A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore @Rachelhore @simonschusterUK @rararesources #blogtour #ABeautifulSpy #RachelHore #historicalfiction #fivestars #recommended

Good morning everyone! I’m re-sharing my review of the fantastic A Beautiful Spy by Rachel Hore today in celebration of the paperback release and as part of the Rachel’s Random Resources tour.

Before I share my review here is a little about the book.

Book Synopsis:

Minnie Gray is an ordinary young woman.
She is also a spy for the British government.
 
It all began in the summer of 1928…
 
Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.
 
Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.
 
She soon gains the trust of important leaders. But as she grows more and more entangled in the workings of the movement, her job becomes increasingly dangerous. Leading a double life is starting to take its toll on her relationships and, feeling more isolated than ever, she starts to wonder how this is all going to end. The Russians are notorious for ruthlessly disposing of people given the slightest suspicion.
 
What if they find out?
 
Full of suspense, courage and love, A Beautiful Spy is a stunningly written story about resisting the norm and following your dreams, even if they come with sacrifices.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of Rachel’s so I was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for this, her latest book. One again this author has written a gripping and intriguing book which was hard to put down.

Firstly I absolutely loved Minnie, who I liked from pretty much the first page. She knows what she wants and doesn’t want to just get married like everyone else. She shows lots of courage and determination throughout the book which was wonderful to read about. It definitely made me warm to her more and I found I wanted to continue reading to find out what happens to her.

The author does a great job in setting the scene in this book and I loved how she describes the time period by adding in lots of historical detail. It was definitely an interesting time with lots of political things happening in the run up to the second world war which I always enjoy learning more about. It was a completely different time for women too with society expecting them to get married and then give up their careers or job to become a housewife. This made Minnie’s story even more interesting as she was completely different from the norm.

I felt this book gives the reader a unusual insight into what it’s like to be a spy as it doesn’t just focus on their mission like normal books but also gives the reader a look into their lives so that we can see how difficult it is to be a spy at times. As we follow Minnie throughout the book we become aware of her emotional turmoil as she struggles balancing her two worlds of spying and normal life. I’ve never properly thought about this before so I found this very interesting.

Overall I really enjoyed this intriguing, gripping read which has a very thrilling plot line. This book is actually based on real life spy Olga Grey which I always love and I spent too long googling up things on the internet as I wanted to learn more about her. I raced through this book in a couple of days which is no mean feat when you are homeschooling three children. I felt very sad to finish the book and have to leave Minnie behind.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Simon and Schuster for my copy of this book. If you are a fan of gripping historical fiction based on real life historical figures then I thoroughly recommend this book.

About The Author:

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a full-time writer. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.

The Woman In The Woods by M. K. Hill @markhillwriter @HoZ_Books @RandomTTours #BlogTour #Review #TheWomanInTheWoods #MKHill #RandomThingsTours #5Stars #recommended

Book Synopsis:

A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, funny and moving new thriller from M.K. Hill

Three years ago, Danny ‘Abs’ Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. But on the night of the party, everything changed.

It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering, just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing – and never seen again. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.

No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs’s career. And now one of his mates has been murdered…

DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again – but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished. Will the truth set Abs free? Or bury him?

My Review:

The Woman In The Woods is a fast paced, addictive read that I couldn’t put down. I managed to read half the book in one day as I was so enjoying it.

Firstly this isn’t a gritty crime read but a more character driven story which I thought made a nice change. It manages to be emotional in parts but also quite funny in places which I wasn’t expecting. The story is told from the pov of Sacha as she tries to solve the murder case and Abs as he tries to work through his guilt of what happened. There are also some interesting flashbacks from three years ago which helps tell the readers what actually happened.

The author has created some amazing characters who I enjoyed following throughout the book and who I’ve kept thinking about long after I’ve finished reading. I really liked that Sasha wasn’t the stereotypical police officer you normally find in crime books. She has a family (albeit a slightly broken one) and therefore a life outside work. She is a strong, capable women but she also has a soft side and is always happy to listen to her colleagues problems. I absolutely loved Abs and the other Laid in Essex cast members who were so true to life that I actually had Mark Wright in my head when I was picturing Abs! Their antics and opinions in the book often had me laughing out loud and I found myself warming to Abs as the book continued.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from this author. The book had a great pace to it and there was always something happening to keep me reading. I often found myself trying to hide away in the kitchen so I could just read one more chapter. I did guess part of the ending but a huge twist towards the end took me completely by surprise which I absolutely loved. The author let’s the reader know what happened afterwards to each of the characters which I thought was a nice touch and helped clear up any loose ends to the story. The very last pages were brilliant and I closed the book with a huge smile on my face.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Head Of Zeus for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time writer. The first novel in the Sasha Dawson series, The Bad Place, was described as ‘everything a police procedural should be’ by The Times, who also named it as their crime book of the month. He lives in London.

#BlogTour: Wilson Indeed! By Steve Walsh @2stevewalsh @zooloo2008 #WilsonIndeed #SteveWalsh #zoolootours #RedLiteracyAgency

Good evening everyone I’m pleased to finally share an extract from Wilson Indeed! as part of the Zooloo blog tour.

Before I share my extract here is a little about the book.

Book Synopsis:

Wilson Armitage was just five years old when he started speaking French. Unusual, because at primary school Wilson was still on the foothills of the ABCs. An ascent of Mont Blanc should have been unthinkable, given that he’d never had a French lesson in his life.


His astonished parents looked to Foreign Language Syndrome as an explanation – a rare phenomenon resulting from a head injury. Playground rough and tumble perhaps? Unfortunately, that wouldn’t explain the other incidents.


The fact is, no rational explanation could ever account for Wilson’s talents, because Wilson was able to acquire expertise and knowledge during his night life. He was a Number Eleven, one of a small number of remarkable people who learn through their dreams.


When he meets Daisy Meadowcroft in a dream and then arranges to meet her the next day, in Starbucks, in Manchester, in real life, his cover is blown. Enthralled by their shared gift, an ability to bridge the gap between dreams and reality, they strike up a close friendship and encourage each other to seek a rational explanation for their unique talents. 

Wilson Indeed is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

Extract:

Over the course of twelve years, from speaking French at the age of five, Wilson visited The Market Square at least once a week, sometimes for three or four nights in a row.

In the early years, he was drawn to L’École and behind a desk in Class 6a, wearing a blazer with a flaming orange sun embroidered on the pocket, he was introduced to number of languages in which he quickly became adept. It was as though in the course of a dream, Wilson could soak up the steady drip drip of foreign words and then in day light hours, trace the leak back to a full reservoir of vocabulary and grammar. Having dreamed a little, it seemed Wilson knew where to find the lot. In the same way, Wilson mastered a wide variety of other subjects on L ’É cole timetable. By clutching a twig of information during the night, he found it was connected to an entire tree of knowledge when he woke the next day.

Now you’d think living a schizophrenic double life, with all that information crammed inside your head, not to mention the paranoia, self doubt and self identity issues, would drive you crazy.

And why bother going to college when you can learn more at night school?

Well, one reason Wilson was able to maintain an even keel, was because the knowledge acquired during his dreams wasn’t actually stored in his memory; only the links to it. It was as though once Wilson had been given the taster for a particular experience or topic, (the drip drip) the entire subject matter, the reservoir of knowledge was held on file in the equivalent of a data server, a ‘cloud computer’, somewhere beyond the realms of his consciousness. When not logged in to his cloud account, Wilson could concentrate on being himself, with no distractions. But when the need arose, as was the case with the rescue of Sally Bennett, he could tap a key to recall a first aid lesson and thereafter, access an entire Wikipedia of paramedic skills.

The second reason for the level headedness was the fact that although Wilson knew he was abnormal as a teenager, he had no intention of being seen as anything other than completely normal So the self questioning was always put to one side, ignored, avoided, left for on another day, when no doubt the psychiatrist would be called.There’s much to be explained and all will be revealed, but right now, we have to catch up with Wilson, as he is today, almost eighteen and just a few hours away from an unlikely rendezvous and a potentially ‘game changing’ event.

About The Author:

For twenty years Steve Walsh honed his skills in prose as an advertising copywriter; the ‘ideas’ man in a Manchester based marketing agency that carried his name. In the late 1990’s he stumbled into the world of the dotcom entrepreneur and his claim to fame is as the creator of the hotel booking service, laterooms.com and the first car insurance comparison site, easycover.com. So, the birth of Meerkats, a Welsh opera singer and being confused.com might be considered as down to him, for which he apologises. He now uses his vivid imagination and gentle Mancunian wit to write visionary novels with bold concepts. Wilson indeed, the first book in his trilogy The WiFi of Dreams takes the reader on a richly imagined, fact meets fiction adventure story to which we can relate and feel we can touch. A whimsical interrogation of the inexplicable and fundamental tenets of our lives – the role and meaning of dreams, the nature of the hereafter, hard and soft science, a love story – what more can you want? Butterfly Assassins, the second book in the trilogy, will be published in Summer 2021. In a recent survey, 85% of people said yes to the question: “Do you believe there are things out there that science can’t explain?”If you’re one of those 85%, you’ll love The WiFi of Dreams. Born and bred in the north west of England, Steve Walsh has three children and likes to fly fish in his spare time.

#MusicMonday: Nowhere Left To Run by Theodor Elfving @TheodorElfving #NowhereLeftToRun #TheodorElfving #twitchstreamer #singersongwriter #newmusic #recommended

Good morning everyone and welcome to another Music Monday. Today I’m featuring Nowhere Left To Run which is the fantastic new song from Theodor Elfving.

Theo is singer/ songwriter and twitch streamer from Sweden. His streams are normally around lunch time for me and I always look forward to relaxing to his streams. He has a wide variety of songs going from singing the mellow Vincent to the more upbeat music from The Bloodhound gang for the next request. He is a very genuine guy and has created a great community so his streams are great fun to watch.

You can follow Theo on social media or watch him on twitch by clicking on the links below.

How To Listen:

Theo’s new song, Nowhere To Run isn’t available on streaming services yet apart from YouTube sadly but he has plenty of other music which you can listen to in the meantime by clicking on the links below. I have included the YouTube videos for Nowhere To Run and his most recent cover below.

Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Theodor, I am a 34 year old swedish singer/songwriter who took to Twitch last year when all gigs were cancelled. I am now a very happy man who gets to hangout and play for a wonderful community every weekday.

What first got you into music?

I’ve loved music since I was a kid, I picked up a guitar during music class in community college, realized I could use YouTube to learn how to play.

Who inspired you to make music?

I’ve always loved folk, be it swedish or Americana. I love storytellers like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Trying to tell a story or express a feeling. Its usually a way for me to sort through what’s happening inside.

What is your creative process like?

I wish I had a better process! I’ll sit around and play the guitar and come up with little melody lines or riffs. Or a thought will hit me at 3 in the morning and then I’ll try to flesh that line out to a full song.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Oh that is a difficult one! I don’t really know, I am happy collaborating with anyone

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Just for the chance to meet them, Gregory Alan Isakov or The Tallest Man On Earth (also because I love their music)

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Most important I think is thank you! And be more kind to yourself and to others.

What is the most useless talent you have?

I can make dolphin-esque sounds by sucking in air at the side of my mouth. It drove my middle school teachers mad.

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

I do sing in the shower! Showtunes I guess, songs from musicals, or whatever is stuck in my head at the moment

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

I have no idea. I’ve worked as a substitute teacher off and on and I really enjoyed the classroom setting. It is also a performance, greeting your audience and making them enthustiastic about the topic of the day

Where have you performed?

I’ve mainly worked as an entertainer, playing corporate gigs and bars. For the past few years I’ve done 5 month stints playing on a boat that a friend built. He would pilot the boat and I would entertain the guests. That has been my favorite venue, during the same day I could play for a group of friends celebrating someone’s 65th birthday and the trip after that could be a hen-party.

What are your favourite and least favourite venues?

I love playing weddings, its just a day made to have a lot of fun Worst type of show would be “musical background” during dinner, noone listens or cares what you’re doing.

Do you have any upcoming shows?

As of now I don’t have any upcoming shows, I am super happy about Twitch and working on my original music.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

I think the Internet has opened up and connect alot of musicians with their audiences. You no longer have to browse a record store to find something new. I also think it has brought us closer to the people who are listening, which I love. Getting to interact with people is one of my favorite things about being a musician

What is your favourite song to perform?

Ugh, that is a tough one! When working a crowd I love silly sing-a-long-songs. I also love playing “serious” songs. Don McLeans song Vincent is a song I’ve performed a lot on Twitch, the lyrics hit me like a ton of bricks everytime.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle. I really love folk

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Although my best efforts to label myself as a badboy, I’ve not gotten into much trouble.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

A wise person told me “If you are going to charge for something, make sure that its good”

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I would love to see more equality. Both in perfomers and producers.

What’s next for you?

Next for me is seeing about booking some gigs once I have both my shots of vaccine. And keeping up the streaming and interacting with kind and wonderful people on the internet. Hopefully there’s also an EP coming out at the end of this year if I can bring myself around to be satisfied with what I’ve written and record it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Theo!

Music Monday Songlist:

You can now listen to Theo and all other previously featured Music Monday artists by clicking on the link below.

Thanks for reading & happy listening!

BT: The Italian Girl’s Secret by Natalie Meg Evans @natmegevans @bookouture @nholten40 #TheItalianGirlsSecret #NatalieMegEvans #BooksOnTour #historicalfiction #ww2

Book Synopsis:

Description
Italy, 1943. In the hills outside Naples, the silver moon shines brightly on a whitewashed farmhouse. An urgent knock on the door breaks the silence: and in that moment, one young woman’s act of incredible bravery changes the course of the war.

For Carmela del Bosco, a farm girl in a remote Italian village, sheltering an English spy is the most dangerous thing she could do. If she’s caught by the fascists it would be the end, especially for her beloved grandmother sleeping soundly upstairs. But taking in the pleading brown eyes of the man calling himself Sebastiano slumped at her door, and his terrible injuries inflicted by the Nazi occupiers, Carmela remembers how Nonna always taught her right from wrong. Risking everything, she hides him in a ruined tower on the edge of the farm.

Each day Carmela tends his wounds, and the passion that kindles between them is a light in the darkest time. Sebastiano has information that could end the war, and needs her help to send it. But tracking down fellow members of the resistenza in the mountains means risking her life and bringing danger to everyone she knows.

Carmela knows she must find the courage to do what’s right for her country. But if she leaves the farm, will she ever see her beloved nonna again? And will her sacrifice tear her away from the only man she’s ever loved, forever?

An absolutely stunning and heartbreaking historical novel about the impossible choices people are forced to make in wartime. Fans of The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See and Rhys Bowen will be captivated.

The Italian Girl’s Secret is available in ebook and paperback now. The ebook is currently only £1.99. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of this author’s books so when I was given an opportunity to read her latest book I was incredibly excited. The Italian Girl’s Secret was an immersive, gripping read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I have always enjoyed books that are set in the second world war, especially as there are always new areas to explore and new things to learn. This book was no exception and I enjoyed learning more about events that helped lead to the liberation of Naples. One of the things I most liked about this book is that it isn’t just full of the more heartbreaking moments of the war and instead focuses on the ordinary citizens daily struggles and their bravery which was great to read about. It was interesting to learn more about what daily life was like for Italian citizens and how family and neighbours where often on different sides of the conflict which I hadn’t really considered before.

The two main characters Carmela and Sebastiano were great main characters who I enjoyed following throughout the book. I loved how the author spent time letting the reader get to know the characters, so that they started to feel like old friends. This help them seem very realistic but also helped ensure I was firmly on their side. The love story between Carmela and Sebastiano was absolutely beautiful to watch unfold and I found I had to keep reading to find out what happens between them.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and found the book very hard to put down. I think I went through every emotion as I read sadness, horror at what was happening and huge admiration for the amazing bravery of the resistance and the everyday citizens. There was lots of twists that kept me reading and the descriptions where so vivid that I felt like I was actually there watching everything unfold. I lost track of time whilst reading as I was so caught up in everything that was happening.

Huge thanks to Noelle from Bookouture for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

Natalie is a RITA nominated, USA Today Bestselling author of six novels: The Dress Thief, The Milliner’s Secret (re-titled “The Girl who Dreamed of Paris”), The Wardrobe Mistress, Summer in the Vineyards, The Secret Vow and most recently, The Paris Girl. Look out for a heartwrenching WW2 inspired novel set in Italy, due out Autumn 2020.Visit her website at https://www.nataliemegevans.ukNatalie Meg Evans has had a varied career, first as an actor in London’s fringe theatre, then as a PR exec and company director and finally, dream achieved, as a full-time writer. She lives with two very lively dogs in rural mid Suffolk.Natalie has collected numerous awards for her writing including the UK’s Harry Bowling Prize (2012). The Dress Thief was nominated for a coveted RITA Award by Romance Writers of America and it won the Greek Public Book award for the best foreign novel; also, the UK’s Festival of Romance readers award (where readers rather than industry professionals select and judge). The Milliner’s Secret was shortlisted for the same award.Natalie was also nominated for the coveted Daphne du Maurier award and was named a finalist for a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award.Natalie’s titles are available as Spoken Word. She loves to hear from readers.

#MusicMonday: Hit Me Like A Dream by Tyler Levs #HitMeLikeADream #TylerLevs #TwitchStreamer #SingerSongwriter #NewMusic

Good Evening everyone and welcome to another Music Monday. Today I’m featuring Hit Me Like A Dream by the fantastic Tyler Levs.

Tyler is a singer songwriter from Maine in the US. I discovered him through twitch were he streams multiple days of the week. His streams are alway great fun with Tyler being very friendly and welcoming. He’s a twitch partner on Twitch which means he has a lot of people watching him and I think it so lovely that he always remembers everyone who comes into his streams.

Tyler was lovely enough to answer some questions about himself and his music, which you can read below.

You can follow Tyler on social media or watch him on twitch my clicking the links below.

How To Listen:

Tyler has some great original music that I enjoy listening to which are available on a major streaming platforms as linked below. I have included the video of Hit Me Like A Dream below!

Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Tyler Levs and I’ve been playing live music on Twitch since December 2016. I mainly sing, play guitar and use a loopstation. I do however dabble in piano/ keyboard, drums, bass and music production. Additionally I play many covers and have original music as well.


What first got you into music?

Music was always fun from a young age. My parents listened to a lot of classic rock and modern alternative so I was constantly exposed to music. The first instrument (besides the recorder haha) I ever played was the trumpet. I realized then that music was fun and I wanted to continue learning. Unfortunately I decided trumpet wasn’t cool (my biggest musical regret) and picked up guitar instead. I spent too many years trying to teach myself, getting frustrated and then stopping for a period of time until I decided I would get back into it. I played / sang like this all through high school and college before starting my Twitch streams. 


Who inspired you to make music?

My first inspirations to play music were rock/ metal bands like Zeppelin, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Metallica, BfMV, Linkin Park etc (the full list is incredibly long).However I started playing acoustic guitar and singing (my main style) because of John Mayer. There was something contrasted by my rock/metal taste and JMs bluesy pop style. Knowing someone could write/ perform their music by themselves felt hopeful especially as I continued to pursue music. I didn’t have many friends who played music growing up and the few who did either moved away/ disconnected or didn’t feel as interested as I was. I always wanted to play in a band but without a group and with little spare time due to sports I always played alone.


How would you describe the music that you typically create?

My music is very genre-inclusive. I’ve done a lot of experimentation with styles and continue to do so. I like to write the songs first and let the genre fall where it does. I’ve written songs in a chill singer-songwriter style, southern rock/ country, pop, alternative and even collaborative edm tunes. 


What is your creative process like?

My process is exploratory. The easiest songs are the ones that just come out of nowhere with instrumentation and lyrics. They aren’t common so it’s important to be prepared for them. Otherwise I’ll typically write lyrics / melody and focus on instrumentation. I’ll sometimes work on an instrumental / loop and write what I feel comes natural over the top of it. Collaborating is my favorite part of writing because it’s extremely inspiring to work with others. Collaborating is my least experienced way of writing as well. 


Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I’m open to many possible collaborations. I believe collaborating with many people will mutually help both parties write in more creative ways. That being said, any opportunity I have to collaborate with Joliet4 cannot come soon enough. We wrote “Caught Up” together and she’s been top podium for collaborators ever since. I still question how I got so lucky to work with her haha.
In terms of major artists, I’d really love to work with just about anyone who would be willing to work with me. I could really see myself co-writing with major singer-songwriters (Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift etc) then turning around and writing a few songs with more alternative style/ metal bands (Twenty One Pilots, The Foo Fighters, Bring Me the Horizon). I’ve been extremely obsessed with the band Valley; not sure what I would add to their songs but I would love to try.
I have 0 expectations and have been going where the opportunities take me!


If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

It really depends on the situation. If it were a one-time open then I would want it to be for a lesser known group/ band/ person. I think it would be nice to organically connect with people in the same stage of their careers. If I were touring with an artist as an opener I would love to open for someone like John Mayer, Valley or Ed Sheeran. Opening on a tour is a little different because you are more likely to converse/ work with the artist you’re touring with. Opening one show doesn’t guarantee much especially if the headliner is a well-known artist. 


What is one message you would give to your fans?

The biggest thing I tell my “fans” (I call them friends because fans don’t seem intimate enough for me) and even people who don’t like what I do for that matter is that your time is a currency. It’s extremely underrated but it truly is something you have a finite amount of and you choose how to spend it. I’m glad that my friends have spent their currency with me and I will continue to use mine to hopefully inspire others to pursue their dreams, learn an instrument, practice their craft and/or connect through music. 


What is the most useless talent you have?

I’m not sure how “useless” this is but I can still play ice hockey. I played goalie my Junior and Senior year of high school and walked on to a D3 team as a back up. I played an alumni game back in Jan 2020 and was pretty surprised that I could still move as well as I did after six years of inactivity. I will say I couldn’t walk right for roughly two weeks haha. 


Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

I used to sing in the shower a lot. It typically was whatever song I was into at the moment (which changed a lot I might add). One of the only go-tos that come to mind is Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”. There’s something about the pop/ crooning style that just feels fun. Nowadays I typically don’t sing in the shower because I sing anywhere from 30 to 40 hours a week. 


What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

Truthfully I have no clue. I quit my full-time job to pursue music as my career. I left before streaming was financially stable because I realized how short life truly is. It was sheer desperation to get myself out of a job that was fairly well paying but absolutely soul-sucking. Whatever I fall into I know that music will always remain a big part of my life. I may not always be able to say it is my full-time job but I will figure that out when the time comes. 


Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I haven’t performed much outside of my stream rooms. Prior to streaming I filled in as a bassist for a band and played a small wedding in high school. I played two talent shows in college, filled in as a rhythm guitarist/ back up singer for a small show and did one open mic. Since streaming I’ve played a couple shows at a yacht club, two local open mics and did an “open mic tour” where I drove to a different state every day and played a predetermined venue. After the open mic I would drive as close to the next venue as I could, find a WalMart and sleep in the back seat of my car in the parking lot. Rinse and repeat for two weeks.
All of the in-person shows are nerve-wracking. The open mic tour gave me a lot of needed experience so I can finally say the performance anxiety feels a little more like performance excitement. I am completely in my element on stream because I’ve put almost 6000 hours into it as of now.
I currently don’t have any upcoming shows as I am focusing on recording and producing a couple of my original songs before I try to expand my audience with live shows. 


How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

I feel that the internet has helped the music business in many ways. It’s more expensive now because you can reach millions of people within a very short amount of time and with a lot less effort. We no longer depend on physical shows or merchandise to get a name out there. I would say it’s even more important for independent musicians. We no longer live in a world where the top .1% of musicians make a living. As an independent creator myself the internet has completely made music viable. I am able to stream from my room and reach thousands of people who are willing to support what I do. I don’t depend on traveling with my gear and setting up shows. I don’t have to budget for travel expenses or worry about damages. Even during COVID when the live music scene was taking a hit I was able to solidify my stream as a full-time job thanks to my community. I would say there are far more positive impacts on the music business than there are negatives thanks to the internet.

What is your favourite song to perform?

I definitely don’t have a favourite. I would say I enjoy performing originals for the people who connect with/ enjoy them. Otherwise I love to play what people want to hear. I do enjoy a good number of live learn’s as well because they help expose me to new music and help me improve my skillsets. 


Which famous musicians do you admire?

I have various reasons for admiring a lot of “famous” musicians. For example: I admire John Mayer’s songwriting, guitar playing and unique vocal style. I admire Ed Sheeran’s songwriting, vocals and collaborative works. I admire Taylor Swift’s songwriting, vocal/ melodic style, her undeniable ability to connect with her fans and her ability to experiment while staying true to herself. I admire A Day to Remember for their songwriting, their metal / rock / pop hybrid sound and their passion for music despite anyonelses doubts. I admire NF for his songwriting, lyrics, flow and his opposition to the popular style in his genre.
There’s a lot of love / hate around famous musicians. I personally believe we as a society have a responsibility to be a bit more selective about the type of people who become famous. Rather than hating on people we should support the ones we love and allow better people to get their shot. 


What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

I’ve never been much of a rebel or rule-breaker. One time I got pulled over for driving an unregistered vehicle. It was definitely an unfortunate situation because the vehicle belonged to my dad and I was completely unaware of the situation. I had to appear in court for it. Luckily nothing really came of it because the judge understood that it truly was an accident and I had no record. It was on my record for six months and dropped off as long as there were no other incidents (which there were not).


What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice for music that I live by is actually a quote from the Deadmau5 masterclass. “If you can impact one person with your music, then it’ is pretty much worth it”. I like to take this one step farther and say even if that one person is yourself then it’s worth it. Many people think “making it” means becoming famous or making millions of dollars. Based on this quote I already feel like I’ve made it and I’ve been making it ever since I picked up a guitar. No matter what comes my way I know the reason I write and play is because I want to connect with people and express in ways that I couldn’t without music. 


If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I feel “artists” are over-valued by comparison to “musicians, producers and songwriters”. I know that the industry needs a face and a personality for people to connect with but I feel it’s too much like a “business machine” and not enough of an art form. I don’t ever see that changing because the concept of “artists” has been around for such a long time. However I think there should be more respect for the other parts of the process and luckily with the expanding amount of information available thanks to the internet we’re moving in the right direction. 


What’s next for you?
I wish I could tell you., not because it’s a secret but because I really don’t know. I’m waiting at a wall of opportunity and there are so many doors. Wherever I get the knock is where I’m going. I never dreamed that I would be where I am today so rather than constantly dream bigger I’m enjoying what I have and trying to hold on to the moment. I have absolutely zero expectations. Things could explode to some astronomical level in the next month. I could lose my entire music career and have to move onto something else tomorrow. No matter the outcome I know two things to be true: 1) I will be doing something with music until the day I die and 2) I’m thankful for all of the opportunities and support I’ve been given thus far.

I would like to say thank you so much for reaching and it was a pleasure responding to these questions. All the love!

My pleasure Tyler thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

Music Monday Playlist:

You can now listen to Tyler and all other previously featured Music Monday artists on a special playlist I’ve created on Spotify, linked below.

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

#BlogTour: The Olive Grove by Eva Glyn @JaneCable @0neMoreChapter_ @RandomTTours #TheOliveGrove #EvaGlyn #RandomThingsTours #5Stars

Book Synopsis:

A woman searching for a different future

A man desperate to escape his past

Can these two find what they are looking for on the beautiful Croatian island of Korčula?

Antonia Butler is on the brink of a life-changing decision and a job advert looking for a multilingual housekeeper at a beautifully renovated Croatian farmhouse, Vila Maslina, is one she can’t ignore.

Arriving on the tiny picturesque island of Korčula , Antonia feels a spark of hope for the first time in a long time. This is a chance to leave the past behind.

But this island, and its inhabitants, have secrets of their own and a not-too-distant past steeped in tragedy and war. None more so than Vila Maslina’s enigmatic owner Damir Maric. A young man with nothing to lose but everything to gain…

The Olive Grove is available in ebook and paperback now. The ebook is currently only 99p. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Olive Grove is an absorbing, compelling read perfect for escaping into after a stressful day.

Firstly I absolutely loved the setting of this book! Croatia is a place I’ve wanted to visit for ages and this book has definitely made me more determined to get there soon. The wonderfully vivid descriptions made me feel like I was actually there, experiencing the wonderful views for myself and I spent far to long on the computer looking up pictures of the sights that are mentioned in the book too as they sounded so amazing. I enjoyed getting to know the island of Korčula better and to learn more about the Croatian traditions and way of life.

The two main characters were great creations who were interesting to get to know. I liked that the author has used slightly older characters in this book as I always think that brings a bit more to a story as there is more past to explore. Antonia is escaping from a relationship with a married man which she has started to feel a bit grubby about – I must admit I did cheer when she decided to leave him. Her worries over her roles as a mother now her child has grown up was a very interesting one to follow and made me warm towards her especially as I’ve had similar concerns myself for when my children are older. I enjoyed living precariously through her as she starts a new job (and life!) In a different country as it’s something I’ve always fantasied about. Damir was another great character who I quickly fell in love with after reading about his concern for the kittens. He’s a man with a traumatic past sadly as he grew up in Croatian War of independence which has had an impact on his life. I found it interesting to follow his story, learning more about the war but to see him change as the story went on.

The story unfolds at a steady pace with flashbacks from the character’s past helping the reader to understand what has happened and why the characters might be acting a certain a way. There are a few surprises along the way but mostly this is just a gentle read to relax into and savour. I’m a big fan of this author’s books and I’ll definitely be recommending it to others.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to One More Chapter for my copy of this book via netgalley. Though I did end up buying a copy too so my mum could read it!

About The Author:

Eva Glyn writes emotional women’s fiction.
She cut her teeth on just about every kind of writing before finally completing a full length novel in her forties. She then found herself sitting under the TV lights of the Alan Titchmarsh Show as a finalist in the People’s Novelist competition.
Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and has been lucky enough to have been married to the love of her life for twenty-five years. She also writes as Jane Cable.

#BlogTour: Next Of Kin by Kia Abdullah @KiaAbdullah @HQstories #NextOfKin #KiaAbdullah

Book Synopsis:

ON AN ORDINARY WORKING DAY…

Leila Syed receives a call that cleaves her life in two. Her brother-in-law’s voice is filled with panic. His son’s nursery has called to ask where little Max is.

YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE…

Leila was supposed to drop Max off that morning. But she forgot.

Racing to the carpark, she grasps the horror of what she has done.

IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE…

What follows is an explosive, high-profile trial that will tear the family apart. But as the case progresses it becomes clear there’s more to this incident than meets the eye…

A gripping, brave and tense courtroom drama, Next of Kin will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final, heart-stopping page.

Next Of Kin is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

Next Of Kin was a gripping, emotional read that will stay with me for a long time.

I was soon drawn into the story and into the horrendous situation the characters find themselves in. It’s a situation that sadly is quite realistic as we’ve all read similar stories in the news. I liked the way the author approached the subject though as, although hard to read at times, I felt that it was sensitively described and the harder details weren’t overdone. My heart did break for the parents as I read and I found myself wondering how on earth I’d react in a similar situation.

The relationship between the characters was fascinated to explore throughout the book as what on the surface seems a very happy, together relationship is in fact a very complicated one full of jealousy and long held resentment. It was interesting to learn more about this and to dig into their past to further understand the their history. There are some very thought provoking subjects discussed in this book about the concept of motherhood, the competition between women and the need to tear each other down which would be perfect for book club discussions.

Overall I thought this was a very interesting read which I will be recommending to fans if the genre. It was fascinating to follow the case in court and to find out more about the lead up to the events. The tension soon increases to the point where it is almost impossible to put the book down and my heart was in my mouth as I watched the story unfold. I can’t wait to read more from her in the future!

Huge thanks to Sian from HQ stories for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

Kia Abdullah is an author and travel writer from London. She has written for The New York Times, the Guardian and the Telegraph, and is the author of Truth Be Told and Take It Back, which was named one of the best thrillers of the year by the Guardian and the Telegraph.

Kia frequently contributes to the BBC, commenting on a variety of issues affecting the British Asian community, and is the founder of Asian Booklist, a site that helps readers discover new books by British Asian authors. Kia also runs Atlas & Boots, a travel blog read by 250,000 people a month. For more information about Kia and her writing, visit her website at kiaabdullah.com, or follow her at @KiaAbdullah on Instagram and Twitter.

#BlogTour: Deep Cover by Leigh Russell @LeighRussell @noexitpress @RandomTTours #DeepCover #LeighRussell #DIGeraldineSteel #RandomThingsTours #5stars #mustread

Book Synopsis:

THE NEW NOVEL IN THE MILLION-COPY SELLING DETECTIVE GERALDINE STEEL SERIES

When a sex worker dies in suspicious circumstances in York, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel struggles to remain focused on the murder investigation: she is distracted by her worries about her colleague and life partner, Ian Peterson, who has disappeared. As Geraldine becomes close to her new DS, Matthew, she is unaware that Ian is working undercover in London, trying to identify a criminal gang who have been targeting her.

As a second victim is discovered in York, and Ian’s life is threatened by a psychopath the tension mounts. If he fails in his mission, both he and Geraldine may die…

Deep Cover is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

Deep cover was a hugely enjoyable, gripping read that I thoroughly enjoyed and another great addition to this fabulous series.

Firstly it was great to be back with Geraldine, her team and it was really nice to see Ian again. The story is told from both Geraldine’s and Ian’s point of view in alternate chapters, which gives the reader two different stories to follow. Both plots were excellently developed and I enjoyed watching them both unfold. I liked how they were both connected but separate too as it was fun to try and predict how the two stories would join.

There has been a lot going on in Geraldine’s personal life through the series and it’s fair to say she has been through quite a lot. I always enjoyed strong women characters in a book and once again Geraldine’s determination was evident throughout the story. It was nice to see a slightly softer side to her as she seemed worried about everything she’d lost. Ian surprised me as I’d always thought him to be the gentle side of the partnership but he seemed quite tough in this book as he easily fit into the brutal drug world he’s asked to infiltrate.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and flew through it in a couple of days. There was lots of action, drama and tension that kept me reading as well as some great twists that I didn’t see coming. There were some interesting sub plots which I hope might be explored more in a future book as well as a new character who I hope we’ll see more of. I can’t wait to read the next installment now.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to No Exit Press for my copy of this book. If you are a fan of crime fiction then you need to read this series!

About The Author:

Leigh Russell is the author of 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 Rope, Rogue Killer, Deathly Affair, Deadly Revenge and the upcoming Evil Impulse. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was 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 with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected 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.

#BlogTour: The Wedding Gift by Marlen Suyapa Bodden @MarlenBodden @arrowpublishing #TheWeddingGift #MarlenSuyapaBodden

Book Synopsis:

Set in the Deep South pre Gone with the Wind and the Civil War, The Wedding Gift is a compelling and powerful story of slavery, abuse and passion.

‘I do not know precisely how old I was when I realized that I was a slave, but I think that I was six, the year I began helping with cooking, cleaning, and all that we had to do in the Allen household.’

When wealthy plantation owner Cornelius Allen marries off his daughter Clarissa, he presents her with a wedding gift: a young slave woman called Sarah.

The two girls have grown up together but their lives could not have been more different. Clarissa is white and is used to a life of privilege and ease. Sarah is black and is used to a life of slavery and hard work.

Forbidden by law to leave the plantation, Sarah longs to be free – in mind and in body.

But when she decides her future lies away from Clarissa, she sets in motion a series of events that will have devastating consequences for them both.

The Wedding Gift is available in all formats now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Wedding Gift is an emotional, absorbing story which will stay with me.

The story is told from two points of view of both slave and Slave owner which I thought was very interesting. It was fascinating to learn more about life on the plantation from the two sides and to see how different their lives were. My heart broke for the poor slaves and the hardships they had to endure. It was incredibly emotional to see how cruelly they were treated by the plantation overseers and owners. I found myself getting very angry on their behalf and wished I could somehow help them.

The characters were great creations who I enjoyed following throughout the book. I felt completely drawn into their lives and soon found that I really cared for them. The lovely camaraderie that existed between the slaves was wonderful to read about, especially how they all looked after each others children when they were targeted by the overseers or covered for each other when they were working. It really made me warm to them and I found I had to keep reading to find out what happens to them.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to others. The story was well paced and the many different parts of the story kept me reading, often far too late into the night. The story is written as a slave from the time might have spoken which took a little bit of getting used to but I think actually helped set the scene for me. The twist near the end was very unexpected but hugely satisfying and I found myself quite sad to end.

Huge thanks to Georgia from Arrow publishing for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

MARLEN SUYAPA BODDEN is a lawyer at The Legal Aid Society in New York City, the nation’s oldest and largest law firm for the poor. She drew on her knowledge of modern and historical slavery, human trafficking, and human rights abuses to write The Wedding Gift, her first novel. Marlen is a graduate of New York University School of Law and Tufts University. In 2012, the University of Rhode Island awarded Marlen an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.