New Kindle announced – Kindle Aroma

Kindle Aroma

I don’t normally talk about e-reader technology but the latest announcement from Amazon has got me really excited. Called the Kindle Aroma, it’s been designed to address one of the reasons many people still prefer to read a book as opposed to the more convenient e-reader – its smell.

The Kindle Aroma comes with a small changeable scent ‘capsule’ that gently emits the evocative smell of paperback books whenever the Kindle is being read, giving the user the sensory illusion they are holding a real book in their hands.

“The Kindle Aroma has undergone extensive focus group testing,” said Angela Fripolola, Kindle Aroma Product Manager, “and the results have been beyond expectations. Over 95% of those taking part preferred the Kindle Aroma over our flagship product, the Kindle Voyage, with some refusing to hand them back at the end of the session.”

While the product will be shipped with the standard paperback scent, there are plans to release different types of book smells to match the type of book being read. “Our research team have identified a number of key scents, from ‘pristine newly printed’ to ‘mouldering in the back of the charity shop box’ and ‘fusty vintage first edition,’ along with ‘well-loved sticky fingered copy’ for our children’s books.” Ms Fripolola continued.

The new Kindle Aroma also replicates the sound of a turning page each time the screen is tapped to move on, with different sounds depending on how hard the screen is tapped. “We were going to add a torn page sound for the most extreme strength of tap,” Ms Fripolola said, “but it led to tears during testing so we took that option out.”

Also, in a response to the recent Clean Reader controversy, Amazon are considering offering their own user defined word filter called the Cursematron, which selectively adds curse words and increases the level of sex and violence for adults who enjoy reading MG and YA books but like a little more grit in their literature. The first book scheduled to be released under this programme is To Kill a f***ing Mockingbird.

Fool Me Once

Recommended Reads: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Andrew Knighton


The Blurb

“I have no objection to truth,” I said, “but I enjoy untruths too, they’re the building blocks of human culture. Actors pretending to be kings, singers faking heartbreak or elation, novelists inventing heroes in their heads to escape the mindless dullards around them. Reality is a vast sea of tedium interrupted by brief flashes of the repugnant – why would anyone chain themselves to that?” 

A spin doctor forced to deal with aliens who loath lies. 

A squad of soldiers torn apart by the fiction in their midst. 

A hunting submarine with its dead captain strapped to the prow, the crew promising that one day they’ll revive him. 

We all tell lies to get through the day, some of them to ourselves, some to other people. Now read the extraordinary lies of the future in these nine short science fiction stories. 

The Review

Andrew Knighton is fast becoming my ‘go to’ guy for short-stories. I thoroughly enjoyed his collection of Steampunk shorts, Riding the Mainspring and now he’s back with more, this time from a genre with which I’m more familiar, science fiction.

This collection of tales is loosely tied together by the theme of lies and self-delusion, whether they are lies of political expedience or the type of lie to keep you going when you know admitting the truth means losing all hope. Each tale is wonderfully crafted, and Knighton has the knack of being able to develop characters and scenes of depths with just a few words.

The real strength of this collection is not necessarily the stories themselves, although each stands up well on their own,  but the sheer breadth of imagination on display. As with Riding the Mainspring, Knighton is bursting with ideas, whether it is a crop types on a distant planet or genetically modified marine predators gone wrong.

If you are looking for well crafted science fiction shorts that are both playful but also contain hidden depth, I would highly recommend this collection.

To buy Lies We Tell Ourselves from click here

To buy Lies We Tell Ourselves from click here

Recommended reads are either independently published books – or those that are published via a small press – that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.

Absent Souls – available to buy today!

Absent Souls - High Resolution

I am very pleased to announce that Absent Souls, the Transcendence Trilogy Book 2, is now available to buy on Kindle!

One death, two nations on the brink of war, and four people fighting the ghosts of their past.

Mick O’Driscoll has a problem. A man has died in the Scrambles, and nothing happens in the Scrambles without his permission, or so he thought. The death spells trouble and O’Driscoll knows it. The question is, who killed the Prime Delegate’s brother on his turf and why?

Set two years after the events of Second Chance, Absent Souls follows the story of four people struggling to deal with events in the present while tormented by events from the past: an Investigator, tortured by the memory of a man he couldn’t find and a crime he was unable solve; a crime lord, forced to live a life he inherited but never truly wanted; a Professor, using academic success to drown out his guilt; and a Global Governance operative, slowly becoming the very thing she’s fighting against.

Forced to work with those they distrust in an effort to uncover the truth, it soon becomes clear that it’s not just their own lives they need to protect, but the very future of humanity that’s at stake.

Absent Souls is the much anticipated follow up to Second Chance, which has over 30 reviews on at a 4.7-star average on Here is what some reviewers had to say about Second Chance:

“Political intrigue, neuroscience, a missing-persons investigation – this well-written novel has it all.” – Carrie Rubin, author of The Seneca Scourge

“a highly entertaining and thought-provoking first novel” – Vaughn Stanger, author of Moondust Memories

“As plot twists were revealed, I found it hard to put down and read the last third in one sitting.” – Katrina Montfort, author of Future Perfect

“Overall I enjoyed this novel greatly. I recommend it to readers looking for an engaging science-fiction or political thriller.” – Dave Higgins, Davetopia Blog and author of Greenstar Season 1

“This is a slick, well written book with a strong storyline and plenty of narrative tension.” – Sarah J Higby – Brainfluff blog

To buy

Absent Souls is available exclusively through Amazon as an e-book from Friday 28th November 2014. To purchase, please click on the relevant link below: ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook

And don’t forget, if you’ve not yet read Second Chance, it is still available for FREE on Kindle until Sunday! To find out more, click here

If you don’t own a Kindle but have either a smart-phone or a tablet, you can still read Absent Souls via the Kindle app. For further information, please click here.

Second Chance on Kindle: Free this weekend only

Second Chance


It’s taken three months and 90,000 words but I’m very happy to say that I have finally finished the first draft of the (as yet untitled) follow up to Second Chance. Rather than go off and drink a bottle of wine to celebrate*, I thought I’d like to share my joy as much as possible.

So for this weekend only, you can get the kindle version of my first book, Second Chance, free from and

Yes, you read that right. You can get all 315 pages of my fast-paced futuristic thriller for free. But you have to move fast. The offer ends midnight Pacific Daylight Time (Los Angeles time for those who aren’t sure) 18th May 2014.

To whet your appetite, here are a few reader review highlights about Second Chance:

“A taut, fast-paced thriller set in the near future, Second Chance hardly gave me a single chance to catch my breath.” – 5 Stars 
“This is a highly enjoyable read – a real page-turner, which kept me guessing to the end” – 5 Stars 
“Political intrigue, neuroscience, a missing-persons investigation–this well-written novel has it all.” – 5 Stars 
“The people-stories just pull you in. It’s clever, but not inaccessible.” – 5 Stars

So what are you waiting for?

For people in the US, to get your free copy of Second Chance from click here

For people in Canada, to get your free copy of Second Chance from click here

For people in the UK & Ireland,  to get your free copy of Second Chance from click here


The offer starts at 0:01 am PDT on the 17th May 2014 and ends at 23:59 PDT 18th May 2014**.

* I may do this as well.

**Unless of course I’ve somehow screwed things up, which is a possibility.

Second Chance: Now available to buy on Kindle

Second Chance: A dystopian thriller about what power is willing to do to retain control, and what one person is willing to sacrifice to obtain revenge. (cover by James

Second Chance: A dystopian thriller about what power is willing to do to retain control, and what one person is willing to sacrifice to obtain revenge. (cover by James

I can’t tell you how excited I am that my book is now available to buy for the Kindle (or the Kindle app for your smartphone). And nervous. I’m very, very nervous. Still, it’s too late to worry about that now. I’ll write more about the the ideas that inspired me to write the book, some of the themes I wanted to explore, as well as the publishing process over the coming days, but for now here is a quick teaser as to what the book is about:

It had been a struggle but finally the ravages of climate change are in the past. Normality has returned and humanity is blossoming once more.

But a return to normality also brings the return of old behaviour.

Flushed with recent success and bored of being a figure-head, newly-elected delegate Stephanie Vaughn decides to take a more active role against government control. But in choosing to back a campaign to find a missing student, Stephanie unleashes a series of events that puts both herself, and anyone connected to her, in danger.

Set in the near future where everybody is connected and death isn’t final, Second Chance is a story of what power is willing to do to retain control, and what one person is willing to sacrifice to obtain revenge.

To purchase, please click on the link for your country below (I’ve seen that Amazon is yet to update the pricing for some stores. If that is the case, please try again later):

UK –


Australia / NZ –

Germany –

France –