Friday Feature ~My Top 5 St Patricks Day Reads

Another year, another St Patricks Day. Time to dye your hair green, kiss everyone in sight and drink yourself into the ground – no?

Perhaps in my more youthful days that may well have been the case, thankfully no longer. I am grateful my youthful exuberence and inebriation were before the time of social media! What a lucky escape we have all had! These days, I am more inclined to read a good book with the obligatory cup of tea or glass of fizz, depending on the time of day. Given today is about all things Irish, I have focused in on Irish authors. Not the usual suspects of Joyce or Wilde but rather some I have come across by chance, and enjoyed most throughly. So for today I offer up to you my pick….

Marian Keyes ~ Making It Up As You Go Along

I absolutely love Marian Keyes! She makes astute observations about life and adds her own brand of wicked humour. Making It Up As You Go Along is a collection of personal stories told with brutal honesty.  They will have you nodding your head and laughing out loud. A great light read, be warned though there are moments of sadness too. Would make a fab holiday read.

 

Marita Conlon McKenna ~ Rebel Sisters

Shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards Rebel Sisters tells the story of Gifford sisters – Muriel, Grace and Nellie growing up in a wealthy Dublin family around 1916. They are strong willed and independant. This book gives you a real insight into the lives of women who stood alongside their male counterparts in the struggle for Irish freedom. A historical novel well worth a read.

Jennifer Johnston ~ The Old Jest

I first read this book back in the 1990s and have recently revisited it. A compelling tale of 18 year old nancy caught up in ‘ the troubles’ of a 1920s Ireland. Johnstons’ writing is beautiful. She manages to evoke a true sense of time and place to The Old Jest. A beautifully written account about coming of age in a changing political landscape.

 

Catherine Ryan Howard ~ Distress Signals

I interviewed Catherine for my blog last year just before the release of her debut Distress Signals. You can find the interview here. If psychological thrillers is your bag then this one is for you. This debut has everything you could possibly want in a thriller – action, intrigue, lots of twists and turns. A veritable feast of page turning adrenaline! Short listed for the 2016 Irish Book Awards, Distress Signals follows Adam Dunne in his search for Sarah, his girlfriend who disappears whilst on a business trip to Barcelona. Throw in shinanigans aboard a cruise liner and you’re away! A great beach read.

 

E M Reapy ~ Red Dirt

Last but by no means least on my list is Red Dirt. Another stunning debut! Red Dirt is a contemporary novel which follows the lives of Murph, Hopper and Fiona. Keen to escape the Irish recession they travel to Australia. This is a book you will either love or hate. It is fast moving, gritty and hard hitting. Split into three sections each told from a different perspective, Red Dirt is not for the faint hearted. The main protagonists make some terrible choices – ultimately it is a story about responsibility. Like I said you will either love it or hate it. I loved it!

 

So my lovelies, there you have it. These books should keep you out of trouble for a wee while! Have a fabulous St Patricks Day and happy reading!

Friday Feature ~ Shrimpin’ Gold by Bob Spearman

Welcome, welcome, welcome to fellow Mystery author Bob Spearman. If you are looking for a book for the weekend then I have just the thing! Read on…

Welcome again Bob, can you tell us about your inspiration behind ‘Shrimpin’ Gold’?

BS: The motivation to write this book was, in part, to highlight the life of the local shrimper family and their struggle to survive the current economic tsunami that attacks their business. In the Carolinas, this business spans generations of local families who know no other way to live. The concept to tell the story of this struggle and yet give the main characters a hope for survival popped in my head while sitting on the beach. I was watching a slow moving shrimp trawler offshore as he plowed his way home to Shem Creek. What if they pulled up a net of Spanish gold?

I’ve lived most of my life in the Charleston area. Local family and friends have all enjoyed the privilege of easy access to fresh fish, shrimp, and oysters sold along the creeks of the Lowcountry. One of the most popular landmarks for fresh seafood is Shem Creek. This creek, home to numerous shrimp boats that line its shores, feeds into the Charleston harbor. It has been an icon for the Lowcountry, a favorite haunt for painters and photographers, and a magnet for restaurants and bars. With fuel prices up and the competition from Asian shrimp farms, living has been difficult for the families who have toiled at this labor for generations. Life is changing for the shrimper. Bringing awareness to this situation and the potential to help were paramount to this story. If the shrimp boats leave, the creek will lose the allure, and will become just a muddy creek.

Oh, and finally, in Charleston, we have fun with pirates and the ghost of these characters from days gone by. Adding a little of that flavor to this story is like the hot sauce on shrimp; not necessary but it sure spices it up.

What a great premise for a story Bob. I have added ‘Shrimpin’ Gold’ to my TBR holiday pile!

Shrimpin

In good seasons and bad, small family-owned shrimping operations have survived in the Carolinas. Harlin Dodd, a third generation shrimper on Shem Creek, faces the demise of a business started by his grandfather. Long time loyal first mate, Joe Ladson, struggles to pay his wife’s medical bills. Their old shrimp boat is beyond repair. Shrimp are scarce. But just as the financial dilemmas of both families seem insurmountable, their shrimp nets bring up a treasure chest filled with gold. With this prize, their troubles really begin. When pirates return for their lost gold, Joe is tortured, and Harlin’s daughter is kidnapped. Harlin must trade himself to save his daughter. Storms, pirates, gold, and ghostly illusions, all set in historical Charleston, make the shrimpers’ struggle an exciting Lowcountry tale.

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READ AN E-BOOK WEEK MARCH 5th – 11th 2017

Read an Ebook Week is a global celebration of ebooks. For one week only gain access to thousands of free and deep-discounted ebooks from the world’s biggest indie authors. Now in its 8th year, read an e-book week offers readers the opportunity to discover new authors at discounted prices. All the books featured are reduced in price or free! To purchase my books at a discount please click on their images below. To access the full catalogue click on the bird graphic below. Happy reading!

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Sale Sale Sale…

It’s March, and I have a spring in my step and a head that is full of holiday ideas. I am thinking about planning my vacation! With that in mind, I wanted to offer up a little gift to you all. Drum roll please…… The ebook version of my debut novel ‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’ is on sale!!! For a limited time only, through Kindle Countdown and Smashwords, you can grab yourselves a cheeky copy at a knockdown price. To quote a few of the reviews:

“Thoroughly recommend for a holiday read”

“I read this on holiday and could not put it down”

“Great holiday sunbed read. Would recommend it. Would make a great film”

So, for less than the cost of a glass of Sangria, you can have fun in the sun! The offer lasts for one week. On your marks get set….GO! What better excuse do you have to book a holiday now?

 

 

 

You can also buy from Smashwords here

 

 

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Friday Feature ~ Blue As Sapphires by Constance Bretes

A very warm welcome to my guest author Constance Bretes today. Her new release ‘Blue As Sapphires’ is a contemporary romance with a very interesting and extremely relevant back story. Welcome Connie, tell us a bit about how you came up with the idea for ‘Blue As Sapphires’.

CB: National Statistics. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. … 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.Statistics – National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Blue As Sapphires was born from my love of sapphire digging, and gold panning in the beautiful Gem Mountains and Rock Creek River that runs through Philipsburg, Montana. Another issue that I’m passionate about is doing away with domestic abuse. I took the two subjects and combined them into a story that made Marissa determined to survive and overcome her ex-husband’s physical and emotional abuse, and the sheriff, Riley McCade, who is determined to love and protect her.
What a great premise for a story Connie! Have a look below for a snippet and more info about Connie.

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