Out Now On Pre-Order + Excerpt: Who- Dun-it?

Evening all, I do hope you’re well, and that you had a wonderful weekend and Valentine’s? I turned thirty-eight! I had a nice ‘socially distant’ birthday. It’s finally half-term break yeah! A break from homeschooling. If you’re on ‘vacation’ like me have a wonderful week. This week book #2 and #3 of the Unsolved Mysteries Series are on pre-order. Check out the next installments below. I hope readers are enjoying book #1 The Note. As always thank you for reading!

Book #2 The Red Light Girls…Amsterdam, Europe.

The Red Light Girls is book two of the Unsolved Mysteries series of stand-alone, mystery, and thriller stories. Set in different locations around the world.

Amsterdam a fun and exciting city is set on edge, when women linked to the Red Light District turn up dead on Amsterdamse Bos woodland area, or reported missing. Madeline Sloane a ballsy journalist for one of London’s tabloid papers is bored with her job and surroundings, she finds herself in Amsterdam working for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Her new job becomes her obsession and determination to help Detective Janssen close in on the person responsible for fates of the Red Light Girls. She reports on the city’s events, and forms a plan of action of her own once her intuition guides her to a suspect. There’s only one person standing in her way of finding Amsterdam’s serial killer, not everything is as it seems in Madeline’s world.

Awww let’s meet our female sleuth character, shall we?
Enjoy the excerpt
(Note: these are real places in Europe and the spelling of  the locations have not been changed to English spellings.)

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
 
 
 One Afternoon, in Amsterdam…
 
“Shit, I can’t believe this.” Madeline pounded the steering wheel with her fist, then rolled her eyes. Her car came to stand still on a deserted road. “Arggh, I really don’t need this today,” she whined.
 She narrowed her eyes to try to see through the heavy sheet of rain, that pounded against the windows. Her view was blurred, the open woodland and trees were all she could see, this was not good news. She closed them then rested her head back, to block out the nightmare she had just entered.
“Could this day get any worse,” she asked herself. “I should’ve stayed put in London, this move better be worth it.”
  Come on, get it together. Madeline leaned over to the passenger seat, reached into her bag, and fished her mobile phone. With hesitation she stepped out of the car and slammed the door. To shield herself from the rain she pulled her thin jacket around her.
 The bullets of rain drummed against her with a heavy thud. “Arggh!” she cried out. “Give me a break will you, I’ve just had my hair done!”
 With a shaky hand she pushed away a few loose strands plastered to her face. As she rubbed her eyes to free them from the rain, her mascara smudged in the process. She noticed the make-up stains transfer to her fingers, as she attempted to unlock her phone.
“Jesus. Great, just great,” she muttered.
The only sound she heard was the rain beating against the body of her car, and the wind as it rustled the trees. There was not a soul in sight.
 After three months life was no easier for her, her decision to up and leave London was not an easy one but a necessity. Her job as a journalist in the UK’s capital no longer excited her. She accepted a sabbatical placement with the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, as a last resort to revive her love for the profession.
Her employer back home, The Sun newspaper, offered a number of placements to exchange with international papers around the world. At the time it sounded ideal to her, however which destination to apply for baffled her. One night she opened an atlas after one too many glasses of wine. She stuck her finger on the map and it landed on Amsterdam. The decision was made, that’s where she’d try her luck with falling back in love with being a journalist. Lucky for her, a Dutch newspaper was included in the list of media sources taking part in the exchange program.
Madeline walked around the car then bent down to the wheel. She ran her hand over the visible damage. She shook her head at it.
“Great, punctured.”  
Pulling herself up she glanced up and down the quiet road in search of help. There was no one around. She gave up on anyone passing by that could help her. Instead she dialled the number on the windscreen sticker, for the car breakdown service.
“Hello, my name’s sorry excuse me. Hallo, mijn naam is Madeline,” she said to the call handler. There was a silence.
“Hello, hello,” she yelled.
Madeline tutted at the blank screen, her battery died. She groaned loudly and shoved the device into in her pocket.
The bitter wind whipped around her, while the rain assaulted the thin material of her coat. She started to shiver and cursed even more. She leaned on the side of the car, and tears welled up in her eyes then spilt over onto her cheeks.  She noticed a dog bark somewhere in the distance. Her eyes darted toward the woodland area.
“Hey, hello is anyone there?” she called out into the darkness.
Her voice echoed back as it bounced around the open space. Overcome with fear she hurried away and jumped into the driver’s seat. She locked the doors, and prayed someone would pass by and help her. With the weather as bad as it was, she wasn’t optimistic about it. Why would anyone be out on foot in this? She wondered. She could only hope a car would drive by. She heard the dog bark again, her heart pounded against her rib cage. She narrowed her eyes and could just about make out in the distance, a man jog from out of the woods with a dog behind him.
 Madeline lowered the window then called out through the rain, “hey, excuse me.”
The dog barked again in her direction. From what she could see through the heavy rain and hail stones, it looked as if the man glanced toward her.
 “Excuse me,” she yelled out again. “I have a flat tire can you help me?” What the hell, he probably speaks no English, God help me.
Madeline stepped out of the car, then waved her arms to beckon the man to come over. Once she had his attention she pointed to the tire. Through the rain Madeline noticed the man  jog in her direction. She let out a breath and counted her blessings he appeared.
“Are you okay, what’s up?” he asked.
He removed his ear phones and doubled over to catch his breath. Madeline’s heart fluttered, she was happy he spoke English.
“My tire’s flat,” she said.  “I don’t have any juice on my phone, can I borrow yours?”
Impatiently she waited as  the stranger moved he’s gaze over her car, then he pulled out his phone.
“Sure.” He handed her his phone. “Do you have break down cover?”
“Yes, thank God that’s one thing I do have.”
Madeline took his iPhone then quickly redialled the breakdown service.
“Yes, hello it’s, oh I’m sorry,” she said then paused. Madeline tried to recall what Dutch she could given the situation.
“Here allow me,” the man said. “I speak fluent Dutch.”
Madeline’s attention moved back to the stranger. Through the rain from under his hood he looked down at her, his face was partly obscured. He held his hand out for the phone and she passed it to him.
He nodded toward the car and said, “get in, it’s pouring out here.”
“Thank you, my name’s Madeline Sloane. I just need someone to change the tire that’s all.”
“Do you have a spare?”
“I don’t know. I guess so, probably.”
The man laughed at her then placed the phone to his ear under his hood. He spoke in rapid Dutch to the call handler. Madeline hopped into the car to shield herself from the storm, and the dog that yapped at her feet. Damn dog, move. She kicked at the mut as she took a seat, then slammed the door. The man tapped on the window, she rolled it down.
 “Okay let’s take a look in the boot,” he said.
“The boot?”
“Yeah, for the spare.”
“When will they get here to­­—”
“Don’t worry,” he cut her off, “I’ll handle it, it’s just a puncture.”
“Oh okay, but it’s raining.” Madeline looked up at the dark grey sky.
 “It’s just water, I’m Chris by the way.” The man chuckled at her again.
Slightly pissed off at his sarcasm, Madeline pressed the release button to open the boot. Yeah right, just water, she thought. Then smoothed a hand over what was her sleek, bone straight hair now back to its natural curly state.
Thirty minutes later with a fresh tire change Madeline started the engine, then turned to Chris.
 “I really don’t know how to thank you,” she told him. “You could’ve allowed the breakdown service to handle it, and be home by now, you’re soaked.”
“No problem, you’d still be waiting if I did that.”
Shyly, Madeline looked away from Chris’ gaze, she focused on the road ahead. She glanced back to him. He was stood in the rain with is hoodie up shivering.
“Let me give you a lift home, it’s the least I can do,” she called out through the window.
She watched Chris’ expression, it was as if he mulled over her offer while he glanced up and down the road.
“Okay thanks. Which way are you heading?” he asked.
“To Amsterdam Centraal, what about you?”
“Same.”
“Hop in, let’s go.”
Chris rounded the car to the passenger side, he moved the chair back, then whistled for his dog to jump in. “I’m sorry if he leaves mud on the seat, I’ll  clean it off,” he said.
Madeline cringed at the thought of dog hair and mud all over the chair, then forced a lazy smile across her lips. Once Chris and his dog were on board, she placed the car in gear and slowly took off. She navigated her way through the storm toward the city centre.

Out Now On Pre-Order

https://bit.ly/TheRedLightGirlsUnsolvedMystery

Book #3 ‘Till Death Do Us Part

What’s in store….

When a convicted murderer confesses to kidnapping a depressed wife Mariya Crosby twenty years ago, but in the present day the evidence clears him of the crime, who would you believe–the evidence or a convicted murderer on his death bed? 

Detective Dominic Ruiz is under pressure to close in on the truth, and fast. The problem is Ruiz has one confession, one witness, and one devoted husband with a different version of events in the lead up to Mariya Crosby’s disappearance twenty years ago in Florida. The more Detective Ruiz follows up with leads the more things don’t add up. He has one of the biggest mysteries of his career to solve. The question has been unanswered for twenty years, what really happened to Mariya Crosby the day she never made it home from work?  

Out Now On Pre-Order

https://bit.ly/TillDeathDoUsPartUnsolvedMystery3

International Best-seller: Thank you

Good morning guys, I took to Facebook to thank readers who pre-ordered The Note. Less than a week before release day I have hit the best seller’s list in my home, the United Kingdom and internationally in the USA and stayed there. Thank you. But, I am a private person and someone close to me is about to die. I’ve not said, it could be weeks, days, or months we’re all just waiting. The person said, ‘don’t tell us’ especially me. I guess in fear that we’d worry and I’d maybe lose focus with writing or even stop. I’ve known for two weeks and they were right, I have not been able to write. I tried to today as usual when I got up at 6.00a.m to give it a go, I never got out of bed.

Then I checked the charts, and seeing your support really pushed me to get up and try. In 2020 when I achieved number 1 best seller status I thought it was all a fluke, I did it twice UK and internationally but I never imagined I could enter a chart again based on sales. The ‘International Thriller and Mysteries’ category is dominated by house-hold name authors. King, Balluci, Child, Brown, Rose, Grisham, Mosley! We don’t even need to say these house-hold author’s first names! We know them! We love them! I love them all and read them all, we all do they are super talented and dominate the charts with their books alone! So this is so uplifting to see that there’s support for my work as a little fish. While I don’t need to be number one like these guys always are, I’m just so pleased to make the top 100 best-sellers in such tough area. Especially when I all want to do is write! Because I love it and can, not really money or status.

As a writer we all have dreams, personally mine has always been just to write, find a good publisher, and hope to gain a readership anything else is a bonus. If you have supported me as a reader of mine I appreciate you, I am so grateful for your support thank you I say this humbly. I needed to see these charts this morning, as right now as I have found it hard these last two weeks to keep myself going and just get out of bed, let alone write. When the person I love finally passes, I know I will fall to pieces, but this support has helped me to open up my laptop this morning and try again, and try to keep getting out of bed. Thank you.

Look after the people you love, life is short.

Kim

Book Review:African Short Stories Adventures of Kalulu The Hare 3 stars!

#100BooksChallenge book #13 a few weeks back, I randomly found this book via Kindle Unlimited as a recommendation. I do love short stories and of course African fables.

About The Book:

The short stories in this book are typical African folktales from rural Copperbelt Province, Zambia. Sit, relax and have a good laugh. The short stories are funny, but they also convey timeless moral messages of African wisdom. These african folktales stories are usually told, in villages, from generation to generation, in the evenings by a big fire, just before going to bed.

In villages children have very close relationships to their grandparents who teach them what they need to know about life. The african folktales stories almost always teach a moral lessen. Unfortunately, even in Africa, children growing in big cities do not have this chance because their evenings are spent watching TV or surfing in internet.

In most of these stories animals and people live together, mingle with each other and sometimes Kalulus (Hares) marry human beautiful girls. This may sound strange because a hare can not, for instance, cook or marry a human princess. The truth is that the animals in the stories are not animals in the real sense. They are just character representation of people who behave in certain ways.

Image result for three stars

This was a very entertaining collection of short stories, clearly aimed at younger readers or to be read to them. Each story was enjoyable to read as, as an adult you could put things into context and imagine the animals as ‘types’ of people or personalities you may come across in life. As I read I hoped each story would have some kind of ‘moral of the story is’, that adults could take away. While I really enjoyed reading them all, and they were certainly entertaining, I found it hard to pick up a moral or lesson! Or what I could really show my son or a younger person as a ‘moral’ in life. Really for me this short read was all about entertainment factor, it was an okay read. I would read more of these short stories if the author were to publish more, but I’d love to have more deep and meaningful endings. That said they held me interest and I would recommend it as a short, quick read to pass some time, or when you fancy something more light-hearted to read. Three stars from me.

Book Review: Trans D (Conspiracy Theory Thriller) Book #2 4 Stars!

#100BooksChallenge book #12, now I read the prologue to this and that was a five star read! I enjoyed this also, and will read the next part. I came across this cover via book promo and clicked for more info, really glad I did! Free to read on Kindle Unlimited too.

About The Book:

Perfect career. Perfect family. Perfect life. Until it isn’t…
Find out why your fellow thriller-lovers can’t put this book down for even one second.

Gary Davis is dumb-struck on a flight en route to Namibia on the African continent. The man who had been sitting next to him has apparently vanished into thin air. The more he insists that he was not alone, the more frustrated the flight attendants become. They are adamant that Gary had been alone since he set foot on the plane.

Frustrated, Gary scoffs as his mind takes him back to the conversation he had had with William the previous night. Eventually, he convinces himself that his imagination is simply running wild. That is, until William makes another appearance… This time, though, William claims to be someone else.

This is the first installment of Rhiley McCabe’s Broken Reality series.

Now don’t get me wrong I loved part two as much as part one! The only surprise was that a lot of what’s covered in part one– the prologue I also read here! So for me the story I was familiar with, and really wanted a bit more progression. That said if you’ve not read the first part this is an excellent starting place. As with part one I enjoyed in part two all the characters, plot, the witty banter, location, and the way the author built up the ‘oh wow what happens next’ feeling! Overall this is for sure a series I will read all the books of, hands down. It’s also a series I recommend to lovers of fast paced thrillers, with twists, turns, and the unexpected. It’s very unique in a sense that ‘Trans D’ is a conspiracy theory about control of the population, and makes links to a ‘virus’ that causes some deaths. So very fitting for the times that we’re living in, in 2021. Give this a try if you like to follow plots that are closely plotted, fast, engaging, and love different locations in the world. The fact that it takes place in Africa is thrilling to me! I can’t wait to see what happens next. 4 really good stars.

Book Review: Broken Reality (Conspiracy Theory Thriller Series #1) 5 stars!

#100BooksChallenge book #11 this is a free download and I really do recommend it! I came across this author via book promo and clicked on the cover to learn more. So glad I did. This was a bite sized read that I whipped through in one read, then read book #2 (review to follow) straight away.

About The Book:

Gary Davis has everything going for him. His wife is a loving, supportive gem and his kids adore him. And he’s about to close an important deal for the family business. It’s the biggest deal of his life; one that will change his life forever—so says his mother.

On his way to the wild African continent to close the deal, the unexplainable happens: the man who had been sitting next to him on the plane disappears. The flight attendants, however, are adamant that Gary had been alone during the entire flight.

As his perception of reality shifts and his world falls apart in a foreign country, Gary turns to the only person he feels he can trust—Amanda Tait. Unsure of Gary’s intentions, she decides to help him figure out what’s happening to him.

Broken Reality: The Prequel is the introduction to Rhiley McCabe’s exciting new five-part mystery thriller series.

Step into Gary Davis’ tumultuous world, where all is not what it seems…

I really didn’t know what to expect this this novella, I saw the book cover for part two first but decided to read the prologue first. It’s definitely a fast paced thriller with lots of action, engaging dialogue and like-able characters. To me the character Gary seemed very British from his banter and talk, it was not until later I realised he is not. William, the other main character, is also very witty and like-able. The story takes place mainly from when Gary is on the plane, and there’s a blur over what’s real and what’s not. I really enjoyed the characters, plot, even the jumping around in storytelling. Which some may feel is ‘choppy’, but I found that it really helped to show the ‘black outs’ of memory that Gary was experiencing. I also loved the idea of going to Africa on a mission in this fast paced thriller. The author does a good job at engaging you and keeping you turning pages. Overall, I feel like I’ve found a series that I really would like to follow and read more of. It seems like each book is a bite sized short story that progresses so here goes! Five stars I recommend this free download as a good introduction to the author’s writing and the series.

Giveaway Time For Writers! #amwriting #giveaway

I feel so blessed I’ve decided I’m doing a giveaway for writers. Later this year, I have the chance to teach an ongoing ‘master class’ to paying students on romance and fiction writing! My babies have gotten me noticed. To celebrate the publishing of the third book ( far right-hand side), and the new venture I’m doing a signed copy giveaway.

Here’s the link to enter and pick your book. Good luck.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/75108b4123/?

Book Review: ‘Across the River’ (Historical Fiction Novella) 5 ‘wow’ stars!

#100BooksChallenge book #10! This is a FREE DOWNLOAD on Amazon as I write this, the first book of a three part series and wow! It was so enjoyable, as soon as I finished I downloaded parts two and three.

About the Book

Part black. Part Irish. Part Lumbee Indian.

Wholly determined to protect her family.

Naomi Jackson made a mistake. Born in the tumultuous years following the American Revolution, she embraced change, excitement, and adventure. So when the Devil Bill Williams swaggered into town, she launched into his arms, determined that her love for him could overcome all obstacles.

It couldn’t.

Now she has two young children, a life of misery, and a hopeless, desperate desire to escape.

Then David Oxendine arrives for a Christmas visit – and things will never be the same.

* * *

Across the River – an 1800s Black / Native American Novella is the first in a series of novellas about Naomi Jackson’s heartfelt, challenging life. These stories are based loosely on author Lisa Shea’s real-life ancestor, Naomi Jackson, who was born in 1784 in Guilford County, North Carolina. Naomi’s father had been taken from Northern Ireland as a child, while her mother was mixed-blood black, Lumbee, and Irish. Each novella has a cliff-hanger ending, much like Naomi’s life.

All proceeds from the Naomi Jackson series benefits local battered women’s shelters.

An important note for readers of my various series. Normally my content is quite “clean” with little to no swearing, violence, or physical intimacy. With this being based on the immense hardships my ancestor struggled through, I wanted to be authentic to the issues she rose above. This book therefore includes period-appropriate harsh language as well as several scenes of conflict. I gave a great deal of thought to including these and feel they are necessary to fully convey the trials she overcame. I apologize to those who feel uncomfortable reading that style of material.

Please feel free to contact me at my website if you have any questions or comments – I thrive on your feedback.

Five ‘wow’ stars!

This was a very quick read, around two hours a novella length story, that packs a real punch for the length. I found the author’s storytelling and writing style to be very engaging, it kept me turning pages. If there’s one thing I love, it’s a well crafted fearless female, stuck in a hard situation but determined to get out. Especially if there’s children involved. Naomi Jackson to me was exactly that as I read, and given the historical setting she’s in this made it even more powerful and interesting to read her story. I found Naomi Jackson really like-able from the start, I felt for her and the sacrifices she made to ensure simple things her children had. I also admire the way she had to be so smart with Bill (her partner). He may have ‘felt he was in control’ really Naomi was – manipulation, so she could do what she needed to do.

Across the River touches on an aspect of history not often spoken about, not only were people of colour used as slaves by whites, so were white Irish people. Of course, I knew this myself, this is often why people of colour and Irish people ‘bond’, because they both were mistreated by whites historically. I liked this, it’s not shown enough or even recalled in history that this demographic of people suffered too.

This for me was a very gripping story, I just knew I’d enjoy it and the author didn’t fail to deliver! As soon as I finished the book I downloaded the other two with a feeling of, ‘wow what happens next?’ Normally I don’t like cliff-hangers but if done well, and the book managed to grip me enough without a conclusion at the end then I don’t mind! It’s a hands down 5 star read from me. I recommend this series starter Across The River, if you love historical fiction, love reading strong females, or love to read about different historical experiences. Give Across the River a Try.

New Release Romance Anthology: ‘Summer Singles’

Title: Summer Singles Anthology 
Authors: Dani René, Dorothy Ewels, Sophia Karlson, Stella Blanche, Pippa Lux, Pravina Maharaj, Georgia Lyn Hunter, Amanda Holly, Sevannah Storm, and Andie Patrick 
Genre: Steamy Summer Romances 
Release Date: March 18, 2021 
Cover Design: Raven Designs
The Romance Writer’s Organisation of South Africa brings you an anthology of steamy stories that will leave you hot under the collar and your Kindle melting. These stories are brought to you by our authors, both published and unpublished.
 
Welcome to a collection of bite-sized, Kindle-melting stories that will leave you salivating for more from these authors. Each story is a short, standalone, and ends in a HEA or HFN. This is a limited time anthology, so grab it before it’s gone for good!
 
Authors include: Dorothy Ewels, Sophia Karlson, Stella Blanche, Pippa Lux, Pravina Maharaj, Georgia Lyn Hunter, Amanda Holly, Sevannah Storm, Andie Patrick
HOSTED BY:

Book Review: ‘Broken Past’ by Cara. L. Silver (YA Romance) 4 Stars! #100BooksChallenge

This is for sure one for young adult lovers! It’s a powerful story if you enjoy this genre. This is book #9 of my #100BooksChallenge

About the book

California always seemed like the great place to start over, or so I thought. But my broken past continues to haunt me, even in the City of Angels.
Camden Carter, a mysterious law student, walks into my life and begins to shatter the walls that took my entire life to build.
Somehow, I end up right in the middle of a replication of my past that I can’t escape.
I was always fine being alone; I actually thrived in it, but I soon find out that Cam is the lover that I never knew I wanted.

Will I finally find the strength that I never knew I had?

4 lovely stars

From reading the blurb I had no idea the characters would be YA, so if you like your romance themes a little more mature, keep this in mind. Often I find it hard to connect with the female leads in this genre, being over thirty-five myself. However, Broken Past was a quick read, and it was enjoyable to see the trials and hardships of young love develop. Without giving spoilers ( I hate that), the story-line is one that will touch you. It follows a female lead who has been through a lot for her tender years. As I read and started to warm up to her, I did ‘feel for her’ and hoped she’d find her happy ever after with Cam. I would say the most enjoyable aspects for me in Broken Past was Cam, and the role he played in this young lady’s life. He’s a hero in every sense! I liked how he fraught for his girl, and really wanted to love her. I enjoyed the ‘wooing’ he did and how much he proved himself. It was also lovely to see the growth the main female character has, as she moves to a new city. It was a well-written story, if you love clean and sweet romance, enjoy following younger characters, and the different dynamics that this has compared to general romance, I would give this a try! 4 lovely stars from me. It’s free to read on Kindle Unlimited also.

Children’s Book Reviews: By Author Wanda .L. Roberts

I came across these two wonderful children’s books via Facebook. I thank the author for my review copies. All opinions are my own. I have to say they were both a very quick, good, and educational read for my son, and very entertaining there’s lots of activities thrown in!

About The Book: Join Pep Pep and Tara as they celebrate Tara’s first birthday!

This first book I’d give a solid five stars my son ( seven years old), loved it. We read through it together, well I read to him. He enjoyed listening to the party preparations and looking at the bold colour pictures. As well as the real life picture of a dog. The icing on the cake I think (for me as a parent) is that, this book has so many educational activities loaded at the back. From word-searches, spelling practice, and pictures related to the book to colour in. I really was impressed with the variety in the book, I didn’t expect it. Often I do see activities in the back of children’s books to help check a child’s comprehension, but this book is different. There’s a mixture of fun and education. Not just checking comprehension. I highly recommend the paperback version, so you can photo copy or use the activities directly from the book.

About the book: Join Tara and Pep Pep as they explore the local 911 academy and learn what to do in an emergency!

This book here, I’d give a solid four stars, I so wanted to give it five! But it’s the wider appeal that would have been lovely for both me and my son. This is because ‘911’ is the number used in the USA only, it would have been wonderful if there was reference to the different numbers used around the world. Or just a statement about this so children understand that. While my son was able to grasp the concept of the story and learn ‘what to do in an emergency,’ I had to change 911 to 999 for my part of the world. I understand that the author can’t reference the emergency number for every country, but reference to the difference around the world would be good educational learning , and easy for us parents to make the link that 911 is exclusive to the USA. However, this is a very educational book, and the serious concept of what to do in an emergency is well pitched to younger readers. There’s a wonderful variety of fun activities at the back. My son loved them all we printed them off. Overall four solid stars and I highly recommend this read also for children.