Wednesday 27 March 2019

Home to Cavendish by Antoinette Tyrrell. Poolbeg Press (2019)

The Irish Civil War is raging across County Cork, and sixteen-year-old Edith Cavendish, bored within the confines of her privileged life, embarks on a forbidden love affair with local rebel Tadgh Carey. But Edith is unaware of the dark secrets surrounding her, both outside Cavendish and within its walls, in the very rooms through which she walks.

Eighty years have passed, and Elenore Stack has inherited her beloved childhood home, Cavendish Hall, from her recently deceased parents. Charming and magical, if in need of much loving and expensive care, Cavendish is woven into the tapestry of Elenore’s life. She must somehow find a way to ensure its survival while preserving its dignity.

Then she meets and falls in love with Donnacha O’Callaghan, a property developer, and together they begin to work on changing Cavendish into the family guest house of her dreams. He, however, unbeknownst to her, has plans that will change the house beyond recognition and wipe away her precious childhood memories.

As Donnacha’s past shady dealings surface and the prospect of losing Cavendish looms once more, Elenore’s life begins to unravel. Then a fateful discovery in a forgotten corner of the house links her to a young woman from Cavendish’s past – Edith Cavendish – and becomes her lifeline.


A hugely enjoyable debut novel that will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
I loved the ease in which the story went from Civil War Ireland to Celtic Tiger Ireland. The stories in both timelines had me completely hooked. I could sympathise with the young Edith and couldn't wait to find out what happened to her. 
I liked Elenore. She may have been a little pathetic initially while she was under the thumb of Donnacha but when his dodgy dealings and betrayals came to light she acted swiftly and didn't look back. Seeing Elenore getting her confidence back was a delight to read.
The small cast of side characters provided just the right amount of support but they also had well developed and interesting backstories. There's plenty of scope for a sequel with these characters. I'd love to revisit Cavendish and see how this group of friends are faring in 2019.

Home to Cavendish is out now and it's well worth buying print format for its gorgeous cover.

Monday 25 March 2019

Brotherhood, David Beckler, Blog Tour

I'm delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for  David Beckler's urban thriller, Brotherhood
Published by Sapere Books, it opened on the 7th of February to rave reviews.

Publisher's information

This nail-biting new thriller series will have you on the edge of your seat! Perfect for fans of Lee Child, J. B. Turner, Mark Dawson and David Baldacci… 

An ex-Marine is forced to confront his troubled past…

Manchester, England, 1998

When Byron Mason’s estranged nephew, Philip, rings him out of the blue in desperate need of help, he knows he must put his personal feelings aside to protect his family.

A teenage boy has been murdered, and Philip is one of the suspects.

Worse than that, the dead boy was the nephew of Ritchie McLaughlin – a local thug who Byron has clashed with in the past – and Philip has now gone missing. 

Desperate to clear Philip’s name, Byron enlists the help of his old friend Adam Sterling to track down the real killers. 

Is Philip in danger? Can Byron and Adam find him before the police do? 

Or has Byron’s violent past with McLaughlin come back to haunt him…?

BROTHERHOOD is the first crime novel in the Mason & Sterling thriller series: gritty, hard-boiled page-turners with an urban setting. 

‘A powerful and violent first chapter precedes a superb opening 100 pages, the best I’ve read this year. And the pace never lets up in this cat and mouse thriller, evocatively set amid Manchester’s threatening underworld.’ – Crime Thriller Hound

‘a dark portrayal of the effects of violence on young minds’ – Murder, Mayhem and More

Author Bio

David writes crime thrillers full of fast-paced action.
Born in Addis Ababa in 1960, he spent his first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia where his love of reading developed. After dropping out of university he became a firefighter and served 19 years before leaving to start his own business.
He began writing in 2010 and uses his work experiences to add realism to his fiction.
The Mason and Sterling series centre on two ex-Royal Marines, Byron who now runs a security company and Adam who is a firefighter. A strong cast of supporting characters support his protagonists. Sapere Books are publishing Brotherhood, the first novel in the series, in late 2018.

David lives in Manchester, his adopted home since 1984. In his spare time he tries to keep fit—an increasingly difficult undertaking—listens to music, socialises and feeds his voracious book habit.
Keep scrolling for an exclusive extract from Brotherhood.


Philip Mason hunched his shoulders into his jacket and peered through the steady drizzle. He glanced behind him but the car seemed to have disappeared. He must have imagined it. Ahead, in the darkness, loomed the disused mill where the others waited. The closeness of its abandoned hulk increased his unease and his steps faltered as he approached the arched entrance into the courtyard. Liam, following a pace behind, barged into him and his head bounced off Philip’s solid shoulder.
“What you stopped for?” Liam examined his crushed cigarette before flicking it away. It hit the glistening cobbles, releasing a shower of sparks.
A feeling of dread weighed Philip down and, seized by an overwhelming urge to turn back, he studied the darkened building. The broken windows and boarded-up openings showed as darker shadows in the monolithic bulk. Philip tried not to imagine empty eye-sockets in a skull.
“Come on, Phil. I’m getting soaked.”
Dismissing a sense of foreboding, Philip shook himself and clambered over the low gate, before leading the way across the courtyard towards the entrance to the basement. The door resisted before opening with a creak, and an earthy odour enveloped them. Philip hesitated; the dark cavern absorbed the faint moonlight. Sensing Liam’s impatience, Philip made his way down the stone staircase. The darkness intensified with each step and at the bottom he paused, inhaling the stench of decay. A rustle, and a small, quick animal scuttled away from them.
“Whooo, spooky,” Liam said, and shuffled forward.
Despite his apprehension, Philip recognised his friend’s false bravado. The desire to turn and run gripped him, but it was much too late to back out now.
“Where the fuck are the others?” Liam demanded. “I’ve got better things to do on a Sunday night.”
A bright light clicked on, blinding Philip. Loud voices shouted incoherent instructions. Even though he expected this reception, Philip’s heart jumped. Four shadowy shapes rushed Liam, and Philip watched, disconnected, as the figures forced his friend into a chair.
“Take his arm.” Mugisa’s order jerked Philip into action.
He grabbed Liam’s right arm. On the other side, Asif fought to hold him. After a few seconds, Liam’s struggles subsided and, once he’d stopped shouting, Anthony recited the charge.
“Liam McLaughlin, you are charged with stealing from the brotherhood.” Anthony’s voice shook.
“How do you plead?” Mugisa demanded.
“Fuck off,” Liam said. Spots of spittle sprayed Philip’s cheek and the stink of stale cigarette smoke filled his nostrils.
Mugisa paused before responding, “The prisoner pleads guilty. We will consider the sentence.” He stepped into the shadows and held a muttered conversation with the other two.
Liam’s breathing reminded Philip of a cornered animal, but he couldn’t let his sympathy for his friend weaken him. Liam didn’t deny his crime. He’d even boasted about how much he got for the video’s he’d stolen from them. The discussion finished and Mugisa came closer.
“The punishment for betrayal is death,” Mugisa intoned with utter conviction.
Liam tried to jerk free and Philip hunched over to get a better grip of his wrist. In the ensuing silence, Ryan giggled. Even in the gloom, Philip sensed the cold glare from Mugisa, and the laughter faded.
Liam turned to Philip. “Phil, let me go,” he whispered. “Please.”
Philip stared into the darkness.

Brotherhood is available now Amazon

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Tuesday 5 March 2019

An Abiding Fire (Thomazine and Major Russell #1) bt M.J. Logue (2019)

Welcome to the Blog Tour for
'An Abiding Fire' by M.J. Logue.
Sapere Books.

Murder and mystery in Restoration England! Perfect for fans of C. S. Quinn, S. G. MacLean and Alison Weir.

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects…

1664, London 

Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another. 

But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London. 

Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life. 

Whispers about his sister’s violent murder follow him and accusations of treason abound. 

When more deaths occur Russell finds himself under suspicion. 

He is ready to escape from the capital, but Thomazine is determined to find the truth and clear the name of the man she loves. 
But who is the real killer and why are they so keen to frame Russell? More importantly, will they succeed?

And has Thomazine’s quest put them all in mortal danger? 

An Abiding Fire is the first book in the Thomazine and Major Russell Thriller series, compelling historical mysteries with a dash of romance, set in seventeenth century England.

An Abiding Fire is primarily a wonderful romance and clever mystery set within the backdrop of seventeenth century London.

The excellent opening scene shocked me as I wasn't expecting to be drawn straight into the action so quickly. This injection of excitement so early in the book was clever. The scene stayed in the back of my mind as I read the novel. The chapters following it were more gently paced with much of the focus being on Thomazine and Russell.

The character development is well worth the time spent on the couple. Their relationship is the most important element and will keep readers coming back for more from the pair and their shenanigans. Their interactions are full of sweet moments and lots of humour. I enjoy Thomazine as she's not afraid to speak her mind, stand up for her man and she prefers to wear ordinary, serviceable clothes than the fashionable garb required by London society. Russell is a complex character- a soldier, spy, trader and a romantic, soft mush when he is around his young wife. They make a charming couple and great partners in solving crime.

The last few chapters were particularly riveting. There was much excitement as the walls closed in on the killer Thomazine and Russell found themselves surrounded by evil and trapped in the maniac's clutches as his identity was revealed.

An Abiding Fire is an excellent read and I look forward to the next installment.

About the Author

M. J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever, loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre) wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but she made her parents sit through endless readings of it anyway.
Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son, five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.
After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.
Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.
An Abiding Fire is available now   Amazon  
Get in touch with MJ
She can be found on Twitter @Hollie_Babbitt, lurking on the web at, and posting photos of cake, cats and extreme embroidery on Instagram as asweetdisorder.