Tuesday, 27 May 2014

London Comic-Con Saturday 2014 May

#448 ~ On Fallen Wings

On Fallen WingsOn Fallen Wings by Jamie McHenry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Featured as a pick of the day back in May 2013 or so,
and whilst the synopsis seemed promising, the actual book turned out to be deadly, deadly dull.

It was nearly abandoned as DNF many times, and it was only due to a woman-ful effort that I managed to drag myself through it ... so it's a yawning 2 stars from me.

Although dull, there weren't too many 'bad or ugly bits'; you can see the full Blog Post #448.

Product Details

It's available HERE, and whilst I got a free Kindle copy at the time, it's now listed at £3.08.

Indie Writer (Self-published)
332 pages
Fiction, Fantasy, Magic & Mystery

The Good ... the bad ... the ugly

As far as the good is concerned, I liked page 104 '...and stuck to my memory like honey.' - very nice phrasing.

For the bad I'm afraid it's the same old missing conjunctions, spattered like seagull's droppings on the promenade.  I'll also mention the 'visit with you' phrasing, which I find jarring.

Where would this section be without 'gonna' or 'gotten' being mentioned.  Thankfully, only once this time.

The ugly section:

Page 16:  'I reached towards might best friend and embraced her tight.' - tightly.

Page 25:  '... grabbed Sean and kissed him right.' - not an attractive word to use, I would have gone for well.

Page 26: 'Sean held me firm ...' - firmly.

Page 30:  'Sean flopped to the ground next me and smiled.' - next to me.

Page 53:  'The morning passed in rapid pace ...' - rapidly.

Page 55: '... poked his head around the wall corner.' - wall or corner not both.

Page 57:  '...Sean, looking at me with sympathy and honest eyes.' - Sean's honest eyes looking at me with sympathy.

Page 96: 'I've never seen snow before the celebration before.' - never a good idea to use the same word in such close proximity.

Page 120:  '... to Leila and me, ...' - and I.

Page 132:  'Taking the weight off my feet allowed a savory sensation ...' - apart from the word being incorrectly spelt (unless you're North American) not sure about in this context.

Page 144: 'Maeia composed herself perfectly ...' - comported herself perfectly.

Page 160:  '... and corralled her toward my home.' - strictly speaking it's correct, but I just dislike the word, and it should be towards.

Page 182:  '... a couple deep cuts had exposed his flesh ...' - couple of.

Page 205: 'Madeline kept a tidy home and her influence was addicting.' - comma missing, and addictive.

Page 242:  '... could get the best of me ...' - better of me.



Sunday, 18 May 2014

#447 ~ The Best Boyfriend Theory

The Best Friend, Boyfriend TheoryThe Best Friend, Boyfriend Theory by Laura Lawrence

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I featured this as a DSOA pick over a year ago now on my Blog, when it was available as a free Kindle download.

The actual plot idea was if not star tingling, then fairly okay. However, the overall rating was adversely affected by the fact that this book had poor punctuation, grammar and language though out. In fact, I would go so far as to say that even my 16 year old Dyslexic daughter would not have made some of the grammatical errors.

Therefore, what should have been a pleasant, if undemanding reading, was a struggle to finish.

My advice to the author would be, if you can't manage the grammar, punctuation, etc. then find an editor to do the job for you. Then hie off to an Adult Education course and take an English course; it would cover the mistakes you have made, and improve your writing no end.

There is no doubt that the author can tell a reasonable story, but there is no doubt in my mind that it is just telling, not showing a reader.

On little highlight to note was that I did spot a comma spice, whether it was there by accident, or design, is difficult to tell though.

Product Details

It's available HERE, although not free anymore.  The Kindle file is currently listed at £2.02.

241 pages
Indie Writer (Self-published)
Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

The Good ... the Bad .... and the Ugly

Let's compare it to a boxing match today.

In the good corner, a nicely applied comma splice.

The ugly was left hanging around holding a water bottle and forgetting to add punctuation throughout.

The heavy-weight of the competition was the bad element; with many, many punctuation and grammatical and tense shift errors - too many to mention all of them.

Additionally, I feel a big shout out should be included for the many missing grammatical coordinates (or particles) for items such as 'come find' 'to go pee' etc. 

Here's some (not all) of the errors:

Loc 361:  'after' repeated in close proximity.

Loc 383:  'weeks' repeated in close proximity.

Loc 553:  'Well I am not going to let him do this to me this time, time to ignore it and act normal.' - I rest my case really with this example!

Loc 581:  'I don't want you moving out and hating me, or moving out and never seeing me again because .... really do love you.' - an ellipse is three dots ... and I think it should be I really do love you.

Loc 680: ' ,,, lifts his god arm up inviting me to come lie my head on his chest.' - good arm; come and lie ...

Loc 721: 'I try to keep my eyes off his tight squeezable ass as I negotiate the water temperature for him.' - a tight squeezable donkey? Probably this should be arse, and I would query the use of 'negotiate' and suggest regulate as a better choice.

Loc 881:  '... and the people I work with our fantastic.' - are?

Loc 905: '... a miniscule red dress with no back and barley covering her bum.' - incorrect spellings, it's minuscule, and barely.

Loc 917:  '... to get to the kitchen but I ensure I letting.' - ?

Loc 1493: '... that's just the excess products in it from lay next to me with his sweaty palm resting firmly on my breast,' - laying.

Loc 1551: 'I unlock the door and let it do, you really think she's ok!' - I've not idea how that portion of the sentence should be constructed, but would guess on let it go, and do you ... the author needs to repair it.

Loc 1595: '... it's Adams ...' - it's Adam's ...

Loc 1596: '... but we need to go to the chemist on lunch.' - at lunch.

Loc 1621: '... I notice to look of terror on Jess's young face ...' - the look.

Loc 1743: 'By the end of my of the story James has come across as a ...' - ?

Loc 1765: '... but I've not spoke to him in so long ...' - spoken.

Loc 1787: 'I have barley spoke to James or even thought about him in weeks ...' - correct to barely and spoken.

Loc 1787: 'A single tear escapes staining my cheek as it slides down my face.' - a lovely example of the need for punctuation.  It is in fact quite a nice sentence, but loses impact.  As it escapes, a single tear stains my cheek, and slides down my face.

Loc 1850:  'Unfortunately whist I was given ...' - whilst.

Loc 1885: '...as I pull into Mums Street.' - Mum's street.  There were many examples of 'mums' missing apostrophe going forward.

Loc 1902:  'I can assure you that's not just me being biased because she is my mum and Phoebe is a marriage wrecking, dad-stealing whore.  Honest.' - a stunning example of punctuation, or lack of it, turned ugly.

Loc 2023: (wins the prize for funniest mistake) 'my own mellow drama ...' - melodrama.

Loc 2099: 'He took this opportunity to tell that Julia thought I was in love with him ...' - to tell me.

Loc 2397: '... I hold him it was pancakes ...' - told him.

Loc 2485: '... make a pack we do it as quickly as possible ...' - make a pact.

Loc 2521: '... chest of draws ...' - drawers.

Loc 2913: 'I know he is furious at me ...' - with me.

Loc 3147: '... add it to the pile of letters I have wrote him over the years ...' - written to him.

Loc 3225: '... where I am sat on the sofa.' - sitting.

Loc 3233: 'Suddenly he is on top of me he tongue hungrily searching for mine, such passion.' - should have been a comma splice instead of a comma.

Loc 3340: '... sex of the baby, providing it is, lay in the right position.' - providing it is laying in the right position.

Loc 3389: '... lay' - again, laying.

Loc 3873:  '... he hasn't t been ...' - an extra letter.

Loc 3972:  '... so they get on quite happy with each other's company ...' - happily in each.

Loc 4029:  '... blue cheque long sleeve shirt ...' - check.

Loc 4063: 'lay' - laying.

Loc 4133: '... and they seem just as content together now as they did we were young.' - when we were young.

Loc 4536:  'They say a parent is only has happy as their saddest child ...' - as.

Loc 4741:  'Felicities birth quizzed by ...' - Felicity's.  An error repeated numerous times.

Loc 4766: 'Luckily Rachel said if I decide not to come back to work I will not months so I don't have to pay back any of my maternity pay which is fantastic.' - Apart from the lack of punctuation, what the heck is going on with the sentence?

Loc 4801: 'My mum's been sending us food packaged with fresh things, tins and also her yummy handmade meals for us to freeze and eat when we want, which ...' - Another stunning lack of punctuation.  I would question the use of packaged, and feel it should have been packages.

Loc 4875:  'Their lawyer said she was the calmest scorn wife she had ever met.' - scorned.

Loc 4960:  '(Who is still in her car seat you understand not just lied on the floor.)' - Firstly, I am not sure it's really grammatically correct to have a sentence in brackets, but would be happy to stand corrected.  To my mind a comma splice might have been appropriate.  Secondly, it should be laying.

Loc 4967:  '... who knows she may be scared for life.' - for her life.

Loc 5011: '... Andrews.' - Andrew's.

Loc 5056: '... as I see her full outfit lay out on the bed.' - laying.

Finally, the end of a rather long list.

Happy reading all.



Monday, 12 May 2014

#446 ~ The Reflections of Queen Snow White

The Reflections of Queen Snow WhiteThe Reflections of Queen Snow White by David C. Meredith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

David Meredith, the author, very kindly sent me a copy of his book to review; he had been reading my Blog.

Firstly, I love, love, love the colour, and this is definitely worth using it to judge the cover.

I don't want to give too much away, but it's based on the Snow White fairy story, and gives us a glimpse into her life after she obtained her 'happy ever after'. Was it that though? Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.

What I will tell you is, that the writing was of a high calibre, which is not particularly surprising as David has a Masters Degree. It was an original idea, and very well educated. In short, just how a novel should be presented. I like his voice, and would eagerly read anything else he has to offer. David is certainly one to watch.

Product Details

I was sent a copy to review by David, but would have happily have paid hard earned cash for this one.  You can pick up a copy HERE.

Keep up to date with David's literary life HERE.  A bargain a £1.27 for the Kindle page, although admittedly it's not that long at about 155 pages.

Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery Magic, Fairy Tale
Indie Writer (Self-published)

The Good, the bad and the ugly (if any)

There wasn't too much to comment on here.  As mentioned above, the standard of writing was exceptionally high, with nice use of linguistic devices.  In particular the use of anaphora at Location 77.

A highlight at Location 95 was 'blithesome decorations bursting like wild spring blossoms', that was just lovely phrasing.  Alliteration was also nicely displayed, and I really liked 'disrespectfully dubious' at Location 136.

I was little disappointed though that there was a missing conjunction and  'gotten' made an appearance.  Yes, I am aware that it's common in the Americas', but it just frustrates the living heck out of my.  I had thought with David holding a Master of Arts, I would be 'gotten' free.

A bug bear, but essential only that (not an error really) was the use of 'coral' a couple of times.  Paddock would have had a much more authentic feel to it.  'Coral' just conjures up images of the wild west and cowboys.

Loc 694:  Breathing heavily, she drug the whimpering princess - she dragged.

Loc 965:  The void stretch away from her in every direction - stretched.

Loc 977:  It fell abruptly still as if cut off with a switch ... - this really bothered me as really the switch is a modern concept in this form.

Loc 1303:  ... but her heart was beating at frightful pace - at a frightful pace.

Loc 1614:  Gone were her thick socks .... - another anomaly, to my mind socks are another modern concept, and stockings would have been a better fit.

Loc 1787:  .... lungs she was drug from her chair - dragged from her chair.

Happy reading



Friday, 9 May 2014

#445 ~ Ripper: A Love Story

Ripper: A Love StoryRipper: A Love Story by Lance Taubold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, there were some really good elements to this one, but also some shockingly underwhelming too ... the proverbial Curate's egg,

When boiled down, highlights of delightful writing; some really effective linguistic devices. However, it was spoilt in the overall picture by poor research. I will add the errors/bug bears in the fuller Blog post #445 (May 2014).

Such a shame really, as I was willing for it to not make me so damn angry. Yes, I do recognise that it's a work of fiction, but it does still need to have an authoritative voice grounded in some decent research/care.

There is no doubt that the author's ability is hovering in the background, and it's hoped that he can overcome it with the next book.

Product Details

This was a DSOA pick from over a year ago.  It's available HERE for a Kindle download price of £2.02.

290 pages

13Thirty Books; 1 edition (17 April 2013)
Fiction, Historical, Romance, Murder

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I don't like to just focus on negative, so thought I would share one of my favourite passages 'It was the kind of day that she adores as a child.  It was the kind of day that brought memories of games once played, and now, replayed forever in her mind.' - that my friends is an exceptionally lovely.

Another highlight was a paragraph about memories on Page 149.

There were some nice alliterations, and it was a breath of fresh air to see 'whom' used correctly.

My linguistic prize of the week goes to the use of an anaphora:  'It's too scary.  It's too dangerous.  It's too ..." - nicely done.

Now to have a little word about the bad bits, and you need to bear in mind that this features Queen Victoria, and her Grandson, The Duke of Clarence.  In general the tone centred around this piece of the plot was paper-thin.  I can see where the author was coming from, as I believe the Duke of Clarence has been mentioned in Ripper stories.  I suppose that in a way it was a brave angle, but for me didn't work.  Royalty was, and still is to a certain extent, surrounded in such pomp and ceremony;  it would be inconceivable for a Prince to meet, fall in love and marry a commoner in such a fashion.  It was a leap too far.

Page 19:  Grandmum - really, Grandmama.

Page 21: where Queen Victoria refers to her husband 'Philip' - just on it's own that shrieks lack of research, it's Albert.

Page 35:  brown and white pain percherons - skewbald, not paint.

Page 65: a weird bit of formatting 'behind eyes--the' - what's that all about?

Page 83:  I may, or may not have got the wrong end of the stick with this one, but it was implied that the ferry to Ireland left from southern England, but I would be happy to be assured this was only by mis-understanding.

Page 98:  Another bit of formatting :Is that whomYour"

Page 99:  go check - missing conjunction.

Page 120: 'toilet' - very impolite, it should be lavatory.

Page 120:  "She hopped to the carpeting covering a section of the bedroom floor ..." - rug.

Page 123:  'fellen' - I assume that should be fallen.

Page 131:  Just havin' a wee bit bit of fun ... - 

Page 141:  A Royal of Albert's age, just barely twenty-four, who was not yet bettered, prompted whispers of ... - that ambiguous.

Page 163 and other locations:  gotten.

Page 179:  come help - conjunction.

Page 182:  playing cards and smoking cigars .... it was a ritual he had carried out since he had left prepatory school - what kind of monster was he?  Preparatory School is from 8 to 13 in the Public School system (for the benefit of any non-British people the 'Public' school system is fee paying and 'State' is just that normal non-fee paying schooling provided by the Government for all children.  I would strongly argue that children of Royalty were educated at home by a Tutor at that time.  Sons' of the Aristocracy may have been educated at Eton.

Page 183: trash? - rubbish in England.

Page 187:  London Times - it's just The Times.

Page 202:  the maid refers to Coren as 'Miss' in many places - after her marriage she would have been Your Highness, or your Grace to a servant.

Page 202:  humming birds in the garden - hello, London ... no hummingbirds.

Page 208:  humming bird - in Victorian times there were found of stuffing things, but they definitely don't flit our gardens.

Page 215 - contemptuous - insulting would have been better.

Page 216:  The pound and a half - although it was old money, it would more likely have been a guinea, which was 20 shillings, not sure about the timeline though as I think they stopped minting them in about 1814. In any event that would have sounded more authentic.

Page 216:  sidewalk - pavement.

Page 222: I am sure the Prince had your best in mind - best interest in mind.

Page 226:  I should think there would have been a cat's chance in hell of a member of the Royal Family being taken to hospital at that time.

Page 250:  ... had best be getting finished dressing ourselves - messy phrasing.

Page 251: tuxedo - evening dress or dinner jacket, definitely not tuxedo.

Page 262:  cucumber and butter sandwiches - ah, this made me chuckle, butter is not considered an actual ingredient, it's spread on the bread, so it is simply a cucumber sandwich.

Page 269:  pants - they are under-garments, so therefore it would be trousers or breeches.

Page 277: Metropolitan Police - ok, I'll give him this one, they became that around 1829, before that it was the Runners.

Page 285: gotten - unacceptable, when the author has proved he could rise above use of that word.

Page 285:  London Zoo - Zoological Society of London in Regent's Park c. 1828, prior to that I believe it was at either The Tower.

What a list?

Happy reading.



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

#444 ~ The Island: Fallen Earth Part 3

The Island: Part ThreeThe Island: Part Three by Michael Stark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 3 of  Fallen Earth Series

Book 3 of the serialisation picks up a bit.

I'm loath to give too much in the way of a spoilers but, the fever continues on it destructive path and they try to survive on the island.

With the arrival of a stranger and something evil the whole plot picked up a bit.

The missing 'C' formatting continued in this book. There was also an increase the in the Errors/Bug Bears. I'm not sure if this might be because the author was concentrating on picking up the pace , or if it had a different editing team?

Product Details

It's still available as a free Kindle Download HERE at the time of writing this post.

96 pages
Fiction, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Magic & Myth
Indie Writer (Self-published)

Errors/Bug Bears

In which the mystery of the missing 'C' continues, and gotten makes an appearance.

My other main bone of contention was the fact that the Author couldn't decide how he wished to spell one woman's name - Marce or Marcy?  I do like consistency from an author.

Other than that:

Loc 121:  Ebola needed new a victim - a new.

Loc 865: ... willing to supply them if we come get them - come and get (coordinating conjunctions make me happy).

Loc 1133:  ... while I go grab a few things - go and grab (coordinating conjunctions make me happy).

Happy reading.



#443 ~ The Island: Fallen Earth Part Two

The Island: Part TwoThe Island: Part Two by Michael Stark

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Part 2 of The Fallen Earth Series

This is a continuation of The Island: Fallen Earth Serialisation.

For me it just wasn't quite so good.

With the pandemic growing worse, and civil unrest our protagonist makes it to the Island, taking the old woman and her creepy grandson with him ... I won't say much more, otherwise I could spoil the plot.

The pace and characterisation with just a little weaker, which mean't I sometimes lost focus. Keep with if you can though.

There was odd formatting issue, whereby the 'C' in Chapter was missing for most of the book.

Product Details

It's available HERE, and at the time of writing this post it's still available as a free Kindle Download.

96 pages
Fiction, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Magic & Myth
Indie Writer (Self-published)

Errors/Bug Bears

The 'C' in Chapter was missing for most of the book - this is probably some kind of format issue.

Other than that, the only real issue was:

Loc 1410:  It felt like trying to pushing two different sacks of flour with a rope tied between them ... - try to push.

Happy reading


Monday, 5 May 2014

#442 ~ October 3rd

October 3rdOctober 3rd by Armelle Cloche

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another DSOA pick on my Blog, from about a year ago.

Lovely, lovely, cover art, and in point of fact not a bad plot line either, with nothing major in the way of errors and bug bears. Although reading it as a screen play takes a bit of adjustment, however, I've added trying to write one on my bucket list now.

It's difficult to much about the plot, otherwise there would be major spoilers, but I can certainly imagine how this would work as a film with say, Morgan Freeman, playing GOD (he's done it before, and was really very good at it!).

Product Details

At the time I feature it, the Kindle download was free.  It is now available for 77p HERE.

168 pages
Indie Writers (Self-published)
Screenplay with Fiction, Science Fiction, Contemporary genre label

Errors/Bug Bears

Loc 1442: They collapse on the dock soaking wet and exhausted - this is extraneous, as it was mentioned a few lines about in the directions for the scene.

Happy reading.



#441 ~ The Island (Fallen Earth) : Part One

The Island: Part One (Fallen Earth #1)The Island: Part One by Michael Stark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part #1 in the Fallen Earth Series

This was an interesting diversion for me, I've never really read a serialisation before.

On the whole this first part was fairly enjoyable, with a decent plot pace and characterisation. I enjoyed the building of the main character, William Hill.  In particular, I enjoyed the little scene with the 'Little' cop.

The idea of a pandemic is no so far fetched, and it's interesting to consider just how modern man would cope with the withdrawal of its spoon-fed lifestyle.

As an aside, the cover art is very well drawn, and it was what drew me to feature it as a DSOA on the blog in April 2013.

There were one or two bug bears/errors, but nothing major, and on the whole I enjoyed the first part of this journey.

Product Details

As mentioned above, it was featured as a DSOA back in April 2013, and at the time of writing this post it's still available for free Kindle download HERE.

82 pages
Indie Writer (Self-published)
Fiction, Science Fiction, Magic Mystery

Errors/Bug Bears

Gotten more time than I care to count - is it just me?

Loc 65:  There was some bizarre font going on with "The" in "The war of words, which was just a tiny bit jarring - yes, I am Miss Nit Pick 2014.

Loc 626:  The Durango into slid easily into one of those long ....

Happy reading.