#Blogtour Halfway by B E Jones @bevjoneswriting @TheCrimeVault @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #Halfway

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Halfway by B E Jones  Constable November 1st 2018

If everyone is lying, who can you trust?

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass and hidden deep in inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, two women end up knocking on the door, seeking refuge as a blizzard takes hold.

But why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the local district nurse is missing, she jumps at the chance to investigate her disappearance.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm, but soon realise they might have been safer on the road. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas . . .

My Review

It was nearly Christmas, it was snowing and it was the middle of nowhere in Wales, and strange things were afoot. There had been a murder, a killer was on the loose and things were starting to look decidedly dodgy.

A great premise for a novel and one that was both chilling and suspenseful.

The dark murky weather immediately set the tone, the danger levels heightened, the tension at times unbearable.

Jones characters were thrown into this murk and were a disparate bunch, all with pasts that you were not quite aware of at the beginning but which slowly unravelled the more I read.

You knew that one of them was guilty of murder but what Jones did brilliantly was to keep me guessing as she wove a tangled web of mystery and intrigue.

It is very difficult to talk about the characters without giving too much away, but what I did like was their differing backgrounds which markedly shaped their actions and choices, often with grim consequences.

What I didn’t know was how or if they would all be connected and this is where Jones excelled telling each of the characters stories in alternating chapters, so that we got a real sense of their thinking and reasoning.

I did wonder if they would eventually all come together, and what the outcome would be, but I just knew that whatever it was it would be tense and very dramatic.

Halfway was not like your average thriller, fast paced with police and sirens everywhere, instead Jones slowly set the scene of the landscape, setting and the characters.

I loved her descriptions of the old Halfway Pub, with its broken furniture and eerie atmosphere, the old landlord, bedridden upstairs, full of secrets but unable to communicate or warn anyone.

I have to admit to racing through Halfway, largely due to its addictive nature and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a character driven and compelliung thriller.

I would like to thank Constable for a copy of Halfway to read and review and to Emma Welton at Damp Pebbles Blogtours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

photo of Bev

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.

Halfway, her fifth crime novel follows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bevjoneswriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bev.jones.9083477

Website: http://bevjoneswriting.co.uk/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34040919-where-she-went
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beverley-Jones/e/B00F6I6XQG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

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#Blogtour My Sister Myself by Jill Treseder @jill_treseder @SilverWoodBooks @annecater #RandonThingsTours

My Sister Myself Cover

My Sister Myself by Jill Treseder   Silverwood Books  July 31st 2018

Hungary, 1956. Russian tanks brutally crush the revolution against the Communist regime. Sisters Katalin and Marika escape Budapest with their family and settle in London.

However, the past is not so easily left behind. Their father is a wanted man, and the sisters’ relationship hangs in the balance. Their futures are shaped by loss. For Katalin, this means the failure of her ambition and a devastating discovery; for Marika, an equally heart-breaking experience.

Caught between their Hungarian heritage and their new lives in Britain, the sisters struggle to reconnect. Family secrets are exposed, jeopardising Katalin’s and Marika’s identities.

Can their relationship survive war, division and grief?

My Review

The plight of refugees is a topic never out of the headlines, and for some this may be their first encounter, yet it is something that has been prevalent throughout the world since time immemoriam. My Sister Myself was the story of Marika and Katalin, two young girls who fled the 1956 uprising in Budapest, Hungary.

My own experience of Budapest is one of  beauty, a vibrant city full of culture and colour, Treseder’s Budapest is grey and colourless, the buildings in ruins, the people suppressed by communism, and it was her wonderful descriptions that drew me into this haunting novel.

It was a novel steeped in history, not just of Budapest but of London, the prejudice suffered by refugees, the lack of understanding but more importantly the effect it had on the refugees themselves.

Treseder, brilliantly captured the hardships of Marika and Katalin, their vulnerability and the struggle they had to be accepted and succeed.

Marika, the youngest, was the rebel, the ‘spoilt one’, Mamas favourite, who at first I didn’t like, but when events conspired against her, she was the one who dug deep and found inner resolve and determination.

Katalin, was the quieter of the two, a daddy’s girl, the hardworking clever one, but who throughout struggled with life, could not accept what fate and circumstance doled out to her. I found her incredibly frustrating, wanted to shake her at times, but knew that she was traumatised, unable to trust and reach out to those who only wanted to care for her.

I loved the sharp contrasts between the two sisters, how Treseder somehow used her narrative to show their raw emotion, and their hurt. The dynamics between them was often dramatic and full of taut tension that was at times too much to bear as these two poor young women fought not only themselves but also society.

It was a society that today, would be totally unacceptable, a lack of 24 hour news and social media made it hard for people to truly understand the circumstances and horrors that Marika and Katalin had escaped. I often wondered if Treseder herself had had first hand experience,  so well did she encapsulate that society and time.

It could be said, that My Sister Myself was a bleak novel and indeed it was , but there were huge glimmers of light and the descriptions of Aunt Kluva and the Devon landscape lifted the novel out of the gloom.  You could sense the healing presence of the sea and indeed of Aunt Kluva, who battled to bring light into the lives of the sisters, often with differing outcomes.

My Sister Myself was a novel full of raw emotion, of a time in history when the world was at odds, in the process of change and in some ways not for the better. It was the story of two girls who lost their home, their culture and their identity and how they fought their own demons to survive and succeed.

It was a novel that reeled you in, and wouldn’t let you go until the very last page, its themes hugely emotive and I was sad to leave the wonderful characters that Treseder created.

I would like to thank Silver Wood Books for a copy of My Sister Myself to read and review and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Jill Treseder Author Picture

I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.

But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.

Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.

This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.

All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book The Wise Woman Within resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,‘Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.

I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.

Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.

My Sister Myself Blog Tour Poster (1)

#Blogtour Dead In The Water by Simon J Bower @SimonBowerBooks @MiddleFarmPress @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

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Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him. 

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

My Review

When its cold and wet outside, there’s nothing like a good thriller to cosy upto on an evening, although I wouldn’t have called Dead In The Water cosy.

Its characters were definitely not of the cosy variety and some distinctly unlikeable.

What I did like was the variety of Bowers’s characters, all from differing backgrounds, the dynamics extremely interesting and intriguing.

Our main protagonist, Charlie was a man who wanted everything and more, who took a sabbatical, met the luscious Ana. At first, I actually quite liked Charlie, he was your typical lad, out for a good time, but as the story unfolded my opinions changed.

Ana, was your archetypal ‘bitch’ with little thought for anyone but herself, out for whatever she could get. Bower gave us occasional glimpses into her nicer side but they were mere chinks and certainly not overly endearing.

Lena and Mia were the wealthy, Uncle and Aunt, living a life of luxury in Switzerland, yet you sensed it was a loveless marriage that was convenient and suited them both. You knew that Len’s money was not clean and he displayed a ruthless side in order to protect himself and his interests.

Charlie’s brother Scott, was what I would call hapless, bored by the minutiae of marriage and children and desperate for an alternative life.

In New York Chrissie resided with her young daughter, working hard with only her Mum for support until she decided to discover who her father was and it was this angle that had me guessing as to the role she would play in the novel.

Last but not least was Fournier, the detective sent to investigate the body in the water. He was not the best detective, in fact you could call him bumbling, clumsy in his approach, but doggedly determined to discover with truth.

Bower threw, Len, Mia, Charlie, Scott and Charlie’s housemate Stella  altogether on a catamaran and set them off sailing the mediterranean and that is where this story really began.

The dynamics were brilliantly explored and the subtle undercurrents of tension fantastically realised by Bower. A supposed fatal accident set of a chain of events that projected the characters and the storyline into a whirl of fast paced action and drama. I found it hard to guess who had done what to who so complex was the web of intrigue Bower wove, it certainly made for interesting and fast reading.

What impressed most was Bower’s handling of the intricacies of his plot and the myriad of characters, it would have been so easy for it to be utterly confusing to the reader but it wasn’t. The fact that each chapter was told from the point of view of individual characters gave the novel a multi dimensional feel that was compelling and I loved that it gave Bower the opportunity to explore their thoughts and reasoning.

Dead In the Water was a thrilling ride around Europe, with a wonderfully varied cast of individuals. It had everything you would want in a thriller, sex, money, murder, and heaps of intrigue that I loved and would recommend.

I would like to thank Middle Farm Press for a copy of Dead In The Water to read and review and to Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

SIMONBOWER

Simon Bower is a British and Canadian author born in Berkshire in 1973. Since 1998, he’s adopted a global lifestyle, setting up home at times in Europe, Africa and North America.  In 2016 Simon turned to writing full time, which led to his first published work, Dead in the Water, being released in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press in 2018. Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief.

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#Blogtour Listening To Animals: The Supervet @ProfNoelFitz @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #ListeningToTheAnimalsBecomingTheSupervet. #inspiring #enthralling

Listening to the Animals: Becoming the Supervet  by Noel Fitzpatrick  Trapeze  October 18th 2018

Growing up on the family farm in Ballyfin, Ireland, Noel’s childhood was spent tending to the cattle and sheep, the hay and silage, the tractors and land, his beloved sheepdog Pirate providing solace from the bullies that plagued him at school. It was this bond with Pirate, and a fateful night spent desperately trying to save a newborn lamb, that inspired Noel to enter the world of veterinary science – and set him on the path to becoming The Supervet.

Now, in this long-awaited memoir, Noel recounts this often-surprising journey that sees him leaving behind a farm animal practice in rural Ireland to set up Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, one of the most advanced small animal specialist centres in the world. We meet the animals that paved the way, from calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs.

Noel has listened to the many lessons that the animals in his care have taught him, and especially the times he has shared with his beloved Keira, the scruffy Border Terrier who has been by Noel’s side as he’s dealt with the unbelievable highs and crushing lows of his extraordinary career.

As heart-warming and life-affirming as the TV show with which he made his name, Listening to the Animals is a story of love, hope and compassion, and about rejoicing in the bond between humans and animals that makes us the very best we can be.

My Review

We have all seen Professor Noel Fitzpatrick grace our screen as the Supervet, enabling animals to regain use of their limbs or receive life saving treatment but who is, how did he get to where he is today?

Listening to the Animals was Fitzpatrick’s personal story and what a fascinating one it was.

I could not believe how lacking in self confidence he was or that much of his teenage years were spent as a recluse studying hard to pursue his dream of becoming a vet.

I loved his wonderfully vivid descriptions of the farmhouse in Ballyfin Ireland, where he grew up, but most of all I liked the admiration he had for his parents. They may not have been the most demonstrative, or affectionate but they clearly taught him the value of hardwork and resilience that saw him realise his dreams.

A lot of authors would have used such humble beginnings to ask for sympathy from their readers but that was where Fitzpatrick was different. He didn’t ask us to feel sorry for him, he clearly saw it as a huge positive, as just the way it was and I do not think he would have wished for anything different.

Much of the book was written in a similar vain, and one thing I did like a lot was the way in which some of the chapters almost felt like letters. These ‘letters’ took on many forms, in one an apology for putting his career first, in another his gratitude to the people who had inspired and pushed him further on his chosen path. I found this hugely endearing and the writing process must have been extremely cathartic for Fitzpatrick, a way of ridding himself of the guilt and angst but also to share his success with those he had encountered along the way.

What was utterly incredible about Fitzpatrick’s life was his sheer drive and determination to be a vet and to build his two animal referral centres. He struck me as being very intelligent but not academic, struggling with exams yet in practice a genius, a man who could think out of the box, with a unique perspective on the animal and indeed the human world of medicine.

It was in his latter chapters that Fitzpatrick introduced his vision of One Medicine whereby the animal and human medical world work together to improve the diagnosis, and treatment of both humans and animals. This was his time to get on his soapbox, to urge for greater co-operation and in some ways he did, but his views and opinions were both measured and balanced. He clearly stated his aims, and his reasoning in a way that made sense and wasn’t overly scientific or complicated, it clearly came from the heart and his passion shone from the pages.

If Fitzpatrick had a passion for One Medicine, his overriding passion was for that of the animals, those he treated and knew throughout his lifetime. These were, for me the hardest bits to read, as I had recently lost my beloved Border Collie Bob Dog, my constant companion for the last fifteen years.

I had a tear in my eye as he told of his best friend, farm dog Pirate and the love that he has for his present dog Keira. With his patients you could sense his desire to do what was best not only for the animal but also the owner, his honesty and openness, a breath of fresh air in a world where vets are now more commercially aware, more concerned with money than the animal.

His revolutionary techniques may be world renowned but it his compassion and dedication to the animal that is clearly prevalent and one that I admire and commend him for.

Listening to the Animals was a brutally honest insight into a man with vision, drive and determination, written from the heart it was both compelling and captivating and I could not put it down.

The book is now working its way through the list of people that have nagged me constantly to be able to read ever since it appeared on my doorstep. I am just hoping I get it back because I might just want to read it again!!

I would like to thank Trapeze for a copy of Listening To The Animals: How I became the Supervet to read and review and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Image result for noel fitzpatrick

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick is a world-renowned neuro-orthopaedic veterinary surgeon, the founder of Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, and the star of the hit Channel 4 television show The Supervet, now in its twelfth series. Globally recognised for his innovative surgical solutions for animals, Noel has developed dozens of new techniques, including several world-firsts, that have provided hope where none seemed possible to provide quality of life for his patients. Noel lives in Surrey with his Border Terrier Keira, and you can follow him at:

Facebook: @ProfessorNoelFitzpatrick
Twitter: @ProfNoelFitz
Instagram: @ProfessorNoelFitzpatrick

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