#Review The Mountain by Luca D’Andrea @maclehosepress #NewRelease 4.5* @CorinnaZifko @bookbridgr @HowardCurtis49

*I received an arc via Bookbridgr in return for an honest review*

cover
The Mountain by Luca D’Andrea
Translated by Howard Curtis
Synopsis:
A CURSED PLACE. A COLD CASE. A KILLER WHO LEFT NO TRACE.
Jeremiah Salinger blames himself. The crash was his fault. He was the only survivor. Now the depression and the nightmares are closing in. Only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face.
But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach – a canyon in the Dolomites rich in fossil remains – he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found.
Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these Italian mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close-knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust of outsiders can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane.
Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis

My review:

WOW! This novel is so much more in-depth than its synopsis! At the beginning I found the novel to be rather, slow burning and jumps from one event to another. However, once it gets going it is HIGHLY addictive!
The characterisation is brilliant, you slowly warm to protagonist, Jeremiah Salinger.
But once he had me, I was completely gripped at watching the plot unravel, through Jeremiah’s eyes!

Jeremiah Salinger, known as Salinger. Is married to the beautiful Annelise and has a young daughter Clara. Salinger is a documentary film maker with her best friend Mike McMellan. When Salinger’s career begins to struggle, his wife recommends a trip, to her native isolated home of Siebenhoch in Italy.
A break Salinger welcomes.
But Annelise may live to regret………..

Once arrived at the atmospheric location of Siebenhoch, Salinger has lengthy conversations with his father-in-law, Werner. Siebenhoch is a small remote village situated at an altitude of 1400 metres. The now, elderly Werner delights Salinger with tales from his time running and operating the Dolomite mountain rescue. This inspires Salinger to re-start the mountain rescue team. A move that does not go according to plan!
When a rescue mission goes wrong and leaves everyone dead except Salinger, he becomes a shunned man in the village. Combine that with the mental trauma of being the sole survivor and you have a very broken and devastated Salinger……….

It is during his recovery from this disastrous rescue mission, that Salinger learns of the Bletterbach killings of 1985! A case that could destroy not only Salinger but everything and everyone he holds dear. But without the beauty of hindsight and Salinger’s curious investigative mind. A re-opening of the case is born…..

“I’ll tell you everything I know without leaving anything out, and in return you promise me that you won’t let yourself be devoured by this story” – Werner

Salinger must be discreet, his wife has ensured he take a vow of sabbatical, from work, for at least a year, after the devastating rescue. But it isn’t long until Salinger is seeking out the help of local police officer Chief Max Krun. Salinger learns that three young adults went up to the secluded area of Bletterbach and were slaughtered in a brutal murder. The killer was never found, and the small village has never recovered from the deaths of Evi, Markus and Kurt. The crime scene is described in graphic detail, various limbs and heads missing from the victims. The aftermath of the crime plunged the surviving parents into a life of alcoholism and suicide.
Something, Salinger himself understands, only too well.

“That horror went inside you and you couldn’t leave” – Werner

There was little media coverage of the crime due to the remote location. There were no viable suspects, despite everyone in the area being investigated. There was no identifiable motive!
Who killed the group? And why?
Salinger just can’t get the case out of his head. He becomes determined to solve it once and for all.
Salinger’s investigation continues in secret but at quite a rapid pace. The novel may open slowly, but the investigation ignites the pace and makes for gripping reading! The locals react rather hostile towards Salinger and he learns that he must be-friend them before, he asks prying and painful questions.

“The Bletterbach is just a graveyard for monsters” – Verena

“Let’s leave the dead where they are they’re happier than us” – Hermann

The novel contains some fantastic writing and a twist you will NOT see coming! I was genuinely amazed at how much this seemingly cold case, gripped me. In the process of his case Salinger uncovers revelation after revelation, some of which shake him to his core!
I am so pleased that the novel is being translated into 30 languages, so that more readers can enjoy the amazing writing of, debut author Luca D’Andrea! 4.5*

“Some say you become an adult when you bury your parents; others, when you become a parent yourself. I didn’t agree with either of these two philosophies. You become an adult when you learn to apologise” – Jeremiah Salinger

Q&A with @jackiechaddy #Author of, In The Still & Briefly Maiden @fahrenheitpress #NewRelease

Delighted to open today with a publication day Q&A with Jacqueline Chadwick.
But first here are the novels…………

Cover
In The Still
Ali Dalglish #1
Synopsis:

“An astounding debut, breathtaking…”

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

cover 2
Briefly Maiden
Ali Dalglish #2
Synopsis:

Ali Dalglish is back in the role she loves: working alongside Vancouver Island’s Integrated Major Incident Squad and is once again partnered with Inspector Rey Cuzzocrea.

As the chemistry between Ali and Cuzzocrea intensifies so does the hunt for a twisted killer as they are tasked with solving a series of violent murders with links to a sinister paedophile ring in the idyllic island city of Cedar River.

In the midst of the chaos, Ali is pulled by her desire to find and save the children at the heart of the case but she is thwarted by an evil so cunning and powerful that it threatens to become the nemesis she never imagined possible: one that could bring her to her knees.

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) In Briefly Maiden, Ali Dalglish has her life back on track. Recently divorced, she is working alongside the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Incident Squad investigating the brutal murder and dismemberment of a man in Cedar River. When a second victim is discovered, it becomes clear to Ali that a crime spree is underway and the investigation leads the VIIMIS team to a local paedophile ring. As the lines dividing good and evil, right and wrong become increasingly blurred, Ali must utilise her wealth of expertise in a race again time to save the children lost in an unimaginably dark existence.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) With a character like Ali Dalglish, there’s never any shortage of possibilities so the ideas flow easily and the series comes together relatively effortlessly. I adore the writing process, every aspect of it (even the scary, heart-pounding moments of sending it off and hoping it won’t be rejected) it’s all exciting and rewarding. Specific plots always come about as a result of things that madden me during the research stage of writing. I am angered by injustice and the holes in the law that allow monsters the freedom to prey upon innocents. Briefly Maiden explores those issues and the dangerous psychology that drives deviants to seek each other out, to gain power in numbers and the role we, as a society, play in that.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I’m a crime fiction fan and so I love P.D. James, Christie and Doyle. Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin are guaranteed brilliance but my favourite author has to be Thomas Harris. At the moment I’m working my way through the Fahrenheit Press novels and, wow, can they pick winners. Every book on their list is terrific, I love Jo Perry’s work, Derek Farrell is belting and I’m currently fan-girling for Nikki Dolson.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) When I was little, I devoured Roald Dhal. The first book I fell in love with was Fungus the Bogeyman. As a teenager I would immerse myself in Stephen King and Dean Koontz so I have them to blame for my twisted mind.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) Life is waaaaaay better as a published writer. Having low expectations has always served me well in life and so I deliberately keep them low with regard to my books, it makes every moment a fantastic surprise. The thought of someone actually buying my book and enjoying it, of them picturing the characters and settings is a feeling I’ll never take for granted. But the very best moment is seeing a front cover design for the first time. Fahrenheit Press just get that so right, check out their books, they’re absolutely beautiful, each one is a piece of art and (being unapologetically biased) mine are frigging awesome!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) Chris McVeigh at Fahrenheit Press is the epitome of support and encouragement. My husband and kids, I have the best little family in the world and they are all so supportive and excited.

JC
Jacqueline Chadwick
Author links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jackiechaddy?lang=en – @jackiechaddy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17006765.Jacqueline_Chadwick

 

 

Q&A with @JohnKnockAuthor #Author of, The Wolfman Of Auchtermuchty #Indie #Scottish #Horror #Debut

page _ Independent
The Wolfman Of Auchtermuchty by John Knock

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I’m a new writer. I’m a Scottish writer in the sense that my work is set in Scotland and it has a scots accent, or several of them in fact. Genre wise, its hybrid mixing comedy, horror and crime. I grew up in Fife, hence why I started with this novel but I’ve lived in lots of places across Scotland and I’m drawing on this when I’m writing.

The Wolfman of Auchtermuchty has a whole cast of characters. It slips in time between the present day and twenty years ago, always through the characters’ eyes. Craig Miller is a tabloid journalist, who left Fife after his mother’s disappearance, a still unsolved case in which he and his father were both suspected. He hopes to write a sensational piece about wolf sightings to re-start his career. His return opens up old secrets with his friends and a conspiracy that he helped to start.

Meantime, DS Jimmy Melville has found a finger and this points to a missing planning officer. He starts to investigate the case with the help of PC Shirley Stevenson while trying to keep his IBS under control. However, as the body parts start turning up on the eve of a royal visit, the possibility of a creature, perhaps a rabid dog, could create a panic.

Dr Susannah Martin is trying to write her new work but gets distracted by a handsome student, who has some interesting theories that challenge her own. When Craig Miller turns up the doorstep, she could literally lose her head.

A group of school friends need to decide who they can trust and what secrets to keep as an old curse starts to reap its revenge.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) It has been like a slow-moving boulder that took a long time to get momentum. There’s a difference between the early stages of writing – I wrote the prologue years ago – and put it all together. Re-writing, changing bits and making it all link up. It took me a while to find my voice. Now the boulder is rolling along, ideas and dialogue just keep rushing at me. Ideas for plots and situations I could always get. Getting the characters right took a little longer. Now I have them cueing up and I really want to get on with the next novel.
I would just keep re-writing so having a deadline was essential. It means I have to deliver.
Editing is more difficult. I needed to take time and make sure the formatting is correct, to proof read. Next time, I’m going to hand this over to someone else.
After Wolfman it will get easier because I have a voice, a style to match the characters and ideas.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I like writing that makes you think and I like books that feel that the writer is talking to you or letting the characters talk to you. Irvine Welsh, Christopher Brookmyre and the late Iain Banks all did this in very different ways. I have to rate Welsh’s The Acid House. I love it. His characters talk to you and each have their own voice. If you haven’t read it, do so. I just laughed out loud. Brookmyre’s One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night is when he found his voice. Complicity is really powerful. You could start with Espedair Street if you want to get into Banks.
I would also have to say A History of the World in 101/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes and of course Lanark by Alasdair Gray, probably the most interesting use of the novel as an artefact.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I loved Roger Lancelyn Green’s adaptions of the Greek and Norse myths as a kid. Ian Serraillier’s The Silver Sword and Holms’ I am David were beautifully crafted. Then I got into sci-fi, Clarke and Aznimov. I really enjoyed the scope of possibilities. As an older teen, I read fantasy for a while but I just can’t get into it now. I find them too formulaic. Except for Pratchett, he was really creative. He started off spoofing the genre and ended up really dealing with concerns about our own world. If anyone can suggest a well written fantasy novel that does something different, I’ll give it a go.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) That I’ve done it. The book is out there and now I can start a relationship with my readers. I look forward to their view and feedback. I also look forward to speaking to other authors. I find those who talk about the writing process the most interesting. My test reader said she laughed out loud and believed in the characters, so I’m looking to see what others get from it.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My wife.
She is the one who nagged me and kept me on task. My friend Jim also helped to kick start it. It’s good to have people with faith in you.
Listening to other authors talk about their work. Lee Child is great, he cares about his audience, his readership. Mark Billington’s A Stab in the Dark, is an excellent podcast. Listening to them really helped as I brought the whole thing together.
My father said to me years ago that he always thought I’d be a writer. It just took me a long time to find my voice. Funny thing is I’m now saying this about my own son and I’m not the only one.

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

author
John Knock
Author links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnKnockAuthor
Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnKnockAuthor
Website : under construction

Q&A with @writinblues Richard Wall #Author of, Fat Man Blues #Debut #Indie #Blues

cover
Fat Man Blues by Richard Wall

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I grew up in a small market town in rural Herefordshire, England At age 18 I left to join the Royal Navy. After 22 years in the submarine service and having travelled extensively, I now live and write in rural Worcestershire.
My first short story, “Evel Knievel and The Fat Elvis Diner” (available on Kindle), was soon followed by “Five Pairs of Shorts” a collection of ten short stories, and another short story called ‘Hank Williams’ Cadillac’.
My stories reflect my life-long fascination with the dark underbelly of American culture, be it tales of the Wild West, or of the simmering menace of the Deep South, or the poetry of Charles Bukowski, or the writing of Langston Hughes, or the music of Charley Patton, Son House, Johnny Cash, or Tom Waits.

I’m also a self-confessed Delta Blues music anorak. A few years ago I embarked on a pilgrimage to the USA to visit the Deep South, where a bizarre encounter in Clarksdale, Mississippi inspired me to write my début novel, Fat Man Blues.

“Hobo John” is an English blues enthusiast on a pilgrimage to present-day Mississippi. One night in Clarksdale he meets the mysterious Fat Man, who offers him the chance to see the real blues of the 1930s. Unable to refuse, Hobo John embarks on a journey through the afterlife in the company of Travellin’ Man, an old blues guitarist who shows him the sights, sounds and everyday life in the Mississippi Delta. Along the way, the Englishman discovers the harsh realities behind his romantic notion of the music he loves and the true price of the deal that he has made.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) The idea began after the bizarre encounter in a Juke Joint. My friend (who was with me) said later, “That scene in the bar would make a great opening to a story.” I began writing, and with a little embellishment turned the encounter into Chapter One of the novel.
Writing took place during spare time away from my real job and home commitments. I’m not a planner, and so each writing segment would begin by reading the previous chapter and then continuing the story where I left off – when I get in the “writing zone” (my words) I see the action playing out like a hologram just in front of my eyes.
All in all it took about three years from start to finish.

Having completed the eBook version, I uploaded to Kindle and slowly people started buying it. I managed to secure an agent, but so far a traditional publishing deal is proving elusive. After a few more weeks of swearing and frustration I managed to design and create a cover, sort out the formatting and get a paperback version ready to upload to Createspace. Receiving the proof copy, and actually holding in my hand the result of three years work was immensely satisfying.
Marketing Fat Man Blues has proved to be harder work than writing it. As a self-published author, the onus is on you to not only get the book “out there” and noticed, but to keep it there. Social media has been invaluable for this. I began with Twitter and then FaceBook a little later.

I contacted local radio stations and secured interviews, and my agent approached BBC6 Radio Presenter Cerys Matthews, who mentioned the book on her show (and subsequently invited me as her guest to a music festival she organises in N Wales). Along this journey I have connected with and met some amazing people who have unselfishly assisted me with making my book known.
Two years from first publication, sales remain steady but I’m always looking for new ways to market it, even if it’s just slipping the title into conversation every now and then.
It’s all good.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) Favourite authors are established writers Andrew Vachss, James Lee Burke, and Langston Hughes. My favourite new writer is Ran Walker – check him out on Amazon.
I can recommend any books from the above authors, but one of my favourite ever novels is “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. Breathtaking.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Spike Milligan was a favourite author, and at one time I had every one of his novels and poetry collections.
One book which stands out from my childhood (and which I still have) is Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I’ve had several favourite moments: I was extremely proud when the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi, offered to stock Fat Man Blues in their gift shop. I was equally proud to receive a photograph of Rita King posing with my book (Rita King is the daughter of blues legend BB King). Meeting, and becoming friends with musicians Tone Tanner and Garrington T Jones, who very generously invited me to read from Fat Man Blues during one of their gigs. Another high-point was giving a talk about my book at Upton Blues Festival in 2017, and being introduced on stage by local blues legend Trevor ‘Babajack’ Steger.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for my wife, Barbara.

author
Richard Wall
Author links:
Twitter @writinblues
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Wall/100012790451828
RWall Website: https://richardwall.org/

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

#BlogTour Illusion by @StephanieElmas @EndeavourPress #Extract Chapter four

Illusion blog tour promo
Illusion by Stephanie Elmas
Synopsis:

London, 1873.

Returning home from his travels with a stowaway named Kayan, Walter Balanchine is noted for the charms, potions and locket hanging from his neck.

Finding his friend Tom Winter’s mother unwell, he gives her a potion he learned to brew in the Far East. Lucid and free from pain, the old woman remembers something about Walter’s mother.

Walter is intrigued, for he has never known his family or even his own name – he christened himself upon leaving the workhouse.

Living in a cemetery with his pet panther Sinbad to keep the body snatchers away, word soon spreads of his healing and magical abilities and he becomes a sought after party performer.

During one of Walter’s parties, Tom is approached by Tamara Huntington, who reveals she is being forced to marry a man she does not love.

Will he and Walter come to her rescue?

Try as they might, sometimes all the best intentions in the world can’t put a stop to a bad thing, and she is soon married off to the cruel Cecil Hearst.

Drama and tragedy ensue, and Walter keeps his distance from Tamara.

That is until her stricken brother-in-law Daniel requires his magical healing, and he is forced back into her life.

With secrets beginning to emerge, Walter finds his mother may be a lot closer to home than he realised…

Filled with mystery, magic and larger than life characters, Illusion will keep you guessing until the very last page.

#Extract – Chpater Four:

Walter’s re-entry into [Tom’s] quiet life had given him an unexpected jolt. His friend’s grand plans, delicious and tempting as they were, sent rivulets of terror right through him. To risk all that he had carefully built for himself, for Ma, their small oasis of domesticity… It was terrifying, yes. But god knows it was exciting, too. Life with Walter was never anything but. And could his old friend, just possibly, be the one to make Ma better? It was almost too painful to hope.
He wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead and moved his chair an inch away from the raging hearth nearby. As if in response, Rosalind halted to pull a wrap a little further up her throat. She then flexed her fingers and resumed her battle with ‘Around the Pear Tree’.
And yet, he owed Walter. He owed him everything that he had now. Because if that gawky, strange named beanpole of a boy hadn’t taken him under his wing all those years ago, then Tom Winter would be dead by now. He’d be one of those small, starved, sackful of bones they throw into pits for people who have nothing to show for in this world. He’d be deep under the frosty earth, not sizzling by the fire in Rosalind Gallop’s parlour.
‘D’ya want to see something funny?’
Those had been Walter’s first words to him. Tom had found himself unable to respond. He was too cold and too hungry: a lost and shivering little boy of eight.
But the skull-like face didn’t seem to need his question answered. ‘I’m gonna count back from five and then you’re gonna smile, like you still know how to do it.’
They were sitting in the refectory: a hundred miserable, snot faced, filthy children, and Mrs Chester was serving out the slop that passed for their food. She heaved a gigantic pan up onto the table, clutching its iron handle.
‘Pigeon broth!’ she bellowed. ‘It’s burnt, mind.’
Walter winked and began to count down quietly. ‘Five, four, three, two …,’
The lid came up from the giant pot. Mrs Chester danced back, shrieking as the room fell into disarray. Because instead of emitting the odour of burnt, liquid bird, the pot unleashed three very much alive pigeons. They spiralled up from their prison, wings flapping a series of sharp slaps in Mrs Chester’s face, feathers cascading in the air. Everyone in the room bounced up from their seats, eyes wet with laughter. Pigeons swooped and chairs got knocked over as children took cover. Mrs Chester waved an old rag around her head, cursing loudly at them all.
At last the three birds settled, perching on one of the great beams that traversed the rectory ceiling. Calm descended and Mrs Chester was about to speak again when an impressive shower of bird shit suddenly splattered down onto one of the tables.
New gasps and squawks of hilarity rippled through the room. But Mrs Chester remained silent, dangerously so, and the laughter petered out.
‘Walter!’ she cried at last, her cheeks now streaked with lurid veins. She marched towards their table, grabbing Walter by the ear.
‘I got you smiling though, didn’t I Tom Winter?’ he said as she dragged him away, his gangly legs skimming in all directions across the floor. Tom trembled at the thought of what punishment awaited this strange boy. His own skin began to tingle sympathetically as he imagined the swipe of some vile instrument striking that papery skin, bruising those knobbly bones of his. But Walter had been right. Because when those pigeons came flapping out of that pot, he had smiled. More than that. He’d laughed, for the first time since his world had fallen apart.

Stephanie Elmas 2
Stephanie Elmas
Authors links:
Website: www.stephanieelmas.com/
Twitter: @StephanieElmas