TRICK OF FATE
Connell O'Keeffe & the Pen Caer Legacy
Watkins brings the chaos of battle off the page superbly and she's particularly good on the aftermath -- the randomness of treatment, the foul and degrading conditions and the occasional person who does their best to help at some risk to themselves. It's a very good, compelling story... I expected to enjoy the read and wasn't disappointed" **** Recommended. Sue Magee, The Bookbag. Full review
"Trick of Fate was a page turner to say the least, a smooth narrative that was so easy and pleasurable to read consistently throughout. There are genuine twists and shocking moments that illicit a gasp... There are equally effective moments of heartbreak, joy and a whole range of emotions.. . The beginning was completely compelling... this is a masterful use of the first person narrative, using it for all its psychological and emotional resonance while balancing it out with plenty of dialogue and objective observation... Truly fearless and liberated writing.
"The characterisation in this novel is pretty flawless. A captivating read... a well-integrated fictional world where themes, characters, events and ideas are perfectly in harmony to create a well-rounded work. An excellent novel." Dean George ESTYN
GENERAL COMMENTS FROM READERS
"I first read about your books in the Western Telegraph, and having read both of the Connell O'Keeffe adventures, I am now reading about John Theophilus Potter, and no doubt, when I've finished this, will be hungry for more, as you are such a good writer. I would like to offer my congratulations on my discovery of a writer who holds a reader's attention as you held mine. Thank you."
"Can't tell you how much we enjoyed your novels, and are looking for more."
"Have you any other books in the works? I hope so, as you have such a vivid imagination, and create real characters."
THE WAYWARD GENTLEMAN
John Theophilus Potter & the Town of Haverfordwest
"When I began reading I realized this book is very, very well written, and the story of Theo Potter is one that deserves to be told... Theo Potter flies off the page fully costumed. He's used to being in the limelight and he's personable in a way that many actors are not. Skillful writing meant that we watched him mature over the course of the book, whilst we saw Elizabeth become more and more of a homebody. Even the 'bit players' have real, individual personalities. There's an obvious affection for the characters, but it's an honest telling of the story: I howled with laughter at the events of the masked ball and I cried over Theo's horse, Hercules - twice. There's a real sense of Haverfordwest too and best of all it comes from an author who knows her subject rather than someone who has done a lot of research to flesh it out.
"I read the book in two sittings and the time simply flew by. It's a genuinely engaging story with characters who stay in your mind when you've turned the final page." **** Recommended Sue Magee, The Bookbag. Full review
"Perhaps it was inevitable that I should have enjoyed this novel very much, since it's very well-written in itself and I have a long-standing interest in 18th and 19th century Haverfordwest and in the remarkable Potter family in particular. I was totally absorbed... genuine historical interest... absorbing relationship between Theo and Elizabeth..." Robert Nisbet
Connell O'Keeffe & The Spider's Web
"A masterpiece of plotting... much more than historical fiction -- it's a very satisfying thriller set in Dyfed at the end of the 18th century. **** Recommended. Sue Magee, The Bookbag. Full Review
"This is a dynamic, gripping and beautifully original adventure story enriched with a vibrant engagement of history that does not pander to romantic ideals.
"There is a cliche about diffucult second albums, films, and novels, especially so when they are produced in sequence to the original, sequels in any genre of the narrative often being difficult prey for writers. It is, then, a great achievement for Patricia Watkins to have produced a sequel on a par with, ifnot even better than, the original -- TRICK OF FATE: Connell O'Keeffe & the Pen Caer Legacy -- and sufficiently different in both content and style to be a unique experience. Here is a change of genre to a more plot-reliant adventure story that bases itself on the characters and world created in the first book, but does not hinge upon them. It is a story that is dynamic and powerful, with a plot that is robust, sophisticated and wildly entertaining, and a memorable leading man who is a brilliantly crafted protagonist for an adventure story such as this...
"Wonderfully complex and engaging, it will have you second guessing the next page and often finding yourself completely wrong -- a resonant piece of writing that draws the reader in for sure... A must read for any Dyfed native with a mind for history, and also anyone who appreciates a riveting and unique adventure laid on for them."
Dean George ESTYN
THE WAYWARD GENTLEMAN
John Theophilus Potter & The Smock
"An 18th century 'gentleman player' fights, loves and charms his way through Ireland in Watkins'... delightful ode to the theater.
"John Theophilus Potter (“Theo” to his many friends and admirers) is blessed with exuberance, height, swordsmanship, and such good looks that noblewomen can’t help but try to seduce him. He also has a quality that proves to be both a blessing and an impediment: He’s a skilled actor, equally adept at performing dramatic roles (Hamlet, Romeo) and comedic ones (the drunkard Trinculo in The Tempest)...
"The novel's plot is as restless as its protagonist, resulting in a compelling narrative...
"A vivid historical envisioning, with insightful observations about playacting in everyday life, and memorable anecdotes about life in the theater. In particular several costuming mishaps inform several buoyant episodes.
"A spirited historical novel marked by humor, intrigue and entertainment." "Kirkus Reviews" Full review
"I must say you have done an impressive piece of historical re-imagination. That period in Irish theatre history is a particularly vivid one... You have really brought this material alive." Prof. Chris. Morash, Head, School of English, Media and Theatre Studies, National University of Ireland. Author of: A History of Irish Theatre, 1601-2000, Cambridge University Press. Winner of the Theatre Book Prize, 2002
"This story is set around Dublin and Cork theatre world of the late 18th century. Patricia Watkins sets out the cityscapes of Dublin and Cork, their society and their theatre society of the time. The interaction of her characters with historical theatrical events, real persons such as Thomas Sheridan, father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, David Garrick and real locations such as the Smock Alley Theatre, puts the place of theatre in the lives of the rich aristocracy and the poor city slum dwellers of 18th century Dublin and Cork into an interesting and understandable context.
"Patricia Watkins description of the touring company's adventures while traveling from Dublin to Cork and back on their annual summer tour makes for interesting reading in its self.
"For students of Theatre History, Scenography, professional practitioners and educators, this is a useful, researched and constructed historical novel that helps the reader visualise in context, the theatres and theatre life of 18th century Dublin and Cork." Patrick Molloy
VOYAGE INTO LIMBO
This book was selected by the book-review website, The Bookbag, as one their "ten best self-published books of 2014"
"If you've ever read anything by Patricia Watkins you'll know that she writes beautifully -- no tricks, no strange literary devices, just clear writing that leaves you in no doubt about the story she's telling. You'll know too that she has a talent for creating rounded characters. They're not perfect or in any way extraodinary; they're just human and they stay with you long after you've finished the book. But if I had to put my finger on what it is that lifts the books up in my estimation then it's the plots. Watkins takes perfectly ordinary people and pops them into a situation which is only slightly unusual and then allows the situation to develop... Add into this mix some excellent research (you always get plenty of 'well, I never knew that' moments with Watkins) and some neat plot twists and you realise that this is someone who deserves to be more widely read... I regard Pat Watkins' historical fiction as a treat and I was nervous about her first foray into a thriller in a modern setting. I needn't have worried -- it's a great read."
Sue Magee, The Bookbag. Full review
"Voyage into Limbo is an ambitious contemporary thriller that contains lots of action, twists and dark turns. However, it also delves deep into the sociological and psychological, which brings a uniquely compelling read that will leave you invigorated." Dean George, ESTYN
“A real page turner. Patricia Watkins goes from strength to strength. She writes with as much assurance about sailing as she does about the horrors of being caught helplessly in 'the system'. More please!” *****
"An excellent read. It's always a true pleasure to find a real page turner of a book, whose fast paced twists and turns combine with delightful characterisation and evocative depictions of scenery on both sides of the Atlantic. Voyage into Limbo is one such book which kept me up until the wee hours saying to myself 'just one more page......' Needless to say, one page turned into many pages! Evidently well researched in all aspects, Patricia Watkins has created a colourful tale which keeps you guessing until the end. The only negative thing about this book is that the author had to self publish which means that it won't reach as wide an audience as it should or could do given the high calibre of the writing."***** Teiwaz
I“A must read !! This book has it all -- adventure, mystery, suspense, emotions, romance, psychology, intrigue. Even though the story has
many great elements, the author's talents provide a constant fluidity for the reader, leaving a desire -- a must-- to fInd out what's next ? The only problem for the reader is that the story ENDS. More please, we're anxiously waiting.”***** Irene C.
“I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't as science fiction that I thought it might be. I would definitely recommend it.”***** Alaina Maxam
“Really liked. I won a copy through a Goodreads giveaway. Voyage Into Limbo was a book that defied gravity. All I did today was read this book nonstop. The plot was very compelling, and the mystery located within its pages had me jumping to conclusions! I can't think of a better way that I could have spent today other than reading this story.” ****
“An exciting psychological thriller!!! Glad I won this book from Goodreads. Such a good read! I could not put it down!” ***** Ophelia
“A really unusual and exciting mystery story. Will lose you sleep as you wonder what has happened to Colwyn Yeats, leaving him injured and suffering from amnesia on a strange beach.”***** Sheila Duffill