blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Dead Romantics – Ashley Poston

Florence Day is a ghost-writer with one big problem. She’s supposed to be penning swoon-worthy novels for a famous romance author but, after a bad break-up, Florence no longer believes in love. And when her strict (but undeniably hot) new editor, Benji Andor, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye.

Although when tragedy strikes and Florence has to head home, the last thing she expects to see is a ghost at her front door. Not just any ghost, however, but the stern form of her still very hot – yet now unquestionably dead – new editor.

As sparks start to fly between them, Florence tells herself she can’t be falling for a ghost – even an infuriatingly sexy one. But can Benji help Florence to realise love isn’t dead, after all?

My thoughts: this was lots of fun, complete with clever pop culture references and jokes, terrible puns and a love story that was a While You Were Sleeping, Ghost (yes all my references are old – I’m old!) and a touch of enemies to lovers (although they’re not enemies – more strangers with secrets).

Florence is highly strung, panicking and then her world crumbles and she has to return to her quaint home town (their mayor is a dog – why is that not a thing here? Replace Sadiq Khan with Fido!) and the family she hasn’t spent much time with since she left. And a ghost. It gets complicated.

I loved her best friend Rose, she was hilarious and Goth sister Alice, even her sweet brother Carter and his boyfriend Nicki. Everyone in Florence’s family are nice people, most of the town seems to be pretty nice. But they treated Florence badly and she left.

Her burgeoning relationship with Ben is tricky to say the least but in an excellent twist of fate, there may be hope yet.

Read it, cheer for Florence when she finally stands up to her awful ex, dance to Build Me Up, Buttercup, and enjoy. It’s very charming.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Lost in Time – A.G. Riddle

Control the past.

Save the future.

One morning, Dr. Sam Anderson wakes up to find that the woman he loves has been murdered.

For Sam, the horror is only beginning.

He and his daughter are accused of the crime. The evidence is ironclad. They will be convicted.

And so, to ensure his daughter goes free, Sam does what he must: he confesses.

But in the future, murderers aren’t sent to prison.

Thanks to a machine Sam helped invent, the world’s worst criminals are now sent to the past – approximately 200 million years into the past, to the dawn of the time of the dinosaurs – where they must live out their lives alone, in exile from the human race.

Sam accepts his fate.

But his daughter doesn’t.

Adeline Anderson has already lost her mother to a deadly, unfair disease. She can’t bear to lose her father as well.

So she sets out on a quest to prove him innocent. And to get him back. People around her insist that both are impossible tasks.

But Adeline doesn’t give up. She only works harder.

She soon learns that impossible tasks are her specialty. And that she is made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As she peels back the layers of the mystery that tore her father from this world, Adeline finds more questions than answers. Everyone around her is hiding a secret. But which ones are connected to the murder that exiled her father?

That mystery stretches across the past, present, and future – and leads to a revelation that will change everything

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Wolfsong – T.J. Klune

A Green Creek Novel.

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega. Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

My thoughts: this was good stuff. Most werewolves are born, not bitten, especially the Bennetts, an old clan, returned home after years away. Ox lives on the same remote road and his connection to them is almost instantaneous. Especially to Joe.

The pain of their bond and then separation fuels the story – as Joe seeks revenge and Ox must hold the homestead, and the broken remains of their family, their pack, together. Joe’s return changes everything. And their connection sparks.

A bittersweet love story between two young men forced to grow up fast, and the family they find. I loved it.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Dying Breath – Liz Mistry

The killer is closing in… can she find him before he finds her?
When Detective Nikki Parekh receives a set of threatening postcards, she knows it can only mean one thing… The man who escaped arrest after murdering her mother two years ago is back.
Each postcard has a similar message: You’re next Parekh.
As the post marks on the cards gradually get closer to Bradford, Nikki must do everything she can to protect her family and catch the killer before it’s too late.
But when human remains are found in a remote barn on the icy Yorkshire moors, Nikki’s attention is pulled away from her family. When a tattoo on the victim’s arm – the only means of identification –
leads nowhere, the team have already met a dead end.

Buy Buy


Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with
three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats and a huge extended family later, Liz uses
her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’
whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity
University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts
herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also
teaches creative writing too. Liz has completed a PhD in Creative Writing on Diverse voices in crime fiction.
In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire
landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.

Twitter: @LizMistryAuthor / Facebook: @LizMistryBooks / Website: lizmistry.com

My thoughts: Nikki Parakh is back, and not a moment too soon. Her evil biological father is closer than ever, breathing down her neck, but she’s not allowed to pursue him. Instead she’s hunting the owner of an arm found in an abandoned barn, probably connected to illegal dog fights.

As the team try to find the arm’s body, and join the wider operation into the dog fighting ring, Nikki takes her eye off the ball at home, with potentially deadly consequences.

As gripping, clever and twisting as always, both cases are shocking and brutal, but it’s nice to finally be getting somewhere with the over arcing plot regarding Nikki’s terrible monster father. He needs to pay for the awful things he’s done.

Hopefully there won’t be too many repercussions for Nikki – emotionally or at work, she’s dedicated but distracted and that could go badly. Only book 6 will tell!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Bleeding – Johana Gustawsson, translated by David Warriner

1899, Belle Époque Paris. Lucienne’s two daughters are believed dead when her mansion burns to the ground, but she is certain that her girls are still alive and embarks on a journey into the depths of the spiritualist community to find them.

1949, Post-War Québec. Teenager Lina’s father has died in the French Resistance, and as she struggles to fit in at school, her mother introduces her to an elderly woman at the asylum where she works, changing Lina’s life in the darkest way imaginable.

2002, Quebec. A former schoolteacher is accused of brutally stabbing her husband – a famous university professor – to death. Detective Maxine Grant, who has recently lost her own husband and is parenting a teenager and a new baby single-handedly, takes on the investigation. Under enormous personal pressure, Maxine makes a series of macabre discoveries that link directly to historical cases involving black magic and murder, secret societies and spiritism … and women at breaking point, who will stop at nothing to protect the ones they love.

Born in Marseille, France, and with a degree in Political Science, Johana Gustawsson has worked as a journalist for the French and Spanish press and television. Her critically acclaimed Roy & Castells series, including Block 46, Keeper and Blood Song, has won the Plume d’Argent, Balai de la découverte,Balai d’Or and Prix Marseillais du Polar awards, and is now published in 28 countries. A TV adaptation is currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production. The Bleeding – number one bestseller in France and the first in a new series – will be published in 2022. Johana lives on the west coast of Sweden with her Swedish husband and their three sons.

My thoughts: I don’t really know how to explain this genre bending book. It is very, very good. It weaves several disparate plots together in a clever and highly enjoyable way. It made my head itchy, in a good way, as detectives uncover a sinister secret life in the house of a retired school teacher and her professor husband. They’re plunged into arcane knowledge and a deep held belief in satanism, witchcraft and magic. A belief and practices that go back centuries, that unite the ancient and modern and that have been kept secret and hidden.

The three women – Lucienne, Lina and Maxine are each learning about these things, in very different times and contexts, attracted or repulsed by the things they see. Their stories are different, but much connects them.

I think this is definitely a book you need to read to understand, and then read again and again in case you missed something. It’s gripping and compelling and a little shocking. And, as I said, very, very good.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor – Bianca Marais

The House in the Cerulean Sea meets The Golden Girls in this funny, tender, and uplifting feminist tale of sisterhood featuring a coven of aging witches who must unite their powers to fight the men determined to drive them out of their home and town.

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Summoned by an alarm, five octogenarian witches gather around Ursula when danger is revealed to her in a vision. An angry mob of townsmen is advancing with a wrecking ball, determined to demolish Moonshyne Manor and Distillery. All eyes turn to Queenie—as the witch in charge, it’s her job to reassure them—but she confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments and property taxes. Queenie has been counting on Ruby’s return in two days to fix everything. Ruby is the only one who knows where the treasure is hidden, those valuable artifacts stolen 33 years ago on the night when everything went horribly wrong. Why didn’t clairvoyant Ursula see this coming sooner? Wasn’t Ivy supposed to be working her botanical magic to keep the townsmen in a state of perpetual drugged calm, all while Jezebel quelled revolts through seductive bewitchment?

The mob is only the start of the witches’ troubles. Brad Gedney, a distant cousin of Ivy, is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy that was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. And things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. In a race against time, the women have nine days to save their home and business. The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but fear their aging powers are no match against increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of extra help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender, and uplifting, THE WITCHES OF MOONSHYNE MANOR explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family, and unlikely friendships. Marais’ true power is her clever prose that offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity, and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Both heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you wonder: why were we taught to fear the witches, and not the men who burned them? Above all, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh (Putnam, 2017 and 2019). She teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021. A believer in the power of storytelling in advancing social justice, Marais runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young Black women in Africa to write and publish their own stories, and is constantly fundraising to assist grandmothers in Soweto with caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2020, Marais started the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.

My thoughts: this was a really fun, funny and cheering book. I loved the coven of big hearted, if somewhat chaotic, women. They’re all such tremendous characters, each utterly different but totally connected and supporting of each other. Their complicated past and the tragedies that brought them to Moonshyne Manor have made them who they are, and kept them somewhat separate from the rest of the world – something Persephone is frantically bringing up to date in her attempts to help them save their home, their magic, and their lives.

A supporting cast of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, canine edition, a talking crow who translates for Tabby, and various plants, animals, horrible men (especially that Brad person) and magic gone awry, makes this a unique, heartwarming, fun and charming read. I think I want to play bilious, but it sounds rather dangerous! Loved it.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Salt Crystals – Cristina Bendek, translated by Robin Myers

San Andrés rises gently from the Caribbean, part of Colombia but closer to Nicaragua, the largest island in an archipelago claimed by the Spanish, colonized by the Puritans, worked by slaves, and home to Arab traders, migrants from the mainland, and the descendents of everyone who came before. For Victoria – whose origins on the island go back generations, but whose identity is contested by her accent, her skin color, her years far away – the sun-burned tourists and sewage blooms, sudden storms, and ‘thinking rundowns’ where liberation is plotted and dinner served from a giant communal pot, bring her into vivid, intimate contact with the island she thought she knew, her own history, and the possibility for a real future for herself and San Andrés.

WINNER OF ELISA MÚJICA PRIZE FOR NOVELS (Colombia, 2018)

My thoughts: this was a really interesting book, I don’t know a huge amount about South America, let alone Colombia, and certainly not San Andreś. I think because it was mostly conquered by the Spanish, it just doesn’t get covered in British schools. Which is a shame, as this book demonstrates. The island has had a complex and tumultuous history, being settled by various colonisers (including the British – no surprise there) seeking a foothold in the Caribbean.

As Victoria starts to trace her family’s history, exploring her deep connection to the island, she uncovers a rich and often quite dark history. Her ancestors were involved in settling the island – but they brought slaves with them, to farm sugar, as with much of the Caribbean, and she is both horrified and intrigued by the people she’s descended from.

The modern island is not without its problems either – arguments about water, sewage, pollution and land rage around her, she’s drawn into the politics by her friends, despite her late parents never really getting involved, she feels she should, after all it’s her home too.

Challenging and questioning history, this is a slim and intelligent book. Despite the serious nature of some of the things Victoria is learning, the tone is light and never hectoring. You feel Victoria’s surprise and horror as she uncovers the truth about her family, but also her affection for these long dead relatives. Emotions are never black or white, as Victoria learns, like the past, it’s more complicated. But as she looks to the future, to her future on San Andreś, there’s hope too, by understanding her history, she can look to shape a better future.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Black Hearts – Doug Johnstone

The Skelf women live in the shadow of death every day, running the family funeral directors and private investigator business in Edinburgh. But now their own grief interwines with that of their clients, as they are left reeling by shocking past events. A fist-fight by an open grave leads Dorothy to investigate the possibility of a faked death, while a young woman’s obsession with Hannah threatens her relationship with Indy and puts them both in mortal danger. An elderly man claims he’s being abused by the ghost of his late wife, while ghosts of another kind come back to haunt Jenny from the grave … pushing her to breaking point. As the Skelfs struggle with increasingly unnerving cases and chilling danger lurks close to home, it becomes clear that grief, in all its forms, can be deadly…

Doug Johnstone is the author of twelve novels, most recently The Great Silence, described as ‘A novel [that] underlines just how accomplished Johnstone has become’ by the Daily Mail. He has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year three times, and the Capital Crime Best Independent Voice one; The Big Chill was longlisted for Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions, and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

My thoughts: I’m very much #TeamSkelf so I loved this fourth outing for the intrepid women of Skelf Funerals and Private Investigations – even if the second half of that business seems to run on Dorothy’s altruism and not money.

There’s several cases on the board this time, and Jenny’s starting to crack up too, especially after a body, that might be scumbag ex-husband Craig, washes up.

Hannah’s got a stalker, Dorothy’s helping two very different men deal with their grief, Indy’s keeping the paying business going and Schrodinger the cat’s just, well, being a cat. It never slows down in Skelf-land!

Tremendous fun as always, I raced through it, laughing all the way. Now I have to wait for the next one (please be a next one).

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own

books, blog tour

Blog Tour: Island of Dreams – Harry Duffin

IslandofDream copy

Welcome to the book tour for historic fiction novel, Island of Dreams by Harry Duffin. Due for release early this Winter!

Island of dreams v4b

Island of Dreams

Expected Publication Date: December 1st, 2022

Genre: Historical Thriller/ Historical Romance

A love story set against the backdrop of the 1950’s Cuban Revolution.     

In May 1939, when Professor Carl Mueller, his wife, Esther, and their three children flee Nazi Germany, and find refuge on the paradise island of Cuba, they are all full of hopes and dreams for a safe and happy future.

But those dreams are shattered when Carl and Esther are confronted by a ghost from their past, and old betrayals return to haunt them.

The turbulent years of political corruption leading to Batista’s dictatorship, forces the older children to take very different paths to pursue their own dangerous dreams.

And – among the chaos and the conflict that finally leads to Castro’s revolution and victory in 1959, an unlikely love begins to grow – a love that threatens the whole family.

Having escaped a war-torn Europe, their Island of Dreams is to tear them apart forever.

Coming Soon!

Excerpt

May 1939, Havana, Cuba

‘It’s so warm, Papa. It’s still night, but it’s so warm!’

Professor Carl Mueller smiled down at his daughter, holding his hand at the rail of the  S.S. St Louis, the ship that had been their refuge, their salvation, as it slipped slowly through the darkness towards the sleeping city. A sense of relief washed over him, like the caress of the tropical breeze.

‘We’re in the Tropics, Anna. It’s always warm here.’

Anna gazed at the shimmering lights of the city strung out along the shore. ‘Look! It’s like one of Mama’s diamond necklaces!’

‘She hasn’t got them anymore!’ snapped her elder brother, Hans, in German. ‘We had to sell them to get on the boat!’

‘Because of your stupid Nazis!’ replied Anna fierily.

‘The Nazis are not stupid!’

‘Children, children, don’t fight!’ said their father firmly, but gently. ‘And please remember we must speak English now.’

Hans snorted his annoyance, but said nothing.

As the deep throb of the engines slackened below their feet, they fell quiet. The scent of wet palms and exotic blooms filled Anna’s nostrils. She breathed deeply. At twelve years old her life was beginning again. She breathed deeply once more. It was the smell of freedom.

‘It looks so beautiful, Papa. Our new home.’

‘It isn’t our home!’ retorted Hans. His father looked at him. Hans continued in English. ‘Germany is our home, isn’t it, Father! Our Fatherland.’

‘Perhaps one day, my son, it will be again. Until then…’ Professor Mueller’s voice tailed off.

‘I want to explore everything, Papa!’ Anna said excitedly. ‘I shall learn Spanish and learn everything about Cuba!’

Her father smiled at her again, but beneath the smile there was deep sadness. There was one person who could teach Anna everything about the island. A charming, lively, intelligent man who would make the perfect guide to their new home. He didn’t know if the man had ever returned to the island, his home, but if he had, Carl Mueller fervently hoped that they would never meet him.

The cab splashed to a halt, waking Freddie Sanchez as he was thrown against the back of the driver’s seat. Streetlights dazzled him from the wet, empty sidewalk. He felt disorientated and a little sick. That last daiquiri was one too many. The last half dozen, really.

‘Thank you, Carlos,’ he muttered, groping for the door handle.  ‘Put it on my tab.’

‘Señor Sánchez –‘

‘Mañana, Carlos. Mañana, I promise.’

‘I have a family to keep, Senor Sanchez –‘

‘You’re a lucky man, Carlos. A lucky man. I have no one.’

He stumbled from the cab, ignoring the muttered Spanish oath behind his back. Freddie understood. Being half-Cuban, of course he understood. But at such moments he leaned on his English side and played the colonial.

The cab squealed into a turn and roared back along the deserted sea-front towards the casinos.

Leaning against the harbour wall to support himself, Freddie remembered falling headlong down the stairs of the Hotel Nacional, and the young policeman catching him, saving him from breaking his neck.

‘You have to be more careful, Senor Sanchez’, said the young man as he helped him to a taxi.

‘Thanks, Ramos,’ he had said. ‘I’m…er, just a little tired.’

Freddie recalled the flash of gleaming white teeth, the sarcastic smile. Why did he still pretend with people like Ramos, who must know as many gutter secrets as anyone on the island. Ramos could care less about him being a drunk, so why did Freddie pretend? Perhaps because the years of excess still hadn’t quite left their tell-tale traces, and the last thing to leave him was his vanity. From his medical training, Freddie knew he’d been born lucky. He had a constitution like the sea wall he was leaning against. Solid, resistant, able to take anything that life threw at him. In body at least, if not in mind. Certainly not in mind.

The klaxon on the S.S. St Louis broke into his self-pity. Out in the dark ocean, like a birthday cake ablaze with candles, the S.S. St Louis stole into the arms of the harbour, the smoke from its stacks ghostly wraiths against the night sky. It looked as if it was headed straight towards the second-floor window of his tiny room by the harbour.

Nearly a thousand refugees, the papers said, escaping from the Nazis. German families like the one he once knew as a student in London. Where were they now? Safe, he was certain. Professor Carl Mueller’s family would be safe…Despite the warmth of the night, at the thought of that family, Freddie shivered. After so many years, the cold chill of self-disgust still lingered.

About the Author

Selfie 002 - Copy (2)

Harry is an award-winning UK screenwriter, who won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial, while writing for Granada Television’s ‘CORONATION STREET’. Before that, in 1985, he was on the first writing team for the BBC’s ‘EASTENDERS’.

Before beginning his career writing drama for television, Harry spent a dozen years working in British theatre, as stage manager, writer, designer and director, working with actors such as Nigel Hawthorne, Anne Reid and Lesley Manville.

After script-editing the BBC’s HOWARDS’WAY, he freelanced for series like DISTRICT NURSE, THE BILL, BOON, THE BRETTS, EMMERDALE.

In 1994 he became Head of Development at the UK independent company, Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment. As the script executive he was responsible for seven major television series, included ‘SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON’ starring RICHARD ‘JOHN BOY’ THOMAS, and ‘TWIST IN THE TALE’, featuring WILLIAM SHATNER. He also wrote the film, RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND.

In 1998 he was the co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘THE TRIBE’, which ran for five series, numbering 260 episodes. ‘THE TRIBE’ has been sold world-wide, and all series is on YouTube.

His first novel, CHICAGO MAY, is the first book of a two-part series.  He has also written JAIL TALES, about his wife’s 20 year career in the prison service, and the novel BIRTH OF THE MALL RATS, the prequel to THE TRIBE.

He has just finished his third novel, ISLAND OF DREAMS, to be published on December 1st 2022.

Harry Duffin

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Old Sins – Lynne Handy

OldSins copy

Welcome to the book tour for Old Sins by Lynne Handy! Read on for more details and exclusive excerpt!

OLD SINS - cover

Old Sins (A Maria Pell Mystery)

Publication Date: August 23rd, 2022

Genre: Thriller

Battered by her archeologist lover’s betrayal, poet Maria Pell flees to an Irish village to study prehistoric people and write her next volume of poetry, but her sanctuary is invaded first by her moody cousin and then by her Togolese lover who unexpectedly show up on her doorstep. When the discovery of a girl’s body on a rocky shore reawakens Maria’s devastating childhood memory of finding a dead baby floating in a stream, her days become haunted by this child’s death. As teenage girls disappear, villagers are terrified that sex-traffickers are targeting their community. With crimes to be solved, both past and present, Maria risks her life to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Excerpt

In the summer of 1988 when I was ten, I found a baby girl caught in the cattails of a stream running through my parents’ property. At first, I thought she was another baby Moses waiting to be discovered in the bulrushes. It was when I knelt to free her from the fronds that I saw her ashen face, her vacant eyes, and knew she was dead.
I see it all in slow motion now: I, in a yellow sundress, scrambling to my feet, knowing something was horribly wrong that a baby had been thrown in the creek. I ran toward my house crying, “There’s a dead baby in the creek!”
My academician father was sitting in the porch swing, reading a newspaper. He threw it down and came running. The kitchen door banged behind my mother. “John? What is it?”
I ran to her and pressed my face against her chest.“It’s a dead baby,” I sobbed.“She’s wearing a pink dress.”
“A pink dress?” My mother folded her arms around me and stared after my father, who admonished her to stay where she was. I’m sure my mother looked at the baby afterward, but not on the day that I found her.
No one ever claimed her. No one ever admitted throwing her in the creek. The town called her Baby Doe. The coroner said she’d been alive when she went in the water. She had been a throwaway child. Until finding her, I had not known that children could be so unloved they would be discarded. I was so distressed that my parents sent me to a psychiatrist who told my mother that I had merged my psyche with that of the unwanted infant and feared no one would ever want me.
How many times during my childhood had my mother asked if I knew how much she and my father loved me? Taken literally, it was a difficult question to answer, so I had kept silent. How do you measure love? Fear of abandonment helped form the woman I became, and in some ways, I remained stuck emotionally in my tenth year.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Lynne Handy author photo

The eldest child in a farm family, I grew up in western Indiana where the tall corn drove me inward to create fantasy worlds. Books were my salvation. I was drawn to poetry in the beginning. Wordsworth and other poets taught me that metaphor, sound, and cadence made a good poem. From authors like Dickens, I learned that rhythmic sentences advanced plot. Hemingway taught me about verbs. Upon graduating from library school, I worked as a librarian in Illinois, Texas, and Michigan. In retirement, I co-founded Open Sky Poets, a collaboration of poets in the western suburbs of Chicago, and published poems and short stories in literary journals. I self-published three novels—two are mysteries. Current projects involve a mystery series with author Jake Westin, who, like Christie’s Miss Marple, somehow lands in the middle of murder investigations. I live in a brick house with roses in front and two rescue dogs who bark at passersby.

Lynne Handy | Twitter | Instagram

Facebook | BookBub | Goodreads

My thoughts: this was a really interesting book, the way the past and present kept colliding in Maria’s life, the echo of the Baby Doe case from her childhood that still haunted her as an adult and the current murders and disappearances that brought it back up. Her relationship with her cousin Elizabeth was also intriguing – they were sharing the cottage but seemed to be very different and even uncomfortable with each other, not as close as you might expect really.

The presence of her estranged husband presented more past reflected into the present. She was still undecided on her feelings for him and yet they were connected by the tragedies and their interest in Irish history.

As more teenage girls were kidnapped and tensions among the community grew, the book gets tenser, Maria’s outsider status makes it hard for her to connect but she involves herself in the case, pushing to find out the fate of these children. As though doing so would resolve the Baby Doe case that troubles her. Clever and twisting, the answers buried in the past still haunting the present.

Book Tour Schedule

September 26th

R&R Book Tours (Kick-Off) http://rrbooktours.com

@books_inthecity (Review) https://www.instagram.com/books_inthecity/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

@genoviareadingco (Review) https://www.instagram.com/genoviareadingco/

@readitandsteep_ (Review) https://www.instagram.com/readitandsteep_/

September 27th

@jacleomik33 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jacleomik33/

@gryffindorbookishnerd (Review) https://www.instagram.com/gryffindorbookishnerd/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

@better_0ff_read (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/better_0ff_read/

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

September 28th

@mels_booksandhooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mels_booksandhooks/

@evelovesbooks_travel_art (Review) https://www.instagram.com/evelovesbooks_travel_art/

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

@fle_d (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/fle_d

September 29th

@bookish_elise (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookish_elise/

@mysticforestcrafts (Review) https://www.instagram.com/mysticforestcrafts/

Bunny’s Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Sadie’s Spotlight (Spotlight) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

September 30th

@amber.bunch_author (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amber.bunch_author/

@amysbooknook8 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amysbooknook8/

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

Book Reviews by Taylor (Review) https://www.bookreviewsbytaylor.com/

@bookscoffeehappiness (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookscoffeehappiness/

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours