Wednesday, 23 May 2018

The TV Detective by Simon Hall @SimonHallNews #BlogTour @damppebbles @fahrenheitpress #Review



I'm delighted to be joining the blog tour for The TV Detective by Simon Hall and sharing my review today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...




Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.

Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution though it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.

With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is a notorious local businessman, Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise between Dan and the police he comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

The TV Detective is the first book in a classic crime series from Simon Hall, who until recently was the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area.

Buy The TV Detective direct from Fahrenheit Press:





The way that police work and television reporting is combined in The TV Detective made for a great premise. I really enjoyed seeing Dan and Breen working together even though they have two very distinct personalities they complimented each other perfectly. With Dan being more open and friendly and Breen more of a closed book. It was great to see Dan so determined in his new role even if at first he wasn't happy with the change.

The TV Detective moves at a good pace with quite a few suspects to keep the reader interested in discovering the killer. I always enjoy playing detective even if I may not be very good at it! In this book after discovering the motives it's safe to say that the victim was not well liked at all. Simon Hall builds up the characters well especially in the case of Adam Breen as more layers to his personality are revealed as the story progresses. Along with getting to see a more personal side to Dan as he ventures into online dating. 

On the whole the investigation and personal side to the characters is well balanced. Creating a rounded story with characters I would enjoy seeing again and discovering what the new cases will be. 

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Emma and Fahrenheit Press for my copy.




Simon Hall is an author and journalist.

He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

His books - the tvdetective series - are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @thetvdetective ) and studying pop lyrics.

For more on Simon, see his website – www.thetvdetective.com

Simon’s Social Media:


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Sophia Cobbs Wondrous World of Witchcraft and Misery by Sophia Cobbs @cobbs_sophia #BlogTour @brookcottagebks #Review


I'm delighted to be sharing my review for Sophia Cobbs Wondrous World of Witchcraft and Misery by Sophia Cobbs as part of the blog tour today. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



 Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 5 December 2017
Publisher: Silverwood Books 
Have you ever tried to conjure up the perfect man? It’s not as easy as it might seem, even if you are a powerful and intelligent witch.
Petulia and Miss Level find out that there is more to finding Mr Right than just a flick of the wand, and poof…there he is! Their latest attempt is gorgeous – as long as you don’t mind the horns and the singing, which of course they do. But when they try to fix him they run into some serious problems. To make things even more complicated, a mysterious and handsome stranger appears. But there is something not quite right about him either…
Will Petulia and Miss Level be able to fix everything and can they use their witchcraft to overcome misery?
BUY LINKS
SILVERWOOD BOOKS: https://goo.gl/g74xgr


A muffled conversation between Petulia and Miss Level was a distraction for all the people in the audience, but they didn’t care. They were talking about important things. Like the weather. For some people this might have been a good indication of how badly the actors were performing. I mean, if the weather appeared to be more tantalising than the arts, there could only be something wrong with the arts. Unless the weather was actually extraordinary. I can understand that a hurricane would be very interesting, but the question is: who would go to the theatre in a hurricane?
Clearly Petulia and Miss Level. It makes you wonder if there actually were people around for them to distract. In any case, a performance during a hurricane has a valid reason for being below average. The actors were probably wondering how long the roof would hold up, and they had to shout to be heard over the howling wind.
When one of them finally noticed that the two audience members weren’t even paying attention, he signalled to his colleagues and one by one they left the stage to find safety in the basement of the theatre.
The last one shouted, “Switch off the lights before you leave,” which made Petulia raise her hand in affirmative response.
And then they were alone.
“Finally! It took them long enough.” Petulia grabbed her canvas bag from the seat next to her and stood up.
“Well, you know how daft actors are.” Miss Level waited for Petulia to squeeze past her between the rows of chairs, then picked up her own bag and followed. Instead of going to the exit, they crossed the room and walked up to the stage. Petulia fished a piece of chalk out of her bag and started to draw a pentagram on the floor of the stage. “It’s almost ten o’clock. We’ll never get this done in time.” Three points were already drawn.
“Nonsense. We’ve got all the time in the world.” Miss Level stopped at the first point and put a bowl filled with herbs on the tip. She rummaged through her bag again and found another bowl for the next tip and so on. When the entire thing was drawn and supplied with the right herbs at the right points, Petulia put her hand in her bag again and found two boxes of matches. She threw one to Miss Level on the other side of the pentagram, who, by some miracle, caught it perfectly. Then she checked her watch: 9:59. She glanced up.
“Are you ready?”
Miss Level had a match in her hand, ready to light it on the box. “Ready.”
Petulia kept her eyes on her watch while pulling a match out of her own box. “Now!”
Both women lit their matches, waited a full second with their eyes closed and then blew them out. At the same time as the flames died, the herbs in the bowls caught fire. The women spread their arms and started chanting indiscernible words. The smoke began to whirl around between them, creating a sort of vortex. This went on for ten minutes. Just when Petulia was about to ask if they were doing it right, a shadow appeared in the smoke. First it seemed like the smoke just got darker, heavier. But then it started to dissipate and they could clearly make out the form of a man. The smoke cleared completely and the chanting stopped.
Petulia put her hands on her hips. “Damn it. We did something wrong.”
Miss Level, who had a clear view of the man’s naked backside and was very distracted by it, asked, “What?”
“He’s not supposed to have horns.”

Miss Level’s eyes slowly roamed up the man’s body until she could see the unmistakable horns. She grinned. “Well, at least he doesn’t have a tail this time.”






In a way I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first started reading this book but I was happy with the direction the story took. Even though at times I had no clue as to what would happen next! There were parts where I was smiling away to myself and there was also a slightly dark humour used especially when Adam was involved. 


If you like witches, magic and a fantasy edge to your stories than Sophia Cobbs Wondrous World of Witchcraft could well be a hit for you. It is a relatively short book and I enjoyed reading this book over one evening but it would also be ideal for a lazy afternoon.

I'm guessing there will be a book two as there is an abrupt/cliffhanger ending so I would love to see what will happen next in Petulia and Miss Level's unusual and interesting world. The characters were fun and I enjoyed the interactions between the pair as they argued and tried to fix what had gone wrong with their spells. There is a hint of romance too and I feel as if we have only been shown a hint of their personalities so it would be great to get to know them more.

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.






Sophia Cobbs was born in 1982 in Dendermonde, Belgium. She has always had a fondness for writing. In high school she wrote poems and short stories but mostly kept them to herself. This is her first novel.
When she isn’t writing or directing, she is doing one of two things: her day job as Office Manager for an IT company, or scouring wine tastings with her long-term boyfriend.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Go To Sleep by Marion Adams @Marion_author #BlogTour @rararesources #Review



I'm delighted to be sharing my review for Go To Sleep by Marion Adams as part of the blog tour today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...



Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong … The award-winning bedtime story with a humorous twist that children will love!

Buy Links:


Amazon: 



A book that talks about sleep and encourages sleep will always be a hit with me, my children have never been the best at sleeping especially my little boy. So it is always lovely to share a book with them on that subject. 

There is a lovely style of humour within the story that both little ones and adults reading will love. Tansy the sheep manages to get herself in a bit of a muddle in her quest to fall asleep! We all shared a giggle or two at the end it was a lovely sweet ending that really made us smile. 

The illustrations are eye catching and both my son and daughter were pointing things out to me as I was reading. So it was lovely to see them interacting with the story in this way. The length of the book was perfect and kept both of my children engaged throughout.

Funny and sweet, Go To Sleep is a perfect bedtime story!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy.




Marion Adams has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day (and eat dark chocolate). Over the years, she’s written all kinds of things for both adults and children, some serious and some less so, with published work including magazine stories, articles, poems, plays and non-fiction books.

Marion lives in Devon, UK, and when she’s not reading or writing (or eating dark chocolate), she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep! is set.

Author Links 




Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Her Name is Mercie by Chris Roy @AuthorChrisRoy #BlogTour @rararesources Q&A


Thank you for stopping by for my stop on the blog tour for Her Name is Mercie by Chris Roy and today you can catch a great Q&A with Chris Roy. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...




“Roy delivers on the edge of your seat storytelling with rough edges, crooked cops and a tiny light at the end of the tunnel that is never quite extinguished.”  
- Tom Vater, journalist, co-founder of Crime Wave Press

Mercie Hillbrook lives a simple, quiet life working as a gas station attendant. Then her parents are killed. Her home is taken. The people responsible are excused for just doing their job. When an attempt to get justice her way lands her in trouble with the law, Mercie realizes she still has something to lose: her own life.

Then she finds reason to believe her parents were murdered… and she doesn't care anymore.

Universal Purchase Link -



Thank you for taking part in the Q&A, so let's get started…

Thank you so much for having me. Let's do it!

1 – What three words best describe your personality?

Mindful. Physical. Weird.

2 - Is there a book you wish you could have written?

White Wolf by David Gemmell. Sword master with a warrior’s code teams up with an ax wielding war hero. The fight scenes are vivid and make you cheer. Life lessons and tragic love story sub-plots. Creatures of nightmare and sorcerers on murderous rampages. Fun.

3 - What was the last book you read?

Angel of the Dark by Sydney Sheldon. The writing wasn't very impressive. But the plot was a twisting mind f#ck. Blew me away at the end.

4 - If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

A couple of How To Survive On A Desert Island For Dummies-type books. And Papillon. He escaped from a remote island on a sack of coconuts.

5 - Do you have any strange writing habits?

My first drafts are handwritten. I type them on my phone in Google Docs, then edit, polish, ask the opinions of beta readers and polish a little more. I’ve never used a computer or word processor to type my work.

6 - Is there a specific place where you write?

There's only one place I can write: in my cell - on High Risk for 2 escapes, housed with Death Row - surrounded by chaos. Earlier, a guy near me was searched because he took a mop handle into his cell and broke it in half, and threatened to spear several guys he's having trouble with. Another guy has been screaming and beating on his door all day, trying to intimidate an officer into going and finding drugs. It's rarely quiet. Always loud in the day time when I write. I've scribbled away during floods, fires, and with pepper spray in the air.

I've see writing spaces in magazine features and thought, If I sat down there to pen a story… what would come out?

7 – Do you share any personality traits with the characters you have created?

Not in this book. In my thrillers I do. The protagonists are boxers, and have skills in automotive mechanics and some engineering knowledge. I put a lot of myself into the characters in my first books. This collection of short stories marks a transformation in style, a progression in my ability to craft better fiction. None of the characters are based on me or anyone else, nor are their traits.

8 -  Can you choose three words to describe your book Her Name is Mercie?

Heroic. Cruel. Noir.

9 - Are you working on anything now?

Another dark fiction story titled Waste Management. I'll include an extract here and let it speak for itself. Will you share your opinion? I would appreciate some feedback. Leave a comment here. Better yet catch me on Twitter @AuthorChrisRoy. I would love to meet you there.

This should be published later this year, possibly in 2019, by Near to the Knuckle http://gritfiction.co.uk:

Experiences with profusions of emotion were more deeply rooted, the factual basis less reactive to changing plasticity…

Life with Mother was a single Memory. An experience  continuum, with no clear divisions in time. The Memory changed from adolescence to adulthood, he knew. His days were not spent at school, on playgrounds or exploring the backyard with friends. TV was a treat limited to a single cartoon show. His days were the same Day. With the same person. Mother was the only person he knew, or was allowed to know.

His Day was a training schedule, learning tools and pipes and tubes and safety. Mother taught him everything he needed to be a pipe fitter.

Self-employed as a plumber, Mother could take him on jobs without his age being a hindrance. It was certain tools - the weight or oversized handles - that his ten year old hands struggled to master and kept him in the house.

“You keep saying you're ready, but you're not,” she told him. “Brazing and soldering you do well enough… for the crooks at DK Flush! You'll improve your welds with the MIG on the stainless drains, too, before you ever wear one of my tool belts…”

His hands were hardened, burnished from the endless practice. Every morning the shop area, cleaned the day before, became littered with jigs, tube benders, and piles of scrap metal. Copper, aluminum, stainless steel and PVC intertwined with welding leads and hoses for argon/helium shielding gas.
Dog-eared service manuals took up an entire wall, floor to ceiling, on shelves fabricated with 4130 steel tubing. From these he would study diagrams and procedures until lunch. The manuals were used for his evening lessons, also, when Mother constructed jobs for him to diagnose and repair. He hated having to recite the terms for each part and tool. But it was in this way he learned to read and write.
Mother had an independent nature she was adamant about passing on to him. A work ethic disciplined with her personal philosophy.

“No wasted movements, no wasted material,  no wasted time on activities that are counterproductive to providing for home or business!” they said together at breakfast, a pledge of allegiance.

His shoulders lifted, relaxed, gnawing pushed down again. It was years before he figured it out. The root of Mint’s philosophy-of-family progress. The meaning for it. 
It was, in reality, a psychopathy, spawn from anti-establishment principles. A cruel present from Society. Wrapped by his father with a careless bow.

And opened by his sister.
***

“Three years of battling cancer, your sister did,” Mother said. “While I warred against hospitals, insurance companies, banks and the good for nothing government…”

She would take off her sweatband and rub her face with it, he recalled, her next words hinting at a vendetta satiated.

“Know what your father did all that time?”

His lips moved, “What did he do, Mother?”

“Made a satisfying echo. Then slowly deteriorated.”

“Really? Can I do that? Like Father did?”

“No, my little Fitter. I plan better for you. He was infected, you see.  And there is only one fix for that. You'll learn better, or be washed away like him and the rest.”

Abandoned, in debt, Mother lost her house, and had to sell her trucks and tools to afford rent on a much smaller one… But was able to bring her daughter home,  alive  and  free of disease.

He was only a baby then. This part of the Memory was Mother’s. Though he could envision it and feel it as his own. She retold the experience to him in different ways, a new lesson in each. Life was cruel-type lessons.

“Your sister was given a small blow up pool to swim in for her welcome home party,” Mother said.

“I left her to play, made sandwiches for us and a bottle for you. I stomped back to the yard and called out, ‘Teresa! Let's eat, you little fish’. You know, she didn't answer.”

“Why not, Mother? Was she still in the pool?” He never had a pool. Once he asked if he had to get cancer to get one. And was slapped.

“The bread floated and the bottle sank”, she told him. “It was a day that life ran in reverse. So I just watched the bread float over her face and told her, ‘Welcome home, little fish’.”

Welcome home…


Quick fire questions - Which do you prefer?

Paperback or eBook
Paper!

Classic novel or Contemporary
Contemporary.

Cinema or Theatre
Cinema.

Crisps or Chocolate
Definitely chocolate.

Tea or Coffee
Coffee. I have a “stinger”, two short lengths of wire with pieces of metal attached to each. The metal pieces are bound together with a sliver of plastic in between them. I have a 32oz cup I hang from my wall socket and fill halfway with water. I place an 8oz milk carton containing fresh water inside the big cup. It floats. Placing the stinger in the water, I plug it in. Water is boiling hot in 5 minutes.
I rebuilt it a few days ago, after my nail clippers broke on my claw - my big toenail. Used the lever on the clippers, broke it in half and attached the pieces to thick wire salvaged from a wall socket. Good metal. It will last much longer than the cheap screws I used previously.

Night out or Day out
Day out. Preferably in the trails on a big, fast dirtbike, or on the water in a boat. Parks are beautiful, too.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer the Q&A!

Hey, I appreciate you hosting. This was fun.





Chris Roy was raised in South Mississippi, in the midst of ugly Gulf Coast beaches and spectacular muddy bayous.

Chris lived comfortably with the criminal ventures of his youth until a fistfight in 1999 ended tragically. Since January, 2000, he's been serving a life sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections. 

Nowadays he lives his life crime vicariously, through the edgy, fast-paced stories he pens, hoping to entertain readers. When he isn't writing, he's reading, drawing or looking for prospects to train in boxing.

Books:
Shocking Circumstances
Book I: Last Shine
Shocking Circumstances
Book 2: Resurrection
Sharp as a Razor
Book I: A Dying Wish

You can find Chris Twitter @AuthorChrisRoy and on his Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Roy/e/B00MF6LCHM
For more info on the author, visit:
www.unjustelement.com

 Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Old You by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 #BlogTour @OrendaBooks @annecater #Review



I'm thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Old You by Louise Voss and sharing my review today. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...






Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet...

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface... and Lynn's perfect world begins to crumble.

But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers...?

Buy Link



It's going to be hard to write a review for this book mainly because I don't want to ruin a single thing for anyone who picks up this book. This story has so many wonderfully twisty moments that I just couldn't put it down! I loved how I was kept guessing throughout and the sinister undertones were perfect at pulling me even further into the characters lives. There is deceit and secrets galore within this story which gives the plot a very addictive edge as I needed to know all the answers and I needed them straight away! Louise Voss however skilfully weaves all these twists into a story that ticked every box for me. 

The characters were easily brought to life, it was almost like being a fly on the wall feeling as if I was experiencing everything that they were. I especially liked the changes in direction as we discover more about the characters. I know I'm being vague but as I said earlier I really don't want to ruin the plot.

What I will say is that you really won't know up from down while reading this book as life slowly but surely unravels for Lynn. I always enjoy a story where I have no idea how it will all end as it makes for an even more thrilling story. The Old You is a brilliant example of this and I highly recommend picking a copy up!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy.




Louise Voss has been writing for the past eighteen years, with many twists and turns in her career. She started her publishing life with four novels for Transworld/Black Swan, the first of which, To Be Someone, was published in 2001 with its own CD soundtrack. This was followed by three more contemporary women's fiction novels, Are You My Mother? Lifesaver, and Games People Play, until she switched to publishing thrillers with Mark Edwards.

She and Mark were the first British indie authors to reach No.1 on the Amazon charts with Catch Your Death, where they stayed for the month of June 2011, with their novel Killing Cupid also at No. 2. This led to a four-book deal with Harper Collins; then two books in the DI Lennon series, From the Cradle and The Blissfully Dead (Thomas & Mercer).

Her first solo thriller was The Venus Trap in 2015 and her second, a twisty tale of domestic noir, is out in May 2018: The Old You, published by @OrendaBooks.



Saturday, 19 May 2018

Dreaming of St. Tropez by T.A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks #BlogTour @canelo_co #Review


I'm thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for the wonderful Dreaming of St Tropez by T.A. Williams and I will be sharing my review. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...


Title: Dreaming of St Tropez

Author Name: T.A. Williams

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Release Date: 7th May 2018

Publisher: Canelo


The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…
After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.
Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.
Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…
Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?
A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.
Buy Links


You know that feeling when you just want to crawl inside a book because you are enjoying it so much. Well that was how I was while reading Dreaming of St. Tropez. T.A. Williams has done it once again and created a beautiful story that well and truly whisked me away. His writing style has such a warm and inviting feel that instantly transports you with all the gorgeous descriptions. 

This book has a lovely balance of fun and deeper moments that created a lovely feel good story that is absolutely perfect for summer. Jess and Hope had a lovely friendship and it was great to see them experience all the delights of St. Tropez. There is romance, friendships and a beautiful setting along with a very special mention going to the adorable Labrador Brutus as he really played a fabulous part in the story. He was playful, fun and just that little bit mischievous making the story all the more fun for him being a part of it. I have to admit that I want my very own Brutus, I loved him!

I was smiling throughout as Jess and Hope went on their adventure in this charming and uplifting story. I'm already looking forward to the next book by T.A. Williams!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Ellie at Canelo for my copy.




T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.