Deception and secrets again: small towns interbreed

Letting You Go

by

Anouska Knight

A Review for Netgalley.

This book is set in a fictional town in the far north of Scotland where the Vikings once settled – or did they? Are the people really related to Vikings? Or not? And just who was their ancestor? And just where did family lines cross? Perhaps not where you thought they did.

In fact, there have been genetic tests of people living in the far Scottish north that show just who was descended from a Viking and you have to remember that many of the far islands were actually owned by the Danes until late in Scottish history.

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/vikingorkney/ says that in the 13th century Orkney was actually run as a Norwegian earldom using Norwegian language and following a Norse way of life. This had begun before the 9th century and was well established as the Vikings raided further south. The evidence for Viking heritage has been established by DNA testing in 2000/2001 demonstrating that the Orkney inhabitants were very similar genetically with modern Norway despite having inter-married with local women. Indeed 60% of the Northern Isles male population showed Viking ancestry.

And is this interest in ancestry that forms a central pillar of the book.

Who was related to whom? Who had fathered whom?  Who belonged in which family?

And who fathered whom was part of a small town secret that festered as they so often do. gossip and secrets corrode relationships. Secrets are guessed and gossip distorts and lives are impacted to their detriment.

The story centres around a local Viking festival loosely based on the ‘Up Helly Aa’ festival of Lerwick in Shetland which takes place in January. It began in the 1880s to celebrate the end of the festival period and has Guizer Jarl and his Norsemen marching through the town. The author then adds in a Viking boat race similar to the one on the Isle of Man except with home-made boats instead of longboats. vikings (2)

 

 

 

 

 

I found this to be a straight forward read with a clear and easy writing style. I would have given it four stars except I got very irritated with the heroine for being such a wimp and thought the author could have given her a stronger character so that we actually empathised with her situation rather than saying ‘Oh get over yourself’ to her!

 

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Nuns, Ghost, and Ghoulies all mixed up

Second to Nun

by

Alice Loweecey

Net Galley Review.

To be published September 2015.

Well what’s not to like about this story?

Lots of fun in a B&B with ghosts, ghoulies, psychics, Tarot and supernatural happenings. Or are they?ghost

Buried treasure too from a highwayman ancestor livens up the mix of reasons why the guests – or relatives – might just want to a: get their hands on the Guest House; or b: kill off /scare off the owner.

The reasons range from practical – easier to go with an already operating B&B than start afresh, being broke – and that was lots of people – needing publicity – a boost to a career through YouTube and so it goes on.  Nearly everyone had a motive or could have had a motive.

The ex-Nun sets out to investigate with her policeman husband meanwhile staying as faux guests.

Now if it was me, the last B&B I would want to stay at was this one, even when there were no mysterious goings-on. It was set next to the world’s noisiest beach – very crowded and with a lake full of speedboats and those noisy machines that adrenalin fuelled men like to race up and down in.

And then there were the breakfasts. They were pre-set. You came down and all ate together at the same time. You all ate the same thing as pre-determined by the owner. No deviations.  And honestly, nothing really seemed that appealing. We Brits are used to B&Bs where you can come done (within a 2 hour period usually) as you choose; and then you are offered a menu of hot choices but with a cold buffet for cereals etc as well.  And this is what we like! Everything very easy and no forced entertainment but you are left to do your own thing. Shows the differences in culture again between American B&Bs and British ones.

This is a fun story with lots of mysteries and if you guessed the ending well you did better than me. I had however guessed who Lucy was but not her background which turned out to be crucial in the plot.

 

 

 

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Blood and puns: Poetry Master and Fantasy

blood master banner 2015Blood Master

Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series

By Kirsten Campbell

Genre: Urban Paranormal Fantasy

Blood Master Link on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nzFYet

2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.

Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. While on a raid he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.

Fact is the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.

Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

Author Info

Kirsten Campbell is the author of several short stories and poems that have been published in Bewildering Stories, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Online, Ascent Magazine, The Fairfield Review, Poets-Artists & Madmen, Interracial Voice, Beauty Talk, The CoffeehousePress Journal, The Write Gallery, Sagazine Online, COBRA, and several other magazines. Author Kirsten Campbell 2015 pic

Her novel, Blood Master – Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series is an Urban Paranormal Fantasy novel that is currently available on Amazon.com in Adult and Young Adult version. Blood Master hit the Amazon Top 100 List. The second book of The G.O.D.s Series, Blood Rage, will be out by the end of this year. She is also the author of Darkness Calls, a book of Paranormal Short Stories. Her websites are www.kcampbell-gods.com, which is the site for all things Blood Master, and her Author’s Website, www.kirstencampbellbooks.com.

She has two chapbooks that were published; one by Ladybug Press (Poetry from the Covert Bourgeoisie), and the other by Puddinghouse Publications (The Abandoning Kind). She is also the author of Perfect Chaos, a book of poetry that is currently on Amazon.

Links:

Website: http://www.kcampbell-gods.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GODsSeries

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Denbots rock

A Netgalley Review

Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

By

Becky Chambers

Denbots rock… I bet you never need to go to the dentist – no toothaches, no fillings, no abscesses.. just white shiny teeth – and you wouldn’t have to ‘bribe’ kids to clean their teeth with toothbrushes that flash coloured lights or the little timers I’ve just bought my grand-children.

I found this to be a really imaginative piece of  sci-fi with some great Aliens. Not just their names but also time was spent imaging on what they looked like, what their different characters might be, their attitudes, cultures and food.

I especially liked the not-lizard Sissix  (Aandrisk) with her complicated  sex and family life; Dr Chef (Grum) who combined cooking with medicine using food as medication from sweetness for comfort to herbal concoctions for hang-overs, sadness and general health. The Grum have different sexes at different times of their life too and he was currently male having passed through his female and motherhood period.

Then there was the  AI Lovey – in joke here – named after Ada Lovelace – geeks would be aware of course of her.ada

Ada was a Mathematician, and considered to be the first Computer Programmer living 1815–1852. Yes, a woman wrote the first computer program! She was the daughter of Lord Byron of infamy, and her father was actually married to her mother and so she was legitimate. And very well educated. She was taught the sciences in order, according to her mother, to prevent her becoming like her father… She became a friend of Charles Babbage (Difference Engine as seen in the Science Museum) and her work on the programming of this machine was actually published in 1843 but she ‘cheated’ but only giving her initials and thus the journal was unaware she was female.320px-Babbage_Difference_Engine

 

 

 

 

 

Babbage’s Difference Engine [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine#/media/File:Babbage_Difference_Engine.jpg] was a calculator but one that was never ever finished (until built by the Science Museum) because Babbage had thought of a better engine yet – the Analytical Engine, which could be considered a general purpose computer. This Engine was to use punch cards as per the weaving Jacquard loom. And could undertake 3 different types of actions. It was a brilliant concept and the first ‘real’ computers actually used punch cards as I well remember from university days – does this date me? Probably but I was taught programming using these cards and I had a summer job translating accounts onto punch cards too…

Back to the book. The Geeks who were of course the Techies and their craziness is well known to those of us who have worked in computing – geeks tend to be very individualistic and dressed with little regard to fashion, weather or even cleanliness – to see them in a suit is a rare bird indeed.

The Aeluons were lovely too and the idea of not having voice boxes is a natural extension of sign language and skin adaptations and their rainbow colouring was universally acknowledged as being beautiful.

I thought the Gaian cult too was interesting that all the souls were tied to Earth and that they had become survivalists as I am not sure that is what Gaia is really about – Gaia after all is the planet itself and all that it is – a living system which I guess is where the souls being tied comes in, but Gaia is really a self-regulating system – which could include the death of all humans if it means the life of the planet.

I compared this to the enhanced humanity cult where they bred children in gestation chambers based on what they anticipated the adult requirement for them would be in terms of traits ad capabilities. Such a cold idea.. but then we have seen the idea of breeding for genetic traits coming up time and again in our human history and even now, we hear about people using artificial insemination so that they ensure  the right sex of the child.

And the one thing I really want to take away from this book are the Denbots. They rock!

 

5 stars for originality and good style, I wanted to find out how it all ended and just kept on reading…

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All one colour? Black or White?

 

monochrome banner (2)

About the Book:

What would you do to save your most precious memories?

That’s the question that Abigail Bennet, a new mother, must answer in this dark fantasy.

The cries of her new baby throw Abigail into rage and desperation. Frightened by foreign anger and overwhelming depression, the first-time mother decides to end her life to spare the life of her only child. But before she acts on her dark intuition, she is overcome by a panic attack and black outs.

When she awakes, everything is blue: the trees, the grass, the rocks and still, scentless sky above her. Everything except the face of the man who stands over her. He is Ishmael Dubois and claims to be her Guide through the dangerous world of Monochrome, a physical manifestation of the depressed mind. But in a place where good memories are currency, nightmares walk, and hopeless people are hired to bring down those who still have the will to live, Abigail starts to wonder if she’ll ever make it back to her family. Despite her growing feelings for her handsome, mysterious Guide, Abigail must fight for the life she once wished to take or fade into the blue.

Author: HM Jones

This is her debut novel.

Works at Author/Mother/Teacher
Attended University of Missouri, Saint Louis
Lives in Kingston, WA

http://www.hmjones.net/

https://www.facebook.com/hmjoneswrites

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HMJones

https://twitter.com/@HMJonesWrites

monochrome

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