Star of Hope by @moiramcpartlin @FledglingPress #BlogTour #AuthorInterview #LoveBooksGroupTours

Welcome to my stop on Moira McPartlin’s Star of Hope blog tour!

Star of Hope blog tour banner

With thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours for arranging the following interview with Moira McPartlin…..

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

I am a Scottish writer with Irish roots. I started writing twenty years ago. First short stories and poems and then moving onto novels. My first novel The Incomers was published in 2012 and tells the story of a Black West African woman who moves to a Fife (Scottish) mining village in 1966. My next three books are The Sun Song trilogy, a future fiction story set in a divided and broken world in the year 2089.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I take all my ideas from society and what is happening in the world around me. With The Sun Song trilogy the initial story came to me as a dream. I wrote it first as a short story then I began novel Ways of the Doomed but half way through writing it I realised the world I had created for the novel was huge and there was more to tell so the short story became a trilogy.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

I like to think of all my characters as being real and individual but I admit that I do pull out certain traits and behaviours from people I know. It is like one of those Photofit images the police use to find criminals. I take a little piece from here and a little piece from there and create a whole new person.

How do you pick your characters’ names?

Many different ways. Ellie, the character in The Incomers is named after my favourite aunt. In the Sun Song Trilogy, because it is set in the future I wanted the names to be a little different. Sorlie and Ishbel are old Scottish names and I picked them because I loved the sound of them when spoken aloud. Merj and Shasta are stars, Reinya I made up but I wanted something regal. Some names just pop into my head.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

In a nutshell I write my first draft longhand very quickly. I then type it up and start to add layers in the story and deal with any research that needs checked out. Once I have a pretty decent draft I let my early readers read and feedback, then I begin the task of editing. I edit many, many times. I then send my manuscript out to beta readers and once I’ve edited again using their comments I send it to my publisher.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

I find it very hard to pick favourite authors. I know my favourite author is John Steinbeck, some of the others include, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sally Gardner, Philp Pullman and Margaret Atwood.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

If I could meet any author it would be Stephen King. I would ask him how he manages to be such a prolific writer, reader and still manage to have a life outside of books.

Were you a big reader as a child?

I always remember being told that I didn’t read enough but now when I look back I think I must have read a fair bit. As a young girl I read The Chalet Girl series, Enid Blyton (of course) and as a teenager I moved onto more serious authors like George Orwell and Grahame Greene.

When did you start to write?

I was a late starter. I didn’t begin writing until I was in my forties. I worked for a global company and used to spend lots of time in airports and planes. I wrote to pass the time but creating stories soon took over my life and I began to write full time.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

I would change the ending of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I couldn’t believe Charlotte died. I would make her somehow live for ever.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Standish Treadwell is such a believable character with a totally unique narrative voice. I love everything about this book.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

Not there yet and loving every minute’ This is a catch phase I invented for my first website many years ago and it is still true to my feelings about life.

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

It would be Wizard Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle and I would take him to the castle I am looking at right now as I write this. That is Stirling Castle. It sits high on a crag and many mornings a mist swirl and lies in the valley and the castle looks as though it is floating in the air. It is most magical.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a series of linked short stories loosely based on the antics my kids got up to when they were teenagers. They are written in broad Scots and very funny. I perform them at events and they are well received.

Tell us about your last release?

My latest release is the last book in the Sun Song Trilogy, Star of Hope. I still can’t believe I’ve written a trilogy. The first two books Ways of the Doomed and Wants of the Silent are dark and evil with the characters fighting for a better world. Star of Hope is what it says in the title; it is a very hopeful book and I’m very proud to have concluded the trilogy in the way I have.

Do you have a new release due?

Star of Hope was released in February 2019

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Because I know people all over Central Scotland I have three launches, Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow. I invite all my friends to the launches and we have cake!

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Twitter – @moiramcpartlin

Instagram – @moiramcpartlin

Blog – www.moiramcpartlin.com

FB author page – @theweemcp

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

I love to visit schools and colleges and talk to readers. The Scottish Book Trust have funding called Live Literature funding. The link to my author profile on this fund is;

http://scottishbooktrust.com/profile-author/88908

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Moira 🙂

Star of Hope cover

Blurb

This third and final exciting volume of The Sun Song Trilogy finds Sorlie and Ishbel working together in one last attempt to save Esperaneo. As The Prince’s health deteriorates he hands over leadership of the Star of Hope’s mission to Sorlie and Ishbel. But what is the Star of Hope? All they know is that it will free the native race from slavery. On mainland Esperaneo Major, Ishbel travels north through a hostile artic forest while Sorlie, Reinya and Dawdle head for the southern dry lands. On the way both parties battle extreme weather and betrayal, but it is only when the two missions meet that the frightening truth of their world is revealed. And one final betrayal decides the fate of the mission and their fight for freedom. The Sun Song trilogy explores life in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Britain where society’s norms have broken down and life has to be lived differently.

Buy Link

https://amzn.to/2GWVeRP

happy reading 🙂

 

 

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After The Funeral by Gillian Poucher @GillianPoucher #BlogTour #BookReview @RedDoorBooks

Welcome to my stop on Gillian Poucher’s After The Funeral blog tour with RedDoor Publishing!

I am the last stop on this tour, but please do check out the previous posts by these awesome book bloggers…..

After The Funeral tour poster

Many thanks to Anna & Julia @ RedDoor Publishing

My review…..

I found myself completely captivated by After The Funeral from the very beginning.

We meet 49 year old Julia at a very sad time in her life, the funeral of her mother, Emily. When she meets a stranger attending the funeral claiming to know her and hinting at a family secret, Julia is understandably disturbed, but intrigued. Who is this Linda who claims to have spent time with her mother, but who her mother has never mentioned?

I have to say that for the most part of this book I couldn’t make my mind up if I liked Julia or not. At times she comes across as quite standoffish and a bit self-important, but she is struggling with her grief and the recent break of a relationship, all of which affects her ability to do her job as a counsellor effectively. This, of course, has a knock on effect on her finances, another cause of stress which leads to her returning to her work sooner than she really should have. Her new client, Grace proves that she isn’t really well enough to counsel effectively, but she really needs the money and Grace has her more than little bit intrigued.

When Linda turns up at Julia’s Aunt Ada’s 80th Birthday celebration, seemingly drunk and just there to cause trouble, the suspense is revved up a notch and I was desperate to discover Linda’s story and her connection to the family. It is obvious that Aunt Ada knows something about her, but she takes her secret with her to her grave.

When Julia’s supervisor insists she takes some time off and go away for a few days, I love that Julia goes to Walsingham. I know Walsingham well. I have been there on pilgrimage many times in the past few years, but unfortunately didn’t go last year with our church group. My friend, Gayle, and I are looking at going sometime in November this year, all being well. Anyway, it’s such a beautiful place in such a lovely part of the country and I loved that I could picture where Julia was whilst she was there.

When Julia meets Linda once again and she hands her a diary of her mothers which was missing from her house, she knows she is finally going to discover the truth. That truth is quite heart-breaking and this is when I really warmed Julia. Reading Emily’s diary entry reveals the secret everyone had been keeping for all those years and my heart wept for Emily. I don’t want to say any more for fear of spoiling it for anyone, but needless to say it has been a compelling read.

It is such an emotional story full of secrets, love and devastating loss. It has, however, hope for a brighter future with long lost family and new relationships.

It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. I highly recommend and will be looking forward to future books by Gillian Poucher.

Many thanks to Anna and Julia at RedDoor publishing for my review copy.

After The Funeral cover

You don’t know me
But I know you…

When a stranger approaches Julia Butler at her mother’s funeral and hints at a disturbing family secret, her life is turned upside down.
Who is this woman and how does she know so much about Julia’s life?
Grief-stricken, Julia finds her well-ordered life unravelling and her relationships in turmoil. As the mystery around the stranger deepens, she must not only make peace with those around her, but with the ghosts from her past to find hope for the future.
After the Funeral is a gripping debut novel which explores the complex relationships between three generations of women with sensitivity and compassion.

 

Gillian Poucher

After The Funeral author Gillian Poucher

RedDoor Publishing

happy reading 🙂

 

Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella @dyedsouls #BlogTour #AuthorInterview @rararesources

Dyed Souls

Welcome to my stop on Gary Santorella’s Dyed Souls blog tour! Many thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging the following interview…..

Dyed Souls Author Pic

For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?

I was at this book for a better part of 35 years. I was a psychotherapist and social worker (still licensed), but for the last 22 years have run my own consulting company doing Lean assessments, team building and executive coaching – mostly in the construction industry. I’ve written two Lean Culture books that were published in 2010 and 2017 by Taylor & Francis. Dyed Souls is a story that kept gnawing at me relentlessly until I finally finished. It was published by Matador in 2018.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I worked in settings described in the book early on in my career. Most of us were fresh out of college – hardly what you’d call responsible adults. We’d pour over case histories, diagnoses, and treatment plans, but that always seemed to me to miss the larger point. We evolved to live in small tribal groups, held together by shared values, taboos and mores. But we’ve radically, and rapidly altered that paradigm. Rather than doing what’s best for our tribe’s interest, we do what is our own interest. We live in vast cities and suburbs, held together by laws, which may or may not be enforced, and are often subjectively interpreted. We seek out those who share our interests (and often enable harmful behavior), but in our internet age, even these connections are tenuous. My goodness, if someone ever invents lifelike sex robots all intimate human interaction may cease to exist. Evolution has no set end game, it just is. But when you look at where we are going in the US – away from acquiring wisdom and knowledge – and ever onward toward materialism, entertainment, and a wide array of pseudoscientific and irrational beliefs and behaviors, you can’t help speculate that throwaway kids I write about are the by-product of such shallow values. This is the story I wanted to tell. Sure, you can point to biological damage, and abuse, and substance abuse, and poverty, and failed educational systems. But we’re the one’s who created this, aren’t we? It’s laughable to me when people say that redistribution of wealth coupled with more government programs is the answer. Unless we address the fundamental narcissism at the core of these issues, all the money and government programs in the world won’t mean a damn thing. And the far right is just as misguided. What is more narcissistic than believing there is a God that watches over us, and if we pray hard enough and live by the inconsistent and contradictory doctrine espoused by various religious texts that all will be well? To me, all of this is a problem: our beliefs on the left and right are far too human centric. As beings, we are an infinitesimally small part of a vast universe. We have to stop acting like we’re the only ones that matter, and that our happiness and all of the plants and animals on the planet are at our disposal. Though we think otherwise, except in the scientific community, we are only one very small step removed from the leap that Copernicus made. And in many ways, we are going backwards. We are becoming more, not less egocentric. (If you doubt this, spend five minutes on Twitter, or watch The Kardashians, which are veritable homages to narcissism.) The book conveys my fervent belief that it is our duty and responsibility to help each other – not because we are trying to gain God’s favour or fulfil some socialist ideology – but because that it what we evolved to do. It’s how successful tribes flourish. The greatest travesty inflicted on mankind is a modern one: that we are somehow not fully responsible regarding our obligations toward others and that government exists to fill this gap. Once you deflect individual responsibility toward an abstract third entity, you will have what is depicted in this book. This is why I think it’s an important read.

Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?

I worked with adolescents for ten years. The characters are an amalgam of the hundreds of kids I worked with.

How do you pick your characters names?

I honestly don’t have an answer for that. You get a feel for a character, and that feel tells you their name based on your own idiosyncratic experiences and the people you’ve encountered in your life.

Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?

I write illegible bits of ideas on scraps of paper that accumulate on my desk. Most of them get tossed, but the ones that don’t, eventually get the writing process going. When I get stuck, I outline what I’ve got, and that usually gets me unstuck. Knowing the ending helps. Then it’s a matter of filling the missing pieces in until you get there.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

As a kid, I loved HG Wells. Then later, John Steinbeck, William Saroyan, Somerset Maugham, Paul Auster, and Andrea Makine. All have a way of looking at the human condition critically, but compassionately.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?

That would have to be Charles Darwin. He knew so well the implications of what he was writing – moving man from the realm of the divine to being related to other animals – so I would want to ask about what he wrestled with, what held him back from publishing until Wallace forced his hand.

Were you a big reader as a child?

I was. Read lots of Science Fiction (HG Wells, Harry Harrison, Asimov, etc.) And I read tons of science books (Dinosaurs, astronomy, geology, basic microbiology.)

When did you start to write?

I remember sitting behind an old Remington typewriter at the age of 7, writing speculative science stories about dinosaurs and astronomy. Most of it was heavily plagiarized from what I had just read. I stated writing short stories in my teens, but it was all drivel. My first short story was published in the Providence Journals Sunday Magazine – and then it all went dark. Work, marriage, travel for work, travel for fun – it’s all a common tale. But Dyed Souls just wouldn’t let me go. I had to finish it.

If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?

Sorry, I just don’t think that way. If I want to tell a story, then I need to tell it – not tell someone else how they should do it. That whole notion is abhorrent to my soul.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. I’m so envious of how Auster seems to be able to get his thought on the page so effortlessly.

If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?

Pass – too boring of a topic

If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?

Pass

What are you working on right now?

I don’t talk about future work. I’m a firm believer in the notion that the more you talk about something, the more you take away from the energy of actually doing it. I know lots of folks that talk and talk, and produce little. I’m trying not to be one of them.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

Interesting Question. Actually, nothing. I’ve had three books published. After everyone all I feel is relief, and a little nausea (I’m not kidding). There is something about putting yourself out there and vulnerable that comes with a sense of foreboding. So celebrating is not something that comes to mind – at all.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

Twitter is best: : https://twitter.com/dyedsouls

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Thanks, Kerry, for taking the time to provide this Q&A for your blog – much appreciated!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! 🙂

Dyed Souls Cover

Dyed Souls

Described by John Lloyd of The Bookbag as “Catcher in the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Dyed Souls is a gritty coming-of-age literary novel, set in a residential treatment center in 1980’s California.
Charlie Lyle loves science, natural history, and the world of the mind, and it is his refuge and salvation as he copes with his drug-addicted mother and a world of circumstances well-beyond his grasp. More a work of philosophy than psychology, “For the teen it has a galling coming-of-age, redemption quest. For the adult it has that, as well as a literary look at a singular fictional life.”

Purchase Links

Troubadour – https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/contemporary/dyed-souls/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dyed-Souls-Gary-Santorella/dp/1788038096

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Dyed-Souls-Gary-Santorella/dp/1788038096

Gary Santorella, Owner, Interactive Consulting is a Lean implementation, organizational development, conflict resolution, and team-building specialist. He has a BA in Behavioural Psychology from Providence College, Providence, RI (1980), a Master’s Degree in Occupational Social Welfare from UC Berkeley (1990), and is a licensed cognitive-behavioural therapist in the State of California. His book: Lean Culture for the Construction Industry: Building Responsible & Committed Project Teams 2nd Edition was published by Productivity Press (a division of Taylor & Francis) in 2017. His first novel, Dyed Souls, was published by Matador Publishing in 2018.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/Dyed-Souls-577806782579433/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://twitter.com/dyedsouls

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38451700-dyed-souls

Dyed Souls has won two awards:

Silver in the 2018 Global eBook Awards – Young Adult Fiction Category

Chill With a Book Readers Award.

Dyed Souls Global Ebook Awards

Follow, like and share the book love with these awesome book bloggers…..

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happy reading 🙂

 

The Lonely Hearts Crime Club by Tanya Bullock @TanyaBullock15 @Blackbird_Bks #BlogTour #BookReview

The Lonely Hearts Crime Club bird

I am absolutely OVER THE MOON to be joining in with Tanya Bullock’s The Lonely Hearts Crime Club blog tour!

THE LONELY HEARTS CRIME CLUB BLOG TOUR POSTER

Many thanks to Tanya and Stephanie @ Blackbird Books for the opportunity and for my ARC of this excellent book.

My review…..

First of all, I think The Lonely Hearts Crime Club is a fabulous title and I love the cover. Both compliment this story perfectly.

I was completely engrossed in this book from the very first short, but shocking, chapter. I defy anyone to read that opening chapter and not be instantly gripped!

I love that each chapter of this book is from the perspective of different lead characters. All are very unique, with very different stories. However, they all have one thing in common, they are all lonely and live in the same high rise building.

We meet Aggie first, but her introduction is quite devastating. She has been beaten up badly, in her own home, and left for dead. Who would be callous enough to do such a thing?

Ella is in her early twenties and is pregnant with her first child. She is new to the building and is trying to turn her life around after falling in with the wrong crowd in her teens. She is keen to get to know her neighbours, but doesn’t want to come across as desperate. She has no idea what she is about to find herself involved in.

Birdie is a very interesting character. In her early sixties and an aspiring actress, but with little success. She is pinning her hopes for the future on an upcoming audition which she is convinced she has in the bag. It is obvious from the beginning that she has some issues and you can’t help but feel sorry for her, but she’s a bit of mystery until much later on in the story.

Ethan is a film maker. When we first meet him he is attending a wedding as the one filming the happy occasion. He also has his secrets though and comes across as not overly likeable to begin with, but all becomes clear as his story progresses and he grew on me.

William is living by himself for the very first time. I really liked William. He’s autistic, so his mother is quite apprehensive about him living alone, but William is proud of his little flat and new found independence. He likes to people watch from his window and makes up stories about their lives. One particular story leads to a misunderstanding with the police though and could have caused a lot of trouble.

When Aggie’s attack is revealed, Ella, Ethan, William and a reluctant Birdie decide to do their own investigating and in doing so help each other to feel that little bit less lonely. The truth is a shock in the end though, I didn’t see that coming!

I really get on with Tanya Bullock’s writing. She has the knack for creating characters which I am instantly drawn to, whether likeable or not. This book is so uniquely intriguing. It’s short chapters heighten the suspense making it a fairly quick read as it’s REALLY hard to put down! It’s very cleverly written and I will be happy to recommend to all.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy.

THE LONELY HEARTS CRIME CLUB cover

An edgy mystery with a beating human heart

‘I didn’t see that ending coming AT ALL…!’ Between the Bookends

‘A fast but great read. The cast of characters form a group of misfits similar to those of The Breakfast Club or The Sandlot. What Kel Reads

‘I absolutely did not see the ending coming!’ Goodreads

Will

YOU

work it out?
________________________

An elderly resident of an inner-city tower block is brutally attacked and left for dead.

Her neighbours, a pregnant alcoholic, a vulnerable youth, a failed actress and a cameraman with a dark secret are thrown together in their search for answers.

Misfits and loners, they are forced to confront uncomfortable realities about themselves and each other, as their investigation leads them towards the shocking finale.

‘A powerful, poignant story.’ Jane Hunt Writer Blog

‘Nice twist!’ The Dacian She-Wolf

‘A fun story with a good twist.’ Goodreads

‘I once lived in a tower block on an estate in Salford, and I could immediately visualise myself back there. Loved this book. A humbling read.’ Diane Chandler, author

‘A definite favourite. I will buy this book as gifts.’ Laura Prime

‘What an ending!’ Goodreads

‘Great job, I highly recommend.’ Between Dreams I Read

________________________

Praise for the award-winning film-maker Tanya Bullock’s first novel, That Special Someone, a heartwarming, witty story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love:

‘Local author’s debut novel manages to combine a sensitive subject with Black Country Humour.’ ‘Waterstones Loves’, Waterstones, Walsall

‘A wonderful, poignant and witty story about the life, loves and struggles of a young woman with learning difficulties.’ Jill Frasier, Founder and Director of healthcare charity, Kissing it Better

FINALIST 2016 PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION/THE BERYL BAINBRIDGE FIRST TIME AUTHOR AWARD

About the author…..

The Lonely Hearts Crime Club author TanyaBullock

Tanya Bullock is a college lecturer, writer and award-winning filmmaker. She lives in the UK with her husband and two young children. She has a passion for foreign culture and languages (inherited from her French mother) and, in her youth, travelled extensively throughout Australia, America, Asia and Europe. As a filmmaker, she has gained local recognition, including funding and regional television broadcast, through ITV’s First Cut scheme, two nominations for a Royal Television Society Midlands Award, and, in 2010, a Royal Television Society Award in the category of best promotional film. On maternity leave in 2011 and in need of a creative outlet, Tanya began to write That Special Someone, the story of a mother’s quest to help her learning-disabled daughter find love. It was a finalist for The People’s Book Prize and The Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award 2016. Her second novel, Homecoming, a love story with an unexpected twist, was published in 2016. The Lonely Hearts Crime Club is Tanya’s third novel. A psychological thriller with a shocking finale, it will be published in the spring of 2019. All Tanya’s novels are published by Blackbird Digital Books.

ICYMI…..

Homecoming: Quite Possibly The Strangest Romance Ever Told by Tanya Bullock

happy reading 🙂

The Lonely Hearts Crime Club star

 

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash @KimTheBookworm #BlogTour #BookReview @HeraBooks @rararesources

Amazing Grace banner

I am absolutely delighted to be one of today’s stops on Kim Nash’s Amazing Grace blog tour!

My review…..

Wow, what an absolutely adorable book Amazing Grace is! I have LOVED it!

If you are looking for a beautifully written, cosy, feel good, sometimes laugh out loud romance then you won’t go far wrong with this book.

Grace is such an instantly likeable character, (I have to admit I totally read this book picturing the author as Grace!) as are most of the characters in this book (including Becks!) with the exception of Mark, Grace’s ex-husband. I’m sure we’ve all known, or know, a Mark! He is so full of self-importance and it’s obvious he had a lasting affect on Grace’s self-esteem despite her new found independence. I really can’t cope with selfish men who seem to think that women should be grateful to be with them even though they do nothing to suit anyone but themselves. I did find myself wanting to scream at my paperwhite when Grace considers the possibility of taking him back!! I could totally understand Grace’s need to make their son, Archie, happy though. Us Mum’s do have a tendency to put our children first which is how it should be, but we do have to remember to look after our own well being also. This book highlights this perfectly.

Grace and Archie’s relationship is just adorable and it’s true, our babies soon grow up so we really do have to cherish every moment. My two are 18 and 17 now and not at all excited when I return home these days! Lol! It’s a good job Bella is (my Shih Tzu!) 😉

Vinnie is just gorgeous and I’m not at all surprised Grace falls for him so easily. They so reminded me of when me and my hubby met and I found their romance totally heart-warming. When you know, you know! His family is so lovely also. They really are a lovable bunch. They all share the sadness of losing a loved one and help each other to move on from such devastating grief.

I found the messages to Grace from her mother particularly emotional. I’m lucky to still have my Mum and can’t bare to think how I would cope without her in my life, so my heart went out to Grace in that respect. Life is short, cherish each other every day.

Amazing Grace is a fabulous character led story of love, loss and finding new happiness. I will be more than happy to recommend.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for my review copy.

AMAZING GRACE HI RES

Amazing Grace

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

Purchase Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MIAM7k

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2GeKm0D

Apple: https://apple.co/2MMvJD2

Author Bio

Amazin Grace - Kim Nash author photo

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk.

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019


Connect with Kim on Social Media here:

Twitter: (@KimTheBookworm) https://twitter.com/KimTheBookworm
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/KimTheBookWorm/
Instagram:
@Kim_the_bookworm

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happy reading 🙂

 

After Jessica by Morgen Bailey @morgenwriteruk #BlogTour #BookReview @BOTBSPublicity

Welcome to my stop on Morgen Bailey’s After Jessica blog tour!

After Jessica BLOG TOUR (3)

Many thanks to Sarah @ Book On The Bright Side Publicity for the opportunity to take part.

My review…..

After Jessica is an excellent mystery novella.

Jessica Price is a seemingly average young woman, living a seemingly average life before it is cut tragically short in a freak accident. My heart went out to her brother, Simon who, as her named next of kin, has the difficult task of identifying her body and having to sort out her affairs. My heart also went out to her mother as no parent should ever have to bury a child. They both cope admirably well considering, but I think with such a lot to do when someone dies it’s easy to be swept along with the practicalities.

As Simon attempts to make a start on notifying people about Jessica’s death her bank seems a natural place to start. What he finds when meeting with her bank manager, however, leaves him more than a little confused. Who is Alexis? Why do they have a joint business account? And why does it appear that she lived with Jessica, but they knew nothing about her existence? Realising he would be unable to settle this business account without Alexis’ input, Simon aims to find her and hopefully have his questions answered. He is totally not prepared for what he eventually finds out!

I was totally hooked into Jessica’s story. Each chapter is written from the perspective of different characters, some of whom seem to have no connection to Jessica, or her family, whatsoever. It is quite suspenseful and I was eager to discover what had been going on in Jessica’s life that her family had no clue about. All becomes clear as the story progresses. The truth might just surprise you! I did sort of guess part way through, but this didn’t have any impact on my enjoyment of the book. I was fascinated by how Simon was going to solve the mystery, if at all!

I think it’s very cleverly written with an absolutely heart-warming ending.

Many thanks to the author for my review copy via Sarah @ Book On The Bright Side Publicity.

After Jessica cover front large

Book Description:

 

Jessica is an ordinary girl who comes across
extraordinary circumstances and pays for them with her life. As well as
identifying her body, her brother Simon then has to wind up her affairs but
gets more than he bargains for. Who is Alexis, and why are Veronica and Daniel
searching for her? Why is there a roll of cash in Jessica’s house, and what’s
the connection between his sister and Alexis?
  

 

Author Bio:

After Jessica author Morgen July 2017

Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, and email address morgen@morgenbailey.com.

Links…..

author = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine

editor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/editing-and-critique

tutor = http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/courses

blogger = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com

speaker = https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/writer-for-hire/speaking-at-your-event

Twitter = http://twitter.com/morgenwriteruk

Facebook = http://facebook.com/morgenwriteruk

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Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Cursed Serpent by Columbkill Noonan @ColumbkillNoon1 #BlogTour #Spotlight #BookPromo @rararesources

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Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Cursed Serpent

“For Queen, for Country, and for….Uncle Rabbit?”
Just when Barnabas and Wilfred thought the world was safe at last, along comes a new threat: the Mayan Lords of Death have hatched a plan to overthrow the natural order of things, involving a cursed serpent god, two untrustworthy sets of twins, and a dead bunny that must be resuscitated at all costs. Only Barnabas and Wilfred can possibly unravel the convoluted plot, but they face danger after danger as they attempt to do so. If they fail, up will be down and down will be up, and the evil Lords of Death will take over the heavens.
Do Barnabas and Wilfred have the courage, skill (and luck!) to save the world yet again?

Case of the Cursed Serpent cover
Purchase Links

US –

https://www.amazon.com/Barnabas-Tew-Case-Cursed-Serpent-ebook/dp/B07N7KXX4T

UK –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barnabas-Tew-Case-Cursed-Serpent-ebook/dp/B07N7KXX4T

Author Bio –

Barnabas Tew - ColumbkillNoonanPhoto

Columbkill Noonan is the author of the bestselling “Barnabas Tew” series, which features the bumbling-yet-lovable Victorian detective Barnabas and his trusty sidekick, Wilfred. Columbkill combines her love of mythology and her affinity for period fiction to craft unique cozy mysteries that will leave you guessing (and chuckling!) till the very end.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan
https://twitter.com/columbkillnoon1

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With thanks as always to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources

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#DeathBeforeCoffee by Desmond Ryan @RealDesmondRyan #BlogTour #Excerpt @damppebbles #MikeOShea #damppebblesblogtours

Welcome to my stop on Desmond P Ryan’s Death Before Coffee blog tour!

Death Before Coffee Blog Tour

Many thanks to Emma @ damppebblesblogtours for the opportunity to take part. I have an excellent excerpt to share with you all today, but watch this space for my review!

The phone on his desk rang.

A woman’s voice slurred a few lines of “Happy Birthday,” then, “Still chasin’ bad guys, Detective?”

“How are you, Brenda?”

“A little drunk right now,” the caller said, giving a self-deprecating chuckle, “but otherwise good. You?”

“I’m doing well. Thanks for asking.” Mike couldn’t recall Brenda ever having called and not being ‘a little drunk.’ Who could blame her? Certainly not him.

“Still nothing?”

“Still nothing. I’m sorry.”

“I know, Detective O’Shea. We’re all sorry.”

The hallway outside the office was flooding with noisy uniformed officers heading out to the back parking lot in preparation for their midnight shift.

“Guys? Please?” Julia called out, her voice cutting through the low, exclusively male hum that was echoing off the hallway walls. “We’re trying to work in here.”

A few comments about the job being fucked and that a trained squirrel could manage this shitshow better than their sergeant were the last of it before the noise subsided. Both Dave and Ron gave Julia a nod of thanks.

“Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today,” Julia whispered, eyes closed, head bowed, right hand grasping her cross. “I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. If You just give me the strength that I need today, that is all I need. You know the rest. Amen.”

“If this so-called God of yours exists, tell Him to pull up His socks. He’s slacking,” Ron huffed, annoyed at his relief’s pre-shift ritual.

“Oh, and God?” Julia added, bowing her head as she pulled her coffee from the tray. “Be kind to Ron. Even if he isn’t kind to anyone else. I’m sure he tries in his own special way. Amen.”

She lifted the plastic top off and savoured the smell before taking what would be, as usual, the only sip of hot coffee she would have time for during her shift.

Mike was only half-listening to Brenda. In fact, he could hardly hear her voice over the racket just outside the doorway prior to Julia’s intervention. Not that he couldn’t have practically scripted this conversation by heart. The calls during the first five years or so had been a little more hopeful. Now they were just annual calls.

“I think about my baby every day, you know,” Brenda’s voice broke as she began to whimper.

“So do I.” And he did.

Julia turned her head slightly, her ear closer to Mike. Even though it had been years since that night and it could have been anyone on the other end of the line now, she had a good idea of who the caller was. While it wasn’t quite the same, she had a few callers like that herself. Everyone who had been in the Juvenile Prostitution Task Force did: usually a mother or sister of one of the girls who didn’t make it out. Some called on an anniversary of something, while others just called when they were lonely. Or drunk. Julia had one mother whom she met every December 15th in a little bistro around the corner from where her daughter was killed. That one was easier, if there was even such a thing as easy in these cases. They had caught the guy who killed her little girl. And the girl was dead. Closure, or so they said. By the slump in Mike’s shoulders, Julia figured that his caller hadn’t been so lucky.

“She’s twenty-seven years old today, you know.” Brenda’s voice broke as she struggled to continue. “If she’s still alive.”

“I know.” Mike remembered her birthday. And the last time he saw her as Malcom was plucking her out of the group of frightened girls to be his hostage, leaving them—along with Mike and Ron—to die in the burning factory. Chelsea Hendricks was fourteen then. Had been on the stroll ever since she was twelve because there was a demand for sex with twelve-year-olds.

The muscles in his neck tightened.

“Thanks for remembering. So,” Brenda took a deep breath, “tell me about your life, Detective O’Shea. You get married again? And your boy?”

“Yeah,” he sighed. They weren’t supposed to talk about their personal lives. It had been one of the few explicit rules of the JPTF, but it was impossible not to give something back to these mothers who had lost everything. “And my son is doing well, thanks for asking.”

“I’m so sorry for calling…” She began to cry again.

“No. It’s okay. I’m glad you did. That you do,” Mike said, vividly recalling that little girl standing on the corner, caught up in a grown-up world, becoming increasingly unrecognizable as the addictions consumed her child’s body and undeveloped brain. “It’s been thirteen years now, hasn’t it?”

Julia rose from her chair, her eyes welling up as she looked at Mike. She knew whom he was talking to. She wanted to hug him and remind him that he had done everything he could—that they all had—but things just didn’t work out. That’s what he had always told her when a case went south.

But this wasn’t just a case, though. And it wasn’t just about the girl.

“Yeah. Hard to believe, eh?” Brenda said, fighting back her tears. “I still remember that night you came to our door, you and that girl cop. Some days—most days—it feels like it was yesterday. You were so handsome back then. Are you still handsome, Detective O’Shea?”

“Depends who you ask,” Mike glanced around the room, noticing Julia moving from behind her desk, walking towards him. He waved her back, embarrassed. This wasn’t the old JPTF office. No hugging here.

“Still funny, too.” He could hear the woman on the other end of the line pausing to take a long sip of whatever the hell her anesthetic-of-choice was tonight. “No leads on where my baby is?”

“No leads.” Not a fucking break in thirteen years.

“She was a good girl, you know.” Mike was sure the glass Brenda was drinking from was emptying quickly now.

“I know.” They all were good girls…once. Fuck.

“Just got in with the wrong crowd. That happens, right? I mean, it’s not like her father and I didn’t love her. Did you know we broke up, me and Jeff?”

Gin, Mike recalled. Brenda always drank gin. He could hear the cap on the bottle being unscrewed as she prepared to pour herself another ounce. Or two. Or three.

“Yeah, I remember you telling me that.” Mike looked out into the hallway just outside the D office, noticing the uniforms still filtering towards the back door that would lead them into the night as the parading sergeant, clipboard in hand, passed out keys for the cars.

“Such a shame, you know. Good man, Jeff. It’s just… well, after Chelsea, it was too hard, you know? The drinking didn’t help, mind you. Happens a lot, apparently. The counsellor that we went to—thanks for setting all that up for us, by the way—said that having a child go missing like that is worse than a death. Funny thing to say, eh? Anyway, said it was one of the hardest things on a marriage. I guess he was right.”

“I guess.”

“Jeff was the only one strong enough to sober up.” Mike heard Brenda take a gulp of gin before returning to her usual-suspect theory. “I still think it was that guy she met at the mall. You checked him out, right?”

“Yes. Many times.” If he had been talking to anyone but Brenda, Mike would have lost his patience by now. But he wasn’t. It was Brenda, and he had all the time in the world for her. It was the least he could do.

“And it wasn’t him?”

“No,” Mike replied gently, knowing that he was breaking her heart all over again. “It wasn’t him.”

“I mean, maybe not him him, but somebody he knew? Before that, she was such a good girl: no drugs, no boys, no sex. And then she met him. Jeff said I overreacted, that I pushed her to him. The counsellor said blaming didn’t help, but I know Jeff blamed—no, still blames me. If anyone’s to blame, it’s Jeff. He didn’t say anything when he had the chance.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault, Detective O’Shea. None of it—”

“Sure.” Mike watched the parading sergeant rub out something on his clipboard with the eraser on his pencil as he detailed the last of his officers.

“I know the papers were pretty hard on you. About your partner getting shot like that. And you not even pulling your gun, but I know you would have—”

“Yeah.”

“When the two of you came to the door that first time and told me and Jeff that you knew where Chelsea was and that she was a hooker, I wanted to kill both of you, you know?” Mike heard the metal cap working its way off the bottle again, then the gin gurgling into the waiting glass. “I honestly wanted to gouge your eyes out. Like it was your fault. And then, after everything, when you came to our door the last time, just you by yourself, I kind of felt like it was my fault, you know? That if I hadn’t have wanted to kill you both, your partner would still be alive. How’s that for fucked-up thinking, eh?”

Mike watched as the parading sergeant turned around to walk back up to the front of the station, all of his charges accounted for. Then he looked at Ron reading over what he had been so feverishly typing, his brow furrowing occasionally as, Mike assumed, he was reconsidering his choice of words. As if it mattered.

“It’s okay, Brenda,” he said, hearing the glass click on her teeth as she took a big gulp and began to cry.

“Is it really? Honestly? I hope so, because I feel anything but normal now. With Chelsea and Jeff both gone…” Mike heard her finishing off her drink. “I think he’s remarried, you know. A girl from work, I think. Like it never happened. How do people do that, Detective? Just pick up and move on?”

“I dunno.”

“You haven’t moved on, have you?”

Mike took a deep breath.

“You okay?” Ron’s voice brought Mike back to the present. Mike nodded yes at his partner.

“You were right there when your pretty-boy partner got shot, weren’t you, Detective?” Brenda’s words got slower as the alcohol held her closer and closer. “The papers said you were right behind him. That the guy tried to kill you, too, but the gun jammed. That you didn’t even have a chance to get your gun out before—”

“Yeah. That’s what they say.”

“Must have been had for you. For his mother. He had a mother, right?” Again the sound of the cap being twisted off the bottle.

“Yeah. He had a mother.”

Mike had not known Sal’s mother before the funeral. Before he held out the pillow with her son’s forage cap on it. Before she took the cap, cried quietly for a moment, wiped her tears, and hugged him.

“You ever have nightmares about that?”

“No.”

“Going for coffee. Anyone want one?” Dave jumped up from his seat, reaching for the coat that was no longer on the desk beside him before smiling over at Julia.

“You just came in with one!” Ron objected.

“You never know what’s been on that desk, Dave,” Julia cautioned, passing him his coat from the rack. “I once got home and found a mouse in my purse. Seriously. That’s why I keep it in the drawer now. This place is disgusting.”

“You’re never going to find her, are you, Detective?” The voice in Mike’s ear repeated what the voice in his head told him whenever it could. “My Chelsea?”

“We’re do our best, Brenda.”

“But no one is actually out there looking any more, are they?”

“Not from the JPTF, no, but—”

“This is the only chance I’ll have tonight,” Dave hollered by way of an explanation as he hustled out the door. “Last call!”

“Shit, I’m out of fucking gin!” Brenda screamed to no one in particular, and then without missing a beat, continued talking to Mike, her voice much softer. “You’re still looking, though, aren’t you?”

“I look every day.”

“I have to hang up now, Detective,” she concluded abruptly, as she did every year when the booze ran out. “Same time next year?”

“Same time next year.”

“Unless you find her?”

“Unless I find her.”

“Goodnight, Detective.” Her voice broke as she began to weep.

“Goodnight, Brenda.”

“Oh, and Detective?”

“Yes?”

“I include you in my prayers every night.”

“Thank you, Brenda. If I prayed, I would do the same for you. Goodnight.”

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Death Before Coffee (Mike O’Shea #2) by Desmond P. Ryan

Book Blurb:

By 2:27 on a Thursday afternoon, the one-legged man from Room 8 at 147 Loxitor Avenue has been beaten to death with a lead pipe. Twenty-eight minutes later, Detective Mike O’Shea is testifying in a stuffy courtroom, unaware that, within an hour, he will be standing in an alleyway littered with beer cans and condoms while his new partner—the man who saved his life thirteen years ago—flicks bugs off of a battered corpse with a ballpoint pen. When a rogue undercover copper prematurely hauls in the prime suspect, Mike blows a fuse, resulting in an unlikely rapport developing between him and the lead homicide detective sergeant, a woman known for her stilettos and razor sharp investigative skills. At the end of his seventy-two-hour shift, three men are dead and Mike O’Shea is floating in and out of consciousness in an emergency room hallway, two women by his side.

Death Before Coffee, the second book in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, weaves a homicide investigation through the life of an inner-city police detective intent on balancing his responsibilities as a son, brother, and newly single father with his sworn oath of duty. When faced with death, Mike is forced to make decisions that stir up old memories, compelling him to confront his demons while fighting the good fight.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Before-Coffee-OShea-Fiction-ebook/dp/B07NJNYGP3/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Before-Coffee-OShea-Fiction-ebook/dp/B07NJNYGP3/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=death+before+coffee&qid=1552730233&s=gateway&sr=8-7

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/death-before-coffee-1

Publishing Information:

Published in eBook and paperback on 8th February 2019.

About Desmond P. Ryan:

Death Before Coffee DesAuthorPhoto

For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan worked as a cop in the back alleys, poorly-lit laneways, and forgotten neighbourhoods in Toronto, the city where he grew up. Murder often most unkind, assaults on a level that defied humanity, and sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the victims were all in a day’s work. Days, evenings, midnights–all the same. Crime knows no time.

Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, Desmond dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. And now, as a retired detective, he writes crime fiction.

Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.

Social Media:

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/RealDesmondRyan

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DesmondPRyan/

Website:

https://realdesmondryan.com/

Amazon Author Page:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B07H9MMV81?_encoding=UTF8&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref_=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true

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Arbitrage by Colette Kebell @ColetteKebell #BlogTour #Spotlight #BookPromo @rararesources

Arbitage banner

Arbitrage

Ryan Logan thinks he has it all… A young attorney specialising in finance and tax law, Logan has earned an impressive reputation and commands a hefty fee for his services. But when he advises his corporate employers against a merger with a shady financial institution, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of betrayal and deceit. Framed for the murder of his wealthy boss, Logan is forced to accept a plea deal, to keep his own dark secrets from coming to light…
Arbitrage is a fast-paced, stand-alone financial thriller. If you like edge-of-your-seat suspense, sweet revenge, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, you’ll love this eye-opening look into the world of financial crime.
Can a burned out lawyer outwit an army of con artists and killers?

Arbitrage Cover

Purchase Link –

https://mybook.to/Arbitrage

Author Bio –

Arbitrage Author Photo

Colette Kebell is an eclectic author, though a relatively new one and thus far has self-published her books. Her books are light-hearted, fun and quirky and even considered by some to be inspirational. She publishes mostly for the English speaking market and the Italian one. Colette Kebell does not stick to just one genre when writing though, as you shall discover from her latest book to be launched on 5th April 2019 As a career, Colette spent her later years as a legal secretary. After a first attempt at writing many years ago (a book that still remains in her drawer) she resumed this passion a few years back, after being made redundant. After few book signing events and a book talk, which almost caused her to collapse with nerves, Colette now spends her time between her home in the UK and her home in France. Colette has two adorable dogs and, when not writing and marketing her books, she likes cooking for herself and her husband, gardening or designing various items for their home. Amongst her other hobbies, she has also experimented with furniture upholstery, and she might, from time to time, have a paintbrush in her hand. She can be found on twitter @ColetteKebell though doesn’t tweet a vast amount.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://www.colettekebell.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ColetteKebell

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

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With thanks as always to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources

happy reading 🙂

 

Broadland by David Blake #BlogTour #Excerpt @BOTBSPublicity

Welcome to my stop on David Blake’s Broadland blog tour!

Broadland blog poster

Many thanks to Sarah @ Book On The Bright Side Publicity for the opportunity to take part. I have the excellent prologue to share with you all today, but watch this space for my review!

PROLOGUE 

Saturday, 13th April 

A COLD DENSE shadow fell over Jane Richardson as she hurried along the concrete towpath. To her left, moonlight danced over the River Bure’s untroubled surface as it slipped silently past, heading back the way she’d come. A low-hanging branch scratched at her face as she ducked underneath. From somewhere far behind her came the shriek of laughter, slicing through the air, only to fall silent a moment later to leave nothing but the sound of her high heels, click-clacking out a stark but steady beat.

It was late. She knew it was. The sun had disappeared behind the Broads a long time before. 

She always started work early and more often than not finished late, and had promised herself on numerous occasions that if it was dark, she’d take the long way home, never the shortcut down by the river. It might be a journey she enjoyed, one she even looked forward to on occasion, but only when it was light. What in the summer months was a relaxing carefree stroll felt more like picking her way through a graveyard at any other time of year. It may be April, and the days were stretching out, but the sun had disappeared over three hours before, leaving nothing but a cold full moon to light her way home.

From deep within the undergrowth to her right she heard something move. That was normal enough. If it had been light she’d probably have been able to see the animal that made the noise, as she often did during the summer. Sometimes she’d even see a rat scurrying about, and stop to watch as it fled across the path in front of her, diving between the riverbank and the thick line of trees.

Then she heard the hard, sharp sound of a twig snapping, just behind the treeline.

Rats don’t snap twigs, she thought, with a prickling of alarm.

It only took a moment for more sensible reasoning to take over, brushing away any concern; after all, it was probably nothing more ominous than a wood pigeon. They were certainly common enough, stumbling their way over leaves and branches as they searched the ground for food, lifting their feet high as they did, before carefully placing them back down.

But pigeons didn’t forage for food at night, at least she didn’t think they did.

Another twig snapped. It sounded thicker than the last. Too thick to have been broken by a pigeon. A fox, perhaps?

Forcing herself along, she turned her head ever so slightly, watching the trees from out of the corner of her eye. But all she could see was layer upon layer of ever-deepening shadows. If there was a fox hiding in there somewhere, she’d never see it.

Facing forward again, she picked up her pace, moving closer to the river side of the path as she did.

There was another sound, like the crack of a branch.

That was no fox!

‘Why’d I come this way again?’ she mumbled to herself, as her heart began to pound deep inside her chest. ‘Oh yes, that’s right. Because it’s a shortcut. Good choice, Jane. Nice one!’

Ahead of her she could just about see the arch of the railway bridge, under which she had to walk. If anyone was going to try and mug her, that was probably the most likely place. Maybe there were two of them; one following her through the trees, the other waiting under the arch.

She peered at it, trying to make out if she could see the outline of someone hiding underneath. But at that time of night, with no street lights this far from town, the shadow under the archway was pitch black.   

Checking that her handbag was where it should be, with the strap over her shoulder and the bag itself – her favourite cream leather Gucci – wedged firmly under her arm, she plunged her hands deep into her pockets, fixed a defiant stare ahead, and ploughed forward, mentally preparing herself for the worst. If there was someone lurking under the railway arch, she knew to take her father’s advice, and to avoid eye contact. Instead she should simply ignore them and keep walking. Once she passed under the bridge, her house wasn’t too far away, and if the worst came to the worst she’d probably be able to make a run for it.

As she stepped into the shadow cast by the arch, the click-clack of her heels echoing out all around, from the treeline came the sudden sound of branches being forced apart as someone, or something, forged its way out onto the towpath behind her.

A cold hand of fear crept up her spine.

Her heart was pounding so loudly that she thought whoever, or even whatever, it was standing behind her must be able to hear it.

She should run. She knew she should run; every fibre of her being was telling her so. Instead she found herself turning around to confront whatever it was that had been following her.

If the idea that someone was behind her was terrifying, actually seeing someone there was far worse.

‘Who’s that?’ she called out, bringing her hands out of her pockets, clenching them into fists. There was no way she was going to let anyone take her bag. Not without a fight, they weren’t!

A sliver of moonlight caught the face of the figure, leering at her through the darkness.

Trembling, she blurted out, ‘Who are you? What do you want?’

As the figure took a slow but deliberate step forward, a thin dark gash appeared as it opened its mouth, and in a voice barely loud enough to be heard, it said, ‘You’ve got something that belongs to me.’

Doing her best to control her rising fear, with courageous resolve she said, ‘I can assure you that I have nothing that belongs to you. If you don’t leave me alone, I’m calling the police!’

It was a bluff. Her iPhone was buried deep at the bottom of her handbag, which remained jammed up under her arm. It would take time for her to find it, and she wasn’t sure she had any.

The figure took another step forward.

A cold gust of wind drifted over them, moving the branches above, bathing the figure in moonlight.

Jane stopped and stared at the now exposed face.

Almost forgetting where she was, she said, ‘I know you!’

‘You don’t know me!’ spat back the figure. ‘How could you possibly know me?’

‘I – I meant, I’ve seen you before!’

Taking another step forward to join her in the near total darkness under the arch, the figure mumbled, ‘I’ve not come to talk.’

‘Then what do you want?’ demanded Jane, stepping backwards, preparing to run.

As a solid black shadow rose above Jane’s head, in a low harsh whisper the figure replied, ‘Simple! I’m here to take back what’s mine.’

Broadland cover

Book Description:

 

A girl’s body found mutilated by a boat’s propeller, another dumped at the bottom of a slipway, and a disused Norfolk mill, hiding the secret to both.

A COLD DENSE shadow fell over Jane Richardson as she hurried along the concrete towpath. To her left, moonlight danced over the River Bure’s untroubled surface as it slipped silently past, heading back the way she’d come. A low-hanging branch scratched at her face as she ducked underneath. From somewhere far behind her came the shriek of laughter, slicing through the air, only to fall silent a moment later to leave nothing but the sound of her high heels, click-clacking out a stark but steady beat.

When a girl’s body is found strangled, raped, and horrifically mutilated by a boat’s propeller, deep in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, newly arrived Detective Inspector John Tanner is asked to assist with the investigation.

At first, all the evidence points to a man who had a multi-million pound reason to kill her. But when an alibi is produced from an unexpected source, and another body appears at the base of a slipway, Tanner finds himself turning to local girl, Detective Constable Jenny Evans for help.

As a more intimate relationship begins between them, they find themselves facing a race against time to identify a lethal adversary, one with a lust for blood and a mind set on revenge.

Set within the mysterious beauty of the Norfolk Broads, this fast-paced British detective series is a murder mystery that will have you guessing until the very end, when the last shocking twist is finally revealed. 

Broadland is a totally addictive gripping crime thriller, the first in a chilling series of serial killer books, ones which will rapidly convert followers of Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Damien Boyd and Helen H. Durrant into David Blake devotees.  

 

A girl’s body found mutilated by a boat’s propeller, another dumped at the bottom of a slipway, and a disused Norfolk mill, hiding the secret to both.

A COLD DENSE shadow fell over Jane Richardson as she hurried along the concrete towpath. To her left, moonlight danced over the River Bure’s untroubled surface as it slipped silently past, heading back the way she’d come. A low-hanging branch scratched at her face as she ducked underneath. From somewhere far behind her came the shriek of laughter, slicing through the air, only to fall silent a moment later to leave nothing but the sound of her high heels, click-clacking out a stark but steady beat.

When a girl’s body is found strangled, raped, and horrifically mutilated by a boat’s propeller, deep in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, newly arrived Detective Inspector John Tanner is asked to assist with the investigation.

At first, all the evidence points to a man who had a multi-million pound reason to kill her. But when an alibi is produced from an unexpected source, and another body appears at the base of a slipway, Tanner finds himself turning to local girl, Detective Constable Jenny Evans for help.

As a more intimate relationship begins between them, they find themselves facing a race against time to identify a lethal adversary, one with a lust for blood and a mind set on revenge.

Set within the mysterious beauty of the Norfolk Broads, this fast-paced British detective series is a murder mystery that will have you guessing until the very end, when the last shocking twist is finally revealed. 

Broadland is a totally addictive gripping crime thriller, the first in a chilling series of serial killer books, ones which will rapidly convert followers of Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Damien Boyd and Helen H. Durrant into David Blake devotees.  

 

BIOGRAPHY

Broadland author David Blake

David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written fourteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his fifteenth, St. Benet’s, which is the follow-up to his debut crime fiction thriller, Broadland. 

 

When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based. 

 

LINKS

Website: www.david-blake.com

Amazon Profile: viewAuthor.at/DavidBlake

Facebook Readers’ Group: www.facebook.com/groups/DavidBlakeAuthor

Facebook Site: www.facebook.com/DavidBlakeAuthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15104629.David_Blake

happy reading 🙂