The Executioner’s Face by Jerry Johnson

If you’ve been a long time reader of my blog you might not be too surprised to see another review of a Jerry Johnson book here. I found him blogging about bird hunting and I have gathered his books as they were released. They are predominantly essays full of dogs and birds, old guns and wild country and I have enjoyed sharing them all with family and friends. His newest work of fiction is out and it is another hunting story… of sorts…

The hunters in this book are professional executioners that prowl the streets looking for felons in a post plague world where there isn’t the energy, manpower, or time to run the Chicago court system as we know it.

Would I recommend it? This is one of those books where it’s hard to shake the characters. When I finished this book I set it down, breathed for the first time in what felt like hours and have spent the last few days feeling as though the characters were riding on my shoulders. They are just hanging with me, waiting to see if and when I would judge them for their actions. They have stuck with me waiting to see, not if I cast their character in black or white, but rather what shade of grey they might be.  I’m finding it hard to shake them. The only cure I can think is that someone else needs to read this book so that we can talk about it together. So, go on! Order it and then tell me when you’ve read it, we will need to talk!

 

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Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance and Interview with David Ahern

I’m the kind of girl who gets totally, embarrassingly, nerdily excited when they see that another book by a favorite author is getting released. When the book is something off the best seller list, I often have another book lover to gush about the up coming book with. When the book is less well known I instead kick into overzealous-crazy-book-lover-who-insists-you-must-read-this-book mode. I’m not interested in asking what my friends and family think about this behavior of mine but I like to imagine they find it useful and charming.

And look everybody, Madam Tulip is back!

Just in case you haven’t yet had time to read the first books (because I know after my recommendations they must be on your “to read” list)  Madam Tulip and Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, I certainly recommend you start there. If, like me and my Granny, you’ve been waiting for the next installment it’s just about here. You should probably just go ahead and pre-order it now. The same great cast of characters are again unwittingly getting themselves into hot water. And it is again the best kind of page turning mystery with enough laughs to keep it lighthearted and fun.

But instead of waxing on about the third book in a series I’ll trust you’ll start with the first and keep on reading.

In the meantime David Ahern himself agreed to answer a few questions!  

1) First things first. Does daily life begin with caffeinated beverage of choice?

Three caffeinated beverages of choice. And nothing fancy, either. Straight from the jar. Milk no sugar. I might, just might, stumble into life midway through #2.

 

2)  In the Madam Tulip books the main character Derry’s dad often seems to be the one who sees  “signs” in what his daughter says. How about you? Do you have any sure signs your day is going  to be fantastic… or not….

As a writer, never a clue. Sometimes you think a day is going to be like pulling teeth, and then for no discernible reason you find yourself on a roll. Other days you breeze to your desk feeling mighty clever, to find your brain instantly turns to mush and you wouldn’t trust yourself to write a shopping list.    

 

3) They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Could you describe Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance using nothing but emojis? (And no, I don’t think emojis are worth a thousand words but I’m curious anyway. ??)

Haven’t a clue. I’m from the emoticon age :).    

 

4) Having lived in both Scotland and Ireland it’s possible you may be qualified to tell us who has the best whiskey. If that’s too controversial of a question, is there something about Scotland (where much of this book takes place) that you wish you could take with you where ever you live?  

Scotch whisky is the hands down winner, and frankly we Irish don’t even put up a fight about that. On the other hand, we invented Scotland, but don’t tell anyone I said it. As for what I wish I could take with me, the hospitality of the people of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland is something very, very special.    

 

5)  During Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance Derry is acting for a movie that she doesn’t seem to think will be the next blockbuster, or even close. What “awful” movie do you love despite itself.

Zardoz, a wonderful Sean Connery turkey directed by John Boorman. And I’m not saying why.

 

6) In my own little world I prefer for everything to end with dessert. What’s your favorite treat to end things with?

A laugh.

 

Thank you David for being willing to do a little Q & A with us!

And as for the book…

Would I recommend it? Without a doubt! These books should be on the best seller lists!

 

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidahernauthor

and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

The Jack of Ruin by Stephen Merlino

The Jack of Ruin is the much anticipated…

(You know, when people say that I always get belligerent wondering just who these “people” are that were waiting with bated breath. So, I’ll tell you. It was me. And John, and likely other people, but I don’t know them. So, yeah, I’m making that grand statement on the authority of my own feelings!)

…sequel to The Jack of Souls. If you took my advice three years ago and read The Jack of Souls with it’s goodish guy and it’s new worlds and magics, culture clashes and ideals, angry immortals and horses and general epic fantasyishness, I’m excited to tell you that this installment did not disappoint. The epicness continues, the good guys have a tendency to be a little grey rather than white and it seems vows were made to be broken…

And if you didn’t?

What are you waiting for, get reading!


Would I recommend it? If you are a lover of epic fantasy read The Jack of Souls, then have this one ready because it picks up right where the previous leaves off!

 

 

The Falcon Flies Alone by Gabrielle Mathieu

When a book starts with a naked woman on a roof wondering how she got there and more pressingly how on earth she’s going to get down, you might think that the plot of this book would have you in it’s grip. Instead I found that the plot, though smooth, was almost too flat and it was the force of the characters that kept me reading. From the not super likable heroine to the villain who’s image was drawn with such depth he gave me nightmares, the characters were easily the stars of the novel.  

Would I recommend it? The story line could have used less substance abuse, and more substance.  Although to be fair it was mostly substance abuse in the name of science. Creepy experiment on people science but science… well, with a little witch doctor voodoo thrown in for good measure. Fortunately the characters saved the book. This is Mathieu’s first novel and I look forward to seeing what she writes next.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

John read the first few pages and told me that he thought I would like it because it was like Francis Hamerstrom but with dragons.  He wasn’t wrong exactly… except that not even fiction can do Francis Hamerstrom justice. (In the event that (unlike me) you did not have the good fortune grow up with her as a household name, reading books like Is She Coming Too and Strictly for the Chickens and then eventually got to work with her grumpy, old, great-horned owl, I recommend you find yourself a book of hers and become acquainted!)

But, to John’s point, the main character is a woman set out to study wildlife in an era when women don’t do such things, and she does have some unorthodox ways of solving problems. So it is a bit reminiscent, it’s just that instead of prairie chickens, the wildlife she chooses to study is dragons. This puts dragons in a light that most books don’t. Not as evil treasure hording monsters (think Smaug) or amazing magical beings (think Saphira) but as fascinating and poorly understood, bits of wildlife. Alibeit one that sometimes eats people and has breath with interesting properties, as well as being a severe nuisance to the shepherds.

Would I recommend it? Would I recommend a book with a female character pushing the boundaries, dragons, a mystery and a bit of natural science? In a heartbeat!

 

The Two Lines That Sparked Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose (Guest Post and Book Review!)

I was just two pages into Georgia Rose’s new thriller romance and she had me hooked. I knew her main character was living some sort of lie. But what was it? And when did I get to find out? And what was going on?  From that point on it was hard to put down but, I have this life that does exist outside the written word, so I put it down. And then spent much of the time until I could pick it back up again pondering all the lies and foreshadowing the love and sneakiness the twists and turns the story had taken. I thought long about the supporting characters- I loved the supporting characters. They could each have a book, in fact I’d bet that with the amount of secret backstory they must all have to be so substantial that there are already a book’s worth of material floating around for each of them. I marveled at the complexity of it all and wondered how she came up with such a thing…

And then, lo and behold, look what I found in my inbox. A guest post from Georgia herself answering that very question! Read and enjoy!


Where do your ideas come from? Is a question I have often been asked. Again, it wasn’t until I took up the pen (overly poetic, I know, but indulge me) and started talking to non-writing people (there should be a name for them, don’t you think?) that I found out that non-writing people do not have this crazy imagination stuff going on in their head all the time. Which is weird.
I can’t speak for everyone but my ideas come from many things, something I read, watched, a random thought, an overheard phrase, some wild fantasy that passed through my mind when I was relaxed and daydreaming… ahem… moving on…
Sometimes those tiny thoughts don’t let me go and sometimes they want to be more.

This is what happened with Parallel Lies. I had a thought, an imagining, years ago. Well before the Grayson Trilogy ever popped into my mind. A place, a person, a situation and it stuck with me. This…

‘I hear it, behind me, and to the left. The snap of a twig underfoot and a sharp intake of breath at the indiscretion.’

… was all I had and it was the first line I wrote. I was going to start the book with it and do some sort of time jump back and forward thing. But changed my mind. It’s now where it should be in the natural course of time progression and, so that you’re not just left with that, here is the rest of that paragraph.

‘I hear it, behind me, and to the left. The snap of a twig underfoot and a sharp intake of breath at the indiscretion. He’s here, just as I knew he would be, but I allow myself a small smile of satisfaction knowing he’ll be cursing his mistake. I have no intention of making this easy for him so leave him to come and find me. I still, and although my heart is pounding, blood pumping in my ears until I’m sure he’ll be able to hear it too, I concentrate on making myself small and silent. I am one step ahead of him and plan on keeping it that way.’

The possibilities captured my imagination when I first had that thought, but I did nothing with them for years. Two lines expanded to become a 95K novel (which wasn’t as easy as I just made that sound) and

if it is in anyway intriguing to you the rest of those words are available for you to download right now.

Pre-order Parallel Lies by Clicking Here
But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!

So where do your ideas come from? I’d love to hear from any writing people (or non-writing, I’d hate to be discriminatory) who come this way with what has made their creative juices flow.

Thank you for inviting me on Behind the Willows, Jessie, it has been a pleasure to visit you and get to chat to your readers.


Thanks for guest posting, Georgia! I don’t know about anyone else but I have my own little narrator who likes to comment on my life as I go through my day, occasionally she makes up a story as well. Sometimes when the narrator is particularly fond of a story she repeats it over and over until I consent and sit down at the keyboard- and suddenly I’ve been blogging for seven years!

P.S. Would I recommend this book? This is the sort of book that I doubt John really wants to read. Bit heavy on the romance, not exactly his jam, but I liked it so much I told him about the whole thing anyway. If you are any kind of romance reader, or like a light thriller with a bit of drama and a bunch of suspense, you’ve got to get your hands on this book!


Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favorite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.
Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.
Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!
Awards have never been showered upon Georgia but she is the proud holder of a silver medal gained in swimming at the tender age of ten and won Miss Rally Young Farmer (with a sash and everything!) more years ago than she cares to remember.
Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!


 

Perfiditas by Alison Morton

Years have passed since the events in Inceptio but our main character Carina is no less awesome for it.

It’s possible she’s quite a bit more awesome, or maybe it was because this book dives a bit deeper into the culture of Roman Nova (the society founded by Ancient Romans and ruled by women ever since) but regardless I enjoyed this book even more than the first.

Carina continues to overcome obstacles by being a general kick-ass lady, and yet stays remarkably human and even, dare I say, feminine when dealing with controversy as she finds herself thrown into the middle of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

Would I recommend it? This book certainly earned the “thriller” in it’s series title (Roman Nova Thriller Series). I had a terrible time walking away from it once I was a few chapters in. Which is basically the best problem one can have with a book. But, of course, start with book one.  Starting midway through a series has the potential to upset the natural order of the universe. Consequences can be dire, don’t risk it!

You can find a review of the first book here: https://behindthewillows.com/2017/08/02/inceptio-by-alison-morton/

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!