Anne Bonny #News from @ObliteratiPress #GuestPost by @daveocelot #DebutNovel The Baggage Carousel – Why I Travel. . . . .

TBC cover
The Baggage Carousel by David Olner

Dan Roberts has a troubled past, anger management issues and a backpack named after an abducted heiress. A chance encounter with Amber, a free-spirited Australian girl, seems to give his solitary, nomadic life a new sense of direction. But when she doesn’t respond to his emails, the only direction he’s heading is down…

Guest Post:

Why I Travel

It was Dumaguete, The Philippines. It was a Sunday morning and felt like it, hot and hardly worth bothering with. I was hanging out of my arse like a prolapse. Staring morbidly at a breakfast burrito in the outdoor seating area of a faux-Mexican cantina, poking it periodically with a fork in the hope it might deflate. Across the road, the snuffed-out neon signage of the “Why Not?” nightclub served as a dulled reminder of my most recent fall from grace. It takes a lot to get thrown out of a nightclub in the Philippines, but I had somehow managed it just a few hours earlier, for reasons I did not, or chose not to, recall.
The looped mariachi music scraping against my brain was punctuated by a beeping horn. I registered it dully at first, thinking the track was segueing into a mash-up. But when I looked up from my plate a Geordie bloke I vaguely remembered doing shots with the night before had pulled up on his scooter. He was wearing one of those striped blue and white t shirts that people always seem to wear when they ride scooters abroad. He looked entirely too healthy and well-adjusted to fit into my vista and I wanted to wave him off to one side, so I could better take a mental photograph of my latest, self-imposed hell.
“Howay, man,” he declared stereotypically. “I’m off to buy some pork. Landlady’s gonna make lechon. Wanna come?”
I looked at him, looked at the burrito and looked at the sign across the road.
“Why not?” I replied.
We got lost on the way, nearly hit some churchgoers who got to practice their genuflections early, only made it to the fabled pork district of the city when most of the carcasses had already been ravaged. Out of all the roadside stalls, the only thing left was a single pig’s head that smiled up at us beatifically, as though we had come to deliver it from the flies.
“This is the very best part of the pig for making lechon,” the stallholder insisted.
“How come it’s still here, then?” asked the Geordie.
The man shrugged and plucked a stray hair from the pig’s face, blew it from his finger and wished us away.
We paid for the head, like a lot of men do in the Philippines. Got lost again on the way back, ended up blocked in by a crowd of local blokes heading to the cockfight arena.
“Wanna go?” the Geordie, whose name I couldn’t and still can’t remember, asked.
“Why not?” I said.
We sat in the arena, pretending to savour warm, wet beers that made us dry heave, the men looking over at us and winking as they washed their cocks. Then we watched magnificent birds set against each other like gladiators in a manky coliseum, biting and scratching each other to near death to appease the bloodlust of these men. Between us, on the rough wooden bleachers, was a smiling pig’s face in a plastic bag. Throughout the slaughter I would set my hand upon it occasionally, to steady myself. As though I were a pensive Hamlet, regarding Yorick’s skull.
“How’s the head?” asked the Geordie.
“Fine,” I replied, not knowing if he was enquiring after the pig’s welfare or mine.
Whenever people ask me why I travel, this is the first thing I think of. But I don’t tell them about it. I think of something prettier. Angkor Wat at dawn, maybe, or that herd of elephants crossing the Luangwa river at sunset in Zambia. The young calf falling back, lost in the new joy of swinging its trunk in the shallow water, until an elder doubled back and hurried it along. That Sunday morning in the Philippines wasn’t the most edifying experience of my life. Looking back on it now, it was actually fairly horrendous. But it was about doing something different, something ludicrous, even. It was about inhabiting a particular moment in a particular place, a moment that couldn’t be replicated anywhere else. A moment you wouldn’t find if you stayed at home, binge-watching box-sets on Netflix and waiting for the Ocado driver to finally get out of his fucking van that’s been parked at the end of your driveway for ten minutes and is making your UPVC windows rattle to deliver the salted caramel lamb cutlets that Jan from work posted pictures of on Instagram and buying more and more things to better pad your beautiful cell. Saving all your money to upgrade that thousand-inch flat screen into a two thousand-inch curved screen and covertly praying they never invent a 360 screen. Money that could be much better spent pissed up a wall in a skanky nightclub in the Philippines, or on fly-blown pig’s heads or cockfights.
It was about saying, “Why not?”

David Olner
Obliterati Press website

Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Fear by @callytaylor 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Thriller @AvonBooksUK

The Fear by C.L Taylor

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

My Review:

This novel has an extremely relevant theme. With more and more women coming forward; regarding their experiences of sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement’s media reach. The central theme is the abuse of power, by male teacher Mike Hughes. The trauma of the past will have severe repercussions for victim Lou Wandsworth. This is a griping psychological thriller, with many thought-provoking points.

The novel opens with the now adult Lou and her most recent boyfriend Ben. Having organised a secret surprise for Lou, Ben takes her to the ferry port to Calais.
Only what Ben doesn’t know, is that for Lou this journey brings back flashbacks of a much darker time…..

‘In an instant I am fourteen years old again’

Back in Malvern, someone is stalking Lou, using the accessibility of social media, to track her down. They have taken their time, created a fake profile and seem hell bent on making Lou pay, but who? And why?

The narrative of what occurred between Lou and Mike when they fled the UK for France; is explored in a serious of memories and flashbacks. The author has done an outstanding job, of describing the seduction and fear of the teenage victims. The perpetrators desperation for control and in some way, what he looks for in his potential victims.
As the mother of a teenage girl, I was horrified!

‘I don’t know why you’re blaming me for everything, you know what you were getting yourself into’ – Mike

The trauma of the experience at the ferry port, leads Lou to believe she must confront Mike. On reflection she knows she was groomed for abuse, she hears his voice within her head. Lou believes, that to overcome her internal fear she must make Mike face up to what he has done to her. But Mike is a sexual predator, who blames his victims for his sexual appetite. He will not accept accountability, so easily…..

When Lou tracks down Mike, she finds him in the embrace of a 13/14yr old girl. She is shocked and disturbed, by the way in which Mike is so casually re-offending. Lou speaks to the local police officers, but with no proof of what she saw and a young girl in denial. They have nothing to go on. Which puts Lou firmly back at square one!

The young teenage girl, is Chloe Meadows. As victims go, she is highly complex herself. Her parents show little interest in her life, she is lonely and has very low self-esteem. I was surprised at her parent’s lack of protection and regard for her safety with the internet. This enabling Mike to have constant communication with his victim, poisoning her mind at every turn.

‘I thought I was so grown up.
That my life was a romantic movie.
That I was in control. I couldn’t have been more wrong’ – Lou

As Lou’s investigation into Mike and his relationship with Chloe intensifies, so does Lou’s stalkers. This is a novel with constant simmering confrontations and a high level of emotion. This makes it one hell of a tense read!!!!!

When Mike took Lou to France, she assumed it was a romantic trip. When she got there, she discovered his intentions were much more sinister. Mike is a master manipulator, as evidenced in Lou’s experiences in France. When She returns home, Mike is sentenced to 5yrs in jail. He loses his career, wife and freedom. But can men like this ever be rehabilitated? Is he just biding time, to locate and move in, on a new victim? Lou is labelled an ‘embarrassment’ and disgrace by her father. I had to ask myself, who really paid the bigger price, Lou or Mike?

‘You’re to hold my hand all the way there, keep your eyes lowered and do as you’re told’

Mike’s justifications for his actions are sickening. But he is unaware, that Lou kept a diary of her experiences. A diary that may help her prove what a sick individual Mike is.
This novel has an incredibly tense build up to a shocking ending! Those last four pages, show just how cleverly plotted out the entire novel is. Huge respect for the author for ensuring her novel reads right up to the very last sentence. 5*

***I don’t add buying links on my reviews, but I will give you the heads up that the kindle & paperback version of The Fear are just £2.99 via Amazon***

C.L Taylor

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