Episode 1 – Ethel
After 9 years apart, John Reginald Christie and his estranged wife Ethel reunite and move into 10 Rillington Place. As war breaks out, the fractures in their relationship reappear beneath the thin veneer of married respectability.
I watched this for three reasons, the preview looked good, I’m interested in true crime, and I’ve seen both Tim Roth and Samantha Morton put in some very very good performances in the past.
The first of three episodes is seen through the eyes of Christie’s wife, Ethel, and as a result you see little of what Christie himself is up to, only a portrait of an unhappy marriage as seen through the eyes of a passive woman who almost meekly goes back to a husband who she finds in jail and who cheats on her and abuses her.
The era and the environment are very well recreated in this BBC drama, and both Tim Roth as John Reginald Christie and Samantha Morton as Ethel put in wonderful performances, but the lack of action and the slow pace ultimately drag this down. I was tempted after watching this opening episode to forget about watching the rest, but checking IMDB I see that the following episodes are seen from different characters’ perspectives, so I will give them a go and hope it gets better.
I can so completely relate to everything said here, I can handle just about anything if I know how long it’s going to last and when it will be over, but anything, even the things I am okay with, become a nightmare if they’re a surprise or they run longer than expected.
Road To Gandalfo
War hero and infamous ladies’ man General MacKenzie Hawkins is a living legend. His life story has even been sold to Hollywood. But now he stands accused of defacing a historic monument in China’s Forbidden City. Under house arrest in Peking with a case against him pending in Washington, this looks like the end of Mac’s illustrious career. But he has a plan of his own: kidnap the Pope. What’s the ransom? Just one American dollar—for every Catholic in the world. Add to the mix a slew of shady “investors,” Mac’s four persuasive, well-endowed ex-wives, and a young lawyer and fellow soldier who wants nothing more than to return to private life, and readers have in their hands one relentlessly irreverent page-turner.
This is a pretty dated book now but don’t let that put you off because, despite not being sure whether it’s a comedy or a thriller, I really enjoyed it.
Mackenzie Hawkins and Sam Devereaux bounce off each other brilliantly as mistmatched and reluctant partners-in-crime planning the most audacious crime in history. The build-up to the crime, the planning and prep is detailed but written in a way that is both fun and interesting as ‘The Hawk’ – as Hawkins is known – blackmails a variety of criminal figures to raise the capital for his ‘operation’ and gets his lawyer into so much trouble it’s a miracle he isn’t killed multiple times.
What happens when they are ready for the biggest crime in history and what happens after is as good, if not better than the build-up.
Coming from the man who wrote the Jason Bourne books this is a very entertaining read, though it won’t be for everyone.
I got a very nice surprise today, a friend from Goodreads, Alexis Wills, sent me an email with a present attached; she had been creating some graphics for a book she has been writing and decided during a break to do a few for me, the intention was to encourage me to join the Book of Faces, a place that fills me with dread.
I haven’t yet taken the dive, Facebook requires a level of social skills that I simply don’t possess, just the thought of it kicks of my anxiety and sends me shuffling towards a panic attack, but I am very grateful for the graphics.
What do you guys think?
I think they’re brilliant, and much better than anything I could produce, but if you want to see something really good, I suggest you take a look at her site and see the cover she created for her upcoming release, if I could produce covers like that I could save myself a fortune.
Julie A Gerber & Carole P Roman
Social media guru, Julie A. Gerber and award-winning author of forty-three best-selling, independently published books, Carole P. Roman, team up to travel the winding road of self-publishing, promoting, and marketing a book. Join these two self-help experts as they share their vast store of experience in an easy to read, comprehensive guide, complete with end of chapter checklists to keep an author on track. Learn the importance of a beta reader and the value of a good editor. Know what’s needed when preparing a list for choosing an illustrator. Compare the many ways to promote your book. Find out what each step can cost and where you can save. This guide takes new independent authors from the first draft, through publication and the complicated world of marketing. Included is a directory of resources to help get there faster. Navigating Indieworld will end up being the ultimate travel guide for writers on their journey to published author. Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NavigatingIndieworld
I was gifted a free copy of this book, not for review but because I have connected with Carole P Roman through Goodreads and she was kind enough to want to help me with my writing and promoting efforts. Having read the book, however, I just had to review it.
Julie Gerber and Carole Roman have done a great job of putting together a guide for anyone thinking of publishing a novel. The focus is on publishing as an independent, as the title suggests, but they also cover, briefly, getting published through a publishing house.
The book is organised into a number of different areas that encompass every conceivable aspect of writing and publishing a novel, and each one is written in a way that makes it easy to understand what is being said. Not only are the sections clearly written, they include examples where appropriate – I found the section on blurbs particularly helpful, it’s an area of writing I’ve always struggled with but seeing the examples enabled me to restructure my blurb into something that I feel is more appealing.
Having published in the past, I knew some of what was written about in Navigating Indieworld, and would have liked a little more detail to help me in the areas I didn’t know, such as social media – this is an area I’m uncomfortable with, so more information might not help me all that much, I’m actually thinking of paying for help – but for a new author this is a book I’d recommend reading this book so you know what you’re getting into and how to get the most out of it.
Scrolls of Zndaria
J S Jaeger
Join Nathanial “Nate” McGray, the fifteen-year-old son of the king’s woodsman, on an unforgettable adventure. He is determined to be the first peasant to become a wizard in the magical world of Zndaria. Wedged in a sticky spot, Nate is saved from the town bullies by a mysterious elf named Blinkly. Together, Nate and Blinkly embark on a journey to the Halls of Magic. Along the way, they encounter vicious Dread Vikings, deadly bounty hunters, and a deranged beast. Just as Nate begins to learn magic, the Infinite Wizard and a devilish army attack his Kingdom. Will Nate become a wizard? Can he save his Kingdom? The story unfolds in Scrolls of Zndaria–Scroll One: The Golden Wizard.
This is a difficult book for me to review, not for any bad reason, but because the target audience is ages 9-12 and I am definitely not in that group so it wasn’t easy to look at it from the view of a much younger person.
The story is decent, if undemanding, and likely to appeal to those children not yet old enough to cope with Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. The central character of Nate is pleasant, and well-enough written for the genre and intended target audience, though if I’m honest I thought he was younger than the book’s description says and I think it might be hard for such a young audience to relate to an older character.
I won’t spoil anything by giving away plot points but there was one that I think might upset some readers; fortunately it was handled well enough that it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
If there was one thing that disappointed me, it was the limited exposure given to Demon, I would have liked to see more of this interesting-looking creature. I have hopes that he will turn up again in the next book, and person feature a little more.
Overall I’d say this is a 3* read for adults, there isn’t enough depth to maintain interest in a more sophisticated reader – it being a series I may have to read the next book simply because I don’t like not knowing how a series ends – and a possible 4* for those in its target audience; I suspect 9-12-year-olds will really enjoy it.
Author Jane Jago today releases her new cozy mystery, Shall we gather at the river?
…for a moment the silence was blissful. Then the screaming started…
The body of a young woman is found floating in a Devon river; she has been beaten and tortured, then strangled and discarded.
Finding out who she was, and why she died, is only the beginning of an increasingly violent and disturbing trip into a world of vicious sadism and routine abuse.
Writing team Leo and Mike Johnson will be lucky to get out of this one with all their fingers and toes
Available from Amazon for 99c/99p or free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, just click the link below
I’m not normally one to write a post about a negative experience with a website, it’s not in my nature, but on this occasion I feel I need to.
I was dubious the moment I saw the booksbutterfly.com site, it has a lot of packages available, most of which offer a guarantee of a certain number of sales, a number that is likely to result in a profit, a small one, for anyone using the package. My scam alert started going off as a read the details of the packages, none of which gave any information on how the sales are guaranteed.
After thinking about it for a short while I decided to do some research, which wasn’t very helpful – I found an equal number of negative posts about the site as positive with the result that I was undecided about giving the site a try. Ultimately I decided, by virtue of having a bit of money that I could afford to lose (not that I liked the idea) to take the risk, figuring that if I didn’t get the indicated guaranteed number of sales I would know not to use the site again, and I wouldn’t have risked money that I might need for something more important, like food.
It didn’t take long to discover that I should have gone with my instincts and ignored the site. Communication was limited, and I had to send an email to chase up and find out when my book, Where There’s A Will, was going to be promoted for their new release package – I was told that it would be promoted over three days and that sales could take a couple of days longer to show up, unfortunately I saw no sales that I could definitely attribute to booksbutterfly (I had 2 sales over the course of a week but had another long term promotion running that might have been responsible) and when I searched for my book on the sites where it was apparently posted it was either absent or incredibly hard to find.
I have emailed the company, asking for either a refund or an explanation of why I didn’t get the sales they guaranteed. When I get a response, assuming I get one, I’ll let you all know what they say; in the mean time, I would advise against promoting with this site.
Mayday (Dirk Pitt #2)
Major Dirk Pitt picked up the frantic distress call as he cruised his lumbering amphibious plane over the islands of the Aegean. Brady Air Force base was under fire, its entire force of jets destroyed on the ground . . . by just one First World War bi-plane!
A psychotic ex-Nazi, a bloodthirsty Greek strongman and a beautiful double agent set Pitt on the trail of the warped mastermind behind a devastating sabotage plot. And on that trail, danger and death are never far behind . . .
The second book in the Dirk Pitt series is as good as the first, with Cussler again showing that he knows how to write a good character. This time you don’t just have Dirt Pitt but also his best friend, Al Giordino, who only appeared briefly in the first book. Giordino is very obviously the light relief against Pitt’s more sensible character, but that isn’t all there is to him, nor does it mean he’s any less well-written.
Every character that Cussler writes, especially the main ones, show a very real personality, showing humour, compassion, strengths and weaknesses as the occasions demand.
The only reason I haven’t rated this book higher is the storyline, which is a little lighter than I would like; it’s well-written, I won’t deny that, but I would have liked more depth.