blog tour, Book reviews, Scottish Noir

The April Dead by Alan Parks – Book Review



In a grimy flat in Glasgow, a homemade bomb explodes, leaving few remains to identify its maker.

Detective Harry McCoy knows in his gut that there’ll be more to follow. The hunt for a missing sailor from the local US naval base leads him to the secretive group behind the bomb, and their disturbing, dominating leader.

On top of that, McCoy thinks he’s doing an old friend a favour when he passes on a warning, but instead he’s pulled into a vicious gang feud. And in the meantime, there’s word another bigger explosion is coming Glasgow’s way – so if the city is to survive, it’ll take everything McCoy’s got.


The April Dead is #4 in the Harry McCoy series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Set in the ‘70s Glasgow, DI Harry McCoy has picked up his old friend Stevie, after his stint in jail. But Stevie has hardened in jail and is searching for a traitor amongst his crew.

All the while Harry is investigating a bombing, the only casualty appears to be the bomb maker. But who would set a bomb in this area of the city?

Then a second bomb explodes in the city’s cathedral.

Harry’s friend, Wattie is investigating a murder, that Stevie may have been involved in and Harry is also helping to try and find an AWOL US naval officer. So much is going on as Harry gets closer to the truth of the April dead.

This is a dark, grim and action packed thriller with a sharp, twisty plot. The characters are so well developed you can picture them easily, and the descriptions of Glasgow in the 70’s are frankly, terrifying. A marvellously gritty tale that’s compelling from start to finish. Scottish Noir at its darkest, Simply brilliant. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of The April Dead.

Purchase link :


Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

Book reviews, Crime thriller

Scare Me To Death by CJ Carver – Book Review


A homemade bomb exploded mid-air, killing 214 people on board. Thirteen people survived. 

Sixteen years later one of the survivors is found brutally bludgeoned to death. It looks like a crime of passion but DC Lucy Davies knows something is wrong. They were trying to find the bombers. 

Lucy’s search for the killer brings her into conflict with her long lost father – who has his own secrets. Dangerous secrets which Lucy must expose so she can confront a vicious murderer with only one thing on their mind. 

To keep on killing to stop the truth from getting revealed.


Scare Me to Death is a London based, crime thriller in the series featuring retired MI5 agent Dan Forrester and DC Lucy Davies, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Sixteen years previously a bomb caused an  explosion on a plane out of Marrakech killing nearly every passenger, apart from 13 survivors. Dan had helped save them.

In the present day, Lucy is asked to help an old school friend who has been arrested for murder. Dan is also involved and as they begin to work together, they find a link between the murder and the bombing of the plane all those years ago. All the while Lucy is trying to trace her father, who had left when she was young. 

This is a fast paced, exciting thriller it has great characters, lots of secrets and a clever twisty plot with a gasp inducing ending. Well written and compelling from start to finish.

Thank you to C.J Carver and Bloodhound books for an eARC of Scare Me To Death.

Book reviews, Non fiction

Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Steven Lovatt – Book Review


A lyrical celebration of birdsong, and the rekindling of a deep passion for nature.

“At this time of year, blackbirds never simply fly: instead, like reluctantly retired officers, they’re always ‘on manoeuvres’, and it’s easy to see from their constant agitation that for them every flower bed is a bunker, every shed a redoubt and every hedge-bottom a potential place of ambush”

As the world went silent in lockdown, something else happened; for the first time, many of us started becoming more aware of the spring sounds of the birds around us. Birdsong in a Time of Silence is a lyrical, uplifting reflection on these sounds and what they mean to us.

From a portrait of the blackbird – most prominent and articulate of the early spring singers – to explorations of how birds sing, the science behind their choice of song and nest-sites, and the varied meanings that people have brought to and taken from birdsong, this book ultimately shows that natural history and human history cannot be separated. It is the story of a collective reawakening brought on by the strangest of springs.


Birdsong in a Time Of Silence is a beautifully written, almost poetic, book about birds and their songs, something many of us have noticed so much more this past year. With lockdowns and shielding, for some of us the only link to nature available is the birds in our gardens.

This book clearly shows Steven Lovatt’s love of birds, I loved reading about his childhood memories evoked by the simple sound of a bird singing, from the alarm calls of a blackbird to the knife grinding of the magpie. 

It also tells of their feats of endurance during migration, the effects of climate change and the destruction of many bird habitats. All mixed with interesting facts for n just how a bird sings, their physiology and habits.

The author has a beautiful way with language and his way of using metaphors to explain what he means, makes this an interesting and totally engaging read. An absolute joy to read.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

Nighthawking by Russ Thomas – Book Review


After the gut-punch ending of Firewatching, DS Adam Tyler returns to another shocking cold case…

A body has been discovered in Sheffield’s beautiful Botanical Gardens. A young woman, dead from a stab wound, buried in a quiet corner. Police quickly determine that the body has been there for months, and would have gone undiscovered for years – but someone has dug it up.

Who is the victim? Who killed her and buried the body, resting two ancient Roman coins over her eyes? And who dug her up?

DS Adam Tyler will find himself drawn into the secretive world of nighthawkers: treasure-hunters who operate under cover of darkness, seeking the lost and valuable, and willing to kill to keep what they find…


Nighthawking is the follow up to Firewatching, a Sheffield based crime series featuring the DS Adam Tyler and DC Mina Rabbini working in the Cold Case Review Unit. 

Adam’s dad, Richard, has died and this was put down as suicide, but Adam believes it to be murder. He is investigating this alone and Mina is covering for his absences against her better judgment.

One night, a metal detectorist is ‘nighthawking’ in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens, and makes a find he wasn’t expecting, a buried body.

With murder enquiries and Adam doing his own thing, Mina is swamped and things get complicated.

Slowly, all begins to come together.

This is a dark, twisty thriller full of tension and suspense. It has a mix of the characters personal lives, with Adam making a mess of his relationship with Paul, and Mina who is keeping work under control, she really is a force to be reckoned with, and the police investigations.  With its clever plot, marvellous characters and a truly nail biting end, this is utterly compelling . I’m already looking forward to book 3.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an ARC of Nighthawking.

Purchase Link :


Russ Thomas was born in Essex, raised in Berkshire and now lives in Sheffield. After a few ‘proper’ jobs (among them: pot-washer, optician’s receptionist, supermarket warehouse operative, call-centre telephonist, and storage salesman) he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. His highly-acclaimed debut novel, Firewatching, is the first in the DS Adam Tyler series and published in February 2020. Nighthawking, the second book in the series, will publish in February 2021.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hunt by Leona Deakin – Book Review


The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.

He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. 

The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.

But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?

The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?


Hunt is #3 in the series featuring Dr Augusta Bloom, it can be read as a stand-alone too.

The Foreign Secretary’s niece is missing and the only person he wants to find her is Dr Bloom. Working with her friend and business partner, Marcus, they find a feminist organisation has all the traits of a cult. So, Augusta goes undercover to find out why women are going missing.

Ooh and Seraphine is back!

This is a sharp, fast paced thriller with fantastic characters and a clever plot full of tension that keeps you on tenterhooks. Completely engrossing from start to finish. Unputdownable!

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hunt. 

Purchase Link :


Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.

Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written three novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost and Hunt.


Special Offer from Audible – 99p for 3 MONTHS !

For lovers of audiobooks, Audible are offering 3 MONTHS for 99p…..

New customers signing up to Audible via the link below will pay £0.99 for 3 months, instead of the regular £7.99 per month. Audible membership includes a credit every month, applicable to any audiobook, regardless of price or length. The books are yours to keep for life, even if you cancel. With the world’s largest section of titles to choose from, there’s something for everyone.


blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

The Takers and Keepers by Ivan Pope – Book Review


Where do the disappeared go?

The girls and women who vanish, seldom to resurface.

Allen Kimbo, a freelance reporter, believes there is a network of men who guard their “taken” and keep the silence that surrounds such deeds.

An email lures him to Eastern Europe, to a meeting of the Takers and Keepers.

His girlfriend, Emily, pleads with him not to go.

In Belgrade more is revealed than he had thought possible.

Back at home, Emily is missing.


The Takers and the Keepers is about the dark underworld of human trafficking.

Here, journalist Allen Kimbo is investigating in Eastern Europe and what he finds is this horrific trade, which treats desperate people like nothing more than livestock.

This is not an easy read even for those of us who like our crime fiction on the darker side, this is as dark as it comes, all the more terrifying as this is really happening every day.

I found this to be a compelling thriller that is heart rending and thought provoking and it will stay with me for a long time. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Takers and Keepers.


Ivan Pope is a writer, artist and long-distance cyclist who lives in Brighton.

He graduated from Goldsmiths College Fine Art BA with the YBA generation and was involved with a number of early internet developments in the UK and across the world.

He invented the cybercafe at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and founded the world’s first web magazine, The World Wide Web Newsletter.

He has taught at art colleges in London, Newport and Brighton.

He is now a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction.

He is currently undertaking a PhD in creative non-fiction at Plymouth University.

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

bound by Vanda Symon – Book Review


The passionate, young police officer Sam Shephard returns in a taut, atmospheric and compelling police procedural, which sees her take matters into her own hands when the official investigation into the murder of a local businessman fails to add up…

The New Zealand city of Dunedin is rocked when a wealthy and apparently respectable businessman is murdered in his luxurious home while his wife is bound and gagged, and forced to watch. But when Detective Sam Shephard and her team start investigating the case, they discover that the victim had links with some dubious characters.

The case seems cut and dried, but Sam has other ideas. Weighed down by her dad’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and by complications in her relationship with Paul, she needs a distraction, and launches her own investigation. And when another murder throws the official case into chaos, it’s up to Sam to prove that the killer is someone no one could ever suspect.


Bound is #4 in the Sam Shephard series, it can be read as a stand-alone )but you are missing out on a great series.).

A local businessman is murdered in his home, his wife is left bound to a chair and seriously injured, their young son had returned home to find them like this.

Sam is investigating the case to find out who would kill a supposedly respectable man, all the while she is also dealing with the fact her father has cancer and is dying. Throwing herself into work helps her forget her personal life for a while.

Can she find out the truth?

This is such a tightly plotted tale full of tension, great characters and a gasp inducing twist. So well written you are willing Sam on as she fights to find a killer. Sam is such a great character, strong and determined, yet with a softer side too. A marvellously tense, emotional thriller that’s has you hooked from page one. Just brilliant.

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Bound.

Purchase Link:


Vanda Symon is a crime writer, TV presenter and radio host from Dunedin, New Zealand, and the chair of the Otago Southland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors. The Sam Shephard series has climbed to number one on the New Zealand bestseller list, and has also been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. She currently lives in Dunedin, with her husband and two sons.

Book reviews launches tonight with a reading from Ruthless Women………LIVE from her home !

Welcome to The Bookwormery this evening, I’m excited at this new channel for BOOKS….launching tonight at 10pm with a reading from Ruthless Women by the author herself…..Melanie Blake 

All you have to do is download OOOOO from the app store on your smartphone, (it’s free), and then open the Book.TV channel at any time between 10pm – 11pm to tune into Melanie Blake’s live reading.

Here are some more details: 

Launching Book.TV with Melanie Blake   

OOOOO the revolutionary live-streaming video platform launch dedicated channel Book.TV with live guest appearance from bestselling author Melanie Blake reading on International Woman’s Day, Monday 8th 10pm  

Developed by the Tech leaders behind and Tik Tok, OOOOO is the ground-breaking interactive platform where live entertainment meets shopping; an immersive social realm that presents an exhilarating and interactive live experience across a network of digital ‘tv’ channels dedicated to all interests and passions.

Monday 8th sees the launch of the dedicated channel for avid literature fans and book worms, Book.TV. To mark International Woman’s Day, at 10pm renowned author Melanie Blake will make a guest appearance with a live, intimate reading of her famously scandalous book ‘Ruthless Women’ live and direct from her home to yours. Viewers are also provided with the exclusive chance to purchase signed, limited edition copies during the live performance.

Named “the new Queen of the Bonkbuster” and the rightful heir to Jackie Collins’ crown by The Times UK, celebrity agent and Sunday Times Bestselling author Melanie Blake will launch Book.TV on OOOOO with her smash hit novel – Ruthless Women which is currently at no.4 in the UK bestseller charts. So addictive it’s been described as a “binge read,” Ruthless Women is perfect for fans of Killing Eve and The Devil Wears Prada.

Book.TV – Hear the Story, Meet the Author

Book.TV is a channel devoted to celebrating talented authors, independent bookshops and book worms, delivering a lucrative platform and much-needed boost for the UK’s publishing industry impacted by the pandemic.

Book.TV is an informative and interactive live shoppable channel with the aim to provide entertainment and education to the OOOOO community, immersing them in the world of written word and literature through live, entertaining and shoppable readings.

Book.TV provides the opportunity for established and emerging authors to perform live readings to a highly engaged, interactive crowd. At the same time, the audience can discover new talent, virtually ‘meet and greet’ their favourite authors and enjoy free live, intimate performances.

Content will also be tailored to capture different audiences, with live shows dedicated to the reading of comercial fiction, crime thrillers, YA romance, literary classics, children’s books and timeless comics hosted by the authors themselves. Live shows on he platform are currently reaching up to 10k viewers, with lots of new readers to be made every single night.

The platform is also a unique, lucrative sales channel for the author, publisher or book retailer to gain earning potential during real-time performances. Copies of the narrated book, including exclusive first editions and signed copies, will be available for purchase during the show.

What really makes the live-streamed experience on Book.TV inimitable is both viewers and performers can enjoy two-way interaction, with a cutting-edge integrated ‘tipping’ feature to further bolster earnings during the show. This feature enables fans to purchase and send virtual ‘gifts’ to the narrator, with each symbol representing a monetary value they receive post-show.

OOOOO’s mission to help people earn a living doing what they love, and to build and inspire like-minded communities. The company has also set its sights on building not-for-profit channels, with the aim being to first and foremost educate and inspire the audience. Avenues are also being explored to leverage the concept to drive fundraising efforts for charity beneficiaries.

Laura Palmer Publishing Director at Head of Zeus has said: The new Book.TV channel on is a game changer for the publishing industry. Imagine if authors could directly sell books to their fans via twitter or Instagram? This is exactly what offers. At a time when we need diverse retail channels more than ever, when book festivals are postponed and authors are unable to go to signings, has come up with a solution that the publishing industry badly needs. Melanie Blake’s audience are digital savvy shoppers who are more likely to buy their books on their weekly supermarket shop than visit a bookshop, and as is the UK’s fastest growing social media app, it has the ability to transform the way not just authors but the entire publishing industry sells books. It’s the beginning of a new digital era for book sales, and I hope as many of the publishing industry as possible tune in at 10pm on Monday 8th March to see how it works.

Melanie Blake, author of bestseller Ruthless Women says: “When I wrote Ruthless Women last March, during the first lockdown, never in a million years did I believe we’d still be in lockdown when it came out. launching a new channel dedicated to books is a game changer for authors everywhere in the UK. At the moment, as an author, I can’t meet my readers or sign books. Being able to sell signed copies of my book and speak to my readers on is the closest I will get to a book signing or author event in lockdown. I am beyond honoured to be the first author to launch the new books channel on Becoming a Sunday Times Bestseller has been the biggest achievement of my career as an author and now has found a way for me to share this success with my readers, so I am over the moon. Anyone joining me at 10pm on Monday the 8th March is in for a wild ride as I will be reading from the juiciest parts of my new novel Ruthless Women – trust me when I say it’s not for the faint hearted!”

OOOOO Co-founder, Sam Jones, says: We are thrilled to be launching Book.TV with bestselling author Melanie Blake. The launch of Book.TV is part of our wider goal to provide educational and informative channels for the OOOOO community. Book.TV will connect the audience with the wonderful world of written word, renowned authors like Melanie and emerging talent through a unique, live and interactive experience.  

The past year has resulted in many of us adopting a slower pace of life, spending more time indoors than ever and filling the time once dedicated to socialising. Reading  books is a great distraction, and though many more pages would’ve been turned, the book business has no doubt seen a detrimental impact with book festivals and book signings cancelled, and bookshops both large chains and independent stores closed.

“Our view is that the retail industry will never truly recover from this year. Instead, people will form new habits and seek new ways to earn a living. We want to be part of this inevitable shift, with Book.TV playing a key role in bolstering the publishing industry.”

blog tour, Book reviews, Police procedural, Supernatural

The Devil’s Mark by WD Jackson-Smart – Book Review


Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice?

When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?

As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?

Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?

The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.

There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.


The Devil’s Mark is #3 in the DI Graves series, it can also be read as a stand-alone.

Here DI Graves and his partner, DI Palmer are investigating a murder after body parts are found in a London park. As they try to identify the victim more body parts are found and it looks like a serial killer is at work.

There seems to be a ritualistic part to the killings and so enlist Professor Gooding to help. What links the victims? What is the meaning of the symbols left at the scenes?

This is fast paced, dark and violent as the crime scenes are horrific and with the occult edge giving some creepy moments. The relationship between Graves and Palmer is clever and they work well together and make a great team as they delve deeper they have each other’s backs…..they’ll need it!

A dark and clever plot, with great characters make this a truly gripping tale that will have you hooked from the very start. 

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Devil’s Mark.


WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release. 

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

Social Media:




blog tour, Book reviews, Murder mystery, Psychlogical thriller

The Favour by Laura Vaughan – Book Review


When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother giftsher with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.

In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas

of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.

But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…


The Favour is the tale of Ada, she wants to belong in high society with the ‘elite’ and she’ll do anything to be part of it.

This is a slow burn of story full of secrets and lies, oh and a death.

Beautifully written, full of detail and art history with wonderful descriptions of Italy and its architecture. There are some truly reprehensible characters and none of them are particularly likeable but you do feel for Ada as she searches for a place to belong. A captivating story to lose yourself in for a while. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of The Favour.


Laura Vaughan grew up in rural Wales and studied Art History in Italy and Classics at Bristol and Oxford. She got her first book deal aged twenty-two and went on to write eleven books for children and young adults. The Favour is her first novel for adults. She lives in South London with her husband and two children.

Guest post

*GUEST POST* from Luke Carter, author, with Anna Ametller, of The Gardener and other short stories..

Hello from the Bookwormery, today I am lucky to be hosting a guest post from Luke Carter, who along with Anna Ametller, is the author of The Gardener and other short stories. Enjoy!

The Gardener and Other Short Stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller

Where do you start when introducing The Gardener and Other Short Stories, the surreal collection of new stories by Luke Carter and Anna Ametller? With The Postman, busy opening and rewriting people’s letters? With Mr Hard-Luck, perhaps? The self-proclaimed Treasure Hunter in the town of Vanishing! Or is it with the story of how the lives of a thief, antique collector, artist and business man are all brought together by a cat with one eye!? 

Or maybe, it is best to begin with a huge thank you to the kind people of Bookwormery for the invitation to write here, along with an explanation on why I wrote the book? 

The Gardener and Other Short Stories, filled with surreal villages and suspicious characters, had two important aims. The first was to write a book that told beautiful and simple stories…but with perhaps a little more lurking just beneath the surface. (The abused metaphor of an iceberg comes to mind!) The second was much more fun! To create a world so full of characters and details that you could pluck any figure from a page in the book and they could effortlessly be turned into a short story of their own! Father Falcon, for example, with his dark hair that everyone knows is a wig; or Mrs Buttercup, 89 years old, deaf in one-and-a-half ears, and wearing prescription glasses that magnify her eyes into dinner plates. 

The weather had turned up at last. It was a sunny day. It was a gloriously sunny day with a sea blue sky where few clouds went swimming. It was palm tree weather. It was a day that brightened your garden as well as your soul.

Speaking of gardens, this one was flourishing. It had never looked so good. It was as green as a field of rice. Pea shoots coiled their way up the windows. Grapes tiptoed up the bendy banisters on the stairs to choke the chimneys above. The oven had become a glass house for exotic mangos. Young saplings were planted into old shoes and the vegetables growing in the fridge couldn’t be fresher. The garden had taken over the house.


I live in Spain and think I must have been missing England a little when I wrote the stories. They are full of English nostalgia, village gossip, and eccentric people and the illustrations match that feeling perfectly! With houses that have grown ears for listening and a gentleman in pyjamas ironing his Financial Times, the images, over thirty in total, add an extra layer of curiosity to the stories without distracting from the plot. They were drawn by the talented Anna Ametller, sculptor and artist who produces work from her little sailing boat in the Mediterranean. 

Why Self-Publish? 

The joy and difficulty of self-publishing come in equal measure! It is a great freedom and adventure to write, design, edit, print, promote and distribute a book all by yourself! Yet it goes without saying that this all takes time…a lot of it! 

To help fund the publication, we have spent this month crowdfunding on Kickstarter, a platform that allows people to pre-order a copy in order to finance the book. It has been an interesting process, especially as it has allowed for us to offer more than just a book. For example, we thought it would be great fun to bring one of the stories about a nosey postman to life, by offering hand written letters from different characters in that story! Not only that, but you also get the option to REPLY to these characters and begin a fictional pen-pal journey! 

It is currently available on pre-sale and will be printed in late April! You can to purchase your copy and find more information about the book here:

About the Author

Luke Carter has been making books for years. From history books to illustrated A-Z’s of English expressions, Luke has always searched for the story in everything. His style is deceptively simple and, as a lover of stories, his books are richly layered with bizarre characters in even stranger worlds!

When he is not writing books, he teaches English and watches birds on the tiny paradise of Formentera, Spain. More of his work can be found here:

blog tour, Book reviews, Crime thriller

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Bucholz – Book Review


Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.

With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge. Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.


Hotel Cartagena is #4 in the Chas Riley series to be published in the UK. It can also be read as a stand-alone.

Chastity Riley is a public prosecutor, she is at a party to celebrate her friend, Faller’s birthday. Surrounded by friends, lovers and ex-lovers this is going to be interesting, but then armed men arrive at the hotel and it becomes a hostage situation.

Why would they target the hotel?

Told from the present day and with flashbacks to the past, you gradually build a picture of events that have led to this moment from 

During the hours the hostages sit and wait, there’s time for reflection and Chastity has plenty to think about… does poor Ivo who is aching events from the outside.

This is a fast paced, stylish thriller that is Noir with a capital N, it has many layers with the crime, the hostages and the thoughts and emotions of those involved. It’s sharp, edgy and utterly gripping from start to finish. 

Thank you to Random Things Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour, for the promotional material and an eARC of Hotel Cartagena.

Purchase Link :


Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as runner-up in the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.