blog tours, book extract

#BlogTour #Extract Zippy And Me by Ronnie Le Drew, Duncan Barrett, and Nuala Calvi. #ZippyAndMe @Punchand @unbounders #RandomThingsTours

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Zippy And Me by Ronnie Le Drew, Duncan Barrett, and Nuala Calvi. I’m sure that most people around my age remember Zippy from the incredibly popular children’s tv programme, Rainbow. So I was excited about the book and I’m delighted to share an extract from the book. Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for having me as part of the tour.

To whet your appetite for this fabulous book I have an extract for you. Enjoy!

Extract:

Curtain Up

July 1961. Stockwell Gardens council estate, South London.
Crouched behind a cardboard box, I wait impatiently
for the audience to settle. I sneak a glance round the side
of my brand-new Pollock’s toy theatre. Rows of little girls
in knee-high socks sit cross-legged on the floor as their
brothers jostle for space at the back.
I have summoned them to a performance on the landing
of our block of flats, instructing them very clearly not to
cross the crack in the concrete that delineates the stage.
I clear my throat importantly, and the rabble quietens
down a little. ‘The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince
of Denmark, by William Shakespeare,’ I announce in
the lowest possible tones my thirteen-year-old voice box
can muster, prodding Bonnie, my twin sister, to start
the wind-up gramophone. I wince as the strains of ‘I’m
a Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch’ begin, to the
accompaniment of sniggers. Hardly the grand orchestral
music I would have wished, but since it’s the only record
we own, it will have to do.

I take a last, lingering glance at the shiny photograph
of Laurence Olivier, resplendent as the Dane in the 1959
film of Hamlet, in the book that Benjamin Pollock’s toy
shop has helpfully provided as part of its Regency Theatre
kit. It has taken me eight weeks to save the money to buy it
from the Pollock’s shop on Monmouth Street, and it is my
pride and joy. The wooden stage is exquisitely made, with
a little round pit containing a painted orchestra, a battery-
operated spotlight, and cardboard scenery and characters
lovingly cut out and coloured in by Bonnie and me.
With a nod from me, she now lifts the little wooden
curtain and the lights come up; down goes the ghost of
Hamlet’s father on a piece of cotton thread, uttering the
immortal line: ‘O horrible! O horrible! Most horrible!’
I’m soon well into my stride, moving Hamlet and Horatio
around the ramparts and concentrating hard to make
sure I get every word right. The audience is completely
silent, apparently transfixed by the drama onstage.
After a couple of scenes it’s too much – the desire for
applause overwhelms me and I pull the curtain down with
a flourish, announcing, ‘You may clap now!’
As dead silence greets us, Bonnie and I stand up and
look over the top of the theatre.
There is no one there. Each and every child has quietly
crept away and we have been performing to ourselves.
It is the best lesson I will ever learn as a puppeteer.

Blurb:

Over the course of almost half a century, puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew has worked with the greats – from David Bowie in Labyrinth to Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol. But the role that defined his career was Rainbow’s Zippy, who he operated for more than twenty years.

Zippy and Me
 is the first time a Rainbow insider has told the true story of what went on under the counter and inside the suits: the petty squabbles between performers, wrangling with TV executives, and scandals such as the ‘love triangle’ between musicians Rod, Jane and Freddy. Not to mention the now infamous X-rated episode shot for an ITV Christmas party, which subsequently found its way to the Sun.

Interweaved with the dirt on what really went on behind the scenes is the story of Rainbow’s heyday in the 1970s and 80s, when its stars found themselves catapulted into an exciting showbiz world – scooping a BAFTA award and even performing for the queen – and the story of a young lad from a south London council estate who defied his parents’ protests to became one of the most respected puppeteers of all time.

About the Author:

Ronnie Le Drew is one of the UK’s most respected puppeteers, and recipient of the prestigious Harlequin Award.
He has operated many of the most iconic children’s puppets of the twentieth century – Zippy, Sweep, Muffin the
Mule, Bill and Ben, Brains from Thunderbirds – as well as working on classic puppet films such as Labyrinth,
Little Shop of Horrors and The Muppet Christmas Carol. He continues to work regularly as a puppeteer in TV,
theatre and advertising and also teaches at the London School of Puppetry, which he founded in 1987.

Zippy and Me by Ronnie Le Drew, Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview Rage by Netta Newbound. @nettanewbound @Juntionpublish @BOTBSPublicity #Rage #5*read

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Rage by Netta Newbound. I’ve long been a fan of Netta Newbound’s books and her ability to suck the reader in and make her stories feel so real. So I was excited to read her latest book.

Thanks to Sarah Hardy for asking me to be part of the blog tour and to Netta Newbound and Junction Publishers for a copy of Rage. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Before I start reading a Netta Newbound book I take a deep breath and ready myself for what is to come. Normally that involves getting to know characters who feel so real, that you get to know and care about and who get put through horrible things. The death count in Newbound’s books are normally also high.

Rage starts with doctors telling a woman that a man needs to be kept highly sedated for the rest of his life as he is such a risk to women. We learn that this man, Charles, is a very famous ex-footballer whose condition needs to be kept secret.

Lizzie is hired to nurse Charles, she has strict instructions to keep him sedated at all times and believing that he is in so much pain due to a brain tumour, she agrees. But it doesn’t quite sit right with her and so when she’s left alone with Charles she starts to wonder whether it is really fair to keep him so medicated.

Poor Lizzie really has a lot going on in this book, there are bodies turning up, creepy neighbours, a lovely neighbour and a patient who is very dangerous. I often kept reading, desperate to see what was going to happen next. would Lizzie meet a grizzly end because of the neighbour? The patient? Or someone else?

Although there was a lot going on it was easy to keep track of it all and the story definitely kept me hooked. It was different to other books by the author that I have read, but I really enjoyed reading it and was disappointed when I had finished it. All in all the sign of a great book!

Blurb:

Nurse, Lizzi Yates, is assigned to provide end-of-life care to Charlie Maidley, one of Britain’s footballing legends, on the condition she keeps his identity a secret. 

Unbeknownst to Lizzi, Charlie’s doctors have agreed to allow his sister, Miriam, to take him home to die on the strict understanding he remains in an induced coma, due to his history of assaulting women—a side effect of his brain tumour. 

Miriam goes away on business, leaving Lizzi in charge, but a mishap with Charlie’s medication has Lizzi questioning why he is spending his final days comatose. Deciding he is being sedated without just cause, she makes the call to wake him up. However, a string of events and the discovery of a girl’s body at the bottom of the garden lead her to wonder if she’s made the right decision. 

Who is the killer? 

Could Lizzi be his next victim? 

Don’t miss RAGE by bestselling author Netta Newbound – A gripping psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

About The Author:

Netta Newbound, originally from Manchester, England, now lives in New Zealand with her husband Paul and their boxer dog Alfie. She has three grown-up children and three delicious grandchildren.

As a child, Netta was plagued by a wild imagination, often getting in trouble for making up weird and wonderful stories. Yet she didnt turn her attention to writing until after her children had grown and left home.

Most of her inspiration comes from the horror greatsStephen King, Dean Koontz and Richard Layman.

Although she mostly writes psychological thriller novels, all of which consistently rank highly in the best seller categories, she has also written several non-fiction books with a close friend and fellow author under the names of Sandra Rose & Jeanette Simone.

Rage by Netta Newbound is out today and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen. @MsTamarCohen #StopAtNothing @PenguinUKBooks @annecater #PsychThriller

As a big Tammy Cohen fan I was delighted to be asked to be part of the blog tour and jumped at the chance to read her new book, Stop At Nothing.

Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for asking me to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of the book from the publishers, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Tammy Cohen is an author I love, but not all of her books have been great. Tammy has written under other names, including Tamar Cohen and Rachel Rhys so it is quite possible you have read a book by the author without realising it.

I was excited to read Stop At Nothing, not only did the blurb sound good but I have read some crackingly good psychological thrillers from the author before.

As parents we want to protect our children, so I could totally empathise with Tess who struggled when her daughter was attacked on her way home late one night. A horrible situation and as Tess was already fragile thanks to her recent marriage breakdown and redundancy.

There was a lot to like about Stop At Nothing but I really disliked Tess, sure she had been through a tough time but she was full of self pity and self obsession that at times I wanted to shout at her. Not to mention how blinkered and obsessive she was.

I also thought that had it all figured out quite early on and wanted the book to hurry up and tell me whether I was right or not.

But, having said that, I enjoyed reading Stop At Nothing, it was well written, well researched and was an interesting story that was even more interesting after I read the acknowledgments at the end.

One more thing I will say about Tess is that she has very good taste in dog names, her dog is called Dotty which is the same as my dog. It was a bit strange reading about her Dotty, especially at certain points but you’ll get that when you read the book.

If you like psychological thrillers then Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen is a good book for you. I do think the author has written better books but don’t let that put you off.

Blurb:

A mother’s job is to keep her children safe.

Tess has always tried to be a good mother. Of course, there are things she wishes she’d done differently, but doesn’t everyone feel that way?

Then Emma, her youngest, is attacked on her way home from a party, plunging them into a living nightmare which only gets worse when the man responsible is set free

But what if she fails?

So when Tess sees the attacker in the street near their home, she is forced to take matters into her own hands. But blinded by her need to protect her daughter at any cost, might she end up putting her family in even greater danger?

There’s nothing she wouldn’t do to make it right . . .

About The Author:

Tammy Cohen (who previously wrote under her formal name Tamar Cohen) has a growing backlist of acclaimed novels of domestic noir including:The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, and Someone Else’s Wedding. 

Her break-out psychological suspense thriller was The Broken, followed by Dying for Christmas, First One Missing and When She Was Bad. 

She lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one badly behaved dog. 

Chat with her on Twitter @MsTamarCohen

Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen is out on 18th July 2019 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, series

#BlogTour #BookReview The Girl In The Grave by Helen Phifer. @helenphifer1 @bookouture #TheGirlInTheGrave #BooksOnTour

When I heard that Helen Phifer had a new series coming out I knew that I wanted to read it, although I was slightly miffed that she was not writing another book in the Detective Lucy Harwin series that I enjoy reading! But all is forgiven.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

This book starts with a bang when what should be a routine exhumation turns into something far more sinister when they find a body that had been under the now removed coffin. Detective Josh Walker is called to investigate the unexpected body, aided by Beth Adams, the pathologist who will examine the body.

Things quickly take a turn for the worst when another young woman goes missing and it is clear that the two were taken by the same man. Will they manage to find the second woman before it’s too late?

We quickly find out that there is more to Josh and Beth than a working relationship, after Josh helped rescue Beth from an attack that changed her life in many ways.

I really liked Beth as a character, there was something about her that I really liked and identified with. We found out less about Josh but he seems to be a promising character.

As always with Helen Phifer books, The Girl In The Grave is fast paced, easy to read and thrilling. It always takes a few books in a new series to properly settle in and become part of a the readers lives and for the characters to feel like part of our world, but I can see Beth settling into my character family very quickly.

I will most definitely be reading more books in this series and pretty much any book by Helen Phifer.

 Blurb:

At least they’d found her. Once the site was processed and the girl’s body removed, they’d be able to identify her so that her family could give her the burial she deserved. This innocent girl was far too young to be lying in a grave, crushed under the weight of someone else’s coffin…

When the body of a teenage girl is found hidden inside a stranger’s grave in a small-town cemetery in the Lake District, an urgent call is made to Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams. One look at the beautiful girl’s broken body is enough to bring Beth out of hiding for the first time since an attempt on her own life…

Beth doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that the victim was found the same day a threatening gift was left on the doorstep of her secluded home. Her instincts are telling her that it’s a trap, that she should run for safety. But she knows she’s the only one with the expertise to help her trusted friend, Detective Josh Walker, crack the most shocking case of his career.

The tiny traces of material Beth finds beneath the victim’s fingernails is the break in the case the team need to chase down this twisted killer. But this critical lead comes at a dangerous price, exposing Beth’s whereabouts and dragging her back into the line of fire once again.

With Beth’s own life on the line, the investigation is already cracking under the pressure. Then another local girl goes missing… Can Beth stay alive long enough to catch the killer before he claims his next victim?

An absolutely gripping new crime thriller that will grab fans of Patricia Gibney, LJ Ross and Angela Marsons from the very first page and leave them gasping for breath by the last.

 

 

About The Author:

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children. 

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own. 

Author Social Media Links: 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

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

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

 

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07QQ34JBXSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Phxl95

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2IE3SEY

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/APUL30osVA4

5*, blog tours, book review, crime thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview Child’s Play by Angela Marsons. #ChildsPlay #CrimeThriller @bookouture #BooksOnTour @WriteAngie

Woohoo!!! I was so so so excited to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons. It’s hard to believe it is the ELEVENTH book in the DI Kim Stone but this one is definitely one of my favourites.

I received a copy of Child’s Play by Angela Marsons from the publisher, Bookouture. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

It’s hard to believe that this is book eleven in the Detective Inspector Kim Stone series. There are not many series that are still going strong after this many books but Angela Marsons is one special author.

All the books in the series could be read as a standalone book but to be honest if you did that then you would be missing out, because these books really are worth reading. The characters have become friends and I have loved reading as they have grown over the series.

I find that all the books in the Kim Stone series suck me in but this one did a particularly good job of it, I was only a few percent in when I was spending far too long reading late into the night. I also found the subject matter fascinating, the child genius’ and the pressure put on them and the long lasting consequences of that.

As a wannabe writing I envy the way Marsons is able to weave the story and the process Stone and her team work out the case and piece it all together.

There was much to love about this book, it was clever and it kept me guessing and wondering and thinking. This is definitely my favourite book series of all time.

Blurb:

Child’s Play: A totally unputdownable serial killer thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Book 11)

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear.

Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. 

The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. As Kim and her team search her home, they find an overnight bag packed and begin to unravel a complex relationship between Belinda and her sister Veronica.

Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event. 

With DS Penn immersed in the murder case of a young man, Kim and her team are already stretched and up against one of the most ruthless killers they’ve ever encountered. The clues lie in investigating every child who attended the tournaments, dating back decades.

Faced with hundreds of potential leads and a bereaved sister who is refusing to talk, can Kim get inside the mind of a killer and stop another murder before it’s too late?

The addictive new crime thriller from multi-million copy, number one bestseller Angela Marsons explores the dark side of child prodigies and will have you absolutely hooked.

About The Author:


Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.

Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons is out now and is available from:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07QPKB7N7Social Apple Books: https://buff.ly/30pdrgA Kobo: https://buff.ly/2xBmVsJ Googleplay: https://buff.ly/2LIPf4I

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge. @crmcgeorge @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @CanalRiverTrust ‏

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge. This is a creepy tale that kept me guessing right to the end.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for asking me to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge from the publisher. I was under no obligation to read the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I was quite excited to read Now You See Me, it sounded different and intriguing and like a book that I would enjoy reading.

The story focuses on Robin, a man who thought he was happily married until one day his wife disappeared. Years went by and he heard nothing about his wife until one day he got a phone call from a man in prison who said he had information about his wife.

Of course it wasn’t going to be so simple, he would only give the information in exchange for Robin helping him prove his innocence to a crime that he insists he did not commit.

Without pausing to think things through Robin went straight to Standedge, the town that Matthew was from and where the crime was meant to have happened. It doesn’t take long for Robin to discover that the town is still reeling from the crime and are suspicious of anyone asking about it.

But driven to find out what really happened in the Standedge canal so he can get the information he so desperately wants. This desperation gets him into a fair bit of trouble

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard about Standedge and the incredibly long canal tunnel that takes two hours to pass through, but having Googled some photos and read this book, I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to go on a boat tour through the tunnel! It certainly looks creepy and so provides the perfect setting for this spooky story.

It is definitely a tense read, and one that kept me guessing throughout. The writing is very atmospheric and I could visualise the tunnel and nearby village well. Would I want to visit the area having read the book? Hell no!

Inside the Standedge Canal. Photo from the Canal River Trust.

Blurb:

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robin Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robin has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case?

About The Author:

Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

​Social Media / Website LinksTwitter: @crmcgeorge ​www.festivalofblood.wordpress.co.uk

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

And if you fancy a trip down the Standedge Canal check out the Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre for more information.

4*, blog tours, book review, series

#BookReview #BlogTour Whisper In The Night by DK Hood. @bookouture #BooksOnTour @DKHood_Author

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for one of my favourite series. These books just get better and better! You can read my reviews of previous books in the series here.

I received a copy of Whisper In The Night by DK Hood from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I’m a big fan of this series, and although the books can be read as standalone books I think that the reader really would get more out of this book if they had read as least some of the previous books. And frankly, if you haven’t read them then you are missing out!

I really like Jenna Alton, Sheriff for a small town in America. The setting is great, it is isolated but big enough to keep the Sheriff busy and the scenery and weather become characters themselves.

Poor Jenna regularly attracts attention from people would wouldn’t want, her job means that her life is often at risk and she has to use all of her skills to keep herself safe. She is lucky to have two deputy’s that will fight to keep her safe.

Which is lucky when the latest killer comes to town, picking on teenagers from the town the Sheriff department think they have a serial killer on the loose, but they have no idea at the lengths the killer will go to as they begin to suspect that Jenna herself might just be the target.

Jenna and her team race to find the killer, desperate to save the missing girls who are being killed off and some pretty gruesome ways. Once again as I read this book I wondered about the author and just how she comes up with these twisted storylines, because they really are twisted!

If you’ve read previous books in this series you will know how this book will go, but the middle bit is a thrilling ride that will keep you guessing and desperate to read more. And if you haven’t read any of this series, then why on earth not?

Blurb:

She opens her eyes and struggles to make out the dark room around her. One thing she knows instantly – her wrists are bound and she’s tied to a chair, unable to move. As she screams for help, she hears footsteps outside. He’s coming…

Fifteen-year-old Lindy Rosen has been having nightmares for weeks, waking in a panic, screaming that there’s a man in her room watching her sleep. Her parents assumed it was her overactive imagination, but when one morning they find Lindy missing from her bedroom, they’re not so sure. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.

Within hours of the schoolgirl going missing, the kidnapper reaches out to Jenna with a video of Lindy bound and tied to a chair, crying to be set free. And a simple message – you’ve got 24 hours to find her or I kill her.

Jenna’s team work around the clock to try to find Lindy before the deadline, but time runs out, and Jenna receives a devastating message. The killer has made good on his promise. He’s playing a dangerous game. And no one knows what his next move will be.

But just two days later, one of Lindy’s school friends is taken in the middle of the night and the countdown begins again.

Completely addictive from the very start, if you like Lisa Regan, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott you’ll love Whisper in the Night.

**Each Kane and Alton book can be read as part of the series or as a standalone**

About The Author:

I’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 

Whisper In The Night by DK Hood is out now and is available from:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07Q1DXRJFSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2TUjzPh

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2UVtS1U 

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/D5m630oaNFD