Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties by @Jancoledwards @alchemy_press #BookReview

Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties by [Edwards, Jan]

Publisher: Alchemy Press; 1 edition (10th March 2015)

Fourteen short stories by Jan Edwards, including the BFS award short-listed ‘Otterburn’, plus a previously unpublished tale. “All adeptly told, often with a sense of locale and time neatly placed within the narratives. Her family history informs and inspires some of her stories. Folklore figures as a focus in more than one story, whether urban myth or historical lore. But ghostly they are and deceptively disturbing.” (42,000 words)

My review…..

Leinster Gardens and Other Subtleties is like nothing I’ve ever read before. I don’t read many short stories and I always struggle to review them when I do, but I would highly recommend you give these stories a go, if you haven’t already. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading something completely different.

Each story is unique and some are quite dark and creepy, but they’re not your ‘typical’ ghost stories. As the title suggests, they are subtly eerie. Each story transports you to another time and place and I found myself engrossed in the characters and their stories. Each one demands your attention and holds it with wonderful description and dialogue.

I thought Nanna Barrows would be my favourite, until I read R for Roberta, then I changed my mind again when I read Redhill Residential, then The Clinic, then Wade’s Run………

Now I’m not sure which is my favourite, but if I had to pick one I’d probably go with Wade’s Run, but all are beautifully written and thought provoking.

I’m looking forward to reading more of Jan Edwards’ writing.

Buy a copy…..

About the author…..

Jan Edwards

Jan Edwards is a Sussex-born writer now living in the West Midlands with her husband and obligatory cats. She was a Master Locksmith for 20 years but also tried her hand at bookselling, microfiche photography, livery stable work, motorcycle sales and market gardening. She is a practising Reiki Master. She won a Winchester Slim Volume prize and her short fiction can be found in crime, horror and fantasy anthologies in UK, US and Europe; including The Mammoth Book of Dracula and The Mammoth Book of Moriarty. Jan edits anthologies for The Alchemy Press and Fox Spirit Press, and has written for Dr Who spin-offs with Reel Time Pictures.

Her crime novel Winter Downs will be out 3rd June 2017.

http://janedwardsblog.wordpress.com/

Jan Edwards’ Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

One Endless Summer #GuestPost @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK

I am delighted to welcome Laurie Ellingham today 🙂

Laurie’s most recent novel, One Endless Summer, was published by HQ Digital UK on 20th April 2017.

Guest post…..

My Writing Team

It goes without saying that when a book is signed to a publisher, it becomes a team effort with editors, proof-readers, copy editors, cover designers and marketers. You only need to look at the beautiful cover of One Endless Summer to see the wonderful work that my publisher HQ (Harper Collins) have put into my novel.

But this guest post is not about that team. It’s about my other team: the amazing individuals who help me with my manuscript long before it ever reaches the hands of the publisher. As the saying goes – Behind every great man is a great woman. Well, behind every writer there are a great team. Here’s my team and why they are so important to me:

1. Andy Ellingham (aka my husband) – Andy is not much of a reader but he does diligently read my manuscript and has a great eye for weeding out clichés, as well as metaphors and similes that don’t make sense.

2. Maggie and Mel Ewings (Aka my mum and her husband) – A husband and wife duo who read everything I write. They are great with characterisation and often question whether one of my characters would say or do something.

3. Pauline Hare (aka Aunty Pauline) – A fabulous proof reader who not only spots errors but gives me a feel for when the pace is too slow or too fast, and where there needs to be a boost of excitement. Pauline is an avid reader and will give me a great sense of if I’m getting my twists right.

4. Kathryn Jones (aka my dog walking/running friend) – Eagle-eye Kathryn loves nothing more that to circle errors in my manuscript, which makes her a fantastic proof-reader. She’s my go-to person on word queries too. Kathryn is a pro at finding incorrectly used words (i.e. undulate not ululate).

5. Steve Tomlin (aka my dad) – A fantastic sounding board for ideas and story plotting. My dad is where my burning desire to write comes from. Steve likes to make sure my characters feel realistic. In One Endless Summer, Ben has a fear of heights, which was an idea Steve gave me because Ben was otherwise a bit too perfect.

6. Katherine Cresswell (aka my sister-in-law) – A social media whizz, Katherine is great at spreading the word about my books in the run up to, and after publication.

The creation of a novel is a lonely process, with long hours spent with fictional characters and typing away at a computer, but my amazing team help me through it and I would be truly lost without all of their support!

One Endless Summer guest post

Thank you, Kerry for having me as a guest on your blog and for allowing me to give a shout out to these fabulous people.

It is my pleasure, Laurie 🙂 Many thanks for joining me.

One Endless Summer: Heartwarming and poignant the perfect beach read by [Ellingham, Laurie]

Publisher: HQ (20th April 2017)

‘Speechless at just how breathtaking this book really is.’
Rachel Gilbey

Three best friends.

Three continents.

Three months to live.

How long can you keep a secret?

Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.

Lizzie’s battle with cancer is coming to an end, and now she’s ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. There are only three months, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!

Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.

Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…

As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late…

Buy a copy…..

About the author…..

Laurie Ellingham

Laurie lives in a small village on the Suffolk/Essex border, with her husband, two children, and their cockerpoo, Rodney. When she is not disappearing into the fictional world of her characters, preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand, she is running through the countryside, burning off the chocolate intake and plotting her next chapter.

To find out more visit http://www.laurie-ellingham.com, or find her on Twitter @LaurieEllingham and Facebook Laurie Ellingham Author

Laurie Ellingham’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Perfect Summer #BlogTour @karen_king @AccentPress #Extract

I am thrilled to be kicking off Karen King’s Perfect Summer blog tour! 🙂

Perfect Summer blog tour banner

Many thanks to Karen King for inviting me to take part and for providing a lovely extract for me to share with you.

Perfect Summer final

Publisher: Accent Press (10th May 2017)

Set in a society obsessed with perfection, 15 year old Morgan is best friends with the seemingly perfect Summer. But when Morgan’s brother, Josh, who has Down’s syndrome, is kidnapped, they uncover a sinister plot and find themselves in terrible danger.

Can they find Josh before it’s too late? And is Summer’s life as perfect as it seems?

Extract…..

Summer and I hurried upstairs while Josh was busy watching TV. Summer plonked herself down on my bed while I got my things ready.

Want some music?” I asked, pressing the silver button on the comm-panel. The latest hit from Krescendo, our favourite band, blasted out and a hologram of them playing beamed onto the wall.

Then I pressed the green button, my wardrobe doors glided open, and a rail of clothes slid out. I glanced over at Summer, feeling awkward as always, that my room was so small and my wardrobe so sparse. Summer’s wardrobe was a huge walk-in affair full of designer clothes. Luckily, she was sprawled out watching Krescendo so I quickly grabbed the clothes I needed for the weekend and shoved them in my rucksack. Thank goodness I’d found an immaculate emerald green Maliko dress at the recycle store the other week. That would be perfect for Roxy’s. I knew Summer would let me borrow her clothes but felt better if I wore something of my own.

I took out the dress and zipped it into a freshpack to keep it crease-free. I glanced at the image screen on my bedroom wall and grimaced. My make-up needed renewing and some strands of my chestnut hair were escaping from the ponytail I’d swept it into. I swiftly fixed it and applied more make-up. I didn’t want to turn up at Summer’s looking a mess, Tamara and Leo expected everyone to always look their best.

Ready.” I pressed the buttons on the CP again to close my wardrobe doors, and switched off the music.

Have a nice weekend,” Mum said as we popped in to say goodbye. She looked so pale, with dark circles under her eyes. I could tell the visit from the Ministry had upset her and hesitated for a moment, wondering if I should stay. But Dad was due home soon and I was so looking forward to the weekend. I loved going to Summer’s house and being spoilt for a bit. It was like living in another world. She was so lucky.

Thanks, we will.” I leaned over and tousled Josh’s chestnut curls. “Bye, Josh.”

Play, Maw,” he said, scrambling up.

Maw going out now. I’ll play with you when I come back.” He puckered his face as if he was going to cry, but Mum took his hand. “Come on, Josh, let’s pick some tomatoes for tea.”

Josh’s face lit up. He loved helping Mum in the garden. Everyone had a vegetable patch, compost and water butt by order of the Ministry as part of the Planet Protection Programme. I hated gardening but Josh loved helping Mum water the plants with the rainwater collected in the butt, and picking the vegetables. Summer’s parents had a gardener, of course.

Mum led Josh out into the garden while we went out the front door. before Josh could realise I was leaving. I had no idea how much I was going to regret not playing with Josh one more time. Or not kissing him goodbye.

Pre-order your copy…..

What people are saying about Perfect Summer…..

‘This book was amazing, as it was easy to relate to the characters, and it put a perfect twist on society’s obsession with perfection.’ Shehayamsani – Litpick reviewer.

King does an amazing job of writing about the discrimination children with disabilities face’ http://strollinginstoryland.blogspot.co.uk/

I was really taken away by this book – it is full of excitement, danger, shocks, gripping scenes and a thick plot. It is a truly brilliant story, with some fun – but SO realistic – characters. It makes the reader think – could the future turn out to be something like this?? Bookworm1, Amazon UK review

‘The story line was fascinating and kept my attention. Could also be a good book club discussion book.’ Donna – More Than A Review

About the author…..

KK Head and Shoulders

Karen King is the author of over 120 children’s books and has had two YA’s published, Perfect Summer and Sapphire Blue. Perfect Summer was runner up in the Red Telephone Books YA novel competition in 2011 and has just been republished by Accent Press.

Karen is also the author of two romance novels, and has been contracted for three chick lit novels by Accent Press. The first, I do?… or do I? was published in 2016 and the second, The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, is due out in the Summer. In addition, Karen has written several short stories for women’s magazine and worked for many years on children’s magazines such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh as well as the iconic Jackie magazine.

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Young Adult Books

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

 

Bad To The Bone #BlogTour @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #GuestPost #bloghounds @sarahhardy681

I am delighted to be joining in with Tony J Forder’s Bad To The Bone blog tour! 🙂

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy, at Bloodhound Books, for inviting me to take part.

Bad To The Bone Blog tour banner

Guest post…..

Writing day/business day

My writing routine has altered dramatically since the start of 2017.  With a full-time job in a pretty pressurised environment I write as and when I could squeeze out the time – mostly late at night, or in the early hours of the morning sleep eluded me. Now I have a part-time business, and I get to devote 2-3 days’ a week to my writing – a genuine luxury.

On those days I can generally be found bashing away at my laptop from around 8.00am. After lunch I do another couple of hours. If the work is going well and I’m in the groove, I can often still be caught hard at it at five or six in the evening. I also still write longhand at times, on A4 pads which I keep close by in case inspiration strikes whilst I’m watching the TV or reading. I tend to get consumed by my work, no matter what it is, and when I’m in that mode I find it almost impossible to switch off completely.

Structurally, I do a basic outline of the story I want to tell. I list the key points, and then try to fill in a little of what comes between in order for the story to flow. The starting point usually suggests itself fairly quickly, and I’ll let others be the judge as to whether I get that right. I then need to figure out the characters I’m going to need in order to tell my story in the most appropriate way. I mull this over for a few days, let it stew, but I like to begin the writing process not long after I have all the pieces in place.

For the first 5 or 6, and then 10 or 12 chapters, I write and edit, write and edit. This pattern will often lead to new threads, new plotlines, new back story, new characters, and new chapters. Once I have that, I have the story firmly fixed inside my mind. From that point on I write and don’t look back again until I am done.

The first draft then gets sidelined for a while whilst I work on something fresh. Once it comes out again, that’s when the story comes alive. I write thin to fat to thin – I usually describe it as follows: I create the skeletal framework upon which I will later add the flesh. That flesh tends towards obesity during the second draft, and then every visit afterwards is designed to prune back. Make it lean, adjust the pace, get the voice right…really, there is so much to look out for, and so many obstacles upon which you can stumble.

In my book Degrees of Darkness I knew who the villain was and how I wanted to end the book from the word go. With Bad to the Bone I changed my villain – or one of them at least – right near the end, and so then had to go back and rewrite so as to drop subtle hints (hopefully). With the book I’ve set aside having completed the first draft, I could see the end but it was like those motes you get in your eyes which float around and the moment you try to focus on them they swim out of view. I was starting to panic, and then in the most glamorous turn of events I was in the toilet when the ending of the book came to me in a rush – just like I was afterwards as I hurried to jot it down (and yes, I did flush and wash my hands). As for my WIP…I know roughly how it ends, but it needs a little finesse and I hope that by the time I come to write it I have improved enough to do it justice.

Bad to the Bone was written quite a while ago, but when I came to look at how I wanted it published I decided not to update it. I like the feel of its time and place. I remember my late night sessions piecing that book together, and I think I grew as an author during its creation. I like the story and I’m pretty sure I’d get on well with DI Bliss. I could see myself having a pint with him and chewing the fat about football and music and…dead bodies.

Writing can be hard at times. But I’ve always believed you should write for pleasure, because if you don’t enjoy it then what’s the point? Whilst I am my sternest critic, I also know my own limitations. But I’m proud of Bad to the Bone, and now that it’s out there I can only hope that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 Many thanks, Tony.

Bad To The Bone cover

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (22nd April 2017)

A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.

A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.

As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.

As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.

When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.

Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?

And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?

Buy a copy HERE

About the author…..

Tony J Forder

On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who will publish his new edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone this spring. It is the first in a series.

Later this year, Tony’s second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.

Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.

The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale.

During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”

Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.

Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.

As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.

This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, both of which should be completed in 2017. In the meantime, he hopes you enjoy Bad to the Bone, introducing DI James Bliss and DC Penny Chandler.

Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-J-Forder/e/B01N4BPT65/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1490529612&sr=8-1-spell

https://www.facebook.com/tonyjforder/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/TonyJForder?lang=en-gb

Enjoy!

#LadLitSunday The Drought by @SteveScaffardi #BookReview

The Drought Steven Scaffardi

Publisher: Lad Lit Press; 2 edition (2nd October 2013)

My review…..

The Drought has been patiently waiting on my kindle for a whole year!! I know!! My apologies, Steven, but better late than never. I’m working my way through my review list slowly, but surely.

I took part in Steven’s blog tour last year. You can find my post here: #LadLitBlogTour – Q&A with author, Steven Scaffardi

Anyway, if you haven’t already read this book you really should as it is hilarious! Reading it in bed, next to a sleeping husband, trying not to laugh out loud has been quite a challenge!

The main character, Dan Hilles, is struggling to get his leg over since splitting up with his long term girlfriend and The Drought follows his story as he counts the hours, days and weeks since the last time he had sex, and his failing attempts with the ladies. His three best friends, Jack, Rob and Ollie are all very different characters, but all likeable in their own way and together they are so funny. The banter between them is brilliant! Ollie cracked me up, Rob is quite the ladies man and Jack, well, I’m not quite sure what to say about Jack! I liked Dan and couldn’t help but feel sorry for him as he seems like a genuinely nice bloke. Some of the situations he gets himself into though……. and his Mum’s reaction to some of those situations!! LOL! I loved his Mum.

This book is comedy genius! I loved it and hope it isn’t too long before I get the chance to read the sequel, The Flood.

Buy a copy here…..

About the author…..

Steven Scaffardi

Steven Scaffardi was born in Tooting, south London. A former journalist, The Drought was his first novel and has already received praise from television personalities and journalists alike, as well as being shortlisted for the Shirley You Jest Book Awards.

In 2011 he spent 12 months on the London open mic stand-up comedy circuit, finishing runner-up in the Golden Jester stand-up comedy competition for his brand of comedy that combined witty observation with self-deprecating humour; incorporating tales of relationships, dealing with life in his 30s, and the situations he encounters as a man.

Praise for The Drought…

“Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”
Chick Lit Plus

“A pleasantly darker alternative to the offerings of Mike Gayle. All hail the arrival of Steven Scaffardi.”
Ortis Deley | Television & Radio Presenter

“I laughed so much I spat my tea out!”
BestBooksToRead.com

“The Drought is a good, entertaining read. It hits what could be a gap in the market.”
David Harrison | Award-winning journalist

“WARNING – This book will make you cry… with laughter! The perfect gift for the lad in your life!”
BCF Book Review

“Witty, well-written, and pulls no punches. Scaffardi has an imaginative mind that needs to be unleashed!”
Angellica Bell | Television & Radio Presenter

The Flood is the hilarious follow-up to The Drought and will be available in January 2016.

Lad Lit Sunday

Steven Scaffardi’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

 

#TheChosenPath #BlogTour @therealjhershey #AuthorInterview #Excerpt

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jason Hershey 🙂

Jason Hershey Author

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

My name is Jason Hershey. I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona, but I currently reside in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio with my wife and children. I graduated from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas with a BS in Elementary education. I am currently a teacher, working school age children.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

The stories kind of write themselves. They are real stories with situations that every reader can envision themselves in. They are all loosely based on fact, yet I tend to take “artistic liberty” with them.

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

My main character, Theo, is loosely based on a number of people. Some of it is me, some of it is friends I grew up with.

How do you pick your characters names?

In the first book, To Die To Live, Jazz plays a small, but significant role in the development of the story. I wanted a unique name that would have relevance. Thelonious seemed to fit.

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

I don’t really have a particular process. I always carry a notebook around with me, yet I write when I can. Between my work, family and coaching soccer, I have to squeeze in writing whenever I can. I could go days without writing, yet the stories are always developing and playing in my head.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

Lois Lowry, James Patterson, Stephen King, Harper Lee, Patricia Cornwell

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

Lois Lowry. I would ask her about her writing process. I love the stories she writes, specifically The Giver, and all the ones that followed.

Were you a big reader as a child?

I was always a reader. I would actually get grounded from reading and homework when I was little.

When did you start to write?

Like reading, I’ve always wrote. I remember writing a screenplay a number of years ago, and have always wrote poems and short stories growing up. It wasn’t until just recently that I decided to just go for it and put some of my stuff out for the public to read. The fact that it was met with positive reviews is icing on the cake.

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

I wouldn’t. Every book I read is perfect. What I mean by that is, I respect the story that the author is telling, how they told it and where they leave it. There is a reason that stories progress the way they do.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

Any book that sells millions of copies worldwide.

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

Dr. Alex Cross from the James Patterson series. I love the way the character is developed and the situations he gets into. I would take him to a neighbourhood restaurant where everyone knows you and knows your order and just talk about life and how he views the people he works with on a daily basis.

What are you working on right now?

My newest book, The Chosen Path, is due for release on May 3rd. I have also started the third book in the series. These two follow the first one To Die To Live, which is currently available.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

I’ve only done one, so I didn’t do much, I was just amazed that I had sales. This year, the release date is on my youngest child’s birthdate, so the plan is to spend time with him and enjoy the little things in life.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

They can follow me on my Facebook page (facebook.com/jasonhersheywriter), my website (authorjasonhershey.com) as well as Twitter and Instagram (@authorjasonhershey) and Soundcloud (soundcloud.com/william-jason-hershey)

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Thank you very much for this amazing opportunity. I truly am humbled and appreciative of your help and support.

My pleasure, Jason 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Excerpt…..

To be rejected when you give your heart, your whole heart, hurts. What was it inside me that allowed me to get hurt? Was I too nice? Was I too trusting? The questions kept replaying themselves over and over in my head. I felt like a victim of my own thoughts, beat down and weak, with no discernable way out. I just wanted someone for me. Someone who had my back and was down to love me.

I stood up off of the park bench and started to walk. I wasn’t sure where I was headed, but I needed a change. A change of heart, of outlook on life, of friends and future. I needed to straighten my life out, and fast. I walked slowly, taking my time to admire the quiet of the street. One thing about college in Kansas, it was quiet in the little town. I was able to reflect. I knew what I needed to do. It was doing it that was going to be hard. I didn’t know when I would tell people. The team had become my family. I loved those guys. They were a part of me and I was a part of them.

I couldn’t be around her, though. There was too much pain and hurt there for me. I was crushed every time I saw her. Every thought broke me down a bit more. I needed to remove myself from the situation before I forgot who I was.

I picked up a rock and threw it into the bushes, listening to it crash through the branches and leaves. When I was a child, I would stand in my backyard and throw rocks into the alley for hours on end. There was something therapeutic about it. The flight of the rock, free in the air, never knowing where it would land. I was the only person around and my footsteps echoed on the empty sidewalk. I knew that after tonight, my whole life would be different. I was ready for the change.

The Chosen Path by [Hershey, Jason]

Publisher: SP Publishing & Createspace; 1 edition (3rd May 2017)

From the author of the emotional “To Die To Live”, comes the next riveting chapter of one man’s search to find his purpose in life.

Thelonious “Theo” Mitchell, now a college freshman, is eager to put the death of his friend, Draven, behind him. Devoting himself to school and sports, he meets Sabrinna, a beautiful co-ed who sweeps him off his feet. Untrusting and hidden behind a wall, he allows himself to fall for her.

Will he find his soulmate and someone who can restore his faith and trust in people? Or will she leave him reeling and continuing his search for a purpose in life?

Pre-order your copy…..

Jason Hershey’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Sleep Tight #BlogTour @Caroline_writes @bookouture #BookReview

I am OVER THE MOON to be joining in with Caroline Mitchell’s Sleep Tight blog tour!!! 🙂 I can’t tell you how hard it was keeping this beauty a secret for so long and I’m so chuffed to be able to share my review now. Make sure you catch up with, and follow, the rest of the blog tour…..

Sleep Tight blog tour banner

My review…..

**I wrote this review a while ago now and I have decided to leave it as it is, apart from changing the title.**

I was SO excited to have the opportunity to read an ARC of Sleep Tight. A secret one at that! (I am writing this review on 18th February 2017.)

I LOVED Love You To Death (Book 1) (My review: Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 1) by Caroline Mitchell *Review* @Caroline_writes @bookouture) so I couldn’t wait to catch up with Detective Ruby Preston again. Caroline Mitchell has done it again. A brilliant second book of the series.

This is going to be one of those books that I know I’m going to find really hard to review. I don’t want to give anything away and I just know I won’t be able to find the right words to do this book justice at all and I know I’ll end up rambling, but I can honestly say that I loved it and I can’t wait for book 3!

In Sleep Tight Ruby, and her team, are confronted with the task of tracking down a serial killer before the body count rises. A serial killer who likes to transform his victims to look like fairytale characters. The way he captures, tortures, disfigures and dresses his victims to look like certain characters is nothing short of terrifying and deeply disturbing. Seriously, to say he made my skin crawl is an understatement. The killer also seems to be trying to frame Nathan Crosby for his crimes, but why? What connection is there? Ruby is always determined to solve her cases, but this time it’s even more personal. Despite Nathan’s lifestyle, she knows he isn’t capable of what he’s being set up for and she will clear his name. She also realises who the next victims will be if they don’t catch this killer fast. She risks her job, and her life, to protect them.

As the investigation progresses all sorts of shocking secrets are revealed!

Ruby Preston is a feisty character. She’s professional, but not afraid of bending the rules ever so slightly, where necessary. She’s fiercely loyal to her colleagues. She’s also a loving and devoted daughter to her elderly mother, sacrificing the majority of her earnings to provide her with a comfortable care home.

Ruby knows her relationship with Nathan isn’t ideal given her job, but she loves him and he quite plainly adores her. Their relationship is adorable and Nathan is still one of my favourite characters.

Sleep Tight is a fast-paced, police procedural which is full of twists and turns, love, loss, jealousy and betrayal.

If you haven’t read the Ruby Preston series yet then you really should. You won’t be disappointed! I highly recommend!

Many thanks to the author and publisher for my secret ARC. It has been a challenge keeping it quiet, I can tell you! I’m so glad I can now tell everyone!! Seriously, I’m honoured to have been able to read it before many others even knew it existed! 🙂

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Publisher: Bookouture (20th April 2017)

SLEEP TIGHT by Caroline Mitchell 

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up. 

A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.

Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.

Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.

Buy a copy…..

About the Author:

Caroline Mitchell

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. 

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.  She now writes full time.  

www.caroline-writes.com

https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

Caroline Mitchell’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

Alice #BlogTour @K_L_Loveley #Extract #Giveaway @emmamitchellfpr

I am thrilled to be today’s stop on K L Loveley’s Alice blog tour! 🙂

Alice - Blog Tour BannerExtract…..

**Mine is extract 3 so please make sure you read extracts 1 & 2 over at Bookalicious Travel Addict & Kristin’s Novel Cafe**

The days in the classroom were long, the evening lectures tiring, but the late night socializing was a revelation for Alice. Her first week of many she would spend at summer school was a tremendous success and most enjoyable. Her children constantly encouraged their mum with her studies and were both so proud. Four years later, along with Robin and Alice’s mum, they watched Alice climb the stage at the Harrogate International Centre to accept her BSc in biological science. Throughout the first year of her studies, her divorce had been proceeding.

Alice knew it was in motion and had accepted the outcome as inevitable, so was well prepared when the divorce absolute came through.

Having experienced the single life for a year, Alice wondered if she preferred this easy, uncomplicated lifestyle. Although she enjoyed the attention of a few of the men who could be considered suitable for a long term relationship, none of them truly appealed to her and the idea of becoming intimate on any level filled Alice with fear. She had only been intimate with one man and he had betrayed her. Alice wondered if she would ever be ready to give herself to another man. That was until she met Robin. They had met briefly in the past. His first wife had worked as a physiotherapist at the hospital and on occasions, as couples, they had enjoyed meals out together, during which the men had the usual male conversations around sport and politics and the women chatted about their children and the latest hospital gossip. Therefore, having previously met, their first encounter was as old acquaintances catching up on each other’s lives and discussing family.

Over many months their friendship blossomed into love and a remarkable thing happened to Alice. She finally learned to trust another man. Eventually, six years after her marriage had ended, she was ready to be a wife once more. Despite the battering her trust had taken, Alice never lost faith in the idea of love. She had considered herself to be happily married once, and she was not disillusioned with men; just the one that had mattered to her.

Robin watched his wife and a little smile of satisfaction lightened his face. Although still petite and practically perfect, she had managed to gain the two stone in weight he had encouraged when they first met. Robin had never hidden the fact from Alice that he would like her to gain a few pounds. When Alice had asked what he had seen in her if he desired her to be a size larger, Robin answered that he had seen potential.

This did not necessarily convince her. Sometimes she wondered if he preferred her to resemble his first wife, who was three dress sizes larger than herself. Despite this, she had managed to gradually increase her weight over time and while her friends were all desperately trying to shed a few pounds Alice had been able to enjoy the freedom of choice at meal times. Contentment within her marriage in the early years had increased her appetite, aiding Alice with her quest.

As Alice left the bedroom, she heard Robin switch on the television with the remote control. She knew he would be watching the news channel to catch up on current affairs and as he so often joked, “I have to watch the news, we might be at war.” Alice laughed at this, but recently she felt she was already at war within herself, struggling to make a very important decision. Alice stepped carefully off the last step of the stairs. The hallway floor had been removed and a temporary walkway installed by the builders leading into the downstairs cloakroom and the kitchen. She breathed a deep sigh, still feeling the distress from the flood damage that had occurred six months previously following weeks of heavy rain in most regions of England. Some areas had suffered extreme flooding with rivers bursting their banks, resulting in utter chaos with extreme property damage and many families were left homeless. The extent of the damage to their own home was a result of the soak away drainage system located beneath the front lawn being unable to cope with the torrents of rain which had run from the guttering. The house had been extensively extended by the prior owners, but despite the increased surface area of the roof and guttering, the soak away had not been enlarged to take the extra volume of water. The combination of the extreme weather and inadequate drainage had resulted in a breach of the damp proof layer of the property. It was the extension on the house which had appealed to them from the very first moment they had spotted the house. It had been sheer luck they had found the house, after many months of searching for a suitable location and a house large enough to accommodate themselves, Robin’s four grown up children and Alice’s son. Her daughter Anne Marie had no plans to live with her mum and stepfather as she was working in the city and renting a shared house with friends. However, a room would need to be available should her circumstances change.

The morning they discovered the house it was love at first sight, even before they viewed the property their gut feelings felt positive. Alice was so certain this was the place for them she couldn’t wait to visit the estate agent to arrange an appointment to view the property, but instead Alice promptly rang the doorbell and made direct enquiries with the home owner. The owner invited Robin and Alice to view their home there and then. With open minds they inspected the house. The house fulfilled all of their requirements. It had six bedrooms, a large kitchen, large utility room, a dining room, an L-shaped lounge, large bathroom, one en-suite bathroom and a downstairs cloakroom. The icing on the cake was a conservatory opening onto a private garden which was laid to lawn with established borders and a bank of conifers providing perfect privacy.

They both agreed this was exactly what they had been looking for. The house layout could have been designed with their own needs in mind. The location, a quiet cul-de-sac on a small development was most suitable to their needs. The driveway would easily accommodate four cars and with their family this would be essential.

Luck was with them; Alice sold her home within a week of Robin selling his. The capital from both homes enabled them to buy the house for cash, leaving them mortgage free. Their new home was available for them to move into on the same day as both the contracts on their individual homes were exchanged. Their wedding was held two weeks before the house sale. A one week honeymoon in Italy was arranged two days following their wedding, which enabled their respective children to remain in their own homes for one final week and for themselves to be around for the final packing and the big move.

A well-organized person, Alice had more or less packed everything ready for transferring into the removal van, with the exception of the large pieces of furniture and the white goods. Her large refectory table she herself dismantled, the chests and bedside cabinets were all dismantled and taped together. Her possessions were neatly boxed and labelled and the majority of the curtains and blinds had been taken down, washed and neatly folded away. Alice was well prepared. Unfortunately, neither Robin nor his family had made any attempt to prepare for the big move, despite Alice desperately trying to encourage Robin and his children to carefully pack and label their personal possessions.

On the day of the move from Robin’s house it was total disaster and chaos. Robin and his family tipped everything out of their drawers and cabinets directly into large black plastic sacks. Kitchen and bathroom objects were pushed into cardboard boxes with no care for the fragility of some items. A friend of one of the boys appeared with a trailer on the back of his car and this was used to take away broken and unwanted furniture to the local council dump. A number of visits to the dump were made, following removal of further items from the garage and loft. One by one the rooms were emptied until Alice could finally enter the house to clean through ready for the next occupant.

Despite Alice’s own carefully made plans to have a smooth transition from one home to the next, it had not materialised. The contracts were officially exchanged at six pm on a Friday, and all parties agreed to move on the Saturday morning. With this in mind, Alice had booked a removal van for early Saturday morning. However, the young first time buyer of her property was so eager, that at five o’clock on the Friday, he telephoned Alice at home, who wasn’t in, but Mathew was. He left a message saying that it was his house after six pm and he was moving in that evening. Mathew promptly rang his mum at work, resulting in Alice leaving early and frantically contacting the van hire company and arranging a van for Friday evening as well as Saturday morning in anticipation of storing her belongings overnight in a removal van. She rang Robin and some of her friends, who all rallied round and moved her whole home into a van, just as the new owner turned up with his own furniture van. The only saving grace of the whole event was the good fortune that the house Alice and Robin were buying had been emptied that afternoon so Robin collected the key Friday evening instead of Saturday morning. It was past midnight when they emptied the van of furniture, white goods and the many packing boxes and suitcases. Robin and Alice went to bed exhausted knowing they had to empty Robin’s house the next day. Between them they had five sofas, two washing machines, three fridges, two freezers, three double beds, four single beds, a number of chests, wardrobes, cabinets, tables, chairs and household goods. There were bikes, lawnmowers, garden tools and sundries, box upon box of kitchen equipment ornaments. Lamps and books, numerous bags of towels, bedding, curtains and clothes. The list had been endless. Finally they had moved into the house which was to become their dream family home.

Alice -by K.L Loveley - front cover

Publisher: Austine Macauley Publishers (6th February 2017)

Alice is near breaking point. Floods have left her beautiful dream home a damaged mess, her step children’s lack of respect is giving her migraines and, worst of all, her husband is giving her no support to lean on. Her life is slowly spiralling out of control.
When Alice’s daughter, Anne Marie, repeatedly falls victim to aggressive vandals, Alice finally can take no more. She decides to take control of the mess that has become her life, and finally frees herself from the chaos that has been bringing her down.
Freedom, however, isn’t as sweet as Alice first thought it might be. She finds herself yearning for something she can’t quite put her finger on. In her quest to find it, Alice finds herself turning to alcohol.

Buy a copy…..

Giveaway…..

Check this out for a prize…..

One lucky person will win the following #GoodieBag!!

  • Signed copy of Alice
  • Mindfulness for the frazzled’ by Ruby Wax
  • Mindfulness coloring book
  • Staedtler Colouring Pencils, (Johanna Basford Edition)
  • Pukka Relax tea
  • K.L Loveley mindfulness mug

Enter here…..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author…..

K.L Loveley is a contemporary fiction author from Nottinghamshire, who writes gritty, realistic novels which tackle medical and social issues.

The author has enjoyed a successful 47-year nursing career with the NHS, during which she acquired vast skills. She has transferred her medical knowledge, and incorporated her excellent human observation skills into writing interesting stories about people affected by social and medical issues.

Her debut novel, ‘Alice’ tackles alcoholism head-on, and presents the reader with an empathetic account of a spiralling addiction and the resulting pattern of hopelessness that many fall into.

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K L Loveley’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

 

Q&A with author, Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Graham Smith 🙂

Graham Smith Author Pic

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

I’m a 44 year-old manager of a Gretna Green hotel and wedding venue and when I’m not working I read or write. I have two series with two separate publishers and they feature, Jake Boulder; a Utah bouncer who can’t help but get involved in the hunt for a serial killer and DI Harry Evans; the head of a Cumbrian Major Crimes Team. The Boulder novels are crime action thrillers whereas the Harry Evans series are more your traditional police thrillers.

Where did/do you get your ideas from?

I tend to get my ideas from everywhere and nowhere. I’ve had them from abstract thoughts, news items, overheard conversations and scenes I’ve seen in real life and on TV.

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

All my characters have elements of people I know as well as people I do or don’t want to be. I don’t do this deliberately, it’s more a case of drawing on life experiences when creating characters.

How do you pick your characters names?

This is a constant thorn in my side and I spend a lot of time agonising over character names as chosen properly, a name can convey so many things, such as, age, religion, ethnicity and class.

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

I don’t have any great secret. I just put my bum in the seat and write. I tend not to plot too far in advance although I generally know what the ending should be even though I don’t know how I’m going to get the story to that point. This means that the story is fresh and exciting for me as I’m writing it.

Who are your top 5 favourite authors?

The five authors whose books go straight to the summit of Mount To-BeRead are Tom Cain, Stuart MacBride, Matt Hilton, Craig Russell and Michael J. Malone.

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

I’m very lucky to have already met most of my writing heroes, but I’d love to meet Michael Connelly and I’d ask him how he’s managed to maintain such a high standard of writing for so many years.

Were you a big reader as a child?

Very much so. I was an only child until I was thirteen and after that there was a huge age gap between me and my siblings so I have read constantly since the age of eight. I’m very proud to say that my own son is also a huge reader.

When did you start to write?

I started in my late thirties and although a late starter, I have had a wonderful journey and I hope I can continue until for many more years.

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

I’d rewrite the end of Mein Kampf and have it tell a tale of a book killing its author. This may save a few million lives.

Is there a book you wish you had written?

The Da Vinci Code. In among all those clunky sentences, a good story is trying to break out. The fact it made Dan Brown a gazillionaire has nothing to do with my choice whatsoever.

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

I’d choose Jack Reacher and I’d take him for a coffee in a really rough bar so I could watch him fight.

What are you working on right now?

I’m in the very early stages of the third book in the Jake Boulder series. I have a working title of Past Echoes and a head full of ideas, but that’s all I’m going to share for now.

Do you have a new release due?

The first in the Jake Boulder series is due to be released on the 25th of April and the second is currently with the publisher awaiting acceptance.

What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?

I generally try to have a book launch but if not that, I would meet with friends and family for a glass of something non-non-alcoholic.

How can readers keep in touch with you?

The best way to keep in touch with me is via my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/ or on Twitter @Grahamsmith1972

I also have a website www.grahamsmithauthor.com where folks can sign up for my newsletter and catch up on all kinds of stuff about me and my writing.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Just that I really appreciate my readers and love interacting with them.

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

Thanks also to Sarah Hardy, at Bloodhound Books, for arranging this interview.

Publisher: Bloodhound Books (25th April 2017)

WATCHING THE BODIES: An utterly gripping new crime thriller

When Jake Boulder is asked by his PI friend to help investigate the vicious murder of Kira Niemeyer, he soon finds himself tracking a serial killer who selects his next victim in a most unusual manner.

As the body count rises, Boulder has to work with the police to identify the heinous killer before more lives are taken. What ensues is a twisted game of cat and mouse, that only Boulder or the Watcher can survive. But who will it be?

Pre-order your copy…..

Author Bio (courtesy of Sarah at Bloodhound Books):

Graham Smith is married with a young son. A time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and one book, WATCHING THE BODIES in a new series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/?fref=ts

https://www.grahamsmithauthor.com/

https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972?lang=en-gb

Graham Smith’s Amazon Author Page

Enjoy!

 

 

Reader/Writer events in #StokeonTrent @SoTLibraries

Here’s the latest news on poetry, reading and writing events in Stoke-on-Trent Libraries:

Friday 28 April, 7:30pm, City Central Library

Harry Baker poetry performance

We’re all looking forward to this event, which is now fully booked. If you have reserved a ticket but can’t make it, please do let us know, so we can give your place to someone else. And do collect, and pay for, your tickets in good time on the night, as uncollected tickets may be released before the event begins. Thank-you!

Chris Tutton Poster

Monday 8 May, 2pm, City Central Library

Poetry as Healing workshop

Poetry as Healing is led by poet Chris Tutton, and explores how reading and writing poetry can help with anxiety, stress and depression. The workshop is free, but places are limited and must be booked in advance.

Contact City Central Library to book your place (01782 238455; central.library@stoke.gov.uk)

Saturday 3 June, 11.30am-1.15pm, City Central Library

6X6 Book Launch – Winter Downs by Jan Edwards

In a special one-off event from the 6X6 team, Jan Edwards launches her new 1940 crime novel, Winter Downs. There will be readings from Jan and others, a question and answer session, refreshments (including cake), and the chance to purchase a signed copy of the novel. For more information, go to the 6X6 blog at https://6x6writingcafe.wordpress.com/

All are welcome at this event; contact City Central Library to book your place (01782 238455; central.library@stoke.gov.uk)

Tuesday 13 June, 7pm, City Central Library

6X6 Reading Café

In the return of the ever-popular 6X6 Reading Café, six local writers will have the opportunity to read their work aloud. If you’d like to take part, you have until 31 May to submit your work – take a look at the full submission guidelines at https://6x6writingcafe.wordpress.com/ . Anyone is welcome to attend this free event, so do get in touch if you’d like to come along.

Contact City Central Library to book your place (01782 238455; central.library@stoke.gov.uk)

 As ever, if you’d like to know more about any of these events, please do get in touch.