#BookReview : The Burgas Affair by Ellis Shuman @ellisshuman

The Burgas Affair by [Shuman, Ellis]

I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on “The Burgas Affair” by Ellis Shuman.  It is available as an ebook from Amazon UK and Amazon US.  I was offered this book via the author and I was happy to accept an eARC of it. My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Synopsis:

She’s an Israeli data analyst. He’s a headstrong Bulgarian detective. Together they must track down those responsible for a horrific bombing.

In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria, Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence agencies launch a joint investigation. Detective Boyko Stanchev on the police task force teams up with Ayala Navon, a young Israeli intelligence analyst on her first overseas assignment.

The two must establish whether the terrorists were assisted by a Bulgarian crime organization in laying the groundwork for the attack.

It should be a routine investigation, but shadows of the past keep interfering.

Boyko’s interactions with a crime boss pursuing a vendetta against him threaten to throw him off track. Ayala’s pursuit of the terrorists and their accomplices brings up painful memories of a family tragedy.

Boyko and Ayala form a shaky alliance, one that evolves into growing cooperation and affection as they desperately race against time to uncover who was behind the Burgas bombing.

The Burgas Affair is a fictional account of the aftermath of a very real terrorist attack. On July 18, 2012, a deadly explosive rocked a tourist bus at Burgas Airport, killing five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorists responsible for this murderous attack have never been brought to justice.

My Thoughts:

Ellis has used real life events of the bombing of a bus at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria as the basis of his story.  He has used his unique knowledge and experiences to add extra dimensions to his story.

This story begins with the bombing, it is hard to read but, as I mentioned it is based on truth.  The bus has Israeli passengers at the Burgas airport. Ellis has not glorified the event.  A Bulgarian-Israeli joint investigation is organised, this is where we meet our Bulgarian detective Boyko, “this is what everyone calls him”, and also Israeli translator Ayala.  From the outset I loved Boyko’s as a character, he is a chauvinistic arse, but also has a little bit of lovable roguishness about him, and as the story progresses things about him change, his mask slips and we see a slightly different side to him.  But his past is about to rear its ugly head, secrets never stay secrets forever.  Ayala has her own story, and her story is one I imagine is unfortunately quite a common one for many.  Working together means working on building up a measure of trust and understanding between the two of them.

The story of the investigation techniques and differences in how things are done was interesting, as well as the attitudes between the two nationalities as they are part of a joint investigating team.  Adding into that both Boyko and Ayala back stories and blending the past and present was done very well.  There was a good amount of Bulgarian and also Israeli extras included, words, food and also the odd custom and tradition.  This was part of the Boyko and Ayala storyline, so fitted in well as they learnt about each other.

Overall a book that starts very dramatically, that then twists and turns its way through several themes.  It was a very insightful read with good attention to details, and a lot of little added extras that the author has used to create a dramatic, exciting edge of the seat read.  A real page turner from start to finish and one I would definitely recommend.  Ideal for readers of crime, thriller with good amount of action, adventure.  I also want to mention how after reading this book, that the cover is a perfect accompaniment.

About the Author:

Ellis Shuman Ellis Shuman was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and immigrated to Israel as a teenager. He completed high school in Jerusalem and served for three years in the Israeli army’s Nahal branch. Along with his wife, Jodie, he was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel in the Arava Valley in Israel’s south. On the kibbutz he worked in agriculture, industry, tourism, the dairy barn, and served as the kibbutz’s general secretary. After moving with his wife and three young children to Moshav Neve Ilan in the Judean Hills, Ellis received formal training in the hotel industry. He worked in a variety of positions at the Neve Ilan Hotel and later was Food and Beverage Controller at the Jerusalem Hilton. He served as the moshav’s general secretary during a period in which the community underwent major social changes. As a hobby, Ellis began writing on the Internet. He wrote extensively about life in Israel in his position as the Israeli Culture Guide at About.com. He designed and maintained websites for the Neve Ilan Hotel and for Indic–Independent Israeli Cinema. For two years he was webmaster for Yazam, an international financial firm that provided support for technological start-ups. Ellis served for three years as Editor in Chief of Israel Insider, an online daily newsmagazine that developed new technologies as it posted the latest news and views, from and about Israel. Starting in 2004, Ellis began working in a marketing company servicing the online gaming industry. In the years 2009 – 2010, his job was relocated to Sofia, Bulgaria. During those years, Ellis and Jodie traveled extensively in Bulgaria as well as in the countries of the region. Today Ellis continues working at this job, based in Ramat Gan.

Follow Ellis on Twitter  or on his Website

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy a copy of this book xx

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#BlogTour : Standstill by J. A. Marley @jamarleybooks @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681

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I an delighted to be part of the blog tour to share my thoughts on “Standstill” by J.A. Marley is available as a paperback and also eBook, published by Bloodhound Books.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (21 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1912175878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912175871
  • Available from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Even the deadliest criminals leave a trail…

When a psychotic policeman drags the young, ambitious thief, Danny Felix out of bed, he could not imagine he was about to be plunged into the robbery of a lifetime.
Corruption and coercion follow the corrupt Detective Inspector Harkness everywhere he goes and now he has Danny just where he wants him.

But Harkness isn’t the only officer with Danny in his sights. Christine Chance is getting closer to him while doing her best to be a mother to her seriously ill daughter.

Can Danny escape Harkness with his life intact? Can he avoid detection by Chance?

And does he have what it takes to use the streets of modern-day London to pull off the theft of the 21st Century?

Danny thinks he can…but there will be bloodshed. 

My Thoughts:

Danny Felix is a thief, he is a good thief.  But when dirty cop D.I. Harkness raids his flat and doesn’t give him a choice but to work for him, Danny realises he is on uncertain ground.  Danny knows in his gut that working for a dirty cop is not going to be a good relationship.  Add into this story a flying squad officer Christine Chance, she is torn between work and her critically ill daughter. Christine has had a great lead and result on a crime, but when more information comes forward regarding other crimes, she also has a feeling that doesn’t quite sit right.

This took me a while to get into, I think is was the quick chapters and the way they flitted between characters, also the quick introduction to the characters.  But as I started to get a feel for the story things began to fall into place and things started to make sense.  The pacing of the story was one of those that gradually builds as you progress through.  The plot itself was really good, transported into the murky underworld of crime and its associates, corruption, good cop ‘v’ bad cop and blackmail.  I did have a slight issue with the story of Christine and her daughter though, I had trouble believing that she would leave the bedside of her critically ill daughter to go to work. It was the only part of the story that I just didn’t feel right about, the rest of the story I was completely fine with.  As for the rest of the story. The main characters themselves are very varied, with different  outlooks and expectations on life, for some past deeds come back to haunt them.

This is a book that I really enjoyed, it was a very well thought out and executed plot, some great characters and twists.  If you like action, adventure, crime, corruption and police drama reads, then this is one that I would recommend.

My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join this blog tour.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

John Marley, 27April2016, photographer Bronac McNeill

 

John A. Marley’s writing career started with a poem about two brothers who both liked sausages…their names were Butch and Dutch and his Primary School teacher Mr. Murray liked it so much it made the main noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Child Primary School in West Belfast.  A little older but none the wiser, he ended up as a film journalist in his native Northern Ireland, contributing to local newspapers, BBC Radio Ulster and latterly writing as the main film critic for the glossy magazine, Northern Woman.

 

John’s love of good stories came from the Irish predilection for telling a good yarn and the fact that there was nothing quite like sneaking away his Dad’s battered paperbacks to read even though he knew they were meant for adults and not kids. And so pulp fiction such as The Edge Westerns by George G. Gilman, the adventure novels of Alistair MacLean and the thrillers of Jack Higgins all served to whet his appetite for a good story told at pace.

 

These days, his reading tastes still focus on thrills, spills and good plot and he can’t walk by a James Lee Burke or an Elmore Leonard without pausing to read a few pages…even if it is in a busy bookshop. 

 

John A. Marley is also a TV producer with a proven track record in creating and producing distinctive, original entertainment and factual programming and formats for both a UK and international audience. His eclectic portfolio of high-profile shows include Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAFBritain’s Flying PastStaraokeBest of FriendsSkatoonyNoel’s House PartyThrough the KeyholeSMTV:Live/CD:UKHow Euro Are You? and live coverage of “The Oscars” with Barry Norman.

 

John runs his own production company Archie Productions which he launched in 2008. Prior to setting up his own indie, John enjoyed a wide and varied career in television with creative roles at Talent Television, Planet 24, Carlton Television and Walt Disney UK. John’s broadcast media career started in his native Northern Ireland as a radio host.

 

Follow John on Twitter or his Website

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it please give a share.  Or better still , go and get yourself a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : The Book of Dust – Volume One – La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman

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This is a book I have been looking forward to reading for a while now.  I decided it was going to be my New Years Eve read.  Phillip Pullman’s “The Book of Dust” volume #1 La Belle Sauvage, published by Penguin Random House and David Fickling Books.  It is avaialble in a variety of formats,

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books; 01 edition (19 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385604416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385604413

Synopsis:

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them; a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

 

My Thoughts:

It was an absolute delight to be going back to Pullman’s version of Oxford, to a time before His Dark Materials trilogy.  This book begins when Lyra and her daemon Pan are babies and how Malcolm and his daemon Astra meet Lyra and Pan for the first time.

Beginning in Oxford; we meet Malcolm and Astra, he is the son of The Trout Inn owners.  He helps out there and also at the nearby priory of Godstow doing odd jobs and chores for the nuns.  It is also when the authorities start to show themselves. There are several secret organisations that have their own motives and Malcolm is soon caught up in the middle of them.  A surprising the change in the weather leads to some dangerous and surprising twists that will take us on a journey down the Thames.

This is a book that I was eager to read and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was one of those books I knew I was going to love even before I started it.  It starts slowly as the story is set and the various backstories and introductions to the characters are made, then it gradually speeds up as the plot is unravelled and unveiled.  The characters are a real mixed bag of the good, bad and ugly, new characters mingled in with some old ones and the villains are indeed villainous.  Pullman has retained the air of mystery around the intentions of characters, you never know who is to be truly trusted and I love this aspect. The plot has, as you would expect, been very well-developed and has a good amount of twists that I am sure will continue into the next book and beyond.

So did this book live up to my prior expectations? Hell yes and then some, it is Phillip Pullman, it is part of Lyra’s story so what is not to love.  Now comes the agonising wait for the next book 😦

If you have read His Dark Materials you will love this book.  It is a highly recommended read from me xx

I have a hardback copy of this book, I always take off the dust jacket when I read one so I don’t damage it.  Look was hidden underneath it

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About the Author:

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Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on 19th October 1946. The early part of his life was spent travelling all over the world, because his father and then his stepfather were both in the Royal Air Force. He spent part of his childhood in Australia, where he first met the wonders of comics, and grew to love Superman and Batman in particular. From the age of 11, he lived in North Wales, having moved back to Britain. It was a time when children were allowed to roam anywhere, to play in the streets, to wander over the hills, and he took full advantage of it. His English teacher, Miss Enid Jones, was a big influence on him, and he still sends her copies of his books.

After he left school he went to Exeter College, Oxford, to read English. He did a number of odd jobs for a while, and then moved back to Oxford to become a teacher. He taught at various middle schools for twelve years, and then moved to Westminster College, Oxford, to be a part-time lecturer. He taught courses on the Victorian novel and on the folk tale, and also a course examining how words and pictures fit together. He eventually left teaching in order to write full-time.

His first published novel was for adults, but he began writing for children when he was a teacher. Some of his novels were based on plays he wrote for his school pupils, such as The Ruby In The Smoke. He is best known for the award winning His Dark Materials series, consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it please give it a share, also go and buy yourself a copy of this fabulous book 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Operation Hail Storm by Brett Arquette @brettarquette

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I am sharing my thought today on “Operation Hail Storm” by Brett Arquette.  Available as paperback, eBook and audio book formats.

Synopsis:

Marshall Hail was a husband, a father, a Physics Nobel prize winner and industrial billionaire. But when Hail’s family was killed in a terrorist attack, he became a predator and redirected his vast industrial assets toward one goal, removing every person on the FBI’s Top 10 Terrorist list. With the help of his MIT colleagues, Hail designed and built a devastating arsenal of attack drones of all shapes and sizes that are flown by the nation’s best young gamers. The world will come to realize that Marshall Hail possesses the capability of getting to anyone, anywhere, at any time, unleashing an operation so disturbing that the CIA has named it Operation Hail Storm.

My Thoughts:

Marshall Hail is a billionaire, he lost his wife and children in a terrorist attack two years prior to the story starting, now he is hell-bent on retribution.  Using his money, brains and intellectuals around him he is able to create super advanced weapons and technology to enable him to start removing those who were responsible, and stop further terrorist attacks and in doing so also make the world a better place.

This is a fast paced book, but I did find that some of the technical narrative was a little to intense for my understanding.  That being said, for the most part I did enjoy this book.    There were quite a few characters to get to know, and the main players soon became recognisable. I liked the basic premise of the story-line, a sort of modern-day Captain Nemo if you like, Hail is effectively an ultra rich vigilante, who in his heart wants to make the world a safer place and to also provide a cleaner safer energy source, the two ideas do work well together.  I also liked the idea of the American Government asking for his help to catch a weapons dealer.  If you are thinking why would they do this, well Hail had already proven his worth by assassinating a military leader who is on Top 10 Most Wanted, but also is also way for the US Governmental agencies to try to see what new gadgets and tech he has. So this then throws in an element of conspiracy and spying, adding another twist to the tale.

This is a book that I did enjoy, but found that I did struggle with a lot of the technological terminology, I think I needed a “dumbed down” version that would have made the story flow a little better.  After reading the book, I then had a read through the author’s bio, and found a mention of him being a “Chief Technology Officer” and also in cutting edge technology.  Given this background I think a reader who likes more technical genres would fare much better than I did.

If you like action advernture, military style fiction read with technical aspects, and government involvement, then this is the book for you.  I would like to thank the author for sending me an eARC of this book, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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The middle child of five, Brett Duncan Arquette was born in 1960 and anointed with his mother’s pen name “Duncan”, given to him by Mystery Writer’s of America Grand Master award winner, author Lois Duncan. During her career, his mother Lois has written over 32 best selling young adult books, some of which have been made into movies, including the movie “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Hotel for Dogs”.  Brett was raised in New Mexico and moved to Florida on his 30th birthday.

Arquette spent most his career working as the Chief Technology Officer for one of the largest Circuit Court Systems in Florida. In 2002, Computerworld Magazine selected Arquette as one of the “Premier 100 IT Leaders” in the world, describing him as a “visionary” in reference to the cutting-edge technology. His books are peppered with technology acquired from his vast experience in advanced computers and audio/video systems.

Arquette is also the Editor in Chief of the Court Technology Forum, Contributing Editor for eWeek Magazine, columnist for ComputerWorld and SmartComputing magazines, all of which has helped to create a loyal fan base and lots of traffic on his website. Writing on the weekends, Arquette’s first book, “Deadly Perversions”, was published in 2002. His additional titles are “Seeing Red”, “Tweaked”, “The Pandemic Diary”  and “Soundman for a B-Band”.  He is proofing his new adventure into Young Adult writing with a series of “HAIL” books with the first one called “Operation Hail Storm”.  Mr. Arquette’s primary aspirations are to quit the 9 to 5 grind and become a best-selling author, following in his famous mother’s footsteps.

Mr. Arquette currently resides in the Sunshine State with his wife and three children.

Follow the author on Twitter ~ Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com (1 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1365452549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1365452543
  • Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it please give it a share.

#BookReview : Hunting Nora Stone by Colin Weldon @colinweldon

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Hunting Nora Stone” by Colin Weldon today, a self published book available in paperback and also eBook.

Synopsis:

Taken from the streets, no money, no family, Nora Stone is transformed by a black ops division of the CIA. Her body, now a mixture of sophisticated bio-engineering, has become a lethal weapon. A weapon that has disappeared. Eddie Conrad, an Ex Navy seal turned military analyst, is counting the days to when he can be officially discharged. His nightmares, following a year in captivity in Syria, the only survivor of a mission gone wrong, are growing worse. When the bodies of a tactical team sent in to find Nora Stone show up horribly mutilated, Eddie is coerced into going back into the field to find her. But Nora wants to be found, is waiting to be found. And is ready to take revenge

My Thoughts:

Nora Stone, a nobody who is part of a top-secret bio-engineering research and development program and she has gone AWOL.  Eddie Conrad has been ordered to bring her in.  He has the support of a tech geek and a psychologist, they have no real field experience, but have invaluable knowledge and background of Nora.  As things evolve in the story, Eddie soon realises that he does not have all the facts, things don’t smell right and discovers that there are secrets, cover-ups, lies and corruption.  Also that there are things that are more top secret than top secret itself.

This is a well paced book that I really enjoyed reading.  It has a technological aspect to it, with computers, bio-engineering and various other things, but to be honest it is not an intense information overload, it gives enough to make you realise that this is advanced science but not so much that you get bamboozled. What starts off as being a woman hunt, takes a few turns and reforms into something else, very nicely manipulated to add some good plot twists.  It has a good deal of conspiracy, corruption and secrets of a military aspect, that goes down well with this reader.  The characters themselves I found to be memorable, and soon recognised them and their roles, there is not a huge cast, which for this book is perfect given the top top-secret aspects.  They are gradually introduced as the story progresses.

So given that it is a book with a technology side to it that I would not understand if too advanced, I found it to be an enjoyable, well paced book, that I actually felt I understood and made sense.  I really liked the idea behind it, the bio-engineered or super soldier aspect.  As I said I really liked this, it is a book that put me in mind of Universal Soldier meets Jack Reacher.

I think this would appeal to readers who like a military style action adventure read, with an element of slight sci-fi, with a good deal or corruption and conspiracy thrown in.  A book that I would have happily read in one sitting if I didn’t have to go to work.

My thanks to Colin for sending me a e -copy of this book, my views expressed are my own and are unbiased. I will add that there were a couple of typo’s but nothing that detracts from the story and my enjoyment of reading it, and I have not accounted for these in my rating of the book on Amazon or Goodreads.

About the Author:

14769995I am from Dublin, Ireland and have been writing most of my life. I studies Journalism and then went on to do an MA in Screenwriting. I love travelling, reading but most days you’ll find me sitting in one of the many coffee shops around the city trying to write stories.

Follow Colin on : Twitter ~ Website

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1975773772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1975773779
  • Purchase from Amazon UK  ~  Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy this book xx

#BlogTour : The Prisoner’s Wife by Gerard MacDonald : @AuthorightUKPR @gilbster1000 @Authoright #BookReview

Today I am pleased to be sharing my thoughts on the blog tour for “The Prisoner’s Wife” by Gerard MacDonald.  Available in hardback or as an eBook. 

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312591802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312591809
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

From the CIA headquarters to the danger zones of Morocco and Pakistan, undercover agent Shawn Maguire is embroiled in a sinister conspiracy and an unlikely romance in this exhilarating debut spy thriller.

Shawn Maguire, unemployed American spy, has been paid to find a young Iranian now being interrogated in one of the CIA’s black prisons. The prisoner’s location remains unknown – he may be in Fes, Cairo or even Peshawar – but Shawn has every confidence that he’ll find his man eventually. Based on his time as an agent, it’s an assignment he knows he can handle. But there’s one person he’s not sure even he can handle: the prisoner’s wife.

The Prisoner’s Wife is a political thriller ripped from today’s headlines; a tense trip through the murky worlds of state–sponsored terrorism, nuclear politics, secret American jails and lawless rendition. Conspiracies abound in this sophisticated and suspenseful novel, with its crackling dialogue and evocative, lawless landscapes. Maguire is a first-rate protagonist, complicated and heroic, and writer Gerard Macdonald does an expert job of capturing the casual ambivalence of the American intelligence officers in their rendition campaigns and keenly observes the cynical manner in which operatives prop up or depose criminal leaders depending on Americas own needs.

My Thoughts:

Shawn Maguire is an ex American spy who has problems with whiskey, women and a whole lot of other things.  As he is unemployed he takes on a job that will call on his previous experience to find a missing man, Darius Osmani.  During this he will meet Danielle, to see what she knows of her husbands disappearance.  The journey will take them to Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan, with a lot of twists and danger.

Now I have to admit that I really struggled to get going with this book.  The information was intense, a mass of names, places, agencies, and back stories.  But I persevered, there was hints of things I liked, conspiracy, underhanded and illegal government agency involvement and with that obvious corruption.  As the story progressed  I found I was becoming quite addicted with it, the pace quickened, or maybe it was reading that quickened as my understanding improved, and with this the story began to unfold. When I had finished I had thoughts of an almost Jack Reacher style character with strains of John Le Carre, and it makes an interesting mix.

There are many characters with Shawn being the main protagonist, who initially I wasn’t that taken with, but did have a change of heart by the time I got to the end of the book.  They do become recognisable the more you read.  Back stories are discussed as the current story unfolds, it does add another angle and gives some good depth to the main characters.

This is a book I think that readers that like political thriller, action, government conspiracy and manipulation would enjoy.

About the Author:

Author Gerard Macdonald lives in West London and is currently working on a short series of political fiction books.   Author Website

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give a share.  Better still, go and buy the book.

November Book Round up. Blog tours, blitz’s & reviews on Me and My Books.

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This month has been a very busy reading month for me.  With a whole range of different genres, authors and publishers. With 25 books read and a guest post as I was unable to read a further book in time, I can say it has been my most busiest month as far as reading goes ever.

So to start with the Blog Tours, I was involved in.

Absolution by P.A.Davies | Scream Blue Murder by Tony. J, Forder | Dark Chapter by Winnie. M Li  |  The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett  | Illusion by Stephanie Elmas  |  Into The Valley by Chris Clement-Green  |

There were a number of different Blog Blitz tours as well. 

Wormwood by Larry Enmon  | The Dead Whisper by Emma Clapperton  | Secrets & Fries at The Starlight Dinner by Helen Cox |  Christmas at The Little Knitting Box by Helen. J. Rolfe  | The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali

Books sent to me for my thoughts on them, or that I offered to read.

Dinner At The Happy Skeleton by Chris Chalmers  | The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw   | Living in Italy, The Real Deal by Stef Smulders  | Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux    |  Sweet Maple by Michelle Visser

NetGalley gave me a chance to start to read books aimed at children, as well as for my usual genres.

Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley  | The Price of Silence by Delores Gordon-Smith  | Three Days a Life by Pierre Lemaitre  | Hortense and the Shadow by O’Hara Sisters  | The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

Finally a few books from my TBR Pile.

Bone by Yrsa Daley Ward   |The LimeHouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd | Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek by Anthony O’Neill
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Finally I received the most amazing Guest Post from Peter Bartram.  Author of “Crampton of The Chronicle” mystery series.  I have rad some of his books in the past, but I just could not squeeze another book into my reading schedule. His post about Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman to be hung in England, has a link into his new book. GuestPost by Peter Bartram.

 

 

 

 

A big ” Thank You” to everyone who has shared, tweeted and commented over the month.  As well as a huge “Thank You” to the authors, tour organiser and publishers.

If you liked this post, or any of the other links to my posts, please give them a like or a share.  Or better still, go and buy the book 🙂

#BookReview : Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux @Bulletjac : @Propel_Tech : pub by Shuvvy Press

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I wish to thank Propel Technology for sending me a copy of “Hit The Road Jac” by Jacqui Furneaux.   The story of her journey over seven years to 20 different countries all on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet, with no plan.

Synopsis:

“Read this and you’ll want to go on an adventure. Jacqui’s tale is not just obviously inspiring, but her story makes you think about the pleasures of nature and simplicity; about taking the time to just stand and breathe life in, something we all quite wrongly think we don’t have the time for. Her words reminded me of myself as a child, being inventive, imaginative and at times pretty cheeky to get what I wanted. Though clearly tough and dangerous at times, her journey seemed to create joy, a self-made joy. Nothing better. I’m a huge fan of her trip, it’s made me think…… I bet it will make you think too….!” SUZI PERRY

My Thoughts:

Wow!  is an understatement for what Jacqui has been through in her seven years of travelling and has described in this book.  She has pushed her way through things that most people would shy away from.  This lady certainly likes a challenge.  For her 50th birthday she bought her Enfield, in the following 7 years she travelled on it around India, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, South and Central America visiting 20 countries on her journey, with only occasional trips back to the UK to see her family.

As Jacqui leads you through her adventure you also learn of her own life.  She explains why she made the decision to travel and she does it in an honest way.  She is quite candid as she travels to new places and meets new people, as well as her own personal journey as she finds herself.  She shares how she dealt with the ups and downs of life, love, family, relationships and travel, just like the cover of her book.  A game of snakes and ladders, all ups, downs and working your way through to an end goal.

Along the way she became a well seasoned and respected traveller, keeping an account in her diaries.  She has learnt how to repair and maintain her bike that has taken her across mountains, beside volcanoes, deep gorges and passes with the occasional mishap.  She has been in the odd accident, bruises, scraps and broken bones, but has recovered to continue her journey and survived to tell the tale.

This book is written in a very easy to read style, it covers a whole range of things that make up a really interesting travel memoir.  It has a humorous side to it at times, and is also pragmatic.  It has an edge of the seat feel and a great all round read.  She shares her feeling on the places she has seen, the kindness of strangers and that some of the places she visited will never be seen again.  Her travels started in 2000 and since then their has been civil unrest, conflict and war that has changed the landscape as well as damaging or destroying buildings.  I love the fact that the bike is still going!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of Travel Memoirs, Travel Guide, Educational, Reference, Biography and Non-Fiction books.  I can think of a couple of my own family members that would be interested in reading this book.  I think different people will take different things from it.

About the Author:

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Picking up my brand new Enfield from the showroom in Chennai, India.

In 1998, after bringing up a family and being a nurse and health visitor, I set out on a year’s journey, on my own for the first time ever. I started backpacking in Thailand and explored many South-East Asian countries armed only with wide-open eyes and a guide book. Six months into the trip and feeling quite the adventurous explorer, I went to Pakistan and India before returning to the UK.

But I found I really liked travelling and although at my age I really should have known better, I set off again, this time combining my love of travel with my other passion … motorcycling. I’d owned various Japanese motorbikes over the years since passing my test aged 24 but had never had an Enfield!

Exchanging guide books for road maps, for my 50th birthday I bought a 500cc Enfield Bullet in India and rode it, initially alongside the Dutchman who had suggested the idea. None of it was planned. I would not have dreamed I’d be having this chance of a lifetime when I should have been saving for my retirement. But life’s too short not to take a chance. 

Follow Jacqui on her Website  or Twitter , her website is well worth looking through, there is loads of great content.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Shuvvy Press (2 Sept. 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0956430562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956430564
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

I would like to express my thanks to Propel Technology for sending me a copy of this book.  My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.  The pictures are from Jacqui’s website, a site I recommend visiting.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy the book.

#BlogTour : The Fallen Agent by @olivertidy org: @CarolineBookBit

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The Fallen Agent released on 10th October 2017.  

I am really excited to be part of the blog tour for this book.  My thanks to Caroline  for allowing me a spot.

Synopsis:

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

My Thoughts:

Well where to start with this book.  First off I absolutely loved it.  It is a book that I am finding very hard to review without giving away any spoilers.

It starts with a murder, but of the wrong person.  From there the reader is transported to New Zealand, this is the new home of the intended victim.  Jess Albion has been given a new identity and a new life.  It is not one she had ever envisioned for herself, but her past still visits her in her dreams and nightmares.  These dreams soon start to become reality, all she had left behind of her own life comes rocking up and smashing her door down.

With the help of Nathan, her colleague in MI5, they intend to try and discover the truth behind not only the way she had been disgustingly mistreated at MI5, but also how a rumour of a possible biological terrorist on London. This begins a dangerous game of cat and mouse, lies and double crossing for the search for verifiable information on this possible threat.

As I said from the outset, I do not want to give anything away.  It is a deep and well constructed thriller that has action and intrigue from the get go. It has that “edge of your seat” feel to it, with a pace that suits and is maintained throughout, a real page turner to see what will happen next. The characters in this book are a definite mixed bunch,some I really, really liked, then there are some real “slime balls” that I despised, others that I just down and out loathed, and then the odd surprise where I changed my mind about them.  Is it wrong to like a baddy just a little bit ? The plot of the story is quite big for the size of the book, there are a good amount of twists, that keep you guessing and at no point did I feel confused while reading.

If you like espionage, crime, thriller, backstabbing action packed, creative and well written book then you will not go wrong with this.  It ticked so many boxes for me, and it is my hope that other readers will feel the same way.

Author Bio:

Oliver Tidy Author Image

                                                                                         Crime writing author Oliver Tidy has had a life-long love affair with books. He dreams of one day writing something that he could find in a beautifully-jacketed hard-cover or paperback copy on a shelf in a book shop. He’d even be happy with something taking up space in the remainder bin, on a pavement, in the rain, outside The Works.

He found the time and opportunity to finally indulge his writing ambition after moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language to young learners eight years ago.

Impatient for success and an income that would enable him to stay at home all day in his pyjamas he discovered self-publishing. He gave it go. By and large readers have been kind to him. Very kind. Kind enough that two years ago he was able to give up the day job and write full-time. Mostly in his pyjamas.

Oliver Tidy has fourteen books in three series, a couple of stand-alone novels and a couple of short story collections. All available through Amazon (clickable link to Am Author Page). Among his books are The Romney and Marsh Files (British police procedurals set in Dover) and the Booker & Cash novels, a series of private detective tales set in the south of England and published by Bloodhound Books.

Oliver is back living on Romney Marsh in the UK. His home. He still wakes in the night from time to time shouting about seeing his books on a shelf in Waterstones.

For more on Oliver Tidy and his books, check out his website: https://olivertidy.com/

Or follow him on:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/olivertidy
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Oliver-Tidy-467297426793288/

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1586 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B075QHKG8P
  • Amazon Link

Many thanks for reading my post.

#BookReview : The White House Files by Sara Cobb : @writesarawrite

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This book is available now on kindle.

Synopsis:

She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.
They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Smithsonian archeologist, Roslin Williams gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to excavate the areas where The White House once stood. When she uncovers an Air Force One plane containing human remains and a mysterious briefcase, she’s determined to dig up any information on the airplane and the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in, to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?

My Thoughts:

This book is set hundreds of years in the future, the main protagonist Rosalin Williams is part of an archaeological dig in what is thought to be the grounds of the White House.  It is during this dig that the discovery of Air Force One is made.  It is all witnessed via a “live news-feed” across the country and also by a mysterious, generations old secret organisation.  The realisation that Roslin has unearthed something that could expose and threaten their existence is too much for them to allow her to continue.  When they go after Roslin to stop her discovering what is contained within the plane, they find she is not to be intimidated, also that she will risk much to get to the bottom of her discovery.

This was quite an interesting read.  Yes, it is set in the future, but does not have loads of futuristic, gadget tech terminology in it.  It is set hundreds of years in the future, but at times you forget that and easily think that it is only decades and not ceturies, mainly due to this lack of terminology, for me it made the story flow easier, without tripping and stumbling over terms that could confuse.

The characters are recognisable and drew a range of emotional reactions as I read, the main one is Roslin, she is a reasonably strong character, stubborn and principled and, though she does take a while to warm up to Mark Appleton, their partnership does work well.  The plot, though basic, is quite light, has a good pace to it and keeps the story flowing and interesting.  It kept me occupied to read it in almost one sitting, and intrigued me enough to keep turning the pages.

Overall an interesting book that has a prequel or first book feel to it, and I would be interested to read another if there is a follow on book. I think this would appeal to readers who prefer a more lighter futuristic read, with non of the geeky futuristic terminology in. A good book for an entertaining lazy afternoon read.

Book Details:

  • File Size: 2134 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0745XFGH7

Purchase on: Amazon UK | Amazon US

 

 Author Links:

Follow the Author on : Blog SiteTwitter | Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post, if you like it, please give it a share.