This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Last Revenge by Nathaniel Danes

The Last Revenge. Cover Art
Blood demands blood.
Driven by grief to the darkest recess of his soul, Trent Maxwell lives and fights for one reason, revenge.
As hidden agendas plot, Trent embarks on an unholy quest to marshal the forces he needs to exact the heavy toll his heard demands.
The largest fleets and armies ever assembled in space collide. A river of blood soaks the galaxy, but when is enough, enough?
Author Bio: Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an over active imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.
Review: I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was very much looking forward to The Last Revenge and it didn't disappoint! Action, excitement and twists and turns fill every page and will keep you hooked until the very end. Nathaniel Danes is a very talented author and one to keep your eye on. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Hunted Warrior by Lindsey Piper

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Demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and a race on the brink of distinction: What will become of them? One proud leader wields his power to unlock dark mysteries in the third book in this fierce, sensual new paranormal romance series.
When the head of the Five Clans of the Dragon Kings wants something, he gets it. Raised among the most privileged of his dying race, Malnefoley conceals a devastating tragedy from his youth. Now, many call him the Usurper because of his unconventional rise to power. His influence is waning while the Dragon Kings must solve the puzzle of their slow extinction. So when a particularly important captive escapes his compound in the Greek mountains, Malnefoley leaves nothing to chance. She ishis prisoner to retrieve.
The woman is known as the Pet, a former associate of a sadistic doctor from the Asters, a human crime cartel. Her loyalties cannot be trusted, even when she claims to hold the secret to conception—an invaluable secret for a race unable to procreate. Neither can her unique gift from the Great Dragon be believed. She’s a soothsayer, able to see glimpses of the future. Her quest is to find and save a Cage warrior on the verge of her first match—a young woman whose destiny is bound to a timeless prophecy.
Malnefoley has no respect for the ancient superstitions that brought about his childhood trauma. His only goal is to return the Pet to his compound and use her knowledge for the betterment of their people. Yet her restless energy and raw sensuality are as intriguing as her predictions about the rise of the Great Dragon. He dares not trust the crafty fugitive’s loyalties, but as their treacherous chase turns passionate, can he even trust himself?
Lindsey Piper is the alter ego of award-winning historical romance author Carrie Lofty. Readers and critics are wild for the “red-hot” (RT Book Reviews) Dragon Kings series, her unique first foray into paranormal fiction. She lives and writes in Chicago. Visit her online at LindseyPiper.com and CarrieLofty.com.
Review: Oh wow...this book is amazing! Lindsey Piper has an amazing way of writing that completely consumes you. It was hard to do anything else once I'd started reading, I was so gripped. The characters are complex and well written, the plot moves fast and is filled with excitement, action, passion, lust, to name just a few things. I haven't read anything else by this author, but I certainly will now. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands and waged war with magical weapons. But those kings, queens, and heroes are long gone, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Running his family’s modest shipping business, Paxon leads a quiet life—until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.
 
When his brash young sister is abducted by a menacing stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. And in a harrowing duel, he is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him—and within his ancestors’ ancient blade. But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands, and Paxon must master it quickly because his nearly fatal clash with the dark sorcerer Arcannen won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the fabled Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector.
 
But treachery is afoot deep in the Druids’ ranks. And the blackest of sorcery is twisting a helpless innocent into a murderous agent of evil. To halt an insidious plot that threatens not only the Druid order but all the Four Lands, Paxon Leah must summon the profound magic in his blood and the legendary mettle of his elders in the battle fate has chosen him to fight.

Praise for The High Druid’s Blade
 
“High adventure, lots of action, and appealing [characters] . . . a good place for new readers to jump into the author's world.”Library Journal

“Terry Brooks is a grandmaster of the fantasy genre, and his latest will both captivate and surprise readers. . . . It’s truly magical.”—Associated Press
 
“Brooks once again gifts readers with a breathless adventure in this new Shannara trilogy, the Defenders of Shannara. The action begins in the first chapter and doesn’t end until the last page.”RT Book Reviews
 
“A great place to introduce yourself to all of Brooks’s novels . . . [The High Druid’s Blade] is a great stand-alone book and will definitely throw you headfirst into the world of Shannara.”—Whedonopolis
 
The High Druid's Blade is an intriguing, action-filled novel that you are sure to love.”—Faire’s Fair Book Reviews
 
“Readers both new [and old] will enjoy reading The High Druid’s Blade.”—The Arched Doorway
 
“An enjoyable read . . . I will definitely be picking up the next book when it comes out.”—Jessie Reads Everything
 
Praise for Terry Brooks
 
The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen RussellNew York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!
 
“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett,New York Times bestselling author of The Desert Spear
 
“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick RothfussNew York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind
Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars(R): Episode I The Phantom Menace.(tm) His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.
Review: I haven't read anything by Terry Brooks, so I had no idea of what to expect when I started to read The High Druids Blade and I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised. The plot is filled with action, passion and excitement from the first page to the last. Paxon is a brilliant, layered character that develops really well as the storyline thunders on. I recommend this book to anyone that loves unique books. I will definitely be getting hold of more of Terry Brook's work!!

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Collector by Nora Roberts

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart…

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one…

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen; where what you possess is who you are; and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession…
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 Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.
She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.
Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.
Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.
Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”
Review: Wow, this newest book by Nora Roberts is just as gripping and exciting as I've come to expect! Lila and Ashton get mixed up in a murder mystery that is only tangibly linked to them, but under all of the terrifying situation and the fear that comes with it, is a simmering passion that builds as the plot gains momentum. The ending was unpredictable and unexpected - the sign of a great thriller novel. Highly recommended!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Dream of Kings by David K. Saunders

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In the year 1464, the Kingdom is engulfed by civil war as the renowned houses of Lancaster and York fight to the death for the crown of England. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, arrives, aged twelve, for the safety of Middleham Castle to begin his training for knighthood. His new companions discover he can change from kindness to cold rage within the wink of an eye. Men, it was said, watched him with wary eyes, for they knew when the young pup found his teeth, he would make a dangerous enemy. Far in the north, Margaret of Anjou, warrior Queen to Henry VI, prepares to fight against the advancing armies of Edward IV. Why does she abandon her husband, and flee to France vowing never to return? Who blackmails her, seven years later, to join forces with her most hated enemy, to return and fight once again for the crown of England? King Edward IV, tall, handsome, and clever, is a brilliant warrior, whose Achilles' heel is women; he loves them all. What dark forces drive him into a secret marriage that rips his kingdom apart? He is forced to fight Louis XI of France, and the mighty Earl of Warwick, not only for his crown but also his life. From the courts of Edward IV, Louis XI, and Margaret of Anjou, comes intrigue, betrayal, witchcraft, and love. The Dreams of Kings weaves plots and characters together to make a roller-coaster read of the period they call the WAR of the ROSES.
Review: I really enjoyed this complex, in-depth novel set which combines fact with fiction in a gripping, exciting way. Horror reign as a terrible time rips through the country and the realistic portrayal is gory and terrifying. 5 stars easily earned!

Friday, 24 April 2015

Ripper's Ghost by Kennedy Welles

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When Spencer Donovan, a District Attorney for the state of New York, receives a mysterious summons to London regarding her biological family, whom she knows nothing about, she drops everything and catches the next flight out. She's shocked to learn that she may have biological ties to the infamous Jack The Ripper murderer and doesn't believe a word of it, until she realizes that the murders are being repeated verbatim 125 years later and by someone referring to himself as Ripper's Ghost.
Spencer works with the history professor who summoned her and a Scotland Yard inspector to try and stop the killer before word spreads across London that Saucy Jack has returned.
Review: Ripper's Ghost is a mystery like no other! Spencer - the lead protagonist - drives the plot through it's twists and turns in an extremely exciting way. I was gripped by the unique story line and very excited to get to the explosive conclusion. This book easily deserves its 5 starts, I'd recommend it to all avid readers.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

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The New York Times bestselling author of Otherwise Engaged and The Mystery Womanpresents an all-new novel of intrigue and murder set against the backdrop of Victorian London…
 
The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end—and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes.
 
Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold eyes…
 
If this mysterious widowed beauty insists on stirring the pot, Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer—and to achieve their goal they may need to reveal their deepest secrets to each other as well…
jak
Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of fifty New York Times bestsellers. She has written contemporary romantic suspense novels under that name, as well as futuristic and historical romance novels under the pseudonyms Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, respectively. Krentz lives in Seattle.
Review: Garden of Lies is a book filled with murder, mystery and a very steamy romance. Ursula is desperately trying to solve her friends death - which the police are deeming to be a suicide - which uncovers all kinds of things that she never knew about the person she was closest to. Slater has a terrible reputation brought upon him by his past. He joins Ursula on her quest for reasons he can't even explain to himself (when it's clear to everyone else that he fancies her!). The way their romance develops is natural and endearing due to the circumstances. As their own secrets are revealing and the plot unravels, you become more and more gripped and towards the end I just couldn't put the book down!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Beauty's Kingdom by Anne Rice

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Before E. L. James and Sylvia Day, there was Anne Rice: Discover Beauty’s Kingdom, the fourth novel in the bestselling Sleeping Beauty series 
Mega-bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A. N. Roquelaure, returns to the mysterious kingdom of Queen Eleanor in this new chapter of her Sleeping Beauty series. When the great queen is reported dead, Beauty and Laurent return to the kingdom they left twenty years before. Beauty agrees to take the throne, but she insists that all erotic servitude be voluntary. Countless eager princes, princesses, lords, ladies, and commoners journey to Beauty’s realm, where she and her husband usher in a new era of desire, longing, and ecstasy. Provocative and stirring, Rice’s imaginative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth will be adored by her longtime fans and new readers of erotica just discovering the novels.
 
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Anne Rice is the author of many bestselling novels, including the hugely successful Vampire Chronicles. Her first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was made into a film in 1994 starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Her other books include the Mayfair Witches series, the novels The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Violin Angel Time, the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, and, most recently, Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, she now lives in Southern California.
“Voluptuous imagery and graphic scenes...Roquelaure pulls no punches (or holds back no spankings). The fairy-tale setting provides an apt stage, and the magical world clearly marks the erotic action as fantasy.” 
Kirkus

“[A] thumbs-up…. BEAUTY’S KINGDOM is a delightful, immersive read, all at once playful, campy, explicit, erotic, and provocative.”
Publisher’s Weekly 

"Rice’s lush prose is elegant and enchanting, reminiscent of classic historical fiction in its lyrical structure and elaborate description" 
—Library Journal
Review: This is definitely a unique twist on an old well known fairy tale! One that certainly works well in the current popular trend of BDSM books. Anne Rice has a great way of writing that pulls you in from the very first page. I haven't read the first 3 books and it seems that opinion is divided in the new tone in this book. Some people love the new, freer kingdom, whereas others prefer the raw, edgier originals. This book is perfect if you're looking for something very steamy to read with a fun twist.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Clash of Iron by Angus Watson

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The second book in Angus Watson's epic Iron Age fantasy trilogy.
 
LEADERS ARE FORGED IN THE FIRES OF WAR
Iron Age warriors Dug and Lowa captured Maidun castle and freed its slaves. But now they must defend it.
A Roman invasion is coming from Gaul, but rather than uniting to defend their home, the British tribes go to battle with each other -- and see Maidun as an easy target.
Meanwhile, Lowa's spies infiltrate Gaul, discovering the Romans have recruited British druids. And Maidunite Ragnall finds his loyalties torn when he meets Rome's charismatic general, Julius Caesar.
War is coming. Who will pay its price?
Angus Watson is an author and journalist living in London. He's written hundreds of features for many newspapers including the TimesFinancial Times and the Telegraph, and the latter even sent him to look for Bigfoot. As a fan of both historical fiction and epic fantasy, Angus came up with the idea of writing a fantasy set in the Iron Age when exploring British hillforts for theTelegraph, and developed the story while walking Britain's ancient paths for further articles.
Review: Clash of Iron is the explosive second novel is the Age of Iron series. Angus Watson again combines fact with fiction in a brilliantly inventive way that had me gripped from the very first page to the last. Violence, war, romance, magic...this series has it all along with amazing, witty, lovable characters that drive the fast paced plot along well. The ending of this book is mind blowing and I'm on edge already waiting for the next installment! I hope this series goes on for a very long time because it's unique, interesting and stands out from anything else I've read.

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Book Review Club

The place to get free books, enter competitions and submit your own books for others to read - thebookreviewclub.yolasite.com.
Introducing the first book to be reviewed 'Luke Coles and the Flower of Chiloe' by Josh Walker.
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Luke Coles doesn't remember his past, where he’s from or who he is. After the Battle of Gettysburg, he searches for a home in the old west. Eventually, he finds work as a miner in Mexico and makes a life for himself. 

Then he discovers a new world, a supernatural one. His awareness of the monsters around him causes him to run. On Chiloe Island, he hopes things will return to normal. There, a merchant’s daughter catches his eye. 

Just when he thinks things have returned to normal, the paranormal world sucks him back in. It is then that he finally begins to realize his destiny in a world full of mythological creatures, and magic.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Join The Book Review Club!

This site is designed to connect authors and readers. It's sort of like an online book club! Every 2 weeks, I will send out a book to all members for them to read and review. There is a Facebook page set up for discussion along the way (facebook.com/thebookreviewclub). This is a great way for readers to get their hands on free e-books, and authors to get the reviews they desire! If you have any questions, or wish to speak to me further, please Email Me.

About Forgotten (AM13 Series) (Volume 2) by Samie Sands - Freado

About Forgotten (AM13 Series) (Volume 2) by Samie Sands - Freado

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen

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From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Saving Quinton comes a story about giving in to love-body and soul . . .
Today is the first day of Quinton Carter's new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She's the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he's not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova's life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life's dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova's heart?
Jessica Sorensen is the author of The New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers, The Secret of Ella and Micha, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, and Breaking Nova, which are New Adult Contemporary novels.  She also writes Paranormal series, including the Fallen Star Series, Shattered Promises, Darkness Falls, and the Death Collectors. She loves writing and reading and is an avid watcher of TV series The Vampire Diaries and Modern Family.  An immense music lover,  Jessica immerses herself in her music as she writes.  She has a broad taste in music, and a list of favorite songs that goes on for miles!  A few of her current favorite bands are Chevelle, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie, Flight 409, and Nirvana.  Some of Jessica’s favorite “watch it over, and over again” movies include Anywhere but Here, Juno, Pride and Prejudice, The Hangover, and Bad Teacher.
Review: I've followed the series of Nova and Quinton from the very start and the third and final concluding book is just as amazing as the others. The love story is dark, complex and definitely not a traditional easy-going romance novel, but it's that grittiness that makes it all the more real. It's clear why all the characters begin their decent into drug use, which makes it all the more difficult to feel their struggle out of it and to deal with the ramifications of their behaviour. This is the perfect ending to such a series, it isn't over the top in tone or pace and each and every character gets a believable - if not always happy - finish. Perfect for readers wanting a unique love story.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Liar by Nora Roberts

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The extraordinary new novel by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Collector.
 
Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …
 
The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.
 
Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …
Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.
She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.
Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.
Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.
Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.
Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”
Review: I am a huge fan of Nora Roberts and I was very excited to read The Liar and...oh wow! Shelby is an amazingly well written character and her developing friendship/romance with Griff after her recent tragedy progresses wonderfully. The plot flows perfectly from a clearly failing marriage full of secrets that reveal themselves as events transpire, to a growing mystery filled with tension and highly strung emotion. Considering what happens within the pages of the book, it's brilliant how believable it all is. I would recommend this book highly to anyone who enjoys romance, thrillers, mystery, or just wants something a little unique to read! 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nestled Amongst Temples by Jillian McKay

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Cajoled by her daughter to join her in India to help launch a business venture into fashion design, Nestled Amongst Temples chronicles a six-month career break spent in this beautiful country.  It is a funny, poignant story with undertones of self-discovery as trials and tribulations are met along the way.  Colourful characters encountered during the journey are described in loving detail and with humorous insight.  The wonderful fusion of east and west is depicted beautifully alongside the inevitable culture clashes that occur and the often hilarious consequences of these.
Living in a small house within an Indian suburb, the author and her daughter become a source of great amusement to their neighbours who are both fascinated and bemused by these two western women with their strange antics and puzzling behaviours.  Nestled Amongst Temples not only affords the reader a clear insight into Indian life as viewed through the eyes of a westerner, but also a glimpse of western life as seen through Indian eyes.  Both lenses offer glimmers of hilarity, humanity and hope.
Review: I love this book! It's full of useful information and personal stories. I'd recommend this for anyone travelling to India!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Last Night on Earth by Kevin Maher

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Jay adores his small daughter, Bonnie, and nothing matters more to him than being a good father. But Bonnie's traumatic birth puts an unbearable strain on his marriage with Shauna and the couple eventually separate. Struggling to cope with the separation from three-year-old Bonnie, Jay thinks constantly of his own mother who he hasn't seen since he fled Ireland a decade before.
Resolved to move forward, Jay finds himself a flat-share with two eccentric Kenyan businessmen, snags a role working on a documentary about the Millennium Dome (through 'Dublin Darren', an old laboring contact), and is utterly rigid in his commitment to Bonnie time.
Indeed, things might have even begun to look up were it not for the arrival of an old 'friend' from home. 'The Clappers' is six foot tall, four foot wide, built like several Guinness barrels strapped together, and is all, all woman. She means well, and she means to make everything right for Jay. But inevitably, she makes it wrong.
A helter-skelter dash to Ireland results in some brutal revelations on behalf of Jay's mother, and an inevitable return to London culminates in a midnight epiphany in the shadow of Tony Blair, The Queen, and Auld Lang Syne. Can Jay be a good father to Bonnie? Or is it too late?
Kevin Maher is an Irish writer. He is primarily known as a journalist and film critic, whose work has appeared in The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, and The Observer. His debut novel, The Fields, was published by Reagan Arthur Books in 2013.
Review: Wow. This story just grabs you from the very first page and sucks you into the unusual telling of extraordinary events. Kevin Maher has a fantastic way of giving his characters their own, unique voice in a way that you'll very clearly hear them in your head as you read. Jay and Shauna have a tragic tale to tell and despite their awful circumstances, I was rooting for them every step of the way. This book was not only unique, it was very exciting to read and I got through it really quickly because I just couldn't put it down! If you want something to read that stands out from the crowd, then this is for you!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Shadow Gods Saga by Stefan Vucak

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Book 1 of Shadow Gods Saga, the book that started the incredible epic!

The Four Suns, a backwater system in the Deklan Oligarchy, hides a sinister plot to destabilize the Serrll Combine.
Terrllss-rr, a Second Scout in the Serrll Combine Scout Fleet, is assigned as an aide to an Envoy sent to Elexi, the capital world of the Four Suns, by the Serrll government to investigate allegations of slavery on Anulus.
The Envoy is not there to find evidence to compromise Kapel Pen’s government, but to discover why she has allowed Kunoid Minerals—a company controlled by the Karkan Federation—to extensively mine Anulus. This could destabilize the Serrll metals market and the Serrll government on Captal.
Alasi, a beggar boy on Elexi, sees his family taken into captivity by local priesthood guards. Taking freehold families has become common practice to fuel Anulus’ labor needs. He is tracked down, captured and sold to a slave factor. Terr ends up buying Alasi as proof of illegal slavery, which he thinks the Envoy will be able to use against Kapel.
During a survey of Anulus, Terr’s ship is attacked and he is forced to flee. The pursuing ships catch up with him over Anar’on, the desert world of the fabled nomad Wanderers. His survival blister crashes in the deep desert and he undertakes a trek toward an escarpment in the hope of locating water. The Wanderers find him delirious and dying, and bring him to their village.
Although physically recovered, Terr’s mind is still somewhere in the deep desert. Dharaklin, a young Wanderer on leave from the Fleet, enters Terr’s mind in an attempt to return him to sanity. An adept of the Discipline, Dhar leaves Terr a latency of a terrible power.
Terr partially recovers, but remembers nothing of his past. An old Wanderer takes it on himself to instruct him in the life of a Saddish-aa Wanderer. To regain his memory, Terr is forced to confront the gods of Death, and comes away with more than his memory. He returns to Elexi for a final confrontation with Kapel Pen, forcing him to use his power over Death.
Against the Gods of Shadow, Stefan Vucak, Author

Book 2 of Shadow Gods Saga

In an effort to expand their political influence within the Serrll Combine, the Sargon Directorate and the Palean Union are working to merge.
To gain an extra seat in the ruling Executive Council, they need to boost the total number of star systems they now occupy. To achieve this, Sargon and the Paleans are coercing independent systems to join them. Pizgor’s five systems are the prize, but it is resisting all overtures to force it to join Sargon. In retaliation, the Palean Union establishes a clandestine base near Pizgor space and engages marauding raiders to prey on its commerce. Pizgor petitions the Serrll General Assembly to destroy the raiders, accusing Sargon and the Paleans of piracy and political intimidation.
Second Scout Terrllss-rr is tasked to locate the raider base in an attempt to link its activities to the Palean Union, unmasking the merger plot. Despite support from the Serrll Scout Fleet, Terr is dubious that his effort will succeed, but he has his orders.
While escorting a supply ship, Terr feigns drive problems and falls back, leaving the supply ship unprotected—a lure for any prowling raider. A renegade Palean First Scout commanding a Fleet warship and an armed merchant auxiliary, is lying in wait. He detects Terr’s supply ship and attacks, forcing Terr flee toward a nearby gas giant. The renegade cannot allow the knowledge that the raiders are using a Fleet vessel to become known and pursues, but Terr manages to elude him and reports his findings to Pizgor.
He is directed to search two likely outposts that may hold a raider support base. He encounters a raider about to attack a commercial ship and captures it. Interrogating its commander, Terr obtains the location of the raider base and the Scout Fleet moves in. The political fallout against Sargon and the Paleans has serious economic repercussions for both and derails the merger.
But Terr’s mission is not over and an elaborate trap brings a confrontation with the renegade Fleet officer.
Stefan Vucak
Stefan Vucak is an award-winning author of seven techno sci-fi novels. His political thriller, Cry of Eagles, won the coveted 2011 Readers Favorite silver medal award, and his 'All the Evils' was the 2013 prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers' Favorite silver medal winner. His 'Strike for Honor' won the Readers' Favorite gold medal. Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry and applied that discipline to create realistic, highly believable storylines for his books. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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Review: I am posting about these books together because I have just finished reading them both and I am already totally gripped by the series! I love sci fi novels and the Shadow Gods Saga is rapidly becoming one of my favourite series ever. Not only are the books extremely well written with wonderfully complex characters, the plot is also extremely easy to keep track of. Sometimes authors pile on so much information that it's a challenge to keep track of what's going on - but that just isn't the case here at all. I really cannot wait to read the rest of the series!!