Blog Tour: Read an Extract from Black Moss by @Nolanwriter @fahrenheitpress @lovebooksgroup


In April 1990, as rioters took over Strangeways prison in Manchester, someone killed a little boy at Black Moss.

And no one cared. 

No one except Danny Johnston, an inexperienced radio reporter trying to make a name for himself.

More than a quarter of a century later, Danny returns to his home city to revisit the murder that's always haunted him. 

If Danny can find out what really happened to the boy, maybe he can cure the emptiness he's felt inside since he too was a child.

But finding out the truth might just be the worst idea Danny Johnston has ever had.


An Extract from Black Moss:

The main backdrop to the book is the Strangeways riot, the longest prison disturbance in British penal history. I covered the riot at the time – it was a surreal experience.

The carnival was in full swing when Danny arrived at Strangeways. He turned off Bury New Road, finding a parking spot alongside a clothing wholesaler, whose window was full of garishly coloured gear aimed at the current Madchester market. Counterfeit thought Danny. Every last stitch of it. No one seems to care though. Criminality that they turn a blind eye to, right outside a prison.

Music drifted across the road as Danny locked his car, an aging blue Ford Escort. Then he double checked he’d locked it properly. The song was ‘Ghetto Heaven’ by Family Stand. There were scores – no, hundreds – of people milling about in the side roads and wasteland that surrounded the jail. Many were drinking from tins of beer – there was a man selling them from a makeshift stall made from what looked like a decorators table. An additional boozy waft was provided by the Boddington’s brewery next door to the jail. It only added to the party atmosphere – as did a heavy smell of weed in the air.

Blog Tour: Read an Extract from Vitellius’ Feast by @TraffordLj @BookPublicistUK


AD 69. As this most dramatic year draws to a close, now is the time to choose a definitive side. Whilst Vitellius enjoys the trappings of power around him, machinations are afoot. In the East, Vespasian has his eye on the throne, but he needs help preparing Rome for his plans and, for his teenage son Domitian, protection from Vitellius' agents. 


The following is an extract from Vitellius’ Feast, written by L. J. Trafford and published by Sphinx. The book is available from December 1st, priced at £12.99. For more information see:


“Gods above! What a procession it was,” laughed the barman. “There were these eunuchs, a big gang of them all kitted out in loincloths, and they danced through the streets. Behind them were women. But not good women. If you know what I mean.” He aimed an exaggerated wink at Epaphroditus. “No, these were of the painted toga sort. Prostitutes. Our small town has never seen the like.”
The barman, a portly man in his fifties, leaned back in his chair and grinned. “It was fantastic for business. All those soldiers. All those girls. Even those little eunuchs can knock back a drink. I’ve got enough coin to upgrade my premises now.”
Just as well, thought Epaphroditus, taking in the grimy walls and filthy floor of the bar.
“The emperor?” he pressed, getting down to business. This business was the sole reason he was sat in such dubious surroundings, in some forgotten town, in a part of Italy far removed from the villas and palaces he was more familiar with. “The emperor was with the soldiers?”
“I’ve never seen an emperor before.”
“Did you see this one?” Epaphroditus asked.
The barman grinned from ear to ear. “Too right I did. I had him here in my bar! Imagine! An emperor! Huge big fat fella.” He pulled his hands far apart to demonstrate the bulk. “He ate up my entire supply of whelks! All by himself! Can you imagine? A barrel of whelks?”
“Thank you,” said Epaphroditus, getting to his feet. “Have this for your trouble.” He pressed a gold coin into a sweaty palm.
Outside he wiped his own hand on his cloak and sucked in a mouthful of clean air. Around him, the townspeople were clearing up the debris left by Vitellius’ passing army. They did so with smiles on their faces, even the slaves. Vitellius had left his mark on the town. But where was he?
They’d received notice some fifteen days past that the new emperor was hovering around the north of Italy. Epaphroditus had set off to intersect Vitellius’ army before they reached Rome. So far, all he’d encountered were a series of depleted towns and happy businessmen like the barmen. There was quite a lot of coinage to be made from 30,000 soldiers, and word had spread. Epaphroditus had passed many enterprising sorts carrying their produce in wagons, or on their backs, as keen as he was to ingratiate themselves with the new emperor.
That they were keen to meet the approaching army boded well. The secretary had not expected such jollity when the army had marched from Germania under the command of Vitellius’ two generals. Towns had been razed, women raped en masse, civilians slaughtered. Perhaps it was the presence of their emperor that had quelled Fabius Valens’ and Caecina’s blood-lust. Which suggested Vitellius had a better grasp on events than Epaphroditus had given him credit for when he’d been supporting Otho’s claim to the purple.
Alas, Otho was no more and there was one man left stand-ing: Aulus Vitellius. Who’d have thought it? Certainly not Epaphroditus. In all his dealings with Vitellius over the years in the courts of Claudius and Nero, not once had he imagined Vitellius had the ambition or the energy for such an auda-cious plan. That was why he’d initially assumed Valens and Caecina to be the instigators. But their behaviour since Otho’s suicide suggested otherwise. Epaphroditus had expected both men to appear with their legions at the gates of Rome keen to install themselves in power. But they hadn’t. They’d both dutifully and patiently waited for Vitellius to make his way from Germania to Italy. Which was contrary to everything Epaphroditus had thought he’d known about the bloodthirsty and avaricious Valens, and the handsome but empty-headed Caecina.
Part of the secretary’s desire to rendezvous with the emperor stemmed from a wish to get close to these two men and a firmer grip on their motivations.
“Bumped into a kid putting up some notices,” said Epaphroditus’ slave. “The emperor is putting on some games, it appears.”
Bononia was half a day’s ride away.
“Make sure my toga’s ready,” he instructed. “I have an appointment with an emperor.”

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Blog Tour: Read an Extract from Stoned Love by @IPatrick_Author @fahrenheitpress @lovebooksgroup


Detective Sergeant Sam Batford has been lying low at a remote safe house in the highlands of Scotland. He's doing his best not to attract the attention of the enemies he made, on both sides of the law, during his last under-cover operation but Batford knows he’s just killing time until he's called to account.

Inevitably the sharks begin to circle and as Batford is called back to front-line action in London he’s thrown into a deadly game of cat and mouse where it seems everyone is out to get him.

After having to endure a frustrating resolution to their previous undercover operation together DCI Klara Winter from the National Crime Agency is determined to prove that Batford has crossed the line into criminality and finally bring him to face justice.

All Sam Batford wants is to outwit his enemies long enough to stay alive and come out ahead of the game.  



I look up and see a red Kite hovering over the fields looking for prey. I throw the rat towards the open area of grass.

 As I do, the sound of an engine enters my senses. It’s a car not an agricultural vehicle. I move further into the wood and crouch down. The dyke wall hides the driver’s window but I can see the red roof. It’s a post office van. I hear the engine stop outside my cottage, the metal cattle gate open and close then the sound is repeated, the engine fires up then fades as the car drives off down the hill towards the farm. The silence returns. I wonder what’s been sent. I only get mail from my employer. It’s never good news.

Cover Reveal: What Are You Like by Author Shelley Day @PascaleBientot @lovebooksgroup



These stories ask us: what are you like? Watch the characters grapple with what life throws at them, never quite sinking under the weight of it all. Shelley Day’s stories explore what we can’t quite grasp. They celebrate the uncertainties of language. The settings here are exquisitely imagined no-man's-lands- at once strange yet oddly familiar. Here are worlds where the improbable becomes possible: a mother finds herself living on a library shelf, a diner finds words sliding from his menu into nothingness, a psychiatrist cracks up in front of his patient, and there’s a stain on the wall that won’t stop spreading. These extraordinary stories take us to the psychological hinterlands that make us who we are. What are you like? Do you know the answer?

'These are real short stories from a real writer: full of the telling detail, the betraying detail, the immaculately-rendered thought… The title work alone is a visceral, unforgettable, punch-drunk joy. Read this book.'
A L Kennedy, award-winning novelist and short story writer.

‘Lucid, vivid, quirky, these interlinking stories teem with the stuff of life - always making the reader ask questions about family, loss, love - what is said, and what is not. The voices in this tender collection come bristling to life, fizzing and full. Fabulous.’ 
Jackie Kay, poet, novelist, short story writer, and Scotland’s Makar

‘This coruscating collection beautifully showcases Shelley Day’s twisting and turning talent. In one volume, we are immersed repeatedly into her magical worlds, emerging reeling yet ready for the next dip.’ 
Angela Jackson, award-winning novelist and script writer.

Cover Reveal:

About Shelley Day:

Shelley Day is an award-winning writer, a European totally opposed to Brexit, a Geordie lass, a lapsed lawyer and academic psychologist. She was named as an Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature ‘emerging writer’ in 2013 and has since appeared at numerous literary festivals. Her debut novel The Confession of Stella Moon (Saraband, 2016) won the Andrea Badenoch Prize and was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. In 2015 she won a Northern Writer’s Award to support this debut short story collection. Represented by Jenny Brown.

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Blog Tour: Read an extract from Antiques and Alibis by @WendyHJones @Lovebooksgroup


Cass Claymore, a red headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina inherits a Detective Agency, and accidentally employs an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Hired by a client who should know better, Cass has no leads, no clue and a complete inability to solve a case. Still a girl needs to eat and her highbred client’s offering good money. Join her as, with bungling incompetence, she follows a trail littered with missing antique teddies, hapless crooks, a misplaced Lord of the Realm and dead bodies. Will Cass, and Scotland, survive? 


Antiques and Alibis

Chapter 1

I’m Cass Claymore, redhead, biker chick, ex ballerina and Private Investigator. 

Oh, did I mention the dead body at my feet? The worst part, I’m not sure if I killed him or someone else performed the dirty deed. My days are not usually cluttered up with the recently deceased. So, a difficult call for me. 

Aged about thirtyish, clean-shaven, and wearing designer brogues. Not your average lowlife who’d end up dead. Unless the shoes were nicked, of course. The way my week was panning out, I’d probably bumped off some visiting Laird. Might he have died of natural causes? Bending over, I peered at him. He didn’t have the look of someone who’d shuffled off this mortal coil voluntarily. 

Q&A with If it Weren't for You Author Dorothea Neamonitos @DorotheaAuthor


An inspirational debut novel, If It Weren't For You explores the repercussions of revenge, the pain of truth and the discovery of love, intertwined with the moral dilemma of law and ethics. Eleanora cannot believe it - James is nothing what she'd expected to see after six years. He is poor, perhaps homeless. What went wrong? Determined to help him - see where life diverted from its course, she finds herself following him, and at the same time, remembering the past as she connects each dot... But there is something, she feels, haunting her deep down. Something, she knows, she had done. She is about to confront him for the first time when she hears him cry out in the stillness of the night. Before she knows it, she has become an eyewitness to an assault. James is battered unconscious on the ground. What could it mean? Now, more than ever, she must help. Whatever James involved in, the need to make amends is more profound. Because James wouldn't be in this dire situation in the first place if it weren't for her...



What is the inspiration behind your book?

The inspiration behind my book came to me as a train of thought one summer’s day three years ago. I had recollected an incident as a teenager, involving a boy who my friend needed help in meeting. She’d asked me to call him, arranging the date and time. As I was recollecting, a thought had sprung: What if it had all gone wrong back then? What if I created a different fate for them all? That’s when I ‘envisioned’ the outline of my book. I’d run to type the first six chapters the very same day.

Guest Post: The Inspiration for The Story After Us by @fionaperrin @lovebooksgroup


Sometimes the end is just the beginning...

If she tries very hard, Ami can remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her...

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become - or why she and her husband can't even be in the same room anymore.

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off 'consciously uncoupling' like a celeb. But she's starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be... happier?

As funny as Helen Fielding, as poignantly touching as Marian Keyes, Fiona Perrin's dazzling debut is a story that is as much about finding out who you really are again, as it is about the exhausting balancing act of motherhood. Unmissable for women everywhere.


Guest Post: The Inspiration

The Story After Us was inspired by me very unconsciously uncoupling from a husband I loved very much, a long time ago: it’s important to say that it was inspired by that, but it’s definitely not my story. Instead, I took that experience, of two people who loved each other very much but still found that life with careers and kids got in the way and made it into the story of Ami and Lars.

It really asks, is love enough to keep you together when life gets really tough? And then it asks what the story after happy ever after might look like? I’ve been lucky enough to ‘come out the other side’ and find happiness in a new marriage and have a very modern, blended family now of kids, step-parents and so on who all get on with each other mostly. So again, that was an inspiration – that there is life after love.

Q&A with Igniting the Shadows author Rebecca Jayne Heipel @TSW_rjh


Light is shed on the shadow of the unknown with tales of power, unwanted responsibilities, past lives and how it all came to be.

18 year old Lian and her best friend Bruce move to Switzerland to study abroad. While Bruce struggles with his feelings for Lian, she is pursued by the school jerk Darin. Lian's reoccurring nightmares push her to question both her friendship with Bruce and her own identity.

BUY THE BOOK: Amazon | Lulu


What is the inspiration behind your book?

Most of my novels, this one included, is a mixture of a single thought, daydream or nightmare brought to life by my love of music.  I find music paints pictures in my head and that is how most of my stories come to life.  This novel, in particular, was also inspired by my desire to put movies into a readable format.  So that you too will hopefully have images that dance in your minds when you read it.

Guest Post: History is a Mystery by Haunted Broch Author @WendyHJones @lovebooksgroup


A Scottish Broch.

An archaeologist scorned.

A ghost disturbed.

The Detective Duo, Fergus and Flora, are spending their summer on an archaeological dig, searching for the Lost Broch. 

But someone—or something—seems set on sabotaging the project. An infestation of spiders—a swarm of mice—the campsite trashed—who knew archaeology could be so dangerous? 

And is the Lost Broch really under a curse?  

Guest Post: History is a Mystery

When it comes to writing mystery books, I am never short of inspiration. Life provides me with a rich source of ideas. The saying, ‘fact is stranger than fiction’ is so true. I am fascinated by modern day society as well as history, and I love travelling to other countries to immerse myself in new cultures. I have managed to combine all of these into my Fergus and Flora series. Another aspect of life which fascinates me is human nature. Everyone is different and observing people and chatting to them gives you a wide tapestry of characters to draw on.

Fergus and Flora are a couple of normal teens. Yet, they have a curiosity about life and the past which makes them want to find out more. Like most teens, they think they know better than the adults and that they are invincible. I wanted to make them as realistic as possible but allow them to get into the sorts of scrapes that is often not possible in modern day society. I drew on some elements of the character traits of my nieces for Flora. Fergus is based on an amalgam of my friends’ sons.

Guest Post: Belfast Central Author @amherst_ak On Writing Inspiration @LoveBooksGroup


Belfast 1993: A nocturnal ambulance service at the Belfast Central Station almost turns deadly for the young paramedic Ryan. In the crosshairs of the IRA, he is badly wounded and wakes up in the hospital with muddled memories. The police close the case fast, leaving too many burning questions unanswered. Most importantly, who was that old man who appeared at the scene out of nowhere and saved Ryan’s life? Not fully recovered yet, Ryan begins searching for the mysterious man, only to get dragged into a feud between opposing paramilitaries - with fatal consequences… 

A thrilling story about fates in 20th century Northern Ireland.  

Guest Post: A,K. Amherst's Writing Inspiration

I draw huge inspiration from traveling. Being in another country, experiencing another culture is really refreshing for my mind. While I am abroad it is important for me to feel like a local too. So I hardly ever stay in hotels but in apartments. I need my own „hood“, find my own favourite coffee place and go for groceries. Even if I just stay there for a week or two it’s possible to create a sense of belonging. Usually shop and restaurant owners recognise you quite fast if you visit regularly for some time. The trusted conversations that start to develop are really nice to experience.

Doing what locals do becomes a main part of my trips. One time in Canada, my guest mom and I got along so well, she took me to a backyard concert that no tourist would have known about. She practically knew everyone there and introduced me. It was a blast. Another time, my guest father in Australia took me on a private tour and told me World War II stories. These are experiences you can’t find during a booked tour or in a travel guide. - Not that they are bad, I have done them too, I just like to dig deeper.

When my first draft of „Belfast Central“ was done I went to Northern Ireland to do local research there. This was important for me. I wanted to get the story right and also needed to find the answers to some remaining questions. I spent a whole afternoon in the Linen Hall Library in Belfast and visited all the settings of my book. It was a mind-blowing experience. I was probably the only tourist at that car rental who didn’t go to the Giant’s Causeway but to Down Patrick - the hometown of one of my main characters.  

So yeah, traveling is one huge source of inspiration for me. Another one is music. Lyrics usually don’t tell the whole story. They just hint at something and raise the feeling that there is so much more underneath. That’s what makes them so powerful. When I am plotting a story or creating a character I am listening to songs that touch me again and again. I am then trying to find one possible story behind those lyrics.

Whenever I am stuck with a story a walk with my dog can do wonders. Around our home, there are a lot of tracks in the forest and the fields. I am relaxed as soon as I get out there and for a moment I even forget about the writing issues I have. 

While walking one of our favourite tracks I decided to give one troublesome plot another try. I still remember the exact spot where I solved the problem. Now, whenever I continue working on that story I walk this certain track with my dog.  Whenever I am working on my other book idea I walk another track to not mix the ideas. 

I guess it is a kind of superstition, like when players of a certain sport wear their lucky shirt for a game. I have my special lyrics and my lucky tracks for each and every story.

About the Author

Born and raised in Austria, A.K. Amherst travelled the world from a young age. This influenced her writing, which relates to the history and cultures of foreign countries. Intensive research is part of her job, and she really loves her job. You want to be taken into another setting and experience life from a different angle? Then Amherst is the writer for you.

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Picture Book Review: Bertie the Buffalo by @WendyHJones @malcolmdown @LoveBooksGroup


Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland. A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel. Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn't need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.
Click HERE to buy the book


This was a really sweet little book about Bertie, a buffalo who runs away in an attempt to find a place where he really belongs. He feels he's too small to fit in with the other buffalo so he sets off on an adventure.

The book is told in rhyme, which I'm sure will appeal to small children, but in a way, I felt like being constrained by rhyming held the story back.  

Along the way, he meets a Lama, a fox and other animals. I felt like there was a missed learning opportunity here, for example, he could have remarked about how the fox lives in a den. It's touched on a little when he meets a Lama who explains how he's on Holiday from Peru. Loved that bit.

Guest Post: Vampires on Screen by Suckers author @JackyDahlhaus @LoveBooksGroup


Staying alive is hard in a world full of bloodsuckers. What do you do to survive?

Kate has just begun her new job as a high school teacher and is looking forward to living her suburban dream life. All her hopes and dreams turn into smoke as a virus turns people into vampires, roaming the world in packs and killing everybody they can get their hands on. Kate has to pretend to be one of them to stay alive. When she accidentally bumps into a handsome sucker who then mysteriously disappears, surviving is no longer the only thing on Kate's mind.

Will Kate stay alive and human while pursuing this mysterious stranger?

Pick up this action-packed, fast-paced, suspenseful novel and explore the depths of Kate's emotions as she struggles to make sense of it all.

Vampires have struck fear in the hearts of people all over the world for a very long time. They were given scary names like Chupacabra (South-America), BrahmarākŞhasa (northern India), and Vrycolakas (Greece) in folkloric tales. Basically, they were all creatures that drank the blood of the living. Most likely, the affliction was based on a rare disease called porphyria, in which the person may suffer temporary quadriplegia (hence seemingly to ‘rise from the dead’ after an attack) and an allergic reaction to sunlight (which made them night-dwellers).

The first time vampires were mentioned in English literature was in eighteenth-century poems. Lord Byron was the first person credited with writing a novel about vampires, titled The Vampyre, in 1819 (although it was his physician who actually wrote it). None, however, were so influential as Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1897, of course.

The first vampire on screen was in a 1922 German silent movie called Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror. It was the first filmographic version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. They didn’t get permission to film it from Stoker’s widow and had to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying copyright infringement fees after the movie came out. They were told to destroy every film reel, but as it was already distributed worldwide, this was, fortunately, practically impossible.

Guest Post: Books that influenced Calculated Contagion author @ktleewrites @LoveBooksGroup


Dani Christensen is a vaccine researcher who has spent her career proving she is more than just the daughter of the company's CEO. However, as her accomplishments in contagious disease research grow, the wrong people begin to notice. When Dani is isolated from her colleagues at a well-regarded conference in Europe, she is kidnapped and taken to an isolated camp in the Carpathian Mountains.

CIA officers Cam Mitchell and Tyler Scott are sent to observe a suspicious group of armed men in rural Romania. When Cam sees Dani being brought into the camp against her will, he and his partner rescue her and bring her safely back to the United States. The CIA initially believes Dani was kidnapped for ransom, but they soon realize her kidnapper has followed her back to her lab. Now, the CIA must work with their allies in the FBI to catch Dani’s kidnapper before he releases a potentially deadly contagion for his own political gain.

Calculated Contagion is Book 2 in The Calculated Series. All books in The Calculated Series may be enjoyed as standalone novels or as a series.


Guest Post by K.T. Lee:

Books I loved growing up that influence me today

I am an engineer who not only loves digging into technical details but also likes to write books and perform improv comedy for fun. Similarly, my books combine a number of different elements – they are part cozy mystery and science thriller with a bit of fun and romance along the way. Growing up, I had favorite books that fell into a number of different categories. However, the common thread in all of them was an intriguing, character-driven story.
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