After He Died – Michael J Malone @michaeljmalone1 @orendabooks @annecater #blogtour

thumbnail_AFTER HE DIED cover
Look at this beauty. Yet another Orenda/Kid Ethic thing of beauty. All three of Michael’s Orenda books to date have featured a circle/semi circle motif, but this one is the best yet. Love it.


As if the day wasn’t difficult enough for you – burying a loved one is never easy, but Chirpy Cheep-Cheep was a beloved budgie and the neighbour’s cat will face justice over this feathered crime, as will the person who left the cage open in the first place – there is one face in the crowd of mourners (yourself, your youngest, the nosey, pervy neighbour peeping behind their bedroom curtains, and their murderous cat, looking smug and with a I’m-totally-digging-him-up-later look on his stupid feline face), that you don’t recognise. You’re not even sure how she got into the garden, but you notice that the gate is open when it should be bolted; another mental note to admonish this persistent door-leaver-opener – probably your eldest as they can never seem to keep their mouth closed either. As you make eye contact the stranger walks across the lawn towards you – the lawn that Chirpy Cheep-Cheep will never gaze at through the window ever again – and embraces you. You feel her slip something into your pocket as she whispers her condolences, and, as quickly as she came, she leaves through the still open gate. Befuddled you put your hand into your pocket and pull out a piece of paper. On it, in neat writing, is a……blurb:

“When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought she knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…”

Continue reading “After He Died – Michael J Malone @michaeljmalone1 @orendabooks @annecater #blogtour”


Overkill – Vanda Symon @vandasymon @orendabooks @annecater

Overkill Cover
Look at that cover. Lush or what, eh? Bloody gorgeous and it really does suit the tone of the story inside. Another Orenda cover success.


The doorbell rings. In the middle of a particularly tricky jigsaw you tut, tear yourself away, and look through the peephole in the door. On the other side is a man, cap pulled down so to obscure his face, dressed in the dark blue overalls of a tv repairman. But you haven’t got a tv; your passion is jigsaws. Who needs telly when the act of slotting those lugs into their correct piece is so thrilling. Something isn’t right here. The bell rings again making you jump, but you cover your mouth to stifle any call of surprise. The man’s body language belies his impatience, but he turns to leave. You realise that you have been holding your breath and you start to let it out, but he turns suddenly, thrusting a piece of paper through your letterbox. It falls to the floor, twisting as it does before landing face up. In crude, almost childlike writing you see the words. Upon the paper is……. a blurb:

“When the body of a young mother is found washed up on the banks of the Mataura River, a small rural community is rocked by her tragic suicide. But all is not what it seems.

Sam Shephard, sole-charge police constable in Mataura, soon discovers the death was no suicide and has to face the realisation that there is a killer in town. To complicate the situation, the murdered woman was the wife of her former lover. When Sam finds herself on the list of suspects and suspended from duty, she must cast aside her personal feelings and take matters into her own hands.

To find the murderer … and clear her name.

A taut, atmospheric and page-turning thriller, Overkill marks the start of an unputdownable and unforgettable series from one of New Zealand’s finest crime writers.”

Continue reading “Overkill – Vanda Symon @vandasymon @orendabooks @annecater”

Crack Apple & Pop – Saira Viola @sairaviola @f13noir @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

crack apple and pop
I think that’s a Braeburn. Maybe a Russet? No, too green. Certainly not a Granny Smith’s or a Pink Lady. Maybe it’s a crab apple? We need an apple expert here. Anyone? 


Backed up against the wall you sweat and you gibber

But despite what they say you ain’t no grass and you ain’t no fibber

Drawing his gun he points it straight in your face

In your chest your heart hammers at an accelerated pace

All of a sudden he squeezes the trigger

Your legs giving way in a slip and a jigger

But as the hammer comes down for your brains to disturb

Poking out of the barrel is a flag with a blurb…..


Tony is a handsome young boxer forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.

Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.

Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.

All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.

Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.

The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.

A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.

Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…

Continue reading “Crack Apple & Pop – Saira Viola @sairaviola @f13noir @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles”

Crimson Siege (Blood Riders Book 1) – Jay Raven @jayravenauthor @rararesources

Crimson Siege


Hey you, yes you! No, not you….no, yo….you, you over there in the cape! Finally *tuts* Do you like horror? Do you like vampires? Do you like a rollicking good jailhouse siege (Yes, I’m talking to you now, yes you in the Elvis wig – I see you)? Do you like your story to be set in a dark, gothic, mountainous setting, preferably during the 19th Century?

What’s that? You do? Well, hurrah and break out the bunting (black, bat-shaped bunting, of course), because this could well be the book for you.

But, what if I said “NAY” to all of the above? What if we don’t like capes, or Elvis? What about us? Well, I say shut yer whining and open your mind, this may still be the book for you – and rethink you attitudes towards Elvis, man. Don’t worry about the capes, though.

edna mode no capes
Don’t mess wit da Mode, man!

  Continue reading “Crimson Siege (Blood Riders Book 1) – Jay Raven @jayravenauthor @rararesources”

Creature – Hunter Shea @huntershea1 @annecater #blogtour

Creature Cover Image

Paperback: 288 pages

Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition edition (6 Sept. 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1787580210

ISBN-13: 978-1787580213

Amazon UK: Buy here

My thanks to Anne Cater (Random Things Tours) and to Hunter Shea for my ARC and for having me on the tour 🙂

The piercing, blood curdling screams rebound off the trees and resonate throughout the woodland surrounding your tiny cottage. Terrified you pull the sheet tighter and tighter around yourself as if that will keep away and protect you from the creature outside. As the howling and caterwauling get closer and closer you begin to realise those unbearable sounds may actually be words, that the creature is actually trying to say something. Straining your terrified ears you listen intently, yes, yes those are words. It, it appears to be screaming….. a blurb:


The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal. 

But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. 

Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.

Continue reading “Creature – Hunter Shea @huntershea1 @annecater #blogtour”

The Lion Tamer Who Lost – Louise Beech. @louisewriter @orendabooks

lion tamer selfie

Where to buy: Amazon UK ; Orenda Books

The little silver box, an old snuff box that your grandmother used to use, sits on the table. You have no idea where it came from, but you know what is inside it. Cautiously you open it and inside is a single piece of paper folded three times. With trembling fingers you reach inside and take it. Unfolding it you see that written upon it in your grandmother’s cursive script is…..a blurb:

Be careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes he hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?
A dark, consuming drama that shifts from Zimbabwe to England, and then back into the past, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a devastatingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…

Continue reading “The Lion Tamer Who Lost – Louise Beech. @louisewriter @orendabooks”

Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties – Andy Rausch @writerrausch1 @rararesources #BlogTour

shotgun cover 2


Amazon UK:

Crouching down behind the upturned pool table, you cower as the bullets rain down all around you. This isn’t what you had expected when your friend called to say if you wanted to ‘shoot some pool’ after lunch. You remember to make a mental note to cross him off of your xmas card list. Suddenly the gunshots end as abruptly as they began, the sound of car tyres squealing as your assailants race away. Gradually you stand up and survey the carnage. As you slowly turn around you notice the wall behind you is riddled with bullet holes. Standing back you notice that they appear to be arranged into a pattern of some kind. Yes, if you squint, and tilt your head a little, bizarrely the holes all seem to spell out some words: it looks like…a blurb…

“RIDING SHOTGUN AND OTHER AMERICAN CRUELTIES is a unique collection of quirky, Tarantinoesque crime novellas, representing three very different sub-genres. In the first story, “Easy-Peezy,” a band of elderly Old West bank robbers return to their wicked ways robbing banks in the 1930s John Dillinger era. The second story, “Riding Shotgun,” is a bitter tale about a man pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to take up arms to protect those he loves. The third tale, “$crilla,” is an urban crime fantasy in which a fledgling hip-hop group kidnaps a record mogul in the hopes of finally making the kind of loot they’ve always dreamed of.”

Continue reading “Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties – Andy Rausch @writerrausch1 @rararesources #BlogTour”

Lori Anderson Book 3 – Steph Broadribb @crimethrillgirl @orendabooks #coverreveal

Hey hey everybody and welcome to another cover reveal on my little beardy blog. Oooh, I. Am. EXCITED!

Why? Why are you so excited you bearded buffoon, I hear you ask? Well, this is book 3 in the Lori Anderson series. If you are not familiar with these books then I suggest that a) you slap yourself in the face with a damp haddock, and b) that you waddle off and read my reviews of Deep Down Dead and Deep Blue Trouble before dipping your hands into your pockets and ponying up for a copy of each one. Go on, you know it makes sense 😉

When I sat down to write this reveal I realised that, in fact, I am way too excited to do this cover reveal on my own. I need to call upon the skill and expertise of another. Someone, maybe, who actually has met Steph herself?

So, who did I call up to ask to present this cover reveal? Well, you may recall a conversation I once had with a young up and coming book blogger (if you cannot recall this epic encounter, or have no clue as to what I’m talking about, you can find that chat here), and I thought, why not ask him if he’s free?

Sadly, I was.

That’s right beardy book blog fans, I called up myself, The Beardy Book Blogger, once again. Me’ll know what to do….

Beardy meets Beardy 2
Left me: This dick again? Right me: Why did I agree to this?


Continue reading “Lori Anderson Book 3 – Steph Broadribb @crimethrillgirl @orendabooks #coverreveal”

Big Sister – Gunnar Staalesen (translated by Don Bartlett) #BlogTour #VargVeum @orendabooks @annecater


Sitting at your desk you hear a strange sound from the other side of the door leading into your office. To your alarm a piece of folded paper is slowly pushed under it. You get up quickly and take the sheet of paper as you hear someone run away on the other side. Pulling the door open there is no one there. You open the paper and there, in letters cut out from magazines and newspapers, is a blurb….

“PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark actions are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal… Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.”

Continue reading “Big Sister – Gunnar Staalesen (translated by Don Bartlett) #BlogTour #VargVeum @orendabooks @annecater”

Cuttin’ Heads – D.A. Watson @davewatsonbooks @rararesources #blogtour #cuttinheads

Cuttin Heads


Inspiration just isn’t coming to you today. You sit there, the lyrics failing to materialise on your notebook. Closing your eyes, you let yourself fall into a trance-like state and then, as if from nowhere, the words fall from your fingers. Afterwards, rising from your stupor you look at what you’ve written and realise, with some measure of disappointment, that what you have written are not song lyrics, but a blurb:

“Aldo Evans is a desperate man. Fired from his job and deeply in debt, he struggles to balance a broken family life with his passion for music.

Luce Figura is a troubled woman. A rhythmic perfectionist, she is haunted by childhood trauma and scorned by her religiously devout mother.

Ross McArthur is a wiseass. Orphaned as an infant and raised by the state, his interests include game shows, home-grown weed, occasional violence and the bass guitar.

They are Public Alibi. A rock n’ roll band going nowhere fast.

When the sharp-suited, smooth talking producer Gappa Bale offers them a once in a lifetime chance to make their dreams come true, they are caught up in a maelstrom of fame, obsession, music and murder.

Soon, Aldo, Luce and Ross must ask themselves: is it really better to burn out than to fade away?”

Continue reading “Cuttin’ Heads – D.A. Watson @davewatsonbooks @rararesources #blogtour #cuttinheads”