Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Review - The Ecology of Lonesomeness by David O'Brien + GIVEAWAY

The Ecology of Lonesomeness by David O'Brien
AUTHOR:    David O'Brien
INFO:    Fiction, 323 pages
PUBLISHED:   Tirgearr, 2015
SOURCE:   Received from Publisher for Review


Kaleb Schwartz isn't interested in the Loch Ness Monster. He'd enough cryptobiological speculation about Bigfoot while studying the Pacific Northwest forests. He's in Scotland's Great Glen to investigate aquatic food webs and nutrients cycles; if he proves there's no food for any creature bigger than a pike, then so much the better.

Jessie McPherson has returned to Loch Ness after finishing university in London, hoping to avoid the obsession with its dark waters she had when younger and first discovered lonesomeness. She knows any relationship with a scientist studying the lake is a bad idea, but something about Kaleb makes her throw caution to the depths.

When Kaleb discovers Jessie's lonesomeness refers not just to the solitude of the loch, he's faced with an ecological problem of monstrous proportions. Can he find a way to satisfy both the man and the scientist inside himself, and do the right thing?

EXCERPT: Kaleb Schwartz stared out across the water. A rain shower worked its way through the glen toward him from Fort Augustus. Its grey, amorphous body covered the upper reaches of the lake, and would soon engulf Urquhart Castle to splatter rain upon him. He'd about ten minutes, he calculated, before he was going to get very wet. How long the shower would last, he had no idea: he'd worked out just a tiny part of the mysterious phenomenon that was the weather here in the Highlands.

Before arriving two weeks before, he'd heard about the constant rain in Scotland, but after years of fieldwork in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, Kaleb had been sure he could handle any weather the Highlands threw at him. He had good rain gear.

Nevertheless, the redwood forests of Vancouver Island had not quite prepared him for the changeability here. He'd put on and taken off his jacket and waterproof leggings twice or three times every day so far. Sometimes he wore just a t-shirt, and half an hour later was zipped up in Gore-Tex, holding the cap of his hood against a chill wind as his knuckles turned numb.

And it wasn't only the rain; the fog was just as unpredictable. The purple hills that bound the lake within their walls would sometimes simply vanish from sight. A mist would materialise and make everything further than a hundred yards away basically nonexistent.

When that happened, he might have been on the shore of Vancouver Island looking out on the Pacific, or in the widest expanse of Wyoming or Montana—a great plain in whiteout winter, stretching on for weeks of walking, or days on a train: a Tolstoian steppe. Silence would follow as if to match the invisibility, to prove nothing could make noise—everything beyond sight had actually vanished: there was no moor to hold a roaring stag, no heather to hide a calling grouse, no walls to echo the mournful cry of a red-throated loon. 

The Ecology of Lonesomeness blog tour by Goddess Fish Promotions

MY TAKE:   I really wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I chose to be a part of the blog tour because I am fascinated with Scotland and Loch Ness and I do have a strong interest in the environment. I was quite pleasantly surprised to be drawn in to a lovely romance as well as an interesting story.

Personally and usually, I have found that male authors don't always have the right touch when writing a romance. David J. O'Brien seems to be a glowing exception to this trend. He has created a very touching and more realistic love story with heroine that isn't your usual "ideal" from a male writer. Jessie is strong, capable and very much an intelligent woman. I tire of the Hugh Hefner inspired "twit" that some men think should be the mainstay for romance. Brains are beautiful men! Mr. O'Brien obviously gets that.

Kaleb and many of the other characters are just as well thought out and fleshed out as Jessie. They have many dimensions and their personalities are quite enchanting. I always enjoy a story even more when you have some extremely interesting "lesser" characters who could easily make the book their own. 

The story itself (as well as Jessie & Kaleb's romance) has a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns. I like that their personal secrets as well as the mystery of the Loch and the Monster are intertwined so neatly with the pure science that is so prevalent in the story. I learned quite a bit while being thoroughly touched and entertained. I highly recommend this refreshing tale and found it to be a great change of pace to my usual reads.
Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:

MEET THE AUTHOR:  David is a writer, ecologist and teacher from Dublin, Ireland, now living in Pamplona Spain. He has a degree in environmental biology and doctorate in zoology, specialising in deer biology and is still involved in deer management in his spare time. 

As an avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science. While his stories and novels are contemporary, they often seek to describe the science behind the supernatural or the paranormal.

His novels, Leaving thePack and FiveDays on Ballyboy Beach are available at Tirgearr Publishing. His YA novel, The Soul of Adam Short and Children's novel Peter and the Little People will be published soon by MuseitUP Publishing. He writes erotic romance under the pen name J.D. Martins.

David J. O'Brien

A long-time member of The World Wildlife Fund, David has pledged to donate 10% of his royalties on all his hitherto published books to that charity to aid with protecting endangered species and habitats.

 David will be awarding an eCopy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Be sure to stop by the rest of the hosts for this 
Goddess Fish tour:

November 10: UnabridgedAndra's
November 10: OurFamilies Adventure
November 17: One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
November 17: RomorrorFan Girl
November 24: SharingLinks and Wisdom
November 24: LibriAmoriMiei
December 1: Hope.Dreams. Life... Love
December 1: RomanticFanatic

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~~~~~ Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own.  I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links.  I may receive books in  order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one.  Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.


  1. Good mornning!
    Thanks so much for hosting me today and for reviewing the story. I'm delighted you liked the book and the characters. I am married to a woman who has more brains than I am, so I don't know how to write any other way!
    I'd be delighted to answer any questions you or your readers have today.
    Best wishes

    1. Thank you David, I appreciate you being here and for allowing me to enjoy your book . I definitely got the impression there was a good woman somewhere in your life from your portrayal of Jessie :) Good job! Lol

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