BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS and a bit of Life and living with stg 4 Melanoma
I am not a professional book reviewer, just an avid reader. I have a lot of ‘down’ time, due to my various treatments for Metatastic Malignant Melanoma (Stage 4). So I read.
Books are my escape and relaxation and my reviews are my honest opinion. If it’s tripe, I’ll say so and alternately if it’s excellent I may gush a bit. Many books are a good read, but are a bit forgettable, others, however, touch your soul a little and stay with you bringing a little magic to life.
I am 56 and I have stage 4 Malignant Melanoma and have been having various treatments and surgery over the past four years to help prolong my stay on this planet. Currently on Pembrolizumab..every three weeks....Good days and bad days and at times a lot of Scanxiety....
Zoe Tampsin is resourceful, smart and Special Forces-trained, but she has been given an impossible mission.
She has to protect scientist, Gavin Shawlens, from assassination by the CIA, and discover the secret trapped in Gavin’s mind that the CIA want destroyed.
As the pressure to find Shawlens escalates – the CIA send Zoe’s former mentor to track her down and her fate seems sealed when he surrounds Zoe and Gavin with a ring of steel. With each hour that passes, the ring is tightened, and the window for discovering Gavin’s secret will shut.
Zoe is faced with a decision that goes against all of her survival instincts. If she is wrong – they both die. If she is right – she will discover the secret and become the next target for assassination.
Run for your life…
THE BLACK FOX is #3 in the Lambeth Group series by Gordon Bickerstaff and it is a belter.
Here, Zoe (Black Fox) has been tasked with taking Dr Gavin Shawlens into hiding to keep him safe from the CIA. What does Dr Shawlens know that is worth causing an international incident over?
What can I say? This is an action packed, tense thriller that has you utterly gripped from start to suspense filled end. Full of sharp twists and complex characters that makes this a true page turner. (It would make a perfect movie). A truly memorable thriller. I love this series and it’s perfect for anyone who loves a clever thriller.
Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Black Fox.
About Gordon Bickerstaff:
I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I studied biochemistry, and I’ve worked in several Scottish universities where I did research on enzymes, and taught biochemistry. After thirty years of teaching and research I retired my academic pen, and took of a mightier fiction pen.
I live in central Scotland with my wife and we enjoy reading, writing, and walking in the hills.
The Lambeth Group books follow the secret government investigations of agent Zoe Tampsin. A strong female protagonist with courage, determination, and guile. She is assisted by specialist consultant, Gavin Shawlens.
A dark and sophisticated thriller set in the heart of Botswana, introducing Michael Stanley’s beloved Detective Kubu.
Recruited straight from university to Botswana’s CID, David ‘Kubu’ Bengu has raised his colleagues’ suspicions with his meteoric rise within the department, and he has a lot to prove.
When the richest diamond mine in the world is robbed of 100,000 carats worth of gems, and the thieves are found, executed, Kubu leaps at the chance to prove himself. First he must find the diamonds – and it seems that a witch doctor and his son have a part to play.
Does this young detective have the skill and integrity to engineer an international trap? Or could it cost him everything?
This is a prequel to the series featuring Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu , it is an introduction to his beginnings in the police force Criminal Investigation Department in Botswana.
Assistant Superintendent Makabu assigns Kubu to a complex case on his first day. A plane disaster which is at first believed to be an accident….but there’s more to it than that…diamonds are at the heart of it. When the diamond deliveries are moved to armoured trucks there’s a robbery.
But the robbers start turning up dead and some believe a witchdoctor has cursed them.
Kubu really is thrown in at the deep end with his first big case and it highlights what a patient and thorough detective he is.
This is a crime thriller at its very best, so well written with beautiful descriptions of Botswana and the surrounding area, a fascinating and immensely likeable main character and a dark, dark and twisty plot. Incredible writing that has me totally engrossed from start to finish. Simply brilliant .
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Facets of Death.
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and
learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialised in image processing and remote sensing and taught at the University of the Witwatersrand.
On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.
The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was shortlisted for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was shortlisted for an International Thriller Writers award.
They have also written a thriller, Dead of Night, following the investigative journalist, Crystal Nguyen, who gets caught up in the war against rhino poaching and rhino-horn smuggling.
She knows she’s alone on an abandoned island with a killer on her trail.
She knows that to get home to her children, she must survive long enough to understand why this is happening.
She knows someone tried to kill her for a secret.
What she doesn’t know is what that secret is . . .
Detective Frank Travis doesn’t know enough . . .
He doesn’t know where to find Louise Mason. He doesn’t know how and why she vanished into thin air three months ago. He doesn’t know the identity of the man last seen talking to her. Not yet.
But what he does know it that he’s a week away from retirement — and if he doesn’t find out where Louise went, no one will.
What neither Rebekah nor Detective Travis realise is that each holds a missing piece from the same puzzle — and it will cost them everything they love to finally solve it . . .
Rebekah Murphy is stranded on Crow Island, she’s in a n area ravaged by a hurricane with few facilities left.
Why is she stranded? Who is it that wants her dead?
All will become clear……eventually
The story is told from various perspectives and timelines, from Rebekah past and present which gradually reveals how she has ended up on Crow Island, and from Detective Travis and his search for a missing artist.
Are these cases linked?
This is a thriller, absolutely packed with tension and the descriptions of the island and its weather feels almost claustrophobic adding a nail biting edge to the story. With lots of twists, a feeling of impending danger throughout this is gripping from start to finish. I need a lay down now.! Brilliant storytelling from Mr Weaver.
Thank you to Chrissie at Michal Joseph for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Missing Pieces.
Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.
Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.
Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.
But just how far will she go to get it?
Look What You Made Me Do is the tale of two sisters , Jo and Caroline. They weren’t particularly close and when their father dies the secrets they have long kept hidden start to be revealed.
Beautifully written this family drama has a simmering tension as every member of this fractured family tries to keep their secrets. A tale of keeping up appearances in a toxic environment with a dark mystery just waiting to be revealed. A compelling read from start to finish. Brilliant.
Thank you to Alex at Orion Books for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour and for an ARC of Look What You Made Me Do.
Warm, funny, life-affirming and true, The Best Things is the joyous debut novel from much-loved comedian, writer, actor and presenter Mel Giedroyc.
It’s the story of a family who lose everything, only to find themselves, and each other, along the way.
Sally and Frank Parker have it all.
Then one day, because of Frank, they don’t.
As the bailiffs move in and the money runs out, Sally realises that she and her children don’t have a clue about how to survive.
Or do they?
The Parkers are about to discover that the best things in life aren’t things at all.
Sally Parker is married to Frank, hedge fund manager and their three children, Stephen a bit of a glutton, Cleo a tv addict and Mike a budding entrepreneur. They are wealthy and have staff to look after their day to day lives and a housekeeper, Paloma.
But then disaster strikes, a market crash wipes out their money completely and life changes drastically, but they gradually find there is more to life than money.
This is a well written, warm hug of a read. Full of great characters and a gentle humour, pure escapism, something much needed in these days of doom and gloom.
1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…
2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier.
As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth… and justice.
A tense, startling and unforgettable thriller, The Source is a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience.
The Source is told from two distinct perspectives, one from Carly who lives on an army base, she has an alcoholic mother and cares for her baby sister. She gets excited when invited to a ‘special’ party, but her excitement is short-lived.
The other is from a journalist who is investigating allegations of sex abuse at an army base many years ago and the police have reopened their Operation Andromed. As she investigates she has to deal with her own past.
This is not an easy read as it deals with child sexual abuse and trafficking, it’s not done in any sensational way, but shows the horrors of this vile trade in a sympathetic way……while this doesn’t make it any easier to read at times the story has you hooked from the very start.
It has a clever, engrossing plot and well developed character that you can’t help wanting to protect. A heartbreaking, eye opening and utterly compelling read.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour , for the promotional material and an eARC of The Source.
Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters
of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if
In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.
Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.
On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got.
The April Dead is #4 in the Harry McCoy series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.
Set in the ‘70s Glasgow, DI Harry McCoy has picked up his old friend Stevie, after his stint in jail. But Stevie has hardened in jail and is searching for a traitor amongst his crew.
All the while Harry is investigating a bombing, the only casualty appears to be the bomb maker. But who would set a bomb in this area of the city?
Then a second bomb explodes in the city’s cathedral.
Harry’s friend, Wattie is investigating a murder, that Stevie may have been involved in and Harry is also helping to try and find an AWOL US naval officer. So much is going on as Harry gets closer to the truth of the April dead.
This is a dark, grim and action packed thriller with a sharp, twisty plot. The characters are so well developed you can picture them easily, and the descriptions of Glasgow in the 70’s are frankly, terrifying. A marvellously gritty tale that’s compelling from start to finish. Scottish Noir at its darkest, Simply brilliant.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The April Dead.
A homemade bomb exploded mid-air, killing 214 people on board. Thirteen people survived.
Sixteen years later one of the survivors is found brutally bludgeoned to death. It looks like a crime of passion but DC Lucy Davies knows something is wrong. They were trying to find the bombers.
Lucy’s search for the killer brings her into conflict with her long lost father – who has his own secrets. Dangerous secrets which Lucy must expose so she can confront a vicious murderer with only one thing on their mind.
To keep on killing to stop the truth from getting revealed.
Scare Me to Death is a London based, crime thriller in the series featuring retired MI5 agent Dan Forrester and DC Lucy Davies, it can also be read as a stand-alone.
Sixteen years previously a bomb caused an explosion on a plane out of Marrakech killing nearly every passenger, apart from 13 survivors. Dan had helped save them.
In the present day, Lucy is asked to help an old school friend who has been arrested for murder. Dan is also involved and as they begin to work together, they find a link between the murder and the bombing of the plane all those years ago. All the while Lucy is trying to trace her father, who had left when she was young.
This is a fast paced, exciting thriller it has great characters, lots of secrets and a clever twisty plot with a gasp inducing ending. Well written and compelling from start to finish.
Thank you to C.J Carver and Bloodhound books for an eARC of Scare Me To Death.
A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature.
“At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush”
As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us.
From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.
Birdsong in a Time Of Silence is a beautifully written, almost poetic, book about birds and their songs, something many of us have noticed so much more this past year. With lockdowns and shielding, for some of us the only link to nature available is the birds in our gardens.
This book clearly shows Steven Lovatt’s love of birds, I loved reading about his childhood memories evoked by the simple sound of a bird singing, from the alarm calls of a blackbird to the knife grinding of the magpie.
It also tells of their feats of endurance during migration, the effects of climate change and the destruction of many bird habitats. All mixed with interesting facts for n just how a bird sings, their physiology and habits.
The author has a beautiful way with language and his way of using metaphors to explain what he means, makes this an interesting and totally engaging read. An absolute joy to read.
After the gut-punch ending of Firewatching, DS Adam Tyler returns to another shocking cold case…
A body has been discovered in Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body has been there for months, and would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone has dug it up.
Who is the victim? Who killed her and buried the body, resting two ancient Roman coins over her eyes? And who dug her up?
DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable, and willing to kill to keep what they find…
Nighthawking is the follow up to Firewatching, a Sheffield based crime series featuring the DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbini working in the Cold Case Review Unit.
Adam’s dad, Richard, has died and this was put down as suicide, but Adam believes it to be murder. He is investigating this alone and Mina is covering for his absences against her better judgment.
One night, a metal detectorist is ‘nighthawking’ in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens, and makes a find he wasn’t expecting, a buried body.
With murder enquiries and Adam doing his own thing, Mina is swamped and things get complicated.
Slowly, all begins to come together.
This is a dark, twisty thriller full of tension and suspense. It has a mix of the characters personal lives, with Adam making a mess of his relationship with Paul, and Mina who is keeping work under control, she really is a force to be reckoned with, and the police investigations. With its clever plot, marvellous characters and a truly nail biting end, this is utterly compelling . I’m already looking forward to book 3.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Nighthawking.
Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. His highly-acclaimed debut novel, Firewatching, is the first in the DS Adam Tyler series and published in February 2020. Nighthawking, the second book in the series, will publish in February 2021.
The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.
He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years.
The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.
But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?
The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?
Hunt is #3 in the series featuring Dr Augusta Bloom, it can be read as a stand-alone too.
The Foreign Secretary’s niece is missing and the only person he wants to find her is Dr Bloom. Working with her friend and business partner, Marcus, they find a feminist organisation has all the traits of a cult. So, Augusta goes undercover to find out why women are going missing.
Ooh and Seraphine is back!
This is a sharp, fast paced thriller with fantastic characters and a clever plot full of tension that keeps you on tenterhooks. Completely engrossing from start to finish. Unputdownable!
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hunt.
Leona Deakin 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. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.
Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written three novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost and Hunt.
For lovers of audiobooks, Audible are offering 3 MONTHS for 99p…..
New customers signing up to Audible via the link below will pay £0.99 for 3 months, instead of the regular £7.99 per month. Audible membership includes a credit every month, applicable to any audiobook, regardless of price or length. The books are yours to keep for life, even if you cancel. With the world’s largest section of titles to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…
The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.
The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.
Bound is #4 in the Sam Shephard series, it can be read as a stand-alone )but you are missing out on a great series.).
A local businessman is murdered in his home, his wife is left bound to a chair and seriously injured, their young son had returned home to find them like this.
Sam is investigating the case to find out who would kill a supposedly respectable man, all the while she is also dealing with the fact her father has cancer and is dying. Throwing herself into work helps her forget her personal life for a while.
Can she find out the truth?
This is such a tightly plotted tale full of tension, great characters and a gasp inducing twist. So well written you are willing Sam on as she fights to find a killer. Sam is such a great character, strong and determined, yet with a softer side too. A marvellously tense, emotional thriller that’s has you hooked from page one. Just brilliant.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Bound.
Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.
Welcome to The Bookwormery this evening, I’m excited at this new channel for BOOKS….launching tonight at 10pm with a reading from Ruthless Women by the author herself…..Melanie Blake
All you have to do is download OOOOO from the app store on your smartphone, (it’s free), and then open the Book.TV channel at any time between 10pm – 11pm to tune into Melanie Blake’s live reading.
Here are some more details:
Launching Book.TV with Melanie Blake
OOOOO the revolutionary live-streaming video platform launch dedicated channel Book.TV with live guest appearance from bestselling author Melanie Blake reading on International Woman’s Day, Monday 8th 10pm
Developed by the Tech leaders behind Wish.com and Tik Tok, OOOOO is the ground-breaking interactive platform where live entertainment meets shopping; an immersive social realm that presents an exhilarating and interactive live experience across a network of digital ‘tv’ channels dedicated to all interests and passions.
Monday 8th sees the launch of the dedicated channel for avid literature fans and book worms, Book.TV. To mark International Woman’s Day, at 10pm renowned author Melanie Blake will make a guest appearance with a live, intimate reading of her famously scandalous book ‘Ruthless Women’ live and direct from her home to yours. Viewers are also provided with the exclusive chance to purchase signed, limited edition copies during the live performance.
Named “the new Queen of the Bonkbuster” and the rightful heir to Jackie Collins’ crown by The Times UK, celebrity agent and Sunday Times Bestselling author Melanie Blake will launch Book.TV on OOOOO with her smash hit novel – Ruthless Women which is currently at no.4 in the UK bestseller charts. So addictive it’s been described as a “binge read,” Ruthless Women is perfect for fans of Killing Eve and The Devil Wears Prada.
Book.TV – Hear the Story, Meet the Author
Book.TV is a channel devoted to celebrating talented authors, independent bookshops and book worms, delivering a lucrative platform and much-needed boost for the UK’s publishing industry impacted by the pandemic.
Book.TV is an informative and interactive live shoppable channel with the aim to provide entertainment and education to the OOOOO community, immersing them in the world of written word and literature through live, entertaining and shoppable readings.
Book.TV provides the opportunity for established and emerging authors to perform live readings to a highly engaged, interactive crowd. At the same time, the audience can discover new talent, virtually ‘meet and greet’ their favourite authors and enjoy free live, intimate performances.
Content will also be tailored to capture different audiences, with live shows dedicated to the reading of comercial fiction, crime thrillers, YA romance, literary classics, children’s books and timeless comics hosted by the authors themselves. Live shows on he platform are currently reaching up to 10k viewers, with lots of new readers to be made every single night.
The platform is also a unique, lucrative sales channel for the author, publisher or book retailer to gain earning potential during real-time performances. Copies of the narrated book, including exclusive first editions and signed copies, will be available for purchase during the show.
What really makes the live-streamed experience on Book.TV inimitable is both viewers and performers can enjoy two-way interaction, with a cutting-edge integrated ‘tipping’ feature to further bolster earnings during the show. This feature enables fans to purchase and send virtual ‘gifts’ to the narrator, with each symbol representing a monetary value they receive post-show.
OOOOO’s mission to help people earn a living doing what they love, and to build and inspire like-minded communities. The company has also set its sights on building not-for-profit channels, with the aim being to first and foremost educate and inspire the audience. Avenues are also being explored to leverage the concept to drive fundraising efforts for charity beneficiaries.
Laura Palmer Publishing Director at Head of Zeus has said: The new Book.TV channel on OOOOO.com is a game changer for the publishing industry. Imagine if authors could directly sell books to their fans via twitter or Instagram? This is exactly what OOOOO.com offers. At a time when we need diverse retail channels more than ever, when book festivals are postponed and authors are unable to go to signings, OOOOO.com has come up with a solution that the publishing industry badly needs. Melanie Blake’s audience are digital savvy shoppers who are more likely to buy their books on their weekly supermarket shop than visit a bookshop, and as OOOOO.com is the UK’s fastest growing social media app, it has the ability to transform the way not just authors but the entire publishing industry sells books. It’s the beginning of a new digital era for book sales, and I hope as many of the publishing industry as possible tune in at 10pm on Monday 8th March to see how it works.
Melanie Blake, author of bestseller Ruthless Women says: “When I wrote Ruthless Women last March, during the first lockdown, never in a million years did I believe we’d still be in lockdown when it came out. OOOOO.com launching a new channel dedicated to books is a game changer for authors everywhere in the UK. At the moment, as an author, I can’t meet my readers or sign books. Being able to sell signed copies of my book and speak to my readers on OOOOO.com is the closest I will get to a book signing or author event in lockdown. I am beyond honoured to be the first author to launch the new books channel on OOOOO.com. Becoming a Sunday Times Bestseller has been the biggest achievement of my career as an author and now OOOOO.com has found a way for me to share this success with my readers, so I am over the moon. Anyone joining me at 10pm on Monday the 8th March is in for a wild ride as I will be reading from the juiciest parts of my new novel Ruthless Women – trust me when I say it’s not for the faint hearted!”
OOOOO Co-founder, Sam Jones, says: We are thrilled to be launching Book.TV with bestselling author Melanie Blake. The launch of Book.TV is part of our wider goal to provide educational and informative channels for the OOOOO community. Book.TV will connect the audience with the wonderful world of written word, renowned authors like Melanie and emerging talent through a unique, live and interactive experience.
The past year has resulted in many of us adopting a slower pace of life, spending more time indoors than ever and filling the time once dedicated to socialising. Reading books is a great distraction, and though many more pages would’ve been turned, the book business has no doubt seen a detrimental impact with book festivals and book signings cancelled, and bookshops both large chains and independent stores closed.
“Our view is that the retail industry will never truly recover from this year. Instead, people will form new habits and seek new ways to earn a living. We want to be part of this inevitable shift, with Book.TV playing a key role in bolstering the publishing industry.”
When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?
As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?
Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?
The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.
There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.
The Devil’s Mark is #3 in the DI Graves series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.
Here DI Graves and his partner, DI Palmer are investigating a murder after body parts are found in a London park. As they try to identify the victim more body parts are found and it looks like a serial killer is at work.
There seems to be a ritualistic part to the killings and so enlist Professor Gooding to help. What links the victims? What is the meaning of the symbols left at the scenes?
This is fast paced, dark and violent as the crime scenes are horrific and with the occult edge giving some creepy moments. The relationship between Graves and Palmer is clever and they work well together and make a great team as they delve deeper they have each other’s backs…..they’ll need it!
A dark and clever plot, with great characters make this a truly gripping tale that will have you hooked from the very start.
Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Devil’s Mark.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release.
His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.
His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.
As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.
When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother giftsher with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.
In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas
of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.
But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…
The Favour is the tale of Ada, she wants to belong in high society with the ‘elite’ and she’ll do anything to be part of it.
This is a slow burn of story full of secrets and lies, oh and a death.
Beautifully written, full of detail and art history with wonderful descriptions of Italy and its architecture. There are some truly reprehensible characters and none of them are particularly likeable but you do feel for Ada as she searches for a place to belong. A captivating story to lose yourself in for a while.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Favour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Vaughan grew up in rural Wales and studied Art History in Italy and Classics at Bristol and Oxford. She got her first book deal aged twenty-two and went on to write eleven books for children and young adults. The Favour is her first novel for adults. She lives in South London with her husband and two children.
Hello from the Bookwormery, today I am lucky to be hosting a guest post from Luke Carter, who along with Anna Ametller, is the author of The Gardener and other short stories. Enjoy!
The Gardener and Other Short Stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller
Where do you start when introducing The Gardener and Other Short Stories, the surreal collection of new stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller? With The Postman, busy opening and rewriting people’s letters? With Mr Hard-Luck, perhaps? The self-proclaimed Treasure Hunter in the town of Vanishing! Or is it with the story of how the lives of a thief, antique collector, artist and business man are all brought together by a cat with one eye!?
Or maybe, it is best to begin with a huge thank you to the kind people of Bookwormery for the invitation to write here, along with an explanation on why I wrote the book?
The Gardener and Other Short Stories, filled with surreal villages and suspicious characters, had two important aims. The first was to write a book that told beautiful and simple stories…but with perhaps a little more lurking just beneath the surface. (The abused metaphor of an iceberg comes to mind!) The second was much more fun! To create a world so full of characters and details that you could pluck any figure from a page in the book and they could effortlessly be turned into a short story of their own! Father Falcon, for example, with his dark hair that everyone knows is a wig; or Mrs Buttercup, 89 years old, deaf in one-and-a-half ears, and wearing prescription glasses that magnify her eyes into dinner plates.
“The weather had turned up at last. It was a sunny day. It was a gloriously sunny day with a sea blue sky where few clouds went swimming. It was palm tree weather. It was a day that brightened your garden as well as your soul.
Speaking of gardens, this one wasflourishing. It had never looked so good. It was as green as a field of rice.Pea shoots coiled their way up the windows. Grapes tiptoed up the bendy banisters on the stairs to choke the chimneys above. The oven had become a glass house for exotic mangos. Young saplings were planted into old shoes and the vegetables growing in the fridgecouldn’tbe fresher. The garden had taken over the house.”
I live in Spain and think I must have been missing England a little when I wrote the stories. They are full of English nostalgia, village gossip, and eccentric people and the illustrations match that feeling perfectly! With houses that have grown ears for listening and a gentleman in pyjamas ironing his Financial Times, the images, over thirty in total, add an extra layer of curiosity to the stories without distracting from the plot. They were drawn by the talented Anna Ametller, sculptor and artist who produces work from her little sailing boat in the Mediterranean.
The joy and difficulty of self-publishing come in equal measure! It is a great freedom and adventure to write, design, edit, print, promote and distribute a book all by yourself! Yet it goes without saying that this all takes time…a lot of it!
To help fund the publication, we have spent this month crowdfunding on Kickstarter, a platform that allows people to pre-order a copy in order to finance the book. It has been an interesting process, especially as it has allowed for us to offer more than just a book. For example, we thought it would be great fun to bring one of the stories about a nosey postman to life, by offering hand written letters from different characters in that story! Not only that, but you also get the option to REPLY to these characters and begin a fictional pen-pal journey!
It is currently available on pre-sale and will be printed in late April! You can to purchase your copy and find more information about the book here: http://kck.st/2Zpym4L
About the Author
Luke Carter has been making books for years. From history books to illustrated A-Z’s of English expressions, Luke has always searched for the story in everything. His style is deceptively simple and, as a lover of stories, his books are richly layered with bizarre characters in even stranger worlds!
When he is not writing books, he teaches English and watches birds on the tiny paradise of Formentera, Spain. More of his work can be found here:
Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.
With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge. Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.
Hotel Cartagena is #4 in the Chas Riley series to be published in the UK. It can also be read as a stand-alone.
Chastity Riley is a public prosecutor, she is at a party to celebrate her friend, Faller’s birthday. Surrounded by friends, lovers and ex-lovers this is going to be interesting, but then armed men arrive at the hotel and it becomes a hostage situation.
Why would they target the hotel?
Told from the present day and with flashbacks to the past, you gradually build a picture of events that have led to this moment from
During the hours the hostages sit and wait, there’s time for reflection and Chastity has plenty to think about…..as does poor Ivo who is aching events from the outside.
This is a fast paced, stylish thriller that is Noir with a capital N, it has many layers with the crime, the hostages and the thoughts and emotions of those involved. It’s sharp, edgy and utterly gripping from start to finish.
Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hotel Cartagena.
Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.