Featured

Fulfilment by Anne Stormont

The Blurb

The path of true love rarely runs smoothly…

When former Edinburgh police detective Jack Baxter met local author and crofter Rachel Campbell on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for both of them.

They both had emotional baggage. Jack helped Rachel cope with unimaginable grief after the death in combat of her soldier son, and Rachel was there for Jack after a criminal with a grudge almost ended his life. There were many bumps along the road but they believed they’d worked through and settled their differences.

However, Jack is struggling. Still suffering from post-traumatic stress, haunted by his past, and taunted by the demons of self-doubt, he feels Rachel deserves better.

Meanwhile, Rachel is busy preparing for the launch of her latest book – a book in honour of her son and aimed at promoting peace. So at first, she fails to notice just how troubled Jack is.

Can Jack overcome his demons?

Can Rachel convince Jack he deserves to be loved?

Can they finally resolve their differences and fulfil their dreams together?

Fulfilment is the third and final part in Rachel & Jack: The Skye series.

It follows on from Displacement (book 1) and Settlement (book 2).

If you like mature, emotional and thought-provoking contemporary romance in a dramatic setting, then this is a book for you.

The Author

Anne Stormont was born in Scotland and although she has travelled all over the world – including a teaching exchange to South Africa, four trips to Australia and several visits to the Middle East – it’s where she still lives.

She began making up stories as a child in order to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult, being busy with motherhood and working as a teacher, it took a long time and a mortality wake-up call for her to get that first book written.

She’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and enthusiastic gardener. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Fulfilment is the third of the 3 books in the Rachel & Jack: Skye Series. Anne’s books are all set in Scotland and are contemporary romances where the main characters may be slightly older but are not necessarily wiser.

You can find out more about Anne and her books at her website anne-stormont.com

Buy Link: 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08839RCJT/?ref=exp_kellysloveofbooks_dp_vv_d  

The Review

I have loved this series. With all its ups and downs, twists and turns it has stayed realistic and readable.

It’s a great story and brings to an end the story of Jack and Rachel. Both are lovely, interesting characters who you want to know more about.

There’s times you’re going to want to shake one (or both!) of them, others you’re cheering them on and the characters have grown and evolved as the series has gone on. I have loved the series since book one. Unlike other series, it didn’t tail off and feel forced as some do. It felt natural the whole way through. I have thoroughly enjoyed this and will say this. Go and treat yourself to the three books and then just ignore the world and read them.

Thanks to @LoveBooksGroup and @writeanne Anne Stormont for the review copy of this book.

Featured

The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick

Description

Now we have equality. Now we’ve outgrown our biology. With FullLife’s baby pouch, women are liberated and men can share the joy of childbearing. Holly’s whole family knows the benefits, but Eva doesn’t believe society has changed for the better and Piotr has uncovered a secret behind FullLife’s glossy facade. What separates them may just bring them together, as they search for the truth about FullLife and each face a truth of their own.

Review.

I was sent a review copy of this book from the author and it’s a book that I knew was slightly out of my comfort zone, but had a feeling I’d enjoy.

I was not disappointed.

Helen Sedgwick backs up what could have been in other hands a simple black and white scientific discussion. Until you involve people who have real issues, feelings and emotions. The characters all have their reasons for believing their standpoint at the beginning. At the end some views are changed and others are softened or just more open to seeing what is going wrong around them.

It brings to mind echoes of Brave New World and serves as a warning to not only look before we dive into “better” futures but keep checking on what our world turns into and give open choices. Sometimes what appears dead and outdated is, though frequently it’s a stark reminder that although new things work not all older ideas should be thrown away.

Excellent read Helen Sedgwick

I make no apology for starting the blog with a book from a few years ago. I am always finding books new to me, and also read new release books. This book is one of those that sticks with me, haunting me with it’s possible ways for the world to go in the race for a more evolved future and like every future move has drawbacks and advantages. The more we hear from scientists and breakthroughs I’m brought back to this book and the insight of Helen and other scientists who look beyond the obvious.E6B21040-CE97-4F86-835B-8241A5A0B2A2

If you haven’t yet read this book buy it as soon as you can. If you have, feel free to let me know your thoughts. I’m sure I don’t need to ask, but whatever your opinion now or in the future by all means be honest, but always be kind. 🙂

Helen can be found on Twitter at @HelenSedgwick

 

 

Roses for the Dead by Chris McDonald

The Blurb

2013

Rockstar Johnny Mayhem sits on his bed, holding a bloody baseball bat. On the floor, clutching a lavender rose in her fist, is his wife, Amanda, who he has just beaten to death. Erika Piper knows this because she is one of the first on the scene. Mayhem is arrested and led away, screaming that they’ve got the wrong man. But the evidence is irrefutable and when Mayhem is sentenced to life in prison, no one is surprised.

 

Now

Thanks to new evidence, Johnny Mayhem is a now free man. During a television interview, he issues a thinly veiled threat to those involved in the original case before seemingly disappearing off the face of the Earth. When the body of Mayhem’s dealer is found, Erika Piper is pulled from the safety of her desk job and thrown into the hunt for the Rockstar. Can she find Mayhem before he can enact his revenge or everyone involved, including Erika? Or, has he been telling the truth all along? Did the police really get the wrong man?

 

The Author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021.

Buy Links: 

 

The Red Dog Shop https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/roses-for-the-dead

 

Amazon mybook.to/RFTD

 

Publication date: 13 April 2021

The Review

What a fantastic way to end the Erika Piper series.

Chris McDonald has written a brilliant series from the perspective of a female detective. Anyone thinking men cannot write authentic female characters or viva versa, could learn a lot about characterisation from this man.

Never have I picked up a book and said she wouldn’t, or women don’t do that. So for that, bravo!

I loved this book and although it’s time for Chris to move on I love the explosive ending.

This is a riveting read and you’re invested in it from the word go. The characters are all natural and true to life and shows that people are much more multi faceted creatures than we often realise.

As I’ve said before, Chris picks up on the little details, takes them apart and runs with them. He twists and turns a story like a dancer pirouetting through your imagination and leads you to the most unexpected moments.

Erika Piper has been a character I have loved because she is so down to earth, real and every day. He obviously has done research on his subject and you never feel like you’re left hanging on with too many unanswered threads. I love the way the door is open just enough for other novels in the future.

Absolutely fantastic book Chris. I loved every second of it.

Thanks to Red Dog Press and Chris McDonald for the advanced reading copy of this book.

 

Facets of death by Michael Stanley

The Blurb

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?

The Authors

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.

The Review

The authors who make up the partnership of Michael Stanley are fantastic! The writing is seamless, unlike some books you cannot hear different voices identifying them.

I love the way they have brought in cultural aspects and it’s not ‘just another police procedural’ it delves into the culture and heritage of the country and it’s a sure fire winner. I’ll definitely be reading more from them!

Kubu went from the green new recruit who could be caught in power games, to very quickly a capable and confident investigator who knows exactly what he’s doing and learns to trust himself. His development as a character is fantastic.

The landscape of the characters is painted so cleverly, it’s like being in a rich tapestry and I absolutely loved the book. It’s full of atmosphere and grit and you will be holding your breath for the next turning.

If you’re new to these authors I assure you that it doesn’t read as though written by a duo. It’s a fantastically dark and addictive book and I will personally be searching out more of their books.

Thanks to Anne Cater, Orenda books and the authors for the advanced reading copy of this book.

The Lost Hours by Susan Lewis

The Blurb

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…   

A perfect crime? 

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be. 

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.  

The Author

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Liesand Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone.She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. 

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

The Review

A perfect life, a perfect family. Or is it? Annie and David appear to have the dream life, and one small thing is about to shatter that dream.

Their daughter has her DNA taken and it throws the whole family that nobody could in their worst nightmare, imagine.

It’s a gripping psychological thriller that drip feeds you with information so you don’t quite know who you should be suspecting.

If you enjoy tales where families have their secrets and seeing characters placed in intensely emotional situations you will love this.

Thanks for the advanced reading copy of this book to Anne Cater, the author and Harper Collins.

White Knuckle Dance by Andrew Cockburn

The Blurb

She’s not what she appears to be.

He’s got secrets of his own.

But someone has to lead this dance.

There is a story behind every face you walk by on the street, or that you bump into in life. But what about your own story?

Dan never thought about himself as being different, and the world would agree with him. Just a regular nice guy who works in a regular nice job in London.

His nice and normal London life in the hectic world of sales turns upside down when he meets the captivating Mary at a work event. Deep down he knew there was more to life than what he was doing. He had an inkling that things with him could maybe be a little different. That a life of drudgery wasn’t what he’d signed up for.

But there seems to be a lot more to Mary than meets the eye. And with her guidance and through their relationship, he learns things he never even knew about himself.

But Mary is not the only one with a secret. As the dance speeds up, the games begin, and the

stakes are raised.

And so begins the white knuckle dance of discovery, risk, and power.

But can there really be a winner in that deadly dance of theirs

The Way it should be by Christina Suzann Nelson

The Blurb

After years of estrangement, the lives of Zara Mahoney and her twin sister, Eve, are suddenly and completely intertwined again. Eve’s troubled lifestyle causes the state to take custody of her two children and contact Zara and her husband, asking them to consider foster care. Newlywed Zara thought she’d finally been given a fresh start and feels wholly unprepared to care for a niece and nephew whose existence she wasn’t even aware of.

Meanwhile, Eve may have a real chance to start over this time with the help of Tiff Bradley, who’s dedicated to helping women everyone else has given up on after facing a heartbreaking tragedy in her own family.

Over the course of one summer, all three women’s hearts and lives hang in the balance as Eve desperately works toward a new life. Can they redefine their expectations of how life should be to find the hope they—and those they love—so desperately need?

The Author

CBA bestselling author Christina Suzann Nelson writes stories that focus on changing legacies from dysfunction to hope. Her novel More Than We Remember received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and her debut novel was named a Library Journal Best Book of 2017 and a Foreword INDIES 2017 Book of the Year. Christina is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW, where she has served as the northwest zone director. She lives in Oregon’s gorgeous Willamette Valley with her husband of 26 years and their children. Find her online at http://www.christinasuzannnelson.com.

The Review

This is a well written book. It charts families, addiction and abuse. Also the destruction and rebuilding that addiction can cause. Written very honestly and is full of moments that will bring tears to your eyes.

It was for me personally, a bit too heavy on religion and that stopped me from enjoying it so much. Possibly it should be in Christian women’s fiction and not just contemporary as I felt a little preached at, and quite honestly I’d not have read it if I’d known.

Thanks so LoveBooksGroup, and the author for this advanced reading copy of the book.

Dead in the Water by Chris McDonald

The Blurb

The Stonebridge Regatta is looming. The town’s annual face-off against neighbouring Meadowfield is usually a weekend filled with sunshine, laughter and camaraderie. 

This year is different.

A week before the race, the body of Stonebridge team captain Matthew Henderson is found dead in the water. The police file his passing as a tragic accident however, his grieving widow disagrees and suspects foul play is involved. She enlists the help of Adam and Colin, the town’s amateur (self-proclaimed) private detectives to unearth the truth.

Did Matthew simply slip and fall into the water, or is there more to his death below the surface?

The Author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

 

The Review

 

This cosy crime from Chris McDonald cements the cleverness of this series. I’d suggest if you haven’t read the first book, that you do! Not because you have to to get the story, as they’re quite easily great as standalone novellas. So, why wouldn’t you?

Chris McDonald has a writing style that gives you the information to solve the story, in a way keeps you hooked and saying maybe this, maybe that, but his humour shines through in everything he writes.

The books are not only visually appealing but they have that must read thing and they hook you from the opening sentence, drawing you in. As with all of his books I was sucked in, as Chris looks deeply at how people work and seems to build around them. I can see this becoming a must read series for all cosy crime lovers.

Thanks for the ARC to Chris McDonald and Red Dog Press

Buy Links: 

Amazon: mybook.to/DITW

 The Red Dog Shop:https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/dead-in-the-water

Publication date: 27 March 2021

The April Dead by Alan Parks

The Blurb

NO ONE WILL FORGET . . .

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 Author

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

The Review

This is the fourth in the series and unlike some series at this point, it has not lost its steam. The characters are getting more and more fleshed out and you care, which is essential for a series like this.

It’s a dark, dangerous and compelling book and brings in real events of the time and it draws you in with realistic storylines.

Alan Parks is fast becoming a new favourite and if you love police procedurals with heart, passion and characters you want to know about, then read this series and put it at the top of your list straight away.

Thanks to Anne Cater, Blackthorn books and the Author for the advanced reading copy of this amazing book.

Blackstoke by Rob Parker

The Blurb

WEALTH. SECURITY. PROSPERITY. NONE OF IT MATTERS IN THE DARK. 

In a quiet cul-de-sac on the newly-opened, much sought-after Blackstoke housing development, the first handful of families are moving in. These neighbours, thrown together for the first time, are looking forward to settling into their bright new lives—with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The estate couldn’t be nicer, but it’s a big change for everyone. 

Then things start to happen. Bad things. As if something doesn’t want them there. 

As the new residents try to make sense of events, the buried history of the area makes itself suddenly, deeply apparent—with a series of shocking, violent escalations. 

Soon, no one is safe, as the original powers of Blackstoke return to reclaim their territory and birth right in a final night of dark revelations, gore and bloodshed. 

 The Author

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers, Crook’s Hollow and the #1 Audible bestseller Far From The Tree, he enjoys a rural life, writing horrible things between school runs. Rob writes full time, attends various author events across the UK, and boxes regularly for charity. He spends a lot of time in schools across the North, encouraging literacy, story-telling and creative-writing, and somehow squeezes in time to co-host the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, appear regularly on The Blood Brothers Crime Podcast, and is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate.

The Review

WOW!! This book blew me away.

I have always loved horror and how it confronts the deepest darkest fears, embedded in us all. This book meets and exceeds the genre, because it examines as all the best horrors do, people. The who, the why.

It harks for me to the days of James Herbert and Stephen King who always looked not just at the gore and fears we all have, but about taking a person, and making them an unlikely hero. Except he’s not Herbert or King, because Parker makes the beautifully fearsome trio and stands alone.

The book crosses genre in an extremely clever way more than once. Yet, it’s utterly seamless.

I read it in one sitting, in the dark, by candlelight. And that was because I had a powercut. However, the writing is so chilling, yet so filled with hope for the characters that while having moments of, is reading this now a good idea? I carried on, because I was rooting for the characters and could visualise them totally.

Some writers explore a new genre and it really doesn’t work at all. Some smash it out of the park (into a dark wood!) and they make you want the next book badly.

Absolutely brilliant stuff, Rob Parker! If I could go higher than 5 stars I would and I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys horror and edgy crime and more importantly things about people.

Thanks for the ARC to Rob Parker and Red Dog Press.

 

The CalDat Investigation by BRM Stewart **BookBlitz**

The Blurb

Thank you for signing up for The CalDat Investigation blitz. 


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The CalDat Investigation by BRM Stewart 


Blurb 

Grant Cairns is a Glasgow-based private investigator. He is contracted to investigate a company called Caledonia Data (CalDat) which is suspected of channelling dark money to far-right groups, and also being involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Ex-DS Amanda Pitt is living a life of box sets, painkillers and gin. When a former colleague tells her about an apparently racially motivated fatal stabbing in a Glasgow hotel, where the murderer could not have known the victim and who died at the scene, she becomes intrigued. She gets Grant Cairns involved, and they find that their cases are inter-linked.

As they work, they enlist the help of computer expert Martin McGregor and his genius hacker protégé Michael. For Martin, the world of online abuse and fake news gets very personal.

And for MSP Julia Ross, a passionate believer in people’s rights – especially the LGBT agenda – and online accountability, the hate and trolling will have fatal consequences, unless Cairns, Amanda, and Martin and Michael can save her.

The Author


I was born in Rutherglen (near Glasgow) and brought up in Grangemouth. I went to Glasgow University and Jordanhill Teacher Training College and taught in Edinburgh before moving north to the Highlands. I lived and worked there for many years in education in various roles, including as an OU maths tutor. In 2017 we moved to Broughty Ferry to be nearer our families.

Having retired from education, I’m focused on my writing.

My wife and I enjoy travelling. Highlights have included cycling in Alaska, swimming in the Blue Lagoon, and climbing Vesuvius. We’ve seen Uluru at dusk and dawn, and swum in the Olympic pool under Sydney harbour bridge. The furthest north we’ve been was North Cape, the west was the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, and of course, New Zealand took us furthest east and south. All of that background will seep into my writing in due course in some way or another.

When not writing, I try to keep fit and try to play the guitar and golf (not simultaneously). I am in Broughty Ferry Rotary and also support our District in my role as Assistant Governor in District 1010. One of the great bonuses of being a Rotarian is the ability to visit other clubs – most recently in Hong Kong and in Blenheim (South Island). I keep in contact with other writers through social media, writers’ events, and the Angus Writers’ Circle, whose members are a really supportive bunch.

I self-published Digital Circumstances and Digital Investigations. The next in the series, The Deaths on the Black Rock, was published by ThunderPoint on October 23rd 2018. For the follow-up, I went back to self-publishing, and The CalDat Investigation came out in February 2021.

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/CalDat-Investigation-Fake-fatal-Digital-ebook/dp/B08XLKJBWH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=4AT2XC8DZJ0F&dchild=1&keywords=brm+stewart&qid=1615809945&sprefix=brm+stew%2Cstripbooks%2C159&sr=8-1

Tarō by Blue Spruell

The Blurb

Tarō is the heroic tale of Japan’s legendary boy samurai. Author Blue Spruell reimagines traditional Japanese folklore in a historical fantasy adventure filled with samurai swords, martial arts, and mythical Japanese creatures from old Japan. . . .

Lost in the mists of Mount Fuji. But no one can escape destiny.

The year is 1596 when samurai warlords fight for control of the Imperial throne. Tarō does not want to be a samurai-like his father, but fate takes a hand when a witch enchants the boy. Gaining supernatural powers, and befriending the magical forest animals of Mount Fuji, Tarō saves a powerful warlord’s life and discovers his destiny—as he hurtles headlong into the total war for ultimate control of Japan.

The Author

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Blue Spruell lived and worked in Japan for several years before returning to Atlanta. A trial lawyer and certified mediator, he runs his own firm, The Outlaw Firm, specializing in family law and civil litigation. An internationally recognized black belt instructor, he also owns Peachtree Aikikai, a dōjo for Japanese martial arts.

The Review

This is a re-imagined tale which mixes myth, history, folklore and fantasy into a very interesting little cocktail.

Definitely a must for anyone interested in folklore and myth as it’s always interesting to read of tales of legend from another land, especially when they’re re-imagined.

A great tale of Japanese war lords and the hierarchy within the system.

An enjoyable tale, well worth a read for pure escapism.

Thanks to LoveBooksGroup and the author for the advanced reading copy of this book.

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