Read My Latest Review – ‘The End Game’ by James Barrow

The End GameThe End Game by James Barrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alexis Williams and Robert Peterson, friends for many years, with Robert secretly harbouring the hope that one day their relationship will move to a deeper, more loving level. When he finds out that he has won a holiday for two aboard a luxury yacht, he sees it as his opportunity to drag Alexis away from her job and the two of them can spend quality time together. Alexis, at first reluctant, finally agrees and begins to look forward to their holiday. She sees a name she recognises on the invitation and realises that the owner of the yacht, Bradley Rand, is a major contributor to a charity that is close to her heart. Coincidence or not! I don’t want to spoil the plot. I was hooked with the first chapter, and the ending was not quite what I expected it to be. It is well written, and the characters are interesting. Some of the conversations between the characters are a bit deep and maybe go on for too long. There are many references to the ego, which to me infers a great interest by the author in that particular subject, but all-in-all a good read.

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Guest Blog by Allan Danahay

Kelly BlueKelly Blue by Allan Danahay

I recently reviewed ‘Kelly Blue’ by Allan Danahay and he has kindly agreed to being a guest on my blog. I hope you will enjoy reading Allan’s background story and join me in wishing him every success for the future.

‘I was a professional musician for many years from aged 16 and played drums originally in the UK, where I was born, and I travelled the world as a freelance player and then settled in Sydney Australia where I was active in the jazz scene and recording studios.

Eventually, I opened a music store, which went well for 13 years, but a nasty disease got me and put me and the business out of action for a while (all ok now). I then tried a few new ways to earn a living….real estate, mortgage broker etc, but eventually decided that I needed a simple uncomplicated life, and started a service for florists delivering their orders, which I did until last year when my wife, Lesley, decided that we should retire to the lovely Central Coast region of NSW about 80ks north of Sydney.

I have two grown up kids from my first marriage and six grandchildren – the two oldest recently married (no not to each other) and I’m now looking forward to being a great granddad very soon, in fact in September. As it turned out, I was the only one retiring as Lesley decided to keep working for a while! But that’s ok as I love living here in Woy Woy ( a town so nice they named it twice)….I do an hour or so practice on the drums every day so my chops are the best they have ever been…. all I need now is for someone to offer me a gig! (Never gonna happen).

I have always been interested in writing, having devoured many of the great crime writers’ books over the years, including Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Ian Rankin, Sue Grafton, Ruth Rendell etc, etc, and the great spy masters John Le Carre` Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth etc, but my starting point was Agatha Christie, when as a teenager I discovered ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,’ which although published in 1926, is still readable today. (Voted in 2013 the best crime novel ever by 600 fellow writers of The Crime Writers’ Association)

I decided to try my hand at writing….in fact I began ‘Kelly Blue’ about 14 years ago, but work obligations saw it grind to halt and lie half forgotten in the depths of my laptop until suddenly I had retirement time on my hands, and I hauled it out and gave it a complete update and turnaround (female characters became men and vice versa!).

My original half finished manuscript was about 25,000 words and when I finished hacking it about, it was about 10,000 and I set about finishing the story ending up with just over 40,000 words.

It’s an absorbing business getting my day dreams down in print and I’m basically lazy, but I found that once I start writing it’s hard to stop as I’m prone to forgetfulness unless I write it down. While writing ‘Kelly Blue’ for example, I had a really good idea just before going to bed one night and then the next morning could not for the life of me remember what it was! Four days later it came back to me, fortunately, and so now I write everything down as it occurs to me.

As I write, ‘Kelly Blue’ is coming to the end of a five day free period, which has propelled it into the top 20 free crime books and I’m amazed and delighted that the effort I put into it has not been for nothing and that someone has read it and hopefully enjoyed it.’

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Read the latest Review! – Bay of Secrets by Rosanna Ley

Bay of SecretsBay of Secrets by Rosanna Ley
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the first book by this author that I have read.It came highly recommended by a friend, as it is partly based in Dorset, which is an area that we both know very well. The story’s chapters jump backwards and forwards from 1939 in Spain to 2011 in England and introduces different characters along the way and I found it difficult to link it all together. I was not sure where the story was going until about halfway through, then it began to fall into place. The characters were good. The story linked fact and fiction, which I found very interesting, but I was disappointed with the ending.

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Latest Review! – Kelly Blue by Allan Danahay

Kelly BlueKelly Blue by Allan Danahay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story begins with a successful cat burglar nicknamed Spiderman by the press, who has scaled an apartment block and becomes an unfortunate witness to a murder. Enter Kelly Wynton, an ex policeman turned private investigator with Busby Investigations, who has been asked to investigate the disappearance of a schoolgirl. Because of the speed at which Kelly wraps up the case, he is assigned to a surveillance job for a businessman, suspicious of his wife’s behaviour. He wants Busby Investigations to keep tabs on her whilst he is away on business. Another murder takes place. Are they linked? Is Spiderman the murderer? Kelly gets more and more involved and much to his surprise finds love along the way. It is a short but interesting thriller, with far-reaching consequences.

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Simplicity – The Key to Brilliance

shirleyford929:

Many suggestions here to think about!

Originally posted on Let's Reach Success:

We are all trying to get more of everything in life. And when we do, the desire increases and we want even more. This way satisfaction is never achieved and we become greedy creatures looking for ways to satisfy our needs.

But more is not the answer. Less is.

We try so hard to achieve more, be better, have more of certain feelings and qualities, possess stuff, bring more people into our life, have more things to do, speak more and get information all the time.
But we never actually experience any of that. And this makes it pointless.

That’s because of complexity. We’re overburdened. We can’t breathe freely, or slow down, or enjoy one thing at a time.

The solution lies in simplicity. Because it’s the key to brilliance.

Regardless of where you are in your life now, what you have and where you’re going, you need more…

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Why It’s Not So Hard to Succeed

shirleyford929:

I just had to re-blog this!

Originally posted on Let's Reach Success:

Many people aren’t successful because they are afraid to fail. Or because they give up after some time, don’t find the power to try one more time, listen to the nay-sayers, don’t believe in themselves, aren’t confident or think they aren’t good enough.

Well, most people are wrong.

Why It's Not So Hard to Succeed, Let's Reach Success

By Jeff Kubina @Flickr

Because success and happiness are possible. Every human being has the ability and potential to live a great life and do whatever he puts his mind to. But they simply choose not to do it. And they stay in their comfort zone – where nothing new, exciting or challenging will ever happen – for the rest of their life.

And if you start thinking about it and analyzing all the things that could go wrong, you can come up with a thousand reasons not to follow your dreams and work on your goals. But that is just…

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Hard work vs. talent

shirleyford929:

Great words Cristian

Originally posted on Cristian Mihai:

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” - John C. Maxwell

They say hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And I do agree. After all, talent is never just an innate ability. It’s a lot more than just that.

It’s hard work, perseverance, discipline, vision, courage, faith, and a bunch of others all mixed up into one.

But can hard work alone make you a good artist?

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Copyright Infringement: A Warning to all Authors

Originally posted on blindoggbooks:

I would like to share a letter sent to me by a fellow independent author, who wishes to remain anonymous, about a website claiming to be promoting independent authors, when in reality it appears that they are offering free downloads of the work of dozens of us.

If you are an author, independent or otherwise, I urge you to read this letter and investigate the site yourself. Find out if your work is posted there and take appropriate action to have it removed, or, at the very least, make sure you are willing to grant permission to the site owners to list your work.

Making money as an independent author is difficult enough without pirating sites giving our work away under false pretenses AND without our permission.

Please share, tweet or reblog this post in order to spread the word through the independent author community and, hopefully, put some pressure…

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Review of ‘The Demeter Code’ by Russell Brooks

The Demeter CodeThe Demeter Code by Russell Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another action packed story involving CIA Operatives, Ridley Fox and Dr Nita Parris. The story begins with Dr Parris in a hotel in Washington attempting to move Timothy Weyland into witness protection. Meanwhile Ridley Fox is in France, having taken on the identity of David Conlon a mercenary. Both Fox and Parris are ably assisted by super hacker Dewan, who keeps in touch with both of them by earpieces. It becomes a race against time to prevent a catastrophic event, which could wipe out the entire USA. As with Brooks’ previous thriller, Pandora’s Succession, the Demeter Code is again packed with technical detail, and needs to be read in large chunks so as to keep up with the complicated plot. The idea of the story is both clever and terrifying. Brooks has managed to create an excellent thriller, which leaves readers imagining a ‘what if it could really happen?

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Review of ‘Going Home Alone’ by Justin P Lambert

Going Home AloneGoing Home Alone by Justin P Lambert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Derrick is struggling to come to terms with the death of his beloved wife Reena. Following the funeral, Tim, an old friend of Reena’s contacts Derrick to say that he has Reena’s will. Derrick is mystified, he didn’t realise that Reena had written a will. He goes over to Tim’s to collect it and Tim hands over a package wrapped in brown paper. Derrick doesn’t want to open it in front of Tim so takes it home. He unwraps the package to find a pair of sunglasses, a camera,a journal and a yellow three-ring binder. It is Reena’s special way to help her husband come to terms with his loss, but what do all these items mean? You need to read this story to find out!

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