They Shoot Corpses, don’t they? by CS Mclean @seasick_stu @LoveBooksGroup #extract

An original blend of hardboiled crime fiction and horror –  Zombie Noir.

Pat O’Hare is the only (living) private detective in Farrelton, a crime-ridden city still recovering from the ravages of an undead uprising.  Pat is hired to find the missing granddaughter of a rich industrialist. But, what starts out as simple enough job turns into a fight for survival as he finds himself pulled into a deadly mystery where nobody can be trusted.  Helped only by a trigger happy ex-cop and a washed up boxer with a pathological fear of trees, Pat has to use every trick in the book just to stay alive.

Caught between corrupt police, gun-wielding hitmen and a ruthless crime lord, Pat soon learns that the zombies are not the most dangerous creatures in town.

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I moved my head, then instantly regretted it. There was a lump the size of a small dinosaur egg on the side of my head and it throbbed like it was trying to hatch. I groaned, gingerly lifting myself to a sitting position. I felt like I had three of the world’s worst hangovers, all rolled into one. And each of those had a hangover of its own.

‘Ah, you’re awake.’

A man sat perched on the edge of the toilet. He was small, almost gnome-like. His legs dangled over the edge of the toilet, barely touching the floor. He grinned with a mouth that contained way too many teeth. A thin pencil moustache hovered over his upper lip.

‘Who’re you?’ I asked. I pushed my hands against the side of the tub, lifting myself up.

‘Please, don’t get up,’ said the man. He spoke with perfect intonation, each word rolling gently off the tongue. Nobody I knew had an accent like that. Had to be British.

I ignored him, rising to my feet.

‘Maybe you misunderstood,’ the man said. ‘When I say don’t get up, I’m not being polite. I mean it, don’t get up. I prefer you laying down.’

‘What’re you going to do?’ I asked, standing straight. ‘Bite my kneecaps?’

He raised his voice.  ‘Max, could I have some assistance in here?’

The bathroom door swung open and the void was filled by a monster of a man. His shoulders rubbed against both sides of the door frame at the same time. He was crouching slightly, otherwise his head wouldn’t have fitted under the lintel. He wore a T-shirt the size of a body bag, stretched tight across thick balloon-like muscles. A long mane of greasy hair fell across his eyes.

‘Yuh?’ the big man grunted. His lower jaw hung slack, like it was too much mental effort to keep his mouth closed.

The small man said, ‘Max, please, could you convince our friend here to lay back down?’

The monster moved fast for such a big man. Before I could react, he’d crossed the bathroom floor and planted a huge fist in my stomach. All of the air whooshed out of my body. My guts felt like they were being turned inside out. I fell to my knees, clutching my stomach. Lights danced in front of my eyes.

It took a while before I could breathe without feeling the need to puke. I wheezed. ‘Damn, how’d you get so big? Your Mama drop you in a vat of steroids when you were a baby?’

The big man smiled, although there was no warmth. He was like an alligator that had lost its shirt on the Kentucky Derby and was looking for someone to take it out on.

‘Very droll,’ said the smaller man. ‘Now, you’re probably wondering what we’re doing here in your apartment.’

‘It did occur to me.’

‘Then let me introduce myself. My name is Sam and I shall be your torturer for the evening.’

Author bio:

Stuart McLean (aka CS McLean) is a writer currently living in St Albans.  He studied Chemistry at the University of Hertfordshire – although, this was back in the days when the Premiership was still called Division One and Hatfield was still a Polytechnic.

He was shortlisted for the first Margery Allingham short story competition, and was twice shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland short story competition.

Stuart was a finalist in the 2016 Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect competition, in which he pitched his brand of zombie noir to a largely bewildered group of panellists. He was also chosen as one of the 2018 Bloody Scotland Crime in the Spotlight authors, a platform to highlight new and emerging crime writers.

When not writing, Stuart likes to play various musical instruments, all very badly; guitar, ukulele, trumpet and harmonica.   But, not at the same time.

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No More Lies by Robert Crouch #blogtour #review @Robert_Crouch @CarolineBookBit

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.

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My Review

With thanks to Caroline Vincent – Bits and Books, for providing me with a mobi copy to review for the blog tour of No More Lies.

Kent Fisher is an environmental officer with an extra hobby or two! He loves to solve murders alongside investigating restaurants, that have vermin infestations. But his passion is his animal sanctuary, alongside his down to earth friend that supports him and his beloved dog Colombo – the name being so apt, gives a variety of storylines to follow.

As mentioned in the blurb above, this is very much on the lines of Agatha Christie writing, going through each avenue of investigation, with twists of new information and secrets along the way.

When DI Ashley Goodman arrives on the scene she is passionate about her job, however how far will she go, to get back into where she wants to be in the force!? She uses her charm to consistently persuade Kent to help her in her investigation.

Kent has his own problems with relationships, he becomes involved and it doesn’t always work out, however he meets someone new while investigating, who has similar tastes in his hobbies, which I feel will be a future blossoming relationship!

As the investigation continues, Kent’s secret relationship with his dad comes out in the open and causes some problems with the DI Goodman, making Kent question, how much does he know about his dad!?

The suspense to solve this 10 year old mystery continues right up to end, as the people involved become found, the reasons behind the murders and how they were connected, becomes clear.

A fabulous ‘whodunit’ read to enjoy, with secrets to uncover, laughter, passion and some lovely creatures to add to the mix, this is definitely one story to read!

Purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit http://robertcrouch.co.uk.
Social Media Links

Website:                                  http://robertcrouch.co.uk/
Twitter:                                    https://twitter.com/@robertcrouchuk
Facebook Author Page:          https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor/
Amazon Author Page:             author.to/RobertCrouch
GoodReads Author Page:       http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16222367.Robert_Crouch

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Cultivating Fuji by Miriam Drori @miriamdrori @rararesources #blogtour #content #giveaway

Cultivating A Fuji

Cultivating a Fuji

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now?

Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves. There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

Purchase Link – Here

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Towards the end of the novel, Martin has overcome many hurdles. He’s even got married, to Fiona. But here’s a hurdle he hasn’t yet cleared. Martin and Fiona are on honeymoon in Japan.

Straight after yet another example of Japanese tradition in the form of a very complicated green tea ceremony, the others left the not-so-young lovers to themselves. The Philosopher’s Walk. “In spling best time for this walk,” their guide had said. “But now in autumn beautiful, too.”

For thirty minutes, Fiona and Martin wandered arm in arm beside the canal, oblivious to the world, the cool sunshine shaded by bright red and green leaves, their imaginations conjuring the stunning pink and white cherry blossom of spring.

“Isn’t springtime wonderful,” said Fiona. “When everything is new and beginning again.”

“Absolutely,” said Martin, giving Fiona a squeeze.

When they reached the end of the path, a little Japanese girl approached them, a small box wrapped in pink in her outstretched arms and a sweet smile on her cherubic face. Her long hair was tied in pigtails and her head was topped with a large pink ribbon. Below her mini-skirt, long white socks reached up to her knees.

Fiona gasped. “What’s this for?” But she felt Martin freeze beside her, his hand clenching hers, and she knew she had to take control. Extricating her hand, she bent down on one knee to the level of the girl and said, “Is that for us?”

The girl uttered something in Japanese, and Fiona took the box with a smile. Her fleeting thought about the way the Japanese spoke their language, knowing they wouldn’t be understood, was followed by the realisation that she’d done the same in English. And really, the meanings of the words didn’t matter. Body language and tone of voice told everything that needed to be said.

Then Fiona stood up and bowed to the girl, who also bowed before turning and running to some grown-ups looking on. Only then did Martin shift his position, holding the box up together with Fiona as they posed for photographs.

“What happened today?” asked Fiona as they relaxed in the hotel room.

“The tea ceremony, the Philosopher’s Walk, some delicious meals…”

“I think you know what I mean. Your reaction to the gorgeous little girl who gave us the roses.”

Martin glanced at the two flowers in question, one red and one pink, peeking out over the top of a glass. “Isn’t it clever how they make these things from paper.”

“Stop changing the subject.”

“I didn’t ch—”

“What happened there, Mar?” Fiona’s voice remained soft, but she was clearly determined to get to the bottom of the episode.

Martin kept looking at the origami roses. “I’ve never had much to do with children.”

“Since you stopped being one.”

“Right.”

“And when you were one, the other kids weren’t particularly endearing.”

“To put it mildly.”

“It’s time to introduce you to some nice kids, then.”

Takayama Puppet Festival

Content For Lacy ace Book Reviews Puppet Festival in Japan

Author Bio –

Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants. Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music. And she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction. NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt. SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints. CULTIVATING A FUJI takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

Social Media Links –  Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blogand social anxiety blog.

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon

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Giveaway

Giveaway to Win copies of Neither Here No There and Social Anxiety Revealed  (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter here

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Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken & Melissa Prusi @FlameTreePress @StokersWilde @AnneCater #review #blogtour

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Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will.

My Review

With thanks to Anne for providing me with an ARC copy to review for the blog tour.

An unusual story about monsters and vampires, set out in letters, transcripts and news items. Moving from England to Ireland in the Victorian era.

I enjoyed learning more about both Bram Stoker’s Wife and Oscar Wilde’s family.

The female characters in the story also played an important role and lead in some cases, which was unusual of the times, as they were the ones whom would have taken a back seat in these types of situations.

The relationship between Bram and Oscar was quite amusing, how they discussed each other to other people, how they worked so well regardless of their differences.

With the adventure to investigate the vampire leader the Black Bishop, they learn more on how to become part of the cult, also with what lies in the future, of where this cult is heading!

This story provides horror, adventure and humour throughout, the need to protect the human race against the evil plans that threaten them.

The story is detailed and the imagery is fascinating in the Victorian era, making the horror parts even more interesting!

You can appreciate the amount of background research that has gone into this book.

I recommend this book if you love historian horror, something to get your teeth into! (excuse the pun!)

Pre-order it here at Amazon. Release date is now 30th May 2019.

About the Authors

Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time traveling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels; and practicing photography.

Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (often mistaken for Canada), and studied video and film production at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show).

They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters. While they both currently make a living as website content managers, they have sold two screenplays, which have been lost to development hell.

They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde.

They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz.

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In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins #blogtour #review #guestpost @Alis_Hawkins @DomePress

Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has begun work as the acting coroner of Teifi Valley with solicitor’s clerk John Davies as his assistant.

When a faceless body is found on an isolated beach, Harry must lead the inquest.

But his dogged pursuit of the truth begins to ruffle feathers. Especially when he decides to work alongside a local doctor with a dubious reputation and experimental theories considered radical and dangerous. Refusing to accept easy answers might not only jeopardise Harry’s chance to be elected coroner permanently but could, it seems, implicate his own family in a crime.

 

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It’s great to be here as part of the blog tour for In Two Minds.

The Teifi Valley – the area of west Wales where my series is set – is a very popular tourist area and lots of people go there to stay for a week in what’s often described as a ‘traditional Welsh cottage’.

If you’ve stayed somewhere like that, your cottage probably looked something like this:

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But that kind of cottage generally dates from the second half of the nineteenth century, not from the 1850s when Harry and John are investigating deaths up and down the Teifi Valley.

In an early chapter of In Two Minds there’s a description of a much more traditional kind of cottage, of the sort that had been built for centuries by local people. It’s a tŷunnos– a house built in one night. Tradition stated that if you could raise a house during the hours of darkness and have smoke coming from the chimney at sunrise, you had squatters’ rights to a portion of the land around it. The measure was ‘as far as an axe could be thrown from each corner of the house’. I’m guessing girls looked for men with a strong throwing arm!

Those hastily-built cottages looked rather more like this modern reconstruction:

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They consisted of just one room with no upper floor and, often, no windows – at least to begin with. They weren’t made out of stone but out of blocks of turf, easily cut from the earth on which the house was raised, and thatched with gorse or bracken that was readily to hand. Even so, it was still quite a feat to build one in a single night and the families of both young people would have been involved, along with their friends and neighbours. (A slightly different group of people build the one in the book which causes some local bad feeling, but I’ll leave that for readers to discover for themselves.)

Over time, the cottage would be lime-rendered and added to. The roof might be raised to allow for a second storey and, if the family was lucky to have made enough money, glazed windows would be put in. Accommodation for animals would be built on to one side, saving the need for a whole wall by using the lean-to method and, again if the family was prosperous, more rooms might be added at the other end, creating what we now know as a Welsh longhouse like this one at the National Folk Museum at St Fagans in Cardiff:

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So, the next time you go on holiday to west Wales, remember those very basic, one-roomed turf cottages and be glad you’re not staying in a really ‘traditional Welsh cottage’!

My Review

With thanks to Dome Press for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of ‘In Two Minds’ to review.

This story is a fascinating read, set in the 19th century where horse and cart were used. Harry Probert-Lloyd a young barrister has his work cut out, when a man is found dead with no face on an isolated beach. Not only is this a challenge to locate who and why this man was killed, Harry struggles as he is slowly loosing his sight. He has John Davies as his assistant, whom he relies on, but he is determined not to be slowed down by this affliction.

I enjoyed reading the affection and love they have for their horses, how they are an integral part of their travelling to resolve this mystery, the care and attention these horses received was heartwarming.

The interrogations that occurred were very clearly written and gave the story depth to understand each character and the role they played within this story. Learning more about their connections with other characters.

I thought the unusual use of a Benton Reckitt, a local surgeon with a less than desirable  reputation was perfect, to do the autopsy. He provided Harry with details I believe may have been missed and fascinating information about head injuries, which may help Harry in his future investigations!

The mystery behind this dead man, starts to become clear as more evidence arises, showing who the man is, however there are so many more questions as in why he was murdered!

Businesses deals, debts, emigrants and womanising is just a few things that occur, along with Harry’s father becoming ill, there are more secrets to unfold.

Harry and John’s relationship is hard at times however it is one that works, they seem well-balanced for each other and one that will continue to grow, regardless of the challenges they face.

As the evidence becomes clear and the mystery is resolved, families are torn.

With interesting and relatable characters and a crime story based in the 19th century that provides intrigue and mystery, which is also well written, I would definitely recommend this book.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. After attending the local village primary school and Cardigan County Secondary school, she left West Wales to read English at Oxford. Subsequently, she has has done various things with her life, including becoming a speech and language therapist, bringing up two sons, selling burgers, working with homeless people, and helping families to understand their autistic children.

And writing. Always. Nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned by heritage projects) and, of course, novels.

Alis’s first novel, Testament, was published in 2008 by Macmillan and was translated into several languages. (It has recently been acquired for reissue, along with her medieval trilogy of psychological thrillers by Sapere Books).

Her current historical crime series featuring blind investigator Harry Probert-Lloyd and his chippy assistant, John Davies, is set in Cardiganshire in the period immediately after the Rebecca Riots. As a side- effect of setting her series there, instead of making research trips to sunny climes like more foresighted writers, she just drives up the M4 to see her family.
Now living with her partner on the wrong side of the Welsh/English border (though she sneaks back over to work for the National Autistic Society in Monmouthshire) Alis speaks Welsh, collects rucksacks and can’t resist an interesting fact.

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The Murder Mile by @bloodhoundbook @LesleyMcEvoy20 #blogtour #extract #TheMurderMile

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Forensic Psychologist, Jo McCready is assisting DCI Callum Ferguson on a murder inquiry, when one of her patients is found brutally murdered.

Jo was the last person to see Martha Scott alive. She was helping Martha unlock a repressed memory. But during the session Jo unlocked more than she bargained for. An alter personality introduces himself as the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper – and thanks Jo for setting him free to kill again.

As Ferguson’s team race to find Martha’s killer, a series of copycat killings begin, replicating ‘The Autumn of Terror’ in 1888. But if Jack is just a construct of Martha’s damaged mind, who killed her?

As the body count rises, Jo must construct a profile to stop the murderer re-creating the terror of the most infamous serial killer of all time.

But not everyone is on Jo’s side. The police Intelligence Unit have their own profiler, Liz Taylor-Caine, who resents Jo’s involvement as a contributing expert in the case.

Suspicion about Jo’s involvement in the killings increases when someone close to the team becomes one of Jack’s victims.

And as the anniversary of the final and most gruesome of all the killings looms, Jo discovers that the killer has one murder on his mind far closer to home…

Extract from ‘The Murder Mile’

I stood at the bottom of the path and looked around. In my mind I pictured the young couple the fisherman had seen. Standing on the path. ‘Cuddling.’

Perhaps they were saying goodbye?A girl about to go for her bus, hugging her boyfriend? Wouldn’t he have walked her those last few yards to see her safely onto the bus?

A thought was forming at the back of my mind. My profiler’s database of facts and circumstances providing a possible solution to an inconsistency.

‘Look for inconsistencies,’my teacher and mentor Professor Geoffrey Perrett used to say. ‘For that is where the answers are found.’

The teenage lovers and the fact that they had suddenly disappeared were inconsistencies my instinct didn’t like.

Ahead of me was the boatyard. A large, sprawling place with the skeletons of dead or dying boats in its graveyard. Massive rusting hulls hauled out of the water like beached whales waiting to be dissected.

The original iron hull of an old Dutch barge had been cleaned and renovated. On the top deck a new wooden structure replaced the old wheelhouse. The back of the structure was covered by a heavy tarpaulin, fastened down by huge ropes tied onto giant metal rings set into the dock. As I turned back to retrace my steps, something on the houseboat attracted my attention. I looked back.

Nothing.

The corner of the tarpaulin lifted slightly in the warm breeze and I could see a dim light coming from deep inside the cavernous hull. Then the canvas flapped gently back down and the light was gone.

I looked around me. There was no one to be seen in either direction along the towpath. I pulled my coat around me. An instinctive gesture that mirrored the vulnerability I was beginning to feel.

I glanced back at the houseboat. It glowered silently at me across the quickly darkening water, seeming to crouch ominously before pouncing like some giant malevolent beast.

What was it that was so wrong with this picture?

I had the unnerving but very definite feeling that I was being watched. I looked back to the houseboat. Nothing moved except for the corner of the tarpaulin, gently lifting in the breeze. It looked different. Why did it look different? What had changed?

I watched for a few more seconds and my skin began to crawl. The light inside the hull had gone!

I suddenly felt totally exposed and alone. The footpath was deserted and the light was fading fast.

Oh my God!In that instant I knew the answer to the inconsistency. A thousand disjointed facts suddenly crashed together to form the full picture.

My heart began to hammer as I saw it all as the killer had seen it. As he was seeing it right now!

My breath came faster as I debated my next move.

Go up the steps to the main road, to bright lights and traffic. Then face the twenty-minute walk back to my car. Or go along the deserted towpath and get to my car ten minutes faster?

The same choice Julie Lamont had made a few days earlier – a choice that cost her life, and if I made a mistake, might very well cost me mine.

I turned to my right and began to climb the steep path up to the main road. Was it my quickening imagination or did I hear a sound behind me from the towpath below?

A twig cracked behind me and I almost cried out, but I didn’t have the breath.

I willed myself not to look back as I scrambled for the top just a few feet away, certain now that he was behind me. Over my own laboured breathing and the pounding in my ears, I could hear the grunting of someone coming up the steps just inches behind me.

I virtually sprinted the last few feet to the road, anticipating with every step the rough hand that would claw at my ankle and drag me backwards into the darkness below and away from safety.

I fell onto the pavement at the edge of the road, nearly knocking into a jogger going past. I ran a few more steps and then risked a backward glance.

The dark silhouette of my pursuer was there for a fleeting second, then gone. But I could hear a man’s hard breathing gradually getting fainter as he disappeared back towards the dark water.

About the Author

Lesley McEvoy was born and bred in Yorkshire and has had a passion for writing in one form or another all her life. The writing took a backseat as Lesley developed her career as a Behavioural Analyst and Psychotherapist – setting up her own Consultancy business and therapy practice. She has written and presented extensively around the world for over 25 years specialising in behavioural and attitudinal management, with a wide variety of organisations. The corporate world provided unexpected sources of writing material when, as Lesley said – she found more psychopaths in business than in prison!

Lesley’s work in some of the UK’s toughest prisons was where she met people whose lives had been characterised by drugs and violence and whose experiences have informed the themes she now writes about. Deciding in 2017 to concentrate on her writing again, Lesley produced her debut novel, due to be published by Bloodhound Books in May 2019. These days she lives in Cheshire with her partner but still manages to lure her two grown up sons across the Pennines with her other passion – cooking family feasts.

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Down to the Sea by Sue Lawrence #LoveBooksGroupTours @SueHLawrence @sarabandbooks #blogtour #secrets

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When Rona and Craig buy a large Victorian house up from Edinburgh’s Newhaven district – once teeming with fishing boats – they plan to renovate and set it up as a luxury care home. But something is not quite right: disturbing sounds can be heard when the sea mists swirl; their unpredictable neighbour makes it clear that the house was not always a happy family home. And their ‘characterful’ historic pile has a gloomy cellar harbouring relics from days gone by.

Back in the 1890s, superstitious fishwives blame young Jessie for the deaths of their menfolk in a terrible storm, and she’s forced into the Newhaven Poorhouse. In those less enlightened times, life was often severe, cruel even, and Jessie is entirely at the mercy of a tyrant matron. But one inmate is not all she seems. Jessie begins to pick at the truth, uncovering the secrets and lies that pervade the poorhouse – and which will have profound and dangerous consequences in the future.

My Review

With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for providing an e-book copy of the book, ready for the blog tour.

I loved this book from start to finish, it has everything from a fascinating history, twists to do with families, also unnerving parts to keep you engrossed and guessing!

Throughout the book the story jumps from 1981 to where you meet Rona and Craig, then to 1898 where you meet an unfortunate little girl called Jessie.

Rona and Craig have decided to set up their own luxury retirement home, in a house that has its own history, that connects to Jessie. This twist of fate brings the story together beautifully.

You learn so much from both sides, as both of the stories continue, it is written so well, you never get lost on what is happening either side of the times, the characters are easily identified and I had a fondness of Jessie as her story develops.

As Rona and Craig are busy setting up the new home, making sure their guests have everything they need, a local neighbour Martha, joins them to help. Martha is a fantastic cook and very helpful, although there is something not quite right about her! As you read through the book, you get to know what it is that makes you question her motives.

With a spooky traditional pram that is placed in both 1800’s and 1900’s parts of the story, it gives the reader time to let their imagination flow! What is so special about this pram that their new residents like so much, what secrets does it hold?

With Jessie becoming friends with another inmate, more secrets become clear, to the point where Jessie does what she can protect her.

The book is not only well written, but it is an emotional and intriguing story to follow right up to the end, the ending for me was satisfying but moving, to such a journey of life, survival and who you can trust.

I would definitely recommend reading this book, a story that you will remember and I feel a fondness of Jessie and her life’s accomplishments, her determination to do what she feels is right, even up to the very end.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

As well as writing three very popular and well-reviewed historical mysteries published in the UK and overseas, Sue Lawrence is one of the UK’s leading cookery writers, with eighteen published cookbooks. Having trained as a journalist in Dundee, she won BBC’s MasterChef in 1991 and became a food writer, regularly contributing to Scotland on Sunday, as well as being the Sunday Times’ food writer for six years. Born in Dundee and raised in Edinburgh, she now lives near Newhaven, Edinburgh – the setting for her latest novel. She has won two Guild of Food Writers Awards and a Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award, and now focuses on researching and writing historical fiction.

Sue Lawrence 2

Down-to-Sea

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz @jonathanjanz @annecater @FlameTreePress #HouseofSkin #blogtour #horror

House Of Skin Covere

Myles Carver is dead. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

My Review

With thanks to Anne for providing me with a copy of House of Skin to review for this blog tour – what a perfect horror story it is!

The story and the horror starts early on and brings the book to life immediately, I was engrossed to see where it would take me! The inheritance of the house starts from the beginning with Paul Carver a writer, he has his own problems and relationship issues. When he arrives at this huge old house, he is engrossed within its past beauty and what it might do to fuel his writing imagination. Which it so definitely does!

Along with Paul you meet Julia Merrow, a pretty young girl with her simple quiet life. What she brings to the story is a twist of fate of her own family history. I thought as the story developed, it brought such an interesting connection into the Carver family history.

With the concerns over rats (or that’s what Paul thinks they are!) in the house and Paul’s problem with drinking, he locates the old family Carver graveyard, which is where his unusual and abrupt writing fluency begins. When he wakes up not understanding how he managed to write this book, his questions start to begin. The family history is slowly unravelling, with the locals around not being friendly either, Paul wonders what had gone so horribly wrong, for the Carver family to be hated so much!?

When Julia and Paul finally meet up, they seem to be like the perfect couple, with moments of shock and twists of jealousy and passion, what could interfere with this!?

Once the story was in motion, there were flash back chapters to the history of the Carver family with Myles and Annabel, these were quite a story to read, Annabel is one character you would not want to mess with!

The connections between the characters and what would seem to be a normal inheritance has a twist like no other!

The way Paul writes his stories he thought were produced from his own imagination, had a fascinating edge, that became evident when Julia read his first book. Paul had no idea of the implications of such a story! I also enjoyed that you read Paul’s horror story, which gave you an insight into the past, which helped you make a connection with the book further on.

With Annabel doing her best to bring back her evil intentions, I could not guess what or who could be next!

The end was a perfect spine chiller, a twist that makes you think what might happen next, which allows your imagination to go wild!

For a horror fan this is a must read, with mystery, twists and gore, its one to devour!

Purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of
2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill

House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story”

Since then Jonathan’s work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz’s Shadow Side.

His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist

Falls was released to critical acclaim.

Jonathan’s primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true. You can learn more about Janz at http://www.jonathanjanz.com.

Jonathan Janz

House of Skin Blog Tour Poster

The Life of Death by Lucy Booth @annecater @unbounders #TheLifeofDeath #review #blogtour #AMustRead

The Life of Death Cover

One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love.

Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.

Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.

Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.

My Review

With huge thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours, for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing an e-book to review.

From the synopsis I was intrigued by two things; one about how Elizabeth will sell her soul for immortality and the other how this story can be twisted, from her being Death for many years, to taking five lives – how this change of plan can work – wasn’t she dead, could she come back to life!?

I must say as a whole this book was a wonderful read, I believe everyone wonders what might happen when you die, however the way this was written you could empathise with the characters, also how Elizabeth made their passing in most cases, easier. I do wonder if this was direct from Lucy Booth’s experiences as she wrote this book, did it make her wonder what was next?

The beginning was striking, the visualisation of the ‘witches’ at the stake was so clear, to the point you could visualise the crackling of the fire! Yes, it was descriptive, although it gave the story the edge it needed for Elizabeth to help make her choice, one I feel was inevitable from her past.

For every death she supported the emotions that you could feel from the reading were evident, the stories behind these people and the ones that struggled to let go. It would seem her role was simple, however I could imagine at some point you would have enough, rather to spoil the story, you need to read it to appreciate her job fully.

When she finally meets this young man, whom is grieving himself, Elizabeth falls in love. Throughout the story she spends time watching and being with him, her love for him never leaving. You read about how he is coping and how his life and emotions are.

As she summons her employer he gives her the challenge of five lives, these she must take herself. I was really curious on how she could do this, as her current job was far from taking lives with intent, also she couldn’t be seen! As I read on it became clear on how these deaths could be achieved. Absolutely fascinating reading, from the people that were chosen and the reasons given on why. I was engrossed, reading about each of the characters and their history, up to the moment when Elizabeth – Death, took them. It may seem morbid to read about someones final moments, although this was so well written, I do believe the author – Lucy had written it perfectly, very believable and true.

Elizabeth does have one hiccup along the way, giving her second thoughts and questioning her choices. I had to hold my breath at some of the deaths, as they were gruesome and made me wonder what would happen next!

The final death that had to happen was a twist of fate or more likely by design, I loved this! This is where I thought I knew what was going to happen in the end. I was wrong slightly, as I read on to the end it made me cry, with the knowledge of Elizabeth’s past heading towards a new future she so wished, a final twist that gave the story a great ending – no spoilers (sorry!).

This is definitely a must read, I enjoyed every moment. The writing is descriptive, the story engages you, you will want to read on, for moments that make you question life and death. An unusual story of love and death, with twists along the way, this is one story that you will remember.

All I can say that it is a great shame Lucy is no longer with us, her talent for writing is evident and a joy to read.

Purchase it here at Amazon.

About the Author

Lucy Booth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She died in August 2016. During those five years she wrote this novel and it was her last wish to have it published posthumously.

Lucy Booth Author Photo
The Life of Death Blog Tour Poster