Cover Reveal – Embers (Short Stories)

Trent's World (the Blog)

book cover for Embers

Yes, I have another book in the works, a book of short stories.  I call it “Embers“.  One of the short stories is Embers, which was actually named from a #writephoto challenge by Sue Vincent.  That story is in five parts, with the first being written for the challenge.  And, of course, each short story can be thought of as an ember, a little nugget of imagination packaged up in a self-contained short story, ready to burst into flames in your mind.

See that picture at the top of the page?  Yep, that is the book cover.  Maybe 😉  I’m doing my own cover again, so it is possible it will be tweaked as time goes on.  It should be pretty close to the above, though.

I am currently shooting for a December 4th release date.  Just in time for Christmas 😉

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The Weekly Smile – 10/15/2018 – Welcome Back! #weeklysmile

There is too much bad news and negativity floating around in the ether these days. Sharing something lovely from our lives, no matter how small, can only have a positive effect on those around us.

Trent's World (the Blog)

weeklysmile2a

On the 13th of September, 2017,  I posted the last Weekly Smile.  It was a long run –  88 of The Weekly Smile plus a month of The Daily Smile.  That post was the last, that is, for the first run of The Smile.

Guess what?

The Weekly Smile is back!

I thought a lot about what I was going to make this first post about.  I have had many smiles over the last week or two.  I visited family, saw my siblings and parents.  I finished a couple of large projects at work and am finally starting one I’ve been waiting for for almost two years.  I got out and did things outside.  I met some writing goals.  There is a lot to smile about!

But for this one, I decided to Smile about smiling. 🙂

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Perfect Remains by Helen Fields

Perfect Remains (D.I. Callanach, #1)Perfect Remains by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me, this book proved to be quite extraordinary. It put me into a turmoil. Several times, as I read the first few chapters, I was on the verge of giving up on it. So much of what I was reading seemed ridiculous to me. It was just not credible.

However, I persevered and I urge you, dear reader, to do the same. The second half of the book was a huge improvement on the first, and the final few chapters had a pace and tension that really gripped my attention.

By chapter three, I was struggling to justify a one-star rating. When I got to about six chapters from the end, I had convinced myself that it deserved three stars and I’d revised my rating again by the time I finished.

Without giving too much away, let me tell you a few things that almost made this my third DNF: Did Not Finish.

Some of the journey times are absurd. Soaking a body in accelerant, “marinating”, wouldn’t mean that all tissue would be destroyed in a fire even if the peat floor of the bothy were to burn. The large stones in the foundations of the walls shift in the fire, yet a small piece of fabric is perfectly preserved because it is under a rock and starved of oxygen.

When Dr King, the perpetrator, declared in chapter two so this is not a spoiler, drives from near to Braemar (one hour in a 4WD) to Edinburgh in just two hours, he stops to drink tepid tea from his flask. His reason is that he wants to avoid being spotted on CCTV in any of the cafes. There are lots of cafes near to the A9 which don’t have CCTV. However, the road is lined with ANPR cameras. Everybody’s movement is monitored.

How the Dr King manages to lug dead bodies around when he is nowhere near the peak of physical fitness, is beyond me. It gets worse. He manages to source a barrel full of sodium hydroxide in which he dissolves a body. He takes the full barrel, in his car and on a trolley, to a warehouse in Grantham. Furthermore, he doesn’t spill a drop. He must be a world champion power-lifter. He wouldn’t even be able to lift it on his own!

The introduction of Franco-Scot Detective Inspector Luc Callanach to the story is completely nuts! He arrives in Edinburgh from Interpol. His first briefing with all of the team focuses on his fear that they’ll take the piss out of his accent – and they do – aggressively. His DS falls out with him immediately. THEN he takes a DS and 2 DCs off their current workload because Grampian police think that some bones that they’ve found MIGHT belong to a missing person from Edinburgh because one of the police officers recognises the preserved fragment of scarf as matching a detail of the mispers description that he has read. How likely is that?

Luc doesn’t even check in with his boss to ask if it’s OK to take half the team away. When he gets there, having driven all the way to Braemar, which would take three hours and then a further one hour in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the pathologist and two from forensics are there on site waiting for him – why? The charred bones are in Aberdeen, an hour and a half away. The roof of the bothie collapsed, so it must have taken them days to get to the bones and the piece of scarf.

The Edinburgh team find a B&B to stay in. The next day, Luc goes to Aberdeen and back, then decides that they’ll all go back to Edinburgh. That only takes two hours.

However, the forensic side of the story, especially the DNA tracing, is all very authentic.

From half way through, the story picks up both in pace and atmosphere. The characters and their relationships develop very well. Once the momentum built, I just couldn’t put it down.

I would recommend Perfect Remains to any of my friends who like crime fiction with the proviso that they should be prepared to grit their teeth as they wade through the first fifty or sixty pages.

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A Jar in Prague

For National Poetry Day 2018

Dark Beer

 

Lager?
In Praha?
No fear!
I prefer Czech dark beer.

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Book Review: A Tale of Oak and Mistletoe by E.B. Brown

A Tale of Oak and Mistletoe (Time Walkers, #4)A Tale of Oak and Mistletoe by E.B. Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected this fourth book in the Timewalker series to be every bit as good as the preceding three, and it did not disappoint me.

The story of Maggie and Winn and all the complex relationships that they have across time and blood ties. It is essential that you read this story in its correct sequence as many of the twists and turns of this final episode will confuse you if you don’t.

There are extremes of love and cruelty. There is grief and sadness, and happiness and joy. Close bonds are brutally broken; sometimes to be repaired and sometimes impossible to repair.

There is so much emotion in this book, right up to the very last pages. There are many unexpected twists and turns, but it all makes sense in the end.

The characters are so well painted by the author that I found myself falling in love with them. Occasionally, one of my favorites would be killed off, and I would curse E.B Brown for taking the life of someone I loved. Being a novice author myself, I can imagine how emotionally challenging writing such scenes must have been for her. I’d be willing to bet that she wept as she typed. I certainly wept as I read.

The whole series is terrific and I recommend it to all who read this review. I repeat my advice: read them in order, one to four.

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Book Review: The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins

The Failsafe QueryThe Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this story. The political and international background is authentic. The characters are interesting and I particularly liked Natasha. The book could have done with a heavier dose of her and her sadistic ruthlessness. She is certainly not somebody who you would want to cross, even if you were battling for the same side.

For the most part, the pace is good, although it stumbles in places and I found some of the dialogue a bit forced and stilted. There were a few irritating little flaws in the narrative that acted like itching powder on me. Perhaps, since reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, I have become over-sensitive to adverbs and whether they add to or subtract from the meaning. I’ll admit that I have also been guilty of the same crime.

However, having said all of this, the underlying story is great and is well worth reading.

I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

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Book Review: How I Got RICH Doing What I LOVE!: Its easier than you think! by Boikanyo Trust Phenyo

How I Got RICH Doing What I LOVE!: Its easier than you think!How I Got RICH Doing What I LOVE!: Its easier than you think! by Boikanyo Trust Phenyo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the inspirational autobiographical tale of how the author became rich, at an early age, according to her definition of “rich.”

Her early years were harsh. She describes the difficulties that she encountered in her own family, being the only girl amongst her siblings and suffering the loss of one of her brothers. Her mother was definitely her rock. Her father was quite the opposite.

Boikanyo’s tough early years have made her appreciate everything she has in her life.

The author has made the best of every situation and she has been very generous in sharing the benefits of everything that she has learned with those around her. She has helped numerous young people from Botswana and other southern African countries to prosper in the face of adversity.

In this book she shares her positive outlook and her approach to life in general. Read it and you are sure profit from her words.

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