1984 by George Orwell

1984 is terrifyingly relevant and a gripping book. The story walks you through life as a Party Member, trying to survive under the control of the government (aka big brother) and avoid the Thought Police.

The scary thing about this book is that it really feels like it could happen. What with political correctness reaching the levels it is, and the banning of Islamophobia in some areas (let me say right now I don’t think hate is good anywhere, but these laws take it to the extreme where simply disagreeing can be a crime), it really gives food for thought. In the age of “man-spreading” and “man-splaining” and “womyn” this does seem like the next step society will take.

This is an extremely well written book which has stood the test of time and is still very, very popular. I would love to see the film, although I’m unsure if it could be as good or better than reading it for myself, it would just be nice to see what they have done with it.

I would absolutely recommend this book, it is quite political, but I think even the people who don’t want to think it’s relevant will struggle to not link any of it to the present day.

I won’t dwell too much on it, because I want you to read it and quite frankly, I’ve struggled to write this review. To put a book like this in to words is just really difficult. I may revisit this book later to try to explain a bit more about the feeling invoked by it and the relevance of it, but for now, suffice to say it’s scarily relevant and an absolute honor to English Literature.

Grab it!

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The Red Cobra by Rob Sinclair

The first of three books in the Enemy Series, The Red Cobra sets the tone for a relentless, bloody roller coaster.

Throughout this story there is blood, and lots of it. It’s tough, it’s gritty and it’s certainly not for the sensitive reader.

Mr Sinclair has clearly put a lot of passion into creating his characters as each one has a personality all of their own. Each character has a back story and his/her own traits which is one thing I found gripping throughout. I found that even the characters I didn’t like, I was concerned for when things were going from bad to worse.

The level of description in this book was fantastic, I could imagine each scene and situation the characters found themselves in and that adds a lot to a story. The author did this without me feeling like I was reading ridiculous amounts of description, I’ve read some books where I’ve almost started skipping through descriptions. I was so immersed that I read half the book in one sitting!

I think you can tell whether a writer has really enjoyed creating a story when you read it. I couldn’t find fault with this story and there were answers to every question. He even managed to surprise me with a little twist at the end.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next books in this series to see what happens to the Characters next, this one was left on a bit of a cliff hanger so I’ll be pleased to find out what is next on the agenda.

Grab it!

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Bukharah Healthy Indian Cuisine – Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Bukharah

During my trip to Glasgow, I found this hidden gem. Bukhara Healthy Indian Cuisine, situated on the ground floor of the Lorne Hotel. Eating here was a no brainer for me and my colleague because guests get 20% off their meal by showing their room key.

To start, we had a couple of popadoms with a pickle tray, but this had a difference, along with the usual mint yogurt and mango chutney there was a spicy onion dish which was amazing, I think I ate most of that alone! I’ve had the chopped onions before but they’ve never been in a sauce and that really made a difference to the flavour.

My main course was Chicken Tikka Hariyali, which is chicken marinated in spices such as coriander, mint and garlic, then cooked in the tandoor and served alongside pilau rice, salad and a thick sauce. This was very tasty as it had lots of flavours and wasn’t at all greasy like a lot of indian food can be.

Chicken Hariyali

My Colleague, Kayleigh, opted for a veggie option, now we’re unsure of exactly what went into this because she simply asked the staff what they’d suggest but apparently it’s similar to a bhuna. The vegetables in this were cooked really nicely and the sauce really complemented them.

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We were very full after these dishes but still wanted to sample more of the menu, so we decided to go for it and have a desert. I chose a Chocolate Fondant Pudding which I thought would be quite sickly but it was just the right size and was more chocolatey than sweet so it finished off the meal quite nicely.

Choc Fondant

Kayleigh opted for the Strawberry Cheesecake which was lovely but quite heavy and the Strawberry sauce which topped it was just a little bit too much for her.

Strawberry Cheesecake

The staff were all wonderful and the restaurant was spotless, just the right thing for an evening when you’ve spent five hours on a train! I would definitely eat here again given the opportunity and I’d suggest it to all visitors to Glasgow, along with a huge recommendation for the Hotel.

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The Lorne Hotel – Glasgow, United Kingdom

 

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I was recently sent to work in Glasgow by the company I work for and I got to stay in this beautiful hotel – MAJOR PERK!

Upon arrival I approached the desk where a lovely young lady took my details and told me everything I needed to know about my stay. She was also chatting to me whilst sorting out my room key which I think is a really nice little bit of customer service. She’s spoken to probably a hundred people during the day, I’ve appeared toward the end of her shift – of course she doesn’t care where I’ve come from or why I’m there, but she asked and listened, and that’s what counts after a five hour train ride.

The hotel itself was clean throughout, with nice spongy carpets upstairs, meaning you don’t get a “thud, thud, thud” as people pass your room!

The room itself was gorgeous and I have pictures to show you! I booked a standard double room – so keep that in mind when you see this;

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That bed was enormous! Everything was clean, I even did the (admittedly gloveless) white glove check. The shower was incredible, leaving a really fresh clean feeling which you just don’t get from some showers and everything was just so relaxing. Now I am aware there is food in that photo, but I’m not going to talk to you about that right now. That’s for later, a little taster of my next review! So stay tuned for that!

Having enjoyed an evening with my co-worker – doing I think you know what – from those foodie photos! I retired to my enormous bed and fell asleep in luxury.

Next morning I ate breakfast in their lovely restaurant which was very nice, but sadly lacking in the haggis department! 22 hours in Glasgow and no haggis passed my lips! But, anyway.. it was very clean tasting, no grease and fresh tasting ingredients.

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All of the staff at The Lorne are eager to help and very polite. It was a pleasure to stay there and I set off to work the next day in good spirit, relaxed and ready for another five hour train journey at the end of the day.

If I could have stayed longer I honestly would have and should I find myself in Glasgow again I will absolutely rebook.

A huge thank you to every member of staff at The Lorne – every single one of you played a part in making my stay amazing.

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Inside Moves by Walter Danley

Inside Moves

Inside Moves is the tremendous follow up to The Tipping Point, what I really like about this is that you don’t actually have to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one, but if you have read both then you get some nice back story and you’ll notice a few things that others might not because some of the characters have already been introduced to you.

The book more or less sets out where the first one finished, cutting out a bit that we don’t need to sit through but not missing anything we need for the story. Our main characters are reintroduced briefly before throwing us into a fast paced, morbidly entertaining roller coaster. Whilst the first book had it’s gritty moments, this book is bloody. The nice thing is that for those of us who get a thrill from action, there is plenty, but for those who are more sensitive to gore it’s not too bad. Yes it sets your imagination plucking up those nasty images, but it won’t upset the more sensitive readers because the author doesn’t dwell on it or insist on describing every part of it.

Some of the subject matter is a bit heavy for the more sensitive reader and we shouldn’t downplay the fact that some of the things mentioned in this book are horrible and may upset some people. One of the characters (I won’t mention who because for me it adds to the story to find that out for yourself) has had a hell of a past and it is downright nasty, but it’s been laid out with a purpose and it isn’t there to offend. It really does add to the story, although some may find it uncomfortable.

Long story short, this is another fantastic read from Walter Danley and I am hoping that he continues to turn out books in the Wainright series. These really are stories which you can lose yourself in and I would recommend checking them out. As I said before, you don’t have to have read the first book but to get the full experience I would recommend starting from the beginning. If you’re unsure, just read my review of the first book before you start.

Grab it here!

Also from Walter Danley;

Tipping Point

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Cover Reveal – Made to Fit by Andrew Lennon & Michael Bray

made-to-fit

 

Ok, so the cover looks great, but what’s it about? Well there’s the little snag, I don’t know yet. BUT – I can tell you what inspired these guys to write it which might give us a little insight into what we’re in for, here’s my chat with Mr Lennon;

It’s still very much a work in progress. The original idea was given to me by my Dad. He was telling me about a Greek myth. A guy named Procrustes. He used to tie people to a bed.

If they were too tall then he would cut them to size, too short then he would stretch them. So the story is basically inspired by that.

I’ve always loved Bray’s work and really wanted to work with him so I approached him with the idea and he said yes. Basically it just went from there

I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to checking out this book and it will be appearing here once I have so I can give you my thoughts!

Stay tuned!

Andrew Lennon – Author Page

Michael Bray – Author Page

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Birmingham Horror Con – In a Nutshell

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So we recently travelled to Birmingham for the HorrorCon down there and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We weren’t quite as interested in the guests at this one as we had been for the Sheffield ones which have featured the likes of Fenella Fielding, Ian McCulloch, Kane Hodder & Doug Bradley, so we focused on the shopping instead.

First up we paid a visit to the book stalls, I knew for a fact that certain authors I’d reviewed before would be there so we did the rounds to see who was about. We managed to find Andrew Lennon and his talented young co-writer Georgia & we also met Rich Hawkins for the first time too. We even managed to find Lex H Jones wandering between the stalls!

There were many amazing merchandise stalls to look at but in particular we bought items from the Custom Cupcake Company and From the Shadows, as well as grabbing books from the authors I’ve mentioned above.

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The cakes we bought were to die for! I can definitely recommend the Peanut Butter Brownie which is just heavenly. This stall will even baby sit your cakes whilst you enjoy the con!

swag

This is our little worm friend along with the books and purse I purchased at the event! I almost bought a Graboid too but I was low on funds by then.

We had a fantastic day, made even better by getting to chat to Tony Moran in the queue first thing in the morning. We also caught up with the lovely Mr Markzilla who was in attendance selling his fantastic sketches.

Unfortunately we don’t have a never ending source of money so we had to be sensible but there were many, many other brilliant stands I’d have loved to buy from and I can’t wait to attend the next Horror Con which is in Sheffield this May.

Sadly we won’t be attending the October con in Birmingham as we will be otherwise disposed but it’s going to be fabulous featuring guests, so if this has wet your taste buds don’t miss it!

Links below to Swansea, Birmingham and Sheffield Horror Cons;

Sheffield

Swansea

Birmingham

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