Double #Review The Puppet Show & Black Summer by M.W. Craven @MWCravenUK

So I actually reviewed The Puppet Show back in May on Goodreads but I never shared it here, so I thought, why not share both my review for The Puppet Show and Black Summer today!

the puppet showTitle: The Puppet Show by M.W Craven

Publisher: Constable

Date Published: 7th June 2018

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of . . .

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive ..

Review:

So I saw lots of fantastic reviews for The Puppet Show last year so I decided to pick up a copy for myself.

Washington Poe is disgraced, living the simple life in the middle of Cumbria when he gets a call. A man the press dubbed the ‘immolation man’ (yes I had to google what immolation meant. Its clever name, perhaps a little too clever for the press of this country) has carved his name on the chest of his latest victim.

He’s dragged into the case whether he likes it or not and with the help social awkward Tilly Bradshaw, he needs to stop the killer before the body count rises any more.

This really started with a bang, a violent and bloody bang to be accurate!

Washington Poe, is just one of the best names I’ve come across in fiction for a while and suits his character down to the ground. He’s complex and more than a little grumpy but what I loved about him was the way he stood up to bullies particularly the ones picking on poor Tilly.

I also loved the relationship between Poe and Tilly. He accepts her quirks and bluntness which annoy pretty much everyone around her and she seems to be the voice of reason for him. Doesn’t stop him from aggravating his superiors and going off to do risky things but there’s not as much fun if the characters follow the rules is there?

Another enjoyable aspect of the book was the setting of Crumbria, both beautiful and at times a little bleak, it was almost a character in itself.

I have to be honest it did take me a while to really get into this book, I felt after the violent and gripping start the story meandered a little before really getting juicy with a gripping ending.

I’d recommend this to any one who loves a gritty and gruesome serial killer novel with great characters.

black summerTitle: Black Summer by M.W Craven

Publisher: Constable

Date Published: 20th June 2019

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

Review:

So this is the second in the series but it can be easily read as a stand-alone but I suggest if you’ve got the time, you should read the Puppet show too, because it’s such a good book.

Poe’s past comes back to haunt him as Elizabeth Keaton, a young woman he thought dead, turns up at a local library. Her father Jared Keaton has spent six years in jail for her murder. Jared is complete psychopath, out for revenge and he has Poe in his sights.

Elizabeth goes missing, again, Poe is the one and only suspect. Can he clear his name and solve this puzzling mystery?

It’s nice to be back with Poe and Tilly! I absolutely could not get enough of this dark and disturbing sequel, it really kept me on my toes while I was reading it! Dare I say it’s even better than the first book…

I think this series would make a brilliant TV show. It’s got everything, quirky detectives, great setting and intriguing mysteries…what more could you want?

Poe is the type of character that seems to get into trouble no matter what. He is a brilliant detective but has the ability to rub people up the wrong way, specifically police officers, but just can’t help but warm to him.

Like with the first book, I found the beginning a little slow but it soon picked up the pace and had me gripped.

Black Summer is a dark and thrilling mystery that I couldn’t get enough of. I can’t wait to see what this author does next!

About The Author:

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Website: mwcraven.com
Twitter: @MWCravenUK

Advertisements

#BlogTour #Review Two Victims by Helen H Durrant @hhdurrant @JoffeBooks

Title: Two Victims (Rachel King 2) by Helen H Durrant

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 31st July 2019

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

MEET DETECTIVE RACHEL KING IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

DISCOVER A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU GRIPPED FROM START TO PULSATING FINISH.

A MURDERED WOMAN FOUND ON A BUILDING SITE. EXECUTED BY A SINGLE GUN SHOT. BUT WORSE IS TO COME. ANOTHER BODY IS FOUND BURIED IN THE SAME PLACE.

Detective Rachel King has two victims to deal with. The first woman was local nurse, Agnes Moore. One of the victim’s friends makes contact but then disappears.

Does Rachel have a serial killer on her hands? And what was Agnes really helping local girls with?

Will Rachel’s former lover, well-know villain Jed McAteer come back to haunt her with his connections to the victims.

Who will pay the ultimate price next?

A MYSTERY WITH A STUNNING TWIST AND A RACE AGAINST TIME TO SAVE HER CAREER AND STOP A MURDER SPREE.

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

DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan.  She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know anything about this.

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT

RACHEL KING
Book 1: Next Victim
Book 2: Two Victims

Blog Tour banner 2 victims

Review:

I read the first in this series Next Victim, (you can read my review here) at the beginning of the year, so I jumped at the chance to read this one. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, it can be read as a stand-alone.

A woman’s body is found on a building site and Rachel is tasked to investigate. What she didn’t count on was a second body being discovered underneath it!

The building site is linked to her old flame and crook turned businessman Jed McAteer but did he have anything to do with the murders?

Two Victims is a great addition to this series, which seems to be going from strength to strength!

Rachel is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters. She’s a no nonsense kind of person, who can seem a little abrasive at times but that’s only because she wants justice for the murder victims. She also has to deal with her rebellious daughters, one of which has just turned eighteen and is determined to push her mum’s buttons.

I will warn you there is some tough subject matter during the book, including human trafficking and torture, which may not be to everybody’s taste.

Two Victims is really a must for anyone who loves a fast paced police procedurals with a tenacious female lead.

About The Author:

OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Author photo - helen durrantScottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Twitter: @hhdurrant

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

Website: https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/

#BlogTour #Review A Whisker In The Dark by Leighann Dobbs @leighanndobbs @bookouture

Title: A Whisker In The Dark by Leighann Dobbs

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 31st July 2019

Description:

Discovering the 300-year-old skeleton of shipping tycoon Jedediah Biddeford in the ballroom wall is a big old hassle for Josie Waters, owner of the Oyster Cove Guesthouse. Especially when Biddeford’s descendants turn up, certain that a family legend about treasure buried nearby must be true.

Josie is too busy dreaming up the perfect cake for the Oyster Cove’s 250th anniversary celebration to worry about the Biddeford family – plus half the town – digging up her yard… until one of her guests is murdered in the guesthouse garden. 

With worries that her guesthouse will get a reputation for being the kind of place you only leave in a body bag, Josie must put her detective skills to work to find the killer. Lucky for her, Nero and Marlowe and their gang of cat sleuths are also on the case. 

From the old wharf, to the town common, to the guesthouse itself with its many nooks and crannies, the cats are sure to sniff out the killer… but can they help Josie stop the person behind the mysterious murder before they strike again?

A fantastic page-turner from a bestselling author, purrfeect for fans of Agatha Christie, Adele Abbott, cat lovers and everyone in between!

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B07RKCWRPRSocial

A Whisker in the Dark - Blog Tour

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.

It is so nice to be back at the Oyster Bay Guest house with Josie, her mum Rose and her partner in crime solving Millie. Also I mustn’t forget the crime solving cats Nero and Marlowe!

The family of Jedediah Biddeford, the original owner of the Oyster Bay Guest house, are staying at the guest house for the town’s celebrations. To call them dysfunctional is an understatement, they all seem to hate each other.

The renovations to the guest house are going as planned until the bones of Jedediah Biddeford are found in one of the walls! Jedediah’s family believe the family legend that he brought home treasure and set about looking for it, along with the rest of Oyster Bay.

One of the family turns up dead and suspicion falls on Flora, the world’s worst maid, it’s up to Josie, Nero and Marlowe to find the real culprit.

This is the second in the series but can easily be read as a stand-alone without missing feeling like you’ve missed any of the story. I would still recommend reading the first A Twist In The Tail (you can read my review here) just because it’s such an enjoyable book.

I am absolutely loving this cosy mystery series! I’ve been having a bit of a reading slump lately, I can’t tell you how much this cheered me up.

A Whisker In The Dark is a humorous and quirky read which features cat detectives Nero and Marlowe with their little gang of feline helpers. I loved the way that the relationship is developing between them and their human Josie, as she’s starting to understand them a bit more when they’re pointing her in the direction of clues.

I saw a few complaints about the first book saying it wasn’t a believable story line and frankly I think they’ve missed the point of these novels, they’re fun and a great way of escaping reality for a few hours.

A Whisker In The Dark is a fast paced and fun cosy mystery with likeable sleuths with plenty of twists and turns that makes it such great read.

About The Author:

USA Today bestselling author, Leighann Dobbs, discovered her passion for writing after a twenty year career as a software engineer. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband leighann dobbsBruce, their trusty Chihuahua mix Mojo and beautiful rescue cat, Kitty.

Her book “Dead Wrong” won the “Best Mystery Romance” award at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention.

Her book “Ghostly Paws” was the 2015 Chanticleer Mystery & Mayhem First Place category winner in the Animal Mystery category.

Social Media links:

Website: http://www.leighanndobbs.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leighanndobbs

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

#BlogTour #Review The July Girls by Phoebe Locke @phoebe_locke @headlinepg #TheJulyGirls

Title: The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

Date Published: 25th July 2019

Publisher: Wildfire

Genre: Psychological Thriller.

Description:

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost. Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room. Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…

Praise for Phoebe Locke:

a gripping read and almost impossible to put down’ Jo Jakeman, author of Sticks and Stones on THE JULY GIRLS

Beautifully written, not a word out of place, this deserves to be the summer’s breakout hit’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle on THE JULY GIRLS

An extraordinary novel that gets under your skin from the very first page. Shocking, yet subtle, the menace drips off every page, making it an almost unbearably good read. Such an intricate, absorbing story that more than delivers on its knock-out premise (and boy, is it a knock-out!)’ Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies on THE JULY GIRLS

I have just ripped through The July Girls in less than twenty-four hours – what an absolute *corker* of a novel!’ Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies on THE JULY GIRLS

Phoebe Locke has knocked it out of the park once again with THE JULY GIRLS. Atmospheric and beautifully written, it really is stunningly good.’ Cass Green, author of In A Cottage In A Wood on THE JULY GIRLS

Loved it as much as THE TALL MAN. Chilling, gripping and unputdownable, with a wonderful protagonist. A must-read this summer’ Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend on THE JULY GIRLS

‘An original take on the serial thriller killer that grips and disturbs, filled with characters who will linger long after “The End”. As a reader I’m so excited that I’ve discovered Phoebe Locke’ Catherine Ryan Howard, author of Distress Signals on THE JULY GIRLS

The July Girls is a page-turning, atmospheric thriller about a serial killer, but at the same time a sensitively written coming of age story with a wonderful central character.’ Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl on THE JULY GIRLS

Stayed up late last night to finish THE JULY GIRLS, a beautifully written, expertly crafted thriller packed with genuine surprises. I also loved the contemporary London setting and how the book showed the coming of age of the heroine, and the city itself’ Amy Heydenrych, author of Shame on You on THE JULY GIRLS

Thrilling, poignant and unpredictable, Phoebe Locke takes this serial killer chiller to a whole new level. I loved the Tall Man, The July Girls is even better.’ Chris Whitaker, author of All The Wicked Girls on THE JULY GIRLS

One of the most atmospheric and original thrillers I’ve ever read, THE JULY GIRLS is full of twists and turns, and memorable, realistic characters. I didn’t want it to end. It’s a book I’ll be thinking about for a long time. I can’t wait to read what Phoebe writes next’ Charlotte Duckworth, author of The Rival on THE JULY GIRLS

The July Girls BT Poster

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this blog tour and Wildfire for providing with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve heard lots of good things about Phoebe Locke and after reading this I can’t wait to get stuck into her first thriller The Tall Man.

It is difficult to do The July Girls justice in my review but I’ll try my best!

We follow Addie starting around her tenth birthday, getting to know her sister Jessie and her dad who always seems to be working leaving Jessie to look after her little sister. On the night of Addie’s birthday, 7th July 2005, terrorists attack the city of London. Her father comes home covered in blood.

Unable to leave it alone Addison digs and finding out that women have been disappearing every year on the 7th July. Could her dad be the serial killer they nicknamed Magpie?

The novel is told through Addison’s point of view, with snippets from a ‘true crime’ book and interspersed with little insights into the killers mind.

The July Girls starts off as quite a slow burn novel but it was Addison’s narration that kept me absorbed from the start. She was such a compelling character, her voice really comes off the pages making her feel almost real.

Also using the events going on in 2005 and the subsequent years it really adds to the novels authenticity and atmosphere.

I will say this is probably leaning towards domestic drama rather than psychological thriller but it is still a great read and my goodness it was one of the best endings I’ve read in a while.

The July Girls is a complex and emotional tale with realistic characters and settings that will keep you enthralled until the end.

About The Author:

PHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at thePhoebe Locke Author Pic Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in Cambridgeshire. THE JULY GIRLS follows Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller THE TALL MAN.

Find Phoebe on Twitter on @phoebe_locke

#Review The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg @JessRothenberg #SciFi #YA

Title: The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Date Published: 11th July 2019

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Mystery

Description:

“Disney on steroids… a sure fire discussion starter about desire and power.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Welcome to the Kingdom, a dazzling fantasy theme park where ‘happily ever after’ is not just a promise, but a rule . . .

It’s a fairytale which ends in murder as the one of the ‘Fantasists’ goes renegade… Ana, a half-human, half-android princess, is tasked with entertaining visitors and making wishes come true but now she’s on trial, after finding herself experiencing emotions and romantic feelings against all her programming.

Told through court testimony, interrogation records and fragmented flashbacks, The Kingdom has the futuristic appeal of Westworld and the twists and turns of a true-crime thriller.

Review:

On the surface the kingdom and it’s princesses (or fantasist as they’re called) are perfect but it soon becomes clear all is not well. Sinister things start happening around the park culminating in a murder. What is really going on in The Kingdom?

I really enjoyed The Kingdom! Part mystery, part science fiction, the two genres are blended nicely together to make a really entertaining story. I’m always on the lookout for mystery books with a twist or a combination of genres like this.

The story is told in an interesting way with a mix of flashbacks, courtroom scenes and post trial interviews.

I was really intrigued by the main character Ana. She’s never questioned her life as a fantasist, obey the rules, doing what she’s told. She thinks she’s safe within the walls of the kingdom. Then things start to happen, her sister and best friend Nia starts acting strangely and accidents happen around the park. Then she meets Owen and starts having feeling that she shouldn’t. She begins to question everything, is the world outside as bad a place as she’s been told?

This getting compared to Westworld a lot but as someone who’s never seen the movie and only watched one episode of the show, I don’t like westerns even if they do have robots in them, I preferred the Disney like setting.

I did guess the ending about half way through but I just really enjoyed the characters and the story so it didn’t bother me too much.

My only issue was what the Fantasists actually were. Only now I’ve re-read the synopsis, I know that they’re part human, part robot but for a good chunk of the book I thought they were brain washed humans. I just wanted a bit more clarity there within the story.

I think The Kingdom will appeal to anyone who loves a different kind of mystery.

About The Author:

Jess Rothenberg is a writer and freelance editor. A former editor of books for young readers,the kindom author including the bestselling Vampire Academy series, she was also the author of The Catastrophic History of You & Me, published in more than a dozen countries and The Kingdom, a futuristic thriller. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.

#BlogTour #Promo Seventeen by Suzanne Lowe @Suzanne_Lowe_ @rararesources #YA #SciFi

www.theillustrators.com.au

Title: Seventeen (Book 1 in the Seventeen series) by Suzanne Lowe

Date Published: 1st July 2019

Genre: YA Sci-fi/dystopian

Description:

Imagine a world where everything you grew up with is gone. No adults, no internet, no rules.

The world is facing the deadliest virus ever known.

When the KV17 virus kills everyone above the age of seventeen, life becomes a battle of survival for the children left behind. Seeking to escape the escalating violence in the city, two sisters, Lexi and Hadley flee to the Australian outback. Finding sanctuary in the small town of Jasper’s Bay, they soon realise it is far from safe, as a gang of lawless teenagers terrorise the town.

Caught in a bitter feud leading to betrayal, deceit and murder, the girls must quickly uncover who their enemies are, and who they can trust.

In a world drastically changed from everything they once knew; can the sisters and children of Jasper’s Bay learn to adapt? Can they maintain control of their town, and protect it from those who would destroy it?

Book One in the YA Seventeen Series

Winner of the New Apple YA horror/Sci-Fi award

You Can Buy Your Copy Here:

https://www.amazon.com/Seventeen-Suzanne-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07QL9VRRX/


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seventeen-Suzanne-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07QL9VRRX/
  

Seventeen Full Tour Banner

Author Bio:

Suzanne was born in Perth Western Australia and as a young adult grew up in the small country town of Tom Price situated in the outback of Western Australia. Her current home is in PerthSeventeen Suzanne Lowe with her husband, two daughters and cat Abby.

Suzanne has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sports Science. Her interests include watching movies, particularly sci- fi, travelling, photography and reading. She also enjoys going to the occasional comic book convention!

Like the young women in her stories, Suzanne has had the opportunity to experience many exciting adventures in her life so far including being part of the Australian Army Reserves, climbing to Mt Everest base camp, descending into one of the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, flying in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, parachuting from a plane at 12000 feet in York and sitting on the edge of an active volcano on Tanna island in Vanuatu.

Suzanne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Australian Society of Authors.

Her published works include;

Seventeen, Book One in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Winner of the New Apple E-book awards in YA horror and Sci-Fi

Rage, Book Two in the Seventeen Series. A YA dystopian adventure story set in Australia. Available August 2019

The Pirate Princess and the Golden Locket, a pirate adventure story for middle grade children

Suzanne’s author website is www.Suzanneloweauthor.com

Twitter is www.twitter.com/@Suzanne_Lowe_

Instagram is www.instagram.com/suzannelowe.author/

Facebook is www.facebook.com/suzanneloweauthor/

#BlogTour #GuestPost In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra @roshellie28 #damppebblesblogtours

Today I have a Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra as part of the blog tour for her new novel In Alexa’s Shoes but first a little about the book:

Title: In Alexa’s Shoes by Rochelle Alexandra

Publisher: Author Academy Elite

Date Published: 25th June 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

In Alexa’s Shoes – a dramatic, uplifting true story of a teenage girl overcoming great odds to survive. A historical novel that beckons the reader to follow in the footsteps of a real-life individual one step at a time. Based on the true story of the author’s grandmother.

In the autumn of 1940, thirteen-year-old Alexa’s happy life is ripped from her as she, her mother, and many of the locals are rounded up by the Nazis in Poland. Loaded into trucks, they are transported to an unknown destination. Terror and uncertainty become the new normal. Life is a continuous nightmare as she is selected by the Gestapo officer’s wife, destined to become little more than their slave.

Separated from everyone she loves Alexa relies on her Christian faith, inner strength and courage, to endure through her long nightmare. Her story takes her on a treacherous journey across war-ravaged Europe in search of her family and the life she once knew. Despite living through unimaginable hardships and life-threatening danger, Alexa feels that someone or something seems to be looking out for her. Years later, she finds out that not all was as it seemed, as hidden secrets from this dark period in history are revealed to her.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=B07SVR7H36&qid=1560244696&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Alexas-Shoes-Rochelle-Alexandra-ebook/dp/B07SVR7H36/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=In+Alexa%27s+Shoes&qid=1560244667&s=gateway&sr=8-1

In Alexa's Shoes Blog Tour

Q&A with Rochelle Alexandra:

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

I find writing about what I know is the best way for me to write. The inspiration for ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ came after hearing first hand from my Polish grandmother, about her true-life experiences during WWII. We were very close and each time I’d go over to visit her in Poland, she’d share a little more of her story with me. Each time she’d tell me more about the things she had gone through. I could visualise it in my mind’s eye, as if watching a movie of her life. I always said to her that it would make a great novel, to which she agreed but said that she was too old now to write it but that I should write her story for her. I promised her that I would one day and finally began writing it in January of 2018. Knowing the story so well, it was relatively easy for me to write, even though I had to translate it into English in my head first. I had a real passion for telling it and felt that I had a duty to do it in a way that highlighted the best qualities of Alexa and delivered it in a way that she would both approve and be proud of. Alexa’s story is one that I’ve told to many friends over the years at dinner parties or on my travels to strangers and it has always gotten an amazing response. This also gave me the encouragement to write my grandmother’s story down.

Who is your writing hero?

That’s a hard choice to make, but if I could only pick one author I’d have to go with Agatha Christie. I love her detective mysteries and the way her plots unravel, I always have. The murder, the suspects, the hidden secrets, the suspicions, the explanations and unexpected twist in her storylines. I like the way she always keeps you guessing who done it until the end. I like her use of locations, especially the foreign ones. It appeals to my love of travel.

Which book do you wish you had written?

Another hard to choose question, but I’d pick ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ if it’s an Agatha Christie work. I love a good murder mystery and I love the way her work has stood the test of time. However, equally I’d love to have written any of Ian Fleming’s Bond thrillers.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?

First of all, I’d say don’t be put off by the enormity of the task before you. Just start writing and keep writing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but keep the finish line in your sights. The only thing that can stop you – is you, so don’t let the negativity, fear and doubts set in. Do your research, know your characters and plot out the map of your book. Then start getting down your first draught. Don’t allow yourself to get held up by blocks, skip that part and move on to another chapter. You can always go back to it later when clarity has come, and chances are it will as you write more of your content. Keep moving forward, write, write, write you can edit it later.

It’s helpful to have a proposal written out, even if only for yourself. Include such things as a synopsis, comparison titles, unique selling point, your target audience. This will help as you write your novel, remember it’s a marathon but you want to complete it and cross the finish line.

If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?

Heather Morris who wrote ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person yet, but we have become friends on social media, and I enjoy our conversations. She’s written a fabulous piece of work and her next promises to be just as powerful.

Agatha Christie of course.

Ian Fleming would be my third guest of choice. What a fabulous interchange of conversation that would be around my dinner table with those three highly esteemed authors. Whatever would I serve on the menu?

What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?

Is there a message that you tried to convey in your novel?

The answer is Yes. Alexa had a real love for people, all people. She was very compassionate and emanated love in every part of her life. Despite the hardships and trials which she went through at such a young age, being taken by the Nazis and separated from her mother, she didn’t become bitter, resentful or allow breeding ground for hatred. She believed that hate was a poison which had detrimental effects, not only on the hater themselves but also on the receivers. She chose love over hate, which is something that is needed very much in our world today especially in light of all the hate crimes recently around the world. We need to remember the lessons of the past, or again we are destined to repeat them. Through the Nazis hatred for the Jews there were many other groups who were segregated against, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Alexa and her Christian mother were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they were wrenched away from life as they knew it, forever changed by that day. I hope my novel reaches the hearts of many, including our youths and millennials who doubt that the holocaust even occurred.

About Rochelle Alexandra:

Rochelle Alexandra was born in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up, then moved to NewIMG_0967 York to live when she was eighteen. She had an early love for writing poetry, winning a National Scottish competition and later had a few poems published in the USA. She’s a talented artist and photographer with a real love for children, horse riding and travel. Her favourite jobs were in advertising, working for a newspaper, a photographer’s assistant and private chef. She ran her own freelance art business painting portraits, murals, abstracts and commissions.

She never set out to be a writer, but after hearing her Polish grandmother’s gripping true life history during WWII first hand, she made a promise to her gran that she would write her story in book form. Sadly her grandmother Alexa passed away aged 92, just two months before the novel ‘In Alexa’s Shoes’ about her life was due to be published. Little did Rochelle know that she’d love the writing process so much and now has several future novels planned.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roshellie28

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rochelle-Alexandra-Author-402257290515469/

Website: https://www.rochellealexandra.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ro_alexandra_author/