The purple contract by Robin Fleet review

With in the first few sentences the author immediately grabbed my attention. Very simple sentence structure, but something about it caused me to want to read more.


The Scottish people’s fight for their rights in their own country. Controlled and down-trodden they fight back through a group of Scottish zealots trying to free the tight hold of them in the UK. While some politicians try to do it the legal way, their battle for their rights is gaining public support, something the English government does not like.


The characters are filled with intrigue, very multi-faceted. It is hard to keep track at first of the characters because there are quite a few characters involved, presenting different perspectives not just on this conflict, but on the crime surrounding the conflict in this time period.


Once you become more immersed in the plot, immersed in this underworld of crime and corruption, you start to get a feel for the pace and the intricacy of the struggle of the Scottish.


The fighting scenes are distinctly detailed, easily able to envision it actually happening. Precise moves and language. The scenes move logically through with a nice progression. Building tension, building intrigue, learning more about the characters and what drives them to do the things they do.


This is a well-written and executed novel.


The characters have their own distinct voices and complexities. The violence creates turbulent scenes. The plot riveting as it constantly changes locations, characters and motives. A variety of interesting and fascinating characters. The author makes sure the reader knows exactly where they are by dating the chapters.


The gradual but fascinating build up to an assassination. The intricate details of how one man plans to carry out a major assassination. Hollis brings the novel together, romping it up a bit in places, something I personally liked.


Although it took awhile to get to the main bit, the ending wasn’t disappointing and was quite unexpected.


A variety of interesting characters, plots and subplots will want you to keep on reading.


4/5 stars



Dance the Moon Down by R L Bartram

An interesting novel unveiling the side of the confines of being a woman in the early 20th century, during the First World War. Where women’s rights were whispered about, a women’s place was in the home. I was intrigued to see where this would take the characters.

Two women, one wanting independence belonging to the women’s suffrage (Beryl), while the other, Victoria, the main character, is in love with a man and can think of nothing else; seems very influenced and naïve.

Marriage changes Victoria’s life. The horrors of war can be seen all around them, and then the worst happens, what everyone fears, her husband is lost at war. She must fight for answers while at the same time fighting on other fronts.

An intelligent and determined woman brings the attention of many, including the British army. Friends she has could be viewed as enemies of the state. Their choices can impact many.

The author portrays those times as very grave. No one can be trusted, women constantly watched in case they are spies, put to work but never trusted. Not many could fully comprehend this time for women. The author I feel as done them justice.

Love appears in the most unexpected of places, but once again snatched away from Victoria. Alone, close friend in prison, she must do the unthinkable – find a job. This dramatically changes her view on life and people, and helps her to really become a strong woman.

It makes quite an addictive read learning about these women that Victoria meets at the farm she works on. All with unique personalities, displaying a variety of women in that time and how they contributed while the men were at war.

An inspiring read as many novels have not covered this side with the women. It is a love story that stands the strength of time. One woman’s journey of hope that one day she will be reunited with her husband, in the meantime changing her life and many others.

3 ½ stars



Every inch of the way by Tom Bruce review

An informative start to an interesting take on a man’s journey, cycling to some of the most fascinating and historical countries, while engaging with the people and the culture.

An interesting viewpoint as the author narrates his journey cross-country. Visiting different locations that most people only dream of visiting. The reader connects with the author and the landscape he is travelling on. Imagery of beautiful countries of Europe and beyond.
The reader is able to get a glimpse into this man’s world; his triumphs, his struggles and the amazing experiences he has.

I could read the story through his eyes, it’s not just like reading from a travel book or history book, but learning alongside the author about the places he goes, and the generous and friendly people he meets. You can get a sense one of the reasons he survived this major feat was because of the kindness of others, opening up their homes to him and his travelling companion.

At times I wished there was a bit more detail about some of these amazing countries. Sometimes I felt it was a bit brief, so it was difficult to get fully immersed and picture where he was. Some words could have provided a more descriptive view, but in the end that is the beauty of this story, he wrote what he thought.

It was great to see some of the pictures half-way through the story. That enabled a better picture of the author and the places he went.

I especially enjoyed reading about the culture and the places of great significance in history. Throughout the novel telling a little bit of history about the places he was at, and the hard reality of his choice of transport.

Travelling across Europe, travelling to china and the Silk Road, cycling through the Americas. Going to places that really only a cycle can go, and having intimate experience with nature and the locals purely because one day to the next he didn’t know where he was going to stay.

Although the story isn’t the genre I usually go for, preferably being of a faster pace. All a person can say this was incredible. Most people would never have had this experience, so to get a glimpse into it was great. Definitely recommended, especially for those that enjoy history and travel.

3 ½ stars out of 5


Interview with Ian Reading, author of Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

1. Tell me about yourself.


At the risk of sounding like a personal ad…  My name is Iain.  I like traveling, seeing and experiencing new places.  I try to do that as much as my day job allows me to.  Maybe I also get bored easily too, which pushes me to find newer and more interesting things in the world.


2. What inspired you to write Kitty Hawk?


It was the character of Kitty Hawk herself that is most responsible for inspiring me and pushing me forward into actually writing the book series.  She was such an amazing and unique character – a teenaged pilot with her own plane, flying around the world – that I could simply not resist writing her stories to find out what would happen to her, where she would go and who she’d meet along the way.


3. What something interesting about you not many people know?


In addition to writing Kitty Hawk books I also write and record my own music.  Out there on the internet there is a lot of it available for free.  Check out if you are interested.


4. What genre do you like to write in?


I am not sure whether I have a favourite genre to write in.  The Kitty Hawk books are, of course, young adult sort of realistic mystery adventure fiction but I am also now working on a new books series in a more fantasy genre.  Not TOO fantastical, however.  Still set in the sort of normal every day modern world, but with a bit of a fantastical twist.  I know this is a pretty overloaded genre but I just wanted to give it a try.


5. Have you ever encountered writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?


I don’t think that I have ever had “real” writer’s block.  Not the kind you see in movies anyway, where the writer is paralyzed for weeks and days, unable to write.  Occasionally I have come across points in my stories where I am not quite sure how to move forward, but nothing that a quiet walk or an indulgent massage wouldn’t solve.  To be honest, I have no idea what I would do if I ever did encounter “real” writer’s block.  Maybe I would just give up and that would be the end of Kitty Hawk?  Just kidding.  I couldn’t leave her stuck out there in the middle of nowhere.  I would at least add one more chapter where she gives up her flight around the world and moves into a monastery to spend her days meditating and chanting.


6. Summarize your novel.


This first book – Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold – is the first book in a series of thirteen books that follow the adventures of the intrepid teenaged pilot,

Kitty Hawk, as she flies around the world, stopping along the way to meet new people and see new places…  And solve some mysteries as she goes.  This first book takes her to Alaska and the Yukon where she happens across some gold thieves and gets caught up with them for a while, living in the wilderness and having some amazing adventures as she goes.


7. Tell me about your characters.


The only really consistent character throughout the book series is Kitty Hawk herself, with a cast of various people changing with each new book and location.  In the first book she meets a band of brothers, authentic and outdoorsy types, who kidnap her and set her off on her first real adventure across the rugged landscape of the far north.


8. Tell me about your publishing journey.


I suspect that my journey from first paragraph to final self-published book is pretty typical, which is to say that it has been confusing and a constant learning experience with every new day bringing new revelations about the chaotic world of self-publishing.  But if nothing else it has been rewarding and after all the new skills learned and experiences gained, I can say from experience that there is nothing like having one of your books “out there” and seeing it sitting there on your own private bookshelf over the fireplace at home where you can sometimes pick it up and marvel at the fact that you actually “did it”.

City of Pillars by Dominic Peloso review

The start had me intrigued. Where was this going? Who was coming for Mitch? I wanted to keep on reading.

A case of mistaken identity and one unconscious move puts the character in a situation he couldn’t have anticipated.

A package, brutal killings, a bomb, an obsessed wife, drugged, chased by men in dark suits, car crashed and followed. That was only in the first few chapters. I was trying to work out what’s real and what’s not. What’s so special about the unusual book?  And who can he trust?

The story is certainly unusual and a little out there. Wasn’t sure if there is a big cover-up, what he was imagining, and what it would all lead to.

I felt that there was something amiss about everything that was happening; there was more to it, layers upon layers unveiled.  The plot may be a little farfetched at times, or though the author does handle the conspiracy theory quite well. So farfetched it could possibly be true…

Quite an addictive read as the plot thickens and the theories swirl. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. The words used and the construction of sentences made the pace faster.

The plot evolves as there are more questions than answers. Constantly watched, in a constant state of tension as the darkly dressed men are everywhere.

Mitch brings attention from the most unlikely of places. Is he willing to play the game? Be a winner or a loser?

At times perplexing. Codes, statues, pointing to a place in Arabia, Jewish language. As I read I can definitely see the character changing. Becoming more aware, more determined, more manipulative. Taking on a criminal persona to uncover this obsession. A thrilling read that enables the reader to wonder, what if?

The main character’s actions incomprehensible and appalling, yet oddly suitable, he is desperate. Nothing will satisfy his curiosity.

Although there is not much dialogue occurring, it is mainly because this man is on his own. He doesn’t converse with many people.

Anyone that enjoys a good conspiracy thriller, then you’ll love this one.

3 ½ stars.