Shadeward: Expiation, by Drew Wagar: #BookReview.

The story concludes. And what a conclusion! Drew Wagar has created a masterpiece with this quartet of fantasy/sci-fi books set on a distant world in a not-too-distant future. In keeping with the social structure and history of the people starring in this series, he has kept the technological aspects as brief as possible, including only …

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Shadeward: Enervation, by Drew Wagar: #BookReview.

Enervation is the third book in the Shadeward fantasy/science fiction adventure series by Drew Wagar. I read the first two in the series, Emanation and Exoneration way back in 2017, but many factors in my life and that of the writer combined to stop me reading Enervation until now. I’m now starting to read the …

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The Accidental Spurrt, by Walt Pilcher: #BookReview.

Subtitled ‘A Mark Fairley Mystery’, this parody of the whodunit will have you smiling, grinning, chuckling, and laughing out loud as the author takes you on a revealing journey with his reluctant PI.There are many characters in this humorous novel, some of whom are deliberate cardboard cut-outs to mock the worst of the genre, but …

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Rewild Your Garden, by Frances Tophill: #BookReview.

Subtitled ‘Create a Haven for Birds, Bees and Butterflies’, this lovely little book gives practical guidance on how to do just that. Written to inform simply and comprehensively, the book also gives reasons for making changes to what are often gardens artificially regimented by tradition, ideas of taste, a desire to ‘tame’ nature, or simple …

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The Reality Exchange, by James Vigor: #BookReview.

In this imaginative and engaging page-turner, James Vigor brings to life a number of fascinating characters to populate an action-packed story mostly set in space. This is science fiction at its best. But it is also more than that. Its themes of justice, abuse, slavery, piracy, and the eternal prominence given to wealth, are all …

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A Bookkeepers Guide to Practical Sorcery, by Kate Russell: #BookReview.

Kate’s story is aimed at children but written in a style many adults will find appealing. Adventure, some burgeoning teen romance with all its attendant uncertainty and embarrassment, the injustices routinely visited on many workers by employers, treachery, greed, hope, courage, threat, and ultimate justice, weave spells throughout this entertaining work. There are also monsters …

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Perilaus II, by Mark P. Henderson: #BookReview.

312 pagesUrban/Thrillers A book underpinned by scholarship, this crime thriller-cum-psychological thriller-cum-literary novel works on many levels. But how to review it without even hinting at spoilers?I think it’s safe enough to let potential readers know the ‘author’ of a crime novel is about to commit himself to the method and occasion of the murder at …

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Why You Can’t Catch a Rocket to Mars, by Prof Lyndon Neal Smith PhD: #BookReview.

275 pagesScience & Scientists Humour/Automatic Control/Sherlock Holmes Mysteries Subtitled: Some Personal Reflections on Science and Society. Whether a reader can empathise with the writer of a book essentially driven by personal ambition, hopes, or dreams, depends on how that reader feels about those aims. I confess I’m definitely with the author here. Given the chance …

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Horse of a Different Colour, by Melodie Trudeaux: #BookReview.

112 pagesRiding & Horsemanship/Gen Sprots Hobbies & Games/Teen & Young Adult This intriguing and humorous adventure story for children, especially those who love horses, involves a little magic in the form of role play that suddenly becomes real! It becomes potentially rather dangerous for young Megan, able to swap places with Jack, the old and …

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#Words and #PictureOfTheDay: 08/May/22

Fresh Green Growth. At this time of the year, the forest renews itself, the trees sprouting their new growth with fresh green leaves to brighten the days and bring pleasure to those with time to dwell a short time among them. Their slow growth and their stillness, their silent root-based communications, and their experience of …

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Up, Up, and into the Sky!

https://medium.com/@stuartaken/up-up-and-away-3cb347f60e37 Not the balloon we flew in, but a larger one that took off at the same time. On Easter Monday, Valerie celebrated her 70th birthday. But we don’t do crowds, or Bank Holidays, so we deferred our celebration for a more special, personal, experience. Her last entry on her bucket list was a Hot …

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The Prophet Paradox, by Danny Tuttle: #BookReview.

424 pagesFantasy/Religion/Politics/Paranormal? What is this remarkable book about? The clue is very much in the title. But it is about much more than that. The author has researched extensively into numerous subjects to bring alive this extraordinary and complex tale dealing with humanity’s inability to deal with truth. We encounter a lost monastery filled with …

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Loyalty in Conflict, by April Taylor: #BookReview.

A novel by an author who always does her research thoroughly, understanding the moods, harsh realities, inequalities, priorities, and thoughts of the times she writes about. April Taylor’s ‘Loyalty in Conflict’ is a deep dive into the world of England during part of the protracted period of the Wars of the Roses. Her introduction to …

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The Reviews Continue to Come In!

Had another couple of reviews of ‘An Excess Of…’ so far this month. As writers and readers will know, reviews are never easy to get, unless you’re willing to spend a fortune on them, but paid for reviews have never struck me as a genuine way to discover the true value of a book.I’ve copied …

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Lessons from our Peers.

Short Stories in Print As writers, we often rely on our peers for advice, comment, even insight relating to our output. I suspect there are few other occupations as mutually supportive as the writing community. I recently submitted a short story, written some years earlier, to a small print magazine, Scribble, that publishes quarterly. The …

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