Blog Tour

#BlogTour & #BookReview
It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
@katekerrigan @HoZ_Books

#BlogTour & #BookReview It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan @katekerrigan @HoZ_BooksTitle: It Was Only Ever You

Author: Kate Kerrigan

Published by: Head of Zeus on July 13, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Head of Zeus

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.

Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.

But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?


Review:

Heartwarming, impassioned, and alluring!

This is a compelling story about first loves, friendship, community, goals, dreams, family and music that is set during the late 1950s when New York was a melting pot of immigrants and Manhattan was the hub of the American music industry.

There are four main memorable characters in this novel; Rose, a young Irish lass who leaves comfort and security behind in hopes of finding her first love; Ava, a woman with insecurities but a lot of heart; Sheila a Jewish orphan who has lots of spunk, tenacity and grit; and Danny, the dark-haired, blue-eyed small-town lad who turns all their heads with his angelic voice.

The writing is vivid and sincere. The supporting characters are multi-layered, unique, and true to character. And the plot is a wonderful mix of passion, drama, character development and emotion.

Overall this is an extremely engaging, memorable, enjoyable read that does a remarkable job of interweaving historical facts, fiction, and romance.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Head of Zeus for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kate Kerrigan

Kate Kerrigan lives in County Mayo, Eire, with her husband and children. Her novels include Recipes for a Perfect Marriage, shortlisted for the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award and Ellis Island, which was a TV Book Club Summer Read.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Marked for Death by Matt Hilton
@MHiltonauthor @canelo_co

#BlogTour & #BookReview Marked for Death by Matt Hilton @MHiltonauthor @canelo_coTitle: Marked for Death

Author: Matt Hilton

Series: Joe Hunter #12

Published by: Canelo on July 17, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 294

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

Joe Hunter has been Marked for Death in his most explosive outing to date.

It should be a routine job. Joe Hunter and his associates are hired to provide security for an elite event in Miami. Wear a tux, stay professional, job done.

But things go wrong.

Hunter is drawn into what appears to be a domestic altercation. When he crosses the mysterious Mikhail however, he soon finds something altogether more sinister…

Before long this chance encounter has serious repercussions for Hunter and his friends. Good people are being killed. On the run, in the line of fire, the clock is ticking.

From the bars of Miami beach to car chases and super-yacht grenade battles, bestseller Matt Hilton dials up the intensity in this rip-roaring, set-piece filled thriller perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Stephen Leather.


Review:

Suspenseful, gripping, and exceptionally fast-paced!

This is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of gun smuggling and sex trafficking and reminds us that evil often exists closer than you think.

The writing is well done and well paced. The characters are tenacious, tough, smart, dangerous and protective. And the plot is a riveting tale of murder, revenge, corruption, power, hatred, manipulation, abuse, survival and terror.

Overall, I have to say that Hilton has written another winner with this latest outing in the Joe Hunter series. It’s exciting, highly entertaining and bursting with so much tension, action and adventure that it’s impossible not to be completely captivated and enthralled from start to finish. 

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                

 

 

Thank you to Matt Hilton and Canelo for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Matt Hilton

Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer to pursue his love of writing cinematic action thrillers. He is the author of the high-octane Joe Hunter thriller series. His first book, Dead Men’s Dust, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers’ Debut Book of 2009 Award, and was a Sunday Times bestseller, also being named as a ‘thriller of the year 2009’ by The Daily Telegraph.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Rainbow Player by David Kerby-Kendall
@dkerbykendall @Authoright

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Rainbow Player by David Kerby-Kendall @dkerbykendall @AuthorightTitle: The Rainbow Player

Author: David Kerby-Kendall

Published by: Whiteley Publishing Ltd on June 20, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 292

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Authoright

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

England footballer, Sammy Hatchington, has never considered sexuality before. As a teenager, Sammy broke the mould of his youthful peers with his desire to open the door to life’s endless possibilities. He escaped a deprived estate and, with the help of Old Thomas, his surrogate father, Davey, his soul-mate, and Gran, the connoisseur of footballer’s bottoms, launched himself on a path toward his personal and professional goals. Now, several years later, he must make a decision that could destroy everything he has fought for, and create a furious media frenzy………

David Kerby-Kendall’s joyous and witty novel challenges preconceptions about professional sportsmen and love, and is also a delightful and moving story of a young man’s journey to self-knowledge.


Review:

Heartfelt, humourous, and incredibly moving!

This is an entertaining, captivating story that not only reminds us to live and love to the fullest, enjoying each high and learning from each low, but also highlights the unfortunate stigma and stereotypical mentality surrounding professional sports.

The characters are flawed, genuine, caring, and lovable. The writing is witty and direct. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, familial dynamics, coming-of-age, friendship, perseverance, support, and unconditional love that will not only make you laugh but also make you cry.

This truly is a well-written, thought-provoking novel by Kerby-Kendall with a nice amount of emotion, drama, humour, and character development. And even though this novel is certainly rooted in the LGBTQIA genre it’s so much more than that, at its core it’s a story about love, pure and simple, with no limits, no labels, and no regrets!

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following link.

                      

 

 

Author Spotlight:

I’m originally from Leicester, but I’ve had therapy and I’m now allowed out into polite society.

We don’t have culture in Leicester; we have Gary Lineker and Walkers crisps…..oh, and Richard III, though we did sort of borrow him from York.

Actually, that’s not fair. I love my home town. It’s wonderfully diverse, has two amazing universities and, for a short while, was the centre of the universe when our football team won the Premiership, at odds of 5000-1. There was more chance of the Pope having a Number 1 hit, apparently!

And, of course, it holds the most amazing memories; of living with my Grandmother, who was my soul-mate, and encouraged me in the arts and, most importantly, as a ridiculously shy teenager, to go on stage. Well, mostly encouraged; she did tell me I had a singing voice like a cat being ironed, but we’ll gloss over that!

After leaving school I spent eleven years in banking. I left the TSB with the worst cash error record in Leicester, but as a successful chief clerk as, with the latter job, I only had to organise the branch and talk to customers, not add anything up. And so began a journey to London to study acting at the London Theatre School and immerse myself in café society and shouting at people who stand on the left side of escalators.

I remember once, in my second year at drama school, standing in Trafalgar Square at 3 am, waiting for a night bus, having drunk Lake Windermere in Merlot (this is actually part of the drama school syllabus), looking up at the beam of light trained on Nelson’s Column, thinking, ‘This is amazing; I’m an actor living in London; I’ve found freedom’. And it was true. The move and the change in career broadened my mind wider than I had ever thought possible. I know it’s a cliché, but I began to find a part of myself I never knew existed (or maybe was just too scared to admit to). It was liberating and exhilarating.

After graduating, there followed a few somewhat unmemorable acting jobs, including dropping my leading lady into the orchestra pit during a production of The Boyfriend in Rhyl (I don’t think the twenty-seven people in the audience were very impressed) and a few normal jobs in order to pay that annoying ‘rent’ thing. Two years in advertising (wearing pink braces and throwing a hissy fit if your double-shot gingerbread latte wasn’t quite hot enough), telemarketing, stage-door-keeping and being a butler at Phantom Of the Opera (pouring champagne down rich people’s sleeves).

Finally, I got lucky and had a run of eight consecutive plays, including three productions of Jack Shepherd’s Half Moon. I still had to pinch myself (not hard; I’m a wimp with pain) that someone of Jack’s standing would cast me in his play.

Then, having played rugby and tennis and kept reasonably fit at the gym all my life, my body decided to age 104 years in six months and I ended up having twenty-four operations in ten years. However, there is always a silver lining as this is when I started writing.

In 2007 I wrote a play called Save Your Kisses For Me which actually included The Brotherhood Of Man’s Eurovision-winning song (the first record I ever bought. I was young and had questionable musical taste…..as opposed to now when I’m older and have appalling musical taste). From it’s small-scale success I became the In-House writer for Heartbreak Productions and have been lucky enough to have adapted some marvellous novels for the stage, including three of David Walliam’s children’s books (Billionaire Boy is currently on a national tour). I’ve also had my own independent plays produced and will be returning to the acting profession later this year in my next play, 20:40, which concerns depression.

When I was adapting my first novel, I found myself in a Soho café on a break between rent-paying jobs. Normally I have great difficulty concentrating on anything if there’s extraneous background noise. However, on this occasion, I started writing and didn’t stop for four hours, by which time my mocha was congealed and I was half an hour late for pointing a spotlight at the stage of Phantom Of the Opera. From that day, I have done nearly all my writing in cafes. I love the energy and atmosphere; like-minded people writing plays, books, composing songs, creating new business ideas, forming new friendships. It seeps into your pores and wraps you in this all-encompassing creative blanket. I love the fact that café society has been going on for centuries. You can just SEE Picasso and Modigliani discussing surrealism and Gore Vidal and Jack Kerouac pushing the boundaries of acceptability in literature.

I write in longhand with a fountain pen. I know that sounds like I’m about to disappear up my own bottom but I genuinely can’t write with a biro, and get absolutely no inspiration from staring at a laptop screen. I re-read the last few pages to get myself back into the work again (this takes about ten minutes) and then I shift my mind a degree to the left of normality. If I’m writing dialogue, then I’ll read everything back in my head and act out each character. Being an actor, if it doesn’t sound natural, I will know straight away.

I love writing. No, ‘love’ doesn’t cover it; I adore writing.

Now most of the operations have finished and, as well as retuning to acting, I’m returning to the gym and the tennis court (at least I have an excuse to lose now).

I’m very lucky; I get to do two things that I love; making up stories and pretending to be other people. Also, I get to pay the bulk of the rent by lighting Phantom Of the Opera, playing David Garrick in the tours of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and also taking tours of the Royal Opera House.

There isn’t much time to relax, but that’s OK. When I do get time, I love sport, poetry, music (Meat Loaf to Mozart), meditating in Highgate Wood, keeping fit, reading, and spending time with friends, being ludicrously immature one moment and putting the world to rights, the next.

What I love most about my life is that it can’t be labelled. I hate labels; they constrict us and are an excuse for people to hate each other. Someone recently said to me, ‘How can you like sport AND poetry?’. I replied, ‘Who made up the rule that you can’t?’.

For more information on David Kerby-Kendall, visit his website at: davidkerbykendall.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @dkerbykendall

 

Thank you to David Kerby-Kendall, Whiteley Publishing, and Authoright for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck
@suemonte @fayerogersuk

#BlogTour & #BookReview Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck @suemonte @fayerogersukTitle: Perfect Score

Author: Susan Roebuck

Published by: Mundania Press LLC on May 3, 2017

Genres: Romantic Suspense, LGBTQIA

Pages: 331

Format: eBook

Source: Faye Rogers

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam’s two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister’s medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word “dyslexia” is generally unknown so to most people he’s just a “retard”. From the severe knocks life’s dealt him, Sam’s developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex’s love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?


Review:

Romantic, reflective and heartwarming!

In this novel by Roebuck, she transports us back to the 1960s to the rugged terrain of the dusty prairies where life is hard; blood, sweat, and tears are the norm; and small-minded mentality surrounding politics, economics, special needs, and sexuality is rampant.

The characters are troubled, unique, and endearing. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, survival, family, morality and love has a lot of subplots and tackles a lot of issues, including industrial pollution, pharmaceutical negligence, homelessness, abuse and sexual orientation.

This is a very complex, intriguing story that definitely has a “Brokeback Mountain” feel with that deep, enduring, underlying bond and love between the two main characters. And even though Roebuck did an exceptional job of writing the narration and dialogue true to the characters natures and time period, at times I did feel it caused a little disruption in my connection to the story and the overall flow.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

Thank you to Susan Roebuck and Faye Rogers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susan Roebuck

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback was launched on May 11 2011. In May 2017 Mundania Press re-released the ebook.

Perfect Score was an EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-Book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

“Perfect Score” is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

“Hewhay Hall” is my second novel, published by Etopia Press on April 20, 2012. It has won the EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) 2013 e-Book Award in the Horror Category (an EPPIE)

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn
@DarcieBoleyn @canelo_co

#BlogTour & #BookReview Summer at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn @DarcieBoleyn @canelo_coTitle: Summer at Conwenna Cove

Author: Darcie Boleyn

Series: Conwenna Cove #1

Published by: Canelo on May 15, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 286

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Eve has a glittering career, a loving husband and a future. But a terrible twist of fate means she loses it all, and with nowhere left to turn she flees to her Aunt Mary’s home in Cornwall. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He settles in Conwenna Cove, and saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are both scared to trust, but when they come together it’s impossible for either to ignore their feelings. Can they put their fears aside and learn to love again?

Summer at Conwenna Cove is an emotional and heart-warming holiday read about being brave enough to take a chance on love


Review:

Humorous, engaging and picturesque!

This is a captivating, lighthearted story that reminds us that we should work to live and not live to work and sometimes we should stop and smell the roses.

The prose is refined and vividly descriptive. The setting is the idyllic Cornwall with its sandy beaches and rugged coast. And the main characters including the stressed, workaholic Eve; the reluctant, gentle Jack; and the adorable, sweet Gabe are wounded, vulnerable, lonely and in desperate need of some unconditional love.

This is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, family, heartbreak, healing, self discovery and happiness and overall it is a wonderful story with a delightful cast of characters, majestic scenery, a touch of greyhound rescue awareness and last but definitely not least scrumptious, comforting treats, including my favourite the mouth-watering lemon drizzle cake. This truly is a warm, charming read from start to finish and perfect for a summer day.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                      

 

 

Thank you to Canelo and Darcie Boleyn for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It was an honour and a pleasure.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde
@AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPRTitle: The Wright Boss

Author: K.A. Linde

Series: Wright Series #2

Published by: K.A. Linde Inc. on May 16, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: K.A. Linde, InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

A new stand alone office romance from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I’ve always had one rule:

Don’t mix business and pleasure.

But then Landon Wright comes home to his family’s construction company with a broken back and a beaten heart and ends up as my new sexy boss. As the office gets heated, I’m thinking about throwing the rulebook out the window.

If only there weren’t a million reasons this could never work.

We may have shared a single perfect kiss, but I can’t let our intense connection cloud my judgment. Not with everything I’ve worked for on the line.

Dating your boss is so very, very wrong…even if he feels so Wright.


Review:

Emotional, sassy and sexy!

This is a passionate friends-to-more story involving Langdon, Jensen’s younger brother, who returns home to escape a loveless marriage and recover from a potentially career-ending injury and Heidi, the intelligent, successful engineer who finds herself falling in love with the one man who unfortunately is not only her high school crush and best friend’s ex but now her new boss.

The writing is descriptive, clear and fluid. The characters, including the supporting characters, are charming, flawed and fun. And the plot is an enchanting, slightly angsty tale filled with scrumptious chemistry, smouldering tension, fervour, heartache and familial drama.

This is the second title in the Wright series and once again Linde has written an entertaining, engaging novel that has remarkable characterization and a storyline that has everything we look for and love in contemporary romance.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy at one of the following links.

AmazoniBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

 

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.A. Linde

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

 

#BookReview & #BlogTour
Dreaming of Venice by T.A. Williams
@TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co

#BookReview & #BlogTour Dreaming of Venice by T.A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_coTitle: Dreaming of Venice

Author: T.A. Williams

Published by: Canelo on April 24, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 238

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Canelo, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice

Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.

It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.

But can dreams come true?


Review:

Lighthearted, humorous and magically romantic!

This is a charming story that highlights that no matter how challenging life might seem at times things always seem to work out and reminds us that sometimes dreams do come true.

The characters are sweet, supportive, dependable and quirky. The prose is expressive and polished. And the plot is an enchanting mix of drama, emotion, entertaining mishaps, loss, love; as well as an insightful view into the City of Venice, including the food, the culture, the architecture, the history and the art.

Whenever you pick up a novel by Williams you always know it’s going to be a warm, passionate, fascinating novel about an idyllic place in the world that you can’t help but want to see, visit and experience once you’ve finished it and this book is no exception.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

Thank you to T.A. Williams and Canelo for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About T.A. Williams

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.

 

#BlogTour & #GuestPost
The Girl On The Bus by N.M. Brown @normthewriter @Bloodhoundbook

Synopsis:

A retired detective and a young woman are about to face their worst fears. 

Vicki Reiner is emotionally isolated and craves the fleeting happiness she experienced in the years prior to her college graduation. In an attempt to recapture this, she invites her former friend and room-mate, Laurie,  for a break at her deserted beachside home. However, despite booking an online bus ticket, her friend never shows up and seems to have vanished. 

Unable to accept the bizarre circumstances of the disappearance, Vicki approaches the police who dismiss her concerns before enlisting the reluctant help of Leighton Jones – a newly retired detective who is haunted by the death of his teenage daughter. Despite trying to remain detached from the case, Leighton is drawn to Vicki and her search for justice. 

The unlikely pair face numerous obstacles but using a combination of methods he and Vicki track the killers who are working across the dusty freeways of North America. 

Soon Vicki and Leighton find themselves nervously waiting at a remote bus stop expecting the arrival of the bus. 

Will they ever discover what happened to Laurie? 

And can they both escape with their lives? 

And Now N.M. Brown:

Great Expectations.

I think that this is perhaps the greatest novel ever written. It contains so many elements that are vital to great story telling. The central character is essentially on orphan – therefore vulnerable and sympathetic- who must face his deepest fears in order to fulfil his destiny. 

This hero’s journey has of course been replicated in everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter.

But for me, the darker Gothic elements of Great Expectations were always far more interesting than Pip’s adventure. For example, the novel opens in one of the most dramatic ways possible, when Pip –whilst visiting his parents’ grave- is accosted by an escaped convict. 

Despite being a foreboding character, the convict is nowhere near as horrific as the enigmatic other man he alludes to:

That young man has a secret way pecooliar to himself, of getting at a boy, and at his heart, and at his liver. It is in wain for a boy to attempt to hide himself from that young man. A boy may lock his door, may be warm in bed, may tuck himself up, may draw the clothes over his head, may think himself comfortable and safe, but that young man will softly creep and creep his way to him and tear him open

This depiction of a creeping and unstoppable killer seems horrific and utterly modern – like the stuff of Thomas Harris- to me. I was thrilled by the near mythical aspect of this man- who seemed almost like a Victorian Slenderman The novel is also peppered with numerous other characters who are all harbouring dark secrets – such as the pompous lawyer’s maid – Molly who has mysterious scars on her wrists.

I was also intrigued by the dusty Miss Havisham, secreted away in her crumbling mansion. She like so many of the characters in that novel seemed clearly located in their own histories, some of which is only ever hinted at.

It terms of influencing my writing, Great Expectations made me appreciate the importance of taking the reader on a journey – something I also aim to do. This layered novel also helped develop my understanding of how stories within stories can help reinforce aspects of character and theme. But perhaps even more than that, it made me realise that any adventure that a protagonist embarks on is even more powerful if it offers a opportunity to atone for past mistakes.  

About the Author:

Norman M. Brown is an author living and working in Scotland. He attended secondary school in Stirling where he spent more time in the library or in the nearby park with a paperback, than he did in classes… Ironically, having graduated from Stirling University with a degree in English, he soon ended up back on the classroom again – where he has shared his love of fiction for two decades. 

Having experimented with poetry, scripts and short stories over the years, he finally decided to write sit down and write the type of fiction he would like to read. The result was his crime thriller -The Girl on the Bus. As result, Norman was delighted to be signed to Bloodhound Books at the start of this year. The Girl in the Bus, is his first published novel. He is currently writing a second novel based on its protagonist – detective Leighton Jones.

Thank you N.M. Brown. It was an honour to have you guest post on my blog today!

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer!

For more information on N.M. Brown visit his website at: nmbrownfiction 

or follow him on Twitter at: @normthewriter

#BlogTour & #GuestPost
Bad To The Bone by Tony J Forder
@TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook

Synopsis:

A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.

A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported. 

As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.

As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media. 

When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.

Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost? 

And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?

And now Tony J Forder:

The origins of Bad to the Bone come from its unpublished predecessor, Burnout. I had wanted to write something featuring locations and crimes based where I now live, in Peterborough, UK. For some reason I had one scene in my head that refused to budge, so I jumped into my car with a pad and pen and drove to the weir at Orton Mere, about five minutes from my home. There I breathed in the atmosphere and made pages of notes. Afterwards I drove to the city police HQ at Thorpe Wood, sat outside and again made copious notes (the architecture really is as uninspiring as I describe).

I had the germ of an idea which merged a missing boy case, local politics, and a race war in which victims were burned to death. What I needed was a central character, and so DI James Bliss was born. I read a lot of crime novels, and I see a lot of cop names that spark an image of toughness. I wanted something different, and somehow Bliss was the name I came up with. Then I teamed him up with a bright and enthusiastic foil in DC Penny Chandler.

Burnout was not an awful book. It was written reasonably well, and upon reflection I think the premise was and still is a good one. Ultimately, however, I failed to inject any pace or thrills into it; more a serious of incidents leading to a conclusion. However, out of the ashes rose Bliss and Chandler. They had both taken up residence inside my head, and I liked them enough to take them with me into my next story, which was Bad to the Bone.

I am fascinated by old cases that become new ones, and for me the obvious starting point was the unearthing of skeletal remains. I like to think I’m pretty good at sketching out back story, which was what I did in order to frame the victim in my head. Once I had decided who and what she was, other characters emerged naturally, and along with them came strands woven into the storyline. For me, that’s where the tale becomes real – it’s not the story that creates the characters, it’s the characters that create the story behind the story. And even though we never get to meet the victim, to me she is every bit as real as any of those who live and breathe in Bad to the Bone. I hope and trust my readers will feel the same as the story unfolds.

My characters are human, with human weaknesses, foibles and worries. They live life as we do, they experience it how we do. It takes chunks out of them as chunks are taken from us. I know that some writers believe that when writing the story must be so pre-structured that characters should never lead the author. If that’s right, then I’m wrong, because I hope I allow my characters room to grow, to breathe, and to take me places I had never envisaged. If they do that for me, then I am happy to be surprised by them.

Bad to the Bone is ultimately a story about redemption and justice. The past has a way of haunting us all.

About the Author:

On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who will publish his new edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone this spring. It is the first in a series.

Later this year, Tony’s second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.

Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.

The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale.

During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”

Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.

Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day. 

As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.

This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, both of which should be completed in 2017. In the meantime, he hopes you enjoy Bad to the Bone, introducing DI James Bliss and DC Penny Chandler.

Thank you Tony J Forder. It was an honour to have you guest post today!

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link:

     

For more information on Tony J Forder, follow him on Facebook at: TonyJForder 

or Twitter at: @TonyJForder 

#BlogTour & #GuestPost
The Body In The Ice by A. J. MacKenzie @AJMacKnovels @BonnierZaffre

Synopsis:

A killer is at large and Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor are on the case – but with a family feud raging and a vast inheritance at stake, it’s going to be a challenge. Will they be able to solve the crime and save the villagers of St Mary from the murderer in their midst?

Christmas Day, Kent, 1796

On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.

It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace at St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim’s identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known motive, it seems like an impossible task. Working along with his trusted friend, Amelia Chaytor, and new arrival Captain Edward Austen, Hardcastle soon discovers there is more to the mystery than there first appeared. 

With the arrival of an American family torn apart by war and desperate to reclaim their ancestral home, a French spy returning to the scene of his crimes, ancient loyalties and new vengeance combine to make Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor’s attempts to discover the secret of New Hall all the more dangerous.

The Body in the Ice, with its unique cast of characters, captivating amateur sleuths and a bitter family feud at its heart, is a twisting tale that vividly brings to life eighteenth-century Kent and draws readers into its pages.

 

And now a little original content from A. J. Mackenzie:

 

Healing the wounds of war: bringing America and Britain together again after independence

The American War of Independence, which lasted from 1775-1782, was bitter as only a civil war can be. As in most civil conflicts, old friendships and even family relationships counted for nothing. Neighbour turned against neighbour, brothers against brothers, parents against children. People – on both sides – were prepared to commit brutal atrocities against others whom they had once known and loved.

In The Body in the Ice we present a family, the Rossiters, who have been torn apart by the war. Many real-life families suffered a similar fate. The most famous case is that of Benjamin Franklin, committed revolutionary and tireless servant of the republican cause. But his only son, William, was governor of the colony of New Jersey when war broke out, and remained faithful to King George.

Arrested by rebel militiamen, William Franklin refused to renounce his loyalty and was imprisoned. After his release he went to New York, then held by a British garrison, and at the end of the war, like thousands of other loyalists, he moved to Britain. (Tens of thousand of loyalists also emigrated to other British colonies, in Canada or the Caribbean.) William Franklin never returned to America, and he and his father only met once more before Ben died.

To compound the tragedy, William Franklin’s own son rejected his father and joined the rebels. He served as secretary to his grandfather, Ben Franklin, for many years.

The war thus left a huge legacy of bitterness that had somehow to be healed. But not everyone on either side wanted that to happen. In The Body in the Ice, we note that Lord Clavertye lost a brother, killed fighting on the British side, and as a result can barely bring himself to speak to Americans. His case was not unique.

On the American side, the Republican party, led by future president Thomas Jefferson, were resolutely anti-British and anti-monarchy. After the French Revolution of 1789, they strongly favoured the revolutionaries. Some were prepared to support the export of revolution to Britain, or lending military support to the French.

Opposed to them were the Federalists, led by John Adams, the second US president, and Alexander Hamilton. They saw Britain and America as natural allies, and wanted to heal the rift between America and Britain as soon as possible. Nor were they friendly to France. So tense was the situation between America and France that by 1797, the year when The Body in the Ice takes place, the two countries were close to war. The Republicans opposed any conflict with France, opening up a new fissure in American society.

In this uneasy time, with the bloody conflict still fresh in many memories, the Federalists and the more conciliatory British political leaders began groping towards a greater understanding. The first steps were difficult and painful, and as we show in The Body in the Ice, there were many setbacks, for the men of violence did not give up easily. Indeed, by 1812, Britain and America were once again at war and British forces burned the White House in Washington DC in 1814. It took a long time for those painful memories to fade, and for people of good will to prevail.

 

 About the Authors:

A.J. MacKenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel, a collaborative Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife duo. Between them they have written more than twenty non-fiction and academic titles, with specialisms including management, medieval economic history and medieval warfare.

The original idea for The Body…series came when the authors were living in Kent, when they often went down to Romney Marsh to enjoy the unique landscape and the beautiful old churches. The authors now live in Devon.

 

Thank you to A. J. Mackenzie and Bonnier Zaffre for allowing me to part of this blog tour!

It was truly an honour and pleasure to have you on my blog today.

 

This novel is available now!

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links:

                                          

For more information on Caro Fraser visit their website at: ajmackenzienovels.com 

or follow her on Twitter at: @AJMacKnovels

%d bloggers like this: