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Archive for March, 2018

Today I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Jon Richter’s dark thriller Never Rest, and share my review of this exciting read as well as have Jon join me to take part in the author feature for Celebrating Indie Publishing!

Never Rest was published by Bloodhound Books on 30 March 2018 and is available to buy now.


Book Feature:

Description:

Jon Richter - Never Rest_cover_high res

Chris Sigurdsson has left the police force to start his own detective agency in London. He and his assistant, Priya, have built a strong reputation, and their casebook for the coming months is full. But Sigurdsson’s mind drifts back to his time as a Detective Inspector, and to the surreal week he spent investigating a case on Salvation Island. 
When the estranged wife of David Lithgow, a writer who had been working on the island, approaches him to help locate her missing spouse, he cannot resist the allure of that sinister, mist-shrouded place…
The case leads him back to Salvation Island and into a treacherous labyrinth of deceit. 
Is there a link between the mysterious proprietor of a travelling freak show and the malevolent spectre of a vicious serial murderer who butchered six young women on the island? 
Has the killer continued his murderous spree from beyond the grave, or is there a copycat on the loose? 
To solve this case, Sigurdsson will need to enter the mind of a sadistic serial killer and unravel the island’s darkest secrets. And if he wants to survive, he must confront his deepest fears.
My Thoughts & Review:
Jon Richter is a new author for me, and I have to say that it was probably a good thing going into this book that I had no preconceived notions of what may lie ahead for me.  What I did find was a wonderfully dark thriller that had my mind working overdrive trying to guess ahead to solve the mystery that Sigurdsson was working on.
The disappearance of writer David Lithgow is the catalyst for Sigurdsson’s return to Salvation Island, a place that holds terrible memories and is the cause of his deepest fears.  The island itself is one shrouded in mystery, the history of it seems to be varied, links to testing during times of war, being the base of a warped serial killer….not somewhere you would automatically think to holiday and yet many people did.
Whilst researching the sadistic killings that took place on the island, David Lithgow disappeared.  His wife, frantic with worry contacts Sigurdsson and sets in motion a chain of events that will shock and wow readers.
The plotting of this makes for a thrilling and quick read, the way that Richter builds tension is fantastic.  I found that I was hooked and wanted to keep reading, this is definitely one of those books that falls into the “just one more chapter”, and before you know it, it’s 3 am…..There are so many threads to the plot that I cannot begin to start unravelling them, especially not without giving anything away.  There were things that I would never have imagined, things that caught me off guard entirely, I do love it when an author catches me unawares and thinks outside the box to make their novel stand out.
Sigurdsson is a character that I found myself becoming invested in.  What was driving him, what was it that he saw on his previous visit to Salvation Island that haunts him so badly?  Will he make the connections between events and the clues before it’s too late?  Will he lose his mind entirely and let Salvation Island get the better of him?
The relationship between him and his assistant Priya adds a much needed lighthearted humour to the darkness of the plot, the dialogue between the two feels natural and enjoyable.  The link between Sigurdsson and his ex police colleagues is one that’s a little murky, what occurred between them before he left the force?  It all makes for an interesting and thought provoking read.

Author Feature:

Jon+Richter

Jon Richter lives in London and spends most of his time hiding in the guise of his sinister alter ego, an accountant called Dave.  When he isn’t counting beans, he is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a good story.  Jon writes whenever he can and hopes to bring you more dark tales in the very near future.  If you want to chat to him about this, or about anything at all, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites; he’d also love it if you would check out his website at www.jon-richter.com

 

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

I still think of myself as something of a newbie writer after my first book was released last year, so I’m learning all the time. One of the most pleasant surprises has been how unbelievably supportive your fellow authors can be, not just those signed to your publisher but also people you encounter at events, on social media, etc – they’re a priceless source of advice and knowledge for a ‘noob’ like me!

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

When you have a full-time job and are trying to write ‘on the side’ whenever you can, it does put a lot of pressure on your free time. I’m writing this on a Saturday afternoon after a busy day getting some chores done, and now instead of looking forward to a relaxing evening I am instead stressing about the writing I ‘ought to be doing’… I think the secret is to only write when you’re in the mood, and not beat yourself up if you just don’t fancy it one day.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

That’s a great question! I’d like to write something dark (obviously) and truly iconic… perhaps one of the great original monsters, like Dracula or Frankenstein. The idea of coming up with a character/creature that endures for decades, providing entertainment and terror for generation after generation of readers, is a compelling one!

How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I love a good (dark) story, so I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, and playing video games – basically any vehicle for delivering something powerful/unsettling (as you can tell, I don’t really do romance or comedy!) I also go running a lot to try to fend off my horrendous diet… as I write I’m preparing for the London 10k Winter Run tomorrow, so that means a huge vat of pasta for tea!

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

If I can, I like to block out an entire day, start writing in the morning and just keep going until I ‘run out of steam’ late in the evening. I don’t use pen/paper (I have absolutely no idea how anyone can do this – my work would deteriorate into an unreadable morass of crossings-outland edits within minutes!!) so it’s just me and the laptop, and I definitely need suitable background music: ideally something ambient and ominous, like Aphex Twin.

What’s on the horizon?  What can your fans look forward to next?

After the release of my latest book, I’m hoping to write something a little different before the end of the year, with a bit more of a sci-fi angle… and of course, I’m always working on short stories, and hope to publish a second volume of my Disturbing Works at some point in the near future (those are my most esoteric creations, so if you’re a fan of sinister tales with a shocking twist, be sure to check out the first collection!)

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?  

If you like reading great stories but you don’t play video games, you are missing out on some unforgettable experiences!!

Go and immediately buy a PS4 and check out What Remains Of Edith Finch, Firewatch, or Gone Home… all are incredibly easy to play and are focused on delivering a fascinating narrative, whose impact is greatly elevated by the interactivity of the video game format. Then tweet me @RichterWrites for some more recommendations!! In all seriousness, I would love to see video games get the mainstream recognition they deserve: it isn’t all mindless shooters, gratuitous violence and FIFA.

 

A huge thank you to Jon Richter for joining me today and giving such brilliant answers that tell us so much about himself!  Have to admit, I’ve never been one for video games but I may have to give them a go, I’m quite intrigued about the storytelling aspect of them!  You can find out more about Jon and his books on the links above and can buy a copy of his book via Amazon UK now!

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** My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

It’s 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he’ll never forgive her.

When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection. Her cold, distant son seems transformed by love – a love she’s craved his entire adult life. What does his new wife have that she doesn’t? And how far will she go to find out? It’s an obsession that will bring shocking truths about the past to light . . .

Bitter is a beautiful and devastating novel about the decisions that define our lives, the fragility of love and the bond between mother and son.

My Thoughts & Review:

Do you ever read a book and feel profoundly moved by the story, the writing and the characters?  This is a book that does just that.

In Bitter, the reader is privy to the mind of Gilda, an obsessive woman who is determined to interject herself into the life of her son and his new bride.  She is a troubled woman who seeks the love of her son, the same son she walked out on when he was a child, who now as an adult barely has any connection with her.
Such a complex character that we get to watch as she navigates life as a young girl in Germany before being shipped off to boarding school in England.  While Gilda’s memories of these times give an insight into the woman she became, their impact giving shape to the qualities she possesses in later life, readers will also experience the relationship between Gilda and her parents.  The lack of maternal guidance or emotional attachment is startling to witness, and I think goes some of the way towards explaining the holes that appear in Gilda’s knowledge of married life and parenting.  However, that’s not to say that this is merely a case of nature versus nurture, there are so many things that make a person.

Throughout the narration, readers cannot help but feel some sympathy towards Gilda, there are events outwith her control that throw her into turmoil.  There are also decisions that she makes that we cannot fully comprehend or justify but somehow we go along with it, waiting to see what will come of them.  Her desperation to reconnect with her son Reuben is heartbreaking.  She wants to atone for her mistakes, she realises that the things she did in the past have caused a wedge between them and in her mind, the best way to build bridges is to place herself in the middle of Reuben’s life.  Her methods are unorthodox, following her new daughter in law around is perhaps not the best of ideas, bordering on sinister when you realise that she’s casually bumping into Alice after walking past the hair salon several times whilst Alice attends an appointment etc.

The style of writing makes this book a captivating and quick read, I found that I was driven to keep reading to see where this would lead.  I desperately wanted to find out what would happen to Gilda, Reuben and Alice.  I wanted to continue to following Gilda’s revelations and see how her mind shaped around the memories she held once she stopped relying on manipulations.
The sense of setting in this is astounding, attention to detail brings the story alive, I felt like I could see the fashions and the hairstyles mentioned in the book, could feel the horrible, paralysing fear that Gilda experienced, this was a completely immersive read, one that when I picked it up, time merely stopped around me.

I don’t always comment on the cover of books, but in this instance I cannot let this over pass me by without saying how incredibly beautiful it is.  It suggests danger, it oozes class and grabs the eye, making you want to reach out and touch it.  The textured look to the over makes me want to stroke it, feel the ridges that look so touchable.

This is without a doubt a wonderfully powerful read, one that gets the reader thinking and asking questions of themselves as well as of the characters.  The emotional pull of the story is one that will resonate with many people, at it’s heart, this is a story about relationships and their impacts.  It is an exceptional exploration of maternal relationships and the damage that can occur.

Very highly recommended!

You can buy a copy of Bitter via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

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Today on The Quiet Knitter I am so pleased to share a review of a book from Urbane Publications.  Today the book in the spotlight is Spanish Crossings by John Simmons.


Book Feature:

Description:51n2b-r5ejl

Spanish Crossings is an epic tale of love, politics and conflict, with the yearning but elusive possibility of redemption. A woman’s life has been cast in shadow by her connection to the Spanish Civil War. We meet Lorna in Spain, 1937 as she falls in love with Harry, a member of the International Brigade who had been at Guernica when it was bombed. Harry is then killed in the fighting and Lorna fears she might have lost her best chance of happiness. Can she fill the void created by Harry’s death by helping the child refugees of the conflict? She finds a particular connection to one boy, Pepe, and as he grows up below the radar of the authorities in England their lives become increasingly intertwined. But can Lorna rely on Pepe as he remains deeply pulled towards the homeland and family that have been placed beyond his reach? Coming through the war, then the post-war rebuilding, Lorna and Pepe’s relationship will be tested by their tragic and emotive history.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Spanish Crossings is the first book I’ve read by John Simmons and I can safely say that it won’t be the last.  Simmons has a natural gift when it comes to storytelling which makes his books a real treat to read.  The detail in this is wonderful, it’s clear that so much research has gone into the writing of this book, the story that has been written around the events of the Spanish Civil War is truly remarkable and deserves to be appreciated.

The death of Harry leaves Lorna devastated, their lives together cruelly cut short when he is killed fighting in Spain.  Although they had just met, Lorna feels bereft, he was her first love, albeit a brief one.
Life takes on a new meaning for Lorna when she ‘adopts’ a Spanish child evacuated to the safety of England from his homeland.  She finds hope in her friendship with Pepe, a focus for her grief.   However, Pepe misses home, and his love of Spain does not diminish with either the passing of time or the distance between him and his beloved homeland.

There is so much more to this book that just the plot, which I am loathe to say too much about.  There are subtleties in the writing that make the story to poignant and moving, the descriptive quality of the writing is spellbinding.  I could feel the tension and fear, I could smell the smokey aftermath of the doodlebug attack in London, the way that this was so detailed just elevated this to another level.  The characters are engaging and vividly interesting, and will stay with you after you’ve finished reading.  I admit to having little knowledge of the Spanish Civil war prior to reading this book, but felt compelled to read up on it and find out more after reading this book.

Historical fiction that stands out from the crowd!

You can buy a copy of Spanish Crossings via:

Amazon UK

 

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the Stranger HB jacket

** My thanks to Jenny at Penguin Random House for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Cornwall, 1940.

In the hushed hours of the night a woman is taken by the sea.

Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?

My Thoughts & Review:

The Cornwall setting of this novel really pours out from the pages as you read it, you can almost smell the sea air and feel the heat of the sun, the way that the author manages to perfectly capture these and put them so vividly on paper makes for wonderfully immersive reading.

This is a character rich tale that showcases the best or worst of people.  Each of the leading women in this book has their own troubles and a past that plays a very important role in their present.
Narration switches between the perspectives of the leading characters, broken up with diary entries dating from 20 July 1940 which count down incrementally to the disappearance of Diana.
Being able to experience the story through the perspectives of the three leading women gives readers a wonderful glimpse into the mindsets of each, seeing their lives unfolding and their feelings towards each other and the war.  The way that Kate Riordan writes these women means that we also discover them through their own thoughts which is more powerful.

Secrets and lies play a huge part in the plot of this novel and the way that they are masterfully woven together makes this an addictive read.  There is a real sense of unease that swirls around the story, and readers cannot help but be drawn in as the characters hint at their respective secrets.

This is a thought provoking read that transports readers to the rugged setting that develops slowly and captivatingly.

 

The Stranger blog tour

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The Belch Park Field Trip (Kindle Cover)

 

Description:

IT’S A JUNGLE IN THERE!

Henry Williams has never been a leader.
Or stood up to the bullies.
Or kissed the girl of his dreams.

In fact, he’s never stood out from the school crowd.

Mind you, he’s only twelve years-old.
And a foot shorter than his classmates.

All that will change today, though.

The school inspectors are visiting Chrome Junction Academy.
The principal needs to get rid of the cream of the cr@p!
He would have preferred to send them to another galaxy far, far away…

Instead, the obnoxious, high-on-energy-drinks brats are off to…

BELCH PARK!

Roller coasters! Mega-drop towers! Ghost trains! Ferris wheels! Bumper cars!

No end of opportunities for fun, thrills and spills!
The perfect place to run rampant and enjoy themselves…

But wait!

South London’s notorious Our Lady of Sacrifice Roman Catholic school is also there.
They’re Chrome Junction Academy’s natural enemy.
Oh bugger…

NOW IT’S WAR!

Limbs will break…
Dares will result in irreparable damage…
The innocent will be caught in the crossfire…
Even the park may not survive

Henry’s destiny awaits…

Chrome Junction Academy’s underdog must step up… and grow a pair.

He’ll have to ensure the safety of his friends.
Fend off the bigger, badder kids.
…and get them out of Belch Park in one piece!

 

You can buy your copy of The Belch Park Field Trip via:

Amazon UK
Amazon.com

 

What makes your books stand out from others in this genre?

 

I’m a firm believer in standing out from the crowd.

Not just with my books, but in general.

It must have been to do with my child hood. Growing up in the eighties in London, I think it was expected that us kids would grow up to be bankers or accountants or work the cash register in a store somewhere.

I’m afraid they lost me at the phrase “grow up”.

Was I a normal kid? Nah. I was sick in the head from a very early age. It was mainly due to movies. I was a very impressionable youngster, the eldest of three boys.

I became a bully very early on.

I grew up on razor-sharp British comedy.

Soon, I discovered that I was different to all the other kids. I meant it when I said I was going to tell stories and make people laugh, cry, vomit and think.

To the best of my knowledge, all the thousands of peers I had during school, college and university never actually did something that would thrust them into the spotlight.

Here I am, now, at the age of 39. I’ve written twenty feature length screenplays, made three documentaries (available on DVD and Blu ray) and am now a best-selling author.

So, onto the question. What makes my books stand out from others in the genres?

The answer is simple – me.

I write books for me, first and foremost. If I’ve made myself laugh or think and am satisfied, then the chances are that others will, too. And I am notoriously hard to please – especially when it comes to satire.

The cover for The Belch Park Field Trip is one of my favourites. A roller coaster full of kids puking and flying off the train. Hahahaaaaaa.

Show me another cover like that.

Fundamentally, with this being my fifteenth book, I do believe I have found my voice. I am extremely conscientious of the reader. I want my books to be fun to read. Us authors are really competing with one another. We’re competing with movie theatres and Netflix and binge-watching TV shows and videogames.

We’re vying for people’s attention in a vastly oversaturated market place for entertainment.

I don’t think many people read books any longer, sadly. So a book had better be a pant-load of fun if it’s going to work.

I get a lot of comments saying that my books read like movies. This is both unsurprising and completely intentional.

I don’t read lots of books – I never have – and I get bored easily. If someone spends twenty-six pages describing the colour of a mattress in a bedroom of a haunted house, I switch off.

Worse still, I literally switch off the Kindle and never return.

I am forensic in my desire to tell a story through action and character, rather than with prose.

I’ll drop the reader into the middle of an “unputdownable” story within the first sentence, and hook them. I always promise a wild ride, and I don’t usually disappoint – as far as I can see.

I can’t argue that I’m perfect at the craft, of course. I have no desire to emulate the award-winning, legendary books of Isaac Asimov, George Orwell or John Steinbeck.

Then again, they were traditionally published and competition was scarce.

Anyone can write a book, now. The competition is tough out there.

As long as I produce work that has emotionally-engaging characters and a thrilling story, then I’ll be okay. The industry has a way of separating the great writers from the not-so-great. People will pay for a good story – and those who turn out tripe will sink, quite rightly, without a trace.

If you’ve read my work, you’ll see an air of ambivalence and “Oh, to hell with it” kind of a vibe. I don’t want to write anything boring more than anyone wants to read it.

My process is vicious. All the fat is trimmed. I write it like a movie. I like to think my pages get your mind’s eye working overtime, allowing your own imagination and interpretation of the words to soar.

Lastly, I am unafraid to cross boundaries. Believe me, in the world of movie-making, you are utterly constrained. With books, somehow, we can write about any at great length. No topic is off-limits. For someone like me, that is a bountiful and exciting proposition. I always grab it with both hands.

In short, I am the writer – but the reader is the director. I think that’s what makes me different.

A provocative cover.

A one-click product description.

Terrific advertising ad copy to hook the reader into buying.

Most importantly, a good story told well.

 

About the Author:

Some authors are afraid to cross the line.

Me? Oh, I’m glad you asked! I make “the line” my starting point…

My brand is satire.

I hop between genres like madman on crack because my razor-sharp literary knife is hungry for political and social commentary. One genre just can’t cut it (if you’ll forgive the pun.) I’m obsessed, I tell you!

I write straight-up humor and farce, horror, crime, romance… all under the banner of satire.

My novels often contain a ruthless commentary on society, delving into the darker machinations of modern life. They can be uproarious, funny, outrageous and shocking. Make no mistake, though. They are this way for a reason, and always come equipped with a sense of humanity and wit.

My influences include John Cleese, Tom Sharpe, Kurt Vonnegut, James Patterson, Hunter S Thompson, Douglas Adams, Imogen Edwards-Jones, Michael Frayn, Chris Morris, Jerry Sadowitz, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, George Carlin, Jordan Peterson, Pat Condell, and writer/director Larry Cohen.

My obsessions include (and are essentially limited to) obscene amounts of: smoking, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, debating, daydreaming and writing about himself in the third person.

Social Media Links:

Website – https://chromevalleybooks.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Andrew_CVB

 

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tswc front cover final final final

 

Description:

Set in the 1950s, the story begins in Cyprus. EOKA, British rule, and the fight for Enosis (unity) disrupt the world of two Greek Cypriot families, living in different villages on the island. They are desperately trying to cope with the unpredictability of this fractious time. Circumstances over a five-year period push both families to escape to London where, as immigrants, they struggle to settle, face new challenges, trauma and cope with missing their homeland’s traditions and culture. Both families’ lives cross paths in London and it seems that happier beginnings could be theirs. But at what cost? A story of passion for a country in turmoil, family love, loyalty and treachery and how, sometimes, starting over isn’t always as imagined.

 

You can buy your copy of The Summer Will Come via: Amazon UK

Extract:

 

Christaki crossed the beach, his feet caked in the cooling sand. Careful not to tread on the scattering of pebbles washed over it he stepped over a mound of trawler nets and around a stack of wooden crates. He grabbed the towel he’d left by his leather flip-flops, on top of a boulder, and used it to roughly dry his black wavy hair. He shivered as the ruffling breeze, on the back of the setting sun, kissed his damp skin. His eyes were bleary, stinging from the saltiness of the water and he blinked a few times to clear his cloudy vision. He blew into his hand and wiped his snot on the towel. Clearing his throat, he spat onto the dry sand.

He pulled on his T-shirt, put on his watch hidden beneath it and slipped on his flip-flops. He felt the warm sand stick to his toes and wriggled them to dislodge some of the grains. Rolling his towel haphazardly lengthways he hung it around his neck and ambled towards his green Vespa, hidden by the brambles and overgrown wilderness which skirted the dirt track leading from the beach to the main road. He picked up his wallet, still on the motorcycle seat where he left it, and re-arranged his college books which protruded from the makeshift storage box he had secured to the back of his moped.

The snap of a broken twig alerted him to someone close by. Christaki strained his eyes in the low light. As he stared across the wilderness, domineered by huge rocks and mounds of debris, a shadowy figure ducked behind one of the overgrown tangled bushes behind a discarded bench.

Ela,’ he called out. ‘Who’s there?’ An involuntary shiver ran along his spine like a slithering grass snake. He knew he was being watched. He felt the hair stand erect on his arms and the back of his neck; he fought against sickening nerves. He walked with a determined stride, in an effort to quash his anxiety, towards the cluster of brambles, and as he got closer tiptoed with caution. From where he stood, he spied two shadows, crouched still. He edged forward towards the hazy light. The humming of whispering drenched the air.

Someone hauled themselves to their feet with a groan. Christaki let out a sigh of relief. He recognised the back of Panteli’s head between the sparse zig-zags of the thorny bushes, the distinct bald patch above his left ear a dead giveaway.

‘Panteli?’ he called out, his voice edgy still, his eyes transfixed. Someone shot off. He saw the back of a girl; a flash of a brown dress, a pale blue scarf over her head and a tan leather satchel over her shoulder. She clambered over the rocks like a wild hare towards the main road. She didn’t look back. He waited with bated breath, his heart thumping in his chest, the saline air around him filled with dust.

‘Panteli?’

‘Yes, it’s me,’ Panteli said as he revealed himself from his thorny hideaway, clearing his throat and brushing dry earth from his palms and then his knees.

‘What are you doing? Christaki asked. ‘You frightened the life out of me.’

‘Sorry. I was…I was meeting Katerina.’ His cheeks reddened.

‘Katerina?’

‘Yes.’

‘Why here? Why are you hiding?’

‘It’s complicated. Her father doesn’t approve of me.’

‘Since when?’

‘Since I joined EOKA.’

‘EOKA?’

Christaki knew about EOKA; Ethniki Organosis Kypriou Agoniston, the National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters. The initials splashed in thick dull red paint tarnished the sides of buildings in Limassol and the crossroads leading into the village. Desolation took hold amongst the people of Cyprus and more recently, in Ayios Tychonas.

 

About the Author:

Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education. She is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes as well as proof reading and other writing services.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters is featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’, released on Amazon in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and The Summer Will Come is her second novel. She is currently working on a third novel Trust is a Big Word about an on-line illicit relationship that develops between two people.

Social Media Links:

Website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook 

Pinterest

Scriggler

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It’s with great delight that I welcome you to today’s “Celebrating Indie Publishing” post, today I have a review of Last Orders by Caimh McDonnell.  Last Orders is the fourth installment in The Dublin Trilogy ….

Last Orders was published by McFori Ink on 3rd March 2018.


Description:

41met2ahnfl

 

As a wise man once said, just because you’re done with the past, doesn’t mean the past is done with you.

Paul can’t let an incident from his past go. When he finds out a rival detective agency played a key role in it, he drags MCM Investigations into a blood feud

that they can’t hope to win. Soon they’re faced with the prospect of the company going out of business and Brigit going out of her damn mind.

When long-buried bodies are discovered in the Wicklow Mountains, Bunny’s past starts closing in on him too. Who can he trust when he can’t even trust himself? When he finds himself with nowhere left to run and nobody he can turn to, will the big fella make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ones he loves?

When all that’s left is the fall, the fall is everything.

And even the mighty fall.

Last Orders is the thrilling conclusion of the critically acclaimed Dublin Trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit. It’s best enjoyed having read the other books in the series, particularly the prequel Angels in the Moonlight.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I make no apology for how much I have loved this trilogy, it’s been the funniest crime series that I’ve read.

Followers of the series will be keen to see what has happened since Bunny McGarry was rescued from that warehouse in book two and will have the added advantage of reading this after reading the instalment detailing Bunny’s past.  The story picks up with a horrendously sad event, the funeral of our enigmatic hurley wielding, Cork man… How could Caimh do this to us?!

Right, through fear of giving anything away about the plot, I’ll swiftly gloss over anything remotely relating to the actual details of what happens in this book (absolute cop out, yes, I am aware, but there’s so much happening and so many things that could potentially be spoiled….)

So, book four of The Dublin Trilogy sees the return of the much loved characters Brigit Conroy, Phil Nellis and of course Paul Mulchrone.  As always, Brigit is the voice of reason and wisdom in the group.  Her maturity is perfectly contrasted with the impulsive madness of Paul and the sheltered naivety of Phil.  But nothing, and I mean nothing compares with the wonderful canine character of Maggie!  That is a character and a half, and has to be a strong contender for my favourite in this series, perhaps nipping at the heels of Bunny….
Characterisation is something that has been incredibly strong throughout the books of this series, and I’m so pleased to see that it has developed well.  Each character has become familiar to me, their quirks and mannerisms seem so real and tangible.
These are the sorts of characters that are so very rare, the sort that you would never tire of being in their company.  There is laughter, there is despair, there are moments you feel great dread and or despair but ultimately you revel in their company and enjoy every second of it.

My love of this series has been so strong that I have recommended the books to everyone within listening distance.  My dad has become a huge fan of the series too, asking me if I know when the next book is coming out.

Absolutely highly recommended!!

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As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts
asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…
Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the
sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from
one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

 

You can buy a copy of We Were The Salt of the Sea via:

Amazon UK
Orenda eBookstore

 

About the Author:

Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.

 

About the Translator:

David Warriner translates from French and nurtures a healthy passion for Franco, Nordic and British crime fiction. Growing up in deepest Yorkshire, he developed incurable Francophilia at an early age. Emerging from Oxford with a modern languages degree, he narrowly escaped the graduate rat race by hopping on a plane to Canada – and never looked back. More than a decade into a high-powered commercial translation career, he listened to his heart and turned his hand again to the delicate art of literary translation. David has lived in France and Quebec, and now calls beautiful British Columbia home.

 

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As part of the blog tour for End Game by the brilliant Matt Johnson, I am delighted to offer one lucky reader a copy of the book today!  Yep, that’s right, Orenda Books have generously offered a copy of the book to one lucky person and even more exciting…. the competition is open internationally!!  So first and foremost, here’s a little about the book to entice you….

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Description:

Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.

End Game is available to purchase via Amazon UK

GIVEAWAY

For your chance to win a copy of End Game, leave me a comment below telling me what the last book you read was.  Open internationally and the winner’s name will be drawn from the hat by my mini bookworm.  I will contact the winner to request their address so that I can pass this onto Orenda Books who will send out the prize.
Competition closes at lunchtime (ish) on 15th March!

Good luck!!

 

About the Author:

MattMatt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

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** My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for my copy of this and fir inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

The patient has a story that isn’t told and which no one knows of. It is the secret, the rock against which he is shattered. Carl Jung

The Great War is over but for Edith Potter an equally devastating conflict is about to begin.

She is unhinged by a secret so terrible her conscious mind doesn’t acknowledge it.

It is 1927 and Dr Stephen Maynard is using the new science of psychoanalysis to restore her sanity.

From his first meeting with her in the lunatic asylum, Dr Stephen Maynard is determined to bring her back to reality. During the long challenge, her disturbed behaviour forces him to confront his limitations – already severely stretched by the presence of someone prepared to use whatever weapons they can to ensure she maintains her silence.

My Thoughts & Review:

Walls of Silence is one of those slow burn psychological thrillers that creeps up on the reader and lures them in to the point that they daren’t put the book down through fear of missing something.  But there is more to this book than initially meets the eye, it’s a historical thriller with a wonderful exploration of mental health and the treatments post WWI.

The main character Edith is one that I struggled to fully figure out, but I think this was intended by the author.  The way that she is written leaves the reader wondering whether she has had a complete mental break down and is still struggling or whether she is on the road to recovery and rehabilitation.  This coupled with seemingly impulsive behaviour and erratic mood swings make this a character that will keep you continuously guessing and wondering where things will go next.
At times, my struggle with her did lead me to like her less, but at the same time I was curious about her, what was making her act this way, what was driving her…..but through it all I felt some sympathy towards her and her plight.

The writing itself was intelligent and very befitting for the time period in which the story was set.  I found that there were a few words that I checked up in the dictionary because they were ones I’ve not come across in my everyday reading and I feel like I came away from this book having discovered some wonderful words and phrases.

An interesting and thought provoking read!

You can buy a copy of Walls of Silence via:

Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

Ruth Wade was born in Sheffield Park station house on the cusp of the Bluebell Line becoming a heritage steam railway. Her formative years continued to be influenced by the past as she was brought up in the seaside town which can boast England’s first ever motorcar races, and the art deco splendour that is the De La Warr Pavilion.

A part-time lecturer in creative writing for Cambridge colleges and academies, her two great passions are longbow archery and the Argentine Tango. Sadly, she is not nearly as accomplished at either as she’d like.

Ruth Wade also writes the May Keaps series as BK Duncan.

Social Media Links

Website: www.ruthwade.com
Twitter: @RuthWadewriter

 

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