blog tours, guest post

#Blog Tour #GuestPost The Bespokist Society Guide to London. #The Bespokist #thebespokistsociety #RandomThingsTours #bookblog

bespokist society

So at first glance The Bespokist Society Guide To London is a great and unique guide book that will show the reader new and interesting places to visit. But dig a little deeper and all isn’t as it seems. Perhaps a look at the logo with the words BS being shouted out loudly from a gramophone, what else does BS stand for? I’ve had a quick look at the book which led to lots of chuckling and a smile on my face, I must have a better read of it soon! Don’t take it all too seriously, but do enjoy it!

Guest Post: How the Bespokist Society saved our family 

by Tanya DeVosser

Picture the scene : a family of three, sitting at home in our living room in Kingston, staring out of the window and wishing there was somewhere we could go. Much to our son Hector’s annoyance, you can’t spend your whole life doing cryptic crosswords!

And then on 1 April 2018 The Bespokist Society Guide to…London was launched and our life has been transformed. We quickly realised that the Bespokist Society wasn’t just publishing a guidebook, it was showcasing a way of life. Suddenly we realised what we have been missing all these years – a genuinely curated book suggesting places in London to eat, drink and even visit!

Part of the problem is that we aren’t like most families. Hector has HAIS (highly advanced intelligence syndrome) and he is constantly challenging us to find new experiences. But here’s the rub – unless they have been specifically curated for him, Hector simply isn’t interested. Which is where The Bespokist Society has been a lifesaver. Without it we would never have gone on an excursion to Fecal Matters in Soho where we had a wonderful, bonding family colonic; and we certainly would have missed the mindblowing Courgette Gala in Hanger Lane.

The Bespokist Society has also been proved invaluable as far as food is concerned. Hector won’t touch the kind of kids menus that feature chicken nuggets or even pasta, mainly because he has unique tastebuds that need almost hourly stimulation. The Bespokist Society is on our wavelength – and showcases destinations like Etrusci where Hector gets to feast on an incredible range of offally cuts like lymph nodes and gizzards to his heart’s content!

Adults aren’t forgotten either. The guide has inspired my husband Matthew to get into the ethically sourced forest meat scene while I’ve been spending more and more time at the Temple of Tao where Peter Vaaaje does extraordinary things with naked limbs.

Most importantly, the guide has inspired us to link up with all manner of likeminded families. We have started to spend a lot of time at The Bespokist Society hub in Norbiton where there’s always something going down – last week there was a Mah Jong tournament for kids and a lovely lady from Croydon turned up selling artisanal tripe buns from Shaanxi province. And over the Summer they’re going to be putting on a festival of mindful winemaking where the UK’s very first cogniscent prosecco is going to be launched. It’s going to be a blast!

Blurb:

The Bespokist Society Gramo+BS 1“Wow!!! A genuinely bespoke city guide!!!” – Tommy Sponge, Chairman, The Bespokist Society

As the first travel book produced by the hugely influential Bespokist Society, this handy guide takes you to a London you’ve never seen: a London of challenging Etruscan restaurants, edgy branding parlours, emoji hotels and hidden Icelandic communities; a London where 8-ply toilet paper is a thing.

On the way, meet an eclectic band of inspiring Londoners – from scriveners to socialites via urban wordsmiths and coffee preachers – and see why London is now the global epicentre of Bespokist consciousness, community and culture.

About The Authors:

This is the information on the Bespokist Society’s website. I have no idea if it is true or not, but I suspect not.

THE BESPOKIST SOCIETY JEZ

Jez Tapano

Born : Easter Island

Lives : Plaistow

Favourite drink : Messy Monk IPA

Favourite food : Heritage carrots

Favourite hangout : Vine n Vinyl of course!

 

 

Nastya Petrov

Born : Vladivostock

Lives : Harrow on the Hill

Favourite drink : Dagenham Gin on the rocks

Favourite food : Rare breed walrus

Favourite hangout : Nina Saviceu gallery

 

 

 

The Bespokist Society Guide To London is out now and available from Amazon UK or direct from their website.

 

 

 

blog tours, extract

#BlogTour #Extract Stalker by Lisa Stone. @LisaStoneBooks @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #stalker #booktour

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Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Stalker by Lisa Stone. I really liked the sound of this book but couldn’t fit in a review so I’m really excited to have an extract from the book to whet our appetites.

Extract:

You OK, Gov? Paul asked, barely able to hide his smirk.

    ‘Yes, of course,’ Derek snapped, coming down from the ladder. ‘It’s only a small snag. Fetch me the first-aid kit from the van, will you?’

    ‘Not a lot of point in putting it back, was there? Cutting yourself twice in one morning and you always being so safety conscious.’

Derek let the comment go, as he was increasingly having to do with Paul. He knew he wasn’t himself today; he had bigger, more worrying issues on his mind than Paul’s bad attitude. The incident at U-Beat nightclub kept replaying through his head just as he’d seen it but he needed to try to concentrate before he had any more accidents or let something slip.

Cupping his finger in the palm of his hand to stop the blood dripping onto the floor, he crossed to the small sink in the corner of the room and held it under the cold tap. The room was at the rear of the newsagents and used for storing stock. Cardboard boxes and crates containing bags of sweets, packets of cigarettes, crisps, fizzy drinks and so on were stacked all around him.

He was trying to fit a camera in this room to complement the one in the shop, and then put their system online. Originally Mr and Mrs Osman, the owners of the newsagent, had just wanted one camera in the shop to stop thieving from the displays and for their own protection, but on Sunday evening while the shop had been closed it had been broken into from the rear and stock stolen. They’d phoned him on Monday morning, desperate, and asked if he could fit the extra camera and put the system online. It was a relatively small job but the work wasn’t progressing as quickly as it should. He was struggling to concentrate, there was only limited space to move around, and Mr and Mrs Osman kept interrupting him – coming in for stock or to ask him questions when all he needed was to be left in peace to finish the job.

Paul eventually returned, carrying the first-aid box, with his phone still in his hand; taking advantage of him, Derek thought.

    ‘I’ll be nurse then,’ Paul said.

Derek turned off the cold water tap as Paul set the first-aid box on the work surface beside the sink and took out a plaster. Away from the cold water the cut immediately opened and started bleeding again. ‘It’s deeper than I thought,’ Derek said, holding it over the sink.

    ‘Is there a bigger plaster in here?’ Paul asked, rummaging in the first-aid box.

    ‘Should be.’

He found a larger plaster and a sterile pad. ‘Give us your finger then, and we’ll use this to stop the bleeding.’

Derek held out his hand and Paul steadied it as he pressed the sterile pad on the wound. Gentler than he would have imagined, Derek felt the cool tips of Paul’s fingers, the touch of his clammy palm, and the warmth of his body nearby. He was standing close, far too close. Soothed and excited, Derek breathed in the bittersweet seductive mustiness of the teenage boy, a heady mixture of testosterone, perspiration and deodorant. How long since he’d been this close to a young man? He knew exactly, and knew he mustn’t go there again.

He took a step back. Paul removed the sterile pad from the wound and then expertly peeled the plaster from its packet and pressed it gently into place.

Blurb:

stalkerSTALKER, Lisa Stone

 Someone is always watching…

 Derek Flint is a loner. He lives with his mother and spends his evenings watching his clients on the CCTV cameras he has installed inside their homes. He likes their companionship – even if it’s through a screen.

When a series of crimes hits Derek’s neighbourhood, DC Beth Mayes begins to suspect he’s involved. How does he know so much about the victims’ lives? Why won’t he let anyone into his office? And what is his mother hiding in that strange, lonely house?

As the crimes become more violent, Beth must race against the clock to find out who is behind the attacks. Will she uncover the truth in time? And is Derek more dangerous than even she has guessed?

A spellbinding crime novel from the worldwide bestseller Cathy Glass, writing as Lisa Stone.

About The Author:

Just a little bit about me. I live in England and have three children. I have always been a writer – from when I was at school, with poems and articles in the school magazine. In my teens I began writing short stories, a few radio plays and novels. I finally made it into the bestseller charts with Damaged in 2007 which I wrote under the pseudonym Cathy Glass. Since then I have had 30 books published, many of which have become international bestsellers.

Thank you for your time, I hope you enjoy the Lisa Stone thrillers.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter.

Stalker by Lisa Stone is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

blog tours, giveaway

#BlogTour #giveaway The Tall Man by Phoebe Lock. #TheTallMan @wildfirebks #competition

The Tall Man Blog Tour Poster

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke. This book is getting a lot of good reviews so I’m delighted to offer a copy of the book to giveaway, details of how to enter are below. First here’s a bit about the book.

Blurb:

The Tall Man CoverYOU DON’T FIND HIM… HE FINDS YOU.

‘THE MUST-READ SUMMER CHILLER’ – Daily Express

‘IF YOU READ JUST ONE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THIS YEAR – MAKE IT THE TALL MAN’ – CultureFly

The Tall Man is an ADDICTIVE and UNFORGETTABLE blend of psychological suspense and spine-tingling chills that will be perfect for fans of Stephen King, Ruth Ware, Sarah Pinborough’s BEHIND HER EYES. If you love STRANGER THINGS, prepare to be haunted by THE TALL MAN.

A SENSELESS MURDER. A TERRIFYING LEGEND. A FAMILY HAUNTED.

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.

He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…

Giveaway:

So if that whet your appetite for the book then you can enter to win a copy. Open to those with a UK postal address only.

For your chance to win click here to enter. Good luck!

About The Author:

Phoebe LockePHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously
worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy.
Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and
also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in London. THE TALL MAN
is Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller.

The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. @rhiannonnavin @MantleBooks #bookblogger #greatread #5star

onlychild
Only Child by Rhiannon Navin.

My Review:

Sometimes a book comes along that climbs right inside of you and lodges itself right into your heart. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you know that the book is really something very special.

That is what happened to me when reading Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. It isn’t an easy book to read, I think that even the most hardened reader will struggle to stop the storyline from affecting them.

This book grabbed me from the start when Zach was hiding in the cupboard at school listening to the pop pop pop of a gun going off. Little does he know that his life is about to change forever. I loved Zach as a character, aged only six that could have been very different, but he is believable and just wonderful in so many ways.

As his family falls apart Zach struggles to understand what has happened and how he can get his family working together again, as they once did. I really liked Zach’s Dad, while his mother fell apart he struggled to keep things as normal as possible for Zach and although he hadn’t been the best Dad before he works hard to make things better. I think that he was underused as a character and I loved reading the scenes between Zach and his Dad.

Readers of my blog will know that I love reading crime and thriller books, but once I finished Only Child I really struggled to read anything with a gun in it. Very unlike me but that is the impact that this book had on me. It didn’t last (thankfully), but this book did have a strong and long lasting impact on me. It really was a wonderful read but not an easy one. For a debut novel it is nothing short of outstanding, I can’t wait to read more from the author and I am pretty sure that Only Child will be on my top reads of 2018 though.

Thank you to the publisher Mantle, for a copy of Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Readers of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty will also like this tenderhearted debut about healing and family, narrated by an unforgettable six-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.

Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

About The Author:

Rhiannon+Navin,+AuthorRhiannon Navin grew up in Bremen, Germany, in a family of book-crazy women. Her career in advertising brought her to New York City, where she worked for several large agencies before becoming a full-time mother and writer. She now lives outside of New York City with her husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. Only Child is her first novel.

 

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and on her website.

 

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, book review, Children's books, historical fiction, non-fiction

#BookReview Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson. @Jenny_Writes #Wojtek @LoveBooksGroup #kidsbooks #war #bear #book

 

Wojtek book cover (1)
Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson.

My Review:

What a lovely little book this is. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed reading about Wojtek war hero bear. It seemed like such an implausible story yet Wojtek really did stand with Polish soldiers.

What shines through in this book is the great character that Wojtek was and how important he became to the soldiers that he was with and what a huge boost he gave them.

I was disappointed to learn at the end that not all of the characters were real, but given the time that has passed since the events in the book took place that isn’t really surprising that some of the story has been lost.

I’d never heard of Wojtek before, I had no idea that a bear had helped the Polish army in the second world war. It really is a heartwarming story. I liked the way that the story was told, sometimes we heard what Wojtek was thinking but most of the time told as if by an observer. It is simple in language and I think that it could be read by children aged 10 and over, but adults will enjoy the book too.

The illustrations also need a mention, for they match the writing in the simple way that they are presented but they fit very well with the story and I enjoyed seeing them a lot.

If you’re interested in reading about wars then this book will be sure to give you a different and unique story. If you don’t enjoy reading about the war then don’t let that put you off, it is the amazing story of Wojtek that is the story, and it is one that is well worth reading.

Thank you to the publisher Birlinn, for a copy of the book. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The Wojtek MonumentWhen a tiny orphaned bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II, little does anyone know that little Wojtek will become one of the bravest fighters of them all. As the soldiers train to take part in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, Wojtek grows up, providing headaches and laughter in equal measure as he learns to drink beer, chase horses and wrestle with his human friends. But at Monte Cassino, as the Allies try and dislodge German troops from their mountain-top eyrie, Wojtek, now a fully signed-up solider with his own rank and number, comes into his own, dodging the bullets to carry ammunition to his comrades as they inch their way to victory. After the war, the Polish solders move to Scotland. Wojtek comes too and soon becomes the centre of attention in a new country. But with hostilities ended, how long can he keep his freedom? Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story.

About the Author:

11536435_640608746040788_4485959991424682348_o

Jenny Robertson has written numerous books for children and adults – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her children’s novels and Bible stories have been widely translated and also read on Yorkshire Television and STV.
 
 

Twitter:

 

To buy Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson click here:  https://goo.gl/c4nRTp

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Follow Me Home by DK Hood. @bookouture @DKHood #thriller

Follow Me Home - Blog tour.jpg

My Review:

I really like this series, I love Sherrif Jenna Alton and her relationship with Deputy Kane. They’re great characters to read about and I love the chemistry between them.

Being set in a small town works really well too, but it does mean that a lot has to happen to keep the series interesting and the reader engaged. I can go with that though as I love the setting, the remoteness adds to the story and there are so many places for baddies to hide.

This is the third book in the series, I think that they could be read as a standalone but it would be better to start at the beginning as you’ll get so much more out of the story if you know what happened before.

Once again Hood takes the reader on a journey, the clock is ticking and Alton and her team need to find a killer before more people meet a gruesome end. I was hooked straight in and enjoyed trying to work out the whodunnit. I do think that this is the weakest of the series so far, but given how good the previous books have been I wouldn’t let that put you off. I’m now waiting eagerly for book four.

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of Follow Me Home by DK Hood, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Follow-Me-Home-Kindle‘Don’t you agree Detective? That some people deserve to die? I’ve killed the first. I’ve killed the second. Now will you catch the others, or do I have to kill them too?’

The body of Amos Price lies in a pool of blood on the polished floor of an otherwise empty house. With no signs of a break in, and no clues left at the scene, Detective Jenna Alton is at a loss.

But as the team begins to unpick the life of the reclusive victim, they discover a disturbing link between Amos and the disappearance of several young girls in the county going back years.

Days later, another brutally murdered body is found, in a remote motel on the outskirts of town. Ely Dorsey was killed in a frenzied attack and Jenna fears not only that the murders are connected to the missing girls, but that the killer hasn’t finished yet.

As Jenna tries to work out who will be next, the killer suddenly starts sending her deputy, David Kane, messages. Is she being taunted? Or does the murderer want to be caught? And will Jenna discover who’s behind these killings before more people die?

An absolutely nail-biting thriller with plenty of twists, Follow Me Home is perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott.

 About The Author:

17096652I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine-tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.dkhood.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author

Follow Me Home by DK Hood is out now and is available to buy using this link.

4*, blog tours, book review, Children's books

#BlogTour #BookReview #Kidsbook Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea. @beercottbooks @NatashaLea1

stripeyenid

My Review:

Stripey Enid is a funny little book, it feels more like a leaflet when you look at it but once you open it you will find a lovely little book.

The story is very simple, we are all different and that we are all ok just as we are. This is such an important message to teach our children and it is presented in a really clear and simple way which will work well for young readers.

My daughter aged seven read it and felt that it was too babyish for her, probably simply because of the size of the font used as she now wants smaller writing that’s more grown up. But it did get us talking about how we are different and how that makes us more interesting.

I’m not really sure what age Stripey Enid is aimed at as it would seem at first glance that it is aimed at four and under but there are parts, like where the child can list five of their good points, that seem aimed at older children. I think that in reality all young children will get something out of reading Stripey Enid, and it is a great way of starting conversations about how we are all different.

Thank you to the publisher, Beercott Books, for a copy of Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

stripeyenidcover‘Believe in yourself, for you are unique!’

In this ever-changing world our children are bombarded with ‘image’ driven ideals of what is accepted as normal, or what we should aspire to be.

The reality is we are all unique and should be proud of it.

Stripey Enid has no colour or creed, she is just a friend. Using simple verse and interactive tasks, she aims to help your child understand that it is good to be unique, and that being yourself is all you need to be.

About The Author:

natashaleaIt was over 10 years ago, during a marketing exercise to promote a new theatre company whilst studying Performing Arts, that the idea of Stripey Enid came to Natasha.

Even back then, Stripey was seen to be different, something to challenge the norm, ask questions of people.

The idea of writing a book was never the intention but a natural progression on from the poems Natasha used to create for friends and family for birthdays & special occasions.

At the time Natasha was also working with a local Brownie pack and it was this interaction that made her realise that she was an adult in these children’s lives that wasn’t a parent or a teacher but a friend, a unique friendship that benefitted both parties.

Stripey came into being by the pure belief that Natasha had about peer pressure & social demands creating barriers between people, stopping people from seeing others as they truly are.

Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea is out on 16th June 2018 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK or direct from the publisher.