Tag Archives: Novel

#60Books Review 14/2016: Daredevils by Shawn Vestal

Read as part of my 60 Books Challenge: One-word title

Daredevils by Shawn Vestal is a coming of age story with a twist.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s not so much a coming of age tale, but more a loss of innocence.

It follows Mormon life from the 1950’s Short Creek, Arizona to 1970’s Gooding, Idaho, and takes not only the characters, but also the readers, on a vivid roadtrip across the United States.

Central to the story is 15-year-old Loretta, whose life changes after she is caught sneaking out of her house one night. As punishment for wanting a normal life, her parents marry her off as a sister-wife to a Mormon Elder.

What follows is the urge to escape, the yearning for freedom from the confines of the family faith, not only for Lori who lives in a polygamist community, but also Jason who is also a Mormon but monogamist. He idolises Evel Knievel, and longs for a life of adventure. Together, they embark on a trip in search of gold and freedom.

The story is a page-turner from cover to cover, and not only provides an insight into Mormon religion and communities, but also into what teenage life is like governed by those restraints. Throw in the 70’s and a joyride across the States, and you’re left with a novel that shows the deeply human desire to break free.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Daredevils
Author: Shawn Vestal
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1101979891


Daredevils by Shawn Vestal was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead



Writing Sample from The Bravery of the Soldier

This is a writing sample taken from my NaNoWriMo 2013 project The Bravery of the Soldier. It’s a scene from Chapter Two, entitled “The Mysterious Video”.

The scene deals with war-related violence and injuries.

I’d appreciate your feedback!


The story so far:

A news story broke about a cover up in Afghanistan. In 2009, a British unit was held hostage, but due to the government’s stance on negotiations with terrorists, the ransom demands were not met. Another unit, which also included a doctor, was sent in to retrieve the hostages, but they were overpowered and also taken away.

When one of the Captains was killed (for not meeting the ransom demands), the team managed to smuggle a S.O.S. note out. After this proof of life was received with vital info regarding the way they were overpowered, a tactical team is sent in. This team carries Audio/Visual equipment.

The media had got hold of a still from the AV equipment and ran the article, telling the story of a Captain who ensured that all his colleagues got out alive, but also accusing the British government of abandoning troops in need.

This scene takes place during a meeting at the Ministry of Defence, during which the Audio/Visual evidence is examined to determine the next course of action with regards to the news story.

Continue reading Writing Sample from The Bravery of the Soldier

A Round of Words in 80 Days – My Goals

While this is technically the 4th Round of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) this year, it is my very first time participating.

I therefore might not have given this as much thought as others surely have, but I’m pretty spontaneous once I’ve switched on my mind’s “Creative” setting, so here goes, I suppose.

Continue reading A Round of Words in 80 Days – My Goals