Tag Archives: authors

Wild Flowers by Richard Robinson #WILDFLOWERS

Richard Robinson returns to Celtic Connexions with his second installment of the Topaz series, Wild Flowers.

Wild Flowers

BLURB

HIGH SEAS
HIGH STAKES

In ‘Wild Flowers,’ the second explosive instalment of the Topaz Files, inexperienced spy Jones Is thrust into the heart of danger aboard the General Eduardo—a colossal container ship laden with stolen arms worth millions.

Trapped and desperate, Jenny Richmond is the linchpin in a daring operation by the Topaz team, racing against time to recover the lethal cargo hijacked by the Russians and bound for clandestine camps in Belize.

But in the shadowy world of espionage, they are not alone. Joseph Armstrong, a double agent ensnared in a deadly game, is torn between his loyalty to Russia and a tempting offer from an enigmatic Zimbabwean farmer, Irvine Terre-Blanche.

What’s at stake?
Millions of pounds and the sinister secrets of the Wild Flowers Project.

As the operation hurtles towards a catastrophic finale, a band of retired spies join the fray, seeking one last explosive job in this high-octane thriller of deception and betrayal.

Wild Flowers

LINK  TO BUY

Wild Flowers

https://linktr.ee/thetopazfiles

MY REVIEW

This second installment of the Topaz series was a cracking good read. I reunited with characters from Book 1, like meeting old friends, and I met some new ones along the way—not all of whom were nice.

Richard’s characters leap off the page. There’s espionage, drama, danger, and a bit of comedic relief in the characters of Carl and Tom.  The author’s vivid descriptions of the scenes onboard the container ship made me feel like I was aboard. But if you want to learn more about them, you must read the books.

I can’t wait for book 3 in the series! Well done, Richard!

WEBSITE

https://www.thetopazfiles.com/

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Wild Flowers

Richard lives in East Anglia with his wife and two daughters. He is a trained journalist and spent his early years freelancing or in agency positions across the UK, including a stint in Northern Ireland in the mid-1990s. He then transferred to the third sector, working in charities focusing on issues as diverse as international development (in India and Bangladesh), air ambulance operations, music and the creative industries, mental health and homelessness. He also acted as Chief Executive of the Olympic Park charity during London 2012.

He is currently the CEO of Hourglass, the UK’s only charity focused on ending the abuse and neglect of older people, a job he applied for after a family experience of neglect.

Richard wrote his first novel in the early 2000s but this has yet to see the light of day. Instead, he started with a new idea in 2020 and Topaz was born. He has written two more in the Topaz Files series, Wild Flowers and The Mainstay, which are expected to be published in 2024.

He is also happily in the dugout for Boxford Rovers F.C. on a Saturday, a committed cratedigger (vinyl collector) and can occasionally be seen in the stands at Loftus Road and Windsor Park.

AUTHOR LINKS

Twitter at @TheTopazFiles

Richard on Instagram at @r_we_r

Email Richard at thewash_house@live.co.uk

Vex Not Her Ghost by Gill Calvin Thomas

Today on Celtic Connexions, I’m reviewing Vex Not Her Ghost by Gill Calvin Thomas.

vex

Blurb

Caitlin was four years old when her mother died in mysterious circumstances.

Thirty years later, she comes into possession of her family home in Dorset.

As she slowly recovers memories of her past, she becomes convinced that her mother’s ghost is warning her of impending disaster.

Aided by Charlie Bond, a private investigator, an enthralling story of deceit and deception unfolds as Caitlin and her friends expose the ultimate truth.

Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/211755390-vex-not-her-ghost

Purchase Link: https://mybook.to/vexnotherghost-zbt

My Review

Vex Not Her Ghost started out on a slow burn for me. Something about it seemed weird. Okay, it’s a ghost story, so weird is good, right? Caitlin’s mother died when Caitlin was a little girl. Was it an accident or something more sinister?

Overall, the writing was good; I didn’t see that ending coming. I was expecting something completely different. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.

About the Author

vex
Gill Calvin Thomas has retired from academic life and lives with her husband in Swanage, Dorset. She finds inspiration while walking in the Isle of Purbeck. Here, she is able to escape into a world of her own making, getting to know her characters, whilst she plans the next twist and turn of the plot.

As writing has become a major part of Gill’s life, she has withdrawn from taking a leading role in many community volunteer activities, although she has retained her interest in local and national politics. A lifelong feminist, Gill likes nothing better than a spirited debate on the issues of the day with family and friends. As her writing career develops, she hopes to explore those issues in her stories. Vex Not Her Ghost is Gill’s first novel and she is currently working on her second.

You can follow Gill at these links:

Website: https://gillthomas.co.uk/

And her publisher here:

Blossom Spring Publishing’s Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100059899875258

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlossomSpring3

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blossom.spring.publishing/

Website: https://www.blossomspringpublishing.com/

vex

SIN:THETICA by Keith Anthony Baird

SIN:THETICA

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Keith Anthony Baird and his latest novel, SIN:THETICA.

SIN:THETICA

Blurb

 

The Sino-Nippon war is over.

It is 2113 and Japan is crushed under the might of Chinese-Allied Forces.

A former Coalition Corps soldier, US Marine Balaam Hendrix is now a feared bounty hunter known as ‘The Reverend’.

In the sprawl of NeuTokyo, on this lawless frontier, he must track down the rogue employee of a notorious crime lord.

But, there’s a twist.

His target has found protection inside a virtual reality construct and Hendrix must go cyber-side to corner his quarry. The glowing neon signs for SIN:THETICA are everywhere, and promise escape from a dystopian reality.

But will it prove the means by which this hunter snares his prey, or will it be the trap he simply can’t survive?

My Review

While this isn’t my genre, it was still an excellent read. There were plenty of twists to keep me interested, and it was well-written. Okay, it was gory in places, but show me a dystopian novel, TV program, or even a current police procedural, and there is going to be a certain amount of that.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and the author’s unique style.

SIN:THETICA Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/205000176-sin

Buy Links:  https://mybook.to/sinthetica-zbt

About the Author

SIN:THETICA

Keith Anthony Baird has written a number of works, all of which can be found using your browser – get busy!

He lives in Cumbria, in the United Kingdom, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

Author Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kabauthor

Website: https://5f2dd297cf905.site123.me/

SIN:THETICA

SIN:THETICA

The Emotion Amplifier Thesaurus Is Here! (+Giveaway)

The Emotion Amplifier Thesaurus Is Here! (+Giveaway)

Hi guys! Today’s a big day – The Emotion Amplifier Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Stress and Volatility has just released, and as part of the Street Team, I’m helping to get the word out about a HUGE giveaway Angela and Becca are running to celebrate!

This guide is a companion to the popular Emotion Thesaurus and covers all the ways to push a character emotionally, setting them up for BIGGER reactions.

emotion amplifier

Emotion Amplifiers are specific states and conditions that can strain a character to the point they lose control. Pain, exhaustion, arousal, and competition are just some of the amplifiers that can send your character over the edge. If they give in to what they feel, they might lash out, take foolish risks, show poor judgment, and act in ways that take their situation from bad to worse. Hello, conflict!

Win a Free Workshop!

Amplifiers can bring a character’s emotions to the surface for readers to see, which is exactly what we need to happen. But that’s not all they do. Becca and Angela can’t wait to dive into how they can power a story and are celebrating this release with a very special Zoom workshop.

emotion amplifier

100 Seats Are Up for Grabs!

If you’ve ever attended a workshop by Angela and Becca, you know you’ll learn a ton. Head over here to enter the giveaway, but hurry – the last day to enter is May 17th, 2024.

Good luck!

 

Hungry Ghosts by C J Barker #wartime

Today on Celtic Connexions, I’m welcoming C J Barker and his wartime novel Hungry Ghosts.

hungry ghosts

Blurb

The lives of Vic Woods and Ruth Wolfe, working-class teenagers from Liverpool and London, are profoundly disrupted by the arrival of World War II.

Ruth’s journey leads her to aerial photographic interpretation, though her aspirations for advancement are denied, while Vic’s wartime experiences with bomber command haunt him long after the war is over. Their post-war marriage and tumultuous relationship with their son, James, make for a gripping narrative of trauma, conflict and, ultimately, love.

Set against the backdrop of World War II and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, Hungry Ghosts transports readers into the drama of two pivotal eras in history, exploring the intergenerational impact of war, particularly on the intricate relationships between fathers and sons.

Hungry Ghosts is not just a war story; it’s a timeless exploration of family bonds and the indelible scars left by war.

hungry ghosts

Book Links

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/209264242-hungry-ghosts

Buy Links – https://mybook.to/hungryghost-zbt

My Review

England during WWII. Ruth joins the WAAF, and Vic joins the RAF. The book wasn’t quite what I expected, but the premise intrigued me. It was an enjoyable read nonetheless. Ruth is a strong and likeable character, although she does have a soft spot for Vic. Even Vic, despite his quirks, was likeable. It was his quirks that made his character come to life.

This is the first book I’ve read by C J Barker, but I’ll be watching for more.

About the author

hungry ghosts

Born in England, resident in Thirroul, Australia, Chris Barker has been an educator in schools and universities in the UK and Australia. He has published several non-fiction books, and now writes fiction between stints in the garden, where he grows vegetables and looks after chickens. He has published short stories in England, America and Australia.

You can follow C J Barket at these links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/chrisjonbarker

Website – https://creasedattheedges.com/

Trail of the Heart by Kathleen Pendoley

Today on Celtic Connexions, I’m welcoming Kathleen Pendoley and her novel, Trail of the Heart.
Kathleen Pendoley

Blurb

Marriage can be challenging, divorce harder still, which is how Jordan Roberts finds herself in the middle of a two thousand-mile backpacking journey. Resilient has become her middle name, and it’s about time she figured out what she wants without anyone else’s input.

Jordan is desperate for a few days’ rest, but her friends bail on her last minute due to a plumbing mishap. Not hanging her out to dry completely, they find a host willing to take her in.

Adam Beck is used to running things. Together, he and his lifelong friend, Jonathan Wilson, started their own robotics company. Leading the way in state-of-the-art surgical care, Advanced Automation is committed to saving lives.

Obligated to do his friend a favor, Adam gladly opens his doors to a woman who appears half vagrant, half forest sprite. Different in every way, Jordan soon has Adam considering a life outside the boardroom.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Accidents happen, and people get hurt. Ex-husbands refuse to stay away, and there are often strange goings-on in the forest.

Jordan attempts to meet each situation head-on, but when her best trail friend is hurt the most, will her newly found romance be strong enough to withstand the pressure?

Come along on a journey of dreams, some dashed, others fulfilled, and the best ones: those that come true.

Kathleen Pendoley

Book Links

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58705164-trail-of-the-heart

Buy Links – https://mybook.to/trailoftheheart-zbt

My Review

A good love story. I loved Jordan’s character and the group she hiked with. Her best friend, Edge, is a man of few words but is there for her. And then there’s Adam.

Kathleen Pendoley brought all the characters to life, each with their own foibles. I’ll definitely be reading more books from this author.

About Kathleen Pendoley

Kathleen Pendoley

Kathleen spends her days toggling between writing and anything active: walking in the woods with her pups, kayaking, bike riding, and cross-country skiing—weather permitting. A to-the-marrow New Englander, she’s obsessed with cake, yoga, and self-actualization. Her favorite place to connect with readers is on Facebook.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorkathleenpendoley

Kathleen Pendoley

A Mother’s Love by Hazel Eggleton

I’m thrilled to be part of this book tour promoting A Mother’s Love by Hazel Eggleton.
Hazel Eggleton

Blurb

In a quiet Cornish town, secrets run as deep as the ocean. Meryan’s confession to her husband’s murder shocks the community and shatters her family.

But all is not as it seems.

After serving her sentence, Meryan, fuelled by a need for justice and the crushing weight of her own guilt, embarks on a perilous journey to uncover the truth.

But, as she delves into her husband’s past, she stumbles upon a sinister web of crime.

When her life is threatened, her only hope lies in the hands of her determined daughter, who refuses to let her mother’s sacrifice be in vain.

Can they overcome the darkest currents or will they be dragged under?

A Mother’s Love is a gripping thriller that explores the depths of love, loyalty, betrayal and the power of a mother’s unyielding determination.

Hazel Eggleton

Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/209170939-a-mother-s-love

Buy Links: https://mybook.to/amotherslove-zbt

My Review

How far would you go to protect your children?

Meryan’s character is headstrong and stubborn. Too much so for her own good. In over her head, it’s her daughter who comes to her rescue.

I enjoyed the book. I would have read it in one day, but life happens and things don’t go to plan. This is the first book by this author that I’ve read, and I’m certain it won’t be my last.

About Hazel Eggleton

Hazel Eggleton

Hazel Eggleton is a linguist by profession, having taught at University College School, Hampstead, for the majority of her career.

Now retired, she devotes her spare time to writing novels. To date she has written two children’s ghost stories – one of which reached the finals of the Britwriters awards in 2011 – a young adult novel on the theme of gambling and two adult psychological thrillers.

Hazel lives in St Albans.

You can follow Hazel at these links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HEggleton

Hazel Eggleton

Not All There by Jane Barron de Burgh #excerpt

I’m thrilled to be able to share with you an excerpt from Not All There by Jane Barron de Burgh.

Jane Barron de Burgh

This cover lends itself to all sorts of wonderment, doesn’t it?
Jane Barron de Burgh

Blurb

Claude’s mother is dead.

Except she won’t stay that way.

She’s back with her family and none of them know what to do about it.

Is there a name for someone who is only sort of dead? And why does Claude feel like he’s the only one celebrating her return?

‘Not All There’ is a character study of grief and the people who experience it, told through the eyes of a bewildered child who struggles to make sense of the death of his mother, Mary and her re-emergence as a ghost.

Familial relationships are tested as Claude, Patience and their father try to answer the question – ‘What do we do about Mary?’

Excerpt

Claude didn’t experience his mother’s death first hand; in fact, neither Claude nor his sister Patience, nor their father had any firsthand experience of Mary’s death. Claude does not even remember how the news was broken to him.

It was simply, understandably, not a memory he wished to preserve and polish, instead just the act of leaving it dormant caused the memory to quickly grow faded. For it does not do to dwell on melancholy. For those who want to know, however, I shall indulge. John, Claude’s father, got the call with Claude beside him. There is a certain expression that falls across a father’s face, when something truly terrible has happened. It erases whatever was worn before it so completely that it can never be recaptured. I hope for your sake you never see that happen.

Claude was not so lucky. He saw the wide eyes, the shudder in his father’s shoulder, how his jaw froze as he tried to take a gasp of air; it whistled down his throat. Claude saw the look in his father’s eyes as they grew blank. His father looked down at Claude’s own searching gaze. Hooded eyes weighed with the heavy burden that said ‘I have to tell my children their mother is dead.’ To Claude the words were just confirmation of what he had already seen in his father’s face. As for his sister, Patience? Oh my, you should have seen how she cried. But this is not her story.

Claude had, very rarely, considered the possibility of his mother dying. Usually after discovering that a fictional hero he had been reading about was, despite their superpowers, motherless. It had never made him feel sad due to the fact it had seemed impossible. The only orphans Claude knew were the ones that existed between the pages of books, but now here he was, a half-orphan and to Claude the vexation of being a half-orphan was all the more tragic as it had none of the romanticism of being a full orphan.

There was silence at the hospital for few people know what to say upon the event of a death. It’s not going to be all right and being told that, isn’t going to help either. I’ll warn you now that time will not heal all, the magical properties of time do not extend this far. Personally, I’ve found that a day thirteen years later feels much worse than a good week thirteen months after the event. Beware the fluid and tempestuous waves of grief.

Book Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35617352-not-all-there

Buy Links: https://mybook.to/notallthere-zbt

About Jane Barron de Burgh

Jane Barron de Burgh

Jane Barron de Burgh is an Essex based author and poet. They graduated from the Open University with a Masters in English in 2022. They are a keen student of Oulipo and found poetry.

Published by Castle Priory Press, Not All There, is their first literary novella and deals with themes of childhood grief.

You can follow Jane at these links:

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61556083952092

Twitter: https://twitter.com/makepeacelvjoy

Website: https://janebarrondeburgh.co.uk/

Jane Barron de Burgh

The Perfect Couple by Jane McLoughlin

I’m happy to host Jane McLoughlin and her debut adult novel, The Perfect Couple, here on Celtic Connexions.

Perfect Couple

Perfect Couple

The Perfect Couple Blurb

It was meant to be the perfect year abroad.

Rob assures me it will be an adventure for us: a year in England living in a gothic mansion. He has a new job and, as his wife, I’ll support him. It will be good for our marriage.

But as soon as we arrive at the house it starts.

The noises.

The voices.

Why can no one else hear anything?

The boy.

Why can no one else see him?

And now Rob is acting strangely. Distant. Dismissive. When I raise it he gets angry. He tells me it’s all in my head. But I can hear the bells in the woods. I can see the boy.

I make friends but I feel they know more than they tell me. Worst of all, they freeze when I tell them where I’m from. Who I am.

I feel myself unravelling. I’m not wrong. There is a secret here that everyone knows. Everyone except me.

This trip of a lifetime is turning into a perfect nightmare.

Book Links

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/208277755-the-perfect-couple-an-addictive-psychological-thriller-with-a-shocking-t
Buy Links – https://mybook.to/perfectcouple-zbt

My Review

Jacey and her husband (a University professor) relocated to the UK from America so he could teach in England for one year. The school owns the manor house they moved into, and visiting teachers make their home in it. Malin House is reputedly haunted.

Secrets and ties to Nana Ivy, who grew up in Cambridgeshire, and other strange things happen to Jacey. One recurring phenomenon is the vision of a little boy in summer clothes that only she can see. Who is he?

I enjoyed Jane McLoughlin’s writing style. I’m sure I’ll be looking for more of her books in the future.

About the Author

Perfect Couple

Jane McLoughlin was born and raised in the USA, but has spent most of her adult life in the UK. A former teacher, she has previously published novels for young people, which were nominated for various awards, including the Carnegie Award and the Branford Boase Prize. She has two grown up children, and lives in Brighton. The Perfect Couple is her debut novel for adults.

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JBMcLoughlin

Website: https://janemcloughlinwriter.com/

The Dress by Minnette Meador #bookblitz

Today, at Celtic Connexions, I’m featuring a new release from an author new to me, Minnette Meador. So, without any further ado, shall we check out this book?

Minnette Meador

Blurb

THE DRESS, a comedy of oddities

an urban fantasy by Minnette Meador

Finnigan Harshmiere (Fin to her friends), was odd. Not in the normal sense of the word, but actually, truly, unbelievably odd. So when she is invited to her senior prom, her oddity not only gets her into trouble but creates a miracle she never saw coming. Comedy

“Finnigan Harshmiere (Fin to her friends), was odd. Not in the normal sense of the word, but actually, truly, unbelievably odd.

Dropped on her head as a baby by a stunned doctor, she came out of her mother quietly, with only a small yawn and blinking eyes to greet him. He smacked her twice to make sure, but all she did was scowl at him. Thus the dropping.

As she grew, “like a weed in the garden” as Grandmo used to say, the oddness grew as well.

She liked to stack her toys to play with them, and not just blocks; dolls, books, gizmos, gadgets, everything went into a perfectly straight tower with nary a crook or lean. Fin would spend hours as a child admiring her work and laughing and laughing.”

Buy Link

Amazon

About the Author

Minnette Meador

BIOGRAPHY

Somewhere between thirty and dust…red hair, blue eyes…six kids, one slightly used husband, and any number of pets from time to time… wanttabe hippy… wanttheirmoney yuppie… pro musician and actress for 20 Years… native Oregonian… lover of music, beauty, and all things green. Willing slave to the venerable muse. Minnette currently resides in Lincoln City, Oregon with her husband, having replaced the children with two cats. The cats pretty much run the show. Her novels include:

NOVELS & NOVELLAS:

Starsight, Volume I, II, epic fantasy, (Amazon)

The Centurion & The Queen, Book I in the Centurion Series, historical romance (Amazon)

The Edge of Honor, historical romance, Book II in the Centurion Series (Amazon)

The Gladiator Prince, historical romance, Book III in the Centurion Series (Amazon)

A Ghost of a Chance, paranormal romantic comedy, Book I in the Ghost Series (Amazon)

The Belle Stalker, urban fantasy thriller (Amazon)

Nogero, alternate universe fantasy (Amazon)

Phantom Hearts, paranormal romantic comedy, a Ghost Series Book

Writers’ Tips, Tricks, & Traumas, a book of writing tools (Amazon)

The Dress, a comedy of oddities, Novella (Amazon)

A Boy & His Wizards, a children’s read-aloud book as M.A. Smith (Amazon)

NEW WORKS IN THE WORKS:

The Pirate Prince, historical romance, Book IV (Amazon) 2024

Arpeggios in the Dark, sci-fi 2024

Wy’East, Book II, Urban Fantasy Thriller 2024

Haunted Hearts, Book II in the Ghost Series, paranormal romantic comedy (Amazon) 2025

Starsight, The God Wars (prequel), epic fantasy – 2025

Starsight, The Restless Seed (sequel), epic fantasy – 2025