Friday, 29 April 2022

That Green Eyed Girl by Julie Owen Moylan @JulieOwenMoylan #TheGreenEyedGirl @MichaelJBooks @Livvii #BookReview

 


1955: In an apartment on the Lower East Side, school teachers Dovie and Gillian live as lodgers. Dancing behind closed curtains, mixing cocktails for two, they guard their private lives fiercely. Until someone guesses the truth . . .

1975:
 Twenty years later in the same apartment, Ava Winters is keeping her own secret. Her mother has become erratic, haunted by something Ava doesn't understand - until one sweltering July morning, she disappears.

Soon after her mother's departure, Ava receives a parcel. Addressed simply to 'Apartment 3B', it contains a photo of a woman with the word 'LIAR' scrawled across it. Ava does not know what it means or who sent it. But if she can find out then perhaps she'll discover the answers she is seeking - and meet the woman at the heart of it all . . .


That Green Eyed Girl by Julie Owen Moylan is published on 12 May 2022 by Michael Joseph. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.


This is the author's debut published novel and what a wonderful story it is. From the original and compelling first line, right through to the very end, this story totally captured me.  I love a dual time slip story, and the short chapters, alternating between New York in the 1950s and the 1970s are done so very well. All too often, with dual time line stories, the reader can become more invested in one era. Not with this book. I was enthralled by both stories, by all of the characters and not least by the evocative and totally convincing portrayal of New York city. 

The author cleverly sets both parts of the story in the same apartment. This is the New York that we see on the large screen, before the clean up. We are taken deep into the heart of the residential areas, as the inhabitants suffer the extreme heat during the summer months, followed by the bitter cold of winter. 

In 1955, the apartment is home to Dovie and Gillian. Two teachers who share their space so well. For them, the apartment is their sanctuary, the place that they can be who they really are. Away from prying eyes and judgemental tongues.  As they listen to their jazz records, dance around the living room and share a nightcap tumbler of whiskey, there is no doubt that these are two women who care so much for each other. However, it's the 1950s America and there are people who would stop at nothing to make sure that their happiness doesn't last. With the risk of losing their jobs, and coping with family disapproval, they've done all they can to hide what they are.   Then Judith turns up. What a totally obnoxious, bitter and vile character she is. Perfectly crafted, Judith will make readers howl with frustration and anger as she schemes and plots to get what she wants. She will allow nobody to get in her way.

In 1975, fifteen-year-old Ava lives in the apartment with her mother. Her father has left, he's now shacked up with Candy, a flashy, younger woman who waits tables at a nearby diner. Ava's mother is a delicate, troubled woman, and Ava feels a huge sense of responsibility towards her. Her mother's behaviour gets more erratic, until one day she disappears and when found is taken away for treatment. 

Whilst Ava and Dovie (who narrated the majority of the 1950s story) are on the face of it, two very different women, from different eras, with different backgrounds, their similarities are many. They both want to be loved, yet feel at times that they are unlovable. They both suffer loneliness and heartbreak and are both affected by the actions of those around them, with far reaching effects, that will come to change their lives. 

The author cleverly weaves both stories together when a box of old photographs and letters are delivered to the apartment in 1975. Ava makes it her mission to find out where Dovie and Gillian are, she would like nothing more than to give their possessions to them.

This is such an elegantly written novel that swept me away. The author deals with issues of prejudice so very well and her evocative descriptions of New York are unforgettable. It's a book that looks at women's lives over the years; the pressures, the struggles and the changes. 

Emotional and stylish, this is a truly wonderful story and I highly recommend it to all. 

Julie Owen Moylan was born in Cardiff and has worked in a variety of jobs, from trainee hairdresser and chip shop attendant at sixteen to business management consultant and college lecturer in her thirties.

She then returned to education to complete her Master's degree in Film before going on to complete a further Master's degree in Creative Writing.
Julie is an alumna of the Faber Academy's Writing a Novel course. She lives in Cardiff with her husband and two cats.

Julie can be found on Twitter: @JulieOwenMoylan







Thursday, 28 April 2022

See No Evil by David Fennell BLOG TOUR @davyfennell #SeeNoEvil @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

 


Two men are found dead in London's Battersea Park. One of the bodies has been laid out like a crucifix - with his eyes removed and placed on his open palms.

Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, lead the investigation. But when more bodies turn up in a similar fashion, they find themselves in a race against time to find the sadistic killer.

The hunt leads them to Ladywell Playtower in Southeast London, the home to a religious commune lead by the enigmatic Aaron Cronin. Archer and Quinn suspect Cronin's involvement but his alibis are watertight, and the truth seemingly buried. If Archer is to find the killer, she must first battle her way through religious fanatics, London gangsters - and her own demons . . .



See No Evil by David Fennell is published today; 28 April 2022 in hardback by Zaffre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for this blog tour, organised by Tracy from Compulsive Readers



I read and reviewed the first book in this series: The Art of Death, back in February last year. I loved every page of it and have been waiting (not so) patiently for this follow up.  

The author sets the scene for the whole plot in the very first chapter. Once again, the reader is thrust into the heart of central London where something unimaginable is happening.  Once we've learnt what has happened we then join lead character DI Grace Archer as she recovers from a recurring nightmare.

It is not only her dreams that will affect Archer over the next few weeks though. She heads up the investigation into some particularly gruesome killings, where the victim's eyes are gouged out and placed upon their open palms. Almost sacrificial in tone, but why?  

Once again, Archer is joined by her trusty sidekick DS Harry Quinn, and what a formidable pair they are. Both of them have their own personal demons, and both of them have their enemies, both within the force and out in the criminal world too. Their past experiences have shaped them and continue to do so throughout the case. 

Fennell alluded to Archer's history in his previous book and this is described in more detail in See No Evil. She's suffered trauma over the years, not least, the murder of her policeman father, and when she and her Granddad discover that the person they believe was behind the murder is due to be released, neither of them realise just how much that will affect them.

As the bodies mount up, Archer and Quinn are led to a building known as Ladywell Playtower in the south of the city. A strange, old building, inhabited by even stranger people. It appears to be some sort of a commune, or cult and is led by the enigmatic and cold Aaron.

Once again, I have loved travelling some of the streets of London that I'm familiar with; The Strand, Villiers Street, St Martin's Court. I enjoy being able to picture the locations in my head as I read.

This author does not hold back at all. The reader is faced with some horrific crimes that will shock, and there are details of the past lives of many of the characters that are chilling and quite draining at times. However, the plot line moves at a furious pace, it seems that the murderer is always one step ahead of the investigation, despite the massive efforts put in. Eventually though, the truth is revealed and it's another shocker for sure. 

I love this series. I love the characters, the intricate plotting and the clever use of location. I am desperate to read more, especially after THAT ending. Do I really have to wait another year?

Highly recommended from me. 


David Fennell was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for London at the age of eighteen with £50 in one pocket and a dog-eared copy of Stephen King's The Stand in the other. 
He jobbed as a chef, waiter and bartender for several years before starting a career in writing for the software industry. 
He has been working in CyberSecurity for fourteen years and is a fierce advocate for information privacy. 
David has played rugby for Brighton and has studied Creative Writing at the University of Sussex. 

He is married and he and his partner split their time between Central London and Brighton.

To find out more, visit his website: www.davidfennell.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @davyfennell






A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney BLOG TOUR @CogitoUKbooks @RKbookpublicist #DianaJanney @RandomTTours #BookExtract

 


It takes a man of understanding to rebuild a shattered soul, a man with a deep and learned grasp of philosophy and poetry, a man who can nurture and inspire an enquiring mind, a man with the wit and humour to bring the world alive. 

That enigmatic man is Horatio Hennessy. 

His grandson Blue is that shattered soul. 

Following the death of twelve-year-old Blue's parents, his new home is a Finca in the mountains of Mallorca, with the grandfather he has never met before. 

But is Horatio up to the challenge, or is he merely trying, through Blue, to make good his past? 

Gradually a bond evolves between them through a shared love of poetry. 

But when secrets are uncovered, will understanding turn to misunderstanding? 

Will two souls be shattered this time? 

Absorbing, moving, witty and profound, A Man of Understanding is a beautifully-told story of the search for a higher understanding of the self and others, interlaced with poetry, philosophy and love.



A Man of Understanding by Diana Janney was published on 7 April 2022 by Cogito Publishing. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 



Extract from A Man Of Understanding by Diana Janney

Granga calls me Blue, so I suppose that’s my name now. I don’t really see what was wrong with my proper name – Rufus – that my parents had given me when I was born.

“Rufus?” Granga repeated with a frown when I intro- duced myself to him, even though he knew it was my name. “What sort of name is that? You can’t go through life being called Rufus – folk will think you’re soft!”

But I wasn’t soft, and I’d been called Rufus for the last twelve years. I’d even been chosen for the school rugby team at the age of nine.

“Well, I’m not calling you Rufus,” he said as he packed all my suitcases into the back of his old Land Rover at Palma de Mallorca Airport, one on top of the other, until the highest one fell off and wedged itself against a mud-splattered window. “From now on you’ll be Blue.”

“I’ve never heard of a boy called Blue before,” I said, trying not to sound alarmed.

“Neither have I,” he replied, “but it suits you. Blue like cloudless sky on a summer’s day.”

And it was a summer’s day, so I didn’t mind too much after that. I liked summer’s days – they reminded me of my mother and father and our house in England and homemade lemonade and evenings when I’d stayed up late and had supper in the garden.

It only took us forty minutes from the airport to reach Granga’s Finca Vieja in the mountains, but that was because Granga drove way over the speed limit, even on sharp narrow bends going uphill, and there were plenty of those. I didn’t say anything though – he may have been my mother’s father but he was still a stranger to me.

“I like your hat,” I commented when we’d travelled so high that my ears were popping. It was the first time I’d spoken since we’d decided on my name.

“They call it a trilby.” He took his right hand off the gear stick, where it had been until then, and passed his trilby to me. It was dark beige, like a wild mushroom, with a torn lining on the inside and almost worn-away initials in gold – HRH.

“A hat fit for a king,” he said as I put it on and it dropped down over my eyes. But I didn’t move it – I liked its smell and I could hide inside it for a while like my old tortoise Freddy used to do when he wanted to be left alone.

By the time we reached the Finca I’d almost fallen asleep. I say almost because I hadn’t dared to fall asleep altogether, not when I was in a strange country in a strange van, sitting next to a strange grandfather, tucked inside his strange hat and answering to a strange new name.

“Wake up, Blue,” he whispered, lifting the brim of his hat above my half-closed eyes. “Hemos llegado!” I was later to learn that that meant “we’ve arrived” in Spanish, but at the time I thought my Granga was just showing off again. 

We left my cases in the back of the van and Granga opened my door and helped me out with a big wide hand, which he wrapped around mine like a rough glove.

“Come and see where you’ll be living now.” I think the words seemed as curious to him as they were to me, but we both understood how it was to be.

It took a few seconds for me to adjust to the strength of the Mallorcan sunlight. The first thing I noticed was how far into the distance I could see without my eyes resting on a single building. Our only neighbours were trees of differing shapes – some clustered together like extended families, others standing alone in the dusty ground. Far away on the horizon I thought I glimpsed the sea, just a tiny blue hint of it but enough to make me feel calmer inside. 




DIANA JANNEY is the author of the novels The Choice and The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose, which has been translated into four languages (Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese), produced as an audiobook by the BBC, and the film rights were sold to a British film company. 

Formerly she practised as a barrister in London after having qualified as a solicitor at a leading City of London international law firm. 

She read Philosophy at University College, London, where she received a First for her Masters thesis on Kant and Hume, and three Scholarships. 

Diana has received international acclaim for her writing, which combines her philosophical knowledge with her wit, poetry and keen observation of human nature









Wednesday, 27 April 2022

To Become An Outlaw by Peter Murphy BLOG TOUR #ToBecomeAnOutlaw @noexitpress #PeterMurphy @RandomTTours #BookExtract

 


THE EIGHTH BEN SCHROEDER LEGAL THRILLER

'When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw' - Nelson Mandela

1964, Apartheid South Africa. Danie du Plessis, the son of a conservative Afrikaner family, is poised to start a glittering legal academic career at one of South Africa's leading universities, when he falls in love with a student, Amy Coetzee. But there's a problem: he's white, she's not. Facing arrest, imprisonment and ruin, the couple flee South Africa, and settle in Cambridge, where friends find them positions at the University. They marry and have two children, and have seemingly put the past, and South Africa, behind them. But in 1968 Art Pienaar enters their lives, and, insisting that they have a duty to fight back, enlists their help in increasingly dangerous schemes to undermine the South African regime.When Pienaar and a notorious drug dealer, Vince Cummings, are found murdered together, Danie's activities come to light, and he and his family find themselves in mortal danger. Danie is also threatened with criminal prosecution on behalf of a government desperate to maintain good relations with the apartheid regime. Danie knows he's sailed close to the wind. But has he become an outlaw? Can Ben Schroeder persuade a jury that the answer is no?


To Become An Outlaw by Peter Murphy is the eighth Ben Schroeder thriller by Peter Murphy and was published by No Exit Press in paperback on 21 April 2022.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 



Extract from To Become An Outlaw by Peter Murphy

I was born in Bloemfontein, in the Free State, in 1942. My father was a lawyer, who would later become a judge. My mother was a schoolteacher, which I always thought was a strange profession for her, because it always seemed to me that she didn’t like children very much. Neither did my father, come to that. I am an only child, and I have often wondered whether my arrival in this world was planned, or even desired. My parents delegated most of my upbringing to Hilda, our black house servant. I can’t remember a time when Hilda wasn’t in charge of my daily routine. It was Hilda who taught me how to get dressed, how to tie my shoelaces, and all the other essential practical lessons of early childhood. Hilda was a warm and wise woman. She could be strict when necessary, but never once was I in doubt of her love and care. Our relationship was always very close. As a child I thought of her as my real mother. She was certainly more of a mother to me than the formal, reserved woman I was taken to meet, dressed up in my best clothes, for dinner in the evenings – when I was finally deemed old enough for the privilege of eating politely in silence, and listening to two adults talking to each other intermittently over my head, as if I wasn’t there.

I thought of Hilda as my real mother long before my parents, and the Dutch Reformed Church they attended assiduously every week, did their best to explain to me why a black woman could never be a mother to a white child. My parents believed implicitly in racial segregation on every level, and looked to their church for confirmation that God took the same view. Once, when I was fifteen or thereabouts, I pointed out to my parents that, if Jesus were to appear in Bloemfontein on the following Sunday, he wouldn’t be allowed in our church because of the colour of his skin. It was not well received. I have only my closeness to Hilda to thank for my choice to reject the idea that people should be forced to live separate and apart from each other because of their colour. Without her influence in my life, who knows what I might have become? Inertia being the potent force it is, I might have drifted ever closer to the establishment into which I had been born, and become a part of it by default, without ever questioning what it stood for. But she was there in my life. In church and at school, I had little choice but to pay lip service to the relentless Afrikaner orthodoxy that was rammed down my throat day after day. But because of Hilda, it never took root.

One of Hilda’s delegated tasks was to teach me to speak English. My parents, like most Afrikaners, claimed direct descent from the Voortrekkers. I was never shown any specific evidence of our ancestry, but then, none was expected. It was considered impolite in Afrikaner society to question a claim to Voortrekker ancestry. Just as all Welshmen are presumed to descend from Owain Glynd┼Ár, and all Scotsmen from Robert the Bruce, all Afrikaners are presumed to descend from the Voortrekkers – and in fairness, in the Free State or the Transvaal, the presumption wasn’t totally unreasonable. In any case, whether we were, or were not the progeny of Voortrekkers, my parents were Afrikaners to the core. The only language permitted at meals and social gatherings was Afrikaans. When I was about twelve, a great-aunt, whose word I am inclined to credit, confided in me that as a younger woman, my mother could carry on a pretty decent conversation in isiXhosa. How my mother had acquired that facility, my great aunt either didn’t know, or chose not to reveal to me. When I questioned her about it some years later, my mother, in the tone of voice she might have used to deny an allegation of shoplifting, indignantly denied knowing so much as a single word of isiXhosa.


Peter Murphy graduated from Cambridge University and spent a career in the law, as an advocate,
teacher, and judge. 
He has worked both in England and the United States, and served for several years as counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. 
He has written and published eleven novels: two political thrillers about the US presidency, Removal and Test of Resolve; A Statue for Jacob, based on the true story of Jacob de Haven; eight historical/legal thrillers featuring Ben Schroeder, A Higher Duty, A Matter for the Jury, And Is There Honey Still for Tea?, The Heirs of Owain Glyndwr, Calling Down the Storm, One Law for the Rest of Us, Verbal and To Become An Outlaw. 
His latest series features Judge Walden and includes Walden of Bermondsey, Judge Walden Back in Session and Judge Walden Call the Next Case. 
He lives in Cambridgeshire.




Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Blackthorn Winter by Jill Tresder BLOG TOUR #BlackthornWinter @JIll_Treseder @RandomTTours @SilverWoodBooks #BookExtract

It's 1845. Eight-year old James Thorne is growing up in the New Forest. His life takes him far from his roots - first to the workhouse, next as a seaman in the Royal Navy, then to the respectable confines of urban life in 19th century Portsmouth. But he never relinquishes his joy in the Forest and the yearning for the presence of trees in his life.

This family saga traces James's path from boy to grandfather - a story of light and shade, love and loss. For some, blackthorn is an emblem of bad luck. And in a 'blackthorn winter', spring blossom is blighted by snow and ice. But for others - especially his childhood sweetheart, Kitty - the white owers bursting from black branches are a symbol of hope... 



Blackthorn Winter by Jill Treseder was published on 16 March 2022 by Silverwood Books. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today. 



Extract from Blackthorn Winter by Jill Treseder 

Granma’s been staring into the fire all evening. She does that sometimes. As if she can see things in there we can’t. Sometimes they are things that happened long ago because she’ll look up and start talking about Grandpa, things that make no sense to us because we don’t remember Grandpa. Usually it’s a funny thing that happened and she’ll sit there rocking and smiling to herself. Other times her lips are tight and she can’t stop from frowning and she bends forward. That’s when she has the pains and she’s concentrating on the flames to stop herself from crying out and we know not to say owt.
The best times are when she talks about our ma and pa. Harriet has some memories, but they died when I was too small to remember much, so we can’t hear enough about them. Pa first saw Ma at the fairground.
‘She was the lady the knife-thrower throws the knives at,’ says Granma. ‘Your pa couldn’t take his eyes off of her.’
‘But she wasn’t always doing that, was she?’ I ask because I like to hear about her dancing on the elephant.
‘No,’ says Harriet. ‘She used to ride a chestnut horse the same colour as her.’
‘Don’t interrupt,’ says Bertie. ‘I wants to hear about the knives.’
‘You two are talking about when she was in the circus. In London. But that’s another story. Another day. Now where was I?’ says Granma. ‘Oh, yes. It was love at first sight for your pa. He’d seen darkies before, but not a woman. He’d never see anyone so beautiful. He was worried the knife-thrower might make a mistake.’
‘How close did he throw the knives, Granma?’
‘Right up close. So when he’d finished throwing, she would step away and her shape was outlined in knives on the board.’
‘Even the shape of her head?’ I’m watching the pictures in the grooves and knots of the cupboard door beside the hearth. They come and go in the firelight. Mostly, there’s an old man with a hooked nose.
Granma nods and shifts Lizzie on her lap.
‘Did he ever make a mistake?’
‘Not with the knives. The knife-thrower – his name was Raoul – made a different kind of mistake. His mistake was to tell your mother she had to marry him.’
‘What? The knife-thrower said that?’ I ask. Now the old man in the door twirls around and turns into a young girl in long skirts. Just like Ma.
‘Yes, indeed. By that time they were down Bartlett’s field where they stayed for the winter months. Sometimes your father would go and see your mother and talk to her.’
‘Did she like Pa better than the knife-thrower?’
‘What do you think? Anyway, one day your father finds her sitting on the fence in tears. Raoul had beaten her and told her that if she didn’t marry him she would have to leave the fair. She had nowhere to go.’
‘And what did Pa say?’
‘He said, marry me instead.’
Bertie claps his hands and Lizzie stirs, one eye opening and closing again.
‘Did she say yes?’ asks Bertie.
‘Of course she said yes,’ says Harriet, who’s sewing and pretending not to listen.
‘She did say yes. But then she made a mistake. She went back to her tent to fetch her things. When you don’t have much in the world you don’t want to lose what you have.’
‘What happened, Granma?’
‘Raoul was waiting for her and when she said she wouldn’t be his wife and she was leaving, he grabbed hold of her and started dragging her away. Then your pa stepped up in front of him, and he said—‘
‘I’m going to marry her!’ interrupts Harriet.
‘That’s right. And Raoul said your pa would have to fight him for her. And your pa punched him straight in the face—‘
‘And laid him out cold!’ Harriet and I chorus.
It’s a story we never tire of hearing.
I like watching Granma’s face in the firelight – but not when she’s having pains. She has big dark eyes and they’ve stayed soft. Some old people’s eyes go hard so you know they’re ready to give you a hiding before you’ve opened your mouth. Charlie Pope’s grandmother’s like that and all us nippers keep well out of her way. Granma’s got a wide mouth, as if she’d always rather laugh than scold. When she does scold she’s really fierce and her eyes go fiery. You know she really means it.

One evening she gazes into the fire a very long time and when she looks up she doesn’t talk about Grandpa.
She says, ‘When I’m not here any more, you’ll be good to each other, won’t you? Just be good boys and do what Harriet tells you. And help her with Lizzie. And Harriet, you listen to Missus Pope. She’ll know what to do.’
‘Where you goin’ Granma? Can’t we come with you?’ Bertie jumps up and puts his arms round her neck.
‘I’m not going anywhere yet. But I won’t last forever.’

Jill Treseder was born in Hampshire and lived all her childhood in sight of the sea on the Solent and
in Devon, Cornwall and West Wales. 

She now lives with her husband in Devon overlooking the River Dart.

After graduating from Bristol with a degree in German, Jill followed careers in social work, management development and social research, obtaining a PhD from the School of Management at the University of Bath along the way. 

Since 2006 she has focused on writing fiction.








Monday, 25 April 2022

Mothers And Daughters by Erica James @TheEricaJames #MothersAndDaughters @HQstories #BookReview

 


Since the sudden death of her husband, Naomi has steadily rebuilt the life they shared in the village of Tilsham by the sea.

Her eldest daughter, Martha, is sensible and determined – just like her father was – and very much in control of where her life is going. If she could just get pregnant with her husband, life would be perfect.

Willow, the youngest, was always more sunny and easy-going, yet drifted through life, much to her father’s frustration. But now, with charming new boyfriend, Rick, she has a very good reason to settle down.

The three women are as close as can be. But there are things Naomi has kept from her daughters. Like the arrival of Ellis, a long-lost friend from way back, now bringing the fun and spark back into her life. And she’s certainly never told them that her marriage to their father wasn’t quite what it seemed…

The Sunday Times bestselling author Erica James returns with this gloriously compelling tale of mothers and daughters, secrets and love.




Mothers and Daughters by Erica James was published in hardback on 17 March 2022 by HQ. The paperback will be published in July 2022.


A VERSION OF THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN S MAGAZINE IN MARCH 2022


Naomi was suddenly widowed a couple of years ago, but has remained in Tilsham by the sea, rebuilding her life and generally feeling content 

Her two daughters; Martha and Willow are like chalk and cheese. Martha plans everything meticously and is very like her late father. Willow is more of a dreamer, drifting through life, but has recently seemed to settle with new boyfriend Rick. 

Whilst the three women share a very close relationship, there are things that are kept hidden, especially by Naomi. Her daughters would like her to sell up and move to London to be near them. Naomi hasn’t told them about Ellis; a long-lost friend who has recently moved in next door and is fast becoming much more than just a friend.

Naomi has also never revealed the full details of her life when married to their father, fearing that this would destroy their happy memories. 

Martha and Willow are both dealing with their own secrets too. Relationships that appear to be wonderful on the outside can be very dark and damaging behind closed doors and keeping up cheery appearances when the one thing you long for isn’t happening can be exhausting. 

Erica James’ twenty-fourth novel is a wonderfully compelling family drama that touches upon some serious and fairly dark issues. Her characterisation is excellent, the setting is beautiful and the slow reveals are delicately and sensitively handled. 

Warm, escapist and ultimately uplifting. Erica James is on top form, writing about warm, believeable women who led sometimes very complicated lives. 




Erica James is the author of fifteen bestselling novels, including Gardens of Delight which won the 2006 Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and Sunday Times top ten bestsellers The Queen of New Beginnings and Promises, Promises.

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica will readily chat with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. 
She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion. 

Erica now divides her time between Cheshire and Lake Como in Italy, where she strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians. 








Friday, 22 April 2022

Vengeance Is Mine by Steven Torres BLOG TOUR #VengenceIsMine @RandomTTours @flametreepress #Giveaway #Win #Competition #Prize

 


Elena Maldonado struggles to reach her father's home after she's been beaten brutally by the henchman of a local businessman, Robert Meister. At one time, Elena's father, Ray Cruz, worked as hired muscle himself, but he thought he'd left that life behind. When Elena knocks at his door, a wreck and unwilling to explain, his instincts kick in – the instinct to protect his family and wreak vengeance on whoever was behind the brutal message his daughter seems to have understood all too clearly – stay quiet, do as we say or worse will happen and no one you love will be safe. 

A trip to the hospital attracts the attention of the police and Detective Jack Carver. Carver warns Ray to let the police handle the case, but Ray is not the type to let this attack go unpunished. It doesn’t take long, however, before the FBI gets involved telling Ray that Elena is working with them. None of this stops Ray from asking his questions, bribing some, intimidating others and beating the hardest cases. Soon, he finds the henchmen, but they know very little about who hired them and nothing about why. Ray makes them pay for their ignorance and their brutality. Detective Carver and FBI agent Ramona Esposito warn Ray against taking things into his own hands not knowing how far Ray has already gone or is willing to go.




Vengeance Is Mine by Steven Torres was published by Flame Tree Press on 19 April 2022. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to have one copy to give away.
Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget in the blog post. 

GOOD LUCK! 




One copy of Vengeance Is Mine by Steven Torres



"The novel was one of the best books I have read in while and another 5-star read this year. I was immediately immersed in the world that Torres creates in the book and never wanted to put it down."

-- A Reviewer Darkly

"A real powerhouse of a piece drenched in mood and a mean-spirited noir attitude." -- Considering Stories Published On: 2022-03-03

"Fiendishly plotted with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, blessed with a terrific cast of roguish and heartless characters and crisply written, this magnificent and terrifying thriller should definitely find the faithful readership it rightly deserves." 
-- Jean Luc Estrella, Librarian




Except for a year and a half spent living in Puerto Rico, Derringer award winning author Steven
Torres was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City. 
He graduated from Stuyvesant High School and Hunter College and earned a doctorate in English from the City University of New York. 
His first novel, Precinct Puerto Rico came out in 2002 to starred reviews. 
His stand alone novel, The Concrete Maze, came out in 2007. 
His short stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Crimespree Magazine as well as anthologies like Bronx Noir and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery. 
His short non-fiction work has appeared in Mystery Scene Magazine and The New York Times.

Steven and his family live in central Connecticut. 
When he’s not teaching English, he is writing stories. 
If he’s not doing either of those thing he might be gardening, listening to music, reading or traveling.




FLAME TREE PRESS is the imprint of long-standing Independent Flame Tree Publishing,
dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror and suspense, science fiction & fantasy, and crime / mystery / thriller categories. 


The list brings together fantastic new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.