29 May 2011

Free E-books - Mills and Boon

I am not a romance fan and as such tend to steer clear of Mills and Boon and the like. However, if they are your thing, you can now download a selection of free Mills and Boon e-books from everyonesreading.com .

From everyonesreading.com

27 May 2011

Free E-book - Little Miss Mary and the Big Monster Makeover by Gleb Toropov

One for the kids just in time for half-term. In this humorous little story, fashion mad Little Miss Mary gives a makeover to a huge, hairy monster who climbs out of her closet. It is written in a rhyming verse, helping young children pick up new words, and comes complete with illustrations.

From Amazon
The book is available free from Amazon.

Review: The Transformed by Raphael Hirsch

The Transformed had me gripped from page 1, and I read it in one sitting. It follows scientist Doctor Newman, who is obsessed with finding the cure to his sister-in-law’s genetic condition. His research, on which he has worked tirelessly for years, is nearly complete when he is attacked by a woman who has woken from a coma shouting the strange word Sartan. One attack from a demented patient can be explained away, but when he is attacked again by someone shouting Sartan he starts to get worried. But what has an ancient Hebrew word for cancer got to do with the attacks.

From Amazon
There are so many ways The Transformed could have gone wrong. The back story about the dead wife and her ill sister is clichéd, but is written beautifully and believably, and provides a ticking clock that drives the story along. Similarly I nearly stopped reading when it became obvious what Sartan was, but I’m glad I pushed on, as the story, while taking on a sci-fi plot nearer the end, is very gripping and well written.

For fans of medical thrillers, this is a fantastic read. Raphael Hirsch is a well known scientist, and as such the scientific detail in the novel is of the highest standard. The back story of Sartan is also believable, although maybe too 'out there' for some medical thriller fans. Apart from the heavy sci-fi plot near the end of the book, which stretched believability, it was a great book and an author I’ll will be watching.

The Transformed is available from Amazon UK for just 69p. 

26 May 2011

Free E-books - Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan

Patricia Ryan (publishing under the name P.B. Ryan) is a prolific author of mysteries and romances, who's out-of-print books are in great demand. She has re-released her Mary Clark Higgins Award nominated historical mystery Still Life with Murder in an e-book format for FREE! Paperback used copies of this well-reviewed novel are retailing for £54, so I would grab a copy while it's free.

From Amazon

"In post-Civil War Boston, an Irish-born governess must try to clear her employer's son, an opium-addicted former battle surgeon, of a murder charge."

Still Life with Murder is available from Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Smashwords and a variety of other formats

Review: Mojo by Kris Sedersten

Kris Sedersten's first foray into publishing is with the psychological thriller Mojo. Published in 2010, it follows Scottie Brown, a New Orleans college student who, after being hunted by vivid nightmares and daytime apparitions  begins searching for an answer; unwittingly putting himself and those closest to him in a confrontation with evil. 

To defeat the energy that torments him, he recruits a team of paranormal investigators, friends from high school, and a psychic medium.  Together, they pursue the ghost of Scottie's ancestors in a haunted plantation deep in the Louisiana countryside.  They uncover dark family secrets and the spiritual energy of a malevolent patriarch who projects an unholy prophecy that has deadly consequences for all mankind.

From Amazon UK
After reading the blurb I was initially dubious about the plot of the book, but as always gave it a go, and was pleasantly suprised. The plot works well and is full of suspense, and the characters, especially Aimee, were well thought out and reacted believably to plot events. Scottie, the main character, develops throughout the novel, starting as a somewhat selfish and immature individual but growing into a somewhat more thoughtful, mature person.

Overall, it is a horror filled, enjoyable read, which grabs you, and makes you want to keep reading till the end. My only criticism is that some of the dialogue was just a little off for me, almost clumsy in places; something that is hard to explain, and does not significantly affect the experience of reading Mojo.  

Mojo is available from Amazon UK for only 70p ($1.15 on Amazon.com), and for that price is a real bargain!  

Four Stars!

24 May 2011

Discount E-books - Donor by Ken McClure

Ken McClure is one of my all time favourite authors who pens well-researched, page-turner medical/science thrillers. I have read his entire catalogue, and was ecstatic to see many of his older and rarer titles offered on Kindle.

His first book in the fantastic Dr Dunbar series is now on Amazon UK for just 94p! It seems to be part of a promotion of the newly released e-book versions of McClure's more recent novels with prices ranging from £1.59 to £9.75 for his newest offering Lost Causes, which is due out in print on the 1st June.

I highly recommend giving Donor a try, and if you like it getting the rest of McClure's work. McClure's work is some of the only e-books I will spend more than £5 on.

23 May 2011

Review: Vanished by Danny Collins

The case of Madeleine McCann gripped Europe during 2007, when the three year old went missing from her holiday villa never to be seen again. Her mother, Kate McCann has recently released a book telling the family's version of her disappearance and I thought it was an opportune time to read the earlier published account of the disappearance by investigative journalist Danny Collins.

From GoodReads
Whilst at first glance the book seems to be an impartial account of the case, it soon becomes apparent that it is really written from the position that the McCann's were completely innocent of any wrongdoing, even in leaving their children unattended, and focuses on discrediting the police investigation and criticizing the media; slightly hypocritical of a investigative journalist. At points the writer goes off on a tangent, telling tantalising stories about other missing children, even those who have been missing for decades and bear no relevance to the McCann case, abuse in children's homes or accusing all gypsies of being child abductors who frequently traffic children across Europe to use in begging operations.

Overall the book could have really been half the length, detailing the facts of the case, and many of the chapters seem out-of-sequence and almost cut and paste from random articles on child abduction, rather than being an analysis of the investigation. As it was published in 2008 it is also woefully out of date, although progress in the case has been slow, and Madeleine has still not been found. It's only redeeming features are is it's ease to read and that it supports the less sensational theory that Madeleine wandered off from an unlocked and unsupervised villa rather than being abducted from her bed. It's rating is given as I did manage to finish it, albeit skipping paragraphs near the end, but other than that was not a joy to read, and a waste of £4 considering all the information could readily be found online.

Vanished is available from Amazon UK

20 May 2011

Review Guidelines


I am more than happy to receive review requests. I will review any genre, but as this is a hobby I will choose to read those books that appeal to me and so I don't guarantee a review. I also cannot guarantee a time frame for the review either, though I will try to turn it around within a reasonable time and will also drop you a line when I finish and publish the review. I cannot guarantee you a 5* review but will provide an honest opinion and explain the rating so that readers can make an informed choice. 

I don't accept payment for reviews, although, as this blog is run as a non-profit hobby, if you request a review I do expect you to provide a complimentary copy, which can be e-mailed, provided as a Amazon gift or through the use of a coupon. Accepting a copy does not guarantee a review nor does it guarantee a high rating; all my reviews are an honest reflection of the book. I prefer Kindle formats, but as long as your book does not have DRM I can convert formats if you do not provide an Kindle version. 

To request a review either fill at the form at the bottom of this post or e-mail tomesofthesoul@gmail.com with the following: 

-A copy of the book
-A summary of the book including information on the genre
-An optional summary of you as a author, including any previously published work
-An link to where readers can download your book
-Any optional discount being offered to readers (this can increase intrest in your book)

In turn I will provide on the site:
-An honest review posted on Tomes of the Soul
-A picture of the cover
-A summary of the book
-Links to where readers can purchase the book

As well as including the review on the blog I can also post reviews to Amazon, Smashwords and similar sites if you request it, and I reserve the write to edit, post, share and delete any reviews. You, as the author or publisher, are welcome to use the whole review or 'snippets' on your website, e-book or promotional material as long as this site is referenced, and if possible please let me know if this is the case. If I choose not to review your book or simply do not have time, your book may be mentioned in a promotional post instead.


I am more than happy to promote your book on the site AS LONG AS it is being offered free or at a discounted price for readers. This can be a limited time offer, a permanent price change or accomplished via a coupon or discount code that can be distributed via this site. In rarer cases, I will promote a book which is not discounted or free, but this is done on my discretion.

I am also open to hosting book give-aways for both agency, indie and self-published authors. If this would appeal to you please e-mail/fill in the form to discuss details. 

If you wish to promote your book please e-mail me at tomesofthesoul@gmail.com or fill in the form below. As with all my blog work, I cannot guarantee to use, promote or review your material, but will try, where possible, to let you know what I intend to do. 


I am pretty easy going and open to new suggestions. So if you want an interview, guest blog etc. just drop me an e-mail at tomesofthesoul@gmail.com and we'll work something out.

NOTE: This blog is now ad-sponsored. This means that readers clicking on certain product links will earn the site an advertising fee, if you do not agree for you product to be used that way then you must make me aware of that in your communications.

8 May 2011

Discounted e-book - The Scavenger's Daughter by Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre has cut the price of his crime thriller The Scavenger's Daughter to just 99 cents (60p in the UK).

From Smashwords

"A serial killer is getting medieval in sunny San Diego, slaying the city's elite with torture devices from the Spanish Inquisition. Disgraced journalist Tyler West seizes his shot at redemption and pursues the monster, but what will his return to the front page cost him?" 
You can buy the book from Amazon, Smashwords or Barnes and Noble.

5 May 2011

Free e-book - The CV by Alan Sugar

Obviously promoting the book prior the new series of The Apprentice, Amazon has made Alan Sugar's The CV available for free.

From Amazon

It's mainly a collection of extracts from Lord Sugar's autobiography, with a focus on his career as a businessman.

To download click here.

Free e-book - Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer TODAY ONLY (5/5/11)

Amazon is offering Jeffrey Archer's novel Kane and Able for free in Kindle format for today only. It usually retails for £7.99.

From Amazon UK

Go here to download. 

4 May 2011

E-book - Freeze by Daniel Pyle

What is your worst nightmare? I bet being stranded in the dark during a blizzard would be up there. Then imagine one of you gets hurt, and someone has to go for help, getting there yet? Even worse you are being watched. Well this is the context to Daniel Pyle's book Freeze, a new thriller novella.

From Danielpyle.com
Freeze is available from Amazon for £1.99 ($2.99) and from Barnes & Noble (Nook) for $2.99

Free e-book - Zachary Zombie and the Lost Boy: A story for demented children by John H. Carroll

It's always a joy to see children read, and if you have little ones at home this latest offering from John H. Carroll will provide endless reading fun, as well as being absolutely free!

From Smashwords
Zachary Zombie and the Lost Boy follows Zachary who gets sent to fetch newts for Gert the Wicked Witch. Along the way he comes across Tobias, who got lost following an emo bunny, and Zachary agrees to help get Tobias home and that is where their adventure begins. To top it off the author provides this wonderful disclaimer 'Caution: This story is not for normal children. If you have any intention of raising a well adjusted child, this is not the right tale for you.' It is a wonderful book from someone who obviously has lots of experience telling funny stories to his own children. 

To get hold of a copy simply download from here. If you liked Zachary Zombie then you should also have a look at The Emo Bunny that Should: A story for demented children which is also available free from Smashwords.

3 May 2011

E-book - The Coppersmith by Michael J. Scott (Only 69p!)

Michael J. Scott's latest offering is a psycho-thriller based in New York state called The Coppersmith. It follows the FBI's hunt for a religious zealot who is killing pastors across Upstate New York. His last book Jefferson's Road attracted 4 and 5 star reviews and, if the inside of The Coppersmith is as good as it's synopsis, then this one should follow the same pattern. It's definitely moved to the top of my to read list.

From Smashwords

"He calls himself the Coppersmith… 

A religious fanatic bent on murder, he begins systematically eliminating pastors in Upstate New York. From small towns to large cities he selects his victims, seemingly at random, and subjects them to a torturous death. 

Janelle Becker is the agent with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit charged with solving the crimes. But even with the Bureau’s resources, she finds herself ill-prepared to unravel the Coppersmith’s message. Why do his methods keep changing? How can they know where he’ll strike next? And can she escape her own dark past before it’s too late? 

As she and her fellow agents track down the clues of the Coppersmith, they find themselves following an ancient itinerary that hearkens back to the steps of the apostle Paul. It becomes a race against this faceless killer as they struggle to predict his movements and get ahead of his deadly message of judgment. Can they stop him in time?"

Scott has released the book in a number of formats and is available from both Smashwords and Amazon UK for 69p or 99 cents. More information can be found at Michael J. Scott's official site

20% e-books at Kobo!

Kobo Books is offing 20% off all e-book in it's spring sale! Perfect if you want to fill up your reader ready for summer.

From Kobo Books

To claim the discount just enter spring20off at the checkout at Kobo. The offer expires at the end of the month. New members to kobobook.com also get 20% off their first purchase.

2 May 2011

Review: Life Games by Trine Daely

I must admit I'm not a fan of poetry but this book stood out for me as it reminded me of my mother, so I gave it a go. I am very pleased that I did. The collection spans a number of years from 1989 - 1998 , the poetry, whilst in places dark, shows glimpses of the author's hope and often weaves these two together in a remarkable way, like in the poem Orphan's Lighthouse, my favourite from this collection.

From Smashwords.com
I personally find it very difficult to communicate my feelings on poetry, as I believe it's interpretation is individual to the reader, so instead I have selected some of the parts that spoke most deeply to me, these are only extracts the full poems are much longer:

Lean into the wind
and wed with a nod
Your body turns cold
as you dote on the sod

He showed to me the future,
he showed to me the past
Where the greatest knowledge could be found
and the greatest treasures stashed.
          Down to the River 

I lay waiting, fearfully at times
he is coming tonight
Like he does every night
he waits while my candle burns
he waits in the kitchen
at every corner I turn
He is quiet but
his laughter
rings loud in my head.
He is the one that you
have always known
yet come to know that
you can never really know him
             He is the darkness 

The fire that killed us moves on in strife
now we rejoice, for in death we found life.
        Orphan's Lighthouse

 As I have said before I am very glad I took the time to read this, as I usually skip past poetry collections. It is well written and contains some beautiful and emotional pieces. I debated weither to rate the work due not to it's quality or my enjoyment, but because perceptions of poetry are very individual. In the end I decided to rate it and would implore others, who maybe are not regular poetry readers, to take a chance on something a bit different and to share how the poems made you feel. 

The book is currently discounted to only 99 cents (59p in the UK) from Smashwords. To take advantage of the offer click here and enter coupon code EX45P at the checkout. This code will work until 24th May 2012. 

Free e-book - The Defector by Mark Chisnell

Mark Chisnell is a British writer, broadcaster and sailor who has released both his maritime thrillers in e-book form. The Defector follows Martin Cormac through the seedy world of drug-smuggling, and has an average 5 star rating on Smashwords.com.

From markchisnell.com
The author is offering the e-book free in a variety of formats from Smashwords.com, as well as an audiobook version available here. A sample of his second offering The Wrecking Crew is available for download from his website.

Review: Columbine by David Cullen

When Columbine happened I was still a child and so I only had a vague recollection of what happened, two gunmen, drove to the edge by bullying, went on a rampage through their high school killing many. However, after reading this book I have realised there is a lot more to the event than that, particularly Cullen disproves the widely held notion that the killers were victims of bullying, instead providing evidence of depression and psychopathy. This is a big strength of the book how it debunks so many of the myths surrounding that day including the involvement of the 'Trenchcoat Mafia', and addresses how these myths got started.

From coolspotters.com

The books is comprehensibly detailed and switches between the events of that tragic day, the years leading up to it and the police investigation and public recovery afterwards. Sources of information are clearly stated and easily checked for those who read non-fiction for reference rather than pleasure. Cullen does not shy away from the tough aspects of the events, how police and psychologists  missed warning signs in the killers, how one victim was left to bleed to death by the SWAT team and how one victim's religious legacy comes from a simple confusion in the chaos. He also stays away from vilifying the killers and parents, showing that they were human not evil, which gave a more balanced view to the book.

David Cullen has a website that accompanies the book, which not only contains some of his information sources, but also has detailed resources for educators teaching Columbine as part of the curriculum. Although I would say the contents of the book was not appropriate for younger teens.

I got through the book in under a  day as it is gripping, vivid and readable, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone wishing to know the truth about this tragedy, as well as those who like true crime books.

Columbine is available from Amazon UK for £6.99.

Review: Duragadget Kindle Cover with Stand

The Duragadget cover and stand is flip-style leather case available in a range of colours from Amazon
 and Play.com. It retails from £10.99 - £15.49 depending on colour.

From Amazon.co.uk

The case feels well made and is only a fraction of the cost of the official case. There is a bit of a smell to it but that dissipated quite quickly and I can no longer smell it. I choose the red option but there are several other colours available, I now regret the colour choice as it clashes with the grey of the Kindle, but of course that is personal taste. The fact the corners are not covered annoys me some what, especially when holding it as the leather rubs against my palm. It fits snugly onto the Kindle, but makes the Kindle heavier and bulkier than before, which would be an issue if you regularly travel with the Kindle. 

The stand, whilst functional, does not feel very stable, and I prefer not to use it, nor do I really see the point. It is difficult to press the buttons whilst the case is in the stand position which is a hindrance when reading. 

The case leaves gaps for all the buttons, ports and the keyboard, allowing full operation whilst in the case but it covers the speakers which I have found interferes with the text-to-speech function, but this isn't a big downside if you don't use the feature. A screen protector would be beneficial. 

Overall more of a fashion item, than a functional one. I do not see the point of the stand and have increasingly found the bulkiness and stitching to be an annoyance so have stopped using the case. If you use the speakers for text-to-speech or audio-books then you may have issues with the case as the cover muffles the sound from the speakers. However, for the price a good alternative to the official case.

50% off all Angry Robot books!

Angry Robot books, publisher of many Science-Fiction and Fantasy titles, is offering 50% of it's catalogue until May 9th if you buy two or more e-books.  Perfect if there has been a series that you've been waiting to buy. It doesn't look like this offer is open to Kindle owners who have to purchase through Amazon. It's all in honour of Lauren Beukes' Zoo City winning the Arthur C. Clarke award.

From Angry Books
To take advantage of this offer visit the website and enter clarke11 at the checkout.

Angry Robot's twitter feed with offer details can be found here.

1 May 2011

Free e-book - Chasing Science at Sea by Ellen Prager

I'm a sucker for science and the University of Chicago Press is given away free copies of it's book Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts which was first published in 2008, as part of it's monthly give-away. I've flicked through it and it seems well formatted and easy to read. 

From University of Chicago Press
To get your copy go here and enter your e-mail address. The download requires Abode Digital Editions.  

Review: In Stitches by Dr Nick Edwards

In Stitches: The highs and lows of life as an A&E doctor  by Nick Edwards is an autobiographical account of a doctor's life in a busy A&E department. The hospital is representative of any number of A&E's up and down the country and Dr Edwards uses a journal style to deliver a series of humorous snapshots of what life is like. It is full of tongue-in-cheek humour and sarcasm, especially directed at the ever increasing bureaucracy, as well as touching moments such as allowing a elderly patient to die with dignity. It came across as a believable portral of life as an A&E doctor.

From the NHS Support Foundation

It's a gripping read which I got through within a few hours and often whilst laughing out loud. My only criticism is that the frequent rants about the bureaucracy and future of the NHS becomes wearing over time, and depending on your politics could become annoying by the end of the book. The humour does little to soften the political message in parts.

Overall a very funny and engrossing read.

In Stitches is available from Amazon UK priced at £2.99

Review: On the Edge by Charlie Carroll

I have an embarrassing secret, I absolutely love 'reality TV' books, you know the ones, following the life of people doing everyday jobs. They are often trashy and written by cynics disenchanted with their careers but they are the perfect book when you don't want a long detailed plot, just something to read. Monday Books seems to be the preferred publisher of this genre, and I have read most of their books in one form or another.

From Monday Books
On The Edge: One teacher, a camper van, Britain's toughest schools appealed to me right from the start, having taught in secondary schools myself and follows the journey of Charlie Carroll, a supply teacher, through a journal style look at his year travelling around teaching in the countries 'toughest' schools. The narrative is well written and you soon feel that your there in the author's freezing cold camper van or in the classroom where the pupils simply don't care. However it lacked the humour of previous books in the genre and only briefly confronted the reasons behind poor behaviour and under achievement in schools. The events recalled in the book are not as shocking as the title might first suggest, and generally it just shows how life really is for supply teachers in comprehensive schools up and down the country. There are some wonderful moments when Mr Carroll connects with the pupils which is heartening to read. It is a must for anyone considering either teaching or supply teaching in the UK to get away from the 'rose tinted' view given during recruitment. 

Overall, not what I was expected but a great read and true to life.

On the Edge is available from Amazon UK for £2.99

Discounted e-book - Life Games by Trine Daely (Only 99 cents!)

New author Trine Daely has released a collection of poetry called Life Games and is offering it for just 99 cents (59p in the UK) at Smashwords (usually $2.99).

From Smashwords
Here is what the author has to say about the collection:

"A collection of poetry written over a span of dark years in my life, sometimes with hope for the future, sometimes without. I wrote about the images in my dreams, my daydreams, my nightmares - think of it as a verbal expression of a painting in my brain, with all the variations you would expect from colorful to minimalist, strict verse to free verse."

Even if poetry is not generally your thing, give it a try, I know I will and a review will be coming soon. 

To take advantage of this amazing offer click here and enter coupon code EX45P at the checkout. This code will work until 24th May 2012.

Thanks goes to Trine Daely for allowing me to list this offer.

Win an e-book offer - L.J. Sellers's The Baby Thief

L.J. Sellers' mystery novel The Baby Thief was recommended to me by a poster on Mobile Read as a medical thriller. Whilst on the author's site I came across a promotion to win a copy of the book by e-mailing the author. I duly send the e-mail and quickly received a .mobi copy. I am very grateful to the author and will be reviewing the book once I have read it.
Cover from Fantastic Fiction.co.uk
The details of the promotion can be found here. If you do not receive a copy, the author kindly provides extracts so you can try before you buy. The e-book is available from Amazon UK for £2.08.
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