My Review of The Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan

The Ruby BroochThe Ruby Brooch by Katherine Lowry Logan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautifully crafted romance across time

It is rare for a story to capture my attention so quickly, but this proved to be the perfect holiday read. Kit, a modern young paramedic, horse owner/racer and heiress to a fortune, is feisty, lovely, humble, and wonderfully stubborn. She has recently lost her parents and has discovered a Celtic brooch that can take her back in time on a quest to discover her true parentage. There she meets the devastatingly attractive Cullen, guide to an Oregon wagon trail, lawyer, and a well-off gentleman who knows his own mind. Naturally, sparks fly.

This story is one of those family saga romances that spans generations, but in a unique time travelling way. Twenty-first century clashes with 1852 Western-style. Feisty, modern heroine causes big trouble for handsome, virile hero, who cannot help but fall in love. Misunderstanding, circumstance, and cultural differences are bound to stand between them and true love. Everything a good romance needs. Even better, it is beautifully and intelligently written, the characters are well-drawn, and with the developing romance intricately woven into a family mystery, I could not tear myself away. I loved every second of this read.

Time-traveling romance just added itself to genres I want to read. Best of all, I see there are more brooches to enjoy!

View all my reviews

2 reviews of Nick Sansbury Smith’s books from The Tisaian Chronicles

The Biomass Revolution (The Tisaian Chronicles #1)The Biomass Revolution by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A thought-provoking and prophetic insight into Earth’s future

The BioMass Revolution is a fascinating, sombre, and ultimately inspiring story of man’s fight for survival post nuclear war, set at a time when a semblance of civilisation has re-emerged from the ashes.

It took me a while to sink into this story due to the extended collection of viewpoints that include two main characters who thread through to the end. Give it time. The numerous characters present an overview of the different factions in a war between revolutionaries and the now dominant State that controls the energy source, Biomass. These layers are needed to give the reader an awareness of the different factions manoeuvring together for the uplifting climax and convey the ever present threat of death. There are a couple of twists: one relationship twist that I suspected, and one relationship, right at the end that I did not, but with no foreshadowing that I could find looking back.

The story’s strength lies in its understated horror of the aftermath that follows nuclear war. The author ably shows how human ideology can easily diverge depending on personal interests. If you are top of the chain in a state that has carved a reasonable standard of living, self-interest easily translates into protecting your followers—electorate/citizens—within a thinly-veiled dictatorship. Anyone outside the inner circle of power is redefined as the enemy. Compassion and human kindness to fellow man is forgotten. This is man at his cruellest. The hope in this story is that when poverty and destitution and suffering eventually do seize the opportunity for revolution, there are still those living the good life who will rise up and defend the unfortunate against the unacceptable.

Even though it was disconcerting to have so many characters introduced then go, as the story progressed, I appreciated the numerous layers being laid one upon the other as the culmination of a revolution approached.

Overall, this book is a frightening insight into what lies in store for mankind if we continue to raid Earth’s resources and allow corporations (that exist today) to control access to our basic needs for survival. I can highly recommend this book.

(On Amazon.co.uk as a verified purchase.)

Squad 19 - Prequel Volume 1 (The Tisaian Chronicles)Squad 19 – Prequel Volume 1 by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(This is a review of a collection Squad 19 and A Royal Knight – Prequels Volume 1 & 2 (The Tisaian Chronicles), which I got from Amazon.co.uk as a verified purchase. You have here my combined review for both!)

A thoughtfully crafted glimpse into the motives of two men on opposite sides of a war

I so enjoyed these two short tales in this precursor to The BioMass Revolution, a book I read and reviewed first. The stories delve into the lives of two warriors from opposing sides of a war and both are very satisfying reads, opening up new dimensions to two characters in the main story to follow.

This first story, Squad 19, neatly uses the origin of a necklace to both introduce the revolutionary leader of Squad 19 and what he stands for. Obi Hepe is experienced, tough, cares for those under his protection, and is utterly committed to his cause. His story neatly foreshadows a twist in The BioMass Revolution, and although I still feel it should have been foreshadowed at the time, it nicely satisfied my curiosity.

A Royal Knight - Prequel Volume 2 (The Tisaian Chronicles)A Royal Knight – Prequel Volume 2 by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
The second story (see Volume 2), A Royal Knight, introduces Captain McNeil, charged by the State to bring down Squad 19. He is experienced, tough, cares for those under his protection, and is utterly committed to his cause.

Herein lies the beauty of the two stories: Two men on opposing sides who are both likeable and principled, both a leader and a hero. Which man is on the side of right is a matter of perception. The reader (at least, I did) will naturally side with the revolutionaries, but seeing Captain McNeil’s version of events, nicely sets the stage for the humane and intelligent outcome in The BioMass Revolution.

Read both books and find out for yourself. I applaud the author for the points made by these two short stories. Five stars.

Review of sci-fi romance: Dreams of the Queen (The Brajj, #1) by Jacqueline Patricks

Dreams of the Queen (The Brajj, #1)Dreams of the Queen by Jacqueline Patricks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well-developed characters and a diabolically evil scheme.

Disclosure: I received this book free. I am providing an honest review.

Dreams of the Queen is a fun science fiction story that neatly mixes in military adventure with some erotic romance and some not-so-erotic, but still graphic, horror.

A group of humans made up of six military and six scientists explore a wormhole and discover that nothing is what it seems on their new world. Certainly nothing like their scientific leader, Cass Baros, had anticipated, except perhaps in her weird dreams.

The story is full of interesting and flawed characters. Unfortunately, I didn’t take to Cass, the main character. She irritated me—her reactions too selfish and irrational at times. I regret to say I found her fate most fitting. Julian, her fiancé, was a character that I thought exceptionally well developed throughout the story. I loved Jaemon (a brajj warrior), and Captain Lewis, the team’s military leader. Every now and again the story jumped between characters in a way that could be confusing. There are some intense scenes, but because Cass didn’t hook my sympathy, I wasn’t too emotionally involved, although I really connected with Captain Lewis’ frequent frustration with his charges.

The plot is great, and the story slowly and steadily unveils an exceptionally diabolical scheme. “Predictable” outcomes do not materialize as expected, and although I did correctly predict the identity of Master, the main villain, the scale of his evil is shocking. Also, there were so many possibilities for his existence, it was a relief to have the why and how of things laid out at the end.

I enjoyed the flowing writing and Ms Patrick’s dialogue is exceptionally natural, stand out good against several books I have recently read. The action scenes were realistic and well-drawn; my only criticism being that the level of detail was such that what must have been seconds of time seemed a lot longer. Also, I’m not a fan of events retold from another point of view and I had to stop myself skimming these parts (only a couple) as the author did have a purpose to them.

Overall, I highly recommend this book and I’m very interested to see where this series leads next. I notice there is a book focused on Captain Lewis. Excellent!

ANNOUNCING RELEASE OF ROGUE GENESIS

Shimmer In The Dark: Rogue Genesis is published at last!

Rogue Genesis Final Cover

Huge (HUGE) thanks to my betas for all their help and advice! Debby in particular has been supporting me on this project for eighteen months! Thanks also go to my brother for the wonderful cover art and my sister-in-law for patiently helping out with the typography!

Find out more about my book on this website and read samples on Amazon and Smashwords.

PROMOTIONAL LAUNCH PRICE $2.99 for FOUR WEEKS.
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/QdpGDV
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/VgWC9
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/335025

COVER REVEAL: ROGUE GENESIS (SHIMMER IN THE DARK #1)

At last! I have my final cover for Rogue Genesis. Huge thanks to my brother for the art work and my sister-in-law for patiently helping me out with the typography. I love the result! Looking forward to publishing very soon. Watch this space. Check out my story here.
Rogue Genesis Final Cover

Show, Don’t Tell is a Metaphor? Phew!

Over ten odd years of writing, I have been told ‘Show, Don’t Tell’. The latest term I’ve heard it called is Deep POV. I looked it up and, yes, when I show, it tends to be Deep POV. Okay, not all the time. I try to, but my writing is not drowning in Deep POV. There are other considerations. The information I need to convey; the hints I want to give readers, details not necessarily forefront in my character’s POV. I pick and choose what I show, show (Deep POV), and what I tell. Sometimes I forget to pick and choose. Transforming errant Tells into Shows can be immensely satisfying, but are all Tells insidious, nasty bugs that need to be ‘beta-ed’ into oblivion?

Researching Deep POV versus narration, I chanced upon a gem of sage advice that will keep me sane. I need to seek out more of Bill Bowler’s advice, but this post/article in Bewildering Stories is a very helpful description of narration and POV that puts Show, Don’t Tell in context. I think the crux of the matter is: use Show to engage the reader, don’t let the Tell drive the reader away.

I agree that Deep POV can only help the Show, but I’m not chewing my nails over it.

I wanted to share. Hope these links prove useful to you.

Ceri London writes a blend of high-powered science fiction and thriller filled with charismatic but believable characters that show the human psyche at its best and worst. Read Ceri's blog and discover her inspiration here.

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