#BlogTour #GuestPost #WritersBlock #PayThePenance by @RobAshmanAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman

A stunning serial killer thriller from The Mechanic Trilogy

Murder. Corruption. Revenge. 

Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. And he doesn’t disappoint.

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back together. The police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance and she must divert the investigation if she is to survive.

The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which puts Moran right in the firing line.


Writer’s block … take a bath

It is every writer’s worst nightmare when your story line dries up. I tend to be able to keep it at bay by employing a few simple strategies. Before I became a full-time writer I had jobs which were extremely varied, it was one of the things that kept me interested. I try and replicate that environment when I’m writing, so I write in every room in the house, with the exception of the downstairs loo!

I also write in two coffee shops and the public library. I enjoy the variety that brings and how it keeps my thinking fresh. However, there are times when I get a little stumped and cannot see how the next set of chapters will unfold. It is then I use my more unusual strategy – that is to take a bath.

I always think that an issue is easier to overcome if you can visualise the problem. The trouble with writer’s block is, what does that look like?

For me I picture a cinema showing the chapters from my book. I am sat on the front row while the events play across the screen. I can hear the dialogue and see the characters acting out what I’ve written. This is an old cinema house where the movie is played on giant reels of film and in my head I can see the man operating the projector. He comes to the end of one reel but he can’t find the next in the sequence. He knows it’s there but he can’t find it. That for me is what writer’s block is all about. The story is there, I just can’t lay my hands on what comes next.

I lie in the bath and run the scenes over and over until the man finds the next reel of film. He feeds it into the projector and off we go again. Sometimes I might only be in the bath for a matter of minutes before the plotline becomes clear. Having baths in the middle of the day might not be for everyone but it works for me.

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Rob Aahman
Authors bio:

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob will be publishing all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books – the second novel is titled In Your Name and the third is called Pay The Penance.

Authors Links:
Web site: http://www.robashman.com/
Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor
via Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/rob-ashman/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author-1428800800468097/




#BlogTour #Debut #Review A Deadly Game by Joanne Griffiths @Tazer129 @Bloodhoundbook

Blog Tour (2)

A Deadly Game by Joanne Griffiths


A chilling serial killer thriller

Kate Palmer, an undergraduate student, discovers that she is pregnant and makes the decision to drop out of university. However, on the evening before she returns home, her body is discovered in Aston park. She is the first victim of several murders that will rock the city of Birmingham.

DS James “Jim” Wardell, who has his own issues to contend with, is given the case.

When Eddie Carter, a popular talk show host on Birmingham’s radio station, is contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, it is the start of a cat and mouse game between a deranged killer and the police.

After a second body is discovered the pressure mounts on the police to capture the person responsible.

Who is killing these women and why?

Can Jim apprehend the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?

My review:

A killer stalks the streets of Birmingham, attacking young women at their peril….

The prologue opens with young carefree student Kate Palmer, making the tough decision to leave university. Across Birmingham however we meet a woman also facing an uncertain and complex future, Alison.
Alison, is married to a man only described only as ‘he’ throughout, he is a volatile, angry and controlling man. The scenes of domestic abuse narrated make for painful reading and fully display the control abusers exercise over their victims. With a young baby, Alison needs help drastically, but as we read her internal struggles we realise how tough it is indeed for victims to face the reality of their treatment and can relate to their belief it will get better. Will Alison find the courage she needs? Can she escape with her young baby?

Career copper, Jim and his police partner, Angela receive an urgent 999 call at midnight during their shift. Summoned to the scene at Aston Park, they find the dead body of a young woman, in what appears to be a sexually motivated crime, due to the display of the body. The victim is Id’ed as local student Kate Palmer and Kate’s personal past is dragged out for everyone to see, secrets and all……..

The killer sends letters and items of the victims, to local radio host Eddie Carter. Eddie runs a Friday night talk show on the BTH FM station. The notes are violent in their wording and show the true level of depravity in the killer himself.

“She Deserved to die she was a whore I’m not done yet”

The police are worried this maybe an attempt at a hoax and the comparisons are drawn from the Yorkshire ripper case and the Hoax caller who confused the entire investigation for many months. When more and more young women’s bodies turn up the media dub the killer the ‘Aston strangler’. Is this Birmingham’s answer to the Yorkshire ripper?

This novel covered a wide-variety of themes and I found that thoroughly engaging. The impact of the crimes on the surviving family, Press intrusion and police pressure are fully explored as the plot plays out. I loved the dynamic of ‘double lives’ but predicting which characters are leading double lives is never easy.

The novel has layers of depth, with a killer twist at the end! 4*

Joanne Griffiths
Authors links:
Publisher: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/joanne-griffiths/
Twitter: @Tazer129

#BlogTour #Review The Black Hornet by @RSinclairAuthor @Bloodhoundbook

Blog Tour (11)

The Black Hornet by Rob Sinclair

The synopsis:

The Black Hornet – an explosive James Ryker Thriller

What do you do when the love of your life vanishes without a trace? If you’re ex-intelligence agent James Ryker you search for the answers whatever the cost, however much blood and sacrifice it takes…

Six months ago Lisa was taken from Ryker, and he’ll stop at nothing to find out who is responsible and why. Following a trail to Mexico, the ex-Joint Intelligence Agency asset soon finds himself in the firing line of enemies he long thought he’d left behind. Set-up for the murder of a former informant, Ryker is thrown into a crumbling jail run by The Black Hornet, the notorious leader of a Mexican drug cartel. But what connects the cartel to the informant’s murder, and to Lisa’s disappearance? And just who is the mystery American claiming he can help Ryker in his hour of need?

The Black Hornet is the second book in the bestselling James Ryker series. Part Bourne, part Reacher, it’s an explosive and action-packed thriller to rival any other

My review:

James Ryker is back!
I had previously read The Red Cobra for review for the blog tour. I found it brilliant the escapism and writing totally blew me away. I didn’t think it could get much better, but I was in for a little surprise, in reading The Black Hornet! Wow! It was like a movie in its action packed delivery. I would even go as far to say that it is better than his last bestselling novel, which I gave 5* also.

The novel opens following on from the ending of The Red Cobra, with Lisa missing and Ryker on a desperate search. Ryker had previously been living in a remote pacific island, off the grid. Who would find them and how?
His search for Lisa will span many various countries such as Mexico and the deep south of the US Louisiana. The author completely brings the locations to life. I felt this was exceptional writing and must not be an easy task for any author to achieve.

On his pursuit of Lisa’s location, Ryker finds himself slung in a Mexican jail, which can only be described as ‘hell’. He must navigate the prison hierarchy and gang alliances, whilst trying to also gain his own freedom. Within the jail the organisation/gang behind the back hornet tattoos, is learnt and it makes for fascinating reading. Who are this organisation? What do they want with Ryker? Do the hold Lisa? Ryker has so many clues but no clear answers……

Eleanor Willoughby is appointed from the British foreign and commonwealth office, in an attempt to protect Ryker’s rights. But with Ryker reluctant to trust a government official and refusing to give even his name. He is clearly in more trouble, than we the reader, could have anticipated. Who can you trust, when everyone is out to get you?

This novel has themes of gang politics, violence, corruption, sex, power and crime. It is incredibly edgy and would make an amazing movie! The authors writing is clearly evolving and the style is intense. At times the novel has quite macho themes similar to the style of writing in Bear Grylls action novels. But it is without a doubt, much better written!
Action packed and full of twists, a cracking read 5*

Rob Sinclair
Authors links:
Web: http://www.robsinclairauthor.com/
Twitter: @RSinclairAuthor

*The Black Hornet is available via Kindle Unlimited or for the price of just £1.99!
The perfect treat for a sunny weekend! 🙂

#GuestPost #TheStudyOfMurder and Q&A with Tony J Forder #Author of Bad To The Bone @TonyJForder

Bad To The Bone Cover
Bad To The Bone by Tony J Forder

The synopsis:

Bad to the Bone: an utterly gripping new police thriller

A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.

A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.

As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.

As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.

When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.

Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?

And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?

Guest post – The Study Of Murder:

Research is not only important when you’re looking to write a book, it can also be a hugely enjoyable experience. When you write crime fiction you not only get to learn about police procedure and the basic mechanics of criminal investigations, but also you need to understand how specific crimes are committed, plus of course the impact of them. For me, research has been a real learning curve and I have been fascinated by it.

One the policing side you need to understand (as much as possible) how an investigation proceeds, who the main players are, the different ranks and their roles, as well as the influence of the pathologist, which is far greater than many people might think. Recently I actually queried whether a Detective Inspector would be a Senior Investigating Officer in a major murder enquiry, because recent TV documentaries have suggested that Detective Superintendents and Chief Inspectors would normally take up that role. It was interesting to me how something like that might actually depend on where in the country it took place, and which members of staff were available at the time.

For my book Bad to the Bone, released recently by Bloodhound Books, in addition to the procedural stuff I also did a great deal of research into anthropology, archaeology and palaeontology, because the storyline revolves around the discovery of human bones which have been in the ground for many years. The book is set in Peterborough, UK, and as I live in the city I used a bit of local knowledge and included a character who was currently working at the Flag Fen Bronze-Age dig.

For my next book, Degrees of Darkness, due to be released on 28 September this year, my specialist research was taxidermy. I actually called a taxidermist and spoke to them for about an hour or more, furiously making notes as I went along. Again, whilst the end result of taxidermy is, for me, a little creepy, I was absorbed by the process itself.

Works in progress have had me researching the National Crime Agency, the Los Angeles police department, FBI, San Quentin prison, the death penalty system in the USA, as well as native American institutes, reservations and casinos. An awful lot of work went into all of that, I can tell you.

Yet with all that research done, the secret of using it in your writing is more about what not to use and when not to use it. Some readers may well be as captivated by the information as you were when researching, but others will want you to get on with the story. So you need to weave it into the story, not just do massive info dumps in order to reveal how knowledgeable you are about the subject. Info dumps are useful at times – but you do need to work on the how and when, and that takes experience. Have I included too much of my research in my first two books? I guess the readers will be the judge of that, and certainly as far as Bad to the Bone is concerned, no one has complained about it, whilst others have mentioned how much they enjoyed it.

One final thing about research: writers of fiction expect a little leeway when it comes to their work. It is fiction, after all. However, I think today’s more sophisticated and knowledgeable readers increasingly demand factual consistency, and so it is incumbent on us as writers to ensure that we do our due diligence when researching. That said, I still fall back on the fact that it is a work of fiction, and therefore if I can’t find out the true facts about something then I have the right to just make it up. Just as someone out there who does know the truth has to the right to call me on it.

At the end of the day, I think if you want to write about murder then you should also be willing to study it a little. Hopefully, you’ll end up enjoying it every bit as much as I do.


Q) You mention researching various criminal cases, which has been the most shocking you have come across?

A) One that fascinated me was a case in New Hampshire where in 1985 a metal drum containing garbage bags was found by a hunter, and inside the bags were two bodies – a woman and a child. They had been beaten to death, and although police speculated they were mother and daughter, they were never identified. Fifteen years later, a cop assigned to the cold case revisited the site and found another drum not far from the site of the first. Inside were two more bodies – both children. It was later revealed that one was related to the first two bodies, but the other one was not. To date, these bodies have still not been identified. It’s a shocking case, made worse by the fact that this woman and three young children had dropped off the map so much that their murders were never linked to identities.

 Q) The impact of crime is something, not always covered in media or films. What influenced the decision to feature that point of view?

A) Usually you have the murder victim, the murder(s) and the police investigating. But what about the families of those who were murdered? Their grieving, their emotions, are often seen as little more than a by-product. But when the dust has settled, it is they who have to endure that unbearable loss. Their stories are often lost in the mix.

 Q) You researched various USA police agencies, what was the most fascinating theme within the American justice theme?

A) I think it was the Californian death penalty. There are around 3,000 on death row right now, of which almost 750 are in California. All male death row prisoners are in one prison – San Quentin. But despite the death penalty still being legal in California, the state has not executed anyone since 2006. That was Clarence Ray Allen, who was also the oldest person executed there at the age of 76.

 Q) how does American justice differ to the UK systems?

A) The sheer volume of different law enforcement agencies for one. The legal procedures are also labyrinthine, and people can be behind bars for years before their cases ever reach court. One serious factor is the use of private prisons, and there have been several companies responsible for buying off judges in order to increase the local prison population.

 Q) Taxidermy, I am frightened to ask, but I must! What have you learnt in your taxidermy research? and in particular regarding human taxidermy?

A) And you’re right to be frightened…but seriously, the difficulty factor is enormous even with small creatures, let alone the larger human form. Essentially, you have to peel off the skin, remove everything that can rot, boil the bones, pad it out to create a natural form, and then pop the skin back on. Easy peasy…would you like to give it a whirl?

Tony J Forder
Authors links:
Web: https://www.tonyjforder.com/
Publisher: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/tony-forder/
Twitter: @TonyJForder
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-J.-Forder/e/B01N4BPT65/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

*Huge thanks to Tony for writing  guest post and taking part in a Q&A. I look forward to your next novel and wish you every success in your writing. 🙂


#BlogTour #Review – Baby Dear by Linda Huber @LindaHuber19 @Bloodhoundbook


Baby Dear by Linda Huber

The synopsis:

Baby Dear: a gripping psychological thriller

Caro and Jeff Horne seem to have it all until they learn that Jeff is infertile. Caro married Jeff because her biggest wish was to be a mother, and he had the means to give their children a better life than she’d had. Jeff, who is besotted with Caro, is terrified he will lose her now they can’t have a baby.

Across town, Sharon is eight months pregnant and unsure if she really wants to be a mother. Soon her world will collide with Jeff’s. He wants to keep Caro happy and decides that getting a baby is the only way.

Then Caro is accidently drawn into an underworld of drugs…

Meanwhile, Jeff is increasingly desperate to find a baby – but what lengths is he prepared to go to?

Is Sharon in danger, and will Caro ever have the family she’s always dreamed of?

My review:

I originally wanted to read this due to its themes of infertility, but it is so much more than that. It deals with the complexity of those characters involved and the fragility of their mental health due to the continued frustration with being unable to conceive. The characters are not always likeable but they do take you on a journey, a journey of self-destruction that reaches breaking point!

Caro and Jeff are a married couple, who in the opening of the book, learn that Jeff’s sperm count is virtually non-existent. Caro is a difficult woman to like, driven by a selfish desire to always get her own way and having achieved those things materialistically, she will stop at nothing to ‘acquire’ a baby. Jeff is infatuated with his wife and the inability to give her what she needs most, torments him! This is one very determined young couple……….

Across town Sharon is reaching the 9th month of her pregnancy, she is apprehensive of what motherhood will bring and the changes it will make to her relationship with husband Craig. When she is befriended by Sharon, a mother herself, it eases her burdens. However, they are all unprepared for the drama that will unfold in the weeks to come, which will build to a catastrophic event that will impact, on all their lives!

This is another novel that due to its themes and characters I could see being ideal for book groups and debate amongst readers. How far would you go, to get what your heart desires the most?

Linda Huber
Authors Links:
Web: https://lindahuber.net/
Via publishers:http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/linda-huber
Twitter: @LindaHuber19