~Blog Blitz~ A Matter of Love and Death by Caron Albright

Hi everyone,

Today I’m one of a few blogs taking part in the blog blitz for Caron Albright’s A Matter of Love and Death, and I’ve got a great guest post from the author to share with you all!

About the author:

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Caron Albright fell in love with books as soon as she could read and never grew out of it. With one foot firmly planted in Fictionland ever since, she is moving from one adventure to the next (strictly on the paper of course).

She loves capers with feisty heroines, dashing heroes with a dangerous edge and thrilling locations and would gladly explore the world for the sake of research – preferably while tap-dancing, with a champagne glass in her hand.

Instead she spends her time in front of her keyboard, sipping herbal tea.

When she feels the need for a change, she switches to coffee and writing crime novels under the name Carmen Radtke.

Links:
 

 

About the book:

Caron Albright - A Matter of Love and Death_cover_1

Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.

If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…

She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a night club, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.

Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…

 

Guest Post:

Picking up the pen

By Caron Albright

 

Hands up if you, dear reader, ever wanted to be a writer. Odds are, your finger is either slowly pointing skywards, or you already have something finished, or a WIP (work in progress), or both.

Congratulations, you’re in good and, most of all, sympathetic company.

I don’t even remember the transition from voracious reader to budding writer; as a child it seemed logical that, if words on paper took you into another world, all I needed were pen and paper. No, don’t ask how many words I found that rhymed with spring (the poetry of an eight-year old). Let me say in my defence that the short story I wrote about the hamster and the stolen raw diamonds hidden among his food pellets could have become an instant classic, had I at age twelve not been blissfully unaware of the concept of a second or third draft. But at least it was original, and intended as an homage to Agatha Christie whose works already filled up a complete shelf in my room.

And that was it, for years, until I trained as a print reporter, constantly battling ever tighter deadlines. By then I was aware of the benefits of a second or third draft, but too time-strapped to do more than a five-minute polish.

This became my greatest obstacle when I finally found the courage to turn to fiction writing. I was so used to cranking out impressive numbers of words on a daily basis and coming up with idea after idea, if research on of them needed postponing, or events made them obsolete, that it was hard taking my time.

But – unless you are tied into a contract with strict deadlines – there’s no need for a mad rush, if your story isn’t quite there yet. By all means write, write as much as you can, but don’t beat yourself up if the words don’t flow. Or if what sounds utterly perfect in your head, doesn’t look as great on the page.

The best advice I ever had was, first get it written and then get it right. You’re allowed to type or scribble bad sentences, dig plot-holes large enough to hide an elephant in and let your characters wallow around in clichés (the same goes for poets, screenwriters, playwrights, novelists, non-fiction writers, diarists). It doesn’t matter if your work is never intended for the public or something that you will keep buried in a drawer. Allow yourself the freedom to write. Then read it, laugh, cry or bemoan you utter lack of talent (every writer I know tends to wallow in despair in between short-lived bursts of elation). And then get feedback.

There are more writers’ groups out there than ever, either meeting face to face (google them or ask at your local libraries), or join one of the many online groups.

Don’t ask your family or your best friends. Even if (that’s a big if) they possess all the qualities of a good reader and point out weaknesses, inconsistencies, logic errors, or praise your wit, sharp plots and lively dialogue, you will either feel hurt or insecure that they only want to spare their feelings.

Step away if critique turns into an attack of your work. Even the clumsiest effort deserves respect. Be respectful in return. Rejoice in your friends’ successes and support them in the low moments.

Don’t show your work to anyone if you can’t bear rejection. But most of all, love the writing. And please, please, please, whatever you do, stay a reader. There is no greater comfort escape, and means of enlightenment than a book. And if you have read Terry Pratchett’s ‘Carpe Jugulum’, you will find out that a book can save you in more ways than you probably dreamt of.

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~Blog Blitz Review~ Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for Snow Light by Danielle Zinn today, and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

PHOTOGRAPH_black white_Danielle Zinn

Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham and after gaining some work experience in Wales and the USA, she settled down in Frankfurt am Main where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany, Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.

Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting her friends scattered all over the world.

Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, her debut detective thriller combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.

Links:
@DanielleZinn4

About the book:

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When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again. However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village. For Thomas the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question. Who is the victim? And why was he murdered? Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.

My thoughts:

When I read the blurb for Snow Light I was intrigued immediately as it sounded like the kind of book I would enjoy and I was definitely not disappointed!

Snow Light introduces us to Nathaniel Thomas, a Detective Inspector, who stumbled upon an attack but was unable to save the victim. Fast forward a year and he has relocated to a quiet town to try and work through his guilt away from Homicide HQ.

From here, Snow Light moves along quite slowly in terms of pace. A local hermit has been found dead, but here is little in the way of evidence or suspects. The investigation takes time, and there doesn’t seem to be much for Thomas or his team to go on initially. From here though, the pace picks up as they find out the victim wasn’t who he purported to be.

I don’t want to say much about the plot though, because the author has skilfully woven a taut narrative that leads the team on quite the investigation. The characters are well-written, the location lends itself really well to the chilling nature of the murder and the plot is definitely one for mystery lovers. I really enjoyed Snow Light. And its a DEBUT. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing where the author will take the reader next!

Recommended for sure!

Check out the other fab blogs taking part:

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~Blog Tour Ellen’s Review~ The Kindred Killers by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s turn to take part in the blog tour for The Kindred Killers, and I’ll be sharing her review with you in a bit, but here’s the all-important bookish information first!

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About the book:

Jake Boulder’s help is requested by his best friend, Alfonse, when his cousin is crucified and burned alive along with his wife and children. As Boulder tries to track the heinous killer, a young woman is abducted. Soon her body is discovered and Boulder realises both murders have something unusual in common.

With virtually no leads for Boulder to follow, he strives to find a way to get a clue as to the killer’s identity. But is he hunting for one killer or more?

After a young couple are snatched in the middle of the night the case takes a brutal turn. When the FBI are invited to help with the case, Boulder finds himself warned off the investigation. When gruesome, and incendiary, footage from a mobile phone is sent to all the major US News outlets and the pressure to find those responsible for the crimes mounts. But with the authorities against him can Boulder catch the killer before it’s too late?

Get your copy HERE!

About the author:

A time served joiner Graham has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

He is the author of four books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team and now two books in the crime series featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/?fref=ts

https://www.grahamsmithauthor.com/

https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972?lang=en-gb

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Graham-Smith/e/B006FTIBBU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1491159376&sr=8-1

Ellen’s Review:

Watching the Bodies was one of my top reads of 2017 so I jumped at the chance to review the next in this new series from Graham Smith! It was fantastic to get reacquainted with Jake Boulder and his particular brand of law enforcement.

Jake is really pushed to the limits this time when he is involved in a spate of what appear to be hate crimes in his hometown. The first of these are close to home as the victims are relatives of Alfonse; Jake’s friend and sometime business partner. Now I’m a pretty hard-core reader when it comes to gruesome deaths and torture but even my stomach of steel rolled at some of the murder methods described. It was a difficult read in places but only highlighted what is sadly occurring in the world right now to some extent and I think we all need a dose of reality with our fiction to keep it current.

 

In The Kindred Killers we get a little more understanding of how Jake is made up thanks to his psychologist Dr Edwards; I loved their relationship and how Dr Edwards traded his insight on the case with Jake in return for answers on his personal issues. It was also nice to see Jake finally (possibly,maybe!?) settling down with someone, much to the chagrin of book bloggers around the world who hold him dear as their fictional love interest!

 

Although this is the second in the series it could be read as a standalone but why deny yourself the joy of Jake!? Five shiny stars from me and I look forward to the next!

Make sure to catch up with the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to be one of three stops taking part in the blog tour for Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young today! I get to share my review with you all, but firts, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the author:

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Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.

About the book:

til the dust settles FINAL

The lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

Out NOW from Bloodhound Books, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

My thoughts:

I had been looking forward to reading Till The Dust Settles as soon as I spotted the blurb. It sounded exactly like the kind of book I enjoy. A thriller, but with some really serious themes running throughout. Till The Dust Settles begins on one of the worst days in American history, the day the Twin Towers fell at the hands of terrorists.

The reader is introduced to Lucie. Stuck in a marriage that has become abusive, she has decided to begin making a new path for herself. The first step finds her on her way to a job interview at the World Trade Center, but she never reaches her destination. Amidst the chaos that ensues on that fateful September morning, Lucie only has one thing on her mind. Can she leave her old life behind and maybe start again…

I don’t want to say much about the plot of Till The Dust Settles to be honest. The reason being, it takes the reader on a completely unexpected and gripping journey. I found myself instantly rooting for Lucie, no matter what she has left behind or is barrelling toward, I was completely engrossed in her story!

I find it hard to believe this is a debut. An accomplished plot, plenty of twists and turns and excellent characterisation made this book a real page turner. I’m pretty sure I read it in less than 24 hours. I couldn’t put it down!

Highly recommended!

Catch up with the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Deadly Friendship by Tara Lyons

Hi everyone,

I'm thrilled to be one of two stops on the blog tour for Deadly Friendship by Tara Lyons. Make sure to check out the lovely Neats and her post over at The Haphazardous Hippo HERE!

About the book:

Deadly Friendship 3

Who can you really trust?

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is dragged into a gruesome murder investigation, while on annual leave in Lake Windermere. A handwritten note, with a woman’s name, is found inside the corpse.

When a direct link to London is unidentified, Hamilton must race against the clock to make the connection before the body count rises.

Meanwhile, four friends with strained relationships, are reunited. What past event do they want to keep buried and is there something linking them to the murders?

Then, when a person from Hamilton's past returns, he must ask himself: how well do we really know our friends?

London’s murder investigations team returns in this third novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows and No Safe Home.

Published on July 23rd by Bloodhound Books, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Deadly Friendship (DI Hamilton Book 3) by Tara Lyons

About the author:

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Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara's debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley.

In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017.

When she's not writing, Tara can be found at a local Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball-pit with her young, energetic son.

Sign up to Tara's monthly newsletter for exclusive news, previews and giveaways: http://eepurl.com/bN2KoH

Find out more about the author and follow her writing journey:
www.facebook.com/taralyonsauthor
www.twitter.com/taralyonsauthor
www.instagram.com/taralyonsauthor
www.taralyonsauthor.blogspot.co.uk
www.authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk

My thoughts:

Deadly Friendship is the 3rd DI Denis Hamilton series by Tara Lyons and it's safe to say these books are getting better and better! 

When we meet Hamilton in Deadly Friendship, he is on holidays with his family at Lake Windermere. The last thing he is expecting while out on a boat trip is to come across a dead body, but that's exactly what happens.

Immediately, he switches to work mode, not least because a note with a woman's name has been found written on a piece of paper in the mouth of the deceased. This discovery means Hamilton has to work quickly and diligently to connect the dots in this unusual case.

Parallel to this, the reader is introduced to a circle of friends who are drawn back to get her after relative estrangement. What has brought them back together, and how does it have a bearing on Hamilton's case? Something is not quite right in their group, and it's only a matter of time before a long forgotten past secret threatens their lives.

I really enjoy books that are character-drive and that's what I found with this one. The more I read about Denis Hamilton and his team, the more I find myself caught up in their lives. Add to this a strong plot and I'm sold.

Tara Lyons has written another brilliant book in Deadly Friendship. It is packed to the brim with secrets and lies, a great cast of characters and a truly compulsive story, I started and finished this one within 24 hours, I just couldn't put it down.

Catch up on the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Extract~ Beyond Evidence by Emma Clapperton

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Beyond Evidence by Emma Clapperton and I get to share an extract with you all. First though, here’s the all-important bookish information!

About the book:

BEYOND 1.3 FINAL (1)

In an alley way of the back streets of Glasgow there lies a decomposing corpse of a slain female baking in the midday heat. No one has found her yet, but medium Patrick McLaughlin knows she is there. It is not the first time he has dreamt of death… and he soon finds out that it is not to be the last. Meanwhile, the local police start to request DNA samples from twenty something men in the bustling city of Glasgow where several bizarre murders have taken place. Through a hunch and in the belief that the terrifying dreams hold the key to the identity of the murderer, Patrick works alongside the police to track down the predator before they can strike again. The nightmares do not ease up and begin to tear at Patrick’s sanity and in the midst of the investigation, at what cost would Patrick have to pay to stop the killer striking again? His friends? His family? His life?

Beyond Evidence by Emma Clapperton

About the author:

Bloodhound author image

Emma Clapperton, born December 1985, has always had a passion for reading and writing. She particularly enjoys reading supernatural or horror books.
Emma studied childcare and gained qualifications to work with the early years in 2002, later going on to work in the Montessori sector of early years. In 2017 she gained a qualification to work as a Forest School early years leader and can often be found teaching three and four year olds how to cook on an open fire.
She is the writer of a supernatural crime series based in Glasgow, which she writes under the pen name of Emma L Clapperton.
She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her husband and ginger cat and is working on future projects.
You can contact Emma via:

Prologue

 

The darkened and deserted streets were the perfect setting. He watched as she struggled to run, adrenaline rushing through his veins as he strolled after her. He called out playfully, relishing in the fact that the fear would be coursing through her, along with the pain in her head.

The heel of one of her shoes snapped. She tried to keep running but she was all over the place. Her pace slowed and the gap between them was closing.

The tips of his fingers tingled as he reached out for her. She collapsed, face down on to the ground. He fell to his knees, gripping her neck with his hands. Her hair fell round the sides of her face. She struggled, but the drugs were too much for her to handle. He heard her attempts to cry out. All he could hear – all he wanted to hear – was the sound of death taking over.

Her body slumped. He didn’t want to let go of her. She felt good under his grip. Her skin was soft, wet from the rain. He held her for longer than necessary. To kill felt wonderful. Life, gone in a few seconds. The power was overwhelming.

Running his hand over the back of her head, and relishing the thought he had just taken her life, he stood up, fixed his jacket and stepped over her. As he walked away, the adrenaline rushing through his veins made him feel more alive than he had ever felt. He did not look back at the girl. He didn’t have to. He knew she was dead, and it was all thanks to him. Each and every one after that night would be down to him. There could be no better feeling than the power of deciding who lives and who dies.  


Keep up with the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour~ The Suicide Plan by Emma Clapperton

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Suicide Plan by Emma Clapperton and I get to share my review with you all!

About the book:

suicide reworked .jpg
Standing up and welcoming everyone to the spiritualist church is something Patrick McLaughlin does most evenings. Most of the faces in the audience are familiar to him, except one. David Hopkirk walks into the West End Spiritualist church in Glasgow and slits his own throat in the middle of a demonstration. Buy why?

Patrick is then catapulted into a case, which sees the death of a child, a failed court case and a family torn apart.

Soon Patrick will have all the pieces of the puzzle but will he be able to fit them together in time?

 

About the author:

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Emma Clapperton, born December 1985, has always had a passion for reading and writing. She particularly enjoys reading supernatural or horror books.
Emma studied childcare and gained qualifications to work with the early years in 2002, later going on to work in the Montessori sector of early years. In 2017 she gained a qualification to work as a Forest School early years leader and can often be found teaching three and four year olds how to cook on an open fire.
She is the writer of a supernatural crime series based in Glasgow, which she writes under the pen name of Emma L Clapperton.
She currently resides in a little town outside of the city of Glasgow with her husband and ginger cat and is working on future projects.
You can contact Emma via:

My thoughts:

The Suicide Plan is a short novella that focuses on Patrick McLaughlin, who is part of the West End Spiritualist Church in Glasgow. On this particular evening, a man called David Hopkirk comes into the church and commits suicide in front of the congregation. This traumatic incident begs the question, why there? Why in Patrick’s church?

What follows is an unusual story, with elements of the paranormal as well as a murder case that is time-sensitive. I don’t know what I was expecting when I started The Suicide Plan, but it was a punchy and different storyline to my usual reads.

With such a short story it’s very difficult to write a review without spoiling anything. Emma has managed to pack a hell of a lot into so few pages, with an intriguing story and some very well-drawn characters. Really enjoyed this one!

Recommended!

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