Monday, 26 September 2016

Indie Author Day - it's a thing!

Hello my online friendlies,

So, exciting news...
On 8th October 2016 the world is celebrating indie authors. Hoorah!
About time we celebrated our total awsomeness!

So, there's a totally crazy group of us who have clubbed together (y'know, the good kind of crazy).
We're all romance authors, of different shapes and varieties.
On the 8th October we're offering our books free or at least discounted.

Here's the event page:

Come follow our event, save the date in your diaries, grab a bargain and get some great romance reads.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

I'm Done (*mops brow*)

OK, apologies for the onslaught. I had a lot of reviews to catch up on.
So, you now have book reviews that have stuck with me. They are quite eclectic, but they're all very good.
I hope you manage to take some time out to read each review.

Good news; I won't have to do such a major blog dump again. I'll just post reviews of books I like as and when I read/review them.

Exciting thing; have you noticed I now have a newsletter signup on this page?
If you want just a few emails per year, notifying you of my important announcements please do sign up.
It really won't be lots of emails, I promise.

If you do want regular updates please follow me on social media.
I'm on TwitterFacebook and now also on Instagram (TLClarkAuthor)

OK, tired now. I go nap. :)

Love & light,

Review - One (cliffhanger coming up)

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2016
Reckon it's: Romanctic Suspense

This book is a really good suspense/romance.
It's very well written, for a start.

We begin this tale with a very bloody murder, and the plot thickens as hunky Xavier (detective) has to find who the murderer is.
He doesn't expect to find love along the way.

Both the hero and heroine of this book have a traumatic past, which they have to try to overcome, at the same time as dealing with a rather nasty 'present'.

I love how the relationship develops.

Watch out; there's a lot of blood in these murders. A lot!!

I was hooked almost from the very first page.

If you like romantic suspense and/or murder mysteries go for it!

Review - Hart Broken - unbreak my heart

Rating: 5*
Read: September 2016
Reckoned category: Contempoarary Romance

I actually love this book. Just wow!
The author tells this tale well.

Mickey (a girl Mickey), is damaged emotionally. She doesn't do one night stands, she's a good girl, but has commitment problems.

Cale is damaged physically. And kudos to the author for writing about a wheelchair-bound hero who isn't magically cured.
His challenges and frustrations are real. He has such solid determination that is almost becomes arrogance, but stays on the healthy side of that. His independence is just important to him.
Of course, he's really yummy. He's rich, but not obnoxiously so. He's actually quite humble about it. Yay!

They both help to heal each other's wounds from their past, and it's beautiful to read.
I actually "aww"ed out loud, and occasionally gasped too (not something I do normally).

A great book, and I can't wait to read the next one.

Review - Call of Kythshire - I'd answer

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2016
Reckon it's: YA/Fantasy/Sweet Romance

I love this book (and I'm a lady over 21). 
I love the illustrations (even on my old 4th gen Kindle).
And the story is really strong.

Azaeli is an awesome young lady; one to watch in the role model stakes.
She's a squire and all round good person.
But she becomes embroiled in a fierce battle of good vs evil (sorcerers vs fairies).

Excitement and intrigue are maintained throughout, in language suitable for the age bracket.
There's a clean romance involved along the line, but the main story remains focussed on Kythshire.

Exciting and lovely.

Review - Going Home - I think I'm lost

Rating: 4*
Read: August 2016
Reckon this is: Aliens?/Dystopian

Ummm...what?? So, I've just finished this book, and I have a couple of theories, but I don't really know what's going on. But I know I like it! :-)

So there's Sam, Yileen and Rousso, who live in Australia, and get sucked into an extremely odd existence, thanks to The Anomaly (which is worshipped by a cult sect and everything!).

And then there's Keats. And maybe Spiggy and Mook. Maybe not. Maybe there's some weird monsters.
I'm really really not sure what's going on there. Or what's even real any more!? ;)

The two stories are very well interwoven whilst never meeting.
There's a very nice use of the English language here, and the stories flow and pull you in.

I'm intrigued and can't wait for book 2!

Definitely recommend to people who like adventure/scifi/aliens/conspiracy theories/weird stuff! 

Review - Fogged Up is clearly a good book

Fogged Up Fairy Tale
by Denise Baer

Rating: 4*
Read: June 2016
Real category: Contempoarary Romance

What an interesting concept.

As I read this book I was discovering the life of the main character right along with her.
Brand is an odd, wild, fiery and great character. She is by no means perfect, so I was fond of her from the start.

Easton however is stand offish, and I never totally warmed to him.
Although he did sound yummy, so I forgave him lots.

What Brand remembers is no mundane life. It's a life that's a bit messed up, and involves hunting criminals.

Sometimes it was a bit confusing. I wasn't always sure if I was reading current day or the past. But given Brand had amnesia, this confusion leant itself to the story. And to be fair, there is a little date and place at the top of each chapter.

Very nicely written, a different spin on a romance.
Definitely worth a read.

Review - Breakers of the Code - it's a bit...broken

Rating: 4*
Read: April 2016
Category all of its own: Elfrotica

Wow! How on Earth or in Gentalia do I review this??

It is totally different from anything I've ever read, and trust me, I've read some weird s#!t in my time!

Welcome to the world’s best (only) elfrotica!

So, we join Anders, a night ranger elf avatar who is making his way through a computer world which becomes weird.
He soon realises if you can't kill them shag them is the way forward in this game.
He gets a ‘sawesome bubble butt’ to help him cope with ginormous monsters.
It's not so much m/m but m/mm action (male/male monster).

This book is pretty niche; it really helps if you like video games (which I do) and seriously, don't even touch this book if you're sensitive to m/m activity or explicit sex scenes.

There's really cool text boxes to show when the characters are talking to each other.
This actually made me feel like I was an avatar in the game.
I found myself wondering what my colour accents would be, and whether I'd choose an elf class avatar, and what my special (s) power would be. ;-p

However, these text boxes do limit the devices you can read this book on.
My poor old 4th gen Kindle couldn't download it. But as I have an android phone I was able to read it on the Kindle app on that, so really not a problem.
Actually, reading it on my phone, flicking the screen added to the feel of gameplay which may well have enhanced my reading experience on this occasion.

The book is well written and is wonderfully unique.
The characters leap out of the pages, and are all really well endowed...err...developed.

High scores for fun and creativity.

Review - Broken Pieces - it might break your heart

Rating: 4*
Read: February 2016
Real category: Memoir

Wow; Rachel Thompson is one courageous lady! It must have taken a great deal of effort to write so openly about her abuse.

There are trigger warnings deservedly in place for this book.
It covers child molestation as well as the abuse Rachel endured as she grew older.

I personally found it quite confusing; the timeline jumps around a fait bit and it's not always clear which moment she's writing about. But then that didn't feel important.

Rachel has clearly shared her painful experiences to help create a greater awareness of abuse.

There is no happily ever after; there is just one lady living her life dealing with the aftermath of trauma as best she can. Guess what; not all survivors have fully healed yet. This book is totally honest and open. I would have scored it far less stars if the author had tried to 'pretty it up'!

The style is unusual; it mixes essays with prose/poetry/journal style entries.
It was written the only way the author could write it imho. And kudos to her for doing so.

Review - Flight Instructions - a real journey

Rating: 4*
Read: November 2015
Category: Memoir

I don't normally read memoirs, but I am very glad I read this one.

Wow; what a journey!
OK, so there's not so much in the way of instructions as I was expecting/hoping for, but I'll gloss over that.

What this book is is a remarkable story of a lady intent on beating herself up for merely following her life's path.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the author left her husband and young children.
Her path of recovery from this is contained in the book. And she certainly took the harder path.

It also shows a great insight into what it feels like to be born to an alcoholic parent.

I recommend this book to anyone needing to feel comfort from a shared experience. 

Review - I'm in love with - Evelina

Rating: 5* (I'd give more if I had them)
Read: November 2015
Category: Historical Romance/Original founder 

Oh, the folly of modesty and reserve; how much confusion is caused falsely in thy name?

I absolutely adore this book! I can't believe I've only just discovered it.
It is one of the first romance novels, so do beware of ye olde language. But you do get used to it.

I found it amusing at how much chaos was caused by Evelina's purity and innocence.
How short this novel would have been if she lived today and was at once able to speak her mind.
But this is what makes the book so lovely.

There is absolutely no requirement for sex in this romance. I blush at even associating such an act with this work of refinement!

Evelina attends balls and gatherings of all sorts, and her eyes are opened to the horrors and wonders of this world.

Every romance reader (or indeed author) should read this book.
I feel myself greatly affected by its contents. And I thank and honour Fanny for her bravery as it must have taken great courage to write this way at the time. And in so doing she paved the way for many romance novels ever since.

Incidentally, in today's terms; one J Austen 'crowd funded' this book's publication (before she herself was published).
Oh, how much do we owe to this book? 

Review - Northern Heights - heightened romance

Rating: 4*
Read: September 2015
Reckon the category is: Contempoarary Romance

We start this story with a young girl named Barbara, and the awful bullying she suffers. Then the trail goes cold and we switch to Nicola. But stick with it; you may be surprised when Barbara does re-surface!

Nicola gets bullied by her boss at work; I really sympathised with her through this. It’s amazing what a slight change in perspective can do for people.

We come across a lot of bullies, but the tales are shown in a positive light.
We learn about coping strategies and how to overcome difficulties. We also engage with Nicola’s wonderful friends, and share her joyous romance.

Because bullying clearly wasn’t enough of a challenge, we are also guided through the ups and downs of lesbian relationships. And it is all wrapped up with a good dose of humour, so it never feels depressing.

This book is really lovely. It’s really well written, and it feels like it’s done straight from the heart. I was completely hooked and really had to find out what happened to the characters.

The author really settles into her stride as the book progresses. An excellent first novel. May there be more!

Definitely recommend to a friend material.

Review - Sewing Can be Dangerous - very crafty!

Rating: 5*
Read: August 2015
Reconed categories: Witches/Folklore

What a wonderful book. Very different stories excellently ‘stitched’ together in one location.

There are different stories from different cultures and eras, written in the same lovely, relaxed style whilst remaining true to the culture of that tale, and each containing a sewing theme.

I was excited by every one. This is no mean feat. It feels like you’re sitting around a hearth listening to folk tales being told.

It’s rare, but I really can’t fault this.

I may even take up quilting!? Intrigue this way lies…

Review - A House Without Windows gives an interesting insight

Rating: 5*
Read: March 2015
Reckoned categories: Self-help/Suspense/Kidnapping

So, as many have said, this starts off through the eyes of Amy (a little girl), and it was really quite sweet reading her take on her otherwise horrific confinement. She leads into the story nicely, and paves the way for her mother's part of the story to come in smoothly. Hearing about Amy's house really does bring sense to the book's title.

It is a really dark subject matter, but one that is very sympathetically handled. I think it will give people insight into how these situations can occur and the aftermath as well; it's a long slow road to recovery. You expect Beth to live ‘happily ever after’ once she escapes, but she actually sets her own prison as she tries to come to terms with all that's happened.

It really is a bumpy ride of a book; just as you think a happy bit is approaching obstacles get dropped in the way.

I read one reviewer say Joss' thoughts of having a happy family with his father were unrealistic.
Actually, it's not as farfetched as face value would suggest.
Many children with step/foster/adoptive parents feel alienated as Joss clearly does, and reaches out towards the hope of feeling that elusive sense of belonging.
Sure, as an adult you can condemn this notion as ridiculous, of course it won't work.
But the child going through it doesn't have the same perspective. Their judgement is clouded. It's why there's strict protocols around getting in touch with birth parents; all parties need to be prepared.

I really read through this book quickly, and didn't want to put it down. I felt a connection with the characters, and cared what happened to them. No, I needed to know what happened to them.

Good story well told.
Yay; thanks for helping raise the profile of us indie authors. Proof that we can produce good work!