#BlogTour | #GlimmerOfHope by Steve McHugh @StevejMcHugh |#GuestPost #BookReview @annecater

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I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for “Glimmer of Hope” by Steve McHugh, the first in The Avalon Chronicles.  Available in various formats and you can get a copy HERE. I am over the moon to have a Guest Post by Steve, he discusses his “Getting published” experiences, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read the book in time for the tour, I should have a little more faith in myself as I can also share my thoughts on the book I did have time to read 🙂 xx Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour x

Synopsis:

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.
Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.
But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.
To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

Guest Post by Steve:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published. 

Every author you ever speak to about how they became published has a different story. This is mine. 

I was 25 back in 2004 when my first child was about to be born, and I figured I should actually try this whole writing thing seriously. Turns out writing a book is hard. Who knew? 

It took me several years to get to a place where I had written something I actually thought worthy of publication, it was my second completed book, and was called Crimes Against Magic (spoilers, it did get published). 

I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. I just wanted to see my book in shops. I had no illusions about being a best-seller, or the next [Insert name of famous author here] I just wanted to write the best story I could, and get it out there. 

I sent query letters and synopsis to agents, making sure that I actually gave them what they asked for, and received quite a bit of useful feedback about why the book isn’t for them, but good luck. 

By 2011, I was beginning to feel a little downhearted. I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get the book published, I’d been writing other things in the meantime, and wondered whether or not Crimes was actually worthy of publishing. 

Several self-published friends of mine at the time spoke to me about how they’d been able to do well through self-publishing and that maybe I should look into it. 

Well, first I decided to send the book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, and it ended up in the semi-finals (last 200 out of several thousand, I think). I found the whole process rejuvenated my thoughts that the book was worthwhile. I set about the self-publishing route. 

It took me a year or so to get the book properly edited, a good cover, and reading up on how to get your book noticed before I clicked upload and it was on Amazon. 

Then things got a bit unexpected. People started buying it. Quite a lot of people. 

By the end of the year, I’d published book 2, Born of Hatred, and by the January of the following year had 2 books that together had sold in the tens of thousands of copies. I was over the moon. 

Then things got even more unexpected. 

A publisher by the name of 47North (part of Amazon publishing’s own imprint) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in working with them on relaunching the 2 Hellequin books, and also writing several more for them. I said yes. 

After the third book came out a year later, I also got an agent in the form of Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. 

So, in the end I did get my books in stores, and I did get an agent, and publisher, but I sort of took a detour to get there. And none of it might have happened if I’d never taken the chance on self-publishing the book. 

After 6 years of being published, by the end of 2018 I’ll have had 10 published books and 1 novella. It’s a staggering thing to consider that I’ve come all this way in such a short period of time, and that my journey from aspiring author to best-selling author was one with so many twists and turns, with so many lows and highs. But sometimes you have to take that chance, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, it can change everything in ways you can’t even imagine.

Follow Steve on Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook Author Page

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with this author and what an absolutely brilliant introduction I had via Glimmer of Hope.  Layla is the main character in this book, a woman who has problems trusting and accepting people in her life.  She has a history and a story that is best kept secret, but she does have two good friends and she will need them as she discovers what this world and life holds in store for her.

Oh this book was a great read that hit all the right spots for me.  An Urban Fantasy with a whole range of legendary, mythological and folk-lore characters and above all magic, spirits and demons.  As Layla learns that there is more to her life than what she first imagined, she has hidden her past from others, but then others have also hidden parts of Layla’s past from her to protect her. She will discover that she does have a place and a role in life and believe when I say you don’t want to mess with her. The author has created a great mix of characters and has given enough details for the reader to see his “other” characters.

This is a fast paced, kick ass, saving the world, urban fantasy novel.  I did think it had a bit of a feel of being aimed at a YA audience. I am looking forward to continuing this journey  and read future books from The Avalon Chronicles, and also to start to read the Hellequin books. A great read that I would definitely recommend to those who like Urban Fantasy, Action and Fantasy genres, or a great start for those who want a bit of escapism.

If you want to see what others thought of this book, check out the dates and below

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great if you liked it.  Get your own copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen @ScottKaelen

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I am sharing Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen today. This is a short introduction to his series The Fractured Tapestry. You can get a copy from Amazon UK along with many of his other books.

Synopsis:

The Volami opened the walls of their shining city of Midhallow and invited the surrounding tribesfolk to venture within. Decades later, the two races dwell together inside the city, not quite as equals, and watched over by the ever-present Retainers. A treaty, offered by the tribes to the Volami, was to seal their tenuous union during a long-held ritual. But it was a ruse. The celebrations became the bloodiest treachery the Volami would ever know, and set in motion events that would echo down the ages.

Night of the Taking is a short entry tale into the world of Verragos and the Fractured Tapestry series, and also serves as an introduction to characters which are destined to return later in the series.

My Thoughts:

This is a short, 28 pages, introduction into what I feel will be an exciting, maybe even an epic fantasy series.  It has the right vibes for me, I am always a little nervous when I read a really thrilling intro to a series like this.

Midhallow is a city where the Volami have opened and welcomed outlying tribes into.  They live side by side until a night of betrayal and bloodshed.

With a short and sweet novella like this it is difficult to write a full review, but I will share what I experienced without going into the story details.  What you get in this 28 pages is a real sense of emotion following an unexpected betrayal, it displays emotion, a sense of shock and disbelief and also anger that will lead on into future books.

There is a wonderful amount of detail and I was quite surprised at how quickly I got caught up in the story.  My only regret is that I finished it and would have quite happily read for many hours more if this is any indication of what is to continue.

So if you are looking for a new fantasy series then give Night of the Taking a look, it’s dark, descriptive, atmospheric and has all the hallmarks of being the start of a wonderful journey.  I have just bought the next book in the series and look forward to reading it  soon.   I definitely recommend this book.

About the Author:

A10I64KPHSL._SY200_  Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories include the dystopian urban sci-fi Moses Garrett and the apocalyptic horror The Lingering Remains. His current projects include a novel entitled The Blighted City – the first major release in the epic fantasy Verragos Tapestry series – and his second collection of poetry. As well as the pen, he is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests are all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror, as well as etymology, psychology, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology, cosmology and computer RPGs. He’s also an ex-flosculator.

You can follow Scott on Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great.  Better still go and get a copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : End Game by @Matt_Johnson #EndGame #RobertFinlay @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing m thoughts today on End Game by Matt Johnson. My thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy of this wonderful book and also for my spot on the tour.  This is the final book of the trilogy and you can purchase all the books from Amazon UK in either eBook or paperback.  BUYING LINK

Synopsis:

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

My Thoughts:

This is the final instalment in the Robert Finlay series.  I do have a little confession here, and please don’t tell anyone, but I have not read any of the other books (hangs head in shame) but I have ordered them (raises head a little higher).  When an email from the wonderful Anne Cater dropped in I was not going to say no, reviews from other bloggers about the two previous books were wonderful and glowing, after reading End Game I can absolutely see why.

So to my thoughts, surely the fact that I immediately bought the other two books after finishing this one is testimony as to what I thought.  But in case you are not convinced by that…. With any book in a series, characters are important.  You follow them as they evolve and grow, you know their back stories, problems and history as well as their interaction with others (whether they play nicely in a group or not).  But as I have not had this experience (yes I know!) I found that the dynamics of the characters very evident, they have strong personalities and traits and have a great established believable feel about them.  It didn’t take long for me to remember them or to identify them within the story.

Right then to the plot, where to start, well there is an underlying plot from the previous stories, again something you would expect from a trilogy.  Matt has included great references to this and there is enough for this, late to the party reader, to get enough of an idea to understand.  It has also given plenty of intrigue and left me wanting to know more about the back stories, hence me the first two books.  For End Game, you are plunged into a world of British Secret Service and Police Investigations at an intense and breathtaking pace .  There are real life events that have been mentioned and incorporated into the story, I love this as it gives the reader a great reference point for the setting of a story.  These real events and also the authors own experiences give a real edgy feel to this story, the author knows his stuff.  It’s the lit details that add that extra element, these seemingly trivial little facts that are added are there because of the authors experience within the  military and police force.  This “insider” knowledge is what makes the story stand out and adds that important authentic and believable factor.

This was an absolute pleasure to read, it was intense and intricate in its plot and in the details but not at all confusing, fast paced and addictive.  The espionage aspect is devilish with a real edge of the seat feel.  A brilliantly woven tale and one that I Highly Recommend. Don’t just take my word for it, buy all three books and see for yourself.

About the Author:

Matt Johnson Author Picture.jpg  Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

The Robert Finlay Trilogy by Matt Johnson

Wicked Game      ~    Deadly Game      ~     End Game

Click on the title and it will take you to Amazon.UK website.

Since writing this post I am happy to say, my copies of the first two books are now here,  now I  have the full set 🙂29243814_10214155310511089_6356634460884041728_n

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Or, go and buy yourself a copy HERE   🙂 xx

#BlogTour : The Prole Soldier by Oliver Tidy @olivertidy @CarolineBookBit #BookReview

The Prole Soldier - Oliver Tidy - Book Cover.jpgI am delighted to finally get my chance to share my thoughts with you on this, the last day of the #BlogTour for “The Prole Soldier” by Oliver Tidy.  My thanks to Oliver for my eARC and also to Caroline for my spot on the tour.  This book is available to purchase in eBook format and can be purchased HERE.

Synopsis:

In Rainbow City your colour counts.

Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis sums up this book perfectly, the injustice, inequality, cruelty and lack of hope in this brillaint dystopian story.  The first in the Rainbow City series, and what a start it is.  Theo is nearly 16 years old and is due to start a new chapter in his life, that is the rule, that is what must happen.  The only other choice is death! Not a choice as such, but it is a way out some may think about or even choose.

Oliver has written many books, I have some on my TBR and have read only one as part of the Blog Tour last year for “The Fallen Agent” and I thoroughly enjoyed it (this is where i hang my head in shame for not reading more).  The Prole Soldier is a journey into a dystopian world, one where sectors are zones, each zone is a different colour.  The colour of the zone denotes your role in society.  If you think of the zones in “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, then you will get a good idea of how this works.  There are many believable aspects to this book and I found similarities to The Handmaidens Tale and also 1984, but the author has brought a new, more up to date and modern feel.  I loved the world through the eyes of Theo who wants more from his life.  He does not want to do what is expected of him, or what Rainbow City dictates. He is a character with hope for something better and has the opportunity to help instigate change.

The story depicts a very real feel to the city and the zones.  The way of life for Theo and those  in the Blue Zone is harsh, basic and very unforgiving.  Yes they have food, clothes, work, electric and the very basic things needed to sustain, but there is a catch.  If you don’t work you don’t eat.  If you are ill and cannot get to work, then you don’t eat. The focus on the social injustice is told in a very addictive way through the first half of the book, then as you carry on further you sense a real change.  I am not going into details but I will say that this change is dramatic, dangerous and potentially deadly.  It is a great twist and one that I really did not expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a great atmospheric darkness and depth that pulls you into a desperate and gritty story.  Where you live makes a difference in how you are treated, the difference between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, even here the author has introduced an opinion from those that “have”, what you discover is that life is not all that rosy from their side of the fence either.

If you are a fan of 1984, The Hunger Games, The Handmaidens Tale (there are a couple of others, but I cannot give names here as it could potentially be a spoiler), then this is a book you really need to read.  It has a gritty well written plot with a cast of characters that compliment it in a very balanced and well opinionated way.  A book that I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND and also one I am excited and impatient to read more in the series.

About the Author:

Oliver Tidy Author Image.jpgCrime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.  Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books. Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: Website

Or follow him on: Twitter ~  Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post.  A share or a like would be great.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : #HemlockJones & The Angel of Death by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @annecater #BookReview

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I am absolutely over the moon to have had the opportunity to read “hemlock Jones & The Angel Of Death” by Justin Carroll.  My thanks to Justin and Anne at Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and also a spot on the tour. Get your own copy from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Ten doors down from the home of a world famous ‘consulting detective’ lives twelve-year-old Hemlock Jones, and her recently arrived housemate and unwitting companion, Edward Whitlow. Hired to ‘demystify’ the mystery of a man’s murder by a terrifying angelic spectre, Hemlock and Edward’s investigations will lead them all over Victorian London, uncovering bizarre and deadly foes, figures from Hemlock’s hidden past, and a plot to take over the city… Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death is the first of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, a series of detective adventures for children and adults, set in Victorian London.

My Thoughts:

Hemlock Jones lives at 211B Baker Street with landlady Mrs. Figgins.  Hemlock is a “demystifier“, she takes the mystery out of a problem and works to solve it.  Edward Whitlow discovers Hemlock’s demystifying talents when he comes to lodge at the same house. When Hemlock takes on a case Edward becomes her unwitting side kick.

This is an absolutely brilliant read.  References are made to the other more well-known “Consulting Detective” and the Doctor just down the road, (I dare not mention their names as it would result in a rather serious scowl or a telling off from Hemlock). In a similar style to the previously mentioned but with twists and turns, Hemlock and Whitlow (12 years old), are determined in their own crime busting escapades.  The fearless Hemlock is undeterred in her quest, with the somewhat quite sweet and willing  Whitlow, they manage to get involved in a rather intriguing investigation.  It is exciting and fast paced,  with steam punk elements in a Victorian London setting, what is there not to love.  It has all the essential ingredients, good goodies, good baddies, deductions, suspense and it is all wrapped around a wonderful story line with characters that are engaging and fun. It had me hooked right from the out set and kept me hooked till the end.

Now I know this is aimed at children from around 8 years and up, and they will love it, but you know what, never mind the children, this grown up loved it loads 🙂  This is a book I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND to younger readers and for big kids (adults) too.  A fun-filled Victorian action adventure packed, steam punk, sleuthing, deductive, murder and mystery.  I really am looking forward to reading more in what I think will be a really exciting series and I am really impatient now for the next instalment.

About the Author:

Justin Carroll

  Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin Carroll wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, in between writing and moonlighting in marketing for a multinational financial services company, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things. Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards.  Follow Justin on his Website or on Twitter.

See the thoughts of other book bloggers on the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share or two.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this wonderful book, I am positive that you will not be disappointed 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert @mimi_albert @penguinrandom @NetGalley #PublicationDay

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I am so delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert, it is due for publication today and available in various formats.  Published by Penguin it can be purchased from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the strange bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate – the Hazel Wood – Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away – by a figure who claims to come from the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: STAY AWAY FROM THE HAZEL WOOD.

To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began . . .

My Thoughts:

When you think of fairy tales it is often woods, wolves, castles, princes and princesses with a happy ever after.  The Hazel Wood is nothing like that, it contains fairy tales but they are darker with an underlying feeling of dread to them.  The reclusive and mysterious author Althea Prosperine published her only novel Tales of the Hinterland.  Her granddaughter Ella has never met Althea, never read the book, but is aware of it.  In fact not many have met Althea or even have a copy of the book.  Ella and her mum Alice have to move around a lot, they keep their heads down, always try to keep ahead of the bad luck that seems to shadow them.  This story is how Ella and the reader learns about The Hazel Wood, the book and the bad luck.

This is a brilliantly woven story using the basic premise of a fairy tales.  Twisting them into a dark and brooding journey for the reader.  As we follow Ella and Alice there are things that are seen out of the corner of an eye that gives feeling of the supernatural that have mysterious darker undertones, shadows that linger, people that don’t quite fit in, this all adds to a feeling of tense suspense.  As the story unfolds there are several twists that I didn’t expect, they are clever and make this an extremely addictive read. There are several characters in this story and they are easily remembered and play their parts well, they have good backstories, and while I didn’t like all the characters I found them intriguing.

Once I started this story I could not put it down, the descriptions give a vivid and imaginative picture.  I loved the style of the writing, at times it had the fairy tale feel you would expect, but also a darker much more intense feel that was far removed from fairy tales.  I would like to see follow on from this book as there were several characters that I would like to know more about, and some that left me with questions. But overall it has been beautifully put together and is one I would absolutely recommend.

So if you like a dark and twisty fantasy read that has some roots in magical fairy tales then this is a book for you.  It is a young adult read, that an older adult loved.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers for my eARC of this wonderful book, my thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

You can visit the author in Twitter and also find all the links to purchase the books HERE

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this brilliant book 🙂 xx

#BookReview : The Wait For Shadows by Karl Holton @KarlHolton

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I have been eagerly waiting to share my thoughts on “The Wait For Shadows” the 2nd book in The Shadows Series, by Karl Holton. Published by Thuja it is available to purchase in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US 

Synopsis:

An assassin wants revenge but doesn’t know who to kill. 
A drug dealer wants revenge without the muscle to kill. 
a ‘wild beast’ can help them both. 
Can anybody stop it? 

The last six days in ‘The Weight of Shadows’ were just the beginning. 
Danny Benedict and the whole team must get ready — it’s day seven. 
The second book in the ‘Shadows Series’. 

Every morning you can watch the sunbeams glitter, 
certain you no longer need to wait for shadows. 

My Thoughts:

I have been looking forward to reading this 2nd book in the Shadows Series.  Would Karl keep up the fast paced, explosive read I had experienced in The Weight of Shadows ? Well I read this book in one sitting ! So yes it did live up to my expectations as I was once again transported into the murky double-crossing underworld of the secret services, the underhand dealing of gangs, the high-end criminals in organised international crime and all the fall out, action and adventure that goes with it.

I loved the way Karl has, at the beginning of this book included a list of the main characters giving a brief description of their role, this immediately jogged my memory and the story began.  We are taken into a scenario where some departments use the useful, but slightly illegal resources of a certain boss, he is one of those grey area bosses.  He has been involved in illegal practices that has made him a billionaire, but his resources are the only way some people can be found.  He is a rogue, but one of those good baddies. Along with Benedict, Wallace, Watkins, Paddy and Pip the story leads you into money laundering, drug dealing on an international scale.

The pacing of this book is fast, well-balanced and keeps in well with the style of the story.  There are chases, ambushes, snipers and assassins that will add to a body count as the team work their way through leads, dirty cops, sneaky sly secret service agents and hedge fund management. Benedict and Wallace have a great dynamic as they work together, both brash but can see the professionalism in each other.  I like this combination and look forward to more adventures with the duo.

I would recommend to readers that reading the first book in the series would be beneficial, there is mention of the previous story. Even though brief explanations are given, reading the first will give essential background.  I personally don’t think you would get the same enjoyment from this one if it is read as a stand alone.

So to finish up, this is a book I would highly recommend to readers of fast paced action and adventure, with corruption, double-dealing in the murky underworld, and high-end organised international crime world.  This is a great book that took me straight back to the world that I loved so much in “The Weight of Shadows”.  Now then Mr. Holton, when is the next book out 🙂

About the Author:

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Karl Holton’s first book, ‘The Weight of Shadows’ came out in July 2017. It is the first in a new crime thriller mystery known as the ‘Shadow Series. The second in the series ‘The Wait for Shadows’ came out in December 2017. Both are available on Amazon.

Karl previously worked in financial markets for over thirty years, before deciding that he had to write. He couldn’t leave this dream any longer.

He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and two children.

Follow Karl on Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

My review  for “The Weight of Shadows

Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, please give it a share if you liked it.  Better still go and get a copy of this explosive thriller and see what you think xx

#BookReview : Zenka by Alison Brodie @alisonbrodie2

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Zenka” by Alison Brodie. This book is available as an eBook and can be purchased from Amazon UK and Amazon.Com.

Synopsis:

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

My Thoughts:

Jack Murray is a London organised crime gang boss.  Zenka is a Hungarian girl he saved, she know follows Jack everywhere.  She is his self-confessed guardian angel. News reaches Jack that he has a 26-year-old son, Zenka wants to help bring them together.  The son is Nicholas and he couldn’t be more different from Jack. Nicholas is caring, gentle supportive and a nurse, and to be honest a bit of a push over.  Zenka is aware of his character as she has been watching him, so a series of”events” are put in place to “toughen him up”!

Oh I loved this book so much.  A gangland boss with all the criminal elements you want to find in a story like this, a bit of an ugly lovable rogue.  Add into that the gentle nurse and you just know things somewhere along the way are going to go awry.  Then there is Zenka, I loved her character, her mannerisms and attitude. These elemants have been thrust together along with many other events and wrapped into a plot that I adored.  At times a little tongue in cheek, funny and some serious moments. This had me grinning like an idiot one moment, shocked at another and then at the end I had leaky eyes…..what the hell!!!

The characters were a great mish-mash of ratbags and villains, as well as those working legitimately to get on in life.  You will meet Zenka, Jack, Nicholas, Jason and Mrs Blanchflower who have a great range of traits making them memorable. There are others that you will make you own mind up about as you go.  But Zenka was my favourite by far,she comes across as very deadpan and it works at times hilariously, Alison has included letters to Zenka’s friend Alina, these give a little added extra to Zenka and are brilliantly amusing.

This is a story that is full of coincidences, but it has been put together so well that I didn’t care if these coincidences seemed a little too coincidental, they added to the pacing and the humour.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a crime, fiction, mystery that at times is humorous.  It is so well put together that I could not put it down.  I LOVED it and Highly Recommend it, a real corker of a read.

I wish to thank Alison for sending me a copy of Zenka.  My thoughts expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

51qW2E5DznL._SY200_  Alison Brodie is a Scot with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison has lived all over the world, including Kansas City, Athens and Basque country.
Her first novel – “Face to Face” – was published by Hodder & Stoughton and became Good Housekeeping’s Pick of the Paperbacks.
Alison has now gone Indie!
“Brake Failure” has 28 five-star reviews from professional book bloggers + “Masterpiece of humor” -Midwest Book Review
“ZENKA” is releasing 6 November, 2017.

Follow Alison on Twitter Website ~

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this great book xx

 

 

#BookReview : The Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade by Shah Jalal @LegendofHorian @gilbster1000 @AuthorightUKPR #BlogTour

Legend of Horian Cover

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for the first in a series of books by Shah Jalal, “Legend of Horian & the Dycentian Blade” .  My thanks to Rachel at Authoright UK PR for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

‘Long ago in the distant Kingdom of Dycentia, storytellers sang the legend of one of their own; a hero the likes of which were only born in forgotten lands, in forgotten times. This Dycentian’s name was Horian and although his life was cloaked in shadows, the secrets the storytellers sang have been passed down through the ages, known to only a select few and now preserved in these pages so that they may never be forgotten. The residents of today’s world can benefit from the lessons of bravery and duty in Horian’s quest. Few could have survived the soul-seething journey he undertook to access the most awesome weapon on the face of the earth. Few could be entrusted with the responsibility of wielding such a sovereignty seizing sword. However, it was only with the Dycentian Blade that Horian would literally govern the godly powers required to massacre the Mightiest and Most Malignant Monarch of Demons and Everything Foul, and to right the many wrongs that had been done.’

My Thoughts:

Horian has returned home after 4 years training. His home is a village in the Kingdom of Dycentia.  His father Juratan, is a wizard and also the craftsman behing the Dycentian Blade, a sword that has been imbued with the power of 9 elements, no ordinary man care wield it, it has to be someone who can prove his worth and pass the tests required by the Gods.

This is a really interesting fantasy read that the author has built around the kingdoms of Dycentia and Galleria, describing the differences between the inhabitants, building and structures, the landscape and also the history. These are told in conversations between characters and also in descriptive passages.  A book that leans heavily on the “good ‘v’ evil” plot, as well as the role the gods play in everyday life for some, but not all.  There is a build up to a large battle, though it is not featured in this story, but the foundations have been laid for what is to come.

I though the plot was good and is based around Horian’s journey, or quest that will lead to further adventures.  It is basic in some ways, but as this is the start of a series it is more about getting to know the people and their customs and traditions.  I did find the religion featured quite a lot, but it is part of the story and how the gods are involved in this world, but it has been balanced with the believers and the non-believers.

This book definitely hit a lot of the right notes with me and I am interested to see where this story leads to next.  It has introduced me to a new world, with different inhabitants, with history, religion and some interesting characters.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who want to start a new journey in fantasy.  It is well written with a lot of detail and explanation, has action,adventure and the promise of more to come. A book that has set it’s foundations down.

About the Author:

Although born in Bangladesh, Shah Jalal has lived most of his life with his family in England.When not writing he helps his father run the family retail business in Leytonstone, London.

Follow the author on Twitter ~ Website ~ Facebook

Check out other bloggers thoughts on this tour.

Monika Cover 2

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go a get a copy of this book and let you journey begin xx

#BookReview : Hiding by Jenny Morton Potts @jmortonpotts #PublicationDay

hiding.jpg

Wow what a cover!  I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Hiding” by Jenny Morton Potts.  It is due to be published today, so

“Happy Publication Day Jenny xxxx”

Synopsis:

A gripping psychological thriller with chilling twists, from a unique new voice.

Keller Baye and Rebecca Brown live on different sides of the Atlantic. Until she falls in love with him, Rebecca knows nothing of Keller. But he’s known about her for a very long time, and now he wants to destroy her.

This is the story of two families. One living under the threat of execution in North Carolina. The other caught up in a dark mystery in the Scottish Highlands. The families’ paths are destined to cross. But why? And can anything save them when that happens?

My Thoughts:

Set as a sort of time slip and as a transatlantic thriller we meet Keller Baye from America and Rebecca Brown from Scotland.  There is a connection that links these two people, well, more their parents actually, but not everyone knows what this link is.  As the story unfolds we are taken deeper into the two family’s histories and are given details on Keller and Rebecca, their upbringing within their families, education and friends.

The story starts off at an unhurried stroll and gradually picks up pace as this reader got more engrossed in it.  There are several threads have been woven and are gradually twisted and brought together. Jenny has done a brilliant job of giving little snippets and morsels of information and elusive details about the characters at just the right moments, giving hints at what is to come.  A little about the plot, and it will be a little as I really do not want to give anything away.  An incident occurs, it is very much a wrong place wrong time moment, but the resulting consequences have far-reaching implications, and that is all I am prepared to say, I just don’t want to hint at anything and spoil it for another reader.  Just grab yourself a copy and read it, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the characters, they are a wonderful varied mixed bunch that have a whole host of traits that seem to fit really well, you will meet  good, bad, ugly, funny, sly, strict and lovable rogue types.  Some you will like, others you will not and I also like the ones that make me change my mind on how I feel about them. A great look at the differences within the family dynamics as well, how they interact with each other, or don’t in some cases.  The descriptions of the sandstone house that is Taransay I loved, a bleak, grim, cold draughty mansion and the isolation of it gave me a real image as I read.

So in case you had not realised, I really loved this book, I liked the way it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and did not let me go until the very last words.  I wasn’t sure of where this book was going to take me, but as it had piqued my interest early on I was quite willing to be led and greedily kept turning the pages.

This is a book that is ideal for those who like a slow burner that then starts to increase in pace as the story evolves and then has you racing to the end. A brilliant read, with well-developed characters, a great pace, very good setting descriptions and plot lines.  A definite must read recommendation from this reader to others who like a good thriller.

Now I have to mention the cover, it is intriguing and after you have read the book, take another look at it ! I went from liking it originally, to now loving it, it makes a lot of sense.

I would like to send my thanks to Jenny for sending me a eARC of this book.  My views expressed here are my unbiased and are my own.

About the Author:

hiding  Jenny Morton Potts was born in a smart, dull suburb of Glasgow where the only regular excitement was burglary. Attended a smart, dull school where the only regular excitement was the strap. Worked in smart, dull sales and marketing jobs until realising she was living someone else’s life.

Escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon who wanted to talk about The Da Vinci Code, wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England – and unlikely ever to leave again – Jenny, with assistance from loyal hound, walked and swam her way back to manageable health.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, partnered for 28 years, she ought to mention, and living with inspirational child in Derbyshire.

Follow Jenny on her Website ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post, if you  liked it give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this incredible book xx