Review: ‘Balloonomania Belles’, By Sharon Wright


Published By: Pen & Sword

Publication Date: 26th February 2018

I.S.B.N.: 9781526708342

Format: Hardback

Price: £19.99







Balloonomania Belles reveals the astonishing stories of the fabulous female pioneers of balloon flight. More than a century before the first aeroplane women were heading for the heavens in crazy, inspired contraptions that could bring death or glory and all too often, both. Award-winning journalist Sharon Wright reveals their hair-raising adventures in a book that brings the stories of the feisty female ballooning heroines together for the first time.

Women were in the vanguard of the “Balloonomania” craze that took hold in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and swept across Europe then the world. Their exploits were a vital element of our first voyages into the sky. When women’s options were often severely limited by law and convention they managed to join the exhilarating quest for spectacle, adventure and danger among the clouds.

Many of the brightest stars of this extraordinary era of human flight were women. From the perilous ascent in 1784 by feisty French teenager Elisabeth Thible, female aeronauts have never looked back… or down. Who were these brave women who took to the air when it was such an incredibly dangerous and scandalous thing to do? Sharon Wright brings together in one book the show-stopping stories of the very first flying women.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Balloonomania Belles’, By Sharon Wright”

September to December 2018 Review Schedule

Hello, now that the dissertation is all but done, I have some time for reading and reviewing again. September has been cleared until after hand in on the 19th and now October’s four slots are full too. November only has one scheduled review so far, and December is empty, but that’s limited to two slots anyway. I don’t really do Christmas books and an awful lot of the tours in November and December are for just that. I might actually have time to read and review some of the books Pen & Sword sent me last year! I’m pleased to be taking part in blog tours organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. The lovely ladies that run these tours are always helpful.

This is the schedule so far; any further scheduled reviews will be added as they come in and the schedule updated. It’s not all crime fiction, I’ve thrown in some memoir, historical and sci-fi for a bit of variety this time round.



  • Mrs Bates of Highbury, by Allie Cresswell
    • Historical fiction
    • Billed as ‘A prequel to Jane Austen’s ‘Emma”
    • Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour


  • Survive, by Stephen Llewelyn
    • Sci-fi adventure
    • Authoright tour




  • The Pawlife Guide: Dog Care at Home,  by Gina Harding
    • Non-fiction
    • Rachel’s Random Resources


  • Redneck’s Revenge, by Joan Livingston
    • Crime fiction
    • Rachel’s Random Resources


  • Sex Drive, by Stephanie Theobald
    • Memoir
    • Random Thing’s Blog Tours


  • Reprobation, by Catherine Fearns
    • Crime Fiction
    • Rachel’s Random Resources




  • Homicide in Herne Hill, By Alice Castle
    • Cosy crime
    • Rachel’s Random Resources


  • The Forth Victim, by John Mead
    • Crime fiction – Police Pricedural
    • Rachel’s Random Resources




  • The Darling Dead, by Graham Smith
    • Crime
    • Bookouture

Review: ‘Tommy Twigtree and The Carrot Crunchers’, by Michael Firman

Tommy Twigtree and the Carrot CrunchersPublished By: Clink Street Publishing

Publication Date: 14th August 2018

I.S.B.N.: 9781912262953

Format: Children’s illustrated book

Price: £7.99

Age range: 4 -7




Tommy Twigtree and his friends enjoy peace and harmony in their garden.
That is until Robbie Rabbit and his Bandits decide that carrots are on the menu!

Tommy Twigtree And The Carrot Crunchers is the first book for children by Michael Firman.

Illustrations are by Nick Roberts.

Continue reading “Review: ‘Tommy Twigtree and The Carrot Crunchers’, by Michael Firman”

Review: ‘Love the stationary in your classroom’, by Rebecca Palliser

Published By: Clink Street Publishing

Publication Date: 14th August 2018

Format: Picture book

I.S.B.N.:  9781912262847

Price: £7.99







This delightful little book encourages children to learn about – and have fun with – the stationary they encounter in the classroom. Author Rebecca Palliser wants to help all children to find their feet in the primary school classroom.

Goodreads Link:

Amazon Link:

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Asperger’s and Empathy: Shifting Away from Dated Misconceptions

When I was going through my assessment process, the psychiatrist kept banging on about empathy. In the end I told him, “Of course I feel empathy  I just express it differently. I do practical love.” What I didn’t say was: “You’re ideas are so outdated I want to slap you with a book, point you in the direction of some wonderful autistic people online, and by the way, the stuff you call empathy is empty platitudes. Either do something to help a person or shut the fuck up.”

One of the dominant characterizations of people on the autism spectrum is that they lack empathy or are empathy-disrupted.  This is based on the paradigm that autistic people aren’t able to intuit the emotions and needs of others, or that people on…

Source: Asperger’s and Empathy: Shifting Away from Dated Misconceptions

Review: ‘In Bloom’, by C.J. Skuse

Published By: HQ

Publication Date: 9th August 2018

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 9780008216726

Price: £7.99






Darkly comic crime sequel to Sweetpea, following girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon as she’s now caught between the urge to kill and her unborn baby stopping her.

If only they knew the real truth. It should be my face on those front pages. My headlines. I did those things, not him. I just want to stand on that doorstep and scream it: IT WAS ME. ME. ME. ME. ME!

Rhiannon Lewis has successfully fooled the world and framed her cheating fiancé Craig for the depraved and bloody killing spree she committed. She should be ecstatic that she’s free.

Except for one small problem. She’s pregnant with her ex lover’s child. The ex-lover she only recently chopped up and buried in her in-laws garden. And as much as Rhiannon wants to continue making her way through her kill lists, a small voice inside is trying to make her stop.

But can a killer’s urges ever really be curbed?

Continue reading “Review: ‘In Bloom’, by C.J. Skuse”

Review: ‘Implant’, by #Ray Clark, #UrbanePublications, #LoveBooksGroupTours

Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for organising this blog tour. I’ve reviewed this book honestly in return for a review copy of the novel.

Implant - Ray Clark

Published By: Urbane Publications

Publication Date: 9th August

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 9781911583981

Price: £8.99


Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire. Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.

Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence. Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy?

Implant is the perfect read for fans of Peter May, Mark Billingham and Peter James.

Amazon UK:
Amazon US:

Continue reading “Review: ‘Implant’, by #Ray Clark, #UrbanePublications, #LoveBooksGroupTours”

Writing updates


I’ve been quiet recently, I know, and it’s not all because of the dissertation. I’ve had things going on, and my body and brain have been complaining. Lots of sleeping has been done.

However, I’m feeling a touch better this afternoon. I printed out my complete dissertation, all 91 pages of it, to read through and check over. That’s my mission next week. Read, and make any changes to the document before I print out the final, final version for handing in next month.

I’ve also started reading through and making a few edits to the third Fire novel, Fire Awakened. My sister has read the current version, enjoyed it, and has told me off for leaving it on another cliffhanger. I happen to like leaving novels on a cliffhanger, partly because I enjoy torturing my sisters, and partly because I want to induce antici….


….pation in readers.

Yes, that is a Rocky Horror reference.

Also, I haven’t finished writing ‘Fire Storm‘, the last Fire novel yet. I know what happens, I just need to get it on paper.

And Charley’s War is coming along. Slowly, I’ll admit, but I have managed to write a bit during the last few months, a couple of thousand words. It’s all hand written at the moment, so you’ll just have to wait.

However, if anyone wants to have a read of the first two novels and one of the shorter stories, they’re available in paperback and ebook through Amazon. I just checked, I got another 4 star review from a reader. So pleased!

In reading news, I am doing a happy dance because I’ve got hold of a digital ARC of Tamora Pierce’s new book, Tempests and Slaughter about Arram Draper and Prince Ozorne, before they become Numair Salmalín and the Emperor Mage. If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce’s books you’ll know how long awaited this is. I read the Lioness series and the Immortals series avidly and repeatedly as young teenager. My sister read them after me. The copies I bought have almost fallen apart, although my original, hardback ex-library edition of ‘In the Hand of the Goddess’ that cost me 50p from the library, is still in relatively good condition. The pages are browning a bit and I’m not sure the binding will cope with many more readings, but it’s not bad considering it’s at least thirty years old (I’ve had it 22/23 years, the library hold on to books for a while).

In other reading news, I’m reading a digital ARC of C.J. Skuse’s follow up to Sweet Pea, In Bloom. Rhiannon is a cracked as ever and now has a faetus talking to her.

Choices, choices, which one do I devour first? Fantasy or crime?



New From Alice Castle: ‘Calamity in Camberwell’

Calamity in Camberwell.jpgA month ago I reviewed Alice Castle’s first two books, and now I’d like to introduce you all to the 3rd London Mystery, Calamity in Camberwell, published yesterday.

I haven’t reviewed this one, because I anticipated being snowed under with dissertation work, but there are plenty of others on the tour who have read it so go and have a look at their reviews.

Check out the tour calendar at the bottom of the post to see who’s reviewing when.

There’s also the chance to win a signed copy of the book, via rafflecopter. (I’m just hosting the link, everything else is on the author and publisher).




Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell.

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?

As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

Purchase Link –

Author Bio 

author picBefore turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019.  Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website:



Links to buy books:

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Calamity in Camberwell (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


Calamity in Camberwell Full Tour Banner.jpg