‘The Perfect Athlete’ by Olivier Doleuze – Review

The Perfect overview and resource for the fit and healthy conscious…

Tenured Jockey Olivier Doleuze lays out a hugely beneficial resource/overview style guide for anyone looking to improve their nutrition and fitness that is packed with information.

This easy-to-read book is delivered with an approachable chatty style that partners well with the sheer amount of definitions, explanations and what is essentially a blue print for modern sport/nutrition and more. Early on it is stated that this book is for “Athletes and aspiring fitness enthusiasts’ but everyone or anyone who wants to be more conscious of their health through exercise and diet this is a must-read, it really will open your mind and awareness.

Structured much like how the ideal workout it begins with the warm up – definitions of the basics are laid out like nutrition, metabolism, calories, fuel and so much more. Although this is a lot of information, its written with a light style that isn’t too heavy to take in and makes for a memorable start to the work out/ reading experience. The chapters that follow, cover everything in detail but again not too heavily, many guides do suffer from adding ‘fluff’ but this one is lean and in good shape, trust me.

I was drawn to this book to learn and to find more insight into how my own diet relates to my fitness and now my mind is very much open especially with the very meaningful and motivational statement about weight only really being a number.

This book exactly what I needed to refresh my fitness journey because I think many of us sometimes get lost along the path when it does relate to weight expectations, nutrition and fitness. I’ll happily admit a lot of this stuff I didn’t even know until I picked up this guide which I shall be using in the future for reference.

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery.

‘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

‘The Caverns’ by Olen Crowe – Review

In The Caverns an ancient evil lurks…

In the small rural town of Linston an ancient evil lurks and suddenly awakens with a whole bunch of mystery. When The Caverns; a tourist hotspot and only real economic attraction of the place begins to swallow people it soon becomes both a problem and a media circus.

What is the evil? Although deadly it has no real physical manifestation and gets into the heads of everyone in town including a group of friends who just happen to be there for a curious visit to the Linston Caverns on a road trip of sorts. There’s a good mix of cliché fun and conflict here as the town drunk lays down fair warning whilst the money driven people in charge of the attraction push to keep it open no matter how many lives are taken. Locals don’t appreciate anyone from the outside with a prying nature that may damage the towns reputation and combined with the harrowing events a perfect storm ensues. There’s a wide group of characters, some a just bit-part throwaways subjected to the evils of what lies below and others that carry the story.

For those who enjoy mystery horror with a hint of humour and the unexpected, you’ll definitely find it here.

4 Stars

‘Witch in the Lighthouse’ by Azalea Forrest – Review

A quaint and fun magical tale…

This was my first Azalea Forrest reading experience and an enjoyable one at that. ‘Witch in the Lighthouse’ is a quaint and fun magical tale that follows ‘Magnolia’ as she inherits a Lighthouse from her recently passed away uncle in a town that isn’t so welcoming of her kind.

Having had previous negative encounters with those of the magical persuasion Maggie faces the task of convincing the small seaside town of Lightview that she is there to help. Whilst some make her feel welcome, others are stubborn to the thought of a witch in their town even if this world of practical magic can help them in so many different ways. Just what did happen in the past and even to her uncle? The intrigue intertwines with the moving plot here keeping readers interested throughout.

Eventually the story unfolds as does the history of Magnolia’s family and what follows is an epic meeting of forces that carries an original and deeper meaning of responsibility of power and much more. Magical forces in this world can be used for both good and bad which is explored well here. The characters, setting and story were very well executed and I’d be more than happy to read another title by Forrest.

5 Stars

‘A Stranger From the Storm’ by William Burton McCormick – Review

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!

5 Stars

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads #8

And so the journey of reading indie books continues. Here are some of my recent reads…

‘Sentinel: Galaxii Book 4’ by Christina Engela

Immersive and enjoyable space-sci fi…’

Full Review

‘A Still Life’ by Elliott Wink

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

Full Review

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick 

‘It comes in the night…’

Full Review

Check out Lee Hall on Patreon

‘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….

Full Review

‘Where Darkness Meets Light’ by Sabrine Elouali

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

Full Review

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

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

Full Review

‘Pirate Sea’ by Kyler Kuehler 

A swashbuckling and sometimes brutal tale packed with action

Full Review

And so that wraps up another edition of awesome recommended indie reads. Thanks for stopping by and remember to leave a review after your next read!

‘Pirate Sea’ by Kyler Kuehler – Review

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.

4 Stars

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

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.

5 Stars

‘Fallout’ by Pat Griffith – Review

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!

4 Stars – This review first premiered via Reedsy Discovery

‘Dead of Winter’ by Antoinette McCormick – Review

‘It comes in the night…’

Antoinette McCormick delivers an atmospheric and descriptive story of ‘Amara’ who is on a quest to solve her twin sister’s murder and the circumstances that have seemingly followed her since childhood. Just what exactly is this mysterious force stalking her? It seems to have always been there and the mystery keeps the reading experience intriguing.

As the events unfold, reader’s are left guessing with a writing style that can best be described as textbook horror where not too much is given away whilst leaving readers wanting to know more. In near enough every chapter something unexpected unfolds keeping everything on edge with a certain urgency. To find out what exactly happened ‘Amara’ must explore memories of her sister through a unique procedure giving the story a sci-fi futuristic edge. The ending although satisfying to me will definitely be the course of some division but like all good stories, they always are. For anyone looking for an atmospheric and thrilling tale with mystery, this is the one for you!

5 Stars