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Review: The Winds of Patwin County by Richard S. Crawford

The Winds of Patwin County - Richard S. Crawford
This is a short read about some people in Patwin county who are unknowingly responsible for strange things happening in each others life. The story is spooky especially the ending.

Review: The Deadly Caress by O.N. Stefan

The Deadly Caress - O. N. Stefan

This is a story about a woman from Australia who has come to America to meet her biological mother after receiving a letter from her, which was a shock as she never knew of her being adopted only to find she also has a twin who was also given for adoption. But she finds her mother next day and thus unfolds numerous attempts to kill many characters.

I found the plot was to obvious as Brian's effort to hide his identity was conspicuous which was important part of the storyline and so was the development of other characters. Only if there was more mystery to the conspiracy!

Review: War Kids by H.J.Lawson

War Kids - H.J. Lawson

The plot is build around a teenager Jada whose mother and younger brother is killed during the Syrian war; and her journey to find her father who was taken away to forcefully join the war.On her way she meets a group of children on their way to refugee camp lead by Zak who also lost his family and protecting the only family he's left, his sister. Every chapter is from the perspective of a different character. It's a painful story of how children are wretched of their life because of the war. I'm excited to read the next instalment in the series.

Review: The Phone Company by David Jacob Knight

The Phone Company - David Jacob Knight

PCo decides to set up its data centre in the town and hands a phone called Tether to its customers. Unlike the usual phone characters in the apps of this phone seems real.It updates personal data of user by itself and people all over the world can rate you on basis of whatever you did or do!Steve is attached to his old phone unlike his two kids, he doesn't get why everyone in the town worship PCo. Steve's worry becomes serious when everything done in virtual world of the phone becomes real.And people he loves and knows start to change.

As I finished half the book I ha to force myself to continue reading. The climax though was fast paced and interesting.It was difficult in the starting for me to grasp what the plot was but it was only towards the end that the story started to make sense to me so I think it's good after all that I decided to push on with it!


Review: Balec by James Austin McCormick

Balec - James Austin McCormick

The story is about a ex-cop trying to find his missing son who he believe got involved in some gang. He finds the gang to be a cult a dark magic with a powerful sorcerer as their leader. Later during his search he encounters sorcerers and creatures from dark.

I liked that it was a fast paced and short story.Though the plot is supernatural thriller it does feel like a realistic scenario so are the characters. Unlike over the top action scenes in some thriller I appreciated the author for the convincing storyline, though it seemed it had an inconclusive end!


Review: Scared: Ten Tales of Horror by Rayne Hall

Scared: Ten Tales of Horror - Rayne Hall, Deborah J. Ross, Jonathan Broughton, Karen Heard, Pamela Turner, Liv Rancourt, William Meikle, Tracie McBride, Grayson Bray Morris, Donna Johnson, Rayne Wheeler, Deborah Wheeler

The book is a compilation of ten different stories. My favourites were Death comes for Maggie McDaniel by Grayson Bray Morris which had an unexpected and doleful ending; and Druid Stones by Rayne Hall for it tells how individuals scruple to help strangers. The most weird or rather funny was Creatures of the night by William Meikle; though the ending was bizarre I did think protagonist deserved it. Rather than saying scared or horrifying the stories were creepy and sometimes werid. Some of them seemed incomplete and not apt to the theme of the book.

Review: Across the Rift by by H. Ann Ackroyd

Across the Rift - H Ann Ackroyd

It's a historical fiction based around second World war. Two families one living in Britain facing bombing from the Axis and the other family living in Austria witness the war and thrives through it.Most of the stories of this war usually is about people who suffered in the concentration camps or the losses in the Allies side.This was a refreshing perspective of a non-Jewish family who didn't support the Nazi but were afraid to speak against fearing their life and living in the war-torn country.Though the plot was good it started very slowly and was not getting to any point.

Review: Colonial Adventure And Other Stories by H. Ann Ackroyd

Colonial Adventure and Other Stories - H. Ann Ackroyd

It is about a boy raised in Rhodesia as his parents migrate from Britain to operate a large farm.As years pass he grows close to the natives but a civil war purge all the happiness ,he his conflicted to fight with his childhood friends. the book is written in prose form which was interesting but story itself was not so intriguing.The other five stories had various theme which was odd, it would have been engaging if the plots had something common to link them.

Review: The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up by Jacob M. Appel

The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up - Jacob M. Appel

Arnold is a botanist living a peaceful life with his wife until the day he takes takes his nephew to a ball game and decides not to stand during the national anthem.His life changes, this episode becomes national headline in which he his portrayed as a racist, accomplice of a pervert ,a terrorist and so on.No one even questions why he didn't stand up thus starts a offbeat escapade.
Author wonderfully expresses how society has some dos and don'ts, if anyone decides to not follow they become an outcast.All this is conveyed in a fun unconventional story.

Review: Scouting for the Reaper by Jacob M. Appel

Scouting for the Reaper - Jacob M. Appel

The book is compilation of eight short stories where protagonist is facing some kind of hardship. Most of the stories have one character who dies eventually which was sad because whenever I started reading a new plot I was dreading that someone's going to die or is already dead. Its not completely dark as there is some humour to storylines but some characters lacklustre. I didn't feel like continuing though I eventually did complete reading it.

Review: Phoning Home: Essays by Jacob M. Appel

Phoning Home: Essays - Jacob M Appel

The book is compilation of essays based on various incidents in author life. It starts with an episode during his childhood which he kept a secret from his parents all his life to his encounters with patients as a medical student.
I encountered various emotions while reading and thoroughly enjoyed the process.I could totally relate to the event when the author went to search for his prized possession which he believes was stolen from him as a child, though it was only two rubber cats.In latter essays he mentioned about elderly patients with dementia and their difficulties;which were things I never gave a thought.
It was a fun and informative read.



Author Talks: Tony Talbot

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Please welcome Tony Talbot in BookLikes’ Author Talks!


Tony Talbot is a British Young Adult author. Inspired by the novels of Australian author John Marsden, he took up writing in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. You can find Tony's books on BookLikes, follow his blog at: Tony Talbot and win Tony Talbot's book! Read on to know more. 



It is said that our dreams reflect our lives. In your situation it was a dream that made you become a writer. Could you tell our readers more about it, and have you ever thought of becoming a writer before that dream?


There was a film made in the 1970s – Capricorn One – where the first mission to Mars is faked in the desert. There's a scene where feet approach the capsule, seen through the window. In the dream I had, it was someone's face through the window when they're re-entering earth's atmosphere from a moon landing. That didn’t really work, so I changed it to someone without a helmet or spacesuit appearing in a moonwalk. Back in mission control, two reporters are there and happen to catch it on camera.



I'd thought about being a writer before then, on and off, but never had the nerve to get started. I'd dipped into a few writing books, most notably Stephen King's On Writing, (which is the best writing book ever written. Read it!). I decided to give my story a go and see if people liked it. Which they did, which gave me confidence to keep going.



You write mainly short stories. Why have you decided to choose short fiction?


Short stories are a blast! I love writing them, making everything small and compact and neat. It appeals to me to work small as well as on novels…and not every story has the potential to be 60,000 words. Just walking through a short story with one character can be a lot of fun, and it's a great way to keep things interesting.



We can read in your bio that your wife is an American, and you’re from UK. Do you experience any cross-cultural differences which then become inspirations for your stories?


Not differences, but when I was casting around for a book, my wife suggested Japanese-American internment during World War Two. She's from Washington State, one of the places affected. I didn't know anything about that part of American history, and was shocked at the number of Americans who don't either – and the result was American Girl.



Your writing is a mix of various literary genres with the majority of YA. How do you know in which genre the story will end up? How does you writing process look like?


I try and make a decision what genre the book will be before I start, but I don't try to follow the conventions for it. Whatever writing style works best is what I try and go for. Writing in sci-fi or historical fiction genre are really secondary to what's going on to me...which is the characters in that world and how they interact.


My writing process is very seat-of-the-pants. I don't pin a character down and demand to know what their favourite colour is or what they're going to be doing in chapter four. I like to let them get on with it and make their own mistakes.



Your first science fiction book Medusa is out. Congratulations! How did you come up with the idea for the book? Was Sci-Fi difficult to write?


I subscribe to a science magazine full of speculative ideas, and one article was about immense floating cities. An image popped into my head of a girl riding a jet-ski towards one a few weeks later. I didn't know anything about her or her world until I started writing.


SF wasn't really difficult to write, but it was important to me to get the details right – so my characters don't use days or weeks as a measure of time, and the science in the book is grounded in reality...just a far future reality. I asked some friends to come up with some new swear words as well, which was a lot of fun.



How long does it take a write a novel / short story for you?


It takes about a year from draft zero to finished product, including the cover and beta-reads and endless, endless edits!



Can you point one favourite character from your books, and tell our readers why?


It would have to be Jenna from Over the Mountain, my first book, because she's very much like me: Loves rainstorms and is quite reserved.



Do you have any writing habits which help you keep the story going?


I try to work on a story as often as possible when I get rolling, or self-doubt starts to set in. Sometimes I have to walk away when I get blocked with it though...I start to write slower when I can feel one coming on.



Could you tell our readers which authors inspire you and your works?


I've read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz, and from them, I learned characters and the trials you can put them through. All the cards are on the table with   those two, they don't hold anything out of their reach. My wife told me about Australian author John Marsden, and I'm always blown away at how good he is, even on a re-read. I've been digging into Patrick Ness recently; When a Monster Calls beguiled me with its simple language and then sucker-punched me to tears with the ending.


There are so many good authors out there, and I learn something from all of them.



In your recent post you write that the author’s imagination is a gift but also a curse. What are the best and the worst things about being a writer?


I love being to create a world from scratch and make it believable enough that it feels like you've been there. To step into someone's fictional shoes and to walk around, and then translate that onto a page. Worst part is thinking that I'll never write anything that good again. The weight of my own high standards!



What are you working on right now? Do you have any new books in development at the moment?


I'm thinking of a coastal sea-side town, quite isolated, as the galaxy comes to an end: The stars are going out, millions every night, and for some reason Earth is being left until last...



What are the characteristics that each author should have? Any advice for aspiring writers?


Patience and persistence! No one expects a pianist to be able to perform Mozart overnight, and writing is an art like any other: don't expect to be great first time. Keep practicing, and you'll get better. Read everything you can, good and bad. And read On Writing by Stephen King, the most encouraging book on writing out there.


What are you reading now?


My wife wanted to buy "Kenobi" by John Jackson Miller, because she liked the cover! She read it and enjoyed it, and I'm about seventy pages in and feel the same way.



Paper books or e-book? Why?

I love them both. I love being able to carry the complete works of Dickens in something so slim as a Kindle, but the weight of a hardback is reassuring as well.



Some authors cannot read books when they are writing.

Do you read books while writing a novel or short story?

I couldn't read when I wrote my first book, but then I realised I'd probably never be able to read again if I stopped every time I started writing!



What titles won your heart? Recommend must-reads for our readers.

Most recently, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. As I said, it suckered me with its simple language and powerful ending. Old classics work best for me: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Diary of Anne Frank. Must reads for everyone.





Your favorite quotes?

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. – Allen Saunders

Books are a uniquely portable magic. – Stephen King


What’s your favorite writing and reading spot?

(Our readers would love to see some photos ;-))


I read everywhere I can find a spot, so here's my writing space in the spare room:

The little TARDIS beside the computer is a USB hub that makes the "materialisation" sound when you plug something in. And the light flashes on the top. ☺


All those toys on the upper shelf...


My wife makes these business cards for me as a little matchbook:


...and my work in progress!

 Thank you, Tony!



And here's a candy from Tony Talbot: 

30 e-book copies of Medusa!


You can find books by Tony Talbot on BookLikes: 


 and more on Tony Talbot's author page


Read other talks on BookLikes

Author Talks on BookLikes: 

Guest Post by Warren Adler: The Title Dilemma

Author Talks: Libby Fischer Hellmann

Author Talks: Lauren B. Davis, Part One

Author Talks: Lauren B. Davis, Part Two

Author Talks: John Biggs

Author Talks: Ned Hayes, Part One

Author Talks: Ned Hayes, Part Two

Author Talks: Elizabeth Watasin, Part One

Author Talks: Elizabeth Watasin, Part Two

Literary Inspirations of Rayne Hall


Blog Talks on BookLikes:   

Book Blog Talks: Parajunkee

Book Blog Talks: The Happy Booker, Part One

Book Blog Talks: The Happy Booker, Part Two

Book Blog Talks: Happy Books, Part One

Book Blog Talks: Happy Books, Part Two

Reading List Is Never Just A Random Collection of Books - Your Reading Lists Retouched

Reblogged from BookLikes:


Carlos María Domínguez once said 

To build up a library is to create a life.

It’s never just a random collection of books. 

Reading Lists, just like your books on bookshelves, present reading ideas, guidelines, inspirations for you and other book lovers, and they are seldom random. That's why we've decided to add some improvements to the literary guides to polish their appearance on BookLikes. 


First of all, now you can search not only from the Book Catalog but also from your Shelf. This will help you to create a list with books you've already read and can recommend with an open heart. 




Secondly, we've added the description field for your reading lists. Some of you requested the ability to add a short summary of what the list is about and why these particular books have been chosen. Now you can add a short description when creating a list or add one to your existing reading guide. 



Thirdly, the reading list page presents the number of books added -- this can be used as a reading order, and can be helpful in the book series and collections reading lists. 




Finally, we've made the Edit option for your reading lists more visible to spot and use. You can modify your reading lists, add/remove books, add a description any time.






The book series names are visible on the book pages. If the book entry includes the book series information, it will be visible on the book page. You can also add book series information by editing the book page. 



The Photo Size Limit for the uploaded images and a Photo Post has been changed to 4MB. The limit for a photo added via image URL link (the upper tool bar in the writing box) is unlimited.



headline photo: source