Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

Monday Morning #Haiku 114 — Astilbe

Astilbe

~A shady courtship~
Vegetation muscles in
on fair Astilbe.

Sunny July’s Allotment Produce & Garden Flowers

Sunny July's Allotment Produce & Garden Flowers

Review: Indiot (Isa Maxwell Escapades, Book 2)

Indiot by Ana Spoke

Indiot (Isa Maxwell Escapades, Book 2)
by Ana Spoke (Goodreads Author)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Isa Maxwell’s second adventure proves to be even more entertaining than the first and decidedly more dangerous. This time, the dippy but well-intentioned blonde, having made oodles of money from writing a book, embarks on a trip to India to use some of her wealth to help the poor and dispossessed, plus a supposedly down-on-his-luck prince.

On her flight out to India, Isa meets the glamorous and bejewelled Vivian, who seems like best-friend material at first acquaintance. [Anything further about this relationship would be a spoiler, so my lips are sealed.]

Isa’s arrival in Delhi is a total culture shock. Noise, fumes, chaos, locals haggling for business, police corruption, Indian mafia activities, you name it, Isa finds it, or it finds her. It’s as if her naïvety, combined with good-heartedness, acts as a magnet to those looking for easy pickings. But to underestimate Isa’s ability to pull out all the stops (albeit with plentiful blunders on the way), is to assume that she isn’t capable of great ingenuity when it comes to survival.

Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell Escapades Book 1) was primarily comedy chic-lit, but Indiot is a thriller with OTT elements that amount to comedy of the variety that makes you cover your face or clutch your head as you wonder if things can get any worse for Isa. It would make a great comedy thriller movie, and the fact that I kept seeing it as such, says a great deal about Ana Spoke’s ability to paint an extremely vivid picture of India as seen very much through her central protagonist’s eyes: the idealistic outsider learning the hard way about an alien culture.

Ana Spoke gave me an advance copy of Indiot in exchange for an honest review, although my apologies to the author for not making it until nearly a week after publication day. I actually read the novel in two sittings, which says much about its ability to grip the reader’s attention.The only negative to me–and it’s only something small–was that I felt that there could be a little more about Isa’s relationship with Mr Hue and with her friend Harden in Book 1. This was necessary both as a recap for those who read the previous novel soon after it came out (about 9 months ago), as well as to anyone who picked up Book 2 first and read it as a standalone. So, everybody, read both novels, and read them in the right order.

And when you reach the end of Indiot, I can pretty much guarantee that Ana Spoke will have left you dying to read Isa Maxwell’s Escapade Book 3.

This is an author whose writing gets better and better…

Indiot (Amazon US)
Indiot (Amazon UK)

Goodreads review of Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell Escapades, Book 1)
If you missed reading Shizzle, Inc, you can now download it for free on Kindle (Amazon US & Amazon UK).

Ana Spoke’s blog 
Ana Spoke — Goodreads Author

February’s Guest Storyteller, Ana Spoke (2016)

Monday Morning #Haiku 113 — Walkways

Walkways (Ocklynge Manor)

~Midsummer party~
Cool walkways shaded in green.
Separate. Silent.

Monday Morning #Haiku 112 — Goldfish

Zen Goldfish

~Goldfish art of Zen~
They drift, eat, and drift some more,
their memories short.

Review: Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a an exceptionally quirky story. It’s main characters are a hitman who enjoys breaking legs and various other limbs for money, until he starts reading the Bible; a woman priest sacked from her job who doesn’t believe in God but has a brilliant brain for business, and a male receptionist at the hotel where the hitman is staying after release from prison for the nth time.

It took me a while to get into this novel, mostly due to the strong authorial voice employed. Once I’d accepted that Jonas Jonasson was narrating the tale as would someone versed in the oral tradition of storytelling, and I got into the rhythm of it, then the novel grew on me.

On the dust-jacket of the novel, words such “outrageously zany”, “many laughs”, a “comic delight”, and “feel-good” are applied to it.

Did I think it was funny? I guess so, but more like amusing than hilariously funny. Yes, it was zany. Maybe some of the hilariousness was lost in translation and different nationalities often have different senses of humour. To a Swedish person, the book is probably hilarious. To a British person, not so hilarious. Maybe it’s because I’m used to Nordic noir and not so used to Swedish comedy.

Humour beside, it’s a clever plot, with plenty of twists, turns, and double-crossings. The discussions between the hitman and the priest about God are priceless. In fact, I like the banter and dialogue best.

All in all, if you want to read a novel that doesn’t take too much effort and, in a diverse way (considering the subject matter), does have a feel-good factor rather like watching a farce on television or in the theatre, then give this a go.

I was smiling whilst writing this review, so the novel must have left behind some positive traces.

Give it a go. I’ll certainly try another of Jonasson’s novels in the future.

Monday Morning #Haiku 111 — Cauliflower

cauliflower

Leaves ravaged by slugs:
cauliflower triumphant.
It hears not the pot.

July’s Guest Storyteller, Allie Potts

AAC_1571_Color_cropped_forw

I’m delighted to welcome as my guest storyteller this month, fellow blogger and author Allie Potts.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

Allie is a self-professed science geek and book nerd. Today, she’s going to share a companion story to her novel, The Fair & Foul (Project Gene Assist Book One), which, as the title suggests, is science fiction of the cyberpunk/genetic engineering variety.

The following scene takes place a few weeks after Dr. Juliane Faris and three others have taken part in an experimental procedure granting unprecedented knowledge and cellular control over their bodies, but this same procedure could also very well cost them everything.

FairandFoulFullwebHQ_02

SYSTEM TIMEOUT

Error code 598: The stream is not a tiny stream. Chad snorted, Duh, as he bypassed the message and accessed screens of data. Music selected purely at random blasted through a pair of wireless bone conduction headphones. So in the zone, he hadn’t noticed Dr. Juliane Faris enter the lab until she was standing in front of him. She was always stunning, but when angry she could kill with her looks as easily as her temper. Chad cringed as he buried the thought deep down. His girlfriend, Nadia had a way of picking up what he was thinking and he definitely didn’t want to risk her picking up that particular observation. Although it wasn’t as if she had anything to worry about. Juliane may be his boss, but Nadia was his everything.

Juliane raised one manicured eyebrow. Chad waited. She tapped her ear with one finger. He cocked his head in confusion. As the meaning behind her gesture bloomed across his awareness, he pulled the headphones down. He felt his cheeks blaze, sure the color of his face now matched the color of his hair. “Sorry Dr. Faris.”

She sighed and shook her head. “I still don’t understand why you have so little faith in what we are doing here. If you’d only get the upgrade like the rest of us, you wouldn’t need all these extra . . .” she pointed at the headphones now draped around the base of his neck “. . . antiques.”

“What if something went wrong?”

“During the procedure?” Juliane paused, likely thinking about her own procedure. She, her research partner, Dr. Alan Dronigh, and the company’s acting CEO, Mr. Louis Evans, had all decided to act as guinea pigs one night. Chad fought to keep his hand from shaking. Even the thought of such a spur of the moment activity made him sick to his stomach. “I keep telling you, Betty and I recalculated the dosages. You’ve been pre-screened. The risk is negligible.”

“What about after?”

“After?” Juliane repeated. “It’s been weeks since our upgrade and I’ve never felt better.” Her lips tightened as her brow knit in thought. She’s thinking about Mr. Evans again. Chad’s muscles clenched as he glanced at her face, praying that his expression betrayed none of the pity he felt for his boss. Juliane suffered pity like a cat suffered being drenched in water. An accidental splash too much, and you risked getting your eyes clawed out.

“You aren’t reading the gossip pages again? I thought I’d made my opinion of that garbage perfectly clear.” At first Chad was relieved at the change of subject, but then he looked over to where her gaze fell. He’d left his reader out and he could only guess what headlines would be featured on the front page. He searched her expression for any indication she’d seen more than the magazine’s logo and found nothing but her usual steel determination.

He ran to the desk and scooped up his reader only to stuff it into his backpack with his notebooks and personal belongings. The corner of one of her lips turned up. “Well, if you are in a running mood, would you mind running to get a cup of coffee for me?”

Chad grinned as he bobbed his head and raced out of the room thankful to avoid more questions that were better off without answers.

<><><>

Fair & Foul (Project Gene Assist Book One) is available to buy at Amazon

My Own Peaceful Corner of England

Back garden June (01)

Back garden June (03)

Back garden June (02)

Garden patio

Outside the Kitchen Door -- my favourite place for peaceful contemplation

Monday Morning #Haiku 108-110 — Peonies

peonies

~little girl transformed~
Peony hair ornament
decorates princess.

~young woman transformed~
Peony wedding bouquet
matches her lipstick.

~old woman transformed~
Peony blooms in garden
trigger memories.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: