Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Two Pound Tram by William Newton


Two Pound Tram by William Newton
First published in the UK by Bloomsbury in November 2003.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Swapped for on the book exchange shelves at Camping Sopalmo, Spain.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Wilfred and Duncan live in a large old house in Sussex, only ever see their parents on Wednesdays, and spend their days catching butterflies and dreaming of adventure. Then their mother elopes and their already distant father becomes hostile. So the brothers pack their camping equipment and run away from home. They already have a plan. They're going to London to buy a tram they have seen in an advertisement, and it costs two pounds...

Judging by other reviews on Amazon, this is a Marmite book that people either adore or don't get at all. Personally, I'm in the 'underwhelmed' camp! The story is an fanciful tale of two boys running away from home and buying an ancient horse-drawn tram with which they make their living. So far, so good, but I found the book so lacking in emotional detail and depth that the events described were unbelievable. The boys seem to easily float from one town to another and when crises do occur, there's always a helpful adult on hand to make everything OK again. I lost count of how many chickens the boys stole with no comeback at all! I did enjoy the local interest aspect as much of the story takes place in Worthing which I know quite well, but this wasn't enough to redeem the book.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by William Newton / Historical fiction / Books from England

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Summer Of Secrets by Martina Reilly


The Summer Of Secrets by Martina Reilly
First published in the UK by Little, Brown Book Group in May 2008.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Swapped for on the book exchange shelf at Camping Navarrete, La Rioja, Spain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hope Gleeson wants to go travelling, to escape her boring London life and plan a happier future. But the unthinkable happens - the plane taking her to sunnier climes experiences technical problems and crash lands. Hope is one of only seventeen people to survive, saved from death by the man sitting next to her.Hope wakes up in hospital with her best friends Adam and Julie at her side. They are taking her home to Ireland, they tell her, to recuperate. But home is the last place Hope wants to go - she has too many secrets to hide...

I was pleasantly surprised by The Summer Of Secrets having expected a lightweight chick-lit novel and ended up with something much deeper and, in places, darker. Whoever chose the cover art really isn't doing the book justice! The three friends, Hope, Julie and Adam, are well-written and nicely flawed (from a reader's point of view!). Hope's bickering with new neighbour Logan did become a little tiresome after a while making him seem flat by comparison. I liked the story's pace which kept me interested throughout and, although the ending is predictable, it is also satisfying.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Martina Reilly / Women's fiction / Books from Ireland

Monday, 16 October 2017

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolfe


Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolfe
First published in the UK by Hogarth Press in May 1925.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Swapped for at Camping Le Bois du Coderc, Perigord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering her past. Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. Here, Virginia Woolf perfected the interior monologue and the novel's lyricism and accessibility have made it one of her most popular works.

I put off reading Mrs Dalloway for months because I was somewhat underwhelmed by my previous Virginia Woolf book, The Waves. The two are very different though and, once I got started, I soon found myself engrossed in Mrs Dalloway's world. The story is written in a stream of consciousness style which takes readers deeply into the thoughts and emotions of its characters. Mrs Dalloway herself is a memorable creation and I loved seeing and experiencing Edwardian London through her eyes. Woolf's attention to detail allowed me to vividly picture streets, shops and parks, and the people therein.

Mrs Dalloway is set over the course of a single day, one in which three events threaten to completely change the lives of those involved with them, however the majority of the novel explores the innermost thoughts and memories of its characters. One man returns from India and is unsure of his place in London society, another man struggles to cope with with shell shock, and Mrs Dalloway puts the finishing touches to her party preparations. It doesn't sound like a promising read I know(!), but I think this is probably my favourite of Woolf's novels that I have read so far. Each character is completely believable and the snapshot of life felt natural. Even though the book only took a few hours to read, I became immersed in its world and felt quite bereft on finishing and leaving these people behind.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Virginia Woolf / Contemporary fiction / Books from England

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Bordello Kid by Kendall Hanson


The Bordello Kid by Kendall Hanson
Published in America by Dixon-Price Publishing in August 2015.

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Received the ebook in return for signing up to the author's newsletter (not sure this offer is still running)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After Fat Jack Craft has been exiled from his mother's "boarding house," he must find a substitute lookout to protect the women who ply their trade for her. He discovers a tough young drifter, Farrell Gunn, who fits the bill, except for being shy and tongue-tied around women. When the drifter rescues a competing dove and convinces Jack's mother to take her in, the bordello discovers how dangerous the woman's past patrons can be. Can Farrell protect her, the other girls, and the boarding house, or will he be forced to flee for his life?

Author Kendall Hanson contacted me on Twitter asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing one of his Western novels in return for signing up to his e-mail newsletter. I usually ignore this genre completely so thought it might be fun to take a chance - new year, new genre, new author - and the serendipitous discovery paid off. I very much enjoyed reading The Bordello Kid.

Set primarily in the bars and brothels of small town Seven Rivers, The Bordello Kid has an expertly evoked atmosphere which reminded me of the great TV series Deadwood. I loved our first sighting of soon-to-be lead character Farr who is described walking into town haloed by the setting sun. Hanson takes time creating believably real characters which I appreciated as the novel itself isn't particularly long. Although, obviously, portraying a sexist society, Hanson is as convincing when writing female characters as male ones so our story is definitely more thought-out historical fiction than macho shoot-em-up tale. Having said that, there are violent scenes, not gratuitous, but shocking all the same.

The Bordello Kid is the first in a series of at least four novels (so far) so I was glad to find myself reading a complete story arc within the novel. Threads are left open for sequels but with a satisfying sense of closure. I was so impressed that I swiftly downloaded the second volume, The Saloon War at Seven Rivers, to my Kindle.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Kendall Hanson / Western fiction / Books from America

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr + Giveaway


The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr
Published in America by Flux on the 8th October 2013.

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery

Add The Cutting Room Floor to your Goodreads

Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley .

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.



Meet the author:
Dawn Klehr is the author of the young adult thrillers: The Cutting Room Floor and If You Wrong Us.

She began her career in TV news and though she’s been on both sides of the camera, she prefers to lurk behind the lens. Mostly, she loves to get lost in stories – in film, the theater, or on the page – and is a sucker for both the sinister and the sappy. She’s currently channeling her dark side as she works on her next book.
Dawn lives in the Twin Cities with her funny husband, adorable son, and naughty dog. 

Author links: 
Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter

And now for the giveaway!
Open internationally until the 19th of October, the prize is 3x ebooks of Dawn's other YA thriller, IF YOU WRONG US with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (that will be in the form of a Starbucks e-gift card.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Dawn Klehr / Thrillers / Books from America

Friday, 13 October 2017

Money Power Love by Joss Sheldon


Money Power Love by Joss Sheldon
Self published in the UK on the 7th October 2017.

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery


How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Born on three adjacent beds, a mere three seconds apart, our three heroes are united by nature but divided by nurture. As a result of their different upbringings, they spend their lives chasing three very different things: Money, power and love. This is a human story: A tale about people like ourselves, cajoled by the whimsy of circumstance, who find themselves performing the most beautiful acts as well as the most vulgar. This is a historical story: A tale set in the early 1800s, which shines a light on how bankers, with the power to create money out of nothing, were able to shape the world we live in today. And this is a love story: A tale about three men, who fall in love with the same woman, at the very same time…

Authors like Joss Sheldon are the reason I love indie published books! Every so often I discover a unique and exciting voice such as his, writing informative and thought-provoking novels that are also great fun to read. If you've followed my Literary Flits reviews for a while you might already have seen me singing the praises of Occupied and The Little Voice. Money Power Love is just as good.

Set in the dawn of the modern banking era, Money Power Love is historical fiction, but written in a modern style. We view our four main characters as they live their divergent lives, but I was always aware that I was watching from a 21st century perspective. Sheldon's detailed descriptions of the rural Lambeth Marsh village and other locations allowed me to clearly envisage scenes and I love his characterisations, especially of cameo roles and people met in passing. I could almost imagine the BBC period drama adaptation as I read.

Our three heroes, Mayer, Archibald and Hugo, each embody an aspect of the novel's title and, as such, are preternaturally obsessed with the pursuit of money, power or love. This is a cleverly worked device. The three men only exist to illustrate the history Sheldon wants to tell and elements of their lives are frequently implausible, yet I still empathised and understood their choices - even when I knew the outcome would lead to the mess of a world in which we live today! Money Power Love teaches the side of economic history that Western capitalism doesn't want to be widely understood. The novel shows how false the ubiquitous 'hard work equals success' mantra is and explains how easy it is to make money from nothing if you move in the right social circles. It's all about who you know and who believes they owe you a favour!

Money Power Love is a novel of politics and economics, but don't be misled by that. It's is never dry, dull or boring. Lola particularly is great fun to spend time with and I kept reading pretty much non-stop as I couldn't bear to put the book aside! Another triumph for Joss Sheldon and a novel that I urge everyone to buy for at least one friend this Christmas!


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Joss Sheldon / Historical fiction / Books from England

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Beautiful Dead by Jun Prince + Giveaway


The Beautiful Dead: A Tale of K-Pop, Ghosts, and Nine-Tailed Fox Women by Jun Prince
Published in America by Apollo And Nyx Publishing on the 22nd September 2017

Where to buy this book:

Abebooks

Alibris

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Speedyhen

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Wordery

Add The Beautiful Dead to your Goodreads

Yubin knows she’s different than the other girls in the pop group SIITY. Yes, they all got sucked into the same machine, giving up schooling and signing ridiculously long contracts before anyone knew if they’d be successful, but that’s how pop stars are made in Korea. Yubin is supposed to be thankful for that, but she isn’t. She doesn’t even like the girls she performs with.

She’s more connected to her former schoolmate Jieun, even though all they ever do is text. Over the last two months, Jieun has become her confidant and best friend, connecting Yubin to the real world in a way she desperately needs. Now that SIITY is going to appear on the reality show The Incredible Race: Asia, Yubin will need that connection more than ever, which is why she’s devastated to discover Jieun has been dead five years and is actually haunting her.

If that weren’t enough, Yubin’s not the only SIITY member with issues. Rena’s father is emotionally abusive. Somi has a learning disability, and after a near death experience, Tae-eun becomes a nine-tailed fox woman. The only way they’ll survive the show, each other, and the supernatural currents buffeting them is to work together and win the hearts of their fans. Because if they don’t, they have nothing to go back to even if they survive what’s trying to kill them.



Meet the author:
Jun has lived in Asia for the better part of the last decade. During his years in Korea, he made a point of learning about and getting as close to the Korean entertainment industry as possible while writing his first novel "The Beautiful Dead." He enjoys telling stories about monstrous humans and humanized monsters. He has a MFA from the University of California: Riverside, graduated with a BA in English Cum Laude from the University of Washington Seattle, and attended Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student.


Author links: 
Goodreads ~ Facebook

And now for the giveaway!
Open internationally until the 19th of October, the prize is a signed copy of The Beautiful Dead.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jun Prince / Fantasy fiction / Books from America