Interview ~ Blog Tour ~ Android Love, Human Skin by Richard Goodwin.

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Android Love, Human Skin

Welcome to a world of four genders. A dystopian science fiction novel that explores the nature of gender and sexual conflict, in a future utopia engineered by the union.
Society has been revolutionised by gender control and the technologisation of man and woman. In a future where a biochemical weapon has removed the skins of the population, the rulers hunt for the beautiful ones, those men and women who still have skins.
The union is the new government, a faceless body of politicians who were behind the order to use the weapon that backfired on them, leaving them skinless. In the glass citadel, the new utopia, where the only surviving humans with skin are placed, they recreate the world of gender by offering humans four types of robot with which to have relationships.
All the humans are placed in relationships with machines, apart from Gerald, who appears to be a spy for the union and is filming the humans, and Elliott, a robot programmer.
The union watches it all, political voyeurs in a totalitarian state of enforced sexual ecstasies.
Humanity falls into four categories…

Android Love, Human Skin can be purchased from Amazon

Android Love Human Skin

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Android Love, Human Skin today and feature a guest interview by Henry Roi of it author Richard Goodwin.

Henry Roi Interview with Author Richard Godwin Henry:

In your new novel, “Android Love, Human Skin”, there are 4 genders, and most of the human population has no skin. I admit I was skeptical after reading the back cover. Then I read the story – compelling stuff. Where and how did this thought torquing concept originate?
Richard: I was reading a lot of Philip K Dick. I was toying with the exploration of the extent to which we inhabit a near-freezing (hence enclosed, think enclosure as total social control programme) zone of covert social engineering that is totalitarianism at its elemental purest. I wanted to explore gender conflict within the precise and hidden terrain of the socially engineered man and woman, in itself a composite of pre-imposed cultural propaganda and imprisonment, both mentally and spiritually, as it is presented to us through both education programmes and media control. And therefore I was inevitably led to one place: four genders. But four genders that are not quite human; sex machines, made for human pleasure. Machines with human DNA, machines that have their own ideas, machines that have their own plans and programme, not quite human, or perhaps methinks … as Nietzsche wrote and posited, ‘Human, all too human,’ four gender conflict is rich dramatic terrain.

Henry: This is a genre bender, for sure. Dystopian, sci-fi and a chill factor that will light up the pleasure centers of classic horror buffs. Did you intend for this story to cross over or appeal to such a massive audience?
Richard: I didn’t even think about it. I wrote the story, the story wrote itself.

Henry: Share with us a dark emotion you experienced during the writing of Android Love, Human Skin. Share a moment of profound pleasure.
Richard: The sheer power of androids. The sexual pleasures of androids.

Henry: I’ve seen other writers and industry professionals refer to you as the “Dark Godwin”. Is that fitting?
Richard: I think it was Jason Michel who named me The Dark Lord. Make of it what you will.

Henry: Your Facebook page features several photographs of you, all very serious and very fit. Do you exercise?
Richard: Sport has always been an important part of my life. I went to a school where it was emphasized. I wanted to play football at a young age, by which I mean to the American audience, soccer. But my father sent me to a rugby school. I was fast around the pitch, was a good cricketer also. I ended up on four teams, rowing, freezing conditions, training for competitions on Saturday mornings, no gloves allowed. Pain was a must, blisters popping, hands leaking water, as I penned my extensive homework. Also on the athletics team, I was a fast 200 metre runner. Judo, tennis. At 15 I became heavily into martial arts, got black belts in Karate and Taekwondo, pursued my interests further in Kung Fu and Jeet Kune Do and, now, Krav Maga. As I realise, fully, that any amateur boxer can kick the shit out of a Karate black belt, Krav is the business.

I ran for years and gym it five times a week. I lift heavy, weighing in at 72 kg, and I deadlift 140 kg, bench 100 kg. I still row, and I love that feeling of wellbeing that sport and exercise gives. Motto: mens sana in corpore sano. I like to watch tennis and baseball, and plan to keep going for a long time. I also trained here:
Commando Temple Gym – 2015
The Commando Temple gym is unlike any training space in London. Built on a strong foundation of world class educ… Yes, sport is important.
Henry: Imagine a person sitting at home enjoying this interview. What comes to mind?
Imagination per se, I am invoking a Revolution. You think I’m kidding?

****Giveaway to Win 1 x e-copy of Android Love, Human Skin (Open INT)****

To win a copy of this fascinating sounding book follow this link to the Rafflecopter giveaway.

About the author

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Richard Godwin is the critically acclaimed author of Apostle Rising, Mr. Glamour, One Lost Summer, Noir City, Meaningful Conversations, Confessions Of A Hit Man, Paranoia And The Destiny Programme, Wrong Crowd, Savage Highway, Ersatz World, The Pure And The Hated, Disembodied, Buffalo And Sour Mash, Locked In Cages, Crystal On Electric Acetate, The Glass House, Android Love, Human Skin, and Insincerity. His stories have been published in numerous paying magazines and over 34 anthologies, among them an anthology of his stories, Piquant: Tales Of The Mustard Man, and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Mystery, alongside Lee Child. He was born in London and lectured in English and American literature at the University of London. He also teaches creative writing at University and workshops. You can find out more about him at his website http://www.richardgodwin.net , where you can read a full list of his works, and where you can also read his Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse, his highly popular and unusual interviews with other authors.

You can follow the author on his BlogTwitter and Facebook.

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Stranger In My Heart by Mary Monroe.

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Stranger In My Heart (with foreword by HRH The Princess Royal) is about the search for understanding oneself, answering the question “Who am I?” by seeking to understand the currents that sweep down the generations, eddy through one’s own persona and continue on – palpable but often unrecognised. My father fought at the Battle of Hong Kong in December 1941, was taken prisoner by the Japanese and then escaped in February 1942, making his way across 1200 miles of inhospitable country to reach China’s wartime capital at Chongqing. Seventy years later I retraced his steps in an effort to understand a man who had died when I was 18, leaving a lot of unanswered questions behind. My book is the quest that I undertook to explore my father’s life, in the context of the Pacific War and our relationship with China.
A picture of a man of the greatest generation slowly unfolds, a leader, a 20th Century Great, but a distant father. As I delve into his story and research the unfamiliar territory of China in the Second World War, the mission to get to know the stranger I called ‘Dad’ resolves into a mission to understand how my own character was formed. As I travel across China, the traits I received from my father gradually emerge from their camouflage. The strands of the story are woven together in a flowing triple helix, with biography, travelogue and memoir punctuated with musings on context and meaning.
“A well-written and deeply satisfying book, packed with information and adventure, as Mary Monro struggles to understand her WWII hero father, her inheritance, and herself. Above all, a damn good read!”

Damien Lewis, best selling author of “Hunting the Nazi Bomb”

Review

Many thanks to the author Mary Monro, blog tour organiser Anne Cater and also Unbound Publishers for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Stranger in my heart is a well written and fascinating story of a Mary Monro’s journey to discover the mystery of her father’s early life. Colonel John Monro died before she could really get to know him and so this book is as much about her own journey, as it is about the his brave role in the Second World War. Having lost my own father at a young age, I understand the need to fill in the gaps left by the death of a beloved parent and so I instantly felt an emotional connection with her incredible journey to discover her father’s fascinating story. Her writing drew me in and held me connected to the story throughout.
The history element of the book is absorbing and the writer has written it is such a way, you can hear not just her voice and thoughts, but also those of her father. This is done by the insertion of parts of his diary’s which make fascinating reading. It is the perfect combination, because it is almost like your taking the journey with Mary Monro, as she took it in real life, discovering the man behind the father she thought she knew when he died. As he is revealed to her, he is to us through his words and her provision of back information and feelings.
If you have any interest in history that this remarkable little book is one you should read.

You can purchase Stranger in My Heart from Amazon

About the author.

Mary Monro

Mary has written numerous technical and academic articles and is an experienced lecturer and presenter, but this is her first book. She lives in Bath with her husband, Julian Caldecott, and dog, Gobi. She practises as an osteopath in the picturesque Wiltshire town of Bradford on Avon. She treats people three days a week and treats horses and dogs one day a week. She is a Trustee of the Sutherland Cranial College of Osteopathy (SCCO) and Member of the Royal Society of Medicine. She was formerly a marketing consultant, with five years experience at what is now Price Waterhouse Coopers, and three years with strategy consultancy, P.Four (now part of WPP). She began her marketing career with Cadbury’s confectionery and retains a lifelong love of chocolate.
Mary was born and raised at a farm on the edge of the south Shropshire hills, the youngest of four children. She attended Shrewsbury High School from age four to eighteen. She spent much of her childhood on horseback, which left her with permanent damage to her right eye, a broken nose, broken knee-cap and broken coccyx. She has been bitten, kicked, rolled on, dragged, and has fallen off too many times to recall, but she still rides racehorses for fun.

The author can be followed on her Website and Twitter.

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Blog Tour ~ Absolution by Paul Hardisty. #Aserieshighlighted

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It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible. Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.
Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolution is a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.

Absolution can be purchased from Amazon.

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I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for Absolution by Paul E Hardisty.

As part of the tour, I’m highlighting the fantastic books in the series which feature Claymore Straker.

The Abrupt Physics of Dying 

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Claymore Straker is trying to forget a violent past. Working as an oil company engineer in the wilds of Yemen, he is hijacked at gunpoint by Islamic terrorists. Clay has a choice: help uncover the cause of a mysterious sickness afflicting the village of Al Urush, close to the company’s oil-processing facility, or watch Abdulkader, his driver and close friend, die. As the country descends into civil war and village children start dying, Clay finds himself caught up in a ruthless struggle between opposing armies, controllers of the country’s oil wealth, Yemen’s shadowy secret service, and rival terrorist factions. As Clay scrambles to keep his friend alive, he meets Rania, a troubled journalist. Together, they try to uncover the truth about Al Urush. But nothing in this ancient, unforgiving place is as it seems. Accused of a murder he did not commit, put on the CIA’s most-wanted list, Clay must come to terms with his past and confront the powerful forces that want him dead. A stunning debut eco-thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying is largely based on true events – the horrific destruction of fresh water and lives by oil giants. Gritty, gripping and shocking, this book will not only open your eyes but keep them glued to the page until the final, stunning denouement is reached.

The Abrupt Physics of Dying can be purchased from Amazon.

The Evolution of Fear 

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Claymore Straker is a fugitive with a price on his head. Wanted by the CIA for acts of terrorism he did not commit, his best friend has just been murdered and Rania, the woman he loves, has disappeared. Betrayed by those closest to him, he must flee the sanctuary of his safe house in Cornwall and track her down. As his pursuers close in, Clay follows Rania to Istanbul and then to Cyprus, where he is drawn into a violent struggle between the Russian mafia, Greek Cypriot extremists, and Turkish developers cashing in on the tourism boom. As the island of love descends into chaos, and the horrific truth is unveiled, Clay must call on every ounce of skill and endurance to save Rania and put an end to the unimaginable destruction being wrought in the name of profit. Gripping, exhilarating and, above all, frighteningly realistic, The Evolution of Fear is a startling, eye-opening read that demands the question: How much is truth, and how much is fiction?

The Evolution of Fear can purchased from Amazon.

Reconciliation For The Dead

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Claymore Straker is a fugitive with a price on his head. Wanted by the CIA for acts of terrorism he did not commit, his best friend has just been murdered and Rania, the woman he loves, has disappeared. Betrayed by those closest to him, he must flee the sanctuary of his safe house in Cornwall and track her down. As his pursuers close in, Clay follows Rania to Istanbul and then to Cyprus, where he is drawn into a violent struggle between the Russian mafia, Greek Cypriot extremists, and Turkish developers cashing in on the tourism boom. As the island of love descends into chaos, and the horrific truth is unveiled, Clay must call on every ounce of skill and endurance to save Rania and put an end to the unimaginable destruction being wrought in the name of profit. Gripping, exhilarating and, above all, frighteningly realistic, The Evolution of Fear is a startling, eye-opening read that demands the question: How much is truth, and how much is fiction?

Reconciliation For The Dead can be purchased from Amazon.

About The Author. 

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Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent 25 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 cafe 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). He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

Paul E Hardisty can be followed on Twitter

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Review ~ Blog Tour ~ No Remorse by Robert Crouch.

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Kent Fisher Mystery #3

Old sins cast long shadows.
An old man dead. Dementia or murder? Threats won’t stop Kent Fisher from finding out.
At luxury retirement home, Nightingales, appearance matters more than the truth. But what is the truth? Was Anthony Trimble killed as he predicted? If so, who wanted him out of the way, and why?
Kent puzzles over the only clue Trimble left him. Are the numbers a mysterious code that could reveal his dark secret, or items on a takeaway menu?
Kent has to dig deep. Then people start dying.
Will Kent win the race to discover the truth, or become the next victim?
With shades of Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, No Remorse brings a refreshing twist to the traditional murder mystery.

Review

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

I know I say it every time I read and review a book in the Kent Fisher Mystery series, but I will never tire of repeating this, it would be perfect Sunday evening viewing.

Dear BBC please make these into a top quality drama!

The characterisation in No Remorse is perfect. No character is flat or boring, each has a role to play in the continuing drama.  Kent himself is a brilliant creation, part time crime solver, full time council employee.  He is the perfect blend of ordinary and at the same time gifted and intuitive.

For me the story is  great because it harks back to the traditional murder mysteries of authors such as Agatha Christie. As No Remorse unfolds, so does the mystery surrounding the death of an old man. The story is gently teased out and the true motivations of the characters are revealed over time. It’s character driven, but the story, gives them the perfect narrative to shine.

What is also great is that this book can be read as a standalone or part of the series. I’m my opinion you gain more by reading all three of the series in order, but can still enjoy reading No Remorse alone.

No Remorse can be purchased from Amazon.

About the author

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Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.
At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.
Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.
Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

Robert Crouch can be followed on Twitter and his Website. 

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ The Pressure by Betsy Reavley.

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When the submarine departed, none of the ten people on board knew it would turn into a nightmare.

Trapped on the sunken vessel on the bottom of the ocean and unable to escape, one of them is discovered dead. The tension escalates as the survivors realise there is a murderer among them, who is preparing to strike again and again…

With mounting desperation, people begin to turn on each other. While they struggle to identify who is responsible, each must contend with their own past, the claustrophobia and the secrets they are hiding.

But who is who?  And which of them will be next to die?

Below the surface, the pressure is building and time is running out…

Review

I would like to thank the author, Bloodhound Books and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC in return for an honest review.
The Pressure is a deeply disturbing and dark psychological thriller and a book I won’t forget in quite some time. Being honest I’m not sure the novel worked for me! But the reason why is hard to explain without revealing the incredibly clever and intelligent way the writer has written her narrative. I want to say at this point that this book is intelligent, challenging and breathless in its delivery and that my reaction is a personal one and not a reflection on Betsy Reavley’s superb book.
The Pressure has two narrative threads running through it, both of which had elements in them that some readers might find challenging. That is no bad thing, we need writers who are willing dare us to face our deepest fears and Betsy Reavley does so with breathtaking self-confidence. It is simply that I felt both threads would have worked better as two separate novels, as a traditional thriller and another looking at the deeply disturbed mind of killer and their past. It jarred a little and that is simply why I felt it didn’t work for me.
But for others it will, because as I have already said it is an intelligent novel from a very accomplished writer, whom I admire for being willing to write a narrative that will leave you breathless and questioning what lies behind the eyes of seemingly ‘normal’ people. Not only was I wrong footed in who I thought the killer was, I was left winded by the sense of claustrophobia that those trapped on the sunken vessel.
While acknowledging it didn’t quite work for me, it is a accomplished and exciting read and one I would highly recommend.

You can purchase Pressure from Amazon.

About the author. 

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Author of  The Quiet OnesThe Optician’s Wife,  Frailty, CarrionBeneath the Watery Moon and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford, where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in London, with her husband, 2 children, dog, cat and chickens.

Betsy Reavley can be followed on Twitter.

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Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone.

 

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In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, where a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery.
On a clandestine trip to new volcanic island The Inch, to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery, a secret. Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she’ll be exposed, Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she’s done…

Review

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

Yet again Orenda Books have produced for it’s readers, a thriller of the highest quality!

Doug Johnstone delivers a narrative that had me gripped throughout. He cleverly mirrors the tectonic fault running through a reimagined  Edinburgh, to the shock waves running through the life of his main character Surtsey.

I was deeply impressed by the power of the setting of Fault Lines. You could feel the brooding presence of Inch, a  volcanic Island sitting in the Firth of Forth throughout the novel. It felt to me, that it gave the story an originality, which will allow it to stand proudly out from other similar books. Inch and it’s foreboding presence added to the feeling that life for Surtsey was balanced on the edge of a precipice. She and those she loves threatened by a malign and twisted killer.

As a reader I felt a range of emotions reading Fault Lines, excitement, anxiety, anticipation and most of all, real overwhelming fear of the final outcome for Surtsey.

I would recommend this book to all thriller readers and especially those who revel in heightened feelings of brooding suspense. Inch and Surtsey taking equal roles in this superb book.

Fault Lines can be purchased from Amazon

About the author

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Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His seventh novel, The Jump, was published by Faber & Faber in August 2015. Gone Again (2013) was an Amazon bestseller and Hit & Run (2012) and was an Amazon #1 as well as being selected as a prestigious Fiction Uncovered winner. Smokeheads (2011) was nominated for the Crimefest Last Laugh Award. Before that Doug published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008). His work has received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, William McIlvanney, Megan Abbott and Christopher Brookmyre.

In September 2014 Doug took up the position of Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Doug was writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde 2010-2012 and before that worked as a lecturer in creative writing there. He’s had short stories appear in various publications and anthologies, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. Doug is currently also working on a number of screenplays for film and television. He is also a mentor and manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy.

Doug is one of the co-founders of the Scotland Writers Football Club, for whom he also puts in a shift in midfield. He is also a singer, musician and songwriter in several bands, including Northern Alliance, who have released four albums to critical acclaim, as well as recording an album as a fictional band called The Ossians. Doug has also released two solo EPs, Keep it Afloat and I Did It Deliberately.

Doug has a degree in physics, a PhD in nuclear physics and a diploma in journalism, and worked for four years designing radars.

He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wibe and two children.

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Blog Tour ~ The Weekend Spa Break by Anne John-Ligali.

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Friendships Online Series

Part Two

After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.
It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.
As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.
A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

Review

Many thanks to the author for the ARC in return for an honest review.

There were a number of things I liked about this novella.

It’s humour is infectious and makes The Weekend Spa Break an enjoyable and easy read. I found myself smiling and laughing throughout, which is nice when you have been fast paced, tense thrillers. I could simply sit back and imagine myself  on a relaxing spa break with the characters.

The themes of friendship and the ways friendships are made, really struck a chord with me. I loved how the author developed these themes from the first in the series of short books, of how friendships made  on-line can devolve into real and supportive relationships. It reflects modern life and the importance of social media in so many peoples lives.

Best of all there is a group of characters that are fumny, warm, spikey, selfish and giving, reflecting real friendship groups and the ways we connect with people without ever knowing why!

You can read my review of the first in the series The Big Event.

And buy The Weekend Spa Break can be purchased from Amazon.

Message from the author about a fabulous competition. 

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To mark the release of part two in the friendships series, I’m giving away a Sanctuary Spa gift set and a signed printed and binded copy of The Weekend Spa Break to one lucky winner. At present, there are no physical copies of The Weekend Spa Break available, so this is a treat.
To enter you only have to do is visit my twitter page and retweet the pinned tweet showing this GIVEAWAY.
A winner will be chosen at random by Tweet Draw and announced on Saturday the 19th of May at 20:00hrs.
Competition is open worldwide.
Good luck!

About the author 

Meet Anne-2

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.
Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series.  Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.
Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Anne John-Ligali can be followed on TwitterFacebook and her Blog.

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Blog Tour ~ Extract ~Joshua N’Gon- Last Prince of Alkebulahn by Anthony Hewitt.

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When a secret world of ancient alien kingdoms and evil corporation’s clashes with adolescents, school, and homework. You won’t be able to put down this wild adventure of discovery, friendship, and coming of age! What would you do if you discovered you were descended from ancient alien African royalty and you could hold the key to save your friends, family, and the world from evil destructive forces? Joshua N’Gon seemed like an ordinary boy. Raised in a loving foster home in north London and a gifted student at the St Augustine private school. But as he grew older, a thirst for meaning and true purpose began to grow greater and greater…

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility On Joshua’s tenth birthday he received mysterious packages from his birth parents. Parents who had left him as a baby under mysterious circumstances. Opening the packages, he would find gifts that would forever change him both mentally and physically. Magical technology unlike anything he had ever seen and the best part, only he could use it. But his secrets would not stay that way for long.

Evil forces were gathering and they would stop at nothing to acquire the powerful science behind his amazing inventions With the help of his two best friends, Brick and Mina, Joshua sets out to develop his abilities, find his real parents and stop the Technology Billionaire Kanu Umbekwi from subjugating the planet.  Buckle up and get ready to go on an exciting thrill ride, full of suspense, mystery, and alien technology with Joshua N’Gon:The Last Prince of Alkebulahn.

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You can download an extract from this exciting looking book by following this LINK.

The book can be purchased from Amazon.

About the author

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Anton Marks is a self-published author based in London. His self-styled Urban Fantastic genre is speculative fiction using crime, action adventure, horror, sword and soul and sci-fi to highlight the black experience through the lens of the extraordinary. At present, he has eight books in the Amazon Kindle store, Dancehall, Bushman, Bad II the Bone, In the Days of Dread, 69, Messiah, Chauffeur and a Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel called Joshua N’Gon: The Last Prince of Alkebulahn written as Anthony Hewitt. The second in his Bad II the Bone Series Good II be Bad is due in 2018.

Anton Marks can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blog Tour ~ Guest Post from Claire Handscombe author of Unscripted. #Unscripted #Unbound.

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No-one is a bigger fan of actor Thomas Cassidy than Libby. No-one. That’s why she’s totally going to marry him
She is going to write a novel, name the main character after Thom, and find a way to get it to him. Intrigued and flattered, he will read it, fall in love with her prose, write to her and ask to turn it into a movie. She will pretend to think about it for a week or so, then say, sure, but can I work on it with you? Their eyes will meet over the script, and fade to black. It is a fail-proof plan.
Except for the fact that he is a Hollywood star – not A list, perhaps not B list, but certainly C+ – and she is, well, not. Except for the fact that he lives in America. Except, too, for the teeny tiny age gap. Not even twenty years! Totally overcomable. All of the obstacles are totally overcomable. It’s all about determination.

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I am welcoming author Claire  Handscombe to booksaremycwtches with a guest post about 10 thing we didn’t know about her as part of her blog tour for her book Unscripted, which is being published via Unbound.
1.My first celebrity crush was Jason Donovan.

I used to lie in bed and pray that he would become a Christian so I could marry him. Too many broken hearts, indeed…

2.My entrepreneurial spirit was apparent from an early age.

I could never get enough pictures and posters and interviews of Jason, so, when I was about thirteen, I hatched a plan. I cut out pictures and posters of other, lesser stars (you know, lesser like, say, Matthew Perry), filed them in plastic folders, and kept an alphabetical inventory of what I had. Then I typed out little ads on my Amstrad PCW8256 (given to me by my rich uncle and thus the height of sophistication) that said something like, “I have posters of all your favourite stars in exchange of anything you might have about Jason Donovan! Just write to me at this address…” I printed the ads and surreptitiously slipped them in books I borrowed from the teen section of the library. I got one reply once, which is actually probably not a bad rate of return.

3.The first place I was ever published was Number One magazine (RIP).

I’d just moved from Belgium back to England when I heard someone on Radio One make fun of the country I loved. I wrote in (with a pen and paper and stamps!), outraged, with words like “it’s a great place, full of wonderful people, so stop putting Belgium down!”. I signed it A Jason Donovan fan, because of course I did. If anyone who’s reading this has copies of the magazine from circa 1991, I’d love to see this letter again.

4.My next big obsession was Byker Grove.

For those of you not from the UK or too young to remember it, Byker Grove was a TV series for older kids that aired as part of Children’s BBC, after Newsround. It was set in a youth club, in the impossibly glamorous city of Newcastle upon Tyne. I loved it. I wanted to be a Dobson sister. I tried to cut my hair so it looks like Debbie’s, with a bit of the fringe falling out of my headband at the front, and it was a disaster.
I wrote to the producer and asked if I could be in the series, and he pointed out that Lowestoft was a bit far away, but he was super kind to me and we exchanged a few letters. I’ve tried to find him since, but his name is Matthew Robinson, so he’s a bit impossible to find on any social media. Matthew, if you’re reading, get in touch! Teenage me would love to say thank you.

Believe it or not, Byker Grove had a bit of a following, so much so that they even made and sent out newsletters! I was mentioned by name more than once in them and referred to as “avid fan” – and then as the very first MAF (Massive Avid Fan). I could do the accent, and to this day I can still say “This Byker Grove book, to accompany the programme, is now available in all good bookshops”. And if you’re wondering if I bought the books and read them many, many times – well, duh.
My stepdad took my mum and me up to Newcastle to meet the producer and tour the set. I even got to meet Jemma and Angel. Seriously! It was so cool. Sigh.

5.My dreams of being an actual actress were thwarted early on.

My mum insisted I had to take History instead of Drama for GCSE. I hated our history teacher and the only interesting bit was when we learned about JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. But hey, at least I know about trephining, the four humours, and how to spell Egypt (I knew that last one anyway, but our teacher liked to patronise us in between his cigarette breaks).

6.I went to school with Zeb Soanes.

I didn’t go to the kind of school that produced a ton of well-known stars. It was the kind of school where the only application form they had for Cambridge was three years out of date. But, we did have Zeb Soanes. For those of you too young and/or too cool to listen to Radio Four, well, he’s a newsreader there, including, sometimes, on the Now Show. He did GCSE Drama. Just saying.

7.I revised for my GCSEs while making friendship bracelets.

I recorded myself reading from my notes, including for that stupid History GCSE, and then played the tapes back while I made friendship bracelets I presumably intended to sell. I could do the cool diamond and V shapes and everything. Oh, 1990s, how I miss you.

8. My nickname for a while was BT.

I’m a chatterbox, and British Telecom’s ad campaign in the ‘90s was “it’s good to talk”. I still believe that, by the way!

9. I have a bizarre love of Pizza Express.

At least, my friend Emily says it’s bizarre. Garlic dough balls, Pinot Grigio Blush, and, at the height of my love for it, the banoffee pie I’m still waging a one-woman campaign to bring back? I think if you don’t love it, then  you’re the bizarre one, quite frankly.

10. The Washington Post one name me “the biggest fan you’ll ever meet”
Okay, if you’ve ever googled me, you will know this about me already, but I’ll take any excuse to tell the story of how I once had lunch with Josh Lyman, aka Bradley Whitford, who is clever and funny and the loveliest man I’ve ever met. But I’m a grown woman now, so I definitely don’t go around falling in love with famous men anymore. Nope. Not me.

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About the author. 
Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA, but actually, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. (Like her main character Libby, she knows a thing or two about celebrity crushes and the life-changing power of a television series.) She was recently longlisted for the Bath Novel Award, and her journalism, poetry, and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Bustle, Book Riot, Writers’ Forum, and the Washington Post. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show about news and views from British books and publishing.

Claire Handscombe can be followed on Twitter and her Blog.

 

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About Unbound

Claire Handscombe’s novel Unscripted is forthcoming from Unbound.

Unbound are an innovative, crowdfunding-based publisher who’ve produced best-sellers and award-winning books, like The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla. Their model is based on Kickstarter-style pledges, and when a book reaches 100% of their funding, they kick in as a more-or-less traditional publisher. So when you pre-order a book, you’re actually helping to make it happen. You get thanked in the back for being part of the journey, and you can also get various rewards at different pledge levels. So if you like the sound of Unscripted, please consider supporting the book by pre-ordering it a Unbound.

Unscripted Final BT Poster

Blog Tour ~ Review ~ Desperate Ground by L J Morris. #Thriller #Bloodhound Books.

Desperate Ground_Design_01When the secrecy of a nuclear weapon agreement is thrown into doubt, a disgraced intelligence operative is recruited to find out if the deal is still safe…

Ali Sinclair, wrongly convicted and on the run from a Mexican prison, is enlisted to infiltrate her old friend’s inner circle and find the evidence.

The only people on her side are an ex-Cold War spook and the former Royal Marine that was sent to find her. Together they discover that the stakes are much higher than anyone knew, and the fate of the world is at risk…

But when you live in the shadows who can you trust?

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Review

Many thanks to the author L J Morris, publisher Bloodhound Books and blog tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC in return for an honest review.
I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting and action packed thriller. From page one it had me gripped and I retreated away from everyday life as much as possible so that I could carry on reading. In fact I read it in one day, virtually unknown for me. It swept me along from a Mexican jail to threats of worldwide devastation and never took its foot off the accelerator. The plot line reminded me strongly of the extremely popular TV series Spooks, intelligent characterisation, with lots and lots of action. It is just the perfect read for losing yourself in; there is no time to worry about facing work on a Monday morning, because you’re being swept from Mexico to America, via London. Wham, Bam, thank you very much. When I raised my head out of the book, it was time for sleep, but Sunday had been full of spies, bond like villains and the world as we know it under threat.
There is always a danger in thrillers that focus so much on the action, that the characters can be weak by comparison, but here L J Morris, gives his lead characters, a back story and steely determination. I liked them a lot and I am desperately hoping that they will have more adventures in the future. We all need a good book, full of heroes and villains we love to hate, to lose ourselves in and this book is a great example.

You can purchase Desperate Ground from Amazon

About the author.

Profile 1_LJM

L J Morris is an author with a love of books and storytelling that he developed as a child.

After a career in the Royal Navy, which spanned most of the 80s and 90s, he settled back in Cumbria and soon realised that an unsuccessful attempt to write a serial killer novel at the age of 12 hadn’t blunted his ambitions.

He started to write again and has enjoyed success with his short stories appearing in several anthologies. Although he still enjoys writing short stories, his passion has always been for thriller novels and he has spent the last few years following his dream of being a published novelist.

L J Morris can be followed on his websiteFacebook and Twitter.