#BookReviewTuesday for Tallis Steelyard. A Fear of Heights… @JimWebster6

Tallis Steelyard. A Fear of Heights Kindle Edition

In this novel, recounted by Tallis Steelyard in his own inimitable manner, we discover what happens when the hierarchy plots to take control of the Shrine to Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Tempered Enthusiasm. Will the incumbent be exiled to a minor fane in the far north? Will Tallis end up having to do a proper job? Does ordination and elevation beckon for Maljie? This story includes the Idiosyncratic Diaconate, night soil carts, Partannese bandit chieftains, a stylite, a large dog and some over-spiced food. On top of this, we have not one but two Autocephalous Patriarchs and a theologically sanctioned beggar.

Our Review

This delightful story from Jim Webster about Tallis Steelyard’s latest escapade turned out to be an unusual diversion from his usual adventures.

I have always thought Tallis an honourable man, carefully evading, or managing to negate, any of the devious plans he comes across. So, I was most surprised to learn of this subterfuge involving Maljie.

Although she has long been my favourite of all Tallis’s friends, Maljie is proving to be a bad influence, but despite my better judgement, I am rather impressed by the speed Tallis manages to keep up with her!

I always fancied a trip in a hot air balloon, so I willingly climbed on board to share what turned out to be a thrilling journey with Tallis and Maljie.

A Fear of Heights is a refreshingly different and exciting story, one I am sure I will be reading again!

Review for Girl in the Walls by A J Gnuse #GothicRomance

Girl in the Walls: A thrilling fiction debut, the Gothic novel of 2021 Kindle Edition

She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars

’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

Our Review

When I began to read Girl in the Walls, I wondered why anyone would want to live in a house without anyone knowing, or it was even possible. I knew all about hollow walls and the spaces in the attics and cellars, but how would someone survive, having to eat and drink in secret?

I loved how Elise listens to everything and how she finds comfort in knowing what is going on around her.  The way that old clock with all its different sounds helps her to keep track of the time.

This story made me more conscious of the noises in my own house, all those noises we usually ignore, telling ourselves it’s just the building settling or the timbers contracting.

Elise’s story is devastatingly sad but beautifully written, describing the desperate lengths a child will go to find a safe place. Elise’s story grabbed hold of me like the poor lost child she is, insisting that I stay with her and read every word.

Jonah Traust, a villain in handyman’s clothing, obsessed with the notion that houses have secret occupants, terrified me as he hunted for the mystery presence in the house. I was on the edge of my seat as he systematically homed in on the poor child.

Elise is determined to stay hidden when the levee breaks after a storm and flood waters attack the house. Traust perishes, battling on in his search, and I could breathe again.

I worried for Elise. How would she survive if the house did not?

This story is both terrifying and upsetting. The fate of Elise, this helpless child, will haunt me for a long time…

#Throwback Thursday : Shattered Figurines… (Det. Jo Naylor Series Book 1) Our 5* review for Allan Hudson’s brilliant new #Adventure Story @hudson_allan

 

 

Detective Josephine Naylor receives an email telling her where to find the last body. The messenger tells her “only you can stop this madness”. Discovering a shattered figurine on the corpse, she’s overwhelmed by the possibility it might be the one she sold in a yard sale. If so, she knows who the killer could be. She prays that she’s wrong…

Our Review

The opening chapter presents the detective, Jo Naylor, with a very important question. One she didn’t really want to answer but knows she must.

The next chapter, one year later, hits you square in the face with full on complicated and violent action as we discover what this story is all about.

Shattered Figurines is a surprisingly unusual detective story in that it doesn’t follow the usual plotline for this genre and the characters aren’t run of the mill either. The author has captured a very real element in both the story and the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I love a good detective mystery story and Shattered Figurines is one of the best I have read this year. I shall be first in the queue when the author writes another one in this series.

The Lucky Ones by Mark Edwards #Serial Killers #Psychological Thrillers #Review

The Lucky Ones Kindle Edition

It was the happiest day of her life. Little did she know it was also the last.

When a woman’s body is found in the grounds of a ruined priory, Detective Imogen Evans realises she is dealing with a serial killer—a killer whose victims appear to die in a state of bliss, eyes open, smiles forever frozen on their faces.

A few miles away, single dad Ben Hofland believes his fortunes are changing at last. Forced to move back to the sleepy village where he grew up following the breakdown of his marriage, Ben finally finds work. What’s more, the bullies who have been terrorising his son, Ollie, disappear. For the first time in months, Ben feels lucky.

But he is unaware that someone is watching him and Ollie. Someone who wants nothing but happiness for Ben.

Happiness…and death.

The Lucky Ones is the terrifying new thriller from the #1 Kindle bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Devil’s Work.

About the Author

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people, and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay.

He is the author of four #1 bestsellers: Follow You Home (a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015), The Magpies, Because She Loves Me, and The Devil’s Work, along with What You Wish For and six novels co-written with Louise Voss. All of his books are inspired by real-life experiences.

Originally from the south coast of England, Mark now lives in the West Midlands with his wife, their three children, a ginger cat, and a golden retriever.

Mark loves hearing from readers and can be contacted via his website, http://www.markedwardsauthor.com.

Our Review

I do love a good psychological thriller and have heard so many good things about The Lucky Ones, the twisted tale of a benevolent killer.

While I am reading the book, I wondered why it was so important that the victims had to die like that, The Lucky Ones, the hapless victims chosen to enter eternity with a smile.

Mark Edwards is a brilliant writer, all of his characters are such real, fascinating people. The brilliantly plotted storyline kept me reading into the small hours!

My favourite character was Imogen Evans, the red- haired female detective with an interesting sense of humour.

Victims are killed when at their happiest, the bodies left in their special place.

Why were the smiles so important, and how did the killer manage this?

Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene @teagangeneviene

Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn Kindle Edition

Journey 2, Penllyn picks up where the first installment, Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak stopped. The supernatural warning, “Winter is coming!” continues to haunt Emlyn. Her father has heard her utter those words, and he is displeased to say the least. In fact, her family situation in general is becoming more perilous.

As if visitations from ghosts weren’t enough, another entity has started coming to her. She isn’t sure whether he is a spirit or something else, but he gives her the same prophetic warning.

Now Emlyn’s father has begun to behave strangely.

Join Emlyn on this strange journey to the neighboring village of Penllyn. Try not to look over your shoulder…

About the Author

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the desert southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy.

Founder of the Three Things method of storytelling, her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. http://www.teagansbooks.com

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

See book trailer videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q?disable_polymer=true

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene/

Our Review

The second part of Dead of Winter begins with a mysterious old woman, trying desperately to remember something.

Something important.

I immediately wanted to know who she was, for the warning from the first journey echoes in her confused mind too, but she is unable to remember why.

Emlyn is having disturbing dreams, where a strange man whispers the warning in her ear. When she wakes, it would seem the man had been real, sitting on her bed. She is well used to spirits turning up and doesn’t think this visit strange, but the warning is becoming all too terrifying real.

As this complex story gets under way, there are many questions and mysteries, but the major one for me is, why is Emlyn’s father so disturbed at the mention of winter?

Emlyn has much to keep secret, so is this why her father is planning to send her away with the Deae Matres, the Society of women who travel the world searching out and collecting knowledge?

Looking forward to the next instalment!

Liars and Thieves ~ Unraveling the Veil Book One #Dark Fantasy Horror @Dwallacepeach

Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1) Kindle Edition

Behind the Veil, the hordes of Chaos gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

My Thoughts

It took me a few pages to gradually immerse myself into this complex and troubled world. A vastly different world, populated by elves, goblins, and changelings.

Not a peaceful world, with their complicated symmetry but learning their secrets introduced me to a level of world building I haven’t read since Tolkien.

The three main characters really made the story come alive for me.

Alue Windthorn, a headstrong elf with blazing red hair and a temperament to match.

Naj’ar, a magnificent, brooding goblin with mysterious elfin tendencies. I found myself drawn to this enigmatic character, and I suspect Alue was too!

And Talin Raska, a changeling. A sneaky spy, only happy when up to mischief.

Liars and Thieves is a fascinating mix of dangerous situations and the characters reaction to them. This story drew me in, probably for keeps, as I have already started reading the next in the series…

Diana Wallace Peach

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two dogs, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit http://dwallacepeachbooks.com.

For her blog on all things writing, please visit http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet by Sally Cronin @sgc58 #Single Authors Short Stories

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet Kindle Edition

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.

More about Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

My blog is https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
And for more information on my books listed here at Amazon please visit
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

Our Review

Reading Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, Sally Cronin’s new book, was time well spent, a breath of fresh air in a what has become a very stale world.

Each beautifully written story and the interwoven poems reminded me of what life is really like, far away from all the sadness and disappointments that 2020 has dumped on us all.

I loved all the stories, but I know that some of them will be remembered better than the others. These are the ones that struck a familiar chord with me personally.

Like The Wedding Day, with its wonderful message of hope.

The sadness of Long-Lost Love and the revenge of Gaffer Tape, so satisfying!

My favourite must be The Nanny, I needed tissues for this one!

I can thoroughly recommend this book as the perfect escape from life and all of its problems!

© Jaye Marie 2021

Review for While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart ~ #HistoricalFiction

While Paris Slept: A powerful novel of love, survival and the endurance of hope

by Ruth Druart

Publishing Date 4 Mar 2021  

Description

On a platform in occupied Paris, a mother whispers goodbye.
It is the end.
But also the beginning.

‘What a book… Emotional and heartrending…absolutely phenomenal. I was on tenterhooks throughout. A wonderful achievement’ Jill Mansell

Beautiful. Powerful. Unforgettable. A stunning portrait of the brutality of war and the tenacity of love. In the tradition of Virginia Baily’s Early One Morning and M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.

Paris 1944
A young woman’s future is torn away in a heartbeat. Herded on to a train bound for Auschwitz, in an act of desperation she entrusts her most precious possession to a stranger. All she has left now is hope.

Santa Cruz 1953
Jean-Luc thought he had left it all behind. The scar on his face a small price to pay for surviving the horrors of Nazi Occupation. Now, he has a new life in California, a family. He never expected the past to come knocking on his door.

On a darkened platform, two destinies become entangled. Their choice will change the future in ways neither could have imagined…

Our Review

Spanning the years from 1944 to 1953, we follow Jean-Luc, a Frenchman, working on the railways during the German occupation of Paris.

Together with Charlotte, his wife, they manage to flee to America, believing that the horrors of the past, although never forgotten, could never be repeated.

There is another couple involved in this tale and their combined history makes a story so heart-breaking and vividly real.

Written with such intensity, While Paris Slept feels real and is an emotional and unforgettable story of the enduring strength of love in all its forms.

Atmospheric and at times terrifying, your emotions will be torn by the situation these innocent people find themselves in, and although it was sometimes painful to read, I will remember this heart-breaking story for some time…

Thanks go to Netgalley for allowing me to read this atmospheric story…

#FridayFlashback ~The Quest for Home #Historical Fiction @WordDreams

Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor.

The Quest for Home (The Crossroads Trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life.

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Our 5* Review

The characters in this book are more than 850.000 years old and they live in a world that has been loving recreated by the author, Jacqui Murray.

This prehistoric world is not a kind place. Xhosa and her people must fight every inch of the way to survive and find somewhere else to live, after losing their home to invaders. In their quest, they take on warring tribes, hostile weather and possibly a traitor in their midst.

The pace is fast and the descriptions vivid, you find yourself travelling with them, experiencing everything to the point of exhaustion. You become one with the story, almost as though you were meant to be there.

I particularly liked the way the author interprets their speech, and this helped me to follow the story more closely.

Quest for Home is an unforgettable story of such grim determination and I cannot wait to read the next in the series…

 

Our Questions

  1. Was there really a giant upright primate like Giganto (Zvi’s friend)?

 There was! He’s called Gigantopithecus blacki. Extinct now, he was native to southeast Asia, China, and Indonesia where Seeker and Zvi lived originally.

 What does ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ side mean?

 Based on artifacts from 850,000 years ago (or longer), paleoscientists speculate that early man had a preference for right-handedness. That would make their right hand stronger than the left (though they didn’t identify ‘right’ and ‘left’ at that time). Because of this, my characters call their right the ‘strong side’ and left the ‘weak side’.

Book information:

 Title and author: The Quest for Home

Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

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

LinkedIn:                                http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net

The Shadow Man by Helen Fields General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers | True Crime

The brand new crime thriller from the bestselling author of the Perfect series – Helen Fields is back with her first stand-alone novel!

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.
 
Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.
 
Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.
 
And he’s watching.
 
Helen Fields is back with a heart-pounding new book, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Stuart MacBride.

Our Review

Thrown together by terrible circumstance, three strangers must try to escape one man’s insanity.

From the police point of view, this situation is difficult to comprehend, let alone solve for the Shadow Man seems invisible. 

I loved the way the story and the tension built terrifyingly slowly, as we suffer along with the victims as they try to understand what is happening to them and why.

This gripping and seriously gruesome story wound itself around my throat and refused to let go, long after I finished reading…

Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!

Pub Date 4 Feb 2021 by Avon Books UK

About the Author

An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children. Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at http://www.helenfields.co.uk.