Feist is one of my husband’s favourite writers. He loves classic high fantasy and he’s banged on to me about the Riftwar Cycle for our entire relationship. That’s five long years of “YOU SHOULD READ THIS,” and me all like “Eh, I dunno, sure, one day I’ll start it, I’ll get around to it soon, it’s on my list…”
High fantasy isn’t my favourite genre, and there are 30 – yes THIRTY – books in the complete Riftwar Cycle series. That’s far too much sword-wielding and arrow-shooting and century-long wars for my liking. I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy the books as much as he does, but I promised I’d give the first book a go and try to see what the fuss was all about. So, I cracked on with Magician in the middle of December and here I am now, still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. Continue reading “Magician by Raymond E. Feist | Book Review”
Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium opens with the first frost of every winter to provide the city’s children with the most magical of toys. From windup, patchwork animals that seem to truly live, to little wooden soldiers who can fight battles like real men, the Emporium offers an enchanting array of toys that fill children and adults alike with wonder. Cathy Wray arrives aged 16, pregnant and homeless, in search of work and board, and there she remains to become a permanent part of the Emporium family. But unending rivalry between Papa Jack’s sons, Kaspar and Emil, pose a threat to the future of the Emporium. Continue reading “The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale | Book Review”
The Kindle version of my debut book, Merry Bloody Christmas: A Short Story Collection, is available for 99p until 26th December!
Grab it now on Amazon
Countdown to Christmas with 24 contemporary short stories
In a gloomy Yorkshire town on a snowy Christmas Eve, nothing pans out exactly as it should…
An awkward breakup, a vengeful turkey, digitalised ghosts and alien abductions.
A chocoholic grizzly bear, a talking Christmas tree, mince pie overdoses and a very bloody murder.
Will poor old Saint Nick make it out alive?
Sad, strange, funny and gruesome, this overlapping, multi-genre collection of tales has a little something for every reader. Curl up with a mulled wine and some fictional festive misery, and discover what Father Christmas really likes to drink when he wriggles down your chimney. Spoiler: it isn’t milk.
Charles Dickens is on top of his game – or so he thinks. He’s recently polished a new manuscript and he’s looking forward to welcoming a new baby into the world just in time for Christmas. But then his publishers burst his bubble. His latest book is a flop and he urgently needs to bring in some cash. They insist he write a new, festive book if his career is set to continue. Continue reading “Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva | Book Review”
Lincoln in the Bardo was the 2017 Man Booker Prize winner, and it’s been on my to-read list since then. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln during the loss of his son, which came at a time when the American Civil War was in full swing. Little Willie Lincoln is just 11 years old when he dies, and he finds himself trapped in a ghostly realm between life and rebirth, along with a bunch of bickering, whinging, whining ghosts. The novel is told through a series of excerpts from newspaper reports, books, journals and diaries, as well as the first-person narration of various ghosts who witness Lincoln entering his son’s crypt and cradling his body. Continue reading “Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review”
Alice’s reclusive grandmother is the renowned writer of Tales from the Hinterland, a book of dark fairy tales, but Alice has never really known her. Instead, she has spent most of her life on the road with her mother, running from bad luck which always seems to find them whenever they try to settle down. When her mother is snatched by unsavoury characters from the Hinterland, Alice must delve into the fantastical world of her grandmother’s stories in an attempt to break the curse of bad luck for good. Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | Book Review”
Sourdough tells the story of Lois Clary, an overworked robotics software engineer whose sanity is saved by sourdough and spicy soup provided by a local sandwich shop. When the owners of the sandwich shop decide to leave the country, they offer Lois the starter of their delicious bread so that she can make her own. She soon embarks on a bizarre new career path, blending robotics with baking in a strange new food market, while attempting to understand why the microorganisms in her sourdough starter seem to have a mind of their own. Continue reading “Sourdough by Robin Sloan | Book Review”
During the middle of an unprecedented snowstorm in 1964, Dr David Henry delivers his wife’s baby with the help of a nurse in his empty clinic. It turns out to be twins. The first baby is a perfect little boy. The second is a girl with Down’s Syndrome. Believing that he is doing the right thing for all involved, David hands the child off to the nurse and asks her to take it to an institution out of town. He tells his wife, Norah, that the baby girl died. The nurse, Caroline, can’t bear to leave the little girl in the cold, clinical institution for the rest of her life. Instead, she goes on the run, starts a new life and raises the child as her own. Continue reading “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards | Book Review”
Aila’s mother has died and her father has been drafted to fight in the war. She and her brother have been shipped off to Sterling, a small town where their mother grew up, to be cared for by a family friend. But Sterling has some secrets.
Every seven years, something goes missing. The town has lost its sense of smell, its ability to see the stars, its reflections and its ability to dream. Aila’s mother was always suspected as a potential cause of the Disappearances, which makes Aila guilty by association. Can she get to the bottom of the bizarre curse and clear her mother’s name? Continue reading “The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy | Book Review”
I published a merry bloody book!
And now that we’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way, I’m finally able to flog it. It’s Christmas-themed, y’see. Yes, sensible old me thought it would be a cracking idea to make my first foray into the self-publishing world with a seasonal book that folks will only ever want to buy for around 6 weeks of the year. I mean… you live and learn, right?
Merry Bloody Christmas is a multi-genre short story collection which I originally wrote and posted on this blog last year. I was reasonably chuffed with the stories then, but I knew they weren’t as polished as they could be. Not only that, but they soon got buried as I continued to post new stories and book reviews. So, I pulled them from the site, dusted them off, whipped them into shape, and published them. Continue reading “I Published a Book!”