Blog Tour~ Blood Tears by Michael J Malone

Hi guys,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Blood Tears by Michael J Malone and I’ll be sharing a Q&A with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Michael J Malone

Michael J. Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at http://mickmal1.blogspot.com/

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1

About the book:

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The first in a series of books with D.I. Ray McBain – a Glasgow detective who turns to his best friend, Kenny O’Neill when he goes on the run after he becomes the prime suspect in a grisly murder.

An old man is found murdered in his Glasgow flat. DI Ray McBain is called to the scene and is the first to notice that the man’s wounds mirror the Stigmata. The police quickly discover that the victim is a former janitor who worked in several care homes where he abused his charges. Is someone taking revenge thirty years after the fact?

McBain, as a child was a resident of Bethlehem House, a Catholic run care home where the murdered man worked and early on in the investigation, McBain decides to hide a crucial bit of evidence relating to his stay in the convent orphanage.

When his superiors find out, McBain becomes the prime suspect in the case and has to make a decision which will leave him on the run and alone, trying to solve the murders and, at the same time, the puzzle of his past – a past that is pushing into the present with a recurring suffocating dream of blood and feathers that descends on him every night.

Click HERE to get your copy!

Q&A:

Blood Tears

First we do the introductions and get some gratuitous plugs in.  Would you like to introduce yourself and draw our attention to the Michael J Malone books which we should be reading?

I started to take my writing seriously around 1996 – after I found myself saying that once I retired I would write a novel. Then I asked myself: why wait? I discovered my local writing club. Met lots of amazing, generous people – learned lots and put in lots of practise – and it took a few years to get published. My poetry took on more quickly and within 2 or 3 years I was regularly getting poems published. The novels were a different story, and it took until 2012 for my first novel to be released.

As to which MJM books people should be reading? All of ‘em, thank you please very much.

The book I would like to focus on today is Blood Tears which was first published in 2012 – so why have we singled this book out to chat about today?

My publisher for this book (and the follow-up) Five Leaves – to whom I will be eternally grateful to taking a chance on me – are concentrating on their other business (a bookshop) so it felt like this was the time for me to take the right back – and re-publish.

For readers who may not have met Ray McBain before could you introduce your leading man and give us an indication as to what type of guy he is.

He’s abrasive, loyal, committed to the job, doesn’t suffer fools, haunted by his past, has an unhealthy attitude to food – there’s a lot to him which makes it a real pleasure to write.

When Blood Tears was a work in progress was there already a plan in place to bring him back for further outings?

I can barely think beyond the next page that I’m writing so I rarely have a big plan in mind. I just concentrate on the book I’m writing. So, no, I had no idea that this character had “legs” when I started writing him.

I have heard more than one author say that once they publish a book they have gone through it so many times that they never want to read it again…how does it feel to return to Blood Tears after all this time?

There’s been enough distance – 6 years – since I went through that part of the process. A period during which I have published another 8 books, so there’s enough literary water gone under the bridge – if you excuse the strangled metaphor. To go back after all this time, was – how shall I put it – interesting? I’m not sure how to characterise it. I’m not one for self-analysis when it comes to my writing. I’ll leave the critique to others. Friends tell me they can see that I’ve matured as a writer, which I appreciate, but I’m unable to make that judgement. But I can see Blood Tears has a raw feel to it. Not sure if that has answered your question.

Do you have any urge to tinker with the story for this re-release?

I did. But I resisted. It felt dishonest to do so. When it was first released it sold a good few copies and to change it in any way felt like I was cheating those early readers who supported me.

Has self-publishing Blood Tears presented some new challenges?  Are you having to perform roles which previously were dealt with by someone else?

Yes, absolutely. Sourcing a cover. Formatting the script for the various e-book outlets – I’m a technophobe so a good friend of mine (thanks, Martie) was a massive help. And now that the book has been re-released I need to help people discover it and that’s where marketing comes in.

Do you have any other manuscripts lurking on a hard-drive somewhere which you may consider self- publishing?

The VERY first book I wrote hasn’t been published – and the story in there deserves an audience and I’m hoping my publisher will help me whip it in to shape. So the answer is no, but I have a number of poems that could be released in a collection when I get the time.

Catch up with the tour:

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Blog Tour~No One Will Hear by Joel Hames Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for No One Will Hear by Joel Hames, and I’ll be sharing her review a little further down!

About the author:

Joel Hames

Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.
After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).
Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames. Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.

About the book:

Joel H book

Four murders
Four messages
One chance to catch a killer.

Renowned human rights lawyer Elizabeth Maurier lies dead, her body mutilated, her killer unknown. For DI Olivia Martins and her team, it’s a mystery. For the victim’s daughter Lizzy, a poet and academic with a shaky grasp on reality, it’s a tragedy. But for Sam Williams, the man Elizabeth fired a decade ago and hasn’t spoken to since, it’s a whole new world of pain.

Elizabeth’s death has stirred a sleeping past back to life. Former clients are darkening Sam’s door, old enemies returning, ancient cases reopening. It doesn’t help that DI Martins is on his case, the press are dogging his every step, and his girlfriend’s behaviour is increasingly erratic.

But Elizabeth’s murder is just the start. As Sam reluctantly digs his way back into the past, more truths will crumble into lies.

More certainties will shade to doubt.

And more innocent people will die.

Out now, you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

Ellen’s review:

I have had all of Joel’s books and novellas on my kindle for quite a while so I was glad of the nudge of a blog tour to finally read one! I really struggle to pick from my enormous TBR mountain and it’s great to discover such a fantastic book in there. I am not entirely sure why I haven’t picked one up before; I think I was worried that it wasn’t my type of read. Happy to report I was totally wrong!!

No One Will Hear is Sam Williams #2 and begins within days of where Dead North ended. We have a still bruised and battered Sam returning home to London from Manchester, processing the events that have occurred. This could easily be read as a standalone as the author provides enough information from previous stories but I’d highly recommend you read everything else Joel Hames has written.

There is a darkness to these books (tongue removal anyone?) but humour as well and a nod to a lot of classics. I was torn between being shaken by a murder scene to then chuckling at Sam’s acerbic humour. Sam is one of those character’s you can’t help but love. In No One Will Hear he is bequeathed with writing the memoirs of an old colleague and friend, Elizabeth Maurier, he overcomes the dislike of an arch enemy to get the job done all the while getting drawn into the investigation of her murder. Not only does Sam have memoirs to write and a murder to solve he must deal with Elizabeth’s fragile daughter and his partner Claire who is obviously distracted with her own demons.

A cracking read and I can’t wait to read more!

Catch up with the tour:

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

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About the book:

Fourteen years ago, teenager Ellery Hathaway was victim number seventeen in the grisly murder spree of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. She was the only one who lived.
Now Coben is safely behind bars, and Ellery has a new identity in a sleepy town where bike theft makes the newspapers. But each July for the last three years, locals have been disappearing. Then Ellery receives strange messages hinting that the culprit knows exactly what happened to her all those years ago. When she tries to raise the alarm, no one will listen, and terrified she may be next, Ellery must turn to the one person who might believe her story…

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

My thoughts:

I read the majority of The Vanishing Season in one day because once I got pulled in to the story I had to keep going to see what was going to happen!

Ellie Hathaway is living under a new identity after surviving a killer when he was younger. Said killer is now behind bars, but Ellie has been getting strange messages, and now people are disappearing from the town she lives in. Nobody will believe her when she tries to tell them, so she takes matters into her own hands and calls in the FBI.

What follows is quite a tense read, packed with plenty of shady characters and a really interesting story. I was thoroughly engaged with this one and I was eager to see if my suspicions were correct or not. The Vanishing Season is definitely a fast-paced and clever crime thriller.

Recommended for sure!

Blog Tour~Motherland by G. D. Abson

Hi everyone,

Today I’m closing out the blog tour for Motherland by G. D. Abson and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all!

About the author:

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G.D. Abson was born in County Durham and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.

About the book:

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Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. As she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.

Motherland by G. D. Abson

Prologue:

Two hours had gone by since they’d left the city behind. The heater was on full but still she shivered. Out here, away from the water and heading north to Finland, forests threatened the road and the temperature dropped to minus thirty in winter. Ksenia stirred with the noise of the engine and Kristina shifted position, bringing circulation to her numb right arm. The silence was oppressive in the Zhiguli and he broke it by turning on the radio; there was nothing except static and he switched to long-wave. She heard the President’s voice and was stunned.

There had been the horror of Chechnya, then everyone’s savings had been wiped out when the rouble crashed. And still Yeltsin survived, propped up by Berezovksy and the other oligarchs. He’d gone to America and been discovered drunk outside the White House in his underwear. On the TV puppet show, Kukly, she had cringed as he was humiliated again and again.

‘He’s leaving,’ she said in shock. ‘Boris Yeltsin is resigning.’

She twisted the volume control to hear it over the Zhiguli’s engine and caught phrases:

“I want to ask for your forgiveness because many of our dreams didn’t come true… the pain of every one of you, I feel in myself, in my heart… in saying goodbye, I want to say to every one of you: be happy. You deserve happiness. You deserve happiness, and peace.”

The old buffoon had made her cry. She dipped her head forwards to dab her tears on the arm of her jacket.

Now the Acting President, a KGB goon called Putin, was promising freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. She wondered if he was smirking while he spoke. At least he didn’t drink, maybe he was what the country needed now: someone serious and sober.

They were travelling faster, a hundred kilometres an hour on the empty carriageway; the Zhiguli’s lights illuminating cones of snowflakes. She wanted to tell him to slow down but she was just as impatient to get away. The radio announcer cut to a live broadcast outside the Kremlin and they sat in silence as the bells of Spasskaya Tower clock chimed.

‘Happy New Year, darling.’ She reached across to squeeze his hand. ‘To our happiness and peace.’

‘I love you,’ he said.

‘I love you too.’ She offered a smile to cover up the white lie.

He yanked his hand from hers.

She looked at him, confused, and saw him gripping the steering wheel; his mouth had fallen open.

The Zhiguli slid silently along the iced road. He stamped on the brake pedal; the car jerked to the left. She held Ksenia tightly against her chest. The Zhiguli cut across the opposite carriageway and there was a smashing of steel that thrust her forwards. She floated in clear air and screamed all the way down.

 

Catch up with the tour:

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Bermuda by Robert Enright

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About the author:

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Robert Enright was born and raised in North London and resides in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. Working as a HR System Manager by day, he spends his evenings and weekends writing (or binge watching TV with his fiance).

In March 2015, Rob self-published ONE BY ONE on Amazon, a violent, revenge thriller which was critically acclaimed, breaking into the top 50 books on Amazon on release. One year later, One by One leapt up to #3 in Kindle Crime and back into the top 50 on Kindle.

Robert then signed with Urbane Publications and his second book DOORWAYS was released on the 13th October 2016. An Urban Fantasy Thriller, Doorways is the first Bermuda Jones Casefile, a series following the aforementioned agent as he struggles to govern the truce between our world and ‘The Otherside.’ Released to critical acclaim, Doorways has achieved consistently high rankings on both the Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy charts.

In October 2017, ONE BY ONE was republished on Kindle and Paperback by Britain’s Next Best Seller.

In early 2018, DOORWAYS was re-released as an e-book, paperback and audio book under Robert Enright’s management. The sequel, THE ABSENT MAN is released in March 2018. The third in the series, WORLDS APART, is set for a late 2018 launch. A prequel, titled BERMUDA, is available now.

For more information about Rob and his upcoming books, then feel free to check him out on social media:

About the book:

Discover how it all began…

Franklyn Jones is a devoted husband, a loving father and a middle manager working in London. His only secret is he can see ‘The Otherside’, a world that hides in the shadows of our own. After his claims of these creatures leads to the loss of his family and his commitment to a mental health facility, Franklyn’s life came to a complete stand still.

Eventually, Franklyn is recruited by the BTCO, a secret agency that monitors and maintains the truce between both worlds. Thrust into an advanced training regime based on his ‘gifts’, Franklyn soon finds himself out on his first case, investigating the disappearance of several people in Elvedon Forest in Suffolk.

Closely monitored by his trainer, Denham, Franklyn edges further into this new world, hunting a violent entity that lives within the trees, whilst also being watched by a mysterious warrior.

The explosive prequel novella to DOORWAYS and THE ABSENT MAN, BERMUDA takes you back to where it all started.

Are you ready for the answers?

Bermuda by Robert Enright

My thoughts:

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed both Doorways and The Absent Man, its safe to say I was looking forward to reading Bermuda so I could find out how everything came to be.

Franklyn “Bermuda” Jones has been seeing things since he was younger. Horrible creatures that live among us, and when he mentions these aloud, he ends up in a mental health facility because those around him think that he has serious problems.

Eventually, he comes to the attention of the BTCO (Behind The Curtain Organisation), a group who monitor the “Otherside” and try to keep peace between our world and that of the monsters. Franklyn is special, so the BTCO train him up and send him out to work on a case involving the disappearance of people in Suffolk. What follows is an adrenaline-filled story where we learn how Franklyn got to where he is now.

I really enjoyed Bermuda. It answered any questions I had from the previous books and it also packed a hell of a lot in for a novella. Rob Enright has a knack for making you connect with characters, and Bermuda is a great example of this. The emotion and dilemmas that Franklyn experiences really made me feel for him, and I was really wrapped up in his story.

I don’t want to say much more because this is a prequel, and I don’t want to give away anything about the story. All I know is I loved it, and I can’t wait to red the next book in the series.

Bermuda is an action-packed novella, with great characters and some decidedly inhumane entities that will make your skin crawl. Gripped from the outset, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it.

Highly recommended!

Previous Reviews:

Doorways by Robert Enright

The Absent Man by Robert Enright

Blog Tour~Rubicon by Ian Patrick

Hi everyone,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Ian Patick’s Rubicon, published by the force of nature that is Fahrenheit Press. I’ll be re-sharing my review for this gem, but first, the all-important bookish information!

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About the book:

Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is a corrupt undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Buy Rubicon direct from Fahrenheit Press:

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_rubicon.html

About the author:

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Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.

He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.

Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.

Ian’s Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IPatrick_Author

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ian-Patrick/e/B075VB1MP4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

My thoughts:

I don’t know where to start with this review to be honest. I’ve written and deleted it more than once. Not because I didn’t enjoy Rubicon, but because I couldn’t put the bloody book down once I started it, I was hooked!

Rubicon is quite a book. It is dark, gritty and packed with action. The main characters, Sam Batford and Klara Winter are like chalk and cheese, so I really enjoyed their brief interludes during the course of the story. Both after the same thing, but for wildly different reasons, their story arc was really fun to read!

Batford is an undercover officer, corrupt as you like, and not one bit sorry. This attitude translates really well into his story as it makes him almost a bit of a lad, in terms of his cockiness and general devil-may-care approach to certain things. He’s a bit of a renegade, let’s be honest, but he is also my favourite part of the story!

I really enjoyed reading Rubicon, not least because the author’s previous experience in this line of work really shines through, but also because it’s not my usual kind of crime read. I tend not to read these gangland-y (not a word, I know!) books but I am SO glad I got to read this little gem.

Ian Patrick has a great writing style. Short, pacy chapters mean you’re constantly turning the page to see what the hell Batford is going to do next, and because he’s a bit of an asshole, you know he’ll be up to no good. Can’t wait to see where the author takes us with his next one.

Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

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Blog Tour Review~Absolution by Paul Hardisty

Hi all,

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Absolution by Paul Hardisty today and I’ll be sharing my review with you guys a little further down!

About the author:

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Canadian Paul E 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 café in Sana’a.
Paul is a university professor, visiting professor at Imperial College, London, and
Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation
research programmes. His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was
shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger and Telegraph thriller of the year, and the sequels, The Evolution of Fear and Reconciliation for the Dead were both ebook bestsellers. He lives in Western Australia.

About the book:

ABSOLUTION COVER AW-1_preview.jpeg

It’s 1997, and vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker has fled South Africa after his
explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission. On an isolated island off the African coast, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
In Paris, Claymore’s former lover, journalist Rania LaTour, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human-rights lawyer, have disappeared.

As Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, events lead them both to Egypt, where an act of shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.

Absolution by Paul Hardisty

My thoughts:

It’s hard to believe we’re already onto the fourth Claymore Strayker book, but here we are with the explosive Absolution. It follows on from the events in Reconciliation For The Dead, so if possible, I recommend that you read them in order because they are all linked in some way.

There is something about these books that really capture my imagination as a reader. I become fully immersed in them immediately, and Absolution was no exception. Paul Hardisty is an excellent writer, and his experience really shows in his ability to capture the horror and violence of war and conflict.

In Absolution, Clay is living in self-imposed isolation on an island off the African coast. Afraid to surround himself with people for fear that they would get caught up in the danger that shadows him like a hunter stalking his prey. Sadly, this is exactly what happens.

Concurrent to this, Rania is living in Paris with hr husband and young son. When she comes home to find they have disappeared, this sets in motion a chain of events that will have devastating consequences, reaching far wider than she could have imagined.

Absolution is an emotionally charged thriller from beginning to end. It deals with some of the most horrific acts of terrorism and brutality at the time and it leaves the reader reeling as the events unfold. I found myself feeling very tense at various points in the story, fearful for the outcomes and worried for the characters.

I don’t want to say much more, because I am afraid I may give away something if I go into too much detail. Absolution is a heartbreaking instalment in the series, for many reasons. It is tense, emotive and at times, shocking. I couldn’t stop reading it from once I started, and I can’t wait to read more Straker books!

Highly recommended!

Previous reviews:

The Evolution Of Fear by Paul E. Hardisty

Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul Hardisty

 

Check out the tour:

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