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

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Death in the Physic Garden by Karen Lowe: interesting but muddled thriller

This is a quite interesting cosy crime thriller involving new garden designer Fern (love that name!) and the unexpected murder of her first client. The plot line is gripping enough but it does get very confusing, especially towards the end when a lot of things happen very quickly indeed. The ending could do with a bit more teasing out in fact, in my view.

Fern is a strong character however and I enjoyed the juxtaposition between her love of gardening and the really quite frightening things going on around her. The descriptions of the plants are also truly lovely, and I learnt a lot about them as well, which was nice.

However, some of the writing itself is rather clumsy - for instance there are scenes with a lot of point of view changes between Fern and Ross Drummond, the policeman investigating the murder. This only serves to push the reader out of the story, as we're not quite sure who we should be rooting (ha!) for.

Which brings me to Ross. Sorry, as I know he's supposed to be one of those straightforward and strong-minded "salt of the earth"-type policemen, but I really disliked him, and was utterly unconvinced about his supposedly growing attraction to Fern, and her positive response. He's really not suited for her at all, and some of his actions were just crass. Fern - bless her - can do a lot better than this!

So a pleasant read, but I could have done without the romance. 

3 stars.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Month-long Amber Quill Anniversary and a Half-Price Sale!

Many congratulations to Amber Quill Press who are 12 years old this month! As a special treat and to say thank you to all our readers, all Amber Kisses, Novellas and Novels are HALF-PRICE until 3 October! So hurry along to take advantage of the 50% discount on ALL my books.

Not only that, but all month long, Amber Quill Press will be offering a wide variety of special discounts on all their gay, erotic and general fiction - and even more discounts will be available if you're signed up for the Amber Quill newsletter! So, if you're not already signed up to keep updated on all the latest quality fiction offers, then pop along to the Amber Quill website where you will find the sign-up box at the bottom of each page, or in the sidebar on the right.

Happy shopping and even happier reading!

Anne Brooke Books
Gay Reads UK
The Gathandrian Fantasy Trilogy