Blog, books, Interview, Reviews

A Review: ‘A Handful of Might’ by Joel Green

1975 Blake Drysdale is an aviator, smuggler and all-round crook.Accepting a mission from British Intelligence, he and his crew find themselves dropped into the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War in pursuit of a fugitive Nazi war criminal and a fortune in gold.

On the run, they take flight across the globe and discover a shocking conspiracy stretching back to the Second World War… which Blake may or may not have already known about.Caught between a mad CIA agent’s obsession and deadly Soviet revenge, Blake Drysdale must fight to protect the world and his friends… and let’s not forget about the gold.

Blake Drysdale (Book 1)
Paperback: 307 pages
Independently published
February 8th 2018
Genre: Adventure | War Fiction | War & Military | Action

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April 22nd, 1975 Observe the smuggler: No concessions were made to style or formality. Scuffed boots met rumpled tan slacks, continuing up to an oversized bomber jacket with a roundel patch on the shoulder. The jacket alluded, with a small bulge, to the presence of a pistol at the man’s hip. It would be unfair to say he had a swagger. He moved with confidence, but also a barely-perceptible limp on his left side. Dark eyes were set in a dark face, speaking of sub- continental ancestry. He was of mixed blood, British Indian, and probably disinclined to discuss it. A thin cigar protruded, unlit, from a mouth twisted in a crooked half-smile. The smuggler entered the dim, smoke-filled bar room; the same place can be found in any city of the world. This one was in Saigon, and Jimi Hendrix had taken up residence, beating out his rendition of Hey Joe from the jukebox in the corner with the volume turned low. Quietly screaming, like the rest of Vietnam. Numerous pairs of eyes – curious, suspi- cious and hostile – followed the man as he strode briskly into the gloom. The other patrons were soldiers, most of them dwarfing the diminutive newcomer, but they noted his ease and econo- my of movement that marked him out as a danger-man; one who could hold his own, who you didn’t start a fight with unless you really wanted a fight.Blake Drysdale didn’t return their stares, but headed pur- posefully toward a booth at the rear. Business always took place in a rear booth.‘Evening,’ he said, sliding in to take a seat with the three Marine Corps soldiers. Blake Drysdale’s accent was some- where between middle and upper-class Londoner. The Ameri- cans eyed him. ‘You’re the guy?’ asked the one across the table. Crew- cut, southern, black, scar across the forehead – his uniform bore the silver oak leaves of a Lieutenant colonel. ‘I’m a guy,’ Blake replied mildly. The colonel glanced at his companions. ‘I’m Henderson – these guys are Smith and McCormack. Le Minh said you work transport jobs; says you’ve got a floatplane.’ Blake sighed and took a box of matches out of his pocket. ‘Flying boat,’ he said mildly. ‘What?’ ‘It’s a flying boat. Floatplanes are smaller, and have pon- toons. Flying boats have hulls.’ He struck a match and lit his cigar, momentarily illuminating the booth so he could better see the faces of the soldiers. They were tired faces that housed dispirited and bloodshot eyes. The war was long lost, their continued presence drawing out defeat into years. ‘I couldn’t give a rat’s cock what you want to call it,’ Henderson snapped. ‘Are you up for a consignment?’ ‘I’m here,’ Blake pointed out, bluish smoke oozing from his nose. ‘Though I should probably tell you I don’t move drugs. At least not the hard stuff – ganja’s okay, but my crew tends to pinch a lot of it whenever it’s onboard. Bloody young people.’ He grinned. ‘It’s not drugs.’ ‘Weapons?’ The soldier shook his head. ‘Well sir, I do prefer to know what it is I’m carrying,’ Blake said. ‘If it will leak acid, or explode, or land me a life sentence, that sort of…’

Joel Green

Joel Green was born in 1984 in Australia. He works as a carer for people with intellectual disabilities and in his spare time he is an author of adventure thrillers, horror and science fiction novels.

Author’s Website | Twitter | Amazon | Facebook

A Handful of Might (Blake Drysdale, #1)A Handful of Might by Joel Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly a special thank you to Joel Green for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Now this one started off a little – slow?- maybe I was feeling off about it but before that first chapter was over I was hooked. Like Greens’ other books I was pulled into his writing and sat there… reading for hours. Next thing I knew I was halfway through the book and my babies one hour max nap turned into four and I felt like a slow reader – and a bad mom.

She was hungry, I was hungry for more pages to turn and uncover more crazy adventures with Blake Drysdale, our hero whom is a smuggler brings me towards more twist then a crazy roller coaster set on fast. Green did a wonderful job with making this story SO realistic that I felt my grandpa was sitting down like “kri.. Listen” and had me all sentimental although different geological locations. Like one of those old timers war stories they love to tell over, over and over again which has EVERYONE in the room captivated. How could you not fall in love with Greens’ writing?

Green is going to go far in the Sci-fi, fantasy and adventure genre and I’m glad he found me before he hit it big! Green has beautiful writing with such clever humorous dialogue that keeps you glued to every page. I hope there is going to be a third squeal because I already want to read the 2nd.

If you love action, airplanes, spies and a exciting story then A Handful of Might is YOUR next read!

View all my reviews

Interview with Mr. Green

Thank you for taking the time and answering us at The Tired Buyer along with taking the time to answer SO many questions!

What inspired you to start writing?
I was inspired as a kid to begin writing my own stories by the works of the late, legendary David Gemmell. Fantasy was my jam back then, and his uncomplicated emphasis on the immediate and deeply-flawed human element grounded realms of magic and monsters onto a more believable and gritty footing than most of his peers. I wanted to tell stories like that – about vast and awe-inspiring happenings viewed through the limited and bleary-eyed perspective of ordinary folk.

How long have you been writing? – I first began fooling around with some stories back in the late 90s when I was still in high school. They were mostly rubbish, but practice makes… less rubbish.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? – No! When I was a kid, I wanted to be Spider-Man.

How do you handle writer’s block? – Stay up bloody late. Sometime around three in the morning, I find the obstructionist, over-thinking conscious of the pre-fontal cortex begins sliding toward a state of somnolescence, allowing the less rational, unselfconscious midbrain to lean forward and take the wheel for a while. Those are the times when characters start doing and saying things that come as a complete surprise to me, and I suddenly thrash out weird solutions to problems I would never have thought of.

What comes first, the plot or characters?
The characters, absolutely. They come first. The plot is just a method I’ve come up with to ruin their day. It’s all about the characters. Without them it would all be just so much scenery.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
The Blake Drysdale novels owe their titles to old and obscure proverbs.

What time of the day do you usually write?
I am a night owl. And not your 9pm ‘night’ – my night doesn’t start until midnight.

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Figuring out how to market my books while overcoming the crippling self-consciousness that prohibits me from ever talking myself up.

Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
No, my full-time job is as a carer for people with intellectual disabilities. I’ve been doing it for nearly seventeen years. It is rewarding work, but ideally I would like to be able to make a career in writing novels at some point.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Yes, I am. You will find me on Facebook at and on twitter @AuthorJoelGreen

How do you handle literary criticism?
With a broad smile plastered on my face while my teeth grind away.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I have written three full-length novels so far; two in the Blake Drysdale adventure series as well as my horror novel ‘Adversary’. Hard to choose a favourite, but gun to my head I’d have to say ‘A Sword to a Fool’, the second Drysdale novel.

What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?  
That fictional characters can begin to form a dissociative, semi-independent life of their own in my brain and actually start writing themselves. I’d heard other authors remark on this phenomenon before, but I always assumed they were taking the piss.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
Blake Drysdale. He’s my most human hero – endearingly flawed and fallible. I’d conceived him as kind of an anti-Bond – the dude who isn’t as suave and debonair as he thinks he is, who makes mistakes, buggers things up, gets the snot beaten out of him and rarely, if ever, gets the girl. His morality and dedication are both very limited and yet he prevails. He does so not because he’s a superman, but in spite of his many glaring deficiencies. That’s something admirable.

Where can readers purchase your books?
At present, my books are available exclusively on Amazon:

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
I’m making slow progress on a third Blake Drysdale adventure. I’m about halfway through it. This new book will find Blake in a pretty dark place and his efforts to climb out of it are rudely interrupted by a deadly new foe and a plot that could threaten the tenuous peace between East and West, not to mention Blake’s profit margins.

Do you have any new series planned?
More than I could ever reasonably write in a lifetime.

What are you reading now?
Presently I’m re-reading ‘The Mad King’ by Edgar Rice Burroughs. One of my favourites.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Some of my favourite authors, and those who have inspired me, include (but are not limited to): Alistair MacLean, Ian Fleming, David Gemmell, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Peter Watts, Neal Asher, Peter F. Hamilton, Ann Leckie, Stephen King, Wilbur Smith, Terry Pratchett, William Gibson, Connie Willis Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum and Clive Cussler.

What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?
I would kill hang out with Peter Wattsand pick his brain. That guy has huge ideas. If you like your sci-fi hard and weird and breath-taking, pick up one of his books.

How many bookshelves are in your house?
Glancing at the overstuffed boxes, I’d have to say not enough.

Your hero?
Jack Chruchill – AKA ‘Mad Jack’ – who fought against the Nazis armed with a longbow, bagpipes, and a bloody great sword.

If you could only have one season, what would it be?
Winter. I’m one of those peculiar folk who thrives in the cold.

If you could cure a disease, what would it be?

If you could choose celebrity parents, who would you choose?
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Tea or coffee – COFFEE. Always coffee. Never anything but coffee. Coffee.

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