Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @rararesources

About the Book:

Welcome to Tecant.
Nothing ever happens here.
Until today.
Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.
Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.
He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.
Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.
And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

Where to Buy:

About the Author:

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Contact Karl:


My Review:

I really enjoyed Clarissa, the previous book in the Lost Tales of Solace series so I was keen to review Ruabon. Ruabon Nadarl works for the scan crew. The hours are long but he builds robot drones to make his days a little more interesting.

I am really into Star Trek and found the technical side of building things there interesting, so I thought I would like Ruabon too.

How will Ruabon cope when an intruder arrives? I was so anticipating what would happen and I wanted to move through this book. I was very much looking forward to and enjoying, how the story unfolded.

It’s not often I find a scifi book outside the Star Trek world that interests me, but I thought Ruabon was a devoted worker and a very well fleshed-out character.

As with Clarissa, author Karl Drinkwater hooked me with his worldbuilding and character development.

Thanks to Karl Drinkwater, Organic Apocalypse and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @rararesources

About the Book:

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.
Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.
Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.
I hate them.
And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.
My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.
And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Where to Buy:

About the Author:

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.
When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Contact Karl:


My Review:

Clarissa and Opal are sisters and are separated. Clarissa is on a spaceship and she is just ten years old. Her novella is the first I have reviewed by Karl Drinkwater and I was immediately gripped by the writing style.

Clarissa seems wise beyond her years and is very smart. She’s open and chatty as well as curious.

I really felt for her in the quest to find her sister, Opal, and the memories Clarissa has of being with Opal are peppered throughout the story which made me get to know the backstory of the sisters.

I thought Clarissa was brave, too, to be trying to cope as best she could in the situation she was in.

The first two lines of the synopsis gripped my heartstrings and did not let go, as they show the bond between the sisters.

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody.

The fact they were split up by Government agents reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha is a way (although this is a different genre and a different time) because of the death of parents then the splitting up of close sisters.

Will Clarissa and Opal ever be reunited? I was hoping so all through the book.

The atmosphere of the spaceship and Clarissa’s descriptions of her surroundings are incredibly visual.

Clarissa is part of the Lost Tales of Solace series and is book three of short stories which compliment the Lost Solace series.

I think Karl Drinkwater did a really great job of writing Clarissa’s character and point of view. That made Clarissa’s story utterly engaging to me.

Thanks to Karl Drinkwater and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

My First Experience of Star Trek Day

Today is Star Trek Day and a day I wished existed but never knew did. You see, I have been a Star Trek addict ever since I was in secondary school. I haven’t by any means, seen all the episodes or movies but I do know that I love the shows. Recently, I saw Star Trek Picard and Star Trek Discovery and it felt so good to get back into the Trekverse after years. I have the complete first season of Star Trek The Next Generation on DVD and I also have the Next Generation movie boxset. I was wondering how I would access CBS All Access for the live stream, and after some working out of timings where I am, I decided to search for more places to watch the celebration which is happening to celebrate 54 years since the Original Series launched. I found it on YouTube. The videos weren’t that long but there was a variety of panels where casts from different Star Trek series were interviewed. I particularly enjoyed the Voyager panel as well as the Deep Space 9 one. The Discovery content was good too. I was disappointed that there was not a dedicated Star Trek The Next Generation panel but there were interesting Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard) interviews as well as an interview between him and Johnathan Frakes (Lt Commander Riker) and some Star Trek Picard content. I just loved that series and in particular Nepenthe which reminded me of one of my favourite Next Generation movies, Generations. I felt it was a real treat that Will Wheaton was hosting some interviews and I must confess I had a bit of a crush on him as a teen. I have enjoyed seeing how his career has evolved from his days starring in the movie Stand By Me, all through Star Trek The Next Generation to appearances on The Big Bang Theory (when my husband, a not-so-seasoned Trekkie asked who he was, I was all too proud I knew). After watching as much as I could of the Star Trek Day celebration and finding a new surprise in the form of an animated series basd on Star Trek (Below Decks), I scoured YouTube to see what other Trek material I could source, I found a lot of “Where Are They Now?” videos for the TNG cast including one one who they had fallen in love with. A highlight was a conference in which Brent Spiner (Data) did an absolutely spot-on, brilliant impersonation of Patrick Stewart talking. Overall a very enjoyable day and a good escape from current and personal events which I will not go into here. Well worth the watch. I will save 8 September to my calendar for future reference.

The Reading Rush 2019 Day 5

The Last Astronaut is a cross between Gravity (which I’ve seen)  Alien (which I haven’t) and The Martian (which I have). I liked the premise and the cover and requested it as I was after some scifi. 

Admittedly I mostly dive into a Star Trek (TNG DS9 or Voyager) novel so this was different. 

We’re immediately in on the action and Sally Jansen and all the other characters are very well portrayed, 

The book is so action- and terminology-packed that I felt lost on more than one occasion but the alien object was fascinating as was the description of space. 

More detailed review to come.

Blog Tour: A Place to Remember by Jenn J McLeod 


About the Book:

A multi-generational contemporary romantic saga set in a cattle ranch in Central Queensland, Australia.


A man loses five years of his life. Two women are desperate for him to remember.

Running away for the second time in her life, twenty-seven-year old Ava believes the cook’s job at a country B&B is perfect, until she meets the owner’s son, John Tate.


The young fifth-generation grazier is a beguiling blend of both man, boy and a terrible flirt. With their connection immediate and intense, they begin a clandestine affair right under the noses of John’s formidable parents.


Thirty years later, Ava returns to Candlebark Creek with her daughter, Nina, who is determined to meet her mother’s lost love for herself. While struggling to find her own place in the world, Nina discovers an urban myth about a love-struck man, a forgotten engagement ring, and a dinner reservation back in the eighties. Now she must decide if revealing the truth will hurt more than it heals…
 About the Author:

After leaving the corporate working world, Jenn J. McLeod decided to travel Australia in a fifth-wheeler caravan and fulfil her lifelong ambition to write. She has since published four novels.

My Review: 

I’ll admit, this did take me awhile to get into but the characters were interesting and I felt the storyline picked up pace once Ava and John’s relationship did. The parallel story about Katie was good, too. I’ve never been to Australia, and it is one of the countries I have always dreamed of visiting. 
The whole setting of the town of Candlebark Creek and the whole “wilderness” feel of rural Queensland had me absorbed. The additional plot about panna cotta, while flirty, did not really capture my interest and I was more interested in the intricacies of the relationships between the characters in the book. The house, Ivy-May, seems a very rustic yet cosy place, and with all the cooking going on, it certainly seems a homely place, too.
A Place to Remember has a myriad of different plots running through it, and what I liked most about Jenn J McLeod’s writing was how she put them together while keeping up a steady pace throughout the book. I felt love, loss anger sadness and was also able to discover the characters’ secrets. Some of the writing was very raw and emotional. One thing that stood out about A Place to Remember are all the twists and turns in the plot. This is the first Jenn J Mcleod title I have had the pleasure to review, and I’m always intrigued by novels that span generations. 
Thanks to Jenn J McLeod and Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus, for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.
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Twitter: @jennjmcleod

Facebook: JennJMcLeod.books


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2018 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide by Corie Weaver and Sean Weaver Featuring Various Authors 

I have not read the other Young Explorer’s Adventure Guides, but this was a very refreshing and different anthology written by authors with varying experiences of writing. I love scifi, and as an adult, I was engrossed in these stories, There’s sometimes humor or references to Earth life thrown in which ring true, and every story is different from the next. There’s certainly a lot of action, adventure exploring and fun to be had within the pages of this book. Every story brings something to this anthology, and I was pleased to read work by authors who were all new to me. 
The Great Broccoli Wifi Theft made for such a fun beginning, I was also taken by The Sting of the Irikundji, which was a fun and quirky tale. Nocturnal Noise was also brilliant. I liked the way that many of the stories touched on disability or another difficulty in life that the characters had. As. a person living with disabilities myself, I identified with them. i especially liked the author’s portrayal of Amélie in Polaris in the Dark. 
The anthology is great to read straight through, as I did, or to dip into whenever you like. I can see myself being interested in other volumes of the anthology if they are released in future years. 

Overall, the book taught about families, aspects of disabilities and adventure. I’d recommend it to children and adults alike whether you are a scifi fan or not, because we can all learn something from it. 
Thank you to all the participating authors and Dancing Robot Press for an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an. honest review.

The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman

Contact: Sarah Miniaci
856-489-8654 ext. 329

The Stargazer’s Embassy
By Eleanor Lerman

From the 2016 John W. Campbell Prize Winner for Best Science Fiction…
“[A] skillful and satisfying novel of a very personal alien invasion […] fitting for any reader who enjoys deep and subtle stories.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Wonderfully eerie, mysterious, captivating, and thought-provoking. I got pulled into The Stargazer’s Embassy right away and thoroughly enjoyed the read. Highly recommended.”
— Toby Johnson, author of The Myth of the Great Secret: An Appreciation of Joseph Campbell

“This novel has an inspiring premise and an even better plot. Eleanor Lerman […]is a first-tier writer.”
— New York Journal of Books (Radiomen)

From the first widely discussed case of alien abduction in 1961, when Betty and Barney Hill described the terrifying experience of being forcibly abducted by aliens, to the present day when such frightening incidents continue to be reported across the globe, encounters with “others” usually cast the aliens as those in control and their human captives as helpless victims. But is that always the case?
​Hot on the heels of her critically acclaimed, John W. Campbell Prize winning literary sci-fi novel Radiomen [The Permanent Press, 2015], in July 2017 Eleanor Lerman will release The Stargazer’s Embassy [Mayapple Press], a startling and emotionally resonant tale that upends how we think about alien abduction. In this story, it is the aliens who seem fearful of Julia Glazer, a strange young woman living in Greenwich Village who they’re desperately trying to make contact with.
​Violent and despairing after the murder of the one person she loved – a psychiatrist who was studying abductees (or, as he preferred to call them, “experiencers… I don’t like the term abductees because it implies a one-sided event, which I think is not what we’re dealing with,” he tells her early in their relationship) – Julia is a reluctant target for the aliens, and has spent much of her life rebuffing their advances. It’s not until she lands back in Freelingburg, the upstate New York town where she was raised – and home to The Stargazer’s Embassy to the World, a rundown, sci-fi poster-plastered bar run by her stepfather – that the mysterious threads of her past and present begin hurdling towards a shocking conclusion.
​With a colorful cast of characters including a strange man who can take photographs with the power of his mind, a tattoo artist, and an abductee locked up in a mental hospital, The Stargazer’s Embassy is a page-turner that transcends typical science fiction tropes and, ultimately, an evocative meditation on the meaning of existence and death.
​“The idea behind the entire story is that if aliens are indeed visiting us on earth, they’re as confused about death as we are,” Lerman reveals. “Despite the fact that humans and other beings with whom we share the universe have completely different frameworks for conceiving of existence and different beliefs underlying that existence, it’s interesting to speculate about the likelihood that we are all, nevertheless, connected across time, distance, and the unimaginable vastness of space, by a belief in a creator, and concerns about what happens to us when we cease to exist.”
​Sure to cement Lerman’s status as one of this generation’s most notable literary sci-fi authors, The Stargazer’s Embassy is a poetic and endlessly thought-provoking addition to 2017’s fiction landscape – and will be available wherever books are sold in July 2017.

What I Thought of the Book:

I thought the title of this sounded interesting, so I requested it from NetGalley. I’m a real sci fi fan. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a touching tale of Julia, who has been plagued by alien experiences, whether she’s at work or wherever and I get the feeling early on in the book that she just wants a normal life.
Things start to change when she goes to a gathering to see shooting stars…

Before I read the synopsis, I assumed from the title that this would be a book based at some kind of stargazer HQ deep in the galaxy. It was a refreshing change though, to find out that it was very different to other scifi books.
The fact that The Stargazer’s Embassy actually turns out to be Julia’s grandfather’s bar was a nice, if unexpected, touch. The book is peppered with personal touches like this, and that’s what increased its appeal for me. The Stargazer’s Embassy has a touch of romance in its plot, as Julia meets John, and they begin to hit it off despite their dfferent backgrounds, experiences and opinions.

John is not just any psychiatrist- he says that his patients, or “experiencers,” are always talking about alien abduction experiences.

Julia has had her fill of aliens and related experiences through her mother Laura who was barely around for her as a child, instead wandering off and always talking about aliens. This caused a rift and deep-seated anger in Julia, which is still there years after her mother’s death. She is very sceptical of anything to do with aliens, She busies herself cleaning houses and listening to any kind of music she can while putting up with a job that pays the bills but that she is less than happy in.
Throughout the book, we are introduced to a cast of varied and well-fleshed-out characters which makes The Stargazer’s Embassy an enjoyable read and a very unteresting take on the subject of alien abduction.

The Trekkie in me was impressed with this-it’s not often I find a scifi book I enjoy that is not a Star Trek The Next Generation or Voyager book.
The Stargazer’s Embassy has great character development and an unusual plot that captured my attention. I really liked Julia as a character in that she seemed determined to live life as she wanted in spite of her upbringing.

That said, The Stargazer’s Embassy is a quick, fun read. Thanks to Eleanor Lerman and Mayapple Press for a copy of my ARC.

About the Author:


Eleanor Lerman is the author of numerous award-winning collections of poetry, short stories, and novels. She is a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2016, her novel, Radiomen, was awarded the John W. Campbell Prize for the Best Book of Science Fiction. She lives in New York.

Find Eleanor Lerman on Twitter, Goodreads, and at

The Stargazer’s Embassy [Mayapple Press] will be available in paperback and e-book formats wherever books are sold as of July 2017. Pre-order it today on the Mayapple Press website:

Star Cluster Seven by Alex Random

“A fast-paced,edge-of-your-seat read-reminiscent    of Star Trek” was what went through my mind as my iPad VoiceOver read me this ARC.
This was the first book I read by Alex Random. The synopsis got my attention automatically and I requested a copy from NetGalley. Thanks to Alex Random as well as the publisher for the eARC.

The book is a great action-packed read for anyone who happens to be a sci fi fan. The pace doesn’t let up from beginning to end. I thought the plot and pace were very reminiscent of any Star Trek series book or episode, and so I enjoyed it even more due to this.

My only criticism would be that it was a shame that the planetary authority was called Star Fleet- as a hardcore Trekkie, I found that too similar to Star Trek’s Starfleet. The characters are well fleshed out and there’s even some romance here and there.

Overall, Star Cluster Seven was an original, realistic and refreshing on-the-edge-of-your-seat read which comes to an equally amazing ending. This book really stands out. I’d recommend it to any sci fi and/ or Star Trek fan.

Imzadi by Peter David

Review of Audible Audiobook (Abridged). This has been my favourite Star Trek TNG book since I was 11 years old and discovered I loved Star Trek. Peter David is one of my favourite Star Trek authors, and the way he intertwines Troi and Riker’s relationship with alternate realities is pure skill. The pace of the writing never falters, even in this abridged version of the book. Shame it wasn’t longer. The sound affects really add atmosphere to an already great narration.

I also have the paperback so I can read the more detailed version of the story. Will Riker and Deanna Troi as characters and their relationship have always fascinated me. I personally think they are the cutest couple in Starfleet!

Five stars.