Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Dusty Pages Review: A Harmless Little Game

Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.

Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.

The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.

Share. They shared me.

But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?

Not one single thing. That was my boyfriend, Drew. And that was the last time I saw him.

Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.

You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed. Never faced consequences. Until today.

Game on.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. There were moments where I was in near tears from the descriptions of what Lindsey went through. You want right off for her to get her revenge on the people that did this to her. Soon however you meet a whole cast of character that have put political gain over Lindsey's well being and begin to feel that perhaps they too deserve her revenge. Its part of the reason I hate to watch political drama's, you end up hating everyone for their two faced approach to situations.

The books ends with a clear line into the second book, which was a little disappointing to me, that the author is stretching this out. There were pieces of the writing that I started to skip over, wanting to just get on with the story, get to the revenge but come the end of the book - as I supposed was designed so you would buy the next two - there is no resolution to Lindsey's plight.

The writings good, the pace slow in places and speedy in others. Her relationship with Drew (who shall narrate the second volume, a change I'm not sure I would have gone for) baffles me. This said by the end of the book, you come to understand him better and don't dislike him as much. I've already come up with a theory in my mind as to who set Lindsey and Drew up in the first place (and seeing the blurb of a companion series I can see I am correct) but I don't know why. Not sure if knowing the why is enough to make my buy the next books or not.

I give it

Monday, 26 February 2018

Promotion Results

The beginning of February saw me signing Paranormal Pleasure up to Kindle Unlimited. I've done this once before with one of my titles and although I saw plenty of downloads and some KU reads there was little after that. I was hoping the distribution of a title would lead to the reader coming back to purchase other titles, or to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Any Dusty Pages readers who also likes/follows my facebook page (and if you don't, you can do so here) will know that I check for things like new reviews a lot because I like to share them and thank the people that put them there. Indie authors need reviews like air. There is no bigger way to help us than to tell someone else to read our books.

Getting off topic... So, after signing Paranormal Pleasures up to KU, you get the offer of running a promotion. It being a paranormal romance collection and of course it being February, a valentines promotion felt like the way to go. I came up with this.

I like red, its a very attractive colour and I hoped it would bring attention to the offer. I mean who doesn't like free stuff - although I also believe that £3.99 is a reasonable price for a book containing five novella's and over 130K. I ran it on my face book over the five days of the offer, boosting only once (£3 for 24hrs on the 14th) and was so pleased to see that it reached just short of 300 people (the targeting was woman in English speaking countries aged between 18 and 38 - because Facebook makes you lump people into stereotypical groups). The post itself also got 11 likes from people not already connected to the page - they were invited to like the page and they are still pending. Maybe if they are currently reading the book then the like will come if they've enjoyed it.

The over all downloads during the promotion was promising - I like to believe that even if its free, if it doesn't sound good, people wouldn't just download it. You can see the downloads in the blue above. However the most promising (and made me very happy) was the following little amber coloured line a few days later - a full price sale 😀 I couldn't have been more pleased. Call me a knuckleheaded optimist but I feel that this means good things. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for news of reviews.

Friday, 23 February 2018

The Magnificent Seven (2016)

In director Antoine Fuqua's modern vision to a classic story, the desperate townspeople of Rose Creek employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns after the town falls under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

I'm normally a person that decries remakes of any kind. With all the new material out there, why do they have to keep remaking films. However, that said, I've not seen the original of this film so I have nothing to compare it to. What I can say about it is that I really enjoyed it. I've never been a person to pick a Western by choice but the cast of character in this drew me in.

Denzil Washington is brilliant, as he is in most roles he takes on, I can't honestly say there was a film I have seen with him in that I haven't enjoyed. He is the veteran actor in the movie along with Ethan Hawke. Also welcomed to the cast is Chris Pratt - who sadly seems to be just a cowboy version of Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy. You also have Vincent D'Onofrio (Criminal Intent) famed for playing tall slightly strange characters and also a brief appearance from Matt Bohmer (White Collar).

The only warning I will give is that although I don't argue the twelve rating, there seemed to be a bit more gore for a western.

It is currently available on Netflix or on DVD for £4.99 from Amazon.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Dusty Pages Review: Allegiant

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she's known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris's new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.
There has been a long gap for me between reading Insurgent, the second installment, and this the third. This was mainly because I told myself that I wanted to see the third movie first, so as not to sit through a series of movies I love picking out what they'd missed out of the books. I was surprised how quickly I was able to pull myself back into the world I'd left behind quite sometime ago.

However, something was different about this book right from the start. Mainly due to a dual narrative which has not been a feature of the series up until this third book. It told me as a reader that things were going to happen that would not involve our heroine being the focal point that she had been for the first two books. Splitting the story between Tris and Four was not only a sudden change but the jumping between their first person narratives could be a little jarring. Why did the author chose to do it like this? Well, its not till you reach the ending that you understand why.

I was told by a lot of people, and this accounts for some of my hesitation to pick up the third book, that I would not like the ending.  Just like Tris telling Four her gut instinct about something, they were right on the money. I did not like the ending one bit. It felt like a waste. I don't want to give any spoilers, because its something that I hate, but I honestly threw the book down in anger. Usually I'm very much this is what the author intended, so that is how it is meant to be but I can't understand why. Its just such a disappointing way to end a trilogy.

It isn't often that I will say this but I liked the movie better.

I give it

Monday, 19 February 2018

Meet a Writer Monday Presents...

...Sara O Thompson

1. Tell me about your book Otherwhere Muddy Waters and where you got your inspiration for it?

The book is an urban fantasy about a Witch. She’s wrongly convicted of killing her family and sent to a psychiatric prison. The FBI comes to get her out if she will help them solve supernatural crimes. It is the book I have wanted to read while wading through all the other books in this genre.

2. Did you learn anything from writing this book? If so what was it?

I am so guilty of falling into the Wikipedia/online research hole that I could fill a smaller more enthusiastic online encyclopaedia with my semi-useless knowledge. I enjoy learning stuff so it’s not a problem. And I think it colors my stories nicely to add that extra bit of history or folklore.

3. Have you ever been pulled over by a cop?

HA YES. I swear, I get pulled over the day after my tags expire every damn time. They pull me over and bark, “DID YOU KNOW YOUR PLATES ARE EXPIRED?” You’d think they found a body and a kilo of coke in my trunk instead of having forgotten to participate in state bureaucracy.

4. What’s your favourite knock knock joke?

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Dishes who?

Dishes Sean Connery.

5. If you could get away with a crime, would you? If yes, what would it be?

Nope. I’m a recovering Catholic and I wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt.

6. How would you survive a Zombie apocalypse?

I don’t think I would survive a zombie apocalypse. My house is full of windows, I don’t know how to use any good weapons, and I can’t run very fast.

7. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

Nope. I aim for BIST: butt in seat time, for at least an hour. Sometimes that ends up being research, or reading, or writing. Whatever I need that day.

8. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?

There are sardines books and potato chip books. Lots of people like potato chips. Not many people like sardines. My first novel is a sardines book: it’s weird, it’s niche-y, and not many people “get” it. At some point, I expect I’ll self-publish it.

9. What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The worst thing, I think, is to be unremarkable. To be ignorable. Even if people hate my work with the fire of a thousand burning suns, at least I’ve moved them in some way. I would like to be unignorable for good reasons.

10. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

I work in marketing and advertising. Mostly it’s for a large healthcare company headquartered here in my hometown.

11. Is there anything I’ve left out that you’d like to talk about?

Something people are typically interested in with me is the fact that I do improv comedy. I’ve been performing for about six years and I love it. It has helped me so much as a writer, in terms of coming up with ideas, with public speaking, etc. I could go on but I won’t. I have a workshop on the subject that I’m offering this year at various conventions.


Convicted for murdering her family, and locked in a psych ward, witch Tessa Reddick has just made a deal with the FBI to be their newest Supernormal Investigator. Freedom has a price, though it’s one she’s willing to pay if it means she can track down who set her up for the fall. A cross between X-Files and Dresden Files, with bourbon. (Lotta bourbon.)


About Sara
(In her own words)

When I’m not writing, I perform improv comedy, tell stories on stage, ballroom dance, and craft. I also have identical twin sons. My husband is an ICU nurse and is a great person to be married to if you are an improv person, a book lover, and a nerd. He’s also handy in medical emergencies. My favorite authors in no particular order:
Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Charles Dickens, and Flannery O’Connor.