Book Review – Saint John Lennon

Every August bank holiday I venture (with hundreds of others) to the fair city of Liverpool to celebrate the music of the wonderful Beatles at International Beatleweek. This year we met the charming and charismatic author Daniel Hartwell promoting his fictional book “Saint John Lennon”

Such was the charm of this author that we couldn’t resist purchasing a copy of his book and… a few months later… I finally got around to reading it. So what did I think? Read on and find out…

SJLBlurb: John Lennon is ALIVE in this controversial time-travel epic. Imagine THAT! A twist in time returns 40-year-old John to us on December 8, 2020 in front of the Dakota in New York City. He is fascinated by the world he finds, and shocked by the religious, environmental and political turmoil. Imagine the legendary John Lennon adjusting to astounding futuristic technology; organizing a Beatles reunion; witnessing the (possible) apocalypse; traveling into space with Branson’s Virgin Galactic; writing music with Paul again and finally appearing with him on Saturday Night Live; reacting to the destruction of the Twin Towers; and meeting with Trump! Our action-adventure melds history, fact, and fantasy to remind us that love is all we need. The issues John deals with are hot topics right now: political discord, climate change, nuclear threats, terrorism, violence, and poverty. John’s reappearance is fantastical, but Yoko and his grown sons recognize him immediately as the real deal. Follow him on his poignant, humorous and world-altering escapades as he continues his quest for peace. Saint John Lennon is a “can’t-put-it-down” page-turner and always thought-provoking.

Rating: 3.5/5

My thoughts: John Lennon is alive again – oh don’t we wish! If you are looking for a Beatles biography then this is not the book for you. This story is pure fantasy.  Set in a world where, 40 years after his death, John Lennon is inexplicably returned to the world. When he opens his eyes only moments have passed for John, for the rest of the world it’s been 40 years.

I found a certain degree of sadness in this book. Before his death John Lennon had been speaking out for peace. Forty years later, not only is the need as great as ever, if anything things have become worse.  Viewing the modern world through the eyes of someone who had been absent for so long highlights how far removed we are from any hope of a peaceful world at the moment.

This book carries a good message and does it through the name of John Lennon.

There are parts of the book that don’t quite work for me. The use of song lyrics in some dialogue feels unnecessary and a few attempts at “scouse” falls a little short, the characters aren’t as fleshed out or “real” as they could be, but the story in itself is an enjoyable ride as John finds himself travelling to different points in the future, giving us warnings of where the world could end up if we don’t do something about it now.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book and certainly wanted to keep turning the pages to see where it would go.

 

 

 

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Book Review – Tequila Rose Virginity Blues by Wendy Jane (#RRBC)

And as I said in my last post I had two reviews to share with you – here is the second
Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story by Wendy Jane

TequilaRoseBlurb: 1st Place Runner Up in Rave Reviews Book Club’s Alpha-Omega Short Story Writing Contest 2018.
Tequila Rose may have met the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, she wakes up suffering from alcoholic amnesia and doesn’t remember anything about the night before. Tall, dark, and Jack may be the cure her jaded heart desperately needs, but Tequila’s wary as friends warn her that Jack hangs out with the local drug dealer. Thrust together at a Speed Dating event, their chemistry sizzles, but is Jack after a different kind of fix?

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts: A great short story which opens with the most agonising hangover imaginable – anyone who has ever over indulged will not be able to help but sympathise. And, as with all good hangovers, Tequila Rose not only has a bad head and churning stomach – she also has a total lack of recall when it comes to the evenings events.
This is a great little tale of love, alcohol and zany relatives. The character of Tequila Rose is very real and relatable – and the people in her life round her out completely. Enough twists in the tale to keep a reader interested to the last page. Some adorable illustrations dotted through the story and what a gorgeous book cover!

Review – Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes (#RRBC)

It feels like a while since I posted a review (where does the time go to?) but I have a couple to share now – and the first is…

Two Shorts and a Snort by Jan Sikes

ShortSnortBlurb: This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.
Obsessed:
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.
Maggie:
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.
Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.

My Rating: 4/5

My Thoughts: A quick and enjoyable read made up of two short stories and a poem.
Obsessed – this story had a real feel of the location/people/era – the dialogue and descriptions perfectly illustrate a mans obsession with the woman he wants to marry, and the incredible lengths to which obsession can drive a person.
Maggie – this is a cute, gentle tale of a found baby and the couple who take her in. A good blend of happy and sad round this tale out perfectly.
Friends Instead of Lovers – this short poem sums up the potential peril of turning a friendship into something more, and losing the thing that made the friendship so special in the first place.

All in all this is well worth a read – short and satisfying.

Book Review – Three Christmases

You know when you’ve read a good book and then have that desire for “a little bit more”  – the need to have a little peak into the future of the characters you’ve grown to love… well once in a while an author kindly pens us this little look and today’s review is one such book.

I reviewed the original book Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander and was thrilled when he released the sequel short Three Christmases at Christmas and I eagerly downloaded it, although I am sorry to say I actually forgot to read it until this weekend!

ThreeBlurb: This is a sequel to Things We Never Said, a feel-good, short-story-length (52 printed pages) glimpse into the future for all those readers who have been begging to know what happens next.

Following the death of Catherine, husband Sean, daughter April, and best friend Maggie start to move on with their lives.
Discover what the next three years hold in store for all the characters you came to love in Things We Never Said.

Rating:  5/5

My thoughts:  This is a satisfying short glimpse into the lives of the characters we loved in the original novel and, as the title suggests, it takes place over three separate Christmases. So what happened next? Did Sean and Maggie finally get together, how has life turned out for April… well, of course, I’m not going to tell you as that would be an ultimate spoiler – all I can say is, read it for yourself – you wont be disappointed!

Book Review – World Circus

Another sunny weekend means only one thing – time to relax and read. Which now means time to share with you all my thoughts on the book I have just finished.

World Circus by Charles W Jones

This is the third, and final, instalment of the Circus World Trilogy and I have reviewed the first two parts: Book one Circus Tarot and Book Two Page of Buckets

WorldCircBlurb: For the final installment of the Circus Tarot Trilogy as well a tie in with Hydrangeas on the Lanai (Charles W. Jones), inspired by Clive Barker’s Weaveworld, Charles brings World Circus. Bizarre events won’t allow Susie to return to World Circus, and she discovers at the same time, she is no longer Page of Buckets, leaving her with the question of “who am I?” Each time she closes her eyes to sleep, she learns more and more of how the strange world and its inhabitants were created. An unsettling vision of a massacre leaves her shaken, leading her to the woman who created the Circus Tarot.

 

Rating:  4/5

My thoughts:  So at last the trilogy draws to a close and piece by piece we learn the origins of this strange world.

Time has passed and Susie learns that her role in the circus is about to change, she just doesn’t know who she is to become and the truth is revealed slowly through a series of strange, and often disturbing dreams.

I must admit that I didn’t quite enjoy this book as much the previous two but that said it was still a well crafted tale and it was satisfying to discover where this strange world originated. The flipping between the different times took a little getting used to but that became easier the more you read.

All in all a pleasing ending to a strange and imaginative series that might make you look at clowns a little differently – unless, that is, you are already afraid of them 🙂

Book Review – Mannethorn’s Key

There is something about a nice sunny Sunday afternoon that just demands sitting out and enjoying a good book. The last few lovely weekends have been spent reading and enjoying Mannethorn’s Key by Simon Lindley

ManneBlurb: Slumped over the toilet bowl in his slum apartment, Bart’s high-rolling lifestyle isn’t exactly coming up roses. Alcohol, affairs, and a skill exploited for short-term gain have rewarded him with divorce, bankruptcy, and unemployment.

A world away, a wizard-apprentice confronts a foe as threatening as the once-dominant age of Dragon’s Rule. But to triumph, he will need Bart – a washed-up derivatives broker – plucked from a last-ditch job interview and thrust into a testing ground, where a knight with a penchant for lopping off heads will either groom him for the world beyond or murder him in the process.

Exiled dragon-lords, grass-eating giants, impetuous warriors, troll assassins, ribald dwarfs, evil men, and vengeful women seek to save themselves from a flawed world of failing magic. With hungover Bart at its epicenter, what can possibly go wrong?

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykKjOoLmqOE

Rating:  6/5 (I know that’s not really allowed but some books just deserve the extra point!)

My thoughts: Bart’s life is a mess, unemployed and living in a run down apartment the only relationship he has is with the bottle – not exactly what a hero is made of. A hero is exactly what he needs to become if he’s going to help battle the evil growing in another world.

It took me a couple of chapters to properly settle into this book. I think with fantasy novels set in other worlds you need a bit of time to get to grips with who (or what) the characters are but as I read further I became completely immersed in this fantastical world. There are several story lines running, all of which slowly begin to entwine each one adding to the others.

The characters are a varied bunch, human like and not, good and evil or often a little bit of both, and Bart is our touchstone. The “normal” man trying to understand exactly what is going on while hoping he can find his way back home.

If you’re a fan of fantasy then you will love this book. If you’re not a fan of fantasy just try it anyway, you might well become a fan!

The only thing about this book that was disappointing was getting to the end and realising the next instalment is not yet out!

*Sits waiting patiently for part two*

Book Review – Kai by Michelle Abbott

It is once again time for me to share with you a review of my latest read – and this time it’s “Kai” by Michelle Abbott

KaiBlurbMy name is Kai Okamoto. I deal drugs. Trade escapism for cold, hard cash.
Born to a British mother and a Japanese father, I grew up poor, hungry, and alone. Hiding from the monsters at our door. The debt collectors.

I’ve worked hard to escape my past. I’m not that frightened little boy anymore. I’m wealthy, secure, and sure of myself. At least I was, until I met Lily.

Lily is a good girl. The kind of girl I should stay away from. I should, but I can’t.

I hate lying to her, but if she finds out who I am, what I do. I won’t see her for dust.

A standalone, bad boy romance, set in England.

Rating:  4/5

My thoughts:  Lily is a nice “ordinary” girl. When she gets her bag snatched, taking the last of her money, she thinks life has hit rock bottom. Then she meets Kai, the handsome, mysterious stranger who returns her bag and quickly charms her. Instead of a stolen handbag Lily quickly becomes the victim of a stolen heart.

Kai seems to be the perfect man, handsome, charming, kind and generous. Unfortunately he has a secret that could tear their relationship apart.

I enjoyed how this story unfolded, the narrative alternating between the two characters view points so we had a full picture, even if they didn’t.  It was well written and an easy read which kept me turning the pages to see how things would unfold with realistic relatable characters.  Well worth a read!