I enjoyed these stories. It's a quick read. Perfect for reading at Christmastime. The stories are not entirely original, as they're based on tales andI enjoyed these stories. It's a quick read. Perfect for reading at Christmastime. The stories are not entirely original, as they're based on tales and legends from around the world, nevertheless, they are uplifting and contain important messages of hope and love. ...more
First in a series, in this 'weird' story, we're introduced to Henry Darling and follow him on his first adventure. I really enjoyed this story. It kepFirst in a series, in this 'weird' story, we're introduced to Henry Darling and follow him on his first adventure. I really enjoyed this story. It kept me hooked from the start and it's wonderfully imaginative. Henry has been through an experience that changed him and now he collects oddities. His wife and his unlikely friend Brett are his companions and helpers. This is a truly unique story from a talented writer. I have enjoyed all of Julie Elizabeth Powell's books and was eager to read this one. The characters are quirky and it's a fast-paced and exciting read. If you haven't read any of this author's work, 'Weird' would be a great place to start. I can't wait for the next story in the series! ...more
What is Christmas and why was it banned? Two questions that the protagonists in this story need to find out. This is a wonderful fantasy tale set someWhat is Christmas and why was it banned? Two questions that the protagonists in this story need to find out. This is a wonderful fantasy tale set some time in the future. I really liked the message behind this story. It's a message of peace and, as such, is a perfect Christmas read. The two main characters, Thomat and Draven, are breaking the rules by entering the mysterious library that contains the answers they need.
This is a short tale but a complex one, and it's well written. I liked the interaction between the characters.
Julie Elizabeth Powell's stories are always very imaginative and this is no exception....more
This is not your usual Christmas collection of stories. There are no tales of magic and miracles to be found. In this book, the author has collected tThis is not your usual Christmas collection of stories. There are no tales of magic and miracles to be found. In this book, the author has collected together short stories that show another side of Christmas. An equally important side. There are people who, for whatever reason, may not be enjoying the Christmas season, and these stories looks at a few examples. Christmas comes every year and, therefore, brings with it memories. In 'Hark' you will find stories of regret, loneliness, fear, pain. That's not to say that it's a depressing read. On the contrary, I enjoyed reading these stories because the characters seem like real people and their emotions are so well portrayed. The author has a talent for bringing characters to life. This is a well written collection. All the stories were enjoyable for different reasons, but I think my favourite is the last story 'The Heralds' because there is a great twist and it is uplifting as well as being insightful. I liked the ending of 'Snow Globe'; it's a great example of the author's ability to understand the complexities of human nature. Although all the stories have a dark side, there is also fun to be found among the pages, most notably in the story, 'Seducing Santa'.
I'd definitely recommend this book, especially as a Christmas read. The sights and sounds of the season are intertwined with the deep and poignant characters' stories. ...more
I really love the honesty and the astute observation in this poetry collection. This is the first collection of Ben Ditmars's poetry that I have read,I really love the honesty and the astute observation in this poetry collection. This is the first collection of Ben Ditmars's poetry that I have read, (I've read his book of plays, Ten Minutes in Heaven, which is brilliant). This poetry collection shows Ditmars's skill at taking everyday events and finding inspiration and then creating something that is art in the form of words. There are many poems, different styles, free verse. The introduction of the book tells us that in "Inhale the Night" the poet is expressing his journey in his search for love and there are many poignant verses that I'm sure many people will relate to. I have a few favourites. One that stood out to me was Dark Knowledge. I think I liked this one because it was telling us a whole story in verse form and was also dealing with a heartbreaking subject. Many of the poems are very short, but for me the brevity was refreshing and it was nice that so much could be expressed in so few words. There are many poems in this collection that will make the reader reflect on his/her own life and that will make you think. It contains a whole spectrum of emotions from total despair to complete joy. I liked how some of the poems were inspired by things the poet had read or seen: photographs, stories etc. A wonderful collection. Well worth a read....more
I really enjoyed this action-packed novel. It's the third in a brilliant crime fiction series, but I think it could probably be read and enjoyed by soI really enjoyed this action-packed novel. It's the third in a brilliant crime fiction series, but I think it could probably be read and enjoyed by someone who hasn't read the first two books. I would, however, highly recommend the other two books in the series as must-reads.
Jack Lockwood is an entertaining, enigmatic, and larger than life character. I could really imagine a TV series or even film series with this character's stories being portrayed on screen.
Fans of the Jack Lockwood series will love Sheer Fear. It contains the same mix of quirky characters, conspiracy theories, and corruption, as the other two books. As in the other two books, Jack finds his life is in danger because of information he holds.
The book is fast-paced, full of realistic characters and situations, as well as containing nail biting action scenes.
In Sheer Fear, Jack takes it upon himself to clear the name of David Hart who was accused of a string of rapes and murders. Jack is convinced that a very influential man, of great wealth and stature, is trying to cover up vital evidence relating to crimes that were carried out many years before.
Jack faces many attempts on his own life. Can he even trust the woman he loves?
There are lots of twists and turns in the book. Each chapter brings something new to the story.
If you like detective stories or murder mysteries you should definitely read this series. ...more
This falls probably somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars for me. I only carried on reading it because it's by Paulo Coelho and I usually enjoy his books.This falls probably somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars for me. I only carried on reading it because it's by Paulo Coelho and I usually enjoy his books. I enjoyed some of it but found it read more like a diary than a novel. The main character is not likeable at all. She is going through some sort of mid-life crisis, which probably explains her irrational thoughts, but still... It felt at times that the author was trying to speak through the characters, so parts of it read like a self-help book.
There was one chapter towards the end of the book that was brilliantly written and much more like the usual Paulo Coelho spiritual novels, but the rest of the book was quite uninspiring. The erotic content was a bit off-putting as well.
I'm not sure whether much of the meaning was lost in translation, that may be part of the problem. ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It's a story that kept me hooked and was so well written that I could imagine the scenes playing out before me. The authorI really enjoyed this book. It's a story that kept me hooked and was so well written that I could imagine the scenes playing out before me. The author is a great storyteller with a wonderful imagination. This story seems to be all about how memories are unreliable and how reality and fantasy easily become blurred when looking back on childhood events, and life in general. Gaiman's fantastical tale is one that will make you think.
The narrator is a forty-something man revisiting his childhood home and looking back at his life when he was 7 years old. As a child he lived close to the farm owned by the Hempstocks: Old Mrs Hempstock; Ginnie, her daughter; and eleven-year-old Lettie Hempstock. The trio seem to have been around since time began. Their farm is magical, eerie, and otherworldly.
The seven-year-old becomes friends with Lettie and so his adventure begins. It's a book filled with mystical characters, danger, magic, and mystery.
If you like fantasy fiction I would highly recommend this book.
I enjoyed this short story. I particularly liked the twist in the middle which I never saw coming, that definitely made me want to carry on reading. AI enjoyed this short story. I particularly liked the twist in the middle which I never saw coming, that definitely made me want to carry on reading. A quick and satisfying read.
It's a tale full of tragedy but also about courage, friendship, and hope.
Three short and sweet short stories. It was interesting reading these as it was like looking at life from a completely different perspective3.5 stars.
Three short and sweet short stories. It was interesting reading these as it was like looking at life from a completely different perspective, which I suppose is what literature is all about. A quick read. In each of the stories there was a man called George as a main character, which at first was confusing because I didn't know whether all the stories were linked, but it turns out they are not.
These stories are a very light read, and, for me personally, a bit too predictable in parts, but they were well written and easy to follow.
Lovely collection of stories. They could have been written about real people. Some are very short and others are more involved, but all will leave youLovely collection of stories. They could have been written about real people. Some are very short and others are more involved, but all will leave you thinking about the characters and their lives. I love this authors style of writing and am looking forward to reading her novels.
Most of the stories in this collection are like a snapshot of a moment or a particular time in someone's life. Many people will identify with the themes including parenting, relationships, loss, love, family.
I enjoyed all the stories, and I think a few of them could maybe be extended in the future into longer fiction, maybe novels. There is an experimental feel to this collection, with differing lengths of the stories and the way they are told. I particularly liked the story Dear Jean, that was just a series of letters where only one character's side of the story could be seen. It was very cleverly done. I also loved the realism that pervades all of the stories.
Some of my other favourites were A Life Unpredicted and One to Keep, but all the stories are worth reading....more
A great collection of 'weird fiction'. I was looking forward to reading this book, having enjoyed James Everington's debut collection The Other Room.A great collection of 'weird fiction'. I was looking forward to reading this book, having enjoyed James Everington's debut collection The Other Room.
In this book, each of the stories is very different yet all seem to revolve around the idea that things are not always as they seem.
All the stories are well written and absorbing. The author gets into the minds of the characters very well. The themes include, reality versus fantasy, dreams, paranoia, the power of the media, war. The tales are always unpredictable, and sometimes quite unexpected, but all will make you think and question the world around you.
Another wonderfully imaginative and entertaining book from Terry Tyler. I always enjoy this author's books.
Round and Round is similar in theme to herAnother wonderfully imaginative and entertaining book from Terry Tyler. I always enjoy this author's books.
Round and Round is similar in theme to her novels "You Wish..." and "The Other Side", similar but completely different!
It has the wonderful magical quality of You Wish and the 'Sliding Doors' type of story like The Other Side.
Sophie Heron is approaching her 40th birthday and is miserable. She's unhappy in her relationship and this makes her wonder how different her life would have been if she had chosen a different man. Back in her mid-twenties she received 4 Valentine's cards one year. If she'd chosen one of the others Would she have been happier?
Round and Round explores: the ups and downs of modern relationships; friendship; choice; fate; intuition; and guardian angels! There are lots of true-to-life characters in this engrossing tale. ...more
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories and poems.
The first short story is fascinating: what do characters in novels feel like? Read the stI really enjoyed this collection of short stories and poems.
The first short story is fascinating: what do characters in novels feel like? Read the story and you'll find out. It's a fun and imaginative tale.
Further in the collection you'll find a story about a crime writer who gets himself into trouble while researching his novel. Then there's a story about a bestselling writer who's murdered, but the mystery lies in who did it. The answer may not be what you think.
The final short story in the collection is a poignant reflection on the state of our world today.
I found a couple of the poems to be deeply moving.
This is a collection well worth reading.
I'm a big fan of this author's work. She consistently produces quality fiction. ...more
I loved the idea behind this story. The message seems to be that we need to look deeper rather than just judging people because of differences. I am aI loved the idea behind this story. The message seems to be that we need to look deeper rather than just judging people because of differences. I am already a big fan of this author's work, having read most of her books. What she always delivers are imaginative stories, stories that make you think.
In this short story we meet Thomas, Zac, and Kris. Thomas and Kris are different and most of their lives they've been called freaks. Zac has a secret that he has to reveal to them. It's a fascinating idea. I won't give too much away about the storyline, I'll just say that it's a fantasy tale with a wonderful message. This author is a deep thinker and her stories are all the better for it.
I always know that when I pick up a Julie Elizabeth Powell book I will be entertained and I'll enjoy it.
Stranger at Sunset is the first in a series of books by this talented author. We meet Kate Hampton, a psychiatrist. She's used to working out what motStranger at Sunset is the first in a series of books by this talented author. We meet Kate Hampton, a psychiatrist. She's used to working out what motivates people, she has a perfect memory, she's a larger than life character. Everyone she meets comes under her scrutiny and she has a deep-rooted need to work them out. What happens then when she flies to Jamaica to spend her vacation at her favourite holiday resort, Sunset Villa and meets Matthew Kane? Matthew had visited Sunset Villa once before and had reviewed it in his influential travel magazine column, giving it a 1 star rating and causing the owners to lose business. The owners, Anna and Nolan, invited the travel writer back to the resort in the hope of changing his mind about the place. They bent over backwards to meet his every need, including some quite odd requests. They invited Kate along for support, along with some other friends.
Matthew Kane is a slippery character, not likable at all. None of the hotel guests warm to him.
Kate knows the owners well, they are her friends. She tries her best to help influence Matthew to change his review.
In this wonderful murder/mystery the author has painted the scene well. She takes the reader on a virtual trip to Sunset Villa. The sites and sounds of the Caribbean are well described so that you can almost imagine sitting on a sun-drenched beach with a cool drink in your hand as you read.
This mystery is written in the style of the great whodunnits.
The main character, Kate, is intriguing, she seems to have a much deeper side to her that was hinted at in this book and I'm sure will be developed in the series to come. I almost agreed with her father when he said "... you're a shrink, but you're in desperate need of one yourself." All that, however, is part of the charm of this book. It will be interesting to find out how things develop in the next instalment.
Lots of interesting characters, intrigue, romance, danger, mystery, and a beautiful setting. ...more
From the first chapter I was hooked and I totally fell in love with this book. I began to feel sad as I approached the end because I didn't want it toFrom the first chapter I was hooked and I totally fell in love with this book. I began to feel sad as I approached the end because I didn't want it to finish. I love the writing style.
This is a deliciously dark ghost story.
Valentina and Julia are 21-year-old twins. They are very strange, almost ghost-like even though they are not the ghosts. Elspeth, the girls' aunt, has left her flat in London to them in her will. They travel from America to London. Under the terms of the will they must live in the flat for one year before they can sell it.
Elspeth's flat backs onto Highgate Cemetery, adding an even more ghostly atmosphere to the novel. Robert, her boyfriend/lover lives in the flat below hers. Upstairs there is a man called Martin who has OCD.
I loved the characters, the story, the twisted strangeness, the imagination, and originality. Although this book is almost 500 pages long, so at least twice the length of a book I'd usually choose to read, I would gladly have read 500 more pages.
A beautifully written book that has realistic and delightfully eccentric characters. It uncovers and lays bare the truth behind human nature, relationships, and love.
I will now be seeking out more books by this author!
A very well written collection of dark and 'strange' tales. You never quite know what will happen in one of M R Cosby's short stories. There are a fewA very well written collection of dark and 'strange' tales. You never quite know what will happen in one of M R Cosby's short stories. There are a few tales here that take you to other dimensions. There are ghosts, memories that stir up the past. A very deep and imaginative collection. These stories make you wonder and will take you on unexpected journeys.
If you like literary fiction, and like to take your time over a good book I would recommend these short stories. The depth of description makes this a slower paced book than I would usually choose to read, but that's more to do with personal taste.
I am sure these are the kind of tales that you could read over and over and always discover something more or something different each time.
The author is skilled in really building a picture in the reader's mind of places, people, architecture. There is always an element of mystery in the tales, and of some kind of paranormal or weird dimension.
I have clear images in my mind of the stories that have stayed with me long after reading them.
This book is an example of what passion for writing, imagination, and hard work can produce.
A wonderful story. It's beautifully written. This author has a talent for really getting inside a character's mind and describing their thoughts, feelA wonderful story. It's beautifully written. This author has a talent for really getting inside a character's mind and describing their thoughts, feelings, and actions well. The subject matter makes it a bit more than just another romance. The author deals with the subject of speech impediments. The main character, Juliet Mann, has always suffered from a stammer that is made worse when she is anxious. We first meet her on the day of her wedding. She struggles to say her vows and ends up leaving the church.
To make things worse, she feels terrible for constantly trying to hide her stammer. Even her fiancé, although aware of the problem, didn't know how bad it was. Would he ever forgive her? Will it be too late now to overcome everything that has been holding her back and reclaim her life?
This book has a lot of depth and I think one thing readers can take away with them is another way of looking at how we see ourselves as compared to how others see us and how easy it is to let our fears stop us from following our dreams.
An inspirational and well-told, heartwarming tale....more