Our review team is a group of professional writers with many years experience aiming to provide a peer-review system for other writers publishing indie ebooks. Across the team there is a breadth of reading interests and knowledge and on this site we review ebooks we’ve found and enjoyed ourselves and which we are happy to recommend to others of similar tastes.
We are not a script doctor service, nor are we here to place value judgements on other writers work but we do feel our experience enables us to offer objective critical comment on the work of fellow writers in areas of our own interest/expertise. As a reader you can trust that our reviews have been written without fear or favour. No one is paid for writing their reviews and the work we review represents the best of indie published ebooks that we find on an ongoing basis from an ever expanding variety of sources.
Our goal is to be able, as a team, to present you with something you want to read on a regular basis. If you familiarise yourself with both the writing of our reviewers, and their reviews, you will be able to decide for yourself how much ‘value’ to place on our recommendations.
CALLY PHILLIPS (Lead Reviewer and Site Editor)
Cally Phillips has written professionally for 20 years for stage, screen and latterly fiction. She has worked as teacher of English/Drama, a private tutor, a script reader for Channel 4, was secretary of Scottish Branch of the Writers Guild and is a former Dramatist in Residence for Dumfries and Galloway. As artistic Director of Bamboo Grove Theatre Company (2002-2006) and facilitator for ABC Drama Group (2003-2010) she has made it her mission to ‘take drama out of the theatre.’ In 2010 Cally set up HoAmPresst Publishing and is now deeply embroiled in the virtual world of ebook production. Cally has published novels, plays and short stories (in Scots) as ebooks including Brand Loyalty, The Threads of Time, A Week with No Labels, It Wisnae Me, Voices in Ma Heid and Chasing Waves
JULIA JONES (Adult/ Ch/YA fiction: adventure, detection, thriller; and biography)
Julia Jones writes adventure stories and biography. Her first book was a biography of the detective novelist Margery Allingham which was re-published in paperback as The Adventures of Margery Allingham. She inherited a unique archive of material relating to Margery’s father Herbert Allingham, an anonymous writer of instalment fiction for the Northcliffe penny papers and will finally publish the results of her research as Fifty Years in the Fiction Factory, autumn 2012. In the sailing community she’s best known as the owner of Arthur Ransome’s Peter Duck and she’s used this link as the inspiration for her Strong Winds adventure trilogy. Julia has reviewed for the TES and other national newspapers and magazines.
JAN NEEDLE (reviews Adult/YA crime/thriller fiction – and drama)
Jan Needle was born in Portsmouth on the south coast of England and moved to the north west when he was 20 to join the Daily Herald. At 25 he left full-time journalism and took a degree in drama at Manchester University, where he started writing plays for stage and radio, then short stories and later novels. Jan made a living with journalism, radio and television drama, stage plays, and novel-writing, at first for children and later for adults too. He has also written books and essays of dramatic criticism including on Brecht with Professor Peter Thomson.His first novel, Albeson and the Germans, was published in l977, and was followed within two years by My Mate Shofiq and A Fine Boy for Killing, both of which are still in print. His William Bentley series of nautical historic fictions, aims to strip the genre of some of its romantic elements (and still make a living!) His own ebooks Kicking Off, Killing Time at Catterick, A Game of Soldiers and Silver and Blood are epublished by Skinback.
DENNIS HAMLEY (Reviews Adult/YA fiction and biography/autobiography.)
Dennis Hamley has written over sixty books for children and young adults, including The War and Freddy, Hare’s Choice, Ellen’s People and Divided Loyalties. He was a teacher, lecturer and County English Adviser for Hertfordshire before taking early retirement to write full-time. He is the tutor for short fiction on the Oxford Creative Writing Diploma. While in Hertfordshire he founded the long-running Lending Our Minds Out residential creative writing courses for children. He has been a reviewer for The Times Educational Supplement, The School Librarian, Carousel and Armadillo. Dennis is currently republishing the Joslin series as ebooks and so far has published the first three Of Dooms and Death, A Pact with Death and Hells Kitchen as well as his comedy Colonel Mustard in the Library.
CATHERINE CZERKAWSKA (Reviews Adult/ YA, Contemporary womens and short stories)
Catherine has had a long career as a professional playwright as well as being an award winning novelist and short story writer. Drawn to storytelling in all its many forms she has joyfully embracing the digital revolution. Catherine describes herself as a ‘midlist’ author and tries to write the kind of books she loves to read. Her digital output now includes a trio of short stories called A Quiet Afternoon in the Museum of Torture, and the novels The Curiosity Cabinet, Bird of Passage and The Amber Heart. She still writes plays but also spends time dealing in antique and vintage textiles and clothes from her online store. She also blogs extensively and is very active in ‘the digital publishing revolution.’
CHRIS LONGMUIR (Reviews Adult Crime/Thriller/Historical fiction)
Chris won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2009 with her first crime novel. Dead Wood. Since then Chris has published two further novels as ebooks. Night Watcher is a second crime novel and the historical saga A Salt Splashed,Cradle Boosted by the success of her novels, Chris delved into the depths of her computer to dig out her short stories which she published in two volumes as – Obsession & Other Stories, and Ghost Train & Other Stories.Chris also writes short stories and historical articles for magazines which are published in the UK and the US. She is currently working on a further two crime novels.
KATHLEEN JONES (Reviews anything except sci-fi/fantasy)
Kathleen was bought up on a remote farm in the English Lake District before going off to London as a teenager to discover how to become a writer. She married early and went to live in the middle east and Africa where she worked in broadcasting. Returning to England as a single parent she began writing for a living. She has been published by several of the traditional publishing firms, and has brought out several ebooks’ biographies of Christina Rosetti: Learning to be First and A Passionate Sisterhood as well as the short story collection Three and other Stories She writes a mixture of poetry, fiction and biography as well as occasional book reviewing and journalism. She tutors creative writing at university level, and take on some mentoring and consultancy work in order to keep the roof over my head. She currently splits her time between northern England and Italy with her sculptor partner. She reads very widely.
DEBBIE BENNETT (Reviews Adult/YA Crime/Thriller/Fantasy )
Debbie has been writing since primary school and handwrote her first novel aged 14 in a fancy ring-binder. Some years later, in 2005, she was long-listed (top 25) for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award. Her epublications are the crime novel Hamelin’s Child, a young adult fantasy Edge of Dreams and a collection of short (and not-so-short) stories Maniac & Other Stories. Debbie spent 9 years editing and publishing anthologies, newsletters and other publications for the British Fantasy Society, and has had numerous short stories in print in a variety of outlets from award-nominated anthologies to women’s magazines. She’s also reviewed for the BFS and Starburst magazine, and was a reader for a national short story competition for many years. Debbie has worked in law enforcement for over 25 years, which may be why the darker side of life tends to emerge in her writing.
EVIE GLASS (Clare Pollard) Reviews Ch/YA fiction)
Evie Glass is the name award winning poet Clare Pollard uses for writing/reviewing Children/YA fiction. Her first epublished work The Discoveries of Deliah Dark is a children’s novel featuring a cynical 12 year old ‘sleuth.’ When not being Evie, Clare supports herself by working as a journalist, editor and teacher. She has been Assistant Director of the Clerkenwell Literary Festival,Managing Editor of The Idler, and had articles published in The Guardian, The Independent, The TES, London Magazine and Critical Quarterly. Clare was a Royal Literary Fellow at Essex University, and teaches for Arvon, The Poetry School and The City Lit. She is on the editorial board of Magma poetry magazine, and has co-edited an anthology for Bloodaxe with James Byrne, entitled Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21stsCentury. And she still finds time to moonlight as Evie Glass… who lists her interests as tarot-reading, taxidermy and writing really gloomy poetry.
BILL KIRTON (Reviews crime/thriller, historical/romance, drama and whatever else takes his fancy)
Bill was born in Plymouth, but has lived in Aberdeen for most of his life. He has written stage and radio plays, songs and sketches for revues, flash fiction, short stories, novels, stories for children and books aimed at helping students to write effective academic essays and dissertations and get the most out of university and work. He has been a university lecturer, actor, director, TV presenter, visiting professor and artist at the University of Rhode Island and spent a few years as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.
CAROL McKAY (will start reviewing in October)
Carol writes fiction, life writing and some poetry and teaches creative writing, mostly through the Open University.Her writing has been published in a range of magazines over the last ten years, including Gutter, Chapman and Mslexia. She’s also had fiction published in The Herald and The Telegraph, and anthologised by Birlinn, Luath and Freight. Nine of these stories have now been collected and published as an e-book by PotHole Press, along with some of her previously unpublished favourites.
ROBERT DODDS (will start reviewing in October)
Robert grew up in Yorkshire and Kent. He studied English at Oxford University and then became a teacher and lecturer. After several years working in England, Mexico, and the USA, he settled in Edinburgh, where he set up a new degree course in film and television production at Edinburgh College of Art. Later, he became head of the School of Visual Communication in the college, but has now left to pursue his career as an author. Robert writes for both adults and children, and has been published by Polygon, Andersen Press, A&C Black and HarperCollins. He has also had several short stories broadcast on BBC Radio Four. His first self-published ebook Sitting Duck is a comic novel for adults. Robert’s other interests include traveling, speaking Spanish, dancing, and playing golf and tennis.
As well as our regular review team, we also feature contributions from Occasional reviewers. The following people currently review for us on an occasional basis (when they find something they just HAVE to tell us about!)