New Year’s Eve and I’m listing the good things

So, there’s three hours of 2017 left and I’ve been thinking of the good things that have happened this year.

  • I published the first two novels in the Fire Series in June and December;
  • I survived my first year of my MA in Creative Writing;
  • I’ve reviewed more books this year than last;
  • I’ve made useful connections with book publishers and promoters;
  • I made some progress, medically, getting my MI and autism diagnoses and decent medication;
  • I survived moving house!

I’s a short list, but it’s progress.

January Review Schedule


One review a week this month, because I start back at university soon. There will of course, be the bonus reviews when I get a chance, but these are the scheduled reviews, and blog tours. Enjoy!

  • 7th
    • Misfortune of Vision
      Christy Nicholas
  • 10th
    • The Wolves of Winter
      Tyrell Johnson
    • Blog tour
  • 17th
    • Choose to rise
      MN Mekaelian
  • 30th
    • Veronica’s Bird
      Veronica Bird
    • Blog tour


End of year grousing about mental illness and autism assessments

I don’t often post personal updates these day; the blog has evolved over the last year. Of the last twenty posts, sixteen have been reviews, or blog tour related. The other four have been about my novels. I feel like I need to write a personal post today though.

Continue reading “End of year grousing about mental illness and autism assessments”

Bonus Review #5: ‘Shadow Man’, by, Alan Drew


Published by: Corvus

Publication Date: 4th January 2018

ISBN: 9781786493316

Format: Paperback

Price: £12.99


Southern California, 1986. Detective Ben Wade has returned to his hometown in search of a quieter life and to try to save his marriage. Suddenly the community, with its peaceful streets and neighbourly concerns, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors at night, shattering illusions of safety.

As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer – and deal with painful episodes in the past – Ben’s own world is rocked again by violence. He must decide how far he is willing to go, and Natasha how much she is willing to risk, to rescue the town from a psychotic murderer and a long-buried secret.

With eerie, chilling prose, Alan Drew brings us into the treacherous underbelly of a suburban California town in this brilliant novel of suspense; the story of a man, and a community, confronted with the heart of human darkness.

Continue reading “Bonus Review #5: ‘Shadow Man’, by, Alan Drew”

No Review This Week

I had planned to review Pangaea: The End of Days, Revelations, by, Bolivar Beato tomorrow. Unfortunately, I started reading the book and realised it wasn’t for me. Since I try to be fair I won’t review a book that I realise doesn’t fit with my tastes. It wouldn’t be fair to give a bad review because I’ve realised it’s not aimed at my demographic and it doesn’t meet my preconceived ideas and expectations (there’s a person who reviewed one of my novels that could do to learn that lesson).

I’m also feeling more than a bit rough, I came down with a cold a few weeks ago and I still can’t get rid of it.

Bonus Review #4. Also, Merry Christmas, and all that.

Women and the Gallows 1797 – 1837: Unfortunate Wretches

By Naomi Clifford

Women and the Gallows 1797 – 1837


Published by: Pen and Sword History

Publication Date: 2nd November 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9781473863347

Price: £15.99

Format: Hardback








131 women were hanged in England and Wales between 1797 and 1837, executed for crimes including murder, baby-killing, theft, arson, sheep-stealing and passing forged bank notes. Most of them were extremely poor and living in desperate situations. Some were mentally ill. A few were innocent. And almost all are now forgotten, their voices unheard for generations.

Mary Morgan – a teenager hanged as an example to others.
Eliza Fenning – accused of adding arsenic to the dumplings.
Mary Bateman – a ‘witch’ who duped her neighbours out of their savings.
Harriet Skelton – hanged for passing counterfeit pound notes in spite of efforts by Elizabeth Fry and the Duke of Gloucester to save her.

Naomi Clifford has unearthed the events that brought these ‘unfortunates’ to the gallows and has used contemporary newspaper accounts and documents to tell their stories.

Continue reading “Bonus Review #4. Also, Merry Christmas, and all that.”

Review: ‘Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family’, By George Billions


Published By: Kindle

Publication Date: 11th July 2017

Format: Kindle e-book

Price: Free with KindleUnlimited/£2.32


Karen and Kevin have a happy home, with two loving kids and a cat. It’s an idyllic setting, full of laughter and hope, until one Christmas when Kevin gives fidget spinners to each member of the family. He has no idea what destructive consequences this will have.

Getting kicked out of church is just the beginning. Within a year their daughter is in foster care, their son is in jail, and the cat is missing. An even more terrible fate is about to befall Kevin. Karen struggles just to keep it together as fidget spinners crumble the very foundations of her life.

Full of uncomfortable situations and sordid details, Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family is a suspenseful dark comedy of paranoia, obsession, and this year’s hottest new toy.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Fidget Spinners Destroyed My Family’, By George Billions”

Substitute Review #1

I had planned to review Snow by Mikayla Elliot, but I had a couple of mental health days and couldn’t cope with anything much beyond crochet. I’ve also injured my hand with excessive cross-stitch on Sunday. My writing and typing, never exceptionally tidy, is currently an absolute mess, and it hurts to type. You’ll have to excuse any messy spelling. However, I have scheduled a book review today, so a book review you shall have. In the last bundle of books Pen & Sword I received Queens Of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon,

Queens of Georgian Britain

Published By: Pen & Sword History

Publication Date: 9th October 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9781473858527

Format: Hardback

Price: £15.99







Once upon a time there were four kings called George who, thanks to a quirk of fate, ruled Great Britain for over a century. Hailing from Germany, these occasionally mad, bad and infamous sovereigns presided over a land in turmoil. Yet what of the remarkable women who were crowned alongside them?

From the forgotten princess locked in a tower to an illustrious regent, a devoted consort and a notorious party girl, the queens of Georgian Britain lived lives of scandal, romance and turbulent drama. Whether dipping into politics or carousing on the shores of Italy, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Caroline of Brunswick refused to fade into the background.

Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled alongside the Georgian monarchs, not forgetting Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the passionate princess who never made it as far as the throne. From lonely childhoods to glittering palaces, via family feuds, smallpox, strapping soldiers and plenty of scheming, these are the queens who shaped an era.

Continue reading “Substitute Review #1”

Bonus Review # 3: ‘The Life of Henrietta Anne’, By Melanie Clegg

The Life of Henrietta Anne

Published By: Pen & Sword

Publication Date: 25th September 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9781473893115

Format: Hardback

Price: £15.99


Henrietta Anne Stuart, youngest child of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, was born in June 1644 in the besieged city of Exeter at the very height of the English Civil War. The hostilities had separated her parents and her mother was on the run from Parliamentary forces when she gave birth with only a few attendants on hand to give her support. Within just a few days she was on her way to the coast for a moonlit escape to her native France, leaving her infant daughter in the hands of trusted supporters. A few years later Henrietta Anne would herself be whisked, disguised as a boy, out of the country and reunited with her mother in France, where she remained for the rest of her life. Henrietta’s fortunes dramatically changed for the better when her brother Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660. After being snubbed by her cousin Louis XIV, she would eventually marry his younger brother Philippe, Duc d’Orléans and quickly become one of the luminaries of the French court, although there was a dark side to her rise to power and popularity when she became embroiled in love affairs with her brother in law Louis and her husband’s former lover, the dashing Comte de Guiche, giving rise to several scandals and rumours about the true parentage of her three children. However, Henrietta Anne was much more than just a mere court butterfly, she also possessed considerable intelligence, wit and political acumen, which led to her being entrusted in 1670 with the delicate negotiations for the Secret Treaty between her brother Charles II and cousin Louis XIV, which ensured England’s support of France in their war against the Dutch.

Continue reading “Bonus Review # 3: ‘The Life of Henrietta Anne’, By Melanie Clegg”

Review: ‘White Bodies’, by Jane Robins

34846799Published By: HQ

Publication Date: 28th December 2017

I.S.B.N.: 9780008217549

Format: Hardback

Price: £12.99


Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in clingfilm and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom rubbish. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgement when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

Continue reading “Review: ‘White Bodies’, by Jane Robins”