Switch on Spectacular Sound!

Paul Tait – Home Made – Hand Played

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will recognise my talented friend from the USA. It gives me great pleasure to tell you he has spent the summer creating a new album, and it is here, nine beautiful songs especially for you. My personal favourite is Abandoned To The Snow. Feel Free to leave a comment and tell us which is yours.

Home Made – Hand Played

 

Clean Romance FREE for a limited time.

Three Against the World

Redundancy gives Richard, a talented musician, the chance to pursue his dreams, but his fiancée, Bridget, publicly ditches him, making enemies of his friends. Next. his ex-wife, Naomi, dumps teenage Maria on his doorstep, claiming she’s his daughter. Scrapping freedom and dreams, Richard moves to London and takes Maria and an unwanted dog, Ben, with him. Can they find in each other the love they’ve been denied, or will an unknown enemy stop them?

Read a sample here. 

Amazon Reviews.

This is a fun story of romance or in fact, most of the time, a lack of romance for Richard. He is terrible at picking women and despite having a lot going for him, each relationship fails. In truth, by the end, he wasn’t showing the best judgement when using a dating site to find a wife and proposing in a ridiculously short time, despite the warning signs. At the heart of the story is a 14 year old girl, who is deposited on Richard’s doorstep by his ex wife, with the announcement the girl is his daughter. What follows is a charming story, which proves everyday life has plenty of twists and turns, drama and humour. The book ends with a twist and I already have the next in the series on my kindle so I am looking forward to discovering what life (or the author) has in store for Richard and Maria.

Never work with children and animals, the saying goes… but Sarah Stuart has flown in the face of this advice and produced a thoroughly enjoyable – dare I say, even spellbinding – story that revolves round the hopeless romantic Richard, his putative daughter Maria, and Ben, the Jack Russell who stole my heart. I love this author’s effortless and deceptively simple style – it immediately flowed and drew me into the narrative, and I was increasingly engaged with the characters and the plot. Some of the female characters were femme fatales of the worst kind, and I often wanted to yell at the ever-trusting and starry-eyed Richard: “Look out behind you!” However, in the past I have fallen foul myself into the giddy trap of placing hope over experience, and it’s a steep learning curve – and Richard is still on the baby slopes throughout most of this book. The themes in the novel are not simply romantic, and although Richard seemed at times to be throwing himself recklessly into yet another black hole of an inevitably mismatched relationship, I couldn’t help but admire his stamina and decency, and his numerous struggles to do the right thing. Maria’s low self-esteem when she is dumped on his doorstep at the age of fourteen is the outcome of cruelly abysmal mothering, and the book takes the reader on a journey over several years to see how love eventually helps to heal her wounds, as well as Richard’s. I unreservedly recommend this novel, and I’m looking forward to reading more of this author’s work.

 

The trilogy I didn’t intend to write.

A truly great trilogy.

Reblogged

Rebecca Bryn

The Chainmakers’ Trilogy –NEW COVER REVEAL

It all began when I saw a TV report about the Black Country Living Museum and the women chainmaker’s strike of 1910, when they fought the chain masters for a living wage and paved the way for a National Minimum Wage – the phrase The White Slaves of England piqued my interest. That children from the age of about four worked in backyard chain workshops alongside their mothers, sometimes for twelve hours a day for a pittance, appalled me. That a family all worked these hours and still couldn’t afford to put food on the table was scandalous. Men grew fat and built huge mansions on the blacks of white slaves as well as black ones. That troops shot railway strikers in South Wales was startling.

Social history fascinates me, even down to the everyday words and phrases we use without thinking about…

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Author’s New Book Receives A Warm Literary Welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Fiction – Thriller – Psychological book “Shattered Lives” by Sarah Stuart, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BZJB9HT.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Reviewed By Susan Sewell for Readers’ Favorite

“Wanting to remove any claims to his vast inheritance, a serial killer is on the hunt for his recently discovered sister in the exciting thriller Shattered Lives: A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller by Sarah Stuart. Ralph Thyme is impatiently waiting for his grandmother to die. Tucking her away in residential care, he takes over the master suite in her mansion and inadvertently finds his grandfather’s hidden diary. The pages hold a family secret that directly affects Ralph: he has a sister named Olivia that he didn’t know existed. Not wanting to contend with anyone for what he considers his fortune, Ralph systematically begins hunting for Olivia to eliminate her. After the detective he hires finds Olivia, Ralph commits murder, but something dreadful goes wrong. In the meantime, the thirst for blood rages through Ralph’s veins, and Ralph commits more heinous killings. His crimes have DCI Croft urgently looking for a serial killer, but can DCI Croft capture Ralph before he finds his target? Or is it already too late?

Filled with drama and foreboding, Shattered Lives: A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller by Sarah Stuart is a heart-stopping murder mystery. It is an intense story that takes the reader on a ride of horror and suspense. The apprehension and intensity continue building throughout the plot, snowballing into a climactic and shocking finish. I read it with bated breath and could not put the book down until I reached the final page. It is a sensational story with a clever plot and intriguing characters with realistic personalities, both good and bad. Containing gruesome murder scenes filled with blood and gore, Shattered Lives is a riveting novel for mature audiences that will engage any reader who loves spine-tingling thrillers.”

You can learn more about Sarah Stuart and “Shattered Lives” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/shattered-lives/1 where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

A few good reads.

cherime Macfarlane

This is one whopping tangle of a tale. Nor does it begin where you think it does. The greedy, ready to do anything to further his agenda vile twit didn’t start the ball rolling. No, the first generation set the stage for the horror to come. I must admit to having times when I wanted to tell DCI Croft to get rid of his tunnel vision. But for the most part he is a person with feelings which sometimes get in the way.

Be prepared to spend time reading this one. It sucks you in. It’s not comfortable in places, not in the least. It is a great story.

It all started with his other books. Since I like what I read I went to this one. I know the country a bit. Once owned property out that way. It is the definition of high lonesome. My sister lived in…

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Shattered Lives – Readers’ Favorite Pre-Publication Hit!

5 stars from Susan Sewell

Filled with drama and foreboding, Shattered Lives: A DCI Gerald Croft Thriller by Sarah Stuart is a heart-stopping murder mystery. An intense story that takes the reader on a ride of horror and suspense. The apprehension and intensity continue building throughout the plot, snowballing into a climactic and shocking finish. I read it with bated breath and could not put the book down until I reached the final page. It is a sensational story with a clever plot and intriguing characters with realistic personalities, both good and bad. Containing gruesome murder scenes filled with blood and gore, Shattered Lives is a riveting novel for mature audiences that will engage any reader who loves spine-tingling thrillers.

 

5 stars from Anne-Marie Reynolds

Shattered Lives by Sarah Stuart is a fascinating thriller that delves deep into two storylines: the mind of a psychopath and that of a sexual abuse survivor who must save another from the same fate to heal herself. It isn’t a story for younger readers or the faint-hearted: child sexual abuse, necrophilia, and graphic violence are just part of the substantial subject matter. This story delves into how a psychopath functions and what makes them tick, leading you down some dark paths through a truly twisted mind. It also guides you on a journey of discovery through the eyes of a child sex abuse survivor, more dark paths that eventually lead to the light. Shattered Lives is a gripping tale that will hold your heart in a vice while you read it, and it will have you turning the pages deep into the night.

Shattered Lives is coming soon at the introductory price of 99p/99c

 

Coming Soon – Shattered Lives

Murder shatters more lives than those of victims. Ralph Thyme, psychopath, is hooked on rape and strangulation.

Warning – this book contains graphic violence, necrophilia, and sexual abuse of a child.

Ralph Thyme, rejected by his parents, escapes twelve years of hell at boarding school when they’re killed in an avalanche. The only acknowledged heir to his grandmother’s millions, he discovers he has an elder sister, Olivia, whom his grandfather sold for fifty thousand pounds. Might she discover who she really is and claim half? Ralph decides not to risk it and kills her… or does he? 

Whatever the truth, he realises the detective he employed to find Olivia might shop him to the police when he reads of her death. He too must die… and his pretty blonde daughter…

DCI Gerald Croft has a serial killer on his patch, but who is he?

“Three Against the World” is FREE today!

Beware! Richard, Maria, and Ben will hook you, BUT, all is not lost. Books 2 and 3 are on offer at 99 cents or same worldwide.

Book 1 Richard finds teenage Maria on his doorstep, as unwanted by her mother as he is by his fiancée, dumped, like the stray dog, Ben, he adopted. Richard didn’t expect to fall in love

Book 2 Richard and Maria’s marriage attracts enemies from the past prepared to risk killing innocent people to split them apart, but which one?

Book 3 Financial disaster threatens. When their daughter, Eleanor, tries to help, she renews ancient jealousies. Will the music they share keep them together, or must Eleanor remain one alone in the world?

Amazon Worldwide

Amazon UK

YES! The books are free or reduced everywhere, but UK readers are told “UNAVAILABLE” sometimes, so please use the correct link. 

 

 

Day 5 of What Are You Missing?

One of dozens of scenes set in the USA!

California Dreams or a Nightmare? 

Kenneth Walsh spent his twentieth birthday as he did every weekday, and Saturdays, since a few months after his parents died in a pile-up on Route 66, working in the sort of garden his parents had dreamed of when they left Ireland for a new life in America.

He and Orla had been in the rear seat of the family Toyota Camry, and they’d survived, miraculously unhurt. The threat to him, then just eighteen, and his younger sister, had come from a female do-gooder who’d stepped from another car and established their parents were dead. He was an adult. She didn’t give a damn he had nothing but the clothes he was wearing and the contents of a backpack, but she proposed to take Orla when she could move her drivable car. The social services, she’d said bossily, were obliged to provide foster care for underage orphans.

He leaned on his rake for a minute and took a swig from his water bottle. The crash was as vivid now as the day it happened. No way would he have parted with Orla; he was all she had left, and the chaos of mangled vehicles, with paramedics and fire crews struggling to help the victims, had played into his hands. Nobody had been interested in two teenagers obviously unhurt, even the police. They’d cleared the scene and begged a lift with a motorist turning his car illegally to head back to LA.

Schooling was out, even though Orla was still grade nine; they needed two wages. Jobs in bars where nobody asked questions had kept them fed and housed, but he’d wondered too often if Orla would have been safer if he’d let her go into foster care; she was a pretty girl who attracted male attention. Doubts had ended when Mrs Davis-Browne advertised for a gardener. He’d applied and spent most of his nights before the interview reading about plants and soil, so he could answer questions. He’d got the job, though he suspected it was because, as the youngest applicant, the lady could offer him less money, but when he’d attempted to persuade her to raise it by saying he cared for his sister, she’d jumped at the chance of a cheap maid. It turned out Mrs Davis-Browne was a divorcee living above her means and aiming to attract a second wealthy husband, but it was marvellous for them. No drunks in sleazy bars –

A scream from an upper-storey window bounced back from the greenhouse and was silenced abruptly, but not before he recognised Orla’s voice. He dropped everything and ran, crushing flowers underfoot and aiming directly for the front door. It was unlocked. He pounded up the stairs. ‘Orla, Orla, where are you?’

No answer. He flung open doors to the bedrooms. Behind the third, a man he’d seen call at the house several times lay on top of Orla, one hand over her mouth. The rise and fall of his naked butt showed him that he was too late. The fucking asshole was raping his sister. Even as he crossed the room, the man shuddered and came inside her.

He grabbed the bastard’s hair and yanked him off Orla, and then laid him out with one punch to his chin.

‘Ken, you’ve killed him!’

‘I wish.’

Mrs Davis-Browne spoke from the doorway. ‘You’re fired, both of you. Get out of my house.’

Orla pulled a torn dress over her head. ‘You can’t do that! Ken hit him because he raped me.’

‘Really? You’ve been making a play for him every time he calls, and he’s mine. You either leave or I’ll call the police and who do you think they’ll believe? A respectable resident of an upscale part of town or a pair of immigrants?’

The answer was obvious, and it would end with Orla alone; he’d be in jail for assault. ‘Orla, we’re going home.’

‘She’s lying. It’s not fair.’

Life hadn’t been fair to their parents, all their hopes and hard work crushed in seconds when somebody took a risk overtaking a car-transporter way ahead of them, and they could expect no better. Neither of them had qualifications, for these jobs or any other, and Orla was still only fifteen. He put his arm around her and led her out to their latest acquisition, an old Chevy Cavalier he’d paid for after he’d bullied the salesman into basic repairs.

Back at Caverly Court, a fancy name for a trailer park in Watts, LA, he squeezed it into his parking place beside their small home and wished he’d never parted with the cash. It was worth nothing, and if it broke down on the highway, he’d have to pay tow charges or be prosecuted. Forget it. Think about Orla; she’d cried so much her eyes were swollen. and she’d gone inside alone. He followed, and she looked at him, a desperate expression in her grey eyes.

‘Suppose I’m pregnant, Ken?’

‘It was only once.’ Only, when he’d thought she was safe.

Orla pointed a shaking hand at a small stack of thumbed magazines Mrs Davis-Browne had given her. ‘There are advice columns in those, and “Ask E Jean” has loads of questions about sex and pregnancy, and she says once can be all it takes.’

Articles in those same magazines confirmed what he already feared. Abortion was legal in California, but only free in cases of rape, incest, or when it was medically necessary. Pray Orla had been lucky; they couldn’t prove rape, and “medically necessary” meant admitting Orla was underage. Any doctor would look at computer records, and their parents’ practice would have her correct date of birth, which was why they’d left registering with another and been lucky. Neither of them had needed a doctor, until now – maybe.

http://viewbook.at/RoyalCommandFamilySaga

£/$9.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Day 4 of What Are You Missing?

Does the celebrity lifestyle attract jealousy and revenge, or did he pay a hit man? You decide!

Powdery snow flew under his skis as Michael Marsh turned into a stop at the bottom of a beginners’ run. Not bad after a fortnight, especially as the first week had been spent on the nursery slopes. He looked back for Elspeth. Her bright ski suit was usually easy to spot, but there was no sign of her. Had they been right to dispense with the services of a private instructor?

A golden and copper flash swept around other skiers, and Elspeth arrived beside him laughing. ‘Michael, don’t you dare ask what happened.’

‘I don’t have to. You look like a tube of toothpaste that’s been squeezed too hard.’

‘Oh, charming!’

He removed his goggles and stopped her mock fury with a kiss before he brushed off the snow. ‘Once more, or are you ready for a hot chocolate?’

Elspeth took off her helmet and goggles. ‘In one of the bars, or are you offering to make it?’

He winked. ‘I’ll do it, later.’

It was good to see Elspeth happy; she’d been depressed by her mother’s death. Christmas and Hogmanay at Kinloch Wildlife Reserve had been quiet, with only a few guests other than the family; Margaret Cameron had been loved. She’d lived to see James and Isla’s son christened Iain after his great-grandfather, and then given in to crippling arthritis and the loneliness of years without the husband she’d adored.

Elspeth jerked him back from Scottish mountains to the glittering sunlit slopes skirting the jagged peak of the Matterhorn. ‘Come on then. I don’t walk in these boots, I shuffle.’

‘Keep your skis on.’

It was what the instructor had suggested, but she was already removing them. Perhaps if he carried them, her helmet, goggles, and the knapsack she used to tote sunscreen and goodness knows what else, she could walk without slipping on ice, if she’d remembered to bring her boot spikes.

A woman wearing a multi-coloured ski suit, pink helmet and goggles, tapped his arm and held out a leather-bound autograph book with a pen attached. He signed, conscious of a crowd gathering. Drat it! He hadn’t replaced his goggles with dark glasses: so much for hot chocolate or anything else in the immediate future. Sure enough, women were scuffling in pockets for paper, and their menfolk were grinning; they didn’t intend him to escape. ‘Elspeth, I don’t suppose you have a pen?’

She emptied her knapsack onto the snow and waved a felt-tip. ‘See! I carry all sorts of useful things. The loan charge is a kiss for every signature.’

He tossed his gloves on top of her scattered belongings and started writing MM for the unruly queue, struggling to smile at his fans without laughing. Elspeth would be counting, and crowds invariably attracted more people.

Screams cut the clear air. The girl holding a piste map for him to sign looked over his arm, swayed, and collapsed at his feet. He half-bent to help her and glanced back. A familiar figure lay still against the stark white, the silver handle of a weapon protruding from a blood-stained patch on her chest.

Elspeth.’ Levering off his skis, breaking straps in his haste, he slid his fingers inside her collar: no pulse, and not a hint of breath on his icy palm. He tugged at the zip on her suit and a hand grasped his.

‘Warten Sie lieber, mein Herr – make – badder.’

Another voice. ‘Help is coming – not long. They’re prepared for accidents.’

This was no accident, but a doctor would revive her. They could work miracles; he knew they could. He’d shown no signs of life after a heart attack, and he was fitter than he’d been on a concert tour of Europe eighteen months ago.

Uniformed bodies pushed him aside. A policeman addressed him in perfect English, and he too recognised him. ‘Mr Marsh, this lady is your wife?’

‘My – my Elspeth.’

He persisted. ‘Your wife’s full name?’

I, Michael, take you, Elspeth. ‘Elspeth Marsh.’

‘The correct spelling, please.’

The paramedics had finished. Elspeth lay where she’d fallen with a sheet over her that covered her face. No hope, no chance to hold her ever again, and no goodbye. To hell with police formalities and witnesses’ sensibilities. He folded back the sheet, made the sign of the cross on her forehead, and kissed eyelids closed by a stranger’s hand. ‘Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death –’

Those closest joined in, and the murmur of prayer gained strength. This was Europe, and the Catholic faith was strong: even the policeman remained silent until it was over.

‘Mr Marsh, I regret that she cannot be moved, and I must ask you to stay.’ The sympathetic voice spoke louder, commanding. ‘Ihr bleibt alle hier bis ihr die Erlaubnis habt zu gehen. All of you remain until you are given permission to leave.’

Official backup had arrived. He was forced to leave Elspeth, the area around her cordoned off, and more police surrounded the crowd, notebooks at the ready. He unzipped his ski suit and found his mobile. Fumbling, almost blinded by tears, he managed need u lis and dropped the phone.

A lady picked it up and read the message. ‘Lis is your daughter, Lisette Marsh, and you want her to come? Does she know where you are?’

He and Elspeth had decided to visit Zermatt and try skiing a couple of days into exploring Rome, where the winter sun had vanished making wearing dark glasses recognisable as a typical celebrity disguise. He shook his head; his fingers couldn’t find the tiny keys he needed. ‘Horn Anzeigen.’

‘I know it. Horn Anzeigen Aparthotel.’ She tapped busily. ‘The “Lisette” in your contacts, yes? Ah! No signal.’ She closed a hand over his. ‘When I am permitted to leave, I will find a good spot to send this, and leave your mobile with the concierge.’

A policeman prevented him from touching Elspeth’s belongings. Everything was bagged and labelled, even her felt tip. The loan charge is a kiss for every signature.

http://viewbook.at/RoyalCommandFamilySaga

£/$9.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Author Theresa Jacobs

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