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THE PHOENIX SERIES
“I love a good series. More than that, I love it when I can follow characters with different adventures and watch as the writing of the story grows, and the characters, also grow. A good writer writes. A great writer continues to grow in writing, in story-telling, and bringing more change and depth to the characters.”
“Tayler's intrigue is so very timely, given world events. I can easily see the premise of his work being real.
Vigilantes motivated by hope for a better world and justice delivered where the system fails.”
“Tayler is generous to his readers with dynamic characters and intricate plots. His characters manage to take their own personal tragedies and use them as motivation to fix the world.”
“Using current issues of political and economic concern Tayler gives his stories an intensely realistic feel.”
“Atmospheric settings, and clever twists mixed with reality make his books plausible and entertaining.”
“Spinning a tale of fear and violence that could have come from world headlines.”
“The world could use groups like the Olympus Project to rid society of some of its festering sores.”
“Phoenix is certainly my kind of hero...with just the right amount of fallibility.”
“Characters with substance & genuine identities; ordinary lives filled with love, pain, and uncertainty.”
“Tayler has created a fascinating array of characters, and has a great grasp of creating consistent tension.”
“Each book is better than the last, and hard to put down. Tayler is a genius at character development.”
“Tayler weaves a tale of political intrigue that could be taken from today’s CNN reports.”
“Tayler brings a true realism to his plots, while making them the perfect escape from everyday life.”
“Tayler’s ability to give multiple dimensions to his characters gives his books a genuine slant. He works the relationships between his characters smoothly into his plots.”
“Don’t tell author Ted Tayler, I am having a virtual affair with his character, Phoenix. Like a hungry lover, I wait for each new book in his series, eager to learn what my vigilante hero is up to next”
Conception is two earlier books Unfinished Business and The Final Straw combined to give the full backstory as to how Colin Bailey became The Phoenix. As maternal matters go, this was free of any labour pains. Although pain was certainly the aim as anti-hero Colin Bailey initiated his meticulous maelstrom of revenge and righteousness upon the uncaring, and moreover, unsuspecting world. From the first line 'Colin Bailey was invisible' it is clear that this book will be a journey of regret, revenge and a litany of deep longing for a life that had been denied. Although Mr Tayler writes his prose with a conversational knowing wink, and scenes play out as if one's watching a high end drama, there is a constant inner pain that threads through, giving a touching, engrossing realism, which in less experienced hands, would have descended into predictable cliché. This is storytelling at its finest!
It is interesting to see, when both books are read back to back, that a clear change in tone has come through. The Final Straw has Bailey as a loner; a shy and confused young man. Unfinished Business shows the transformation, and demonstrates what the love of a good woman has done for him. Accomplished, confident and cool. This is the tone of the second book. There is also certain arrogance that becomes Bailey’s downfall in the final scenes.
As one goes through the book, it becomes apparent for all Bailey’s intricate planning and his great intelligence, his lack of emotional connectivity leaves him open to make mistakes. The hostage taking is perhaps a step too far. He believes himself to be untouchable, and doesn’t factor in people with similar intelligence on his tail. A miscalculation that results in a heart-pounding ending, and one for me, that establishes Mr Tayler as a master craftsman in the written word.
I really enjoyed Conception. It is one of those reads that engrosses and captivates. I would highly recommend Mr Tayler’s exciting opus into the mind, motivation and life of a disturbed but incredibly likeable young man, and I look forward to reading about the shadowy world of the Olympus Project and their role in Bailey’s new life. (Michelle Medhat)
In Conception, the main character is a cold murderer. Colin Bailey is the sum and substance of revenge; he is not a serial killer against society or a particular kind of person he picks from the crowd. Colin Bailey, the main character, has the guts and the icy blood many people dream of possessing. He hunts those who made him suffer with acumen and method and gets away with murder. His motivations are flimsy but any person can relate to them, in the big sense of mankind's hard moments of life. And actions that sound callous seem justified because the talent Ted Tayler reveals is astounding. I went to bed at 3 am and it's Tayler's fault. I couldn't drop the book.
I can't pinpoint the moment when I started to cheer for the murderer, But I so did! Disconcerting. I am not easily affected and I read any genre. Ted managed to arise such reaction from me and he bewildered me. I remember the last time a book did that- I was 15 years old, reading Gone With the Wind, a master piece. Only then an author made me share a character's mind to the point of feeling the worst of actions justified. Scarlett O'Hara and Colin Bailey will stay in my records as the worst and the best.
Conception stands for a difficult writing technique. It is the old storytelling with a few sentences of dialog scattered in the book. The reader gets the psychological understanding of the character and the narrator slips in his opinion. The book deserves 5 stars; I have no doubt. Once more I see how much traditional publishing misses. Ted Tayler is an amazing artist, one of the best I have ever read. I found myself supporting his criminal, and it scared me, but I hoot for Colin's creator. I hope Ted can make his living out of writing. We would be very lucky if he did. (Luciana Correa)
Sweet savagery. Rich in detail, and bitingly honest. A superb collection of stories that encapsulates the grim the ghoulish and the bizarre. Will gratify the intellect and frazzle the nerves.
Short stories with a twist. Brilliant! Each ‘tale’ is told with humour, revenge, love and the supernatural, yet for every tale there is a sting to accompany it.
Descriptive scenes and illustrative passages put the words on the page into a full wide screen version of themselves revealing such vivid passages and inviting details. A superb collection.
It's a collection of well written short stories with all genres thus everyone will have something they like. It's a perfect book for those who have a very little time to spare or having a hectic day and want to read some nice quick stories to relax and enjoy yourself.
A wonderful mix of short stories. Imaginative tales that perfectly fill in the little breaks in a day.
Great collection and fun reading! A collection of short stories that have a bit of a kick to them for the resolution. These will hit the spot. Superbly crafted and lots of fun!
This is a collection of finely written short stories, each one with a surprise twist at the end.
As I was reading it there were several that made me howl with surprise.
Ted Tayler crafts such clearly written stories that I could understand the context immediately.
Fine, literary writing merges with stinging twist endings in this extremely well written collection of stories that are well plotted and highly visual.
A collection of short stories that introduce the reader to a world that has a little something for everyone: love, ghost stories, revenge tales, books and libraries, and a touch of humor that perfectly binds them all together.
Short stories have a harder role to play than novels. They need to get the reader to love the characters and be hooked by the plot line far sooner, and, we need to be able to move from one character to another without losing the feeling of excitement we expect to have.
A Sting In The Tale is a superbly written collection of short stories; the author’s style is truthful, fresh, and the touch of humor adds the finishing touches to an already beautiful reading experience. Ted Tayler’s stories made me feel like I was part of the action; the plot twists made me want more, and the vivid descriptions put the scenes in my mind as if I was watching a movie. I saw the library; I saw the park; and I felt the emotions the characters felt as their stories were revealed before my eyes.
Unfinished Business is a superb sequel to The Final Straw. Anti-hero Colin Bailey initiates his meticulous maelstrom of revenge and righteousness upon the uncaring, and moreover, unsuspecting world.
Bailey is a metaphysical representation of our darkest moments; the moments when we desire retribution for wrongs that are done to us, but unlike Bailey we do not have the ‘special skill set’ to deploy such reprisals. By tapping into this almost primal urge: to eradicate the evil that exists amongst us, Mr Tayler has embedded subconsciously a connection that makes this book so engrossing. It is why we root for the anti-hero, and why we don't want to see Bailey captured.
Throughout the book there is a position advanced that the law – in its many forms - is an ineffectual and lumbering beast weighed down by the bulk of its own bureaucracy, and those that try to enforce it are stifled to act & become disenchanted and cynical to the effectiveness of it all. Bailey uses this weakness against them, and also applies this belief to vindicate his executions. He believes, somewhat in error, that the police have not the capability to think like him, and it is this presumption that leads to a hair- raising chase and a terrifying denouement for all players.
Unfinished Business is a tour de force story, dark but humorous, told in a 'nod and a wink' style that fascinates and captivates, and keeps you reading. The ending provides a pitch perfect entrée into the shadowy world of the Olympus Project and the emergence of new incarnation of Bailey as The Phoenix. Highly recommended! A book not to miss on your reading list.
A thriller in every sense of the word. A real gripper, and once I picked it up; I couldn't put it down until it was over. Each chapter ended in such a way that stopping reading simply wasn't an option. This was one of those rare books that pulls a reader firmly into the story and holds on tight, not letting go, even at the end.
It would be possible to read this book as a standalone story; however, I would strongly recommend reading The Final Straw so that the reader gets the full picture of Colin's quest. I found it difficult to put down The Final Straw when I first read that and this follow up was no different.
A journey of regret, revenge and a litany of deep longing for a life that had been denied. Although Tayler writes his prose with a conversational knowing wink, and scenes play out as if one's watching a high end drama, there is a constant inner pain that threads through, giving a touching, engrossing realism, which in less experienced hands, would have descended into predictable cliché. This is storytelling at its finest!
As a writer, Ted Tayler’s style captures you, and although rooting for the killer isn’t the usual stance to take, Bailey is the perfect antihero, and you want him to get away with those murders, you want him to avenge for the life that was taken from him in so many ways. The Final Straw is an absorbing read, pulsing with an undercurrent of righteousness, and as a reader, you will be hooked, so much so you’ll be devouring the sequel Unfinished Business before you even recognise it. That’s the power of Bailey’s invisibility!
Each scene flowed to the next scene in a cohesive manner and it was easy to understand time passing and the movement of the characters. Every page sucked me into the story more and more, and I always felt like I could follow everything that was happening in the book and I could easily feel the emotions of the characters.
The Final Straw pulled me in and was great from the beginning. Despite Colin’s actions, I believe that this book touches real-life issues of loss, dying and a sense of purpose.
The story is original, the characters unique and the writing is absolutely moving. Colin's family is dysfunctional and just when he thinks he finally has created a safe zone for himself and his family, everything comes crashing down.
The author's execution was flawless simply because you never knew what was going to happen in the next page. Colin Bailey is a character with many different layers, and the author assures readers that in every chapter, at least one layer is peeled off.
This is a thrilling tour de force of a novel from beginning to end, which will have you devouring the final chapters one after the other to find out if DI Phil Hounsell finally gets his man. Fans of crime thrillers need look no further.
I spent the last few days of 2014 reading We'd Like to do a Number Now, and I am so glad I did. From the moment, the tales begin, I felt like I was sitting across the table from Ted Tayler as he regaled a yarn or two. The story is told from memory, about his time on the road. As the partner of a music man, and having been 'on the road' with him, I can tell you, some things are immortal; such as the vans breaking down, the friendships forged and the stories that beggar belief.
For anyone who shares a love of the universal language that is Music, this little gem is a must read. I am coming to the end chapters now and I feel as though I'm waving goodbye to friends as they take to the road once more.
Beautifully written, funny, engaging and with the odd swear word or two, it is one of my top reads of the year 🙂
Rock and Roll Baby!!!
I enjoyed reading this book. Ted has been in bed with my wife and I over the recent weeks of the Christmas period 2015 as I read a chapter each night on the iPad. I saw Heart n Soul on many, many gigs in my youth and I was a huge fan. Ted wrote of people, venues and shows I knew back then, from the church choir to shows at the Granary. This book is well written, funny and well worth reading by any aspiring group who set off looking for that elusive stardom.
We'd Like to do a Number Now is a fascinating insight into the world of bands in the 60s and 70s. This books goes behind the scenes and details some of the most unusual people and events you are ever likely to come across. From the bands The Krowats and Heart 'N' Soul through to Elijah and the Goat and Bucephalus. It is great to read about their adventures in my local area such as Ross on Wye, Bristol and Chippenham. If you like reading about classic bands and their struggling musicians in that great musical period, then you'll enjoy this detailed and informative read. Perfect for those with an interest in Rhythm and Blues, Blues, Soul and Progressive Rock.
Well written, packed full of anecdotes and lots of arguments!