Year: 2017

Mystery review: ‘A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell’ by Clara Benson

Mystery review: ‘A Case of Conspiracy in Clerkenwell’ by Clara Benson

Book 3 of the new Christie-esque murder mystery series by the author, featuring Freddy Pilkington-Soames rather than Angela Marchmont, which gives the books a very different flavour. Angela was very much a lady, so her sleuthing was conducted over cups of tea and genteel dinner parties, whereas Freddy is a man about town, and there’s a certain amount of creeping about in the middle of the night, and he gets physical from time to time. Unlike Angela, there’s no mysterious past to be gradually revealed, and Freddy’s very much London-based. I’m rather hoping he’ll escape the town setting at some stage; I miss the country house setting of so many of Angela’s stories. However, this outing for Freddy has a good array of eccentric characters in the ladies of the Temperance Society and the (mostly) gentlemen of the Communist Alliance, who share the same local community hall. When one of […]

Posted June 28, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in Review / 0 Comments

New release (and other Brightmoon news)

New release (and other Brightmoon news)

I’m delighted to tell you that the 8th book in the Brightmoon world, Findo Gask’s Apprentice, is now available. You can buy it at the special new-release price of just 99c, or borrow for FREE with your subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Prime. Click the Buy! button above to buy or borrow from your local Amazon, or click here for more information about the story. I had so much fun writing this book (dragons at last!), and I’m thrilled to share it with you. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Watch out for The Dragon Caller in the autumn (and yes, there’ll be even more dragons!). Other deals coming up soon… To celebrate the release of Findo Gask’s Apprentice, I’ve got discounts on some of the other books in the series coming up, too. Here’s a list, so make a note in your […]


Fiction review: ‘Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight’ by Alexandra Fuller

Fiction review: ‘Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight’ by Alexandra Fuller

Another book group read that I would never, ever have chosen for myself, but I enjoyed it, on the whole. It’s a memoir, describing the author’s life growing up in Africa in the 70’s and 80’s, a time of great transition, including civil war, land seizures and the gradual erosion of white dominance. It’s an unflinching look at the realities of daily life for one extraordinary family, for whom the word disfunctional was probably invented. For me, it was uncomfortably too unflinching, but one has to admire the author’s clear vision of the reality of the times – the casual racism, the poverty, and dear lord, the many and various horrible ways to die or (if you were very, very lucky) merely be extremely ill, repeatedly. The greatest triumph of the book is the glorious evocation of Africa in all its physicality. To say you felt as if you were […]

Posted June 12, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in Review / 0 Comments

#SPFBO news: brackets!

#SPFBO news: brackets!

The #SPFBO competition hasn’t officially started yet, but there’s already quite a buzz about it, and a number of bloggers are getting into the spirit by looking at the entrants for themselves and trying to guess what might make the final cut of 10 books from the starting grid of 300. Blogger M D presley is one who’s been trying to pick likely winners, and he’s started a ‘brackets’ contest to run alongside the main competition. The idea is to come up with your own selection of three books from each blogger’s batch of 30. The winner is, presumably, the one whose choices are closest to the actual picks. Now obviously there’s no way of predicting how the individual bloggers will react, so the game becomes an exercise in how to approach the problem Just how do you pick? By covers? Blurbs? First chapters? Throw darts at a list? You […]

Posted June 1, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in SPFBO, The Dragon's Egg / 0 Comments

Urban fantasy review: ‘Rivers of Hell’ by Marina Finlayson

Urban fantasy review: ‘Rivers of Hell’ by Marina Finlayson

This is the third of the Shadows of the Immortals series, and it’s another action-packed and dramatic installment. This one is, as you might suspect from the title, set in the underworld, as Lexi and friends try to remove the magical collars that restrict the powers of god Apollo and Lexi’s cat-shifter friend, Syl. As always, there are plenty of twists and turns along the way, and Lexi and hot fireshaper Jake inch a little closer towards the inevitable romance. Now, I’m going to be honest. I’ve never read a bad book by Finlayson yet, and this one doesn’t break that winning streak. It’s the usual well-written roller-coaster ride, lurching from one crisis to the next, yet always in a way that makes total sense within this world, and with that trade-mark Aussie humour – lovely! But… It lacks many of the elements that made the previous two books amongst […]

Posted May 25, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in Review / 0 Comments

Review: ‘Dark Voyage’ by Alan Furst

Review: ‘Dark Voyage’ by Alan Furst

My book group throws up a mixed bag of reading materials, and I never quite know what I’m going to get. This one seemed most unpromising at first glance: a war-era story of spies and secret missions aboard a Dutch freighter commandeered by British intelligence. Um… not really my thing. But after I chickened out of a few, I’m determined to have a crack at everything from now on so I settled down to read. And (surprise!) I really enjoyed it. It’s very much a boy’s own adventure, with lots of creeping about in the dark, secretly repainting the ship to disguise it (not an easy task), and never quite knowing who is on who’s side or what the ultimate objective is. There are some truly thrilling moments steering through minefields or arriving at a neutral port to find that it’s changed allegiance overnight. There are also laugh-out-loud funny moments, […]

Posted May 25, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in Review / 0 Comments

I’m in SPFBO! Again!

I’m in SPFBO! Again!

For the third year running, Mark Lawrence (author of the Broken Empire series) is organising a contest for self-published authors. He’s rounded up 10 bloggers who read and review fantasy books, usually traditionally published, and 300 books submitted by self-published authors, and thrown the two groups together. Each blogger gets a ‘slush pile’ of 30 books to whittle down over six months to just one to go forward into the final. Then the ten bloggers read all ten finalists and score them, to come up with an overall winner. And for the third year running, I’ve submitted one of my books. The first year, Bookworm Blues blogger Sarah Chorn looked at The Plains of Kallanash (she gave it 3/5 stars). The second year, Sarah looked at The Mages of Bennamore (she gave it 3/5 stars – I think we can see a pattern here!). This year, I’ve submitted The Dragon’s […]

Posted May 15, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in SPFBO, The Dragon's Egg / 2 Comments

Authors answer 21: What is your ultimate goal with your writing? Fame? Fortune? Changing the world?

This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I really don’t have a goal except to get the books out there in the world where they can be read. Fame? No, absolutely not! {Shudder} I’m the ultimate reclusive writer. I haven’t even told most of my real life friends or family that I write. It amuses me, actually, to meet people on a regular basis who have no idea at all about it. We have the usual back and forth — how are you, what have you been up to, oh, nothing much — and I could say, well, I published my fourteenth book the other day, so bit of a celebration, and I have a promotion on the box set and then there’s the audio… But I never do. Fortune? A little bit more money never goes amiss, but I wouldn’t want enough to need accountants and investment […]

Posted May 5, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in AuthorsAnswer / 0 Comments

Special deals, a giveaway and – the next book! Free!

Special deals, a giveaway and – the next book! Free!

Some special deals Here’s an opportunity to pick up some of my books at a special low price. Book 1 of the series, The Plains of Kallanash, is now just 99c, and so is book 2, The Fire Mages. And if you’re a fan of trilogies (and who isn’t?), you can buy books 2, 5 and 7 at the new low price of just $6.99 (or equivalent). All the books are also free to download if you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. Click to buy or borrow. I’m giving stuff away! I have some cool swag for 6 lucky people – mousemats and drinks coasters commemorating the awesome original covers of my books. To have a chance to win, all you have to do is email me and tell me which is your favourite character from any of the Brightmoon books. Not read them yet? Can’t […]


Fantasy romance review: ‘Source-Breaker’ by Kyra Halland

Fantasy romance review: ‘Source-Breaker’ by Kyra Halland

Kyra Halland’s one of very few authors who writes proper fantasy romance, that is, stories that have a fully-formed romance at their heart, but are also well-constructed fantasies. It’s a hard trick to pull off (I know because I’ve tried and failed) but she does it superbly. This book drew me in from the very first paragraph. I loved the idea of a man whose job it is to fix magical sources (the well-springs of magical power, each one different). Kaniev travels around the country to wherever his lodestone tells him a source needs attention, fixes it with a bit of arm-wavy business that only he is trained to do, and then goes on his way to the next job. That makes it sound very prosaic, like an old-fashioned tinker who turns up out of the blue, fixes your bucket and sharpens your knives and then vanishes until the next […]

Posted April 20, 2017 by PaulineMRoss in Review / 0 Comments