Damppebbles Blog Tours

Where is Tony Blunt? (Atrocities Series #2) by Joseph Mitcham| #BlogTour #WhereIsTonyBlunt #Review #AtrocitiesSeries #damppebblesblogtours | @MitchamJoseph @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for the gripping; Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham. I am super excited to share my review of this thrilling book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to, Emma at Damppebbles for the invite to this tour, now let’s have a look at this book.

Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham

‘Where is Tony Blunt? The former Paratrooper, having been taken into the fold of an emerging, ambitious, and savage fundamentalist group, has gone to ground without a trace.

Alex, the former Army communicator, is persuaded to return by John, the ex-Special Forces senior, to help track down the terrorist group that killed their leader and several other comrades – Tony Blunt is their only lead.

Working with multiple agencies, including The Security Service, can Alex and the team locate Blunt and stop him before he executes his masterpiece?’

***

Review

Well, this was a real blink-and-you-miss-it, thriller which kept me hooked from the onset, with it’s an explosive and twisty plot, intriguing and compelling character’s and hair-raising realism which will keep you up at night.

I hadn’t read the first book in the series, something which I think impeded my understanding of certain characters, even though ‘Where is Tony Blunt’ can be read as a stand-alone, I do think you need to read the series in order. That didn’t impact on my enjoyment of this book, but it did make me feel as though I have missed out on something crucial which may have been carried over from the first book. This has nothing at all to do with the author’s writing, but more to do with the fact that I jumped into this series without reading the first. No change there, then!

There were times when I did feel huge pity for Blunt at times, especially with how he was treated in the military. There are moments as we get to know him and the reason behind why he chose the path he followed, that reveal him to be lonely, distanced human being who has only ever wanted to fit in, instead of a heartless terrorist in which he most certainly became. The author has done an incredible job at creating a character who in certain ways many could be anyone in the street, he has the same self-doubts which many. But, I can guarantee as the story quickly moves forward and more and more is revealed, that tiny pity which grabs you in the beginning soon turns to hate and revulsion, you want to see the evil cretin get what’s coming to him.

Joseph Mitcham is a damn fine author who pulls the reader into his dark and deadly world, I really liked how he described the military slang, he did it in a way very clever way, he incorporated it within the passage you read, which for me allowed me to retain all the information I needed to fully understand each scene.

I really liked the group, and especially their leader; Alex, he wasn’t exactly what you would expect, but I liked him. I liked how the team worked, they didn’t share the same views and they certainly are not at all alike, they are all so different and yet those differences create a strong and diverse team which can handle any situation they are thrown in, I would love to see more from them all again in other books.

I think that this series is going to a really thrilling and mind-blowing ride, one which I can’t wait to read more from.

Overall, an eye-opening thriller, a definite must-read for those who love their faster-paced, edgier reads.

About the Author

Joseph Mitcham served with the British military in elite and technical units for over 16 years. His service not only gave him a thorough tactical and technical understanding of some of techniques and processes employed in his first novel, it also provided him with the opportunity to develop himself, earning a first class honours degree in business leadership by the end of his service.

His debut novel, The Watch List, was published in 2019. The inspiration for writing ‘The Watch List’ was taken from personal experiences from the roles that he has served in and characteristics from some of the people that he has served with. Joseph has written an incredible, yet compellingly credible story that plays out in our world as he sees it today.

Social Media: Twitter / Facebook / Amazon

Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology| #BlogTour #ChristmasCookiesCozies2020 #Review #damppebblesblogtours | @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, We are getting festive on the blog today, as I have the pleasure to be kicking off this amazing blog tour for Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology. This is such a cute and cosy anthology, which I am sure you all will love as much as I do. Firstly, I want to say thank you, Emma, at dampebbles for the invite to this tour, now let’s have a look at this book.

Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology

2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!


Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus
Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak.


Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles
Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town?
S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty

With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event?


Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie
Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies?


Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe
When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters.


Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings
Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too?


Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper
When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list.


Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun
Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race.
With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes.


Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop
When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list.


Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds
First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies.  Why? And what’s next?  


Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime
What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage. Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?

Purchase Links:

US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K97KLJ9

UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K97KLJ9

Review

There is so much to love about this Anthology, it has something for everyone to love; from light-hearted cosiness, mystery, fun and good-natured humour to a darker edge feel which comes out of the blue, put together and you have one incredibly happy, heart-warming and ridiculously cheerful selection of stories all with added Cookies and festive cheer, so no matter what your preference you will find something to love in this.

I’ve not read any of the authors featured, so it was a wonderful teat to discover completely new-to-me authors and this is what I love about anthologies you have the opportunity to have a taste of what each author writes and you can go out and find more of the authors you fall in love with.

With 11 very short novella’s each as different as next – a bit like a snowflake each one beautiful and each one completely different – read as many or as few as you wish – you will be spoiled for choice. I love that each of the authors also shares their own Cookie recipe, I am definitely going to be trying one, two, five-oh, hell by Christmas I may have tried them all. 🙂

Christmas Cookie Cozies is such a charming, feel-good and delightful anthology, it’s happiness in the palm of your hand, making you feel all the festive warmth and magic – even a Scrooge-like me feels the Christmassy spirit in the air after reading it.

It’s perfect for curling up in a cosy chair, wrapped in your favourite fluffy jumper or Christmassy PJ’s (whichever floats your boat) and reading well into the night, accompanied by a  box of cookies and a hot chocolate, of course!

So if you love Christmas, lounging around, eating cookies while reading about cookies, or if you just need to feel some Christmas cheer (don’t we all at the moment?) then this is the book you really must-have in your collection.

Casino Chiseler (Alex Cohen #4) by Leopold Borstinski | #BlogTour #Review #CasinoChiseler #AlexCohenSeries #damppebblesblogtours | @borstinski @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Casino Chiseler by Leopold Borstinski. I am super excited to share this book and my review with you all, Firstly I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the invite to this amazing tour. Now let’s have a look at this book.

Casino Chiseler by Leopold Borstinski

Genre: Crime Noir Thriller

Series: Alex Cohen Saga #4

Would you gamble everything you possess to win more than you can imagine?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen leaves jail to find salvation from the 1940s mob in the hotels of Las Vegas. When Bugsy Siegel invites him to take over sports betting in Nevada, Alex must figure out how to get back to the top table in New York without attracting the Feds’ attention.

If he succeeds then he will regain his self respect, but if he fails then the last members of the national crime syndicate will cut him dead and he will be left a nobody or wind up a corpse. And after he bumps into his childhood sweetheart, he has a once in a lifetime opportunity to win her heart. But Alex knows the criminal underworld has the habit of spilling over into his personal life and when Meyer Lansky asks him to murder Siegel, Alex must choose what is truly important to him.

The fourth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which rips open the Jewish mob’s involvement in the birth of modern Vegas. Leopold Borstinski’s shattering crime fiction deals a royal flush to each reader.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2H08t5s

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SMDr3P

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3dppv97


Review

This is the fourth book in the Alex Cohen saga, and it’s absolutely amazing!! I am a late arrival of this series, but from reading my first a while ago I was instantly hooked and super excited to read more from Alex Cohen, so when I was offered the chance to be apart of the blog tour for; Casino Chiseler, I literally jumped at the chance.

What I really like about this series is that you can dip in whenever you like, I know this as I did start the series at book three, and I never felt that I had missed out on anything to be able to follow the story, each book can very easily be read as a stand-alone.

I was super excited about Casino Chiseler as we have now moved into one of my favourite era’s; the ’40s, newly released from prison, Alex thinks that the syndicate have deserted him, he thinks that he is once again alone and resigned to having to start again. But, those close friends whom he thought had left him high and dry are still around and they need him.

Alex heads for the bright lights of Vegas and finds himself right bang in the middle of it all as he is back doing what he does best; being the hired thug, but our Alex is far more than a kneecap basher he has his sights high. I really like Alex, even though he is a gangster and a notorious killer but I still really like him, he has layers that peel away the more you get to know him, he is a complex man and at times you do feel for him especially when he is constantly having his loyalties and his characters tested just because he is Jewish.

I like the mix of glittery and darkness that runs through it, the dark in the form of what Alex must do and his involvement with the Mafia and the lighter with the glimmer of love and friendship in the form of a long lost sweetheart, but as ever things move quickly in the underworld and with the war coming there is more urgent and feverish pacing that I thought was thrilling.

I loved the opening, it really sets the reader up for what becomes a wonderfully edge of your seat crime thriller, I really liked the sneaky look into 1950 in the opening, which makes you hungry for more and get’s you thinking about what is going to happen in the story to have our not-quite-a-hero, Alex, in the position he is in and then boom; we are flung back to the 40’s where the story begins and from then on we are in for a real ride as Alex makes his mark all over again.

I thoroughly enjoyed Casino Chiseler, it’s like a roll of the dice or a spin of the roulette wheel; in other words, it’s compulsive and thrilling!

It is a brilliant gangster thriller, it’s both nail-biting, brutal, gritty and exciting, yet there is a classy, glamourous and sophisticated feel to it that I really enjoyed delving into. This is easily my favourite yet, the writing if full of raw, realistic historical depth and detail that pulls you further and further into Alex’s world, I am super excited for the next one, I honestly cannot wait to see what is in store for Alex, he really is one of my favourite characters, he’s not a hero but he’s not exactly a villain, but whatever side he fancies himself he is mesmerising.

About the Author

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/borstinski @borstinski

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoBorstinski/

Website: https://www.leopoldborstinski.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/borstinski/


The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg | #BlogTour #Review #TheAncestor #damppebblesblogtours | @LeeMatthewG @ADRBooks @damppebbles

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Hell, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg. I can’t wait to share my review for this origional book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Emma at damppbebbles for the invite to this blog tour.

The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike except for his own beard. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s.

After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future.

The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice…

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3n24ztn

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/348RfuM

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/30n2Ipc

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3l0APvb

Kobo: https://bit.ly/30n34My


Review

The Ancestor is a very unique and gripping story, I love the premise of this the entwining two timelines, a man waking up after being frozen in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness after a hundred and fifty years only to find his great, great grandson. It’s not my usual read, I don’t normally pick up Sci/Fi type books, as that isn’t my genre at all but there was something that caught my eye with this, I can’t quite put my finger on what, but I am pleased I went against my usual and gave this book a chance as I did enjoy it.

Those first few pages when Wyatt woke are thrilling and at the same time disturbing. Those first few pages actually made me think of the film; The Revenant, for those who have seen it may have an idea what I am talking about for those who haven’t all I will say is one man fighting for survival against nature.

There were moments that I really didn’t like and would have rather not have had to read, the wolf scene is one I really didn’t enjoy, as a animal lover I thought that was upsetting and disturbing. I can’t even watch those animals in need charity TV adverts, and would have preferred a little warning. I understand that Wyatt had to survive and that is a crucial part of his personal story, but I would rather that particular scene wasn’t in the book at all, or as detailed as it was. 

The book opens to Wyatt Barlow waking up in the wilds of Alaska, with nothing on his person but a mirror and a diary which is dated; 1898 and no memory of who he is. When he comes across two hunters, he is astounded to find that one is the mirror image of him and worse still to come when he discovers that he was frozen only to wake in the year 2020 and the man he follows home and becomes obsessed with is his great, great grandson. The more he gets to know Travis and his family, the more snippets of his old life comes back to him. His memories start coming back thick and fast, he remembers a family he left behind and that in turns starts a chain of events which will have an effect on the entire Barlow family, especially Wyatt’s unhealthy obsession with Callie.

There is a darker edge to this, the way Wyatt becomes obsessive over Travis’ wife; Callie is at times at little sinister, but compelling to read. What really stood out to me was the authors beautifully detailed account of the Alaskan wilderness, the descriptions are vivid and beautiful, the beauty of Alaska really caught my attention and imagination. Overall, The Ancestor is an interesting, gritty and highly original story.


About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. His Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR is forthcoming in 2020. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeeMatthewG

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeeMatthewGoldberg/

Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg/


Unspoken by T.A. Belshaw| #BlogTour #Review #Unspoken #damppebblesblogtours | @tabelshaw @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to ‘yesterdays’ stop on this fabulous blog tour for; Unspoken T.A. Belshaw. Full confession, I had made a bit of a mess with scheduling, I thought my day was today when in actual fact it was yesterday…oops!! yet, again another blooper on my part, I really must start double-checking dates. Apologies!! Anyway, I can’t wait to share my review with you all, I hope you love this book as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Emma at damppebbles for the invite to this blog tour and apologies for the date’s mix up.

Unspoken by T.A. Belshaw

A heart-warming, dramatic family saga. Unspoken is a tale of secrets, love, betrayal and revenge.

Unspoken means something that cannot be uttered aloud. Unspoken is the dark secret a woman must keep, for life.

Alice is fast approaching her one hundredth birthday and she is dying. Her strange, graphic dreams of ghostly figures trying to pull her into a tunnel of blinding light are becoming more and more vivid and terrifying. Alice knows she only has a short time left and is desperate to unburden herself of a dark secret, one she has lived with for eighty years.

Jessica, a journalist, is her great granddaughter and a mirror image of a young Alice. They share dreadful luck in the types of men that come into their lives.

Alice decides to share her terrible secret with Jessica and sends her to the attic to retrieve a set of handwritten notebooks detailing her young life during the late 1930s. Following the death of her invalid mother and her father’s decline into depression and alcoholism, she is forced, at 18 to take control of the farm. On her birthday, she meets Frank, a man with a drink problem and a violent temper.


When Frank’s abusive behaviour steps up a level. Alice seeks solace in the arms of her smooth, ‘gangster lawyer’ Godfrey, and when Frank discovers the couple together, he vows to get his revenge.


Unspoken. A tale that spans two eras and binds two women, born eighty years apart.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3lo6uHf

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2I1xkq9


As soon as I saw this book, I knew that it was one I had to read, the cover alone caught my attention before I had even read the back blurb and I am glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the duel timeline, which is something I have always liked in books, I really enjoyed flipping back to the 1930’s as Alice told her great granddaughter Jessica and us readers her story, and the events that occurred.

The story open’s in the present day with Jessica in a emotionally bullying and abusive relationship, she is trying to write a book but as we all know it is far harder then just putting pen to paper – I tip my hat at every single author out there, and every person who has actually finished that precious first draft – her only escape from the controlling behaviour and the grief is her weekly visits to see her great grandmother; Alice. Ninety-nine year old Alice knows her time is getting closer, she has been holding on to a secret for the last eighty years and now she is starting to see that bright white light getting closer and closer she knows that is she is going to confess to Jessica she must do it now. But, the secret is a big one, one that ties both women even closer together.

I really liked the way Unspoken is written, the present is wrote on both Jessica’s and Alice’s perspectives, whereas and the 1930’s is written in first person part as Alice is telling her story to Jessica and part in the form of her diaries which she wrote during the time. True, when we are first transported back into Alice’s memory it took a little getting used to, but once I fell into the way the story flowed and the way we go back and forth between Alice and Jessica and the past, I was gripped. True there are aspects that didn’t feel plausible, but to be perfectly honest that didn’t spoil the overall book for me, I really enjoyed it.

I was hooked by the first chapter, there is a real nastiness in the form of Jessica’s horrid boyfriend, he is a awful man, a controlling bully who think’s it’s ok to treat women like dirt on your shoe. Alice see’s what is going on as no matter how much Jessica tries to hide the mental abuse, she can’t hide the tears. Alice see’s herself in her great granddaughter, not just Jessica being the mirror image of Alice as a young woman but also in their character and in the type of men they both choose. Alice does try and help her granddaughter by telling her all about her own abusive marriage and the aftermath of the choices she made.

I really liked the large cast of character’s, my personal favourite has to be those in the past, I really enjoyed getting to know Alice as a young woman and how she became the non-nonsense matriarch she is in the present. I liked the journey that both women go on throughout the book, they way they change as women, even if at times there was a lot of sterotypical mannerisms.

I am a big fan of a family saga, even though I have come across a few that have been a little long-winded it hasn’t put me off repeatedly picking one up, and this one is a great escape from the chaos which is going on in the world at the moment.

Unspoken is an unpredictable and heart-warming story that is all about how precious true friendship is to one when they have very little, entwined within is secrets and lies, loyalty and deceit, but the real message I got from this is survival and finding hope and happiness.


About the Author

T A Belshaw is from Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Trevor writes for both children and adults. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out Of Control. His new novel, the family saga, Unspoken, was released in July, 2020

His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck The Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return. 2014

Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s books written under the name of Trevor Forest. The latest. Magic Molly The Curse of Cranberry Cottage was released in August 2015

His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long listed for the Plough prize (children’s section) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.

Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.

Trevor is currently working on the sequel to Unspoken and the third book in the Tracy series; Tracy’s Euro Hot Mail.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tabelshaw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/T.A.BelshawAUTHOR/

Website: http://www.trevorbelshaw.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4527461.T_A_Belshaw


The Quality of Mercy (A Lady Evelyn Mystery #5) by Malia Zaidi | #BlogTour #Review #TheQualityofMercy #damppebblestours |@MaliaZaidi @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review for; The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi, I can’t wait to share my review with you all. Full disclosure, this review was scheduled to be posted in August, but due to unfortunately looing my old dog at the same time, wasn’t feeling up to posting, apologies to both Malia and Emma at Damppebbles. So, here it is better late than never, right?

The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi


After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer.

It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.

Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future.

From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?


This is your a stereotypical cosy mystery, I do have a soft spot or an old fashioned mystery especially from this era which was one of the reason’s I was so looking forward to reading this. I especially love that the investigator is a woman. It’s fun and clever with an edge of danger, the lead character; Evie is a brilliant woman and living her living well before her time, she had fought hard for her independence and doesn’t intend of relinquishing it for anyone. I loved that she went against the grain and set up her own detective agency, she is a clever and resourceful woman who refuses to be the ‘little lady’ stuck at home.

This is the fifth book in the Lady Evelyn Carlisle Mysteries, and actually my first and I do think that by starting at this point in the series I have missed out on something. Which is all my fault and nothing at all to do with the book or the author, I broke my own rule and decided to start a series from the middle, but I loved the sound of this so much I couldn’t say no.

There is this feel of continuity that plays at the edges of the story, which you get from a series which is linked together in one way or another, I do think to appreciate the relation between Evie and Daniel you really have to read the previous books – again this was my own fault that I felt out of the loop as I started the series in the middle.

Set during the 1920’s, which is a favourite era of mine this follows Lady Evelyn Carlisle who after many years aboard is now back in London and decides to set up her own detective agency, and her first case ends being two cases, her investigation starts and it take hers into the bowels of Whitechapel to find the answers

I really enjoyed getting to know Evie, she is a smart woman, she isn’t hugely experienced but what she lacks in mystery/detective solving experience she makes up for in the fact that she is very connected, which doesn’t get me wondering if she wasn’t in such a position, being a ‘Lady’ would a female detective series work if the heroine was just a normal working class woman? Now that is a series I would love to read…or maybe write one day.

Hmmm, I strayed a little off topic there…so our Evie teams up with her sidekick; Hugh and they set out to solve the two murder mysteries she has now taken on. What I really like is that the murders are at both scale of the social spectrum, working class and upper-crust, that’s a really great touch and can connect so many people, bringing into the stories a wide range of beautifully crafted and engaging character’s.

Malia Zaidi is an amazing author, even though this is my first of her books, it won’t be my last I will be loading my kindle with more from this fine author. Malia certainly has a way with words which captures your imagination and transports your to another time and place with her vivid and richly detailed historical research.

Overall, this is a fabulous ‘who-dunnit’ it has a feel of Miss Fischer about it that I thoroughly enjoyed, highly recommend for anyone who loves a good mystery.


About the Author

Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford.

Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maliazaidiauthor/
Website: https://www.maliazaidi.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maliazaidi/


How the Wired Weep by Ian Patrick | #BlogTour #Review #HowTheWiredWeep #damppebblesblogtours | @IPatrick_Author @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be one of today’s stops on the brilliant blog tour for; How the Wired Weep by Ian Patrick. I am excited to be sharing my review with your all, I hope you love the sound of this book as much as I loved reading it. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for inviting me to join this tour. 

How the Wired Weep by Ian Patrick

The Wire crosses the pond.

Ed is a detective who handles informants. He recruits Ben, a young man, who is treading a dangerous path into the criminal underworld.

Ben’s unsure of where his loyalties lie. They have to find a way to work together despite their differences.

Both men are drawn into the world of Troy, a ruthless and brutal leader of an Organised Criminal Network.

Ben is torn between two worlds as he tries to walk the impossible line between criminality and helping Ed combat crime.

He lives in fear of discovery.

When your life is thrown upside down who do you turn to in order to survive?

Set against the backdrop of the 2012 Olympic Games, How the Wired Weep is a fast paced urban thriller where time is against both men as they attempt to serve their own agendas.

Purchase Links: Amazon UKAmazon US

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This is a stonking great read right from page one, it had me hooked like the fish on the line from start to finish. It’s a gritty, complex and deeply engrossing crime thriller with vividly striking and illuminating knowledge and detail, it’s raw and emotional with two of the most fascinating character’s. I was completely gripped with the story, Ben and Ed are two engaging and incredibly realistic men who both are living on the edge of their worlds.

I’ve not read any of Ian Patrick’s books before, to be perfectly honest I don’t usually reach for Police Procedurals but there was something about ‘How the Wired Weep’ that instantly attracted me to it, not to mention the incredibly striking and eye-catching cover which is amazing! I am so pleased that I did join this blog tour, I loved the way this is written, the two first-person views of the world is really different and pulls you into the drama surrounding the two men.

Set in 2012, as the London is getting prepared for the Olympic Games, we follow the lives of two different men; DS Ed Hunter, who is a handler for Police informant, he is currently looking after Ben who is newly released from prison and founds himself in a precarious position, as he is suddenly in the world of the dangerous Troy, a London gang leader who uses him for various little jobs all the time Ben is secretly handing over information to his ‘handler’ Ed, but Ben isn’t as heroic or courageous as I make him out to be, he is a street-smart young man who has many faults who only does what he does for money.

Ed has more on his plate then originally thought as he not only has to protect his informant from those who would want to harm him, but he also has to figure out if he can actually trust this man. Ed also has to face his personal issues at home as he and his wife Lucy are wanting to start a family, but as their first round of IVF failed and now they are facing another round something which he can’t afford which explains all the long hours and overtime, which only puts further strain on his marriage. Ed is genuinely a decent guy, he really cares for his informant’s he wants them to be able to leave the dark and perilous lives they have found themselves in, but he also knows that you can’t help a person if they don’t want to be helped.

Ben is a complicated and contradictory man, in some ways you can sympathise for him, but in other ways, he is the sort of man you cross the street to avoid – which sounds awful – he isn’t either good or bad he is just hovering in the middle never crossing over either side. He doesn’t really know any other sort of life them the criminal drug taking and gang culture he is stuck in, but as the story moves speedily toward to finale Ben becomes angrier and I think he is a little confused and frustrated and yet he sinks deeper and deeper into this way of life, but can he really be helped?

Let me just the say the ending, oh my goodness I didn’t see that one coming, it crept up on me and then; boom! One of the best ending’s I’ve read for a while, brilliantly written and completely unexpected. It’s easy to see that the author has a real talent at creating high octane, intelligent and illuminating drama with just a few words. I was glued and can’t wait to read more from Ian, I’m already seeking out more of his books. My bank account will never forgive me! 🙂

How the Wired Weep is a fast-paced, intense, brutally raw and at times emotionally tragic story about how different lives intertwines and which is full twists and turns and eye-opening drama. I cannot recommend this enough, if you love the likes of DCI Banks, Rebus and Above Suspicion then this one is a must-read and also it’s a prime candidate to be made into a TV series.

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About the Author

Ian spent twenty-seven years in the Metropolitan police the majority as a Detective Sergeant within the Specialist Operations Command. He specialised in Child Protection and was part of a Major Investigation Team that targeted abusers and investigated the murder of children.

His last seven years were spent in the Covert Policing Command where he managed a specialist covert unit dedicated to the detection and disruption of organised criminal networks across London and the UK.

Rubicon, Stoned Love, and Fools Gold are published by Fahrenheit Press.

How the Wired Weep is a standalone novel.
Rubicon is in development with the BBC for a six part TV series.

He’s appeared at Bloody Scotland in 2018 as a spotlight author on the opening night with Val McDermid and Denise Mina.
Ian’s undertaken a mentorship with Write4Film Scotland and is developing a script for a short film. He’s also an ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy Scotland. He lives in Scotland where he divides his time between family, writing, reading and photography.

You can follow Ian on his website https://www.ianpatrick.co.uk where you can subscribe to his newsletter and get updates on blogs, events and books.

Social Media: TwitterFacebookWebsiteInstagram 

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#BlogTour | Anyone for Edmund? by Simon Edge | #AnyoneForEdmund #Review #damppebblesblogtours | @simonjedge @EyeAndLightning @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this fantastic blog tour for; Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, first I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the complimentary copy and for inviting me onto this tour. Now on to the book itself, I hope you love it as much as I do.

Anyone For Edmund by Simon Edge

Genre: Contemporary, Comedy Fiction

Publisher: Lightning Books

Release Date: 1st September 2020

They dug up his bones. They didn’t know he had a mind of his own.

Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England’s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.

Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.

The only person who can see through the deception is Mark’s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?

Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.

Purchase Links: Eye & Lightning Books (Free UK P&P): https://bit.ly/30XKfz9 / Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3feyTfc

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I thoroughly enjoyed Anyone For Edmund, it’s a fast-paced, edgy and clever novel, which really engages the reader from the start and with its surprising supernatural feel it’s completely different to other contemporaries.

To be honest I hadn’t known too much about him before reading this. I do love learning something new, especially when I least expected it!

On the surface, it appears to be a stereotypical political comedy, with a history element, but it soon becomes clear that this is far more than that, this is a great mix of intelligent wit, history and political manipulations with some very relevant secondary plots of Covid19, life after Brexit and trying to rebuild and unite a fractured country.

The story opens with voluntary archaeologist; Hannah who is working on a dig looking for the remains of St Edmund, once found he is then reburied in the cathedral at Bury St Edmunds. Hannah’s cousin; Mark is an advisor to the culture secretary, marina who is your stereotypical pantomime villain; ruthless, manipulative, tyrannical, control freak she is trying to ease the fractures caused by Brexit and is looking for something big that will unite the country again, something that the whole country can get behind.

Which is where Edmund comes in!

Mark comes up with the idea of reinstating Edmond as a patron saint of the United Kingdom, but how to achieve it? Mark basically makes up a whole bunch of ‘facts’ about Edmund, and this is where the trouble and the fun starts as everything just spirals out of control, but once Mark interpretation of Edmund takes hold there isn’t a lot Mark can do to slow it down.

It’s a realistic plot and one that I could see happening in these strange times after all no-one wants animosity within the country. I love the little touches to the society we now live in, such as our addiction to social media and doing your research via Wikipedia and if anything with all the false truths which Mark releases about Edmund it shows how easily we can be taken in by false news, even when we think it’s from a genuine source.

My favourite aspect of this is those brief moments when we see everything through Edmund’s eyes, it gave the whole book a fresh and original feel to it and kept me turning the pages. I thought the bitterness and toxicity between Mark and Marina were compelling to read and brilliantly real, it actually reminded me of a few offices I have worked in, in the past.

I loved the whole concept of this book, with a bit of history, intrigue, wry humour and political machinations, wonderfully imaginative characters and some very on-trend topics this is a great read, one I think many people no matter what genre you read will enjoy.

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About the Author

Simon Edge was born in Chester and read philosophy at Cambridge University.

He was editor of the pioneering London paper Capital Gay before becoming a gossip columnist on the Evening Standard and then a feature writer on the Daily Express, where he was also a theatre critic for many years. He has an MA in Creative Writing from City University, London, where he also taught literary criticism.

He is the author of three previous novels: The Hopkins Conundrum, which was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award, The Hurtle of Hell and A Right Royal Face-OffHe lives in Suffolk.

Social Media: Twitter: https://twitter.com/simonjedge / Website: https://www.simon-edge.com// Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simonjedge/

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#BlogTour | Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) by Leopold Borstinski #MidtownHuckster #AlexCohenSeries #damppebblesblogtours @borstinski @damppebbles

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all, I hope you love it as much as I do.

Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski.

Genre: Noir Crime

Series: Alex Cohen #3

Publisher: Sobriety Press

Format: Ebook, Paperback

Can you keep your gelt and freedom when the cops have enough evidence to take you down?

1930s Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion–he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends.

If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

The third book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical noir novel, which plunges you deep into the early days of narcotics trafficking and the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction delivers a fix to every reader like heroin from a needle.

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3dYjiQs
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2VPI5jr

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This is the third book in the Alex Cohen series, I don’t like to start a series mid-way through, especially when I haven’t read the author before, but I was intrigued and hooked by the sound of this as soon as I read the back blurb, and when I was so generously offered the first two books in the series as well, (both of which will be reviewed on the blog later) I couldn’t pass the chance up and I am so pleased that I didn’t as this is amazing!!

Even though you can read this book as a stand-alone, I would recommend that you do read this series in order as it does continue from book to book, another reason I am so grateful that I got offered the first two in the series, but I can guarantee that if you do take the time and start the series from boom one, you will be hugely rewarded for the time spent as this is a gripping and stirring series which you won’t want to put down.

I have grown with watching films, documentaries and surrounded by books all about the various 1930’s Mob’s of New York and Chicago, I was the only kid in school who knew more about the likes of Lucky Luciano and Al Capone and who had watched The Godfather far too many times – Thanks to my dad – but the fascination sticks, I find the entirety of the era’s which this series is set in thoroughly fascinating, I always have done which is another reason this book and series appealed to me so much.

New York during the 1930s was a dangerous place, especially if you are a notorious gangster, and now that prohibition has ended those who made their ‘living’ during that time have to find another way to bring in the cash. Alex Cohen, brutal, notorious killer and gangster is running the ‘Murder Corporation’ which is basically what it says on the tin, for Lucky Luciano. But with ‘Lucky’ taken down for racketeering and a new FBI agent; Special Prosecutor, Thomas Dewey turning up with the sole intention of bringing down the gangsters and cleaning up the New York streets and his main target is Alex and his gang. Alex soon finds himself in a very precarious position where he must make a life and death choice, I won’t say too much as I wouldn’t wish to spoil even a second off this compelling book for you, but I will say that it will have you perched at the edge of your seat.

This is compelling, intoxicating and hugely enjoyable, even though Alex is a real nasty piece of work, he is a ruthless killer who dabbles in so much darkness, but I couldn’t help myself to be drawn to him like a moth to a flame, he intrigued me and pulled me into his dark and deadly world as he and his gang try to find a new way to make money. I also liked that he isn’t just a stereotypical baddie, he is a rare gangster in the fact that he is a conscience, there are certain things that he isn’t exactly keen to become entangled in.

A little bit of a warning that there is violence that is at times very vivid but seeing as this is a crime, gangster novel that shouldn’t be a surprise and it’s so expertly written that you become fully absorbed into the whole story, violence and all.

Midtown Huckster – like the previous two in the series – is dark, gritty, exciting, a fast-paced compelling and richly vivid book that will hook you from the first page. It’s not one for who like a lighter read, there are some pretty graphic and harrowing scenes, which are written with such talent Leopold Borstinski doesn’t hold back, you are swept along on a thrilling, intricate and highly addictive journey full of brutal crimes and notorious gangster’s. I love that the fictitious story is interwoven with some real historical names whom many of you will have heard of, the way they are worked alongside the fabulous fictional characters is brilliant, it all seamlessly flows together to make a classy and edgy read.

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About the Author

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Twitter / Facebook / Website / Instagram 

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Blog Tour Schedule