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Archive for the tag “Edinburgh”

Blog Tour – ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ by Millie Gray ~ #MillieGray @bwpublishing

I am delighted to be kicking off this blog tour.  ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ is Millie Gray’s tenth novel and it is out today in paperback and as an eBook, published by Black and White Publishing.  I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about the ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’.  First though, here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Leith, 1953. Kirsten Mowat, eighteen years old and with a joyful spring in her step, couldn’t be more in love with her sea-faring sweetheart Duncan Armstrong. But, seven years later after a hasty wedding, a twist of lies and wrenching loss Duncan and Kirsten’s relationship has faded to tatters. When those closest to her turn their backs, Kirsten alone, with a young family to care for must gather all her spirit and strength if they are to survive. From much-loved Millie Gray, The House on Rosebank Lane is an Edinburgh story of families entwined, of sorrow and hopefulness . . . and of a young mother’s love for her children and a transforming quest for happiness.

 

My Review

It has been a while since I have read a book published by Black and White Publishing and what a treat ‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ was. I actually can’t believe that until now I had never picked up any of Millie Gray’s books. I love family sagas and I really liked that this book was based in Leith, Edinburgh. That’s what appealed to me when I first heard about it. I loved the author’s style of writing and the way the story was presented and found it very easy to follow.

Edinburgh will always be a very special place to me. Whilst reading this story I found myself wishing that I had been there in 1953 onwards. I think it would have been wonderful. I recognised quite a few of the streets mentioned and in the past have actually stayed in a hotel in York Place with my husband.

This story had so much packed into it despite not being very long and I felt I got a lot out of it. The one thing I wished would happen did so that really pleased me.

I loved Kirsten from the very start and I felt so sad for the situation she found herself in. She was a tough cookie though who with the help of friends and good advice coped with what life threw at her. I thought Dixie was so adorable and it was tragic what happened when he was doing so well.

‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ will have you hooked. You literally won’t be able to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading so much more by this author.

~~~~~

‘The House on Rosebank Lane’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Rosebank-Lane-Millie-Gray/dp/178530223X/

 

About Millie Gray

Millie Gray is a writer and professional storyteller. Her humorous plays attract audiences from all over Scotland and she is much in demand to do workshops and talks about her work. Millie Gray was born and raised in Leith and lives in Edinburgh.

 

Links

Black and White Publishing

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bwpublishing

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bwpublishing

 

Guest Post by John Mayer ~ @CarolineBookBit @johnmayerauthor

I am delighted to welcome John Mayer, author of the Parliament House Books to my blog.  This series sounds really interesting and is one I hope to read at some point.  Links to the books are towards the bottom of this post.

John has written a guest post for my blog which I hope you enjoy.

 

Guest Post

On Writing – John Mayer

Writing is precious, or at least, it was. When people first began to write what we would call books – which was in Sanskrit – the technique was open and free for anyone to learn. As soon as writing spread to Europe, words were used to influence and even scare people into beliefs they didn’t have before and didn’t actually want.

With the advent of Amazon Books, I think book writing has come full circle and is once more open and free to learn. As a life-long learner though, I’d prefer the openness would not cause ‘us’ writers to dismiss the learning curve – with each book we write we strive to make it better than the one before.

A carefully crafted story which suspends the reader’s disbelief is a very difficult thing to do well and has to be both learned and practised regularly. After all, attentive readers appreciate and recognise quality when they see it. I’m proud to say that many reviewers of The Parliament House Books feel this way about my books. That’s very satisfying because quality lasts in the mind of readers and makes them eager for more, the next book of their favourite author. I imagine it is like dining out in a nice restaurant or eating a fast-food meal: the latter is to stop your stomach from rumbling, the first is as much food for thought as it is enjoyable to digest.

I like to think that my stories actually help people to shape their own opinions on the subject matter of my series, ‘injustice in high places.’ I feel very strongly about this. I have had feedback from readers saying that my books are different and that pleases me as my books and writing style are an intrinsic part of who I am.

How do I write? I don’t plan, or plot or stick to any kind of formula. I start with a single word: but that word has to be an important one which contains many ideas; not just legal ideas, but social and personal ones too. For instance, the words Cross, Cycle, Boots, Trial, Order, Bones, Trust all contain multiple ideas. Of course, I write about Parliament House and legal cases, with my twenty years’ experience as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland which gives me a unique depth of insight. I then develop the single word by imagining how it applies to people in a court case as well as how the court case impacts on their lives and the lives of those around them. The American lawyers who write books are all office lawyers, which is a world apart from Parliament House in Edinburgh. When I’ve got the word at the centre of a number of ideas, I then start to sculpt the word – which is like a stone block at this early stage – into a shape which, I imagine and hope, readers can appreciate from many angles.

My central character, Brogan McLane QC, lives in two worlds. One is the grandness and splendour of Parliament House in Edinburgh where he practises law at the Bar of the Court. The other is the Calton Bar in Glasgow where he grew up and has his blood brother – Big Joe Mularkey – by his side. The stories reveal how the low life in high places in the old town of Edinburgh are often disguised by their finery and the characters in each book have to look to another kind of Bar for help in getting justice. Mind, my books are fiction and this is not to say that all Advocates and Judges in Parliament House are corrupt or incompetent: but some are and they casually wreck lives on a regular basis.

Perhaps injustice sounds boring to you but to me, the burning pain of injustice is what motivates and drives me – imagine your loved one wrongly convicted. Anyone in that situation will tell you that the long hard slog trying to turn injustice into justice is a very humiliating and lonely place to be. Similarly in civil cases, trying to get justice for a wrongful act done to you in a few seconds, can take years and drain you of all your hard earned money. Those trying that task will tell you, that it eats into your soul so that you live and breathe the injustice, often for years or decades. There is an old Arabic curse which says ‘May your life be filled with lawyers.’ Anyone who’s had that experience will tell you that it wrecks you emotionally, financially and spiritually until many people surrounded by injustice take their own lives. Any politician will tell you that there are no votes in fighting injustice; but there should be. I think so.

I hope you will never have your life filled with lawyers. May you only experience that curse through the world of Brogan McLane QC in The Parliament House Books.

Best wishes,

John Mayer.

 

The Parliament House Books

Welcome to the Parliament House Books. John Mayer’s protagonist is Brogan McLane QC – who lives in two worlds.

McLane inhabits two worlds. One is the rarified world of Parliament House in Edinburgh, where he practices law, while the other is in Glasgow where he frequents the Calton Bar. To get in to the Calton Bar, you’ll need to first understand its ways. Those ways are to be found in the first and second prequels to the Parliament House Books, The Cross and The Cycle respectively.

The motto of the series is ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ and there is plenty of both in this series and, according to the author, in reality. Some Judges and Advocates in Parliament House are fine, intelligent and honest people. Others are mere pretenders. They are the schemers, members of secret societies from which they improve their chances of rising up the slippery pole of legal ranking.

 

The Prequels:

The Cross
The Cycle
The Boots

All three prequels are free to download at https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/

The Books:

#1 The Trial                http://getbook.at/TheTrial-JohnMayer
#2 The Order             
http://getbook.at/TheOrder-JohnMayer
#3 The Bones           
 http://getbook.at/TheBones-JohnMayer
#4 The Trust              
http://getbook.at/TheTrust-JohnMayer
#5 The House
            http://getbook.at/TheHouse-JohnMayer

 

About John Mayer

Like his leading character, Brogan McLane, John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent much of his time in the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.

Having as the owner of a record company had a court battle with global giants, John decided to study law and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland – yes, at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. John acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John’s experiences as an Advocate are the foundation for his Parliament House Books, his battle to seek justice is what motivates and inspires his protagonist, crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane,  who fights injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

 

John Mayer on Social Media:

Author Website:           https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/
FB Author Page:          https://www.facebook.com/JohnMayerAuthor/
Twitter:                         https://twitter.com/johnmayerauthor
Instagram:                    https://www.instagram.com/johnmayer_author/
Amazon Author Page: https://author.to/JohnMayer

 

Blog Tour – ‘Perfect Remains’ by Helen Fields

blog-tour-banner

I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour celebrating Helen Fields’ debut crime fiction novel.  ‘Perfect Remains’ was published on the 26th January in paperback and as an eBook by Avon Books.  It’s a book that sounds right up my street and I really can’t wait to read it.

I have an extract for all of my lovely readers, but first here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

 

Extract

Callanach retraced his steps and went back into her bedroom. The bed was bare, the sheets stripped by the forensics team looking for signs of sexual activity and DNA. None but hers had been found. There was minimal makeup in her drawers, only two bottles of perfume in her en-suite cupboard. He opened her wardrobe and found two rows of shoes, split between work and exercise. It was ironic how someone who valued order and neatness so highly could have ended their life in such chaos and trauma. At what point had she realised something was wrong? As soon as she’d left the gym, perhaps. Had someone been following her or was he waiting for her at home? Buxton was fit and healthy. She’d have put up a fight if she hadn’t been taken completely by surprise. There was no sign of a struggle, though.

Finally, among neatly folded sweaters, Callanach saw the one thing that had been missing. A ragged teddy bear peeked down from the top shelf, much loved, by the look of it, too precious to put away with the other childish things. Something to look at every morning and evening as she dressed and undressed. A fragment of warmth in an otherwise formal home. He closed the cupboard door against the bear’s forlorn, waiting stare. It wouldn’t help him find her killer and it didn’t progress matters to dwell upon the human loss. Only science, logic and research solved cases. Elaine’s house offered nothing further. Callanach locked up and was glad to leave the silence and stillness behind.

Calls to her ex-husband Ryan proved unrewarding. He’d been out of contact with her for more than a year. Following the autopsy report, police officers notified Elaine’s mother of her death that afternoon. Callanach was pleased it wasn’t his job on that occasion. No amount of training or experience made delivering death notifications any easier. The press was given the information shortly afterwards, with a renewed request for information. Callanach chased up the friend whose birthday celebration Elaine had attended at the gym and found she’d been more of an acquaintance in reality. They’d shared a Pilates class, worked out together each Wednesday and Friday but didn’t socialise anywhere else. Elaine hadn’t mentioned a boyfriend, she’d told Callanach, not that they chatted about that sort of thing. It was in keeping with the way she lived. Work colleagues all said the same. So, surely, Callanach mused, she’d have noticed someone taking an interest in her, watching her, following her. She was a lawyer. She’d have known there were court orders available to protect her. Was her murderer so restrained that he’d never once revealed himself?

Elaine’s diary and correspondence had been seized as evidence. Callanach took the paperwork home, expecting little more than meetings and reminders in to-do-list form. It had already been inspected by the missing persons team and no useful information had been identified. The diary was A4-sized, with a sheet for each day, the notations proficiently brief.

 

Hopefully after reading what ‘Perfect Remains’ is about and the extract you’ll be dying to read more.  If so, here’s the Amazon UK purchase link:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Remains-unforgettable-edge-your-seat/dp/0008181551/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1486316561&sr=1-1

 

‘Tiny Acts of Love’ by Lucy Lawrie

Tiny Acts of Love

Black and White Publishing very kindly sent me ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ to review. This is Lucy Lawrie’s debut novel and having read it I am already really looking forward to her next book.

Cassie, a lawyer and new mum has just arrived home from hospital having given birth to Sophie only to discover that Jonathan, her husband, has made a bit of an embarrassing mistake. He converses mainly through jokes, her best friend lives on the other side of the world and the mums in the Babycraft group aren’t exactly a help. Cassie finds herself struggling, but Jonathan doesn’t seem to be paying proper attention to her and dismisses her maternal anxieties.

Five months later Cassie returns to work part-time. She bangs into ex-boyfriend Malkie. Although he dumped her years ago he still stirs up old feelings inside her. On top of all the emotional turmoil she is going through, she also finds amongst other things that she has to advise a funeral director on ghost protocol. It just gets madder and madder. Cassie is about to discover that marriage and motherhood isn’t the fairytale she thought it would be.

I had the feeling I would enjoy ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ and I wasn’t wrong. For a start off the cover caught my eye. It’s just so lovely and it tells you all you need to know about the book. The story is set in Edinburgh which brought back memories of my holiday there last year.

‘Tiny Acts of Love’ takes a real look at motherhood.   I warmed to Cassie right from the start. I’m not a mum but I could still sympathise with her. How difficult must it be when you’re married and have just had a baby only to find that an old flame comes back into your life? Though this story is primarily about Cassie it also looks at her husband and the issues he is having. There are also a number of other characters, some of whom are really interesting.

Hilarious, touching and at times sad ‘Tiny Acts of Love’ is a winner.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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