Tag Archives: Reviews on Diamante Lavendar’s blog

~Review: Just: A sign of the times by Katie Lewington~

Just A sign of the times cover

A light hearted collection of poems in lessons of love, depression and relationships while also exploring the stories of strangers in words.

My Rating:  4 Stars!

This was an interesting, heartfelt collection of poems about life, love and depression.  The author has an interesting voice and perspective…that of a life of hardships and difficult relationships.  These poems are written about things that we can all relate to as hardship is no stranger to all of our life circumstances.

I enjoyed the author’s presentation.  It was down to earth and gritty.  It was easy to relate to her work.

If you love poetry, give this book a read.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Where you can find Just:  A sign of the times:

https://www.amazon.com/Just-sign-times-katie-lewington-ebook/dp/B00YJ34LBI?ie=UTF8&keywords=just%20a%20sign%20of%20the%20times&qid=1462607400&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Where you can find Katie:

https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com/

Interview with Katie:

 

~Review: The Oui Trip by David O’Neill~

The Oui Trip cover

It’s been a tough year for Bob and Joan Younghusband. Bob’s been made redundant from his plumbing sales job selling loos and lock nuts, and just as they’re about to get away from it all, Joan loses her beloved father, too. Deciding the sunny climes of the Med are just what they need, the Younghusbands head for France in their hired camper. But every dream has its price, and this one comes with Joan’s alcoholic stepmother who throws the ultimate spanner in the works. Then there’s the shocking revelation when Bob and Joan stay with old friends that could rock their relationship to the core… and turn their dream trip into the holiday from hell. Tailed by an inspector of the French Police Nationale and a Glaswegian gangster by the unlikely name of Stephan, Bob and Joan have to find a way out of their home-made nightmare… or it won’t just be their plans for a relaxing break that go down the toilet. Murder, mayhem, sex, gangsters and badly spoken French, this dark comedy has it all.

My Rating:  4 Stars!

This is a silly book with serious undertones.  A story of a vacation gone very wrong, Bob and Joan head off after Joan’s father’s funeral in an attempt to re-ignite their marriage.  What they delve into is a nightmare of death, destruction and mayhem when they become intertwined with a dangerous killer and a drug smuggling operation.

Complete with police interrogation and humor ranging from slapstick to macabre, this story is intriguing enough to cause the reader to keep turning the pages to see what will happen next. The plot is well thought out and the characters are well developed.  The author did a very good job of making the story line realistic.

A great book for those of you that enjoy a funny crime story!

Where you can find The Oui Trip:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Oui-Trip-David-ONeill/dp/0993266738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460699626&sr=8-1&keywords=the+oui+trip+david+o+neill

Barnes and Noble;  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-oui-trip-david-oneill/1122576738?ean=2940152111590

Where you can find David:

Website:  www.berryoneill.uk

Interview with David:

1.  What prompted you to write your book?

I’ve been writing for many years now, but mainly in the SciFi and Fantasy genre.  It was after a few glasses of wine with a good friend and his wife that the idea for the plot was hatched, with all the ups and downs of the characters arriving in my head fully formed – and there wasn’t a spaceship or magical sword in sight.  I sat on the idea for a while, letting it bubble and stew in the background as I worked on other things, but it kept coming back to me like a puppy wanting to be fed.  And, with every thought the idea got, it did indeed get fed until there was nothing I could do except admit that it needed to be written.  So I sat down and plotted the book out, putting everything else on hold while I did, and by some sort of magic that even to this day I can’t comprehend, it became a book.  The characters took on a life of their own, their dialogue and interplay with the other cast members invading my mind and I could hear them talk all the time, like loud lodgers in an adjoining room within my mind.  The only way to quieten them was to commit their conversations to paper which I suppose I did with glee, the writing process for this book happening so naturally that I almost didn’t notice it.  I suppose, without descending into cliché, that when the muse hits you there is nothing you can do except let it take you over and make you a puppet for what it wants.

2.  What genre of books do you enjoy reading?  Who are some of your favorite authors?

As I’ve already alluded above, my reading genre is dominated with SciFi, and sometimes a bit of Fantasy.  I have a list of authors that I turn to for my otherworldly fix as long as your arm, but if I had to produce a brief summary it would have to include: Neal Asher, Peter F. Hamilton, Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds and Greg Bear to name a but a few.  I am almost ashamed to not mention the classic authors like Heinlein, Asimov,E.E. Doc Smith, Larry Niven et al, but I don’t want to turn this into list that rambles on forever.  If I can take a moment to concentrate on the Fantasy side, I would have to mention Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman, with again a blush of shame for not mentioning many other authors, like J.R.R. Tolkein, Moorcock, Terry Brooks and so on.  I could go on for ages, looking through my book collection and pulling out names that need an honourable mention, but I won’t.


3.  Do you have any works in progress?  If so, please tell me about them.

I have many works in progress, I am happy to say. I am just finishing off a fantasy novel, The Gates of Hell,  set in both Saxon times and in the present where Hell wants the Earth destroyed.  It is down to a group of four very different individuals, from then and now, to stop this happening.  This book is getting the final edit as I type this, so should be out soon.  I am also plotting the sequel to The Oui Trip because there are a few unanswered questions that need to be addressed, and, I’ll be fair with you, the character’s voices are starting to clamour once again, so I can see this being moved up the priority list.  I have a few SciFi action/adventure novels on the go too, which I return to whenever I get a chance, which isn’t easy with all the other stories jostling for attention in my head.

 

4.  Where would you go on a dream vacation?  Who would you bring with you?

 

This is an easy one: France.  I love the country, the food, the wine, the laid back way of life.  You also get some pretty good weather the further south you go, which to someone living in England and used to the ever changeable vagaries of the weather here, is always an attraction in its own right.  Who would I bring?  Again, another easy one: my children.  We’ve been over to France a few times on vacation and they loved it.


5.  What would you like your readers to know about you?

 

I think I have the same needs and desires of pretty much anyone, if I’m going to be honest.  I love my children and grandchildren, and would love to find that ‘right’ person share my life with.  I love cooking, Italian being a personal favourite, and I am a keen musician, playing an odd assortment of instruments, but all with a minimum of competence.  I read a lot, write a lot and smile more than I frown.  Not much more that I can say, really.

6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

 

Again, that’s an easy one: Don’t be afraid to love.  Love yourself, love others, love life.  You’ll be surprised how quickly you get it back, whether it’s in the company of friends, or in the smile of a grandchild.  And when it is given back to you, it tastes so much sweeter.