Tuesday 28 February 2023

#Blogtour Watching the Wheels by Stephen Anthony Brotherton

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Watching the Wheels by Stephen Anthony Brotherton.

About the Author

Stephen Anthony Brotherton now lives in Shropshire but grew up in the West Midlands. A social worker for nearly thirty years, he currently works for the NHS and is a member of the Bridgnorth Writers’ Group and the Shrewsbury Writers’ Lab. His first book, Fractures, Dreams and Second Chances, was released by the Book Guild in 2021. Watching the Wheels is his first collection of short stories.

About the book

A collection of short stories – a killer created from abuse, a teenager in search of answers from his older brother who committed suicide ten years earlier, a woman trapped in a persistent vegetative state, a ghost hunter afraid of ghosts, a bullied police officer, a man in a care home wanting a great adventure, and other fractured human beings looking for answers, trying to survive. What would you do in their place?


This is novella length with a variety of short stories to tempt all kinds of readers.

The stories are gritty, sometimes crude, but designed to capture the moments in life that remain hidden or are overlooked. The short interactions, the briefest of moments that stay with us because they are poignant - they can mean the difference between one or the other taken.

Tales of guilt, questioning choices made, accepting lives lived and coming to terms with the invisibility of age. Each story will evoke a different reaction depending on the reader. I think the first one is a perfect example of that - I can imagine small joys sought will be seen as something slightly salacious.

The stories that speak directly to the vulnerability of age and the lack of support and understanding people in care homes tend to receive, especially when it comes to friends and family who suddenly act as if they can't make a connection between the person they knew and the person in front of them now.

It's a read that will give food for thought.

Buy Watching the Wheels at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher‏: ‎The Book Guild pub date 23 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com

#Blogtour The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore.

About the Author

Georgina Moore grew up in London and lives on a houseboat on the River Thames with her partner, two children and Bomber, the Border Terrier. The Garnett Girls is her first novel and is set on the Isle of Wight, where Georgina and her family have a holiday houseboat called Sturdy. You can find her as @PublicityBooks on Twitter and @georginamooreauthor on Instagram.

About the book

Love makes you do things you never thought you were capable of… 

Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard’s love affair was the stuff of legends – but, ultimately, doomed. When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen and Sasha, to run wild.

Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.

Rachel is desperate to return to London, but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home.

Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn.

And wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core…

Set on the beautiful beaches of the Isle of Wight, The Garnett Girls asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes their parents make. 


The aftermath of dysfunctional relationships, especially when it is a couple with children, is hard to quantify or reproduce because external factors will never be exactly the same. What the author captures really well is the way a fractured relationship between parents can become a tidal wave of epic proportions to any child involved.

When a couple parts ways in a less than amicable way and there are many reasons to hold feelings of anger and regret, especially when one person just leaves the family behind, the person left behind can either use the children as a sounding block for their pain or let the children grow with a healthy imagery. Sometimes there is only so much you can control though.

It's evident that Margo never really heals from the wounds caused by Richard and his treatment of her. Her turmoil, and perhaps lack of honesty about their father, creates a ricochet of emotional warfare, which leaves a lasting mark on Rachel, Imogen and Sascha. In turn it leaves a chaotic imprint on each of them and their respective lives.

It's a read that is relatable, possibly because it is easy to see a bit of ourselves in some of the scenarios and recognise the struggles or vulnerabilities. The bigger picture also means a better understanding of choices made and lives lived. It's a poignant and memorable read.

Buy The Garnett Girls via Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by HQ, Harper Collins | pub date 16th February 2023 | Hardback £14.99 | Available in Ebook & Audio. Buy via Amazon com. Buy via Harper Collins.

Thursday 23 February 2023

#Blogtour Together, Again by Milly Johnson

It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Together, Again by Milly Johnson. This is the 20th novel from the Sunday Times bestseller!

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. A Sunday Times bestseller, she is one of the Top 10 Female Fiction authors in the UK with millions of copies of her books sold across the world. In 2020, she was honoured with the Romantic Novelist' Association's Outstanding Achievement Award and was a featured author in the Reading Agency's Quick Reads and World Book Night campaigns.

A writer who champions women and highlights the importance of friendship and community, Milly's characters are celebrations of the strength of the human spirit. Together, Again is her 20th novel. Follow @millyjohnson on Twitter, More about Milly via linktr.ee/TheMillyJohnson

About the book

Born seven years apart, sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have never been close. Following the sudden death of their mother, Eleanor Vamplew, the women return to their childhood home, Fox House, to settle the will and arrange the funeral.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes templates of beautiful relationships - a far cry from the reality of her marriage. Marsha, the neglected middle child, has focused on her career after the heartbreak of her youth that she has never really gotten over. Annis, the youngest and most rebellious, left home aged sixteen and never returned - not even for the death of their beloved father Julian - until now.

It is therefore a huge surprise to all of them to discover that Eleanor recently changed her will to leave everything to Annis - the daughter she considered a wretched accident.


Jolene, Marsha and Annis are nothing more than coincidentally related by blood. Sisters on paper - not even the death of their mother has brought them closer. In fact her decision to favour one daughter above the others comes as a complete surprise to all of them, and it makes the friction between them worse.

Leaving aside potential trauma, the experiences of siblings in family structures are often very different. Society tends to allocate certain attributes to the eldest, middle and youngest for instance, and connects said attributes or traits to their placement in the structure. A few years ago I read something that gave me a variation in perspective on the differences. 

Each child gets a different set of parents, no matter in which combination you may experience them or not. The eldest gets the inexperienced often young parent/s, the middle child the more experienced older adult, and the youngest the experienced juggler of parenthood. Each of those timeframes means the parent is going through a a different stage of their own growth and life. All of this is why each child remembers the parents with often great variations in memories.

It's probably also true that siblings find it difficult to reconcile their own experiences with their siblings with the images, expectations and experiences their parents had with each one of them. Jealousy, rivalry, and a parent who pits one against the other can be mistaken for siblings who are the source of the problem. Are they though? Are Jolene, Marsha or Annis really at fault here? Is it all just a question of greed?

This is perhaps a slightly darker venture into family, love, sisterhood and relationships than usual. It's a poignant one, although to review it in detail would give away the darkness at the heart of it all. I have to say kudos for giving readers the realistic ending, as opposed to the ending that might make them feel better. Sometimes life is a series of unsatisfactory, painful events that will leave a lasting mark - the trick is letting the happier moments and the sunshine leave a bigger impression.

It's a really good read.

Buy Together, Again at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Uk, pub date 2nd March 2023 - £8.99 Paperback. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via SimonSchuster UK.

#Blogtour The Silence Project by Carole Hailey

It's a pleasure to take part on the Blogtour The Silence Project by Carole Hailey.

About the Author

Carole Hailey completed the six-month Guardian/UEA novel writing course taught by Bernardine Evaristo, who imbued Carole with such a love for writing fiction that she abandoned her career in law to undertake an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at Swansea University.

Carole was a London Library Emerging Writer 2020/21. The Silence Project is her first published novel and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award 2020 and highly commended by the judges. She lives in Wales with her husband and two rescue dogs. Follow @CaroleAHailey on Twitter

About the book

On Emilia Morris's thirteenth birthday, her mother Rachel moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word. Inspired by her vow of silence, other women join her and together they build the Community. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers around the world burn themselves to death.

In the aftermath of what comes to be known as the Event, the Community's global influence quickly grows. As a result, the whole world has an opinion about Rachel - whether they see her as a callous monster or a heroic martyr - but Emilia has never voiced hers publicly. Until now.

When she publishes her own account of her mother's life in a memoir called The Silence Project, Emilia also decides to reveal just how sinister the Community has become. In the process, she steps out of Rachel's shadow once and for all, so that her own voice may finally be heard.


Somewhere along the blurred lines of this story the reader will probably wonder whether the mother-daughter relationship or Rachel and the Community are at the core. The truth is it is always both, because Rachel is a multi-faceted character. She is both mother and voice of the people.

I have to admit I found the silence between Rachel and Emilia, and the impact it has on Emilia, very poignant. Long before the Event the mother discards the child in the name of her protest. Nothing is more important than what her silence is meant to achieve. In fact what a fascinating movement of protest - the loudest silence that is heard around the world.

Whilst reading this I experienced the same thing I did with Daisy Jones - the lines between fiction and reality became blurred, perhaps because the premise and enfolding scenarios are far too easy to imagine as fact. Also possibly because we are already living a semblance of a certain structure that resembles some of the Community goals the author alludes to. 

Power corrupts. Ideology consumes common sense. When one group decides the fate of others - in the name of the greater good, there will always be calculated casualties. Who decides the worth of life or weighs it up against the greater goal? The Community, right? The group forged on the sacrifice and strength of people like Rachel.

It's an incredibly clever and nuanced premise with many layers to unpack and dissect. I can imagine each core aspect will speak to in its own way to readers, whether it's the mother and daughter relationship, the Community or the silence itself. This is the kind of book that sows the seeds for existential conversations. It's an excellent read.

Buy The Silence Project at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Corvus pub date 9 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

#Blogtour The Jaguar Path by Anna Stephens

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Jaguar Path by Anna Stephens - Book Two of the new epic fantasy trilogy The Songs of the Drowned by the acclaimed author of Godblind.

About the Author

Anna Stephens has worked in a variety of roles over the years, the latest being in marketing and communications for an international law firm. She's currently living the dream as a full-time writer and hopes never to have to get a proper job again.

Anna loves all things speculative and horrifying from books to film to TV, and is a second Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, as well as a keen weightlifter and beginner swordfighter. Visit anna-stephens.com

About the book

The Empire of Songs reigns supreme. Across all the lands of Ixachipan, its hypnotic, magical music sounds. Those who battled against the Empire have been enslaved and dispersed, taken far from their friends and their homes.

In the Singing City, Xessa must fight for the entertainment of her captors. Lilla and thousands of warriors are trained to serve as weapons for their enemies. And Tayan is trapped at the heart of the Empire's power and magic, where the ruthless Enet's ambition is ever growing.

Each of them harbours a secret hope, waiting for a chance to strike at the Empire from within. But first they must overcome their own desires. Power can seduce as well as crush. And, in exchange for their loyalty, the Empire promises much.


Although this can be read as a standalone, in my opinion, I would highly recommend reading the first in the series to get the entire gist of the story. 

I was intrigued by the concept of the Singer's Song, the way melody and sound are used as a tool to control the masses. It's not done in a linear way either, depending on what those in control want from those susceptible to the melody it can release a multitude of reactions. Case in point the way Lilla is influenced and driven in certain directions, the emotional state driven and fuelled constantly to achieve maximum reaction.

It was interesting how the author gave this second book in the trilogy a slightly different atmospheric feel to it. This was much smaller space and environment driven, whereas book one was about reigning the characters in to the positions of servitude and under the control of others. The difference is most notable when it comes to the brutal combat scenes, especially in the pit. The reader can almost taste the emotional turmoil.

It will be fascinating to see the culmination of the series and how the author will approach the worldbuilding as the characters evolve. It's incredible complex worldbuilding underpinned by an intense battle and combat element, which delivers an absorbing read.

Buy The Jaguar Path at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Voyager: pub date 16 February 2023│HB │ EB │EA. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Harper Collins Uk.

Monday 20 February 2023

#Blogtour No More Lies by Rachel Abbott

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour No More Lies by Rachel Abbott.

About the Author

Rachel Abbott is a British author of psychological thrillers. As a self-published author, her first ten novels (and one novella) in the DCI Tom Douglas series have combined to sell over four million copies. All have been bestsellers on Amazon's Kindle store, and her books have been translated into over 20 languages. 

In 2015, Rachel was named the number one bestselling self-published author in the UK and the 14th bestselling author (both published and self-published) over the previous five years on Amazon's Kindle in the UK. 

In 2017, following a five-way auction, Rachel signed a two-book deal with Headline Publishing Group. The first book, And So It Begins, was published in 2018 and features Sergeant Stephanie King. The second book in this series, The Murder Game was released in April 2020. Books three and four in the series are to be published by Headline in late 2023 and 2024.

Rachel’s writing career began in 2009, when she decided to write a book about a woman facing a situation which gave her no option but to commit murder. In November 2011, she published the story - Only the Innocent - on Amazon. It rose to number one in the charts and remained there for four weeks.

Rachel followed up Only the Innocent with The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Kill Me Again, The Sixth Window, Come A Little Closer, The Shape of Lies, Right Behind You and Close Your Eyes. All the thrillers in this series focus on the victims and perpetrators of the crimes, and the complex relationships that exist between protagonist and antagonist. This series features Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas.

Rachel grew up near Manchester, England. She worked as a systems analyst, and then founded an interactive media company, developing software and websites for the education market. When she sold the company in 2000, she moved to Italy where she restored a 15th-century Italian monastery. For a time she and her husband operated the property as a venue for weddings and holidays. She now lives on the Channel Island of Alderney in a Victorian Fort where she spends her days writing in her office - a former gunpowder shelter. Follow @RachelAbbott on Twitter, @rachelabbottwriter on Instagram, Visit rachel-abbott.com

About the book

It would be unfair to blame the woman I met tonight for turning my life upside down. She didn’t. It was already upside down. I just didn’t know it. 

Recently life has been good for Mallory Hansen: a great job, a lovely home, and a wonderful man, Nathan, to share it with. But now she must ask herself: is it all built on lies?

A shocking accusation has been made against Nathan, and Mallory doesn’t know who to believe. He denies everything, but all the signs point to his guilt. She has learned to trust Nathan, but she also remembers the boy he used to be.

As teenagers, Mallory and Nathan were part of a close-knit group of six friends until a vicious argument drove them apart. Now, fifteen years later, they are back in touch - only to find themselves drawn into a web of mutual distrust, one by one…

The attacks on their lives are skilfully targeted, designed to hit them where they hurt the most, and when a young woman disappears and a baby is abducted, DCI Tom Douglas must try to unravel the past and discover who is the architect of their misery.


Interesting premise, one that serves as a stark reminder of how hard it is to be heard as a victim by the world when someone in a position of power uses their position to commit a crime. Simultaneously what happens when someone points makes an accusation that leaves a trail of destruction in the wake of said accusation, especially if it is a false one.

Coming at the story in a way that presents a perfect example of the minefield an accusation of assault creates is an excellent way of mirroring reality. When you throw something like that out into the universe and it is echoed back by a million voices in a variety of ways it often becomes irrelevant whether it is in fact the truth or not. 

From that day forward there will always be an element of doubt attached to the way people think about the accused, paradoxically this also applies to the victim. Because of the nature of the accusation and the way society perceives the core structure of guilt, responsibility and victimhood, the question of guilt and punishment becomes marred in rumours and suspicion.

Built around that core of the accusation - the ripple of destruction and doubt is a sledgehammer of destruction, although often one that pounds in silence. It's a great read. You just never know where the malice springs from and whether innocence is truly a recognisable feature in certain characters, and of course a little bit of DCI Tom never did anyone any harm.

Buy No More Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Black Dot, Publication date: pub date 16th February 2023.Paperback, eBook & Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday 18 February 2023

#Blogtour The Daughter-in-Law by Fanny Blake

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Daughter-in-Law by Fanny Blake.

About the Author

Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, as well as acting as ghostwriter for a number of celebrities.

She regularly reviews fiction in the Daily Mail and has been a judge for the Costa Novel Award, the British Book Awards and the Comedy Women in ~Print Award among others. She was the commissioning editor for Quick Reads, a series of short books by well-known authors. She has written ten novels, including An Italian Summer and A Summer Reunion. Follow her on Twitter @fannyblake1 and @fannyblake1 on Instagram

About the book

When Hope's only son Paul met and married Edie, Hope was delighted that he had found love and was settling down to make his own family. Hope loved being a mother and is happy to help out now and again as a grandmother but she worries about overstepping the line.

Edie thought that having children with Paul would fulfil her as much as her busy job as a barrister has. But the reality is far from her dream. And with her mother-in-law Hope constantly interfering she finds herself frustrated and alone.

Both women could be each other's greatest ally, but both have secrets that could ruin their relationship. Secrets neither wants Paul to uncover...


I enjoyed the way the author captures a life lesson of sorts - one that tends to lend itself to relationships between sons and mothers more so. It's slightly different when mothers and daughters navigate difficult boundaries of the next generation. In the constellation of a son creating a new family with another woman the priorities change.

It can be difficult for the mother who becomes the second most important woman instead of number one. Relationships can become strained when grandchildren come along, because respecting boundaries isn't always a given.

I think respecting boundaries is the most important element of the story - learning to take a step back to let your grown children make their own choices and mistakes. Respecting and supporting instead of taking over, especially when it comes to grandchildren.

The other poignant theme is motherhood versus career and the way society still thinks women have to make a choice, and if they do they are condemned for doing so. Stay at home mothers are considered lazy ( dumbest take ever ) and the career woman is considered cold, heartless and unable to fulfil their role. Those points of view meet for a duel at dawn in this book, which is an emotional battlefield of modern family life.

It's the kind of read that will make you nod and shake your head in equal measures. It hits the core of reality frequently enough to leave a lasting impression.

Buy The Daughter-in-Law at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Simon & Schuster UK, pub date 16 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Simon & Schuster Uk.

Friday 17 February 2023

#Blogtour No More Fairy Tales: Stories To Save Our Planet edited by D.A. Baden

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour No More Fairy Tales: Stories To Save Our Planet edited by D.A. Baden.

About the Author/s

Author/Editor Bio – D.A. Baden is Professor of Sustainability at the University of Southampton and has published numerous book chapters and articles in the academic realm, and a eco-themed rom-com Habitat Man. She wrote the script for a musical, performed in Southampton and London in 2016, and has written three other screenplays. 

Denise set up the series of free Green Stories writing competitions in 2018 to inspire writers to integrate green solutions into their writing (www.greenstories.org.uk). Denise has written three stories for this anthology, and co-written two others. The Pitch is adapted from her novel Habitat Man. Follow on dabaden.com and @DABadenauthor

Authors: Brian Adams, Paolo Bacigalupi, Rasha Barrage, Brian Burt, Jenni Clarke, Lyndsey Croal, Sara Foster, Howard Gaukrodger, Matthew Hanson-Kahn, Martin Hastie, Andrew Dana Hudson, Elizabeth Kurucz, Nancy Lord, Kim Stanley Robinson and Steve Willis.

About the book

A collection of inspiring, funny, dark, mysterious, tragic, romantic, dramatic, upbeat and fantastical short stories. These 24 stories are written by a variety of authors, with the aim to inspire readers with positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like and how we might get there.

The stories are diverse in style, ranging from whodunnits to sci-fi, romance to family drama, comedy to tragedy, and cover a range of solution types from high-tech to nature-based solutions, to more systemic aspects relating to our culture and political economy.


Anthologies with a theme based in realism, especially when the core topic is climate change, saving the environment and preserving the future of our planet and our species, can tip the audience one way or the other. The balance between fiction and reality or in this case speculative futuristic scenarios versus natural resources and a return to a less wasteful lifestyles, will either draw the reader or they will lose interest.

I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised by the stories, the variety of scenarios, and perhaps most importantly the viability of many of the suggestions. It's the kind of climate fiction that will resonate and inspire, and even leave the reader with an element of hope.

A way forward through the systemic learned behaviours and abuse of the planet we live on. Much more likely to rally than the concept of superglue and obstruction. Often written with the keen eye of climate specialists the stories are a fascinating view into what our world, lifestyles and strategies could be going forward - solution focused strategies.

As I was reading the book I was already thinking about who I was going to recommend this to and buy the book for. It's a bold adventure, a compelling read that wanders the border of speculative futuristic fiction, realism, energy and action we need in the right here and now.

Kudos to the author of Efficiency by the way for capturing the absolute farce and gaslighting of the consumer by the energy companies that is currently going on and for incorporating it into the story. It's a memorable and remarkable read.

Buy No More Fairy Tales at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Habitat Press, pub date 2 Nov. 2022. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Habitat Press.

Thursday 16 February 2023

#BookTrailer The Chase by Ava Glass


A treat for you today - it's the book trailer for The Chase by Ava Glass! 'James Bond for the 21st century Ava Glass’s feisty female led spy novel is fast, furious, and totally addictive - it’s the perfect gripping read for those cold wet February nights.'

About Ava Glass

Ava Glass is a former civil servient with the highest security clearance bar one.  She has seen just enough of the inner workings of espionage to ensure that she will always be fascinated by spies. This is the first novel in the Alias Emma series.

Already optioned for TV by the production company behind the smash hit The Night Manager (starring Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Coleman), and with the UK’s leading thriller writers from James Patterson to Anthony Horowitz giving it the thumbs up, The Chase by Ava Glass is set to be 2023’s most addictive read when it is released on 16th February 2023.

The Chase by Ava Glass is published by Penguin on 16th February, £9.99, available here 

About The Chase

In this breakneck, race-against-the-clock thriller, a female British spy has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London while being pursued through the streets of London by Russian intelligence. Can she make it without being spotted . . . or killed?

A freshly-minted secret agent, Emma Makepeace has barely graduated from basic training when she gets the call for her first major assignment. Eager to serve her country and prove her worth, she dives in head first.

Emma must covertly travel across the world’s most watched city to bring the reluctant adult son of Russian dissidents into protective custody, so long as the assassins from the tracking him down don’t get to him first. With London’s famous Ring of Steel hacked by the Russian government, the two must cross the city without being seen by the hundreds of thousands of CCTV cameras that document every inch of the city’s streets, alleys, and gutters.

The underground, buses, trains and cars, are completely out of the question. Traveling on foot, with no phone or bank cards, Emma and her charge have twelve hours to make it to safety. This will take all of Emma’s skills of disguise and subterfuge. But when Emma’s handler goes dark, there’s no one left to trust. Just one wrong move could get them both killed and the clock is ticking…

Pre-order The Chase via Penguin - Publisher: Penguin |16th February 2022 | £8.99| Paperback Original.

Tuesday 14 February 2023

#Blogtour A Reservoir Man by LJ Ambrosio

It's my turn on the Blogtour A Reservoir Man by LJ Ambrosio.

About the Author

Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career. 

Follow @authorlambrosio on Twitter, @ljambrosioauthor on Instagram. More about the author via linktree

About the book

A Reservoir Man, critics have hailed this explosive and timely work as “a must-read coming-of-age story of 2022.” Twists and turns further pull the reader into Michael’s action-packed tale, with powerful themes, from betrayal and family to secrets and identity. “Be sure not to blink because you just might miss a pivotal moment in Michael’s rousing, larger-than-life story.” -- R.C. Gibson, Indiestoday.com. “This book is a dream, a gamble, a utopia, even.” -- Kalyan Panja, Bookmarkks.

Buy A Reservoir Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Film Valor; pub date 6 July 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

Friday 10 February 2023

#Blogtour Black Foam by Haji Jabir

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Black Foam by Haji Jabir - translated by Sawad Hussain and Marica Lynx Qualey.

About the Author

Haji Jabir is an Eritrean novelist who was born in the city of Massawa on the Red Sea Coast in 1976. He currently lives in Doha, Qatar, where he works as an Al Jazeera journalist. Jabir’s creative aim is to shed light on Eritrea’s past and present and to extricate his homeland from its cultural isolation. He is one of the most important Arabic-language authors of his time. 

He has published four novels: Samrawit (2012), winner of the Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity in 2012, Fatma’s Harbour (2013), The Game of the Spindle (2015), which was longlisted for the 2016 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and Black Foam (2018). Follow @7aji on Twitter

About the Translators

Marcia Lynx Qualey is the founding editor of ArabLit, an online magazine and resource that won the 2017 "Literary Translation Initiative" award at the London Book Fair. She writes, edits, and translates for a variety of newspapers and magazines, teaches writing in Morocco, and also works with a number of Arabic literature projects, including Kitab Sawti and the Library of Arabic Literature.

Sawad Hussain is a translator from the Arabic whose work has been recognized by English PEN, the Anglo-Omani Society, and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, among others. She is a judge for the Palestine Book Awards. Her recent translations include Passage to the Plaza by Sahar Khalifeh and A Bed for the King's Daughter by Shahla Ujayli. She has run workshops introducing translation to students and adults under the auspices of Shadow Heroes, the British Library, the Yiddish Book Center, the National Centre for Writing, Africa Writes, and the Shubbak Festival. She is the 2022 translator in residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation. 

About the book

From award-winning Eritrean author Haji Jabir comes a profoundly intimate novel about one man’s tireless attempt to find his place in the world.

A chameleon, Dawoud―or David, Adal, or Dawit, depending on where and when you meet him―is not lost in this whirl of identities. In fact, he is defined by it. Black Foam follows a group of Ethiopian Jews, the “Falash Mura”, who driven by poverty and desperation, emigrate to Israel in search of a better life. Amongst the group is “Dawoud”. 

Dawoud is on the run from his murky past, aiming to discover where he belongs. He tries to assimilate into different groups along his journey through North Africa and Israel, changing his clothes, his religious affiliations, and even his name to fit in, but the safety and peace he seeks remain elusive. It seems prejudice is everywhere, holding him back, when all he really wants is to create a simple life he can call his own. Dawoud’s journey is circuitous and specific, but the desire to belong is universal. 

Spellbinding to the final page, Black Foam is both intimate and grand in scale, much like the experiences of the millions of people migrating to find peace and safety in the twenty-first century.


A journey to belong, to be part of community, to be accepted by a new home and country. Sounds so simple, and yet it is at the core of this story. The essence of a man, woman, child - human being - to try and resettle your roots after they have been ripped out.

I think it's hard, perhaps even impossible, for people who have been rooted solidly to one place or country their entire life, to fathom what it might be like to be torn from such security. Having to assimilate and integrate into new cultures, whilst being confronted daily by systemic racism and the negative preconceptions of other people.

Dawoud becomes something of a ever evolving chameleon when it comes to moving from place to place. He becomes the person he needs to be in order to be safe, to be accepted and in a way to remain nearly invisible. There is always the constant threat sitting on his shoulder and of course the hard truth is that staying low and inconspicuous won't necessarily from becoming a target.

Reality speaks to truth in the last few chapters. No matter what you do there are some things that will always make refugees the target of those who are unable to deal with diversity, are unable to comprehend the destruction of home countries and the normal wish to keep families and self safe. The wish and a basic human right.

It's a poignant read - an unforgettable one. A complex web of politics, religion, identity and the many facets of racism and bigotry.

Buy Black Foam at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Amazon Crossing, pub date 7th February 2023 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 9 February 2023

#Blogtour Seahaven by Ruth Enright

 It's my turn on the Blogtour Seahaven by Ruth Enright.

About the Author

Ruth Enright is from Halifax, West Yorkshire.  She enjoys holidays in Whitby, Scarborough and the surrounding area; with  Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby being the inspiration for her debut novel ‘Seahaven.’  Her second book, ‘Button Box’ is for children and young adults. A young girl finds herself living in two worlds – the modern day and a dangerous Victorian past in 1850s London.

Ruth studied English Language and Literature at Reading University and has always had the ambition to write herself. She lives in Manchester with her family and works for local government, where she has held a number of posts. She  is now an Information Governance Officer. Ruth came to Manchester as a graduate trainee in Librarianship with Manchester Polytechnic before changing career paths and training for a certificate in teaching lipreading to adults with acquired deafness in Adult Education. Ruth then had her daughter and later became a local government officer.

Ruth has always kept on writing and started a blog a few years ago for her poems, stories and other items.  Encouraged by readers, she has recently succeeded in having five short stories published by ‘Yours Fiction’ special short story quarterly magazine.

Ruth loves to read and enjoys writing in both historic and modern settings, experimenting with different genres. Ideas for her writing come from many sources, for instance the name of Robin’s uncle Jorfant in ‘Seahaven’ came from researching her partner’s family tree!

Ruth lives with her partner Jack, and a cat called Margot. Ruth is delighted to be a published author and is looking forward very much to writing more novels. Follow Ruth Enright on Twitter, Visit r-enright58.co.uk

About the book
England, 1700’s. Seahaven is a lawless fishing village on the wild East Coast of Yorkshire. When a sailing ship is wrecked, three young people from very different backgrounds are caught up in a race against time. 
Solomon must escape his bondage as an American slave and his two friends, Robin and Sophie, are desperate to help him. However, this is a time of smuggling, slavery, robbery and betrayal. The whole community, whether rich or poor, is involved in outlawed activity. 

Robin’s strange and feared Uncle Jorfant leads the underground smuggling ring. Soldiers, the militia and excise men are always on patrol and the Press Gang is a constant fear to the men of the village. It is a volatile, complex world, one in which past and present collide mysteriously.
Solomon, Robin and Sophie all have their own personal reasons for wishing to escape. 

During their adventures, both alone and together, they meet many people along the way; some become allies, others a threat, and the three friends also face new dangers. Hampered by their circumstances and those with power, who control and surround them, escape is never a certainty.

Will Solomon find freedom at last and what will become of Robin and Sophie? An exciting and gripping adventure, portraying the harsh realities of life from a very different era! 


When you sit along the Yorkshire coast and enjoy the beauty and the peace, it's easy to forget some of the shenanigans that went on in the majority of coastal areas. Of course it's also important to note that a lot of them were linked to criminal activities and often the misery of other people. A lot of history there.

Robin and his friends, including the newly found one, want to a life beyond the close and strict boundaries of the life they are used to. It makes them seek adventure in places they perhaps shouldn't - like snooping around Jorfan and his secret business.

Jorfan sometimes appears, okay a lot, to be cruel and lacks empathy for those around him. Never more evident than when he is able to just walk past those fighting for their lives. It's important to remember that later on in the story, especially when it comes to Robin.
Although the story certainly has a certain feeling of hope and reaching for better times and a parcel of joy, it doesn't shy away from the truth and the hardships.

It's an adventure, a story of coming-of-age and of friendships, and equally one about family and loyalty. About accepting the fact the reality of life is a disappointment, that people and their lack of ability to accept others will always be a constant. Yeh, the lightness gets deep at times, but the story also maintains an element of the reader being along for the ride in the lives of the characters.

Buy Seahaven at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Blossom Spring Publishing; pub date 28 Sept. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

It's my turn on the Blogtour Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao. The first in the Song of the Last Kingdom

About the Author

Amélie (yes, like the movie!) has adored putting pen to paper since she was in kindergarten. Born in Paris and raised in a multicultural community in Beijing, Amélie has a bone-deep love for traveling and immersing herself in new worlds and cultures. She lives in New York City, working as a full-time financial professional by day, and writer at night.

She hopes to empower young readers with messages of acceptance, strength, and courage through her works, and to continue to push the boundaries of young adult literature by exploring new, cross-cultural themes. Follow @ameliewenzhao on Twitter, Visit ameliezhao.com 

About the book

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.

No one can see the mysterious mark, an untranslatable Hin character, except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life. Zen is a practitioner – one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumoured to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world


This is the first book in the Song of the Last Kingdom series and it's a humdinger of a read. Nuanced, intricate and if read with enough context that has seeped into the fabric of the story and the characters it becomes an extravaganza.

The theme of colonisation is ingrained in this story of magic and demons. The way cultures, societies and people lose their entire identity when they are consumed whole by oppressors. Lan knows what it's like to hide in plain sight, whilst the power of the oppressors squeezes the life and soul out of everyone and everything that doesn't conform. It's poignant, beautifully plotted and written.

Personally I don't think Lan needs a romance to be character she was intended to be. Lan can grow, evolve and lead without the necessity of what some may consider a core must when the majority of readers will lean towards YA. Deliver Lan as the strong character they are and will continue to be going forward with a bit of Zen on the side. Taking this a slight step away from the constraints of YA and deeper into higher fantasy will probably take this series and the author up a notch.

I do think it's important to step away from fantasy aspect for a second, then re-enter the worldbuilding of this story from a historical and mythological angle, and envelop yourself with the fantasy weaving the elements together. It's a way to give the complex worldbuilding the justice it deserves - aside from that the author is cracking writer. I loved it and can't wait for the next in the series.

Buy Song of Silver, Flame Like Night at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Voyager: pub date 2 February 2023│HB│EB│EA. Buy at Amazon com. Buy via Harper Collins.

Tuesday 7 February 2023

#Blogtour The Fires by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir

 It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Fires by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir.

About the Author

Icelandic author Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir studied history in Reykjavík and Salamanca and journalism at Columbia University in New York and previously worked in Copenhagen before moving back to Reykjavík, where she lives with her husband, children, and stepchildren. Her bestselling debut, Island (2016), was nominated for the Icelandic Women’s Literature Prize in 2017. Her highly anticipated third novel, The Fires, is a bestseller and viral hit in Iceland. 

Larissa Kyzer is a writer and translator of Icelandic literature. She holds an MA in literary translation from the University of Iceland as well as an MS in library and information science and a BA in comparative literature. Her translation of Kristín Eiríksdóttir’s A Fist or a Heart (Amazon Crossing) was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s 2019 translation prize. The same year, she was one of Princeton University’s translators in residence.

About the book

Anna Arnardóttir has fire in her blood. - A second-generation volcanologist, she’s Iceland’s leading expert on the fire-breathing giants that could, without warning, reduce a country to ash. 

Her work regularly puts her in harm’s way, but Anna never takes unnecessary risks, living an orderly, suburban life with her tax-lawyer husband and children. Then a series of earthquakes rocks Reykjavík, and Anna’s stable life is suddenly on shaky ground when she falls for Tómas Adler, a bohemian photographer. 

As Anna tumbles into a passionate affair, the earthquakes take a violent turn. Small volcanic eruptions herald disaster to come, but will she trust what she knows in her heart is about to happen? Or listen to her head and risk the safety of the entire nation? Having so much of her world and what she knows about herself upended, can she trust her instincts? 

The Fires is a lyrical, heart-stopping tale of survival and self-discovery about one woman’s reckoning with all she holds sacred―though it will take every fibre of her being.


Not gonna lie - the science had me gripped. The entire story managed to be a learning experience and a cracking read at the same time. It was absolutely fascinating. I also really enjoyed the way the earth, the natural catastrophe, the living world around us, became something akin to an analogy for Anna and her actions. Specifically the way her emotions, wants and needs steer her into a dangerous direction.

As the area around her begins to erupt, move and catch fire, she becomes immersed in something equally as heady and destructive. Risk, risk more - she is the volcano.

I really want to talk about the last chapter - I can't without revealing too much. Let me just say that it brings the beauty, the pain and the lyrical prose full circle and ends with the woven nature of of coexistence between humans and the earth they walk upon. Beauty and cruelty, strength and weakness, the joy and the incredible loss.

There are so many nuances to this story that it is hard to do it justice. It isn't just about a woman and her connection to land she lives on and with, or one about her allowing herself to grow and take a trip of self-discovery. It takes her surroundings and relationships then deconstructs every aspect of them to then rebuild. All of it is enhanced by the very specific style of writing - a constant flow of dialogue, thoughts and events without making a differentiation between any of them.

Kudos to the translator too for doing this story justice in a non-original language. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this and can't wait to read more by this particular author. Loved it.

Buy The Fires at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Amazon Crossing pub date 1 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 6 February 2023

#BlogTour Death And The Conjuror by Tom Mead

It's my turn on the Blogtour Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead.

About the Author

Tom Mead is a UK crime fiction author specialising in locked-room mysteries. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Organization. His debut novel is Death and the Conjuror, featuring magician-detective Joseph Spector.

Tom's acclaimed short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and Lighthouse among others. Several of his pieces have also been anthologized, including 'Heatwave' in The Best Crime Stories of the Year 2021 (ed. Lee Child). He lives in Derbyshire. Follow @TomMeadAuthor on Twitter, Visit tommeadauthor.com

About the book

An enthralling locked-room murder mystery inspired by crime fiction of the Golden Age, Death and the Conjuror is the debut novel by acclaimed short-story writer Tom Mead.

1936, London. A celebrity psychiatrist is discovered dead in his locked study. There seems to be no way a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, Inspector Flint, the Scotland Yard detective on the case, calls on retired stage magician turned part-time sleuth Joseph Spector.

Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colourful cast of suspects, they uncovered no shortage of dark secrets - or motives for murder. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realise the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon.


This is the first in the series about Joseph Spector, the magician of indeterminable age - legend has it (Joseph suggests) that it may be many years. It sort of gives him an air of mystery and perhaps even a shimmer of darkness.

Is that what others can feel instinctively, especially the people who are up to no good. A bit of projection going on there methinks. Either way the aura that the old magician surrounds himself with, either consciously or subconsciously, plays a major role in the way the characters interact and the story unfolds.

The story about a famous psychiatrist and how he meets his death by third party in a locked room. No murderer, no weapon, just a very confusing mystery in need of an expert in the guise of a magician. Who better to see beyond the veil of the most intricate deception?

What's not to like about a locked room scenario? When the readers has to to backtrack and remember all the clues to figure out the who and whydunnit. Spector is a main character who promises to deliver more from his past, his skills and of course the illusions and magic. Kudos for the epilogue - just the right way and right words to end the story. 

Buy Death and the Conjuror at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Head of Zeus -- an Aries Book, pub date 2 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

Sunday 5 February 2023

#BlogTour A Stolen Memory by David Beckler

Antonia Conti returns in the explosive sequel to A Long Shadow! Don't miss A Stolen Memory by David Beckler.

About the Author

Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, David Beckler spent his first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where his love of reading developed. After dropping out of university he became a firefighter and served nineteen years before leaving to start his own business. David began writing in 2010 and uses his work experiences to add realism to his fiction. 

The first in his Antonia Conti series, A Long Shadow, was inspired by David’s concerns about the growing role corruption and privatisation play in public life, and was published in October 2022. David lives in Manchester, his adopted home since 1984. Follow @DavidBeckler1 on Twitter, Visit davidbeckler.com

About the book

London, the near future. GRM, a shadowy company running private prisons, has introduced a programme to alter prisoners’ memories, removing those that led to their criminal behaviour. When journalist Antonia Conti hears rumours that the technology has deadly side effects, she decides to investigate.

Antonia has looked into GRM’s corrupt dealings with the government before – and she knows they are merciless. It’s not long before she finds herself narrowly escaping a horrific car accident that leaves a whistle blower dead. 

She enlists her old friend DI Russell Chapman to check out the supposed ‘accident,’ and discovers that he’s already investigating three other deaths that appear suspiciously linked to her own investigations.

But the deeper Antonia probes, the more her friends and colleagues are at risk. Whatever sinister experiments GRM are conducting, they are determined to keep them secret – by any means necessary. Can Antonia and Chapman thwart them before anyone else loses their mind – or their life? 


Looking for solutions when it comes to criminal behaviour, seems like such an obvious thing to back and support. The current methods or justice system doesn't appear to be working - time for new solutions, right. The idea sounds very dystopian and a way to address quite a few deviant and violent behaviours. Erase the memories, reduce triggers that cause the behaviours - it all seems so simple.

Yeh, aside from the fact nothing is ever that easy I'm sure it would be a very profitable venture for any company. The real problem is that if you can manipulate people that easily, and their behaviour, then someone is going to use the technology for nefarious purposes. Enter this premise stage left.

This is the sequel to A Long Shadow, and I think it is fair to say both Conti and the author are just getting started. Corruption, greed and power is a very deep and endless source of material. The question is how Antonia is going to keep herself from being swallowed up by the pit.

The author gives us the kind of premise that can become a bit of a moral dilemma, in the sense that a lot of people could be persuaded to ignore the clear negative aspects of this idea and the collateral damage, because of the profit margin and many ways this can used to control, but also because the conscience of the do-gooders in society will be easily swayed by an easy-fix. A little bit like when everyone thought a lobotomy was an insta-fix for every and any illness.

This main character is getting a bit of a reputation for being fearless and relentless. Can't wait to see where this series goes next.

Buy A Stolen Memory at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher Thomas & Mercer, pub date 19th January 2023 | £8.99 | Paperback Original. Buy at Amazon com.