Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Jay-Jay And his Island Adventure by Sue Wickstead.

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Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey. He is a Playbus.Find out what happens when he is invited to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus – and certainly not one full of toys!


I would like thank the author and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

There are so many things to love about this book. The story itself is full of joy, it’s fun and a beauty to read aloud to a child or for an early independent reader. Why? It uses simple, yet fun themes that they will be able to identify with, role playing and learning through play.  It takes them and Jay Jay on an adventure to an island when he overcomes his fear of sailing, to spend time with children as they play at being pirates. It makes you smile with every page you turn and the illustrations are fan and colourful. This book reminds me of some of my favourite books as a child, the ones I would nag my parents to read over and over. Jay Jay has all the makings of becoming a form family favourite and would bring joy to anyone lucky enough to read it.

You can purchase this book from Amazon

About the author

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Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author and has currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
In addition, she has also written a photographic history book about the real bus behind her story writing.
Her bus stories are about a playbus.
Have you ever been on a Playbus?
When Sue’s two children were young, they attended a playgroup on a bus, but not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a Playbus stuffed full of toys to capture their imagination!
For over 20 years, alongside her teaching career, she worked with the charity, the Bewbush Playbus Association.
As part of the committee she painted the bus, worked in the groups, helped raise the profile of the project and its work and was part of the team involved in raising funds to replace the old bus with a newer vehicle. This led her to write a photographic history book about it.
‘It really was a fun journey to be involved in’, said Sue. The bus really got into her blood and became a work of the heart.
Having written the history book Sue soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. So, she decided to write a fictional tale, his number plate JJK261, gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original project and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
‘A Spooky Tale’ and ‘The Christmas Play Rehearsal’ do indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.
Sue has undertaken events and author bookings and loves to share her stories, she is also proud to be ‘a patron of reading’.
The books have all received 5-star awards from ‘Readers Favourite. 
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Review ~ Blog Tour ~Turbulent Wake by Paul E Hardisty.

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A stark, stunning and emotive new novel from the bestselling author of the Claymore Straker series

Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father. Hidden in one of the upstairs rooms of the old man’s house he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of stories that seems to cover the whole of his father’s turbulent life. As his own life starts to unravel, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, trying to find answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one else left, did his own father push him away? Swinging from the coral cays of the Caribbean to the dangerous deserts of Yemen and the wild rivers of Africa, Turbulent Wake is a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss … of the indelible damage we do to those closest to us and, ultimately, of the power of redemption in a time of change.

‘This is a remarkably well-written, sophisticated novel in which the people and places, as well as frequent scenes of violent action, all come alive on the page…’ Literary Review


My thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

I’m usually found gushing about any book published by Orenda Books for good reason.  Today is no different. Turbulent Wake is a profoundly moving read about love, loss and discovery.

Yes there are moments of violence, but what has stuck with me, is the writers understanding of human nature and the things we fear the most, the passing of time and our own mortality.  Within a few pages he describes the passing of time in such clarity and with such tenderness that it took my breath away, for what we think of as an ocean of time stretched out before us, turns ‘out to be only a teardrop ‘. I often sit back and wonder how I have suddenly woken up one day to discover I’m older than my father was when he died and yet it seems only yesterday that he walked out of our door never to return.  For its the quiet moments at the heart of this novel that make it so special to me, in speaking about some of my greatest fears, yet still managing to entertain on so many levels.

This story in just overflowing with moments that seemed to speak directly to me and for that it will always sit front and centre amongst my favourite reads.  I often find myself thinking, after a passing comment, if the person speaking to me really understands who I am and if I even understand myself. One of my biggest regrets is never being able to get to know my dad as an adult and so the central narrative of this book, Ethan getting to know his father, through the pages of writing he left behind, resonated with me. For the engineer in writing of himself, in death gifts his son understanding, not just about the secrets he kept, but of how they shaped them both.

Both father and son are damaged and deeply flawed, just like us all and the writer explores how the effects of  fractured relationships have repercussions that reverberate through the generations that follow.  He takes us back and forth in time as we learn of the young engineers past and then back to the present and how Ethan rudderless and incapable of sustaining a relationship, begins to understand how similar they are and how understanding his father he can understand himself.

So why read this book? To learn if Ethan learns from his father’s words.  To understand how the engineers past shaped him, but also to spend time with these two wonderful characters and be moved by both the story and how it speaks to us as readers.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon and Waterstones

About the author

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Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent twenty-five years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of FearReconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia. Follow him on Twitter @Hardisty_Paul

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Extract ~ Blog Tour ~ Cultivating A Fuji by Miriam Drori

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Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.   Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now? Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.   Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…


John, Martin’s boss, remembers an incident involving Martin and the phone that took place in 1974.
Martin hadn’t been working there for long. John had been delayed that morning and needed to tell Martin. He phoned the office, got through to Sue, and asked to be transferred to Martin. The standard procedure would have been for Sue to simply put the call through to Martin’s extension so that, when he picked up the phone, he’d hear John straight away. But Sue had had previous problems with Martin and phone calls. He never seemed to answer his phone. Of course, he might have been away from his desk each time there was a call, but that possibility seemed unlikely as he was always there when she looked.
So she tried a different method. John heard about this later from Sue. She went over to Martin, who as always was sitting at his desk, and said, “Call for you on line 2.” Then she waited until Martin had lifted the receiver and pressed the button for line 2 before returning to her room.
He didn’t say a word after connecting, but John heard breathing. Very fast, jerky breathing. So he said, “Martin?”
Still no sound came back to John, apart from the breathing.
John needed to find a way to advance this call. “Okay, I’m assuming you’re there. I have to go to the dentist this morning, so I’ll be late for our meeting. I should be in at about eleven and we can talk then. All right?”
John couldn’t understand it. The guy only had to say, “Yes.” One measly little word. How difficult could that be? Apart from the breathing and a crackle or two, absolute silence reigned.
“Okay. See you around eleven. Bye.”
John didn’t discuss the phone incident with Martin. His instinct told him it wouldn’t help and could only damage their relationship – what there was of it. From that day, he and Sue and the rest of the office knew that Martin didn’t talk on the phone and they never tried to force him to use that instrument of communication.
Of course, John had discussed Martin with Ian. Their conversations always ended the same way.
“John, I realise Martin is frustrating. What do you want me to do? Dismiss him?”
John shook his head. “You’d need to take on a whole team of programmers to replace him. They would spend their time debugging, checking, correcting and adding more mistakes in a process that would lead to more debugging, checking, correcting… You know how it goes.”
“In other words, Martin isn’t quite the idiot you portray.”
“He’s a genius and we all know it.”
“That’s good to hear. Because sometimes I think you forget that little fact.”
No, John used to reflect, he didn’t forget it. But Ian had the good fortune not to come into daily contact with Martin. Martin hardly ever needed to occupy the padded chair in Ian’s office, and John suspected that Ian, despite all he heard from John and others, didn’t really know what Martin was like.
Later in the novel, you can find out how this fear came about.

You can purchase this novel from

Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed (Open Internationally) by following this LINK
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Cultivating A Fuji

About the author 

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Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

The author can be followed on Facebook and Twitter

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Hitman Sam by Morgen Bailey.

Having been made redundant as a photocopier software designer, Sam Simpson is lured by a cryptic advert. As he learns it is for a trainee hitman, will he be tough enough to see the job through? Even James Bond had to start somewhere and Sam, as his alias Josh Bradley, looks forward to enjoying James’ lifestyle, although soon embroiled in a love triangle, Sam hadn’t expected things to get so complicated so quickly.  
I would like to thank the author and blog tour organiser for the ARC of this novel in return for an honest review.
The premise is that Sam recently made redundant is lured by a mysterious advert into becoming a trainee hitman. Now that might sound farfetched but when you think about it, how does a person become a gun for hire? I certainly have no idea and so this story was an entertaining and often funny read. Another recommendation is that it is short and can be read in one relaxed sitting, maybe with a nice drink and possibly as with me, a ‘I’m not sharing’ grab bag of chocolates. I was looking for something light and yet enjoyable to read and this fitted the requirements with bells on.
The story flows well and there are a great range of entertaining characters, many of whom are not who they seem initially and that kept me on my toes as a reader. Sam himself was suitably entertaining, naive enough to get caught up in a fantasy, James Bond he is not, but he is surprisingly good enough to make you think, he could make a career of this. He is unlucky in love and looking for some excitement in life and I felt myself really wanting him to succeed, even though I hate violence, I wanted him to accomplish the dream of escaping meritocracy.
If I had one issue, I would love to see into Sam’s future. Maybe a second short novella!
If you’re looking for a fun read then I would certainly give this one a go.
You can purchase the novel from Amazon
About the author 
2 Morgen July 2017
Morgen Bailey (Morgen with an E) is an author (of novels, short stories, writing and editing guides), freelance editor (for publishers and indie authors), writing tutor (in person and online), Writers’ Forum magazine ‘Competitive Edge’ columnist, blogger, speaker, and co-founder of Northants Authors. The former Chair of three writing groups, she has judged the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, RONE, as well as the BBC Radio 2, BeaconLit, and Althorp Literary Festival children’s short story competitions. She also runs her own monthly 100-word competition. 2018 events include talks and workshops at Troubador’s Self Publishing Conference speakers, workshops and panels at Delapre Book Festival, interviewing and workshops at BeaconLit, and NAWG Fest with her ‘Editing your Fiction’ weekend residential course. Morgen can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and many others. Her blog is, and email address

Blog Tour ~Interview with Siren Paul Petrek author of Wolves At Our Door.

Wolves at our Door

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.

Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

I’m delighted to welcome author Siren Petrek to booksaremycwtches today discussing where he likes to write, why he likes being an author and his novel Wolves At Our Door.

1. Where do you get most of your writing done?
I write at the office and at home as time allows. Usually, I’ll get an uninterrupted hour here and there during the week and longer periods on weekends, holidays and evenings. I write in spurts and often do 5,000 words at a time, but more often around a thousand.

2. What is your favourite thing about being an author?
The artistic element is completely different than my ‘day job’ of being a trial attorney. Litigation involves contested proceedings and jury trials, that by nature are adversarial. Writing is insular and personal where I control the emotion and narrative.

3. What is your favourite part of Wolves at our Door? (No spoilers!)
The scene where my protagonist and her mentor are in Germany fighting side by side against the Nazi SS. Madeleine is tasked to blow up the German V-2 rocket factory under Mount Kohnstein while Hartmann to liberate the Dora concentration camp and to lead an armed prisoner attack against the guards.

4. When you’re not writing, what do you do?
I like to cook, travel with family, read and watch movies and shows. I think we’ve seen every police drama on Brtibox and of course Game of Thrones.

5. Why should readers pick up your books?

Most WWII action adventure novels feature male characters and therefore have less appeal to female readers. Mine feature Madeleine Toche, a young French woman thrust into war and the British Special Operations Executive. She is trained and selected to be an assassin operating in France taking the war directly to the enemy. So many women played pivotal roles during the war from Bletchley Park, cryptography and aerial photo interpretation to the female field agents of the SOE.
My novels appeal to readers of all ages and interests. Many of the reviews I’ve read are from readers normally not drawn to novels set in WWII or that have a military aspect to them.
I’ve hundreds of reviews where the readers remark that they couldn’t set the book down. That is the highest praise for me.
I write to entertain and perhaps reassert the need for people to remember the atrocities the Nazis perpetrated. History needn’t be bland and soulless but can be presented in a manner that intrigues and guides readers to learn more about the aspects of a time and place that catch their imaginations.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon

About the author 

Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991. Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Educated in the U.S., England and France, Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981. His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986. His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota (1991).

Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction. Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.

The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage (titled simply, Courage) was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries. Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.

Tuck Magazine has published several of Soren’s poems, some of which have been included in Soren’s book of poetry, A Search for Solid Ground.

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebook and the author ‘s website.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Wilderness by B E Jones


It’s easy to die out there. It’s easy to kill too.

Two weeks, 1,500 miles, three opportunities for her husband to save his own life.
It isn’t about his survival – it’s about hers.
Shattered by the discovery of her husband’s affair, Liv knows they need to leave the chaos of New York to try to save their marriage. Maybe the roadtrip that they’d always planned, exploring America’s national parks, just the two of them, would help heal the wounds.
But what Liv hasn’t told her husband is that she has set him three challenges. Three opportunities to prove he’s really sorry and worthy of her forgiveness.
If he fails? Well, it’s dangerous out there. There are so many ways to die in the wilderness. And if it’s easy to die, then it’s easy to kill too.
If their marriage can’t survive, he can’t either.

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

Having listened to the author take part in a panel last year at the Cardiff Book festival, I was excited to be given the opportunity to review one of her novels. Wilderness is a superb psychological thriller, with a deeply flawed lead character, pitch perfect storyline and tension that oozes off the pages as you read.

There were there reasons why I loved it so much, the story being the main one. From the point it started it read like a dream and given my rather frazzled mind at the moment that was very important.

The story is essentially about Liv whose husband has cheated on her, setting him the challenge of proving his worthiness to not only remain married to her, but stay alive. Now this seems quite straightforward, but the cleverness of the novel is the way B E Jones gives the story layers of detail and it becomes as much a story about Liv’s survival as it does Will’s. More than once the writer fooled me and took the storyline down a different ARC than I was expecting, an utter delight as I then found it impossible to put down.

She created the perfect setting to, from the dry almost alien landscape of the Grand Canyon, to the frantic tempo of New York. The changes in location, gave the novel an edginess and palatable sense of oppression. For example when set in the Grand Canyon, the heat and danger posed by the cliff edges, ramped up the threat to Will’s very survival.

Then there is the Liv herself, not a simple one dimensional women treated badly by her man, for she is so much more than this. Not for her the divorce courts, her mind so seemingly tortured by it own demons  making it almost impossible to simply walk away from Will. She has traits of a psychopath, her past is clouded with clues to her reactions and she is so complex you can’t shift her from your mind, for days after the book comes to an end. So complex that you can’t help but sympathise with her pain, yet paradoxically find her scary and yet utterly fascinating.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this book and giving it a well  deserved five stars.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon UK, Amazon USWaterstones

About the author

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Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.
She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.
Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.
Wilderness, her sixth crime novel follows the release of Halfway by Little Brown in 2018.
Bev’s previous releases, Where She Went, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books.

You can follow the author on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and her Website.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~Bad Mommy Stay Mommy by Elizabeth Horan

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Elisabeth Horan was in the grip of postpartum depression after the birth of her second son, ‘red and writhing a salamander underfoot’. In this collection, Elisabeth finds the courage to survive. Uplifting, guttural: Horan leaves her reader roaring for more.


Many thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.

I’m the first to admit I don’t always ‘get’ poetry, but I know what I love and that’s when I make a connection with a poem or collection and I found Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy to be both accessible, powerful and moving.

There is a move in social media and public organisations to bring the issues around mental health out into the public domain and to remove the stigma endured by those that suffer from this largely invisible illness.  If we are honest many of us have suffered in some degree or other, but we don’t feel able to verbalise it. Elizabethan Horan can and does so with great passion and voice which is clear and honest. Its that, which makes this collection so moving and powerful.  She does not sugar coat the pain endured by mothers who have suffered from the debilitating and painful condition postpartum depression, she gives it a voice and speaks for many, not just for herself. It makes for difficult reading on times, but the rewards are endless. In the first poem of the collection, My Self, Horan talks for me about how people don’t really know her or anyone left feeling isolated by this illness, how maybe during this period of depression people felt the need to protect their children from her. In the final line of the poem, she delivers one of the most powerful pieces of poetry I have read in some time;

But what you forget is that I am your sister, your husband, your mother, your lover. I am you in a mixed acrylic on a Pollack canvas.

Then in It’s My Mind Which Does This- she shows that her poetry gives a voice to those chronically debilitating feelings that plague those suffering from any form of depression, that it is all our own fault, that we in some way create our own misery!

It is my fault this whine, this

Off-key music in

My mind? 

Bad Mommy Stay Mommy is designed to give a voice to those mothers left silenced and shamed by the depression that crushes them after the birth of their child and we should all read it, to break that cycle of misunderstanding and give them a voice.  Elizabeth Horan has produced a powerful and moving collection of poems that speak to us all, for even if we have not had children, we can all in some way learn from her words to open up and give a voice to those who lives are haunted by postpartum depression.

You can purchase this collection of Poetry from Amazon

About the author

Elisabeth Horan Author Picture

Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is Co-Owner of Animal Heart Press. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique, and a 2018 Pushcart Prize Nomination from Cease Cows.
Elisabeth lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two young sons. When not being poet, she works as a secretary and loves riding horses & dancing the salsa—
Follow her on Twitter @ehoranpoet  & ehoranpoet

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~Revenge Runs Deep by Pat Young.

Your boss is a bully. How far would you go to get revenge?
Thomas Smeaton is a powerful man who makes life a living hell for his employees.
When his bullying drives a woman to suicide, three of her colleagues decide it is time to take action before Smeaton destroys any more good people.
Six months later, a car is found submerged in a reservoir, with a single body inside. Suicide? Or murder?
Two people were there the night that car rolled into the depths of Loch Etrin. And one is still missing.
I would like to thank the author and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Having read the authors other books, I was chuffed to be offered the opportunity to review revenge runs deep. There is always a slight nervousness on my part when I come to read a book by an author I have enjoyed in the past, in case you don’t love it, but I’m glad to say that those fears were unfounded in this case! This is a highly enjoyable mystery that delivers on both excitement and enjoyment.
Centred around the actions of three colleagues of a women who commits suicide after she is bullied by her boss, its the story of their actions against Smeaton, a smug, cruel, egoistic tyrant.
Why did I enjoy it? It’s simple really, Pat Young delivers a story that we can all understand in some way.  I’ve been bullied by bosses who feel it is their god given right to lord it over their employees and have harboured secret thoughts of retribution, never acted on, but I’m sure many of us have felt this way; and the reason this book is so clever is it shows us the possible repercussions of on acting on your pain, from the safety of your arm chair, admittedly with a coffee and possibly a packet of biscuits.
The story is not fast paced, it’s all about the characters, their actions and the consequences of those behaviours.  Three adults deciding to teach the bully a lesson they won’t forget and we get to take that ride with them.  We watch while they veer between determination to really make him suffer, to just wanting him to show remorse as they fight a battle with their own inner voices about how far they are willing to go, and between the rights and wrongs of taking his punishment into their own hands. It makes for a fascinating read that had me gripped from page one until the final word. I was left more than a little gobsmacked by the notion of how far an individual is willing to go, when pushed past the point of no return. It is full of tantalising questions for the characters, about how they a react to egoistical tyrants like Smeaton and the cracks that begin to show between the three, as they each reach the boundaries of how much they are willing to do for revenge. The writer cleverly makes us invest in them as she reveals the back story to why they individually hate this man and asks us to understand why they hate him so much.  Confusingly I felt sympathy with them, a little revulsion around how far they were willing to go and empathy for their suffering.  I both wanted them to turn back from actions they could never recover from and yet confusingly I felt an insight for why they act as they do. I personally don’t believe in revenge, but cleverly Pat Young at the same time as delivering an exciting and thought provoking read, makes me sit back and think, that I can begin to understand why others can’t turn the other cheek.
This is a first class thriller and won I would definitely recommend.
You can purchase this novel from Amazon.
About the author 
Pat Young writes psychological thrillers. Her debut Till the Dust Settles won the Constable Stag Trophy and an Amazon number 1 best-seller award. Her recent release, One Perfect Witness, sat for a while at number 2 in the Scottish Crime charts, nestled between Rankin and Cleeves and ahead of the mighty Val Mc Dermid!

But Pat never intended to be a writer. Then a story got inside her head, demanding to be told. She is fascinated by what happens when someone suddenly disappears and all her books have that theme.

Pat loves meeting readers and has been on the programme at Bloody Scotland and Tidelines. She is really excited about appearing at this year’s Boswell Book Festival at Dumfries House in May where she plans to launch her fourth psychological thriller Revenge Runs Deep.

You can follow the author on Twitter.

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Hunting Evil by Chris Carter.

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‘Every story one day comes to an end.’
As roommates, they met for the first time in college. Two of the brightest minds ever to graduate from Stamford Psychology University.
As adversaries, they met again in Quantico, Virginia. Robert Hunter had become the head of the LAPD’s Ultra Violent Crimes Unit. Lucien Folter had become the most prolific and dangerous serial killer the FBI had ever encountered.

Now, after spending three and a half years locked in solitary confinement, Lucien has finally managed to break free. And he’s angry.

For the past three and a half years, Lucien has thought of nothing else but vengeance.
The person responsible for locking him away has to pay, he has to suffer.
That person … is Robert Hunter.
And now it is finally time to execute the plan.


Many thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

I used to be a big fan of these action thrillers, where the hero and villian are equally matched and it’s a battle to the end for who will survive. I’m glad to say after reading Hunting Evil I still am. It’s been a while since I read this type of book and I worried my reading tastes had changed, but I really enjoyed it.


Because I loved the hero, albeit in my view a reluctant one, Hunter is perfect hero material. Smart, not your cliche all muscle no brain, but a man with a keen intelligence and a deep rooted belief in justice. I loved that he had a vulnerable side to, that he respected his enemy enough, to be scared of the consequences of failing to return him to justice.

There there is Lucien.   Evil, a match in every other way for Hunter, in that he is intelligent, but that’s where I’m the similarities end. He made me feel very uncomfortable, scared me and that’s what I look for in a villian, I hated him so much I read on desperate to know he would be punished.

Then there is the story. It was thrilling, had plenty of action and kept me turning those pages at a rate of knots. It ticked all the boxes and made think I should start reading a few more action thrillers.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon and Waterstones.

About the author 

Chris Carter Author Photo

I was born in Brasilia, Brazil where I spent my childhood and teenage years. After graduating from high school, I moved to the USA where I studied psychology with specialization in criminal behaviour. During my University years I held a variety of odd jobs, ranging from flipping burgers to being part of an all male exotic dancing group.

I worked as a criminal psychologist for several years, during which I interviewed and worked on over one hundred cases involving serial killers, murderers and serious offenders, before moving to Los Angeles, where I swapped the suits and briefcases for ripped jeans, bandanas and an electric guitar. After a spell playing for several well known glam rock bands, I decided to try my luck in London, where I was fortunate enough to have played for a number of famous artists. I toured the world several times as a professional musician.

A few years ago I gave it all up to become a full time writer.

You can follow the author on his website Chris Carter Books.

FINAL Hunting Evil Blog Tour Poster

Review ~ Blog Tour ~Breakers by Doug Johnstone.

Breakers Final Cover

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum. On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt. With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too. A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.


Not published till May but this may be Doug Johnstone’s best book yet. An unsparing yet sympathetic depiction of Edinburgh’s ignored underclass, with terrific characterisation. Tense, pacy, filmic’ Ian Rankin



Many thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

What can I say about this book, other than it is bloody fantastic.  It had me engrossed throughout. The story is all too plausible and full of the gritty reality of life on the edge of a city, tucked away from the romance of Edinburgh tourist laden streets.

The atmosphere is incredible, you can feel the tension ebbing off the pages, the threatening events and living nightmate than envelopes Tyler and his family.  I was so engrossed in the story, I forgot to turn out the lights at night and get some sleep. It all felt so real that when I did, I’m struggled to sleep, because I felt so unnerved and the slightest noise had me wondering who might be around.  For me that’s the mark of a top notch thriller, when it gets so far under your skin and sets the nerve endings firing on all cylinders.

On top of this, the story is quite moving in places. Tyler is forced into crime by an brutal brother, while caring for his little sister and drug addicted mother and his situation is written with a understanding of what poverty and hopelessness can do to a underclass robbed of all hope. Tyler is written with a survival instinct as part of his very being, which is sad because a child should never have to face the horror and violence which is part of his very existence. I found it near impossible to judge him for some of his actions, so nuanced was the writing and so real he felt to me as a reader.

Superb in its ability to distract me from real life troubles, addictive in that I found it near impossible to put down, Breakers by Doug Johnstone will certainly feature in my favourite reads of 2019.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon and Waterstones


About the author

Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had eight novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is the drummer for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics. Follow him on Twitter @doug_Johnstone and visit his website:

breakers blog poster 2019-2