Spotlight & Giveaway: Blood on Borrowed Wings by Darren Stapleton


As you may know, I am the owner of a book editing company, Book Helpline. It’s time to show off another of the books my team and I have worked on.

One of the authors we worked with a while ago was Darren Stapleton. When I read his dark fantasy manuscript, Blood on Borrowed Wings, I immediately sat up straight: Wow, great language, great story. I helped Darren to further improve the book, and the result is now published!

Here’s the description of this dark fantasy novel:

Stay low. Keep moving.
After Drake Theron ditches his wings and military brothers, he turns mercenary to forget a horrific battle where so much more than lives were lost.

When women start disappearing from the Angelbrawl Arena, Drake is hired to stop the loss of life and profit. He thinks it is just another job. Business. But it turns into something far more sinister and personal when he is abducted together with the beautiful woman he is trying to protect.
He is drawn into a conspiracy that stretches from the acrid stench of the neon Lowlands slums to Nimbus City and the very top of society. On the run, betrayed by friends, used by his enemies and hunted by black-winged assassins, Drake has to confront his past and do the worst thing imaginable to survive: ask for help.

Blood on Borrowed Wings is science fiction noir. A fast-paced original thriller full of twists, fists, and feathers. It is set on Nimbus, a future Earth, a world divided, where the powerful and evil dominate the skies…and not only birds have wings.

Darren says: “My book has fast-paced chapters, crackling dialogue, dark humour and action to keep you guessing until the final twist. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.” I say: “Editing the book was a great joy, too!”

Win a copy of this novel (e-book). Fill out this form. You can enter the giveaway until April 30th. On entry per person. No need to follow the blog (but you certainly can, if you like). Share this post of Twitter or Facebook for an extra entry. Link to @leeswammes or (Twitter) or BookHelpline (Facebook).  Let me know in the comments that you shared the post.

You can find more information about the book HERE.

If you enjoy the book, why not leave a review on Amazon? A few lines with your thoughts would be lovely! Thanks!


Read: Lottery by Patricia Wood

Lottery by Patricia Wood

I read this book before, several years ago. Luckily, I tend to forget about plots, so it was more or less a surprise to me what happened in the book. It was “I didn’t see that coming” all the way – except for Perry winning the lottery, but that was a given.

This is the story of thirty-two-year-old Perry who is not retarded, because his IQ is 76, and only people with an IQ of 75 or lower are retarded. But he’s slow, and he knows it.

He lives with his grandmother and doesn’t see much of the rest of his family. So, when his grandmother dies, he’s left to fend for himself, which goes reasonably easy because he has some good friends and a supportive boss. Then Perry wins the lottery, and guess who’s there to help him out with the money? Indeed, the family that never showed an interest in him before.

Perry’s friends try to make Perry see that he should not donate any money to his family because they’re only out to get hold of his millions. Perry, however, is raised to be polite and nice to others, so he can’t say no to anyone who asks him for money. Luckily, he can’t write amounts higher than $500 on each cheque, because his handwriting is rather large.:-)

A very smooth read. I read it in two days. Bad and good things happen, but I was completely focused on not letting the family get their hands on the money. It felt a bit like a thriller!

A five-star read. I wouldn’t call it literary, but the story is very good.

(My nineteenth book of this year)


Read: Troll by Johanna Sinisalo


This book was on my wishlist for several years, and then I got hold of it via Bookmooch. It is indeed the somewhat odd tale I expected it would be.

A young man finds a wounded troll outside his apartment building and takes it in to look after it. He knows it is not allowed to keep wild animals, so in order to hide it from his friends, he becomes a semi-reclusive. Whereas before, his so-called friends never cared much about him, now, since he’s not so eager to meet up with them, they start to show more of an interest in him. This causes all kinds of problems, especially when one of them finds out about the troll.

The story about the young man is alternated with research articles from the research he does on the history of trolls and how to look after them. This I found these the least interesting parts of the book. While I did like to read about some of the folklore of Scandinavian trolls, it went in too much detail for me.

Overall, this was a quirky, modern story that was fun to read.

(My eighteenth book of this year)


Read: The To-Do List by Mike Gayle

The To-Do List by Mike GayleThis is the second time that I read this book.The story is based on reality, but I’m sure it didn’t go quite like this in the author’s life. Still, it’s believable and funny.

Mike, the author, looks at his neighbours and thinks, “I’m close to forty but no-where near a proper adult.” His neighbours seem to be a lot more organised than he and his family are. For one thing, he’s sure they don’t have a smelly milk spill from weeks ago under their fridge, and he’ll bet you their CDs are all nicely alphabetised.

So, Mike makes a list of all the chores he’s been meaning to do and everything else that he has not got round to (such as meeting up with old friends). His list grows and grows, until he has 1277 items. As it’s almost his birthday, he decides to work on the list in the coming year, and finish every single item by the time it’s his birthday next year. He tells all his friends about it, so he can’t back out anymore. Then he puts the list aside, because really, who can ever do that many things in one year?

After a while, he decides to go for it anyway, and we read of some of the more interesting things he needs to do in order to cross off the items on his list. Luckily, we don’t get a full account of all 1277 items. That would be tedious. And this book is far from that. It’s fun and exciting. Will he get all items done?

Since Gayle is an author and works from home, he is very flexible with his time, which definitely helps in getting through the list. Even better, at some point during the year his editor suggests he write about the to-do list in his next book, so the carrying out of the to-dos could be seen as research for his book! Most of us don’t have this luxury, but I doubt that most of us would be able to come up with such a long to-do list. I wonder if I could think of more than 25 to-dos. Oh well, I guess I probably could. But, say, 50? Not likely. And over a thousand? No way! No, I’m not going to try to write them down. I might feel tempted to actually do them.

This is my 15th book of this year (just keeping track!).




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