The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle) Review

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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’

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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

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“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

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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 […]

Peril on the Royal Train Review

Peril on the Royal Train

Peril on the Royal Train: 10 (The Railway Detective series) by Edward Marston Another instalment in the fascinating Railway Detective series. It is spring 1858 and a train has derailed on the Scottish Caledonian railway, killing three people.  Colbeck and Leeming are called from London to investigate. When they arrive, they discover that not everyone is happy with the idea of bringing in Scotland Yard. Old rivalries in the form of Superintendent Rory McTurk as well as the reluctance of Inspector Rae add to the problems. Potential suspects are all too common including Sabbatarians opposed to the running of railways […]

The Gospel of Loki Review

The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris Loki, the Trickster God, hero of Norse legends – what was he really like?  Read on and discover his tale, told in his own words. Tricky, mischievous Loki creates havoc within the halls of Asgard.  Bringing him out of the world of Chaos, Odin declares Loki to be his brother and says he will turn him into a god in return for his support.  Yet nothing turns out quite as it should – never fully accepted by the other gods; Loki finds it hard to fit in. Odin’s idea of a brother […]

Drawing Masterclass: Landscapes Review

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Drawing Masterclass: Landscapes by Margaret Eggleton Margaret Eggleton has used her extensive knowledge and expertise to create a very practical and inspiring guide to drawing landscapes. It is really detailed and very helpful whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned artist. All the basic techniques such as perspective, line and tone are covered, with lots of black and white line drawings to illustrate each item. She shows how to draw the many elements which make up a landscape including trees, foliage, hills, mountains, skies, water and buildings.  The emphasis is very much on the rural landscape as opposed […]

The French Promise Review

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The French Promise by Fiona McIntosh This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read for a long time. Gentle, lyrical and haunting – it is a lovely story. Luc and Lisette Ravens are trying to come to terms with the changes in their lives caused by the Second World War.  Luc had been a resistance fighter while Lisette had been a British spy involved in a honey trap with a German officer.  Trying to rebuild their lives, they head for Tasmania where the climate matches that of Luc’s Provencal home. This enables them to set up a […]

The Gestapo: Power and Terror in the Third Reich Review

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The Gestapo: Power and Terror in the Third Reich by Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle If you say the word Gestapo, everyone immediately knows to what you are referring. This was a feared institution, a deadly instrument in ensuring political correctness within the Third Reich. Any one deemed an enemy was likely to come up against the Gestapo at some point – communists, spies, jews, homosexuals, gypsies and many more.  Once inside its prisons, very few people emerged unscathed – and most were never seen again.  It is an essential image used in every WW2 film to portray the horrors […]

Everyday Lace: Simple, Sophisticated Knitted Garments Review

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Everyday Lace: Simple, Sophisticated Knitted Garments by Heather Zoppetti Whether you have wanted to give lace knitting a try or are already addicted, this collection of eighteen patterns has something for everyone. Starting with knitting essentials like reading charts and the importance of proper blocking, the book is then divided into three main chapters according to seasons with six patterns per chapter. The Christiana Headband starts knitters off with an easy yet effective, quick working design that is perfect for using up those leftover dabs of sock yarns and would make terrific gifts for young and old alike. Knit in […]

The Sixth Extinction Review

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The Sixth Extinction (Sigma Force) by James Rollins California State Park Ranger, Jenna Beck was looking forward to a good meal at the end of an average workday when dispatch sent her to check on the status of a high security military research site which had sent out a garbled emergency call. Shortly after Jenna, accompanied by Nikko, her highly trained search and rescue dog reach the site, she witnesses the abduction of Dr. Kendall Hess, followed immediately by a massive explosion that sent out a frightening black cloud. Hidden within the toxic cloud is an unknown agent that kills […]

Storm Siren Review

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Storm Siren (Storm Siren Trilogy) by Mary Weber Responsible for killing her parents when she was just a young child, Nuymia now a teenager is about to be sold as a slave to what would be her fifteenth owner when she witnesses a pompous ass of a man torturing a young slave girl he just purchased. Incensed at the cruelty, Nym can’t help but respond, revealing her nature as an Elemental, an impossibility as only males can be Elementals. Years of warfare have rendered the country of Faelen on the verge of collapse though Adora, a twisted yet powerful woman, […]