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Notorious – they will be

Notorious Minds Boxset: Book Cover Notorious Minds Boxset:
Mystery & Thriller Crime Boxed Set
various
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Fire Quill Publishing
Publication date: October 13th 2020
kindle

Delve into these dark and twisted tales by twenty USA Today and International Bestselling Authors. No matter what kind of crime story typically catches your imagination, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Conspiracies, political plots, and yes, even murder, are just a few of the crimes waiting inside this box set. Discover a narcissistic grandmother running an underground syndicate, or a support group bent on murder…and even a serial killer who turns his victims into fairytale creatures. Uncover the passion, jealousy, and fear lingering in every tale. This box set is packed with thousands of pages that will hold you on the edge of your seat, crying for answers. Definitely a must for fans of Patterson, Lee, and Grisham.

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How to Fall Properly

Falling Into Right Book Cover Falling Into Right
A Redemption County Novel
Sharon Kay
Crime Fiction, Police Dogs
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
October 24, 2017
292

How do you recover when life kick-boxes your soul? Becca Gable is fighting to stay on her feet after a series of crushing losses. She's always been the good girl until the events of the past year push her to make a mistake she can't take back. Now, her corporate finance job and her fiancé are gone thanks to her newly-acquired criminal record. Shane Marlow survived an IED blast during his service in Iraq-but half his team did not. Physically healed, he returns to his home county as a K9 officer. The scars of loss run deep and though local folks admire him, no one truly gets him-until Becca literally lands in front of him. Their bond of shared tragedy evolves into a connection both fiery and healing. But a stalker decides that Becca's crime should stay front and center. As the unsettling episodes reveal that no part of her life is secret, Shane is all that stands between her and the enemy.

Shane Marlow and Denver – yes please – especially Denver. I haven’t read the previous book in this series so this was my introduction to this pair – but what novel doesn’t like a hero with a working dog?

I know that a lot of soldiers have come back from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the US with PTSD and that many of them have really struggled with it as they have not had the right treatment, for whatever reason. And this leads to problems in their working and personal life. A dog can be an emotional support as well as useful partner in work and they have been recognised as such worldwide – though quite how a turkey could be I am not sure –  Now I could also get pot bellied pigs, monkeys and miniature horses, but bearded dragons, kangaroos, peacocks – lots of birds including ducks too – rodents, spiders, reptiles, ferrets  – and the list continues have all been claimed as emotional support – especially to get them on a plane! See https://bestlifeonline.com/emotional-support-animals/ for 30 of the weirdest claims.

 But despite the wide variety of animals being used for emotional support these days – myself I prefer the cat variety! And have 2 Maine Coons now to provide me with some love.. and stroking soothes both of us.

There is also, of course, the story of Becca and how she breaks the law – for a good reason – but this where we have problems.

I saw a discussion on how TV makes law breaking ‘for the right reason’ become a justifiable crime and people shouldn’t be punished for it. This is also a prevalent them in many novels. It makes for a good story of course – especially if the criminal either gets punished and comes out to help other prisoners onto the ‘right’ road; or the criminal finds the right path for themselves and gets forgiven or – well you know what I mean. Sometimes they continue to break the law and as readers we cheer for them – as they are ‘doing good’ and the law is wrong. But who are we to judge? And when are ‘we’ the right ‘we’ to judge? And then we start getting onto a very sticky wicket indeed and we can talk about the societal contract and how society can judge right from wrong. But what if the majority agree with a law that you personally don’t?

I’m not going further into this, but I am beginning to wonder if society’s fiction, whether on a screen or in a book/written form, is, in some way, mind washing us to a moral code that makes it difficult for us to judge right from wrong.

All the above notwithstanding. I enjoyed reading this story and liked it enough to give it 3 stars. I’m detracting 1 star for my above discussion on law.

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What Ladies don’t do

A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder Book Cover A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder
A Countess of Harleigh Mystery Book 3
Dianne Freeman
Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Murder
Kensington Publishing
July 28, 2020
304

In Dianne Freeman's charming Victorian-era mystery series, Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, finds her sister's wedding threatened by a vow of vengeance. London is known for its bustle and intrigues, but the sedate English countryside can host--or hide--any number of secrets. Frances, the widowed Countess of Harleigh, needs a venue for her sister Lily's imminent wedding, away from prying eyes. Risings, George Hazleton's family estate in Hampshire, is a perfect choice, and soon Frances, her beloved George, and other guests have gathered to enjoy the usual country pursuits--shooting, horse riding, and romantic interludes in secluded gardens. But the bucolic setting harbors a menace, and it's not simply the arrival of Frances's socially ambitious mother. Above and below stairs, mysterious accidents befall guests and staff alike. Before long, Frances suspects these "accidents" are deliberate, and fears that the intended victim is Lily's fiancé, Leo. Frances's mother is unimpressed by Lily's groom-to-be and would much prefer that Lily find an aristocratic husband, just as Frances did. But now that Frances has found happiness with George--a man who loves her for much more than her dowry--she heartily approves of Lily's choice. If she can just keep the couple safe from villains and meddling mamas. As Frances and George search for the culprit among the assembled family, friends, and servants, more victims fall prey to the mayhem. Mishaps become full-blooded murder, and it seems that no one is safe. And unless Frances can quickly flush out the culprit, the peal of wedding bells may give way to another funeral toll. . . .

I don’t know if this had a previous book and was the second in a series – it did read as though it was and there was information about Frances and George that we were missing. However, I tried to ignore the fact that I really wanted to know more about how they had met, and what, if anything, his job/occupation had to do with it, as I could quite imagine a good story that was missing, as this story was different. NB I found out later that this was book 3 in a series.

Certainly, I have never encountered a house party story with quite so many ‘accidents’. That clearly were intended for someone – but hadn’t yet quite managed to complete their intention.

It did look as though one particular person was the intended victim, but the clues were also there for yet others to be the victim – or victims.

Not a deep book nor is the story a psychological thriller, but a fun murder and mayhem type of plot that would make great dinner theatre.

I’m giving it 4 as a play rather than a novel.

Ps – the fashion as you can see is not intended for any sports – and I remember my grandmother wearing a similar corset and that might explain why she claimed an 18 inch waist on marriage! Note that Bloomers for women were similar to golfing trousers and came in as women attempted to ride a bike in their dresses and found that they couldn’t!

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And can you see?

Seer Book Cover Seer
Titanomachy #1
S E Welsh
Fantasy, Mythology
Luminosity Publishing LLP
May 22, 2020
252

A Seer has surfaced-but she's blind! Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. She's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. The victim of an attempted murder that left her blind, horribly disfigured, and stuck with powers everyone thought eradicated, it's safe to say she's at a low point in her life. But then she's blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger. Including her Warrior Soulmate. Phobos has a millennia of blood on his hands. As the son of Ares, he's done horrific things in the name of keeping the continued existence of immortals a secret. Only all of that changes when he meets his Soulmate. Allegiances shift, trust is thin and Chloe has to decide if she should risk everything to make the world a better place. Even if that means sacrificing her own chance at happiness. READER ADVISORY: This Paranormal Romance contains a strong-willed goddess and her protective Warrior Soulmate who don't appreciate the term 'vanilla' when it comes to the bedroom.

Nice to know that the Greek Gods/Goddesses, their forebears, their children and great grandchildren (how many greats here?) are still alive, well mostly, still fighting amongst themselves, and generally being the nuisance they always were.

As for the book, I thought it started well but the impetus slowed down about half-way through and the battle description was muddy and confusing.

I thought there was some nice exploration of Greek mythology but also thought that some readers may not be familiar with all the niceties of who married who, how some came to be born,  and so on , and thus why they were arguing with each other. Some of it got explained, but not enough maybe?

So here is some information that I wrote up a while back for another book about the Greek myths as I was confused and needed to get my head straight. Not sure that all this helped. But here goes….

A very short blog… All about the Greeks and the gods they invented.

Once upon the time there was only Darkness (Erebus) who married Light (Aether) and then things got confused…. This is the Creation Myth according to the Theogony by the Greek poet Hesiod.

Sothen there was Chaos whois the parent of Nix. Chaos also gave birth to Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus and Eros. Gaia being created as the home of the Gods. But also known as Earth.

The Greek myths are far from clear and straightforward as there was a great deal of marrying of siblings and parents so trying to work out familial hierarchies gets very confused. And also, books and researchers will interpret the original Greek myths differently. However, the best available set of family hierarchies can be found at the site www.theoi.com which also has a breakdown of most of the creatures from the myths into different categories.

Nix was the goddess of the Night and was born near the beginning of creation and was the mother of Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death). She is found in the shadows and one can only catch glimpses of her. Her consort is Erebus (the primeval darkness). Note that there was a lot of marrying of siblings and even parents to children (and then they wondered why some of the children were a bit peculiar…)

Gaia was the mother of Uranus (Heaven) and Okeanos (Ocean). Now Uranus married Gaia – yes, his mother… and had children with her, but Uranus asked Tartarus to take the 12 Giants (his children with Gaia and also called the Titans) as he didn’t like them.

Tartarus was the Underworld but also a God.

Gaia was very unhappy about this and thus asked the Titans to kill Uranus. Cronus (one of the Titans) agreed. Cronus then castrated Uranus and threw his penis into the sea. Uranus’ blood created more Giants on the earth but in the sea his penis (as it was cut off his sperm were expelled) created Aphrodite the first deity within the 12 Olympians.

Cronus he then sent all his siblings into Tartarus except Rhea who he married. And they ruled the world and all creation together.

The children of Cronus and Rhea are: Hades; Poseidon; Hestia; Demeter; Hera; and Zeus

Cronus was told of a prophecy that one of his sons would overpower him and rule in his place, so he then ate all his children except Zeus as, when he was born, Rhea substituted a rock for him. Cronus swallowed the rock instead without noticing.

Zeus was smuggled away by Gaia and grew up safely and was raised on the Greek island of Crete. Then Gaia gave Zeus a potion that, with the help of Metis (another Titan), would make Cronus expel all his swallowed siblings, who would now be fully grown.

Having been expelled from Cronus’ stomach, the 5 children fled to Mount Olympus and Aphrodite. Zeus also released everyone from Tartarus.

Led by Zeus, the six brothers and sisters (Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon) rebelled against their father against whom they were victorious, throwing Cronus into Tartarus (the dark world under Earth).

After that, the rebel gods of ancient Greece divided the universe between them. Zeus was the supreme god, ruling over all others, and all of them lived on the peak of Mount Olympus in Greece.

But…

Cronus and his sibling Titans then went to war with the gods on Mt Olympus. Zeus et al won and imprisoned Cronus in Tartarus again. The other Titans were put to work. Eg Atlas to hold the skies, and Prometheus was chained to a rock . Zeus was now ruling on Mt Olympus with Poseidon, Artemis, Apollo, Hades and Perseus.

And then there were more….

Mnemosyne is the Titan goddess of memory and remembrance, inventiveness of languages and words. She is the daughter of Ouranos (Heaven) and thus also a goddess of Time. She represented rote memorisation which was required of course before the invention of writing. She was the mother of the Muses who were the patron goddesses of poets and the oral tradition. She presided over the underground oracle of Trophonios.

Hades is the god of the Underworld, the Dead and Riches. He is the brother of Zeus and Poseidon and fought the Titans with them. His hildren are MacariaMelinoe and ZagreusThere were  several sections to the Underworld, including Elysium (Islands of the Blessed), the Asphodel Meadows (for the ‘shades’ of heroes) and Tartarus where the gods kept imprisoning people they didn’t like.

The dead entered the world through the river Acheron, being ferried by Charon who charged the one coin that you placed in the mouth of the newly dead.

There were five rivers in the Underworld: Acheron (sorrow or woe); Cocytus (lamentation); Phlegethon (fire); Styx (hate) and  Lethe  (oblivion) although some traditions also call Lethe the sea of tears

Before the palace of Hades sit the three judges of the Underworld: Minos ,Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus. There souls are judged, returned to Asphodel if they are neither virtuous nor evil, sent to Tartarus if they are impious or evil, or sent to Elysium with the “blameless” heroes.

Some more marriages and births:

Zeus M Hera (women and marriage) = Ares; Hephaestus (Blacksmiths)

Poseidon M Amphitrite (sea goddess)

Zeus M Demeter = Persephone

Persephone: well we all know the story of her and Hades – She is also called Kore. Kore meaning the ‘maiden’.

That said, tradition also has her having relations with her father Zeus and this being the mother of Dionysius. This tradition predates that of the Olympians.

Demeter M Poseidon

Zeus M Leto  (daughter of Titans) = Apollo, Artemis

Zeus M Maia (daughter of Atlas) = Hermes

Prometheus then created the first men out of clay and taught them a civilised life style. Zeus refused to give them fire, but Prometheus gave it to them anyway. Zeus created the first woman in retribution!!!! ie Pandora. Epimetheseus persuaded Pandora to open her jar. Out flew a collection of ailments that Zeus had sent to torment mankind. These included: old age, jealousy, anger, laziness, fear of death, uncontrolled passion, the dangers of childbirth etc. So this is an explanation of how all these bad things came to be.

There are a number of places you can read about these myths eg Ovid’s, The Metamorphosis. This is one of the most substantial of the early works of scholarship, which went about codifying the extant myths, the ones which had existed in the forms of the poems and stories which floated about the Mediterranean basin for a thousand years or more before he wrote them down.

The second is Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. As it was written in the English language you don’t have to rely on someone’s translation.

The third is a modern work Roberto Calasso’s, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.

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New and Witchy

New Witch on the Block Book Cover New Witch on the Block
(Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
Louisa West
Adult, Paranormal
June 30th 2020

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.

 

Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.

 

A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.

 

And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

 

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.

 

 Practical Magic meets  Bridget Jones’ Diary

  • in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it

Guest post

An Interview With My Author

By Rosemary Bell – Heroine of New Witch on the Block

What made you decide to write my story?

As someone who has spent time as a single mum, I am fascinated by the plight of women who are striving to slay it in their everyday lives: mums who work full-time, mums who are at home full-time (because that has a whole other set of challenges), mums who are in-between, or run their own businesses… the list goes on! I knew I wanted you to be a witch, and that I wanted moving to have to be a difficult experience for you. Giving you a downright reprehensible ex-husband whose influence you needed to overcome so that you could bloom into the woman you always were deep down inside meant I got to see your grow throughout the book. Adding the witchery on top of all that seemed like a logical step – but you needed to believe in yourself before you could believe in magic!

I see. Randy sure is a piece of work, so thanks for that I guess? Moving on – why Mosswood?

I’ve always been fascinated with the United States, ever since I was a little girl. A few failed attempts at visiting has meant that for the short-term future at least, my experiences of the US will need to happen through books, TV shows, and movies. I love the pictures painted of places like Bon Temps (Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series) Mystic Falls (L. J. Smiths’ The Vampire Diaries series) and New Orleans in general – so it made sense to set my series in the South. My editor is Southern and is an incredible source of real-life info, helping me adapt my language. And then once I knew I wanted a really tiny town surrounded by woods, I got my ten year old daughter to draw me a map! Kids are so inventive, and she thought of things that I never would have thought of. I loved collaborating with her on the project, and the story is so much richer for it. 

That’s actually adorable, bless her! But for real now – was the palmetto bug really necessary? And the biceps? Were the biceps really necessary? And the laundry machines? The skunks?! Actually nevermind, we aren’t speaking.

Stop being overly dramatic, it was just a bug? And sexy biceps. And… well okay, the skunks probably didn’t need to scare the crap out of you, so I’m a teeny bit sorry for those. 

Did you feel even remotely bad for any of the hurdles you threw my way during the course of the book?

Not really! The scene with the eggs was difficult to write, because I was actually imagining it happening to myself and my daughter as I was writing it and I shed a tear or two, I can’t lie! But everything that made it into the book was totally necessary for your growth and development as a character, so I can’t be too sorry! And I mean, sure Declan is annoying, but could you really call him a ‘hurdle’? Heh.

What about the naked magic casting? Did you feel bad about that? Because that was just unfair.

Not in the slightest, and I will do it again in a heartbeat. You needed to come out of your shell, figuratively and literally – and those scenes really demonstrate your transition from Randy’s Rosie to your own person in so many ways. In fact, the last of those scenes might just be my favourite scene in the whole book!

What’s in store for me in Jealousy’s a Witch? The title sounds ominous.

There will be a huge raft of new characters, and new places in Mosswood to explore in-depth! The plot definitely takes a turn – you discover that Declan’s been keeping a pretty big secret from you that makes you re-think your whole association with him. Maggie will experience a lot of growth in the book too, and the main plotline revolves around some dangerous situations for her. It’s gonna be a wild ride!

That makes me worried for Maggie! Will she be okay?

Absolutely – but it wouldn’t be the type of book I write without a little drama! She will come out of Jealousy’s a Witch with a rather cool experience of her own – but I don’t wanna spoil it for you!

 Author Bio

 Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

 Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

 She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

 She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

http://www.louisawest.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16738794.Louisa_West

https://www.facebook.com/louisawestauthor

ttps://www.instagram.com/louisa_west

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