Which Books… Marie Laval

Marie has a new book coming out TOMORROW! So I sat down with her for a chat about her favorite books

So here we go…

Which book do you wish you’d written. MarieLaval (4)

Kate Mosse’s 2005 novel Labyrinth, without a doubt! I loved everything about that novel – the dual timeline, the history of the doomed 13th century Cathars who were persecuted and their castles destroyed, the heroine’s mysterious quest and the fact it was set in the beautiful French city of Carcassone….

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

I love the cover of Delphine de Vigan’s novel ‘Rien ne s’oppose à la nuit’ (Nothing Holds Back the Night) – and isn’t that a gorgeous title? The woman is beautiful, enigmatic, and so very stylish in her black polo neck. She looks like a character in a Nouvelle Vague film from the late Fifties, and you can’t help wondering who she is smiling to…This cover reminds me very much of family get-togethers in France when we used to spend hours at the dining table and everybody used to smoke and talk at the same time…rien-ne-s'oppose-a-la-nuit


Which book character/s would you protect from the world.

Quasimodo in Alexandre Dumas’ The Hunchback of Notre Dame. From the day he was born people feared him, used him and treated him like a monster and a ‘creation of the devil’. Nobody except Esmeralda was prepared to get to know him and see beyond his appearance…

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

I have recently re-read Delphine de Vigan’s novel ‘No et Moi’ (No and Me), in which quirky and super intelligent thirteen year old Lou endeavours to rescue a homeless young woman from life on the street. It’s a wonderful, emotional novel too told through the eyes of young Lou and one that made me want to reach out to No. Homelessness is a cause very close to my heart…

Which book would you make children read.

Every time I suggested books to my two sons as they were growing up, it was a flop and they rarely finished them so I gave up and let them choose whatever they wanted from the library. My daughter however was from a very young age an avid reader, and it was a joy picking books for her. When she was about eight I directed her towards Enid Blyton whose books I had loved as a child (especially ‘Le Club des Cinq’ which was the French translation of The Famous Five).

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

I would rewrite Bluebell’s Christmas Magic as a historical gothic novel, give the ghostly grey friar a central part in the story and make Belthorn Manor a much creepier and scarier place!

If you could write any genre which one would it be.

I would love to write poetry or song lyrics. A few words can paint a story, convey emotions, and transport you somewhere else, or simply puzzle you and make you think, and good verses or lyrics stick in your mind for years… I read a lot of poetry when I was younger, and verses still randomly pop up in my mind. French poets Verlaine, Hugo, Aragon and Eluard are my favourites, as well as Jacques Prévert who had many of his poems turned into songs.  

If you could redesign any book cover which one would you choose.

Another tough question, Claire! I really don’t know… Designing a book cover is a skilled and complicated job for which I am absolutely not qualified, but I would love to give a book of M.R. James ghost stories an atmospheric and disturbingly creepy cover if I had the talent to do so…

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

That’s a very tricky question, Claire! I spent quite a lot of time thinking about it, looking through my bookcase – real and virtual. So many books made a lasting impression on me, and for all kinds of reasons, and I couldn’t choose just one…

Then I stumbled upon a book my son’s girlfriend gave me a couple of years ago. It’s called ‘Extreme Ironing’, which his supposedly ‘the latest adrenaline sport combining the thrills of outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.’ You would be surprised to learn how many extreme ironists there are out there who record ironing exploits at the top of mountains, the bottom oceans, or whilst jogging or trampolining!

That silly book really made me smile, and reminded me of an important ‘lesson’: don’t be afraid to be yourself and follow your dreams even if others think you’re daft or crazy. You will always find people as crazy as you to understand you and be your friend!

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021.

Grown ups, the latest Marian Keyes. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and Wurthering Heights by Emily Brontë, which I have started several times but never managed to finish… This time, I want to try to read it to the end!




An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song …

When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.

As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger …



Amazon   images   Kobo


You can keep up with all things Marie Laval related

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Kirsty Ferry’s other books can be found here.


Check out my Meet The Family post with Marie HERE!


Book Review: The Source @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks



1996. Essex. Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.

My Thoughts

In my bedside table in the bottom draw buried at the bottom safe from the world is a book called “I Let You Go” by Claire Mackintosh, if I owned The Source  in paperback that exactly where this book would be going I usually read books and then take them to a charity shop or pass them onto friends but not for books like this, they need protecting…

This is an equally heart-breaking book, that explores some of the worlds most uncomfortable subjects Child abuse, grooming, trafficking and when those who are a position of authority abuse their status.

This book is set over two time periods and two characters called Marie and Carly, Carly a young girl who is struggling to look after her younger sister and alcoholic mum while her brother is away with the military and Marie who has worked her way into working in a newsroom. Where she is on the front line of breaking news stories and in the scrum to break the story before another newsroom gets there first. Sarah’s knowledge of how the newsroom and the media work shines through in Marie’s storyline.

There is so much more I want to say about this book, I just don’t know where to start or how to put my feelings into words except this has been one of those books I feel needs protecting from the world.

You can contact Sarah via





The Source is already out in Ebook or you can pre order the paperback below.





and all other online retailers…


Which Books… Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty has a new book coming out TOMORROW! So I sat down with her for a chat about her favorite books

So here we go…Kirsty

Which book do you wish you’d written

Nice and easy one to start with. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – it’s got some of the best phrases in ever, and to be able to write a book which has stood the test of time, like this one, would be incredible.

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal. It caught my eye in Waterstones, and the whole hardback was beautiful, with gold edged pages as well as a little ribbon bookmark. It simply fell into my hand. Funny, that.

the doll

Which book character/s would you protect from the world.

Sounds a bit daft, but the boys from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I studied it for my degree and it suddenly struck me that those adventurous boys would be called up in WW2 to fight. It was a horrible feeling and made me feel quite sad – it must have been a good book to strike me in that way, though.

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

I’m very careful not to read books that break your heart! The world is horrid enough at the minute as it is. I know I have had tears streaming down my face at certain books in the past – but I’ve actually blanked them out. Again, it sounds crazy, but I was emotional writing a certain scene in my own book The Girl in the Painting!  Not that I suggest every author is emotionally attached to their characters…well, actually, yes we are. However, I suppose one that inadvertently broke my heart was Us by David Nicholls. I felt so sorry for the narrator. He was trying so hard to keep his relationship going, and his wife and son were just generally horrible to him. I did like the TV version, as it closed a loop that was sort of left hanging at the end of the book, so I was happy about that.

Which book would you make children read.

I have made him read Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning, my favourite childhood book. Also, the Just William books and the Secret Seven, Famous Five and The Magic Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton. And Stig of the Dump!

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

That’s a hard one. Can I again return to my own? I did rewrite A Secret Rose from it’s original Gothic Romance/Victoria Holt genre to a dual timeline/timeslip – it’s still got a hint of the Gothic in though. I started it in 1997! If I really enjoy a book, why mess with it?

If you could write any genre which one would it be.

I’m lucky in the fact I do write in my favourite genres – dual timeline, timeslip, ghostly goings-on with a bit of Gothic Romance thrown in if I can sneak it by. I’ve also done some romantic comedy contemporary books, and that’s  a genre I’d like to pick up again, as it makes you feel cheerful when you write it, as well as read it. Again, ideal for these weird old times. Who wants to read about reality??? Not me.

If you could redesign any book cover which one would you choose.

Oh dear. I don’t know. I know how much thought goes into book cover design and it’s a hugely specialised field. I think there was bone chinaone I railed at a while ago for the simple reason that the heroine’s hair was a different colour on the front to what it was in the story and that irked me. I do dislike the ripped bodice, half naked Highlander ones. And maybe, if I was being truly picky, I’d change Bone China by Laura Purcell – nowhere in the book is a little girl. There is an adult who is treated like a child – but no little girls. But that is, as I say, extremely picky, because the rest of the cover is lovely.

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

I have no idea. I’ve always read for pleasure, never for ‘bettering myself’ or for the sake of sounding literary or highbrow. In practical terms, I would say The Secret of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph was invaluable when my son was little.

The best advice I ever read was ‘let them win the battle, then you will win the war’, closely followed by when you’re telling your child off, let them know it is their behaviour you’re complaining about, not them; so you say, ‘I love you very much but I don’t like your behaviour here.’ They were miracle worker phrases, honestly. Lots of positive reinforcement was encouraged as well.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021.

I’d probably take my Kobo and my Kindle and then I could choose some old favourites I like to  reread. Beyond that, it’s whatever I’ve picked up at the bookshop beforehand – something light hearted and summery would do the trick. I don’t like having to work at my reading – it has to be easy to read and engage me so I can really chill out and enjoy it.




Coffee, cake and cats …

These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one …

Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.

When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own …by little … one by one




You can keep up with all things Kirsty Ferry related

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Kirsty Ferry’s other books can be found here.

Check out my Meet The Family post with Kirsty HERE!


Happy IWSG Day!! – January 2021 #IWSG @TheIWSG

Insecure Writers Support Day!


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts are Louise – Fundy Blue ,Jennifer Lane,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

So here we are again…

Book two is pretty much ready to go, I have a title and have seen cover designs, book  two edits have also been harder so god help me with book three…

Started to become very disheartened with it all tbf, I don’t think I care anymore. 😦 So how am I expected to write / finish book three I will never know.

My health has also been pretty shite,  the headaches are back with reverence! and the everyday toll of real life has been difficult….

Sorry I am not very positive about everything….

Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

I have made some friends from blogging but alot of those have been crossed over from social media fellow author Lucy Mitchell and Lesley Budge to name a few.


 Perfect Liebook cover

Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

Kindle: https://smarturl.it/lxta8s
Kobo: https://bit.ly/36T7mO0
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Nobble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V
Audible: www.audible.co.uk

Which Books…

Which Books…

I am starting a new blog series called which books…

My first guest will be my fellow debut Helen Bridgett whose second book will be out tomorrow!

So here we go…

Which book do you wish you’d written. profile pic HB

Oh – any book that has sold millions then has been adapted for TV and film! It would be lovely to develop something that appealed to so many people and of course the money would come in very handy!

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

I did like the red tipped pages of The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle – couldn’t stop stroking them!!

Which book character/s would you protect from the world.

I always wanted to know that Mouse from The Tales of the City series was okay and I’m currently reading Where The Crawdads Sing so I’d like to protect Kya – I don’t know what happens to her yet.

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

The only one I remember breaking my heart was Germinal by Emile Zola – it’s a pretty bleak depiction of 19th century France and the plight of the working classes. Not a cheery read by any stretch of the imagination!

Which book would you make children read.

As I loved Enid Blyton I’d say her books and The Wishing Chair and Faraway Tree are fabulous for young imaginations.

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

That’s a really difficult question! How about the Bridgerton series as Sci-Fi where all the handsome Dukes are actually aliens!

If you could write any genre which one would it be.

I’ve written both Rom-Com and psychological thriller now and over the course of 2021, I’ll be releasing more books in these genres. However – historical fiction does appeal as I do enjoy researching my novels so perhaps I’ll look into that.

If you could redesign any book cover which one would you choose.

I’m really not a designer so will have to pass on this one. I do know that covers are so important in attracting readers so the designers have a really important job and I applaud their skills.

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

There’s a line from a Barbara Kingsolver book that always sticks in my mind  

“It’s the one thing we never quite get over. That we contain our own future.” 

I think it might be from Flight Behaviour. I love her books and this stood out.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021.

Oh gosh – I am hoping that a holiday will be possible soon but can’t guess which books I’ll take until I know where or when we’ll be going!  Will it be something sunny or Christmassy? Who knows? Meanwhile, I’ll stick to my reading corner at home and pretend I’m on holiday – I just need to mix a cocktail for the full effect!

516iJL3c4rLWhen practising what you preach is easier said than done …

Professor Maxie Reddick has her reasons for being sceptical of traditional policing methods, but, in between her criminology lecturing job and her Criminal Thoughts podcast, she stays firmly on the side lines of the crime solving world.

Then a young woman is brutally attacked, and suddenly it’s essential that Maxie turns her words into actions; this is no longer an academic exercise – this is somebody’s life.

But as she delves deeper, the case takes a sickening turn, which leads Maxie to the horrifying realisation that the attack might not have been a one-off. It seems there’s a depraved individual out there seeking revenge, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it … little by little … one by one




You can keep up with all things Helen Bridgett related

logo_thumb800@Helen_Bridgett                         Facebook-Xperia Helen Bridgett Author


Check out my Meet The Family post with Helen HERE!


Meet The Family – Ella Cook

Ella and I signed for Ruby Fiction at around the same time as I did and we took part in the Choc-lit festival last year. So with her first book finally being released I was so excited to sit down for a chat again.

Ella dimples


Hey Ella, and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I am really looking forward to learning more about your book “Beyond Grey”


What inspired you to write “Beyond Grey?”

A truly horrible journey home. We’d been visiting my parents, and got caught in a truly terrible storm around 30 miles from home. We’d come too far to turn around, and we were miles from services. It was all too easy to imagine an accident could happen. So that’s where the opening line and the storyline in which Jenn dies unexpectedly came from. 

As to the idea of life after death, and that spirits could be around us and watching over us even after they’ve left our world? It’s something I’ve always believed in. There have been moments of inspiration, feelings of guidance, and white feathers in my life too. 

What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?

I’d read a lot of their books in the past, and knew the name. I saw the Ruby imprint at about the same time my amazing group of writing friends were nagging me to start submitting (and stop being such a wimp). The stars aligned and here we are (though maybe there was some guardian angel type intervention too?) 

If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?

Scrap the self-doubt. Quit the pity party (because I was good at that!) and get on and WRITE. Write what you love, and what you would want to read, and hopefully others will love it and want to read it too. 

Oh, and get a decent lap desk. I’m terrible for writing on the couch, and it’s not good having my laptop on my lap! 

If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?


Probably cooking, or crocheting. Or reading. Or video-calling with friends. Although, there is a 15,000 piece jigsaw of star constellations taking up half the dining table as well that we need to finish. It’s too cold for gardening, and we’re back in lockdown again! 


How did you deal with rejections when you started out?

Really badly. 

When I first finished Beyond Grey, I sent it to a couple of agents, got no replies, and moth-balled it. Which was one of the silliest things I could have done. But it does mean that I got to meet the amazing team at Ruby, and that my debut is right in the middle of a pandemic.  

Beyond Grey is primarily a story about healing from grief, and finding the light beyond the agonising grey of bereavement. It’s about hope, and who doesn’t need a bit more of that right now? 

What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just do it. Open a notepad – or a new document – and just write. Learn the basics – things like punctuation, structure, how to tag dialog – and then just write. And don’t get disenchanted when your first drafts are less than perfect. You will almost never read the first draft of anything from a good writer: It will have been reviewed and edited – probably multiple times – before you get to see it. So expect to edit too. 

Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?notebook-4048796_640

I don’t really have any. I work full time, so write as and when I can. The nearest thing I probably have to a ritual is making sure I have a big cup of tea nearby. I also always try to jot down notes to myself as to what I want to write next – it makes it so much quicker and easier to pick up the next day! 

Which authors inspired you to write?

There have been so, so many. My reading taste is eclectic: Terry Pratchett, Tamora Pearce, Enid Blyton, Judy Blume. And most recently, Ann Evans. 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

A bit a of mix I think. There will always be love and romance of some kind in my books – that’s just who I am. And hopefully humour as well, because I think it’s needed in life. And there will always, always be hope and happy endings. 

More About Ella

Ella’s been obsessed with books since she was a toddler. She decided to become a writer as soon as she realised that stringing letters together in the right order could actually be a career.  

She grew up in the outskirts of London, where fairies lived at the bottom of her Grandma’s garden, so it isn’t surprising that she still looks for magic in everyday life – and often finds it. 

When she’s not living in a fantasy world of her own creation, she writes bids and develops programmes for children’s services. She lives in rural Warwickshire (where there are probably more fairies) with her husband who is ever loving and understanding, and makes her gallons of tea in magical cups that can keep drinks warm for whole chapters.  

Throughout lockdown, Ella’s spent a lot of time cleaning (who hasn’t), crocheting rainbows, and writing. She’s got two new novels in progress – but did take a few breaks to write a stories (featuring a lot more dinosaur poop and talking animals than her usual style) for some very special youngsters spending birthdays in shielded lockdown.  


@EllaCookWrites       Facebook-XperiaWritten by Ella


Check out the YouTube video of Ella, Helen and myself chatting during the Choc-lit festival

thumbnail_Beyond Grey by Ella Cook

What if you became an outsider in your own life?

Jennifer Hughes doesn’t have an extraordinary life, but that doesn’t matter – she loves her family and enjoys her job as a teacher. In her eyes, her unextraordinary life is utterly perfect.
But then, in the blink of an eye, Jennifer finds herself cut off from everything she knew and loved, confined to a strange new world and forced to watch from a distance as her family and friends pick up the pieces.
Can Jennifer hold her perfect life together, even though she’s not living it herself




Pre Order Here

images  Kobo


Top Books / Authors of 2020

This year has been pretty strange as I am sure everyone can agree. I have also been reading more again as I have been working from home and needing to find away to separate the two.

I have read fifty books and there has been some outstanding reads! This time round I wanted to do things a little different and highlight some amazing books i’ve read this year, but still take the time to acknowledge the greats that keep putting out amazing books that I have read this year @mredwards came back and gave us all what we had been asking for the completion of the Magpies storyline. I was relieved to be about to read an @callytaylor book and not feel totally rung out afterwards and it was named after my most favourite thing in the world Sleep! Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction wrote another fab book The Family which I finally managed to read. Angela Marsons @WriteAngie kept up the strong Kim Stone story line when I read Blood Lines, I just wish I managed more than one of her books a year!

So on to notable books I’ve read this year…

First off to stop him hogging three separate spots is Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken 

The review for Deity can be found HERE while reviews for the other two and the rest of the series can be found HERE 

The Nowhere Child


The Nowhere Child by Christian White @CWhiteAuthor took me by complete surprise and I really enjoyed reading it! This wasn’t the typical missing child story and the reveal at the end was totally unexpected.


Three Hours by Rosmund Lupton @Rosamundlupton there had been a lot of chatter about this book when it was released. So I was really keen to read it and was over joyed when I didn’t have to wait for the paperback when the kindle price came down. There is alot of reference in this book to Macbeth that made me wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I was up on story and references. There is also a lot of “after reading” with this book if you are interested in finding out more about some of Amerian school shootings.

What Lies Buried                                  https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1497872244l/35478806._SY475_.jpg

Shaddow Man an What Lies Buried by Margaret Kirk @HighlandWriter

I won both of these books from the author during Virtual Noir At The Bar, and DI Luka and his team have now become a firm favourite of mine for 2020. These books are very atmospheric and not to be missed for Scottish crime fighting.

As Weekends Go (Choc Lit)                              https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1584730572l/52533086._SY475_.jpg

A surprise addition to my reading this year As Weekends Go and If I Ever Doubted You by Jan Brigden @JanBrigden

Both these books felt like they were giving me the inside track on life as a famous footballer and the girl next door that ultimately fall in love. This isn’t a “love story” and offers something far different from your typical romance book. I felt myself cheering for on the characters in these books and I am crying out for more from Jan in this genre.

The Moscow Whisper (Sean Richardson, #3)

The Moscow Whisper by Michael Jenkins @FailsafeQuery has continued his high standard of writing. I raced through this book like I had done with the previous two making sure Michael keeps his standing in my top reads of 2020.

Instructions For Falling In Love Again

Instructions For Falling in love again by Lucy Mitchell @LucyMitchAuth another book completely away from my genre. This is such a nice book and had me sobbing into the night. It is just a nice book about people failing in love after loss and people turning there life around for the better.

Reckoning Point

Reckoning Point by J M Hewitt @JMHewitt like Mark Edwards above J M Hewitt finally gave us a follow on from the Exclusion Zone. It was so good to find out what what happened to the characters and brought alot of the stories to a final satisfactory close. Will there be more to come from Alex Harvey and Ellen? Who knows.. Also I got round to listening to Exclusion Zone on audio and it was everything I remembered and more… SOB SOB SOB when hearing it brought a whole new “feeling” from when I read it in a Spanish airport coming home from our cruise.

A Killer's Wife (Desert Plains, #1)             The Hallows

A Killer’s Wife and The Hallows by Victor Methos @VictorMethos I read the neon lawyer ages ago, so was happy to read more of Victor’s work. I was also super excited when one of the above books was on Amazon first reads! I have a secret love from legal thrillers and Victor’s books scratch that itch.

Good Samaritans (Detective Sergeant Pace, #1)  Nothing Important Happened Today (Detective Sergeant Pace, #2)  Hinton Hollow Death Trip (Detective Sergeant Pace #3)

Good Samaritans, Nothing Important Happened Today and Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver @will_carver I may have slightly cheated here and listened to these on audio, but would definitly read them when given the chance. Reading them at times did pose the question of is Will Carver okay? Does he need urgent physiological help? Though if you can’t write it all in a novel where else can you do it? I do prefer that he is writing it thought…

Stone Cold Heart (Cat Kinsella, #2)

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear @CazziF I’d had this one on my shelf for a while and was so glad to get round to reading it. Though I have missed the first one in the series I will be most certainly be reading more about Cat Kinsella and her questionable past.

Stay Mad, Sweetheart

Stay Mad, Sweetheart by Heleen Kist @hkist is a #MeToo / #Timeup novel and is most certainer one of my books of 2020, with it’s strong female cast and important themes. I felt that this book is SO IMPORTANT in today’s society that as soon as I read it I past it on for someone else to experience! I really hope there is more to come from Heleen because if her writing continues at this standard she is bound to go far.

The Source

The Source by Sarah Sultoon @SultoonSarah I still need to write a review on this, but I have no idea how I am going to manage it. As there is so much that needs to be said about this book…

Dead Man’s Daughter (DI Meg Dalton, #2)

Dead Man’s Daughter by Roz Watkins @RozWatkins continues along the same path that her debut The Devil’s Dice laid. A terrible crime but there was no way that super natural forces could be in play or could they? I am eagerly awaiting her third book Cut to The Bone that I brought just before Christmas! If Roz continues along this path I know I am going to love it.

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors by Sadie Ryan @The__SadieRyan  is a book I raced through as the sense of panic ramped up until I couldn’t turn the pages any quicker! A great story about family and what people do to protect what they love and what people will do for revenge.

A Deeper Song (D.I. Hannah Robbins #6)  See No Evil (D.I. Hannah Robbins #7)

A Deeper Song and See No Evil by Rebecca Bradley @RebeccaJBradley my Nottingham crime writing sister? Once again Rebecca has taken her lead character Hannah and made her life hell and with each book it seems to be getting worse. When I felt that Hannah’s life had finally settled down wham! Rebecca comes in there and goes “don’t be stupid” I’m going to make things 10 times worse and 100 more time interesting.

I wrote a review of all of Rebecca’s books HERE with her books being such an inspiration to my attempt at Nottingham crime writing.


2021 reads

I am really looking forward to more from Noelle Holten @NHolten40 I have her next two books lined up to read Dead Perfect and Dead Wrong.

Sharon Bairden’s @SBairden’s Sins of a Father on my book shelf which will most certainly be read.

Sam Carrington’s @Sam_Carrington1 The Missing Wife.

Roz Watkin’s Cut to the Bone, and more great reads from Team @OrendaBooks

And no doubt some great reads from my publishing family!


Book Review: Deity @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks #Book5


A shamed pop star
A devastating fire
Six witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

When pop megastar Zach Crystal dies in a fire at his remote mansion, his mysterious demise rips open the bitter divide between those who adored his music and his endless charity work, and those who viewed him as a despicable predator, who manipulated and abused young and vulnerable girls.

Online journalist, Scott King, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the accusations of sexual abuse and murder that were levelled at Crystal before he died. But as Scott begins to ask questions and rake over old graves, some startling inconsistencies emerge: Was the fire at Crystal’s remote home really an accident? Are reports of a haunting really true? Why was he never officially charged?

Dark, chillingly topical and deeply thought-provoking, Deity is both an explosive thriller and a startling look at how heroes can fall from grace and why we turn a blind eye to even the most heinous of crimes…

My Thoughts

There is so much I want to say about this book, and I don’t even know if I can begin to write down my feelings for this book other than you need to read it!

There is so much linkage in the story to, todays happenings in the “celebrity” world and as I read this novel I could help but make comparisons to what we know about Jimmy Saville, Michael Jackson and Ian Watkins (Lost Prophets.)

Matt uses the memories we have of our “heroes” and plays on what we * think * we know and leads us down a dark avenue of deception, secrecy and the costs of fame and what we * can * have when we’ve got the world at our feet.

I am of the generation of “nu metal” and I have felt comforted by the songs of Lost Prophets. “Its not the end of the world” is my song I bring out once a year when we get super busy at work, I can probably sing most tracks on “fake sound of progress” I also made the mistake of reading the trail transcripts when Ian Watkins was sent down. At the beginning I felt that it wasn’t the other three members of the bands fault but….

Michael Jackson was (possibly) comparing himself to god by the end of his career he was coming back! With a tour and new albums before he died (side note: I thought the touring company killed him for insurance purposes because they knew he couldn’t deliver)

And as for Jimmy Saville he prayed on those who were in care, and common how many of us wanted to go on “Jim’ll fix it” and a lot of what he was up to didn’t come out till after his death and many of those who were in charge of such vulnerable people looked the other way.

Matt seems to have taken all of these examples and possibly many more and created a story around a “pop star” and his rise to fame and then death and all the things that we learn during the course of the book he was doing / said to be doing.

Scott King’s voice in the podcasts comes across like we are listening to our mates speaks, Scott comes across as someone who is seeking the truth and won’t let himself by swayed by the stories he hears from either side of the camp and when the final reveal is made like in all the other stories, he makes the right decision and does the right thing never mind the consequences. But our main character has been like this all the way through the books, even when he started to be trolled early on in I think book 2.

This is all to the credit of Matt’s writing and his use of characterisation in the stories he tells.

When we reach the last story and we learn the truth I sort of felt that those who create the “monster” are the only ones who can bring them down which is very true in many scenarios but with how this book is written and the characterisation use, we know the decision is left ultimately to the Podcast author Scott King.

Matt is fast becoming one of my favourite authors and this book is up there with Changelling, though I didn’t cry as much at this one, you will be glad to know. What I also like about Matt is when I start his book I don’t feel like I want to cry because I will never be that good. Which is certainly how I feel when I read some of my other favourite authors… Which I think is to his credit he is good but he doesn’t make me feel like I’ll never be that good!

Matt is one of the powerhouse authors at Orenda who continues to deliver a new style of telling a story whose style can’t be copied because it’s original and different and if it was we would immediately know it was no doubt Matt who has inspired the work…

I wrote a review of all of Matt’s books up until this one as part of my Book Series post, which can be found HERE!

WHY CAN WE NOT GET THESE BOOKS ON AUDIO VIA THE LIBRARY? They’d be borrowed I know that for sure! 

You can contact Matt via

logo_thumb800 @ConcreteKraken     foto Matt’s Website


You can pre order Deity which is out in TEN DAYS via:





and all other online retailers…



Book Review: Whispers In The Dark @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets #ErikaPiper #Book2



Who will heed the call when Death comes whispering?

Small time drug dealer, Marcus Stone and DCI Clive Burston had never met until one night in August. By the end of that night, both had been shot dead in a small bedroom in the heart of gang territory.

DI Erika Piper is called to the scene but is at a loss to explain what’s happened. How did these two even meet, let alone end up dead in what appears to be a strange murder-suicide?

As Erika leads the investigation, another two bodies are found, killed in a similar fashion. One murder, one suicide. But who is controlling this macarbre puppet show?

As Erika delves deeper into the lives of the dead, the pieces begin to fit together and a number of nefarious characters crawl out of the woodwork – one of whom is almost certainly pulling the strings.

A catastrophic event and a personal miracle threaten to derail the investigation. Erika must find the strength to continue, before the whispers catch up with her too…

My Thoughts:

Chris McDonald’s second book reads like his fifth!

All the main characters are back including Erica, Lewis and DCI Bob.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to find this book when I learned it was about such a powerful  subject of depression and suicide in all honesty I felt sick with nerves and almost gave up before I even started! But I’m glad I didn’t as the subject and it’s suffers are handled very well and with the utmost care and respect.

Not wanting to spoil it for anyone but I’m not sure i agree with some of the things that happened to our main characters but I am sure Chris has it all planned out…

To me this book didn’t feel like a second, Chris has come along way since a wash of black that sometimes takes authors years to achieve not their second book out!

Really hope there is more to come from Erica sooner rather than later!

Grab your copy here,




Red dog


Paper and Hard backs can also be brought directly from the publisher.

Happy IWSG Day!! – December 2020 #IWSG @TheIWSG

Insecure Writers Support Day!


Every 1st Wednesday of the month we all come together to support each other in our writing endeavors. You can join the blog hop by clicking Here

We all looked after by Alex Cavanaugh and his trusty co hosts are are Pat Garcia,Sylvia Ney,Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

I really do not understand how the months are going so quick! I missed last month so I had better write something for this month. As I don’t want to lose my top 100 spot.

So I am currently working on my second round of edits! I have also been promoted at work, so all in all everything is good!

I have managed to also get on some what with book 3, I have changed my position for writing, so I have been sat in bed with the laptop which has kinda worked! Also put it all back on scrivener as it seems easier to find things using that compared to word!

My simple answer to the montly question is no, so there probably no point me posting about it…

I hope everyone is doing okay 🙂




 Perfect Liebook cover

Jen Garner tries her best to be ‘wife and mother of the year’. She helps organise school plays and accompanies her husband to company dinners, all with a big smile on her face.
But Jen has started to receive strange gifts in the post … first flowers, then a sympathy card.
It could just be a joke; that’s what she tells herself. But then the final ‘gift’ arrives, and Jen has to question why somebody is so intent on shattering her life into pieces …

Kindle: https://smarturl.it/lxta8s
Kobo: https://bit.ly/36T7mO0
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Nobble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V
Audible: www.audible.co.uk