#BookReview of To Hell With Johnny Manic by Andrew Diamond #JohnnyManicBook #NetGalley #PsychologicalSuspense
Upfront information: To Hell With Johnny Manic by Andrew Diamond was provided to me as an advanced reader's copy via Stolen Time Press and NetGalley. It will be available for purchase on August 1, 2019.
Parental note: There is violence as well as adult language and subtle scenes of an intimate nature.
Genre and Rating: Psychological Suspense - 5 Stars
Brief synopsis: A man running from his past enters Napa Valley to make a new start. A simple life as a computer repair technician. A nice plan if he can make it work. Not an easy task for a person who is magnetically attracted to trouble.
My thoughts about this story as a reader: As I was reading this story, I seem to feel the main character’s highs and lows. I’m not sure if I was relating to the character or the situations. Either way, it made for a significantly different reading experience for me. I’d recommend to fellow readers to not read this as you are trying to get to sleep. There will come a point when you simply will not be able to stop or sleep until you finish it.
My thoughts about this story as an author: I think that Mr. Diamond made the right choice in presenting this story from the first-person perspective. In that way, the reader only saw what the narrator saw, heard, and felt as events unfolded.
If you missed it, Mr. Diamond’s Gate 76 was my first NetGalley review and the first time I read his work. I'm sure I'll read even more of his work in the future. If you'd like to learn more about the author and/or his books, you can visit any of the following links.
Stolen Time Press
Thank you for taking the time to read this review. If you know anyone who would love to read this book, feel free to share this blog post with them.
Founder Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC
The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell by Jim Webster #BlogTour #EpicFantasy #ShortStory #Books #FamilyDrama
Welcome everyone. Jim Webster is once again on tour, sharing some tales from Tallis Steelyard. Today's story is The alternative career of Dilkerton Thallawell.
Dilkerton was a member of the great Thallawell legal family. To be fair his life was comparatively conventional, if only because he was somebody who instinctively tried to conform. So he went into the family legal practice, married a nice young lady and they had two delightful daughters. So whilst he worked hard, he made sure that he was home from work early enough to spend time with the family.
Now he wasn’t a great courtroom performer. On the other hand he had a real genius for cutting through to the crux of the case and working out what were the real issues. Indeed the partnership decided that his analytical mind was wasted on courtroom histrionics. Instead he would examine the case when it arrived with the partnership and then, when it was assigned to a partner, he would go through it with them and explain it. Even old Tildus Thallawell, the senior partner, and considered by many to be the finest legal mind in Port Naain, would discuss his cases with young Dilkerton.
This led to Dilkerton being much in demand, and the pressure was on him to work longer hours. He put this off as long as possible, but the girls were older, well into their teens, and his wife pointed out that there were going to be a lot of large expenditures to face soon. Daughters don’t get cheaper to keep as they grow older. So somewhat reluctantly, Dilkerton started working longer hours. To be brutally honest at this point, he did love the work so that side of it was no hardship. Initially he stuck strictly to his days off but his wife pointed out that if he could get money tucked away with his usurer now, once the girls were married and away, then they could relax a bit and spend more time together. This seemed reasonable, indeed it was a goal Dilkerton could work towards. So he threw himself into work. Indeed his wife arranged with the partnership to put up a bed in his office for him and every day somebody came in with a complete set of clean clothes and took away the previous set. Similarly, three times a day a lady arrived with his meals.
He settled down nicely into his new routine, his wife would send him a pleasant note every so often letting him know how things were going, and he set out to put aside enough money. He was lucky in that the partnership had a number of complex but fascinating cases. On the strength of his part in these, the Council of Sinecurists asked him to produce a codification of Port Naain commercial law.
He produced the first volume, ‘The rights, duties and perquisites of the Legal Person in Port Naain law’ in a couple of months. He was helped in this because he’d been prompted to do the research because of the complexities of one of the cases he was working on anyway. The second volume was, ‘The law of Land and Property, including inheritance and the duties and privileges of Landowners, absolute, qualified or possessory. The third volume was, ‘Maritime law, including maintenance and cure, reasonable care of passengers, maritime liens and mortgages, salvage, and piracy’. Legal experts seem to regard this as his magnum opus. Certainly it was immediately accepted within Port Naain. Indeed it was also adopted within a month of publication in Prae Ducis. Apparently well-thumbed and hand-written copies of the piracy sections have been seen being passed around rough bars in Ulwin and Rothturning.
I’m not sure how long this had been going on when he found, in his morning’s post, a letter from his usurer. It was an apologetic missive, it merely informed him that unless he could send funds immediately they would not be able to honour his monthly standing order to the Goldclaw Baths and Laundry. This came as a shock to him as he hadn’t realised he had such a standing order. He questioned the person who brought his clean clothes. Dilkerton had rather assumed that the chap was somebody from his household, sent each day by Dilkerton’s wife. It turned out that he was from the Goldclaw Baths and Laundry. Later that day he discovered that the woman bringing his meals was Madam Balgot, who had quite a nice business providing decent meals for men too busy to leave their desks. After he had finished his lunch he left the building and walked to his usurer’s offices. There he asked to see the ledger of his account. On the input side he could see the money he was earning, pouring into the account like a river. Unfortunately on the other side of the ledger he could see money pouring out like the retreating tide. He looked more carefully at where the money was going. Goldclaw and Madam Balgot were there, being paid their quite reasonable sums. Rather more surprising was the fact that judging by the sums disbursed, he was apparently the sole support for three of the city’s more prestigious ladies’ dress shops. Then to his genuine shock he discovered that he’d also opened an account in the last three months with a gentleman’s outfitter.
It was a remarkably thoughtful Dilkerton Thallawell who made his way home (to his house, not the office). He did wonder whether he would even be able to get into the house, but there appeared to be a ball in progress so he could stroll in unremarked. He found the situation disconcerting. He didn’t recognise the servants, he didn’t recognise the guests, and even the décor was strange to him. He suddenly had an irrational fear that he’d inadvertently slept for a century and was now surrounded entirely by strangers. As unobtrusively as possible he made his way through the house to where there appeared to be dancing.
Standing near the door he watched the dancers. He could see his wife dancing with a rather handsome gentleman. He turned to the man standing next to him. “Who’s the gentleman dancing with Madam Thallawell?”
“Damned if I remember his name, but I think he’s the favourite to be the widow’s next husband.”
A little dryly Dilkerton said, “I hadn’t realised she was a widow.” He thought briefly and asked, “Did she have any children by her first husband?”
“Yes, two daughters, but they both married in the last twelve months.”
Somewhat shocked by what he’d heard, Dilkerton made his way out. He noticed a copy of the Port Naain Intelligencer on the table in the hall, and for perhaps the first time in his life, when he looked at the date, he checked the year first. Much to his relief the paper and he agreed on the day, month and year.
Next morning he left instructions that any income from his codification of the law should be paid to the Order of Illuminated Seditionists. He took leave of absence from work, took his current month’s salary in cash and walked out of the office and headed for the Roskadil Ferry. Eight hours later he was at the home of a client he’d always got on well with.
Next morning he started work. He watches over his employer’s horrocks, for which he gets a cottage and three meals a day. As he watches over his charges, Dilkerton will carve small animals from wood, just as he used to when his daughters were little.
During the evenings he reads a lot. Every so often he will send me a bag of the animals he’s carved and I’ll sell them for him. Then I’ll go to Alen Gaetz’s second-hand book shop. There I’ll buy as many fifty-dreg tales of derring-do and romance set amongst the bandit chieftains of Partann as the carved wooden animals would pay for. He trusted me to do this properly, as I had a list of the books I’d taken to him previously.
His wife I never really knew so cannot really say what happened to her. She wasn’t the sort of person to patronise poets. But Dilkerton didn’t leave her penniless. As a partner there would be his annual share of the profits. Although paid quite some time in arrears, there’d be enough for a lady living quietly in a small house. It might even be enough to pay somebody to come in two or three days a week to do the washing and cleaning.
A message from Jim Webster:
So here I am again with another blog tour. I’ve released two collections of short stories from Tallis and if you’ve enjoyed the one you just read, you’ll almost certainly enjoy these.
So what have Tallis and I got for you?
Well first there’s, ‘Tallis Steelyard. A guide for writers, and other stories.’ The book that all writers who want to know how to promote and sell their books will have to read. Sit at the feet of the master as Tallis passes on the techniques which he has tried and perfected over the years. As well as this you’ll have music and decorum, lessons in the importance of getting home under your own steam, and brass knuckles for a lady. How can you resist, all this for a mere 99p.
Then we have, ‘Tallis Steelyard. Gentlemen behaving badly, and other stories.’ Now is your chance to see Port Naain by starlight and meet ladies of wit and discernment. There are Philosophical societies, amateur dramatics, the modern woman, revenge, and the advantages of a good education.
So come on, treat yourself, because you’re worth it.
Below is a list of other stories and their scheduled dates. If you enjoy reading Epic Fantasy, these will be a real treat all for the price of a few clicks and perhaps a book or two?
A fine residence - July 14, 2019
A man who doesn’t pay his bills never lacks for correspondence - July 15, 2019
Be careful what you pretend to be - July 16, 2019
Call yourself a writer - July 17, 2019
Every last penny - July 18, 2019
It all comes out in the wash - July 19, 2019
Noteworthy - July 20, 2019
Oblige - July 21, 2019
Performance art - July 22, 2019
The automated caricordia of Darset Dweel - July 24, 2019
The dark machinations of Flontwell Direfountain - July 25, 2019
Thoroughly married - July 26, 2019
Water under the bridge - July 27, 2019
It’s not who you know, it’s what you know - July 28, 2019
My compliments to Tallis Steelyard and Jim Webster for sharing their time and their stories with us. A "tip of the hat" to my fellow bloggers for their time and shares.
Founder of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC
Can be found on Twitter as @LHallbrooks
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Founder of Call Sign Wrecking Crew LLC
Upfront stuff: I was provided an advanced copy of The Rescue by Steven Konkoly courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley. The book was released to the general public on 1 April 2019. However, anyone who was an Amazon Prime or First Reads member was able to download a Kindle version on 1 March 2019. In fact, within 24 hours, it was number 1 in all categories. Not bad, for the first book of a new series.
Parental note: This book has violence as well as adult language and situations. To be honest some of the scenes may be unnerving for some adults.
Brief synopsis: Ryan Decker, USMC has more questions than answers. For example: Why the heck has everything gone wrong? Why imprisonment for doing his job? Why are people being sent to eliminate him? Harlow Mackenzie, Private Investigator, has some answers. Will they lead to the truth or more questions?
My thoughts about this story as a reader: The men and women of the US military branches are human beings who train hard to do a tough job. That training and willingness to serve others are what I admire most about those who serve honorably. The character, Ryan Decker, has served his country with honor even working for the CIA. After moving on from that, he formed a company to find people who've been taken from their family. While we, the reader, only see Ryan Decker's dark days in this book, we also get a glimpse of the strength that made him a Marine, CIA operator, great husband, and loving father. This made me want to root for him to succeed in his mission... no matter what it took.
My thoughts about this author as a reader: The first book that I ever read by Steven Konkoly was The Jakarta Pandemic. I was drawn in by the medical aspect as well as the military background of the main character. Over the last several years, I've read everything that he has written. I have loved every single one of them. This book, in my opinion, outshines them all. On a personal note as an author, I am inspired by all that Mr. Konkoly has achieved through hard work, dedication, and allowing himself to grow as an author. The result shows in this book. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series.
If you wish to learn more about Steven Konkoly and where to get his books you can visit his website or follow him on Amazon.
As always, any polite comments are welcomed and appreciated. If you are a Steven Konkoly fan, do you agree this is his best work to date? If you are new to Steven Konkoly's work but have read this book, what do you think of it? Would rather not comment, that's okay.
If you know someone who would love to read this book or learn more about Steven Konkoly, feel free to share this with them.
Happy reading and writing,
Founder of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC
I was one of the lucky winners of the Goodreads Giveaway of American Vineyard by Vincent Lowry. I am under no obligation to post this book review but I loved the book so much that I wanted to share it with you.
Before I share my thoughts, I should let those who are sensitive to violence, as well as, adult language and situations know there are those moments throughout the book.
My Take: The story is told from the first-person point of view and has a memoir feel to it. As the story unfolds you realize that the narrator is reminiscing about a particular school year - the last year before entering high school. A particular event at the beginning of the school year is the crux which catapults the group of friends headlong into adulthood.
My thoughts as a reader: Mr. Lowry did a wonderful job of drawing me into this world. I felt a connection to the main characters and their plight. I have to admit as the book was finishing up, I had lots of tears in my eyes.
My perspective as an author: To me, the true test of an author's ability is when they connect with a reader on an emotional level. Since it was selected as a finalist in the 2017 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards, I'm guessing I'm not alone in that opinion.
If you'd like to learn more about Vincent Lowry and his books, check out his Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Vincent-Lowry/e/B002W58D2S/
If you decide to pick the book up, I hope you enjoy it as much or even more than I did.
Author Reader Cheerleader
I was provided an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of Seek And Destroy by Alan McDermott courtesy of Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley. The book is scheduled to go public on 14 November 2018. I voluntarily read this and am happy to share my honest thoughts with you.
This is the sequel to Run And Hide and the "Tom Gray" series of books. I highly recommend reading these in order as they build upon one another. However, if you are sensitive to violence as well as adult language and situations you might want to forego the reads.
Brief Synopsis: Eva Driscoll, US military veteran, and her cohorts have begun to put their lives back together after dealing with the residual effects of what a certain group put them through. A scheme to annihilate them commences and begins a chain of events that have some permanent consequences.
My thoughts: I could feel how much was at stake as I flipped the digital pages. I cheered for "Team Eva" to take out those who would do them harm as it became anybody's guess who would win. When an author can bring a reader to that point, it means they've done their job well.
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While reviews of any book you read are never mandatory it can be helpful to fellow readers. That, plus word of mouth - online and offline - help bring new-to-them stories to light, that they can potentially read and enjoy.
Author Reader Cheerleader
I love being an Independent Author and supporting others who self-publish independently. I also love discussing books with fellow readers. That's why I have combined the two passions in one place.
Author Reader Cheerleader has a place for newbie and rising authors to learn a few tips and tricks. Readers can find places for new-to-them books and authors. Everyone can find ways to support one another as cheerleaders. Readers by being fans, and authors by sharing your words and worlds with those that enjoy your work. This new website is my way of paying it forward from when others have helped me.
Come join in on the book love while you watch us grow: Author Reader Cheerleader.
Author/Reader/Founder of Call Sign Wrecking Crew, LLC
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Who am I?
I'm Lynn Hallbrooks - an author, blogger, cheerleader, founder, proofreader, reader, and reviewer. I have read and reviewed books for Masquerade Crew, NetGalley, and Reading Deals, to name a few. I enjoy reading books by new-to-me authors as well as sharing my love of books with others.
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