The Art of Total War Published


Games artwork book The Art of Total War was released this week.The hardback features images plotting the 15 years that the Total War franchise has been preoccupying budding generals all over the world.The book features images from Shogun, Medieval and also includes a look at Attila and Arena.Journalist Martin Robinson penned the book and as well as the art work it has interviews and commentary from the art team who produced the work. There is a limited edition version of 500 copies. It has a different cover, a premium slipcase and includes a signed print but Rado Javor, who worked […]


The Slow Regard of Silent Things Review


The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss Set in the Kingkiller fantasy universe, this is a short novella focusing on the tale of the mysterious girl, Auri. It tells the tale of Auri’s life and what makes her tick, what has made the character she is.  She lives in a strange world of dark places underneath the University, tucked among sprawling tunnels. It is a forgotten place, and Rothfuss has created a very atmospheric tale bringing this place alive.  The wonderful black and white illustrations are a delight, helping the reader to envisage this strange world.  But I […]


Dead of Winter Review


Dead of Winter (DCI Andrew Fenwick) by Elizabeth Corley When a girl goes missing from boarding school in the dead of winter, the police find their attempts to find her hampered by unhelpful teachers and pupils. Convincing them of the urgency of the situation takes more time that Superintendent Andrew Fenwick would have liked, especially since it means stepping on the toes of the local police force into the bargain.  But when high profile families are concerned, anything can happen.  It soon becomes apparent that the situation is much more complex than anyone could have imagined.  Hints of an abusive […]


Crooked Herring Review

Crooked Herring

Crooked Herring by L.C. Tyler This is a cozy mystery story involving a crime writer as the detective. Elthelred Tressider is a somewhat reluctant sleuth, he would much prefer to concentrate on writing his novels (even through they are getting trashed by a reviewer).  Then Henry Holiday contacts him and asks for his help.  Holiday is worried, he thinks he has killed someone but cannot remember where or when.   It might just be linked to the disappearance of Crispin Vynall, a crime writer with whom Holiday had been out drinking on New Years Eve. To make the situation worse, Tressider […]


Watercolour Flower Portraits Review


Watercolour Flower Portraits by Billy Showell An extremely well written, well illustrated book which will help any aspiring botanical artist to create brilliant flower portraits in watercolour. Billy Showell has developed a deep interest in flowers and is able to bring the flowers alive on the page.  Although watercolour lacks the lustre of oils and acrylics, Billy’s watercolour illustrations have a depth and shading which is quite unusual.  By working through this book, you can acquire all the basic skills that any flower illustrator would need.  Apart from covering items like light and shade, techniques and creating composition, she focuses […]


Bad Blood Review


Bad Blood (DI Marjory Fleming) by Aline Templeton When Marnie was 11 years old, her world changed dramatically. Her mother disappeared, leaving her alone in the house suffering from a head injury. Now an adult living in London, Marnie wants to know just what did happen that night many years ago.  Marnie can remember nothing of the events beyond waking up bleeding. But her search for the truth is an unwelcome one. Her return to the Scottish village where she had lived until that fateful night opens up a can of worms that many would prefer lay hidden permanently.   Innocent […]


Restless in the Grave (Kate Shugak Mysteries) Review


Restless in the Grave (Kate Shugak Mysteries) by Dana Stabenow I have read one or two of Dana Stabenow’s books in the past and have never been quite sure whether I liked them. This one was really gripping.  It caught my attention from the very beginning, and I found I just could not put it down.  An Alaskan billionaire dies in a plane crash and suspicions arise that it might not have been an accident. He was not one of the most popular people in the neighbourhood and as soon as Kate Shugak begins to investigate, it is easy to see […]


Truth and Fear Review


Truth and Fear (The Wolfhound Century) by Peter Higgins Set in a Russian style fantasy land, this is an intriguing concept. State control is all encompassing, people fear the state police. You do need to read the earlier volume – Wolfhound Century – first, otherwise the plot does not make sense.  It would help if a short summary was given at the beginning as to what had happened earlier. Vissarion Lorn (a former state police officer) and Maroussia Shaumian are now on the run from the Secret Police. They are also hunting the truth about the Angel.  Who and what is […]


The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle) Review


The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle) by Miles Camero One of the best fantasy stories I have read for a long while. The Red Knight is a mercenary, leader of a company that has already proved itself in war. Hired to protect an Abbess and her convent from creatures of the Wild, it is just another job (or is it?).  He does begin to wonder when faced with wyverns keen to rip heads from shoulders. It also becomes clear that the situation is not as simple as it at first seems. Twenty eight florins a month – is it really […]


Miami Graffiti Art Review


Miami Graffiti Art by H. Love From the 1980’s onwards, towns and cities worldwide were targeted by the growth of Graffiti artists. This is one of the most controversial styles of art. Some regard it as defacing the environment, creating unsightly images on the sides of buildings and underpasses; while others regard it as urban art, a way in which youngsters can have their say.  This book deals with the emergence and growth of graffiti art in Florida, particularly in Miami.  It is a massive collection of images, showing the development of this form of artwork since the 1980’s, up to […]


How to Draw Flowers & Trees in Simple Steps Review


Trees fascinate landscape artists.  From Constable right through to Tolkien, trees have been magical, dreamy creations. Trying to recreate the trees that you see in the forests and fields is another matter, which is why this book will be welcomed by artists of all standards.  Using a selection of images, sketches and step by step instructions, he shows artists how to draw trees, leaves and seeds.  Techniques such as how to create a pattern of lights and darks; measuring angles and getting proportions right; as well as illustrating the grooves and patterns of bark are clearly explained. A particularly useful  […]


World of Fire Review


World of Fire (Dev Harmer Mission) by James Lovegrove Perfect for Sci-fi devotees, this story is action packed and imaginative. Set in the world of Alighieri, Dev Harmer is a reluctant ISS agent. When he wakes up on a new planet, he never knows quite what form he is going to have.  His cloned body on this occasion is certainly not what he would have chosen himself.  (Nor would he have chosen to come to Aligheri!)  It is an infernal world, with temperatures averaging 1,000°C that turn rock quickly into lava. Unfortunately it is also a very valuable planet, rich […]


River Cruising in Europe Review


River Cruising in Europe by Douglas Ward If you want to know anything about taking a cruise along a river in Europe – this is definitely the book for you. It is positively essential reading for anyone who has never been on a river cruise and is considering that option. There can be little doubt that river cruising is an extremely attractive holiday option as you can travel very close to the centre of major cities, moor alongside and enjoy exploring heritage locations without any problems of driving in strange areas. A cruise of only a few days can mean […]


The Rose Garden Review


The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley When Eva’s film star sister dies, she takes her ashes back to be scattered at the Cornish house where they had spent so many happy summers as children. This was where she felt her sister really belonged.  Yet in doing so, it raises questions for Eva.  The house concerned does not actually belong to her family but to friends who are now struggling financially. They have turned part of the grounds into a rose nursery and are planning to open a restaurant. Eva agrees to help them, and uses her marketing skills to prepare […]


Teardrop Review


Teardrop by Lauren Kate Fans of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series will love her latest idea. Inventive and intriguing, it has all the hallmarks of a successful concept. Eureka’s mother was killed in a freak accident. Now all Eureka wants to do is escape and find someway of dealing with her memories and unhappiness. Unfortunately for her, something is constantly holding her back, and challenging her plans. A strange boy named Ander always seems to be nearby. Is he following her? Who is he? She soon begins to realise that the more important question is just, ‘What is he?’ The past […]


Tracks: Racing the Sun Review


If you love motor racing, this is definitely the book for you. Martini has written a gripping novel set in the 1930’s when competition was strong between motor racing heroes of Facist Italy and Nazi Germany.  National rivalries spilled over into incredible races set on nerve-wracking switchback roads along the edges of ravines with horrific drops below for anyone who makes a mistake.  Racing at high speeds, the drivers are determined to win at all costs. This is not just a novel – it is actually based on rivalries that did exist, likewise the triumphs and disasters happened.  Martini has […]


Secrets of a German POW Review

Secrets of a German POW

Secrets of a German POW: The Capture and Interrogation of Hauptmann Herbert Cleff by Brian Brinkworth This has to be one of the more extraordinary stories to come out the Second World War. How on earth did a German prisoner of war captured in Africa, of low rank, manage to gain the confidence of the British military and find himself working in the Ministry of Supply as a civilian?  Hauptmann Herbert Cleff initially appeared to be nothing more than a functionary within the Panzer Corps – but on being questioned it soon became apparent that he was more than that.  […]


Phoenix Review


Phoenix by SF SAID An entertaining fantasy cum science fiction story about a boy who slowly begins to realize that nothing is quite what it seems. Lucky thinks he is an ordinary human child – but is he?  One night, he thinks he hears the stars singing. When he wakes, he is struggling to control a power within him that can all too easily destroy everything in sight.  Before he has time to come to terms with that, he and his mother are forced to flee their home in fear of their lives. His mother sacrifices herself for him, forcing him […]


Top Secret Twenty-One Review


Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum) by Janet Evanovich Light hearted, easy reading is provided in this new Stephanie Plum novel. Faced with the task of trying to recapture Jimmy Poletti, she is not having a great deal of luck. Even his wife doesn’t want to know where he is!  A wheeler and dealer who has been caught selling more than cars out of his New Jersey showroom, he has jumped bail and is in hiding.  All Stephanie has to do is find him, bring him in and obtain her wages. This is easier said than done when the target is […]


The Red Knight Review


The Red Knight by Miles Cameron One of the best fantasy stories I have read for a long while. The Red Knight is a mercenary, leader of a company that has already proved itself in war. Hired to protect an Abbess and her convent from creatures of the Wild, it is just another job (or is it?).  He does begin to wonder when faced with wyverns keen to rip heads from shoulders. It also becomes clear that the situation is not as simple as it at first seems. Twenty eight florins a month – is it really enough?  Can he […]


Holiday Books 2014: Tap Into Quirk For Great Gift Books This Season!


Christmas and Hanukkah presents that are affordable and a delight to give?Why yes…Quirk Books always delivers the coolest titles that delight and inform. For your upcoming holiday gift buying, consider these entertaining tomes that are Quirk Books’ best hits for this year. Check out their comprehensive 2014 Holiday Gift Guide online too.These books are lots of fun for a wide audience of readers, check out:JANE AUSTEN COVER TO COVER by Margaret C. Sullivan Janeites, design geeks, and book lovers of every stripe will want to follow Margaret C. Sullivan through two centuries of design in Jane Austen Cover to Cover. […]


Bone Up: ‘Love You to Death – Season 5: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries’


Book Spotlight: “Love You to Death – Season 5: The Unofficial Companion to The Vampire Diaries” by Crissy Calhoun and Heather Vee.Time to get ready for CW’s The Vampire Diaries: With season 6 approaching, star Ian Somerhalder Instagrammed a photo from the set of the show. When we last left off, Elena (Nina Dobrev), Damon (Ian Somerhalder), Stefan (Paul Wesley), Caroline (Candice Accola), and the gang were dealing with the collapse of the Other Side with Damon and Bonnie fading from existence in the process.According to E! News, who spoke to Caroline Dries, the executive producer behind the series, Damon […]


Conspiracies by Andy Thomas Book review

Conspiracies by Andy Thomas Cover

“Conspiracies” is not only the title of a book release by Watkins Publishing and written by Andy Thomas. It is also a term said to be invented by the FBI or alike. Conspiracies already existed in the Roman empire. In fact you can pick a random chosen century and you will find signs of at least one conspiracy. I was always attracted by conspiracy theories but had to stop before my mind turns upside down. Last time I read about conspiracies it was an encyclopaedia by Robert Anton Wilson. Cannot recall if there was a definition of conspiracies like it […]


Book Spotlight: ‘Push, Pull, Swing,’ Old School Workout Retooled For 21st Century

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Book spotlight and interview:In the new fitness book “Push, Pull, Swing: The Fat-Torching, Muscle-Building Dumbbell, Kettlebell & Sandbag Program” author Myatt Murphy eschews high-tech digital machine for back-to-basics exercises that can be done at home.Ever wonder how the ancient Greeks achieved their athletic physiques, which are forever immortalized in marble? Fitness expert Myatt Murphy appears to have cracked the code. In his new book “Push, Pull, Swing,” Murphy shows how using three simple and time-tested pieces of old school gym equipment – the dumbbell, kettlebell and sandbag – can torch fat and build muscle for an optimal level of fitness […]


Fall from Grace Review


Fall from Grace by Tim Weaver Another book in the David Raker series, this time involving problems experienced by a police officer. DCI Melanie Craw and Raker have been at odds in the past – now she is seeking his help.  Her father, Leonard Franks, has gone missing from his retirement home on Dartmoor. Despite all her attempts at finding him and those of the local police no signs have been found. Nine months later, with all official investigations reaching a dead end; Melanie swallows her pride and seeks Raker’s specialist help. His skill in finding missing people is her […]