BLOG TOUR, CONTENT POST - The Blood-Dimmed Tide by Michael R. Johnson

                                                                       BOOK  BLURB

The sequel to The Widening Gyre, praised by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Library Journal and more!

Reclaiming Earth from the Zhen was only the first battle. Now Tajen Hunt and his fellow colonists must fight for their fledgling colony s survival. Tajen s mission to seek aid from the Kelvaki Assembly is cut short when the Zhen invade Earth. Now he, Liam, and Kiri must return to Earth and liberate the colony from brutal occupation.  When Tajen learns the Zhen plan to destroy a human fleet amassing in preparation to help Earth, he and his crew must escape the planet once more and warn them. 

                                                                    CHAPTER ONE

Tajen Hunt

I stood in front of a huge window overlooking Earth and fingered my collar. Kiri slapped my hand. " You're going to mess it up after all my hard work."
   "It itches."
   "It's cut almost exactly like the uniform you wore for more than a decade."
   "I hated how that felt too."
   She tried not to laugh, but her smile gave her amusement away. "It'll be over in a bit. Liam's on his way." She gave Katherine Lawson, my second-in-command of Earth's space forces, a long-suffering look. Katherine sais nothing out loud, but her expression made it clear she got my niece's point, and agreed.
   My partner, Liam Kincaid, entered a few moments later, skidded to a halt just outside the room. He composed himself before entering the observation lounge. A small group of friends stood in loose ranks,which parted to let Liam through. His suit was as elegant and as uncomfortable-looking as mine; Ben Delani stopped him halfway through the crowd, reached to adjust the suit. After a few seconds of shifting and tugging at the jacket, Ben flicked Liam's hair back into place, gave him a once over,then nodded decisively and pushed Liam toward the front of the room.
   "Sorry," Liam said."Had a little training accident to deal with."
   "Everyone all right?"
   "Yeah, everyone's fine," he replied. "But I had to give my team The Talk. It took a while."
   "The Talk" was what everyone called Liam's patented " This is why you listen to me, morons!" lecture. He'd given it enough times in the year since we took Earth back from the Zhen and began training our defense force volunteers that it was nearly a rote speech. It was also entertaining enough that an audience inevitably formed as he was giving it. I looked him in the eye and raised an eyebrow at him. "You sure you didn't embellish it a bit for the audience and lose track of time?"
   "Of course not!" he said in an aggrieved tone. Then, after a beat; "Maybe a little,"
   "Well, you're here now," I said, offering him my arm. "shall we?"
   He linked his arm with mine,and we turned to Katherine. She smiled and looked around the room. "We who stand here today have been witness to several 'firsts.' We are the first humans to see Earth in over a thousand years. We are the first humans to break free of the Zhen Empire and declare ourselves free of their treachery. And now, we in this room are witnesses to the first marriage ceremony since we founded our colony."
   She took a breath, looking down at the book in her hand, and said, "When Tajen and Liam first met, it was an instant connection. They got along so well, and so immediately,that it took the rest of us by surprise. And their attraction was obvious to us all, too. So much so that the rest of us had a betting pool going for how long it would take."
  "I won," Ben crawled, drawing a laugh from the audience.
  " Indeed he did," Katherine said, her sour tone cueing even more laughter. She waited for it to die down, then said, "Liam and Tajen have written their own vows, which they will give now."
   We turned to face each other. We'd agreed Liam would go first. "Tajen, I was no saint before we met. But the moment you first spoke to me, I knew that I was going to spend my life mooning after you. Do you remember your first words to me?"
   "No," I lied.
   "Who the hell are you and what are you doing to my ship?" he quoted, getting another laugh. "I was smitten. You cannot imagine how relieved I was to see my affections weren't one-sided." He paused and smiled. "I pledge myself to you, and to your family,blood and chosen both. From you I will hold nothing back, and give wholly of myself. I am yours,for now and always."
   "Liam, I first saw you half buried in my ship's electronics bay,with only your legs sticking out. And even then I knew you'd be trouble. I tried not to fall for you, but... it was impossible. We live a dangerous life, but I want to spend as much time with you as I can, for as long as we've got in this universe. I am yours, for now and always."
   We placed our hands over each other's hearts. Katherine said, "Liam Kincaid, do you take this man as your husband, to love in all ways,for as long as you can?"
   "I do."
   Tajen Hunt,do you take this man as your husband, to love in all ways,for as long as your can?"
   "I do," I said, unsure whether I was going to cry or grin like a idiot.
    "Then by the power placed in me by the Provisional Government of Earth, I now pronounce you married."
   Before the words were finished, Liam and I were leaning in for a kiss. We had just completed the act when the sudden blare of the Earth Orbital Station's klaxon pummeled my ears. My comms implant sounded, a panicked voice filled my head. "Captain Hunt, this is command, We're reading seven ships coming out of slipspace."
   I was running for the tower before he was finished speaking, Katherine and Liam on my heels. I took the stairs two at a time, stumbling into command. The officer on watch, Kaz Simmonds, welcomed me with a salute. I'd tried to put a stop to that, but nobody would listen to me. I ignored the salute until I realised he wasn't going to stop until I returned it. I sketched a quick salute and snapped, "Report!"
   Simmonds answered in the precise speech that I'd grown accustomed to from him. "Seven ships, all of Zhen manufacture. They came out slipspace, then used chain drive to get to the inner system. They're waiting just outside luner orbit as I instructed them to."
   "Who are they?"
   "They claim to be refugees. Lead ship is called the Steller Wind, registered to the Faded Sky Shipping Cartel. The captain Liz Orozco." He cleared his throat. "She is refusing inspection, and she is asking to speak to you directly, sir."
   I motioned him to put it on the screen and stepped into the comms visual pickup. "Earth command to vessel Steller wind. As you've been informed, all ships coming to Earth are required to submit to inspection. I'm told you don't want to. Explain yourself."
   The woman who appeared before me was in late middle age. She looked almost embarrassed when she recognised me. "Captain Hunt, it's not that we refuse inspection. As I've tried to explain to the young man, we're carrying some... well, something that could get us into trouble. We wanted to explain to someone in charge what we've got aboard before you scanned us. Tempers flair, and that could be a disaster, you see."
   "I raised an eyebrow. "And what is it you're carrying?"
   "Weapons, Captain."
   "What kind?"
   " Mostly ground - about a hundred Zhen pulse rifles, some smaller sidearms. But we've also got fifteen starfighter-class pulse guns, ready for mounting, and a few crates of explosives. It's all yours."
   " And your asking...?"
   She grinned. "Nothing, sir. But I suspect you'll need em. I had em sitting at my - well, my employer's - warehouse. Thought you could put em to better use here than he could."
   " we could indeed, Captain Orozco."
   She looked embarrassed. "Please, call me Liz. I'm not a captain. I stole this ship and will be turning it, too, over to your colony."
   "It's not my colony. Liz, I'm grateful for what you've brought us, but I'm going to have to ask you to stand down and submit to inspection. Nobody gets ---" I was cut off by a new alarm blaring across the command deck. " What the hell?"
   In the battle tank, one of the ships in the Steller Wind's formation was accelerating towards the station. "What the hell is this?" I snapped at the screen.
   " Orozco blanched. "I don't know!" She pointed to someone outside the field of view. " Get him on comms!" she shouted. "Deveraux, what the hell are you doing?"
   I couldn't hear the reply, but Orozco's eyes widened, and she drew a finger across her throat, then turned back to the pickup. "Captain Hunt, he's lost his mind, says he's here to--"
   I cut the feed and turned to the defense officer. "Fire at that ship!" He relayed the order, and the stations gunners, as well as the system patrol ships that had responded, focused on the vessel. I could see, though, that as powerful as our guns were, they weren't going to be enough. The freighter was too big, and our ships were too few.
   "Sir! Another ship on the move!" the sensor officer called.
   I looked at the holotank and cursed. "Get Orozco back!" I roared. The comms officer signaled me, and Orozco appeared before me again. "What the hell is going on?"
   She waved her hands in a warding gesture. "I don't know!" she said.
   I started to give the order to fire on the ship too, but stopped when I noticed what was happening. The second ship was on an intercept vector with the first. As the two connected, the smaller ship crumpled. Her drives blew, and the small ship was gone.
   I looked at the plot and realised the freighter had Bern knocked of course; it wouldn't hit the station - but it was headed right for one of the arms of our shipyard. I turned to the comms officer. "Signal the shipyard and tell them to evacuate."
   "Will they have time?" Katherine asked.
   I didn't look at her as I replied, "Not all of them."
   We watched in sick horror as the freighter slammed into the shipyard. Moments after impact, the freighter's drives blew, and the resulting star vaporized the dock and numerous ships. "Brace for impact," the comms officer called, and we all grabbed for supports.
   When the shaking was over, I looked to the watch officer. He scanned his boards and said, "No casualties on the station, sir. But the shipyard...." He gestured at the screen.
   We'd lost over half the shipyard, and what was left was in pretty bad shape. Barely any of our docking ships had managed to detach and get away on time. The loss in lives was devastating. I cleared my throat and spoke softly to him. "Get a list of the dead. The council meets in a hour. I want a detailed status report by then."
   " Yes, sir."
   I turned back to the screen, which was showing Orozco once more. Her face was pale, her breathing shallow.
   "What the hell happened?" I said.
   "Captain Hunt, I'm sorry," she said, "Deveraux... he had told us he was one of us. But when he tried to ram your station, he broadcast a denunciation. He said that we - and you - are criminals, making things worse for people back on Zhen and Terra."
  I blinked, not knowing what to say. I'd known there were human elements that didn't approve of what we'd done, taking the Earth from the Empire and declaring it our own. Despite finding out the Zhen had wiped out Earth civilization and then lied to us about it for eight hundred years, despite the Zhen treating us like second hand citizens, despite everything they had done, many humans still thought of the Zhen's as the good guys. After all, they hsd found our drifting, nearly dead colony ship. They had saved our people, given us a home. It didn't seem to matter what had happened centuries after they'd already destroyed our homeworld while we had been drifting through space. The Zhen Imperial news sources had taken advantage of this divide: there were commentaries all over the slipnet about us, making us out to be villians and cutthroats who had turned against the 'benevolent' Empire. Far more humans and Zhen than i thought possible just fell for that nonsense without a second thought.
   "The second ship?" I asked.
   " The Avo Grande, captained by Mel Kramer. She sent a message just before impact. All it said was," At least i saw it. This way, my death means something."She paused, clearly emotional."She was a dreamer, Captain. The day your message was broadcast, she called me. It was she who convinced me to come." She paused to get a grip on herself. "She was dying, you see. She wanted to die on Earth."
  I nodded, "How many were on her ship?"
   She attempted to smile but faltered. "That's the one piece of good news. she didn't have any. Her ship was a scout - ship she'd bought second hand. She didnt have space for a crew. She'd planned to volunteer it for your defense fleet."
   "What about Devereux's ship?"
   Orozco looked down, troubled. "Well... there we weren't so lucky. The Harbinger had a crew of five, and six passengers. But he had all the weapons in his cargo."
   "I don't care about the weapons," I said. "Tell me there were no kids on board."
  "No, none."
  I let out the breath i hadn't intended to hold. " Well, that's something." I looked to Katherine. We'd been working together long enough now that we didn't really need to speak. She nodded, and i turned back to Orozco. "Given what's happened, I'm almost sorry to say it, but we still need to complete the inspection."
   She nodded. "I understand, sir."
   "When that's done, though assuming - as I do - that nothing untoward is found, you and your fleet are home. Welcome to Earth."
  "Thank you."
   As her visual faded from my view, I turned to my chief of security. "Be thorough - don't cut any corners - but try to be respectful to them. They're just lost people." I glanced back at the wreckage of the shipyard. "As have we," I added.
  "I think we can handle the job, sir." She saluted and left the control room.
  I led Liam back into the hall, then sighed as my Neuronet displayed a priority message. I turned to Liam. "So much for the celebration," I said. "Diana's called an emergency meeting. I'll catch up with you at home?"
   "Of course," he said. "I might as well go out on that exploration survey I was putting off." He leaned in and kissed me, his lips tender.
  I breathed in his scent as we separated. "Bad timing," I muttered.
  "Seems like that's a way of life around here," he said.

                                                                   AUTHOR BIO

Born in the San Francisco bay area and raised in Napa, California, Michael R. Johnston grew up steeped in everything Science Fiction and Fantasy from Asimov to Zelazny, as well as endless terrible SF TV shows he still has a slightly embarrassed fondness for.

Faced with the choice between moving back in with his parents and continuing school, or paying his rent, he took “a year” off from college. He spent time as a court process server, a retail sales associate, a sandwich maker, and a data entry tech, before finding himself in a management role. A decade later, burnt out from his job in political research and facing 30, he decided he’d had enough and returned to college, graduating with honors from California State University, Sacramento.

In fall 2006, he became a high school English teacher, a job he likens to herding a swarm of angry bees. It’s the best job he’s ever had.

In 2013, he attended the 17th Viable Paradise Science Fiction Writing Workshop. The experience of having his story critiqued by other writers, some of them professionals he’d been reading for years, helped him realize he could write professionally, and introduced him to some of his best friends.

He currently lives in Sacramento, California, with his wife and daughter. When he’s not writing or teaching, he spends time with his family, plays video games and tabletop RPGs (often with family), and reads. He blogs at MJohnstonBooks.com, and can be found on Twitter @MREJohnston.

PUBLICATION DATE: 20th February 2020
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
ISBN-10: 1787583139
ISBN-13: 978-1787583139






PRE-ORDER, PROMO BLITZ - Trust In You by Julia Firlotte

                                                                       BOOK BLURB

From the moment she met him, Ella Peterson had questions. As always, though, she’s too shy to ask.

Older and sexy as hell, mysterious Adam Brook soon sweeps sheltered Ella off her feet; but is he as perfect as he appears to be, or is there more to him than he’s telling her?

Ella’s world has already turned upside down after moving from England to rural Kansas. She and her sisters were hoping for a more secure future, but instead find that life can be tough when jobs are scarce and the stakes often higher than anticipated.

When events spiral out of Ella’s control, she learns the person she needs to rely on most is herself and her instincts on who to trust in the future.

It’s just that her instincts are screaming at her to trust Adam; it’s what he tells her that makes that a problem.

                                                                       AUTHOR BIO

Julia is an avid reader of all things romance, and she has read hundreds of books across a variety of sub-genres and began writing her own novels in 2018. Four books are currently in various stages of editing and completion, the first of which is finished and will be on sale in spring 2020.
Julia has always been passionate about languages and fiction and has a degree in Languages And Trade and an A-Level in English Literature. When Julia is not writing or editing her own novels, she usually has her nose in books by other authors and is otherwise kept busy caring for her family, going to the gym and carrying out her day job. Julia lives on the South Coast of England with her two children, husband and cats.

Social Media Links –

Author Website: www.juliafirlotteauthor.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JuliaFirlotteAuthor/
Facebook Group: Romance Chit Chat:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliafirlotte
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19484358.Julia_Christine_Firlotte
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliafirlotte/

PUBLICATION DATE: 6th April 2020
PUBLISHER: Julia Firlotte author
ISBN-10: 1916167012
GENRE: Contemporary Romance


UK  - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-You-romance-intrigue-Falling/dp/1916167012/ref=sr_1_11?keywords=Trust+in+you&qid=1582241056&s=books&sr=1-11
US  - https://www.amazon.com/Trust-You-romance-intrigue-Falling/dp/1916167012

Join Julia Firlotte’s mailing list and receive the first three chapters of Trust in You - https://www.juliafirlotteauthor.com/



BLOG TOUR,CONTENT POST - Rage And Retribution (D.I.Sterling #4) by Lorraine Mace

                                                                        BOOK BLURB

Can two wrongs ever make a right?

A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.

It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they're released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.

A councillor is accused of fraud.

Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he's publicly accused of stealing the youth centre's funds - an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?

Two cases. One deadly answer.

As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity - once and for all.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is expecting someone from the Bradchester Youth Centre to bring over a list of possible vandalism suspects. However, that isn’t who arrives in his office.

Five minutes later CC ushered in a woman Paolo guessed to be in her late sixties. She was dressed completely inappropriately for her age, wearing a flared denim skirt and bright striped tee-shirt in alternating lines of yellow and black. Paolo expected her to start buzzing at any moment.

  “Are you in charge of what happens at the youth centre?” she demanded.

 “I’m the investigating officer, yes. Won’t you please take a seat,” Paolo said, gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk. “I believe you have some information for me.”

 “I do indeed and I hope you’re going to do something about it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Really I couldn’t. It’s a disgrace. That’s what it is, a disgrace.”

 “Well, it’s certainly unfortunate, but –”

 “Unfortunate! How can you say that when you don’t even know why I’m here? Unless you put them there. The way society is today, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Paolo thought he now knew how Alice felt when she’d dropped down the rabbit’s hole. “I’m sorry, I think we’re talking at cross purposes. I thought you had come from the youth centre.”

 “I have,” Clementine Towers said. “I’ve just come straight from there and I want you to do something about it.”

“About what?”

 “The books, of course. Why else do you think I’m here?”
Paolo thought he saw a glimmer of light. “That is not for me to investigate. I’ve turned that over to financial crimes.”

 “What? Why? What have the finances got to do with it? They are all donated.”

The light blinked out and Paolo felt like he was back with Alice.

  “Shall we start again?” he suggested. “Tell me, Miss Towers, are you here to bring me a list of names prepared by Mr Mason and his staff?”

She looked as bewildered as Paolo felt. “No, why should I?”
Paolo smiled. “No reason at all. It was just a misunderstanding. What can I do for you?”

 “You can send in your men to remove the filth on the shelves in the youth centre.”

 “I’m afraid you are going to have to be a bit more specific.”

“Books, officer! Books that will corrupt the minds of our young if we allow them to be read. I went there today. I go every day to see what I can do to help out. As a gesture of goodwill I took in all my old Richmal Crompton and Enid Blyton novels to donate to the open library. Do you know the young woman there was barely civil to me? She had the cheek to say those books were hardly likely to appeal to anyone. Old-fashioned she called them. Do you know what’s on the shelves there? The complete range of the dreadful Potter books, that blasphemous Pullman trilogy, not to mention those subversive Twilight books and the Lord only knows how many others equally vile.”

Paolo realised too late that the woman had the light of an evangelist in her eyes. Silently promising to get his own back on CC for passing a madwoman on to him, he smiled at his visitor.

“I’m afraid the books at the centre are outside my remit.”

 “Perhaps,” she said, “but not outside your remit as a parent to explain to your daughter the error of her ways!”

“What on earth has my daughter to do with anything?”

 “She was the one who was so rude to me! In fact, she told me to mind my own business.”

Paolo found himself silently applauding Katy and wishing he could follow her example, but he couldn’t tell the woman to get lost, unfortunately.

 “Look, I don’t think reading a bit of fantasy hurt anyone.”

 “That’s where you’re wrong,” she hissed. “Fantasy leads young minds into the dark arts. It’s because of books like that we have murders and rapes in the classroom!”

Paolo stood up. “I promise you I’ll look into it. Allow me to show you out.”

She smacked her palm down on his desk. “Don’t humour me, young man. I’ve been held against my will in the grip of evil forces. I know what it’s like to be sucked into the depths of depravity. I’m going to keep an eye on things over at that centre and if there’s any sign of –”

 “You let me know if you spot any evil doings,” Paolo said, moving towards the door and opening it. “I’ll certainly look out for you and will take action if I see you again.”

She stood up and shook out her denim skirt, looking him up and down. “You are responsible for this town’s morals. I’m not sure you’re up to the job, but I’ll pray for you.”

                                                                        AUTHOR BIO

Author Bio – When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers' Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of THE WRITER'S ABC CHECKLIST (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel VLAD THE INHALER - HERO IN THE MAKING, and NOTES FROM THE MARGIN, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.lorrainemace.com
Blog: http://thewritersabcchecklist.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lomace
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorraine.mace.52 

PUBLICATION DATE: 13th February 2020
PUBLISHER: Accent Press Ltd
ISBN-10: 1786156857
ISBN-13: 978-1786156853
GENRE: Police Procedural


UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1786156857
US - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1786156857

The D.I.Sterling series

Retriever Of Souls
Children In Chains
Injections Of Insanity



BLOG TOUR,GUEST POST AND GIVEAWAY - Killing Them With Kindness by Andy Paulcroft

                                                                       BOOK BLURB

Deirdre Cossette is the self appointed carer for the elderly on The Avenue and all of her friends have stories to tell. Margery, whose comfortable life was destroyed by a knock on the door. Stan, who made a mistake as a young footballer which cost him his friends and his self-respect. Marina, whose slim and stylish figure hides a terrible secret from the summer of Live Aid. And, Oliver and Archie, who have survived everything from post war homophobia to a family tragedy – and they have done it together. Deirdre believes that everyone should have a choice. If they want to live on a diet of cakes, drink the alcoholic equivalent of a small hydrotherapy pool, or take on a toy boy lover in spite of a dodgy heart, Deirdre believes it is their right to do so. If they remember her in their wills afterwards, that’s not her fault, is it? However, not everyone agrees with her. When disgruntled relatives from the present meet up with disgruntled ghosts from her past, Deirdre discovers the cost of being kind.

The Accidental Novelist

   Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog during the tour of Killing Them with Kindness.

  I always wanted to write a book. I even thought there may be a chance that I might be good at it. I wasn’t even put off at school when my brilliant re-imagining of the ending of Lord of the Flies came second to my friend’s effort, which he copied word by word from Hamlyn’s Book of Short Horror Stories Volume 12.

  However, I never really thought that I would actually do it.
There were always excuses. My life is too busy, I don’t have the time. It would be so much easier if I had a computer. It would be so much easier if I had a better computer … with a better spell checker. It would be so much easier if I had a better spell checker, which sorted out my punctuation as well … Nobody would want to read it anyway. Certainly nobody would want to publish it. I haven’t got good enough concentration to see the whole thing through to the end.

  But, I did it … somehow.

  I must have been somewhere around page 200 of my first novel Postcards From Another Life when I suddenly realised that, this time, I might just do it. Over the years I had many pieces of paper, lying forgotten in drawers, and latterly, files being equally ignored on the computer. However, this time, I was on a roll, I knew the ending, had decided where everyone was going to end up and had a pretty good idea of how they were going to get there. All I had to do was write the rest of it! To my amazement, I wrote the remaining 200 pages of the book in just over two months.

  What to do then? I was very much out of my comfort zone. I did some research, wrote to many literary agents without success. I had always said that I didn’t really care if it was published. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. As soon as I had finished Postcards I knew that that wasn’t the truth. I wanted people to read it. I did a little more research and discovered the possibility of self-publishing. Luckily, unlike myself, my partner, Ian, is very tech-savvy and he guided and cajoled me all the way through the possible hazards. My friend Emily, is a wonderful cartoonist and she produced a very original cover and other friends read through it for me and started to make encouraging noises.

  On 17th December 2017 Postcards From Another Life was published. Ian ordered a copy straight away and made sure that I didn’t see it when it arrived. The first time I saw a book that I had written in print was on Christmas morning when I unwrapped my first present of the season. I don’t think it’s an over-statement to say that it was the best present I have ever received – and I’ve received some cracking gifts in the past.

  Since that time I have discovered writers’ groups, the wonders of an editor, book blogs, literary seminars, book promotions, the power of social media when trying to sell a self-published book, not to mention the terrifying prospect of a two-handed talk to a room full of people who want you to tell them all you know about self-publishing. Thankfully, mostly due to Rihanne, my fellow contributor, it wasn’t the shortest talk on record.

  There is still one thing I would still love to happen (short of one of my books being made into a Hollywood movie and achieving writer fame in the style of JK Rowling …) I would love to see someone reading one of my books on a train, with a huge smile on their face. I guess my sister doesn’t really count ...

  Killing Them With Kindness has now become my second self-published offering and I am immensely proud of it. The tale of Deirdre Cossette, a woman who looks after people, maybe a little too well, started life as a poem about twenty years ago and languished in a drawer for many years.

  It’s for this reason that I say to anyone who has the slightest desire to write a book. Don’t be put off by all the failed attempts. Don’t be disappointed by all the excuses you find yourself making. It might be that it’s just not the right time. Keep on trying though, and one day, it might be.

                                                                          AUTHOR BIO

Andy Paulcroft grew up in Weston-super-Mare, and his love of books started when he borrowed his sister’s copy of Five Run Away Together and exaggerated a minor illness in order to finish reading it. He has since worked as a chef in France, Switzerland, Corsica and the North Highlands of Scotland before settling as a catering manager at a boarding school in Dorset. After many years of writing two to three chapters of a book before discarding it, he finally published his first novel Postcards From Another Life – in December 2017. The wonderful feeling of completing a novel was only surpassed by receiving a positive reaction from people who had read it. He retired from catering and recently published his second novel Killing Them With Kindness. He is now working on his third book.

Follow Andy  @Andy.Paulcroft (Facebook Page)

PUBLICATION DATE: 15th November 2019
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
ISBN-10: 1708450041
ISBN-13: 978-1708450045
GENRE: Romantic Comedy


UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Killing-Them-Kindness-Andy-Paulcroft/dp/1708450041

US - https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Them-Kindness-Andy-Paulcroft/dp/1708450041

  • Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Killing Them With Kindness (Open INT)

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PUBLICATION DAY,BOOK REVIEW - Trap Door by Dreda Say Mitchell

Rachel desperately needs a job,she is deeply in debt and it looks like she is soon going to be made homeless. She could ask her Father for help but that would mean that she would have to come clean about a secret that she has been keeping from him. So she is overjoyed when she is offered a great position in a successful company. But from the moment that she arrives at the old building where she is going to be working, she can't ignore the sinister atmosphere that permeates the property. For two weeks everything goes really well and she loves her new job but then one morning she arrives at work and everything has changed and she discovers that her wonderful job has now become a living nightmare. Soon she desperately wants to leave but is trapped because she needs the money and then she makes a shocking discovery. despite the risk to her own life, Rachel is determined to uncover what secrets are hidden within the buildings old walls, why her past has returned to haunt her present.

Rachel was a complex character who had a wicked sense of humour and suffered from as much bad luck in her life as I do (that is having everyone else's bad luck lumped on top of her own) She certainly had her share of issues but there was reasons for these issues as the reader discovered as the story which flipped back and forth in time unfolded. I really liked Rachel and felt so much empathy for her especially during the claustrophobic sections of the story and her struggles to figure out what was going on and who she could trust. The secondary characters were a mixed bag of diverse individuals,some of whom were definitely not who they appeared to be. I loved the setting for this book,the sinister old building with its tragic history, creepy,claustrophobic tunnels, humming walls and strange noises seeping through the floors.

Trap Door is a enthralling, psychological thriller that hooks the reader in with a shocking prologue, keeps you guessing and frantically turning the pages. It's chilling, sinister, creepy, atmospheric and has a number of unexpected twists and turns. This is the second book that I have read that was written by this very talented author and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future. Very highly recommended

                                                                         AUTHOR BIO

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.

Betsy we don’t know if you want to put this quote anywhere:
‘As good as it gets.’ Lee Child

PUBLICATION DATE: 11 February 2020
PUBLISHER: BloodHound Books
ISBN-10: 1913419258
ISBN-13: 978-1913419257
GENRE: Psychological Thriller





BLOG TOUR, BOOK REVIEW - Snowball by Gregory Bastianelli

Twas the night before Christmas and instead of being in their warm homes watching the crap that passes for Christmas tv these days or being out celebrating the festive season with friends. A snowplow driver, a truck driver, a troubleshooter and his wife, a single mother and her two young children, a alcoholic Salvation Army worker, a young couple, a elderly couple and two childhood friends have found themselves stranded on a secluded highway during a severe blizzard. As time passes and the snow shows no signs of easing, tempers start to frey and decisions have to be made but no one can agree what they should do next. Eventually the two childhood friends decide to investigate the snowplow which is when they make a shocking discovery. The group of virtual strangers swiftly finds themselves caught up in a living nightmare,tightening for their lives whilst being hunted by savage killers who are lurking amongst the trees. It soon becomes apparent that for some of the travellers this is going to be their last Christmas.....Alive

This spine tingling story will probably remind readers who are old enough to remember of the disaster movies of the 70s or a horror anthology where all the characters have their own individual back stories and hidden secrets. There is always a really annoying character who constantly gets on your nerves but always manages to survive until towards the end of the film or story. There is usually characters that you like, characters who are just pathetic selfish cowards, characters who surprise you when they do something out of character and characters who are just secondary background characters. Well they are all present amongst this mixed bunch of relatable individuals who have found themselves trapped in a terrifying nightmare and fighting the elements and frightening creatures. But are these particular people in this situation by pure coincidence or is there more to the situation than here appeared to be? I really loved the setting for this book, the isolated highway that was surrounded by trees, I always feel that woods and forests add a sinister atmosphere to a book especially if the story is set during the night. The mysterious house that was hidden amongst the trees and had many secrets hidden within its walls.

Wow,this really is a spine chilling, roller coaster ride that is packed full of twists and turns, some seriously intense moments,quite a few gory deaths and a brilliant ending that could have come straight from a episode of Tales Of The Unexpected or The Twilight Zone. It is cleverly written and has short,snappy chapters which give the reader a very bad case of just one more chapter syndrome. You start the book wondering how the title fits into the story but it becomes clear just how clever the author has been as the story unfolds. I would love to watch a film adaptation of this enthralling book. Very very highly recommended

                                                                         AUTHOR BIO

Gregory Bastianelli is the author of the novels Loonies and Jokers Club. His stories have appeared in the magazines Black Ink Horror, Sinister Tales and Beyond Centauri; the anthologies Night Terrors IICover of Darkness and Encounters; and the online magazines Absent Willow Review and Down in the Cellar.  His novella The Lair of the Mole People appeared in the pulp anthology Men & Women of Mystery Vol. II.

He graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he studied writing under instructors Mark Smith, Thomas Williams and Theodore Weesner. He worked for nearly two decades at a small daily newspaper where the highlights of his career were interviewing shock rocker Alice Cooper and B-movie icon Bruce Campbell. 

He became enchanted with the stories of Ray Bradbury as a young child, and his love of horror grew with the likes of Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell.

He lives in Dover, NH, in a Colonial home built in the 1700s. He enjoys kayaking, hiking and bicycling in the summer and snowshoeing and racquetball in the winter. Along with spending time with family, he enjoys traveling, especially to Italy where he has visited his ancestral home and relatives residing there and hiked the Path of the Gods on the Amalfi Coast and to the top of Mt. Vesuvius.

PUBLICATION DATE: 30th January 2020
PUBLISHER: Flame Tree Press
GENRE: Horror Thriller





Blog Tour, book review - Beast by Matt Wesolowski

Scott King returns in the latest instalment in the haunting Six Stories pod cast series. In 2018 whilst the Uk was caught in the freezing grip of the Beast From The East, the naked, beheaded body of Vlogger Elizabeth Barton was discoved in Tankerville Tower. A crumbling eye sore that stands on the cliff and overlooks the coastal town of Ergarth on the North - West coast of England. Scott had previously looked into the case before but because three young men had already been charged and convicted for Elizabeth's murder and nothing had stood out as worth looking into, he had decided that it was a simple open and shut case. Only, now with the mysterious appearance of graffiti on the wall outside the Barton family home, it looks like someone wasn't happy with the original investigation and wants the case reopened. Still struggling with the shocking discoveries that he made during his previous case, Scott cant resist taking a trip to Ergarth and trying to uncover 'Who locked Lizzie in the tower'

Six stories told from the perspectives of six people who knew the victim and the alleged killers. Ergarth was one of those towns where everyone knew each others business and all had an opinion on what happened. Unfortunately the three young men Solomon Meer, George Meldby and Martin Flynn who were convinced for Elizabeth's barbaric murder were all misfits and had troubled backgrounds so were badly judged even before the murder occurred. Sadly, wether they were innocent or not, they didn't really have a chance to make anything of their lives. Unlike the perfect Elizabeth's of this world. She had looks, was intelligent, the apple of her parents eye and her vlog posts had thousands of followers, she was the child who could do no wrong unlike her poor brother Jason. Interspersed throughout the book was Elizabeth's vlog posts recounting her activities during her six day challenge. At the start, i thought she was a likeable, fun character but appearances can be deceptive, was she as perfect as she appeared to be or was there a darkness hiding within her soul. I really loved the setting for this haunting story, the tower that all the residents hated and wanted demolished which stood like a rotten tooth on the hill. Spooky Ergarth Dene with its sinister atmosphere, hidden crossroads, vampire legend and alleged vampire grave.

The author has cleverly combined a mix of urban legend, folk lore and the modern obsession with social media to produce a totally enthralling, mesmerising mystery. Vivid, relatable characters some of whom were definitely not who they appeared to be, plot twists and turns and a truly chilling conclusion. I was captivated as his words gripped me with their icy fingers and sent shivers down my spine. This is the first book that i have read in this series and i can understand why the books are receiving so many rave reviews. Fortunately i own Six Stories, Hydra and The Changling and look forward to reading them in the not too distant future. I really really loved this brilliant book. Very very highly recommended

                                                                                AUTHOR BIO

 Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Follow Matt on Twitter @ConcreteKraken and on his website: mjwesolowskiauthor.wordpress.com

  • Publication date: 20 Dec 2019
  • Publisher: ORENDA BOOKS
  • Language: English