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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen Sullivan for my copy of this book and Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

My Thoughts & Review:

Trap is the second book in the Reykjavík Noir series by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, and it’s unapologetically brilliant. It’s sharp and clever and displays the high level of excellence that fans of Sigurdardóttir have come to expect from her writing.

The writing is evocative, and teeming with detail and atmosphere. Readers get a real feel for the situations that both Sonja and Agla find themselves in, the danger feels so imposing, the fear is almost claustrophobic.
If I thought that Sonja was a great character in the previous book, Snare, then Sigurdardóttir has well and truly made a character that I love and dare I admit it, admire. Her determination to get out of the jam she’s in really impressed me, her tenacity and stubbornness were great to see and I felt that I was almost cheering for her at times. Agla, I really felt for at times. I wanted to shake her, I wanted to laugh with her and I wanted to yell at her. How is it an author can create characters that we shouldn’t like, but still feel sympathy towards? That’s the skill of this author, she can draw strong emotions from the reader with ease. The character that really tugged on my heartstrings was Sonja’s son Tomas. He is a child stuck between divorced parents, adores his mother and wants to be with her, not his father. The complexities of adult relationships are beyond his comprehension, the whys and hows of his current situation only lead to frustration.

A financial investigation thread to the plot is fascinating, seeing how Agla and others planned to work the system is mindbogglingly clever and I applaud Sigurdardóttir for taking something so complex and making it understandable.

Packed with tension, this is a book that you do not want to put down. Short chapters make it far too easy for you to fall into the trap of reading “just one more chapter”, and before you know it, the supper is burnt or it’s 3am and sleep is something you can’t contemplate until you know what’s going to happen next. It’s the sort of book that you can imagine playing out like a film, and the quality of the writing means that it sweeps you away with a momentum akin to jumping into a vortex.

I absolutely cannot wait to see what book three of the series has instore for readers, but I’ll perhaps lay off the caffeine before it comes out so I don’t feel so jumpy and on edge as Sigurdardóttir casts her icy Icelandic spell on me!

 

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** My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours and Fahrenheit Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.

Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.

A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.

With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.

Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?

Who is turning the river red?

My Thoughts & Review:

I absolutely love books with a Cold War setting, something about them just makes for a thrilling and enticing read, and The River Runs Red by Ally Rose is certainly that.

With a plot that spans two different timelines, Ally Rose introduces readers to a Berlin that is rife with danger and suspicion, the Stasi are omnipresent and overpowering, ordinary citizens are turning informant on their friends, neighbours and even family, and those brave enough to defect make life difficult for the ones they leave behind. But the actions of the Stasi and their informants are the catalyst for a spree of killings some years later, someone is out for revenge for having been wronged.

The dual timeline makes this quite an interesting read, readers experience a snipped of the East German way of life, and see events through the eyes of a young man struggling with life after his father’s defection to West Germany. Whilst watching life unfolding for this character, readers also see a more modern timeline where they are privy to the actions of the killer, not the exact motives or the identity of the killer but some of their thoughts and actions as they seek revenge for events from the past.
Interestingly, Ally Rose also gives readers the view of the investigating team through the eyes of Hanne Drais, a criminal psychologist working with the Berlin Police. Drais is a fantastic character, her thought processes and actions make her stand out as someone readers will want to know more about. She is a likeable character, and one that I think many readers will connect readily with.

Plotting and characterisation are well done, the way that the story unfolds is sure to hook the interest of readers and keep them captive trying to work out of they’ve guessed the connections between events and if they’ve guessed the identity of the killer. The pace is good, I found that this was a book that I was racing through, thoroughly enjoying each chapter. Giving readers a variety of characters to get to know makes this such an intriguing read, each is well rounded and multidimensional, an whilst I may not have agreed with the actions of all of them, I definitely felt that I was becoming more invested in their tales and wanted to know more.

Although The River Runs Red is the third book in the Hanne Drais series, this can definitely be read as a stand alone book. Ally Rose gives ample background information about Hanne Drais so that you get to know this character and her history, and don’t feel on the back foot at all.
Now, I think I will go back to the start of the series to enjoy books one and two!

You can buy a copy of The River Runs Red via:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Fahrenheit Press

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Today I am thrilled to welcome you to another post to Celebrate Indie Publishing and share a review of the latest of the series to feature the brilliant Rina Walker, a kick ass character that thrills readers and leaves them breathless! Rina is the creation of Hugh Fraser, author, actor and theatre director, and a man I would recommend seeing at any book event/launch/talk that you can!


Book Feature:

Book Description:41lohuxt0fl-_sx324_bo1204203200_

When a step out of line means a fight to the death…London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.

When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.

Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

It’s not often that you eagerly go into a book knowing that danger and thrills lie in wait for you but that’s something you’re guaranteed with a book in the Rina Walker series by Hugh Fraser.

Set in 1960s London, readers are led into the darkness of the underworld and aristocracy as they follow Rina Walker as she attempts to right wrongs, meet obligations and protect those she loves. The themes covered in this book are topical and Fraser does not shy away from the uncomfortable topics when portraying the gang related interactions – violence, torture and abuse featuring within the context of the scenes. There are however themes which some readers may feel difficult to read about.

The writing is rich in atmosphere, the mentions of music throughout evoke a great sense of the period and quite often had me singing along in my head as I read. Tension mounts swiftly as the pace quickens, the situations that Rina becomes involved in make for utterly thrilling reading.

Rina is a character that many readers will take a liking to almost instantly, there’s something so relatable about her, and admirable at the same time. Her quirks and personality are written so that it’s possible to get into the head of this character and appreciate the decisions she makes, understand her actions and in some cases, I found that I was almost cheering for her. The clever juxtaposition of this character’s ruthless side with her softer, caring and passionate traits is one I loved watching develop. She is calm in the face of danger and not fazed by violence, but at the same time, she bears mental scars from events that have moulded her into the assassin she has become. But none of the brutal or violent scenes can remove the humanity from this character, her love for her partner and her family allows her to show a softer side.
The more I read about her the more invested in her fate I became, almost unable to put the book down through fear of missing something!

Whilst this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Rina’s past and connections are well detailed throughout the narrative and give a great sense of what has passed before, but if you really want to get the full experience then I would heartily recommend reading the entire series.

You can buy a copy of Stealth via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

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Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome you to The Quiet Knitter for another Celebrating Indie Publishing! The book in the spotlight today is Ed’s Dead, a wonderfully dark and thrilling crime read from one of the wittiest and skilled authors Scotland has to offer.


Book Feature:

Book Description:

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“A high-octane read.” – Maxim Jakubowski 

Meet Jen. She works in a bookshop and likes the odd glass of Prosecco… oh, and she’s about to be branded The Most Dangerous Woman in Scotland.

Jen Carter is a failed writer with a rubbish boyfriend, Ed. That is until she accidentally kills him one night. Now that Ed’s dead, she has to decide what to do with his body, his drugs and a big pile of cash. And, more pressingly, how to escape the hitman who’s been sent to recover Ed’s stash. Soon Jen’s on the run from criminals, corrupt police officers and the prying eyes of the media. Who can she trust? And how can she convince them that the trail of corpses left in her wake are just accidental deaths?

A modern noir that proves, once and for all, the female of the species really is more deadly than the male.

My Thoughts & Review:

Russel D. McLean is an author that I’ve had on my radar for a while, but never quite got round to reading, a fact that I am so glad that has been changed now.

Jen Carter is really having a tough time, her relationship with boyfriend Ed is toxic, she no longer wants to be in a relationship with him and somehow ends up killing him one night. If that wasn’t complication enough, she then has a body to dispose of and the unexpected bounty of cash and drugs, oh, and evade the hitman sent to collect the debt owed by Ed. Things are a mess around Jen, and just as she thinks life is calming down, bodies start to mount up around her.

With a pace that doesn’t let up, this is a brisk and caustic read. The colourful characters make this such a cracking read, the humour and subtle wit that are woven throughout the dialogue really grab the reader, making this a book you do not want to put down. There were moments reading this that I found myself thinking things couldn’t possibly get worse for Jen, things couldn’t possibly get more murky and then McLean swiftly leads the reader on a merry wander down a dark alley, littered with danger and corruption.
The descriptive quality of the writing makes this an incredibly immersive read, you cannot help but be able to envision the settings in this book.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it’s dark, it’s witty and it’s a cracking read!

You can buy your copy of Ed’s Dead via Amazon UK

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

 

Description:

DI Alec McKay is back.

Jimmy McGuire, a washed-up comic, is found dead on the streets of Inverness, his body garroted. Back in the 1990s, McGuire had been half of a promising double-act until his partner, Jack Dingwall, was convicted of rape.

Soon after, a second corpse is found in an abandoned industrial site on the edge of the Moray Firth. The body has been there for some days and has also been garroted. The victim turns out to be a former musician turned record producer, who had also been the subject of rape allegations.

Meanwhile, DI Alec McKay and DCI Helena Grant are still wrestling with the fallout from one of their recent cases following an acquittal.

As the body count rises, the police think they have the killer in their sights. But McKay is concerned that the evidence is too neat so when he realises there will be a final victim, he fears that time is running out …

My Thoughts & Review:

Having thoroughly enjoyed the previous books of this series, I was pleased as punch to find out that the author had written a third novel featuring the wonderfully sarcastic Alec Mckay. But my real excitement was the thought of a trip back to Inverness and The Black Isle with the author. He has a fantastic way of describing settings and locations that give the reader the full technicolour experience.

As with any series, I would recommend reading the books in order as it will make more sense and explain the sequence of events and links between characters. The book opens with DI McKay and his boss DCI Helena Grant discussing a previous case, the whys, the wherefores and the things to avoid happening again. But running alongside this police procedural tangent is a narrative of a woman who seems frightened, unsure about the situation she is in and her travelling companion. And if that wasn’t intriguing enough, the reader is also given a glimpse into the mind of the first murder victim, Jimmy McGuire as he meets his end.

Taking great care to link back to the previous books, Alex Walters gives readers answers and conclusions for things that happened in the first two books, but, and I really want to stress this point, he somehow makes sure that readers who pick up Their Final Act to read as a standalone will be able to dive straight in with sufficient details to explain the previous case and links between characters without bogging it down.
Although, I still have one niggling question unanswered … will there be a fourth book in the series that might answer this? Or will this be one thing that we never find out about?

Plotting is topical, the themes give readers plenty to think about. And as the story progressed, I found that I was trying to piece together the clues to work out who might be behind the killings and why, but as always, Walters only gives you so much information to work with, ensuring that when you do reach the end of the book, you’re stunned!

You can by a copy of Their Final Act via Amazon UK

 

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Today I am thrilled to welcome you to my post to celebrate another brilliant book from Bombshell Books, an imprint of Bloodhound Books specialising in women’s fiction, chick-lit & romance. The book in the spotlight today is The French Escape, which was published on 20th September 2018.


Book Feature:

Description:

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It’s fair to say that Flick has had a terrible year. Her beloved father died, she had the wedding of her dreams and only hours after the ceremony her husband ran out on her. 

Brenda, fed up with her daughter living like a hermit, decides to drag Flick off to France to stay in a chateau. What could be better than an idyllic escape?

But when they arrive Flick discovers the chateau is all but abandoned.

The only upside of her French escape is the handsome and mysterious neighbour, Nate.

Nate loves his life living in the cottage on the grounds of the abandoned chateau but that is about to be put in jeopardy…

Can Nate and Flick ever learn to come to terms with the past and find love again?

 

Description:

Having enjoyed Suzie Tullett’s previous books, I was thrilled to find out that she had a new book coming out! There’s something really lovely about Suzie’s books, maybe it’s the way that she writes, maybe it’s the way she creates her characters, or maybe it’s just the book I need at the time, but each of her books has been a delight to read.

Readers meet Flick as she and her sleeping mother are on their way to a mysterious French holiday destination, well mysterious for Flick as her mother hasn’t really given her much detail other than where to programme the satnav for. But when they arrive, Flick is astounded, they are staying at a chateau, albeit one that looks in need of a massive overhaul, but breathtakingly beautiful.
Interspersed through Flick’s story, is narration from Nate, someone who has a history that he wants to keep securely locked away and likes living in the relative remoteness of the woods.
Both of these characters has their own struggle, they are trying to rebuild their lives and find a way to move forward. I think it was Nate’s story that was the most intriguing, what secret is hiding in his past, why doesn’t he want to be recognised?

The wonderful descriptions of the settings and the food are simply wonderful, the chateau sounds so full of character and the icy cold shower sounded like such a shock to the system! I could almost see the picturesque views, the market in town, it just all came to life from the pages.

Aside from Flick and Nate, there are some really fun and quirky characters in this book, each of them so very different from the other, and I will admit there were ones I took more easily to than others. Brenda, Flick’s mother, bless her heart, just wants the best for her daughter. And as a mother I could sympathise with her, I could understand why she would do whatever it took to make her daughter happy, her methods might not be the most straightforward, but she has a heart of gold. Julia was another character I liked, always there to pick up the pieces for her nephew, always there with a word of wisdom or dole out a sharp reminder that life isn’t easy.

The French Escape is a lovely romantic comedy, it has the great “will they, won’t they” element to it, it’s the sort of escapism that you want from a book. A good story, great characters and enough mystery to keep you hooked!

Highly recommended!

You can buy a copy of The French Escape via Amazon UK

 

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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of this book and Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour**

 

Description:

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story … with a tragic heart.

My Thoughts & Review:

If there’s one author you need to read it’s Louise Beech, this wily wordsmith has a unique gift when it comes to crafting a beautifully evocative tale that will capture the heart of readers.  You will often hear people throw the phrase “this is the best book yet” when they read the latest offering from an author, but in this case I truly believe that The Lion Tamer Who Lost is Louise’s absolute best book yet!

Without rehashing the plot, I will say that this is an incredibly moving and poignant read that flows beautifully.  The characters are so vivid and real, you can feel their anguish, their frustration, their happiness and become so invested in them, they become part of you.
This is a love story like no other and it draws emotions from the reader in a way that I cannot explain.  It was likened to the sort of book that brings on a therapeutic cry, a bit like the way that Beaches starring Barbra Streisand never fails to make me weep, and I found that whilst reading this I went through an entire box of tissues.

The most exquisite thing about Louise’s writing is that she portrays emotion and the fragility of it so sympathetically, so understandingly, but with a frankness that does not shy away from the magnetic pull of it.

If you want characters that you can take into your heart, a plot that carry you off to the wilds of Zimbabwe and back again, and writing that will take you on an emotional journey then this is the book for you.  I cannot recommend this highly enough!

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For today’s post on Celebrating Indie Publishing I am thrilled to share a review of a book that has been much loved since we discovered it earlier in the year. If you’ve followed The Quiet Knitter, you might have seen the review of the first book of the Teacup House series in July 2018 and I am pleased to say that it’s time to share the review of book two.


Book Feature:

Description:

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Stevie’s mum is having a party, so she’s baked a delicious cake for all the guests.

Stevie’s tiny toy rabbits, Silver and Fig Twitch, would love a taste of its yummy purple icing.

How will they get their paws on some?

It’s time for an adventure outside the Teacup House!

 

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

After falling in love with the Twitch family in Meet The Twitches, I quickly ordered a copy of the second book of the series for my mini bookworm so that we could continue with our fun filled adventure with the rabbit family of the Teacup House.

Picking up from their adventure in book one of the series, we catch up with Stevie and her mum as they prepare for a party to introduce themselves to their new neighbours. But when the toy rabbits are involved, you just know that there will be fun, laughter and daring missions.

As the title and gorgeous cover suggest, there is a cake involved in this tale. And what  cake it is! The purple icing is enough to lure the two youngest T

witches into a daring mission across the kitchen, weaving between obstacles to get enough icing for a cake of their own.
Whilst Fig and Silver are on their adventure, readers find out a little more about Stevie. She’s still not 100% sure about living in the country, life is much different from the city and she misses her friends. Meeting the new neighbours brings much apprehension for Stevie, and it seems that the adults are still making plans about her and for her without asking her what she thinks.

As with the previous book, Meet The Twitches, the illustrations are bright and crisp, they bring the story to life and compliment Hayley Scott’s writing perfectly. Being able to see the wonderful cake, the way that Fig and Silver make their way around the obstacles in the kitchen make this a truly magical read and had us in fits of giggles as we read.

We cannot wait for the third book in the series which is due out in October, The Twitches Meet a Puppy!

You can buy a copy of any of the books in the Teacup House series via:

Amazon UK
Waterstones

About the Author:

Hayley grew up in and around Berkshire and after a short stint in magazine publishing, her boss encouraged her to apply for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA where she gained a Distinction. In 2006 she won an Escalator Award from Writers Centre East and a Grant for the Arts to write her first novel, Jar Baby (Dexter Haven, 2012).

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It’s always a pleasure to welcome an indie author to join me on a Friday to fly the flag and raise a cheer for indie publishing, and today I joined by Rebecca Howie.
Rebecca is the author of the Sam Beckett mystery series which features a 17-year-old private investigator. The Game Begins and A Scorned Woman are both available for purchase now!


Author Feature:

Rebecca Howie is a procrastinating writer from Scotland, who prefers spending her time in fictional worlds rather than the real one.

She self-published her first novel, The Game Begins, at 18, and it reached 2nd in the Teen and Young Adult Detective category on Amazon after its release in February 2016.

 

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

I think that’s probably being able to write all the time, because I love planning new stories, and seeing where they end up.

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

The editing. By the time I get round to final revisions, I can type whole passages with my eyes shut because I’ve read them so many times, and the last thing I want to do is read the whole thing from the start again.

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

I’d quite like to have written the Harry Potter books, because it still impresses me how developed the magical world is. I think it’s amazing how much there is to learn about, and how much people still love it even after twenty years.

I’d love to be able to capture readers’ interest like that.

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

If I’m not writing, I’m either reading, researching, or plotting, which I’ve only recently started to do. For my first book, I only made an outline after I was already halfway through, but when I started A Woman Scorned, I knew I’d have to get over my aversion to being organised because there were so many details I needed to remember for the ending.

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

While working on The Game Begins, I wrote whenever I could find the time, but since I was serious about getting its sequel written, I started taking a few hours every morning to write or plan, so now that’s become a ritual I observe every morning unless I have a really good excuse for being unable to.

I can’t write if there’s too much noise, so silence is important if I want to make progress with whatever I’m working on, and I need to be at my desk in my room, with the door shut- which does nothing to make my room any quieter, so I suppose that’s just as much a part of my routine as writing in the morning.

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

I’m working on the third book in my Sam Beckett Mysteries, but it doesn’t have a release date yet, and after I finish, I’ll either be starting the fourth, or working on something completely new.

 

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

My latest book is called A Woman Scorned, and it’s the second in my Sam Beckett Mysteries series, which follows 17-year-old Sam Beckett as she tries to uncover the truth behind her dad’s car crash.

A Woman Scorned picks right up as Sam is struggling to deal with the consequences of the choices she made in the first book, and this time, she’s faced with the murder of a therapist, and the psychological consequences of the ending of her first case.

The series has been described by a reader as ‘Taggart meets Veronica Mars’, so if you liked either of those shows, or are just looking for a YA novel that’s a bit different, you could give The Game Begins and A Woman Scorned a try.

 

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

Reviews are so important to authors, and if you have a few minutes to spare, consider leaving one on Amazon or Goodreads. It lets other people know how much you loved the book.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://rebeccahowiebooks.wordpress.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rebeccah2016/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccah2016

 

A huge thank you to Rebecca for joining me today and sharing a little about the brain behind the books, it’s always fun to find out more about an author’s routine and I completely agree about the Harry Potter series, it really is such a wonderfully well developed world that draws readers in..

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It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to join me today to celebrate indie publishing with Saira Viola, her novel Crack Apple and Pop was published by Fahrenheit Press in June 2018, and has been the book of the moment with a great blog tour with damppebbles this week.

 

Description:

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Tony is a handsome young boxer is forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

You can buy a copy of Crack, Apple & Pop via:

Fahrenheit Press

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Author Feature: Saira Viola.jpg

Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.

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

The sense of the unknown. You can go anywhere your imagination, and your memories take you.  A little bit of truth dust and boom: You open the doors to different worlds and immerse yourself in the lives of the characters you’re creating  or characters triggered by history,  real people, lurid dreams. Even labels for cat food in supermarket aisles can spark a train of  thought in your mind leading to a  potential story .

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

The horror of sometimes  feeling like a naked trapeze artist balancing a coke bottle on your  head. Fizz fizz pop! You drop -with absolutely nothing to say.

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

Not a book but :

I  wish I’d written, and choreographed the Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky or Marvin Gaye’s sublime classic What’s Going On?

How do you spend your time when not writing?

I’m  always writing unless I’m sleeping when I’m dreaming in cinematic stories!  Much of my work has a visceral, rhythmic feel, and lucid dreams can play a part  in the writing  process. Although dreams tend to be imagistic, a dream can creep into my conscience, and materialize  a line, a sentence, and even a chapter. It seems that everything I do revolves around writing. Even when I’ve volunteered for social causes,  I find myself writing: I have worked as a volunteer helping young adults to read and am part of a grassroots initiative providing books to prisons, reform schools, orphanages, mobile libraries, and  pop up libraries in socially deprived  neighbourhoods. And for years I have been writing  letters to prison inmates for Amnesty International .

Do you have a set routine for writing- rituals you have to observe ?

No. No rituals of any kind.  I snatch whatever time I can, and scribble away.
Writing where I can when I can . Right now I’m  sofa -slumming so I write perched on  a cushion  laboriously punching words onto my phone.  In between subway stops, waiting in hospital corridors (surprisingly tranquil) hoofing to grocery stores. Anywhere -everywhere.  It’s not ideal, and Virginia Woolf’s famous quote from her essay A Room of One’s Own still resonates but I’m making good progress.

What’s on the horizon ?

I’m currently writing the closing chapters of a new novel American Scandal . It’s a crime story set in Los Angeles featuring an all female punk band, and a fast -thinking mean- mouthed  street-smart female mobster, and entertainment  impresario. The book looks at the ugliness lurking behind the celebrity fuelled New Age posturing, and post modern spangle. Some of the characters struggle for identity, and there is an eruption of racism that threatens the fairy tale promise of the American Dream .  Everyone’s making deals, and payoffs . Venal reaming makes the world go round. Whether it’s law, sex, or money they all  hunger for their fifteen minutes- but riches, and status- changing fame always come at a price.

Any pearls of wisdom for your readers?

Ha! Wisdom comes from experience, not interviews. Just pray your liver holds out!

What’s your current book about and why should we read it ?

Crack Apple and Pop (published by Fahrenheit 13 an impress of Fahrenheit Press) is a prime slice of Brit  Noir.  A crime story set in the glitzy streets of London.  A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine -dusted starlets, demi -celebs, and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling, and everyone’s getting high. A city where money creates its’ own morality.  It may intrigue, disgust, and shock ! Like discovering a bleeding  pinkie  in a velvet -ribbed chocolate box.  Lurking beneath the flashy real estate,  high end boutiques and bright lights are some of the most debauched,  dangerous and dirty  parts of subterranean London . The novel offers a back stage pass to the sleazy machinations of the city’s connivers puppeteers and fixers. Reading about it imminently more fun than living it!

 

Social Media Links:

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saira.viola/

Website: http://sairaviola.net/

Amazon Author Page

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