Book Reviews – Learn from them

I recently requested a book review from Bob Slaven, a reviewer I had been following for some time. I was extremely nervous about what he had to say, because this man is very honest, but I value his opinion. I am going to share this review with you and tell you what I learned from it.


By Rob Slaven “slavenrm@gmail. com”

This review is from: Dead of July (Paperback)
As is usual, I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. Despite that kindness I give my absolutely candid opinions below.

The high-level summary of this book is pretty straightforward. Our main character finds herself in a new city and almost immediately embroiled in trouble just because she tried to help out a child in need. What ensues is a mixture of violence, suspense and the paranormal.

On the positive side, our author has taken great and obvious care with her work. Seldom has an independently published novel come across my desk that is so well edited and free of grammatical and spelling problems. Thompson also has a knack for creating characters that pop with realism; these are the sort of folks I’d like to invite out for a drink sometime. They are candid, real and well-formed almost as if the author knows them in real life. I also enjoyed the way the author wove the supernatural and mundane aspects of the world together. Yes, our protagonist has contact with the spirit world but it’s not the center of the story but put forth as a sometimes casual aside. This attitude lends a great deal of believability to the supernatural aspects of the story.

To the negative, I asked the author specifically what genre she was targeting because at times the book seems to drift between suspense and memoir. She replied that it was intended to be suspense and that didn’t surprise me but it did reveal that she has a fairly steep hill to climb from a writing standpoint. The novel is written in the first person and includes a wealth of very specific anecdotes that in no way add to the suspenseful aspects of the novel. That, coupled with the first-person point of view, tends to squash any attempts at really building tension from one page to the next. We know a lot about the character and we can relate to her. She’s very real to the reader but it’s hard to build much suspense when the protagonist seems to spend so much time doing unrelated unsuspenseful things.

In summary, I like what the author’s done with this book and it has great potential but it does need some tightening up. As a reader we can see the action very vividly but the story does seem to lack the dark and grimy aspects necessary for a true suspense novel. I’d suggest that potential readers perhaps bookmark this author and wait for future installments when she has had a bit more of a chance to perfect her craft as I am confident she will. You may not be on the edge of your seat with this novel but you may well be with the next one.

Thanks Mr. Slaven, I appreciate your review and will call on you again. 

I see this as a good review. Why? Because he pointed out things I needed to know. Things that will help me with my future novels. Rob Slaven thinks I have the potential to write a better suspense novel. ‘Dead of July’ needed to be more suspenseful, and I think I knew that all along. As a new author, I have been struggling with how much smut and grime to put in my stories, now I know I need more. I am in the process of editing a couple of short stories I wrote prior to ‘Dead of July’ and when I’m done with them watch out world ‘cos here I come!



Time to Celebrate!


So happy to have recieved another great review on my first novel ‘Dead of July’. It may never make me rich or famous, but writing and publishing it made me happy. I achieved my ambition and became an author. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, March 22, 2014
By Amazon Customer – See all my reviews
This review is from: Dead of July (Paperback)

The book introduces you to its protagonist, Sheila. Sheila has a special gift – she can see and talk to ghosts… We meet her in 1982, living and working in Dortmund with her husband, Les. Everything is pretty normal – until she meets a very young and desperate young woman. Anna is terrified by the man she lives with. Sheila immediately wants to rescue her. Suddenly, everything is different. Her home is haunted, and even at work she cannot go ahead in peace as usual. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Amazon plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Dead of July, Sandra Thompson shows us Germany and a typical German base of the British Army. Each character is cleverly portrayed, the reader can relate. Some situations made me roar with laughter, other situations made me want to comfort Sheila. I had a great time reading Dead of July.

Don’t Judge the Book by its Cover!

 This review is from: Dead of July (Paperback)
The old adage never rang so true with this book! While the cover certainly leaves a little to be desired (no offense to the author), the story is quite fascinating. It starts out a little slow, but each chapter ends with a nugget of intrigue to keep you asking: “What’s next?” That is, until the latter part of the book, which becomes so captivating it’s nearly impossible to put down. The author does a great job of scene development and character collusion at this stage of the story, really giving you a chance to escape into the lead character’s horrifying and precarious world.

The book is a quick read and is broken into many chapters, which I personally like because I don’t always have time for a lengthy chapter. I would have to say that, all in all, it’s a great book from a budding new author, whose come a long way from the short story. I think you will enjoy it.

Click on the book cover below and try this book yourself. I’d love to hear what you think.
Dead of July_Cover_in-template

A German Ghost Story – Sharing My Reviews

A German Ghost Story

A German Ghost Story

A fun, feisty heroine, creepy criminals, and an even creepier paranormal twist make this book unique. It’s a fun read, partly because it takes place in Germany in the 80s and it’s interesting to learn about that time period. But mainly because it’s got so many twists and turns that you never see coming. Sheila is a British woman in Germany who does a good deed for a stranger in trouble, and before you can say “haunted,” she’s in all kinds of unexpected trouble herself from enemies alive and . . . not so alive.

I don’t want to spoil any of the fun, all I can say is you’ll never react to the smell of cigarettes in quite the same way again!

A German Ghost Story

What a great book – and for a first time writer?! I truly hope that this character becomes a series. Could not put it down. Highly recommended!

A German Ghost Story

A great and intriguing book that will keep you on your toes! It’s a different type of mystery than most novels which keeps the pages turning. Includes a lot of German history and so many details which made it even more interesting. I highly recommend this book and author!

A German Ghost Story

A very likable lead character and very hate-able bad guys. What else could you want? Plus it is a good story that kept me interested and wanting to know how it came out.

A German Ghost Story

Great story- kept me interested to see what was going to happen next. The characters are full of life-easy read – see what happens at the end-maybe this will lead to a series as I am sure the characters have many stories left in them.

A German Ghost Story

This is a great story. Wasn’t quite sure where it was heading at first, but the twists and turns in each chapter are what make this such a great read. I hope this it the first of a series. Love the main character. She was fun and quirky, and prone to getting into trouble.

So needless to say, I am pretty proud of my first novel. If you would like to give it a try, click on the book cover below to purchase from Amazon. If you would be kind enough to give me a review, I would very much appreciate it!

A German Ghost Story

A German Ghost Story

Book Previews!

As I learn a little more about the writing and publishing world, I find more ways to allow you to preview my work.

Attached are previews from my three books.

‘Girl on the Beach’ and ‘Guy at the Bar’ are already for sale as E-book and P-books.

‘Dead of July’ is with my editor and will be released soon.

When ‘Dead of July’ is released I have decided to do a further edit my first two stories and re-release them. Both have recieved great reviews, but as I learn more I want to make them even better. My readers deserve it.

Writing and publishing are a learning process and I am loving it, but still learning.…      (Girl on the Beach)…      (Guy at the Bar)…        (Dead of July available soon)