Saturday, 6 February 2016

THIS WEEKEND ONLY

Hello friends!



The witches, demons, devils and normal folk are back for the final chapter. So I have some freebies for you. But you have to enter to win!

WEEKEND SPECIAL! February 6th/7th/8th ONLY - 
HOW TO WIN: 1 (no purchase necessary)
Tweet, share on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and so on, Sign up to my email list to be entered into a draw for an Amazon Gift Card
HOW TO WIN: 2: (purchase necessary)
Buy Dark Winter 1 and 2 and sign up to my email list to be entered into a draw for a SIGNED copy of Dark Winter III
HOW TO WIN: 3: (purchase necessary)
Pre-order the Kindle version of Dark Winter III: Last Rites on Kindle THIS WEEKEND ONLY or buy the paperback (available now) to be entered into a draw for a KINDLE FIRE
The website for sign-ups:-
http://kate895.wix.com/authorjohnhennessy
Amazon page for Dark Winter I & II:-
http://www.amazon.com/…/B0…/ref=la_B0068UGR44_1_7_twi_kin_2…
Amazon page for Dark Winter III (pre-order released 21.02.16)
http://www.amazon.com/…/B…/ref=la_B0068UGR44_1_14_twi_kin_1…
Or grab the paperback now:-
http://www.amazon.com/…/…/1523862424/ref=la_B0068UGR44_1_13…
AFTER FEBRUARY 21st Dark Winter will NOT be offered at this special low price ever again.
Winners will be contacted after 21st February, with the prizes on the way before end of February.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Book Review: Heart-Warming Tales by Brenda Mohammed

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Synopsis: This book contains Five Heart Warming Tales.

1."The Psychiatrist and the Thief," is a comedy- mystery . 
2."Her Online Predator" is an exciting mystery - thriller /romance. It is a must read especially for young people who like to make friends on the Internet..That friend you make may not be who he/she claims to be. 
3."A Marriage on the Rocks," is about a young couple who had serious problems in their marriage. Did their marriage survive?
4."The Undertaker's wife" is about a suspicious wife who doubted her husband.

5."Letters of Love" A loving brother seeks to guide his sister on the right path with his spiritual wisdom. 

Review: This is the second collection of stories I have read in a row. This author is new to me so it is interesting to pick up this writer's particular 'voice' and over the course of this book, it comes across well. 

Her Online Predator is perhaps the best of a strong bunch of stories, with Marriage On the Rocks a close second (though the male character Roberto was a little to subservient to his wife for my liking). The Undertaker's Wife has a wonderful underlying plot - we can probably see what is coming before the end, and its cool to see the MC freaking out along the way, before the big reveal is made.

All the stories are well written and readable. The stories are different from each other and make for interesting reading. Recommended.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Book Review: The Clock Man and Other Stories by Eric Lathi

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Synopsis: Enter worlds of magic and dragons, martial arts and mayhem 

A woman waits in a plain white room, wondering why she's there and what's about to happen. 
A man and his talking gun hunt the bogeyman. 
A family finds its house is haunted and sets out to trap the ghosts, but what if the ghosts aren't the real problem? 
Far underneath a city, the figure of a man rests. For decades he's remained perfectly motionless. Last night he moved. 
In a world of magic, martial arts, and dragons, one man controls the flow of magic. Now his daughter wants him dead. 
Zapp Blander always dreamed of being a hero. When a man named Jack shows up, Zapp might just get his chance. 
She was designed to choose which slain warriors got to go to Valhalla, but Kara has developed her own ideas. 
The bogeyman of New Mexico is beaten and fed what should be a simple task: Kill the boy.

Review: 

"Like every other senator, Bedfellow feels slightly dirty after intermingling with the people he claims to represent."
- Awaken.

The Clock Man is the key part of a delectable sandwich, a cocktail of explosive tales that are as addictive as they are compelling. Entering the world of this author, especially in this collection, requires perhaps more than one read.That's why my rating is around 4.5 stars. There's enough five star awesomeness in this book to round it up though.

The Clock Man is by far the longest story, almost reading like a mini-novel in itself. I'm glad the author decided to add other gems in here, the David Lynch / Oliver Stone-esue 'Zona Peligrosa' (you can just feel Leonard Cohen and Charlie Weathers eeking out the soundtrack).

I read the stories in order, and the opener 'Exceeds Expectations' certainly does that.

Awaken brings us back into the world of the Henchmen, the author's prior works, and it's a welcome addition. It's like the author is saying 'this story is for everyone who loved Henchmen'.

 "a cocktail of explosive tales that are as addictive as they are compelling"

Near to the close is 'Eve', a nod to one of the major characters in the Henchmen series. I thought this one would be stronger than it turned out to be. Perhaps if you haven't read Henchmen you will enjoy this segment all the more.

There's a poetic quality to this author's writing punctuated with snappy dialogue and a believable narrative. Add to that the author's talent for the descriptive - you have a sense of your surroundings even when you're lost. If I ever find myself in a desert without a compass, I'm bringing Eric Lahti along for the ride.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Book Review: The Heir (The Selection, #4) by Keira Cass

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Synopsis: Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.

Review:  The Heir is easily the best book in The Selection series, and I was surprised as anyone that after the events in The One, that the author would be penning further adventures in Illea. In full disclosure I must state that I found America 'Mer' Singer from the earlier books a so-so MC. Then along comes her daughter Eadlyn in book four and she is totally different. She's brattish, arrogant and spoilt. You might think this is a recipe for disaster especially when her father Maxon proposes a new Selection take place.

The Heir sees the Selection all grown up.

Here is where the author has got it right - in book one it was lacking a dystopian feel, and by the time of The One it seemed to have dropped the pretence that it was ever a dystopian series. The Heir works better in the understanding of the ruling monarchy and its subjects - Maxon only proposes a new round because it keeps the masses distracted.

Isn't that what all governments want for their people? Distraction, control, with the media (state or otherwise) filling the airwaves with bad news.

And it gets worse for Eadlyn, because some of the guys in the Selection do not want to be there at all. There's no fawning over each other with Eadlyn and Kile unlike the protracted Maxon-Mer-Aspen mess.

The Heir sees the Selection all grown up. It's an entertaining read that fans of the first trilogy may deem unnecessary, but I think Eadlyn is by far the most interesting character, and the story is all the more readable for the focus on her.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Book Review: Mysterious Templar by Adriana Girolami

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Synopsis: Dark forces and violence enters the European court of the Duke of Nemours in the year of our Lord 1480. The only hope remains in the hands of the Duke's daughter Polyxena—a stunning beauty, coveted by many men. 
As the princess bride, she arrives at the castle of the Duke of Lorengard-Lorraine only to find her arranged marriage has been foiled. Duke Arsinio has been murdered 
in a coup d'√©tat and she is a virtual prisoner of an evil tyrant. A mysterious knight appears to challenge the power of the tyrant and bring hope to the people. The face of this enigmatic warrior is covered by a red mask and the cross on his chest defines him as a Knight Templar. 
Will Polyxena achieve freedom and find the love of her life? Is the identity of the Mysterious Templar discovered? 
Find out only in the first novel of the Templar Trilogy…MYSTERIOUS TEMPLAR

Review: Think back to the golden age of cinema. Rip-roaring historical blockbusters that combined action with a heart. Were Adriana Girolami's epic Mysterious Templar to make it to the big screen, I would expect some director and screen writer of weight and talent to bring this rich novel to a mass audience.

That said, the author's descriptive narrative and wonderful characters set this story above many 'adventure / quest' stories that go nowhere. In full disclosure, I must state that I read the original Revenge of the Knights Templar and approached this, wondering would it be more of the same.

If anything, this is the better, far more polished work (not that the other edition wasn't, it is just that time has passed) and the inclusion of the second story - a generous chapter to give you insight into where the tale is going, means that this edition is well worth your time and effort.

Never once dry, laced with humour, and always readable, one can only wait impatiently for the soon to be released sequel.

Wonderful story, perfect medieval romance. Loved it. 

Below is my review of the original story, Revenge of the Knights Templar

A tale of swords and superstitions, of passion and deception, of political machinations and posturing, Revenge of the Knights Templar is an exceptional debut novel by talented author Adriana Girolami.

This story has been on my to read list for most of 2014. Now, that I have finally completed reading it, I can say that the wait was worth it.

The ability of an author to transport the reader to a different time and place, and do it convincingly, is a task that perhaps only the most seasoned of authors would attempt. So it makes this story all the more remarkable that it sets itself up brilliantly, with the kind of prose I wish I could use in my writing.

After the initial few chapters, where most if not all of the main characters are introduced, the pace picks up and doesn't let go. In fact, I had to stop myself from finishing the novel too quickly.

It is a thoroughly entertaining and thrilling read, set in the 1480s where, as always, who ever wields power can do so with a silken rose or an iron fist.

Our heroine, Polyxena, is destined to become a duchess, but not in the way she envisaged. Her love, the Duke Arsenio is brutally cast aside in a battle of wills and swords, seeing the repugnant Duke of Saxe-Hanover seizing power, with Polyxena, seemingly hapless to play anything but the dutiful wife.

Things can't go on like this forever, and with the tyrant becoming ever more tyrannical (as they do!) the evil Duke begins to make mistakes...the biggest of which seem his superstitions. The fate of one cat in the story was a pivotal moment for me.

Polyxena, as befits a great heroine, is anything but a housemaid and often voices her displeasure at the Duke's actions - especially with his joy at the arrangement of so many executions of his enemies. Polyxena, understandably, is horrified. One of the condemned is her new love, Duccio.

The story has a great premise, but actually backs this up with superb execution. The characters are believeable, you feel hatred for the evil Duke, love and hope for the beautiful and intelligent Polyxena. I even found my distaste of Flavia coming around to better thoughts later on. Such is this beautifully woven tale.

The cover, though stunning, should not hide the fact that the sword fights are realistic in their description, and Miss Girolami places you as if you wielded the sword yourself! I was truly swept into the action of this story, which I will say is as well written as any part of the Lord of the Rings.

The story has a great premise, but actually backs this up with superb execution.

The author's wordcraft is exciting and perfectly describes each scene. The characters are superbly drawn, and the detail of her vision leaves nothing to chance. You, dear reader, are transported to 1480s Europe, and can do nothing about it!

This story is a historical epic, a romance, a thriller, a mystery and is full of great lines, written beautifully and without any hint of pretence.

It's not without humour, with great lines such as:

"The erotic spectacle stimulated the drunken crowd, who quickly joined the royal pair in a sexually driven bacchanal. An orgiastic took over the room while everybody rubbed and caressed anything that wasn't theirs."

And stark, great authoritarian lines such as:-

"A river of blood will cleanse you of audacity!"

Also:-

"It's easy to learn cruelty when you live with evil."

Truly, I can't wait to read this book again. It's been by far one of my favourite reads of 2014, and one can only wait for Miss Girolami's next book. As for Revenge of the Knights Templar, I thoroughly recommend you read it. Now.


Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Book Review: Eve of Tomorrow (Dawn of Rebellion, #3) by Michelle Lynn

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Synopsis: The British are coming.


Eve of Tomorrow brings to a conclusion the story of Gabby and Dawn, two English sisters thrust into the forefront of rebellion in the new world. Set in a distant future laid waste by change and conflict, Gabby and Dawn discover their parents among the Americans and pledge to fight alongside their countrymen seeking safety and freedom.


The Republic of Texas has been defeated, but its doomsday weaponhas fallen into the wrong hands. At first, warriors by circumstance, but now warriors by choice, Gabby and Dawn have a new mission: to destroy the weapon before it can destroy their future.

Review: Now let's get something out there. For me, dystopian novels meant George Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty-Four. There probably won't be a better novel released in that genre in my lifetime (or ever), and I was as surprised as anyone when I picked up a YA dystopian novel a few years ago, starring someone from District 12....

So with Michelle Lynn's series, it would be easy to be dismissive, to say 'this is a fluffy YA dystopian, no-one will care what happens.' Not true. And with each book, the story has evolved into something else entirely. Each book has had its own distinct theme, cleverly intertwining the key characters into those events.

The chapter focus where each character 'talks' is interesting and I never once felt lost, even with so much happening.

However, as it is the third and final book in the series, things need to be wrapped up. I wasn't expecting half the things that happened, to happen. The cover gives you the feeling this is for YA - but there is some truly jarring stuff in here, quite violent in parts that churned my stomach (and I write horror!)

Put simply, this is the best YA dystopian series I have started and finished since THG (you know what I am on about). It's not fair to compare it to that behemoth, merely saying that the Dawn of Rebellion series is truly remarkable storytelling and stands on its own.

As mentioned in my earlier reviews, Dawn and Gabby, the sisters, are not exactly two sides of the same coin. They have their own ideas and ways about things. Each character is well drawn, secondary characters like Lee, Drew and Shay play magnificent supporting roles.

I haven't read three books by a new author this quickly in years.

I just like the author's writing style, coupled with her engaging, thrilling storytelling. Give this a try, maybe you will too.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Book Review: Beyond the Law by Tom Benson

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Synopsis: In January 1996, Phil McKenzie leads his Special Air Service team on a secret mission into Kentobi, Africa. An assassin codenamed ‘Chameleon’ kills the Kentobi president, but it is Phil who is framed for murder. 

To appease the authorities he agrees to a brief secondment with the Metropolitan Police and then discharge from the Army. During his attachment to the 'Met', he sees how the hands of the authorities are tied. It reminds him that the teenager who murdered his parents in 1977 was never caught to face justice. 

Phil returns to his hometown in July 1996 as Hawk, a vigilante. The term ‘deniable ops’, finds new meaning as Phil tackles Glasgow’s underworld with his small and unique team. 

Review: Crime thrillers are ten a penny these days so finding a good one may take a while. With Beyond the Law, author Tom Benson has created quite the crime caper, and with the sequel recently released, it's likely to win the author a new generation of fans.

The story is slickly presented, stylish to a fault, and places you side by side with our 'hero' Phil McKenzie, also known as Hawk, as the former Special Ops soldier (who doesn't seem to have left the life behind) takes on the vicious underworld of Glasgow.

Now this city is a tough place to be, I know it quite well, and it was a joy to read some of the real places that are mentioned in the story. Realism is the order of the day here, and yet some readers may be surprised how this gritty thriller, a kind of Taggart on acid (1980s children will know what I mean) has a heart at its core, meaning that it is not just a thriller for the boys, as I believe women will enjoy it too.

There is a myriad of characters in the story, with Kirsten and Rachel amongst my favourites. All are fleshed out, detailed, and you care about them. This elegant writing style is evident in the author's other short stories, and it was a pleasure to delve into a much longer tale. Beyond the Law is a long book but never feels like that. 

It's an enjoyable, pulsating ride that is simply one of the best thrillers I have read in years.