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Andrew's time travel novel, 'The Door into War', is published by Rebel ePublishers.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Review - the ‘Wrong Turn’ Series

I don’t generally watch slashers involving psycho killers, mainly because I’m uneasy about films which show mental illness or disability in a bad light.

Having got that out of the way, I bought a multi of the ‘Wrong Turn’ series because my local DVD retailer was selling them at a price I couldn’t refuse.  So, what did I think of the series (which didn’t include the sixth installment)?

For my money I got a succession of films about a family of inbred hillbillies living in a remote area who live by slaughtering and eating wayward travelers – usually sex-crazed college kids, I suppose showing the films’ target audience.

The gore is laid on thick, but in a more tongue in cheek way than in a lot of slashers, a sign that the films take themselves less than seriously.  After watching the first two the formula became predictable but enjoyable, although by the last film I was ready for the series to finish.  It became a bit like listening to an AC/DC or Status Quo album for the first time, you know what you’re going to get which is generally young people being cut up and eaten (in the films, not the albums!), although each of the films had a clever twist at the end.

The series’ strong points are:

  • Not having to indulge in backstory, which is straightforward;
  • Simple, easy to follow plots;
  • Fun twists at the end;
  • Not taking itself seriously which allows for some black humour.

The weak points are:

  • Little variety in the characters;
  • Little imagination in the plotting;
  • Some highly implausible deaths.

My favourite in the series was the second, which was genuinely a fun watch.  It had a good mix of characters and tongue in cheek, over the top gore, while maintaining tension.

The weakest in my opinion was three, which involved escaped prisoners and a list of obnoxious characters whose fate I was largely ambivalent to.

Overall this is an entertaining if not groundbreaking series and I’d give it 3/5.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

‘The Door into War’– Release


I’ve been told by Rebel ePublishers that ‘The Door into War’ will be published on 11 November 2016.  As it deals with World War One, publication on 11 November – Armistice Day – seems appropriate.

The kindle version is already up for pre-order on Amazon – here’s the buy link.

The story is a science fiction tale of time travel, about how modern politicians arrange for social undesirables to be sent back in time to the First World War to help resolve the allies’ manpower crisis.

Here’s the blurb:

Archaeologist Rachel McKenzie expects the excavation of a World War One bunker to yield routine results – until she uncovers modern artefacts among a handful of skeletons in British uniforms. DNA testing provides evidence of a government scheme to address Britain’s shortage of soldiers in 1918 by abducting 21st century citizens and sending them back in time to fight the Germans. The authorities from both eras are desperate to keep ‘Operation Trench’ secret, and ruthlessly stamp down on anyone who might expose them.

Despite her scepticism about time travel, Rachel needs to persuade the public that ‘Operation Trench’ is much more than a conspiracy theory dreamed up by cranks. Battling against ever increasing odds to expose the plot, Rachel endangers herself and her colleagues as the government ruthlessly culls those they suspect are privy to their plan.

Can Rachel make the truth public before she and her colleagues become victims of the very scheme they are trying to stop? Or will those in power take brutal revenge against her?

As always, a big thank you to everyone who made the book happen: too many to list here, but I must mention Jayne for both taking the book on and for a thorough editing job.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

‘The Shee’ - Review

(Contains spoilers)

I read ‘The Shee’ by Joe Donnelly because it was recommended and sent to me by a friend (thanks Phil!). In terms of premise, it’s the sort of story I’d write, and indeed my first novel, Andraste’s Blade, isn’t a million miles away in terms of broad theme.

The story is about an evil ancient Irish goddess (The Morrigan) who was imprisoned during the Celtic period. She is freed by archaeologists and the force of nature to do her evil and spread chaos in the modern day.

The novel has a 1980’s ‘feel’ to it, which isn’t surprising as it was published in 1992. There are a lot of viewpoint characters each having their own mini-story which was common thirty years ago, while now the trend is to focus more deeply on a very small number of individuals. The date made it seem almost historical fiction, without internet or mobile phones and with outdated archaeological techniques. Rather than detract from the story, that made it a refreshing read. From an author’s viewpoint, it was good to read about an isolated group of characters where the writer didn’t have to come up with convoluted ideas for everyone losing access to mobile phones – because there weren’t any.

I liked the characterisation. Considering there were so many people to keep track of, Donnelly managed to make each strong, memorable and individual, and I had no problem remembering who was who. The characterisation was a highlight.

Another highlight was the setting. I don’t know western Ireland, but Donnelly convinced me he does and I was able to imagine myself in the picturesque coastal village of Kilgallan. Combined together, the exquisite characterisation and setting made the story one that was easy to slip into.

There were, though, a couple of things that didn’t work for me. Firstly, in a book of over five hundred pages it took a long time for the story to reach a climax. That’s not a massive problem because the build-up, getting to know the characters, sub-plots and growing inter-relationships, were enjoyable.  Despite that it could have been paced a little quicker, especially as the climax was relatively short.

Secondly, the outcome hung on one of the characters being the same as a Celtic Irish Celtic hero, and this wasn’t explained or justified anywhere. As part of a plot it was fine and worked, but I felt I needed to be told how and why. For me, that was too big a problem for the novel to carry, and at the end it did take my enjoyment and made it a good read rather than a great one.

So, this is a book with some drawbacks.  Despite that, it’s a fun romp through horror and well worth authors reading it for the lessons in characterisation and maintaining interest.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Door into War

door_cover_bigAfter a flurry of emails, ‘Operation Trench’ (my forthcoming Rebel ePublishers World War One time travel novel) has both a cover and a change of title.

Rebel ePublishers wanted something more descriptive than my working title, so ‘Operation Trench’ is now ‘The Door into War’.  The catchy title, together with the stunning cover, capture the book’s theme and tone wonderfully and I’m delighted with both.  And, as with ‘The Footholder’s Tale’, the quality of Jayne’s editing is more than brilliant enough to make my prose readable!

A publication date is to be confirmed.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

An Update

I’ve realised it’s a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  So, here’s where I am and what I’m working on.

A couple of books accepted for publication but not yet published:

  • ‘Eton Mess’, an erotic novelette starring Kerry-Jane - my favourite PhD student who made her debut in ‘Art Class’ - has been edited and proofed.  I’m awaiting a release date from Keith Publications.  Kerry-Jane also appears in my Cobblestone Press novelette, ‘Bank Manager’;
  • ‘Operation Trench’ is a time travel novel with horror elements set around Flanders’ trenches in World War One.  It’ll be published by Rebel ePublishers (who published ‘The Footholder’s Tale’), tentatively this year.  Jayne at Rebel hopes to start editing about now.  Kerry-Jane features and is becoming a regular in my stories.

I’m working on a handful other pieces which are in various stages of progress:

  • A retelling of a traditional Welsh story about a fairy maiden called Penni who marries a mortal.  I see this as a companion story to ‘The Footholder’s Tale’ – it’s set in the next valley over - and I’m rather pleased with it.  Penni’s story is in the last stages of redrafting;
  • An erotic horror novella about a trio whose plans for the evening are interrupted with terrifying results…;
  • A couple of horror novellas – ‘The Balloon Game’ and ‘The Clootie Tree’ have started looking for publishers.  ‘Balloon’ is a stereotype ‘B Movie’ slasher-type story but I hope fun, while ‘Clootie’ has a bit more uniqueness.  I hope publishers agree!;
  • ‘Curse’ is another story set in historic north Wales.  It combines several local tales of witchcraft to form a single novella.  It’s inspired by the life of Huw Llwyd of Cynfael, but as I’ve had to add other elements to flesh it out and I’ve set it in a different period, it’s certainly not a retelling.  It’s my current work in progress.
  • A story in a 1970’s epic style about archaeologists who uncover an ancient sacrificed body with horrific consequences for the local population.  This is in the early planning stage so may or may not come to anything.
  • I don’t do anthologies – I prefer to write what I want, when I want - but I’m toying for answering a call for submissions for an erotic anthology which is looking for the type of stories I write.  I’ve got until September to decide whether to inflict some more fun on Kerry-Jane!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

What if You Got a Second Chance?

‘Breakwater Beach’ - part one of the ‘Unfinished Business’ series by Carole Ann Moleti.

Liz Levine is convinced her recently deceased husband is engineering the sequence of events that propels her into a new life. But it’s sea captain Edward Barrett, the husband that died over a century ago, who has returned to complete their unfinished business. Edward’s lingering presence complicates all her plans and jeopardizes a new relationship that reawakens her passion for life and love. What are Captain Barrett’s plans for his wife, and for the man who is the new object of her affections?

That’s the premise behind this new book by Carole Ann Moleti, a prequel to ‘The Widow’s Walk,’ the second in the series. Having read ‘The Widow’s Walk,’ I was delighted to be asked to preview ‘Breakwater Beach’. This prequel gives the main characters’ earlier story, and I was looking forward to finding more about people who left a mark on me in ‘The Widow’s Walk’.

The premise is an interesting one, with Liz Levine haunted by Edward, a ghost who married her in a previous life. She meets neighbours who also have previous lives that were entwined with those of Liz and Edward.

This story is a more fulfilling read than other paranormal romances I’ve read because it is more rounded than a simple romance. The characters have convincing backstories and current trials and tribulations which all play an important part in the novel rather than being ‘bolted on’. That kept me reading; until the end the story could take Liz more than one way, so it maintained my interest until the last page.

However, as so often with Moleti’s work, the real standout is in the characters. The author has a clear picture of what makes people tick, and a knack for characterisation that many authors will envy. The people in this story are largely ordinary, everyday folk on the surface, but each have depths and uniqueness – like most ‘ordinary’ folk – that the writing brings out. This depth of characterisation is a real highlight of the story and had me rooting for Liz.

‘Breakwater Beach’ will be available on 13 April. Details are at:

The pre-order link for Breakwater Beach is Live at:

If you pre-order and send Carole a copy of your receipt via her website contact page, Carole will send you a free ebook gift. You can choose from The Widow’s Walk, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance, or Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft.

Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women's issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

The first book in Carole's Cape Cod paranormal romance novel series, The Widow's Walk, was published by Soulmate and is now out as an e book and in print. The prequel, Breakwater Beach, will be released in April 2016.

Urban fantasies set in the world of Carole's novels have been featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires.

Carole also writes non fiction that ranges from sweet and sentimental in This Path and Thanksgiving to Christmas to edgy and irreverent in the Not Your Mother's Books: On Being a Mother and On Being a Parent.

Carole is at:


Sunday, 3 April 2016


A couple of nights ago I watched a television programme about England’s stunning Lake District.  The programme explained how the region inspires writers, artists and poets.  That’s led me to ask myself – possibly for the first time - what inspires me to write?  I’ve come up with the following:

  • Snowdonia in North Wales.  It’s an area I love, with its peaks and valleys and natural beauty.  I also have a soft spot for the Scottish Highlands, but because Snowdonia’s towns and villages are closer together and the place has a unique culture I’ve always thought it has an intimacy and atmosphere lacking elsewhere.
  • Ancient stories.  I’ve always loved myths and legends, particularly Celtic stories which I think are more gentle and subtle than the more ‘in yer face’ tales from elsewhere.  Given my taste for both Wales and ancient stories, I suppose it’s not a surprise that I’ve rewritten some stories based on Welsh tales – ‘The Footholder’s Tale’ and ‘The Doe and the Dragon’ are a couple that made it into print, and there are a few more in the pipeline.
  • Richard Laymon.  My all time favourite writer.  His subject matter isn’t always to my taste but his tight style and brilliant characterisation are the best I’ve ever come across and are a lesson to any aspiring writer.  It’s a shame his talent was taken from us before his time.