I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I just can't help pick up or click on a book with an amazing front. Each week I'll tell you about the books I've added to my TBR shelf just because of their cover. Today's cover is TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE BAKER STREETS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF HOLMESIAN TALES ACROSS TIME AND SPACE, a collection of short stories with Holmes and Watson as you've never seen them before. The cover looks fantastic, the blurb backs it up, now to get to the reading! Added to my TBR list.
Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space
The world's most famous detective, as you’ve never seen him before! This is a collection of orginal short stories finding Holmes and Watson in times and places you would never have expected!
A dozen established and up-and-coming authors invite you to view Doyle’s greatest creation through a decidedly cracked lens.
Read about Holmes and Watson through time and space, as they tackle a witch-trial in seventeenth century Scotland, bandy words with Andy Warhol in 1970s New York, travel the Wild Frontier in the Old West, solve future crimes in a world of robots and even cross paths with a young Elvis Presley...
Set to include stories by Kasey Lansdale, Guy Adams, Jamie Wyman, J E Cohen, Gini Koch, Glen Mehn, Kelly Hale, Kaaron Warren, Emma Newman and more.
Virtual Book Tour Dates: 7/31/14 - 8/28/14
Genres: Science Fiction
The richest man in the world wants to celebrate the July 4th holiday as never before. In a bid to get into the record books, a global fireworks show is staged from orbit. Satellites drop pyrotechnics into the atmosphere, thrilling everyone from the Arctic to the Antarctic with their rich colors and massive explosions in every time zone.
The next day, people around the globe begin to lose their sight. Governments crumble, society degenerates, and infrastructure falls into chaos. Humanity finds itself stumbling in the dark and losing all hope.
A few fortunate individuals retain their vision. Attempting to deal with the growing despair around them, they come together to discover the true purpose and origin of the affliction. They race to find a cure before the world is subjugated under an invading power.
Keith Hurst’s secure telephone rang, waking him from a sound sleep. He opened his eyes and looked at the LED clock on his nightstand. It said 3:12. As national security advisor to the president of the United States, middle-of-the-night calls were common. His staff did their best to filter out the less important matters until his morning brief, but there were times when an emergency forced sleep into second place.
Hurst grabbed the handset by the second ring. He had to wait for the encryption to handshake before he could say, “Hurst.”
“Good morning, sir. This is the night watch officer. We have several NSA intercepts from the following countries: India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia all placing their militaries on high alert. We’ve had sporadic reports of multiple air, car, and rail accidents, resulting in thousands of deaths. Many radio and television stations have gone off the air in those countries.”
Hurst snapped on his bedside light and sat up. “Accidents? Do we know the cause?”
“No, sir. The strange thing is, NSA claims many of the foreign military units that were signaled never acknowledged the alert. There also appears to be a major communication disruption with U.S. CENTCOM units in Afghanistan and our embassies in the aforementioned countries.”
“Are the comms being hacked, or is there some sort of natural phenomenon like sunspot interference?” Concerned about the call, Hurst looked at the empty space beside him. His wife had left him several years before, directly because of the election campaign and the late-night calls.
“No, sir. Not that we can see. The circuits are up, and the phones are ringing, but no one is answering.”
Hurst swung his legs out of bed. Has someone come up with a way to simultaneously disrupt communications with American bases, embassies, and headquarters, or is this some sort of terrorist attack? “Does NRO have anything on overhead imagery?”
“No, sir. No major troop movements in the CENTCOM area. In fact, NRO reports minimal movement overall.”
“I’ll be in the office in thirty-five minutes. I’ll want everyone in for an early brief for the president. Get the joint chiefs and SECDEF up to speed. Warn the Secret Service that we may be moving POTUS with short notice. If this is an attack, I want to stay ahead of it. See if we can get drone surveillance of any U.S. bases in Afghanistan ASAP. We need answers.”
Hurst hung up and hit the bedside crash button to summon his protection detail. This was no time for subtlety. He needed to be in the White House as soon as humanly possible.
About The Author:Mr. Parkinson was an Air Force avionics technician, a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War, and several United Nations peacekeeping missions. He has lived overseas in numerous countries and travels extensively. His novels have been praised for their realism and have sold in fourteen countries, winning multiple international awards.
“I don’t incorporate overt sex, profanity, or extreme violence in any of my writing. I prefer the story to be the main focus and want my novels to be accessible by all.” -SJ Parkinson
One Lucky Winner Will Win All 3 Books in The Legionnaire Series and Another Lucky Winner Will Win Two Science Fiction Books – Twinkle and Predation – By SJ Parkinson.
The giveaway will run the length of the tour. Open internationally. Enter through Rafflecopter.
Monday again, so I'll be sharing with you the books I've come across that have caught my attention. If you've read them, then tell me what you think, should I read or should I avoid? I've been interested in reading a little fantasy lately, a change from the dystopian, post-apocalypse and horror I've been reading. This book looks set to be epic, described as "Apocalypse now meets Lord of the Rings", Chris Evans's 'Of Bone and Thunder' sounds fantastic and has a cover equally as enticing.
Of Bone and Thunder by Chris Evans
Apocalypse Now meets The Lord of the Rings in a bold new fantasy from the acclaimed author of the Iron Elves trilogy, filled with "heroic action that keeps fans coming back" (Publishers Weekly).
Channeling the turbulent period of the Vietnam War and its ruthless pitting of ideologies, cultures, generations, and races against each other, military historian and acclaimed fantasy writer Chris Evans takes a daring new approach to the traditional world of sword and sorcery by thrusting it into a maelstrom of racial animus, drug use, rebellion, and a growing war that seems at once unwinnable and with no end in sight. In this thrilling epic, right and wrong, country and honor, freedom and sacrifice are all put to the ultimate test in the heart of a dark, bloody, otherworldly jungle.
In this strange, new world deep among the shadows under a triple-canopy jungle and plagued by dangers real and imagined, soldiers strive to fulfill a mission they don’t understand and are ill-equipped to carry out. And high above them, the heavy rush of wings slashing through the humid air herald a coming wave of death and destruction, and just possibly, salvation.
About the author
CHRIS EVANS was born in Toronto, Canada and now lives in New York City. He’s earned degrees in English/History, Political Science, and a Masters in History with Distinction specializing in military history. Before moving to the U.S. he was a military historian and conducted battlefield tours of Europe in addition to being the military historical consultant on a television documentary on the First World War. Chris started his commercial publishing career as an editor with Ballantine/Del Rey of Random House and is currently the editor of history and current affairs/conflicts books at Stackpole Books where he launched the Stackpole Military History Series which now has over 120 titles in print.The Iron Elves is Chris’s first series. The trilogy is being translated into French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Czech.
In the UK, a teenager goes missing every three minutes.
Goth girl, Kayley Sands, is one of them.
After a night out in Manchester, Kayley wakes to find herself strapped to a bed in a damp, dingy basement. Her captor is insane, his intentions unclear.
Now, facing the demons from her past could be the only way to ensure a future…
The Girl in the Basement is a fast-paced thriller from the bestselling author of Flu and Plastic Jesus.
An engrossing, dark and disturbing thriller in the form of a short story. Wayne Simmons, author of Plastic Jesus and Flu amongst other books, tells the story of Kayley, kidnapped after falling asleep on the bus. She is subsequently locked in a basement, the captive of a psychopath who is unpredictable, unstable and completely terrifying.
The story starts with a prologue which in itself, although short, is utterly disturbing and gripping. We then are introduced to Kayley Sand’s, a “Goth” girl, tattoos and piercings adorn her body, she also conveys the rebellious don’t give a shit attitude. Sitting on the bus, after a gig, she slips into sleep and awakens in a nightmare. Her mysterious and psychotic abductor and his acts of physical and mental abuse soon start to arouse memories from Kayley’s dark past. The revelations and conclusion to the story are both shocking and brilliant leaving the reader both astounded and disturbed.
Well written, vividly descriptive and intense scenes, a compelling plot that kept me interested, turning the pages yet afraid of what I might experience. My first introduction to the works of Wayne Simmons, it will definitely not be the last.
About the author
Belfast born, Wayne Simmons, loitered with intent around the genre scene for some years before publication of his debut novel in 2008.
Wayne’s work has since been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America. His bestselling zombie novel, FLU, was serialised by Sirius XM’s Book Radio.
He’s a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine and co-hosts extreme metal show, Doom N’ Gloom. He has his own podcast, HACK, and co-produces the Scardiff Horror Expo.
Wayne currently lives in Wales with his ghoulfiend and a Jack Russel terrier called Dita.
Look out for Wayne at various genre, music and tattoo events.
Facebook, Twitter, Website, Goodreads
In 1988 Daisy encounters a dangerous stranger who draws her into a story of revenge spanning one hundred and twenty years in the American Southwest.
A boy runs away to fight in the civil war like his father, a young woman rediscovers her dreams, a man confronts a legendary figure that haunts the town where he spent his youth.
A story about growing up in a traveling carnival, revenge, love and the value of a good co-pilot when undertaking a long road trip.
A compelling and cleverly constructed story, tying past with modern day. A page turner that gripped my attention from the beginning and had me reading well into the night, wanting to unlock the secrets of the main protagonist, the hanged man.
The story starts with a short prologue describing the death of a Sherriff; it is not until the end that you learn the reasoning and the killer’s identity. We then get transported to the modern day, summer 1988, and we are introduced to a young woman with dreams of going to college again, saving the little money she gains from waitressing. Her name is Daisy, Daisy soon learns that her husband has spent all of her savings, and as she confronts him, he strikes her. Daisy then attacks, subsequently knocking him unconscious and fleeing.
A series of events leads to an encounter with a stranger, named Utah, dressed as a cowboy would be and evidently confused by modern life and technologies. He is also hunted by police for a series of gristly murders, he and Daisy set out to find sanctuary, eventually going separate ways, leaving several questions unanswered. Daisy knows little of Utah or his background, it is not until she finds a carnival leaflet on the floor that she learns a little more, but at the same time a bigger mystery unfolds, Utah has been alive over 120 years.
The story flows between past and modern day, we learn of Utah as a young boy, abandoned and alone, yet possessing deadly skills taught to him by his deceased father, skills which include shooting and knife throwing. We learn of his time with Dr Lazurus Miller’s medicine show and good time carnival, here he perfects his skills and makes friends. His talents bring him fame and his charm and luck mean he meets an abundance of women. One of these women he has feeling for, it is not until she is murdered that the skills he possesses are used as they are intended and justice and vengeance will be served.
An excellent debut novel by the author, Conor Mahood, it's brilliantly written and character building is fantastic. Each character is distinct and compelling, with their own set of skills, background, flaws and personality. The narrative is taut and riveting, a great, emotional and engaging read, a western with a contemporary twist, an unexpected ending that will leave you wanting more.
About the author
Conor Mahood was born in Dublin, Ireland some time ago. In between then and now, he has survived some peculiar head traumas, become a terrifyingly skilled Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon player and written a book called The Hanged Man.
He is a writer for Trilabyrinth, a company based in Los Angeles and Dublin producing VFX and video games. http://trilabyrinth.com
He is currently working on his second novel, a magical realist story set in contemporary Dublin.
When did you start writing and why?
Like a lot of people I wrote stories from a young age and then let go of the idea of writing as a dream one is supposed to grow out of. I always had story ideas banging around in my head, but recently it finally reached the point where the easiest way to deal with that was to start writing them down again.
I write because I love certain kinds of stories and I feel like they will only exist if I create them.
What gave you the idea behind The Hanged Man?
Some years ago I was living in Colorado for a while and I took a long road trip to and through New Mexico. I'm from Ireland, there could hardly be a place further removed from what I grew up with. The desert was the loneliest, most beautiful place I had ever seen and I could never get it out of my head after that.
I'm in love with mythic characters, those heroes who may have flaws but they move through the world as something different, something beyond the normal. I wanted to tell a story about an exceptional individual who had the same doubts and pains as everyone else, set in this eerie, lonely place that moved me so deeply.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently finishing my second novel, a book called "Somebody Else's Dream." It's about a young man who wakes beside a new lover only to have her tell him he isn't real, just something she dreamt last night. Eventually he realises she's telling the truth, walks out of her place into present-day Dublin and has to figure out what to do next. What follows is a story that tries to have a little compassion for all the discarded dreams wandering the earth out there, and maybe a little bit for the nightmares too.
Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Part is an adventure story children and adults alike will love, about the present day world in which dragons disguised as humans have infiltrated the human race at almost every level, to guide and protect them. Three young dragons in their human guises become caught up in an evil plot to steal a precious commodity, vital to the dragon community. How will the reluctant hero and his friends fare against an enemy of his race from far in the past? Fascinating insights into the dragon world are interspersed throughout the book. Ever wondered how dragons travel below ground at almost the speed of sound? Or how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes? In an action packed adventure that features both human and dragon sports, you'll get a dragon-like perspective on human social issues and insight into what to do if you meet a giant spider grinning at you when you're wearing nothing but your smile! You'd be flamin' mad to miss it.
Paul Cude’s “Bentwhistle the Dragon in a threat from the past” is a delightful, entertaining and well written story, able to transport you to a hidden world which is imaginative yet believable due to the writer’s creativity and ability to write descriptively.
The story begins by retelling the story of George and the dragon, with a unique twist which sets up the rest of the story. We then visit the present and are introduced to the main protagonist Peter Bentwhistle, an average teen on the surface, is actually a dragon whose purpose, like all dragons, is to protect and guide their human counterparts. Peter thoroughly enjoys sports, both human sports especially hockey and dragon sport like Laminium ball and sand skimming. These dragon sports which the author describes are well thought out and his ability to describe rules and accounts of games make it easy for the reader to visualise. Sports play a big role within the book; the author’s love of sports is obvious throughout the narrative and the importance and benefits of sporting activity such as comradery, team spirit and the feeling of accomplishment are key themes. The benefits of team sports are not the only messages within the book, as the author also touches upon other issues such as smoking and binge drinking making it a relatable story for teens and young adults.
The dragon world the author has created is very imaginative, magical and wonderful. His descriptions and the details of dragon habits, lifestyles and infrastructure make it very believable. His accounts of the food stalls stick in my mind and the creative foods that the dragon vendors offer, minus the charcoal, made me peckish. All details from the nursery rings, that are a kind of dragon school, the underground travel system and networks to the world above and the many inhabitants and shops Peter interacts with indicate that the author has carefully considered each aspect of dragon life and his imagination is both vivid and vast.
Peter is portrayed as an unlikely hero throughout the book, usually at the end of taunts from larger dragons, he can typically count on his loyal friends Tank and Richie when they are around. Both characters have their own unique personalities and the banter between the friends is enjoyable and as with the dialogue throughout is not forced. Instead it flows as if it were a real conversation between good friends.
Peter, when in human form, works at the Cropptech mining facility and is content with his job, in fact he loves his job, that is until the dark, mean, menacing character of Manson arrives. From the get go Peter does not trust Manson and as the story progresses a rivalry between the two grows. This leads to confrontations both on and off the hockey pitch. Mysterious goings on occur once Manson appears including the death of another dragon, something that happens rarely to dragons. Can Peter unravel the mystery behind Manson and his sudden arrival? Can Peter convince his friends that Manson poses some threat, a threat that even he is not sure of?
The author’s descriptive writing style creates settings and characters that the reader can envisage and connect with. On the other hand, at times some of the more tedious descriptions could have been omitted as it did affect the pace of the story. Another criticism is the length of the chapters, as they are so long it would mean I had to stop reading between chapters, something I don’t like doing. Breaking up the chapters would have made it a more effortless read for me. However, these two minor points did not take away from the story itself and I still enjoyed the book greatly.
A fantastic, fun filled story the whole family can enjoy, aimed predominantly at children and teenagers, I would also recommend this book to those adults like me, young at heart. Read Bentwhistle the Dragon and the threat from the past if you enjoyed books like Harry Potter. I cannot wait to read the second book Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Chilling Revelation.
About the Author
Paul Cude was born in Southampton, Hampshire in 1968. As a small child he moved to Salisbury,and as a much older child (12) developed a fanatical interest in playing hockey - something he is still obsessed about to this very day, or so his eldest daughter claims, as she’s dragged to hockey training on cold, winter Sunday mornings. A photocopier, fax and printer engineer up until 8 years ago, redundancy allowed him the privilege of becoming a full time house husband, watching and shaping his two fantastic children as they progress in life. Married to a beautiful wife, he likes nothing more than days out with her and the children. On the odd occasion that free time presents itself, he likes playing hockey, taking computers apart (sometimes even putting them back together again, occasionally successfully) and of course, writing.
Paul says, “The completion of this book wouldn’t have come about if not for the patience and understanding of my wife
and two children. If not for them I would have failed at least a dozen times over. My wife particularly deserves thanks for her hard work, dedication and enthusiasm, and for putting up with me asking her all sorts of silly questions at all sorts of
silly times of the day and night. Rachel, Jaina and Poppy, thank
you. I’m the luckiest man alive to have such a wonderful wife and children. I love you with all of my heart.”
Since the start of 2011, Paul has been working in a wonderful school as a Teaching Assistant, a job he enjoys more than any he has ever had. He hopes to continue in this role for a very long time.
992AD — Northern Russia.
A time of darkness is upon the world - evil has fixed its roots within the blood-soaked earth, spreading like a malignant disease.
Men from the northlands - Norsemen - have brought a deeper horror to this place, an immortal being named Ragnar, responsible for enslaving the motherland's people behind walls and battlements. Holding them with intentions of unspeakable purpose.
A small band of warriors are all that stands between the fate of these enslaved people and their captors.
One will lead the warriors into battle.
This is her story . . .
The story is set in Northern Russia; Vikings have invaded and enslaved its natives. A small band of warriors intends to reclaim the lands and kill the Viking leader who is shrouded in mystery and said to be immortal. The war band, led by the Chieftain seeks council from two outsiders, Anna and Jonus. Can the Chieftain trust the two mysterious warriors or do they have their own hidden agendas?
Anna, along with two other warriors, one being the Chieftains son, Nikita must infiltrate the impenetrable keep, helping set into motion the downfall of Ragnar and freeing the motherland’s people from slavery.
The characters; although not much is said about them in the beginning, by the end you will be rooting for their victory. Brilliantly written, the author captivates the reader’s imagination through vivid descriptions of battle, gore and violence. A story that I couldn’t put down, entertained me for just over an hour and left me wanting more. I would recommend this to readers who like fantasy, action and bloodshed.
BookBloke, a bloke who loves to read.