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

Title: Shadows of the Woods by Duncan Thompson

Date Published: 6th June 2020

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Genre: Horror

Description:

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

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

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

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

You can buy your copy here:

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

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dY4UYb 

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author:

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

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

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dthompsonauthor 

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

#BlogTour #TheKompromatKill by Michael Jenkins @FailsafeQuery @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Title: The Kompromat Kill by Michael Jenkins

Date Published: 19th June 2019

Genre: Spy Thriller

Description:

‘They were preparing for decades – now it’s time to take them down……’

A DIPLOMAT VANISHES
A BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT GOES ROGUE

Hiding overseas with a price on his head, Sean Richardson is tasked to lead a deniable operation to hunt down and recruit an international model and spy. Moving across Asia Minor and Europe, Sean embarks on a dangerous journey tracking an Iranian spy ring who hold the keys to a set of consequences the British Intelligence Services would rather not entertain.

As Sean investigates deeper, he uncovers dark secrets from his past and a complex web of espionage spun from the hand of a global master spy. As he inches closer to the truth, the rules of the game change – and the nerve-wracking fate of many lives sits in his hands…….……..

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kompromat-Kill-Deadly-Hunt-Nizari-ebook/dp/B07QFSF44F/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+kompromat+kill&qid=1588446159&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Kompromat-Kill-Deadly-Hunt-Nizari-ebook/dp/B07QFSF44F/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=the+kompromat+kill&qid=1588446502&sr=8-3

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Review:

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

This is the second in the Sean Richardson series but it can be read as a standalone, something I can attest to having not read the first myself.

Spy thrillers are not something I read very often but I was intrigued by the blurb for The Kompromat Kill so I thought I’d take a chance on it.

The Kompromat Kill is an intriguing spy novel that is so realistic at times it’s a little scary.

The writing was wonderfully descriptive and at times intense with so much packed into the story. There’s deadly assassins, kidnapping, murder, international terror plots and even mentions of the Cold War.

Sean is how I’d imagine a real spy. He can blend in yet be charming and charismatic and of course be a ruthless killer when he needs to be. 

As the story is so realistic, there is a fair bit of technical jargon throughout the story which the author does try to explain but a lot of it went over my head. Also there’s a fair amount of politics which I found a little distracting, I just wanted to get back to the action.

The Kompromat Kill is a believable and intricately plotted novel and a must if you enjoy a spy thriller.

About Michael Jenkins MBE:

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, michael jenkinsand then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers. 

I was privileged to serve for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration in 2003 and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, with The Kompromat Kill, my second.  

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FailsafeQuery

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

Website: https://www.michaeljenkins.org/

#BlogTour #WhispersintheWineCellar by Keeley Webb @keemol @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: Whispers In The Wine Cellar by Keeley Webb

Date Published: 1st February 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A florist, an estate agent, a prostitute, a call centre operative, a wife and mother.

What could possibly link them all? A love of flowers. That was a start. A skilled florist, who uses his produce and charm to select his beautiful victims. Compliance is a must. You will be bound, you will be kept, you will be broken.

Failure to comply is not an option. Can they keep his interest? Can they follow his rules?

A distraught ex-husband, faithful friends and loving parents. The search has started, the clock is ticking. Who will survive of those that are missing?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B083ZF3NDX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083ZF3NDX/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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Review:

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

Whispers in the wine cellar is a dark and intense psychological thriller.

The story is told from multiple perspectives, each giving their own unique take on what’s happening from the victims to our killer to the police giving you a rounded story. 

We know from the off who our killer is and really get into his head. We see how he uses his charm to manipulate women for his own twisted end. There was something almost Ted Bundy like about him. Also I will warn you being inside the head of a serial killer is at times disturbing and a little uncomfortable.

As the story is told in first person it felt like the characters were talking at me rather than to me which I found a little off putting at times. 

Whisper in the wine cellar is something I’d recommend if you enjoy a serial killer thriller that really gets into the mind of a psychopath. 

About The Author:

Born in Leeds but currently residing in Worcestershire with her husband, two childrenKeeley Webb and a Staffordshire bull terrier. Keeley Webb spent most of her childhood with her nose in a book, Roald Dahl books, Nancy Drew, The Never-ending story to name just a few.

In 2017 her Maternal Grandmother had a stroke, to deal with her grief Keeley started to write a book, loosely based on a dream she’d had. Death Made Me was published in 2017 and is available via Amazon.co.uk/com. The abundance of feedback and positive reviews encouraged her to write more.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keemol

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

Website: https://www.keeleywebbauthor.com/

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

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Keeley-Webb/e/B076P4VY18/

#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

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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

The Terror Within (The DCI Banham Series) by Linda Regan #AuthorInterview #TheTerrorWithin @Linda_Regan @AccentPress @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Promo

Hello lovelies and happy Easter to those who celebrate!

Today I have a fabulous Q&A with Linda Regan as part of the blog tour organised by Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours but first a little about the book:

Title: The Terror Within by Linda Regan

Publisher: Headline Accent

Date Published: 12th December 2019

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

CAN THEY SAVE THE HOSTAGES BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT?

Just as DCI Banham and DI Alison Grainger are about to get married, a policeman is shot and all officers are urgently called to the scene.

Banham, a trained hostage negotiator, rushes to the street when he hears his friend, PC Martin Neville, has been injured and taken hostage, along with four others. As Banham tries to negotiate, things go from dangerous to critical, with PC Neville is in a life-threatening condition.

Meanwhile Grainger, having been left at the altar, defies orders and is working on the case from the CCTV room. When the pieces begin to fall together, she finds herself in a deadly situation. With time nearly up, the demands of the hostage-takers are yet to be met and lives remain at risk…

DCI Banham returns in the latest heart racing novel from critically acclaimed author Linda Regan. This fast-paced and gritty thriller is perfect for fans of Lynda La Plante and Kimberley Chambers.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terror-Within-Linda-Regan-ebook/dp/B07ZHCD93R/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+terror+within&qid=1585423977&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Linda_Regan_The_Terror_Within?id=tYq7DwAAQBAJ

Kobo: http://kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=9781786157508

Ebooks.com: https://www.ebooks.com/en-gb/book/detail/209888648/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-terror-within/linda-regan/9781786157485

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Q&A with Linda Regan

First of all, can you tell us about your latest book, The Terror Within?

The Terror Within is a police procedural crime story. It opens as two of my regular police are about to get married when an alert goes out to all officers in the area that a policeman has been shot and taken hostage, along with another female PC, and three civilians. DI Banham is a trained hostage negotiator, he abandons his wedding just as it is about to start and rushes to the scene. Time is against them as the injured PC needs urgent attention and the hostage takers are making impossible demands for his release. Meanwhile against her fiancé, Banham’s orders, DI Alison Grainger is at the police station working the case from there. As the clock ticks perilously away Grainger discovers more danger lurking behind this siege and venturing from the station to help, she finds herself in the thick of that danger as she tries to save other innocent lives. Tensions are at their height, as the the siege is turned on its head in an explosive climax where the surprise ending nearly knocks the whole force off their guard. 

Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

I can only say from inside my head. I walk the dog and while I am walking, I often think, oh I think I’d like to write about that, and it goes from there.

What characteristics/personality traits do you and your lead character have in common?

DCI Banham and DI Alison Grainger are really my lead characters. I can’t see what I have in common with DCI Paul Banham, but Alison is stubborn, and independent and strong. I would like to think I am those. I stand up for what I believe in, I would never back down if I thought someone was doing something wrong to anyone I love.

If your book was made into a movie, which famous actor/s would play the lead characters?

I have always thought Robert Glenister would make a great DCI Banham. He has quiet strength and is excellent at his craft. As for Alison Grainger, I am not sure. I guess an unknown actress. There are so many good actors and actresses out there, and when I watch films and television I feel I see too many of the same faces. I would love to cast a brand new face.

Who is your writing hero?

Well that depends. I love so many writers, but my complete hero every time would be the late, great, Colin Dexter. He was one of my tutors when I did my MA. He helped me enormously, as he has helped many other up and coming writers. He said he loved teaching if he believed in his pupils. He told me he believed in me, and gave me the confidence I have today. May he RIP. He was a wonderful teacher and a very supportive friend.

Which book do you wish you had written?

Only the ones in my head, that I intend to write. My own work only. I have no desire to have written anyone else’s.

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

Do it. Don’t judge yourself or your work, just keep writing. And then re-writing. And don’t be afraid to have to delete something that was right when you wrote it but as you go along doesn’t fit in. Writing it wasn’t a waste of time, writing is about learning about your own writing, and the only way to do that is to write. (Gosh I hope that makes sense). Also to remember there are no rights or wrongs, if someone rejects you, it is only their opinion, someone else will love it. Don’t let anyone put you down or put you off. And don’t doubt yourself. Pick up that pen.

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

Colin Dexter for sure, I need to thank him for his help and support. Tennesee Williams, he wrote with such sensitivity and wrote such good parts for women in his plays. I would have to thank him for that. Wearing my actresses’ hat, I know how few good parts are written for women. Things are getting better, but Tennessee was ahead of his time. (He wrote plays such as Streetcar Named Desire, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Glass Menagerie to name but a few). And, wouldn’t it be nice to have William Shakespeare- the Bard, at the party. So many things have been said and thought about his work, his sonnets and whether he wrote everything etc. There are so many unanswered questions there. Oh, and Colin Dexter would adore those two to dine with. Colin was a teacher and adored hearing students reading beautiful words and poetry, and there were none better, in my book.

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

I think I would like you to have asked me why I write crime novels. I am the daughter of a comic, and am married to an actor known widely for his comedy work. As a child I was surrounded by comics, and I even went into the BBC hit sitcom HiDeHi playing a regular character. But still I write crime, strong and gritty too, as it is in London(where I set my novels), today. I think I am drawn to crime because I am so afraid of it. I want to give my reader satisfaction that the baddies won’t get away with it, and there are people out there who will find them and make our world a safer place to be in. 

Thank you for having me on your blog.

About the author:

Linda is a successful actress, still best known for her portrayal of April, the sweet yellow-Linda Regancoat, in the BBC award winning comedy Hi-De-Hi. Other programmes she has appeared in include: The Bafta nominated Channel five series: Harry and Cosh, The Bill, London’s Burning, Minder, Gentle Touch, The Knock, a Lynda La Plante series: Framed, to name but a few. Also many films, a season with the RSC, and many good theatre roles. To date she has appeared in nearly a hundred commercials.

She has been writing all her life: short stories, radio, fact and fiction. Her first crime novel was published in 2006, and her subsequent novels have all received excellent reviews.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Linda_Regan

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

Website: https://lindareganonline.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linda.regan.01/

#BlogTour 30 Days In June by Chris Westlake @ChrisWestlake2 @DamppebblesBTs #damppebblesblogtours

Title: 30 days in June by Chris Westlake 

Date Published: 26th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

On the 1st day of June 1988, the residents of south Wales were thrown into a state of panic when a married couple were brutally murdered in their own home. The killer, nicknamed Spartacus by the media, did not flee the scene immediately; instead, he stayed to carve Roman Numerals onto his victims’ chests.

This was the beginning of a month-long killing spree, each murder taking a step closer to home.

Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Allen was to be the final victim, on the final day of the month. Instead, he became the only survivor, and the only real witness. The killings ended as suddenly as they began. Jeffrey relocated to London, changing his name, and his identity, to Marcus Clancy. His past life became merely a dark secret.

On 1st June 2018, 30 years to the day since the first killing, a mysterious figure refers to Marcus by his old name, through closing lift doors.

Is Spartacus back? If so, has he returned to finish what he failed to do thirty years ago?

And so begins 30 days of terror for Marcus Clancy, culminating in dramatic fashion on the final day of June.

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Review:

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

30 Days in June is a tense psychological thriller with a beginning that really draws you in.

The story has two narratives, 1988 when Spartacus was at the height of his reign of terror and thirty years later when Jeffery Allen, now Marcus Clancy, the serial killer’s only surviving victim, is trying his best to get on with his life. Unfortunately for him someone doesn’t want that, has Spartacus come back to finish him off? 

To me, Marcus wasn’t all that likeable but he was definitely interesting and at times quite an unreliable narrator that you’re not entirely sure you can trust. I did feel sorry for him especially as he started to lose his grip on his sanity.

I have to be honest it lost a little bit of steam at certain times through the book, specifically when Marcus was talking to his therapist, I just wanted to get back into the thick of the story. 

I’d recommend 30 Days in June if you like a realistic character driven crime story. 

About The Author:

After completing a Creative Writing course in 2010, Chris Westlake’s short story, Welsh89766424_10157887519643828_4696678877139828736_o Lessons, was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Story Award (not bad for the first writing competition he had entered). He followed this up with 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award and 2nd place in the HASSRA Literary Award.

Chris has written three novels. 30 DAYS IN JUNE is his first crime thriller. He is currently writing his second thriller, on schedule to be completed in 2020. He is determined to write many, many more – his main regret is that he didn’t start writing earlier.

Chris considers himself to be a developing author. He is always looking to improve, to make his next novel even better than the last. He is continuously experimenting with different styles, different genres.

damppebbles blog tours

#BlogTour #Extract Raging (The Chemical Estate Series #2) by Stephen Scarcliffe @StephenScarc @damppebbles #Raging #TheChemicalEstateSeries #damppebblesblogtours

Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the Raging blog tour, the second novel in the Chemical Estate series. Today I have an exclusive extract for you but first a little about the book:

Title: Raging (The Chemical Estate Series #2) by Stephen Scarcliffe

Date Published: 4th February 2020

Genre: Crime Noir

Description:

A bloody turf war is erupting between the shellsuit gangsters and the Donaldsons, while the family outcasts look to take advantage of the disorder on the streets…

Who torched Dougie Donaldson’s taxi? 

Why are the bodies piling up in the high rises? 

Why is a scorned figure from the past poking his nose into everyone’s business?

As things escalate, Billy Wright is forced to question who is plotting against him as he is dragged even deeper into the world he is trying to escape. George Donaldson is sucked into a bitter feud with childhood pals that forces him to answer serious doubts around his loyalties and Sean Donaldson schemes to shift the balance of power in Muirhouse, hellbent on revenge against the uncle who has frozen him out of the family drug business.

Will Billy fulfil the promise he made to girlfriend Lyndsay and leave the life of crime behind as fatherhood approaches? Can George successfully defend his old man’s territory in the face of mounting adversity? Is there any line Sean won’t cross in his quest for supremacy?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: 

Digital https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_2?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733343&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-2

Paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_3?crid=MJZ1A4FSXQZV&keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733375&sprefix=raging+ste%2Cdigital-text%2C145&sr=8-3

Amazon US: 

Digital https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate-ebook/dp/B081ZG3NQX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733406&sr=8-1

Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Raging-Stephen-Scarcliffe-Chemical-Estate/dp/1711748803/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=raging+stephen+scarcliffe&qid=1580733425&sr=8-2

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Extract:

The posh decor always made Billy feel uncomfortable. The long polished oak table conjured up memories of being summoned to court for one of his many misdemeanours. It was the first time he had sat down for a meal with Lyndsay’s whole family and it was making him sweat. There weren’t many things that made Billy feel anxious. He had been lunged at with swords, battered with sticks, and lived day to day with the threat of all kinds of maniacs coming through his door, yet none of this came close to affecting him the way sitting down for a meal with a middle class family from Morningside made him feel. He was shitting it. Who was he kidding? He was the biggest ecstasy dealer in the north side of Edinburgh, and a murderer now to boot. And yet here he was breaking bread with this posh family, completely oblivious. Her Dad had a pot belly, a comb over, a pair of square tinted spectacles, and one of those red faces that suggested he had spent more time in Spain than he had Edinburgh over the years. Her Mum, he had to admit was stunning for a woman in her forties. It was no surprise where Lyndsay got it from. There was an elegance to her, with her curly brunette hair just like Lyndsay’s, her firm tanned legs that perfectly complemented the rest of her petite frame, and a face that wore its age impressively well. Still, she had her nose stuck in the air with an expression that made out she constantly had a whiff of shite drifting up her nostrils. Her brother had blonde curly hair. Sitting there tensing his arms through his checked Christian Dior shirt as if he fancied himself as something special. Reminded Billy of the type of private school wankers he used to terrorise on the way back from high school. He felt a gentle squeeze on his hand and looked round to see Lyndsay’s face beaming back at him. Even that wasn’t enough to calm his thudding heartbeat. She clearly she sensed it was a struggle. He had never felt further from his comfort zone in his life. Billy was conditioned to grimy flat stairs, backstreets, dark corners, graffiti. That was where he thrived, not places like this. Joe was right on the money. Who was he kidding? Certainly not himself.

“Do you like Rugby Bill?” said the brother, Colin or Campbell was his name, Billy wasn’t quite sure, and hoped he would be able to make it to the end of the meal without having to use it. Bill? Who had ever in his entire life referred to him as Bill?

“Nah, more of a fitba, I mean football man, me.” 

“Who’s your team?”

“Hibs. Bit of a shite time…” He stopped dead and glanced around the table at the alarmed faces and swiftly relented. “I mean bad time of it they’re havin just now.”

“How’s the labouring going?” asked her old man.

“No bad. Same shhh… Same thing different day eh?” He let out a nervous laugh before swigging back his beer and retreating within his awkward shell. Before long he was so conscious of every word that passed his lips that they stopped coming. 

Billy had been hoping for a decent bit of steak or something that could take his mind off his raw nerves as dinner was served out. Not fish. Anything but fish. He stared at it with dread, its shrivelled little black eyes stared back at him accusingly, like it knew all his darkest secrets, daring to pass them round the table.

“Billy. BILLY.”   She clutched his arm this time.  “Are you okay?” 

“Aye. I-I jist need a bit of fresh air, eh.”

He sucked the cigarette as hard as he could, feeling the relief as he released the cloud of smoke into the night air. He let it stay within his lips and drew in as many draws as he could manage at the one time. 

“Do you want to tell me what’s going on Mr?” said Lyndsay as she appeared behind him. 

His head lightened from the tobacco rush as he turned too quickly.  “Och just feelin a bit queasy. Probably just the fish, ye ken I’m no keen oan it.”

“I probably should have mentioned that to my Mum.” She squeezed in next to him and took the cigarette from between his fingertips. She took a draw and passed it back as he eyed her inquisitively. 

“Since when did you take smokin up again?”

“I haven’t.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I find them hard work too you know.”

“Fair enough. No more though, got the bairn tae think about.”

“Billy?” She stood in front of him and grabbed the collar of his coat, melting him with those eyes of hers.  “I know it’s not easy. But just try. Okay?”

He let out a long sigh. Even Lyndsay didn’t know all of his secrets.

“Easy fer you tae say. It’s hard Lyndse. I’m fae a different planet fae them know what I mean? It’s like I’m fae Mars they’re fae Pluto.” 

“I know. But just try.” 

“Sure thing.” He offered her a restrained smile. The moment she disappeared into the house, he flicked the cigarette into the night air, opened the car door and jumped in. He took a deep breath, jammed his keys in the ignition and started the car. He felt as desperate to get away as he had from Alan Goddard’s dead body underneath the Forth Road Bridge that night. 

About The Author:

Growing up around the north of Edinburgh where the Chemical Estate book series is set lends first-hand experience and authenticity to both the story and its characters. _TDS0986

Around 14 years ago, and 4 pints (or more) down, I bumped into a certain Irvine Welsh in a pub in Edinburgh city centre. After giving him a copy of a short story I had written, I received a really encouraging email that spurred me on to write a novel. The process was extended somewhat by spending 10 years as the singer-songwriter for Edinburgh Alt-rock band The Number 9s, before opting to turn my main focus to writing. Two books in now with number 3 in development I hope to continue for many years to come. 

You can keep up to date with details of new releases and plenty more by signing up for my mailing list at www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephenScarc  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephen.scarcliffe/

Website: http://www.stephenscarcliffe.co.uk 

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

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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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#BlogTour #Review The Fathers, The Sons And The Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams @JamieAdStories @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

Date Published: 30th July 2019

Genre: Literary Fiction

Description:

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything. The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos. The third part… well that will have to wait.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07VW63P3K/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1528917367/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious-ghost/jamie-adams/9781528917360

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious-ghost/jamie-adams/paperback/9781528917360.html

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-fathers-the-sons-and-the-anxious,jamie-adams-9781528917360

Hive.co.uk: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Jamie-Adams/The-Fathers-the-Sons-and-the-Anxious-Ghost/24079110

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Review:

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

I’m a bit of a sucker for a usual title and I found the blurb very intriguing, even though this is not my usual sort of book, I thought I’d give it a go.

The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost is a short novella, just over a hundred pages long, but it has a lot of emotion packed into it. 

Told through multiple perspectives, it begins with the fathers, then jumps ten years into the future to their sons showing how a tragic event can have a ripple effect on people’s lives. 

I didn’t find most of the characters that likeable but to me the fascinating storyline made up for this. 

This book is very much a story of two halves, I felt the first half, story and character wise was stronger and I feel that I would have preferred to have been focussed on the fathers for the whole thing.

I’d recommend The Fathers, The Sons and The Anxious Ghost to anyone who likes a real character driven story.

About The Author:

Jamie is a teacher who has studied a geography degree back in the nineties because of Jamie Adamshis love of nature and the outdoors. He found environmental education especially important and soon became a teacher for the primary-age group. Jamie enjoys reading and watching all kinds of theatre productions, from high dramas to lively musicals. His love of writing shines through in everything he does.

After writing a group of short stories linked to romance, which he published as ‘Short Dates’ independently, he decided to write a novella centred around topical issues such as mental health, parenting and relationships.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieAdStories

Website: http://jamieadstories.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jamie-Adams/e/B07C642RJZ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

#BlogTour #Excerpt The Death and Life of Penny Pitstop by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours (@DamppebblesBTs) #thedeathandlifeofPennyPitstop

Hello lovelies, today I have an exclusive excerpt as part of the blog tour for The Death and Life of Penny Pitstop but first a little about the book:

Title: The Death and Life of Penny Pitstop by Leopold Borstinski

Publisher: Sobriety Press

Date published: 20th October 2019

Genre: Thriller

Description: 

Making a killing in the City can be murder at home.

After sharp-witted trader Ray is told by his sexy corporate lawyer wife Penny to stop insider trading, he knows that something must change. When he discovers she’s been having an affair on her business trips, the tables are turned and he has to choose between keeping the millions he’s fraudulently made or keeping the woman he loves. How will he decide?

The Death and Life of Penny Pitstop is a stand-alone steamy modern thriller set in London’s world of high finance. This hot crime drama is based on the scintillating experience of Leopold Borstinski’s life working in the City.

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Excerpt:

The sun was close to setting and the warmth of the day had departed. Claudia awoke with a shiver and flipped her head from side to side like she’d forgotten where she was.

“It’s okay. You’re in my garden. You fell asleep.”

Claudia looked at him and drunk-nodded. Ray stood up and came back out with a glass of water and passed it to her.

“Thanks.”

“De nada. When you’re ready, shall we go inside?”

Now it was Claudia’s turn to nod and a few seconds later she stood up and they wandered into the kitchen then Ray led her into the living room and they sat on the sofa, half facing each other.

“Warmer now?”

“Yes, thanks. Sorry about falling asleep on you.”

“Doesn’t matter. You needed the rest. Besides most beautiful women fall into a coma near me, so sleep was a refreshing change.”

“Oh, don’t.”

“I’m kidding.” 

He touched Claudia’s knee to reassure her all was fine and Ray followed her eyes as they went from his hand to his face and back to his hand again.

“I was going to fix some food. Fancy some?”

“You don’t have to go to any trouble.”

“It was only going to be a bowl of pasta, to be honest. So don’t get your hopes up too much.”

“Pasta would be lovely.” 

Claudia smiled and Ray saw her dark blue eyes as if for the first time. Intense colour. He went into the kitchen and made them dinner, opening another bottle of wine.

He laid the kitchen table and, fifteen minutes later, they were both sat eating penne with a tomato sauce, peppers and olives. Simple but tasty. The wine went well with the flavours too.

This time, as they drank and ate, Claudia got quite giggly.

“So, what does a man like you do rattling around a place like this when he’s on his own?”

“The usual stuff. Catch a bit of telly, read a magazine, watch the odd movie.”

“What kind of odd movies do you watch?”

Ray looked blankly at her, not understanding what she was getting at. Claudia giggled and poured herself another glass, then topped up Ray’s.

“Do you like adult movies?”

“That’s not really my thing.”

“Are you sure? Most men like to see naked women. Do you like to see naked women?”

“There’s nothing wrong with a naked woman, for sure.”

“Would you like to see a naked woman now?”

“Huh?”

“You heard,” she giggled, “Would you like to see me naked now?”

Before Ray could answer, Claudia stood up, knocking her chair backwards, grabbed Ray by the hand and led him back into the living room.

“Let’s dance. Put on some music for us, Ray-my-man.”

Without thinking, Ray did as he was bid and found a compilation CD to play. As soon as the first track buzzed into life, Claudia started tapping one foot and moving her hips, which encouraged Ray to try to do the same. He knew he had no rhythm and was going to massively embarrass himself, but Ray felt he had no choice. He didn’t want to upset Claudia and the way she was gyrating her body was beginning to turn him on, despite everything.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Life-Penny-Pitstop-ebook/dp/B07VGC3Q72/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=the+death+and+life+of+penny+pitstop&qid=1570791700&sr=8-4

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Life-Penny-Pitstop-ebook/dp/B07VGC3Q72/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+death+and+life+of+penny+pitstop&qid=1570791806&sr=8-1

Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=4r2vDwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-4r2vDwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_read&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_viewport

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-death-and-life-of-penny-pitstop

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-death-and-life-of-penny-pitstop-leopold-borstinski/1132607845;jsessionid=B2CEA7ED1DC4EEC47877356C5925B2A4.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=2940161359129

About Leopold Borstinski:

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial Leopold Borstinskijournalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/borstinski

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeoBorstinski

Website: http://www.leopoldborstinski.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071ZZXZMR?_encoding=UTF8&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true&ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000&rfkd=1&shoppingPortalEnabled=true