#BlogTour The Hidden by Alison Knight

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Hidden by Alison Knight.

About the Author

Alison Knight has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Alison currently has a trio of novels published by Darkstroke. The first, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

The Legacy, a drama set in London in 1969, was inspired by a scene in Mine, and explores how an unexpected legacy can be both a blessing and a curse. The Legacy looks at themes of greed and expectations, and the lengths people will go to when they are desperate.

The Hidden, available from September 2021, is a romantic suspense that picks up the story of one of the characters in The Legacy. Set in Montana in 1973, two wounded, damaged people are forced together, each guarding their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other? And will their nightmares ever end?

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops (www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor. 

Follow @Alison_Knight59 on Twitter, Visit alisonroseknight.com 

About the book

Secrets, nightmares, and a big black dog… Montana, 1973. Faye has found sanctuary in a simple cabin in the wilds of the Crazy Mountains in Montana with a dog called Bear. She’s a long way from her old life in England. But she knows that one day her peaceful life could be invaded by her enemies, and she keeps her guard up at all times.
Jeff returns home from Vietnam, a wounded, damaged hero, just weeks after his father’s sudden death. He finds hostile, secretive Faye living in his cabin and refusing to leave. The reading of his father’s will adds another layer of mystery to this woman’s presence.
The tension between them grows as Jeff tries to overcome his nightmares and expose Faye’s scars and secrets. The more he learns about her, the more enigmatic she seems. When her enemies come calling, she needs Jeff to protect her. Can they learn to trust each other? And will Faye ever be safe?

Review

Faye thinks she has finally found a place where no one will come looking for her. A safe haven and a man who is willing to keep her secrets. Until one day a stranger stumbles into her life. Her alarm bells go off and she is ready to protect herself – no matter what.

Jeff is confronted with a stranger who has made herself a little too comfortable in the middle of the life and family he left behind. He wants her gone – if only life were that easy, right?

I found Jeff a hard character to swallow at times. His sexist ways veered into misogyny at times and he was often dismissive and demeaning, which was romanticised, ergo the troubled rugged alpha male with a soft core waiting to be uncovered. Aside from that it is a story of learning to trust, to love and to open yourself up to new beginnings. Both Faye and Jeff approach this in their individual ways, of course this also means the clash and butt heads along the way.

Much like the previous two books the author focuses on the complexity of family dynamics and relationships. Betrayal, lack of trust, and assembling some sense of safety within their inner and outer lives. It’s a story about support, trust and love.

Buy The Hidden at Amazon Uk or Buy at Amazon com. Publisher ‏: ‎darkstroke books pub date 23 Sept. 2021.

#BlogTour A Girl Called Ruthless by Melody Pendlebury

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour AGirl Called Ruthless by Melody Pendlebury.

About the Author

Melody firmly believes that one should never completely grow up. That is why she has chosen to spend her days writing for a younger audience. Melody resides in Jacksonville Florida with her beloved corgi Gatsby, and her husband Dylan. She started her writing career with children’s picture books and has now pivoted to middle-grade novels. 

She believes that children are eager for more books with strong-willed characters that deal with darker and interesting topics. Her debut novel, A Girl Called Ruthless, is inspired by the fiery girls in her fourth-grade class. When Melody is not writing or teaching kids how to write, she can be found planning her next big trip to some magical place she has never been to. Follow @melodypendy on Twitter, @melodypendywrites/ on Instagram

About the book

A girl with ambition. A clever ruse gone awry. A fatal encounter… Eleven-year-old Ruthless will do whatever it takes to live up to her name. Slaughtering pirates, running an underground gambling operation, and intercepting Russian spies are just a few examples. 

In true Ruthless fashion, she claims the title of student body president, but her aspirations are cut short after getting in trouble. Not letting that stand in her way, she runs for Mayor with the help of her incredibly strong best friend, Owen. Her town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has no age requirement to run for the post. The chances of a child winning are slim, to say the least, so Ruthless and Owen disguise themselves as an adult with the good old ‘two kids in a trench coat’ ruse.

This seemingly harmless scheme has grave consequences that invite the turmoil of her mother’s past back to haunt her. When the dangers of the adult world come crashing down on Ruthless, she must learn how to live with her new reality, and ultimately use it to turn her life into a success story – and live up to her name. But will she be able to leave the past behind?

Review

Ruthless prides herself on swimming upstream – she is her name and her name is her. Nothing will stand in her way, even if it means walking over people to get there. She wants to be Mayor, ergo she shall be Mayor. She learns that life isn’t always going to go her way and the best laid plans sometimes fail.

Whilst I am absolutely onboard and in agreement with the fact young readers need to encounter more strong-willed young female lead characters, I think Ruthless overshoots the mark by a mile though. What you have instead is a child written like an adult character. Strong-willed isn’t the same as rude or lacking impulse control, boundaries and any regard for rules or authority. It’s not relatable or a potential role model. You can write a rebel without her being an A-class miniature adult muppet or add half a decade to her age.

What I did like was the way her imagination, reasoning and her stories, and those of others, become part of the narrative. The fairytale, the memory, the life experience – all of them show the storytelling talent and simultaneously the contradiction in the main character. It’s loud, brusque and ambitious. 

Buy A Girl Called Ruthless at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ darkstroke books pub date 21 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

BlogTour Paparazzi by Jo Fenton

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour Paparazzi by Jo Fenton.

About the Author

Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire, UK. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, two sons, a Corgi and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Follow @jl_fenton on Twitter, Visit jofenton137.com

About the book

A stalker. A popstar’s family murdered. A terrified photographer.  It’s thirty years since Becky White joined the police. Now, six months after leaving the force, she is suffering from PTSD, when an old friend turns up with a tempting offer. 

 Following the creation of The White Knight Detective Agency, their first client is a press photographer – a member of the Paparazzi – a young woman with a mysterious and troublesome stalker.

But as the case develops, Becky and Joanna find themselves embroiled in murder. When they are unable to prevent further deaths, their investigation takes them down an unexpected path. But can they trust their instinct? And will they identify the killer in time to save a child’s life?

Paparazzi, the second instalment in the bestselling Becky White Thriller series. takes you on a journey into the deceptive world of superstars – and those who follow them! 

Review

When Joanna rocks up and suggests a collaboration of minds and forces with Becky, poor Becky isn’t convinced it is such a great idea. A private investigation agency, great minds solve crimes. An interesting idea, but Becky isn’t sure whether she can trust Joanna, especially after the strange reaction her partner has to the woman brimming with ideas and confidence.

When they finally do get the car on the road they encounter a case that seems simple at first and yet slowly evolves into something treacherous, murderous even. The world of fame and the voyeuristic nature of the paparazzi throws up a mystery the two of them eventually are eager to solve.

I definitely think this is the best I have read by Fenton so far. There is a lot of drive and creativity involved when it comes to her plots. There is still a tendency to have a lot of threads and storylines at the same time, but the majority is brought back together in the end. 

If the two main characters become more solidified and less distracted by personal secrets no person can ever speak about, then this will be an interesting sleuthing duo to follow. 

Buy Paparazzi at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any retailer. Publisher : darkstroke books pub date 10 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Revelation by Jo Fenton (Open INT)

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#BlogBlitz Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Glasshouse by Morwenna Blackwood.

About the Author

When Morwenna Blackwood was six years old, she got told off for filling a school exercise book with an endless story when she should have been listening to the teacher/eating her tea/colouring with her friends. The story was about a frog. It never did end; and Morwenna never looked back.

Born and raised in Devon, Morwenna suffered from severe OCD and depression, and spent her childhood and teens in libraries. She travelled about for a decade before returning to Devon. She now has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter, and lives with her husband, son and three cats in a cottage that Bilbo Baggins would be proud of. Her debut psychological thriller, The (D)Evolution of Us, is published by #darkstroke, and has become an Amazon best-seller. When she is not writing, Morwenna works for an animal rescue charity, or can be found down by the sea. – She often thinks about that frog. 

Follow @MorwennaBlackw1 on Twitter, on Instagramon Facebook, Visit morwennablackwoodauthor.com

About the book

‘Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art; but if I break it and forswear myself, may the opposite befall me.’

~ from the Hippocratic Oath (translated by WHS Jones)

Psychiatrists, Drs Whittle and Grosvenor, have dedicated their lives to helping their patients, but their approach, and the complications it reveals, lead them into relationships that harm not only themselves. 

As their lives entangle, both men find that doing no harm is not as cut-and-dried as they perceived. Can the patients in their care really trust them? Or are more sinister motives at work?

Delve into the dark world of psychiatric institutions where doctors and residents play a dangerous game where no one is infallible!

Review

Throughout the story you can almost hear the primordial scream Lizzie is emitting at a level that is silent to everyone around her. Only her desperate actions are the kind of indicator everyone can understand and react to. The question is how society reacts to her despair, her mental health issues and if indeed they are doing everything they can and are capable of. Is that enough for her and others in similar situations?

What becomes evident quite quickly is how the mental health facilities become a repetitive merry-go-round for their frequent flyers. Is that a sign of a needs not being met consistently or is that just the nature of mental health issues and addiction – ups and downs. Erazmus is a perfect example of the madmen running the asylum – destruction guaranteed.

I think this is a bit like candid camera and open door policy on mental health and addiction facilities. How the system is failing so many and is indeed inadequate to the needs of many. The author draws attention to biggest loophole in the system, which is the human element. The therapy is only as good as the person administering it to the person in need, and in this case it isn’t very good. The title of the book couldn’t be a more accurate description of the story.

It’s a read that doesn’t pull any punches – fiction that veers into the dark truth of the matter.

Buy Glasshouse at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : darkstroke books pub date 26 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com

#BlogTour the Legacy by Alison Knight

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Legacy: A Blessing and a Curse by Alison Knight.

About the Author

Alison has been a legal executive, a registered child-minder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

The Legacy is a drama set in 1960s London. Like her previous book, Mine, it explores themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, showing how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops (www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. – She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.

Follow @Alison_Knight59 on Twitter on Facebookon Goodreads, Visit alisonroseknight.com

About the book

An unexpected inheritance. A web of deceit. A desperate escape. London, 1969.

James has his dreams of an easy life shattered when his aunt disinherits him, leaving her fortune to her god-daughter, Charlotte. He turns to his friend, Percy, to help him reclaim his inheritance – and to pay off his creditors. But when their plans backfire, James becomes the pawn of Percy and his criminal associates.

Charlotte is stunned when she is told of her windfall. After an attempt at cheating her out of her inheritance fails, James tries to intimidate her. But she is stronger than he thinks, having secrets of her own to guard, and sends him away with a bloody nose and no choice but to retreat for now.

Resigned, James and his spoilt, pampered girlfriend, Fliss, Percy’s sister, travel across France on a mission that promises to free James from the criminals for good. But James isn’t convinced he can trust Fliss, so he makes his own plans to start a new life.

Will James be able to get away, or will his past catch up with him? Will Charlotte’s secrets turn the legacy into a curse?

Review

James and Charlotte, nephew and god-daughter of Jane, who is coming towards the end of her life. She decides to change her last will and testament, which changes everything for James and Charlotte. James was expecting to inherit all her money, actually he needs to inherit it all or he is going to be in a world of trouble. Charlotte isn’t expecting anything and that explains the world of difference between them.

Greed, pettiness and privilege sets the tone for this story, especially on one side. James is willing to do anything to get what is rightfully his. Charlotte is willing to help James, but his manipulative and frankly dangerous connections and attitude make her more determined to find a peaceful solution. The question is can that really happen?

It’s a short read, a novella length story, which was quite interesting because the story was novel length worthy. It’s more of a fast-paced shortened and heightened version of the story. Given a bit a fleshing out, more depth and definitely more of a bridge between the last chapter and the rest this could have been full length – what it is, is a good read. It just seems as if the author was keeping herself in check.

It’s a pleasant story, a cosy story with a more serious undertone at times, quick but definitely worth a read.

Buy The Legacy at Amazon Uk . Publisher : darkstroke books pub date 4 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Death of a Texan by Cat Hickey

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Death of a Texan by Cat Hickey.

About the Author

Cat Hickey has a Master’s degree in Biology, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Baltimore, MD, USA. She writes light-hearted mysteries and thrillers that are based, partly, on her extensive travels around the world. She is also an avid yogi who teaches aerial yoga and practices aerial circus arts, and spends the rest of her time with her three rescue animals, which consist of three cats and a horse. Follow @CatHickey4 on Twitter 

About the book

A grieving widow. A sketchy admirer. An adoring boyfriend. But one of them is up to no good.

Chloe’s new life in Costa Rica seems perfect: her relationship with Mateo is heating up, and her career as a private investigator is off to a good start. She only wishes that her cases were more interesting than the lost dogs or cheating husbands she’s been hired for so far…

She gets her wish when a dead body lands, almost literally, at her feet. Hired by the highly strung Elena Vargas to follow her husband, Victor, Chloe discovers that not only was he cheating on his wife – he’s been murdered.

As Chloe delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Victor’s death, she uncovers secret after secret. The danger becomes all too real when she narrows in on the killer’s identity. Someone is following her everywhere, and threatening notes arrive on her doorstep.

As if that’s not bad enough, her relationship with Mateo begins to unravel, and his coworker, Jaime, seems intent on convincing her that Mateo is a cheater. Desperately trying to figure out what’s going on, Chloe becomes more and more enmeshed in a sordid world of lies, sex, and murder. Who can Chloe really trust? And can she catch the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Review

Since her decision to reboot her life, leave her manipulative ex behind, and carve out a career as a private detective for herself, Chloe is a lot happier. Running her own business and taking control of her love life is exactly what the doctor ordered. Well except for the niggles about not having anything more interesting to investigate than spouses with an affinity for playing away and the occasional lost cat.

When one of said spouses ends up dead Chloe lets herself be drawn into a dangerous situation yet again, something her boyfriend disagrees with. In fact he disagrees with quite a lot, which makes Chloe wonder just how right they are for each other. Perhaps this new case will bring them closer together?

Mixed up in this cosy crime read is the realisation by the main character that her patterns are repetitive when it comes to relationships and that you have to take control of your own destiny. Also that sometimes it’s better to give someone a second chance than to give up on them when they take a wrong turn in life. Based on the ending it’s likely this will give readers a good example of the where the author wants to take the series next.

It’s an enjoyable crime read that veers from the cosy genre into the doesn’t take itself too seriously realm.

Buy Death of a Texan at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : darkstroke books pub date 30 April 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt.

About the Author

Ashley Meggitt lives near Cambridge, UK, with his wife Jane. He left school to join a psychedelic rock band when he realised that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was a thing. Subsequently he went back to education and became head of IT for a Cambridge University College. In recent years Ashley has retrained in psychology and is now an associate lecturer in sports psychology. He is studying for his PhD. He also holds an MA in Creative Writing. The Dark Chorus is his debut novel.

Follow @CallMeReg on Twitteron Facebookon Instagramon Goodreads, Visit ashleymeggitt.comBuy The Dark Chorus

About the book

Oblivio salvationem Angelis opperitur – Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation – The Boy can see lost souls. 

He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel. 

To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living! With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill. 

Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…

Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?

Review

The reader meets the Boy as he attempts to capture the soul of his mother. What he has to do is ultimately what lands him behind fences and in the midst of anger that simmers under the surface, and a professional who struggles with her own demons.

Catching a soul in a jar is such a beautiful and simultaneously creepy way of drawing parallels to the innocence of a child and perhaps the kind of madness that none of us can comprehend completely. The Boy sees deep inside, he sees what others can’t, and what he can see is something that drives every decision he makes.

I really enjoyed the premise and the way Meggitt combined historical medical references to treatment of the mentally ill, religious zealotry that warps into the occult, the tinge of supernatural and magical realism, which all stands in stark contrast to the violence, abuse and racism.

I was also intrigued by the way the author keeps the main character as a non-identifiable persona. The Boy remains the Boy throughout, which is perhaps also part of the premise. This searching for identity, release and connection to his mother. He has no identity, because he has no idea where he came from. Nothing tangible to connect with – a core that drives every decision and moment.

I wonder if we will be encountering the Boy again. I definitely think there is a lot more where that came from and hope the author expands on the premise.

Buy The Dark Chorus at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : darkstroke books, pub date 14 Oct. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Sadeiest by Austrian Spencer

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Sadeiest by Austrian Spencer.

About the Author

Austrian had an unfortunate trauma aged eight, when a truck drove over him and his ‘Grifter’ bike. This made him bedridden and a captive of books for too many years. The habit persisted throughout his life (reading books, not staying in bed), to the extent that his daughter’s first painting was of him holding a book, rather than her hand. He has the picture framed in the upstairs toilet, to look at whilst feeling vulnerable.

He is the ‘glass-half-full’, an eternal optimist and believes passionately in you. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this moment in your life. He often thinks this, while staring at his daughter’s first painting.

Austrian does not watch horror films, though enjoys horror books.  His influences include Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, The family King, Iain M.Banks, from whom he wishes to learn. Be inspired. He owes them everything, despite their beards. The Sadeiest is Austrian’s debut novel.

Follow @SpencerAustrian on Twitteron Instagramon Facebookon Amazonon Goodreads, Visit austrianspencer.comBuy The Sadeiest

About the book

Is today a good day to die? Death – a walking skeleton armed with a scythe, a rider of the apocalypse, it has always been assumed – is a man that brings the souls of the dead to wherever they are destined to go.

But what if we got that wrong? What if he were a ghost that, instead of moving your soul on silently after you had died, actually did the hard part for you? Death has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, and to free trapped souls before their bodies perish – only to replace those souls, to die for them.

A Death whose existence is a curse, where the other riders of the Apocalypse are not his allies, but his enemies.

Armed only with his morals, his memories and the advice of a child teacher, Williams, a Sadeiest, travels through the deaths of other people, on his way to becoming something greater. Something that will re-define the Grim Reaper.

Death just came to life, in time to fight for a child hunted by the other horsemen of the Apocalypse. How do you want to die today?

Review

The read is intermittently broken up with graphic novel illustrations and helps to cement the feeling of violence and uncertainty, whereas the words drive a wedge between what we think we know and an alternate reality. It’s a dark hole that might make you feel uncomfortable, because what if all the other theories about death and souls are just an attempt to gloss over the horrific truth. Death becomes the victim, the sufferer instead of the looming figure everyone fears.

‘Passionately believes you don’t have to lead the reader by the nose. Let them think, dammit.’

Hmm good point and I agree to a certain extent, however it depends on what the reader is looking for in a read and perhaps even the genre. When it comes to a read like this one, which I would put in the Speculative Fiction or Speculative Horror genre, often the aspect of speculative may not allow for the reader to do the above.

Trying to outsmart the reader may not let them interpret the premise in the way the author thinks they will. Case in point – the blurb reflects an interesting idea, however the story itself reflects a different one entirely. At least it does for me, which is of course the crux of a reading experience – it’s subjective one. Maybe a little more leading and a little less assumption about interpretation or that the reader will walk the intended path. 

I like a walk along the speculative road. It crosses boundaries, it’s a way to experience creativity on another level and it opens up new worlds and ideas for readers. Spencer does that and I look forward to experiencing more of his ideas.

Buy The Sadeiest at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: darkstroke / crooked cat, pub date 27 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Hellenic Abduction by Columbkill Noonan

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Hellenic Abduction

About the Author

Columbkill Noonan is the author of the best-selling Barnabas Tew series, which features a proper British detective from Victorian London who ends up solving mythological cases for gods all around the world. She was was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Maryland. Her writing is mostly speculative fiction (especially stories that involve mythology, or the supernatural, or any combination thereof). Some of her work is a bit on the spooky side, but usually there is a touch of humor (who says the afterlife has to be serious?) 

When she’s not teaching or writing, Columbkill can be found with her rescue horse (whose name is Mittens), hiking in the woods, or doing yoga of all kinds (aerial yoga and SUP yoga are particular favorites). She is an avid traveler, and can’t wait to get back to seeing the world again. 

Follow @ColumbkillNoon1 on Twitter, or ColumbkillNoonan on Facebook, on GoodreadsBuy Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Hellenic Abduction

About the book

Zeus is used to getting what he wants…but that was before he met Barnabas Tew!

Barnabas and Wilfred, the unluckiest detectives ever, are happily enjoying their time in India, working on mastering their emotions, and learning how to do all sorts of interesting yoga poses. They’re having a splendid time, and feel as if they’ve finally found some peace in their lives. Everything changes, though, when Zeus suddenly whisks them away from their idyllic retreat and demands that they solve a case for him.

Having no choice, they reluctantly accept the job, but quickly come to realize that nothing is as it should be. Zeus’ motives are suspect from the beginning, the rest of the Greek gods and goddesses are untrustworthy at best, and Barnabas’ temper hasn’t improved at all during his time in India. And, most importantly, who is the mysterious lady who keeps popping up just when they need her? Is she friend, or is she foe?

To make matters even worse, both Barnabas and Wilfred have unresolved feelings of their own. Can they settle their own emotional affairs, once and for all? Will they figure out what’s right and what’s wrong in this topsy-turvy world of lies, intrigue, and trickery? Or will the Greek gods and goddesses prove too much for them?

Review

Barnabas isn’t exactly the king of charm. I’d actually go as far as to say that in the direst of moments he often rocks the boat a little too much, which is when he needs Wilfred to steady the waters. This is especially dangerous when their next client turns out to be the king of the gods himself – Zeus.

He doesn’t take too well to the backtalk and when people point out that he might be just be a tad sexist and the job he has for the peculiar sleuthing duo might be a bit on the dubious side, and that’s without the side note of peddling young princesses for the great Zeus, he gets a bit cranky.

Noonan combines mythology with a quirky odd couple who tend to fall into their cases with a Victorian era colonialesque charm, if you can call it charm. It’s a entertaining box of mixed chocolates. You just never know what you’re going to get when you flip the page. 

I kind of liked the way Noonan makes a point without taking a foam finger and pointing straight at it. There is a fine line between good and bad, a reputation and the reality of a person and their character. Barnabas may seem like a pain in the behind, but he has the best intentions. The moral of the story he will tell is that sitting on a pedestal does not automatically make you an upstanding citizen and sometimes someone has to take a stand.

Buy Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Hellenic Abduction at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: darkstroke books pub date 17 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#MiniBlogBlitz Inside Voices by Sarah Davis

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Inside Voices by Sarah Davis.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a $15 Amazon Giftcard (Open INT)

About the Author

Sarah Davis is many things…wife, mother, veterinarian, writer. An avid reader, she enjoys stories that transport her into new and exciting lands. Having read more books than she could ever count, she has considered writing a novel for ages. It wasn’t until the idea for “Inside Voices” popped into her mind that she finally started pursuing that dream, with much encouragement from her family. She and her incredible husband share their remote home on the prairie with their three extraordinary children and one mostly human Weimaraner. 

Follow @SarahDavisAuth1 on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonFacebook Author pageFacebook personal pageInstagram pennyosbornInstagram sarahdavis, Visit sarahdavisauthor.comBuy Inside Voices

About the book

The mind is a strange beast…extraordinary, unpredictable, protective. Penny Osborn’s mind is no exception. In High School, Penny witnessed a massacre and lost her father to the same killers. She had seen it unfold before it happened, in a premonition, but could not prevent it. 

A college research project at the edge of the Arctic is her chance for a new beginning. Struggling with PTSD, Penny’s therapy includes running, dogs, and guitars. Yet her fresh start is plagued by new premonitions, dark and foreboding, that coincide with a rising number of murders in the community. Her visions are vague, offering little to identify the killer. 

When confronted with an orphaned polar bear cub, Penny risks everything to save its life. The deepening mystery of the murdered women, coupled with the exhaustive duties of caring for the small cub, draw her closer to her friend, Noah, and further from her sister. 

Fearful for the serial killer’s next target, Penny discovers where her physical abilities can help her. Will letting go of the past lead to healing? And can she stop the murders? 

Review

When Penny becomes embroiled in a tragedy as a young girl it sets the tone for the rest of her life. If it wasn’t for her strong bond with her twin sister, which seems to be linked to psychic-like abilities, she would not only have been a victim herself, but also not able to intervene in further tragedies.

Aside from the clear repercussions the massacre has on Penny, as she gets older and moves on with her life, I felt as if there was a lost opportunity there. The story goes straight from the event in a short chapter with young Penny to the older Penny, who is still coming to terms with the atrocity. That initial introduction to Penny, her abilities, her connection to her sister and the absolute horror of the event could be a story unto itself and not just a footnote in her history.

As the story develops and the truth unfolds there is this realisation of greater depth, both emotionally and from a plot perspective, which I personally found quite intriguing. It also leaves a lot of space for unanswered questions and possibly a prequel to the story.

I think Davis has some great ideas that all want to come out and play at the same time, so it’s maybe a question of focus and direction. Is it a story about someone who is grief stricken enough to reach another level of perception or is it a story about a woman who can see beyond the constructs of our norms and boundaries.

Buy Inside Voices at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: darkstroke/crooked cat; pub date 23 Jun. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

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