Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Divided We Stand by Rachel Mclean as part of the blog tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. This is the third and final installment in The Division Bell Trilogy. My thanks to Rachel for the invite onto all three tours and also the author fo re-copies of her books.

Synopsis:

Britain is a country under surveillance. Neighbours spy on neighbours. Schools enforce loyalty to the state. And children are encouraged to inform on their parents.

Disgraced MP Jennifer Sinclair has earned her freedom but returns home to find everything changed.

Rita Gurumurthy has been sent to a high security prison. When a sympathetic guard helps her escape she becomes a fugitive, forced to go into hiding.

To reunite her family and win freedom for her son and her friend, Jennifer must challenge her old colleague and rival, the new Prime Minister Catherine Moore.

Will Catherine listen to reason and remove the country from its yoke of fear and suspicion? Or will Jennifer have to reveal the secret only she knows about Catherine, and risk plunging the country into turmoil?

Purchase Link:-  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

This is the final book in The Division Bell Trilogy. This is also a trilogy that really should be read in order.  The Trilogy itself is set a few years in the future and the government has been active in segregating people, turning them against each other. Racism is rife and sets people of all races against each other in a big brother, whistleblower style surveillance system. The author has created a series that is quite chilling in some of its realism.

Jennifer is a disgraced Mp, she has finally been released from the British Values Centre, a place where its “patients” are brainwashed into the correct and more acceptable way of thinking. For Jennifer however, there are those that are aware of corruption and the many miscarriages of justice and are willing to help.

The culmination of this trilogy shows a country that has been held by fear gradually coming to its own realisation. The initial herding mentality that has gone on has now passed and people are starting to make little steps towards making a stand. The fear that authorities can come into your home and remove what and who they want, whenever they want is realism that many feel and don’t like. It is this and the sense of mis-justice that drives people for a change. This final book is like a political game of chess or cat and mouse.

I have enjoyed all the books in this trilogy. I like the dystopian, Big Brother, Orwellian style to it. This trilogy worked well for me, and I think it was due to it only just being set in the future, we have Brexit as an ever-present theme in all media outlets, racism and segregation are things that do still happen, peoples values and ideals are changing. I think it is the present climate that adds to this book.

If you are reader who likes political, big brother style dystopia, or a reader of general fiction then this is a trilogy I would recommend.

About the Author:

rachel mclean

I’m Rachel McLean and I write thrillers and speculative fiction.

I’m told that the world wants upbeat, cheerful stories – well, I’m sorry but I can’t help. My stories have an uncanny habit of predicting future events (and not the good ones). They’re inspired by my work at the Environment Agency and the Labour Party and explore issues like climate change, Islamophobia, the refugee crisis and sexism in high places. All with a focus on how these impact individual people and families.

You can find out more about my writing, get access to deals and exclusive stories or become part of my advance reader team by joining my book club at rachelmclean.com/bookclub.

Social Media Links –  Twitter –  Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

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Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner @RachelJBonner1 @rararesources #Giveaway #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of Strand of Faith by Rachel J Bonner as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite to the tour and also to the author for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

When the choice is between love and life, how can anyone decide?

A girl and a monk, both with extraordinary mental powers, have compelling reasons not to fall in love.  But those from whom they expect support are manipulating them both because their choices will have consequences for the rest of the world.

After a stormy youth, Brother Prospero has found comfort and fulfilment in the monastery.  That is, until he discovers something that forces him to reconsider his whole vocation.  To follow his heart, he’ll have to face his demons again, outside the security of the monastery. Is it worth the risk?  Can he beat them this time? Or will they finally destroy him?

Orphaned and mistreated, Leonie has found sanctuary and safety at the abbey.  All she wants is to learn how to manage her unusual abilities so that she is not a danger to those around her.  When she comes into contact with Prospero everything threatens to spiral out of her control.  Whether she leaves or whether she stays, how can she possibly avoid destroying – yet again – those she has come to care about? 

Abbot Gabriel is faced with an impossible choice.  He can do nothing and watch the world descend into war.  Or he can manipulate events and ensure peace – at the cost of two lives that he is responsible for.  He knows what he has to do but is he strong enough to sacrifice those he loves?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK – Books 2 Read

My Thoughts:

Leonie is taken under the wing of Abbot Gabriel, she has certain mental abilities and strengths that leave some to be very wary of her. With the tutelage and guidance at the Abbey she finds she is more able to manage her powers. Brother Prospero found his way to the Abbey years before, a troubled man who has found peace after taking orders. For both Leonie and Prospero they have found a sanctuary, they have also found each other, a connection that troubles both.

This is the start of a series that is a fantasy, romance. It combines people with various mental abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy as well as taking orders and following God. Though there is a religious presence I thought it was well balanced and not preachy.

The stories and backgrounds from the main characters was interesting and the way they found their own individual routes to the Abby was explained to a point. It is essentially a romance story but one that is reluctant to blossom. A self-imposed unwillingness to enter into a relationship, that is until the two main characters meet. This then puts the proverbial spanner in the works as individual beliefs and ideals are explored. It has that suspense of will they or won’t they as they become friends and support for each other.

There are a few things going on in the background of the main story, some have been teased out and others I assume will be explained in further books. I found myself quickly caught up in the story and liked the different abilities, this gave an air of magic. An interesting story that is a quickish read. Ideal for readers of fantasy and romance readers. I would recommend this one.

About the Author:

Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Target shooting only, honest.  Nothing to worry about.

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can find out more about her books and sign up for Rachel’s newsletters at HERE or follow her on Twitter

Giveaway

Giveaway -Win a signed paperback copy of Strand of Faith, a set of bookmarks (3 styles plus a business card) featuring the cover art, and a canvas print (40cm by 30cm) of the original cover art. Open Internationally

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

*****ENTER HERE*****

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The Coco Pinchard Box Set by Robert Bryndza @RobertBryndza @CocoPinchard @BOTBSPublicity #Extract

Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract with you all from The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard, it is one books in The Coco Pinchard Box Set by Robert Bryndza. I would have loved to have the time to read one of these for the Blog Tour by Sarah at Book On The Brightside Publicity. I do admit to having a couple of these on my kindle and while the blog tour in on Robert has a special deal where you can own the whole digital box set for only 99p… so yes I have also bought that as well 🙂 

Synopsis:

For the first time, all 5books in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard romantic comedy series are available in one! And this box set includes a new introduction by the author.

Book 1: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard

If you enjoyed flipping through Bridget Jones’s diary, you’ll love perusingCoco Pinchard’s emails! Coco confides in her quirky, supportive friends as she deals with her life falling apart. Read the emails that tell the heartwarming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good romantic Comedy. 

Book 2: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding

Coco thinks she’s on the road to happily ever after with Adam until he inexplicably breaks up with her. Will one mistake cost them their whole future? Coco sets out to discover what has really happened and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy – the stand-alone sequel to no.1bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard. 

Book 3: Coco Pinchard, the Consequences of Love and Sex


Coco Pinchard has a great life, a bestselling memoir, and a handsome second husband. Things are going exactly as planned — until her adult son runs into disaster, her ex’s mother butts back into her life, and she finds out she’s pregnant! Maybe life is more fun if you throw your plans out the window… The third book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard series (which can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story) is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time. 

Book 4: A Very Coco Christmas

It’s 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard is home for Christmas after her first term at University. She’s fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, but Coco’s mother wants her to be with Kenneth, the son of posh friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas.

As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. Avery Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone prequel short story to Robert Bryndza’s smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.

Book 5: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

A sparkling feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy? 

It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy -almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and CocoPinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old sonRosencrantz. 

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that four-year-old Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.

The Extract:

We got to Whitechapel at eight this morning. There is nothing more depressing than a shabby Victorian-era hospital on a cold grey day.

When we arrived at Intensive Care and saw Ethel, I knew that we were making the right decision. She was dressed in a fresh gown. A nurse had just finished bathing her. He was a nice chap but he had very bony fingers. Ethel hates bony fingers, they give her the creeps.

The fluorescent light fizzed and the rhythmic sound of the ventilator sucked air in and out of her lungs. Her fringe had been combed off her forehead, which she would have hated, and without her teeth, her scowl was sunken and diminished.

“I think we should all like say something, before we do this,” said Rosencrantz.

We took it in turns. Rosencrantz went first and told her he loved her. He said that he would endeavour to sleep with Rupert Everett, like he promised her he would.

“I always thought you would live like long enough for me to like tell you all about it,” he said.

There were raised eyebrows from everyone. Tony went next, and promised her coffin would be of the best quality.

“We’ve got a marvellous selection in at the moment, cherry, maple, oak, all with lovely brass features. Goodbye.”

Meryl went next. She was crying so much she could barely speak, so she just kissed Ethel on the cheek. Then it was my turn.

“Ethel,” I said, “goodbye. I know we have had our differences but I hate that this has happened to you… and in case you can hear, they asked me to press the switch. I didn’t volunteer.”

I took her comb and combed her fringe back over her forehead, just how she always wore it.

Daniel went last, and if I’m honest, he did go on a bit, giving a long lament that she will never get to see him realise his full potential. I half expected Ethel to open one eye and croak, “Pull yerself together, yer big girl’s blouse.”

The consultant was getting twitchy, as this had gone on for some time. He gave me a nod, and I walked over to switch off the life support. I was confronted by a confusing array of plugs. The hospital hadn’t said exactly what I had to do, and I didn’t feel like I could ask. I took a deep breath and pressed a switch. A pedestal fan by the bed sprang to life and swirled all Ethel’s get well cards off the bedside cabinet. The second switch turned on the television and the opening credits of This Morning boomed out.

“Excuse me,” said Meryl to the consultant, as if she were lost in Sainsbury’s, “could you direct my sister-in-law to the correct switch?”

I felt an inappropriate laugh rise up in my chest, which burst out. They all exchanged scandalised glances.

Apologising, I took a deep breath and pressed the correct switch. The ventilator filled her lungs one last time and slowly wheezed to a stop.

“Her chest is still rising!” cried Rosencrantz.

“This is sometimes normal,” said the consultant kindly. “Many patients do carry on breathing for a few minutes.”

“So right now she’s like dying?” said Rosencrantz.

We all looked at Ethel. She had a serene scowl on her face. Meryl gave a deep sob so Tony and me took her out, and Rosencrantz and Daniel followed. We had no interest in seeing what little colour Ethel had left drain from her face.

We went down to the cafeteria, ordered coffee, and sat staring into space. I don’t know how long we had been there when the consultant appeared at our table.

“It seems Mrs Pinchard is breathing unaided, and with a stronger pulse,” he said. “Now, this is an awkward crucial time, it could go either way, but she has shown stronger life signs in the last hour. Much stronger than we’d expected.”

We are still at the hospital. Ethel has now been breathing unaided for four hours. Meryl is in on the phone trying to get in touch with the Steakhouse we had booked for a memorial lunch. Tony had put down a deposit of fifty pounds. He is pacing up and down saying, “I know this is an emotional time, but fifty pounds is fifty pounds.”

Robert Bryndza 2012

About the Author:

author

 

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over one million copies. The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets, has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at Website and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza’s New Release Mailing List here: HERE

Links:-  Facebook –  Goodreads –  Twitter –  Instagram –  Website

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A Thunder Of War by Steve McHugh @StevejMchugh @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

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As the final stop on the Blog Tour, I am so happy that I finally get my turn to share my review of A Thunder Of War by Steve McHugh on the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours. My huge thanks to Anne for the invite and also to the author for my signed copy of this fabulous book. It is book number three in The Avalon Chronicles and I absolutely love this series.

Synopsis:

There’s thunder on the horizon, and the lightning of war is about to strike.

After years of struggle, Layla Cassidy has finally mastered the dark powers that threatened to control her and turned them to good. She’s ready to fight, but the next battle will be her greatest test yet.

The forces of Avalon are growing ever stronger, reinforcing their dominance with almighty displays of brutality. When Abaddon comes close to crushing Layla and her friends, it’s clear that the thunder of war is about to give way to lightning—and that they have no chance of surviving it alone.

The final battle against Abaddon is drawing closer. Now Layla and her friends must fight for themselves—and the future of the world. To win, they will need every power and ally they can muster. But even with all their strength, will it be enough to stand against the impending doom?

Purchase link at Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

This is the third in The Avalon Chronicles and yes I would definitely suggest reading these books in order as you get to see the transformation of Layla Cassidy. She is coming to terms with her powers, though not fully accepted all that she can be. The battle against Avalon becomes more brutal as the fighting increases. No one knows if Avalon can be defeated and everything is risked.

With Layla learning more about her powers and her role, she increasing finds herself and her friends in a relentless situation. Avalon forces are desperate to take over the control of the realms. They have won over some and it is a race to prevent more being lost. Layla and Abaddon have history and again they butt heads as Abaddon becomes a more increasing pain in the rear. With Layla still discovering the full extent of her power, it seems that Abaddon beats her at every turn.

This is a fantasy series that mixes and draws on legend, folklore, mythology from various countries and times. The way the author uses the different realms and also keeping its phrasing and language modern still allowing it to mix in different settings is a real treat. By doing this the author can mix in the odd demi-god, the occasional sorcerer, a few dwarves, were beasts and there’s a dragon or two… the dragons made me so happy.

The mix of old and ancient with a modern setting has worked really well for me as I was reading. I often found myself making notes for further reading with regards to some of the more unusual mythology or legendary references. There is such a large scope when it comes to the things that have been included such as; Arthurian legends, Norse Mythology, Roman mythology, and Native American and then there is also mentions of necromancy, elemental magic, and pure magic. These various elements have been well researched and while I wouldn’t necessarily have put such a range of different things like this together, I am so glad the author did as it makes such a wonderful read.

The characters are brilliantly described and their storylines and the way they are entwined is wonderful. There are a lot of characters, and again this is where I would reiterate that reading the series in order would help. The author has dropped some brilliant little one-liners that are delivered by certain cast members, and I have a feeling this may possibly be a little bit of the author’s personality popping by. You will soon build up a list of those characters that you really like because of their various traits, and then there are those you would quite happily take up a sword and personally chop their heads off.

If you are a fan of fantasy, magic, legend, mythology, and folklore then this is a must read. If you also like elves, dwarves, were beasts and don’t forget the dragons, then this is a must read.

A fabulous series, that I think would also work for general fiction readers as well as fantasy, yes it is heavy on the fantasy do to the mix of magic, legend, and mythology but I think it is very accessible with names you can actually pronounce. This is a book and a series I highly recommend.

The Series

Read my reviews for the first two book in the series.

A Glimmer of Hope

A Flicker Of Steel

About the Author:

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 Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.

It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the result of which is Crimes Against Magic.

He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.

Follow Steve on his Twitter or his Website

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No Time To Cry by James Oswald @SirBenfro @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

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I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of No Time To Cry by James Oswald as part of the blog tour with Anne at Random Things Tours. My huge thanks to Anne for the invite, the Author and Wildfire Publishing for my copy.

Synopsis:

Undercover cops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.
Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

PRAISE FOR JAMES

“The new Ian Rankin” Daily Record
“Oswald’s writing is a class above” Express

“Crime fiction’s next big thing” Sunday Telegraph

Purchase No Time to Cry at Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Con is an undercover Detective Constable and is called in by her boss at their safe house/ rendezvous. She arrives to find him dead. Not a simple death but tortured and then executed. It soon becomes obvious she is being blamed.

Oh my god, what a book! This has been an amazing read from start to finish and has stomped its way into my Top 10 Best Crime, Thriller reads of this year.

The main character is Constance, or as she prefers Con and she is a brilliant character. As I got to know her better I discovered that there is a lot more to her than first meets the eye. Yes, she is tenacious, feisty and is never going to be backed into a corner without coming out again fighting, she has a work ethic that means she is like a dog with a bone in regards to discovering the truth. Con is going to have a huge fight on her hands and several times I wondered how this would pan out.

The plot is so dark and does include a subject that may not appeal to all readers, for me it was enough to get a picture of the facts without being overly graphic with the details. Throughout the story, there was that ever-present feeling that absolutely no-one could be trusted, a way to build up the suspense and have the nerves tingling.

The story is set mainly in London but does take in other locations and the characters that associated with them. As for the other characters, I think you will pretty quickly work out for yourselves the ones you like or don’t.

The other locations give a chance for Con to catch the briefest of breathers with family and friends and even here I had them on the “do I trust them?” list. It left me pondering throughout as to how she would ever get through her own private investigations.#This is an absolute belter of a read with its dark and dangerous twisted paths. A story that had me at its very opening lines as that was where the suspense and intrigue started.

This for me is an absolute must-read for anyone who likes suspense-filled, female-led, crime and thriller books. The start of a new series, and I am really excited about this series and seriously look forward to more. This is a book that gets and absolutely highly recommended from me.

About the Author:

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JAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS were both shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. NO TIME TO CRY is the first book in James’s new Constance Fairchild series.
James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

Follow James on Twitter or visit his Website

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The Wakefield Series by David Evans @DavidEWriter @CarolineBookBit #GuestPost

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Today I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be taking part in the Blog Tour for The Wakefield Series by David Evans. My thanks to Caroline at Bitys About Books for the invite onto the tour and to David for his wonderful Guest Post.

Guest Post

In the past few years since delivering talks to various groups and organisations about my writing and how I achieved publication, many have asked me why I write. This is a question most writers have been asked and I’m sure my answers will resonate with many.

The most important thing to me is that I feel I have something to say, a story to tell; a story that I, as a reader, would be interested in reading. As I enjoy reading crime fiction, to me it makes perfect sense to write in that genre.

With years of experience as a professional in the construction industry, I’m well used to reading drawings and thinking logically about how things piece together. That experience has stood me in good stead with writing. Generally, I have two or three threads weaving their way through my novels and it takes concentration to keep track of those and bring them together for a resolution. When that happens, that is one of the most satisfying aspects of writing.

One other facet that gives me pleasure is when characters say, do or react to something in a way I hadn’t expected. In that respect, I am almost a reader being surprised by what happens or is being said. Those moments happen once or twice in the writing of a book and that is memorable.

Other authors I have met and become good friends with over the years are key to keeping me going as a writer. This is a marvellous community which encourages and supports one another. When you encounter those low spots, there’s always someone to put a metaphorical arm around you and pull you back up.

The main reason I continue to write however, is the wonderful reactions of the readers. When people I don’t know and have never met comment on my work and they ‘get’ a certain aspect, that makes it all worthwhile.

A few remarks by readers:

One wrote, “I found it so visual while I was reading that I think it would work very well as a television drama as it’s certainly up to the calibre of the recent adaptations we have seen on the small screen.” Another said, “Reading this book, I felt it a little like watching it play out on the TV it’s so well written, the picture in your head is there, cleverly without the author feeling the necessity to over describe scenes.”

Several readers have remarked I have “… a knack in producing realistic dialogue between the characters, including producing some witty lines that make you smile despite the dark storyline.” And, “I found this book to have everything a good crime novel requires – suspense, drama, comedy, and of course crime.”

I’d like to end with this remark from a reader, “I was a nervous wreck until I got to the end. You had me going through every emotion.”

Being able to put a reader through this range of feelings, that’s what gives me great pleasure and inspires me to continue writing.

About The Author:

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David Evans is a Scots-born writer who found his true love as well as his inspiration for his detective series, in Wakefield. Having written all his life, in 2012 he decided to go for it – successfully as the next year, in 2013, he was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award.

The Wakefield Series became an International Bestseller in June 2017 with success in Canada and Australia as well as the UK. Now, whilst awaiting the fourth book in the Wakefield Series (coming early 2019), the first three books in The Wakefield Series have been republished by Orchard View Publicationswith brand new covers.

Find out more by visiting David’s – Website – Facebook – Twitter

 

The Wakefield Series Buying Links:

The Wakefield Series:

#1 Trophies  getbook.at/Trophies

#2 Torment  getbook.at/Torment

#3 Talisman getbook.at/Talisman

#4 Tainted – coming 2019

The Full Tour for The Wakefield Series 

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Fishing For Maui by Isa Pearl Ritchie @rararesources #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review for Fishing For Maui by Isa Pearl Ritchie as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks for the invite and for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

A novel about food, whānau, and mental illness.

Valerie reads George Eliot to get to sleep – just to take her mind off worries over her patients, her children, their father and the next family dinner. Elena is so obsessed with health, traditional food, her pregnancy and her blog she doesn’t notice that her partner, Malcolm the ethicist, is getting himself into a moral dilemma of his own making. Evie wants to save the world one chicken at a time. Meanwhile her boyfriend, Michael is on a quest to reconnect with his Māori heritage and discover his own identity. Rosa is eight years old and lost in her own fantasy world, but she’s the only one who can tell something’s not right. Crisis has the power to bring this family together, but will it be too late?

“An accomplished story of a family in crisis – Ritchie’s great skill is her ability to conjure the inner lives if her characters. Fishing For Maui is a compassionate meditation on what it means to be well”. – Sarah Jane Barnett

Purchase Links

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Fishing-Maui-Isa-Pearl-Ritchie-ebook/dp/B07DZBXSCN/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fishing-Maui-Isa-Pearl-Ritchie-ebook/dp/B07DZBXSCN/

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/826608

My Thoughts:

The synopsis for this book gives a nice glimpse into this book and its characters, a story of a family living in New Zealand.

Each family member tells their own story and it’s through their words I was able to get a picture of the relationships and emotions between one another and their individual strengths and weaknesses within this family unit.

Each member of the family is very different in what they feel is a priority. For one of the family members, his Maori heritage and ancestry is of utmost importance and here the author did a wonderful job of introducing and explaining the Maori beliefs and traditions. For another family member processed food in any form and eating healthy and clean food is important. Gradually I discovered many things that made this family unique and interesting. With all these differing opinions there is a mix of information given to the reader, and here the author has successfully achieved this passing of information without it being too confusing.

There are several subjects that are involved in the story and they have been woven in a rather quiet and yet dramatic way. What I mean is that this is a story about family, everyday people doing everyday things, with the usual familial drama that is associated with it. There are also several moralistic as well as ethical dilemmas that came out, and the author has found the balance that I didn’t feel I was being preached at, using the characters within the story to tackle, discuss and argue various points gave me a chance to see differing opinions.

As I read, I realised this story was a story of demands that we put on ourselves, that society puts on and that is expected by family. These demands can cause rifts and stress within relationships and the strain of an event causes the family to stop and look at what they have. A gentle story of family, relationships, growing up and self to discovery. One I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Isa Ritchie is a Wellington-based writer. She grew up as a Pākehā child in a bicultural family and Māori was her first written language. She has completed a PhD on food sovereignty in Aotearoa. She is passionate about food, wellbeing and social justice.

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/isapearlritchie/

https://twitter.com/IsaPearlRitchie

https://www.instagram.com/isapearlritchie/

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Good Samaritans by Will Carver @will_carver @annecater @OrendaBooks #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my review of Good Samaritans by Will Carver today as part of the Blog Tour with Orenda Books. Huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invite and to Orenda and Will for my copy of this fabulous book.

Synopsis:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his
phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps
upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to
Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more
for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into
day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into
something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the
scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

My Thoughts:

The Samaritans are a group available to people in need. What happens if a phone call goes beyond a phone call. This story takes a dark look into a sinister world that kept me avidly turning the pages.

This is the first book I have read by this author and good god is it creepy, sinister dark and delicious. Full of twists and turns that left me just a bit shocked. Definitely not what I was expecting, and this is meant in a good way. The synopsis did a great job of getting me hooked, the pages of the story had me addicted.

I am not elaborating on the plot at all because I don’t want to give spoilers. I will say it is clever and has a real sense of suspense, there were times I was wondering where this story was going and how it was going to link up. By the end, I was feeling a little stunned as this disturbing story was revealed, Oh and in a really good way.

The way the book is laid out worked really well, in daily chapters and then broken down into quick sub-chapters. These gave a snappiness to the story as it moved along at a good pace. I would suggest that it would be ideal for picking up reading a couple of sections and then carrying on about your day, but this will not happen as once you pick it up you will not want to put it down.

If there were a limit to words I could use to describe this book they would be: twisted, dangerous, disturbing and sick and that is just some of the characters. You will soon work out who to like and then there are the ones that you want to be nowhere near, not in the same postcode, county or for that matter the same country.

I would say this is definitely a book aimed at adults with shall I say a slightly more open mind, there are a few erm… sexy, dirty bits and you know what it actually worked well and was appropriate.

So if you are after a book that has shocks, thrills, creepiness, and suspense then this is a must read. If you like an edginess that has a realistic feel to it then it is a must read and believe me when I say that you will never look at a bottle of bleach in the same way again…

A book that readers of psychological thrillers, domestic noir, crime, suspense and one I would highly recommend.
Purchase link: Amazon UK

About the Author:

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Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January
David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but
returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He
turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and
television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful
theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while
working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

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Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby @rararesources #Excerpt #Giveaway

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Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract from Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby as part of the Blog Blitz with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.

Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.

The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.

Purchase Links – Amazon UKAmazon ComPaperback from Amazon UK

Read the Excerpt:

Excerpt 4 – Celia is invited to Daryl’s house for dinner

“Oh what a bloody morning I’ve had, Daryl,” his mother said, slipping off the voluminous coat. She looked at Celia. “Are you staying for some dinner?”

Celia looked to Daryl for the answer.

“Yeah, Mum, she is. This is Celia, my friend from school.”

“You can tell me what you think of my new lipsticks, Celia,” she said through the hatch as she unpacked her shopping in the kitchen. “Run up to the garage, Daryl, and see if Vince wants any dinner, can you? Tell him it’s chops.”

While Daryl was away, Celia sat still in the sitting room, Mrs Wainwright flitting in every so often to pull out the leaf on the imitation-wood table or la-la along in a cracked voice to pop songs on the tranny. Celia couldn’t imagine her mum doing that, or wearing a bright pink jumper of the shade Mrs Wainwright had on, or with her hair dyed blonde in that short straight style, fringe in her eyes.

“You’re quiet,” Mrs Wainwright said the next time she shuffled in with some cork-bottomed place mats and cutlery. “Mind you, you’d need to be around my Daryl. He can’t half gas on.”

“Would you like any help, Mrs Wainwright?”

Daryl’s mum stopped then, her hands clasped together, her head to one side. “Well, ain’t that nice. Not many that comes round here has the manners of a lady. No, you sit yourself there and look at the lipsticks.”

Unsure how to act or which lipstick she should prefer, Celia found herself wishing Daryl would hurry on back. Mrs Wainwright carried on in the kitchen, calling through every so often about magazines Celia might like to read while waiting for dinner.

When Daryl came back it was with Vince, dressed in oily clothes. “Smells good,” Vince said, before plonking himself down at the small dining-table over a newspaper, his long legs taking up most of the space underneath. Daryl sat down opposite him and spun his fork round and round. “Come on, Celia. You sit down there.”

When his mum came through, it was with dinners that other people have, on plates that other people own; shiny, oval plates covered with potatoes, peeled and pale as eggs, and carrots small and all the same shape and straight from the tin, same as the peas, and gravy rich and gloppy over the chops. Celia tucked in, enjoying it for its novelty.

“You’re the head’s girl, ain’t you?” Vince said, his voice gruff and scary as the chunky chains round his neck and wrist.

Mrs Wainwright glanced up from her dinner. “You never said, my love.”

Celia pronged another egg-potato onto her fork. “He’s the deputy head. Miss Bond’s the head.”

“All the same in my book,” Vince said. “I hate teachers. Burn the pissin’ lot, I say.” He pointed his knife at Celia. “You know, like that rhyme; build a bonfire, put the teachers on the top.”

Celia fell into a silent discomfort by the attack on her father’s profession.

Vince then pointed his knife at Daryl. “Listen to what I say, kidder. Them runts at that school have always had it in for us. That’s why Mum had to fight to get you in there. You don’t want nothing to do with no fuckin’ teacher’s kid.”

Suddenly Daryl shot to his feet as though he’d sat on a pin. “Shut up, Vince! Shurrup! She’s my friend so leave her alone!”

Daryl stomped out then. Celia heard his door slam upstairs but she was rooted to the table by good manners and the proper thing to do. You didn’t get up from table if you were a guest in someone’s house, even if that house was the Wainwright house. Vince scowled on while Mrs Wainwright waved away the occurrence.

“Oh he’ll cool off in a while,” she said, clearing away the plates, including Daryl’s half-finished one. “D’you want some pears and cream, Celia?”

Afterwards, Vince grabbed his jacket and disappeared while Celia offered to help Mrs Wainwright with the dishes.

“Don’t you be worrying about Vince, Celia. His bark’s worse than his bite.” Mrs Wainwright squirted a good helping of Fairy Liquid into the washing-up bowl. “I could brain him sometimes, I really could, but he’s only protecting his brother, you know, coz his dad ain’t here. He don’t mean nothing by it.”

She started attacking the plates with a very grey-looking mop. “It’s tough for my Daryl, see, coz of his handicap, you know.”

Celia smiled and wiped the oval plates and melamine cups and pulled on drawers with false fronts that didn’t open, while Mrs Wainwright chattered on about Daryl, her cigarette smouldering in the ashtray. “He’s more or less grown out of his fits as I called ’em. They weren’t real fits, but he used to go bright pink and hold his breath and bang his head against the sideboard. He was mad at himself, see.”

Mrs Wainwright dabbed her hands dry on a tea cloth, picked up her cigarette and took down another framed photo from the sideboard which Celia at first thought was Daryl.

“This is Martin.” Mrs Wainwright handed the picture to Celia. “He’s a good-looking boy, isn’t he? Always had the girls after him at school.” She puffed on her cigarette. “The fact is that Daryl could have been the school heart-throb too, but for his arms.”

Celia tried to say something but the words dried up on her lips. She wanted to say how much she liked Daryl and his arms but this was the first time she’d met Mrs Wainwright and she wasn’t sure this was the sort of thing she should be saying. In any case, the cuckoo clock in the kitchen struck two o’clock, reminding her how late it was getting. “I should be going, Mrs Wainwright. Thanks very much for having me.”

About the Author:

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Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.

However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback

More information can be found at her WebsiteBlog

Social Media Links – FacebookAmazonGoodreadsBookbubPintrest

Enter the Giveaway to win a copy of Thalidomide Kid

Giveaway – Win 1 x signed copy of Thalidomide Kid

*Terms and Conditions –Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Glorious Dead by Tim Atkinson @dotterel @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Glorious Dead by Tim Atkinson as part of the blog tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and Unbound Publishers. This is a book that is set after the end of WWI.

Synopsis:

What happened when the Great War ended and the guns stopped firing? Who cleared the battlefields and buried the dead? It’s 1918 and the war may be over but Lance-Corporal Jack Patterson ad the men of his platoon are still knee-deep in Flanders mud, searching the battlefields for the remain of comrades killed in action. But duty isn’t all that’s keeping Jack in Flanders. For one there is Katia, the daughter of a local publican, with whom he has struck up a romance. And then there is something else, a secret that lies buried in Jack’s past, one he hopes isn’t about to be dug up.

Purchase link – Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Well, this is a book that was a real eye-opener that’s for sure. I had never really thought about who took care of the bodies of the fallen during or after WWI or WWII come to that. I was aware of there being Red Cross and Ambulance crews but that was as far as it went. Who was responsible for taking those bodies to their final resting place, in this case, a huge memorial cemetery in Belgium.

The story follows Jack and his group who remain in Belgium after the end of the war. While others have returned home, they remain. Disgruntled is a term that seems appropriate for their mood. It was interesting to read of the conditions the men had to work in not nice at all. The descriptions are of how bodies are found, identified and then managed.

Another thing that I found interesting was how those who died were interred against family wishes. Many wanted their loved ones to be repatriated to their home soil so they could be grieved over, to be visited and remembered. Many families never visited the final resting place of their loved one and knew they knew they would never be able to for various reasons.

The political and personal feelings expressed are woven around Jack, his story and of those he works with gradually emerges. It has a sense of camaraderie and also the wish for most of them to go home. Not all want to return home, stories of returning soldiers with no jobs, no home and living rough are emerging.

A story that took me to a horrific and brutal point in history. As I mentioned at the beginning a real eye-opener. While the story of Jack and his group was good, they actually became secondary for me in this story.

One I think readers of historical fiction would really like and one I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Tim Atkinson is a teacher, author and award-winning blogger. He studied philosophy at the University of Hull and has worked variously as a filing clerk, lay-clerk, chain-man and schoolteacher. He was born in Colchester, brought up in Yorkshire and now lives in Lincolnshire.

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