The Sins of Allie Lawrence by Philip Caveney @Philip_caveney @FledglingPress @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours


The Sins of Allie Lawrence by Philp Caveney

Paperback published by Fledgling Press

After a blazing row with her mother, sixteen-year-old Allie Lawrence impulsively runs away from the family home in Killiecrankie, with no plan other than to go to Edinburgh to ‘be an actor.’


Then a chauffeur-driven car pulls up beside her and she’s offered a lift by its handsome and mysterious passenger, Nick. Against her better judgement, she accepts – and soon discovers that he is a ‘manager,’ who claims he can make all her dreams come true.


She just needs to sign a contract… The Sins of Allie Lawrence is a tale of temptation, inspired by the legend of Black Donald, and set against the vibrant world of the theatre.

My review

I absolutely loved this story!

When we were younger we all argued with our mother, but mother knows best. Allie Lawrence’s mother wouldn’t let her go to a party, she had to stay in and revise, now her best friend has gone behind her back. And Allie’S mother didn’t think anything their relationship would going anywhere with her boyfriend. With what her mother had just said, Allie only had a few coins, but she didn’t care, Allie packed a few things and left home. Allie was determined to travel thirty miles to Perth somehow. I thought Allie Lawrence was very brave at sixteen and leaving home. This is a very interesting story as we are taken through what happened next through Allie’s travels. I totally recommend this brilliant story.

I would like to say a very big thank you to Kelly Lacey at Love books Group for sending me this fabulous book and for inviting me to be part of this wonderful blog tour.

About Philp Caveney



Philip’s Caveney is an award-winning author whose first novel was published in 1977. Since then, he has published many novels for adults and since 2007, a series of children’s books that have sold all over the world, the Sebastian Darke series and another well-received series – The Alec Devlin Mysteries. He has written the successful Crow Boy trilogy for Fledgling Press and The Calling and The Slithers too. Philip also writes as Danny Weston – winner of the Scottish Book Trust Teen award 2016. Philip now lives and writes in Edinburgh.


Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2YU7KbZ


The Unraveling Of Maria Blog Tour

The Unraveling Of Maria By F J Curlew paperback published 7th November 2020

Maria’s history is a lie. Washed up on the shores of Sweden in 1944, with no memory, she was forced to create her own. 43 years later she still has no idea of who she really is.

Jaak flights for Estonia’s independence refusing to accept the death of his fiancé Maarja, whose ship was sunk as she fled across the Baltic Sea to escape the Soviet invasion.

Angie knows exactly who she is . A drug addict, a waste of space. Life is just about getting by.

A chance meeting in Edinburgh’s Cancer Centre is the catalyst for something very different.

Sometimes all you need is someone who listens.

First page of chapter 1

Maria 1993

I clambered out the window, mumbled to myself, cursing at the stiffness of my old legs, held on tight to the knotted sheets and slid my way down ungracefully, most likely comically. My room was only on the first floor and really, such a means of escape was unnecessary, but I wanted to do it properly. This was something I would do only once in my lifetime. I had to make the most of it.

Once safely down I took a quick glance back at the building, blew a kiss, took a deep breath, picked up my handbag, and tip-toed across the lawn to the row of pine trees that hid the grounds from the road. I felt like a rebellious teenager sneaking out of the house to meet an unapproved of boyfriend or some such thing. It was so exciting and peculiarly familiar. Ah yes. That time. So long ago. Leave it be. I had no time for dilly dallying around in memories that were no use to me.

My feet reached the gravel of the drive. Crunch, crunch, crunch. It was noisy. Too noisy! I might wake them. Alert them to my escape. Allow capture. That simply wouldn’t do ! Slow down Maria. Slow down. I stepped back onto the grass and padded softly along it until I reached the gate.

About author Fiona Curlew

Fiona dropped out of school age 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it. After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education graduating in 1996 with honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!
As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe she returned to the UK to focus on her writing.
She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with a rescued Ukrainian street mutt (now deceased – a heavy sigh) a Scottish Black Labrador, Springer Spaniel and a Portuguese cat who doesn’t like the weather!
She is the author of two novels, Retribution a dystopian thriller and Dan Knew, the semi-autobiographical account her travels through the eyes of Dan, one of her Ukrainian rescue dogs.

You can find Fiona Curlew on her Website

From Highlights to Lowlifes Alyson Chattoe and Jilly Clarkby @thewritinghall@lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours 


  

From Highlights to Lowlifes by A.J. Chattoe and Jilly Clarkby 

Paperback published by TWH publishing 27th October 2017

ISBN 9780993476792

£3.09 from Amazon UK


What had seemed the answer to Tilly’s problems had now turned into her worst nightmare. A happily married mother-of-three, Tilly was not the stereotypical criminal – in fact, she’d barely warrant a second glance if passed in the street.


“No one will stop you, Tilly. You’re Mrs. Average. Why would any­one suspect you?”


She’d only wanted to protect her family. If your whole life was under threat, would you make the same decision?


Based on actual events and real-life diary entries, Tilly’s story shows how quickly life can turn…
My review 

I literally cried while reading From Highlights to Lowlifes, that’s based on actual events and real-life diary entries. I know it was Tilly’s own fault for working  for a friend carrying drugs strapped to her stomach and believing a friend that no one would stop her as she is Mrs Average.  When Tilly is stopped and search she is given a five year sentence in prison. I was glued to Tilly’s own true story I wanted to find out how Tilly would cope inside prison. Tilly takes us through her prison sentence with the other women she has to share her room with. And how her family react through what she has done. 

If you have read any books like Cartel Wives Mia and Olivia Flores who were married to the highest level drug traffickers or Breakfast at Bronzefield about another young  woman Sophie Campbell, who was sent to one of the largest female prisons HMP Bronzefiels you will be gripped into Highlights to Lowlifes.

I would like to thank Kelly at Love Books Group for sending me this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.


Author Bio

Jilly and Alyson are neighbours and good friends, and they’re based in West Yorkshire. Both are dog-lovers and ‘From Highlights to Lowlifes’ was largely created during their daily walks, based on Jilly’s experiences.


As an advocate of rehabilitation and bringing to light the UK justice system’s flaws, Jilly gives talks at schools, universities and various groups across the UK.



Buy Link 

https://www.hallgoodbooks.com/product-page/from-highlights-to-lowlifes

337 M. JONATHAN LEE

BY DAY

BY NIGHT

337 BY JONATHAN LEE

Hardback published by hideaway fall 30th November 2020

337 follows the life of Samuel Darte whose mother vanished when he was in his teens . It was his brother, Tom who found her wedding ring on the kitchen table along with the note. While their father pays the price of his mother’s disappearance, Sam learns that his long-estranged Gramma is living out her last days in a nursing home nearby. Keen to learn about what really happened that day and realising the importance of how little time there is, he visits her to finally get the truth. Soon it’ll be too late and the family secrets will be lost forever. Reduced to ashes. But in a story like this, nothing is as it seems.

MY REVIEW

337 is a special book that you can read it either in the settings by day with a yellow door on the front cover, or when you flip the book upside to the back the blue door by night will be upside down, you just flip it up so the blue door is up the right way, which means then that you will still be reading it in the normal way as you would opening any book.

The book tells the same story only up to chapter three. Its just up to the reader preference if you want to read this book by day or night. This double upside down book is only available to buy in the UK.

I decided to read by proof copy by day, with the yellow door on. Both of the parts of by day and by night has the exact same story for only with the first three chapters. When I finished reading the book by day I turned the book to the blue door by night.

And If you was read the book by night , the big surprise is when you flip the book open and start to read it by the time you get to the end of the third chapter it says NOW TURN THE BOOK AND READ ON FROM PAGE 16… which means you have to start reading the book by day.

Chapter 1 the first page

From a place high above the clouds, all you can make out is an expanse of green. The colour is deep, almost bottle, and from here it looks like the velvet upholstery of old dining chairs you’d find in a stately home or colonial house. It looks so soft you want to reach out and touch it. You want to push the brushed fabric in the wrong direction. Mess with its beauty.

As you pass through the wispy clouds ( which persevere in trying to spoil the perfect summer‘s day) you can see that the ground beneath is actually covered in squares of varying colours and sizes. Blues and yellows and reds all thrown down haphazardly across the land, like playing cards in a game of pairs strewn across the floor. Each is different yet by an area of green before the next one begins.

As you drift closer, you can make out movement. At first you could be forgiven the triteness of using a word like ‘ ants ‘ or insects to describe them. But such nouns have been used to death by humans travelling on planes or hot air balloons or standing atop skyscrapers or whatever.

Chapter 2 first page

We gather annually for the family picnic. I am told that in years gone by up to thirty family members would attend. That was back in the days when most of the family lived on the streets of endless terraced houses which surrounded the park, all within a couple of doors of one another. They would gather on the first Sunday of July each year ( which was the tradition, though nobody can now remember why ) and eat, play games and spend time together.

I have a vague recollection of playing badminton in the humid, windless summer days when I was much younger. I remember large, park-wide games of hide and seek with perhaps twenty participants. But the day of the picnic that I am describing to you is far more mundane. Family members have long since given up making the effort to attend. Many have died ( and therefore could be forgiven for their absence ) whilst others simply didn’t pass on the tradition to the next generation.

On that day, there are just six of us. I sit crossed – legged alongside my father on the west side of the blanket.

First page chapter 3

It is the sound of my phone vibrating that wakes me from the dream about my mother and a picnic that happened almost exactly twenty-five years ago. I have had the same dream so many times that I have been able to pinpoint every moment of the day that the picnic took place. In some ways it was easy to do. After all, I never saw my mother again after that day. You don’t forget the details of days as significant as that.

I roll over to my right and watch the phone progress slowly over the edge of the bedside table. It swings for a moment, attached to its charging cable, and then hands precariously like a mountaineer over a precipice.

I retrieve the stillvibrating phone and lie on my back. I push the button on the side and note that the caller is my father.

I could do without this.

The green circle allows me to answer, and am immediately greeted by the unusual recorded message. I press I accept and there are numerous clicks before his voice breaks through.

About author M. Jonathan Lee

M Jonathan Lee is a nationally shortlisted author and mental health campaigner. 

His first novel The Radio was shortlisted in the Novel Prize 2012. Since that time he has gone on to publish five further novels. 337 is his sixth novel.

He is obsessed with stories with twists where nothing is exactly how it first appears. He was born in Yorkshire where he still lives to this day with his twins, James and Annabel.

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright @jaimejowright@bethany_house @lovebooksgroup @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours 

   


THE HAUNTING AT BONAVENTURE CIRCUS BY JAIME  JO WRIGHT 

Paperback published by Bethany House 1st September 2020

1928

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.


Present Day

The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My review 

Welcome to Bonaventure circus where misfits go to hide. 

A Haunting at Bonaventure Circus is a magnificent story, weaving between  1928, and decades later the present day. The story is so well written with first class imagination by author Jamie Jo Wright, that this story impressed me so much it gave me the shivers. I know this story will put many readers under a magical shivery spell, with the spookiest scene at a graveyard and spirits. The Bonaventure Circus painted a picture in my head of like a ghostly derelict disused old building, that was to be taken down for historical reasons. 

Pippa Ripley received a mysterious letter from the Watchman with the words 

come. 

Elphant Alley 

11am. 

From chapter 5 page 40

There the Watchman stood. A silhouette braving the brush of light that now washed through the windows of the elephant house as the electric lamps were turned up. A burlap sack covered his head, black holes where his eyes should have been. Holes that were ragged and frayed, lessening the distance between them as the empty void became a frightening traverse.

In that moment, pippa was bound to him. More so than she had been before. But it was a binding that imprisoned her, not freed her. The Watchman held captive all her secrets, held prisoner her soul, and she began to drown in the hollowness of his eyes.

I loved this book Haunting at Bonaventure Circus so much, therefore I highly recommend it as a must buy as it messes with your head within the most enjoyable way.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group for sending this fascinating book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour today, for that I’m truly grateful. 



About Jamie Jo Wright


Jaime Jo Wright is the author of five novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She’s also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo, her husband Cap’n Hook, and their littles, Peter Pan, and CoCo. To learn more, visit http://www.jaimewrightbooks.com. 


Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3bzX8UU


The Piper and The Fairy Carole Bulewski

THE PIPER AND THE FAIRY BY CAROLE BULEWSKI

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY DREAM’S EDGE PUBLISHING 14TH OCTOBER 2020

ISBN 9781923844097

Available to buy on Amazon

London-based sculptor Iris friend Tom has disappeared without a trace during a trip to Austria. Worse still Iris has no recollection of what happened when she was searching for him.

Stranger still, she regularly hears Tom’s voice in her head.

Fearing that she may be losing her mind, she consults a therapist to bring back the memories she’s temporarily erased.

The focus of the therapy quickly shifts towards the only two people who have mattered to her. Tom, the piper, a Sixties-influenced musician who reignited her creativity; and Matilda, her childhood friend, who encouraged her to pursue her artistic ambitions whilst inspiring her through her Wiccan practice.

What is it that Iris, the fairy in the trees as Tom called her, has buried deep inside that her mind, and will she be able to dig up the clues as to what happened to Tom?

The piper and the Fairy is a story of obsession, intense friendship and alternative realities that keep you guessing until the final scene.

My review

I must admit I found this story quite hard to get into, and didn’t get past the first chapter, however this comes down to preference, while other readers may well love this book. I have read other stories with folklore in and have enjoyed them. I just found this one difficult to get into. I do actually collect fairy figurines that’s why I wanted to read this book in particular, and love genuinely reading about fairies and folklore. I fully appreciate that the author has spent a lot of time writing this book making sure it sits well with readers. I do however think that the story is well written but just not my cup of tea.

There are references to weed in this story, but although the beginning of the story is about weed it’s there for a reason. However I’m not a fan of stories surrounding about weed, as my neighbours smoke it, making my life a living hell. During the hot summer I had to close my conservatory windows and my back door. I can smell it in my bathroom, when they smoke it. My loft smells of it a little too. I have part of the first chapter which will help you decide if this is the book for you.

I would like to thank the author Carole Bulewski who very kindly sent me a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

PART ONE LOSING TOM

Breaking Point.

London, May 2007

It wasn’t a difficult decision to make. In fact, it came naturally, almost as a relief after all the pain. But in a way, it was the easy part. Because then I had to come back – in actual fact I was forced to come back, and I didn’t even have a say in the matter.

Matilda told me she found me unconscious in the conservatory, bleeding profusely from my slashed wrists. Rushing to my rescue she walked on broken glass – the remains of the drink I had swallowed in a few laborious gulps before the glass fell of my hand and crashed on the tiles. She noticed the bust of Tom in blue alabaster next to me on the floor and grabbed it, before hurling it into the garden. There he was again, this Tom whom she believed had caused me so much pain, and she just couldn’t deal with it any more. I think she was angry with herself for not having foreseen that I would reach the point of no return, and she took it out on the statue that night because it was the closest thing to the real-life Tom. She couldn’t have guessed that Tom had spoken to me that very same night – to be honest, I’m not sure I believe her either.

Matilda only thought of calling for an ambulance when the sculpture fell flatly, almost silently, on the wet grass – how it didn’t break was in itself a little miracle. Maybe I invented this part, and in fact I cannot recall if she ever told me about this, but I can easily picture her that night, suddenly realising the seriousness of the situation. Matilda’s coping mechanisms when something goes badly wrong in her life are either to fall silent for hours, days even, or to express her anger boldly and loudly as she possibly can – and that night she chose the latter. The ability to think had momentarily deserted her, and only returned after this initial outburst.

That evening, upon coming home from work, Matilda went straight to her flat on the first floor, because there was no reason to check on m, because we hadn’t planned to spend the evening together and because we were entitled to our privacy. It’s only when she decided to roll a joint, something she wouldn’t normally have done on a week night, that she realised that her stash of weed had disappeared and that something wasn’t quite right. Neither Holly nor her mum, who were regular smokers with more than enough stocks to survive a siege, could have stolen it from her. There was only one possible culprit; me, Iris, the sister she’d never had, a sister not of blood but of fate and choice, Iris, the annoying younger sibling who made herb,ice impossible and exciting at the same time. Unless someone had broke into the house, I was the only one who could have stolen her stash of weed.

ABOUT AUTHOR CAROLE BULEWSKI

Carole Buleswski is a multi-faceted and accomplished author. She began her author career writing in her native French. Carole was born and raised in the south of France. Now writing almost exclusively in English and living in London. Carole’s writing weaves an almost mystical tale of fairy, folklore fantasy mingled with a darker undercurrent of urban despair

The Piper and the Fairy is the first of a trilogy of novels exploring Iris Low’s journey through a life entwined with pagan folklore and Iris’s own imagination which creates for her a parallel world that is shield against a truth she is not ready to face.

Carole has also written and illustrated a children’s book, although her mythical, magical, and metaphysic novels are Carole’s preferred genre.

In 202O, Carole signed with Dream’s Edge Publishing who will be releasing Water of Life, the follow up to The Piper and The Fairy, and the final book of the trilogy, The Little God of Queen’s Park.

The reckless Afterlife Of Harriet Stoker By Lauren James

THE RECKLESS AFTERLIFE OF HARRIET STOKER BY AUTHOR LAUREN JAMES

PAPERBACK PUBLISHED BY WALKER BOOKS 3RD SEPTEMBER 2020

Congratulations new kid. Welcome to the afterlife.

When Harriet Stoker dies after falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a group of ghosts, each with a special power.

Felix, Kasper, Roma and Leah welcome Harriet into their world, eager to make friends with the new arrival after decades alone. Yet Harriet is more interested in unleashing her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy.

MY REVIEW

Oh my I’m crazy about this story. Every now and then I love to read a ghost story.

Eighteen year old Harriet Stoker had passed Mulcture Hall on the day she toured the University of Warwick. One night Harriet went into the abandoned Mulcture Hall to take some photos for a project, then get back to see her gran. When a freak accident happens, her foot got caught in something, tripped over the edge of the stairwell, crashing to the ground, with a pool of blood from the split of her skull.

We’re all ghosts. And so are you.

With Harriet coming too, she sees a boy looking at her. But how did she survive? She would have died. Then Harriet is told she died. She is dead. She didn’t quite believe him, but decided to play along and hope she could get rid of all of the ghosts that are in Mulcture Hall. But now Harriet is a ghost can she leave Mulcture Hall. She couldn’t be stuck there forever, with no way to return to her old life. What if death is only the beginning?

With so much more of the story to look forward to, I have to say this is the perfect Christmas present 🌲

First Page Of Chapter 1

Twenty minutes before her death, Harriet Stoker stare up at the hazard sign peppering the entrance of Mulcture Hall. The signs were very informative, stating in huge black letters: DANGER – DERELICT BUILDING! THIS BUILDING HAS BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN ASBESTOS; UNSTABLE STRUCTURE – UNAUTHORISED PEOPLE FOUND ON THIS SITE WILL BE PROSECUTED and DANGER OF ELECTROCUTION ! Harriet was impressed. Confident of her life choices, she began to climb the chain-link fence.

Harriet thought that even when the newly built, Mulcture Hall must have looked like a place where architecture came to die. This colourful graffiti covering the pebbledash walls didn’t detract from the overwhelming greyness of the old halls of residence.

She picked her way carefully through nettles to the entrance. It was nearly dusk, so she used her phone to shine a light through a crack between the plywood boards covering a window.

When a face lunged at her from the other side, Harriet skidded back on her heels. She laughed. It was her own reflection.

About author Lauren James

Lauren James is the twice Carnegie-nominated British author of many Young Adult novels, including The Loneliest Girl in the Universe and The Quiet at the End of the World. She is also a Creative Writing lecturer, freelance editor and screenwriter.

Her books have sold over a hundred thousand copies worldwide, been translated into five languages and shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and STEAM Children’s Book Award. Her other novels include The Next Together series, the dyslexia-friendly novella series The Watchmaker and the Duke and serialised online novel An Unauthorised Fan Treatise. Her upcoming release is The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker.

She was born in 1992, and has a Masters degree from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. Lauren is a passionate advocate of STEM further education, and all of her books feature female scientists in prominent roles. She sold the rights to her first novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university.

Her writing has been described as ‘gripping romantic sci-fi’ by the Wall Street Journal and ‘a strange, witty, compulsively unpredictable read which blows most of its new YA-suspense brethren out of the water’ by Entertainment Weekly. The Last Beginning was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for young adults by the Independent.

Lauren lives in the West Midlands and is an Arts Council grant recipient. She has written articles for numerous publications, including the Guardian, Buzzfeed, Den of Geek, The Toast, and the Children’s Writers and Artist’s Yearbook 2021. She teaches creative writing for Coventry University, WriteMentor, and Writing West Midlands, providing creative writing courses to children through the Spark Young Writers programme.

Deleted Sylvia Hehir

Deleted by Sylvia Hehir

Paperback published by Garmoran 28th May 2020

How much worse can Dee’s life get.

Having already suffered a traumatic break up with her boyfriend, her best friend is now warning her off the handsome new boy in the village. So what if his dad is a traveller? And life would be a whole lot easier if her phone would stop playing up.

I laughed when I saw the bin sign appear on my new mobile as I deleted Amy’s name.

I would have stuffed Amy in a bin for real after all she’d done.

Deleted is a lovely short book for young adults with a hint of romance. Some of the words in chapters made me laugh out loud! While other words made me gasp, and the most important part for me was I wanted the best boyfriend in the world for Dee.

PART OF CHAPTER THREE

with some of my favourite funny lines or the parts that made a little sad for Dee.

The party was in full swing. Outside the house a bare chested lad, wearing only a kilt and thick socks and boots, was dancing with the fat, plastic Santa that stood in the garden. Santa’s reindeer companion lay knocked on his side, his read nose beaming intermittently. Loud bass beats from indoors accompanied the flashing icicles on the roof.

Was John in there? And, more to the point, was I ready to see him again?

Tom followed Close behind me. Frankie took hold of my hand and led me in through the gate.

Come in Sandi called leaning out of a window. Her mum and dad believed her when she’d said she’d rather stay at home and revise than go with them to Tenerife. Fat chance of my mum ever going away and leaving me.

A heady mix of incense sticks and fresh sweat hit us full in the face as we pilled into the tiny hallway.

It was true I hadn’t spoken to Tom since we’d arrived. The party was fast becoming a nightmare. I needed something good to happen. I downed my drink and left the kitchen.

Tom was on the stairs. He wrapped a warm hand around mine as I trotted towards him and we climbed the stairs hand in hand.

When we reached the landing, he clamped his mouth over my lips and held me tightly around my waist with one arm.

He was interested then.

He moved an exploring hand over my back and down my hips.

I staggered backwards through an open door into Sandi’s old playroom. We lurched across the wooden floor as he guided me further into the room. He quite gently pulled me back towards him but again he clamped his lips on to mine. His arms held me tighter.

I pulled away from him. Don’t. I’m not….

He flicked some sort of reply. You came with me-

No. No. I managed to splutter.

No. I banged my fists against him and he dropped his arms against his side.

Tom sprang away from me like a startled cat and dashed out of the bedroom door.

Not tears rushed down my foolish face.

How had things gone so badly wrong? I fancied Tom.

Not just because of his looks either. He’d seemed shy and interesting. I’d wanted to talk to him, get to know him better.

Was I mistaken about him?

ABOUT AUTHOR SYLVIA HEHIR

Hi I write contemporary YA fiction set in the fabulous west highlands of Scotland. Deleted and Delivered are the first two books In the Love and the Village series They are fun reads with relatable characters. My debut novel, Sea Change is a YA thriller that will keep you turning the pages. I hope you enjoy them.

A Ruined Girl Kate Simants

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants

Hardback published by Viper 7th August 2020

Two boys loved her but which one killed her?

On a dark night two years ago, teenagers Rob and Paige broke into a house. They beat and traumatised the occupant, then left taking only a bracelet. No one knows why, not even Luke, Rob’s younger brother and Paige’s confidant. Paige disappeared after that night. And having spent her life in children’s homes and the foster system, no one cared enough to look for her.

Now Rob is out of prison, and probation officer Wren Reynolds has been tasked with his rehabilitation. But Wren has her own reasons for taking on Rob as a client. Convinced that Rob knows what happened to Paige and hiding a lifetime of secrets from the heavily pregnant wife, Wren’s obsession with finding a missing girl may tear her family apart.

My Review

The author Kate Simants has worked her magic with a story where every character seems so real. The plot inclines to make you quiet believe that this event has happened is in true life.

Part of chapter 1

You’re getting out. Congratulations.

Yeah. His voice is dry with disuse, and his face is set as hard as concrete. They said I’ve to do visits?

That’s right. I’m going to take you round to see some people, and we’re going to have some conversations. The idea is that you find out what your actions have done, long term. Understand the wider repercussions.

What people though? Not a blink. Maybe not concrete after all, Wren thinks; maybe something older. Volcanic rock perhaps.

There’s a list. Victims of the crime. Obviously in your case there’s going to be… more to it. She lets that sit for a moment, daring him to ask her why. Eventually she says, For you, it’s your victim, and people connected to your accomplice.

Accomplish-you mean Paige?

She nods.

And by victim, your saying I’ve got to talk to Yardley.

Being the man you burgled and assaulted, yes, she says. Settling into it now, hitting her stride. That qualifies him as the victim.

PRAISE FOR KATE SIMANTA with comments I absolutely agree with.

A tense, unsettling and emotional engaging whodunnit that grips from the first page. Sophie Hannah

A complete triumph. An intelligent and deeply satisfying thriller with such vivid characters it’s impossible to believe they aren’t real. Elizabeth Hayes.

ABOUT KATE SIMANTS

Kate Simants was shortlisted for a CEA Debut Dagger for her first novel Lock Me In and won the UEA Literary Festival scholarship to study for anMA in Crime Fiction, graduating with distinction. She spent a decade as a journalist for Channel 4 and the BBC, specialising in investigative documentaries, police shows and uncover work. Her investigations into children homes were the inspiration for a Ruined Girl, which was awarded the Bath Novel Award. She lives near Bristol with her family.

Crime Dot Com Geoff White Review

CRIME DOT COM BY GEOFF WHITE

Hardback Published By http://www.reaktionbooks.co.uk


On May 4, 2000, an email that read “kindly check the attached LOVELETTER” was sent from a computer in the Philippines. Attached was a virus, the Love Bug, and within days it had been circulated across the globe, paralyzing banks, broadcasters, and businesses in its wake, and extending as far as the UK Parliament and, reportedly, the Pentagon. The outbreak presaged a new era of online mayhem: the age of
 Crime Dot Com. In this book, investigative journalist Geoff White charts the astonishing development of hacking, from its conception in the United States’ hippy tech community in the 1970s, through its childhood among the ruins of the Eastern Bloc, to its coming of age as one of the most dangerous and pervasive threats to our connected world. He takes us inside the workings of real-life cybercrimes, drawing on interviews with those behind the most devastating hacks and revealing how the tactics employed by high-tech crooks to make millions are being harnessed by nation states to target voters, cripple power networks, and even prepare for cyber-war. From Anonymous to the Dark Web, Ashley Madison to election rigging, Crime Dot Com is a thrilling, dizzying, and terrifying account of hacking, past and present, what the future has in store, and how we might protect ourselves from it. 

My Review

I love reading about cybercrime and what’s been hacked. I first got into computer hackers after reading many years ago the fictional story The Blue Nowhere By Jeffery Deaver.

Crime Dot Com is non-fictional about from viruses to vote rigging and how hacking went global. It’s certainly a well written book being well researched, that had me glued to every word. It’s a certainty a frightening world we live in today with cybercrime.

My own mother was conned out of money with a man claiming he was from BT and that she had to pay some money using her credit card at that precise moment or her line would be disconnected. When my mother gave him her bank card details, the man fraudulently took more money out of my mother’s account and spent it in Sainsbury. He wasn’t from our area, he must have lived far away near the Sainsbury he spent my mothers money. How the man got my mother’s phone number from in another area is beyond me. The man was very efficient with his manner sounding like he really worked for BT, which brings me think that the man may have previously worked from BT and kept telephone numbers of clients to take money from. Or he just may have been very cleaver at convincing people he worked at BT.

At the back of this book there’s further reading reference with other books that I’m quite interested in reading.

How the author Geoff White came about his creation on cybercrime is that he published on his website about the hacking of Talk Talk. After years of investigation he ended up with a heap of information about the incident. The Commissioning Editor from Reaktion Books read Geoff’s website and suggested he write a book on cybercrime and here is the interesting intelligent account of all forms of cybercrime.

Page one from the introduction

There is a reason cybercrime has surged up the news agenda. It’s not just because of society’s growing independence on vulnerable technology. And it’s not just because journalists, politicians and powerful institutions are increasingly targeted by hackers. Cybercrime has boomed thanks to a little-noticed confidence of the world’s most powerful hacker groups. In the years since the turn of the millennium, a cross-pollination of tools and tactics between these shadowy operators have shaped the technological threat we see today, elevating cybercrime to an omnipresent hazard. As our society has moved online, they have begun striking at the critical services on which we all rely; our hospitals, power stations, news media and political processes.

There are three forces driving this new wave of attacks: organized cybercrime gangs, hacktivist movements and nation-state hackers.

Organized crime has been present from almost the earliest days of computer hacking and has now become firmly entrenched, as its members have realized how much safer it is to rob people and institutions virtually, rather than in person. Their tactics run on high-volume low-margin model: if they can steal £5 from a million people the victims might not even notice, but the hackers are still £5 million richer. This has spawned a sophisticated industry that runs its lucrative criminal enterprise like Silicon Valley start-ups. But the gangs indiscriminate attack tools have leaked out, the losses have been far more than simply financial.

About Geoff White

Geoff White is an investigative journalist and one of the UK’s leading technology correspondents. His work has featured in numerous outlets, including the BBC and Channel 4 news, and he is the writer and presenter of the acclaimed podcast The Dark Web.