#BlogTour #BookReview 5 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Maurice Barkley @MauriceBarkley @WriteReadsTours

5 adventures of sherlock holmes

Title: 5 adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Maurice Barkley

Date Published: 20th February 2018

Genre: Mystery/short stories

Description:

5 STORIES 

1-Extreme danger. Children’s lives are at risk. 

2-Holmes prevents an injustice and triumphs over a greedy family. 

3-A train arrives 3 years late. Only Holmes can solve this one. 

4-Holmes battles blundering politicians and a master criminal. 

5-An elaborate crime with a strange motive.

Review:

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

I always find it interesting when an author takes on literary legend and one of my favourite fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes.

This book contains five stories; The Holborn Toy Shop, The Legacy of Doctor Carus, The Train From Plymouth, The Whitehall Papers and The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van.

Each story stays true to the original Sherlock Holmes stories in setting and pace but Maurice Barkley still manages to stamp his own unique take on both Sherlock and Dr Watson.

There are of course cameos from Inspector Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, Wiggins and the irregulars and even Sherlock’s brother Mycroft.

The Legacy of Doctor Carus and The Train from Plymouth were my favourites as they felt the most like the original stories while also being fascinating mysteries too!

I did feel a couple of the stories weren’t quite as strong, mystery wise, as the other but of course that’s just my opinion.

5 adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a quick and engaging read that is a nice nod to the original stories.

About The Author:

Maurice Barkley lives with his wife Marie in a suburb of Rochester, New York. Retired maurice barkleyfrom a career as a commercial artist and builder of tree houses, he is WRITING and busy reinforcing the stereotype of a pesky househusband. Favorite relaxation is throwing peanuts to squirrels, blue jays, cardinals and chipmunks from his porch. Once he built a doll hair-making machine using an old sewing machine. It worked, but his wife got tired of making Raggedy Ann dolls, so it sits in the garage.

https://www.amazon.com/ADVENTURES-SHERLOCK-HOLMES-Maurice-Barkley-ebook/dp/B079YX6KD2/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=maurice+barkley&qid=1576672024&sr=8-5

@MauriceBarkley

#BlogTour #Review Helene by Karl Drinkwater @karldrinkwater @rararesources

Helene (e-book)

Title: Helene by Karl Drinkwater

Date Published: 3rd October 2019

Genre: Sci-fi/short story

Description:

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.

As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.

Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

You can buy your copy here – https://books2read.com/b/Helene

Helene Full Tour Banner

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

So this is a prequel novella to the author’s Lost Solace series and having not read any of the other books, it was a perfect place for me to start

Helene is a futuristic sci-fi short story, the perfect mix of intrigue, entertainment plus a dash of humour.

Helene is a great character. Smart, brave but there’s also a little bit of mystery to her. I absolutely loved the way the author played her off ViraUHX, it was so much fun to read!  

In large part the story is mostly dialogue, with ViraUHX voice written in all capitals which I didn’t mind. Although it got a little hard to read in places especially when the AI decided to go on a rant.

The ending of the book isn’t a cliffhanger so to speak but it does leave it open for the next book, giving you a little peek almost of what’s to come. I was so intrigued by the ending, I’ve put the other two novels in this series on my wishlist.

My only issue was I wished the story was longer!

Helene is a well written and compelling sci-fi story that will leave you wanting more! 

About The Author:

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and2018-01 was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater/ 

https://twitter.com/karldrinkwater 

https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/ 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5766025.Karl_Drinkwater 

When Stars Will Shine: An Anthology compiled by Emma Mitchell @emmamitchellfpr #WhenStarsWillShine #bookpromo #H4HAnthology

Hello lovelies, today I’m very excited to share a very special book When Stars Will Shine, an anthology of short stories compiled by Emma Mitchell and released on the 9th December. It’s just £5 or $6.47 to pre-order on Kindle and every penny goes to the charity Help For Heroes. If that doesn’t tempt you enough, then here’s the blurb:

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!

Full contents:

Fredrick Snellgrove, Private 23208 by Rob Ashman

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg

The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff

Believe by Mark Brownless

What Can Possibly Go Wrong? by Lucy Cameron

Mountain Dew by Paul T. Campbell

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton

Free Time by Stewart Giles

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane 

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen

Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne

Uncles Christmas by Val Portelli

Time for a Barbeque by Carmen Radtke

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees

Inside Out by KA Richardson

Penance by Jane Risdon

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg

Family Time by Graham Smith 

I’ve pre-ordered a copy myself, if you’d like to order your copy, you can use the links below:

Amazon 🇬🇧 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08234131P/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_U_x_JMJ7Db9GJP01N

For more information, please contact Emma Mitchell: emmamitchellfpr@gmail.com

 

#ShortStory A Hunter’s Night Off by L.J Cassidy #Halloween2019

Happy Halloween everyone! I haven’t shared one of my short stories for a while so I thought I’d share this fun little story. I wrote this in prep for NaNoWriMo which starts tomorrow and I will be taking part of, and hopefully winning (wish me luck I’m gonna need it!). Without further ado, here’s A Hunter’s Night off…

Mist hung low over the ground, making it feel like I was trapped in a cheesy old horror movie. Occasionally the wind howled, whipping up fallen Autumn leaves. 

It was the perfect Halloween night.

Well, that was if you were inside, nice and warm, not out Trick or Treating with your eight year old son on your first night off in weeks. 

I’m still trying to figure out how my husband had convinced me not only to go out but to dress up and ‘get into the spirit of things’ yet managed to wiggle out of coming himself…I swear there must have been some sort of hypnosis involved.  It didn’t help that the vampire outfit I’d chosen seemed to be made out of the thinnest material known to man, and was as much use as using a tissue against a thunderstorm at keeping the cold out. I tried pulling my cloak tighter around my body but it made no difference. I was slowly turning into an icicle.  

Next year I was dressing up as an Eskimo.

I’d been trying and failing to get Connor to go home for the last five minutes, it wasn’t working.

“Just one more house mum, please,” he whined.

We’d been at it for almost an hour and his bag was barely half full. I felt bad. This was a new neighbourhood and we’d yet to work out who answered their door and who didn’t. I could see him shivering, his own superhero costume doing little to keep out the cold. 

“Fine, just one more but then we’re going home.”

He clapped his hands together and ran towards a house at the end of the street. It didn’t look much different from the other red brick houses around it but there was something definitely off about the place. Maybe it was because every window lit up, like a beacon in the darkness, looking so inviting. I could feel my sixth sense tingling.

“Connor, maybe not that one-”

It was too late, he’d already rang the bell.

By the time that I’d marched up to Connor’s side the door had swung open. A plump old lady stood, surrounded by a golden light. 

“Trick or treat,” cried Connor holding out his bag.

The woman put a hand to her bosom.

“Oh my, aren’t you darling.”

Her eyes travelled to me. There was something in her expression that I couldn’t read.

Another alarm bell rang.

“Well, young man, I have some sweets inside the house but the bowl is far too heavy for me to carry, would you like to come in and pick some?”

“Yes please.”

Connor ran inside before I could stop him.

I let out a sigh. 

He knew not to go into strange houses, what has gotten into him?

The old woman when to close the door but I stuck my foot in.

“I better come in hadn’t I? I don’t want him eating you out of house and home.”

She let out a little laugh.

“Of course. You look like you could do with a cup of tea, warm you up a treat.”

The woman opened it just enough for me to slip in.

I expected Connor to be in the hallway, hovering over a bowl of sweets but he wasn’t there.

“Connor, where are you?”

A strange smell reached my nose, coppery, earthy, maybe.  

“Oh, he’s probably in the kitchen. That’s where I left the sweets. How about I go and get him?”

I could feel the hairs on my arms rise, every sense I had screamed that I should run.

“No, if you point me in the right direction, I’ll get him.”

I took a step away from her but in the blink of an eye she was in front of me.

“I don’t think so my dear.”

She cocked her head to the side and gave me a wide smile.

That’s when I saw her fangs.

Oh, the irony wasn’t lost on me.

“I’m afraid you’re mine now.”

My hand went to my waist, where I usually keep my trusty tools for hunting but I remember I’d taken them off, convinced I was having a night off from all that.

Her nostrils flared.

“You don’t seem that scared. Not at all like my usual prey.”

I adopted a defensive stance.

“I’m not your usual prey.”

She pounced but I was ready for her, catching her in the chest with my boot.

The vampire hissed, steam rising from her chest.

“Silver capped boots, never leave the house without them.”

“Hunter.”

“Got it in one.”

We circled each other, I kept an eye out for any weapon.

I spotted the wooden banister, if I could snap off a piece. It’d make a perfect stake.

My moment of lost concentration gave the creature the edge, charging at me. It caught me around the waist, we crashed to the ground.

I could smell it’s fetid breath, as its strong hands held me down, tearing at my outfit.

Bucking and twisting made no difference, it clung to me.

My boot had worked loose, if I could reach it…

“I’m going to drain you dry, then I’ll start on your little boy but don’t worry, I won’t kill him. I’ll turn him, make him into my son.”

My fingers grazed the back of my boot.

“Why do you creatures always insist on telling me your evil plan before you do it? I mean you could have killed me by now but no, you just yap, yap, yap away.”

It snarled.

My hand enclosed round the boot.

“Oh, I’m going to enough killing you.”

It reared back, opening its jaw wide, ready to rip my throat out.

I brought the boot up, catching it on the face. It was enough for me to wiggle out of its grasp.

I ran for the bannister, elbowing out one of the balusters.

This time when the vampire charged at me, I met it with a sharp piece of wood to the heart.

It burst into dust.

“Mum…”

I heard Connor’s voice. Quickly I shoved my foot back into my boot, readjusted my torn outfit and tried to move as much dust out of the way as possible.

He burst into the hallway a moment later carrying a huge bowl of sweets, the telltale signs of chocolate around his mouth.

“Where’s the lady gone?”

“Oh, she had to go to bed but she told me you can have as many sweets as you can fit your bag.”

His big blue eyes lit up.

“Really?”

“Really really.”

He started shoving handfuls of sweets into his bag until it was almost bursting.

“Shall we go home now?” he asked.

“Come on then.”

I held out my hand which he took, making a mental note to come back later to check there were no more vampires hanging around. The last thing I want is to settle in a new neighbourhood with a vampire nest in it.

So much for my night off.

© L.J. Cassidy 2019

#BlogTour #Review The Scott Family Short Stories by Amanda Paull @Apaullfiction @rararesources

Today I’m bring you not one but three reviews of the Scott family short stories by Amanda Paull. A big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and providing a copy of these books.

Title: Let’s Dance (Scott Family Short Stories, Book 1)

letsdance (2)Description:

She’s helping out a friend. His dad’s hip’s gone. Could a farcical mix-up lead to love?

Ballroom dancing is the last thing Laura wants to try. But her best friend is desperate to meet a hip-swinging Adonis, so before she knows it, Laura is cha cha cha-ing in the back of the Dog and Duck with nerdy Ben. At least no one else need ever find out. No such luck. Her mother is armed with a social media page and dangerous. The shenanigans begin. What a pity Ben’s now looking rather dapper. Will he scarper? Or is Ben made of sterner stuff?
If you like innocent, laugh-out-loud family mayhem, you’ll love Let’s Dance, the first Scott Family.

Purchase Link

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dance-Scott-Family-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B079ML1K2P

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dance-Scott-Family-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B079ML1K2

Review:

Laura is dragged by her friend Shona to her latest fad to keep fit and find a man; Ballroom dancing. Unimpressed by the doggy pub where it’s being held and even less by the selection of men, Laura is sure that she won’t be back for a second lesson until she meets nerdy Ben who for some reason won’t give up on her. Even when he meets her bonkers family.

What a fun and refreshing read this was! It’s fairly quick read, it took me about an hour or so which is perfect if you’ve got a long boring journey or wait ahead of you.

At first I found Laura a little stuck up but I found myself warming to her, especially when you meet her sullen teenage daughter and mother who seems intent on marrying her off!

Now I have to be honest it did feel like two separate short stories made into one, the ballroom dancing part, then meeting Laura’s bonkers family and the two aspects of the story could have been combined a little better.

Overall Let’s Dance is a fun short story perfect for a little escape from reality.

Title: A Christmas Day Kerfuffle (Scott Family Short Stories, Book 2)

Description:

christmaskerfuffle - copyA blooming romance. A trapped poodle. Can their relationship survive the madness?

After a shaky start, Laura and Ben are now getting along great. So much so that Laura dares to invite him for a Christmas Day brunch with her family. As the good tidings commence, a horrifying discovery is made. Freddie, the family poodle, is trapped. Will the ensuing biblical scale mayhem sound the death knell for Laura and Ben’s budding romance? Or is he just a glutton for punishment?


If you enjoyed Let’s Dance, you’ll love A Christmas Day Kerfuffle, the second Scott Family Short Story, by Amanda Paull. Download it today to discover whether love prevails, and Freddie cooks.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N05F9KU

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N05F9KU/

Other Retailers UBL: https://www.books2read.com/u/boZqd1

Review:

This is the second in the Scott family short story series and can be easily read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading the first, Let’s Dance.

Laura has invited her parents round for a Christmas brunch with her new boyfriend Ben. Many high jinks ensue after Laura’s dad misplaces the front door key, leaving the poor dog locked in. Will all the mayhem lead to Laura and Ben breaking up?

What a fun festive story this was! It made me very thankful for my own slightly bonkers family!

My only complaint was I would have liked to have been a little longer but that’s just me being picky.

Another super short read if you’re looking for a fun Christmassy caper.

Title: Fenella’s Fabulous Fountain Fondue (Scott Family Short Stories, Book 3)

Description:

It’s the day of the party. Laura and Ben are in love. But could a posh marshmallow put thefenellasfabulousfondue2 (3) kibosh on their relationship?

They’ve survived Scott Family mayhem twice so far, and now Laura and Ben’s relationship is rock solid. They are having a wonderful time at the Grand Hotel, relaxing in the spa and putting the final touches to Ben’s mother’s 85th birthday party preparations. It’s all going to plan.

Fenella loves her party. The two families get along fabulously. It’s a marvellous do. What could possibly go wrong?

Download the third Scott Family Short Story today to discover whether the Scotts have a cheeky little surprise of their own for long-suffering Ben and Laura.

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Fenellas-Fabulous-Fountain-Fondue-Stories-ebook/dp/B07MHFPJ2L

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fenellas-Fabulous-Fountain-Fondue-Stories-ebook/dp/B07MHFPJ2L

Review:

I’m back for the third instalment of the Scott family short stories which can be read as standalone but again I would recommend if you want a fuller picture of this crazy family, to start at the beginning with Let’s Dance.

It’s Ben’s mother’s 85th birthday and he’s invited Laura and her family along. Laura is nervous, will her parents embarrass her like they always do?

This has to be my favourite of the three stories, not just because of the fabulously tongue twisting title, but I had a bit of a giggle while reading it.

I would however have like to met Fenella properly, which I don’t think we do and see how see interacted with Laura’s family but of course that’s just my opinion.

Fenella’s Fabulous Fondue is a quick fun filled read perfect if you’ve got a few minutes to spare.

scott family full toru banner

About The Author:

Amanda Paull is a writer of humorous romantic fiction. She lives in the North East of Englandwp_20160723_13_24_54_pro - copy (2) with her husband and works in the public sector. The inspiration for her stories comes from real life, which she tries to show the funnier side of by embellishing to the hilt.

Amanda’s Website: http://www.amandapaull.co.uk

Social Media Links – Twitter: http://twitter.com/Apaullfiction

Facebook: http://facebook.com/Apaullfiction

#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

#ShortStory A Cat Named Tiger by LJ Cassidy.

I dedicate this story to my mum who would have been 69 today and to anyone who has lost someone they loved too soon.

I had best wash these dishes,” said Marion looking pointedly at her daughter Heather, hoping she’d take the hint it was time for her to go.

Instead Heather picked up the remote and switched on the TV.

I’ll just see what’s on later, shall I?”

Marion stifled a sigh, as she gathered the cups and cake encrusted plates. She didn’t want to know what was on later, she just wanted to be alone. Not that she didn’t love her daughter’s company, but it was suffocating. By herself she didn’t have to pretend everything was okay, choke down cream cakes just to make it look like she was acting ‘normally’ whatever that meant. All she wanted to do was curl up under the duvet.

Her husband Pat wouldn’t have stood for this, he would have just told her outright it was time to go, in that blunt way of his. But Pat wasn’t here any more.

She could feel tears filling her eyes.

Need a hand mum?”

No, no,” she replied a little too brightly, “I’ll do us another cup while I’m at it. Tea or did you want another coffee?”

Tea’d be good.”

She managed to get to the kitchen before the tears began to run down her face.

Corrie’s on later mum,” called Heather, “d’you want me to put it in for record?”

No, she wanted to shout, I want my husband back but she daren’t say those words out loud.

Sounds good,” she replied.

Wiping her face she filled the kettle, flicking it on then plonked the dishes in the sink with squirt of washing up liquid.

Opening up the taps, she watched the bubbles rise, trying not to look out of the window that overlooked the back garden. It had been Pat’s pride and joy but now she knew it was tangled with weed and overgrown. It was where she had found him six months ago, not breathing. She’d tried her best to resuscitate him but it didn’t work.

A brain aneurysm, the doctor said. Nothing that could be done.

She turned the taps off and pick up a plate, scrubbing too hard.

A huge thump against the window made her look up.

She was staring into a pair of green eyes.

Marion let out a small scream, as the plate slipped from her hand back into the sink sending a cascade of water over her feet.

Heather tore into the room, panting slightly.

Mum are you okay?”

With a flash of ginger fur, the green eyes disappeared.

I’m fine, it was just a cat,” Marion replied, attempting a smile. “Gave me a funny turn, that’s all.”

Heather didn’t look convinced. “How about I finish the dishes off, ay mum? I’ll bring you a cuppa in, in a minute ‘kay?”

With that she ushered Marion out of the kitchen.

********

It had taken over an hour to get Heather out of the house the previous evening, having suspected that the whole cat incident was entirely in her mother’s imagination.

Marion was now back at the sink, filling it ready for her breakfast dishes when she heard the thump against the window again.

Moving slowly, she turned the tap off and looked up. The cat stood on the window ledge outside, poised to run, its green eyes glaring at her.

Marion didn’t know how long she stood there having a stare out with the cat before it sat down on the ledge, not taking its eyes of her.

Marion had noticed the ginger fur yesterday but in the early morning sun, she could make out the almost golden stripes in its fur.

Looks a bit like a tiger, she thought.

Pat always used to say, ‘easy tiger,’ whenever she was angry in a way that had always made her laugh and forget why she was mad in the first place.

The memory made her smile.

I’m going to call you Tiger,” she whispered, reaching towards the glass.

Her fingers brushed the window and suddenly Tiger bolted leaving Marion feeling a little empty.

********

It went on like that for days. She’d fill the sink and while the water went cold and the bubbles dissolved, she’d watch Tiger but every time she made a move to get closer, he’d run away.

She noticed that he seemed to be getting thinner and the absence of a tag around his neck suggested he didn’t have a home, which gave her an idea.

The next morning she grabbed a tin of tuna and spooned it into a bowl. Opening the kitchen window outwards she placed the bowl on the little ledge and ran the water as usual.

Sure enough, a minute or two later Tiger showed up. He was wary at first having not seen the window open before but the scent of tuna must have been too tempting as he was soon tucking in with gusto.

Carefully, Marion leaned over the sink and gently stroked his back, his fur was warm under her fingers. Tiger seemed to stiffen but carried on eating.

She did it again and again but he didn’t run away. instead he let out a long purr. Tiger sloped off as soon as he was finished but that didn’t matter to Marion, she felt something she hadn’t felt in a long time, happy.

********

The next day she laid out another bowl full of tuna in the morning, opening the window a little wider.

Lunchtime came and went, she’d filled the sink several times just in case but there was no sign of Tiger.

Marion left the window open until darkness began to fall and a chill began to creep into the house.

Have I scared him off? She thought.

Unlocking the back door, she went out and placed the tuna under the window just in case.

After a terrible nights sleep, Marion wrapped herself up in her dressing gown and slippers and went outside to check on the bowl.

She sighed with relief. The bowl was empty.

Picking it up she was about to go back inside when she spotted something in the tangles of weeds.

Orange fur.

Her brain flashed back to the moment she found Pat.

She rushed over to Tiger, who was lying on his side, his breathing shallow. He’d thrown up the tuna into the grass around him.

Marion picked up the stricken cat, wrapping him in her dressing gown and she shot out the front door.

Luckily the nearest vets was only ten minutes away, her slippered feet pounded the pavement and they made it in five.

She rang the bell and hammered on the hoping there was someone in.

Mum?” said Heather opening the door, dressed in her green veterinary nurse uniform, a look of shock on her face.

Tiger…sick,” she panted holding out the bundle.

Heather became all business, taking Tiger and ushering her into the empty waiting room.

Wait here mum,” she said, “I’ll get the vet to check him over.”

Still trying to catch her breath, she flopped down heavily on to the chair. She shivered realising she was only wearing her nightie.

Ninety minutes.

That’s how long she was sitting there until a very tired looking vet appeared.

Mrs Donovan?”

How’s Tiger?” She blurted out in reply.

He smiled. “We’ve flushed his system out with some fluid and we’re going to keep him in a couple of days to make sure whatever upset his stomach has gone but he’s going to be fine.”

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes. “Oh thank goodness.”

His face turned serious. “Although I have discovered you haven’t had him microchipped. We can do it for you here, it is the law you know.”

Oh, he’s not my cat,” she then explained about the daily visits.

So what did you want me to do? Do you want to keep him or shall I phone the shelter?”

One Week Later.

The doorbell was ringing. Marion opened it to find Heather waiting with a box full of cakes. She gave her daughter a big hug, taking the cake box and guided her into the living room.

A little meow greeted them.

I see Tiger’s made himself at home,” laughed Heather, sitting down on the couch next to him and stroking his ears.

Marion sat on the other side and Tiger immediately jumped onto her lap.

How are you mum?” Said Heather.

I’m grand. I’ve got someone coming out to do the garden in the next couple of days. When the weather warms up a bit we can sit out there and have our tea.”

That sounds great.”

And I’ve a book club, get out of the house a bit. Obviously not too much, now I’ve got Tiger here.”

Heather reached over and squeezed her mum’s hand.

I got a some very surprising news off that vet of yours the other day. About Tiger I mean.”

Oh?”

He is actually a she.”

They both laughed.

Well, I think a change of name is in order,” said Heather.

I agree,” said Marion smiling. “I think I’ll call her Hope.”

Copyright © LJ Cassidy

I do not own the rights to the photo.

If you see any spelling/grammatical mistakes please comment below and I will fix them. Thank you for reading xx

Bedtime Book Review: Electric Dreams by Philip K. Dick #BookReview #Classic #SciFi

I have problems getting to sleep (like most of us) and I spotted a post on Instagram a week or so ago about putting all my electronic devices away (including my kindle) and picking up a good old book at bedtime to help you sleep.  I have to be honest I don’t think it’s helped me sleep any better but it gave me an idea for a blog post.  So here’s the first of my Bedtime Book Reviews: 

Title: Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick.

Publisher: Gollancz

Date Published: 14th September 2017

Genre: Sci-fi, Short story anthology

Description:

FROM VISIONARY WRITER WHO INSPIRED BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL, THE MAN IN HIGH CASTLE, MINORITY REPORT AND A SCANNER DARKLY COMES A COLLECTION OF TEN STORIES TO REPROGRAM YOUR MIND.

From tales of a wife who suspects her husband may no longer be the same man after a trip to deep space, to a government agent seeking the source behind a recent wave of illegal, telepathy-inhibiting ‘hoods’, these stories investigate what it means to be human in a changing world.

These ten stories inspired the ten episodes of Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, the hit TV series from Channel 4 and Sony Pictures Television. Each story also has an exclusive introduction by the writers who adapted it for the series, including Ronald D. Moore, Matthew Graham, Jessica Mecklenburg, Tony Grisoni and Jack Thorne.

Review:

So before the TV series Electric Dreams was broadcast I’d never really heard of Philip K Dick (seriously every time I type that name I giggle, yes I’m like a five year old) but having enjoyed a couple of episodes of the show I thought I’d read the original stories. That was about six months ago and I have finally got round to reading them.

The stories in this collection are, Exhibit Piece, The Commuter, The Impossible Planet, The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch, The Father Ting, The Hood Maker, Foster, You’re Dead, Human Is and Autofac.

There is so much crammed into these short stories, aliens, telepaths, dystopian futures, space travel, body snatchers I could go on!

Like with most collections there were a few standouts. My favourites were The Hanging Stranger, Sales Pitch and Human Is.

The Hanging Stranger is about a man called Ed Loyce who after spending the morning in his basement, goes to work to find a strange man hanging in the town square. Nobody notices but him. He feels like he’s going mad, is it real or is there something more sinister at work? This for me had the best ending in the entire book and out of the stories which had the theme of is this real or am I losing my mind, it just captured my imagination.

Sales Pitch is about a world gone mad from advertising (sometimes it feels like that now, doesn’t it?), you can’t go anywhere without adverts or sales bots haunting your every move. When Ed Morris (another Ed, I know) comes home he wants to escape until a robot turns up and refuses to leave, so he takes it with him to the planet Proxima in a bid to escape it all.

Then there’s Human Is, about Jill who’s husband suddenly changes, from a cold hearted bully to the husband she’s always wanted after a trip to deep space. Again even though this is science fiction, this one is a real character based story that would appeal to anyone. I mean how often have we thought you wouldn’t mind changing your other half?

These stories were written back in the 1950’s, in the shadow of the Cold War, so there were a few outdated stereotypes and language but the stories so original and unique that will appeal to most modern readers. I can also so see why so many of his stories get adapted into films, the majority of them have ambiguous or open ending just begging someone to finish or expand the stories.

Also I could have done without the introductions on each story but that’s personal preference rather than anything else.

Overall a must for Science fiction fans and lovers of dystopian fiction.

Rating: 4/5

About The Author:

Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer, whosePhilipDick published works mainly belong to the genre of science fiction. Dick explored philosophical, sociological and political themes in novels with plots dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states of consciousness. In his later works, Dick’s thematic focus tended to reflect his personal interest in metaphysics and theology.

He often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS. Later in life, he wrote non-fiction on philosophy, theology, the nature of reality, and science. This material was published posthumously as The Exegesis.

The novel The Man in the High Castle bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, a novel about a celebrity who awakens one day to find that he is unknown, won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. “”I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,”” Dick wrote of these stories. “”In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.””

In addition to 44 published novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, eleven popular films based on his works have been produced, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau and Impostor. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Up next on Bedtime Book Reviews (whenever I finish it that is) : Evil Games by Angela Marsons.

#FlashFicitonFriday Waiting by LJ Cassidy #amwriting #writerslife

Olivia settled back into a comfy chair in the living room, opening up a book. With every noise outside, her eyes travelled from the page to the window overlooking the street. After ten minutes of reading the same sentence over and over, she threw the book down.

She hated waiting for things.

Getting up, she checked herself in the mirror over the fireplace. The blonde bob framed her heart shape face nicely, glad she’d decided on a quick haircut the day before. She smoothed the lines of her flowered dress, not her outfit of choice but she had to look good today.

There was a huge slam that reverberated through the house.

Rushing to the window, she saw the familiar sight of a grey van. It looked a little like a delivery truck, except this one had steel reinforced sides and bullet proof windows.

There was a heavy knock on the door, she almost thought it was going to come off its hinges.

Walking out into the hall, she took a deep calming breath before opening the door.

Olivia was faced with someone distinctly male looking, dressed head to toe in bulletproof armour topped off with a helmet.

The helmet’s black tinted visor was down so Olivia couldn’t make out a face.

He was carrying a long cardboard box under one arm.

Excitement coursed through her, she reached for the parcel but a gloved hand clamped around hers’ squeezing tightly. It felt like every bone in her fingers were going to snap.

Malcolm, let her go,” said a woman sternly, who appeared from nowhere carrying what looked like a clipboard. “Sorry about that, can’t get the robots these days. Are you Mrs Olivia Dawson?”

The robot obeyed the woman and let Olivia go.

Yes,” she replied, rubbing the feeling back into her hand.

I’m Agent Buckley.”

She turned to look at the woman, dressed in a sensible navy blue suit and white shirt. Olivia spied a black holster sitting snugly under her arm, the butt of a gun just visible.

Can we come in?”

She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. Not trusting herself to speak, she nodded at Agent Buckley, moving out the way for them, trailing in their wake into the living room. The agent’s eyes travelled around the cosy room with large squashy sofas and bookcases lining the walls. It looked more like a library.

Where’s your wife?”

Oh, she got called into work suddenly,” Olivia said nervously. “She’s a doctor after all.”

Would they not give her the package? They wouldn’t take it away, would they? She was so close.

She frowned. “Most irregular. Anyway we just need a DNA sample to confirm your identity.”

Olivia placed a sweaty hand on the clipboard, which turned out a tablet, to give a sample.

The robot set the package on the floor.

You can leave us now,” said Buckley waving it away. The door closed after it with a mighty crash.

Can I see?” she asked excitedly.

It’s against protocol but I don’t see why not.”

Buckley pulled open the cardboard to reveal a sturdy plastic box that looked a bit like it was holding music equipment or something. She flicked open two catches and heaved up the lid.

Inside, lay the most beautiful baby Olivia had even seen.

She’s just to your specifications,” said Buckley reading from her tablet. “Blonde hair, blue eyes, rosy complexion.”

She picked up the sleeping baby gently. She was seven when natural reproduction was outlawed by the world’s governments, to curbed the swelling population.

She still remembered being wheeled into the sterile theatre and the pain in her stomach that lasted for weeks after they ripped out her womb.

Five years ago, the government told her that she wasn’t ‘stable’ enough to have a child whatever that meant. She had so much love to give, they didn’t understand.

Olivia was going to prove them wrong, she would be good for this child.

Hold on,” said Buckley frowning. “There seems to be a problem…”

Buckley went for her gun but Olivia was too quick. She pulled out the gun she’d been hiding behind the cushion on the couch. She shot the other woman in the head before she finished her sentence.

It was the same weapon she’d used to kill real Olivia and her wife earlier.

Somewhere in her brain it registered she was doing something wrong but she ignored it.

She was a mother now.

Thank you for reading!© LJ Cassidy

#Review The Beginning Of The World In The Middle Of The Night by Jen Campbell @TwoRoadsBooks

Title: The Beginning Of The World In The Middle Of The Night by Jen Campbell

Publisher: Two Roads Publishing

Date Published: 2nd November 2017

Genre: Short Story.

Description:

These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button.
That’s why I bought her heart online.’

Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.

‘I’m fascinated by storytelling, and particularly fairy tales. How humans have always tried to explain things that they can’t possibly understand with, sometimes outrageous, stories’ Jen Campbell

From the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series and The Bookshop Book.

Review:

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

When I saw this book I loved the unusual name coupled with the gorgeous cover, and I thought to myself I have to read this. It turned out to be a really eclectic series of stories. Each one different, each one unique. There’s fantasy, sci-fi, even a story concerning abuse and grief. One of them is even written in script format.

The overall theme is fairy tales, some have actually been included in the stories themselves, changed slightly. One in particular I remember is a retelling of Rapunzel where she’s half human, half plant.

I especially enjoyed two of the stories. Animals, set in a world where you can buy love in the form of an animal heart (it’s a little gruesome) and Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel, about a young girl called Ankaa who lives with her Aunt Libby, a bit of a con artist, who sells an overnight death experience but comes face-to-face with real supernatural phenomenon.

The only thing I felt was some of the stories didn’t seem finished or there was more story to tell.

Overall not a light-hearted read but each story is poignant and thought provoking.

Rating: 3/5

Author Bio:

Jen Campbell is an award winning poet and short story writer. Her debut short story collection, ‘The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night,’ is published by Two Roads (November 2017) and her first children’s book ‘Franklin’s Flying Bookshop’ is published by Thames & Hudson (September 2017).

Jen is also the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series, and The Bookshop Book. Her poetry pamphlet The Hungry Ghost Festival is published by The Rialto, and her collection in progress, the girl aquarium, won an Eric Gregory Award in 2016.

Jen worked as a bookseller for ten years and now runs a Youtube channel, where she talks about all things books. She is currently a judge for this year’s Somerset Maugham Award. She grew up in the north east of England and now lives in London.