Tag Archives: review

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 she 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

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

 

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

November Reading

November was a busy month on the writing front, so rather less reading. Nothing was stand out brilliant either.

Holding Briefs, Without Prejudice and Duty of Care

by Andrew Calow

http://author.to/AndrewCalow

Three  stories in an almost continuous narrative, set in either a Barristers Chambers or a Naturist Swim, depending on your point of view.  The main tale revolves around a very slowly developing romance between two of the legal eagles. While interesting little plot lines bubble along in the back ground.

This is the second time through these books, the first time I really enjoyed them. This second time around I felt that the main romance develops frustratingly and unrealistically slowly. That said they are a great read. Watch out for more references to then on this site soon!

Hippie Hollow: Murder on a Nude Beach: A B.B. Rivers Mystery Series Book One

by Denniger Bolton

http://mybook.to/HippieHollow

A well written little detective story, that had precious little to do with a nude beach.

BB (Bilbo Baggins) Rivers is a failed cop. He is in a romantic relation with Patricia. Patricia’s uncle needs someone to take a look at a five year old murder case … and the story begins. BB aided by several rather larger than life characters, Lucinder the rich aunt of one of the victims, Max the psychic and T.Rex the journalist.

They take an absurd trip around the Austin and its environs in pursuit of a hit man … and the perfect Chiles Relleno (Whatever they are!)

Really good fun romp!

Clothing Optional

by Larry L. Evans

http://viewbook.at/CO

A very short story
A trivial story
Woman decides to join a gym with a Clothing Optional zone, and doesn’t like it based on a dream from the night before.

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!

Recent Reads

A mixed bag of books read the past few weeks, some good some not so good.

Worth the Wait (St James Book 1) by Jamie Beck

If you can’t guess the ending by page 5 ….. So why the “12 Years Earlier” section … sorry I lost the will to look at the next page at that point.

Two Girls on a Mission by Steven W Johnson

Silliness of the endearing kind. If you want to read something with no weight, no social commentary and no long term impact on anything …. This is the book for you.

Sublight by V G James

Lets take a nerdy ham radio fan (and his mates) add some naked aliens, a few nudists, the US Air force, a Senator and the President of the USA and shake it all up together and you get another enjoyable romp in which everything ends up for the best … unless you are the one alien who gets sick. Yeah Fun!

The Travelling Companion by Ian Rankin

A short story from the creator of Rebus, a very different book from the detective stories.  A case of take a pinch of Dorian Grey mix in a generous helping of Jekyll & Hyde with elements of Don’t Look Now. A compelling story set in Paris … worth reading

The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

A classic … very different from the black and white film … The first book in the Complete Novels of John Buchan (down loaded for just 49pence!!) Brilliant story well told. I will be reading the rest of the collection over the next few weeks.

The Kings Traitor (The Kingfountain Series Book 3) by Jeff Wheeler

I rather like the easy escapist writing of much of Jeff Wheelers writing. I have worked through the Muir Wood stories before moving on the Kingfountain so I guess that is apparent to you. While they are aimed at the teenage reader these stories present interesting and twisted plots of murder mystery and magic. I will continue to read these books as they appear.

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.

 

New Naturist Fiction

This August there has been a flurry of new naturist fiction publications.

Wallace Greensage set his second New Albion story free. The Naked Truth Will Set You Free is a continuation of the story started in his “Who Is This Naked Lady – And What Have They Done With My Wife?” A Really good read it is too.

John David Harding, has produced a very interesting follow up to the Bare Necessities.

Bare Necessities 2.
A very engaging read, well worth reading.

Will Forest released Aglow his second #naturistfiction story, which is next on my reading list

I hear that P Z Walker has Mirror Earth 2 finished and undergoing editing, so that should be with us soon too. Meanwhile I am slowly moving forward with Uncovered Policeman 4.

Read this week – Mirror Earth

I just finished reading P Z Walker’s science fiction story Mirror Earth.

mirror earth cover
P.Z. Walker – Mirror Earth

It was a bit slow to start but once it got going it was a great fun read. I give it 4* (out of 5)

The scenario was quite complex and took a while to set up, hence the slow start but the pace soon picked up.

The story is one of people thrown into an alien environment and how they cope.

Teams of scientists on two Mirror Earth’s are working to prove that parallel universes exist. As a result of an accident or mistake the two teams get thrown into the other universe.

The team from the Earth closer to ours finds itself in place with different wild life, no money and no clothes … How will they cope?

The team from the alien world, can they cope with the crowds, the money driven society and the coverings?

Will they get home again … find out by reading for yourself.

Yes in this case  Reading is fun

Buy Mirror Earth on Amazon