‘Awake’ by Andrew Palmer – Review

An original techno-psychological thriller that captures the essence and surrealism of dreams with a sinister edge…

In the not too far future ‘Edward Morrison’ is a computer programming prodigy with a million dollar corporation behind him. His main objective in life is to create and complete a ‘dream machine’ prototype that looks to replicate REM sleep conditions while also providing a virtual reality that cannot be distinguished from the real world. And what exactly is real and just a dream? Well that’s the partial genius readers face in this story as the lines become blurred capturing the surreal element of what our dreams can be.

While Edward is determined and engrossed in the work he also carries a complex childhood trauma that plagues his nightmares throughout the story, hence the connection between him and the dream concept. He’s a reclusive type and initially helped only by ‘Athena’ who eventually serves as something with too much control and power which becomes a threat – like the technology in this story, it’s created with the best intentions but humans have a tendency to foster the worst outcomes. Control seems to be the metaphor that holds everything together here.

In the latter stages there were a few moments that felt a little hard to follow as the concept of what was a dream and what wasn’t played out. While readers will need to pay close attention at this point it also heightened the psychological sense of what was going through the MC’s mind. The writing style is descriptive and easy to follow with chapters that are well paced.

The concept of connection through the unconscious as mentioned by Andrew Palmer in the acknowledgment brings a twist and satisfying resolve via the estranged ‘Cura’ who serves as an important character throughout. Dreams and the human mind make for a fascinating subject which is put beside the perhaps danger of technology making this story an interesting and imaginative read.

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery

Lockdown Equals Opportunity

What a week this is shaping up to be. I mean is this the run up to the final episode of 2020? We’ve got lockdowns announced left right and centre along with an election across the pond. It’s felt like one hell of a long slog to get here with March literally being three years ago, or so it seems…

While in an ideal world it’s fun to compare this present reality to one of our favourite or not so favourite shows (Game of Thrones, cough, cough…), in real life there isn’t the luxury of fading to black and rolling to the credits, or blaming the writers who secured a gig with Star Wars just before they started production of the final season…

Over here in the UK – or specifically England, we’re about to face a second lockdown. Having been there before and because so many of this blog’s followers are facing similar circumstances in other countries I can wholeheartedly say that with a lockdown comes opportunity. Now I’m not talking about the business shark antics that take advantage of someone else’s misfortunate – what do you think this is the 80’s? But when the first lockdown hit back in March I eventually realised people need content for a distraction. Because I had the time to focus more on producing content, the numbers, follows, book sales and pretty much everything went up. This blog has faced more success this year than ever before!

If you have something to offer in this world that will serve other people, offer it, especially now…

Those who can produce content, right now this is your opportunity, not only does it express the importance of you personally carrying on, but someone somewhere will appreciate your efforts. It’s a circle of well-being because for me expression through words makes me feel good and my hope is that those good feels are passed on to readers. The world is in a state of flux right now but those who can remain doing what they did before without endangering themselves are serving to preserve what will be left after this era has gone. We as humans have always looked to escapism to survive the crap that is happening out the window, be that escape for someone. You’ll find purpose in creativity and content trust me.

Carry on, write that blog post, produce that video, put out that tweet, review that book because you’ve probably got the time now, seize it because lockdown equals opportunity!

Weekly Writing Inspiration #14

It’s Friday again and so with that in mind let us celebrate with some moderate to light humour in the form of partially inspirational but always fun memes…

The nap is and always will be an institution for me…

I feel as if only certain generations will get this one…

YouTube are really grinding my gears at the moment with the double advertising and then being torpedoed with built in sponsors….

Isn’t that all of us? And if you didn’t get the memo, wear a mask!

2020 has been a pretty awesome voyage of discovery in both reading and getting to know some of you. Long may this continue…

Inspirational writing moment of the week comes from this wonderful review posted by awesome blogger and big time supporter of my stuff Nicole from Mullen Crafts – a blog that you totally should follow and support, go now….

I reckon the trick is to not have a day off. I don’t think there has been a day where I haven’t been doing something bloggy or writer for a long time…

Okay I went there, but it’s true, damn true…

Well I don’t think it gets better than a duck in a hat so that is where I shall hang my hat and finish this here post. Thanks for tuning in, see you in the next one!

Weekly Writing Inspiration #8

It’s a new month and yet another week so with that in mind it’s time to share memes. Perhaps there’s something amongst all this you will find inspirational, either way September is going to be the busiest month of all time for me. If you hear the faint sound of an explosion in the distance around the 1st of October, it’s just me, exploding….

I suppose we can all relate, although things have been okay-ish this year apart from the global pandemic….. okay maybe I am in denial and I should just accept this year for the dumpster fire it is…

Ah, those tricky interview questions that require an answer outside of logic….

Rock and roll man! Respect to the fans….

Don’t get me started with the Youtube. Would you like premium? Please start this survey, have another ad…. WE NEED A NEW VIDEO PLATFORM without these things…. do something, someone, oh hello Bill Gates…

Good ol’ Bill…. but windows 8 was crap… no hard feelings though, especially if that vaccine works and you create a new platform to rival Youtube! I’m not asking for much

Feel free to copy and paste this all around writers, that’s what I did…. let us browse past the $10,000 part quietly….

And this here graphic shows August was my best ever month for organic book sales ever – no promo, no enhancements just natural sales!

Speaking of Book Sales, this month like I mentioned will be busy and will also see the release of my 6th book Darke Awakening which is part of the Order of the Following Series.

Other books in that series will be on promo starting with Cemetery House which will be FREE to download today and the next day – then discounted over the weekend. If you like a Halloween vibes type of read then check it out, it works as a stand alone also and it NEEDS REVIEWS!

You can also expect another Hall of Information Interview very soon! Stay tuned folks, stay positive but for the love of God do not test positive. Thanks for reading, hope you were moderately inspired. Peace out, rock and roll man!

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…

View original post 1,234 more words

Weekly Writing Inspiration #6

It’s Friday! We made it, again, what to, nobody knows, the weekend if your not working…

The licence to use memes and twitter re posts in order to make someone laugh is back…

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Seriously, you don’t need to please anyone else in your writing, just you. Reviews and film adaptations would be nice though… 

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Sneakily wholesome…

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Interesting and polarising results, enough to tell me there is probably a market for the covid book/film stuff. My current read is about the covid outbreak which is why I asked, review coming soon.

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So naturally we have just a light pandemic meme…. 

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This was the first of two glowing reviews my works got this week. Open Evening may be the oldest ride in my fairground of books, but the line is still one of the longest…

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I really enjoy asking questions on twitter and Instagram…. so much so I have also started to interview fellow creatives. The 3rd Hall of Information review dropped this week and Blair from Feed the Crime shared some blogging wisdom – she’s close to 1000 WordPress followers! 

hall of information interviews feed the crime

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I mean being a gentleman can probably just extend to having manners and not being an asshole… anyone can do that – and it isn’t a challenge not to… 

And we shall close with the second glowing review my work received this week. The Teleporter owns it! Take care all, and see you in the next one! 

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Weekly Ramble #77

As promised a while ago Hall of Information Interviews shall begin very soon! After reaching and now surpassing the 500 follower milestone it’s time to find new ways in showcasing fellow creators efforts to my readership. 

To begin with I shall be approaching authors who have a unique voice in writing and will be asking a range of questions about writing, their available works and even some lighter subjects. It’s difficult for any creator to find interesting and fun ways to speak about their work and so I hope this works as a vessel for that.

Most of us know that marketing ourselves is no easy feat and like the many book reviews and content I create it’s time to shake things up and freshen that approach. Reading, writing and blogging are creative mediums that deserve to be celebrated and expressed through every way possible and so you can expect some interesting and insightful conversations with fellow creators very soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

500 Followers Special – Awesome bloggers who deserve recognition!

Okay, this actually choked me up a little but here goes…

If it wasn’t for the efforts and support of fellow bloggers, this Hall of Information Blog wouldn’t have seen anywhere near the amount of success it has had in the past few years.

Those past few years have been a journey and even through these incredibly difficult times somehow the Hall of Information is celebrating the 500 follower milestone!

I didn’t achieve the figures below on my own, people helped, some are bloggers whom I share this journey with and so this post is a dedication to those supporters! Whoever you are, from regular reader and liker to casual; my salute is aimed to you!

the numbers

My sole philosophy in life is to give as good as you get, so this post is dedicated to those who have helped this blog become what it is today.

I sincerely believe without these folks, things would be pretty shitty… so without anymore introduction let me share with you the people who deserve recognition for their blogging efforts and for their support of this blog!

 

Jaycee Lynch – Thinking Moon Blog

thinking moon

You can pretty much pin point the moment the Hall of information started actually getting views and engagement like it has never seen before. You can blame Jaycee for that and I mean that in the most sincere of senses. I don’t think my stuff would have got anywhere near the amount of exposure it has if it wasn’t for this awesome blogger who started following the Hall of information a while ago now – time flies huh…

JC

The Thinking Moon blog is a plethora of blogging greatness – it really is the benchmark of content and something every blogger needs in their life. The sheer amount of subjects Jaycee talks about is incredible; from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which I have been a fan of since the age of 13) to philosophy, interviews, book reviews and sustainability (a very important and relevant subject in this day and age).

Last year she even nominated this very blog for two separate awards and has even reviewed my books the Teleporter and Darke Blood. Ultimately J.C has been there for this blog and so in return I do my best to be there for her efforts. She is not only a big time blogger but is also active across social media platforms such as the tweet machine, you tube and the gram… I urge you to connect with her via the links below! J.C’s journey is full of inspiration and colour; something which social media needs!

Twitter:  @JayC_Lynch      Instagram: @thinking_moon_blog  and   Youtube

Megan – A Geeky Gal 

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Megan from A Geeky Gal is one of the most important bloggers I know. Her contribution to blogging and the sheer amount of subject content she covers seals the fact that Megan is a fully fledged blog-star!

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I’m not exaggerating when I say she creates so much content and I use the word important because Megan also blogs about mental health and self care – these are subjects which in the world of geeky things and the wider world of social media that I regard as important and very much needed. Megan regularly completes various challenges and over last summer she did a 30 Day Geek out Challenge which not only shows how dedicated she is to blogging but also how similar our tastes are in so many different things!

Megan nominated the Hall of information for the sunshine blogger award last year; the third blogging award nomination and coming from such a prolific blogger it was a pretty big deal for me. I urge you to check out A Geeky Gal!

Twitter: @ageekygal_  Instagram: ageekygal

Feed The Crime

My next nod goes to most probably the busiest book blogger in all the land of WordPress because Blair of Feed the Crime is always reading and reviewing stuff!

Originally specialising in crime book reviews Blair has branched out to many other genres quite recently and in doing so she has helped get my books seen via some wonderful reviews of ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ , ‘Darke Blood’ , ‘Open Evening’ and ‘The Teleporter’. It seems Blair is a convert of my stuff as it’s pretty ‘out there’ and her views on my work are very much appreciated!

Anyone looking for book rec’s I highly advise you follow and check out Blair’s efforts!

Another awesome blogger who has helped with my book promo efforts is Mullen Crafts who has read and reviewed Open Evening and even took on a pre-released version of the Ghost Beside Me which was a great help! Not only does she review books but blogs about all things craft. I urge you to check out her site which is full of awesome craft tutorials, how to posts and book reviews!

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Stoner on a Rollercoaster is another wonderful and unique blogger who isn’t afraid to express herself via many blogging subjects that range from mental health, rambles of the various and recently the trials of publishing (and I know that pain). Not only does she bring words to masses of followers but has also supported and liked many of the entries the blog has, so for that the Hall of information is thankful!

I recently reviewed her awesome and emotional poetry collection which you can read here.

The truth is there are 500 people who made this post possible and it would be difficult to credit everyone as some are just starting their following but there are still some awesome bloggers who deserve an Honorable mention and more importantly your follow! Check out the awesome people mentioned below! Give them a follow and read their stuff. Many of them have liked and connected with this blog for some time with their fantastic support, thanks to all! Some of them even created some go-to content which has inspired this blog!

Not all followers are bloggers, and I appreciate every single follow, even those who don’t blog – from readers, work colleagues, friends and family to everyone else – Thank you! 

And while I finish with these mentions the Hall of information will be looking to what’s next?

Now that the following is over 500 very soon I shall be reaching out to people via social media to begin getting to know them a bit better with Hall of Information Interviews! Watch this space and thank you for joining me…

 

Honorable Mentions

bookshelfbattle

DirtySciFiBuddha

Jyn

Christina Engela

etjwrites

sunilmdabral

debjani6ghosh

authorirene

michaeljordahl

seanarchy

Kurt Brindley

Sheree

hexandale

Matt Streuli 

Renard Moreau

The Eclectic Contrarian

kristinagallo

500TH FOLLOWER 

Shaunak

Rock and Roll man. Keep on blogging in the free world….

The best reviews I’ve received this year…

Alright, I know. This may just sound like an empty opportunity to lick one’s posterior and it is partially, but 2019 has been a big time year for reviews of my stuff. In this year alone I’ve got more reviews than I have ever had for any other previous year.

It feels as if my arrival to the indie publishing scene actually happened but only with the help of what I regard as a truly important group known as the writing community, this is of course without discounting anyone else’s efforts to review my books, friends, family, bloggers and plenty of other folks I have connected with along this journey.

While it would be nice to celebrate all of the ‘positive’ or ‘good reviews’ we’re going to start with honoring a not so great review of my super hero comedy The Teleporter. I know for a fact my work isn’t for everyone and the reason I am celebrating this 1 star review is because of the response that happened afterwards!

1 star

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Before I delve into the most heroic of reactions from some fellow authors let me quote what this particular reviewer had a gripe about…

“While Hall did a good job doing this his way of treating the side characters Casey really saddened me. I don’t know how many times I marked the word “bitch” associated with her name (I marked it 32 times and the word was used 48). Why? Sure in the beginning Kurt (the main character) called her that because it was kind of her nickname in the building but why did he keep thinking of her as “the bitch” for most of the rest of the book?” 

Now this review dropped back April and right now I’m pretty much over it however my point is simple when it comes to the whole gripe about a character being called ‘bitch’. The reviewer totally and completely missed the inner meaning of it. This wasn’t just a blind attempt at bullying or name calling. I did put together a response of sorts via my weekly ramble post which you can read here  but let me just say that sometimes we get reviews that hurt, and it’s so damn important not to directly respond, do it on your blog instead… like me. 

And so why did I class this 1 star review as one of the best I’ve got this year? Quite simply because of the response that followed. If you are a part of the writing community or any type of group that supports your efforts they will be there when the chips are down. I found this out after this review dropped. For every 1 star review a well supported author will have another 5 writers jump to their defense. 

Just a week or two later an awesome author by the name of Elysia Lumen Strife restored all reservations and doubts I had with the Teleporter. Her review which is probably better than the damn book (and that seems to be a running theme) is probably too long to slap onto this post but you can read an excerpt below or the whole thing here.

“It was entertaining to find a book about a realistic man that had something supernatural happen to him. We all want to feel like there is this possibility, this hope, that some miracle will pull us out of the muck of everyday life, and we’ll be able to finally change the world. All too often superheroes are from rich families or royalty or gods. Kurt is an unlikely option in our stereotypical world. But here, we get to see him in action. Hope and humor thrive together in The Teleporter…”

The month of April continued to be huge for The Teleporter with reviews from some other wonderful wordsmiths:

Shiulie Ghosh author of the ‘Daugther of Kali trilogy’ had this to say… 

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Irene Pylypec  author of ‘A Squatter in London’over in Canada had these thoughts…

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And the reviews continued… an instant response for an author in need!

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Like I said for every 1 star review a well supported author will have another 5 writers jump to their defense. 

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The love for the Teleporter continued with reviews coming from bloggers Mullen Crafts and Feed the Crime  

To quote another review from top author Kurt Brindley ‘Mission Accomplished!”

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So that next 1 star review you get may be a blessing in disguise, trust me! 

The best reviews I got this year weren’t all from the Teleporter, even though it is probably my most successful book ‘Darke Blood’ literally came out the shadows  after not having a review for quite some time. 

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‘DB’ was downloaded over 3000 this year!

Blogging royalty and big time supporter of my work Jaycee Lynch from Thinking Moon Blog had this to say about ‘DB’. Take into account she is huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan much like me so of course her standards are going to be high… 

JC's review of DB

‘DB’ also happened to be the first book I asked Blair from Feed the Crime to review, here’s what he said: 

feed the crime db rev

You can read the rest of Blair’s review here and remember to give all of these awesome bloggers I’ve mentioned some love by following them! 

Nicole from Mullen Crafts put together a review that championed probably one of my favorite characters in anything I have ever written, Caitlyn Turner and yes you will see a lot more of her in the planned Darke Blood sequel which should arrive in September 2020!

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We haven’t had a review for my debut ‘Open Evening’ in what feels like an eternity. Luckily Nicole had my back and so in November the story of the unexpected got some more good words…

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mullen crafts oe rev

You can read the rest of the review here

goodreads stats

The stats are looking gooood!

And so the Goodreads statistics pretty much speak for themselves! But If I wasn’t constantly up selling then I wouldn’t be an indie author because you may have heard, I’ve got another book out! And what’s incredible is that good folks have already been reviewing it!

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is literally a week old and already you can see from the stats above it’s doing quite well!

Here’s what author of ‘The Four Before Me’ E H Night said about it: 

Review

And it hasn’t stopped there. In one weekend both Mullen Crafts and Feed the Crime put together some awesome words…

ghost reviews

You can find their full reviews via their blogs which I urge you to follow and support! 

Final Thought

It’s been a journey this year. Much of the success and reviews have come from people who are genuine supporters. The writing community is an important pillar in all of this and no matter what people think of my stuff, reviews good and bad help sell books. Remember if you are published your stuff is out there in the public domain. One star reviews happen, embrace them, learn from them and don’t let them dishearten you! 

Shout out to everyone who has reviewed my work this year! Peace out! Rock and roll man! 

Weekly Ramble #53

All this year I have been immersed in being busy. Whether that’s writing stuff, work, moving places, performing or even doing social things. In some senses I don’t think I could function without doing stuff. I know we all need a rest every now and then, the mind must wind down and reflect, right now I’m doing just that (while subconsciously thinking ‘what’s next?’).

While being real busy I just haven’t taken a moment or used any mind space to reflect on that fact that I now have 5 books published. A feat which is actually pretty damn cool, especially after doing it in under 5 years. The truth is and without sounding overindulgent I am damn proud of my work, in turn I am damn proud to know some of you who have pushed me on and on this year and in previous years. Being proud of the good things in life is so important and not everyone will get that. Now I am of a certain age (the kids won’t get this) I have come to appreciate that this life can bite you sometimes. In fact there aren’t many real good days that we have. Be proud of the good things you achieve, wear them, carry them with you, let them remind you it isn’t always bleak. Life is too damn short not to be reminded every day of the good stuff. 

This blog and it’s ‘moderate’ success has been a revelation this year, all you need to do is look at the numbers below to see how things exploded in a matter of months. There are a stack of good supporters this Hall of information must and will pay tribute to next month.

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For those in search of a ‘different’ type of read, my 5th book ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ has literally just been published and is available to download for less than $2 (it always will be). The paperback drops next week. Check out the awesome cover here. It’s a story about love, life and even if people do leave us, their influence lives on inside us.

Peace out and thanks for reading well cultured, well read individual! 

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