Monday, 3 August 2015

#457 - The Soul Conductor

The Soul ConductorThe Soul Conductor by Clair Susann Evans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was really interested to read a debut novel from a fellow Open University Student, who had done the Creative Writing Module, and I wasn't disappointed at all with the quality of the writing.

It was, apart from one or two teeny tiny errors in the text that I cam across (detailed below) of a really high quality. The plot was original and kept my interest right to the very end. There was a conclusion, but it wasn't an outright happy ending ... in itself that is a refreshing change, as quite a lot of authors feel the need to wrap it up with a big bow, which can detract from the work as a whole.

There are still left questions unanswered, and hopefully there will be a follow up novel to move it on. Although I feel that Clair has it in her to really ramp up the writing and add more layers of twists and turns to create a truly stunning read.

High recommended.

I did stumble across the following errors on the Kindle file:

Loc 265:  As his body convulsed with of pain from ...

Loc 943:  ... pulled him along behind one of armoured horses ...

Loc 1331:  ... but the water for him bring up.

Loc 1737:  ... stayed in such good spirits and talk about it in such a carefree ...

Loc 1839:  ... trickled back his throat and ...

Loc 4772:  His heart leaped in expectation (I'm not sure about this one, I think it should be leapt).

Loc 5260:  ... Kilora agrees me very much.

As I said, they are minor, minor things, and definitely do not detract from a superb reading experience.  It is truly heartening to find an author that does not feel the need to use 'gotten', and for this alone I would have added a further star if the quality had not, in fact, been as exceptional as it turned out - it was a full on 5 star read.

Hugs, and happy reading


Saturday, 1 August 2015

#456 - The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

My rating: 

4 of 5 stars

Recently in my Uni group there was a discussion about whether some books have narration that specifically sets out to deceive the reader. This book was one on a list of 5 that it was felt did just that.

I had never read it before, but was aware of an Opera based on the book, which although I had not seen I had heard discussed.

Although I was aware that the narrator may try to deceive me, I was a little dubious that I would, indeed even notice that that was what was happening.

The book is skilfully written, and at the finish I did indeed have the strong feeling that the narrator did not only seek to deceive, but probably was fully aware of much, much more of the circumstances, and deliberately set out to side-track, divert and subvert my understanding of the whole, and there fore certainly stands up to its reputation.

Happy reading.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

#455 - Call of the Kiwi

Call of the Kiwi (In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga Book 3)

Call of the Kiwi by Sarah Lark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The conclusion to the 'Land of the Long White Cloud' Family saga by Sarah Lark. Although I have to admit I took the easy way out and listened to the audio version that came along with my Kindle Unlimited copy.

I had at first thought that it was an electronic voice, but realised eventually that this was an incorrect impression. There were little things with it that I found annoying, such as 'said' pronounced 'sad' and sometimes no the correct intonation. However, on the whole it was enjoyable, and meant that I could bust through it quite quickly.

As far as the writing was concerned, it was probably the most harrowing of the three books. Although with the writing of Miss Lark I do find that whilst it's generally a good story told fairly well, the characters lack a little in texture and depth.

I do believe, however, that they are translations, and am perfectly willing to accept that this be a consequence of not reading it in the original, and thus authentic, voice of the writer themselves.

Apart from that I haven't any real criticism; thus, 4 star rating.




Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A perfect property

can often form what you find pleasing as an adult, such as this house:

This house is pleasing in so many ways, in fact it fits the almost to the letter the ideal of the place to live.  It needs a Victorian Wooden Conservatory with a patterned tiled floor to the left-hand side, but apart from that it's perfect.

Close to the church with the bells ringing on a late summer evening, the heady smell of Coxes Orange Pippin Apples and a tough naughty pony trotting by.

That could well be because it actually is the house I remember from my childhood, minus the Victorian Conservatory that seems to have gone now.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

#454 ~ Song of the Spirits

Song of the Spirits by Sarha Lark

My Rating 4 out of 5

This is the second book in the saga of 'Land of the Long White Cloud'

Overall, it was really enjoyable and the characters stories moved on.  At times though, it is a little mechanical and lacking texture, but it could well be that its a translation of the original.

That having been said, it's still well worth a read, and I have just downloaded the third book in the series.

There was probably the odd mistake in there too, but I'm so pleased to be back reading for pleasure again after my degree module last year has taken up so much of my time with all the academic reading I needed to do.

 I have cracked and gone down the Kindle Unlimited route, and am looking forward to taking advantage of the audio track.  At least this way I can listen to it at work and not feel I am drowning in an academic sea.

Have a good day, and happy reading.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Scribbles of Freya ...

I had a go at the Vanessa Feltz Philological Challenge this week. It's an interesting to generate a prompt for free writing. Unfortunately, I only had time to get it in to the Show's email late yesterday.
The idea is you have 4 'Words of the Day' and have to weave them into a short text. Here's my humble effort:

* * * *

                Isabella ducked laughing though the door of the Mirador to escape the rain. The air was cooler inside she noticed. As she climbed the winding stair treads, her feet seemed to echo out her anticipation.

                 As she gained the terrace at the top the rain pattered out a paradiddle above on the warmed terracotta roof. Standing before her stood a man; he was dark as sin, and twice as delicious. He was framed by the setting sun and magenta blooms heavy with their summer fragrance.

              Just below she could just glimpse frothing sea horses dancing either side of the isthmus in the fiery glow of the day’s and his ship laying silent and quiet now they had delivered the Master home safe.

             Holding out his hand he smiled wolfishly and grabbed her. The force of his eagerness caused her breath to stop for the briefest of moments. A polyphony of musical butterflies took flight in her very core as if joining them both to the music of the beating rain. She felt the heavy lace of Richardo’s jabot against her cheek for a short heartbeat. His smell of sandalwood and citrus set her senses further skittering as he pulled her silken tresses backwards to reveal her heart-shaped faced. He dipped his head and claimed his prize, his love, his life with a searing kiss.

* * *

I love little challenges like that, because they are quick to do, and fun to work with. I even managed to cram in 'polyphony' which was a word from a previous challenge.

Have a happy day.



Thursday, 23 July 2015

Freya Thorne, Author

Hi all

I thought I'd share some of my scribblings here on the blog ..., Toodles Book Club has kindly let me move in as a roomie until I get a home of my own.

First though, let me introduce myself.

I'm Freya Thorne and am undertaking the A215 Creative Writing Module with this Open University this coming academic year in the hope that it will kick start the many novels hanging around in my head.  My favourite genre is historical romance, but it's going to be all about extending myself with this module, and so it could well be anything from crime to chicklit to poetry that will be coming to a keyboard during my year.

Some of my free writing I can share, and some has to wait until the module has finished. I'll also try to share extracts from the novel as I go along.

A writer's lot is not always a happy one with words sometimes insisting on being dragged slowly and painfully from the depths, and at other times springing fully formed with no apparent assistance from me ... hopefully it will be an entertaining journey.




Monday, 14 July 2014

#453 ~ The Burial of Thebes

The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles' AntigoneThe Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles' Antigone by Seamus Heaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A year ago I would have laughed heartily and long if anyone had told me I'd give one of the Classics A 5 star review.

It is one of the book's on the Open University AA100 The Arts past and present module, and I had been ambivalent at best, so when my Amazon package arrived I just thought it would be a quick flick through. How wrong could one girl be?

From the first word I was hooked. Seamus Heaney has done the most excellent job of making this Classic readable, and more importantly understandable and interesting.

I can't wait to get a deeper understanding of the text as my course goes on.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 10 July 2014

#452 ~ New Beginnings

New BeginningsNew Beginnings by Fern Britton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading time at the moment is a precious, precious thing, and therefore I was surprised to find out that this book by Fern Britton was 400 pages long; it seemed like a quick read.

I'm not suggesting or one moment that the quality was tip-top/first class/top drawer, but it was sufficiently okay.

I was intrigued to see how a fairly well known Z list celeb would handle the change to writer ... they all seem to be doing it don't they? ... and was actually pleasantly surprised.

I can't say that I would actively seek out more of her work, but if I ever get the chance to lounge by a pool, this would be the kind of un-demanding read that would make a perfect read a bit, sip a bit, read a bit more.

Product details

400 pages; Kindle Download; Contemporary, Romance

I borrowed an electronic copy from my local Library and used Overdrive to read it on Baby (Kindle Fire HD).

The good ... the bad ... the ugly

Good:  With a Kindle fire, borrowing ebooks from the local library is a breeze with the Overdrive app.  However, it does limit features such as bookmarking.

The standard of grammar was acceptable.

Bad:  Nothing outright bad I am pleased to report.

Ugly:  A few formatting errors, for example missing capital letters at the start of chapters etc.  Not many.

Happy reading.


#451 - Bitten ~ Anna Wolfe

Bitten (The First Book of Bitten by Anna Wolfe

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Sorry, not for me, I didn't even manage to make it past the first chapter.

It gave the impression of a poorly written fan fiction, and left me colder than a witch's backdoor step.

My reading time is precious recently, and it failed to inspire.

Product Details

It featured as a DSOA pick in early'ish 2013; Kindle download.

The Good ... the bad ... and the ugly

Failing to inspire the use of reading time as it did, I can't comment.

Happy reading.



Tuesday, 10 June 2014

#450 ~ In the Land of the Long White Cloud

In the Land of the Long White CloudIn the Land of the Long White Cloud by Sarah Lark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though I've been an Amazon Prime Member so some time, this was my first ever book borrowed from the library there.

All in all quite enjoyable. I understand this is a translated version of a German novel, and the one that that disappointed me was the Americanism of the translation. The writing itself was of a fairly decent standard, and that let it down a bit.

Even within the bounds of the historical setting, there was a margin for a bit more spice and pop.

The plot most of the way through went at a nice pace, but the end was a little disappointing; I hate the sudden fall off a cliff with no real dramatic conclusion, and that's what I got with this one.

The sudden ending apart, it was left so that a sequel could be written I believe.

4 stars from me.

Product Details

I borrowed my copy from Amazon Prime, but you can pick up a Kindle download HERE for £3.99.

Fiction, Historical, Family Saga, Romance
666 Pages
Amazon Crossing (2012)
German novel translated into English

The good ... the bad .... the ugly

In the ugly corner:

I abhor the Americanisation of historical novels, it's purely a person thing, and if you've read my blog for any length of time you will realise that the main bug bear is "gotten" ... it's sloppy and lazy!  Therefore my greatest disappointment was the amount of time it was used through out this book - I counted at least 28 (and there could well have been more.

My other constant bug bear is missing connectives, such as go get go, go wash ... it harnesses up my annoyance and whips it through the village at a break-neck gallop.

In the good corner:

One lone little word ... 'gracile '(Loc 4754).

In the bad corner:

Loc 316: '.. the sheep's heads sank once more ...' - sheeps' heads.

Loc 407: 'Gwyneira's handwork never resulted in anything ...' - handiwork.

Loc 681 x 2: 'fraternity' - it's England for goodness sakes, fraternities simply don't exist.

Loc 920: 'Gwyneira appeared to be taking the whole thing in stride.' - her stride.

Loc 1091: 'OK?' - it's an historical novel, I seriously doubt okay would have been uttered, but would be suitably impressed should somebody prove me wrong.

Loc 1091: 'the help' - uck, servants is far more appropriate for historical novels.

Loc 1481: 'feel Elizabeth up' - inappropriate use in a novel like this, but that's just my personal opinion.

Loc 1611: 'ship's sirens wail' - I had inferred that this was a sailing ship, and therefore a bell would have been more accurate possibly?

Loc 1753: '... of her riding dress riding up, ...' - never a good idea to repeat a word in such quick succession.  I feel that riding habit would have been more appropriate.

Loc 1814: 'Still she could not bring herself greet the group ...' to greet the group.

Loc 2131:  'She should rest up ...' - she should rest would be sufficient.

Loc 2506:  '... you needed more money than what could be earned from whales or sheep.' - what is superfluous.

Loc 2528: 'Drapes ...' - drapes is an quintessentially American word.

Loc 2864: 'cute' - mmm, not sure about use of that particular word - it was used in early 18th century to describe somebody clever or shrewd, but I'm unsure when it because acceptable to use it in the form suggested here.

Loc 3082: 'centimeters' - imperial measurements would have been used in colony.

Loc 3229: 'black-tie wedding suit' - ouch, morning suits are worn for weddings, but not sure if that would have been the form at that time, I am certainly sure it wouldn't have been 'black-tie'.

Loc 3740: 'They're gross ...' - Americanism.

Loc 3872: ' ... had to acclimate ...' - acclimatize.

Loc 4784:  'Gwyneira called for Kiri to have her clean the breakfast table.' - ...called for Kiri to clear the breakfast table.

Loc 6247: 'acclimate' - acclimatize.

Loc 6552: 'On Monday David took Lucas along to work construction ...' - more unattractive Americanisation.

Loc 6665: ' ... and Lucas had to ride back a ways to find a way up and over.' - Lucas had to ride back to find a way up and over.

Loc 7022: 'You had a long ride.' - you have had a long ride.

Loc 7107: ' ... galloping around the yard.' - a yard is a paved area, a paddock or field is appropriate.

A long list, with a few things missed off due to boredom!

Happy reading.



Sunday, 1 June 2014

#449 Blue Fire and Ice

Blue Fire and Ice (Land’s Tale, #1) Blue Fire and Ice (Land’s Tale, #1) by Alan Skinner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Land's Tale Book #1

I would say that this is a book perfect for the age 12 upwards market, even moving into adult reading.

On the whole it was simply written, but had a fairly decent pace and voice to it.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that it's got the bones of a film lurking in there ... much like Game of Thrones laid down the foundation for adaptation to the screen, I could seriously see this doing the same things.

Every story is made better by the inclusion of a bear, and then when you add in the unpredictability of the mix, it pretty much would have it all for a screen writer to run with.

This is certainly a book I think I will recommend to my 11 year old God Daughter, as a decent read.

Product Details

Another DSOA from about this time last year, when it was free to download.  At this current time it's available HERE for £1.84 as a Kindle download - actually, that's really a fairly decent price.

336 Pages
Sibling Press
Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Adventure, Family Reading
Aimed at the over 10 market up to adult reading

The Good ... the bad ... and the ugly

Kudos for the fact that the writing was simple, and of a decent quality - actually something that is proving quite rare.

In the ugly section were a few a handful of missing conjunctions.

The bad were a few errors/bug bears:

Loc 530:  '... quite worn out from trying to make Beadledom a look a little brighter.' - look a little brighter.

Loc 534:  'I'm sure they are very clever but I don't why anybody ...' - know why.

Loc 1099: 'I would love to have you come, ...' - I would love to have you, or I would love you to come.

Loc 1116: 'She so hoped she was.' - the so is superfluous.

Loc 2362:  '... making the sea the only way leave the Land.' - way to leave the Land.

Loc 3023: 'Dot had offered hers to a young mother cradling a young baby in her arms.' - no need to use 'young' twice.  A baby is by definition young!

Loc 3853:  'I will not be burden!' - be a burden.

Loc 3858:  'Standing back from them all, she watch as Copper took ...' - watched.

Loc 3920: 'Her hands searched for the Dot as she ...' - delete 'the'.

Loc 5437: '... no larger than a crickle ball.' - I'm not sure if this should be 'cricket' ball, or in fact there is a came called 'Crickle' in the Land.

Happy reading.



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

London Comic-Con Saturday 2014 May

#448 ~ On Fallen Wings

On Fallen WingsOn Fallen Wings by Jamie McHenry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Featured as a pick of the day back in May 2013 or so,
and whilst the synopsis seemed promising, the actual book turned out to be deadly, deadly dull.

It was nearly abandoned as DNF many times, and it was only due to a woman-ful effort that I managed to drag myself through it ... so it's a yawning 2 stars from me.

Although dull, there weren't too many 'bad or ugly bits'; you can see the full Blog Post #448.

Product Details

It's available HERE, and whilst I got a free Kindle copy at the time, it's now listed at £3.08.

Indie Writer (Self-published)
332 pages
Fiction, Fantasy, Magic & Mystery

The Good ... the bad ... the ugly

As far as the good is concerned, I liked page 104 '...and stuck to my memory like honey.' - very nice phrasing.

For the bad I'm afraid it's the same old missing conjunctions, spattered like seagull's droppings on the promenade.  I'll also mention the 'visit with you' phrasing, which I find jarring.

Where would this section be without 'gonna' or 'gotten' being mentioned.  Thankfully, only once this time.

The ugly section:

Page 16:  'I reached towards might best friend and embraced her tight.' - tightly.

Page 25:  '... grabbed Sean and kissed him right.' - not an attractive word to use, I would have gone for well.

Page 26: 'Sean held me firm ...' - firmly.

Page 30:  'Sean flopped to the ground next me and smiled.' - next to me.

Page 53:  'The morning passed in rapid pace ...' - rapidly.

Page 55: '... poked his head around the wall corner.' - wall or corner not both.

Page 57:  '...Sean, looking at me with sympathy and honest eyes.' - Sean's honest eyes looking at me with sympathy.

Page 96: 'I've never seen snow before the celebration before.' - never a good idea to use the same word in such close proximity.

Page 120:  '... to Leila and me, ...' - and I.

Page 132:  'Taking the weight off my feet allowed a savory sensation ...' - apart from the word being incorrectly spelt (unless you're North American) not sure about in this context.

Page 144: 'Maeia composed herself perfectly ...' - comported herself perfectly.

Page 160:  '... and corralled her toward my home.' - strictly speaking it's correct, but I just dislike the word, and it should be towards.

Page 182:  '... a couple deep cuts had exposed his flesh ...' - couple of.

Page 205: 'Madeline kept a tidy home and her influence was addicting.' - comma missing, and addictive.

Page 242:  '... could get the best of me ...' - better of me.



Sunday, 18 May 2014

#447 ~ The Best Boyfriend Theory

The Best Friend, Boyfriend TheoryThe Best Friend, Boyfriend Theory by Laura Lawrence

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I featured this as a DSOA pick over a year ago now on my Blog, when it was available as a free Kindle download.

The actual plot idea was if not star tingling, then fairly okay. However, the overall rating was adversely affected by the fact that this book had poor punctuation, grammar and language though out. In fact, I would go so far as to say that even my 16 year old Dyslexic daughter would not have made some of the grammatical errors.

Therefore, what should have been a pleasant, if undemanding reading, was a struggle to finish.

My advice to the author would be, if you can't manage the grammar, punctuation, etc. then find an editor to do the job for you. Then hie off to an Adult Education course and take an English course; it would cover the mistakes you have made, and improve your writing no end.

There is no doubt that the author can tell a reasonable story, but there is no doubt in my mind that it is just telling, not showing a reader.

On little highlight to note was that I did spot a comma spice, whether it was there by accident, or design, is difficult to tell though.

Product Details

It's available HERE, although not free anymore.  The Kindle file is currently listed at £2.02.

241 pages
Indie Writer (Self-published)
Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

The Good ... the Bad .... and the Ugly

Let's compare it to a boxing match today.

In the good corner, a nicely applied comma splice.

The ugly was left hanging around holding a water bottle and forgetting to add punctuation throughout.

The heavy-weight of the competition was the bad element; with many, many punctuation and grammatical and tense shift errors - too many to mention all of them.

Additionally, I feel a big shout out should be included for the many missing grammatical coordinates (or particles) for items such as 'come find' 'to go pee' etc. 

Here's some (not all) of the errors:

Loc 361:  'after' repeated in close proximity.

Loc 383:  'weeks' repeated in close proximity.

Loc 553:  'Well I am not going to let him do this to me this time, time to ignore it and act normal.' - I rest my case really with this example!

Loc 581:  'I don't want you moving out and hating me, or moving out and never seeing me again because .... really do love you.' - an ellipse is three dots ... and I think it should be I really do love you.

Loc 680: ' ,,, lifts his god arm up inviting me to come lie my head on his chest.' - good arm; come and lie ...

Loc 721: 'I try to keep my eyes off his tight squeezable ass as I negotiate the water temperature for him.' - a tight squeezable donkey? Probably this should be arse, and I would query the use of 'negotiate' and suggest regulate as a better choice.

Loc 881:  '... and the people I work with our fantastic.' - are?

Loc 905: '... a miniscule red dress with no back and barley covering her bum.' - incorrect spellings, it's minuscule, and barely.

Loc 917:  '... to get to the kitchen but I ensure I letting.' - ?

Loc 1493: '... that's just the excess products in it from lay next to me with his sweaty palm resting firmly on my breast,' - laying.

Loc 1551: 'I unlock the door and let it do, you really think she's ok!' - I've not idea how that portion of the sentence should be constructed, but would guess on let it go, and do you ... the author needs to repair it.

Loc 1595: '... it's Adams ...' - it's Adam's ...

Loc 1596: '... but we need to go to the chemist on lunch.' - at lunch.

Loc 1621: '... I notice to look of terror on Jess's young face ...' - the look.

Loc 1743: 'By the end of my of the story James has come across as a ...' - ?

Loc 1765: '... but I've not spoke to him in so long ...' - spoken.

Loc 1787: 'I have barley spoke to James or even thought about him in weeks ...' - correct to barely and spoken.

Loc 1787: 'A single tear escapes staining my cheek as it slides down my face.' - a lovely example of the need for punctuation.  It is in fact quite a nice sentence, but loses impact.  As it escapes, a single tear stains my cheek, and slides down my face.

Loc 1850:  'Unfortunately whist I was given ...' - whilst.

Loc 1885: ' I pull into Mums Street.' - Mum's street.  There were many examples of 'mums' missing apostrophe going forward.

Loc 1902:  'I can assure you that's not just me being biased because she is my mum and Phoebe is a marriage wrecking, dad-stealing whore.  Honest.' - a stunning example of punctuation, or lack of it, turned ugly.

Loc 2023: (wins the prize for funniest mistake) 'my own mellow drama ...' - melodrama.

Loc 2099: 'He took this opportunity to tell that Julia thought I was in love with him ...' - to tell me.

Loc 2397: '... I hold him it was pancakes ...' - told him.

Loc 2485: '... make a pack we do it as quickly as possible ...' - make a pact.

Loc 2521: '... chest of draws ...' - drawers.

Loc 2913: 'I know he is furious at me ...' - with me.

Loc 3147: '... add it to the pile of letters I have wrote him over the years ...' - written to him.

Loc 3225: '... where I am sat on the sofa.' - sitting.

Loc 3233: 'Suddenly he is on top of me he tongue hungrily searching for mine, such passion.' - should have been a comma splice instead of a comma.

Loc 3340: '... sex of the baby, providing it is, lay in the right position.' - providing it is laying in the right position.

Loc 3389: '... lay' - again, laying.

Loc 3873:  '... he hasn't t been ...' - an extra letter.

Loc 3972:  '... so they get on quite happy with each other's company ...' - happily in each.

Loc 4029:  '... blue cheque long sleeve shirt ...' - check.

Loc 4063: 'lay' - laying.

Loc 4133: '... and they seem just as content together now as they did we were young.' - when we were young.

Loc 4536:  'They say a parent is only has happy as their saddest child ...' - as.

Loc 4741:  'Felicities birth quizzed by ...' - Felicity's.  An error repeated numerous times.

Loc 4766: 'Luckily Rachel said if I decide not to come back to work I will not months so I don't have to pay back any of my maternity pay which is fantastic.' - Apart from the lack of punctuation, what the heck is going on with the sentence?

Loc 4801: 'My mum's been sending us food packaged with fresh things, tins and also her yummy handmade meals for us to freeze and eat when we want, which ...' - Another stunning lack of punctuation.  I would question the use of packaged, and feel it should have been packages.

Loc 4875:  'Their lawyer said she was the calmest scorn wife she had ever met.' - scorned.

Loc 4960:  '(Who is still in her car seat you understand not just lied on the floor.)' - Firstly, I am not sure it's really grammatically correct to have a sentence in brackets, but would be happy to stand corrected.  To my mind a comma splice might have been appropriate.  Secondly, it should be laying.

Loc 4967:  '... who knows she may be scared for life.' - for her life.

Loc 5011: '... Andrews.' - Andrew's.

Loc 5056: '... as I see her full outfit lay out on the bed.' - laying.

Finally, the end of a rather long list.

Happy reading all.



Monday, 12 May 2014

#446 ~ The Reflections of Queen Snow White

The Reflections of Queen Snow WhiteThe Reflections of Queen Snow White by David C. Meredith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

David Meredith, the author, very kindly sent me a copy of his book to review; he had been reading my Blog.

Firstly, I love, love, love the colour, and this is definitely worth using it to judge the cover.

I don't want to give too much away, but it's based on the Snow White fairy story, and gives us a glimpse into her life after she obtained her 'happy ever after'. Was it that though? Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.

What I will tell you is, that the writing was of a high calibre, which is not particularly surprising as David has a Masters Degree. It was an original idea, and very well educated. In short, just how a novel should be presented. I like his voice, and would eagerly read anything else he has to offer. David is certainly one to watch.

Product Details

I was sent a copy to review by David, but would have happily have paid hard earned cash for this one.  You can pick up a copy HERE.

Keep up to date with David's literary life HERE.  A bargain a £1.27 for the Kindle page, although admittedly it's not that long at about 155 pages.

Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery Magic, Fairy Tale
Indie Writer (Self-published)

The Good, the bad and the ugly (if any)

There wasn't too much to comment on here.  As mentioned above, the standard of writing was exceptionally high, with nice use of linguistic devices.  In particular the use of anaphora at Location 77.

A highlight at Location 95 was 'blithesome decorations bursting like wild spring blossoms', that was just lovely phrasing.  Alliteration was also nicely displayed, and I really liked 'disrespectfully dubious' at Location 136.

I was little disappointed though that there was a missing conjunction and  'gotten' made an appearance.  Yes, I am aware that it's common in the Americas', but it just frustrates the living heck out of my.  I had thought with David holding a Master of Arts, I would be 'gotten' free.

A bug bear, but essential only that (not an error really) was the use of 'coral' a couple of times.  Paddock would have had a much more authentic feel to it.  'Coral' just conjures up images of the wild west and cowboys.

Loc 694:  Breathing heavily, she drug the whimpering princess - she dragged.

Loc 965:  The void stretch away from her in every direction - stretched.

Loc 977:  It fell abruptly still as if cut off with a switch ... - this really bothered me as really the switch is a modern concept in this form.

Loc 1303:  ... but her heart was beating at frightful pace - at a frightful pace.

Loc 1614:  Gone were her thick socks .... - another anomaly, to my mind socks are another modern concept, and stockings would have been a better fit.

Loc 1787:  .... lungs she was drug from her chair - dragged from her chair.

Happy reading



Friday, 9 May 2014

#445 ~ Ripper: A Love Story

Ripper: A Love StoryRipper: A Love Story by Lance Taubold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, there were some really good elements to this one, but also some shockingly underwhelming too ... the proverbial Curate's egg,

When boiled down, highlights of delightful writing; some really effective linguistic devices. However, it was spoilt in the overall picture by poor research. I will add the errors/bug bears in the fuller Blog post #445 (May 2014).

Such a shame really, as I was willing for it to not make me so damn angry. Yes, I do recognise that it's a work of fiction, but it does still need to have an authoritative voice grounded in some decent research/care.

There is no doubt that the author's ability is hovering in the background, and it's hoped that he can overcome it with the next book.

Product Details

This was a DSOA pick from over a year ago.  It's available HERE for a Kindle download price of £2.02.

290 pages

13Thirty Books; 1 edition (17 April 2013)
Fiction, Historical, Romance, Murder

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I don't like to just focus on negative, so thought I would share one of my favourite passages 'It was the kind of day that she adores as a child.  It was the kind of day that brought memories of games once played, and now, replayed forever in her mind.' - that my friends is an exceptionally lovely.

Another highlight was a paragraph about memories on Page 149.

There were some nice alliterations, and it was a breath of fresh air to see 'whom' used correctly.

My linguistic prize of the week goes to the use of an anaphora:  'It's too scary.  It's too dangerous.  It's too ..." - nicely done.

Now to have a little word about the bad bits, and you need to bear in mind that this features Queen Victoria, and her Grandson, The Duke of Clarence.  In general the tone centred around this piece of the plot was paper-thin.  I can see where the author was coming from, as I believe the Duke of Clarence has been mentioned in Ripper stories.  I suppose that in a way it was a brave angle, but for me didn't work.  Royalty was, and still is to a certain extent, surrounded in such pomp and ceremony;  it would be inconceivable for a Prince to meet, fall in love and marry a commoner in such a fashion.  It was a leap too far.

Page 19:  Grandmum - really, Grandmama.

Page 21: where Queen Victoria refers to her husband 'Philip' - just on it's own that shrieks lack of research, it's Albert.

Page 35:  brown and white pain percherons - skewbald, not paint.

Page 65: a weird bit of formatting 'behind eyes--the' - what's that all about?

Page 83:  I may, or may not have got the wrong end of the stick with this one, but it was implied that the ferry to Ireland left from southern England, but I would be happy to be assured this was only by mis-understanding.

Page 98:  Another bit of formatting :Is that whomYour"

Page 99:  go check - missing conjunction.

Page 120: 'toilet' - very impolite, it should be lavatory.

Page 120:  "She hopped to the carpeting covering a section of the bedroom floor ..." - rug.

Page 123:  'fellen' - I assume that should be fallen.

Page 131:  Just havin' a wee bit bit of fun ... - 

Page 141:  A Royal of Albert's age, just barely twenty-four, who was not yet bettered, prompted whispers of ... - that ambiguous.

Page 163 and other locations:  gotten.

Page 179:  come help - conjunction.

Page 182:  playing cards and smoking cigars .... it was a ritual he had carried out since he had left prepatory school - what kind of monster was he?  Preparatory School is from 8 to 13 in the Public School system (for the benefit of any non-British people the 'Public' school system is fee paying and 'State' is just that normal non-fee paying schooling provided by the Government for all children.  I would strongly argue that children of Royalty were educated at home by a Tutor at that time.  Sons' of the Aristocracy may have been educated at Eton.

Page 183: trash? - rubbish in England.

Page 187:  London Times - it's just The Times.

Page 202:  the maid refers to Coren as 'Miss' in many places - after her marriage she would have been Your Highness, or your Grace to a servant.

Page 202:  humming birds in the garden - hello, London ... no hummingbirds.

Page 208:  humming bird - in Victorian times there were found of stuffing things, but they definitely don't flit our gardens.

Page 215 - contemptuous - insulting would have been better.

Page 216:  The pound and a half - although it was old money, it would more likely have been a guinea, which was 20 shillings, not sure about the timeline though as I think they stopped minting them in about 1814. In any event that would have sounded more authentic.

Page 216:  sidewalk - pavement.

Page 222: I am sure the Prince had your best in mind - best interest in mind.

Page 226:  I should think there would have been a cat's chance in hell of a member of the Royal Family being taken to hospital at that time.

Page 250:  ... had best be getting finished dressing ourselves - messy phrasing.

Page 251: tuxedo - evening dress or dinner jacket, definitely not tuxedo.

Page 262:  cucumber and butter sandwiches - ah, this made me chuckle, butter is not considered an actual ingredient, it's spread on the bread, so it is simply a cucumber sandwich.

Page 269:  pants - they are under-garments, so therefore it would be trousers or breeches.

Page 277: Metropolitan Police - ok, I'll give him this one, they became that around 1829, before that it was the Runners.

Page 285: gotten - unacceptable, when the author has proved he could rise above use of that word.

Page 285:  London Zoo - Zoological Society of London in Regent's Park c. 1828, prior to that I believe it was at either The Tower.

What a list?

Happy reading.



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

#444 ~ The Island: Fallen Earth Part 3

The Island: Part ThreeThe Island: Part Three by Michael Stark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 3 of  Fallen Earth Series

Book 3 of the serialisation picks up a bit.

I'm loath to give too much in the way of a spoilers but, the fever continues on it destructive path and they try to survive on the island.

With the arrival of a stranger and something evil the whole plot picked up a bit.

The missing 'C' formatting continued in this book. There was also an increase the in the Errors/Bug Bears. I'm not sure if this might be because the author was concentrating on picking up the pace , or if it had a different editing team?

Product Details

It's still available as a free Kindle Download HERE at the time of writing this post.

96 pages
Fiction, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Magic & Myth
Indie Writer (Self-published)

Errors/Bug Bears

In which the mystery of the missing 'C' continues, and gotten makes an appearance.

My other main bone of contention was the fact that the Author couldn't decide how he wished to spell one woman's name - Marce or Marcy?  I do like consistency from an author.

Other than that:

Loc 121:  Ebola needed new a victim - a new.

Loc 865: ... willing to supply them if we come get them - come and get (coordinating conjunctions make me happy).

Loc 1133:  ... while I go grab a few things - go and grab (coordinating conjunctions make me happy).

Happy reading.