The Children of Never (A War Priests of Andrak Saga) by Christian Warren Freed #Review #TheChildrenofNever #WarPriestsofAndrakSaga @ChristianWFreed @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Children of Never: A War Priests of Andrak Saga by Christian Warren Freed

Date Published: 30th July 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Description:

The war priests of Andrak have protected the world from the encroaching darkness for generations. Stewards of the Purifying Flame, the priests stand upon their castle walls each year for 100 days. Along with the best fighters, soldiers, and adventurers from across the lands, they repulse the Omegri invasions. 

But their strength wanes and evil spreads. 

Lizette awakens to a nightmare, for her daughter has been stolen during the night. When she goes to the Baron to petition aid, she learns that similar incidents are occurring across the duchy. Her daughter was just the beginning. Baron Einos of Fent is left with no choice but to summon the war priests.

Brother Quinlan is a haunted man. Last survivor of Castle Bendris, he now serves Andrak. Despite his flaws, the Lord General recognizes Quinlan as one of the best he has. Sending him to Fent is his best chance for finding the missing children and restoring order. Quinlan begins a quest that will tax his strength and threaten the foundations of his soul. 

The Grey Wanderer stalks the lands, and where he goes, bad things follow. The dead rise and the Omegri launch a plan to stop time and overrun the world. The duchy of Fent is just the beginning. 

The follow up to the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award winning short: The Purifying Flame, the Children of Never is an all new novel set in a world of raw imagination. Get your copy today!

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Children-Never-Priests-Andrak-Saga/dp/1387986074/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZTILN1AVQ06Q&keywords=the+children+of+never+christian+warren+freed&qid=1579528523&sprefix=the+children+of+never%2Caps%2C292&sr=8-1

 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Children-Never-Priests-Andrak-Saga/dp/1387986074/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+children+of+never+christian+warren+freed&qid=1579529018&sr=8-1

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Review:

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

In the duchy of Fent, children are going missing, snatched from their beds by a man brought back to life by magic. After a ghostly vision, Baron Einos, the ruler of Fent has no choice but to petition the legendary Priests of Andrak for help but the missing children is just the beginning of his woes… 

The Children Of Never is a dark yet epic fantasy with plenty of magic, mystical beings, battles and even a little bit of mystery thrown in there.

I don’t read that much fantasy but I found reading this book it didn’t matter, it just pulled me in from the start with its air of mystery and intrigue. I also appreciated the fact that the story wasn’t overly convoluted and I found it easy to follow.

I have just found out that this is the follow up to a short story,The Purifying Flame, something I didn’t realise as I was reading it but I found it fine to read as a standalone.

The writing was descriptive and I could picture things vividly as I read. There was also a large cast of characters and points of view during the book but I managed to follow each of their stories easily, as they were well rounded and unique.

One of the strongest characters, to me, was Lizette. Grieving for her missing child, she uses it to fuel her determination to see an end to the once dead man and get the Baron, to take notice of the villagers plight.

I did have a couple of issues. There was a tendency to switch POV within chapters, even within the same paragraph on occasion, without any real warning. Also, I felt the ending was a little rushed compared with the rest of the story but of course that’s just my opinion.  

If you enjoy your fantasy novels with a dark edge to it, then I would recommend The Children of Never.

About The Author:

Christian W. Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like tonew author shot 1 remember. After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish over 20 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan, a children’s book, and a pair of how to books focused on indie authors and the decision making process for writing a book and what happens after it is published.

His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Ok, so it was for 4th place in one quarter, but it’s still recognition from the largest fiction writing contest in the world. And no, he’s not a scientologist.

Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Digital Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other. You can find out more about his work by following him @ https://www.facebook.com/ChristianFreed or on Twitter @christianwfreed.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristianWFreed

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

Blog: https://christianwfreed.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8137590.Christian_Warren_Freed

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005HP3EOW

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Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis @JoffeBooks #BookReview

Title: Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis

Date Published: 16th July 2019

Publisher: Joffe Books 

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Do you love addictive detective mysteries? Then try this book by a multiple #1 best-selling author now. You won’t be able to put it down. It’s a totally enthralling read.

A SERIAL KILLER ON A POISONOUS MISSION PUSHES NIKKI AND HER TEAM TO BREAKING POINT

Revellers are flocking into Greenborough for the yearly Dark Greenborough Festival, a three-day event celebrating local folklore, superstition and the darker side of life.

What the public doesn’t know is that there has been a warning sent to the police, saying that Greenborough will be a very dangerous place this year. The anonymous letter ends with the Latin phrase, Mors certa, hora incerta: Death is certain, the hour uncertain.

DI Nikki Galena and her team soon discover this is no hoax, as people start dying from what appears to be alcoholic poisoning. Things rapidly escalate, and as the deaths get more horrific, Nikki realises they have a serial killer in their midst.

A NIGHTMARE HUNT FOR A KILLER DURING THEIR BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping ending.

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

Review:

Another book that’s been sitting gathering dust on my NetGalley shelf. I heard the next in the series is next month so I thought I had best read this one!

Before I go on I will point out this is the tenth in the series, but it can be read as a standalone without feeling like you’ve missed too much.

A serial poisoner nicknamed the Coachman is terrorising the streets of Greenborough during the annual Dark Greenborough festival, targeting unsuspecting revellers. Nikki Galena and her team are on the case but it’s proving a bit too much for her team. Will she manage to solve it before one of her team takes matters too far?  

Darkness on The Fen is a dark police procedural with a bit of a creepy edge to it.

The mystery was really intriguing and packed with tension, I had no idea who the culprit was until it was revealed. Plus I loved the addition of Eve Anderson, Nikki’s mum, and her band of ‘wrinklies’ getting in on the investigating, they gave it a little bit of light relief with their easy banter and humour. I really would love to see Eve get her own series!

Darkness On The Fens is a fantastic addition to this series and I’d highly recommend it if you love police procedurals.

About The Author:

Joy Ellis grew up in Kent but moved to London when she won an apprenticeship with thejoy ellis prestigious Mayfair flower shop, Constance Spry Ltd.

Many years later, having run her own florist shop in Weybridge, Ellis took part in a writer’s workshop in Greece and was encouraged by her tutor, Sue Townsend to begin writing seriously. She now lives in the Lincolnshire Fens with her partner Jacqueline and their Springer spaniels, Woody and Alfie.

#BlogTour #Review A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy @ElizabethEMundy @rararesources

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Title: A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy

Date Published: 2nd January 2020

Publisher: Constable

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate. 

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras. 

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

US – https://www.amazon.com/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

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Review:

This is the third in Lena Szarka series but it can be easily read as a standalone, something I can attest to as I haven’t read the first two. After reading a messy affair the other books in the series have been added to my wishlist.

Lena’s life in London is going from strength to strength, with her own cleaning business but she finds herself in the middle of another mystery after her cousin receives threatening letters as she’s dating a reality TV star Terry Tibbs.

Terry turns up dead but the police think it’s an accident but Lena isn’t convinced. It’s up to her to find out what really happened and stop her cousin from getting hurt.

A Messy Affair is an addictive and entertaining mystery from beginning to end! 

There were plenty of twists and turns, red herrings, even a little bit of romance, all the things I expect from a cosy mystery, but with it being set on the bustling streets of London it made it more gritty which I enjoyed.

I really liked the character of Lena. She’s strong, determined, a hard worker with a big heart who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Her cousin Sarika, on the other hand, slightly got on my nerves but she’s quite a young character and hopefully she’ll grow as the novels go on.

There were also a few Hungarian words, food etc worked into the story which added that extra bit of authenticity to the characters. 

I just could get enough of A Messy Affair! I will definitely be picking up the other novels in this series when I can.

About The Author:

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised fiveE Mundy profile pic children on a chicken farm in Indiana. Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. She writes the Lena Szarka Mysteries, featuring a Hungarian cleaner as detective. 
http://www.elizabethmundy.com

Social Media Links – 

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

#BookReview Murder On The Rocks (Jordan Jenner 1) by J.S. Strange #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Rocks (Jordan Jenner 1) by JS Strange

Date Published: 1st March 2019

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

‘An impressively complex story.’ – W.D. Jackson-Smart, author of the D.I. Graves Series.

‘I felt that I had been sucked into a well thought out Agatha Christie novel.’ – Danielle at The Reading Closet.

When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer…

James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention.

As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother’s death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again…

A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner’s toughest case yet.

A cosy murder mystery with a gay male detective, Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. If you’re a fan of classic whodunits you will love this!

A perfect read for those looking for Welsh crime fiction.

‘Strange was clearly channelling his inner Agatha Christie when writing this. Jordan holds himself like a modern-day Hercule Poirot.’ – Kelly at From Belgium With Book Love.

‘You simply cannot put this down.’ – Duncan Thompson, author of Within the Dark Places.

Review:

I’m always on the lookout for cosy mysteries that are unique, so when I saw this one was not only set in Wales (it’s where my grandad was from) and has a lead gay detective, well I knew I had to give it a go. I actually have the second book in this series (review coming in February) so I thought I’d go back to the beginning and start with the first book.

Jordan Jenner is still reeling from his estranged mother’s sudden death and thinks going back to his private investigation work will be a good distraction. He’s asked by the local police to investigate the death of a wannabe novelist at a writing group.

As he investigates, he finds his mother was a member of the group. Could there be more to her death than meets the eye?

Murder on the rocks is a gentle mystery with bags of intrigue and some unique characters.

I liked Jordan. He’s determined, smart,  a little grumpy at times with a tendency to push people away but it’s understandable when you hear about the strained relationship between him, his mother and brother.

I wish there had been a little more Welsh slang/words in the novel just to give it the writing a little bit more flair. Also I do feel that it could have been a little shorter as my attention started to waver a little.

Murder on the rocks is a solid cosy mystery, I’d recommend to anyone who loves this genre!

About The Author:

J.S. Strange is an author from Wales, United Kingdom. He writes crime, mystery andjs strange horror. His first novels, published in 2016 and 2017, were set in an apocalyptic London. His up-coming novel, titled Murder on the Rocks, is the first in a cozy crime mystery series, featuring a leading gay male detective.

Murder on the Rocks was written by Strange for many reasons. One of those reasons was a lack of representation within the crime genre, particularly with detectives and sleuths. Strange created Jordan Jenner, a private investigator, who lives and works in Cardiff. Murder on the Rocks was written with the intention of shining light on Cardiff, and bringing Cardiff, and furthermore, Wales, into the crime genre.

Strange’s previous works, such as ‘Winter Smith: London Burning’, also explored LGBT themes, and featured socialite Winter Smith escaping a zombie apocalypse. ‘London’s Burning’ became an Amazon best-seller in LGBT fiction.

When Strange doesn’t write, he works in television. He also presents a radio show all about the paranormal. He has an enthusiasm for Britney Spears and cats.

Jack can be reached on Twitter: @JackSamStrange

#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.

#BlogTour #Review Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke @carmenradtke1 #HappyPublicationDay

Hello lovelies! Before I share my review, I want to wish Carmen Radtke Happy Publication Day for her latest novel Glittering Death!

Title: Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke 

Date Published: 7th January 2020

Genre: Historical/Cosy Mystery

Description:

!862, A group of brides from Australia have arrived in British Columbia, and love is in the air – until their new-found happiness in the prospectors’ town “Run’s End” is shattered when the hotel-owner is murdered. To make matters worse, something is wrong with the stored gold at the hotel, and an epidemic makes it impossible for anyone to leave town.

The brides set all their hopes on their friend Alyssa Chalmers to find the murderer and restore peace in their new home. But the killer is cunning, and desperate …

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Glittering Death

Review:

I want to say a big thank you to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this blog tour and Carmen Radtke for providing me with a copy of Glittering Death in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first in the Alyssa Chalmers series, The Case Of The Missing Bride, a while ago now so I was excited to hear that there was a second coming out!  Don’t worry if you’ve not read the first it can easily be read as a standalone.

Glittering Death is set in British Columbia against the backdrop of the gold rush in 1862, where every man that was able tried their hand at prospecting in the hopes of finding gold.

Alyssa and her friends arrive at Run’s End where they find themselves face to face with the suitors who’d paid for their voyage from Australia. But Alyssa has other plans, she wants to get back to England, a place she left as a child.

Her plans are scuppered when the hotel owner is murdered, followed by a smallpox epidemic means no one can go out of the small town. Tensions bubble in the town but it’s up to Alyssa to figure out who the murderer before it’s too late.

What a sweet historical mystery Glittering Death is! It has a gentle pace, with a subtle nod to classic mysteries and films while still feeling fresh and new.

I still think Alyssa is a fabulous main character. Independent, clever and never backs down from a challenge, even if that includes domestic chores which she’s not very good at!

I absolutely loved the historical setting of the story. I don’t know much about late 19th century Canada but I feel like after reading this book I know a lot more. The author’s research underpinned the story well without overwhelming you with knowledge or info dumps.

It did unfortunately take a while to get to the actual mystery and I may have guessed the identity of the killer quite early on but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

Glittering Death is solid historical mystery, with plenty of red herrings and intriguing characters, perfect for anyone who loves a cosy mystery. I can’t wait to see where Alyssa’s story goes and read more of her adventures.

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously highCarmen11 pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

“The Case of the Missing Bride” is a former Malice Domestic finalist, inspired by a true event. Its heroine Alyssa Chalmers will soon return in “Glittering Death”.

When Carmen is not writing, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant.

She’s currently working on her first contemporary crime novel.

Follow Carmen on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carmen-radtke

Or on Twitter: @carmenradtke1

Her website (very much a work in progress) is carmenradtke.com

#BookReview Beating Around The Bush (Agatha Raisin 30) by MC Beaton

Before I get to my review I want to say, you hadn’t heard, that M C Beaton died on the 31st December 2019 at the age of 83. I don’t know if this means this is the last we see of  Agatha Raisin or there will be more but I’m glad that I got to read this novel anyway.

Title: Agatha Raisin: Beating About The Bush (Agatha Raisin 30) by M.C. Beaton

Date Published: 24th October 2019

Publisher: Constable

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems.

The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?

Review:

Goodness me, I can’t believe this is the thirtieth Agatha Raisin mystery! I’ve read this series, on and off again for years and I was so excited to get approved for this one on NetGalley.

PI Agatha Raisin and her put upon assistant Toni have been asked to investigate some industrial espionage but finds something is definitely off at the factory…

Soon they find themselves investigating the murder of the factory employee Mrs Dinwiddy but the police are convinced it was the fault of a very bad tempered donkey Wizz Wazz. Can Agatha convince the police there’s more to the death than meets the eye and save poor Wizz Wazz?

As a person who’s dipped in and out for years with this series, I was able to jump straight in, without worrying about the fact that I haven’t read the previous one. I do also think you could dive into this one if you’ve never read any of the other books but I highly recommend you give them a go if you love cosy mysteries!

Beating About The Bush is quite a short novel, in fact I devoured it over a weekend which is usually quick for me!

I had forgotten just how bossy and argumentative Agatha was! I always feel sorry for anyone who gets in her way, especially her poor assistant Toni who usually bears the brunt of her bad moods. Saying that there’s something still inherently likeable about Agatha, I think it’s because a lot of her moodiness comes from her insecurities.

I will also give a shoutout to Wizz Wazz who provided a lot of comic relief throughout the novel.

Beating About The Bush is a fun filled, fast paced cosy and a nice addition to this fabulous series.

About The Author:

M C Beaton was born in Scotland. She worked for many years as a journalist on FleetMC Beaton Street.

As well as the bestselling Agatha Raisin series, she is the author of the acclaimed Hamish Macbeth mysteries.

She divides her time between the Cotswolds, where she lives in a village very much like Agatha’s beloved Carsely, and Paris.