Bonny Scotland

Hi everyone.

Well, this week I’ve mostly been relaxing. With the book finally out, I thought it a good time to take myself off and have some peace. Scotland was the destination, and more specifically, Comrie. Quiet, remote, quaint. And not a sniffle of phone reception to be had. Perfect.

We (me and Laura, that is) stayed in a little cabin just outside town with nothing but a unencumbered view of the countryside. We took walks up to the Devil’s Cauldron, a waterfall outside Comrie, and then climbed up to the Melville monument that looks over the town. It seemed like a good idea when we set off, but it was a loooong way up. However, when we reached the top, the view was totally worth it.

View from the top

As always when we go away, I took plenty of reading material. I’ve been really getting into the Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, so I took the next one of those, plus the next installment of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. But, I never got to that latter one. Instead, I read an ebook by one of my mutual Twitter followers called Pete Ford (aka @TheVirtualMcCoy). Reading someone else’s work is always dicey, I think. I don;t mind doing it, but I always feel wary in case the work they’ve poured their heart and soul into is…well…crap. Thank the Lord’s chin hairs, then, that Pete Ford’s Pavonis is a little slice of awesome.

I hope I can do the premise justice…

Pavonis is a habitable planet (M-class to you Trekkies ;D) which the human race have migrated to after Earth becomes poisoned by all manner of unsurvivable pollutions. Two hundred years after they land, and the people of Pavonis have lost their old technologies when a madman destroys the ‘libraries’, a collection of all of Earth’s scientific and cultural (and everything else) knowledge. And so, in an effort to survive, the Pavonis folk have to return to steam and hydrogen power to propel their xeppelins, carriages and seaskimmers. But that’s just where the story starts. It seems that some bright spark managed to smuggle a copy of the ‘library’ away and keep it safe. But the bad guys, and their sticky little fingers, want it. When our hero’s friend thinks that he has found the library, the aforementioned bad guys have him bumped off, and so our hero steps to the plate to figure out who killed his friend and colleague, reclaim the library, and kick some bad guy behind while he’s at it. Written in the first person perspective gives Pavonis a real retro Sherlock Holmesy feel to it, like the old memoir style pieces, with action and intrigue and soem great plot points and description. Basically, it’s ace. A really fun read. And it’s Steampunk! What more could you want!? Go get it HERE, among other places.

Anyways, so that’s what I read while I was away. I also plugged Greaveburn a bit more. I’ve added it to Book Crossing, a great site that lets your books roam around and people can find them ‘in the wild’. Brilliant idea. But while trying to find somewhere in Glasgow to put the book down, I came across the lovely people at Biblocafe in the West End. Not only did they take a stack of my cards to put on display, but they took the copy of Greaveburn and they’ll be passing it around their Indie Bookstore reading group before dropping it off wherever they like. How cool is that? Let’s hope they enjoy it and feel compelled to review…

Speaking of reviews…(see what I did there?)

Greaveburn got another good one. Here’s the watered down version, because it’s a long one:

Predictable is not a word that applies here. What I found particularly striking is that the characters are above all human…The ‘good’ characters have their faults–serious ones. The ‘bad’ ones are haunted by their failings and surpass themselves. Nobody is what they might at first seem; nobody is all white–but there are those that are solid black, through to the bone… The imagery is strong–heavy gothic architecture, steampunk machinery, and yet there’s the feeling that even a city like Greaveburn could have a Hogsmeade moment when Christmas rolls around…The pacing is good, the storyline solid. What really counts, as far as I’m concerned, is this: I had trouble putting Greaveburn down. I found myself reading at 2am and had to force myself to stop and get some sleep; the temptation was to read just one more chapter. I don’t come across many books that do that. Need I say more?

Awesome. Thank ya kindly! If they keep coming like this, my head’s going to explode! Well, that’s been my week, folks. Apart from preparing myself for the Weekend at the Asylum convention next week, I have nothing more to tell. Expect a blog post about what goes on in Lincoln while me and the IQ team are there. Fingers crossed I don’t make a fool of myself at the signing! 😀

Thanks for reading.


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