1 February 2015

"ever been bored to tears and wanted to throw in a steady job that pays the bills?

"I came to this review knowing nothing of the author and had to get over the slightly ambivalent cover: was it a novel or a guide to running a successful business? The cover gave nothing away, and the back blurb was equally vague. I settled down to what was to become for me a very interesting novel.
Have you ever been bored to tears and wanted to throw in a steady job that pays the bills and keeps you employed nine to five? Well Laurie, the main character in this novel, had the urge to do just that, and the thought kept niggling away at him to strike out on his own.
This story rang very true to me because I have been there and met some of the truly ruthless business types that Laurie comes across in his quest to become a successful entrepreneur.
Apart from being a highly entertaining novel, I would recommend this as a must read for any budding businessman. In down to earth terms the author illustrates that all success has a cost in personal relationships, family and friends. He shows us how you can trust no one and that you must always trust and verify. In Laurie’s life the streets are paved with traps for the unwary.

27 January 2015

Love Ireland and wish to visit? Read Irene Truman's Review

"At the end of this book I felt I had lost a friend. This travelogue, which follows in reverse the route taken around Ireland by H.V. Morton  80 years earlier is a compulsive read.
It is a personal evaluation of Ireland’s colourful and turbulent history.
The book spans time from 2000 BC to present day; a veritable time machine encompassing Irish history, music, literature and culture.

It evaluates stark poverty in the north, comfortable affluence in the south via European funding; the violence of the I.R.A. and the Black and Tans; the peace and calm of Irish music and verse.
All this within magical, magnificent, majestic and inspirational coastline, crags, hills and dales, lakes and fairy glades.

John Butler’s careful and considered comparison with Ireland today against Morton’s observations in the 1930s reveal interesting anecdotes which particularly relate to an island culture.
The sights, sounds and smells of Ireland are set in high relief by his personal experiences with its people.
This journey is well researched and very enjoyable.

10 January 2015

I was intrigued by the book-cover, illustrating a beautiful manor house...

"I must confess I don’t read a lot of romantic fiction, being more of a blood and gore man myself, but I was intrigued by the book-cover, illustrating a beautiful manor house. Now, this was something I could get my teeth into! Like many people, visiting stately homes and gardens over the last two decades, has been one of my abiding passions. In addition to this, I do have a fascination for stories relating to World War Two, and from the very first page I was hooked. I don’t know how you could not like this all-too-short, glimpse into troubled times.
I’m still a little baffled as to why the story had such a pull on me, but the simplicity of line and style made the chapters fly by, for a very easy read.
The storyline concerns Sarah, a rich girl with the admirable ambition to become a nurse, and Joe, a young boy from a poor family. Their social and domestic situations could not be more different and they meet at a time when the whole world is in turmoil. Very soon Joe is whisked off to do his duty as a soldier and their unofficial engagement-to-be-married, has to be put on indefinite hold.

9 January 2015

‘Insightful and Sensitive, for parents, carers, and professionals...'

The Review
"Being unable to put it down, I read it at a sitting. Described as ‘insightful and sensitive’, this slender publication is designed ‘for parents, carers, and professionals who work with them’. As a parent and as a professional I have a thorough grasp of Maggie’s subject and can assure you that this small paperback is as good as anything I have read, and more readable than most. She speaks from the heart with a clear professional head. We know exactly what life’s journey has been for Em, from her early bereavement, through her further losses in childhood and adolescence, and, perhaps most importantly and optimistically, her painful road to recovery. Quite appropriately this is seen from the perspective of someone who believes in the significance of nurturing in human development, but no-one should underestimate Em’s inherent strengths.

8 January 2015

"This was an interesting read."

Playing Havoc, partly based on fact, partly a black comedy, describes one small British island’s battle to maintain some normality in the chaos after a coronal mass ejection, seen through the eyes of one man who had only recently moved there with the very intention of getting some peace.

The Review: "Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the work of Steve Morris. It is very refreshing to read a story apart from the main stream, everyday context. The storyline is interesting in a way that makes you actually think about all that could and would go wrong. Giving you a better concept of not only the things and people around you, but of yourself as an individual. The main character is a likable sort of fellow, if not a little detached from the world around him. He grows as a person in his perceptions of the people and things around him. More importantly, he learns a lot about his inner self. This book not only deals with the relationships you have with others, but the relationship and understanding you have of yourself. The storyline is solid and very realistic. This story gives everyone who reads it food for thought. This was an interesting read. I can actually imagine the things in the story coming to pass. I'm very fortunate to have had the chance to read this book"
A review by Mechele, the Read For Your Future blog.

7 January 2015

A delightful medley of short stories - In ‘Serendipity’ there is something for everyone.

In ‘Serendipity’ there is something for everyone. If your taste is humour there are plenty including ‘It’s No Laughing Matter’, ‘Stop! …Don’t Go Any Further’. There are slices of real life in ‘Arthur’, ‘Lanky Franky’, ‘Death of the Hindenburg’ and ‘My Only Sunshine’. There is satire and irreligious ones–written without any malice. In the animal stories ‘The Dog’, ‘The Gulls’ Court’ and ‘The Camel’ the author gives himself full rein and enjoyed exercising anthropomorphism. In short ‘Serendipity’ is the word - take a dip and find your winner.
Author John Butler says “In this miscellany of fifty or more stories runs the gamut from humour, drama, satire, farce and fantasy to contemplative thinking, mystery and the supernatural. Serendipity embraces all the human emotions. Enjoy it! ” 

John Butler is a retired head teacher and lecturer, he has spent forty years in education. For many years he has taught creative writing to adult groups. Being an avid reader of short stories, the author has enjoyed journeying along with the likes of Mark Twain, O’Henry, Maupassant, Frank O’Connor and others of such ilk...
“Serendipity–a daring dip of short stories”

6 January 2015

"...One man’s journey through the turbulent, unpredictable and ruthless business world of the ‘Thatcher Revolution’."

From its opening setting of the innocence of university life to the closing satisfaction of cold, hard business dealing, ‘Making It’ takes you on one man’s journey through the turbulent, unpredictable and ruthless business world of the ‘Thatcher Revolution’.
Laurie Walker’s trauma of almost failing his degree, and a subsequently volatile encounter with the gay scene in Barcelona, sets the scene for his education beyond anything that academia could have taught him.
This is a journey through the social and economic upheaval of the 1980s and 1990s in a cutthroat business world where sharks lurk at every corner waiting for the unwary novice. Mark Edmondson’s portrayals of Chas Wray as the tycoon bully-boy and Laurie Walker as his unwitting victim are sharp, entrancing, and financially brutal.
The dual plotlines, converging inexorably, are a hark-back to the days when deregulation was the byword of the Tory government of the time. This, however, is no textbook, despite Mr Edmondson clearly researched business terminology and logic. Set in the same tone as Eliyahu Goldratt’s ‘The Goal’, the novel pulls at the emotions as you travel, along with Laurie, down his road to business, financial, and personal destiny.
Being an accountant, the book ‘spoke’ to me in terms with which I have been familiar for over thirty years, and yet its language is set very much in layman’s terms. Short, punchy chapters will have you racing to the end as the plot quickens with each page.
Highly recommended.
A review by Neal James, author of several crime detective novels.