Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blogging About Books Over Christmas (The 12 Book Days of Christmas)

I've mentioned this idea a little before but it's steadily evolving, here are my latest thoughts.

The twelve book days of Christmas. Boxing Day (26/12), to January 6th, a time of playing with all your Christmas presents, and eating multiple combinations of turkey meals. This year on the blog I want to do something a little different. A post a day about books, and book related stuff, if it's popular enough I'll do the whole month of December.

I want to cover my top reads of 2011, others have already suggested titles for posts. If you'd like to suggest something for me to write about, or if you're a writer and would like to come and do a guest post, promote your latest book, run a giveaway, dress up as Father Christmas (only joking) or if you've got your own idea then let me know. Email me with your thoughts/ideas: tontowilliams[at]gmail[dot]com, tweet me @tontowilliams or leave me a message in the comments.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: An Angel With Fur by Russell Blake


An Angel With Fur is no ordinary doggy tale, and it's star ’Lobo’, is no ordinary dog.

Russell Blake narrates the story of how he came to own Lobo and some of the adventures that they had together. Starting from when Russell went ’just to have a look around’ the animal shelter. This true story unfolds and shows the development of the relationship between Lobo and Russell and some of their other canine companions.

I'm sure that many dog owners will recognise aspects of their relationships with their own dogs in this story, and see how incredible the relationship between Russell and Lobo becomes.

This short book packs much within it's pages, and as the story unfolds and the chapters pass, the very engaging prose, bring smiles, tears and laugh-out loud moments by turn.  The book is well illustrated with the authors own photographs, and there are links to the authors website where there is a dedicated “Lobo” page, with more photographs and video links.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I read many a ’dog’ book, and I rate this amongst the best of them. Russell Blake is a master storyteller, and Lobo the perfect dog tale to tell.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5 - I loved it!

About Russell Blake:


Russell is the acclaimed author of Fatal Exchange, a groundbreaking genre-blending thriller set against the counter-culture backdrop of New York’s gritty underground, The Geronimo Breach, an action/intrigue/thriller set in Panama, and the Zero Sum trilogy of Wall Street thrillers – Kotov Syndrome, Focal Point and Checkmate.

His first satirical non-fiction work, How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated) was released mid-July, 2011.

An Angel With Fur, his second non-fiction book chronicling the saga of Lobo the miracle dog, released October, 2011.

“Captain” Russell, 52, lives on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where he spends his time writing, fishing, collecting & drinking tequila, and playing with his dogs. He is currently hard at work on a magnum opus of indeterminate plot, topic or genre, tentatively titled The Messiah Cipher; The Delphi Chronicle, an international conspiracy intrigue/thriller based on the true story of U.S. sanctioned hit squads in Central America in the 1980s; a satire/parody about the battle of the sexes; and a panoramic, epic screenplay about…cartoon ninja beavers for whom this time it’s personal, tentatively titled Beaver Team Bravo.

Often referred to as “The Writer’s Writer’s Writer’s Writer,” Russell is also a self-declared guru on everything related to writing, self-publishing and self-promotion.

Russell is a proud member of RABMAD – Read A Book, Make A difference.

Russell Blake's Website

Lobo Pages

Buy An Angel With Fur

Follow Russell on twitter


Review Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of An Angel With Fur from the author for this review.  I have received no other endorsement or payment for the review.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Review: Moonlight Rises by Vincent Zandri


Book Details:

Genre: Adult Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: StoneGate Ink

Publication Date: August 13,2011


Life sucks. Then you die. Or, if you're Dick Moonlight, first you die and then you live. Dick Moonlight is dead. Really dead this time, now that three President Obama-masked thugs dressed all in black and communicating only with hand-held voice synthesizers pressed up against their voice boxes have beat the life right out of him inside a dark, downtown Albany alley. What are the thugs after? A box. Size, weight, description unknown. They also want him to stay away from his newest and only client: a handicapped nuclear engineer of dubious Russian heritage by the same of Peter Czech.  But then, now that they’ve killed him, Moonlight’s problems seem to be over. In fact, as he undergoes an out of body experience, his soul floating above his train-wreck of a corpse inside the Albany Medical Center I.C.U., he feels pretty damned good. Great in fact. To make death all the more sweeter, his one true love, Lola, is standing by his bedside. With her long dark hair draping her chiseled face and big round Jackie O sunglasses hiding tear-filled eyes, she appears every bit the grieving sig other. Nothing could make the dead-and-gone Moonlight prouder. 

But then something happens. Something bad. A man enters into the I.C.U. Some young guy. He takes hold of Lola’s hand, and pulls her into him. Together, the two share a loving embrace over Moonlight’s dead body. Now, what seemed like a peaceful death is anything but. Moonlight wants back inside his body so he can face-off Some Young Guy and find out if his true love has in fact been cheating on him. At the same time, he wants to find out the true identity of those thugs who killed him so he can exact his revenge. No doubt about it, Moonlight needs to live if he's going to uncover some pretty painful answers and take care of business.Like a little kid dropping down a playground slide, Moonlight slides right back inside his bruised and broken body. Opening his eyes the white light blinds him. He feels the pain of his wounds and the pain of his breaking heart. Life sucks, then you die. But Moonlight rises.

My Review:

Peter Czech has hired Dick Moonlight to find his father, unfortunately three Obama masked thugs have other ideas and now Moonlight is dead.

This is another awesome read from Vincent Zandri.  The pace is relentless, from the first page to the last, the story reveals it’s tale of death, life, espionage, and families lost.

The story is both hard nosed and at times very funny, with some hilarious moments as Dick Moonlight investigates his latest case.

The characters, in particular Dick Moonlight are both believable and well developed, as you read you become more and more engaged with them and want to know what is going to happen to them next, and the stories pace doesn’t keep you waiting long. 

The story is both believable and also at times will leave you with your jaw open in astonishment, as another turn in the story has you wondering what will be happening next.

This non-stop rollercoaster could very easily be read in one sitting, and this maybe the best way to approach this book, especially if you have other things you want to do, because the desire to find out what happens next will keep you reading and away from what you are probably supposed to be doing.  The good news though is that Dick Moonlight is a series character, so once you’ve finished this one there are plenty more where it came from!

If you’re a fan of crime fiction then I commend Moonlight Rises and it's author Vincent Zandri to you, he may not be a name your familiar with but he should be!

Review Disclaimer:  I received a free kindle version of Concrete Pearl to review as a part of Vincent Zandri’s virtual book tour.  I have previously read his novels, and so am familiar with his work, but I have received no other endorsement for this review.

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling Amazon Kindle author of THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT FALLS, CONCRETE PEARL and the forthcoming MOONLIGHT RISES. He is also the author of the bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL and MOONLIGHT MAFIA. Harlan Coben has described his novels as "...gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting," while the New York Post called THE INNOCENT, "Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant!" In March, April and May of 2011, he sold more than 100,000 Kindle E-Books editions of his novels, and is rapidly closing in on the 200K mark all totaled. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri's work is translated into many languages including the Dutch, Russian and Japanese. An adventurer, foreign correspondent, and freelance photo-journalist for RT, Globalspec, IBTimes and more, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.

Connect With Vincent:





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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Book Review: Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, Vol. II by Edward A. Grainger

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, Vol. IIAdventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, Vol. II by Edward A. Grainger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second volume of stories from Edward A. Grainger a.k.a David Cranmer, and although I gave Vol I five stars too, this second volume has the edge over it's predecessor in my opinion.

Vol II contains seven new stories including the novella “Origins of White Deer”, which is Cash Laramie's back story and a sensational ending story in “Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye”, which leaves a world of possibilities for a third volume.

Each story is well written, and really conveys what I imagine the old west to have been like.  Life was hard, and justice swift, if you lived by the gun you could expect to die the same way.

Each story is an original but they all sit well together as a collection, seeing Laramie & Miles tracking down criminals and seeing justice done.

Bought up on doses of John Wayne and others, I seem to have neglected the western genre when it comes to my reading material.  The adventures of Laramie and Miles however leave me wanting more, if I had to criticise, it would only be to say the book is too short. 

That said both Vol I & Vol II are available on Amazon for 86p ($0.99) each, and I would recommend anyone to go and check them out, whether you consider you like westerns or not as they are both great, great reads.

Highly recommended!

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Book Review: The Savage Altar by Åsa Larsson

The Savage Altar (Rebecka Martinsson, #1)The Savage Altar by Åsa Larsson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The cover proclaims the author as the next Steig Larsson, but I have to differ. There are some not insignificant problems with the translation, I suspect because it was first translated into American English.

The story is light and disappointing in it's prose, plodding from page to page.

A failure of the 50 page test.

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