Monday, December 9, 2019

A Song For Bill Robinson by C. E Atkins Guest Post

A Song For Bill Robinson
***Guest Post***
Blog Post for Four Moon Reviews 
Location; merging fact and fiction 
by C.E Atkins 

Deciding on the location for a novel can be tricky. Some stories demand specific locations and make the job a bit easier for that reason. Others could be set anywhere and that can provide a challenge. Location is not normally the first thing I think about or plan when I have got an idea for a story, but it soon pushes itself to the forefront. After all, a story has to be set somewhere. You need to decide where your characters live and sometimes that can be determined by their financial background, social class, family situation and so on. Or perhaps the location drives the plot or has an influence on the characters.

Often in my books I end up merging fiction with reality to create a location. In most of my books I have used real places. I like to fictionalise them though and often change some of the names of roads and buildings whilst keeping some the same. Sometimes I add a feature for my own convenience, such as a playpark or a clifftop. The only novel I’ve written where I have used a true location is This Is Nowhere, which is set where I live in Hurn, Christchurch, and I have kept everything about the location the same. For that novel, the location is very important and drives the mood and atmosphere of the story.

For my new book, A Song For Bill Robinson, I decided to use the location of a council estate. This was partly because I had used this setting when I originally penned the story aged 16. This time around I paid a lot more attention to the setting and based it on the council estate I grew up on. I renamed it Holds End, which is a bit of play on words from the estate and its neighbouring areas.

The real estate I grew up on is actually on the other side of the river from where I live now, and it’s called Townsend. I’m not sure what reputation it has now but when I was a kid it had a bad one. My mother did not let us go out on our own until we were in our teens because she didn’t want us ‘hanging around’ or getting into trouble with other kids. It had the kind of reputation that makes you think twice about telling people where you live, because they might automatically assume you are badly behaved.

To be honest, I don’t remember anything that bad or dramatic about living there, but my mum did keep us as sheltered as she could. I grew up in a terraced house on the edge of the estate and we were lucky enough to have allotments on one side of us and a huge green in front of us, beside some blocks of flats. It all felt pretty safe to me back then, although I can recall being quite scared whenever my mother asked me to go to the shop to buy something. There would always be kids hanging around outside in an intimidating manner, but none of them ever did anything. In our close, all the neighbours knew each other and looked out for each other kids. Neighbours used to lift their kids over the back fence to play in our garden with us and vice versa. It was really quite idyllic, and I loved it.

When I was a teenager though, my parents who had been divorced for some time, finally decided to sell the house we’d all grown up in. In the end, my dad kept the house for him, and his new girlfriend and my mum bought another house on the other side of the same estate with her new boyfriend. Things got very complicated and sad, but I decided to move with my mum because that meant I could keep my dog.

On the other side of the estate things felt more claustrophobic and it is here that I have set A Song For Bill Robinson and also my last release; Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature. The close we moved to was called Hopkins, but I renamed it Hoppers for both books. (All of my books have links to my other books.)

These houses were smaller with thinner walls and noisier neighbours. It was less friendly and no one on either end of the close seemed to talk to each other. It didn’t have as nice an atmosphere and I remember feeling unsafe there at times as there were often blazing rows between neighbours, or through the thin walls and further rows between my mum and her boyfriend.

However, I still have good memories and the estate was the perfect setting for this book. The houses had small back and front gardens, but all the back gates opened up onto green spaces, and green fields curled around the estate as if it were being hugged by a big green arm. I spent many hours roaming those fields, walking my dog and daydreaming. Kids used to make dens under the trees and play hide and seek in the bushes. There were playparks scattered amongst the maze of alleys and roads, and a big skateboard park on the back field. Beyond the fields were farmers fields of cows and horses and crops, and beyond that, the tiny, ancient villages of Throop and Holdenhurst. We used to love riding our bikes around there in a loop. It seemed like there were never any cars and the sense of freedom, away from the estate, was immense.

So, what’s real and what’s fictionalised in the book? Well, the houses and roads and the fields and the parks, the school and the shop are all real, and appear in the book exactly as they existed for me in real life. What I added was a community centre. I’m not sure Townsend has one now. It might do as I know there are new buildings there, but back then one did not exist, which was a shame, as it may have helped build more community spirit. In the book, there is a community centre which is loved and relied on by the residents but is under threat of closure due to local budget cuts. The community centre in the book is based on ones I know of now in real life. Where people hire out the hall for birthday parties and wedding receptions. And where people go to do yoga, baby ballet, Weight watchers, salsa class, writing group and dementia friendly groups. These places are amazing. I’m involved with one locally and have worked in others too. I think they provide the heart to a community. Somewhere people can go that provides activities for the young and the old. In my opinion, they should be valued and cherished.

One of the storylines in A Song For Bill Robinson is the fight to save their community centre. Again a little bit of fact merges with fiction here, as over the last few years I’ve seen a few community centres in my area fight to stay open and win. But I think all stories involve the merging of fact and fiction. It’s the same with characters. They all have a little bit of people we know in them and perhaps a little bit of us too. Creating a world for your characters to live in is challenging but a lot of fun. I find it does help to fictionalise a place I already know, as it makes it easier when visualising or describing a scene and what the characters are doing in it. It also means a bit less research, if it’s an area you know well, or one you have made up. I think my books will always be set in places that are half real and half made up.

Synopsis:

Tensions are building on the notorious Holds End estate.

The local community centre is fighting for survival and the murder of 15-year-old Lewis Matthews remains unsolved…

Wannabe teenage singer, Bill Robinson, just got out of hospital after surviving a vicious attack. He thinks he knows who attacked him…and why. When a violent feud escalates between him and local thug Charlie McDonnal, Bill vows to find the killer and help save the community centre by taking part in the local singing contest.

How can music bring a shattered community together? And can Bill keep his own demons at bay long enough to win the singing contest and find out who killed Lewis Matthews?

Purchase Links: 
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B081XC9P91
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081XC9P91

Author Bio
Chantelle Atkins was born and raised in Dorset, England and still resides there now with her husband, four children and multiple pets. She is addicted to reading, writing and music and writes for both the young adult and adult genres. Her fiction is described as gritty, edgy and compelling. Her debut Young Adult novel The Mess Of Me deals with eating disorders, self-harm, fractured families and first love. Her second novel, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side follows the musical journey of a young boy attempting to escape his brutal home life and has now been developed into a 6 book series. She is also the author of This Is Nowhere and award-winning dystopian, The Tree Of Rebels, plus a collection of short stories related to her novels called Bird People and Other Stories. The award-winning Elliot Pie’s Guide To Human Nature was released through Pict Publishing in October 2018. Her next YA novel A Song For Bill Robinson will be released in December 2019. Chantelle has had multiple articles about writing published by Author's Publish magazine. 

Social Media Links:


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Eve's Christmas by Julie Butterfield Spotlight

Eve’s Christmas
by Julie Butterfield
***Spotlight***


Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.

But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

US - https://www.amazon.com/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

CAN - https://www.amazon.ca/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=eve%27s+christmas+julie+butterfield&qid=1575733750&sr=8-1

Author Bio:

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of 'always wanted to write' authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper - or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, 'Did I Mention I Won The Lottery' is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband - even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Social Media Links:
@juliebeewriter
www.Juliebutterfield.co.uk


Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Eve’s Christmas (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494317/?

Friday, December 6, 2019

Blood Countess by Lana Popovic Review

Blood Countess
by Lana Popovic


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I received a free galley of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

WARNING: This book is very graphic. It contains extreme violence and murder. This book is NOT for the faint of heart.

A while ago I read a fictional book about Elizabeth Bร thory and upon discovering she was a real person and not just a fictional monster I became fascinated with the Countess, so when I saw this book available on Netgalley I requested it immediately.

Anna Darvulia suddenly becomes responsible for keeping her family financially stable during the winter after the sudden death of her father. In order to provide for her family, Anna starts working as a scullery maid for Elizabeth Bร thory. Eager to gain the Countess' favor and gain a better position with better pay, Anna does whatever she has to secure herself. She finds herself getting attached to Elizabeth and believes her feelings are reciprocated. Elizabeth takes Anna and treats her as her equal, making sure she has beautiful gowns, dines with her and even shares her bed with her. At first Anna believes the two of them share a special connection, one no one else understands. She soon learns that Elizabeth isn't who Anna thought she was. After witnessing extreme acts of violence and murder Anna tries to find a way out before Elizabeth decides she's next.

I enjoyed the majority of this book so much. The writing was so detailed and capturing. The violent scenes were extremely graphic and hard to read, which is perfect for an Elizabeth Bร thory story. The plot line was so well done. The flow of the book was great. The characters were interesting to read about. They successfully expressed string emotions of fear, hatred, lust and naivety. It all fit together perfectly and before long I was caught in its grasp with no desire to put it down.

I was completely wrapped up in this story... Until the ending. For me, the ending seemed like it could of been from another book. Nothing about it fit the story. The characters personalities and actions didn't fit with the characters from the first 95% of the book. It was abrupt and felt like the author just made the two main characters do a full 180 turn just so the story could be wrapped up and finished. It didn't work for me at all and ruined it for me. It was really disappointing because of how good the rest of the book was.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas at the Chรขteau by Lorraine Wilson Spotlight

Christmas at the Chรขteau
by Lorraine Wilson
**Spotlight**


Synopsis:

A Christmas she’ll remember forever…

Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Chรขteau. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.

There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. Only family pressure and uncertainty about her future in France can threaten to cast a shadow over the holiday.

When the treasure hunt takes an unexpected turn Poppy knows for sure this is one Christmas she’ll remember forever.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2CYEyp5

Biography:


Lorraine Wilson writes flirty, feel-good fiction for One More Chapter - a Harper Collins imprint - and is unashamedly fond of happy endings. She loves hearing from readers and feels incredibly grateful to be doing the job she always dreamt of.

She splits her time between the South of France and Cambridgeshire and is usually either writing or reading while being sat on, walked over or barked at by one of her growing band of rescue dogs.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorraineWilsonWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Romanceminx
Amazon http://bit.ly/lorrainewilsonamazon


Giveaway to Win Signed paperback copy of ‘Poppy’s Place in the Sun’ (1st book in the ‘A French Escape‘ series), hand embroidered makeup bag (made by the author) and some artisanal French chocolates (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494315/?

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Jupiter's Fire by William Osborne Review

Jupiter’s Fire
by William Osborne


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Synopsis:
When Franco, a teenager living in the monastery at Monte Cassino in 1944 uncovers a long-lost Roman Eagle, the fabled Aquila for the Jupiter Legion, he sets in motion a desperate struggle to prevent the Nazis from using it to win the war. In a do-or-die mission, Franco and Dulcie, a teenage mountain girl, must steal the Eagle back and escape before its deadly power is unleashed. Pursued by the implacable forces of the SS they will discover not just the secrets of the Eagle but also themselves.

Review:
Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources and the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

In this interesting work of Historical Fiction we follow along with Franco as he carries out the most important mission of his life. Along the way Franco realizes how dangerous this mission actually is; not just for him, for everyone who tries to help him. With the help of a new friend and others who are sworn to help and protect him and his mission, Franco may be able to pull this off before it's too late.

Franco is an ordinary boy thrown into an extraordinary situation. Throughout the book we watch him deal with his entire world being turned upside down. He is a well written character who is easy to like and root for. His new friend in the novel is easy to enjoy as well. She is spunky, serious and a great compliment to Franco. There was a lot of action which kept the story interesting. The story was well written and had a great flow. 

What I enjoyed most about this book was seeing the priests and church elders and their involvement with the mission. I haven't read a book where the religious leaders were involved in a secret mission like this in awhile and Jupiter's Fire reminded me why I enjoyed them so much. 

I thought it was a pretty good story overall. There is action, adventure, secrets and a whole lot of danger. It's also a short read at just 224 pages. If all that sounds good to you than you would probably enjoy Jupiter's Fire.

Author Bio:
William Osborne - Born 1960 - educated at Greshams School, Holt, Norfolk and Robert Louis Stevenson, Pebble Beach, California, studied law at Cambridge,(MA), barrister at law, Member of the Middle Temple. Screenwriter and member of Writers Guild of America (West) - Author (published works, 1994, 1998, Hitler’s Angel, Winter’s Bullet, Jupiter’s Fire). Lives in Norfolk, enjoys life, film, dog walking, cold water swimming, lego, collecting odd stuff, driving his beach buggy.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

The House Without A Key by Marin Montgomery Review

The House Without A Key
by Marin Montgomery


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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The House Without a Key follows the lives of two girls. Allegra, an upper class rich girl and Maddie, a lower class poor girl. The girls have absolutely nothing in common, except they're both kidnapped. Throughout the book we learn of the secrets and lies that lead up to the abduction of both the girls.

I seriously enjoyed this book. Putting it down to do everyday things was frustrating, all I wanted to do was just keep reading. The author had my heart racing and I couldn't help being afraid for the characters. This book was interesting, creepy, thrilling and even thought provoking. I think it does a great job of bringing thought to actual human trafficking.

I can't say this book was perfect. Between a certain degree of predictability and the ending being wrapped up too nicely in a neat little bow it had some issues. The good completely outweighed the bad in my personal opinion.

If you're looking for a thriller based on scary events that could and do happen in real life, I think you may enjoy this book. If books about human trafficking make you uncomfortable I don't think this book would be right for you.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Forgiven Friend Extract

A Forgiven Friend

by Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape


Friendship will always come first.

There’s only one way out from rock bottom and that’s up, and Teri Meyer is finally crawling out from the worst time of her life – no thanks to her best friend Lee. But no matter, she’s finally found love – real love with a real man, a successful man, a man who accepts all her flaws. Teri’s never felt like this before, and yet it’s changing her in ways she doesn’t understand.

And there’s only one person who can help, one person who truly understands Teri.

It seems that no matter how hard Lee Harper tries, there’s a battle awaiting her at every turn these days, and she’s tired. And as if she needs the extra stress, Teri continues to create constant and unnecessary drama. But Lee’s the only one who really knows what’s going on under Teri’s hard, convoluted exterior, and that’s why she’s always been there for her.

But the question is: will Teri be there when Lee needs her most?

The brilliant and entertaining final book in the unique FRIENDS trilogy dishes out another dose of rib-tickling mayhem for our favourite thirty-something professional women.


Extract:

Intro:
After being told to keep best friend, Lee Harper’s possible pregnancy a secret, Teri Meyer – not known for tact and diplomacy – spills the beans not only to Lee’s fiancรฉ, Dan Caine, but to make matters worse, Lee’s mother. Lee, of course, is furious and Teri must find a way of apologising – again.

Extract:

How was I to know that Lee hadn’t told her mother about the impending Caine-Harper grandchild? Wouldn’t her mother be the first person to be informed after plucking up the courage to tell Dan? Apparently not.

Lee had finally rung and released the full force of hell’s bells and damnations before I even had chance to give my side of the story.

I was never to open my big mouth again, she said. I was never to discuss her life – private or professional – with anyone, ever again. I was never to speak to Lee or any member of her family, ever again. She did not want to hear my pathetic excuses and she certainly was never going to forgive me.

Then she slammed the phone down.

Lee and I have had our fallings out before, but I’ve always managed to win her round. I would have to give her time to calm down – and then find a way of apologising. Although, really, she should have told her mother herself – and a lot sooner.

#

After Lee’s call, I couldn’t settle so went to Portly & Groops for coffee. I rifled through the pile of free Evening Leaders on the coffee shop’s wide window ledge. Beside the stack was a small pile of brightly-coloured postcards advertising a new spa and sanctuary on the outskirts of town. They were offering discounts on facials, massages and an overnight stay.

A spa retreat! Just the thing to win Lee over. Without stopping to think, I booked us in for Friday night.

Lee wasn’t best pleased to see me when I turned up on her doorstep. ‘I think I told you to get lost,’ she said, starting to close the door in my face.

You’re not doing that to me I thought, thrusting a foot forward. Momentarily I worried for my second best pair of shoes, but Lee saw what I’d done and, fearing injury for which she’d be to blame, relented and pulled the door back again.

Lee sighed one of her big sighs and stood back to let me into the house.

She grudgingly accepted the (second) bouquet of flowers I’d bought – the local florist was doing well out of my apologies. But Lee hadn’t seemed too thrilled when I told her about our little pamper night.

‘I haven’t got time to go away,’ she protested.

‘Why?’ I demanded. ‘You’re on compassionate leave from work. You’ve suffered a terrible bereavement. You’re stressed out. You’re knackered. You and Dan are not exactly life’s most loved-up lovers. You might as well have a night away with your favourite friend.’ She frowned at that last bit, and I playfully slapped her arm. ‘Me!’ I reminded her. ‘I’m your favourite friend.

‘And besides which, I’ve had to pay upfront, and there’s no chance of a refund. So you’ll have to come.’

But I’d muddled the dates. 



Purchase Links:

Biographies:

Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape

Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists with extensive experience of working for national and regional papers and magazines, and in public relations.
More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity University.

The pair, who have been friends for almost 30 years, wrote two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage), before deciding to turn their hands to fiction.

The first novel in their Friends series, A Falling Friend, was released in 2016. A Forsaken Friend followed two years later, and the final book in the trilogy, A Forgiven Friend, published on November 19.

Sue, who is married with two grown-up daughters, and the most ‘gorgeous granddaughter in the whole world’, loves reading, writing and Nordic walking in the beautiful countryside near her Yorkshire home.

Susan is married and lives in a village near Leeds, and, when not writing, loves walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also a member of a local ukulele orchestra.

They blog about books at https://bookloversbooklist.com/
Follow them on Twitter: @SueF_Writer and @wordfocus

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Death Makes No Distinction by Lucienne Boyce Review

Death Makes No Distinction
by Lucienne Boyce


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Thank you to the author and Rachel's Random Resources for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Synopsis:


Two women at opposite ends of the social scale, both brutally murdered.

Principal Officer Dan Foster of the Bow Street Runners is surprised when his old rival John Townsend requests his help to investigate the murder of Louise Parmeter, a beautiful writer who once shared the bed of the Prince of Wales. Her jewellery is missing, savagely torn from her body. Her memoirs, which threaten to expose the indiscretions of the great and the good, are also missing.

Frustrated by the chief magistrate’s demand that he drop the investigation into the death of the unknown beggar woman, found savagely raped and beaten and left to die in the outhouse of a Holborn tavern, Dan is determined to get to the bottom of both murders. But as his enquiries take him into both the richest and the foulest places in London, and Townsend’s real reason for requesting his help gradually becomes clear, Dan is forced to face a shocking new reality when the people he loves are targeted by a shadowy and merciless adversary.

The investigation has suddenly got personal.

Review:

Death Makes No Distinction is an interesting mystery following the murder of two women. One of the women is a beautiful rich writer, the other an unknown beggar woman. When Officer Dan Foster is asked to work with his rival to solve the murder of the writer and demanded to drop the murder or the beggar woman he is determined to get to the bottom of both murders no matter what.

Lucienne Boyce does an amazing job at bringing her characters to life. Dan is the good cop, the one who wants justice. He is the one you root for from the beginning. Townsend, his rival, is insufferable. He is such a crappy person and I don't mean he is written in a crappy way, I mean Boyce did an amazing job as writing him as a complete jacka**. The contrast between these two characters is great. There is a huge play on the "good cop, bad cop" roles and it is done wonderfully! I love it when an author can successfully blend two complete opposite characters into one perfect story.

While I found the characters to be well developed, I found the story to be just okay. It has some interesting aspects within it but it was mainly just a slow burn. We have the murder of a rich woman and the murder of a beggar woman. I was waiting for the reveal on how these murders were connected but unfortunately I was disappointed with the result. However, there were still a few things to enjoy about this story. As I previously stated, there were some interesting things that happened in the book that really caught my attention. I thought the writing was really good, the story itself just didn't do it for me.

While this book isn't for everybody I think individuals looking for a slow burn historical mystery would certainly enjoy this.

Purchase Links:

Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Lucienne-Boyce/9781781328835?ref=grid-view&qid=1566655590217&sr=1-3

Wordery https://wordery.com/death-makes-no-distinction-lucienne-boyce-9781781328835?cTrk=MTYwMDMwMzgwfDVkNjE0NDg5MmE2NDk6MTo1OjVkNjE0NDgzODI2YjM5LjMyOTk5NDA2OjBhZWYwZjQz

Foyles Bookshop https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/death-makes-no-distinction,lucienne-boyce-9781781328835

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838

Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838

Author Bio


Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land, in 2012, an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas. 

Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018. The third in the series, Death Makes No Distinction, was published in 2019. In 2017 an e-book Dan Foster novella, The Fatal Coin, was trade published by SBooks.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes, a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. In 2017 she published a collection of short essays, The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign.


Contributions to other publications include:

‘Not So Militant Browne’ in Suffrage Stories: Tales from Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth (Stevenage Museum, 2019)

‘Victoria Lidiard’ in The Women Who Built Bristol, Jane Duffus (Tangent Books, 2018)

‘Tramgirls, Tommies and the Vote’ in Bristol and the First World War: The Great Reading Adventure 2014 (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership/Bristol Festival of Ideas, 2014)

Articles, interviews and reviews in various publications including Bristol Times, Clifton Life, The Local Historian, Historical Novels Review (Historical Novel Society), Nonesuch, Bristol 24/7, Bristol History Podcast, etc.

Lucienne has appeared on television and radio in connection with her fiction and non-fiction work. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about the women’s suffrage movement. She also gives talks and runs workshops on historical fiction for literary festivals, Women’s Institutes, local history societies, and other organisations. She has been a radio presenter on BCfm, and a course tutor.

In 2018 she was instrumental in devising and delivering Votes for Women 100, a programme of commemorative events by the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network in partnership with Bristol M Shed and others. She also campaigned and raised funds for a Blue Plaque for the Bristol and West of England Women’s Suffrage Society.

She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

She is currently working on the fourth full-length Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne.

Lucienne was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.


Social Media Links:

Twitter: @LucienneWrite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucienneWriter
Blog: https://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.com/http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty Promo

Children of Fire
by Paul CW Beatty


Can Josiah solve the puzzle before more people die, or is he out of his depth?

In 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West of England, Josiah Ainscough returns from his travels and surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father’s footsteps into the Methodist ministry.

While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it. As Josiah struggles to find his vocation, his investigation into the Children of Fire begins. But his enquiries are derailed by the horrific crucifixion of the community’s leader.

Now Josiah must race against time to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale before more people die. This is complicated by his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland.

Can Josiah put together the pieces of the puzzle, or is he out of his depth? Children of Fire won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Prize for 2017

Purchase Links:
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1912083469/
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1912083469/

Author Bio:

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd.

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

Social Media Links – Twitter @cw_beatty

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The White and Gold People Guest Post

The White and Gold People
Guest Post


What the colour of dress you saw says about your personality? Remember #thedress …….. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ how could you not!!! It went viral, it divided the planet, it made us laugh, cry and nearly rip each other’s heads off. Something this monumental couldn’t stay buried forever …… could it?

Well now it seems there is a new twist in this saga. Get ready ………..

If you saw the dress in Blue & Black ….

You are a normal, taxpaying, living eating and breathing individual. You have a normal job, a normal or possibly even great car, a normal life, may do the slight erratic or crazy thing from time to time (you are human after all…) but all in all, you fit into the higher percentile 85% of the population. (Bluey)

If you saw the dress in White & Gold ….

If you are a white and gold person, (Goldie) you are far from normal. You are gifted. You have the gift of foresight, of love, (and hate) the ability to see past reality, into another dimension, you can see what’s there even if no one else can, (a white and gold dress for example), you feel that spark in the pit of your stomach that tells you that you are here for something great, that spark that sets you apart from the rest, you lie in bed at night dreaming of what you can become but scared of how far you can go.

You are blessed with a formidable amount of energy to see you achieve your goals, a vast array of talents and the gift of foresight to always imagine new things and create what no one else has done.

You may have shown traces of this uniqueness before and forgot or even tried to awaken it, but you didn’t have the right master to guide you to your destined path. But alas, the time has come up for you to become who you were truly meant to be. A RULER!

The White & Gold People (WAGP) are humanities newest species homo pas horรกล’ (all seeing man), setting themselves far apart from the rest, a blessing only bestowed to 15% of the population

They were known in the older species of homo sapiens as entrepreneurs, shamans, trailblazers, mavericks. But this new breed of people are a cut above the rest.

They can often be seen in the park doing yoga naked, stargazing, having lots of sex, meditating, and helping others. They love to socialise, are always working on their gift and trying to realise their powers, and in the midst of it all they are always having lots and lots of fun. They are peaceful, caring and humble people, though they are nice (well most of them) like all living beings they do practice self-preservation so if you find yourself on the wrong side of them may heaven help you. What powers you may ask? That’s for another day my friend!

If this sounds like you or you know someone who fits their description, then they are a WAGP. You owe to it to yourself to seek out other Goldies. They can show you how to use and control your powers, they can help you, but most importantly they can understand you. WARNING! Act now and get yourself into small to medium groups because you are a threat and what you can do, how you think, everything about you is the most mind blowing and sought after commodity on this planet. There isn’t much time left before they come for you and you will need each other to make it out alive. If this sounds like you then your true potential is revealed in these 420 pages.

One last thing, if you saw the colour of the dress in blue and brown…… I don’t have anything to say for you, other than YOU NEED HELP!

The White & Gold People

A dress causes a huge debate across the world as some see it as black and blue and others see it as white and gold. The white and gold people suddenly start to get even stranger visions and develop super human abilities making the black and blue people seem old and inadequate. The government try to quarantine and control their power but the white and gold people react setting the stage for a war between the rival groups.
Purchase Links

Author Bio


Segun Starchild is a writer whose previous works include ‘Black Egyptians’, ‘The Capability Test’ & ‘Kamun vs. Leviathan’. He is a self confessed seeker of ‘The Truth’ and has a great hunger to know the mysteries of life. He has studied the esoteric mysteries of great sages to gain a reputable amount of wisdom and has the blessing of taking a journey through life with confidence and true knowledge of self and kind. He hails from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and is for the unification of the African continent. Segun currently lives in London, working in IT Development and Support and the director of Akasha Publishing Ltd.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @Akashic84
Instagram: @akashapublishinguk

Giveaway to Win a T-Shirt, in the colours of the dress, in either white and gold or blue and black. (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




Monday, November 18, 2019

Wild Sky Cover Reveal

Wild Sky by Lexi Rees
☆☆☆ Cover Reveal ☆☆☆



Wild Sky

After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.
But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.
Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?
Not everyone is who they appear to be
And time is running out ...

Pre-order Link: viewbook.at/WildSky

Author Bio


Lexi Rees writes action packed adventures for children. The first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children, and as well as an active programme of school visits and other events, she has published a Creative Writing Skills workbook, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

Social Media Links:
www.lexirees.co.uk
https://twitter.com/lexi_rees
https://www.facebook.com/LexiAuthor/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvWC70tUEfzPk9e4n9OvOmg/
https://www.instagram.com/lexi.rees


Here we go...



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And there it is folks! I hope you like it!

See you on the moon!

xoxo

Friday, November 15, 2019

Bad Love Strikes by Kevin L. Schewe MD

Bad Love Strikes
by Kevin L. Schewe MD


๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ‘๐ŸŒ‘

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

Synopsis:
In October 1939, Albert Einstein warns President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Nazi Germany is actively pursuing an atomic bomb and urges him to make sure that the United States develops the bomb first. Roosevelt heeds the warning and launches the “Manhattan Project” in June 1942.
In October 1942, Roosevelt tells Einstein that prudence calls for the U.S. to have a back-up plan to the Manhattan Project in case Hitler gets the bomb first. Roosevelt commissions Einstein to secretly construct a usable time travel machine code named the “White Hole Project.”
In June 1974, an adventurous group of teenage friends, who call themselves the “Bad Love Gang,” discover a tunnel leading to the White Hole Project. They learn how to use the time machine and become the first known humans to travel back in time and return. Their mission is to save Jews and Gypsies from the Holocaust in November 1944 by using a U.S. Air Force B-17 bomber that was known as “The Phantom Fortress.”

Review:

Bad Love Strikes is about a young gang of teenagers in 1974 who stumble across an abandoned time-traveling machine. Of course they have to try it out, so the teenagers decide to travel back in time to 1944 and rescue a group of Jews and Gypsies from the Holocaust. With a lot of planning and a little luck they may just pull of the adventure of their young lives.

Told with a mix of sci-fi elements and historical facts Bad Love Strikes is an easy read that can be finished fairly quickly. We get to accompany our young gang and watch their plan unfold with a surprise or two. The story itself was interesting. The writing was easy to enjoy. The characters were fine, they just seemed like average teenagers. They didn't really grasp my attention to bond with one way or the other. I really enjoyed the playlist that was added into the book as it really helped create a visual. When a song was mentioned off the playlist I could just imagine the music in the background of the story being created and it made the experience so much more awesome.

My biggest issue with this book was the lack of conflict. The Bad Love Gang is able to pull off their mission flawlessly without any real issues. There is a certain part minor conflict is created but it is dissolved quickly and easily and the mission resumes as normal. For me, it was just lacking that edge of your seat factor you would expect when invading Nazi territory. 

Overall, I thought the story was enjoyable. I think individuals looking for an easy going sci-fi would most likely enjoy this book. The ending seemed to set up for a possible second book and if there does end up being a second book I would most likely read it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Two Children's Christmas Stories

Two Children's Christmas Stories
Hello everyone,
Today I'll be reviewing two children's Christmas stories that I've recently read and thought they were both adorable. Full disclosure, I received both of these books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in these reviews are my own. I've actually read both of these with my toddler and we both enjoyed them very much. 


One Wild Christmas

by Nicholas Oldland



Beaver, Moose and Bear are almost all ready for Christmas. They just forgot about one little thing.. The Christmas Tree! Since a Christmas Tree is the most important decoration, our lovable trio must go out and find one at once. After finding trees that simply won't do, they finally find the perfect tree. The only problem is bear thinks this tree is perfect exactly where it is, in the forest. Now the friends have to figure out what they can possibly do to have such a perfect tree as their very own.

My daughter and I really enjoyed this book. It was absolutely adorable and so much fun to read. The story is silly and sweet and just a wonderful little Christmas tale. I loved the way the three friends worked together to make Christmas perfect and how Bear stood up for his beliefs about the perfect tree. The pictures are colorful, fun and a joy to look at. It's simply wonderful in every way.

Why I'm recommending this one:
It's fun! It was a silly little Christmas story that brought my daughter and I joy while we read it and I think other families would enjoy it just as much as we did.


The Worst Christmas Ever

By Kathleen Long Bostrom


Matthew's family has moved to California. As if that isn't bad enough there's no snow there and his dog disappears right before Christmas. His little sister Lucy believes she can find the Christmas miracle Matthew says doesn't exist. Is Matthew right, or will Lucy find the Christmas Miracle and give everyone a Merry Christmas after all.

I've read this to my daughter twice so far and we both really enjoyed it. The story is so cute. While Christianity is a theme in this book it isn't shoved in your face making it enjoyable to everyone. The characters are fun and sweet. It's enjoyable in every way. I would definitely recommend this if you're looking for a new Christmas story to share.

Why I'm recommending this one:
It's sweet! This story is a little sad with a happy ending. At first little Matthew is upset over trivial things such as snow, but when his beloved dog goes missing he realizes what is truly important for him to have a Merry Christmas. It's a wonderful story to help teach little ones about true values.

Well, that's all for today friends. Thanks for reading!!

See you on the moon!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Brad Was Sad by M.C. Goldrick Review

Brad Was Sad
M.C. Goldrick


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I received a free copy of this book from the author through Rachel's Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Synopsis:

Did Brad's dad make him sad? Brad thought he had...until his dog, Plaid, proved he could choose his outlook & feel glad.

Kids learn best through stories. Empower your child to own their feelings with this beautifully illustrated picture book by award-winning author, M.C. Goldrick.

Brad's dog Plaid shows him how to feel and deal with emotions. Though Brad is having a bad day, Plaid shows him that it's in his power to choose his perspective and his feelings.

Review:

First of all, this is just absolutely adorable! 

Brad is a young child who is struggling with his emotions. When his mom and dad make him sad he knows it must be their fault. Right? Then he gets angry with his dog Plaid and something weird happens. Plaid doesn't stay angry at Brad, he is actually happy shortly after Brad gets mad at him. When Brad sees this he starts to think maybe he doesn't have to stay sad or mad. Maybe the power over his happiness is his to control.

Brad Was Sad is a rhyming picture book that teaches children they are in charge of their own emotions in a way that is simple, sweet and to the point. The concept is simple, feel your emotions whatever they are and then let them go. Readers are encouraged to use their self-control to not allow negative feelings to control their lives and to create their own happiness.

The pictures in this book were very well suited to the overall theme. They are colorful and engaging but do not convey a bright and cheerful atmosphere. The pictures used are dark and gloomy which really helps amp up the sadness factor. The canvas texture really worked well and also helped create the sad and gloomy vibe. I think it was all put together wonderfully.

I feel like this book would be a great addition for any library, both home and public. I feel like I can't praise this book up enough. I absolutely loved this book and definitely recommend it for anyone.



Purchase Links


About the Author


Award-winning author & mother of two, M.C. Goldrick sees feelings as our first language. Through her books she helps us identify and own our emotions. Her acclaimed Juvenile fiction series TIMEFLIES is an example of how stories can both enrich and entertain. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with her family.

About the Illustrator
Rebecca Alexander, mother of two now-grown-up boys, is an accomplished artist with a private gallery. Her work has been featured on Canada Post Christmas Cards & stamps. She lives in St.Catharines, Ontario, Canada.


Social Media Links –

https://www.motherbutterfly.com/
https://www.amazon.com/M.C.-Goldrick/e/B07FXQ5WHD
https://www.facebook.com/timefliesbooks
https://www.instagram.com/m.c.goldrick/

Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback copies of Brad Was Sad (Open to US / Canda)



Friday, November 8, 2019

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer Review

Aphrodite Made Me Do It
by Trista Mateer


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Aphrodite Made Me Do It is a collection of poetry and prose that gives us a retelling of mythology based on The Greek Goddess Aphrodite.

"I wrote my own story and still said all the wrong things."

With this one line this poetry collection spilled my deepest thoughts onto its pages. If nothing else in this collection spoke to me, this one line would still have said everything I would of needed to love it.

This is a beautiful collection of poetry that allows you to see into the authors thoughts and see their feelings and emotions. It is by far one of my favorite poetry collections. It's books like this that make me remember why I love poetry so much. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A Tale Of Two Mommies & A Tale Of Two Daddies

A Tale Of Two Mommies
written by Vanita Oelschlager
illustrated by Mike Blanc

A Tale Of Two Daddies
written by Vanita Oelschlager
illustrated by Kristen Blackwood & Mike Blanc

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of these books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

In our first story A Tale Of Two Mommies we have a trio of young friends hanging out at the beach. One of the little ones has two mommies. This leads the other two children to ask questions of which mommy helps in certain situations. In our second story A Tale Of Two Daddies we explore the same concept except with two daddies and this time there are two children playing at the park. Both stories show children's curiosities through questions of parental duties when there isn't a mommy and daddy to split them but rather two mommies or two daddies.

I thought these stories were adorable. I loved the way the children's curiosity was shown as simple curiosity and nothing more. It was innocent and sweet. Told in a fun rhyme this story is sure to capture the attention of any little one who reads it. The pictures were bright, colorful and simply adorable in both books. I think these are both great books to educate young children about LGBT+ families. 

A Song For Bill Robinson by C. E Atkins Guest Post

A Song For Bill Robinson ***Guest Post*** Blog Post for Four Moon Reviews  Location; merging fact and fiction  by C.E Atkins   ...