A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “February, 2020”

Blog Tour – ‘The Will to Succeed’ by Christine Raafat ~ @Bookollective @UnicornPubGroup

‘The Will to Succeed: Lady Anne Clifford’s Battle for her Rights’ is Christine Raafat’s debut novel.  It was published in paperback on the 1st February 2020 by Unicorn Publishing Group and is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Bookollective for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.  I love historical fiction and this book really did sound fascinating.

I will be reviewing ‘The Will to Succeed’ in the next few days.  One thing I will say about it though is that it is fabulous and definitely should be read.  In the meantime here is a bit about the book along with purchase links.

 

Book Blurb

When the 15-year-old Lady Anne Clifford s father died in 1605, she was his sole surviving child and expecting to inherit the Cliffords great northern estates.  But the Earl of Cumberland leaves a will which ignores an ancient law and bequeaths the lands to his brother, in the belief that a prophecy by his great-grandfather will eventually come true and return the estates to Anne. She and her mother vow to contest the will.

Anne spends the next three decades battling for what she believes is rightfully hers. She risks everything by opposing her beloved husband, her family and friends, the nobility, the law courts, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the King. She steadfastly (and treasonably) refuses to accept the King s decision, whatever the consequences, but is defeated and left with the prophecy as her only hope.

Widowed at thirty-four, she survives an anxious period alone with her two young daughters before surprising everyone with an ill-judged second marriage which gives her access to the highest in the land. But the Civil War destroys that power and confines the 52-year-old Anne to a grand palace in London for six years. Still convinced of her rights, will she ever attain “ye landes of mine inheritance”?

~~~~~

‘The Will to Succeed’ is available to purchase from:-

Unicorn Publishing Group – http://www.unicornpublishing.org/page/detail/The-Will-to-Succeed/?K=9781912690688

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Will-Succeed-Cliffords-Battle-Rights/dp/1912690683/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1582482866&sr=8-1-fkmr0

 

About the Author

 

Blog Tour – ‘Beast’ by Matt Wesolowski ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

‘Beast’, the fourth book in the Six Stories series, is being published in paperback on the 20th February 2020 by Orenda Books and is available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  I have a competition for you all to enter.

 

Book Blurb

Continuing the unique, explosive Six Stories series, based around six podcasts comes a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention. Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged cult, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, and the tragic and chilling legend of the Ergarth Vampire…

 

About Matt Wesolowski

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

 

Links

‘Beast’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Six-Stories-Matt-Wesolowski/dp/1913193136/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1581867556&sr=8-1

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ConcreteKraken

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5303620.Matt_Wesolowski

 

Competition

One lucky person has the chance to win a paperback copy of ‘Beast’.  To enter just share my post on social media and leave a comment on here.

 

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 25th February 2020.

The winner will be chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Wheelwright Girl’ and ‘The Ambulance Girl’ by Tania Crosse ~ @Books_n_all @JoffeBooks @TaniaCrosse

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour.  I have been following Tania Crosse on social media for quite a while now and am always happy to share her posts.  I love the sound of her books, so when I heard that a couple of them were being republished and that there was going to be a blog tour I jumped at the chance to take part.  I would like to thank the author for making me aware of this blog tour and Jill Burkinshaw of Books ‘n’ All Promotions for inviting me to participate.

‘The Wheelwright Girl’ and ‘The Ambulance Girl’ were republished by Joffe Books on the 4th February 2020 and are available as eBooks.  Here is a little bit more about both books.

 

Book Blurb

A compelling wartime saga about a spirited young woman seeking happiness on her own terms.

Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin, Dilly Court, Freda Lightfoot and Catherine Cookson.

Originally published as Wheels of Grace.

 

Dartmoor, 1914. Grace Dannings is a farmer’s daughter. But that’s never stopped her wanting more.

She dreams of making her mark as a London Suffragette. Too bad she’s still stuck in Walkhampton, the sleepy village where she was born.

As a child, she could escape to the wheelwright’s mill. Spellbound, she’d watch labourers hammer white-hot iron and timber into wagon wheels.

Now she’s a woman and nothing about the village feels like home. The men are brutish, the women afraid of change. Her best friend is trapped in an abusive marriage, yet no one seems to care.

GRACE WON’T SETTLE FOR THAT.

Perhaps she could have married Martin, the mill owner’s son. But society says she’s not good enough. So Grace must find a new dream.

SHE WILL PROVE THEM WRONG. BUT CHANGE IS COMING . . .

When World War One breaks out, no one in the village escapes untouched. Grace wants to be part of the war effort.

When the wheelwright’s men leave for the front, Grace immediately volunteers to fill in. The move raises eyebrows in the village.

But Grace has her sights set on a fulfilling new vocation. And she’s not about to stop for anything — or anyone. But at what cost to her own happiness?

A poignant, sensitive and intensely moving account of one village’s war and the endurance of those who wait at home for news of their loved ones.

 

‘The Wheelwright Girl’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/WHEELWRIGHT-GIRL-compelling-wartime-self-discovery-ebook/dp/B084HM33L7/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+wheelwright+girl+by+tania+crosse&qid=1581755934&sr=8-1

 

Book Blurb

A compelling wartime saga of love, loss and self-discovery at the battlefield’s edge.

Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin, Dilly Court, Freda Lightfoot and Catherine Cookson.

Originally published as Teardrops in the Moon.

 

A YOUNG WOMAN WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE TIED DOWN

Dartmoor, 1914. Twenty-four-year-old Marianne Warrington is in danger of being left on the shelf. That’s what her mother says and that’s precisely how she wants it.

She has her future mapped out and it doesn’t include marriage or babies. Instead, she vows to devote herself to rearing horses on her parents’ farm.

BUT HISTORY HAS OTHER PLANS

Then World War One breaks out and the Warringtons’ peaceful existence is shattered forever. Amid the chaos, Marianne seizes her chance to prove she’s more than just a spinster.

When her brother leaves for the battlefield, Marianne is determined to follow. She signs up to serve as an ambulance driver in war-torn France. There, she witnesses unimaginable horrors.

Yet there’s one face she can’t banish from her thoughts. It belongs to Major Albert Thorneycroft: a handsome and perplexing stranger who means more to Marianne than she’d care to admit.

WHAT IF FINDING HAPPINESS MEANS LOSING HERSELF?

As the war rages on, a battle ensues between Marianne’s head and heart, testing her resolve like never before.

 

TANIA CROSSE weaves blissfully human stories with impeccable research, giving her characters all the complexity and colour of real life. Tania has been shortlisted for Best Romantic Saga in the 60th annual RoNA Awards.

 

WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT TANIA CROSSE:

I know you spend many hours researching your subject and this truly shows by the way you bring your stories to life. I can never put the book down! I have always enjoyed your books – particularly the Devon ones as it gave us “up country folk” an insight into Devon life and its social history. Can’t wait for the next one now!!” H.

Highly recommend this read. Moments of tragedy are uplifted by a sense of empowering and inspiring strength from the main characters. The narrative is brilliantly authentic and every emotion that is expressed by the characters is mirrored in the reader’s heart.” Cindy

I now look forward to reading more from this brilliant author.” John H.

“Tania Crosse is an excellent story teller. She tells a story of how tragedy turns to happiness in the most unexpected way. ” S.J.

“This is the first book I’ve read by Tania Crosse, but it won’t be the last. I started this just before bedtime, feeling rather sleepy, and then just couldn’t stop reading. I loved everything about this heartwarming story and will look out for all future books by this author. Highly recommended.” Sarah M.

 

‘The Ambulance Girl’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AMBULANCE-GIRL-compelling-wartime-self-discovery-ebook/dp/B084HM3MCH/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1581756719&refinements=p_27%3ATANIA+CROSSE&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=TANIA+CROSSE

~~~~~

Both books sound great and I am really looking forward to reading them.

 

 

About Tania Crosse

Historical novelist Tania Crosse was born in London and lived in Banbury Street, Battersea, where her two most recent titles are set. However, at a very young age the family moved to Surrey where Tania’s love of the countryside took root. She always enjoyed reading and has composed stories ever since she could hold a pen. After studying French Literature at university, she devoted twenty years to bringing up her family. But her passion for writing never left her, and side by side with her in-depth research into Victorian social history, she began to pen her novels in earnest as her family grew up.

When Tania discovered Morwellham Quay, the restored Victorian copper port and now living history museum in Devon, she fell in love with this magical place and felt a spiritual compulsion to create a story that would illustrate life there in times gone by. This led to the publication of her debut novel, ‘Morwellham’s Child’, and now Tania has fourteen published titles with which to thrill her readers.

Tania has now completed her series of novels illustrating the rich history of Tavistock and the surrounding area of Dartmoor from Victorian times to the 1950’s. She is now working on a series of Twentieth Century stories set in London and the south east. She draws very much on her own experiences of life to create her books. She hates being catagorised as a writer of historical romance. The history comes first, she insists, and the human tales develop from her research. The characters lead harsh, demanding lives and their stories are often cruel and harrowing.

Tania has been happily married for forty five years and claims she would never have achieved her success without her husband’s support. They have three grown up children, two grandchildren and three grand-dogs!

 

Links

Website – http://www.tania-crosse.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TaniaCrosse

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TaniaCrosseAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1797249.Tania_Crosse

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Devil’s Bride’ by Emma S. Jackson ~ @ESJackson1 @darkstrokedark

‘The Devil’s Bride’ by Emma S. Jackson was published as an eBook on the 5th February 2020 by Darkstroke and is also available in paperback.  I really liked the sound of this book and was thrilled when the author invited me to participate in this blog tour.

Read on to find out more about ‘The Devil’s Bride’.

 

Book Blurb

England, 1670

No one goes near Edburton Manor – not since the night in 1668, when demons rose from the ground to drag Lord Bookham’s new bride to a fiery death. Or so the locals say.

That’s what makes it the perfect hideout for the gang of highwaymen Jamie Lorde runs with.

Ghost stories have never frightened her. The living are a far more dangerous prospect, particularly to a woman in disguise as a man. A woman who can see spirits in a time when witches are hanged and who is working hard to gain the trust of the most ruthless, vicious man she has ever known because she intends to ruin and kill him.

But when the gang discovers Matthew, Lord Bookham’s illegitimate brother, who has been trapped by a curse at the Manor ever since the doomed wedding, all Jamie’s carefully laid plans are sent spiralling out of control.

 

Sounds great doesn’t it?  ‘The Devil’s Bride’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

http://bit.ly/TheDevilsBride

 

About Emma S. Jackson

Emma Jackson is the best-selling author of A MISTLETOE MIRACLE, published by Orion Dash. A devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old, she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association on their New Writers’ Scheme at the beginning of 2019, determined to focus on her writing. Her debut novel was published in November 2019. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE is her second novel, published by DarkStroke as Emma S Jackson. She hopes to continue working across sub-genres of romance, as she believes variety is the spice of life.

 

Links

Website – http://www.esjackson.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ESJackson1

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emma_s_jackson/

Blog Tour – ‘The Year Without Summer’ by Guinevere Glasfurd ~ @annecater @TwoRoadsBooks @GuinGlasfurd

‘The Year Without Summer’ by Guinevere Glasfurd was published in hardback and as an eBook on the 6th February 2020 by Two Roads Books.  It is also available in Audiobook.  Today it is my turn on the blog tour for this book and I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.

I have an extract from ‘The Year Without Summer’ for you all to read.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

1815, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia
Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. Sent to investigate, ship surgeon Henry Hogg can barely believe his eyes. Once a paradise, the island is now solid ash, the surrounding sea turned to stone. But worse is yet to come: as the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail.

1816
In Switzerland, Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration. Confined inside by the unseasonable weather, thousands of famine refugees stream past her door. In Vermont, preacher Charles Whitlock begs his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve.

In Suffolk, the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. In the Fens, farm labourer Sarah Hobbs has had enough of going hungry while the farmers flaunt their wealth. And Hope Peter, returned from the Napoleonic wars, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. He flees to London, where he falls in with a group of revolutionaries who speak of a better life, whatever the cost. As desperation sets in, Britain becomes beset by riots – rebellion is in the air.

The Year Without Summer is the story of the books written, the art made; of the journeys taken, of the love longed for and the lives lost during that fateful year. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora – but none could escape its effects.

 

Extract

Henry

 

11 April our year of the Lord, 1815

Dearest Emmalina,

I write in haste as I have been called to the seas south of Makassar once more to investigate rumours of a disturbing nature. Very distinct reports, like cannons, were heard last week in Ternate, five hundred miles east of us and not easily reached. Pirates were suspected, but none found. Then, one night ago, more explosions, this time sufficient to shake our ship and the houses around the harbour, even though we were moored and Makassar peaceful. Yet more talk of pirates, who must be close at hand, if so.

I have had Susilo sharpen my short sword should I need it. I am as prepared as I might be in these parts. But I ask you please to pray for my return with my sword still safely sheathed beside me.

Pirates notwithstanding, I shall be happy to be at sea again. The air here is at its oppressive heaviest, some days it is as if mercury has been poured over us; I have never known it so stifling hot. Even the birds seem afflicted and have lost the will to sing. An eerie stillness hangs over the town and makes the most relaxed man uneasy. Perhaps one of their gods has taken a good breath in and is about to blow us off our feet.

You are a sweet sensible thing to stay in England.

So wish me a fair wind and a safe return, my darling. We sail when it is light.

Your ever loving husband,
Henry

Surgeon aboard the Benares

 

 

12 April our year of the Lord, 1815

Dearest Emmalina,

I am writing this by candlelight though it is not yet midday. A little after 8 a.m. this morning it was apparent we had sailed into what I can only describe as an extraordinary occurrence. To the west and south of us, the sky had assumed the most dismal prospect; the sunrise seemed smothered: a deep red glow that refused to brighten. By ten in the morning, I was certain night had been returned to us. I could scarcely make out the shore, and our ship was but one mile from it. I felt something brush against my skin, with the softness of snow. Snow? Imagine my confusion! What snow could survive this hostile clime? I touched my finger to it, incredulous, until I saw that it smudged. Ash. One question had been answered, but many more took its place. Within an hour, the sky, from horizon to the heavens, was filled with it. It fell in heavy showers with a soft patter, coating the deck then forming a thick layer. And now we have reached a truly awful and alarming state: a darkness as total as at new moon.

The ash is still falling as I write. We are working in shifts to sweep it away, such is its weight. And now the captain is calling me to help rig an awning, presumably to keep it off the deck. I do not know how we will rig anything when one cannot see one’s hand in front of one’s face. Darkness or not, I must go.

I shall write again later. Until then, I am
Your loving husband,
Henry

Surgeon aboard the Benares

 

 

13 April our year of the Lord, 1815

Dearest Emmalina,

I know not if this is night or day, though by the hours that have passed it must be morning once more. The captain’s awning was a dismal failure and we have all been put to the broom in an attempt to keep the ash from reaching perilous levels. We are now sweeping it overboard else it will add many tons in weight to the ship. Wherever one sweeps you can be certain that behind you the ash will have heaped up readily to depths of a foot or more. The further south we sail, the grittier it becomes. The air is foul with it; every breath is a half breath and all on board are wheezing. The queue of the poorly lengthens to my door.

Forgive me, I am unable to write more. Exhaustion has felled me and my hands are blistered.

Your loving husband,
Henry

Surgeon aboard the Benares

 

18 April our year of the Lord, 1815

Dearest, dearest Emmalina,

Forgive my silence, but I have been unwell, a consequence, I think, of ash having found its way into our drinking water. My blisters, I am relieved to say, are improved.

My darling, I wish I had never seen this day for I am struggling to find the words that can adequately express it. Daylight is returned but, oh, for the darkness we had five days ago in favour of what I can now see.

We have arrived off Bima on Sumbawa, which we believe almost certainly is the source of the ‘cannons’ that disturbed our peace in Makassar. This island, once a green gem, is now a hellish scene, to rival any produced by Breughel. The mountain Tomboro, sometimes called Tambora, is gone. Gone! But where? If I had not climbed it last year, when I was the guest of the Rajah here, I would scarce believe it were possible. I knew of the volcano beneath it, but had no reason to suspect an eruption. I am yet to find the Rajah among the few survivors we have met. I hope he lives. I will venture out tomorrow to find him.

But I am ahead of myself. Let me tell you first of our awful approach. We sighted Sumbawa yesterday. Then, still some distance off, the sea became sluggish, thickened with ash in a grey soup. I was below deck, assessing our water supply to determine what portion was spoiled, when I heard a cry go up from above.

I popped my head through the hatch, but it was impossible to make out what was being said. A sailor held out his arm, and pointed, then flapped up and down in a most peculiar manner. Already, he had a small crowd around him and they were similarly vexed. I heaved myself up through the hatch and elbowed my way through the commotion. I took the spyglass from one of them and looked.

That wasn’t water ahead, but stone: a sea, made entirely of stone! But stone that undulated gently.

Bump, bump, bump went several pieces as they knocked into the hull. The bosun, hearing it, took a net and scooped up a small amount. He turned what he had out on deck and we stared as though at strange, dead specimens from the deep. I poked at one with my foot then reached down to pick it up. Stone, now cinder, and pocked like a sponge. The stone had no weight – so that was why it floated. The bosun ventured it was pumice.

Pumice? Of course. I went to the port side and looked over. Pumice in every direction, the sea thick with it and as far as I could see. Although we had a good wind behind us, the ship had slowed and struggled to make way. It must have been many feet thick to slow us like that.

And that, my dearest, is how the sea becomes a mountain and the mountain becomes a sea. There are riddles everywhere, it seems . . .

 

‘The Year Without Summer’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Without-Summer-novel-author/dp/1473672295/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1581358936&sr=8-1

 

 

About Guinevere Glasfurd

Guinevere Glasfurd was born in Lancaster and lives near Cambridge with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, The Words in My Hand, was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa First Novel Award and Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and was longlisted in France for the Prix du Roman FNAC.  Her writing has also appeared in the Scotsman, Mslexia and The National Galleries of Scotland.

 

Links

Website – http://www.guinevereglasfurd.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GuinGlasfurd

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/GuinevereGlasfurdBooks/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14055595.Guinevere_Glasfurd

 

Interview with Anne Coates ~ @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks

Congratulations to Anne Coates whose new book, ‘Perdition’s Child’, the fourth in the Hannah Weybridge series is out today in paperback and eBook, published by Urbane Publications.

It’s a real pleasure to welcome Anne back to my blog.  I asked her some questions about her new book.

 

I cannot believe that the fourth book in the Hannah Weybridge series has been published. Can you tell me a bit about ‘Perdition’s Child’ please?

To be honest, Sonya, I am still pinching myself – four books so moving from a trilogy (as it was first seen) to a series! ‘Perdition’s Child’ is once again set in 1994, moving on from the devastating climax of ‘Songs of Innocence’. After a short holiday with Tom, Hannah is back in London only to discover another suspicious death in her locality, this time in Dulwich Library. The police don’t seem interested but the head librarian thinks further investigation is required and passes information to Hannah. Why has an Australian trying to trace his family become a murder victim?

 

Did you find this book easy to write?

Parts of it yes, but some scenes are more difficult. The sense of loss and sadness pervades and that did affect me. The loss of a child, however that occurs, leaves a huge space in someone’s life. However, I love developing and having fun with characters and some have survived from earlier books. Lucy – one of the homeless people in Cardboard City – who appeared in ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ and briefly in ‘Songs of Innocence’ steps into the spotlight as the secrets from her past are discovered.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

As a journalist I have interviewed people from all walks of life, from prostitutes (Dancers in the Wind) to actors (watch this space) and written about and researched a myriad of topics which inform my scenarios. Plus I have many friends who work in different professions and generously share their experiences. Sometimes observing someone on a bus gives me an idea for how a character is dressed or how they move. I have been known to plunder the habits of my family. Often one idea generates another and before I know it I’m off on another adventure with Hannah.

 

Are there any more books in this series planned and if so what direction do you feel Hannah will take?

The idea that I am working on at the moment – and it’s in the very early stages ­– sees Hannah moving away from freelancing on ‘The News’ and taking a less demanding job working as a “ghost writer” for a famous actor’s memoir. But then she uncovers a mystery that she feels compelled to unravel…

 

Would you like to see the Hannah Weybridge series made into a TV drama?

If only! People often follow this question with and who would you like to play Hannah (and other characters)? I don’t have a preference. The Hannah I see in my mind’s eye is probably quite different from the reader’s and a director would want to ‘recreate’ her own Hannah. It’s a different interpretation and I’d be fascinated to see it.

 

Do you think that you will ever write another series?

I’ve been playing around with an idea for another series set in the here and now and I have a main character developing to fill the role.

 

Would you consider writing a different genre?

Well I have written seven nonfiction books and two collections of short stories some of which would be classed more as ‘women’s fiction’. I’m also working on a psychological thriller that’s a standalone and is loosely based on one of those short stories written some time ago.

 

What do you hope readers will get from your books?

Primarily I hope they are entertained and are engrossed in the story, but also that they would see situations in a new light. Although the Hannah Weybridge series is set in the 1990s many of the problems are still with us today. Sadly our society hasn’t moved on in many respects in terms of racism and discrimination. The homeless situation is worse and food banks didn’t exist then.

 

If you could live your life all over again would you still write books or would you do something different?

When I was studying for my A levels I thought about careers in Law, Psychology and Journalism. My degree was in English and French and I was fortunate enough to find a job in book publishing, which led me to journalism. Even if I had gone into either of the other two options, I think I would have still written novels – but they would probably have had a different focus.

 

What is the last book you read?

‘The Doll House’ by Phoebe Morgan.

 

 

Book Blurb

Dulwich library is the scene of a baffling murder, followed swiftly by another in Manchester, the victims linked by nothing other than their Australian nationality. Police dismiss the idea of a serial killer, but journalist Hannah Weybridge isn’t convinced.

She is drawn into an investigation in which more Australian men are killed as they try to trace their British families. Her research reveals past horrors and present sadness, and loss linked to children who went missing after the Second World War. Have those children returned now?

Once again Hannah finds herself embroiled in a deadly mystery, a mystery complicated by the murder of Harry Peters; the brother of Lucy, one of the residents of Cardboard City she had become friendly with. It soon becomes clear Lucy is protecting secrets of her own.

What is Lucy’s link to the murders and can Hannah discover the truth before the killer strikes again?

Anne Coates gripping thriller is the perfect read for fans of Emma Tallon, K.L.Slater and Laura Marshall.

 

About Anne Coates

Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Inspired by her mother who taught her to read before she went to school and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school in Harlow, Essex who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library – she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London where she has lived ever since. During her career, she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in in various women’s magazines including Bella and Candis.

After working on Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home, Anne went freelance and found herself interviewing all types of people from people working on gas rigs to prostitutes and some of their situations made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born…

The Hannah Weybridge series is published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018) plus the latest ‘Perdition’s Child’ (February 2020).

Anne Coates lives with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining and time with her family and friends.

‘Perdition’s Child’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perditions-Child-Hannah-Weybridge-thriller/dp/1912666677/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=perdition%27s+child+by+anne+coates&qid=1580934385&sr=8-1

 

Where to find Anne Coates

Author Website: www.annecoatesauthor.com
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneCoatesAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anne_Coates1
Parenting Website – Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParentingWT

 

Blog Tour – ‘A Wash of Black’ by Chris McDonald ~ @RedDogTweets @cmacwritescrime

‘A Wash of Black’ is Chris McDonald’s debut novel.  The first book in the DI Erika Piper series, it was published in paperback yesterday the 4th February 2020 by Red Dog Press and is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Red Dog Press for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.  I have been hearing so many great things about this book so it is a real pleasure to be taking part.

I have an extract from ‘A Wash of Black’ for you all.  There is also a giveaway at the bottom of the page which is being run by the publisher.  First though here’s the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

IT’S NOT LIFE THAT IMITATES ART. IT’S DEATH.

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.

DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.

But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

If you like Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Cara Hunter, you will love this

 

Extract

PROLOGUE

HE WIPES HIS BROW and takes a moment to admire his handiwork – this is how it should have been done the first time around, he thinks to himself. It takes all the willpower in the world to step away from the body, the intoxicating aroma of the blood attempting to entice him back, but he knows that he must make sure it has been done properly.

He unfolds the page containing the words he has read countless times; words he could recite in his sleep, but he knows that now is not the time to become careless. He pores over the torn-out page from his favourite book, glancing up every now and then at the scene in front of him. When he is fully happy that nothing has been overlooked, he slips the page back into the plastic wallet and hides it away before making his way carefully off the ice and onto terra firma.

Before he slips out the side door and onto the deserted street, his eyes drink in the bloodbath he is leaving behind. In his head, this isn’t murder; it’s art.

 

1

THE FLASHING BLUE LIGHT disturbs the stillness of the morning, dancing over the nearby buildings. There are already three patrol cars and a fleet of vans belonging to the forensic team assembled in the car park. It must be bad, I think.

Exiting my own car, I pull my hood as far over my face as I can, to shelter from the howling wind and the unrelenting rain; not out of place on this dismal December morning.

Uniformed police officers scurry about, securing the crime scene with blue and white tape as a few early morning passers-by look on. I duck under and enter the erected blue tent, signing the log book. Looking up, I spot Liam at the door to the ice rink; he’s waiting for me, already dressed in a protective suit. I slip into my own suit and pull on a pair of gloves.

‘Morning, Erika,’ Liam calls, checking his watch, ‘Good of you to make it.’

Detective Liam Sutton has been my partner for two years now, three if you count my enforced year of absence. Liam and I gelled quickly and became a hell of a force.

He’s tall and lean with clear blue eyes. His hair is shaved tight to his scalp, through choice, not necessity, his dark stubble the same length. He has a penchant for fashion, his fitted shirts always accessorised with a well-chosen tie. If he could get away with a trilby, he’d try.

‘Nice to be back,’ I say. ‘What have we got?’

‘Let’s find John, I don’t want to spoil his fun, he’d never forgive me,’ Liam says, attempting a hug but seemingly thinking better of it mid-way through his approach. It turns into an oafish tap on the shoulder instead and I smile at his awkwardness.

We push the tent flaps aside and enter the lobby of the ice rink. It has a disused look about it, the remnants of popcorn machines and dusty hot dog ovens creating a forlorn scene, like we’ve stepped into a dystopian future.

Scene-of-crime officers are already studiously going about their job, prowling the area with cameras hanging around their necks.

Liam and I cross the foyer and push open the double doors into the ice rink, a frigid blast of ice biting at the small amount of skin foolish enough to be left exposed.

We walk towards the rink, perch on the barrier between solid floor and ice and survey the scene. A shudder courses through my body which has nothing to do with the cold. I’m used to seeing what the worst of humanity is capable of, but sometimes the sheer brutality of it all takes me by surprise. I realise my hand has subconsciously covered my stomach.

In the middle of the ice lie the remains of a woman. She may have been beautiful once, but no longer in death. Serrated blades hold her long limbs tight to the ice. Her head is angled, as if searching for an impossible escape. A gaping black-hole swirls where her neck once was.

On the other side of the rink, a broken door leading to the street is at the mercy of the wind. Police tape has been rolled across it at waist height, and a uniformed officer has been handed the short straw, tasked with keeping vigil just outside in the pouring rain.

John Kirrane is the forensic pathologist present at the scene; the best the city of Manchester has to offer. He is perhaps the thinnest man I have ever seen, as if his appetite is limited by the grisly nature of his job. Understandable really.

From under his hairnet, tight rings of short ginger hair curl around the legs of his glasses, securing them steadfastly in place. His spindly fingers hold a recorder to his lips and he speaks into it at regular intervals, when he spots something of note. He glances towards us and raises a hand in recognition.

‘Erika! Give me two minutes and I’ll be with you,’ he shouts, his voice echoing around us.

We watch him go about his work before clicking off his recording device and walking over the metal stepping plates towards us.

‘Erika, it’s fantastic to see you. You’re back for good now?’

‘Yep, and fit as a fiddle,’ I nod.

‘I’m so glad,’ he beams, ‘horrible business.’ He shakes his head, clears the emotion away. ‘Martin has done all he can on the ice,’ he says, looking over my shoulder at the head Scene of Crime officer.

He puts his hand in the air to attract Martin’s attention. ‘I’ll just talk through the body and then she’s all yours,’ he calls. Martin nods his head and stoops down, unzips his bag and readies his tools. He’s a short, squat man with the eyes of an eagle.

‘Shall we?’ asks John.

Liam and I step carefully onto the metal plates and advance towards the body.

The scene is a mess; so much blood. The crimson liquid has pooled underneath her body where the knives were plunged into her arms and legs. It has seeped slowly across the slick, icy surface from those same wounds.

Unusually, the blood from her jagged throat laceration has all spilled in the same direction. Most of it has crept a little way from her neck, while some has spurted quite a distance across the ice.

The dead woman is wearing blue skinny jeans, a yellow halter neck top and black stiletto boots. A thin gold chain sits mournfully on her chest. On her left hand, she wears an engagement ring with a cluster of diamonds.

‘Undoubtedly a homicide,’ John states. ‘Won’t know for certain on cause of death until I get her on the slab, but I’d hedge my bets on exsanguination, blood loss from the throat.’

I lean in for a closer look at the throat.

‘You’ll notice that the blood from the throat has sprayed in one direction,’ he continues. ‘Usually, you’d expect to see the blood spatter in an arc.’ He moves his hand in a slow semi-circular motion to compound his point.

‘Has something stopped her head from moving?’ Liam interrupts.

‘Someone,’ replies John. ‘If you look here,’ he motions to the left side of her face, ‘you’ll see a faint soleprint,’ replies John.

I close my eyes and picture the scene. The killer pins this poor girl down with the steel blades, stands over her. He lifts his boot and presses it onto the side of her face, pushing it down onto the ice. He cuts her throat and keeps his weight on her cheek, ensuring the blood doesn’t spray his way.

John’s voice stirs me from my thoughts. ‘Her tongue has been cut out too.’

‘Could be somewhere in here,’ I suggest, looking around the room at the foldable plastic seats facing towards the ice.

‘Or, the sick fucker who did this has taken it as some sort of trophy,’ says Liam.

I nod. ‘John, tell Martin about the tongue. He’ll get his team to sweep every inch of this place.’ John nods, makes a note.

‘Time of death?’ asks Liam.

‘Hard to tell, the temperature has slowed livor mortis but considering blood lividity I’d say roughly between seven and eight hours ago,’ replies John.

‘So, we’re looking around two this morning,’ I mutter, checking my watch.

‘It’s not the first time she’s died like that,’ says Liam, suddenly.

John and I look at each other, confused, then back to Liam.

‘What do you mean?’ I ask.

‘You really do not appreciate popular culture, do you? Don’t you recognise her?’

‘I thought her face looked familiar, but I can’t place it. What do you mean about dying the same way twice?’

‘It’s Anna Symons, the actor. She was in a film where she was killed just like this – knives through the arms and legs, throat cut. Her tongue wasn’t removed as far as I can remember, though she was naked in the film, so my attention could’ve been elsewhere.’

‘First of all; you are gross.’ He sticks his tongue out at me. ‘Secondly, why didn’t you lead with this information?’ I ask, incredulously.

‘Well, John was on a roll and I didn’t want to interrupt.’

‘Fair play,’ I say. ‘What was the name of the film?’

‘No idea. It came out a few years ago.’

‘Odd. So the killer has recreated a scene from a film, but made changes?’ I say. ‘And if the film came out years ago, why now?’

‘Beats me,’ Liam declares.

I take out my notebook. I need to find out the name of that film.

‘I’ll have more details on the body in a few days,’ says John. ‘They’ll be on your desk as soon as I’m done. Erika, it really is lovely to see you back. Take care of yourself.’ He gives me a warm smile, before turning and signalling to Martin that the body is ready to be moved.

We carefully make our way off the ice and Martin and his team assume control of the crime scene once more.

‘Who found the body?’ I ask Liam.

‘A Mr. Farrier, he’s the manager. He’s waiting in his office for us.’

We walk back through the foyer and up the stairs. A uniformed officer is waiting at the top of the stairs, to prevent anyone from leaving or entering. We walk past him and enter the manager’s room.

It’s a small room with a window overlooking the ice rink, though the blinds have been pulled as far across as they can. Behind a flimsy desk sits a man with a trimmed goatee and short, cropped hair.

‘Mr Farrier,’ I say, extending my hand.

‘Please, call me Tony,’ he says, getting up from his seat and giving my hand a limp shake. He’s as white as a sheet. He motions to two empty chairs in front of him and we take him up on his unspoken offer.

‘Tony, I’m Detective Inspector Erika Piper. This is my partner, Detective Sergeant Liam Sutton. Please can you run us through what happened?’

‘Well, I got to work at seven this morning as normal. The ice rink doesn’t open until later, but there is so much to do; stocktaking, making sure the ice skates are clean, paired and ready to go and what have you.’

He waves his hand as if he knows his information is boring.

‘I usually come up here first but I was drawn to the rink, thought I could hear a banging. When I went in, the light was on which was unusual ‘cos I always turn them on last. I saw the door smashing against the frame. Broken into, I thought.’

He wipes sweat from his brow with his forearm. Smacks his dry lips together and takes a sip of water. As he sets it down, the plastic bottle springs back into shape with a crack that makes him jump.

‘Sorry, I’m a bit on edge.’ He barks an embarrassed laugh. ‘Anyway, as I walked towards the door I glanced at the ice and saw… it. Her. I ran up to the office as fast as I could and called the police.’

‘Was anyone else here?’ I ask.

‘No, just me,’ he replies.

‘Wouldn’t an alarm go off, if the door was kicked in?’ Liam enquires.

He grimaces. ‘A few years ago, yeah. But the people who own the rink stopped paying for that service. They don’t give a shit about this place, not anymore. No security, CCTV up the duff. It used to be amazing; multi-screen cinema, soft play for the little ones. Now the only part left open is the rink. Reckon it’s on the way out too, along with my job,’ he adds, glumly.

‘Worked here long?’ Liam asks.

‘I’ve given twenty years of my life to this fine establishment. It was state of the art when it opened. I started straight out of school, not got the brains to do much else. Though, I worked my way up to manager so I suppose that’s something.’

‘Has anything like this happened before?’

‘God no,’ he says, ‘we’ve had a few break-ins over the years, but nothing like this.’

I change tack.

‘Where were you last night?’

‘I was at my brother’s house. He had a bit of a party. I was sensible though ‘cos I knew I had to get up early this morning. Hate working with a hangover.’

‘And people could verify this?’

‘Absolutely, I was there with my wife. Loads of friends there too.’

‘Thank you, Tony, you’ve been very helpful. Obviously, this place will have to stay closed for the time being. If there is any other information you think of, please let us know.’

He takes my proffered card and we leave his room, walking down the stairs to the foyer again.

‘What do you reckon?’ I ask Liam.

‘Can’t see why he’d lie,’ offers Liam, ‘I’ll look into his story and make sure he was where he says he was.’

He scribbles in a notebook before replacing it in his pocket. The doors of the rink open and Martin walks out, holding an evidence bag.

‘Found a page from a book on the far side of the room,’ he says, holding the bag aloft for me to see the contents. ‘It seems to be from a crime book, detailing this murder.’

‘Good work, Martin. I’d like a copy of the page on my desk as soon as you can.’

‘Right-o’ he says, already marching towards the door.

‘Any sign of the tongue?’ Liam calls after him. He stops where he is and turns to face us again, the look on his face suggests he thinks we are wasting his precious time.

‘Don’t you think I would’ve mentioned that?’ he asks, sarcasm dripping from every syllable. ‘No, I think the tongue has gone with whoever has done this.’

He turns around once more and leaves the building.

’I think we’re done here,’ I say to Liam. ‘The SOCO’s will let us know if anything else turns up.’

Liam nods in agreement. ‘Aren’t you glad you picked today to come back to work?’

‘Delighted,’ I mumble.

 

‘A Wash of Black’ is available from:-

Amazon – mybook.to/AWOB

Red Dog Press – www.reddpgpress.co.uk/shop – paperback and hardback editions

Also available in all Libraries and Bookstores – Independent or otherwise!

 

About Chris McDonald

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

 

Links

Twitter handles:

https://twitter.com/RedDogTweets

https://twitter.com/cmacwritescrime

Instagram handles:

@red_dog_press

@macreviewsbooks

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/reddogassociates

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Details: The prize is a signed Hardback edition of A Wash of Black, along with a Go Away I’m Reading Tote Bag and a Luxury Bookmark.

The giveaway runs from 28th Jan to 11th Feb, and we (Red Dog Press) will announce the randomly chosen winner on the evening of the 11th Feb (GMT)

Routes to entry are all on the giveaway link, but basically, sign up to Red Dog Press Reader’s Club (which also gets you discounts in our store, a free eBook, and latest news from us), following us on twitter. Entrants who tweet our promo tweet get two bonus entries.

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjU5MzljNjFlYTUzNDc2MTg3MzU5ZGUxYTgwMDU2OjI=/?

 

Blog Tour – ‘Death Deserved’ by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @LierHorst @EngerThomas

‘Death Deserved’ is the first book in the Blix & Ramm series, written by two of the biggest names in Nordic Noir, Jørn Leir Horst and Thomas Enger.  It has been published in eBook by Orenda Books and is also available as an Audiobook.  The paperback will be released on the 20th February 2020.

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today along with another book blogger and would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate.

I have a competition for you all to enter.  Exciting or what!

 

Book Blurb

Oslo, 2018. Former long-distance runner Sonja Nordstrøm never shows at the launch of her controversial autobiography, Always Number One. When celebrity blogger Emma Ramm visits Nordstrøm’s home later that day, she finds the door unlocked and signs of a struggle inside. A bib with the number ‘one’ has been pinned to the TV.

Police officer Alexander Blix is appointed to head up the missingpersons investigation, but he still bears the emotional scars of a hostage situation nineteen years earlier, when he killed the father of a five-year-old girl. Traces of Nordstrøm soon show up at different locations, but the appearance of the clues appear to be carefully calculated … evidence of a bigger picture that he’s just not seeing…

Blix and Ramm soon join forces, determined to find and stop a merciless killer with a flair for the dramatic, and thirst for attention.

Trouble is, he’s just got his first taste of it…

 

About Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense. Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. Death Deserved is Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger’s first co-written thriller.

 

Links

‘Death Deserved’ can be purchased / pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2vNPFAV

Twitter:

Jørn Lier Horst – https://twitter.com/LierHorst

Thomas Enger – https://twitter.com/EngerThomas

 

Competition

One lucky person has the chance to win a paperback copy of ‘Death Deserved’.  To enter just share my post on social media and leave a comment on here.

 

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 18th February 2020.

The winner will be chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

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