Thursday, 24 November 2016

J is for Joseph Picard - the Lifehack series

If you've read one zombie apocalypse book, I've always said, you've read them all. I didn't know when I picked up Lifehack that it was going to be about zombies; had I known it, I wouldn't have started reading the book. And I would have missed out, badly.

The thing that makes these books special is the characters. They are, all three of them, real novels, teeming with the pain of the human condition, and yet always lightened by the author's wicked humour. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll be occasionally grossed out - but gruesomeness is never slathered in merely for its own sake; there is an essential good taste to the writing of these books that makes them worthy to be considered independently of their genre. 

Although my personal favourite is Watching Yute, I can recommend all three without reserve. They are all properly standalone, as a novel ought always to be; Picard is no amateur. Nevertheless, I read them in order, and as with any series, even the long series of the Waverley novels, I do think this is the best way to maximise one's enjoyment.

Find them, and Picard's other work, at AMAZON.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

I is For Injury, by Val Tobin

A nice, fast-paced story, Injury for me was chiefly distinguished by its nicely rounded protagonist. Typically in books of this type, movie-star heroines tend to be rather cardboard and interchangeable, but Daniella Grayson is a real, live, actual person, and this makes the book.

I did feel that the development of the relationship between Dani and Cope, although believable, was far too rushed; I actually went back to see if I'd accidentally skipped two or three chapters. It felt as if a section had been ripped out of the book. The ending, too, I felt was a little weak, but a nice, entertaining read all the same.

Get it HERE.

Monday, 21 November 2016

H is for Humour - Four Authors Very Well Worth Checking Out

If you're anything like me, and if you are reading my blog I assume we must have something in common, you love to laugh. Here for your consideration are four authors I've recently discovered. They're all very different, but all funny, and all well worth checking out if you haven't encountered them before. Do yourself a favour!

Paul Kater - Hilda The Wicked Witch series

This wonderful series, which so far runs to sixteen books, is a sheer delight. It follows the fortunes of the title character, Hilda the Wicked Witch, sometimes in our own humdrum world (which Hilda finds crazily exotic) but mostly in her own world of magic and dragons. 

The characters are delightful, particularly Hilda and her bestie, Baba Yaga. There are cameo appearances by characters from popular fiction, most notably Magrat Garlick and Granny Ogg from Pratchetts's marvellous Discworld series. This is particularly appropriate, since Kater's style and approach are bound to recommend themselves to fans of that series.

Kater's books can be found at AMAZON and SMASHWORDS.

P.J. Jones - Romance Novel

A deliciously wicked satire on the Twilight series, this book is reminiscent of Mad Magazine at its best. Written with an almost complete absence of the fourth wall, it's packed with laugh-out-loud moments for anyone who has struggled through Twilight. There's just nothing not to love.

Get it at AMAZON

Janet Josselyn - Thin Rich Bitches

A very entertaining account of an impoverished divorcee moving into a community of the rich, struggling to find her feet and forge a new life in a tumble-down old country house. It's a fun, medium-paced read with some good characters, plenty of animals, good lines and a romance subplot. Well worth downloading for a relaxing read, however I somehow felt the book just missed being as good as it might have been. I thought there could have been more variance in the level of tension, and also that perhaps the book ran just a little long for its content. An entertaining read, though, and the ending is very, very satisfying. 

Get it at AMAZON.

Erica Lucke Dean - Suddenly Sorceress and Suddenly Spellbound.

Who could fail to fall instantly in love with a series that opens with the heroine being molested by a goat and accidentally turning her boyfriend into a skunk? It's like this all the way through both these delightful books - always just that little bit over the top, always going just that bit farther than one expected. Ms Dean thinks big, and doesn't quail at the most outrageous situations. I am absolutely hooked on this series and can't wait for the next book.

Get them at AMAZON.