Book reviews, Domestic noir, Thriller

The Winter’s Sleep by Monica Cafferky – Book Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Spooky and compelling – a great debut’ 

Peter James

A fast-paced thriller with a supernatural twist, The Winter’s Sleep takes the reader on a breathtaking ride from Leeds to the Yorkshire coast in a tale of ghosts, betrayal and fraud.

A handsome husband. A beautiful home. A job she loves.

Yet Brigid Raven is drowning in debts and there’s only one way out. Fake her death and walk away from everything she’s struggled so hard to build.

Can she pull off her new identity? 

How will she survive on the run?

But Brigid has another secret. She can see the dead and now they won’t leave her alone.

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MY REVIEW

Brigid and husband, Josh are in debt. Josh is out of work and Brigid is in a low paid job. They are at the point of possibly losing their home.

Due to the stress, Brigid has insomnia and her grandmother, a herbalist, gives her something to help her sleep. The death herb, called so as it can mimic death if taken in larger doses.

So, Josh devises a plan to fake Brigid’s death, claim on life insurance and they can solve all their financial problems……easy?

In sheer desperation, Brigid agrees.

All goes to plan, but she then starts to see a dark shadow and has horrific nightmares….what has she let in?

With Josh getting more and more hooked by drink and drugs, the easy life they planned is really not happening and with a private investigator snooping around the stress is building again.

This is a hard book to categorise, it’s a thriller, domestic drama and a little bit supernatural too. This does not detract from the story at all as it is all very cleverly plotted and you can feel the desperation of Brigid and how she was manipulated by Josh. 

I found this to be fast paced and utterly compelling, all set in the wonderful North Yorkshire landscape which just added more to the atmosphere. There’s death, despair and hope, it’s dark, tense and spooky and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thank you to Michelle at Not From This Planet for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2tZfdtP

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monica Cafferky is an author, journalist and visiting lecturer. Her debut novel, THE WINTER’S SLEEP, is a supernatural thriller that has won praise for being ‘spooky and compelling’ whilst the writing has been described as ‘vivid and tense’.

Previously, she has co-authored three self-help books (published by Little Brown). All three books have been translated into several languages including: Japanese, Norwegian, Czech, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Slovak and Estonian.

As a journalist, Monica’s first job was on a martial arts magazine followed by a stint as a staff writer on Woman’s Own. Since going freelance, she’s spent the weekend with a coven of witches, interviewed many of her favourite authors and penned a weekly MBS page in The Daily Mirror, which ran for three years. 

In 1997, Monica won a scholarship from the Reuter’s Foundation (now Thomson Reuters Foundation) to attend a training course with Reuters at Green College, Oxford. She was the only British journalist selected for this award, which was open to all media worldwide. 

Monica lives in Yorkshire.

 

Courtesy of Goodreads

 

PRAISE FOR THE WINTER’S SLEEP

 

‘Magical and frightening. I loved it.’

Carmen Marcus

 

‘A page-turner that keeps you guessing.’

Machel Shull

 

‘The writing is superbly vivid and tense.’

Andrew Clover

 

‘Really enjoyable – a spooky, rip-roaring yarn.’

Daisy Waugh 

 

Book reviews, Crime thriller

With Her Fists by Henry Roi – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Clarice “Shocker” Ares retired from a sensational pro-boxing career to focus on her family and growing mechanic business. 

In an instant, everything she has worked for is shattered, when the police find a shipment of drugs in their shop, and wrongfully send Clarice and her husband to prison. Incarcerated and desperate after court appeals are denied, Clarice must become the Shocker once more, challenging rival convicts in a deadly prison fight ring to finance her escape. 

Battling alongside her, armed with his brilliant electronics wizardry, Clarice’s husband Ace manipulates the court system to arrange a daring prison break. When their abilities are put to the ultimate test, will they be able to exact their revenge – and regain freedom?
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MY REVIEW

Clarice ‘The Shocker’ is a boxer, a mechanic, tattooist and mother. When a car is brought into her shop for diagnosed repair, she gets to work but what she finds hidden in a seat turns her life into a nightmare.

Clarice is a strong woman who tries to make the most of a horrific situation using her wits and determination. 

At its heart this is a crime novel with drug cartels, corrupt cops and the dark US prison system. There is also boxing with plenty of fights and tough injuries. This is a tale of right and wrong, of honesty and corruption with sheer greed that rules some people’s lives. An action and emotion packed tale and a thoroughly entertaining read.

Thank you to the Author, Henry Roi, for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Short story, Thriller

A Christmas Crime by Tara Lyons – Review


PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A Christmas Crime 

From the bestselling author of The Paramedic’s Daughter and The DI Hamilton Series, comes a criminally festive delight to thrill you on a cold winter’s night. 

With snow falling in a quaint Surrey Village, it’s the perfect setting for Holly and Christopher’s dream Christmas wedding. But instead of enjoying mince pies and mistletoe, their happiness is threatened by old secrets and someone harbouring a grudge. When the truth is finally revealed, can the couple enjoy the festivities with their family, or is their marriage doomed from the start?

This short story is the perfect mystery to keep you guessing this holiday season, so why not enjoy it with a glass of mulled wine while sat next to a roaring fire.

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MY REVIEW 

Holly and Christopher are getting married on Christmas Eve, they are excited and everything is ready. But, they each receive a message ‘I’m warning you, don’t do it’ and neither tell the other……just who has a secret?

I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the story. 

This may be a short story, but my there’s a lot packed in. A few surprises along the way and more than one crime, make this a perfect Christmas thriller. Incredibly entertaining. 

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to read this for free.  This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. She studied English Literature at Brunel University and was Assistant Editor at an in-house magazine for 8 years, 

In the Shadows is the author’s solo debut novel self-published in March 2016. Bloodhound Books later re-published it, and the rest of The DI Hamilton series followed suit. Tara is now working on standalone novels, the first of which will be published in May 2019.

When she’s not writing, Tara is kept busy by her two young children. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Death At Eden’s End By Jo Allen – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

A brand new DCI Jude Satterthwaite crime mystery from the best selling Jo Allen.

When one-hundred-year-old Violet Ross is found dead at Eden’s End, a luxury care home hidden in a secluded nook of the Lake District’s Eden Valley it’s tragic, of course, but not unexpected. Except for the instantly recognisable look in her lifeless eyes… that of pure terror.

DCI Jude Satterthwaite heads up the investigation, but as the death’s start to mount up it’s clear that he, and DS Ashleigh O’Halloran need to uncover a long-buried secret before the killer strikes again…

The second in the unmissable, Lake District-set, DCI Jude Satterthwaite series.
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MY REVIEW

#2 In The DCI Jude Sattherthwaite series, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Set in beautiful Cumbria and when Violet, a resident at Eden’s End Care Home, is found dead it’s believed to be natural causes. But someone says it was murder and so an autopsy is completed and this confirms this was not a natural death.

Who would want to kill a 100 year old, defenceless woman? But when more bodies turn up the investigation begins.

This is a murder mystery with a police procedural edge. I really enjoyed how Violet’s story is told, going back to her life and love during WW2. Does her death have something to do with her past?

With plenty of suspects, great characters and a clever, twisty plot to keep any fan of a good murder mystery happy. Thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read – crime. Now living in Edinburgh, she spends as much time as possible in the English Lakes. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats. 

 

Follow Jo:

Twitter: @JoAllenAuthor

Facebook: @JoAllenAuthor

 

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Q67Knr

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2LrQJ2P

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Loiucm

iBooks: https://apple.co/35LzYqq

 

Follow Aria 

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction 

Cover reveal

* COVER REVEAL * for Bella by R.M. Francis

Welcome to the COVER REVEAL for Bella by RM Francis. But first a little about the book….

 

PUBLISHERS BLURB  

A spectre has haunted Netherton for generations.

Everyone has a theory, no one has an answer.

The woods that frame the housing estate uncover a series of heinous acts, drawing onlookers in to a space of clandestine, queer sexuality: a liminal space of abject and uncanny experience.

A question echoes in the odd borderlands of being, of fear-fascination, attraction-repulsion, of sex and death…

Who put Bella down the Wych-Elm?

 

And now a little about the Author….
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R.M. Francis is a writer from Dudley. He completed his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton for a project titled Queering the Black Country and graduated from Teesside University for his Creative Writing MA.

He’s the author of four poetry chapbooks, Transitions (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2015), Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016), Corvus’ Burnt-Wing Love Balm and Cure-All (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2018) and Lamella, (Original Plus, 2019).

 

Follow Rob on Twitter @rmfrancis

 

And here is the rather beautiful cover of Bella.

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@Wildpressed 

@LoveBooksTours 

@rmfrancis  

 

Book reviews, Fantasy

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Threon, the Vagabond King, is torn from a life in the palace by raiders and forced to scrape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Meeting a witch from distant mountains, a rebel soldier and a woman cursed by a god, he seeks retribution through a quest to reclaim his home and throne. Together they rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another.

But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?

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MY REVIEW

This is part 1 in The Vagabond King trilogy.

The tale starts with a battle, Lleu and the Palimore soldiers kill many to take over a city, but Lleu lets one person go to safety, Threon, but why?

The story moves on a few years and now Threon is looking for revenge on those who slaughtered his family.

This really is an action packed fantasy tale, with amazing world building, properly rounded and developed characters and exciting tension building gradually throughout.

With Kings and Queens, magic, battles and Gods, there’s plenty to keep even the most devoted fantasy fan thoroughly gripped. Absolutely stunning and I can’t wait for part 2.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Jodie Bond comes from a family of gin makers in the mountains of north Wales. She works in marketing and performs as a burlesque artist. She had an unconventional childhood, dividing her time between a quiet life on her mother’s farm and her father’s home which was infamous for holding some of the UK’s biggest raves in the 90s.

 

Part 1 in The VAGABOND KING TRILOGY 1 October 2019

FICTION

Paperback / £9.99

PRINT ISBN: 978-1-912109-37-1 203x127mm / 400 pp

S.Region: Worldwide 

Book reviews

Something To Tell You by David Edwards – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Something to Tell You follows the two families of Bert Leinster and his best friend Sam Murray, as the earth comes under bombardment by a Higgs Boson particle storm. The Central Control of the World council insists that survival depends on living underground, protected by The Envelope. As CCOW persuades humankind to hide in the Deeps, Bert cannot challenge CCOW nor comprehend why people cannot see the truth behind the lies.

Everything changes when he meets Her. Lily, a plant who becomes his enemy in the battle to save humankind, to save you… although 99.9% of you is empty space. Do you deserve saving?

 

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MY REVIEW

Sam Murray has found something and needs to tell his boss and friend Bert Leinster now!

Sam and Bert work on the Large Hadron Collider in CERN searching for a theoretical other world, a parallel universe……

This is quite hard to review, there’s a lot of theoretical physics, which I have to say went so far over my head….it got lost. However, this is specification so I kept going and found the actual story really intriguing.

Bert dreams of Lily, an elevated being in plant form, she tells him humankind have only one season left to hide beneath the soil.

Can humanity be saved? Will Nature save us all?

A tale of faith, nature and science in a thought provoking read.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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David Edwards previously published two anti-romance books under the pseudonym of Jack George Edmunson. He then published the historical novel, The Ebb & Flow, before moving over to children’s fiction with The Black Hand Gang. He currently lives in Switzerland. For more information visit davidedwardsauthor.com.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/edwardsauthor

Facebook: facebook.com/davidedwardsauthor

Website: https://www.davidedwardsauthor.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardsauthor

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Something-Tell-You-David-Edwards/dp/1789018870/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=something+to+tell+you+david+edwards&qid=1576093611&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Something-Tell-You-David-Edwards-ebook/dp/B07R7R77B1/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=something+to+tell+you+david+edwards&qid=1576093892&sr=8-2

Troubador: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/sci-fi/something-to-tell-you-hb/

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/something-to-tell-you/david-edwards/hardback/9781789018875.html

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/something-to-tell-you-david-edwards/1131420218 

Book reviews, Non fiction

First In The Fight by Helen Antrobus and Andrew Simcock – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Emmeline Pankhurst stands proudly in St Peter’s Square, but she stands for so many more…

First in the Fight tells the compelling stories of the twenty women featured on the Our Emmeline statue long-list. Author Helen Antrobus brings to life the achievements of these radical Manchester women alongside beautiful illustrations by the Women in Print collective.

Be part of the legacy of the 20 Manchester women who changed the world.

 

DESCRIPTION

The women of Greater Manchester have long stood shoulder to shoulder in the fight for equality and social change. The unveiling of the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in St Peter’s Square, strove to represent the contributions that Manchester women had made not only to the city, but also to the rest of the world.

Sitting alongside stunning illustrations from the ‘Women in Print’ collective, First in the Fight brings to life the stories of a range of inspiring women, from suffragettes, to botanists and mathematicians. The efforts of these pioneering women have shaped the world we live in and have helped pave the way for the voices of the next generation of women to be heard.

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MY REVIEW 

“Rise Up Women For The Fight Is Hard”

Well what an astonishing book. It tells a little of 20 incredible women, Manchester and the fight for women’s rights.

Each of the chapters has so much information and insights into the incredible, determined and strong women that includes Cristabel Pankhurst, Marie Stopes, Louise Da-Cocodia. We have a lot to thank these women for as our lives would be very different if not for their determination and bravery.

The illustrations throughout vary from brightly coloured to naive and stylish but all striking and done by clearly very talented artists.

Perfect reading for anyone and everyone with an interest in the history of women’s rights in all its forms.

Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Purchase links

 

https://inostalgia.co.uk/product/first-in-the-fight-pre-order-save-5/

 

https://amzn.to/2PLJIL7
4908195F-9971-43B3-A32E-6D18A96AF235

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Helen Antrobus

Helen Antrobus is a social history curator and historian from Salford, specialising in the lives of 20th century political women. As a public historian, she has appeared on TV programmes such as BBC One’s The One Show and Who Do You Think You Are?, Channel 5’s Edwardian Britain in Colour and BBC4’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces as well as BBC Radio 4’s Ramblins and Great Lives.

 

Andrew Simcock

Andrew Simcock has been the Labour Councillor for Didsbury East on Manchester City Council since 2011. In 2014 he launched the Womanchester campaigns to erect a statue of a woman of significance to Manchester, which resulted in the installation of sculptor Hazel Reeves’ Emmeline Pankhurst statue in St Peters Square in Manchester City Centre. The unveiling coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women voting for the first time in a British General Election. 

Book reviews, Children’s fiction

Leo And The Lightning Dragons by Gill White – Children’s Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Gill White wrote this book for her son Leo, who was born with Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy. Fifty percent of children diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome do not live past their second birthday. Leo is now three and still battling in the face of adversity.

Gill wrote the story before Leo’s first birthday. It was a difficult time and Leo was having huge numbers of seizures every day. Feeling that Leo deserved a happier story, one in which his strength and bravery was rewarded, Gill wrote one for him.

She approached Gilli B, a Fife based artist, after seeing her artwork online and loving her whimsical and quirky style. Although she was only originally commissioned to do a few illustrations, she actually loved the story so much she asked to illustrate the whole thing and Leo got his own ’book’ for his birthday!

The following year, Gill had packed his book for a visit to the CHAS Hospice Rachel House and came back one day to find that the nursing staff had read it and written the most amazing comments inside.

Bolstered by their enthusiasm, Gill approached Edinburgh author Peter Burnett for some advice on how to get the book published. He took the book to Clare Cain at Fledgling Press, who fortunately loved the book. Fledgling Press do not normally publish children’s books but made an exception in this case, to help raise awareness of Ohtahara Syndrome and CHAS – Children’s Hospices Across Scotland.

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MY REVIEW

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that tells the story of Leo, a young night with lightning dragons in his head. But, he will not give in and with the love from his family and people around him this brave little knight fights the dragons until they leave.

A moving tale of a young person dealing with epilepsy, their bravery and utter determination that they will not be beaten. It always astounds me just how strong the young really are….a lesson to us all.

A lovely tale of self belief and determination. 

Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free copy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2LV47wf 

Book reviews, Domestic noir, Psychlogical thriller

All The Wrong Places by Joy Fielding – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

You always know who you’re meeting online . . . don’t you?

Four women decide to explore online dating, downloading an app that promises they will swipe their way to love and happiness.

But not everyone is who they seem online. Hidden behind a perfect smile and charming humour, one man appears to be the perfect date. But the night he has planned is unlike any other.

The clock is ticking, and for one woman, this date might just be her last . . .

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MY REVIEW 

This is the story of four women, Paige, Chloe, Joan and Heather who are all linked.

Paige is Joan’s daughter.

Chloe is Paige’s best friend.

Heather is Paige’s cousin and the woman who had an affair with Paige’s boyfriend.

These women are also using online dating, but one of them is in the sights of Mr Right Now, a serial killer……

Part family drama and part psychological that highlights the perils of online dating. There’s humour, drama and some dark and disturbing moments in the chapters from the killers perspective. A thoroughly entertaining thriller.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Born in Toronto, Ontario, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 1966, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. As Joy Tepperman, she had a brief acting career, appearing in the film Winter Kept Us Warm (1965) and in an episode of Gunsmoke. She later changed her last name to Fielding (after Henry Fielding) and began writing novels.

Fielding is also the screenwriter of the television film Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story. (Courtesy of Goodreads).

Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Blood Acre by RJ Mitchell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Fresh from his exploits in The Shift, Constable Angus Thoroughgood finds himself assigned to Community Policing in the crime-ridden Briarknock area of Glasgow – an area known for its horrific drugs problem, violent petty crime, and unemployment. It’s also home to The Creepers, a notorious team of housebreakers whose reign of terror must come to an end. However, it’s not just The Creepers that Thoroughgood must contend with. Working with his partner Harry Currie, the Scottish detective must battle corruption within the force and work to stop a plot that would destroy cities across the North of England, discovering a fabled piece of Glasgow criminal folklore along the way – the Blood Acre.

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MY REVIEW

The Blood Acre is a crime thriller featuring Angus Thoroughgood. He’s now a Community Constable and newly partnered with an older constable, Harry Currie, who is close to retiring.

Together they are assigned to the Briarknock area of Glasgow, an area rife with petty crime, drugs and a home breaking gang, The Creepers. Can they make a difference? or does someone want it left exactly as it is?

This is Gritty, violent, gruesome and utterly gripping. It’s twisty plot and great well developed characters make this a compelling thriller.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 

 

 

About RJ Mitchell:

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Pictured Author RJ Mitchell , crime writer , former Herald & Evening Times sports writer and ex cop. He is pictured at the old firing range within the the former Strathclyde Police college in Oxford Street ,next to the Sheriff Court. He has just announced that he has signed a four book deal with McNidder & Grace . His next crime novel The Shift is due out in the spring. It is based on his experiences as a rookie cop in Glasgow. As a cop he had spent many hours in this building over 20 years ago. It was the kind permission of Alistair Brand of Stallan-Brand architects who took over the building earlier this year and found out about the authors history with the place. Photograph by Martin Shields Tel 07572 457000 http://www.martinshields.com FEE PAYABLE FOR REPRO USE NB -This image is not to be distributed without the prior consent of the copyright holder. in using this image you agree to abide by terms and conditions as stated in this caption. All monies payable to Martin Shields (PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THIS CAPTION) This image is intended for Editorial use (e.g. news). Any commercial or promotional use requires additional clearance. Copyright 2015 All rights protected. first use only.

Robert James Mitchell was brought up in Stirling. Mitchell was initially detailed beat duties out of the former Blackhill Police Office and then Baird Street Police Office in the former ‘D’ Division, or the North, as it was known to all the men who served in the division. In January, 2007, while recovering from an appendicitis, Mitchell decided to write the first draft of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy‘, drawing heavily on his own experiences and featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant Gus Thoroughgood and DC Kenny Hardie.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spitfiremedia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjmitchellcrimewriter/

Website: https://rjmitchellauthor.co.uk/

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Acre-RJ-Mitchell/dp/1910265950/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+blood+acre&qid=1575550473&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Acre-DS-Thoroughgood-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07XF9DJT4/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=the+blood+acer+r+mitchell&qid=1575552092&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Matthew James Publishing: https://www.matthewjamespublishing.com/products/matthew-james-publishing/the-blood-acre

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-blood-acre/rj-mitchell/9781910265956

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-blood-acre/rj-mitchell/paperback/9781910265956.html

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Book reviews, Poetry

Poetry For Christmas And Other Beginnings chosen by Orna Ross – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB  

 The mid-winter holiday provides the perfect space to indulge the pleasure of poetry and in this pamphlet, you’ll find a poem for each of the twelve days of that holiday season. All these Christmas poems circle around the story we’ve been telling for 2000 years about what happened in Bethlehem on a certain 25th December. 

Some of them reassert that story, some challenge it, some see it as purely symbolic — but all are engaged with the deeper questions that underwrite it. 

The poets included in this slim volume are: WH Auden, John Betjeman, TS Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Dan Holloway, Patrick Kavanagh, Mary Oliver, Anne Porter, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton, Christopher Smart, WB Yeats — and there’s a “bonus” poem from Orna Ross. A perfect stocking filler — or gift to self. Indulge and enjoy.
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MY REVIEW

This is a collection of just 12 poems, so it’s short but inspiring.

There are poems about Birth, blessings, Faith, Christmas and hope.

From a personal point of view I found the poem First Flush very moving. My daughter, born 30 years ago has just given birth to her own daughter and so it felt it was meant for me. 

A lovely, emotional collection, something to treasure.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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ORNA ROSS is an award-winning writer, an advocate for independent authors and other creative entrepreneurs, and “one of the 100 most influential people in publishing” [The Bookseller]. She writes novels, poems and nonfiction guides for creatives, and is Founder-Director of two popular online communities, the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and The Creativist Club. She lives in London and writes, publishes and teaches around the globe. When not writing, you’ll probably find her reading.

 

Website : http://www.ornaross.com/

Twitter : @ornaross

Author Page on Facebook

Instagram @ornaross

 

Poetry for Christmas : And Other Beginnings by Orna Ross

  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: Font Publications (4 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957341288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957341289

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetry-Christmas-Twelve-Inspirational-Holiday/dp/0957341288

 

Book reviews, Police procedural, Thriller

Deathly Affair by Leigh Russell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Four dead bodies.

But who is guilty in this deadly web of secrecy and lies?

When a homeless man is murdered, Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel is disturbed by the coldblooded nature of the crime. With the discovery of a second victim, the police hunt for a killer whose motive is as elusive as he is dangerous.

In an investigation plagued by police scepticism, Geraldine is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. Drawn into the lives of three people caught in a toxic web of love and deceit, Geraldine learns there is more to this case than she had imagined..

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MY REVIEW 

#13 In the Geraldine Steel series and can easily be read as a stand-alone. 

Geraldine is a Detective Sergeant in York and is investigating the death of a homeless man. At first the general consensus is why bother, it’s just a homeless man, but she is determined to treat this the same as any case. It’s a relevant topic, as in people’s attitudes to the many homeless on the streets these days and sometimes empathy seems a long forgotten thing.

However, when a second homeless man is found dead this becomes a serious case.

I can’t say any more about the plot as I would hate to spoil it, but I can say I think this is the best in the series so far. There’s a real sense of wrong in the chapters from a killers perspective, the unease is palpable. So well plotted, with strong female characters and Geraldine with her instinct for the truth and her dogged determination is a favourite. Twisty, dark and compelling. I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here:   https://amzn.to/2RIUapq

 

PRAISE FOR LEIGH RUSSELL 

‘Brilliant and chilling, Leigh Russell delivers a cracker of a read!’ -Martina Cole ‘Unmissable’ – Lee Child

‘A brilliant talent in the thriller field… you’re just plain going to love DI Geraldine Steel’ – Jeffery Deaver

‘Taut and compelling’- Peter James

‘Leigh Russell has become one of the most impressively dependable purveyors of the English police procedural’ – Times

‘A million readers can’t be wrong!’ – Howard Linskey

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Leigh Russellis the author of the Ian Peterson series (Cold Sacrifice, Race to DeathandBlood Axe) and the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series:Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi,Class Murder, Death RopeandRogue Killer.The series has sold over a million copies worldwide.Cut Shortwas shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA), John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes withStop DeadandMurder Ringselected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London.

Cosy mystery

Murder At The Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB  

A room with a view… to murder

June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desk and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season.

But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it.

Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson and T.E. Kinsey will love this unputdownable whodunnit.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 In the Miss Underhay mystery series, set in 1933 Dartmouth.

Kitty Underlay’s grandmother own The Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth. When a relative has a fall, her grandmother leaves to look after her in Scotland, leaving Kitty in charge.

But, she employs a security officer, ex-Captain Matt Bryant, to keep an eye on Kitty and the hotel as she is concerned about recent events locally.

Kitty is looking forward to her Jazz event she has organised, she even has a jazz singer from Chicago taking part. 

Then there’s breaking in the hotel, some rooms broken into…..but why? Were they looking for something in particular? The local Inspector begins an investigation and Kitty and Matt help too. There are deaths and things turn more sinister.

This is a beautifully written cosy mystery whodunnit in the vein of Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey. Charming, atmospheric and thoroughly entertaining. 

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

 

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

 

Buy Links: https://geni.us/B07XLM3SM6Social

  

Book reviews, Non fiction

You Can Change The World by Margaret Rooke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

**Joint Gold Winner of the Moonbeam Multicultural Non-Fiction Award 2019**

This inspirational book tells the stories of more than 50 of today’s teenagers who’ve dared to change the world they live in. It’s been written to show other teens they can do the same. Bestselling author Margaret Rooke asks teens about their experiences of being volunteers, social entrepreneurs and campaigners, online and beyond. They explain how they have survived in a world often obsessed by celebrity, social media and appearance, by refusing to conform to other’s expectations.

If you want to achieve against the odds and create genuine impact, this book may be the encouragement you need. The interviews cover race, sexuality, violence, grief, neurodiversity, bullying and other issues central to life today.

Read about teens from around the world including:

– Trisha, 18, who has invented a way of preventing bullying online

– Dillon, 18, who takes damaged and donated clothing and upcycles it for the homeless

– Guro, 13, who persuaded a pop band to portray women differently in its video

– ‘Happy D’, 19, who learned to read at 14 and found ways to build his confidence

– Heraa, 19, who fights Islamophobia online.

– Ruben, 18, bullied because of Down’s Syndrome, now a successful actor

– Lucy who, at 14, walked into Tesco head office and persuaded them not to sell eggs from caged hens.

– Cameron, 17, who has cerebral palsy and was side-lined by soccer teams who set up his own team ‘Adversity United’

– Alex, 18, who broke his back on his 15th birthday and says his injury has taught him to care for others

– Amika, 18, who fights ‘Period Poverty’

– Jesse, 15, who’s seven feet tall and embraces his stature

– Billy, 18, who wore full make up every day at high school

A fantastic book that captures the work of young changemakers. Powerful and inspiring, a catalogue of real role models. It will make you want to chase your passion. After all what better cause is there?

Matteo Bergamini, CEO & Founder, Shout Out UK

 

 

MY REVIEW 

This is a book full of truly amazing young people. It has 50 interviews with young people from around the world.   

Each of these people have a passion, a determination to make this world a better, kinder place through helping and supporting each other. 

It covers many subjects, including Cyberbullying, animal rights, environmental issues, 

Period poverty, health, disability and welfare issues, mental health, bereavement and grief and more. How these young people have brought their thoughts, their lives and plans to change things. They are determined, eloquent and a power to be reckoned with, underestimate the commitment of the young at your peril.

It also has a simple toolkit at the end, to give some pointers and ideas to help anyone who has something they feel strongly about and how to develop this into something more. Truly an inspiring read, perfect for any teenager and should be in every school library. 

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2Yx2iue

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Margaret is an author and writer with a special interest in listening to people’s memories and getting them down on paper. Her latest book Creative, Successful, Dyslexic includes interviews with Darcey Bussell, David Bailey, Lord Richard Rogers, Zoe Wanamaker and others about their childhoods and beyond. She interviewed countless interesting personalities during her many years of magazine writing and believes everyone has a story to tell. Margaret is especially keen to preserve people’s memories for their children and grandchildren to value and enjoy.

Website : http://www.margaretrooke.com/

Twitter : @MargsRooke

Instagram : @margsrooke

 

Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers (21 Jun. 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785925024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785925023

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Can-Change-World-Difference/dp/1785925024

 

Book reviews, Thriller

Shadow by James Swallow – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

From the Sunday Times bestselling author of NOMAD and EXILE, things are about to go viral for Marc Dane in his most dangerous adventure yet . . .

Marc Dane is Britain’s answer to Jason Bourne, and it is about to go viral in his most thrilling and dangerous adventure yet. . .

Marc and his partner – former US Delta Force sniper Lucy Keyes – are pitted against their most terrifying challenge yet, when a genius bio-researcher with the ability to create a deadly biological weapon is kidnapped by a ruthless terrorist. 

Their desperate search for the missing scientist takes them across the world, from the desolate wilderness of Iceland to the slums of the Near East and the dark underbelly of a fracturing Europe, where they will discover a shocking atrocity in the making. 

Backed by shadowy interests, a cadre of hardline ultra-right-wing extremists plan to unleash a lethal virus among the population of a major European city. 

Only Marc Dane can prevent this devastating attack from taking place – before a whole continent is plunged into terror…

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MY REVIEW 

#4 in the Mark Dane series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Mark Dane, ex-British intelligence and now working for a secretive organisation, Rubicon with his partner, Lucy.

When a Rubicon employee goes missing Dane is tasked with investigating and so the adventure begins.

There’s a terrorist they must find and stop with lots of action and intrigue.

Dane is a real action hero, but there is more to the tale than that. A clever and compelling plot, which feels all too plausible and makes this a real page turner. Thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, comics, radio and television. 

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thrillers, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40000, Doctor Who, 24, Deus Ex, Stargate, 2000AD and more. 

SHADOW, the 4th Marc Dane novel, is out now from Bonnier, and the 2nd book in the series – EXILE – is published in the USA by Tor/Forge. 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Gone by Leona Deakin – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?

An addictive debut thriller with an ingenious hook that turns the missing person plot on its head – what if the missing people are the dangerous ones?
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MY REVIEW 

Dr Augusta Bloom is a psychologist, she studies people and what makes them tick, with a special interest in psychopaths.

When her colleague Marcus’ friend, Lana goes missing, he asks for her help. The only clue is a birthday card Lana received with the message….

 

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME DARE TO PLAY?

 

As they investigate they find more people missing, all of whom had received the same card and message…..are they part of the game? What links them all?

Will they find those missing people? And at what cost?

I really enjoyed this unique thriller, with its insights into what makes a psychopath and a gripping, twisty plot. Great characters and I loved the relationship between friends Augusta and Marcus too….with lots of suspense to keep you on tenterhooks throughout. An incredible debut thriller from Leona Deakin and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/2rpXF9l

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.

This is her debut thriller.

 

Book reviews, Historical fiction

Pax by John Harvey – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

When artist Stephen Bloodsmith creates a series of images inspired by Rubens’ trip to London in 1629, he enters a historical world of suspicion and intrigue. But will the manipulations he portrays in art spill over into the real world? When he practises deception inside his own marriage, falling in love with his model even as the romance of his wife Robyn unravels, the corrosive parallels between Bloodsmith’s and Rubens’ lives – the discovery of intimate secrets, the pain caused by desire and jealousy, the consequences of power and conflict – become hard to live with and impossible to ignore. 

Rubens believed he could make peace between the warring powers of Europe. To succeed he must win over Charles I of England, while in Paris ‘the Cardinal’ is working to frustrate him. Will nation cheat nation as people deceive one another in their personal lives? 

At once an intimate portrait of sexual pain in two centuries and a gripping depiction of international deal-making, Pax is a rich, compelling study of desire, power, art – and the search for private and public peace.

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MY REVIEW

Set over two timelines, that of Rubens in 1629 and Stephen Bloodsmith in the present day.

Bloodsmith is an artist who is inspired by Rubens art and researches his life and a trip he made to London. 

Bloodsmith has a wife and daughter, but becomes obsessed with his model, Mae.

This is the story of desire, not just sexual desire but the desire for power. There’s art, politics and lots of intrigue. Beautifully written, almost poetic and a marvellous piece of historical fiction.

However, I do have to mention the sex in this novel, unfortunately the language used lets this marvellous read down a little…..’marks of the lust-beast’ really? But don’t let that put you off, this really is an engrossing read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

Thank you to Robert at Holland House Books for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

John Harvey (born 21 December 1938 in London) is a British author of crime fiction most famous for his series of jazz-influenced Charlie Resnick novels, based in the City of Nottingham. Harvey has also published over 90 books under various names, and has worked on scripts for TV and radio. He also ran Slow Dancer Press from 1977 to 1999 publishing poetry. The first Resnick novel, Lonely Hearts, was published in 1989, and was named by The Times as one of the 100 Greatest Crime Novels of the Century. Harvey brought the series to an end in 1998 with Last Rites, though Resnick has since made peripheral appearances in Harvey’s new Frank Elder series. The protagonist Elder is a retired detective who now lives, as Harvey briefly did, in Cornwall. The first novel in this series, Flesh and Blood, won Harvey the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger in 2004, an accolade many crime fiction critics thought long overdue. In 2007 he was awarded the Diamond Dagger for a Lifetime’s Contribution to the genre. On 14th July 2009 he received an honorary degree (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Nottingham in recognition of his literary eminence and his associations with both the University and Nottingham (particularly in the Charlie Resnick novels). He is also a big Notts County fan. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

 

Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

Dark Hollows by Steve Frech – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS  BLURB 

Your past is catching up with you.

Jacob Reese enjoys the quiet life, running a coffee shop and renting out his cottage in The Hollows, Vermont.

But the calm is shattered when a woman who looks eerily similar to his ex-girlfriend Laura turns up to stay in the cottage, and leaves a mysterious note in the guest book.

Now Jacob’s seeing Laura everywhere—a glimpse of her face across the street, her music box left outside his house, a gift he gave her years before hanging from the trees.

But it can’t be Laura. Because Laura’s dead.

A gripping, twisted and haunting thriller. Fans of Gillian Flynn, Gregg Olsen and Mark Edwards will love Steve Frech.

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MY REVIEW

Set in New England and after the death of his parents, Jacob used his inheritance to buy a home in The Hollows, it also has a cottage which he lets out as holiday lets. He also owns a local coffee shop.

He lets out the cottage to a woman who doesn’t fit his usual letting criteria, but it’s only for a short let. When she arrives, she seems a bit familiar and he realises she looks very much like his ex, Laura. But he knows that Laura is dead.

Jacob starts to find out more and as he does, the secrets of his past life and his relationship with Laura come to light. 

Soon, odd things keep happening that start to mess with his idyllic life….who is doing this and why?

Beautifully descriptive writing with a clever and at times, creep plot. I enjoyed the gradually building story as you find more about Jacob and his past and how that has lead to where he is now. Oh and the lovely, Murphy is a star…. A thoroughly gripping thriller.

Thank you to Jess at HQ for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve grew up in… You know what? I hate writing stuff in the third person, so here it is:

I was born in East Chicago, Indiana. I grew up in the small town of Troy, OH.

I attended Miami University of Ohio and received a BFA in Theater. I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and writing but quickly discovered that I don’t like actors… Just kidding. I have a ton of actor friends and I love you all. 

In addition to writing, I’m the producer and host of the award nominated ‘What Do You Know?’, an improv-comedy quiz show that gives more points for being funny than for being right. The show has been hosted at Upright Citizens Brigade, Nerdist, iO West, and the Improv. You can see more at http://www.whatdoyouknowshow.com

My debut novel, ‘Requiem’, is available in paperback and digital download from Amazon. 

I’m currently working on my second novel, ‘The Crossing’, a thriller set in the Arizona desert, and it will be available in February of 2014.