Category Archives: News

Email from a reader

Email Subject; Made for TV

Ted ,great job, once again. Having read Andrew’s books recently made the story that much more enjoyable. I was also impressed with the Stonewall Jack storyline. I know Bea really pushed your patience in this one but it was well worth it. I also made sure to recommend Andrew’s trilogy in my review because without his good work this story wouldn’t have been possible

 Once again excellent addition. I’m sure you’re getting ready for the summer season. It won’t be long. It’s already pushing 90F here, so it shouldn’t be much longer now for you.  Scott

Email Subject; Re: Made for TV

Hey Scot

Thanks for the great review of the new book, I might have been able to do the story without Andrew’s book BUT having said in a review of one of them that it had the makings of a good TV drama … I asked Andrew for permission and we batted the idea around for a few messages which helped focus me on Rags to Riches story rather than Holding Briefs.

Bea wasn’t too bad really. Although she was a bit tangential at one stage and I had to chop quite a bit of the story out. It was Rags wanting to tell another story that was the problem! Then Fran and Jerry were on at me … and the ‘foundationers’ who you’ll get to meet one day soon.

It looks like the weather starts to change next week … so I’ll have to get busy on the pool and the garden (or get Jerry to do it!!)

 Be safe and take care in the sun

Ted Bun

The Uncovered Policeman; Made for TV
The Uncovered Policeman; Made for TV

February’s Books

February 2018

I was busy doing a lot of writing in February, see the previous post! The Uncovered Policeman: Made for TV

I managed a rather fun series of fantasy books. I probably started in the wrong place, although I might not have done … So I’ll review as I read it

Natural Witch (Magical Mayhem Book 1)

by KF Breene

Natural Witch (Magical Mayhem Book 1) by [Breene, K.F.]

http://getbook.at/NatWitch

This is the one that might have been out of sequence, but it appears to have a sequel in preparation.

We meet Penny Bristol, a young woman with known but suppressed magical talent, standing outside a church in New Orleans. She is supposed to be attending a magical retreat. Somehow the dates have  gotten confused. Preparations for a battle between good and evil are underway. The question is who’s side should be on?

After having accidentally helped to turn a coven of witches into zombies she ends up hiding in a cupboard  while a pitch battle rages around her. Being found by a self declared ‘good guy’ another young woman dressed in leather armed with a gun and sword she survives and is taken into the care of an older couple of ‘mages’ (magicians).

From then on we follow her tale as she tries to return to her old life, correcting the grammar on public notices with her friend Veronica, for example. However, her magic won’t let her and soon the corrupt Magicians Guild of Seattle have her in their sights.

Pace, humour and a strong internal logic hold this well written story together. A very entertaining read I’ll give it

A Good Read

I then followed back to the parent series, starting with;

Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 1)

By KF Breene

Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 1) by [Breene, K.F.]

http://getbook.at/BornF

The lead character in this series is a certain leather clad, sword wielding,  female Super Natural Bounty Hunter, Reagan.  As you may have surmised this is the same self proclaimed ‘good guy’ who appears in  Natural Witch.

There is far more to Reagan, as learn across the rest of the series …

Raised in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 2) by [Breene, K.F.]
http://getbook.at/RaisedF

 

Fused in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 3)

Fused in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 3) by [Breene, K.F.]

http://getbook.at/FusedF

and that is a problem with trying to do a review of a series like this. The books are pretty well continuous  and to review Fused in Fire without giving spoilers on the earlier stories is rather tricky. So I won’t go there other than to say that the journey to the Cracks of Doom in Fused in Fire is very derivative of the Lord of the Rings, not that that is a bad thing in its self!

If you enjoy magic, dragons, vampires and unicorns with a bit of violence and a twist of humour …. You should find the whole trilogy worth the read!

Three Good Reads!

All four KF Breene stories are free for Kindle Unlimited.

Just to prove that not everything gets a rave review

The Hundred Grand Banana (A Raucous Giles Curtis Comedy)

By Giles Curtis

The Hundred Grand Banana (A Raucous Giles Curtis Comedy) by [Curtis, Giles]

https://amzn.to/2GgVdnV

I should have know from the title – I mean – A Raucous Comedy by The Author? As part of the title?

This just didn’t work for me.
I found the premise absurd rather than witty and the humour rather desperate.

A biochemist has made a (presumably) genetically modified drug producing banana. Some klutz confuses another klutz for the biochemist and I lost the will to turn to the next page …

Far from ‘Raucous’

Don’t bother

And for something a little different

We Have Lost The President

By Paul Mathews

We Have Lost The President by [Mathews, Paul]

http://getbook.at/LostPres

Start with the concept,  London, 2044. Britain is a Republic. President Jan Polak has vanished overnight from Buckingham Palace, just weeks before an election.

Howie Pond – the President’s official spokesperson is determined to find out what has happened- as soon as he’s eaten his breakfast.

A very British comedy, occasionally a slightly desperate comedy, ensues. Cue failing technology, robotic security systems that mal function.  Yep British comedy!

Not badly written but nor is it a book to stop you putting it down and going to sleep either.

I might read more of the “We have lost …” books. They are part of Kindle Unlimited .. so nothing lost!

And Finally

Mirror Earth Network

By PZ Walker

Mirror Earth Network by [Walker, P.Z.]

http://getbook.at/MENetwork

The third Mirror Earth series from the prolific pen of Paul Z Walker.
This tale of travel between largely benign friendly worlds, all called Earth takes a twist and arrives at the beginning.
Meanwhile the wicked Prof Holgar, the principle of the Laboratory where we started (on ‘our’ Earth) is still in pursuit of his dinosaurs that live on the first Mirror Earth.
Add in strange ‘going ons’ at Ayers Rock, flowers with power and data, a few Aliens and we are dashing across curved, distorted time and Space with out rockets or pockets!

Another great yarn from PZ!

A Good Read

NEW! The Uncovered Policeman; Made for TV

Made for TV

Announcing the publication of The Uncovered Policeman: Made for TV , Rags to Riches book 9!

The Uncovered Policeman; Made for TV
The Uncovered Policeman; Made for TV
The 9th book in Rags to Riches series is to be released on the 13th April.
Yes, Friday the 13th! A very inauspicious day for launching a new book or is it? To compensate for all the bad luck associated with the Friday 13th, a chance to read this happy story at a great price.
Available NOW  for pre-order at a special price of

£1.99 

(The normal price, £2.99 will apply after publication!)

An email from an old friend piques the interest of Rags the Uncovered Policeman (retired).

Hi Rags,
I have had a visit from an old neighbour of mine and Gill’s, from back in the day. A guy called Ian Francis. He works in the TV industry, something to do with making light entertainment programmes. He is looking for a venue to make a drama programme. He visited us but after we had talked it through we decided that we couldn’t offer consistent enough weather for making a drama over several weeks.
Consequently, I suggested your place in early spring might be better. He said he would get in touch. It all seems really genuine, unlike some of the documentary programs we get asked to participate in. Give him a listen.

Rags’ place?
The popular holiday destination, L’Abeille Nue. A naturist resort in the French countryside between the historic cities of Carcassonne and Narbonne.
Who is making the show?
What is it all about?
What help is needed?
Who else involved?
How will it help their business?
Will Rags and Bea do it?

http://getbook.at/MadeforTV

Kindle Family Reading

Having a Kindle Family sharing arrangement with the delightful Mrs Bun gives me access to some books I would not normally select. This week I read  two crackers I want to tell you about.

First up is:

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan

A Good Read

What a fabulous story, told through the eyes of one woman the story of the ‘Night Witches’ an all female bomber regiment of the Russian army from the start of the German invasion of Russia to the fall of Berlin.

It is a well written and captivating romance set against the barbaric background of the bloodiest fighting of World War 2. Both Katya and Vanna are serving as fliers in the Russian forces in separate war zones, so this is a long distance affair!

The strength of the female characters when confronted with deprivation, humiliation, hatred and violence, and all that from their comrades in arms, is impressive.

I enjoy this story from almost the very beginning to almost the very end.

I’ll give it  4+ Stars

http://getbook.at/DoNS

The second story from the Kindle Family Share is set over much the same period of history is:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale: Bravery, Courage, Fear and Love in a Time of War by [Hannah, Kristin]http://getbook.at/Nightingale

A Great Read

Set in France during the second World War this book follows the lives of two sisters as they struggle to survive under the brutal Nazi regime that followed the fall of France in 1940.

The murderous attacks on the refugees escaping the fall of Paris, the treatment of the Jews and Communists and their transport to the concentration camps. The appalling hardship of the women left behind, the lack of food and energy for cooking and heating.

One sister struggling with a family to protect, the other, the black sheep, trying to fight back. In the background the father who was destroyed by the 1914-18 conflict and was unable to care for his girls. The young communist criminal prepared to kill any and all who try to stop him.

An ending worthy of being called an ending making the difference.

The full Five Stars

A Great Read

http://getbook.at/Nightingale

 

Christmas Holiday Reading

Christmas Holiday Reading

Yes, I managed to do quite a bit over the Christmas Holiday period, and through into early January.

The Silent Shield (The Kingfountain Series Book 5)

Jeff Wheeler


 

http://getbook.at/SilentShield

The Kingdom of Kingsfountain which was plunged into confusion after the mysterious loss of the great wizr (Wizard of sorts) Myriden and the disappearance of the King’s Champion is further weakened by loss of Sina the Kingdom’s other trained wizr. This leaves just the young Trynne and her force of Oath Maidens and the Daughter of the deposed king as wielders of magic to defend the nation. There are doubts about the loyalty of people close to King Andrew. Time is ticking as Gahalatine is due to restart his war against Kingsfountain after the one year truce declared to enable King Andrew to select a new champion.

 Confused …. You should read the first four books in the series then it all makes sense.

An exciting Young Adult read,

The Forsaken Throne (The Kingfountain Series Book 6)

Jeff Wheeler

http://getbook.at/ForsakenThrone

This appears to be the final instalment of both the Kingsfountain and Muirwood (no you don’t need to read these too but you could do worse!) stories, bring together the storylines. Written in Jeff Wheelers normal softly spoken manner there is less civil stie between the kingdoms as Trynne takes on the darker forces that have been manipulating history. An enjoyable conclusion to a very absorbing series of what are essentially sword and sorcery stories. 

 

Christmas at The Grange: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery (Kindle Single

T E Kinsey

A Good Christmas Holiday Read

http://getbook.at/ChristmasattheGrange

A short story. A Christmas special featuring the cast of the three previously reviewed Lady Hardcastle Mysteries follows the traditional stolen jewelry in a country house formula or does it? Another amusingly written story, with a great twist!

 The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library series Book 4

Genevieve Cogman

A Good YA Read

http://getbook.at/LostPlot

A return to form for Ms Cogman after a slightly weak book 3. This the fourth Invisible library story is a fabulous read. Set against a background of a power struggle in the world dragons, one of the three groups spanning many parallel universes along with the fae and the librarians. Librarian Irene and her assistant are sent to sort a mess caused by a single book in a world that resembles prohibition era America, complete with the wide lapels and gangsters. While avoiding getting the Invisible Library tangled up in the politics of the Dragons. An entanglement that might be seen to upset the delicate neutrality of the Library in the greater power struggle between the forces of Chaos (the Fae) and the forces of Stability (the Dragons).

 

Runaway Nudist (Nudist Series Book 1

Byron McAllister

http://getbook.at/RunawayNudist

Barbara is a thief working Salt Lake City, until she hears a tale about huge wealth readily available to a professional in Motherlode, Montana. With the cops suddenly close she heads off in search of the promised riches.

Suddenly caught up in a murder investigation she finds shelter in the Oak Grove Physical Culture Centre where she is befriended by Ned Nackero and Carola Szegy, two of the residents and advisors to the Sheriff. Then Barbara becomes a crime fighter … well of sorts.

A clever plot is off set stilted dialogue and bad formatting, Given an edit it would be so much better

Undercover Nudist (Nudist Series Book 2

Byron McAllister

http://getbook.at/UndercoverNudist

Featuring Ned Nackero and Carola Szegy from book 1, Ned’s nephew, Tim, is brought into Motherlode to help solve a historic crime, a five-year-old murder that is about to be reopened on appeal.

A very complicated plot. Lot’s of twist and turns, maybe too many. Tim is an eighteen year old and even in the early 1960’s should have been a little more worldly-wise about his landlady’s wants.

Quite funny in places and rather stiff in others.

Murder in the Raw (Rex Graves Mystery)

C.S. Challinor

http://getbook.at/MurderInTheRaw

A three-star pot-boiler of a country house murder with a couple of twists …
Actress disappears, no body found, police not interested. The rich guests, some of them very rich want resolution so they send for Scottish Legal Eagle Rex Graves to find the killer.
Then the twists
The first of which is the location a naturist resort on the island of St Martin.
Number 2 Rex does not …. that would spoil the tale.
Marks lost because Ms Challinor failed to research the setting for her story or naturism particularly carefully.

Ghost

Di Roma

Rubbish … Listen to the Janice Ian song “At Seventeen” same story told better.

The Longest Walk: My epic trek from tip to tip of the Americas (1977-1983)

George Meegan

A Good Read!

 http://getbook.at/LongestWalk

A well written account of the longest recorded continuous walk by one man. An almost solo walk from the tip of South America to Alaska. It took a year him to year to walk the length of Argentina!

I knew George while we both members of the Sea Scouts in Rainham, Kent (I was briefly in his patrol.) As I read this I could hear the George I knew, returning to tell one of his tales of his travels in the merchant navy to the younger members of the troop gathered around a camp fire. (If you read this George … the Whitbread Hop Farm in 1972 or so!)

 

I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holiday reading as much as I did!

Pre-Christmas Reading 2017

While may people have been busy with the Pre-Christmas rush …

I have been busy getting my new book

“New House … New Neighbours”

ready for publication but I have done some reading.

Pre-Christmas Reads

Dispatches by Michael Herr

http://getbook.at/Dispatches

Five full stars

If you only ever read one non fiction book this should be a strong contender.

http://getbook.at/NakedAlliances

Shoot ’em up & Blow ’em up Rough Justice!
Set in the seedy underworld of Orlando this is a incredible detective story. Incredible in the sense of being outrageously outside the world of real life crime. Not that that is a bad thing in this case.
The body count is rather high, and nobody gets arrested as the action roars along … I’ll not say too much as it would spoil the plot!

I enjoyed reading this and will go for any new titles in the series.

The Marlboro Man: A Moira McElvaney Mystery by Derek Fee

 


http://getbook.at/Marlboro

I’m a big fan of Derek Fee’s DCI Wilson books. This spin off is well written but just a little soft.
Moira McElvaney is on her year sabbatical from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, to spend a year with the new love of her life Brendan in Boston.
Life is good but …. she misses life on DCI Wilson’s murder squad.
Then a chance to investigate a disappearance of a rather dull accountant is presented by the rich, handsome, interesting best friend of Brendan …

Just lacking a little of the ‘bite’ and ‘grittiness’ of the Wilson books, things fall into place rather easily or money, and Frank Shae has lots of it, gets results. Characterisation is a little shallow, by the end of the book I didn’t feel I knew the characters. That said the plot was strong and kept the pages turning!

Happy Christmas

New House … New Neighbours

New Book – New House … New Neighbours 26/12/17

New House ... New Neighbours
New House … New Neighbours

Ted Bun’s latest tale, “New House … New Neighbours” will be out for people to download onto their new Kindles on Boxing Day or onto their old Kindles, Computers or tablets the same day … My new book.

This is not one of my Rags to Riches series stories … It is something totally different!

So what is it all about … it is almost autobiographical a bit allegorical and amusing. The plot is …

It is a dream.

Retire from work and buy a house in the south of France.

 You search the countryside.

Eventually you find the right house, in the right location, at the right price.

You put in an offer.

The vendor says yes!

The place is yours, you own the right house, in the right location.

What you have forgotten is, that with a new house, you get new neighbours.

Will they be good neighbours?  

As Jerry and Fran move into their new house in the village of Les Lilas, they are about to find out!!

Pre-order details

Pre-order the e-book from Amazon priced at £2.99 ($3.99)

http://getbook.at/NewHouse

The paper back is available Now at £4.99 ($5.99)  … December 2017.

October Reads

The Curse of Panther Creek

by Olaf Danielson

A great mixture of fantasy and eco-warrior features in a story of a couple that nothing goes wrong for, except being childless, until a coven of witches arrive next door.
But then the unexpected starts to happen around the couple, not too them but around them. This is despite the efforts of the witches next door …. There is a nice twist at the end too.
Well written and engaging I liked this story.

Father Al Takes a Vacation: Book One (Father Al’s Voyage of Discovery Trilogy)Father Al Celebrates a Birthday Milestone: Book II


Starts off with a good idea …. worn out priest seeks change of life … goes on a nude cruise (through space) It actually delivers the plotline in the end.
However I found the detailed description of the theology and the actual words of the littany went on too long. Later in the story I found the dialogue getting a little bit too childlike.
It probably deserve a 4* rating but it left me unconvinced.

Then book two gets worse and worse ….. Childish dialogue, no real plot sorry 65% read I gave it up!

Awful 

Marks of the Forbidden (Defenders of the Earth Book 1)

No Peace in Exile (Defenders of the Earth Book 2)

The Windigo (Defenders of the Earth)

by Olaf Danielson


If you have time to fill with some fantasy fiction
Book one was …A different type of super hero to save the world aided by a different kind of super heroine.
Tattooed warriors against a rogue state…
It is an awkwardly paced action story but managed to hold it together long enough to keep me reading

Book two was … more of the same

Book three was ….Poor, the whole emphasis of the book in terms of characters has switched from the Defenders and the Volva to the Choosers. There were also huge sections of philosophical discourse rather than action, which is a bit confusing for what started as an action story series.
The action when it happens is world shattering …. and pretty fatal.
I was also disappointed that story threads are deliberately started and then just abandoned
Another series starting off with a promising premise going down hill….

Autumn Reads

More reviews

I’ve been so busy this autumn  getting A Spring Break at L’Abeille Nue ready for publication so this has gotten a little behind.

Gaviota: The Nude Beach Murders

by Robert Josephs (Author)


Not a bad book nor a great yarn.
Death and mayhem on a Nude beach. A beach that provokes massive anger in the rich men around the area. That commands great loyalty from the dozen or so users.
No grounding in reality … but fun all the same

The Collective

by Olaf Danielson (Author)

What A GOOD READ!
The story of a an American man whose European roots turn out to be rather different from their day to day life is also found in Anders Zorn; Unveiled.
This variation is slightly more ‘Magical’ a giant …. human sacrifice all set in a magical location on the NE coast of the island of Ireland. A very enjoyable read.

The Redemption of Anna Petrovna

by James Gault (author)

A GOOD READ

An excellent tale set in the corrupt world of a city in a former socialist republic. A world run on graft, bribes and favours where who you know and who they own are your passport to success.

In this city is Anna, a young woman with a life plan … for it to work out she needs to avoid coming to the attention of the gangsters. Will she succeed? Will her plan come to fruition? …. Could ever have?

The Naked Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 1) The Orphan Witch: (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel 2)

by Wendy Steele (author)

Light fluffy rubbish. The main character spends an inordinate amount of time in tears (mainly of self pity) and in turning down offers of definite lust and possible love ….

Pendragon

by Mary Fitzgerald (author)
 

A GOOD READ

I followed the link in an advert and rather glad I did … I mean a book called Pendragon has to have something going for it!
I discovered a well written Fantasy Romance novel,
Newly married Rowan discovers Pendragon home of the very dysfunctional Caradoc family over the generations. At Pendragon she finds herself involved in a romance that has run through the centuries … and involved her family in the past.

Well written with good characterisation and a strong narrative.

Pancakes and Corpses (Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery Book 1)

by Agatha Frost (author)

Light and Fluffy like the cakes the heroine bakes in her cake shop ….
I get the impression although the Author claims “She lives in a quaint village in a sleepy corner of England,” that she is not English. Her grasp of the financial realities of buy a house and a shop in a Cotswold village is missing! 
I’m not sure about a CID DI being based in the village Police Station is authentic either, but in a buttercream world everything is possible.
Easy reading if you can suspend reality!

Death a la Carte (Black Horse Inn Series Book 1)

by Lucinda D. Davis (author)


My third book by Lucinda D Davis in the past few weeks, and probably the best of them, a full 3 stars! Although I am still not convinced about “Police Process” for example it finishes with a grand reveal ….
Good little plot, well written let down by the poor research and depth of characterisation … I hope Alice (the Black Horse Inn’s resident ghost) has a bigger role in the rest of the stories as she was the most interesting character.

Murder on the Rocks (Boddington Bay Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)

by Lucinda D. Davis (author)

I get the feeling I was over generous with my Amazon review, Fair plot idea poor delivery.
This short book didn’t work for me.
I thought there was no explanation of why the heroine wanted to become involved in the investigation.
A slip in the timeline, with a day getting lost
A complete miss-representation of how a law enforcement agency would deal with ‘innocents’ on the edge of an operation – false imprisonment ?
Shame that silly mistakes have wasted a nice idea, good use of language but ….

SEA, SKY, and SKELETON: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mystery

by Carolyn L. Dean (author)

A neat little Cosy Mystery …. I am started to get a little jaded with this series and they are getting a little ‘samey’. So I’ll take a break before reading more

Death in Devon: A Coppin’s Locks Mystery

Mark of Fire (The Endarian Prophecy Book 1)

by Richard Phillips (Author)

An Amazon Kindle first offering … I got it for nothing and sadly that is what it is worth. A sword and sorcery type story with lots of strange names and unrevealed hidden powers for the baddies to suddenly wield … Stopped reading after a hundred or so pages and not planning to start again.

POOR

Another Complete Series Read

I have read my way through another series the four books that make up the Hidden Academy series.  Overall the Hidden Academy stories start off very bright and action packed page turners. However over the series they become harder to read and ultimately less rewarding as I went on.

The Hidden Academy
by Jon Rosenberg

The Series start brightly as we meet troubled Guardian, David Ash trying to deal with a manifestation of a Unicorn. A Guardian? A member of the Hidden Academy, a trained Summoner {Magician of sorts) who is responsible for protecting the public from dangerous intrusions of magic creatures from other realities. David has help from a thousand year old Welsh dwarf, Llew. The story gets deeper from there as the cast grows. But who is the love interest … Jenny the American Summoner? Alanza, the tempestuous neice of a Spanish Summoner? or maybe Titania the Fairy Queen and wife of Oberon?

The Cast of characters gets bigger with the addition of Techie dwarves the Svartalfar and an AI entity Alpha. There is more trouble from Puck and Oberon. As David, Llew and Jenny (plus a little help from Titania) do battle with a mythical Wolf . Does AI Dream of Digital Wolves?

The Series starts  getting rather samey, with fewer active members of the Academy involved, the same type of action scenes …. as David Ash heads into Hell to do battle with assorted deities and demons.

A struggle if you are less than up on mythology.

Romans, roman gods and David Ash …. most of the development in the story is internal discussion set in Ash’s head and the head of Queen Titania of the Fey. I found it a slow read with a very disappointing ending. If it was a country house murder mystery, you’d be crying foul!