Book Review: Hunter’s Revenge – @valeriepenny @rararesources @crookedcatbooks #review

Book Review: Hunter’s Revenge – @valeriepenny @rararesources @crookedcatbooks #review

Hunter’s Revenge

Hunter's Revenge Cover

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is revenged.

DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify the killer and identify George’s killer. Hunter also finds a new supply of cocaine from Peru flooding HMP Edinburgh and the city. The courier leads Hunter to the criminal gang but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough and local gangster Ian Thomson to make his case. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.

My Thoughts:

This is a multi-layered story that kept me interested until the end.

When the book began I had not read the previous novel which meant at times I was confused as to what had happened before. If I had read “Hunter’s Chase” would I have known who the victim was at the beginning of the novel?

I liked the two characters of Dc Tim Myerscough and DI Hunter Wilson.

I liked Tim because he was still being a police officer and working in the same area where his dad the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough had been sent down. In the story, you could also tell how much Tim cared for people the way he was willing to splash cash around if it helped others. For example, putting money behind the bar at the wedding and offering to pay for extra police officers to watch over Jamie and his kids. In a way, it felt like at times he was trying to make amends for what his dad had done wrong.

The other characters were all well thought out and likeable. Though at times I felt confused as to who was who due to the use of nicknames. They all seem to be in a relationship with each other as well which also added to the confusion. At times it felt like if the character was single take Tim, for example, he had to end up with someone in the story. DI Hunter was even in a relationship with someone in the pathology department which also confused me due to the way he spoke about his family at the beginning of the novel. I guess I automatically assumed he was still with his wife. Which added to the confusion of why was he suddenly in bed with a colleague.

There is a same-sex relationship in this novel, and I liked how the author didn’t go out of her way to show this, they were just written about exactly the same as the other character’s. They were just your normal everyday character’s who happened to be getting married.

This isn’t a fast-paced crime novel which I am used to, you get to learn about all the character’s and you are part of almost every police interview that’s in the novel. There was no skating over that such and such interviewed someone and this was the result. Though at times I did find this frustrating! I kind of felt that was probably due to the types of novels I am used to.

The be all and end all is that I REALLY liked the novel and enjoyed the story and will be certainly looking out for more from this author in the future.

***

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Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University.

She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland was published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. The sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’ will be published on 09.09.2018.

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Crack Apple & Pop by Saira Viola @sairaviola @F13Noir @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #crackappleandpop #damppebblesblogtours

Crack Apple & Pop by Saira Viola @sairaviola @F13Noir @fahrenheitpress  @damppebbles #crackappleandpop #damppebblesblogtours

Crack Apple & Pop

crack apple and pop

Tony is a handsome young boxer forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.

Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

Author Q&A

Saira Viola

Excited by the sound of this novel I contacted Saira and asked her some burning questions:

 

Thank you for inviting me to your blog:

 

Q1) What inspired you to write Crack Apple and Pop?

The comic strip criminality of London’s drug culture proved irresistible. There is a cartoonish quality to crime in its motley mix of social misfits, its dandies, and thugs, its exaggerated characters and crackpot schemes that I wanted to draw out in my fiction, so I added a bit of comic dash and caricature to what was already a wild scene. And aside from the comic absurdities you find there I wanted to address the raging racial ,and class conflict that slices through British society. Interestingly, the thread that binds all these communities together was the rampant use of drugs; cocaine was a democratizing feature of the club and tabloid culture that dominated London life, it permeated every sector of British society, and I wanted to explore that.

Q2) Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv/film?

Freddie Highmore would be excellent as Richard, the sleazy -coked up Cristal popping lawyer / fixer. Peter Dinklage as Bernie, the blue Mohawked Mensa Genius /four flushing bookkeeper and Michael B Jordan, the charismatic, promising young boxer forced into a life of crime.

Q3) How many rejections did you get before a publishing deal?

I didn’t keep count but over 20, probably close to 30 at least.

Q4) Which authors inspired you to write?

When I was a child I used to enjoy escaping into far off worlds through fairy tales. Riquet a la Houppe (Riquet with the Tuft) was a story that stuck with me, a French fairy tale about a Prince who bestows wisdom on a beautiful but dim-witted princess. Later, I discovered Charles Dickens and was inspired by his ability to create stories that ultimately led to social and political reform. Music, poetry art and movies have all been integral in inspiring me to write. From Baudelaire to James Brown via Basquiat.

Q5) What are your writing routines?

The three W’s: Whatever, whenever, wherever. I write what I can, where I can, whenever I can.

Q6) If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Possibly a nerdy, big mouthed slow- talking, shoe -gazing rapper.

Q7) Tell me Something About Yourself Your Readers Might Not Know?

I once appeared at my school assembly in a lime green two-piece bikini and flip flops. It was the middle of winter. I was aged about seven or eight years old. I had smuggled my beachwear into school because I didn’t like wearing the starchy school uniform, and I had only recently arrived in England after living in Africa.  I genuinely believed if I wore the swimsuit I would get to go back to the beach.  I remember feeling incredibly free as well as hugely relieved when I removed my school tie. Suffice to say, my stiff-suited headmistress did not share my enthusiasm, and I was severely reprimanded.

Thank you Saira, X

Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.

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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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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

 

Question mark

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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