book reviews · Bookish

The Judas Tree by Susan Bacoyanis (Review)

The Judas Tree is the second book in the linked series by Susan Bacoyanis, available now, published by Endeavour Media. It is a short read [185 pages] suited for anyone who is a fan women’s psychological thrillers. It’s available both in Paperback and Kindle formats and is available on Kindle Unlimited. If you’ve not tried Kindle Unlimited before, you can get a free, 30 day trial here!

Mary, a 46-year-old divorcee, is a damaged woman who endured many years of abuse and buried it, never dealing with her issues or her feelings surrounding what she went through. She is convinced that she does what is best for the greater good and that her actions are justified.

Having been left for a younger woman, she moves to England. Beginning an affair with her new neighbour across the road, Jonas, she is now the “other woman,” in a relationship with a married man. A man who is nasty, taunting her with the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, quite contrary” and already a clearly unfaithful man, he goes on to betray her too. Watching out of her windows, she sees that Jonas has other regular female visitors and is cheating on her, so she sets out for revenge in this dark, psychological thriller.

The history of Mary Tudor is woven through the book and the author explores abuse throughout; some of the acts are taken from real life events in an attempt to generate awareness.

There are so many twists and turns, this book is a wild ride and will grip you from start to finish as you witness Mary’s crusade for revenge and how she deals with her “three blind mice.” Despite becoming a murderess, you can feel empathy for Mary and all she has endured and the series of events that led to her doing the things she did.

My only criticism is that some of the police procedural didn’t ring true, but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all as this book is not focused around a police investigation.

Filled with twists and turns, The Judas Tree will have you hooked from start to finish.

Mary Webster’s reaction to her lover’s betrayal is off the chart…Mary seems like an ordinary 46-year-old divorcee, beginning a new life in rural England, but she has depths of pent-up pain, the result of 20 years of marital infidelities and abuse. All she needs is a trigger to unleash savage emotions.


When she becomes entangled with Jonas, a married man, Mary suddenly finds herself in the opposite role of the ‘other woman’. Jonas has a nasty streak, however, and taunts with the nursery rhyme ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary…’.


But when Mary uncovers Jonas’s web of seductive lies, betraying not only herself but his wife and several young village women, she plots her revenge and acts out the real meaning of the nursery rhyme…
As things go from bad to worse, Mary is driven over the edge of normality. Because Mary is not normal … she is damaged. Her only redeeming quality is her belief that she is acting for the greater good …

Susan Bacoyanis’s intriguing psychological thriller The Judas Tree is a chilling tale of multiple acts of betrayal and the consequences of greed. It has deep echoes of Penelope Mortimer’s angry woman classic of the Sixties, The Pumpkin Eater.

Bookish · Life · Uncategorized

A day in the life of a Writer/Dad

As part of the Blog Tour for Morte Point, I’m pleased to be able to share a guest post with you from Robert Parker; the author himself. Yay! *everyone applauds*

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This is the lovely Rob; if context wasn’t enough of an indicator.

My Usual Day As A Writer-Dad

5.45 AM
Oh my god, really? You really want to wake up now? The little foot in my back, the snuffle and the grunt tells me that’s a yes. Our baby son, who is ten months old and has somehow found his way into our bed overnight, wants up and at ‘em. As is our routine (I do the earlies, Mrs Parker does the nights), I’m up and down the stairs – not before tripping over our two older daughters, who are 3 and 7, and have also dragged their duvets onto our bedroom floors. Words will have to be had later, but for now? COFFEE.

9 AM
We’ve taken it in shifts to get ready for the last couple of hours, while the youngsters play, bicker, eat, drink, mess etc. Now it’s time for mummy to take over, and for daddy to get to work. If it was term time, we’d be on the school run. I nip upstairs, and start the usual checks on social media (what do I need to tweet about today?) and emails (who haven’t I got back to?).
10 AM
As I’ve got another charity fight coming up, it’s time to train at the local boxing gym, which is fashioned in a big room halfway up an old cardboard box factory in Warrington. Ten rounds of getting my backside handed to me (I’ve got a bit of weight to shift before the fight, so the hard work is all ahead of me), and I’m on my way home.

11.30 AM
NEED MORE COFFEE. Time to eat, refuel, whichever. Check those email responses. All good, no worries. Lunch.

12.00 PM
Let’s get writing. I aim for 2000 words a day, so let’s turn off social media and go for that first 500 words.

12.30 PM
It’s going well – so well that I’m on approximately 650! Let’s keep going till it dries up.

12.31 PM
It dried up at 654. Let’s refresh, grab a coffee. Start again.

16.00 PM
That was tough. It’s been a slog this afternoon, so much so that a decent 400 words had to be axed completely and redone. But we are getting there. An hour to go.

16.30 PM
My eyes literally won’t stay open. I keep reading the same sentence over and over and ov….zzzzzzz.

16.47 PM
I’m awake – and there’s only 13 minutes to go?! DAMMIT! Head down, go and mercifully the flow is back. I’m going to get there.

17.00 PM
The kids are shouting ‘daddy!’ up the stairs, and I know it’s time to stop. I’m 350 words short or so, but those’ll have to wait. Now it’s playtime, Peppa Pig, something on Youtube called Diana’s Playtime about some kids who have every toy ever made. Fairy tales, sing songs, stories – and I LOVE it.

18.00 PM
Tea time. In term time, I’m informed who was the naughtiest at preschool/school that day, but tonight it’s what marvelous weirdos they saw while out shopping. Baby redecorates the kitchen with food.

18.30 PM
Daddy baths the little ones, while Mummy cleans up baby’s artistic efforts in the kitchen. I face the usual questions about the young lad’s anatomy (still a novelty apparently), before rustling them into towels and their bedrooms.

19.00 PM
Time for a story and bed. The girls like a story each (read together) and then comprehension questions in some bizarre bedtime test. Easy ones for the three year old, MENSA standard for the seven year old.

19.20 PM
After failed negotiations with the three year old, Daddy is under house arrest on her bedroom floor with his laptop. She bombards me with questions like ‘what are you working on?’ and ‘did you write the Bible?’.

21.00 PM
All sound asleep. I head down to the office to work, and keep slugging away until I get there. My agent Linda asked me to check in earlier, and she’s still in the office over in New York, so I give her a buzz on WhatsApp. We are both from the north of England, so we end up exchanging a few ‘ecky thumps’ and ‘ee by gums’ before hanging up. Tonight, the flow is good, so I’ll keep at it, armed with a pint of coffee (we don’t play games round our way).

23.45 PM
The words were flushing out of me tonight, so I had to make use of it because there’ll be days when it’s a lexical Sahara up there – happy to make it to 2,450 for the day. I head to bed.

23.47 PM
I forgot to sterilize the baby’s bottles. Back downstairs I go, but I forget to unset the alarm. As soon as I enter the kitchen, off it goes and up wakes the whole house. For crying out loud…


morte-pointMorte Point is a wonderful spot for a holiday. Only that’s not why Ben Bracken is here.

He’s here because in this sleepy part of England, events are now unfolding that could cause death and mayhem, and not just for the unfortunates in the plane that has just crashed into the sea off the North Devon coast.

Sent to locate the source of the problem, ex-soldier and patriot Ben finds himself both hunter and hunted. But who is after him, and why do they want to capture him so desperately?

Morte Point is the sequel to Rob Parker’s “A Wanted Man“. It’s fast paced and gripping and I hope you’ll give it a go and love it. You can check out the other stops on the tour if you’d like to find out more about the book! You can find Rob via Twitter – @robparkerauthor. Special thanks to Endeavour Media for inviting me to participate in the tour!

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