#BlogTour : Joshua N’Gon Last Prince of Alkebulahn by Anthony Hewitt @Antonmarks : @rararesources : #BookReview

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Today I have a YA book to share with you “Joshua N’Gon : Last Prince of Alkbulahn” by Anthony Hewitt as part of the blog tour.  My thanks to Anthony for my copy of the book and also Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour. You can get a copy from Amazon UK and it is available in paperback or eBook format.

Synopsis:

When a secret world of ancient alien kingdoms and evil corporation’s clashes with adolescents, school, and homework. You won’t be able to put down this wild adventure of discovery, friendship, and coming of age!

What would you do if you discovered you were descended from ancient alien African royalty and you could hold the key to save your friends, family, and the world from evil destructive forces?
Joshua N’Gon seemed like an ordinary boy. Raised in a loving foster home in north London and a gifted student at the St Augustine private school. But as he grew older, a thirst for meaning and true purpose began to grow greater and greater…

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

On Joshua’s tenth birthday he received mysterious packages from his birth parents. Parents who had left him as a baby under mysterious circumstances. Opening the packages, he would find gifts that would forever change him both mentally and physically. Magical technology unlike anything he had ever seen and the best part, only he could use it. But his secrets would not stay that way for long. Evil forces were gathering and they would stop at nothing to acquire the powerful science behind his amazing inventions

With the help of his two best friends, Brick and Mina, Joshua sets out to develop his abilities, find his real parents and stop the Technology Billionaire Kanu Umbekwi from subjugating the planet.

Buckle up and get ready to go on an exciting thrill ride, full of suspense, mystery, and alien technology with Joshua N’Gon:The Last Prince of Alkebulahn.

My Thoughts:

Joshua N’Gom is an average student, is loyal to his small group of friends and generally a good kid. One thing is a little different about him though, he has an ability to build advanced technological objects. When I say advanced, I really mean advanced!

This is aimed at a 12-16 age group and is extremely fast paced and non stop action. Quick chapters with occasional timeline changes keep the action moving as well as giving some much-needed back-stories to a couple of the characters.

There are quite a few characters to get your head around so it does take a while to remember them but, as the story continues they do become recognisable. The plot is one that gradually unveils itself as the story unfolds, it would have been helpful if I had read the synopsis before reading the book. Yeah I’m one of those who read the synopsis when I am first approached for a tour and then that’s it.

This is a sci-fi fiction read and it’s audience is definitely a young teen that will be more used to gamer language and references. As i am definitely not in this age range I did find some of the terminology confusing. Although I didn’t understand it all I do recognise the part it plays in this story and it adds an authenticity to it.

This is the first in a series of books and it is an enjoyable read, it does have that first in a series feel to it as the scene is set for what is to come. I do think this will be a series that the target audience will really enjoy and would find it exciting. So for the age range and the subject I would say this is a book I would recommend.

About the Author:

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Anton Marks is a self-published author based in London.  His self-styled Urban Fantastic genre is speculative fiction using crime, action adventure, horror, sword and soul and sci-fi to highlight the black experience through the lens of the extraordinary. At present, he has eight books in the Amazon Kindle store, Dancehall, Bushman, Bad II the Bone, In the Days of Dread, 69, Messiah, Chauffeur and a Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel called Joshua N’Gon: The Last Prince of Alkebulahn written as Anthony Hewitt. The second in his Bad II the Bone Series Good II be Bad is due in 2018.

Join him on his journey at http://www.urban-fantastic.com.

Social Media Links –  Pintrest –  Facebook – Twitter – Goodreads

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

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#BookReview : Wildcat by JP Harker @JP_Harker

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on “Wildcat” by JP Harker. This is available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK and is the first in The Caledon Saga.

Synopsis:

Rhianwyn of the Caderyn is conflicted about giving up a warrior’s life to become a wife and mother, but her love for her new husband is enough to at least make her consider it. However, with the conquering Gaians moving ever closer to her homeland a peaceful life may no longer be an option, for Rhia or for any of her people. With rival tribes, old suitors, and the dangerous General Lepidus to contend with, Rhia soon finds her new family in unprecedented danger, and her choices now must be about more than just herself… 

Wildcat takes place in a fantasy land inspired by Iron Age Britain and follows Rhianwyn’s story as she encounters a civilisation unlike any she could imagine, and is constantly forced to learn and adapt through trial after deadly trial.

My Thoughts:

Rhianwyn (Rhia) is a woman you really do not want to mess with. She, like other women, is a  warrior of the Caderyn, women fight beside the men and are just a ferocious and deadly. As with all things, nothing stays the same. Change is on the way as the Gaians gradually take over land and the people. A truce between the Calderyn and the Gaians is formed with Rhia and her sister Gwen starting a new life to keep the peace.

This is an absolute cracker of a read and the author has created a story that is heavy in elements of Iron Age Britain. The references and general feeling of the story show the authors obvious interest for the period and at times I forgot this was actually a fantasy read. When the tribes are conquered there you understand who by as the references to them of their lifestyle, training and language is apparent. The fight for power and control took me through underhand politics and battles as the story was laid out.

The plot evolves around Rhia and her life and her roles within a tribe and also as part of the conquers family. I really liked the way the author had done this as it showed a contrast between two cultures through one set of eyes. I was able to see different traditions, rituals and lifestyles while following Rhia’s journey. It shows several sides to her as a person and I loved the way she had evolved from the first meeting to years later.

The descriptive passages of the surroundings, people and their lifestyle I really enjoyed, there was plenty to build up a vivid image but without going over the top. The author has balanced it well within the story so as not to disrupt the flow of the story. It is a story that spans several years and you get to meet a great many characters especially at the beginning, but the time span allows the other characters to be gradually introduced.

Now this is a fair old lump of a book, it is 500+ pages long and I devoured it in two evenings and was thoroughly caught up in it. I liked the historical feel to it and as I mentioned before, forgot that it is a fantasy based read with a historical inspiration. It is one I would say is an Epic Fantasy rather than a series as it has a great depth of  plot and characters.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like stories with elements Historical Fiction as well as fantasy. It is a book I completely lost myself in for several hours as it took me through a few emotions, especially towards the end. A series that I will definitely be reading more of and I would highly recommend this book to other readers.

About the Author:

JP Harker is the pen-name of James Thomas, an obsessive martial artist and history fanatic. A proud Welshman with just enough Saxon in him to make things interesting, James hails from glamorous Glamorgan, Old South Wales.

You can find JP Harker on Twitter  and his Website.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

#BlogTour | #GlimmerOfHope by Steve McHugh @StevejMcHugh |#GuestPost #BookReview @annecater

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I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for “Glimmer of Hope” by Steve McHugh, the first in The Avalon Chronicles.  Available in various formats and you can get a copy HERE. I am over the moon to have a Guest Post by Steve, he discusses his “Getting published” experiences, I wasn’t sure if I would have time to read the book in time for the tour, I should have a little more faith in myself as I can also share my thoughts on the book I did have time to read 🙂 xx Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour x

Synopsis:

From Steve McHugh, the bestselling author of The Hellequin Chronicles, comes a new urban fantasy series packed with mystery, action, and, above all, magic.
Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.
But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.
To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

Guest Post by Steve:

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting Published. 

Every author you ever speak to about how they became published has a different story. This is mine. 

I was 25 back in 2004 when my first child was about to be born, and I figured I should actually try this whole writing thing seriously. Turns out writing a book is hard. Who knew? 

It took me several years to get to a place where I had written something I actually thought worthy of publication, it was my second completed book, and was called Crimes Against Magic (spoilers, it did get published). 

I wanted to go the traditional publishing route. I just wanted to see my book in shops. I had no illusions about being a best-seller, or the next [Insert name of famous author here] I just wanted to write the best story I could, and get it out there. 

I sent query letters and synopsis to agents, making sure that I actually gave them what they asked for, and received quite a bit of useful feedback about why the book isn’t for them, but good luck. 

By 2011, I was beginning to feel a little downhearted. I’d spent the better part of a year trying to get the book published, I’d been writing other things in the meantime, and wondered whether or not Crimes was actually worthy of publishing. 

Several self-published friends of mine at the time spoke to me about how they’d been able to do well through self-publishing and that maybe I should look into it. 

Well, first I decided to send the book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award, and it ended up in the semi-finals (last 200 out of several thousand, I think). I found the whole process rejuvenated my thoughts that the book was worthwhile. I set about the self-publishing route. 

It took me a year or so to get the book properly edited, a good cover, and reading up on how to get your book noticed before I clicked upload and it was on Amazon. 

Then things got a bit unexpected. People started buying it. Quite a lot of people. 

By the end of the year, I’d published book 2, Born of Hatred, and by the January of the following year had 2 books that together had sold in the tens of thousands of copies. I was over the moon. 

Then things got even more unexpected. 

A publisher by the name of 47North (part of Amazon publishing’s own imprint) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in working with them on relaunching the 2 Hellequin books, and also writing several more for them. I said yes. 

After the third book came out a year later, I also got an agent in the form of Paul Lucas at Janklow and Nesbit. 

So, in the end I did get my books in stores, and I did get an agent, and publisher, but I sort of took a detour to get there. And none of it might have happened if I’d never taken the chance on self-publishing the book. 

After 6 years of being published, by the end of 2018 I’ll have had 10 published books and 1 novella. It’s a staggering thing to consider that I’ve come all this way in such a short period of time, and that my journey from aspiring author to best-selling author was one with so many twists and turns, with so many lows and highs. But sometimes you have to take that chance, and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but when it does, it can change everything in ways you can’t even imagine.

Follow Steve on Twitter ~ Blog ~ Facebook Author Page

My Thoughts:

This is my first experience with this author and what an absolutely brilliant introduction I had via Glimmer of Hope.  Layla is the main character in this book, a woman who has problems trusting and accepting people in her life.  She has a history and a story that is best kept secret, but she does have two good friends and she will need them as she discovers what this world and life holds in store for her.

Oh this book was a great read that hit all the right spots for me.  An Urban Fantasy with a whole range of legendary, mythological and folk-lore characters and above all magic, spirits and demons.  As Layla learns that there is more to her life than what she first imagined, she has hidden her past from others, but then others have also hidden parts of Layla’s past from her to protect her. She will discover that she does have a place and a role in life and believe when I say you don’t want to mess with her. The author has created a great mix of characters and has given enough details for the reader to see his “other” characters.

This is a fast paced, kick ass, saving the world, urban fantasy novel.  I did think it had a bit of a feel of being aimed at a YA audience. I am looking forward to continuing this journey  and read future books from The Avalon Chronicles, and also to start to read the Hellequin books. A great read that I would definitely recommend to those who like Urban Fantasy, Action and Fantasy genres, or a great start for those who want a bit of escapism.

If you want to see what others thought of this book, check out the dates and below

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Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great if you liked it.  Get your own copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BookReview : Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen @ScottKaelen

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I am sharing Night of the Taking by Scott Kaelen today. This is a short introduction to his series The Fractured Tapestry. You can get a copy from Amazon UK along with many of his other books.

Synopsis:

The Volami opened the walls of their shining city of Midhallow and invited the surrounding tribesfolk to venture within. Decades later, the two races dwell together inside the city, not quite as equals, and watched over by the ever-present Retainers. A treaty, offered by the tribes to the Volami, was to seal their tenuous union during a long-held ritual. But it was a ruse. The celebrations became the bloodiest treachery the Volami would ever know, and set in motion events that would echo down the ages.

Night of the Taking is a short entry tale into the world of Verragos and the Fractured Tapestry series, and also serves as an introduction to characters which are destined to return later in the series.

My Thoughts:

This is a short, 28 pages, introduction into what I feel will be an exciting, maybe even an epic fantasy series.  It has the right vibes for me, I am always a little nervous when I read a really thrilling intro to a series like this.

Midhallow is a city where the Volami have opened and welcomed outlying tribes into.  They live side by side until a night of betrayal and bloodshed.

With a short and sweet novella like this it is difficult to write a full review, but I will share what I experienced without going into the story details.  What you get in this 28 pages is a real sense of emotion following an unexpected betrayal, it displays emotion, a sense of shock and disbelief and also anger that will lead on into future books.

There is a wonderful amount of detail and I was quite surprised at how quickly I got caught up in the story.  My only regret is that I finished it and would have quite happily read for many hours more if this is any indication of what is to continue.

So if you are looking for a new fantasy series then give Night of the Taking a look, it’s dark, descriptive, atmospheric and has all the hallmarks of being the start of a wonderful journey.  I have just bought the next book in the series and look forward to reading it  soon.   I definitely recommend this book.

About the Author:

A10I64KPHSL._SY200_  Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories include the dystopian urban sci-fi Moses Garrett and the apocalyptic horror The Lingering Remains. His current projects include a novel entitled The Blighted City – the first major release in the epic fantasy Verragos Tapestry series – and his second collection of poetry. As well as the pen, he is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests are all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror, as well as etymology, psychology, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology, cosmology and computer RPGs. He’s also an ex-flosculator.

You can follow Scott on Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post, a share would be great.  Better still go and get a copy of this book HERE 🙂 xx

#BlogTour : The Prole Soldier by Oliver Tidy @olivertidy @CarolineBookBit #BookReview

The Prole Soldier - Oliver Tidy - Book Cover.jpgI am delighted to finally get my chance to share my thoughts with you on this, the last day of the #BlogTour for “The Prole Soldier” by Oliver Tidy.  My thanks to Oliver for my eARC and also to Caroline for my spot on the tour.  This book is available to purchase in eBook format and can be purchased HERE.

Synopsis:

In Rainbow City your colour counts.

Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

My Thoughts:

The synopsis sums up this book perfectly, the injustice, inequality, cruelty and lack of hope in this brillaint dystopian story.  The first in the Rainbow City series, and what a start it is.  Theo is nearly 16 years old and is due to start a new chapter in his life, that is the rule, that is what must happen.  The only other choice is death! Not a choice as such, but it is a way out some may think about or even choose.

Oliver has written many books, I have some on my TBR and have read only one as part of the Blog Tour last year for “The Fallen Agent” and I thoroughly enjoyed it (this is where i hang my head in shame for not reading more).  The Prole Soldier is a journey into a dystopian world, one where sectors are zones, each zone is a different colour.  The colour of the zone denotes your role in society.  If you think of the zones in “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins, then you will get a good idea of how this works.  There are many believable aspects to this book and I found similarities to The Handmaidens Tale and also 1984, but the author has brought a new, more up to date and modern feel.  I loved the world through the eyes of Theo who wants more from his life.  He does not want to do what is expected of him, or what Rainbow City dictates. He is a character with hope for something better and has the opportunity to help instigate change.

The story depicts a very real feel to the city and the zones.  The way of life for Theo and those  in the Blue Zone is harsh, basic and very unforgiving.  Yes they have food, clothes, work, electric and the very basic things needed to sustain, but there is a catch.  If you don’t work you don’t eat.  If you are ill and cannot get to work, then you don’t eat. The focus on the social injustice is told in a very addictive way through the first half of the book, then as you carry on further you sense a real change.  I am not going into details but I will say that this change is dramatic, dangerous and potentially deadly.  It is a great twist and one that I really did not expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a great atmospheric darkness and depth that pulls you into a desperate and gritty story.  Where you live makes a difference in how you are treated, the difference between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”, even here the author has introduced an opinion from those that “have”, what you discover is that life is not all that rosy from their side of the fence either.

If you are a fan of 1984, The Hunger Games, The Handmaidens Tale (there are a couple of others, but I cannot give names here as it could potentially be a spoiler), then this is a book you really need to read.  It has a gritty well written plot with a cast of characters that compliment it in a very balanced and well opinionated way.  A book that I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND and also one I am excited and impatient to read more in the series.

About the Author:

Oliver Tidy Author Image.jpgCrime 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: Website

Or follow him on: Twitter ~  Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post.  A share or a like would be great.  Or go and get a copy of this book and see what you think 🙂 xx

#PromoPost : The Torcian Chronicles : Defiance by P.J. Reed @PJReed_author : @rararesources

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I sometimes cannot read all the books I would like to ” The Torcian Chronicles : Defiance” by P.J.Reed is just one of those.  So here is a little information about it instead.  It is available in paperback and also eBook format and can be purchased by following THIS LINK. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for bringing a book to my attention that, I may not have time to read yet, but is on my list for the future.

Synopsis:

Mesham sits dejectedly in a tiny garret above an inn, as the lands of Torcia fall to the magically-enhanced army of the infamous Mivirian Horde. One of the last surviving ancient warlocks of Torcia, Mesham knows he is marked for death.

The Torcian king knocks on Mesham’s door later that evening and offers him the chance of rejuvenation in return for a seemingly impossible mission into the heart of Mivir. Mesham reluctantly agrees, only to realise the evil of Mivir has spread to the very top of the Torcian government.

As Mesham undertakes his quest to complete the mission, he finds himself hunted by his king, by the mighty Torcian warbands, and by the Horde.

But he cannot fail, for the fate of Mesham’s beloved Torcia rests in his hands.

About the Author:

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P.J. Reed – Writer of warlocks and other magical creatures.

P.J. Reed is a writer and poet from England. She holds a BAEd from Canterbury Christ Church University and an MA from Bradford University. She has been widely published in anthologies and collections.

She is an extremely eclectic writer.

She writes speculative fiction based on fantasy worlds filled with magic, intrigue and adventure. Her horror writing spills into dark fantasy worlds and explores the darkness of the creatures that walk amongst us.

To balance her dark writing P.J. also writes haiku and senryu based on her observations of living in the ever changing Devon countryside.

P.J. Reed currently lives in Devon, with a handful of teenagers, one feral cat and a dog called Fizz.

Explore her

Fantasy – http://fantasyworlds.jigsy.com

Horror – http://wickedpoetry.jigsy.com

Poetry – http://pjreedwriting.jigsy.com

P.J. Reed is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PJReed_author

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share.  Or get a copy of this amazing sounding book and let me know what you think 🙂 xx

#BookTour : A Spell in the Country by @HeideGoody & @IainMGrant with @rararesources

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for “A Spell In The Country” by Heide Goody & Iain Grant.  Published by Pigeon Press and available in paperback and eBook format.  My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

“Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch.

She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.

Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.

She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.

On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.

For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.”

My Thoughts:

Three seemingly unconnected witches are approached by a rather bizarrely dressed flaming hat wearing man called Madison.  He offer them a free 3 week retreat after they had completed a survey.  There they meet other witches, only they do not mention they are witches initially.  They discover they are the first for a course on trying to make them all more modern and progressive.  So, with a free course, a huge house, witches, spells you know something is going to go awry!

This is a great read with good mystery and mayhem added into the boiling pot (or should I say cauldron).  The mystery and mayhem pretty much start from the outset as we are introduced to the women, it has a humorous feel to it at times but with an underlying feeling of something not being right.  I am a great believer of “you don’t get anything for free” or “you don’t get ‘owt for n’owt”, this is the case with the witches.  But even though there are things going on, they do build a bond and form friendships and I think they definitely benefited in a round about way from the course.

There are several characters that are both human and definitely non human, I have to admitting to liking a certain little chap called Jizzmus the best.  He is rude, crude says the most inappropriate things and just really appealed to my sense of humour with his antics. There is a plot that gradually unfolds in this story that I am not going to delve into as I don’t want to spoil it for others, but it has darker and wicked elements.  This is a really well paced book with quick chapters.  I did however find myself backtracking a couple of times as I lost track of which character I was following, but I think this is more a kindle thing as I didn’t always notice the line breaks as the characters were alternated.

A great cosy paranormal mystery read that I really enjoyed.  Some really imaginative and well described characters, good plot and well paced.  This is a book I would definitely recommend.

About the Authors:

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Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of seven novels, two short story collections and a novella.

The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company. Their latest novel, Oddjobs 2: this time it’s personnel, was published in August 2017.  Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

Follow Heide and Iain on ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter HeideGoody and IainMGrant

International Witch Pampering Pack Giveaway

 

The package, worth over £100 contains…

  • A lacy gothic bracelet
  • A witch’s hat fascinator
  • A pair of green and black stripy tights
  • A Yankee candle in “Forbidden Apple”
  • A set of wand-shaped makeup brushes
  • A gothic notebook (for spells!)
  • A bookmark featuring a squashed witch (with just the legs sticking out!)
  • A gemstone ring
  • A gorgeous coffin-shaped vegan eyeshadow palette from Lunatick Cosmetic labs (with a bat-shaped mirror!)  

CLICK HERE TO ENTER ( Good Luck 🙂 xx )

**Check out the thoughts of other Bloggers on the tour**

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

#AudioBook : Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken #Review

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I have a first for me today on my blog, an audio book! “Six Stories” by Matt Wesolowski published by Audible Studios, this is also available in paperback and eBook format by Orenda Books. Take your pick of format and BUY HERE

Synopsis:

It’s 1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

It’s 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult Internet figure.

Featuring a full cast narration using 17 different voices!

My Thoughts:

I have never really properly sat down to listen to an audio book before, they have been background noise like a radio would be, so when I spotted Amazon running a free trial I decided it was about time I gave them a go.  Where to start and what to pick was a problem, you have 1 free purchase of any book and there are millions, literally millions to chose from.  So my choice was based on just browsing until something cropped up.  This is when I saw “Six Stories” I have this one on my wish list, it is there because of the  book reviews I had seen from fellow Bloggers and also on the Blog Tour for Orenda Books organised by Anne Cater.  It seemed like a good choice as I had not read it, wanted read it but finding the time to fit it in was a problem.  I agree not the most scientific choice, but it worked for me.  What I had not realised, or more like had forgotten about was that this book was set out as a podcast and it soon became apparent, either by pure luck or fate this book was already a good choice given its written style.  I listened to this as I was digging my garden, you may think this odd, but NO DISTRACTIONS! so it worked for me 🙂

So enough waffling, onto my thoughts.  This is story is set out as a series of podcasts by  6 different people as they recount their version of events from 1995/6 when a Tom Jeffries body is found. The podcast is produced 10 years later and is the work of Scott King and he has interviewed those who knew Tom.

OH WOW!!!! What a story, twists, darkness, atmospheric details, suspense, drama it has the lot and a hell of a lot more.  As I listened to this story there were times when I forgot I was listening to a book or a work of fiction.  You get a real sense of the characters and also the environment of Scarclaw Fell. The characters conveyed many emotions as they told their tale, some with hesitation and nerves, a sign of embarrassment or guilt maybe.  The interviewees have a reluctance about them that adds to the air of mystery, also adds to the feeling of them having more involvement than they want to admit.  I really liked the way Matt used Scott’s character by adding little asides about the little nuances he picks up from the characters as they tell their tales.  He relates a reluctance a hesitation or little visual quirks he notices in the characters, whether they are coincidental to the story they tell or just something he notices.  Again another great way to build up suspicion and suspense.

The description of the Fell were very well described, an area containing geological, historical and industrial descriptions.  A place of danger from abandoned mine shafts and marshes, with the inevitable folklore tales of a mysterious, legendary character that will trap the unwary.  There is a presence of bullying in this story, it is not nice listening to someone tell of how it had affected them it is an essential element that has been very well portrayed and Matt has not held back on this issue but has also not over dramatised it.

So as a bit of a summary, this is a real gritty, atmospheric and superb listen.  I think this is one I will definitely read as a book even though I have listened to the audio.  I did get a real sense of suspense, drama and there is a little bit of a horror element to it.  It has a feel of something very different, new and exciting about it.  On the audio side of it, the voices of the characters were good, I did find a couple of voices that I was not that keen on but it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment.  It helped that with remembering the characters, but not as much as I would remember them in a book.  I think this is a skill that can be developed over time.

This is a story I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND who want a something that is full of mystery, tales, folklore, that is atmospheric, gritty and dark.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat as the tale is told, and what a tale it was.  I absolutely loved this one.

 

About the Author:

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.

Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015, his subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2017

Follow Matt on Twitter 

About the Audio Book:

  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Mar. 2017
  • Language: English

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

#GuestPost : Nature of the Witch by Helen.T.Norwood @ThinkFitFoodFam @rararesources #Giveaway

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I am delighted to be sharing a guest post today from Helen T Norwood, author of Nature of The Witch.  I am gutted that I didn’t have enough time to read this for the blog tour, especially as it is set in my neck of the woods, Cornwall. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for a spot on this tour.

Synopsis:

Many years ago, magic prevailed in Britain. It was a time when chosen women followed a path forged by Mother Nature herself; a time of witchcraft, of the brotherhood of the Gwithiaz and of the terrifying Creatures.

This has all passed from memory a long time ago. But now, magic has returned. Kiera is the first witch the world has seen in centuries, while Jack must learn the ways of the Gwithiaz. They must not only master their crafts, but also overcome their differences and work together if they are to survive the dark enemy that lurks in the shadows.

In the rugged Cornish landscape where it first began, the two face the dreaded Kasadow: an ancient evil that has awakened and is ready to destroy them, and their magic, once and for all.

Purchase Link: Amazon UK

Guest Post by Helen T. Norwood.

5 Things I Discovered when I Joined my Local Book-Club 

It was 2016 and I’d been thinking about joining a book-club for a while.  However, there were different reasons as to why I hadn’t looked into it seriously.  The main reason being that I just didn’t feel I had the time to commit to reading.

I love reading and I always have.  At that time though, amongst working, having my first child and trying to write my first novel, my ‘to be read’ pile was steadily growing sky high.

Then I saw that a local book-club was looking for new members and I decided to join.  At the time I had just given birth to my second child.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to read regularly with two children, when I’d struggled to find the time with just one!  But I turned up with my newborn baby in tow and here are 5 things I discovered.

1) I do have the time

The club isn’t so intimidating that if I turned up one month without finishing the book I’d find myself ex-communicated.  The whole point of the group is that it’s a friendly and sociable experience where we can chat about a topic we all love- books!

However, my worry that I’d be searching for excuses each month for never finishing the books was unfounded.  Sometimes now I can read a couple of books or more a month.  Where have I found all those extra moments?  They were there all along, I just hadn’t spotted them before.  I read on my lunch break or briefly before I turn the lights out.  Book-club encouraged me to be more organised and make time for books (and I managed to write my novel too; hence the blog tour!).

2) At any stage of life it’s good to make new friends

There are a variety of ages, backgrounds, interests etc. but we all have one thing in common- we enjoy reading.  I think at any point in our lives it has a positive impact to keep meeting new people and enlarging our circle of friends.  At that time of my life, in-between the feeds, the nappies and sleepless nights, it was great to get out the house and talk to other adults about a topic other than babies.

3) It’s fun to leave my comfort zone sometimes

It’s not just the fact that I have made time for reading, it’s also that I am reading books I would never have picked for myself.  I often have a favourite author or genre or a certain type of book that I’m drawn to when choosing what to read.  The wonderful thing about joining a book-club is that I can try books that would never have caught my attention otherwise.  It’s a pleasant surprise to discover and fall in love with new authors, to learn things I never knew before or to realise that a genre I had previously dismissed is enjoyable.  That is certainly one of the best things about book-club; it widens my reading horizons and there are always new books to discover, and maybe I won’t like all of them, but I’m always glad I’ve read something new.

4) It adds to stories when I can look at it from different perspectives

I always feel slightly shocked when I arrive at book-club having absolutely loved a book, only to find the person next to me absolutely hated it.  Sometimes they pick up on things that I hadn’t noticed.  Sometimes I disagree with what they are saying or sometimes I see where they’re coming from, even if I don’t feel the same.  No matter what their opinion is, it’s always interesting to hear it and it allows me to look at the book again through a different pair of eyes.

5) Makes me think deeper about a story

When I have to verbalise my feelings about a book, it makes me look more deeply at it once I’ve finished reading.  I love a story that plays on my mind afterwards.  A good story doesn’t end straight away on the last page; it lingers and plays over again after I’ve closed the book.  However, when I know I will be discussing a book with others I want to be clear in my mind the views I want to share.  Therefore, it makes me look even more closely at what I liked and disliked, how the book made me feel; did I like any of the characters?  How did I feel about the ending?

So, if you’ve been debating whether to join a book-club, but haven’t gotten round to it yet, my advice is to give it a go.  Thanks so much to Yvonne for letting me stop off here on my blog tour.

About the Author:

Nature of the Witch - Author Pic  Helen lives in the UK with her husband, two children and one diva-like cat called Tiger. Helen, like many others, was captivated in her childhood by books from the likes of Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton and any books which took her to new worlds and showed her places of magic and mystery. She has enjoyed writing and creating her own magical worlds from a young age. She is currently writing the second book in the ‘Nature of the Witch’ trilogy which will be out soon.

Follow on: Twitter ~  Goodreads

See what other bloggers think.

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Giveaway opportunity for a copy of this book CLICK HERE 🙂

Many thanks for reading my post, please give a share if you liked it.  Or go and get yourself a copy of this book and let me know what you think 🙂 xx

#BookReview: Hardened Hearts : #anthology with @tbraun_author

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts for “Hardened Hearts” a book of 17 short stories with a foreward by James Newman and the book is edited by Eddie Generous.  My thanks to Theresa Braun for asking me to read a copy of this book. It is available in paperback and also eBook and can be purchased from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US 

Synopsis:

17 stories of difficult love, broken hearts, lost hope, and discarded truths. Love brings pain, vulnerability, and demands of revenge. Hardened Hearts spills the sum of darkness and light concerning the measures of love; including works from Meg Elison, author of The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award), Tom Deady, author of Haven (Winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel), Gwendolyn Kiste, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe and Pretty Marys All in a Row, and many more.
Hardened Hearts dips from speculative, horror, science fiction, fantasy, into literary and then out of the classifiable and into the waters of unpinned genres, but pure entertainment nonetheless.

My thoughts:

I am going to give a brief few lines about each story.

40 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MONSTER LOVER – Gwendolyn Kiste: The loner of the group is dragged along to a party.  She accepts a drink from a man she knows is married, she knows she shouldn’t. There are lots of things she shouldn’t do but does. The man is likened to that of a wolf, he is the hunter, she the prey.
IT BREAKS MY HEART TO WATCH YOU ROT – Somer CanonL: Love does not last forever.  It lasts until the last breath.
WHAT IS LOVE? – Calvin Demmer: He is a lightening bird, a rare creature that feeds on blood.  He is controlled by witch doctors and can take human form.
HEIRLOOM – Theresa Braun: Rachel has an antique mirror, an heirloom. She is with a client when the mirror moves, this plus the strange dreams she has been having and also the unsettling client gives a dark and unsettling read.
THE RECLUSE – John Boden: He is besotted with his co-worker Emily.  He thought she was “the one”.

DOG TIRED – Eddie Generous: Prince and Cassandra are driving, desperate to stay awake.  They cannot allow themselves to fall asleep.  There are beast in the shadows, they carry an infection.
THE PINK BALLOON – Tom Deady: Grace wants to go to the fair, Dad has been busy, is tired and grumpy.  Mum takes her instead.  Walking around is unsettling for mum, be better if her husband was with her.  Grace sees a balloon seller, clowns and stalls.  He should have gone with them.
IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO – J.L. Knight: He still has her breath, it has been captured in the balloons she blew up.

CONSUMED – Madhvi RamaniHe is a married lawn mower sales man, she is recently divorced.  They meet at conferences, trade shows and have elicit meetings.  He is in over his head, out of his depth and then there are the lies.

BURNING SAMANTHA – Scott Hallam: She is Samantha, not Sam.  Ready to attend the Spring Dance with Andrew.  This is a night of change, missed and now lost opportunities.
CLASS OF 2000 – Robert Dean: Didn’t plan on murder today.  Didn’t mean to murder Alex at all.  But he was a bully and a low life, pushed things too far.
LEARNING TO LOVE – Jennifer Williams: Falling in love too fast and too often leaves scars.  Love hurts.
BROTHERS – Leo X. Robertson: Growing up is part of life.  There are mistakes and regrets.  Going over old memories, visiting diaries exploring the past.  This is the longest story, it is diary entries from a group of teenagers, who they are and what they did.
PORCELAIN SKIN – Laura Blackwell: Ruth is sent a music box, it belonged to an old friend who died 13 years ago.  She still misses her.
THE HEART OF THE ORCHARD – Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi: When Melissa father dies the farm has to be sold.  It goes to neighbours and Melissa is able to live in their guest house.  She still grows peaches when an old man comes to her with some advice to improve them.
MEETING THE PARENTS – Sarah L. Johnson: She is trying to describe her boyfriend in a letter to her parents.  It is better if they know some things before they actually meet him.
MATCHMAKER – Meg Elison: Getting over a break up is never easy, especially when you ex can be seen on a dating app with a new hairstyle and smiling.

Back to My Thoughts:

These stories are a really good mix.  There are supernatural, modern, occult, folktale-ish, modern and creepy but all have elements of love in them in all it’s various guises.

This is a great book for dipping in and out of, pick a story, read it, maybe read another….or get completely engrossed and read in pretty much one sitting, it wasn’t the plan !

They range from a couple of pages in length to several, but they all make their point and are interesting and intriguing.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like the dark side of love, short stories with twists and thorns.

Many thanks to Theresa Braun, one of the authors, for sending a copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and unbiased.

Many thanks for reading my  post, give it a share if you liked it.  Or go and grab yourself a copy of this book 🙂 xx