Book Review: A Justified State @iainthekid #SelfPublished

A Justified State


In the future, The State is ruled by the socially reformist Central Party Alliance. Poverty and homelessness have been eradicated, but overpopulation, an energy crisis and an ongoing overseas war are threatening the stability of the country. When a local politician is assassinated, Detective Danny Samson finds himself thrust into the middle of the investigation. Still grieving for his dead wife and children, Danny tracks down the assassin, an ex-military sniper called Gabriella, only to discover she may not be the real villain. The secret behind the murder of one politician may bring down the entire ruling Party, and Danny soon learns those in power will go to any lengths to protect The State. Joining forces with Gabriella and the mysterious government agent Phillips, Danny must unearth the truth and bring the guilty to justice, before they catch up with him first.

I became aware of Iain and his flash fiction writing when I joined Friday Fictioners, having decided to follow his blog I am treated to his writing on a regular occurrence. So imagine my excitement when I noticed he had published a novel.

I am not sure how I would describe A Justified State to a friend but in the centre of the story there is a crime fiction story which we all know I enjoy. This is also a Si-fi / Dystopian novel of how our world could be in the future. When Iain described the landscape and the things that were happening some of it felt a bit to close to home.

At times I got quite frustrated with the Detective in this story, whether intentional or not I felt like the character was just floating along in life and just getting by. Not really bothered about his job he was just there so be there. At time I kind of wanted to shake him and tell him to pull himself together.

I felt that Henrik was well placed to be Danny’s partner, someone who was so blinded by what was going on to not notice the cracks in the wall so to speak. Especially as he was the chief of police’s son, special placed to keep an eye on the investigation and report back to daddy. Not wanting to give away the ending, but I hope the actions we have seen in this novel improve lives when.

After reading the book I couldn’t help but wonder if Detective Phillips and Gabriella had been in it together from the start? Detective Phillips only really came to life part way through the book. After being a silent bystander for most of the beginning of the book. But the characters are both written in such away you realise they don’t know each other. But maybe that is intentional.

One thing I can say for certain the imagery in this book in immense, I could see the book playing out in my head as I turned the pages.  I wasn’t able to read the last page as the tears began to stream down my face, feeling a really connection to those characters and their journeys and the ending.

I wonder where Iain will go next with this, will he write more about Gabriella and Phillips or was that the last we see how them. What ever he does I’ll be in the queue for the next part.

I hired this book from the Amazon library and I am more than happy to go back and pay for a copy.




Top Ten Books of the Year…. @Mseancoleman @CallyTaylor @fab_fiction @writeangie @policecommander @RebeccaJBradley @laurajm8 @failsafequery @rozwatkins @Helen_fields

Top Ten!

This year I have read 26 books, almost half of these have been ARCs where I have found a couple of Gems.

So without further ado, in no particular order:

1: A Hollow Sky & The Cuckhoo Tree by @Mseancoleman

I received both of these books as ARCs and I really really enjoyed them and I can’t wait to find out what Sean and the team at @reddogtweets  do next but what ever it is I want more pretty covers and more Dr Alex Ripley.

2: The Treatment @CallyTaylor

No top ten would be complete without a mention to C L Taylor. Though this book is listed as a Young Adult I at 34 still really enjoyed it! That is the thing about Cally’s writing is that she will never disappoint what ever she is writing. I only wish I found the time to read The Fear as well which is sitting pretty on my TBR pile

3: The Surrogate & The Gift @fab_fiction

Louise is one of the most humble and grateful people I have ever come across, her books never fail to disappoint. As she doesn’t write about your every day topics there is must research and learning about the subjects of her novels. I am glad that I started and almost ended the year with Louise’s books in my bag and certainly recommend you search them out.

4: Evil Games @writeangie

Angela’s books I always read and end up thinking why am I not reading more and quicker. I am guaranteed a great ride with the Kim Stone books. Having almost gone back to the beginning with Evil Games, I am learning and understand things that I have read in later books which are now making sense. I am also glad I have read this book as I know one of the character’s is going to start to feature more heavily in her newer books. I’d also like to comment that I thought Barney was a bigger dog than it turns out he is. (I was thinking goldern lab….)

5: Blue: Keeping and Peace and Failing apart @policecommander

When this book first started doing the rounds a lot of people had recommended this book to me and I am glad that I picked it up as soon as I saw it in the shops. My dog also enjoyed this book but that’s a different story. If you are looking for guns, crime and full of action your picking up the wrong book. This book is almost a whistle stop tour of John’s life as a police officer. It is brutally honest and at times I shed a tear well several. I also contacted John about something that is written in this book that though I am a Account Administrator and work in insurance he had said exactly the same thing as I have in the past about our respective illnesses.

6: Dead Blind & Fighting Monsters @RebeccaJBradley

I always enjoy Rebecca’s books and the undertone message that they carry especially Dead Blind. I am a little behind with my favorite Nottingham detective but no doubt when I pick up her most recent books I will feel like I do when I read Angela Marson’s books. Why haven’t I been keeping up with the adventures of Hannah Robbins and the Nottingham Major Crime team.

7: Friend Request @laurajm8

This is a very important book for the times we live in and our use of social media. I am just very grateful that I grew up in a time before Facebook and other forms of social media. Laura has a very important message that is being passed on in this book and I am really looking forward to meeting her in person at an event in the new year. Love or Hate Facebook you need to read this book. This is also another book that my dog also enjoyed to the point where I had to buy a 2nd copy!

8: The Fail Safe Query @failsafequery

I don’t think my head has stopped spinning since I read this book! It is a welcome addition to my top ten purely for the amount of effort that must have gone in to writing this book. WOW! It also didn’t help my WIP as I would read Michael’s book and be so pumped up when I came to writing mine I didn’t know when to stop. I think this book is a fine example of planning your story line and making sure it all fits together perfectly. For a roller-coaster of a ride almost on the scale of David Videcette‘s book I recommend you getting your hands on a copy of this book.

9: The Devil Dice @rozwatkins

I had meet Roz a couple of times at some events I had attended so was very much looking forward to reading her debut. This book is very clever as it takes in myths and legends and make you question whether the event really did happen or was there another force at play. Roz’s second book is due in 2019 and I only hope it is as good as this one and DI Meg Dalton and her colleges.

10: Perfect Remains @Helen_fields

I picked this book up as part of a 3 for 2 having heard positive things about it previously. I had no knowledge of Helen and her books which turns out I am four behind. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but as I started to read it I became interested in the character’s DI Callanach and his newly acquired colleagues. This book reminded me alot of Silence of the Lambs but also inspired me with another project I would like to write in the future! I am sure I will come across more books by Helen in the future and will most certainly snap them up.


as for 2019 I have a pile of TBR  including Tubing by K. A. McKeagney, Child Taken by Darren Young   On my life by @theangelaclarke I also have a few curve balls on my shelves including One Little Lie by Sam Carrington and Kiss of Death by Paul Finch. Note to self stop entering competitions. I am also looking forward to catching up with some of my favs Cally, Angela, Rebecca and Louise Jensen.


Happy New Year!!!





Book Review: Presumed Guilty by @JaneIsaacAuthor @damppebbles DC Beth Chamberlain #2 #PresumedGuilty #damppebblesblogtours #review

Book Review: Presumed Guilty by @JaneIsaacAuthor @damppebbles DC Beth Chamberlain #2 #PresumedGuilty #damppebblesblogtours #review

presumed guilty cover

Accident or murder?

The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒ could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet.

DC Beth Chamberlain, Family Liaison Officer, has to support the victims’ families, but before she can solve the crimes in the present, Beth needs to uncover the secrets of the past.

Meanwhile, the killer has her in his sights…

The latest electrifying whodunnit from the bestselling author of After He’s Gone. If you’re a fan of Angela Marsons, Nicci French and Rachel Abbott, you won’t want to miss Presumed Guilty.

My Thoughts

Presumed Guilty!

This review has had me lying in bed at night wondering what to write! As you all know by now I am a fan of crime fiction but with so much competition in that market with the likes of Angela Marson and Robert  Bryndza I was interested to know what corner of the independent female leads Jane Issacs occupied and I was pleasantly surprised! Because DC Beth Chamberlain is not only a detective, she is also a family liaison officer adding a new dimension to female lead crime fiction.

This story was told more in-depth about what the family of the victims were feeling and saying through Beth’s eyes and her colleague. I particularly liked how Beth went out of her way to check on other family members and offer her support to those who weren’t directly effected by the death. I liked Beth’s insecurities about her former secret boyfriend (a colleague) and the reasons why she ended it and her worries that he is now dating the DI who Beth doesn’t particularly like, and even though she is over him she still harbors feelings for him and like all exs only wants the best for them. Which I personally can totally relate!

As the story progresses Jane writes her characters and particularly Beth in away that you know why she is sat next to some of the greats (in my opinion)

This book can most certainly be read as a standalone, I myself hadn’t read the previous outing so I was glad that I could pick this book up and fail into the story without thinking I had missed something.

I will most certainly be on the look out for Beth Chamberlain 3 due out in 2019.

I would like to thanks Jane Issac and Emma from Damppebbles for giving me the chance to review this book and give my honest opinion.



UK                          USA


jane isaac Jane Isaac lives with her detective husband (very helpful for research!) and her daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. Her debut, An Unfamiliar Murder, was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by

Presumed Guilty is Jane’s seventh novel and the second in her DC Beth Chamberlain (Family Liaison Officer) series. The third DC Beth Chamberlain novel will be released early 2019.

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Book Review: The Christmas Play Rehearsal @JayJayBus @rararesources #Christmas! #childrensbook

Book Review: The Christmas Play Rehearsal @JayJayBus @rararesources #Christmas! #childrensbook

The Christmas Play Rehearsal


It is Christmas time, and the school has been getting ready to perform their Nativity play.

With lines learnt and songs to be sung, it is time for the dress rehearsal. The teacher knows there might be a few problems to sort out, but at least they will know what to improve on or change along the way.

Our Thoughts.

I really enjoyed reading this book to both of my children Alex (9) and Melanie (5). The is short and snappy. The pictures in the book are bright and colourful and reading it as an adult you just know that this it’s almost a memoir. I wonder if I should take this in to my kids school and give it to the teacher’s currently organising their Christmas production.

Alex: I liked that things kept going wrong (??)

Melanie: I liked the whole thing especially the assembly

I almost had the chance to meet up with the author after finding myself in town of Burgess Hill recently. Sue comes across as very friendly and approachable and it is a shame I ran out of time to meet up but maybe next time…

The Christmas Play Rehearsal here

IMG_0766 (2)

Sue tells us about herself…..

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Sue’s other books:


UK         USA


A Spooky Tale UK                      A Spooky Tale USA

Jay-Jay the supersonic Bus      Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure        Ebook

Jay-Jay and the Carnival         Daisy Daydream the Nursery Rhyme Bus




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Book Review: Failsafe Query @FailsafeQuery @rararesource #Giveaway #spythriller

Book Review: Failsafe Query @FailsafeQuery @rararesource #Giveaway #spythriller

Fail Safe Query

The Failsafe Query - Cover Image

The Failsafe Query is a gripping thriller set in the contemporary world of modern British espionage.

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for Alfie Chapman, an Intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. This includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy.

Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale.

My Thoughts

There is no way this book was written from beginning to end, more like the other way around! The amount of planning that has gone into this book and how everything is connected is INTENSE! When you are like me and have elements of the MI5 in your WIP, reading this book has made me come home and write, and I mean seriously write so my novel can be as half as good as this! This book reminded me a lot of my other favourite MI5 thriller author David Videcette and our other unsung hero Jake Flannagan.

At the beginning of the book, we are transferred between different places and dates as we get to know our main character Sean Richardson and his life as a top intelligence agent until his wife dies and it his life starts to spiral out of control. One bit of advice I would give anyone reading this is to pay attention because events that happen at the beginning of this book directly affect the ending. See why I don’t think this was written in order?

Sean is tasked to find Alfie Chapman who is threating to reveal government secrets while trying to protect Melissa a newspaper journalist who is a key witness. She doesn’t realise she could be key to where Alfie is and what it is exactly he knows.

This is a VERY fast pace book and really hard to put down and remember to get off the bus in time, as I read it, I kept wondering how much that is in this book is how things really go down on these spy missions.

I loved everything about this book, I hope some of Sean’s team return in future novels, and that hopefully Sean has learnt not to put the job before his family and doesn’t lose someone else he loves again.

Go read this book!

The Failsafe Query - Author Pic

Michael Jenkins served for twenty-eight years in the British
Army, rising through the ranks to complete his service as a major. He served across the globe on numerous military operations as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
His experiences within the services involved extensive travel and
adventure whilst on operations, and also on many major mountaineering
and exploration expeditions that he led or was involved in.
He was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical
Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee
of the Mount Everest Foundation charity.

He was awarded the MBE on leaving the armed forces in 2007 for his services to counterterrorism.

The Failsafe Query is Michael’s first novel. He has started work on
his second spy thriller, The Kompromat Kill, and hopes to publish it
the spring of 2019.


UK                    USA


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The Failsafe Query - Giveaway Prize


Win 5 x PB copies of The Failsafe Query & a spy linkage map (unframed) (Open Internationally)


I want one of these framed picture’s so I can work it all out!


Enter Here


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Book Review: The Cuckoo Wood – @mseancoleman @rararesources @RedDogTweets #TheCuckhooWood #Competition

Book Review: The Cuckoo Wood – @mseancoleman @rararesources @RedDogTweets #TheCuckhooWood #Competition

The Cuckhoo Wood

The Cuckoo Wood


Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.

A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?

That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.

Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.

The Cuckoo Wood is the first Alex Ripley Mystery

My Thoughts

The Cuckoo Wood is the first book in the Alex Ripley series and I can’t wait to read more!

The story starts on Midsummer’s eve when Samantha Jaynes lays dying in a cold and dark lake, until the Kirkdale Angel comes to her rescue but it’s to late. In the next chapter Rosie is drawn to the same lake with a group of her friends and is seemingly drawn into the lake where she later drowns, there are people are out looking for Rosie but they are late. We are then introduced to Dr Alex Ripley “The Miracle Detective” as she prepares to take part in a television show to promote her new book “A Leap of Faith.”

A Friend on the police force asked Dr Ripley to investigate the apparent suicides of both Samantha and Rosie, as she believes that something else is afoot. But the town is try desperately to hide something that happened at that same lake many years previously ao it won’t be easy.

This book beautiful Atmospheric will have you feeling like you are right there in the story. As Dr Ripley searches for the answers to what is really going on in this deeply religious town.

The description in this book is so intense, I really believed in what Dr Ripley experienced when she was “tripping” and her husband was actually there with her.

I felt drawn to Dr Ripley and hoped she would end up a relationship with the towns PC Daniel Cotter. Though Dr Ripley has her doubts there are parts of this story which she can’t explain and we are left wondering if she saw a ghosts.

Having received a copy of the Author’s next book “A Hollow Sky.” I am really looking forward to learning more about Dr Ripley and who knows maybe PC Cotter will return.

This book is now THE BOOK I am recommending to all my friends!

I would like to thank Rachel from Random Resources and the author for an advance copy of this book in return for my honest option.

The best thing is you can buy this book NOW from:



UK                      USA

Red dog


Red Dog Publishing


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Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

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Win paperback copy of The Cuckoo Wood, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

Giveaway Prize

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Ts & Cs

Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: Corruption! @ElizabethDucie @rararesources #review

Book Review: Corruption! @ElizabethDucie @rararesources #review


CORRUPTION_FRONT_CMYKOut of fear. Out of greed. Out of evil. Corruption springs from many roots.

Teenagers fall prey to a deadly new drug craze sweeping across Russia. Pharmaceuticals destined for Africa turn up on the backstreets of Moscow, St Petersburg and Vladivostok. Regulator Suzanne Jones and her sister, Charlie, fight to stop the pushers before more kids die.

But will their discoveries mean a friend goes to prison? And are they putting their loved ones in danger?

With old adversaries and surprising new allies, the Jones sisters face their toughest challenge to date. The heart-stopping final episode in the Suzanne Jones series of thrillers set in the sometimes murky world of international pharmaceuticals.

My Thoughts:

Corruption! Where do I start, I seem to have this habit of picking up books midway through a series and this one is no different.

Coming to this series this late I didn’t know who any of the character’s were and it took me sometime to distinguish “Suzanne” and “Charlie’s” voices. The story is mostly told from Charlie’s POV as her sister is away on her honeymoon.

I did like that part the way through the book we were treated to a flashback of how she met “Steve” her now husband. It did make me doubt Steve’s motives as I read through the book and half expected him to have Suzanne tied up somewhere and that he was part of it all but I was glad to learn that he was just a supporting character.

Charlie’s past intrigued me, and I was left wondering how much more I would have learnt if I had read the previous two books. She seems to have had an interesting life even before going into partnership with her sister. It was also nice that Charlie’s sexuality was just treated as the norm, yes her girlfriend was pregnant but it wasn’t anything special.

Who I did feel for though was Fran, I felt her pain of losing her husband and the election and wanting to run away and hide somewhere, where no one knew her past. Again, as I read to many of these types of books I was worried for her safety especially as Anton met her every day at the pool during her morning swim, I was glad that her relationship with him wasn’t sexualised and it was all kept behind closed doors.

It was nice that Anton family wasn’t westernised and the author kept close to the customs in Russia and what it means to be family. The close relationship Anton had with his family, the close brother-sister relationship and then the relationships Fran later formed.

It does not go unnoticed that author has done her research and knows her stuff about what goes on in the pharmaceutical industry. As I read I wasn’t left wondering how much of the novel was due to creative license as the scenes and the descriptions of how things were done and what goes on were believable.

My overall opinion of the books is that it seems to tie everything up that has gone on in previous books up in a nice little bow. I didn’t feel disadvantaged by this as I was still able to follow the novel I maybe just had to work a little bit harder to understand the back story.

I really enjoyed this book and will look out for more from this author.

I would like to thanks Rachel at rararesources and the Author Elizabeth Duice for my advance copy of this novel.


When Elizabeth Ducie had been working in the international pharmaceutical industry for nearly thirty years, she decided she’d like to take a break from technical writing—text books, articles and training modules—and write about some of her travel experiences instead. She took some courses in Creative Writing and discovered to her surprise that she was happier, and more successful, writing fiction than memoirs or life-writing.

In 2012, she gave up the day job, and started writing full-time. She has published three novels, three collections of short stories and a series of manuals on business skills for writers.


Buy Corruption Here                  Other Ebook platforms Here


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