**Review** Entropy by Robert Raker

Entropy_WP2014Book title:  Entropy

Author:  Robert Raker

Publisher: Wattle Publishing

RRP:   PB: £8.99 | Kindle & eBook: £5.99

Synopsis: When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s.
United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

Review:

Entropy makes for a different type of crime drama. The story is about the impact that the killings have on the individual as opposed to the mystery of who done it and how/why. It focuses on the inner thoughts of these individuals whose lives are changed for the worse forever. These lives belong to those who are parents of a murder victim, a diver who witnesses and retrieves the dead, an undercover agent who has to pretend to be like these calculating and manipulative sex offenders/paedophiles, and also a member of the public who believes they know who is responsible.

What is fascinating about Entropy, is that the story is written from four very different perspectives, each one being written in first person. The first person allows the reader to be that particular character, to see inside their mind and feel every thought. It is a very strong and powerful connection and it grows as the story moves on and we hear from all four characters. Not only do they have the murders of these children to connect them, there is also another situation that brings these particular four together, without each of them realising the first connection they all have. Each section from all four characters ties in to make more of a narrative than the reader suspects.

The diver

The first section, told from the diver’s point of view, is extremely informative of each murder scene. Being a diver by profession, he falls into the role of assisting the police during times when they haven’t the time or manpower to provide their own. It is very interesting to read from this perspective, as it is quite shocking and difficult at times for the diver to deal with what he is seeing and dealing with. This is a completely different take on a crime scene, and I would imagine that not many have spent too long pondering on how one, such as a diver, would cope under these extraordinary devastating experiences.

The musician

The former celloist has many dark issues to contend with. Recently being involved in an accident which disfigured him plays a huge role in how it affected the one thing that he truly loved: music. Not only damaging to his career, but due to his introvert behaviour since, he has become distanced from his wife. His life is at a very dark moment. During this time he has been provided with information concerning the murders and has a strong suspicion on the culprit. Only his intention is not to take his suspicion to the police but to handle it his own way, taking out all of his anger and problems on the one person who truly deserves it.

During this second section it became clearer that Entropy is a heavy story, with little dialogue at times. There is a great deal of information to take in, and moments when I wanted to go back and re-read some points. It is very cleverly put together and interesting looking at each perspective in detail.

The agent

This section reminded me of ‘Legends‘ (tv series starring Sean Bean), where the undercover element of their job causes them to forget who they really are and has a strong, and sometimes damaging, impact on their personal life. The agent in this instance cannot let his wife in and it becomes clear why. The agent has to try and infiltrate a group of paedophiles. Although his role is necessary and he is carrying out his duties for all of the right reasons, it does make him sick at times, especially when he comes across photo’s of children to be sold and one is a familiar face linked to the murders.

At times part of the story is sickening with some graphic details of what was carried out with some of the victims. It does feel very real when you’re reading this. Some readers may not like parts of this section, however these lines are needed for the story and to allow the reader to realise just how some of these victims were treated.

From the words and context it is written, I was easily able to grasp the dark, powerful emotions that the agent’s wife is feeling and the pain that she faces on a daily basis. It is similar in some ways to the wife of the musician, how both women are left feeling quite alone, and abandoned by their partner emotionally.

…. Everything is so vacant here so I leave and go out to dinner all dressed up and alone. I sit outside because it’s cool and calm. I look for you in the people on the street, even though I know you’re not going to be there. The waiter feels sorry for me. I can see it in his eyes when he pours me a glass of red wine. I don’t even care that he can probably see my breasts in that dress. I want him to touch me, to ask me to stand up, and to take me right there outside, in the peaceful breeze. The hard truth is that I want another man, any man, a stranger to fuck me so that I can just feel something, and not feel like I am wasting away….

The model

The final chapter follows the mother of a victim. She has lost her child to a sex offending murderer, and this she finds incredibly difficult to live with. Her life has been torn apart and will never be the same again. To make matters worse, she has a husband who left her due to his infidelity. She is at a loss. The world she knew has gone.

It is an emotional read and one that will stay with you. But it does make the reader think about consequences, how one action can lead to so many more. It allows you to empathise with each character as we are taken on a journey through the lives of these individuals and can feel the devastating affects which lead to them all being in the same place at the same time.

I love the bus scene at the end of each section which ties all of the characters together, as well as the murders. Entropy is certainly a story which needs to be read until the very end before everything becomes clear. Each character looks within themselves for answers of the repercussions following the murders. They all ask themselves, and some mentally ask their partners, ‘what went wrong?’ Each story, as the synopsis suggests, is quite individual even though that one or two circumstances bring them together.

A copy of Entropy was provided by Wattle Publishing for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

Entropy by Robert Raker is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Author biography:
Robert Raker graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he enjoys art, music, literature and live theater. He is currently working on his next novel.

Link to retailers: http://wattlepublishing.com/catalogue/entropy/

Twitter:  @RobertRaker1
Facebook:  Entropy by Robert Raker

Review Round-Up November 2014

Hi readers, Tina and myself hope that you enjoyed your Halloween, and here in the UK Bonfire Night. There have been some fantastic fireworks displays this year in and around Tamworth where we reside. We are now concentrating on enjoying the autumn/fall weather, watching the leaves as they fall from the trees and spending most of our time snuggled up on the sofa with a book or our laptops preparing for our best reads of 2014 and of course, Christmas!!

Below you will find our latest reviews over the last month covering the horror genre, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, erotica, fantasy adventure and crime thriller.

As always, we hope that there is something for everybody and that you all enjoy visiting our blog.

Keep on reading!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

(Please click on titles for review)

23358060Distant Love by Layla Merritt, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Kate Braxton has fallen into the role most women do by putting someone else’s needs above her own. In reality, she lives day to day unable to overcome the scars of her past to allow herself to move on with her life. Her divorce and a new job just might open the door to a brighter future for her.

Brayden Bennett is sexy and successful in the marketing firm he works for, but has been used and discarded by women, leaving him hurt and guarded. The beautiful new hire in Atlanta captures his attention in ways he didn’t think possible and he can’t help but wonder if she holds the key to his caged heart.

Kate is taking care of her ill father in Atlanta and Brayden’s son ties him to Chicago. Can they dare to dream of a future together? Can Kate survive the freak accidents that keep occurring, or will their relationship end in tragedy before they can figure out a way to be together?

Claimed (True Alpha 6)Claimed (True Alpha #6) (short story) by Alisa Woods, paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

New Adult Paranormal Romance serial – LAST IN SERIES

Shifters live in the shadows of Seattle, just under the skin of the alpha male, dot-com entrepreneurs who are building a new Silicon Valley in the Emerald City.

Mia has found her way free of the dark wolves, but what price will her friends pay? And will she finally be able to find a place among their packs?

Claimed (True Alpha 6) is 65 pages or 16,000 words. It’s the final of six episodes in the True Alpha serial.

Adult content. Ages 18+.

Amethyst's incredible journeyAmethyst’s Incredible Journey by Lisa Bland, fantasy adventure (reviewed by Caroline)

Fantasy adventure

For ages 11yrs+

Synopsis: Amethyst is a witch with extremely evil and powerful parents. Amethyst is terrified that if she don’t stop her parents soon it will be too late, and they will gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. Amethyst knows that she has only got until her next birthday to stop them!.Amethyst has to travel through different realms to collect the blood red rubies that she needs to stop them.

After the HazeAfter the Haze by Gary Richardson, horror (reviewed by Caroline)

Synopsis: The haze ravaged everything. Human life as we know it is over. Those who survived the haze awoke to find themselves in a new nightmare, as the dead returned with the insatiable desire to hunt down and feed on the remaining humans. Yvonne thought she had escaped her nightmare. Safely aboard the HMS Lancaster, Martin, Mike and herself believed they had found salvation with their military saviours. Things change when a devastating realisation is made. Humans no longer control the Earth. With this in mind, Yvonne has no choice but to assist in the operation to take back control of the UK and bring together all the survivors, but she soon learns that there are bigger threats to mankind than the living dead…

22436820Afraid to Hope (Secrets and Seduction #3) by M.J. Nightingale, erotic contemporary romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Louisa Sears is ready to start over. Escaping her small town where prejudice, long memories, and old fashioned values haunt her, Louisa embarks on her dream of finding love, and a man who can warm up her bed at night. Pregnant at sixteen, divorced from an abusive husband at twenty, and raising a daughter alone, Louisa is now ready to live. She wants what every woman wants. A rock hard man, who knows how to love. Will Florida be the place where her dreams come true?

Jay Russell is battle scarred. A past filled with horrors from childhood, the war in Iraq, and the most devastating event of his life that occurred when he returned home, he is definitely not looking for love. When he first meets Louisa Sears, the bombshell with the fantastic body, he wants one thing, and one thing only, her body underneath him. The hot little ticket that walks by his t-shirt shop, meets all his requirements for a night of passion.

The scars in them run deep though, and they both have secrets. Can two people so deeply wounded by the past learn to trust each other enough to share those secrets? And if they do, will they be able to get past them and learn to hope again?

That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies (Scary Tales, #1)That Risen Snow: A Tale of Snow White & Zombies (The Scary Tales #1) by Rob E. Boley, horror/humour (reviewed by Caroline)

BLURB: The zombie sequel to Snow White begins where the classic fairy tale ends, with the Prince’s kiss waking Snow from her cursed slumber. Snow wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.

Now a deranged zombie, Snow infects both the Prince and the seven dwarfs’ leader. That leaves the young dwarf Grouchy, who is secretly in love with Snow, to find a cure for her malicious curse. So begins an epic journey that pits the lovesick Grouchy against dwarf-hating human soldiers, Snow’s ever-growing zombie horde, and his own bad temper. But when Grouchy and his motley crew of survivors escape Snow’s clutches and seek refuge in a nearby human village, he soon finds that her affliction has spread faster and further then he ever could have imagined. Snow is hell-bent on spreading her horrid curse across the land, and it’s up to Grouchy to stop her before it’s too late.

So begins THE SCARY TALES, a dark fantasy series featuring mash-ups of traditional fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters.

TheNewGovernessLargeFINALThe New Governess/Awakening (The Erotic Adventures of Belinda #1 & 2) by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, gothic erotica (reviewed by Tina)

The New Governess blurb: When Belinda Moorland leaves her old life behind to become the new governess to a wealthy businessman’s children, she finds herself in a dazzling – and allegedly haunted – house called Ravencrest Manor. Her beautiful new home comes with an assortment of unusual staff members, including a handsome English butler surrounded by secrets, an icy power-mad housekeeper with a chip on her shoulder and a whip in her hand, and – most attractive of all to Belinda – her mysterious new employer, Mr. Eric Manning.

After just one night in Ravencrest, Belinda realizes that the staff, as strange they are, have nothing on the other residents of the house – the ones who only come out at night… the ones who enter and dictate her dreams, twisting them into dark, carnal visions of her deepest desires… and her greatest fears.

The erotic adventures of Belinda have begun…

awakeningfinalAwakening blurb: In The New Governess, Belinda Moorland became governess to the children of handsome and mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning. She met several interesting employees at Ravencrest Manor, including the mischievous butler, Grant, and the frightening house administrator, Mrs. Heller. During her first night, Belinda was also greeted – and groped – by other inhabitants of the house; ones who are more phantom than flesh.

Now, in Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares. Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?

The erotic adventures of Belinda continue…

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras, contemporary emotional romance (reviewed by Caroline)

 Synopsis: When Leo’s marriage ends, he falls into the depths of depression. He decides to escape the loss and the heartbreak with a trip to the other side of the world – Lima, Peru. In some ways, his journey becomes an unexpected salvation as his passions are reignited by the local food and people, the climate and the beautiful and alluring Marisol. The Love of Marisol is a poignant and passionate journey of heartbreak, loss but most of all self-discovery… it reminds us that at the end of one love story, there is always the possibility of a new one…

17562987 (2)Windhaven by Charlotte Boyett-Compo, dark erotic fantasy romance (reviewed by Tina)

Synopsis: “Open your mouth even once, tell anyone about us, give them a name, and we’ll come for you, Sammy. There will be nowhere you can hide that we won’t find you.”Samiel Brell is being held against his will in the WindHaven Mental Hospital. His life there is a brutal nightmare from which he can not wake. The only anchor he has in this dark world is nurse Katelyn Tarnes who sees beyond the psychotic, self-destructive patient to the lost, lonely man desperately needing her help…and pleading for her love.

The CabinetmakerThe Cabinetmaker by Alan Jones, crime drama/thriller (reviewed by Caroline Barker)

Synopsis: The Cabinetmaker, Alan Jones’ first novel, tells of one man’s fight for justice when the law fails him. Set in Glasgow from the late nineteen-seventies through to the current day, a cabinetmaker’s only son is brutally murdered by a gang of thugs, who walk free after a bungled prosecution.

It’s young Glasgow detective John McDaid’s first murder case. He forms an unlikely friendship with the cabinetmaker, united by a determination to see the killers punished, their passion for amateur football, and by John’s introduction to a lifelong obsession with fine furniture.

This is the story of their friendship, the cabinetmaker’s quest for justice, and the detective’s search for the truth.

This unusual crime thriller contains some Glasgow slang and a moderate amount of strong language.

 

 

*PROMO POST with Author Bio & Excerpt* Cold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman

DARK CRIME THRILLER (Adult 18yrs+)

For those readers who love a dark, gritty crime thriller, we are excited to introduce you to COLD CALL by Colin Llewelyn Chapman. Described as being ‘a cross between Broadchurch and Luther… Martina Cole and Fifty Shades‘, I cannot wait to review this one very soon! Not a book to read alone or in the dead of night, or so I am told, but that is when I do most of my reading and I’m sure the atmosphere will lead to more tension and suspense! The reader’s discretion is advised and an 18yr+ reader is strongly recommended due to some of the content.

Cold Call book actualTitle: Cold Call

Author: Colin Llewelyn Chapman

Release Date: October 2014

Publisher: Percy Publishing

Genre: Dark crime/thriller

Length: 300 pages

Synopsis: Wealthy entrepreneur Robin Bradford had it all – the house, the cars, the fine dining – and he lost it all. All except Lizzie, his perfect, loving girlfriend. Down on his luck and with no immediate prospects in business, Robin’s energies found another outlet, Just a little something spicy to bide his time until his financial world recovered, leading him down a very seedy path, onto a very rocky road. Time however was all he had, and all he was going to get.

“A FANTASTIC FAST PACED PAGE TURNER”

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPY

EXCERPT

About an hour later Robin reached his destination, a busy car park a stone’s throw from the Sea Front. Riffling through his pockets, he counted his change as he stood in front of the parking meter. “Bollocks!” He didn’t have enough coins to meet the two hour charge, but then glancing around the parking lot he decided to chance his luck. He beat a path through the hordes of shoppers, tourists, loafers and vagrants that congregated around the town centre, eventually arriving at the Tango Top-Up Sun Bed Salon. This was the facade behind which Tamsin and Marina’s knocking shop plied its trade. On the face of it the place was a reputable tanning salon, doing a roaring trade among Southend’s innumerable wannabe WAGS. Young women seeking that healthy orange glow to impress the local bar-brawling men, fixated on having trophy wives and glamorous girlfriends to show off down the Seafront. The crafty tanning shop owner let out the upstairs room to the two harlots for a nice handful of cash, which they palmed his way once a week. No invoices, no questions, and a discount on services if and when he needed relief. As instructed, Robin approached the receptionist and asked where the Therapies Room could be found. She obligingly led him through the shop and into a back room which housed a long staircase, leading up and out of view.

Up there, Sir. Ring the bell at the top.”

Thank you, Darling!” he replied, smiling. His charms were wasted on her, though. She knew exactly who he was and what he was: a punter.

The staircase turned halfway up to reveal a large, royal blue door. Covered in an array of different locks, it was obviously designed to prevent the Old Bill, disgruntled clients and irate wives from getting at the working girls. Robin pressed the buzzer on the small intercom and waited somewhat impatiently for a reply. As he stood shuffling from foot to foot, wringing his hands in anticipation, he felt a twinge of fear. Stories of mugged punters and blackmail victims started to play out in his mind.

What if I get inside and some big beefcake robs me?

What if the police raid the place while I’m ankles deep in a tom?

What if they try and blackmail me?

But the ever present ‘what if’s’ were quickly beaten back down by a much more pressing matter: Robin’s rampant desire to satisfy the lustful urges seething in his loins.

The silver, pepper-pot fronted intercom speaker crackled into life and brought Robin’s mind back into line instantly.

Hello! Who is it, please?”

Despite having already passed the first line of defence, namely the drone working the ‘Front of House’, Robin was subjected to several encrypted verbal trials from the intercom. While it was gabbling away at him, asking him all sorts of trivial questions, he started to become distracted by an idea that the voice coming from the silver box of buttons seemed vaguely familiar. No matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t place it; the sexy overtones disguised her natural voice.

At last the door opened. Robin surveyed his potential purchase, beginning at her black high-heeled shoes and sheer hold-ups. Moving on up, he paused briefly at her lacy red knickers, a matching brassiere barely restraining her ample breasts. When he reached her dark tousled hair, his mouth fell open.

Fuck me! …You?”

It would have been hard to say at that point who was the more alarmed, Robin or his lacy lady.

AUTHOR BIO

ColinColin, 45, has worked in Construction throughout his career. He has three children aged from 12 to 18, and two step-children. Son of a former gamekeeper, he is still a country boy at heart! He described his childhood as “brilliant”, benefiting as he did from fantastic loving parents, and the joy of growing up in the beautiful Essex countryside.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Twitter: @ColinLChapman

Facebook: Colin Llewelyn Chapman-Author

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

For November: A Crime Thriller or an Emotional Adventurous Romance Novel?

Hi readers, we are already thinking ahead into November, and once we have all been zombied out, witched out and spooked out over Halloween we are thinking maybe you would like to relax a little with either a crime thriller or an adventurous and emotional romantic journey!

We have two reviews scheduled for next month that just may be what you are looking for. Two great reads from Wattle Publishing: crime thriller, Entropy, by Robert Raker and contemporary romance, The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras! Please scroll down for blurbs and author bios.

Happy reading!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

Entropy_WP2014Book title:  Entropy
Author:  Robert Raker

RRP:   PB: £8.99 | Kindle & eBook: £5.99

Synopsis:

When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s.
United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

Author biography:
Robert Raker graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he enjoys art, music, literature and live theater. He is currently working on his next novel.

Link to retailers: http://wattlepublishing.com/catalogue/entropy/

Twitter:  @RobertRaker1
Facebook:  Entropy by Robert Raker

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014Book title:  The Love of Marisol
Author:  Christos Toulouras

RRP:   PB: £6.99 | Kindle & eBook: £5.99

Synopsis:

When Leo’s marriage ends, he falls into the depths of depression. He decides to escape the loss and the heartbreak with a trip to the other side of the world – Lima, Peru. In some ways, his journey becomes an unexpected salvation as his passions are reignited by the local food and people, the climate and the beautiful and alluring Marisol. The Love of Marisol is a poignant and passionate journey of heartbreak, loss but most of all self-discovery… it reminds us that at the end of one love story, there is always the possibility of a new one…

Author bio:
Christos Toulouras was born in Cyprus. He has lived in South Africa and Cyprus. He studied Tourist administration in Thessaloniki. He continued his studies in the UK at Leicester University where he received his MBA. He currently lives in Cyprus.

Link to retailers: http://wattlepublishing.com/catalogue/love-marisol/

Twitter:  @wattlepub
Facebook:  Wattle Publishing