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Ricky Sides (Athens, Alabama USA)
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Sweet Savage Charity
Sweet Savage Charity
Price: £1.27

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does she do it?, 14 Jan 2011
Last night, I had the privilege of reading Sweet Savage Charity, and I'm so glad I did.

Once again, Margaret Lake's ability to tackle complex problems and resolve them in a short story comes to the fore. Similarly, Ms Lake's characters are well defined. Her scenarios seem historically plausible. I swear reading her historical fiction is like looking through a window into the past.

I highly recommend this read.

Sincerely,
Ricky Sides


Watchers: The Coming of the King
Watchers: The Coming of the King
Price: £2.64

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a magnificent adventure., 2 Jan 2011
Hi there,

I read this book as a portion of the Omnibus edition that contained the trilogy. The author masterfully weaves known history with his world creation to generate a realistic environment for his epic fantasy.

The characters are superbly developed. The battle scenes are solid and, at times, grimly realistic.

If you like epic fantasy with a historical basis, you'll love this book. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in vampire novels.

Sincerely,
Ricky


Snodgrass Vacation
Snodgrass Vacation
Price: £1.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A study in human behavior., 31 Dec 2010
Hello,

I just finished reading Snodgrass Vacation by Dave Conifer. I found the book to be delightful and entertaining for many reasons.
The interplay between Dave and Vinnie was interesting. Just trying to find out how Dave would react to some of Vinnie's dialog was enough to keep me turning the pages. I felt both of these characters were well developed.

The character Nancy was a character that you could both admire and hate. She was domineering, yet at the same time, her methods seemed to help both families enjoy their vacation more than they would have had her personality been less domineering. Her character was well developed.

The character Marcie was adorable. I hope if the author writes a sequel he will further develop that character. I'd love to see where that leads.

Of the children, I think Kyle was the most developed character.

I found the descriptions of the experiences with the crowds to be entertaining. I've never been to such a huge theme park, but I have been to Opryland in Tennessee. My experience there mimicked in miniature many of the experiences related in the book. I even saw some people drop out of the line for the river raft ride after seeing some passengers emerge soaking wet, so in that regard I could really relate to the story.

In some ways this book is a study in human behavior in such an environment. I haven't been a really major theme park, but as I said before, I have been to a smaller park, and what I witnessed there is enough to convince me that the author is probably close to the truth on the behavior of many visitors.

All that, and funny too. Now that is an achievement.

The author told a good story that was entertaining. I highly recommend the book.

Well done sir.

Sincerely,
Ricky


Ariana's Pride
Ariana's Pride
Price: £1.82

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ariana's Pride, a Magnificent Achievement., 5 Sep 2010
This review is from: Ariana's Pride (Kindle Edition)
Hello,

I just finished reading Ariana's Pride by Margaret Lake. I purchased the book after reading the author's short story "Of Love and War." I was astonished at the character development the writer achieved in the short story; therefore, I just had to see what she could do with a full-length novel. I was not disappointed.

I chose Ariana's Pride because of the interesting action adventure storyline.

I must say that at the outset, neither Lady Ariana Devoe nor Jeremy were likeable characters. Both seemed to possess character flaws that tended to cause me to dislike them. However, as the plotline unfolds, the pair comes to recognize their weaknesses and strive to overcome them. By the end of the book, they had redeemed themselves most admirably.

The author has a wonderfully descriptive narrative, which allowed me to easily visualize the various scenes depicted in the book.

The romance aspects of the novel are better than most romance books I've read, though admittedly they are not great in number. I don't normally read romance novels, but this author of historical romances skillfully merges action adventure and romance. I've said it before, but I'll say it again in this review. Margaret Lake's style reminds me of Baroness Emmuska Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel that I read as a young man. Like that classic historical romance, Margaret Lake's "Ariana's Pride" is a magnificent achievement.

Like Orczy before her, Lake has the ability to draw in crossover readers who prefer adventure books. There's nothing wrong with that. To the contrary, any writer who can get a reader to expand their reading preferences serves the readers well. You action adventure fans should try this book. Romance fans, there's plenty to admire here. The historical backdrop was fascinating.

I highly recommend this book. Indeed, it has caused me to rethink my preferred genres. I'll definitely be reading other books by this author in the future.

Sincerely,
Ricky


The Watchers Omnibus
The Watchers Omnibus
by William Meikle
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Watchers Omnibus, a new breed of historical fiction?, 5 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Watchers Omnibus (Paperback)
I just finished reading William Meikle's "The Watchers Omnibus. I was amazed at this book on several levels. It is quality historical fiction that ties the fictionalized plot into the time period quite thoroughly. It is also a first rate horror novel, replete with heart stopping horror scenes. Furthermore, it is an outstanding action adventure book. The battle scenes are meticulously detailed. In addition, it is a superbly detailed fantasy novel. The fantasy elements are detailed to such an extent that they have their own history that dovetailed with the true history of the world.

All in all, this is a wonderful book. I'll never be able to view the word "Other" in quite the same way again. (:>

The character development was superb. Both heroes and villains have detailed histories.

The one negative comment I would make concerning this book relates to the backstory of the author's "Others." One of the characters in the book does state that the "Others" are notorious liars, and that character classified their story as blasphemy. And for that reason I don't think the author is out to change anyone's perception of the biblical account of Christianity. I thought long and hard about the matter before posting this review. I just can't see dropping a star because of the author's chosen path of creating a backstory for his villains. Indeed, some might say this it is one of the strongest points of the overall book. I don't share that opinion. But that's just one man's opinion. And in the final analysis, I asked myself if I would have been as drawn into the story as I was had the author not utilized that troubling storyline. In all honesty, I don't think I would have.

I highly recommend this read. It's a shame it's not available on Kindle.

Sincerely,
Ricky


More Than Just An Adventure - A Kaynos History Tale (Kaynos History Tales Book 1)
More Than Just An Adventure - A Kaynos History Tale (Kaynos History Tales Book 1)
Price: £0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Vividly descriptive tale that leaves you wanting more., 8 Aug 2010
I just finished reading this short story. In my opinion, "A Very Hairy Adventure," is a remarkable achievement. I was concerned that it might be too short to portray adequately the tale that the description said it contained. I needn't have worried. The author pulled it off superbly. She even manages to include such things as the local economy, customs of the people, and the laws of the land and the reason those laws exist.

I found the tale to be vividly descriptive. The author doesn't tell us what's going on in the tale. She shows us. I like that! When you read the description of the lair, you'll see what I mean.

The characters Slade, Wulfstan, Ursula, and Ming are all remarkably well developed for a work of this length. That's always a concern when purchasing short stories. Again, in this case I need not have worried.

The battle scene is well written. The author utilizes a party of adventurers quite well, playing to the strengths and weaknesses of the characters with ease.

There were a couple of typos, but they did not distract me from the tale. In my opinion, this tale is so good that I would not take away a star from it because of the typos.

The lessons about responsibility for one's actions learned in this tale make it a good tale for one to consider reading to children. Granted, you may want to skip some of the more descriptive sentences in the lair scene for the very young.

I highly recommend this read. I'm glad that I purchased her novel, "Erich's Plea," and hope to find the time to read it soon.

If there were a Horizon Award for authors, this author would deserve one. She is definitely someone I'll be watching in the future. With a bit of seasoning, this author will prosper, and so will her readers!

If I sound excited about her, that's because I am. I am also thrilled to get to be the first to review this read.

Have a great day,
Ricky


An Unholy Encounter (The History Tales of Kaynos Book 1)
An Unholy Encounter (The History Tales of Kaynos Book 1)
Price: £0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit for Tracey Alley., 8 Aug 2010
Hi there,

I finished reading "An Unholy Encounter" today, and wasn't disappointed. Once again, the author has delivered a short story that masterfully develops her characters, delineates the setting, and has action aplenty.

This time the author gave her readers a bonus. She showed us the fear that even the bravest of souls must contend with when they are faced with situations that could easily lead to their deaths. So vivid was her depiction of this that I could easily envision the setting, and the horror that her heroes faced.

I said it in my first review of this author's work for her other short story, "A Very Hairy Adventure", but I'll say it again here. If there were a Horizon Award for authors, this writer deserves one. Given time to perfect her craft, she will be a top shelf writer. Of that, I am certain.

If you like fantasy tales, then I recommend this short story.

There were a couple of typos, but I feel the author's strong points so outweighed that weak point that I won't penalize her a star for them. Her descriptive narrative is so good that I could easily envision the various scenes. Reading her work is a treat. I've got to make time to read her full book "Erich's Plea" soon!

Sincerely,
Ricky Sides


Of Love and War
Of Love and War
Price: £1.27

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Love and War. A writer's Legacy?, 6 Aug 2010
This review is from: Of Love and War (Kindle Edition)
I just finished reading Of Love and War. The short story is superbly written. The story is well developed, and the characters are realistic and believable. In my opinion, this story has the potential to be a legacy for the author.

Margaret Lake has written a tale that is set during World War Two. But this story could just as easily have been set during any war. In that respect, the lessons learned about relationships in this book are timeless and universal. The sexual tension between the characters was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Yet it was always tastefully handled.

The surprise ending was a masterful stroke.

I highly recommend this read.

Sincerely,
Ricky Sides


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