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Archive for November, 2018

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

 

Description:

Which is worse, trying to catch a cunning killer leaving decapitated women in the woods, or trying to tame an unconventional forensic psychiatrist that seems determined to go his own way?

The Oslo autumn is creeping in with its cold spells and Homicide Detective Julia Ryland is feeling pretty content with her team of three, but when the FBI behavioral analyst, Alexander Smith, is thrust upon her, the crisp autumn air doesn’t feel as refreshing anymore. A young Icelander is found dead, an arrow piercing his heart and the extensive list of his former lovers suggests that many long nights are ahead. The murdered lothario suddenly becomes the least of their problems as headless corpses start appearing in the woods, positioned in terrifying ways and on their bodies they find messages that don’t seem to have any meaning at all.

My Thoughts & Review:

I am a fan of Nordic noir, and so when I saw the description of this book I was eager to read this.

Set in Norway, Loner is a dark and chilling tale following a killer abducting and murdering victims, before leaving them staged for the police to discover. These cases are investigated by a detective Julia Ryland and a behavioral analyst from the FBI, but the most interesting thing is that this analyst is a Norwegian, transplanted back to the land of his birth.

Detective Julia Ryland is a serious character, and she contrasts well with the analyst Alexander Smith, and indeed the members of her own team. Smith, is a more open character, prone to giving voice to thoughts as they appear in his head, often not in the most appropriate of settings or times. But through this, we find out more about Smith and his background and his outbursts do make for a slightly humorous read, as does the inclusion of Eric and Hercules, the other members of Ryland’s team.

I did find this to be a tricky read, the characters were not ones that I could take to easily, something about them felt a little lacking in seriousness. This was however made up for with the humour throughout the narrative. Having read a few humorous crime novels lately, I do admit that I find these to be quite an entertaining read.
The plot was interesting and the crimes that occurred felt well thought out, and left me surprised at where the author twisted the narrative.

As with all translated works, there is the worry that something may get lost in translation and I did feel that something was missing here.
This is the first book in a series and I would be keen to see where the author takes her characters next.

 

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I am thrilled to welcome you to The Quiet Knitter today and share an extract from The Twisted Web by the wonderfully talented Rebecca Bradley! The Twisted Web is the fourth book in the DI Hannah Robbins crime series and looks to be thrilling and exciting read, I’ve got this one on my ever growing TBR pile and cannot wait to get reading it. But for now, lets read an extract and see if we can entice a few more of you to enjoy this series.  Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for reviews and other features.


Description:the twisted web

A social media shaming. A killer with a message. A deadly combination. 

When the body of a man is left in the city centre set up as a realistic police crime scene, DI Hannah Robbins is forced to enter a world that can break a person, a case and a reputation.

Social media platforms light up and Hannah is pitted against the raging online monster and a killer who has already lost everything.

Can she catch the killer and put him behind bars or will she become part of his sadistic game? 

 

 

You can buy a copy of The Twisted Web via:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Extract:

Prologue

The day felt like any other day. Work had given Drew a headache. The kids were unruly. It was the last week of school before the summer holidays and no one wanted to focus on lessons. The heat soaked through the glass windows as though they were sitting in a greenhouse and the smell of overripe hormonal teenagers swelled within the room. He attempted to open some windows but paint had sealed them shut. Only he had never noticed in the past because this was a new room to him and he’d never had the need to open them before because, well, the UK weather, you didn’t need to say any more, did you?

He’d been given the room after Mr Forbes had retired the previous year. Five years early. Citing the need to live his life while he was still young enough. The need to see the world. He knew what Forbes really wanted was to get away from these bloody kids. The little fuckers sucked the spirit straight out of you and he was right, he probably did need his life. It was kind of important to you.

So, here he was now, relieved to have made it through another day, with just two more left. Then six blissful weeks away from them. It wasn’t that he hated being a teacher. He loved it really. Or he used to love it and he loved the idea of infusing the adults of the future with the knowledge of today. To see where it would take them. Especially in his subject of computers. It was where the world lived and ended. It was where all the huge advances were being made. Though all the kids cared about were the games they could play. There was only the odd child or two who was interested, and this had gradually withered his soul away. Without the symbiotic nature of children needing to be fed, his need to feed them his knowledge dried up.

It was sad really.

Drew was desperate to make his mark and imprint on a child. Have them grow up, make something of themselves and say it was him, he was the teacher who had been the one to spur them on. He was that teacher.

As it was, he couldn’t even find that pupil. All he could do was turn up every day and do his job. Then wait for the end of day bell so he could release them all back to their homes, their gaming stations, their junk foods, their vacuous lives. And he would go home. To his wife and his children. Who, he adored, he did. He did his best by them. By his wife. They liked to do things together. Spend time as a family. He nurtured their brains. He loved them.

All this floated through his head as he meandered down the street, sleeves rolled up past his elbows, the summer sun resting on his skin.

In front of him, a street artist was busy at work. One of those who made it appear that the pavement was opening up in front of you, yawning open, the innards of the street below, the wires and the pipes exposed and cracking open. Water bursting forth and upwards. All with a few chalks which she had scattered around her like the hem of a skirt.

He was mesmerised by the image. It looked as though the submerged world was screaming to be allowed out.

People were gathered around the woman and the image. Camera phones wafted in the air. The pavement was choked as everyone stopped to stare.

He looked at the woman surrounded by her chalks, covered in coloured dust. How he would love to have a job so freeing. Or just to feel the love he once had for the career he had chosen. Instead of this heavy weight he carried around with him.

He looked down, marvelled at the detail. At the love that had gone into it. Stepped sideways into the road rather than across her masterpiece. The traffic was steady, aware of the crowd bulging out into their space.

It was difficult to walk and not continue to look down at the cracked-open pavement. The layers of earth, and as he looked closer, the creepy eyes that glowed from within darkened corners.

With each step he could hear a thrum that didn’t fit with the rest of the sound around him. It wasn’t the mumble of awed voices. It wasn’t the regular hum of traffic. This was different. He looked up.

In front of him, also on the road, was a young lad. Tracksuit bottoms, jacket and a woollen hat even though the sun was out. His clothes were dark but they looked dirty, uncared for.

Unclean.

Homeless. About nineteen years of age. His face, like many others, was also turned towards the image on the ground.

The thrum had turned into a roar. Drew looked past the young homeless man and saw a vehicle do a rapid and dangerous overtake. Revving hard. Coming towards them. The driver with a phone in his hand. The car too close to the kerb. He hadn’t noticed the bulge of people that distended out from the pavement. Drew stepped back onto the pavement. Gently. Aware still of the cracked-open street below his feet.

He looked at the young man who looked back at Drew confused as to why he’d decided to stand up on the edges of the chalk drawing. Completely oblivious to the vehicle behind him.

The car was racing forward and wasn’t going to stop. It was going to plough into the homeless guy. Everyone else had their backs turned.

Drew panicked, grabbed hold of the young man’s upper arm, which was slender under the bulk of his clothing, and yanked him sideways up onto the path. The vehicle turned left with a screech of tyres, disappearing out of view.

The homeless lad came flying towards and past Drew, his legs wheeling under him as he attempted to avoid kicking the woman sitting on the ground. He stumbled as he Bambi-hopped over her outstretched leg, arms windmilling before he fell in a heap on the ground, a bundle of bones in a bag of jersey material topped by a woollen hat. The artist’s mouth was agape, a sheen of fear glossing her face as the young man’s head smashed into the wall with a crunch.

‘What the fucking hell!’

To Drew the scream came out of nowhere. He was trying to focus on the boy on the ground. On what had just happened when the high-pitched screech fractured Drew’s confused mind.

He ignored it. Presumed the fury was about the vehicle that had driven like it was on a racing track. His thoughts were securely on the boy and if he was okay. With movements that felt sludge like he made a move forward. Panic started to rise and people rushed to the boy. People flapped and fussed. Crouched down beside him. Held his hand, checked his head.

And they pushed Drew out of the way.

He’d saved the boy’s life. He needed to make sure he had saved it and not injured him in the process. But he couldn’t get to him. The boy was utterly surrounded.

It was almost as though they were keeping him at bay.

As though they didn’t want Drew near the boy.

He had saved his life. Drew was confused.

A woman turned from where she was bent over the lad. ‘What did you do?’ Horror was etched on her face. Disgust. He didn’t understand it.

‘I saw it. I saw him do it,’ another shouted over to her.

And then a young lad behind him piped up, ‘I caught it all on my phone. I was taking a video of the chalk drawing. He won’t get away with this.’

Ooooh, now I really want to read this latest one to find out what happens next!

 

About the Author:

Rebecca is the author of four novels in the DI Hannah Robbins series, Shallow Waters, Made to be Broken, Fighting Monsters and The Twisted Web as well as a standalone thriller, Dead Blind.

She lives with her family in the UK with their two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep Rebecca company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

After 16 years service, Rebecca was medically retired from the police where she finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

Rebecca now runs a consulting service where she supports crime writers in making sure their fiction is authentic so they can get on with telling a great story. You can find details of that HERE.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaJBradley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaBradleyCrime

Website: https://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccajbradley/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebecca-Bradley/e/B00R9RVT98/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Twisted-Web

 

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** My thanks for Love Books Group and the author for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland.

A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel.

Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn’t need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.  

Our Thoughts:

Bertie the Buffalo is a charming tale about a wee buffalo who went on an adventure one day, even though he knew he shouldn’t.

With lovely, bright artwork, this is a story that will delight readers old and young as they discover the world around Bertie as he goes on his journey through woods, caves, meets new animals and sees new sights. The rhyming narrative makes this a fun read for youngsters, making it easier for them to absorb the meaning behind the tale. That no matter who you are and what side size you are, you are still special, you mean something to those around you and you belong.

Both my daughter and I enjoyed reading about Bertie and what he got up to, seeing how he reacted to the things he discovered and she really liked it when Bertie got home to the farm and his huge family. I think this will probably be a regular read in the bedtime collection, seems to be a firm favourite with my wee one that’s for sure.

You can buy a copy of Bertie the Buffalo via Amazon UK

 

About the Author:

Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

 

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Today on Celebrating Indie Publishing I’m giving a nod to the autumnal season and Halloween with a review of Cailleach Witch and an author feature with Jane Gilheaney Barry.

Cailleach Witch was published in August 2018 and is available to purchase now via Amazon UK.


Book Feature:

Description:

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A LITTLE SPOOKY, A LITTLE QUIRKY, A WHOLE LOT OF ATMOSPHERE AND MYSTERY…

Dara Cleary and her sisters are returning to their childhood home in the west of Ireland, where the aunts still live.
Dara is seeking revenge for an incident that happened ten years earlier and was the reason for their leaving. But when they arrive they find a far bigger story waiting for them.
They are Bean Feasa, witches, bound to the Cailleach, a paranormal landscape witch.

Now is the time of reckoning, and Dara and her sisters must face formidable odds to complete their family’s quest for freedom. A beautifully lyrical and eerie tale, with touches of magic and an abiding sense of atmosphere and place. Jane Gilheaney Barry drives her cast of memorable women at lightning pace through the landscape and climate of Ireland’s wild west.

 

My Thoughts:

When I saw this book being spoken about on Social Media I immediately headed to Amazon to buy a copy, it sounded fascinating and just the read for Halloween!

This is a mixture of fairy tale, darkness, fantasy and thrills, all wrapped up in a plot that draws the reader in and holds their attention. The writing is packed with detail, atmosphere and some great characters. The characters feel incredibly real and it’s hard for readers not to feel a connection with them as their stories unfold, even with the ones who do wrong.

Cailleach Witch is the sort of book that would benefit from more than one reading to fully appreciate the subtleties, the atmosphere and really,  the story.
Jane has a gift when it comes to setting the scene, and vividly brings to life the small Irish town, she evokes great intrigue with mention of folklore and that makes this such a powerful and entrancing read. I’m trying to avoid saying much about the plot, I don’t want to give anything away and, this is truly a story that you want to discover on your own, at your own pace. And I think that readers will take away something different from this when they read it, whether it’s learning about ancient tales of witchcraft and magic, or appreciation of what has passed before or indeed give pause for thought about the ways in which humanity views those who may be “different”.

A rich and entrancing read that cannot help but connect with.


Author Feature:

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Author image and bio from Amazon.co.uk

I’m Jane, author, creative enabler, rebel in chief and curator at creative lifestyle brand That Curious Love of Green. Your one stop shop for creative living. I hail from the north west of Ireland where I live, in a wonderful house, with my lovely husband Adrian, children, Sadhbh, Saoirse, Shaylyn, and assorted pets. I’m passionate about creativity, writing, houses, women, wild nature, and living life to the full. When it comes to writing fiction I love modern gothic, mystery, and all things witchy. Follow me at That Curious Love of Green.com and fb.

 

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

I’ve only been an author since September of this year and so far it has to be the sense of personal achievement, of a dream realised. And hearing from people who’ve read and loved the book so far.

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

I can’t think of anything! Publishing has been a steep learning curve so if anything maybe that.

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

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Can I throw in a series? Penny Dreadful. I wish it was it was a book so I could savour it. Brilliant writing, dark, mysterious, full of passion and furious longings.

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

I want to say painting, drinking champagne, and having fascinating conversations with interesting people, but in reality it’s try and stay on top of everyday life without going mad. Managing a home and family is still the hardest job of them all. In my opinion. Aside from that I love taking photographs, creating content for my social pages, cooking, playing in my house i.e. pottering & decorating, and I spend as much time as I can in nature. I also read a colossal amount, at high speed. I need constant intellectual stimulation.

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

I have to write everyday or I’m miserable. At weekends it’s usually a social media post or two. Monday to Friday I write while the girls are at school. From about 9.30 to 2.30 I prefer to write in the mornings. I love silence for writing but I’ve trained myself to write without it. I like my surroundings to be clear and tidy if possible but when I’m in deep writing mode the house could fall and I wouldn’t notice.

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

A series of non-fiction books, one on creativity and creative living, and a guide for artists and writers on how to fall in love with marketing. Lots of writing and creativity workshops coming up and plans to do more of those in the new year. And the next novel. Not sure what it’s going to be yet. I’m waiting for the spark, the seed to get me started.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

I would describe Cailleach~Witch as a book for strong modern women, creative women, different, outsiders most likely. It’s for anyone who dreams of freedom. If you like a really fast-paced, atmospheric read, with touches of magic and wildness, then I’d say it’s for you. Even more if you like women, the sibling relationship, wild nature, and witches.

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

If you feel you want to write don’t wait. It’s not too late and you don’t need any training. You just need to start, let yourself be a beginner, and create the habit. After that you have to trust the process and keep moving forward. And, don’t let the haters get you down.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: That Curious Love of Green by Jane Gilheaney Barry

Website:  www.http://thatcuriousloveofgreen.com

 

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