Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Featured author this week is Lucy Pepperdine aka Jillian Brookes-Ward with her new Horror Novel.."OFFSHORE"



Jillian Brookes-Ward hails originally from the North West of England but now resides in bustling historic Aberdeen, Scotland.

A former Medical/MedicoLegal secretary, she gave up the 9-5 rat race to pursue a writing career inspired by her locale and the people around her. A good move as it turns out because it has yielded nine books so far, ranging from contemporary romance to psychological drama and raunchy riverside romps, to the gut wrenching horror of OFFSHORE under the pen-name Lucy Pepperdine.

When Jillian is not writing she cares for her home and family, and takes long walks in the parks and on the beach with her dog, her writing buddy and constant companion, Wee Archie. Jillian is also an avid supporter of and fund raiser for military charities Help for Heroes and Combat Stress.


Nine people are assigned to Falcon Bravo, a decommissioned oil rig 250 miles out in the North Sea, to undertake routine maintenance. Eight men and one woman, until the mystery on the sub-level makes itself known. Salvation comes in the form of an unsuspecting crew member who provides the creature with its first proper meal - himself.

When caught in the act of feeding on a crew member Euterich knows the game is up and it is only a matter of time before he is hunted down and killed. Now the demonic shapeshifter has only one desperate objective in mind, to perpetuate his kind while he still can. He needs to get the body count down to one man and one woman, but is that one man human? Offshore, it is isolation, thrilling and visceral tension, and a place where no escape is possible.


 I have long been a fan of this author’s writing when penning her Romance novels and Psychological dramas under her own name of Jillian Brookes-Ward. 

To say I was curious and interested to read this novel a Horror/Thriller under the name of her alto-ego Lucy Pepperdine would be more than accurate. 

I enjoyed Jillian’s Romance work and marveled at her insight and empathy for the very human needs that drive us all.

I wondered how she would handle a genre so far removed from those emotions, and found to my real pleasure that the transition incorporated all those feelings and more.

To say this book is a horror/thriller would be a major understatement.

 The author has taken the classic theme of  ‘Isolation’ and added new dimensions of fear.

 I made the mistake of reading it whilst I was alone in the house, with the wind blowing a gale outside. By books end I was jumping at the scrape of branches on the metal roof; a common sound that normally doesn’t bother me at all.

Author Lucy Pepperdine has crafted this novel beautifully.

Each character is pivotal to the plot; an essential link in the chain of unanticipated events. The author has a gift of putting the flesh on the bones (And removing it) of the Nine major players the book offers us.

Nine people … eight men … and one woman, in an otherwise seemingly empty North Sea Oil Platform named Falcon Bravo. The crew have been selected to form a cohesive team, in exchange for a great deal of money. Their brief … to repair the rig, and ready it for sale.

 The company, Longdrift, couldn’t care less about their wellbeing, as long as they do the job they were being well rewarded for.

Meet the crew:

Eddie Capstan, Project Manager. The Boss man, strictly a company man. A man who appears to have no courage whatsoever.

John ‘Jock’ McAllister, a stocky man in his mid-forties, single, dependable and softly spoken.

Lawrence Brewer, PhD, Msc. A professor of psychology. On board to monitor the behavior of men and women in isolated conditions. Men and women without a real means of getting off the ‘Falcon Bravo’ rig under the 99 day mark.

Matthew Shaw; Second in command. Tall, sharp featured and very clever. With the help of the boss he hoped to go a long way in the company.

Craig McDougal ‘Spanner’ nothing he couldn’t fix, when he was sober. Given the company’s mandatory sobriety rule that shouldn’t be a problem. Should it?

Duncan Cameron, Mid-thirties, handsome, a general purpose roughneck, also somewhat of a mechanical genius.

Desmond ‘Daz’ Reynolds, A foul-mouthed troublemaker. He has a short fuse and is openly hostile to any authority figure. This assignment is his last chance to redeem himself in the company. Color him angry.

Lonny Dick, at six foot five inches tall, and twenty stone he is onboard strictly to supply muscle power. Runs short on intelligence.

Lydia Ellis. Paramedic, at barely five feet in height and petite, she is the only woman on board. This is her first time on an offshore oil platform She is also feisty, outspoken and resilient.

Eight men and one woman. Conflict waiting to happen?

The author could have stayed with that theme only, but she chose a different route, with the male/female tension a cleverly woven sub-plot.

Isolation can lead to behavioral changes.

Add to that a gut-wrenching fear of what began to happen around and to them and you have a recipe for a fast-paced page turner.

For below decks a malevolent entity waits. Barely alive and possessed of hearing sharper than that of any animal, all its senses fixated on one thing. Survival. Trapped below decks by a series of accidents and having lived without sustenance for over six weeks, it is weak, and very, very, hungry.

 It has a name. Euterich. Now it waits, knowing that soon someone above deck would grow bored and restless. Someone would begin exploring the storage areas.
 Someone would open the door.

Someone would set it free.

The methods of death used are horrendous, and the author doesn’t shy away. She shows us with sufficient detail so that we are there. Not ghoulish for the sake of it … I couldn’t look away.

One by one, Euterich takes them. For each one, a different mode of death. Euterich has a deep intelligence, a knowledge of human behavior born of his half a millennia of existence.

Euterich can feel emotion. Those emotions send him into a spiral of need.

He must have what his emotions decree belongs to him.

To reveal more would spoil the book for the reader.

The ending … ah yes, the ending. Fasten your safety belt, close all the doors, turn on all the lights, and don’t explore the shadows.

Sweet dreams.

Suffice it to say that I read this book in one sitting.

I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a fast-paced, beautifully structured read. This one is a keeper. 

Will I be reading more of Lucy/Jillian's work? Count on it.

ANOTHER GREAT REVIEW: With thanks to Bill Kirton.


W. J. S. Kirton
This review is from: Offshore (Kindle Edition.
 One classic setting for the crime/horror genre used to be (maybe still is) the isolated country house/hotel/community cut off from the outside world by fog/rising tide/military activities and lots of variations on those themes

 Offshore brings this up to date with its setting on a disused platform in the North Sea to which a skeleton crew is sent by helicopter to check it over so that the owners can sell it on. The author has obviously researched the nature of such structures very carefully and her account of the trip there, conditions on the rig and the James Bond-like complexity of its architecture and engineering is impeccable. 

This doesn't mean that she gets bogged down in details because her focus is on the personalities of the various crew members. Just being out there, with minimal facilities, lots of work to do and fewer personnel than they really needed to do it is a source of stress, but the presence of just one woman as well as personality clashes add further conflicts and resentments to the tension, interpersonal and sexual.

But all of this is nothing compared with the inhuman presence that lurks, unseen and unsuspected, deep in a sealed off part of the platform. Once it's unleashed, though, crew members begin to vanish, one by one, in horrific circumstances. The creature may belong to paranormal realms but its treatment of its victims is literally visceral. Readers are warned right at the beginning of the book that it contains `very strong language throughout, scenes of horror, peril and adult content' and, if you're of a nervous disposition, you'd do well to heed the warning. The book is well-written, the action sustained and relentless and it all adds up to a very satisfying read.

Link where you can buy "Offshore" or contact the author;





A note to all the ex Taylor Street folks. I am offering to review all of your newly published novels. It matters not what method of publishing is used, be it traditional or self published. Contact me on my email ...My email address: I will read and review in the order that I receive the requests.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My featured author this week is Bev Allen author of Jabin.

 In the spirit of all of us that love the written word, all of us who have generosity in their nature and a genuine fondness for their like minded friends; I will be happily promoting the works of  any of my Taylor Street colleagues who have now released their books again. It matters not if they are traditionally published or self-published. I have read and reviewed, or will read and review each book and author I promote.

So ... let us begin.

I am delighted to feature author Bev Allen and her Young Adult Novel "Jabin" newly published by Thorstruck Press.


 Book Description
June 11, 2014
The space colony is rife with religious and political rivalry, and prey to the vicious maraudings of pirates whose cruelty is savage. In New Wales the pirate attacks are relentless and merciless. Having lost both his parents Jabin is adopted by malicious relatives.
Jabin altruistically surrenders to a raiding gang, he does so believing nothing can be worse than his current suffering. He discovers circumstance does worsen when megalomaniacs rule. When the King of New Wales is assassinated the colony threatens to collapse into total anarchy, leaving the pirates free reign to mutilate, kill, and profit. Earth's law enforcement are ready for retaliation. Jabin has a vital role in the ensuing war, if he can survive the current mayhem.

Interstellar espionage is visceral in this masterpiece of cosmic suspense.

 My Review of Jabin

 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that will appeal to more than just the YA market!.
This review is from: Jabin
Bev Allen's Jabin  is labelled YA...I am far from that age bracket and yet this book captured me and held me a willing captive from the first page till the last.

Author Allen has crafted a character that readers of any age will empathise with. Jabin is endearing, strong, and wise well beyond his years. He has to be as he is thrust into a world of enmity, a world that makes him an outcast, a world peopled by those who believe that theirs is the only `true' belief system. Bev Allen's `Jabin' will drag you into his world...a world where he feels constantly disconnected, unloved...and unnecessary.

Many Young Adults in our harsh world will identify with these facets of Jabin's character, many of us older folks that have experienced that feeling will want so very badly for Jabin to find a place he belongs.

This book hits me on so many levels ... It is an Adventure, Science Fiction and a moving and at times violent expose of all that is wrong in the world. Although set in space, Bev Allen has crafted a piece of fine work that could be set anyplace ...anytime. Jabin is a universal character for the 21st century.

I can't recommend this work highly enough, to all those who enjoy writing that comes from the heart, and to those that simply love a damned fine read.

 Another great review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!!,
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Jabin  (Kindle Edition)
I am an avid Young Adult reader and take pleasure in reading most books in this genre, but I have to say, I've discovered a new favourite.
Jabin would have to be one of the most endearing characters that I've connected with in a long time. The life he has endured makes him a victim,
but its the way the narrative describes his existence and how he never feels he belongs to anyone or with anyone, and doesn't understand why,that
puts him one step closer to the reader. He's a character to sympathise and to empathise with, and throughout each of the trials he has to face you feel closer and closer to him.

The backdrop to Jabin's hardships is a new world of Space Pirates and corrupt parties eager to overthrow the crown, who are in power to see that peace is kept between the two religeous sects.
I loved the shift in perspective, from Jabin to the soldiers on the other side of the battle. Having the story from two opposing sides, made the pacing brilliant. I couldn't stop reading,
eager to see how all would turn out for Jabin and those who suffered along with him.

This is such a great read, the prose is excellent and the reader is never left wondering about the settings or the characters. All is made crystal clear, and although sometimes brutal in its content, the plot weaves along as all the pieces of the puzzle come together in the end.
I can't recommend this read enough, I really, really loved it.


http://www.bevallenauthor.com/Bev's home page.
http://thorstruckpress.weebly.com/bev-allen.htmlBev's page on Thorstruck Press
Amazon page.

A note to any of my TS Friends...if you would like your work featured here on my little blog please email me at suzieb4burke@hotmail.com send me your links and I'll do the rest.