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

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Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman
Synopsis:

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.

#GuestPost

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 5* #Review #IKnowASecret by @tessgerritsen @TransworldBooks #NewRelease

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I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen
Synopsis:

I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

My review:

This is Rizzoli & Isles #12 but can easily be read as a standalone novel. Detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles, are a crime solving due in Boston, USA. With a young woman found dead, with links to high-profile solved case from years ago.
This is no easy case to solve by any measure…..

The novel starts quite slow in the beginning and I longed for the usual, complete and utter engrossment, I get with novels by this author. However, at 50% in, things took a monumental turn and I realised this was the work of a very clever author and writing style. It felt as though the first half of the novel, the author is leaving tiny, tiny breadcrumbs and clues to the plot. Which at the halfway mark, blew me away!

The novel opens with unreliable narrator Holly, attending the funeral of childhood friend Sarah. Sarah having been victim to a fatal house fire. I didn’t like Holly from the onset but the way she delivered little riddle like clues, that had me hooked!
Five rode the school bus that afternoon, only 4 remain alive…….

Maura Isles is visiting a terminally ill, cancer patient, who also turns out to be a psychopathic serial killer. Nothing new there, due to her role as a forensic pathologist would often mean engaging with such killers, after they have been caught. Except this killer Amalthea Lank, is Isles birth mother…….
They have a fraught discussion and you can see Lank’s attempts to draw Isle’s into some form of emotional blackmail with mind games. The relationship between the two in the novel, makes for eerie reading and displays the psychology of familial bonds.
The crosses we all bear due to DNA.

Detective Jane Rizzoli and detective Barry Frost are attempting to analyse the crime scene, where the young victim lays sprawled across the bed, with empty eye sockets and an eye in each hand. The crime scene is grotesque and this is not a novel for the faint hearted. The victim Cassandra Coyle, a young wannabe film maker positioning resembles a similar case in Dallas. A case where 3 young college girls were murdered but the perpetrator was caught.
Is someone trying to send a message to the police?
Does this mean there will be more bodies?

Someone is watching Rizzoli and Isles

The investigation continues with much speculation and theories, but theories don’t catch killers! The autopsy turns up more mystery than hard evidence and the CCTV displays nothing more than a silhouette of a tall man. Not to mention the warring parents at the funeral of the victim. Rizzoli and Isles have little more than some sketchy theories and links to a previous new age cult. When the body of a dead man shows up, with similar findings. The duo know they have the work of a crazed killer on their hands.

“oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive” Holly

There appears no obvious link to the victims, other than a ‘mechanism of death’ used in the murders. *See I told you this was not for the faint hearted!*
The mechanism of death and theories that surround the case, make for fascinating reading. They force the duo to investigate painful cold cases and contact victims, who would rather forget the past.

I can’t give away anymore, with regards to the plot, because to do so would leave spoilers. I do look forward to hearing other readers shock and awe, when they hit the halfway mark! Because this novel has an insanely epic turn!
There are themes of revenge, abuse, family dynamics, religion and the pain of the past.
It is one hell of a good read! 5*    

TG
Tess Gerritsen
Authors Links:
Web page: http://www.tessgerritsen.com/
Twitter: @tessgerritsen

I Know a Secret - BT Banner Websites

 

#BlogTour #GuestPost Q&A #Hit by @PSBridgebooks @gilbster1000

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Hit
Synopsis:

A terrorist threat, a sinister organisation, and a threat to the security of the free world. Renowned British lawyer and Sandhurst military academy dropout, Mark Lucas King is assigned the case of his career: to prosecute known terrorist Mohammed Al-Azidi.

All King wants is justice and to do his job successfully. But his peaceful life is shattered when a team of merciless hitmen targets him and his family and the court case collapses. Framed for assault and suspected of his wife’s murder, King must leave his legal career behind and go back to his old career as a British Army sniper in order to catch those responsible and hold them to account. Mark King’s brand of justice doesn’t involve a court room.

Forced to battle against highly trained hitmen to clear his name, King discovers that a sinister organisation known as Invictus Advoca is operating behind the scenes. What is their connection to him and the Al-Azidid case?

As the hunt for those responsible takes him far across Europe, can Mark unravel the mysteries that shroud this secretive organisation and peel back the layers to discover why he and his family have found themselves the target of professional hitmen?

Time is not on Mark King’s side as he races to prevent a global terror threat, discover who killed his wife, and find out who wants him dead, and why.

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P.S Bridge
Author Bio:

Living in Hampshire, right on the edge of Southampton Water, P.S Bridge has spent over a decade working in the private financial and legal sector. Away from his professional life, he embraces his creative side and is often found writing stories whilst listening to music. An avid reader from a young age he counts author Scott Mariani as one of the many influences that finally encouraged him to put the finishing touches to the first in his Mark King thriller series.

Authors links:
Website:  www.psbridgebooks.com
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/PSBridgebooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/P.SBridgeBooks

Q&A:

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

A) I used to work in the financial and legal industry, working with a variety of clients from all across Europe as well as in the UK. After 13 years of long days and late nights, I decided to leave to pursue an idea for a TV series after watching the popular ‘Thirteen’ series with Stuart Townsend. After sending it to every producer and director I could, and them all saying no, my wife suggested I turn it into a book. After lots of discussion, I decided she was right and ‘Hit’ the novel was born.

Hit is about rebellious but renowned English Lawyer and ex-Sandhurst Military academy drop out & British Army sniper Mark King, who, after waiting his entire legal career for ‘THE case’, finally is selected to prosecute a terrorist named Azidi. With Downing Street and the entire country watching, it’s Mark King’s time to shine. However, there are other forces at work and after several threatening phone calls demanding he drop the case, Mark is framed for assault and then the murder of his wife. Knowing it was a professional ‘hit’, he swears vengeance, and, securing his two children in a safe location, embarks on a mission to bring those responsible for his wife’s murder, to justice.

However, as with all things Mark King, things are never simple, and he unearths a mysterious and sinister secret society Invictus Advoca, who works in the shadows with governments all across the world in their pocket. Not only is Mark battling professionally trained killers, he is also up against an organisation which doesn’t know the meaning of giving up, and to make matters worse, they have a terrifying connection to Mark himself, or rather, Mark’s past. With highly trained killers, a secret organisation hell bent on his downfall, and to make matters worse, a young and ambitious MI6 agent determined to put Mark in prison, to deal with, time is running out for Mark to find out who killed his wife and targeted him and his family, and why.

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

A) I first had the idea for Hit while on my lunch break while working in Southampton. I had worked so closely with many legal figures and I was always fascinated by their loyalty to Justice. It made me wonder how far they would go to achieve it and what justice really meant to individuals. I asked around and the same general consensus was the same, but I also wondered what would happen if any one of them went to the complete opposite end of the spectrum, from advocate of truth and justice and the law, to professional killer. As I delved further into this kind of psychology, a character began to emerge, and a story line formed. Hit, was starting to almost create itself.

Initially, Hit was written as a TV series, but no TV production company wanted to take on the project. My wife suggested I turn it into a book and the work really began. My first job was to take each scene and elaborate on it from script, to chapter and this meant a lot of late nights and long days, (and coffee!). Once the manuscript was complete, I began to contact every single traditional publisher I could find online. Each one said no except Clink Street. After a long conversation with them around the idea, the character’s journey and the other 18 books planned,

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I adore Tom Clancy, Brian Jacques who I was lucky enough to have met before he sadly died, and Scott Mariani, who, in my mind, is one of the most incredible and talented authors of our time. My current recommended reads are Rob Sinclair’s Enemy series. This author knows exactly how to draw you in, keep you on the edge then dazzle you, sometimes all at the same time. He has a massive career ahead of him and he came from a very similar background to mine. If I ever write as well as he does, I shall be happy.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child, both my mum and I read Brian Jacques ‘Mossflower’ series of books about an Abbey of warrior mice and their figurehead ‘Martin The Warrior’. I think what inspired me to write, was how he based all the animal characters on real people and real areas around Liverpool, Bristol, Somerset and Ireland. I would take these books to Southampton Common during the summer holidays and sit in the woods with a picnic, and imagine the story coming to life before me. I was totally hooked.

I also adored the Fighting Fantasy Game Book series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. For anyone who loves table top gaming such as Warhammer, they would LOVE these books. Because you turn to different pages based on your decisions, you rarely read the same adventure in the same book twice! It was a genius concept and I still read them now if/when I get time.

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

A) My favourite moment was having someone say they liked what I had written. Obviously I adore the writing process, but when I first put my manuscript out there, I was absolutely terrified in case everyone hated it. But once people started saying they liked it, it made me feel amazing. Although my most favourite part of being a published author hasn’t yet happened. I dream of walking past a Waterstones and seeing my novel in the window! One day, when this happens, I KNOW that will be the best moment so far.

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

A) Initially, it was my late mum. Even when she was dying, and undergoing gruelling chemotherapy, she was still more interested in MY work, than her own suffering. She always wanted to hear about the story, my progress and we would write it almost together. But also my wife, Laura and 7 year old Jessica. Both these people have never once, not even after regular setbacks with refusals of other agencies, or TV producers, through the late nights and sudden moments of revelation at 3am when I leap up out of bed and rush to my notepad because I’ve had a fantastic idea for a plot, or character. When I gave up work to write full time, money was tight. In fact, we once attended a food bank when neither of us could find work for a while. Despite all of this, the both of them never once said ‘go out and get a proper job’. They both said, even when I insisted I give up writing and go back to work full time, ‘no, carry on writing. What you’ve got is good!’

Guest Post: The road to publication

Ever since I was young, I loved to write. I know that sounds cliché but for me it’s really true. Growing up I always wanted to be a journalist until a very wise and eagle eyed careers advisor recognised I lacked the qualities and, due to living on a rough council estate and being the victim of crime regularly, recommended I enter the legal profession. Fast forward to the age of 23 and I was busy working for a solicitors practice. I encountered a great variety of characters there, some of which made it into the book and Mark King was born.

During 2014 and after what seemed like years of mental arguments with a character in my imagination that flatly refused to go away, I decided to leave the legal profession and began writing the script for what I thought would make a great TV series. Long nights were spent furiously typing away my old and decrepit laptop as I composed line after line, scene after scene, sometimes filling 8 pages with scene description. My days would be spent between school runs, researching locations and inventing my own, working out camera angles, lighting, and background music, even choosing the actors I wanted to play each part until eventually, I completed seasons 1 and 2.

My partner and I discussed at great length, the issue with having what we both agreed was a really good script but no one ever reading it, and so I built up the courage to send my completed scripts out to TV production companies, producers, directors and anyone who would listen, starting with the producers of some of my favourite TV drama series. Each and every single one said they liked what I had done, but didn’t think it was ‘right for them’.

I felt low and disappointed, but yet prepared to write season 3. No sooner had I penned the season than my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and would undergo treatment immediately. Her chemotherapy was gruelling and I sat by her bedside constantly. She would ask me to read scenes out to her and to distract her mind from the pain and sickness, would provide critique and improvements, frequently commenting ‘you can’t say that, he wouldn’t behave like that. Here you go look, write it like this….’

It was after one such 24 hour period of looking after mum, and a flurry of refusal emails from yet more production companies I had forgotten I had contacted, that my partner advised I should turn it into a book rather than a series. This meant changing the entire format and adding extra into each scene. Never one to turn down a challenge, but more concerned with my mum, I put it before mum who was adamant I should.

As the weeks went by, I worked on it next to mum’s bedside and she continued to critique it and offer suggestions, but silently, mum was deteriorating. Sadly, she never got to see the completed book as not long after this, the cancer was victorious and she passed away just after Christmas. In my grief, I first refused to ever touch the finished manuscript again. However, something told me to send it to every publisher I could find.

After the funeral, I did exactly that, and spent a week emailing the first 3 chapters and briefs to every single publisher Google provided. As was the case with the script, 99% said it was good, but it wasn’t something they felt was right for them. As I emailed, I worked on book 2, then 3, then 4. It was at this point that I got a call from Clink Street Publishing who thought the idea of a British Lawyer turning hitman was something they had never heard done before, and to tell them more. A call was set up and we spent nearly 2 hours discussing the book, the Mark King Series, and the direction I wanted to take the character and the series. Before long, I had achieved my first edit and I was excited. However, suddenly a wave of fear swept over me, what if no on liked it, I hadn’t thought of that? But Clink Street continued to encourage me as they talked me through what I considered the most daunting task, preparing the book for publication. I’d never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect. Fortunately, Clink Street really talked me through each step and my edits were finally complete. The next task was approving the front cover.

Initially, I wanted to keep the cover design I had created, believing it to be more fitting for the type of story I had written, but once I had some cover designs provided, I was blown away, my favourite being the one which would eventually be used, and, to be perfectly honest, despite my over-complicated and preferred design, the current cover literally blew me away, it was amazing and really stood out more so than any cover I could design. I was still absolutely terrified because I was about to be thrust out there for the world to see and critique and the very thought of it filled me with fear.

All the fear I had felt, the disappointment I had shouldered and believed, despite reassurances from other authors, including an article by J.K Rowling about how many reviewers thought The Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t great, vanished when the front and back cover and completed edited version of my book finally appeared on the screen in front of me! I remember vising my parent’s grave to tell them about it and sitting there on the grass in the warm sunshine thinking ‘as long as they don’t crucify me publically if they don’t like my work, I’ll be fine’

Hit, the first in the Mark King Series, and my first works, is and always will be, dedicated to my mum who, in typical parental fashion, even when faced with that terrifying disease which claimed her life, thought MY work, was more important.

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#Review 5* #TheSummerOfImpossibleThings by @rowancoleman @EburyPublishing

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The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
Synopsis:

If you could change the past, would you?
****Get ready to believe in Impossible Things with the new book from international bestseller, Rowan Coleman. ****
How far would you go to save the person you love?
Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother’s life.
Even if it means sacrificing her own.

My review:

Wow, wow, wow, I have just finished this novel and I can honestly say I am blown away! I haven’t felt this emotional since reading, For One More day by Mitch Albom shortly after my mother passed away. I had read many positive things about this novel, prior to buying it and I was intrigued to read the novel, all the book bloggers were raving about.

Having experienced the bereavement of a parent and in particular, my mother. The synopsis had a huge appeal to me. Wouldn’t we all like to meet our mothers, before we ever existed, to be there friend and know their views on the world etc. I know I personally would give anything to see my mother’s face again or hear her voice. I have a treasured photo of my mother taken in 1976, it is one of my favourites. She looks absolutely beautiful, she is just 16yrs old, so young and no idea, that the future would bring her so much happiness in her short life. I thought of that photo as I turned every page and for that I would like to thank the author!
cof
My mum 1976

Anyway this isn’t my story, it is Luna’s story. So on with the review, I shall press on…..

“Have faith in love, and let it guide you, and you never know. Impossible things happen all the time”

The novel opens up in June 2007 with sisters Luna and Pia dealing with the aftermath of their mother’s death. Their mother has passed via suicide and left many revelations in her wake! The sisters bond together to unravel the mystery’s that surrounds and unlock the secrets of their mothers past. They decide to travel to Bay Ridge in New York to learn more about their mother before she fled the states, whilst tying up financial responsibilities. Not knowing what happened to your mother or what drove her to suicide must be an eternal pain. This pain unifies the sisters and their bond is beautiful reading throughout the novel. They soon discover a series of parcels/messages their mother has left behind………

The novel continues to unravel its secrets, jumping between the past and the present and the simply impossible. For me, it felt like a journey of discovery and I could see the novel being very therapeutic to those, like myself who have lost their mother. The novel deals with some extremely difficult themes but always sensitively. I didn’t just read this novel. I devoured it and I will admit I wept a few tears at the end.
This novel is simply beautiful 5*

RC
Rowan Coleman
Authors Links:
Twitter: @rowancoleman
Web site: http://rowancoleman.co.uk/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/327467.Rowan_Coleman

#Review #TheRoomByTheLake by @emmdib @HoZ_Books #Debut #Novel #NewRelease 4*

Recently I was unable to attend Harrogate due to further problems with my spine. I refunded my hotel room and spent the money on some signed first editions via Goldsboro books! 🙂
After all, these are the readers version of diamonds! lol
So here is one of the novels I bought and I was lucky enough to get #12 in printing!

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The Room By The Lake by Emma Dibdin
Synopsis:

When Caitlin moved from London to New York, she thought she had left her problems behind: her alcoholic father, her dead mother, the pressure to succeed. But now, down to her last dollar in a foreign city, she is desperately lonely.

Then she meets Jake. Handsome, smart, slightly damaged Jake. He lives off-grid, in a lakeside commune whose members practise regular exercise and frequent group therapy. Before long, Caitlin has settled into her idyllic new home.

It looks like she has found the fresh start she longed for. But, as the commune tightens its grip on her freedom and her sanity, Caitlin realizes too late that she might become lost forever…

My review:

There is a wealth of novels available presently with a cult theme. I have read several of them and found each varies its narrative completely.
This one was quite unique itself!

The novel opens with a young British woman, Caitlin fleeing Oxford for New York. She arrives in the big apple and discovers despite meeting a few people and embellishing her own backstory her life is turning out to be just as lonely and isolated. With not much hope or money left, it is at this moment she meets Jake at a party. After knowing Jake only 5 days, he offers her the chance of escape to his parent’s lake house just 2 hrs drive away in the country. But is Jake’s offer what it seems………

When Caitlin arrives at the lake house, her breath is taken with its size and beauty. Jake’s parents are nowhere to be seen and with the arrival of a bunch of young people. we learn Jake’s family is not what he had described, at all! Jake is part of a healing group, everyone has a routine and their individual roles within the group. At first, Caitlin is mortified at Jake’s Lies but with then the charismatic leader Don manages to talk her round to give the group a trial.

The group is made up of a variety of characters, all having their own reasons for residing at the lake house. The group runs like a hippy commune, but you can leave/return at any time. There is a healthy lifestyle focus via exercise and a paleo diet. I could really see the appeal to a young woman in emotional pain. It is in the groups sessions Caitlin, now known as Kate begins to open up about her past and her mother’s struggles with mental health and eventual death and her father’s alcoholism.
The groups motto has huge appeal…..

“We are here for each other, and we are nothing without each other”

Kate begins to warm again to Jake and other members of the group. With leader Don taking a keen interest in her past. The routine of body/yard/soul/mind work takes hold and before Kate knows it she is a new confirmed member. The Friday and Saturday parties with the apfelwein cider and the vision quests, hold little control over the members of the group. So it is with no wonder she begins to feel this sense of a new home and new found love of life. Even worshipping Don as a father figure.
That is until the arguments start and a body is found hanging………..

A strong newly released, debut novel. One that could also appeal to the older YA genre. 4*

ED
Emma Dibdin
Twitter: @emmadib