blog tour, books, reviews

Spotlight: Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse – Sherrill Joseph

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To celebrate the release of the next exciting book in the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse is going on tour!

We have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag!

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Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Publication Date: October 20, 2020 (Today

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade

(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

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Excerpt

Lanny is awakened at four a.m. by the sound of footsteps coming from the room overhead. He and Moki head to the third floor to explore:

Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Lanny pointed to the door of the suspected room and flashed Moki an A-OK sign. They turned off their flashlights, noticing the room’s door was slightly ajar, and listened for any sounds. Nothing but the mournful “who-who” sound of the resident barn owl in the old magnolia tree outside. They waited two more minutes, shivering and wishing they hadn’t forgotten their bathrobes and slippers. Still no sounds came from the room. Even the owl became silent. Moki felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

Finally, Lanny pushed the door open slightly and slipped into the room. Moki followed.

Available in paperback and for Kindle!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway:

2 lucky winners will receive a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag (US only this time)! Giveaway will be open until October 31st!

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Blog Tour Schedule

October 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

October 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

October 28th

LauraLoopyLou (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 29th

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

October 30th

Lunarian Press (Interview) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rosie Writes (Spotlight) http://rosemariecawkwell.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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Blog Tour: Promises at Indigo Bay – Ellyn Oaksmith*

Read my review of Summer at Orchard House.

Our life together meant more to me than he could possibly imagine. I just wanted another night. I thought I knew what was coming. A proposal. If only it had been that simple.
Things are finally working out for Stella Gallagher. Unlucky in love and faced with limited options in her small town, she was beginning to give up on romance altogether, until mysterious Italian Paolo Gentillo moved to Chelan…
Paolo is smart, kind, gorgeous and, most importantly, they’re completely obsessed with each other: Stella has finally found her match. Everything would be perfect, except there are things she hasn’t told Paolo—she doesn’t know how he’s going to feel about her when he finds out about her past…
So when Paolo proposes, Stella panics: it’s way too soon. She wants to be with him, but suddenly they’re talking about forever. He doesn’t even know the real her, she’s scared to face up to her secret, and she’s never felt so alone. Is the damage from her past going to threaten her chance at a perfect future?

A heart-warming story about learning to trust in yourself and the people you love, Promises at Indigo Bay will show you that it’s never too late to try for your happy ending. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber.

Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of the Blue Hills Series, featuring the Alvarez family.

After graduating from Smith College and attaining her MFA from The American Film Institute, Ellyn began her writing career as an award-winning screenwriter in Hollywood. Her books explore the same themes as her screenplays: grit, humor, family and love.

Ellyn lives on one of Seattle’s many hills with her husband and spends as much time as possible on the water as part of a competitive rowing team.

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My thoughts:

I loved Summer at Orchard House and was excited to read the newest Chelan novel – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Stella is the town’s hairdresser and salon owner, she has a wonderful Italian boyfriend, a house she loves and a supportive best friend and bonus family.

She isn’t close to her own parents and has a tragic history she keeps trying to forget. Then Paolo announces his visa is about to expire and they should get married.

This sends Stella into a tailspin – and Olivia suddenly isn’t such a great best friend anymore. Now she’s having to confront her past and deal with Paolo’s overbearing Italian mother.

I had an Italian best friend growing up and I know all about the Italian mamas and their sons – my friend had two brothers. I knew Stella was in for a rough ride, nothing comes between Italian women and their precious sons.

But Stella finds a deep well of inner strength and somehow manages not to be completely crushed by all the things she’s dealing with.

A really enjoyable read, and a delightful slice of escape as the rain pours down and the wind rattles the dodgy panes in my windows.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Buried in my Past – Eva Mackenzie

Buried in my Past5 STAR thriller, Buried in My Past by author Eva Mackenzie, is on sale for ONLY $0.99 from now until October 30th on Amazon, AND as a special treat to our hosts and their readers, the author is giving away a brand new 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!!

buried-in-my-past 

Buried in My Past

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: February 6th, 2020

Publisher: Craven Ink Press

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

*Trigger Warnings: Implied Sexual Assault but none depicted

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Excerpt

Every night her mother fell asleep atop a deep, dark secret. A box containing a mystery wrapped in the blood of her twins.

She wasn’t a killer. That’s what she told Drew; that’s what she told herself. But now, sitting on the floor of her mothers’ room, she cradled evidence that suggested otherwise. And she had no memory for an alibi.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.

She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.

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WIN A BRAND NEW 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!! ENTER BELOW!!!

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Blog Tour: The Illustrated Child – Polly Crosby*

Romilly lives in a ramshackle house with her eccentric artist father and her cat, Monty. She knows little about her past – but she knows that she is loved.

When her father finds fame with a series of children’s books starring her as the main character, everything changes: exotic foods appear on the table, her father appears on TV, and strangers appear at their door, convinced the books contain a treasure hunt leading to a glittering prize.

But as time passes, Romilly’s father becomes increasingly suspicious of everything around him, until, before her eyes, he begins to disappear altogether.

In her increasingly isolated world, Romilly turns to the secrets her father has hidden in his illustrated books, realising that there is something far darker and more devastating locked within the pages…

The truth.

The Illustrated Child is the unforgettable, beguiling debut from Polly Crosby.

My thoughts:

Every story I’ve read about children whose parents write them into books seems to end with a rather sad child trapped in the pages of the books their parents write – so it is for Romilly.

Her father’s beautifully illustrated stories sell – especially as people think there’s a treasure hunt hidden within, but this brings fans, treasure hunters, and a life lived trapped inside the disintegrating house Romilly and her father, slowly succumbing to early onset dementia, live in.

There is a treasure hunt, of sorts, but it is for Romilly alone. As she grows up, her mother and grandmother drift in and out of her life, along with her sole friend Stacey, she starts to solve her father’s clues and unravel her own past.

A sad, sweet book, I really wanted to rescue Romilly and Monty the cat, their lives are so small and lonely. I don’t think turning your child into a fictional version of themselves is very healthy – as Romilly points out, the version of her people believe they know never ages while she does – the little denim dress and red tights stop fitting her and Monty loses a paw, but in the four books she remains forever eight years old and innocent.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Stonechild – Kevin Albin*

Where do we go to when we die?

Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a
statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.
As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she
sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.
Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince?

The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal?

Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.

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A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December,
which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details.

I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader
working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.
I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.
In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work.
It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life
to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.
My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all
species.
I live in France.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting idea – London’s statues come to life and appear to be concerned about the environment, but could there be something worse afoot?

I loved Shakespeare quoting his own plays and showing off – an actor as ever, and Florence Nightingale getting a bit high and mighty, then playing down Mary Seacole’s work – as she probably did in life.

But all it takes is one young woman who can see through their claims and with a little help, from Sherlock Holmes (confusingly his reanimation is never fully explained, as he’s rather fictional) and soon Molly is revealing the truth of these historic figures reappearance.

This was a clever, interesting read – I can see Molly going on to solve further mysteries with her brother.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Ashes of the Sun – Django Wexler*

Long ago, a magical war destroyed the Chosen Empire, and a new republic rose from its ashes. But old grudges still simmer…
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was.

Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

Django Wexler is the author of the Shadow Campaigns novels. He
graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees
in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. He is also the author of middle-grade fantasy novels, The Forbidden Library, The Mad Apprentice, and The Palace of Glass.

My thoughts:

This was a terrific read – the beginning of a new series by an accomplished writer.

Two siblings on either side of a long running conflict, one an accomplished thief, the other in training to serve the realm.

There’s adventure, battles, thrilling escapes and near misses, magic and monsters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, there’s humour and drama and it’s absolutely cracking. Don’t sit on this if you’re a big fantasy fan.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Nesting – C.J. Cooke*

The grieving widower. The motherless daughters. A beautiful house in the woods. And a nanny come to save the day….

So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.

But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare. With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening.

Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care. But protect them from what?

C.J. Cooke is an acclaimed, award-winning poet, novelist and academic with numerous other publications under the name of Carolyn Jess-Cooke.

Born in Belfast, she has a PhD in Literature from Queen’s University, Belfast, and is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health.

She also founded the Stay-At-Home Festival.

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My thoughts:

I love weird Gothic novels with creepy houses, sinister trees and monsters so this book really appealed to me. It’s also a really good example of how to do Gothic horror in the 21st Century. While all the characters have mobile phones and WiFi etc, the terrifying apparition and the way the forest seems to fold in on people defy the rational technology we all hold so dear. You can look things up but an ipad won’t stop a ghost or in this case a nokk (a Norwegian water spirit and not a friendly one).

Reeling from his wife’s sudden death and the literal collapse of his previous dream house, Tom has thrown himself into building an architectural masterpiece hanging from a cliff in the Norwegian forest. His two young daughters are being taken care of by Sophie, who isn’t who she says she is at all. There’s an unhappy housekeeper (shades of Mrs Danvers), a creepy basement, an elk that seems to be entering the house, a frustrated business partner and his exercise obsessed wife. Throw all these things together and it’s a wonder anyone makes it out alive.

I thoroughly enjoyed this creepy book, although I will be avoiding houses built on fjords for good, they don’t seem entirely safe or friendly.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Murder Club – Nikki Crutchley*

‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It
mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’

When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But
then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck.

Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out
there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye.

Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago.
He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his
newest venture, True Crime Tours.

The lives of Miller, Cassie and Logan – all affected differently by murder – become entwined as The Scarf Killer, desperate for infamy, and Miller’s attention, makes his mark on the small town of Lentford.

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After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.

Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and before she turned to crime writing had success in flash fiction. She has been published in ‘Bonsai: Best Small Fictions from Aotearoa New Zealand’, and ‘Fresh Ink’ anthologies.

Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Her first novel, ‘Nothing Bad Happens Here’, featuring journalist Miller Hatcher, is set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand. It was a finalist in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Award for best first novel. Her second book, ‘No One Can Hear You’, was long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award for best novel in 2019. ‘

The Murder Club’ is the second in the Miller Hatcher series.

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My thoughts:

This was really enjoyable, a small town is suddenly on the map after a killer starts their spree, with everyone looking at their friends and neighbours slightly differently. Is the murderer among them?

Miller is a local journalist who gets drawn into the case by the killer, who starts sending her letters, in the sinister tradition of Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac Killer, among others. Instead of publishing them however, she hands them to the police, determined not to give in to the murderer’s desire for publicity.

But she can’t help but wonder about it, as more women are killed and it dredges up terrible things from the past – like the murder of Cassie’s mother, and the other terrible deaths Logan’s awful murder tours exploit.

The plot is clever, the ending satisfying, and Cassie and Miller make great characters – similar but different, both dealing with their troubled pasts and trying to heal, both stronger than they think.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Stranded – Stuart James*

A family trapped. A psychopath on the loose. Let the game begin…

What could be more innocent than going on holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

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My thoughts:

This was gripping, heart in mouth stuff, it made me think of a horror film, which I think it would make a great one. It seemed so innocent to start with, then suddenly Ben, Lisa and Milly are plunged into a nightmare.

The sadistic killer who has kidnapped a coach load of people and now holds Ben’s family too, wants to play twisted games with their lives and has stranded them in the middle of nowhere.

Not all the passengers are good people, some of them are guilty of terrible things, but it’s not the killer’s place to decide their punishment, despite him doing just that.

Utterly sinister and totally twisted, this is one nightmare holiday.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Tea With Rasputin – Rolf Richardson

TeawithRasputin

Welcome to the blog tour for gripping, thriller, Tea with Rasputin by Rolf Richardson!

TeawithRasputin

Tea with Rasputin

Publication Date: July 22, 2020

Genre: Thriller
GRIPPING GLOBE-TROTTING THRILLER WITH SURPRISES AND UNEXPECTED EVENTS

It’s 1992 and during a routine layover in Anchorage Alaska, Greg Wilton (a First Officer with British World Airways) disappears without trace.

Back at airline HQ near Heathrow, Mr Halford, Head of Security, is tasked with finding someone to investigate Greg’s case. His team are working to capacity and no one can be spared. So he scrapes the bottom of the barrel and assigns recent recruit, Terry Jackson to the investigation.

Fresh out of training school and awaiting his first posting, Terry flies to Alaska, brimming with enthusiasm at being trusted with such a mission. There he discovers Wilton rented a small plane while on his layover and both are now missing. His last contact appeared to be with Coral, a waitress at the crew watering hole, The Golden Nugget, so with her help Terry sets out to find the missing airman.

Their quest appears to be hopeless, because Alaska is huge, but they do not give up. The action moves to Hong Kong, Miami, Oxford (England) and finally St. Petersburg for Tea with Rasputin, a ten year globe-trotting saga with many twists and turns.

Join Terry in his investigation, where intrigue, suspense, mystery, humour and even a little romance lie in wait.

SUMMER 1992, ALASKA

1

On most trips the captain kicked off by flying the first sector, no rhyme or reason for this beyond habit, but on this occasion Captain Abbott said, “You do this one,” muttering an aside about a party last night, which had left him less than razor-sharp. So First Officer Greg Wilton was ‘in command under supervision’, a situation that occurs a million times a year in the world of commercial aviation.

Weather over the arctic regions had been spectacular, the oil-rich North Slope beginning to cast off its winter white, after that the peaks of the Brooks Range, still topped with snow.

“Looks like McKinley’s about to get socked in,” said Greg, pointing ahead at North America’s highest mountain, disappearing before their eyes under some evil-looking clouds.

“Nowadays they call it Denali, not to upset the natives,” said the captain, adding: “A taste of what’s 4 to come, because here’s the latest Anchorage actual: best get your wellies out.”

Greg glanced at the slip of paper, which told him that their destination was blowing a gale and bucketing with rain. The North Pacific coast is notoriously wet. They registered the fact that their official funk-hole of Fairbanks was in fine fettle just behind them. Not that they expected any problems at Anchorage, but the flying game is all about looking ahead; anticipation. You never knew.

There were no problems at Anchorage. It was June, so the low pressure brought blustery rain rather than the driving snow of January; that would have been a challenge. Greg Wilton guided the 747 down, an increasingly bumpy ride as they descended into the murk, while the skipper did the co-piloting from the left-hand seat. They had done this sort of thing umpteen times before.

After a very acceptable landing, Greg handed control back to the captain as they approached their stand, because pier guidance lights are calibrated for the left-hand seat. They agreed an engine shut down time of 2126 and wrote this in their log books, together with the trip time of eight hours, thirty-five minutes. Alaska is nine hours behind British time, so they had arrived before leaving London, the polar route being the only one where subsonic aircraft can manage this feat. Bedtime in Britain was lunchtime in Alaska.

They had a quick discussion with the crew who were taking the flight on to Tokyo, then enjoyed a mercifully efficient transit through the airport to their hotel in downtown Anchorage.

“See you in the bar around six?” suggested the captain.

Greg nodded; the boss down the back gave a thumbs up; and a blonde stewardess returned a hopeful smile. No one took any of this as a promise, because evening in Anchorage was well into tomorrow for their bodies. Everyone had their own way of trying to cope with jetlag and most tended to sleep when they could. The trick was to be as fit as possible when duty next called, which in this instance was two days hence.

Forty-eight hours was a better than average recovery time. BWA would have loved to cut it to the legal minimum, but their daily Tokyo service was split three a week through Moscow/Siberia and four a week via Anchorage’s polar route, so longer layovers were unavoidable. The crew’s tryst in the bar that first evening may have been optional, but everyone would be on parade, bright eyed and bushy tailed, when BWA’s next flight arrived from London. That was for sure.

Sometimes ‘for sure’ isn’t. They tried his room. Hunted high and low throughout the hotel. Even phoned the local knocking shop. No luck. In the end Captain Abbott had to admit defeat. Greg Wilton, his first officer, had vanished.

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Rolf Richardson

ROLF RICHARDSON is a mongrel English/Norwegian who loves to travel, starting with service in the RAF, flying Britain’s first jet fighter, the Meteor; thereafter 25 years as a British Airways pilot on Argonauts, Britannias, VC10s and 747s.

He then became a roaming photographer, visiting around 110 countries, with over 15,000 photos now sold. He has worked his passage on cruise ships by giving lectures. Taken 3 months to drive round Australia.

A few years ago he set out to put his experiences to further use by writing a series of ‘Easy Read’ books: thrillers with a dash of history, romance and humour.

TEA WITH RASPUTIN: THE GENESIS

THE GENESIS

With a life spent in the travel industry, my stories are set in some of the places I’ve found most interesting. As the title suggests, ‘Tea with Rasputin’ end up in Russia, but it starts in Alaska, which used to be Russian, and there’s the first clue.

During the cold war time I flew 747s on the Polar route between Europe and Japan, with layovers in Anchorage, a place I always enjoyed. One day I heard that a colleague had rented a light plane there and simply vanished: never seen again. I used this event as the trigger for my book, weaving a story that takes British boy and American girl via a series of locations to the grand finale in St.Petersburg, Russia.

The time is the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when assets of the old regime were being sold off to shady characters, soon to be either billionaires or dead. By now I had taken to lecturing on cruise ships, which often took me to St.Petersburg, a city packed with history.

I call my books ‘Easy Reads’, a mix of mystery action, romance and humor, designed to entertain.

Rolf Richardson

TeawithRasputin

Blog Tour Schedule

October 19th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Debjani’s Thoughts (Review) https://debjanisthoughts.wordpress.com/

October 20th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Inked & Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 21st

B is for Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

@BrendaJeanCombs (Review) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

October 22nd

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

PoptheButterfly (Review) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 23rd

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

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