Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Gown But Not Out Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part3 #gownbutnotout #preorder #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the third part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Ella’s dreams lie in tatters…

Ella has always held onto her faith in romance. Being in the business of weddings, how could she not? But her belief in true love has been well and truly shattered, by the people she trusted most.

To make matters worse, the successful launch of her bridal business has been sabotaged by the spread of false and nasty rumours about her. But who could have done such a terrible thing?

With her best friend’s wedding now only days away, it seems the worst has happened when a last-minute beauty treatment turns the bride’s skin a bright shade of frog green.

Then something much bigger puts the whole wedding in jeopardy.

Will Brittany finally get to say ‘I do’? And how will Ella react when an unexpected guest arrives to turn everything on its head: the ex who broke her heart…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The third part of A Wedding at Sandy Cove begins with a family drama at Ella’s launch party. The reveal is surprising and leaves Ella saddened and shocked. Her relationship with Kit develops, but love never runs smoothly. Ellas’ fledgling business suffers a setback to add to her woes. Lucy has a surprise visitor and Brittany’s wedding day is eventful.

I love the romance in this part of the story that takes Ella, Kit and the reader on an emotional journey. The humour lightens the poignant moments, and Ella’s character development is evident. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

Read my review of Stitched Up (part2)

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Stitched Up Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part2 #stitchedup #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the second part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Wedding dress whisperer Ella is striking out on her own. After years of taking orders from the owner of the bridal shop where she worked, she will answer to no one.

Except for the brides, that is.

Helping to make the dream of running her own business reality is handsome builder Kit, the man she mistook for her blind date. But is it strictly professional between them or is there more behind Kit’s passion for this project than meets the eye?

But Ella doesn’t have too much time to dwell on matters of her own heart.
Because the hen weekend for her best friend Brittany has arrived.

Two full days of bridesmaids gone wild, coupled with juggling her demanding new set of Bridezilla clients may just push Ella to her limits…

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The second part of the engaging A Wedding at Sandy Cove series picks up where part one left the reader gasping. Ella is starting her own business, but her horrible ex-boss Wanda isn’t making it easy.

Kit, whom she met under stressful circumstances, is helping her convert her garage. The attraction between them is simmering nicely; the mystery concerning their parents makes anything more than friendship unlikely. Brittany’s hen night is full of hilarity.

I love the characters, the dynamics between Elle and her friends, the hint of romance with Kit and the intrigue surrounding their parents. The mix of humour and poignancy continues with Lucy’s viewpoint focusing on darker issues.

Finishing part two makes you excited to read what happens next.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Read my review of Always a Bridesmaid (part1)

Posted in Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, International Thriller, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Science Fiction

Aurora David Koepp 4*#Review #DavidKoepp @HQStories #SCFI #Dystopian #SolarFlare #CarringtonEffect #relationships #FamilyDrama #Siblings #community #adventurefiction #technothriller #internationalthriller #blogtour #bookreview #Aurora

When the lights go out no one is safe…

A planet without power.
When a solar storm hits the earth, the lights go out across the planet. But this time the blackout won’t be over soon – it could last for years. Aubrey and her stepson now face the biggest challenge of their lives.

 
A society without rules.
Soon they hear rumours of riots, the struggle for food becomes real, and even within their small communities, the rule of law is collapsing. Aubrey’s estranged brother Thom, a self-made billionaire who abandoned her years ago, retreats to a gilded desert bunker where he can ride out the crisis in perfect luxury.

 
A race to build a better world…
But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of a personal reckoning long overdue…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The author creates an atmospheric ethos, excellent characterisation and vivid sensory imagery in this dystopian styled adventure with a scientific edge. There is intricate world-building, setting the scene for the catastrophic event and the subsequent fallout. The characters are complex and believably flawed, and the story unfolds through their experiences and motivations. The scientific details create a believably menacing world that demands a lot from the characters, and the engaging quality is in finding out whether they will excel or fail in the new dark world.

Aurora is an exciting and thought-provoking read.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Serial, Short stories

A Wedding at Sandy Cove: Always the Bridesmaid Bella Osborne 5*#Review @AvonBooksUK @osborne_bella #romance #mystery #humour #friendship #romcom #family #novella #serial #part1 #AlwaystheBridesmaid #AWeddingatSandyCove

This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

This will be Ella’s eighth time down the aisle…

Ella has made it her mission in life to find every bride in their dream dress.

But every time she sends one of her happy customers off to the altar with a perfect, ivory silk gown, she thinks of those seven, hideous bridesmaid dresses hanging in her own closet.

She’s about to add another one, too, because her best friend’s wedding is now only months away. And this one, in a muddy shade of brown, might be the worst dress yet.

Ella is excited for her friend to have the perfect seaside wedding, but every discussion about flowers and centrepieces makes her feel more alone than ever.

So, Ella finally accepts her friends’ pleas to set her up on a blind date.

Ella is set to meet a handsome, gym-going estate agent. But a mix up on the night throws her into the path of Kit, instead.

Kit is most definitely not the man she was supposed to meet, but he could end up changing her life in ways she never thought possible…

Laugh-out-loud funny and full of romance, friendship and yards of white tulle, this is the perfect read to escape with.

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

An entertaining read that draws you into Ella’s world of demanding brides, ungrateful bosses, and wedding dresses. She’s a lovely character, hardworking, constantly put upon and always trying to please others. I love the mix of laugh out loud hilarity and poignant moments. The believably created friendship dynamic between Ella, Lucy and Brittany defines this story and makes it engaging.

Meeting Kit is unexpected for Ella and threatens unwelcome life changes. The plot has twists, and this first part has a dramatic ending, making reading the rest of the story essential.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full-length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Posted in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Crime, Extract, Fantasy, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Political Thriller, Science Fiction

Million Eyes 11 C.R.Berry Q&A with @CRBerry1 @elsewhenpress #BlogTour #SFF #SpeculativeFiction #Conspiracy #thriller #Author #Interview #MillionEyes11

TIME IS THE ULTIMATE SAVIOUR

Following an impossible discovery in East London, archaeologist Dr Samantha Lester joins forces with software developer Adam Bryant to investigate the events that led to the disappearance of his best friend, Jennifer, and to bring down the people responsible – Million Eyes.

Before long, Lester and Adam are drawn into a tangled conspiratorial web involving dinosaurs, the Gunpowder Plot, Jesus, the Bermuda Triangle, and a mysterious history-hopping individual called the Unraveller, who is determined to wipe Million Eyes off the temporal map.

But as the secrets of Million Eyes’ past are revealed, picking a side in this fight might not be so easy.

Elsewhen Press Link Amazon UK Amazon

Q&A with C.R. Berry

How would you describe your books? What genre(s) do they encompass?

I would describe the Million Eyes trilogy as conspiracy thrillers, first and foremost. However, they’re also science fiction books and historical fiction books too. The premise of the series is this: what if certain events in our history weren’t supposed to happen? What if things like Princess Diana’s death, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower and even the extinction of the dinosaurs only happened because of time travellers? The books incorporate themes such as destiny, power, faith, reason and the greater good. 

Time travel, alternative history and conspiracy theories all feature in your stories. What interests you about these themes?

Time travel has always fascinated me. I love the idea of being able to go back and see how things were or go forwards and see how things turn out. You can tell bigger stories with time travel.

My love of history and conspiracy theories sort of go hand in hand. History is full of mysteries, and conspiracy theories are used to try and solve them. I think my interest in conspiracy theories could be traced back to Year 8 History when we learned about the shooting of William II in the New Forest and all the people who may have been involved in a plot to have him offed. I loved learning about that, which is how it made its way into the first Million Eyes.

How do you create your stories? Do you begin with the characters, theme, or setting? Why is this?

I begin with the plot—always. I start with a story I want to tell, and then I choose the best characters I can think of to help me tell it. In the case of Million Eyes, it was a story about a corporation using consumer technology to hide the fact that it was secretly tweaking the timeline. And it was about offering fun, alternative explanations for who Jesus was, what lies in the Bermuda Triangle, why Princess Diana was killed, and so on. I then created characters who are just everyday folk that get dragged into a perilous quest for the truth.

I guess I do it this way round because when it comes to selecting a TV series, movie, or book, it’s the plot I’m most interested in. I can’t stand character-driven stories where there’s zero plot progression.

Which part of the writing process is the most difficult for you? Why?

The historical research! I don’t even want to imagine the number of hours I’ve spent reading about how 1st-century Nazareth might’ve looked, or scrutinising architectural plans of the Tower of London in three different time frames, or the fashions of the Middle Ages and the Iron Age and Victorian times. Historical research has, of course, been necessary to help make the trilogy as authentic as possible, but it has also made the writing process a lot longer and more arduous. 

What is the best and worst part of being a writer?

The best part is when I complete a chapter that I think is great—most likely a dialogue scene where my main protagonist or antagonist is unleashing some serious sass. The worst part is when I have a serious block. There’s been a few of those while crafting Million Eyes, which is why there’s not going to be a shred of time travel in my next book!

What’s next, another book in this series or something different?

I’m two-thirds of the way through the final book in the Million Eyes trilogy, Million Eyes III: Ouroboros. This one is going to spend more time in the future than the past, and it’s also going to reveal the origins of the titular “Unraveller” in the second book. They’ll be a showdown between my protagonists and Million Eyes, and all the loose ends will get tied up with a timey wimey bow.

After that, I’m going to be working on a conspiracy horror called The Puddle Bumps. I want to write something with lots of blood and gunk (well, alright, Million Eyes has some of that, but The Puddle Bumps will have more).

C.R. Berry

C.R. Berry started out in police stations and courtrooms—ahem, as a lawyer, not a defendant—before taking up writing full-time. He’s currently head of content for a software developer and writes fiction about conspiracies and time travel.

Berry was published in Best of British Science Fiction 2020 from Newcon Press with a Million Eyes short story. He’s also been published in magazines and anthologies such as Storgy and Dark Tales, and in 2018 was shortlisted in the Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition. 

In 2021, he bought his first house with his girlfriend, Katherine, in Clanfield, Hampshire, discovering whole new levels of stress renovating it (not helped by a rogue builder running off with most of their budget). The couple are now in the fun stage, going full-on nerd and theming all the rooms—their bedroom is a spaceship, their kitchen a 50s diner.  

Now that the dust is settling, Berry is refocusing on the final book in the Million Eyes trilogy and getting back to writing his first collaborative novel with Katherine: a space-set adventure with aliens, terrorists, a mysterious wall that surrounds the universe and—of course—conspiracies.  

Website Blog Twitter Facebook NewsletterSign Up

Million Eyes: Extra Time is available for FREE download

Extract from Million Eyes 11 C.R. Berry

[Excerpt taken from Chapter 1 – the two main characters in this chapter are Edward and Richard, the Princes in the Tower]

66 Million Years Ago

“So how do we get back to 1483?”

Edward thought about this for a moment. He remembered the first time they travelled in time. He remembered being in the realm of ghosts, after swallowing the pills, feeling like he was floating. Their bedchamber was suddenly filled with strangely dressed people—transparent people—walking through, literally through, one another. He could see through the walls, through the furniture, through the floor to the room below. He could see beyond the Tower to the river. Everything and everyone were eerily ethereal and blurred together in front of his eyes. And Edward remembered that when he concentrated on one thing amid the haze, it sharpened into focus, all the other ghosts falling away. There was a painting. A painting that looked like it was of him and his brother. It was transparent at first, like everything else. But as Edward stared at it, it became clear, and everything else started to fade. A moment later, they were back in their bedchamber and all the ghosts had gone, but it was four hundred years later.

Things happened in much the same way when they ate the second pill only minutes ago, standing on the streets of London in 1888. Edward remembered returning to the realm of ghosts, the streets filled with shiny horse-less carriages, people in eccentric clothes and giant structures all around. All transparent of course. Ghosts, like before.

Only Edward couldn’t remember fixing on anything that time. He couldn’t remember seeing anything shift into focus while the rest fell away.

So how did they get here?

He told his brother his theory on how they ended up in 1888, that his focusing on one thing in particular seemed to pull them out of whatever it was they were actually in and into a specific period in time. But he admitted he couldn’t remember what he had focused on before they arrived here.

“That’s because it wasn’t you,” said Richard after a moment’s thought.

“What?” said Edward.

“It was me. I looked at something. I focused on it. It became clear, like you said. Everything else—all the ghosts—started fading away. We were holding hands at the time. A moment later, we were here.”

It was presumptuous of Edward to think that he was the only one with the ability to plot their journey, as though time itself was only going to respond to him. Richard had brought them here.

“So what did you see?” said Edward. “What was it you focused on?”

It was like two tiny flames went out in Richard’s eyes. His face paled and his throat bulged with a swallow. An aura of fear had come over him like a deep shadow.

“What’s wrong?” said Edward.

“I saw… a monster,” replied Richard, looking down at his feet. “It was coming towards me. Charging at me like a bull. I was terrified. Did you not see it?”

“I saw creatures. I saw a lot of things. None could see me, though. What did the monster look like?”

Richard sighed, raised his head and looked at Edward. He opened his mouth to answer, then the direction of his gaze shifted slightly and his whole face dropped.

“That,” he whispered, rigid.

Edward spun round, following his gaze.

Lord have mercy.

Not far from where they stood, standing partly shaded beneath a cycad and trampling a large patch of hornworts, was a creature three times as tall as them, with dark green, brown-flecked skin that was scaly like a snake. Dangling from its bulbous middle were two small arms with three-fingered hands ending in sickle-shaped claws. Its two legs and feet were similar, only much larger and longer, and along its back was a row of tall, bony spines linked by skin. It waved a long tail that was as thick as a tree at the base and tapered to a point, and looked like it could propel a carriage into the air with a single whack. Its long head bore two horns and a tapered jaw, the hot sun gleaming off multiple, tightly packed rows of ravenous-looking teeth.

Edward’s heart was pounding as they watched the creature lean forwards, its two eyes—like yellow billiard balls—staring straight at them.

Neither boy moved. Richard whispered, “What do we do?”

Edward swallowed hard. He plunged his hand into his satchel and pulled out the pot of red pills.

“We have to—” started Edward.

“Edward!” his brother screamed.

The creature stooped low and launched into a run.

“Run!”

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Sleepless Louise Mumford 4*#Review @louise_mumford @HQStories @rararesources #BookReview #AudiobookReview #Sleepless #psychological #suspense #dystopian #thriller #Insomnia #BlogTour #PublicationDayPush

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller

I received a copy of this book/audiobook from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story gets full marks for originality. The theme of insomnia is a relatable one and the author’s interpretation an interesting balance of imagination and reality. I also listened to the audiobook edition of this. The excellent narration makes the story come alive, creating a claustrophobic and immersive story.

It begins with Thea’s desperation to sleep, which makes her apply for a scientific trial that uses new techniques. She ends up on a creepy island with a medley of different characters. The first part of the story is atmospheric and disturbing, the people running the programme are they trustworthy? Thea’s sense of what is real is impaired, as is her judgement. The author creates a believably, frightening world.

There’s nail-biting drama and then the story twist into something else. After dramatic events, the story becomes more like a science-fiction, dystopian drama, but with the same characters.

The characters are vivid, and the events described using sensory imagery that draws the reader into the story. There’s something for everyone in this mix of genres. This is a unique and disturbing story, with an eerie ending.

Louise Mumford

Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Twitter Instagram Facebook                                                                                                            

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Nine Rachelle Dekker 4*#Review @RachelleDekker @RevellBooks #thriller #SCFI #Friendship @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Ninetour #BookTour #BookReview

Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn’t seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.

Award-winning author Rachelle Dekker throws you into the middle of the action and keeps the pressure on in this page-turning story that, asks Are we who the world says we are–or can we change our story and be something more?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Revell in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The action and suspense begin from the first pages, which set the scene for a fast-paced disturbing novel. The multi-viewpoint plot alternates between intimate insight and an omnipotent view of proceedings.

The plot is a fusion of conspiracy, crime, mystery and sci-fi delivering a compelling and unsettling thriller. Some of the concepts are familiar, but the author gives them an original slant and ramps up the suspense with a layered plot reveal.

Lucy and Zoe’s emotional and physical journey is conflicted and violent, but their friendship nurtures positive change in both. A satisfying ending leaves some questions unanswered.

Rachelle Dekker

Rachelle Dekker is the Christy Award-winning author of The Choosing, The Calling, and The Returning in the Seer series. The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker and coauthor with him of The Girl behind the Red Rope, Rachelle was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full-time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their son, Jack. Connect with Rachelle at www.rachelledekker.com.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Fantasy, Horror Fiction, Noir, Paranormal, Short stories

The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw 4* #Review @urbanebooks @JDWhitelaw13 @HoneyandStag #TheDeal @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.

Jonathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.

A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.

All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.

Amazon UK

I bought a copy of this book from Amazon UK for 99p.

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric with authentic historical detail this quirky short story takes the reader to 1850s California, where gold prospecting is a way of life. Abner is a young man hoping to make his fortune, everything about the place unnerves him, but the chance for riches keeps him there. Enter the devil who sees him as a soul ripe for the picking and the age-old battle of good versus evil commences.

The devil has an enticing manner with untold evil barely hidden beneath the surface. The writing style draws you into the story. It makes you suspend belief, and the ending shows how unpredictable humans and life can be.

An ideal Halloween read which makes you want to seek out the author’s other books.

Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw

Jonathan Whitelaw

Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.

He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.

HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Horror Fiction, Mystery, Short stories

Whispers from The Dead of Night Lee Allen 4*#Review @_Lee_Allen_ @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Halloween #horror #supernatural #mystery #Paranormal #noir #MondayBlogs #shortstories

Are you sitting comfortably, the fire crackling, a mug of cocoa in hand? Then let us begin…

A journey through fog and darkness, destination unknown…

A sexual obsession spiralling out of control…

A forbidden love…

A killer who preys on the lonely…

An investigation into a haunted monastery…

A visitation on Christmas Eve with diabolical intentions…

A night-time escape through the forest…

Seven tales of mystery and the supernatural for a winter’s evening.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

If you are looking for a haunting story, this Halloween, these short stories are this and much more. All fall into the horror genre with a fusion of sub-genres most notably mystery and paranormal. They are impactful and vividly written like most horror heavy on sensual imagery and light on plot complexity.

They explore the gamut of human depravity and emotions and the external evil they fear and worship.
Both contemporary and historical the characters are well written, and the stories are atmospheric. The collection is diverse and quick to read, although some need closer reading for a fuller understanding.

Lee Allen

Born in South Wales, Lee Allen was writing from a young age, developing his fascination with mystery, thrillers and the supernatural.

His debut novel, Those Crimes of Passion, a crime thriller, was published in 2012. He followed this with the novella Alone, a supernatural mystery, in 2014; and a second novella, The Jack O’Lantern Men, a horror chiller, in 2015.

His short story collection, Whispers from the Dead of Night, a hybrid of horror and multiple sub-genres, was published in early 2020, preceded by downloads of two of the stories: A Deathly Shade of Pale, at Hallowe’en 2019; and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, at Christmas 2019.

He is currently working on several future projects, including his second full-length novel.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Science Fiction

Dead Moon Keith Crawford #BookTour @keithcrawford77 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #DeadMoon #excerpt

Humanity will be extinguished in less than seven days.

Wing Commander Jude Styles is a Starfighter Pilot trying to get pregnant before the world ends. Her wingman, Hamid Ashkami, just wants to block the spam messages he is receiving from someone claiming to be his dead ex-husband.

Instead, they are locked in a media tour, shown off as the heroes that stopped the alien invasion by destroying the massive mothership known as the “Dead Moon”, persuading the masses that all will be fine if they keep calm and carry on.

Trapped telling the same lies, driven over the edge by post-traumatic stress and the constant flow of alcohol, it is only a matter of time before Jude and Hamid break down – and the fragments of the Dead Moon have already begun to fall from the sky.

Amazon UK

Excerpt from Dead Moon – Keith Crawford.

—Hamid…

—I’m concentrating.

—Hamid, we’ve got visitors.

—Still concentrating.

The Ferals had downgraded from vans to pickup trucks, which were about as appropriate to Yorkshire weather as Bermuda shorts and nice pink snorkels. The figures in the back were wrapped up in as many layers they could manage, looking miserable under hoods that didn’t keep out the rains, and failing to protect their weapons from the drizzle. Still, it wasn’t accuracy of fire that would kill Jude and Hamid. Mere weight would do.

—It’s okay. Just our Feral friends. I’ll go deal with them.

—Jude, please don’t kill anybody.

I’m going to hell anyway. I fought in the Indies. I helped nuke Mars. I’ve killed a lot of people. I mean, if there is a God in heaven, then there’s no forgiveness for people like me.

—I don’t think killing Ferals counts, Jude said out loud. —They’re hardly alive to begin with.

—Nice, Jude, stay classy. Get me time! Oh, and maybe, while you’re at it, take one alive.

—Why would I…? No. No way.

—Come on, Hamid said with a grin. —Desperate times call for desperate measures.

—That’s low, even for you. I’m not going to kidnap and rape a Feral.

—Technically it’s not…

—Quiet time now, Hamid. I thought you were supposed to be concentrating.

The last pickup pulled up. A man in a white parka climbed out through the passenger window to stand on the roof of the van. To Jude’s mind, he may as well have had a target on his chest. He was carrying a shotgun, the same sort of weapon that had killed the two soldiers, and a loudspeaker.

—Attention, intruders! Give us the one of you who killed John-lad, and the rest of you can go free.

—How the f**k are we supposed to know which one was John-lad? Jude muttered. The boy with the dreadlocks? One of the idiots who had tried to ambush them in the layby? Clearly, amongst their recent casualties was someone the w**ker with a loudspeaker cared about enough to round up a posse. How thoroughly un-British, she thought, with a tinge of damaged national pride.

—Hamid, if they notice your speeder, they’ll shoot it up.

—We’ll take another.

—We are not losing your dream speeder to these pricks.

Hamid came swiftly away from the screen, glanced out of the window, counted the Ferals in a flash, then went straight back to the computer.

—Okay. We can’t risk any shots coming up here and damaging the equipment. I need you to create us a nice big distraction so I can get the data and we can get out of here.

—What data… no, doesn’t matter. Nice big distraction coming up.

There was a sudden rattle of gunfire from outside. One of the Ferals had spotted Hamid in the window, gotten overexcited, and managed to put half a magazine through the side of his pickup. Another Feral was beating the first’s head in with the butt of his rifle. The Feral leader, still trying to sound like he was in control, quickly covered.

—That was just a warning. You’ve got five minutes to come out or I’m blowing up the whole damned building.

—With what, harsh language? Jude glanced through the corner of the window. It was all well and good saying she would make a distraction, but that meant she had to come up with one.

The Feral leader opened a case in the back of his pickup and took out a shoulder-mounted Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher.

—Oh shit, Jude said.

The Feral squeezed the trigger.

Keith Crawford

Dr Keith Crawford is a retired naval officer, disabled veteran and qualified barrister with a PhD in Law and Economics. After years of crazy adventures, from speedboats and aircraft to theatre and lecturing at Sciences Po, my French wife and I decided it was time to properly settle in Paris and have babies. Being the good feminist I try to be, I quit my job to look after the kids, support my wife’s career and write books. Each time I get offered a job my wife says “stop looking at jobs and get back to writing books.” Which shows, with marriage as with everything else, it is better to be lucky than good! Dead Moon is my second novel. The first, Vile, a science-fantasy about toxic-patriarchy, the evils of aristocracy and swordfights, is available on Amazon.

Twitter Instagram