I love reading! Well, I suppose you worked that out from the title of this site, didn’t you?

I read flash fiction, short stories, novelettes, novels, full-length books and am quite fond of book series too.

I also read most genres, though there are some I am more likely to read than others, but hey, I will give pretty much anything a go!  You never know when you are about to uncover a hidden gem.  Unless you read it, you don’t know if you will love it…and that is part of the magic of books.

I like to do what I can to support indie authors (I’m one myself), so if you would like me to review your book / story, just get in touch🙂

If you have any suggestions, recommendations or review requests, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

Have a great day!

To learn more about me, read my about page.  To see what I’ve already reviewed, visit the A-Z review index.

Winter Magic – An Anthology Update

Autumn Colours

I thought I had better post an update here as well as on my writing blog, in case anyone who was interested missed it.  The anthology I mentioned in this post, “Winter Magic” is going ahead and is now open to submissions of microfiction, flash fiction, short stories and poetry.  All the details can be found here.

Thanks so much for your support.  Enjoy the rest of your week!🙂

Book Review: Sanctus by Simon Toyne

sanctus-front-coverSanctus is the first book in the Sancti Trilogy by Simon Toyne.

The book opens with a robed man climbing to the top of a Turkish mountain said to be the oldest inhabited place on earth.  It is called the citadel, and is the seat of ancient and secretive religion.  Then, with the whole world watching, he throws himself to his death.

This news story captures the attention of the world, something the citadel would have done anything to avoid.  For hidden within the man’s last desperate act is a message.  Should anyone break it, a long kept secret that the robed brotherhood have gone to great lengths to conceal except to the most highly initiated of their order, will come out, and with it, the unravelling of a millennia-old prophecy…

At first I was a little unsure of this book, but in a matter of pages I found myself completely absorbed into the story.  The story was well-written, the pace fast and the characters engaging.  All this combined and you have a story that manages to capture the imagination.

If you like conspiracy thrillers combined with a dose of ancient historical intrigue, you could do much worse than giving this a read.  I found the story gripping and struggled to put it down.  The author has a gift for storytelling.  He manages to add background detail to the narrative without bogging it down and slowing the pace – which is a must in these types of books.   And the ending was a complete surprise!

I’ve added the second book in the Sancti Trilogy, The Key, to my ‘to be bought’ list.  I can’t wait to read where the story leads from here…

Would you be interested…?

I posted this on my writing blog (Sammi Scribbles) yesterday, but thought I should post it here too, for anyone who missed it that might be interested🙂

This week has been a whirlwind of ideas.  Sometimes it feels like having too many ideas is just as bad as having writer’s block.  Or is it worse?😉

So, I thought before I go any further and get carried away (which may or may not already have happened), I might put one of these ideas out there and see what kind or response it gets.  And my!  Am I nervous about doing it.  Take a big, deep breath, Sammi!

So what is this idea?  I was thinking of launching a little side project that would release multi-author anthologies out into the e-world.  And the first of these projects would be an anthology of short stories, flash fiction and poetry inspired by the theme of…wait for it…”Winter Magic”.

Now, all the details are not finalised and what follows is not set in stone, but if you think this might be something that interests you, please read on to see what I have already come up with:

  • The most important point to note is that the primary purpose of this endeavour is to help get writers work seen by as many people as possible.  After all, that’s what we as writers want isn’t?  No, it’s what we need if we are going to get anywhere in this industry.
  • The deadline for submissions would be around 17 November 2016
  • The proposed release date for the anthology would be around 1 December 2016
  • The anthology will be posted online – probably on Wattpad via an account set up specifically for the anthologies.  Yes, I have ideas for many, many others🙂  This way I won’t be taking credit for anyone else’s work.  You will need a Wattpad account (they’re free to set up and it only takes a matter of minutes) but you are not required to be active on the site.  This is so that I can link your work with your own account / profile as well as having the work attributed to you within the anthology. (Why Wattpad?  Because there is already a strong, supportive readership in place, and work that is posted there is protected.  Also anthologies and collaborations are quite popular on the site too).
  • Unfortunately, you won’t get paid, but all authors will get a PDF copy of the anthology – which won’t be available anywhere else, to anyone else (one small exception might be for book reviewers not on Wattpad as part of the promotional side of the anthology).
  • All genres will be accepted except fanfiction.
  • Reprints will be accepted as long as you hold the rights to the work.
  • Rights remain with the authors at all times.

So those are the bare bones of it.  There are more details, but I thought they could wait until the submission call is released, if it is released.  This will depend if anyone is interested in submitting something for consideration.  The question is, are you?  If yes, please let me know by commenting below or contacting me – don’t worry, you are not committing to anything, only giving me an idea as to whether this little endeavour would be worth my time and effort, and yours.

Thanks so much for reading.  It’s appreciated🙂

Book Review: The Flowering of the Rose by Rosemary Hawley Jarman

we-speak-no-treason-1-front-coverThe Flowering of the Rose is book one of We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who will become Richard III, is a troubled yet passionate man.  He is serious and loyal, but when he loves, he loves hard.  This book tells of his story in the years running up to him becoming king.

This is history as told by those who are often overlooked by it: a king’s mistress and his fool.  Rich in historical fact, something which adds a complex layer to the storytelling for it was a complex time, this book was an outstanding read.  The fifteenth century world was very easily brought to life within the narrative, and the vast list of characters, who enter and leave as need dictates, help to unfurl the many threads that are woven together so that the reader may understand all that is going on during this period in time.

Richard is painted as a very likeable and fair man, and The Maiden, who tells the first part of the story, and The Fool, who tells the second half, are interesting characters.  They relay history as they see it, and although to some degree they are involved in what is going on, they are also removed from it.  They are witnesses to some of the most important events of the periods such as the struggles between the King’s family and the Woodvilles (the Queen’s family) and the scheming of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick known as the Kingmaker.  That being said, both narrators are at the mercy of higher powers.  But then so is Richard.

Political intrigue, witchcraft, rebellion and vengeance…Kings and queens, maids and mistresses, fools and their follies…this book has everything a good piece of historical fiction should.  No wonder it was such an engaging read, one I thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover.

If the locating of the body of King Richard III and his subsequent internment in Leicester Cathedral captured your interest at all, I believe you would find this book of interest also.  Highly recommended.

I am hoping to start the second book of We Speak No Treason, The White Rose Turned to Blood, very soon.

Book Review: Bite Club by Rachel Caine

bite-club-by-rachel-caine-front-coverBite Club is the tenth book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

Things in Morganville are never easy, but as long as the secret experiment of this small town in Texas is kept – the coexisting of vampires and humans, side-by-side – things ought to run smoothly.

However, when a new gym opens up in the town, one offering martial arts classes, things take a sinister turn.  Even though the Founder, Amelie, has said that it is fine for human residents of Morganville to learn how to defend themselves, something isn’t quite right.

When one of Claire’s classmates, turns up horribly murdered, she finds herself on the trail on something dark and dangerous…something that could blow the secret that is Morganville open wide…

Bite Club was an addictive read.  What was a nice addition to this story was the change of POV.  All the books in the series so far have been from Claire’s perspective, but this one includes a few of the thoughts and feelings of Shane.  This certainly helped me to understand his motives and behaviour when things got difficult for him.

Although there were a few twists in the story, it wasn’t hard to see where this book was going – the title was a big clue.  But that was all right; the book certainly packed a punch in terms of action, of which there was a great deal.  The pace of the book is never slow and it is always interesting to read just how Claire and the gang are going to get themselves out the trouble that finds them, always, without fail.

I look forward to posting my review on the next book in the Morganville Vampire series, Last Breath, soon.

Book Review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

ghost-town-front-coverGhost Town is book nine in the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine.

Since Ada (the ghost in the machine, a main character from Fade Out) no longer operates the machine that protects the boundary of Morganville and ensures those that do leave have a nice, wiped clean memory, the security risks to the town and its secrets have become big on the agenda.  Amelie, the Founder, has instructed super smart Claire Danvers to fix the machine – and the problem – for her or face some serious consequences.

Somehow Claire manages to do it.  But something is wrong.  The memory-wiping aspects of the device seem to be effecting those within the town, rather than outside of it.  And when there is only a fine line between vampires and humans co-existing on a good day in Morganville, you don’t want to be in it when the living and the undead have forgotten how they are supposed to be behaving…

Will Claire and her friends be able to fix the problem before it gets out of hand?  Or are they all destined to lose their memory?

Out of the series so far, this is my favourite book.  I am quickly finding once again how addictive these books are, as soon as I pick them up I struggle to put them down unless I have finished them!

Ghost Town is a high energetic, emotive read, full of action.  I liked seeing how the different characters we had come across in previous books behaved differently in this one, and the emotions of those witnessing what was going on could easily be felt as I followed the story.  In places I felt my eyes welling up, whilst in others I couldn’t help but cringe.

The storyline was captivating throughout, and as the twists and turns unfolded – many of which I didn’t see coming, especially the ending – I knew I just had to keep on reading until the last page.  All-in-all, great stuff!

At the end of the book was an extra short story based in the Morganville Vampires world.  This one, called Worth Living For, was set between Fade Out and Kiss of Death, and was told from the point of view of Shane.  I found this just as engaging to read as the novels, and so felt thoroughly treated!🙂

I am eager to start reading book ten in the Morganville Vampires series, Bite Club,

Book Review: Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

kiss-of-death-front-coverKiss of Death is the eighth book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

When Michael Glass is invited to go to Dallas for a recording session, his friends Claire, Shane and Eve are really excited for him.  This could be the big break he needs for his musical career.  However, the odds that they are going to be allowed out of Morganville are pretty slim.  If you want to leave you need permission.  The problem is, when most people get out of town, they are not too keen on coming back…

However, much to their surprise, passes are given and they are given the green light…only if they take an escort.  Oliver, Amelie’s right hand man and Eve’s boss.  Although this news dents their excitement a little – Oliver isn’t known for his fun side – they are still really eager and fired-up over their first road trip.

But the road trip they find themselves on isn’t the one they planned.  Especially when they believed they were leaving  the danger behind them in Morganville…

It has been a few months since reading book seven in the series, but it all came back as soon as I opened the cover and the detail that I couldn’t recall was nicely drip-feed through the story.

Again, these books are an easy, quick read and don’t take very much effort for the amount of entertainment they provide.  The story is filled with enough drama to keep you reading without being overly complicated and yet although you can guess the direction the story is taking, there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

It was nice to have a change of scenery for this book.  So far, all the others have been set in Morganville itself.  Nevertheless, this is the first book in which I found a few of the characters slightly grating, something I hope is confined to this book only.

Kiss of Death is another sound instalment in this paranormal series, and I’m looking forward to reading book nine, Ghost Town, to see what happens next.