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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time to celebrate another independently published author and their book.  Today’s book in the spotlight is The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter written by Cherry Radford.  It was published by Urbane Publications on 5th April 2018 and is available to purchase now.


Book Feature

Description:

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After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to start a novel, she wants to be alone until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle or tragedy of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is a unique book that opens with a wonderful playlist of tracks to play whilst reading the book, giving the reader a glimpse of the important role that music plays.  The connection of music is what draws two characters together, one a musician in Madrid and the other a journalist/author in Beachy Head.  The discovery of a CD in a borrowed car leading to a friendship between the two and setting off a chain of events that lead to self discoveries and uncover long buried secrets.

Imogen has sought the sanctuary of her aunt’s lighthouse following the break up of her marriage, relishing the peace and tranquility that the remote setting offers her, despite missing her teenage son terribly.  However, her sadness is only magnified when you realise that the lighthouse she is staying in has another in it’s view, the one that her father worked at and subsequently lost his life at.
The backdrop of the setting is poetically offset with the struggles that Imogen has to work through.  Heartache is something that Imogen has experienced before, but the diary extracts she reads from her father rock her and throw her into a deeper turmoil.

Musician and actor Santiago Montoya in Madrid is working on a soap opera and not able to spend as much time working on his music as he’d like, his band no longer performing.  He begins learning English in the hopes that it might open new opportunities up for him in his career and is one day surprised when a tweet comes from a woman in England saying how much she connected with this music, how it made her feel alive, made her “feel”.

Their connection through Twitter is like the beginnings of a modern day love story, social media linking them from one country to another.  Imogen’s personality shines through her messages to Santiago, her chatty happiness positively glows from the pages.   The easiness of their friendship makes for enjoyable reading, the budding friendship between them grows, Imogen helping Santi with his English and he in turn helping her with her Spanish.

The story of Imogen’s father is one that slowly unravels throughout the book, and one that I found I was desperately hooked upon, wanting to discover what drove him to take the course of action he decided upon.  The diary extracts give a great insight into the mind of her father, and an alternative view to Imogen of events from her childhood.

Themes of relationships and emotion are a huge part of the plot, this is a book that takes readers on a journey along with the characters.
Vivid descriptions of the settings help to transport the readers, from the rocky, windswept Beachy Head to the sunny and continental Madrid.

An enjoyable escape.

You can buy a copy of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter via:

Amazon UK

 


Author Feature:

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Cherry Radford was a keyboard player in a band, a piano teacher at the Royal Ballet School and an optometrist/post-doctoral researcher at Moorfields Eye Hospital before suddenly starting her first novel in the middle of a scientific conference in 2009.

Following the publication of Men Dancing (2011) and Flamenco Baby (2013) by a small Brighton-based independent, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter is her first novel with Urbane Publications.

Cherry lives in Eastbourne and Almería (Spain).

She chats about writing and other passions on her BLA BLA LAND blog (https://cherryradforddotblog.wordpress.com), Twitter (@CherryRad), Instagram (cherry_radford) and website (http://cherryradford.co.uk).

 

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

My favourite thing is being immersed in the world of my novel, particularly in the last few chapters. At that point, I’m way past the dreadful 25K doubting stage, I’ve come through the plot-tangling developments, and I pretty much know how it’s going to end – but love watching how the characters take over and decide the final details. This isn’t the favourite thing for people around me, however; apparently, I behave like a woman in that antsy stage of labour, and… well, on all three occasions I’ve been encouraged to book into a hotel!

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

Although I love Twitter, Instagram and running my BLA BLA LAND blog, I have far too many technotantrums about things like managing photos, uploading stuff and trying to figure out how the hell Goodreads works.

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

I love unusual romances that are written for both men and women – what I call People Fiction as opposed to Women’s Fiction. It would have to be one of the stellar examples, such as Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. I am totally in awe of that novel.

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

If I’m not plotting, I’m researching, writing or editing a novel – or possibly two of these, on different novels! I’m always reading something – a novel or some non-fiction for research – but spend far too much time Tweeting and Instagramming with all sorts of wonderful people e.g. other authors, flamenco musicians and an engineer who goes around the country fixing lighthouses! I try to swim or walk each day (both great for ideas), and two afternoons a week I have my lovely piano pupils.

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

Oh yes. I developed stationeryphilia through years of doing scientific research, and this condition was easily transferred to my writing when I started it nearly ten years ago. I have to write in pocket-size elasticated leather notebooks you can stick a (colour-matched, Pentel) biro into. The sight of a white screen page makes me nervous; I’m much happier scribbling by hand and later filtering as I transfer to the laptop. It also stops me fussing about word count, which I think is a daft way of measuring progress (does a painter count how many tubes of paint he’s using up?). It’s getting through the chapters that counts –  and not irritating readers by having too many words in them. I’m a recumbent writer – bed, sun-lounger or beach rug – but always get my break-through ideas when in the bath or swimming.

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

More seaside! I’m writing a saga about a family who own a pier, starting in 1930. At least, I hope I am; I’m still in the dreadful doubting stage.

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

Put down the phone and read – there are so many great novels out there, and only one lifetime to read them in!

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://cherryradforddotblog.wordpress.com)
Twitter: @CherryRad
Instagram: cherry_radford
Website: http://cherryradford.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Whilst I’m taking a few days off for the school holidays I thought that it might be nice to showcase some wonderful indie authors and shine a blinding spotlight on them.

I am so excited to put one of my favourite crime fiction authors in the spotlight and share my love of his books with you.  The author in question is the lovely Derek Farrell who has written the Danny Bird mysteries series (Death of a Diva, Death of a Nobody and Death of a Devil).

Derek Farrell’s are published by Fahrenheit Press and are available to buy now!


Author Feature:

Derek Farrell_Fotor

Derek Farrell is the author of the Danny Bird Mysteries, ‘Death of a Diva,’ ‘Death of a Nobody’ and ‘Death of a Devil,’ which centre on the denizens of The Marquess of Queensbury Public House in Glamourous South London.

He was educated in Dublin, and, whilst waiting to become a writer of fabulous crime novels has passed his time being a burger dresser, bank cashier, David Bowie’s paperboy, and an Investment Banker in New York’s World Trade Centre (a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, only with fewer hookers and more midgets, since you ask).

He is married and divides his time between London, West Sussex and Dublin.

Derek loves to hear from his readers, and can be contacted via Twitter: @derekifarrell or at his website Derekfarrell.co.uk

His books can be purchased as paperbacks or ebooks direct from the publisher Fahrenheit Press at: http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

Or from Amazon:

Death of a Diva

Death of a Nobody

Death of a Devil

Death of a Diva is now available as a deluxe edition Hardback limited to only 50 Copies worldwide.
Purchase it here.

 

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

The best thing about being an author is realising that I have a tribe of readers who love escaping into my world. I LOVE the idea of telling stories and knowing that there are people I’ve never even met who are on trains and busses and on holiday or in the kitchen wondering what’s going to happen to Danny and the gang next.

Plus, the parties are epic. There was this one time Wilbur Smith came into Studio HB54 on a White Horse…

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

Writing. To quote one of my writing Heroines Dorothy Parker, “I hate writing; I love having written.” Every time I sit down, the fear kicks in, and you wonder if you’re about to be rumbled. But you press on, and hope that, when it’s finally done, it will resemble the idea you had in your head all along. And so far, I think I’ve gotten away with it…

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

Can I have two?
“The Aggravations of Minnie Ashe” by Cyril Kersh was the first book I ever read that left me unable to breathe because I was laughing so hard.

It’s the everyday story of a Widow in East End London on the edge of WWII and her ongoing battles with the council, the neighbours and the ‘thieving tradesmen who’d rip the eyes out of a widow’s head’ as told by her long suffering son.

The cast of characters – mum, uncles, aunts, random neighbours – didn’t so much influence The Danny Bird Mysteries as provide an (admittedly unconscious) blueprint for how to make the every day both fascinating, funny, and tragically poignant. If I could write that funny and that humanly, I would be a very proud and happy author. This and its sequel are out of print nowadays, but well worth hunting down.

The Thin Man” by Dashiell Hammett.  I read this one at least once a year, along with ‘Gatsby,’ which is also a Talisman of mine. Hammett here manages to move the Noir novel into a space that’s a little more cerebral, a little more cosmopolitan, a lot more humorous. TTM isn’t a huge book; it relies on a couple of questionable turns; but it is like a perfectly constructed Martini: Simple, genuine, and far more complicated than it looks at first glance. Plus, it features GALLONS of booze. I mean it. GALLONS. At one point, I worried that Danny and Caz in my books were drinking too much to be (a) functioning and (b) feasible. Then I did my annual reread of TTM, and actually added more gin.

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

Travelling, reading going to the theatre, drinking Chardonnay and Gin and stressing about the fact I’m (a) not writing (b) drinking too much and (c) as a result of (b) getting too fat go fit into my knockoff Prada onesie.

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

My number one ritual is: Travel.

All my first drafts are at least partially written en route to my day job.

Most of the 2nd half of Death of a Diva was written on a ship crossing the Atlantic. For five days my fellow passengers played Bingo, Quoits, or lounged on deck, whilst I – regularly supplied with Martinis – sat in the Library from dawn to dusk and wrote.

A good chunk of Death of a Nobody was written sitting by a swimming pool in New Zealand, and Death of a Devil was finished somewhere between Venice and Montenegro. The book I’m currently working on was plotted in a cottage in Wales and started on a Caribbean Island.

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

Danny 4. That’s – honestly – all I’m allowed to tell you.

But if you press me (and since you’ve promised me gin when we finally meet) I’ll add: LONDON in capitals, and a mix of smart, funny, sad, angry and – to be frank, having just written a scene with a dead pig and a celebrity chef – surreal. In other words: Danny & Caz  are at it full blast.

All I know is that, this time around, there will be tears.

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

One? You know me better than that, surely?

Stop thinking you should only read X or Y: Read whatever the f*ck you want to read, and – if it’s not working for you – stop, no shame no guilt, no judgement. Also: Review on Amazon, Goodread etc. Authors need these reviews. Not, obviously, the “It made my eyes fall out and my house burn down” type, but any genuine honest review is a brilliant thing. And tell your friends if you loved a book. Hell, if you loved a book, tell even the people you’re not that fond of. A personal recommendation is worth a billion dollars.

 

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? hardback_spread1_Fotor

Death of a Diva is being reissued in deluxe, shiny glamorous extremely limited hardback edition. It’s the first of the Danny Bird Mysteries, and introduces us to a bloke and his best mate, the crazy denizens of the bar they end up in charge of, the gangster who runs it, and the world that thousands of readers have come to love. It’s been described as “Like M.C. Beaton on MDMA,” “A classic whodunit full of red herrings,” and – by Monty Python’s own Eric Idle – as “Quite Good.”

If you like Gin, Gangsters, Diamond Geezers, Dolly Birds,

Murder, Mayhem, Pearls Poison and Profanity, then I think you’ll like Death of a Diva.

And if you don’t, then there’s something not right with you.

Danny Covers

 

My thanks to Derek for being so much fun and taking part in Celebrating Indie Publishing, I’m so intrigued by the sound of book four and cannot wait to read it!  Now to see if I can squish myself into one of Derek’s suitcases for his next holiday……

 

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

 

Description:

Whitechapel, 1888: London is bowed under Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror.

London, 2015: actress Julianne Bell is abducted in a case similar to the terrible Tower Hamlets murders of some ten years earlier, and harking back to the Ripper killings of a century before.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2015: a woman’s body is found mutilated in a forest, her wounds identical to those of the Tower Hamlets victims. With the man arrested for the Tower Hamlets crimes already locked up, do the new killings mean he has a dangerous accomplice, or is a copy-cat serial killer on the loose?

Profiler Emily Roy and true-crime writer Alexis Castells again find themselves drawn into an intriguing case, with personal links that turn their world upside down. Following the highly acclaimed Block 46 and guaranteed to disturb and enthral, Keeper is a breathless thriller from the new queen of French Noir.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Every now and again, there is an author who exceeds all expectations and writes a book that completely blows your mind, and I believe that Johaha Gustawsson is one of those rare authors.

In Keeper, readers are reacquainted with profiler Emily Roy and crime writer Alexis Castells as the pair are pulled into a case that has far reaching implications.  But where Gustawsson excels is through weaving together two strands of plot separated by hundreds of years to bring an astoundingly addictive read.  The Ripper killings elicit intrigue from many audiences and so the idea of incorporating them here just serves to make this book even more addictive reading.
Having heard the author speaking at Granite Noir 2018, she mentioned that there had been a Swedish victim of Jack the Ripper and so the way that she incorporates this into her book is ingenious.

The plotting of this book is really something else, I don’t even know where to begin and I don’t want to do Keeper a disservice by attempting to do so.  I will say that this is a book that will keep you on your toes and no matter how many times you think you’ve sussed it out, Gustawsson will completely render you speechless by the deft way that she weaves complex details together.  The characters are fantastically crafted, each appearing so real and multidimensional.  Their histories are so colourful and packed with such comprehensive detail that readers cannot help but become invested in them.

I would highly recommend reading Keeper, and also Gustawsson’s previous thriller Block 46.  Both are equally brilliant and showcase the amazing skill of this author perfectly.

You can buy a copy of Keeper via:

Amazon UK
Orenda Books eBookstore
Wordery

FINAL Keeper blog poster 2018

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

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


Book Feature:

Description:

Jon Richter - Never Rest_cover_high res

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

Author Feature:

Jon+Richter

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


Book Feature:

Description:51n2b-r5ejl

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

 

My Thoughts & Review:

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

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

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

Historical fiction that stands out from the crowd!

You can buy a copy of Spanish Crossings via:

Amazon UK

 

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

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


Description:

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

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

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

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

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

And even the mighty fall.

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

 

My Thoughts & Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely highly recommended!!

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It’s with great delight that I welcome you to today’s “Celebrating Indie Publishing” post, today I am opening the wonderful Claire MacLeary’s blog tour for her latest mystery thriller.  I had the privilege of reading Claire’s first novel to feature Maggie and Big Wilma in Aberdeen and utterly loved it, so when offered the chance to read the second book I jumped at it!

Burnout is published by Contraband, which is part of Saraband and is available to pre order now, publication date is 29th March.

 


Book Feature:

Description:

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My husband is trying to kill me : a new client gets straight to the point.

This is a whole new ball game for Maggie Laird, who is trying to rebuild her late husband s detective agency and clear his name.

Her partner, Big Wilma, sees the case as a non-starter, but Maggie is drawn in. With her client’s life on the line, Maggie must get to the ugly truth that lies behind Aberdeen’s closed doors.

But who knows what really goes on between husbands and wives?
And will the agency’s reputation and Maggie and Wilma’s friendship remain intact?

 

 

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit, when a book is set in the city I grew up in I feel some pull towards it.  I love discovering Aberdeen through the eyes of others, through the characters and their writers and so seeing how Claire MacLeary brings it alive with her wonderful writing is a must read for me.

Burnout sees the return of Maggie Laird and Wilma Harcus, two women in Aberdeen brought together through less than brilliant circumstances but nonetheless, a wonderful friendship blossomed between the two and since their adventures in Cross Purpose, the women have successfully kept their private investigation business going and even thriving on the cases they have brought in.

Having met Claire recently at Granite Noir, I can confirm that she is absolutely lovely and so to think that she can write these incredibly gritty and compelling books is mind boggling.
She has a wonderful way with words, and can set the scene so vividly, her characters come to life from the pages so realistically that the menace and danger that pose seems to escape from the pages.  I do particular love the way that she’s given a true authenticity to the dialogue in places with the use of Doric phrases.  For those not familiar with Doric, it’s the dialect spoken in Aberdeen (and Shire), and if you do find it hard to fathom then there is the helpful “Doric Dictionary” that can help translate for you.

The characters in this are so complex and three dimensional, the personalities of Maggie and Wilma leap off the pages at you whilst reading and it’s hard not to take these two women into your heart.  If you’ve read Cross Purpose which was Claire’s previous novel, then it’s almost like catching up with old friends when you read about them.  Equally, the supporting characters are so multifaceted and complex, trying to work out their motivations keeps the reader on their toes.

Just when I thought the book couldn’t get any better, Claire MacLeary sneaks some absolutely superb writing in right under my nose and catches me off guard entirely!  I hate when people state “I didn’t see that twist coming” or “that ending was so unexpected” but in this case, for fear of giving anything away, I shall have to use a a non committal phrase and say that this book was bloody brilliant and I NEEEEEEED another one to find out what happens next for Maggie and Wilma!!!

You can buy a copy of Burnout via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

About the Author:

Claire MacLeary lived for many years in Aberdeen and St Andrews, but describes herself as “a feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on”. Following a career in business, she gained an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Dundee and her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at Granite Noir, Noir at the Bar and other literary events. Claire’s debut novel, Cross Purpose, has been longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017. She is now working on Burnout, the sequel to Cross Purpose.

 

BuO_Blog_tour(1)

 

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