Category Archives: Books read

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!

Reading in August

 August Reading and Writing

Gone to Sea in a Bucket + The Skipper’s Dog’s Called Stalin + turn Left for Gibralter (Harry Gilmore novels) by David Black

Three stories following RNVR (Wavy Navy, Royal Volunteer Officer in World War 2) Sub Lieutenant Harry Gilmore, from non expectance and bullying aboard a capital ship to successful submarine officer. Great ripping yarns stuff, weakened slightly by having an obsessive senior officer trying to destroy his career over a instance early in book one.  The rate of attrition of the RN Submarine Service being such that in reality Gilmore was unlikely to a threat to the Senior Officer for long! But I nit-pick.

 

Bed Breakfast and Bones + Dune, Dock and Dead Man (Ravenwood Cove mysteries) by Carolyn L Dean

Nice little cozy mysteries set on the NW coast of the USA. The central character is Miss Goody Two-Shoes, her friends are wonderful and the love interest is a rugged good looking detective. Wonderful escapist froth, book 3 is ready to read!

Death on the Line by Derek Fee

Better than Rebus. As the Scottish detective slowly became a less interesting character dealing with more complex crimes; Ian Wilson’s character is slowly coming to life. The story is a case of murder and Wilson’s almost only friend,  is that almost his only friend or his only ‘almost’ friend, is wounded.

Corruption and  old allegiances of Ulster not with standing Wilson goes after his man.

Song of Edmon by Adam Burch

I don’t read much Sci-Fi these days. Too much of it is fantasy with new words for existing technology. This one starts that way. However it gets going in Dune type political model. Apart from the fact that there could be no life on either side of a non rotating planet .. it is a clever story of power and manipulation.

Writing

 

I hit a bit of a problem, I thought I had a Rags to Riches short story that could be published for the England and Wales Bank Holiday at the end of August. No such luck, the story is at 18000 words and still not at mid point, so watch out for the next instalment in the adventures of the Uncovered Policeman in the next month or two.

To make up for my missing that deadline I ran a free book promo on Amazon offering The Uncovered Policeman Abroad as a free download. On August 26th it was top seller 726 in the  Amazon UK Kindle  All Books chart!

Notes on More Reading

The Naked President (1)

Jack Holden

An engaging short read, about 3 hours beside the pool. Written mainly from a first person perspective in short sentences.

A non-family created by one man as he travels across the world finally focuses back on one person a naturist who others want to be President of the USA.

Throw in some Native American and Eastern philosophy, a pyramid and a biker gang treat everything with a few coats of Panglossian gloss … Yes I liked it.

The Fifth Doll

Charlie N. Holmberg

Charlie is one of my favourite young adult writers. , however,  am not part of the target audience for Charlie N. Holmberg’s books. I am far from a young adult but I enjoyed reading this story.
I found it a clever well written story. Just enough pace to keep you turning the page. Just enough tension to keep you engaged. No real shocks or surprises either.
The main character is a pleasant, peasant girl in an idyllic Russian village … until

Elements of Stepford Wives and John Wyndham’s Chrysalids …

The Unsworth Manor Nudes

Paul Z Walker

A clever, fact based story based in the late Victorian era.
Earl Unsworth has a German wife who is related to the Kaiser. They respond to an invitation to visit the German side of the family and the journey begins.
There are one or two slips in etiquette, for example Lady Unsworth referred to as Mrs.
Otherwise a fun read for a summers day by the naturist pool!

Stories for Nudists about Social Nudity: (and for those who are curious)

More Stories for Nudists about Social Nudity: Volume Two (The Nudist Series Book 9)

Martin Brant

Two collects of short stories and Novellas about different takes on naturism. I enjoyed the ones set in the American Mid-West (?) in the past 19930s to 1970s where is writing is particularly evocative. Good collections be warned if you are looking a t buying these are books 5 and 9 in the series they contain books 1-4 and 6-8 respectively!

 

Ignition, Episodes 1 – 4

Josh Duncan

Naturist Young Adult Fiction. I found it very wordy but a whole lot of stuff happens. Just the characters do spend a lot of time discussing everything. Even when somebody is about to get a thumping the protagonist talk about the whys and wherefores for several pages with fists drawn back. Either being young in Phoenix is scary or ……. read and find out

 

Parallel World book 1

Richard Schillig


Pretty good John Wyndham style story about very special children. Based in the here and now and a naked world they came from to save our world and theirs. I want to read part 2

A Quiet Life in the Country (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 1

In the Market for Murder (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 2)

Death Around the Bend (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 3)

T.E. Kinsey

Really fun to read … I love the character of Flo Armstrong, she could be the best foil for the upper classes since Jeeves!
Mind you Lady Hardcastle is no slouch as an abductive detective! (Abduction is not to be confused with deduction as she has written to the famous author several times)
A clever comedy of manners, murder and social snobbery, I loved it! and read the rest of the series, book 2 is the least sharp but Death Around the Corner is also fabulous!

Naked Punks On Dope

Matthew Black

Another story based at the (seemingly restored) Hidden Lakes naturist club.
All the usual characters are present getting themselves involved in confused scrapes and outrageous misunderstandings.
More names dropped than in any episode of Absolutely Fabulous including Lulu

A totally harmless romp, ideal for the poolside

Naked Crow 6 – Hidden Village

P. Z. Walker

Another great story from the keyboard of P Z Walker.
The usual cast from the earlier stories are all present if not totally correct (apparently!)
The story stays close to the home location, Mighty Oaks Naturist Resort and is on a nicely compressed timeline.
I enjoyed the read
The missing star, proves I don’t always give 5 stars to #naturistfiction and I felt one of the new characters story was lacking in engagement in the main storyline and didn’t really resolve at the end.

Ready, Steady, Dig! (The Rooks Ridge Series Book 1)

Rosalind Winter

I’m stuck in permanent Winter on this one. NOT recommended. I have tried to get to grips with this tale of magical guardians of an ancient roman villa and the child that might be returning heir to the fortune, as battle against the local metal detecting jobs. As sticky as the mud that covers the ruin!

 Rae Leah’s Salvation (Tales From Aelfyce Series Book 2)

Aidian Stone

A really good story, I haven’t read book 1 but I enjoyed this one!

Magical reality in a non-Earth world as a hunter from our world falls through a void into the new world and finds himself trapped but somehow he survives to defeat the alien space monsters with the help of a beautiful female. Fun!

Busy Busy Busy

I have been so busy writing Uncovered Policeman stories that I haven’t had time to post about my reading but a quick summary of some of the books I have been reading.

The list is not complete but here are some highlights

 PC Peter Grant Books 1 – 5

Ben Aaronovitch

Tall tales of magic, murder and mirth make up this Harry Potter meets the bumbling cop series.

These have been great so far but I’m baulking at the high price for book 6; The Hanging Tree: The Sixth PC Grant Mystery (PC Peter Grant Book 6) Kindle Edition  which is £8.99 the paperback is only £6.29 (If you add 20% VAT £7.55) so explain that one away Gollancz !!

Inspector Hobbes Books 1 and 2

Wilkie Martin

Quirky, Fantasy, Rural English Police Man with bumbling ex journalist companion. Lots of silly jokes great fun reads. As strange events in grave yards, Loop Woods and all around Sornchester keep the Old Man busy

Rather Be the Devil (Inspector Rebus 21)

3 Nov 2016 | Kindle eBook

by Ian Rankin
Good but not Great Rebus. Despite being retired and ill Rebus has to keep busy with investigations. Meanwhile what dastardly plans are keeping Big Ger Busy?
Interesting and complex plot cleverly resolved.
In part spoilt for me by the handling of Rebus’s COPD. This is a nasty debilitating disease. I was involved in trying to get services for the victims of this condition, so I have seen the real effects close up.  Rebus is remarkably unaffected by the loss of ability to walk and talk and never suffers the impact of real breathless episodes.

Books read over Christmas

Christmas has come and Christmas has gone. and I need to apologise. It has been a couple of weeks since I last updated the list of books and stories read. I blame Christmas shopping, events and travel for getting in the way. So what was the reading experience over Christmas really like.

Christmas Crackers

Anders Zorn: UnveiledOlaf Danielson

A rather boring doctor with a dull marriage suddenly finds that he has been appointed head of a secret organisation! A very rich organisation. An organisation that has enemies prepared to kill. Enemies who can only be identified by a tattoo. So where to go to be safe … a naturist resort? Suspend belief and it is a fun story!

Mirror Earth Revisited – P.Z. Walker

The usual high quality naturist Sci-fi from the keyboard of a master of the genre. Read it!

Pepper Creek Murder: A Mark Steele Mystery (Mark Steele Mysteries Book 2) – Tom Saine

Set in the 1950’s a detective and his girlfriend are invited to his daughters resort for a relaxing weekend. Two surprises; it’s a naturist resort and a murder stops the relaxation.  A good read.

 

Nothing but Memories: A DCI Wilson Investigation – Derek Fee

Shadow Sins: A DCI Wilson Investigation – Derek Fee

Dark Circles: A DCI Wilson Investigation – Derek Fee

Derek Fee has created an Irish version of Rebus and has him operating in the post-Good Friday environment of Belfast. A place charged with political concerns  and sectarian hangovers. Readers of police fiction should enjoy these stories!

Poor Pudding

  • An Inspector Horace Mystery – Her Master’s Voice – P D Jones (author) it’s junk!
  • An Inspector Horace Mystery – The Girl Next Door – P D Jones (author) as above

Didn’t Catch Fire

The Saga of the StardusterTW Scott

An OK Sci-fi romance story with a bit of hairy nudity thrown in.

The Burning Page (The Invisible Library series Book 3)Genevieve Cogman                    I was looking forward to reading this book but it disappointed, something has got lost as the tale has gone on.  Maybe it is the originality of the concept. I’ll still read book 4 when it arrives!

Different Times, Different Attitudes

Recent reading has revealed how different times have different attitudes. I mentioned that I had read the Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan last month. I carried on with the Richard Hanney stories. What I found amazing was the level of casual racism in these stories from a highly educated and respectable man.

Btweedsmuir2.jpg

John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir,  26 August 1875 – 11 February 1940

After a brief legal career, Buchan simultaneously began his writing career and his political and diplomatic careers, serving as a private secretary to the colonial administrator of various colonies in southern Africa. He eventually wrote propaganda for the British war effort in the First World War Buchan was in 1927 elected Member of Parliament  but he spent most of his time on his writing career. In 1935 he was appointed Governor General of Canada by King George V. He occupied the post until his death in 1940.

Having read 3 more of the stories I now understand why only the 39 Steps stands alone in his list of books as being memorable

 

A good week for naturist fiction

What a good week for naturist fiction!

It has been a good week for new naturist fiction again. Having read new books by John David Harding and Wallace Greensage last week … I have read 3 new works of #naturistfiction this week.

First as promised last posting ..

Will Forest, Aglow.

A great piece of writing spoilt, just a little, for the non-Spanish reader by chunks of text in Spanish. Most are translated or pretty obvious in meaning, but having to decide whether to read or to skip over them was inconvenient. on the other hand the story was well written with a strong plot and narrative to keep you engaged. One to read and take a little time over.

D H Jonathan, The Volunteer

A good enough read to keep one entertained for a couple of days by the pool. Dani makes a mistake and plagiarises a paper, gets caught and either faces expulsion from college (USA) or takes part in a social science project that involves being naked 24/7 for 8 weeks. A little light depth about the social encounters it turns into a frothy lightweight romp.. Not that is of itself bad (says the author of lightweight romps – not even I call the Uncovered Policeman ‘literature’). I gave it a 4 star review.

Matthew Black, Screw Firmly From the Rear

The fourth book in a series about Brad and Leanne’s involvement with the Hidden Lake Naturist Resort. It features as ever Brad’s batty mother, Gwen, and his lustful father, George. Things are not good at Hidden Lakes and get worse with the help of the appearance of Brad’s rather attractive ex-colleague from the planning department. Who reveals something Brad has been keeping quiet. Unlike Leanne who is very vocal about another ‘something’ Brad would rather was kept quiet about.

If, unlike Brad, you can cope with George’s smutty tales of his exploits in the far east while in the navy, an entertaining read.

It had me humming the Eagles song Last Resort.

 

Read This Week 22/04

The Wretched of Muirwood

I down load The Wretched of Muirwood on a whim following and Amazon Kindle Unlimited e-mail.

I’d class it as Fantasy Fiction. If you are going to enjoy reading this book you have to be able to accept that it is set in a different reality.

Set in a world where members of families can command the Medium to bring forth fire and water, to still storms and destroy their enemies.

The heroine Lia is one of the ‘wretched’, a child born outside of a family or abandoned (Lia’s origins) and raised as servants in the Abbey. The wretched are given names to match the work they do, the laundresses are  ‘Reome Lavender’ the hunters are ‘Jon Hunter’.

The mighty are The Aldermaston, head of the Abbey, or like the princes and knights ‘Mastons’

Lia has a unique gift for a wretch, she can control the ‘leering stones’ and through them she has some powers from the Medium.

Layer on a rebellion against a corrupt King, a coming of age story, and mix in an easy reading style of writing and you have a book that you can enjoy reading. While it gets dark at times, a bit like in a John Wayne movie …. you always know the good guys are going to win.

I’ll give it 4 out of 5 stars

The Bride Wore Buff

Brad Eases

An interesting premise for a good fun naturist romp … if a bit far fetched but once you accept it the story works well.
Good fun classic romance motifs

Girl has boy, Boy’s parents think she is from the wrong side of the tracks, girl looses boy, girl gets boy back ….Everybody gets the reward they deserve.

All classic fare but nicely done.

Breaking The Ice

(An Examination of The Barely Decent) by Brad Eases

I read this one as a follow up to the Bride Wore Buff.

3 (eventually 4) Attractive single girls decided to hold a Clothing Optional garden party … Why are they single?

It’s not quite naturist fiction but not a smut book either.

Light, fluffy, frothy, fun nothing to dislike the pages kept turning and as a free Kindle Unlimited it was a pleasant read.

I’ll award 3 stars out of 5