THANK YOU for visiting my website. You can freeze-frame any slide by holding your mouse arrow over it. To like my Facebook page or to follow me on social media, just click on the links under CONTACT INFO in the footer. Enjoy!

‘The Woman in White Marble’ by Dale Rominger

This is a well-written romp through the clichés of at least three ‘popular’ genres. Dale Rominger is an accomplished writer who has enormous fun with this book. I appreciated his light touch, his perceptive and realistic detail, his irony, sarcasm and occasionally biting humour. “It’s perfectly clear that if you want to write a novel critiquing the socioeconomic political state of America, science fiction is the only legitimate way to go.” Silloth, his place of choice in the middle of nowhere in the North East of England, very close to the back of beyond, is realistically and chillingly ghastly, epitomised...

Read More

‘The Way Home’ by Carol Holland March

There is patient merit here aplenty in this set of well-told, metaphysical tales. The stories remind us of the extent to which all our realities are figments of our own imagination, and therefore the realities of all other living - and by extension imagined - things can be conjured into existence in coexisting, parallel dimensions with portals that permit contact between the worlds: helping us cope with the whips and scorns of time in our own 'real' world whenever we risk being terminally damaged. The first story - 'Desert Song' - reassures immediately with down-to-earth description and dry humour: "When...

Read More

‘Once in a Lifetime’ Jayne Nichols

“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs,” Paul McCartney sang in 1976, with his tongue in his cheek: because of course our need to love and be loved in return is at the very centre of our being. “Once in a Lifetime” is a beautifully written, gentle and heart-warming, modern evocation of the Cinderella story, told by Jayne Nichols with her tongue in her cheek, smiling gently in Austin-esque fashion while paying homage to our basic human need for life to be like this for deserving people. Reading it was like soaking in a warm...

Read More

‘Papala Skies’ Stephen Geez

     ‘Papala Skies’ is a tour de force: meticulously researched, intricately planned, and beautifully written. I was reminded of something William Wordsworth said once: “I yield to none in love of my art. I therefore labour at it with reverence, affection and industry.” This is a most carefully crafted book, its characters and their struggles serving the author’s worthy purposes, its language replete with resonating imagery and apposite metaphor. Stephen Geez possesses impressively wide-ranging knowledge in a number of fields, all of which add credence to his tale; but in a way for me, suspension of disbelief was never an...

Read More

“Annwyn’s Blood” MICHAEL EGING

‘Annwyn’s Blood’ begins as another medieval tale of derring do. Marianna, the beautiful daughter of Mattheus, High King of all Gwent, has been abducted while returning from a pilgrimage. All her guards and retainers have been brutally slain, but five weeks have passed and there has been no ransom demand. The kingdom is being scoured to find her. Among those seeking is a noble youth from ‘Birkenshire’ named Erik, a young knight in training, eager to prove himself to his King while nursing a secret love for the princess who is ‘out of his star’. Rapidly, however, we realise that...

Read More

“The Ritalin Orgy” MATTHEW DEXTER

The prose is purple, and the author – one hopes - the personification of poetic licence. It’s a story on speed: luxuriating in language as it exaggerates (please let it be a gross exaggeration) its depiction of life in a private school for the supposedly immensely privileged, viewed through the eyes of a young teacher sensitive to the sufferings and excesses brought about by a degenerate student lifestyle lived while acquiring an impressively academic education (that side of the school’s affairs is barely touched upon). The lifestyle enjoyed/endured during term time by a significant proportion of the boys and girls...

Read More

“Few Are Chosen” M. T. McGUIRE

This book is funny, shrewd and perceptive: an entertaining and satisfying read. The author had me from: “...the loaded gentry” (sentence 3).  Pithy observations came thick and fast: “Swamp Things were the only creatures that could punch as hard as Grongles.”  “Big Merv was bound to think he’d done it on purpose; nobody normal could be that stupid.”  “The Pan didn’t make a habit of retrospection.” Then there were the characters’ names: Sir Robin Get, the last of the great Nimmists, Frank the Knife (no relation to Mac), Ada the PR front of The Parrot and Screwdriver (The Pan of...

Read More

“Letting Go Into Perfect Love” GWEN PLANO

This is the often painful story of Gwen Plano’s relationships first with a husband whose sanity she thought she could save, and then with one who systematically abused her for twenty five years.  It is a beautifully written, articulate, intelligent analysis of what happened and why it happened, why she persevered with it for as long as she did, and how eventually she was able to rely on her own strengths to take her to a much better place, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Life had taught her to be a carer from an early age, and for carers, learning what...

Read More

“Finding Liam” CHERYL PHIPPS

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this heartwarming tale of a childless couple – good people – getting the child they deserved.  Prossers Bay is the small town equivalent of the way the world should be: full of kind, hard-working people ready to help out anyone who has fallen on hard times, especially a defenceless and exceptionally polite little boy whose mother had left him in what she hoped was a safe place while she tried to deal with the danger presented by a rotten, cowardly bully.  This short book can be easily and enjoyably read at one...

Read More

“The Guardian’s Prophecy” MITZI FLYTE

This is a very well written book by a knowledgeable author (history, sociology, psychology) with educated, highly qualified protagonists helping the reader suspend their disbelief while a legend comes to life. The trick in such instances is “gradualism” – the building of the picture using convincing detail while gradually weaving in those strands of the story that would otherwise be hard to swallow.  Mitzi Flyte handles it brilliantly: you know you’re in safe hands from the first few chapters and feel yourself relaxing into a gripping tale being expertly spun. Zoologist Dr Kate Riley is “a workaholic with a highly...

Read More