Bookish · Uncategorized

Favourite Character to Write – BRM Stewart (Guest Post)

Today I am on the blog tour for The Deaths on the Black Rock by BRM Stewart, available now on Kindle and in Paperback formats. I’m pleased to bring you a guest post from the author about his Favourite Character to write.

Many of my characters are different aspects of me. Martin McGregor, and Michael, are me really. Martin’s life is stable just at the moment, so he doesn’t have a big role in this book (but wait for the next one!). Michael is developing well, and is going to take on more responsibility in the next book (as is the young Kylie).

I like Mark Grosvenor, the old semi-retired FBI agent, who appears to give his wisdom and knowledge, and help out generally using his contacts. Grosvenor has been with me since the first book, and I think he’ll always be around to give that international perspective. Anything involving cybercrime and online terrorism in the world will involve the FBI.

Overall, I think Amanda Pitt has to be my favourite character, and she has become a much more rounded and important character over the years.

She arrived late on in Digital Circumstances, with quite a small role as a corrupt cop. Right at the end, she seduced Martin’s secretary Claire, who was engaged at the time to a man she described as psychologically abusive.

I thought then that I could use her again, and friends also said they hoped to see more of her. In the second book, Digital Investigations, she rather took over: she was a member of a Major Investigation Team working on a murder and kidnapping.Amanda has a complex past. In ‘Investigations’ I explore that past, both how she discovered and came to terms with her sexuality, and how she became corrupt – being drawn in to a criminal gang as a result of doing a good turn for someone. It can be dangerous for a straight man to write about a gay woman, but I hope it rings true. I certainly hope I’ve avoided the standard pitfalls – I’m sure someone will tell me if I haven’t.

Amanda is a team player in ‘Investigations’. She lets the team know her ideas, and explains them. She also does what her boss asks her to do. She is the one who leads the team to make the breakthroughs. But she can also be ruthless: there’s an investigative reporter on her tail, looking into her past, and she will do anything not to let him bring her down.

In The Deaths on the Black Rock, Amanda is centre stage, and there’s no team around her. She alone thinks there is something dodgy about Rima Khalaf’s death, and I give her free reign to explore it. Amanda does some outrageous things as she gets more and more obsessed about the case, though hopefully it never comes across as unbelievable. It’s all very liberating for an author and great fun.

At the same time, I have to keep her rooted in reality: her task in her day job has to be carried out, and she does that well.

What I love about Amanda is that she works things out – not quite Sherlock Holmes, but close. She thinks about the problem. She does the spadework, so that when a piece of luck comes her way she can capitalise on it.

Blurb

It’s been a year since Rima Khalaf died in a fall from the Black Rock, deemed to be a tragic accident by the police.

But her grieving parents are dissatisfied with the police investigation, so DS Amanda Pitt is sent north from Glasgow to the small town of Clachdubh to re-examine the case.

Despite the suspicions of the distraught parents, all the circumstances seem to confirm Rima’s death was indeed a tragic accident until another woman is also found dead in the town.

Frustrated by the lack of any real evidence, DS Pitt pushes the limits of legality in her quest for the truth.

About the Author

Brian RM Stewart was born in Rutherglen and grew up in Grangemouth. He attended Glasgow University and Jordanhill College of Education, taught in Edinburgh, then moved to Nairn where he and his now-late wife Jan raised their children.

Brian now lives in Broughty Ferry with his wife Sally, where he is a member of the Angus Writers’ Circle and an active member of Rotary.

Brian spent much of his working life teaching mathematics and computing, but is now partially retired and lectures for the OU. When not writing, Brian attempts to play golf and the guitar (though not at the same time), and is a keen Bridge player.

He has published two previous novels, Digital Circumstances and Digital Investigation.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Book Simulator (#LoveBooksGroupTours)

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Woo! I’m so happy to be taking part in my first blog tour! I’m thankful to be able to take part. I’m not the only one, so if you fancy checking it out, see the above poster for all the other lovely bloggers who will be covering Book Simulator by Chris Yee on the book tour! For now, here is the synopsis and my review of the book.

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HATE READING? THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!!

We all know you don’t like to read, but don’t worry, Book Simulator is here to save the day. Convince your friends that you are an avid reader. Utilize techniques that almost anyone can learn. Techniques include: page turning, eye movement, note taking, and much more. Book Simulator includes interactive exercises that allow you to practice your craft. Impress your friends and master the art of book simulation.

Looking for humor, comedy, laughs, jokes, and all other forms of funny? Book Simulator is a humorous take on the conventions of a traditional book. While it pokes fun at various aspects of reading, it also celebrates the spirit of storytelling and encourages the exploration of future stories to come.

For extensive coaching in the very serious field of pretend reading, purchase Book Simulator today.

Print and ebook versions of Book Simulator are slightly different, each with format specific content and other small variations. Why not try out both?

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Book Simulator is a humorous, tongue-in-cheek take on reading. I was intrigued by the books synopsis and instantly knew I wanted to try it out. Spoiler alert, you don’t have to hate reading.

This book is an excellent, light read, it had me chuckling multiple times throughout as the humor came through immediately; meanwhile the Book Simulator told me off for failing to follow some very simple instructions. The style of writing is casual and informal and it feels very much directed at the reader and more personal, which I found to help connect the reader (me) with the humor and aided my enjoyment of the book.

While the book jokes about simulating book reading while not having to read a single word, it actually reminds us of how enjoyable books can be and how we can engage with them, get more from our reading experience and enjoy it; rather than just reading to appear intelligent and get brownie points from people in society who probably actually don’t even care.

I don’t want to spoil the ending of the book; because it could very well be easily spoiled, however, I do want to tell you how the book took an unexpected turn as I headed towards the end and I was lead on a journey that I really wasn’t expecting. The final note reminds us that there are always people who will fight for stories, giving a nod to some classic authors, y’know, in case you feel like reading a real book, or pretending to, at least!

I’d definitely recommend giving this book a go, especially if you like light reads that will make you chuckle.

Book Simulator is available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback versions. There is a difference between the two versions. I personally have the paperback, as you can see, however the Kindle edition is free at the moment. I recommend paperback for the more realistic Simulator experience though. 😉

Bookish · disability · Health · Life · Uncategorized

Why Kindle is superior to the Paperback

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Ooo, that’s right, I said it, I went there! Kindle > Paperbacks.

For many moons, or well, just the one moon, technically, but, it’s been a while; people have argued that paperbacks are, and will always be superior when compared to the sinful e-book. Okay, so I’ll admit, I hands down prefer having a physical form of book, the delight of a paperback in my hands, over my e-reader. There’s the weight, the feel of the pages, the sound when you turn them, that book smell and just… there’s a beauty to it, I’m sure you know what I mean. However, my Kindle is far superior – for some reasons, you may not have even considered.

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There are some obvious perks to an e-reader. They save space, they allow you to take an entire library while traveling while occupying only a sliver of the space, e-books are often cheaper, have 99p/introductory offers or some are even free. There are also some less obvious perks. After discussing this with numerous friends, they admitted they’d not really thought about them.

One word. Accessibility. Yeah, paperbacks are great. When was the last time you saw a large print version of a new release by your favourite author? That’s right. Large print books are often more expensive and have far less variety and availability compared to a standard print edition. An e-reader eliminates this worry because not only can a kindle books font size be increased, but the font can be changed to one of a variety that a visually impaired person may find easier to view and at no further cost to them.

Speaking of fonts; what about Dyslexia? Some dyslexic people find it very difficult to try and read a book. An e-reader helps in many ways. As well as being able to adjust the font size, margins and line spacing can be adjusted to change the format of a page which someone with dyslexia, cognitive dysfunction, a learning disability or other impairment may find incredibly beneficial. As well as this, I can’t speak for other e-readers, but the newer versions of Kindle have a font available called OpenDyslexic. This is a special font that adds weight to the bottom of lettering in an attempt to help ease some of the difficulties someone with dyslexia may experience while trying to read.

All these options make reading more accessible to those who may not ordinarily be able to read, or experience great difficulty in doing so. I adore reading, there is nothing like diving in to a book and immersing yourself in an entirely different world, but when your brain isn’t keeping up, it can be really difficult. Okay, so it’s not traditional and it doesn’t have the same charm as a paperback, but what’s the point in all that charm if you can’t enjoy it?

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So, reconsider an e-reader. Users of e-readers may love books just as much as you do, maybe even more so. If you love books that much, surely you want as many people as possible to enjoy the books you love. If an e-reader helps them do that, then surely that’s a wonderful thing?

What do you think? Do you use an e-reader? Physical books only? Have I changed how you perceive e-readers? I’d love to hear your thoughts!