There’s no greater pleasure as a self-published author than receiving requests from reading groups for your novel.

These circles are a focus group on steroids – and I love hearing what people think. Bring it on, I say: the good, the bad and in the case of some of the characters in Billy Lime – the ugly!


Some feedback for AMPLIFY has been passionate and forthright. I have even heard of arguments breaking out, and in one case a friend even left their bookclub group because of the disparity of opinions about Amplify!

Most participants of these reading circles are women. This makes the feedback and observations all the more valuable because, by gender, they buy many more books than men.

In the UK, up to two-thirds of all books are bought by women. A survey by Goodreads also showed that readers prefer authors of their own sex but that doesn’t seem to have stopped female fans from supporting Amplify.

No.1 Amazon reviewer Nicole Sheffield says: “It was . . . so mesmerising that I was transported to another world that was high energy, highly entertaining and totally engrossing. I would never say that a book filled with fictional ageing rockers, tax men to hate, cops crooked and otherwise, all woven into an action thriller story would be on my 5 star list – but this is definitely well worth each one of those stars.”

"With a thoroughly modern setting, sexy characters and a multi-faceted plot, there is nothing about this book that will allow it to be put down." - Emma Cary

Other female reviewers included Emma Cary who wrote: “As a lover of crime novels, Amplify ticks all my boxes. With a thoroughly modern setting, sexy characters and a multi-faceted plot, there is nothing about this book that will allow it to be put down. Fast paced and deliciously intriguing, I finished it desperate to read the next instalment.”

Sian Hutson wrote: “This book got my attention right away and drew me in. Read it in one sitting as I couldn't put it down. No fluff just good writing! Look forward to reading more Billy Lime.”

And Julee Muminovic said: “With a cover tagline that screams ‘sex, drugs, rock’n’roll - and murder’, it’s immediately clear that Mark Hollands has no intention of allowing readers to slip into a boredom-induced coma anytime soon.

“The first of what will hopefully be many Billy Lime offerings, Amplify is a fast-paced, adrenalin-charged read that lays its cards on the table at the very outset. Featuring protagonists including ruthless outlaw bikers and a band of substance-fuelled Motley Crue-esque rock superstars, this debut offering motors along at a frenetic pace thanks to punchy prose that drives the narrative with page-turning ferocity.”
Amplify and the books to follow in the series are based on an anti-hero, Billy Lime, and are set in one of the world’s most sexist – and sexiest – industries, music and entertainment. There’s no point in being all PC if you are writing a crime thriller which the plots centres on a world of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.

When I began writing it, I had no idea what was going to fly off the keyboard. The only real idea swirling in my head was to create a character trying to better himself, to smooth the tough-guy edge that had become second-nature as his strategy to survive in such a cut-throat business.

And I wanted to create some great female characters – everyone who has read the book seems to relate to Kimmi, who is based on a real gal pal of mine (and she really is that no nonsense and well dressed!).

If your reading group would like copies of AMPLIFY, don’t hesitate the contact me and I’ll get copies over to you. We’ve got a great book club offer currently, which includes a Skype call with yours truly (my wife said it would be fun!) so you can ‘Ask the Author’ and share your feedback or ideas for books two and three.

To see if AMPLIFY is something your bookclub would enjoy, check out the free first chapter here.

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