Smorgasbord Air your Reviews – Paul Andruss – Lori R. Lopez and Lucinda Blanchard

Welcome to the first of the Air your Reviews this week. This series is open to any author or book reviewer who would like to share their latest review. I am going to kick this off with a review of my own.

I have had Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss on my TBR since before Christmas and my only New Year’s resolution for 2017 was to read through my TBR before buying any more books or offering to review any others.  Reviews are so important to us as authors and I hope that this new series will offer authors the opportunity to showcase their work and to give book reviewers an opportunity to boost their views too.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

About Thomas the Rhymer (Jack Hughes Trilogy Book 1)

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.

But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

My review for Thomas the Rhymer March 2017

Challenge your senses with a rival to Harry Potter.

After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.

I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.

However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.

This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.

Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.

The story will challenge your beliefs in spectacular fashion. Is there another world or worlds running parallel with ours, are fairies sweet and delicate creatures or demons; is that tramp outside the Post Office real or an illusion? As you travel with Jack, Ken and Catherine on their quest, hurtling along ley lines and battling fantastic monsters and evil temptresses, you will find your heart beating a little bit faster. And probably checking under your bed at night!

The scenes set in London that criss cross centuries are filled with historical facts distorted with fairy dust. Next time you are in the city and walking the streets you will be looking into dark doorways and wondering if behind that old oak door with chipped paint lies a nest of elfin waiting to rob you of your senses.

The writing is superb with wit, humour and an edge that turns this from a children’s fairy story into a multi-generational adventurous fantasy that I believe knocks Harry Potter into a cocked hat!

I recommend reading Thomas the Rhymer and at £1.22 it is a steal worthy of the elfin themselves with a value of very much more in my opinion. There are more books to come in the Jack Hughes series and I would love to see the movies.

Challenge you senses and pick up a copy today.

Buy Thomas the Rhymer:

Also by Paul Andruss

Finn Mac Cool

Find out more about Paul Andruss and his books:

The next review is for the collection of dark stories, Odds and Ends by Lori R. Lopez author of Speculative Fiction, Horror, Fantasy and more…

About Odds and Ends: A Dark Collection

What terrors lurk in the blackest regions of a cellar, amidst dusty cobwebbed shelves, in the glass jars and metal cans of a hopelessly abnormal mind? These odds and ends are both odd and contain endings. As in the real world, not everything ends well. Sometimes it is all about finding a glimmer of light in the shadows, or being forewarned. Sometimes, the candle’s flame blows out!

An assortment of the weird and wonderfully grim are displayed for your fear and amusement. Whether you like quiet horror, humorous horror, stark horror, monstrous in-your-face horror, you’ll find what scares you here. Twenty-six diverse tales and clusters of flash stories or drabbles fit together between dark poems and brief witfully pithy essays on women writing Horror like pieces of a macabre jigsaw puzzle devised by a single madwoman, Lori R. Lopez.

Among the “Odds And Ends” . . . a devilish jack-in-the-box helps a young woman get even. Two little girls face-off in “Nemeses”. A very old baby is released from its jar at a museum in “Jar Baby”. Spaghetti comes to life in “Bloodwyrm”. A trainride takes one fellow on a harrowing journey toward “Fate”. A man and woman are reunited by the same curse that tore them apart in “The Fruit Of Thy Womb”. A weakling finds a dreadful “Cereal Box Surprise” at the bottom of the package. Ladies play a lethal hand of cards in “Mindless”. A couple wakes up to discover an enormous cobweb filling the house in “Spider Soup”. Falling asleep could end the world in “Awake”, while painting portraits takes a nightmarish turn for an artist in “Deathbed”. A girl watches her friends disappear on a darkly sinister beach at “The Vanishing Point”, and much much more. The print edition features peculiar illustrations by the author.

The latest review for the collection.

NOT YOUR NORMAL! on March 12, 2017

This book is a collection of short stories, poems and some other writings of Lori Lopez. If you’re looking for stories with ‘happily ever after’ this isn’t for you. All stories don’t have happy endings. Ms. Lopez gives us characters that are of the strange lot, just a little on the odd side but isn’t life sometimes? Just a little on the odd side? The author gives you a variety of horror mixed with humor, just plain horror and then the horror that has a sassy side to it. Some of the stories are towards the realistic side. Did you ever think how mean and difficult we can be towards others and how they can be to us? Sometimes Ms. Lopez mixes in a little jab at society and our government. Sometimes that can easily be understood. This is when the humor shows through. You may find yourself smiling a little at how real it is.

Some of the stories have a dark, evil side to them, which makes you think of the dark alleys, the damp, dim cellars, the evil thoughts that we all think at times. Ms. Lopez has written stories that are far from your usual horror stories. Many are so alike but Ms. Lopez doesn’t do that. She give you the outer most, the unusual and yet, they are sometimes stories you can picture as real. If you’re looking for a different kind of horror world, then enter Ms. Lopez’s world and it will become yours. But, this isn’t for the faint of heart nor the squeemish. So BEWARE!

Read the reviews for the collection and buy the book:

A selection of books by Lori R. Lopez

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

The third and final review today is by author Jena C. Henry who recommends Swaying the debut novel by Lucinda Blanchard.

About the book

Charlotte has one desire in life – she wants a daughter. But you can’t choose what you have… can you? Desire soon turns to obsession as Charlotte embarks on a difficult and controversial journey to sway the odds to have a girl. How far is she prepared to go, and at what cost?

The review by Jena C. Henry March 2017

Swaying is the debut novel for the author, Lucinda Blanchard. Well-written, captivating, well-plotted and paced, with full and rich characters- it’s everything readers want in a book. Whether readers are interested in the topic is a different matter.

To some, “swaying” may be controversial. Other people may see “swaying” as a natural option. “Swaying” may also be viewed as a farce, or a rip-off. Some readers may see the heroine, Charlotte as plucky, brave and determine. Once again, other readers may find Charlotte and her new friend Bella to be obsessed and even crazy.

If you don’t know, “swaying” is the idea that a woman and man can “sway” the gender of their child before it is conceived by modifying their diet and by using ovulation times, and even more advance medical procedures.

The protagonist Charlotte has always dreamed of having a girl. She wants to have the same relationship with her child, as she did with her mother. When we meet Charlotte, she has given birth to her first child, a son. She learns to love him, but her desire for a baby girl grows. Thanks to the internet, she learns about swaying and meets a local woman on one of the chat rooms who is swaying, too. At first, Charlotte’s husband Ian goes along with the swaying procedures, but he gets tired of the odd diet, and the microscope and lab equipment needed to monitor sperm. Charlotte becomes more and more engrossed with the project. Bella, her friend, will stop at nothing.

Readers- even if you are conflicted about swaying, this is a fascinating story about “gender disappointment” and how a choice or desire can change many lives. The author has written an intriguing story with characters that will remain in your head. The locale is the Isle of Wight and the many descriptive scenes made for a pleasurable read. This would be a great book for a book club to choose and discuss.

Find out more about Lucinda Blanchard and read all the many excellent reviews for Swaying at Amazon:

Thank you for dropping in today and please consider sharing these reviews on your own networks it would be appreciated.

If you have just received a great review and would like to share or are a book reviewer who would like to promote a review you have written, then please talk to me at thanks Sally


11 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Air your Reviews – Paul Andruss – Lori R. Lopez and Lucinda Blanchard

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Air your Reviews – Paul Andruss – Lori R. Lopez and Lucinda Blanchard | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Waterford 1930s, Rock Legends 1990s, Authors 2017 | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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