A Lover of Books

Archive for the category “Blog Tours”

Blog Tour – ‘Brighter Days Ahead’ by Mary Wood

‘Brighter Days Ahead’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Pan Books on the 30th November 2017. Mary Wood was looking for people to take part in a blog tour for this book and as I liked the sound of it I was delighted to participate. I would like to thank the lovely Kate Green at Pan Macmillan for my review copy.

This story is set during the Second World War from 1940 onwards. Molly lives with her repugnant father who has betrayed her on many occasions. From a young age, living on the streets of London’s East End, she has seen how harsh life can be. When Molly is kidnapped by gangsters and forced into their underworld her future seems bleak.

Flo spent her early years living in an orphanage. Years later and she is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could turn out to be the best move she makes.

It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve read a saga so I was really looking forward to ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. This is the first book I have read by Mary Wood and I am so glad to have come across yet another author. I somehow had the feeling I would enjoy this book and I wasn’t wrong. I loved the cover and thought it was beautiful. I also liked Mary Wood’s style of writing and the way the chapters were set out. The editing was excellent too and it was obvious that a lot of research had been undertaken.

The story is narrated by a few characters, but mostly by Molly and Flo. Through them the reader gets to follow their lives during the war, meeting a number of other characters along the way. I was so into the story that I actually felt at times as if I was there with Molly and Flo. My heart almost broke when reading about Molly and the abuse she went through. I kept hoping that she would have a happy ending. I absolutely adored Flo. She was such a loving and kind person who gave a lot of her time to people who were in desperate need of help. Even when things were tough for her she still carried on as best she could. Such a strong and charismatic person was Flo. I loved her northern accent too and the way she said ‘Eeh, it’d be grand’ quite often.

As well as the war, this story dealt with a number of other issues including homosexuality which was in those days a crime. I personally thought it was such a shame that people were imprisoned simply for being in love with a person of the same sex.

If you enjoy sagas then I definitely recommend reading ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. Though there is quite a lot of doom and gloom in the story, there is also a real sense of the community coming together during hard times.

I will be waiting patiently for Mary Wood’s next book, but in the meantime I can at least check out her backlist.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers.

 

Links

‘Brighter Days Ahead’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brighter-Days-Ahead-Mary-Wood/dp/1509811184/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1512496621&sr=1-1

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

 

Advertisements

Blog Tour – ‘Class Murder’ by Leigh Russell

I am beyond thrilled to be kicking off this blog tour.  ‘Class Murder’ is being published as an eBook on the 7th December 2017 by No Exit Press and will be out in paperback on the 29th March 2018.  Having previously read a couple of Leigh Russell’s books I am really looking forward to this one.

To celebrate the publication of the TENTH novel in the DI Geraldine Steel Series, Leigh Russell has written an exclusive list of TOP TENs – a different one for each of the ten days of the Blog Tour.  First though, here’s what ‘Class Murder’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

‘Leigh Russell has become one of the most impressively dependable purveyors of the English police procedural’ – Marcel Berlins, Times

Detective Geraldine Steel is back in Class Murder – her tenth case!

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, and reunited with her former sergeant Ian Peterson, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

~~~~~

TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT GERALDINE STEEL

1. She cooks a wonderful Thai curry

2. She likes to read in bed

3. When she’s not working she listens to music in the car

4. She visits her grandmother’s grave once a year

5. Her first kiss was with a boy called Dan when she was thirteen

6. She is haunted by the memory of a killer who got away

7. She had a parrot when she was a child

8. Her favourite subject at school was Biology

9. She often wears black at work but her favourite colour is purple

10. She fell out of a tree and broke her arm when she was twelve

 

About Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She worked as a secondary school English teacher for many years, and is now a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. She is a Royal Literary Fellow and CWA debut judge. Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring and Deadly Alibi in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel’s sergeant, Ian Peterson, followed by Race to Death and Blood Axe.

 

Links

‘Class Murder’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon UK – http://bit.ly/ClassMurderAmazon

No Exit Press – http://bit.ly/ClassMurderNoExit

 

Website – http://www.leighrussell.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/leigh.russell.50

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeighRussell

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2919056.Leigh_Russell?from_search=true

 

Blog Tour – ‘Just One Time’ by K.S. Hunter

I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off this blog tour along with two other fellow book bloggers.  ‘Just One Time’ is K.S. Hunter’s debut novel and it is being published as an eBook on the 7th December 2017.  I was invited to take part by the author and the blog tour itself was organised by the wonderful Rachel’s Random Resources.

I interviewed K.S. Hunter for this tour.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

 

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘Just One Time’ please?

Just One Time is about a married man whose marriage is on the rocks because of an affair he had two years before the novel starts. He goes to the theatre alone and there meets a woman called Nina. During their encounter, he unwittingly gives her his phone number and from that moment on she won’t get out of his life. In fact, the only way she will leave, she says, is if he sleeps with her just one time.

 

What made you decide to write a different genre?

I saw the popularity of erotic fiction and thought I could blend it with the psychological thriller aspects of the crime fiction I was already writing. Just One Time is not erotica, but it does borrow elements from the genre and that’s why I’ve termed it a steamy psychological thriller.

 

Where did you get the idea from for this book?

I went to the theatre. In the dark, I dropped my phone and couldn’t find it. While I was on all fours, a stranger asked for my phone number and said she’d call it to help me find it. It was at that moment that the seeds of Just One Time were planted. My imagination took over and I wondered what it would be like if that kind lady was actually an obsessive sociopath who wouldn’t leave me alone.

 

How long did it take you to write?

It took two years altogether, but that includes a year’s break. My son was born and so sleep became the stuff of memories. I didn’t write at all during that period. I came back to the book, which was about half written, last summer. I sat down with alcohol and completed it in about ten days. That’s the quickest I’ve ever written. Of course, I’ve edited it a lot since then, so it has changed quite a lot, but being that productive was genuinely surprising. Thank you, Mr Daniel’s.

 

Did you have to do any research for it at all?

The novel is divided into three main sections. Part two is set in New York. There’s a particularly important scene at the World Trade Center memorial, so I spent time there. It is a haunting place. Broadway also plays an important role.

 

Do you see yourself in any of the characters?

No, no, no. They are all horrible! But it was fun to write them because I got to say and do things that I would never say and do. All in all, it was quite a liberating experience.

 

Are there more books in the pipeline?

If Just One Time is successful, I will continue writing as K.S. Hunter side by side with my other fiction. That’s my hope, but we’ll see… it’s an unpredictable business.

 

Can you describe your typical writing day?

I don’t have one. I’m very undisciplined, so I write whenever I can get myself to do it, usually in the evening and into the early hours. I work best late in the day. I also write articles for magazines, so I save all my limited discipline for those because they come with tight deadlines.

 

Do you have a favourite place where you go to do your writing?

I spend quite a bit of time in Poland and I tend to manage to write quite a lot when I’m there. In the UK, I have an office in which I write. I’m surrounded by books – I collect signed first editions – and signed posters – I’m really a big film and theatre buff.

 

What do you hope readers will get from this book?

As K.S. Hunter, the opportunity to write another!

 

Will you be celebrating on publication day?

I don’t normally celebrate. There’s still a long way to go after publication day. I will more than likely obsessively check its sales rank every five minutes.

 

If you could live life all over again would you still write?

Yes, it’s the only thing I’ve ever felt I can do well.

 

Have you found social media helpful?

Social media is what made my bestseller the success it was – it reached the top ten in the UK and it got to number one in Australia. A large number of authors supported it with blurbs and helped to promote it online, and then a huge number of authors and other celebrities who are prolific on Twitter gave it attention. I don’t think that Twitter works as well any more, unfortunately, but that was five years ago.

 

What do you like doing in your spare time?

Going to the theatre (without it, Just One Time wouldn’t exist!), watching films (although I can’t stomach most of what’s made today), playing tennis and reading. That’s me talking, not K.S. Hunter. K.S. Hunter has no hobbies, apart from something kinky.

 

If you were only allowed to keep three books what would they be?

  1. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan. That’s the epitome of the literary thriller. A stunning portrayal of obsession.
  2. Stoner by John Williams. Just the most moving and delightful story of a simple life. Read the blurb and you won’t think it could possibly work. But it does, beautifully.
  3. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. It contains the most sublimely written stage directions, I think, in all of drama, and the characters are so well drawn out. It’s eternally depressing, but strangely uplifting.

 

Book Blurb

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences

Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible

Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

She is insatiable

Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.

A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion.

Praise for K.S. Hunter

‘An author to watch out for – always interesting and unpredictable’ Sophie Hannah

‘Just One Time’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-One-Time-K-S-Hunter-ebook/dp/B077CXFVK3/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510866031&sr=1-1&keywords=just+one+time

 

About K.S. Hunter

K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

Website – http://www.AuthorKSHunter.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/author.kshunter

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Author_KSHunter

 

Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources organises many blog tours and is very professional.  Follow her on Twitter @rararesources.

 

Blog Tour – ‘You’re Next’ by Michael Fowler

‘You’re Next’ is the second book in the DS Scarlett Macey series. It was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 9th November 2017 by Caffeine Nights Publishing. I was invited by Caroline Vincent to take part in the blog tour for this book and I would like to thank her, the publisher and Michael Fowler for my review copy.

When the only witness available is found dead, James Green who has been charged with a series of brutal rapes gets off scot free. DS Scarlett Macey is determined that he won’t be free for long and immediately starts to plan his downfall.

In the meantime James Green is planning his own revenge. Driven by feelings of hatred he begins to pick out those who brought about his downfall. Will he be caught before it’s too late? Scarlett has dealt with many villains but never one as terrifying as James Green.

I will never fail to marvel at how blog tours can lead to the discovery of new authors and introduce you to some very exciting books and series along the way. Until now I hadn’t read any of Michael Fowler’s novels. Being that ‘You’re Next’ is the second book in the series I did wonder if this would spoil things for me. However, it didn’t and this book can definitely be read as a standalone. Michael Fowler had a career in the police force and for many years worked mainly as a detective. Through his experiences he has been able to successfully turn his hand to writing crime thrillers which I think is fantastic.

It took me a little while to get into the story but I was soon hooked. The short chapters just added to the thrill. The cases were all pretty grisly and didn’t make for particularly pretty reading. One in particular was really heartbreaking but sadly even in this day and age things like that still happen in society, which is a shame.

I enjoyed meeting the various police officers and I really liked DS Scarlett Macey and her work partner DC Tarn Scarr. It was nice getting to know them both and being given an insight into their personal lives. I was also very interested in reading about the police procedurals when dealing with the various cases, knowing that the author was a detective. I wished that Scarlett’s concerns had been taken seriously by her DI and DCI.

James Green was just plain evil! The things he did chilled me to the bone. It’s such a pity that charges against him had to be dropped because of there not being enough evidence to support the case.

I will definitely be checking out more of Michael Fowler’s books and I am very much looking forward to the next in the DS Scarlett Macey series.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Links

‘You’re Next’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youre-Next-DS-Scarlett-Macey/dp/1910720895/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508181322&sr=8-1&keywords=you’re+next+michael+fowler

EBook – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Youre-Next-second-Scarlett-Macey-ebook/dp/B076GT9ZTM/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1511608194&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=you%27re+next+michael+fowler

Website – http://www.mjfowler.co.uk

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MichaelFowler1

 

Blog Tour – ‘Know Me Now’ by CJ Carver

‘Know Me Now’, the third book in the Dan Forrester series, is CJ Carver’s new novel.  It is being published as an eBook on the 14th December 2017 by Zaffre and will be out in paperback on the 11th January 2018.  I am absolutely delighted to be participating in this blog tour which has been organised by the lovely Emily Burns, along with a number of other bloggers.  I have for you all an interview with CJ Carver.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

 

Firstly, can you tell me a bit about ‘Know Me Now’ please?

Quintessentially, the book is about friendship.  Dan Forrester is one of a group of four people who’ve known each other since they were toddlers, and when the son of one of these friends – Dan’s godson – is found murdered, Dan teams up with his old friend DS Lucy Davies to find out what happened.

When Dan discovers his father has also been murdered, it suggests things are more dangerous than anyone imagined.  A coded message is left in a newspaper advertisement; spies are engaged; an assassin deployed.  And all because of a terrible secret that has been lying undisturbed for decades.  A secret someone will do anything to keep buried . . .

Can you describe your book in five words?

Friendship, betrayal, greed, loyalty and love.

 

Did you have to do much research for it and if so what did it entail?

I’m lucky enough to have a family of top scientists to hand locally, and they are my first port of call for anything technical.  The book is set mainly in Scotland, which was pretty easy to get to, but even though I only set a handful of chapters in Germany it was incredibly valuable going there to make sure I got things right, like police duties in the Federal Republic of Germany are a matter for the individual Countries (16), which are absolutely sovereign in this area… oh, sorry, I might have sent you to sleep with that bit of research!

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

The idea came to me over two years ago when lunching with a Professor friend of mine.  From there, it germinated as I completed Tell Me A Lie, during which time I continued gathering more ideas and information until it was time to plot it out.  From the plotting stage to sending off the proof, took around a year.  However, if you’re talking about the first draft, this book was a good three months, which gave me time to put the manuscript aside occasionally to let it perculate.

 

I noticed that ‘Know Me Now’ is part of a series.  Can it be read as a standalone?

Absolutely.  I make sure that each book in any series can be read without having to read the others, and I was really pleased when a reviewer remarked that although Tell Me A Lie was her first Dan Forrester book (2nd in the series) she didn’t feel at all left out with any backstories.  Oh, and I make sure there are no spoilers to the other books!

 

Are there more books in the series to come?

Ooooh, yes.  I’m writing the fourth right now, and rather wonderfully had a “Eureka!” moment last week when I came up with a cracking idea for the fifth.

 

Can you relate to any of the characters in this book?

I think a writer has to relate to the characters they create, even the villains.  I like to know what makes each person tick in the book, their dreams and their worst nightmares.  I admit to enjoying writing DC Lucy Davies immensely as she is wonderfully outspoken and I wish I could be a bit like her!

 

What would your reaction be if one of them turned up on your doorstep?

If Dan Forrester turned up I would freak out because danger follows him like a shark follows blood.  I would be looking up and down the street behind him for bad guys.

 

What has the publishing process been like?

I started out before the internet, so things have changed a lot.  I think it’s incredibly exciting today with the self-publishing prospects and some indie authors are doing really well.  Having a traditional publisher, however, does mean that it can be a bit of a rollercoaster from time to time, but that, I’ve learned, is part of an author’s life.

 

Is writing something you have always wanted to do?

Well, when I was ten, on holiday in Scotland, I announced to my parents that I was going upstairs to write a book.  Neither looked up from their Agatha Christies, but I remember my father saying, ‘That sounds like a good idea.’  I started my “book” but after the first page realised I didn’t have much of a story and how difficult it was going to be!  I gave up.  When I toddled downstairs after about an hour, Mum and Dad never mentioned it, which meant I didn’t have to get defensive over it!

I eventually fell into writing, but only because I followed my dream: to drive from London to Saigon.  On my return from the 14,500-mile journey, I was asked to write an article for Car Magazine, so I trotted to my local Waterstones and bought a book How to Write and Sell Travel Articles.  It was probably the worst article I ever wrote, but it got published and, amazingly, I got paid.  I’d enjoyed writing it so much I approached other outlets with my story and ended up becoming a travel writer which eventually led me to writing my first novel.  (Which this answer to your question seems to have been…!)

 

Which authors if any have helped to influence your work?

Do you know, on balance I think Dick Francis had the biggest effect on my writing.  Galloping adventure stuff I thoroughly enjoyed as a teen and an adult but what I found magical was that Francis’s books were written from the viewpoint of an “ordinary” person thrown into extraordinary circumstances, which is exactly what happens to Dan Forrester in my books.

A lot of people think Francis is lightweight, but his fast plots and authentic backgrounds in my view were outstanding, along with his characterisation.  His books weren’t long, and they introduced me to punchy, no holds-barred storytelling.  Now that, I remember thinking, is what I want to write: page turners.

 

What are your thoughts on social media?

It’s the biggest time waster of all time.  However, it is also a fantastic support to writer’s and I couldn’t do without it.  That said, when I’m writing I’m very strict about my time on Twitter or Facebook and set a time limit, maximum forty minutes.

 

Have you got any pearls of wisdom for people wanting to pen their first book?

WRITE.  Just do it.  Sit down and get started.  It doesn’t matter if you think it’s rubbish, just keep going and before you know it, you’ll have a chapter, and then another.  And another…

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a travel addict, so whenever I can I pack up the camper and hit the open road.  My perfect day is walking across country with a stop at a pub for lunch somewhere, then tucking up with a good book and a cuppa at the end of the day.

 

You have been given a choice of three tasks: stay on a desert island for a month, spend a week in a prison or spend the night in a supposedly haunted castle.  Which one would you choose?

Desert island, please!  I’m a bit of an adventurer so I’d love the challenge.  Can I take a copy of How to Survive on a Desert Island with me?!

 

About CJ Carver

C.J. Carver’s first novel Blood Junction won the CWA Debut Dagger and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best mystery books of the year. Half-English, half New Zealand, C.J. has been a travel writer and long-distance rally driver, driving London to Saigon and London to Cape Town. Her novels have been published in the UK and the USA and translated into several languages.

 

Links

‘Know Me Now’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Know-Me-Now-Dan-Forrester-ebook/dp/B0748J34JF/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Website – http://www.cjcarver.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/C_J_Carver

 

Blog Tour – ‘Hell to Pay’ by Rachel Amphlett

It’s here at last! Yes, ‘Hell to Pay’ the fourth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series was published yesterday the 16th November 2017 in paperback and as an eBook by Saxon Publishing. Having thoroughly enjoyed this series so far I’m sure you can imagine my delight at being invited to take part in the blog tour for this book. I would like to thank the wonderful Emma Mitchell for organising this tour and Rachel Amphlett for the review copy.

A road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers something rather shocking. Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer who is exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want her silenced. Undeterred, she finally uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

Well, what can I say? I literally feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster and only just got off it. ‘Hell to Pay’ was one absolute belter of a read. I have loved all the books in the series so far but this one has got to be my favourite. Rachel Amphlett really is a fantastic writer. With the short chapters and twists and turns she really keeps readers on the edge of their seat.

I thought this story to be particularly grisly but it didn’t stop me reading on. Through the authors descriptions I could picture the crime scenes. I’m just glad that I couldn’t smell them! The police obviously have to handle all sorts of cases, many of which are extremely unpleasant. I really felt for Kay and her colleagues coming across what they did. I like that the police officers were able to have a bit of banter despite this though. I guess it’s the only way to keep sane.

I liked the references made to previous cases throughout the story and I of course remembered them all. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Kay next with regards to solving who was trying to ruin her career. The discovery she made was a shocker.

This book can be read as a standalone. The author has really taken great care and attention to recap on the ongoing storyline involving Kay and has also introduced the police officers to her readers again. I do however recommend reading all the books in order as this is such a great series.

‘Hell to Pay’ is a gripping and exciting read. It will leave you wanting more. I hope there are more books in the series to come.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Hell to Pay’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hell-Pay-Detective-Hunter-thriller-ebook/dp/B077CLS6RL/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510858983&sr=1-1&keywords=hell+to+pay+by+rachel+amphlett

You can connect with Rachel by signing up to her mailing list via her website (http://www.rachelamphlett.com), or via Facebook (http://on.fb.me/TN7rpu) and Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Other Daughter’ by Sara Alexi

It’s a brand new month and I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Sara Alexi’s new book, ‘The Other Daughter’ which is out today as an eBook.  Set in Yorkshire this is the first of a series.

I have an exclusive extract for all of you to read.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

The Other Daughter by Sara Alexi is a compelling and gritty tale, set amongst the wild moors and crooked streets of a Yorkshire Village, following one woman who finally untangles herself from the clutches of a painful past and a self-centred mother.

More than a decade after leaving home Dawn finds herself stuck in a dead-end job, in a rundown flat, while her sister has it all – the husband, children and prestigious job in sunny Australia. Their mum’s favouritism is palpable, and even as she has a terrible fall leaving Dawn to pick up the pieces, nothing Dawn does can live up to her perfect, absent sister.

But still Dawn persists with taking care of her aging and fragile mum, until one day it begins to feel like the only thing standing between Dawn and her happiness is her mother’s continued, pitiful existence…

 

Extract

There are more paintings in there, too – ones that Dad collected. It’s strange to remember him when he was alive. Even when he was alive, it was like he wasn’t. Her memory is of a hunched-over man in a drab dressing gown, moping his way from one room to another. Always in that dressing gown. There was another man, too, of whom she only caught brief glimpses – a man who was almost never there. He wore a white shirt, and always a tie and jacket, and he worked long hours. Mum has never been one to talk about the past, or emotions, or say anything worth actually saying, but Dawn has pieced it together, and it came as a bit of a shock that these two men were one and the same. Both were her father: one when he did nothing but work, and the other when he was depressed. He died of lymphatic cancer when she was thirteen, on the day of the school dance, which she had been so excited about, and because he had died she was not allowed to go. She did not need telling she could not go; a death is a shock. She was not very upset, though; he had never been around anyway, and what difference did it make to her? The word ‘father’ meant nothing to her, and surely it was better to live whilst she had the chance. Of course, now she can see why they stopped her going: it was a matter of respect. But at the time it had felt unfair.

 

Links

Hopefully the extract has left you dying to read ‘The Other Daughter’.  If so, it is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://snig.gr/13

Sara Alexi’s Amazon Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sara-Alexi/e/B008M6D60K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1503513777&sr=1-2-ent

Website – http://www.saraalexi.com

Twitter – @SaraAlexi

 

Blog Tour – ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ by Adrian Magson

‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ is the fifth book in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series.  It was published in hardback, paperback and as an eBook on the 19th October 2017 by The Dome Press.  I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour for which Adrian Magson has written a guest post.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

When a minor Paris criminal is found stabbed in the neck on a country lane in Picardy, it looks like another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco. But instead he is called off to watch over a Gabonese government minister, hiding out in France, following a coup.

Meanwhile, Rocco discovers that there is a contract on his head taken out by an Algerian gang leader with a personal grudge against him. Against orders, he follows some leads on the original murder case, discovering as he does so, that the threats against him are real. The minister he is protecting is kidnapped, and it soon becomes apparent that the murder, the threats and the minister’s kidnap are all interconnected…

 

Guest Post

I DID IT TO SEE IF I COULD

It’s not unusual to hear authors say that they always knew they wanted to write. I’m not sure that was ever the case with me, but I do remember thinking when I was very young that telling stories must be the best job ever.

It came about when, aged 8, I was given a stack of Leslie ‘The Saint’ Charteris books and some Zane Grey westerns. Living at the time in very rural, wet and windy Norfolk, I was quite happy to be told to get reading and stay out of trouble. Although a lot of the words and meanings went right over my head at that age, I devoured the books and made my way to others, and that’s where my desire to read even more began.

I think my desire to write must have followed later, probably helped by winning a story competition at school.

The Saint books appealed to me because here was a character who solved crime, rescued people in distress and generally helped himself to the already ill-gotten gains of criminals in the process. What wasn’t to admire? Then there was Hank Janson and Mickey Spillane and a host of other stronger material to help me through the teen years.

But it was stumbling on the likes of Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Adam Diment, John Gardner, Adam Hall and many others that wedded me to the idea of writing a spy thriller.

It took a while and many attempts, in between a day job and writing hundreds of short stories and features for women’s magazines, but I eventually got a publishing deal (a crime novel, ironically, followed by four more in a series). Then came my first spy thriller – ‘Red Station’, also the first in a series. But that wasn’t all; by chance I’d also written a book set in France, where I grew up and went to school during the 1960s. ‘Death on the Marais’ turned out to be the first in what was to become the Inspector Lucas Rocco series, and both books were sold by my agent within 48 hours of each other, setting me on the path of writing two books a year.

The Rocco book came about because I wanted to try something different to the spy novel simply to see if I could. And that was where a lot of my writing began over the years, from comedy gags for Roy Hudd, short stories for BBC radio, a (very) short play featured during the Oxford Literary Festival, even some poetry which convinced me I was no poet when a magazine bought them but asked me not to submit any more. There were features for magazines here and abroad, words for greetings cards, T-shirts and beer mats.

Basically, trying anything to see if I could.

And now I’ve come back to Lucas Rocco with ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’, simply because I wanted to. After four books and a novella, it was bugging me – quite apart from being asked by readers when was I going to produce another one.

Here it is, and I hope you like it.

AM

 

About Adrian Magson

Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian Magson’s next book is Rocco and the Nightingale (The Dome Press – October 2017). This is the fifth in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series set in France in the 1960s.

Before this, Adrian had written 21 crime and spy thriller books built around Gavin & Palmer (investigative reporter Riley Gavin and ex-Military Policeman Frank Palmer) – “Gritty and fast-paced detecting of the traditional kind, with a welcome injection of realism” (The Guardian); Harry Tate, ex-soldier and MI5 officer – “fast-paced, with more twists and turns than a high-octane roller coaster” (New York Journal of Books); Inspector Lucas Rocco (crime series set in 1960s Picardie) – “Deserves to be ranked with the best” (Daily Mail), “Captures perfectly the rural atmosphere of France… a brilliant debut” (Books Monthly); Marc Portman (The Watchman) – prompting one reviewer to write: “the most explosive opening chapters I have read in a long time. Give this man a Bond script to play with!”; investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik – “Magson takes the suburban thriller overseas and gives it a good twist. [Readers] will happy get lost in the nightmare presented here” (Booklist Reviews).

Adrian also has hundreds of short stories and articles in national and international magazines to his name, plus a non-fiction work: Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book (Accent Press).

Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean and rumours that he is building a nuclear bunker are unfounded. It’s a bird table.

 

Links

‘Rocco and the Nightingale is available to buy from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rocco-Nightingale-Adrian-Magson/dp/0995751056/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1508870169&sr=1-1

The Dome Press – https://www.thedomepress.com/product-page/rocco-and-the-nightingale-hardback

 

Adrian Magson is on Twitter @AdrianMagson1

Website – http://www.adrianmagson.com

Blog – http://adrianmagson.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Blog Tour – ‘All The Colours In Between’ by Eva Jordan

‘All The Colours In Between’ was published on the 19th October 2017 by Urbane Publications.  I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour which the lovely Michelle Ryles has organised.  I have an extract for all of you to read and there’s also a fantastic Rafflecopter giveaway being run throughout the tour.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!

Lizzie is fast approaching 50. Her once angst ridden teenage daughters, now grown and in their twenties, have flown the nest, Cassie to London and Maisy to Australia. And, although Connor, Lizzie’s sulky, surly teenage son, is now on his own tormented passage to adulthood, his quest to get there, for the most part, is a far quieter journey than that of his sisters. The hard years, Lizzie believes, are behind her. Only, things are never quite as black and white as they seem… A visit to her daughter in London leaves Lizzie troubled. And that is just the start. Add to that an unexpected visitor, a disturbing phone call, a son acting suspiciously, a run in with her ex husband plus a new man in her life who quite simply takes her breath away; Lizzie quickly realises life is something that happens while plans are being made. Gritty but tender, thought provoking but light-hearted, dark but brilliantly funny, this is a story of contemporary family life in all its 21st century glory. A story of mothers and sons, of fathers and daughters, of brothers and sisters, and friends. A tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age. Nobody said it would be easy and as Lizzie knows only too well, life is never straightforward when you see all the colours in between.

 

Extract

Connor

The handle to the shed door slowly turns. Thank god I locked it. ‘Who is it?’ I shout. Muffled giggling drifts under the door and I wonder if it’s Cas, only it doesn’t sound like Cas. Maisy, maybe?

‘Can we come in?’ a familiar voice asks.

‘Shit, It’s my bloody nan!’ I exclaim. ‘Robbo, put that dooby out NOW!’ Robbo looks at me, grinning, as smoke escapes from the corner of his mouth. The Rickmeister grabs the spliff from Robbo’s hand, takes another quick drag then stubs it out, placing it in the sacred tin. I grab the deodorant can out of my bag and spray the shed to within an inch of its life, manically wafting my hands around like some demented ballerina. Everyone starts coughing and I realise I’ve sprayed way too much deodorant. Jake unlocks the door and we all fall out of the shed, desperate for some fresh air.

We are greeted by my smiling nan and Aunt Marie. ‘Hello boys,’ Nan says. ‘Ooh, smells very nice in there,’ she continues as she sticks her head inside the shed. To my surprise, Nan asks us for a smoke.

‘But, you don’t smoke?’ I reply.

‘Aunt Marie used to,’ Nan says.’

‘When?’

‘About forty years ago.’

‘What? And she just happens to fancy a smoke now, forty years later?’

Nan explains that Aunt Marie is a little stressed right now. ‘As am I, so I’ll have one, too.’

‘Did you used to smoke as well, when you were younger?’

Nan shakes her head. ‘Nope, but I know I could do with one right now.’

We all follow Nan and Aunt Marie back into the shed. I explain that we only have baccy and Rizlas so they’ll have to wait a minute while we roll them one.

‘Or they could have a drag of the one we’ve already made,’ Jake suggests, tapping the sacred tin.

Panicking, I look at his huge grinning face. ‘No. Jake.’ I reply through gritted teeth, ‘we’ll make them a new one.’

‘Oh, don’t roll a new one just for us,’ Nan replies, ‘we’re not fussy.’

Before I know it, Jake has lifted the spliff from the tin, lit it and passed it to Nan and Aunt Marie.

Aunt Marie takes a drag then pulls a strange face. ‘Tastes different to how I remember,’ she says, expertly blowing smoke from her mouth as if it was something she did all the time.

Aunt Marie passes the dooby to Nan who drags heavily on it and then starts to choke. I pass her my can of fizzy shit, which she greedily drinks then, to my surprise, I watch as Nan takes another huge drag. Jake, Robbo, the Rickmeister, and I all look at one another. We each wear the same look of horror as we watch the spliff get smaller and smaller. I tell Nan that I think I can hear someone calling her and somehow, we manage to push the two very high, very giggly, old ladies out the door.

‘Shit man,’ Robbo says, ‘your nan rocks.’

I can’t help thinking there may be hell to pay for this later but that doesn’t stop me laughing my arse off.

 

Giveaway

There’s a chance to win 2 x signed paperbacks and 2 kindle eBooks of All The Colours In Between (UK only).  To enter click on this link – Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

About Eva Jordan

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine. Providing her with some of the inspiration for her novels, Eva is both a mum and step mum to four grown-up children. Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She writes a monthly column for a local magazine and currently works as a volunteer for a charity based organisation that teaches adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. All The Colours In Between is Eva’s second novel.

 

Links

‘All The Colours In Between’ can be purchased from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/all-the-colours-in-between/

Amazon UK – http://amzn.eu/3kKSFbb%20

Amazon US – http://a.co/25M1oMD%20

 

If you want to know more you can find Eva at all the usual places. She loves to hear from readers and reviewers so please feel free to contact her.

Website – http://evajordanwriter.com

Twitter – @evajordanwriter

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

 

Blog Tour – ‘No Bodies’ by Robert Crouch

‘No Bodies’ is the second book in the Kent Fisher series. It was published yesterday the 19th October 2017 in paperback and as an eBook. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Robert Crouch’s new book. I would like to thank both Caroline Vincent who has done a great job of organising this tour and Robert Crouch for my review copy of ‘No Bodies’.

Having recently solved a murder Kent Fisher has become something of a hero. So when Colonel Witherington seeks his help in finding his missing wife Kent isn’t too sure that he wants to get involved, especially as the police believe that she ran off with Colin Miller, a rather dubious caterer. Kent has also got problems of his own and it doesn’t look like things are about to get any easier for him.

When enquiries reveal that another woman has gone missing, Kent picks up a trail that went cold more than a year ago. However, he is struggling to find a connection between the two women and a third missing wife makes things even more confusing. Surely they can’t all of run away?

There could be a killer on the loose in Downland, but with no motive, connection or bodies, Kent may never uncover the truth.

I really enjoyed ‘No Accident’, so I couldn’t wait to read ‘No Bodies’. I love Robert Crouch’s style of writing and the humour. I was so looking forward to catching up with Kent Fisher and his beloved dog, Columbo.

Following on from the first book in the series Kent’s career is in jeopardy and he is awaiting the outcome. As well as working as an environmental health officer he also runs an animal sanctuary. With no salary coming in he wouldn’t be able to keep it open. You wouldn’t think that things could possibly get any worse for Kent would you, but they do. When a young girl ends up in hospital with an E. coli infection, fingers point at Kent. He could lose just about everything.

Although Kent didn’t really want to get involved in the search for the Colonel’s missing wife, he soon became intrigued and started investigating with the help of his colleague, Gemma. A few leads led to a shocking discovery for Kent and one that was a little too close to home. I personally thought that this was quite a complicated case. The author did a good job of keeping me guessing as to who the murderer was.

I loved reading about Colonel Witherington’s house and I almost felt as if I was being given a guided tour. It sounded very nice, though the stuffed animals put me off a bit. I also liked the various references to freezers throughout the story.

‘No Bodies’ is an exciting and fast-paced read with a number of twists and turns. I really hope there are more books in this series to come. Robert Crouch is fast becoming a favourite author.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

No Bodies’ is available to buy from:-

Amazon UK – http://bit.ly/AmUKtoNBRC

Amazon US – http://bit.ly/AmUStoNBRC

 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: