Kickback by Steven Jacob

Kickback copy

Hey Action/ Adventure fans! This week we’re celebrating the release of Steven Jacob’s exciting novella, Kickback!

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kickback

Kickback (Chris Hunter #1)

Publication Date: January 27th, 2020

Genre: Adventure/ Novella

Excerpt

The apartment was shrouded in darkness, he could see vague shapes, outlines that could be anything from a sofa to a table to a refrigerator and all the other sundry that populate an urban apartment. There was something else, too, that struck him immediately. There was a sickly-sweet smell, as of something rotting, like someone left a slab of steak on the counter for a week.

Chris felt along the wall until he found a switch and flipped on the lights. He closed his eyes against the sudden onslaught of light and only opened them a few seconds later, slowly blinking to adjust to the illumination. What he saw when he opened them fully knocked him back a step.

There was a dead body sitting in a chair in the middle of the kitchen.

Now Available!

Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Kobo

About the Author

Steven Jacob is an international attorney who has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for over ten years. He speaks Vietnamese and is familiar with the history, norms, and cultures of the region. He grew up in the United States and lived in several places in the West. He went to school in Utah and California. He has been writing since the second grade when he discovered epic fantasy and science fiction, though he doesn’t write in those genres now. He has published several books independently.

Steven Jacob | Twitter | Facebook

 

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Button
R&R Book Tours

Watch Over Me by Jane Renshaw

4 Stars from me

Well if this isn’t the sweariest book I’ll read this year then I’ll eat my f***ing hat hen.

Packed full of F-words, heavy Scottish dialect, casual violence (and good old fashioned hardcore violence and murder), Watch Over Me is humdinger of a story.

It is a book that needs you to suspend belief a little and just go with it – I think if you can successfully do that then you will love Watch Over Me.

There are some superb characters in here – Lorraine, Saskia, Caroline, Beckie, Aylish to name but a few (most of the Johnson clan deserve a mention to be fair although I did get a little lost at times are there are a few of them!). I do wish that Flora and Neil had had a bit more about them though, I couldn’t really find myself bonding with Flora unfortunately – Jeez what does it say about me that I preferred Lorraine to Flora?! Don’t answer that…

There are so many layers to this book and lots of twists, turns and surprises – if you like a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes then this is the book for you!

My thanks to Damp Pebbles and Jane Renshaw for letting me be a part of this blog tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: Flora always dreamed of the day she’d become a mother. But some dreams turn into nightmares.

Flora and Neil are happily married, but they can’t have children so decide to adopt. And when Flora  meets little Beckie it’s love at first sight. Deep in her heart, she knows they’re meant for each other, destined to be mother and daughter.

When Flora officially becomes Beckie’s mum, it’s like a part of her that’s always been missing is finally in place. She is complete, every day filled with purpose and joy.

There’s only one problem. Beckie was taken from her birth family, the Johnsons, because they have a history of violence and criminal behaviour and so are judged to be unfit to care for a child.

But the Johnsons don’t agree. As far as they’re concerned, Flora has stolen their little girl and they are determined to get her back. They’re very smart, utterly ruthless – and they have a plan. One that will turn Flora’s life into a living hell and push her to the very edge of insanity. 

Operation Large Scotch by William Flockhart

3 Stars from me

This is an astounding debut novel from an author in his seventies – the storyline is deep and engaging and you are quickly pulled into the life of a young man sent away to South Africa (for his own safety), alongside that of the terror and tensions of military life in Northern Ireland at the time.

For me, the writing style had hallmarks of a seasoned male and I know my father in law would love all of the nuances and the tone of the dialogue!

My thanks to Emma from Damp Pebbles for letting me take part in this blog tour.

 

Synopsis: A dissident IRA terrorist cell, in opposition to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, plan to attack the Scotch Whisky Industry unless the British Government pay a ransom.

Armitage Brown, the assistant controller of M15, is given the task of preventing the threat which is planned to coincide with the Millenium Celebrations. Brown co-ordinates all the emergency services under his command in an effort to minimise casualties, using the code name ‘O.L.S.’ an abbreviation for Operation Large Scotch.

Both the terrorists and the security forces have carried out murderous deeds in the past which now come back to haunt them. John Jonhston, a young Northern Irishman, living thousands of miles away in South Africa releases information to Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service, in his effort to seek revenge for the killing of his father in Belfast.

The Introvert Confounds Innoncence by Michael Paul Michaud

4 Stars from me

Bit of an odd one… literally! This is one of the most unusual books I have read in a long while, featuring one of the most unusual lead characters.

I shall have to call him ‘the introvert’ for we do not learn his name, and he is SO introverted it really is a bit of a mystery to me that he managed to ensnare the long suffering Donna! Let alone that she helps him ‘achieve it’.

I liked the reference to the ‘Columbo’ sells technique, swiftly followed by the Columboesque detective, in fact there were several clever little references throughout this engaging tale and I liked it more and more as I read it.

For such a simple style, there are a lot of ‘hot’ topics covered in the story – discrimination and domestic violence to name but two. However, this very much slips under the radar of a good – but quirky – story and the Introvert’s desire to see people ‘red and open’ is all too relatable!

He is a dark but delightful character and his antics are somewhat of a guilty pleasure! I look forward to seeing what he gets up to in future books.

My thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours for letting me take part in this blog tour.

Synopsis: THE INTROVERT CONFOUNDS INNOCENCE continues the story of the eponymous anti-hero introduced in THE INTROVERT.

With his life disrupted by an unscrupulous work colleague and a bully at his son Toby’s school, things go from bad to worse when his neighbor’s abusive boyfriend goes missing, plunging the introvert into the center of a murder investigation.

Increasingly hounded by a meddlesome detective, and with his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

Blood Family by Graeme Hampton

4 Stars from me

I love meeting new police characters and I enjoyed following DI Matt Denning and DS Molly Fisher of the East London MIT in this second book of the series.

The books starts with a brutal and gruesome crime as a family home is set on fire and it doesn’t take long for fire investigators to discover the five bodies, three generations of the Galloway family, inside. I couldn’t hep but feel relieved that they had been shot first.

Denning and Fisher are a bit of an odd pairing and I plan to go back and read the first book in the series so that I can get to know them better. However, you learn a lot about them and their own dysfunctional families in Blood Family, with Matt Denning jugging his dedication to his career along with caring for his autistic son and Molly Fisher struggling with brother.

There seemed to be a different dynamic here than in other police procedurals that I have read recently and it made the book all the more engaging as Molly is actively encouraged to take risks and more cautious Denning plods doggedly onwards to solve the crime and catch the murderer.

The aspect of dysfunction and no such thing as a normal family is a strong message and not a bad one to promote.

Blood Family is a enjoyable read and I will look out for more in the series. My thanks to Graeme Hampton and BOTBSPublicity for letting me take part in this blog tour.

Synopsis: When D.I. Matthew Denning is called in to investigate a house fire in a North London street, he never anticipated the horrors that awaited him. As Denning and D.S. Molly Fisher search the wreckage, the bodies of the Galloway family – Brian and Ellie, son Simon, daughter Amber and 9-year-old grandson Caleb – are discovered in the smouldering house.

All evidence points to a tragic accident… until Matthew and Molly discover that the family was dead before the fire, murdered in their home by a faceless psychopath. What started as a routine investigation swiftly turns into a murder investigation, with Denning and Fisher hunting a killer who has wiped out three generations with a shotgun.

But as the case deepens, Denning and Fisher discover that the Galloways were no ordinary family. Like all families, they harbour secrets – but unlike others, their secrets were so deadly, someone is willing to spill blood to keep them hidden…

An utterly gripping detective novel set in London, Blood Family will thrill fans of Angela Marsons, Mark Billingham and Robert Bryndza.

Eat Happy Too #GlutenFree by Anna Vocino

EatHappyToo

I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous cook book, Eat Happy Too, by Anna Vocino! Check out all 160+ of her delicious recipes!

High Res EH2 front coverEat Happy Too: 160+ New Gluten Free, Grain Free, Low Carb Recipes for a Joyful Life

Anna Vocino is back with Eat Happy Too: 160+ NEW delicious grain-free, gluten-free, low carb recipes that are also free of processed sugars. Get back to cooking and retrain your taste buds to love food again. You’ll be shocked at how good food can taste!

Eat Happy Too has 160 more starters, mains, sides, soups, casseroles, slow cooker AND Instant Pot recipes, plus breakfast and a chapter to learn how to make sauces and dressings from scratch and not be stuck buying chemical laden versions from the grocery store. There is also a desserts chapter which has some SPLURGE recipes made from the finest ingredients, so that when you have something to celebrate, you can do it with minimal metabolic effect on your body.

Half of the recipes have dairy, half are dairy free, and most of the recipes with dairy can be made dairy free for those who want to limit their dairy intake. The book ends with a few lower carb cocktail recipes for those who want to play mixologist.

Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, Anna Vocino struggled to manage the effects of autoimmune disease and middle age weight gain while still being able to eat delicious and satisfying foods. In 2012, she started podcasting with Vinnie Tortorich and changed her way of eating to not only be gluten free, but also grain and sugar free. Her first cookbook, Eat Happy, is an Amazon best seller, and her audience made it very clear MORE RECIPES, PLEASE!

Add to Goodreads

Amazon | B & N | Nook | IndieBound

About the Author

Anna Vocino

Anna is the author of Eat Happy and Eat Happy Too. Her cookbooks are filled with gluten and grain free recipes that celebrate her half Southern, half Italian-girl heritage. She hopes you enjoy every tasty recipe from cover to cover.

Anna Vocino | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest| Tumblr| IMDb

Stay tuned, because Eat Happy Too will be going on tour this February!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

5 Stars from me

Oh my god – this book, this book, this book!

#ThreeHoursNovel by Rosamund Lupton is absolutely breathtaking. I really can’t recommend this book enough. Every page is powerful and beautifully crafted and I read most of the story with my breath held and my heart in my mouth.

The emotions within the book are captured perfectly and I was taken through the whole gambit from joy to fear to heartbreak and back again.

My heart broke for the poor mum who was waiting for news of her son, her emotions were tangible, palpable and I lived them with her. The emotive feelings from this stayed with me for days after I had finished the book.

The breaking of the story via Twitter and YouTube was cleverly delivered and again utterly believable and compelling.

Without wishing to give the story away or drop any spoilers, the brain washing and manipulation was terrifying and heart breaking again in equal measure.

However, among the horror and awfulness of the hatred and intolerance a bright light of love and warm shone out. The spirit and strength of the school staff, the resilience and protectiveness of the students, the faith in each other was beautiful.

I had high hopes owing to the sheer brilliance of Sister and can definitively confirm that I was not disappointed. Three Hours is a must read of 2020 and I am truly honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Penguin Books.

Synopsis: The extraordinary new novel everyone is talking about from the Sunday Times best-selling author of Sister

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

Joining Blogging Book Tours – pros and cons

2019 has proved to be a wonderful year for me from a book blogging perspective. I have read some incredible books (I’ve read 72 according to Good Reads but I know it is a few more than that!).

I have always been a keen and regular reader – escapism at it’s finest!

During 2019 I’ve really embraced taking part in blog tours for books and I’ve hugely enjoyed it, it feels really good to be tiny part of the publicity and promotion for an author and to feel like I might in some small way have contributed to their sales 🙂

At this point, I would like to offer very genuine and heartfelt thanks to those who have welcomed me into their reviewers fold:

Damp Pebbles Blog Tours – got to start with Emma and Damp Pebbles as this was the first blog tour I joined and I have read some fabulous books thanks to Emma and the excellent service she offers to authors and reviewers.

Tony Marturano – next I move to Tony who introduced me to the fascinating and hugely exciting world of being invited to join a readers panel with a view to being an early reader to provide honest feedback intended help shape the editing process prior to publication. I was honoured to be able to this for Tony with his own books and also with Eye for Eye by J K Franko.

Book on the Bright Side Publicity – then there is the lovely Sarah from BOTBS who again I have taken part in some brilliant tours with and is super lovely to deal with too.

R&R Book Tours – now the lovely Shannon from R&R tours… Not only do I get to discover new books with her but she sends me MAGIC content that is all whizzy and HTML codey wizardry!

Random Things Tours – the most recent sign up for me is with the lovely Anne from Random Things Tours. Anne is great to deal with and super organised – thanks again for letting me take part.

Last but by no means least, I have also done a couple of reviews with Mirror Books and have a couple more lined up for the New Year. They are also great to work with and have some really exciting publications.

Also a nod to NetGalley, I absolutely love NetGalley!

So again, huge thanks to you all.

Now to Pros and Cons

I’ll start with cons as then they are out of the way. It can, at times, feel pressured. It can, sometimes, feel as though you are reading to meet a deadline rather than reading for enjoyment. There will be times when you don’t like the book. You will need to be clear and strong with your own opinions – without damaging the tour. You will need to be organised and meet the commitments you have made in terms of reviews – people are relying on you to publish on the right date. Never ever do it for the ‘free’ books, they aren’t free, think about the cost of your time!

Phew, now, on to the pros! So many positive aspects here, you get to read some amazing books – for me personally I’ve read books that I would probably not have ever encountered and a lot of them have been brilliant! You get to make connections with other people who love books 🙂 it’s a beautiful thing giving someone a book recommendation and then getting a tweet in a couple of weeks time to say they loved it. Reading an advance copy of a book for a nerd like me is exquisite! And, for me, the best thing is knowing that I’ve helped an author or made them smile when I can honestly say ‘I loved your book’.

So thank you all once again and I look forward to reading and reviewing many more fabulous books in 2020.

Lisa x

Who’s There? by Kerena Swan

5 Stars from me
County lines are of serious concern in the UK right now and Who’s There? really taps into this current and troubling issue. Kerena’s history of working in the sector shone through and added a breadth of credibility to the story.
For me, (I work in a secondary school and live in a town that is on a main line from London) this book is highly insightful and deals with a contemporary and very real issue in a sensitive way. Safeguarding of young and vulnerable people is high on the agenda for schools and government agencies and Who’s There? really shines a light on just how easy it is for someone to fall foul of these gangs of drug dealers.
This book is worth reading for that alone. So much so that I would actually recommend this to anyone who was seeking to gain an understanding of how the county lines work and why they are of such a risk to our children and young people.
Chip was a sweet character and again all too familiar to me as it is young, disconnected kids who are often targeted by these gangs to be their drug runners – kids like Chip who aren’t being closely monitored by their families and who are desperate either for attention, money or even just a sense of belonging.
Arnold is a superb character, I loved him so much for his straight forward view of things. What lovely eyes to see the world through – I felt quite jealous of his naive ability to see just the good in things. His view of the housing estate was so different to the cynical first impression gathered by his mum. Sadly this also meant he was the perfect person for them to ‘befriend’ and abuse. Yet, in among on the awfulness, I loved his little obsession with Clint Eastwood and the cowboy films, that was a nice touch.
Poker and Spider – ugh. Awful people with literally no morals.
I felt for the poor girl who lived next door to Arnold. Saskia was clearly a very genuine and kind girl – she was very sweet to Chip and Arnold on several occasions, yet her own dark past had led her to become hooked on drugs. Such a shame how the story panned out for her.
The parallel story of Arnold’s family would have been just as intriguing as a book on it’s own and showed a real depth of understanding of family dynamics and the complexity of the relationships within. Arnold’s mum, sister, stepdad and of course the dog were all excellently crafted and served to bring the story to life.
The fear for Arnold’s mum as she let go enough for him to leave home and live on his own was tangible and beautifully written.
I really enjoyed Who’s There? and am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour.
Synopsis: Appearances can be deceptive… Arnold Eastwood is thrilled when social services allocate him a flat all of his own. Independence hasn’t come easily to a young man with Downs Syndrome but now he has the chance to live free from his mum’s nagging, find a girlfriend, watch endless movies and make new friends. Meanwhile a London drug gang is setting up a supply line in Arnold’s town. They’re looking for someone to deliver drugs for them and somewhere to set up a base of operations. Soon Arnold and his flat are in the drug gang’s sights. Drawn into the dark underworld of crack cocaine and modern slavery, Arnold soon discovers that friends can in fact be deadly enemies. The question is: can he break free?  
Author Bio:
Kerena Swan trained as a Social Worker and worked for Social Services for over 25 years. For the past 14 years she has owned and managed an ‘outstanding’ rated agency for children with disabilities.  Following serious illnesses she decided to fulfil her long-held ambition of writing a book and getting it published. ‘Dying to See You’, published by Bloodhound Books, was her debut novel. 

After many years of writing professionally in the course of her work, Kerena has discovered the exhilaration and deep joy of writing fiction and can be found at all hours in front of her computer. Her second novel ‘Scared to Breathe’ is now available and her third book, ‘Who’s There?’ will be released on December 13th 2019.

Kerena lives with her family in a small village in Bedfordshire, UK and her books are set in the surrounding areas.

Drawing on her extensive knowledge and experience of the problematic world of social work and social studies, Kerena adds a unique angle to the domestic noir and crime genre.

If you would like to hear more about new releases, read Kerena’s blogs and download a free short-story – the prequel to Dying to See You – then visit www.kerenaswan.co.uk   and join her mailing list.

Facebook – Facebook.com/kerenaswan

Twitter- @kerenaswan

Instagram – kerenaswan

Goodreads link – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48763828-who-s-there

Amazon link – https://www.amazon.com/Whos-There-Kerena-Swan-ebook/dp/B081D5JWXG/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Kerena+Swan&qid=1573648513&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Patch Lane by S F Barkley

4 Stars from me

I absolutely loved Patch Lane! There is something simplistically beautiful about this book and the gentle lull of the story that just captivated me. Her relationship with her Dad and Aunt is really cute too and it made for comforting -if a little spooky – reading.

Our tenacious cop, Sarah, is a great character – she’s a little stereotypical but that just made her all the more likeable for me. She’s good at her job, has great instincts and loves her family – she was perfect in a small town cop kinda way.

I love the creepiness of Patch Lane and all that has gone on in that house and on that land made for a few unsettling moments especially when she was attending those 911 hangups on her own.

All in all the storyline itself was interesting and intriguing and I really enjoyed reading it.

I love the book cover too.

Click the link below to win a Kindle download of Patch Lane!

CLICK TO ENTER a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLane digital cover.jpg

Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.

The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.

Excerpt

The house was in total disrepair. The exterior had white wooden siding with loosely attached, rotting black shutters. The moonlight highlighted the chipping paint, making the shutters appear two-toned. The old brick chimney was pulling away from the side of the house, and small trees were growing on the lower roof. There were no signs of life inside—no lights, no sound, not even a car parked on the property. It was the only house on the lane, so I deduced this was once a running farm. This must have been the original farmhouse. I slowly made my way around the house, trudging through the overgrown grass, to check the perimeter. With no evidence of life or habitation, I was beginning to question if Dispatch had gotten the address wrong. I got on the radio. “1034 to Dispatch.”

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“I’m at 52 Patch Lane. Can you confirm this is the address?”

“Stand by.” After about a minute, Dispatch got back on the air. “1034, yes, that’s the correct address. Do you need backup?”

“Negative. It appears no one is home, but I’ll update.”

At this point, I knocked on the front door and announced myself. “Officer Hastings, Amber Forest Police Department!” No answer. All of the windows were closed, so I tried the front door. Locked. I didn’t have any extenuating circumstances that would allow a warrantless entry, so all I could do was leave. There wasn’t even enough for me to write a police report.

“1034 to Dispatch,” I radioed again.

“Dispatch, go ahead.”

“It looks like this house is abandoned. I think the 911 hang up might have been some crossed telephone wires. Clear me from the call with no report.”

“10-4.”

I began driving back down the gravel lane when another wave of chills shot through me. I hit my brakes and glanced in my rearview mirror. My brake lights flooded the house in red, and for a split moment I thought I saw someone standing in the window watching me leave. I blinked, and the figure vanished. My intuition had kept me alive this far, but I knew Chief Fox would rip me a new one if I tried to enter that house based on my intuition and faintly seeing shadows. I took a deep breath and convinced my foot to ease off of the brake and back on the gas.

 

PatchLN

Blog Tour Schedule

December 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

Kim Knight (Review) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

December 3rd

B is for Book Review (Guest Post) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Review) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

December 4th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

December 5th

Cup of Books Blog (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

Read and Rated (Review) https://readandrated.com/

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

December 6th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

 

S.F. BarkleyTwitterFacebookInstagramAmazon

 

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours