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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of Good Samaritans **

 

Description:

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices. 

My Thoughts & Review:

One glimpse of that cover was enough to grab my attention with this book, the artwork is immediately arresting, and the tagline is clever.  You expect nothing less of Orenda Books, and you know that you will be in for a treat when you start reading because they have built a reputation for publishing excellent books that challenge readers, that draw powerful emotions and generally leave readers feeling stunned at what they have just read.

Good Samaritans is the first book by Will Carver that I’ve read and I have to admit that based on this one I would be very keen to see what else he’s written/has planned for the future.  I liked his witty writing style, the snappy dialogue and the chilling unease that he expertly weaves throughout the narrative.
The book is broken into days, with each day having narration by several characters in short, snappy chapters which in turn keeps the pace taut and crisp.  So much happens under the cover of darkness that we can never truly guess where Carver will take the plot next.  This darkness feeds into the danger element of the story, who is watching, why are they watching, are people really who they seem to be …it keeps the reader on their toes and details are drip fed as and when to enhance the story, so it’s safe to say that Carver knows how to hook his readers in, hold their attention and ensure that sleep will be lost with this brilliant book..

Characterisation is one of the key aspects of Good Samaritans, and each persona is exceptionally well crafted.  Seth Beauman is a character that I found witty and interesting, his insomnia making him spiral into phases of somewhat disturbing actions.  A late night hobby of phoning strangers is strange, but seems harmless.  The connection he makes with a troubled young woman named Hadley Serf gives him hope and equally gives her something to hold on to. There is a spark, excitement and it all comes down to chance.  Unfortunately for Seth, his wife Maeve would definitely not appreciate this blossoming love affair, and so their conversations and subsequent meetings are kept hidden.
The wonderful juxtaposition of the images of the characters and the views of those around them make for entertaining reading.  Seth’s image of himself is so wonderfully contrasted by the way his wife sees him and vice versa, what seems like a perfectly reasonable action in his mind is perhaps wildly inappropriate or erratic.  Hadley has her own troubles, her suicidal thoughts swirling around her brain, leaving her hell-bent on self-destruction.  Her mindset is explored carefully and with a sympathy that does not belittle the severity of her feelings, and for this I am grateful.  Carver does not shy away from the uneasy reality that his character faces.

The actual plot of this book is genius, I would love to get hold of Will Carver and quiz him about where his ideas came from, how he plotted this out and how he managed to give so little away throughout the story.

Forget “snap, crackle and pop” this is more like “crash, bang, wallop”, so twisted, so enjoyable and so flippin’ clever!

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The Failsafe Query - Cover Image.jpg

** My thanks to the author and Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of the book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

 

Description:

The Failsafe Query is a gripping thriller set in the contemporary world of modern British espionage.

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for Alfie Chapman, an Intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. This includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy.

Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale. 

My Thoughts:

From the opening chapter, readers are taken on an action packed and adrenaline fueled adventure through the worlds of espionage and intelligence.
The main character in this book is a disgraced former intelligence agent, who has become involved with tracking down a current member of the intelligence community, one who was ready to leak privileged and incendiary information. Sean Richardson is a character very much fighting against his own demons and trying to find a way to life with the lasting impacts his career have had on him. But he is also a team player, and part of the draw of this character is seeing him pull together the right team for the mission and watching to see whether they can succeed. The camaraderie between the members of the team was great to see and really added to the realistic feeling of the characters.

Michael Jenkins has a wonderful style of writing that is packed with vivid detail and an authenticity that almost has the reader wondering “what if”, whilst managing to maintain a calm and steady approach. By this I mean that he constructs settings so clearly for readers to experience them, captivating the audience with the scenes playing out before their eyes and ensuring that they are on the edge of their seats, waiting with bated breath to see what will happen next, how the situation will unravel around our protagonist. This is undoubtedly an explosive and thrilling read, but at no point did I feel that the pace was rushed.

This is a modern spy thriller that I would rank up there with my beloved John le Carré books.

You can buy a copy of The Failsafe Query via:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

About the Author:

Michael Jenkins served for twenty-eight years in the British Army, rising through the ranks to complete his service as a major. He served across the globe on numerous military operations as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

His experiences within the services involved extensive travel and adventure whilst on operations, and also on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that he led or was involved in.
He was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity.

He was awarded the MBE on leaving the armed forces in 2007 for his services to counterterrorism.

The Failsafe Query is Michael’s first novel. He has started work on his second spy thriller, The Kompromat Kill, and hopes to publish it the spring of 2019.

Social Media Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

 

Giveaway – Win 5 x PB copies of The Failsafe Query & a spy linkage map (unframed) (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link

The Failsafe Query Full Tour Banner

Normally I review books in their own post, but today I have decided to review books four and five of The Cosy Cottage Café series in this one post.
This series is written by the lovely Rachel Griffiths who has created the idyllic village of Heatherlea and some of the loveliest characters that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a book.


Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

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Description:

Artist Honey Blackwell is happy with her life. Well, almost. She lives in the picturesque village of Heatherlea, has three close friends and a soft spot for local supply teacher Dane Ackerman. If only she could put her past behind her and embrace the present.


Dane is working hard to prove himself at the village primary school and doesn’t really have time for love, but he’s drawn to Honey and hopes she feels the same. When a permanent teaching position is advertised in Heatherlea, he faces stiff competition to secure it.


As Honey and Dane deal with the ups and downs of life, will they be able to find a way to be together, or will they have to accept that sometimes love just isn’t enough?


My Thoughts:

The fourth instalment of The Cosy Cottage Café allows readers to see Spring from the perspective of Honey Blackwell, the final member of the group of friends who meet up at the Café regularly to sample the delights cooked up, share the ups and downs of life and generally keep each other going when life gets tricky. Honey is a character that we’ve briefly glimpsed in previous books, she always comes across as easy going, cheery and an all round lovely lass who never fails to make everyone around her smile.

Honey has recently embarked on a relationship with Dane Ackerman, a local supply teacher but neither of them has actually put a label on the relationship, so they’re at the stage where their friends all know that they’re a couple, even if they don’t quite know they’ve reached that point yet. Watching their relationship develop and getting to know both of these characters better is definitely a treat, being able to learn about Honey’s past makes her even more lovable.
As well as her lovely personality, Honey has wonderfully bright coloured hair, a bit like a unicorn but it all adds to her charm. The names she’s given her chickens made me laugh so much!

As well as getting to read Honey’s story, Griffiths continues the stories of her other characters in Heatherlea in the background, meaning that fans of the series can see how life has moved on for Camilla, Allie and Dawn after their books.
The thing I love about these books is that the characters have become so real to me, I eagerly look forward to catching up with them and seeing what they’ve been up to. The setting of Heatherlea is lovely, the descriptions are so vivid and make it seem like the sort of place you would love to visit. Although, word of warning, do not read this when you’re hungry. The food created in the Café is likely to have you drooling and wishing you could taste it!


A Wedding at The Cosy Cottage Café

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When Allie Jones’ daughter, Mandy, arrives at The Cosy Cottage Café in tears one spring morning, Allie is extremely concerned. She’s been worried about her career-driven daughter for a while, and she’s hoping she’ll finally get to find out what’s wrong.

Dawn Dix-Beaumont has her hands full with three young children, a husband who works from home and the guinea pig family that lives in her garden. She’s happier than she’s ever been, but is it too good to last?

Camilla Dix is madly in love with local vet Tom Stone. Being with Tom and cuddling her baby niece have stirred feelings she didn’t know she had, but it’s far too soon to be making long-term plans. Isn’t it?

Honey Blackwell’s boyfriend, Dane Ackerman, has secured his teaching post at Heatherlea Primary School and they’ve decided to live together. Everything seems to be working out well, until a member of Honey’s household expresses a clear dislike for the handsome teacher.

Plus someone has been planning a proposal…

Join Allie and her friends this summer as cakes are baked, secrets are shared and surprises bring smiles and tears at The Cosy Cottage Café.

My Thoughts:

The fifth part of the series and what a book this is! After the revelations in the previous book, I went into this book wondering who’s wedding was going to feature here, there were three options and I could not wait to see who would be getting the fairy tale happy ever after moment. After a year of stories following the group of friends, this was the perfect way to tie up the four seasons, each of the main stories has reached a wonderful point filled with happiness and laughter.

It’s possible to pick up any of the books in the series to read as a stand alone, including this one but I do think to get the full story it’s worth reading the full set of books to get the backstories, enjoy the build up and drool over the delights that Allie whips up in the Café.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot and give anything away, but this is a wonderful way to pass an afternoon with plenty of laughter and feel good moments.
The style of writing makes this such a light and enjoyable read, the characters are appealing and relatable and the story draws readers in.

The only downside is that I have to bid Heatherlea farewell now.

Celebrating Indie Publishing today sees a mini review of a humorous crime tale set in the Scottish Borders, written by Mark Farrer.

The Good, The Bad and The Rugby was published in ebook on 18th October, copies can be purchased via Amazon UK or Amazon US.

As part of the blog tour, there is a giveaway running to win some bookmarks, this is only open to UK entrants, details and your chance to win is below.


Book Feature:

 

Description:GBR-Front-Cover

Getting to the truth. By trial… and eror error.

Cullen is on jury duty, and the sleepy Scottish town of Melrose is experiencing a rare crime wave: the famous Rugby Sevens trophy is stolen, a dead body is unearthed, there is a spate of petty arson, and someone drives a van into Gloria’s front room.
Why? And what is her husband doing every night up on Eildon hill?

In this hilarious crime romp, misguided loyalties, thwarted love, and unbelievable gullibility reach crisis point on the one day in the year when the world pays a visit to Melrose.

At the final whistle, Cullen will ensure that justice is done.

Because sometimes twelve good men just isn’t enough.

 

My Thoughts:

What a funny and madcap book this turned into! When I started this book, I had no idea that I would be chuckling aloud at sections and dialogue so much, and even reading parts out to my long suffering husband to see if they were as funny to him as I found them.

The characters are superb creations, Farrer has brought together a wonderful cast of societal misfits with a great dash of humour and mixes them with a plot that has readers racing through to find out what happens next! Although the character of Cullen is from previous books, this is a stand alone book, and it reads very easily in that respect. Although, after having met Cullen, I am keen to go back and read the previous books.
Clever plotting and weaving together the various strands of it all means that this is a well rounded and enjoyable read. Humour is balanced well with darkness, and so when we reach various points of the plot, the scenes feel realistic as well as entertaining.

 

Giveaway:

As part of the blog tour, Mark’s novella Dirty Barry is available to download from Amazon for free here.

For your chance to win 2 bookmarks featuring the covers of all four of Mark Farrer’s books, please click the following Rafflecopter link.
Please note this a UK only giveaway.  The 14 winners will be selected at random and your postal address will be passed onto Mark Farrer.  There is no cash alternative.  The giveaway ends of midnight (GMT) on 16th November 2018.  Any personal information stored by the Rafflecopter giveway will be deleted after the winners have been drawn.

Rafflecopter Competition Link

 

About the Author:

Mark was born in Liverpool, studied Computer Science at Hull University, then had a successful career in IT management in London and the South-East for twenty years before moving to Edinburgh in 2001. He continued working in IT until 2015 when he decided to retire from the rat race and focus on becoming a writer. He now spends half his time writing and the other half worrying why he is not yet making money from writing.

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby is Mark’s third comic novel featuring a morally righteous loner called Cullen. He also has a perma-free novella on Amazon, called Dirty Barry, which tells how Cullen and Big Paul first met. He is currently at work on a second novella, called Bronchial Billy.

Mark has three children, one at University, one on a gap year in Ghana, and one still at High School. He lives with his partner Claire, a photographer, near West Linton, in the Scottish Borders.

He likes: his Mini Cooper, songwriting, playing piano, vanilla panna cotta, The Beatles, woodburning stoves, wittertainment, Bill Bailey, #sadmanonatrain, fruit gums, Carl Hiaasen, The Wire, spicy food, Van Gogh, Lindsey Buckingham, oaked chardonnay, House MD, long walks, cinema, reading in bed, florentines, Only Connect, board games, Otis Lee Crenshaw, Budweiser, GBBO, India, cheese, David Armand’s mimes, bookshops, Scandi Noir, Diet Coke, The Economist, Blackadder, good sausages, Dickens, Helena Bonham-Carter (secret crush), the Times crossword, the song mmmbop, and pies.

And lists.

He dislikes: ITV, pinot grigio, tattoos, ballet, ready meals, rap, religion, clutter, artificial raspberry flavouring, marmite, jazz, under-powered showers, people who don’t look after their stuff, opera, sprouts, and waste.

And mashed potato.

He really doesn’t like mashed potato.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mark_farrer

Website: http://markfarrer.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Farrer/e/B074S4XMGL/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

good-bad-rugby

Today I am rather excited to share a review of a book I had the privilege of reading early, and since reading the unedited version I’ve read a completed copy and loved it even more! What is the book you ask? It’s Who Killed Anne-Marie, a clever and thrilling read from the brain of the coffee drinking, fiendish author CM Thompson.

And as a special gift, I have a copy of the paperback to send to one lucky reader!

 

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** My thanks to the author and publisher for my copy of the book **

 

Description:

Daniel and Anne-Marie’s marriage isn’t just on the rocks, it’s about to go six feet under.

Anne-Marie Mills is out of work, out of love and out of whisky. Everyone else is out of patience.
When Anne-Marie is found dead who is to blame? The neighbours who despised her drunken rants? The husband who wondered how much more he could take?

Or is there another killer in the neighbourhood?

My Thoughts:

Who Killed Anne-Marie is a peek behind the façade of “normal” life on a “normal” residential street, it allows readers to discover the darkness that lurks in the homes, hearts and minds of those that live there. It is a chilling exploration of the fragility of relationships and their toxicity.

The characters are carefully created and whilst not always the most appealing, readers begin to understand, connect with and feel empathy for them, in particular, Anne-Marie and her long-suffering husband. Supporting characters are multidimensional, each coming vividly to life as readers see narration from their perspective. And the more we learn about some of these characters, the more we become aware that things are never as they seem. Everyone has a limit that they can be pushed to or a line they won’t cross, and Thompson craftily demonstrates that each character struggles with this, feeling pulled by circumstances or people around them to the point that something snaps.

Plotting is clever, the mystery of the title is explored from the viewpoints of both a police perspective and that of a layperson, giving readers a more rounded read. As Daniel attempts to restore balance in the home following Anne-Marie’s death, readers see how a “normal” person might process events and try to clean up following what unfolded
The author presents many characters who would have a motive to kill Anne-Marie. The downwards spiral that this character is on is well charted throughout the narrative, her behaviour depicting just how dark her world became, her mind unravelling as her dependence on alcohol increased.

An interesting and dark read with a thrilling “whodunit” to keep readers guessing!

 

Giveaway

For your chance to win a paperback copy of this book all you need to do is retweet the pinned tweet on Twitter. This is open to UK entries only and the winner will be randomly selected when entries close at midnight and contacted via Twitter on Friday morning.

Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.

 

About the Author:

CM Thompson lives in Nottingham, she has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Portsmouth. Her first novel, What Lies in the Dark, came out in 2014. She doesn’t have much to put in her bio because she spends too much time reading and playing Candy Crush. She can be found on Twitter @cmtwrites.

Just me, having a natter with the wonderful Emma (damppebbles) about three of books I’ve read this year that I think should be on everyone’s list!

damppebbles.com

Hello you wonderful bookish folk.  It’s Wednesday, we’re halfway through the week and we’re one step closer to the weekend…phew!  Today I am delighted to welcome another of my absolute favourite bookish types to the blog to share their #R3COMM3ND3D2018.  Finding a hobby you love in life is a bonus.  Finding a hobby you love and then making some of the best friends you could ever wish for thanks to that hobby is the icing on the cake.  If you’re not already following Kate Noble’s fabulous blog – The Quiet Knitter – then we need to have words!  She’s a wonderful friend and if it wasn’t for this book blogging lark I don’t think our paths would ever have crossed.  Thank you book blogging.

I witter on too much, I know.  Anyway, if you haven’t come across #R3COMM3ND3D2018 before then let me explain.  #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is where I invite book bloggers, authors and…

View original post 398 more words

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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.

 

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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