Ed Drury is a composer and multi instrumentalist who writes music for theatre, film and television. He plays in the region of 60 instruments including members of the woodwind, brass, strings and percussion sections and in his spare time he performs, teaches and writes about the Australian Didgeridoo. Ed has featured on countless albums over the years by literally hundreds of artists from around the globe.
on Sep. 27, 2011
An end I didn't see coming and could not have imagined. It's a quick read and little time is wasted in getting to the shocking end. Highly original plot twist.
on Sep. 27, 2011
Interesting little tale, an astonishingly unordinary life told matter of factly. Told differently, an epic movie, told as is, a conversation with a pleasant but very dark character. Unique short story.
The Pedestrian and Other Poems
on Sep. 28, 2011
Vivid pictures painted with the brush of real experience. This is a collection of verses easy to relate to as they speak of common experiences, feelings and fears. They contain snapshots of time and place both in image and emotion. Very rewarding and thought provoking read. Especially the title piece.
A Witness To Sin
on March 05, 2012
This book brings to life a cast of very complex characters who all have secrets dark and varied. While it centers on events long past, the echoes of these events set in to motion many lies, crimes and much suffering. From the drug addicted Belinda to her highly successful sister Liadin every character has complex layers. Even the seemingly unimportant Edward is hiding secrets. The character development in the story is excellent leaving the reader wondering if there are any innocents in this tale or if they all are just different dark shades of some greater evil. Yet the reader comes to care very much for Belinda because of her fragility and Li for her confusion and perhaps poor choices romantically.
In the end, the truth always comes out. But as this author has dramatically shone, it doesn't necessarily set one free or heel all wounds as we are so often lead to believe. No, the truth is often more complex and nuanced than fiction. This book is equal measures a who done it, psychological thriller and dark romance. An interesting ride along with the lives of complicated people. Good fiction writing requires attentive reading and this book provides an excellent excuse to get lost in the complex layers of deceit, greed, lust and betrayal that are all threads in the story. You'll quickly come to hate Mother Arianne, feel sorry for the clueless Edward, empathize with Garcia as he struggles to quit smoking and wonder about the motives of many others. But don't be surprised if your opinions about all of them change several times before the ending.
D.N.A. -Nothing Would Ever be the Same
on March 08, 2012
The character of Debney Armstrong is a very unusual and remarkable one. Given her life history, she is remarkably grounded and strong. I don't pretend to understand the character. As a male I'm just as confused and clueless about all women, but there are unexpected qualities in Debney that I think most male readers will have trouble getting their head around. There are few strong ethical male figures in the novel, perhaps only one. The story line is incredible for many reasons. Debney has the best of luck and the worst of luck. Her family was unbelievably and irreversibly broken. Yet somehow she finds incredible strength. It helps that her family just happens to be as unbelievably rich as it is morally bankrupt. Not on it's face a stretch of the imagination, yet money can and does solve some of her problems.
The author has presented a complex young woman who's life is tested on so many levels. Reading it, for me, was captivating as I tried to get my head around the circumstances which created Debney's complex last year of high school and at the same time wondering how she could possibly resolve so many issues. In the end, the book has a lot of information to consider about teen angst, bullying, teen pregnancy and peer pressure. Add into it some issues surrounding multiculturalism which challenge traditional thinking about social status and wealth - you have a thoughtful yet entertaining read. I'll remember these characters for a long time. And that is one of the signs of a good book. Unlike most young audience books you will read, the mature content is careful and thoughtful in its presentation. While I think the book will be possibly more appealing to women, I think it offers a unique perspective and voice to speak to males who are comfortable getting inside the head of a courageous woman who has suffered incredible losses and mountainous challenges yet remains true to her core beliefs which she must have developed pretty much from her own good heart and fine mind.
Kiwi and the Living Nightmare
on March 10, 2012
Anthropomorphism is a time honored literary device in literature. And I think a vital one to employ in fiction written for children. It teaches children at a young age a certain type of empathy for all life. But beyond the value of passing on these traditions, Vickie Johnstone has created an adventurous and entertaining story for Halloween which will contributes to another important thing to pass on to our children : the simple, wonderful joy of being read to. To hear a story told aloud and receive it as a listener. I think this little volume would be a perfect excuse to engage in such an activity as the writing style is perfect for practicing narration. It's a fun activity for adults and children to practice, the lessons of which will enrich both generations greatly.
Kiwi in Cat City
on March 16, 2012
Wonderful book for young adults and cat lovers in general. Sparsely, but elegantly illustrated and very well written fantasy about an alternate reality for cats. It creates a richly detailed place called cat city where a suspenseful mystery story unfolds. Two young children are transported to this realm by their magical cat where they play an important role in solving a case of catnapping. The details of this world are amazing, but equally impressive are the details of the characters which are brought to life vividly by the author. Book one in what promises to be an excellent series that will hook young readers on reading. It's why people write fiction for young readers, after all. But I think readers of all ages will be entertained by this book. I found myself laughing aloud at the many witty sections and comical situations. If pixar is looking for their next animated feature hit, they should contact this author about an adaptation of this book.
on March 28, 2012
A delightful short story for the reader to ponder. Rather like a zen riddle in a way. How would a vampire be received in different cultures. Is it possible that they could be held in high esteem for their 'gifts.' Wonderful little story beautifully written and highly original.
The Lipstick Stain
on April 05, 2012
One very strong feature of the short story is that it allows the author to plant a seed of suspicion in the readers mind and allow the reader to create his or her own ending to a story. This suspenseful story starts out innocently describing any number of female friends we all might have. While you learn a lot about her, like those same friends, what do you really know about her. Would they do something completely out of character? Perhaps, there is just enough doubt created to assume so. And yet, there maybe someone out there, who you would never suspect. Someone who outwardly seems very much like your friend. "Perhaps," you think, "they would have liked her..." Well perhaps they have already met.
Good, thought provoking suspenseful story. A quick, entertaining read that will leave you thinking about all the coincidences that are not seen by the police, friends or family.
Kiwi and the Missing Magic
on April 09, 2012
The second book in the Kiwi series of books takes the readers on another fantastic adventure with Kiwi the magical cat. Again, Jame and Amy venture to the wonderful Cat City where we learn much more about the City and it's Catizens. We also learn about Kiwi's parents and the creatures called the magic. But James and Amy learn of another place, not so nice, the Land of the Giant Mice.
James and Amy's ability to hear and understand animals develops to the degree that they even befriend a community of bees and help get them happily buzzing again. They make new friends and have fantastic adventures as they help to save Cat City which is in danger of being destroyed.
Another adventurous tale of mice and men, cats and mice, all told in skilled writing of Vickie Johnstone. It is easy to see why this author is so beloved. These are wonderful books the entire family can enjoy.
The Mysterious Disappearance of McGrath
on April 20, 2012
Short humorous story about a thrifty man who's favorite things to do are all free. He lead a simple live and was finally at piece with himself after going to so much trouble not to spend a dime. And he succeeds at this very, very well.
I enjoyed this little romp into the common Scot stereotype gone extreme. And McGrath would approve this story cause, well because it is free.
on April 23, 2012
A great twist in point of view, fooled to the end and a bit beyond. Did that really happen? Nice use of misdirection. Impossible to describe without spoilers. You'll just have to read the story.
When One Door Closes
on June 18, 2012
When one door closes another one opens, or so the saying goes. This book is a collection of short stories by Ey Wade which share this image of one door closing only to reveal another door to the principal character. The stories center around strong, yet damaged and in some cases somewhat fragile women.
There are four short stories and the finale which is a longer piece. Lesson Between the Lines is an interesting read as it is about a woman's reflections on a former lover. What she learned from him, both good and bad. Kind of a school of hard knocks reflection to be sure. "The Battle is not Between Us," is at it's heart a dark comedy and I enjoyed it probably the most of the short stories in the book. "No Regrets" is a kind of stand your ground tale of a woman finding her power after years of abuse. "The Cooking Class" is more of a light comedy about a shy boy with good intentions and a crush on his teacher. Ey doesn't often paint her male characters in as good a light as this one. I enjoyed it and could relation to the shy awkwardness of the male taking a cooking class, primarily because of the teacher.
Betrayal is the longest of the collection. A disturbing tale about a young woman who is used for appearances sake and then cast aside once the husband has attained the career status he sought all along. It's pretty rough stuff and Wade doesn't pull any punches in the telling of this story. I can't say a lot more without spoilers. However, once you get into this story, it's just about impossible to put down. You just have to read it through to it's conclusion.
This is a great book to pick up if you, like I was, are needing some short stories to fit in to a busy schedule - but yet want some thought provoking scenarios to hold your interest while reading and cause you to reflect on them between stories.
Day of the Living Pizza
on Nov. 13, 2012
The Day of the Living Pizza is an amusing short story written for the Gage Project, a charity that raises funding for children's charities. It is a fun bit of escapism written in a very witty style about the ever popular food, Pizza and the importance of offering all possible toppings for it. Part zombie apocalypse and part young adult crime mystery and fully hysterical, this short work delivers many grins and chuckles as Detective Smart matches what passes for wits with a town of Pizza Zombies with limited vocabulary. Only quick thinking and a bit of Reductio ad absurdum saves the town from the Day of the Living Pizza menace.
The Perfect Solution-A Suspense of Choices
on Dec. 28, 2012
Being not an ordinary story in any way, I found it quite rewarding to just go with this highly unique style. The final chapters are gripping and I found it impossible to put it down. I am not sure I would have been that invested in the outcome if I had not come to know all the characters, their way of thinking, and something about their history. Being such an unusual book, I scanned every review of it after finishing it. I did see and appreciate many of the more critical comments, but nothing I read detracted from my first instinct about the book which was I was reading something very unusual and important. The book could use a little more polish in a few places and yes the momentum does slow in places due to extensive dialog. But I think it is a unique and rare thing to find such an original style that it really didn't detract from my enjoyment of this thought provoking book. Recently, there was a case very much like this in not one of our daycare centers, but a private charter elementary school. Perhaps that makes me somewhat bias toward this fiction work, I know that real life is often stranger than fiction.
The Perfect Solution is a childcare center which, as the name might suggest, seems too good to be true on the surface and it is. There are flaws in what seems like a perfect daycare setting for preschool kids. The book has a terrifying premise and hopefully will cause concerned parents to ask a lot of questions about the daycare service providers who they place so much trust in.
This book is also about deeply flawed, but basically good people put in awful situations, in many cases because of choices that they have made. The story uses a lot of nonlinear time lines to give the back stories of the characters a closer examination. This is a careful balance to attempt in a suspense novel where we want to keep up with the action as it happens. On the other hand, we need to know these characters to be really invested in the story.
Not a Sound. Not a Peep
on Jan. 02, 2013
Nice short little bedtime story with illustrations and simple rhyming cadence very young children should love. This is a nice tool for that special time of childhood when every child just knows it is not safe to be in the dark, at least not safe enough to go to sleep! Cleverly done and richly illustrated, back this book up with a few props like a teddy bear and perhaps a toy angel or figurine and you are well on the way to putting your child's fears around bedtime in the past. I'd say this book is for preschool ages 2 to five or six. Excellent.
Who Will Hug the Sun
on Jan. 02, 2013
This wonderful little book, which is beautifully illustrated by the author, provides a wonderful metaphor for solar eclipses. It presents a way to open discussions about and investigations into the solar system, folklore and the technique of metaphor in understanding complex ideas.
It is a story which a child will remember perhaps all their lives and infuses a wonder into their earliest attempt to understand the solar system. Even when they learn more about the solar system, this tale will come back to them. They will learn at some point that solar eclipses are more frequent than once a year, for example, but that is only another teachable moment when children learn about the bigger world out there, the solar system and universe. What Ey Wade has provided is an early starting point for young children to become curious about science and the mysteries of nature. It gives parents a wonderfully entertaining way to spark a life time of shared memories of these images and metaphors. Even an old person like myself can fall in love with this naive desire to "hug the sun" because, well everyone needs a hug sometimes.
Simply wonderful and charming.
Between the Two of Them
on Jan. 02, 2013
Love the pictures in this little book! Excellent description of the private thoughts of a sister finding her own unique qualities while cherishing the uniqueness of her sister. Nice story about self esteem and love; how the two important qualities compliment each other. It is the perfect gift to the child who is either a middle or younger sibling. It would be an awesome book for an older sister to read to her younger one.
on Feb. 27, 2013
A series of studies in Haiku by the author of the fantastic Kiwi series of YA fantasy books. I've read some of Ms. Johnstone's poetry before and this collection is something of a departure from those which I have read. It is a bit more mature and yet it possesses the same grounded kindness which has made her a much beloved writer of young adult fiction. There are bits of sad reality mixed in with joyful beauty to form little threads of reflections on life. Some of them I found profoundly and beautifully sad. My favorite of those was, "She laughs so seldom, Cries when no one is looking, Keeps herself hidden." This is both a heartbreaking image that provokes parental feelings in the reader and at the same time demonstrates an empowering honesty that I found quite touching.
As in life, there are humorous moments. My most favorite one being, "If I second guess, The card that you're about to play, You'll owe me this time!" -- wishful, hopeful and probably futile. Who hasn't sat in just such a game?
My favorite of the entire collection is one which I wish I had written and certainly felt on many an occasion. "He holds the wide stage, Empty and bereft of sound, hypnotizing him." Anyone who has walked out upon a stage as been in this moment.
I spent the morning with these poems, reading, clipping and reflecting. I find them wonderful little treasure and am happy to have them in my library, there for when I need to summon an image for comfort or inspiration.
The Sea Inside
on Nov. 29, 2013
A young woman is struggling to adjust to life after a spinal cord injury when she is given a gift by a mysterious older woman. Rather than merely help Jayne adjust to her new reality, this gifts offers the potential of a completely alternate existence. Jayne finds her true love only to be dealt another cruel blow by fate. In her journey to get back her new life she must face the biggest hurdles any of us can. Our own fears and doubts.
How do you make the incredible credible? It must be enormously helpful to have written an excellent series of children's books based on a magical city where cats behave like human citizens. The Sea Inside is a young adult fantasy adventure which, like the Kiwi series takes the reader on a visit to a fantastic realm. It successfully takes us from the world of childhood fables, in the Kiwi books, to young adult fantasy adventure. Enjoyable and entertaining with subtle moral questions about love, friendship, loyalty, and family.
I Dream of Zombies
on Nov. 29, 2013
This is an extreme departure from the normal children and young adult fair this reader is used to purchasing. But it is a highly entertaining and original departure. I didn't realize at first that I was reading the first installment in a series of books. So upon reaching the conclusion, I was delighted to learn I could read more of these great characters.
What I liked most about the cast of characters in this novel was the diversity of backgrounds and personalities. Two heart warming children, a lovable retriever, a sweet older couple, a pair of thirty something ex-military buddies and a young single girl who meets a potential soul mate in the midst of this horrifying journey through an un-dead strewn England. Throw in a bit of paranormal intrigue and you have a very compelling premise indeed.
The action is nearly non-stop as these very endearing characters are revealed more in action than described in narrative. A skillful blend of story telling and humor mixed with adventure, horror, and violence. Excellent for the serious horror fan but complete enough to entertain any reader of any age.
Riders of the Wind
on Feb. 15, 2014
I could not believe my good fortune when I won a copy of this book in an on line drawing. I found I had stumbled into a remarkable treasure of entertainment and history. This extremely well researched book had me going to the library and numerous online searches to find out more about this time period between the two world wars and especially the nonfictional characters in it. The story revolves around the life of Charles A. Cross and the early days of aviation from the early 1920's through to the start of World War II in 1941. Combining great story telling with an encyclopedic knowledge of the aircraft of this era, Mr. Deburgh has created a master piece to enjoy for generations to follow.
Kiwi in the Realm of Ra
on April 03, 2014
As a long time fan of the Kiwi series, I found this latest installment to be perhaps the best so far. With each book, the adventures become more complex and imaginative as new characters are introduced and old ones become integrated into the Kiwi world.
Although I read book two of the series first, the continuity of the series lends itself to reading them in order to get the most enjoyment and after reading Kiwi in Cat City, I have been faithful to that formula. I can tell that the author has been responsive to her readers when in this volume she explains that the cats are consuming lactose free milk products. The fact that all cats are lactose intolerant escaped even T.S. Elliot so the passing mention of this in the book should be acknowledged and appreciated by all who pick up on it.
The new characters in this book are delightful additions to the lore of Cat City and the story is fast paced and entertaining as always. If you like the Kiwi series, this is a must have and if you haven't gotten hooked on the series as of yet I highly recommend reading it in order. That said, this book reads well on its own and should provoke investigation into the previous works. It is, after all, a book about history.
Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle
on April 03, 2014
This is the fourth installment in the Kiwi series. For many reasons, I think it is the best one yet. First and foremost, it draws upon all the characters of the previous three books. In this respect it is a real treat for readers, like me, who have read the previous three books. All your favorite characters from the series are in this one. Including the enigmatic Dev, the lovable Inspector Furball, all the catizens from cat city and the fantastic characters from other realms. Rats, hamsters, squirrels oh my! Secondly, we get to travel to yet another magical realm with many memorable characters and perhaps the most formidable and fearsome enemy the catizens have faced thus far in the series. Even though this makes for a epic ensemble of characters, for the readers of the series it is less about a huge cast and more about a rewarding continuation of what is turning into a saga of Kiwi's magical family, friends and enemies. Lots of action, mystery, and magic in this book. As I said before, this book is for the Kiwi fan. Perhaps not the choice for the first time reader of the Kiwi series, but for the long term fan like me it is a read treat and essential read. I sense a shift in the direction of this series. A shift from cute little stand alone books to a fully coherent young adult epic. A saga with coherent underlying themes and meaningful character development complete with deeper back stories for the principal characters. I applaud the new direction. With this book, Kiwi takes a giant pounce forward as a literary treasure.
Kiwi's Christmas Tail
on April 03, 2014
This latest installment to the Kiwi Series is a Christmas story in which Kiwi, Amy, and James help a star rescue his fairy friend from the clutches of an evil witch who is holding her captive in a haunted house. Their adventures take them back to Cat City to enlist the help of old friends such as Siam and Inspector Furrball. In an enchanting twist, they wind up meeting Father Christmas and traveling with him around the world and eventually to his magical realm of Snowfell.
Kiwi's Christmas Tail is a delightful book filled with magical adventures and great teachable moments to entertain and delight your children. Great reading for the entire family. Again, the Kiwi series of adventures delivers magic and love. Very enjoyable.
Back From Chaos
on June 13, 2014
Back From Chaos is an excellent sword and sorcery fantasy novel most remarkable for its wonderful characters. There are two essential love stories contained within the larger epic which are both endearing. One is the classic prince and princess fairy tale that retains its charm in spite of the obvious happily every after cliché. But the other, more interesting one is between a spy and a lady of the court and is most surprising and engaging. For fans of the sword and sorcery genres, as well as romantics of every stripe, this is a wonderfully entertaining read. It is filled with betrayal, conspiracy, intrigue, and romance. An enjoyable start to what promises to be a very rich and entertaining series.
Like Shards of Glass
on Oct. 03, 2014
This an unusual story told in a highly unusual way. Monroe and her son's back story would be a novel in of itself. A tragic tale ripped from the headlines concerning a mass shooting. What we have left from those headlines is of course the survivors, complete with their guilt, confusion, fear, and anger. Their story is told from three points of view, that of the wife, her son, and her best friends son. The relationships between these characters is complex and painful. It is also highly dysfunction. The result is a very adult oriented psychological twist of contemporary fiction. The title refers to a strong and dark memory that the wife revisits as she tries to make sense of the trauma which threatens to destroy her. Anyone who has been through a severe trauma can relate to the constant replay of certain memories. The desperate attempt by the mind to try and put events in to context and order. The realism with which this story is recounted is sometimes difficult but always honest. Coupled with an ending that is as unexpected as it is logical, it is the realism that makes this novel work. It is gritty, honest, and thought provoking as it touches on some tough areas along with some sweet tender moments that draw the characters close to the readers heart, each in their own way.