Book Review on Fantasy Faction

image

I recently embarked on one of those strange internet adventures you can never recreate but ended up in me landing on a site called Fantasy Faction. It had a place where authors can post about their own books so I thought “Might be worth a shot”. I joined and posted a short description of my book and a link.

 

And then something rather  nice happened. A lovely chap who goes by the alias of Jmack replied as follows:

Here is the first post.

To all my forum friends here, we all see self-pub posts and few of us have time to act on them. For no reason I can think of, I clicked on @Martin Swinford’s link to Amazon. I liked what he had as a blurb. 99 cents. Bought.

I sitting on a bench in my back yard with “Smiler’s Fair” and a “Catch a Wave: the Rise, Fall, and redemptions of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson” on my lap. But I decided, eh, I’ll try this 99 cent novella. Well, I’m only 13% in (Kindle, so it’s percent, not pages), but this is charming so far.

And here’s the second.

As you saw, it’s pure happy (for me) chance that I decided to click your link. Pure “I’m slightly bored; oh, why not?” But having clicked, I think your write-up on Amazon is excellently done. Somewhere I saw your “autobiography”; must have been Amazon, but now I’m not seeing it. Web version vs. app? The autobiography suited my Anglophilia ::), so I purchased.

I enjoyed the novella quite a bit, though perhaps not the final chapter or so as much as rest. Martin’s writing is enjoyably detailed. He’s rooted in the English country-side in many ways, and the travels of the young hero and his friends are through same landscape that Lloyd Alexander and JRRT capture. There are some lovely moments and good surprises in the plot, including a very realistic aftermath to a deadly fight.

The writing is strong, but needs an editor’s hand to fix some things, mainly POV stuff. Meanwhile, I think anyone who would like a break from grimdark or just wants to return to an old-fashioned fantasy novel (somewhat YA) should give this a try.

The next installment comes this Fall. I’ve got another 99 cents ready.

This review made me very happy, even though there are some constructive criticisms. For a start it mentions Tolkien (hurrah!) but more importantly what it really does is confirm to me that I’m on the right path. So big thanks here to Jmack

And while we are in the subject of reviews, The Path Of Swords just got another 5 star review on Amazon (this makes 5 so far). If you want to take a look then click on the links below.

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC        for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC           for the US

Thanks again.

M

 

Book Review – Holy Island – A DCI Ryan Mystery

Cards on the table, I only got this book for two reasons: it was offered free with my Amazon Prime membership, and it is set on Lindisfarne which I have visited recently and absolutely love. I quite like detective books, although I haven’t read many recently, so I thought I’d give it a go.

So I read it while on a short holiday last week and quite enjoyed it, although I thought the end sucked. So I checked out the reviews.

As you can see it has over a thousand 5 star reviews which is very impressive, but I also noticed it had 125 1 star reviews, of which this was my favourite:

DCI Ryan, escapee from a French perfume ad by way of Made in Chelsea, lives on Lindisfarne and fumes. We’re never quite sure what he’s fuming about but he does a lot of it. DCI Ryan has the charisma of a baking potato but none of the spud’s inherent likeability.
Across on the mainland lives a fey mimsy whimsy creature, Anna, who holds down a job as a university lecturer?, researcher?.- who cares, you only need to know that she’s wetter than a haddock’s bathers. She used to live on Lindisfarne.

There’s a murder on the island.

Ryan stomps about fuming and giving orders to his sidekicks. Watch out for the Irish sergeant with the Scottish name – she’s flame-haired which gives her a bad temper. NO, it’s true! – it’s been proven by people at the University of Hairs.

Then there’s another murder.

Then there’s another particularly horrible murder. Involving fire. By now it’s clear that Lindisfarne, although just four and a half miles in area, possesses many of the characteristics of the Tardis, since nobody is close enough to notice the smell of freshly toasting person on the breeze.

The mainland police have no access to boats or helicopters so they have to wait till the tide goes out, leaving Ryan to do all the enquiries.

Ryan is very fuming now. Mimsy Anna has been sent to the island to help him as she is an expert on Things.

Ryan’s first contact with Mimsy makes DCI Gene Hunt of Life on Mars sound like the Editor of the Guardian Womens’ page.
Nonetheless Mimsy feels a fluttering in her underpinnings because she is a Big Wet Nelly.

Ryan calls round to hers one day, kicks the door off its hinges like any reasonable copper would do, and finds Mimsy without any underpinnings at all, having just got out of the shower …
I’ll leave you to guess what happens next.

That’s as far as I’ve got with this bilge. I know I should simply donate my Kindle to the British Heart Foundation charity shop, but could I really allow some misfortunate to stumble upon this without warning.

Do yourself a favour – save your eyeballs and your money.

Now, this review is much better than the book itself, and actually everything it says about the book is pretty much true. Much of the book is fairly ludicrous, and some of the plot devices really don’t work, or are introduced and then never appear again, (like the killer’s internal monologue – weird that you only hear it once). So what rating do I give it? The thing is I enjoyed reading it. Maybe I’m not demanding enough, or maybe I’m very good at suspending disbelief, or maybe I just didn’t expect too much from what I thought of as a ‘trashy’ novel I got for free.

I read the absolutely sublime All The Light We Cannot See before Holy Island. Another great book wouldn’t have worked afterwards, it would have been too much. Perhaps every book doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s a bit like watching TV, sometimes you want to watch a really high quality drama, other times you just want to settle down with something undemanding that passes the time.

So is Holy Island a good book? As always it depends what you like and how you’re feeling at the time. Sitting outside my caravan with a glass of wine, it was a good book.

And while we are in the subject of reviews, The Path Of Swords just got another 5 star review on Amazon. If you want to take a look then click on the links below.

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC        for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC           for the US

Thanks again.

M

 

A Big Thanks To Everyone!

Well, it’s been a week since the giveaway and three weeks since The Path Of Swords was released and I just want to say thanks to anyone and everyone who has supported, helped, bought, downloaded, tweeted, shared or just wished me well.

The launch has been a success, with the book selling steadily and also getting picked up on Amazon Unlimited. The giveaway resulted in the book getting to no. 14 in the top 100 free epic fantasy (see below).

image

The Path Of Swords also got to no. 3 in the top 100 free Children’s ebooks category below.

image

Categories are weird on Amazon, and the free ones are different from the paid ones. Just one of the things I’m finding out as I go along!

There’s been a slight dip in sales since the giveaway, which could be that people who might have bought it too got it free, but I’m not too worried. I’m trying to build readership rather than make money so I’m not worried whether someone pays or gets a freebie. The book now has 3 reviews on Amazon UK, all of which are 5 stars, so that’s nice as well.

If you think you might like The Path Of Swords then you can find it using the links below:

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC        for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC           for the US

Thanks again.

M

 

Calling Out Around The World…

GIVEAWAY ADVERT

…are you ready for a brand new book?

Summer’s here and the time is right to go and take a look!

(Apologies right now to Martha and the Vandellas)

Today you can download The Path Of Swords for free from Amazon.  Just click here:

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC        for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC           for the US

www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071LBJNTC          for Australia (big shout out to the one Australian who has bought it already!)

www.amazon.ca/dp/B071LBJNTC                for Canada

www.amazon.de/dp/B071LBJNTC                for Germany (sold one there as well. Thanks!)

www.amazon.in/dp/B071LBJNTC                 love to sell some in India

www.amazon.fr/dp/B071LBJNTC              Come on France!

If you haven’t got a kindle you can also download a kindle app from the same page that will work on any device.

It would be great if you could download it. It will give the book a boost at this early stage that is very important in making it visible. Even if you think it doesn’t sound like your sort of thing and never read it, you will really be helping me.

However if it does sound like your sort of thing then I would love it if you read it. It’s not very long (only about 130 pages) so shouldn’t take up too much time. I would value your opinion.

If you read it and like it then I would be very grateful if you leave a review on Amazon. You can do it on the page where you downloaded the book.

Share the links with anyone you think would like it.

Book Giveaway this Saturday

GIVEAWAY ADVERT

“Luan ap Garioch, second son of the house of Artran, this is the day of choosing. How do you choose?”

On the last day of the summer of his fourteenth year, Luan takes the first step on The Path Of Swords.He has been told that the path will be hard. He knows that it will lead him into danger. The reality is beyond all his imagining.

This Saturday you can download The Path Of Swords for free from Amazon.  Just click here:

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC        for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC           for the US

www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071LBJNTC          for Australia (big shout out to the one Australian who has bought it already!)

www.amazon.ca/dp/B071LBJNTC                for Canada

www.amazon.de/dp/B071LBJNTC                for Germany (sold one there as well. Thanks!)

www.amazon.in/dp/B071LBJNTC                 love to sell some in India

www.amazon.fr/dp/B071LBJNTC              Come on France!

If you haven’t got a kindle you can also download a kindle app from the same page that will work on any device.

It would be great if you could download it. It will give the book a boost at this early stage that is very important in making it visible. Even if you think it doesn’t sound like your sort of thing and never read it, you will really be helping me.

However if it does sound like your sort of thing then I would love it if you read it. It’s not very long (only about 130 pages) so shouldn’t take up too much time. I would value your opinion.

If you read it and like it then I would be very grateful if you leave a review on Amazon. You can do it on the page where you downloaded the book.

Share the links with anyone you think would like it.