Book reviews, Historical fiction

Blood In The Dust by Bill Swiggs – Book Review


Essential reading for all adventure fans. Honour and courage in the wild and unpredictable Outback.’ Wilbur Smith

1853, Victoria, Australia. Five bushrangers led by the murderous outlaw Warrigal Anderson raid a small homestead. When they ride away, nineteen year- old Toby O’Rourke’s life is changed forever. His parents lay dead at his feet and his brother, Patrick, is badly wounded. But Toby O’Rourke is made of steel forged in the hardship of colonial life. Forced into adulthood, he and Patrick will seek to restore the family fortunes and outwit not only the rich businessman who conspired to rob them of their birth right, but the vicious men who murdered their parents . . . For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay, as fast-paced adventure story and the winner of the best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

The winner of the 2018 best unpublished manuscript category of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

A fast-paced adventure novel set in the Australian outback.

For readers of Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Bryce Courtenay.


Set during Australia’s gold rush, this is the story of Toby O’Rourke.

Toby and his younger brother, Paddy see their parents murdered…leaving them to struggle in this harsh world alone…they are then conned by a neighbour and lose their home… Toby vows his revenge….

There are many adventures, setbacks and even a romance for Toby but he’s a young man, so how is he going to get his revenge…

This is an easy read, due to Bill Swiggs writing style, a simple story brilliantly told. A real boys own, ripping yarn….excellent stuff.

Thank you to The Author, the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this eARC. This is my honest and unbiased review.



Author Biography

Bill Swiggs was born in Victoria and brought up in Western Australia, where he still lives. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force as an aviation firefighter before becoming a police officer, and now works as a firefighter for a defence

contractor. Bill divides his time between working, writing, flying and his grandchildren.

Book reviews, Science fiction

The Guardian by J.D. Moyer – Book Review



The Guardian, the sequel to the The Sky Woman, is a story of colliding worlds and the contested repopulation of a wild Earth. Tem really struggles as the only brown-skinned child in the village. His mother Car-En decides that the family should spend some time on the Stanford ringstation, but Tem gets caught up in the battle against Umana, the tentacle-enhanced ‘Squid Woman’, while protecting a secret that could change the course of civilization.



This is the second book in the Reclaimed Earth series by J.D. Moyer, but I felt it can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Earth had been decimated, with only small pockets of villages left, but they happily survive albeit with rivalries between the villages.

Tem, of the Happdal, a Norse speaking settlement is a young boy who has dreams of being a smith…..his mother Car-En is one of the Sky people who defected. She had fallen in love with Esper. Tem sometimes has trouble feeling like he belongs, with his darker skin and small stature….but this is his home.

She decides it’s time to take Tem, to the Stanford, a ringstation to meet his other grandparents…..just for a visit…may be a year!

And so the adventure begins…….there is a psychopathic leader, Adrian, who had previously tried to kill Car-En….he has plans!

There is also a squid woman, now she is terrifying…….many many spiders…..even more horrific!

Will the people of Earth survive ? Will Tem ?

A complex tale with great world building, which I have to admit that took me a while to get to grips with, but it evolves into a thrilling, intelligent sci-fi adventure. I enjoyed the way it was set out, with chapters from various perspectives and the characters have clear personalities and a clever, engaging plot. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.




J.D. Moyer lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, daughter, and mystery-breed dog. He writes science fiction, produces electronic music in two groups (Jondi & Spesh and Momu), runs a record label (Loöq Records), and blogs at His previous occupations include dolphin

cognition researcher, martial arts instructor, Renaissance Faire actor, dance music event promoter, and DJ.

His favorite authors include Iain Banks, Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell.

His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, The InterGalactic Medicine Show, Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores, and Compelling Science Fiction. His novelette The Icelandic Cure won the 2016 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest. His debut science fiction novel The Sky Woman was published by FLAME TREE PRESS in 2018.

Recurring themes in his fiction include genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness, and evolutionary divergence.


FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.