‘The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music’ by Dave Grohl – Review

A masterful collection of wonderful and powerful tales…

Dave Grohl has put together a fantastic collection of life stories told through the eyes of a son, musician, family man, kid and band member that has graduated life with honours. From his humble beginnings of using just pillows as make shift drums to the grand heights of playing in two of the world’s biggest rock bands all the way to his heart-warming relationship with a mother who did so much to shape him and of course his three daughters.

This book is a gem and told in a kind of unique way – each chapter is basically a series of stories or moments that then have stories within them. I found myself immersed in every one and whisked away on this awesome journey Grohl has embarked over a life of so many cool things. There really is a lot of good stuff here and it is told with a style that is grounded much like the man seems in real life, like us he is just a fan of this stuff too and through some cool decisions and a lot of hard work he made it to the top of rock and roll – to me anyway and those who are a fan of emerging punk rock music to simply just creativity will find something inspiring within.

“Courage is a defining factor in the life of any artist. The courage to bare your innermost feelings, to reveal your true voice, or to stand in front of an audience and lay it out there for the world to see…”

Every experience is captured by Grohl who becomes the storyteller in this labour of love for a life he has led. Whether it is as the struggling musician between places and living in a van to even his friendship with a Beatle or his Foo Fighters band mates. I found myself not wanting to put down the book after each chapter which begins with symbolism and ends that way also. There are plethora of fantastic quotes I would love to include but I’d also like to leave them out just so any prospective reader can experience them for themselves.

5 Stars

‘Red on White’ by J.P Biddlecome – Review

‘The Wolves came, rising from the waves…’

Red on White is an intriguing tale of one young man’s battle to survive after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami hits Oregon. Soon enough chaos ensues as ‘James’ is about to head home from his farming job but the elements beg to differ. The huge wave rolls in along with the destruction taking everything in its path.

“Maybe his best friend was floating in that soup. Each face looked like a friend, a relative, a loved one…”

With this being my 2nd J.P. Biddlecome experience I can see his growth as a story teller is apparent through a story of adversity drawing some similarities to ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ alongside elements of ‘Castaway’. There’s a running metaphor throughout that compares the many days James spends trying to survive as a pack of wolves begin to circle and grow. Survival is the key word here as this candid descriptive reading experience drew me in from very start.

4 Stars Thank you to the author for reaching out and providing a copy of the book. Reviews left via Amazon and Goodreads

Reaching 30,000 Twitter Followers

Everyday I am on twitter. And over some years I’ve learned a lot about the platform as well as a lot about myself. Reaching 30,000 followers wasn’t a solo effort because like most social media platforms, success is mainly defined by those you interact with and others ultimately decide your success. In this post I am going to reflect on how I got to that number.

There was a time not too long ago where my tweets seemingly fell upon deaf ears. And back in April of 2020 my Twitter was nothing like it is now but then things started to gradually change. During a time of uncertainty I was granted probably the greatest gift you can give a writer; time. And looking back, I spent it figuring out the best possible way to turn my Twitter into something much more than it was. And to me, much like writing, Twitter is a journey of self discovery.

With 3,000 or so followers at that time and not a lot of engagement I dove in to the platform. Using some stuff I’d already realised about the platform’s potential and with some consistency, things began to change. It took time, it took effort and it took a boat load of constant trial and error. Everyone’s Twitter is different but the application of trial and error is something everyone can do pretty much everyday, even just for a few minutes.

From figuring out what time the majority of my following is online to see my tweets to simply learning that replying to those who reply to you is incredibly beneficial for visibility amongst so many vital lessons. The time I spent self-learning about this strange but wonderful conversation driven app started to churn out results. From book sales to blog views, from followers to friendships and even important contacts who would help me with BETA reading or even editing of future works.

I was talking and people from all over the world started listening whilst that following was gradually growing. By the end of 2020 I reached 5,000 followers and year later it was 20,000. All of this was driven by spending time and figuring out the value of being conversational. That’s all this is at the end of the day and for someone who finds dialogue a natural habitat – lets face it, most writers do. I eventually turned my Twitter into something truly worth having in my life.

Books were selling every 10 days in 2020 and today its near enough every few days which is also driven by mainly Twitter. My presence and persistence has paid off in so many ways, from building friendships to even having a purpose to those sales.

All of what I figured out gave me the best chance for others to ultimately decide my success, and if I could sum up everything I have done for people to decide my success on the platform it would simply be this:

For all the things you want to be on social media, just be kind. Kindness sticks out these days and good people will remember you for it.

To those who do follow me on Twitter, now over 30,000 of you, thank you. I’ll be recording a special celebration Twitter coaching session this week which will be free to listen to.

Below you’ll find some of my better resources for Twitter success.

Twitter Coaching Sessions – Pt 1 and 2 are Free to listen to. Sign up to listen to the rest.

Building an Algorithm of Trust – for better results on Twitter

Tips for Better Twitter Engagement

Nine Years on Twitter – What I’ve learned

A Second Helping -An Excerpt

Hello friends, introducing an excerpt of ‘A Second Helping’ by fellow author and blogger Megan Hinde

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Tips

Debbie

From the first time I saw her I knew I had to taste those soft, cherry lips. I watched as she slid the lip gloss wand over her lower lip, how it glistened in the summer sun. She rubbed her lips together, giving a kiss to the air.

We were attending summer session at the University. It was a hot, dry summer, and Debbie was fond of wearing white denim shorts with purple flowers printed on them. She wore them rolled up exposing her slender upper thigh, how I longed to touch her smooth, tanned skin. To run my fingers through her long wavy dirty blonde hair, that she kept pulled back in a loose braid. She gathered her things and headed towards class. I followed her, mesmerized by her swaying hips and the click clack of her sandals against the pavement. My obsession now had a purpose…

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Indie Book Rec’s : Horror

In celebration of #indieApril over on Twitter and because there are some wonderful indie books out there, I’ve put together a series of posts recommending some awesome works I have read over the years.

This post is dedicated to the genre of Horror and here are some books I highly recommend and hold in high regard of the genre.

‘Nocturnal Blood’ (Nocturnal #1) by Villimey Mist

A modern vampire story that takes the reader on a journey of twists and turns…

Full Review

Nocturnal blood

‘The Four Before Me’ by E.H. Night

‘While some monsters are born, others are created..’

Full Review

the 4

‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ by Dave Williams

A twisted, haunting and enjoyable read that dives deep into the shadowy depths of one man’s mind…

Full Review

‘Deification’ by Brooklyn Dean

The intimate description and deep prose will consume you long before the apocalypse…

Full Review

‘Building 51’ by Jennifer L Place

Urban exploration horror filled with tension and some truth…

Full Review

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‘Fear Farm No Trespassers’ by S.J. Krandall

Immersive page-turning horror stories full of thrills and chills…

Full Review

‘Evil Eye: A Slasher Story’ by April A. Taylor

An unpredictable fast-paced slasher with plenty of twists and tension as the storm unfolds…

Full Review

‘Blood of the Sixth’ by K.R. Rowe

A slow burning tale that twists into the deep shadowy darkness of the unexpected…

Full Review

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to use #indieApril over on Twitter to show your support for indie authors and their awesome works!

‘Civil Blood: The Vampire Rights Case That Changed a Nation’ by Chris Hepler – Review

An alternative but realistic take on vampires with sharp political and biological edges…

Those who know the vampire genre will also know the usual tropes that come with it. This book doesn’t have any of that. Chris Hepler has brought the concept of vampirism into a brand new light and territory that see’s it as a type of pathogen in a believable reactive world. This is of course something very relevant today and the depth of this story is found in it’s characters along with the exploration of biological and political impacts vampirism comes to have.

“…human beings are now at risk from a plague. It is crueler than cancer, crueler than AIDS, a disease that makes its victims into villains.”

There are very few books where every scene feels meticulously constructed like this one and while it is a longer read it’s clear the author has thought of everything in a story with a gritty spy thriller/espionage feel. We get to see a future that’s realistic and there are some cool gadgets that help a group of agent/spy types try to trace and put a stop to this spreading vampiric infection. All it’s going to take is for the right or wrong person with connections to ‘catch’ it and well there’s the story – but it’s way more than that.

Giving any more away would be pulling the rug under from readers who will find it original, gripping and overall engrossing, for anyone who’s interested in a political thriller with a vampire edge – something rarely seen before in literature I recommend this one highly.

4 Stars – Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon

Weekly Ramble #84

Winding down… only kidding, I wouldn’t know how. Lee Hall is only Lee Hall if he is writing. Third person narration aside (because I am nowhere near notable enough for that) I’m going to keep going – the results were too goo not to…

Normally by this time of the year it’s the off season for me. I’ve spent the last 9 months writing and fashioning all of my efforts into promoting the 6th book release to worthwhile results. Now I would normally look to calm down into what is supposed to be a rest phase. Until after January I usually spend these winter months playing around with experimental writing projects, theatre writing and perhaps some initial drafting. Not this time as this isn’t our usual year.

I’m near enough most of the way through that guide book I might have mentioned once or twice. It’s turned out well and will be around 30,000 words of relaying experiences from everything that’s brought me to 2021 in writing. It’s an attempt to capture what it takes to be an author and blogger in the social media age – something I’ve got some experience in after nearly 7 years or so. From selling books effectively to blog subject ideas, there should be something for everyone looking to either blog or author in the social media age.

My hope is to be able to pass on something worthwhile and also to steer the literary world in a better direction through persuading more indie authors to review books from their peers. Trust me when I say this whole deal turned a massive corner when I started offering reviews for indie authors. It’s fostered connectivity and the right kind of engagement. Reviews are something authors can never ever have enough of and so that presents an unlimited amount of need for them – something that I have stumbled into and made myself a name with. To convince the world your intentions are genuine will sell more books than anything else, I shall share more in the guide book coming soon. Watch this space and until then you can expect more book reviews along with other writing related content including another promo of my Ghost romance for Halloween!

Recent Reedsy Discovery Reads Issue 1…

It’s been 4 months since I joined book review platform Reedsy Discovery and my experience so far has been mostly good. Not only have I read some pretty cool books but I’ve also connected with some awesome authors. Let’s take a look at what I’ve read recently…

American Blasphemer by John Gillen is a potential read of the year for me and what a way to arrive on a new book reviewing platform. This contemporary/literary fiction story reads like an autobiography and its a dysfunctional one at that. If you’re okay with profanity, swearing and sexual stuff that’s turned all the way up to the extreme you’ll probably enjoy this one although it’s about way more than that trust me. It’s a series of encounters that make up an anti bible of sorts told through the eyes of someone trying to make their way through life in modern America. Like my review said it’s “a masterful labour of modern honesty, told through the lens of a lonesome soul trying to figure out this world and life… 

Rites of Passage by Chad Lehrmann is “a twisting unpredictable creature feature set in a small town with a big secret… and it’s my second Reedsy Discovery Review. Although I am a sucker for small town horror this one did have quite a few tropes usually seen in the genre along with it being the typical ‘chosen one’ story. Saying that this book did enough to hold my attention, it’s well paced and the pages fly by. Full review here.

Senescence by Denver Scott is another potential read of the year and was also my first 5 star Reedsy Review because it’s an incredible deep dive into our potential future. Science fiction and non fiction merge in what is a plethora of all things cosmos and wider science that looks at the many aspects of humankind. Just what will our future look like? Find out with this highly readable and accessible book that boldly goes where not a lot of books have been before – seriously check it out. My full review is here….

The Dreamophile’s Diary by Shazrina is both unique and surreal which is exactly what dreams can be like – the very essence of that weirdness is captured quite well in this series of short stories all based on, you guessed it, dreams. “Life is strange indeed, sometimes what you most desire becomes futile for you the very next moment…” You can read my full review here….

Noxious by Bruce Knapp is a book for those who love their horror with variety. From witchcraft to possessions and everything else that could possibly be enveloped by the shadows of the macabre this one is a page turner. Of course Bruce Knapp is no stranger to the Hall of Information as last year we reviewed the short stories that make up his Night Audit series and now he’s back with another series all based around the town of Blackwater. Watch this shadowy and dark space! Full review here….

And so that wraps up Issue 1 of what I hope will be a quarterly exploration of Reedsy Discovery Reads. If you’re on the platform come and say hi. Until next time, peace out!

A guide to getting published: Part 1

Hello friends, today’s post is a re blog all the way back from 2017 although it’s still very relevant today. As I continue to research and put together a blogging and authoring guide book, this is just a snippet of what you can expect for bloggers and authors of all levels….

Lee's Hall of information

Very recently I was asked in person about my experiences of being a published author. What does it take to reach that moment of holding your own book in your hands?

How do you go from imagination and thought harnessing all the way to print?

Thinking about it, if we can go deep only for a few reflective moments and if I were to turn around and look at the road that lays behind me. Just beyond that moonlit horizon is a whole series of stories and experiences that made up my official journey to publication.

This series of posts is a guide of how I did it, what I learned, what went well, what didn’t and above all and like everything in the world of ‘publishing’ it’s subjective towards the beholder. By that I mean there is more than one way to get ‘published’ and be ‘successful’. There are…

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-| Underrated Books That I Recommend… Top 5 Saturday |- — Feed The Crime

A shout out and thank you to awesome book blogger Blair from Feed the Crime for mentioning The Teleporter alongside some fantastic reads! 

You can find out more about Blair and her blogging efforts this week as I am happy to announce she is the third Hall of Information Interviewee! Watch this space folks. Make sure you check out the post below and give Feed the Crime a follow! 

Top 5 Saturday is hosted by Mandy over at Devouring Books, today’s theme is Recommended Reads but I missed last weeks topic Underrated Books/Hidden Gems which I really wanted to take part in so I’ve decided to mash them together! The Upcoming Top 5 Saturday Schedule Is: 25/7/20 — #OwnVoices Books 1/8/20 — Enemies to Lovers […]

via -| Underrated Books That I Recommend… Top 5 Saturday |- — Feed The Crime