Book Promo Results September 2019

At the Hall of Information we believe that sharing is caring. Especially when it comes to book promotion methods and results. We don’t keep secrets from fellow authors in fact we promote helping the efforts of others in every possible way. We’re all crawling through the shit storm of life together so we might as well help each other right?

Here are the official results of my latest book promotion that ran last week and more importantly how I got them…

Brief interlude… 

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This year one of my top objectives was to get more exposure for my vampire novel ‘Darke Blood’. The plan always was to make the e-version free to download in September and so I did that – (beginners you can make any title free for a brief time via Kindle Direct Publishing as long as it is enrolled in KDP select (ask the google for more info) )

Like my usual book promo runs, I set ‘Darke Blood’ to be free from Wednesday to Friday – how you arrange days may have some effect on sales. Weekend dates can be good sometimes, Sundays have worked well previously but I normally adopt the weekday method.

The last time I had made ‘DB’ free was back in February of 2018, so it’s been a while, the results back then were north of 1000 downloads. So taking into account it had been a while and the fact my readership has grown since then along with the accumulation of a few more reviews I had some optimism that ‘DB’ would do quite well.

Side note: Vampire stories are no way dead (no pun intended), even after the monstrosity that was Twilight, they are still a pretty popular niche, trust me. And I salute anyone who enjoys stories of this genre along with those who write them! 

Results

During the promotional run ‘Darke Blood’ was downloaded 3,402 times!

All previous free promotional records were broken on the Wednesday. (Day 1)

With reference to the below screen grabs you can see things jumped up a notch in the space of an hour on day 1.

 

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This is without mentioning the chart placement it got over on Amazon US.

Not once or twice but THRICE charts… This is a big tip for those looking to get more eyes on your books. There are plenty of charts out there that aren’t as ‘busy’ or populated making it easier climb and get number 1 or even ‘best seller’ status…

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By the close of Day 1 ‘Darke Blood’ came near to 3000 downloads but I had to settle for 2,933 – an impressive feat.

Day’s two and three were less impressive but still commendable with 369 and 97 respectively pushing the total past 3000 in total but on day 3 it wasn’t the only book of mine up for grabs!

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I sneakily set my super hero comedy novella ‘The Teleporter’ for free on Day 3. And the booziest hero of them all stole the day with a total of 88 units downloaded.

This is impressive because I hardly promoted ‘The Teleporter’ apart from a cheeky Facebook ad and other social media shout outs.

So overall in 3 days my books were downloaded 3,402 times!

 

 

How I got these results and factors which governed them… 

Every book is different, and the success of a free promotional run is governed by a ton of factors such as:

Amount of reviews good or bad – having all good reviews for a title isn’t necessary a good thing, in fact ‘Darke Blood’ is one of my most subjective books, it’s rating isn’t exactly the highest which may have helped.

Recent reviews – If your title has some recent reviews, people know it’s recently been read, I’ve had the luck of getting some higher profile reviews this year for ‘DB’ from awesome bloggers Thinking Moon  Mullen Crafts and Feed the Crime – this helped big time!

Current Events – Only days before putting ‘DB’ up for free I pondered via a blog post about whether or not the sequel will ever see the light of day. This post unintentionally stirred up some interest. And yes the sequel will be happening next year!

Timing – The transition from Summer to Autumn brings the promise of Halloween, folks love a spiced latte and a good spooky book to read; ‘Darke Blood’ is just that and another top tip for anyone writing horror, thriller or occult – I have made the most sales of these genres in September! People love the build up to Halloween!

Following – As opposed to last year my following is way bigger, people won’t buy your book if they don’t know about it, this may be the greatest lament and struggle of all authors everywhere. This blog has been nominated for 3 awards this year and we now have 300 plus followers. My Tweet machine following is in the 2000’s – way more than last year.

Investment – If you want a book to sell, for free or at a price, you have to invest money in doing so…

So how exactly did I get 3000 plus downloads? With the above combined factors and my big secret… Book promotion websites – this isn’t really a secret.

How do book promo sites work? Essentially you pay them to tell people about your promo –  they all boast to have access to several thousand followers via email and social media so you are simply paying to use this mode of distribution and the truth is, it works! There are even some sites who take on submissions for free.

My tip when dealing with such sites is to always pay via paypal.

The whole concept with using promo sites is to ‘stack’ the promotion by using multiple sites over the days…

The big secret – Book Promo websites  (paid and unpaid)

I invested around $100 for this promo – probably the most I have ever spent. It sounds like a lot but the results were awesome and worth it.

Here’s a list of sites I used.

Paid:

https://www.freebooksy.com/for-the-authors/   – Promoted on Wednesday

https://pretty-hot.com/submit-your-book/       – Promoted on Thursday

https://awesomegang.com/submit-your-book/    – Promoted on Thursday

Free Sites:

https://discountbookman.com/book-promotion/   – Promoted on Wednesday

http://www.free99books.com/author/add – Promoted on Friday

https://www.bookzio.com/promote-your-book-2/ – Promoted on all 3 days

http://bookangel.co.uk/  – Promoted on all 3 days

http://www.ebooklister.net/submit.php – Promoted on all 3 days

https://ebookshabit.com/ – Promoted on all 3 days

http://bookbongo.com/submit/  – Promoted on all 3 days

Other methods of promo – Facebook 

There are other ways to spread the word about a promotion. Amazon offer their own ad service which I didn’t find much success with previous and even though Facebook aren’t the most reputable bunch they do have access to a lot of people if you place an ad with them.

I boosted two of my posts from my main author page and as you can see ‘DB’ did quite well. The ad set up in FB is pretty complex and detailed but if you can figure it out you can target the right folks.

It’s especially effective for free promotions, convincing people to vote Brexit and getting Trump into power… I deleted my FB app last year for a while, it did me the world of good, even now I don’t look at FB that much. But all satire and opinions aside, the ‘DB’ promo did quite well.

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Outlook…

The hope is that some folks now read Darke Blood and then leave a review. The KENP page read tracker is already showing numbers and I have since sold more books.

For those looking to take on more of my work both ‘Open Evening’ and ‘Cemetery House’ will be available for free sometime in the next month or a little after.

If you missed the free run of Darke Blood or The Teleporter get in touch and I shall send the e version out to you for free in exchange for a review!

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And so that wraps up my latest book promotional efforts. Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for sharing the links, leaving reviews and helping the efforts of your friendly independently published author! 

Remember to leave a review!

 

Darke Blood: You’ve never known true darkness is FREE to download today!

“If you were to only read one new vampire book I would recommend Darke Blood. “

These aren’t my words but words from a recent review of my words known as Darke Blood. I feel as if I have said ‘words’ too much but I’m not kidding when I say Darke Blood is free to download today until this Friday and I give you my word…

This is a limited one time deal and Darke Blood probably won’t be free to download for quite some time. I’ve also said Darke Blood too much haven’t I?

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It’s a pretty looking cover, but admittedly most folks don’t just judge a book by its cover these days, especially well read cultured types such as yourself. So you’ve seen the front cover, but what does the blurb say? 

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In the past year I’ve managed to convince just a handful of awesome folks to review ‘DB’.

One of those recent reviews came from awesome book blogger Blair of Feed the Crime  and she had these thoughts to share…

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“This book wasn’t the cliche of a dark stranger arriving in town and rescuing the damsels. Blake doesn’t even know who he is, never mind taking on vampires and witches!”

“I was blindsided by the last 20% of this book, like where did all these revelations come from?
Mind = Blown”

You can read the full review here

From the inspirational mind of Billy Mays let me say….

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

And so here’s another recent review from Hall of Information Hall of Fame Supporter Jaycee Lynch of Thinking Moon Blog. Trust me when I say this book has got some very important admirers…

“I usually have very high standards when it comes to vampire novels (loved King’s Salem’s Lot, did not care for Meyer’s Twilight), so when I say Darke Blood is an interesting vampire novel, believe me. There is intrigue from the moment the book starts and although you are mainly focused on Blake Malone’s exploits for me the true protagonist is Caitlyn. The mystery unfolds page by page and you are hooked until the last word. A fun yet thrilling read.”

You can read JC’s full review here 

 

Final Attempt at selling you something that is FREE…. 

 

Darke Blood is set in a wider universe that also contains two other books I have written. If this current promotion is a success and enough folks download it and review it, then there will be a sequel. You can read yesterday’s post where I poured my guts out about this subject…

Disclaimer * No real guts were poured out. I am fine. I think. 

Where can you find Darke Blood? Right here

 

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That many likes for something without a cat, food or cleavage…

 

Lets talk about the Darke Blood sequel…

I don’t like talking about my books. I tend to go on and on and on… until people change the subject. This post does exactly that but without you changing the subject.

I am ready to talk about the Darke Blood sequel

Introductory ramblings… 

When I decided to seriously pursue my dream of being a story teller I never let anything hold that vision back. You could argue I still haven’t because even after releasing my first book back in 2016 I charged forward and put out three more in two years.

There were a bunch of things I learned; after all I built this whole thing from zero.

Some lessons were painful, arduous and frustrating. But it wasn’t all bad, I’ve seen some real reward which is only coming to fruition this year – my biggest learning curve above all is that things take time and so does success in writing and blogging. I now have some awesome fellow writers and bloggers in my corner. And my audience is the biggest it’s ever been.

Only a small portion of this publishing journey has ever really struck me enough to properly hurt and even then it was during the process of getting book 4 published. Book 4 also happened to be the first sequel I delved into. 

Unfortunately or fortunately for my readers one of the natural core values of my writing is complication. I would even boast to say all of my stories probably apart from The Teleporter are hugely complex. I cannot help but plant stuff in narratives for future story arcs and pay offs which will come further down the line. You could even say I am serial plotter when it comes to writing. Much of the time I live in my own mind putting together massively complicated stories full of detail, history and futures. It’s actually incredible knowing everything or at least the main details of what is going to happen in a story sometimes years before they ever see release. By the time you’ve read one of my books I’m already in the sequel or another world entirely. 

And so here comes the theme of this post. When I essentially started again in 2016 with Open Evening (my debut novel), I drafted that book with a sequel in mind. But before  Open Evening got published I delved into another stand alone book called Darke Blood.

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I had quite a terrible time drafting Darke Blood for a number of reasons.

  1. I couldn’t make the story work
  2. I had bad sciatica
  3. I still couldn’t make the story work…
  4. I had just began a new job which involved shift work…

I now realize this is probably why it turned out so damn good…. The second book is where authors become authors… the struggle is reflected in some pretty epic twists and turns – this was literally me not knowing wtf I was doing…

After almost angrily sending what was probably a quarter of Darke Blood draft 1 into the recycling bin – I give credit to a particular angry gym session for convincing me not to – I had a big time epiphany.

What if Darke Blood; a world where vampires exist, shared the same universe as Open Evening; a world where monsters exist? 

It makes sense and I’m talking big time epiphany style so it was time to get complicated – my comfort zone in writing.

Immediately I began to plot like a motherfu**er. And although Darke Blood is a stand alone story; and stands alone  impressively well (Caitlyn is a pure badass, Blake Malone is a great MC and not to mention Angus and Splint) it also works as an incredible addition to the universe which Open Evening shares.

Are ya still with me? Well let me explain via bullet points:

  • 2015 – Open Evening Drafted – to be sent to my editor in summer 2016
  • 2016 – Darke Blood Drafted – I decide a quarter of the way through it shares a universe with Open Evening. This makes the ‘story’ work…
  • Summer 2016 – I confirm they share the same universe by referencing Darke Blood in Open Evening by way of the final edit
  • Autumn 2016 – Open Evening released – Darke Blood edited
  • 2017 – Darke Blood released – I then draft the Sequel to Open Evening – Cemetery House – I also drafted the Teleporter…  busy times…
  • 2018 – Cemetery House is released

I have left out one major detail from the above timeline: 

2018 – I drafted the Darke Blood sequel – ‘Darke Awakening’ and it sits idle awaiting the day it may see an editor. 

So if you are still here and have trawled through the above stuff I will now finally talk about this post’s subject matter and it’s quite simple:

Just why have I held back in releasing Darke Awakening?

Darke Blood is set in the same universe as Open Evening and Cemetery House. I know of less than 5 people who have read all 3 of these books. 

But, but, but, before I say anything further, there are some awesome folks who have read these books and put out some wonderful reviews and support for them! Seriously thank you.

Darke Awakening is not only a direct sequel to Darke Blood but it is also a crossover and a sequel to Cemetery House. Yep it’s pretty fuckin complex, but it doesn’t mean the whole thing isn’t epic because it really is. The first half of Darke Awakening serves as the sequel to Darke Blood and then it becomes a crossover with Open Evening and Cemetery House later on.

You have to read all three of these books before reading Darke Awakening. 

  1. Open Evening
  2. Cemetery House

 

3. Darke Blood

Notice the gap because as long as you read Open Evening before Cemetery House you are all good in terms of overall order. It doesn’t actually matter when you read Darke Blood…

The problem is, it’s hard convincing people to read one book let alone three..

Reasoning…

The main trouble with all of this is that I decided to make these worlds share the same universe before anyone really read them or even thought they were any good. Now if you ask me, Open Evening; although it is my debut novel; it isn’t my finest hour – younger readers enjoy it more and it is targeted at school age readers – not to take anything away from their taste, they just appreciate it more, it appeals to them more, its based in a high school. It may not be my greatest but I stand by the fact the story is good. It has also been newly edited this year.

I also stand by the fact Cemetery House’s story is good along with Darke Blood’s which is probably aimed at slightly older readers. Without these books I would not be the author I am today. 

So here’s the conclusion. I want to see Darke Awakening get published. And so back to my first sentence of this post, I’ve never let anything hold me back and just because less than 5 people have read all three books in the same series doesn’t really matter. I do this because I enjoy it, I live for the worlds I build and the characters that reside in them.

Anyone who wants to see Darke Awakening happen then I implore you to reach out and tell others about my stuff. I started this in 2016 from zero.

For those who haven’t read any of these three books which are part of the ‘Order of the Following’ series I will happily send you e copies for free. 

Darke Blood will be free to download tomorrow until Friday. My hope is that more demand for the sequel will appear from this promo.

If this all goes to plan, you can expect Darke Awakening to be released this time next year…

 

 

 and even then it was during the process of getting book 4 published. Book 4 also happened to be the first sequel I delved into. Unfortunately   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing The Teleporter by Kurt Brindley

I raise my glass to fellow author and friend Kurt Brindley for his awesome review of the Teleporter.

Check out what he had to say below!

I urge you check out Kurt’s most recent release ‘The Good Kill’ which I reviewed a short while back; it’s an enthralling, gripping tale of epic proportions taking the reader on a ride full of twists, turns and action… so trust me, it’s good!

Buy it here!  Go now!

 

BOOK | FICTION | HUMOR THE TELEPORTER LEE HALL RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ What if there was a power like no other? What if one drunken slouch happened to stumble where nobody has stumbled before and discovered the ability to teleport!Just when you thought there were enough super hero stories in this world, we made another one…Kurt […]

via THE TELEPORTER by Lee Hall – A Review — KURTBRINDLEY.COM

The city of Edinburgh – a review, part 2

A conclusion of my love letter to Scotland and the city of Edinburgh. And so my second day in the city consisted of two activities…

 

Escape Reality – the No.1 Escape room in the world!

I’m not sure if Escape Reality is the no.1 escape room in the world but it is certainly good!  Located just a few tram stops from the city’s central Princes street we then made the short walk to Fountainbridge.

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Our party of 9 were split into two and we were given a choice of two escape rooms out of 6. Of course the crew that I captained chose the ‘Nosferatu’ game, me and Vampires kinda go hand in hand, or hand in stake shall I say. (pause for laughter…) The other crew headed up ‘Machina’ a ‘terminator’ style themed room.

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Once inside we were tasked with a game of figuring out vampire families and an eventual way to a ‘cure’ via several rooms that opened upon finding various different clues and cracking  locks. Mind your head when examining some secret cupboard doors because they may fling open into one’s face!

There was even a clever game involving words which a wordsmith like yours truly somehow cracked. Eventually we found our way into ‘Nosferatu’s’ lair and armed with a stake we slayed that motherfu**er! Overall the room was of medium difficulty and our team working together finished just two minutes shy of the time limit. 

Escape rooms are an ever growing popular concept that I highly recommend, and Escape Reality were great hosts! They boast to have game locations in the US, UAE and India!

And so our sights set themselves onto the main event of our short tenure in Edinburgh and it involved beer!

Frankenstein’s – Bier Keller Experience

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‘The world famous’ Frankenstein’s is a three storey themed bar that was pretty damn awesome. We had booked the basement bier keller experience – an Octoberfest style set up in Scotland? Trust me it works and along with an awesome three course meal we all had ourselves a 1 litre stein of beer (we had to pay separate for this) and one stein will set you back around £8 so it isn’t that bad in terms of pricing seeing as a pint in the UK costs north of £4 these days… so it was worth it!

Overall the service was great and we were well looked after. Frankenstein’s is a unique place and even the walk there was quite picturesque via the hill and past the Royal mile. For anyone looking for an interesting themed bar I would highly recommend this place!

 

Final Thoughts on Edinburgh

What a great city with an awesome vibe. Considering the short time we spent there, I guarantee I shall be returning as there is a lot more to explore. The castle would be something I would have loved to of seen but time was of the essence. If you are flying from London, its literally 50 minutes in the air. My top tip would be to watch out for the return flight if you are using Edinburgh airport, it gets busy on a Sunday!

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-|Reviewing… The Teleporter by Lee Hall |- — Feed The Crime

A huge tip of the cap and a thank you to Blair from Feed the Crime for reviewing the Teleporter! Check out the full review by clicking on the thing below and remember to support and follow awesome book bloggers like this!

If you are interested in reading the Teleporter I would be more than happy to send you the e version in exchange for a review…


So, today I’m reviewing The Teleporter by Lee Hall, this is the second book I’ve read by him, I reviewed Darke Blood back in April, you can find it here. I did receive this copy from Lee for me to review, however, I think you know by now that I’m always honest, even if I […]

via -|Reviewing… The Teleporter by Lee Hall |- — Feed The Crime

IT Chapter 2 – Review

Derry, Maine – 27 Years later – the ‘losers’ club reunite to take on the horrors that haunted them as kids in what is probably the most anticipated film of 2019 and guess what, they didn’t fu** it up! In fact there are several references to not liking endings throughout what is one hell of culmination and personally, enough to cap off one hell of story…. 

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Pennywise has risen and the film opens with reference to the pact which the loser’s club made to face him if he would ever return. The story then begins in ‘present’ day. Things start off quite brutal and really are a sign of what is to follow. This time the whole deal felt more psychological as opposed to physical horror, I would even hazard to guess everyone’s favourite clown has a severely reduced screen time compared to chapter 1 but his appearances were consistent and carried impact just like the man who plays him Bill Skarsgård.

We are introduced one by one to the ‘club’ who are now adults, and the players they have assembled is probably some of the best casting in modern cinema. They really have put in efforts to find people who not only resemble the kids but their whole personality and chemistry together is something that I found a pleasure to watch. It’s funny and meaningful without being over emotional or even cheesy. These kids went through so much and you feel it as a passenger on this roller coaster ride.

They assemble and a journey begins to find a way to kill Pennywise for good. Each of the now grown up kids has to find a ‘token’ of their past and use it to destroy the threat of the present. It’s a clever way of metaphorically saying ‘we beat it before, so we can beat it for good this time’. Chapter two not only references the masterpiece that was Chapter one but we are taken back many times throughout showing scenes that weren’t in the first. It fills in the gaps while all the more adding a lot more weight to the already detailed story.

It nostalgia and familiarity of the present day rolled into one; a perhaps original concept that makes this film flow and you forget about running times entirely. I’ve kept this review vague because Chapter two really is worth a watch. It’s a compliment to the first and so much more. The characters, the visuals, the jumpiness and everything else. Stephen King is a master story teller and it is films like this that do his work justice. You may even see him make a cameo briefly…

10/10 – Must watch for anyone who has seen the first, if you haven’t go now! 

The city of Edinburgh – a review, part 1

Having recently returned from my travels to Scotland I felt compelled to share with you my experience of visiting a truly wonderful city.

The premise of this trip; to celebrate the fact my brother is tying the knot later this year and so I was in fine company best described as the ‘lads and Dad’s’. In our two night’s residence we made the best of what was a fantastic weekend in possibly the nicest city I’ve ever visited. Here’s a brief highlight style review of some things to do in Scotland’s capital.

After an early start (pre 5am) the majority of our group assembled at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 for a 07:45 departure to Edinburgh Airport.

Side note: There is a whole British Airways saga that almost threatened to hamper our efforts for this trip, you shall hopefully see a very scathing review of their very below par customer service of what is not a bad airline or even flying experience; if you can get on a damn flight) 

Terminal 5 of Heathrow is the flagship home of British Airways and although it looks shiny and relatively new, it was busy and overall Airports have no way of looking particularly fancy for what they are. For the first twenty years of my life I did reside a stone’s throw away from the place so my bias is what it is. The terminal’s Wetherspoon’s (A budget chain of UK pub’s or the Walmart of UK pubs) was busy with some travelers beginning their trip with an early 6am beer. Me, I chose a cup of tea and not a lot else. I’m a nervous flyer so I’ll eat if I survive…

With a flight time of less than 60 minutes our time in the air I found to be relatively comfortable and short. We were on the ground again just before 9am, making what would be an 8 hour car journey from London seem a no brainer. Internal UK flights for the win!

Edinburgh Airport to the city Center via tram – 30 min or less

Located only half an hour from Edinburgh city center we made the short walk to the airport tram station and got ourselves a reasonably priced  return ticket (for our way back on the Sunday) for £8 – probably better than any taxi fare it’s as direct as a railway and more frequent (every 15 mins). An unlimited day ticket excluding airport travel is just £4.

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The tram system in Edinburgh is new and a spacious relaxing way to travel right into the very heart of this Victorian version of a smaller New York. Cobble side streets accompanied by wide avenues make this city a spacious and spread out gem. It feels like a regional town but has a certain charm, the hustle and bustle doesn’t seem overcrowded. There are large park sized gardens spread out amongst a city which was designed with some real thought.

Princes Street to the Hotel – 6 min walk 

After a thirty minute tram ride we had made our way into the very heart of Edinburgh, with the high placed castle to our right and the main drag known as Princes street amongst us. It has the usual shops and places all high streets do but just on a grander Scottish scale with that picturesque castle overlooking it all.

We made our way towards the newer side of town and only a few blocks over did we find Queen street and our digs for the weekend; a travelodge – cheap and cheerful no nonsense accommodation. Looking over some quaint gardens and a part of Victorian terraced street the hotel is a room only kind of deal but there is no need for a restaurant or a bar because they surround us. The rooms were spacious, clean and simple.

Brunch – ‘Browns’ located on George Street

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Our ‘lad’s and Dad’s’ tour started off relatively civilized and that made for the theme of the entire weekend. ‘Browns’ is pleasant ‘high end’ looking  bar and restaurant that happily took our table for 9 on both this day and the next for an extensive brunch menu that boasts not only eggs Florentine, Benedict and Royale, but there’s also a host of smoothies, vegetarian options and of course steak and eggs!

The service both times we visited was spectacular and we were even given a semi private table tucked away at the back of the place. Located just minutes from our hotel, it was a welcome treat after an already long day.

 

Afternoon drinks – ‘The Alexander Graham Bell’ – Wetherspoons 

Our second Wetherspoons of day consisted literally across the cobbles to this not to large and not too small watering hole where we had a handful of beers. The atmosphere was good, most of the punters were locals in rugby shirts laying in wait or preparation for the day’s game later on and overall this pub was on the better scale of Whetherspoons out there.

Whisky Tasting Experience – ‘The Royal McGregor’ – Located on the ‘Royal Mile’ 

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As Ron Burgundy once said ‘when in Rome’ and the same goes for Edinburgh when referencing to whisky. We found ourselves (as part of my best man organizing endeavors) booked in a quaint compact pub which not only offered a unique whisky tasting experience but they also provided great value for money food. Located in the older part of town and up a partially steep hill (non walkers may struggle) known as the ‘Royal Mile’.

Our evening passed tremendously quick after tasting three types of whisky initially, all from different areas of Scotland. With reference to the map, the tastes and styles vary depending on where they are distilled and created. We then treated ourselves to another three rounds because as Rob Burgundy said…

I  highly recommend this place for anyone looking to get the full Scottish culture experience along with perhaps getting slightly merry for their efforts. Our hosts at the pub were fantastic and hospitable throughout.

And so that wrapped up our first day in Edinburgh, stay tuned for part two where I review a German bier keller experience! 

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Weekly Ramble #46

There is no shame in having anxiety. We should never beat ourselves up for what is essentially a reaction or a feeling to something. Like a suspension bridge the cables and struts of it’s anatomy only have a certain tolerance, own own cables and struts (emotions) are under the same stress.

It’s a natural normal thing to feel anxious and the triggers can spring up from anywhere. That big presentation, a speech, an important game and even getting on that plane (for me). Rationalization is hard thing to find in the murk and dark of anxiety, every little thing becomes heightened. It can be hell for sometimes days before and then the actual experience may turn out to have all been in our heads (but even after I still hate flying).

We can debilitate ourselves with thoughts alone, and maybe we were being silly in that moment, but that’s not tackling the issue, that’s just a dismissal. In this day and age especially we must talk about our emotions, they lead us through that murk. Depression, anxiety, nervousness, worry, they are all considered as bad feelings, but they are normal reactions to the life we live. It’s okay to have these feelings, sometimes every day.

The next time you lift something heavy or god forbid do a plank, your arms or abdominal muscles begin to shake, that’s because they are working and again that is something normal like emotion.

In a world where all of us strife to be different we all have one thing that is the same, our emotions, so let’s bloody talk about them more!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Man’s Hammer by Christina Engela – Review

Suspense, drama and modern issues all of which are tackled in a fun but important way…

dead mans hammer

As the Quantum series unfolds, it grows more and more impressive. Dead Man’s Hammer is proof that Christina Engela can build an established world and insert so many genres into it along with retaining a unique style of writing that not only tributes her influences but has a way of confiding in readers. We are back on the quirky planet of ‘Deanna’ home of the rather ominous sounding ‘Obsidian crows’ and more specifically ‘Atro city’ a place this time around we get to know a bit better while referencing the previous stories of the ‘Quantum series’.

Someone is targeting my favourite characters; an assassin enigmatically named ‘Villainessa Tittel’ who is after one person in particular and series regular; Cindy Mei Winter. ‘Villainessa’ proves to be quite a force in her field of work and does everything in her power to draw in ‘Mei’ whom share an interesting history. It is in this history where readers will find the true message and meaning of the story. While ‘Mei’ has moved forward in life she must face what is essentially a demon of her past and a life before she became ‘Cindy’ and it’s trying to torment her. This is a massive nod to modern issues that many people face in the transgender community and in life as a whole, sometimes it isn’t about who you were, but what you are now and what you truly feel. This concept is galvanised by another character ‘Danielle Grauffis’ who is in a process of transition in her young life compared to ‘Mei’. 

Of course other returning regulars such as ‘Beck the Badfella’ – who we get a name origins story from and special branch ‘Fred’ the arborian make appearances along with an extended appearance from ‘Sheriff Peggy Ann Muller’ who makes quite a team with ‘Mei’ and this is where a crime mystery element of the story truly shines.

Suspense, drama and even tragedy are ways that I would describe the journey this story represents not to mention that crime mystery theme along with some more important issues that these books are not afraid to tackle; as much as this sounds heavy, it’s a fun read. Throughout Engela’s writing style naturally flows and is fun to read. Revenge is a dish best served cold, you could even say as cold as ‘Winter’ but that’s only something ‘I heard through the grape vine…’ 

5 Stars