The stories that inspire us -‘Hamlet’

The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…

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Shakespeare, the original story teller. The true architect of language and narrative. You’ll find his influence near enough everywhere when it comes to the written and spoken word; sometimes you won’t even know you are using a phrase that he originally influenced. His works these days have even extended to cinema and television. 

Many of us came across the Bard’s work during our school years. Too many walk away from those lessons thinking his work is boring and almost inaudible to follow. That’s a tragedy in its own right and probably down to a lack of teaching execution. Although I don’t blame teachers not being an effective vessel to explain Shakespeare, like all art it’s  an acquired taste and also subjective.

For me Hamlet is the true epitome of story telling. It has almost everything a good story should have. Love, life and death with near enough all the elements that make a good story just that. Betrayal, deception and triumph; enveloped by that word ‘tragedy’.  They never taught me about Hamlet at school. I remember ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ but the Prince of Denmark and his laments I didn’t find out until I was cast as him in the play.

When you take on a work for the stage, be that by any writer you take a part of them and perform it as your own. You also sometimes; not all the time, become engrossed into their story and by becoming a character you only truly appreciate the weight of a story and it’s true power.

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Death is all around Hamlet, the character and the story. His ever so famous ‘to be or not to be’ monologue is about the contemplation of such and as the story unfolds death slowly reaches over near enough all involved. He urges love interest ‘Ophelia’ to get away which becomes an unintentional shun leading to the shuffling of her mortal coil. ‘Claudius’ plays the typical step father figure that is cliche even to this day – he did have a hand in killing his brother who happens to be Hamlet’s father the King; sound familiar yet Simba?

The only significant survivor by the close of play – spoiler alert; although you’ve had hundreds of years –  is ‘Horatio’ who utters those ever so famous words but before then we see a deceptive plot to poison Hamlet which goes ‘badly’ for Shakespeare’s standards along with a memorable duel. As I said it has everything and as our language continually evolves further and further away from that used in this classic tale, it’s so important we remember and honour it.

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For those looking to improve their craft on stage nothing will do it better than the words of William Shakespeare. From modulation and dictation all the way to understanding of how a basic story is put together and all the way to being able to learn lines – if you’ve learned and nailed Shakespeare on stage, everything and I say everything you do after will be noticeably easier. Great stories of tragedy or even triumph never fade and well I suppose the rest is silence….

Do you have a favourite Shakespeare work? 

Vogue Parody: 73 Questions with Lee Hall

A huge tip of the cap to Jaycee Lynch of Thinking Moon for tagging me in what I hope will be a fun Q and A…

Here goes…

1. What’s your usual Starbucks drink?

Black americano

2. What does your work station look like?

My desk at home is currently being used to store folded laundry… I consider anywhere to be my workstation as long as I have my laptop I’m good to go…

3. All-time favourite food?

Pizza most probably.

4. Favourite author?

Michael Crichton

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5. What do you think of open relationships?

Not my kind of deal.

6. What’s your favourite video game?

Half Life

7. What’s your guilty pleasure treat?

Booze

8. Your favourite movie?

Back to the Future.

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9. Favourite book?

Too many to single one out… top 3

‘The Lost World’ – Arthur Conan Doyle

‘Pet Semetary’ by Stephen King

‘Prey’ by  Michael Crichton

10. Best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s always them and not you.

11. Twitter or Instagram?

Twitter

12. Are you a desktop or a laptop person?

Laptop

13. What projects are you working on right now?

I have just finished editing my 4th stage play – an adaptation of Rapunzel and right now I am editing ‘Darke Awakening’ my 6th novel due for release this year…

14. What’s your favourite colour?

Dark red.

15. Did you get good grades in school?

Not really. I didn’t try particularly hard but then again I didn’t know what trying hard really was, I was 15 so who knows what anything is at that age? I only got ‘good’ grades in 3 subjects: English, Electronics and Business studies.

16. Dream job?

Screenwriter that gets paid well!

17. Played any sports?

Loads as a kid. I played quite a lot of soccer , I was a naturally left footed which is rare apparently. I also played a stack of cricket during the summers.

18. Do you have a degree?

Nope.

19. Nationality?

British – specifically English, God save the Queen and all…

20. What’s your favourite type of blog post to write?

I do love a book review. Writers like a book review and so do readers. Everyone wins.

21. What do you like to collect?

Movie soundtrack CD’s although CD’s are kinda old fashioned now. I also collect different Monopoly games.

22. Describe yourself in 3 words?

Creative, loyal and humorous…

23. If you were a rapper, what would your rapper name be?

J-Lee…

24. Who was the last person you DM’d?

Probably my other half but I also have a few ‘spicy’ message groups.

25. What’s on top of your wish list right now?

Without sounding cheesy things are quite good for me right now. I mean a million bucks would be appreciated…

26. Sorting House?

Ravenclaw – I have a scarf!

27. How many tattoos do you have?

None.

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

It’s a bit early but I very much appreciate the good folks who follow this here blog, you rock!

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

Let’s talk about January because this month is less than a week old.

January was awesome and a little bitter sweet. I performed in my final show for the drama club I have been a part of for ten years! We put on a show I wrote and over 600 people came to see it.

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That’s me sitting on my throne…

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

I ate pizza

31. What’s the best thing ever?

A sunny winters day.

32. Favourite season?

Spring. Not to hot or too cold. I sweat the least in Spring therefore it is my favourite.

33. Favourite holiday?

I work quite a lot of holidays so any holiday I happen to be off work is my favourite.

34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?

Abraham Simpson: ( on modern music/fashion/trends)

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35. Do you like surprises?

Honestly, no. They make me a little anxious.

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

My 25th birthday was a surprise party – that was cool

37. What surprise made you cry?

I can’t think of one..

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given someone?

I proposed to my other half before Christmas. I felt like a lemon on one knee but then she said yes and our social media proceeded to break… it was great! We drank 3 and half bottles of champagne that night…

39. Do you like muffins?

Chocolate chip works for me.

40. Do you cook often?

Most of the meals I eat are cooked from scratch, it’s probably why I am in ‘ok’ shape…

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

A chocolate fudge brownie sundae.

42. Is there a dessert you dislike?

No, dessert is life.

43. Cake or pie?

Both.

44. What’s your least favourite food?

Cucumber. WTF is with that taste? Cat’s are triggered by them also so that’s clearly a sign…

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

Ketchup with BBQ sauce being a strong second.

46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?

That’s a real bad time to eat trust me I work a lot of nights… I’ll just take a coffee…

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

Story telling for beginners.

48. Best animated film?

Toy Story

49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?

I’ve got a lot of compliments for my writing by quite a few awesome guys!

50. The best thing to do on a first date?

Talk, have a few drinks and get to know one another. For god’s sake make them laugh!

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?

Eat a big meal. It’s awkward and clunky…

52. What’s the funniest pick-up line a guy could use on a girl?

I wouldn’t know. I never have or had any type of ‘game’.

53. Best comic book character?

Deadpool

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54. What are three things that are always in your purse?

I don’t own a purse but I will always without fail carry a pen, wallet and phone with me at all times.

55. Favourite drink?

Tea, always.

56. If you could play a historical figure in a movie who would it be?

I could probably nail Jim Morrison of Kurt Cobain, hair permitting…

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57. Kittens or puppies?

Puppies.

58. Tell me your favourite sushi roll?

I’ve never tried sushi…

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?

A chapstick…

60. What kind of foundation do you use?

You should proably ask the nice young lady who applied it last time I was in a show…

#thankyourmakeupartist

61. Blow-dry or air dry?

Air dry.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

Dave Grohl

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63. Favourite Disney Character?

Woody. Especially after Toy Story 4

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64. What are you doing tomorrow?

Working a night shift so I’m probably asleep if you’re reading this!

65. A movie you laughed the hardest through?

‘Dumb and Dumber’ always gets me laughing and ‘There’s something about Mary’

66. A movie that made you cry?

So many. I’m an emotional guy and when I get into a story anything can set me off… I found the new Aladdin film to be quite moving at the end…

67. If you could sing a duet with someone, who would it be?

Probably my brother- in a manly type of sense…

68. If your life was a song, what would the title be?

Chancer

69. What’s your favourite animal?

I’m partial to a Giraffe

70. Favourite illustrator?

Quentin Blake did some great work with Roald Dahl’s children’s books…

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71. A person you want to have coffee with?

Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson

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72. What country do you wish to visit?

I would love to visit Canada.

73. Best way to decompress?

Playing a video game or watching an immersive film or tv show.

Nominations: For anyone who made it all the way to the bottom if this here post I salute you and congrats you’ve been nominated! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stories that inspire us – ‘Dumb and Dumber’

The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…

Comedy is often overlooked in this world. The ability to make one laugh is possibly the most human thing someone can do and to me one of the easiest ways to make someone comfortable or uncomfortable. Most of us know there is a very fine margin between comics and depression but laughter can be a vessel out of the darkness.

‘Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?’

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‘Dumb and Dumber’ is a film that many might judge by it’s simplistic title and much of the story is simple but to me it’s a fun and even heartwarming story about friendship. Two friends Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) are going nowhere in life ‘unless you wanna work forty hours a week…’ and set out on a road trip to reunite a briefcase that Lloyd witnessed a woman drop before getting on a flight. It’s the typical road trip buddy story where the pair find themselves in stupid but very funny situations.

‘Why you going to the airport? Flying somewhere?’

Like a lot of cinema in history it has a few non PC moments but for most of the film Dumb and Dumber carries an innocent level of comedy in the realms of stupidity – both on a physical and literal level. Without over analysing it, the script is a juggernaut of quotes that I say to myself quite often. Much of my comedy influence has come from this film over the years where both actors put in considerable performances and today their resumes are decorated.

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Carrey and Daniels are household names

The film appeals to a wide range of ages which is the key to all successful comedy. There are more adult style gags which will go over younger audience’s head’s while the physical and straight up silliness will get everyone laughing. Although this film was released in the early 90’s it still stands up quite well and the soundtrack like all Farrelly brother’s films is golden.

‘You know, Lloyd, just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!’

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For many years and even today this is film that brightens up my day. It’s fun, silly and easy to watch. You can find the influence of Dumb and Dumber in much of my work from my novella ‘The Teleporter’ to the Pantomime plays I have written.

It is my opinion that without comedy the world would be a much darker place. And if you are ever feeling down in any way my advice; find something that makes you laugh – for me that’s Dumb and Dumber.

Do you have a go-to comedy film or series? 

Weekly Ramble #57

Seeing your own writing come to life and put onto a stage in front of an audience is something I am still getting used to. It’s an incredible and rewarding feeling. As writers, bloggers and creators many of us don’t ever get instant applaud for our work. Books can take years to ever gain any type of gratification so most of you can imagine when an audience member approaches me and say’s that I did a good job, it’s probably the pinnacle of being a story teller. And I wont lie, even after the past weekend which now seems a lifetime away; I’m still rather high from it all and perhaps I should be. 

The truth is I am damn proud of the stories I have created but the plays, they are truly special because they are made by the performances and the production. My writing is a mere first step, or even a suggestion of an idea; the rest is in the hands of everyone else. Those performers and everyone else involved should be proud, not only because they have brought a fantastic show into this world but because there aren’t many good  moments in this life to be proud of. Life can be bitter sometimes and it can bite you hard and bring you down. You must find things to be proud of to cast light over the shadows of hardship and that’s up to you. Taking pride in one’s work is probably more important than any other type of praise or reviews; the fact that you did it and it made a difference; a positive difference in your life is all that matters when it comes to story telling.

Be proud, all of you!

Awesome Indie Book Recommendations

It’s been quite a while since the Hall of Information showcased some awesome indie books. I need views, authors needs sales and you need reads. It’s the triangle of life so here goes…

mindLet’s talk about ‘MIND: Two Short Tales of Horror’ by E.H Night which I found to be a unique and imaginative reading experience. Even with it being a shorter book the descriptive style carried my interest throughout the two tales included.

To quote my review back in December;  ‘it’s almost like these stories simply suggest what is happening and our imagination’s fill in the rest – this is a form of story I hold in the highest regard…’  

This book is a great example of what creative writers can do with a smaller page count – something that authors don’t get enough credit for!

Next up came Indie read number 39 of 2019 which also happened to be an ARC from awesome fantasy author Jimena Novaro who reached out to see if I would be interested in reading her latest release ‘The Relic Spell’. Having read her previous book ‘Blue Rabbit’ I jumped at the opportunity to take on yet another great story.

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I found myself immersed in ‘The Relic Spell’ which is a real world fantasy story featuring sorcery and magic while also being full of originality. My lengthy review pays tribute to what is a wonderful addition to the genre and it’s book 1 of a series which I shall be reading more of!

Here’s just a snippet of my review;  It’s very clear to see Jimena Novaro has spent much time writing a story that feels personal and inviting at the same time. The book contains so much for a reader to enjoy, from a wealth of great characters to a story where something is always happening; if there isn’t action, there’s tension, intrigue or mystery…’

I’m pulling a sneaky one on ya for this next book rec but I’m doing it with the best of intentions…

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Those who tune in regularly will know this year I plan on releasing my 6th book which just happens to be the sequel to ‘Darke Blood’ (and the Open Evening books) so I thought maybe I should promote it in some way.

I could just say ‘hey go and read my vampire novel’ but what I will say is this:

Quite recently and for the first time in some years I have been reading Darke Blood and while slightly flinching I am going to admit it may be my best work. Now I’m not particularly entitled to say that but I will. Check it out and if you like the premise I will send you an e-copy…

My next book rec comes in the form of two stories which cap off one hell of an awesome science fiction series. ‘Prodigal Sun’ and ‘High Steaks’  are two reads I enjoyed over the festive season and make up the final books (so far) of the Quantum Series by Christina Engela. This collection I spent last year and the beginning of 2020 delving into. I am going to be brief because I plan on putting out a separate showcase for the series soon but I urge you to check them out!

Next up on my list is a chilling crime thriller called ‘Dead End’ which is the first of a series known as the ‘Clown Conspiracy’ book series by Mallory Kelly. Yet again this is the type of writing that champions shorter reads and for good reason because in the shorter amount of pages you get everything you want as a reader from a great book.

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To quote my recent review;

‘For a book that I read in just under an hour it sure packs one hell of a chilling punch. From the very beginning this story plays with the imagination while also delivering an ever so well written ride that will have readers turning the pages. The use of description by Mallory Kelly is atmospheric and suits the creepiness that comes with the cornerstones of horror to many, clowns and haunted houses…’ 

 

 

And last but certainly not least let me share with you my latest review ‘The Seller of Sins’ by Kristina Gallo which is An engaging immersive tale of relationships and what people will do for love…’

seller of sins

 

There’s a lot happening in this story which is about many different things but mainly relationships. And yet again I have chosen to read a shorter book but it manages to contain a lot of back story and important character detail which carries the premise of a couple who are married but don’t seem to want to be anymore. Their individual paths eventually cross and culminate in a dramatic finish.

 

That wraps up my latest book reviewing endeavours. Do you have a recent book recommendation? 

Thanks for reading and catch you in the next one!

 

 

The Final Ramble 2019

Life is too short not to care about the future of our environment. Even if the majority of us have adult problems in an adult world those problems will be minuscule compared to what’s coming if we don’t all do something. You can say what you like about Greta; she’s just a kid and what does she really know? That’s an unfair question to ask simply because it puts someone at a disadvantage due to age. I only know what I know because I have lived longer than her and even then it isn’t much. I’ve been through that early twenties phase of thinking I know everything and having an answer for everything. Now when somebody asks me something I think about it first before realising I don’t know. Trust me when I say this; I’ve spent the majority of my life figuring out I don’t know a lot, but the answers, I know where to find them. And what exactly are we going to do about this girl who is just trying to spread a message? Give her a break, put what you think about her and the way she delivers her message aside, but embrace the message that we need to do something about the future of this world.

Life is too short for grudges and hatred. That person you think you ‘hated’ for years upon years is a person also. They feel just like you, inside they might actually be willing to let go like you and I’ll tell you now, hating long term is bad for everyone’s soul. Of course there will be situations where forgiveness may never see the light of day and I understand that too but it’s important to move away from a grudge. Time has a way of moving a lot of water under that bridge we call life.

Life is too short to be unhealthy. This is a serious one for me because over the past few years I’ve had my fair share of ‘health stuff’ to deal with and I still am. This doesn’t just refer to physical health but mental health also. Do what you have to in order to help your own mind – it is our greatest wonder and our greatest feature. The heart comes in at a close second, it’s a muscle so use it, walk, run, yoga, take the stairs, do what you’ve got to do. Eat well but eat healthily and wisely. I’ve taken the majority of meat from my diet in recent times and spent over 100 days of this year alcohol free. The whole meat thing may even help the environment and well no booze equals more smiles trust me.

Life is too short not to help others like you. This year I have read some incredible independently published books. I’ve travelled to different lands and worlds via those words, met many characters who have faced many diverse adversities and I don’t regret reading even one word of it. People have been thankful for my review efforts and I’m only doing what I would want others to do for me.

Be safe, be healthy and have fun this festive season. To paraphrase Doc Brown; ‘your future is what ever you want it to be, so make it a good one…’

To everyone who has ever graced this blog with their eyes and taken in just a few of my words; Thank you. See ya’ll next year! (I might have one last book review before the year is out) 

 

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… 

tp goodreads review 2019 apr

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

the teleporter new review april eleventh

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. 

duncan thompson revi

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! 

Some more reasons why you should read indie books!

In between all of my efforts on what has been a journey this year I’ve still managed to continue reading and reviewing Independently published books. That is of course between attending weddings, trying to have a career, writing more books, publishing more books, promoting more books, trying to stay healthy/active, being present on social media, playing Red Dead Redemption 2, engaging on social media and doing my best to text back…

I guess you could say I’ve been busy, but not too busy, never too busy to help promote fellow wordsmiths so without talking about myself anymore here are some more reasons why you should read indie books! 

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It feels like a century ago that I read what is a true masterpiece of fiction but in fact it was only mid August I finally reached the summit of new release ‘The Good Kill: A Killian Lebon Novel’ by Kurt Brindley. The first thing I noticed about this book was the writing style which can be described by two words ‘proper sentences’. Of course that isn’t all because what unfolds in this book is a blockbuster journey or redemption.

So what is the Good Kill about you ask? Well to quote my review:

‘It’s modern Jason Bourne meets Taken but it feels fresher with a grittier story that is brutal, dark and sometimes violent and always entertaining. There’s revenge and redemption as well as a series of revelations that appear in many different pinnacle moments during the story which is split into 4 parts all of which culminate dramatically.’

‘The Good Kill represents independently published books in the finest possible way.’

And furthermore this book also represents the higher end of fiction and literature. You can grab a copy here.

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‘Suspense, drama and modern issues all of which are tackled in a fun but important way...’

Of course I am talking about the third book of the ‘Quantum series’ by South African Author Christina Engela. As I gradually make my way through the series this year each time I take on another instalment it is apparent that Engela can tell quirky fun stories while also building worlds which are all wrapped together with an important message. ‘Dead Man’s Hammer’ is science fiction at its best and it is highly readable. From my review here’s what I had to say

‘Someone is targeting my favourite characters; an assassin enigmatically named ‘Villainessa Tittel’ who is after one person in particular and series regular; Cindy Mei Winter. ‘Villainessa’ proves to be quite a force in her field of work and does everything in her power to draw in ‘Mei’ whom share an interesting history. It is in this history where readers will find the true message and meaning of the story.’  

You can find out more about the Quantum Series and much more here

haunted ends

Seeing as October happened I had to find myself a spooky read or something at least representative of the season and ‘Haunted Ends’ by Elizabeth Price does just that but in a clever and original way. To quote my recent review:

‘…it’s part ghost story and part murder mystery which turned out to be an overall fun read. The story opens with ‘Sam’ who is short in stature but full of character. His journey makes for one of two main plot lines that eventually intertwine after the initial chapters; the other follows ‘Rocky’ a car fanatic and paranormal investigator that used to be able to see ghosts, this is an ability that returns to him and he decides to use it which makes the story.

Eventually we see ‘Sam’ and ‘Rocky’s’ paths cross in a ghost buddy story situation seeing them team up to solve a murder shrouded in mystery and deception’

You can grab yourself a copy here

fated to mee you

Fairy tales are something I hold in quite high regard, they feel like home territory for me considering I have adapted 2 for the stage (soon to be 3, I hope) and Despoina Kemeridou has my stamp of approval for what is ‘a feel good fun and imaginative modern fairy tale…’

‘Fated to Meet You’ begins like a typical YA story but quickly unravels into what is a world of Kings, Queens and Castles as M.C ‘Nora’ is seemingly transported away from the mundane of life and into that world. It’s a short but effective read (I took me about an hour to get through) and shorter books don’t get enough credit, especially one’s like this!

 You can grab a copy here.

That just about wraps up my latest book review efforts. So far I have read and reviewed 35 indie books this year, my hope is to get to 40 by the close of December. If I don’t see you through the week, I’ll see you through the window… rock and roll and reading man! 

*Bonus content for those who scrolled this far…

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Book 5 is coming this December. I will be reaching out to potential beta readers very soon. The reason I have left if rather last minute is because it’s not a long book, but I think it’s good-ish… Watch this space…

 

Weekly Ramble #50

Weddings can be an incredible thing. I should know, I’ve been to 2 in the past week. Both of which were for some of my best friends and people I know. Whatever your outlook on love and togetherness all reservations and opinions of such are reunited when you see a couple who mean the world to you get together. Sometimes it takes a wedding to truly realise that two people are meant for each other.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve become a person who cares less about my own success and more of a person who cares to see others do well. Perhaps that’s me being the connoisseur of stories, seeing real characters in this world answer to destiny and succeeding.

In fact there is nothing more in this world that I want than to see others achieve success and to find themselves. Of course love can be a huge part of that for many of us, but there are folks out there who are yet to find such things and can still be happy. Perhaps happiness like love is in the eye of the beholder.

Being just a few days removed of my own brother’s wedding I am starting to process how special that day was, not only for him and his now wife but for the family and friends that were part of it. Families have a way of drifting apart for whatever reason but life is too damn short and sometimes it takes something like a wedding to reunite old memories and acquaintances. Family, friends and love is important to us all, it’s what makes us truly human.

I think I nailed the best man’s speech. They laughed and enjoyed my words which were from the heart. There was emotion, laughter and fun – not just in my speech.

In a world where many of us all have our own struggles, it was days like that which make it all worth it and you probably know the saying by now, ‘love is all you need..’

Weekly Ramble #48

This has been probably the most important year of my life, in both writing and everything else and even now there are several plays to be made before the final bell is rung. 

Everything that I have achieved hasn’t been easy but it never is. This blog is approaching 400 followers, this year we started south of 200. Incredible things happen when decent people back you and that’s probably my real secret to all of this; good people trusting my words which are also good and honest.

Story telling as a whole is just a collection of good ideas fashioned into some kind of order and then put on the page. Convincing people to take on those pages is the hardest part of all of this, but we’re getting there. This always was and always will be a one person at a time kind of deal. To all 398 of you who one by one made the effort to follow this Hall of Information – thank you, when it reaches 400 there will be something of a reward…