Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Open Grave by A M Peacock.


DCI Jack Lambert is no stranger to inner demons, having struggled with his own since the admission about his sexuality.

When two bodies are discovered in an open grave, Lambert must put his personal worries aside and work the case. But when the body of a local thug shows up on the banks of the River Tyne, the DCI’s criminal past comes back to haunt him.

Meanwhile, a local celebrity singer claims that she is being stalked. Could there be a link to the killings?

As the bodies start to pile up, Lambert realises the motive lies in the past and that the killer is taunting them.

The clock is ticking. Can he catch the murderer, or will one of their own end up in an open grave?


I would like to thank the author, publisher Bloodhound Books and Blog Tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.

Open Grave is a procedural police drama about DCI Jack Lambert who while dealing with the fallout after accepting he is gay, must race against time to stop a serial killer. It has added excitement, because it also pits him against a local crime lord and the demands of a local celebrity who claims she is being stalked.

What I loved about this book was the exciting plot twists. It was a real page turner that left me feeling like I was trapped in a maze. The writer takes you down one way, only for it to turn out to be dead end and then whips you around and around until the final page of the novel. You never quite know where it is all going, but it is fun to take the journey! It was my favourite part of the book, the false turns in the story. It meant I could never get complacent about the narrative, was never able to smugly outwit the writer.

If I had one small niggle and it is little, was that it had for me one too many story threads. I loved the murder investigation and Jacks criminal fast all fitted in perfectly. I just didn’t understand the need for a third story thread with the celebrity being stalked. It just seemed to distract from the much more thrilling main storylines.

The characterisation felt right, with an eclectic mix of personalities, which made the story a very enjoyable read. They were all so different, from the troubled DCI Lambert, to his sidekick who is an eager romantic and their boss, a dinosaur from a different policing era. They create a vibrant group that gives the novel believability, reflecting the reality of a real criminal investigation team. My favourite character was the main man himself, the vulnerable and rash DCI Jack Lambert. I love to celebrate novels, especially well written ones, which place an LGBT+ character within the story. If that character is the main one all the better! Representation for Gay men is improving, but still remains rare enough that it should be celebrated when discovered in any genre, especially one still mainly known for gruff talking straight men. I worried that Jack would be a token character, but he’s not, he is great, fully fleshed out, accepted by his colleagues and though he is struggling with his sexuality, it never stops him being a great police officer. Jack is Jack and his struggles with his sexuality just make him all the more fascinating. By giving him a traumatic personal life the story has added depth and I hope this will be further explored in future DCI Lambert novels.

Is this the point I ask A M Peacock to please write more novels containing Jack? I honestly believe he has the potential to become an exciting leading figure in police thrillers!

It is a great read and one that fulfils all the criteria of a great thriller. The hero is both ordinary and yet troubled. The adversary matches him for both intelligence and resourcefulness. It starts off with a scene that leaves you wondering about the horrors to come, with layers of tension and conflict that build up as the novel progresses. It’s also full of that magic ingredient, suspense. Troubles plague or hero at home and in work and we can’t help but wonder will he survive the killers tortured reign of terror.

Open Grave is a promising debut and I look forward to more of his writing in the years to come and I would certainly recommend this book to all thriller lovers.


You can purchase Open Grave from Amazon

My the author.

A.M. Peacock grew up in the North East of England before leaving to study for a degree in music technology at the University of Hull. A subsequent return to his hometown of South Shields saw him spend seven years as a teacher in a local college before changing careers to become a trade union official.

Having always been an avid reader, he took to writing after being encouraged to do so by his PGCE tutor. He has since gone on to produce a number of short stories, winning the Writers’ Forum Magazine competition on two occasions, as well as producing articles for both the local press and a university magazine.

A.M. Peacock is passionate about crime fiction and his debut novel, Open Grave, is the first in what he hopes will become a series of DCI Jack Lambert books.

Away from writing, A.M. Peacock enjoys watching films, playing guitar and can often be found pavement pounding in preparation for the odd half marathon.

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You can follow the author on his WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.


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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ She Lies Hidden by CM Stephenson

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How far would you go to find your missing sister?
When DI Thomasine Albright is informed that the remains of her fifteen-year-old sister have been found, she has the tragic responsibility of breaking the news to her mother. Thomasine promises her mother that she will be the one to find Karen’s killer.
But Karen Albright wasn’t the only girl to go missing during that weekend in 1973… Veronica Lightfoot disappeared too. They’d lived barely four miles apart, yet apparently never met. Suddenly there is a new question, was Veronica involved in Karen’s death? Is that why she vanished?
DI Mel Philips is handed the original case file and begins a new investigation. Unwilling to be side-lined, Thomasine decides to go it alone.
As the case unfolds, Thomasine realises that there may be other victims. Can she find them too?

I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC of She Lies Hidden in return for an honest review.
There are so many things that made this book a very enjoyable read. Most importantly of all, has to be the story itself. There has been a lot of debate about the value of thrilling twists being announced on the front of book covers etc, that it is an overused plot device. I love them personally and think they are an integral part of a great thriller, though I prefer they are not sign posted from the first paragraph! The great thing about She Lies Hidden is that they are subtle and clever and had me caught out. For that very reason I enjoyed this psychological thriller, it read with enjoyable ease, with the tension building up throughout.
Then there is the atmosphere. I loved the depiction of the moors, that feeling of isolation and hidden secrets waiting to be revealed. The way the landscape became a character in the book was very clever. It felt spooky and eerily created a tension that the characters became enveloped in. Then we switched from that to the hustle and bustle of the police investigation unit, where people are rushing around, desperately trying to solve the death of a girl, whose disappearance has long haunted her sister. It’s a fabulous juxtaposition between two settlings that gave the story a feeling of being unbalanced, in a good way, the contrast leaving me the reader, slightly out of step and unnerved.
The characterisation is spot on. First you have DI Thomasine Albright, the sister of the victim. Herself a police officer, she is unable to stand back and allow others to solve her sister’s death, emotional and troubled. While opposite her is the officer assigned to officially solve the mystery, the very determined and detached DI Mel Phillips. Firstly I love that both main characters are strong, independent, clever women and secondly that they complement each other. DI Phillips understands what drives Albright, but is frustrated by the lack of control. I would love to read a book, where these two work together on an investigation; they would make a fantastic pair in future novels. Then there is the person responsible for Karen’s death, disturbed, intelligent, but highly repellent, just what you want from a killer.
I would definitely recommend this book. It is a perfectly formed psychological thriller, a real page turner.

You can purchase She Lies Hidden from Amazon.
You can purchase She Lies Hidden from Amazon.
About the author.
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After growing up in a small Lancashire village, Christine Stephenson left school at fifteen. Four years later she moved to Cornwall.

In her late teens she met people whose lives were complicated, fuelled by drugs, and filled with violence and aggression. There were others too, in her mid-twenties, everyday people, educated, with careers, who had decent parents; people who you wouldn’t look at twice in the street. They were worse; she knew the victims of their crimes too. These experiences continue to influence her writing.

Her career can be described as eclectic. Jobs ranging from office junior to dental nurse, management consultant to executive and corporate coach. She ran her own training consultancy for over twelve years. It was there that her love of writing bloomed. She went on to produce an extensive portfolio of work which included resource packs, case studies, role-plays, games, presentations and academic texts.

In 2008 her husband’s job dictated that they move to South Gloucestershire. This in turn, lead to a brand-new life. They now live just outside a small medieval town, set between Bristol and Bath.

In 2009, she decided it was time to study the craft and undertook the A215 in Creative Writing with Open University, and later followed that with an MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2016. She gained representation with Andrew Nurnberg & Associates soon after. She spent the following eighteen months writing and editing what is now her debut novel. In May 2018 Christine was delighted to accept a contract with Bloodhound Books.  ‘She Lies Hidden’ is due for release in September 2018.

You can follow the author on GoodreadsFacebook and Twitter.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio

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The summer of 1992 had been exceptionally cold in southern Italy. But that’s not the reason why it is still remembered.
On May 23, 1992, a roadside explosion killed the Palermo judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three police officers. A few weeks later judge Paolo Borsellino and five police officers were killed in the center of Palermo. These anti-mafia judges became heroes but the violence spread to the region of Bari in Puglia, where we meet a new, memorable character, Maresciallo Pietro Fenoglio, an officer of the Italian Carabinieri. Fenoglio, recently abandoned by his wife, must simultaneously deal with his personal crisis and the new gang wars raging around Bari. The police are stymied until a gang member, accused of killing a child, decides to collaborate, revealing the inner workings and the rules governing organised crime in the area.
The story is narrated through the actual testimony of the informant, a trope reminiscent of verbatim theatre which Carofiglio, an ex-anti-mafia judge himself, uses to great effect. The gangs are stopped but the mystery of the boy’s murder must still be solved, leading Fenoglio into a world of deep moral ambiguity, where the prosecutors are hard to distinguish from the prosecuted.


I would like to thank the author, publisher Bitter Lemon Press and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.

The Cold Summer is a story about the violence and criminal the activities of the Italian Mafia. It’s also about those that risk their lives to bring an end to the endless cycle of violence and intimidation following the death of a young boy.

It is surprisingly, given the subject matter largely free from graphic scenes of violence and I loved it as a result. The brutality is there, under the surface almost, simmering away, while Gianrico Carofiglio uses the confessional feeling of the interview room and the testimony of an informant to take us into the ruthless criminal underworld.

He also gives us the gentle and intelligent Maresciallo Fenoglio, an Italian Police Officer, who I could happy spend many more hours in the company of. Characterisation is perfection. He gives this book an air of warmth and for me is akin to the decent and sympathetic Jimmy Perez in Anne of Cleves Shetland novels. As Perez embodies the ruggedness of the Shetland Islands, Fenoglio fufills my image of the laid back, but troubled Italian policeman, for whom honour and integrity are central to his life.

The parts of this book that I loved the most, was the attention paid to the investigation. The feeling that you ate part of it, solving the mystery as Fenoglio does. The atmosphere is claustrophobic is some ways, as we are locked in the interview room with criminal and police officer; then as it spreads out in the countryside around it, we are sucked in the murky criminal underworld behind the civilized facade.

If your taste lies in fast paced reads, with twists and turns that confuse the mind and trick it into false predictions of the outcome, than this is not the book for you. It has more of a languid feel to it, the story seeping into your senses. Don’t get me wrong, I love the faster paced novels, in fact I adore them, but this book is the polar opposite and I thrived on the change of pace. The reveal of the culprit is more subtle, the twist is there, this is thriller so there will always be one, but it was simply revealed at a gentler pace. Rather than the bang of exploding champagne, this being set in Italy, the story is like a mature, full bodied Italian wine, being consumed while sitting under the setting sun on an Italian terrace.

I would recommend to all those who love thrillers, especially readers who enjoy a more laid back, less pacer read. It really is a very enjoyable read.

You can purchase The Cold Summer from Amazon.


About the author

Gianrico Carofiglio Author Picture

Award-winning, best-selling novelist Gianrico Carofiglio was born in Bari in 1961 and worked for many years as a prosecutor specialising in organised crime.
He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian parliament in 2007 and served as a senator from 2008 to 2013.
Carofiglio is best know for the Guido Guerrieri crime series; Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark, Reasonable Doubts, Temporary Perfections and now, a Fine Line, all published by Bitter Lemon Press.
His other novels include The Silence of the Wave.
Carofiglio’s books have sold more than four million copies in Italy and have been translated into twenty-four languages worldwide.

You can follow the author on Twitter.

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Cover Reveal ~ Blog Tour ~ A Stain On The Soul by

Welcome to the cover reveal for A Stain On The Soul by Elizabeth Davies.  This is this an exciting opportunity to look at the cover of this book before it’s released.

A Stain on the Soul

Resigned to another lifetime of being a witch’s familiar, Caitlyn has found a degree of peace in her role as the Duke of Normandy’s protector and spy.
But that peace is shattered when she returns to her native land only to come face-to-face with her past, and fall in love with a man who she desperately hopes will become her future.

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Photo by Pixabay on

Here is the stunning cover! 

A Stain on the Soul eCover

You can pre-order a copy by following this LINK.


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About the author

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

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You can follow the author on her Website, TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Girl In His Eyes by Jennie Ensor.

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Her father abused her when she was a child. For years she was too afraid to speak out. But now she suspects he’s found another victim…

Laura, a young woman struggling to deal with what her father did to her a decade ago, is horrified to realise that the girl he takes swimming might be his next victim. Emma is twelve – the age Laura was when her father took away her innocence.Intimidated by her father’s rages, Laura has never told anyone the truth about her childhood. Now she must decide whether she has the courage to expose him and face the consequences.

Can Laura overcome her fear and save Emma before the worst happens?



I would like to thank the author Jennie Ensor, Bloodhound Books and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Firstly I have to say that this book bravely deals with the consequences of the historical sexual abuse of a child by her father and then the fear of who he might also exploit in the present. For some this might make the book too difficult to read and too upsetting. I was disturbed and in equal measure horrified at the exploitation and grooming of young vulnerable girls by a deeply disturbed protagonist.
Jennie Ensor cleverly gives a voice not only to the victim Laura, but also the abuser, her father. She also gives Laura’s mother a strong narrative voice, skilfully acknowledging in this compelling psychological thriller, that sexual abuse always leaves a swath of victims, all of whom are left damaged by the act of a sexually deviant.
It was the fact that she took us into the minds of all involved in this drama, that made The Girl In His Eyes such a compelling read. Though your mind and heart are sickened by the actions of Laura’s dad and the secrets that bind them together and destroy Laura’s life, you keep reading in the hope she finds justice, because the abuse has left her virtually incapable of interpersonal relationships. Yet her abuser sees himself as the victim of a society that simply doesn’t understand his actions. It’s a difficult balancing act, but one Jennie Ensor handles with a deft hand. She doesn’t hide the twisted mind of the abuser, because that would be doing a disservice to the story and the narrative of the victim. She brings all its disturbing elements into a work of fiction and succeeds in creating a story that haunts, disturbs and compels you to keep reading.
I admire her skill in not skirting around the disturbing elements of the story and of fleshing out all of the characters. Many other writers would simply leave Laura’s dad as a shell, but by giving him a voice, disturbing and distressing as it is, gives her story more power. It’s not exploitive of the stories of those who have gone through this horrifying experience; it gives them a voice in a fictional novel and tells of their experience with understanding.
It is a riveting read and one I won’t forget for a while. It forced me to think, while in the safety net of a well written and exciting novel, because it’s fictional, you can take a step back, the victim is not real. But Laura’s story is real for many people and Jennie Ensor treats that with the respect it deserves while delivering a book that left me shell shocked and disturbed by the events within. It is a fantastic read and I look forward to reading more of her books.

You can purchase The Girl In His Eyes from Amazon

About the author.


Jennie Ensor lives in London and has Irish roots. During a long trip overseas she obtained a Masters in Journalism and began her writing career as a journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. Her debut novel BLIND SIDE was published by Unbound in 2016. In January 2018 her short story ‘The Gift’ was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women national prose competition. Her poetry has appeared in many UK and overseas publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. She sings in a chamber choir.

You can follow the author on Facebook, her websiteTwitter and Instagram.

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Extract ~ Blog Tour~Dark Paradise by Gene Desrochers.

Dark Paradise FINAL COVER

Dark Paradise

Boise Montague’s life in Los Angeles has fallen apart. After his wife dies, he returns to the tiny island where he grew up. Unfortunately, coming home doesn’t bring him the peace he’s looking for. Things have changed drastically since his last visit. The island has moved on and so have the people he once knew. When Boise tries to find the one friend he thinks he can count on to be there for him, he’s confronted with another death. A murder. A murder that the police did not think important enough to investigate thoroughly. Boise wants answers. He enlists a local reporter named Dana, who has theories of her own, to help him dig deeper. With not much left to lose, a bone to pick with the justice system, and a relentless partner, Boise sets out to do what the police would not: solve the murder of Jeffrey Black. The island of St. Thomas is a gleaming tropical paradise. Welcome to the Caribbean, where murder is as common as sunshine.

I would like to welcome Gene Desrochers to booksaremycwtches today with an extract from his novel Dark Paradise. Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me into the blog tour.

Dark Paradise


This excerpt establishes Boise’s new digs at a guesthouse in St. Thomas. He meets the proprietors of guesthouse.

The sun shone bright in my eyes as I pulled my rolling luggage along behind and flung my puke-green duffle bag over my shoulder. Like a battering ram, my bag banged against the shoulders of tourists who wandered in and out of glittering shops, faces turned up, oblivious to everything without a duty-free sign on it.
Thirty-six steps made of brick and concrete over arched openings used for storage in colonial times got me to the entrance. In my youth, I’d played hide-and-seek inside those same passages. They still smelled of bums who slept there at night.
A glorious, Spanish-era wrought-iron chandelier hung overhead as I stood in what I supposed was the lobby of the West Indian Manner. An ice machine hummed behind the counter to the right as I rang the welcome bell.
“Hello.” A copper-skinned woman with petite breasts called out from the bottom of the steps leading to the second floor. She sauntered around the counter like a mermaid gliding through water. “I help you?”
“Yes. You have any rooms?”
“How long you visitin’ for?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “How about indefinitely, depending on the price? Do you have a monthly rate?”
“We have rooms rented out by da week. I’s one-fifty a week. We give new linen and sheets a week. If you wan’ twice a week service, add twenty-five. We need a deposit of t’ree hundred.”
She turned around to get a key off its hook. I leaned over the counter to glance at the ledger. There weren’t many names on it.
“I don’ know if I can afford dat,” I said.
“You local?”
“I used to live up behin’ here. Da house gone now,” I said.
“I could give you a local discount. One-twenty-five wid two times a week service.”
I nodded.
She called out, “Marge, we got a cust-a-ma.” She turned back to me. “I Lucy. Marge and me a couple, you know, lesbian. You okay wid dat?”
“Yeah, no problem,” I said as a burly woman in a muumuu appeared.
Lucy glanced at my check-in slip. “Show Mr. Montague to room eighteen. Come down for a drink lata, Mista Montague, my treat.”
She opened the door next to the check-in booth, revealing a large, mahogany bar. Three customers hunched over amber-colored beverages in the dark room.
“T’anks, I will,” I muttered.
Marge barely glanced at me. No wonder Lucy greeted and closed the sale before Marge appeared. Lucy accepted a hundred and twenty-five dollars, plus the deposit, from me.
I trudged up another sixteen stairs after Marge.
We walked in silence. It seemed Marge wasn’t particularly keen on speech. Later I learned that she wasn’t mute, but had an abiding belief in making noise only when absolutely necessary. When she made noise, you listened.
Marge flipped on the ceiling fan and left. I dropped my bag on the shag carpet. A window looked out on the town below. I felt safe in this Spartan room for the first time since I’d discovered Roger was gone, I felt safe. Light-colored stains dotted the beige carpet. Paneled faux wood adorned the walls–a throw-back to the seventies.
I tried not to think about my tiny, vanished, seventies house. Every time I turned around, my hopes for signs of my old life were dashed like ships on a reef.
I pried open the splintering wooden louvers. Lazy palm fronds swayed in the yard below. I laid back on the golden sheets and fell into a dreamless sleep.

You can purchase Dark Paradise from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the author

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Gene Desrochers hails from a dot in the Caribbean Sea called St. Thomas. He grew up with minimal supervision and free-roaming animals in a guesthouse that also served as a hospital during wartime. He has spent his life steadily migrating west, and now finds himself in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife, cats, and kids. After a lifetime of writing and telling short stories, he ventured into the deep end, publishing his first novel, Dark Paradise in 2018. If you ask, he will regale you with his Caribbean accent and tennis prowess.

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Suspended Retribution by Rob Ashman.

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Alex Jarrod is a war veteran. When a flesh-eating parasite destroys his face, he returns from Afghanistan with a head full of nightmares. His world crumbles around him until he realises there is work to be done. Another war to fight.

DI Rosalind Kray has her hopes pinned on becoming the new DCI after tracking down another serial killer, but those in charge have other ideas.

After a small-time crook is killed in a hit and run and a serial burglar is brutally murdered, Kray suspects a vigilante is at work. But her bosses disregard her theory – until they discover a third victim.

Once again Kray finds herself on the trail of a serial killer but this one is different. This one lives in his own private war zone.

With her bosses on her heels Kray has her work cut out and the body count is rising.

But he’s not going to stop until the mission is complete … and Kray’s not going to stop until she finds him.


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

I admit I am a big fan of Rob Ashman’s DI Rosalind Kray books and so was looking forward to reading this, the latest in the series. I’m delighted to be able to say that it has lived up to my expectations and was a thrilling read from beginning to end!

Why did the novel thrill me so much? The characters! DI Kray is a great lead character, flawed, troubled, ambitious and great at her job, you just can’t help liking her. Her flaws are fascinating and her skill so obvious, you find the lack of recognition from her superiors infuriating. She is one of my favourite lead characters in the thriller genre at the moment and I am hoping this is not the last we hear from her! Then there is the killer, Alex Jarrod. Now I know you’re not supposed to like the murderer, but hands up, I was not just fascinated by him, I found myself sympathising with him. I am 100% against acts of violence, but this serial killer, traumatised by past events, is at least killing for a reason and it makes him unusual in the thrillers I have read and that makes him easier to understand.

Then there is the story itself, not as gruesome as the first two books in the series, which would make excellent reads if you have not already read them. I love the way we hear the story from both Alex’s and Kray’s point of view. It’s a theme that runs through this series of books and makes them excellent reads. Part of their appeal is the killer’s thoughts, actions and motivations are given a voice in the story and explains why I found myself sympathising with Alex’s actions. Rob Ashman, took me inside his head and allowed me to see what drove him to take the lives of others. It gave him a sense of humanity, which may not justify his actions, but help the reader to understand his anger and frustrations.

Then there is the fact it is a thrilling and exciting read from page one to the last final paragraph. Fast paced and clever, it’s a real page turner. You are never quite sure who will come out on top, because surely at some point DI Kray will meet her match, but will that be Alex?

These books can be read as standalones, but they are so enjoyable, why not read them all?

You can can purchase Suspended Retribution from Amazon

About the author.


Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.
It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.
When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.
Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

You can follow the author on Facebook, his website and Twitter.

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Promotion Post~ Blog Tour ~Ladders To Heaven by Mike Shanahan.


A stunning survey of the extraordinary and surprising ways that fig trees have shaped human civilisation – and could enrich our future.

A stunning survey of the extraordinary and surprising ways that fig trees have shaped human civilisation – and could enrich our future.

Fig trees have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways: they are wish fulfillers, rainforest royalty, more precious than gold. In Ladders to Heaven tells their incredible story, beautifully peppered with original hand-drawn illustrations

They fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played a key role in the birth of civilisation. More recently, they helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption and proved instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Figs now sustain more species of bird and mammal than any other fruit – in a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, they offer hope. Theirs is a story about humanity’s relationship with nature, as relevant to our past as it is to our future.

You can purchase this fascinating sounding book from Amazon

About the author.

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Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer and illustrator with a doctorate in rainforest ecology. He has lived in a national park in Borneo, bred endangered penguins, investigated illegal bear farms and produced award-winning journalism. His writing includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth, Scientific American and Newsweek.

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Blog Tour ~Promo Post ~ The Craft Room by Dave Holwill


The Craft Room

Sylvia Blackwell is tired. Her grandchildren are being kept away from her, and the expected inheritance that might finally get her middle-aged son to move out has failed to materialise – thanks to her mother’s cat. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain composed. On a romantic clifftop walk for her 47th Wedding Anniversary, an unexpected opportunity leads to a momentous decision that will irretrievably change the course of her life. The Craft Room is a darkly comic tale of sex, crepe paper, murder and knitting in a sleepy Devon town, with a ‘truly original’ premise and genuinely jaw-dropping moments. What would you do if unexpectedly freed from bondage you never knew you were in? How would your children cope? How far would you go to protect them from an uncomfortable truth? You can only push a grandmother so far…

You can purchase The Craft Room from Amazon

A little bit about the author


Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents). After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
His debut novel, Weekend Rockstars, was published in August 2016 to favourable reviews and his second The Craft Room (a very dark comedy concerning death through misadventure) came out in August 2017. He is currently in editing hell with the third.

You can follow the author on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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The Craft Room

Review ~ Blog Tour ~After He Died by Michael Malone.

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You need to know who your husband really was… When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed… When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger. Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets… .

‘A stark, gripping storyline’ Scots .

‘A fine, page-turning thriller’ Daily Mail 


I would like to thank the author, Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
After He Died is a story about family, love and relationships. It asks the reader do we ever really know those we love? It is also a superb thriller and a very addictive read.
What did I love about this domestic noir?
The characters for one! Paula is a grief stricken widow, who in the face of almost unbearable loss, must fight protect herself and the memory of the man she married. Her grief is powerfully written, it is all consuming on times, yet on others she is able to function at some basic level. You can feel both her loss and her strength, which allows her move forwards, even when grief threatens to wrap her in its wretched embrace, drowning her is waves of desolation and malaise. It’s a outstanding depiction of the many stages of morning a person can go through and yet the story is never allowed to be swamped by it, Paula is more than the grief that consumes her, she is a women with an inner strength that she draws from to try to survive another nightmare her life is being consumed by. Then we have support characters like Joe, her brother-in-law, a flawed and vulnerable man, a priest and fascinating in his own right. Often writers make the mistake of not fleshing out the less prominent characters, but not Michael Malone, who understands that if a novel is to work, each character, however minor a role they play, needs to be absorbing enough for the reader to invest in. I loved his story, however minor, as much as that of Paula’s and that shows the depth of great characterisation in After He Died.
And then there is the story itself. Great characters need a story to inhabit and this is certainly worthy of them. Packed with thrilling twists and turns that keep you guessing right to the end, After He Died is a real page turner. But it is also has a clever and intricate storyline that is not swamped by the thrills, or defined by them. It builds like a classical thriller over the cause of the book, as the layers of the story and slowly peeled away revealing a web of betrayal and lies. Multiple threads are combined together to form the story and they draw together perfectly leaving me astounded at the web of treachery all the characters had been caught up in.
Why would I recommend this book? Because it is a top quality thriller, which left me wanting more from this writer.

You can purchase After He Died from Amazon and Waterstones.

About the author

thumbnail_Michael Malone

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In- Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage and The Bad Samaritan. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number one bestseller. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

The author can be followed on TwitterFacebook and his website.

After He Died Blog Tour Poster