Some Great Books I've Read and Reviewed

Being an author, I know how important it is to get as many reviews for your books as you can. It is a struggle to find reviewers who are able to help. As well as writing, I like to read and review books. At the moment I have a huge pile to read that will take me into next year to get through.

I am going to close book submission for reviews for a while. I feel bad but have to be realistic about how many books I can read in a year. However...

It is so difficult to get your work known. Any web presence is a bonus and I am more than happy to host a guest post or interview. My blog is about my book marketing journey so if you could write something about you, your work and how you promote your books, then that would be great. If you want to create interview questions instead that would be fine too.

Interview questions could be:

1. What made you want to write a book?
2. Tell us about you and where you live.
3. What have you written and what are you working on now?
4. How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?
5. Where can readers find your book for sale?
If you are interested in doing this, then please contact me at nmurray3004@gmail.com

Sikaran Dawn by Revd. Joanna Z. Ray ****

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"SIKARAN DAWN" it is the twenty fourth Century and this is an epic space saga of Sikaran Chivalry. Earth is tyrannised by brutal, sinister Gloshans in the space war. The Sikarans come to the rescue and help planet Earth to win out in the end.

My review of this book: "A Captivating Space Conflict - Being a Star Trek fan, I am always up for a great space adventure and Sikaran Dawn did not disappoint. It was however, not what I expected, which is always a good thing as I like an unusual tale. This space saga turned out to be an account of how the protagonist, Marayshan, an ethereal character, conquers evil. Joanne Z. Ray, the author, writes in an elegant and informative way and holds the reader’s attention. The story-line is thought-provoking, although at times a little idealistic. There are a few lessons hidden within the pages. Parabolic undertones were present throughout the book and made for some unusual reading. I would recommend this book to both young and old."

Submersive by Anela Deen ****

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In a not so distant future, an unprepared humanity barely managed to repel the Locusts when they invaded Earth. But the long war left its mark on mankind and the Establishment was founded to ensure it would never come so close to destruction from an alien force again. Now, decades later, the world is run by this single governing entity. Loyalty is rewarded. Disloyalty is met with corrective action. As an inquisitor for the past twenty years, Gemson used torture and interrogation to root out subversives. He’d worked hard to earn his cold, hard reputation. Now he finds himself on the subject’s side of the interrogation table. Loyalty? Some bonds transcend the laws of state. Insurrection is a five-part novelette series. Each installment is told from the perspective of a single character, each interconnected with the others and humanity’s ultimate fate.

The Mirage of a Man by Hasu August *****

Nineteen-year-old runaway Ruby Baker and pregnant best friend Mary escape domestic violence in London to find a new home in Brighton. They join a glitzy set of party girls who are hell-bent on enjoying themselves in the new freedom of the 1960s. But their new life soon comes under threat. Ruby keeps spotting a tall stranger in the shadows. Someone is watching her. This man may have followed them from London. And Ruby fears her dark secret will be exposed. Then a murder at a local beauty spot brings more danger for the party-loving set, and the first murder is followed by a second. Rumours of occult sacrifices spread across town. In a breaktaking conclusion, Ruby faces a race against time to save someone very close to her. Can she keep her secrets from being exposed and her new life from being destroyed?

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Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett *****

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Rainbow’s magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences. From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known. To find the truth, she must also find herself.

My review of this book: "Tree…mendous! - I just loved this book. The author, Harriet Springbett, writes in a lively and engaging manner and the storyline is a captivating and an unusual one. The main character Rainbow, is a young teenager, living in a dysfunctional family. She is finding her way in life and travels down a confusing and twisting path. The transformation into adulthood can sometimes be a painful one. Rainbow discovers that she has an affinity with trees and can heal or stretch their limbs. The writing is creative and imaginative and the plot is a clever one that will keep you guessing until the end. This book is great for both young and old and comes highly recommended."

Jay-Jay The Supersonic Bus and Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure by Sue Wickstead *****

Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a 'Playbus' full of toys, games and adventure. A fictional tale based on a real life bus 'Supersonic', which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it. A children's picture book

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My review of this book: "A Supersonic Children’s Story - This story is based on a true story about a bus that is given a second chance and becomes a supersonic star in the hearts of children. Children of all ages will enjoy reading about the old bus JJK 261 Route B and will discover how it became Jay-Jay the Supersonic Playbus. Jay-Jay has a cheerful disposition and just loves bringing joy to children. This is a great read for early readers and the excellent illustrations will keep the pages turning. Author, Sue Wickstead, also known as Lego Lady, has captured Jay Jay’s adventures beautifully."

Do you wish you could get better grades? Do you struggle with certain subjects and believe that maybe you're not cut out for them? Do you want to spend less time studying and still get good grades? This book is the perfect go-to source for all students...It's a must-read for all students! The Page-Hungry Bookworm. I highly recommend Anyone Can Get an A+ to every college student and any secondary student thinking about higher education. McNeil's Reviews Practical and sound advice presented in a caring supportive manner. Sarah Jackson, Author and Reviewer. Anyone Can Get An A+ is a conversational, down-to-earth guide for high school and college students on how to maximize their learning and get the grades they want. This book draws on research from the fields of psychology and neuroscience, and gives students practical advice that they can implement right away, to overcome procrastination, make the most of their study time and improve their grades significantly. Who this book is for: College students who want to learn how to juggle classes, extra-curricular activities, other activities and also have room for a social life High school students struggling with the pressure to get good grades to get into college, pass standardized tests and be eligible for scholarships Parents who are worried about how to help their children get better grades without overburdening them Teachers who want to understand how to help their students learn more deeply while enjoying their lessons
Counselors and tutors who work directly with students, to better help motivate and inspire students to do their best. Adult learners who are going back to school, or want to learn a new language or skill.

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My review of this book: "A Good Common Sense Guide - It has been a while since I studied or took an exam and after reading this book, I realise how pathetic my revision plan was. How I wish I had this book to help me organise myself and I think that although I may not have achieved an A+, I would definitely have passed a few more exams. I would like to think that everyone could get an A+ but think it is unlikely. Geetanjali Mukherjee, the author, has produced a practical and enlightening guide that will help all. Each chapter are tips and are well put together, do not waffle on and can only help those that have little confidence in their ability to study and take exams. Geetanjali principles can be applied not only to studying but also to any challenge we face in life where organisation is key. This book comes highly recommended."

Sinfonia: First Notes on the Lute: A Vampire Chronicle: Book One by David Landrum ****

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Nelleke Reitsma is one of the world's top lutenists and guitar players. She is very good because she has had 350 years to practice. Sinfonia: First Notes on the Lute records her life, beginning with her entrance into the world of the undying through friendship with Izaak, a mysterious young man who only comes out at night; and, eventually, her crossing over into that world. Leaving her native Netherlands for England, she finds herself embroiled in a fight to save the vampire community of London from destruction. She encounters Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth, and, using her connections to government and the theater, uncovers the last followers of an ancient religion that possesses power capable of destroying Nelleke and the coven of vampires to which she belongs. It is up to her to stop them. A fascinating and compelling piece of paranormal fiction, it abounds in danger, romance, horror, love, and beauty.

Emotional Support for the Newly Divorced (Divorced and Scared No More Book 1) by T Asher and Tony Haynes ****

Have you experienced Divorce? Are you questioning what your future will be after your vows of "I do" turn into "I do not" along with the loss of all the dreams that never will be fulfilled? Divorced and Scared No More: Emotional Support for the Newly Divorced is the first installment of the three-part trilogy written to assist readers in post-divorce related matters while providing you the motivation you need to move on. Author Tasher speaks from personal experience; having gone through the many stages of relationships. This includes denial of a failed marriage, expressiveness needed to gain healing and how to remain emotionally grounded. You'll find ways to embrace your new found freedom and turn the lemons life threw at you into a Zesty Lemon Sorbet! Therapist and clinical author Justin Nutt, LSCSW, LAC consulted as a technical advisor for the series. Insuring everything presented be accurate and quality material while still being a comforting, easy-to-read guide to surviving divorce.
Co-Author Tony Haynes is a practitioner of Acrostic Poetry -poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. At the end of each chapter, you can look forward to reading a clever poem from words found within the word DIVORCE. These are poetic thoughts that ask "How did I get here?" This rite of passage has everything to do with life and our stories affects each other because we are all connected. Now it's time to peek inside and see how, where & why our lives intersect. There are so many insightful topics in the book, which will help you feel inspired to look inward and become aware of your needs to help you live again. There is still life after emotional death ... Isn't it time for you to be happily divorced and Divorced and Scared NO More?

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Fun and Games by David Michael Slater ****

The 1980’s: it’s the time of Dungeons & Dragons, banana clips, and Atari. Jonathan Schwartz is growing up in a family like no other. His sisters, Nadia, the dark genius, and Olivia, the gorgeous tease and temptress, manipulate Jon and his friends for their own entertainment. And his Holocaust survivor grandparents? Their coping techniques are beyond embarrassing. A disastrous visit to Jon’s class by his grandmother unhinges his famous father, setting off a chain of events that threatens to send the dysfunctional Schwartz clan up in flames once and for all. Fun & Games is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of faith, family secrets, betrayal, and loss—but it’s also a tale of friendship, love, and side-splitting shenanigans.

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The Necklace II: Back to Brighton by Linda Rice ****

It’s been five months since Susan and her best friend, Lynn, returned from their short journey to the past. A gifted woman had sent Susan back to cure her of an obsession with James, a man she had fantasized about all her life. The steamy affair sated Susan's curiosity and taught her a valuable lesson. She is glad to be home but feels incomplete. When she discovers that leaving her ballerina necklace in 1962 had created a link to her former obsession, she must seek help in returning to the past to retrieve it.

November 1962: Susan is once again in the Dusky Club where James and the boys who will one day become the most famous band of all time are still engaged to play. Will Susan be able to find her necklace bring it back into the present? Will the link between her and James finally be broken?
Note - This book contains erotica.

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Next of Sin by Lisa Gordon 18+ *****

A series of deaths which the police think are unfortunate drownings date back to 1987; but Gaby, the only witness in all that time, is about to realise that something far more sinister is going on! A strange recurring dream is haunting young lawyer Gaby; she seeks help from a psychologist and a psychic as she tries to figure it out. Then......it hits her; the memory floods back! Suddenly everything she thought she knew about herself, her family and her past is cast into doubt. Someone she loves is a KILLER. But who will believe Gaby? He is popular, successful, charming and credible. The Police will say that she has no evidence. People will call her mad, paranoid or vindictive. But Gaby is a determined young women and she selects her allies with great care, as there are few she dares trust in this duplicitous new world she finds herself in. She and a maverick detective, Robbie Baggio set about assembling the evidence: secretively and urgently, before the cunning serial killer strikes again. However, he gets wind of her suspicions and this time when he kills, it's someone very close to Gaby, someone who also knows the truth. Suddenly she realises that she is up against more than just him, he has eminent and influential friends and the scales of justice are rigged against her. What would you do? What will Gaby do? A thriller that will make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again and the safe answer.....is NO. If you enjoy Sidney Sheldon and Nicci French do not miss this enthralling mystery from Lisa Gordon winner of the 9th American Gem Literary Contest.

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My review of this book: "A Shocking Revelation - Next of Sin captured my attention from the very beginning and I found it difficult to put down. Author, Lisa Gordon, has weaved a clever plot and the writing flows effortlessly with lots of twists and turns. Gaby Butler, the protagonist of this warped tale, makes a startling discovery and has to secretly collect evidence and only talk to those she trusts. She begins to understand who she is and also learns a few home truths. I liked Chantelle’s (Gaby’s brother’s ex-girlfriend) character too and thought she brought a lot to the story. Well done Lisa for creating such an exciting read. I highly recommend this book and would like to see another in the series."

Bees in Loretta's Bonnet by Lois Wickstrom 4+ ****

What really happens behind closed doors? Who really knows the truth? Sometimes, even those most intimately involved have no concept of reality. Too much has been invested which renders them incapable of seeing the wood for the trees. What is love? Real love? Is it the fairy tale we have all grown up searching for – filled with happiness, laughter, security, adoration, commitment, loyalty and fun? Or something more sinister – filled with longing, hope, humiliation, desperation and despair? How does one carry on? When her reason for living has gone. What a frightening place the future now seems, With banished hopes and long-lost dreams.
An intimate tale of an influential bond; charting the highs and lows that come with real love and adoration. A sympathetic fusion of poetry and narrative that acutely highlights the rollercoaster of relationship emotions. A powerful tale that many will be able to identify with. A must-read for anyone who is, has been or who wants to be in love - and for those who have had their heart broken.

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Delbert the Reluctant Spy by Marko Kitti 7+ ****

Ten-year-old Delbert’s world is grey and glum since his grandfather died. Everything is a dull routine, and all Delbert wants to do is stay in his room. What’s more, he has to cope with an annoying next-door neighbour, Evie, who has committed her life to being in love with him. But Delbert’s whole life is about to change when he is forced into a SUPER SECRET SPY MISSION to find a missing cat called Pandora. What seems like a straightforward job suddenly escalates into the stuff of real spy stories. Bursting with humour and thrilling surprises, this fast-paced, action-packed story takes Delbert and Evie on a wild ride with an UTTERLY SHOCKING SECRET at the end…

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My review for this book: "A Super Spy Series in the Making - Delbert, recovering from the loss of his grandfather, is given the chance to train as a secret agent and is given a mission that he might not be able to pull off. His friend Evie is there to help him, whether he wants her to or not.Author, Marko Kitti has written an entertaining and quirky first super spy story that I am sure children will enjoy. It has a lot of humour in it with some funny illustrations. The story-line is unusual and has a surprise ending.
An amusing book. Well done Marko."

Evelyn Dear Fender by Rodney Jones 12+ *****

Isn't believing you have a chance, even when you don't, better than knowing you don't when you don't? Evelyn Hatfield sets out to be the first to reach the mythological land of Methania. But before her epic journey can begin, she must first suffer high school jealousies, the apathy of conformity, and a pair of clueless parents--all while learning to sail. Through chance, and a few innocent manipulations and half-truths, Evelyn finally sets sail for the distant horizon where she and her stowaway monkey, Bobo, do battle with their most fearsome enemy, the weather... and lose. Shipwrecked on a tiny island, 4,000 miles from home, she meets Fender Spigot, an equally shipwrecked explorer from Methania who, having never heard a language other than his own, gibber-jabbers his way into her heart. Regardless of their communication issues, they manage to help each other escape the island and head home--Evelyn, sailing east, and Fender, west. They soon discover, however, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. But how can they, again, find each other with a monstrous ocean and a thousand misunderstandings between them?

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The Borman Factor by Robert Lalonde 16+ ****

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A big city crime reporter is brutally murdered in broad daylight. His watch and wallet are missing, so police call it a robbery gone wrong and close the file. It's an election year and authorities don't want unsolved murders stealing headlines. The family wants to know why Terry Reynolds was murdered. From city hall to the depths of Toronto’s criminal underworld, Nick Borman is in hot pursuit of a cold-blooded killer. Will Nick get the killer or will he become the next victim?

Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord 16+ *****

Deep in the bowels of the Coliseum of the mighty Astrolian Empire, the orphan, Sol, is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed Gladiator in all the land. Alongside K'nal, his giant Frorian fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. But when an oppressed populace transforms Sol into a revolutionary folk hero, the Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to put an end to the uprising. Sol’s only chance is to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.

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The Ivory Caribou by Caroline McCullagh 16+ ****

Is it a love story? Or is it an adventure story? Or is it a commentary on the tragedy of war? It is all of these, and more. Award Winning Author Caroline McCullagh weaves a thrilling and dynamic story around Anne O’Malley’s genealogical search for the story of her late husband’s father that takes her to the far North of Canada to find new relatives among the Inuit culture, to Europe behind the lines in World War I, and back to the small Inuit village where she finds romance. The Ivory Caribou won Best Unpublished Novel in the San Diego Book Awards.

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Riker's Calling by Rico Lamoureux 18+ ****

From school bullies to the crime-ridden streets of his hometown of Los Angeles, Jeremy Riker has always felt the need to do something about the injustice surrounding him. Just as he sets out on his journey as an urban warrior, he unknowingly gives rise to an obsessive adversary, who ends up becoming one of the most notorious serial killers the city has ever known. Dubbed by the news media as The Spyderco Killer, the methodical psychopath roots himself deep into Riker's life for the long haul, until his own madness propels everything into an intense climax.

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Hire Train Monitor Motivate: Build an Organization, Team, or Career of Distinction in the Transformational Workplace by David J. Waldron ****

The transformational workplace of the twenty-first century is front and center. Are you ready to navigate its twists and turns toward reaching your career goals and dreams? In Hire Train Monitor Motivate, author and veteran organizational leader, David J. Waldron, offers powerful, yet simple techniques that can dramatically improve your organization, team, or individual career achievements in today's hyper-competitive local and global marketplaces. This practical book will teach you how to master the art of workplace effectiveness by first making a lasting commitment to placing people first, whether a customer, recruit, staff member, or coworker. Then hire, or get hired for an optimistic mindset; train, or be trained for delivering quality products and services; monitor, or allow monitoring for regulatory compliance; and motivate, or stay motivated for enduring performance. As a practitioner more so than an academic, Waldron, presents unpretentious, everyday workplace rules that when implemented, or followed, can transform your organization, team, or individual career to one of lasting distinction. Master the proven techniques for playing the game the right way and learn how to practice leadership or teamwork by inclusion toward making your workplace a great place to learn, earn, and grow.

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The Stonegate Sword by Harry James Fox 12+ ****

The Old Empire is gone - But tales still tell of marvels from long ago-flying machines and devices run by the power of lightning. Now grass grows in the streets and rusted hulks are all that remain of the proud machines. A new time of troubles now threatens. The free towns of the rugged mountains and plains are in the path of conquest. The Prophet's armies are coming, filled with hatred and armed with terrible, rediscovered weapons. Donald of Fisher, outcast and alone, is in the path of the march, searching for Rachel, who has been captured by the Raiders-minions of the Prophet. But how can he find and rescue one small captive in a wilderness teeming with enemies? And even if he succeeds, should he wield his sword beside the tiny band of defenders? Is Donald to become yet another victim, or is he, just possibly, the deliverer promised in prophecy? What can one person do in the face of a war that will shape the future of a continent?

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My review for this book "A Magnificent Read - The Stonegate Sword is a great book to read and Harry James Fox’s descriptions of all the characters and battles are phenomenal. The fast moving plot, keep the pages turning. You are led to believe that it is medieval times but this is not the case! Donald of Fisher, the main character, is a peaceful man of learning. To remain in Stonegate, he has to receive battle training. A large dark force from the east threatens to invade and it takes all of Don’s wits and nerves to protect the free. If you enjoy lots of battles, then this is the book to read. Philip, a young farmer’s son has a curious tale to tell and I was eager to follow his journey. The female characters in this adventure story, Rachel and Deborah I found to be two dimensional. If there is a sequel then it would be good to get their perspectives on events. Harry’s writing is so vivid that at times you feel that you are standing right next to Donald and can see what he sees. I am eager to find out what happens to him and hope that there is a sequel. A highly recommended read.

The Millennial Party by Mark Palmer 12+ *****

Three recent high school graduates are selected to begin a movement to create an entirely new political party based on the principles and ideals of their generation. Throughout their college experiences at an Ivy League school, this story follows these young adults as they grow and develop into the unique candidates the party leaders hope for them to become. With every unexpected twist and turn, the candidates are taken on an emotional rollercoaster as they attempt to change the direction of their country for the better, all while competing amongst each other as the world watches and critiques their every move.

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My review for this book: "A Fresh Approach - This was something new for me to read and I found the storyline unusual, engaging and thought provoking. Jessica, Austin and Tyler, three intelligent young people are enticed into joining the new and sparkling Millennial Party with the hope that one of them will eventually become the President of America. When the candidates are brought into the limelight, they have a rude awakening and their lives are changed forever. This novel shows what power and fame can do to people. Mark Palmer, keeps the story moving at a fast pace and it is difficult to put this book down. I guess I had high hopes for the new candidates of the Millennial Party but was shocked. The plot will not disappoint – highly recommended."

My review for this book: "A Whacky Bunny Feast. I have never read anything like this. Nigel Bunnytail is a striking, charismatic, woman eating man and is trying his best to recover from a broken heart. The first part of the book introduces you to Nigel and his eclectic mix of friends. It took me a while to get to know them all. Nigel lives and works in Philadelphia and I was drawn into his chaotic world, kicking and screaming. By chapter nine the pace changes and everything starts to make sense. Quentin Parker is a smart writer and his style is fast paced with some challenging colloquial interactions between his characters.The storyline is straight forward but whacky. I enjoyed seeing how Nigel tries to transform his life and can’t decide whether he is getting what he deserves. The end of the story, has been left open for the next book in the series.

My review for this book: "Powerfully Imagined. Michael J. Sanford is a talented writer and has created a beautifully written dark tale. For those of you that enjoy an epic journey, involving colourful enigmatic characters and battles through enchanted lands, then this book is for you. The writing is almost poetic in places and breathes life into the unstable worlds that the characters find themselves in.
This is my kind of book and I did not want to put it down. I am looking forward to reading the next saga as there are many questions that need to be answered. Congratulations Michael, this book comes highly recommended and I have given you five stars."

Perception of Life by Shandi Boyes 18+ ****

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Noah Taylor is on the cusp of stardom with his band 'Rise Up'. Noah's soul has been shattered beyond repair after a series of devastating family events. The last thing that Noah wants is a committed relationship. But Noah soon learns that life doesn't always work out the way you plan. Sometimes life can take you on a small detour.

My review for this book: "A thought-provoking study. This book is an objective study of human sexuality. Historically and over the past decades, our attitude towards sex, religion and the freedom to express ourselves has shaped who we are and our society. Humphrey Zinyuke’s writing is observant and astute. His book opens your eyes up and makes you think about our future. Is there a new American sexual order? Do we have any control of our destinies or does our sexuality rule us? Have we become immoral or are we just freely celebrating sexual liberation?

An amazing wealth of sometimes controversial quotations, media articles and music references, illustrates in a light hearted way, how whether we realise it or not, we cannot help ourselves and are constantly seeking the Holy Grail – that is happiness, holding hands with sexual satisfaction. Whether they can both be found is another matter. Humphrey Zinyuke presents the evidence and it is up to you the reader to decide.

Taming Tigers by Daisy White 10+ *****

Seventeen year old Talia is struggling to earn a living as a seamstress, surviving in the infamous Camps of war torn Arista. When her soldier fiancé Kellar suggests a bizarre route of escape – stowing away in the cross desert freight train to Leonore, Talia jumps at the chance. In Leonore she can marry Kellar and expand her business – leaving the war behind... But a freak accident leaves her stranded and alone in the desert. Caught between the two countries, and forced to face her troubled past Talia must choose between love and revenge, whilst playing the ultimate game of survival. Comforted by The Guardian and haunted by The Ghost Talia begins a journey that will change her life forever... ‘A rich mix of evocative mysticism and gritty fantasy – Beautiful...’

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An Abduction Revelation by Thomas L Hay 12+ *****

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