Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Bitter End by Anne Evans & Robert D Tysall.

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The Bitter End

Paul finally has his life back on track. After losing his wife, Helena in a horrific car crash, he has found love with Sally and moves into her country cottage.

As a former high-ranking Naval Officer, Paul now works as Head of Security at MI5.

Paul has no memories from before he was ten years old. An accident left him in a coma for 9 months.  But was it really an accident?

Soon Paul starts to have flashes of childhood memories, all involving his childhood friend, Owen.

Sally introduces him to her friend, Juliet, the owner of a craft shop. Paul is shocked when he is introduced to Juliet’s partner, his old friend Owen.

Flashes of memories continue to haunt Paul, particularly the memory of his first wife Helena burning in the car crash.

As dark things start to happen, and local people begin dying in horrific accidents, Paul must face his past and will end up fighting for his life.

Review

I would like to thank the author, Bloodhound Books and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC in return for an honest review.

For me The Bitter End was dark, scary and a very addictive read. I was enthralled throughout and frankly more than a little bit terrified in places. So much so, I was glad to be reading it at a time I was not alone in the house. I admit I’m scared easily, but this fantastic book left with the urge to constantly check behind me when I was reading. While next doors cat, who loves to spend her days in my garden or asleep in my lap, was studied for unusual behaviour! The twist and turns gave the book and added element of tension and left me turning the pages as rapidly as possible to see who ultimately won, Paul or the dark elements behind the horrific events. The story really reels you in and holds to tight within its embrace and your caught in a trap almost, wanting to look away and yet not being able to, because you need to know that evil does not win. It’s a fantastic concept and gives this book an edge that helps it stand out from other equally great thrillers on the market at the current time.
I am hoping this is not the end of Paul who was a fantastic character, a great combination of nice guy, but with emotional and psychological issues that date right back to his childhood. You can’t help but root for him, wanting him to recover from years of emotional heartbreak and not be engulfed by a force determined to wreck havoc on the world around him. The supporting characters are great as well, Sally his partner, was great and I admit, that I even wanted the cat, despite being a bit of a devil, to not be destroyed in the maelstrom.
The Bitter End is what I look for in a thriller, jaw dropping action, great characters, lots of twists and turns with an extra bonus, elements of horror that left me feeling unnerved and more than a little frightened. I hope that these two writers work together again, because it is a great partnership.
If you like thrillers then this is a great one. Fans of Dean Koontz will love it, but so will any reader that just wants an addictive, tension filled read.

You can purchase The Bitter End from Amazon

About the author’s

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Ann Evans was born and bred in Coventry, West Midlands, and started writing just for fun after giving up her secretarial job to have her three children.

Having caught the writing ‘bug’ there was no stopping her, and as her children grew up, she continued to write for a variety of genres. She spent 13 years at her local newspaper as a Feature Writer as well as working freelance on magazine articles.

She also writes books for children, young adults, reluctant readers and some romance. (Ann Carroll) Her first adult crime novel, Kill or Die was published in 2017 by Bloodhound Books.

Having worked with writer/photographer Robert D. Tysall for many years through magazine work, Ann and Rob teamed up to write the supernatural thriller, The Bitter End – Ann’s first collaboration with another writer.  This will be published by Bloodhound Books in the summer of 2018.

Anne Evan’s can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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Robert Tysall was born and brought up in Rugby, Warwickshire, and played the sport the town is famous for in his youth, until he discovered a passion and talent for photography, music and writing poetry and song lyrics. His career so far has been a busy mix of being lead vocalist and percussionist in bands plus working as a professional freelance photographer.

He is currently in a 60s, 70s & Beatles duo, and lives in Warwickshire with his wife, Heather. He has two grown up children. Rob is multi published on the photographic side of things with countless magazine articles, generally working alongside writer Ann Evans.

For many years he has dabbled with ideas for stories and finally the time felt right with this book. It seemed a natural turn of events for both Rob and Ann to team up and write The Bitter End together.

With his debut novel completed, now there’s no stopping him, and two more book collaborations with Ann are currently in the pipeline.

Robert Tysall can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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Cover Reveal ~ Blood Ribbon by Roger Bray.

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Blood Ribbon

When there’s more than secrets buried, where do you start digging?
When Brooke Adams is found battered, bleeding, and barely conscious, the police are at a loss as to who her attacker is or why she was targeted.
Then, PI Rod Morgan turns up convinced that Brooke’s attack is the latest in a string of unsolved disappearances dating back twenty-five years.
The police, however, aren’t convinced, so Brooke and Rod must investigate the cases themselves.
As secrets from the past start unravelling, will they find Brooke’s attacker before he strikes again, or is that one secret that will stay buried forever?

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I’m chuffed to be part of the cover reveal for Blood Ribbon having enjoyed the author’s two previous books. This one looks like it’s going to be another fabulous read and I can’t wait to review it soon.

You can pre-order Blood Ribbon from Smashwords and Amazon.

About the author

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I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops. My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider. Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing. Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school. So here we are, two books published and another on track. Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Roger Bray can be followed on TwitterFacebook and his Website.

Blood Ribbon Cover Reveal

 

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Love and Death in Shanghai by Elizabeth J Hall

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Love and Death in Shanghai
by Elizabeth J. Hall
Paperback original, £9.99

A fast-paced debut novel about a young man’s search for love and adventure in exotic Shanghai in the 1920s and 30s inspired by a family story.
“This is a riveting account of a compelling and erotic story.” Jill Dawson, author of ‘The Great Lover.’

Shanghai 1924. Sam Shuttleworth joins the Municipal Police looking for adventure and to escape his working class roots in Lancashire. Shanghai is a glamorous, fascinating place – with an extremely dangerous criminal underworld. Sam rises through the ranks and marries his glamorous Russian lover Lulu, but the relationship is tumultuous, with infidelities on both sides.

In the 1930s, as Japan invades China and moves into Shanghai with appalling violence, Sam has to negotiate between warring sides, and wonders if he will ever find peace amidst the chaos of his relationships and the bloody events of his career.

Review

I would like to thank the author Elizabeth J Hall and blog tour organiser Anne Carter for the ARC in return for an honest review.
It is a fact of life that I’m not going to enjoy every book I read! It doesn’t mean that the book is bad, it just didn’t appeal to me. Sadly this was the case with Love and Death In Shanghai. Yet it has many elements that will appeal to other readers.

Rather than not review, I thought I would explain why I didn’t enjoy it, then why you should still go ahead and read this historical novel, that is brimming with atmosphere and period detail.
Personally I didn’t like either of the main characters, Sam or his Russian wife. In fact I found Sam to be too needy and dominating, while his Russian wife felt too clichéd. Both characters lacked warmth and I couldn’t feel any sympathy with their plight. Rather than erotic, the sex scenes felt laboured and repetitive.
Now this might all seem negative, but please don’t let it put you off reading this novel, because I am a great believer that no two people enjoy the same book, for various different reasons. I only read other reviews once I have read a book and formulated my own thoughts. Having not enjoyed Sam’s adventures, I took a look at how other’s had felt and I totally agreed that here are many reasons why Love and Death in Shanghai has so many five star reviews. For example the way it captures the violence and chaos in Shanghai is well done and you can feel the horrors Sam sees and the violence he and his colleagues are subjected to. I also loved some of the back characters, whose warmth and humanity attracted me to them, Lulu’s sister and father for example, whom I loved in equal measure.
If you are looking for a historical drama, then you should give this book a try. I didn’t work for me, but it will for many other readers. Literature is found in many diverse genres for a reason, we are all attracted to different styles of writing or characterisation. One reviewer not liking a book, when there are many five star reviews, should show you that one or two three stars or lower, does not make a book bad or poorly written. Each review is a personal experience to a story. Look at the reviews as a group and most importantly of all, if the story appeals, give it a go. You and I are not the same and nor are the books that will make our reading hearts sing.

About the author

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Elizabeth J.Hall works in politics in the UK. Love and Death in Shanghai, her debut novel was inspired by the life and death of her uncle who worked in the Shanghai Municipal Police in the 1920s and 30s. Elizabeth’s first memory is of her mother crying when she received a telegram reporting his assassination.
Elizabeth lives in East Sussex with her husband. After a degree in French, she trained as a teacher with a particular interest in social and health education. She worked in the USA, West Africa and London before becoming a consultant, developing programmes of health education abroad, including Central Asia and Russia.

The author can be followed on her website Website

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