Christmas Shoebox gift change a child’s life @occ_shoeboxes

Every year I have supported the Christmas Shoebox appeal. This year I have done a Christmas shoebox for a young girl.

We all love receiving Christmas presents, but for many children they don’t get anything, this is why I always think of less fortunate children and give a shoebox of presents at Christmas time. 

If you would like to do a shoebox and you are not quite sure what to put inside for gift suggestions you can visit

This is what the operation Christmas shoebox looks like 

Think is what my shoebox looks like inside 

These are the items I bought for a young girl .

      A Doll & a girls hair brush 

 A pack of 2 toothbrush A pink flannel pack of hairbands.

   A purple fun sealife pencil case. Inside are these lovely goodies

 Barbie pens rubber pencil sharpener Barrie ruler and a glowing pink star penwitha pack of colouring pencils 

 Sea life sparkling notebook 

 Barbie puzzle and colour in

 Sticker for some adventure of fun .

 Finally a tote bag for a little girl to carry all her presents in.


Demon’s Fire by Lee Cockburn 

Demon’s Fire is the third instalment in the crime thriller series featuring DS Taylor Nicks and DC Marcus Black. 

The City had barely settled back to normal when the sky turned orange as flames licked upwards and smoke billowed out from a quiet industrial estate in Edinburgh. Blood-curdling screams of those trapped within were muffled by the sound-proofed room as the women climbed desperately over one another to try and escape, their efforts futile against their prison walls, their captors slain where they sat, bullet holes in their heads. Human trafficking, prostitution, drug dealing, kidnapping, violence and murder hidden in plain sight in Edinburgh City Centre. Drug dealer Burnett’s grip on the city has no limits, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that remains the case. Nicks and Black struggle to secure evidence against him within the confines of the law, but an enemy of Burnett, hell-bent on revenge, doesn’t have to play by their rules. 


If you like Val McDermid then your love Lee Cockburn books.

A thrilling story of crime and retribution, good versus evil, Demon’s Fire will have you on the edge of your seat as the tentacles of despair take hold of your emotions. Hearts are broken and others mended as the tale gathers momentum, the lives of the officers forever entwined by fate.

I enjoyed reading Porcelain Flesh of Innocents so much that I decided to read next the third book in the crime series with DS Taylor Nicks and DC Marcus Black. 

Demon’s Fire is another page turner opening with the scenes of women being held prisoners in a warehouse in a quiet area of an industrial estate in Edinburgh. Sadly they were all used as slaves for men. I really felt for these women as the guards would rape these poor women. 

Someone sealed all the doors and fire exits and set the warehouse on fire. The scenes are drastic, with the guards and women who couldn’t escape. There is a part that made reminded me of prison break where two women do escape by a way that I’m keeping a secret as not to do a spoiler. But do the two women manage to escape alive from the burning hell? And will DS Taylor Nicks and DC Marcus find who is responsible for setting the building on fire?

This is a story of human trafficking, prostitution , drugs dealing, kidnapping, violence and murder. A novel not to be missed. 

I recommend Demon’s Fire, that is is a a page turning thriller story of crime. Here we have good versus evil. 

Other titles by Lee Cockburn 

Porcelain Flesh of Innocence 


Have some tissues close by you as the first few pages are very unsettling. It hard for me to get my head around the fact, Megan hated her kids from moment they were born. Her new boyfriend wasn’t interested in her only to violently sexually abuse her daughter. Reading about the mother’s boyfriend with his unhealthy desires filled me with tears and rage at the same time. In chapter 2 The trail once again filled me with the most saddest emotions. Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller. Porcelain Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.



Lee Cockburn has become one my favourite top crime thriller writers. So far I have read three of her amazing crime stories that had me trembling in fear bringing me some discomfort with the most chilling characters. 

I don’t think this author Lee Cockburn will be stuck for any further cruel and sinister characters to write about and I’m looking forward more episodes of books to unnerve me again.

I sensed the dread of a devil of a man who watched a young woman for weeks then gained entry into her bedroom and raped her to satisfy his deprived sexual appetite. It’s the scene from hell. DS Taylor Nicks and DC Marcus Black are called to this disturbing scene. Will DS Taylor Nicks be able to catch this evil monster before he targets another woman? So much more darker things happen in this plot that it will without doubt shock you all. 

In my view Lee Cockburn is up in the crime thriller charts just like Val McDermid. I have read many of Val McDermid books and I know that all Val McDermid fans will Love all of Lee Cockburn Books. 


I am mother of two wonderful boys, I have a beautiful civil partner called Emily. I am an ex Scottish international Rugby player gaining 77 caps for my country. I am a serving police sergeant in Edinburgh City. I started writing in 2009 after reading a very dull book, wanting to write a book, the way i’d Like to read one. My books are very graphic, containing scenes of violence and murder, with erotic interludes, interspersed with some typical cop humour. The overriding factor is good v’s evil, but I apologise that it takes a little too long in Devil’s Demise. I write as a hobby, because there is so little spare time in my little life and the boys come first. If you are eagerly awaiting book three, I have a wee bit to go, but i’m trying my best. Thank you for all your support. i look forward to revealing the third book in this series and I hope some questions will be answered for you, much love to all of you. 

Devil’s Demise and the sequel Porcelain Flesh of Innocents will have you on the edge of your seat, your heart filled with fear and emotions, then warmed with the love and passion. Sit back and enjoy the read. 


I’m so pleased to announce the cover reveal 

The prose poems in I Can See The Lights are earthy and raw, but also incredibly sensitive. It’s pretty much guaranteed that more than one of them will bring you to tears. Characters are vividly brought to life, and stark but warm environments evoked in a down to earth, yet almost painterly manner by Russ Litten’s uncompromising voice.
Tales of home, of un-belonging, of strife at sea – of a northern city’s beating heart. Told in a mesmeric, stripped-down tone, this collection is a work of genius.

 Author Bio:
Russ Litten is the author of the novels Scream If You Want To Go Faster, Swear Down, Kingdom and the short story collection We Know What We Are.
As one half of the electronic storytelling duo Cobby and Litten, he has released three spoken word/electronica albums My People Come From The Sea, Boothferry and Pound Shop Communism.
He has written for TV, radio and film and has worked as a writer in residence at various prisons and youth offender units. I Can See The Lights is his first poetry collection. 







Angie Thomas book box collection published by Walker Books


“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. 


The Hate U give is the first book that Angie Thomas published . This page turner is the first in the collection box gift set. I found this book excellent so beautifully written. I personally found the whole story and characters quite believable.

This is without doubt a heartbreaking story. 

Starr and Kenya went to a house party hosted by a guy named Darius. Khakil who Starr had known since she was three turned up at the party. Unfortunately a fight occurred at the party so Khalil and Starr left together in his car. A cop pulled Khalil over and forced him out of his car. Khalil was patted down which the cop found nothing, the officer went to check his license & registration. Khalil open the driver’s side door & pow pow pow the cop shot him. I found this scene literally quite upsetting as does appear that sixteen year old Khalil was shot dead just because he was a sixteen year old black boy.

I’m so full of praise for Angie Thomas a powerful type of novel, to me it’s certainly one that makes you think. 

I highly recommend reading The Hate U Give, as Angie Thomas is one who understands how to give readers an insight to a different lifestyle.



From the visionary Angie Thomas comes a story about hip-hop, prejudice, and fighting for your dreams.

Sixteen-year -old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. It’s hard to get your come up, though, when you’re labelled trouble at school and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. But Bri’s success is all that stands between her family and homelessness, so she doesn’t just want to make it she has to. Even if it means becoming exactly what the public expects her to be.

I do have to confess that I have a passion for box book sets, where I can sit and read a whole collection one after the other. 

Although the author Angie Thomas is a former teen rapper On The Come Up it still grabbed my attention, with a young sixteen year old Bri who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time, and why not want that?  Most young teenagers have some sort of an idea what they want to do with their lives and to me there’s nothing wrong anyone at any age wanting to famous in some kind of way.

The story is quite heartbreaking where Bri has had a tough life with her mother who has an addiction and her fathers death. 

I did feel for quite sad for Bri who sometimes she gets in to trouble at school. For Bri it was an incredible new record for her if she hadn’t been sent to the principal’s office. 

Bri had been rapping since she was ten, but she didn’t even know if she was good enough . Will she make it as rapper? 

Some of the scenes are about poverty that’s heartbreaking with no food in the fridge, but with first love of rapper music. 

I know On The Come Up this is going to be a very popular book. But for any reader that hasn’t read On The Come up or The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas, who is a great writer that can put so many different emotions into each page to draw readers in. 

I highly recommend this beautiful box collection by walker Books. 

The Hate You Give is the first book by Angie Thomas., that is a page turner. You simply can’t fail to love both books. I would like to say a huge very big thank you to walker books for sending me this lovely box set.

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Murder by the Minster Helen Cox Social Media Blast 

Murder by the Minster Helen Cox

The Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mysteries Book 1

Paperback published 31st October 2019 by Quercus 

Meet Kitt Hartley librarian wearer, Lady Greytea drinker, taker of no nonsense…detective.

It’s a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of the Vale of York library, until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie’s ex-boyfriend Owen has been found dead – with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart – and all the evidence points to her.

Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone – let alone Owen, who she adored. Horrified that the police could have got it so wrong, Kitt decides there’s only one thing to do: she’s going to investigate Owen’s murder herself. She’s read hundreds of mystery novels – how hard can it be?

With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance of the library’s eccentric regulars, Kitt summons up all her investigative powers (absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work.

She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she’d ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven’t finished killing yet…


Murder by the Minster by Helen Cox is the first in a brand-new mystery series set in the city of York. I loved every second of this detective mystery. As I loved it so much Helen Cox has become one of my favourite top authors, so much so that I’m now desperate to read her next book  in the mystery series A Body in theBookshop, that is due out in 2020. What did I enjoy about Murder by the Minster? The story is about Kitt a librarian, whose best friend Evie is a suspect in a murder investigation. If your best friend is a suspect in a murder investigation, you know she couldn’t possibly do such a thing as murder her ex-boyfriend. We follow Kitt on a journey trailing everything possible to clear her best friend of murdering her ex boyfriend Owen,  after all that’s what friendship is about girls helping out each other. Each character sucked me in from everyone who worked in the library to visitors who came into the library and Detective Inspector Halloran who always thinks he is right. I loved the fact that the pace never stopped, it kept me guessing who the murderder is. I must highly recommend Murder by the Minster with so many surprises along the way. 


Helen Cox is a Yorkshire-born romance novelist and poet. She hosts a monthly podcast called The Poetrygram and coordinates the poetry and non-fiction courses at the charitable courses City Lit, London.

After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen found work writing for a range of magazines, websites and blogs as well as writing news and features for TV and radio. She has written three non-fiction books and founded independent film publication: New Empress Magazine. 

More information about Helen can be found on her website: She can be found on Twitter: @Helenography.




Paperback published by Clink Street Publishing 29th October 2019

Available to buy from Amazon UK 


Who said A is for Apple? Why not A is for ACCEPTANCE? Let’s learn the alphabet using words that will inspire and empower everyone to thrive in life’s!
Packed with fun illustrations and thoughtful quotes and themes. THE ALPHABET FOR LIFE is unique children’s book the whole family can enjoy and learn from for a lifetime.


I’m all for encouraging children to read more. My youngest daughter when she was three, she just loved books, so much so I couldn’t get her out of the early learning shop, that has sadly closed. When my daughter went to school she read the Annie Apple book, and had the songs to go with one book A is Apple point to letter then say A. Now this book THE ALPHABET FOR LIFE, has given children and families a new whole meaning to what the letters in the alphabet could mean. A fantastic book that definitely is a must buy. 


Cover reveal The Final Trial AA Abbott 

I’m please to announce the book cover reveal for The Final Trial By AA Abott

THE FINAL TRAIL by AA Abott is published in paperback 18th October 2019





Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21st century with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.

The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting – but together, they follow the same characters over several years.

The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer. She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.

Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.

In the last book …”Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn’t trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn’t thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That’s not his biggest problem, though. He’s trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat’s brother, Erik, and it’s draining money he doesn’t have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat’s life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother’s deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business – and learn to trust Kat?”

Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”

Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.

Helen added “It’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales – I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”

THE FINALTRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists. It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.

THE FINALTRAIL will be available to order from Amazon in e-book, paperback and dyslexia-friendly format from Monday 28th October 2019.

Website: Twitter: @AAAbbottstories


Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

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