Freya 800AD: Viking era by Jean Mead @jeanmeadauthor #review #blogger #historical #mystery

I am so excited to be featuring a book I absolutely love. Not only is the cover one of the best I’ve seen in this genre, but the deep layers of research and the history of the time make it a must-read for all historical mystery lovers.  If you enjoy Viking war heroes, this book will provide a window into the harsh Nordic winters and a remarkable woman called Freya. Be sure to check out More Exciting News after my review.

Book description

Freya 800AD: Viking era by [Mead, Jean]Viking Era Fiction – Freya Sigvat lived more than a thousand years ago at the beginning of the Viking raids on Britain. When her husband, and the men of the settlement, sail across the Norse Sea to wreak havoc on Britain, Freya is left to manage the almost deserted settlement. Knut, a man of the mountains with a warped and cruel mind crosses the threshold of her family longhouse with devastating consequences. In a cruel twist of fate, Freya is forced to desert those she loves to live in isolation. Surviving through a long dark winter with wolves and bears roaming the frozen wilderness. This is the story of a remarkable woman, her heroism and terrifying adventure. The drama of a family feud, romance, secrets and eventual betrayal.

Book Links: US flag US here  British flag UK here

Print Length: 267 pages

Publisher: Novel Publishing (October 6, 2014)

Publication Date: October 6, 2014

ASIN: B00O8VCKQO

Thriller & Suspense Action Fiction

Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

Action Thriller Fiction

Review

Freya Sigvat lies awake in the longhouse dreading the coming day. The thought of her husband leaving for the wide open sea in his precious longboat is breaking her heart. Perhaps the next time she hears his voice will be in her head. Mead takes her readers back to the time of the Vikings, a time of hardship and restrained emotions, a time of war and heroes, where tenderness doesn’t belong. It’s easy to conjure scenes of ‘dark crests rising out of thin mists’ – slopes a myriad of greys, lilacs and blues and a dark peppering of oak and pine trees. You can even smell the smoldering moss of the fire and the honeyed mead.

Old Unnur has the ears of the gods and she can see into the future. With a good cup of mead she’s a hearty companion with a sharp mind full of memories. But Freya’s mind is hardly on the mead or the warmth of the fire. She thinks of Olaf, feels the pull of his spirit, whilst Olaf’s mind is on battle, his sword high over his head in the excitement of it all. My senses warn me his return will be anything but ordinary. Will these men conquer those far off lands? What plunder will they bring back?

Each chapter is laced with intrigue and when one danger is past, another slams full force into the community. There is no doubt this book has been well researched. It is poetically written, movie-worthy and one that will take you on an exciting journey providing a marvelous window into Norske society.

What people are saying:

Beautifully mastered historical fiction. I definitely recommend this book to all those who like historical fiction or can’t seem to get enough of Vikings!  – J.M. Northrup

A step back in time. Another compelling book by Jean Mead as she takes us back in time to life in a bygone age.  – Rosalie Marsh

If you want to know how life was in those times, look no further than this story of Freya. – Gunnardottir

A viking heroine! When I finished reading, I found the characters still inhabiting my imagination.  – Mary Rose

The characters are rich and complex, especially Freya. I was drawn into their lives and hungry for more. – Andrew Ternay

Jean Mead has researched thoroughly to create a novel that takes its reader to Ninth Century Norway – to a world of longhouses, sleeping benches, and Pictish hordes. – Amazon Reviewer

A gritty drama. With the ships movements I could easily have been onboard. – Amazon Reviewer

More exciting news!

Jean Mead has a new book coming out on 8th December with pre-order available mid November. You’ll find the blurb below on the back of this beautiful book jacket. Mark your calendars and reserve space on your book shelves, coffee tables and kindles. You won’t want to miss this one!

About the Author:

Jean MeadJean Mead was born in Warwickshire in England. Moved to Staffordshire at the age of seven and attended the Howard school in Elford. Later moved to a school in Tamworth. The family moved back to Warwickshire and at the age of thirteen Jean attended Sharmans Cross High for Girls.

Writing was always a favourite occupation. Many dozen of short stories were published in magazines in the UK, America, Ireland and Australia.

The Other Famous Five, a novel for children was her first book to be published. A contemporary novel written under another name followed. Eventually The Widow Makers and The Widow Makers:Strife were published.

Freya 800 AD is the latest book. This is the story of a woman living more than a thousand years ago at the beginning of the Viking raids on Britain.

A contemporary novel No Goodbye will be in bookshops early 2013.

Jean is now completing the 3rd book in the historical trilogy, The Widow Makers:Road’s End.

More books by Jean Mead:

jean meads books

 

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir @OrendaBooks #review #blog #crime #thriller

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir is a crime thriller, published by Orenda Books. With a quote by Val McDermid, I knew I was in for a treat! Told in multiple points of view, it’s an easy read with complex underpinnings that give the book that extra oomph!

About the book

Cage book coverDrugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.

Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.

With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy. 

Book details:

Series: Reykjavik Noir trilogy

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (April 1, 2020)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374498

ISBN-13: 978-1912374496

Book links:  British flag UK here  US flag  US here

 

Review

Agla is restless and sitting out a sentence for financial crimes. Unable to get over why her girlfriend Sonja left her, life on the inside offers plenty of distractions. An Islandic smelter scheme for one. With Maria nosing around on the outside, Agla soon realises she gets the information she’s looking for and Maria gets one hell of a scoop.

Agla comes across as brusque and rigid. With her history in an unforgiving financial environment, you can’t expect her to be anything else. Her kindness to pill-popping Elísa builds as the relationship deepens but life outside comes at a cost. Breaching probation conditions for one.

María Gunnhildur Jónudóttir, who was a former investigator at the special prosecutor’s office where Agla Margeirsdóttir had been a person of interest, now runs an online news outlet. But when she goes to see Agla in prison to ask about her links to Ingimar Magnússon and William Tedd — the Paris-based markets guru — she is denied visitation. But she doesn’t have to wait long. With the tenacity of a bloodhound, she is determined to get to the bottom of a conspiracy where a few greedy men could push their profit margins through the roof. But this settling of scores is detrimental.

Ingimar Magnússon, closely connected to Iceland’s business and politics, likes to play dangerous games. With a natural cold, ruthless streak, he’s rather good at it. He’s also good at infringing international regulations while staying just within the legal limits. Dirty tricks, blackmail and willing to hold a gun at anyone who stands in his way, this is a man you’d want Agla and María to steer well clear of.

And then we have Anton, a creative and dynamic individual, who has a project simmering in the cellar. Too much listening to Radio Edda makes him feel it’s time for action.  If he takes matters into his own hands, his plan could blow a hole in the stratosphere. But will such a rash decision be a hit with his beloved Júlía? I have to say I was floored by the outcome.

Including Sonja, all of these people are in a cage of their own making, and each with their own axe to grind. The chapters are compact and the pace, even when weaving from character to character, is rapid and full of intrigue. You can’t get enough. It’s one of those books that if you have to put down, you’ll still have each scene fresh in your mind, frantic to know what happens next. When all stories converge, it’s a thrill to learn who belongs where and how their lives might or might not be intertwined. About three quarters of the way through, I guessed a small portion of how the ending might play out. But certainly not all.

All in all, I gave it five big fat stars. The story-line shifted effortlessly between each point of view and spun a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. Flawlessly paced and painfully gripping.

Bonuses:

A map: Found in the front matter to show us the region and setting. Major plus!

Book cover: One that will definitely stand out on bookshelves.

Writing style: Relaxed and comfortable, with visceral descriptions.

About the Author

lilja+webphoto+2+f+liljawriter.jpgIcelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning playwright who has written four crime novels. The previous titles in the Reykjavik Noir series are Snare and Trap, which was a Guardian Book of the Year. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures. Quentin Bates is the author of a series of Icelandic crime novels that include Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.

More books by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Lilja Sigurdardottir

Webpage

Amazon 

Queen of the Warrior Bees by Jean Gill @The13thSign #bookreview #newrelease #teen #YA #magicalrealism

From multi-talented, award-winning author Jean Gill, author of The Troubadours Quartet, comes Queen of the Warrior Bees. Book 1 in the Natural Forces Series, is a Number 1 New Release on Amazon in  Teen & Young Adult Environmental Conservation & Protection eBooks. Hardly surprising when you see not only a heart-stopping cover, but the quality of the writing itself. One of those books I couldn’t wait to read, below is my review and book description:

Description:

Queen of the Warrior Bees: One misfit girl and 50,000 bees (Natural Forces Book 1) by [Gill, Jean]Epic eco-fantasy from the award-winning author of The Troubadours Quartet 
One misfit girl and 50,000 bees. Together they must change the world. As the Mages of the Citadel fight amongst themselves and prepare for war against the Forest, Mielitta, a despised servant, has her own battle to face. Bastien and Jannlou, the boys who terrorised her as a child, have grown into their status as Mages and she cannot escape them forever.

In desperation, she flees to the forbidden Forest and its dangerous attractions. Her scent angers thousands of bees and, although she survives their attack, she has changed. A strange bee symbol glows on her thigh and her senses are altered. She learns that her connection with bees enables her to summon their aid and gives her the power to shift shape.

This new-found bond works both ways and the bees need Mielitta’s help as the rift widens between Forest and Citadel. Can one girl and a colony of bees reunite Man and Nature, or is the split irreversible?

Block Nature out and she’ll force a way in. 

Print Length: 308 pages

Publisher: The 13th Sign (June 7, 2019)

Publication Date: June 7, 2019

Links: US  US flag  here     UK  British flag  here

 

Review

There are so many things to love about this book. Bees, a warrior girl and the fight for survival.  The premise is unique and sure to summon a wide audience of fantasy and conservationists alike. Written by an author I have followed for her historical Fiction Troubadour series, I thought I’d give this new genre a whirl. I particularly enjoyed the sensitive and thoughtful dedication to another great author with a love of forests.

Written in the author’s distinctive voice, I was drawn right in from the start. It’s not hard to see why this book has so many good reviews and has stayed at #3 in its category since publishing. With a few hives of her own, Gill is definitely qualified to write it.

Right from the beginning, Mielitta is out of the ordinary, looked upon like ‘a specimen in a school study’. A foundling, her upbringing is not as clear-cut as the other children in the Citadel—a place of privilege and excess—and she is destined to be rejected and despised. I was already hooked to her plight and wanted to know how she could duck and dive from the clutches of Jannlou and Bastien, (apprentice mages raised to those positions because of their fathers) and how, if ever, she could fight back. Tormented and victimized, she is forced outside the Citadel to the forbidden Forest — a place no one speaks of.

When stung by a swarm of bees, a startling and rather exciting metamorphosis begins. Equipped with a hive mind, her weaknesses soon become her strengths. She’s no longer alone, no longer an outcast, but she must learn new skills if she is to overcome the muscle of the mages. Terrific world-building, underpinned with political intrigue, there is so much at stake for this feisty heroine who seeks the help of those who need help themselves.

There are so many clever observations, (too many to name) but one did stick out: ‘The bees puzzled over the concept of overcrowding and gave up on it as bizarrely human.’ Fresh and ingenious descriptions of the forest and the creatures themselves are ones you won’t forget. A veritable feast of colour and phosphorescence, like tiny little glow sticks in the night.

Gill’s characters are always robust with great mental discipline and dreams of accomplishing the impossible. The first instalment leaves a few tantalizing questions for readers to be desperate for the next book. I know I am.

Thank you to the author, Jean Gill and the publisher, The 13th Sign, for an advanced copy of this fabulous book.

About the Author

Jean GillJean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two scruffy dogs, a beehive named ‘Endeavour’, a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Wales. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.

Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, and a cookery book on goat cheese. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, she can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.

Sign up to Jean’s special readers’ group at http://www.jeangill.com for exclusive news, offers and a free book. If you review one of Jean’s books you can add a dog to Jean’s Readers Dogs Hall of Fame on her website jeangill com where you can contact her – she loves to hear from readers.

Other books by Jean Gill:

Jean Gill Books

 

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware @PutnamBooks @Penguin @simonschuster @RuthWareWriter

I’m always excited when a great author comes out with a new book. I’ve been a Ruth Ware fan for several years now and love the crisp, clean prose and unique plots. The tension and intrigue is unlike other books in this genre and a book that’s bound to keep you flipping the pages well past bedtime.

Book Description:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s fourth novel, “her best yet” (Library Journal, starred review).

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by [Ware, Ruth]On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

 

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (May 29, 2018)
  • Publication Date: May 29, 2018
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Book links:  US here    UK here

Review

I’ve enjoyed several of Ruth Ware’s books and decided to give this one a whirl. I liked Hal from the very beginning because she’s a realistic character trying to make ends meet. Living in the cold and damp with hardly a penny to rub together, you find yourself inside Hal’s world, running away from a crooked money lender. It’s hardly surprising then that when she receives a letter that may be the answer to prayer, she chooses the only way out. But there is a slight hitch and you’re never entirely sure whether she can pull it off. The funeral, the family and the old house are full of lies and secrets that are sure to turn her world upside down.

I agree Ware’s novels are somewhat Christie-esque. Everybody is a suspect and the books carry that British cozy mystery mood despite the modern setting. The prose is straightforward with a focus on plot and dialogue and where hints and suspicions are assembled from conversations and plot twists. Every character abounds with secrets and resentments so you’re never quite sure who’s done what. The protagonist, in this case Hal, stumbles into an adventure where she must solve a crime putting many of Ware’s books into the super sleuth category: One I absolutely love.

We see a large house, a little worse for wear, and a housekeeper and family reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. The pace, in parts, is wild and unwavering, and I couldn’t help feeling as if I was inside the brooding house—another character in the book with its stairs and attic room—but also inside Hal’s anxious and curious mind. Why is she given such a claustrophobic room? Why is it so cold and dark? The effect is almost palpable and I could feel goose bumps near the end when the snow is falling and there is no way out but back. But where Christie’s characters often get picked off one by one, in The Murder of Mrs. Westaway, Ware’s characters disperse and return to their normal lives, leaving Hal to the mercy of the lake and the boathouse where it all began.

If you haven’t sampled any Ruth Ware, I would start with Woman in Cabin 10 to get a ‘feel’ for fine writing and unique plots. All her books are strong and surefooted with tons of thrills along the way. Crime novel and psychological suspense fans will love this creepy puzzler of a mystery. Five fat stars for another marvellous read.

About the Author

Ruth WareRuth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs Westaway have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times, and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family.

Visit http://www.ruthware.com to find out more, or find her on facebook or twitter as @RuthWareWriter

Other books by Ruth Ware: Order here

Ruth Ware books

The Drowning Game by L.S. Hawker (Witness Impulse, Kindle $1.99, Paperback $10.79, 352 pages) @HarperCollins #bookreview #bookblogger

The Drowning Game: A Novel by [Hawker, LS]

I’m really excited to have read L.S. Hawker’s The Drowning Game. Being a mystery, thriller, suspense novel, I knew this was a must-read for me! Below is a brief description, and don’t you just love the fabulous cover!

Description:

They said she was armed.
They said she was dangerous.
They were right.

Petty Moshen spent eighteen years of her life as a prisoner in her own home, training with military precision for everything, ready for anything. She can disarm, dismember, and kill—and now, for the first time ever, she is free.

Her paranoid father is dead, his extreme dominance and rules a thing of the past, but his influence remains as strong as ever. When his final will reveals a future more terrible than her captive past, Petty knows she must escape—by whatever means necessary.

But when Petty learns the truth behind her father’s madness—and her own family—the reality is worse than anything she could have imagined. On the road and in over her head, Petty’s fight for her life has just begun.

Fans of female-powered thrillers will love debut author LS Hawker and her suspenseful tale of a young woman on the run for her future…and from the nightmares of her past.

Editorial:

“Unique, quirky and suspenseful The Drowning Game was the perfect audio listen. Both Amanda Dolan and Paul Woodson did an excellent job in capturing the character’s personalities and setting the tone of their story.” —Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Review

Petty Moshen is a captive in her father’s house, but when he dies, she is finally free. Or is she?

Her father’s will may seem unusual, if not downright cruel, as well as his choice of protector. But Petty is no ordinary girl. I would put her in the survival category, when you consider how primitive her upbringing, how ‘animal’ her senses. Well taught. Well prepared. Nothing could possibly go wrong.  Armed and dangerous, she runs from the place she has called home, leaving behind her beloved dogs (incidentally, what did happen to them?) and the familiarity of the ‘inside’.

The chase scenes are well written, tense and page-turning. It’s not a book you can easily put down. Petty is naïve – a trait beautifully drawn – but carries a spark of toughness that kept me rooting for her.

Dekker, an unwilling ride-along, has her back with his internal struggles which are real and heartrending. As are hers. I reveled in the intricate twists, the nearly-there plots which I thought I had worked out until the surprising denouement.

All in all, it was the pace that made me want to take a look at other books by this author. Definitely one to watch.

Buying links:

British flag   UK:  https://amzn.to/2R29OMr         US flag  US:  https://amzn.to/2f6yNeG

LS HawkerLS Hawker grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.

Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” produced fitness videos, and outfitted airports with computer equipment for a major airline, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.

Her extensive media background includes everything from public affairs director at a Denver radio station to television sports intern to website designer.

Her debut novel, THE DROWNING GAME (2015), was a Best First Novel finalist in the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards and a USA TODAY bestseller. It’s been translated into eight languages and is also available as an audiobook. Her second novel, BODY AND BONE (2016), has been translated into seven languages. Her third, END OF THE ROAD, was released at the beginning of 2017. Number four, THE THROWAWAYS, will be released by The Vanishing Point Press on January 22, 2019.

Other Book by L.S. Hawker:

 

Top Six Books I’ve Read This Year

Due to a transfer in career from New Mexico to Utah, I decided to take a brief hiatus from writing. Having completed a stand-alone thriller and nearing the end of the Detective Temeke series, there’s no better escape than reading books. Here are six of my favorites this year written by brilliant, talented writers.

AAA Oliver

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press, (Simon and Schuster) Pages: 273. Rating 4.3. Reviews 315. Genre: Family Life, Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Thriller and Suspense.

Brief Description: Oliver Ryan has the perfect life. Elegant and seductive, he wants for nothing, sharing a lovely home with his steadfast wife, Alice, who illustrates the award-winning children’s books that have brought him wealth and fame. Until one evening, after eating the dinner Alice has carefully prepared, Oliver savagely assaults her and leaves her for dead.

Described as a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit, Unraveling Oliver is an intricately woven story of a man who apparently has everything. Or does he? Highly suspenseful and told from the perspectives of the injured parties, it is the tragic story of a fractured mind. Some of the reviews indicate that readers found the alternating points of view hard to get to grips with, but I love this style. If a book doesn’t have that extra layer it can fall flat for me and I end up distracted and looking for food. This story intrigued me and after the last page, the plot was thick enough to stick for at least a week. Highly recommended.

The wife between us

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press. Pages: 342. Rating 4.2. Reviews 1,739. Genre: Women’s Fiction, Psychological, Detective, Suspense.

Brief Description: When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

I found this story intriguing although a little slow to begin with. A twisty plot of love and betrayal written from two points of view, Nellie (the bride) and Vanessa (the disturbed ex). You you get the impression fairly early on that we are not getting the whole story and I had to go back and reread sections to make sure I had it down correctly. It’s well-read territory, twists and turns are a little contrived but around the half-way mark the reveal took me by surprise. The book is described as a clever suspense novel and compared to The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. I’m not sure it’s quite up there, but it’s well worth the read.

Silent Girls

Publisher: Witness Impulse/Harper Collins. Pages: 411. Rating 4.0. Reviews: 1,406. Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense. Heist. Supernatural. United States.

Brief Description: Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective’s badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an ’89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

I had heard of Eric Rickstad but not read any of his novels. Needless to say, I was hooked at the first few pages. He has a rhythmic writing style I love, although I could have done with less of the short sentences. They were a little choppy and when more than one character (narrative voice) attempted the same style, it can get confusing. This was another book I thought I had figured out, but nope. The ending, for me, was a serious twist. Not everyone likes cliffhangers, so I hope he comes up with a second book. Recommended.

I let you go

Publisher: Berkley, Penguin Group. Pages: 377. Rating: 4.3. Reviews: 1,275. Genre: Women’s Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense. Detective. Psychological.

Brief Description: On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street… I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.

The blurb for I Let You Go enticed me to buy it and I was glad I did. The book tells the story of a mother who loses her child in an accident (not a spoiler since this is in the blurb) during those one of those dangerous split seconds of inattention. Its the hit-and-run the reader focuses on and Jenna’s way of coping with this terrible tragedy.  Unputdownable and disturbing, and brought home by brilliant, atmospheric writing. Just too many layers of this particular onion that I enjoyed, a truly emotional journey that made me feel no matter what Jenna did, she was going to pay the price at some point. Highly recommended.

all the light

Publisher: Scribner, Simon and Schuster. Pages: 545. Rating: 4.6. Reviews: 28,078. Genre: Historical Fiction, French, German, Military.

Brief Description: Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

Probably one of my favorite books of all time, All The Light We Cannot See takes you through the lives of Marie-Laure, her father and the gadget-obsessed German orphan Werner, tied together by a dangerous and priceless gem. It’s an intricate masterpiece that draws you in so you can’t fail to become personally connected. With alternating character chapters, the atrocities and the lasting scars on each will very likely create an image of war some of us have never imagined. I think this book will haunt me for some time. Highly recommended.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing. Pages: 526. Rating: 4.8. Reviews: 19,097. Genre: Literary Fiction, Biographical, Women’s Fiction. 

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

With phenomenal ratings—4.8—it’s no surprise that this cinematic and literary work was chosen by Pascal Pictures to be made into a movie. Based on a true story and set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Milan during World War II, this book carries an intense pace and leaves you feeling like one of the characters and not just the reader. Pino becomes a driver for Major General Leyer, and through his eyes we ‘see’ all the harrowing Nazi atrocities and the allied advances to liberate northern Italy. Full of action and suspense, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing is poetic and impeccable and as quoted within the opening chapters, nothing will ever be the same. Highly recommended.

There’s nothing like reading a book with that extra special magic, the type of book you can’t bear to finish. If you’re searching for a compulsively readable novel, these must-read books, complete with publisher information, ratings, genre and descriptions, are impossible to put down. 

Next, I will be reading a book by Tess Gerritson, Paula Hawkins and K.L. Slater.

 

 

 

Review Tour – Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Whoo-hoo, I’m thrilled to have just read Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton. Some of you may know her other books, Riddle, Carved Wooden Heart and View From The Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale.  Her books have garnered five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads – definitely an author to watch!

About the Author

Elizabeth HOrton NewtonElizabeth Horton-Newton was born in New York City and was 10 years old when President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. As she watched the events unfold on television she became fascinated. This lifelong interest resulted in her first novel, “View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale”.

With the release of her novel “Riddle” she once again tackled a social issue; the illegal adoption of First Nations babies separated from their families. Small town prejudices against people of color and “outsiders” result in a unique friendship between two young people. Weaving a romantic thriller around the issues she creates rich characters in all her writing that draw the reader into their lives.

Her first erotic romance novel, “Carved Wooden Heart”, was written with new author Starla Hartless. The story follows a young journalist as she experiences joys and sorrows but never gives up on her dreams. Dani Stone deals with the pain of loss, panic attacks, and life challenges. Recently released “Stolen Gypsy” is an action packed tale revolving around a young gypsy girl and her search for her true identity. Elizabeth did extensive research on the Rom culture and the Witness Protection Program when writing this suspenseful mystery.

With her education in Criminal Psychology, Sociology, and Media Communications she has a unique insight into how criminals think and how society responds to their crimes. Volunteering in local Domestic Violence groups in her hometown she likes to confront social problems in her stories.

Book Description

“Her parents are dead. The government has failed her. Now she doesn’t even know who she is. Terza Blackstone is rescued by handsome Irishman Tristan Devlin and that begins the search for her true identity. When everything you thought was yours has been stolen from you, there’s only one thing to do. Steal it all back.

What do gypsies, the Witness Protection Program, a drug cartel, and a young girl running for her life have in common?”

Stolen Gypsy
Buy Links:  US  https://amzn.to/2HMQufk   UK  https://amzn.to/2Hho37S

 Advanced Reviews for “Stolen Gypsy”

“A real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. Imagine waking up to find out you weren’t who you thought you were. ” Kathy Broggy

“Fascinating. Mind-blowing plot twists. I was up all night reading, unable to set the book down” Michelle Martin

“I learned so much about gypsies and their traditions. Best part was the action scenes and the Feds. The part when the drug cartel shows up was so well written I could smell the smoking guns.” Nick LeBlanc

“…it’s fantastic! I totally loved it! So much was stolen from her, but… she stole her life back again! Terza’s life starts to peel away, and an array of shattering truths rise up from a past, she hardly realised she’d had. With the help of a handsome Irish hunk Tristan, Terza faces off with ruthless drug cartels, mysterious Romany gypsy gangs, the local police and the FBI, all the time fighting to get back the life that was stolen from her. ” Michelle Medhat, Author “Connected: The Calling” and “The Shift.”

Amazon Review

With a tragic accident that involves her parents, seventeen-year-old Terza Blackstone is catapulted rapidly from the steady routine of family life into the unknown. Having been questioned at the police station, she is taken home by her hard-nosed attorney, Vanessa Duffy, who wants to petition for guardianship. Judging by the aggressive activity of reporters at the scene, there is something very sinister about this case.

There is some interesting back story involving secret pasts and I wanted to know more. Someone wants Terza out of the way and the action and tension begins to climb. There are lots of suspects and few clues, a complex story that has more twists and turns than a pretzel.

Once in a while a character like Terza comes along that gets under your skin and refuses to let go. I liked her at the outset; smart, stubborn and quirky, not to mention a fan of Lindsey Stirling. I think she and I would get along. As Vanessa takes Terza back to childhood, memories begin to surface of an unsettled background where she has never spent more than one year in any school.

As the plot moves forward, Terza comes face-to-face with the stark realization that nothing in her past life adds up. Even with new-found friends to help her, she is never far from the agencies of law enforcement or from those who might want to harm her. When the truth unfolds, the tragic thing about this book is the choices Terza must make. Her tale at the end of the book brings a fresh perspective on abandonment and how there is only one person who can set her free.

elizabeth books

Elizabeths books

Elizabeth currently lives with her husband, writer Neil Douglas Newton, along with a collection of rescued cats and dogs in a 100-year-old house. Mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of one, she is already working on her fifth book, “Blood on Murder Highway”, where she returns to her fascination with serial killers and the indigenous populations of the Pacific Northwest. The story is loosely based on the unsolved murders of indigenous women in British Columbia. In addition, she has novelettes through Electric Eclectic Books. These short stories range from horror to crime noir, domestic violence to slice of life mystery.

New Book News

thankyou

2017 has been a fabulous year with two books written in the Detective Temeke Crime Series. Dead Cold, available on Amazon, and Easy Prey, coming out in eBook on December 28.

Dead Cold, Book 4 in the series was one of my favorites to write. The case winds its way through New Mexico and Arizona as the police pursue a fugitive thought to have been involved in a murder. For those of you who know the area around Schnebly Hill road will appreciate these majestic views.

schnebly-hill-vista

Easy Prey, Book 5, is set in Albuquerque around the Rio Grande River and the general area known as the Bosque, a constructed wetland intended to replicate the natural wetlands that historically occupied the floodplain of the Rio Grande.

Easy Prey for newsletter

Short Description:

Something dark and brooding stalks the mysterious Bosque nature reserve. Bird watchers fall prey to the menace and thefts of rare falcons are on the rise. But it is the body of a murdered girl discovered on the banks of The Rio Grande River that eventually brings Detectives Temeke and Santiago onto the trail.

During a camping weekend, Jessie Bowman’s best friend, Bree, has disappeared. Guilt ridden, yet determined to do the right thing, she tracks the man she believes is responsible and begins to unravel a mystery that tests every ounce of her resilience. She has only two choices – fight or flight. And Jessie is done with running.

Now Detectives Temeke and Santiago must locate Jessie before the madman snares his final prey.

What people are saying:

‘Stibbe handles the latest mystery in the Detective Temeke series with the dexterity of a master falconer. The climax will swoop down and seize you when you least expect it, leaving you feeling as if you too have become ‘easy prey’. Dr Maurice Singleton, PhD in Narrative Theory, Author and Lecturer

WINNER NM AZ

 

AWARDS: Night Eyes, Book 2 of the Detective Temeke Series won the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award this year in the Crime Mystery Category. This is a big award, where books are read by publishers, librarians and bestselling authors. Thank you to all those who voted for this book!

SALES: During Christmas and the New Year, the first three books in the series have been discounted to 99p/99c. So click on the picture below to reserve your copy.

Thank you to all those who read and received Advance Reviewer Copies (ARCs) for Easy Prey and made helpful suggestions to the overall book. We are giving away free copies by mobi/ePub format in the New Year to all those who would like to review the book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you to all my readers and for your wonderful reviews. Keep them coming!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Famous Five Christmas sale

 

Review Tour – Mrs. Jones by B.A. Morton @Twisted Ink Publishing #BookReview

I am pleased to welcome author B.A. Morton, writer of hard-boiled, crime and horror thrillers. Babs also writes historical fiction, in particular The Wildwood Chronicles set in medieval England. One of her many five star reviewers have been quoted as saying these are beautifully written historical novels with strong elements of romance, adventure, mystery, and fantasy.

She lives amidst the wonderful scenery of the Northumberland National Park, an inspirational backdrop for her historical fiction series. As a member of the Crime Writer’s Association and Crime Readers Association, it’s not hard to see why this versatile and canny writer of crime fiction won the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2011 for Mrs. Jones.

Mrs. Jones

 

Buy Links 🇺🇸️ http://amzn.to/2uGtgkk 🇬🇧️ http://amzn.to/2tNl9VL 

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 341 pages

Publisher: TWISTED INK PUBLISHING

A British girl with a secret. A New York cop with a past. And a Mob that wants revenge.

When maverick New York detective, Tommy Connell, picks up a witness to murder, he finds himself with more than he bargained for.

Mysterious British girl, Lizzie Jones, is harboring a secret and both the Mob and the Feds are keen to know what it is.

Setting out to solve the puzzle Connell is inexplicably drawn back to his checkered past and the murder of his young son’s mother. With hired killers hot on their trail, Connell must protect Mrs. Jones and uncover the truth.

‘A fast paced roller-coaster of a ride’ ‘Twisty-turny romantic suspense’

Yeovil Literary Prize winner 2011

Babs

B.A. Morton

 

Book Review

Tracing a 911 call to Apartment 13A, Detective Connell investigates hit and run scene with a witness he’d rather like to know better. A witness who may just be a lot younger than her ID claims. Clever dialogue makes this opening scene a page-turner and just like Connell, I find anything odd intriguing. What he can’t figure out is why Mrs. Jones is living in this apartment. Why such a dangerous part of town? Connell is determined there is something she’s not telling him, something that sets the alarm bells ringing. And he’s determined to keep her close at hand. This case is not a straightforward one and, in many detective novels, they never are. But there’s a magic to this book that doesn’t let up and that’s what kept me reading until the end.

I want to know who Mrs. Jones is. Why she’s so vulnerable. And where is Mr. Jones? I like Connell . . . very much. There’s a unique stoicism to him that doesn’t fit the stereotype. His character is more realistic in my view, more to resonate with. In fact, there’s nothing to pigeon-hole these characters at all. What strikes me as unusual is Morton’s way of communicating their inner-workings. Effortless is the word, much like her other novels which portray unusual people in exceptional situations. There’s a sharp twist to these and a certain residue that sticks to the skin long after the last page. Five stars for a gripping, sensual ride. Straight to the point. No holds barred. (Bookpreneur 5* Review)

Other publications

Mrs. Jones would not be complete without the second in the series Molly Brown.

Molly Brown

Short description

A child to save – A killer to catch.

When a strange little girl disappears into the night and no one seems to care, Tommy Connell figures someone should take another look.

Watch out for more of Molly Brown on Amazon.

Amazon 5* Reviewer: The prose is crisp, transporting a reader through half the book in no time! But don’t go too fast. There are a myriad of details, clues and senses to enjoy, and characters to become attached to.

For a complete list of B.A. Morton’s books on Amazon take a look HERE

Why not visit B.A. Morton’s website HERE

 

 

New Covers!

Hi everyone.

I’m pleased as punch to tell you that the Detective Temeke Crime series The 9th Hour and Night Eyes are being given two brand new faces. While there are no additions or subtractions to the books themselves, they will soon have a different look.

the-ninth-hour-finalThe third book in the series, Past Rites will also be available in eBook and paperback via all retailers by December 15. Most of all, I want to thank all those who helped spread the word and to the readers who have told me how much they love the series.

But what is it that makes these books so real? Is it the characters themselves, the unique New Mexico landscape, or the extensive research into the finer workings of law enforcement?

For me, I don’t want a book to just amuse me for a few hours. I want a book where my life becomes the book for days on end. If I find a fictional character who is brave, funny, charismatic and suffering from some kind of life trauma, it spurs me on to build an emotional bond with them. I enjoy the messes they create, the pain and the tears, and where I find their problems may not be so different from mine. The big difference is, how they were able to overcome them. How they became a better person in the end.

As I crack on with the fourth Detective Temeke novel, I am reminded how grateful I am to the brave men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department. For taking time out of their busy schedules to teach us about the police department and its many units. I thank God for their sacrifice, their dedication and for their professionalism. And for helping make these stories so real.

img_1765It was a privilege to attend the 50th Citizen Police Academy ‒ a tuition free, twelve-week program designed to introduce members of the community to the Albuquerque Police Department. The Academy is designed to teach citizens about the philosophy, policies, and guiding principles of law enforcement and ethical conduct governing police services in our community. Please see the website here.

This was a three month training which included units such as firearms training, special weapons and tactics, crimes against children, bomb squad, use of force, active shooter, violent crimes, crime scene investigator, K-9, reality based training and scenarios, and so many more.

The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. But no matter how horrific the crime, we will never forget the victims.

Even though the past often casts a shadow over the present, the Detective Temeke series always sees each investigation in a whole new light.

nm-az-2016

A very big THANK YOU to all those who nominated the first in the series, The 9th Hour as a finalist for the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. I’m really chuffed! The awards dinner promises to include an auction and a fabulous menu at one of the most beautiful country clubs in Albuquerque.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claire.

 

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