Bad sons by Oliver tidy

Today I’m on the blog tour for a rerelease of possibly my favourite of mr Oliver tidy’s series. Bad sons is the first in the series of Booker and Cash novels. the novel is about:

David Booker returns to Romney Marsh on the south coast of England for a holiday. He is expecting to spend time helping his aunt and uncle pack up the stock of their second-hand bookshop in preparation for a happy retirement.

He arrives in Dymchurch on a miserable April night to find his relatives missing without word or clue regarding their whereabouts. As events unravel, the outlook of the local police pushes Booker to search for his own answers to the questions surrounding his family’s disappearance.

To unravel the mystery he will have to put himself in danger.

Will Booker find the answers he needs and make it out alive?

My thoughts:

This novel features my ideal life living in a bookstore/coffee shop and solving mysteries. Booker and cash as protagonists are both flawed but yet immensely realistic and likeable people Throughout this novel you encounter Oliver’s trademark wit, which makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable.

I enjoyed the cosy crime aspect to this novel and the fact that again we have two characters solving a mystery who are slightly different to your typical crime protagonists.

I have often wondered considering the authors origins if this novel might be a little autobiographical in places. Throughout the story you find yourself being drawn to the areas of romney marsh and dymchurch almost like they are also characters in the book.

There is plenty of plot twists and turns and enough chills and thrills to keep most readers entertained. I have long been a fan of Oliver’s because I like my novels to be well written, with a little bit of wit and full of interesting characters and these are things Oliver delivers in Spades. Booker and cash are fascinating and receive a solid 5* from me, although I may be drawing my pension before he finally releases the next in the series.

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Guilty Innocence by Maggie James

Today I have the great honour of being part of the blog tour for Maggie James’s novel Guilty Innocence, in its new rereleased form from Bloodhound books.

The novel is about:

When Natalie snoops through her boyfriend Mark’s possessions she finds more than she bargained for. Mark was once convicted of a brutal killing. Heartbroken by what she has discovered, Natalie’s dreams of a future with him collapse.

However, Mark was not the only person sentenced for the murder of two-year-old Abby Morgan. His former friend, the violent and twisted Adam Campbell, was also convicted and Adam knows more about the murder than he will admit.

When circumstances thrust Mark back in contact with Adam, the past comes back to haunt him. Can Mark ever break free from Adam? Will the truth ever come out?

My thoughts:

I always love Maggie’s style of writing, she’s not afraid to go to dark places and explores crime noir fiction in a really interesting way. However there were points especially at the start where I found this novel uncomfortable reading especially with it’s parallels to real life. It is genuinely worth sticking with though because she moves the story on and makes you think about events in a whole new light. Maggie is a genius at creating characters that you start out despising and then showing you new facets of their personalities as the story develops.

I can think of few other writers that handles these topics as well as Maggie James she is a shining example of all that is good about UK crime fiction and a real must read for fans of books like the Widow. These are refreshingly different crime reads that never feature policemen or PI’s as their lead characters and that for me makes them all the more interesting. If i could give this book more than 5* I would, Maggie James is an author who never lets you down.

Follow Maggie At

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

 

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Watch you burn blog tour

Today I’m on the watch you burn blog tour, I’ve been following KA richardson since her first short story came out last year, and I have been a fan since then, Watch you burn had a lot of promise by me its by one of my favourite authors and its about fire – books and fire are 2 of my favourite things. Here’s what the story is about:

Someone is breaking into Fire Investigator, Edina Blaze’s, home and leaving deadly messages. When Glen Peacock is burned alive, she has to put her own problems aside and attend the location with Crime Scene Manager, Kevin Lang.

As the body count rises, Edina’s sister Heather becomes involved. Is it her setting these gruesome fires? Or is she a target too?

Kevin has seen it all in his years on the force, but when a young girl is found burnt to dead, even he is shocked.

Who is taking pleasure in watching people burn? Why are they doing it? And will they be caught?

DI Alistair McKay and the team from North East Police have to work quickly to stop the killer, before they all end up in flames.

My thoughts:

KA is fantastic at developing characters and bringing back old favourites in this loosely connected series. This story is quite dark in places and has some unexpected twists that keep you guessing. However I don’t feel that for me this is as strong a Novel as KA’s previous works that said Edina was a fantastic new character and I as always enjoyed the refreshing hints of romance that you get in these books, they make the novels stand out. This is not a novel for the fainthearted some of the deaths are quite gruesome and detailed. The novel also addresses the very important issues of stalking, bullying and domestic abuse. Never one to shy away from a contentious issue, KA handles these thorny subject with great delicacy and makes you think about peoples actions and the affect they have on their victims. This is the standout feature of this novel for me and I look forward to reading more from the author. Watch you burn is a solid 4* read for me.

 

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The Note by Andy Barrett

I am honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Andy Barrett’s new novella the Note.

It features everybody’s favourite CSI Eddie Collins – I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.
Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?
I did.
It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.
Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.
I had no idea who sent it, and I didn’t know why they wanted to kill me.
But I was about to find out.

I love the character of Eddie – he takes no prisoners and doesn’t set out to be liked – I think there is a little bit if Eddie in all of us wanting to get out. I love his disrespect of people who mess around his crime scene. This novella packs a lot into a short story.

Andy Barrett does another sterling job of bringing Leeds to life and showing you the darker seedier side of the city, he packs more into a novella than some authors do into a whole book. This is a fast paced all twists and turns kind of story, but doesn’t shy away from building the characters at the same time. The antagonist in this is fascinating and I do hope we might hear more about them – Eddie does seem to have a real talent at upsetting the wrong people.

I could not put this story down in short it packs every punch you want from a crime novella – If you haven’t absorbed yourself in the world of Eddie Collins yet what have you been doing with your life.

I love this authors dark humour, many crime books are dark but the best use a dark humour to alleviate the tension, there is humour aplenty in these books and to me its what makes them such a knockout read.

The note has cemented Andrew Barrett as one of my all time favourite crime authors, this is stellar 5* read – and it is available for purchase on the 5th May.

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Cover Reveal – The Note by Andy Barrett

It comes as no surprise that I am a big fan of Andy Barrett as an author – he encapsulates a lot of what I love about crime fiction in his writing – Really accurate science and CSI and trust me i’m picky about that but you know you are in safe hands when the author is a practising CSI. He also writes fantastic characters that are real people you don’t always like Eddie Collins one of his leading characters but then again you’re not meant to but you do admire him. There is also plenty of humour and crime fiction really needs that, when you go to some of the dark places that a crime author goes to you also need some comic relief to lighten the mood.

In light of all that I was really honoured when Andy asked me to reveal the cover for his new Novella the Note which will be released on the 5th May. Here’s the blurb to get you interested

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.

Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?

I did. 

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it, and I didn’t know why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

 

and finally here’s the cover:

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Keep your eyes peeled to the UK crime book club to get your chance to request an ARC.

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My problems with Waterstones

You would think that living in Leeds one of the Uk’s bigger cities would mean you had a great choice of bookstores including some fabulous independent ones to support. Unfortunately that is not the case unless you are into comics then the outstanding OK comics has you covered. Unfortunately if you are into print books then that leaves you with Waterstones, which I don’t object too overly and our local one has some fantastic staff. Although recently they have done everything they can to make me angry – now I really don’t at the moment want to give my money to a certain popular internet bookstore (thats a whole other rant entirely) but I feel like that might start becoming my only choice. So here in full detail and hopefully maybe being read by people who can do something about it are my problems with Waterstones and Waterstones Leeds in particular.

I like many other people have been really excited about Philip Pullman releasing the Book of Dust – I think the northern lights trilogy is possibly amongst the best set of books published in recent times and I’m even embarking on a reread of the series before the new one comes out (even though that means I have to buy them all again). And here’s my big problem – Waterstones are running a midnight launch event and selling the book for £10, sounds perfect right and I was completely up for it – I get the book at a reasonable price and maybe get a head start on reading it because I pick it up at midnight. Except here’s the deal you can only do that if you pay the entire £10 up front. The reasoning from waterstones being it’s an expensive book. And if you don’t do this well if you’re lucky enough to find a copy in there on launch day then you’ll be hit for the full £20 RRP.

Why is this making me so angry do you ask – there are many reasons, there is no guarantee the book will not be delayed in which case Waterstones have my money but I have no book.

Secondly I have shopped there for years I have a really good relationship with some of the staff there to the point that we have a standing order for Manga (Japanese comics) from them many of which cost a similar price to the book of dust and yet I have never once been charged up front for these or even been asked for a deposit and I still always  pay for my books. So why Should i have to pay upfront for something else now.

This happened recently with the Release of norse mythology by Neil Gaiman a book as both a Gaiman fangirl and Scandinavian fanatic I could not have been more excited for – they charged up front I didn’t preorder – on release day there was not a copy in sight nor were there for days to come so I had to popular internet bookstore it.

Harming pockets by charging people the full RRP for the novel if they don’t preorder is something that can only be likened to the one week that people have to pay full price for a sofa at DFS. Everyone knows there is a time when you have to pay the nominal full retail price but no-one ever actually does it. Why should people in a bookstore be punished for not wanting to pay a full price up front. How many stores do that well you can pay for your food now and we’ll keep the money and you can collect it in a week or so when it comes out, it’s not a sensible thing to do. All waterstones do by coming up with this stupid idea is drive people to the internet to source their books there. Considering that local stores even large chain ones are seeking support from customers this seems to be a particularly short sighted move. I would not have even objected to paying a nominal fee of a couple of pounds for an event ticket that could have counted as a deposit to the book which is what they used to do in the past.

my Other problems with Waterstones as a whole is that apparently they are phasing out points cards – you now have to download an app and probably let them tap all sorts of your data. Also they have a policy of having events that will only draw a large crowd gone are the days you can go there and meet emerging authors and with Waterstones Leeds in particular forget them being interested in hosting local authors they ignore any attempts to get in contact with them over this or brush you off in store.  This saddens me as I have found and gone to meet a lot of authors at book stores when they were starting off or have found new authors because they have been doing signings in store. I remember going to meet Elly Griffiths at Waterstones Leeds when she only had a couple of books out me and my dad loved meeting her, it was a really special experience and she is now a much bigger author so probably could still sign with them but if she was starting out now probably wouldnt get a look in.

There is also the death of the Mini-con a fab event that seems to have died due to the stores later opening hours, this was one of the best inventions of Waterstones leeds in recent years and it really saddens me that they have ended. And dont even get me started on their complete inability to even stock a decent scfi, fantasy and horror section. As a massive book geek I really want to support my local book store and my local authors  and it angers me to no end that one of our largest chains of bookstores and my local one just has zero interest in supporting this. Where will I source my books from now?????

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Undercurrent blog tour

Today is my turn on the Undercurrent blog tour – I have the great job of posting some content about how Undercurrent came to be, but first here’s the synopsis of the book:

Phoebe and her disabled husband, Martyn, move into a new house in a village on the edge of County Durham. They plan to lead a quiet existence, a set up that suits them both.

Then Anna, who lives over the road and is bored of spending her days alone, seeks friendship with Phoebe and events take a dark turn.

Phoebe has secrets and is haunted by her past and Anna’s arrival in her life may prove to be the catalyst for her undoing.

What is Phoebe hiding and why are she and her husband so reclusive?

When Anna gets caught in a storm and is rescued by Phoebe the truth becomes apparent and Anna is thrown into danger.

Is there a difference between madness and evil?

and now for:

How Undercurrent Came to be

I’ve always wanted to be a writer but like many aspiring novelists, life always got in the way. It was moving house to a village next to a river that finally clinched it for me. The idea for Undercurrent came to me one evening and it was a ‘now or never’ sort of moment. The main character was a strong protagonist from the outset, her persona crystal clear in my mind. The others came later as the story progressed.

I started putting all my ideas down on paper and dipping in and out of it for many, many months, deleting parts and adding to others, sending it off to literary agents only for it to be rejected. With hindsight, I fully understand those rejections. Undercurrent was still in its raw form and needed to be refined. So I spent the next six months doing just that and then sent it off again. More rejections followed.

My writing position is perched in the kitchen next to the window which overlooks the river. It was that particular view that kept me going. Through all the rejections (and there were many!) through all those moments when agents and publishers showed a strong interest only to turn it down, it was my little seat at that kitchen window that saw me through! I’m sitting there now as I write this, except of course this time I have a different perspective. Undercurrent was accepted by Bloodhound Publishers on 2nd December 2016 and the whole thing took me complete surprise. I saw the email and steeled myself for yet another publisher turning me down as they had only had my manuscript for a week. I’d had a flood of rejections that week and was beginning to think my refinements and edits to Undercurrent were a waste of time. It took at least two reads for it to sink in. Most writers will know that feeling of receiving yet another one of those emails or letters – that gut sinking sensation that your ideas and hours of effort are simply not good enough. Except this time a publisher did actually want my book. I signed a contract with Bloodhound Books the following day and have never looked back. It’s been hectic, tiring (I have a day job) and a steep learning curve but I have loved every minute of it and am currently in the process of arranging book signings and setting up a brand spanking new website. You can follow me on Twitter @thewriterjude or look my author page up on Facebook at J A Baker Author. My website is jabakerauthor.com where you can find out more about me and the latest news and events. Enjoy Undercurrent and feel free to use the contact section on my website if you have any queries or want to get in touch.

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