#BlogTour #TheGreenIndianProblem by #JadeLeafWillets @jade_leaf_w published by #RenardPress @renardpress 30.03.2022

Here is an extract of The Green Indian Problem –

1989

Trees

“Mrs R told us to make a family tree. She said a family
tree is a type of drawing that is also like a map of our
families. My family tree was hard to do, because some of
my family are living with the wrong people. I drew a lot of
trees. I put myself, my mum and my sister in the first tree.
Then I put my dad in the second one. I put everybody else
in the other trees.

Because I am in the top group and the teacher thinks
I’m clever, she lets me write stories when I have finished
my work. I don’t think I’m that clever, because I don’t
understand how spaceships work, and I am still trying to
do my Rubik’s cube. My dad can do it really quickly, but
I can only get one side the same colour. Orange. If I am
not working on a story, Mrs R sometimes tells me to go
and sit with Michael and help him with his work. She says
that Michael needs extra help. I know this is true because
Michael does not understand that 2 x 2 is 4 or 3 + 4 is 7.

Michael has also been writing his name wrong. He has
been writing ‘Micel’. Then the other day I showed him
how to write it. He copied his name out loads of times and
now he can do it right.

Michael is my best friend. He lives in the next street to me,
and he is allowed to stay out on his bike when I am in bed. I
can only stay out late if it’s not a school night and if my mum
is in the right kind of mood to let me. That’s just sometimes.
Michael lives with his mum and dad, his brother, his sister
and his dogs. He only drew one tree. There were too many
people in it because he drew his whole family – even his
aunties and uncles were dangling off the branches. He put
the dogs at the bottom of it, too. It looked like the dogs
had scared everyone, so they climbed away. When I had
finished my trees, I helped him to spell out the names in his
family. I know how to spell all the names in mine.
I live with my mum, my little sister Verity and a horrible
man called Den. Den is short for Dennis. I didn’t put Den
in our tree because he does not really belong there. He is so
horrible he should have his own tree with no other people in
it. I wish he was stuck in a tree and could never climb down.
There should be special trees for people like Den.

My dad is called Graham, but everyone calls him Gray
or Grayo. My mum is called Linda, and people just call her
Linda. I wrote down all my dad’s names on the branches of
his tree. I put his new family in the tree with him too. My dad
lives with a woman called Tina and my two brothers, Aaron
and Kai. When Mrs R was teaching us about families, she
said that some people can have half brothers and sisters.
She said half brothers and sisters only share a mum or a
dad, not both. I think it means only having one parent that
is the same as each other. It was a bit confusing. Michael
kept saying, ‘I dunno what she’s on about.’ If Mrs R is right, that would mean my brothers and sister are halves,
but I think that is just stupid, because you can’t have half
a sister. Sisters are not like fractions.
I wish my dad would live with us, but my mum said
sometimes mums and dads can’t stay with each other
because they do not like to live together in the same house.
I think they should check if they like to be around each
other before they get married. I think that would save
people from getting sad. I am sad because my dad does
not live with us, but I am also sad because I am stuck.

Mrs R said if we get stuck we should try to work things
out. She told us to do it on paper like we do in maths if we
can’t work out a sum. Then she gave us a spare workbook
each, just for working things out. She said writing things
down helps to work out problems. That is why I am writing
this out. It’s because I am stuck with things. When you are
stuck, it is called a problem, or a puzzle, and it can sometimes be called a mystery. My problem is a mystery because
something has happened to me that I don’t understand,
and I can’t work out why it has happened. The teachers
say if we try but still can’t work out the answer to something we should ask somebody, but I don’t know who will
know the right answer. I want to work out the mystery by

myself, but I think I will have to ask some questions to get
some clues. That is what I am going to do. I am writing this
down in my workbook, so it is going to be my clue book
too. I’m going to take it home so I can keep working on the
problem. I think it might take a long time to get the right
answer, because it is a very mysterious mystery.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J a d e L e a f W i l l e t t s is a writer from Llanbradach,
a strange, beautiful village in South Wales. He writes
about extraordinary characters in ordinary worlds
and has a penchant for unreliable narrators. The
Green Indian Problem, his first novel, was longlisted
for the 2020 Bridport Prize in the Peggy Chapman Andrews category. Jade’s poetry has been published
by Empty Mirror, PoV Magazine and Unknown Press.
His short story, ‘An Aversion to Popular Amusements’
was shortlisted for the inaugural Janus Literary Prize.
All his stories are available for adaptation, should Wes
Anderson be interested. He is currently working on a
coming-of-age sequel to The Green Indian Problem
.

You can buy The Green Indian Problem from Renard Press HERE

You can follow Jade Leaf Willets on TWITTER

Renard Press are on INSTAGRAM & TWITTER & FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #TheDisciples by #John Reid @dcisteveburt2 @PegasusPublish @instabooktours

 Description

In this, the third DCI Burt mystery, the stakes are high as DCI Burt and his colleagues become involved in an international game of intrigue. DCI Burt is sent to investigate the murders of two young and foreign women, and as the clues lead him on, he begins to see all is not as simple as it might have seemed.

Orders from on high have DCI Burt joining a secret society, The Syndicate, which has powerful members called Disciples. These ruthless people control the highest corridors of government. What is their connection to the two murdered women? Can DCI Burt unravel the mystery and solve the murders in this dangerous high-stakes game?

This is the first book I’ve read by John Reid, and the first in the DCI Steve Burt series.

We follow DCI Steve Burt of the Metropolitan Police on a new murder inquiry, when 2 mutilated girls bodies are found in Essex, Steve abd his team are asked to go and help investigate the murders…but pretty soon we find out that there are other agendas at work here and we are taken on a journey involving espionage and coffee until we find out who the person is.

An easy read but an intricate plot.

3 ⭐⭐⭐ read.

About the Author

The author was born in Scotland and, after serving in the Army, embarked on a career in industry. He has worked in several different sectors in senior roles and was latterly CEO of a large international data capture company. He retired for the first time in 1995 to take on a consultancy designed to help new businesses become established. In 2018, he finally retired from business life to become a full-time author. John lives in Scotland and Portugal with his wife and they have two grown-up sons.

You can buy The Disciples HERE

#GuestAuthor #PaulCleave @PaulCleave author of the brilliant #TheQuietPeople @OrendaBooks

J: Thank you so much Paul for being a guest on my blog, I’m so honoured!

J: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Quiet People come from?

PC: Yes – for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to write. But – growing up, it never seemed like a reality. It’s not like teachers at our schools are saying “that sounds like a realistic way to make a living”. So I never really believed I could be one. Then – when I was 19, a friend at the time asked – “If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?” I said I’d like to be a writer. She said, “why not try?” And I thought, yeah, I actually could try. So I did. I tried for years and years… going from novel to novel getting experience, and just a quick 12 years later my first book came out, and the crazy thing is that’s getting up to almost 20 years ago. My characters don’t age, but I do… and quickly too, it seems.

As for TQP – well, the idea came from the idea if I ever got married, and something bad happened to my wife – like – maybe she’d fall down a flight of stairs, or disappear – I would be blamed for it because crime writers would be able to stage such a thing. Could we? Probably. The idea scares me enough that I can’t get married… since I have stairs in my house.

J: Your insight into what a parent’s mind could be like when a child goes missing is impeccable, did you do any research into this?

PC: No, not into that – in these cases, I just do my best to capture what I imagine that grief would be like. But – this is the only book where I actually did do some research – I met with a Police Detective here in Christchurch and picked his brains as to how the investigation would unfold – first hour, the first evening, first day, what happens the second day, etc etc, and that gave me a roadmap for the first few days of the book. It was incredibly helpful – and to be honest, I felt bad because often when I write about the police in books, I have them chasing their tails for some time and making huge mistakes in the process… otherwise, they’d solve the crime by the end of chapter one.

J: Who would you like to see playing the parts of Lisa & Cameron and DI Rebecca Kent if The Quiet People was turned into a TV series/Movie?

PC: Oh geez – tough question, and until you asked it, I’ve never thought about it. Adam Driver would do a cool Cameron. Reese Witherspoon could do Lisa, and Halle Berry would make a nice Kent.

J: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

PC: I was an avid reader – though I couldn’t name what I read back then as it’s all a blur. I still am. But of course, I’m a product of the 70s, which means I’m an 80s kid when it comes to TV – so The A-Team, MacGyver, Magnum – all that stuff I grew up with. My all-time favourite?  Probably Star Trek. I’m what I call a closet Trekkie.

J: What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

PC: Tough. I have two. One is called ‘Kill Your Brother’ by Jack Heath. The other was ‘The Hate U Give’ by ‘Angie Thomas’. Two very different books – the first was a lot of fun, the second confronting and important.

J: Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

PC: Favourite author – I guess Stephen King. It’s a bit of a cliché, but yes, I think he’s the best. Favourite book? Funnily enough, it’s not a King book, but it’d be The Passage, by Justin Cronin.

J: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

PC: Too many to choose from. But – it would be cool to go back in time and watch humans figure out what is edible. I’ve always wondered about that – in human history, people must have tried everything to know what tasted good and what didn’t, what had to be cooked and what could be raw. Would have been a messy time. So I’d love to see the moment where somebody looked at what fell out of chicken, and said, “Let’s try eating that”.

J: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

PC: Well, I guess I’d have to invite my Mum. She’s been dead a while, and I think she’d be slighted if I had other dead people around and didn’t ask her. But I wouldn’t want to get stuck talking to her all evening, so I’d probably invite one of her dead siblings so they could hang out. Then my Dad, who is very much alive, would be upset if he heard about this and hadn’t been invited, so I’d have to ask him too. Then I’d need somebody that I could talk to while those three are catching up because I’d get bored with them – I’d invite Tiger Woods in the hope he can help me with my slice.

J: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

PC: I had some cool stuff for 2020 that all fell apart I’d still like to do – from the Northern Lights in Norway to Machu Picchu, to the Great Wall of China, to a trip through the Caribbean, Morocco, Jordan, Portugal, I had 15 countries lined up… as soon as our borders open I’ll try to make it happen. But where would I really love to go that I don’t think I’ll ever really get the chance? Antarctica. I have this thing where I like to throw my frisbee in as many countries as possible (42 at the moment), and even though Antarctica is a continent, I’d love to add it to my list. But it’s not an easy trip to make, nor is it cheap.

J: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

PC: Well, years ago Michael Robotham gave me some great advice – he said always have some go-to stories for when you’re on stage. It doesn’t matter what you’re being asked up there, but have four or five great stories and try to use one or two of them when you’re up there.

J: If you were moving to another country, but could only pack one carry-on sized bag, what would you pack?

PC: Haha – I always travel with carry-on size luggage – even if I’m heading to Europe for a month or two. Ipad, passport, cash, sneakers, shorts, jeans, jacket, t-shirts. That’s all I ever need. Plus a bunch of cables for charging stuff – half my luggage is cables.

J: Do you have a hidden talent?

PC: I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes – or could use to. I know a couple of neat card tricks. And cats tend to like me.

J: Are you currently writing another book?

PC: Always!!

Paul Cleave is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. He started writing at nineteen when a friend asked him the classic question of ‘if there’s anything in life you could do for a living, what would it be?’ The answer was simple. He wanted to be a writer. For the next five years, he worked in the evenings on manuscripts that he has promised will never be taken out of the bottom drawer. Back then he wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real-life crime – is horror. As he says, people don’t come home from vampire movies and lock their doors to keep them out, but they will come home from a movie like Silence of the Lambs and lock their doors in case the neighbour is planning on eating them. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.
These days he still lives in Christchurch, but generally spends two or three months travelling overseas for book festivals and meeting readers and publishers and talking on stage. He always travels with his frisbee and throws it in as many countries as he can – often in iconic locations if possible. He’s thrown it on five continents, and in over forty countries – with the goal of throwing it in fifty before he’s 50. He’s also learning to play the guitar, he can hit a golf ball extremely far in the wrong direction, can do some basic card tricks, and he’s pretty handy with a power tool. He hates shopping and hates gardening, he can solve a Rubik’s cube in under two minutes and plays tennis as well as any six-year-old can.

You Can BUY The Quiet People HERE

Paul Cleave on Amazon TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Paul Cleave has a website HERE

My #Review of the excellent #DoNoHarm by #JackJordan @JackJordanBooks published by @simonschusterUK 26.05.2022

My child has been taken. And I’ve been given a choice…
Kill a patient on the operating table. Or never see my son again.

The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.

I’VE SAVED MANY LIVES.
WOULD YOU TRUST ME WITH YOURS?

DON’T MISS THE HEART-STOPPING THRILLER OF 2022
#DONOHARM

I was SO excited to receive a proof copy of Jack Jordan’s Do No Harm… so thanks must go to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me one!

From the opening chapter of Do No Harm, I was totally gripped by the fabulous plot, the opening chapter sets the scene for this exquisite, thrilling rollercoaster of a book!

We travel through the story from the point of view of several people but our main character is Dr Anna Jones a highly respected cardiothoracic surgeon at a hospital in Redwood, she is about to perform one of the biggest operations of her career, bypassing three blocked coronary arteries for Redwood MP Ahmed Shabir who is tipped to be the future leader of the Labour Party.

A focused and formidable doctor, Anna is also a devoted mother to 7 year old Zack and currently trying to negotiate her way through an acrimonious divorce with Adam whilst raising their son and working full time at the hospital.

Upon her return home one evening she finds people inside her house and no sign of her son. Zack is being held hostage and in order to get him back she has to do something that goes against everything she stands for as a doctor – kill a patient.

We follow her terrifying journey trying to get her son back, and the twisty events that beset her with every decision she makes, and lie she tells!

I read Do No Harm in 2 days, and I loved it! It is going to be a massive hit when its released. It has it all, a clever plt with so many twists, you will be left gasping, throw in some gore and violence and you have an absolute bookbanger!

This is my first book by novelist, Jack Jordan and I shall be buying his other works as I love his style of writing!

A 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Star read and a future award winning book!

Jack Jordan is the global number one bestselling author of Anything for Her (2015), My Girl (2016), A Woman Scorned (2018), and Before Her Eyes (2018)

You can follow Jack on Twitter Instagram and Facebook

My #Review of #Breathtaking #Thriller #WhereBloodRunsCold by @GilesKristian #Bantam press @DoubleDayUK @RandomTTours

Erik Amdahl and his spirited daughter, Sofia, have embarked on a long-promised cross-country ski trip deep into Norway’s arctic circle. For Erik, it’s the chance to bond properly with his remaining daughter following a tragic accident. For Sofia, it’s the proof she needs that her father does care.

Then, far from home in this snowbound wilderness, with night falling and the mercury plummeting, an accident sends them in search of help – and shelter. Nearby is the home of a couple – members of Norway’s indigenous Sami people – who they’ve met before, and who welcome them in. Erik is relieved. He believes the worst is over. He thinks that Sofia is now safe. He could not be more wrong. He and Sofia are not the old couple’s only visitors that night – and soon he and Sofia will be running for their lives . . .
…and beneath the swirling light show of the Northern Lights, a desperate fight ensues – of man against man, of man against nature – a fight for survival that plays out across the snow and ice.

A story of endurance and of the desperate, instinctive will to survive, of a father’s love for his child, of knowing when to let go – and of a daughter’s determination to prove herself worthy of that love, Where Blood Runs Cold is a pulse-racing thriller from a master storyteller.

I must just say my huge thanks to Giles Kristian for kindly sending me a copy of Where The Blood Runs Cold.

Now I didn’t know this at the time of seeing Where The Blood Runs Cold but Giles is a prolific and talented writer of Historical fiction, including the bestselling RAVEN Viking Eye trilogy, but this is his first thriller.

All I knew was this book had been very loosely based on a personal experience Giles had whilst in the Norwegian Alps.

From the first few pages, I just knew I was going to love this book, for several reasons. Firstly the setting – in Norway ( my favourite Country) Giles has managed to capture the essence of Norway in this book, the snowy scenery was fabulous and made me feel like I was actually there and I could even smell the Norweigian air, hard to describe unless you’ve been there!

Once the story start, it is relentless, an absolutely breathtaking thriller, that made my anxiety trigger, to the point I had to take a break from reading! But that’s a good thing, a book that makes you feel emotions, and Where The Blood Runs Cold is definitely one of those. I went through all the emotions during this fast-paced thriller, horror, suspense, tears of despair and joy, gagging at some parts, and gasping at some scenes! I cannot shout enough about how bloody good this book is!

The characterisation is amazing, the dynamic between the two main characters Erik and Sofie is really wonderfully written, and I was so fully invested in their journey!

As always I’m not giving any of the plot away, you will need to read the book yourselves. But if you like fast thrillers set in vast empty snowy landscapes, with a gruelling tale of survival and ties that keep a family surviving against all the odds then Where The Blood Runs Cold is for you!

If you liked the suspense in novels such as The Last thing to Burn by Will Dean, then you will binge-read Where The Blood Runs Cold!

It is of course a 5-star read, and in contention for my book of 2022!

Giles Kristian’s first historical novels were the acclaimed and bestselling RAVEN Viking trilogy – Blood Eye, Sons of Thunder and Odin’s Wolves. For his next series, he drew on a long-held fascination with the English Civil War to chart the fortunes of a family divided by this brutal conflict in The Bleeding Land and Brothers’ Fury. Giles also co-wrote Wilbur Smith’s No.1 bestseller, Golden Lion. In God of Vengeance (a TIMES Book of the Year), Winter’s Fire, and the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown shortlisted Wings of the Storm, he returned to the world of the Vikings to tell the story of Sigurd and his celebrated fictional fellowship. Lancelot, was published to great acclaim and hit The Times bestseller charts at No. 3. It was also a Sunday Times bestseller. His latest novel, Camelot, is out now, and his next novel, a thriller called Where Blood Runs Cold, will be published in February 2022.

You can buy Where The Blood Runs Cold HERE

Find out more about Giles Kristian HERE

Follow Giles Kristan on Twitter Instagram Facebook

My #Review of #TwoStormWood by #PhilipGray @PhilipGrayBooks @HarvillSecker

THE GUNS ARE SILENT. THE DEAD ARE NOT.

1919. On the desolate battlefields of northern France, the guns of the Great War are silent. Special battalions now face the dangerous task of gathering up the dead for mass burial.

Captain Mackenzie, a survivor of the war, cannot yet bring himself to go home. First he must see that his fallen comrades are recovered and laid to rest. His task is upended when a gruesome discovery is made beneath the ruins of a German strongpoint.

Amy Vanneck’s fiancé is one soldier lost amongst many, but she cannot accept that his body may never be found. She heads to France, determined to discover what became of the man she loved.

It soon becomes clear that what Mackenzie has uncovered is a war crime of inhuman savagery. As the dark truth leaches out, both he and Amy are drawn into the hunt for a psychopath, one for whom the atrocity at Two Storm Wood is not an end, but a beginning.

I really like novels that are set during WW1 or WW2 so I was excited to be able to start Two Storm Wood, especially as it’s part of my Backlog!

From the outset this book grabbed me, it’s a love story, a tragedy, a creepy thriller. The two main characters Amy Vanneck and her fiancé Edward Haslam are brought to life so expertly and the attention to detail in describing how they look and their inner minds, is frankly, amazing. The setting is France in 1919 but we also travel back in time and revisit the death fields of war, the descriptions of which are SO realistic, the violence of war is put on paper so skilfully by Philip Gray, and the mental torture that affected every soldier is laid bare here.

The story is vast and almost cinematic in nature as we travel through the abandoned battlefields with Amy in search of her missing fiancé, it is very clear to me that Philip did a ton of research into WW1 and this makes Two Storm Wood such an authentic historical thriller. The battle scenes are almost TOO well described!

It’s almost a strange thing to say, but I loved the storyline of Two Storm Wood, I mean strange in that, some of it is so visceral in its depictions of war, which we know is horrific, but it is not there for glorification, Two Storm Wood just balances love and horror so well. The thrilling conclusion had me literally with my jaw dropping!

I love that Two Storm Wood is almost a love letter to Philip’s Grandfather, who kept records and maps during his time fighting in WW1 ( for more information on this head to Philip’s website) All in all this is a fabulous novel, if you like historical thrillers with a creepy edge, then Two Storm Wood is for you!

A 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!


Philip studied modern history at Cambridge University, and went on to work as a journalist in Madrid, Rome and Lisbon. He has tutored in crime writing at City University in London and serves as a director at an award-winning documentary film company, specialising in science and history.

Philip’s grandfather was a captain in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought through the First World War from start to finish, losing his closest friends along the way. Years after his death, Philip came across a cache of trench maps and military documents that his grandfather had kept, and in which he had recorded the events that befell his unit. Philip was inspired to write his thriller Two Storm Wood when the pull of his grandfather’s legacy felt too strong to ignore.

You can buy Two Storm Wood HERE

Philip Gray’s website HERE TWITTER

#GuestAuthor this week is the fabulous @TinaBakerBooks author of the gripping #NastyLittleCuts @ViperBooks

J; Thank you so much Tina for being a guest on my blog, I’m so honoured.

J: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of Nasty Little Cuts come from?

TB: ALWAYS! From the time I first started to scribble, before school. I was THRILLED being able to write, although spelling, not so much. I wrote poems and stories as a child.

Nasty Little Cuts was originally called Serrations. The idea was to write about all those irritating little things that build in a relationship until they can cause huge damage, coupled with two very flawed people at a tense time in their lives – Christmas, money worries, menopause, bereavement – catalysing the final explosion.

Tina Baker Promo for Nasty Little Cuts

J; The writing of Deb and Marc’s relationship in Nasty Little Cuts is extremely realistic, what research did you do in writing the book?

TB: I’ve been in several toxic relationships. But not like this. It’s fictionalised. The book is an amalgamation of all the (many) bad things that have happened to me.

I’ve also interviewed both women and men who’ve been in abusive relationships in my work as a journalist.

Me with Nasty Little Cuts!

J; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Deb & Marc if (and when!) Nasty Little Cuts is turned into a TV series/Movie?

TB: WHEN! Please, God! I’d love Jamie Dornan as Marc. Not just for his looks, but because he can play wounded as well as brooding.

Debs, I’d love to be played by a working-class actress. I adored Sophie Willan in the award-winning comedy, Alma’s Not Normal. She’d be great.

J; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

TB; We didn’t have a TV for years. Radio was my first love.

I loved reading and read everything, including my dad’s, very age-inappropriate books and as many adult books in the library as I could when no one was watching.

Early TV I loved The Magic Roundabout and Stingray and Thunderbirds. My first crush was on a puppet! Captain Troy Tempest!

Fave children’s books, Wind in the Willows, The Wombles, Paddington, A Wrinkle in Time.

J; What was your favourite book of 2021 and why??

TB; They are all my favourite children. You can’t make me choose!

 I loved The Last House on Needless Street, Girl A, The Stranding, The End of Men.

I read a lot of crime last year because I hadn’t read a lot before. And so much pre-pandemic horror! Even The Last One At The Party was about a bloody pandemic. I had no idea because I bought a load of debuts just because and I sometimes like to read without the synopsis

J; Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

TB; Again, its TOO HARD to choose!!

I’ve re-read a lot of DH Lawrence, Dickens, Thomas Hardy and the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Vasko Popa and Ted Hughes. I love Joyce Carol Oates, Ann Tyler and ALL the Viper authors.

J; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

TB; Either a party at Studio 54 in the OTT heyday or being on the moon at the moon landing.

J; What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought?

TB; In the last month – 2 wedding dresses, 4 wedding veils, fake blood and a rubber knife – for silly promotion videos.

I could also say, THE LIES OF THE MEN WHO SAID THEY LOVED ME! Ha Ha! (J.. I LOVE this answer!!)

J; If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

TB; Bette Midler. Icon. Hilarious.

Stephen Fry. Clever. Real gent.

Marilyn Monroe. Icon. Incandescent.

Billy Connolly. The best storyteller in the business.

J; Was there ever something that you thought was possible after watching some movie as a kid, that is now absolutely ridiculous to think of in retrospect?

TB; There was a children’s cartoon where a little girl wished her hair to keep growing. And I watched so many films about miracles, I prayed for my teddy to become real.

J; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

TB; Right now ANYWHERE!!! I’ve not been abroad for 4 years. I’ve only had 1 week off since the pandemic kicked off. So, either a week or two in the Caribbean or Cornwall (my husband’s from there) when it’s warmer!

J; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

TB; Don’t let the bastards grind you down. One of my Dad’s.

J; What is your routine for an average weekday?

TB: There isn’t an exact routine as some of the personal training sessions revolve around other people. Ditto press surrounding the publication of a new book.

Writing is a bit haphazard at the moment too. My brain doesn’t work the same thanks to long term anxiety. In an ideal week I’d write a little every day, some days longer, teach a fitness class or 2, and post silly things on social media.

J; Are you currently writing another book?

TB; I’ve just finished another thriller for Viper which has yet to be edited. The story of a domestic cleaner who turns to crime. And I’m kicking around ideas for book 4 for Viper.

Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.
Call Me Mummy is Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.

You can BUY Nasty Little Cuts HERE

Follow Tina Baker on TWITTER INSTAGRAM

Tina Baker WEBSITE

My #review of #WomenInLove by #MiriamBurke @renardpress published UK 23.02.22

‘I couldn’t sleep that night; our conversation was like a trapped bird flying around inside my head. The next morning, I texted to say I wouldn’t be coming back. I lied about having to return to my country to nurse a sick relative. I couldn’t bear to see my story mirrored in his eyes, and to see what we never had. I knew he’d understand.’

Women and Love is a thought-provoking collection of seventeen tightly woven tales about the power of love, all its trials and complications, and the shattered lives it can leave in its wake.

The stories explore a huge variety of sorts of love surrounding women in wildly differing settings and features an unforgettable cast including GPs, burglars, inmates, emigrant cleaners, carers, young professionals, and many more. Navigating heavy themes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, including gender dysphoria and searching for a sperm donor, the stories leave the reader burning with indignation, full of empathy and wonder.

Firstly, Thank you to Will at Renard Press for sending me a copy Women in Love to review.

This isnt my normal genre of book, but I was so intrigued by the description, that I wanted to read something different.

Here is a book with a plethora of love stories about women, they are well written and its clear that Miriam Burke knows her subjects well, in the description of all the various characters throughout the book.

Here we have 17 short stories about women in love. The clear who sees relationships from the outside and has a sad secret, the wife whose husband of many years makes a decision that rocks her world forever, the struggling single mother who encounters every parents nightmare.

I loved the way the stories were written so frankly and found all of them easy to read and compelling. and you can really feel yourself emphasising with the chrachters. My favourite was The Currency of Love, really gripping. I will also say that there are going to be some trigger warnings in these stories.

Overall a nice collection of short stories by Miriam burke, and a word for Renard Press as I loved the book cover design!

A 4 Star read.

A writer from the west of Ireland, Miriam Burke’s short stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals. She has a PhD in Psychology, and before becoming a writer she worked for many years as a Clinical Psychologist in London hospitals and GP practices. Women and Love is her debut collection.

You can buy Women In Love HERE

#BlogTour #NastyLittleCuts by #TinaBaker @TinaBakerBooks published by @ViperBooks

WHO WILL SURVIVE THE NIGHT?

A nightmare jolts Debs awake. She leaves the kids tucked up in their beds and goes downstairs. There’s a man in her kitchen, holding a knife. But it’s not an intruder. This is her husband Marc, the father of her children. A man she no longer recognises.

Once their differences were what drew them together, what turned them on. Him, the ex-army officer from a good family. Her, the fitness instructor who grew up over a pub. But now these differences grate to the point of drawing blood. Marc screams in his sleep. And Debs hardly knows the person she’s become, or why she lets him hurt her.

Neither of them is completely innocent. Neither is totally guilty. Marc is taller, stronger, and more vicious, haunted by a war he can’t forget. But he has no idea what Debs is capable of when her children’s lives are at stake…

A powerful exploration of a relationship built on passion, poisoned by secrets and violence. Perfect for readers of Blood Orange and Big Little Lies.

Thank you so much to Viper for sending me a copy of Tina Baker’s Nasty Little Cuts for part of the blog tour.

This is my first read of a Tina Baker book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect but from the blurb I was really intrigued

From the first page of Nasty Little Cuts, I was totally gripped. the story revolves around Christmas Eve morning in a house with Debs and Marc and their two children Dolly and Patrick. Sounds lovely right, WRONG!

This is a novel that takes the reader to some of the darkest place the human mind can go to when under extreme stress, I will say that for anyone who has experienced Domestic Violence/Coercive Control this book will likely trigger you.

Tina’s description of a marriage that has grown rotten to the core, the subsequent domestic violence from both Debs and Marc, the flashbacks to help us understand how people can be moulded by childhood events and the impact that this has on us in later life, is raw and real. I have to say that I was even shocked at how realistic the descriptions of two people fighting were. Yet there is interspersed in this horrific story tenderness and love. It’s a real horror ride of a book explaining the absolute depths that depression and drug and alcohol abuse can get when a person is under pressure.

I read Nasty Little Cuts in 2 days and it left me quite shaken and anxious, it’s a hard hitting storyline and it may not be for everyone, but it is written with care and attention and Tina Baker knows how to pull the reader in and keep them invested in her characters and plot!

A fabulous 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read from me!

Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.
Call Me Mummy is Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.

You can visit Tina Baker’s website HERE

Follow Tina Baker on Twitter Instagram Facebook

You can buy Tina Baker’s books HERE

#BlogTour #TheChemist by Lewis Hastings @istheauthor @HobeckBooks Release Date UK 22.02.22

“Then, with his wrist trembling under the pressure, he carved the names of two men into the paper, ripping the surface…

Jack…

The Seventh Wave organised crime gang is long defeated, its members dead or jailed. Their London-wide campaign of terror a fading memory.

Jason…

Or is it? An old foe is released from his maximum-security prison cell, with dreams of revenge and a score to settle.

…You. Just. Watch.”

He calls himself ‘The Chemist’, and he’s determined to make anyone who’s crossed him pay. To him, death is just a game of chance, and he’s stacked the odds in his favour. Can Jack Cade save those closest to him from the twisted plans of The Chemist?

Firstly I must say thank you so much to Hobeck Books for letting me join in The Chemist Blog Tour and supplying me with the paperback.

Secondly, although this is part of a series, this is the first time I’ve read a Lewis Hastings book, however it did not detract from the storyline.

Where to start! Well this is a fabulous crime fiction thriller and I urge everyone to buy a copy and read it, you won’t be at all disappointed. It is gritty, dark, fucked-up and totally brilliant! I was sold from the first chapter. I love the way Lewis Hastings writes, it is extremely raw and dirty, but it’s exactly what The Chemist is! If you like edge of your seat thrillers with a host of fabulous characters and quite possibly THE most EVIL and fucked-up criminal of all time (Worse than Hannibal Lecter!!) in a book that I’ve read, and I’ve read a LOT of crime books!

Remember the name Constantin Nicolescu because Lewis Hastings has invented a mammoth of a criminal here, the research that has gone into how The Chemists psychopathic mind works and the games he plays with his victims (of which there are many) is breathtaking and at times had me reaching for the sick bucket! Think Chris Carters style of writing only better! The plot revolves around Nicolescu and the chain of awful events that he wrecks on an elite team of Metropolitan Police Officers, dubbed The Orion Squad. Every chapter just draws you in further and makes you gasp!

I really don’t want to give any of the plot away but I must also mention the attention to detail that Lewis has taken in writing the Police characters in The Chemist. As an ex Police Civvy from the 1990’s, I always find a book hard to read if the language and black humour of Police Officers and Detectives in books is wrong, no fear of that here, the writing is super realistic and for me spot on, I think that’s also part of the reason why I loved The Chemist so much. You can tell when an author has been a Police Officer, it makes for realistic writing!

And finally I must draw attention to all the research that must have gone into writing The Chemist, from the effects of drugs and poisons on humans, to the settings in London and also to homeless people and especially ex-Forces homeless, it is absolutely solid gold and I commend Lewis Hastings on this!

This is a big book 500+ pages and it kept me entertained all the way through, the story was complicated but I was able to follow it easily, I was gripped by the darkness that is in The Chemist, and there’s car chases, and edge of your seat moments! The Chemist has it all!

This is one of those books that would very easily lend itself to television or film, and I for one would love to see that happen! And if not then at the very least it needs to become a bestseller or prize-winning novel!

An absolute book banger and a definite 5 ⭐️ read from me!

Lewis Hastings is a pseudonym. His real name is far more, real.

Born as a product of the long, harsh and miserable winter of the early nineteen sixties in southern England he soon shot to fame for his child acting, embellishment and love of justice and propensity for injury. His catalogue of injuries and their research has actually proven to be of use, particularly when describing some of the medical events within the book. The sensation of pain, often clinically described, is based upon real-world events and countless hours in Accident and Emergency Wards. His relationships with the many nurses, doctors and specialists is acknowledged.

Above all Lewis is a passionate and caring soul who always puts the needs of others before his own, a career in law enforcement was therefore a logical path, having drifted helplessly on a sinking rudderless ship that saw him involved in many diverse occupations, including but not limited to selling, border security, exotic dancing, prostitution and people trafficking*.

He joined the British Police in April 1990 and was posted to an upmarket suburb of Nottingham where he learned the art of policing; investigation, intelligence and communication. Along the way he dabbled in many varied branches of policing and worked for seven years in one of the toughest inner-city areas in Britain. Some of the key events and people are brought back to life in the early segments of the story that are set in Nottingham, again, to protect those still serving their names have been changed.

Having spent his formative years both living and working in the United Kingdom he was offered what for many would be the chance of a lifetime. Clutching his worldly goods, his family and his reputation he took the leap of faith and now lives on the other side of the world in a house, with the same wife and a lake-loving Labrador.

Having headed across the world, his law enforcement career – not unlike Jack Cade’s – would take an unexpected turn and soon he found himself building a capable and worthy team at an international border. The thirteen years that followed saw him carve out a reputation as a subject matter expert in port security, document fraud and international border intelligence, particularly the influence of travelling European criminals. He now acts as a government liaison officer – connecting law enforcement units throughout the Five Eyes community. He hopes for the chance to meet another “Theodora” – tired, afraid but agenda-driven and with her own unique story to tell to someone prepared to listen.

He has two amazing children, one adorable granddaughter, an equally adorable grandson and a long-suffering, incredibly patient wife who meets all of the cliched aspects of a redhead.

* The author was never involved in selling.

You can purchase The Chemist HERE

You can follow Lewis Hastings on Twitter Instagram

Lewis Hastings Website HERE