Tag Archives: British

#Bookreview Running on Emptiness by John Dolan (@JohnDolanAuthor) Revenge, death, family and an endings of sorts

Hi all:

Today I bring you a new(ish) book, the last one (so far) in John Dolan‘s Time, Blood and Karma series. I had read the other three books in the series, a shorter story related to it, and a collaboration between the author and Fiona Quinn (Chaos Is Come Again. See review here) and I was eager to read this one. When I reviewed the third novel in the series A Poison Tree in my own blog, I took the chance to share the previous reviews again too, so you can read it here. As I say in the review, it’s important that one reads all the books so don’t hesitate to read the review and the books. But without further ado, here is the review.

Running on Emptiness by John Dolan
Running on Emptiness by John Dolan

Running on Emptiness (Time, Blood and Karma, Book 4) by John Dolan Revenge, death, family and an endings of sorts

“Today, there will be a reckoning.”

It is the summer of 2006. In Thailand, the army makes preparations to overthrow the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Against this backdrop of political turmoil, destinies are shaped as events ensnare a corrupt Police Chief and his dying wife, two warring drug lords, an embittered widow, and a vengeful gangster.

While dreams and obsessions play out on the streets of Bangkok, private detective David Braddock finds himself mired in guilt. The ghosts of his past misdeeds are coming home, and they are bringing devastation in their wake.

‘Running on Emptiness’ is the fourth volume in the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

The ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series will appeal to lovers of the following book categories: mystery, thriller, crime, Thailand fiction, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.

 

And here, my review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read all the novels in the Time, Blood and Karma series by John Dolan and have enjoyed them enormously. I read many genres, but I am quite partial to mystery/thrillers. And these ones have a very special protagonist, David Braddock, and amateur detective (or rather a not professionally recognised and trained detective, but he is pretty good and gets paid for his efforts) and again a non-professional therapist, a British man but who lives in Thailand, an amateur philosopher who regularly visits an old Buddhist monk (his best friend), who has interesting an complex relationships with many women and a past full of ghosts.

Whilst the third book in the series, A Poison Tree explored and explained David’s back history and his life in the UK, Running on Emptiness continues with the adventures of Hungry Ghosts where we, the readers, were privy to some information that left us hanging and waiting for disaster to strike. We have a gangster determined to avenge his brother’s death (the only meaningful thing he has left to do in life), a dying woman who before ending her life in her own terms (remaining in charge of her meaning) reveals a dangerous secret, another woman who after losing her job realises she’s been living a lie and tries and find meaning by coming clean, an old man who, disappointed by his children, decides to revisit a shady past he thought he’d left behind to do the right thing. Each chapter is told from a different point of view, and that includes the characters whom we might think of as the good guys (but nobody is blameless, honest and truthful in this novel, at least none of the characters whose points of view we follow), but also the gangsters, corrupt policemen and killers. The action takes place in England (we start with a wedding and we end with a funeral) and Thailand, we have political unrest, and there is also a murder case to solve with magic trickery thrown in, where Braddock (and Dolan) follow on Agatha Christie’s footsteps and pull off a brilliant piece of sleight-of-hand engineering.

The story is told at a good pace, the writing is impeccable and lyrical at times (particularly on the parts from David Braddock’s point of view. He is witty and forever quotable), I must confess I cheered at a point towards the end (but I’ll keep my lips sealed as I don’t want to spoil it for anybody), and in the end, although there are some questions and unresolved issues, I felt we’d reached the end of an era. The complex and alternative life Braddock had built for himself, in an attempt at escaping reality, comes crushing down around him, taking no prisoners. By the end, although Braddock might not know everything, he’s lost a lot and learned a fair deal about himself, about the people he cares about, about his friends, and about life itself.

I recommend this book to lovers of thrillers and mystery stories with great main characters, those who have a penchant for philosophy and reflections on the nature of life, particularly if you’re intrigued by Thailand, and in general those who love good and memorable writing. But, do read the whole series in the right order, because the sum of its parts is much greater than the individual novels. Congratulations to John Dolan on his epic series. I won’t forget Time, Blood and Karma any time soon. And I’ll be waiting eagerly for more of novels, in the same or other series.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 4.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $13.49
Kindle: $ 3.99

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Reunion of the Heart Q&A with @ElaineJeremiah

RW: For those that read my Week In Review when it came out, they know the answer to this, however for everyone else and just because I love the name of it, where are you from?

ElaineELAINE: Bristol, UK.

RW: That is very British sounding and knowing something about you, I want to ask who are your favorite authors?

ELAINE: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Philippa Gregory, Nicholas Evans and many more!

RW: I see a theme here; British, romance. Should I go ahead and ask what book you would like to have written that’s not yours?

ELAINE: Oh I think it’d have to be ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. It’s just such an amazing book, it’s my favourite and I love it. If I could have written it, I’d be so proud!

RW: Knew it. We’re totally British here. Let’s see your favorite word?

ELAINE: Ooh that’s a hard question as I have so many. But a couple of favourites are ‘whimsical’ and ‘mellifluous’.  

RW: YES! And for the final one of the British home run, um, not sure what the British equivalent of a home run would be but what is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

ELAINE: When I’m having my evening meal I like Ernest and Julio Gallo Summer Red wine, which is very sweet and fruity. The rest of the time I drink tea and coffee, though not too late as it keeps me awake.

RW: Okay, the Gallo sort of threw a curve in there but I’ll give you the home run, barely, with the tea. Now why Romance? Why did you write in that genre this go round?

ELAINE: If I’m honest I’m sort of experimenting with genres at the moment. Right now I’m writing romance – but that may well change. I feel a bit as though I haven’t quite found my genre yet, but I’m getting there.

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

ELAINE: My book’s name is Reunion of the Heart. I was originally going to call it simply Reunion but thankfully remembered to do a search on Amazon for that name and there was already a book by that name. I was unsure what to call it but a couple of writer friends (who don’t know each other) suggested I call it Reunion of the Heart so I did. And I’m glad I did – I think it’s a great name for a book and quite memorable.

RW: I do too, I might need to use it one day. And that really is the first time I think someone has explained the actual way a name was chosen as opposed to the book’s influence on it. Now tell us about Reunion of the Heart.

ELAINE: It’s a romance about a young woman called Anna who’s persuaded by her best friend Melissa to go to their secondary school reunion (secondary school here in the UK is for 11 to 16 yr olds). She was very unhappy there and is reluctant to go. When she does she meets the boy Will – now a man – who bullied her there and made her life hell. But he’s very different from how she remembers. Going to the reunion sets in motion a chain of events which mean that Anna’s life will never be the same again.

RW: Did your own school reunion inspire the book or was it an idea that came to you?

ELAINE: I just thought it was a really interesting idea for a story to have someone return to their old school for a reunion, how it would affect them and the idea of it changing their lives – ultimately for the better. To me it’s always been a fascinating concept of revisiting your past through a school reunion, seeing people you haven’t seen for years and just how you respond to that. What will you think of them and what will they think of you?

RW: Tell us about Anna and Will and what you think will them connect to readers.

ELAINE: Anna is the main protagonist. She’s a successful author but at the same time she’s quite a shy person. I think readers will connect to her because she’s not ‘in your face’, she’s unsure and uncertain of herself and so that makes her quite human. But now that she’s an adult she finds it easier to stick up for herself – like throwing her boyfriend out at the beginning because he was cheating on her. That makes her appealing I think.

Will is different – he spends most of the story trying to atone for the appalling way he treated Anna at school. Nowadays he’s kind and caring and so I think that will be appealing to readers. He has a lot of remorse for what took place in the past and wants to make amends.

RW: Who would play Anna and Will in a movie?

ELAINE: Ooh that’s a hard one! Maybe Natalie Portman could play Anna and Theo James (who was in the recent Divergent film) could play Will.

Ronovan has now drifted off to Natalie Portman land. You may get some tea and rejoin the interview momentarily.

RW: Natali, Um, I mean Elaine, what message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

ELAINE: That sometimes it’s best just to let go of the past and bad things that happened so that you can move forward with your life and not be bitter forever.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

ELAINE: That’s another hard one. It’s difficult to say really, but I think maybe I realised that my writing is improving all the time and I just need to keep persevering with it.

RW: I think that was an excellent answer. Now, describe your book in one word.

ELAINE: Reconciliation.

RW: I know this isn’t your first tea party, so what other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

ELAINE: My first novel is called The Inheritance and it’s the story of two sisters living in Cornwall (the most south westerly part of the UK which is very rural) on their father’s farm. They’re very different from each other and they don’t get on. When the younger sister, Emma, demands her inheritance early from their father, the older sister, Kate, is incensed. What follows next is the story of Emma and Kate and how Emma’s new life in London, partying all the time and spending loads of money, is not all she thought it would be. Kate’s life changes too and she begins to question what’s important to her. Kate too finds that life will never be the same again.

RW: And what are you working on right now?

ELAINE: Right now I’m working on another romance called Teaching Mr Leavis. Set 20 years ago, it’s about a newly qualified teacher, called Rebecca, who’s just beginning her first job in a secondary school (11 to 16 yr olds) in the UK. She’s having problems with a parent, Jonathan Leavis, who’s giving her a rough time. Sparks fly between them and for a while Rebecca can’t stand him. She also has to put up with demanding parents and friends who can’t understand why she’s so stressed.

RW: Hmm, another Romance. Interesting. What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

ELAINE: I don’t often have an ‘about to explode point’ but when I’m fed up with writing I like to watch a bit of TV – preferably a good drama series. Otherwise I’ll try reading a book.

RW: I really need to rephrase that question. Everyone thinks I actually mean like an exploding point when I ask. So when you are fed up with writing lately what book are you reading?

ELAINE: I’m reading 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. I’m sure you probably know about it already, as there was a hugely successful film made of it a year ago. But in case you don’t, it’s the true story, written by the man to whom it happened, about a free-born African American, living in the north of the US, who was kidnapped and spirited away and forced to become a slave for 12 years. It’s an amazing book and I would highly recommend it; it’s just such an incredible story.

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

ELAINE: No I don’t have an agent. I think if I did have one I would like them to be open-minded about what I write and also able to negotiate on my behalf for a decent contract that wouldn’t leave me worse off than if I’d just stuck with self-publishing! I hope that I would be able to bring an open-minded approach to the relationship myself, to be open to suggestion and not take offence too easily if suggestions were made as to how I could improve.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

ELAINE: I think to just keep persevering. Don’t expect overnight success – it most likely won’t happen!

Oh wow, that is like the most honest answer I have ever had ever. I’m back in a Natalie moment here. You guys check out the links to follow Elaine for a moment and then I’ll be right back. Maybe.

To connect to Elaine Jeremiah:

www.elainejeremiah.co.uk

Elaine on Google+
Elaine on Tumblr
Elaine on Facebook

RW: Okay, I’m back again. Now let’s look at Elaine’s books and the way to purchase them. Then you can all skedaddle if you like. But make sure you either Reblog this interview to help Elaine out or Tweet it, Facebook it or whatever else it you can. We here at LWI do all we do so authors have web presence. Thus, spread the interview around so Elaine is mentioned a lot.

TheInheritanceRotH-Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Elaine%20Jeremiah&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

For Amazon

And

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Elaine%20Jeremiah&search-alias=books-uk&sort=relevancerank

For Amazon UK

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites
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The Gift of Charms @JuliaSuzuki_uk Q&A Read and you’ll want more of her.

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“Julia has written a delightful story that touches on all the themes we were told were important when we were growing up- rising to the occasion in times of crisis, trusting yourself in times of peril, the things that make us unique are often the things that lead us to succeed, and that there is the possibility of greatness in everyone, even those that others think are hopeless.”-Brian Switzer-Amazon Review

“I have enjoyed reading this book for myself, I know my daughters will certainly enjoy it in a couple of years and until then, I can quite happily read it for them, knowing that there are no unexpected plot twists that will confuse them.”-Merissa (Archaeolibrarian) (Excellent reviewer ranking)

“This is a captivating tale for young readers, and interesting enough to feed the imagination of older fantasy readers as well.
It starts out rather slow, but once the little dragon starts training, the adventure and excitement continue through the rest of the book.
Entertaining and well written!
I look forward to the sequels.”-Amazon Review.

 

Why today’s guest? Why not, right? The book subject is just right. I can’t wait for my son to read it, hopefully over the holidays. British. Well, I do seem to be that British magnet. Serious about work and getting an author career off in the right direction. Well I can’t say much more without revealing . . .

Author

Julia Suzuki

julia_suzuki_author.jpg@JuliaSuzuki_uk

RW: You told me about two other famous authors, other than yourself, that come from the place in which you live. Share with my friends who they are and where that is.

JULIA: Erasmus Darwin; the philosopher, and Samuel Johnson; who invented the dictionary. I live in Lichfield in Staffordshire, England. Lichfield is in fact the smallest city in Europe but has many enchanting places to visit including a stunning Cathedral.

RW: And yes, the Historian in me just geeked a little bit there. Now what is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

JULIA: I studied Creative Writing in my degree at University, and also took exams with The London School of Music in ‘Speech and Drama’, which included a lot of literature recital.

RW: Why do you write in the fantasy/adventure genre, what is appealing about it to you?

JULIA: I am really comfortable writing in a fairly simplistic tone and I find I engage with children easily. I absolutely adore fairy tales and adventure and feel at home in this genre.

RW: Why did you pick The Gift of Charms as the title of your book?

JULIA: The Gift of Charms is the first release in the series ‘The Land of Dragor’. This title just came to me — suddenly — and I felt it sounded magical and mystical which is exactly fitting for Dragor.

RW: Tell us a little about your your first adventure into ‘The Land of Dragor’.

JULIA: ‘The Gift of Charms’ is the introduction to the Land of Dragor series. Dragor is an epic place where the world’s remaining dragons are hiding from us humans and the dragsaur beasts. The novel is based around the main character Yoshiko, who undergoes many challenges at Fire School, and then discovers a hidden talent that leads him on a great mission and a new destiny…

RW: Tell us about Yoshiko and what you think will make him connect with readers.

JULIA: Yoshiko is tormented for being different and I believe many of us can relate to a time like this in our lives, when we may have felt we do not fit into a situation. Yoshiko is kind and has a huge heart, but because he is so sensitive he takes everything personally. However, underneath this soft exterior he has deep determination and grit. This zeal helps him to overcome obstacles and go from zero to hero. Many readers have stated that they enjoy sharing Yoshiko’s journey of development — that it is empowering when good wins through and to witness his hard work paying off…

RW: You said that relationships and personal challenges were the main catalyst for your The Gift of Charms, what other things were involved? And please don’t tell me it was because you mentioned that Tom Cruise would make a fab voice Yoshiko.

JULIA: I had been thinking back to the wonderful vintage books I had read and wishing there were more like this — but with unique and modern edge and interactive web presence. I knew first hand what parents were looking for when purchasing a book for their children, yet more than that, I knew also what they sought themselves. They wanted gripping action, loads of adventure — all the classic aspects of heroes and villains, mystery and magic, quests and suspense, and the hope of happy endings.

My desire was to create books with universal appeal, that were fantastical and ‘out there’ and yet still felt somehow real; to fulfill the expectations of book lovers and also hook non-readers back into reading. For me this had to be in the form of a series set in a place we would all be excited to visit and so the Land of Dragor came to be.

The most beautiful places that I had seen on my international travels were integrated into the setting of Dragor: the amazing mountains of Colorado, the great deserts of Palm Springs, California, the vast waters in the Lake District, and the seaside caves of Cornwall  — not forgetting the enchanting wilderness of Scotland. Dragor would be my ideal place to live — full of magnificent scenery, bursting with animals and nature’s magical trees, flowers and plants. Dragor is a place full of adventure, excitement and promise.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JULIA: Enchanting.

To connect with Julia:

 @JuliaSuzuki_uk

Julia Suziuki-Author on Facebook

Register for the newsletter at www.juliasuzuki.com

Visit the dragor interactive cave www.thelandofdragor.com

 Julia Suzuki on GoodReads


RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JULIA: CS Lewis, Charlotte Bronte, Enid Blyton.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

JULIA: That has to be coffee — from Starbucks!!!

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

JULIA: Movies — I love the cinema!

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JULIA: I am reading Martina Cole’s latest thriller, which is about a guy who takes revenge on a man who upset his daughter. It is actually titled ‘Revenge’Martina is one of my favourite authors. Her work is very hard-hitting;  this is definitely not a book you would find put you to sleep!

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

JULIA: Be professional and follow guidance of the top people. Read books and articles that other have printed about getting published. Always stay true to your overall vision. Shut your ears to the nay-sayers.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

JULIA: ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, because it has positive impact on millions of people’s lives — helping to eliminate negative thinking patterns can only be a good thing

RW: What is your favorite word?

JULIA: Eloquent!

 
http://youtu.be/uMPsWoJR4jI

Now you see why I asked Julia for an interview. She is really in to her story. We all write with some inspiration but some go that bit beyond and Julia has done that. I’ve checked out her sites and followed her everywhere. The idea of an interactive site is just, pardon this, awesome! Some very good ideas there. I can’t wait for her next book to come out. If you want a sneak peek, check out her newest Author photo. That isn’t The Gift of Charms cover from above and that’s not the same hair style we saw from Julia from above. Whichever book and whichever look she brings us, always remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

To Order The Gift of Charms

An important thing to note is that the books are only available to pre-order in America at Barnes and Noble.
However, it is available for INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING to the Untied States from the UK here: http://bit.ly/DragorChristmasGift 

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Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

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