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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 June 08, 2013 :
"A Hard Gemlike Flame" by Jim Wills is the fourth novel in the Kavanagh saga and this time the author has turned his talents on to the genre of romance in the broadest sense, although it is yet again a tale of morals, concerning trust, honesty and deceit.
Frustrated Mick Kavanagh gets a break in advertising through Cathleen Murray, a wealthy and powerful woman, who hires him and falls for him at the same time.
They come from different worlds and both fear the strong attraction and bond between them. Can they find common ground with him coming from such a poor background? Can his disapproving parents prevent their union?
Erotic, full of literary quotes and ideas on what it means to be Irish Mick is truly Irish and teaches Cathleen about it as they embark on their affair and the turbulences that their young relationship undergoes. There are several interesting side characters that add to the plot and make the story complex and interesting.
The book is a surprising addition to the saga but it certainly freshens and livens up the selection in the series so far. As history fan I was personally a little disappointed that the series is more contemporary, but the choice is well in line with the authors previous frequent changes of direction and thematically it complements the other books in the series very well.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)