Best Books I’ve read this year, so far…

Whoa we’re halfway there… but I suppose with all that’s going on, living on a prayer is out the window… but books aren’t and no matter what shit storm is going down out that window, the Hall of information vowed to carry on and carry on is what we have done!

Now that we are halfway through 2020, I am also half way through my TBR list and so here’s a breakdown of some of my best reads so far…

 

‘Dead End’ (Clown Conspiracy Book 1): A Short Thriller’ by Mallory Kelly

 

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Short books don’t get nearly enough credit especially when they do everything a longer book can. This series known as the ‘Clown Conspiracy’ is like a bunch X-files episodes that all carry the same chilling clown type theme but branch out in story with individual arcs in each addition. From this first one I was hooked and went back to the series over the past six months. Give short reads a chance! Here’s my review from January

 

‘Nocturnal Farm’ by Villimey Mist

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Vampire stories are still very relevant today, even more so when they break the usual mould and take a path less travelled like Nocturnal Farm which is the sequel to Nocturnal Blood. Book one was a chase style story that introduced the universe while this one represented more of a rescue effort while uncovering more of the vampire world already introduced. The MC is a sufferer of OCD and anxiety, but it’s not glorified or exploited, it’s highlighted in a brave and original way.  The Nocturnal series is definitely the one to watch right now as more sequels are planned! My full review is here. 

Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening! by DRTao

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The Hall of Information proudly takes on books from all corners of genre. Fiction or non-fiction we’re happy to read them and this unique self help book can best be described as ‘A unique mind opening insight into breaking the shells that govern our existence…’ and that’s taken straight from my review.

Break them all can be picked up by anyone looking for a little more insight into their own mind. It’s written in that accessible way and like I said in my review It’s intelligent but easy to take in and highlights how to see things differently and perhaps not the way we usually see them.’

Nightjar by Paul Jameson

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Every now and then a true literary gem comes along and this one took me by complete surprise. So much so I had to drop mostly everything and just read it cover to cover. Nightjar can best be described as something between folklore and fantasy while being written in a classic literary style. It’s a fresh story with an oldie style and that will take you back and it’s a combination that makes this one a potential read of the year! Trust me, check it out, my review is here…

Swinging Sanity by N.F. Mirza

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And now some poetry because every reader’s list should have some on and mine is no different. ‘Swinging Sanity’ is a deep and sensory collection of poetry, by that I mean it’s  an emotion fuelled account full of feelings that covers a range of subjects. ‘From self harm, depression, anxiety, loneliness, love, individual suffering and pain to everything else that centres around our sanity, you’ll see it represented here without any reservations and with honesty – something the world needs to talk about more…’  Check out my full review here…

The Band Director’s Lessons About Life: Volume 1 – 50 Parables on Life’s Performance Cycle by Donald Lee

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The Hall of Information was approached directly by Donald Lee who introduced his work and it didn’t take much to convince me to check it out. This collection of scenarios serve as parables related to the teaching of music that reflects on lessons learned. The subject matter ranges from time management, knowledge, belief, having fun, performing, forgiveness, failure and so much more (50 in total). This is a book that’ll make you think and hopefully motivate you to be better in the same sense. My full review is here…

Memories of Mars: a Novella (Custodian Library Archives Book 1) by Colin Yeoman

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I cannot stress how good short books can be when they are good and Memories of Mars is one that caught me off guard yet again. Part science fiction and part literary ficton, this brand of ‘Fringe fiction’ faces the age old question about our origins and that of the red planet’s. To quote my reviewColin Yeoman has cleverly fused real elements of biological transmission experimentation with the human memory which possibly fills in the gaps of our history in the universe and more specifically Mars which is wholeheartedly original…’

And so that wraps up my ‘best books of 2020 so far’ but there are a stack of great reads I did not mention as I am saving them for the yearly review. Thanks for stopping by!

FREE Paperback Giveaway

Readers from the UK I have 4 signed paperback copies of ‘The Teleporter’ to give away! Seeing as we are all probably staying in for the immediate future, why not take some time to yourself and get into a good book!

Not that I am suggesting The Teleporter is good, but you have a chance of winning 1 of 4 copies right now over on Facebook. Here’s the Link

 

 

Lock down Survival Binge-watch Recommendations

I love me some good TV and the longer a series is the better. Call me a character development buff because I am, and seeing as many places all around the globe are facing lock down situations this is a perfect opportunity to kick back and watch some good shows!

Here are my binge watching recommendations for surviving lock down!

For a show that started way back in 1993 you would have thought as a 90’s kid I would be down with the X-files but the truth is (no pun intended), I have only just started watching it!

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Now my Mrs finds the show’s theme a little eerie and vividly remembers being scared by the Simpsons X-files episode (which was awesome too) but I will admit this show is great and even for something on the more retro scale it holds up quite well.

For those who haven’t seen it, here’s my upshot…

‘Fox Mulder’ (A young David Duchovny) plays a ‘believer’ of a Special Agent in the FBI who spends his time investigating the macabre to the paranormal and everything else in between. These investigations are known as the X-files and Agent ‘Dana Scully’ (an even younger Gillian Anderson) is tasked with finding out if the x-files is a viable resource in the FBI while inadvertently being swept up in the storm of belief.

Their on screen chemistry works incredibly well and very early on they become good friends, their partnership carries the show in what follows a monster of the week formula (anything and everything in sci-fi) while also delving into a longer ‘the man is always watching’ type story arc.

The main selling point is that the X-files is available on at least one platform wherever you are in the world and the amount of episodes (8 series worth) is a sure fire way to spend lock down and survive it! 

We’re going to continue with the Sci-fi theme and look at what I consider to be the best ever Robot fiction show and possibly story…

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Westworld ticks nearly every damn box available for a show with such a high quality. I was blown away by the first season which introduces us to a distant future world with a living, breathing and gun toting amusement park; hence the name of the show.

Guests pay money to basically live and stay in a Red Dead Redemption type world; they can befriend people, go on quests and pretty much do what they like. The world is populated by ‘people’ who are in fact very real looking robots and this is where the performances grip you.

Evan Rachel Wood is exceptional in this as ‘Dolores’ and for television it’s an all star cast including James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and the one and only Anthony Hopkins who brings a master class level of acting to this show that explores the morality of robots in confinement who are forced to do everything over and over again.

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Evan Rachel Wood

The first season is just the tip of an incredible underbelly with twists and turns but most importantly, revelations! Even for those who think sci fi isn’t their cup of tea, the performances and story will grip you, trust me! 

There are currently 2 seasons available with the 3rd currently being broadcast over the next few weeks!

We’re going to take an almost swerve in another direction now and head into true crime which is a genre if done well that I cannot look away from.

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes sheds a brand new murderous light over one of the most infamous serial killers of the 20th century. This show also introduces it to a brand new generation of folks like me who was born the year (spoiler alert) Ted Bundy was executed…

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The tapes consist of interviews Bundy did while on death row as he reflects on a life that involved brutally murdering many many women. For a 4 part series it manages to cover in detail his chronology in doing what he did. It’s stylishly cut and put together with archive footage and interviews that make it a chilling but ever so addictive binge watch!

Available on Netflix this one will distract you for a while! 

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Continuing with the Netflix documentary theme this one you’ll find to be absurd and a little bit harrowing because the Devil Next Door is like something from a film but it actually happened. Quoting the google (because this pretty much covers it), a Cleveland Grandfather is brought to Trial in Israel, accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible…

Trust me when I say this one is addictive, gripping and of course it pays homage to the so many people who faced atrocities during WW2 who still deserve to be remembered for what they went through. Here’s my full review… 

It’s not all Netflix originals or HBO because here at the Hall of Information we have to give credit where credit is due and AMC have put together some awesome shows over the years. Even if it has fallen out of favor from me The Walking Dead is a binge watch institution and I am going out on a limb to say, just watch the first 5 seasons…

 

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The characters, the setting, the special effects, the story and hell the theme song along with everything else cannot be faulted with the first 5 season of TWD. Considering what’s happening just outside our windows this one will capture your imagination and heart.

Seeing as the amount of time we’re all going to be in lock down may change, you shall probably be seeing more television rec’s quite soon! 

Have you got a binge watching recommendation for lock down?

 

 

 

 

Bookbub Featured Deal Promo Results

Yes fellow scientists, the results are in! Even though most of us aren’t actually scientists we shall adopt their method of recording the findings of all experiments and these include book promotion efforts. 

As most of you know The Teleporter was selected by book bub to be featured for 1 day and advertised at a discounted price in Canada, UK, India and Australia. Here are the results of that deal.

The figures: 

The Bookbub featured deal cost: $86  

Here are the results: 

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On the day of the promo The Telporter was downloaded 62 times, I also picked up sales for every one of my other books making July 1st 2019 my best ever day in book sales

I even managed to shift 2 paperbacks! 

Outlook for the future: 

Even though the figures were high they weren’t enough to tip the profit scale, but that’s okay, I an indie author, profit is a rare thing and I’m in the business of getting my stuff out there, money will come later…. And it’s still early because here are the KENP reading figures

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This graphic shows people reading the Teleporter for 7 days straight, another groundbreaking record! 

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Over in the Canadian charts The Teleporter peaked at Number 2 only being bested by the audio book of Good Omens! If there were a few more sales at that time it probably would have reached numero uno but I’m taking second to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett!  

Final thought:

Was it worth it?

A resounding yes. Next time and I hope there will be a next time I am going to ‘stack’ my promotional efforts by using other book promo sites at the same time. You can check out a list of those here in my nifty book promotion 2019 guide

Either way The Teleporter which 2019 is becoming the year of, got out there in all 4 of the countries it was advertised. Of course these are the results only a week after the promotion, so the long term results are yet to be apparent. I’m hoping to see a few more reviews and hopefully some more sales.

Tip of the cap to everyone who grabbed a copy of the booziest hero out there!

 

 

SALE ALERT! The Teleporter available to download for a discounted price! TODAY ONLY

Yep you read the title right, my most critically acclaimed book The Teleporter is available to download at a discounted price in the following places!

 

 

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With thanks to BookBub this sale is officially being advertised by you can grab yourself a copy right now for more than half price!

Individual links: Click on the corresponding flag

Amazon Australia

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Amazon Canada

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Amazon India

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Amazon UK

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Amazon US

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Of course its also discounted in most other places, but here are some high profile reviews and reasons why you should make the Teleporter your next read! 

 

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I’ve also cobbled together a nifty little post called 5 Reasons why YOU should read The Teleporter

 

Thank you for reading. Thank you to everyone who reviewed The Teleporter and it wouldn’t be an indie book promo post without saying LEAVE A REVIEW; AND THANKS FOR READING

ROCK AND ROLL MAN!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to leave Europe?

It’s politics season yet again, well that’s how it feels and in the past few weeks there have been local elections that nobody cared about and of course the European union debate continues on.

By elections that nobody cares about, I mean Sky news did. Even when news is slow they find something to cover, to death. I digress. My agenda for this current blog entry is to discuss that merging of two words that nobody seems to approve of and though gritted teeth we all say Brexit. Like a shitty version of a celebrity marriage, except divorce is very much on the cards.

Soon enough the voting public of the UK will go out to the poles and decide whether or not we should continue to be a part of the European union. Firstly here’s the fact about that, especially as people seem to believe any scare mongering crap they read online.

If you have previously been registered to vote in the UK, you do not have to register to vote for the European vote. If you are unsure then just go to gov.uk and read it for yourself.

Onwards with the main narrative, this weekend just gone we had the Eurovision song contest! Although in recent years the quality of acts has got better and better, even leaving nations like us behind. But also with that quality comes the political undertone that dominates the whole farce. A farce is a fair word to describe the contest which sees Australia (nothing against them but why?) entered for the second time in two consecutive years and a new voting system that even the judges had no clue about thus making it that much clearer to me that the whole thing is probably rigged.

I talk about Eurovision because it reflects to me what ‘Europe’ really think of the UK. Its watched by the people. Well they don’t think of us in all honesty, just look at where we finished. And by Europe, how many of the finalist countries are actually big time players in the EU? Really this contest is the only proper way to see how our mainland neighbours actually perceive us if you take away any quality a song we produce it relies on.

Political undertones if there were any in this contest are normally aimed at Vladimir Putin and the gang. And yes the Ukraine’s entry aimed their message at him. They won. Therefore, confirming the fact that Europe don’t actually know that we are about to consider leaving their ‘club’. I mean to really confirm that we would need a Brexit themed song (imagine that!) to stand up against the Ukraine to really know but I get this feeling the whole ‘please don’t leave us gang’ is actually an illusion. I think Europeans are more worried about what Russia are going to do as opposed to what we might do.

Leaving Europe is a serious consideration and well looking around nobody has given me a decent argument for either case. Stay or leave? Who the frig knows? Do the EU care? Probably not.

Maybe we should just quietly divorce and move on. We have it our way mostly, especially with our much stronger currency. Maybe we should just go old skool like the days of the empire and politely say ‘fu** them!’ Or is that too offensive for the offended police?

Either way if you can vote. Do vote. It’s your duty as a resident of a democratic nation, the right to change through voting is all we sometimes have as voice. Much like Eurovision, if it isn’t rigged. Above all this is just my opinion. What do you think about the UK leaving the EU? Answers on a postcard?

 

100 Days until the UK General Election : A somewhat humorous Guide

Yes folks it’s that time again for some of us to express our democratic right and have some part in choosing the next person we can all blame for not having any money and other stuff.

It seems this year the election is wide open, as opposed to normally being a two horse race between team red and team blue. Last time saw the emergence of team yellow and Nick Clegg shortly followed by his demise, quicker than a student can drop a fire extinguisher from a building.

Come with me as I take a brief look at the top political parties looking to gain some ground in the 2015 UK general election.

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Conservative (current champions, only because Nick Clegg’s Liberal party shared his votes with them so they could form a coalition government)

Headed by our prime minister David Cameron, he will be looking for an outright victory this time round, but honestly I really cant say what’s gonna happen (like I know). It will be interesting what he has to say when the live television debates happen. Hopefully he will be more prepared than the prank caller was.

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Liberal Democrats

Clegg’s team will be looking to scrape back some level of respect after his u turn on student fees. Doubt that will happen.

(I am trying to do the right thing here and insult every party, that way everyone is cared about)

Labour

Ed Miliband is the man for Labour, I just don’t know If labour is for him. Like the two above parties they are all considered as the top 3 (well they are statistically) but the parties below will be challenging them. This time it could even be serious. So Labour may loose more than they have gained in recent times.

SNP – Scottish National Party

Only contending for seats in Scotland they have gained much ground in recent times. Especially after the referendum last year. If they win out right in Scotland they will hop over team Clegg and become the 3rd biggest party in the UK. Good luck to them, especially after the no vote for independence so perhaps this shift could help change things. (Ok notice I didn’t add an insult here, so I will just say this, I have never tried Haggis)

BNP – British National Party

Seriously? No.

UKIP- UK independence party

Armed with a leader who spends much time in a pub and a face only fit for punching Nigel Farage will be looking to steal votes from the power 3. Will he steal enough to get into downing street? Doubtful, are we worried? Yes. UKIP could be the deciding factor as to who will win.

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Look’s like somebody did punch him!

 

The Green Party

There are three chapters of the greens, one for Ireland, one for Scotland, then England and Wales. Another popular choice for those looking at the polling card and saying ‘None of these please’. They currently run the coastal district of Brighton. Could we see them take more places?

Plaid Cymru

Welsh party who co ordinate with SNP. Last time around they came 4th on their home soil.

 

So that’s the guide, who are you voting for? Or like me you are waiting for the politicians to make arses of themselves on the televised debates. Of course this is or UK residents only but if you could vote who would it be for? Check out a podcast I am in all this year for exclusive election coverage! And remember I have a competition running, scroll down! A grand total of 0 entries so far! Rock and Roll!!!

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 A final note from the Hall of information 

This weekend and next I am performing in Iver Heath Drama Club’s annual pantomine; Robin Hood and the babes in the woods! Yes ladies I am Robin Hood and will be wearing those tights, come and see me and many more talented people who put together this awesome show. For tickets click here, for more info click here.

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