Killer Queen by T.S. Hunter @TSHunter5 @RedDogTweets #blogtour #review #SohoNoir #KillerQueen

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It’s 1988. A mild summer after a turbulent political year for LGBT rights. While working as an assistant to a successful Theatre Director, Joe Stone finds himself unwittingly embroiled in another murder investigation.
Lexi Goode, a young, up and coming actress has her bright future cut short when she is found murdered in her exclusive top floor apartment in the posh end of Soho. Knowing that the police are as racist as they are homophobic, Joe and Russell inevitably take it on themselves to investigate what happened to the young woman.

Along the way they discover illicit liaisons, a string of admirers, a secret life that was helping to pay for the glamorous lifestyle no young actress should have been able to afford. But who would want to kill Lexi?

Finding the answer to that question puts Joe in mortal danger and a young police officer in an awkward position.

KILLER QUEEN IS THE FIFTH IN THE SOHO NOIR SERIES.

My Review

With huge thanks to Dylan for including me once again in this blog tour and providing an ebook copy to review.

Here I am again, delving in the world of Joe and Russell and their LGBT world, that seem to include all kinds of fast paced adventures!

I have loved every one of these Soho Noir novella’s, however this is my favourite so far – with one more to go! The storyline once again is immediately interesting, gripping and intriguing. I have no doubt anyone reading these stories, will appreciate the skill that is shown in these books.

Joe is now working for the local theatre where a young actress has been given the opportunity to work as an understudy, Lexi Goode has finally managed to become the leading star of the play, as the main actress has time off due to an illness.

Lexi is found dead in her apartment not long after her leading role, with secrets that will enable Russell and Joe to find her killer.

Within this story you meet new characters, one of my favourite is the florist, his character not only made me laugh but his charisma was perfect for the storyline.

As Joe and Russell investigate into the murder, they come into contact with their favourite Detective – Skinner, throughout the stories they unfortunately have had times when they have to discuss cases with him. Russell being a former detective, has no love for the detective or his methods. With homophobic hate still going on within the police force, there are still a few police officers that are hiding how they really feel.

The investigation continues with both Joe and Russell using their skills to find out more, before its too late. The race is on to find the true killer and the reason behind the murder. The ending is very fast paced, bringing to light what really happened and the passion of jealously and hatred that creates the act of murder, with one important character dangerously getting in the way.

I would recommend not only this book, I would recommend the series so far! Adventurous, thrilling, with fun and engaging characters you can’t go wrong.

You can buy it here at Amazon. Or here direct from the publisher – Red Dog Press.

About the Author

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

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The Three Hares by Scott Lauder & David Ross @sctlauder @NeemTreePress #TheThreeHares #TheJadeDragonball

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Sara Livingstone’s school trip to the Beijing Palace Museum takes a terrifying turn when an encounter with the ancient Qingming Scroll thrusts her a thousand years into China’s past. With secrets in the shadows and danger around every corner, Sara must take her place in a cosmic battle and find the courage to face an unworldly ancient magic.

My Review

With thanks to Anne from Random Things Through My Letterbox, for providing a paperback copy to review for this tour.

After reading the synopsis I felt this would be mainly about Sara and an adventure solely about her, however this story provides so much more.

Sara and her Grandmother spend time together while her parents work, in the beginning  Sara would enjoy her stories, however as she becomes older, she wants to do more things with her friends and feels she shouldn’t have to spend so much time with her, if she doesn’t want to, why is her Grandmother’s stories so important? Sara soon finds out why!

There are plenty of magical moments in this story, from Sara jumping back in time, into past China to the Immortals and their powers.

While Sara is in past China, there are moments that are quite brutal, people being chased and hunted down, families being taken as prisoners and used as slaves or left for dead.

In-between reading more about Sara the story flashes back into past China, where the reader learns more about where this all started, with Shan Mu and Shan Wu.

The story has Sara fighting for her life and being provided with two very special magical gifts, Shan Wu fighting for what he felt was right, although it creates a very dramatic consequence, due to his own actions.

While Sara and her family are visiting Scotland, Sara and her father climb Ben Nevis where Sara faces her own challenges, as she climbs.

As the story slowly unravels, you get to know more about how the past has affected the future, who is involved and how Sara finds out the clues to solve it.

The ending is quite fascinating, creating questions you will feel need answering, you will need to read the next book to find out what happens next in Sara’s adventure!

You can buy it here at Amazon.

About the Authors

Scott Lauder was born in Ayrshire, Scotland. Having taught in Greece, Japan, and England, he now lives with his wife and four cats in the UAE where he teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and drinking good coffee. His other books include The Right Thing, A Single Shot, and The Boy-King Tutankhamun.

David Scott Ross has traveled and taught throughout Asia since he first moved there in 1987. He currently teaches in upstate NY, where he lives with his wife and two sons. When David is not writing or teaching, he dreams about becoming a chef, a rock star, maybe an actor, but probably not all at once. At present, he is wrapping up two projects: Pastimes, encounters with a Stone Age people, and Dim, a detective novel.

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Mercy by Stephen Bentley @StephenBentley8 @Shalini_G26 #CoverReveal

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His daughter was taken. He’ll never get her back.

Set in the near future, Matt Deal is a British businessman married into a wealthy Florida family.

Mercy, his fifteen-year-old daughter, is the glue in his rocky marriage to Lorey. His life is changed forever after Mercy is brutally sexually assaulted on a Destin beach leaving her in a persistent vegetative state.
Trusting the local detectives to bring the rapists to justice, mixed martial arts expert Deal concentrates in vain on his Florida gym business, only to have his world further explode on learning the men responsible for his daughter’s injuries may escape justice. Deal is isolated and at his wit’s end after his rich father-in-law sends death threats blaming him for all these ills.

Who can he turn to? Where can he go? What will he do? Who can he trust?
Will he return to a post-Brexit Britain or ultimately will he seek revenge?

Fans of Jack Reacher, Barry Eisler, and any vigilante justice novel will love this book.

Genre: crime fiction (noir)/thriller/urban fiction with some graphic scenes and language.

EXCERPT

As much as he tried to hide it, Deal felt nervous as he knocked on the door of Internal Affairs.

The voice resonated in his head. “Enter.”

It was the tone, the command, the authority in the voice that reminded him why he was nervous. One false word, one false move and I’m fired, he thought.

Reading the open file, Emily Breen looked up through heavy-rimmed glasses before speaking again. “We meet again, Detective Deal. Sit.”

Breen pointed to a regular-looking seat on the opposite side of the desk from her high-backed executive chair. She continued reading. Deal sat watching her in silence.

Peering over her glasses, Breen said, “Remind me. When was the first time we met?”

“I think you know. It’s all there in my file. Larry Etchwell, Coroner’s Court. I was still with the Human Trafficking Department.”

Breen was silent. She appeared to be deep in thought.

Her next words broke the silence. “The psych evaluation is all good. Says you are fit to remain on active duty.”

“Good. I knew that but it’s good to hear the expertssay it too.” Deal emphasised experts. The sarcasm wasn’t missed by Breen.

“Deal. You know the score. Why do you make things difficult for yourself?”

Deal ignored caution. “I always do things the hard way. Haven’t you heard?”

Breen ignored him. “What is this thing with the stutter?”

“How do you mean?”

“You’ve seen the report. What you told the shrink.”

“Remind me. What did I say?”

“If you were a rattlesnake, the stutter would be your rattle.”

Deal smiled at the thought of that meeting with the shrink. “Yeah. That’s what I said. It’s a fact.”

“But why? Why a stutter?”

“I don’t fucking know why. Why does a rattlesnake have a rattle?”

“There you go again, Detective Deal.”

“What?”

“Not helping yourself.”

“Are we done?”

“No. We are not. I have to tell you, one more loss of control. One more death, self-defence or not, you are finished. Do you hear me?”

“I hear you.”

“Good. Is there anything else you wish to say?”

“Can I ask a question?”

“You may.”

“Why does a bird fly?”

“What do you mean?”

“Asking me why I stutter if threatened is like asking a bird why it flies. Why an elephant has big ears. It’s just so. And one other thing – ask these guys what they were going to do to me.”

“I can’t. You killed them.”

“Too right. Before they killed me.”

 

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Book Links

AMAZON – US

AMAZON – UK

It is on pre-order for only 0.99 until release date November 30 then it will be $3.99.

GOODREADS

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48058215-mercy

Author Bio

Stephen Bentley

Stephen Bentley is a former UK Detective Sergeant, barrister, and author of a bestselling undercover cop memoir. He also writes crime fiction.

Author Contact Details:

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/stephen-bentley

HuffPost UK Blogger https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/stephen-bentley/spycops-is-there-such-a-t_b_12857408.html

Website https://www.stephenbentley.info/

Books2Read https://books2read.com/ap/n6Pgrx/Stephen-Bentley

Amazon Author page https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Bentley/e/B01CNPG7K6/

All Author https://allauthor.com/author/stephenbentley/

AI Sheets for trade booksellers may be found here at hendrypublishing.com

Twitter @StephenBentley8

Instagram @author_stephen_bentley

 

 

Mother and Child by Annie Murray @AMurrayWriter @panmacmillan #LoveBooksTours

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Mother and Child by Sunday Times bestseller Annie Murray is a moving story of loss, friendship and hope over two generations . . .

Jo and Ian’s marriage is hanging by a thread. One night almost two years ago, their only child, Paul, died in an accident that should never have happened. They have recently moved to a new area of Birmingham, to be near Ian’s mother Dorrie who is increasingly frail. As Jo spends more time with her mother-in-law, she suspects Dorrie wants to unburden herself of a secret that has cast a long shadow over her family.

Haunted by the death of her son, Jo catches a glimpse of a young boy in a magazine who resembles Paul. Reading the article, she learns of a tragedy in India . . . But it moves her so deeply, she is inspired to embark on a trip where she will learn about unimaginable pain and suffering.

As Jo learns more, she is determined to do her own small bit to help. With the help of new friends, Jo learns that from loss and grief, there is hope and healing in her future.

A word from Annie Murray 

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Soon after midnight on the morning of December 3rd, 1984, what is still recognized as the world’s worst ever industrial disaster took place in the city of Bhopal in central India.

A plant built to manufacture pesticide, owned by the American Union Carbide Corporation, leaked 40 tons of methyl-isocyanate gas, one of the most lethally toxic gases in the industry, over the surrounding neighbourhood. This was a poor area consisting mainly of slum housing, some of it leaning right up against the factory wall.

People woke, coughing and choking. Panic broke out as many tried to flee for their lives. As they ran, their bodies broke down with toxic poisoning, eyes burning, frothing at the mouth. Women miscarried pregnancies. Many people flung themselves in the river and by dawn, the streets were littered with thousands of bodies. It is estimated that 10,000 died that first night and the death toll continued, within weeks, to a total of about 25 000. Many more have died since. There are still reckoned to be 150 000 chronically ill survivors. Their plight was not helped by the fact that Union Carbide would not release the name of an antidote to a poison that they did not want to admit was as dangerous as it really was.
The plant, making less profit than had been hoped, was being run down for closure and was in poor condition. Not one of the safety systems was working satisfactorily. In addition, the original design of the factory had been ‘Indianized’ – in other words built more cheaply than would be expected of such a plant in a western country.

This was 35 years ago. In 1989, a paltry amount of compensation was eventually paid by Union Carbide who did everything a large corporation can do to evade taking responsibility. Their comment was “$500 is about enough for an Indian.” That was $500 to last for the rest of the life of a man who could no longer work to look after his family.

The sickness and suffering from ‘that night’ goes on in those who survived to this day. What is less well known about Bhopal however, is that even before the 1984 gas leak, the company had been dumping toxic waste in solar evaporation ponds. The lining used was about like you would use in a garden water feature. This in a country of heavy rains and floods. In the early 80s, people started to notice how bad their water supply tasted. Cows were dying.

Union Carbide closed the plant. They never cleared the site, which still stands in an area of highly toxic soil and water. The water supply in that area is so contaminated that water has to be brought in from outside. In 2001 Union Carbide was bought by the Dow Chemical Company, and is, from 2018, now DowDuPont. Despite having acquired all the assets of Union Carbide they are not prepared to accept its liabilities and clear up the site.

In the months after the gas leak in 1984, the nearby Hamidia hospital started to see children born with birth defects more horrific than any they had witnessed before. These days, because of gas- and also water-affected parents, the rate of birth defects is now reaching into a third, soon to be a fourth generation. The main parallel with the kind of extreme toxic effects would be with the children of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

The only free care in this impoverished neighbourhood for people suffering from the effects of gas poisoning, or to help with very severely handicapped children, is from the Bhopal Medical Appeal. It is to them that all the money from Mother and Child is going.

In the book, you can read more about what happened in Bhopal and about how the book itself came to be written.

My Review

With thanks to Kelly for providing an ebook copy to review for this tour.

From reading the synopsis and looking at the front cover, I was expecting more of story based in that time. However, this story delves into the past, present and provides a future to be proud of. This is one very emotional story to read, where strangers become your close friends and supporters, the people around you struggle and the main character Jo, I felt became the strongest of them all!

When Jo and her husband loose their son Paul, everything feels too hard to bare, they move closer to Ian’s mum – Dorrie to support her after she becomes frail. This is an ideal opportunity for Jo to slowly come back to normal living, not feeling as though she should solely be grieving for the loss of her son. After she settles in their new home, she spends some time visiting Dorrie, where their relationship develops. The bond between them brings out family history and secrets Dorrie has kept for a very long time. Dorrie feels that Jo needs to know these secrets, that hopefully the right people to know will eventually hear it and understand why she kept it a secret, for so long. I really loved the relationship between them, the giggles, the honesty of Dorrie’s character and allowing Jo to grieve, giving her time, not asking how she is every time she sees her. This for me is what people need sometimes, just to sit and socialise without all the questions, that we all know don’t really help, but we feel we must ask.

The emotions are raw throughout this story, from Jo and Ian grieving over Paul, the concern over Dorrie along with how Jo and Ian feel towards each other. It is honest and candid, whether you have experienced this before, you can easily feel for these characters. I believe Jo is a strong character, she does well to survive and keep going, regardless of how she feels. Ian has his own worries and as it would be, Ian is trying his best to continue with his business, however he isn’t approaching how he really feels, this not only impacts their relationship it risks his own mental health.

As Jo develops confidence she meets a wonderful group of women, all with their own stories. They come together regularly for tea and cake, this gives the opportunity for Jo to say she would like to do something, although she is unsure of what they might think, this is something that she feels she must do. A few of the women also agree to support Jo with this new challenge. This not only brings out a stronger bond between these women, it also brings to light a life journey, that will come at the end to bring some closure.

I really appreciated reading about Paul, his life and to understand when Paul died, how this impacted Jo and Ian’s life. Throughout the story you slowly got to know more, the struggles that he also faced.

The experiences that this author has been through and the research involved, bring this story not only to life, it gives it the in-depth emotions that you can truly appreciate.

I would definitely recommend this book, it is beautifully and emotionally written right up the very end.

You can purchase it here from Amazon.

About the Author

Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John’s College, Oxford. Her first ‘Birmingham’ novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including The Bells of Bournville Green, sequel to the bestselling Chocolate Girls, and A Hopscotch Summer. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.

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The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott @simonschusteruk @CScottBooks @annecater #ThePhotographerOfTheLost #Review #Moving #WWI #Love #AMustRead

Photographer of the Lost Cover

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…

An epic novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I

1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

My Review

With thanks to Anne for providing an ARC proof to review for this blog tour. I have really become more interested in reading about stories based after WWI and II, the recovery and how people were, whether fictional or fact, the stories are usually fascinating and heart wrenching. This story in no doubt provides just that and more.

The story provides so much, from a love of close family, relationships, war as it happens and the affect of the aftermath, is so clear to see.

The story is based I feel more around Harry, he goes to war with his brothers, however when the war finishes, he is not only left with his own few scars, he dedicates his time in photographing evidence of the lost husbands, fathers and relations, that people wish to see – their graves or where they were last seen, hoping to give them some comfort, knowing where they are or have been.

Edie’s husband goes missing in action, no one can confirm his grave site, there is no evidence of where he could be, apart from this mysterious photograph that Edie receives in the post, of a much older Francis.

There are secrets of love, confusion between the brothers and times that broke my heart while reading. Would it have been better if the brothers were from the beginning, posted far away from each other, not being able to see what they all went through? That is one question I had, as I read on through the story.

There are always questions throughout this story, what the characters felt, what went through their mind. I thought this was a fascinating touch, we all like to add a few questions ourselves, with knowing what a character was/is thinking, this brought the characters to life.

The descriptions of the environment, the surrounding landscape, along with the sounds that could be heard, during the war and after, for me felt like I was not only there, I could also feel it! It was emotionally driven, providing the reader with a more in-depth experience, fuelling the emotions of the characters and their situations.

During Harry’s journey he meets various characters, Rachel who is looking for her husband, who I also feel feels lost within herself, as she is unable to move on. Cassie and her husband Ralph, who help Harry to find out more information about the missing men in action.

The chapters throughout the book jump from during the war in 1916, to the time after in 1921, with some dates in between. It is defiantly not difficult to link these parts up, this helps to clarify some questions and how part of the story connects to one another.

This story is emotional, raw and immensely moving, I loved reading every moment, this is not only one story I could read again, I feel it is one that I could read endlessly. The story telling is effortless, with something that you can take away with you, once you have read it!

I would definitely recommend reading this book. You can purchase it here from Amazon.

About the Author

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.

thumbnail_Caroline Scott author photo - credit Johnny Ring

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I Can See The Lights by Russ Litten @RussLitten @Wildpressed @LoveBooksGroup #CoverReveal

The prose poems in I Can See The Lights are earthy and raw, but also incredibly sensitive. It’s pretty much guaranteed that more than one of them will bring you to tears. Characters are vividly brought to life, and stark but warm environments evoked in a down to earth, yet almost painterly manner by Russ Litten’s uncompromising voice.

Tales of home, of un-belonging, of strife at sea – of a northern city’s beating heart. Told in a mesmeric, stripped-down tone, this collection is a work of genius.

 

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A striking, bright and bold front cover for this collection of thought provoking poems.

About the Author

Russ Litten is the author of the novels Scream If You Want To Go FasterSwear DownKingdom and the short story collection We Know What We Are.

As one half of the electronic storytelling duo Cobby and Litten, he has released three spoken word/electronica albums My People Come From The SeaBoothferry and Pound Shop Communism.

He has written for TV, radio and film and has worked as a writer in residence at various prisons and youth offender units. I Can See The Lights is his first poetry collection. 

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The Final Trail by AA Abbott @AAAbbottstories #LoveBooksTours #CoverReveal #Thriller

THE LAST EDITION OF TENSE CRIME THRILLER

SERIES SET IN BIRMINGHAM

RECEIVES CITY CENTRE LAUNCH

Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen addedIt’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINAL TRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.

THE FINAL TRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and  dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Website:  https://aaabbott.co.uk/

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Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.

 

You can purchase it here from Amazon.

 

Crazy For You by T.S. Hunter @TSHunter5 @RedDogTweets #SohoNoir #Mystery

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS SMOOTH

It’s 1987, and Soho is in the grip of another hot summer. While working part-time in The Red Lion, Joe finds himself agreeing to help a notorious gangster search for her missing girlfriend.

Antonia The Gecko Lagorio is daughter to the ruthless but ageing gang boss, Tony The Lizard Lagorio. When her girlfriend, Charlotte Fenwick, goes missing, Antonia turns to Joe for help, believing her to have been kidnapped by a rival gang.

Charlotte Fenwick is daughter to multi-millionaire, Charles Fenwick—who also happens to be one of Freddie Gillespie’s bigger clients. Keen to keep any hint of a scandal out of the public eye, Charles Fenwick had already asked Freddie to recruit Russell and Joe to help him find his daughter discreetly.

With both of them on the case, Joe and Russell find themselves trying to stop a turf war between the two rival gangs while uncovering all manner of dark secrets about the missing heiress and her troubled life.

Meanwhile Freddie Gillespie has a run in with an old foe that could see him lose both his job and his relationship with Russell.

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My Review

Once again with thanks to Dylan at Red Dog Press, for providing an ebook copy of this book to review for the blog tour.

I was eagerly looking forward to reading this, as I had already read the others in the series and was hoping for another great story! I was not disappointed!

Joe and Russell have another case to deal with, this time in the terms of a missing girl, whom has quite a reputation.

Even though this is a series, there is always a very clever introduction intertwined into the story line, to what has happened in the previous books, that are connected with Joe and Russell. So I feel that even though I would recommend reading them in order, you don’t have to, to enjoy the story at its best.

With rival gangs coming head to head, as Joe and Russell try to understand more about this missing girl, who she is connected with and why someone would want to kidnap her.

With the missing girl’s father having his own mind on how his daughter should act and behave, unfortunately this isn’t the case, he may feel he has to watch her every move, however he doesn’t know her as well as he thought.

I enjoy reading about the Red Lion and the people that use the pub, it seems like a lively, fun place to be, and a safe haven for those who just want to be themselves without prejudice.

Detective Skinner decides to raise his ugly head again, being where he shouldn’t and doing more harm. Even though his character is despicable, I do feel he plays an important role in the past for Russell and he will get what is coming to him. I also feel that there is a side line story, just waiting to see what will happen to him in the end!

I love the way other gay and lesbian friends of Russell and Joe help them in their investigation, creating diversions is one of their specialities. I believe they like the action and are more than happy to help.

From the very beginning the story line is gripping, informative and provides everything you need to keep you gripped to the end! Yes it is a short story, however it packs everything in that you expect from a brilliant writer.

I am very much looking forward to the next instalment of Joe and Russell and what they get up to!

You can buy it here from Amazon, I would also recommend the others in the series – Tainted Love, Who’s That Girl and Careless Whisper. These books are not only great to read, the front covers are striking and they would also make a great collection to own!

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Invisible in a Bright Light by Sally Gardner @_ZephyrBooks @TheSallyGardner #review #blogtour #adventure #magic #AMustRead #InvisibleInABrightLight

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From I, Coriander to Invisible in a Bright Light, Sally Gardner’s first middle grade novel in 14 years soars with the imagination of a master story-teller. A pitch-perfect story about a crystal chandelier that splinters into a thousand pieces, a girl abandoned as a baby on the steps of an opera house and a dangerous game called the Reckoning.

It is 1870: opening night at the Royal Opera House in a freezing city by the sea, where a huge, crystal chandelier in the shape of a galleon sparkles magically with the light of 750 candles.

Celeste, a theatre rat, wakes up in a costume basket from what she hopes is a bad dream, to find that everyone at the theatre where she works thinks she is someone else.

When the chandelier falls, she is haunted by a strange girl who claims to know Celeste’s past and why she must risk playing a game called the Reckoning to try to save the people she loves.

My Review

With thanks to Jade from Head of Zeus for providing a paperback arc copy, to read for this blog tour.

I was very intrigued to read this, I have read various genres and sometimes I find a little gem in the middle grade area, which I feel is one to share not only with the children it is written for, but for adults of all ages. Invisible in a Bright Light is one of them!

My very first thoughts of reading this book, was the lovely introduction from the author – Sally Gardner,  about her experiences as a costume designer, the chandelier she was very much fascinated with along with her thoughts of the opera house in Copenhagen. With these experiences, I felt it brought this story truly to life.

The story begins very quickly setting in lots of questions and making you think how things are connected.

The beginning of the story is about Celeste and a man wearing emerald green suit, talking in riddles, explaining to her that she is part of a game. Celeste has no idea where she is, what she is supposed to do, then all of a sudden she wakes up in a costume basket, in an opera house!

We meet various characters that you will adore, despise and wish more for. The descriptions of the wintery weather, the surrounding buildings along with the characters feelings are very clear to see, placing you within the storyline, becoming engrossed.

As Celeste tries her best to understand, she has lost nearly all of her past memory, she knows her name, but doesn’t know how she got there or where she came from, she is told is an orphan and that she works in the opera house. This would seem like all she needs to know, however she feels there is more to this, especially when people start to call her Maria!

As tragedy strikes within the opera house, Celeste is hurt in such a way the doctor doesn’t believe she will pull through. The delightful (not!) opera singer Madame Sabina decides for her own benefit, to help Celeste and provide the best possible care. Madame’s daughter Hildegard is also one character, that takes time to develop, once she realises that being kind is the best way.

As Celeste is thrown back and forth between the world she lives in now, to the world where the man wearing the emerald green suit is, her quest to resolve the questions, riddles, along with understanding the connection, she tells others of her dreams and visions, it is only then that she shares some common ground with another child. Then things to start become clearer.

There is so much more within the story line that I wish I could tell, however I feel it would spoil it, which would give you too many clues! Just believe me when I say it gives you goosebumps, tears, magic and adventure! Amazing story telling at its best!

With the game – the Reckoning, a ship with a secret, dangerous jealously and a fight against time, this story brings a lot to the reader. I did start it then I had to stop due to work, then in one morning I read it one go, for a middle grade book that packs in so much intrigue and adventure, I would definitely recommend this book.

You can purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Sally Gardner gained a first class degree at a leading London art college and became a successful theatre costume designer before illustrating and writing books.I, Coriander won the Nestlé Gold Award and she is also a Costa and Carnegie prize-winner. Her books have been translated all over the world and have soldover two million copies. Zephyr also publishes Sally Gardner’s Mr Tiger and Betsy series, illustrated by Nick Maland, for younger readers.

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Sally Gardner Blog Tour Graphic

Archimimus by Clio Gray @UrbaneBooks @ClioGray #LoveBooksTours #excerpt #blogtour

9781912666522

The stunning new historical thriller from Clio Gray, the acclaimed author of the Scottish Mysteries series.

Lukitt Bachmann is waiting in his Lanterne de Mortes, a Tower of the Dead, in the middle of a cemetery.

He’s had a complicated life: son of a Herrnhuter Brother thrown out of his sect; help-meet to a pastor; sailor; fisherman; boar-hunter; and student and lecturer, exploring the varied histories of the Knights Teutonic and the bone-chapels their descendants left behind them.

He has become an assassin and a murderer, learned the terrible highs and lows of friendships made and lost, and is awaiting now his last remaining friend to set him free so he can put right past wrongs.

As Lukitt is let loose on a world gone mad, can this avenging angel finally find solace for his soul?

Excerpt

Preface

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I’m sitting atop the Lanterne des Mortes in some Alsatian hole but here, in Sansonnet-St-Genès, lives my only friend. I’m crouched below the casement window, knees to chest, hands beneath armpits; the fire in the old upturned bell is burning, but still there’s frost on the walls, breath billowing like early morning mist. It’s high up here, thirty feet above thecemetery; the tower cylindrical and hollow, spiral staircase of stones protruding from its inner wall. It’s All Souls Eve, hence the bowl-fire, a Lux Perpetua leading the villagers from their mean houses as they hum the hymn of the Dies Irae, packets of bread clutchedbeneath their jackets, along with small flasks of oil and wine. They reach the cemetery surrounding the Lanterne des Mortes, begin tidying plots and graves, scrubbing down crosses and angels, pruning corpse-shrubs, straightening portraits hanging from rusting chains, poking mildew and lichen from roughly sculpted names and dates. They leave theirgifts of bread, oil and wine; stick candles to the stones with warm-dripped wax: teetering will- o’- wisps in the darkness.

The priest arrives and intones the rite of Mass, everyone kneeling in the frost: old hipscreaking, bunions aching, fingers clutched about each other turning white. Mass soon done – two more to perform the following day – everyone back home soon as they can decentlygo.

Only a few more hours now. Only a few more hours.

Lukitt Habakkuk Bachmann in his tower, waiting for his friend. How did you end up here, Lukitt? How did it all lead to this?

You can purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Clio was born in Yorkshire, spent her later childhood in Devon before returning to Yorkshire to go to university. For the last twenty-five years she has lived in the Scottish Highlands where she intends to remain. She eschewed the usual route of marriage, mortgage, children, and instead spent her working life in libraries, filling her home with books and sharing that home with dogs. She began writing for personal amusement in the late nineties, then began entering short story competitions, getting shortlisted and then winning, which led directly to a publication deal with Headline. Her book, The Anatomist’s Dream, was nominated for the Man Booker 2015 and longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize in 2016.

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Archimimus