Books/book review/crime fiction

Can you be pretty when dead?

This was the first book I had actually read in this continuing series about Aector McAvoy, a policeman in Hull, UK.
Now let's start with his name.
As you may have guessed, it is not a popular name. It does, surprisingly, have a number of Nicknames & Variations but I was surprised that Hector hasn't come up. But then the Scottish Gaelic name for Hector is Eachann. So...
Variations: Aester, Aestherae, Aecatherina, Aekaterin, Aekaterini, Aekatrine, Aestair, Aestar,Aesther, Aesthor
Quick facts: A few people in the U.S have this name: 2 to be exact in New York.
So finding out just what this name is, will clearly have to be a question asked of the author David Mark - or we might find out when or if, this series comes to TV. It has been optioned apparently.
David Mark descirbes this series as Nordic Noir but set in Hull.
Now Hull certainly, as far as England is concerned is definitely Nordic Noir.
Philip Larkin said of the town:
I wish could I could think of one nice thing I could tell you about Hull, oh yes, it's very nice and flat for cycling.
Hull is actually Kingston upon Hull and is set on Humberside, East Yorkshire, UK. Please note that there is also a Hull in Winsconsin and Massachusetts. So all comments about Hull are aimed at the English town...
Hull is in the East Riding of Yorkshire,It lies upon the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea,with a population of 257,710 (mid-2014 est.).
The town of Hull was founded late in the 12th century. The monks of Meaux Abbey needed a port where the wool from their estates could be exported. They chose a place at the junction of the rivers Hull and Humber to build a quay.
The exact year the town was founded is not known but it was first mentioned in 1193. The area was attractive to people because it gave access to a prosperous hinterland and navigable rivers but the site was poor, being remote, low-lying and with no fresh water. It was originally an outlying part of the hamlet of Myton, named Wyke. The name is thought to originate either from a Scandinavian word Vik meaning creek or from the Saxon Wic meaning dwelling place or refuge.Renamed Kings-town upon Hull by King Edward I in 1299, Hull has been a market town,military supply port, trading hub,fishing and whaling centre, and industrial metropolis.
The increase in trade after the discovery of the Americas and the town's maritime connections are thought to have played a part in the introduction of a virulent strain of syphilis through Hull and on into Europe from the New World. {one good reason for Hull's bad reputation}
Perhaps to compensate, its 18th-century Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, played a key role in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain.
After suffering heavy damage in the Second World War, Hull underwent a period of post-industrial decline, gaining unfavourable results on measures of social deprivation, education and policing. In 2003 Hull was voted the worst place to live in the UK. [Note however, that things have improved since then, and in 2007 it was made City of Culture and it has cleaned itself up including the notorious pong)
And of course this where the novels about Aector come in.
In this novel we have an unholy combination of head hunters (yes literally head chopping offs); lots of crimes; drug gangs; rural retreats; and a duality of sculptors and missing girls.

We have tight writing and a complex story-line. And even though I had not read the previous 4 novels, I gained enough insight to understand most of the characters' motivations.

Marrying a true Romany and her marrying a on-Romany must have led to any interesting story in a previous novel, but here we find them some years on with a child and settled into their relationship.

I found myself thoroughly gripped by this book and the story and thus, although new to me, would add David Mark to my list of authors to read in the future. I will not however, delve backwards into the previous novels.

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Kisses and more

This is a review of 3 of the books in the Story of a Kiss anthology.
These are all short stories so you can't expect them to develop a strong story line or detailed characters. That given they read very well.
I have read, so far, the first three short stories.
No Regrets by Taylor Sullivan.
Maybe Now by Kelly Lincoln
Fighting Faith by Brandy Ayers
and enjoyed all three.
Given the limitations of a short story and a specific story event, I thought these all showed promise of being concepts for longer novels and I would happily read more books by these authors. This anthology has a lot to offer with so many authors and genres united in this theme. Well worth a read. BOOKLOVE

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Books/blogtour/book review/Romance/Older women

Story of Kisses and more Kisses



This is a review of 3 of the books in the Story of a Kiss anthology.
These are all short stories so you can't expect them to develop a strong story line or detailed characters. That given they read very well.
I have read, so far, the first three short stories.
No Regrets by Taylor Sullivan.
Maybe Now by Kelly Lincoln
Fighting Faith by Brandy Ayers
and enjoyed all three.
Given the limitations of a short story and a specific story event, I thought these all showed promise of being concepts for longer novels and I would happily read more books by these authors. This anthology has a lot to offer with so many authors and genres united in this theme. Well worth a read.

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Book details:

Story of a Kiss Anthology
Publication date: February 1st 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

There will be a thousand kisses in a lifetime but only a handful trapped forever in your heart. This Valentine’s day, join The Story of a Kiss anthology as we take you into the lives of thirteen couples. From a very first kiss of a high-school prom queen, to a kiss that travels the width of time. Kisses of redemption, heartache, discovery, and so much more.
Thirteen authors.
 Thirteen kisses you’ll never forget.
Taylor Sullivan- Never Regret
 At twenty-four, Margaret Andrews is still a virgin and sick of it. After a year on the top dating site in America, and a late night episode of HUNG on HBO, she’s decided to take matters into her own hands and hires a professional.
Kelly Lincoln- Maybe now
 Maybe now I should kiss her.
 The thought haunts fourteen-year-old Hunter whenever he is with his best friend, Ava. The second he makes his move, their moment is destroyed and Ava leaves town. Ten years later, she’s back, and so is the maybe now that Hunter thought was buried.
Kathryn L. James- Crazy Beautiful Kiss
 Two years after Calista DeLuca and Colin Williams shared a sizzling kiss…the one she couldn’t forget and the one he didn’t remember, their paths cross again. Secrets unfold. Tears fall. Hearts open. He’s the only one who can fade her pain into non-existence, but is it enough?
Sha Renée- Forbidden Kisses
 Layla is enlisted in the Navy. Ethan is an officer. According to rules, personal relationships between officers and enlisted personnel are prohibited, but their desire is so strong, they can’t stand to be apart. Can military regulations separate lovers who are destined to be together?
Leslie Kung- At Long Last
 Janny and Tom grew up together, but right before their friendship could turn into a budding romance, life and gravity pulled them apart. When the friends reconnected, their chemistry was undeniable–but tragedy put distance between them again. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to finally fall in love.
Emma Marie Leigh- Wrong time
 Jo Stevens is an archaeology graduate student on the opportunity of a lifetime- an excavation in Pompeii. When her group discovers a basement, everything Jo knows is rocked. Rules are broken. Lines are crossed. Jo unearths everything she’s ever wanted. She’s just in the wrong time.
Louisa Blackwood-  Can’t Let Go
 Josephine “Joe” Burke has been running from the past since the night her mother died, choosing solitude over dreams. She’s suddenly forced to return to her Tennessee hometown and to her old flame, Colton James. Joe can feel her defenses crumbling under his irritating charm, but with the past still haunting her future, can she open her heart to happiness again?
Polly J. Brown- Ever Be
 Evangeline’s life revolved around the water until she nearly drowned. Now, she’s returned to the beach to confront her fears, and Gregory Owen, the super-bro who saved her life. Greg wants to help, but can she trust his intentions? Or worse, her own?
Jaye Cox- Love in Photographs
 When her heart remembers but her head doesn’t, will one photograph change everything? Claire didn’t need her memories when everything within her knew she loved him.
Brandy Ayers- Fighting Faith
 At nineteen, Faith spent one perfect, passion-filled summer in San Sebastian. But just when she thought she might have her happy ending, Jasper, the love of her life, shattered her heart. Now, ten years later, they’re forced together once more. Can she hold onto the last few remaining pieces of her heart?
Kate DeHart- Missed Kisses
 Struggling with the recent death of her mother, Jess finds solace in her best friend Ben. Everything about them says they shouldn’t click. He’s the trendy guy with the damaged family; she’s the bookish introvert with a lonely heart. Years of sweet memories cause their feelings to grow, until he does the one thing that could tear them apart.
Jody Pardo- Left Swipe Chronicles
 Roommates Liz and Michelle venture into the world of online dating. After a series of bad first dates, how many swipes will it take to find her Man of Steel?
Cherry Shephard- Precious
 18 year old Precious Montgomery is a nobody, she’s never even had her first kiss . . .  but that’s about to change. When her best friend nominates her for prom queen, Precious has just one week to make over her image and beat the queen bee – Amber Delancey. Amber has everything Precious doesn’t: Confidence, sophistication and popularity. But a chance meeting with Amber’s boyfriend changes everything.
 Now, Precious has to decide what’s more important; what she’s always wanted . . . or what she’s always had.
 Can a crown . . . or a kiss, really dictate your self-worth?
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Books/book review/fiction/Romance

Stowaway? Who me?

Now who hasn't ever fantasised about a Pirate?
And going on an adventure?
Over the high seas with a crew of brawny men and an alpha male at the helm?
Well of course, most pirates were not so brawny - they were usually the scum of the ships - a crew who only went to sea for the rewards it might just bring them.
And then the ships were crowded. Dirty. Lacking any amenities - including toilets, fresh water and fresh food.
Not to mention that women were considered to be bad luck to have on board a ship.
Still the vision and the reality rarely meet in our dreams - why should they? We know that these are just fantasies and that we will never act on them. But in this book the heroine does do just that. She stows away on a pirate ship!
The book is short and sweet but links to other books in the series and helps explains some of the relationships and also the actions of the characters.
In my opinion Erica takes over the mantle of Georgette Heyer but upgrades her stories with some sexy scenes. Her heroines  are rather more modern in their attitudes to the basics of life and also are rather more feisty in their behaviour.
So we have an alpha hero - of course - but one with manners and a 'proper' upbringing and thus is a gentleman - well most of the time anyway. And we have a heroine - older in this case than the naive youngster we are used to in this genre - with an illegitimate child (well pregnancy anyway) and a lot of life still to live who  decides that a pirate will help her do just that.historicalISNTA

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Guesting Alexa

Guest Post: From TR Cupak

Author: Alexa Loved

Perks to being a writer:

Since I am still getting my feet wet with writing and everything else that goes with publishing a book I’m still trying to figure out the actual perks. 

For a self-published Indie author such as myself, one of the perks that I am enjoying is that I set my own deadlines. I don’t have someone barking at me to hurry up and finish a project. 

When a writer is rushed you will only get subpar creativity from them, which in turn disappoints the fans. We rely on you to fall in love with our stories that we write and I am thankful that I don’t have to worry about publisher deadlines, just my own. Which, by the way, the fans are my most favorite perk to writing. 

I have been accepted as an author and that is a great feeling. Also, the people I have met (readers, bloggers and fellow authors) during this first year of my journey have been absolutely remarkable. I have made some amazing friends and a few that I can even call extended family.
A perk that I have yet to enjoy but will soon, is traveling for my writing. A lot of authors that I admire have traveled the world for research and book signings. I cannot wait to join that crowd. 

This year I will get my feet wet with my first signing in Mississippi, at Booking in Biloxi. I’m still holding my breath and keeping my fingers crossed that an opening will become available for the San Francisco Golden Gate Author Event (even though it’s in my backyard) in June but my last stop for the year will be Nashville for the Authors at the Opry. 

I will be attending Love N Vegas as a fan but hey, it’s Vegas, a bunch of fabulous authors and it’s VEGAS! I am an avid reader as well, so meeting authors I have read or finding new ones to read goes hand in hand with the traveling perk. And yes, I may actually fangirl and embarrass myself but we are all there for the same reason. We LOVE books.
Lastly, a very personal perk to being a writer is that it’s my escape from my every day chaos. I find salvation in writing someone else’s story for others to read. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment and when people actually get attached to my words and characters I just can’t help but to happy dance with giddy excitement.
Thank you to my fans and to those who will become my fans. You make writing worth all the craziness that comes with it.
Alexa Loved Book Blurb:
After her parents died during her senior year of high school, Alexa Morgan is completely alone in the world—except for her best-friend-turned-boyfriend Devin, identical twins Becca and Jessa, and Sebastian, a mysterious associate of her father’s.
 Upon graduation, Alexa wants nothing more than to move on with her life, go to college, and forget all the hard and hurtful things from her tragic past. But when her first love, Ethan, shows up at her graduation—it kicks off a whirlwind of events that threatens the good and stable things she’s worked so hard to achieve.
Ethan and Alexa shared one night of passion before he disappeared, leaving her bewildered and confused. But now he’s back, declaring that he loves her and that the only reason he left was to protect her from his malicious stepmother, Olivia. 

In her heart, Alexa knows she loves Devin, but her attraction to Ethan is so strong she can’t help but be drawn in by their shared chemistry. Meanwhile, the threat of Olivia lurks around the edges, casting a menacing shadow over everything and everyone Alexa loves.
 #‎love #‎heartbreak #‎loss #‎lovetriangle #‎crazyolivia #‎secrets #‎alexaseries #‎teamdevin #‎teamethan #‎kleenex #‎uglycry
 Alexa Loved Excerpt:
Although it feels like time has completely stopped it most definitely has not. I am completely oblivious to how long Ethan and I have been standing outside my hotel room when we are startled apart by the sound of a very pissed off, deep, familiar voice.
      “What the fuck is going on, Lexi?” Devin’s heated voice booms through the open hallway making me cringe and my body turn to stone at the sound. I’m still partially wrapped up in Ethan’s arms but when I finally detangle myself completely out of his hold, I step to the side of him so I can see Devin.

 I get a pretty good view of him too since he’s standing only a few feet behind Ethan with hate evident in his normally kind eyes. I know shock is all over my face as I stare at Devin as if he’s just a figment of my imagination. Ethan hasn’t moved a muscle. His back is to his enemy yet he chooses to stay facing me. It takes another few seconds before I finally take notice to what Devin is wearing. He has on running shorts and running shoes. His body is glistening with sweat and his face is red as if he was actually outside running in the Miami heat.
      What the hell? My emotions are all over the place. Confused, scared, hurt, happy. I swear on my parent’s urns that Devin was just in bed with the twins. How is he standing here like he was actually out for a run and why can’t I find my damned voice to ask that very question? Suddenly I hear the twins’ door to their room open. 

I turn my attention behind me just as a random guy, who looks like he could be Devin’s fraternal twin brother or doppelganger, exits the twins’ room. My mind automatically fishes for the memory of my conversation with Jesse. Once I replay what he had said privately plus all of the banter with his buddies, I can see how a drunken person could mistake Mr. Random for Devin. 

The twins’ guest is wearing gray boardshorts and flips flops and steps out carrying his black T-shirt in his hand. He stops when he sees the three of us standing here. I’m sure we’re quite the sight to see. Me, with red watery eyes and airplane stale clothes, Ethan who has not moved but his irritation is quite evident, and Devin who looks as if he is ready to kill Ethan. The stranger who appears to be very much hung over but oozes sexual satisfaction gives us a half smile, says “Hey” to Devin, and inches past the soon-to-be war zone towards the elevator. It’s usually females you see doing the walk of shame but this morning it’s this wonderful guy, this wonderful guy who isn’t Devin. Shit. Devin.
      “Answer me, Alexa.” Devin’s voice is seething and it makes me snap my head back around to face him. I glance briefly at Ethan and I see his eyes are screwed shut, jaw tense, the vein in his neck is pulsing, and his fists are clenched at his sides. Well shit. I can’t explain this because I don’t fully understand it all myself. I look back to Devin who is staring at me with so much anger and hurt that it takes my breath away.
      Devin takes two steps closer and Ethan’s eyes snap open. Before either one can do anything I step between both of them. I’ve been in this position once before and just like the last time I have no idea what I could or would do if these two decided to throw down. I take another step towards Devin. He just stares down at me waiting for his answer.
      My voice is quiet when I finally speak to him. “Devin, I can explain part of this but I can’t explain Ethan being here because I don’t have that answer-yet.”
      “Do you think I’m fucking stupid, Lexi?” There is so much pain evident in his voice that my tears start to spill again.
      “No, Devin. I don’t think you’re stupid. Can we please go into our room and talk privately?” I know I sound pathetic but that’s probably because I am. I just want to be alone with Devin and figure out this craziness.
      Just when I think Devin is going to concede and go into our room with me I feel one of Ethan’s hands settle on my hip and that one tiny gesture sends Devin flying over the proverbial edge. Everything happens so fast that all I feel is my body being shoved out of the way like I’m a ragdoll. I trip over my bags and my head slams against a solid surface and everything goes black.
 Buy Links:
Alexa Loved (Book 2, Alexa Series)
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