Category Archives: Weekly Trail

Review: “Singled Out” by JulieLawford

Another crime thriller to add to my reading list…

writerchristophfischer

I’ve had the pleasure to meet Julie at last year’s Bloggers Bash and seeing her again this year reminded me that I still had her book on my kindle. This weekend’s sunshine provided me at last with an opportunity to indulge in this very accomplished novel.
What I’m talking about is a very well-written thriller set during a holiday trip to Turkey, catering to single holiday makers. You might immediately assume that this is chick lit territory, but that would do the character depth and writing style grave injustice. While certainly appealing to female audiences this novel doesn’t limit itself to pure light-hearted romantic interests but visits darker sides of the dating game and crime.
Using alternate narrative strands and voices we get insight into the characters, but we’re shown enough to be drawn deep into these characters.
Things are not as they seem and while you have an incling…

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Book Review: “The Iron Pendulum” by Eloise de Sousa

Read the latest review of The Iron Pendulum by Christoph Fischer, author and blogger at CFF Books.

writerchristophfischer

The Iron Pendulum by [De Sousa, Eloise]I’ve met Eloise at the Blogger’s Bash last week and was intrigued as to what kind of books she wrote. I opted for an adult rather than a children’s book, as I was in the mood for a thriller.
I’m glad to report that I picked a rather stunning thriller full of suspense and susprises. The opening scene sets up a great sense of intrigue as we discover along with the detectives a very strange crime scene that leaves the polive guessing. Soon, another crime scene is discovered, similar, but this one even more bizarre and puzzling. You simply can’t help wondering what has happened and will want to know where the story is going. There are two people missing. We learn a little later on where the missing people are, while the detectives are still in the dark about this. It’s hard to describe this thriller further without risking…

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Friends Fun And Photos: #BloggersBash2017

A View From My Summerhouse

Last year I called it Big, Bright And Beautiful.  And it was.  The Blogger’s Bash 2016 was all of those things.

So what do I call it this year?  I could call it the  ‘International Blogger’s Conference’ as displayed in the lobby of the  The Grange Wellington Hotel in London where this year’s Bash was held.  After all, with bloggers from Ireland, Canada and the USA attending, it truly was an international affair.

But I am going to call it this: Simply Wonderful.

So it was on June 10th, arriving in London on a beautiful, not-quite-officially summer morning,  I met up with Julie en route for a quick coffee. It was fantastic to see her again; we’ve both attended all three Bashes, real old timers, ha!

First of my mad spate of selfies with Julie Lawford

Just before meeting Julie, Sacha and Geoff happened to be walking towards me on…

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Book Tuesday: Linda Hill

Welcome to the Book Tuesday post where I share the latest book reviews, snippets from stories I am writing and new releases by some fantastic authors.

This week, I am happy to introduce you to another blogging buddy and author: Linda Hill.

I write. I observe. And then I write some more. People and their behaviour fascinate me endlessly. I read. A lot. I love to learn.

Her blog, Linda G. Hill, Life In Progress, is filled with parenting, book delights and of course, exciting details on her new book The Magician’s Curse, details of which are below.

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?

Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru. Magic and romance await.

Official release date: June 27, 2017!

Pre-order your Kindle copy today here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0721ZH2KN

Available soon on Kobo, and on June 27th in paperback on Amazon.

As a little taster, here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 for you to enjoy.

An excerpt from Chapter 2:

The moment Stephen stepped out the door, the foyer fell silent again. He didn’t have to look at any of the interviewees perched, alert upon burgundy velvet-covered benches against both sides of the room, to know their eyes were on him. They were drawn to him as though he were a human magnet, just as Herman had been. He passed the stairs, turned right, and stepped into the dining room where his agent, Margaret, waited for him to arrive.

“Hey,” she said without looking up. She sat poring over the applications that were strewn across the large antique dining room table. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it, staring at the top of her dark mane of hair shining in the light of the chandelier above her head. Her long, graceful fingers, poised to turn a page, were an elegant extension of the rest of her lithe body. Finally, she looked up and took in his appearance with icy-green eyes. She was every bit as beautiful as any of the women outside.

“What’s the matter with you?” she asked. Being inseparable for five years, both as best friends and then co-workers, made it easy for her to tell when there was something different, however subtle, about him.

“I found her,” Stephen said, his back still to the door.

“Who?”

“She has a perfect body and long, brown hair and the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. And her lips! Full and beautiful. And the way they move when she speaks … absolutely captivating.”

Margaret narrowed her eyes. “You hired someone on the train again, didn’t you?” It was a statement more than a question.

Stephen nodded.

“Okay,” she said, sitting back in her chair. “Tell me more about her.”

“I think she’s running away from home. She has a job to go to, but she agreed to come and check this one out. She’s sweet and innocent and she’s almost eighteen.”

Margaret crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes even more.

“No, I didn’t audition her the same way I did the others,” he said.

“So you didn’t bang her in the limo on the way here.”

“No! She’s not of age. And anyway, I knew from the second I saw her that she’s the one.”

Margaret began to say something just as the door opened on the far side of the room to her left, and Nina came in from the kitchen. Both Stephen and Margaret glanced at the slight young woman and then at each other.

“Should I leave the two of you alone?” Margaret asked.

Stephen shook his head almost imperceptibly and walked over to have a quiet word with the girl. After a few seconds she bowed and backed out of the room, and Stephen turned back to his friend.

“Well then,” Margaret said, throwing her hands up and glaring down at the stacks of paper in front of her. “Tell them all to go home.”

“No, I still want to interview them.”

“What the hell for?”

“Herman might not take the job.”

Margaret raised her eyebrows. “<em>Herman</em>?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, let me get this straight. You’re telling me she’s the one you want but that she might not stay. I’m confused.”

He stood, silently pleading with his friend to understand what he had only begun to comprehend himself.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Stephen? I’ve never seen you undone like this before …”

Margaret put her hand up to her mouth, realization dawning on her face. “Oh my God,” she said quietly.

He closed his eyes as he spoke. “It doesn’t matter whether or not she’ll be my assistant, Margaret.” He opened his eyes and swallowed hard. “She’s the girl I’m going to marry.”

**********************

About the Author

me

Linda G. Hill was born and raised an only child in Southern Ontario, Canada. She credits the time she spent alone when she was growing up, reading books and building worlds and characters of her own to keep her company, as the reason she became a writer.

A stay-at-home mom of three beautiful boys, Linda is a graduate of the Writing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Aside from caring for her family, she enjoys traveling the world, eating trout cooked on the barbecue, and, of course, reading.

Follow Linda:

Main blog: https://lindaghill.com

Fiction and Poetry blog: https://lindaghillfiction.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGHill

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15577348.Linda_G_Hill

 

#WhenDreamsComeTrue Sarah Hardy Publicist at Bloodhound Books @sarahhardy681 @Bloodhoundbook

mychestnutreadingtree

Today I have another in my occasional series When Dreams Come True where people within the book world talk about their ambitions and their journey to success. Today it’s the turn of the lovely Sarah Hardy. I’ve know Sarah online for sometime and I first met her in person at the very first TBC Leeds meet up in February 2015. Since then we’ve become good friends (and Harrogate roomies!) and I’ve watched her go from strength to strength firstly with her blogBy The Letter Book Reviewsand now as a publicist forBloodhound Books

Guest post by Sarah Hardy…

Books have always been a big part of my life. I’ve no idea when I started reading but it’s just something I always remembered doing from being a very young age. Due to my dad’s job we moved around a few times, so ended up going to numerous schools. I…

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What a week!

A while back I used to write a post called Saturday Confessions; it was a way of opening up and sharing things I had never shared with anyone else; kind of releasing the inner me onto you, the unsuspecting public! 
Well today I have woken up with that same feeling, due to the fact that I’ve achieved another awesome week at work, which I shall go into more detail about in a tick.  The other part is due to the incredible amount of work my fellow staff put in to make our school a cut above the rest.

Yesterday, I spent my break time duty walking around a playing field full of happy children, laughing together, singing in groups, challenging teachers on duty to races and encouraging them to play games, which the staff happily obliged in doing. The setting was almost too perfect to my cynical eye for the joy I felt was overwhelming. How on earth could 200+ students be so happy and content at the same time? I kid you not, those kids were beaming!

Now this leads me onto the reason why I was happy to volunteer to write an enrichment week for the teachers. Watching them and seeing just how much effort they put into their work, how much time and energy they place in getting the detail right to cater for every single child in their class and the support they provide for those lagging behind as well as the advanced students – it makes me proud to be a part of their support team. 

With careful consideration as to how we would utilise the resource, I had to write up themed lessons that would inspire the children to use their abilities in literacy and showcase their imagination, mixed in with technical writing skills for moderation. Not only that but giving the theme enough traction for the teachers to plan mathematics and science based lessons on it made it more challenging. With my Literacy Co-ordinator giving me her list of requirements, we banged out the objectives for the week and I began my planning. 

If I had to combine the time spent on creating the enrichment package, I would say it took me a week, maybe more, to get it right. That included meetings, editing and re-drafting of some lessons. Since time is not exactly free in this life, I spent my spare moments to piece this all together. 

Once the completed product was ready, I presented it to the deputy head (who is also the  head of junior literacy) and  Literacy Co-ordinator (who happens to be the head of early years Literacy). My theme was space, genre type: science fiction, and it roughly covered descriptive writing, diary entries, formal letter writing, code breaking, plotting a map and creating plants and animals found on a planet in our galaxy. There was, of course, more added details to make each day fun for the children and we included ideas (from the teachers) on artwork we could create during the week.

Once the package was approved, I made sure to role out a teacher pack and student pack so that everyone was on the same page. 

I’m not going to lie and say it’s an easy task or that there are no hiccups along the way. Some children respond beautifully to these specialised writing tasks, whilst others shut down completely and find it overwhelming. But that’s where the staff step in and make it all possible. Like superheroes, they descend onto the unsuspecting child struggling in the corner and sit with said child till they understand what is required of them. The teaching assistants work their butts off to support the teachers and by the end of the week, we have children from Reception through to year 6 using the same enrichment package and producing work on the same theme. 

It’s really exciting! 

For added effect, this year I included a link up with the National Space Centre in Leicester (from the midlands whereas we are based in the south of England) and we held a virtual classroom in the hall with all 200 children in attendance. They were so well behaved; we were very proud of them all. The space commander answered their prepared questions and the children got to interact with the presenter and watch video clips from NASA. They were pretty spellbound when they saw footage of the first jumping spider in space and I was hooked to the screen too!

To close the week off, we all dressed up as book characters, the staff choosing to dress as aliens in underpants! I’ll share a pic with you that my Headteacher took which I assumed was of just the book but included me. We ran an assembly celebrating the work from each year group and listened to stories read out from their missions. I got to read Aliens in Underpants Save Earth to the children and we all had a good look at the artwork created throughout the week.

Yes, as I said, it was a lot of hard work and creating the package was wonderful, but watching it get rolled out across the school made it all worthwhile.

Last year, the children went on a quest to save a baby Phoenix; this year they became space cadets and had to save the world and travel to Proximate B. If I’m asked to write the enrichment again, where will I take them next year and what will they become? Who knows, we might just go back in time or become something fantastic! 

Buster & Moo

Buster & Moo is available for pre-order from Amazon. This intriguing book by Geoff Leopard takes relationships to the limit and shows how the love of a dog can keep friendships together beyond their expiry date!
Read more from the author himself and don’t forget to order your copy today.

TanGental

So the Bloggers Bash is over for another year, the summer holidays are approaching and you are wondering how you will fill those unremitting hours of sunshine. Okay, it’s England. A couple of hours of sunshine.

I bring you tidings of joy unconfined, peeps.

I bring you

Buster & Moo

The finest of fine new books. Now available on pre-order here, the latest Le Pard novel can be in your hands or on your kindle (or other reading machine) on 15th July.

Here’s the blurb

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

Life is complicated when Landen loses her job following the discovery of her affair…

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Tell Me a Story Eloise DeSousa

A huge thank you to Annette for taking the time to interview me. What a fantastic opportunity to catch up with her about life, love and the power of books.

Annette Rochelle Aben

What can reading books teach us, at any age?  Pull up the podcast of Eloise DeSousa today on Tell Me a Story and find out.

Eloise DeSousa blogs, raises 4 children, is a wife and holds down a full time job. So, when would she ever find time to write and publish books….   AND she manages to blend things like life lessons, romance and horror into neat, tidy packages.  Yeah, you’ll want to check this out!

Be sure to FOLLOW her on her Author Central Page and how kind, that you would leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads once you have gotten her books.

* all podcasts are posted in alphabetical order 

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J-Jail Journal : A-Z Challenge.

Tasmania! One of my dream destinations. I’ve been catching up with Rowena and her husband’s family history – their involvement with the infamous John Mitchell.
Here is her summary of what she’s discovered.

beyondtheflow

Welcome to Day 10 of our Alphabetical Tour Around Tasmania.

Today, we’re visiting John Mitchel’s Jail Journal, which is indeed a book, rather than a place. The first edition of John Mitchel’s Jail Journal was published in the New York Citizen, the journal established by Mitchel on his arrival in America, between 14th January and 19th August 1854.

As you may recall, I wrote a brief bio of John Mitchel: Here.

John mitchel with signature

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I’ve bitten off way more than I can chew, trying to sum up Jail Journal in a few quick paragraphs. Indeed, I’m choking on my folly.

Of course, writing about Jail Journal seemed a fabulous idea three months ago, when we were driving around Tasmania and I was scrawling out my list of all things Tasmanian from A to Z. Back then, I not only needed a “J”, I also thought…

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Book Tuesday: Review – The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

For my Book Tuesday, I thought it might be nice to hear a fresh voice. Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews shares a crime thriller that sets her teeth on edge.

Dee's Rad Reads and Reviews

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The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta (Anna Curtis #5)

Published May 3,  2016

Touchstone

4 Stars!!

When I started reading this book, I didn’t realize it was a part of a series. I should know better as this has happened to me before. Had I checked Goodreads, I would have seen that it was in fact book #5 of the Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. However, the description intrigued me so I thought I’d give it a go……..and I’m really glad I did.

Prosecutor Anna Curtis is at home relaxing with her sister and niece when she sees the news that a university student is missing. When they play the grainy surveillance footage that shows the girl being pursued by a man the night she was last seen, Anna says a little prayer for her. What Anna doesn’t realize is that she will soon be at the center…

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