Friday, October 24, 2014

FREE and HALF-PRICE Books: romance and ghosts

For today and tomorrow ONLY, quirky romance Rosie by Name is FREE at Amazon.

Rosie (AKA Alison) works at a high-class escort agency as a receptionist. When her boss asks her to be the special birthday present for his favourite nephew, she can't help but agree. The boss is the boss after all. 

However an evening of surprises, unexpected parents and even the odd spider awaits her. By the end of the night, will she have fulfilled her mission or is her potential pay-rise nothing but a distant dream?

Review:

"a light, easy read, and with plenty of Anne Brooke's original metaphors and similes to keep you entertained until the twist in the tale." (From a 5-star Amazon review)

Happy reading!

At the same time, and in honour of the Halloween season, gay paranormal romance, The Paranormal Detection Agency, is HALF-PRICE for TODAY only direct from Amber Quill Press.

When paranormal investigator Jack Atkinson meets new client Aaron Riley, he doesn't expect the level of attraction he instantly feels for the man. Neither does he expect the kind of haunting Aaron describes, which Jack is determined to solve.

After their first official client meeting, the two men launch themselves into a passionate encounter, which Jack is keen to continue. Aaron's attentions, however, are focused on the need to rid himself of the ghosts haunting his new home.

Jack and his trusty assistant and aunt, Miranda, investigate further, and soon discover how family secrets can run deeper than even Jack imagined. Will the truth destroy Jack and Aaron's budding relationship, or are they strong enough to survive it?

Reviews:

"The Paranormal Detection Agency is an entertaining read. Ghost, crazy family, and handsome men; what paranormal fan could pass it up? … I love the relationship between Jack and Aaron. I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Brooke who does an outstanding job on her offerings of the paranormal world." (From a 4-star review at Coffee Time Romance)
"The Paranormal Detection Agency is a cute paranormal story about two men who are brought together by an old tragedy, a haunted house and a ghost!… Jack and Aaron made a cute couple." (From a 4-star review at The Novel Approach)
"This was a good ghost story, equal parts humor and horror. Who the ghost is, why it is haunting Aaron's home and what Jack does to free the spirit make for a satisfying story." (From a review at Love Bytes Reviews)

I hope you enjoy this read too!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Echoes of the Dance by Marcia Willett: a turgid saga

They were all there for different reasons - a broken romance, a destroyed career, a sudden loss, a secret life still to be acknowledged. All of them were hoping that the uplifting beauty of the Cornish countryside would bring them the peace for which they desperately longed. At the strange and lovely stone house on the edge of Bodmin Moor, cherished illusions are shattered, secrets are uncovered, and each of them discovers that in order to move forward they have to confront their pasts …

This is a rather turgid and peculiar blend of the worst kind of American cod-psychology and a Mills & Boon novel. It’s very overwritten and contains long scenes where characters think through their emotions and situations in great and laborious detail, either by themselves or with other people. It was all very exhausting and at times unintentionally amusing.

That’s not to say the basic premise isn’t interesting, as it is. Daisy is forced to reconsider her dancing career due to injury, Kate is coming to terms with the death of her husband, and Roly has to move on from an unrequited romance. A great deal of tension could have resulted from this set of circumstances but unfortunately the sheer amount of emoting dissolved any sliver of tension away that there might once have been. It’s a case of a misguided attempt at poetic prose killing all the plot stone dead.

The characters are themselves rather clich├ęd as well and so, no matter how much they discuss their various tragedies with each other, I never really cared about any of it. I did have some sympathy with Monica who’s cast as the evil mother of the piece, as she found everyone else in the book just as irritating as I did – but even she is really too much of a caricature to come to life on the page.

Towards the end, I got very bored and began skipping the purple prose to see if anything important happened. It doesn’t, and to cap it all the whole sudden issue of the sexuality of one of the characters in the final chapters is both badly planned and utterly ridiculous. It made me laugh and for all the wrong reasons.


Verdict: 2 stars. Badly-written and unrealistic

Friday, October 17, 2014

FREE book: The Apple Picker's Daughter

Childhood novel, The Apple Picker's Daughter, is FREE today and tomorrow at Amazon, so don't miss out!

Born in the 1960s on a UK apple farm, Clare Rivers is a girl out of time, living in a family and a world that makes little sense to her. Determined to carve out her place somehow, and with her deep love of her father to see her through, Clare begins a unique journey to discover the reasons for her own existence. If she can. However, accompanied by the oddities of family, school and the strange lyrical life of the apples, can Clare really find a place within herself to call home? 

This novel will appeal to lovers of rural life, recent history and a child's quirky but clear-sighted view of the adult world.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Anne Brooke Books
The Origami Nun
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bridesmaids by Jane Costello: a shallow romance

This novel had a lot of potential but very meagre delivery, sadly. Its strap line is "Four Weddings without the Funeral" but actually having a funeral might have been a good idea - as it would have inserted some much-needed gravitas into the general veneer of fluff.

I think one of the main problems is I really didn't like the heroine, Evie, who's obsessed with appearances, not terribly bright and acts like a 12-year old most of the time. She's supposed to be 27.

The big motif of the book and the thing that's supposed to make it excitingly different is the fact that Evie has never been in love or been in a relationship of more than a few weeks, and wonders if she ever will. I'm sorry?? That's a key issue when one is 27 years old?? Hey ho, you can see what I mean about Evie's low intelligence rating …

Anyway, when she does finally meet Jack, who turns out to be The Man, it's really not much of a relationship and actually I found it both dull and unbelievable. Jack could very well do better. The cliched ending and the culmination of their 'love story' is teeth-grindingly bad and I groaned and skipped over it. There's also a friend Charlotte whose sole characteristic is that she's overweight, another friend Valentina, who is obsessed with money and appearances (but at least, unlike Evie, she's honest about it), and a couple of other friends whom I could never confidently differentiate between. Oh and the chapters are ridiculously short - so short that there are 121 of them, plus an epilogue! Lordy.

The only good parts of this book are Evie's wonderful mother who is a delight, and the very funny scene in the disco with the vibrator. That's it, really.

Verdict: 2 stars. Shallow nonsense.

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy


FREE book: gay fantasy The Executioner's Cane

For one day only, gay fantasy The Executioner's Cane (Gathandria *3) is FREE at Amazon.

Simon Hartstongue, accompanied by the mind-cane and the snow-raven, must travel back to the land he came from to offer support to the people he once tried to kill. From Gathandria, Annyeke Hallsfoot endeavours to help him but her attentions are focused on rebuilding the city after the wars. 

Alone and faced with the anger of his people and hindered by the fragility of Ralph Tregannon's leadership, Simon has to find a way to bring healing to a dying country and to renew his relationship with Ralph. But the odds and time itself are stacked against him.

Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK

Friday, October 10, 2014

Brand new deals from Amber Quill Press!

Amber Quill Press has got some fabulous new deals at the moment so don't miss out!

First off, there's the Bulk Buyer Bonus Discount: for every $50.00 spent during a single shopping trip, you get a $5.00 cash-back gift certificate for future purchases.

PLUS, there's now a special $.99 Books & Bundles page - where you can get terrific stories at incredibly low prices. This page will be rotated on a regular basis, so check back often for new discoveries!

Meanwhile, don't forget that there are special offers going on at Amber Quill which are available to newsletter readers only so get your name on the list at the sign-up box at the bottom of each page or on the right-hand sidebar!

And while you're there, why not visit my page at Amber Quill and see if there's anything that might take your fancy? Happy reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy




Sunday, October 05, 2014

FREE book: dark fantasy Hallsfoot's Battle

Can a woman ever lead her land into battle & what price will she pay if she does?...

Dark fantasy Hallsfoot's Battle (Gathandria *2) is FREE at Amazon today only, so don't miss out!

The battle for survival has merely begun and the Mind Executioner's defeat is only temporary. Annyeke Hallsfoot, Acting Elder of Gathandria, must join forces with Simon the Scribe in a tenuous alliance to fight for their survival. However, Simon is distracted by his own personal demons, giving Annyeke no choice but to plot a desperate strategy to defeat the enemy. 

When the Mind Executioner kidnaps Simon and raises an army from the dead, all hope appears to be lost. Both Annyeke and Simon, with the help of the mysterious mind-cane and the magical snow-raven, are determined to stay alive and, if possible, to win.

Enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK

Saturday, October 04, 2014

FREE book: The Singing Road and Other Stories

Short story collection The Singing Road and Other Stories is FREE for this weekend ONLY at Amazon, so pick up your copy today!

A woman listens to the song of the road and wonders if she has the strength to stay with her husband, this time. A journalist visits the opera and discovers a bitter history of failure alongside the music. An angry young boy finds the beach is not always a place of healing, and two lovers face their last day together with something like courage. 

In this collection of twelve thought-provoking stories, a variety of very different characters confront the brokenness and despair of their lives, and begin a tentative journey towards the possibility of hope. Can they ever find their way back to the people they used to be? 

I hope you enjoy the read!

Anne Brooke Books
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy
Gay Reads UK