The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters, and Elizabeth Bowen by Julia Parry Blog Tour@RandomThingsTours Memoir: Social History: Secrets…

BLURB:

A sudden death in the family delivers Julia a box of love letters. Dusty with age, they reveal an illicit affair
between the celebrated twentieth-century Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen and Humphry House – Julia’s
grandfather.
So begins an intriguing quest to discover and understand this affair, one with profound repercussions for
Julia’s family, not least for her grandmother, Madeline. This is a book about how stories are told in real life, in
fiction and in families.
Inspired by Bowen’s own obsession with place and memory, Julia travels to all the locations in the letters –
from Kolkata to Cambridge and from Ireland to Texas. The reader is taken from the rarefied air of Oxford in
the 1930s, to the Anglo-Irish Big House, to the last days of Empire in India and on into the Second World War.
The fascinating unpublished correspondence, a wealth of family photographs, and a celebrated supporting
cast that includes Isaiah Berlin and Virginia Woolf add further richness to this unique work.
The Shadowy Third opens up a lost world, one with complex and often surprising attitudes to love and sex,
work and home, duty and ambition, and to writing itself. Weaving present-day story telling with historical
narrative, this is a beautifully written debut of literary and familial investigation from an original and
captivating new voice.

MY THOUGHTS:

Do you have a favourite author? Most people do. Julia Parry certainly does. She was a lover of the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen celebrated Irish author. Her writing seemed to be full of romantic intrigue, infidelity and and a strong sense of time and place. We all love a good story. But that is where it should stay, between the pages and not intrude on private life. After all it’s fiction isn’t it?

Or so Julia thought, until she inherits a box of dusty letters upon the death of her uncle. What would you do? Ignore them or being intrigued read them. After all they’re musty family letters and shouldn’t hold any surprises, or could they?

As Julia reads on she not only finds letters from her Grandmother Madeleine House and her Grandfather Humphrey House and their contemporaries such as Isaiah Berlin and Virginia Woolf ; but also another celebrated person of the times, Elizabeth Bowen, a beloved author. As Julia reads on she is surprised to find to find out that Humphrey had a mistress. Elizabeth Bowen. As letters between the pair are amongst letters between Madeleine and Humphrey was Madeleine aware of the affair? As Julia delves further she finds there are gaps in the correspondence. Were they destroyed by a jealous wife? These letters set Julia on a quest to the places that were important to all the parties concerned.

Apart from an insight into an affair, which is at times is both ardent and rocky. It also shows how important letters were to that age A lot of personal and social history is shared. It really is a lost art in these days of instant communication. This is a well researched and well written book. A book that Julia may have found hard to write. But I’m glad she has written it and I would recommend it to others.

THE AUTHOR:

Julia Parry was brought up in West Africa and educated at St Andrews and Oxford. She
teaches English literature and has worked as a writer and photographer for a variety of
publications and charities. She lives in London and Madrid. This is her first book

Praise for The Shadowy Third:
The Shadowy Third reveals the secret life of the author of The Death of the Heart, a title that applies to the man
and women whose sepia- covered correspondence led to this riveting memoir.’
MARLENE WAGMAN GELLER (Women of Means: Fascinating Biographies of Royals, Heiresses, Eccentrics and Other Poor Little Rich Girls)



Holes In The Veil by Beth Overmyer Blog Tour/ Fantasy/ Goblets Immortal/ Book Two/ Anne Cater RandomThingsTours

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Having killed his lifelong enemy, Aidan Ingledark finds himself in possession
of a map to the Questing Goblet, one of the Goblets Immortal that gives the
drinker luck beyond measure. Meraude seeks this Goblet to wipe out magic kind. Aidan and his traveling companion are determined to find it first but
they must battle through illusion and doubt.
Jinn’s a Sight-ful seeking the Summoner. She wants to kill her mother, but her
foresight ends in darkness. Can she enlist Aidan’s help and change her fate?
The threat of Meraude and her dominion are imminent in this sequel to The
Goblets Immortal.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is book two in the Goblets Immortal trilogy. It carries on the adventures Aidan. He is armed with a map that will lead to the next Goblet. This is known as the Questing Goblet. This gives the person who drinks immeasurable luck. Meraude seeks this goblet in her quest to wipe out magic kind. Magic against magic. If ever there’s a recipe for disaster, this could be it.

Aidan and his travelling companion Slain set out to find this Goblet and along the way decide they should find it and keep it’s power for themselves.

Jinn’s a Sight-ful and along with her brother Quick are on a quest of their own. Jinn wants to kill her mother but the way to do it is mired in darkness.

The story swings between both of these bands of intrepid adventurers. In a story peopled with rich and mysterious characters, both in person and also with the ability to enter dreams or minds. Are your actions your own or guided by others out with your own control.

This book is richer in story and world building than book one. The narrative drives the reader along and makes them feel they are on the adventure with the four traveller. At the rate Beth’s story telling and writing are improving the last book in the trilogy should be worth reading. Until then I would recommend the previous two in the series. If you like fantasy you will love this book.

THE AUTHOR:

Beth Overmyer is the author of several works of genre
fiction, the middle grade novella In a Pickle being among
them. Fueled by tea, loved by cats everywhere, she
balances her home life with writing novels and leading a
creative writing group at her local library.

The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell# Blog Tour# Trilogy RandomThingsTours# Horror Thanks to Anne Cater and Flame Tree Press for the ARC and Tour

On a school trip to France teenager Dominic Sheldrake begins to
suspect his teacher Christian Noble has reasons to be there as secret as
they’re strange. Meanwhile a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts
you in touch with your dead relatives, who prove much harder to get rid of.
As Dominic and his friends Roberta and Jim investigate, they can’t suspect
how much larger and more terrible the link between these mysteries will
become. A monstrous discovery beneath a church only hints at terrors that
are poised to engulf the world as the trilogy brings us to the present day…

MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:

This is the first part of a trilogy. It starts in 1950’s Liverpool and concerns Dominic Sheldrake and his friends Roberta(Bobby) and Jim, known as the Tremendous Three. Dominic and Jim go an school trip to France. This is billed as a history trip, exploring the battlefields of WW1, and is organised by Christopher Noble their teacher. But is his reasons behind the trip purely educational or is something more sinister at play?

Meanwhile Mrs Norris, a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts the bereaved in touch with their dead relatives. Mr Noble has ties with this church and it is said that not only can he put you in touch with your departed ones, but can bring them back to life. But not as they were before!

Is this is what is happening in the Norris household as neighbours overhear Mrs Norris arguing with someone and her dog clearly agitated and barking and disturbing the peace. This comes to head during the street party to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth11. Mrs Norris is taken to hospital, clearly suffering from some sort of breakdown. This is just the start and what could be behind it?

Ramsey recalls the 1950’s so clearly. This first part of the trilogy breathes 1950’s Britain. The end of rationing, the bomb sites and the general greyness that life seemed to have then.

The writing and narrative are superb. The creepiness and general unease this book engenders in the reader is great. If you are looking for a shock horror book then this may not be for you. This is a slow burn of a book where the bogeyman is not in your face but somewhere over your shoulder, just out of sight. You know he’s there but exactly where? That is the unsettling thing. Is this a horror story or a supernatural ghost story. It’s up to you as the reader to judge. But one last word it is good!

Ramsey Campbell was born in Liverpool in 1946and
still lives on Merseyside. The Oxford Companion to
English Literature describes him as “Britain’s most
respected living horror writer”. He has been given more
awards than any other writer in the field, including the
Grand Master Award of the World Horror Convention,
the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers Association, the
Living Legend Award of the International Horror Guild and the World
Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores
University for outstanding services to literature. Among his novels are The
Face That Must Die, Incarnate, Midnight Sun, The Count of Eleven, Silent
Children, The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Overnight, Secret Story, The
Grin of the Dark, Thieving Fear, Creatures of the Pool, The Seven Days of
Cain, Ghosts Know, The Kind Folk, Think Yourself Lucky and Thirteen Days by
Sunset Beach. Needing Ghosts, The Last Revelation of Gla’aki, The Pretence
and The Booking are novellas. His collections include Waking Nightmares,
Alone with the Horrors, Ghosts and Grisly Things, Told by the Dead, Just
Behind You and Holes for Faces ,and his non-fiction is collected as Ramsey
Campbell, Probably. Limericks of the Alarming and Phantasmal are what they
sound like.
His novels The Nameless, Pact of the Fathers and The Influence have been
filmed in Spain. He is the President of the Society of Fantastic Films.

THE PUBLISHERS:

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing.
Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more
established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

Housewife Writes Bestseller – a Tale of Life&Luck# Ann Victoria Roberts Blog Tour # RandomThingsTours

‘Housewife Writes Bestseller – A Tale of Life & Luck’

Synopsis:

One Thursday in July, 1989, beneath the headline, Obsession That Became A Bestseller, the Daily Mail featured a photo of a young woman looking like a lottery winner. The Sun’s piece was cheekier: Mum Makes A Million, appeared beside the boobs on Page Three.

Ann Victoria Roberts hadn’t posed naked and hadn’t won a fortune. She’d written a novel that prompted a bidding war for publishing rights across the world. In the eyes of the press, the fact that Ann was not a career woman, but simply a wife and mother, was newsworthy.

In this memoir, the author reflects on the joys, the travels and the heartaches of her life as a sea-captain’s wife – and the decade of coincidences and lucky strikes that led to the writing of two big historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story. Amidst the fanfares and famous names, and the journey that took her from York to Australia and back, Ann reveals the work behind the success, and the truth behind her characters.

As readers, we browse in bookshops, spot a favourite author or intriguing title, and take it home. Rarely do we consider the path that book must have taken from the author’s pen to a bookshop shelf. And yet the story behind it is often stranger than the fiction it contains…..

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a book that was out of my comfort zone. I’m not a reader of historical fiction and only the occasional memoir, but for some reason this book piqued my interest. Whether it was the title or the subject matter I couldn’t say; but I decided to give it a go.

As I said I’m not a reader of historical fiction and certainly not this author’s. As with any book the author has to research and whilst doing this the author was struck by similarities between her fictional subjects and her own family.

At first sight, this book might be regarded as the memoir of a woman with a burning ambition to write and publish a book. It is more than that. It is the “memoir” of a book. Well, not one, but two books as it transpires. They have their genesis when Ann discovers a personal diary of a relative who was killed in the carnage of WWI. The discovery stimulates Ann, who is already a voracious reader, to begin enquiries into the history of her family and this soldier in particular. She has visions of writing a novel based on the information she gleans from the diary. A diary which, she later learns, may well have instigated significant punishment had it been discovered.

As she writes the novel she finds similarities in her own family history. But you know what they say fact is stranger than fiction or could they be bed fellows. This is the story of a book within a book. And though it is a memoir it reads like a novel, the writing is really that good. Housewife Writes Bestseller is difficult to put down. The book provides great insight into the home life of a writer as she deals with family affairs. If you like memoirs with an insight into the writer’s craft then this book is recommended.




AVR Bio for Memoir
A lover of history, art, and the sea, Ann Victoria Roberts was simply a Yorkshire wife and mother when her success hit national headlines in 1989. Her first historical novels, Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story, had just sold for what was then a record sum for a first-time author. Inspired by a diary written by a young Australian soldier during WW1, she began researching his family background in York, which led to a novel based on the relationships of a previous era.
As the wife of a sea-captain, Ann’s writing was often interrupted by voyages with her husband and children – she even received news of Louisa Elliott’s acceptance while on the bridge of an oil tanker entering port!
Her fifth novel, The Master’s Tale, based on the life of Captain Smith of the Titanic, was inspired by little-known facts behind the disaster, and praised for its authenticity. A keen reader and researcher, Ann enjoys painting pictures with words and regards good historical fiction as a pleasurable way to discover how life was lived in the past. Her seventh book, Housewife Writes Bestseller – a Tale of Life & Luck, is a memoir of crazy days, huge upheavals, and the strange events that led to her success. Ann is now a grandmother, and lives in Southampton UK with her semi-retired Master Mariner husband.

Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger and Jorn Lier Horst/ Blog Tour/ Scandi Noir/ Book Two Blix Series RandomThingsTours@Anne Cater

Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the
scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy
harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia
Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten
ten years earlier … and never found.
Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case,
as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it
becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it
seems…
The second in the hard-boiled and furiously compelling Blix &
Ramm series, created by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst, two of
the biggest names in Nordic Noir.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is part two in the excellent series staring police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm. This book starts at a New Year Party; and what a party is is. An explosive one as a bomb goes off on the stroke of twelve and the devastation is fatal. Blix and Ramm are on the scene and Blix pulls a survivor from the waters of the harbour. Blix instantly recognises her as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm begin their investigations into who the bomber could be. And when another bomb goes off and the terrorist threat is increased. But when the survivor dies and is later found not to be who she has been identified as Blix suspects something more than terrorism is afoot.

The story is a slow burn of a read after the initial explosion and is a mixture of office politics, and though they are both after the same ends there seems to be friction between Blix and Ramm. But they are a great duo and are both tenacious though they both rub each other the wrong way.

The authors though a duo are writing as one and who wrote what is seamless and the writing is excellent and of a quality that draws the reader through the pages wondering what is next.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS
The second nerve-shredding thriller in the international bestselling, award-winning
Blix & Ramm series which has sold over a million copies worldwide
Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively.
Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian
police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense.
Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series.
Enger ’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and
tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer.

Death Deserved was Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger ’s first co-written thriller. They are currently working on the third book in the Blix & Ramm series.

Rachel’sRandomThingsBlogTour Locks by Ashleigh Nugent Jamaica/ Mixed Race/ Roots

THE BOOK:

LOCKS: A Story Based on True Events

“1993 was the year that Stephen Lawrence got murdered by racists, and I became an angry Black lad with a ‘chip on his shoulder’.”

Aeon is a mixed-race teenager from an English suburb. He is desperate to be understand the Black identity foisted on him by racist police, teachers, and ‘friends’. For want of Black role models, Aeon has immersed himself in gangsta rap, he’s trying to grow dreadlocks, and he’s bought himself some big red boots.

And now he’s in Jamaica.

Within days of being in Jamaica, Aeon has been mugged and stabbed, arrested and banged up.

Aeon has to fight for survival, fight for respect, and fight for his big red boots. And he has to fight for his identity because, here, Aeon is the White boy.

Purchase Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/LOCKS-Story-Based-True-Events-ebook/dp/B08JCZ9D71/

Orders also available from: www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk

MY THOUGHTS:

This is a hard book to describe. The blurb says it is a story based on true events. Is it non-fiction or a novel. I would describe it as a non-fiction novel. It is the story of Aeon, a mixed race teenager. He is targeted by racists as being black. This comes from teachers, classmates and others in authority, such as police etc.

To live up to the seemingly black stereotype Aeon has immersed himself in gangsta rap and try to grow dreadlocks and dress like a black youth should.

To further forge his black identity he finds himself in Jamaica. He finds himself a stranger in a strange land. He has been mugged, stabbed and arrested.

This is an important book. It is eye opening story telling. It is at times humorous and heart breaking. It draws the reader into Aeons head and never lets go. Far from finding his identity Aeon finds himself more at a loss than ever. This is a story like no other. Enjoyable and recommended.


Author Bio –
Ashleigh Nugent has been published in academic journals, poetry anthologies, and magazines. His latest work, LOCKS, is based on a true story: the time he spent his 17th birthday in a Jamaican detention centre. LOCKS won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and has had excerpts published by Writing on the Wall and in bido lito magazine. Ashleigh’s one-man-show, based on LOCKS, has won support from SLATE / Eclipse Theatre, and won a bursary from Live Theatre, Newcastle. The show has received rave audience reviews following showings in theatres and prisons throughout the UK. Ashleigh is also a director at RiseUp CiC, where he uses his own life experience, writing, and performance to support prisoners and inspire change.
Social Media Links –
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LocksBook
Twitter – @LocksBook
Instagram – @locksbook
Youtube Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8TVrX7J2j4