Book Review: Calamity in Camberwell – @DDsDiary @CrookedCatBooks @rararesources #review #giveaway

Book Review: Calamity in Camberwell – @DDsDiary  @CrookedCatBooks @rararesources #review #giveaway

Calamity in Camberwell

Calamity in Camberwell

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell.

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?

As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

My Thoughts:

Oh what a palaver!

I wasn’t sure what I was taking on when I read the blurb for this book, I realised hadn’t read the two books before hand so I was intrigued.

It turns out that not all Crime novels are the same they just vary in the amount of gore. I have landed upon what they call Cozy crime, that at times made my journey to work a whole different experience! I became lost in a novel that at times I wondered if we were ever going to make it to the point but did that matter because I was enclosed in loveliness of it all! Like a big quilt on a winter evening!

Yes Beth’s best friend Jen is not returning her calls or answering the door, and Beth’s son might not get into the “best” school in the town as there is little chance he will pass the entrance exams. Beth’s friends think it’s time for her to start dating again,  while she is trying to keep a lid on feelings for a certain DI that at times makes her so mad! But oh what a lovely story I am reading.

The author cleverly sprinkles domestic violence into the story, but she does it in such a way that it leaves our imaginations minds to fear the worse! But oh what a lovely story. I felt the sorriest for Jessica the daughter of Beth’s missing best friend, no body seemed interested in her wellbeing or how she felt about the whole situation! Though the characters never found out about the violence, I am sure Jessica would have been very aware of what was going on with her mum? But this after all is a lovely story and we are not delving into those depths.

Yes I enjoyed the book, and how the author made me dislike some of the characters without going into paragraphs of detail about their characteristics and I wasn’t contently checking how much more of the story I had left to read.

If I was more experienced in this type of crime novel I might of enjoyed it more. But I did feel at the end of every journey to and from work and the snatched moments on the sofa.  Oh what a lovely story I was reading and but isn’t that the aim of Cozy crime?

A big thank you to Rachael at Random Resources and Alice Castle for my advance copy of Calamity in Camberwell.

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Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019.  Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

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By Alice’s novels by clicking on the links below:

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Death in Dulwich                Calamity in Camberwell

 

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The Bespokist Society Guide to…London @TheBespokist @rararesources

The Bespokist Society Guide to…London @TheBespokist @rararesources

The Bespokist Society Guide to…London

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“sparse… some glaring omissions” FoodPorn London
“only page 23 is of mild interest” http://www.londonpetlover.com

“Wow!!! A genuinely bespoke city guide!!!” Tommy Sponge, Chairman, The Bespokist Society

You have in your hands one of the most curated city guides ever created. As the first travel book produced by the hugely influential Bespokist Society, this handy guide takes you to a London you’ve never seen: a London of challenging Etruscan restaurants, edgy branding parlours, emoji hotels and hidden Icelandic communities; a London where 8-ply toilet paper is a thing.

On the way, meet an eclectic band of inspiring Londoners – from scriveners to socialites via urban wordsmiths and coffee preachers – and see why London is now the global epicentre of Bespokist consciousness, community and culture.

About the Author

The Bespokist Society Guide to London is a work of fiction written by born and bred Londoner, Jeremy Liebster. Somewhat surprisingly, Jeremy is also a city lawyer – formerly at DLA Piper and now a General Counsel within a large private equity group. Jeremy is utterly obsessed with travel books and although he might poke fun at urban fads, hipster fried chicken is his guilty pleasure. He also has an unusual interest in clothes hangers.

Interview with Nastya Petrov, co-author of The Bespokist Society Guide to…London

What kind of impact do you think The Bespokist Society Guide has had?

I can honestly say I was completely unprepared for the book’s success. For years London had no bespoke guide book so Bespokists are now feeling incredibly energised. Last week we even sold a book on Amazon.

As a native of Russia what made you fall in love with London?

As everyone knows, my father was Josef Stalin’s favourite spoonmaker so we travelled an awful lot when I was young. But only in London did I truly feel the magic of a world city. I’m not sure if it was the sights and sounds of Brentford High Street or the sheer glamour of Elephant and Castle but I was hooked for life.

What’s your favourite place featured in The Bespokist Society Guide?

Oh my god I adore everywhere that we’ve covered but the place I feel most at home is the Nina Saviceu Gallery in Knightsbridge. As a proud, sassy left handed woman I am completely in tune with Nina’s creative values and always feel genuinely inspired by the space she has curated.

I am also in love with the artisan egg cups at Squish and Norm in Balham. A little birdie tells me they’re going to be doing a huge rollout of egg cup superstores all over London and my friends and I are beyond excited!

Where would you recommend a tourist to have a great meal in London?

There’s nothing I despise more than pretentious food which is why I feel so at home at Aurora Borealis in Holland Park. Everyone I take ends up swearing by the ice-smoked walrus which tastes like a weird combination of anchovy, chicken and rodent. It’s worth every penny of its admittedly rather hefty price tag.

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purchase the guide here

 

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Happy Insecure Writers Day! #IWSG @TheIWSG

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ISWG is kindly run and organized by Alex Cavanaugh and his super team make sure we are all sticking to the rules and keeping IWSG going! Why don’t you pop along and join the blog hop!

The past month has been crazy, I spent two weeks in Florida and Disney with the family. Which means I have totally lost July somewhere.

I came back to another rejection and also an email from a publisher who is interested in reading more of my work accept there is a catch, they are a hybrid publisher. My head went into a complete tail spin in regards to what do I do. I spoke to someone who is published by the same published and he recommended I send them my work and if they are interested in taking me on go from there.

It’s like they are the only people to show interest in my work, and it’s also someone who was sent the first version of my novel. Not the subsequent versions I have changed since.

My writing otherwise has come to a stand still, I kinda feel like I am back at square one! I had so much hope for “New Beginnings” and still do but it looks like I am more invested in it than anyone else. There was a post on Face Ache which is part of Ellen Brocks novel boot camp about finding critique partners. I have kinda had two offers so I think I am going to send them my work… As I have little success with the other people who have read it. 😦

Did anyone have any success with the twitter pitch thing? I decided not to take part as like I said we were away.

So this months question:

What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

One of my biggest mistakes I think was believing that “New Beginnings” was going to be snapped up by an agent / editor. I am not upset by the rejections and they haven’t really bothered me that much. But I wasn’t prepared for it not to work out 😦

Having got a mentor I kinda thought this was it. With 40 submissions to date I am kinda realising that “New Beginnings” is not what the market are looking for at the moment. So I go back to square one and unless I apply for someone else on Womentoring I am kinda on my own and back at the beginning of my journey with no “need” or “want” to write.

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Dortmund Hibernate by @c_j_sutton @rararesources @crookedcatbooks

Dortmund Hibernate by @c_j_sutton @rararesources @crookedcatbooks

Dortmund Hibernate

Dortmun - Cover

Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill.

It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.

As my blog is called Story About A Girl I asked C J Sutton to tell me a story….

So over to C J….

Losing my Mind

Travelling alone through South East Asia in 2013 shaped me as a person and as a writer. As a 25-year-old questioning what was next, I did that typical “stranger in a strange land” trip to see what I was missing out on. I would consider myself as a bit of an introvert (most writers are) but travelling alone means you either eat at the table yourself while everyone looks at you, or you join the table that looks at everyone else. I tried both. You learn a fair amount about a person, watching them eat. While I made new friends, travelling alone lets you see things that you wouldn’t normally see. The reactions of people, their psychology. It was like being a video camera on legs.

There was a day in Cambodia where I was dropped off outside a temple by a driver that couldn’t speak a word of English. As I walked beneath the towering trees, there was not a single soul around me. Usually at these temples there are hundreds of tourists climbing structures and taking photos with their fingers in a peace sign; but on this day, I was alone. It was eerie at first, but after twenty minutes it became soothing. I sat up against a tree, deep within the temple grounds, and just wrote. I probably spent a good three hours in that spot until a kid scared the living shit out of me. We’ve got it all wrong, working in offices from 9-5 expecting the best of ourselves to come out on screen. Sometimes you just need that pure solitude to discover your worth and to validate your ideas.

On a day in Malaysia I ventured to the Batu Caves, a very popular tourist spot littered with thousands of people and monkeys. Groups were taken into the caverns, but I waited until nobody was watching and went alone. I kept about 20 metres away from a leader holding a torch to still have a source of light. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, so when he turned off the torch I was surrounded by complete darkness. Not the darkness of when you hop into bed and turn off the lamp, but pure gut-wrenching darkness for more than ten minutes. My phone had died so I was at the mercy of the man with the powerful torch. I couldn’t walk, as on either side there was a vast drop. It’s funny what the mind does when you’re presented with endless nothing. It’s as though your eyes are closed and you can’t open them. It’s blindness, and it was fear. It assisted in creating the characters in Dortmund Hibernate, to know how a lack of control feels. I would also add the Cu-Chi tunnels in Vietnam to this sensation. That feeling of claustrophobia still haunts me. Being underground at a height that you need to bend at right angles to remain upright, blocked on either side by people, that pure darkness finding a way within once more…

Cambodia hangs heavy with a history of evil dictators. Seeing the skulls of slain Cambodians and the marks on the trees where babies were beaten demonstrates the hatred of man. I craft sick minds in my writing. I need to see the capabilities of evil not just on screen, but in person. This trip provided countless examples of humans doing horrible things to other humans. If you ever want to learn about evil, I suggest you venture to the killing fields.

While my education and love of reading is credited for my life as a writer, this experience as a curious 25-year-old sharpened the edges of my craft. It may not have impacted my words or my stories, but it altered the way I write people and atmosphere. Not all is rosy, not all is sane. This world has dark pockets that are completely accessible to tourists, but it is what they take out of it that matters. This trip will never be forgotten, and I still drift to it in my quieter moments. One day I hope to write a book on some of the crazier parts of those few months, but for now Dortmund Hibernate will serve as a reference for darkness.

***

Dortmund - cjsutton

 

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.

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Cover Reveal – Blood Ribbon @rogerbray22 @rararesources

Cover Reveal – Blood Ribbon @rogerbray22 @rararesources

Blood Ribbon

 

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When there’s more than secrets buried, where do you start digging?

When Brooke Adams is found battered, bleeding, and barely conscious, the police are at a loss as to who her attacker is or why she was targeted.

Then, PI Rod Morgan turns up convinced that Brooke’s attack is the latest in a string of unsolved disappearances dating back twenty-five years.

The police, however, aren’t convinced, so Brooke and Rod must investigate the cases themselves.

As secrets from the past start unravelling, will they find Brooke’s attacker before he strikes again, or is that one secret that will stay buried forever?

Blood Ribbon

I love the blue cover and the ghost like figure on the beach, this looks like an idea book to be reading on the beach with its summery feel.

Author photoRoger tells us a bit about himself below…..

I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life….

Publication for this book is set for 10th August 2018, so click on the links and pre order it!

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Or get social with Roger on the links below.

 

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Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Blog Tour: Dead in the Water @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles

Dead in the Water

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Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him.

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

My Thoughts

Dead in the water starts with a bang, with a character floating in the Mediterranean and we read her last dying thoughts until she sinks to the bottom. We then zip five months back and we are introduced to the story through the character Charlie who seems to be telling the story. The chapters then go on to introduce the other characters Chrissie, Ana, Scot, Len, Mia and Agent Fournier.

The story jumps around a bit between the characters, locations and where we are in the timeline of the story. I found the beginning of the book a bit confusing as I struggled to grasp what was going on and who was who. Once I worked out what the formula of the book was I began to enjoy it more and tore through the pages.

The story is told in 1st person through Charlie’s eyes and 3rd person for the other character’s. Simon has carefully woven a novel out of seven different strands, seven character’s stories and their views on the what happened and why they did what they did. Simon has more or less written seven different stories and then spent time weaving them into a novel. Simon makes you feel that you were there with the character’s and at every location in the story.

This book involves some time invested in the beginning but once you get used to this unique and different way of story telling you’ll be flying through the book. I am very interested and keen to see what Simon does next.

***

SIMONBOWERSimon Bower is a British and Canadian author born in Berkshire in 1973. Since 1998, he’s adopted a global lifestyle, setting up home at times in Europe, Africa and North America.

In 2016 Simon turned to writing full time, which led to his first published work, Dead in the Water, being released in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press in 2018.

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief.

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My Thanks to Emma at Damppebbles and Simon Bower for giving me the chance to read Dead in the Water.

Happy IWSG Day! #IWSG @TheIWSG

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeWhere did last month go!

For me more submission and more rejections, and to be honest it isn’t really bothering me anymore 😦 I keep starting something new but I am just not interested in writing anymore, there has been some lag at work so i’ve write some bits but nothing to get excited about! I think I am also struggling as my two main characters don’t like each other! he thinks Barbie had joined the police and she sees him as an arrogant cock! It is is much easier to write stuff where the main character’s at least like each other!

I did though as one of the women on reception at work if she wanted to read my work and she did! So i’ve sent it to her today :s so when I start getting funny looks when I get to work I will know why.

So this months question:

What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

I think it’s been one step at a time, first it was to get a mentor, and then it was getting my WIP finished. But I think my ultimate goal is to get published and get film and TV rights!

I think right now it’s possibly to find the inspiration to start a second story away from MI5!

Just a quick thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and his super team for keeping IWSG going! Why don’t you pop along and join the blog hop!