#BlogTour #GuestPost #ShortStory One Perfect Witness by Pat Young @Bloodhoundbook @py321_young

Today I’m excited to have an exclusive short story Easy Pickins by Pat Young to celebrate the launch of her last book, One Perfect Witness but first a little about the book:

Title: One Perfect Witness by Pat Young

Publisher: Bloodhound books

Date Published: 1st October 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

On a remote Scottish hillside, three paths meet. On each path, a boy, one carrying a gun.

When their paths cross, a shot is fired and a boy dies.

That leaves two – one killer and one perfect witness.

This killer will stop at nothing to make sure the witness says nothing. Difficult for most people, even for someone who’s been guarding a secret of his own for five years.

What if the witness decides he’s been silent too long? Sometimes even the unspeakable must be spoken, if we can find the words.

B L O G B L I T Z (2) (4)

Short Story: Easy Pickins

‘Hottie alert. End of the bar.’

Eva scanned the array of bottles on the gantry as if trying to decide what to drink. A tall, dark-haired man was leaning against the wall, apparently engrossed in the music.

‘Just what I need to complete this trip. A George Clooney look-alike.’  

‘Hey, Mum, I saw him first.’

‘He’s too old for you.’ Eva turned to have another look, openly this time, and found the stranger staring right at her, a smile lifting the corner of his mouth. She looked away but not before her blush betrayed her, the price she always paid for her English Rose complexion.

‘Do you think it’s him?’ whispered her daughter.

Although she’d been wondering the same thing, Eva replied, ‘Now, what would George Clooney be doing in Biloxi, Mississippi?’

‘Same as us?’

‘I doubt Gorgeous George comes to Biloxi when he wants to see the beach or play roulette. Monte Carlo, maybe.’

‘Well, here’s your chance to find out. He’s coming over. Act cool.’

‘Hi ladies, where y’all from?’

Here we go again, thought Eva, as she and Lauren answered in unison, ‘Scotland.’

‘Scotland? Ya don’t say? I love Scotland.’

‘Have you been?’

‘No, but I heard tell it’s real beautiful.’

Eva gave Lauren a look that said, your turn.

‘Well, it is when the rain stays off.’ That’s ma girl.

‘What brings you ladies all the way to Biloxi, Mississippi?’

‘We’re on a road trip.’

‘Oh yeah? What y’all driving?’

‘A Mustang convertible. And we know it’s cheesy, so please don’t laugh,’ said Eva.

‘Now, why would I laugh? There’s nothing cheesy about two beautiful sisters driving an open top car.’

Eva grimaced. She’d heard the sisters line before. Any minute now, he’d offer them a drink and make a move on Lauren.

‘Can I get you ladies a cocktail?’

A tiny movement of her eyes was enough to check that Lauren was up for some fun. ‘That’s very kind of you. I’ll have a whisky sours, thank you.’

While the barman fixed their drinks, their companion introduced himself then proceeded to tell them about being invited to a ‘haggis supper’ at the home of a Scottish friend. Eva bit down on her lip. She didn’t mean to be unkind, but when he went on to tell them about the awesome toast to Robert Brown, it was just too much. She snorted with laughter and Lauren joined in.

‘Did I say something funny?’

Eva was speechless with mirth.

‘Sorry about my mother. She gets a bit giggly by the second drink.’

‘Your mother? Get outta here.’ Reaching inside his jacket, he took out a pair of horn- rimmed glasses and peered through them. ‘Shoot, you look wonderful, ma’am, if you don’t mind me saying so.’

‘Is this the southern charm we’ve heard so much about?’

‘No ma’am. Just an honest guy giving you his opinion,’ he said with a smile so disarming it made her heart flip.

As if he had suddenly remembered his manners, ‘George’ removed the glasses with his left hand and held out his right in greeting. ‘I’m Kyle. Pleased to meet you both. Welcome to the United States. Thank y’all for visiting.’

As they got ready for bed, Lauren was teasing, ‘He really fancies you, Mum. I actually feel a wee bit jealous.’

‘Aye, right,’ said Eva, although she was secretly delighted that Kyle had paid her so much attention. ‘He was pleasant company, I suppose, and he did buy all the drinks.’

‘Yes, he was very generous, and charming. And can you believe he lives near New Orleans? Maybe we’ll bump into him again.’

‘New Orleans is a big place, Lauren. And don’t forget St Patrick’s Day this weekend. Bourbon Street will be mobbed. Right, who’s doing the blog tonight, you or me?’

‘You do it, Mum. It was your idea, after all. I’m tired, and too drunk to write anything that makes sense.’

‘Didn’t you see the warning look I gave you when you accepted that third cocktail?’

‘I did, but I was having too much fun to pay any attention. Night-night.’

Eva took her iPad out of the safe and opened their blog. She had been writing it for the last few months, keeping her friends up to date. They all knew how important this trip was; a way for Lauren and her to put the horrors of the last two years behind them. Knowing she was making everyone green with envy, Eva had posted links to each hotel, and had been astonished to find that a growing number of people around the world seemed to be interested in their road trip adventures. She imagined the envious look on her friends’ faces when they read tonight’s update.

No luck at the roulette tables but we did meet a George Clooney lookalike. Lauren says he fancies me. I should be so lucky, eh, girls? Off to Louisiana in the morning. Next stop, New Orleans. Got a full schedule planned. We’ll take the streetcar into town, pick up a Po’ Boy sandwich for lunch, then hitch a ride along the Mississippi on a Steamboat. Hoping to make the eight o’ clock show at Preservation Hall so Lauren can hear some traditional jazz. Then these gals will hit Bourbon Street. Look out, Nawlins, here we come!

As they filed out past sepia photos of musicians and tattered posters that read like a Who’s Who of jazz music, Lauren said, ‘I can’t believe we’re really here, Mum. Imagine, Preservation Hall. Did you hate it?’

‘Had more fun with toothache, if I’m honest, but it’s not about me. Now, let’s see if we can find a bar with a Cajun band and grab ourselves a Hurricane. Listening to jazz is thirsty work.’

Eva had taken only a sip of her cocktail when she felt strong fingers grasp her wrist and pull her on to the dance floor. She was about to protest when she recognised the smile.

‘How’s this for a coincidence?’ shouted Kyle above the music. When the song finished, he gestured towards Lauren, who was surrounded by men at the bar. ‘Let’s go rescue your daughter.’

Over drinks they told Kyle of their plans for a swamp tour the next day and how they planned to head back to Texas so Lauren could go horse riding and buy some cowboy boots. These were the last items to be ticked off their wish list.

‘Do y’all have a reservation for that horseback riding, or someplace special y’all want to go?’

‘Not really,’ said Lauren, ‘we found a place on the Internet that looks good and it’s handy for the airport. But it does mean we’ll have to leave New Orleans a day early, which is a pity.’

‘Well, ladies, I do believe I can be of some assistance. Why don’t y’all come and ride at my place? I have a little ranch just outside of town. Y’all can take your pick of my horses and ride out for miles.’

‘Not me,’ said Eva.

‘Mum’s terrified of horses, but I would love to come, if that’s okay? What do you think, Mum?’

‘I think that’s very kind of Kyle. But Lauren, let’s talk about it before we go changing our plans.’

‘Why don’t I give you my card?’ said Kyle. ‘I have nothing planned for the day after tomorrow. If y’all want to come by and visit, I’ll be delighted. What size boots do you wear, young lady?’

Lauren told him and added that it would be great if she could borrow some, and maybe try a western saddle.’

‘Hang on, Lauren,’ Eva cautioned. ‘We haven’t decided yet. But Kyle, it’s been a real pleasure meeting you.’

By the time she got round to writing her blog, Lauren had convinced her.  

Slight change of plan. Heading out to ‘George Clooney’s’ ranch on Friday so Lauren can go horse-riding. She’s very excited about riding western style, whatever that means! Bourbon Street was fun but very crowded and very tiring. Maybe I’m getting too old for this travelling lark.

‘How was the swamp tour, ladies? Y’all see any gators?’

‘Yes, we did,’ said Eva, ‘Far too many for my liking, not to mention snakes, but Lauren loved it.’

Lauren did not react. All her attention was focused on Phantom, a huge, black Arab who was staring back at her with eyes like brown velvet.

‘He likes you,’ said Kyle, ‘and he doesn’t take to everyone. He’s a mean ole boy. You sure you can handle him?’

‘I’ve been riding since I was seven, on some pretty feisty horses. We’ll be okay, won’t we, Phantom?’

‘Well, stay in the paddock till you get acquainted and then you can head out as far as you like. It’s all my land.’

When Lauren had gone, Kyle invited Eva to join him on a swing chair in the shade. He poured her a glass of cool punch which she had finished before she thought to ask what was in it.

‘A little splash of rum. Enjoy.’

‘This is heavenly. I could stay here for ever. Lauren would sell her soul to be able to ride out on a horse like that every day. She won’t want to go home after this, you know.’

‘That’s what I’m countin on.’ He leaned in and kissed her. It had been such a long time since anyone had shown her such tenderness, she thought she would melt. ‘Do you think fate brought us together?’ she murmured, trying not to worry about what he’d just said.

‘No. Your blog did that. I’ve been trackin you on this little road trip of yours. Y’all were easy pickins.’

You knew we’d be in Biloxi?’

I wanted to see if you’d turn up, and be as cute as your profiles.’ As he spoke, Kyle’s hand snaked its way up her leg. ‘And you are, both of you.’

Eva pushed him away, but he was too strong and too determined. He covered her mouth with his own, a rough parody of a kiss. Eva turned her face away and cursed her own stupidity.

What are you playing at, Kyle?’ she asked, trying to keep her voice steady.

You and Lauren have to stay here with me,’ he said. ‘We’ll have a great life together.’

We already have a great life,’ Eva protested, convinced he was mad. As he moved in for another kiss, she warned, ‘Do that again and I’ll scream.’

Go ahead, little lady. There’s no one to hear. Phantom will have taken Lauren miles away by now.’ He grabbed her shoulders, trying to pin her arms by her sides.

Eva was not the type to give in without a fight. Gathering all her strength, she shut her eyes tight and shoved him hard. When he rolled off her she opened her eyes, expecting to see his face, angry or apologetic.

Instead she saw Lauren.

‘Mum, you okay?’

Eva nodded.

‘Let’s get out of here, before he comes to.’

‘What did you do?’

Lauren brandished a syringe. ‘A smidgen of horse tranquilliser. Not enough to do him any harm.’ She grimaced. ‘Still, I wouldn’t want to be here when he wakes up.’

‘What made you come back?’

‘I’d a bad feeling about leaving you alone with him. Don’t you think it was suspicious he’d given all his staff the day off?’

‘Maybe.’

‘I had to make sure you were okay. When I saw you fighting him off, I ran back to the stable. I’d spotted the drugs earlier, when I was nosying around.’

‘So all those years at Vet school weren’t a waste of money after all?’

‘Oh Mum, I’m glad you can laugh.’

‘Hey, it won’t be funny when Kyle comes round. Look, he’s stirring. Let’s get going.’  

They ran to their car and took off in a spray of gravel. As they raced down the highway Lauren said, ‘Oops, I’m still wearing his brand new boots.’

Eva smiled. ‘Keep them. Payback.’

Author Bio:

Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often download (1)goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

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

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

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

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Her debut novel Till the Dust Settles, has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable Stag trophy. Following publication in July

2017 Pat was delighted to be chosen as an ‘emerging talent’ for Crime in the Spotlight and read from Till the Dust Settles to an audience at Bloody Scotland – another dream come true.

Published by Bloodhound Books, I Know Where You Live is the much-anticipated sequel to Pat’s gripping and unmissable debut thriller, Till the Dust Settles. It too is a psychological thriller with a skilfully told story that makes for an enjoyable stand alone read. It will hook you from the start.

One Perfect Witness, Pat’s third novel to be published, tells a completely new story. If, like Pat, you’re fascinated by what happens when someone disappears, you’ll enjoy this book of secrets, lies and deception.

Links:

Twitter – @py321_young

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#BlogTour #Review Avian by Emma Pullar @Bloodhoundbook @EmmaStoryteller

Title: Avian by Emma Pullar

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Date Published: 4th September

Genre: Dystopian.

Description:

CENTRAL IS LOSING ITS GRIP ON THE CITIZENS OF GALE CITY.

Megan Skyla, who refused to play by Central’s rules and become a surrogate for her masters, has thrown the city into chaos. Corrupting those around her, she and her friends are forced into hiding – hunted by Central, the evil rulers of Gale City. Skyla’s desperate attempts to keep everyone alive ends when they’re kidnapped by feuding gangs.

Skyla cuts a deal and then betrays both gangs. Now there is nowhere left to run. It’s the desert or die. Her best friend, Crow, thinks she still wants to find a way to cure the Morbian masters of their obesity and finish what she started.

But Skyla has other plans. She’s sure there are settlements in the desert, there must be something out there … and there is. Something terrible.

Skyla is about to find out there’s more than one way to bring about change but one truth remains … Central must be destroyed in order to ensure her survival. There is no other way.

Review:

Skyla has uncovered the truth that Central has been trying so desperately to hide. Everything that they’ve been told about Skels and Mobihans is built on lies and they will stop at nothing to silence her.

Skyla is still reeling from events in the last book Skeletal and is hell bent on revenge but with a bounty on her head it makes it impossible for her to hide. In an attempt to save her friends, Dove, Andia, Crow and Cara she ends up in the hands of a murderous gang who put her through mind bending trials to join their ranks.

But Skyla has another plan, betraying the gang she sets out into the desert to find other survivors cast out of Gale City but they have a traitor in their midst. Will she and her friends survive?

So this is the second in this dystopian series, I would highly recommend reading the first, Skeletal, (you can read my review here) just because you will miss a lot of background otherwise.

This is one of those books that I found a little creepy and unsettling much like the first but I have to keep on reading because I have to find out what happens next!

I will warn those of you with a sensitive stomach that there are quite a few gut churning scenes within the book, that even me, a hardened crime fan, made me feel a little nauseous.

In the first book, the story revolves around Skels (basically the slaves of Gale City) of which Skyla is one and the Morbihans (the overweight humanoid creatures who control them). This book we get to see more of the underbelly of Gale City, focusing on it’s warring gangs and the strange and sick people who control them. Also we get to see outside the dome which everybody lives and the monstrous creatures who lurk in the desert.

Skyla has a really tough journey in this book, the author certainly doesn’t pull any punches throwing her into constant danger. She’s also eaten away by guilt, tortured physically and mentally her grip on reality is getting a little shaky. Yet through that she still remains true to her friends and tries her best to save them. To make things even more complicated, her relationship with Crow her former best friend becomes a little more awkward, he has feeling for her but Skyla’s feeling are definitely in the ‘it’s complicated’ realm.

Overall Avian is an action packed and brutal dystopian tale of revenge, betrayal and friendship but not for the faint of heart.

Rating: 4/5

B L O G B L I T Z (5)

Author Bio:

Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and Children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from DSC_3665_lowres (2)Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Emma has also written several winning short horror/Sci-fi stories which have been published in four different anthologies. Emma’s latest picture book, Kitty Stuck, has been hugely popular and her novel, Skeletal, and the sequel, Avian, have been described as disturbing and not for the faint-hearted. She also writes articles for an online advice site called Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting.

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Pullar/e/B01N5FM39O

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4795002.Emma_Pullar

Webiste: www.emmapullar.come

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emma-Pullar-Storyteller-315550881823466/

Twitter: @EmmaStoryteller

Instagram: @emmapullar_storyteller

#BlogTour #GuestPost Rip Current by Amanda James @Bloodhoundbook @akjames61

Title: Rip Current by Amanda James

Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Who can you really trust?

DI Bryony Marshall has been on the tail of Kenny Ransom for two years. He’s involved in prostitution and trafficking, but there’s never been any real proof. To complicate matters further, Bryony’s best friend from childhood is his daughter Imogen.

Bryony worries about admitting the fact that she is trying to put Imogen’s dad away, but unexpectedly, Imogen turns on her father and helps the police. Kenny finds out and swears he’ll get his revenge.

Sick of being in the police force, Bryony visits her mother in Cornwall and considers starting a new life.

While in Cornwall, Bryony saves the life of a man caught up in a rip current in the sea.

But who is this stranger? And is Kenny really bent on revenge?

Rip Current explores the relationships between families and friends and asks who can you ever really trust.

B L O G B L I T Z (2) (1)

Guest Post – Ideas and Inspiration.

As a writer I pick up ideas for new stories almost daily, but of course most of them are snippets, and ‘what ifs’. By this I mean I might overhear part of a conversation in a café or supermarket and make up a little scenario about the people having that conversation. For example, I might hear two women talking and one says – ‘But don’t tell him, I want it to be a surprise.’ Then my mind goes into overdrive. What if she’s just organised a special night in a hotel or something to re-kindle her marriage? Or she’s pregnant? Nice yeah? BUT what if the husband is having an affair with the second woman? That would put a whole new slant on proceedings!

Other times I might see something on the news or read something online which sparks a story in my head. When I wrote A Stitch in Time, which is a time travel novel, it all came from the title. I was trying to think of a catchy title and the whole story just unfolded from that. I was really excited by it and got the whole thing down in about six weeks. I was a history teacher at the time and was thrilled that I could incorporate many favourite historical periods into the book too.

Sometimes I have no idea where my ideas come from. I’m just glad they keep coming! Rip Currentcame to me in part one day while I was watching surfers on Fistral Beach. They are so clever and full of energy. I admire their determination to keep pulling themselves up, climbing back on the board and trying again. It’s a bit like writing really, when you’ve had a no from a publisher or agent!  I was looking for rip currents too, as I’d read about them recently and people had lost their lives on our local beach about three years ago to one. Just terrible. Luckily, I couldn’t see any, and as I continued to watch the surfers, bits of the story popped into my mind. When I got home I jotted the title down and the bare bones of Rip Current. It’s set in Cornwall as are many of my more recent books as we moved her about five-years ago. I adore Cornwall and am inspired by the rugged north coast around where I live. We are only about twenty-minutes away from at least six beaches and I feel at my happiest when I’m walking next to the Atlantic. Something about the salt air and sound of the waves calms my spirit but sends many story ideas to my head too.

Back to Rip Current.It’s about Bryony Marshall, an ambitious young DI who’s inspiration to join the police came from her dad. He was a policeman but unfortunately lost his life in the line of duty, and Bryony is determined to honour his memory by doing the best she can to put away bad guys safely behind bars. She’s after one particularly bad guy who refuses to be caught however, and the story is about her quest and the twists and turns of her attempts. Bryony’s brave, says what she thinks, and largely doesn’t care too much what people think of her. I love the idea of being true to yourself and being determined enough to grab life by the scruff of the neck. After all, we only have one, don’t we? She does have one or two soft spots though and this can make her vulnerable.

I hope you enjoy the journey with Bryony as much as I did. I often think about her and hope she’s still being true to herself and enjoying life. I’d like to catch up with her again one day. Who knows, I might just do that.

Author Bio:

Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how toamandajames be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.

Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Three of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie. Rip Current is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in April 2018.

Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Amanda’s blog – http://mandykjameswrites.blogspot.com/

Twitter – @akjames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

#PublicationDay #BlogTour #Review Their Last Words by Steve Parker @JoffeBooks @mrparkerspen #TeamJoffeBooks

Title: Their Last Words by Steve Parker

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 22nd June 2018

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.
 
A VICTIM. A MUTILATED BODY. A SINGLE WORD.

A young woman is found dead on the streets of London. Her throat slashed, her body mutilated, and one word carved into her flesh: DON’T.”
 
Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is assigned to the case. Young, handsome, and from a well-off background, he’s tipped for the top. He joins a team based out of Bermondsey, South London. It’s meant to be a stepping stone to his next promotion, but this case will threaten to bring down his career and everything he thought he knew about policing.
 
Paterson is put in charge of the dead girl’s investigation and quickly discovers he must rely on his friend and mentor, Detective Sergeant Dave Jordan to guide him through.
 
THEN ANOTHER BODY IS DISCOVERED. ANOTHER WORD CUT INTO THE VICTIM’S CHEST.

The police realise they may have a depraved serial killer on their hands. The murderer is trying to send them a message carved in his victims’ bodies. But who’s the message for?
 
How many more must die? Detective Paterson may be the only man who can stop this vile killer . . . if he can survive long enough.
 
This is the first in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.
 
Perfect for fans of  Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
 
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A HEAVILY REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “THE SKY IS CRYING.”

TWO DETECTIVES WHO HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT EACH OTHER MUST WORK TOGETHER

Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson, is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.
 
Detective Sergeant Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.
 
Detective Sergeant Dave Jordan is an old-school copper who trusts his instincts but relies on evidence. He is typical in that his marriage has broken down and he’s been unable to form a relationship since.
 
THE AUTHOR
Steve Parker is a retired police officer who served for 20 years in numerous high-profiles squads.
 
THE SETTING
Bermondsey is an area of London nestled on the banks of the River Thames. It once had a reputation for housing more armed robbers, murderers and career criminals than anywhere else in the country. Now one of the most upmarket places to live and work in London, it has all but severed itself from its working-class roots. Home to the iconic Tower Bridge and crammed with expensive apartments, art galleries, fancy restaurants and famous residents. But for the police, those who truly know, Bermondsey never lost its roots . . . or its reputation.

Blog tour - Their Last Words

Review:

Happy publication day to Steve Parker! I’m very excited to be kicking off this blog tour, a thank to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me!

Young women are being horribly mutilated and dumped on the streets of London, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is put in charge but out of his depth he turns to DS Dave Jordan and his team to help catch this ruthless killer.

It’s so difficult to write about this book as there is so much more to it than the synopsis gives away but then I don’t want to write any spoilers in this review! I’ll try my best anyway.

It’s nice to see Joffe books has a new author, well not exactly new, this book was previously published under the title, The Sky Is Crying, but he’s certainly a new to me.

Now the first half of the book really put the procedure into police procedural. Steve Parker really puts his experience of being a police officer into the pages which as a civilian I appreciate but it wasn’t until the second half of the book that I felt the story get really juicy with plenty of shocks and action packed moments.

This also has a little twist on the usual crime books, as the superintendent is one of the main characters investigating the murder. I can honestly say I haven’t seen before, usually they’re in the background making it harder for people to do their jobs. Also Ray Paterson is a bit flash, driving round in an Aston Martin wearing Gucci shoes and posh suits, coming from money he doesn’t really have to work either unlike your usual copper.

A character who I really didn’t like but eventually grew on me, a little anyway, was DS Clocks. He’s offensive, sexist and hates authority but as the story goes along really steps up and shows he is actually a good policeman under all of that.

A warning to those of you with a sensitive disposition, this may not be the book for you. There’s extreme violence and bad language, which even shocked me while I was reading it.

An exciting start to a new series that I’m interested to see where it goes next.

Rating: 3.5/5

Author Bio:

I was born and raised in South East London (Peckham to be precise – cushty, my son). At the ripe old age of twenty-one, I joined the Metropolitan Police where I served for twenty yearsSteve Parker author photo before I was pensioned out with a serious back injury. I then went to work as an enforcement officer for a local authority before taking redundancy.

Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a complete lack of DIY skills so was legitimately able to get away with swanning around the house doing bugger all, all day long. Finding myself with plenty of spare time and a deep desire to never work for anyone again, I gave myself permission to go back to writing (I’d been writing on and off for years).

When I’m not writing, I’m out taking photographs, something I’ve done since I was a nipper and will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I live down in the windier part of East Sussex near the sea with my long-suffering wife and my ‘off-her-nut’ cockerpoo. I have two sons of whom I am so proud, I cannot begin to tell you.


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

Twitter: @mrparkerspen

Website:https://mrparkerspen.com/

#BlogTour #GuestPost Catching Love When It Falls by Deryn Pittar

Title: Catching Love When It Falls by Deryn Pittar

Publisher: Junction Publishing

Date Published: 12th June 2018

Genre: Sci-fi, Romance

Description:

William and Belinda, both genetically altered, meet years after leaving the government-rearing nursery. Their late development allowed them to escape a life devoted to the government’s defence departments. If their skills are now discovered they will be conscripted and never be free again.

William’s talent is to move through space between locations in the blink of an eye. Belinda can lift objects of great weight with her mind. Their relationship creates a raft of problems both struggle to overcome.

‘Catching Love When it Falls’ explores an alternative reality and discovers the one thing neither Belinda nor William can control – love. 

BLOG TOUR Banner - Catching Love

Guest Post – About Character

I developed William from the premise that I needed a character who could disappear from one location and reappear in another in the blink of an eye. To ‘jump’ as William puts it. It was an integral part of the plot I had running around in my head. What genes would he need to do this? I had no idea and decided it wasn’t my problem to identify his gene pool. If he had been given a cocktail of genes while he was an egg in a petri-dish then who knows why he could do it. He simply accepts that he can; a bit like being born with red hair, or an extra toe – it is what it is. The prologue portrays an incident when he first discovers he has this talent.

Once I’d accepted I didn’t have to explain why then William came to life very quickly. He needed an occupation that would keep him away from the Defense Department’s notice so I put him indoors, and decided he could be an IT specialist – a computer hacker. This meant he could then hack into the Defense files and track down other g-alters who had been adopted out.

There’s no fun in writing about poor, struggling heroes. They need a bit of cash to ease life along. Part of the rationale of this series is that the genetically altered children are adopted to financially secure, infertile couples, who by reason are a little older than most parents. In William’s case his adoptive parents are dead as the result of a car accident. Therefore he hates cars and as it’s in the future I gave cars a driverless option – but he still avoids using a car if he can possibly help it. Why bother when he can jump anywhere he wants to go? He’s mastered how to leave and arrive at locations without causing suspicion but you will have to read the books to learn how he does this.

He’s a kind fellow and a bit lonely. I had to find a lady for him, and I created Belinda.

Catching Love when it Falls 2

Catching Love When It Falls Is The First in the Future Movers series, and is being republished by Junction Publishing. Below are the release dates for the rest of the series:

Love’s Bright Star -19th June

Love’s Red Heart – 26th June

A Stellar Affair – 3rd July

Romancing the Memory Collector – 10th July

5 book box set – 7th August

THE FUTURE MOVERS SERIES

AUTHOR BIO – Deryn Pittar

I write futuristic and fantasy fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. This allows my imagination to run free, to create interesting characters caught in unusual circumstances and events. Sometimes I have the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with my imagination.

I also write Young Adult, short stories and flash fiction; articles on writing and I am published in these genre. I self-published a children’s rhyming book and once won a prize for a short screen script.

I’m a published poet and I endeavour to put my poetry skills into my fiction writing to enhance the word pictures I create.

I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand which lives up to its name. I belong to the Romance Writers of N.Z., Tauranga Writers, and Spec.Fic.NZ (speculative fictionNZ).

#Review The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #NewRelease

Title: The Millionaire’s Wife by Shalini Boland

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 21st May 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Everyone has their secrets. But this one could destroy your marriage.

When Anna Blackwell opens an email from an unknown sender, the shocking image attached shatters her perfect world. A woman has been killed. And Anna knows who did it. The past is catching up with her.

Is it her turn next?

To protect herself and her husband Will, she must tell him the terrible truth about her first love. But as the secrets of her life unravel, Anna begins to realise that she is not the only one who has been living a lie.

Anna doesn’t know who to turn to: her best friend, her parents, her husband. But she knows that her ex-lover is dangerous and she must stop him, before it’s too late…

From the bestselling author of The Secret Mother and The Child Next Door, this utterly unputdownable psychological thriller will have you gasping at every twist. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister this book is for you.

Review:

Wow, I have heard such good things about Shalini Boland and I can say after reading this, I’ve found out for myself her books definitely live up to the hype!

You ever start reading a book, then think to yourself just one more chapter, suddenly it’s one o’clock in the morning and you just desperately want to find out what happening at the end so you keep reading? Yep, this is one of those books.

Anna is an incredibly sweet, if naive character, she feels like she has the perfect life but she’s been keeping secrets that threaten everything she holds dear. The book charts her relationship with her ex Fin who is the hot bad boy at her school, that every girl wants, who she can’t believe picks her but their teenage love soon turns sour. He comes up with a crackpot scheme to make them rich, showing just how unhinged he really is. Fast forward ten years later and she’d happily married to the lovely Will then Fin comes crashing back into her life.

To me this book was a tense, action packed, heart pounding read with jaw dropping revelations that I couldn’t put down. Did I see some the twist coming yes, and the ending may have been a little unbelievable but this is such a great book I could forgive those minor details.

Overall an entertaining read that will have you gripped from beginning to end.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my advanced copy of this fantastic book.

Rating: 5/5

About The Author:

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two sons and their cheeky poodle-shalini-bolandterrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing suspense thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Her debut psychological thriller The Girl from the Sea published in June 2016 reached Number 1 in the US Audible charts. Her second thriller The Best Friend published in October 2016 reached a high of number 10 in Amazon’s UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row.

#BlogTour Q&A Married Lies by Chris Collett @JoffeBooks @crime_crow @Books_n_all #NewRelease #TeamJoffeBooks

Today I’m excited to bring you a Q&A with the lovely Chris Collett as part of the blog tour for her latest novel Married Lies, first a little bit about the book:

Title: Married Lies by Chris Collett

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 13th May 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Description:

Do you love gripping mysteries with great characters? Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post

Lucy Jarrett is terrified. Someone is watching her every move, following her home from work and making threatening phone calls. But her husband doesn’t believe her and no one else is listening.

Lucy’s married life is proving anything but blissful. Her musician husband is perpetually away on tour and doesn’t want to start a family.

Lucy finally calls on DI Tom Mariner for help, and he takes her fears seriously because of the recent murder of another young woman by her ex-partner.

Mariner himself is already on the hunt for a sadistic killer. Nina Silvero, wife of an ex-police officer, was duped into sipping sulphuric acid disguised as celebratory wine. Grappling with her apparently motiveless killing, Mariner delegates Lucy’s case to Millie Khatoon.  Is someone out for revenge against the police?

Can DI Tom Mariner track down the stalker and catch the killer before anyone else dies?

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the fifth book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

THE SETTING

Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

THE DETECTIVE

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “STALKED BY SHADOWS.”

DI MARINER SERIES

Book 1: Deadly Lies

Book 2: Innocent Lies

Book 3: Killer Lies

Book 4: Baby Lies

Book 5: Married Lies

Books 6-7 coming soon

BLOG TOUR - Married Lies

Q&A with Chris Collett

For those readers who have never read your Tom Mariner series, can you give them a brief overview?

The series is a police procedural set in the city of Birmingham, UK. DI Tom Mariner works out of a suburban police station on the range of complex cases that might be expected in a huge multi-ethnic conurbation. As one reader/reviewer recently put it: If I was the victim of a crime, Mariner is the detective I’d want to investigate!

Can you tell us a bit about Married Lies?

Often the inspiration for the Mariner books comes from a news story or magazine article I’ve read. Married Lies followed on from a piece I saw about women who had been stalked, and eventually murdered, by someone close to them. I’m intrigued by the mentality of the stalker and the lengths that (usually) he will go to. Married Lies is primarily about a young woman who is being stalked by person(s) unknown.

Where did the inspiration for Tom Mariner come from?

The simple answer to that is I don’t know! When I embarked on the first book in the series – Deadly Lies – he really was an unknown entity. I knew how the story would unfold and what I wanted my detective to do to solve the mystery, but Mariner himself ‘evolved’ during the course of that book, and I hope he has continued to do so. While not based on any one person, I suspect that I’ve taken Mariner’s character traits and foibles from all sorts of people I’ve known – including me! His name also went through several previous incarnations, none of which felt quite right. But given that I grew up by the sea, and my great-great grandfather was a trawlerman, I like the idea that my protagonist is also a Mariner.


If you were to recommend one book everyone should read, what would it be?

The most affecting book I’ve read is Chris Mullin’s ‘Error of Judgement’ about the six men wrongly convicted of the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings (an event touched on in the third Mariner book ‘Killer Lies’). The revelation of such blatant (and violent) prejudice inside the institutions designed to protect us, along with that feeling of ‘it could happen to anyone’, is terrifying. It kept me awake for nights.

My fiction recommendation would be ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel. In Thomas Cromwell Mantel has taken an unprepossessing man and somehow created an enormously attractive and charismatic character. I found the book totally gripping. I was later lucky enough to see the RSC dramatisation at Stratford too.


What is a typical writing day for you?

I think because (like many writers) I started out when I was working full-time and had a young family, I’ve never had a regular writing routine. Instead it had to be fitted in with other things. What this does mean is that I’m pretty flexible about when and where I write. I do have a designated ‘office’ space, but often end up elsewhere. What has changed since I retired from the day job is that I have the freedom to spend much more time each day writing, which feels like such a luxury!


Tell us something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!). In my teens I was football mad and played in a women’s football team.


What are you currently working on?

While continuing to revise the original Mariner series for Joffe, I’m in the very early stages of the next (#9) Mariner outing. I’m also working another crime novel – working title Pure Evil – which I hope will be the start of another series with two new protagonists.
CHRIS COLLETT – AUTHOR BIO

I was born and grew up in a Norfolk seaside town, almost as far east as it’s possible to go inChris Collett author photo jpg England without falling into the North Sea. There I worked variously in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). I graduated in Liverpool, then for twenty-five years taught children and young people with learning disabilities, including autism, before going into higher education as a senior lecturer.

Mindful of its reputation, I moved somewhat reluctantly to Birmingham, where I met my husband, in 1981. But just a few years later DI Tom Mariner was created to police its mean streets, and these days I relish the vibrancy and rich social history of the city. After eight outings for Mariner, I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recently retired from lecturing and I’m currently luxuriating in the time I now have to continue the Mariner series, alongside published short stories and academic works. In my spare time, among other things, I’m a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.