The Islanders by S.V. Leonard #TheIslanders @SVLeonard @CaneloCrime @canelo_co @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Islanders by S.V Leonard

Publisher: Canelo Crime

Date Published: 11th March 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Her dream escape is about to become a nightmare…

Kimberley King has spent the last five years trying to outrun the reason she left the police force. Her life is a mess and she’s desperate for change. So when she is randomly selected for the new series of the hit show LoveWrecked, she can’t pass up the chance to win the £100,000 prize. All Kimberley needs to do is couple up with one of her fellow contestants, win the infamous LoveWrecked challenges, and she will have enough cash for a fresh start.

But the island isn’t the paradise she was promised and within hours, one of the contestants is dead. Then the announcement comes: one of the islanders is a murderer and Kimberley must find out who, live on television. For every hour it takes her, one more person will die.

The game is rigged, everyone is hiding secrets, and time is running out…

An addictive and unputdownable crime thriller, perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and T.M. Logan.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3qv8bVW  

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3tYe4gu 

Review:

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

Kim is desperate for money, barely keeping hold of her bar job, reliving guilt from her past and drinking too much. The answer, to her money problems at least, comes when she’s invited on the reality TV show LoveWrecked, but that’s when the nightmare really begins.

The Islanders is a fantastic debut novel that combines reality TV with a classic locked in scenario, think Love Island meets And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Each of the Islanders are not all that likeable, yet they feel authentic. Everyone of them is hiding a secret and you’re really not sure who you can trust, really amping up the tension as more bodies turn up.

What I enjoyed most about the story was I didn’t know who was going to die next or who the killer might be, I literally suspected every character at one time or another.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of Kim, with a few snippets from a website called Spyland.co.uk, social media and a mysterious blog called JustDeserts. It’s obvious from the start that Kim’s a troubled person, wallowing in the past and punishing herself. I think she was the perfect main character as I ended up really rooting for her to solve the mystery and get herself to safety.

Yes, the storyline wasn’t all that believable, but to me it gave me that feeling of escapism I’ve been craving lately.

The Islanders is a fast-paced read, packed with shocks and surprises, that kept me entertained from beginning to end. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author in the future!

About The Author:

S. V. Leonard grew up in the little coastal town of Formby, a suburb of Liverpool. She studied Classics at Oxford University and has been lucky enough to live in Australia, Poland, and Malaysia. She is now based in London. When not writing, she can be found breaking out of escape rooms; doing historical walking tours of London; or drinking wine.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SVLeonard 

Website: https://svleonard.wordpress.com/ 

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

Under The Bridge by Jack Byrne #PublicationDay #BookReview

Title: Under The Bridge by Jack Byrne

Date Published: 18th February 2021

Publisher: Northodox Press

Genre: Mystery/Historical

Description:

2004 – The discovery of a skeleton in the Liverpool docklands unearths long buried secrets. Reporter, Anne McCarthy, is keen to prove herself and dives into the case with abandon where she finds Michael, an old Irish caretaker who knows far more than he’s letting on and may have a connection to the body.

Meanwhile, Vinny Doyle, is starting a postgrad degree, researching Liverpool’s immigrant history and a burgeoning Scouse identity. But Vinny has been neglecting his own family history and stranger Michael might know about his father’s disappearance in the 70s.

1955 – Escaping violence in Ireland and fresh off the boat, Michael falls in with Wicklow boys Jack Power and Paddy Doyle, who smuggle contraband through the docks putting them at odds with unions while they rally the dock workers against the rackets and the strikebreakers. A story of corruption, secret police, and sectarianism slowly unravels. But will the truth out?

As the conflict heightens, Michael questions the life sprawling out ahead of him. In the present, Anne races to solve the mystery, but is she prepared for what she’ll find? 

Review:

I want to thank Northodox Press for providing me with a copy of Under the bridge in exchange for an honest review.

I was so intrigued by the blurb for this, and I honestly don’t read that many novels set in my hometown, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Under the bridge is a mix of historical drama and mystery which really teaches you something about the history of Liverpool!

The story centres around Garston, a suburb in the south of Liverpool, and a place I don’t believe I’ve visited, but it has a long and interesting history. Now I’ve lived in and around Liverpool my entire life and I used to think I knew a thing or two about the place, but after reading this novel I realise I’m woefully uninformed! Seriously, I think I learnt more about my own area reading this book than I ever did in a history class. 

There are some powerful themes throughout the novel, including immigration, racism and religion (in particular the Catholic/Protestant divide which has been prevalent for a long time). The author really doesn’t shy away from those tough subjects.

There were some interesting characters, but I liked Anne the best. She’s a smart, ambitious, if a little naïve, journalist trying to make it in the newspaper business that even back in 2004 was shrinking. 

There were several different points of view in the book, along with the back and forth in the timeline that I found it a little hard to keep everything straight in my mind. Also, I felt it was a little heavier on the drama rather than the mystery, but of course that’s just my opinion.

Under the bridge is a gritty debut that really doesn’t pull any punches!

About The Author:

Jack Byrne was born and raised in Speke, Liverpool to an Irish immigrant father and grandparents. Under the Bridge is his debut novel and follows reporter Anne and student Vinny around Merseyside, as they become involved in a story of unions, crime, and police corruption after human remains are discovered at a construction site.

#Extract Rise of One by Dixon Reuel @DixonReuel @RandomTTours #RiseofOne #BloodBrute #RandomThingsTours

Hello lovelies, today I have a fantastic extract from the debut novel Rise of One by Dixon Reuel as part of the Random Things tour organised by Anne Cater. But first a little about the book:

Title: Rise of One by Dixon Reuel

Publisher: Thunderloft Press

Date Published: 15th December 2020

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic/Paranormal

Description:

When a zombie apocalypse ravages the world, the vampire Rise rescues human survivors to feed his coven. But apocalypse survivors are not the type to be merely food. Nor could they ever befriend the coven’s lone human, the beautiful and pampered Cypriot.

When Warwolves, an ancient order of vampire hunters, infiltrate the rescued survivors, Rise resolves to purge all threats to his vampire race. The world, although decimated, seems ripe for rule. Rise could set history on a new path, with the rise of one individual.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-One-1-Blood-Brute/dp/1838023321

Extract:

Chapter 1 

A Fresh Pulse 

The outbreak began in springtime rumours.
Then, the airways and cables of the world charted the outbreak and panic, as the disease overwhelmed every population. Bombs and walls of fire tried to contain it. Chemical purges charred cities indiscriminately. In all, Rise counted barely five months from the beginning of the outbreak until everything was stilled, from late spring to mid-autumn. A lone SOS in Morse code was the last they heard from the human race, before Rise and his coven packed away their broadcast equipment, their radio, computers, and TV, putting it all into the depths of the root cellar. He waited a further full month, October. Then, and only then, did Rise leave the house. 

An earlier shower of hail had studded the courtyard’s cobblestones. Crimson leaves brightened the hedges that Rise had planted long ago to shade the kitchen windows. Once, Rise heard birdsong and the hum of the countryside the moment he stepped from the kitchen into the yard. But today, like so many days that came before, no sound. 

The rest of his coven were still on the roof, just finished with the dawn incantation. While the disease had overwhelmed all beyond Owl Court, every dawn, Rise and the two other vampires, Ogrim and Salter, spoke an incantation to conceal their little farmstead from the world. Even smoke from the nearest village of Dunsinann, or the hazy curtain on the horizon from Larnde City, never reached inside their walls. The coven always used the oldest names for such places; Ogrim joked that if they were to rename cities and towns as often as humans did, the coven would never get anything done. 

Rise wanted to slip away into the world and hoped to return with good news, to return with someone still human. The coven needed a fresh pulse. If he could achieve this, Rise reasoned as he stood on the back doorstep, the residents of Owl Court would surely forgive him for leaving. Hiding indoors, they saw footage of how the human dead now rose and walked. Rise had trawled the internet, when they still had it, watching feeds from around the world of corpses alive, of terrifying creatures that knew only brute and base destruction. 

“Where’re you going?” Ogrim spoke from the kitchen’s shade, so as not to let the weak sun touch his old body. 

“To find survivors,” Rise answered, as plainly as possible. 

About The Author:

Irish award-winning writer, Dixon Reuel is the author of her debut Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal novel, Rise of One.

Dixon lives and writes out of her home base in Dublin, and holds a First in History & Early Irish Studies and another First in Creative Writing. She is a lifelong nerd and devoted hobbyist of cosplay, video games, and other surely worthwhile pursuits.

Dixon cannot stand monkeys or phone calls, and to receive a phone call from King Kong would definitely be her greatest fear.

FREE BLOOD BRUTE PREQUEL: http://bit.ly/OnTheEdgeOfSalt

Twitter @DixonReuel

#HappyPublicationDay Sins Of The Father by Sharon Bairden #SinsoftheFather @sbairden @RedDogTweets #RedTour

I want to wish Sharon Bairden a happy publication day for her debut novel Sins of the Father! Read on to find out more about the book:

Title: Sins of the Father by Sharon Bairden

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Date Published: 27th November 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only – to destroy him.

Trauma runs deep

When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity … and her life.

Truth will out

With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.

Forgive his sins

But someone must pay for the sins of the father…

Sounds great right? You can buy your copy here:

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/sins-of-the-father

Amazon mybook.to/SotF

About The Author:

By day Sharon Bairden is the Services Manager in a small, local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs about books at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer. Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can. She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass – but not at the same time!

There’s also a blog tour running right now if you want to check it out:

#BlogTour Snow Light by Danielle Zinn @DanielleZinn4 @darkstrokedark @BOTBSPublicity

Hello lovelies! Today I’m resharing my review for Snow Light by Danielle Zinn as part of its re-release blog tour organised by Sarah Hardy at Books On The Bright Side Publicity. First a little about the book:

Title: Snow Light by Danielle Zinn

 Date Published: 1st June 2020

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Crottendorf, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again.

However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park incident re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village.

For Thomas, the situation gets worse when Detective Sergeant Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question.

Who is the victim? And why was he murdered?

Whilst Thomas and Collins find themselves trying to solve the unusual case, they may have more in common than they could have ever imagined. 

Review:

DI Nathaniel Thomas comes across a murder in progress but is unable to stop. He quits his job and moves to the small village of Turtleville in the Ore Mountains. His quiet life is thrown into chaos when Ethan Wright, the local oddball and hermit is murdered and placed on public display. But Ethan Wright is not who everyone thinks he is. With the help of DS Ann Collins, he must find out who Wright really is and catch the killer.

The opening to this book was fantastic, you’re thrown right into the action, when we relive DI Thomas’s memory of him comes across a murder in progress. It skips to a year later with Thomas being called out to another crime scene, this time in a sleepy little village.

I loved the setting up in the snowy mountains, which was so realistic it made me shiver at times. I’m just glad I don’t live there myself, I don’t think I could live with all that snow!

I liked the character of DI Thomas. You really feel his guilt and pain throughout the book as this murder brings up a lot of his unresolved issues. There is also an extra complication because he is acting guardian/surrogate dad to his friends’ 11-year-old daughter Sky, who is full of sassiness and is constantly trying to break the rules (She reminds me of a cheekier version of my son). His partner DS Ann Collins was not overly likeable, she’s quite blunt and moody (which makes a change it’s usual the men who are the taciturn ones), but she was a fascinating character and played off DI Thomas well.

It is fairly slow to start off but there were a few twists I did not see coming once the story got nearer the end, which made me not want to put it down until I finished it.

My only issue was it was quite a complicated story line and I got a little bit lost in the middle with who was who and who were the suspects.

A great debut novel and is the perfect wintry read for crime fans.

About The Author:

Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham/UK and has settled down in Leipzig/Germany, where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.

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

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

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

Find Danielle Zinn on:

Twitter: @DanielleZinn4             https://twitter.com/daniellezinn4 

Facebook: Danielle.zinn.7           https://www.facebook.com/danielle.zinn.7

#ThePatienceofaDeadMan by Michael Clark @MikeClarkBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The patience of a dead man by Michael Clark

Date Published: 22nd April 2019

Genre: Horror/Ghost Story

Description:

He just spent everything on a house in disrepair, but he didn’t know someone was waiting inside.

Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patience-Dead-Man-Michael-Clark-ebook/dp/B07QRVFPN9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+patience+of+a+dead+man&qid=1579081754&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Patience-Dead-Man-Michael-Clark-ebook/dp/B07QRVFPN9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+patience+of+a+dead+man&qid=1579082040&sr=8-1

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Patience-Dead-Man-Michael-Clark/dp/173379042X

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Patience-of-a-Dead-Man-Audiobook/B07YNXY9X6

The Patience of a Dead Man banner V3

Review:

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

The patience of a dead man was a fantastically spooky and enthralling read! It has the right balance of scary and creepy with that air of mystery too.

I love a haunted house story and I really enjoyed reading Micheal Clark’s different slant on the old horror trope. 

The majority of the story is set in 1971 and we follow Tim who after a messy divorce that leaves him almost broke, he decides to buy a fixer-upper to try and make some money. From the very beginning there’s something not right about the property and the strange happenings grow ever more dangerous. He asks Holly, the estate agent who sold him the property to help him solve the mystery and before his investment goes down the drain.

The other parts of the story are told through journal extracts and spooky visions (I can’t say too much about these in case I give away spoilers!) and were expertly weaved throughout the story.

There were a few sudden changes of POV during the chapters which threw me off a little and I would have liked there to be a few more seventies references as parts of the story are meant to be set in the 1970’s but of course they’re just minor things. 

While it does wrap up most of the story in this book, it does leave it open for a sequel which I personally can’t wait to read!

The patience of a dead man is a spine tingling ghost story that will both spook and entertain you in equal measure.

About the author:

Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a MikeClark-55-smallDead Man is based on. The bats of the barn really circled the rafters all day and there actually was a man-made grove hidden in the forest. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba.

The Patience of a Dead Man is his first novel. Dead Woman Scorned is his second. More to come.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mikeclarkbooks

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

Website: https://www.michaelclarkbooks.com/

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

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/michael-clark-62905d29-5149-46e1-bfa9-ae954e0949d7

#BookReview The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith @evecsmith @OrendaBooks

Title: The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith

Date Published: 9th April 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Decades of spiralling drug resistance have unleashed a global antibiotic crisis. Ordinary infections are untreatable: a scratch from a pet can kill. A sacrifice is required to keep the majority safe: no one over seventy is allowed new antibiotics. The elderly are sent to hospitals nicknamed ‘The Waiting Rooms.’ Hospitals where no one ever gets well.

Twenty years after the crisis takes hold, Kate begins a search for her birth mother, armed only with her name and her age. As Kate unearths disturbing facts about her mother’s past, she puts her family in danger and risks losing everything.

Because Kate is not the only secret that her birth mother is hiding. Someone else is looking for her, too.

Sweeping from an all-too-real modern world to a pre-crisis South Africa, The Waiting Rooms is epic in scope, richly populated with unforgettable characters, and a tense, haunting vision of a future that is only a few mutations away.

Review:

I want to thank Orenda Books and THE Book Club Reviewer Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Waiting Rooms is a captivating, if slightly scary, read.

So I decided what better book to read during a pandemic is a book about a pandemic! As it happens this novel turned out to be so much more than that, the pandemic sort of fades into the background and it becomes more of a tale of love and loss.

Eve Smith has created a believable world not too far off from our own world, where the overuse of antibiotics had led to disease or injury, once easily treated, has become deadly. Over seventies are denied medication or treatment, they have the option to either end their lives or suffer their illness until the end. They are sent to ‘waiting rooms’ if they’re lucky they end up in a top notch nursing home, the less lucky ones end rotting away in flats.

The main story revolves around three women. Kate who’s adoptive mother has just died leading her to look for her birth mother. Lily, who is just coming up for her seventieth birthday and is afraid that someone from her past is coming back to haunt her. Then there’s Mary whose POV starts before the crisis and goes to the root of what happened.  Each character is really fleshed out and flawed, you almost think that they’re real.

The parts that were set in Africa were amazing and descriptive, I could almost picture myself there while I was reading.

If I’m going to nitpick here, certain aspects of the story were a little predictable but of course that’s just my opinion.

The Waiting room has realistic characters and an evocative story line that makes it an almost hypnotising read.

About The Author:

Eve Smith’s debut novel The Waiting Rooms was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Firsteve c smith Novel Award. Eve writes speculative fiction, mainly about the things that scare her. She attributes her love of all things dark and dystopian to a childhood watching Tales of the Unexpected and black-and-white Edgar Allen Poe double bills.

Eve’s flash fiction has been shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award and highly commended for The Brighton Prize. In this world of questionable facts, stats and news, she believes storytelling is more important than ever to engage people in real life issues.

Eve’s previous job as COO of an environmental charity took her to research projects across Asia, Africa and the Americas, and she has an ongoing passion for wild creatures, wild science and far-flung places. A Modern Languages graduate from Oxford, she returned to Oxfordshire fifteen years ago to set up home with her husband.

When she’s not writing, she’s racing across fields after her dog, attempting to organise herself and her family or off exploring somewhere new.

Follow Eve: @evecsmith & www.evesmithauthor.com

Instagram: evesmithauthor

#BookReview The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd @samlloydwrites @TransworldBooks @ThomasssHill #TheMemoryWood

Title: The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd

Publisher: Transworld

Publication Date: 20th February

Genre: Thriller

Description:

The must-read novel of 2020. Chilling, moving and unputdownable, The Memory Wood is a thriller like no other.

*************

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . 

Review:

I want thank Thomas Hill at Transworld books for sending me an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

And the award for first book hangover of the year goes to…you guessed it The Memory Wood.

What can I say about this book??? It was such an atmospheric read, with the right blend of creepiness and intrigue that gave it an almost fairytale like quality. In fact when I started reading it, I felt like I’d fallen into some sort of dark twisty fairy story.

The story is told from three different perspectives, Elijah, Elissa and Mairead, each one of them giving a different dimension to the story. Elijah is a troubled twelve year old boy who’s hiding a terrible secret. Elissa is a smart, mature (sometimes she seems a little too mature), thirteen year old. Mairead is the detective in charge of investigating Elissa’s disappearance but has a lot of personal problems that threat to interfere with the case.

I can’t say too much more in case of spoilers but I will say it was a fabulously twisty read.

The only real issue I had was I felt there were a couple of inconsistencies or things that were just kind of smoothed over, which slightly bugged me. 

The Memory Wood is a definite must read for anyone who loves a psychological thriller. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

About The Author:

Sam Lloyd grew up in Hampshire, making up stories and building secret hideaways in his local woods. These days he lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and a dog that likes to howl. He enjoys craft beer, strong coffee and (rarely) a little silence. The Memory Wood is his debut thriller.

#BlogTour #Review Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph @VincentRalph1 @PenguinUKBooks @annecater #AreYouWatchingMagpieMan

Title: Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph

Date Published: 19th December 2019

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: YA Mystery

Description:

Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.

She was the first of his victims but not the last.

Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all.

The whole world is watching her every move.

And so is the Magpie Man.

Are You Watching BT Poster

Review:

When Jess was seven her mum was killed by a killer dubbed The Magpie Man. Ten years later he still hasn’t been caught, killing every nine months. She’s determined for justice, so she joins a YouTube reality series that will follow her around one day every week.

She wants to provoke a reaction, get him out of the shadows but is she ready to face him? 

What a fantastic debut Are You Watching is! 

I absolutely devoured Are You Watching. It combines two of my favourite genres, mystery and young adult, to make an absolutely sensational story. There’s the sort of young adult contemporary aspect where we have a damaged character who goes on an emotional journey of self discovery, then we have the mystery which was both intriguing and nail biting to satisfy a crime addict like myself.   

I warmed to Jess from the start. Yes, she was a little selfish and reckless but losing her mum at a young age in such a violent way is bound to have a bad effect on someone. I also appreciated that the author showed the ripple effect of how a crime can affect someone, especially if they’ve had no sort of justice. 

A nice surprise for me was I had no idea who the Magpie Man was until it was revealed which is a hard thing to do to an avid crime reader like myself!

Are You Watching is utterly compelling and addictive, I just couldn’t get enough! I can’t wait to read more from this author.

About The Author:

Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and always Vincent Ralph Author picdreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read.

Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.

#BookSpotlight Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan @btwnthelinespub @RRBookTours1 #indiepub #romance #Promo #Excerpt

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover

Title: Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan 

Publication Date: 8th October 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Description:

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire tortuous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cell phones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48391661-men-of-the-year

Purchase on Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Year-Colleen-McMillan-ebook/dp/B07YNG4W6N/ref=sr_1_1?crid=L6ANEWK5SM9A&keywords=man+of+the+year+colleen+mcmillan&qid=1571163865&sprefix=men+of+the+year%2Caps%2C183&sr=8-1

Excerpt:

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode.  Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia.  There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful.  “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it.  She’s curious already.”  Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading.  It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome!  I think it’s a really good idea!  Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?”  The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar.  A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!”  I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer.  It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins.  “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!”  Keeley’s exclamation startles me.  She covers her lips with her fingers.  “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest.  Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children.  “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble.  And maybe some nice bath soaps.  Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps?  Maybe honeysuckle-scented? 

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey.  “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through.  Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha.  Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

About the Author

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happenedcolleen to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Author Links:

Between the Lines Publishing: https://btwnthelines.com/

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 7th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 8th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organised By: 

R&R Book Tours

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Link: http://rrbooktours.com