#BlogTour #Spotlight: The Forever Night Stand by Ben’s Roberts @benaroberts @rararesources #TheForeverNightStand #FreeEbook

 

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I’m on the blog tour for The Forever Night Stand by Ben’s Roberts today and have a spotlight post to share with you all.

The Forever Night Stand is available now in ebook and paperback.  The ebook is currently free! You can purchase a copy of both here.

Book Description:

No one said life was easy.
Doesn’t Sara know it?

Slapped with an electronic tag after stabbing her husband’s lover, Sara goes back to her childhood home.

Under police detention and unable to travel for more than 25 KM, Sara is stuck in a rut. Until her old childhood sweetheart, George turns up. Is he for real or is he stalking her?

Then out of the blue, a family friend Raj decides that Sara is the woman for him. Will his offers of an arranged marriage in Goa make Sara bite?

This is a funny, touching story how your life can change in a matter of seconds.

About The Author:

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Bena is a book blogger and avid reader. She writes chicklit and romantic comedy with a cup of Earl Grey. She writes mother’s fiction about teenager dramas with a cup of something stronger.

As a lover of dark humor, all Bena’s books will make you laugh!

Bena’s favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining. The second novel out in 2018 offers thought-provoking fiction which embraces the absurd with reality.

Twitter: @benaroberts
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#CoverReveal: The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss @rararesources @Jo_Furniss #TheTrailingSpouse

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I’m very excited to be on the cover reveal for The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss today! I loved Jo’s first novel All The Little Children so I’m very happy to support her new book.

I have to say I love that striking cover, the blue bird is very pretty and leaves me very intrigued as to what the book will be about.  With that in mind here is a little about the book.

Book Description: 

Do you really want to know the truth?

Amanda Bonham moved halfway around the world to be with the man she loves. Although expat life in Singapore can be difficult, Edward Bonham is a dream husband and a doting father to his teenage daughter, Josie.

But when their maid dies in an apparent suicide—and Amanda discovers the woman was pregnant and hiding a stash of drugs prescribed to Edward—she can’t help but wonder if her perfect husband has a fatal flaw. And if he can’t resist temptation under their own roof, what does he get up to when he travels?

Camille Kemble also has questions for Edward. Recently returned to Singapore, Camille is determined to resolve a family mystery. Amid a jumble of faded childhood memories, she keeps seeing Edward’s handsome face. And she wants to know why.

For one woman, the search for answers threatens everything she has. For another, it’s the key to all she lost. Both will follow his trail of secrets into the darkness to find the truth.

The Trailing Spouse will be published on the 14th August 2018 in ebook and paperback, pre-order your copy of both here! 

About The Author:

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After spending a decade as a broadcast journalist for the BBC, Jo Furniss gave up the glamour of night shifts to become a freelance writer and serial expatriate. Originally from the United Kingdom, she spent seven years in Singapore and also lived in Switzerland and Cameroon.

As a journalist, Jo worked for numerous online outlets and magazines, including Monocle and the Economist. She has edited books for a Nobel laureate and the palace of the Sultan of Brunei. She has a Distinction in MA Professional Writing from Falmouth University.

Jo’s debut novel, All the Little Children, was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Connect with her via Facebook (/JoFurnissAuthor) and Twitter (@Jo_Furniss) or through her website, http://www.jofurniss.com.

#BlogTour #Extract: Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght & Sarah Been @EmerTheScreamer @SarahJayBee @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 #OMGWACA

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I’m so thrilled to be on the blog tour for Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Been today and to have an extract to share with you.

My huge thanks to Jenny Platt for being so nice and for providing me with an extract to share when a teething baby meant I didn’t get much time to read. Do look out for my review if this book as I will be posting my review ASAP.

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling is available in ebook and hardback now.  You can purchase a copy of both here.

Before I share my extract with you, here is a little bit about the book.

Book Description:

Ever been a small town girl trying to make a life in the big city?

Meet twenty-something Aisling – that’s pronounced Ashling – she can barely boil an egg let alone figure out what night bus to catch home.

But she’s got a job in the big city, a flat and a boyfriend. She has an umbrella for rainy days, an electric blanket for cold nights and keeps her kitten heels firmly on the ground.

Until the day she accidentally ditches her only slightly useless boyfriend John. And finds herself in a spot of bother at work.

Is it time to pack up and go back to the sticks?
Or can Aisling fix the mess she’s made?
What’s a Complete Aisling to do?

Extract:

PROLOGUE

‘Your one Aisling is absolutely gas, isn’t she?’

That’s definitely not a local accent. But I know the voice – it’s the brunette with the complicated updo sitting two up from me on Titanic – all the tables are named after Denise and Liam’s favourite films, you see. Lovely idea, very personal. His cousin, I think she is. There are two of them – down from Dublin and very glamorous altogether. Shellac this, that and the other. Nice and chatty too, and not making beasts of themselves with the bread. The only thing worse than being at a zero craic table is when some brazen shnake takes a second bread roll when they think no one’s looking. Well I’m always looking. Eight Points in a bread roll and worth every single one. But you can’t be getting into bread-basket politics with strangers at a wedding. I’ve no idea why this girl thinks I’m so gas though. We’ve only had the usual small talk about work and wasn’t it great they got the weather. And there was the usual throwing of the fiver into the pint glass for the speeches, of course. You have to be vigilant and make sure everyonecontributes or else you get stung with a massive round. It’s only fair.

‘Is she the one in the red fascinator who was saying she commutes up to Dublin from here for work? Seemed obsessed with the Rose of Tralee?’

That sounds like the blonde who was sitting beside John. Kerry, she said her name was. Wearing a lovely long, floaty number. Boho, I think you’d call it? Yes, I am the one in the red fascinator – twenty-five per cent off in Coast and it goes with everything. Three weddings in the last year alone and who knows how many ahead of me? And all I did was mention that we’ll never be Roses now, what with everyone getting married off. I’d never have actually gone for the Rose of Tralee, but I did feel a pang of regret turning twenty-eight on my last birthday knowing that they’d never have me now. Treble jig while reciting ‘Pangur Bán’, that’s what I always said my talent would be, with a removable long skirt revealing a shorter one underneath for the dancing. Triple threat.

‘Yeah,’ confirms Updo, rifling through her handbag. ‘That’s her. You’re sitting beside her fella – he’s a bit of a ride an’ all.’ Well, she’s got that much right, although she’d want to keep her eyes to herself. John is looking fierce well tonight in fairness, he’s filling out his good suit in all the right places, like only a centre forward can. I’m a bit worried now, I shouldn’t be earwigging. I’m half afraid of what I might hear if I don’t cough or do something to let them know the walls have ears. Plus, I’ve already been in this cubicle ten minutes. I came in mostly to rest my feet. They’re in ribbons and the dancing hasn’t even really got going yet. I have a rule about keeping the shoes on until midnight at least and, if you ask me, Denise has missed a trick not having a little basket of flip flops in here. That won’t go unnoticed. I suppose I’ll just soldier on in my kitten-heels until it’s time to fire them under the table and rock the boat. I can hear the strains of ‘Sweet Caroline’ coming through the wall.Things are obviously heating up out there.

Updo and Kerry have fallen silent for the time being. By the sound of bags being unzipped and plastic tubes and things hitting the sinks, they’re fi their faces. I’m willing them to hurry up, although the little rest is grand. I’m trying to count the number of drinks I’ve had but I keep losing track. I was doing so well too, alternating glasses of water and pinot greej at the dinner like I usually do, but then I got caught in a round and it all fell apart. Best-laid plans. I’ll just sit here a little bit longer and wait for them to go. Take a little breather from my control tights before they do some real damage to my internal organs. John is outside in the thick of it anyway, I won’t be missed for a while yet.

‘I nearly broke my arse laughing when she thought she’d left the immersion on and dived under the table to get her phone,’ Updo pipes up again. ‘She nearly took the tablecloth with her – Usain Bolt couldn’t catch her.’

‘Hrrrnngghhh.’ I make a cough-like rumbling in my throat. There. Surely they have to have heard that? It was good and loud. No offence intended to them but, sorry, who wouldn’t almost have a heart attack at the thought of leaving the immersion on when I won’t be home ‘til tomorrow? The stress of it would have ruined my whole night. Better to call Daddy and double-check.

‘She has me in stitches,’ Kerry says. ‘Loads of the girls in work are like her. Real sensible types, all from down the country. One of them wears her county jersey every casual Friday and then throws on a pair of earrings for going to the pub afterwards. She’s the only one in the whole company trusted with the keys to the stationery press.’

There’s a bit of tittering now and I’m not sure why. Sure, a good pair of dangly earrings can jazz up any outfi I have loads.

Earrings, jersey, jeans and a pair of boots with a nice manageable heel. That outfi would take you from Croke Park to Quinn’s and even to Coppers afterwards if you’re going Out Out. And who doesn’t love a night in Coppers – some craic.

I clear my throat again but they’re so deep into their contouring or whatever that they still haven’t noticed.

‘Oh it’s a definite type,’ Kerry says. ‘My brother has actually just started going out with one of them, a complete Aisling. He met her in Flannery’s – she’s a primary school teacher from Leitrim. Goes home every weekend to play camogie and has a lot of strong opinions about tea.’

I rack my brains. She sounds very familiar; I bet Majella knows her.

‘Is she nice?’ Updo asks, and I feel myself tense up. How could she not be nice? She’s an athlete who works with children. It sounds like she’d give Mother Teresa a run for her money.

‘Oh god yeah, she’s lovely,’ Kerry says, to my relief. ‘He’s mad about her. She actually gave me one of those tokens for the supermarket trolley to hang on my keyring. It’s dead handy. I don’t know how I survived without it for so long.’

Trolley tokens ARE dead handy. I’d be lost without my Superquinn one. Yes, I still have it. Trolley tokens don’t grow on trees.

‘One of the Aislings in work, I can’t think of her real name, confessed the other day that she’s been hanging all those passive-aggressive signs in the break room begging people to clean the microwave after heating up their soup,’ Updo says. ‘She does them in Comic Sans to pretend she’s not that put out, but it’s obvious she’s slowly losing her mind. She also casually mentioned in the bathroom one day that she’d never dyed her hair. Like, ever. Not even as a teenager.’

There’s a gasp now and I wonder how long Kerry has been a slave to the peroxide bottle. She probably doesn’t even remember her natural colour, God love her. And I’m sure it’s lovely. I feel for that poor girl in Updo’s work – really, I do. The crowd in my office have no respect for the communal kitchen. None at all. It’s driving me to distraction but sure what can I do only keep replacing the sign above the dish- washer and hope that they’ll stop living like animals one of these days?

‘She also told me that she’s just counting the minutes ‘til her fella proposes so she can move back down home.’ Updo is up to ninety now. This poor girl’s ears must be burning over in Galway or wherever she’s from. ‘Apparently her da is giving them a plot of land as a wedding present so that she can build a massive gaff with the utility room of her dreams and a driveway the size of the Aviva.’

‘Isn’t it well for some?’ Kerry says, zipping up her make-up bag, and off they clip-clop back out to the ballroom in their ridiculous heels.

Suddenly I’m alone again. I must admit, that last bit cut a bit close to the bone. Why do I drink wine at weddings? It makes me maudlin. Know the one that’s one too many, Aisling. A few glasses of water when I get back out there. Be grand. Then I’ll move onto the West Coast Coolers to keep myself ticking over. A couple of paracetamol before bed to ward off any hangover. Never fails me. The bathroom is mercifully quiet as I exit the cubicle, feet worse than ever after the bit of a sitdown.

You know, I’d kill for one of those utility rooms with a big worktop and a rail for John’s shirts. To be honest, I’m starting to wonder if he’s ever going to pop the feckin’ question. Daddy has my site ready to go – road frontage, obviously. A good stretch too. When all our friends started getting engaged, I said nothing. When the wedding invites started coming in the post, I said nothing. I know the pregnancy announcements will be kicking off soon and there’s still no sign of a ring for me. It’s been on mymind for a while now but there’s never been a good time to bring it up. Maybe tonight’s the night? I probably shouldn’t do it when I’m half pissed though …

‘Aisling! AISLING! Are you in here? Denise is about to throw the bouquet!’

Ooh this sounds so good, I can’t wait to read more!

About The Author:

Authors Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen are Aislings. Maybe not complete Aislings but about 42%. The Aisling character was conceived in their sitting room in 2008, when they began to observe the many traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.

For more information:
Twitter – twitter.com/EmerTheScreamer
       twitter.com/SarahJayBee
Facebook – www.facebook.com/groups/108317527124/

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#BlogTour: Absolution by Paul E. Hardisty @Hardisty_Paul @OrendaBooks @annecater #Absolution #RandomThingsTours

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Book Description:

It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible. Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.
Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolution is a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.

Absolution is out in ebook now and is currently the bargain price of 99p.  It will be published in the on the 30th May 2017.  You can purchase or pre-order a copy here.

My Review:

Wow what a gripping, fast paced book this is.  I was soon drawn into the story and the action wondering what was going to happen next.

The author has created two brilliant main characters that the reader can’t help but like and care about.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens and to make sure they were ok.  Clay is a tough guy but he does have a softer side which is quite nice to see and makes you like him all the more.  Rania brings an emotional element to the story as we hear about the disappearance of her son through a series of heartfelt, emotional letters addressed to Clay.  My heart went out to her throughout the book as, being a mother too, I could understand what she might be going through.  Her fear and confusion is almost palpable as she tries to work out what has happened.

There is some fairly graphic, brutal scenes in the book that was quite hard to read at times.  These were appropriate in a book that deals with terrorism but might not be to everyone’s taste.

This is the fourth book in the Claymore Straker series and while it could be read as a standalone their is a very interesting back story which might be beneficial to read first.

Huge thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.

If you like fast paced, brilliantly plotted and well written thrillers you’ll love this book! I’ll definitely be telling everyone about it.

About The Author:

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Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa. He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels. In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a cafe in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

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#BlogTour #Interview #Giveaway: The Street Orphans @authormary @#TheStreetOrphans #MaryWood #HistoricalSaga

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I’m on the blog tour for The Street Orphans by Mary Wood today and have a fantastic Q&A with Mary to share.  My thanks to Mary for being so lovely and understanding when, due to a teething baby, I was unable to review the book as well.

The Street Orphans is available to buy now in ebook and paperback.  You can purchase a copy of both here.

Mary is hosting a Giveaway for a copy of this book throughout the blog tour.  To enter just comment on this post or any of the other posts on the tour.  Good luck everyone!

Before I share my Q&A with you here is a little about the book.

Book Description:

The Street Orphans is an emotional story set in 1850s Lancashire, from Mary Wood, the author of In Their Mother’s Footsteps and Brighter Days Ahead.

Born with a club foot in a remote village in the Pennines, Ruth is feared and ridiculed by her superstitious neighbours who see her affliction as a sign of witchcraft. When her father is killed in an accident and her family evicted from their cottage, she hopes to leave her old life behind, to start afresh in the Blackburn cotton mills. But tragedy strikes once again, setting in motion a chain of events that will unravel her family’s lives.

Their fate is in the hands of the Earl of Harrogate, and his betrothed, Lady Katrina. But more sinister is the scheming Marcia, Lady Katrina’s jealous sister. Impossible dreams beset Ruth from the moment she meets the Earl. Dreams that lead her to hope that he will save her from the terrible fate that awaits those accused of witchcraft. Dreams that one day her destiny and the Earl’s will be entwined.

Q&A with Mary Wood:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have just celebrated my 55th wedding anniversary, and am a mother of four, grandma of eight, plus four step-grandchildren and a great granny to 20 with 1 on the way, plus 3 step great grandchildren. My Christmases are very expensive, so I save all year in a Christmas-Club, but it’s never enough! I love to shop for them, but sometimes, it’s not possible so then they all get a voucher.

I am the thirteenth child of fifteen, so love big families. My home town is Lancashire, but I spend the winter months in Spain, where I do most of my writing.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to socialize, eat out, walk, and enjoy online scrabble and card games. TV is another media I enjoy, and yes, reading is pretty high up there too.

Do you have a day job as well?

No; I am retired from the 9 – 5 life, and now I devote many hours a day to my writing.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started when a child, writing stories, but actually finished a complete novel in 1989. Though it was many years later before I was published.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I, like most authors, wrote what I enjoy reading. I used to devour Catherine Cookson books and they inspired me to write.

Where do you get your ideas?

My main source of inspiration comes from a name popping into my head. The name soon becomes a fully rounded, living, breathing character with a story to tell – it feels to me as if this person has lived and wants me to tell their story – weird, I know! Other inspiration has come through stories I have come across during research, or when visiting an historic place, I can feel the happenings of the past, and before I leave have a whole novel plotted in my head.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

No. Not in the way that I have read some authors suffer this, where nothing will occur to them, but in a lesser way, I have experienced a – hard going – when the words are not flowing, but are drawn out of me, if that makes sense? But I just keep going and soon it all begins to flow.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Yes, I have an outline. Quite a detailed one, and this, I think, is why I don’t suffer from writers block. I have my synopsis to refer to at all times. The whole novel, characters, plot and setting is outlined before I begin to write the novel

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

The Dwelling place by Catherine Cookson. I had read a lot of the classics and loved them, but this book was different, it drew me in as if I was living it, it touched my every sense and my every emotion, it made me say: ‘I want to write, and I want to write like that.’

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

These were many. I sent off numerous synopsis and first three chapters, but a rejection letter always landed on my mat. I gave up on that novel and began a new one, which I gave the title of The Brutal Bonds of Love. It was a novel that I loved, and believed in, but still, I had no luck. Although, I did get feedback, which is a good sign. I rewrote it at least fifteen times over almost as many years, and eventually, I self-published it under a different name – An Unbreakable Bond, and wrote three more books – one a prequel, one a sequel, and one a spin-off – all reached number one of genre. Then, a magical thing happened, I was spotted by Pan Macmillan, and signed a seven book deal!!!

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

There is a lot of how folk lived, drawn from my own experiences, as very little changed in the domestic lives of folk, from the turn of the century to when I was a child in the 40’s and 50’s. Two world wars had almost stopped progress – so, yes, I do remember outside lavs that were emptied onto a cart at night, and coppers that had to have a fire lit under them to bring them to the boil to wash the clothes and to fill the bath tub from. Also, black-leaded stoves, linoleum on the floor, and quarry tiled floors that needed polishing with red polish, and even gas and oil lamps. Other experiences are sometimes taken from what I have been through myself. Not the rape, murder, or workhouse situations, thank Goodness!

What was your hardest scene to write?

There has been many, as I am a gritty writer, and my women suffer a great deal. I often cry while writing, but perhaps the one that made me cry the most was when Megan – a character in An Unbreakable Bond, and Tomorrow Brings Sorrow, was murdered by her own son in a brutal attack. I had loved her from when she was 13yrs old, and written her harrowing life, through to her finding happiness and good fortune, only to see her beaten so badly. It broke my heart.

How did you come up with the title?

Titles are difficult and sometimes a bone of contention. I create one which I think really suits the book, then my editor says, ‘not suitable’ so we brain storm others. For example: The Street Orphans was once called, Judge Me Not. Brighter Days Ahead, was Reach Out to Me. A number of my books have now got different titles to those I gave them – but that’s not a bad thing, as I love what they are now.

What project are you working on now?

I am working on the third of a new trilogy. The Girls Who Went to War – The first two are The Forgotten Daughter and The Abandoned Daughter. This one is The Wronged Daughter. They met as nurses in Belgium at the beginning of the Great War. They became friends, but each has a past that affects them. They drift apart after they come home, and we go on a journey with each in their own book – but their present is troubled too. And so, do they look to each other again, or take a different path?

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The criticism which was both very tough, and yet, led to greater things for me was ‘this book has been edited by a monkey!’ It was part of a review in my self-published days. I answered the reviewer, telling her that I’m not a monkey, but an OAP fulfilling her dream, but unable to afford an editor. She was mortified and told me that she was a professional editor and offered to edit my book for me for nothing!! Her edit and subsequent ones on other self-published books, greatly contributed to me becoming a published author. I shall always be grateful to her. Greatest compliment? The same book was compared to the wonderful Catherine Cookson. It doesn’t get better than that!

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you. Two, overused words that don’t really cut it. For they cannot begin to cover what I have been given by my wonderful readers. They are always there for me, supporting and encouraging me, and I love them to bits.
Thank you to you too, this has been a lovely interview, and I really appreciate you hosting me on your wonderful blog.

About The Author:

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Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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#BlogTour: It Was Her by Mark Hill @markhillwriter @millieseward @LittleBrownUK #ItWasHer

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Book Description:

Do you want a thriller where nothing is as it seems?

Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.

Did she do it?

Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.

Did she kill them?

As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.

My Review:

Mark Hill is an author I’ve only just discovered but he is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

The author is very good at creating very intriguing, fascinating stories which are very fast paced and near impossible to put down.  He creates some very freaky, messed up children’s characters which seem so realitic that you feel like they could actually exist.  I found myself racing through the pages as I desperately wanted to discover what was going to happen next.

I enjoyed the main partnership between DI Drake and Flick.  They seem to compliment each other when working together and trust each other despite events that occurred in the previous book. I still wasn’t sure if I trusted Drake as he still seemed a bit dodgy at times.  I did also feel sorry for him though and wanted the case to be solved so he could gain respect again.

The twist when it came was quite surprising and had me racing back through the pages.  I love it when this happens as I read so many books that I can often guess bit I did guess wrong with this book.

It Was Her is the second in the DI Ray Drake series but it can easily be read as a standalone as anything you need to know about the previous book is mentioned.

Thanks so much to Millie Seaward and Little Brown for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.  If you like dark, addictive, edge-of-your-seat thrillers you’ll love this book.

About The Author:

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I’ve been a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer. I worked for about five minutes in PR. But I write the Drake and Crowley thriller series now, which is just as well, because I love writing. It’s my dream job.

If you enjoyed His First Lie or It Was Her, do get in touch. There are plenty of ways to do it!

Website: markhillauthor.com
Facebook.com/MarkHillAuthor
Twitter @markhillwriter
Instagram: @markhillwriter

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#BlogTour #GuestPost: Production Values by Liv Bartlet @rararesources @LivBartlet

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I’m on the blog tour today for Production Values by Liv Bartlet and I have a guest post to share.

Production values is available to buy now in ebook and paperback now.  The ebook is currently only £1.47! You can purchase a copy of bothhere.

Before I share my guest post with you, here is a little about the book.

Book synopsis:

At the age of 28, Kat Porter has become the it-girl of British TV Production. Gut, gumption, and artistry have carried her through a dozen impossible scenarios to arrive at her first run as Executive Producer, and now all three muses point to Ian Graham’s star power as the key to Los Angeles and golden statues. But disaster looms as Ian twists Kat into a chameleon fit for success. Ian’s young daughter is thrown into the spotlight and Kat must face the consequences of her neverending quest for acclaim. Production Values takes a biting but fun look at Hollywood—from the way we interpret female ambition to the influence of the paparazzi on how TV shows and stars fail or succeed.

Guest Post:

A Tour of Kat and Bea’s London Apartments:

This apartment building is a converted hotel, and it’s old. Not historically-significant old, but slightly-dilapidated, 60s-floral-wallpaper-and-shag-carpet-in-the-hallways kind of old. The connecting door between their apartments lets Kat and Bea feel more like roommates than neighbors. It felt good, that connecting door, when they were apartment (correction: flat) hunting as newly-graduated 20-something expats in London, like keeping a piece of who they were in college.

And the price fit their tiny budgets. That was the most important feature, really.

Each living room is big — or small, it’s a matter of perspective — enough for a couch, a TV, and a shelf or two. Maybe a table that doubles as a dining space and a desk. The bedrooms are just as small, limited to a bed, a dresser, and a miniscule closet. The bathrooms feel barely worth mentioning, with their standing-room-only showers and the way you can hit your elbows against two walls when you turn just so from the sink. The galley kitchens seem like an afterthought, but how much kitchen do you need for regular meals of ramen, anyway?

Blessedly, the walls inside the apartments are painted white, granting a greater sense of space.

The first thing you see on Bea’s side of the door is a black-and-white Kitty-Cat clock with skeptical eyes and an ever-moving tail. The couch is functional, the TV is old, but the table is where it’s at. Bea’s laptop, emblazoned with an “I Want To Believe” sticker, is open on the table, surrounded by binders, notes, colored pens, and a fizzing can of Diet Coke.

The refrigerator is stocked with enough Diet Coke for a year (or a week, if you’re Bea), a half-used carton of eggs, two anemic pieces of fruit, and a molding rind of cheese that could be bad or simply aging.

The bedroom isn’t a bedroom at all — there’s no bed! Bars and shelves from wall to wall display a dizzying splendor of designer clothes and shoes, mostly stilettos — better selection than some shops. You look back at the couch and spy the neat stack of blankets topped with a pillow off to the side — the couch is Bea’s bed.

The difference from Bea’s to Kat’s apartment is almost shocking. Only at seeing almost every inch of white wall covered in some kind of movie or TV poster or pages from magazines in Kat’s apartment, do you realize Bea’s walls are almost entirely bare. Kat’s TV is a wall-mounted flat screen, and there are shelves below it with more sleek equipment than the usual DVD player and DVR. Sound equipment. A giant set of headphones is plugged into one of the units and a space is cleared on the floor where Kat sits regularly, listening.

The side tables and coffee table by the black couch are actually stacks of books and CDs, topped with coasters and notebooks. Some of the books jut out from their stacks, as if they are called upon as more than decoration. How often do these Jenga-style tables collapse?

Just like Bea, Kat’s laptop lives on the table by the kitchen, surrounded by notes. It seems to be the only similarity.

There’s real food in the fridge — peppers and onions alongside eggs and milk and a package of clearance-priced strip steak. A four-bottle wine rack takes up precious countertop space. Dirty dishes are stacked in the sink, more neatly than the book tables.

The bedroom is merely that — a bedroom. The closet reveals stacks of jeans and t-shirts, a pair of trainers, and one black dress stuffed in the corner.

The building is old. These tenants are young and ambitious.

We hope you enjoy Production Values.

— Liv Bartlet

Thanks so much Liv for this fabulous guest post!

About The Author:

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Liv Bartlet is the pseudonym for writing partners Becca McCulloch and Sarah McKnight, who have been building worlds and telling stories together for more than a decade. They’ve logged hours of behind-the-scenes movie and TV footage and challenged each other in a friendly Oscar guessing game every year this millennium. Lifelong Anglophiles, their Monkey & Me world sprang to vivid life on a trip to London that included divine pastries, sublime art, and a spectacular pratfall in the British Museum.

Becca is a professor, a scientist, and a secret romantic who insisted their first order of business in London was a meandering five-mile walk to see Big Ben. She lives with her husband, children, and an ever-expanding roster of pets in Logan, Utah.

Sarah is an Army brat, an Excel geek, and has a lot of opinions on the differences between science fiction and fantasy. She lives with her cat, Sir Jack—who is featured prominently on Liv’s Instagram —just outside Salt Lake City.

Social Media Links –
https://www.livbartlet.com/

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#BlogTour: The Man Who Lived Twice by David Taylor @matadorbooks @annecater #ManWhoLivedtwice #RandomThingsTours #NewFavAuthor #5Stars

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Book Description:

The American Civil War threw up many heroes but none more intriguing than Colonel George St Leger Grenfell, the British cavalry officer who achieved legendary status in the Confederate Army. Having campaigned on four different continents with the wounds to prove it, this Cornish mercenary had a guilty secret. He was a wanted criminal who had bankrupted his own father!

In his critically acclaimed novel, The Man Who Lived Twice, David Taylor tells the enthralling story of a deeply flawed soldier of fortune and his romance with an American femme fatale. Matching Grenfell in courage and dubious morality, Rose Greenhow was a Confederate spy who used her sex appeal to winkle secrets out of Lincoln’s Cabinet. What she lacked though was his indestructibility. Grenfell somehow managed to survive a court’s death sentence, a crucifixion by prison guards and drowning at sea before being erroneously declared dead.

Through deft narration and pitch perfect dialogue, Taylor brings alive the brutal battlefields of the world’s first modern conflict and the memorable characters who made, marred and mythologised America’s post-war reconstruction.’

The Man Who Lived Twice is available to buy now in ebook and paperback.  You can buy a copy of both here.

My Review:

Wow this is historical fiction at its finest, I definitely won’t be forgetting this book in a hurry.

I love books that take real people, events and manage to bring them to life.  I felt like I was experiencing history first hand as if I was standing alongside them watching it all unfold.  The pace of the book is fairly fast moving with something always happening which makes it very exciting and hard to put down.

The author doesn’t shy away from describing some of the battles which can be a bit uncomfortable to read about at times.  He has a great way of describing things so you can really imagine the battles in your minds eye.  I felt like I could smell the sweat, fear and the blood and was on the edge of my seat at times wondering how it’s going to play out.

I couldn’t decide if I liked Grenfell or not.  He was obviously a very brave, clever soldier but he was also quite ruthless and didn’t seem to care who he hurt or brought down.  He seemed to use people to get what he wanted which didn’t always sit well with me.

This is the first book by this author I have read and I’m very excited to read more from him as I thought he was a very talented author that helps make history exciting!

Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Matador Press for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

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I came to write novels in a roundabout kind of way. After a career in print, radio and television journalism which took in writing for the Guardian, reporting for Panorama, presenting World in Action and running BBC Features, I set up an independent company to make current affairs and adventure programming. By then, I had written my first book, ‘Web of Corruption’, a factual account of the Poulson scandal. Now, at last, I had time to pursue one of my hobbies, sixteenth century cryptography and one day in Lambeth Palace Library I came across a complex number code that had never been deciphered. It appeared in a report written by a master spy called Anthony Standen. Well, I managed to crack Standen’s code and was rewarded with juicy details of Queen Elizabeth’s love affair with the Earl of Essex. Better yet, the cipher created a trail that led all the way to William Shakespeare. Initial thoughts of a factual publication were shattered by the thought that anything linking Shakespeare to cipher would be laughed out of court and so I turned to fiction writing. I had never written a novel and found it hard going. It required a different skill set to journalism. You have to construct a novel rather like an engineering project while thinking in terms of crisis, climax and resolution. But in the process of learning this strange art, I was bitten by the writing bug.
Hence, ‘The Man Who Lived Twice’ in which the central character is a courageous but deeply flawed nineteenth century Cornish mercenary who fought in wars on four different continents. George St Leger Grenfell helped the Moors bombard the French in Tangier, engaged in a private war against the Riff pirates on the Barbary Coast, joined the Turkish Army but still managed to charge with the Light Brigade in the Crimea, defended the bullet-strewn barricades in the Indian Mutiny, hacked his way through the Opium War in China and joined Garibaldi in liberating Italy, before voyaging to America to enlist in the Confederate Army where he became the highest ranked British officer in their Civil War. And all this from a man who had been disowned by his family after bankrupting his father and committing fraud in France and mosque desecration in Morocco.
You might imagine that I found this perfect anti-hero in Penzance, where his family of tin smelters and bankers had an estate, but that wasn’t the case. I discovered Grenfell four thousand miles away while snorkelling with my wife in the Gulf of Mexico. Our search for tropical fish and sponges took us to a coral atoll called Garden Key which consisted almost entirely of a huge brick fortress. Fort Jefferson had never served a military purpose but it did become a prison at the end of the American Civil War. So we found ourselves in a damp cell being lectured on the Lincoln conspirators who had been incarcerated there. We heard all about Dr Samuel Mudd, the country doctor who had had the misfortune of setting John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg hours after he’d assassinated President Lincoln. Mudd, it transpired, had been something of a hero in Fort Jefferson, nursing the garrison through a yellow fever epidemic after their surgeon died. He had been helped in this charitable work, we were told, by a cellmate, an English spy called Grenfell. Now that captured my attention, particularly when I discovered that he came from my own county of Cornwall. The writing duly followed.

 

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#BlogTour: The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey @rosfraney @MuswellPress @annecater #DissentOfAnnieLang #RandomThingsTours #5Stars #FantasticHistoricalFiction

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Book Description:

‘My story starts and ends at railway stations, though of course I can’t know this yet as I clamber off the boat-train at Victoria that warm May afternoon…‘

Growing up in a strict religious family in the 1920s, Annie Lang is witness to disturbing events that no one will explain. Only the family dog may know the answers.

Six years on, student Annie returns from France to find her beloved brother in a mental hospital and her ally, the Sunday school teacher, vanished without trace. With the help of her childhood diary, and sister Beatrice, Annie turns detective to unearth the truth.

Her journey leads to a discovery so disturbing that she believes it will ruin all their lives, unless they can atone for the past.

Ros Franey beautifully captures that point when a child can sense, and indeed dissent against, secrets that adults think they are too young to grasp. Impulsive, brave and lovable, Annie Lang is formidable when she takes matters into her own hands.

My Review:

The Dissent of Annie Lang is a book I’d probably not have heard about if it hadn’t been for this blog tour which would have been a huge shame as it’s a fantastic book that should be on everyone’s radar.

Annie is such a fantastic main character.  I absolutely fell in love with her and loved reading about her life throughout this book.  Her way of thinking and expressing herself was very entertaining at times especially when it came to her opinions on the mission and religion which were very funny. Her bravery when trying to find out what was happening or when she stood up to ‘mother’ was very admirable but also heartbreaking at times as you realise how young she is and what she’s up against.  Some of the more shocking parts of the book are even more shocking and poignant when viewed through her eyes.  I really felt her fear and confusion at times and wished I could give her a huge hug.

The author has clearly done her research and perfectly describes life in the 1920’s.  It’s quite shocking to realise how children and the mentally ill were treated in those days. The style of writing and the fantastic characters makes the book a very gripping read.  I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens and to check that Annie was ok.

This is the author’s second book but the first one by her that I’ve read but I’ll definitely be reading more from her in the future.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Muswell Press for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

About The Author:

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Ros Franey grew up in Nottingham where this book is set. She is a maker of award-winning documentaries. Two films about the Guildford 4 and the book she co-authored, Timebomb, contributed to the quashing of their case. This is her second novel; her first, Cry Baby, received excellent reviews. She lives in North London.

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#BlogTour #Spotlight: Decide To Hope by June A. Converse @rararesources #DecideToHope #PowerfulRead

 

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An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?

For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.

After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother’s intent, he discovers Kathleen.

Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?

Decide To Hope is available to buy now in ebook and paperback. You can purchase a copy of both here.

For US readers you can purchase your copy here https://www.amazon.com/Decide-Hope-June-Converse-ebook/dp/B07B4H37FL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1520592005&sr=8-1-fkmr0 

About The Author:

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June happily resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Sodapop. They have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren. She is an enthusiastic exerciser and an accomplished cook. She and her husband enjoy hiking with Sodapop, traveling, scuba diving, trying new restaurants, concerts, and whatever other adventures they can find. Reading and a constant desire to learn keeps her busy too.
A trauma survivor who struggles with mental illness, June is continuously reaching for hope like the characters in her books. She openly discusses her personal struggles on her blog, JuneConverse.com
Decide to Hope is her first novel and relies a great deal on her own experience with trauma, choices, recovery and hope. If you’d like to discuss trauma, coping and recovery, contact her at JuneConverse.com or DecideToHope.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/juneaconverse

Website/blog: https://www.juneconverse.com/

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