Saturday, 27 August 2016

Book Review | Shannon O'Leary | The Blood On My Hands

The Blood on My Hands: An Autobiography

This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Shannon O'Leary
Title: The Blood On My Hands
Genre: Non Fiction, Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, True Crime
Pages: 258
Price: £8.10

19th August 2016
Finished: 27th August 2016

Shannon O'Leary grew up in Australia in the 1960's and 70's, in a seemingly upstanding catholic family. The Blood On My Hands is the story of the horrific abuse and terrifying murder that played out behind the scenes, hidden by the authors extended family and all but sanctioned by the nuns the author confided in as a child. This story of violence and suffering is also the memoir of a strong, resilient little girl who grew up to be an accomplished woman. Readers will quickly become engrossed in this riveting story as they follow the author from the tragic circumstances forced upon her as a child to the life she made for herself as a survivor. 

I would like to thank the publisher and Shannon O'Leary for allowing me to receive this book. The synopsis made me very intrigued about this book and that is why I opted to receive this for review but I must be honest and say that I was unsure that I would enjoy this book as I have also swayed towards fiction novels. However, as this book seemed extremely interesting I thought that I would give an autobiography a chance and I was not disappointed. This autobiography shares many horrific events that the author had to experience at the hands of her own father. This little girl was very brave and resilient; I know that if I experienced even a quarter of what Shannon O'Leary had to I would have broken very early on in life. I found myself truly gripped with this autobiography and could not stop reading. Parts of this autobiography made me feel physically sick at what the girl had to endure. I can't imagine how she managed to stay so strong and survive to adulthood and a better life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone; reader or non-reader; enjoyer of autobiographies or fans of fiction. This is a truly amazing read and I believe that everyone should experience amazing along with the strength that the author had even at such a young age. As I came to the end of this book I felt that I had connected with the author along with helping her share in joy at how she survived such an horrific ordeal and how strong she and all her family were to get away from her father. That being said I could not imagine the terror that she experienced throughout her childhood as my childhood was perfect in comparison to hers. Any issues that I had in my childhood are silly and irrelevant in comparison to what Shannon O'Leary went through. As horrible as her experiences where they made her who she is today; the experiences made her stronger. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Author Q&A | Dane Cobain |

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I started to take it seriously when I was eighteen or so, at around the time that I finished writing my first novel. I was planning on going to study web development at university, but at the last minute, I decided to switch my degree to creative writing instead. I haven’t looked back since!

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends upon the book and how I write it. As a general rule, I’d say around a year or so. I used to write my books by hand, which took a lot longer, although I’ve switched to using a computer now. You also have to factor in how long it takes to go through editing and layout. took over three years; Social Paranoia took about six months, but it took place over a period of a year and a half because I kept stopping and starting depending upon what other projects I had on the go.

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m always writing! I have quite a specific schedule which I adhere to whilst watching Netflix. Every five minutes, I switch activities, rotating through doing things on my computer to tidying my flat to writing stuff. That’s the simplified version, but it’d be going into too much detail to explain the whole thing.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It’s quite difficult to quantify, but it’s my writing style as a whole. It’s sort of alternative and occasionally dark, but also approachable. If you’re familiar with my work then you’d be able to recognise it without my name being attached to it.

5. How do books get published?
It totally depends upon the author and the publisher, if they have one. Everyone has their own publication routine, and the ease of use of self-publishing routes such as CreateSpace mean that people can really do whatever the hell they want to get their books out into readers’ hands. But in my view, a couple of rounds of professional editing and proofreading, as well as a competent cover design, are essential.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I do most of my research online, although I do read books in similar genres to see what works and what doesn’t. As for the ideas, it really depends – I often start with a vague idea, which just simmers in my head for a couple of months and picks up details here and there. Then, when I’m ready to actually plan something out, I start to commit it all to paper, making changes and additions when appropriate.

7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started writing it at seventeen and finished it at eighteen. It was a book called ‘Annie’, which told the story of a teenage girl who was being sexually abused by her alcoholic stepfather. It wasn’t very good and it’s not ready to see the light of day, but it was good practice at least.

8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m almost always either writing or working. But when I’m not doing one of those, I like to socialise or to play guitar – often both, by going to open mic nights.

9. What does your family think of your writing?
I don’t get on very well with one side of my family and so I have no idea – I don’t think they think of it at all. But on my mom’s side, they’re all very supportive, and they’ve been buying and reading all of my books ever since I was just ordering limited print runs of a dozen or so, before I started to release my work to the public.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I’d have to reiterate myself and talk about the importance of professional editing and cover design. As both a writer and as a book blogger, I can’t stress that enough. It’s very, very rare for an author to put out a perfect book without outside help. Why take that chance? Why not work with a creative team to push out the very best book you can? It’s a no-brainer!

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written far more books than are actually available, because that’s all part of learning your craft. Some of them will eventually be re-released (after going through editing), and some will never see the light of day. In total, I’ve written XX books (and three albums of music), but only four books and two albums are currently on general sale. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I’ll always have a soft spot for No Rest for the Wicked, as that was the first one that underwent a proper, professional release.

12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
It might sound a little obvious, but read as much as you can and write as much as you can. There’s no better way to learn than via hands-on experience.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do, but not as much as I’d like to – I always encourage people to post a review, whether they enjoyed the book or not. The feedback is mostly positive, and when I do get negative feedback, it’s generally constructive stuff that I can learn from. And they’re often just two sides of the same coin. For example, the most common piece of positive feedback for No Rest for the Wicked is that the reader devoured the whole book in one sitting. The most common piece of negative feedback is that they felt that it was too short. You can’t really have one without the other!

14. Do you like to create books for adults?
I’ve never been one for writing for an audience. I write books that I want to read myself, and then I just hope that my readers enjoy them. So far, it seems to be working well. But as I’m an adult, I guess all of my books have adults as the primary target audience. This was a long-winded way of saying the simple answer: “Yes.”

15. What do you think makes a good story?
A mixture of strong characters and a good plot, combined with accessible language and a pace that keeps you turning the pages until the end.

16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a rock star when I was little, but I figured that was unachievable and so I switched my focus to writing instead. That said, I still write music and perform in front of audiences, and I maintain that my music is just an extension of my writing overall. It’s just another format for me to play with.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Book Review | Brad Anderson | The Janus Project

The Janus Project

I received this book for free from the author. This book was sent to me through Bostick Communications. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Brad Anderson
Title: The Janus Project
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 346
Price: £14.95

8th August 2016
Finished: 19th August 2016

The feds have a special place for marquee witnesses. It's not a matter of where; it's a matter of when. Army veteran and restaurant owner John Callan was at the wrong place at absolutely the worst time. And he paid for it with the lives of his wife and daughter. His attempt at revenge on Morgan Ropp, the country's most lethal criminal, lands him in a special, top secret section of the federal witness security program: The Janus Project. Life under Janus is supposed to be the safest available for protected witnesses - and it is for Callan until Morgan escapes from prison and finds out where - and when - Callan is hiding. The Janus Project reveals the struggle of survival when the need for revenge pushes us to the brink of disaster. This character driven novel highlights dichotomy of a man torn between the fictional life that was implanted in his new reality and the depths of his instincts that drive him within his innermost soul. Which reality will win? It's a matter of time. 

I would like to thank Brad Anderson and Bostick Communications for sending me this amazing book. When I read the synopsis about this book I became very excited for this book to arrive so that I could jump into reading it. This book sounded truly interested and I was sure that this book would not fail to grab my attention. This book did not disappoint; I found that it was even better than I thought it would be and I thoroughly enjoyed settling down to read this book. The Janus Project kept me hooked from start to finish and I found that I did not want to put this book down and stop reading for anything. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction and fantasy novels. After reading this book I am excited to invest time into more books by Brad Anderson and build up a collection of books by him. It's possible that Anderson may become a favourite author of mine. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Monday, 8 August 2016

Book Review | Thomas E. Berry PhD | 2050


This book was sent to me for free from the author. This book was sent to me through Bostick Communications. I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Thomas E. Berry PhD
Title: 2050
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Future, Religion, Contemporary
Pages: 94
Price: £7.95

6th August 2016
Finished: 8th August 2016

Through ignorance, racism and selfish lobbies, Americans lost their freedom of speech. Fear of accusation closed the mouths of the powerful. In 2036 ISIS easily created a caliphate and introduced Sharia Law. If students objected, one would be beheaded in front of a class. Rule by fear expanded. In one fifth grade class friends realised that their generation would be the last to save their beloved country. As they grew up, they studied how Lenin seized control of Russia. They decided to use his plan to save America. Cells were formed. Roger was selected leader. His girlfriend Emma was made head of supplies. Beautiful Sally collected information by working for a Mullah. Big Black Harry brought in the Black Panthers and the Hell's Angels. Charley worked the Sharia political arena. The group developed well until a Sharia spy was exposed in their midst. They were forced into action ahead of schedule. Can they really extinguish Sharia Law and restore America? Can one incredible sacrifice lead to a victory from failure? 

I would like to thank Bostick Communications for sending me a copy of this book. After reading the synopsis and hearing other peoples opinions on this book I was not sure that I would like it or not. I had heard that people found this book to have a racist note to it so I was a bit dubious about reading it. However, when I started to read this book I did not find it to be written in a way that could seem racist. That being said I did also see how and why this book could be taken as having racist notes to it. When looking into this book just remember that this book is purely fiction and there is most likely no racist intent by the author. I found that this book was actually an interesting read and it will remain in my book collection permanently. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in contemporary fiction but if you are easily offended then this may not be the right book for you as it does contain some touchy subjects in relation to religion and crimes. I am strongly against racism so if I thought that the author meant this book to be took in a racist way then I would surely be honest and say that I thought that this book was racist and definitely would not be recommending it to anyone. I did find this book quite interesting to read and found it hard to stop reading. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Book Review | Charles M. | The Jungle Within

The Jungle Within

I received this book for free from the author. This book was sent to me by the author. Charles M. sent me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Charles M.
Title: The Jungle Within
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 308
Price: £9.05

2nd August 2016
Finished: 6th August 2016

When Evan and Katie said "I Do" they expected to navigate life together side by side. But when a car accident and a tawdry affair disrupt life as they know it, Evan and Katie are forced to venture on alternate paths alone. In the darkest depths of an unforgiving coma, Evan fights to survive the treacherous jungle of his mind. He embarks on a spiritual journey to understand the meaning of life and the beauty of death ... forcing him to face his deepest fear. Meanwhile Katie ventures through her own guilt. On a strenuous moral journey, she juggles consequences of infidelity and the strain of caring for her unresponsive husband. But are their paths truly separate? Or are they simply on parallel journeys that are destined to converge?

I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book. When I read the synopsis of this book I was very curious about this book and how much I would enjoy this book. Once I managed to get into this book I found that I was really enjoying the plot and that I could not put this book down. This book was very gripping and I was well and truly hooked when only a few pages in. I would highly recommend this book to any reader with an interest in fantasy books. This book will remain a permanent in my book collection. I feel that this is a book I could read many times and still enjoy it as much as the last time. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Book Review | James Patterson | Cross Kill

Cross Kill: BookShots (An Alex Cross Thriller)

I received this book for free from BookShots. This book was sent to me through direct contact with BookShots through email. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was contacted about this book because of interest I showed in James Patterson books on Goodreads. 

Author: James Patterson
Title: Cross Kill
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 113
Price: £1.50

29th July 2016
Finished: 2nd August 2016

Along Came A Spider killer Gary Soneji has been dead for over ten years. Alex Cross watched him die. But today, Cross saw him gun down his partner. Is Soneji alive? A ghost? Or something even more sinister?

As a lover of James Patterson I was very excited to receive this book. I could not wait to start reading this book and experience the amazing writing of James Patterson. I really enjoyed this book and could not stop reading until I had finished the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime and mystery books. If a person reads this and is not a James Patterson fan then they will be before they reach the last page. James Patterson is an amazing writer and his crime novels are just thrilling. Cross Kill will remain a part of my ever-growing James Patterson crime collection for as long as I enjoy books which will be way into my old age. 

5 out of 5 stars