#BlogTour: The Room In The Attic by Louise Douglas @LouiseDouglas3 @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TheRoomInTheAttic #LouiseDouglas

Book Synopsis:

A child who does not know her name…In 1903 fishermen find a wrecked boat containing a woman, who has been badly beaten, and a young girl. An ambulance is sent for, and the two survivors are taken to All Hallows, the imposing asylum, hidden deep on Dartmoor. The woman remains in a coma, but the little girl, Harriet, awakens and is taken to an attic room, far away from the noise of the asylum, and is put in the care of Nurse Emma Everdeen.Two motherless boys banished to boarding school…In 1993, All Hallows is now a boarding school. Following his mother’s death and his father’s hasty remarriage, Lewis Tyler is banished to Dartmoor, stripped of his fashionable clothes, shorn of his long hair, and left feeling more alone than ever. There he meets Isak, another lost soul, and whilst refurbishment of the dormitories is taking place, the boys are marooned up in the attic, in an old wing of the school.Cries and calls from the past that can no longer be ignored…All Hallows is a building full of memories, whispers, cries from the past. As Lewis and Isak learn more about the fate of Harriet, and Nurse Emma’s desperate fight to keep the little girl safe, it soon becomes clear there are ghosts who are still restless.Are they ghosts the boys hear at night in the room above, are they the unquiet souls from the asylum still caught between the walls? And can Lewis and Isak bring peace to All Hallows before the past breaks them first…

The Room In The Attic is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of this author so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered she had a new book out. As I might have mentioned once or twice I love books that involve spooky houses with a history so this book instantly appealed to me. Even better the house used to be an asylum which has always fascinated me. It was really interesting to learn more about this history and trying to piece together how the two timelines were connected.

The author has clearly done her research and I drank in all the vivid details which really helped me imagine things in my mind. There are a lot of interesting topics discussed in this book not least the attitude towards women in the 19th century which made me very indignant to read about but also very grateful to realise how far we had come.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and will be recommending it to everyone. I was griped from the beginning and had to keep reading as I was very intrigued by the characters and wanted to find out what would happen next. The two timelines are told in alternate chapters and I liked the way they complemented each other, gradually revealing all the clues to the reader.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Bold wood for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of 6 novels including The Love of my Life and Missing You – a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country.

#BlogTour: The Secrets Of Hawthorn Place by Jenni Kerr @JenniKeer @AccentPress @rararesources #TheSecretsOfHawthornPlace #JenniKerr #dualtimeline

Book Synopsis:

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart . . . yet connected always.

When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.

But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Arts and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.

Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.

What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever . . .

The Secrets Of Hawthorn Place is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Secrets Of Hawthorn Place is a wonderful, magical dual timeline book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Firstly I love dual timeline books so this book instantly appealed to me plus there were two amazing sounding houses to explore so I was a very happy reader. I loved learning more about the houses and trying to work out the connection between the two of them. They are the kind of houses I’d love to explore and could probably lose hours in. They reminded me a bit if some of the National Trust houses I’ve been in.

The characters were all wonderful creations that I enjoyed following throughout the book. I liked how the author had written them so that the reader couldn’t help but like them despite their flaws. I had a particular soft spot for Percy, especially his tempestuous relationship with violet. His part of the story helps provide the reader with some fascinating historical details about architecture design which I found very interesting.

Overall i really liked this book which I finished in a couple of days. The two timelines were equally fascinating as each other and I enjoyed the gradual revealing of secrets as the reader slowly learns about the link between the two houses. The twist towards the end was very clever and I’ll definitely look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book and to Headline Accent for my copy of this book via netgalley.

About The Author:

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Visit her website: jennikeer.co.uk and find her on Facebook/jennikeerwriter and Twitter @JenniKeer

#BlogTour: The Promise by Emma Heatherington @emmalou13 @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #ThePromise #EmmaHeatherington #RandomThingsTours

Book Synopsis:

A love story that will break your heart. Perfect for fans of Karen Swann and Lulu Taylor.

Some bonds can never be broken

One terrible moment changes everything for teenagers Kate and David. Brought together during the darkest of times of the Troubles, a spark of hope is ignited between them – a hand held in the darkness, a promise whispered. Neither of them will ever forget those moments.

It’s another ten years before they meet once more, and their lives are now so different. The promise they made to each other on that fateful day still binds them, but now they have so much more to lose.
Have they missed their one chance at happiness? They only way they will ever know is to risk everything to be together. Is that too high a price to pay for love…?

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

My Review:

The Promise is a beautiful, emotional book that manages to be both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

I love a story of forbidden love and this book was no exception. I felt quickly drawn into the story and into the lives of the characters. The book is set in Ireland and follows the unrest caused by religious divide there. This is something I remember seeing on TV as a kid or hearing stories of from my dad who was posted there so the story seemed very more real to me.

The blurb promises an emotional read and the author definitely delivers on that promise as I often found myself welling up as I read. The author has an amazing way of making the reader feel like they are actually there watching everything unfold and that they know the characters so I felt every twist as if it was happening to me which I thought was very effective.

Overall i loved this book and have continued to think about it long after I’ve finished reading. It’s a beautiful love story which has more depth to it then I was expecting which I really enjoyed. It’s also a story of hope both in the sense of what the reader hopes for the characters but also, maybe, hope for peace in Ireland one day.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Harper for my copy of this book. If you’re looking for a book to curl up and escape into I highly recommend this one.

About The Author:

Emma Heatherington has penned more than thirty educational short films, plays and musicals as well as eleven novels, two of which were written under the pseudonym Emma Louise Jordan.
Emma’s novel, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, was an eBook bestseller in both the UK and US.
She lives in her native Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her partner Jim McKee and their children Jordyn, Jade, Dualta, Adam and Sonny James.

#BlogTour #GuestPost: Clandestine by James Quinn @RandomTTours #Clandestine #JamesQuinn #RandomThingsTours

Book Synopsis:

James Quinn, author of the Gorilla Grant spy novels, will take you on a new adventure with his first short story anthology based around espionage, deception and intrigue.

A former spy investigates the murder of an old colleague – and uncovers a conspiracy that takes him back to the horrors of the Second World War.

A Close Protection Driver runs the gauntlet against assassins in the heart of Mexico City and is determined to keep his VIP alive… no matter the cost.

A Russian spymaster tells the tale of his nefarious plan to get an agent inside the Oval Office and to bring down American democracy, with devastating results for the future.

Enter a world of masterful suspense, action-packed adventures and thrilling twists with James Quinn’s ‘Clandestine’.

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

Guest Post:

MY WRITING DAY
By James Quinn
I always smile when I’m asked about my writing routine. It usually goes along the lines of “So how many pages have you written today Mr Quinn?” or “What should a real writer be writing every day?”
It’s at that point that I usually begin to cringe and mumble something vague in the hope of deflecting the question before sneaking off to the bar for another glass of wine.


First of all I still don’t consider myself a “proper” writer – whatever that means? I don’t have a writing degree, have never attended writing classes and have never received a diploma for any of the above.


I mean I’ve had half a dozen books published and they have performed reasonably well, but I still see myself as a security consultant that happens to write rather than someone who writes and is faintly connected to intelligence work. Is there Imposter syndrome at play here? Nah, not really, I just love to read and I love to write, I always have since I was a little kid (I won a school book voucher for my story about Ant-Man when I was in Primary school) and it’s something that I can always see myself doing. Writing to me is like breathing; it’s the exhalation to readings inhalation. It has always been there and despite the title of this piece, the short version is I don’t have a set routine for writing. It doesn’t work like that for me; never has, and probably never will!


I mean I wish that wasn’t the case. How I envy those organised writers that are up early and fresh faced, a latte by their sides, and a clear blank page in front of them ready to produce their opus! Mine is a little more chaotic than that, which for someone that has spent a career organising in minute detail various “information gathering” projects it is a little disconcerting. Maybe it’s me breaking free of my chains and being non-conformist.


For me writing is a very natural, organic thing. If I try to force the words they just never happen, so I’m happier to walk away and let it flow forth when it is ready. But when it finally does it comes thick and fast like machine gun bullets! Nothing for months on end and then a veritable fire-fight of words! I’m a night-time writer and a 3 am stalker of words. Why? Because that seems to be when the ideas come and to try to sleep through that is just impossible to do. So, I’m up; the office light on so as not to disturb anyone else, rough bits of paper with insane scribbling on…and then the laptop transports me in the middle of the night to a different world. But despite all that, it’s never a chore, in fact it feels the most natural thing in the world.


And I write, fast, in short bursts, not stopping and not changing things (that’s for later). My latest book – Clandestine – was completed that way. It took me three months of solid work, every day because I had something to say and words to put down.
And what happens when the flow stops or the ideas don’t make sense? That’s both the easy AND the hard part; I stop. I put it all away and wait for the next jolt of inspiration. I can hear you all gasp in horror!! But James, you must keep trying, try to make it happen! Write damn you – WRITE!!
But the thought of sitting there staring at a blank page trying to force the words or the story out – that’s just my idea of hell! So what breaks the cycle?
For me it’s travel, whether walking along the beach or getting on a plane to an overseas destination, that breaking of routine that fires the furnace, that makes the story move and the characters do wonderful things. I observe what is around me or I take the time to walk and think, clearing my head. Pretentious? Oh, probably. Realistic, hell yeah it is. It works and that’s all that matters,
Travel also gives me the chance to do the on the ground research that I may need and once that has been gathered and organised it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty; the actual writing. So when I do write it’s because I have something to stay. I write in my office usually, occasionally a hotel room, and it has to be quiet and that’s my only criteria.
Oh and coffee…..we can’t do nothing without coffee. That’s a given.


And then it starts, rolled out in my head like I’m watching a movie; scenes, plot links, dialogue, action scenes. It all comes together and I’m like an orchestra conductor…..hell, I’m goddamn Mozart!!! And then the phone rings…it’s work…can I be somewhere in two days time….err…yes, I suppose, but what I’m really thinking is that I want to carry on being Mozart for a while longer!


So the chain is broken again for a while and I have to leave my secret writing world for a more realistic (but no less secret) world of normal life.
But even that is not so bad; I’m an intelligence gatherer, so I see it as killing two birds with one stone, as an opportunity to people watch, listening to conversations in the coffee shops and bars, witnessing a situation unfolding in an airport or on a city street. After all, a writer is the spy that steals other people’s lives for his own ends.


All of them are fresh material that can be stored away for a rainy day to be used in the next book or even a future book and then be remembered for when the machine-gun writing starts again.
So write how you want. Do what works for you. Your way is different to Stephen King’s, Lee Child’s, John Le Carre’s…hell even James Quinn’s! But it is no less valid. But above all else, write to make you happy and to have fun.
I look forward to reading you.
JQ

James Quinn is the author of the “Gorilla Grant” series of spy novels. A professional security consultant and corporate intelligence operative, he currently resides in the UK but likes to travel extensively around the globe.


His latest release is “Clandestine” – a short story anthology, based around espionage, deception and intrigue. His 2022 project is The Fisherman, which introduces a new character to the world of covert intelligence.

About The Author:

James Quinn is the author of the “Gorilla Grant” series of spy novels. A professional security consultant and corporate intelligence operative, he currently resides in the UK but likes to travel extensively around the globe. His next projects are “Clandestine” – a short story anthology, based around espionage, deception and intrigue – and The Fisherman, which introduces a new character to the world of covert intelligence.

Visit the official James Quinn author website for more information about upcoming projects and events;Website: https://gorillagrant101.wixsite.com/jamesquinnTwitter: https://twitter.com/gorillagrant101Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JQ101

#TunesForTuesday: Yellow Cardinal by Laura Joy @LauraJoyMusic #YellowCardinal #LauraJoy #TwitchStreamer #SingerSongwriter #NewMusic

Good evening everyone today on Tunes For Tuesday I’m featuring the lovely Laura Joy and her fabulous new album Yellow Cardinal.

I first discovered Laura through twitch when a friend recommended her to me. I immediately loved her amazing voice and the cosy vibe of her stream. Laura streams from her kitchen which makes her streams seem more intimate and that you’re listening to a friend play. Her chat are always super friendly and I always look forward to her early morning streams.

Laura was kind enough to answer some questions about her music for me, so if you’d like to learn more about Laura from the lady herself then please read on.

If you would like to follow Laura on social media or on twitch please click on the links below.

How To Listen:

Laura’s music is available on all major streaming platforms which I’ve linked below. I have added the YouTube videos for Yellow Cardinal and one of her gorgeous covers for you to listen to here.

Interview:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a singer-songwriter based in Phoenix, AZ. I just released a new album called Yellow Cardinal now available on my website, bandcamp, and all streaming platforms.

What first got you into music?

I’ve always loved it. Singing came naturally, guitar came in my 20s.

Who inspired you to make music?

I dunno, I just did it. It was the one thing that ALWAYS made me happy AND I felt like I could do well as a kid.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Melodic. Thoughtful. But also upbeat.

What is your creative process like?

Sometimes it just comes to me and I write a song really fast, and sometimes I have to grind it out for days. Deadlines help me stay focused.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

I’m kind of awkward about collaborating. I really need to feel comfortable with a person for it to work.

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

I’d like to open a show for Jewel. Or Jackson Browne.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

Thank you.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Nothing’s coming to mind!

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

I don’t sing in the shower so much anymore because I’m singing constantly outside of it, lol

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

Managing an arts program or a theater.

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

I’ve performed all over the United States and even did a few gigs in North England. All of my upcoming shows are listed on my website http://www.laurajoymusic.com. Find me on bandsintown or join the email list for alerts.

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

Poorly. Too much content is free and expected to be free. It’s easy to get lost in all the noise. But the upside is anyone can do what they want, and the gatekeepers are less relevant.

What is your favourite song to perform?

Anything I’ve written. Sorry, super biased. ;P

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Be yourself. Trust yourself. Trite, I know. But it’s important.

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

Streaming needs to pay more.

What’s next for you?

Who knows? I’ll keep making music, though.

Thanks so much for answering my questions Laura, best of luck with the new album!

Playlists:

You can now listen to all previously featured Music Monday and Tunes For Tuesday artist on the special playlists I’ve created on Spotify. If you like what you here why not give the playlists a follow!

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

#BlogTour: Cold As Hell by Lilja Sigurdardóttir @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #ColdAsHell #LiljaSigurdardóttir #RandomThingsTours #TeamOrenda

Book Synopsis:

Icelandic sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries and aren‘t on speaking terms, but when their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to find her sister. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without trace. As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is led into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation. Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, as she tries to track her sister’s movements, and begins to tail Björn – but she isn’t the only one watching…Slick, tense, atmospheric and superbly plotted, Cold as Hell marks the start of a riveting, addictive new series from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

My Review:

Cold As Hell is an emotional, atmospheric read which felt a little different to her previous books though somehow just as addictive!

The thing that most stood out for me in this book is the sense of foreboding that runs through the book. I quickly figured out what was happening and who was doing it but not their motivation behind it which made me very intrigued. It made for a very creepy atmosphere and I almost felt like someone was watching me, as they were watching Arora in the book.

Ãrora’s investigation was very interesting and I liked how the author gradually peels back the layers of her sister’s life to reveal some quite disturbing truths about her relationship. I couldn’t decide whether I liked Ãrora or not. On one hand she seems very clever and has a hidden depth to her which I enjoyed getting to learn more about, but in the other she’s quite prickly which doesn’t make her easy to warm to. The author seems to be good a creating characters like to this that I’m not sure I like but still somehow care about at the same time.

Overall i did enjoy this book which kept me gripped throughout. I liked the change in pace from her previous books that I felt allowed me time to get to know the characters more and appreciate the natural beauty of Iceland. The author does a great job here with the vivid descriptions allowing the reader to picture the island in their mind. The landscape seems to sometimes reflect the characters mood too which I thought was clever and helped to draw the reader further into the story.

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

About The Author:

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a series and Lilja’s English debut shortlisting for the CWA International Dagger and hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap soon followed suit, with the third in the trilogy Cage winning the Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year, and was a Guardian Book of the Year. Lilja’s standalone Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja is also an award-winning screenwriter in her native Iceland. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

#BlogTour: A Woman Made Of Snow by Elizabeth Gifford @elisabeth04liz @CorvusBooks @RandomTTours #AWomanMadeOfSnow #ElisabethGifford #RandomThingsTours #fivestars #historicalfiction

Book Synopsis:

Scotland, 1949: Caroline Gillan and her new husband Alasdair have moved back to Kelly Castle, his dilapidated family estate in the middle of nowhere. Stuck caring for their tiny baby, and trying to find her way with an opinionated mother-in-law, Caroline feels adrift, alone and unwelcome.

But when she is tasked with sorting out the family archives, Caroline discovers a century-old mystery that sparks her back to life. There is one Gillan bride who is completely unknown – no photos exist, no records have been kept – the only thing that is certain is that she had a legitimate child. Alasdair’s grandmother.

As Caroline uncovers a strange story that stretches as far as the Arctic circle, her desire to find the truth turns obsessive. And when a body is found in the grounds of the castle, her hunt becomes more than just a case of curiosity. What happened all those years ago? Who was the bride? And who is the body…?

The Woman Made Of Snow is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.

My Review:

I’m such a huge fan of this author and always look forward to new books from her. A Woman Made Of Snow is a beautifully written, dual timeline book which is part love story, part mystery and a completely amazing read.

The story follows two timelines one set in 1950 & the other 1870’s. Unusually for me I enjoyed following both timelines equally, soon warming to the two main characters Caro and Oliver who despite being a century apart were having to deal with similar issues to each other. The wonderful descriptions of Oliver’s job as a surgeon on board an artic whaling ship was fascinating and I really enjoyed learning more about it. The author has a great way of describing the cold, stark beauty of the Arctic which made me feel like I was actually there experiencing everything alongside the characters. Some of the descriptions of the killing of the whales and seals did make my stomach churn but it was very interesting to learn more about the innuit and their traditions. Caro’s story was also very interesting as I would have loved to have a research job like she did, trying to solve an old family mystery. It was great to follow the two timelines together and see the secrets gradually be revealed.

This story has some amazing historical detail and the author has clearly done her research as she manages to bring both periods to life. There are some quite serious issues discussed in the book like prejudice and social class which I found very interesting to learn more about. Oliver’s mother perfectly demonstrated societies views in the late 1800s and I found myself very glad that things have moved on.

Overall I loved this book and will be recommending it to everyone. There is something wonderfully immersive to this book which made if very hard to put down as I was so absorbed in the story. The gradual revealing of the secrets was brilliantly done and I thought the end was hugely satisfying.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Corvus for my copy of this book. If you’re a fan of dual timeline historical fiction then I highly recommend this book!

About The Author:

Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children, and lives in Kingston upon Thames.

#BlogTour: The Hiding Place by Amanda Mason @amandajanemason @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheHidingPlace #AmandaMason

Book Synopsis:

Some secrets can never be concealed . . .

Nell Galilee, her husband and twelve year old step-daughter Maude rent a holiday cottage by the sea, needing time and space away from home. Nell grew up in this small, wind-blown town and has mixed feelings about returning, and it isn’t long before she is recognised by a neighbour, seemingly desperate to befriend her. The cottage has been empty for some time, and from the start Nell feels uncomfortable there. Something isn’t quite right about this place . . .

Maude, furious about being brought here against her will, soon finds herself beguiled by the house’s strange atmosphere. There are peculiar marks in the roof beams above her bedroom, and in another room, a hiding place, concealing a strange, unnerving object.

As the house gradually reveals its secrets, Nell becomes increasingly uneasy – and Maude spellbound. But these women – and the women that surround them – are harbouring their own secrets too, and soon events will come to a terrible head . . .

A brilliant, unsettling and chilling novel of mothers and daughters, truth and deception and the lengths people will go to, to obtain power over their own lives, The Hiding Place is the second chilling novel from the acclaimed author of The Wayward Girls.

The Wayward Girls is published in ebook and hardback on the 14th October 2021. You can pre-order your copy using the links below.

My Review:

The Hiding Place is a chilling, atmospheric thriller that will definitely stay with me. It’s a perfect book to read at this time of year as the nights draw in and Halloween approaches.

As frequent readers of my blog may know I love books that feature creepy houses so this book instantly appealed to me. I really enjoyed slowly exploring the house and discovering it’s disturbing secrets. I was very intrigued by Maude’s discoveries and was soon trying to work out what happened there.

The coastal setting was perfectly for this book as the town has a real life history of witchcraft making the book seem more realistic The atmosphere in the book slowly increases with things gradually becoming stranger and stranger. I found myself reading faster as I neared the end, both wanting to find out what was happening and not sure I would like the answer. The ending was brilliant and I thought the conclusion very clever.

Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Zaffre for my copy of this book.

About The Author:

Amanda Mason was born and brought up in Whitby, North Yorkshire. She studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts where she began writing by devising and directing plays. After a few years earning a very irregular living in lots of odd jobs, and performing in a comedy street magic act, she became a teacher and has worked in the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany. She now lives in in North Yorkshire and has given up teaching for writing.Her short stories have been published in several anthologies, including collections from Parthian Books, Unthank Books, and The Fiction Desk, and her debut novel, The Wayward Girls was published in 2019. The Hiding Place is her second novel.

#TunesForTuesday: Haven by Samuel Alexander @AlusamMusic #Haven #SamuelAlexander #TwitchStreamer #ClassicalMusic #NewMusic

Good evening everyone today on Tunes For Tuesday I’m featuring Haven the new song from the lovely Samuel Alexander!

Sam is a twitch streamer who composes some absolutely beautiful piano music. Haven is a particularly special song for him as he wrote it for his girlfriend Luna on her birthday. Sam creates special music for people by asking them for some numbers that are special to them (dates of birthdays, anniversaries, lucky numbers), assigns notes to them and makes up a piano piece around them. He hasn’t revealed what the numbers are or their meaning to Luna but I know she absolutely loves the piece as I’m sure you will when you listen to it too. He actually released the song on Luna’s birthday too which was a lovely touch!

If you’d like to follow Sam on Social media or watch him on twitch please click on the links below!

How To Listen:

Haven is available on all the major streaming platforms now as linked below. I definitely recommend it if you are wanting some music to relax to after a busy day. I have linked the YouTube video below for your convenience along with One More Melody which is my all time favourite song from Sam.

Interview:

Sam was kind enough to answer some questions for me in a previous feature so you can find out more about Sam and his music my clicking on the link below.

Playlists:

You can now listen to all previously featured Music Monday artists and follow my new Tunes For Tuesday playlist via the links below!

Thanks for reading and happy listening!

#BlogTour #Extract: Shadow Shinjuku by Ryu Takeshi @RyuTakWrites @ZooloosBT #ShadowShinjuku #RyuTakeshi

Book Synopsis:

The streets of Tokyo are different at night. There is darkness behind the glitter and the neon lights, and people who prefer to stay in the shadows, to dwell in the underworld – whores, gangsters, the homeless, the lost. People like Sato. He’s part of this world, he always has been, but a feeling of change is lingering in the heavy air of the bustling city. A feeling brought to life by fateful encounters of solitary souls.

Shadow Shinjuku is a dark, yet magical journey into the depths of Tokyo’s nightlife and the depths of the human soul. Ryu Takeshi’s first novel is both a crime thriller and urban fantasy. It’s a unique and mesmerizing blend of the imagery of Japanese animation and film, the colors and details of street photography, and the mystical lyricism of soulful music. But above everything, it is a gripping story that doesn’t let go.

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

Extract:

Every time I look at Tokyo’s lights from above, loneliness engulfs me. I see life resisting darkness down there, but I can’t feel it. It’s too far away. Even the sounds are muffled, and an endless sea rumbles between me and the ground below. Sometimes, I can see it, its shallow waves steadily rising and falling, and no reflections escaping the murky surface.


That night was no different, and after a few seconds, I had to turn away from the window. I wanted to light up, but I couldn’t. New rules. I clenched my fists, and I looked around. Everything was made of concrete. Grey and cold. Only the dark green of the carpet struggled against the emptiness of the space. There was no light, just what leaked in through the windows, and the pallid red of the “EXIT” sign at the end of the corridor.


My watch showed half-past midnight. I had been waiting for nearly half an hour to see the boss. He liked to make people wait. Uncertainty was his favorite weapon, or rather the fear it created, and he used it with everyone, in every possible way. Like the desolate corridors in front of his office.
Finally, the door swung open:
‘Please, come in,’ Kobayashi-san said.
I put my hands in my pockets and walked in. I had a hundred-yen coin in my right pocket. I took it between my thumb and index finger and rubbed it gently.


As I reached the door, I stopped to look at the nameplate. “Akira Yamaguchi”. Most people knew the name, and most people feared it. Even Kobayashi-san. I was one of the few who didn’t. I feared something else.

About The Author:

Ryu loves to write. It’s a way for him to find and explore new worlds, both inner ones and those way outside. And this process is spontaneous and instinctive, his stories born out of a single image, following a path Ryu himself never fully understands – not its origin, nor its end -, immersed in the magic of the moment, and the magic of everything that surrounds us, the visible and the invisible. Ryu is a daydreamer, a believer in the magic of humanity, a friend to all the mystical creatures of the night, and a sucker for the visual beauty of anime. But above all else, Ryu is just a human being, like yourself. Ryu was born in 1983, has a beautiful wife, a funny little dog, and a lovely daughter. He adores sumo, practices traditional kenjutsu, sometimes plays basketball (Go Denver Nuggets!), relaxes playing video games, watching anime and reading books. Oh, and he loves to eat! But who doesn’t…