Book Review: Six Weeks by Jessica L. Degarmo


Six weeks after a drunken coupling with her boyfriend, Matthias, Imogen discovers that she’s pregnant.

Like every woman who has found herself in that situation, she has a decision to make. And it’s the journey towards that decision that the story is about.


Life isn’t simple and Imogen has more than one person to think about on this journey: Her eight-year-old sister who relies on her to look after her; her boyfriend who sees Imogen as an escape from his abusive father; her drunk of a mother who doesn’t care about herself anymore.


And that’s why this is such a good story.


For a start, it hits you straight in the gut as Immy is told that she is six weeks pregnant and that she only has six weeks to decide what to do before it is illegal to terminate the pregnancy. Her confusion and stress are so real, it draws you in and you forget that you are reading a work of fiction.


Ms Degarmo is an artist and emotions are her paints; I sat there and read the story all the way through, biting my tongue, wanting to step in and slap her mother, to hug Sadie and to give Immy the support she needed. The tears flowed as Immy had to make an incredibly hard decision and that’s the mark of a brilliant writer, the ability to make you feel everything the characters feel, to make you see the characters as real and not just as constructs.


This is one book that every woman will be able to connect with and that every teenage girl should read before they venture out into the wide world of relationships.

This isn’t the first of Jessica’s books that I’ve read and it won’t be the last.

Writing is supposed to be fun…

… a fact that seems to disappear when you’re under contract.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about being under contract to Pfoxmoor / Pfoxchase.

That’s one fact that I’m ecstatic about, as it means that my writing career is finally moving forward.

I’m complaining about the fact that writing has become less fun of late. Whether it’s because:

  1. I’m now having to treat it like a job…
  2. I actually have to finish the series fairly soon…
  3. I’m getting a little stressed about finishing it…
  4. All of the Above…
… I don’t know, but I’m having an unusual amount of trouble settling down to the  task, especially as I am now writing the first draft of book 4 and still have book 5 to plan!
I could blame it on being ill (Summer Flu), being busy (Scout Fete last weekend, District Trip and First Aid Training this weekend) or being Lazy… but I know it’s not any of those.
I’ve found myself procrastinating on Facebook, Knitting (I’ve almost finished my summer cardigan), making bread, watching movies and writing blog posts when I’m supposed to be writing my book…
…no prizes for guessing what I should be doing at the moment…
Anyway, I’ve written snatches of background for TTATE and bounced around sorting out minor details in the world for it, but Puff hasn’t paid attention when I am trying to do when I sit down to write…
…and keeps on diverting my attention elsewhere!
For example.
When I started out trying to be a serious Fantasy Writer, I created a world and wrote an epic novel “The Kingdom of The Seven Towers”.  After several months of getting comments about it on Webook and Authonomy, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to get it anywhere, so I retired it and put it away.
On Sunday, after sitting staring at my screen for a few minutes, Puff started whispering in my ear about it.  I went looking for it,  but could only find the folders about the world background and the maps.
“Re-write the story…” whispered Puff.
And before I knew what was happening, I’d written 1.2k on the re-write!
I enjoy writing. I really do… but why can’t I settle to what I am supposed to be writing rather than new things?
* * *
On a different note – I thought I would bring to your attention a little competition that “Welcome to Wherever” is running…
All you have to do is write a piece based on four photographs. Easy huh?
Well, the Editor has given everyone two months to come up with something and submit it, so why not let your muse whisper to you about the photographs and have a go?
is the link you need – take a look and have a go!

Tuesday Book Review

I’m going to do something slightly unusual today. I’m reviewing several books by one author…

The Author in question is one of the best writers I have come across. Her characters are engaging and you can really slip yourself into the main character’s shoes… and boy, will you want to, because Greta Van Der Rol creates the hottest male SF characters this side of Castle!

Selected by Indie Publisher, Pfoxchase (an Imprint of Pfoxmoor) last year, Greta seemed to unleash a positive flood of creativity. Pfoxchase have released two of her books already this year with another two scheduled for Summer / Fall 2011.

So, let’s get on and check out Greta’s books!

* * *


The first book is –  To Die a Dry Death

June 1629. Laden with treasure and the riches of Europe, the merchantman Batavia, flagship of the Dutch East India Company, sails on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam bound for the East Indies.

But thirty miles off the coast of Terra Incognita Australis-the unknown south land-she smashes into an uncharted reef. The survivors-women and children, sailors, soldiers and merchants-are washed ashore on a pair of uninhabited, hostile islands, with little food or fresh water.

Desperately seeking help, the ship’s officers set out in an open boat to make a two-thousand-mile journey to the nearest trading post. While they are gone, from the struggle for survival on the islands, there emerges a tyrant whose brutal lust for power is even deadlier than the reef, which wrecked the Batavia.

This is a true story. The level of historical detail in this story is astounding, but instead of what could be a rather dry account of a tragic shipwreck, you are immersed in a gripping story of adventure and murder.

GVDR is a superb writer and her characterisation makes you wish that the characters you have invested so much emotion in, could evade their historically recorded fates.

I’m not a historical genre fan. I find they can be quite difficult to read, but Greta’s is seriously absorbing, the story enhanced by the facts, rather than weighed down by them.

The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy – came next…

Politics. Hatred. Star systems on the brink of war. A species under threat of extinction from a deadly virus.

Ex-Admiral Chaka Saahren goes undercover to discover the truth. Systems Engineer, Allysha Marten, takes one last job to rid her of debts and her cheating husband. On Tisyphor, deadly secrets about the past explode, as Allysha and the undercover agent scramble to prevent the coming holocaust and xenocide.

When the ex-Admiral’s identity is revealed, she must come to terms with her feelings for a man she thinks caused the death of innocent civilians, including her father.

In a race against time, Allysha must set aside her conflicted emotions and trust a man she barely knows. Saahren must convince the woman he loves to find the truth as he once more assumes his position as … The Iron Admiral. 

When I first read the cover blurb to this book, I rather assumed that it was going to be your usual hot and heavy romance with a light overlay of Science Fiction. In fact it’s the complete opposite!

There is sufficient SF detail to satisfy the Geek in me with an emotionally adept character led story line that has enough erotic flavour to get me hot under the collar… TOH never knew what hit him after I read The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy. This is one of those stories that begs to be made into a movie and I can fully see Nathan Fillion playing Saahren.

Anyone fancy camping on Joss Whedon’s doorstep with me to beg him to make this into a movie?

Ahem… anyway. Romance readers will love this. SF Readers will love it as well, though. The worlds and the technology are well thought out, enhancing the space opera feel. The whole package is beautifully presented and I can highly recommend this book.

Thirdly I introduce a novella called – SuperTech…

Ensign Morgan Selwood was almost too good at her job and far too casual about Fleet rules and regulations.

Tasked with designing a control system for an untested attack fighter seemed like a dream come true and a real career booster.

But the specs and modules tell only part of the story—what Morgan discovers can put not just her career, but lives at risk. 

Morgan Selwood is the kind of character I can love. She is sassy and sexy, with a seriously high level of intelligence.

The story centres around Morgan’s work in an edge of the galaxy Fleet Base and the technology is a realistic extrapolation of current experimental medical techniques.

This is an enjoyable titbit, a little something to whet the appetite for more of the character. Roll on a whole book!

Now for the main event…

Morgan’s Choice

Morgan Selwood, a Bio-engineered Intelligence, and her shipmate, find themselves thrust into an alien star system where revolutionary forces threaten the fabric of Manesan society from within while an unknown enemy, intent on annihilation, looms over all. 

Morgan Selwood, as I mentioned in the last review, is an intelligent, sexy and sassy main character.

In this outing, she is joined by an accountant who I find rather objectionable. He’s certainly not the sort of man I would expect to see Morgan with. Enter Admiral Ravindra. On the GVDR scale of hotness, Ravindra ranks at about a nine. He’s got a way to go to beat Saahren at 10, but he is certifiably sexy.

The story begins in the middle of a mission that Morgan is involved with and the situation rapidly escalates into a situation that will test Morgans abilities to the hilt and also test the reader’s ability to put the book down as she is catapulted into the middle of an alien species and their troubles.

GVDR is perfectly in tune with her characters. Each one is well rounded and believable. The story is engrossing and you are on the edge of your seat with wondering what the next page will hold.


* * *

Phew! That’s not the most reviews I have done in one post, but it comes close to it!

I hope that you enjoyed reading this and that I have inspired you to seek Greta out and put her work on your bookshelf or kindle.

Where can you find this wonderful author? Take a look here!