#BlogTour #Review A Darker State by @djy_writer 5* @BonnierZaffre @bonnier_publish #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Germany #1970s

Happy publication day David Young!

A Darker State by David Young

For the Stasi, it’s not just the truth that gets buried . . .

The body of a teenage boy is found weighted down in a lake. Karin Müller, newly appointed Major of the People’s Police, is called to investigate. But her power will only stretch so far, when every move she makes is under the watchful eye of the Stasi.

Then, when the son of Müller’s team member goes missing, it quickly becomes clear that there is a terrifying conspiracy at the heart of this case, one that could fast lead Müller and her young family into real danger.

Can she navigate this complex political web and find the missing boy, before it’s too late?

My review:

For the Stasi. It’s not just the truth that gets buried . . .

Under the secrecy and fear of a communist state, a murderer lurks. The prologue opens with one armed Polish dog walker Kazimierz Wojcik; stumbling across, the rat covered dead body of a young male, in a dark lake. It is within this terrifying political climate, that the man, even fears calling in the dead body to the police….

‘Keep you head down; keep out of trouble. That’s how Kazimierz had survived all these years, and he wasn’t about to change’

It is an eerie prologue that really sets the tone and pace of this historical novel. The author has done an outstanding job, of bringing 1976 East Berlin alive!
The novel is set within six months of 1976. With alternate chapters alternating the various months. The novel has many factual and historically accurate references. But the central theme is the skilfully woven, crime fiction plot.
One dead boy and another missing.
Things are about to get difficult for tough police major Karin Muller…….

Karin Muller is the newly appointed major of the serious crimes department in Keibelstrasse. Working alongside her deputy Werner Tilsner. Each having received double promotions. But is there more to this career fast tracking than meets the eye?

At the crime scene the pathologist quickly determines the body to have suffered fatal asphyxiation. There is a bizarre tattoo on the body and a sock stuffed down the throat of the victim. The police are left with more questions than leads.

The novel then jumps to six months previously. Where we meet Markus a bullied young student. We become aware that he is the son of a police man. He is helpless in his efforts to defend himself. Until one-day Oskar steps in and fends off the bullies. Having found a new and only friend, Markus believes his life is about to become a lot less lonely!

The body from the lake is finally identified as Dominik Nadel. Where the police officers believe his identification may throw up some clues. It only leads to further mysteries. Dominik appears to have led a sheltered life. He works at the local steel works and has hobbies such as football and a motorbike club. It is only when Karin appeals to the coach’s gentler side. Then he reveals crucial secrets surrounded Dom’s lifestyle and the motor bike club he is a member of…….

Karin’s personal life has changed, this is her first case back after her return from her twin’s birth. She is exhausted and blames herself for her long working hours away from her children. It is during this time, that the cracks begin to show in her relationship with Emil. He is distant and cold towards her. With everything Karin has going on, she does not even feel welcomed in her own home.

The case continues at a slow burning pace, but the alternative chapters keep you on your toes. We learn more about Dom’s activities prior to his death. Whilst also watching Markus fall in love for the first time.

The novel deals with some exceptionally moving themes. The manipulation of individuals, to achieve state goals. Also, the vile abuses a country can carry out on its own citizens. I think the author is very brave to address the concept within the historical era. It cannot have been an easy task.
But he has delivered a thought-provoking and complex 5* novel.

Karin Muller is an awesome protagonist and I look forward to the next novels in the Stasi series.

David Young
Authors Links:

#PublicationDay Q&A with @StuartJames73 #Author of, The House On Rectory Lane #Indie #Thriller

The House On Rectory Lane by Stuart James
Jake and Kate live in Camden, London and have had enough of the hassle with parking, overbooked restaurants and burglaries.
After an altercation with a stranger who pulls a knife on Jake, they take their son Sean, and move to a house in the woods.
It’s their dream home, or so they think.
People in the village warn them they shouldn’t have come.
Neighbours are over friendly and who was the face at the window Kate saw late at night?
They find a tape hidden in the loft of their new house, a home made video recording of the previous family, the Prescotts.
What they view, chills them to the bone.
They realise that the family living there before them have disappeared and now, they could be next……


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

A) Ok, so I have always been a little creative. I played traditional Irish music from a young age, starting on the wooden flute and then the piano accordion. It was a difficult instrument to carry around and had wished I learned the guitar earlier. When I was around 19, I started writing songs and sang in a band for around 20 years, playing everything from rock and roll to chart music. As I wrote songs, I found it also easy enough to adapt and write my first book.

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

A) I first told my kids that I was going to write a book and they both laughed. That made me more determined ha ha.
I came up with the idea and jotted down the major parts etc. As I started writing, I  are up with more plot twists and more ideas.
It’s hard work. You have to write everyday so you don’t lose track of the story and the goal is to get to the end. That’s when the hard work starts. i.e., editing, changing parts, re-writing etc.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My favourite author is Linwood Barclay. I would recommend too close to home or no time for goodbye.
I also love Stephen King and I love B A Paris. My favourite book this year has to be the couple next door or behind closed doors.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I remember one book in particular called the demon bike rider. I couldn’t find it as I wanted my kids to read it, and my daughter came home one day from school telling me the librarian managed to get a copy for me as a gift as she knew I was trying to get it. I thought that was a lovely thought.

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

A) I do really enjoy the blogs but I also enjoy the reviews that I get and the buzz I try and create on social media.

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

A) I would say my wife, kids and friends. They are the backbone and keep me going.

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

SJ: Thank you so much for asking me to feature on your blog and I am also very grateful.

Stuart James
Author links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17131046.Stuart_James
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stuart-James-Author-798982316950555/
Instagram: http://ipovi.com/stuartjamesauthor-5956096407
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stuartjames73?lang=en-gb

#BlogTour Q&A with @Author_KSHunter #Author of, Just One Time #PublicationDay @rararesources

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Just One Time by KS Hunter
The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences

Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible

Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

She is insatiable

Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.
A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion.


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

A) I’ve written three novels before Just One Time, but not as K.S. Hunter. One of them was a top ten bestseller in the UK and it also reached number one in Australia. Just One Time is a different type of genre from what I am typically known for, so K.S. Hunter was born.
Just One Time begins with David Madden, whose marriage is on the verge of collapse because of a ‘mistake’ he made two years earlier, arriving at a theatre in London. There, in the dark, he loses his phone, and the woman next to him offers to ring it to help him find it. He gives her his number and unwittingly invites her into his life. Once she’s in it, she won’t go away, not until he sleeps with her, just one time.
So it’s a steamy psychological thriller, very much a modern-day Fatal Attraction, which explores the idea of desire, seduction, obsession and revenge, and I hope it offers readers the kind of final act they have never seen before.

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

A) I love the theatre and what I described above happening to David happened to me. Well, the first part did. But when I gave my mobile number to a stranger, it got my imagination stirring and I really wondered what it would be like if she got in touch, found out where I lived, found out all about me and wouldn’t go away. Of course, I’m glad that didn’t happen, but without that chance encounter Just One Time and K.S. Hunter wouldn’t exist.
I parted company with my literary agent after my third novel. When I started Just One Time, I spoke with a number of agents and editors. They liked what I was writing, but I was surprised to learn that although erotic fiction is popular with readers, publishers are still very cautious about it – despite Fifty Shades….
It was during that time that another conversation with an agent led me to the idea of writing under a pseudonym and then that made me think about self-publishing: controlling the whole process and really trying to see what kind of impact something I write could have if I didn’t follow the traditional route. It’s been an interesting journey and so far, so good.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) K.S. Hunter would have to go for the steam and thrillers, so let’s say Gillian Flynn, E.L. James, John Lutz and Harrold Robins. But if I stop pretending for a moment, I would say Ian McEwan, Sophie Hannah, Tennessee Williams and Wilkie Collins.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I remember having lots of books in my room when I was a kid, but I don’t remember reading them. I don’t think I ever read a YA book as a teenager (not even sure if that genre existed then!), but I distinctly remember the moment when I got into reading. My dad was an avid reader, so I asked him for a book. He suggested The Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon. And that was where my love of reading began. From that moment on, I read what he recommended and they were always adult novels.

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

A) Seeing my second novel climb the charts the way it did. Now with the internet you can watch chart positions climb by the hour. It’s such a thrilling sensation. 500, then 250, then 100, then 58, then 21, then 9… and finally 6. And when my agent reported sales of 7,000 copies in one day, that was a pretty special moment too.

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

A) As this is my fourth, I’ve just got on with it really. Throughout my time writing, a number of authors have been particularly supportive and encouraging. Top of that list is Sophie Hannah, who I would say really mentored me through my first two books.

Author Bio – K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.
Social Media Links –
Website: http://www.AuthorKSHunter.com

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

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Publication Day Q&A with @Rahiemthewriter #Author of, A Butler Christmas @ProdigyGoldBks #NewRelease #RomanticThriller

A Butler Christmas by Rahiem Brooks
Naim Butler, a rainmaker, has perfected the art of sentencing mitigation, as a partner with Manhattan power-firm, Baker and Keefe. He’s the kind of captivating and accomplished man that therapists vent too. His bachelorhood is turned upside down when an old flame, Sinia Love, drops a seventeen-year-old son into his lap forcing him to balance this revelation and his budding romance with Brandy Scott.

Professionally, Naim’s assigned to prove a man’s innocence of murder is filthy work itself, but catastrophic when an envious lover of Sinia Love’s sets out to kill him while hiding amongst the glitterati of Manhattan’s upper crust.

“Brooks’s clunky first Naim Butler contemporary romantic thriller has strong characters…The well-developed relationships among the characters propel the story until the addition of suspense very late in the book…”–Publishers Weekly


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

A) Yes, certainly. I have worked as a legal researcher for a criminal defense attorney, which spawned the idea to cover a topic in a novel that could paint a picture of the current state of the criminal justice system. Naim Butler, the main character, grew up in poverty-stricken Chicago. He escapes that life and heads to New Orleans for college before being recruited by a law firm in New York City. He works as a Sentencing Mitigation Specialists and having the time of his life as a NYC Bachelor. And, then it happens. A child that he created in Chicago seventeen-years earlier drops into his life unexpectedly. Life gets complicated by a son, and his new romance with reporter, Brandy Scott. But he is a strong man that makes it work, although, someone has to die in the process.

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

A) Writing is fun activity for me. I am a plotter as I need to know what things need to happen to satisfy my readers. I am on book number six, and I know that they will call you out with errors, so I research and try to get things right.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) My favorite authors are quite commercial. James Patterson (his actual written novels and the ones stamped with his name) is my favorite author machine. I begin my reading life with Along Came a Spider and I often skim through a copy as a teaching tool of scene setting and plotting. I am a crime fiction lover, so I enjoy John Grisham ( his voice is authentic to the legal thriller) and Sue Grafton.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I didn’t read much as a team. Like Naim Butler I grew up in poverty, so reading wasn’t high on many people’s list of hobbies. I did read an old encyclopedia set that my grandmother had. She still has it. I like learning new things and that lead me to reading around nineteen.

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

A) My favorite moment is being on panels and at conferences. I have a blast kicking it with readers and writers.

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

A) My support comes from my author friends that I regard as colleagues. I can contact them and run ideas by them and they get it. Most people not into books cannot relate to me trying to make believable dialogue in a manuscript. (chuckles)

Author image
Rahiem Brooks
Authors links:
Twitter: @rahiemthewriter
Facebook: @novelistrahiembrooks
Instagram: @rahiemthewriter
Website: https://prodigygoldbooks.com/33%25-off-pre-order-1?olsPage=products/a-butler-christmas-by-rahiem-brooks&olsFocus=false

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

#PublicationDay Q&A with @heatherbwriter #BornBad @Aria_Fiction

Born Bad by Heather Burnside


Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.

But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…


Q) For the readers can you give a summary of yourself and your latest release Born Bad?

A) I have been writing for 18 years since I started studying for a creative writing diploma. During that time I have been involved in many aspects of writing, from having articles published in popular national magazines to running a writing services business for a broad range of clients. Nowadays I mainly focus on my books and in 2014 I had my first novel, Slur, published, which was book one in a trilogy of gritty crime novels.

Born Bad is the first book in a new gritty crime trilogy based in Manchester. It features Adele and Peter Robinson, the children of a violent, drunken father and an inept, beaten mother. As a result of their turbulent upbringing Peter drifts into a life of crime.

Adele, on the other hand, studies hard to better herself, encouraged by her beloved grandmother, Joyce. Adele and Peter have each chosen a different path in life and this eventually drives a wedge between them.

But, one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past and events spiral out of control. Worried and desperate, she turns to her brother for help. Their shared secrets and tortured past bring them closer once more. But perhaps even Peter can’t get her out of this particular fix. With no-one else to turn to, Adele puts her trust in her brother and hopes that he will help her find a way out of her dilemma.

Q) The synopsis sounds intense and the main protagonist Adele comes across as relatable and realistic. Can you tell us more about Adele?

A) Adele is basically a good person with a conscience but she is also a troubled soul because of her unstable upbringing. At times her temper gets the better of her and she sometimes acts out of character. This is usually because she is hitting back at the way she is treated by adults and life in general. However, she then gets an attack of conscience and often regrets her actions.

Q) Adele is raised in a childhood marred by alcohol and violence. Yet she has a resounding desire to create a different life for herself. What was the inspiration behind Adele’s life story?

A) Having spent my teens on a tough council estate and having seen quite a few bad home situations, I was interested in how some children manage to break the chain. For the majority, the cycle seems to be repeated but there are a few who change their lives.

I think that adult influences can play a huge role, which is why I have introduced the positive influences of Adele’s grandmother and her school teacher. Because of her intelligence she is encouraged by them to better herself and she achieves this to some extent. Her brother, on the other hand, doesn’t receive any encouragement and he drifts into a life of crime.

However, another aspect that interests me is how, even for people who have escaped their past in a physical sense, the emotional effects can be far more damaging. Do they ever really escape the mental anguish brought about by a turbulent childhood or does it stay with them for the rest of their lives?

Q) The novel also features a brother/sister dynamic, which I found unusual within the genre. I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters myself, so I think this is a brilliant concept. As there is nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. What made you choose a brother/sister relationship as the driving force of the novel?

A) I was the only girl with four brothers and I am particularly close to two of them. I agree with what you say about there being nothing stronger than the bond between siblings. It is a unique relationship as you have so much shared knowledge and experiences. There are certain situations that nobody would ever understand as much as a sibling. My brothers and I even have our own wacky sense of humour, which nobody else really gets.

My own son and daughter are also very close. I’ve no experience of what it’s like to have a sister but I do know what it’s like having siblings. I really wanted to show the close bond between siblings and, with four brothers, it was more natural for me to choose a brother/sister situation.

Q) I can see the easy comparison to Martina Cole or Marnie Riches, with the specific type of genre. How do you feel about the comparison to other authors?

A) I’m very flattered to be compared to Martina Cole and Marnie Riches. However, when I started writing novels I didn’t consciously try to emulate any other authors. I had only read one or two books by Martina Cole at that time and I can’t remember having read any other books by authors in that genre before the comparisons began.

In the past I mainly read sagas and thrillers. One reader compared my style as Catherine Cookson meets Martina Cole and that comparison rang true with me. I like the strong characterisation and emotional depth that you get with many sagas so I try to include that in my writing.

I mainly draw influence from things that are happening around me and news articles. In the 90s gang crime regularly hit the news headlines in Manchester and a lot of it was a bit close to home. I therefore wanted to concentrate on these topics and try to see behind the headlines; to the families that are affected by gang culture.

Q) I noticed on the Amazon page, Born Bad is book 1 in a trilogy. What is next to come in the series?

A) I am already working on the second novel which follows Adele and Peter into adulthood. This is when Peter becomes established as a big name in the Manchester gangland scene. I can’t tell you too much about Adele without spoiling the second and third books for readers but the violent events of book one make a major impact on her throughout books two and three. Her damaged childhood also has a huge influence.

*Huge thanks to Heather Burnside for taking part in a Q&A on my blog. I wish you all the best with the release of Born Bad.

HB: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure. Thank you too for giving me the opportunity.

Heather Burnside
Authors links:
Born Bad Universal Amazon link: http://viewBook.at/BornBad
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/HBurnside
Blog: https://www.heatherburnside.com
Twitter: @heatherbwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherBurnsideAuthor/

*Happy publication date to Heather Burnside, Born Bad is available from today via Kindle Ebook at just £2.48 🙂
Happy Saturday reading!