Category Archives: Book Reviews

BLOG TOUR – Outcast by Chris Ryan!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Outcast by Chris Ryan!

Chris was born in Newcastle, my neck of the woods! So how could I not jump on the chance to be part of the blog tour!!

Here’s the blurb

After single-handedly intervening in a deadly terrorist attack in Mali, SAS Warrant Officer Jamie ‘Geordie’ Carter is denounced as a lone wolf by jealous superiors.

Now a Regiment outcast, Carter is given a second chance with a deniable mission: locate SAS hero-gone-rogue, David Vann.

Vann had been sent into Afghanistan to train local rebels to fight the Taliban. But he’s since gone silent and expected attacks on key targets have not happened.

Tracking Vann through Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Carter not only discovers the rogue soldier’s involvement in a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the Middle East – but an imminent attack that will have deadly consequences the world over . . .

Review.

Outcast follows the journey of Officer Jamie ‘Geordie’ Carter.  Carter is a likeable fellow, but he’s ruffled some feathers along the way and has found himself out of favour with his superiors.  

On his current assignment it looks like he’s about to make things worse but just when things are about to get interesting an offer comes his way that he can’t resist.  

A fellow Blade, his mentor, David Vann has gone missing while on assignment, information is lacking so Carter is sent in the extract Vann.

As soon as Carter picks up the trail he gets a sense something isn’t quite right but little does he know what kind of shitstorm he’s about to walk into.

There’s action and betrayal behind every chapter and it ends up a race against time for Carter as there’s much more at stake than we first thought.

This is my first time reading a Chris Ryan book and I’ve heard many a good thing said about his work. Flow wise the book didn’t disappoint, it’s all about the build-up but with plenty of action and adrenaline as Carter constantly reassess the situation as the plot takes a twist. Character wise it didn’t disappoint either, the plot leaves little chance to give the characters too much depth but perfectly matches the flow as the author packs details in that quickly help you assess the characters and their motivations.

There’s a real authentic edge to the tale, the setting within Afghanistan after the withdrawal of western troops which gave the perfect backdrop for this story.

Outcast is a fast-paced thriller that fans of the genre will love. There’s a twist at the end which I hope means we will see more of Carter.. I’ll be waiting 😊

My thanks go to the author, publisher and Rachel @ rachelsrandomresources.com for having me on the tour! I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review but I’ll be more than happy to grab a copy too 😊

5/5 Stars from me 🙂

To find our more head to Goodreads, Amazon or Browns Books.

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio

Chris Ryan was born in Newcastle.

In 1984 he joined 22 SAS. After completing the year-long Alpine Guides Course, he was the troop guide for B Squadron Mountain Troop. He completed three tours with the anti-terrorist team, serving as an assaulter, sniper and finally Sniper Team Commander.

Chris was part of the SAS eight-man team chosen for the famous Bravo Two Zero mission during the 1991 Gulf War. He was the only member of the unit to escape from Iraq, where three of his colleagues were killed and four captured, for which he was awarded the Military Medal. Chris wrote about his experiences in his book The One That Got Away, which became an immediate bestseller. Since then he has written over fifty books and presented a number of very successful TV programmes.

Social Media Links  

Twitter

https://twitter.com/exsaschrisryan

https://twitter.com/ZaffreBooks

BLOG TOUR – The Capsarius by Simon Turney!!

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Capsarius by Simon Turney! Book 1 in the brand new Legion XXII series.

Here’s the blurb

Warrior and combat medic, Titus Cervianus, must lead a legion and quell the uprisings in Egypt in a new Roman adventure from Simon Turney.

Titus Cervianus is no ordinary soldier. And the Twenty Second is no ordinary legion…

Egypt. 25 BC. A former surgeon from the city of Ancyra, Titus Cervianus is now a capsarius – a combat medic. He is a pragmatist, a scientist – and deeply unpopular with his legion, the Twenty Second Deiotariana.

The Twenty Second have been sent to deal with uprisings in Egypt. Founded as the private army of one of Rome’s most devoted allies, their ways are not the same as the other legions’, which sets them apart and causes friction with their fellow soldiers.

Marching into the unknown, Cervianus will find unexpected allies: a local cavalryman and a troublesome lunatic. Both will be of critical importance as the young medic marches through the searing sands of the south, finding forbidden temples, hidden assassins, and worst of all, the warrior queen of Kush…

Review

Cervianus isn’t your typical Roman solider, he’s a also a medic. At times this role seems to have an advantage as he gets a few perks but it soon become clear it’s not a free ride in any sense and he has his own unique battles to face in this role.

He’s also an outcast within the legion.. as a medic he puts some of his faith in knowledge and skill while many still hold the belief a man’s life is in the hands of the Gods.

The twenty second legion have been given the task of tackling the Kushite’s in Egypt and to take back what is rightly theirs!

It’s not going to be an easy fight for sure but Cervianus has to hope his fellow soldiers don’t kill him first.. he doesn’t make friends easily.

Cervianus has luck on his side I feel and makes it to the battle but events along the way give him pause for thought.. maybe there is something to be said about the will of the Gods.

What Turney always does so well is the battles and the detail added to everything to set the scene, from the makeup of the army, the buildings, the heat.. the dints in a helmet.. nick in the armour.. everything.. it just puts you right there in the action.

For fans of the genre there’s plenty of action but what I’ve always admired about Turney’s work is how he manages to interweave personal fights too, it’s not just about the big battle… there’s lots to this tale to savour.. read it slowly, enjoy every morsel offered and I guarantee you’ll not be disappointed. It’s a talent to add knowledge and detail to an exciting plot like this one, some readers are simply in it for the action but Turney adds detail without forcing it, or slowing the pace.

I can honestly say I was hooked in from the prologue which set the tone of the story and has my mouth watering for more! Bring on book 2.

I also really enjoyed the character development throughout this one. It’s difficult at times to make characters real but Turney seems to do this effortlessly and I loved the relationship dynamic growing within the senior staff… oooo the tension!! You could cut it with a knife!

It’s a 5/5 star rating from me!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

My thanks go to Andrew @ Head of Zeus for inviting me to participate in the tour. I was given a ARC of the book to aid in my review but as a massive fan of Simon’s I bought a copy too and book 2 in the series is already pre-ordered 😊.


Why not follow the blog tour?


About the author.

Simon Turney is from Yorkshire and, having spent much of his childhood visiting historic sites, fell in love with the Roman heritage of the region. His fascination with the ancient world snowballed from there with great interest in Rome, Egypt, Greece and Byzantium. His works include the Marius’ Mules and Praetorian series, the Tales of the Empire and The Damned Emperor series, and the Rise of Emperors books with Gordon Doherty.

Follow Simon

Twitter: @SJATurney

Instagram: @simonturney_aka_sjaturney

Website: http://simonturney.com/

BLOG TOUR – The Wickham Market Murder by Iain Maitland

Today is my turn on the blog tour for The Wickham Market Murder by Iain Maitland, Book 1 in the Bloomfield & Palmer series.

Here’s the blurb

Suffolk, 1907.

Wickham Market’s local constable William Palmer spends his days yearning to solve a significant case so he can earn his detective’s badge.

But Palmer is torn, because he is also in love with the school mistress Alice Kemp who doesn’t want to leave the village.

One night, the night of a dramatic storm, there is a murder. A housemaid – Evelyn Maud Roberts – is found stabbed to death at the local vicarage.

Palmer has his chance to make a name for himself.

The local doctor declares that Evelyn was six months pregnant.

And the vicar’s daughter, Charlotte Mellor, names three men who may have reason to commit murder; Walter Fisk, soon-to-be-master at the workhouse; Albert Nunn, the postman; Frederick Hawes, the slow-witted village boy in love with Evelyn.

Palmer investigates. But he only has so much time before Inspector Bloomfield – the veteran detective from Suffolk Police – arrives from Ipswich to take over the case.

And before the killer strikes again.

Review.

On a cold and horrible night, Evelyn Maud Roberts rushes for the safety of shelter from weather.. not knowing her life is soon to end.

When her body is discovered, local constable William Palmer decides he wants to solve this himself before reinforcements arrive. Palmer is quite a no nonsense guy and speaks without thinking sometimes..unfortunately this means the investigation doesn’t go as planned.

Soon reinforcements arrive in the form of Inspector Bloomfield. When you put these two together you get a kind of Sherlock Holmes type vibe, the inspector showing Palmer the way, tricks of the trade, the tools to help him as the investigation continues. Bloomfield is flawed though, he can have a blinkers on, which to me seems quite logical as without the tools to investigate you’d be left to rely on your gut and would go with it.. but will he get the right man form the crime? And before another body hits the floor?

The case isn’t clear cut though, there’s multiple suspects all with motives and questionable alibis…all these men could be the father to Evelyn’s unborn child…they have a lot to loose, given the tools available in 1907 it seems like this case will go nowhere.. until things kind of take a drastic turn of events.

I really enjoyed the plot and the pace, it was easy to follow and I was fascinated to see how they might solve this case without clear cut evidence. What was even better is that the story really highlighted justice, or rather injustice at times and how difficult it would be to solve some cases.

The Wickham Market Murder isn’t an overly long book either, which I really enjoyed… towards the end I was utterly focused so would have been highly annoyed if I had to put the book down ha ha. I loved escaping into this world, this case, and I was left wanting more. I’d loved to see this team return, this duo have more tales I’m sure 😊

It’s a cracking 4/5 stars from me!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

My thanks go to the author, the publisher and ZooloosBookTours for having me on the tour. I had a copy of the book so was my pleasure to jump onboard! 😊

Why not follow along?

Author Bio

Iain Maitland is the author of three previous psych thrillers, The Scribbler (2020), Mr Todd’s Reckoning (2019) and Sweet William (2017), all published by Contraband, an imprint of Saraband. Mr Todd’s Reckoning is coming to the big screen in 2023.

Iain is also the author of two memoirs, Dear Michael, Love Dad (Hodder, 2016), a book of letters written to his eldest son who experienced depression and anorexia, and (co-authored with Michael) Out Of The Madhouse (Jessica Kingsley, 2018).

He is also an Ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity. He talks regularly about mental health issues in schools and colleges and workplaces.

Find out more about Iain at http://www.iainmaitland.net and twitter.com/iainmaitland


Follow him at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iainmaitland

Website: www.iainmaitland.net

BLOG TOUR – The Lost Boy of Bologna by Francesca Scanacapra

Today I’m kicking off the blog tour for The Lost Boy of Bologna by Francesca Scanacapra!

Keeping reading too! If you like the sound of the book there’s a chance to win a copy! UK Only.

Here’s the blurb!

Bologna, 1929. A newborn baby boy is abandoned by his desperate unmarried mother, who believes he is dead and that she is to blame. Heartbroken, she leaves her child, accepting that her actions will haunt her for the rest of her days. But unbeknown to her, the kindness of a stranger means the starving baby survives. And so begins the extraordinary life of Rinaldo Scamorza

Following several years in an orphanage, where Rinaldo still holds onto the hope that his mother will come to claim him, he is entrusted to a heartless foster-mother who treats her charges as nothing more than financial opportunities. Yet amidst the cruelty and violence of this loveless environment Rinaldo meets fellow orphan, Evelina, and the two children create a bond which they believe will never be broken. 

Rinaldo holds tight to the few people who show him love, and he becomes a loyal, intelligent and kind boy. But his life is shattered when aged barely 13, Evelina is sold into prostitution by their foster-mother. 

As he grows up and becomes more resourceful, he finds work as an errand boy in a brothel, where he encounters Evelina once again. But in his efforts to help her escape her life of exploitation, another dark misfortune pulls them apart and she disappears. 

When at last Italy begins to emerge from the shadows of World War II and Bologna’s economy recovers, Rinaldo uses his intimate knowledge of the city to change his life for the better. But through everything, the successes and the moments of loneliness and misery, the women he yearns to see again – Evelina and his mother – are always on his mind…

Fans of Angela Petch, Helen Fripp, Dinah Jeffries, Rhys Bowen and Louise Douglas will adore this captivating historical novel.

Review

A desperate mother struggles to support her new-born baby, with little money and with the babe sickly she’s in a very bad place. When the baby turns blue the new mother fears the worst! When there’s no signs of life the mother does what she feels best.. the last resort.. she leaves the baby with everything she has, including a family earring in the hope it can be used the pay to give the baby the funeral he deserves.

Little does the new mother know the baby survives, although still a little sickly. The baby is named Rinaldo Scamorza.

Rinaldo spends years in the orphanage waiting for his mothers return, he never gives up hope, but no one is looking for him.

Eventually after a tough start to life he’s set to leave the orphanage. Little does he know his hardships are just beginning. The only good thing in his life is Evelina, she’s like a big sister to him but as a pretty girl her life’s not going to be easy either.

Evelina and Rinaldo learn the hard way that there are some very bad people in life. Some of the events are quite difficult to read as they cause very personal traumas to the characters.

As we fast forward through Rinaldo’s life I was just waiting, desperate to see where he would end up. Little did I know his whole world is going to be fractured again.. but will the latest events be good or bad? I’ll let you find out 😊

I loved the plot of this one, when you start this, you’re in it for the long haul as it’s all about that build up, the history. The pace was prefect, but I can’t lie, I powered through those last 3 – 4 chapters. You know something is coming, you know how you want it to play out, but will it?

As much as some of the events are harrowing, the word best to describe this book is “Hope”.  Rinaldo never gives up… he never stops thinking about his mother and Evelina.

I can’t stress enough how much I loved the flow, the connections built with the characters. It meant there were many times I felt warm and fuzzy as events linked to Rinaldo and played out beautifully, full of emotion.. Wow

I spectacular 5* which I’d highly recommend

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author, publisher and Rachel @rararesources for having me on the tour. I received a copy of the book in our to take part in the tour but have already added this to my purchased list 🙂 Too good not to buy!

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio –

Francesca Scanacapra was born in Italy to an English mother and Italian father, and her early childhood was spent in Bologna, the city whose rich history has been the inspiration for the Bologna Chronicles series of novels. Francesca’s adult life has been somewhat nomadic with periods spent living in Italy, England, France, Senegal and Spain. In 2021 she returned to her native country and back to her earliest roots to pursue her writing career full time. She now resides permanently in rural Lombardy in the house built by her great-grandfather which was the inspiration for her Paradiso Novels.

Social Media Links –

Twitter https://twitter.com/FrancescaScana2

Insta @francescascana2

Giveaway!!!

Click here to enter the giveaway to Win 5 x PB copies of The Lost Boy of Bologna (Open to 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.

BLOG TOUR – David’s Bin Day by Sue Wickstead

Today is my stop on the blog tour for David’s Bin Day by Sue Wickstead!

Oh keep reading if you’d like the chance to enter a competition to win a paperback copy of Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus with 3D model (UK Only)

Here’s the blurb.

What happens on a Wednesday morning?
As the bin lorry clatters down the street a little boy is watching with interest.
Just like them David is wearing his brightly coloured bobble hat.
He is ready to play.
But where does everything disappear to?
And what happened to Daddy’s important letter?

“David’s playtime adventure stirs up a bit of trouble
in this sweet book about playing pretend.”
Sarah Flores, Write Down the Line

Review

One morning while watching the binmen do their work little David thinks to himself how cool that job must be and sets off around his house to pick up rubbish.

David has lots of fun collecting different types of items and even learns that not everything is rubbish.. it might be important to someone. Along the way he has quite the fun adventure.

David’s Bin Day is a lovely little tale for young ones and I loved his little adventure 😊

I read this with both my girls, 7. They loved the colourful pictures a loved seeing David’s antics.

As a parent I thought it was a nice easy book to read to my children and perfect for the girls to read to me also. It’s easy to follow, flows well and I loved the journey David went on as well as the message it helped me discuss with the girls… rubbish ha. They are forever leaving stuff around the house so I said to be careful or I’ll invite David round to help clear up 😊

It’s a 5/5 from Abigail and Georgia who are excited to tell their friends about David’s Bin Day.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author, publisher and Rachel @rararesources for having me on the tour and for providing a copy of the book for the girls to read

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio –

A work of the heart.

I am a Supply teacher working across Sussex and Surrey.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, a Playbus, which led me to write a photographic history book about it. (Bewbush Playbus.)

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more.

I have been telling stories about the bus which led me to writing the fictional tale.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, came out in print in 2014. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continues.

The story has led to 11 other children’s stories to date; some are from my teaching and play-work experiences as well as my bus adventures. There are more stories written and on their way.

In my role as visiting Supply Teacher, I am able to share the story as well as to leave a copy of the book in each school as I go.

I undertake author visits in schools, libraries and events on request.

Social Media Links – 

Website :- https://suewickstead.co.uk/davids-bin-day

Amazon.co.uk – http://bit.ly/JJKSupersonic

Amazon.com – http://amzn.to/2BxvU2l

Waterstones http://bit.ly/2wytDz5Waterstones

WHSmith http://bit.ly/2TtCr2I

Foyles – http://bit.ly/315DESrFoylesbooks

Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/2IgCKKjBandN

Book depository http://bit.ly/2Ax6VcZ

Facebook: – Author Page https://www.facebook.com/storiesSue/

Facebook  – Playbus page https://www.facebook.com/BewbushPlaybus/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JayJayBus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jayjaybusbooks/


Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus with 3D model (Open to 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.

BLOG TOUR – Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon – Review

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Blood Sentence by Keith Nixon!

Why not follow the follow the rest of the tour?

Here’s the blurb :-

Three bodies, one suspect. That suspect is you…

When the unidentified corpse of an apparent suicide victim is found hanging above a complex pattern of forty photographs of children, Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance of the Met’s specialist Sapphire Unit is brought in to investigate.

A post-mortem reveals the suicide was murder, and Pennance realises he knows the man. But as the body count rises, all the signs point to a care home in Kent – a place that Pennance is all too familiar with.

The problem is the only person connecting the victims is Pennance – and he has a solid motive for wanting them dead… Can Pennance prove his innocence?

Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James Blood Sentence is the first book in the explosive series featuring Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance.

Review

I’m a massive fan of Keith’s work so jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour, I already had the book downloaded so was eager to get stuck in.

From the blurb I was already excited, a new series by Keith..what’s not to love? But the name Pennance.. that rung a bell. If you are a fan of Nixon’s work you’ll know Pennance had a small role in the author’s previous Solomon Gray series so I was great to see him get his own story!

I know what to expect from Keith so I’ve high expectations.. boy did he deliver! But the best thing was simply the feeling the book gave me, it felt familiar with the tie back to the authors previous work but also new and refreshing.

So you want to know about the plot. The book starts with the death of a man in strange circumstances and it soon becomes clear for DI Pennance there’s links to his past.. things he would rather forget.

His attention is drawn away as he’s pulled to Wales to assist in some enquires..the case has his name written all over it but Pennence doesn’t have a clue how he’s involved.

It’s kind of a whirlwind from then on as Pennence struggles to put the pieces together, investigating a death of an animal rights activist and how the hell it links back to him! He doesn’t even know the guy.

In Nixon’s style which I love, the author weaves the tale in such a masterful way that the truth only becomes clear when he wants it to and Penances’ world is turned upside down forever.

It’s not a typical police procedural tale, it’s a thriller, its personal, intense and gritty with some marvellous storytelling!  I almost feel bad I demolished this in a couple sittings but it’s a real page turner and sucks you in!

It’s a cracking 5/5 stars from me!

My thanks go to the author, the publisher and ZooloosBookTours for having me on the tour 😊

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

About the author

Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.

His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)

Follow Keith:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/keithnixonauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keith_nixon/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/knntom

Website: keithnixon.co.uk

BLOG TOUR Princess No Knots by Deborah Dillon & Matt Richards

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Princess No Knots by Deborah Dillon, Illustrated by Matt Richards.

Here’s the blurb.

Princess No Knots LOVES her long golden hair as much as she LOVES her bath time, but she does NOT love having it brushed. When her flowing locks end up in knots, the King tells her they will have to be cut and takes away her crown. Enter a world of determination, sprinkled with a small dose of magic, to find out if the strong-willed Princess finds a way to get back her crown, keep her name and save the hair she so loves. A must read rhyming picture book for any parent who struggles with the dreaded ‘hair wash’ night! Available on amazon.co.uk.

Review

Princess No Knots is a lovely little book about a Princess who absolutely hates to have her hair brushed.

She must quickly learn how to deal with her emotions to make sure she doesn’t loose her crown.. a Princess must look the part after all.

I read this with my two little girls and they loved it, they were engaged from first page to last.

The story itself is easy to follow and is paced nicely to enable younger children to read this themselves.

I enjoyed the message of the book and it helped me start a talk with my kids on how sometimes you have to do things you may not like but it gets it on the right level so they can fully understand why.

When asked the girls really wanted to tell everyone how lovely the illustrations are, although Georgia fully believes they aren’t anywhere near as good as her drawings ha. I apologise to the wonderful illustrator Matt Richards for that comment! ha

Georgia loved the book so much she has read it by herself a few more times independently which was lovely to see.

Overall Princess No Knots is a colourful and engaging read to support younger children as they learn in life.

Abi & Georgia rated this 5/5 stars!!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author and Rachel @rararesources for having me on the tour and for providing a copy of the book for the girls to read. They are more than excited to let some of their friends see this one 😊

Why not follow the tour?

Author Bio –

Deborah Dillon’s love of books, poems and story telling stems from her Granddad Jim who always used to make up stories at bedtime when she was young. Every story would take her to crazy worlds of adventure and friendship, each story sprinkled with a tiny bit of determination.

Since having children of her own Deborah has continued this family tradition but rather than keeping all the stories in her head, she decided to write them down. As her children were growing up she was inspired to write about whatever obstacles or challenges they, or their friends, faced then overcame.

Deborah is a firm believer that something magical happens when you read a book together.

Social Media Links –

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/deborah.dillon.56/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/deborah.dillon.56

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/DeborahDillon01

BLOG TOUR- A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy! HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY!!!

Today is my turn on the blog tour for A Night of Flames by Matthew Harffy! It also happens to be the official publication day too!!!

If you follow my blog you’ll know Harffy is a firm favourite so to say I was eager to get to grips with this one was an understatement!

Here’s the blurb

In the wild lands of Norway, Hunlaf must quell a vicious slave uprising in Matthew Harffy’s new historical adventure.

A wild land. A lethal fanatic. A violent revolt.

Northumbria, AD 794. Those who rule the seas, rule the land. None know the truth of this more than the Vikings. To compete with the seafaring raiders, the king of Northumbria orders the construction of his own longships under the command of oath-sworn Norseman, Runolf.

When the Vikings attack again, the king sends cleric turned warrior, Hunlaf, on a mission to persuade the king of Rogaland into an alliance. But Hunlaf and Runolf have other plans; kin to seek out, old scores to settle, and a heretical tome to find in the wild lands of the Norse.

Their voyage takes them into the centre of a violent uprising. A slave has broken free of his captors and, with religious fervour, is leading his fanatical followers on a rampage – burning all in his path. Hunlaf must brave the Norse wilderness, and overcome deadly foes, to stop this madman. Can he prevent a night of flames and slaughter?

Review

Firstly I have to commended the author on creating a new series set away from his Serpent Sword series but at the same time offering subtle nods to his previous work. These litter eastereggs are there to find and really did put a smile on my face. I know the characters aren’t real but at the same time the investment you put into a story as the reader makes them real, so adding in these little extras triggers the memories and it’s great to see those adventures are still locked in my head 😊.

So we are back with Hunlaf, he’s firmly shed his monk robes for the touch of cold hard steel but that doesn’t mean he’s still not conflicted at times. Mainly because the warrior life has come easy to him and sometimes that doesn’t sit well with his soul. He’s about to be tested like never before.

Runolf wants to start building his boat to cross the sea to find out what has become of his family. Hunlaf has a desire more then most to join him after his kin was take in a previous Viking raid. Neither know how their loved ones fair so as you can imagine.. there’s a lot of nervous energy going around with them both eager to set sail.

After receiving the blessing of the King to build the boat and with orders to gain a truce with the Norse we see a few new faces join our band of heroes and at times tensions can run high but the call of the sea and the torment it can cause soon allows bonds to grow.. which will make future events even harder to swallow. The journey across the sea will be completed but comes at a price.

When eventually they arrive on Norse lands all is not well. A slave has revolted and is causing havoc. If Runolf and Hunlaf ever want to see peace and their kin again they must fight a new threat.. and this threat is a little bit crazy to say the least.

We learn early on that death will show it’s face so while I was kind of prepared it really didn’t help lessen the shock when events unfolded.

What happens next is beyond belief and is the best 10 – 15 chapters I’ve ever read in my life…the grizzly horror.. the bloodshed.. the pain.. it’s beautiful in it’s madness as Hunlaf tries to make it out of this one alive.. but nothing is certain, but.. Anything is possible.

If it’s even possible I think Harffy gets better and better which each offering and as this is still a relatively new series for the author it’s given him the ability to explore things a little more than with his established characters I feel.. he really let his creative juices flow on this one.

I always like to comment on writing style, chapter length etc but on this one I simple can’t.. I was so engrossed I just didn’t take that in.. I just ploughed through this one with a desire to learn the outcome.. We know Hunlaf makes it through this adventure as he’s the one recounting the tale to us but the rest is not known and there’s so much at stake… I really didn’t want to see loose anyone but it wouldn’t be a Harffy book without a few tears.

It’s a 5* from me without a shadow of a doubt.

It’s unreal how haunting amazing this book is.. how is it even possible to write something so disturbingly beautiful! There’s so many emotions that pass through you as you read this one and it’s something that will really stay with you.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the publishers for gifting me a copy of the book for review! This one was on pre-order too but it’s always exciting to get to read in advance in order to jump on a wonderful blog tour!

Why not follow the tour??

About the author

Matthew Harffy grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him. He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

Follow Matthew

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

Follow Aries

Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

BLOG TOUR – Son of Mercia by MJ Porter

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Son of Mercia by MJ Porter!

Here’s the blurb

Tamworth, Mercia AD825.

The once-mighty kingdom of Mercia is in perilous danger.

Their King, Beornwulf lies dead and years of bitter in-fighting between the nobles, and cross border wars have left Mercia exposed to her enemies.

King Ecgberht of Wessex senses now is the time for his warriors to strike and exact his long-awaited bloody revenge on Mercia.

King Wiglaf, has claimed his right to rule Mercia, but can he unite a disparate Kingdom against the might of Wessex who are braying for blood and land?

Can King Wiglaf keep the dragons at bay or is Mercia doomed to disappear beneath the wings of the Wessex wyvern?

Can anyone save Mercia from destruction?

Review

I’m a fan of MJ Porter but being prolific with the releases I find it hard to keep up ha! I jumped at the chance to get onboard with this new series early!

The story follows young Icel whose past is shadowed in mystery.. his mother unfortunately died and he’s never known who his farther is so he’s been raised by his uncle Cenfrith. Icel has trained in the arts of healing but there’s something in him just waiting to come out.

King Ecgberht is looking to expand his reach and senses weakness in Mercia. He’s right I guess as King Wiglaf seems to disappear but why? And have we been given the full story?

When King Ecgberht descends Icel is forced to flee to safety with his uncle and his friend Edwin. Along the way Icel learns a little of past events but only what his uncle allows. Will he ever learn the full truth?

What happens next was the most amazing few chapters I’ve ever read! I can’t spoil it but Cenfrith is an amazing character who supports Icel and keeps him safe. When the opportunity comes for Icel to save Mercia he sets out to find King Wiglaf.

The tension mounts and battle commences.. it’s time for Icel to learn more about himself than he ever thought possible.

Son of Mercia is a real coming of age tale for Icel as he learns what kind of man he’s destined to be… although there’s certainly more to come.

I can’t give this anything less than 5*. The plot was astonishingly gripping. I’ve struggled the past few months to devote time to reading but I was hooked as soon as I picked this one up and it’s helped me fall back in love with books again.

What a cracking read! I look forward to more!

My thanks go to MJ Porter, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ebook in return for my honest review and Rachel from http://www.rachelsrandomresources.com  for having me on the blog tour!

This a certainly a book I want on my shelf so will be ordering a paperback asap!

To find out more why not follow the blog tour? or head to Goodreads or Amazon!

Author Bio –

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, and in Viking Age Denmark. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

https://www.instagram.com/m_j_porter/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163404.M_J_Porter

Dad – Forever with me

As a few of you may have heard I unfortunately lost my dad on the 13th January after a battle with cancer.

There are no words to really describe how I feel but I wanted to share a few words publicly that I previously shared on my private & public social media. Without his influence I wouldn’t be who I am today and there likely wouldn’t be a David’s Book Blurg. I appreciate all of the lovely messages and support over the last month or so and I’ll be back to reading/reviewing asap!

One thing my dad loved more than anything was reading… just look what I found when I went to tidy his house!

Why are these special you might ask. Well over the last 3 years or so my dad and me bonded over books, we were never the closest but a love of books Is something we shared.

Towards the end he was reading a book a day!

These books are signed, giving as a gift from me. These will live on my forever shelf as a reminder of not only him but the shared joy they brought us and the connection they helped make.

There’s so many authors out there who helped us bond… sometimes you might not realise just how much your writing can affect an individual’s life

We said goodbye to a great man and celebrated his life, friends and family together, on Friday 11th Feb, here are some words I wanted to share but wouldn’t have been able to say on the day as it would be too difficult.

I always thought he was a hard man.. he didn’t shed tears, he wasn’t the kind to say “I love you” and I didn’t understand why. Now I’m a dad myself I understand.. he was a man of his generation, a man of few words. he held that side back as the man wasn’t one to show emotions.

He may not have said the words but his actions did… the weekly trips to visit grandma and grandad.. walks to Newbiggin and Sandy Bay.. I struggle to remember a weekend we didn’t do something as kids.

Even thinking back I understand a lot of the choices he made for me growing up.. like not allowing me to go to my grandads funeral.. it’s not that he didn’t care about how I felt.. that was the exact reason he didn’t want me there.. he was protecting me the only way he knew how.

Sitting here thinking.. we are more alike than I ever thought and that’s why we didn’t understand each other.. too bloody stubborn to listen.

I’ll always love that he understood one thing.. my commitment to my own children.. he always wanted me to put them first even if he needed help, and even though he didn’t say the words his eyes, smile and involvement with them growing up speaks volumes and the fact they wanted to be with me at the funeral shows just what he meant to them.

Over the past few years we bonded due to a love of reading and I’m so glad we had something. He might not be here but that will remain with me.

He fought and made me proud, I can’t imagine the pain he suffered. Rest easy.

The girls miss you.. I miss you.

Forever.

D.