Every Book I have read in 2022 Pt1

Reading books has kept me going throughout this busy and sometimes difficult year. As an indie author myself, I’m very much aware of the struggle fellow authors face in trying to get more reviews. Most of this list is made up of indie/self published books and so here is part 1 of the books I have read in 2022…

‘Fee Simple Conditional (Arcadia Chronicles Book 1)’ by H.C. Helfand

A gem of a read about life, love and land…

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Escaping First Contact’ by T.S. Beier

Original and imaginative space sci-fi full of depth and immersion

5 Stars – Full Review

‘The Art of Reading: How Reading Can Help You Become a Better, More Productive Writer’ by J.D. Cunegan

A relatable and open guide about reading to improve your writing…

4 Stars – Full Review

‘The Art & Business of Writing: A Practical Guide to the Writing Life’ by Chris Jones

A valuable easy-to-read resource for the modern writer

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Billy Summers’ by Stephen King

An enduring multi-layered tale of one gun for hire and his final shot…

4 Stars – Full Review

‘A Twist in the Rift’ by Meg Radiant

Original page-turning sci-fi with unlimited portals of potential…

4 Stars – Full Review

‘Summer of ’77’ by Rebecca Amiss

An easy-to-read heart-warming story of friendship and nostalgia

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Powerless’ by Vicky Ball

A well-written twisting thriller with darker themes…

4 Stars – Full Review

‘Lazy Creativity: The Art of Owning Your Creativity’ by Kyle Bernier 

A detailed, modern and refreshing take on creativity that covers so many applications for success!

5 Stars – Full Review

‘An English Teacher in Mexico: Memories of a Midlife Career Change’ by Irene Pylypec

A fun and insightful well-written account of adventure and culture…

5 Stars – Full Review

Cheeky Ad break. For my best and exclusive author/social media guides, check out my Patreon. Sign up for regualr shout-outs on Twitter and even some free digital books. My Twitter Coaching Sessions will guide you to better results on the Platform.

‘The Tolworth Beacon’ by Huw Langridge

Intriguing British mystery with tension, atmosphere and code-breaking vibes…

4 Stars – Full Review

‘Recovering Alice’ by Catherine Morrison

A gripping uplifting tale of romance and relapse…

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi

5 Stars – Full Review

‘A Still Life’ by Elliott Wink

Short and intriguing, an original sci-fi tale perfect for reading in one sitting…

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick

‘It comes in the night…’

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Fallout’ by Pat Griffith

An imaginative and highly original tale about first contact with corporeal beings from another world some of which are already here….

4 Stars – Full Review

‘Where Darkness Meets Light’ by Sabrine Elouali

Thought-provoking poetry reflecting many themes surrounding the dark and light…

5 Stars – Full Review

‘San Francisco Suite: A Rudy Parsons Story’ by Ethan McCaffery

Well-written detective mystery with noir tones and a metaphysical twist…

5 Stars – Full Review

‘Pirate Sea’ by Kyler Kuehler

A swashbuckling and sometimes brutal tale packed with action

4 Stars – Full Review

And so that wraps up Pt1 of every book I’ve read in 2022. Thanks for reading and check back soon for Pt2!

The Best Books I have Read in 2022

2022 has been an incredible journey and I’ve read some fantastic books written by some wonderful authors. Their works kept me going through what has been a tough twelve or so months. 

This post is dedicated to the books that stood out to me!

‘Fee Simple Conditional (Arcadia Chronicles Book 1)’ by H.C. Helfand

It has been nearly twelve months since my first read of 2022 but even now it still sticks out to me. H.C. Helfand delivers the wonderful story of ‘Abigail Fischer’ who resonates with the reader as her life unfolds. The style is unique and equally charming and my favourite quote says it all:

Despite life’s inevitable changes, some things are simply unconditional…’

You can read my full review here.

‘Escaping First Contact’ by T.S. Beier

Depth and originality are just some of the many qualities ‘Escaping First Contact’ has and as a huge fan of space sci-fi this one was right up my alley. T.S. Bier delivers a story with a unique concept that champions cohesion between different cultures as well as being a great story.

“Get your weird xenophilia fantasies out of here, Rip!”

You can read my full review here.

‘Lazy Creativity: The Art of Owning Your Creativity’ by Kyle Bernier

Being a reviewer for Reedsy Discovery means that every so often I come across a real gem of a book and Kyle Bernier presents a fantastic guide that provides an important message about owning our laziness when it comes to creativity. In fact, that laziness can be a superpower and while I may not be selling that concept well, trust me when I say if you are a creative, you are going to want to check this one out!

You can read my full review here.

‘Recovering Alice’ by Catherine Morrison

Catherine Morrison delivers a story about heavy issues combined with a wonderful fusion of love and honesty. The balance between them is flawless and makes for a gripping read that has recently been featured by BookBub!

You can read my full review here

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick

Atmosphere and text book horror go hand-in-hand and Antionette McCormick delivers that and much more in this intriguing wintery horror with a futuristic sci-fi edge. Can a dead woman’s memories unmask her murderer?

You can read my full review here

‘A Stranger From the Storm’ by William Burton McCormick

With murder mystery vibes and plenty of witty dialogue, William Burton McCormick’s ‘The Stranger From the Storm’ is incredibly fun reading experience. Twin sisters make for the main characters who reside in early 1900’s Odessa – a place where a killer is reportedly on the loose. The events that unfold are chilling, unexpected and intriguing.

You can read my full review here.

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

If you’ve been a fan of rock music in the past thirty or so years you would have probably heard the name Dave Grohl and this candid masterfully laid out memoir is exactly what the title suggests. As a huge fan of the Foo Fighters and the post grunge genre of music I was incredibly intrigued to find out what this book would be about and trust me when I say it is a must read. Anyone who has ever been a fan of Dave or just the wider scene of music to those who are creative – you’ll find something in this book that will resonate with you.

You can read my full review here

‘Pearl Fields and the Oregon Meltdown’ by Drew Faraday

‘Pearl Fields and the Oregon Meltdown’ is quite possibly the most unique book on this list. Another discovery via Reedsy this book is basically a transcript of a confession from the title character as she does her best to convince a judge that she is a good person. With post apocalyptic/pandemic themes which might be a little close to home or recent events, its a great life story that contains heaps of originality.

You can read my full review here.

‘The Watchmaker: A clock can talk’ by Ellen Khodakivska

This unique and enchanting story kind of feels like a feature length version of a fairy tale complete with magical charm and style. Ellen Khodakivska delivers a wonderful story that follows several generations of watch makers in Italy where their lives are ruled by the force all of our lives are ruled by, time. With some great symbolism and captivating moments, this is a book I would highly recommend!

‘Time always shares its wisdom with you if you are a good listener; Time can become your merciless enemy if you neglect it; Time can be your best friend if you manage it smartly; If you respect time, it respects you back…’

You can read my full review here

‘Love’s Ragged Claws’ by Gary Gautier

‘Moral knowledge is easy. Moral action is hard.’ – With that sentiment and message comes ‘Love’s Ragged Claws’ a short read with plenty of depth and a tale of one man’s confession after many years. There are plenty of layers in this story and its definitely one I would like to re-visit again someday. Gary Gautier delivers some fantastic writing through the vessel of existential and moral dilemma.

You can read my full review here

‘They Lie Here’ by N.S. Ford 

This is the second time a book by N.S. Ford has appeared on a list like this and for good reason because yet again she has delivered a great story full of twists. ‘They Lie Here’ is a combination of British Thriller and Pop Music Culture all wrapped up with a style that keeps you reading until the very end.

You can read my full review here.

‘The Man and The Crow’ by Rebecca Crunden

I’m a big supporter of shorter reads and this book came along at just the right time because I needed one. ‘The Man and the Crow’ is a book I read in just one sitting and by page 4 I was immersed. There’s humour and fun along with a page turning writing style that serves as a great showcase for what Rebecca Crunden can do as an author.

You can read my full review here.

All of these awesome books shaped my 2022 for the better and so thank you authors. Of course I must also mention the many more books I read this year and the authors who wrote them!

This post first premiered via Patreon where you’ll find my best guides and exclusive content.

The Reluctant Book Marketer Podcast – Branding on Twitter

Shout-out to The Reluctant Book Marketer Podcast hosted by fellow author Jody Sperling for recently having me as a guest.

In this episode we talk about Twitter branding and the wider journey of being an author in the social media age.

You can listen here via Spotify

Or here via Substack

Jody has recently launched a Kickstarter for his soon to be published guide book ‘The Seven-Figure Marketing Mindset For Novelists’. You can check that out here.

‘Eileen’s Promise’ by Matthew Villeneuve – Review

A space sci-fi tale of one salvager and his thoughts which are uniquely alive…

After a journey through the depths of space ‘Salvor Gupta’ returns to homestead for his day to get a lot longer and he isn’t alone with his thoughts. Through plenty of description and atmosphere we are introduced to a world beyond our own planet and much like Earth there are those who cannot be trusted while others are trying to make an honest buck.

From the very start we are introduced to ‘Merv’; an AI implant providing heads up display, navigation and personality beside Gupta’s thoughts giving this space sci-fi tale a unique spin. From what could have been quite a solitary one dimensional affair is instead the complete opposite. With shades of ‘2001: Space Odyssey’ this computer for the most part means well but also has a conflicting history that is discovered providing an interesting dynamic for the main character and his AI counterpart who also feels much like a real person. He can sometimes be funny and literal while also being a saving grace in the long run.

After a brief stay on homestead, revelation and then discovery take us on the path of deception, the unexpected and a kind of race against time – throughout Matthew Villeneuve brings his world to life through practical explanation and first person narration which is the strength of this story.

Eileen’s Promise is a fun, original space romp of one salvager and the ever so alive voice in his head as they work together in hunting down a lost resource that may be vital to those in need. If placed in the wrong hands the implications would certainly be disastrous and so the moral dilemma of responsibility sits at the heart of everything. From what has been introduced here could easily make for a wider universe I’d love to see more from.

4 Stars – This Review First Premiered via Reedsy Discovery

Weekly Ramble #161

The final month of 2022 is here and I’ve still got a stack of things to do. In all truth, I’m always busy and I kind of function that way. This year has thrown me an abundance of curveballs and also some really awesome unexpected moments. After all that has happened I’m happy with the outcome.

Finding peace in any endeavour is a hard thing to do sometimes and reflection of self is a huge part of that. Knowing that there is plenty left to do this year alone will keep me going all the way until the close of what has been a hugely significant time. There are still so many cool things I intend to achieve sooner or later and so as always I’ll keep going. Through the good, bad or indifferent consistency is the key.

You can expect a plethora of content this month on here and Patreon. Stay tuned.

‘Sex, Violence, Mars: The Ballad of Left and Right’ by Walrus – Review

Sex, Violence, Mars is back and just as entertaining as the first encounter…

The Walrus collective are back yet again tell a short but entertaining tale of Sex, Violence, Mars and much more. This time around we see ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ in this kind of buddy story as they try their best to navigate the dangerous but always interesting Mars of the future. Of course there’s a range of themes here and they are all aligned with the title.

Armed with atmosphere suits and a stack of cash they soon realise the desired tender on the planet is ‘electro’ leaving them with a struggle to pay for pretty much anything and that includes the dilemma to charge their suits. While they try to survive on the fringes of Mars and it’s complex society, they find others enduring their own struggle, or perhaps just looking to earn a fast buck from two desperados down on their luck.

“You’re never gonna get that money back unless you do exactly what I want. And now you’re in the hole to me for charge and supplies…”

Their journey takes them on an adventure of action and chasing along with some revelations as we find out more about this planet. Sometimes its them doing the chasing and vice-versa as they target the aptly named ‘Death Corp’ and their mysterious but powerful leader ‘Keiser’. Every so often the lore and backstory of this rich universe is mentioned giving this short but entertaining read depth and range.

Just like the previous encounter the style is delivered with heavy detail on description and chapters/sections move with pace. Our two main protagonists carry a fun chemistry with one another as they do their best to survive, swindle and try not to be swindled themselves. Just how does this link up with the first book? Well, you’ll find out and importantly so, its left open for yet more shenanigans on Mars.

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery

Weekly Ramble #160

Crossing $1000 in book royalties for the first time in a calendar year is a special and pinnacle moment for me. I’ve never been one to chase the money in my writing or content creating but as someone who aspires to do this some day as a primary occupation, it gives me hope. It also gives me a wonderful sense of value.

Running this deal like a functioning business might have once been a distant dream just a few years back but now, it might be a possibility eventually. This year in particular I have done my best to try and run book promotion advertising with a view of making the money back in sales. For the most part I have succeeded and although there are so many other ways to invest or measure success in this journey, getting a positive monetary outcome tells me that I might be on the right path.

Of course like all moments of success I have shared on social media, I have tried to share them with tact and inclusion because quite simply, if I can achieve these things then so can others. For all the things that social media is at the moment, sharing good moments and including others will always have an awesome outcome. People will always be drawn to moments of hope and I guess this is mine.

All I have ever done is kept working and kept going, now the rewards are starting to get bigger so I guess there is one thing I have to do and that is carry on.

“Darke Apocalypse” by Lee Hall

A huge thank you to fellow author Ellen Khodakivska for a wonderful review of my latest book…

Ellen Khodakivska

If you want to ‘go beyond true darkness’ and feel goosebumps running back and forth, this book is definitely what you need.

“The Prophecy of Old states that everything in Life and Death must be balanced.” Lee Hall, “Darke Apocalypse”

The Plot: Blake Malone, Caitlyn Turner, Luke Hartford, and the rest of the crew come back to a ‘ghost town’ Darke Heath to break into a final fight with the true darkness that only pretends to vanish. On the contrary, it becomes more dangerous, darker, and ruthless than ever. The night creatures hide among the shadows, make up their dark-minded plans, and are ready to use the pure souls as bait to entrap those who stay on the bright side into their dark empire. Only time will show the result of the fight between the light and the darkness. Because the creatures living ‘beyond true darkness’ always have a creephole…

View original post 423 more words

‘The Man and The Crow’ by Rebecca Crunden – Review

A short sharp enjoyable tale of magic and the unexpected

Having just read this book in one sitting I found myself enthralled by page 4 where the story unexpectedly flips and takes the reader on a journey of folklore, witchcraft and murder.

With darker tones and a magical theme that merge together well, Rebecca Crunden delivers a well-written tale that might only be twenty four pages long, but it represents hundreds of years of history and lore for the title character. Throughout, the addictive writing style carries a humour that is both fun and perfect for the genre while the imagination is also given plenty of room to work alongside that history and lore suggested here – as the ending promises, that’s the start of the next story!

For anyone looking to be whisked away only for a short time but through some imaginative literature, this is the one for you.

‘Screaming would have been the sensible thing to do; it also proved impossible. Screaming would mean she’d be able to unlock her jaw and at the moment it felt like her jaw had rusted shut…’

5 Stars