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I’ve had many and varied careers. In more or less historical order, I’ve been a motorcycle mechanic, a race engine builder, a teacher, an academic, a hard rock miner (silver), a book editor and ghost writer, a commercial writer in print and video, a novelist, a mason, a wood-fired artisan bread baker and a teacher of that craft. Some, if not all, have overlapped in time and continue.
A Few Men Faithful, the first novel in the Kavanagh series, was awarded the IndiePENdents Certificate and Seal of Good Writing in October 2013 (www.indiependents.org). In the Review, UK, Karen Andreas said of it: "Jim Wills’ A Few Men Faithful is the very best of reads. It starts off with epic action and, before you know it, you are not only sucked into the story but also deeply involved with its protagonist, Danny Kavanagh....This is compelling reading indeed. A Few Men Faithful is strong, fascinating historical fiction very well done." (http://thereviewgroup.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/karen-andreas-few-men-faithful-by-jim.html ). Christoph Fischer, here on Smashwords and on Amazon: "I personally enjoyed the political part the most for the objective and factual way the conflict was described, particularly the third part of the book when the Irish fighters split over the treaty, which of course bears relevance up to the present. This is a great achievement." Geoffrey Preston on Smashwords: "I think you have exceptional writing skills that jam packed this book." Marc Schuster in Small Press Reviews: " The prose throughout is clear and reminiscent of Hemingway, particularly in instances where Wills describes battle. Clear writing and strong characters make this a novel (and, presumably, series) worth reading, especially for those interested in the last century of Irish diaspora history." There are others in similar vein.
The second Kavanagh story, Philly MC, has been well reviewed both on Smashwords and Amazon. Christoph Fischer: "In Philly MC, he focuses much more on just one man and his inner torment, making this a brilliant character study and a rewarding experience. Jack's moody personality was as interesting as the setting, a very authentic portrayal of the 1960s....A great book."
Volume III, Shooter in a Plague Year, has gotten five-star treatment as well. Patrice O'Neill-Maynard on Amazon: "Shooter in a Plague Year is an astonishing book. It gallops forward at a remarkable pace and gathers us all up into intrigue, politics, betrayal, and heart rending and scintillating scenes of open-hearted love, half truths, and promises. Author Jim WIlls has a literary style that winds a story with thoughtful fire and makes us think, speculate, and figure out the subplots as the lives he follows digest the clues they get as to what is actually happening and who it is they can trust.... It is a great book. Read it!" Christoph Fischer: "In Shooter in a Plague Year Jim Wills returns to the Kavanagh family once again, the third installment of this inspired series....The book is well written, tension and plot move smoothly and the dialogue is also well done, particularly where the different accents need to be emphasized phonetically. A thriller as much as political novel this is a gripping read....After Philly MC it is also a great move in the context of the series."
The fourth and most recent title is A Hard Gemlike Flame. Christoph Fischer: "The book is a surprising addition to the saga but it certainly freshens and livens up the selection in the series so far....Thematically it complements the other books in the series very well."
on May 21, 2013 :
I had a little trouble getting into this book, perhaps it was me not paying enough attention. However, once again Jim Willis has shown that he does not let his readers down. It is fast moving, full of surprises and carries the reader through. There was one time I was totally on the edge of my seat, so much so that after going to bed I got back up to see what happened next. Good read, well written and presnted
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 25, 2013 :
"Philly MC" by Jim Wills is the second in his Kavannagh series. Having read the first book I was quite surprised by this second instalment, but it was a very pleasant surprise. In a series of books I often expect to see repetition and the same formula but in this book Wills has not only changed time and place, he has also taken on a new concept.
In Philly MC he focuses much more on just one man and his inner torment, making this a brilliant character study and a rewarding experience. Jack's moody personality was as interesting as the setting, a very authentic portrayal of the 1960s, which admittedly I know only from Television, but it seemed very real and right.
Having started his series with historical fiction with a lot of issues dictated by the setting, this book is much more playful and shows a great versatility and an admirable ability to keep the reader interested with less props.
A great book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)