Saturday, 26 September 2015

Defective (The Institute Series Book 3) by Kayla Howarth

I already reviewed the first two in this series and it is a pleasure to now do the third. This Australian YA writer is a cut above the rest and her books are fun to read. Even though the pace in this book is a bit slower, it still kept my attention and I'm happy to give the third in the series 5 stars too.
Defective (The Institute Series Book 3) by Kayla Howarth on Amazon

I hugely enjoyed book one and two in this series, so I eagerly awaited the third instalment; Defective. We find Allira two years on from the end of the second book. She is working with her aunt in a clinic, helping defective patients who increasingly find themselves the victims of hate crimes. Allira is wracked with guilt that overthrow of the institute didn’t lead to greater tolerance; instead it left defectives vulnerable to attacks. Two years later she is also still mourning the death of her boyfriend Chad. She has agreed to live with Paxton James and his daughter Nuka, once things became difficult at home; her grieving has pushed the once closest to her away. Paxton is running for president and Allira agrees to play his ‘girlfriend’ in order to help his campaign. Life for Allira is shaping up to be all about duty, until tall handsome psychology student Jayce walks into the clinic. The pace of this book is initially a bit slow as Allira struggles with duty versus what she really wants, but then things hot up as the past is catching up with her and she realises what she thought was the truth proves to be otherwise. There are a good few surprises towards the end of the book, and the final chapter sets it up nicely for a sequel. Judging by the ending, book four I imagine, will have a few comedy moments. I think Jayce is one of Kayla Howarth's best characters yet. He is comfortable leaving all the heroics and ass-kicking to Allira and sister Jenna, just providing moral support and a shapely shoulder to cry on. Who needs a hero when you are perfectly able to kick any ones butt? I’m happy she has found the brains to her brawn.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Corpus Delectable (Marcy Pantano Mysteries Book 1) by Mike Billington

They say a great actor is one that excels at drama as well as comedy. I believe the same is true for writers. Here we have a writer who is as comfortable writing an epic story set in biblical times (The Third Servant) as he is writing this sassy crime thriller. In Marcy Pantano he has created a woman after my own heart; sassy, intelligent, independent but not without her flaws. She has overcome a bad marriage and a nasty divorce that left her penniless, but Marcy picked herself up, started her own consultancy and now dates a hot young photographer. Her help is being sought by the public prosecutor when a mutual friend is being accused of murder. He is lying about his whereabouts to the authorities. Is he protecting someone even though the truth might clear him? The story is mainly character driven and there is an interesting sub-plot involving the ex-husband. The actual solving of the crime is a bit sudden, but this didn’t take away from the fun read this is; there is plenty of other things besides the murder going on. The best bit about this book is the depth to which the author explores his main character. We get to know this woman intimately; what makes her tick, what ticks her off and what gets her hot under her bib overalls. I would love to have Marcy along for a girl’s night out. This is the first of a series of books and I would certainly like to read what Ms. Pantano gets up to next. I would like to read more in general of this author, as I have no doubt that whatever genre he tackles next, he will do it well.I give this 5 stars.

Sunday, 13 September 2015


This week I had a very enjoyable two reads. Two books that delve into the things that make life so enjoyable (alcohol) but also so unbearable (the hangover) just a few hour later. People must have thought I was quite mad laughing to myself on the beach and at work. (Passengers glancing nervously at me hoping I’m not on their flight) Both books got a well-deserved 5 star.
The Redemption of the Unorthodox Gentleman by Joe Osborne 
This book was very funny and will appeal to people who like Harold and Kumar go to white castle and comedies of this genre. This is the second of a series, but it stands perfectly on its own. The book is written in the first person and we never get a mention of his name, but the book is called the redemption of the unorthodox gentleman. However our narrator is anything but a gentleman. Dependant on his mother for work and his rent he is hardly a pillar of the community. Things get from bad to worse; his mother sacks him when she walks into the laundry room and sees him pleasuring himself, during work time! Our ‘Hero’ sets out on a quest to find honourable employment. He finds a job at the public pool as an assistant canteen manager, but his troubles are far from over. This book has a great cast of characters, each one more obnoxious and reprehensible than the other.  There is Carl, his mother’s sleazy boyfriend who manages to become a local celebrity due to some fine form in the local lawn bowling championship. His nemesis; Otis the alcoholic funeral director who owns the place next to the swimming pool, who is out to destroy the gentleman’s fledgling career. This book is original, silly and not for the easily offended. I can’t explain why it’s funny, but trust me, it just is. I recently read a few books by new Canadian writers (Silas Payton and Nico Laeser) and there is definitely something in the water that brings forth original thought and creativity. Keep on writing Canada!
Thai Hangover Cures; The Handsome man guide to preventing and managing hangovers

Even though this book is aimed at restoring the handsome man to his prime, this beautiful lady didn’t take offense but instead learned a few things. I like that this book is not judgemental. Some of us like to go out, have few drinks that can turn into too many. This book explains clearly, but also in a funny and tongue in cheek way, what a hangover is and what are the best ways to remedy it. I like the section on prevention and learned a few things that will hopefully reduce the headaches. There are some wonderful recipes for cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic and some juices that can be enjoyed even when not suffering the symptoms of over indulgence. I also liked that the book is peppered with quotes from well known authors related to drinking. I believe that at the moment the book is only available on kindle, but it would be nice to have it sitting in print next to the blender and juicer for daily reference.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Murderous Little Darlings - A Tale of Vampires - Book One: A Tale of Vampires - Book One by John Hennessy

The book promo is going well, so far I managed to sell about 60 books and the countdown runs till the 9th. The next couple of weeks will reveal the full impact, but it's encouraging. I also reached another milestone in getting over a 1000 twitter followers. I still have to be convinced about twitter. I spend many hours doing tweets and retweets and met some interesting people, but as regards to book sales, well I think it is probably a waste of time. I'll sit on that fence a little longer and tweet on:)
Now back to my cup of tea; vampires. This was an interesting one and some new fresh ideas here. It was a short story, but one that will be part of a seven book series. Five stars.
Murderous Little Darlings - A Tale of Vampires - Book One: A Tale of Vampires - Book One by John Hennessy

What a tasty morsel this was. It was very short and I’ve would have liked to get my fangs into something a bit longer, but the good news is that this is part one of seven. This excellent short story starts a promising series.
John Hennessy very cleverly messes with his readers minds. Firstly his characters are young children; they have the faces of angels but are capable of gruesome and violent acts. Marcus the oldest of the three siblings has fully embraced his vampire nature and tries to get his siblings to follow his lead. His brother is easily manipulated, but his sister objects. Here the author messes with us again by throwing doubt on the assumption that Marcus is a vampire. Is he just a disturbed young boy that thinks he is a vampire? Vampires are just a myth, right? Marcus, despite his young age, is a manipulative character and I found him quite chilling. People who like things clear cut and logical might have a problem here, but I took it as a story told from the perspective of the children. You get three kids in separate rooms and you get three completely different stories and two will be far removed from the truth. (At times this might even be a little trippy.) The ending was unexpected but a little sudden. I do hope that in the next stories we will delve a bit deeper into the lives and backgrounds of the three siblings (or that the reader gets further messed with). A different take on the vampire genre and certainly something I want to read more of.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Pale Horse (Urban Knights book3) by James Roby

I've been running another free offer for Language in the Blood (sorry about posting a bit late, it only has an hour to go.) I've only used free media for the promotion and sure enough it hasn't been as successful as the previous one. so top marks to the choosybookworm site as for value for money. There is still time to get your hands on Blood Ties which is on a Kindle countdown for 99c until the 9th of September. I'm using Booksend for the promotion (a hefty 60$) but the rewards are already rolling in and I think it will prove a good investment.
So onto the review. Unfortunately another case of decent book shame about the editing. a four star.
Pale Horse (UrbanKnights Book 3) by James Roby

This is a testosterone fuelled boys own adventure. Dialogue laden with manly banter, military jargon and weaponry mentions. Jason Noble makes a good action hero; trying to run his own detective agency, but there when his country needs him.
The plot is an interesting one; the CIA infects a dangerous international arms dealer with a man made Ebola virus. The man is then released in the hope he will trail the virus back to his organisation. They lose track of the criminal but then suspect he has resurfaced in Detroit, putting the lives of thousands at risk when the virus becomes contagious in a few more days. The race against time starts and Jason Noble is hired to help the various government agencies in tracking this man down. He agrees despite his team’s reservations, they are non too keen to work with the military, it even leads to his friend and partner Eric, to resign.
I downloaded this book as a kindle free deal even though it is the third in the urban knights’ series. There are some mentions to earlier events, but this book works fine as a stand alone. The female characters are a bit of an aside and not very developed, this book is all about the action.
There are a number of issues to do with editing and formatting, but I've contacted the writer and he is aware of them now. I hope a more polish version will be uploaded soon, but these issues have not affected my rating. Enjoyable action packed read.