"Child's Play" is the 4th in a series of books by Darcia Helle. If you're new to the series, I think you can still enjoy the book without reading the"Child's Play" is the 4th in a series of books by Darcia Helle. If you're new to the series, I think you can still enjoy the book without reading the others first because with each of her novels in this series, Helle has included enough background to enable the reader to understand the story without needing to have already met the characters. However, the first three books are excellent so I would definitely recommend you read them too.
"Child's Play" is quite a dark novel, and I've come to expect this from Helle's writing. She does always have just the right balance between dark and light as there's a good dose of humour in all of her work. The subject for this work is perhaps one of the most disturbing as it involves child abduction, and child trafficking, abuse, and pornography. Helle's character Sean is seen at his most brutal as he deals with the criminals in a way only he could do.
Helle has a talent for building suspense in her stories. This is most noticeable whenever Sean and Michael have caught a criminal and are about to set about trying to get answers. There is that expectation of violence, and there are some quite hard-hitting scenes, but somehow the author always stops short of allowing the violence to become gratuitous. It's one of the things I admire about her writing.
In this story there is a lot of tension as we follow the characters who are trying to track down members of a paedophile ring.
When the character Kate is introduced, one of Nikki's old friends, the story takes an interesting twist and becomes more fast-paced until the nail-biting conclusion.
The criminal element of the story is nicely balanced with the romance element as we follow the interaction between Michael and Sean with their respective partners.
This is a compulsive, emotional, and edge-of-your-seat read. Highly recommended if you like crime, action, edgy, suspense fiction....more
The fun thing about this series of books is that they're all set on the same island, Dovetail Cove, and you meet some new characters in each book butThe fun thing about this series of books is that they're all set on the same island, Dovetail Cove, and you meet some new characters in each book but also learn a bit more about other characters that you may have met in previous books. Redhead is the third in the series, I think, but the order doesn't really matter because the novellas can be read in any order and can be read alone without reading any of the others. So far I've read three of the stories and they are all dark, mysterious, and intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading more.
In Redhead we meet Fanny, the town prostitute. The story is told from her point of view; at the beginning we're told that she killed two men and this story is her confession. That is a great way to start. It really caught my interest. We follow Fanny's story, which tells of murder, betrayal, lust, regret, and how one person's actions can affect a whole community. This is a tragic tale but is told in a very entertaining way. Fanny is a very believable character and all of the players in the story are larger than life. It kept me interested and, like all of Jason McIntyre's fiction, it is multi-layered and engaging....more
I love Tom Upton's writing style and quirky characters. Julia (Jules) is known as a freak because of her paranormal abilities. In these two entertainiI love Tom Upton's writing style and quirky characters. Julia (Jules) is known as a freak because of her paranormal abilities. In these two entertaining short novellas, we follow her on a journey of self-discovery. The teenager struggles to come to terms with her own powers and how they affect the world around her. There is intrigue, danger, adventure, and a lot of imagination in these two stories.
In the first tale, a girl disappears at Jules' school and she is called on to use her special abilities to find the girl before it's too late. In the second story, Jules is again coerced into assisting with something she is initially reluctant to do; High School athletes are bursting into flames and no one knows why. Can Freaky Jules get to the bottom of it? Joining her in her adventures is a boy called Jack, who has an interest in all things paranormal and is also hoping to win Jules' heart.
Forever Freaky contains many interesting and realistic characters. These fun fantasy/paranormal tales come across as quite believable even though there are many strange things going on, which shows how skilled this writer is. I was drawn into the stories and enjoyed every page. I will definitely be looking out for more of this author's books....more
This is a good book that is potentially life-changing. The main message is that living in the present is the most powerful thing you can do. Most peopThis is a good book that is potentially life-changing. The main message is that living in the present is the most powerful thing you can do. Most people are too caught up with their future plans or looking back on the past. This book will remind of things you really already know but that are easy to forget especially when we live such fast-paced lives. Being fully present and accepting the moment and circumstances you find yourself in as if you'd chosen them is a very powerful way to stay positive and make changes in your life. Eckhart Tolle uses many examples from his own life and hypothetical situations. It's an engrossing read and there is a lot of wisdom within the pages. Definitely worth reading. ...more
Dark Flash is a collection of 8 flash fiction stories that originally appeared on R.B. Wood's Word Count Podcast. I remember reading a couple of themDark Flash is a collection of 8 flash fiction stories that originally appeared on R.B. Wood's Word Count Podcast. I remember reading a couple of them when the author posted them on her website and I enjoyed them, so I jumped at the chance to read an e-book with all of the stories in it. The first story "The Unicorn" was one of those that I had already read. It's a fantasy tale that contains a touch of magic and horror. It is a wonderfully imaginative story that has an unexpected twist at the end. A common thread running through most of these stories is that of memories, and sometimes memories from past lives or other worlds.
The second story,"Nemesis", is a fascinating and entertaining story that looks at the idea of reincarnation and past lives. It's followed by the poignant "Miriam and Cat". This story was one I'd read before but on re-reading I picked up on another theme that runs through the story, one which I'd missed on the first reading. It's a wonderful fantasy tale about loyalty and dependence, told in an enchanting way with a cat being the main character.
"Treasure Island" is another story where different worlds and timelines collide in the most interesting way. This one will have you guessing until the end and even then you won't be sure; it's a multi-layered and thought-provoking tale about dreams and revenge.
"True Words (Kirke's Bed & Breakfast)" is a dark, speculative fiction tale that builds slowly. Chloe has returned to a beach that holds a secret from her youth. The author weaves a mystical tale with a breathtaking ending.
"Chiaroscuro" is probably my favourite story in this collection. It's a story of obsession and secrets that will keep you guessing up until its surprising ending.
"OK Computer" is an awesome science fiction story about computers, future technology, and precognition. The ending again is one that creeps up on you unexpectedly.
The final story, "The Demon", is a bit of a thriller, and it also contains elements of fantasy and magic. It has a satisfying and unexpected ending; a great way to end this brilliant collection of stories.
Maria Haskins' tales are short but full of substance. These are the sort of stories that you could read again and again, and each time you'll take something else from them. They are full of imaginative, thought-provoking ideas and otherworldly characters. The prose is eloquent and draws the reader in with intriguing storylines and fantastical journeys to other worlds and timelines. It will make you think.
This is a wonderfully engrossing tale that kept me hooked from the start. There is a story within a story, and there seems to be a theme of connectionThis is a wonderfully engrossing tale that kept me hooked from the start. There is a story within a story, and there seems to be a theme of connection running throughout about how everything and everyone is part of the bigger picture, each person's story making up the whole. Twelve-and-a-half year-old Farrah visits a market and buys a mystery box from quite a mysterious woman. Farrah is eager to share her find with her grandmother. Farrah has already opened the box and finds nothing of real interest but is sure that her gran will be able to tell her a story that will bring the box alive.
Deathbed is a story that thrills and entertains the reader with lots of intrigue, adventure, and a touch of horror. The descriptive quality of the writing is excellent. There is a lot of wisdom in the pages, with thought-provoking and memorable quotes. The great thing is, Dovetail Cove is a series of books by Jason McIntyre, which means the reader can take another trip to this fascinating place by reading another story in the series. I am definitely going to be visiting again soon....more
This is a well-researched and well written book about true crimes. It was eye opening for me because I was not familiar with the history of Canada andThis is a well-researched and well written book about true crimes. It was eye opening for me because I was not familiar with the history of Canada and the way in which indigenous people have been treated in that country over the years. Katherine McCarthy's account of the missing and murdered women's cases and the way the authorities often turned a blind eye to what was going on, is quite shocking and definitely makes you think. In this book, the author has highlighted specific cases and documented the crimes of serial killers who preyed on vulnerable indigenous women and girls. She has referred to statistical information to back up her findings. It's not an easy read because much of the subject matter is disturbing, but it's a book that should be read by all because it sheds light on a matter that appears to have been covered up for a long time....more
Susie Satchel is either the luckiest or unluckiest woman on the planet, depending on how you look at it. In this novel we follow her through a seriesSusie Satchel is either the luckiest or unluckiest woman on the planet, depending on how you look at it. In this novel we follow her through a series of adventures, some funny but some extremely sad.
When you look at the cover and the title and even when you first start reading it, it's easy to think that it will be just a fun chick-lit read, but "Stuff the Turkey" is so much more than that. It is a rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows. It's well-observed and the characters are very believable.
When the book starts, Susie is in a steady relationship and is very happy after starting a new job as a teaching assistant. When her colleagues play a practical joke on her she is left humiliated, but she does her best to see the funny side.
Christmas proves to be life-changing for Susie in more ways than one. "Stuff the Turkey" is written in the first person, so sometimes it did feel a bit like reading someone's diary or journal. It's a bit like a modern Bridget Jones.
The novel is fast-paced and kept me interested. I'd love to see it on the big screen as a romantic comedy.
The ending isn't really an ending, and I was pleased about that. I'm looking forward to reading more about Susie Satchel's adventures in the future....more
Mystic Water is no ordinary place, it has a magical quality; nothing is really what it seems. The author has a wonderful, original style of writing, wMystic Water is no ordinary place, it has a magical quality; nothing is really what it seems. The author has a wonderful, original style of writing, where she describes everything by sounds and smells that really bring the story alive. The main character in this fantasy story is Anna, a baker, who has inherited her talent for baking, and the family bakery, from her grandmother. All her life, she has heard the stories and rumours about her grandmother and grandfather. Mystic Water is a small town where everyone knows everyone. When Anna's boyfriend leaves town to take a job far away and doesn't ask her to go with him, Anna is left alone and feels rejected. With the help of her best friend and a bit of magic she is soon back on her feet, but who is the mysterious Eli, and will he come between her and one of her oldest friends?
This story is really well written and engaging. It's like a fairy tale for grown ups. The descriptive quality of the writing and the way the characters all seem so real, makes this book one that you can get lost in. "The Baker's Man" is a magical escape from reality that I would recommend to anyone who likes romantic fiction and fantasy....more
Another great read from this talented author. Tim Baker's novels always have plenty of suspense, adventure, and humour. Blood in the Water is no excepAnother great read from this talented author. Tim Baker's novels always have plenty of suspense, adventure, and humour. Blood in the Water is no exception.
I've read a few books by this author and it's like reading a series—even though there is no continuing story as such—because he sets his stories on Flagler Beach in Florida and many of the same characters pop up in each of his novels.
I enjoyed this story. It's a fast-paced read that makes you want to turn the pages to find out what happens. The ending made me wonder if there might be a sequel; it was very thought-provoking and rounded the story off nicely but with enough intrigue to start me thinking about what could happen next. An entertaining read with a complex but easy to follow storyline.
A 300-year-old Spanish coin found at sea begins the adventure, which takes many dangerous twists and turns. There is also the parallel story of a murder investigation. An engrossing story that kept me interested. ...more
Already a fan of Scott M. Liddell's writing having read his debut novel The Beatle Man, I was keen to read this new book. Terra Exitus is a brilliantAlready a fan of Scott M. Liddell's writing having read his debut novel The Beatle Man, I was keen to read this new book. Terra Exitus is a brilliant novel. There are so many passages of prose that make you stop and think; insightful observations about life and human nature.
The main character heads to London alone after the death of his mother. He is totally disillusioned with the way his life has unfolded and the way people behave. One weekend he sets up a website just as a way to pass a few lonely hours and is surprised to find so many like-minded people agreeing with him about the state of the planet and wanting to escape.
The website is soon a great success and he is unable to keep up with the demands. He asks a friend for help and then finds himself thrown into the spotlight as the media try to find out more about his cause.
There are so many unexpected twists and turns in this book. The story is quite sad but it is also deep and I'm sure that many people will find it an irresistible read.
The characters are all very realistic. Although the main character seems to have given up on humanity, it is easy to like him and empathise with him.
A well written book that contains a message of profound wisdom. ...more
I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I've never read these types of stories before but one of my favourite authors, Maria HaI didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I've never read these types of stories before but one of my favourite authors, Maria Haskins, has a story featured in it so I was eager to read it.
I admit to being a bit confused when I read the first story, wondering whether this was a book about different types of worlds as the title suggests "Alternate Earths", but when I got to the end of the story and the author's note explained the idea behind it, I realised what a brilliant tale it was. Very cleverly written and thought-provoking.
All the stories in this collection will make you wonder. The authors have imagined what our world would have been like had certain things happened or not happened. For example, if a meteorite had landed in a different place.
As with all anthologies, it is a bit of a mixed bag and there were stories that I enjoyed more than others because of the writing style and content. My favourites included "Stargazing on Oxford Street", "The Secret War", and "Tunguska". All the stories are well worth reading and will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction as well as speculative fiction. ...more
Emily is on her way home after a night out in London. She takes the Tube in the middle of the night. Her journey starts off quite normally but then thEmily is on her way home after a night out in London. She takes the Tube in the middle of the night. Her journey starts off quite normally but then things start to take a strange turn when the train stops between stations causing the passengers to panic. I found the descriptive quality of the writing enthralling. This short story is a prelude to the author's novel due to be released next year. As a stand alone short story it is thought provoking but leaves many questions unanswered. I think that was probably deliberate because after reading this story readers will be eager to fill in the gaps. It held my interest from the beginning and is definitely a page turner. In this story we follow Emily as she tries to make her way home. This is quite a creepy tale that touches on themes such as mind control and the paranormal. A well crafted prelude to what I expect will be a brilliant novel....more
I am familiar with Eden Baylee's work having read a few of her short stories and her novel Stranger at Sunset. I've always enjoyed her work. She's a vI am familiar with Eden Baylee's work having read a few of her short stories and her novel Stranger at Sunset. I've always enjoyed her work. She's a very skilled author. The descriptive quality of her writing puts the reader in the characters' shoes and evokes imagery so that it almost feels as if you are watching the action.
I was not familiar with the Lei Crime series and understand that these books are only available from Amazon.com at the moment. The author kindly gifted a copy to me so that I could read it.
A Snake in Paradise is a quick read that has a lot of depth. Lainey Lee is a 49-year-old woman who is newly divorced. She travels to Hawaii, somewhere she has always wanted to visit. The prologue sets the scene for some kind of criminal activity but doesn't give too much away. We then follow Lainey on her trip as she meets up with many interesting characters. This story will keep you guessing, and as it unfolds it becomes clear that this paradise destination is not as heavenly as it first seemed.
I enjoyed this story and would describe it as a page turner because it's the kind of book that you want to carry on reading to find out what happens next. ...more
I always look forward to reading anything by Julie Elizabeth Powell. She's one of the most imaginative writers I know. This short story sees the authoI always look forward to reading anything by Julie Elizabeth Powell. She's one of the most imaginative writers I know. This short story sees the author take a different direction with her writing (unsurprisingly as she is very experimental and writes in different genres). "The World According To Want" is a science fiction short story set one thousand years in the future. The author explores what could happen if the world changed in such a way that people were given the chance to have whatever they want. We meet two characters who are disillusioned about how the world has changed and are both in their own way trying to make a difference. It's a quick and interesting read that will make you think.
The author has included some enjoyable and thought-provoking bonus content: two poems and a flash fiction piece....more
I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I knew it was a short story collection featuring characters from Wendy Janes' novel WhaI didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book. I knew it was a short story collection featuring characters from Wendy Janes' novel What Jennifer Knows, so that made me wonder whether it would have been better to read the novel first. I decided to read this book first anyway, and am very glad I did. It is wonderful as a stand-alone collection of stories. It's also a great introduction to Wendy Janes' writing. The first chapter of her novel is also included at the end. I enjoyed all the stories and the sample chapter from the novel.
Wendy Janes is a talented writer. I found myself really drawn into the stories. The characters are all so realistic and this author has a way of taking you inside their minds and making you understand them and empathise with their feelings. The stand-out stories for me were "Hopes and Dreams" and "The Never-Ending Day", but I loved all the stories for different reasons and liked the way that there were links here and there between the stories, with some characters appearing in more than one of the tales. This is a really special book, very cleverly put together, and I'm happy to have found a new favourite author. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't familiar with this author, so didn't really know what to expect but I was quickly drawn in by his fast-paced stylI really enjoyed this book. I wasn't familiar with this author, so didn't really know what to expect but I was quickly drawn in by his fast-paced style and the intriguing storyline.
It's a thriller with some quite graphic scenes of violence, so it may not be suitable for the fainthearted. Having said that, there is no gratuitous violence. It's well balanced and fits with the story.
Daniel Beckett is a private investigator who is hired by a successful young fashion designer, Sara Holt, after a series of break-ins at her flat. Is she imagining it all (she has had a breakdown in the past), or is someone behind this and the recent intimidation she has suffered on the street?
The action takes place over only a couple of days. The story is full of surprises, and twists and turns. It is a real 'page-turner'. The characters are all very true-to-life and well-developed.
Daniel Beckett is a bit of a James Bond figure. It did make me wonder what he looks like because he seems to be irresistible to women! He meets a few women in the course of the story who immediately fall for his charms. There is quite a lot of sex in the story but it's not erotica; there's no superfluous detail involved.
The story moves along quickly and the author does a great job in what must have been a hard novel to write as it's a complex chain of events.
A skillfully devised plot, very well written, entertaining, and full of action. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes to get lost in a story.
This is a wonderful little book for writers and aspiring writers. It's a quick read, but a book full of wisdom that I'm sure I will read again and agaThis is a wonderful little book for writers and aspiring writers. It's a quick read, but a book full of wisdom that I'm sure I will read again and again. I've seen lots of Khaled Talib's inspirational quotes on his Facebook and Twitter pages over the years and have always enjoyed them. They are simple but thought-provoking. This is a collection of quotes about writers and the things that inspires words and novels; a celebration of words and the magic of art and writing. It's an uplifting and encouraging selection of quotes for writers and artists. There's also a good dose of humour within the pages. Well worth reading....more
I really enjoyed this book. It's a fast-paced, quick read, full of adventure. A page turner in the true sense as it will keep you wondering what willI really enjoyed this book. It's a fast-paced, quick read, full of adventure. A page turner in the true sense as it will keep you wondering what will happen next. Casey Stewart goes on a blind date with a young woman, Violet. He is then fired from his job and decides to go on a road trip to escape from his life that has become mundane. Violet invites herself along and they embark on an adventure. Casey learns more about his mysterious companion but is left wondering whether everything he's told is true. She is certainly an intriguing character who seems to hold many secrets. Casey also has a past that he hasn't come to terms with. As we follow the pair on the road trip, and after a visit to Casey's brother, we learn more and more about Casey's past. The ending of the book is particularly well done, and quite poignant. This is a book that will entertain you and make you think. It's written with humour but seems to have a deeper meaning, with themes that include regret, blame, guilt, secrets, and loss. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Having read No Good deed and Living the Dream, I was looking forward to reading this one. Tim Baker is a brilliant writer.I really enjoyed this book. Having read No Good deed and Living the Dream, I was looking forward to reading this one. Tim Baker is a brilliant writer. His novels are always full of humour and plenty of twists and turns. "Eyewitness Blues" is another action-packed book that is entertaining and contains the inspired and thought-provoking prose that I have come to expect from this author.
We follow the hapless Martin Aquino in this crime-fuelled adventure. He travels to Flagler Beach in Florida, and there we meet some of the characters from Tim Baker's earlier novels, including Ike. Ike is a larger than life character who regularly appears in this author's books. There's a bonus short story at the end of the book, which is taken from a collection of short stories that feature Ike.
There are so many interesting and realistic characters in "Eyewitness Blues". It will have you on the edge of your seat.
Tim Baker's novels are always engrossing and compelling, and "Eyewitness Blues" is no exception. It's a fun read that also has a deeper meaning. It's always wonderful when you find a writer who knows how to weave compulsive and entertaining tales that also contain important observations about life and human nature. ...more
I enjoyed this story. There's an assortment of interesting characters and it was intriguing enough to keep me hooked to the last page. Ricer is a struI enjoyed this story. There's an assortment of interesting characters and it was intriguing enough to keep me hooked to the last page. Ricer is a struggling young artist when we meet him. He moves into a basement and begins an odd relationship with his landlady who is an older woman. It seems that all the people we meet in this book have different motivations and are using each other for different reasons. We follow Ricer's journey as he tries to make a name for himself in the art world.
Reading this novel is a bit like being a fly on the wall and observing some strange goings on. All the characters could easily be real people; the author has a talent for creating perfectly flawed, realistic characters.
I liked the way the book is set out with chapter titles that relate to words used in the chapter.
The main characters are Ricer, his two teenage friends JPeg and Nasty, his landlady, and a journalist Pete. A motley crew. The interplay between all the players is very well done. A good book, entertaining, and well worth reading. ...more
This is a well written, entertaining novel that kept me interested. I enjoyed the time travel aspect and think the author did a great job with this coThis is a well written, entertaining novel that kept me interested. I enjoyed the time travel aspect and think the author did a great job with this complex storyline. We follow Annasophia backwards and forwards in time between 1973 and 2010, as her relationship with her music teacher takes an unexpected turn when he is close to death. A tale that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Ultimately, it's a love story, and quite a passionate one. Thomma Lyn Grindstaff is a talented author who has her own unique style. Worth reading. ...more