A Lover of Books

Cover Reveal – ‘The Third Note’ by Virginia King

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I am absolutely thrilled to be revealing the gorgeous cover of Virginia King’s new book, ‘The Third Note’, which is due out towards the end of this month.  Read on to find out more.

 

Book Blurb

A mysterious parcel. An unsolved crime. A spell from beyond the grave.

After returning from her last strange quest, Selkie Moon is more than ready to settle down. So when she receives a parcel from her great grandmother 35 years after her death, opening it seems like such a bad idea. But curiosity wins and the objects it contains plunge her into long-buried family secrets. Suddenly an old mystery begins to echo with the present and Selkie is wrapped in a spell that won’t let go: frightening visions, deadly encounters and a pull from the past that she can’t ignore. Armed with only her wits and psychic twinges that are hardly reliable, Selkie is drawn into a web of cryptic clues that delve deep into the folklore of Ireland where superstition still weaves a powerful – and fatal – spell.

If you love mysteries with lightning pace, twists and turns you never see coming, quirky clues and a sprinkling of the supernatural, then you’ll love The Third Note.

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Who is Selkie Moon?

Selkie Moon is a modern woman with a mythical name. One of her dead mother’s extraordinary ideas. The selkies are the seal people of Celtic folklore who peel off their skins and dance in the moonlight in human form. With a name like that, Selkie can’t help getting tangled in mysteries that spring from the haunting elements of mythology from around the world.

 

The Selkie Moon Mystery Series

Laying Ghosts (prequel)

The First Lie

The Second Path

The Third Note

 

Download Your Free Prequel

Get a taste of the Selkie Moon mystery series with your free 60-minute adrenaline rush, Laying Ghosts – and be notified of the special launch price of The Third Note when it’s published at the end of March.

http://www.selkiemoon.com/

 

About Virginia King

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When a voice wakes you up in the middle of the night and tells you to write a mystery series, what’s a writer to do? That’s how Virginia King came to create Selkie Moon, after a massage from a woman with gifted hands was followed by this nocturnal message. Virginia sat down at the keyboard and waited until Selkie Moon turned up. Soon she was hooked, exploring far-flung places full of secrets where Selkie delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology.

Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband, where she disappears each day into Selkie Moon’s latest mystery. Bliss.

 

Links

Website: http://www.selkiemoon.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/selkiemoonmysteries

Retail Links: http://www.selkiemoon.com/buy-the-books/

 

Fellow book blogger, Linda Hill reviewed ‘Laying Ghosts’ for Virginia King.  You can read it here:-

https://lindasbookbag.com/2016/09/18/short-story-laying-ghosts-by-virginia-king/

 

Blog Tour – ‘After She’s Gone’ and ‘Sins of the Father’ by Sheryl Browne

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I am delighted to be taking part in Sheryl Browne’s blog tour for her books, ‘After She’s Gone’, published recently and ‘Sins of the Father’ which is out today, both by Choc Lit.  The covers alone should tempt you to buy these books, but here’s what they are about.

 

Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman?

After She’s Gone.

Sins of the Father.

All-consuming thrillers that will eat you and spit you back out.

 

After She’s Gone

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?

There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.

When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

 

Sins of the Father

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.

But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

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Sound good?  Just to whet your appetites that little bit more here’s an excerpt from ‘After She’s Gone’.

 

Excerpt – After She’s Gone

Matthew walked purposefully, his breath freezing and flying into the crisp air like a soft white djinn. He’d debated hard whether to make the call. One call and air surveillance could be hovering overhead in minutes, armed officers despatched and honing in on their target, ready to shoot Sullivan down if they caught so much as a glimpse of him. And where might that leave Becky and Ashley? His thumb hovering over his mobile, he’d factored in that Sullivan would use them as a human shield.

Matthew hadn’t made the call. Those were exactly the tactics the coward would resort to, and Matthew had no idea whether Becky was in there. Depending on the soundness of the roof, thermal imaging might have indicated how many people there were and pinpointed their location, but it couldn’t have identified who was who. Ashley he’d heard. Matthew’s heart sank afresh as he recalled her soul-crushing scream. Becky though … The thought of her imprisoned in some dank, confined space … an underground sewer, a box buried somewhere … and the only man who knew where, shot down and killed before he’d disclosed her location? That was the unbearable scenario that had decided him.

The gun, bought with one specific aim in mind, to destroy Sullivan like the vermin he was, was now useless. Matthew had it with him. Biting rain now slashing down, obscuring his vision and soaking him through to the skin, he checked his jacket pocket for the lump of cold metal. He’d abandoned the shoulder holster, thought about trying to secrete the gun, but then abandoned that idea too. Sullivan would search him. He’d find it in seconds. Ditto any other weapon Matthew had considered. He had no plan. His only hope, he knew, as did Sullivan, was to do as instructed. Turn up at the designated time. Wiping a hand over his eyes, Matthew squinted at his watch. Thereafter, offer himself in exchange for Becky and Ashley, beg Sullivan to release them, take whatever crap the sick bastard dished out. Nothing could be worse than the pain tearing Matthew apart now, except to lose the woman he loved. To know that she and Ashley had suffered and he’d been able to do nothing about it.

Rage smouldering steadily inside him, Matthew stopped directly in front of the property, making sure he was in full view. One clear shot and Sullivan could take him out in an instant. But Sullivan wasn’t about to do that. He needed to satiate his depraved appetites, play his perverted little game, and in the nightmare this game had become, Sullivan was winning hands down.

Five minutes ticked by, excruciatingly slowly. Matthew didn’t move, other than to blink away the rain falling from his eyelashes like icy tears from a frond. Trying not to imagine what might greet him inside, he scanned the outside of the building, mentally noting all available exits. Close up, it was more dilapidated than he’d thought: slates off the roof, the framework skeletal in places, empty sockets for windows upstairs, dark, like blind eyes watching him. There was a hayloft-door hanging off, rotting supporting beams interlacing the brickwork. Two windows downstairs, both boarded, bar a gap in one, through which Matthew had no doubt he was being watched. A sturdy front door, cast iron hinges … Matthew fixed his gaze on it and waited.

Eventually, he heard a bolt being drawn. Bracing himself, Matthew drew in a long breath as the door slowly opened, jarring on the uneven floor as it went.

 

About Sheryl Browne

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Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.

A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WHSmith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

 

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest | Choc Lit

 

Trailer Links

DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk

After She’s Gone: https://youtu.be/ujK0mFpYYrM

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Gingerbread House’ by Kate Beaufoy

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I am absolutely thrilled to be starting off this blog tour.  ‘The Gingerbread House’ is being published on the 2nd March by Black & White Publishing.  I was very kindly sent a copy to review which you can read soon.  First up though, a guest post by Kate Beaufoy herself.

 

An Introduction to The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House tells the story of Tess and Katia, a mother and daughter who move into a pretty bungalow in a remote country setting to care for Eleanor, Tess’s aged mother-in-law. Tess is trying to write a book, so a distraction-free zone is what she wants. Katia, however, finds the house eerie and claustrophobic; in order to escape its confines she retreats to her childhood treehouse and spends hours talking to an imaginary friend, telling herself stories, and spying on Toby, the fit young gardener.

Initially, Tess and Katia imagine that caring for Eleanor will be do-able – after all, what could be easier than looking after a little old lady? But it’s a tougher ask than either of them anticipates. Eleanor has dementia, and it’s getting worse. Soon Tess finds herself stressed-out and despondent, reaching for the wine bottle as soon as the carriage clock strikes 6.00 pm. And Katia is powerless to help …

Like most novels, The Gingerbread House is experience distilled through imagination. Although some of what Tess goes through is based on real events, the book is – as becomes clear to the reader turning the pages – a work of fiction.

I wrote the first draft ten years ago, never intending it for publication. It was an amalgamation of snapshot memories and a stream-of-consciousness record of a dark time, and I wrote it in just five weeks. Then I abandoned it. Back then it was something I felt I needed to do – a bit like talking therapy – but instead of communicating my feelings to a shrink, I wrote them down. Then I filed the story as ‘White Peacocks Doc’ and tried to forget about it.

However, as a writer, my job is to put a shape on words, and I couldn’t entirely ignore the fact that some 80,000 of them had spilled on to my computer screen. I couldn’t forget about the white peacocks and their spooky call. I couldn’t forget about the plight of Tess and Eleanor. I would open the file from time to time, rearrange the misspelled mess I had written in such a hurry, refocus, restructure.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from some of the best editors in the UK, and among the most helpful phrases iterated is ‘Take a knife to your little darlings.’ I cut 20,000 words. Instead of using a first person ‘Poor Me’ narrative, I brought Katia in to tell the story. I invented a friend for her, Charlotte, in whom she could confide her worries and sorrows. I conjured up beautiful Toby so that Katia could harbour a little crush, and so Tess could have someone to talk to.

What ultimately grew into a big story is driven by a small cast of characters. While some of them are fabrications, some are based on actual people: Lotus, Doctor Doorley, Donn. The white peacocks were, surreally, real. All of the women to whom Tess speaks on the phone are true friends of mine, to whom I reached out, and who helped me through a tough time. I was lucky – so very lucky – to have them.

Since I wrote the story of Tess and Eleanor and Katia, the concerns that made me tell the story have multiplied. Once as taboo a subject as cancer, dementia is being spoken about throughout the media. Equally importantly, the role of the carer is being highlighted. Just recently, BBC 4’s Woman’s Hour devoted an entire week to the subject.

Some women in similar situations to the one in which Tess finds herself have nobody to talk to. Hopefully this new openness will encourage those who have felt alone for too long that there are thousands and thousands of other Tesses out there.

The Gingerbread House by Kate Beaufoy is published by Black & White.
http://www.katebeaufoy.com

 

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My Review

The first thing I want to comment about is the cover which I absolutely adore. It’s simply stunning; I love the colours and the picture of the house which has been given the name, ‘The Gingerbread House’. It looks so lovely and homely and it makes you want to go and live in it. You would be forgiven for thinking that this story is a fairy tale. Except it isn’t, far from it in fact.

The story is narrated by Katia, Tess’s daughter. I really enjoyed the writing style and the way the reader is given a tour of the house. I couldn’t wait to visit all the rooms and learn more about it. Katia who seems to see and know everything that is going on gives a very honest account of the situation at hand and what her parents, especially her mum are going through. But poor Katia can only watch as things fall apart and as I found out later there’s a reason for that.

Reading about Eleanor who was suffering from dementia was heartbreaking. Yes, she was old, but that didn’t make things any easier. It must have been really frustrating for her to not be able to do the things she used to. I don’t think poor Tess ever imagined just how hard it would be caring for Eleanor. Being asked the same questions hundreds of times a day and having to wash her clothes and bedding regularly due to accidents was no joke. That sort of thing would be enough to give anyone a nervous breakdown. I really worried about Tess, especially when she started drinking more.

There was a very dark sense of humour throughout the story which took a bit of getting used to. I had to read a joke two or three times before I understood it. I guess the humour is what helped to keep Tess and Donn going though. Temporary relief is what I think you would call it.

‘The Gingerbread House’ kept me reading. It will hopefully strike a chord with those who have loved ones with dementia. I’m sure a number of things will ring true.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Kate Beaufoy


Kate Beaufoy has an MA in French and English literature from Trinity College Dublin. As Kate Thompson she has had a dozen novels published, including the Number One bestseller The Blue Hour, which was shortlisted for the RNA award. Her previous book was Another Heartbeat in the House, which was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. The Gingerbread House was inspired by her experience of caring for her mother-in-law, when she was suffering from dementia. Kate has contributed to numerous publications and broadcast media in both Ireland and the UK. A former actress, she was the recipient of a Dublin Theatre Festival Best Actress Award. She lives some of the year in Dublin and some on the West coast of Ireland, and is happily married with one daughter. Kate is an advanced-level scuba diver, a wild swimmer, and the keeper of a bewitching Burmese cat.

 

‘The Gingerbread House’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gingerbread-House-Gripping-heartbreaking-surprising-ebook/dp/B01MU7T4Y6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488136899&sr=1-1&keywords=the+gingerbread+house

 

Guest Post by Nicky Wells

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Congratulations to Nicky Wells whose new book, ‘Dead Hope’ is out today.  I am reading it at the moment and I can tell you now that it’s good.  Nicky has written a guest post for my blog which I hope you all enjoy.

 

From the mundane to the sublime

It often takes people by surprise to hear that I’ve got eight published novels to my name. ‘That’s so cool,’ is the most common reaction. ‘How did you get into writing?’ The answer to that question is simple. I didn’t really get into writing. I’ve always written. I submitted my first masterpiece, a children’s book, to a publisher at about age eleven. Cue first rejection letter: while we publish books for children, we regrettably don’t publish books by children. Ah well.

That didn’t really stop me, although it altered my focus for a few decades while I went through school and university and eventually found myself a job writing informative books for business. And all the while, my first set of romance novels was begging to be written. When I quit my job to await the birth of my first child, the novels wouldn’t be silenced any longer, and Sophie’s Turn emerged first of all. That was twelve years ago, although it took another four years to bring the novel to market via Sapphire Star Publishing.

‘Eight books,’ I’m asked next. ‘Where do you get the ideas?’ Random flashes of inspiration, is the short answer to this one.

A chance remark from my husband parachuted the ‘rock star romance trilogy’ into my head. It went something like this. ‘Gosh, if Bon Jovi came knocking on our door one day, you’d be off for good.’ That night, I started drafting in my head… What if?

Spirits of Christmas came to me one January morning. I stumbled across ‘A Christmas Carol’ when I was tidying up and suddenly saw the whole story cast in rock stars. Fairy Tale of New York was a natural continuation of the story.

Fallen for Rock presented itself as a kind of antitheses to the rock star romance trilogy. What if my leading lady absolutely hated rock music? What events would have to transpire to make her fall for a rock star?

My romantic comedy, Seven Years Bad Sex, was conceived at an authors’ gala dinner. My table neighbour raised a glass and made a toast, but I was distracted. He admonished me, quite seriously, that not looking at someone while they’re toasting you gives you seven years bad sex. Ka-bang! The novel was in my head, just like that. I guess it’s a bit like dreaming—you get a whole movie’s worth of visuals inside a few seconds.

Dead Hope sprang on me whilst travelling into town on the bus. I was idly wondering about the lives and routines of the commuters when I suddenly thought, what if one of them is a celebrity in hiding? What if they’re only on the bus for bizarre and complicated reasons definitely worthy of a novel? In fact, Dead Hope was born under the working title of ‘Deep Cover’ but later morphed from a romance into a thriller, hence the darker title.

Speaking of bus, the idea for my next two novels—also thrillers—came to me not on the bus, but at the bus stop. (I should probably mention at this stage that as a non-driver, I am public-transport dependent and can frequently be seen hanging around the local bus shelter!). I’d had a spectacularly rough night with a poorly child and I felt pretty dead on my feet. Cue idea. By the time I got into town, I had the whole novel worked out in my head. By the time I arrived home six hours later, I had a whole alternative novel in my head. And those are the two novels I am writing right now.

 

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Book Blurb

Cat Hope doesn’t want to go to prison. She needs a job, and she needs it fast: judge’s orders.

Kay Mahon, office worker by day and hacker by night, is on the run from a past life that he’d rather not remember.

When their paths cross, they discover that the night that derailed Cat’s future nineteen long years ago also changed the path of Kay’s life. Confused and intrigued, they begin to investigate the truth behind the deaths of the successful rock star couple Jackie and Adam Hope. Little do they know that their quest is putting Cat in grave danger.

 

About Nicky Wells

Nicky Wells writes captivating romance and breathtaking thrillers featuring famous (or infamous!) feisty heroes and extraordinary villains. DEAD HOPE is her eighth book and the first published novel in her “Wake Up Dead” themed thriller series, with the next two books scheduled for release through the course of 2017 and 2018. Nicky has previously published seven works of romantic fiction both with US publishing house, Sapphire Star Publishing, and independently.

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln with her husband and their two boys. She loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s hopelessly addicted to reading crime novels by the truck load.

 

Links

‘Dead Hope’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

Kindle

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

US:  https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-thrilling-suspense-romance-ebook/dp/B06WD89J1V/

Paperback

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

US:  https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Hope-Nicky-Wells/dp/1542376157/

 

Nicky’s books: Sophie’s Turn | Sophie’s Run | Sophie’s Encore | Spirits of Christmas | Fallen for Rock | Fairy Tale in New York | Seven Years Bad Sex

Join Nicky: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal – ‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ by Catherine Ferguson

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I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for ‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ which is being published as an eBook by Maze on the 3rd April.  I have totally fallen head over heels in love with the cover.  It’s absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to read this book.  Here’s what it is about.

 

Book Blurb

When Holly breaks up with her boyfriend Dean, she’s at a loss as to what to do next. But things go from bad to worse when her beloved grandmother Ivy dies – and Holly is left in charge of sorting out Ivy’s house and garden. As she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings and makes her way through the wilderness outside, Holly soon finds that there is more to Ivy than meets the eye, and uncovers a surprising family secret that changes everything…

This is a heart-warming and hilarious story from Catherine Ferguson about starting over, learning to garden and most of all learning to love.

 

‘The Secrets of Ivy Garden’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Catherine-Ferguson-Untitled-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01M3R3QHZ/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487526855&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=the+secrtes+of+ivy+garden

Catherine Ferguson is on Twitter: @catherine_ann_f

 

Guest Post by Linda Huber

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I am delighted to have Linda Huber on my blog today.  Her new book, ‘The Saturday Secret and other stories’ was published on the 15th February by Fabrian Books.  Profits from ebook and paperback sales of this collection are being donated to charity.

Linda has written a guest post for my blog.

 

The Saturday Secret and other stories

I’ve always been a ‘scribbler’ – I started aged seven when I did my writer’s badge in the Brownies, and I’ve never looked back. As a child, I wrote short then longer stories for children before the teenage phase of terrible poetry arrived, after which I went back to my children’s books – and I was still trying to write something publishable in the late nineties, when my mother challenged me to write a magazine story.

Once I realised that being published in a mag meant writing a story that would fit in with the other stories in the mag, and not something completely different, I got on quite well with this. It was great fun seeing my name in print, although for the first few I hid behind a pen name – I was Rosalind Farr for a while.

But when one of the mags I was writing for – The People’s Friend – accepted an article about family life in Switzerland, I had to re-think my pen name strategy. It seemed silly to have an article about Linda Huber and family, written by Rosalind Farr, so I used my own name for that and subsequent articles. Seeing my name in print made me want more, so I dropped poor Rosalind and stuck with Linda.

Then, around fifteen years ago, the idea of writing a psychological suspense novel pinged into my brain, and I wrote my next six books in this genre. (Apart from a brief escape when The Write Romantics asked me to contribute a story to their anthology Winter Tales, which supports The Teenage Cancer Trust and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.)

I did have a wobble about names when I was preparing The Saturday Secret. It’s a collection of light-heated, feel-good stories about love and family life – a completely different genre to my other books. I didn’t want to resurrect Rosalind, but I did consider L.E. Huber. In the end, though, I went with Linda again. It seemed less complicated…

Like Winter Tales, The Saturday Secret is a charity collection. As an ex-physiotherapist, I’m very interested in medical research and medical help/aid, and the charity I donate to will be a medical one. But there’s a lot to think about – I live in Switzerland, have family and friends in this country – well over half my life is here. So I want to support a charity that works internationally. I’ll be talking to my accountant about it before publication, and then we’ll see. One idea is to wait until the end of 2017, see what’s happening in the world, and choose accordingly. More details about this will go up on The Saturday Secret’s page on my website, as and when we know them. I’m not expecting this little book to sell millions, but if it makes a few pounds – or francs – for a good cause, I’ll be happy.

And if anyone has an idea about an international medical charity – my ears are open!

 

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Book Blurb

The Saturday Secret and other Stories is a collection of fifteen tales of life, love, and family – perfect for a coffee-break! Previously published in UK national magazines, the stories are about relationships within the family and without – some are humorous, some bittersweet; all are upbeat and emotional.

The Party Partners   Belinda and Phillip have fun at weddings, engagement parties and all sorts of celebrations. But anything more personal was out of the question – or was it?

Family Matters   Gary shares Sharon’s dream of having children – but as far as he’s concerned, it’s something for the future.

Corinna’s Big Day   It was the most important day in baby Corinna’s life, but for Madge, it was one of the saddest…

Lucky for Some   You might say drawing number 13 in the cycle rally was bad luck. You might say falling off was bad luck, too. But Hilary knew better!

Patiently Waiting   Mike woke up after his operation and saw the girl of his dreams. The problem was the engagement ring she wore on a chain round her neck…

The Saturday Secret   What was she up to? The whole family wanted to know! But Gran wasn’t telling…

And many more…

 

About Linda Huber

Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years being a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.

Linda’s writing career began in the nineties, and since then she’s had over fifty short stories and articles published, as well as five psychological suspense novels. Her books are set in the UK, in places she knows well – Cornwall, The Isle of Arran, Yorkshire, as well as Bedford and Manchester.

After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, she has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, where she’s working on another suspense novel.

Find out more about Linda here:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlindahuber

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19

Website: http://lindahuber.net/

 

‘The Saturday Secret and other stories’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://amzn.to/2lyhXbV

 

Blog Tour – ‘Dare to Remember’ by Susanna Beard

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‘Dare to Remember’ is Susanna Beard’s debut novel. It was published by Legend Press on the 1st February in both paperback and as an eBook. I was very kindly sent a copy to review and I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour.

After an attack which leaves Lisa Fulbrook badly injured and her best friend and flatmate dead, Lisa moves to a small village where she can recover peacefully and eventually get back to some sort of normality. With only vague memories of the event she cuts herself off from friends and family, happy to spend her days going for long walks with Riley, her neighbour’s dog.

Lisa finds it almost impossible to sleep due to the nightmares she keeps having. She also has a number of disturbing flashbacks relating to the attack. As Lisa desperately tries to piece together the memories she asks herself a number of questions and she realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, something she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.

I thought ‘Dare to Remember’ to be a really good read. I liked the writing style and I was soon drawn into the story. I found myself turning the pages as quickly as possible wanting to know what actually happened on the night of the attack.

I enjoyed following Lisa on her journey to recovery and seeing her make positive steps. I know she felt she wasn’t getting anywhere much at times, but she was. Lisa moved to the village where she hoped to be able to cut herself off and live a quiet life, but that obviously wasn’t to be. I think the opportunity to take Riley the dog for his daily walks came at the right time. He was such good therapy for her and gave her hours of love.  She also got to meet Jessica who became a good friend. The sessions Lisa had with the psychotherapist were interesting and I actually felt I learnt something.

I personally thought that the chapters were a bit too long and would have preferred them to be shorter. Perhaps the book could have been split into parts too. I would also have loved to have known the name of the village where Lisa moved to.

If you like good psychological suspense then you must read ‘Dare to Remember’. You’ll find it hard to put down.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

About Susanna Beard

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Susanna is a psychological crime writer who lives in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Her day job in PR both demands and celebrates writing and she’s helped promote everything from websites to wine. She writes every day, all the time: news, articles, speeches, websites, blogs – and now novels.

She likes dark, contemplative stories with a twist; she’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships and the impact of insignificant events on people’s lives.

Susanna started writing fiction after attending a course at the Faber Academy. Other passions include her dogs, who keep her grounded, and tennis, which clears her brain of pretty much everything.

 

‘Dare to Remember’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dare-Remember-Psychological-Crime-Drama-ebook/dp/B01JGMFZ6G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487312022&sr=1-1&keywords=dare+to+remember

 

Book Extract – ‘Escapades in Bizarrchaeology: The Journal of Captain Max Virtus’ by Adrian Burrows

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‘Escapades in Bizarrchaeology: The Journal of Captain Max Virtus’ by Adrian Burrows was published by Williams & Whiting on the 1st December 2016.  I have an extract for all of you to read, but first here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

The History Book For People Who Don’t Like History – Yet! Captain Max Virtus has spent his life Excavating the Extraordinary and Unearthing the Unusual. Gathering the history of the Bizarre to exhibit in his Warehouse of Bizzarchaeology. Now you have the opportunity to take a guided tour of his life’s work, in this, his personal journal. Discover why bats were used as bombs, how an emu can defeat a tank, the reason why guns were installed in cemetries … and how you can get shot with an arrow … and survive. All this … and then things get really weird! Take History To The Max

 

Extract

Those Weird Vikings

Vikings. Brilliant weren’t they?

Stinky, blood thirsty, horned helmet wearing barbarians.

Only that sentence is depressingly untrue.

Firstly, Vikings were not stinky, in fact they were considered a fragrant bouquet of delight compared to their Saxon neighbours. Vikings bathed once a week and fashioned beauty products out of small animal bones, tweezers to pluck out unwanted hair and ear spoons to scoop out gunk from the lug holes of even the most fearsome warrior.

Secondly, Vikings weren’t all that blood thirsty. In fact, their raiding hobby fast moved on to rather more boring interests, such as trading, settling and exploring (YAWN!).

Thirdly, there’s no evidence to suggest that Vikings wore horns on their helmets. After all, why would anyone think it would be a good idea to stick two big easy to grab horns on the side of their head? It would allow a quick thinking opponent to either yank your head in position for a welltimed slash of a broadsword or simply pull your helmet over your eyes and provide chortlesome fun for all their friends as you stumble, blindly around the battlefield. In fact, there’s very little evidence to suggest that Vikings wore helmets AT ALL. Illustrations from the period show them wearing lousy leather caps or boringly bare headed.

So if Vikings aren’t stinky, blood thirsty, horned helmet wearing barbarians then doesn’t that make them rather boring? Oh no no dear reader, Vikings did plenty of bizarrely brilliant things.

 

Vikings loved Skiing

Who doesn’t love Skiing? The answer is not Vikings. They loved it. Their skis were about 2 metres long and made of pine wood. However, Vikings didn’t just ski, they also went ice skating. The skates were made from the foot bones of horses, cows or elks and were strapped to the feet of the Viking as they propelled themselves over the ice with two short sticks.

Are you thinking about a giant bearded Viking warrior involved in a pretty spectacular and surprisingly flexible ice skate dance routine whilst clad in horribly florescent and skin tight lycra? If not, you are now.

 

Wee Dye

Vikings considered the ideal hair colour to be blonde. They could also suffer from horrible infestations of lice and nits in their finely combed (yes, they had combs too) hair.

So what better solution than dunking your head in a month old bucket of wee?

Not only would it eliminate any rogue lice it would also lighten the colour of your hair.

However, having to keep month old buckets of wee could clutter up even the longest longhouse. So Lye Soap was developed instead. The key toxic ingredient of yee olde Lye Soap? Wee.

 

Vikings had a Weird Sense of Humour

Vikings took their reputations very seriously indeed. An insulted Viking would often respond to the verbal bashing by challenging the bully to a physical bashing instead. Duels would be held (not always resulting in death, sometimes the warrior who managed to disarm the other or draw first blood would be the victor) but what happened to the person who lost? Well, they were given a rather odd challenge. A wild cow would be brought into the hall where the duel had taken place. The cow’s tail would then be shaved and coated in grease. Then the Viking who had lost the duel would have their feet covered in grease too. Then the cow would be made angry (calling it names or poking it in the eye with a stick should do the trick). Then the loser would have to grip the cow’s tail (can you tell where this is going yet?).

On a given command the Viking would then have to pull the cow’s tail. Which would make the cow go WILD! Bucking and stomping, kicking out with its hooves like a cowy whirlwind of death. The poor Viking would simply have to keep hold of its tail until it calmed down. If he succeeded, then not only could he keep his life he could also keep the cow as well! Bonus!

 

Secret Bonus Fact: Viking warriors wore eyeliner! It was called kohl and it was a dark coloured powder that kept the harsh light of the sun from damaging sensitive eyeballs.

 

About Adrian Burrows

author-picture

(b.1981) works as an actor, Workshop Practitioner and Author in Lancaster. He is passionate about ensuring that history remains relevant to people of all ages and so spends the vast majority of his time dressed as a Viking, Roman Gladiator and/or a Pirate at primary schools across England.

His combination of broad shoulders and tiny waist means he has often been described as a triangle and he has a deep hatred of grammar and spelling – apologies in advance to his editor…

 

Links

‘Escapades in Bizarrchaeology: The Journal of Captain Max Virtus’ is available to buy from:-

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Escapades-Bizarrchaeology-1-Adrian-Burrows-x/dp/1911266284/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484000485&sr=8-1&keywords=escapades+in+bizarrchaeology

Waterstones

https://www.waterstones.com/book/escapades-in-bizarrchaeology/adrian-burrows/9781911266280

 

Adrian Burrow’s Twitter handle – @Adeauthor

 

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-recognition-award

I would like to thank Caroline Vincent for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award.  I have never been nominated for this award before and I feel honoured.  It came just at the right time and means a lot to me.  Your blog looks lovely and I will be exploring it for sure.  This is Caroline’s blog – https://www.bitsaboutbooks.net/

 

Being nominated means that I am obliged to follow the rules.  These are:-

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog; let them know you have nominated them; provide the link to the post you created.

 

How my blog started

I became a regular user of Twitter.  At first I reviewed a few books on Amazon etc.  I could see that people had blogs but knew nothing about setting up a blog and running it.  Then one day I decided to take the plunge, registered for a blog with WordPress and over 5 years later here I am still blogging.

 

My two pieces of advice to new bloggers

  1. The blogging world is a very exciting community with lots to learn.  Choose books you really want to read and try not to take on too many reviews.  This is the mistake a lot of us have made and that’s when things can get really overwhelming and sometimes stressful.  If things get too much take a little break from your blog.
  2. Remember to write honest reviews.  If you didn’t like a book say why.  It doesn’t matter if the whole world seems to like the same book, it doesn’t mean you necessarily will.  After all if we all liked the same things it would be a very boring world indeed.  Don’t feel bad about not being amongst the thousands who love a particular book.

 

The 15 bloggers I want to give this award to

I’m sure some of the bloggers I will be selecting have already been nominated.  If you’ve been chosen more than once then please consider yourself as being very special.

  1.  Anne Cater – http://randomthingsthroughmyletterbox.blogspot.co.uk/
  2.  Linda Hill – https://lindasbookbag.com/
  3.  Sarah Hardy – https://lindasbookbag.com/
  4.  Sharon – http://shazsbookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
  5.  Kate – https://bibliophilebookclub.com/
  6.  Rachel Gilbey – http://rachelsrandomreads.blogspot.co.uk/
  7.  Anne Williams – http://beinganne.com/
  8.  Sophie – http://www.book-drunk.co.uk/
  9.  Rebecca Pugh – http://thehummingbirdreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
  10.  Gordon McGhie – http://grabthisbook.net
  11.  Drew Weldon – https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress.com/
  12.  Joanne Robertson – https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com/
  13. Jen Lucas – https://jenmedsbookreviews.com/
  14. Janet Emson – https://fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/
  15. Mairead Hearne – http://www.swirlandthread.com/

Each and every blog which I have chosen is unique.  These bloggers are amazing people and they put in a lot of time and effort doing what they love to do, spreading the word about books.   Sometimes things can get hard.  Sometimes there are disappointments along the way.  But the thing that will always keep us going is books.

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Will to Live’ by Rachel Amphlett

book-cover

I am absolutely delighted to be revealing the cover of Rachel Amphlett’s new book.  ‘Will to Live’, the second Detective Kay Hunter novel is out on the 4th April.  To whet your appetites read on to find out what it’s all about.

 

Book Blurb

Reputation is everything

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as ‘Suicide Mile’, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realises the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realises the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him…

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

If you like Angela Marsons, Peter James and Robert Bryndza, you will love Rachel Amphlett’s new series.

 

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