Monday, 17 June 2019

#BlogTour Nexus by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings


Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Nexus, the sequel to Zenith of The Androma Saga by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. It's space opera come dystopian sci-fi with elements of fantasy
About the Authors
When Sasha Alsberg isn't writing, you can find her reading and filming videos for her Youtube Channel ABookUtopia. Follow @sashaalsberg on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Youtube,
Visit sashaalsberg.com


Lindsay Cummings is the author of The Murder Complex series and the Balance Keeper series. She lives in Texas. Follow @authorlindsayc on Twitter,  on Goodreads, on Youtube, on Amazon, Visit lindsaycummingsbooks.com

Visit theandromasaga.com Follow the story with #NEXUS and #AndromaSaga
Buy Nexus

About the book
From the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Zenith comes the dazzling finale to the Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets expose an embattled galaxy to the ultimate nightmare.

Her ship is gone, her crew is capture and notorious mercenary Andi Racella is suddenly a fugitive, ruthlessly hunted across the galaxy. the bloodthirsty queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy and she'll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom to stop Nor. However as her crew fight to regain their freedom, Andi and her unlikely ally Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they've faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can they make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy, unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

In Zenith we meet an all-girl space crew, fighting for their survival in a galaxy run on lies and illusion where no-one can be trusted. With betrayals, sinister plans for revenge and the spectre of a war that could tear apart worlds, this space opera is full of action, fantastical intrigue, and not to forget a steamy star-crossed romance. nexus raises the stakes in this battle for survival, autonomy and freedom - will the battle demand the ultimate sacrifice?

Review
This is the sequel to Zenith, the second part of the Androma Saga. It reminded me a little bit of the later books in the Red Rising series, the more space, planet hopping, and fighting of houses ones. Obviously this is more YA orientated, with a lot more twee energy and dialogues.

I would suggest reading the first in the series to get a better feeling for the entire cast of characters and the premise. It's far too vast to just read one book, and come away with the entire story.

There is a focus on Andi in this book, especially on the darkness that appears to be consuming her from within. At certain points she feels she has to choose between the group and said darkness. It depends on which is more enticing and offers up a better solution in that moment.

It's space opera come dystopian sci-fi with elements of fantasy. A fast paced adventure that starts out with a superbly delicious villain in the main role. The reader then watches as the moral dilemmas and the relationships force the villainous nature to retreat and the character re-evaluates what is more important to all, as opposed to just her.

It's a way to introduce younger readers to the exciting genres of space opera, sci-fi and the complex world-building of the aforementioned. It's often so fast that there is no time for character depth or deeper dialogue. I wonder what the read would be like if it had less of a spacious minute feel and more defining moments instead.

Buy Nexus at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 13 May (ebook) and 13 June 2019 (paperback). Buy at Amazon com.


#BlogTour God's Children by Mabli Roberts


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour God's Children by Mabli Roberts. It's historical fiction, a memoir of sorts and a mystery to boot.
About the Author
Mabli Roberts lives in a wild, mountainous part of Wales. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport. Most of her inspiration comes from her love of history and from long walks in the timeless landscape around her.

Mabli also writes as Paula Brackston, PJ Brackston and PJ Davy. Nutters was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award and The Witch’s Daughter was a New York Times bestseller.

Her work has been translated into five languages and is sold around the world. You can find out more about her books on her website www.paulabrackston.com, her Author’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/worldofpaulabrackston/ and YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/paulabrackstonbooks as well as the God's Children Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Gods-Children-1476228589147399/

Follow World of Paula Brackston on Facebook, God's Children on FacebookPaula Brackston Books on Youtube, on Goodreads, Visit paulabrackston.com
Buy God's Children


About the book
'Kate Marsden: nurse, intrepid adventurer, saviour of the lepers or devious manipulator, immoral and dishonest?'

As she lies on her deathbed visited by the ghosts of her past, who should we believe, Kate or those who accuse her of duplicity? Memory is a fickle thing: recollections may be frozen in time or distorted by the mirror of wishful thinking. Kate’s own story is one of incredible achievements, illicit love affairs and desperate longing; those of her accusers paint a very different portrait – of a woman determined on fame and fortune.

The reader navigates a narrative as fractured as the Siberian ice Kate crosses in search of a cure for leprosy, and as beautiful as Rose, her lost love, as the full picture emerges of a life lived when women were not expected to break the mould.

Review
Who was Kate Marsden? Was she a woman intent on providing care and a cure for those suffering from leprosy, with big plans to build hospitals? Or was she a clever manipulator and con woman?
The question that remains in the end is whether Kate Marsden was the woman she wanted everyone to believe she was or just an organiser of a well executed scam.

She uses her professional experiences and extensive travels to make more connections. Her fans include the British and Russian royal family, and a spate of wealthy women. Her benefactors want to see her succeed because she acts in God's name. A little bit like an evangelical tv star, but without the medium of television.

She holds town hall meetings to encourage people to spend money and invest in her very ambitious plans. Of course society wants to be seen helping those less fortunate, because it makes them look like better people.

Kate hints occasionally at some unspoken horror experienced at the hands of certain men whilst travelling the isolated areas looking for people stricken with leprosy. That thought sort of petered out during the tale though.

Her sexual preferences are hinted at, but never go further other than to suggest moments of titillation and flushed cheeks. Love is suggested, but desire remains in the imagination of the beholder.

In retrospect it's hard to be completely clear on the truth. Were her detractors extremely successful in plotting her downfall because they were presenting the sordid truth or because their need for revenge had become an obsession? I suppose it depends on which account you are more likely to believe.

It's historical fiction, a biography of sorts and a mystery to boot. Even towards the end, Kate is uncertain what is truth and what is fiction courtesy of the critics.

Buy God's Children at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads at any other retailer. Published by Honno Press in paperback and ebook format on 11th April 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Blackwell's. Buy at Hive. At Google. At Foyles. Barnes & Noble. Buy at Honno Press.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

#BlogTour Every Dog Has His Day by Chloe Grace


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Every Dog has his Day by Chloe Grace. It's a cosy mystery with a four-legged, furry canine detective in the starring role.

Get your free copy of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, the prequel to Every Dog has his Day.
About the Author
Chloe Grace is the cozy mystery pen name for romantic mystery author, Karen Botha. While she doesn’t understand animals quite as well as Bella in the Albertus Eagle Detective Beagle cozy mysteries, she does chat along to her rescue dog, Shadow, pretty much all day.
And she’s sure that he chats back.

Chloe lives with Shadow and her hubby in a small outpost of London city—funnily enough it’s a little like where Bella and Albie live. As a family they like to go on walks in the local woods and throw a tennis ball until their respective arms ache, which is usually before Shadow shows any hint of exhaustion.

While her first romance novels were inspired by true life events, the Albertus Eagle series are complete imagination – although her conversations with Shadow can’t be ignored.

Follow @karenbothanovel on Twitter, Follow Chloe Grace on Facebook, Follow Karen Botha on Instagram, on Goodreads, on BookBub, on Facebook
Buy Every Dog Has His Day


About the book
They say every dog has his day.
Well, today I've certainly had mine.
Hey, I'm Albertus Eagle and it turns out I'm an unwitting pet detective. I haven't always been such a successful legal beagle, but when I'm confronted with a case that is so personal I can't ignore it, I discover I have a passion for finding those who don't want to be found.

Cleo the cat. Well, she came along for the ride too.
So, sure I've had my day today, but not in the sense of being past my prime. To the contrary, the fun is just starting. And I am buzzing with a new purpose, mixed with a tiny amount of vindictive elation.

Why?
Because, I've not only found myself a new home after the untimely demise of my previous owner, but I've also made amends with the cat. It turns out she's not that bad, really.
On top of that though, and this is what really sends shivers racing all the way down my spine to my paws, is that we've fingered a killer.

How?
Because you human’s, you underestimate us animals. And while you go about your business ignoring our very existence, the cat and I are listening and taking notes.

This is the first full length novel in the Albertus Eagle detective beagle series of animal cozy mysteries, starring Albertus Eagle, and his two sidekicks, Cleo the cat and Bella Schuhmann, the smart human who actually understands him. In this wonderful full length book packed with humour and satire, we see the world of murder and intrigue set up through the eyes of a loyal dog turned amateur sleuth.

Review
Move over Columbo, here comes Albertus Eagle the famous canine detective. A beagle who is ready to save the day and take down criminals one murderer at a time. He is supported by his feline sidekick Cloe, and his human Bella.

Albie and Cloe have gone from riches to rags, because their owner was murdered. Luckily they are both adopted by Bella, who is just as determined to find the person who took their owner from them.

What's interesting is that Albertus, Albie for short, clicks with and understands Bella quite well and vice versa, and Bella can communicate with Cloe too. Not sure where she has acquired these skills, perhaps there is an app for it.

They are listening, taking notes (*wonders how are they taking notes*), and solving crimes for the humans, because clearly they are incapable of doing so by themselves. In fact they, the humans, are seemingly unaware that dogs and cats rule the world.

Albie's commentary is hilarious at times, especially when he is throwing shade at everyone including other breeds. 'We all know Ridgebacks are a flighty bunch' - burn.

This is the perfect story for readers who love animals and a cosy mystery. It's entertaining, sweet and highly amusing at times.

It's a cosy mystery with a four-legged, furry canine detective in the starring role. The kind of read that is just right if you need a bit of relaxation, a few giggles and come away from it with a smile on your face. The author definitely delivers when it comes to that.

It's not meant to be a complex thriller. It is exactly what it says on the box.

Buy Every Dog Has His Day on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz. It's a western and horror combined with paranormal fantasy.
About the Author
Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows "the best horror novel of 2012."The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin," reminiscent of ShirleyJackson's The Haunting of Hill House
and Peter Straub's Ghost Story."

Since then Jonathan's work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith,and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species,and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz's Shadow Side.

His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklistand was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School
Library Journal,and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim.

Jonathan's primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children,and though he realizes that every author's wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true.

Follow @JonathanJanz and @flametreepress on Twitter, Follow Janz On Instagram, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit jonathanjanz.com
Buy Dust Devils


About the book
It is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico and Cody Wilson and Willet Black are bent on revenge after their loved ones are slaughtered by a group of traveling actors, but neither of them suspects what they're really up against.

For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.
Review
Janz has been making a name for himself in the horror genre. It's fair to say he tries to mix it up and redefine it by combining old favourites and modern ideas. This time it's a western meets paranormal fantasy extravaganza.

The relationship between Cody and Willet is one of the highlights of the book. The two of them bond over the fact the vampires have taken loved ones from them. Cody becomes almost paternal towards Willet, perhaps the boy represents the future he has lost.

Some of the scenes are quite graphic, especially the violent and sexual ones. Janz can be a bit of a shock jock at times. A bit of a 'let me lull you with the intricately woven relationships and my writing, then when you least expect it a wet kipper will whack you round the face' kind of storyteller. The violence or the more graphic details creates a sense of unease and keep the readers on their toes, which I think is intentional. Janz doesn't want his readers getting too comfortable.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think readers who know Janz are aware of his style and hey the genre is known for being extreme and bending the boundaries. I think there has to be a nice balance, so it doesn't appear to be gratuitous. Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to the sexual element.

It's a western and horror combined with paranormal fantasy. Cowboys vs Vampires, which is far more politically correct and results in some interesting scenarios. It's a blood-drenched read.

What I can say without a doubt is that Janz enjoys evoking a strong emotional response in readers, regardless of whether they are feeling sympathy, disgust or anger.

Buy Dust Devils at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Flame Tree Press; pub date 27 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Flame Tree.

Read my review of The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

#BlogTour The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw. It's literary fiction, combined with a extraordinary thread of logic, mathematical theory, astronomy, physics and theorem, which flows throughout the story.
About the Author
Charlie Laidlaw was born in Paisley and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He has been a national newspaper journalist and worked in defence intelligence. He now runs his own marketing consultancy in East Lothian. He is married with two grown-up children.

Follow @claidlawauthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Facebook, Visit charlielaidlawauthor.com


About the book
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini’s perfect life begins to splinter when her celebrity father becomes more distant, and her mother dies suspiciously during a lightning storm. This death has a massive effect on Emma, but after stumbling through university, she settles into work as a journalist in Edinburgh.

Her past, however, cannot be escaped. Her mental health becomes unstable. But while recovering in a mental institution, Emma begins to write a memoir to help come to terms with the unravelling of her life.

She finds ultimate solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe – which offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

Review
It reminded me of the work of Benjamin Constable - the way reality is speckled and fragmented, and driven by the imagination, which results in singularly individual experiences and memories. No one memory is the same even when the event is experienced by multiple people simultaneously.

In this case it leaves the reader wondering what is fiction, what is fact or more importantly what is it that Emma wants to believe and perhaps wants others to believe. Towards the end of the book, as the truth of her situation becomes more apparent, the read flows into an introspective narrative. It completely flips the narrative of the first half of the book.

The reader then becomes aware that the story, up to that point, is told from the subjective point of a child. A child who perhaps wants to remember her life a certain way instead of remembering the reality of it. She romanticises the negative aspects or brushes them away as if they are annoyances. Daddy is never there because he is very busy, as opposed to he isn't there because they aren't a priority and he doesn't care. Mommy gets annoyed and flustered sometimes, as opposed to Mommy is sad, depressed and suffers from anxiety.

It's literary fiction, combined with a extraordinary thread of logic, mathematical theory, astronomy, physics and theorem, which flows throughout the story. I loved that aspect of the story, in fact the grandfather was my favourite character.

Laidlaw is the kind of writer you have to take time to enjoy. This isn't a quick fix or read. Every nuance of the story opens up a separate avenue to explore and examine, especially in the second half, because the reader has been given the rest of the information in the first half ergo the second is the missing variable, which allows us to solve the equation.

It explores the emotional fragility of Emma the woman, due to the trauma she endured as a child. Laidlaw examines depression, anxiety and suicide from the viewpoint of a spectator. Then as the spectator becomes the person who has to learn to cope with mental health issues. The result is a fascinating read.

Buy The Space Between Time at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Accent Press Ltd; pub date 20 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Accent Press.


#BlogTour The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean. It's a psychological thriller which also belongs in the category of literary fiction.
About the Author
Felicity McLean was born in Sydney Australia. She graduated at Sydney University with a BA in English and Australian literature and worked as a book publicist before embarking on a freelance career. Her journalism has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and the Big Issue, among others, and she has ghost-written celebrity autobiographies. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is her first novel. She lives with her English husband and two young children in Australia.

Follow @FelicityMcLean on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit felicitymclean.com
Buy The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone


About the book
'We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with.'

Tikka Molloy was eleven years old during the long hot summer of 1992, growing up in an isolated suburb in Australia surrounded by encroaching bushland. That summer, the hottest on record, was when the Van Apfel sisters – Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – mysteriously disappeared during the school's ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river.

Did they run away? Were they taken? While the search for the sisters unites the small community, the mystery of their disappearance has never been solved. Now, years later, Tikka has returned home and is beginning to make sense of that strange moment in time. The summer that shaped her. The girls that she never forgot.

Review
It has the same kind of nostalgic 'caught in time' essence of The Girls by Emma Cline. The coming of age and introspective reflection on childhood friendships like Stand by Me. This comfortable vibe of the carelessness and freedom of long gone eras, which cannot be replicated in the 21st century.

This essence surrounds the story and only opens up a narrow path, a door or lets us look behind the curtain at specific moments. These moments speak of something dark, nefarious and relentless waiting there for the right opportunity.

The story begins as it ends with Tikka's obsession with the disappearance of her childhood friend and her two sisters. Instead of focusing on the loved ones and how they have dealt with the situation, the author shows the tragedy from the perspective of a then young girl. Someone who lost her friends and subsequently has spent years wondering not only why, who and where, but also whether something she didn't do is the actual reason for their disappearance.

You can feel it, almost touch it even. A conversation or situation that bodes ill intent. A quick moment of brutal violence or the suggestion of a threat. When combined with the fact there is no solution, well it creates the perfect captivating read.

McLean uses the obsessive aspect of the missing children to plot, despite not giving the reader what they want the most. Instead she places us, the readers, in the middle and then sets flares off in a variety of locations and by multiple personas. The result is the belief the solution is in immediate grasp only to be ripped away again.

It's a psychological thriller which also belongs in the category of literary fiction. It lets readers taste the danger at certain moments and then dangles a more innocent scenario in front of them. It's what makes this book so compelling, and the fact McLean concludes the story with what we started with. It's a bold move, a realistic one, and it's a great read.

Buy The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Point Blank; pub date 6 June 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Point Blank. Buy at Waterstones.

Friday, 14 June 2019

#BlogTour What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts. It's a suspense thriller, with strong political, socio-economic and environmental issues, and a crime element to boot.
About the Author
Andrew Crofts is a ghostwriter and author who has published more than eighty books, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers. He has also guided a number of international clients successfully through the minefield of independent publishing.

His books on writing include "Ghostwriting", (A&C Black) and "The Freelance Writer's Handbook", (Piatkus), which has been reprinted eight times over twenty years.

Throughout his bestseller, "The Ghost", Robert Harris quotes Andrew's seminal book, "Ghostwriting". Harris's book went on to become a major movie by the same name, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Ewan McGregor as the eponymous ghost. The opening lines in Robert Harris's book sum up Andrew's philosophy:

"Of all the advantages ghosting offers, one of the greatest must be the opportunity that you get to meet people of interest".

Andrew was on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors from 2012 to 2015. He lectures on the subject of making a living from writing at Kingston University, presents Masterclasses on the subject at The Guardian and frequently guests at writing workshops, literary festivals and in the media. He blogs regularly on matters pertaining to publishing, self-publishing and writing.

Follow @AndrewCrofts on Twitter, on Amazon, Visit andrewcrofts.com


About the book
'It is possible that since this book's publication you will have heard that I have died in 'suspicious circumstances'. Obviously I hope that will not be the case, but I believe it is worth taking the risk in order to get this story out there.

Why would one of Silicon Valley's most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood's biggest star?

Only once he is living and working among the world's richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake.

The ghostwriter must face the dark underbelly of the tech industry. He must face corruption and manipulation, come to blows with people who will do anything to remain at the top of their game and uncover the dark truth behind what it really means to be an influencer . . .

What Lies Around Us takes the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers and reveals who is really running the world. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media?

Review
Would you sign an NDA without knowing to whom it refers, and agree to ghostwrite a book without knowing what the content is supposed to be? Is it just a matter of the price being right?

The price is it right for Andrew and perhaps more so because he is intrigued by the man doing the convincing. Who is behind the powerful billionaire? Has Andrew got himself into something he has no way to control.

What starts out as the dream job - ghostwriting a book for a famous person, someone Andrew has always admired, takes a turn towards the bizarre. Eventually he regrets signing that NDA.

Here's the thing, it's a book written by a ghostwriter called Andrew who has written a book called The Secrets of an Italian Gardener about a ghostwriter called Andrew who has written a book called The Secrets of an Italian Gardener. Are we still talking fiction here, perhaps a wee bit of fiction and a large portion of truth or small truths and lots of fiction?

I tell you what it puts a whole other layer of complexity on the read, because Crofts has intentionally spun the story in a way that leaves the reader pondering, thinking and doubting. I wonder if this element of bouncing the reader between reality, facts, opinion and fiction was supposed to leave us wondering about everything, even after putting this book down.

It's a suspense thriller, with strong political, socio-economic and environmental issues, and a crime element to boot. Crofts lulls the reader into a false sense of ease with the first part of the read, and then takes them on a whirlwind of a ride for the second half.

Side note - If the author ever needs to look into another career path then I think he would make an excellent mentalist. The low-level persuasion techniques work - buys The Secrets of an Italian Gardener.

Buy What Lies Around Us at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Red Door Publishing Ltd, pub date 13 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Injections of Insanity by Lorraine Mace


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Injections of Insanity by Lorraine Mace. It's police procedural crime fiction with a main character who mixes work and home to the detriment of those around him. It's the third in the DI Sterling series.
About the Author
When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer's ABC Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad the Inhaler -Hero in the Making, and Notes from the Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

Follow @lomace on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon, Visit lorrainemace.com  or thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com
Buy Injections of Insanity


About the book
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.
The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?


Review
This is the third book in the DI Sterling series and can absolutely be read as a standalone novel. Sterling's personal life and the changes therein do play a pivotal role in each book, but not in a way that disrupts, spoils or makes any of the books in the series confusing if not read in order.

In this book Sterling is drawn into the case of a killer who wants revenge. It's a complicated web, especially when it comes to the actual motive. The police struggle to find a connection to the deaths. The only thing they can agree on is that the killer has a pattern. They have no clue why or how the victims are connected, at least initially.

Simultaneously there is a storyline between Barbara and Sterling. Something is off and it is playing out at work,which is why Sterling is determined to get to the bottom of it. Perhaps he isn't quite ready for the repercussions of what she is dealing with, and certainly not for the other secret she is hiding. Then again maybe she isn't even aware of it herself.

I am purposely staying stumm on the killer and any other character who may lead to said killer, because it would reveal the whodunnit and the whytheydunnit. It's the kind of convoluted logic only a sick person can follow.

It's police procedural crime fiction with a main character who mixes work and home to the detriment of those around him. Mace writes her characters with plenty of real emotions. Sterling isn't just a policeman, he is a man with real problems and relationships.

Side note: The end - oh dear that little nugget of information is going to cause some interesting situations going forward.

Buy The Injections of Insanity at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Accent Press Ltd pub date 13 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Retriever of Souls (DI Sterling #1) and Children in Chains (DI Sterling #2) by Lorraine Mace.

#BlogTour Once a Liar by A. F. Brady


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Once a Liar by A.F.Brady. It's crime fiction with the vibe of a psychological thriller.
About the Author
A.F. Brady (Alex) was born and raised in New York City. She started writing as a child, loved it, but didn't pursue a writing career until writing The Blind. She is an avid reader; everything from suspense to historical biographies, take out menus and Greek mythology. She is currently working on her third novel.

Alex is a lifelong Yankee fan, a lover of Guns n Roses and Metallica, and always willing to stay up late for a good chat. She is a huge dog person, needs labels to face the same direction, and adores the sea.

She received a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Brown University and two master's degrees in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College at Columbia University. She currently owns and operates a counseling private practice where she treats individuals and couples.

Alex loves to hear from readers, and is happy to participate in book club discussions of any of her books. Feel free to reach out!

Follow Alex - @afbradynyc on Twitter, on Goodreads, on AmazonBuy Once a Liar


About the book
Peter Caine, a cutthroat Manhattan defense attorney, is extremely adept at his job. On the surface, he is charming and handsome, but inside he is cold and heartless. A sociopath practically incapable of human emotions, he has no remorse when he fights to acquit murderers, pedophiles and rapists.

When Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the Manhattan DA—and Peter’s former lover—is murdered, Peter’s world is quickly sent into a tailspin as the DA, a professional enemy of Peter’s, embarks on a witch hunt to avenge his daughter’s death, stopping at nothing to ensure Peter is found guilty of the murder.

Peter sets out to prove his innocence, and as he pieces together his defense, he finds that it’s those closest to us who are capable of the greatest harm.

Review
It might not be mentioned until later in the book, but it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt what Peter is. It is absolutely crystal why 'I don't care' is his favourite catch phrase, albeit it one he says in his head.

His ex-wife has passed away and his son has come to live with him. The son he has more or less ignored for the entirety of his life, and who is aware how badly he treated his ex-wife. It's fair to say their relationship is awkward and bordering on fractious, however Peter does have Claire there to help Jamie adjust and settle in.

The tables are turned on the successful criminal defense attorney when he is accused of murdering his bit on the side, who happens to be the daughter of his professional nemesis. Peter becomes the target du jour in his own career environment. The worst kind of nightmare.

It's crime fiction with the vibe of a psychological thriller. A close-up of a man who studies emotions to be able to replicate them, because he doesn't feel them. A man intent on success and maintaining the image of a 'regular' successful guy in every situation. No one can guess that everyone is equal to a sum of zero value as far as he is concerned.

Brady makes an interesting choice in a sense that her main character is someone completely unsympathetic and then waits to see how the reader reacts to him being drawn into a situation where any normal person capable of empathy would feel some essence of sympathy towards him. He isn't a person you want to support, in fact you may even cheer his demise. We care enough to feel sorry for him, which is a complete paradox, because he cares exactly zero percent.

It's a gripping read with the type of character you kind of love to hate.

Buy Once a Liar at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 13 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

#BlogTour The Disappeared by Amy Lord


Today it's my tun on the BlogTour The Disappeared by Amy Lord. It's dystopian fiction influenced by history and politics.
About the Author
Amy Lord is a writer, blogger and digital marketer from north-east England. She won a Northern Writer's Award in 2015 for The Disappeared and was also longlisted in the inaugural Bath Novel Award. An earlier manuscript saw her shortlisted for Route Publishing's Next Great Novelist Award. Amy is currently working on a new novel, which was developed as part of year-long mentoring scheme with Writers Block NE.

Follow @tenpennydreams on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit tenpennydreams.com
Buy The Disappeared 

About the book
What if reading the wrong book could get you arrested?
In a decaying city controlled by the First General and his army, expressing the wrong opinion can have terrible consequences. Clara Winter knows this better than anyone. When she was a child, her father was taken by the Authorisation Bureau for the crime of teaching banned books to his students. She is still haunted by his disappearance.

Now Clara teaches at the same university, determined to rebel against the regime that cost her family so much - and her weapons are the banned books her father left behind. But she has started something dangerous, something that brings her to the attention of the Authorisation Bureau and its most feared interrogator, Major Jackson. The same man who arrested Clara's father.

With her rights stripped away, in a country where democracy has been replaced by something more sinister, will she be the next one to disappear?

Review
This has shades of The Man in the High Castle and takes moments from history to define the plot. The result is a read that isn't far-fetched in a sense that it is dystopian but based on scenarios that have already taken place, so in a way it is history repeating itself.

It draws parallels to Nazi Germany for instance, and the way they got rid of everyone who didn't tow the line, aside from all the others on their target list. Also why the general population didn't speak out, help victims and try and fight the system.

Clara's entire life is defined by fear and hesitation since the night her father was taken by the regime. An oppressive regime that controls all actions, words and they even try to control thoughts. They teach their own version of the truth and in doing so have changed the narrative of history.

Her father falls victim to those in control, because he dares to break the rules. He becomes one of the many disappeared. The invisible numbers of people who fall foul of the sadistic monsters in charge of enforcing the rules. You know, the rules that are supposed to keep everyone safe.

Clara slowly learns to deal with the fear and the reader gets to experience the awakening of the inner rebel. When the people she loves fall into the hands of the brutal sadists she finally understands that it is time to stand up and be counted.

I would have liked to have seen Lord focus more on the banned books and banned words aspect of the story, because it was fascinating and hey I'm invested - I'm a bookworm.

It's dystopian fiction influenced by history and politics. The kind of oppressive regime many countries already adhere to and the western world is moving towards. The author paints a frightening picture of a world I certainly don't want to live in.

Buy The Disappeared at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Unbound Digital; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

#BlogTour The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost. It's a contemporary read and women's fiction. A story of self-discovery and learning to bold enough to take what you want.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a paperback copy of The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost (Open Internationally)

About the Author
Kate Frost writes character-driven women’s fiction and romances, alongside Time Shifters, an award-winning time travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year olds. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University where she’s also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates. She has eight books published, including her Greek and north Norfolk set series, The Butterfly Storm. The Baobab Beach Retreat is the first in what will be a series of foreign-set romances. Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, their five-year-old son (who still loves waking up before 5am), and their cute and chilled out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Follow @Kactus77 on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit kate-frost.com
Buy The Baobab Beach Retreat 


About the book
An ex-husband, two potential lovers, one reckless decision. Will Connie ever be happy in love?

When Connie Stone leaves behind a cheating husband and heartache in the UK for her aunt's beach retreat, the last thing she wants is for her life to once again be complicated by men.
Yet when her past follows her to Tanzania, her time to heal is short-lived and a selfish act shatters her hopes for a fresh start. An unexpected return to the UK reveals a long-hidden family secret that Connie has to deal with before she can decide the direction her life should take.

Getting over a broken heart was never going to be easy. Can Connie put the past to rest and find peace and love in a country far from home?


Review
Underneath the frivolity and light-hearted moments are moments and topics with real emotional depth. It's a read that ventures into real emotional depth and yet manages to maintain an essence of a more lighter read. It's an interesting balancing act.

The strength of the story is the fact the character isn't a young attractive woman stumbling into one brilliant scenario after the other. Instead Connie is in her thirties recovering from the implosion of her marriage and grieving the children she was unable to have.

It's all about discovering her inner power and being strong enough to say no to the people holding her back and embracing the ones who want to move forward with her.

The story is enhanced by the beautiful surroundings and the feeling of freedom Connie embraces when she is at the retreat. The nostalgia and sense of coming home. All of those things and a blossoming romance makes this a lovely read.

Simultaneously it is also a tale filled with grief and sadness. Connie's struggle with her miscarriages is an emotion that weaves in and out throughout the story. Never quite leaving her alone at any time and always sat there waiting to drag her back into a dark hole.

It's a contemporary read and women's fiction. A story of self-discovery and learning to be bold enough to take what you want. Also one about what it's like to be a woman when the first bloom of youth has faded and you either rise from the ashes like a phoenix willing to embrace the next stage in life or you accept the invisibility imposed upon you by others.

Buy The Baobab Beach Retreat at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Lemon Tree Press; pub date 22 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a paperback copy of The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost (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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

#BlogBlitz The Lynmouth Stories by L.V. Hay


Today I am taking part in the BlogBlitz The Lynmouth Stories by L.V. Hay. It's contemporary fiction with a noirish feel to it.

About the Author
Lucy V Hay is a script editor for film and an author of fiction and non-fiction. Publishing as LV Hay, Lucy’s debut crime novel, The Other Twin, is out now and has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspaper, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Her second crime novel, Do No Harm, is an ebook bestseller. Her next title is Never Have I Ever for Hodder Books.

Follow @LucyVHayAuthor  on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram,
Visit lucyvhayauthor.com
Buy The Lynmouth Stories

About the book
Beautiful places hide dark secrets ...

Devon's very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen:

- For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.

- A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent ... and death.

- In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy  becomes a survival situation ... But that's before the village floods.

All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for.

Did You Know ...?

Known as England's 'Little Switzerland', the Devon village of Lynmouth is famous for its Victorian cliff railway, fish n' chips and of course, RD Blackmore's Lorna Doone.

Located on the doorstep of the dramatic Valley of The Rocks and the South West Cliff Path, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth have inspired many writers, including 19th Century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who honeymooned there in 1812.
Review
This is a novella length book with three stories based around the Devon village of Lynmouth.

I particularly enjoyed the story of Catherine, Killing Me Softly. It's dark, morbid and has a noirish quality to it. Death is a friend, a foe, a voice and a constant companion. An entity who forces conversation, thoughts and actions. A constant reminder of the lull of a distant peace, silence and an end.

In Plain Sight is a tale of patience and perseverance, despite all the odds being stacked against a woman and her child .About a person who builds the trap and sits quietly until it snaps shut.

Hell and High Water is a story of karma. It's unfortunate that this kind of karma doesn't roll around more often for certain people. For Naomi and her young child it becomes the light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel.

What all three stories have in common is women. Strong women, scared women and damaged women. Living nightmares that are all too normal nowadays. Domestic violence still isn't dealt with in a satisfactory way. There too many women, children and men afraid to leave an abusive partner, because the support system is inadequate and the legal system doesn't punish the perpetrators sufficiently.

The topic of depression is dealt with quite cleverly. In an abstract kind of way, which suggests it lives within the sufferers like a constant nagging voice urging a certain narrative.

It's an intriguing set of short stories. It gives the reader an idea of Hay's writing style and where her imagination takes her. It's contemporary fiction with a noirish feel to it.

Buy The Lynmouth Stories at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Do No Harm by Lucy V. Hay. Read my review of The Other Twin by L.V. Hay.