My Week In Books (w/e 26th Jan) #MeAndMyBooks #BookNews

Welcome to another week of what I have been reading. Over the past few weeks I have been moaning about how January seems to take to get through and now suddenly we are almost at the end!

So something really exciting and special happened to me this week, if you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed my post! I got super excited as I submitted a short story to Emma Mitchell for consideration for the next Help 4 Heroes book and it was accepted! I am still in shock!!!!

I never expected it to be accepted at all and it made me wonder… How many of you have a story that has been sat there, that you have taken the time to write, that you are too nervous to send? This was me as well. If this is you then do something about it! Be brave!

Now then, to what I have been reading…

The Southern Belles by Katie Simpkins

This was the next book I was only just about to start when I wrote up last weeks Update post. What did I think? Well I loved it! It is a brilliant read and threw up some unexpected surprises, in a good way I may add. It was a riches to rags story that followed three sisters who suddenly found themselves out of their home, very little money and having to work for a living. This is the first in The Brighton Belles series and I am really looking forward to reading more. Keep you eye out for my review for the Blog Tour soon.


Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph

This is another Blog Tour read and has quite a modern feel to it. Jess uses a You Tube reality series to highlight that her mothers killer has never been caught. Using the show, she hopes to get more information and possible leads for finding the Magpie Man. This is a YA book that is tense and at times dark and I really enjoyed it.


Going Rogue by Nail Lancaster

I have been looking forward to reading this one, it is the 2nd in the Tom Novak series and i had recently read Going Rogue which was the first one. In Going Rogue, Tom goes to prison, I should say he is undercover at this point. He is trying to infiltrate a group responsible for bombings. This is another action packed read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


This is where I would normally share what I am going to read next… but at the moment I am not sure what it will be yet. It may be another Blog Tour Book or it may be one from my own TBR!

Well that is me done for the week, so I wish you all a good week ahead

Yvonne xx

A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my spot on the Blog Tour and my e-copy of this terrrific book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series


The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

The really like the simplicity of this cover and as I again look at it after reading the book it is also so appropriate. The synopsis does a great job of setting the basics up for this story. This is the first in a new series by Doug Johnstone and I have to say I cannot wait to see what these feisty Sklef women get up to in further books.

This is a story that is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one who left one or two skeletons lurking behind him. Jim’s death leaves not only a big hole in the lives of his family, it also leaves a hole in the two businesses. One is a funeral directors the other is a private Investigation business.

Taking over two businesses throws up a few surprises, in fact surprise is something that each of the three Skelf women, in this story, have got to deal with. Some hit closer to home than others. In some respects this book is like reading interconnected stories, that have an individual feel at times but also are linked.

The individual stories gradually make themselves known and after a slower start I suddenly found myself finding my feet. There were a few characters to get my head around, but gradually I did and I was able to see the story rather than trying to remember who was who.

Dealing with grief at the same time as discovering secrets and trying to keep business running is a tall order. This is something the Skelf ‘s seem to take in their stride. These are strong women, who do have moments of doubt but continue on.

This is a really good read that has more than a few surprises tucked in the pages, very cleverly worked and quite a lot of facts scattered throughout that added some wonderful reading extras.

If you are a reader who likes crime and mystery reads then this will be right up your street, I am really looking forward to what happens next and what the author can weave into his next book. A Dark Matter gets a definitely recommended from me.

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

See what other Book Blogger on the Blog Tour think, check out their stops…

Get your copy from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

No Mercy by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #BookReview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Robert Crouch’s latest book No Mercy. I am a big fan of Robert’s Kent Fisher series and he is an author who is on my “will automatically read” list. So when I saw an email asking me if I wanted to read book #5 in the series it was an automatic “Yes please” without reading any of the blurb.

So without further ado, let me show you what No Mercy is all about…

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him? 

I am a big fan of this series and I adore the character of Kent Fisher an Environmental Health Officer who runs and animal sanctuary and solves the odd murder.

This is the latest in the Kent Fisher series and while you can read it as a stand-alone, why would you even want to, just read the series from the beginning.

So this book sees Kent right in the thick of things as usual, he is quite used to being in this position as he does seem to attack trouble. This time however he has things coming at him from all sides. It starts with his ex-girlfriend rocking up on his doorstep, then an alleged suicide starts the ball rolling. As the story pans out things gather momentum and a bigger picture is gradually seen.

This book could just as easily be called the Trials of Kent Fisher, except it wouldn’t fit with the “No” titles of the previous books. There are problems at work and on the home front and I felt really sorry for Kent having to deal with so much. But as one lead leads to another things gradually start coming to light until quite a dramatic final few pages when things are pieced together fully.

The author has once again done a cracking job with Kent Fisher, there are many different things going on in the story and not once did I feel confused. The pacing is spot on for me and suited the story so well. I do admit to being invested in this character and I am chuckling as I write this, because there were times when my blood boiled as I read parts of the story where Kent was being given a rough time by some of the powers that be! This is credit to the author for making this reader care about what happens to this fictional character.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Kent and the other characters, there are some old favourites as well as a few new ones that are pertinent to this story. The whole book was a pleasure to read and I sat and read it over one lazy evening.

If you like a good mystery series that has a wonderful classic ‘whodunit’ style as leads are followed and deductions are made, and if you haven’t yet come across Robert Crouch’s Kent Fisher series then do go and look it up, it is a fabulous series that I have loved from the very start. No Mercy is a cracking read and I would Definitely Recommend it.

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

Follow Robert on – Website Twitter Facebook

Check out the series on Amazon UK

Going Dark by Neil Lancaster #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Going Dark by Neil Lancaster. This is the first book in the Tom Novak Thriller series. I read this book as I am on the Blog Tour for book 2 in the series and wanted to read this in order.

Let me show you what Going Dark is all about…

Tom Novak is a troubled soul with a dark and bloody past.

A former refugee, Royal Marine, and member of the elite Special Reconnaissance Regiment, he now finds himself struggling with the deadening routine of day-to-day policing.

When he is deployed undercover to infiltrate a gang of people-traffickers, things go badly wrong. Faced with an impossible choice, his cover is blown and he finds himself on the run from the Serbian mafia and even his fellow police colleagues.

With no-one to trust, and his enemies using all the resources of the state against him, Tom has only one option: to Go Dark.

Who are the police traitors feeding the Serbian mafia his every move? Is there anyone he can trust? Can Tom prove his innocence before it’s too late?

Going Dark is the debut crime thriller from former covert specialist Detective Sergeant Neil Lancaster, and the first in the Tom Novak series. If you enjoy gritty suspense, thrilling action and flawed heroes battling against the odds, then you’ll love Going Dark.

The synopsis for this book does a great job of giving you an idea about what the story is about. This is the first book in the Tom Novak series and it is nothing if engaging and fast paced.

The author has done such a great job of creating a character that I immediately liked. He is moody, quiet, emotionless and an absolute force to be reckoned with if you are on the wrong side of the law. He has a past that has in some ways denied him the things many of us take for granted and this has moulded him into the man he is now.

Given the fact that Tom is a dangerous man he is not a danger, he has a focus that is absolute and also has a range of ex-servicemen who he can call on, and call on them he has to. These are loyal people and they would not give their loyalty if it was not deserved.

The case that Tom works is a brutal and topical one and is the start of something far deeper than he ever expected it to become. The author has successfully, in my opinion, woven a story of corruption and trafficking. As I was reading this story I was acutely aware that the author seems to know his stuff, there were many details that are known through experience. It wasn’t until I read a bit about the author that my thoughts were proven to be true.

The story is so well paced and for the style, it is action all the way from the start to the end. There are a few characters that become memorable for all the right, or wrong reasons and I soon found several I immediately liked. The author got the balance right on so many levels for me and made this story a fabulous read.

I have to say I loved this book a huge amount. A bit of a mix of Jason Bourne, James Bond and Jack Reacher… What is it with all the “J’s”! Well forget the names startling with a ‘J’ look for the one that starts with a ‘T’ for Tom Novak! This was a brilliant action, thriller fast paced and brilliantly worked story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing where the author takes me next. This booik is one I would Highly Recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell. I have a few of Jill’s books on my shelves and up until now I have never read one. After reading this one… things will change and I will be reading more 🙂

Let me show you what it’s about …

Jill’s Mansell’s heart-warming new book is the feel-good novel of 2020. A beautiful Cornish setting, a chaotic family in need of loving care, a woman who’s had enough of romance – or has she? Not to be missed by readers of Katie Fforde and Millie Johnson.

When Lainey’s latest romance goes pear-shaped – she thought it was for ever; he thought it was just for now – she decides enough is enough. Whoever said it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all really didn’t know what they were talking about. And so, when she starts her new job helping out a chaotic family in Cornwall, she is definitely Not Interested in her boss’s step-son Seth, however attractive he might be (that’s Very Attractive, as it happens). Especially as Seth has a perfectly delightful girlfriend. But Lainey hasn’t been entirely honest about her life, and Seth’s not quite what he seems either. When everyone has something to hide, it’s complicated! And yet love does have a habit of finding a way…

When Lainey and her friend Kit find themselves out of work at the chateau they have been working at, they begin the look for new jobs. One is offered to help out with a chaotic family in a Cornish Village. The family are looking for a couple, so Lainey and Kit lie, it’s only a little lie, but a lie all the same.

The family are indeed a madcap and riotous bunch and also friendly and in need of help, so Lainey and Kit are hired. While this seems ok, there is a slight problem and that is Seth, he is one of the family and there is an attraction between him and Lainey. If only she hadn’t lied!

This was such a wonderful story and it is the first time I have read a book by this author, what a fabulous introduction I have had. This is a story that I found completely absorbing and so addictive. I loved the family, such a wonderful bunch of characters and I could imagine them so easily from what I discovered about them.

Nothing in the story is straight forward and this added to the intrigue of the book. There were many surprises along the way as well as some humorous, heartwarming and soul-searching moments for various characters. The characters covered a wonderful array of traits and had good personalities. By the end of the book, I felt I had come to know a few of them very well and I found myself really caring about them.

The pacing of the story was wonderful and the story flowed so well, it was effortless reading and was able to just relax and enjoy every word. This is an author I am definitely going to read more of and I am delighted that she has so many books that I can choose from.

If you are a fan of well written contemporary romance that has a fabulous storyline and great characters then you are going to love this book as much as I did. It is one I would absolutely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Choice by Claire Wade #Dystopian #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for The Choice by Claire Wade. I originally saw a review for this book on Linda’s Book Bag and after reading her fabulous review I immediately ordered a copy.

If you have read this book you will understand the significance of the cake in my photo! If you haven’t read the book then go and get a copy as you will not be disappointed 🙂

‘Eat the best, leave the rest! Remember Mother knows best.’

Olivia Pritchard lives in constant fear since Mother Mason came into power. Everything from healthy eating to exercise is controlled by the government, all in the name of health and happiness. Olivia hates being dictated to, but to protect her family she must follow the rules or face a stay in the Shame Box – a perspex box, placed in a public place for everyone to judge.

After Olivia witnesses an innocent woman being violently arrested, she is no longer able to ignore the injustice. The underground rebellion ‘Cut The Apron Strings’ is gaining momentum and for the first time in years Olivia has a choice: keep her head down or join the fray…

When you hear the saying “Mother knows best” it conjures up an image of your mum knowing what is good for you, helping you to make good and right decisions to hopefully give you the tools for living and leading a good life in the future. However, what if that guiding encouragement is taken to the extreme and becomes more than guidance. What if it becomes a regime! What if Mother is a dictator that does know what is best and controls your life, health, exercise and in fact permeates your every waking moment!

The author has done an amazing job of exploring the idea of choice to a wonderful level. Having a choice about the things we eat, drink, talk about and take part in, is part of our way of life. The author has used the character of Mother Mason to show how a figure in power can use and a political platform and then abuse her position to create a society that lives in fear.

The main protagonist of this story is Olivia Pritchard, a wife and mum of two. She lives in perpetual fear. Fear of being caught doing or saying the wrong thing, of being noticed and it consumes her life. The consequences of making a mistake are severe. It could impact her life, but more importantly the lives of her two children. This is a story that shows Olivia’s “Mothers Love” can make cause drastic and life-threatening implications.

I adored the style and theme of this story. The author has taken the idea of certain foods being bad for us and taking it it to a whole new level along with the idea that rules regarding how a healthy life should be lived. Because of this basis, the story has a really good believable feel to it. Government guidelines are often in the news about what we should eat more of, what we should limit ourselves to and how much exercise we should have. While these guidelines are good, they are also ever-changing.

Olivia was a character that I immediately felt for, I felt sorry for her and I could see why she worried about everything. She was the quiet one who had priorities. Her friend, the slightly reckless Alice, didn’t have children so she could afford to be a little more outspoken in her views. As the story progressed from the opening few chapters, the real oppression could be felt. It gradually got deeper and the full implications started to come to light.

I do love a good dystopian novel that has it’s feet well and truly in the Orwellian Big Brother style and this book really did have that feel.. The fear of your neighbour or someone overhearing a remark or seeing something was so good. It added a thrill element to the story that had me on the edge of my seat.

This is a story that has a core of character that are the main players, there are a few others that are introduced but not too many that you lose track of them. This keeps the flow of the reading as I didn’t have to remember who was who.

This was a fabulous read and had me totally hooked. If you are a fan of this style of story then you are going to love The Choice. It gets a definitely recommended from Me!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. The title for this book is fabulous and is such a deceptive title for what lies in wait fo rthe reader!

I read this before Christmas last year and I am still catching up with a few stray Book Reviews from my own reading pile so…

Let me show you what it is all about…

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

This is a thriller like nothing you’ve read before…

OK, so when I saw a quote by author CJ. Tudor referring to this book being “Dexter meets Gone Girl” I thought to myself that if done well it should be a twisted read! And bloomin’ ‘eck it certainly was!

So, what to tell you about this story…hmmm! It is about a family of Mum, Dad and two kids: one of each, nice house, both work and they all seem to muddle along quite nicely. Will that do? No! Oh, okay…

There is a killer at large and he is targeting women, to all intents and purposes this is the re-emergence of a serial killer that had been at large years ago. There is a certain amount of tension as the killer has got in touch with the media, as is the way of things nowadays everything is analysed under a microscope. This attention adds fuel to the psychological firestorm that is brewing. It’s effects are felt very close to home.

The author has used quick chapters and a back and forth style to create a fabulous domestic thriller, there are tensions from many aspects. The teenage children are exposed to an limitlessness torrent of news and media reports that have some unsettling consequences for the parents in this family.

The family from the outside look like your normal suburban family, but it is what goes on behind closed doors that counts, that’s when you get to see the real them! The mother seems a little too controlled and ordered and this gives her a slightly cold trait, but given her history it wasn’t that surprising. The dad, is a tennis coach and has a steady stream of clients, but he is not the main earner, that is the wife.

I feel I must apologise at this point for the really, really randomness of this review. There are so many things I want to tell you about this book and each time I start I have to stop as it would give away too many things.

This book is a psychological thriller of the domestic variety, it is a book that centre around one particular family. It delves into their daily lives and tiptoes briefly back in time. It has quite a few surprises along the way and at one point in the story I did have an inkling and then thought nah, and brushed it aside and it lay forgotten about until I had that eureka moment of “OMG I was right” and I have o say I was still shocked!

This is a clever and viciously twisted book, it had a certain amount of intrigue from the outset that just increased as the story unfolded. I did take a little longer to read this, I think three or four sittings, due to work and other boring but necessary stuff, but it is one of those books that kept niggling at me to pick it up and read it.

If you like a good domestic, psychological thriller then get a copy of this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books (w/e 19th Jan) #BookNews #BookUpdates #MeAndMyBooks

WooHoo we are now over half way through January 🙂 sorry but it is a month that really does drag on and on and on! Roll on the spring, that’s what I say 🙂 I did manage an hour out in the garden finally, a couple of dry days helped, cold but dry so it was good.

I have also hit double figures on my books this week, it is always a nice milestone to reach. I have just finished my 11th book of the year and it was a brilliant read.

Let me show you what I have read and what I am going to read next…

A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

Oh what a brilliant read this was. A family coming to terms with the loss of a family member means the rest of the family picking up the pieces of the Funeral business and also the Private Investigating business. A great read from start to finish with many surprises along the way. Keep an eye out for my review as part of the Blog Tour.


No Mercy by Robert Crouch

I love this series and it feels like it has been far to long since I last caught up with Kent Fisher. This is another fantastic read that I was so glad to get my paws on. Kent is an Environmental Health Officer who finds himself in the wrong places, just as well for this reader! He is once again in the thick of things, but not in a good way as he is the one that is the frame for murder! Keep an eye out for the Blog Tour and my review.


Going Dark by Neil Lancaster

This is the first book in the Tom Novak Thriller series, I decided to grab a copy as I am on the Blog Tour for the 2nd book in a few weeks. Check me out reading a series in order… I wonder if it will last!!! Well anyway, this book was brilliant, action and fast paced all the way. A brilliant introduction to a series and I cannot wait to grab the next book and see what thrills, spills and adventures the author comes up with next. I will post this review for Going Dark in a few days.


The Choice by Claire Wade

This was a recent purchase and it is a brilliant read. A dystopian that is an absolute page-turner from start to finish. A government that is concerned about health, diet, exercise sounds good, but when it is taken to the extreme and the government doesn’t advice but makes its wishes law you have a scared society. The author has done a blooming brilliant job with the themes in this book. See my full review later this week.


The Southern Belles by Katie Simpkins

I am due to start this later today (its Sunday as I type this post up) and I am looking forward to reading this ready for the Blog Tour. Here is the synopsis for it…

Not Just Any Old Riches to Rags Story.

Heiresses, Evelyn, Georgia and Olivia Belle, nicknamed The Southern Belles by the tabloid press, have everything they’ve ever wanted. Then, suddenly, on Evelyn’s 30th birthday, their father dies in a tragic road traffic accident, leaving a massive hole in his business’ finances. With the world’s media, and the National Crime Agency looking on, their family home, cars and all other assets are sold at auction, leaving the sisters penniless, homeless and jobless.

Shunned by their celebrity friends, the Belle sisters must learn to fend for themselves for the first time in their lives. Evelyn, the eldest, knows how dire their situation is, and asks their father’s solicitor, who has kindly paid for their first two months’ rent on a rat-infested bedsit in Brighton, to look into their Father’s case, while they hunt for jobs to make ends meet, which inadvertently leads to them meeting new guys, falling in love, and learning along the way that the world doesn’t owe them a favour, and that money doesn’t buy you happiness. 


I don’t post about anything I have watched very often, mainly because I don’t watch that much, but this week I have been found a wonderful TV series that you can find on Amazon Prime Video. If you like your history then you may be interested in The Silk Road, it is a 15 part series that is in 26 minute episodes that make for great bite sized viewing. It is really interesting as Alfred de Montesquiou takes you along the Silk Road stopping at all the major stops on this historic route.

Here is the link if you are interested – The Silk Road

A war correspondent for the AP news agency and a journalist for Paris Match will be our guides. Take an extended trip through six countries and cultures. Journey through time, encountering specialists, historians, or just everyday people with a passion who will help you grasp the past and present identities of those countries. From Bursa in Turkey to Xi’an in China.


Well that’s me done for the week, another good reading week and I hadn’t realised that I had read this many books in one week!

All that’s left is to wish you all a fantastic week

Yvonne xx

Archie and the Enchanter by Alexander Weir @weir_norman #childrensfiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Archie and the Enchanter by Alexander Weir. My thanks to Publishing Push and Alexander for getting in touch and sending me an e-copy of this fabulous childrens book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

This is for 8 – 12 year olds.

It takes place on Scotland’s wild West Coast where Archie discovers an ancient and supernatural set of bagpipes.

The magical bagpipes do impossible things. The music it makes is powerful.

Through its music, history begins to change.

It’s not the bagpipes but the chanter that is supernatural (the chanter is the part of the bagpipe that the piper uses to make music).

The chanter is probably more than 1,500 years old and yet looks brand new.

The name ‘chanter’ comes from the word ‘enchanter’ – and ‘enchant’ is what it does. The origins of the enchanter are shrouded in mystery. It disappeared before the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 1745. Perhaps the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, would have won through if the Enchanter had been around.

Then our hero, a scruffy little boy called Archie, found it, and this book is about what happened next.

Let me also share the introduction to this magical story…

Archie and the Enchanter – Introduction

‘No one knows where it came from. It was found in a heathery glen by a shepherd tending his sheep. The shepherd was keeping a wary eye on the horizon for Viking raiders and for a moment looked down. And there it was shining silvery at his feet.

What it could and would do was a constant source of amazement. It didn’t seem to age, and despite the passage of the centuries it always looked as shiny and new as it had been when it was found. It became a treasured possession of one of the Highland clans. Its ownership was kept a closely guarded secret although the Royal Stuarts knew about it and called upon it to be used in their quest for power.

Then it was lost. Everyone in the clan searched, but no one found it. The chanter entirely disappeared during Scotland’s troubled times at the close of the seventeenth century.

Who knows how the conflict at Culloden would have turned out if it had been there.’

This is a wonderful story to read and I can see it being a real hit with the age group it is aimed at.

Archie is a wonderful character and one that seems to get himself into mischief without trying, I say mischief but what I actually mean is gets dirty, ruins his clothes and just seems to attract dirt from wherever he goes, much to his mums annoyance. Archie goes to visit his Grandfather and while Grandfather is asleep Archie goes exploring and comes across a very old set of bagpipes, as Archie already plays this instrument he is immediately interested.

Archie finding the old bagpipes is just the start of the story really, as the story then changes tempo as Archie discovers what the pipes can do. What follows is a wonderful tale that not only delves into a little Scottish history, but also gives some facts about bagpipes and of course what Archie gets up to.

The bagpipes have a wonderful magical quality that has quite an impact on the small Scottish Community where Archie lives. The story also has a moral.

Archie is a wonderful character who I really liked, along with a few of the other people who I briefly met. The author has done a really good job of creating an exciting story and at the same time adding little snippets of information that help me learn something as I read.

The setting descriptions were good, enough to get a sense of place but not too much to take away from the story for a younger reader. It has excitement, magic and quite a few chuckle moments in it to keep you entertained, well it did me!

This is the first in a planned series and it is a great introduction, I got to meet Archie, his family and some of the local community. This is a really good start to the series and I think the age group of 8-12 years feels about right, though I think 8-10 is more appropriate.

It is a story that has a older feel to it, by this I mean it is not full of modern technology so maybe I mean more of a whimsical classic children’s’ style to it.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think children will enjoy it, I did and I would recommend it.

For Further Reading

If you head over to the Publishing Push Blog Site there is a great article that gives you a chance to read an excerpt of Archie and the Enchanter, there are also some really interesting facts and info there as well. You can follow the link HERE

You can order a copy of the book from Amazon

Alexander Weir is married, with two children together with his wife, and three dynamic go-ahead grandchildren. He lives in a small community in a remote part of Scotland’s Argyll Coast. As part of the community, he teaches art to the children in the community home school and, come evening time, they join him in the family room for ‘story time’. The imagination of the children has been captured in this tale, and author Alexander and his family, are keen to see Archie’s escapades being enjoyed by other children of similar ages too.

He has serialised both books and have been read on Argyll FM radio and covering Ulster, with an outreach across Kintyre, Knapdale, and Northern Ireland. In addition, he has introduced the books to children in Canada and Ireland – and received an enthusiastic response. Alexander is also the Editor of a quarterly Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers literary magazine, called ‘WordWise’.

Alexander gained his MSc from London South Bank University, and has worked a varied career from Railway Manager, to Missionary, Vice Chairman of Savanne Winery in Tbilisi (Georgia), and Company Secretary, General Manager and Director for two London-based companies. He retired from Business Life in London in 2012.

His writing has not only focused on children’s historical fantasy. Alexander is also author of a peer reviewed medical research paper, and of two theological books, ‘A Question of Time’ and ‘A Question of Identity’.

For more information visit Alexander’s Website or visit him on Twitter Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Million Eyes by C.R. Berry @CRBerry1 @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Million Eyes by C.R. Berry. This is a book that has its toes dipped in a few genres and so in a way it makes it a book that may intrigue many readers… it certainly intrigued Me!

Let me show you what it is all about…

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase LinksElsewhen PressAmazon UKAmazon US

I have to say that I do like a good conspiracy every now and again in my reading, Million Eyes has more than one conspiracy, in fact it has several that have been wonderfully woven back and forth in this historical /time travel fiction book.

Now where to start, Million Eyes, well I could tell you what Million Eyes is but I won’t, you will have to read the story to discover the details. There are several other things I could tell you, but… yep you guessed it… I’m not going tell you about them either lol!

So what I will tell you is that Ferro, a history teacher, has stumbled across something that could, if released to the public, turn what we know about our history on its head. He is obsessed with what he has found and wants to know more. Jennifer Larson has been following his blog and is intrigued, together they start to piece little snippets and leads together until they discover that there are obscure accounts that have been documented over the years that indicate that people from the future have been interfering, they have left evidence!

This has been very well written and as I have discovered from trying to write my review about this book, keeping a timeline that makes sense and doesn’t get muddled and confusing is a very difficult thing to do, but the author has pulled it off brilliantly so that it flows wonderfully.

The author has used parts of history and then spun them into a great setting for the story line that see’s the reader transported across centuries as a witness to the what unfolds. Given the fact that this is a story that does flit back and forth it is very easy to follow and know where in history you are. This attention to setting and timeline details is great.

I was enjoying this book a lot and liked the mystery and conspiracy elements to this story, then towards the 60% stage of the book little bombshells started to be dropped. I suddenly knew what Million Eyes and other things in the story were. This is the stage where I felt the story quicken its pace, or was that me suddenly desperate to know more and so began to read faster?

There are a few characters in this story and they are easy to keep up with, the settings are good and the timelines are clear. The story line is full of twists and turns that you don’t really get the full effect of until a lot later in the book and then you get the eureka moment without realising one was due! I do hope that makes sense …

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, it is a mix of genres so if you like history, fiction, mystery, time travel or conspiracy theories in your reading then I really do recommend giving this book a read. It is the first in a planned trilogy and has been left with hints of a cliff hanger, but also nicely wrapped up to a point.

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookWordPressGregory Ferro’s Blog Million Eyes

See what other Book Bloggers think of Million Eyes by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx