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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Killing Bay By Chris Ould Blog Tour

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Chris Ould's latest novel continues his Faroes Series which began with The Blood Strand. I'm new to this series so diving straight in to book two I was aware that there was a continuing narrative from book one but it wasn't too difficult to catch up. The book has two main protaganists local detective Hjalti Hentze and English policeman Jan Reyna. Jan is visiting the islands for his father's funeral and to try to learn more about his mother who died when he was a child and to try to reconnect with his birthplace. Jan and Hjalti have already been through an ordeal in the first book and now Jan is spending his time walking the hills and learning more about the islands and his family. Hjalti meanwhile is dealing with a murder. In the wake of a protest against the traditional Faroese whale hunt or grind, a female photographer working with the protest group is found dead, while the initial  signs seem to indicate a sexually motivated attack, Hjalti is not so sure and as he …

Ambulance Girls Blog Tour

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I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Ambulance Girls by Deborah Burrows. Deborah Burrows is a bestselling Australian author of fiction set during the Second World War. Although her previous books were set in wartime Australia, Ambulance Girls is the first in a new trilogy set during the London Blitz. Lily Brennan is an Australian girl who came to Europe looking for adventure. She was working as a nanny in Prague when the German occupation of Czechoslovakia began. Having witnessed brutal attacks on the streets particularly of Jewish citizens Lily makes her way to London and before long she is working as an ambulance driver. The work was not without risk and at times Lily puts her own life in danger to help others. Lily becomes close friends with her colleague; Jewish ambulance attendant David Levy and feels aggrieved when some of her other colleagues make racist and anti-semitic remarks. When David disappears Lily is worried and asks his old school friend the dashing RAF…

Arrowood by Mick Finlay

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Arrowood is the debut novel from Mick Finlay. It's set in South London in 1895 and it features a consulting detective, but this is not Sherlock Holmes. The tagline for this story is "London Society takes their problems to Sherlock Holmes everyone else goes to Arrowood." Arrowood is fat, balding, often drunk. He's a terrible brother an even worse employer and friend and he hates Sherlock Holmes with a burning passion. The police generally aren't interested in his help so he has to use unconventional or even illegal methods to find information but somehow he and his partner Barnett seem to get the job done. When a young French woman seeks their help in locating her missing brother Barnett and Arrowood soon find themselves embroiled in a mystery that includes a dangerous criminal gang, Irish American revolutionaries and corruption at the highest levels of power. The writing is furious and fast paced Finlay knows his way around Victorian London and like Arrowood he k…

The Moonstone's Curse by Sam Siciliano

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The Moonstone's Curse is the latest title in Titan Books Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series. I am always happy to read anything set in the Sherlock universe and this book was a fine addition to that world neatly blending plot and characters from Wilkie Collins The Moonstone with Sherlock's London society. Well to do aristocrat Charles Bromley seeks the help of Holmes and his cousin Dr Henry Vernier because he believes his wife is in imminent danger. His wife Alice has inherited the priceless diamond known as the Moonstone from her father Neville who inherited it from his mother Rachel Verinder the original recipient of the diamond in Wilkie Collins novel of 1868. Bromley goes on to explain the diamond's bloody history and the belief that Alice's ancestor had stolen the diamond during the siege of Srirangaptana and murdered the man tasked with guarding it. Alice is convinced that because of this bloody history the Moonstone is cursed. She believes that it kill…

What you Don't Know Blog tour

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Joann Chaney's debut novel is a dark and addictive literary thriller which looks at the aftermath of a serial killer and the impact on those who survived. Three people are forever linked by their connection to Jacky Seever a notorious serial killer who was arrested and sentenced to death 7 years earlier after 33 bodies were found buried under his house. There's Paul Hoskins one of the officers who arrested Seever and exposed him as a killer but Hoskins has never been able to get Seever out of his head and it's impacted every part of his life, his marriage is over, his father is loosing his memory and he's been kicked out of the homicide unit to work in the basement on the cold cases. Sammie Peterson reported on the case when Seever was arrested, her name was splashed all over the papers alongside his, but seven years later she can't get a story accepted and she's working at a make up counter at the mall wondering where it all went wrong. Gloria Seever should h…

Romance in Fiction

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As it is Valentine's Day I felt I should write a little about romance especially as I will be writing about serial killers later. Generally I'm in favour of romance in novels but I'm not a fan of novels which are just 'will they won't they' stories and I can't stand romance that feels unconvincing. I prefer when the romance seems to happen amongst the chaos of everything else in the story. Obviously the writer knows what they are doing but it's much more enjoyable for the me if the romance is part of the story not the purpose of the story. A good example of this is one of my favourite book series Outlander in which 20th Century nurse Claire Randall accidently travels back to the 18th Century and is forced to seek protection from an English Army Captain by allying herself with a Scottish highlander James Fraser and she finds herself falling in love with him.
However I specifically wanted to talk about Romance in Young Adult fiction. Firstly because it&#…

Madwomen in the Attic #4 Elizabeth Griffith

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Elizabeth Griffith was born in Wales in 1727 to Thomas Griffith a well known Dublin actor-manager and his Yorkshire wife Jane Foxcroft, however she was raised in Ireland and educated by her father. She read both English and French and her father encouraged her to recite verse, no doubt anticipating a life on the stage. Her father died in 1744 and by 1749 Elizabeth is listed as an actress in Thomas Sheridan's company (husband of Frances Sheridan) Sometime in the early 1750s Elizabeth secretly married Richard Griffith and in 1753 they moved to London and she began performing at Covent Garden. When her husband's business failed Elizabeth turned to writing; publishing her courtship letters and following those with poetry and drama. She also translated a number of works from French. She achieved enough success that she could seek employment with the famed David Garrick for whom she wrote The School for Rakes in 1769 and though other plays followed they were less successful. Elizab…

The Witches of New York by Ami McKay

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The Witches of New York is the third novel from bestselling author Ami McKay. While the new novel sees the return of Moth from her previous novel The Virgin Cure it can be read as a stand alone. The story opens in New York in September 1880 with Moth; now Adelaide and her dear friend Eleanor who have opened Tea & Sympathy a tea shop where they offer spells, remedies and advice to the well heeled ladies of Manhattan. While Eleanor is the expert on remedies and tea, Adelaide is a talented seer and happy to proclaim herself a witch. Having lost an eye to an acid attack from a jealous rival she revels in her witchy appearance. The ladies workload has increased and so Adelaide places an advert seeking an apprentice and Beatrice comes into their lives. Beatrice has travelled from small town upstate New York seeking adventure and magic and she is a wonderful addition to the store but it soon becomes obvious that she has incredible magical abilities. While Eleanor wants to help the girl t…

The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin

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Sophia Tobin’s third novel is a gothic thriller with shades of Jane Eyre, Jamaica Inn and Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith. Annaleigh has accepted the position of Housekeeper at White Windows in Yorkshire. Determined to begin anew, Annaleigh is shocked to discover that White Windows is much more remote than she had anticipated, that the servants are truculent and the owners mysterious. Brought up in bustling London Annaleigh was a foundling brought up by a painter and his wife she had anticipated a different life believing herself to be part of Mr. Calvert’s family but when love seemed to blossom between his stepson and adopted daughter Mr. Calvert is happy to have Annaleigh move away. Broken hearted and apparently without family Annaleigh quickly becomes fascinated by her darkly mysterious new employer Mr. Twentyman. The parallels between The Vanishing and Jane Eyre are obvious; the educated young woman fallen on hard times, the brooding hero, the gothic setting of the big house and the rem…

Madwomen in the Attic #3 Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)

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Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) was born on December 25th in Dublin in the early 1780s. She was always rather elusive about the exact year of her birth. Her father was actor-manager Robert Mac Owen who changed his name to Owenson. although he was Irish, Owenson spent much of his youth in London and so he met and married an English girl Jane Hill before the two travelled to Dublin to settle permanently. Robert Owenson set up a theatrical company in Dublin and Sydney and her sister Olivia spent a great deal of time there. Sydney was mostly educated at home with her sister, they lived on Dame Street in her early childhood but after her mother's death in 1789 her and her sister were sent to private schools around Dublin and then moved to Sligo were their father was working as an actor. There was some financial problems for the family and when Sydney was in her teens she had to accept work as a governess with the Featherstone family of Bracklyn Castle. Sydney blossomed at this point as s…

Before You Go Blog tour

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I am delighted to be involved in the blog tour for Clare Swatman's debut novel Before You Go. This is the story of Zoe and Ed. Just a few pages into the book Ed is the victim of a traffic accident and Zoe is left alone and devastated. Before You Go is the story of how Zoe gets the chance to revisit all the significant moments of their lives; university, friendship, jealousy, travel and marriage and second time around Zoe tries to say and do all the things she wished she's said the first time. This is a cleverly structured book which delves back into the protagonists shared past and lets Zoe examine every step they took together or apart as she attempts to prevent fate from intervening. A perfect escapist read and ideal for fans of One Day, Me Before You or The Time Traveller's Wife.

I asked Clare some questions about her inspiration for the book and about writing in general. This is what she said. Clare also has some great writing advice especially for parents and TV watc…