Sunday, 22 July 2018

Blog Tour / Excerpt - Dead of Night by Michael Stanley

FIRST-EVER stand-alone thriller by the international, bestselling authors of the Detective Kubu series FABULOUS Vietnamese-American FEMALE protagonist STUNNING African and Vietnamese setting Explores the relevant and devastating Rhinoceros trade 

When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But, within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything. 

Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…

 Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent… 

Excerpt :

As she left the building, a wave of heat hit her. It was difficult for her to
comprehend that just three days before, she was cross-country skiing
in Minnesota at minus five degrees Celsius. In Pretoria, it was about
thirty-five and sticky with it.

I don’t miss Tolo’s attitude, she thought, but I do miss his

There was a rush of people on the sidewalk. South Africa’s economy
may have been shaky, but downtown Pretoria was frenetic. A scruffy
man walked up to Crys and asked her for money. She shook her head
and started to walk away, but he followed.

‘I’ll get you a taxi,’ he said. Crys shook her head again. It had only
taken a few minutes in the cab to get to the department from the hotel,
and she was looking forward to the walk back. Fortunately, he wasn’t
persistent and vanished into the crowds.

As she walked on, however, she had the sensation that she was being
watched. She spun around just in time to see the man who’d asked
her for money. He quickly looked away and pretended to be going in
another direction.

Probably a pickpocket looking for an easy hit.
Crys knew more than a little karate. A scrawny pickpocket didn’t
worry her; but she did hold her briefcase more firmly, and when she
reached her hotel was pleased to escape the crowds and the heat.
When she opened the door to her room, Crys was relieved to see
her suitcase on the bed. At last, something was going right: Delta had
actually come through with their promise to deliver.

Crys went to open it, but as she did, she noticed that both locks were
broken. All that was preventing the contents from falling out was the col-
ourful strap she always used – more for identification than for security.
Crys groaned. Her next stop was at Tshukudu Nature Reserve on
the border of the Kruger National Park, so she’d have to buy a new
suitcase before heading out there.

She flipped the case open.
‘What the—’ Crys couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Someone
had been through her belongings. Her neatly folded clothes had been
taken out, scrunched up, and stuffed back in; all her toiletries had been
removed from their bag, but not replaced. And the lining of the case
had been cut. Someone had been checking to see whether anything was
hidden behind it.

Why would anyone do something like this?
It wouldn’t be customs – Crys had travelled a lot and knew they
were usually halfway decent at repacking suitcases. She pulled out her
phone and pressed the number for Delta’s baggage services.

After waiting for an age to get through to the right person, Crys was
assured that her bag had left the airport in good shape. She frowned as
she rang off, staring at her jumbled belongings. Could this have hap-
pened after her suitcase arrived at the hotel?

She picked up the room phone, called the concierge and asked if he
had taken delivery of the suitcase.
‘Yes,’ he replied, ‘at about half past two.’
‘Did you notice if it was in good shape?’
‘Yes, it was. Is there a problem?’
‘Yes, there is! It’s wrecked – someone’s broken it open. And they’ve
been through it. My stuff’s all messed up.’
‘I’ll call the police right away, madam.’
‘No … don’t bother.’ Crys sighed, dropping onto the bed, exhausted.
‘My insurance will cover the suitcase itself, and I don’t think I’ve lost
anything. It’ll just be a waste of time to get the police involved. But…’
She thought for a moment. ‘You didn’t notice anyone following the
porter who delivered the suitcase to my room, did you?’
‘No, madam.’
‘Who has access to room keys? Because if the porter delivered it
intact, somebody searched it in the room.’
‘No one other than the housekeeping staff has a master key. And
also the porter – but he only had it while he was taking it up for you.’
‘Would it be possible to look at any CCTV you have of the foyer of
the hotel and the passage to my room, please? I’d only need it from the
time the suitcase was delivered to you.’

There was a silence. Then he answered that he’d check with the
manager, but didn’t think there would be a problem. He’d let her know
the next morning.

Crys thanked the man and hung up.
She was beginning to feel a little spooked – first the man following
her and now this. She lay back on the bed, letting the cool draught of
stale air from the air-conditioning unit flow over her, but her mind
was still racing. Her first day in South Africa hadn’t been a good one.
Crys decided a little yoga would help her calm down, so she folded a
towel on the floor, sat down, and twisted into a half lotus. She breathed
deeply, closed her eyes, and started softly chanting her mantra: Úm ma
ni bát ni hồng. Úm ma ni bát ni hồng. Úm ma ni bát ni hồng. Úm ma
ni bát ni hồng.

She slowly began to relax. Her mind focused. Her heart rate slowed,
and she tried to open her mind to good thoughts. But images of the
vandalised suitcase rattled around her head.

After about thirty minutes, Crys brought herself back to the present,
uncoiled, and went for a hot shower. She resigned herself that there was
nothing more she could do that evening, so prepared for a night of
jet-lagged sleep.

As she put her head on the pillow, Crys realised there was a bright
spot in all of this. She could use her bad first day as a topic for her
special column for the Duluth News Tribune.
With that thought in mind, Crys closed her eyes and fell into a
troubled sleep.

About the author 

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. Dead of Night is their first stand-alone thriller

Monday, 9 July 2018

Book Spotlight - The Pumpkin Patch by Sandi Smith

Book Details:

Book Title: The Pumpkin Patch by Sandi Smith
Category: Adult Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: November 5, 2017
Tour dates: June 25 to July 20, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

Book Description:

How can one small-minded, angry person destroy the lives of so many people in her path, connecting them all together in a game of destruction and heartbreak? It is possible, but what pushes a person to enjoy inflicting pain to such an extent, leaving a trail of hate, anger, and defeat behind her, which only seems to make her stronger and more satisfied. Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of the Authors’ Book Agency, is that person, who, unknowingly, with a single thread of hate, has connected the lives of a small group of people, bringing them together with one single common denominator. Anger. The anger from this small group of people is building, but it has nowhere to go, or does it? Ms. Terri Plotski, owner of Authors’ Book Agency, has gone missing.

To follow the tour, please visit Sandi Smith's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.

Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 28, 2018

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Friday, 6 July 2018

Blog Tour / Book Musings - Watching You by Shannon Greenland

Watching You
Shannon Greenland
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: July 2nd 2018
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Viola’s always been that girl from thatfamily, so a scholarship to a prestigious private school in Florida was supposed to be her ticket out of poverty and into a brand-new life. But Viola’s secrets have followed her. Her relationship with the intelligent and gorgeous Riel should have been the salvation she needed—he understands her troubled past better than anyone. But then weird things start to happen.
Frightening messages.
Missing personal items.
The unsettling feeling that she’s being watched.
Viola’s never been one to give her trust easily, but she’ll need to trust in Riel if she’s going to survive her stalker. Because she’s not fighting for a new life anymore—she’s fighting to stay alive.

My Musings :

I had so many reactions while reading this book. I actually didn't feel that I was reading about teens because Viola and Riel are both so mature in their actions and character. They are one of my favourite pairs right now. I really enjoyed watching them fall for each other.

The beginning was good with the normal school introduction and the parade of characters. As soon as Viola's dilemma had me feeling for her. But I knew she was going to get caught and I thought Riel would be so angry. But the way he handled the situation was a welcome surprise and so understanding! I have to thank the author for scripting such a great set of protagonists! Not much angst or drama. That's one of the reasons I really loved the book. Another is Mar! She is simply adorable and well, I don't have anything much to add about her. When you read the book, anyone would understand my point.

One point I was surprised on that I thought Levi would be more in action but he was kept at a periphery level, especially at the end. Another point was the identity of the stalker. I never even thought that person would be it! I had so many wild guesses. At the end I had to laugh at my narrow mind. The language used also was easy to read and added to the overall enjoyment.

I hope to read more of the author's books. I really enjoyed her version of a YA couple!

I received a copy for reviewing purposes which doesn't impact my views in any way.

My one line review : Good romance + a bit of mystery = a great fast read!

My rating : 5/5

My reread factor : 4/5

Author Bio:
Shannon Greenland is the award winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the YA romances, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN and SHADOW OF A GIRL. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.


Monday, 2 July 2018

Blog Tour / Book Musings - The Red Hand of Fury by RN Morris

London, June 1914. A young man is mauled to death at London Zoo after deliberately climbing into the bear pit. Shortly afterwards, another young man leaps to his death from the notorious Suicide Bridge. Two seemingly unconnected deaths – and yet there are similarities.

Following a third attempted suicide, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn knows he must uncover the link between the three men if he is to discover what caused them to take their own lives. The one tangible piece of evidence is a card found in each of the victims’ possession, depicting a crudely-drawn red hand. What does it signify? To find the answers, Quinn must revisit his own dark past. But can he keep his sanity in the process …?

Purchase Links:
UK amazon (kindle)

US amazon (kindle) -

My Musings :

This was a refreshing read inspite of being  a crime mystery. I say refreshing because it's break for me from the contemporary time frame. I really enjoyed reading and getting into the 1914 time.

I absolutely misjudged the characters! At the beginning itself I was so sure I knew the killer but as the story unfolded, it took a few twists and turns which disabused me of my certainty. Was I so wrong? But the revealing of the clever antagonist kept me at the edge all the time. And Silas's actions had me horrified and mesmerised at the same time.

Speaking of characters, all of them are crisp and well written. I especially was intrigued by the detective's depth and past. The way he reasoned it out wasn't outrageous but he was a tiny bit obsessed with it. The story line is plotted out well with sufficient angles to please the reader. The time period was also interesting with the various side lines of conflict which kept me going forward with the read easily.

Only negative thing was that I felt kind of let down at the end. I built it up to be a totally different scenario in my mind. So I deflated at the end. But this doesn't mean I didn't the book. On the contrary, I quite enjoyed it and Silas has me interested in his future dealings.

I received a copy voluntarily for reviewing purposes. This doesn't impact my review in any way.

My one line review : A quite well plotted crime mystery with crisp characters.

My rating : 4.5/5

My reread factor : 3/5

Author Bio – 

R. N. Morris is the author of eight historical crime novels. His first, A Gentle Axe, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. Set in St Petersburg in the nineteenth century, it features Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s great novel, Crime and Punishment. The book was published in many countries, including Russia. He followed that up with A Vengeful Longing, which was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. A Razor Wrapped in Silk came next, followed by The Cleansing Flames, which was nominated for the Ellis Peters Historical Novel Dagger. The Silas Quinn series of novels, set in London in 1914, began with Summon Up The Blood, followed by The Mannequin House, The Dark Palace and now The Red Hand of Fury, published on 31 March, 2018.

Taking Comfort is a standalone contemporary novel, written as Roger Morris. He also wrote the libretto to the opera When The Flame Dies, composed by Ed Hughes.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @rnmorris

Facebook page for Red Hand of Fury:


Giveaway – Win a hardback copy of The Red Hand of Fury (Open Internationally)
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