Family by Owen Mullen/ Blog Tour Rachel’sRandomResources Boldwood Books/ Crime Author Family/ London Gangland

Family

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

In the Glass family, Owen Mullen has created a crime dynasty to rival the Richardsons and the Krays. Heart-pounding, jaw-dropping with non-stop action, Family is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/37rHomR

MY THOUGHTS:

Well when I was offered a place on this tour I jumped at it. I’m not ashamed to say it, I love this author and his books. With Owen you know you are going to get a great story and you are in for a great ride. I first became aware of Owen’s writing with his Charlie Cameron series and apart from that spanning three books he seems to have switched to standalones but this has not affected the quality of his writing, in fact it has improved it! Enough of the bias and let’s get onto the latest adventure.

With Family Owen has ventured in to the murky and treacherous waters of gangland London. Think of the Krays brought up to date. If you like Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller this would be a book for you . In fact I would say that you would love it!

The book starts with a bang, literally when gang boss Danny Glass’s wife and daughter are killed in a car explosion. This sends younger brother Luke off to hunt down who he has been told was responsible. Rival boss Anderson. He catches up with him and pushes him to his death. But because they’re no witnesses Luke is given seven years for manslaughter.

Luke is released from prison but does not turn up for his welcome home party. His intention is to leave the family business and go straight. Easier said than done. Danny finds him and tells him in no uncertain terms that he is part of Team Glass.

Add to the mix younger sister Nina and the gang accountant who have two things in common. Firstly they both like sex and secondly swindling Danny out of money’

Events take place that set brother against brother and Nina must pick a side. Which side will she pick? This is when the story really ramps up and has you turning the pages furiously!

Apart from the usual gangland shenanigans of violence, drugs, vice and bent coppers, Owen has written a book with much more depth than the usual crime book. He explores the reasons behind the violence. THIS IS A PLUNGE INTO THE MIND AND DEPETHS OF A PSYCHOPATH! You better hope you can make it back to the surface. I JUST DID!

Thanks to Owen for the story, Boldwood Books for the ARC and Rachel Gilbey for the tour invite.

Author Bio –

When he was ten years old, Owen Mullen won a primary schools short story competition and didn’t write another word for four decades. One morning he announced he was going to write a book. He did. Since then he has written seven. Owen was born in Coatbridge, a few miles from Glasgow, where the Charlie Cameron stories take place, and where he ran a successful design and marketing business. A late developer, he has a Masters degree from Strathclyde University which he got in his forties. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. People tell him he enjoyed himself and he has no reason to doubt them. The journey from rocker to writer has been a fascinating experience and the similarities between the music and book industries, never cease to amaze him. His passions are travel, food and Arsenal Football Club. A gregarious recluse, he now splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete, along with his wife, Christine.

Twitter https://twitter.com/OwenMullen6

Facebook https://m.facebook.com/OwenMullenAuthor

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/owenmullen6/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCirKpr7Dzji0x-0teu2nhqw BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/owen-mullen

There’s Only One Danny Garvey by David F. Ross. Orenda Books Blog Tour@RandomThingsTours Football and Mental Health.

THE BOOK
Danny Garvey was a sixteen-year old footballing prodigy. Professional
clubs clamoured to sign him, and a glittering future beckoned.
And yet, his early promise remained unfulfilled, and Danny is back
home in the tiny village of Barshaw to manage the struggling junior
team he once played for. What’s more, he’s hiding a secret about a
tragic night, thirteen years earlier, that changed the course of several
lives. There’s only one Danny Garvey, they once chanted … and that’s
the problem.
A story of irrational hopes and fevered dreams – of unstoppable passion
and unflinching commitment in the face of defeat – There’s Only One
Danny Garvey is, above all, an unforgettable tale about finding hope
and redemption in the most unexpected of places

MY THOUGHTS:

Danny Garvey was a promising young footballer playing for junior team Barnshaw Bridge somewhere in Ayrshire, who a sixteen found the big time calling when he was signed by Aberdeen. But tragedy strikes when a career ending injury hits him. This effectively ends his career and he finds himself sliding down the football pyramid and coaching the Arbroath youth team. Then an opportunity to manage Barnshaw Bridge comes up and he grabs it. Why? He is getting paid less than he did at Arbroath. Maybe he sees it as a step up and he set out on the road to management. Apart from this it seems a strange choice. He is estranged from his mother Libby, his brother Raymond is in prison for vehicular manslaughter, Nancy his brother’s wife is struggling to bring up an autistic child. And then there’s Higgy, Barnshaw stalwart and possible surrogate father to Danny,

Ross tells this story well. The passion for football shines through. This is a story told primarily in the the first person narrative of Danny who has his memories which seem to be at odds with everyone around him. Each of the four main characters have a chapter named after them but it is Danny’s voice we hear with occasional input from the other characters.

You will find yourself in a dreary, rundown and struggling Ayrshire village; and nothing is struggling more than the local team. But Danny will fix this, starting with the team and everything else will fall into place. The only problem is how does he do this!

The more you inhabit Danny’s mind, the more you realise something is wrong. But with whom? He seems the only one in step and all the others are out of step. Or are they? Read on and find out. This is a story that grips and you find yourself wondering where it is going but you will find out!

This is a novel about football, mental health and toxic masculinity and where do you go when all around you is despair. A book I would recommend and you don’t need to be a football fan.

German Portraiture David F. Ross, architect and book writer from glasgow, scotland. shooting at the lovelace hotel in munich, may 24. 2018.

THE AUTHOR
David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in
Kilmarnock for over 30 years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh
School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day,
and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by
night. His debut novel The Last Days of Disco was shortlisted for the
Authors Club Best First Novel Award, and received exceptional
critical acclaim, as did the other two books in the Disco Days
Trilogy: The Rise & Fall of the Miraculous Vespas and The Man Who
Loved Islands. David lives in Ayrshire

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The Art Of Dying by Ambrose Parry Victorian Edinburgh/Historical Fiction/ Blog Tour @RandomThingsTours





A gripping historical novel of medicine & murder from bestselling author
Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman,
set in nineteenth-century Edinburgh

 
Edinburgh, 1849. Hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. And a campaign seeks to paint Dr James Simpson, pioneer of medical chloroform, as a murderer.
 
Determined to clear Simpson’s name, his protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher must plunge into Edinburgh’s deadliest streets and find out who or what is behind the deaths. Soon they discover that the cause of the deaths has evaded detection purely because it is so unthinkable.

‘A rip-roaring tale of murder amid the medical experiments of 19th-century
Edinburgh . . . brings both city and period to colourful life’
IAN RANKIN

MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW

A book written by the pairing of Chris Brookmyre and his wife Dr. Marisa Haetzman and is the follow up to the previous book The Way Of All Flesh. Both are set in Victorian Edinburgh and as well as starring fictional characters they also have characters that were true to the Edinburgh of this period.

The main protagonists are Will Raven and Sarah Fisher who appeared in the first book. The book really evokes the atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh,

Dr. James Simpson, pioneer of medical chloroform falls under suspicion of murder and using chloroform as the weapon. Will and Sarah must investigate to clear Dr. Simpson’s name.

But the book starts in Europe where will is involved in a scuffle in which a man dies. Will flees to Edinburgh and takes up a post as Dr. Simpson’s assistant he also has another surprise , the fact that Sarah is now married and is Mrs. Banks. Though reluctant to get involved with Sarah again must if they are to clear Dr. James Simpson of murder.

This is a book that reeks of the medical and social history of the time period. The writing is of a quality that puts you in the streets of Auld Reekie at this time period. You can literally jostle with the people in the crowded street and smell the effluence that runs in the open sewers. A well crafted story, well researched and both Chris and Marisa bring their wealth of expertise to this novel. A superb follow up to The Way Of All Flesh.

THE AUTHORS:

Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this series, which began with The Way of All Flesh, is based. The Way of All Flesh was shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

  • The Art of Dying will appeal to fans of C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris, Nicci French and historical crime fiction, as well of fans of Brookmyre’s own writing.
  • Contains real life characters and events, based on Marisa Haetzman’s research, including:
    • Dr James Simpson, pioneer of chloroform
    • An antagonist inspired by 19th-century nurse and ‘Angel of Death’ Jane Toppan
    • The controversy surrounding chloroform’s introduction to obstetrics practices
    • The growth of the women’s movement, which led to the formation of the
      Edinburgh Seven: the first women to enrol in university in the UK

Winterkill by Ragnar Jonnason Blog Tour/ Scandi Noir RandomThingsTours @Anne Cater

THE BOOK
Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the
northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic
ski slopes.
Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his
girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is
planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an
unsettling chill in the air.
Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from
the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary
suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local
nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his
room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of
her death…
As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access
to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible
truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.
Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion
to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar
Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS :

A dark, claustrophobic, slow burn of a book, with a satisfying conclusion. Winterkill is a bittersweet book in the Dark Iceland series. This is a book which I read as a stand alone and it worked quite well but I was aware of missing a lot of backstory which may have added to my enjoyment. I will reread this book after reading the previous five.

Winterkill is a sophisticated narrative, it is dealing with relevant issues in today’s society which makes it all the more emotive for the reader. It is very current. In terms of the subject matter Winterkill is quite a sad read. Exploring as it does the subject matter of grief. You identify with the characters and what they are living through in their lives.

There is a great sense of isolation in this book, both in the location and personal isolation, and detachment from their own lives and the lives of others. In fact isolation and detachment figure so large in this book that they may be considered characters in their own right.

Emotional, atmospheric and deeply unsettling, Winterkill is a poignant and engaging book. It is highly engaging read and also highly recommended.

Thanks to Ragnar Jonnason for the story

Orenda books for the ARC

and Anne Cater for the tour invite.

GET A COPY

THE AUTHOR
Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as
a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the
past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic
National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar
translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short
stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up
the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and
is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut
thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in
June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating
Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following
soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland
series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner. He lives in Reykjavík with
his wife and two daughters

Ripples From The Edge Of Life By Roland Chesters/ Blog Tour @RandomThingsTours/ Anne Cater Living with HIV and Aids Diagnosis

If, out of the blue, you were given just two weeks to live, how would you feel? What would you
do? How would you prepare for the end? Who would you tell – and how?
This was the terrible position Roland Chesters found himself in in the late summer of 2006. He
knew he was seriously ill – but had no idea he had both HIV and AIDS.
Luckily, Roland did not die. Expert medical help and his own determination not to give in saw him
through. His life, though, had changed for ever….
‘Ripples’ is Roland’s account of a life-changing diagnosis and the impact it had on him and those
around him – hence the title. But it is more than just a memoir. Roland’s story is not unique,
which is why ‘Ripples’ spreads outwards to give a voice to 13 other people who have undergone
similar traumatic diagnoses and survived.
This book contains wisdom, hope, humour and inspiration in equal measure. It is an essential
read for anyone living with a life-changing condition, and for those who support them.
With a foreword by Ian Green, CEO of The Terrence Higgins Trust, this book is a must-read for
anybody who is impacted by a shock diagnosis. Not only the person on the receiving end of the diagnosis, but those around them – family, friends, employers, carers, medical professionals.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was an outstanding read, A book that covers Roland’s journey. A journey of denial, anger, acceptance and deciding that his diagnosis and disease would not define him. In fact Roland does not refer to it as a disease but rather a disability.

The book is in three parts.
Part One:
From illness, diagnosis and working for himself and others. Testimonials from his partner, health workers and workmates.
Part Two:
The telling of his Diagnosis to his friends and their acceptance. And his work through various forums to help others living wit HIV and AIDS.
Part Three:
Testimonials from HIV and AIDS survivors and their stories

I could relate to this book in another level. the level of being diagnosed .by a life threatening disease. In 1998 I was diagnosed HepatitisC positive. I understood the fear, anger and the unknown. Luckily I was put on a clinical trial which in my case was successful.
Roland and other HIV positive are not so lucky. Whilst they can manage their condition as far as I’m aware there is no cure. I love Roland’s positivity and I recommend this book highly!

AUTHOR BIO:

Roland Chesters, author of Ripples from the Edge of Life.

Roland was born in the north of England to an English father and French mother and has lived most of his life in London after a somewhat rocky start in Paris. He graduated from the Royal Holloway College with a degree in Modern Languages way back in the last century, and after a variety of jobs in senior management in the private sector he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a language-testing specialist. Following a life-changing diagnosis of HIV and AIDS in 2006, he became a campaigner for disability rights. He subsequently enjoyed a number of different roles within the FCO as Diversity & Equality Officer and later Learning & Development Adviser, where he gained his L&D qualifications. There he was also elected Chair of the Disabled Staff Network and worked with the Civil Service Disability Network. He is now a self-employed Disability Development Consultant and has his own company, Luminate (www.luminate.uk.com).

Roland is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and of the Chartered Institute of Management as well as the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning. He is a qualified Mediator and currently sits on the Standards for Disability Mediation Working Group of the College of Mediators.  He is also a Motivational Speaker and a member of the Professional Speaking Association.

As a Consultant he says he “works with the person in the wheelchair to enable them to climb their highest mountain”. He collaborates with individuals who have become disabled later in life, organisations that employ them or want to employ them and agencies that support them. As a speaker he focuses on his own personal experiences to enable his audiences to reflect on how to overcome the challenges that we all face in our lives to make the most of the short time that we have. His motto is ‘Inspire, Educate, Challenge’.

Roland lives with his partner, Richard, in London and enjoys opera, classical music, theatre and fashion (his favourite item of clothing being a bright red corduroy suit). He fights boredom and normality with gusto, and says he is at his best when he’s made a positive impact on someone else’s life.

He is the author of the ‘Ripples from the Edge of Life’, which he says will be his one and only publication. The book was published by SilverWood Books in May 2018 and GScene said of it None of us know how many heartbeats we have left; facing mortality is a culturally difficult thing. Ripples gives us clear clarion voice after voice which shows us, gently but insistently, there are many ways of successfully navigating horrific times, and surviving.” With a foreword by Ian Green, CEO of the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV charity, ’Ripples’ chronicles how he and thirteen others have managed their diagnosis of HIV and, in some cases AIDS, the impact this has had on their lives and the lives of those around them.  The year of diagnosis ranges from 1984 to 2015 and it becomes clear through that timeline that although HIV may no longer be a death sentence, the impact of the diagnosis can still be completely devastating.  The stories come from both men and women, aged between mid-twenties to late-seventies and are testaments to the courage and resilience required to cope with the condition. HIV has not gone away. With over 100,000 people living with the condition in the UK, and that number continuing to grow, it remains one of the most stigmatised disabilities in the world.

WAT OTHERS SAY:

“Roland captures his powerful, personal story, and the stories of those who stood alongside him
on the way in a book that engages and inspires in equal measure.”
Grant Sugden, Chief Executive, Waverley Care
“Ripples – The impact of a life changing diagnosis” is an absorbing and moving testament to real
lives lived, and a tribute to lives lost, in a particular time and place in the story of HIV. As well as
telling his own story of how his life changed irrevocably on September 1st 2006, and the rippling
consequences of that for everyone in his life, Roland draws together the experiences of others
who have faced the same diagnosis across the 3 decades in which we have been responding to
HIV in the UK. The chapters are filled with eloquent voices that tell us how it is to live with HIV,
with all the ups and downs, the plusses and minuses. All experiences are reflected in these pages
and these are voices that deserve to be heard.”
Siobhán Lanigan, CEO, The Food Chain
“Ripples gives a unique insight into the emotional roller coaster of a HIV diagnosis and its life-long
impact. Reading the personal experiences was haunting and reinforces the importance of having
flexible HIV support services to meet the differing needs of each person and not making the
assumption that one size fits all. Definitely one of my top recommended reads.”
Steph Mallas, CEO. George House Trust, Manchester
“The accounts presented in this book are all to familiar to many of us within the National LongTerm Survivors Group (NLTSG), where we often hear from those more recently diagnosed HIV
Positive, that they take great solace from those who have gone through the worst of it. If this
Book does nothing else but to assist in breaking down the Stigma of a POSITIVE diagnosis, both
from others and onto ourselves, then it will have performed a powerful task.”
Tremaine Cornish, Trustee, NLTSG
“What Ripples does is shine a light on some of the people battling through life with HIV. These
honest life-changing stories are prime examples of the true faces of HIV. Each story made me
think about the person not the virus. It brought humanity to all the work we at GMFA are trying to
do. And humanity is the key to ending HIV and HIV stigma.
Roland has produced a wonderful book. These stories will touch your heart and engage your
mind. They remind me about what we all need to do to end HIV once and for all. I hope after you
read this book you raise a glass to all those we have lost to HIV and AIDS since the early 1980’s
and then drink to the thousands of people in the UK who are not only surviving but thriving while
living a healthy normal life. Our battle against HIV isn’t over yet but if we all come together we can end HVI

The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard/ Blog Tour/Orenda Books Quebec/ Fishing Community. @RandomThingsTours

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this beautiful, lyrical sequel to the critically acclaimed
We Were the Salt of the Sea, Detective Moralès finds
that a seemingly straightforward search for a missing
fisherwoman off Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula is anything but.
When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the
coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès
begins a straightforward search for the boat ’s missing
captain, Angel Roberts – a woman in a male-dominated
world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by
his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his
grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of
his own personal problems.
When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it ’s clear something
very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into
murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep…
An exquisitely written, evocative and poetic thriller, The
Coral Bride powerfully conjures the might of the sea and the
communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle
between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at
the heart of both.
MY THOUGHTS:

This book is ideal for people who like books set in small communities; with all that that entails. A mistrust of strangers and a setting where secrets are kept close to the heart and not divulged to others, especially those from the outside. A place not to turn up in, not if you have baggage of your own.

Such a man is Detective Moralès who thinks he is on a routine missing person case. It is anything but routine when the missing person turns up dead and he is quickly involved in a murder case. But his investigation is baulked at every turn. By the community closing ranks, by his fellow police officers and he finds himself up against a brick wall and he is stalled at every step of the investigation.

This is also compounded by the fact that his wife has left to return to the city and his son Sebastian, who is having his own problems, turns up and tries to reconnect with his estranged father.

Enough of the story. What I really like about this book is the writing.  This isn’t just a novel, it’s a song. An ode to the sea and the fishing community. You will feel as if you’re at the heart of this fascinating community and its dark side. The writing and translation are both of a quality that involves the reader in the story. Although a dark story it is not without its comedic moments. Roxanne writes a story that picks up on the minutiae Of small town communities. So a last word Recommended!

ABOUT ROXANNE BOUCHARD

Over ten years ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her
sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before
taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen
soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for
herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. Her fifth novel (first
translated into English) We Were the Salt of the Sea was published in 2018
to resounding critical acclaim, sure to be followed by its sequel, The Coral
Bride. She lives in Quebec.

Baghdad Central by Elliott Colla/ Blog Tour/ Gulf War/ Occupation Forces/ Random Things Tours Bitter Lemon Press/

ABOUT THE TALE:

The Book

Baghdad, November 2003. The occupation forces have disbanded the army and there is no police on the streets of Iraq. Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. Captured by the Americans and imprisoned in Abu Ghraib, Khafaji is offered one way out, helping the authorities rebuild the Iraqi Police Services. But it’s only after US forces take his daughter Mrouj that he figures out a way to make his surrender palatable, and even rewarding. Soon, he is investigating the disappearance of young translators working for the US Army.

Khafaji finds himself a collaborator living in a volatile world of shifting alliances and new warlords. Luckily for him, the old consolations of whiskey and love poetry can sometimes still work their magic in the new “liberated” Iraq.

Praise for Baghdad Central

Powerful and authentic, Baghdad Central is a perilous journey through the dark maelstrom of wartime Iraq that will make you want to reach for a flak jacket… even as you’re marvelling at its abiding humanity.’ Dan Fesperman, author of Lie in the Dark

‘A gripping tale of mystery and intrigue in the claustrophobic, morally treacherous world of post-invasion Baghdad, …this is a compelling noir crime novel told from inside Iraqi society.. A great read!Jenny White, author of The Winter Thief, A Kamil Pasha novel

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a book that picks you up and drops you firmly into 2003 Iraq. A powerful well crafted tale. It is a mixture of war thriller and noir crime novel. It takes you into the inside of Iraqi society. With all the uncertainty of a war torn country where corruption is rife.

Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. He is captured by the Americans and imprisoned he is offered a way out. He is asked to organise the formation of a new Iraqi police force. And just to put extra pressure on them they kidnap his ill daughter and offer her the treatment she needs if her father agrees to their demands.

He finds himself an unwilling collaborator. This makes for a great story, which moves between 2003 Iraq and 1988 when Saddam was at the height of his power.

They’re those who welcome the occupation forces and the chance to have a free Iraq. On the other hand they’re those who see these forces, particularly the Americans, as another form of dictatorship. These opposing dishes are wrapped up in alliances built on shifting sands and a dash of corruption.

Elliot has served up a dish of superb writing, cracking tale and a flawed hero. A book I think you will enjoy.

THE AUTHOR:

Elliott Colla divides his time between Washington DC and the Middle East. This is his first novel. He teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University. He has translated much contemporary Arabic literature, including: Ibrahim Aslan’s novel, The Heron, Idris Ali’s Poor, Ibrahim al-Koni’s Gold Dust, and Rabai al-Madhoun’s The Lady from Tel Aviv.

THE PUBLISHERS:

Bitter Lemon Press;

BUY LINK: AMAZON and all independent booksellers.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John “Chick” Donoghue and J.T. Molloy/ Blog Tour@ RandomThingsTours @AnneCater

ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Hey, Collins!” I shouted up. “Tommy!” Tommy peered down into the
boat and did a double take. “Chickie?!” He scurried down the ladder
and grabbed me by the arms as if to see if I was real.
He looked bigger and stronger than when I’d seen him last, and he was
full of questions. “Chickie! Are you kidding me? How did you get here?
Are you nuts? What the hell are you doing here?!”
I pulled a beer out of my pack and handed it to him. “This is from the
Colonel and me and all the guys in Doc Fiddler’s,” I told him. “We all
talked about it, and we decided that somebody ought to come over
here and buy you guys a drink in appreciation for what you are doing.
Well, here I am! John ‘Chickie’ Donohue


THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER: A Crazy Adventure in a Crazy War is the amazing
true story of a young man going to take his buddies a few cans of beer – in the heat of
the Vietnam war. In 1967 – having seen students protesting against the Vietnam war, some
New York City bar friends decided that someone should hop over to Vietnam to buy their
various neighbourhood army buddies a beer, to show them that SOMEONE appreciates
what they’re doing over there. One man was up for the challenge: John “Chickie” Donohue.
A U. S. Marine Corps veteran turned merchant mariner, Chickie decided he wasn’t about
to desert his buddies on the front lines when they needed him most.
Chickie set off on an adventure that changed his life forever. Armed with Irish luck and
a backpack full of alcohol, he made his way to Qui Nho’n, tracking down his disbelieving
friends one by one. But Chickie saw more of the war than he ever bargained for, unexpectedly getting caught up for a night on the front line in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), and for weeks in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. In the process of undertaking this well-intentioned but ill thought-through adventure, Chickie learnt a lot about himself and most importantly, changed his view on the Vietnam War, having seen first-hand the craziness of the whole endeavour and ultimately realising that the American government was lying to the American people.

MY THOUGHTS:

This was a book that if you had no information about it you would think it too far fetched , even to be a work of fiction, but it isn’t it’s true. Basically Chickie takes it upon himself to be the bearing of good news from home and also BEER!

Without letting you know the complete story, it is suffice to say that Chickie is very patriotic and his government is in the right and the protesters against the Vietnam war are wrong und in his opinion traitors to the USA.

This is a short book that is written simply and is well written and finds you travelling a road well trodden with Chickie. The prose is simple and as you read on you find yourself agreeing and disagreeing with the books {hero}? as he discovers the country and its people and how his views might be subject to change.

In his own words:

Gradually, I began to see that the protesters, however disrespectfully, were at least
trying to stop this madness. They weren’t acknowledging that so many young men
were doing what they truly believed was their duty—to their country, their family, their
neighbourhood. They weren’t acknowledging that the soldiers were patriots, that they
were heroes. We, in turn, didn’t see at the time that the protesters loved our country,
too. What they didn’t like was our leadership. They were trying to stop more boys from
being killed for somebody else’s legacy. After what I’d witnessed on my journey, I could
definitely agree with that.

A book I think you would enjoy and one I would recommend.

AUTHOR BIO:

AUTHOR INFORMATION
John “Chickie” Donohue joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of
seventeen and spent several years as a Merchant Mariner after his discharge. His
work took him to numerous foreign ports, including Saigon during the Vietnam War.
After the war, he became a Sandhog, or tunnel builder, and eventually became the
Legislative and Political Director of Sandhogs, Local 147, Laborers International Union
of North America, a post in which he served for over three decades. Donohue is a
graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he
received his Master of Public Administration degree. He is happily married to Theresa
“Terri” O’Neil and spends his time between New York, Florida, and West Cork, Ireland.

Medusa’s Children, Keith Antar Mason/ Poetry/ Black Lives Matter @ Love Books Tours, Kelly Lacey


Blurb:MEDUSA’S CHILDREN by Keith Antar Mason
From performing in the alleys of LA, Keith Antar Mason recounts his experience of getting on stage at the  ICA in London with The Hittite Empire Performance Art Collective, an all-Black Intergenerational Men’s Cultural Elite.The narrative of the London trip and snippets of the author’s experiences back in LA is effortlessly interwoven with visceral and evocative images from Black History, as memorised in his genes: We are the nightstickedBillyclubbedStrangewaysStrangefruitsSurvivorsEvery summer is a Red SummerMedusa’s Children is a one voice rant, a prose memoir, a wish poem.This is a memory written inAshes and FogOur Life on MarsStone cold word killersSpitting Knowledge and TruthMother MedusaMake usSubliminal Seducers
MY THOUGHTS:

Well I’ve got to confess something at the start. I’m not a lover of poetry. I think it goes back to my days at school, where we had to learn poems by rote. And these poems were written by people a long time dead.

But this was entirely different from anything I have read before. No ” wandering lonely as a cloud here” This was a difference to what I am used to receiving from poetry.

This was political poetry. This was a rant and also a picture of the differences between two different cultures.

The verse that stuck with me began ” In America I was born a suspect

Tall

Thin

Black

Bad

Dangerous.

Not because of anything he has done or might have done. He is suspected of being a criminal because of the colour of his skin. Being asked by the police to assume the position he likens it to the auctions of the slave block.

A book of poetry that will challenge your beliefs and perceptions. It will give you an insight into what it means to be black in 21st century America. An educational book.