Tamworth Literary Festival Brings to Life the Written Word

 

litfest-logo

Tamworth LitFest 2017 Celebrates the Written Word

Tamworth’s inaugural Literary Festival (3-11 March 2017), has LOTS to interest fans of all genres and  includes theatre, live stand-up and more!

Opening Night

bookshopme2-carol-wyerCarol E Wyer, who writes both humorous and thriller fiction, will be opening the festival at 7.00pm on Friday 3rd March at Tamworth Central Methodist Church with her signature stand-up routine alongside Birmingham’s Ministry of Improv (tickets £5 per head). Carol’s recent release, Little Girl Lost, a serial killer novel, reached number 2 in Amazon’s digital download charts.

An Evening with Author Mike Gayle

Meet Romantic Fiction author Mike Gayle on Monday 6th March. Mike, the author of twelve novels including Mr mg_colourCommitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here, will be at Tamworth Town Hall at 7.00pm (£4 per head). Mike  became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend in 1997, which was hailed by The Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by The Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic.’

20 Years of Not Being Published…

poultonsmith2_400x400On Tuesday 7th March local Author Anthony Poulton-Smith presents… 20 Years of Not Being Published. The author of 74 published works, Anthony offers tips and advice based on his mistakes and experiences. The event takes place in Tamworth Central Library at 1.00pm (£3 per ticket).

A Case of Mistaken Identity…

Shoebox Theatre’s performance of the medieval ballad/mummers play King Edward IV and a Tannertanner-of-tamworth-image-project-gutenberg of Tamworth, has its own suspected crime scene. Witness how the hapless Tanner mistakes the king for a common thief and has to face the consequences for his error! The performance takes place at 7.00pm on the evening of Wednesday 8th March at the Central Methodist Church in Tamworth. Tickets priced £4 per person.

Author Crime Panel

crime-panel-thursday-march-9th-lf-2017A Crime Panel, chaired by Gary Hyde a former policeman takes place on Thursday 9th March. The panel comprises:

Crime fiction writer Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings from Poirot);

Chris Collett, whose latest publication A Good Death continues the compulsive series of books based in Birmingham, featuring DI Tom Mariner;

Stephen Booth, who writes the iconic Cooper and Fry series set in the Peak District, and

True crime author Gordon Lowe, whose most recent publication examines the notorious Black Panther.

The panel will examine the similarities and differences of writing crime fiction and true crime. The event, which takes place in The Globe Inn, Tamworth at 7.00 pm, costs £5 per head.

The Origins and Meanings of Local Pub Names

On Friday 10th March local Author Anthony Poulton-Smith looks at the Origins and Meanings of Local Pub Names. The event takes place in Tamworth Castle (£3 per ticket, payable at the door).

Thriller Panel

helen-website-pic11204

A free to attend Thriller Panel takes place at 2.00 pm Saturday 11th March in St Editha’s Church Hall, featuring AA Abbott and Rob rob-sinclairSinclair. AA Abbott writes addictive crime thrillers about murder and mayhem, often set in Birmingham and the City of London. Her latest novel The Vodka Trail is available in e-book and dyslexia-friendly paperback. Rob Sinclair is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan. His latest release is the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments.

Free to Attend Book Blasts and More!

book-blasts-jpeg-2017

J A Heron, author of the Erotic Thriller, 30 Days, and Ian Cawley, author of Gnosis, a Techno/Political Thriller, are just some of the 20+ authors at the festival’s two free Book Blasts in St Editha’s Church Hall on Saturday 4th and Saturday 11th March.

Other authors and genres include: Lucy Felthouse (Erotic Romance), Simon Goodwin (Horror), Pat Spence (Young Adult Paranormal and Romance), Sara Read (Women’s History), Vivian Khan (Cookery and poetry), Heide Goody (humour and paranormal), Sharon Rose (Inspirational and Self-Help) and representatives from New Street Authors (true crime, paranormal, horror, Steam Punk and more).

New Street Authors will also be holding a writing and self and indie publishing session, How Indie Authors Took Over the World, covering how you can turn your ideas into books (March 4th) and a DIY guide to Punk Publishing (11 March). Both sessions are free to attend.

Pop into the Book Blasts anytime between 10am-4.pm to meet authors, publishers and poets for advice and chat. Many books will be on offer and there will be FREE refreshments. To help us plan for the day you can register on our Eventbrite pages:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-more-tickets-31221992821?aff=es2

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-thriller-panel-more-tickets-31409986114?aff=es2

tamworth-festival-flyer-nsa

 

To Book Tickets

To book tickets telephone 07562 653565/07913 686295 or email tamlitfest@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/TamworthLiteraryFestival/

Image of King Edward IV and the Tanner of Tamworth courtesy of Project Gutenberg

 

**Blog Tour w/REVIEW** Abigail’s Affair (Looking for Love #1) by Pat Spence

 

Reasoning that absence makes the heart grow fonder and attempting to force her married lover’s hand, 30 -year old Abigail Aske decides to visit an old friend in Australia.

 


But staying with a 6’2”Amazonian fitness freak proves something of a challenge, as does maintaining ‘no contact’ with Jake, not to mention resisting other tempting ‘offers’.


Set against a wonderful Australian backdrop, with a host of quirky, emotionally dysfunctional characters, Abigail’s Affair tells of a woman’s search for love and happiness, revealing the highs and lows of having an affair, and showing how the experience of travel becomes a voyage of self-discovery, with surprising results.



A story of love, lies, betrayal and hope…

 

 

For anyone who is having an affair, has had an affair or is thinking of having an affair, this book is ESSENTIAL reading…
 
***********************************************************
You can grab e-book for FREE until end of blog tour
***********************************************************


 





Author Bio 




Pat Spence has worked as freelance writer for the past eighteen years and, prior to that, as a copywriter within advertising agencies. She has also worked as a magazine editor and freelance trainer, teaching public speaking and personal development, using a holistic approach within a business framework. In addition, she is a qualified massage therapist and aromatherapist, reads Tarot cards and is learning banjo.
 


One Click Links
 


Follow on Facebook


Pats facebook page
 
 
Giveaway 


A Red Crystal Necklace
Signed paperback
Amazon Giftcard

 
 
 

 

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

 

I enjoyed this rom-com/contemporary romance as it has some great humour, cringe-worthy moments, flawed characters, a great setting, as well as some serious, emotional scenes too. It is full of surprises, with many characters to either love or dislike; many of whom have their own tale to tell, intertwining with the overall story.

 

To tell a story of the lead female character having an affair with a married man is quite brave in my eyes. The story begins with the reader not fully liking Abigail as we are met with her ‘sinful’ side, with no real understanding of how she came to be in that situation. The reader will certainly be surprised just how much they will come round and begin to like Abigail as the story moves on. Although, I must admit the first cringe-worthy moment for me is when the reader realises that Abigail’s lover, Jake, and his wife are expecting their second child! My head certainly rolled at this, and I became a little dubious of rooting for Abigail.

 

However, aside from wanting to know how life was going to pan out for Abigail and Jake, the one other thing that kept me reading is the way in which the story is written. The writing is fantastic, with perfect fluidity and easy to follow. Written in first person, the reader soon realises Abigail’s constant doubts of herself and the relationship. And, before you know it, Abigail is on a new adventure in Australia, visiting Melbourne and Sydney, and meeting many an interesting person, at the same time as seeing some amazing scenery in the mountains, by the sea, and visiting landmarks and museums. The reader will really get a feel for the place, whether they have visited it themselves or not.

 

Abigail was a little lost and lonely after the death of her sister. Although she has her parents, they are still grieving and constantly worried about Abigail’s safety, thus suffocating her. During this time, her best friend, Ros, was leaving for a new life in Australia. Her colleague, Jake, was all she had; the only constant in her life that she could talk to. Listening to him everyday overtime made him more and more familiar and warmer.

 

Despite the situation with Jake’s home life, Abigail’s desperation to be close to someone was at an all time high, and Jake was falling for her. Looking at the situation from the outside, we can gauge that she is in a mess and needs support, affection. But, in the thick of it all, Abigail sees only what is in front of her; someone who listens, someone who is kind, and someone who desires her.

 

Jake is hot and certainly has his pull on Abigail. She desires him when he isn’t there, longing for his touch. Knowing that he may not end his relationship with his wife, Tiffany, is killing her. And so it seems a great idea to distance herself away from him. This would provide him with an opportunity to either leave Tiffany, or leave her.

 

Going to Australia certainly opens up the story, and the colourful characters that we find ourselves acquainted with help make Abigail’s Affair a fun read. Not the trip she was expecting at first; Abigail finds herself having disputes with Ros, making friends with Ros’s housemate, Miranda, staying with her mum’s famous art friend in Sydney, and meeting new fellows in Bill and ‘cuddly’ Melvyn!

 

Bill was certainly more than a handful. I must admit that although attractive to some, there were some scenes with Bill that made me feel a little sick! He definitely isn’t my type, but his scenes stand out and still provide fun.

 

Abigail’s Affair is the story of a woman who is lost; she has made some silly choices and truly wants to learn what her best options are. Her time away was meant to open up the eyes of Jake, forcing him to decide once and for all between her and Tiffany. However, after meeting new people and experiencing new territories, friendships and situations it is Abigail’s eyes that begin to open, and the transformation to be a much more decisive Abigail is fantastic.

 

Reviewed by Caroline Barker
 

Review Round-up Aug ’15

Hi readers, Love certainly has been in the air for us this summer at A Reader’s Review Blog! I know romance is usually at the core of many of the stories we review, but this summer I have been left with a calm, serene and warm feeling, especially after just reviewing Laurette Long’s HOT BASQUE! Katherine McIntyre’s SOUL SOLUTION certainly left a mark on me, and Laura Barnard’s DOPEY WOMEN will have you in stitches, as well as enjoying a dangerous romance!

Tina has been reviewing some dark erotica books with Annika Martin & Skye Warren’s PRISONER, and HER MASTER’S COURTESAN by Lily White. Please note that the latter is most certainly not a romance though, and is definitely for the Adult 18yrs+ reader!

To meet your paranormal needs, along with Soul Solution (Katherine McIntyre), we have SOUL RELEASE, the last of C.J. Pinard’s Rebel Riders series, as well as a YA paranormal fantasy in Pat Spence’s TRUE BLUE (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2).

And if mystery, crime and thriller are calling we have Niki Danforth’s STUNNER, and SILENCE OF A STRANGER by Elizabeth Bailey.

We hope you enjoy our selection. (As always, please click on the titles for more info and to read our reviews!)

Caroline & Tina 🙂

soul solutionsSoul Solution (Beyond Fairytales #1) (novelette) by Katherine McIntyre, dark paranormal/romantic suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

Lily whiteHer Master’s Courtesan by Lily White, dark erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: (N.B. This is not a romance novel. Adults 18yrs +)

I am a Master.

You must know this fact to understand my story.

I capture women.

I break them down.

And I rebuild them.

If they are lucky, they are sold into the professional hands of another Master. If they are less fortunate, they are buried beneath the ground, never to be thought of again.

I lust for the control, I demand absolute submission and my body yearns to warp the minds of those I train.

Power is the only thing I’ll ever need and I am addicted to the feeling of ultimate control.

I am wealthy, good-looking, educated and charming.

And I am – in no way – a good man.

I do not want love.
I do not want kindness.

She thought she could change me by giving me the two things I knew I never wanted.

She was wrong.

23303963Prisoner by Annika Martin & Skye Warren, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell. But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think. And you might crave him more than your next breath.
 
Prisoner is Book One of the Criminals & Captives series.

DOPEY WOMEN

Dopey Women by Laura Barnard, contemporary romantic comedy/chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sadie had a bumpy upbringing but she’s still managed to drag herself out and carve a career for herself. That all comes crashing down when she, along with the women she manages; Mags, Lexi & Steph, get made redundant. She’s screwed. In hindsight she shouldn’t have attacked her colleague in a moment of rage. There goes the reference.

When they all bump into each other a few months later at the job centre Sadie finds she’s not the only one in a hole. Steph’s boyfriend has left her holding the baby, Lexi’s stuck in an abusive relationship and poor Mags has breast cancer. They’re all struggling to keep on top of their bills. They all need money to get out of their situations, its as simple as that.

Mags mentions that some women find marijuana helps ease the sickness caused by chemo. With the desperation mounting and the coffee spurring them on they somehow decide to start growing it. They’re only going to sell to ladies going through chemo, so its not too bad, right? They’re not going to be proper drug dealers. And its only temporary.

They didn’t bet on the business taking off so well though. Before they know it they’ve got orders coming out of their ears, a sexy detective on their trail, suspicious neighbours and drug dealers angry they’re working on their patch.

Can Sadie pull them out of this dangerous world they’ve found themselves in? And can she do it before they end up in prison?

STUNNER, Niki Danforth - CoverStunner (An Accidental Lady Detective series – A Ronnie Lake Mystery #1) by Niki Danforth, mystery crime thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Beautiful. Bright. And possibly deadly…

That’s all Ronnie Lake knows about her soon to be sister-in-law, Juliana. But Ronnie is determined to find out the truth about her wealthy brother’s new lover—before he throws away his happiness, his fortune…maybe even his life. Who is this mysterious woman, and where did she come from? What is she hiding? And how deep could the deception go?

First the family receives strange phone calls. Then a disturbing package appears at their estate outside New York City. Ronnie—a divorced, downsized, 50-something—seems an unlikely detective. But she soon finds she’s got an instinct for this type of work, as she falls ever deeper into a sinister world where people will do anything to escape their past. And Juliana may be the most desperate of them all.

True BlueTrue Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence, YA paranormal romance/fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

lunchtime eavesdropperLunchtime Eavesdropper (short story) by Joanie Chevalier, contemporary psychological drama/self-belief chick-lit/humour (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Meet Marlee, a woman who lives a comfortable but simple life with her loving partner, the adorable Larry. She discovers that covertly listening in on other people’s conversations during lunch hour excites her and adds to her otherwise humble life. When she overhears unpleasant gossip about herself, she becomes obsessed with changing her personality and makes the bad decision to become someone she’s not. After her total makeover, Marlee suddenly finds herself basking in the attention of her co-workers and is ecstatic when she’s finally invited to sit at the “popular” table at work. But is a personality change really worth the price? Is being popular worth losing herself, possibly the love of her life and/or redefining her own definition of happiness?

Come and take part in Marlee’s life, even though it’s only for a short time, and experience her yearning to belong and be accepted for who she is. You may be surprised by the unexpected twist in her story.

statelypleasures (2)Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse, erotic ménage (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Three’s a magic number in this steamy love triangle set in a British stately home. Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs. Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal. When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.

Soul Release - Rebel Riders 3Soul Release (Rebel Riders #3) by C.J. Pinard, paranormal romance/urban fantasy (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: His heart wants love. His mind craves revenge. His soul needs peace.

Faced with the horrible reality that he’s been tricked by Eva, Nolan sets off in a mad rage to find the evil red-haired succubus and end her once and for all. When the search for her falls flat, he turns to Kovah and the Rebel Riders for help. Not only fueled by wrath, a now sudden fear and sadness has also overtaken his heart: Where is his love, Charity?

With Joel Reichert searching deep for what the Justice Department knows about the supernatural of New Orleans, he’s not going to be of any help to Nolan – especially once Nolan finds out what Kovah and the Riders are planning for Joel and his hotel of vampires.

Can they all work together to find Charity and rid Louisiana of her evil succubus sister once and for all? Or will pride, egos, and longstanding feuds and hatred tear them all apart before she can be found?

Find out in this third and final instalment of the Rebel Riders Series.

silence of a strangerSilence of a Stranger (novella) by Elizabeth Bailey, romantic suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Secrets, danger and an enigmatic stranger, a twentieth century mystery romance.

Is Bea’s life more at risk than her disobedient heart?

SILENCE OF A STRANGER

Her car broken down, Bea Russell goes for help and walks straight into hell. Three armed men and no answers. Held captive, strip searched, her dignity in shreds, Bea is horrified when she responds to the attraction of the man who grabbed her out of the dark.

Who is the fugitive Rad? Escaped rapist or spy? No one will talk. Yet Bea is forced to share the danger, fleeing across rough fields in the deep night hours. At a deserted house by the sea, she looks fate in the eye. One wrong move could change her life forever.

COVER HOT BASQUEHot Basque (A French Summer Novel #2) by Laurette Long, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Sit back with a glass of chilled rosé and let yourself be carried away to the white sands and pounding surf of the French Basque coast. What could be more relaxing? Find out what’s going on at the Villa Julia, where Caroline and her honey are enjoying the song of the crickets, the glow of the stars and happy romps in the boudoir. Caroline is also doing some matchmaking between best friend Jill and the hot Basque himself, Antoine, he of the smouldering eyes and perfect teeth. And Annabel the sister from hell, is miles away, no need to fret about her. What could be more idyllic? Not a cloud on the horizon…well, maybe it’s looking a bit black to the north, but nothing to worry about, surely??

**REVIEW** True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2) by Pat Spence

I had to read Book 2 in The Blue Crystal Trilogy, True Blue, after enjoying Blue Moon (book 1) so much! After book 1 being likened to the ‘Twilight’ saga, albeit without vamps and weres I have found both of these books intriguing to read. The relationship Bella has to Edward’s family in Twilight, is very similar to that of Emily and Theo in Blue Crystal! Young and mature fans will love this supernatural fantasy series! Blue Moon (book 1) is now FREE at Amazon.

True BlueTitle: True Blue (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #2)

Author: Pat Spence

Genre: YA paranormal romance, fantasy

Release date: May 29th, 2015

Length: 250 pages

Blurb: As the word ‘tomb’ came into my head and my predicament hit home, I lost control and hammered on the lid, screaming ‘Help, get me out of here’ over and over, until my throat hurt…

In just two weeks, Emily must undergo the blue crystal initiation ceremony or face death from the secret order that protects it. But is she ready to spend eternity with the beautiful and irresistible Theo de Lucis, or can best friend, Seth, offer an alternative? And can she stay alive long enough to make the decision?

As Emily considers her future, she becomes an unwitting pawn in a dangerous game of life and death, caught up in a supernatural world of ancient enemies, old grievances and dark forces. Tested to the limit, she must draw deep to ensure her survival.

Heart-rending and horrifying, True Blue is the second book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, with a colourful cast of characters, a fast-moving plot and surprises at every turn. Keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens next….

An old enemy of the de Lucis family waits in the shadows, desperate for the crystal and preparing to exact a terrible price…

REVIEW

The fantastic story of the Blue Crystal continues with True Blue, book 2. This is another delightful read as we follow Emily’s adventure with Theo. As she already knows too much about the crystal she must undergo an initiation ceremony and become an immortal herself, otherwise she could face death by those who protect it to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands!

The story is split into three parts: teenage life, disappearance and rescue. The first section has a lighter, relaxing feel as it concentrates on Emily’s everyday life with her mother and her school friends, Seth and Tash. Many readers will love Seth’s sense of humour as we are subjected to his off-the-cuff remarks. He simply oozes fun! Tash also indirectly adds to this; she is so obsessed with how she looks that she goes to the extent of having botox and collagen, which ultimately ends with her face becoming expressionless! Although it does have it’s use at times! We are also introduced to Emily’s mother’s new fellow, Juke, who proves to be a fascinating character as the story moves on.

Emily’s initiation is becoming increasingly closer, and although her deepest desire is to be with Theo forever, she does have doubts about leaving normal life behind. Does she really want a deep, intense relationship with the love of her life, when sometimes she can barely breathe? Or, should she remain a mortal where she can be more relaxed and jovial with her family and friends? Who knows, maybe her and Seth could make a go of it? There are feelings there on both sides, albeit more on Seth’s!

With a prom to look forward to Emily can pretty much take her pick on who to go with. Although this does not register to Theo, who naturally expected to be the one to take her. There is a touching moment when Viyesha explains lovingly to him how such a huge change – the initiation – will affect Emily. She will be saying goodbye to the life she is used to in many ways; she won’t be growing old with her family and friends. This is Emily’s last chance to do something normal.

With the prom over abruptly, the story then begins to get darker, and not all in the de Lucis’ household can be trusted! Emily’s life is in imminent danger, and her best friend, Tash, has also got caught up in the turn of events as they both get kidnapped!

From hereon in there is plenty of action, suspense, with a dark, almost eerie atmosphere. The ‘feeders’ are certainly very gruesome and will make you shudder and cringe. The Dark One and his minions find ways to take the crystal, and one way is to take Emily. He longs to turn into his human form once again, and his only chance is to get hold of the crystal. In order to do this, he summons Mr. Nelson to carry out his evil tasks.

“… the time has come for action. I need the crystal. I have waited too long in the shadows, without form or function, and Viyesha has enjoyed the wealth and power that was rightfully mine for too long. Bring me the girl. The family cannot stand back and let her endure the tortures of the void. Once I have her, I will exploit their weakness.”

Although Mr. Nelson hears the Dark One, he doesn’t see him. Instead, it is the feeders that are present. The creepy, slimy, dark slug-like masses.

“… He couldn’t see the owner of the hissing, reptilian voice, but he could see what the chamber contained. Surrounding him on all sides and suspended high up in the vaults, he saw row upon row of strange black creatures, dark and malevolent, their glittering eyes watching all around him, he was filled with a loathing and dread so powerful he thought his head would explode.”

And, then there’s the brilliance of the shapeshifters, who sometimes make you wonder exactly whose side they’re on, which makes for great tense and fearful moments that are exhilarating. Not only that, but love also blossoms in unexpected places between other characters. I wonder where that will lead to!

Two new fascinating characters are introduced in True Blue in Juke and Bellynda La Drach! Australian Juke is Emily’s mothers new partner. He showed up in the village, Hartswell-on-the-Hill, as a hippy type, with a guitar. Emily is glad to see her mum happy, especially since the death of her Grandad, even though at times she knows that something doesn’t sit quite right with him. This provides the reader with curiosity, and I for one couldn’t wait to discover more about him! The de Lucis family were sent Bellynda La Drach after they expressed concerns of the blue crystal’s safety. She is present to keep the crystal and the family safe from harm. However, she is not very heart-warming, but rather cold and flippant. She will leave you wondering just whose side she is on. But one of the most interesting sides of her character is that she is a shapeshifter, and she is brilliant during the action and fight scenes, regardless who side she’s on!

Yes, True Blue is an excitingly, nice paced story, as was book 1. I can’t wait to read more about the characters and what becomes of them in Book 3.

A copy of True Blue was provided by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

True Blue is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Blue MoonYou can also check out my review on the first book of the trilogy, Blue Moon.

Blue Moon blurb: “Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

Buy links for Blue Moon, now FREE on Amazon:- AMAZON UK and AMAZON US

CAKETina and myself had the absolute pleasure of meeting Pat Spence at the Second City Signing in July. We had a lovely chat about the Blue Crystal books, and her contemporary romance, Abigail’s Affair. She was accompanied by her assistant, Tracie Smith-Band, who is also very talented in making jewellery and beautiful bookmarks, which blended in with the Blue Crystal books perfectly. Plus, there was also a cake of Blue Moon made by a fan, which was way too delicious to eat!

Pat Spence Tracie Smith-Band twcb

Caroline’s Top Reads 2014

Hi readers, it’s that time of year again when Tina and myself have lots of fun going through our reviews of the past year and choose our favourites to share with you! And, wow, there are so many it is difficult to narrow them down!Australian xmas card (2)

This is the end of our second full year and we cannot thank you all enough for following us and sharing our posts. We have made so many friends, be they authors, bloggers, agents, publishers and more, it has been overwhelming. We have received our first Christmas card from Australia (pictured), which was an absolute pleasure to receive. It’s amazing to see the sun and summer holiday reminders when the usual card for us is full of snow, log fires and dark evenings.

We hope that you have had a great year and are looking forward to the festive season. We are looking forward to sharing it with you. And I hope that you enjoy us sharing our favourite reads. Tina’s Top Reads will also be coming your way very soon. And here are mine!

Please click on the titles for my full review and much more info!

Contemporary Romance

Books of this genre and some contemporary rom-coms have been a big hit for me this year, and Helena Fairfax’s The Silk Romance was an absolute pleasure to read. It was written so beautifully, powerfully and thoughtfully, and certainly a read you will not forget! It is a Cinderella-type story that is highly intense and completely grips the reader. I have also likened it to some high-profile romance movies in my review as some aspects are similar and captivating!

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras is a short story of love and loss, but with the possibility of finding new love after. It is, again, very powerful and emotive, beginning as quite a dark and realistic read (although fiction). Taking only around an hour to read, it was one of my favourite reading hours of the year!

Contemporary Rom-Coms

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)As well as the serious side of romance, it is always uplifting and refreshing to read some fun reads, even though they still hold a serious undertone. The book that enlightened me in this manner is C.J. Pinard’s Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3). It is my favourite book of the Duty & Desire series. It is a light-hearted, fun and cheeky read. And I love how C.J. Pinard follows both Miranda’s career, as well as her romances, and at the same time the reader sees a different side to the friendship that Miranda has with Cara.

An Autumn CrushWanting to read a seasonal book at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. It was a Bridget Jones style read, with plenty of humour and a real feel-good and refreshing feel that really captured the time of year. And with some sombre storylines for some characters it has an awful lot going on, but is still relaxing and fun to read.

Historical Romance

Summer in RyeLucy Oliver’s novella Summer in Rye is an incredibly intense short story, with power and the ability to grip the reader. Following a new governess to children that have been badly affected by smallpox, and a master that is tyrannical, Eva only has one choice: to turn to the master’s brother, who was once engaged to her. Passion reignites between these two, but after he lied before, can Eva really accept him back?

Paranormal

Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5)To top off my favourite paranormal reads is Tim O’Rourke’s Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5). Last year the first of the series, Vampire Seeker, was one of my favourites, and again this series has really thrilled me. It has everything from vamps, shifters, action/adventure and time travel! The romance and passion is also very intense, making for a very HOT read! This is a series not to be missed, and I cannot wait to review Vampire Watchmen (Samantha Carter #2) in the new year!

And, not always a huge fan of short stories, this year has certainly changed my point of view. I used to think that to create great characters that full novels would be more fulfilling. However, there are a number of short stories in my top reads this year and a certain series of short stories really blew my mind – Alisa Woods’ True Alpha series. There are six shifter stories, which follow Mia and shifter Lucas, their attraction and heat for each other! Yet, the dilemma is that Lucas lost his last mate, and being to close to another is just not an option. But, when rival shifters kidnap Mia, Lucas has to face his true feelings. Each story is complete with action, heat and intensity. Shifter fans will LOVE this series. Here are the links to each review:-

Desired (True Alpha #1)

Guarded (True Alpha #2)

Hunted (True Alpha #3)

Captured (True Alpha #4)

Sacrificed (True Alpha #5)

Claimed (True Alpha #6)

I am also hoping to review another short A True Alpha Christmas over the coming days before the big day. And, in the new year Alisa Woods will be releasing her Dark Alpha short story series!

Soul RebelNow, for my second entry of author C.J. Pinard we have Soul Rebel. This is my favourite novel of C.J.’s. With plenty of action, suspense and romance it really does have it all. The characters and storyline are brilliant. Nolan loses his soul during a kiss with a female succubus in a nightclub and he only has 7 days to claim his soul back! Time constraints cause the tension and really make the pace quick. Plus there are many surprises which make it an exciting read.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Recommended for the younger adult (15yrs+) Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal trilogy #1) by Pat Spence is an enchanting and fairytale-like read with supernatural mystery and horror. It is highly recommended to fans of the Twilight saga, but without the vamps. It follows the idea of eternal youth, ancient links and an attraction between Emily (17) and the handsome Theo. It is highly emotive, with a great eerie atmosphere as the reader gets sucked in to the mystery. Blue Moon is a fantastic beginning to this trilogy.

Horror

Moonshine (The Moon Trilogy, #3)This year saw the final instalment of Tim O’Rourke’s Moon trilogy, Moonshine (The Moon trilogy, #3). A paranormal horror series that has it all; action and adventure, vamps, weres, heart-warming moments and plenty of surprises. The running theme through the trilogy is whether or not vamps and weres can exist in peace together. Or, will they both have to try and annihilate each other? Will the love of Winnie be enough to hold it all together? (Clicking on the links for books 2 and 3 may spoil the storyline for those who haven’t read book one.)

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy #1)

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy #2)

Crime Thriller

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, was an instant like for me. After being likened to author Martina Cole, Luther (BBC tv series) and with a pinch of Fifty Shades, Cold Call proved to be a gritty, well-planned read that follows both the suspect and the police with their investigation into the deaths of several women from seedy backgrounds. This is another read with surprises along the way that will keep you gripped until the end.

21 Hours - Dustin Stevens_1Dustin Stevens’ 21 Hours is full of action and suspense as an uncle and ex-con is attempting to save his two year old niece after she has been kidnapped. Being an ex-con he is not entirely trusted by the authorities, but he is so desperate that he will do anything! I have likened it to some action movies, such as Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ransom and Con Air as there are some elements of these in the book and especially in they way it left me feeling after I had read it. It is also another read that is quick-paced, partly due to the time that it is believed that the young girl has left!

Ooh, and now for some Festive Contemporary reads

As an added treat, and because they were brilliant reads, I thought I would share the following two festive reads:

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseC.L. Scholey’s Candy Cain is a short 55 page read that is festive, hot and full of suspense. After being snowed in during a blizzard and left on a desolate road, with only the stranger that she dislikes after briefly bumping into him earlier, the only way they can keep warm is by body heat! Hmm, I wonder where this will lead and what the outcome will be for them? There are also heart-warming moments and an underlying storyline about helping those in need.

All I Want for ChristmasAnd finally, a full-length story with a Christmas build-up, new friendships and a new romance in Amy Silver’s All I Want for Christmas. Beginning from the fourteenth of December, the story is written with each chapter being a new day in the lead up to the big day, when there are plans at The Honey Pot café for people of the neighbourhood to meet for a party of food and friendship for the lonely.

I have read many more great reads that I cannot possibly add due to the amount I have here. Crossing many genres, I always hope that there are reads in here to suit many, and I feel that there is a great mix of both published and indie authors.

I hope that you enjoy our posts and would like to thank each and everyone of you for following and supporting us. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and an absolutely brilliant New Year!

Caroline Barker 🙂

If you would like to check our Top Reads of 2013 to recap on our previous year, you can do so here:-

Caroline’s Top Reads 2013

Tina’s To Reads 2013

 

 

Recommended Halloween Horrors for Young Readers, Teens and Young Adults (11yrs+)

PumpkinThis weekend we are looking at our recommended reads for Halloween. With little than a week to go, and with half term holidays here in the UK, it is a fantastic chance to check out some reads for this season and hopefully read them over the hols! Today we are focusing on our younger readers (11yrs+), but of course the reads are just as much fun for mature readers too. Tomorrow we will be checking out some Halloween horrors for our adult readers (17yrs+). Be sure to come back then!

So without further ado here are some great reads for the younger and coming-of-age audience! (Please check recommended ages as there are some for 15/16yrs+.)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Caroline and Tina 🙂

WaysToSeeGhost CvrWays to See a Ghost by Emily Diamand (reviewed by Caroline and Tina)

Teenagers Unite to Combat Evil in Explosive Paranormal  Thriller              

For ages 11+

Isis, the daughter of a charlatan psychic, can see ghosts – including that of her dead little sister, Angel. Gray is the son of a UFO-chasing conspiracy theorist. The two teenagers are forced together when their parents start dating. After a reluctant start, a friendship develops and Isis confesses her secret ability to Gray. But when Isis’ mum is inducted into an elite psychic society, run by charismatic Philip Syndal, Isis discovers there are sinister intentions beneath Philip’s charm. She and Gray find themselves in grave danger and Isis is forced to use her considerable powers to save them both.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

WolfstoneThe Wolfstone Curse by Justin Richards (reviewed by Caroline and Tina)

Thrilling Paranormal Adventure

For age 12+

If Death were an animal, she would be a wolf…

Welcome to the historic town of Wolfstone, where dark secrets lurk in the shadows and strange beasts stalk the land. Can teenagers Peter and Carys uncover the real truth behind the legend of the werewolf and will they survive the Wolfstone Curse? Read on, if you dare…

When Peter joins his archaeologist father in the strange village of Wolfstone, he has no idea what dark secrets the village and its manor house hold. From ancient standing stones, to the genetically engineered Wolfen SS soldiers, he uncovers the real truth of the werewolf myth in this action-packed adventure. The plot is interjected with ‘source documents’, letters and other ‘authentic’ material.

Exclusive interview with author, Justin Richards

Justin Richards Bio

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Blue Moon (The Crystal Trilogy #1) by Pat Spence (reviewed by Caroline)

Supernatural, spellbinding horror

For ages 15yrs+

“Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy…

“For all ‘Twilight’ fans who want a change from vampires, this is the book for you.”

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Keira Hudson Series 1, 2, and 3 by Tim O’Rourke (reviewed, or to be reviewed, by Caroline)

Paranormal horror adventure

For ages 15yrs+

When 20-year-old police recruit Kiera Hudson is posted to the remote town of The Ragged Cove, her life is changed forever. Investigating a series of horrific murders, grave desecrations, and missing persons, Kiera uses her unique ability of seeing, and soon realizes her own life is in danger. When Kiera falls for police officer Luke Bishop, not only are her mind and heart opened to a terrifyingly new world, she comes to suspect that Luke might be involved in the killings. In a race against time to unearth the truth, Kiera must discover the identity of who – or what – is behind the gruesome deaths on her Vampire Shift.

Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson series One, #1) is available at Amazon for FREE at the time of writing. (Please be aware prices are subject to change). Check it out at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The latest release, Keira Hudson & the Creeping Men (Keira Hudson series Three, #1) is also now available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

All titles in the Keira Hudson series are mentioned below, with either a link to our review or to reviews on Goodreads. We do intend on reviewing the remaining books in the not so distant future!

Vampire Shift (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 1)

Vampire Wake (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 2)

Vampire Hunt (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 3)

Vampire Breed (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 4)

Wolf House (Potter’s Story) (Kiera Hudson Series 1 Book 4.5) – novella

Vampire Hollows (Keira Hudson Series 1, Book 5)

Dead Flesh (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1)

Dead Night – Potter’s Secrets (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 1.5) – novella

Dead Angels (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 2)

Dead Statues (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 3)

Dead Seth (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 4)

Dead Wolf (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 5)

Dead Water (Keira Hudson Series 2, Book 6)

Dead Push (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 7)

Dead Lost (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 8)

Dead End (Keira Hudson, Series 2, Book 9)

Keira Hudson & the Creeping Men (Keira Hudson, Series 3, Book 1)

In addition to the above, please check out:-

Vampire Shift – The Graphic Novel (Volume One) (Keira Hudson Series One) –  illustrated by Craig Twyman

CursedCursed by Georgina Hannan (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Scary and suspenseful horror romance.

For ages 16yrs+

A young adult story about a group of four friends who emark on a holiday together to the georgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However, it isn’t long before they get what they want.

The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?

Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Amethyst's incredible journeyAmethyst’s Incredible Journey by Lisa Bland (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Fantasy adventure

For ages 11yrs+

Amethyst is a witch with extremely evil and powerful parents. Amethyst is terrified that if she don’t stop her parents soon it will be too late, and they will gain control of Golden Dragon City and the Fountain of Magic. Amethyst knows that she has only got until her next birthday to stop them!.Amethyst has to travel through different realms to collect the blood red rubies that she needs to stop them.

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US(Please note that this book is showing as currently unavailable. We do hope that it is available as soon as possible.)

WHEREWOLVESWherewolves by John Vamvas and Olga Montes (to be reviewed by Caroline)

Horror thriller

For ages 16yrs+

Using a fun, explosive style, full of new slang and fresh dialogue, WHEREWOLVES is the story of a group of high school seniors, most “military brats”, who are headed for an army-type survival weekend.

The underdogs, Jeffrey and Doris, do not want to go as they fear for their safety among the disdain and cruelty of the popular students. Sergeant Tim O’Sullivan, their teacher, as well as their dysfunctional parents pressure them into going, but it is an unforgivable act by their peers that propels the pair to go. Likewise, Elie, a student resented because of his Arab roots, is even more determined to prove himself this weekend. In the background, a news report cautions of a wanted couple with alleged super-human strength supposedly brought on by a new drug on the streets.

In the woods, the students hike, hunt, camp, and soon act in unity as the forest brings them closer together. But does it? O’Sullivan leaves them alone for the night. The students bond, chant, tell campfire tales, and quickly lose their fears and inhibitions. HOO-AH! Though sexual tensions are high, it soon turns to violence and everything quickly turns sour.

When the kids start disappearing one after the other, the remaining begin to unwittingly “act like the natives” carving spears, ready to face whatever is out there. What has gotten into them?

Amid the blood-curdling growls and the gruesome deaths, the story’s underlying layers are revealed. We see how misconceptions, prejudice, greed, fear, and hatred bring out the worst and best in them.

What is out there? Can it really be werewolves?

Available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

For more great reads and best sellers in the horror genre for teens and young adults please visit Amazon UK or Amazon US.

And be sure to come back tomorrow for our recommended reads for mature/adult readers, 17yrs+!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

 

Two lucky winners of Pat Spence’s Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)

Blue MoonOkay, so guys, I can now reveal the two lucky winners of the fantastic Young Adult supernatural horror Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1) by Pat Spence are: Carmen Barahona and Louise Chapman!!

We hope you love the read, guys! 🙂

And a big THANK YOU to all of you who entered. The best of luck next time x

We are hoping to see Book 2 being released over the summer and cannot wait for the read!

Until then, you can catch the blurb for Blue Moon, along with our review here. (Please take note that the giveaway is now closed!)

You can also check Blue Moon out on Amazon at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Caroline & Tina 🙂