Nice Things by Jimmy Norman

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Helllllo readers, hope today isn’t causing you toooo many stressful issues. It’s Thursday and I know from experience that Thursday’s can be completely awful so I’ve got a book review to hopefully bring a smile to your face.  It’s one I bought on Amazon – I still haven’t re-opened my review requests box. I keep getting requests I’m just not quite ready to take on more than I’m read to at the moment but maybe soon – without further delay from me – onto the review.

As a writer, I’ve been wanting to put together a good erotic scene for a long time.

I’m not a dirty old man or a pervert or a weirdo, I promise. It’s just that an adult scene is a challenging writing exercise, and every aspiring author ought to try it sometime.
Unfortunately, when I wrote my adult scene, a few things went wrong:

1. I based the scene on me and an ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago. I probably shouldn’t have written it that way.

2. My wife found the sex scene. My wife already didn’t like my ex-girlfriend. After my wife read the adult scene, she didn’t like me very much either.

3. I called out my ex-girlfriend’s name in front of my wife at a really bad moment. That made my bad situation even worse.

I’ve been told that I’m a nice guy. I do nice things, say nice things, and sometimes even buy nice things, but even nice guys make mistakes. Unfortunately, the mistakes I made with the adult scene led to big personal problems, the kinds of problems that being nice can’t solve.

In order to save my marriage, I had to do a few things I’m not proud of. I had to be dishonest. I had to be sneaky. I had to be underhanded. I don’t condone most of my actions, but through it all, I learned that if you absolutely have to do something immoral, make sure everybody around you believes that you’re doing Nice Things.

Right, so I’m not going to explain the blurb because it’s all there ^ it’s the writing style I want to explain and talk about really. The book follows the relationship between a man and woman when confusion and lies start to enter their lives. Jimmy has decided (a little bit stupidly) to write a sex scene for a book about his ex-girlfriend whilst Heather appears to be falling for her gym instructor so it’s all a little bit awkward. We start by looking into the two meeting, the beginning of their relationships and the struggle of having children. We then move into their daily life and how the secondary characters are affecting their lives.

The writing style is really interesting – it has quite a blunt style, as though to the point and lacking description but it’s in the first person and told from a persona that is a little awkward and quite easily intimidated. I’ve been through the book again and I think this is the best passage to describe the style.

“Is it too forward to ask you if I could buy you ice cream?” I stammered.

“It’s better than asking me to pay.” 

I liked her laugh. I liked her facial expressions. I wasn’t wild about her sweater, but I had ugly sweaters too.’ 

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It’s definitely got this feeling of awkwardness and being easily intimidated but it works for me. It has this delightfully literal style that plays between the way he feels on the inside and how he reacts and speaks on the outside.

The characters are well-developed; Jimmy, Heather, Daniella (the ex girlfriend) and gym instructor all come into their own and are developed in turn. Heather is difficult to warm to which helped to elevate the main character. I thought the weaving storylines were good seeing as this is a really short story (which would be my only complaint.) I just would have liked more of it because what I did read I honestly really enjoyed. It’s got this awkward but also clever telling of a situation that makes a plotline that seems a little stereotypical – quite special. I also loved that we get to read the ex-rated sex scene at the end; it’s a quirk but a clever one.

Overall I surprised myself with this book, it’s a really special little tale and has introduced me to an author I really want to hear more from.



Americosis by Haydn Wilks

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Good Morning, hope you’re all feeling fine and dandy. Another review from mylittlebookblog, they just keep on coming don’t they? As always a quick shout out; if you’re waiting for reviews to make it onto Amazon and Goodreads I am the worst for remembering to do it, please don’t hate me. I’m thinking of using the hour of the GBBO (that show really is television gold) to get a bulk of reviews onto both. Maybe with some cake and wine? For now a review of a book that I really enjoyed reading but I’m not quite sure why; with no delay, onto Americosis by Haydn Wilks.

A naked man arrives in New Mexico claiming to have traveled through time.

He says that he’s America’s savior.

A bizarre sexually-transmitted infection in New York takes control of people’s bodies and burns 

them out in an incessant drive to infect others.

And a Presidential candidate is conversing with angels.

His aides think he’s crazy.

The electorate might not agree with them.

It could all be madness. It might be the apocalypse.


An epic genre-bending mash-up of sci-fi, horror, thriller & dark comedy.

Might need a second for that blurb to sink in because I can bloody promise you, I did. This book is so odd, confusing, and bizarre and frankly, a bit nuts, but I couldn’t stop myself reading it for one minute. I read this in my lunchbreak at work and just couldn’t stop until it was finished (mainly because I was terrified I would forget all that had happened and have to start all over again.) As the blurb states, the book follows a number of different story lines; the savior who happens to turn up a little nude and with a rather momentous member, the relationship between a therapist and her husband who appears to have killed a rather young girl in a McDonalds toilet, Hank the Christian who teaches children about the importance of God, and a President who swears he is conversing with angels.

It’s a novella and it packs a punch; although it follows a lot of different story lines they are clearly written although at this point do not connect in any single way. It rather introduces the story much like the first couple of chapters of a full length book rather than a novella which felt a little odd. I thought the idea of the STI was a bit puzzling; does it cause all the characters to become a bit sex-crazed because one scene definitely seemed to show that, because if it is this book just got even odder. The characters are distinct which is important in a book that jumps around so much and the reader has to basically start and keep reading until they hit the very last line and then take a breath.

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In terms of cons there are a couple of errors that I thought could have been made more grown-up. At times there is an over-use of the word ‘was’ (Robert was sat on the bed) which would have sounded better if the word had been removed. I know this is picky but it comes over a bit childish. I also found the second person narrative a bit grating. I remember trying to write a book in this POV when I was in secondary school and I got told off a lot and it was really tough to do as well. The final wobble was because the tale is so short the characters appear to come over very quickly which can mean they seem unlikeable and at the moment at least they are very one dimensional and Hank (Mr Sweary) was just unpalatable.

 But, and it’s a big but, I loved this little tale. It was odd, crazy, a bit nuts, weird, it didn’t make a huge amount of sense at the time but I want to read more! Who is the Savior and where has he come from? What is wrong with the President is he really conversing with angels (this plot is a bit mad) I liked the action, I liked the intrigue and if I’m honest I think I should have hated this but I didn’t, and I cannot wait to read more damn it.







Another book to check off my list! Published in July 2015 :3

Stolen Petals by Katherine McIntyre

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Another day, another review; I think I might have to slow down a little. I see so many blogs with Goodreads targets for books and I’m always so tempted to sign up for the year and then completely forget. I just looked up the average books a person reads in a year and it says fourteen? I apparently reviewed thirteen books just in June so maybe a little above average? Today’s review is of a lovely little novella with a steam-punk twist and a pop of passionate romance; I thought it was pretty great and I think you might to.

One man has swiped bounties from Viola, the Brass Violet, for years. Longstanding rivals, they’ve only had brief encounters, and if she had a choice, she’d avoid him entirely. When he saunters into her bar with an offer to work together on a job, the proper response would be to shoot him down and send him back to Shantytown. However, curiosity’s a wicked beast, and Viola needs to know why, after so many years of stealing her marks, he’d approach her now.

The man is insufferable, annoyingly cavalier, and tends to stir up memories she’d rather forget–but she needs assistance on this job and he’s offering aid and blueprints which could cut their work in half. Given the intense way he looks at her though, working together isn’t all he has in mind. Van Clef is known for his persistence and, with his charm, he wins women over effortlessly. Viola’s not so easy though–she’s wise to his tricks. But if he wants to play the game, she will gladly rise to the challenge. By the end of this bounty, she’ll be the one leaving him in the dust.


The book follows the deceptively sweet Viola Embrees who runs a bar, but makes her money as a bounty hunter. With the name ‘Brass Violet,’ to cover her tracks things are looking pretty dandy, until Edward Van Clef, (The Fox) steals her bounty a few too many times. When the notorious fox finds his way onto her door-step offering to share a bounty she knows she need to keep on her toes to avoid being burned by the infamous Fox.

In short this is an truly smart and quirky read; set in an alternate time, and with a few steam-punk touches thrown in for good measure the book is a brilliant way to watch a couple of hours float by. Although described as a steam-punk novel it’s not overly so; yes there are a number of techno-style gadgets and the wardrobes fit the genre but it’s not overly pushed. It’s done with a light touch and I liked that. I thought the characters are well developed. We learn enough about Viola’s (I love that name) past and the reasons why she has chosen the life of a bounty hunter and the author really fleshes out her character both in personality and also her features. Edward is equally well drawn. He is both mysterious and utterly tempting, and not seeing the story from his POV meant that he is kept in the dark.

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My only real quibble with this book is how short it is. I mean I adore short books because I think they get to the point and they have to spin a tale with structure to allow it to be so short. But being only around 70 pages I felt that seeing how much stick Viola gives Edward at the beginning she then falls for him at a heart-beat. I think the author could have lengthened it a bit to make it feel more genuine. However, the steamy scene at the end although it felt a little cobbled in, was written really well.

Overall this book is a really strong read, although too short for me to really fall for the characters, the plot and the romance. I think it mixed action, romance and mystery wonderfully and with skill. I think if you’re looking for something to read on a short train journey or a lunch break or two this is perfect but if you want something that digs more into the characters and their burgeoning relationship it didn’t quite hit that mark for me. Saying that really enjoyed and interested to see what would happen next.






*EEEEE* Checks off another book on The Summer Reads Bingo Sheet! (A Novella!)

The Promotion: Jacke Wilson

Morning Little Bloggers! Hope you have enjoyed the numerous posts this morning. I finally looked through the whole of my email inbox and have realised that I have so many more books to review, more than is physically possible, so I am getting my head down and getting those books read and reviewed! (If you are waiting for a review I am getting round to it I promise!) The first thing to say is that I have already reviewed ‘The Race,’ another book by the brilliant Jacke Wilson which you can check out here: and then secondly, you should check out his brilliant blog here: I am constantly checking out his new posts and I think you should too! Anyway onto the review!

“I should have jumped at the promotion, of course.…Even as Jennifer the office manager sat in the chair across from me, all smiles and positive energy, I elided the two developments…What I did was worthless and yet the firm was eager for me to do more.” The Promotion: A Novella is the deadpan cri de couer of a lawyer trapped inside a Kafkaesque firm, tasked with recruiting new attorneys even as he himself slides into obsession and madness.

Seeing as this is not my first encounter with Jacke Wilson’s work I knew that I was going to be taken on an incredible journey, and one way to really sell the book to you, is that since I read it on the long train from Stoke-On-Trent, to the glass city of Milton Keynes a couple of days back, I have not stopped thinking about this book. Questions stem from how I feel about it? The ending? The main character? What really happened?  See, this is a book that makes the reader think. If you are looking for a book that hands the plot to you on a plate, turn away now; this depends wholly on the interpretation of the reader. But for now, down to the basics. The book is an incredibly quick read, with only five chapters and ninety-four pages, you could, like me, get this read in a couple of hours! The books main setting is in a law firm; we follow the no-named protagonist, who becomes obssessed with a case that has him riled. As he struggles to balance the commitments of the new promotion, with his obsession with the cold-case that has suddenly come to life, we see the difficulty the main character has in balancing sanity and passion. See, our lone hero is obsessed with passion, with the frenzy, with fervor, and this case has him excited, desperate to see it through. The question is, how will he deal with the sudden realisation, through this case, that his life may not be worth that much after all?

One of the things that I loved most about the book was Wilson’s ability to create so much content in such a short amount of space. We see the main protagonist build, and build to a peak, before seemingly spiralling out of control, unable to deal with the facts he has been told. The mix of trouble and depression contrasted with anticipation and promise is built up astonishingly well. The dialogue is sarcastic and funny, but has a deep sense of a struggle, and of anxiety which gives the book a deeper meaning which kept me turning the pages till the very last sentence had been read. The book is told in a first person narrative, and although we never learn the storytellers name we do learn a lot from him; in a job that  appears to be draining everything from him, he is given the promise of a promotion, however this brings about the knowledge of a new case that takes hold of the mind of this said person, and leads him on a path of utter self-destruct. In the description above it describes it cleverly as Kafkaesque, and it definitely has links with Kafka’s work such as ‘The Metamorphosis.’ The writing lulls the reader into a false sense of securtiy before snapping back and drawing them back into the storyline. Although there is no clear climax point, the story builds and builds before sudden turmoil takes hold, leaving the reader to gather their own personal thoughts on what the writer is trying to convey. Additonally, we are introduced to a number of different characters, with extremely contrasting character profiles which the reader can easily distinguish between and they all add additonal feeling to the narrative. As in all of Wilson’s work the writing is beautiful balanced between dialogue and description and is smooth in the telling which makes for a very easy but sophisticated read.

What I loved most was that the main character is obsessed with passion and passionate people; he wants people to remember him, he wants his job to matter, he wants to make a difference. However, throughout we are subjected to the utter lonliness and gloominess that comes from this constant search for something passionate and real. One way to look at it, is as a mid-life crisis, that occurs when the protagonist realises that he has nothing to show for the life he has created, and maybe this is a message to us all; what the message is you will have to decide for yourself! Whether passion, is, the ultimate gift, or whether it is something that is ultimately inobtainable. I’m going to leave this review here as not to give anymore away; I think this book needs to be interpretated and will be interpretated differently by every single reader! So go on, get a copy, give it a read and let me know what you thought it is definitely, definitely worth a read!!