General Ramblings

Social (Anxiety) Media

I’ll be the first to admit I’m really terrible at all forms of social media. I resisted most of it for a long time, relenting to Facebook a few years ago which I update and check occasionally. When I started my journey to become a published author, I expanded my presence to Twitter since that seemed like the thing to do. Since then I’ve added a few others like Instagram and most recently a Facebook Author Page. I resisted mainly...

Book Review | The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Sometimes poking around random GoodReads lists pays off big time. That’s certainly the case with this one – The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. I grabbed the sample chapters from Amazon and knew right off it was one I’d lose myself in, and after I bought the full story, I found I was right. A time-travelling pirate ship? Count me in right there. But there was so much more to love about this novel. Lost love, adventures through time,...

Funky Cold Medina – An Epiphany

Anyone who grew up in the 80s would have heard of Tone Loc. He had two major hits I can think of, one of which was Funky Cold Medina. If you haven’t heard of either Tone Loc or Funky Cold Medina, then you’ve lived a sheltered life and I pity you. So I was listening to (okay, so maybe I was enthusiastically white-boy rapping along with) Funky Cold Medina on my way to work when it suddenly occurred to me that...

AdWords and Breitbart – A Trap For New Players

Over the last two weeks I’ve been running ads for my FTW series books on Google AdWords to coincide with their promotional pricing on Amazon. I was startled over the weekend to be called out on twitter for advertising on Breitbart, a far-right website known for hate mongering. At first I thought it must have got the wrong guy, but no, the screenshot had my ad in all its glory above a homophobic rant on their website. Of course I...

The Amateurs by John Niven

Book Review | The Amateurs by John Niven

While on my search for a new book to read I came across an oldie but goodie that I’ve read countless times – The Amateurs by John Niven. If I was to make a list of the all-time funniest books I’ve ever read, this’d be very high on the list. I bought this way back in 2009 (I think?) after reading the blurb and knowing it was for me. This was back when I still bought paperbacks, so I even imported...

Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers by Tom Moran

Book Review | Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers by Tom Moran

Another suggestion by Goodreads and another home run. My profile over there is obviously tweaked to perfection because it’s been recommending a lot of winners recently, and Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers by Tom Moran was no exception. If you were to merge Arthur Dent with Mister Bean and add them to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, you’d get something similar to this book. Walton Cumberfield is a character you can’t help but laugh at and with as he struggles on through...

A Matter of Scale by Jonathon Burgess

Book Review | A Matter of Scale by Jonathon Burgess

I happened across this short story by Jonathon Burgess after an email from instaFreebie. It’s a fun short story you can read entirely on your lunchbreak (as I did) and is an great introduction (possibly a prologue?) for future novels. The author lists is as the first in a series called The Blackscale Chronicles, which I’ll be interested in reading once they’re published. A Matter of Scale is not available (at time of writing) from Amazon, but you can get it for free...

Book Review | Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

This was another book that popped up while I was perusing Goodreads for my next read. It suggested Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli as other people had read it after reading other books I was looking at. The simplistic cover drew me in and I had to know more. I read the sample and the existing reviews and I grabbed a copy straight away. It’s aimed at the young adult market and really (I think) should be required reading for all...

To Cure The Humans by Douglas Lewis

Book Review | To Cure The Humans by Douglas Lewis

To Cure the Humans by Douglas Lewis popped up on Goodreads as a suggestion for something I might like. I’ve said it before, but the machines are getting closer to taking over, because they were spot on. I did like it! The story is well paced and filled with a cast of well-developed characters, this rather long novel (456 pages) kept me entertained from beginning to end. It’s funny without trying too hard (for the most part). The length took me...

Backpack by Emily Barr

Book Review | Backpack by Emily Barr

I was reminded of Backpack by Emily Barr when I saw she had recently released a new book. I bought Backpack many years ago now, a few years after its initial release (I’m thinking 2007?), so with a bit of digging through my cupboards I found the paperback copy and gave it a read. When I first saw this book, I remember thinking it was chick-lit (based on judging the book by its cover), not something I’d be interested in. But...