Writer Wednesday: LOTS of Reviews!

I’m catching up on my reading and reviewing list,  at the moment. So I thought I would dedicate this week’s WW to all those books that I’ve read recently and haven’t reviewed on here yet.

We’ll start with one that made me laugh out loud and read bits to my partner who got so fed up with it that he finally snapped and told me to read it to myself…

It should have been an easy, Hollywood kind of case for Fish—just find some wanna-be starlet’s lost Lhasa Apso. But before anyone can say, “three-picture deal,” her cut-rate jeweler boyfriend is murdered and the killer wants to shoot Fish…and not in Technicolor.

Moe “Fish” Fishbein is a wisecracking bounty hunter, attorney and repo man with a ton of tattoos, a Buddha-licious grin and an old school Harley chopper. He’s the “go-to” guy for show biz A-listers with runaway spouses and missing Bentleys, and agents whose celebrity clients have jumped bail. A desperate jeweler hires him to locate his trophy girlfriend’s missing lap dog, but neglects to mention the fortune in stolen diamonds he super-glued into the dog’s collar for safe keeping.

The next thing Fish knows, his client gets whacked and now he’s in the sights of a psychotic hit man who wears black Armani and talks like Marilyn Monroe. The gunman works for a corrupt attorney who wants the stones for himself. And before Fish can do the right thing and track down his client’s murderer, the hit man pops the girlfriend. Then he kidnaps Fish’s associate and offers to swap him for the collar. Now it’s up to Fish to find the pooch, rescue his buddy, and stop the bodies from piling up faster than an old Chuck Norris flick.

Jeff has a quirky, wry humour that suits Fish and his companions down to the ground. I felt more than a little sorry for the witless Charlie and his beautiful wife; but the character I loved the most was Einstein – a genius at maths and someone that you really would like to have as your right hand man!

If you are reading this and you haven’t read either of Jeff’s books, then you need to get copies of both – one tip though, don’t eat and drink while you are reading because you *will* spit it out all over your screen!

I’m intending to collect all of Jeff’s books in paperback (when they make it into print) because they really are the sort of work that I love to read over and over again.

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Next up is something that I started reading for International Zombie Day…

Being a zombie is no picnic and it’s one hell of a handicap in the romance department when you fall in love with a ‘breather’:

Aleta is a breather with short blonde hair and brown eyes – two of them! – and the whitest smile Fred has ever seen. Every day at a certain time she sits at her window, and every day he stands in the rubble across the street among a crowd of zombies waiting to break through the fence and eat her.

‘You are beautiful, like an angel’, he thinks, but all he can moan is, “Braaaiiinss.”

Still, as zombies go, Fred’s quite a catch. Underneath all the gangrene and rot, Fred is different. This girl will probably turn out to be yet another dead end, an infatuation, someone whose image he cannot get out of his mind and whose taste he cannot get out of his mouth, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

For breathers, it is always only a matter of time, however beautiful they are and whatever the government is assuring people.

Which makes Fred sad because he has a beautiful 11 year old son called Timmy, and Timmy may still be alive.

From the moment I started reading “I’ve been Deader” I was literally glued to my phone.

This is not your normal, survivors-blast-zombies-to-pieces-for-the-fun-of-it, run-of-the-mill zombie novel. No way, no how! For a start, it’s told from the Zombie point of view. Fred is an anomaly, a Thinking Zombie, and it’s his story we begin the book with.

This story is mesmerising. From the moment I started reading it, I was hooked into the world that Adam Sifre has created. Told mostly from the point of view of Fred, a Zombie that can not only think, but also control the other zombies, you follow his adventures. Firstly all he can think about it Aleta, a Breather who is a vision of perfection. He wants her, and not just for her tasty looking limbs… however, he discovers that he has abilities that elevate him above your normal Shambler and decides that he’s going to use them to turn the Zombie / Breather war around.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket and Fred is just the man… well, zombie… to lead it there.

Adam’s irreverent humour and superbly slipped in cultural references make you feel as if you really are in the story. It would make the perfect TV series, especially as the plot thickens as we meet Jon, a homicidal maniac who seriously enjoys removing the zombie threat from his path. The descriptive prose and entertaining episodes from Fred’s Zombie Army’s progress bring us to Fred’s son, Timmy, and a climax to the story that leaves you begging for more.

I love it!

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And finally, I’m going to add one that I have read in HardBack rather than on Kindle – just to show that I do read print books!

1916: the Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where have the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man’s Land gone?

2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive – some said mad, others dangerous – scientist when she finds a curious gadget – a box containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a…potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way Mankind views his world for ever.

And that’s an understatement if ever there was one…

The Long Earth is the first novel in an exciting new collaboration between the creator of Discworld Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter

Its absolutely superb and has inspired me to read a few other Stephen Baxter books. The scientific theories involved in the story is flawless, from the evolution of man to parallel dimensions – you can really tell that Stephen Baxter is involved. There are hints of Discworld and you can feel the irreverence that is Terry Pratchett in almost every chapter… A seriously engrossing read!

The ending is the only sticking point for me – I really feel that there is a lot more to this story than has been printed and I want to see it all. Hence the four stars instead of the five that I would normally give a Terry Pratchett book.

Book Review: The Ladies Temperance club’s Farewell Tour by Jeff Lee

Q: What do you get when you cross Desperate Housewives with Dog The Bounty Hunter and Thelma & Louise?

A: The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour by Jeff Lee of course…

 

Click the Cover Image to buy a copy!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened up my copy of this book. I’d heard it being compared to Thelma & Louise, but as I’ve never seen that movie, it didn’t actually mean all that much to me. What I actually found in the pages of The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour went far beyond the description of the movie that I looked up on Wikipedia…

 

The prologue sets the entire feel to the book in such a few words, by introducing the only character that you don’t mind seeing in a crisis!

 

“Jack Thibideau was a con man and a thief. A bottom feeder who didn’t have much use for any tax-exempt Judeo-Christian outfit that discouraged its members from separating others from their hard earned shekels.

He also didn’t have a lot of patience for the rules, regulations and bylaws of the rest of the world’s religious clubs and associations…”

 

The story itself revolves around the active membership of the Newbury Park Ladies’ Temperance Club. Vonda, Kay and Francine are three close friends who support each other through the thick and thin of daily life, accompanied by as many bottles of wine as they can drink together.

Vonda is married to Jack Thibideau and after one particularly nasty encounter with Jack’s taste in porn and alcohol, coupled with many good reasons for divorcing the guy, Vonda picks up a nearby trophy and does to Jack what any thinking person would like to do…

 

The hijinks start after Francine and Kay find Vonda and decide to take her on a road trip in Jack’s luxury RV. They stuff Jack’s body into the RV’s onboard chest freezer and disappear into the night.

 

This is one book you are going to find yourself snorting, cheering and laughing aloud at!

 

Be prepared to have to read pieces out or explain what you are reacting to, or alternatively, you could suggest that the inquirer read the book themselves. Either way, it is a rollercoaster ride of emotion and entertainment from beginning to end.

Jeff Lee has really captured the whole road trip movie feel and his characters are perfectly crafted, drawing you into the story and making you care about them in so few words. His descriptions at each pitstop they take and the encounters they have keep the story flowing nicely, especially after Fish and his Sidekicks get involved.

 

In fact my only criticism is that I wanted to know more about the three main characters. You find out a lot about Vonda through Jack’s back story, but you don’t really understand much about Francine and Kay’s lives until a good two thirds of the way into the book. There is enough there for the other two members of the Ladies Temperance club to have their own books, prequels if you will, leading into this one.

 

This is a book that I think will lift the spirits no matter how many times you read it, and one that I can seriously see becoming a box office blockbuster.