Happy Weekend! Today I am on the BOTBS tour for Finding Milly by Nathan Burrows. It’s out now in both Paperback and Kindle Formats and is available as part of Kindle Unlimited. I received a copy for my participation in the tour.
About the Book
Jimmy Tucker is dying. There’s only one person he wants to tell. His daughter—Milly. But when he gets home from the hospital, she’s vanished without a trace.
The inoperable brain aneurysm deep within Jimmy’s head could burst at any time—a cough, a sneeze, or a blow to the head could kill him instantly. With the police not interested in Milly’s disappearance, Jimmy takes things into his own hands and begins to look for his only daughter. But it doesn’t take him long to realise that his daughter is not the woman he thinks she is.
As he gradually discovers Milly’s shocking private life, Jimmy enlists the help of Gareth Dawson, an ex-crook with a big heart. But Gareth can only help Jimmy up to a point.
As the pressure mounts, can Jimmy uncover the truth about Milly’s disappearance before it’s too late—for either of them?
Finding Milly hooks you right off that bat. Jimmy Tucker has an appointment at the hospital, only to learn that the cause of his recent headaches are an untreatable anyeurism and he doesn’t have long left. He wants to tell his daughter Milly, but she isn’t about when he gets home – not unusual, but she doesn’t turn up later either. His wife, Milly’s mother, passed away ten years prior. Milly is all he has left and his love for her is prevalent throughout the book. So where is Milly?
Jimmy uncovers some strange things about his daughter. He’s reported her missing to the police, but he’s not one to just sit and wait for them to do their thing. With the help of some other people, he gets to the bottom of things, racing against his remaining time on the ticking time bomb in his head.
This book is a kind of a slow burn but very steadily paced and you’ll have read half of it before you even realise. Well written, Finding Milly really draws you in with it’s well balanced plot and immersive locale. It has a constant level of tension and excellent character development and dynamic between them. Really fantastic read.
Happy Sunday! Today I am pleased to be on the Orenda Tour for Beast by Matt Wesolowski, out now in Paperback and Kindle formats. I received a copy of this for free as part of the tour.
Beast is the fourth book in the “Six Stories series.” I was interested in The Changeling and when I first heard of it, but never got the opportunity to read it, so I was pleased when I got the chance to read Beast and I’m happy to say that it reads perfectly fine as a standalone and you don’t need to have read the previous books.
The book has odd and interesting presentation. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it and it’s a little bit different from the way things are usually presented. It’s offered in a social-media sort of post, like a true-crime podcast over six episodes; the focus of this book being on what happened to vlogger Elizabeth Barton. The format suits the modern day need for everything to be via social-media somehow and it’s obsession with the challenges that go around, many of which are plain absurd or just downright dangerous. “Lizzie B” opts to try the DISD challenge – Dead In Six Days. It quite literally shouts “bad idea!” and yet, she does it anyway…
Online Journalist, Scott King picks up Elizabeth Barton’s story and speaks to 6 people who knew both the victim and perpetrators, uncovering a whole web of dark, frightening and grim that you don’t expect to come from “oh, so this vlogger did a dumb challenge” – oh no. It’s so much more than that. The blurb mentions a “vampire tower” so I wasn’t expecting what I read to feel so… real. Vampires are very much fiction. Or are they? They may not be in the conventional sense of horror and folklore, but there sure are monsters in the world.
The book is so well written – the locations feel very real and with the mention of the “beast from the east” which was an actual event that happened, it was really easy to fall in to this world and think it to be a very real environment. On top of being so immersive, the book itself was easy to read and to digest in chunks thanks to it’s format so it’s a great one for if you’re a busy person and are limited by what you can read at any one time – that’s not to say you wont want to sit and read it cover to cover though!
The very end of the book had me taken aback and it was painful to read. I wasn’t expecting the book to end on such a note. I was still like “woah” when I closed it. Without going in to the actual ending, it’s safe to say, we never really know what’s actually going on in the lives of the people who present themselves to us on social media. Often, they show us the shiniest, most polished and best parts of their lives – there’s a lot we don’t know about these people and they’re a lot more than the persona they portray online.
It’s pretty incredible how much Matt Wesolowski managed to put forward through this more unique format. The tension. Oof. I was on the fence about it and wanted to give it a try – I’m glad I did. Let’s just say, Changeling remains on my want to read list but now I’m putting Six Stories and Hydra up on there too.
About the Book
Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…
In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old Vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.
Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’ However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.
Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire…
Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…
Greetings and salutations! Yesterday was valentines and we all know adults tend to bonk, but what’s it like now compared in history? Well, I was curious to read about it, and so I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour! A Curious History of Sex byKate Lister was released on February 6th 2020 in Hardback and will be available on February 20th 2020 in eBook format. I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes.
I used to always think history was boring. Friends from other cultures helped me realise maybe that wasn’t the case. A friend with a pretty great history podcast made me realise one of the reasons I thought it was boring in the past was because of the way it was presented to me. Now, I’ve enjoyed the tid-bits from the Whores of Yore twitter account for a while. Witty yet informative, so I figured, without the character limit, in a book? That should be very interesting indeed. Plus it’s sex. The topic of sex always manages to induce some winks and giggles so I was pretty confident that this book would entertain, inform and be enjoyable.
Fannies, weenies, butts, boobies, a really dodgy looking oyster and some torturous looking objects, A Curious History of Sex comes with many historical photographs and illustrations to have a giggle at. I find myself feeling thankful for modern technology, but ultimately, our ancestors were just like we are currently in modern society. One thing hasn’t changed though it seems – people STILL shove random phallic shaped objects in places they’re not meant to go in search of the big O.
Yet, there were condom-type devices found, spanning back through history, even one in Tutankhamun’s tomb. It’s surprising that these very obvious and uncomfortable looking devices were used and yet people today seem reluctant to use them as they “affect sex” when they’re thinner than ever and made of much better materials. If men in history could wear sheaths made of intestines and other things, I can’t fathom why someone can’t cope with a condom that has been specifically design for the phallus. Just one of the many thought provoking things I came across while reading this book! Don’t get me started on their “pleasure devices”.. some look entirely terrifying!
I like to think I’m pretty “woke” on things these days, (woke, that’s the word the kids are using, right?) but looking back to how they were for our ancestors is amusing, entertaining and informative and gives me gratitude and insight for the modern day.
I’m pleased to say, A Curious History of Sex ticked all the right boxes. Innuendo unintended. Or was it? Engaging, witty and not a droll moment throughout. Of course, some parts interested me more than others, but it’s been a wholly fascinating experience. I think there is something that will interest anyone in this book, while also amusing. This is probably my favourite non-fiction read. Or it’s very high up there to say the least. I’ve read some great non-fiction books but I don’t think any top the balance of this one.
I absolutely love the way the information is put across and I wish all books on historical topics could be this entertaining. I mean, the topic being a (curious) history of sex can be considered entertaining in itself because “lols sex” but I think the author could make any topic as equally entertaining and interesting with her engaging writing and witty way of framing the content.
A fascinating read for sure, one that I would highly recommend.
About the Book
This is not a comprehensive study of every sexual quirk, kink and ritual across all cultures throughout time, as that would entail writing an encyclopaedia. Rather, this is a drop in the ocean, a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless.
The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that stigmatise particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue around the world. Attitudes will change and grow – hopefully for the better – but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it has come from.
Drawing upon extensive research from Dr Kate Lister’s Whores of Yore website and written with her distinctive humour and wit, A Curious History of Sex covers topics ranging from twentieth-century testicle thefts to Victorian doctors massaging the pelvises of their female patients, from smutty bread innuendos dating back to AD 79, to the new and controversial sex doll brothels. It is peppered with surprising and informative historical slang and illustrated by eye-opening, toe-curling and hilarious images.
In this fascinating book, Lister deftly debunks myths and stereotypes and gives unusual sexual practices an historical framework, as she provides valuable context for issues facing people today, including gender, sexual shame, beauty and language.
About the Author
Dr Kate Lister is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University, where she researches the history of sexuality and curates the online research project Whores of Yore. Kate is also a columnist for iNews, Vice and the Wellcome Trust where she writes about the history of sex. Kate won a Sexual Freedom Award for Publicist of the Year in 2017. She runs the popular @WhoresOfYore twitter account.
Bracken is back on a whole new adventure! I’m so pleased to be on the blog tour for “Till Morning Is Nigh” by Rob Parker, the latest Ben Bracken Thriller. Following The Penny Black, Bracken is set to get himself into a whole heap of trouble… again. Read on for my thoughts! Till Morning is Nigh is available now in eBook and Paperback formats and is available on Kindle Unlimited.
It’s no secret that Bracken is one of my favourite protagonists to date. He’s not your typical “hero” and he’s plenty flawed. In Rob Parker’s latest offering, Bracken has a chance at a whole new life. More.. legally this time, though all still very questionable. He’s not hiding off-the-grid. He’s been given a chance. He’s got a family now and a new job consulting with the NCA.
He’s now part of a team, something different to what we’re used to from this lone wolf. However, will he play the part or will he go off and do what he wants? Does his new family effect his decisions? He has a newborn son with his partner, Carolyn, whom already has two children from her previous relationship. That’s a whole interesting story there, but it’s a spoiler for previous books, so if you’ve not read them, I’d recommend you do. 😉 It’s noticeably softened Bracken but you’ll have to find out for yourself what it means for his adventure.
A race against time with a topical, political theme, Till Morning Is Nigh is unsettling and tense throughout as Bracken goes above and beyond – as per usual, gets himself to a whole heap of trouble – as usual and puts himself firmly amongst the grey.
A little slower of a pace than his other books, this is an excellent thriller with well-built tension that had me genuinely unable to put it down – I wasn’t kidding when I say it’s unsettling and tense. While a work of fiction, the topical theme hits close to home with the current political tensions and the threats of extremism and only led to a more immersive read. I had to follow it through to the end for my own sanity. The ending didn’t fully sit with me, some of the action elements didn’t feel totally believable but I put it down to adrenaline and went with it, I’m totally fine with that, that’s literally my only criticism and it’s barely a criticism. I really enjoyed the book as a whole and I can’t get enough of Bracken. So I am pleased to say this is yet another excellent offering from Rob Parker.
About the Book
Dragged half dead from a river, Ben Bracken, fugitive ex-soldier, is in a bad way.
But, too valuable to discard and too dangerous to set free, an old friend offers him a choice: abandon his identity and become a desk-bound advisor to the National Crime Agency, or go back to the prison he broke out of – a place where he is extremely unpopular.
Bracken is forced to accept – and he’s becoming a different man.
But all this changes when, days before Christmas, an undercover narcotics officer is murdered in horrific circumstances, and only Bracken has the inside track on the key suspect. Throwing himself into the fray, Bracken finds himself in a very present-day ideological conflict, uncovering a plot which has huge implications for both Manchester’s political, socio-economic landscape, and the nation at large – coming to an explosive conclusion amidst the twinkling fairy lights and frost-tipped boughs of Christmas Eve…
Spaghetti Bolognese or… spag bol as we affectionately call it in the UK, is a classic dish. If you somehow don’t know what this is, it’s spaghetti with minced meat in a tomato sauce, with herbs and such. A lot of people throw in other things like onion, red wine, peppers, garlic or mushroom.
Because of my poor health and dexterity, cooking can be a challenge and the fewer ingredients I have to contend with, the better, but that comes at the sacrifice of flavour… or does it? It doesn’t have to, thanks to Schwartz seasoning mix. They have a bunch of different seasoning mixes as well as the herbs and spices and other seasonings they’re known for. I always have a bunch in my cupboard. So with the help of the Spaghetti Bolognese Seasoning Mix, I decided to try making spag bol with minimal ingredients and report back with how it went!
Brown the mince in a frying pan for a few minutes. The great thing about mince is it’s really easy to see when it’s cooked!
Add the Schwartz sachet contents as well as the tomatoes and give it a good stir.
Cover the pan and allow it to simmer for around 15 minutes.
…Now, there are two ways you can serve up spag bol – all of it all mixed together, or a neat pile of saucy mince on top of your spaghetti. I used to prefer the latter; not sure why! I was a strange child. My partner prefers it all mixed in, which is apparently normal, so that’s what I opted for, it also means no cold spaghetti or portion measuring. So, add the spaghetti into the pan and stir it all together.
Dish up and serve, topped with parmesan cheese if you’d like! Yummy. 😀 As this recipe serves up to four, there were leftovers that I put into a container. Once it cooled, I put it in the freezer for another day. Perfect! I love it when I can make my meals go further.
I was really impressed by how much flavour the Schwartz Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe Mix added to the tomato, without the need for extra ingredients. Of course, you can add more in if you’d like to, but I’m all about that easy life, and chopping food is a hazard! So, I would definitely recommend giving it a go for a delicious, home-cooked meal. Both myself and my fussy partner really enjoyed it. I’ll be trying out their other mixes for sure! With supervision from my partner (because of using the stove), this was a nice and easy make, with plenty of flavour!
Schwartz have gifted me (this product), but all views are my own.
Hello, hello! Happy Monday! Today I have a guest post from Jennifer L Cahill about writing her book, One?. It’s out now in Paperback and Kindle formats.
Why I wrote ‘One?’.
I had a very interesting experience when writing my first book. I didn’t ‘want to write a book’, I literally just sat down and started writing and the book flowed from there. A confluence of events set up the circumstances for me to start to write. From the minute I started the first sentence, the writing process was almost addictive. The story came tumbling out onto the pages. It felt like life went from black and white to technicolour, as everything and anything could spark inspiration or add depth to the characters or the plot. It was also very much one of those ‘aha’ moments when you realise what you are supposed to be when you grow up.
How I picked the title
I had another title for the book but as the story developed, and it rapidly turned into a trilogy, the title(s) changed. One night while I was just about to fall asleep, inspiration struck and I knew that the book needed to be called ‘One?’. It’s a very bold title, it’s a sentence, a question, a word and a number. I doubt I would have had the courage to call it that if it wasn’t for the dramatic way in which the title came to me. When inspiration strikes like that, you know that it’s going to stick.
My writing process
I’ve outlined my writing process for my first book, the book almost wrote itself. The trilogy is trickling along in the same manner, and the second book ‘Two?’ will be out in 2020. I talk a lot about my writing process on my YouTube channel, but I can’t stress enough the importance of the magic combination of space and time to write. When you are writing you can’t do anything else so it’s important to plan and to structure your life so that you can write. Space is also very important, as books are big and messy. My writing room looked like a paper volcano had erupted by the time I had finished the final edit. It’s also really important to have a physical desk, there is only so much you can do on a laptop. When writing a book it gets to the point where you need a lot of space and you don’t want to be confined to a laptop in a coffee shop.
My more recent projects are more planned out. I’ve been through the process once, so I know what to expect, and how much time I need for the subsequent books.
Advice for aspiring authors
I have a writer’s tips playlist on my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvrlsV9Ru8qEWuRp5UQUHh8lShQvsiHDv) with advice for aspiring authors, but my main advice is to simply write. It’s not a spectator’s sport. I don’t understand the concept of ‘I want to write a book’ if someone isn’t actually writing anything. It’s good to start off writing shorter things. A book can be a little overwhelming so my advice would be to start with short stories, poems or even non-fiction.
Julia Cameron’s book – the artist’s way (https://amzn.to/2X2XESL) is a must-read for any aspiring author or creative of any kind. We all get blocked sometimes, often without realising it, and this book will definitely unblock you.
‘Two?’ will be out in 2020, and ‘Three’ will follow in 2021. I’m also working on a book about where I’m living at the moment, the story is extraordinary, I’m very excited about. As a contemporary fiction writer, my aim is to capture the essence of a place and time, and I’m living in a very exciting place, at a very exciting time.
About Jennifer L Cahill
I write contemporary fiction and try to capture the essence of a place
and time in my books. Above all, my aim is to make you laugh, and
hopefully learn a little, as you recognise yourself, your friends and
your exes in my books. I love hearing from my readers, and you can
contact me via my website, or @JLCAuthor on Twitter.
My first book ‘One?’ is about Life, Love and London, and most importantly about finding the one in the most innovative period in living history. It’s set in London with a sprinkling of Paris and New York for good measure :). It is the first book in a trilogy.
It’s London in the mid-noughties
before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi, and One? follows the highs
and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.
works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for
love. At 28 she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned
and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.
Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness.
Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.
It’s been a wee while since I’ve done a post on a ScrawlrBox. I really should take a better box image… works for the purpose though. What we care about is the contents! And for some reason, my images have come out a little grainy… I’m sorry about that!
Scrawlrbox is a monthly art subscription box that dispatches around the middle of the month. It costs £15 including delivery and comes with a variety of supplies each month. You can check out my reviews of previous boxes if you’d like.
I opened my box and instantly recognised the A5 print included from the monthly featured artist; DrawingWiffWaffles! I follow her on YouTube after I looked up to see what others were doing with their boxes when I was stumped one month. I really like her work! Alongside her art were two sheets of Canson “Off the Wall” 220gsm paper, which, I know from past experience, is an excellent paper!
Every box comes with a bookmark-sized card with a list of the boxes contents and the “ScrawlrChallenge” for the month. This months challenge is “Dressed to the nines.” It also comes with a ScrawlrBox sticker which has a unique design each month and a candy – this month has Parma Violets which is pretty adorable considering the purple theme.
I was really pleased by this months offering. I was immediately excited by the first item on the list!
Copic Purple Doodle Pack – I was so excited to see this, even though I already own one of the colours. I really like little sets like this. Containing two Copic Ciao markers in the colours Mauve Shadow (BV00) and Blue Berry (BV04), Atyou Spica Glitter pen in Pink and a Copic Multiliner 0.3mm in Wine. Copic markers are alcohol based and can be blended together for a variety of tones and effects. They’re really fun, but they do feather and bleed on a lot of papers. The multiliner is just a wine coloured fineliner and is pretty great, it goes nicely with the other products. I don’t really rate the Atyou Spica Glitter pen – not a fan of the nib, but it is a nice touch of sparkle without being too heavy. I did tests of all of the products which I’ll show later in this post, but I can’t capture the glitter.
Faber Castell Dessin Pencil (HB) – It’s a HB pencil. There isn’t a whole lot to say about it. It feels sturdy and the lead doesn’t feel fragile.
Derwent Paint Pen (White) – Tested below over the top of black Sharpie as it won’t really show on the off-white paper very well. I also tried it over all of the other items. I have other Derwent Grafik paint pens, so I was familiar with this type of pen, but white pens are always handy for details. While the ink is wet, you can add water to them and dilute it and use it a little like paint, but it’s permanent once it’s dry. It worked well over the other mediums, but wasn’t entirely opaque, but you can wait for it to dry and go over it for better coverage.
Lyra Kneadable Eraser – These things are so handy. I don’t think it matches the other products in the box, but I know kneadable erasers are a preference of the featured artist and feel like that may be why they chose to include this. I’m not complaining. it comes in its own little box to keep it in, which is really cool as most of the time, this type of eraser doesn’t have reuseable packaging. It’s pretty firm but easily malleable and I personally quite like using these, plus it means no bits of eraser everywhere.
Canson “The Wall” 220gsm Paper – This paper isn’t the heaviest weight but despite that, it really handles solvent based markers very well. It has a coating that means the alcohol markers don’t really bleed or feather and it can handle quite a lot. I’ve used the paper before but I’m not too heavy with markers generally, so I haven’t really put it through it’s paces to test the claim – but apparently, it can easily handle double-sided use.
The last item in the box, that I didn’t mention above, is a special item to celebrate this being their 50th box. How cool is that? It’s a little ScrawlrBox pin and I love it. I was so pleasantly surprised to find this alongside this months sticker – still a big fan of how they upped their sticker game about a year and a half ago! I’m so pleased to see this box enjoying such success. I’ve been subscribed for quite a while now and while some boxes aren’t always for me, it’s always a fun experience. I do enjoy sharing my thoughts on them. While I don’t always write a blog post, I do always tweet my thoughts about the boxes when they come through!
All in all, I was really pleased with this box. All of the supplies will be utilised and so I’m really happy about that. I don’t think I’ll end up doing this months challenge if I’m honest – I really struggle with coming up with things for them but I always keep the cards for future inspiration!
Here’s to many more boxes of surprise art supplies!
Happy Friday! Looking for something to read over the weekend? Today I am on the blog tour for Kult by Stefan Malmström and am bringing you a review. Kult is available now in both Kindle and Paperback formats and is available as part of Kindle Unlimited. I received a copy of the book for free as part of the tour.
Luke is an American former criminal who went with his girlfriend, to check on his friend Viktor and Viktor’s daughter, Agnes, only to find Viktor dead and arriving just in time to see Agnes breathe her last. It appears to be a murder suicide, but Luke is convinced that isn’t the case and decides to investigate things himself, getting himself in to trouble along the way, although he appears to be on to something and notices a link between his friends death and past as a part of the Church of Scientology.
Kult utilises the authors own experiences to present the reader an insight to Scientology, creating an.. intriguing history to the present day events within the book. You can understand why some people may have found Scientology alluring, and just how “convincing” they could be. However, as someone on the outside, looking in, it seems bizarre, messed up and absurd.
Who was taking out these former members of the Church of Scientology and why? Stefan did a great job at building a creepy and chilling environment, mixing reality and fiction, creating a world that made my skin crawl but I couldn’t exit until I found answers. Dark, gritty and disturbing, Kult makes for a compelling read.
About the Book
THE PAST WILL NEVER LET YOU GO…
When a four-year-old girl and her father are found dead in the Swedish city of Karlskrona, the police quickly conclude it was a murder-suicide, a tragedy requiring no further investigation.
But Luke Bergmann, a reformed criminal still haunted by his violent past, believes they are wrong. The dead man, Viktor, was his best friend, and Luke knows he would never commit such a horrific crime.
When more bodies turn up, Luke is certain the same killer has struck again. Alone, he embarks on an investigation which reaches back through decades to his friend’s involvement with a sinister cult and dark secrets are exposed as Luke struggles to keep his own long-buried demons hidden away.
And when Luke finds himself in a killer’s sights, his search for the truth becomes the fight of his life.
Can Luke get justice for Viktor and his daughter and prove his best friend was not a murderer, or will the shadows of the past overwhelm him?
Fans of The Killing, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jo Nesbø and Will Dean will love this dark and gripping début thriller.
NOTE: KULT is inspired by shocking and tragic real events.
Happy weekend! Today, it’s my pleasure to bring you a review of The Penny Black by Rob Parker. This is the third installment in his Ben Bracken thriller series and is available now on Kindle and as part of Kindle Unlimited. Rob very kindly sent me an ARC of his book. Thanks, Rob!
The Penny Black is the third installment in the Ben Bracken thriller series, and while you can read it alone, I feel it may feel a little lacking if you’ve not read the previous books as it makes reference to past events without spending a whole lot of time going back over them. (I was actually on the tour for his previous book – Morte Point and hosted a fab guest post if you fancy a peek after you’re done here!)
Bracken is on the run and has bunkered down in the small town of Horning, with an unsavoury job at a boatyard and living a fairly minimalist lifestyle, under a new identity, going by the name of James, keeping his head down and cracking after his escape from prison during the riot and after the events of the previous book. All in all, he seems pretty contented – that is, until his past catches up to him.
Ben is a good guy whose done bad things, in my view. His ego gets him in to quite a few pickles, he could fill an entire jar. What seems like just deterring some youth’s from breaking in to someones boat, turns in to being a part of a much bigger situation – one Bracken hadn’t accounted for. Big things are happening in that little town, and Bracken just can’t help himself.
The Penny Black is the name of Bracken’s new local. It’s also the title of this well written, fast paced thriller, that just keeps you guessing. I figured his past would come back, but I had no idea what was in store. I was unable to put it down as the action unfolded. Bracken isn’t a clear cut “good guy” or “hero” or whatever you call him, he’s a murky sort and to date, is one of my favourite characters in a thriller.
The book ends in action and pretty abruptly. There’s no frilly ending, just a resolution to the conflict/obstacle and it’s over. Some people might not like that sort of ending, but for me, it just feels like it’s an invitation to read the next installment (Til morning is nigh) coming later this year. I’m very much looking forward to it. I am a fan of series where one book runs in to the next and I find myself most invested in their protaganists. Rob has me as a fan for life.
About the Book
I’m dead, for all intents and purposes. Nobody knows I’m alive…
Bracken is on the run for his life. Keeping a low profile from the
agencies seeking to silence him, he finds refuge in the quiet town of
Horning. Working in a boat yard and lodging with an older couple, Eric
and Dot, Ben uses this time to plan. He needs to escape, and realising
his only chance will reveal his whereabouts to some unsavoury
characters, he plans every detail. Little does he know, even that won’t
Just before he walks away, murder strikes the quiet
town. Ben cannot leave until he is sure that he has not brought any
further trouble to the townsfolk. Will he be able to exact revenge? One
thing is certain, there is a lot more going on in the town of Horning
than meets the eye…
The Penny Black is action packed from beginning to end, keeping you guessing right the way through.
Gooood afternoon! It’s the end of the week and I’m bringing you a review of The Serial Daters Shopping List by Morgen Bailey as part of the BOTBS tour. I was given a copy for free for my participation in the tour.
Izzy works at her local newspaper, usually writing about tech, she’s thrown in to the deep end when she is tasked with dating one guy a day for an entire month. 31 days and 31 dates. Poor Izzy!
She sets up her dating profile and comes up with a shopping list of what she does and doesn’t look for in a man. She states how everyone has their shopping list, whether they write it down or not, but some guys manage to break out of those check boxes – she’s not wrong!
Izzy’s first date was what one may deem as a success. Off to a good start! Admittedly a little disappointing. Girl, we want the tea! Okay, so there ended up being plenty of that later on – phew! Some of the guys are interesting, some are incredibly cringey, some great. There was quite a wide selection of guys in Izzy’s month and it made me laugh. While I’ve never signed up to a dating site before, I’ve had the ups and downs of online dating and tinder terrors relayed to me in technicolour detail on multiple occasions and I laughed how some of these stories echoe’d my friends’ experiences.
This was a really enjoyable, laid back and easy read for me. I found myself smiling on multiple occasions and appreciated the humour. I really liked the main character, Isobel, her best friend Donna and her boss, William. They all felt like really sweet people and it was nice to see their personal growth, even if at the end, I think Donna has made a few questionable decisions! Nothing to heavy and keeping it light hearted, I rather enjoyed this read.
About the Book
Are you looking for the perfect summer holiday read? Then you’ll love this laugh-out-loud comedy about the highs and lows of dating.
is a journalist who usually writes a technology column for a local
newspaper. Her somewhat-intimidating boss William sets her the task of
dating thirty-one men, via an internet dating site, all within a month,
and writing about it for the paper.
an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend Donna, Izzy
knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and
don’ts and starts ticking them off as she meets the men.
the ups and downs of the dating process including Tim ‘the Weeble’,
whose date leads Izzy to see banoffee pie in a whole new light, Lawrence
the super-skinny social worker, Felix with his bizarre penchant for
Persian Piranhas, and ‘the music maestro but don’t talk about dead pets’
By the end of the month, will Izzy have met Mr Right?
About the Author
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey lives and breathes writing. ‘Morgen with an E’ is an author, speaker, tutor, editor, and podcaster. As well as being a competition judge, she is a columnist for Writers’ Forum magazine.
Morgen’s fiction books include crime and mystery novels, and short story collections. They are mostly set against a Northamptonshire background, whether there is crime involved, a dog-detective that can talk, or a serial dater on a mission!
Her non-fiction works are aimed at all levels of writers whether beginners or those who want to refresh their skills – Morgen also tutors in person and has several online writing courses available. She runs her own mentor group on Facebook, very much a collaboration, and she invites all authors to join. Her Writer’s Block Workbooks are a go-to for every author.
When Morgen is not editing, speaking, reading, or writing, she’s walking her dog, out with friends or at literary festivals. The only time she sits down and does nothing is at the cinema but even then she’s making mental notes!