Extract ~ Blog Tour ~Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton

Bone Lines Cover

A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but not without hope or resources. A skilful hunter, she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive.
In present-day London, geneticist Dr Eloise Kluft wrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.
Bone Lines is the story of two women, separated by millennia yet bound by the web of life.  A tale of love and survival – of courage and the quest for wisdom – it explores the nature of our species and asks what lies at the heart of being human.
Although partly set during a crucial era of human history 74,000 years ago, Bones Lines is very much a book for our times. Dealing with themes from genetics, climate change and migration to the yearning for meaning and the clash between faith and reason, it also paints an intimate portrait of who we are as a species. The book tackles some of the big questions but requires no special knowledge of any of the subjects to enjoy.
Alternating between ancient and modern timelines, the story unfolds through the experiences of two unique characters:  One is a shaman, the sole surviving adult of her tribe who is braving a hazardous journey of migration, the other a dedicated scientist living a comfortable if troubled existence in London, who is on her own mission of discovery. 
The two are connected not only by a set of archaic remains but by a sense of destiny – and their desire to shape it. Both are pioneers, women of passion, grit and determination, although their day to day lives could not be more different. One lives moment by moment, drawing on every scrap of courage and ingenuity to keep herself and her infant daughter alive, while the other is absorbed by work, imagination and regret. Each is isolated and facing her own mortal dangers and heart-rending decisions, but each is inspired by the power of the life force and driven by love. 
Bone Lines stands alone as a novel but also marks the beginning of the intended ‘Children of Sarah’ series.

Extract

She watches her sleeping, the tender breath coming slow and easy. Eyelashes fluttering in gentle dreaming. Watching. This is her task alone now.
When the men of her kind became fathers they received their markings in a ceremony that women were not permitted to witness, but she had seen it once, well-hidden and quiet. A very fine, sharp arrowhead was warmed in the fire. Deep sounds rose and fell in humming. Hands were held behind the back, but no force was used or needed. This was for pride. This made a man. Three quick cuts, like fingers, on each side of the upper chest, then widened and sealed with a stick, ember red from the pit of the fire.
She is both mother and father now. She is a whole tribe.
She makes a decision. Prepares the fire, blesses and heats the tools, comes to stillness and looks long and deep into the flames. Elusive yet alive with ways and wisdom beyond understanding, the voices of the ancestors could be heard within its silences. But this treacherous attraction has also left its mark upon her. She knows both the beauty and the fury of fire all too well, the skin of her forearm tells the pitiful tale from a careless moment of play. Pain she will never forget.
Her flint is not fine or sharp enough (is it hot enough?) but she does not care, she needs to feel. Something. To know that she is not made of stone and dust. She closes her eyes and begins to deepen her breath, turns back into the sacred place until all has slowed to nothing.
Then she drops the stones she has been beating, but keeps the humming buried low within her gut. Now. She winces as she draws the first cut, but makes no cry, the child still sleeps. The cut is jagged, the blood flows too fast but she stops it with the smouldering. The smell. She had forgotten the smell, different somehow when it is your own flesh. The next cut is better, faster, cleaner. She gets the angle right, keeps all the cuts high and close. It is done.
In the morning the child notices, reaches out to touch but she pushes her hand firmly away. She avoids her questioning gaze, draws deeply on this new authority and they move on. Her father, her brothers are with her now once more and at her shoulders again.
But what of the child’s father? Where is he now? For all her determination to forget, she sees him each time she looks into her daughter’s eyes. What more might they have exchanged, what more might she have learned from him? How might he have found and fed the softness in her, now all but gone.
She recalls how her mother and father had been with each other, their looks, their quarrels soon forgiven, their care for each other. Not all pairings were so blessed, she understood this, she had seen some couplings come and go, had seen the bruises of the battles to mate in other members of her clan. She had witnessed the fear of those left alone, whether by death or choice or theft. And then there were those other times, during the gatherings, those forgiven nights of the year under certain moons when pairs might be permitted to separate and find another for only a few hours, if all were willing, if all agreed. Not every pair took this path, but for some it was a way to feed a threatening hunger, or to welcome fresh seed into a bond that had been unable to bring new life to birth.
But she had always believed it would be her destiny to have what her parents had enjoyed, she had been determined to settle for nothing less, to resist any attempt at a trade between tribes, unless it suited her. She knew her gifts were valued above many things, and she knew she might bring good to her band if she agreed to an advantageous match with a long beard, or his son, or with a water talker or a herd runner. But she had known also that she would never be forced. She knew that she channelled a different kind of force that must be free to flow, could not be coerced.
Perhaps she had taken advantage of that, perhaps her brothers (those whose company she has pined for since) were right to resent her pride. And would this pride have tainted her own attempts at partnership? Would she have tired of the one with the sunburnt hair, would he have tired of her? Could he have looked away from her faults and she from his? But these things are beyond answer now and pointless to ponder. She knows that she must find and sharpen the flint within her own blood once more. No more dreams of softness.

You can purchase Bone Lines from Amazon

About the author

Stephanie Bretherton Author Pic

Who do you think you are? A daunting question for the debut author… but also one to inspire a genre-fluid novel based on the writer’s fascination for what makes humanity tick. Born in Hong Kong to expats from Liverpool (and something of a nomad ever since) Stephanie is now based in London, but manages her sanity by escaping to any kind of coast
Before returning to her first love of creative writing, Stephanie spent much of her youth pursuing alternative forms of storytelling, from stage to screen and media to marketing. For the past fifteen years Stephanie has run her own communications and copywriting company specialised in design, architecture and building. In the meantime an enduring love affair with words and the world of fiction has led her down many a wormhole on the written page, even if the day job confined such adventures to the weekends.
Drawn to what connects rather than separates, Stephanie is intrigued by the spaces between absolutes and opposites, between science and spirituality, nature and culture. This lifelong curiosity has been channelled most recently into her debut novel, Bone Lines. When not bothering Siri with note-taking for her next books and short stories, Stephanie can be found pottering about with poetry, or working out what worries/amuses her most in an opinion piece or an unwise social media post. Although, if she had more sense or opportunity she would be beachcombing, sailing, meditating or making a well-disguised cameo in the screen version of one of her stories. (Wishful thinking sometimes has its rewards?)

You can follow the author on her websiteTwitter and Instagram .

Bone Lines 2 Blog Tour Poster

 

Advertisements

Extract ~ Blog Tour ~ The Other Miss Bates by Ellie Cresswell.

The Other-Miss-Bates

The Other Miss Bates

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

I’m delighted to welcome author Allie Creswell to booksaremycwtches today with an extract from the second in the series of the Highbury trilogy.

Extract

Heartbreak and the ensuing heartache are incredibly difficult emotions to describe. It is so easy to over-write the vacillation between reasoned assimilation of the new circumstances, anger and the kind of misery which no words can articulate so that it becomes hyperbole or just purple prose. On the other hand, to under-play it is a betrayal of the character.
Here is my attempt. Jane Bates has learned that the man she has loved for over a year is to marry another. Disappointment for herself, and in him, is no compensation for the assaults of abject misery which overwhelm her. But there is a comforter whose gentleness, restraint and understanding suggest to the reader, at least, that Jane’s heart may not remain broken for ever.

Jane was utterly wretched, and not just on her own account, although this was severe enough in all conscience. Her dreams of James Weston were at an end. What had begun the previous Christmas – the chance of happiness she had glimpsed with him – must now be put to one side and forgotten; it could never be. This was the dreary truth which haunted her as she lay wakeful in the night and the shock which assaulted her as she blinked at each new lacklustre day. Louisa Churchill had gambled, risking everything, but had won the prize. In some ways Jane had to admire Miss Churchill – there was no denying the great depth of her love for Mr Weston. That he would be married to someone who loved him so completely, so desperately, ameliorated to some degree her own unfathomable sense of loss. His losses, though, she could not forgive. For Louisa he had given up everything; his duty to his superiors and to his men; his own quest for adventure – his yen to travel – the wanderlust that he and Jane had shared; and last of all, his independence, the thing he had fought for, resisting his father’s efforts to involve him in the family trade. Now he would be an awkward scion of the Churchill household, dependent on their wealth, branded a social-climber, out of his depths, perhaps in their elevated, patrician sphere.
The days passed in East Street. Rain beaded the windows, wind howled over the roofs causing soot to fall in the grates and gaps in the windows to moan and complain. Jane read aloud, page after page, chapter after chapter, absorbing nothing of what transpired in the book and often finding, on looking up, that Lady Cecily dozed. Then she would place the book aside and wander, quiet and drooping, from room to room, trying to find a place where Mrs Brigham would not come across her, where Lucy would not find the need to dust or tidy, a place where she could sit alone and mope and allow the tears to fall. It was in these places – behind the curtain in the window at the turning of the stair, before the cold grate of a room rarely used, on the chill iron of the seat beneath the naked sycamore in the stunted, bare garden – that Dr Fairfax often found her.
‘How do you, today?’ he would ask her, his voice very gentle, and she would pour out, without any words at all, her utter, overwhelming, immeasurable misery.
‘Yes, yes,’ he would say when all that day’s tears were spent and she leaned against his shoulder exhausted by the fullness of all she could not even begin to articulate, ‘I think I understand.’
When the weather was clement he would lead her – she all unresisting and barely conscious of where they went – to places in the vicinity which would have no association for her with Mr Weston or Miss Churchill. He took her to the fishermen’s cottages, to the tenements where the waiters and grooms and kitchen maids lived. He was very popular there, flocked around and made much of, and little gifts pressed into his hands by grateful patients who could afford no money for the treatments he offered them. Sometimes he tended the sick and wounded while she watched, mildly curious as his hands gently pressed and probed, half listening to his questions; does the cold make it worse? Does it suppurate? Are you eating green vegetables? They explored the countryside far from the sea and from the sight of the encampments where officers in red jackets would remind her of the man she had lost. One day they found themselves in a sunken lane, between hawthorn hedges and – beyond the hedges – neatly ploughed fields. Early daffodils danced along the hedgerow. The slightest possible haze of green heralded the slow awakening of new leaf.
‘Does this not remind you a little of the country around Highbury?’ Dr Fairfax asked her.
She looked around her. ‘Yes,’ she said at last, ‘it does a little. But our soil is much darker – Sussex has a sandy loam, I think. Surrey soil is black. Mama had no end of trouble scrubbing it off my hands when I was little.’ The memory brought a smile.
Dr Fairfax nodded. ‘I am glad you mention your mama,’ he said. ‘Do you recall the conversation we had when Mr Knightley died?’
Jane bethought herself. At last she said, ‘Yes, you said that people do not die of broken hearts. Your prognosis was that she would recover.’
‘And has she?’
Jane put her head on one side. ‘She is recovering. Hetty was more sanguine in her last letter.’
‘I am glad to hear it. Let us walk on a little further.’
On another day he said to her, ‘Come with me, Miss Bates. I am summoned to the lying in of Mrs Mason, the harbour-master’s wife. If you are to assist Lady Cecily when the time comes you had better know what to expect.’
For those hours, in the cramped gloom of the harbour-master’s cottage, Jane forgot Mr Weston, Miss Churchill and her own unhappiness in the woman’s travails, Dr Fairfax’s patience and gentleness and at last in the squalling, squirming infant she could place in the exhausted woman’s arms.

You can purchase The Other Miss Bates from Amazon

About the author

The Other DSC_3138

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebook and her website.

The Other Miss Bates Full Tour Banner

Review ~ Blog Tour ~Murder Undeniable by Anita Walker.

Murder-Undeniable-Kindle

Katerina Rowe, a Deacon at the church in the sleepy village of Eyam, has a fulfilled life. She is happily married to Leon and her work is rewarding.

But everything changes when she discovers the body of a man and a badly beaten woman, Beth, in the alleyway behind her husband’s pharmacy.

Drawn to the young woman she saved, Kat finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery.

When Beth’s house is set on fire, Kat offers the young woman sanctuary in her home and soon the pair begin investigating the murder, with some help from Beth’s feisty grandmother, Doris. But neither the police, nor Leon, nor the criminals want Kat and Beth looking into their affairs and the sleuths quickly find themselves out of their depth…

Can Kat and Beth solve the mystery and walk away unscathed?

Review

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

Murder Undeniable is a story of a murder, an investigation and a search for answers.

Typical fair you think? Yet it has many wonderful elements that made it one of my favourite reads this year.

What I particulary liked about this book where the three main characters, Kat, Beth and her wonderful nan Doris.  They are a joy to read about, spend time with and are simply the best investiagtive team I have come across in 2018.  I couldn’t ever spend too much time with them, they made the book for me and I was delighted to see there are more books planned in the series.  Why did I like them so much?  Because they were strong, fiesty, intelligent, capable and loyal to each other.

On top of three great characters, it is a really enjoyable read.  The story is gripping and tense throughout, with a nice balance of the quiet moments as the women’s friendship begins to really develop. As well as this, there are plenty of twists to keep the reader throughly engaged and I whipped through it, because I was enjoying it so much.  The story did keep me guessing and I loved how the writer brought all the threads together to form a highly satisfactory end and especially with the knowledge there will be more adventures for these three resourceful women.

You can purchase Murder Undeniable from Amazon

About the author

Anita Waller

Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

Then along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, with the book launching 18 May 2018.

Malignant arrived in the world on 10 October 2018, her eighth book in three years.

And now Anita is working on her first series, the Kat and Mouse trilogy, set in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Eyam. The first in the series, Murder Undeniable, launches 10 December 2018.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

You can follow the author on FacebookTwitter and her website.

Murder Undeniable Blog Blitz banner-5

 

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Luckiest Thirteen by Brian Lavery.

FINAL The Luckiest Thirteen Cover

 

The Luckiest Thirteen tells of an even starker high-seas adventure, when the world’s top supertrawler becomes a fireball off the coast of Newfoundland. This is Christmas Day, 1966. Families back in Hull raise glasses to their loved ones while fire sweeps the decks and rescue boats are hurled through storm seas. Brilliantly told, this story is as gripping as they come.

Review

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

I know some people might look at this book about the fight to save the trawler St Finbarr and wonder if it is for them. Well I would recommend it one hundred percent, because it’s a fascinating and emotional account of a long forgotten event that deserves to be remembered.

.Social history is a absorbing subject and this is one of the best examples I have read in quite some time. It avoids a lot of the technical issues surrounding events and focuses on the people involved in the tragedy and pays homage to the events with a keen eye for the dramatic nature of the battle faced by those survivors on the trawler. The writer gives the account emotional impact by allowing us to see events through the accounts of those involved. We hear the stories of the families, those that had to tell them whether their loved ones were alive or had perished and about the enquiry into the sinking. It’s an emotional read, but the writer isn’t exploiting the memories of those involved, this is not sensationalist, it is an intelligent, wonderfully informative account of events.

I would recommend his book to all readers of social history and those with a love of everything to do with our coastal fleets.

It will definitely be featuring in my top ten non-fiction reads for 2018.

 

You can purchase this book from Amazon

About the author

Brian Lavery 2

Brian W. Lavery is a former national newsman, whose tales deliver true journalistic flair. Born in Glasgow, long resident in Hull, he writes with a deep knowledge of the community and the dangers faced by those working in extremes. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Hull.

You can follow the author on Twitter

 The Luckiest Thirteen Blog Tour poster

 

 

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams.

Mostyn-Thomas-cover

When Mostyn, an ageing Pembrokeshire farmer on the brink of bankruptcy, runs into young Jethro, his fortunes appear to take a positive turn. The pair secretly mobilise the locals of the village pub to help put on the greatest money-spinning event in the history of Little Emlyn: Lewistock. But things do not go to plan.

Moneylenders, drug dealers, the county council and the bank all set a collision course with Mostyn and Jethro. As the clock ticks down to the August Bank Holiday event and the young revellers begin to pour in from all corners of the county, the tension heats up. It’s not clear who exactly will get out alive.

Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave pits a struggling Welsh farming community steeped in centuries of religion and tradition against the unstoppable youth movement of early 1990s rave culture with often poignant and riotous consequences.

Review

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

.
I am very proud to host a review, for a welsh writer and his outstanding debut novel today on booksaremycwtches. Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams is part crime thriller, while also being a warm and intuitive study of human nature. It’s peppered with an incredible cast of quickly characters, dark humour and evokes images of a small welsh community in the 90s, that feels so real, it felt like I was there living the story with them.

.
It’s that very felling of being submerged in the story that I particularly liked about this book. Richard William’s writing opened up the world of Mostyn and his battle to save his way of life, threatened by money lending thugs and banking decisions made in far away Cardiff. I felt I was there in 90’s Pembrokeshire, riddled with anxiety and tension as I read, a world far from my own and worried about the safety of both Mostyn and Jethro. Though it is gripping read and the pace of the narrative keeps the anticipation over their fates building, it’s the quiet moments that made the novel for me. Those scenes such as when Mostyn sits with his old friends widow, or when the locals of the village are off drumming up numbers for the rave, that gives this novel it’s most precious thing, its sense of place. For this is very much a story about people and their lives, it’s about a community and their fight to save what is precious to them. But the world is changing around them and they are forced to embrace a crazy plan to hold onto all they hold dear, especially their very lives.

.
It made me laugh and cry in equal measure. But don’t think this is a straight forward novel about a quiet commnity, there are gentle moments, but others focus on the violence of the drug culture that the rave scene was part of. Some scenes will make you sit back and think, others will shock you. But it will always engage you and delivers a perfectly paced,  thrilling read with a strong central heart to the story.

Mostyn was my favourite character, gentle, strong and very much the centre around which the novel revolved for me. He gets himself into a real mess and through a friendship with the much younger Jethro, fights to save his farm.  His quiet nature, hides a passionate and steely determination not to let those that threaten him, take away the land that he loves and cherishes. He is the past in some respects, Jethro the future, together they are the perfect character combination.

This book is heart breaking to read in places, yet it’s also exciting, thrilling, edgey and perfectly paced.

If your looking for a thriller with a passionate Welsh soul, characters you’ll never forget, then this is the book for you. I want forget it in a very long time.

You can purchase this book from the publisher and Amazon

About the author

Richard-W_Portrait-square-1030x1030

Richard Williams was raised on a dairy farm in north Pembrokeshire. Following a degree and masters degree in Development Studies from Exeter University and LSE respectively, Richard worked as a technical writer at the newly-created Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

His later success in the restuarant industry has been balanced in recent years with creative writing courses with Anjali Joseph (UEA) and his current mentor, Daren King.

In November 2018 Graffeg publish Richard’s debut novel Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave.

Mostyn_Thomas_Big_Rave_Blog_Tour_Poster-2

Extract ~ Blog Tour ~ Facing A Twisted Judgement by K K Mcgillick.

Facing A Twisted Judgment-complete

Facing A Twisted Judgment

What happens when tunnel vision clouds a police investigation? Is it true that once you are labeled a person of interest you really are the prime suspect? Can you trust the legal system? Probably not.

After a bitterly contested legal battle over inherited property, the hard-won art collection and its owner Samantha Bennington disappear. Both have vanished without a trace.

When blood spatter is discovered under the freshly painted wall of the room in which two of the paintings were hung, the theft becomes the opening act in a twisted tale of jealousy, revenge, and murder leading to a final judgment for all involved.

As the list of suspects narrows, the focus lands squarely on the husband. Some labeled Samantha’s husband a corrupt attorney, others an opportunist. Either way, he’s in the crosshairs of law enforcement and they are calling him a murderer. But is he the only viable suspect? What about the missing woman’s drug-addicted sister and her convicted felon brother? Both were furious over their loss at court and have more than enough reason to hate Samantha.

Guilty until proven innocent leaves Alexander Clarke facing a twisted judgment.

Facing A Twisted Judgment-banner1

I’m delighted to welcome author K J Mccillick to booksaremycwtches with an extract from Facing A Twisted Judgement.

Extract

“Trust me; you can’t pass this up,” Cillian said, pushing forward to leave the chair.
My mind wanted to stay in neutral; however, it gradually spun forward. There had been no indication of what the job was, but they had made me feel as if I were part of some plot or caper. Against my better judgment, I nodded and followed them out to the backyard deck. I was happy to note that Emma had brought her comfortable chairs from Maine, a slight reason to remain outdoors. I plopped in the red cushioned chair and placed my coffee on the wide wooden arm.
“We have a new client, an insurance company that insured an expensive art collection, which has been stolen. Dalia, we are talking about one hundred thirty million dollars of art,” Jackson said, casually leaning against the deck rail. His arms crossed over his chest gave the sign that he was getting warmed up with the details.
“What? Are you telling me some crazy person had one hundred thirty million dollars’ worth of paintings sitting around their home?” I asked. Could even the best security system keep that amount of art safe?
“Don’t judge until you hear the whole story. In a nutshell, the paintings and real estate property were part of an ugly probate matter among siblings. After a yearlong battle, the judge awarded everything to the named beneficiary, Samantha Bennington, which caused an uproar in the family. Now, Samantha, the beneficiary, has vanished along with the paintings. Cutting to the chase, the husband made a claim for the theft of the paintings,” Jackson said. He pushed away from the rail and sat in the chair diagonal to mine.
Before he could continue, I jumped in. “Okay, now, wait. Is the woman dead or missing? What does vanish mean?” I asked, a tad confused. Or maybe she’d tired of his ass and taken off with the paintings because they were portable.
“That’s the one-hundred-thirty-million-dollar question. Who knows? The police have opened a preliminary inquiry and are investigating it as a robbery. There has been no ransom demand or good-bye, good-luck letter left,” Cillian interjected. “She’s just gone. The husband said he was away for a few days for depositions in another city, and when he came back, the real estate broker had left a message that the paintings were gone. Obviously, when he got back, so was she.”
“Real estate agent. Where does a real estate agent come in?” I asked, feeling as if I wasn’t keeping up.
“Samantha and her husband decided to put the house on the market. You know the way it goes; the market is hot, and the house too big. So, they engaged some real estate broker to prepare it for sale, and while the husband was away, this occurred,” Jackson said.

You can purchase the novel from Amazon

About the author

Facing head shot

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

The author can be followed on Twitter

facing a twisted judgement full tour banner

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Concordat by Sean Heary.

The Concordat Cover

Since his rise to power, Russian President Alexander Volkov has increasingly engaged in hostile activities as he attempts to rebuild the Russian Empire. In support of his tactics, the Russian FSB has forged a Concordat dated 1939 in which the Vatican supposedly agreed to cease all opposition to the Nazi government in return for being appointed the official state religion of the Third Reich. Planting the counterfeit in a Berlin apartment, the FSB engineer a plan to blackmail the Vatican via the son of a murdered former East German Stasi colonel. The Vatican reluctantly agrees to acquire the counterfeit to prevent it falling into the hands of the Church’s enemies, sending the head of the Vatican Police, Lorenzo Rossi, to Germany to negotiate with the blackmailer. But Rossi’s flight is delayed and by the time he arrives the blackmailer is dead and the Concordat has vanished. Rossi follows a deadly trail to Paris and onto Moscow, where he meets Cathy Doherty, a CIA Agent with a passion for all things Russian. Together they set out to establish the origins of the Concordat, and its intended purpose. Armed with information provided by a CIA informant, the forger is identified. Will Rossi be able to recover the Concordat and flee Russia with his life?

Review

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

If you are looking for an exciting historical thriller, then I would most definitely recommend The Concordat.

It has great characters and a story that thrills from the first page to the very last. I loved the rich historical feeling to the plot and how we really feel we’re there with Rossi as he moves from Rome to Germany trying to find the counterfeit document. He and CIA agent Doherty make the perfect foils to those lined up against the Vatican.

The story is first rate and exciting. So much so I didn’t want to be distracted by real life. Sadly this never happens, but the time spent reading this novel was a wonderful distraction. One of those fun reads that you really look forward to getting back to at any opportunity.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon.

About the author

Sean Heary Author Picture

Sean Heary lived for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

You can follow the author on Twitter

The Concordat Blog Tour Poster

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Attend by West Camel

ATTEND AW.indd

When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.

Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.

With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

Review

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

I’m writing this minutes after finishing the book, so all my feelings about it are raw and full of swirling emotions, like the tides of the river that features so heavily in this novel.

Reading this book is like wrapping yourself up in a robe that protects you from the cares of the world, as the writing embraces you in it’s soft embrace.  Nothing really matters but the story being told and characters that you never want to be parted from, because to leave them behind is like losing a part of yourself, so interwoven had Sam, Deborah, Derek and Anne had become with me as I read. Leaving them was a bittersweet experience, it caused by heart to ache, but I could never regret getting to know them, because in leaving a hole in my heart on parting, they had enriched my soul.

Part fairytale, part love story, it is both magical and endlessly exquisite.  It talks about friendship and attending those around us, that we otherwise are blind to. Allowing ourselves to love and be loved, opening our weary tired selves to the possibility of the magic around us. There is a massive heart at the centre of this novel and though the gritty realism catches you unawares, it’s the peace within the maelstrom of events that calms your heart. There is one moment for Anne when violence threatens to engulf her, my heart felt like it would explode, yet even here, it’s the power of the silence that follows and her strength that gives this novel it’s uniqueness for me. For all the main characters are on a journey, that journey is fraught with mistakes, moments of loss, but it’s when they sit quietly and listen, that we to see where that journey might lead them and us.

I remember on reading The Gustav Sonata how I almost forgot to breath as the end of the story approached, desperate for an ending that would catch up my heart, Rose Tremain gave me the perfect ending and so does West Camel. As I read the last chapter,  my heart missed a beat and it was utterly spellbinding. They talk about book hangovers, well I have one that I will never forget.

If this book doesn’t end uplk classic of modern writing, it will be a grave injustice. I for one will be singing its praises to all who will listen.

You can purchase Attend from Amazon

 

About the author

IMG_0607

Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing.  He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch.  He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres, and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.

Attend Blog Tour Poster

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross

The Lights of Time - eBook cover - High Res.jpg

The Lights of Time

Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive. As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years. But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times? Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.

Review

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

I’ve had a yearning for a while to read more YA fiction, especially those that contain a fantasy/science fiction element to them and was delighted as a result to be offered the opportunity to review The Lights of Time. 

Firstly I have to say that this a a great read. It has an exciting story that grabbed me as a reader from page one and kept me enthralled right to the last page. I loved the futuristic theme of a young girl that can transport herself not only through time but also places, while she desperately tries to avoid capture by the Hunters. The story is full of wonderful themes that capture the imagination and provide an exciting read.

It treats the readers it’s aimed at, young adults and even those older readers with young imaginations with respect. The writer has not dumbed down the story, but given them great characters and a compelling plot. Engella might be a futuristic traveller on the run, but she also wants the things so many young readers want, connection to family, respect, adventure. She  needs to be brave to survive adversity and resourceful enough to beat her enemies. Though she needs the help of adults along the way, it is her own talents  and yearning to find safety that makes her a first rate character.

We see the world of The Lights of Time through her eyes and not the adult characters and that is paramount in a great YA novel.  Young readers are surrounded in everyday life by adult concerns and they need books that identify with their need for escape and this book delivers on this one hundred percent.

I loved the science fiction elements of the story. Interwoven with a story about family, it gives the reader a tale to get lost in, but at the same time is not so futuristic that I lost interest. So many adults books with this element become to bogged down in the science and I lose interest, but the writer gives us time travel and battles with the hunters, while maintaining the excitement and tension throughout. I really didn’t want to put it down.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of all ages, looking for adventure and rollicking good read.

You can purchase The Lights of Time from Amazon

You can also enter a Giveaway – Win a Kindle HD Fire 7” and a signed copy of The Lights of Time (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter by following this LINK.

About the author

Paul Ian Cross

Paul Ian Cross is a multi-award-winning children’s author and scientist from London, UK.

Paul works in clinical research (developing new medicines) and he’s also involved in science communication; presenting science to non-scientists. He enjoys his science career but he also has a real passion for writing stories! He likes introducing children to the wonders of science, especially reluctant readers. By introducing science creatively, he aims to spark their interest; allowing them to gain confidence with their reading. As a previous reluctant reader himself, he understands how hard it can be. But it’s all about making reading fun and interesting!

Paul’s nephew Hayden influenced his decision to become a writer. He loved seeing Hayden’s reaction when his sister Michelle first read one of Paul’s stories to him!

In his spare time, Paul likes to visit new and exciting places. One of his favourite places is Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye.

Paul’s debut picture book, Praxx and the Ringing Robot, won second prize in the ‘Picture Books 5 and Younger’ category at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. The book trailer also won first place in the ‘book trailer’ category at the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards later that year.

Paul’s second book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons, won an honourable mention in both the ‘Picture Books 6 and Over’ and ‘Health’ categories at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2018.

And that brings us to now… Paul is currently working on several new books. Paul’s debut upper middle grade novel will be published in 2018. The Lights of Time is the first novel in a brand-new series: The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.

Paul hopes you enjoy reading his stories as much as he enjoyed writing them!

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

The Lights of Time Full Tour Banner

Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Her Last Move by John Marrs.

Her Last Move cover

 

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

dpbt 2

Review

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

I have been a fan of John Marrs writing since reading Welcome To Wherever You Are. He is a first class storyteller who has yet to disappoint and with Her Last Move he cements a growing reputation as a go to author. He delivers in this book all the elements needed in a dam good thriller. I read on a blog once that you know when you’re reading a great thriller when the following happens, staying up late to read just one more page and missing your train stop. Well thanks to Mr Marrs I spent a day at my desk blurry eyed, nearly forgot to get off at the right stop in the first place and then later in the day only realised the bus was there, because of the people pushing past me to get on. Ooooops.

It has two very likeable protagonists, both of whom I became very fond of as the book progressed. Both DS Becca Vincent and Joe Russell are highly likeable characters, with trouble pasts and uncertain futures, as personal issues cause strains in their working lives. The killer is as determined and intelligent as those trying to capture him. Terrifying in his insane belief that those on his list deserve to die. I found myself despising him and yet also fascinated by his twisted actions.

He keeps the readers on their toes by telling the story from multiple points of view. In Her Last Move it delivers layers of complexity that allow the reader to see events through the eyes of the killer, Becca and Joe. We get to see the mindset of the killer slowly being exposed and his self obsessed motivations being unravelled moment by moment. The second and third story threads of Becca and Joe interwoven with that of the killer and offer us the flip side of the coin, two people desperate to find a killer, while battling their own demons. The flipping back from one point of view to the other kept me perched on the edge of my seat, breathless with tension and excitement.

It is a story full of so many possible conclusions that the ending came to haunt me and I’m still thinking about this books weeks after finishing it. Clever and subtle story telling combine to deliver a wonderful piece of storytelling.

You can purchase Her Last Move from Amazon UK, USWaterstones and Book Depository.

 

About the author

John Marrs

John Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

 

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

Her Last Move banner