Runaway by Claire MacLeary #blogtour #review #LoveBooksGroupTours @sarabandbooks @ClaireMacLeary

The third book in the awards-listed Harcus & Laird series

When Aberdeen housewife Debbie Milne abruptly vanishes without trace, leaving behind her two young children, husband Scott is too distraught to sit out the police’s 72-hour window and await developments. He turns to local detective agency Harcus & Laird.

Put off by previous “domestic” cases, Maggie Laird isn’t keen, but is cajoled by partner Wilma Harcus into a covert operation. Together they comb through meagre scraps of information, eventually trawling the city’s women’s refuges and homeless squats, in spite of the deadly danger.

Then a woman’s body is discovered in a Dundee builder’s skip. With the clock ticking and the police struggling to make identification, the race is on. Claire MacLeary fashions a surprising, gritty, fast-paced tale with the warmth and wisdom of ‘women of a certain age’.

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My Review

With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for providing me a copy to review for this tour.

The front cover and blurb are very intriguing, along with the Author’s already esteemed writing history, I was looking forward to reading this book.

Within the story there is a mix of police investigations and in-depth meetings about how they are working, alongside the police investigations there are the PI’s Maggie and Wilma that join in the race to solve this case.

Within the storyline you get to know a lot about the families that are connected with the PI’s, what is happening in their lives and the problems they are facing. There is history from a previous case, which impacted greatly on Maggie and her family.

The case itself seems not so unusual as a mum – Debbie, goes missing, but the husband believes there is something more to it, especially when an old friend – Sam turns up, who also disappears.

There is a body found that they are struggling to identify and the race to understand if the body is of Debbie or Sam, if it isn’t one of them, where are they and what has happened to them. The investigations into this case for the both the police and PI’s, is a struggle with less and less information to go on, there becomes a need to go deeper into areas of danger to get results, regardless of the consequences.

The PI’s Maggie and Wilma are like two characters with different ways of working, throughout the story they have heated discussions on how things should be done, they keep agreeing to keep in contact, however Wilma has a more direct approach and decides to get some answers of her own. However, in the end they achieve a better result, they both bring something to the case they are working on, which in the end solves it.

Buy it here at Amazon

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The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby #blogtour #review #Fascinating @annecater @novelcarolyn @noexitpress #TheConvictionofCoraBurns

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Birmingham 1885

Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.

Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?

With the power and intrigue of Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.

My Review

With thanks to Anne Cater for providing a copy of this book to review for this tour. 

I absolutely love the front cover of this book, it is vibrant and striking. The blurb for this book is straight to the point and tells you exactly what the main point of the book is about, without giving away the exciting and gripping story that you are about to read.

The story moves from each chapter to different dates in Cora’s life, you read about her initially but then you learn more about her as a child and how hard her life was, not understanding life and death. How her mind played tricks with her, this was a twist I thought was fascinating.

The time this story was placed in – 1885, was engaging in itself, how people lived, what they wore, how they worked and lived. Carolyn Kirby showed this with clear visual imagery, allowing the reader to become engulfed within the story itself. It seemed like a history lesson and Cora’s life adventure in one, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

I have no doubt if I grew up like Cora, I would act the same way, she is a feisty character and I believe she acted the way she did, due to her surroundings and the people she met. It may have been due to unfortunate circumstances, or could just be that she was one of many girls/women that may have gone through this at that time.

Her involvement with the photographer/scientist was thought-provoking, what he was trying to investigate and prove, was fascinating. With what Cora learns about Violet – the little girl she befriends, along with what else Cora finds out, brings the tension and mystery to another level.

Cora’s exploration to uncover her past and the secrets that lay within, was a journey in itself. Understanding her parents and how that played an important role in her future, was compelling, giving her answers finally that allowed her to move on with her own future, regardless of her past.

I thought the end of Cora’s story was perfect, after everything she had gone through and the future she wanted to create for herself, this final chapter was perfect.

I can’t believe this is Carolyn Kirby’s debut novel! It is an absolute must read! I will be looking out for future books written by the same Author.

Buy it here at Amazon, release date is 21st March 2019.

About the Author

Originally from Sunderland, Carolyn Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before working for social housing and then as a teacher of English as a foreign language.

Her novel The Conviction of Cora Burns was begun in 2013 on a writing course at Faber Academy in London. The novel has achieved success in several competitions including as finalist in the 2017 Mslexia Novel Competition and as winner of the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award. Carolyn has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.

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The Widening Gyre by Michael R Johnston @annecater @flametreepress #blogtour #extract

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Eight hundred years ago, the Zhen Empire discovered a broken human colony ship drifting in the fringes of their space. The Zhen gave the humans a place to live and folded them into their Empire as a client state. But it hasn’t been easy. Not all Zhen were eager to welcome another species into their Empire, and humans have faced persecution. For hundreds of years, human languages and history were outlawed subjects, as the Zhen tried to mold humans into their image. Earth and the cultures it nourished for millennia are forgotten, little more than legends.

One of the first humans to be allowed to serve in the Zhen military, Tajen Hunt became a war hero at the Battle of Elkari, the only human to be named an official Hero of the Empire. He was given command of a task force, and sent to do the Empire’s bidding in their war with the enigmatic Tabrans. But when he failed in a crucial mission, causing the deaths of millions of people, he resigned in disgrace and faded into life on the fringes as a lone independent pilot.

When Tajen discovers his brother, Daav, has been killed by agents of the Empire, he, his niece, and their newly-hired crew set out to finish his brother’s quest: to find Earth, the legendary homeworld of humanity. What they discover will shatter 800 years of peace in the Empire, and start a war that could be the end of the human race.

Purchase it here from Amazon.

An extract from the book

Slipspace is a funny thing. It makes interstellar journeys possible by vastly cutting down the time it takes to get from one star to another, but the jump isn’t instantaneous. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few months. The time in transit depends on several factors – distance is only one of them. Anyway, over the three weeks we were in transit from Kintar to Zhen:da, I got to know the crew. It was late in ship-night, and my new crew and I were chatting over the remains of our meal. There had been a few Zhen in earlier, and we’d waited for a table for over an hour as one of the Zhen groups sat around talking after having paid their bill, so we were taking our time in clearing out.

“Wait a minute,” drawled Liam, as he draped himself over his chair. “Are you seriously claiming that Kelvaki music is actually tolerable?” He shook his head sadly. “I hate to say it, Captain, but no true Scotsman could ever actually believe that.” He raised his glass, and my gaze locked for a moment on his bare bicep before I self-consciously forced myself to meet his eyes.

‘No true Scotsman’ was one of Liam’s favorite expressions. Like me, the tall, dark-haired man was an enthusiast of ancient Scottish heritage, which included a love of whisky, ancient music, and ridiculous hyperbole. He didn’t have the ancient Scots accent, of course, but apparently he’d learned it from old movies, and from time to time he’d drop into faking it. I, as a habitual imitator of accents, had picked it up, much to the annoyance of Takeshi.

“You can’t hold me as a ‘true Scotsman’, Liam. I was born on another planet, after all. As were you.”

“Yes, but the blood runs true, my friend,” he said in his affected brogue. “The blood runs true.”

“Aye, that i’does.”

“Gods of my ancestors,” Takeshi cried, and turned to Katherine.

“Now there are two of them! What were you thinking?” Katherine winked at her brother. “Hey, how was I to know these two idiots would bond so fast?”

Takeshi shoved his messy hair out of his eyes and turned to Ben imploringly. “Ben, surely you can stop them?”

“I could,” Ben said in his deep voice, pausing to take a sip of his whisky, “but I think they’re funny as hell.”

“You can’t stop me, old man!” Liam cried, pointing at Ben in challenge.

“The fact that I don’t get up and give you a good beating should not be taken as evidence that I am unable to do so,” Ben replied. I smiled at him. Despite the foot I’d put in my mouth when we first met, Ben and I had been friendly on the trip so far, and as we’d be living together for a while, I wanted to stay on his good side. The others continued talking as I pulled out my slate and began to call up information. I fell into a work trance until I felt pressure on my shoulder. I glanced left and nearly bumped Liam in the head when he leaned over to look at my screen. “What’s that?” he asked. Normally, I’d be irritated at someone getting in my space like that, but I’d already realized I had an issue with Liam. The man was just too cute, and too engaging, for me to get irritated by a little shoulder touching.

I was going to have to be very careful with this one.

“I’m looking over the specs for the ship, and comparing them to the service records my dad left behind,” I said. “Figuring out what needs to be done to get her spaceworthy. She’s been sitting in dry dock for years.”

“You don’t think your brother’s done it already?”

I snorted. “Daav’s a history professor, not a spacer. I’d be surprised if he even knows where the reactor is.”

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

http://www.flametreepublishing.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in the San Francisco bay area and raised in Napa, California, Michael R. Johnston grew up steeped in everything Science Fiction and Fantasy from Asimov to Zelazny, as well as endless terrible SF TV shows he still has a slightly embarrassed fondness for.

Faced with the choice between moving back in with his parents and continuing school, or paying his rent, he took “a year” off from college. He spent time as a court process server, a retail sales associate, a sandwich maker, and a data entry tech, before finding himself in a management role. A decade later, burnt out from his job in political research and facing 30, he decided he’d had enough and returned to college, graduating with honors from California State University, Sacramento.

In fall 2006, he became a high school English teacher, a job he likens to herding a swarm of angry bees. It’s the best job he’s ever had.

In 2013, he attended the 17th Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writing Workshop. The experience of having his story critiqued by other writers, some of them professionals he’d been reading for years, helped him realize he could write professionally, and introduced him to some of his best friends.

He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife and daughter. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games and tabletop RPGs (often with family), and reads.

He blogs at MJohnstonBooks.com, and can be found on Twitter @MREJohnston.

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The Silver Moon Storybook by Elaine Gunn @lovebooksgrouptours @Elaine_Gunn #review #FairyTales

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The Silver Moon Storybook is Elaine’s first published work, a collection of modern fairy tales that weaves contemporary, progressive values and messages into seven magical stories.

What darkness lies in the past of a little witch, cursed into the shape of a giant?

As the silver moon rises, who will save a magical unicorn, imprisoned in the castle of a tyrant, or befriend an enormous clown who roams the world alone? Can a humble weaver find the courage to face a terrible monster?  And what will be the fate of a powerful mermaid, at war with the world above her ocean? Join them and other enchanting characters in these haunting tales of illusion, discovery and love.

An exquisitely illustrated bedtime story for young readers (and perhaps some not so young), The Silver Moon Storybook weaves progressive and modern themes into touching fables full of the magic and shadows of traditional fairy tales.

My Review

With thanks to Kelly from Love Books Group Tours for inviting me and providing a gifted copy for me to review.

My first thought was how beautiful the book was in design, it has a silver ribbon bookmark attached, which I thought was a lovely touch, as so many of the Fairytale books I read when I was young, always had those.

I was intrigued to see how the Fairytales could be adjusted, so that they have a modern feminism twist to them, as so many are about the princess in the castle, rescued by a prince! I have to be honest I really don’t mind those, as that was what I read when I was a child, however it is good to see something a little more different.

There is a story of every kind in this book, from witches, magic, unicorns and mermaids. I thought the variety of the stories was well laid out and a joy to read. Regardless of some of the characters joining in with other stories, each story had its own unique tale.

The inside of the book, alongside each story has been decorated with beautiful illustrations, the intentions initially were to have this book as a colouring book, so the author has left it up to the reader if they wish to colour in the pictures, I thought this was a wonderful idea to personalise their own book.

The stories are emotional, you can clearly see the upset in the characters and how they develop to resolve the problems they face, in all cases it is a happy ending – which I was glad to see.

The stories are beautifully linked with each other, I found I became quite fond of the old crone, whom appeared in many of the stories to provide advice, which not all took on board straight away, although soon realised she was giving wise and helpful advice.

I would recommend this book, it is an ideal book to share and read at night before bedtime.

Buy it here.

Author Info

Elaine Gunn has been writing more or less constantly since she first picked up a pencil in primary school. Years of unpublished literary genius languish in handwritten journals, high school English portfolios, corporate banking reports and various awful pitch documents full of impeccably-written digital marketing jargon. Her first published work, The Silver Moon Storybook, is a collection of feminist fairy tales, written as an antidote to the passive princess culture that she became horribly aware of when her children started watching telly. Elaine is also a reiki practitioner and Dr. Hauschka esthetician; you can check out her website at http://somethinglovely.scot.

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Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk @annecater @FlameTreePress #blogtour #AuthorQ&A

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You don’t read the book. It reads you. 

Rumors of a deadly book have been floating around the dark corners of the deep web. A disturbing tale about a mysterious figure who preys on those who read the book and subjects them to a world of personalized terror.

Jesse Wheeler―former guitarist of the heavy metal group The Rising Dead―was quick to discount the ominous folklore associated with the book. It takes more than some urban legend to frighten him. Hell, reality is scary enough. Seven years ago his greatest responsibility was the nightly guitar solo. Then one night when Jesse was blackout drunk, he accidentally injured his son, leaving him permanently disabled. Dreams of being a rock star died when he destroyed his son’s future. Now he cuts radio jingles and fights to stay clean.

But Jesse is wrong. The legend is real―and tonight he will become the protagonist in an elaborate scheme specifically tailored to prey on his fears and resurrect the ghosts from his past.

Jesse is not the only one in danger, however. By reading the book, you have volunteered to participate in the author’s deadly game, with every page drawing you closer to your own personalized nightmare. The real horror doesn’t begin until you reach the end.

That’s when the evil comes for you.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

WILL HAUNT YOU by Brian Kirk

Author Q&A

What can you tell us about the book, Will Haunt You?

Will Haunt You is a book created by a mysterious figure who preys on the people who read it. I know what you’re thinking: Wait, aren’t you the creator of the book? Well, yes… and no. It was inspired by an earlier book called OBSIDEO that is at the center of several missing persons cases, including a neighbor of mine.

How did you learn about this book, OBSIDEO?

A couple from my neighborhood disappeared after discovering a strange book in their home. The entire experience was documented on a neighborhood website called Nextdoor(dot)com. I managed to capture screen grabs of the experience as it unfolded, and was transfixed by the increasingly terrifying nature of the posts. These posts can be seen here.

As this was going on, I began to imagine the story of another individual who had encountered a similar book and was undergoing a terrifying experience of his own. This was the story of Jesse Wheeler, who became the main protagonist in my novel Will Haunt You. The two stories began to parallel along the same timeline, one existing within my imagination, the other unfolding on a web page created exclusively for people in my neighborhood.

So the mysterious OBSIDEO book is what inspired Will Haunt You, though I fear it’s a continuation of the same story, and that I was coerced into contributing a new chapter.

What can you tell us about Jesse? What is his story about?

He’s not a bad guy. He’s a musician. He used to be the lead guitarist for a rock band called the Rising Dead. They broke up in large part due to his drug-and-alcohol addiction, like most bands. That and a special needs son he fathered with his wife who he met on tour. He had to quit the band in order to get sober for his son.

An old bandmate told Jesse about the book and its backstory, but he didn’t believe it. He’s a skeptic, like most of us. But Jesse was wrong. The legend is real, and by reading the book he became wrapped up in a terror that tailored itself to his fears and all the things he would like to forget.

Everyone who reads the book is at risk of becoming the next player in the true author’s game. Every page another step toward a personalized nightmare.

What is Jesse’s fate? Where is he now?

This is where curiosity can kill you. You have to read the book to find out what happened to him and whether or not the figure behind all of this can be stopped. Maybe someone out there can do it. I certainly hope so, though I do not encourage people to try. Personally, the contents of the book have been largely scrubbed from my memory. All I have are vague recollections that feel like the residue of some nightmare I’d sooner forget.

Do you know anyone personally who was abducted after reading the book?

No, thank goodness. But I’m aware of people who have been. I’ve been questioned by police regarding several ongoing cases, and occasionally receive notes from grieving friends and family members demanding answers I don’t have. I want the abductions to end as much as anyone else, and will do anything I can to help stop the figure behind this.

What advice would you give someone who wants to read the book?

First, DON’T. That’s why I’m doing these interviews. I had to write the book, so the only thing I can do to make up for that is warn people not to read it.

Don’t approach this with the attitude that it can’t happen to you. Assume the thing behind this is with you from the moment you open the book, maybe before. Look for cameras in your home, your car, your office. Watch for strangers following you. And, if you can, figure out who is doing this, and stop it from happening to anyone else.

What happens next?

The book provides clues, though obviously I haven’t connected them. There is a warped method to the author’s madness, which I find most frightening. The book is just a catalyst for a grander purpose. One that I don’t think any of us want to see come to fruition. More than our individual safety is at stake.

Where can people go to learn more about the book?

The book is sold through all the regular retail channels. Making this book readily available is what the figure behind this had in mind all along.

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

http://www.flametreepublishing.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors, and received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year compilation.

During the day, Brian works as a freelance marketing and creative consultant. His experience working on large, integrated advertising campaigns for international companies has helped him build an effective author platform, and makes him a strong marketing ally for his publishing partners. In addition, Brian has an eye for emerging media trends and an ability to integrate storytelling into new technologies and platforms.

While he’s worked to make this bio sound as impressive as possible, he’s actually a rather humble guy who believes in hard work and big dreams. Feel free to connect with him through one of the following channels. Don’t worry, he only kills his characters.

Twitter : @Brian_Kirk

Website : http://www.briankirkblog.com/

Brian Kirk Author Picture

Will Haunt You Blog Tour Poster

This Strange Hell by C J Sutton #blogtour #promo @c_j_sutton @rararesources

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This Strange Hell

A suited man runs from a burning tower in Melbourne as bodies rain down upon him.

Before the city’s millions can compose, he boards a train into the countryside. Hiding his identity and changing his appearance, the man finds his way to Sulley Ridge, a lawless town in the heart of the harsh Victorian outback.

The following day, a burned man wakes up in a hospital bed. Surging with rage, he speaks a name. Within an hour, the suited man’s face is across every screen in the country. It’s the greatest manhunt Australia has ever seen.

But as he tries to camouflage in Sulley Ridge, he soon realises the town has its own problems. Under the iron fist of a violent leader, the locals are trapped within slow and torturous decay…

As we learn more about the night of the burning tower, the connection between the suited man and the burned man threatens to leave a trail of destruction across the state.

Here is the story of a man on the run from his past, as the line between sanity and evil is danced upon.

Here is the tale of This Strange Hell.

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Purchase Link 

Author Bio –

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Masters in journalism and creative writing and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C. J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate was his debut novel, released by Crooked Cat Books on July 18. It is available now here.

His new novel, This Strange Hell, will be released on March 15.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/

https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton

Instagram: @c.j.sutton

www.cjsutton-author.com

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Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz @annecater @FlameTreePress #blogtour #GuestPost

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Aside from a quaint amusement park, the small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.

The werewolf.

The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded. And though the beast remains on the loose and eager to spill more blood, the sleepy resort town is about to face an even greater terror. Because the four victims of the werewolf’s fury are changing. They’re experiencing unholy desires and unimaginable cravings. They’ll prey on the innocent and the depraved. They’ll settle old scores and act on their basest desires. Soon, they’ll plunge the entire town into nightmare.

Lakeview is about to become Wolf Land.

Guest Post

Light and Dark and Werewolves

“We’ve all got light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” –Sirius Black

We live in a knee-jerk, simplistic, reductive time. People are either good or bad, right or wrong, perfect or reprehensible.

Obviously, the latter statement isn’t true. The former, however, is. At least I believe it is.

Snap judgments are rarely helpful. Sure, there are certain things we can proclaim with confidence (for example, it’s correct to say racism is evil, full stop). But other snap judgments can lead to simplifications that divide people rather than bringing them together.

It’s easy to forget that the human animal is a complicated one. No one is perfect. Very few people are bereft of the capacity to do good. Some people might be harboring terrible beliefs or ideas, but I believe it’s possible to reform some people and bring them toward a better version of themselves. After all, if we believe that people who’ve been convicted of violent crimes can be reformed (We do believe that, right?), we should also believe that people with ugly ideas can be reformed too. It takes time, and not everyone will change. But some will. Because people can surprise you.

What does this have to do with WOLF LAND?

Quite a bit, actually.

In my bloody, epic werewolf novel, four characters are bitten in an early attack. In the world of the novel, the lycanthropic change doesn’t occur because of the lunar cycle or anything so mystical. People change because of powerful negative emotions. This alteration of the werewolf mythos allowed me to examine the human psyche in what I believe are some interesting ways. When gifted or cursed with this awesome/terrible power, how would people react? Would they succumb to the power and use it for revenge? Or would they resist it and/or use it for good?

Even though the book is about werewolves, it’s really about choices of the kind we all must make every day. I believe Sirius Black had it right. I believe we all have the capacity to do good or bad things. It’s all about what we choose. Does love win out, or does self-interest? Do we seek to bring light to others, or do we revel in inflicting harm?

In WOLF LAND, one character embraces his bestial side. The other three aren’t so simple. At times, they give in to their feral urges; at others, they choose the way of grace.

I hope you enjoy WOLF LAND, and I hope you have a strong stomach. You’ll need it for this story.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories.

His work has been championed by authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and Brian Keene; he has also been lauded by Publishers Weekly, the Library Journal, and the School Library Journal.

His novel Children of the Dark was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Horror Book of the Year.

Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.

You can sign up for his newsletter here, and you can follow him on

Twitter@JonathanJanz

Instagram@jonathan.janz

Jonathan Janz 

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Ghosts by Nick Conroy #poems #blogtour #review #LoveBooksGroupTours @nick_conroy @wildpressed

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Every poem in GHOSTS touches on the theme in some way, whether it be overtly as in the title poem, or more succinctly, as in Dragonfly – in which the poet explores ephemeral elements of his perception of his mother.

Nick Conroy’s words touch the heart of his subject matter, and the reader’s emotions at the same time.

Nick is currently studying for a Master’s in English at the University of Hull. Poetry has always been at the centre of his passion as a writer, and since childhood he’s enjoyed spoken word.

He moved to Hull in 2014, with an understanding that the city is still revered for its poets. He senses something haunting and intoxicating about Hull, and the community of writing that it holds in high regard.

Hull, in its turn, is beginning to hold Nick himself in high regard and he is fast becoming well-known as one of the region’s bright young Spoken Word talents.

My review

With thanks to Kelly for inviting me to this Bookstagram and Blog Tour of Ghosts, also providing me with a gifted copy to review.

This little book of Ghost poems was very interesting to read, I found the poems provided the reader with something different to read and absorb, however I feel my favourite is Grappling with Ghosts, a poem to a Dad about finally growing up.

The poem’s are definitely emotionally driven and if you have a connection with one of these poems, I can image it would reignite those emotions.

If you enjoy poetry this is one for you buy. You can buy it here at Amazon.

Nick Conroy | Author Bio

Nick Conroy is currently studying for a Master’s in English at the University of Hull. Poetry has always been at the centre of his passion as a writer, and since childhood he’s enjoyed spoken word.

He was published in the Poetry Rivals “Whispers in the Wind” anthology in 2009 with a shortlisted poem, and won a couple of small competitions while still at school. Performance poetry, he feels, can capture a crowd and create an atmosphere – which he finds addictive.

Nick moved to Hull in 2014, with an understanding that the city is still revered for its poets. He wanted to immerse himself in the culture of poetry in such a uniquely beautiful, historic place. He senses something haunting and intoxicating about Hull, and the community of writing that it holds in high regard. There are countless opportunities for emerging writers to stamp their mark on the scene, and he knew he couldn’t sit back and keep his poetry to himself.

Performing at open mic events such as Away with Words, he was able to get himself heard by a wider audience. He has so far performed twice for the BBC Humberside ‘Contains Strong Language’ festival.

GHOSTS is his first collection of poems, which should ideally be read aloud.

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The Beauty of the Wolf by Wray Delaney @HQStories @TheSallyGardner #BeautyoftheWolf #review

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In the age of the Faerie Queene, Elizabeth I, Lord Francis Rodermere starts to lay waste to a forest.

Furious, the sorceress who dwells there scrawls a curse into the bark of the first oak he fells:

A faerie boy will be born to you whose beauty will be your death.

Ten years later, Lord Rodermere’s son, Beau is born – and all who encounter him are struck by his great beauty.

Meanwhile, many miles away in a London alchemist’s cellar lives Randa – a beast deemed too monstrous to see the light of day.

And so begins a timeless tale of love, tragedy and revenge…

A stunning retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

My Review

With thanks to Lily Capewell at HQ Stories, for my gifted hardback copy for the tour. I must admit the front cover did sell the story at first, as it is gloriously designed. The blurb was interesting, it became intriguing when it is described as a ‘re-telling’ of an original much loved classic.

Throughout the story I enjoyed the characters and the parts they played within the book, from the unpleasant King, who thought best while destroying a valuable and magical forest, ignoring the warnings from the Faerie Queene, to when the faerie boy (Beau) arrives at the castle, with outstanding beauty.

There are twists and turns to the story as the King returns and the story continues as you meet the unfortunate Beast, her story itself is unfortunate, finding her true beauty is one of her own, a journey that she needs to make.

This story is a dark and very much an adult version of the original, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting the abundance of sex scenes, however it didn’t affect the story itself. I wanted to know more about the Beauty (Randa) and how she continued, persevering til the end to find what she was looking for.

I wished for more about the Faerie Queene within the story, more that she could have done towards those who offended her.

I do believe to appreciate this story it should not follow on, or be compared to the original. Apart from the fact there is a Beauty and a Beast, I would enjoy this story on its own merit.

You can buy it here at Amazon.

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The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor #blogtour #review #creepy #AMustRead @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks

the taking of annie thorne

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.

Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie.

I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

My Review

With huge thanks to Jenny at Penguin Random House, for inviting me to join this blog tour. I received a proof copy for this tour and I was more than excited! I am a fan of C.J. Tudor’s work already, from reading The Chalk Man, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

If you have never read her debut novel – The Chalk Man, you are missing out, her writing absorbs you into the story, it is gripping, it entices you to want to read on, regardless of what creepy thing might happen next! For me, both of these novels were finished within 24 hours, I couldn’t let them go until I knew what happened. The story has usually a twist that makes you think more about what happened and why, C.J. Tudor has in both of her books explained a reasoning behind the characters and their actions.

So, enough of me telling you how great I believe C.J. Tudor is! The Taking of Annie Thorne already had me gripped from the blurb, a little girl disappears only to come back and not be the same little girl! How could this story develop, what does this little girl do?? These questions were already in my mind before even starting the book, from The Chalk Man, I was expecting something gripping and creepy!

I was certainly not let down, from the Prologue, you are thrown into the story, the gore and the curiosity of the storyline.

There are lots of things going on within the story as you read more about Joe Thorne. The story is based around him and the history that taunts him. Joe goes back to where he grew up, the school where he went, also where Annie went missing and returned, along with her doll – Abbie-Eyes. The village of Arnhill doesn’t seem to have a very pleasant past, with pit working being hard on families, to the people that lived there.

There is something wrong in Arnhill and the past that taunted Joe has come to back, he receives an email from a mystery person, which entices Joe to return, to resolve the problem once and for all, but is it that easy!?

Along with Joe’s history being unpleasant and one he would rather forget, he doesn’t seem to be doing so well in his attitude towards life, he drinks too much and gambles, this in itself causes more problems than he can deal with!

I enjoyed reading about the children that Joe grew up with, the way school life was and how these very children have grown up to be very much like as they were, in their youth.

All seems normal until they find something that is unusually interesting and mysterious, something they should not have seen. This is when things change, how the history of Arnhill becomes clear.

Along with the gripping and creepy storyline of how Annie became the way she did, along with how others may have fallen the same fate, the remainder of the story explains why Joe is at Arnhill, what other reason he has to dig up the past and who is not happy to see him, which would seem not many are!

As the story continues you get to see Annie’s new character flourish, something that I feel was more than disturbing! Along with her doll – Abbie-Eyes it gave this story an unsettling sinister twist!

There are some very strong characters within story, these are ones that you won’t forget, there is a one especially I would not like to mess with – Gloria, she has a very feisty character!

There were a couple of surprises that I was not expecting, friendships that developed, also the ending – the creepiest ending I have read in a long time!

Needless to say I recommend this great book, so please buy it here and enjoy this disturbingly engaging book!

About the Author

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

cj tudor

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