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Friday, 23 March 2018

Time to Ride West

This is one of those posts where I push my own books - Hey, I've been delivering a lot of original content on this blog for many years so from time to time you have to indulge me with a little self promotion. I specifically want to point readers towards my western novels that have been made available in eBook by the publishers -

First up is LawMaster (original title Tarnished Star) which was my first published novel and remains to this day Robert Hale's fastest selling western hardcover. I'm immensely proud of this book and the eBook edition from Piccadilly press is available now. Just do a search for LawMaster by Jack Martin and you'll find it saddled up and ready to go over at Amazon.

Picadilly Publishing also have the eBook version of Wild Bill Williams - and there is also an audiobook version available of this title from Audible -

Official records show that some 80,000 Welshmen made their home in the place now known as the Wild West, though the true figure is likely to have been much higher. This is the story of one of those men.

William Williams, otherwise known as Wild Bill Williams, was no stranger to trouble. It seemed to follow him like a shadow. But even as a survivor of the Little Big Horn, as he claimed, he'd never before had to face the kind of trouble he found in the town of Stanton. When the bullets start to fly and the blood begins to run, ....Wild Bill is never far behind.

If you do pick up any of these titles then please please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads which helps get the books noticed.

The western genre is my first love and you can read all about the origin of my pen name, Jack Martin by clicking.HERE

Arkansas Smith: the name was legend. Once he had been a Texas Ranger, but now he was something else entirely. Some said he was an outlaw, a killer of men and fast draw. Others claimed he was a kind of special lawman, dispensing frontier justice across the West and bringing law to the lawless.
Arkansas Smith arrives in Red Rock looking for those who shot and left his friend for dead. He vows to leave no stone unturned in his quest to bring the gunmen to justice and, soon, those who go against him must face the legendary fast draw that helped tame the West.

Crowood Publishing which are these days the holders of the Black Horse imprint have two of my past Jack Martin titles available in the ebook format and these are Riding the Vengeance Trail and Arkansas Smith. Again both of these titles are priced quite low and will provide some great western adventure for your eReader - even if I do say so myself.

There was a time when Thomas Fury was happy. A young wife, a child on the way and a farm to tend had kept him busy, but he’d enjoyed the toil for he knew that he was building a future for himself and his family. That future, though, was shattered one afternoon when five riders, led by Luke Marlow, rode in. Soon gunshots rang out and Thomas Fury’s world fall apart. Now Fury rides the vengeance trail, driven on by a desire to deal out justice to those who have destroyed everything that mattered to him. Fury will not stop until every one of those five men lies dead in the ground, for then – and only then – will he reach the end of the Vengeance Trail.

 If you search any of these titles on Amazon you can request a sample so you can start reading the book before even parting with the small amount of cash required to buy the actual book. eBooks can be read on computers, tablets, eReaders and even smart phones via the free Kindle APP.

Come on - there's nothing to lose and you may get a few hours of solid reading pleasure

Time Traveller turns up with some startling news

How's this for a bit of weird news - a time traveller from a few years in the future has been interviewed by the Daily Mirror, and made some startling claims about flying cars, pills that feed us for a week and a cure for  cancer. Apparantly he didn't say if Brexit has happend or not.
Full barking mad story HERE

The person who said his name is 'John' said he was 132 years old and that he can communicate through telepathy.

The Truth behind Christopher Eccleston's abrupt departure from Doctor Who

It's been thirteen years since Christopher Eccleston left Doctor Who after only one season, and now in an interview with the Radio Times the actor has revealed the real reason he walked from what many actors would see as the role of a lifetime. The actor this week said he lost faith and trust in the show runners during filming, and that his relationship with Russel T. Davies broke down.

The actor recently claiming he was “blacklisted” by the BBC after leaving Doctor Who, former Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston has now revealed more about the tensions he felt on set during filming for the sci-fi series.

My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered,” Eccleston says in the latest issue of Radio Times.

Eccleston is still angry that he never gave interviews that would damage the show in the aftermath of his departure, but he claims the BBC went all out to damage his career.

“What happened around Doctor Who almost destroyed my career.' He told the Guardian Nespaper. ' I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change.’ So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me. My dad always said to me: ‘I don’t care what you do – sweeping the floor or whatever you’re doing – just do the best job you can.’ I know it’s cliched and northern and all that bollocks, but it applies." 

The BBC have failed to comment but no doubt they will eventually claim that Jeremy Corbyn was to blame.

Now that's what I call a Rampant Rabbit

Gay Rabbits - whatever next!

Check out the full story HERE

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Book Review: The Sergeant: Death Train

The Sergeant: Death Train
Gordon Davies, a pen name for Len Levinson.
Piccadilly Publishing eBook
Originally published in the UK as a Corgi paperback
in 1980

I remember seeing these novels on the shelves of my local bookshop (Tonypandy's Wishing Well) alongside the westerns that I so loved - that was back in the day when paperback original men's adventure novels were a thing. Though I'd never read this particular series until now - I was always more drawn towards the westerns of George G. Gilman during that period, so it's great that digital publishers like Piccadilly are bringing these books back for a modern digital audience.

Online I've seen people calling this series a pulpy war series - but the word pulp when applied to fiction is often derogatory, at least in a modern sense. The true definition of pulp literature comes from the low quality paper used in the production of the cheap mass market magazines and books produced from the late 1800's up to the mid to late 1950's. By contrast the more expensively produced magazines were known as slicks. Though the term pulp literature is now bandied about to often mean low grade or poor quality. To be pedantic though the term pulp literature can not be applied to digital books, that is without altering the true definition of the term. Still, I am being overly pedantic here and the way the word Pulp is used in the modern world does, I suppose, apply to this series. Think of Pulp to mean cool rather than disposable and we'll get along just fine.

Saying that it is hard to read this book without laughing- the sex scenes (and there are many) are absurd and come across as silly rather than anything else -

She moved closer to him. 'You want me to show you?'


She reached over and grabbed his joint, caressing it through the material of his pants.

He pulled back, but she held onto him.

'You act as if nobody ever played with your little doodle before.'

Doodle? WTF! These scenes come across as absurd given the hard hitting style of the rest of the brutal well paced narrative - the title character is Sergeant Clarance J. Mahoney, a hard drinking, chain smoking, whoring, Nazi killing machine of a man, who is working with the resistance in France in the lead up to the Normandy landings that would eventually turn the tide of the war against the Axis powers.

The plot of this first book in the series sees Mahoney and his team targeting a bridge that will allow the Germans to get troops to the beach-heads quickly when the invasion starts. And it really is a great yarn once you get used to the bastard that is the central character.

'Mahoney knew that you shouldn't get too close to people at wartime, because you never knew when they were going to bite the dust. But he hadn't thought he'd been that close to Celestine. He just thought she was the best available female to screw. But now his heart ached whenever he pictured her sprawled on the road with her eyes closed and blood pouring out of her side.'

The Sergeant does, after all, it seems have a heart and he moans the death of a female comrade early in the book, but he soon seems to be getting over it when another woman meets his eye.

'Mahoney felt Odette's body next to his and he started to get an erection. He wondered if he had time to knock off off a quick piece before going to the bridge, and then cursed himself for having these thoughts when Clestine hadn't even been dead for a full twenty-four hours yet.'
 Maybe back in the 1980's, when this book first saw print passages like those above wouldn't have seemed so ridiculous, but they certainly stand out to the modern reader. That's not a criticism though, after all the story is still excellently told, but these sections do stand out. As does Mahoney's entire attitude towards women. He has fought, we are told and shown, alongside several incredibly brave women and yet that doesn't stop him thinking along these lines:

'Mahoney didn't like going on operations with women because he tended to worry about them. It was true that any women, if pushed too far might slug her husband with a frying pan, but guns and grenades. What did women know about guns and grenades.'

Turns out quite a lot, and some of the female characters who populate this story are indeed strong and resourceful, and not just somewhere to dip your doodle. In this book the men are hard, the woman are all sexy, the Nazis are murderous scum and the action comes thick and fast. And I'll certainly be checking out more books in the series - there are nine in all, and I'm told that the series improves as it goes along. Though in fairness this is not a bad book - yes, it's ridiculous, but as a piece of all action storytelling it succeeds just fine, though a little more depth would have been nice.

Think the Dirty Dozen, Inglorious Bastards (the original Italian version) and you pretty much have the feel of this novel. It's trashy in places, with attitudes very much of the time it was written, and great fun for a quick no nonsense read.

Still, I can't believe anyone ever called it a doodle!

Bond is about to return

The new James Bond novel, due this May, from Anthony Horowitz will carry the very Bondian title of Forever and a Day and will again feature unpublished material from Ian Fleming. I'm looking forward to this having enjoyed the author's previous Bond novel, Trigger Mortis - find my review HERE.

 Several authors have taken a stab at the Bond franchise over recent years, but to my mind it was Horowitz who more closely captured the true spirit of Fleming's creation, so it is great news that the copyright holders have retained the author for a second title.

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