Wednesday, 18 July 2018

#BlogTour Doctor Perry by Kirsten McKenzie


Today it is my turn on the BlogTour for Doctor Perry by Kirsten McKenzie. It's an interesting combination of horror meets speculative fiction with an important reminder of the people we tend to forget in our society.

About the Author
For many years Kirsten McKenzie worked in her family's antique store, where she went from being allowed to sell the 50c postcards as a child, to selling $5,000 Worcester vases and seventeenth century silverware, providing a unique insight into the world of antiques which touches every aspect of her writing.

Her historical fiction novels 'Fifteen Postcards' and it's sequel 'The Last Letter' have been described as 'Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions', and 'Antiques Roadshow gone viral'. The third book in the series 'Telegram Home' will be released in November 2018 by Accent Press.
Her bestselling gothic horror novel 'Painted' was released in 2017, with her medical thriller 'Doctor Perry' following closely in April 2018.

She lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, an SPCA rescue cat and a kitten found in the neighbour's shed, and can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter under the handle @kiwimrsmac.

Follow KirstenMcKenzieAuthor on Facebook
Follow @kiwimrsmac on Twitter, Instagram or BookBub
Visit kirstenmckenzie.com


About the book
Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar. Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option...


Review
Although this is a fictional horror scenario it also echoes the reality of the way western society treats their elderly. When someone gets to the stage of needing full time care, is put into the hands of a care home, and is subsequently forgotten or reduced to an afterthought - is this is what we call looking after them? Of course the truth is an eye-opener. Individuals who have had filled lives and careers fade into obscurity behind the locked doors of institutional care.

There are no doubt a high amount of elderly who are incapable of safeguarding themselves because of medical conditions, but there are also plenty who are fully compos mentis and aware of the limitations of their new surroundings. This story speaks to the powerlessness, loneliness, neglect and abuse these men and women often have to endure, especially in homes where the main priority is the money the home makes.

So let's talk about Doctor Perry, the friendly doctor everyone trusts and loves. The man with the magic medicine and the ability to charm the snake right out of its basket. Nobody even gives a second thought to the fact people seem to be disappearing while they are in his care, perhaps because they don't even notice when they are gone.

What is in his magic medicine and what is he doing with the patients he picks? The only thing they have in common is the fact they have no family or friends to miss them when they are gone. The truth is unimaginable and like something straight out of the Twilight Zone.

The author manages to combine the harsh realities of care homes and the elderly with her fictional storyline, so kudos to her for making an important point in the midst of her creepy storyline. I'd say it's creepy in a good way, but it's more of a creepy in a 'my doctor is probably prescribing his own version of snake oil' way. Not at all conducive to a trusting relationship between patient and doctor.

As you read the story you can almost hear the background music warning you not to turn around or open the door. It will probably make you side-eye your ever so concerned doctor the next time you have a medical concern.

It's an interesting combination of horror meets speculative fiction with an important reminder of the people we tend to forget in our society.

Buy Doctor Perry at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy Doctor Perry at Amazon com


Monday, 16 July 2018

#BlogTour An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin


Today it's my turn to host the BlogTour for An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin. It is a story that mixes a 1920s feeling of nostalgia with modern day crime.


About the Author
Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the Sinan Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!

Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.
Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey,

Follow @JaneJanebastin  @crookedcatbooks on Twitter
Buy An Oriental Murder


About the book
The Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…

Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.
Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.

An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.


Review
Aside from the fact quite a few people get killed in this book, this is a great idea for a murder mystery holiday. Just Saying.

Bastin gives the reader the image and feeling of what Istanbul used to be like in the era of Agatha Christie. The old city imagery combined with the ever encroaching oppressive laws and thinking of the new regime.

With that in mind it is easy to understand the conflict Sinan faces, both morally and professionally. He has to make a choice. He can either adhere to the rules and become part of the corruption or he can try and sidetrack them, whilst doing the right thing.

This story of political corruption is skewed by a locked room mystery and the connection of some of the victims to a seedier side of sexual activity. Sinan has to determine just what exactly is really at the root of all the red herrings and distractions in his investigation.

Bea and her mother are the flies in the soup in this scenario, as far as I am concerned. They're brash, loud and would probably fit quite nicely into one of Christie's character stereotypes. The complete opposite of Sinan, which is why his connection with Bea is kind of like nails on a chalk board.

Given more direction and elimination of superfluous details, this has the potential to be charming little book and/or series. The character of Sinan has a certain element of charm to it, which mixed with the old mystique of Istanbul, and the aura of a grande dame of mystery, crime and murder herself, draws the reader in. It's something just below the surface, almost indiscernible, but it's there and I hope Bastin can draw upon it for future novels.

Buy An Oriental Murder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books


Sunday, 15 July 2018

#BlogTour Unfinished Business by S.C. Cunningham


Today it is my turn on the BlogTour Unfinished Business by S.C. Cunningham. It's a mixture of erotic fiction and suspense, with a sexual predator as the main character. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway at the bottom of this post to win a signed copy of Unfinished Business!


About the Author
British Author S C Cunningham (The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal) creates psychological and paranormal thrillers with a skilled mix of fueled tension, dark humor, and pulsating sex scenes. Her works offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.
Cunningham writes what she knows. Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in the Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, thus sowing the seed for her thrillers The Penance List and Unfinished Business part of The David Trilogy. She is currently working on Book III For My Sins.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of rock music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the Police – Wanted & Absconder Unit, Intelligence Analyst, Major Crime Team, Investigations Hub.
Having worked in the music to film industry, she writes with film in mind. The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.

Follow @sccunningham8 on Twitter
Connect with her on Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Google+
Amazon US Author page Amazon Uk Author page
Visit sccunningham.com
Buy Unfinished Business


About the book
He loved being him… he got away with murder.
She loved being her… until she met him.

The steamy roller coaster ride of psychotic David’s obsession with his childhood sweetheart, a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes.

With the help of her gutsy friends, fun-loving city girl Tara Warr is the only victim to survive David Howard’s death list. Whilst lounging in prison the hypnotic sexual tour de force enlists an eager recruit, seduces a prison warden and relocates to the sunnier climes of Mexico, a freedom short-lived when his charred remains are found in the fire of a plastic surgeon’s clinic. The police cease their search, finally Tara and her friends can relax, David is dead.

Laughter soon turns to fear when he communicates via Tara’s laptop that he is very much alive, knows their every move and is ready to finish what he started. He is among them, but who? He has a brand new face.
Tara has had enough, time to turn the tables and make him suffer.  A woman unafraid of death is a dangerous thing. Has David finally met his match?

Review
Unfinished Business is the second part of The David Trilogy, a story about obsession, revenge and inner pain. It features domestic abuse, child abuse and the dysfunctional relationships of childhood friends.

For anyone who hasn't read the first part of the series, the book has a short recap at the beginning to get the reader up to speed with the story.

The author plays an interesting blame game when it comes to victim and perpetrator. Instead of lack of consent there is the question of whether the victim enjoys the sadism, thereby inviting it to happen in the first place. This is evident in David's interactions as he is molested and then is forced to molest, but enjoys making someone his victim. When it comes to Tara the story also moves away from the rape to redefining it as consensual because she enjoyed it and feels attracted to her kidnapper.

Obviously this is a bold storyline, and perhaps one that plays into victim blaming too much. A victim isn't culpable. It's uncomfortable and perhaps has a lot to do with either the way the author thinks it actually is, it could be or is often perceived to be by the society.

Another storyline was how uncomfortable Tara feels about the relationship between Helen and Josie, but clearly states that she isn't bothered by her male gay friends. Perhaps a way of pointing out the hypocrisy and antagonism gay couples experience when it comes to same gender people.

Personally I wouldn't put this in the genre of psychological thriller or suspense. You know from the get go who the villain or bad boy is, the trilogy is named after said psycho and there isn't much suspense because David more or less tells you what he is going to do. This is erotica with a slant towards the darker side of sexual interactions.

There are graphic scenes and dialogues, so if that is something you steer away from as a reader, fair warning. If you like a more brusque and uncouth approach to sex, then this will be right up your alley. It is blunt and probably bears more resemblance to real life encounters, especially in regards to cybersex and sexting. Don't expect any unicorn magic or candy floss moments.

I think the author brings a lot of the harsh realities of human behaviour and their thought processes together, and connects all if it with a fascination for base instinctual coupling and interactions. David's magic member plays a leading role in the series.

Buy Unfinished Business at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy The Penance List (The David Trilogy book 1)


Giveaway - Win a signed copy of Unfinished Business (Open Internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway *Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.*

Saturday, 14 July 2018

#BlogTour Time School by Nikki Young


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Time School by Nikki Young. It's a pleasant introduction into the history of WW 1 and the concept of time travel. It's a short read suitable for all age groups.

About the Author
Nikki Young is a writer and lover of stories and ‘The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants’ is her first book. Nikki credits her lively imagination to an amazing childhood, growing up in Yorkshire and living in a cul-de-sac in the days when children were allowed to run free and left to make their own fun! Now a mum of three, she says that in her head, she hasn’t really grown up and those memories of her childhood days remain strong and active.

Follow @nikki_cyoung @matadorbooks
Visit nikkiyoung.co.uk
Buy Time School


About the book
A power cut and a series of mini disasters means friends, Jess, Nadia, Tomma and Ash barely make it to the station to catch their train to school. What they find is a far cry from the usual packed commuter train they're expecting...

When they arrive at Hickley School, the children are surprised to find some of the buildings missing and they don't recognise any of the other pupils, who are all dressed in a different style of uniform. The only person who takes the time to help them is Martha, despite being preoccupied by her own worries about her family being hungry and not hearing from brother, Henry whom she says is away fighting. The children soon realise this is no normal day and it's not until they return home that they're able to figure out what happened. What they don't know is whether it was a one-off day, or if they will get to see Martha and the other pupils again. Jess hopes so. She has something she needs to tell Martha. Not knowing how or why, she feels a connection and an obligation to this girl she can't explain.

Review
Imagine getting on a train you get on every morning only to be whisked away through a gap in time to the past. To a time of great upheaval, struggle and sorrow, with the only option to return being the same train. Just you and a few of your friends thrust into one of the most traumatic periods in the 20th century. How, why and for what purpose?

I think it is a gentle and non-abrasive way of introducing young readers to the World Wars, specifically the Great War. Having bought and read similar books with a historical context for children, and for my own children, it is fair to say that young readers of our era are capable of dealing with a lot more reality and facts. The premise offered up a lot of potential and Young shouldn't be cautious when plotting and delving into that potential. Children and younger readers are capable of embracing and enjoying more complex and realistic storylines.

This premise also allows for further ventures into the past, regardless of whether the fictional story collides with an important historical event or not. Books like these can be great teaching tools, because readers learn historical facts in a fictional setting.

What I really liked about it was the fact I could read this to a child of any age or give it to them to read, without having any concerns they might be overwhelmed by the subject matter. At the very least readers will come away with a basic understanding of how the war had impact on everyone regardless of age or status. Rationing, clothing, war orphans and refugees, and having to deal with the death of a loved one.

More advanced readers could discuss the butterfly effect of the time travel. Did the event the children were there to change or stop only occur because they were there in the first place?

Given a little more depth I can see this becoming an interesting series (hint, hint) and a scholastic possibility. I would like to see Young spread her wings a little more and allow for the creative ideas to flourish instead of curbing them. Saying that, I would buy this book for a reluctant reader or as an introduction to the topics of history, war and time travel.

Buy Time School at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Troubador Publishing ( pub date: 28 Jun. 2018)


#BlogTour The Happiness List by Annie Lyons


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for The Happiness List by Annie Lyons. I have reviewed quite a few of her books and can honestly say she never disappoints. Lyons always delivers an emotional, solid and yet at times amusing read.


About the Author
 Having worked in the worlds of book selling and publishing, Annie Lyons decided to have a go at book writing. Following a creative writing course, lots of reading and an extraordinary amount of coffee, she produced Not Quite Perfect, which went on to become a number one bestseller. Her second book The Secrets Between Sisters was nominated in the best eBook category at the 2014 Festival of Romance and Life or Something Like It was a top ten bestseller.

Her book, The Choir on Hope Street, is a story of power ballads, community, cake and hope. She tries to write stories which make people laugh and cry, although hopefully not at the same time. Annie lives in a shambolic money-pit of a house with her husband and two children plus a cat, who she pretends not to like. She enjoys channelling her inner Adele as part of her own beloved community choir and trying to grow cauliflower. Her latest book, The Happiness List, was published on the 11th of July 2018.

Follow @1AnnieLyons or @HQDigital @HQStories
Visit annielyons.com or connect with Annie on Facebook
Buy The Happiness List


About the book
Life is about to change forever…

Heather is finally back on Hope Street after running from the memories for so long. She hasn’t bumped into many neighbours yet but with her upcoming wedding to plan there’s plenty to keep her busy!

Fran is still trying to get used to a life without her husband by her side. It’s hard enough raising two children on her own – she doesn’t have time to even think about dating…

Pamela is fed up with being taken for granted by her grown-up children and grumbling husband. She’s ready to shake things up a little, but will her family even notice?

So when the three women hear about a ‘happiness course’ starting on Hope Street, surely it’s the perfect opportunity to let their hair down, laugh with new friends and maybe even change their lives in ways they never expected…

Review
Heather, Fran and Pamela couldn't be more different, and they don't imagine themselves growing closer to each other, whilst on a happiness course of all things. Although the course is supposed to help them focus on the positive and help them to manage and set themselves achievable goals, they start supporting each other instead.

Each of the women have their own burdens to bear. Fran is still trying to deal with the loss of her husband, Pamela is caught between her son and her husband, and Heather is planning a wedding. Heather is still coping with her own losses, which make her insecure, vulnerable and perhaps a little naive about the people closest to her.

Mindfulness is very en vogue at the moment. It's all about focusing one's awareness on the present, as opposed to dwelling on the past or being anxious about the future. Accepting one's own thoughts, feelings and physical sensations and acknowledging them calmly. In this case Heather, Fran and Pamela are asked to create lists of things or goals, which make them or will make them happy.

It's interesting to note how each list changes and evolves as the women grow and learn to focus on themselves and their happiness. How some seemingly important goals become less so to the women, as they learn to let things go and to assert themselves and their needs.

Lyons always delivers an emotional, solid and yet at times amusing read. Although it's infused with a subtle layer of humour, this story is about empowerment and taking control of your emotions and your life. It's about friendship, loyalty and bonds that grow between people. It's about enjoying the small things in life, focusing on the positive rather than the negative, and above all it is about knowing there is always a way forward.

Buy The Happiness List at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read The Choir on Hope StreetLife or Something Like It  or Not Quite Perfect by Annie Lyons.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

#BlogTour A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour for A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward. It's a compelling police procedural which highlights the fact that we never really know a person completely or what they may be thinking at any given moment in time.


About Sarah Ward
Sarah Ward is the author of three DC Childs novels, In Bitter Chill, A Deadly Thaw and A Patient Fury set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives. The fourth in the series, The Shrouded Path, is out in September. On her website, Crimepieces.com, she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. Sarah was a 2015 Amazon Rising Star and A Patient Fury was The Observer's Thriller of the Month in 2017.

Follow @sarahrward1 @Faberbooks
on Facebook Amazon Author page
Sign up to Sarah's newsletter
Visit crimepieces.com
Buy A Patient Fury


About the book
Three bodies discovered. A family obliterated. All evidence seems to point to one murderer: the mother.

DC Connie Childs, determined to discover the truth about the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane, realises that a fourth body - one they cannot find - must hold the key to the mystery. But what Connie fails to realise is that her determination to unmask the murderer might cost her more than her health - this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

Review
The most interesting about this story is the conflict between Sadler and Connie, as it pertains to the police investigation and the way it is carried out or which direction it goes in because of it. Sadler believes Connie is letting herself be distracted by the thought the two investigations are connected, whereas she believes the team is wrong not to consider evidence outside of the original investigation.

DC Childs also strongly believes the annihilation of an entire family is not down to the actions of the one person, who is supposed to protect her child and family. It isn't common for women to become killers who wipe out entire families.This creates a chasm between the team and Connie, which leads to her investigating the person she feels is the more likely suspect.

The author presents an interesting dilemma, wherein neither person is completely wrong or right. Their refusal to accept the views and opinions outside of their own remit puts people in danger and draws out the investigation.

Ward presents a compelling duo, who disagree like an old married couple, and yet instinctively comfort each other when they need the presence of another person. The crimes they are involved in are solved despite the obvious fracture in the team, but in a roundabout tentacle-reaching kind of way, and this is what makes it a really good read.

The author keeps the reader guessing until the end. Everyone is a possible suspect, and some of the tentacles bring in more motives than the police expect. It is an invigorating read embedded with some harsh realities. Crime done really well.

Buy A Patient Fury at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy on Amazon com Waterstones Book Depository
Published in paperback by Faber Books on 5th July 2018.  Also available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats.


Tuesday, 10 July 2018

#SpotlightTour Copycat by Hannah Jayne


Today it's my stop on the Spotlight Tour for Copycat by Hannah Jayne. I would genuinely love to know how many bookworms would fall into the same trap, a murderous game fuelled by the fears and hopes of a young girl. Enter the Giveaway at the bottom of the post to win two signed copies of Copycat! (US & Canada Entries Only!)

About the Author
Hannah Jayne decided to be an author in the second grade. She couldn’t spell and had terrible ideas, but she kept at it. Many (many) years—and nearly twenty books—later, she gets to live her dream and mainly does it in her pajamas. She lives with her rock-star husband, baby daughter, and their three overweight cats in the San Francisco Bay area. She is always on the lookout for a juicy mystery, an exciting story, or a great adventure.
Follow @Hannah_Jayne1 @SourcebooksFire on Twitter
Follow AuthorHannahJayne on Facebook
Visit hannah-jayne.com
Buy Copycat


About the book
From the author of The Escape, Twisted, and Truly, Madly, Deadly comes a chilling new thriller that asks: what happens if your real life became stranger and deadlier than fiction?

Everyone is dying to read the latest book in the popular Gap Lake mystery series, and Addison is no exception. As the novels biggest fan, she’s thrilled when the infamously reclusive author, R.J. Rosen, contacts her, giving her inside information others would kill for.

Addison’s always dreamed of what it would be like if the books were real…. But then she finds the most popular girl in school dead. Murdered. And realizes that life imitating fiction is more dangerous that she could have imagined. As other terrifying events from the books start happening around her, Addison has to figure out how to write her own ending—and survive the story.


Excerpt of Copycat
There was something inordinately creepy about being at school after dark. The place was deserted—­the benches and picnic tables in the quad looked ominous and foreboding under the flickering yellow lights. Crystal Lanier shivered and pulled her jacket tighter against an imaginary chill. The weather was mild at Gap Lake in September; the days still sunbaked, the nights, like this one, a gentle mix of fading summer and impending fall. But the bare bones of the deserted campus had put a chill in the air, and shot a blast of cold right through Crystal.
“I’m creeping myself out,” she muttered shifting her books from one arm to the other.
A wisp of wind cut through the quad. Crystal was almost sure she heard someone laughing—­a weak, choked giggle, like someone was trying to swallow it down.
“Hello?”
She spun, her long black hair fanning over her shoulders. “Is someone there?” She knew she sounded like every horror movie victim ever, and her heart hammered in her throat as her skin prickled with beads of sweat.

This was Gap Lake, she reminded herself. It was a tiny town where everyone knew everyone else, and nothing bad ever happened. She was thinking that when the shadow approached. When he reached out for her long black hair. She was thinking what a nice, safe place Gap Lake was when he clamped a hand over her mouth. When he strangled her scream and drove the needle straight into her throat.


Review
Addison is obsessed with the murder mysteries written by R.J. Rosen, to the point of reading each book over and over again. When he gets in touch one day to ask her to be part of the team creating exposure for his new novel, she is absolutely ecstatic.

I can understand her excitement and bookworm joy at being picked to work with the author of the books she absolutely adores. Being able to share her own ideas in the form of fan-fiction. Gaining recognition and attention via her blog, it all gives Addie a sense of security and achievement.

Her joy quickly turns to fear when life begins to imitate the fictional stories on her blog. Addison is torn between her love for the books and the cruel reality of life. In a way her reading is a form of escapism. With a nose in a book she doesn't have to think about the relationship she has with her father or the insecurities she has about herself.

It's an intriguing premise, and in our day and age of anonymity behind social media accounts, perhaps not such an unrealistic idea. Although this is a YA and features very young characters, I think it would also work well with older characters. Jayne makes a point, albeit subtly about online popularity, and how fast the flighty opinions of social media users can change. One day you're a star and the next you're the scum of the earth. The winds of change on the world wide web are unpredictable.

It's perhaps best not to take yourself too seriously or any kind of supposed status you think you have on the internet. That's the kind of advice someone should have given to Addison then maybe she wouldn't have walked right into the trap of a killer.

Copycat has the charm of Pretty Little Liars, but with less conniving and more genuine emotions and a loyal friendship. I would genuinely love to know how many bookworms would fall into the same trap, a murderous game fuelled by the fears and hopes of a young girl.

Buy Copycat at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (Kindle pub date 3 July, Paperback pub date August 13 2018)
Buy Copycat at Amazon com Barnes & Noble BooksAMillion !ndigo Indiebound

Enter the Giveaway below to win 2 Copies of Copycat. Runs July 3rd - 31st (US & Canada only)

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Monday, 9 July 2018

#BlogTour Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Zoe Baxter


Today it's my stop on the BlogTour for Book 1 in the Star Jumpers series, The Lion Roars by Zoe Baxter. It's an exciting fantasy adventure featuring a group of unsuspecting teenagers, as the unintentional soldiers in a fight, which has nothing to do with them.

About the Author
Zoe Baxter is the author of the Star Jumpers series, a fast-paced urban fantasy adventure set in the Dark Sky Park of Northumbria. An avid scribbler, she lives in a world filled with vicious and venomous creatures breathing down her neck, and has even been known to take the odd zip wire flight in the name of research.

Follow @zoebaxterbooks
Or Zoe Baxter on Facebook  or on Instagram
Buy Star Jumpers: The Lion Roar

Enter the Giveaway (bottom of the post) - Win a Star Jumpers paperback, bookmark and postcard (UK Only)


About the book
Four Teens: One Quest: A World of Magic and Adventure

It was no ordinary zipwire flight. Thrust into the magical world of Hadrixia, flame-haired Zara Bulmer and her three teenage companions must thwart the Dark Ruler of Hadrixia in their quest to locate the Stone of Exerith. The fate of the Empire depends on their success...and safe return to Star Camp.

On their journey, the foursome must tangle with vicious creatures like the horn-headed Warnoks and the venomous web-tailed Tarquids. Will they succumb to the persuasive chants of the fire-loving Brozigs or be mauled to death by the tree-swinging Harnts?

The friends join forces with Hadrixian teenager, Quinn, and encounter the kindness of Semyon, an aged wizard potionmaker.

Will Zara fulfil the destiny bestowed upon her before the sun sets on the last day of July? Or will the Portwall to the Outside remain sealed, imprisoning the four intrepid teenagers in Hadrixia, consigning them to a future of chaos, destruction, or even death?

There’s only one way to find out:
Welcome to the perilous world of Hadrixia…

Review
It's an exciting fantasy adventure featuring a group of unsuspecting teenagers, as the unintentional soldiers in a fight, which has nothing to do with them. Friendships are formed quickly, as they resign themselves to the quest of retrieving a magical stone. A stone that will help to restore peace in a kingdom ravaged by greedy oppressors.

There are interesting parallels between our world and this fantasy world, especially when it comes to natural resources. Destroying food, polluting the world with no regard for any future generations. Stripping the world bare of any and all resources we need to survive and poisoning the rest. Sound familiar? Might not be so different in other worlds after all.

This is a read you can buy for children (over 10 and up) and older readers. It is a fantasy adventure featuring a group of teenagers as they are propelled into a battle and a quest to free a country from oppression. Not just any old country, a place you can only gain access to via portals, which apparently are now in the middle of activity parks. Might need to watch out for that, not sure I want to accidentally end up travelling to goodness knows where.

I enjoyed the way Baxter just thrust the reader and characters straight into the midst of the adventure they embark upon. Without preamble - just jumping right into the fray. I think the characters are just as surprised as the reader, when a zip-line turns out to be a portal to another world.

It is certainly fast-paced and has a lot of potential, especially when the future tasks they have to achieve or conclude to get their friends to safety, are plenty and seem insurmountable. I am sure Zara, Oscar, Fergus and Aimie will be up to the task, even if it means jumping off a mountain to regain entry into Hadrixia.

Buy Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Paperback edition

Enter Giveaway below -  Win Star Jumpers paperback, bookmark and postcard (UK Only) (see Terms and Conditions of the Giveaway organiser below)

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

#BlogTour Dis_ability by Munir Zamir


Today it is my turn on the BlogTour for Dis_ability by Munir Zamir, and it is my pleasure I to introduce you a writer who wields his words like a double-edged sword. His pain and his personal journey are reflected in his poignant and often unforgiving words.


About the Author
Munir Zamir is a creative writer, Poet and Spoken Word Artist based in London. He has spent the past decade and more tackling issues related to countering ideological extremism and prejudice, having personal experience of both issues. Munir spends his working hours contributing to the ongoing struggle to challenge and overcome those narratives that seek to exploit vulnerable groups in society through arguments built on intentional concepts and ideas of hate and prejudice. A pioneer in the counter-extremism space, Munir has often ploughed a lone furrow, at times locking horns and at other times trying to assist Governments around the world, policy makers, practitioners and alike, with the sole aim of trying to safeguard vulnerable young people and those at risk of being radicalised.
Follow @_MunirZamir
Visit munirzamir.com
Buy Dis_ability


About the book
An exploration of disability, its social perception and lived experience, from a poetic and personal perspective

I was born different.
I wouldn't want it any other way.

Dis_ability is an influential and forceful collection of poems highlighting the need for genuine social and ethical change in order for differences to be understood as something to be championed and not feared.

Review
Poetry isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I find it is a little bit like a non or reluctant reader finding the right book. If the Bard doesn't appeal to you then perhaps a more modern approach to the genre will. I can imagine this being being part of performance art.

Social and political commentary in the form of poetry, sounds like an interesting event, especially when you take the power of these particular words and the topics into consideration.

The author is a Spoken Word Artist, I would love to see some of these poems being spoken with the anger, disappointment, pain and realism you can feel whilst reading them.

The following are included in Dis_ability:
The Body Perfect, Infinitely Better Body, Child Disability, The Axis, Made Wrong But Don't Mind, River of Tears, What Body?, Time is an Album, Life by Design, Give Me Space, Symmetry, Average Disability, When I Think, A Beautiful Contradiction, Scattered Soul, Eyes, Not for the Fainthearted, You are not my Maker, Whose Cause?, The Loneliness, Sleep Better, Mutant Gene and It's Your Definition.

I would love to be able to quote one of the pieces to be able to relay how uncompromisingly direct and honest these words are. I would find it difficult to single out just one piece that stood out, but if I had to it would be Child Disability, which speaks to the children and young people still learning to accept themselves and the way society perceives them. Sentences like 'Accept the mediocre and Tolerate the unjust' speak volumes about the invisibility and powerlessness of those who are deemed different.

As the author mentions at the end of this book, the message is indeed universal. Although someone in the same situation may have more insight into the context, I think the whole point is airing pain that needs to be felt and heard by those who understand it the least, because it isn't something they have to deal with. I hope to read more by this author in the future.

Buy Dis_ability at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Take a look at what my fellow bloggers have to say about Dis_ability.
Monday 2nd July Between the Pages
Tuesday 3rd July Luna’s Little Library
Wednesday 4th July Donna’s Book Blog
Thursday 5th July Bee Reader Books
Friday 6th July Poetic Insights
Saturday 7th July Writing Follies
Sunday 8th July Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog Reviewing Shelf

Thursday, 5 July 2018

#BlogTour Needle Song by Russell Day


Today it really is my absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Needle Song by Russell Day. I love it when a stunning debut comes along, the kind that indicates the beginning of a successful writing career. Russell Day thinks outside the box, whilst still employing the old hat tricks of crime to keep his readers immersed and willing to stay with his story until the last page.


About the Author
Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.

Follow @rfdaze @fahrenheitpress
Visit russelldaycriminalmind.com
Buy Needle Song


About the book
Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn't her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case. No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth - but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

Review
This is the debut novel of crime writer Russell Day, and I suggest you make a point of remembering his name, because I have a feeling this is the start of something quite extraordinary. It features Doc Slidesmith, tattoo artist and tarot reading psychic, and Andy his sceptical sidekick. I mean, tarot reading and voodoo are just all cold reading, right?

This unusual amateur detective duo is born more out of necessity, curiosity and the bond of brotherhood between Doc, Andy and Chris. What's interesting is that none of them make any irrational assumptions based on the fact Jan is beautiful, has issues with fidelity and appears to be quite manipulative.

She adapts to her environment and more importantly to the men in her vicinity. She gives them what they need in that moment of personal interaction. Jan is a little bit like a personality and emotional chameleon. She takes her cues from whomever she interacts with, and alters her interactions and appearance accordingly. In context that puts all of her actions and words under a cloud of suspicion, when her husband is found dead and Chris is arrested.  Was it all a very elaborate plan from the very beginning?

It is well-written and plotted with a set of characters who sleuth with a lack of respect for the law and yet simultaneously uphold their own set of rules. The law of the road, the rules of the leather, and the inner complexity of the biker brotherhood. Day mixes this brusque modern vibe with a dark layer of mystique and curtailed power.

The Slidesmith series would make a fantastic premise for a TV show. Who wouldn't be drawn in by the devil-may-care attitude of bikers solving crime with the help of voodoo, black magic, tarot cards and a degree in psychology?

I love it when a stunning debut comes along, the kind that indicates the beginning of a successful writing career. Russell Day thinks outside the box, whilst still employing the old hat tricks of crime to keep his readers immersed and willing to stay with his story until the last page.

Buy Needle Song on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Kindle edition
Buy Needle Song at Amazon com
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press (pub date April 2018)
Buy Needle Song at Fahrenheit Press
The second book in the Slidesmith series, Ink to Ashes, will be published later this year.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

#BlogTour Dead in the Water by Simon Bower


It is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Dead in the Water by Simon Bower today.
Before we get started - the ebook version of Dead in the Water is FREE this week (until July the 6th I believe). Get it while you can!
About the Author
Simon Bower is a British and Canadian author born in Berkshire in 1973. Since 1998, he’s adopted a global lifestyle, setting up home at times in Europe, Africa and North America.  In 2016 Simon turned to writing full time, which led to his first published work, Dead in the Water, being released in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press in 2018. Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief.

Follow @SimonBowerBooks & @MiddleFarmPress on Twitter
Follow Simon on his Amazon author page
Connect with Simon on Goodreads
Buy Dead in the Water on Amazon Uk
Buy Dead in the Water on Amazon com


About the book
Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him.

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

Review
Charlie thinks his ship has come in when he meets Ana. He is bored, she is beautiful and the location is exotic. One thing leads to another and a toxic relationship is born from it, although one could argue that Charlie would have made certain decisions regardless of whether he met Ana, right?

What becomes clear quite early on is how Charlie believes life owes him some kind of favour. There is no real sense of regret or remorse, in fact it is always someone elses's fault. Ana made him, Len deserves it, Mia shouldn't be so needy. There is no culpability and always an excuse.

I'm not sure if it is intentional, but the yacht scenes were very Christie whodunnit with a whiff of Natalie Wood salacious mystery thrown in for free. It's interesting because you get the volatility of a modern crime, but feel as if you are also reading a 'the professor killed him with a candlestick in the library' kind of crime.

The reckless and ruthless ploys of the killer bring a strong feeling of violence and chaos to the story, which is equalled out by the laissez-faire attitude of the police detective. You think he has left the potential crime to sink into obscurity when all of a sudden he pops up again.

I will say that although each character was given a voice of their own in individual chapters, it sometimes felt disjointed. The lead up to the last potential victim was too long and at times her story felt too outside the main plot.

What Bower does do well is capture the essence of two people who separately would probably never harm anyone, and yet brought together they become a lethal weapon. This, although it seems quite an unimportant element, is actually the main driving force behind the majority of violent crimes. The question is whether individuals in these situations would have committed crimes if they hadn't become part of a toxic and co-dependent killing team.

I guess this killer will never know, but then this killer would probably blame it on the victim instead.

Buy Dead in the Water at Amazon Uk or go to
Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Middle Farm Press (pub date: May 2018)
Paperback edition
Buy Dead in the Water at Waterstones