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Review: ‘The Bumpkinton Tales: Volume 1’ by Matthew Drzymala

Genre: Short Story Collection
Length: 300 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this collection 5 stars.

Synopsis: Welcome to Bumpkinton! Come in, have a cup of tea and a scone, and lose yourself in five humorous tales from the village. Follow Father Whitworth O’Grady as he chokes on a penny, Albert Scatterhorn as he becomes the grubbiest Father Christmas ever, and Amelia Goose as she feuds with… well, anybody. Plus a whole host of characters as they attend the village’s first Singles Night with a sex-crazed ladies’ man. Jump in and find out more for yourself…

Review: I just love this collection! I read ‘Bittersweet’ by Drzymala a little while ago (also included in this collection) and fell in love with the charming characters. When I saw this being discussed on the authors Facebook page, I knew I had to read it!

I was not disappointed. This collection reads exactly as ‘Bittersweet’ did. It has the same charm about it and the same characters that I’ve grown to love, even if they are strange!

Growing up in a small village, I am fully aware of the fact that everyone knows everyone and nothing is a secret! I felt that Drzymala portrayed this very effectively.

★★★★★ – A great read about the charms of living in a place where everyone knows everyone (and everything!). Thoroughly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Love, Death and Tea’ by Will Once

Genre: Humour
Length: 262 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: I was not having a good apocalypse.

When the world ends, we all expect to be one of the good guys – a gun-toting hero in a world of flesh-eating zombies and other assorted creatures of the night.

But what if you find yourself on the wrong side? What if you become a zombie instead of a survivor, in a landscape of dragons, wizards and witches? When your girlfriend takes you on a mad quest to find a man who may or may not exist, while trying to evade a Government intent on grinding your bones into dust?

That is what happened to me when normal life was suddenly switched off. I became an outcast, an outlaw and the unlikeliest hero of all.

This is my story. I am dying to tell it to you.

Review: Well, this book is certainly crazy… but I loved it! If you want zombies, witches, dwarves, dragons and a quest, all wrapped up in a ball of crazy humour, this is definitely the book for you!

This is not your typical apocalypse story. By any means! It was very interesting to see the story told from the perspective of a zombie! It took me a little while to get into this story, but when I did I found it difficult to put down. It was so crazy that I had to keep reading to see what else could possibly happen! I really liked the characters!

Strangely, even though this book was completely crazy, it was also believable and everything slotted into place perfectly. Very highly recommended!

★★★★★ – Absolutely crazy but a great read! Very highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Symbiosis’ by Guy Portman

Genre: Thriller, psychological
Length: 244 pages (approx.)
Symbiosis
I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal… Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?

Review: This is the first book that I have read by Guy Portman, but it definitely won’t be the last!

I’ll admit that when I started this book, I was a little reluctant to get through it. The start was a little confusing and when the twins started talking in a different language, I thought that this book wasn’t for me. However, as the story continued, I really got to know the characters and the story grabbed me. I finished this book in 3 hours, while on the train. It was impossible to put down!

I really liked that as the story progressed, the idea of individuality was brought into question. I really started to feel sorry for the twins and how they are not seen as two people, especially by their mother. We really see the twins grow up through the book, which was a lovely way of getting to know them.

★★★★★- Overall, a wonderful read. Very thought provoking and nicely paced. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Void’ by David M. Staniforth

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

VOID medSynopsis: A void in one’s memory is filled with more than the fear of not knowing,
it swirls with the dread of what those missing memories might contain.
When a young man wakens in a freezing car, his mind a complete blank,
he embarks upon a journey that brings that very dread to the fore.

Who is he?
What has he done?
Where does he belong?
Why can he not remember?

VOID: a psychological journey of discovery that forces the question: To what extent can our memories be trusted?

Review:  This was a really interesting read. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I lost a week or more of my time each year and didn’t remember where I went or who I was!

This story was believable and interesting. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep my attention and I didn’t see them coming at all. I really liked the character of Tom and found myself feeling very sympathetic to his plight, particularly at the beginning of the story when he didn’t know who he was!

What I really liked about the story was it was written in such a way that the reader was finding out the information at the same time as the characters, rather than the story jumping backwards and forwards. This kept up the level of suspense in the story.

I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for a good read. You certainly won’t be disappointed!

★★★★★ – An interesting, believable story about a man who goes missing and doesn’t remember who he is for a week each January. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

 

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Review: ‘A Gangster’s Grip’ by Heather Burnside

Genre: Crime / Thriller
Length: 266 pages (approx.)

This is book 2 in the Riverhill Trilogy

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: When Rita returns to Manchester after a few years away, she doesn’t expect to find a spliff smoking, beer swilling thug called Leroy firmly ensconced on her parents’ sofa. Rita is horrified to discover he is her sister Jenny’s new boyfriend, and she senses trouble. The more Rita finds out about Leroy, the more she mistrusts him. As she uncovers the truth about his shady dealings, she becomes anxious about Jenny’s safety and is desperate to lure her away from him. Rita’s mettle is tested as she tries to protect her sister while battling with personal health concerns. But it’s worse than Rita could ever have suspected. Through her association with Leroy, Jenny is about to become embroiled in the most dangerous phase in Manchester’s recent history.

Review: To begin with, I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure about this book. I had given Slur, the first book in this series, a four star review, so I knew that this book had a lot to live up to. I’m incredibly glad that I read this book as I enjoyed it immensely – even more than the first book!

I loved the characters and how much they had grown and matured from the first book, which I felt made the story a lot more engaging. They were believable and interesting, and it was impossible not to care about them. I even found myself tearing up at times due to the situations that they had got themselves in!

This book was fast-paced and full of action, and there was plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged (I don’t want to give anything away, but I definitely didn’t see the ending coming!). I felt that there was just the right amount of description to make it effective and without detracting from the pace of the story. I was also glad that the descriptions weren’t too gore-y, which allowed me to create a vivid picture in my mind.

Some very clever writing and I eagerly await the next instalment in the trilogy.

★★★★★ – Fast-paced and full of action, with plenty of twists and turns. Believable characters and an effective use of description. Very cleverly written and highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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Review: ‘Melophobia’ by James Morris

Genre: 
Length: 265 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Synopsis: Melophobia: fear or hatred of music.

The time—now; the place—America, but in a world where the government controls all forms of art and creativity. Any music sowing the seeds of anarchy is banned—destroyed if found—its creators and listeners harshly punished. Merrin Pierce works as an undercover Patrol officer assigned to apprehend a fugitive musician who threatens the safe fabric of society, only to confront everything she thought to be true – her values, upbringing, job, and future.

Can love survive in a world without music?

Review: I’d like to begin my review by saying I love the cover for this book. Simple but portrays the subject of the book brilliantly!

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of this book. The synopsis screamed ‘Footloose’ at me, which I love, so I wasn’t sure if this book would be for me. I’m so glad I gave it a chance though! I was definitely wrong.

I loved the concept. It was well thought out and interesting, with elements of humour injected in. I really loved the characters, especially Merrin; we really see her grow throughout the novel. There were plenty of twists and turns throughout the novel that I honestly didn’t see coming. Very clever writing! I look forward to reading more.

★★★★★ – A well thought out and cleverly written novel. Plenty of twists and turns and great characters. Highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)

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Review: ‘Extra-Curricular’ by Marc Nash

Genre: Anthology
Length: 129 pages (44 short stories)

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I have awarded this collection 5 stars.

Synopsis:Marc Nash’s fifth collection of flash fiction and his most daring and innovative yet. Tales of Military Bands, Flea Circuses, Dying Languages, Witch Trials, Drones, Gumshoes, Bedroom Physics, Death Squads, Blind Lovers, Junky Angels, Poker Tics, Thermal Imaging Voyeurism, Recycling Etiquette, Plastic Surgery Zombies… 44 tales they didn’t teach you at school but should have been on the curriculum.

Review: I’ve been lucky enough to interview Marc Nash in the past and his sense of humour was brilliant. When this collection of 44 short stories was released, I knew I had to have it! I wasn’t disappointed.

I absolutely loved this collection. It was such a fun and clever read! Nash’s creativity shines through as this collection deals with just about every school subject imaginable but definitely not the way that they were taught in school! It’s difficult to name a favourite as I enjoyed them all!

I honestly cannot recommend this book more highly! Grab a copy now!

★★★★★- A fantastically clever collection of short stories. Very highly recommended!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)