Brilliant fun – a historical mystery with plenty of atmosphere
This is a very enjoyable historical tale that whisks the reader away to early 1900’s Odessa. Immediately the atmosphere drew me in as William Burton McCormick sets the scene during a storm and we meet two mischievous but very likeable twin sisters ‘Eleni’ and ‘Tasia’. A much-needed new guest arrives at their family boarding house where they suspect he may have something to do with a string of recent murders committed by someone only known as ‘The Specter’.
The behaviour of this new arrival arouses the sister’s suspicions and in a city with a known killer they begin to pry. Their results and antics which follow are both fun and chilling – their dialogue interaction with each other in particular is very well done and touches on so many elements of humour, perhaps a coping mechanism for the chilling events going on.
Of course like most mysteries the big reveal tends to make or break the story and after a few twists the ending was indeed unexpected and satisfying. With historic elements and fun witty dialogue that carries an intriguing story, this one is definitely for you if you enjoy those things – I certainly did!
It can be tiring sometimes. With the constant social media presence and content creating, that is whilst also trying to survive a world that is seemingly getting darker and worse every day. That’s how it seems anyway. Not so long ago I revelled in the fact everything went quiet for those pandemic quarantine days, now things have come back to full capacity, they seem to have returned even busier and harder.
The anxiety seems to come frequently these days and is triggered by the sometimes inane things. From an unwanted letter in the mail to a bad interaction whilst driving. This world isn’t exactly forgiving right now. Then you’ve got the politicians making decisions that really don’t seem to make sense. It really is a weird time if you think about it deep. Times keep shifting for the worse it appears, just when things start to quieten down, it gets noisy again. The disruptions are probably the cause of that anxiety and maybe I do just need to stop for a while. Take my foot of the gas and just breathe.
This week I’m in need of a recharge and unwind. Perhaps I’ll dust off the games console and escape that way. It has been all work and no play recently and well you probably know what comes from that. Stay strong loyal followers.
Twitter can be a strange and weird platform to figure out. But it is also a fantastic opportunity to connect with millions of others who could potentially be your next follower, reader and even customer.
Leveraging that following can be difficult but I’ve spent nearly 10 years on the platform and now with over 32,000 followers, I am living proof that the knowledge I’ve gained works to increase my growth, marketing reach, engagement and sales. Now I have the means to pass on this experience so anyone can achieve what I have.
If you are not sure where to start and are looking for better results to achieve awesome things like me then look no further than my Twitter Coaching Sessions. You’ll learn everything I have in just a few hours as opposed to the many years I spent carving a following that regularly buys my books.
These 10 audio classes are a crash course in everything I have learned to get good results on Twitter – from constructing the ideal profile and presence to even the finer details of increasing engagement to get those all important sales. There is even a session dedicated to staying safe.
Start your journey to better Tweet Machine Results today. Coaching Sessions 1 and 2 are free to listen and then it costs less than $2 to access the rest.
More sessions are coming that will lay out everything I have learned to give you the best chance of social media success!
A swashbuckling and sometimes brutal tale packed with action
Pirate Sea is a page-turning swashbuckling tale with a brutal edge that follows young ‘James Vane’ as he is captured by a band of pirates in the 1700’s. The writing style is both a befitting tribute to the famous pirate tales seen in classic literature whilst also having a modern feel.
Not long after readers are introduced to the story do we see events turn for the worst for young ‘James’ as his father’s ship is intercepted by the infamous pirate vessel known as the ‘Blood Revenge’ and helmed by Captain ‘Scar Eye’ – I enjoyed the naming here, it felt both original and familiar which hit the right tones for a pirate themed story. Soon enough those events turn brutal which is something that rings true from real history, this isn’t just the glamour of swords and sails, its gritty and violent. This is also a sign of things to come.
“He was pure pirate and reasoning with pure pirate was impossible”
A quote that sums up the journey James would have to take in this story to find any kind of redemption or escape and there is a heap of character development as he adjusts to these new pirate surroundings. It is during this journey that he discovers a history that is very close and personal and with it comes a tale I very much enjoyed.
Blogging has been a journey that’s served as probably the greatest companion and outlet for my creativity. This Hall of Information blog began life as a plunge into the unknown to create a presence and a home for my writing online. It pulled me along when nothing else did and eventually over some years it became the central pillar of everything Lee Hall.
This post is a short reflection on reaching 1000 WordPress followers which is a huge number for a WordPress blog and a powerful thing that has kept me inspired to simply keep going. Over some years I found my creativity, my consistency and of course my content through this blog and eventually it began to turn the needle for me. There are so many lessons I have learned over the years on this journey and this blog has been there for all of them.
Like many of my successful moments, they are defined simply by the fact I have just kept going, kept chasing and kept learning. Along the way I gained you, a loyal follower and reader, someone who answers back from the void that I was seemingly shouting into all these years – the secret ingredient to all of this. I am living proof that blogging can be a success if you work for it and part of this journey would be nothing without this Hall of Information blog – a hub and account of my journey told in real time. And time is what it takes for anything good in this world along with good people to help me, you.
There are a plethora of influences who have shaped my blogging success, from those who nominated it for awards to those who might just be silently reading without ever engaging with me – both and everyone in between is fine for me and no matter who you are, as long as you are kind, you are welcome at the Hall of Information. From the day in day outer’s who I see blogging everyday to the occasional creator, the interactions I have had over the years with all of you have given reason and meaning to this sometimes hard journey.
From then, now and to the future, thank you for supporting me. I have learned so much from what you have given me.
Well-written detective mystery with noir tones and a metaphysical twist…
This is a well-written well-balanced story that follows Private Detective Rudy Parsons who takes on the case of a missing person after vivid vision. Gradually a strangeness unfolds that seems to be following Rudy as he tries to decipher what is happening whilst also tracking down this missing person in downtown San Francisco.
Just what is real and what isn’t? That vision seems to contain some truth as the events begin to unfold along with the intrigue. There’s heaps of mystery and atmosphere here and that is without mentioning the personality of Rudy who is a likeable narrator and even has a fitting catchphrase.
“My friends call me Rudy. My enemies call me Parsons…”
Having read this in just one sitting it left me wanting more and shorter reads can sometimes be lacking in any substance but not for this one as it appears to just be the tip of an iceberg very much worth exploring further. Very enjoyable.
Thought-provoking poetry reflecting many themes surrounding the dark and light…
This is a rich collection of poetry that serves as a reflection of many themes that mainly surround dark and light. Some verses rhyme whilst others don’t but all of them have their own power whether it be poignant or even brief, poetry is a creative reflection of one’s inner thoughts and it can be impromptu or planned, I kind of gathered the vibes of both through the many poems by Sabrine Elouali which I enjoyed.
In particular, ‘Questions’ resonated with me and ‘Illusion’ which merely suggested some of the deeper thoughts that followed after reading them and that is the sign of any good writing, laying something out that evokes feeling, but the readers imagination is given freedom to do the rest. Having grabbed a digital copy of this collection for free, I’d say that’s more than a bargain for some great poetry.
If in doubt there’s probably a self-help book out there for it and so this post is dedicated to some of the self-help books I highly recommend. From writing craft to the finer details of marketing to even changing the way we think, let us dive in.
‘Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing’ By Catherine Ryan Howard
If there was one book that paved the way for this blog’s very existence, it would be this guide by Catherine Ryan Howard who has since gone on to have massive success with her writing – I’m talking six figure publishing deal kind of success, and my journey was inspired by Self-Printed which is a guide for both authors and bloggers. The writing style is fun and its a great insight into what it takes to self publish.
‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ – Stephen King
Say what you like about probably the greatest American story-teller of a generation and seemingly it appears to be the fashion to not like him in some circles but Stephen King has put together a fantastic guide that is both craft and practical based. I’d say that anyone who is looking to get more from their writing should invest in this one, its not even that long for a King book, so win win.
Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening! by DRTao
Keeping to the theme of shorter guides, ‘Break Them All’ refers to unlocking the potential of your own mind by overcoming things such as ego and ambition in a positive sense to be a better person. Easy to read and also intelligent, this different but great guide is well worth a look.
‘Lazy Creativity: The Art of Owning Your Creativity’ by Kyle Bernier
I discovered this guide via Reedsy Discovery and ‘Lazy Creativity’ kind of normalises the fact that its okay to be lazy in your creative endeavours. Its detailed and covers many different types of creativity from the view of an artist who is also therapist. It certainly opened my eyes.
‘Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon’ by Dale L. Roberts
Another Reedsy Discovery find and it’s an incredible eye opening resource for those published via Amazon – most reading this are and this book focuses on the power of Amazon’s search bar/key word optimization. This is just the tip of a big iceberg that deep dives into how the world’s biggest book retailer functions. Highly recommended.
‘The Art & Business of Writing: A Practical Guide to the Writing Life’ by Chris Jones
Chris Jones lays out his tenured journey in the writing industry while generously passing on his wisdom in an easy-to-read guide full of resources that will either help or reassure the modern writer or both. Many other guides suffer from over informing or throwing way too much at once to the reader but here we get a fine balance between just the right amount of information and a tone that is friendly and consistent.
And so that wraps up my self-help book rec’s. Thank you for reading!
An imaginative and highly original tale about first contact with corporeal beings from another world some of which are already here….
Pat Griffith takes readers on an original and unexpected journey that begins in one place and then takes a direction I did not see coming. A group of high school aged friends spend an evening camped out in the woods for some stargazing and experience something none of them could have possibly expected. And then there’s first contact as the real story kicks in.
‘The light around them dimmed, eliminating the shadows. The sun grew cold and the wind blew harder. As they looked up, gravitating toward each other, there was a mutual, unspoken question between them: What in the world was that?’
The pace suddenly quickens as its apparent this fallen meteorite contains life that has a unique invisible ability to spilt and take over a human mind. This life even has a conscience and thought process even if it does find the human anatomy seemingly foreign. After hitching a ride on their nearest hosts the chase begins as the authorities are informed – the FBI who usually turn up to these things are on the case and then comes the realisation that some of these beings were already here, hiding amongst us. The focus is on the human mind and how it can be altered or even intercepted to the point where they (the humans) are no longer in control.
Through the vessel of some wonderful description and heaps of originality we are taken on this ride of chase and hide adventure as these beings intercept and try to run. There are even those in authority who have succumbed to the effects of them. What they want is never really known but does it matter? Perhaps not because like all life, that’s probably what they want, to live. There are brief shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers but with a less horror-esque tone and more of a focus on that corporeal life that silently takes on a human host.
For anyone looking to read an original sci-fi adventure about life from another planet that intercepts life on this one, this is definitely one for you!
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