Category Archives: HarperCollins

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam



Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Review Date: 19 November 2015

Author: Homer Hickam

Release Date: 19 November 2015

Publishers: Harper Collins

ISBN –10: 000815421X

ISBN – 13:  978-0008154219


Available in Hardback, Kindle and audio

The Last Word Review

The epic story of one man, his wife and her alligator and their epic 800 mile drive


Imagine a young couple taking a 1,000 mile adventure in their car back in the 1930’s that alone is an epic tale. Now add a passenger in the back seat. No ordinary passenger this one. It is a pet alligator. Now begins a real tale of adventure.

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is based on the true story of his parents. Ok there are a few bits of fiction added in but this is a beautiful tale of redemption and freedom.

Elsie Lavender and Homer Hickam (father of the author) graduated from High School in West Virginia just as the great depression started. Eventually after Elsie returned to West Virginia they married. One of the wedding gifts was a pet alligator named ‘Albert’. With only one bathroom in the house ‘Albert’ claimed the only bath and after Homer had a bit of a ‘scare’ there was an ultimatum from Homer. It is either Albert or me. No wishing to let a pet alligator loose in West Virginia there was only one thing to do. Take Albert home to Florida some 1,000 miles away. Now imagine a thousand mile road trip in the 1930’s with a pet alligator in the back seat.

The beauty of being a book reviewer is that you get to read some of the most amazing books and then you get to read some books that you want your family, friends and other book lovers to read. Carrying Albert Home is just that book. I was not only taken but completely captivated by this love story and basically what this story is. Then again Albert is a real star here, he plays a key role in both their lives from the minute Elsie is given Albert as a wedding gift from her first love Buddy Ebsen. Now being an alligator and taking a starring role, Albert cannot talk but you just fall for him and his unique ways. They way that the author portrays Albert really does work in this book. Then you can throw into the story some truly great names we already know of Buddy Ebsen, but also there is Ernest Hemmingway and John Steinbeck in here as well.

There is also the Rooster that appears on the journey, he just appears well naturally because why not, no real reason but he is here and adds to the story.

Rooster Pic

The journey has its moments along the way, with the odd kidnapping, bank robberies and shipwrecks. I hope by now this has more than wetted your appetite to get to know Elsie, Homer and Albert. This is story that has more than a few good laughs along the thousand mile journey but it is also incredibly moving and the ending is heart-breaking.  Few tears may be shed here so be warned.

I really loved Carrying Albert Home and want as many of you to experience the story that will captivate all that read Homer Hickam’s latest.


Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam – The official blog tour 2015


Competition time. I have five copies of Carrying Albert Home to give away in a free prize draw.  Head over to my Twitter page: @Thelastword1962 Just follow and retweet the post for this review and you will go into the draw to win one of the copies in hardback.  Terms and conditions apply. Please make sure that you read before entering.

Twitter Competition Terms and Conditions

  1. This competition is promoted by HarperCollins Publishers Limited (“HarperCollins”), 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9FG.
  2. This promotion is open to all UK residents except employees of HarperCollins
  3. You must be 18 to enter this competition.
  4. How to enter: Please follow and retweet the message on my Twitter feed @Thelastword1962 during the times specified below. Open to UK only. The chosen 5 winners will be sent a Direct Message requesting full name and address. Prizes to be sent be Harper Collins.
  5. The opening date for entries is 19 November 2015. The closing date for entries is 19 November 2015 at 11.59pm. No entries received after this date will be accepted.
  6. No purchase necessary.
  7. Only 1 allowed per household. If you try and enter more than once by a) using multiple Twitter accounts or b) tweeting the same entry more than once within a 24 hour period then all of your entries will be invalid.
  8. The prize is 1 of 5copy of CARRYING ALBERT HOME by HOMER HICKAM in hardback.
  9. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to availability. No guarantee is given as to the quality of the prize.
  10. No cash or prize alternatives are available.
  11. HarperCollins reserve the right in their reasonable discretion to substitute any prize with a prize of equal or greater value.
  12. The winner of the competition will chosen at random and notified by email no later 28 days later. Where we require details from you, if you do not provide these within 28 days of notification we reserve the right to select a different winner.
  13. All entrants are expected to act fairly and in the good spirit of the competition. HarperCollins reserves the right to investigate any irregularities and disqualify entrants at its absolute discretion.
  14. The prize will be delivered to the winner after 28 days after they have provided HarperCollins with their postal details. HarperCollins reserves the right to select another winner if the original winner cannot be contacted within a reasonable timeframe.
  15. Any application containing incorrect, false or unreadable information will be rejected. Any applications made on behalf of or for another person or multiple entries will not be included in the competition.
  16. HarperCollins’ decision as to who has won the competition shall be final.
  17. The entry instructions are part of the Terms and Conditions for this competition.
  18. By entering the competition you are agreeing to accept these Terms and Conditions. Any breach of these Terms and Conditions by you will mean that your entry will not be valid, and you will not be allowed to enter this competition.
  19. By entering this competition you are agreeing that, if you win, your name and entry may be a) used for the purpose of announcing the winner and/or distributed to individuals who request details of the winner and/or b) in any related publicity by HarperCollins, without additional payment or permission.
  20. Any personal information you give us will be used solely for this competition and will not be passed on to any other parties without your agreement. HarperCollins’ privacy policy can be found at:
  21. Under no circumstances will HarperCollins be responsible for any loss, damages, costs or expenses arising from or in any way connected with any errors, defects, interruptions, malfunctions or delays in the promotion of the competition or prize.
  22. HarperCollins will not be responsible unless required by law, for any loss, changes, costs or expenses, which may arise in connection with this competition and HarperCollins can cancel or alter the competition at any stage.
  23. Any dispute relating to the competition shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.


 Meet the Author

Homer Hickam



Homer Hickam is the bestselling and award-winning author of many books, including the #1 New York Times memoir Rocket Boys, which was adapted into the film October Sky.
He is a Vietnam combat veteran and has also been a coal miner, scuba instructor, palaeontologist and NASA engineer.


Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne



Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne


Review Date: 13 November 2015

Author: Simon Toyne

Release Date: 10 September 2015

Publishers: Harper Collins

ISBN –10: 0007551355

ISBN – 13: 0007551354


Available in Hardback, Kindle and audio

 The Last Word Review


One of the best thrillers of 2015. If you are a fan of Jack Reacher you will love this rip roaring roller-coaster adventure


I thought that in 2015 I had read the best thrillers, then came along Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne. This is gripping barn storming adventure that will take the reader to places most thrillers would dare not venture. It is dark at times and has religious connotations throughout.

So who is Solomon Creed? When a plane crashes in Arizona and starts a fire that spreads rapidly and threatens the small town of redemption, only one survivor crawls out the wreckage, he has no memory, he does not even know his own name, who is this barefooted man walking into Redemption?

When the police pick him up on the edge of town and search him for identification the only item they find is a book, this is no ordinary book called ‘The Making of a Town’ and is written by Redemptions founder Jack ‘King’ Cassidy. The book has been signed Gifted to Solomon Creed by James Coronado. Now the police are wondering if this is Solomon Creed. What does he want? Why is he here? Many questions about this mysterious figure with no recollection of who he is or his purpose.

The town of Redemption made its name and fortune in the gold and Copper that the towns founder discovered. Now with no more gold or copper to be found Redemption is a giant car park for redundant aircraft and an impressive stone church that is rather impressive to say the least.

Simon Toyne is an amazing storyteller that has written an all action thriller that has many twists including a drug baron, corrupt cops, murders, and a town that seems to have lost it soul not to mention reality and seems to be a town more akin to the wild west not a modern day town. There is much for the reader to take in with plot twists as we get to grips with the mysterious Solomon Creed and his purpose.

I must warn you now that this is a roller-coaster of a thriller of staggering proportions that you will not want to put down for too long. It has been the first of Simon Toyne’s novels I have read, which means I have some catching up to do.

The ending is just as intriguing as this gives us clues as to what comes next for our all action ‘hero’ not giving too much away here as I want you to experience what this reviewer has experienced with Solomon Creed. An incredibly well written and executed novel that takes the reader back and forth and many plot twists that will keep you gripped to the book and you will not want to let it go. If you are looking for a thriller for a Christmas read. It is here with Solomon Creed. I loved the cover, it says a lots of what lies between the covers.

Already looking forward to Toyne’s next thriller.


Meet the Author

Simon Toyne


Simon Toyne is the international bestselling author of the Sanctus trilogy – Sanctus, The Key and The Tower – and the Solomon Creed series. He wrote Sanctus after quitting his job as a TV executive and it became the biggest selling debut thriller of 2011 in the UK. His books have been translated into 27 languages and published in over 50 countries.


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