is told by moving through different points in time. At times it is told as memories from Eskara’s past, but you also get hints of her future and what she is to become later in life.

I think one of the most interesting aspects of Rob J. Hayes’s writing in this book is the way that he manages to build the world,  giving little snippets of the world above the pit, whilst painting a vivd picture of the claustrophobic, confined environment of the pit.

The magic system fits the story well, and rather than massive info dumped about how the magic system works, it is eventually revealed and explained throughout the story. We learn how it works and also the limitations that is placed on the user.

However, the main star of the show is Rob J. Hayes’s writing. The story itself is engaging and well written, with fantastic characters and and a plot that keeps you turning the page till you get to the end and subsequently wanting to find out what happens in the rest of the story. 

Saturday, 16 April 2022

 Hello Book Nerds.

Today is a bit of a special post because it is about the winner of the BBNYA 2021 competition This book was voted first place by the judges of the competition to take the crown and the glory of that illustrious first place. As you can guess the book is May Day by Josie Jaffrey. As usual the tour is organised by the fabulastic (I made that word and I am keeping it - so there!) The Write Reads in conjunction with BBNYA. if you want to know more about the BBNYA, there is a description of the competition ant the bottom of the page. 

So, Let's get to it then.



If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.

May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.

Book Info for May Day

Publisher: Silver Sun Books

Length: 392 Pages

Date Published: July 9, 2020


Amazon (Canada) 

Amazon (US) 

Amazon (UK) 



Author Website: https://www.josiejaffrey.com/ 



So dear reader, I am going to employ the device of honesty when I am talking about this book, and I beg that you stay with me until we get to the end. There may be a twist, something that you don’t expect, but there will be an end. There may be a few revelations along the way, but I beg you please stay with me.

Right, let’s sit in the pulpit and confess everything conspiratorially. You see, when I came to May Day on my TBR. I wasn’t sure that I was going to fancy it to be honest. You see, reading the blurb it started my internal reader alarm bells ringing. There was quite a few ticks registering on my internal checklist that generally sends me scooting off in the opposite direction. You see, when I read the blurb, the first thing that I noticed was THE ROMANCE! When I see this, my inner ten year old pops his head up and says with a euchh face ‘Is there kissing in it?’ ‘Well, what do you think?’ I said to him.

He just went off and sulked muttering something about swords and dragons.

Then to my horror of horrors, there was a love triangle!

Right, no way! This is a step too far! I don’t do love triangles. I mean love triangles mean that we are building a romance bleeding sandwich doesn’t it?

And I can’t say that I am really bothered about Vampires, unless they are done well and they surprise me. You see after *mumble mumble* amount of years watching every vampire film and reading goodness knows how many books, I didn’t think that there was anything that would surprise me. And, when it comes to crime fiction and urban fantasy, I am a little so – so. In fact, my Mrs bans me from watching any sort of crime fiction due to the fact that I sit there annoyingly convicting everyone (even the budgerigar) of the murder, shouting out at regular intervals that he did it, she did it and that it might have been the horse, aggrieved for not get a scrumptious apple that morning who had then gone into the kitchen drawer and stolen its owners favourite vegetable knife and savagely offed its owner.

So you see, it was not on my top fancy list.

So there we have it! By the end of this, you will be thinking ‘why the heck did you read this book then?’

Weeeelllll. I was having a bit of trouble with my last book so I thought I would be brave and have a look inside.

Aaaand as soon as I read the line ‘Let me tell you the problem with university students: they’re stupid as f*@k my inner snark meter was hitting eleventy stupid and I was hooked!

I literally inhaled this book and finished it in two days, not being able to put it down until I got right to the very end.

I was intrigued by the murder mystery. I loved Jack Valentine and the rest of the characters.

I oohed and aahed at the developing romance between Jack and Tabitha (even though jack did have some pretty naughty thoughts towards Tabitha). I smacked my hand on my forehead when there was all those shenanigans with Killian Drake, the Baron of Oxford. I really liked the stuff that Josie Jaffrey brought with the vampires, the lore and the vampire police force.

One of the things that kept me interested was Josie Jaffrey’s writing, with its snappy dialogue, and the fast pace that she maintained all the way through the book.

In fact, this book was the perfect breath of fresh air that I didn’t know that I needed.

(Told you there would be a twist at the end, didn’t I?)

And yes, I did blame the horse (and don’t tell me there isn’t one in there coz I know there was one in there! It was hiding in the pantry waiting for its chance to strike with its trusty vegetable knife!)

About the Author

Josie is the author of multiple novels and short stories. Most of those are set in the Silverse, a pre- and post-apocalyptic world filled with vampires and zombies.

She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA). Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.

After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn't sure what to do with her life.

She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn't love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.

Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.


BBNYA (Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award) is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. 

It is run by The Folio Sociaty (yes them of the very pretty books!) & The Write Reads

The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!





Thursday, 14 April 2022

 Hello again.

A couple of short reviews for you today. The first is White Trash Warlock, followed by it's sequel Trailer Park Trickster.


White Trash Warlock

Not all magicians go to schools of magic.

Adam Binder has the Sight. It’s a power that runs in his bloodline: the ability to see beyond this world and into another, a realm of magic populated by elves, gnomes, and spirits of every kind. But for much of Adam’s life, that power has been a curse, hindering friendships, worrying his backwoods family, and fueling his abusive father’s rage.

Years after his brother, Bobby, had him committed to a psych ward, Adam is ready to come to grips with who he is, to live his life on his terms, to find love, and maybe even use his magic to do some good. Hoping to track down his missing father, Adam follows a trail of cursed artifacts to Denver, only to discover that an ancient and horrifying spirit has taken possession of Bobby’s wife.It isn’t long before Adam becomes the spirit’s next target. To survive the confrontation, save his sister-in-law, and learn the truth about his father, Adam will have to risk bargaining with very dangerous beings … including his first love.


I have had White Trash Warlock on my TBR for ages and never got around to reading it, so when I saw that it was on the included list on a certain audiobook site, I thought why not. You see, I was in that conundrum phase of picking my next listen. I have loads in my library, but I just didn’t fancy them at this time. So I needed something new to listen to, I just didn’t know what and hey presto! Hello White Trash Warlock. I have got to say that this is an impressive debut about twenty-year-old Warlock Adam Binder. Adam is basically a good guy; he goes around hunting magical artifacts that have been made from magical creatures and destroys them. However, he does have some family issues. For one, they don’t believe that he has magic and when he was a teen, his brother Bobby (now a happily married doctor, living in Denver, far from his poor upbringing and calling himself Robert Binder rather than his growing up name of Bobby Lee) had him detained in a school for ‘troubled’ teens. Adding to that, Adam is gay, and he knows that his family don’t accept that either. Thus, there is plenty of family conflict. 

Whilst living in Denver, Robert’s (Bobby Lee) wife has been acting strangely. She has experienced a number of miscarriages and Robert calls his mother in to look after his depressed wife as she has been acting out of character. However, one day he realises that her mental health difficulties may not be as they seem when he witnesses a strange phenomenon, which leads him to contact his estranged brother Adam to help. What they discover is far worse than first thought, as in fact his wife is possessed by a powerful entity that has taken over Denver. Therefore, Adam investigates the phenomenon, leading him to the hospital that Robert works at and that there are strange coincidences. Whilst investigating, the entity possesses two security guards who attempt to ‘dissuade’ (ie, Kill) Adam from digging deeper. In the ensuing fight one of the guards is killed and the other is saved by Adam who impetuously binds his life to Vic Martinez, which in turn leads to confusing romantic feelings. This sparks quite a sweet romantic subplot between Adam and Vic. Amidst all that there is some intricate world building, a tense supernatural storyline involving elves, gnomes and leprechauns as well as a whole host of other mythological creatures. The story is full of action, snarky humour, intriguing characters, and is mixed with plenty of emotional nuance as Adam solves the mystery of the entity over Denver.

Trailer Park Trickster

They are my harvest, and I will reap them all.

Returning to Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the funeral of his mysterious and beloved aunt Sue, Adam Binder once again finds himself in the path of deadly magic when a dark druid begins to prey on members of Adam’s family. It all seems linked to the death of Adam’s father many years ago—a man who may have somehow survived as a warlock.

Watched by the police, separated from the man who may be the love of his life, compelled to seek the truth about his connection to the druid, Adam learns more about his family and its troubled history than he ever bargained for, and finally comes face-to-face with the warlock he has vowed to stop.

Meanwhile, beyond the Veil of the mortal world, Argent the Queen of Swords and Vic the Reaper undertake a dangerous journey to a secret meeting of the Council of Races . . . where the sea elves are calling for the destruction of humanity.


Immediately following the events of White Trash Warlock, Adam Binder returns in this equally impressive second outing for the not too overpowered warlock. Fresh from the events of the first book, Adam has returned to his hometown of Guthrie to attend the sad departing of his favourite great aunt and magic Tutor, Sue.
Again, things are not as they seem as Adam discovers that there are mysterious forces abroad and her sudden death makes him suspicious that all is not as it seems. Especially when his not so lovely extended family are on the scene, in the form his Aunt Noreen and cousin Jodi, who are attacked in Aunt Sue’s trailer by the Shadowy Warlock that Adam has been hunting in relation to the evil artifacts in book one. 
Obviously, this leads to local enforcement digging into the strange events that surround the Binder family and with Jodi becoming increasingly erratic, long buried secrets and old mysteries begin to surface. 
Meanwhile Vic, Adam’s not so long-suffering boyfriend is discovering the world that Adam inhabits as he is waylaid by Elf Queen Argent, who takes him to the spirit world, where they discover that there is a scheme afoot by rival elves. Vic’s subplot interweaves with Adams and when they both intersect, it leads to satisfying conclusion to the book. Again, the book is just as good as the first with the world building and lore of the spirit world been built upon and expanded. We also see Vic and Adam’s relationship grow and learn more about the Binder Family. The open conclusion of the second book is going to have you pacing until the third instalment comes out.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favour to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face - literally. Now he’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit.

So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people, supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he’s guilty?

Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive.

But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…

Third place in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2020 (SPFBO6)

Finalist in the Book Bloggers' Book of the Year Award (BBNYA) 2021

Shortlisted for the Booknest Fantasy Award Best Self-published Novel 2020

This is a book that I should have reviewed far earlier than I am now. I read it quite a while ago as part of the BBNYA 2021, but have only just managed to review it.

Shadow of a Dead God is a unique hybridisation of an Urban fantasy, set in an epic fantasy setting with some detective noir, and I must say it works exceptionally well.

The story revolves around down at heel, wizard for hire Mennick Thorn. As the book opens we follow Mennick as he is attempting to get to the bottom of a haunting in the posh district of town. He is then roped into a supposedly easy robbery by his best friend Benny. However, things don't work as planned (do they ever?) and we end up with a dead body. Well, totally eviscerated body that seems to have been attacked by some kind of gigantic wild beast.

Suspicion falls upon Mennick & Benny. However, it soon becomes clear that they have both been set up. Thus ensues an adventurous investigation into who set the couple up and why.

I have to say that I found this book instantly likeable and summarily voted for this book to be one of the finalists in the BBNYA (I can say that now as there is a new competition coming up and I am not breaking any judging rules now). One of the aspects of the book that I found really endearing was the world building. Like I said, I felt that it was a like an urban fantasy, but set in a secondary world and it gives a sense of individuality.

In addition to that, the magic system (which I am sure that you will have read in other reviews of the book) is quite original as it revolves around magic users being able to use the energy given off the dead gods to create magic.

However, the strength of the book lies in Patrick Samphire's writing and his ability to create such endearing characters. Mennick Thorn is a great character, although he is not that good a wizard. However, due to his inability, he is inventive with how he does things and will constantly be using his wit and skill rather than magical brawn. Benny is your typical thief and plays a good comedic support to Mennick's straight man. However, it is Sereh, the sociopathic ten year old, assassin in the making, who shines through as a standout character and literally steals the page whenever she makes an appearance!

As I said earlier, the book is written exceptionally well and has that brilliant mix of comedy, adventure and heart. The pace initially builds up the book, but that gives us some breathing space to set the story up and describe the backdrop that the story is set in. It's when the story reaches its full pace that you are unable to put the book down. The book has that brilliant combination of murder mystery and adventure that keeps you reading right till the end.


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Welcome to my website. Hopefully, you are all like minded individuals here and are interested in the fantasy genre. Mostly, I will be reviewing books that I like. It might not always be fantasy, there might be some horror or science fiction.



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