Tag Archives: Reviews

The House in the Marsh by Steven A McKay – Review

Today I’m reviewing The House in the Marsh by Steven A Mckay, The House In the Marsh is a medieval Christmas mystery with a ghostly twist and is a novella in The Forest Lord series.

Here’s the blurb,

For generations, stories have been told about the ruined old house in the marsh outside Wakefield. Stories of hidden treasure, sinister night-time cries, and ghostly figures doomed to haunt the lonely estate for all eternity as punishment for some terrible crime.
This Christmas, it seems the old tales might just turn out to be true…

England, AD 1330
John Little, a bailiff living in Yorkshire, has little interest in ghost stories, having seen enough horrors among the living to bother much about the dead. The strange accounts from his fellow villagers have everyone talking though, and it’s not long before he’s asked to accompany a group of curious locals on nocturnal visits to the house in the marsh.
There are more worrying concerns in northern England however, as autumn gives way to winter and rumours of rogue bailiffs attacking, and even murdering people in their own homes, begin to circulate.
Along with his friends – ill-tempered Will Scaflock and the renowned friar, Robert Stafford – John is drawn inexorably into a dangerous adventure that will leave yet more people dead and only add to the eerie legends which will pass into English folklore for centuries to come.
Can John and his companions uncover the truth about the house in the marsh and its terrible secrets? And will they be able to forever exorcise the ghost haunting Wakefield, or will this Christmas be anything but merry?

Reviews

We are back with Tuck, Will Scarlet and Little John for another gripping mystery.

The tale starts with a bailiff out to collect fines in the name of the king, the issue is this isn’t a real bailiff and his form of justice goes a step too far.

The news of the fake bailiff takes a while to circulate so before it reaches our heroes we find John, Tuck and Will intrigued with a reported haunting in an old Manor in the Marshes close to Wakefield. There’s even stories of treasure about. But is there any truth in the legend?

As the fake Bailiff edges closer to Wakefield Little John and the gang take notice. They are a little older but no less deadly. If the fake bailiff wants to dole out some harsh justice they are in for a nasty shock… to make matters worse there’s reports of this fake bailiff in numerous placed which wouldn’t be humanly possible..

Development wise I think Will stole the show, he’s still as sharp as ever but has a new family to watch over… he’s not going to let anyone harm his family.. not after last time!

The plot develops at a steady pace and both mysteries come to some surprising ends.

I love these Novellas and they are fast becoming a Christmas tradition for me to cosy up with a nice bottle of ale.

After being with these characters for so long I feel like I know them..I’m comfortable with them.. the relationships are naturally built and the flow and writing style is effortless brilliant you can’t help but get cosy and demolish this one.. it would be impossible not to.  When I pick up a book by Steven A. McKay I just know I’m going to love it and once again we’ve been given a cracking read perfect for Christmas Eve night!

5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

BLOG TOUR – The Custard Corpses by MJ Porter

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Custard Corpses, the 1st book in The Erdington Mysteries series by M J Porter.

As a fan of the author I jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour, no review copy needed.. I had this one already 😊

Keep reading for the chance to win a copy of the book too!!

Here’s the blurb

A delicious 1940s mystery.

Birmingham, England, 1943.


While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights.

Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since.

But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over twenty-five years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.

Review

MJ Porter is a master of style and wit. Porter manages to perfectly add her edge to a wonderful historical mystery.

Set during the war the people are suffering..suffering shortages, suffering grief..suffering fear…but that’s not all.

A body is found with striking similarities to a case back in 1923. Is this a 2nd chance to catch the killer?

The Custard Corpses is a well crafted tale showing the constraints of the time and shows gritty determination law enforcement would have needed at the time to solve crimes with little evidence.

Chief Inspector Sam Mason is on the case and must painstakingly look to the past to find clues.

The characters feel real, the relationships natural and the flow prefect.

As the case develops the plot thickens and takes a disturbing direction.. could there be more victims?

I’m a big fan of police procedural stories but this has MJ Porter’s style infused, which just kicks it up a notch and makes it unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

I’d certainly describe the book as delicious.. You’ll get hooked into the dark world and you’ll devour this tale in no time!

Grab a cup of tea and get stuck into this 5* read!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Why not follow the blog tour –

Author Bio – I’m an author of historical fiction (Early English, Vikings and the British Isles as a whole before the Norman Conquest) and fantasy (Viking age/dragon-themed). I’ve recently written a relatively modern mystery novel set in 1943. I was born in the old Mercian kingdom at some point since 1066. Raised in the shadow of a strange little building, told from a very young age that it housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia and that our garden was littered with old pieces of pottery from a long-ago battle, it’s little wonder that my curiosity in Early England ran riot. I can only blame my parents!

I write A LOT. You’ve been warned!

Find me at http://www.mjporterauthor.com and @coloursofunison on twitter.

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

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

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

Giveaway to Win 2 x copies of The Custard Corpses (Open INT)

For a chance to win head to http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494455/?

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

The Bear of Britain (Warrior Druid of Britain Book 4) by Steven A. McKay – Review

Today I’m going to be reviewing The Bear of Britain, book 4 in the Warrior Druid of Britain series by Steven A McKay.

This review is well overdue so I hope it’s been worth the wait!

Here’s the blurb

AD 432. BRITAIN. The winter snows are melting at last, but spring will bring more than just rebirth this year. The Saxons are coming, and that means war.
Bellicus, Duro and Cai have travelled south to join the warlord, Arthur, and his growing army of Britons. New friendships have been made and exciting adventures await the warrior-druid and his companions, but the threat of Hengist and his invaders casts a dark cloud over all. For years, the Saxons have been content to remain mostly confined to the eastern parts of the country, but now they are marching west, and Hengist has amassed the biggest army seen on these shores since the Romans left over twenty years ago.
Arthur – dubbed the Bear of Britain by his advisor, Merlin – has never truly felt he’d earned such a grand title, but now he will have a chance to prove himself. The addition of a new, crack unit to his ranks will, he hopes, be enough to sweep the Saxon threat from Britain once and for all, and herald a generation of peace and prosperity for his people. But nothing in war is straightforward and even their own countrymen can turn violently against them at any moment, as Bellicus discovers to his cost…

Review

The Saxons are ready to attack.. War is coming to Britain.. the only thing standing in their way is Arthur, the Bear of Britain… well not just Arthur. He’s got help from the big warrior druid Bellicus!

A lot has happened to Bellicus and his faithful companion Duro but the upcoming war is going to push them to their limits.

As Arthur sets about raising an army to face the Saxons Bellicus manages to get himself into scrape that nearly costs him his life. I really enjoyed seeing Bellicus’s vulnerability as he recovers.

Vulnerability is probably the word I’d use to best describe the development in this instalment as the author manages to show the human toll paid during war. Duro is a fine example, there’s a sadness to him, still haunted by the past when his wife was brutally murdered… will this be his chance to heal those wounds?

Character development is key to a series.. you need to keep things fresh and boy does the author know how to keep the readers hooked. My favourite character had to be Sulinus. Arthur needs cavalry to win the war.. and Sulinus is the man to train them, he’s a former Roman solider and knows his stuff.. unluckily for him though Arthurs men are not trained to the same standard as the legions.. they aren’t soldiers so he’s got his work cut out for him. It’s Sulinus’s humour that really makes you love him.. you can’t help but smile.

For fans of history, you see the author take on some well know figures, we have Arthur, Merlin and Lancelot…how can you not get excited when you hear those names. Each of these characters felt perfect.. it’s hard to explain but you have expectations when you think of historical names but McKay knows just how to tackle big characters and do them justice!

I don’t want to spoil anything too much but I can’t write my review without talking about one scene.. Merlin and the Sword in the Stone…wow. I’m not going to say any more than that.. wow!

The Bear of Britain is a wonderfully written book. I’m kind of in awe of the author and how he manages to keep offering up gripping tales, weaving his skill and imagination throughout history. His tales are exhilarating, the characters believable and exciting and the action hard hitting.

I can’t give the book any less than a 5*…when’s the next book?? Ha. This series is a must!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

BLOG TOUR – The Boy Who Breathed Underwater written by Izzy Rees and illustrated by Sarah-Leigh Willis – Review

Today on David’s Book Blurg I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Boy Who Breathed Underwater written by Izzy Rees and illustrated by Sarah-Leigh Willis!

Here’s the blurb

When lying in his bed, a boy is visited by a genie. He is given a week to try out different superhero powers. What adventures will he have, and which power will he choose to keep?

Review

The Boy Who Breathed Underwater is a fun little rhyming book following a little boy who is offered the chance to have a super power for the rest of his life.

As the boy trys out different powers before making is ultimate choice he sees the downside some of these powers may have and ultimately learns he’s perfect just the way he is.

I read this with my two girls and they loved it, they loved the idea of super powers but agreed they don’t need them… Georgia for example says she has cheetah speed anyway ha.

As the parent I found the book fun and fast with a positive message, it allowed me the time to tell the girls just how brilliant they are, being twins they can be compared a lot which can mean sometime they don’t feel so “super” and this little tale helped a little for them understand it’s perfect just to be yourself.

When asked what superpowers the girls would have Georgia of course referred back to her cheetah speed while Abigail decided she would like to have power of the mind, to move stuff, to help clean her room.. not bad ha.

When asked if they enjoyed the illustrations it was a resounding yes! although Abi did say she thinks she could do better ha! She loves to draw bless her!

The girls gave this a 5* rating and would love to recommend it to their friends. When I pointed out this is only one of the books in this series their ears picked up! Guess I know what I need to buy them next ha ha.

My thanks go to the author, Full Media Ltd and Rachel @ Rachels Random Resources for having me on the tour!

To find out more click the links below 😊

https://full-media.co.uk/product/the-boy-who-breathed-underwater-izzy-rees/

https://izzyrees.co.uk/product/the-boy-who-breathed-underwater-izzy-rees/

Amazon purchase link


Author Bio

Izzy Rees was born in West London, but has spent the last thirty years living in Derby. Ten years ago, when her three girls were young, she began work on a series of rhyming picture books, created in snatched moments, and initially written on small scraps of paper or whatever was available. She always intended to revisit them, and Covid and lockdown presented the opportunity; unable to continue her work as a neurophysiotherapist, working with vulnerable patients, she decided it was now or never! She has written six books so far in the ‘The Boy Who’ series, The Boy Who Breathed Underwater being the first one. The others will be published in the near future.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/izzyreeschildrensauthor

Assassins by Rob Sinclair (A Ryker Returns Thriller Book 2) – Review.

Today I’m celebrating the kindle release of Rob Sinclair’s latest book, Assassins (A Ryker Returns Thriller Book 2). What better way to celebrate than to give the book the David’s Book Blurg treatment!

Here’s the blurb

He’s never going to stop…

Stalking the streets of Prague, James Ryker is on the hunt for justice when he hears a news report of a murder in rural England. Big problem. He knows the victim. Ten years ago, in Qatar, Ryker led a team of assassins to kill him. He thought they had.

So how has a man Ryker thought dead for over a decade suddenly resurfaced?

Travelling across the globe, Ryker sets off on a quest to discover the truth from that fateful night in Qatar. When he realises that his old team members are now under threat from a ruthless female assassin, he knows his problems have only just started.

In a race against time, Ryker must work out who is behind the killings and evade the assassin before he becomes the next victim…

Review

Firstly I’m going to get this off my chest! How bloody awesome is Ryker? I mean seriously this guy has been beat up more times than I can count but he doesn’t stay down for long. Credit to the author Rob Sinclair who continues to offer up riveting espionage thrillers. The author has found his way of refreshing his main character Ryker, keeping things interesting and turning the energy up to the max.

In this instalment we learn of mission from Ryker’s past.. it didn’t go to plan but the end result was the same.. a dead body… this dead body though turns up a decade later..he’s been alive and well all this time.. but how? And why has someone killed him now?

Ryker only works for himself now and the JIA his former employers are no more..well at least on paper.. this means he’s got his work cut out for himself. He’s not stayed alive this long without learning some skills and more than one trick to hide up his sleeve.

Things spiral fast and it soon becomes clear there’s more going on…. and the body count rises.. there’s a new assassin on the scene but who is she? And what’s the motivation?

The only way Ryker can solve this riddle is to find out what really happened 10 years ago.. but this assassin isn’t going to make it easy for him.

As thrillers go you can’t go wrong with Rob Sinclair, the pace is perfect, there’s action when you need it and it’s balanced superbly with the plot and character development.. the flow is so natural you just end up devouring the story. To say it’s action packed is an understatement.. it’s got the action….the blood and guts..and the twists you just don’t see coming… there’s some pretty decent explosions too 🙂

Ryker finds it hard to trust anyone because everyone that gets close to him either dies.. or can’t be trusted.. what’s your bet on this instalment ha.

I can honestly say I really do get excited when I hear Rob’s got a new book coming out, without fail I know I’m going to enjoy it.

5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

My thanks go to the author and the publisher Bloodhound Books for the ARC to assist with my review, I’ve had the book pre-ordered as soon as it was announced so you’ll see that verified purchase tag 🙂

BLOG TOUR – The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy – REVIEW

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Fort by Adrian Goldsworthy.

Why not follow the tour?

Let’s ger started!

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction

AD 105: DACIA

The Dacian kingdom and Rome are at peace, but no one thinks that it will last. Sent to command an isolated fort beyond the Danube, centurion Flavius Ferox can sense that war is coming, but also knows that enemies may be closer to home.

Many of the Brigantes under his command are former rebels and convicts, as likely to kill him as obey an order. And then there is Hadrian, the emperor’s cousin, and a man with plans of his own…

Gritty, gripping and profoundly authentic, The Fort is the first book in a brand new trilogy set in the Roman empire from bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy.

Review

Centurion Flavius Ferox is sent to an isolated fort beyond the Danube. From the moment he arrives he has a bad feeling about things. Many of the veteran soldiers are being recalled now Ferox has arrived, and the men he has brought with him are a ragtag bunch to say the least. Some even want to kill him!

Ferox is the main focus of the tale and I loved the man. He’s the kind of solider you know will make it through..but by the skin of his teeth.. it’s not going to be an easy ride for him. His relationship with his wife also gave extra depth to the man as we see a different side to him and this leads to some very humorous moments which I loved reading.

Hadrian was another fun character.. he’s very astute and ambitious, he’s not above using men’s lives to get what he wants.

Brasus is another character who stands out, he may be one of the enemy, his task to break into the fort and slaughter..but I feel he ends up being one of the most likable characters, there’s air of respect around him.

For me it’s all about the siege..it plays a big part in the tale but is paced so perfectly you are never bored. If anything you just feel the frustration Ferox must have felt, powerless, stuck and searching for an idea to get them out of this mess!

The approach of switching perspectives helped keep the storying flowing nicely too. The testing of the siege weapons is a particular favourite of mine and there was some wonderful detail added on what methods the defenders used to repel the attackers which really had the imagination firing. If you are a fan of siege craft you’ll enjoy this one for sure!

What I really enjoyed was the relationships, the character development and the fact the author held no love for anyone, with more than one meeting their end in a gruesome way which gave it the gritty realness of war.

The author showed a real talent being able to balance the plot with historic detail, it was perfectly mixed so the flow of the story was effortless and the chapter length just right. One night I even had to force myself to bed as it was after midnight and I had work in the morning but the story just sucks you in..its always “oh one more chapter”

Thoroughly enjoyable 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author and the publisher Head of Zeus for the ARC and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour!


About the author

Adrian Goldsworthy , Author , Broadcaster , Historical consultant .Publicity photographs for general PR and bookcovers

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Follow Head of Zeus:

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Instagram: @headofzeus

Facebook: @headofzeus

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

The Wronged by Owen Mullen (PI Charlie Cameron #2) – Review

Today is release day for The Wronged, book 2 in the PI Charlie Cameron series by Owen Mullen.

You may be familiar with the book already as it was previously published under the title “Old Friends New Enemies”.

Why the new name you may ask? Well I can’t say I know all the details but fortunately for us readers Owen Mullen’s work has been picked up by a new publisher, Boldwood Books and has undergone a revamp. The best news for us as readers is that it means there’s a new book in the series on the way wooooo!

So to celebrate the release today I thought it best I reacquaint myself with the series and get a fresh review out there 😊

Here’s the blurb –

Genre – Crime Thriller

A complex case of missing persons draws Scottish PI Charlie Cameron into Glasgow’s deadly underworld.

Private Investigator Charlie Cameron is searching for a man who disappeared after his son’s suicide. When an unidentified body turns up at the morgue, Cameron is sure it’s another case closed.

But the body laid out on the slab isn’t the man he’s looking for. And it isn’t a stranger. Suddenly, a routine investigation becomes a desperate fight for survival.

As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s criminal underbelly, he gets dangerously close to a notorious gangster named Jimmy Rafferty. Now Rafferty wants Cameron to hunt for something that may be impossible to find. And disappointing Jimmy Rafferty is not an option…

Review.

We are back with cheeky chappy Charlie Cameron, PI by trade, much to his families dismay.

Things start well enough, a missing person’s case hits Charlie’s desk. A father has disappeared after his son’s death. First point of call is the morgue to check on any John Doe’s..now it gets interesting.. the man on the slab is not who he was expecting.. but it’s no stranger.

The blast from the past hits Charlie hard and the missing person’s case just doesn’t seem important any longer. Someone he knows got themselves mixed up in something they shouldn’t..and it’s only going to lead to trouble for Charlie… but why?

Theres tonnes of character development as we explore Charlie’s past but we also get some lovely moments in the present between his friends, DS Andrew Geddes and loveable rouge Pat Logue. I just loved Pat.. he’s a real character, you can’t help but like him.

Geddes and Logue try their best to help their friend with not only his personal issues but also the missing person’s case.. Cecelia McNeil needs to know what has happened to her husband. Charlie really does want to help but he’s just not in the best place at the time.. his thoughts are on his own troubles which we can all appreciate.

The story flows superbly as the two plot lines converge, competing for Charlie’s attention. This gave depth to Charlie as you can see his internal struggles.

What I really like about Owen’s writing is that it’s dark and gritty. It’s not going to be an easy ride for Charlie and the events will stay with him forever… and you will remember them to.

Every character feels real and each have their own space to develop. How the author managed to give each individual the page time without getting the plot muddled is beyond me.. he’s a wizard! This is why I’ll stick to reviews and let the experts like Owen write the masterpieces.

I really don’t want to give the end away so let’s just say it finishes with a bang.

A gripping, dark and intensely stratifying read. What more could you want?

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

BLOG TOUR – The Walls of Rome by Robert M. Kidd

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Walls of Rome by Robert M. Kidd

Why not follow the tour?

Let’s get started! Oh and keep reading for a chance to win a copy of A Hostage of Rome (Book 3 in the series)

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction

218 BC. Sphax is seventeen and haunted by the brutal murder of his parents at the hands of Rome. After ten years of miserable slavery he will make his last bid for freedom and go in search of Hannibal’s army and his birthright. He will have his revenge on the stinking cesspit that is Rome!

Destiny will see him taken under the wing of Maharbal, Hannibal’s brilliant general, and groomed to lead the finest horsemen in the world – the feared Numidian cavalry that would become the scourge of Rome.

From the crossing of the great Rhodanus River, Sphax’s epic journey takes him through the lands of the Gaul to the highest pass in the Alps. This is the story of the most famous march in history. A march against impossible odds, against savage mountain Gauls, a brutal winter and Sphax’s own demons.

This is more than a struggle for empire. This is the last great war to save the beauty of the old world, the civilized world of Carthage, Greece and Gaul. The world of art and philosophy – before it is ground into dust by the upstart barbarity of Rome.

Review

As the story starts we are introduced to Sphax, a slave to an unforgiving master. Sphax hasn’t had it easy, his family were murdered before his eyes and after ten years as a slave he’s had enough.

Sphax learns Hannibal’s army is marching on Room, now is his chance to make his bid for freedom and get revenge on those he deems responsible for his parents’ murder.

On his journey to freedom and vengeance, Sphax even has time to find a love interest in Fionn who was a character I very much enjoyed. She made Sphax open up a little and showed a different side to him which helped me believe his journey.

We soon get introduced to Hannibal, a man of varying moods…wow he’s brilliant though.

Sphax is then caught up in the war against Rome.. it’s what he wants more than anything.

Of course things don’t ever go to plan… there are clashes.. and lots of blood and guts spilt along the way.

I won’t spoil the ending but it was the perfect place to stop.. paving the way for the next instalment..Rome will shake!

I very much enjoyed Sphax and his journey, there is some interesting detail thrown in along the way… the locations, the animals, the style of fighting, it’s all there but presented in such a manner that the story progresses quickly.

I’d recommend to anyone who likes the genre but also new readers as it’s fast paced and not too heavy for a first time historical fiction reader.

4/5 Stars

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author, the publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the blog tour! I received an ARC of the book as part of the tour but I’ll be adding this to my purchased collection too 🙂


Author Bio – Robert M. Kidd

When Cato the Censor demanded that ‘Carthage must be destroyed,’ Rome did just that. In 146 BC, after a three year siege, Carthage was raised to the ground, its surviving citizens sold into slavery and the fields where this once magnificent city had stood, ploughed by oxen. Carthage was erased from history.

That’s why I’m a novelist on a mission! I want to set the historical record straight. Our entire history of Hannibal’s wars with Rome is nothing short of propaganda, written by Greeks and Romans for their Roman clients. It intrigues me that Hannibal took two Greek scholars and historians with him on campaign, yet their histories of Rome’s deadliest war have never seen the light of day.

My hero, Sphax the Numidian, tells a different story!

When I’m not waging war with my pen, I like to indulge my passion for travel and hill walking, and like my hero, I too love horses. I live in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.


Follow the author –

https://robertmkidd.com/

https://twitter.com/RobertMKidd1

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064169594911


Want the chance to win a signed book?

Click here to enter the giveaway to Win the A Hostage of Rome (Book 3) to be dedicated to the winner, & a signed dedicated copy too

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

Blog Tour – Games People Play by Owen Mullen

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Games People Play by Owen Mullen! Followers of the blog should know the name well 😊

I didn’t need an arc of this one, I had the book per-ordered as soon as it hit Amazon!

Let’s ger started!

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Crime Thriller

When a baby is stolen from a Scottish beach, private investigator Charlie Cameron reluctantly agrees to take the case.

While her parents are just yards away, thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland. Three days later, her distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has taken his daughter. And why.

Against his better judgment, Charlie takes the case—and when bodies are discovered, he suspects this may not be an isolated crime. Is there a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades? Is baby Lily his latest victim? Charlie won’t be able to give up on this case. Memories and guilt from his childhood won’t let him…

Review

When a child goes missing after a day at the beach with her parents, the case ends up with PI Charlie Cameron. The dad is convinced he knows who took her and against his better judgement, knowing this will coincide with a ongoing police investigation Charlie decides to take on the case.

Charlie has is own issues to work through at the same time as we find out more about the PI’s past and his motivations which give him depth and made him very likable, he’s flawed, you want him to succeed but you know it’s not going to come easy for Charlie.. he’s just not that lucky!

The story shifts focus between the investigation and Charlie’s life, this balance was perfect, it kept it fresh and encouraged me to keep reading as I just had to find out what happened next. While the main story line is very serious the chapters around Charlie’s life and his interactions with those he knows allowed for some dark humour which was a joy to read.

I loved Charlie’s style, one clue leading to another, the characters, the setting, everything fit the image that I have in my head of an old school, down on his luck PI out to solve a case.. and you just can’t help but root for the guy.

The story was well written and planed out. I must admit I did not see the ending coming until the author put the pieces together for me.. it really had a wow finish..the hand over mouth moment when you finally see what Charlie has figured out.

Suspense is the word that best describes this book.. it’s all about the build-up and Owen Mullen did this superbly. Some books make suspense plain boring but not this book!

For me this is one of the best Crime Fiction novels I’ve read, the development of the characters natural, the flow of the plot perfect. Owen Mullen is a master at his craft, I could not help but be hooked in.

Owen Mullen has a lot to offer the reader, so grab a copy now. With a cover like that I’m sure some of you already have 😊

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or  Amazon!

Why not follow the rest of the tour?

Author Bio:

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete.  In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood, Family  will be published in January 2021.

Social Media Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OwenMullen6

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owenmullen6/

Newsletter Sign Up Link: https://mailchi.mp/boldwoodbooks/owenmullennnewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/owen-mullen

Publication Day – Heir to the Darkmage by Lisa Cassidy

Today is publication day for Heir to the Darkmage by Lisa Cassidy. i’ve been lucky enough to get an ARC so what better way to celebrate the release than for me to give the story the David’s Book Blurg treatment!

Here’s the blurb –

Twenty years have passed since the Darkmage was destroyed and the war between mages ended. For Lira Astor, the single living heir to the Darkmage, escaping her name is impossible. People still fear what is long dead, and they see in her the rise of another dangerous mage with deadly ambition. Desperate to claw her way free of her grandfather’s shadow, to make her own name amongst the world of mages, Lira is willing to do whatever it takes. Even if that means joining the secretive rebel group looking to restore his vision.


Survival is a lesson Lira learned early and often, yet when she is abducted and held prisoner in a deadly game of cat and mouse, she finds herself facing a nemesis she may be no match for. Forced to band together with unlikely allies who challenge everything she believes about what it means to be a mage, she will have to rely on every bit of ruthlessness she possesses.


Because the war may only just be beginning…
…and Lira Astor intends to come out on top.

Review

Lira hasn’t had it easy, she’s heir to the Darkmage and learns from a very young age not to trust anyone.

Her upbringing is brutal as she struggles to survive, she suffers beatings and betrayals along the way and you can see how this effects the individual she has become.

As the years pass we see Lira has harnessed her power and is now a mage apprentice at Temari Hall.

Life isn’t exactly great, her connection to the Darkmage precedes her and the other students aren’t about to let her forget, i don’t think she helps herself as she’s not the most open person but with her upbringing you can see where this stems from.

We soon see Temari Hall attacked and students taken captive, but why, how, nothing make sense…Like Lira the reader is left utterly confused around what is happening.. there’s killer monsters, people have disappeared, what is going on and who is behind it?

A cat and mouse type game develops as Lira and some other students struggle to keep ahead of their would be captors/killers.. but it’s almost like they are being played with, like it’s a game for someone.

Most of the story revolves around this mental torture of the chase as Lira tries to figure out what is happening and who is after her, she also needs to decide which side she is really on. She’s a loner and making friends isnt easy.. but can she figure out who to trust.. if anyone can be trusted that is.

The Darkmage himself is mentioned alot, and after reading up I see there’s a preceding series, The Mage Chronicles, I’ve not read the series previously and can honestly say it didn’t hinder me, no prior knowledge is expected but it has certainly made me want to look up the series so I can get to know the Darkmage more 🙂

I really enjoyed this one, Lira is fierce! The story kept me guessing all the way through and has left me with a taste for the authors work.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author, the publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources on this one for allowing me to take part in this publication push, You’ll see that verified tag on Amazon for me very soon 🙂

Author Bio –

Lisa is a self-published fantasy author by day and book nerd in every other spare moment she has. She’s a self-confessed coffee snob (don’t try coming near her with any of that instant coffee rubbish) but is willing to accept all other hot drink aficionados, even tea drinkers.

She lives in the Australia’s capital city, Canberra, and like all Australians, is pretty much in constant danger from highly poisonous spiders, crocodiles, sharks, and drop bears, to name a few. As you can see, she is also pro-Oxford comma.

A 2019 SPFBO finalist, Lisa has published the YA fantasy series The Mage Chronicles, and is currently working on her latest epic fantasy series A Tale of Stars and Shadow. She has also partnered up with One Girl, an Australian charity working to build a world where all girls have access to quality education. A world where all girls — no matter where they are born or how much money they have — enjoy the same rights and opportunities as boys. A percentage of all Lisa’s royalties go to One Girl.

Social Media Links –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LisaCassidyWrites

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lcasswrites

Website – https://www.tatehousebooks.com/Lisa-Cassidy