#BookReview A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing @Magpie_Richie

Title: A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing

Date Published: 12th June 2019

Genre: Non Fiction/Writing

Description:

‘A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook’ provides detailed guidance on the pillars of storytelling as well as aspects of writing that rarely feature in other books, such as writing fight scenes and world-building. At times the focus shifts away from the technical elements and considers the philosophies behind writing, ways to help you maintain focus, and methods of battling the demons of doubt that forever loom over our shoulders.

Section two explores the thriving genre of fantasy and the many facets that make it what it is, before looking at the histories of our world that so often inspire our fantasy tales.

The final part looks at the things that come after you’ve finished your story—formatting, peer-reviewing, finding publishers—and other things the contemporary writer can do to enhance their careers, such as making and maintaining a website, blogging, and marketing methods.

By the end, you’ll have a sound foundation upon which to build as well as the tools to venture on alone with courage and confidence.

Review:

This is a seriously overdue review, Richie Billing himself sent me a copy of this last year and I’ve only gotten round to reviewing it now!

I write mostly mystery but I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with fantasy but I thought there was no way I could write something like that, so I was interested to see what A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook had to offer.

Written in a friendly conversational style, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook offers advice on characters, world building and even editing.

Don’t be put off by the title A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook because there are plenty of practical tips on things like characters and plotting that are helpful to any wannabe author no matter the genre.  

What made this standout for me was not only was there loads of writing advice, there were suggestions of extra reading on writing and editing which I really appreciated. 

Like most writing advice books, not everything will work for you but writing is a learning curve afterall!

A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook is a well written and helpful book that I’m glad I’ve got a copy of on my kindle shelf for when I want to tackle a fantasy story in the future.

About The Author:

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah’s Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his acclaimed book on writing, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at www.richiebilling.com.

#BookReview Vanilla Bean Vengeance (Claire’s Candles 1) by Agatha Frost #Cozymystery

Title: Vanilla Bean Vengeance (Claire’s Candles 1) by Agatha Frost

Date Published: 28th February 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

 Claire Harris loves nothing more than crafting homemade candles. She has always dreamed of one day opening a quaint candle shop in her home village of Northash, but at thirty-five, she still can’t afford to take the risk. Stuck in a dead-end job at the local candle factory, and back living with her parents, Claire knows her life needs a shakeup.

The last place she expected change to come from was the factory itself, but when the owner is shockingly pushed to her death, Claire’s life is flipped upside down. She isn’t the only person in the village depending on the factory, so when the murder plunges the business’s future into uncertainty, Claire feels compelled to solve the crime.

With the help of her retired-detective father and closest friends, Claire uncovers a tangled web of conspiracies, cover-ups, secrets, and lies, but can she uncover the truth before her candle shop dream slips through her fingers forever?

Review:

Before I get into my review, I want to show the cover of Vanilla Bean Vengeance some love. I don’t usually go on about the covers, because you know you should judge a book by its cover and all that, but it’s so cute and fits the book perfectly.

So I read the first in Agatha Frost’s Peridale Cafe series a few months ago, so when I saw Vanilla Bean Vengeance, the first in the Claire’s candle series, I want to see what that’s all about. I’m always on the lookout for a new twist on the whole cozy mystery tropes, .i.e. Bakeries, witches, bookshops etc and I thought, I haven’t come across candles before, so I’ll admit I was intrigued on how the two would mesh. 

Vanilla Bean Vengeance has all the typical cozy ingredients, a village setting, a determined amateur sleuth with a hint of potential romance. 

My issue with Agatha Frost’s other series is I felt the characters were a little flat but I really liked Claire, she’s a character I really found myself rooting for. Plus a fab array of quirky back up characters, although Claire’s pushy mother who’s obsessed with her daughter getting married and having kids kind of got on my nerves.

The story kept me guessing to the end and I’ve already put the second in the series, Black Cherry Betrayal on my tbr list.

If you love a cozy mystery, I’d highly recommend this book!

About The Author:

Agatha Frost is a lover of all things cozy. She is a crime fiction fanatic and enjoys nothing more than sinking her teeth into a good murder mystery with a cup of peppermint and liquorice tea, and a cat curled up in her knee.

She lives in a quaint village in a sleepy corner of England, which provides more than ample inspiration for her bestselling Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series!

Sign up to Agatha’s newsletter to get ★FREE★ copies of new releases!

www.agathafrost.com

#BlogTour #Review Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch

Title: Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch

Date Published: 15th June 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world – the Big Apple.

She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up – as well as fake not-really-dead bodies – Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour. 

Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?

Purchase Links – mybook.to/Ahoy

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Bella and her husband Will are invited on a murder mystery cruise and end up stuck in the middle of the Atlantic with her ex husband and her writing nemesis. To make matters worse the fake murder mysteries become real and Bella ends up the prime suspect.

So this is the second in the Bella Tyson series it can easily be read as a standalone, something I can attest to having not read the first. There’s no spoilers for the first book either and having enjoyed this one so much I will be getting myself a copy and reading that too!

Murder Ahoy is a cozy mystery with a little more edginess to it that your standard cozy with a small smattering of swearing and some saucy language which on more the one occasion had me giggling out loud.

There was a fantastic array of interesting characters from Bella’s self centred cheat of an ex-husband Joel to her new more mild mannered beau Will. And there of course there’s Bella herself, who is wonderfully sarcastic and self deprecating, even though she could be a little snarky at times. 

I have to be honest I had the killer pegged quite early on but the motive wasn’t clear until the end.

Murder Ahoy! is a light hearted and fun filled mystery that I enjoyed from beginning until end.

About The Author:

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/fkleitch www.fionaleitch.com https://www.pinterest.nz/fionakleitch/ 

#BookReview The Next Widow by C.J. Lyons @Bookouture @cjlyonswriter #BooksOnTour

Title: The Next Widow by C.J. Lyons

Date Published: 28th July 2020

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.

Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…

When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.

But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?

Fans of Karin Slaughter, Kendra Elliot and Tess Gerritsen will devour this fast-paced and chilling new crime series from New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons. You won’t be able to put this book down.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B087V762MFSocial

Apple: https://apple.co/2SFxNkr

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2y7XbIx

Google: https://bit.ly/2WhDqGe

Review:

I want to thank Noelle Holten for inviting me on this blog tour and Bookouture for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Dr Leah Wright returns home one evening after a tough shift at the hospital to find her husband dead and her daughter Emily huddled under her bed. All evidence points to Leah but can she prove her innocence and keep her daughter safe?

The Next Widow is a real whirlwind of a novel! Fast paced, fraught and full of tension. There were also a few heartbreaking moments too, especially as Leah struggles to connect with her traumatised daughter in the aftermath of her husband’s death.

There was a nice back and forth in the POVs and we get to know the characters of Leah and Luka really well. They both have their own sets of personal problems, even before Leah’s husband is murdered, but both are tough and determined to push through their emotional scars.

I have to be honest I pegged the killer fairly early on, although the entire motive wasn’t clear until the end.

The Next Widow is a gripping and fast paced read, I’d recommend to any thriller lovers out there. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new series is headed.

About The Author:

As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net

Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cjlyonswriter

#BlogTour The Dying Light (Matt Ballard 3) by Joy Ellis @JoffeBooks

Title: The Dying Light (Matt Ballard 3) by Joy Ellis

Publisher: Joffe Books 

Date Published: 23rd July 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

From multiple #1 best-selling author, Joy Ellis, comes a psychological thriller that will have you glued from first page to last.

WHISPER FEN HOLDS DARK SECRETS
As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England’s most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places.

Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy.

Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted?

Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden.

And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens?

Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners?

Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbours. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped?

DISCOVER A TOTALLY ENTHRALLING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER FROM JOY ELLIS

What readers are saying about JOY ELLIS

“The suspense starts on Page 1 and continues through the twists and turns until the very surprising ending.” Linda Strong

“OMG, this book was fantastic I absolutely loved it. I was gripped from the first page but as the tension and suspense mounted throughout the book it just got better and better and that ending, well just WOW!” Dawn Jones

“I absolutely loved it.” Viv

“Will keep you guessing until the end of the book.” Barbara

What a book!!!” Sian

“I was so engrossed I sat up way too late to finish it in one sitting.” Elaine

The Setting
England’s rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.

ALSO BY JOY ELLIS
THE BEST-SELLING NIKKI GALENA SERIES
Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS
Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS
Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS
Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS
Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS
Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS
Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS
Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS
Book 10: HIDDEN ON THE FENS

JACKMAN & EVANS
Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON
Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS
Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND
Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES
Book 5: THE STOLEN BOYS

DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD
Book 1: BEWARE THE PAST
Book 2: FIVE BLOODY HEARTS
Book 3: THE DYING LIGHT

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw at Books n All Promotions for inviting me on this tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited when I heard there was a new Matt Ballard book coming out! I loved the first two and I was eager to see how Joy Ellis would carry on Matt’s story. Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the other novels (you should because they’re really good) as it’s easily read as a standalone.

The Dying Light is something a bit different from Joy Ellis’ usual police procedurals but it’s just as enjoyable.

I love Matt and Liz, they’re such a sweet and loving couple and even though they’re now both retired they still use their time as private detectives to help other people. The addition of former colleague Will’s POV made it even better. 

I got a slightly creepy feeling during the novel, Whisper Fen makes an ethereal backdrop to the story. 

The ending was jaw dropping. I’m still thinking about it as I’m writing this review and honestly, it’s one of the most fraught and emotional I think Joy Ellis has ever written.

I will warn you that mental health is one of the main themes in the story which may be triggering for some people although Joy Ellis does handle this with sensitivity.

I did wish the plot had been streamlined a little more, there were a couple of times I got a little confused at the beginning. 

The Dying Light is a complex, emotional and atmospheric read that will really stick with you after you’ve read it. . 

About The Author:

UK #1 BEST SELLER WITH THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS, DARKNESS ON THE FENS, THE FOURTH FRIEND, BEWARE THE PAST, FIRE ON THE FENS, AND THE GUILTY ONES

OVER 2 MILLION BOOKS SOLD!

“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!

And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, a highly decorated retired police officer, and our four barking mad Springer spaniels. If I do get any spare time, which is rare these days, my one relaxation is painting, especially using soft pastels. We have been here for twenty years now and although I’ll never be a true ‘Yeller Belly’, a native born to this county, I have adopted it as my own. I love the mists, the big skies and the endless waterways. All my books are set here on the Fens, and why not? The location is perfect for murder!”

FIND JOY ON

AUTHOR WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
GOODREADS

Shadows of The Woods by Duncan Thompson @dthompsonauthor @PantherPubs @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: Shadows of the Woods by Duncan Thompson

Date Published: 6th June 2020

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Genre: Horror

Description:

Faceless shadows, a night that will never be the same, and a sinister force. If you go down to the woods tonight, you’re in for a sinister surprise.

When a stag party decides to camp in the woods, they soon discover that a malevolent force has them in their sights. As the unknown creeps ever closer, Joe and his friends must survive. To survive, Joe must learn to fight. If he fights, he could lose it all.

A rollercoaster ride of blood, sweat and tears, Shadows of the Woods will keep you hooked, all whilst throwing nostalgic homage to slashers of the late seventies and early eighties.

A Night Terror that you won’t be forgetting any time soon.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2BHrKX9

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dY4UYb 

Review:

I want to thank Emma at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and Panther Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Joe and his friends decide to go camping for his stag do but instead of a nice lad’s night out, they find something sinister and end up fighting for their lives. Who will survive? 

Shadows of The Woods is a short sharp shock filled book! 

There was plenty of fast paced action, adventure and horrifying scenes for any horror fan to get their teeth into.

This very much a monster driven story and my goodness the monsters were a little terrifying! I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I’m very wary of shadows now.

The book did contain the old camping in the woods trope but I feel the author made it their own and took a fresh spin on it. 

There was quite a large cast of characters and with this being a novella, I felt we didn’t get to know the characters quite as well as I’d liked.

Shadows of The Woods is at times a gruesome and adventure packed novel that I genuinely couldn’t predict when I was reading it.

About The Author:

Duncan has spent most of his life in a small market town in West Yorkshire — the same town in which most of his stories are set under the guise of Ravenfield. Duncan has been writing works of fiction since the age of seven. In those early days, his stories often involved himself and his friends being transported to fantasy worlds. However, as a teenager, Duncan fell in love with horror movies and his writing took a whole new direction.

Duncan still lives in West Yorkshire with his partner and their two young children. He also has slight obsession with Spider-Man and the actor Bruce Campbell, as well as having an addiction to vinyl records, coffee and Lego.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dthompsonauthor 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duncanthompsonauthor/ Website: https://www.dthompsonauthor.com/

#BlogTour #Review Death Remembered by K.E. Coburn @rararesources @KeCoburn #CozyMystery

Title: Death Remembered (A Sleuthing Club Mystery: Book 1) by K.E. Coburn

Date Published: 16th July 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Summer 1952. 

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, but Charity Nicholls is bored of her quiet life in a tiny English village where nothing ever happens. Other than her nagging, marriage-obsessed mother, all she has to fill the time are her dreams of becoming a writer, and the Sleuthing Club – the mystery-reading book club she attends every week. 

But everything changes the day her father receives a poison pen letter. 

With the help of the Sleuthing Club, particularly handsome Henry Taylor, Charity is determined to find the culprit. But when people start dying and the police arrive, led by the infuriating Inspector James Lawrence, her little village becomes a hotbed of crime. 

Can Charity find the murderer before anyone else dies?

Perfect for fans of Helena Dixon and T E Kinsey.

Purchase Links

UK –https://amzn.to/2LnXba7  

US – https://www.amazon.com/Death-Remembered-Sleuthing-Club-Mystery-ebook/dp/B088FR2J99/

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and K.E Coburn for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

When Charity Nicholls’ vicar father receives a poison pen letter, accusing him of stealing, she thinks it’s her chance to get her teeth into a real mystery.  Unfortunately, her only experience of investigation is through reading mysteries. When the first murder comes along, she quickly finds out investigating crimes aren’t as simple as they seem in books… 

Death Remember is a gentle historical mystery, with plenty of red herrings, an idyllic setting and memorable characters. 

I loved the character of Charity. She’s clever, if a little stubborn, and wants more than anything to become a writer and move away from Harrington Without. Thing is she’s also a little naive, having been coddled most of her life by her parents, especially when it comes to a certain handsome Henry Taylor.

There’s also some great reference to classic mysteries, from the golden age of crime fiction, like Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L Sayers and those are just the ones I can remember!

It does take a little longer than usual to get into the murder aspect, focusing on the poison pen letters, getting to know the characters and the village but this is the first in the series so I expected a bit of build up before getting into the nitty gritty of the case. 

Death Remembered is a great start to the series and I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

About The Author: 

K E Coburn lives by the seaside in Kent, England, and spends her time plotting murders and mayhem for her imaginary friends in the Sleuthing Club!

As well as having a master’s degree in history, she’s a huge fan of everything vintage, especially the 1950s, and loves researching this interesting period. Nothing makes her happier than looking at old photographs, drinking old-fashioned cocktails, and doing as little work as possible. 

Her debut novel Death Remembered: A Sleuthing Club Mystery (Book 1) will be published in July 2020.

If you fancy keeping up to date with her murderous plots you can find her on Twitter at @KeCoburn or at her website: www.kecoburn.com and on Facebook at: https://bit.ly/2SYgQSo 

or at her website: www.kecoburn.com and on Facebook at: https://bit.ly/2SYgQSo 

#BlogTour #BookReview The Raven Girl by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles

Title: The Raven Girl by Stewart Giles

Date Published: 15th July 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

From # 1 bestselling author, Stewart Giles comes a new detective Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith thriller.

The lives of the people in the charming Cornish village of Trotterdown are about to be shattered.

When the body of a man is discovered on a beach near Trotterdown, detective Harriet Taylor gets to work. It soon becomes clear that this was no ordinary murder – the man was placed in a yoga position and his pockets were filled with seashells.

As more bodies pile up, suspicion falls on the residents of the old Beekeeper’s house. Who are these New-Age youngsters and is their ‘peace and love’ philosophy merely a front to cover up something sinister?

Harriet and her team are stumped. Everywhere they turn seems to lead nowhere, and they soon believe these gruesome murders will remain unsolved forever.

Then Detective Sergeant Jason Smith receives a phone call that will change his life forever. Harriet’s DI calls and gives him some terrible news.
‘Harriet Taylor is dead.’

Smith must now make a choice. Harriet’s DI has asked for his help in the investigation that resulted in her grisly death, but does Smith really want to get involved in something that really does not concern him?

Against his better judgement and ignoring his wife’s pleas, Smith heads off to Trotterdown to see if he can find out what it was that Harriet failed to see, but when he eventually does uncover what it was Harriet discovered that culminated in her death, his own life is put at risk. Could this be the case that finishes off Smith for good?

BOOKS BY STEWART GILES

DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 0.5-Phobia
Book 1-Smith
Book 2-Boomerang
Book 3-Ladybird
Book 4-Occam’s Razor
Book 5-Harlequin
Book 6-Selene
Book 7-Horsemen
Book 8-Unworthy
Book 9 – Venom
Book 10 – Severed
Book 11 – Demons
Book 12 – Deadeye

DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1-The Beekeeper
Book 2-The Perfect Murder
Book 3-The Backpacker
Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3

DS JASON SMITH &DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Enigma
Book 2 – Dropzone
Book 3 – The Raven Girl

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS
Miranda
Mistress
Medusa (coming soon)

STANDALONE HORROR
The Divide

DI O’REILLY MYSTERIES
Blood on the Island

Review:

I want to thank Jill at Books n All promotions for inviting me on this tour and Stewart Giles for providing me with a copy of The Raven Girl in exchange for an honest review.

While this can be read as a standalone, I would suggest you read either the Harriet Taylor series (The Beekeeper especially) or the previous books in the Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith series first to get a better understanding of the characters. 

The Raven Girl made me quite emotional! I’m very sad to see that this is probably going to be the last book that features DC Harriet Taylor. The character of Harriet was how I was introduced to Stewart Giles’ writing and it feels a bit like the end of an era for me.

A body is found on Totterdown beach in a yoga pose, his pockets filled with seashells. Suspicion immediately falls on the residents of the old Beekeepers cottage, particularly Alice Green, the beekeeper’s granddaughter. Another body is found further up the beach and it doesn’t look good for Alice but Harriet is not convinced. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she doesn’t realise that it will be her last…

As with all of Stewart Giles’ books there’s no shortage of blood, bodies and drama. The first half focuses on Harriet’s investigation, then the second Smith is brought in after Harriet’s murder to wrap it all up.

I liked that there seemed to be a bit of character growth with Jason Smith. If you know Smith he’s not one for treading lightly and has a bit of a lone wolf thing going on but in this novel he actually worked with Harriet’s team rather than go off on his own.

I did feel like the ending was a bit abrupt for my liking but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the overall story.

The Raven Girl is a quick and compelling read that had me racing through those pages.

About The Author:

After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. 

In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later. 

3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series.

The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. 

I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results.  I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.

After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor. 

Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. This was followed by the sequel Mistress in 2019.  Medusa is coming soon

The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 13 books including the introduction: Phobia. Book 12: Deadeye was published in February 2020.

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33

#BlogTour #BookReview The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher @JoffeBooks @gloriouscharlie

Title: The Deadly Houses (Maddie Ives 6) by Charlie Gallagher

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 14th July 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Discover the hottest crime thriller this summer.

THEY LOST THEIR FAMILIES, NOW THEY’RE COMING FOR YOURS

Four brutal men destroyed their own families. And they will do anything to get them back.

Detective Maddie Ives won’t let that happen.

She works with the people who will keep them safe. But then the team protecting them begin to be hunted down.

The social worker leading the case is found beaten and suffocated. A man turns himself in claiming to be the killer, but Maddie knows he’s lying.

FEAR WILL MAKE YOU DO THE UNIMAGINABLE

Three more victims are under pressure. If they fail, their families will die.

Detective Maddie Ives faces a heart-pounding race against time to connect the crimes. And she calls in Harry Blaker, still grieving the loss of his own daughter, to help.

YOU’RE NOT EVEN SAFE IN YOUR OWN HOUSE

Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.

DON’T MISS THE MOST GRIPPING THRILLER YOU’LL READ THIS YEAR!

PRAISE FOR CHARLIE GALLAGHER

“An exceptional thriller with a truly evil antagonist, this is a book that is nigh on impossible to put down.” Lou

“This is a brilliant read.” Billie

Riveting crime fiction with twists and turns that make this a real page-turner.” Linda

“I haven’t come across such an evil, warped-minded villain for a long, long time.” Sarah

“I think this is the best yet — fantastic read from start to finish.” Nerys

“This is a truly sensational thriller that’s impossible to put down.”

“As the story hurtled towards its devastating denouement, I was caught totally by surprise at what happened.”

ALSO BY CHARLIE GALLAGHER

MADDIE IVES

Book 1: HE IS WATCHING YOU

Book 2: HE WILL KILL YOU

Book 3: HE WILL FIND YOU

Book 4: HE KNOWS YOUR SECRETS

Book 5: HE WILL GET YOU

Book 6: THE DEADLY HOUSES

GEORGE ELMS, LANGTHORNE SERIES

Book 1: BODILY HARM

Book 2: PANIC BUTTON

Book 3: BLOOD MONEY

Book 4: END GAME

Book 5: MISSING

Book 6: THEN SHE RAN

Book 7: HER LAST BREATH

STANDALONE

RUTHLESS

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw at Books ‘n’ all promotions for inviting me on this tour and Joffe books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the sixth in the Maddie Ives series but it can easily be read as a standalone, although I would recommend reading a few of the other books in the series just to get a fuller picture of the characters.

The deadly houses is a dark and at times quite scary read with plenty of pulse pounding moments.

A man shows up confessing to a murder which Maddie Ives isn’t convinced he committed. Her new boss won’t hear her out and wants the murder all wrapped up. In desperation she turns to her old boss and friend Harry Blaker. When they dig deeper, the case becomes a lot more sinister that it first appears.

As always with all of Charlie Gallagher’s books, it’s cleverly written with his experience as a police officer shines through, adding the air of authenticity to the novel.

I did feel the middle of the story lost a little bit of steam but the emotion and tense ending made up for it.

The Deadly Houses is both an emotional yet at times quite chilling read that had me thinking about it long after I’d finished it. 

About The Author:

Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for ten years. During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a detective investigating serious offences. 

LINKS

Website:   https://www.writercharliegallagher.com

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

Twitter:     @gloriouscharlie

#BookReview The Perfect Life by Valerie Keogh @ValerieKeogh1

Title: The Perfect Life by Valerie Keogh 

Date Published: 24th June 2020

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

How far would you go to maintain the illusion of The Perfect Life?

Appearances can be deceptive…

Molly Chatwell has a beautiful house, a handsome husband, two children and a job she likes. It all seems so perfect but when her two children leave for university, she realises her life has become dull and empty. When her husband refuses to go away with her, Molly decides to go alone.

But what should have been a relaxing break turns into a nightmare.

Back at home in London, Molly tries to put it all behind her but when the police arrive at her door and tell her that a body has been found with connections to her, Molly realises that her perfect life is under threat…

Review:

I want to thank Valerie Keogh for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoy Valerie Keogh’s psychological thrillers so I was looking forward to this one.

The Perfect Life is a domestic noir story focussing on Molly Chatwell whose life seems perfect. She has a nice house and job. A great husband and two kids off at university. It’s only when she starts to really look at her life that she begins to see the cracks. A chance meeting with a stranger leaves her perfect life under threat.

I always love the way that Valerie Keogh creates such realistic and flawed characters. I really felt for Molly, suffering from empty nest syndrome and her husband is less than sympathetic about it.  

There’s plenty of peril for poor Molly along the way but I have to be honest I wasn’t entirely shocked by the ending.

The Perfect Life is a fast paced story with plenty of tension and intrigue, perfect for domestic noir fans.  

About The Author:

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels.

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, was published in Nov 2018 and the second, The Housewife, in Feb 2019.

In June 2019, Valerie signed a three book contract with Bloodhound books. The first psychological thriller, The Three Women, was published in Feb 2020, the second is due in June 2020 and the third in Sept 2020. Bloodhound are also publishing Valerie’s Irish Crime series, the first of which, No Simple Death was published in Dec 2019, the second, No Obvious Cause in Jan 2020, the third, No Past Forgiven in March.

Valerie also writes a series based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer. The Hudson and Connolly series: Deadly Sleep, Twisted Power, Bitter Business, and Wicked Secret.

Valerie has also written a stand-alone psychological thriller, Exit Five from Charing Cross

Like Valerie Keogh’s facebook page: facebook.com/valeriekeoghnovels