Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; 'Sebastian' in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. "Time To Let Go" , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller "The Healer" was released in January 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
This member has not published any books.
Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona
on Jan. 15, 2013
“Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona” by Henry Martin is a difficult and an emotional read but one well worth your time. The main character Rudy is down and out in Barcelona after he has been robbed and raped. Without passport and money and unwilling to ask his parents to rescue him he gets stuck with homeless people, backpackers and seedy world of drugs and crime.
The writing is superb, reminiscent at its best of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski with their raw emotions and heartfelt honesty. The dark tone, the anger and the bitterness of Rudy feels towards life, his parents and all other people of authority however were something I had to get used to, at times I found it challenging and uncomfortable but at closer analysis I understood that given the life circumstances of Rudy he has little option but to feel that he is a victim. Once he has hit rock bottom there is no one to help him. Like so many people, I did not want to be reminded of the existence of so many whose harsh everyday reality is just like that of Rudy. It is a raw and uncomfortable read at certain moments but a great thought provoking one. The story is not all doon and gloom however and not without flirtations, suspense, action and hope. As Rudy stays in Barcelona he also grows up and overcomes some of his personal issues.
This is a story of a backpacking holiday gone wrong, it is about the thin dividing line between fine and not so fine, personal freedom and many other issues I invite you to check out for yourself.
The Palaver Tree
on Jan. 18, 2013
I received "The Palaver Tree" by Wendy Unsworth in exchange for an honest review. It is probably one of the books submitted to me for a review that I was looking forward to the most. The subject matter of charity work and life in Africa is right up my alley and I have also had several short and long trips to Africa to take even more of an interest. The book follows several women, some in the UK and some in Africa, and their connections with each other. Each of them has their own personal background which Wendy Unsworth builds up carefully and with great detail. It was this set up that made me feel a little restless during the first part of the book when I wanted to know where the story was going. We jump from one character to the next as each story unfolds, which I personally found initially difficult to get used to. However, given the way the lives of the women are connected I could not suggest a better way of handling the plot and the time put into the establishment of the four women really pays off later when the plot accelerates.
Fortunately I soon managed to settle into the flow and got drawn in completely.I don't want to spoil the story by giving too much of the plot away. The school and its student run into a lot of problems, from funding and political troubles to personal dramas of both the students and the teachers.
It is a great insight into the real life of charity work and the many obstacles that can get in the way of good and honest people.
Because we care so much for the main characters we get to experience these issues much deeper than we would from a newspaper article or a TV report.
The writing is smooth and easily flowing, the story is less linear or predictable than my review might suggest and the descriptions of the landscape and life in Africa are beautiful and precious.
This is a great book.
A Few Men Faithful: A Kavanagh Story I
on Feb. 14, 2013
"A Few Men Faithful" by Jim Wills is the first of the Kavannagh stories, a series of books about the conflict between the Irish and the English. This book is a competent, well balanced and informative work of art.It deals with the establishment of the IRA in addition to the IRB and it focuses on the years before and after the 1921 Treaty that separated the Southern Republic and the Northern Irish part of the UK.
The story revolves around Daniel Kavannagh and his involvement in the fight against the British but it touches the lives of many other fighters and their families, love interests and the clergy. Through this we get a clear picture of the various positions that different parts of the Irish population took in the battle - and the reasons behind them.
There is a preamble to the book in which the extent of the suppression in Ireland is described, a wise choice for any writer of historical fiction, since it relieves the story teller from feeding historical facts through the dialogue of characters who would already know those facts. Instead we learn about the organisation and lack of coordination of the gradually splitting Irish brigades/ army, the dangers they went exposed themselves and their families to, the endless series of assassinations and executions, hunger and civilian life at the times.
As native German I learned a lot from this book but never felt talked down to or taught something. The history could also be seen as the background for the love story between Daniel and Sophia, which runs as parallel story to the political part of it. 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 presence.
This is a great achievement.
Philly MC: A Kavanagh Story II
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.
on April 09, 2013
When I started "Sudden Death" by Michael Balkind I expected a straight forward murder mystery set in golf circles. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a bit more to the book.
First of all I have to say that I loved the setting, since I have many golf playing friends and neighbours who follow the sport closely and so I have become familiar with the tournaments and the expressions. All that is peculiar and odd about golf players is brilliantly depicted in the portrayal of the main character and drawn into the sports world most tension and suspense seemed to be coming from the games, the teams and the rivalry instead of murder.
The title character is hunted by the press and has a hate for all things paparazzi and is widely hated for his temper. He receives a death thread and so we wait for the execution of this death foretold.
When I found on my kindle that after twenty percent there was still no sign of this murder I was starting to get restless, expecting a murder at any given moment and at every corner and became to appreciate the suspense of a death foretold. I naturally cannot tell you when the murder happens, how and what happens after, that would be spoiling the fun, but rest assured that this book will keep you on the edge of your seat in any case.
Besides the tension that permeates the book there is also some surprising depth to the way some characters develop throughout the book and the main characters are backed up by an excellent supporting cast.
I am very glad I picked this book.
on April 09, 2013
"Dead Ball" by Michael Balkind is the second in his series about golf player Reid Clark. This time round the murder happens right at the start and the victim is Bob Thomas, Reid Clark's best friend and Chief Financial Officer of The Inner City Sports Foundation and AllSport.
During the investigation we find that the victim's life is not all what it was meant to be and the number of suspects is so big that several threads need to be followed up: The wife, his former mistress, business partners, accountants and a van that has been spotted near the crime scene. Reid assists in the investigations, which leave you guessing to the very last minute.
This is a great whodunnit mystery, unpredictable, entertaining and fast paced. After the first instalment where we were waiting for the murder to happen throughout the book, this is an excellent counter-part / sequel and shows the author's versatility and skill. The setting at AllSport makes for a colourful setting and if you have read the first book already you will appreciate Reid Clark becoming a more positive figure, if you haven't you will still be able to appreciate the book on its own for the suspense and the great writing. A solid performance by Balkind.
Gold Medal Threat
on April 11, 2013
"Gold Medal Threat" by Michael Balkind is a murder mystery set at the Olympic Games in Australia.
There is a minor connection to Balkind's previous novels in that Casey, one of the main characters is the son of Reid Clark, detective and sportsman in previous Balkind novels. Reid Clark runs a sports club called AllSports and some of the athletes at the Olympics have trained at that club back in the US.
Not long before the Olympics Casey and his friend Johnny overhear by chance parts of a conversation between two assassins about a murder plot aimed at one of the gymnasts. However, our heroes do not know which one of the athletes is targeted and they are not certain they could identify the assassins. The book becomes a battle against time to identify the victim and the murderers before it is too late.
This is aimed mostly at the young adult market but has is just as enjoyable for grown ups. I am far from the target age group but really loved the book. Balkind loves his sport and proves this with the knowledgeable description of some of the sports events.
The story moves along in a great pace, as befitting to young adult novels this book is less dramatic than its predecessors and more of a fun and adventure read then a gruesome or terrifying thriller. Having said that it is still great suspense, cleverly plotted and just like Balkind's other books entertainment.
The boys also get close to two young athlete girls, adding more interest and spice to this already colourful great book.
"Gold Medal Threat" confirms the author's versatility which was already shown in is second book, "Dead Ball", which so decisively was written in a different style to "Sudden Death". This must be my favourite book of the three published so far as it is at times very playful and light hearted.
The ball is back in Balkind's court to show where his writing takes us next. I will be waiting in anticipation. A well deserved 5 stars out of 5.
Shooter in a Plague Year: A Kavanagh Story III
on April 26, 2013
In "Shooter in a Plague Year" Jim Wills returns to the Kavanagh family once again, the third instalment of this inspired series. After "A Few Men Faithful", which was set in Dublin around 1916 - 1924, and "Philly MC", set in the US in the 1960s, his third book takes us into the future.
Chris Kavanagh is a sniper for the IRA in Belfast in 2018, just a few years ahead, where in a worst case scenario the opposing forces in Northern Ireland have become more radical rather than moderate. Unwilling to share or negotiate violence flares up again. With no helpful interference from the US or Britain all of Ireland is left to fight it out on their own.
Interspersed in the story are segments about the history of Ireland, told by way of relating the fate and involvement in the conflict of several of the Kavanagh men over the decades. These segments were incredibly informative and helpful to understand the origins and complexities of the existing differences and to understand how torn families and loyalties are as the Kavanagh family does not stand entirely united behind the IRA and it demands and practices.
The author does a splendid job at explaining where the points of conflict between the opponents stand and how easy it is for politicians and paramilitary groups to disagree and find the answer in violence.
I was reluctant to delve into this book, being one about a conflict that is ongoing and has still a lot of sensitivity attached to it. Wills does well in portraying the situation and views of both camps. By taking the views and the situation to an extreme this is provocative and rewarding in many ways, leaving me with not so much an answer as a better understanding.
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. There are some vague connections to the stories of the other books but in essence the members of the Kavanagh family are all individuals, as are all people of Ireland. By going into the future Wills teaches us just as much about the presence as he does with the actual historic information.
A Hard Gemlike Flame: A Kavanagh Story IV
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.
Of Words and Water - 2013
on July 02, 2013
"Of Words and Water" is an impressive anthology of short stories and poems, all around the theme of water, a charitable project for WaterAid.
The pieces chosen cover a broad range of approaches, they are poetic, poetic prose or use more modern language; some are more symbolic, others more direct and literal.
The editors did an excellent job at compiling a huge variety of unique styles and ideas on the subject. Whether we experience the power of ocean waves or have a comparatively safe swimming pool as setting, a flooded house, a woman's water breaking or snow in an unusual location - the collection as a whole hits home the importance of water, its many shapes and forms and its all permeating importance. Water is needed everywhere, water is life.
The book can be downloaded for free, a donation for WaterAid is suggested.
on July 18, 2013
"Paulie by M.A.Myers is a terrific horror story that had an amazing impact on me and made me imagine all sorts of noises and creeks in the house.
The story is well set up in a way that what seemed just like a harmless family story turns into full blown nightmare. Myers wastes no time in setting the scene before the horror unfolds from what seemed ignorable parts of the story. It moves at a fast pace and is a very powerful read.
A very well written and scary story that will please all fans of the genre. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rest Inn Peace
on Aug. 08, 2013
"Rest Inn Peace" by Bonnie Bernard is a hilarious cross between humour and horror, you just could not make it up unless you were Bonnie herself.
The book is full of magic creatures who come to stay at the Rest Inn Peace, which is an Inn , not a motel. Since the death of the former Innkeeper Selma the place is in danger of being shut down. Selma's grandson, Corbin (or Cobra like he would prefer to be called and not snakeman as he is nicknamed at the Inn!) takes over together with his 12 year old daughter. Corbin has just been released from prison, has many issues and refuses to acknowledge anything remotely magic, although that proves difficult in Rest Inn Peace.
Bernard has created an amazing cast of creatures that populate the place: Billy the Fairyman, a family of Yeti's, Vampires, werewolves, Zombies, trolls and a "flamboyant disco ghost" to name a few. As the book states: The creatures who reside in it are 'badass bitches'.
The book is full of great on-liners, hilarious dialogue and witty observations. I hate to use the phrase in a review but I laughed out loud many times and hope I will remember the crazy metaphors and word creations.
With much love to detail and imagination the book is spiked with delights. The rooms and the creatures have some very odd and most original and entertaining names. There is some chemistry with the Inn Manager Regina or Reggie, but Cobra still wonders whether he should stay at all.
Then there are murders and Cobra learns that the magical realm is nothing to play with.
This is great fun to read although I must warn you - if you haven't guessed it yet - there is some fair amount of swearing and strong language.
This is a solid and original idea that works really well. There are some serious moments, too. Cobra has had substance issues and so has his ex-wife and so it is just as well that he is so far from human civilization.
A big fan of Bonnie Bernard's other books I found this even better and look forward to the next mad but genial creations she comes up with.
Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant
on Aug. 23, 2013
"Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer: And Her Parable of the Tomato Plant" by Marsha Roberts is a very moving and entertaining read.
In over 30 short stories Roberts takes us through her life: The good times and the bad; challenges to her family, such an accident to her sister, family issues that need to be resolved, her own physical, personal and professional set backs.
What makes these stories special is the author's spirit throughout them. Never the whiner, moaner or victim the book is full of motivation, determination and faith in herself and in the God she believes in.
The stories are written in a voice I loved listening to, not just because I can relate to so many references to the times and situations mentioned.
Roberts memoirs to me are an encouragement to believe in yourself, to have faith and to make the most of your potential. Her God is helpful and kind and should not offend the sensitivities of agnostic readers. The inspirational message that shines through her life story is above religion, the tone is warm, loving and pleasantly understated and most of all, it is a very enjoyable and pleasant read.
A World of Verse
on Sep. 07, 2013
"A World of Verse" by ASMSG Authors is a magnificent showcase of new and established talent in the world of rhymes and verses.
The collection covers a huge range of themes and types of poetry, even pieces by the same author may vary in style and content. Thoughtfully but without rhyme Alan Hardy is first up with his wonderful musings about the life of an old lady, while later on for example Peter Watson Jenkins delivers a great 'Sonnett' in more traditional style of verse; Andy Szpuk chooses amongst others war and a dirty motel for his powerful and concise poems; some authors write more cryptic or in staccato (B L. Ronan, Teresa Garcia), others sound like rhythmic short stories with full sentences and a story to tell (Laurie Miller Kazmierczak - check out her 3rd Thought, it is amazing, as is Muriel Cyr's heartbreaking 'For Marcel Giroux' and Ollie Lambert's inspired 'Oscar Wager II').
Other favourites of mine were Ian Bradley Marshall's tribute to his mother and 'Anyhows', a great reflection on conscience; James Amoateng's take on men, Karena Marie's sad love poem to a fallen soldier and Lucy Pireel's short and poignant 'woe',.
Although the steps of this amazing bunch of writers do not match the selection of talent is overwhelming and I could have picked quotes from almost any writer in this anthology. I have read some novels or short stories by some of these authors and am amazed at their versatility.
If you like poetry then this is a guaranteed and rich source of great materials so look no further.
The Rekindled Affair
on Oct. 07, 2013
"The Rekindled Affair" by Peter John is a short but humorous and witty account of a couple reunited after 45 years. When she left him she broke both their hearts and when by chance the two meet again, they go on a proper date, 45 years late and with bodies that also have aged 45 years.
This short story is very entertaining and very likeable for its great portrayal of mature love, unafraid of taboos yet not patronising or voyeuristic.
The lovers are interesting characters and carry the story easily. A charming read.
A World of Terror
on Oct. 08, 2013
"A World of Terror" contains many different worlds of terror, it is in fact an amazing cross section of all types of horror: it contains werewolves, haunted school buildings, ghosts, flesh eating monsters and dead trees to name a few.
Bringing together a large ensemble of writers the pieces are naturally written in a broad variety of style which makes this a inspiring reading experience. The stories range from more classic horror settings with wooden chests, dead trees and the devil to modern ones with gps systems and Zombies Anonymous.
I was impressed with the versatility of some authors whom I know from their excellent writing in other genres,one even in children's books.
Credit is due to the skilled editing that has compiled this entertaining anthology in a way that never bores. The flow is perfect from the first story to the last.
There is great psychological terror in "Millie" and a well written modern take on Frankenstein in "The Perfect Woman".
This is a thrilling showcase of writing talent that has something good and scary for every fan of horror.
on Oct. 22, 2013
"Road Rash" by Bonnie Bernard is a great thoughtful and funny short story about life after death. Wayne Wright dies in a motorcycle accident and awaits his judgement day in a rather unusual setting.
Wright is a rough guy with a filthy mouth but maybe just possibly with a good enough heart to avoid the worst.
As usual Bernard spices her writing with plenty of great phrases and wordings, and her characters are reliably funny and entertaining.
This piece is a little more serious than some of her other works as it addresses the issues of religious beliefs about the afterlife not just with passing comedy but with some deeper thoughts along the way, satisfying all of her readers: Those who are there for the puns and the writing style and those who wonder about the moral aspect of the story.
The ending was unexpected and added to the thoughtful tone of the story. This is a hugely enjoyable take on multicultural and multi-denominational America and the world,a musing on what heaven and hell are and who gets to judge what who deserves.
on Nov. 09, 2013
"Betty Badass" by Bonnie Bernard is a clever and entertaining short. As the title tells us it follows a rather strong female protagonist named Betty - after a Flintstone character (which is not the only reason why she wants her father dead).
Confident, sexy and operating on no longer blurred lines of illegality she is a likeable character with a bigger heart than you'd think but also a strong taste for revenge. She is taking care of her brother and that dictates her actions.
Told with sarcasm and wit the story moves to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Despite the humorous tone there is a more thoughtful touch of morals and Karma and family ties.
on Nov. 09, 2013
Excellent story with an unexpected twist. To short to say anything more but totally worth it.
When I Was German
on Nov. 15, 2013
"When I Was German" by Alan Wynzel is a bitter sweet childhood memoir of a young man growing up in his own private war zone that is the marriage between his German mother and his Jewish father in America during the 1960s and 1970s.
It is a moving tale about a child caught in the parent's volatile relationship, the clash of their cultures and personalities and the resulting identity issues for the young men brought on by conflicting ideas and role models.
Wynzel's perception of the Jewish and the German cultures is a very interesting perspective and one that benefits particularly from being told by the point of view of an adolescent. His childhood fantasies, his perception of films and comments about Germans in the US (particularly about the 1976 Munich Olympics hostage drama) and the descriptions of the family holidays in Germany are insightful, heart breaking and thought provoking. Beign German myself and living abroad - even twenty years later than this book's story - I can relate to many of the author's experiences.
Wynzel does an excellent job at describing his experiences realistically and honest, making this an engaging and compelling page turner for me. This is an interesting and unique life story that deserves to be told and read.
A World of Joy
on Nov. 30, 2013
"A World of Joy" is a remarkable collection of short stories with the common theme of the holiday season. We know that this period represents different things for different people and that is marvellously reflected in the careful selection of the included stories.
The first Christmas without a loved one or a Christmas under dire financial circumstances are just two examples of stories that go beyond the appearance of father Christmas and angels. Humans can find themselves in that season in all kinds of situations and not every Christmas is necessarily a happy one.
But the anthology has a much more positive note and many stories covering the classic magical themes of the season.
Thankfully the editors have put together a rounded selection which covers a great many aspects of the holiday experience and is sure to have something palatable to offer for anyone.
X-mas is all about togetherness, about joy, hope and celebrations. This Anthology pays tribute to this motto with wonderful stories about the human condition and about Santa, mistle toes, magic surprises, family and love. For better and for worse. Christmas is what you make it and the ASMSG authors have made it a World of Joy.
It is no surprise to me that ASMSG anthologies are frequently topping the download charts and Listopia lists on Goodreads. The quality of their formatting, cover choices, editing and writing is consistently high and has brought some very talented writers to my attention.
In true Christmas-spirit the stories a free to download, so enjoy the gift that is A World of Joy.
on Jan. 16, 2014
"Atlas" by Benjamin Smith is a solid and well written thriller that takes place not too far into the future. Science has advanced and in the tradition of forensic and technologically enhanced crime investigation the book offers a lot of new gadgets and methods for Detective ehm Inspector Victoria Rhodes and her team.
Set in San Francisco and Northern California the story offers familiar places, some of them still as we know them, some modernised. For example there is a dome for the filthily rich with total segregation from the poor, run by the controversial Atlas corporation.
I liked the set up very much for its realistic and plausible character - too many futuristic thrillers go overboard, Smith has introduced just enough to make this an interesting different world, yet keep relevance to present time humans.
The chemistry between the investigating Inspector and her counter part in the Atlas Corporation regarding a double murder works extremely well. Theirs is not a screwball type "taming of the shrewd" chemistry, there is depth and a horrifying link to their past that gives this much more bite and substance.
The story itself is well plotted and paced with enough action, turns and suspense to keep you glued to the kindle and should prove a winner with fans of the genre. This is a full hearted and well accomplished effort that deserves a place amongst the first in its field.
This is really good stuff and - fortunately for us - only the first in a series.
MJ Magazine March — Created By Authors for Authors
on March 15, 2014
"MJ Magazine March - Written by Authors for Authors" by Fran Lewis is yet another amazing collection of information for writers: Tips on how to write, on screen writing, grammar and on research issues are amongst the many useful and well written articles. There are comprehensive features on authors Robert Dugoni and Allan Topol and many more reviews and interviews with authors.
Fran Lewis is a tireless reader, reviewer and supporter of both, independent and traditionally published literature and with such an amount of expertise and huge catalogue of book reviews under her belt she effortlessly fills the numerous pages of this colourful and rich managzine - with the help of many equally reputable contributors.
I am a big fan of her issue section, which, on this occasion, tackles bullying and medical concerns. It shows the more serious and concerned side of the editor. The magazine is dedicated to Fran's late sister Marcia Joyce and the personal touch adds to the beauty of this well rounded labour of love.
I couldn't name a better literature magazines.
on March 23, 2014
"Papap's Teeth" by Danielle DeVor is a great short horror story with a dose of sentiment and nostalgia and a few very hairy moments. What is in grandfather's wooden box and how will it affect Sara's life?
I can't tell you, but I will say that DeVor understands perfectly to reel you in with her touching story about a girl's curiosity and fascination, setting the scene of a regular family and the only slightly odd grandfather. Before you know it the disturbing secret is out.
The horror creeps subtlety up on you. The persepctive of the young girl is done very well, which helps to make Sara's discovery even scarier.
A great idea well executed. Very enjoyable.
A World of Worlds
on March 31, 2014
"A World of Worlds" by ASMSG Authors is a great anthology of diverse and well-crafted science fiction and fantasy stories, ranging from sophisticated futuristic and technological writing to fantasy fare of other-worldly creatures and even vampires. Spaceships, electric goggles, militaristic tones and humour – the anthology seems to cover a very broad spectrum of the genre. Strong writing and tight editing proves the authors as a league of highly talented and diverse craftsmen.
Grey mouses appear in every story but else the stories are all different, unique, inventive and enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Just Between Us- Inspiring Stories by Women
on April 01, 2014
"Just Between Us: Inspiring Stories By Women" by Selena Haskins and other wonderful writers is a very touching and quite inspirational selection of short articles about personal and important moments in the authors' lives.
I had the pleasure of reading fiction by almost all of the authors in this book before and so the stories had an additional impact on me, seeing the real women behind the fictional stories they have published elsewhere.
What I took with me from this book is the need to be true to myself, as the opening story so importantly relays. Each story has its unique and personal message, deep and meaningful lessons learned from life. It shows how we can learn from every life and from every experience. The women in this book are not only sharing these precious musings, they are sharing them for free as a gift to us all, and they are received with great thanks by this reader.
on April 22, 2014
"Suicide Song (Songs)" by Wand Hartzenberg is a most beautiful and thoughtful short story about a young man's last moments on earth. The author zooms in from afar with mesmerizing observations about the night sky and a dark memory before homing in on that moment, throughout using great metaphores and scene setting.
The writing is atmospheric and bittersweet while the setting is described in excellent detail. It is the perfect close up of the surrounding of th emoment to come. The scene was so captivating I felt as if it were me in that room.
The afterword is almost as important and breath taking as the story itself when the author explains about her connection to the man. This truly touched me deeply.
on June 17, 2014
"Summer Shorts (The Indie Collaboration Presents Book 5)" by various authors is an accomplished selection of shorts. They differ in style and theme and show a wide range of talent. SOme of the authors I am already familiar with from previous anthologies and individual works.
The collection starts strongly with a tale about a tree and witchcraft, moves on to imps and rockstars, dark or funny but always well edited and perfectly entertaining. An enjoyable and beautiful summer read that I can heartily recommend.
Why I Do Robots Not Men 1
on Aug. 22, 2014
"Why I Do Robots, Not Men 1" by Delilah D'lishus is a surprisingly entertaining and well written short story. Part of a serialisation this is just the beginning of a longer whole and tells us the story of Jessica, who in 2036 decides to replace the ex-boyfriend who has left her with a deluxe robot - satisfaction guaranteed.
While on the surface predictable this explicit erotic story about the sex between woman and robot has a lot of thought put into the dynamics of emotion in sex and in a purely functional relationship.
Having chosen the book for its silly title and because it is free I was not just entertained but impressed. Jessica is honest to herself and the reader and it did make me wonder also about the refined algorithms that exist already and how long it will take before men can create such machines - or, when humans will start to behave like machines to please each other.
The initial selfishness of Jessica's purchase changes as the relationship between her and the robot does.
A fun start to a series that has promise and potential for more but which will still find plenty of fans of erotica for women. Very well done.
MJ Magazine March 2015 — Created By Authors for Authors
on March 03, 2015
With the 2015 March edition of "MJ Magazine" the writers, editors and contributors have surpassed themselves. This edition really comes together with its well chosen themes of writing and war.
The leading article opens the discussion on conflict and war from a young woman's personal perspective - the war between siblings and family members. We then are treated to a selection of artoicles about writing, tips on how and how not to do it, and articles by authors and agents. All of these were fascinating for both, the reader and the writer in me.
The magazine features a large section of reviews with books in various genres. My particular favourite was a series of Children's books "I am ...." about important figures, such as Rosa Parks.
The magazine then has a section of "Issues", where important matters, such as Alzheimers' Disease and spousal abuse, are discussed.
A well rounded selection of information that I must strongly recommend.
Eros the Aegean Chronicles
on June 08, 2015
“Eros” by Yelle Hughes is a fantastic and highly creative blend of modern culture and ancient Greek Myth. The beginning takes us back to one of these curses that go wrong and set off a chain reaction that eventually leads to the fulfilment of a prophecy, but in a different way than was anticipated or intended. Nobody does it better than the Greek, or Yelle Hughes on their behalf.
Eros falls for Psyche but through a series of events he loses her for several millennia and a prophecy tells that she should not meet her again until the 21st century. The beginning is powerful and really gets you in the mood for drama and complications. I used to learn Ancient Greek at my school and Hughes and her work always makes me instantly want to open old Greek books again and refresh my knowledge of this fascinating mythology. Very well done and very captivating.
Fast forward to US soil in the 21st century and witness as modern day Eros, now Erok, gets to fall for Sindi. The writing here is steamy and contains some hot explicit sex scenes. The immortal has fallen for a mortal and divine intervention, cursing and intrigue throws more complication into the plot.
This series is such great fun, particularly when the ancient gods come into play and meet modern life. They are of course fully used to the modern world but their attitude and immortal status bring some amazing quality to the story.
MJ Magazine August — Created By Authors for Authors
on Aug. 11, 2015
What a great edition of this magazine: It includes a selection of very useful, specific and hands-on articles with tips about writing and publishing. Very concise and to the point, these articles sum up a lot of important information.
Interviews with authors and the man behind the Bewitched Series add to the variety of the magazine.
There are plenty of books and film reviews and the magazine has a very personal touch by way of Fran Lewis' beautiful and bitter-sweet introduction, which is a hommage to her late sister.
This edition ia very well put together.
Pasha, From Animal Shelter to A Sheltered Life
on May 22, 2016
Heart warming, entertaining and informative
"Pasha, From Animal Shelter to A Sheltered Life " by Inge H. Borg is a lovely book about one woman's experience of animals and an animal shelter, giving plenty of wonderful anecdotes about her dealings with those animals.
Borg also gives a lot of insightful advice on animal care and what to consider when planning to extend one's family by a furry creature.
Nicknamed Cat Lady by her neighbours Borg has a lot of knowledge about cats which she shares with much love and a great sense of humour.
But she has gone to the dogs and taken up dog walking in the shelter. Her chapters on the work in an animal shelter were quite an eye opener to me - and I have three grown dogs, was a regular dog walker for a local shelter myself once. And I used to have cats.
The structure of the book is nicely mixed up, not overloading us with advice or anecdotes at any given time. It felt as if Borg has done this all of her life and probably has a lot more stories to tell.
You would probably have a hard time to find an unlike-able animal lover but the warmth from these pages alone makes this a worthwhile read, but if you are considering to volunteer in a shelter or plan to have a new pet, please read this, it should give you a lot of food for thought.